Helping Out A Fellow Gardener

 Porch in August (1)

“Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.”   ~Norman Vincent Peale


No this is not my house, but aren’t those blue hydrangeas gorgeous.  I only wish I could grow these blue flowers.  These beautiful blooms belong to my blogger friend, Susie Troccolo.  Many of you may know Susie’s wonderfully written blog, Life.Change.Compost.

Close up of Front garden in summer (1)Susie contacted me recently asking for help with her Portland, Oregon garden.  Her front garden conditions have been changing over the years.  The shade has increased, and after the most recent period of nasty weather, where her garden was plunged into unseasonable freezing temps, she is looking to redo a section of her garden.

Susie asked for my help in collaborating on a post, and I immediately said yes.  She thought it would be fun to ask fellow gardeners for their help and suggestions.  Nothing terribly complicated just your expertise and thoughts if you so choose. After all, gardeners are such helpful folks.  When someone asks us for our advice we generally give it especially to other gardeners.

So Susie sent me a couple of photos of the area she wants to make over, and here are her words about the project to me:front garden bed after freeze (2)

The bed I want redone is the long (20 x 10 foot), irregular shaped rectangular bed directly in front of the porch. It does have a large hydrangea bush on one side (the east or left side), and that will remain. As you see (right)–I attached another recent photo after our freeze–I may have to replace plants in the rest of the bed. The wild ginger groundcover will remain because it is very attractive year round and good for our zone.

I like the deep green shiny leaves. You can tell folks that I like certain plants, like the heuchera, the native columbine, the brunnera, etc., but at this point I really need some fresh ideas. Oh, and I do think the hostas will come back–but I’m not sure. It was a bad freeze.


I am quite sure her hosta, brunnera and heuchera will survive and continue to grow as mine do her in this frigid winter weather we have.  But as Susie says she is looking for fresh ideas.  This particular garden is North facing, in pretty deep shade for most of the day and stays wet for a good long while.  Quite a challenge.  You can include Northwest natives or exotics for her Zone 7 garden.  And don’t forget the gorgeous railing in the backdrop.

best shot of giveaways (1)Now Susie is a generous soul, and would never think of asking folks for their help without compensating them in some way.  You may remember last year how she gave away seeds for the bees and asked me to help her.  This time she is giving away some seed growing equipment.  You can see included are a heat mat and seed starter tray.

It is important to visit Susie’s blog to read the full text of her garden conditions and this project.

Then to enter all you have to do is leave a comment on her blog.  And you can help even if you are not interested in the giveaway.  Just let her know, in your comment, that you don’t want to be entered in the giveaway.

I have some of my own ideas, but I am not entering this giveaway since she has asked me to pick the winner.  I appreciate her trust in me.  No pictures are necessary just your suggestions for ideas about plant placement, plants to include, structures etc.  Remember leave your ideas in a comment on Susie’s blog.

Do you have garden ideas churning during this winter?



I must do something’ always solves more problems than ‘Something must be done.  ~Anon



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