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garden SPRING 2012

Net-Zero Energy home Shrubs you’ll want to plant now Gardening helps children grow Whidbey’s real estate “steals” Green Home Tour

Published as a supplement of the Whidbey News-Times & South Whidbey Record

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You Find It.We Fund It. When it comes to home loans, we like to keep everything as easy and as quick as possible. Our home loans fit just about every need, and they come with the extremely competitive rates and friendly, yet efficient service we’ve been providing for years. For more information, stop by any Whidbey Island Bank Office. Or just give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.



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garden Whidbey’s Steals: Properties with great appeal are still available on the island.

Net-ZERO ENERGY USE: Payton home has

green goal.


Artist’s home featured in tour

H&Gstaff Advertising Manager Lee Ann Mozes

Editors Jim Larsen & Jessie Stensland

Marketing Sales Erika Johnson & Gail Rognan

Copy & Photos Justin Burnett, Rebecca Olson, Kathy Reed, Jessie Stensland & Nathan Whalen

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Growing and learning through creative gardening.

Five houses highlight Green Home Tour



time to plant trees and shrubs.


LaLonnie’s Notions

Publisher Marcia Van Dyke

Design & Layout Michelle Wolfensparger

whidbey ’ s island style }

Unique gift items, and must haves for home!

Production Manager Michelle Wolfensparger Advertising Design Rebecca Collins, Ginny Tomasko & Leslie Vance

Additional copies of this publication, subscriptions and advertising information can be obtained by contacting: WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES | 360-675-6611 SOUTH WHIDBEY RECORD | 877-316-7276 PO Box 1200, 107 S. Main Street, Suite E101 Coupeville, WA 98239

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on the cover Already trees are beginning to offer up buds and blossoms. It’s best to plant trees during the cooler months in late fall and early spring, while they are still dormant, especially if planting bare root trees and shrubs. Photo by Kathy Reed. See story on page 13.

Whidbey Green Home Tour Saturday, March 31

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where to


an island real estate deal

Eric Mitten, the owner of Windermere in Coupeville, and his agents provided a long list of great real estate bargains from all over Whidbey Island. They included waterfront homes for under $300,000, vacant waterfront lots for under $60,000, investment homes, vacation view condos, affordable getaway cabins in beach communities and even historic homes. Likewise, Janet Burchfield of Front Street Realty is Coupeville said she’s seen some amazing bargains in the housing market. Some houses are being sold at half of what they were purchased for just a few years ago. One Ledgewood Beach house, for example, was purchased for $1 million and recently put on the market for $450,000. The owners of another house paid


As the housing market continues to struggle, homebuyers nationwide are finding unprecedented “steals.” And Whidbey Island is no exception. Many real estate professionals on the island claim now is one of the best times ever to buy a house, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an affluent businessperson looking for a waterfront mansion. While mortgage interest rates remain low, homes are priced to sell, sometimes far below their market value. Rick Schutte, the owner and designated broker of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate in Oak Harbor, said it’s undeniably a buyer’s market on North Whidbey. “This is a fantastic time to buy a house,” he said. “There are a lot of great homes out there.”

MLS Photo

One of Coupeville’s many historic Victorian homes is on the market.


By jessie stensland | Whidbey News-Times

MLS Photo

A rambler in the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club neighborhood of South Whidbey is considered a steal. $700,000 for it, remodeled the kitchen and placed back on the market for less than $500,000. “What’s been selling are the steals,” she said. “Some of them are bankowned or short sales. … The banks are just dumping them.” Christina Parker, a broker with Coldwell Banker Tara Properties in Freeland, said prices are also great on South Whidbey. While she’s found that bank sales usually involve fixeruppers and short sales can take time, homebuyers can also find bargains in a range of different types of houses, from vacation cabins to mid-level gems to luxury homes. Parker said she’s seen improvements in the housing market as spring approaches.

