FREE Jun 2012
SPOKANE • POST FALLS • COEUR D’ALENE • HAYDEN LAKE • SANDPOINT
VOL. 1, ISSUE 3
LANDSCAPING THE INLAND NORTHWEST
Beesy Work - Page 8
LANDSCAPE DESIGN - PAGE 12
A MODEST PROPOSAL - PAGE 18
PAVERS 101 - PAGE 20
Issue Guide JUNE 2012
2 Letter from The Zealot 3 Events Calendar 3 Caption Contest 3 The Zealot’s Shovel 3 My Pet Story 5 Dreamscapes A reader’s dream interpreted 7 Ask the Zealot 8 Beesy Work By CJ James 10 A Bottle Tree? Yep. By Jule Gruber 12 Behind the Scenes By Angela Feser 14 Are You Ready? By Bonnie Warwick 16 Let’s Plant! By Barb Safranek 18 A Lifetime of Quality By Nate Lynch 20 Pavers 101 By Nate Lynch 22 Book Review Beyond the Lawn 24 Zealot Poetry Corner Iris By Daisy Lynch 24 Pet of the Month 24 Recipe of the Month 25 Can Mud Make Us Cleaner? By Jeannine Tidwell 26 Wildflowers By Jack W. Zimmer 28 Layman’s Guide to Jobsite Hierarchy Illustrated by Casey Lynch
Letter from The Zealot Thanks for your submissions for the June issue of The Garden Zealot! We applaud our new contributors and encourage others to participate in issues to come. If you have a request or suggestion for a future article, please email us at email@example.com with your idea. It’s time to garden! After months of patience and planning, the vegetable seeds are in the ground and starting to sprout, the annuals are in their containers and/or hanging baskets, and the perennials are happily growing, growing, growing. The weeds are doing quite well too, and the race begins to attempt to keep up with their astonishing fervor. Perhaps you’ve already incorporated something new into your yard or garden that was inspired by The Garden Zealot. If not, there are more ideas to come all summer long! Don’t forget! Email us with your garden art photos. The ﬁnalists will be printed next month, and the winner will receive a free meal on The Zealot. Thanks for reading, Nate Lynch, The Garden Zealot
June 2012 THEGARDENZEALOT.COM 509.714.4640
Where we at the Zealot unearth interesting information from around the Inland Northwest • “Kurb King,” a concrete curbing contractor in the Spokane area guestimated he puts down 5-6 miles of concrete curbing per year. Oddly enough, Burger King is known to install zero feet of concrete curbing--and they’re a huge national chain of Kings! Nice going Kurb
King--but one question: How are your burgers? • How many ﬂowers must a beehive visit to make a pound of honey? I’m not telling. You’ll have to read page 8! I will tell you this though: it’s more than 1.
Events June 24: Rhubarb Festival. CREATE Art Center, Newport, WA. 509-447-9277. July 7: 10am-4[,. Moran Prairie Strawberry Festival. 6106 S. Palouse Hwy. The event is FREE. July 8: Lavender Fest & Sandpoint Boat Cruise. Contact Inland Empire Tours @ (509) 747-1335. $71
July 15: 11-4. 15th Annual Coeur d’ Alene Garden Tour. See page 14 of The Garden Zealot for more information. July 17: 5-9pm. 34th Annual Cherry Picker’s Trot. 10321 E. Day Mt Spokane Road, Mead, Washington. (509) 238-4754. You must register to run.
HAVE AN UPCOMING EVENT? SUBMIT IT TO THE GARDEN ZEALOT @ THEGARDENZEALOT.COM
My Pet Story
Caption Contest Oatie
DIRECTIONS: Send your caption idea to firstname.lastname@example.org. The person with the best idea will be published in next month’s issue of The Garden Zealot.
LAST MONTH’S “YOUR PLAY” WINNER: Lowell Lehman was the winner of the last month’s word game with over 60 words.
His name is Oatie and what you see is what you get. He’s good natured, well-behaved, and hopelessly playful. Now that he’s four years old he’s over most of his puppy habits—like chewing furniture and digging holes in the yard. He loves kids. In fact he loves everyone. He’ll chase a ball but he won’t bring it back. He loves to sit in the sun on the back steps. He sees himself as guardian and protector of our pet chickens. Some people call him fat, but he doesn’t care. How about another cookie (there’s always room for one more)? When I mow the lawn he’ll listen for the motor to stop. He knows I’ll be emptying the clippings and it’s time for a treat—he’ll come running! I’ll give him a dog biscuit and he’ll head back to the steps. His favorite sports are swimming and riding in the truck. Take him for a hike in the woods and his Springer Spaniel heritage shines. He’s a hunting machine, but I’m not sure he knows what he’s looking for. For every mile I walk, he runs five. And the thicker the brush the better! After a long day his favorite place is next to me with his head in my lap. Yup, just Oatie and me. BFF. — Submitted by Ben Sears
crew Nate Lynch
THE GARDEN ZEALOT
Kelly Erikson EDITOR
C.J. James STAFF WRITER
ARTWORK & ILLUSTRATION
Letter X Design GRAPHICS & LAYOUT
Contributors Patti Jester Barb Safranek Kristy Wittkopf THEGARDENZEALOT.COM email@example.com
PREMIUM GARDEN SOIL
NORTH SIDE 8721 N Fairview Rd 467-0685 VALLEY 19215 E Broadway 893-3521 NORTH IDAHO Ponderay Garden Center 208-255-4200
Dreamscapes The Zealot peels back another layer of the onion… Dear Dreamscaper How about this one??? I’m bouncing down a hillside in the shell of an old car. Maybe an old VW Beetle with no doors, no windows, no roof. And the most amazing part is that the hillside is completely covered with tall blue bearded iris. What do you make of this??? — Susan W.
Dear SUSAN My gosh, I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. It’s fascinating how the subconscious can reveal the true nature of one’s soul! You’re on a quest. The VW is no perfunctory vehicle—it’s your inner soul itself! Of course there are no doors, windows, or roof! You long for freedom—to be unrestrained by the obstinate nature of your worldly adversary: THE TRUE, RED BEARDED IRIS. You hybridize irises for a living, don’t you? I know this dream interpretation has already hit home, but there’s more… The irises in your dream are blue. Well duh! Blue irises are a dime-a-dozen! That’s the problem, isn’t it? You’re unfulfilled. Life will never be complete without the true red! You’ve spent days, months, years in your basement lair—trying all possible combinations to create a truly red iris. And you know what it would mean: publicity, fame… Wealth beyond your wildest imagination. But there’s a universal truth: The true red iris is an apparition. A phantom. An impossible dream. Unattainable. You’re on a downhill spiral. Continue down this course and you’ll collide with a lifetime of impoverished dreams. Change course! There’s a chance for fulfillment and happiness out there too! Embrace the yellows, pinks, purples, and blacks of readily available iris! Start living again! And, if necessary, I’ll come by the house with a can of red spray paint, just for you. Also… You’re a female, aren’t you? I can tell by the way your name is spelled. Good luck, and you’re welcome, The Dreamscaper
Would you like to have a dream interpreted by The Dreamscaper? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use your question, you’ll receive the original depiction of your dream by our talented in-house artist, Casey Lynch. *Only PG-rated queries please.
Contest Announcing The Garden Zealot Yard Art Contest! Submit photos of your Yard Art to email@example.com. The finalists will be published in our July issue and the submission that receives the most votes will receive a gift certificate to Red Robin.
for Landscape Artistry
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Help, Help!!! I have fairy rings appearing in my lawn again this year and I’m not sure how to handle them. I’ve treated them successfully with a solution of dish soap and water, but dish soap no longer has the phosphates that I’ve heard are necessary for the application. In the past, I used my garden spade to poke holes in the ring, and then used the dish soap solution, and… Ta-da! The rings were gone. Without the old soap, what do I do now? As you can tell, I’m desperate. Betty K. (Post Falls, Idaho) Dear Betty,
I knew this one was coming. The Fairy Ring—otherwise known as Satan’s Halo. I’ve lived in three homes in my life, and the first two had fairy rings. As such, I’m now in house number three. Well, here’s where I’d start if I didn’t decide to move to another home instead:
1. You should be aerating your lawn every year. Aerating will help remove the top layer of thatch/organic material that the spores feed upon. This alone won’t solve an existing problem, but it may help prevent a new one.
