A Northeast Portland Family Garden

A Garden Where Fairies Can Play

“My children and I purchased a home in Sabin/Alameda that was surrounded by lawn. Brand new to the Pacific Northwest, we turned to Kathryn to create a sustainable garden that would thrive during the growing season and shine during the rainy season. The mandate my children gave her was simple: Please, a garden where fairies live and play!”

Creating a balanced environment is key to sustainability so the sterile front and back were completely reworked. Beauty is Nature’s gift to us so that we will preserve the natural world or in this case recreate a garden closer to “natural” that calls wildlife and family life to it. Beginning with the generous parking strip street trees, path and garden were added. The front bank became a lovely textured rock garden traversed by a staircase to the front door. A flagstone patio between the driveway and the front door creates easy access to the family car and a place to play.

A backyard children’s play area and family gathering place is warm and cozy with secret hiding places, a sandpit, a water play area, an enchanting little “house” with a bench, a dynamic vegetable patch with a bamboo tepee for peas, beans and little children. The top of the driveway was decommissioned and is now a safe place for a child with wheel toys.

The sustainable features:

  • Eliminated front lawn and reduced back lawn and mow with reel mower
  • Edibles: veggies, berries and herbs
  • Organic soil preparation, feed the soil not the plant
  • Compost tea application front and back
  • Surround for compost, backyard gate and bench house made with recycled fence boards
  • 2 retired metal bed frames become trellises
  • Permeable surfaces on paths and patios
  • Rejuvenated incorrectly pruned rhodies and camellias
  • No chemical use
  • Easy care ornamentals and native plants
  • Drinking water for critters
  • Connection to nature for entire family
  • Wildlife friendly front and back
  • Beautiful and sustaining to the spirit and home to fairies

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