“It’s nice to feel that momentum building,” she said. Some of the top “steals” chosen by local real estate professionals include these examples: • A 1889 Victorian house is for sale in Coupeville for $519,000. The price dropped $20,000 last summer. The historic home was built by Capt. Lovejoy and was later owned by Mayor Zylstra and historian Jimmie Jean Cook. The yard is adorned with lilac bowers, raised garden beds, a private outdoor fire circle, a fenced patio and a beautiful spreading chestnut tree. The property is huge and can be divided. The three-bedroom interior is light-filled and lovely. continued ON page 5



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market on North Whidbey. This is a fantastic time to buy a house.”

— Rick Schutte,

Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate

the kitchen, spacious rec room with backyard access, hardwood floors and bright, lively colors throughout. “Dramatic high wall, soaring ceilings, lofted dining room create a unique environment where artistic expression can thrive,” the listing states. The house has a craftsman-influenced exterior and a huge back yard with a terrace. The house is a short distance to a sandy community beach. • A one-level, two-bedroom, twobathroom house in Useless Bay Golf and Country Club neighborhood of South Whidbey is a steal at $209,000 and likely won’t last long on the market. The house is neat and tidy home with a master suite and a second bedroom, plus a den or craft room. The home is light filled with vaulted

west beach

• A three-bedroom, 2.5-bath house off West Beach Road in the desirable Norcliffe neighborhood is for sale for just $204,900. Features in the home include hardwood floors, a wood stove, an updated kitchen with maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances, a large master suite with dual closets, a master bath with jetted tub, dual sinks, and tile counters and bay window in the family and living room. Outside the house, there’s an oversized two-car garage, a huge back deck, a fenced back yard, recessed lighting and a large lot with mature landscaping. • A mid-century, tri-level home in the Long Point Manor community of Coupeville at priced at $249,000. The two-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot house features a breakfast nook in


“It’s undeniably a buyer’s

MLS Photo

This tri-level home is located in a desirable Coupeville neighborhood and is close to a sandy beach. living room and skylights. It has new carpets and paint. The property has a large, fenced backyard with flowering shrubs, fruit trees and plenty of room for gardening. The house comes with a “Colony Membership,” which provides the owners with access to the swimming pool, tennis courts, exercise room and more. • A three-bedroom, 1.75-bathroom condominium within walking distance to downtown Oak Harbor is on the

market for $92,500. The home has been updated in the past couple of years and shows well. The condo has vaulted ceilings, newer carpet, custom window coverings, insulated windows and new interior paint. The master bedroom features mirrored closets and an updated bath, sink and faucet. The dining area has a ceiling fan with a light. The condo is an end unit and includes a deck. A covered carport comes with the home.



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Net-zero energy at the Payton Place By JUSTIN BURNETT | Staff reporter


Justin Burnett / Whidbey News Times

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n 2008, Monmouth Oregon residents Sue and Robert Payton began an effort to build a new home in Admiral’s Cove. With an eye on sustainability, the plan was to construct a house that would be both well insulated from the weather and take advantage of solar power. The end result turned out a little different. “We wanted a comfortable place to live out our lives,” Sue said. “Things kind of evolved as we went along.” Their original idea for a sustainable home would lead to the construction of the one of the most energy efficient houses on Whidbey Island. Currently, their average monthly energy bill runs about $40, about $175 less than a code-built home of equal size – about 1,500 square feet. The Paytons still live in Oregon and that number is based on averages calculated during short stays in the home. But the house is expected to be outfitted with photovoltaic solar panels, which will make it a

“net-zero energy” home. While there is some debate about the definition of net-zero, basically it means the house will be so energy efficient and provide enough of its own power to be largely self-sustaining. It may borrow from the electrical grid at times, but will give it all back later. In fact, once the panels are installed, the Paytons’ home will produce enough energy to power an electric car to drive about 6,000 miles a year. That’s about the distance it would take to commute from the house to a job in Oak Harbor five days a week. Although they are avid recyclers who believe in sustainable living, the Paytons don’t own an electric vehicle and hadn’t planned on building a home that would double as a “gas station” for the family car. The builder they selected had a big influence. They had met with a handful of local contractors when they started and were pretty comfortable with their original plans for a well-insulated home. “Then we met Ted,” said Sue, with a laugh. Ted Clifton, owner of Clinton View Homes and Zero-Energy Plans in Coupeville, is a nationally recognized leader in the green-building industry. Meeting with the Paytons, he recommended a variety of building techniques and materials that would improve the home’s efficiency. The walls were constructed using advanced insulating materials, the home’s continued ON page 7