2. Let it grow. Not the fairy ring—the grass. There’s a belief that allowing the grass to grow higher will essentially overpower the mushroom growth. Not so sure about this one to be honest, but it’s a working theory. And like you said, you’re desperate. 3. Fertilize the lawn regularly. Again, you’re attempting to overpower the disease with healthy lawn growth.
4. And now the truly painful method—sounds like you’ve been here before. Once a day for 4-6 weeks, start the morning by poking holes (within 2-3” of one another) in the affected area. You’ll then pour regular dish soap mixed with water throughout the area. The dish soap isn’t killing the fungus as much as assisting the growth of the lawn’s roots. Again, we’re just trying to overpower the fungus. I myself have used this method, and it did do the job for me—takes a lot of dedication though. Remember to keep the area saturated during the process. 5. Move away. You’ve lost the battle. Surrender (optional step).
*To my knowledge, there are no reliable chemicals for addressing this problem. And, from what I’ve read on the subject, most are simply a waste of money. Email your question to email@example.com
CREATIVE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE SOLUTIONS
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Happ y Mo ther s Da y
Cool Plants for Your Yard Clematis
This year we brought in some very cool clematis from Raymond Evision. Our plants were selected from the signature series that is the culmination of over 50 years of breeding to make truly marvelous clematis. Featuring unique colors and blooms, these clematis are hardy for our area and have blooms that will stop you in your tracks. Raymond Evision Clematis have won gold medals for 9 straight years making these plants a must have in your garden. Come in soon for the best selection of these very cool plants.
Akebia is a very nice, fast growing vine that is great anywhere you need some climbing color. They have dainty and striking flowers in a variety of colors that hang in clusters. If you plant two different varieties they will produce a tropical tasting fruit that is useful in jams and jellies. Very cold hardy, these vines will be a subtle beauty in your garden. Give them something tall to climb on and let them do their thing. We have several e s ha c varieties in stock just waiting to be r Pu ery l adopted and taken home. ia t
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Beesy Work my erroneous supposition was soon The Pedigree of Honey corrected by her I sit down at Lil’ The pedigree of honey direct style. I had Carol McAdams also (wrongly) kitchen table. In Does not concern the bee; thought that a front of me are 9 A clover any time to him beekeeper’s workdifferent flavors day was limited Is aristocracy. of honey, each in to an hour or two its own bottle, of checking hives Emily Dickinson each with a color (1830 1886) and collecting a coded cap to delittle honey. Lil’ note it’s specific Carol was gracious kind. That’s right, enough to educate this greenhorn nine bottles, nine flavors. Before about honey, the bees who produce this moment, I had thought honey it, and the beekeepers who get that came in one flavor. The plastic bear sweet stuff to your table. bottle at the supermarket certainly
By CJ James Staff Writer
didn’t allude to any kind of variety. “What makes each of these different?” I ask her. “Do you add some kind of extract or additive to change the taste?” Lil’ Carol looks at me like I’m crazy. The idea of adding anything to the pure perfection the bees produce borders on blasphemy. The difference in taste, she explains, comes from the different geographic areas where the bees collect nectar. Each area has different flowers, and each type of flower creates a distinct flavor. Yeah right, I think. But I’m game to give it a try, and Lil’ Carol fills nine spoons with honey.
Your intrepid reporter met Selkirk Honey Farm’s Lil’ Carol at The Flour Mill in downtown Spokane as she was sitting outside The Kitchen Engine (one of several shops around town that sells her product) spreading the gospel of honey. It is more than a little ironic how much she reminded me of a bee: small in stature with seemingly endless energy, she is a go-go-go non-stop dynamo with a vast knowledge of the science of honey and a contagious enthusiasm expounding on it. While I‘d always assumed honey’s main purpose was to flavor a certain kind of Cheerios,
First off, the honey. News flash: honey is beneficial to good health. I suppose for many readers that’s a no-brainer, but I had assumed that honey followed the rule of ‘if it tastes good, it’s probably not good for you’. Wrong. As more studies demonstrate the dangers of processed sweeteners, honey has not only proven to be safe, it has also proven to be healthy. Research has shown that honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. Honey can help reduce allergies, and studies have shown it to be an effective anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent useful for treating minor burns and scrapes. It is important to note that the best - and healthiest - honey is raw. Raw means unpasteurized and unadulterated with any kind of extraneous ingredients or additives. Pasteurizing or adding any content can negate the benefits of the unrefined form, effectively ‘killing’ the innate natural nutrients. Honey does not need to be pasteurized, largely in part because bees contaminated with pesticides or other poisons when pollenating flowers do not make it back to the hive, but die in the field. Second, the producers. Bees are mysterious creatures. We’ll usually only notice them a few times each summer (often
A Bee on a Prairie Clover flower near Connell, in Franklin County
when running from them in an unnecessary panic), but they are a far bigger part of our lives than we think. Did you know that many experts estimate that one in three bites of food rely on honeybees for production? This is pretty amazing, considering that since a bee will fly only up to 2 miles from the hive, each hive can cover no more than 12.5 square miles of ground from it’s central location. That means there must be an incredible number of hives out there to cover all the food-producing areas of the world. Even more staggering is the work it takes to produce honey. The average worker bee makes 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, and a hive must fly over 55,000 miles and visit 2,000,000 flowers to make one pound of honey. (As a side note, can you imagine having to visit two million apple trees to get a pound Granny Smiths? A pie would cost $100,000!) It’s interesting to note that bees like dry and sunny weather. A dry spring means more honey production since the bees will be able to collect earlier, and the honey will often be darker because the bees will have worked a wider variety of flowers. Third is the process of collecting honey. While I’d assumed beekeeping was mostly an observation-based
pursuit - drop in and pull out some honey from time to time - I found that there is a great amount of dedication and work that goes into being a keeper. A typical day starts before the sun rises. The beekeeper will begin by checking the health of his hives. This includes monitoring numbers in the hive, ascertaining the location and health of the Queen, investigating whether there are any new Queens or larvae hatching, and making certain there are no mites or other invaders attacking. If the hive is too populated, it must be split or the bees may swarm and be lost. On the flip side, if there are too few bees in a hive, the beekeeper may need to combine two hives to improve the strength of the group. Each of these items on the daily checklist is an important part of the routine housekeeping and maintenance a keeper performs, and each is crucial to making sure his wards are happy. Finally, he checks to see if there is any honey production. If there are plenty of honey stores in the lower hive (where the bees keep their winter food) and the frames are full, the beekeeper will gather honey. To do this, he pulls the frames out of the hive - he will replace them with empty ones in the hope that the bees will fill them again during the season - and returns with them to his honey extracting shop. There he scrapes the wax caps off the honeycomb with a hot knife and puts the
June 2012 frames into an extractor. The extractor spins rapidly, pulling the warm honey out of the comb centrifugally. The captured honey is then strained, bottled and prepared to take to market and sell. But his day isn’t over yet. When it’s dark, be it either after dusk or in the early hours of the morning, the beekeeper will drive to a field nearing the end of its bloom (this is done in the night because bees work during daylight hours, so after dark is the only time they will be settled in and together) and inspects the hives. If everything looks good, he will load the bees onto his truck, strap them down, and steer them to their next location. This must be at least two miles down the road - any less and the bees will go back to the site of their most recent placement and not be able to find their hive, resulting in the loss of their queen and their purpose. After the hives are dropped off at their new address, it’s time for the keeper to head home and catch a few hours of sleep before getting up and starting it all over again. None of this would really matter much if honey didn’t taste good. But, of course, it does, and that brings us back to my nine variety taste test. Nine varieties of honey sounds to me like different brands of bottled water - I guess maybe they taste different if you have some kind of super-human taste buds. For me, who doesn’t, I’m guessing they’ll all taste the same. I dive in. The first variety is good. It tastes like honey. I kind of expected that. What I didn’t
expect was for the second (and third and fourth and fifth) varieties to have such distinct personalities. I’m no “foodie”, but even for me, it is very apparent - and fun! The following are the different varieties and what set them apart from one another. Columbia County Star Thistle: This honey is very pale, almost lemony in color, with a very candy-like, sweet flavor. It is not mild, but not overwhelming, either. It was one of my favorites. Spokane County Wildflower: The beekeeper has hives all over the Spokane County. This variety also has a light complexion, though not as light as the Columbia County. It has a very mellow, reserved flavor, not as sweet as the afore mentioned Star Thistle, and is relatively mild. Franklin County Prairie Clover Milk Vetch: What strikes me first is the color (amber) and the consistency (thin - Lil’ Carol says that may be because the bees have abundant water near by). It has a shocking cinnamon flavor - it reminds me of those little “red hot” candies I used to buy as a kid. The flowers are purple and some are cream colored. Franklin County Mint: This honey is also amber in color, with a reddish tint. It is thin as well, with a spice note not found in the others so far, and a slight ‘bite’. It does NOT taste like mint at all. Pend Oreille County Wildflower: The color of this reminds me of
Lil’ Carol at the Main Market doing a demo.
