Home Gardening Vashon Garden Tour: Where the Grass Was Greener

Vashon Garden Tour: Where the Grass Was Greener

Vashon Garden Tour: Where the Grass Was Greener

I take my hat off (Elmer Fudd wants it back) to any homeowner brave and hardworking enough to participate in a garden tour. For a man who thinks folding clothes is a chore, the idea of maintaining a dandelion free lawn or growing a rose bush without black spot sends me scrambling for the security and comfort of my backyard hammock.

While I do struggle with the concept of pastoral perfection at my place, I had no trouble being treated to some of Vashon Island’s finest home landscapes and dreamy locales on the VAA garden tour last weekend. Bravo and Brava to the island gardeners who worked their tookuses off for charity and the enjoyment of others. In the process, I had a blast and enjoyed my own comparative sturdy in gardening philosophies and techniques.  For some, the grass really is greener.

I had no idea wood could be stacked this neatly.

My woodpile has more of a Frank Gehry EMP feel to it.

I was puzzled by this well-stacked wall of bricks.

Unlike my pile of terracotta squares, theirs did not support a slew of gardening gewgaws and tools, nor was it sidling up to a tangle of hoses.

I can unequivocally say that my garden has something none of the tour gardens had: weeds, lots of weeds.


  1. My farm motto is “Live Free or Die”. Just think of it this way Tom, you are allowing HERITAGE weed seeds to segue into the next century. You are allowing and possibly accepting CHAOS (the true nature of things) to reign, and thrive in your little piece of paradise. I think you have it under control!!! If your place was any different I would have to wear khakis and seersucker, and leave my farmer johns at home. DON”T CHANGE A THING!!!!

  2. I have had an open garden ONCE and I hope to not do it again. It’s a bit stressful. But I have to say that after going to many open gardens in the past, my favorites are the ones that aren’t perfect, but that are full of projects in progress. Those feel like real gardens, and chock full of way more ideas and inspirations than the perfect ones.

    Also, that wood pile? Seriously. That’s too perfect.

    • Lelo, I’m smitten with the idea of dry wood (who knew), so I may re-stack it, thought less artfully, but in such a way I can use a tarp.

  3. If one cannot appreciate the entropy at the heart of all the natural world one should repair to New England and thrill to the surprise of discovering what people brought to the church potluck

  4. I spent two weeks working on a well known garden before the tour. Let’s just say some have LOTS of help.
    We should start a “This is how a garden looks- really” tour. Folks without weekly help that actually use their yards., farms and pea patches. Music, wine & relaxed folks. My type of garden.

  5. I love your garden – isn’t your method called ‘permaculture’? 🙂

    PS – I just made a version of your Shaker Lemon Pie (and included a link to your place). The pie was DELICIOUS! Thank you so much 🙂

    • Thanks Janet, glad you liked the pie, I need to share a few more pie recipes — it’s fruit season, well at least in this hemisphere. 😉

  6. Tom, I love your garden, ummm kinda like mine. Just can’t keep up to the weeds! Kids love my garden – they seem enchanted, although, one day an older gentleman walked by, stopped and stared for quite some time, then finally shook his head and walked away. Guess he thought I had too much driftwood art….conventional my garden is not! p.s. his garden looks English picture perfect!

  7. Just fyi, the best weed on the planet, purslane, is also the most nutritious and is consumed in Lebanon in fattoush salad and made into pies and stuffed into fatayers. The other weed worth having, dandelion, makes the best salad called hindbeh; hope you keep your weeds and take full advantage of them.

  8. I love to go on Garden tours and truly appreciate the people who give us so much pleasure. However, my weed patch is much like yours. So much “undone”, “needs work”, “waiting for X”, etc. Still, it’s enjoyment and a few excellent meals!

  9. I prefer weeds, they’re survivors. Poison them repeatedly, bury them with concrete, cut them off at the knees; darn it all they grow right back and twice as strong. Nothing phases a weed, they find a way and flourish in the worst of circumstances.

    If I were a knight from days of yore, I would ride into battle with shield held high, a weed rampant front and center upon it. More than likely a dandelion, I rather enjoy things that arrive with built in wishes.

  10. Word to that! Great point of difference my friend. Weeds, lots of weeds! 🙂 Im not much of a gardener really, I don’t much care for the dirt and bugs and stuff, but I respect those that offer up their lovely gardens to be toured.
    PS: I think your garden sounds great, it has character and individuality, the rest sounds uniform and boring.

  11. I am feeling your pain. Weeds are truly under rated, can’t you see a linky party featuring tablescapes with arrangements of weeds?
    Your wood pile looks pretty darn good.
    Keep the faith.
    Thanks for your comparsion.

  12. Thank you so much for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursday’s at Fishtail Cottage! I agree with Kathy – weeds are under rated! Looks like you have been busy. but everything is looking good! xoxo, tracie

  13. Weeds, lots of weeds… that’s so funny. I love garden shows but of course, we only have our 10×10 community garden plot so really have no idea about the difficulty to prepare for such an event. And even in our tiny plot, there’s tons of weed problems.

  14. Someplace in your archives I remember seeing a chicken coop. Would that make a good wood shed? We had a kids wooden playhouse in our yard when we purchased our house and that has become a very good place to store our fire wood. Out of sight, doesn’t matter how nicely the wood is stacked!

  15. Karen, that is brilliant, use the defunct coop as a woodshed. Why didn’t I think of that? Brilliant. It will take a little modifying, but it’s a perfect second life for the coop. Thanks! Tom


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