Giving Thanks for the Earth’s Bounty by Janine Donoho

Presentation Xeriscape Landscape Design

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Immanuel Lutheran Church

This last Saturday, the delightful women of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Havillah welcomed me into their fold. Temporarily, yes, but a warm reception just the same. In celebration of autumn, women gathered from their Washington-Alaska District to celebrate ‘Lord of the Harvest.’ They sang hymns, renewed bonds, and bestowed their farmed bounty upon all present. Then Linda Kuhlman invited me to share my program on ‘Xeriscape Gardening.’

We grew this

We grew this

Since xeriscape is yet another passion of mine, the attendees’ enthusiasm gratified. We explored together the larger cycles that make this earth viable, which incidentally contribute to soil productivity. Then we delved into how to apply xeriscape techniques to our landscapes. We even used the ‘S’ word when a participant asked about her Norwegian pine’s excessive cone output, which of course led to a brief discussion of plant sex and potential stressors. I’d have loved to stay for ‘Scripture Gardening’, which lends itself beautifully into another of my delights, cultural ethnobotany. Unfortunately, Intrepid Guy had a thing scheduled and I needed to leave.

Reflective view

Reflective view

In parting, we considered the exposed bank beside their community space. Now they’re considering native Arctostaphylos uva ursi aka kinnikinnick or bearberry or even low-growing cotoneaster to both beautify and hold the slope. Since I’m all about sustainable practices, contributing to this event gave me joy while allowing me to spread a little of the same. Thank you.

Achillea galore

Achillea galore

Stachys (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys (Lamb’s Ear)

Mints, sages & sedums

Mints, sages & sedums

Spring beauty

Spring beauty

July's summer garden

July’s summer garden

Late summer garden

Late summer garden

September color and texture

More reflections of beauty

More reflections of beauty

1st Peony grown from seed

1st Peony grown from seed

Blue Queens and Dragon’s Blood—Meandering the Spring Garden Rooms by Janine Donoho

Iris glory

Iris glory

The earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peonies grown from seed

Peonies grown from seed

Narcissus joy

Narcissus joy

And more peonies...

And more peonies…

With my edible annuals uncurling their cotyledons toward the sun, it’s time to inhale deeply and appreciate our other garden rooms. As a huge fan of perennials in this high desert environ, I cherish wandering through a decade of xeriscape plantings. Along the way, survivors offer a high-five while I note the vacant places. Perennial doesn’t mean forever, after all.

Before

Before

Then I let my gaze go fuzzy. That’s when textures and colors melt into paintscapes reminiscent of Monet as I plan what edits to make this year. After scribbling a few notes, it’s lovely to settle on one of numerous perches—mostly granite—and absorb both view and birdsong while breathing lush air transformed by plant life.

For your pleasure and because gardeners love to share, I offer a download of my treasured perennial list. Having cultivated an excess of three hundred and fifty plant seeds here—all chosen for zones 1-3, deer- and drought-resistance along with their bountiful exuberance—these mighty ones form the structural backbone. Most of them nourish wildlife ranging from Monarch butterfly to mule deer.

Now relax and enjoy this walk in my gardens with me.

Lamb's ears

Lamb’s ears

What’s your approach to gardening? Are you primarily a fan of annuals or perennials?

Garden – J-9’s Favorite Perennial Seed List

Dragon's Blood Sedum

Dragon’s Blood Sedum

Luminous whites

Luminous whites

Velvety purples

Gorgeous purples

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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