Plant List

These are the plants that we have planted in our garden.


  • delphinium grandiflora
  • Veronica
  • English lavender
  • Snow in summer
  • lithodora
  • Campanula
  • oriental poppy
  • achusa
  • foxglove
  • gooseneck loosestrife
  • candytuft
  • red campion
  • saxifrage
  • pasque flower
  • tree mallow
  • bee balm
  • Agastache*
  • St. John’s wort*
  • meadow sage
  • peony
  • catmint
  • salmonberry
  • Dwarf mondo grass
  • rudbeckia*
  • viburnum
  • cinquefoil
  • Alyssum
  • hot lips sage
  • spurge
  • African daisy
  • Shasta daisy
  • Coreopsis*
  • axilflower
  • Martins spurge
  • Avens
  • cardinal flower
  • orchid rockrose
  • Russian sage
  • spanish lavender
  • red hot poker*
  • mexican mint sage
  • Allium
  • showy milkweed
  • Mossy rockfoil
  • mountain sandwort
  • Sunrose*
  • guara
  • Siberian bugloss
  • Nootka rose
  • English daisy
  • wall rockress
  • Salvia nemorosa
  • Dianthus
  • sedge
  • Artemesia
  • coneflower
  • Creeping phlox
  • Bush clematis
  • royal red salvia
  • yarrow
  • Lupine
  • chocolate cosmo*
  • french lavender
  • Lamb’s ears
  • jupiter’s beard
  • raspberry
  • hollyhock
  • dahlia
  • liatris

Shady plants

  • Sweet woodruff
  • columbine
  • penstemon
  • hostas
  • heuchera
  • Bleeding heart
  • fuchsia
  • Forget-me-not
  • astilbe
  • spiderwort
  • gooseneck loosestrife
  • Spotted dead nettle
  • bergamot
  • rush
  • Aquilegia vulgaris
  • Anemone
  • erigeron*
  • Fringe cups*
  • broadleaf arrowhead
  • western meadow rue
  • tufted hair grass
  • feather reed grass
  • wallflower
  • aster


  • sword fern
  • crested wood fern
  • shield fern
  • autumn fern
  • painted Japanese fern
  • Deer fern


  • Iris


  • Rosemary
  • chamomile
  • lavender
  • winter savory
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • Purple sage

Ground cover

  • Creeping thyme
  • laurentia
  • irish moss
  • Ajuga
  • creeping jenny
  • vinca
  • pearlwort

Vines and climbers (perennials and annuals)

  • clematis
  • sweet pea
  • climbing roses
  • nasturtium
  • black-eyed Susan vine


  • lobelia
  • snapdragons
  • california poppies
  • nasturtiums
  • sweet peas
  • petunias
  • Pansies
  • Violas

*failed to return


Year Three

This year, I’m still learning, and am definitely still making mistakes.

I thought I was very clever last year in marking the names and locations of all my plants. And because I’m a bit anal retentive, I also entered every single plant in the garden in a gardening app called Landscaper.

Guess what happened? Over the winter, almost every single marker in the garden disappeared. A bunch of them broke, leaving me with bits of black and white plastic all over the garden, but many of them simply evaporated into thin air. The result is that come spring, I once again seem to have lost a lot of my plants. D’oh.

So because I can’t solve a problem without spending money, I bought METAL plant stakes this time and marked all of them and placed them into the garden where I thought, or knew, the plants were. As I write this, I can only hope that these markers will work, and I’ll stop losing my perennials. As it is, by early May 2020, I can’t find about a dozen plants, and don’t know if they will return. Seriously, how do gardeners find their plants?

One issue that I think I solved this year is the problem of Jerry and Nixie tearing up the plants along the fence line fighting with Kita, the neighbor dog. After all of our previous solutions failed, we ordered stronger fencing, and this time I think it worked!

We also put down new wood chips into the path, which makes the garden look very shiny and new.

Here’s what the garden looked like in early May.