the traditional grocery store honey, a golden yellow. It has the smoothest flavor to this point. If I knew what I was talking about, I’d say it was ‘balanced’. Pend Oreille County Wildflower, (Two year old vintage): This variety is almost black in color, really beautiful when held up to the window. It also has a great molasses flavor that really appeals to me - it’s very rich compared to the other honeys I’ve tasted. It came from a spring that started very wet and then warmed up early, thus giving the bees much more bloom than usual to work with. Overall it’s probably my favorite flavor. Stevens County Mix (clover/ wildflower): This might be the prettiest honey to look at - a deep red with an amber tint. It has a sweet, fresh taste that somehow brings the word ‘springtime’ to mind. Bubblegum (Naches River): This honey was produced by a friend of Lil’ Carol’s along the Naches River near theYakima Valley. It is very sweet (thus the moniker ‘bubblegum’), and has a thicker, more complex flavor than many of the other varieties. Baker’s Honey: This is a unique product to Selkrik Honey Farm. Most keepers collect the remnants when scraping the honey frames (excess honey and beeswax) and put it back out at the hives for the bees to feed on. Instead, Selkirk pasteurizes this honey and sells it
as ‘Baker’s Honey’. Because honey loses the majority of it’s nutrients when used in baking and cooking (due to the heat), Baker’s Honey is sold as a substitute since the flavor is much the same and it is a less expensive product since it has been heated already. It tasted much like store-bought honey to me. It is still pure, but not raw. I left Lil’ Carol’s kitchen with a new appreciation for bees and beekeepers - and for honey. That is the magic of spending time with someone who produces a locally-sourced product - they are incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what they do, and they’re usually willing to share that with people who are interested. Plus what they produce is almost always much better (and healthier) than a national store-bought brand. Thanks Lil’ Carol! Next time I see a honeybee, I’ll tip my hat to her. When not teaching the public about the benefits of honey, Lil’ Carol is assisting the beekeeper with harvest and production, tending to the ‘experimental garden’ behind her home, restoring classic cars, canning, riding her bike, making Lil’ Carol’s Bee Products, and writing professionally. I think it would be apropos to say she’s as busy as a small winged creature. Selkirk Honey Farm honey can be found at Main Market Co-Op, The Spokane Public Market, Mother’s Cupboard, Kitchen Engine, and Rusty’s Fruit Stand. It can be found on the web at lilcarolshoney.com.
The Beekeeper in the dusk, working, surrounded by his bees, getting ready to place them on the truck to take home
A Bottle Tree? Yep. By Julie Gruber
You may have noticed there’s a creative bent in each of us which reflects the outcome of our landscape. Robin Cunningham’s story in The Garden Zealot’s May issue proves that fact! Personal creativity draws us in a specific direction based on experience, history, budget, and taste. There’s the plain and simple landscape, the sophisticated & mature garden with regal flare… How
about the ‘salvage yard’ with dreams of racing, or an unconstrained setting that brings nature to the front door? You name it and you’ll find a personality that suits every landscape. Ever notice your neighbors questioning the motives behind your lawn artistry? Perhaps they don’t appreciate my landscape masterpiece, but I find it brilliant! Combining simpler times, a bit of whimsy, my childhood, and a shortage of so-
• 1 12’ treated 4”X4” post: $15.26 • 18 8” pole barn nails (approx 1.5 lbs): $4.49 • 4 1/4”X 6” plate lag screws: $2.76 Total: $22.51
• Mitre saw (circular or hand saw will also work) • 11mm or 7/16” socket or box end wrench • Hammer
Materials were purchased at Savemore Building Supply, E. 16215 Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA.
• Electric drill with 5/16” drill bit • Post hole digger or shovel • Hand level
June 2012 phistication (no surprise there) is how I’ve built my garden. It’s also influenced, at least in part, by having grandkids. You’ll find it all here: a charming playhouse, swings, chickens (real and decorative), a dog, peanut butter sandwiches, and a plethora of kids frolicking about. Yes, that’s my idea of paradise. One of our grandest displays of color is the bottle tree. To create this gem you’ll need to collect bottles rich in color. Wine bottles are an excellent source. Deep cobalt blues, emerald greens, puce, and simple clears are easy to find. Reds and purples are a challenge since it’s usually not the color of the actual glass, but a sprayed finish that will fade and chip. Look for textures, embossings, and a variety of shapes and sizes. I’ll
still trade-out bottles when something better comes my way. Four or five bottles are displayed on each side of the tree. A trumpet vine and twinkle lights/rope circle our tree as well. As the vine comes into full bloom the bottles are hidden until evening when they’re illuminated by the twinkle lights. Tacky? No, magical! Each season invites its own kind of charm. In the doldrums of winter our colorful tree, frosted with snow, brings a cheerful smile when I look out the window. Think a bottle tree would look good in your yard? Building one is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Ours cost less than $25 and took only two hours to make. When you buy the 12’ treated post, have the lumberyard cut it into
two pieces—9’ and 3’. This will save you one cut and make it less cumbersome to haul home. Follow these step-by-step instructions. If something seems a bit confusing just compare it to the completed tree picture for clarification: Step 1. Cut the 3’ piece of post in half. Cutoff one end of each 18” piece at a 45-degree angle. Draw a line 18” up from the bottom on two opposite sides of the 9’ post. Using the socket or box end wrench and the 6” lag screws, attach the two short pieces to the bottom of the 9’ post. This will be easier if you predrill the screw holes with the 5/16” bit. Match the bottom end of each short piece to the line you drew on
the main post (see picture). Step 2. On opposite sides of the 9’ post, draw lines at the following intervals: 48”, 60”, 72”, 84”, and 96”. On the other two sides draw lines at 54”, 66”, 78” and 90”. Hammer a pole barn nail into the center of each line at a 45-degree angle. Leave about 5” of the nail showing. Step 3. If you want to add a decorative tree topper, now’s the time. We used one of those metal garden ornaments that looks like a dragonfly. Step 4. Dig a hole approximately 20” deep. Plant your bottle tree and backfill to secure it in place. As you backfill, check the pole with the level to make sure it’s straight. Mission accomplished. Stand back and admire your work!
Behind The Scenes Designing A Functional Landscape By Angela Feser
landSCaPe arChiteCt GueSt Writer
This landscape project will be a renovation of a backyard space for an iconic house on the South Hill in Spokane. The site challenges include noise and traffic impact from an adjacent busy street, drainage issues near the house foundation, and lack of privacy due to the close proximity of neighboring homes. The client wishes to create a social gathering area for entertaining, would like to explore the practicality of an outdoor kitchen, is interested in vegetable gardening, and is leaning toward a water feature. The existing landscape includes a large open area resulting from a recently demolished
concrete slab, and numerous mature plantings that require evaluation. In addition, the house is blessed with large windows that accommodate full views into the yard.
In addition, an earth berm will be used to elevate the plantings in an attempt to compensate for heightshortcomings until the evergreens reach their mature sizes.
My First Priorities
Foremost, I need to solve the clients’ current drainage issue, and certainly respect the home’s fantastic architecture. I’ll also be determining the best use of existing plants, and I’ll attempt to provide seasonal interest with new plant material.