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SPRING2012 hot water comes from an air-to-water system, which is about 300 percent more efficient than standard water heaters, and the house itself is heated with an in-floor radiant heat system. It works by running hot water through pipes that spiderweb under a stone floor. It’s safe, energy efficient and provides more uniform heat throughout the home. The masonry looks great too. “It’s my favorite part,” Sue said. According to Clifton, none of the technologies used in the Paytons’ house are brand new or particularly revolutionary. Some have been around for years. The reason they aren’t more widely utilized, and together, is because it’s not required. Also, it’s still a little cheaper to construct stick-and-frame homes, he said. With the solar panels, he estimated the total cost of the house at about $260,000. That compares to about $230,000 for a home of the same size built at minimum code standards. However, Clifton argues the savings in energy costs over the length of a 30-year mortgage far outweigh the initial investment. “You’ll end up with a $150,000 more in your pocket when your mortgage is retired,” he said. The Payton’s home earned Clifton a Silver Energy Value Housing Award from the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center. He was among 17 builders across the nation who were recognized. It was his seventh such award in recent years. But this build was a partnership and the Paytons had a few good ideas of their of their own. Robert, who works for Home Depot, built the stairs from wood used to transport lumber to the construction site, the countertops out of excess butcher-block, and many utilities, such as the kitchen sink, were purchased from re-use stores. Overall, while the Paytons strayed a bit from their original plans, they are more than content with the result. The home is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, looks good, and best of all, is easy on the pocketbook. “We’re really really happy,” Sue said.

Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

The use of Energy Star appliances, such as this ceiling fan, help keep power bills down and improve overall efficiency.

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Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

Hot water pipes that run through the floor, above and below right, provide efficient and uniform heating for the home. The kitchen and stairway, right and below, were also built with sustainability in mind; the counter tops were made by the homeowner out of butcher block and the steps were constructed from “junk” wood that is used to transport building lumber to the construction site. It’s usually thrown away.

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Green Living accompanies artists life

By NATHAN WHALEN | Whidbey News-Times


Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Claudia and Chuck Pettis stands in the living room of their home that will be featured in the Whidbey Island Green Home Tour that takes place in late March. Five homes from Freeland to Coupeville are participating in the 2012 event.

Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Freeland resident Chuck Pettis shows the inner working of his home’s heating system. The house has a wood-burning boiler that pumps hot water through pipes contained in the concrete floor to provide heat.

Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

A shawl wrapped around a large stone greets visitors to the Pettis home near Freeland.

modern home recently built on a picturesque waterfront property near Freeland incorporates a host of energy efficient features while providing a sanctuary for a local artist to paint. And people will get to see those green features firsthand. The home of Claudia and Chuck Pettis is one of five homes from Coupeville to Freeland participating in the Whidbey Island Green Home Tour taking place Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The two-story home was built in 2008 over the basement of a farmhouse built in the 1950s. Chuck, who owns and advertising agency and created the Earth Sanctuary near Freeland, said the home is superinsulated; he didn’t even have to turn on the heat until November. The house has in-floor heating, which are basically pipes built in the concrete floor that contain hot water to heat the home. He pointed out the wood-burning boiler that provides heat to his home. He said it burns wood at 1,800 degrees and gives off very little smoke. Being on 90 acres of woodland and orchard on South Whidbey, he finds enough wood to burn by searching the property for downed trees. The home does have a solar array on its second floor. Chuck said it is used during the sunny summer months to help heat water. The home is designed to have more solar panels installed to help meet their electrical needs, but he said they are waiting for the prices of the arrays to fall before making an additional investment. The late March Green Home Tour marks the first time the Pettises participated in such an event. Claudia said the tour offers a chance to promote the local workers who were instrumental in building their home. “Our true motivation is to promote the work of artisans, architects and craftsman on Whidbey Island,” Claudia said, adding they utilized Whidbey talent in the construction of their home. Matthew Swett of Langley-based Taproot Architects designed the home while Sarah Birger, also of Taproot Architects, designed the green roof that covers one of the spaces Claudia uses to paint, and has sedums growing on the roof. Her paintings CONTINUED ON Page 9