You can see the bare wildflower garden, the eco-lawn, and Jerry’s butt

A shady look at the shady garden

April. The ferns are unfurling, the columbines are back, and the forget-me-nots are creeping out.

A couple of white salvias, a couple of varieties of Veronica, and, if they come back, some Shasta daisies and mountain sandwort

This little section lost almost every plant I planted in both 2018 and 2019. The only plants that survived here were a tiny delphinium and a red campion.

One of our mistakes was to not do more (well, anything) to keep the grass out of the flower beds, so the fescue is moving in on the alliums, sedges, and coneflowers

The lambs ears look perky and the candytuft, lithodora and bugloss are blooming!

The guaras are among my favorite plants in the garden, so I was so sad this year when I couldn’t find them. I guess I thought I would see new growth coming out of the old dead matter (top picture), and when I didn’t, I thought they died. But I just started seeing tiny guara sprouts (bottom) so my guaras are not only back, they’ve had babies!

The vegetables and herbs! Already this year, the cucumber died and the basil looks like crap (for the third year in a row). But most everything else looks ok so far. It’s the first year I have tried carrots, so the bunnies can have homemade food this year.

A look at the shade garden from the new deck

See how mad Jerry is, knowing that he can’t get to the fence to fight with Kita anymore?

The Cecile Brunner rose in all its glory. This rose is only two years old!

Pooka gazes out over her territory

Our super comfy egg chair

Another look at the path. Jerry loves to kick the bark all over the garden.

I think this year I’m going to stop calling this part of the garden the Hellscape. The Cecile Brunner is so big now that it is starting to get intimate with the climbing rose on the end

You can see that the creeping thyme and laurentia which I planted after the seeds didn’t take have filled in between the pavers nicely, and the Irish moss on the left of the picture is starting to spread

You can see the Irish moss under the Ugly but Colorful Oil Tank

I love that the lawn looks like a green ocean

That bushy green plant in the right of the picture is a volunteer mint. There are now a few of these in the yard, so I’m thinking that we need to learn how to cook with mint

Jerry and my egg chair

We loved our first Cecile Brunner rose so much that we bought a bare root this year and planted it in front of that black trellis on the fence

The clematises are already so big!

The roses are really killing it this year

At the top is a delphinium I planted in 2019 that came back beautifully while at the bottom, there is another delphinium from 2019 which has so far produced…one tiny stem and one tiny leaf

Not sure why the basil already looks like an angry monster chewed on it

These anemones are so pretty

Japanese painted fern

I wonder how much of this will be flowers and how much weeds? I also planted corn here this year!

If anyone asked me what showy milkweed looks like when it is growing, I don’t think I would guess this

I think this is probably a weed but to be on the safe side, I’m keeping it. For now. But I have my eye on it

Mid-Summer 2019

This summer, after getting over the shock of losing so many plants in the spring, we still had a pretty good show in the garden. We had lots of blooms, and the plants from 2018 were noticeably bigger this year.

After loving our wildflowers last year, I added more annual seeds to the plot and expected last year’s perennial wildflowers to finally bloom. Unfortunately, I did not account for the fact that, along with last year’s perennials, and this year’s annuals, we would also be in for a bumper crop of weeds. So this year’s wildflowers, while pretty, we’re not nearly as spectacular as last year’s thanks to the weeds.

I also cleared out the small, very shady area at the very far end of the Hellscape, and put down wildflower seeds for shade there. While I got a few flowers, part of the space gets no sun at all, so even the shady wildflowers didn’t do that well.

At the end of this summer, Tom built a deck next to the fern garden, completing the hardscape.

This is what the garden looked like in the summer of 2019.

The Hellscape is certainly looking a lot less hellish. The agastaches were lovely but sadly never returned. But the sweet woodruff and the goatsbeard are keepers.

I love the cornflowers, alliums and artemisia here

The Cecile Brunner is blooming and climbing like crazy while Jerry has never looked sharper

The snow hill salvia is a nice backdrop to the bench

I’m not sure what that tall yellow wildflower is

Apparently tomatoes do really well in Oregon!