A negative slope and poor downspout placement resulted in water collecting against the house foundation during rain or snow melt-off events. The new landscape grades will slope away from the house, and I will incorporate a dry streambed to capture and move excess water away from the foundation. When it’s not moving water, the dry-streambed will still be an attractive feature of the landscape. I’ll use small, bunched, light-blue grasses within
Street Screening Layered and staggered evergreens and larger shrubs will be incorporated to reduce road noise, capture dust, and provide textural interest.
TALL, PLAIN WALL
the stonework to imply the existence of water and movement. The homeowner has expressed interest in a water feature, but is concerned about the required maintenance. The dry streambed provides the look and feel of a water feature, without the consequent maintenance. The “origin” of the stream is a focal point, highly visible from gathering areas within the new yard. It will also be showcased from numerous points of view within the home. Later on, the homeowner may consider a bubbler to provide the movement and the sound of water. Generally speaking, bubblers require minimal maintenance. A piece of sculpture may be another option that conveys the concept of water.
R E S I D E N C E
GARDEN AREA DINING
PLANTS TO REMAIN
2 - CAR GARAGE
LARGE GATHERING AREA
SMALL SEATING AREA
EXT. ASPHALT DRIVEWAY
C D OUTDOOR KITCHEN
FENCE SCALE: 1/4" = 1'-0" 0
Getting to know our client and project.
June 2012 Privacy Screening Directly across from the large kitchen window and proposed patio area is a large, two-story home that is semi-screened by an existing tree. Unfortunately, due to the condition of the tree’s trunk, it’s been deemed a hazard and will need to be removed. In this area, I’ve called for columnar evergreens in the planting plan, and a trellis over the kitchen area to create screening and privacy. Gathering Areas The client asked for a large area for entertaining. The main paver patio—sized to accommodate a large group—is defined by a large trellis and firepit. A smaller, more intimate patio is on the far edge of the main patio to offer space for overflow. A third patio is located next to the kitchen door for more casual use. The outdoor kitchen (including a
gas grill, sink, refrigerator, and bar) will be located near the kitchen. Word to the wise: keep your friends close, but your outdoor kitchen closer! Plantings The existing plants have been evaluated and will be relocated when possible in the new landscape. Raised garden beds will be placed by the back door. The client passes this area frequently to access the garage, and its location will encourage daily use and enjoyment. Odd-shaped existing concrete slabs near the back door will be incorporated into a workbench area with tool storage. The landscape-planting plan was designed to provide a variety of textures and colors—as well as balanced combinations of evergreens, deciduous trees, and shrubs. The variety I’ve selected will provide year-round interest throughout the landscape.
Incorporating House Architecture Due to the size and beautiful quality of the house, its architecture needed to be incorporated in the landscape design to create cohesion. The home’s mass, horizontal lines, and white paint color will be “pulled” through the landscape. I’ve accomplished this by incorporating larger timbers and linear shapes into the two structures. They will be painted white to match the home. Our pavers’ rectangular shapes and color—as well as the shape and materials selected for the outdoor kitchen—all reinforce the home’s architecture. A third trellis will soften with the large, windowless, two-story wall by the back door. Vines and tall columnar plantings will bring the height of this side of the home into scale. This landscape renovation will
(OPTIONAL: TRELLIS ON THIS GARDEN BED) R E S I D E N C E RAISED GARDEN BEDS (WOOD/STONE) DRY CREEK BED EXAMPLE
EXT. ASPHALT DRIVEWAY
CRUSHED ROCK MULCH WORK BENCH W/STORAGE
PAVERS - BELGARD MEGA LAFITT
DINING FLAGSTONE PATH BRIDGE STONE DRY STREAM BED FOCAL POINT
successfully incorporate the client’s wishes, and tie the site together by incorporating the home’s architecture. A little creatively solves the site’s drainage and traffic/privacy issues. Stay tuned… Construction of this project starts in June. Look for an article on the finished project soon! Angela Feser is licensed Landscape Architect and Owner of AFDesign. She has practiced for over ten years, providing creative landscape architecture solutions for more than 100 residential and commercial projects. Her services include on-site consultations, full design drawings, and construction management and feasibility inspections. Visit her website for more information at www.spokanelandscapedesign.com.
FIRE PIT WOODEN TRELLIS RAISED PATIO AREA
BERM 1' CONTOURS
2 - CAR GARAGE
LANDING AND STEPS
PLANTS TO REMAIN
PATH (PAVERS) PATIO (PAVERS)
LANDSCAPE BOULDER FLAGSTONE
OUTDOOR KITCHEN (OPTIONAL TRELLIS)
LEGEND EVERGREEN TREE DECIDUOUS TREE EVERGREEN SHRUB DECIDUOUS SHRUB LAWN CRUSHED ROCK/GRAVEL EDGING
TRELLIS EXAMPLE - WOOD OR PAINTED WHITE
LANDSCAPE BOULDER B/R
Our new objective.
Are You Ready? The 15th Annual Garden Tour
Sponsored by Coeur d’Alene Garden Club
By Bonnie Warwick
Coeur d’alane Garden Club & Garden Tour Chairman
Do you like unusual plants and want them identified? Do you want to know about the most effective deer repellant? Do you need to know about products for treating trees, shrubs and plants—or what products have worked best and what haven’t? Are you constantly looking for perfect plant combinations for your favorite containers? All this and more awaits you at the 15th Annual Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour, which takes place in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on Sunday, July 15th 2012. It will answer your gardening questions as well as give you many new ideas for your own garden. Five diverse and very special gardens will be featured on this year’s self-guided tour. The theme is, appropriately, ‘Gardens Large and Small.’ A map to each garden is provided on your admission ticket. Visitors may begin and end the tour at their own convenience – no rush at all! The tour begins at 11:00 AM and ends at 4:00 PM. At each garden we will feature live music by well-known local musicians. In addition, there will be artisans and vendors offering their garden-related art items for sale—and always popular is the annual garden tour poster. This year’s featured artist is Irma Koch, a Coeur d’Alene Garden Club member who will be on hand to sign posters. Here’s a summary of this year’s gardens: Shelley & Ron Rosenberger This spacious ranch is in a country setting of 160 acres. A long driveway leads to a well- planned landscape of grasses, deer-resistant perennials, and a blend of native aspens and pines. Huge hanging baskets of luscious colorful flowers are eye-catching. Low maintenance was a key factor
in plant selection and garden design. Dry creek beds are a natural element incorporated into the plans. The back garden features river birch and Arctic willows, a swimming pool, and a large waterfall that complements the patio area where the extended Rosenberger family and friends gather for summer BBQ’s and traditional Sunday dinners. The primary focus of this ranch is raising registered Black Angus cattle and hay. There are barns, breeding pens, an auction arena, and acres of pastureland. It is a truly mixed use of the acreage. Lifetime residents Shelley and Ron feel privileged to live and work on this beautiful ranch. Jim Walsh & Kathy Kelley This garden is situated in a quiet, forested, old growth neighborhood. From the street, guests are greeted
by beautiful hanging baskets adorning the front porch. A path to the back of the garden is lined with hostas and other shade-loving plants and shrubs—now you’ve entered a ‘Hobbit Garden.’ A whimsical ‘tree house’ has been a 3-years in the making. A resident raccoon perches on a branch above.
which was sold as a true fixer-upper when Stacy bought the property. You might remember Stacey from ‘Petal Pushers’ in Coeur d’Alene. This home was upgraded and repainted, a white picket fence was installed and the most colorful garden was painstakingly planted with much inspiration.
A large koi pond has been a 10year project, and has undergone several improvements over the years. The surrounding plants have matured and flourished in this shaded setting and offer a perfectly planned, tranquil area of rest and enjoyment for this hard-working couple.
The large garden encircles the house and could certainly be described as eclectic. Masses of colorful flowers are planted in rustic antique containers of all sorts, shapes, and sizes. Don’t miss saying hello to the resident kitty ‘Petal’ who is the official helper on site.