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are currently displayed at the Prima Bistro in Langley. The house also provides a minimalist space devoid of clutter and influences by artists and museums. Claudia noted that the house was built around an arched doorway inspired by a photo of Pablo Picasso. The Pettises will have information during the Green Home Tour outlining the companies that helped build their home. The Green Home Tour, which is sponsored by Whidbey Watershed Stewards, features homes that incorporate a wide variety of environmentally friendly features, including solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, cisterns and living roofs. Contractors will be available to answer questions and displays will be available. “We’re just trying to show people what’s possible and how to do it in an earth-friendly way,” said Nancy Waddell, administrative coordinator with Whidbey Watershed Stewards. She added that homes chosen represent a variety of economic backgrounds and situations. As an example, she said one of the homes was built only 10 years ago, but

Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

ABOVE: The Pettis home, which was completed in 2008 and built over the foundation of a 1950s farmhouse, is located on waterfront property near Freeland. LEFT: Water pours down a lengthy fountain that is placed in the front of Chuck and Claudia’s home. It also helps corral the sheep she raises on the property.

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children grow through creative gardening

Photo contributed

A few years ago, children flooded the children’s garden and especially enjoyed digging in the dirt. Below right: Children participating in the group built this partial rainbow garden as a creative project to highlight the fun of gardening.

By REBECCA OLSON | Staff reporter

Jane Adams has no trouble getting children hooked on gardening with such projects as “planting a rainbow,” “traveling through the Land of Oz” and “beanstalk races.” Adams is the head gardener who works with children at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Youth Center Children’s Garden in Oak Harbor and she will speak about gardening with children at the Whidbey Gardening Workshop Saturday, March 10. “It’s supposed to be fun, gardening with children,” said Adams, a Master Gardener and former microbiologist. Adams has been interested in plants since she was very young and she wants to pass her passion along to children. The children’s garden, which is operated by the Island County Master Gardeners and funded by the Master Gardeners and the Navy, is located at the Youth Center in Oak Harbor. Adams also worked with the garden at the center’s old location on Regatta Drive, but the new center built in 2005 offered more space for the garden to grow into a creative work of art and love. Elementary school-aged children turned a 70-foot by 90-foot grassy area into a magical garden with berries, sunflowers, a cornfield, a flower maze, giant pumpkins and even a Japanese sand garden.

In 2008, the garden nearly doubled in size and now includes a donated greenhouse, fruit tree orchard and tool shed. Every Monday, Adams helps 15 to 25 children be creative and try out new ideas. They’re always enthusiastic, Adams said. Other children and Master Gardeners work on the garden during the rest of the week. Adams likes to teach the children to do experiments in the garden, which they make educational posters about to enter in the Island County Fair. The group has seen what’s in a seed by watching it germinate over time in a cup, experimented with different methods of keeping plants warm outside and tested companion plants, which are different types of plants that are supposed to help each other grow. Adams has noticed that what she likes to do in the garden isn’t necessarily what children like to do. “Kids love to dig potatoes. It’s like buried treasure,” Adams said. In fact, kids like to dig just about anything, as well as haul it around in a wheelbarrow, Adams said. They take home some of the produce they harvest and donate the rest to the North Whidbey Help House. They grow giant pumpkins to enter in the Coupeville Harvest Festival and create entries for the Island County Fair, including flower arrangements. CONTINUED ON Page 11

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Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

Jane Adams checks out the brussel sprouts in the children’s garden


Pg 11 The garden is packed with magical areas that let childrens’ imaginations soar.

