Kirk’s blue and forest green garden is described best by one of my favorite words,…woodsy! He lives and gardens in Eastern Washington State where tall pines grow and deer and bears abound. Well, maybe most of the bears are carved wooden bears, but if you visited Kirk’s garden, I’m sure you’d be greeted with a friendly bear hug!
Gardening in the Pacific Northwest
Kirk says, “We’re here in the woods of Eastern Washington and have been known to have some pretty cold temperatures and harsh winters with lots of snow.”
“We built our house 11 years ago and no landscaping had been done as I wanted free reign! I love it in that I had an empty palette to create our yard and gardens, deciding where the gardens ended and nature and the woods began.”
Near the entrance of his Zone 5b garden is a seating area that makes a transition from his yard where the kids play and the thickly growing woods. A wonderful gardener, husband and father, he also is an elementary school teacher and passes on his love for nature, gardening and crafts to his class through his teaching.
Kirk tells us, “My gardens are cottage like gardens…a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I call them my “friendship gardens” because most of my plants and flowers have been gifts from the gardens of friends and family members. I often refer to my plants by the names of the people who gave the plants to me. :o)”
Passing on the love of gardening
My love for gardening came from my late Dad who was passionate about his gardens, especially his roses. Dad’s love of gardening came from my Grandma. I have seen incredible photos of her in her gardens. When I was a boy, people would walk by our home and ask for a tour of Dad’s gardens.
Dad was also an avid junker…he would always be bringing home “treasures” and placed many rusty items in the gardens as decorations. As a boy I loved going to garage sales with my Dad and Dad’s sister, my Aunt. Now, I love taking my own children thrifting and to garage sales and smile when they are excited about a treasure they have found.
“Last year, my 11 year old daughter, Olivia, got the idea to paint lady bug rocks! She gathered rocks from our property and couldn’t stop until she painted a HERD of ladybugs! LOL Aren’t they the cutest? She placed them in a corner of her swing set area. My creative daughter! I’m so proud of her!,” says Kirk.
“I have so many garden creations I have enjoyed making…my potting bench was a work of love, gathering the materials for several years.”
Kirk has definite colors and materials he likes, the woods surrounding the gardens have influenced him to lean toward a rustic style with a bit of bling. He and his creative wife, Carol, love to make wind chimes, dish flowers, birdhouses and stained glass. That they share these new treasures with friends and family is no surprise because many of his favorite home and garden objects have been handed down over the years in his family. Tradition!
“Here’s a very simple birdfeeder I made similar to the idea of teacup birdfeeders. I used a thrift store glass dish and glued it to A Dollar Store candle plate. I attached a copper cap to the bottom so I can take it off the copper pole in the winter or to wash it.”
Rust and cobalt, cobalt and rust
“I love rust, rust and rust in my gardens. I also love anything cobalt blue…totems, bottle trees, wind chimes, decorative accents all in cobalt blue… I love primitive, rustic items,” says Kirk.
“I love to create places to sit and relax and take in the beauty of the gardens and the surrounding woods and nature. I love water features as well. What is neat is that I recently reconnected with my cousin Annie. We have similar garden tastes with similar “treasures” in our gardens…like a watering can water feature! Kindred spirits!”
“The first major creation I put together was my watering can water feature…I love the sound of flowing water in the garden. This feature is right next to our front porch where we sit in our rocking chairs and relax…and breathe…
“You can’t see it but I placed a small rustic board across the back of the top of the barrel and attached the pump to that. I drilled a hole in the board and threaded the tubing through that and an old watering can, added some glass floats. This sits by our covered, country, front porch where sit in our porch rockers and relax to the sound,” Kirk says.
“My most favorite pieces are my late Father’s Adirondack chairs. He had built these chairs years ago…I found them in a rubbish pile after my mother had passed away but they were still in excellent condition. I restored them with love, thinking of my Dad during the whole process.
My family and I sit in these chairs on summer evenings…and I can’t help but feel Dad is with us there. One of my favorite quotes:
Did you ever think how a bit of land shows the character of the owner?” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
More about Kirk
Flea Market Gardening-A Facebook page to a garden blog is now a website! Cool.