Diane & Bob Hoffman
It is hard to believe this garden hasn’t always been so beautiful. Actually, it’s only two-years old. It’s located on a 100-year old farmstead,
Located on the banks of the Spokane River in Post Falls, this garden encompasses almost 2 acres of land and has been Diane and Bob’s work
June 2012 in progress for the last nine years. In a tranquil and stunning setting, the Hoffman’s landscape includes a variety of elements from vibrant roses to tall wispy grasses. There are ponds and fairy niches, raised veggie beds, garden statues, and a fruit tree orchard. The latest addition is a lovely greenhouse. You will surely be overwhelmed by the scope and beauty of this complex site. Pull up a chair and watch and listen to the river if you’re in need of a break! Ann & Dennis Brueggemann A small urban garden on a corner lot surrounds a WWII Farragut house—a “Plain Jane” purchased in
Each year the Garden Club awards a “Commercial Commendation” to recognize and commend individual groups for outstanding horticultural contributions that beautify the city. This year, the Downtown Business Association is honored for sponsoring the hanging baskets displayed all summer along Sherman and Lakeside Avenues. There are 167 baskets to admire– all planted by Aspen Nursery (Post Falls), which begins this project in early January. The cost of these vibrant baskets is covered by a group of merchants and other donors, and each basket is hand-watered daily throughout the summer months. The community is very proud of this dazzling display which beautifies the city and serves to welcome summer. 2002. Start along the pathway near the front xeriscape established in 2010. Look for penstemons, coneflowers, gaillardia, lavender, grasses, and more — all neatly labeled for your convenience. At the side gar-
Garden Tour tickets will go on sale the first weekend in June. The cost is $15 with an advance purchase. Tickets will be available at the following locations: Ace Hardware, 4th& Harrison CDA (208) 667-9466
Northland Nursery Post Falls (208) 773-3247
Art & Home Center CDA (208) 665-7777
Aspen Nursery Post Falls (208) 667-75ll
Vanhoff’s Garden Center CDA (208) 930-4424
Westwood Gardens Rathdrum (208) 687-5952
Mix-it-Up Gifts CDA (208) 667-8603
Stanek’s Nursery Spokane (509) 535-2939
Huckleberry Nursery Hayden (208) 762-4825
Plant Land Spok. Valley (509) 922-7618
On tour day, tickets will cost $17 and will be sold at all of the gardens and at the following two locations: Vanhoff’s Garden Center and Ace Hardware on 4th.
den, lattice openings are an easy fix for a boring expanse of fence. Next, espaliered pear and apple trees, grapevines, and a Peter Mayle rose lead you into the back garden. This area features a small pond, fruit
trees, a Julia Child rose, sun-andshade perennials, and an unusual garden sink. Look for the “hanging garden” enhancing a bedroom’s egress window, and a quiet corner with wall fountain. Is this Italy or Coeur d’ Alene? There is an idea or two for everyone here…Welcome to our gardens! The Annual Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour is a charitable endeavor of the Coeur d’Alene Garden Club, with all proceeds going to non-profit organizations and scholarship programs in our area. For further information, please call (208) 664 0987 or (208) 772 3148.
Let’s Plant! By Barb Safranek Monthly Contributor Photos by Jerry Pavia
Your containers are in place, filled with good quality potting mix and have been gently watered in. It’s time to choose from all those gorgeous annuals and plant your pots! Start with a number of plants in mind for each pot you have to fill. I mostly shop for smaller plants—full 4” or 2” annuals are ideal for creat-
Ready to grow!
ing an interesting variety. I always assume at least three plants for each pot. On rare occasions there may be a one-gallon plant that is worth the real estate, but smaller plants at the start of spring lead to more opportunity for overflowing abundance at the height of summer. Today, I’m going to talk about my process of selecting annuals. In a future article, we’ll talk about the great beauty of perennial and dwarf tree potted plantings. First, make sure summer is near and night temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. What are the conditions of your pot location? Hot and sunny? Dark and shaded? Windy? Protected? Remember that each plant you choose needs to be adaptable to the conditions of its new home. Most annuals are hybrid-
My plant picks for afternoon sun composition.
ized to be versatile and fast growers, but if you’re choosing plants that require high water or fast drainage, choose companions to that plant that like the same treatment. We are going to plant my cast iron urn located on the edge of a northfacing covered patio. The pot will receive 3-4 hours of late afternoon sun and good protection from wind and rain. This is definitely an ‘inbetween’ set of conditions and will demand both shade loving plants and sun lovers that will still bloom in these odd conditions. One annual that is ideal for this situation is the new sun-tolerant coleus—sometimes labeled Solenestemon. Another plant with versatility is the minipetunia Calibrachoa, but I’ll need to put it on the sunniest side of my
pot. Before you decide on the color scheme of your plants, consider the color of the pot and the backdrop for your composition. Is your pot a deep tone that gold, gray, and lime spillers will stand out against? Is the wall or the foliage behind your pot shady and dark or bright and inviting? I’m planting my black cast iron urn with two ‘spillers.’ I’m choosing ‘Silver Falls’ Dichondra and ‘Licorice Splash’ Helichrysum to pour over the rim. I discovered a petunia at the nursery this year called ‘Mystery’ that boasts a dusky purple throat fading to a soft white edge. ‘Mystery’ has captured my fancy and will become the springboard for a soft pink, coral gray, and lime color scheme. ‘Mystery’ will be one of the
Euphorbia, echeverias and solenestemon
June 2012 fillers (plants that fill the center of the container and ideally flower all season long). I’ve chosen three other fillers for their color and texture contrast—a bright coral impatien, a mocha-leaf tuberous begonia with white blooms, and a lovely lime aeonium. I’m also mesmerized by a succulent with bold variegated leaves arranged in rosettes, called ‘Kiwi’. I’ve managed to squeeze in two mini-petunias as well. One with a pastel pink flower and the other with a brighter coral bloom. Mini petunias will billow over the edge, making them good ‘spiller-fillers.’ The taller plants in a composition should be bold in form and/or color. I’ve picked two sun-tolerant coleus with pink and coral patterned leaves to be my thrillers. They will grow to 18” - 24” tall and their pink leaves will be great at catching the late afternoon sun. I expect they’ll nearly glow in the evenings. My 4” annu-
Colocosia ‘Black Magic’ and Lantana
als are packed shoulder to shoulder for instant fullness in an arrangement that will be overflowing by mid summer. In the meantime, I’m adding a florescent orange branch from a contorted Hawthorn to provide height and satisfy my desire for a complete composition. NOW and INSTANT are key words for annual pot plantings and a good antidote for my spring fever. May your spring be full of the promise of summer pots filled with bounteous beauty! Barb Safranek is a licensed Washington and Idaho Landscape Architect with 25 years of design experience. She lives with her husband and a couple of garden buddies on the South Hill where she explores connection with nature through gardens. Learn more about Barb’s work: www.barbarasafranekdesign.com. Barb can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 509.939.8338
A splash of coral calibrachoa
Cast iron urn on covered patio with afternoon sun conditions
A Lifetime of Quality — A Modest Proposal A Call For Common Sense in an Election Year By Nate Lynch
The Garden Zealot
Do we make anything in America that will last 2,000 years? Not that I can think of. It’s taken me some time to come around to it, but after 10 years of owning my own landscape construction business, I can tell you why most of the products we create in this country don’t stand the test of time: legally, we’re not allowed to threaten our employees with a painful and excruciating death when they don’t perform to our expectations. I write today to argue for a change in our labor laws—I write today to campaign on behalf of our nation’s beloved consumers! They deserve the best, and with your support, we can make this happen!
The Roman Way!