Another fun activity the children enjoy is planting a rainbow. For immediate results, she buys plants in all the colors of the rainbow and the children plant them in an afternoon in the sequence of a rainbow. A great adventure Adams and the children had in the garden was a quest through the land of Oz like in “The Wizard of Oz.” Another Master Gardener built a little house because the children wanted Dorothy’s house at the end of their flower rainbow. The Master Gardener also made a yellow brick road and the children grew mini-vegetables in a Munchkin Garden. Since poppies are easy to grow, the children ventured through the poppies and even embarked on a corn maze with a scarecrow. They had a tin woodman and used the orchard as the forest, complete with lions, tigers and bears. The main garden served as the Emerald City because everything was green, and a tall teepee of gourds housed the Wizard of Oz himself, who commanded the children to take a broomstick from the Witch’s Castle in order to earn a wish. Adams made little broomsticks for the children to find in a box that served as the Witch’s Castle. As a grand finale, Adams tied balloons to a basket to represent the Wizard of Oz leaving, and the children released the balloons and watched the basket float away with

a note telling the finder to call the group upon finding the basket. “We do crazy things like that sometimes,” Adams said, smiling. She still uses the yellow brick road to guide children around the garden to view different plants. The group also had a giant beanstalk that grew around their classroom and up along the ceiling, which the children became very attached to. They do beanstalk races to see whose bean plant can grow tall enough to reach the giant’s castle first, Adams said. “Things like this just happen,” Adams said. Gardening seems to have a life of its own and is full of adventures just waiting to happen for the children and Adams. Adams hopes these children find something they love, whether that’s plants or not. Her parents didn’t push her; instead, they facilitated her love of plants and she grew up doing what she loved. She tries to pass this on to the children by allowing them independence and creativity to develop the garden their way; chores and regurgitated teaching don’t foster a love of gardening. “It’s been fun my whole life,” Adams said. “I’d kind of like to do things the way my parents did by not pushing things but by making it possible.” Learn more at Adams’ class, “Gardening With Children,” at the Gardening Workshop, to be held at Oak Harbor High School. Advance registration is $35 or $40 at the door. To register and for more information, visit www.island.wsu.edu or call 678-7837.

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Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

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constructed before green building techniques became prominent and was retrofitted. Tickets are required to participate in the Green Home Tour and they cost $20 or $35 for two if they are in the same vehicle. They are available at Bayleaf in Oak Harbor and Coupeville on North Whidbey, or at Book Bay in Freeland and Moonraker Books in Langley, on South Whidbey. Or buy them online at www.brownpapertickets.com. They also can be purchased by mailing Whidbey Watershed Stewards, P.O. Box 617, Langley, WA 98260. Proceeds raised from the Green Home Tour benefit education and restoration programs organized by Whidbey Watershed Stewards.

Five houses highlight Green Home Tour

Five homes from Coupeville to Freeland highlight the Whidbey Island Green Home Tour, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 31. The five homes showcase a wide range of environmentally friendly features, including solar panels, cisterns, geothermal water heating / heat pumps, and green construction designs. In addition to the Pettis house, homes participating in the late March showcase include the following: • A home near Freeland with green features that include a living roof, earth plaster, water tubes and cistern. • A Coupeville home designed by builder Ted Clifton that received the five-star, built-green certification, gold winner in Energy Value Housing SIPS construction. The house features geothermal hot water, wheelchair accessibility and solar power. • Another project in Coupeville designed by Clifton that used the same footprint as a double-wide mobile home and features an alternative septic system, hillside garden and lots of light. • A Coupeville home with passive solar energy, recycled insulation and inventive water storage. In addition, side trips to view solar array projects at the Greenbank Farm and Whidbey Telecom building are on tap too. Tickets for the Whidbey Island Green Home Tour cost $20 or two for $35 if they are sharing the same vehicle. Tickets can be purchased at Bayleaf in both Oak Harbor and Coupeville, Book Bay and Moonraker Books. They are also available at www.brownpapertickets.com or by mail at P.O. Box 617, Langley, WA 98260.

