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TheGardenFriend (Cat Skoor)

Member since: March 09, 2012



2746 times



Mountlake terrace, Wa 98043
USDA hardiness zone 7B


Cat Skoor

Member since:

March 09, 2012

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My Website or Blog:

The Garden Friend

About me

I live in Western Washington with my husband Jim after years and years (and years and years and YEARS) of gardening in the San Diego area. I was freezing cold for the first two years in Washington and finally got used to the cool, mild and damp temperatures enough to brave the weather for horticultural adventures! I discovered that gardening in Washington is fantastic! A Seattle gardener only has to water for six weeks out of each year because of the rain. Nice, huh? Soon after the move I became a fanatical Pacific Northwest native gardener and also began to collect perennials that I'd never heard of before. Even though our garden is full and lush now (15 years later), you can still find me wandering through garden nurseries looking for new varieties and interesting combinations. When the economy crashed, I lost my job and decided to "follow my bliss" as the old line goes and enrolled in community college to pursue a degree in Landscape Design. Much to my chagrin, I learned I'd been planting things all wrong! I knew it was time to re-think everything when I'd invited a well-known landscape designer to my house. We sat in the backyard with our wine, she looked everything over, nodded, and said, "Well, every gardener reaches this point. It's time to simplify!" Sigh....

Current project

I'm simplifying, of course! We have two gigantic dogs called Shiloh Shepherds. They look like German Shepherds on steroids and they love to run, play and explore. As a result of the garden's resultant demise, I've been creating a garden that humans and gigantic, active dogs can share and enjoy. I've created gravel pathways, gotten rid of the lawn and replaced it with 2 x 2 pavers with grass growing in between. The flower and vegetable beds have been raised three feet higher by installing several large galvanized watering troughs, and this year I plan on surrounding the troughs with Blue Oat Grass, mostly because I think the silvery blue is beautiful next to the silver color of the tubs, but also because I think the tall mounds of grass will discourage the dogs. The large share of our yard is heavily shaded by our neighbors' Douglas Firs and a large old Madrona in the back of our yard (complete with a tire swing), so I'm planting things that bring light and color to the shady places: lime green foliage mixed with blues and dark greens mimic dappled sun, fooling us into thinking there's light, hydrangeas, astilbes, many varieties of hostas, and bleeding hearts bring color and joy to the place as well. We try our best to keep the dogs out of these areas, but have to do better. I'm open to suggestions and can't wait to meet new gardening friends!

Type of gardener

Landscape Designer, Garden Coach

Favorite garden activity

Digging in the dirt, of course!