So let’s get to it. What exactly is the root of the problem? It’s simple: as an employer, I’m not allowed to properly motivate my employees anymore. Just the other day I asked a subordinate of mine to dig an irrigation trench 18” deep so we could correctly bury our sprinkler line. The distance of the dig seemed to really discourage him (Heck, the 12th hole was only a par 3!). “Onward!” I said. “Don’t be discouraged my young protégé! A heavy hand and steady drum of the pick will clear your path!” He had the nerve to suggest the excavator—does no one under-
stand the cost of diesel fuel these days? Just the poor, virtuous soul who pays the credit card bill, I suppose. Of course I fired him on the spot. “Quality takes no shortcuts!” I shouted as he slunk away. On our jobsites the excavator is just for looks (I feel it gives us some credibility with the General Contractor). With the proper motivation, he would’ve finished the job without a peep. He would’ve finished the job with a broad smile! The Romans had it right. Everyone understood their link on the construction chain. As a modern small business owner, I consider my role to be much like the Emperor’s of Ancient Rome. It was understood that the Emperor was wise, heroically handsome, and generally more sophisticated than the average plebe. I recently read an article on Ancient Rome, and it described the Emperor’s circle as “generally blessed, facing little work or responsibility, and leading a relatively charmed life.” Certainly that description fits the typical small business owner very well.
pire, I’d inspire them to stay solely focused on their careers—and if they weren’t easily convinced to enjoy their roles, I’d take the appropriate steps to make them aware of their good fortune. For instance, let’s say my crew and I were building a paver driveway in the model of the Ancient Romans’ own roadways. Obviously there would be no room for shortcuts. Granted, the Roman Empire had a few advantages that I don’t—mostly in the abundance of slave labor. Fortunately, in my own company’s case, I’m often reminded by my employees that their hours are too long, their wages too low, and their benefits too non-existent. In this comparison, I think a parallel line can be drawn that measures favor-
My secretary would fall somewhere in the Senatorial class—she seems to think her opinion carries some weight, An eternal truth: Man’s two best friends and she never shies away from an argument. Then there would be the real ably between my operation and that lucky ones: my employees (known of the Roman leadership and their as “slaves” in Ancient Rome). With slaves—errr, employees. the proper inspiration, I think they For this particular job, we’ll emcould be convinced to lead a very brace the methods of the past (you happy, fulfilling life of landscaping. know, as a training device for the Taking a cue from the Roman Em-
newbies). A good paver project requires a deep base. Maybe I’d hand each of the guys a 5-gallon bucket and a homemade spade. I’d mark out a square—we’ll say 100’ by 30’—and require the space be dug 16” deep by five o’ clock. Yes, I know… As soft as the modern worker can tend to be, I assume there may be some grumbling among the lads. Not a problem. “We’re paying homage to the past,” I’d remind them. “Embrace the chains of history!” While they dug I might grab a sandwich and catch an afternoon matinee (I’m not going to change my own routine!). Sadly, I wouldn’t be able to grant them their freedom (or lunchtime) until the job was finished. Deadlines, you know. Imagine the satisfaction they’d feel at the end of the day when they could look back and admire that beautiful hole. I can see them arriving on their doorstep at home as night fell, boasting to their wives about the day’s incredible, empty rectangle. Which brings us to tomorrow’s project… Five hours later they’d return to that empty rectangle. After the movie and heavy meal the afternoon before, I would’ve drug myself back to the site and left a note tied to the handle of a pickaxe: “Boys,” it would read. “I need you to demolish that rock outcropping 1/4 – mile up the hill there, then refill this void with the rubble—and I need it done today! We’re already behind the schedule.” (I would’ve made it to the site to give them the message in person, but 4am is a ridiculously early hour for management to be
The task at hand
operating.) Unrealistic expectations, you say? Again, not with the proper motivation. To get the best effort from an employee, one needs to create a sense of urgency in their work. I’ve tried the old, tired, cliché methods: financial incentives, advancement, freedom and responsibility… These tools can only take you so far. The true brilliance of motivation, I’ve come to understand, is more primitive than urbane bribery. I’ve no doubt that three robust young men are certainly capable of moving 160 tons of stone ¼ mile in 5-gallon buckets within a 20-hour day (remember, it would be downhill on the way back from the stone outcropping). Heck, I’d even gamble they could do it in a 19&1/2 hour day. Maybe we’d throw in a lunch break this round (give the boys a little pickme-up!).
of the broken shovel and the cracked bucket, but we’ll just shelve the disappointments for now). “What’s with the long faces?” I’d ask. “You have your health. Well, you have the bulk of your extremities, anyway… Take heart! The sun is beating down upon us and it’s going to be a gorgeous day!” Today’s project: paver installation. This is what we’ve been waiting for. But first thing, I need to point out that the finest ballast needs to be put on top of our rubble rectangle, not congealed with the larger shards as our debris field sits in its present state. It’s a momentary setback — these things happen. “Boys,” I’d say. “This one’s on me. I should’ve mentioned this yesterday.” I’d give them an hour or two to turn the rectangle over while I ran for parts (partly coffee, partly donuts).
So mission accomplished. The crew showed some serious zeal yesterday! It’s 11am the following mornMotivational tools ing and I’ve just rolled in. The rock outcropUpon my return I’d explain the ping has been obliterated, and our nuances of paver installation. “This wonderful rectangle is nearly full pointy spear is my measuring stick,” I’d explain (as I pontificated I’d have of ballast (now, there is the matter
my best man put a few stones on the ground). “Claudius, you’re very important to our project today. You, my friend, are quality control” (can you imagine the envy the rest of the crew would feel for old Claud?). I’d then explain to Claud that the space between each stone should be very tight. As an example I’d push my spear into a joint. “The blade should only go in this much—perhaps an inch or so.” Then, the real genius of the Roman method would be revealed… “Claud,” I’d say. “I’ll be checking on you and the crew all day.” I’d remind him of the importance of quality: “The tighter the joints, the better. In the unfortunate event that this blade is to slide into a joint say, 1&1/2 inches… Well, my friend, the next application of my spear will be in your back. We’re after quality here Claud… Quality.”
The dangers of mediocrity
Too harsh, you say? Again I remind you of the timeless elegance of the Roman Empire’s extravagant roadways. The Romans understood drainage and the need for closely fitting stonework. And it’s true: quality control in Ancient Rome comprised of the Roman soldier inserting his knife into the joint between pavers. If the blade entered the joint freely, the gap was too wide and the blade was subsequently inserted into the foreman responsible for the day’s project. I ask you: could the importance of quality be made any more clear? These definitive motivational tools were the foundation of which a glorious empire was made. Can you imagine the satisfaction a stoneworker felt as he walked
through the door each night? “Honey, I’m still alive. The pavers looked amazing today!” I’m telling you—those guys were living! I don’t ask much. As a small business owner I accept the responsibility of preparing my own meals and washing my own laundry. I certainly don’t expect to be carried from the couch to the fridge on a litter hoisted by my employees (well, maybe on boss’s day). I only write to explore the possibility that lackluster production could be the direct result of inadequate motivational tools. Put the power of persuasion back in the hands of the small businessman! We’ve all heard it before: small businesses are the motor of the American economy. With my vision and your voice, small businesses everywhere will split the doggone atom! This is America, isn’t it? We belong on the top of the heap! The best is yet to come! So I ask for your support. I can’t be the only business owner who’s come to this inevitable conclusion. The time to act is now! Our politicians are only inclined to listen to us for a brief 6-month period every four years. This is our chance! Contact your local representative now and let your voice be heard! Tell them The Zealot sent you. Tell them small businesses everywhere deserve the freedom to inspire zealous production! Tell them you’re ready for a real change!
Contact your State Representatives! Give your Legislature a jingle at:
800 – 562 – 6000 (Washington) 208 – 334 –2475 (Idaho)
Note: Employees wanted! Send your resume and estimated lifting capacity to thegardenzealot@gmail. com. Interesting and fulfilling careers await!