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Branching OUT By Kathy reed | Staff reporter

Ah, spring. The daffodils and hyacinths are making their presence known and the bright, colorful tulips won’t be far behind. While fingers itch to get those first blossoms in the ground or in flower pots, this is also a perfect time to think about planting trees and shrubs. “This is an excellent time to plant,” said Sally Clifton, owner of Sally’s Garden in Coupeville. “And you can plant just about anything.” According to Clifton, Whidbey Island’s mild climate provides about 250 good planting days every year when you avoid the extremes such as freezing, windy winter days and hot, dry summer days. Choose the cooler, moist conditions of spring and fall for ideal planting. “The optimum time to plant is late fall and early winter,” agreed Henry VandenHaak, owner of The Greenhouse Florist and Nursery in Oak Harbor. “But this is the time of year there is the most variety and better selection.” But before rushing out to buy trees and shrubs based on their looks, there are some things to keep in mind. “There are a lot of different microclimates on Whidbey Island, so do your research before you plant,” said VandenHaak.


Where you plant is as important as what you plant. Study the area you want to plant, paying attention to how much time the area is sunny or shaded.

Pg 13

Now’s the time to plant trees & shrubs

“Finding the right spot is key,” said Clifton. “You want the right shrub or tree for the right area.” Some trees and shrubs will prefer shade to full sun, while others don’t do well if not protected from the wind. Read labels thoroughly before you buy, so you don’t spend money on a plant that won’t fare well in the spot you’ve chosen.


If you don’t know already, find out what kind of soil you have. Heavy clay soil may need to be amended for better drainage, while sandy, rocky soil may not hold enough moisture. “Sometimes heavy clay soil can act like a bucket, holding too much water,” Clifton said. “Find out what plants like the type of soil you have. If you have a sandy spot, choose plants that will do well there.” “You want the right soil and characteristics to sustain a plant’s growth,” agreed VandenHaak. There’s more to it than just bringing in a load of topsoil or compost, VandenHaak said. “Think of it as a long term investment,” he said. “You want to do it right the first time.”

How Does it grow?

Soil and location can help narrow the field when it comes time to choosing what to plant. But what will your choice look like at maturity? Always consider what it will look like when it’s all grown up. “When planting trees and shrubs, keep mature size in mind,” Clifton said. “It may be cute at 6 feet tall, but

Kathy Reed/Whidbey News-Times

Potted trees and shrubs can be planted any time of year, although the cooler months may be less stressful on them. GENERAL CONTRACTOR

how will it fit at 60 feet?” If you’re planting a tree that will grow to be 30 or 40 feet tall at maturity, make sure you have plenty of space around it. The same rule applies to shrubs. Make sure there’s enough space for shrubs that will grow larger, and don’t plant small shrubs in an area that’s too big for them to fill. Another factor in choosing plants is to observe what grows well in your neighborhood.

and serving “Take a look at Living your neighbors’ locally for 30 yards,” Clifton said. “If you seeyears something you like that is growing • New Construction well, ask them what it is.” • Remodeling When you’ve narrowed your search • Additions and it’s time to pick your tree, there are a few things to consider. Balance 360-678-6040 is a biggie. Lic#CC01SPATZWL953PR “Look at the branching structure,” said VandenHaak. “You want the CONTINUED ON Page 14

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Branching CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 branching structure to be fairly evenly spaced. In other words, you don’t want all the branches to be on one side. And avoid trees that have any scrapes or wounds in the bark.”

Bare root versus containers

The beauty of trees and shrubs grown in containers is that they can be transplanted at any time and be successful. Bare root trees and shrubs however, do best if planted while they’re dormant, which for most trees and shrubs is now. One of the most important things to remember about bare root trees and shrubs is to keep them moist. The root system of any plant is made up of bigger roots and a network of fine, tiny roots. Both are critical to a healthy root system and a successful plant. “You want a combination of sizes in the roots and you don’t ever want those tiny roots to dry out,” VandenHaak said. A good soaking before planting is a good idea. “You can use a little vitamin B-1 to encourage root growth.” “Dig your planting hole as deep as the size of your rootball, and twice as wide,” Clifton said. “Mound soil in the bottom of your planting hole if you