Early summer in the wildflowers

View from the house

This is one of the roses that we inherited. I can’t figure out what kind it is, nor when it blooms, because in the three years that we have lived here, we have not gotten a single rose. Yes, that’s my thumb

Another view into what was once the most terrible part of the yard

The lovely Ms. Brunner!

A nice view of the Jupiter’s beard, the rose that makes no roses, the lambs ears, and the lupines. We started with three lupines, but come spring 2020, we are down to two

Closeup of the wildflower/weed garden

Another view of the Jupiter’s beard and lupines

On the left is a big clump of Gooseneck loosestrife, which has since spread well into the shade garden, and next to that, spiderwort. These might be the two best plant names in the garden.

Closeup of the shade garden, with creeping Jenny, ferns, columbines, penstemons, and tufted hair grass

Perennial herb garden

The shade garden from above

Salmonberry, lamb’s ears, catmint, peony and salvia

The “upper deck”

We put up an arbor for one of the roses to climb on

Closeup of the roses near the arbor

Tom is building a deck!


Another view!

The new deck!

My professional (lol) paint job, with Tom’s new deck in the background

These guaras are among my favorite plants in the yard

Wallflowers in front

The view from the back

And from the deck

At the height of summer

Late summer in the shade

Late summer in the wildflowers

Who knew that lambs ears made these spiky flowers? I did not.

Find Year Three here!


Year Two

This is the year where I learned how truly ignorant I was (and still am!) about gardening, and in particular, about planting with perennials. I honestly had no idea how many perennials are deciduous (a new word!), and die down to come back the next year.

By the end of 2018, most of my beautiful new plants seemed gone, and I thought I killed them all. Once I realized that they were supposed to come back, I still didn’t know what perennials look like when they are emerging in the spring, and given how weedy our yard still is (lesson one: when they say to rid your soil of weeds before planting, apparently they really mean it), when they did start to come up, I didn’t know what was a plant and what was a weed!

That second year, many of our plants from year one came back, but many either didn’t return, or I mistakenly pulled them, thinking they were weeds. So this year was a bit of a let down as well as a learning experience.

We put in a bunch more plants and did a bit more hardscape. I also bought a bunch of little plastic plant tags, and dutifully marked every single plant in the yard so that I would not lose my plants again. (Be sure to check out Year Three to find out how this foolproof plan failed me.)

Another problem that demanded a solution has to do with the puppers. Our next door neighbors have five dogs, and one of them, Kita, loves to run along the fence and bark at our dogs, and Jerry and Nixie can spend endless amounts of time running back and forth along the fence, tearing up the plants while they do it, fighting with Kita through the fence. We tried putting a low wire fence along the edge of the path to keep them out of the plants and away from the fence, but it was cheap and flimsy and the dogs just jumped over it anyway.

Next we got a motion detector automatic waterer which we set up so that it would spray the dogs when they were at the fence. It was shocking how quickly they got used to the water! Needless to say, we lost yet more plants this year.

Here’s what the garden looked like in spring of 2019.

Early springtime from the back of the garden

Very early spring in the Hellscape

New veggies and herbs

Early spring in the shade garden

Springtime in the ol’ Hellscape. Sweet woodruff coming up on the left plus two bleeding hearts that I thought had died. On the right is what looks like Erigeron. If it is, it did not return.

The grass is looking lush and the candytuft, lithodora, Siberian bugloss, and alyssum are filling in. Note that as of May 2020, there is just a single stem, and one single yellow flower, left in the alyssum.


This is a bit later in the spring, and the artemisia, coreopsis (which decided to skip out on returning in 2020), allium and dianthus are coming in

Wind chimes from my dear friend Gay

A bit later in the slightly less hellish Hellscape

These two hot lips sages got so much larger than this just one year later

A bit later in the shade garden

Find Summer 2019 here!

Summer 2018

In the summer, we got to enjoy the first fruits of our labor, and Tom built a picket fence at the back of the garden. I also did some painting, for better or for worse.