Do It Yourself
How To Install Your Own By Nate Lynch
The Garden Zealot
Are you sure you don’t want to pay a professional to do this? No? You’re committed to doing it yourself ? Ok, here’s how I would do it: Step 1: Rent a skid steer. You’re probably looking at $200/day +/-, but it’s worth the fiscal pain. The shovel and wheelbarrow method is really overrated, and considering that everyone hates the shovel and wheelbarrow method, I can assure you that a self-propelled, diesel-sucking box of tin is certainly the way to go. Step 2: Assess the situation… Actually, this should’ve been step one. There are a few valid reasons for undertaking the shovel and wheelbarrow method now that I think about it. These reasons include: A) the access is too limited, B) you don’t want to repair the entire front yard after making 68 trips in the Bobcat to the back patio, and C) you have a teenaged nephew who will dig relentlessly for $4/hour (plus, you think he’s an idiot and want to torture him). Beyond that, I strongly advise you to rent the machine. So back to assessing the situation… What kind of soil are we working in? What will the paver project be used for? Patio? Walkway? Driveway? The soil type and the area’s intended use will determine the amount of earth we remove to prepare the subgrade. Step 3: Demolition. Often we’re removing an existing patio, walkway, driveway, etc. In this case
I’m removing 4,000 lbs of concrete (rebar included). This concrete walkway is approximately 10 years old and has held together very well. As such, I assume it contains rebar. Before removing each section of concrete with the forks of my skid steer, my crew and I will cut through the existing
concrete joints in order to sever the encased rebar. When that’s done, I can “pop” each section with the machine’s forks, and load each piece on my trailer for a run to the concrete pit later (No skid steer? Break out the sledgehammer!). Step 4: Now we’ll excavate to the project’s subgrade. This site has terrific soil. Organically rich, yes, but high in sand content. This is great news. A sand-based soil is easy to excavate, and the pavers will require less base material. That saves us money. Less base material means less digging, and less gravel means… less gravel (gravel is sold by the ton, you know). For a walkway built over soil high in sand content, I can get away with the minimum amount of base (crushed rock). Four inches of base is the minimum for a paver walkway. Later, we’ll install 5” of base (because we’re overachievers). The paver itself is 2&3/8” thick, and we’ll be installing the pavers over 1” of sand. All together, that makes approximately 8&1/2” of material. We need to dig 8&1/2” below our anticipated finished grade. By comparison, if we were building a paver driveway, our base material alone needs to be at least 10” deep (there’s a big difference between foot traffic and car traffic).
Step 5: We’ve excavated 8&1/2” below our projected finished grade. At this point we need to install any sleeves that will accommodate irrigation pipes, electrical wire, mouse tunnels, etc. Once those are in, we compact the subgrade using our plate compactor (in the construction trades, it’s fun to refer to it as a ‘nervous turtle.’ Pretty cute how it shakes and vibrates while it crawls over the ground).
Paver Walkway is deep. What for? For the added strength, silly. Pavers aren’t like concrete. The edge of the project will always be the weakest link in the chain. I’ll install two 3” lifts (layers) of gravel—watering thoroughly and compacting with the nervous turtle between lifts. I’ve excavated approximately 6-8” beyond the edge of my project on both sides, and have likewise installed the gravel base beyond
When your gravel is delivered, it’s an opportune time to schedule a “haul-out” of your excavated soils. Of course, there isn’t a dump truck driver in the world who’ll wait for you to load him with a shovel. I really hope you rented that skid steer— the truck’s meter is always running! Step 8: Lots of gravel, lots of water, lots of compacting… Now that that’s done, I’ll take some florescent paint and quickly paint the borders of the walkway. Does it look right? If not, now’s the time to make adjustments to your walkway’s base.
Step 6: This is a very important step of paver construction that is too often overlooked. We’re going to install a geotextile underlayment over the subgrade. This product will create a buffer between the subgrade and our imported gravel—keeping the imported gravel clean and uncorrupted (if your gravel base mixes with existing soils, it will weaken the overall product). The geotextile also evenly distributes the “down-forces” that will be on the paver walkway. In short, the geotextile is the superhero working behind the scenes… Errr, under the scenes. Step 7: Gravel time. Sometime between steps 1 and 2 I was on the phone ordering a load of crushed gravel. I like to use a product referred to as ¾”-minus gravel. It compacts well. The ‘¾’ refers to the size of the pieces of chipped rock, and the ‘minus’ refers to ‘fines’ which bind the base together. With my handy-dandy skid steer,
the anticipated path of the walkway. Why? It’s the rules, mate. Your base preparation needs to be built as far beyond the edge of the pavers as it
That ends day 1. Clean everything up and head out. Burger King or Jack In The Box tonight? PAVERS cont. on page 22
Do It Yourself
Pavers 101 (cont.) PAVERS cont. from page 21 …And we’re back… Sore are you? No worries… A few more months of this type of work and your muscles will simply surrender.
After I’ve screeded the sand, I pull the screeding bars and fill in the voids by hand. I’ll ‘trowel-out’ the imperfections prior to installing the block.
add weight to the edges as you cut-in the border. It’s a big help. Trust me.
Step 9: For a small project like this, I only need about one yard of sand (which I loaded into my truck this morning). I like using 1” electrical conduit as my ‘screeding’ guides. If the compacted gravel base is correct, all I need to do is lay them on the gravel and pull the sand across them. Remember: your gravel base should be approximately 3” below your anticipated finished grade prior to screeding.
Step 10: Our homeowner chose a clay paver called “Pioneer Used” that is made by Mutual Materials of Spokane. We’re installing them in what is called a “herringbone” pattern. Keep them tight as you go. If the gaps become loose, you’ll drive yourself crazy attempting to find the imperfection that’s thrown the entire walkway off-kilter. Always overlay the pavers—put more down than you think you need. Overlaying the pavers will
Step 11: The pavers are down. Now I’ll design the border. This will allow me to achieve the arcs and curves of the walkway I desire prior to cut-
Beyond the Lawn by Keith Davitt By Kelly Erikson editor
If you are searching for inspiration for a project for your yard this summer, look no further than Keith Davitt’s book Beyond the Lawn: Unique Outdoor Spaces for Modern Living. Whether you strive to decrease your yard’s water consumption, want to reduce time behind the mower, or simply want to create a space to relax or entertain, Mr. Davitt’s book
will provide the ideas. His book includes design and construction details for small spaces or sprawling lots that crave definition. The book includes abundant color photographs and concise descriptions of projects, as well as numerous before and after photos. His vast assortment of surface/hardscape options are reason enough to consider perusing this book. Highlighted materials include various stones, gravel,
water features, decks, ground covers, native plants, and containers (refer to the May issue of the Zealot for container ideas!). You will enjoy the spectrum of possibilities—from lush, plant-heavy sun and shade gardens, to clean, minimalist dry streambeds. One of my favorite chapters focused on layered decks and the importance of decorating with potted plants. Garden and space plans are included, with variations to
spark your imagination and get you started on your own project. Beyond the Lawn will help you with ideas for low-maintenance, insightful spaces for your yard— large or small!
attachment on my hot saw. I only do so if it’s already raining or if the neighbors have threatened to kill me due to the dust (twice!). When you’re cutting a paver, you’re expelling a great amount of fine dust. If you add water, you’re creating liquid concrete—and that tends to coat anything and everything behind the cut (pavers, homes, cars, etc.). Adding water also creates a sloppy mess that makes the project less stable while in process. Step 13: Install the border and then the edging restraint. Make your final cuts as necessary.
ting. If I’m satisfied with my lines, I’ll mark the border with a marker, pencil, or piece of chalk. Step 12: Cut-in the border. Clay pavers are easy to cut—they take about ½ the time as concrete pavers because they’re softer. I rarely use the water
The crew and I will toast our success in joyous landscaper revelry!
Step 14: I like to compact the pavers prior to sanding. This will ‘settle’ the pavers into place. As soon as I’m finished, we’ll sweep a polymeric joint-filler into the pavers. This type of sand has
a “binder” that instantly stabilizes the sand once wet. Did you notice the entire project just sank ¼”? That’s ok, we planned for that. Step 15: I compact the project for the last time, cleanup, and pack it in. For me, it’s payday. On the way home we’ll be sure to hit the nearest gas station for a 64-ounce Mountain Dew.
This was a 180 square foot paver walkway. Our materials costs came to $6/ft. Of course, I own the skid steer, hot saw, nervous turtle, and pick-up. I also receive small discounts from the block wholesaler and the trucking company. What were your costs? I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess you just spent about $10/ft to do it yourself (but the pride you now feel will last a lifetime!). Remember, the smaller the project, the higher the cost per foot.
The Humane Society’s Adoptable
Pet of the Month Brick Domestic Shorthair/Mix
By Daisy Lynch
I love iris. Red, magenta and blue too! Iris are amazing So plant some iris and you’ll love them too! Unbelievable fortune! The Garden Zealot is pleased to present a new poetess: Ms. Daisy Lynch. She’s written about the iris, her favorite plant. We’re honored to release her ﬁrst published manuscript titled, “Iris”. Potentially, we feel she may be a poetry powerhouse with unlimited potential.