What to plant

are planting bare root plants, gently tamping the soil around the roots.” “But you can’t just set them in the ground and forget them,” said VandenHaak. “Plan to water them well that first year,” Clifton said. “They’ll need several gallons a week for the first year.” But don’t baby them too much, said VandenHaak. “You want them to have to work for their moisture — that’s what helps the root system penetrate deeper into the ground — but you don’t want them to be stressed, either,” he said. “When a plant has to work a little for water it makes them stronger.” So the bottom line is, do your research first to save time and money in the end. And use the resources that are available — talk to folks at your local nurseries and greenhouses. You can also contact the Washington State University Master Gardeners through the local extension office. They are well-versed and experienced with all manner of plants, trees and shrubs that do well on Whidbey. Kathy Reed/Whidbey News-Times

If planting bare root trees or shrubs, be sure the roots are kept moist and plant them during their most dormant period for best success.

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Here’s a list of a handful of trees and shrubs that grow well on Whidbey Island, as prepared by Sally Clifton, of Sally’s Garden in Coupeville: Japanese Maple: Fabulous fall color, delicate leaves ranging from red to gold to green. Dogwoods: Great fall color, beautiful spring to summer flowers in pink or white. Magnolia: Early spring blooms. Crabapples: Beautiful spring flowers, fall color and showy fall-winter fruits. Weeping Cherry: Or any cherry trees for beautiful spring blooms. Weeping Pussy Willows: Fuzzy catkins in early spring are showy. Vine Maple: A native maple with nice fall color and medium size. Golden Chain: Showy golden flower chains dripping down in spring. Thundercloud Flowering Plum: Pink flowers in spring against purple leaves. Holly Trees: Red berries against glossy green leaves in winter. Strawberry Tree: Evergreen with red fall and winter fruit. Lilac: Fragrant small tree or large shrub. Rododendron: Many sizes and colors; evergreen. Camellias: Large, showy flowers on glossy green foliage. Pieris Japonica: Clusters of white or pink flowers in spring with red new leaf growth after. Wild Californian Lilac: Evergreen foliage with blue-violet flowers. Sweet Box: Fragrant early spring white flowers. Viburnum Tinus: Winter pink and white flowers for 5 to 6 months, from Nov. to May. Flowering Currant: Native red flowering currant; white variety, too. Evergreen Huckleberry: Native small evergreen leaves, coppery red new growth. Hinoki Cypress: Evergreen conifer, small and choice. Nandina: Heavenly Bamboo; lacy evergreen foliage, coppery red new growth. Roses: Heavenly fragrance; great cut flower, beautiful blooms. Hydrangeas: Summer to fall blooms, big showy flower clusters. Barkberry: Red, green, even orange foliage. Smokebush: Purple leaves and feathery, smoke-like flowers. Bluberries: Tasty blue berries and red-orange fall color. Osmanthus Burkwoodi: Frangrant tiny white flowers in spring, evergreen leaves, tough shrub. Heather: Purple, lavender, pink or white flowers in winter and spring; low-growing shrub.


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4 1. Hellebores plants are a colorful addition to landscaping projects. They bloom for a long time in cool temperatures and come in a variety of colors. 2. Pieris Japonica offers clusters of white or pink flowers in spring while its new leaves come in red. 3. Camillias offer beautiful deep green, glossy foliage year round, and boast beautiful blooms in the spring. 4. Heather is a low-growing shrub that comes in a variety of colors that will bloom winter and spring.


Kathy Reed/Whidbey News-Times

Sally Clifton, above, owner of Sally’s Garden in Coupeville, says now is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs.


Henry VanderHaak, at left, is the owner of The Greenhouse Florist and Nursery in Oak Harbor. He explains it is important to choose a tree with a balanced branch structure, which means it will grow more evenly and hopefully help keep pruning to a minimum in the future.

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Home and Garden - Spring 2012 edition  


Home and Garden - Spring 2012 edition