Getting ready to build the fence

Tom working on the fence while the wildflowers are still coming up

Look how talented my husband is

Almost done!

Baby clematises growing on the new gate

Wildflowers are getting bigger!

See how many weeds are in the new lawn?

I decided to paint the ugly shed. It’s still ugly but now it’s a Colorful Ugly Shed

The first blooms!

Veggies are growing

A view of the Shade Garden, Ugly But Colorful Shed, and the dogwood

The plants are starting to fill in a bit

The clematises are blooming!

Look at that single precious poppy

Wildflowers are blooming! And yes that’s me taking a picture with my iPad like a boomer

The tomato plants are monstrous. We’ve never successfully grown tomatoes before so this seems like magic. In other news, basil does not do well here.

The old Hellscape is looking much less hellish now. And yes, that is Deanie pooing in the path

So pretty!

Black Eyed Susan vine is doing its thing

A view from the back of the house

We got volunteer sunflowers from the bird feeder

We put in some pavers at the end of the Hellscape for a little side patio. I also put down wild thyme seeds between the pavers but they did not take

The eco-lawn is starting to look like it’s supposed to look. The dogs adore the way the grass rises and falls in waves

Nixie, Jerry, Pooka and Willie on the lawn. The bad news about this kind of grass is the way that the dog poops get hidden in the waves

A view from above

Cocktail time!

I decided to paint the ugly oil tank. Now it’s a Colorful But Ugly Oil Tank

Another view of The Colorful But Ugly Oil Tank

Our first cut flowers!

You can find Year 2 here

Year One

We began our garden adventure in April 2018 by tearing up the back yard, and attempting, not at all successfully, to remove all of the weeds that made up the yard.

Spring 2018 Destruction and Building

Tom removing the weeds on his rented mini-loader. Fun!

The yard looks like a meteor hit! Nixie is the only survivor!


The original ferns don’t look too good

Pretty, right?

Tom rolling out the edger to define the edge of the new path

Jerry rolling in possible poo

The path!

Three roses survived the destruction of the yard

The path to what we’ve affectionately been calling The Hellscape

One of the vegetable raised beds, purchased from Amazon and lined with this ridiculous black landscape fabric which began to tear off almost immediately

Spring 2018 First Plants

Grass seed is down, the path is complete, and we have our first plants set out!

Another view of the bare yard with the first plants laid out

The new dogwood!

The first plantings

We planted yarrows underneath the big climbing rose

More baby plants

We added a couple of new roses to go with the ones we inherited

Willie looks at the first plants in The Hellscape. Lol, no he doesn’t since he’s blind!

The Eco-Lawn, a mix of fescues that creates a lush rolling lawn which needs no fertilizer and very little water, starts to come in

The wildflower garden is sprouting!

Willie is enjoying the new sprouts from the Eco-Lawn. Unfortunately, for every new grass sprout came three new weeds, so this first year was a battle to the death between me and the weeds. See all those tiny broad leaf weeds? They are groundsels, the bane of my existence. Who knew I would grow to hate them so much?

Not a great look with the big chain link fence and the rpod in the back. Must fix!

The first plants in the herb and vegetable gardens

The Hellscape is shaping up

What we are optimistically calling The Rose Garden

The Woodland Shade Garden

Closeup of some of the shady plants including heucheras, penstemons, grasses, ferns, and columbines

I often get new ideas for plants I want in the garden from seeing what plants our neighbors have in their front yards. We will take a picture of the plant and then I’ll try to identify it. This picture represents my first attempt at doing so. In the above collage, the photos on the right represent what the plant I wanted looks like: white, yarrow-like flowers on tall lacy stems. I took pictures to our local nursery, and the plant on the left is what I came home with. It’s a viburnum, and while it does have white yarrow-like flowers, as you can see in the inset picture on top, it is also a shrub that grows to 15 feet! And I bought two of these monsters! I think now that what I saw was Queen Anne’s lace or cow parsnip or some kind of carrot. But I got a massive bush instead!

Summer 2018 Here!