Brick is a wonderful kitten, and can be very cuddly. He is quite laid
back for a kitten, and can get comfortable with you easily. He is play-
ful, and will be a wonderful indoor cat. Brick has been socialized and enjoys the company of dogs. To meet Brick please contact his foster parent Andrea at 509-467-4287
Laine’s Salsa Mix
Recipe of the Month
Laine Larson provided us this recipe, and she says “We came up with this recipe by accident, but my husband and guests think it tastes pretty good! We thought it might be a good fit for the Recipe of the Month in The Garden Zealot.” INGREDIENTS: • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes • 3/4 cup diced onion • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro • 1/2 teaspoon salt DIRECTIONS: Combine ingredients in bowl and mix gently. ZEALOT’S NOTE: Thanks Laine! Holy smokes that’s good! ‘This aint Pace Picante’!
Can Mud Make Us Cleaner? By Jeannine Tidwell Guest Contributor
It emerges from the ground with a soft, wet, earthy smell in the spring and summer. When the sun hits it, it shines. You can squish your toes in it and feel the delight of its cool, smooth dampness. You can slide in it and undoubtedly be surprised at where you’ll land. You can build with it, make art with it, soak or take a bath in it. Get a facial with it, wrestle in it, stomp in it, and get downright dirty in it. And the best part: it’s free! Mud, glorious mud! For the modern world, it hasn’t always been at the top of the list for plunging in, nor has it had high rankings en masse for those beyond childhood. However, when I consider the rich textures that make up life, mud is supreme. I consider it an essential ingredient and a symbol of our connection with nature. I ran a program with a bunch of kids one summer—guiding them to connect deeply with nature. They experienced all the rich qualities of childhood. Jumping into the cold refreshing waters of ponds and streams, sensing the palpable hot sun on their bodies, stalking through beds of damp leaf litter and dry pine needles, experiencing the ‘green’ smell of earth, tasting the cu-
rious flavors of bitter dandelion and savory chickweed, and getting completely covered in mud!
At the peak of the week, these students were guided to creep and prowl through the mud. Like a chameleon, their entire bodies completely changed color. After an hour of slowly slithering through a mudslide as a group, one student stood up and faced me. “Well, now I’m cleaner,” was his summation. This wasn’t the first time I’ve had students come out of such experiences saying in very profound, simple, and remarkable ways that they’d just had a ‘purge.’ A purge from schedules, watches—transitions from A to B—and more. It was clear that he didn’t take a shower with Pert shampoo or Ivory soap to get sparkling fresh. All he needed was mud. While on their quest with mud, these kids moaned and groaned through the entire journey. At the end of it, they couldn’t stop talking about how fun and pleasurable it had been getting covered from head to toe in liquid dirt. They repeated over and over again how it was their favorite experience of the week. While they couldn’t exactly remember the catalyst for getting lathered in mud, they were glad they did. Nature connection is crucial. It gives all of us—young and old—the opportunities to touch and feel the
very real textures that make up life. But nature connection alone isn’t enough. We need mentors (catalysts) to visibly and invisibly guide us into uncomfortable growth-expanding moments like creeping through mud or thickets. It’s in those ‘thicket’ moments that we’re faced with the very real substance of ourselves. We’re given the opportunity to see who we are in tough times and where we’re going with ourselves when things get a little itchy. While the normal status quo is that children (and in general, people) don’t get really dirty, substrates like mud offer us the potential to go slow and absorb life. To get dirty and wet, hot, cold, or simply mud-
dy. With the process of mentoring we’re trying to break down and recycle these boxes that say we can’t get dirty. This spring and summer I invite you to wholeheartedly dive into the elements and make meaningful bonds with nature! Jeannine Tidwell co-founded Twin Eagles Wilderness School in pristine Sandpoint, Idaho in the autumn of 2005. As co-director of the school, she’s committed to the mission of rekindling relationships with nature, community, family and self through nature connection, earth based mentoring, and wilderness skills. For more information go to http://www. twineagles.org
In the spirit of Jeannine’s article, there are numerous opportunities for adults and kids to play in the mud this summer! If running races isn’t your thing, sign up for a pottery class or hit your garden after the sprinklers have been on. At the very least get your hands dirty! Dirty Dash (Jun. 16)
Muddy Miles (Jul. 21)
4.5 mile run with mud and obstacles at Riverside State Park
2 mile run/stumble with mud and obstacles at the North Idaho Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene — very family oriented
5K Foam Fest (Jul. 14) 3.1 mile run with foam, mud, and obstacles in Mt. Spokane State Park
Terrain Mud Runs (Sept.) 3 or 6 mile run south of Spokane coming in September
Wildflowers: More Than Meets The Eye By Jack W. Zimmer, PhD
Pineview Horticultural Services
Most people that envision a wildflower planting share common goals: no mowing, colorful flowers, and low maintenance. While wildflower plantings offer an alternative to the traditional garden, they also provide a dazzling array of color in largescale areas where cost effectiveness is a concern. However, wildflowers require as much careful planning, site preparation, and maintenance as traditional landscaping. Thinking that there is little planning required, no soil preparation, questionable seeding techniques, and no pre-plant weed control will lead to ultimate disappointment. Planting Time: Spring and early summer seeding is best. Spring plantings should be done as soon as the planting area can be worked. “Dormant” seeding
can be applied in the late fall when seeds will not germinate. These seeds will come in the early spring. This is especially helpful in areas that are very wet in the spring—not allowing for early soil preparation. Site Preparation: During initial establishment, wildflower plantings require nearly the same site preparation as lawns. Seed to soil contact is critical. Begin by spraying existing vegetation with Glyphosate (Roundup), then remove the dead vegetation. Lightly till the area and irrigate to allow for an additional sprout of weed seeds, then spray again. Seeding: Wildflower seeds are variable in size. To insure correct distribution of the seed, mix 1 part seed with 3 parts sand or kitty litter. The best seeding rate is approximately
1 pound of wildflowers per 2,000 square feet. Broadcast the seed on the site and lightly rake into the soil. Don’t rake any deeper than ¼ inch. Most seeding failures are due to planting too deep. An adequate supply of moisture is required during the first three to four weeks after seeding. Annuals will germinate in 7 to 14 days, with perennials up to a week later. Further moisture will extend a display, especially during high heat. Maintenance: Fall cleanup is suggested to help your wildflowers reseed themselves year to year. Mow the site to six inches to aid in the distribution of the mature seeds. It is often beneficial to re-seed with your favorite species. Both annuals and perennials give a “blast of color” over an extended period of time. Don’t use a pre-emergent weed control un-
less you only want the perennials to come back. What to buy: It’s best to purchase wildflower seeds from reputable dealers. All sorts of mixes are available for various applications such as Northwest Mix, Deer Resistant Mix, Dryland Mix, and Low Profile Mix. Avoid purchasing mixes that are mostly filler. A good mix will have 98% purity and have a germination of at least 80%. Also available are specific wildflowers designed to meet your needs such as Yarrow, Columbine, Shasta Daisy, Larkspur, Foxglove, Purple Coneflower, California Poppy, Gayfeather, Perennial Lupine, Purple Prairie Coneflower, and Black Eyed Susan to name a few. A beautiful example of what can be done with wildflowers can be seen at the Panhandle Health District building in Hayden (8500 N
June 2012 Atlas Rd). The flowers attract bees and hummingbirds, are relatively drought tolerant, are aromatic, and provide outstanding color throughout the year. Editor’s Note: I can relate from personal experience that purchasing and planting the generic wildflower mixes from a “non-reputable” source typically results in disappointment. The mix was about 60% filler and contained wildflowers in the noxious weed family. Years later, we are still pulling those tiny purple pansies out of the lawn. (For the record, I happen to like them but they make my husband crazy.) To me, the term “wildflowers” once indicated a willy-nilly sprinkling of seeds and expecting a small field of beautiful, wild blooms. After reading Jack’s article and researching wildflowers, I agree that a thoughtful planting process will result in a spectacular display of appropriate flowers. Use Jack as a resource, or contact the WSU Master Gardener Program Spokane County Extension for more information on seeding wildflowers in your area.
Wildflowers in action.
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