Le Jardinet Newsletter

  December 2009
As many of you know, we moved into a 5 acre property in Duvall a month ago.

front garden before

We had romantic visions of strolling the land and watching the wildlife, glass of wine in hand...The reality check came when we discovered that actually we had moved into the house with the wildlife!
We have a resident frog under the living room floor (not my first design choice in terms of pond location), mice in the kitchen walls (yes really; two dead ones plus a bag of birdseed actually within the wall cavity), and termites on the threshold - long since abandoned but also leaving the sill looking like a piece of Swiss cheese. We have had deer in the garden but despite our sons attempt to persuade them to eat the Brussel Sprouts left for us in the vegetable garden, they seem to have ignored our plants. A new visitor today was a goat ambling casually across the road , chewing a phone directory!
I can see my landscape design skills being honed to account for Dr. Doolittle style menagerie! I wonder if reindeer eat Brussel Sprouts........?

Deck the Halls with Pots of Holly....

The pumpkins and fall flowers are now relegated to the compost bin so there are a few empty spots in some of my containers. These are easy to dress up for the holiday season and don't even need you to take a trip to the nursery.

Big silver ball

Try adding pine cones, glass baubles, weatherproof ribbon bows or sprigs of ornamental berries. Even artificial berries can look wonderful when mixed with live foliage. Just be careful not to pierce any underlying spring bulbs when inserting them into the design. Also only use artificial berries under eaves where they will not receive direct rain...spoken from embarrassing experience as a red sludge spread across my path one year! I also cut branches of evergreen trees and shrubs from around my garden and insert those into the soil to add textural interest and fullness.
Need more ideas? Read my complete article on Holiday Containers published earlier this year and being featured as the cover story in the December edition of a professional Washington State horticulture magazine.
Winter TLC for Containers
Here are a few reminders;
Do not water plants late in the day if a freeze is forecast or at all if the soil is already frozen. Arakawa reduced
Remember that pots under the eaves or on porches will not get rain; it's up to you to water them!
Try to spot the difference between cold soil and moist soil; hence the need to poke your finger actually into the soil rather than just on top.
Spend a minute or two each week clipping off spent flowers and leaves, especially at soil level. This keeps the plants healthy.
Still watch for slugs especially near pansies.
ConsultationGifts from Santa!
Give Santa a helping hand; leave these ideas where they can be seen!
  • West Country waterproof garden gloves. Unbelievably warm and cozy. I can clean out the pond in the middle of winter wearing these and my hands are actually warm! Machine washable and can be tumble dried.
  • 'Atlas nitrile touch' garden gloves. The only gloves I can use for delicate planting as I can feel the roots easily. Machine washable and can be tumble dried. 

santa garden

  • Magazine subscription; to  Fine Gardening.  A wonderful gift for new and experienced gardeners alike. (Yes I really did get the subscription before I wrote for them!)  
  • Gift certificate from Le Jardinet available for any amount. Treat your friends to a design conultation
  • Festive indoor or outdoor container garden from Le Jardinet custom designed in your choice of colors. Last orders Monday December 14th with final deliveries on  December 23rd. What about one for your own home?
  • Gardening Books! there are so many to choose from but here are two new ones I purchased this year. I would be happy to offer specific selections according to your interest;

The Family Kitchen Garden  An easy to read publication on organic edible gardening. Good recipes too.

Fallscaping; extending your garden season into autumn by two of my favorite authors with a wonderful eye for design details.
Still stuck for ideas? Read the article 'Twas the night Before Christmas' below 
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
This poem always makes me smile. Mairanne Binetti is a local designer, speaker and author with a wonderfully wicked sense of humor which is probably why the two of us get along so well! This is her gardeners version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'.
(Scroll to the bottom of the web page to read poem)
December Gardening Events
Now through December 23rd
; Molbaks Poinsettia Festival. Check out the 42 varieties of poinsettias while you munch on Danish kringle. Santa will be visiting on certain week-ends so be sure to check out the schedule. 
Now through January 2nd 5-10pm;
Garden D'Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens.Approximately 500,000 lights brighten the Bellevue Botanical Garden in a breathtaking, nationally recognized holiday display. Garden d'Lights will feature a new Poinsettia Tree and the addition of an octopus to the "aquarium" in the Shorts Visitors' Center atrium. Admission is free; donations encouraged.

Friday, December 4 (5 to 8 p.m.); Conservatory After Hours Save the date for a trip to a tropical paradise where the palms sway, the orchids bloom and a harpist plays quietly. Is this heaven? Perhaps; it's also the only night of the year that the Victorian Greenhouse in Capitol Hill's Volunteer Park is open after dark. Best of all, it's free.

Friday, December 4 (2 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 5 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.); Greens Galore. The Arboretum Foundation's beloved holiday sale returns to the Graham Visitors Center at the Washington Park Arboretum. This year's sale will be the biggest and best yet. Along with a wonderful selection of wreaths, swags, and fresh-cut greens, they will be offering gifts, holiday cards, seasonal refreshments and lots more.
I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and trust Santa will consider you 'nice'!
Karen Chapman CPH
Le Jardinet
425 765 3574 
In This Issue
Holiday Containers
Winter TLC
Dear Santa
'Twas the Night'...
Gardening Events
Bailey snow 
Don't get caught by surprise!
Prepare your columnar conifers for the snow.  Either loosely tie up individual branches to the main trunk or wind garden string gently around the whole tree in a spiral fashion. This will prevent your Arborvitae and other more choice specimens from looking like  Saguaro in spring. You've been warned!
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Imagination goes here