The WortHog Gardeners
We are Don and Nadia. (Internet friends know me by my middle name, Susan.) We live in Washington State, about fifteen miles north of Seattle. Don is the garden designer, and I am the one who does most of the gardening.
Don is from Connecticut, a place with four seasons. Here in Western Washington we joke that we have only two seasons, wetter and less wet. When I was growing up in Seattle, garden mainstays were rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias.
In the early years our garden was shaded by the tall trees across the street and by our own numerous Douglas firs. Our rhododendrons and azaleas got leggy and bloomed sparsely. It was five long years before our camellia began having more than three or four blooms. At that time we tried for a natural look in the garden. We had many native trees in the yard – Douglas firs, vine maples, bitter cherries, a cascara, and a huge bigleaf maple. We also had a big species Japanese maple and a small red laceleaf maple, lovingly planted by a former owner of the house.
When the five-acre parcel across the street was sold to a developer and cleared, our garden environment was transformed. We suddenly had much more sunlight. We cut down several of our own tall trees and completely redesigned the front yard.
Since then we've become enthusiastic gardeners. Don's interest in Japanese maples has rubbed off on me. We now have eighteen Japanese maples, as well as two other maples from the Far East. Finding a spot for the next acquisition will be quite difficult – we're beginning to run out of space.
We have a lot of perennials in our garden, too. This year we plan to add colorful annuals to our Hot Zone perennial bed.