About Our Group

When we were young gardeners, our days would quickly melt into nights as we amended, weeded, plotted, planned, and planted our gardens. Aches and pains could be soothed soaking in a hot tub at night followed by restful sleep that allowed us to repeat the process again the next day. We dreamed of more plants and more land – there would never be enough. It was a way of life that we would never dream of leaving behind.

We are now all at least sixty years old - a group of passionate gardeners with a more realistic approach to our gardening. We do not want to let it all go, but we feel the need to get it under control. Our bodies do not heal overnight. We take breaks and quit before dark. As a group, we share our experiences, learn from each other, and provide mutual support and encouragement to continue to enjoy gardening through our golden years.

Membership is limited at our monthly meetings. Those on our waiting list can visit this site and keep up with our group discussions. This Blog will continue to be refined over time – just like us!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As I prepare to write the latest entry to our blog, many happy memories of our adventures together this past spring and summer are flooding back to remind me how much I appreciate this wonderful group of fellow Golden Years Gardeners.

We've encountered things to laugh about and some to cry about, discovered new plants, shared our gardening experiences, and offered support to one another in our quest to continue pursuing our passion.  Plants left our gardens while others found new homes there.

Over the last couple of months, as summer gave way to fall,  we enjoyed meetings in Dru's and Lisa's  gardens; had fun on group visits to a couple of great nurseries; and Lisa shared her creative sense of design with us in a class at her garden in September. 

Now, the time has come to prepare for a seasonal shift. We say goodbye to daily doses of sunshine drying the soil until we sense that the plants must begging for more water. We give up discussions about how hot we think it might get and whether the tomatoes will actually ripen before the first frost. We begin to welcome fall’s misty mornings, cooling temperatures and free irrigation. Our conversations switch gears - turning to discussions of the vibrant colors of fall, curling up with catalogs, and how we'll dispose of fallen leaves.  Our wardrobes switch to warm, comfy shirts, toasty hats and gloves, weather resistant shoes, and rain gear that once again tops off the look. But the trees are holding onto their leaves and we can still enjoy the fading memories of this years' spring and summer gardens.

I hope you enjoy looking back at our late summer memories.  Thank you for enriching my life and helping create wonderful memories for another summer. I'm looking forward to sharing time together at our next meeting. The announcement should already be waiting in your email boxes.

Unfortunately, my new computer must have eaten the pictures that Lisa sent along. I have been struggling to transfer everything from my old PC to this new Mac. Although I find that I like the Mac's features, I am also finding that getting "more golden" has me longing for things to remain constant and learning new applications doesn't fit well with my routine. After spending a good part of the day searching for the location of the pictures in both computers, I've given up and hope that your imaginations will be in top form as you read this. You can also go to the nursery's website and see actual pictures. :-)

Located in the center of the northwest Portland industrial district, this nursery is a very pleasant surprise. It is a place to find special treasures of all kinds, enjoy a relaxed and informative visit with the owner, and find a touch of country with the free-range chickens that also call this their home. Thanks to Lisa for making the arrangements for our visit. Here is their website address to see pictures and find more information:  http://www.pomariusnursery.com/

Thanks to Jane Coombs', we were allowed to visit and given a tour of this nursery that only sells wholesale and most of those sales are in shipments to other areas. It would be nice if more of our local nurseries carried some of the plants I found myself salivating for, but maybe I can find them online. I remembered my camera this trip. The display gardens are magnificent with mature, tall specimen trees framing the smaller dwarfs and younger plantings. The location among gently rolling hills on the way to the coast range provides beautiful views in every direction.

A stroll around Lisa's expansive garden provides just about any aspect that we would expect in our beautiful Pacific Northwest location. She has taken a diamond in the rough and transformed it into a woodland paradise, filled with the lush, green understory we all expect when we take a casual walk along a path toward the stream. It is wonderful to see all of the progress she has made while carefully laying out and executing her design so that it flows seamlessly from sun to dappled shade to wetland below. The plants seem to be beaming joyfully in their newly reclaimed home where they are obviously loved and appreciated.

After our meeting, Lisa shared her florist's background with us, teaching how to take natural materials from our gardens and using it to create wonderful decorative pieces to enjoy in our homes. The audience was captivated as they watched, listened, and learned.

...................................Thank you, Lisa!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Thanks to Jane Coombs, our group was able to visit this private spiritual site rarely accessible to the public. It was designed and executed by the owner for her own therapy in overcoming a life altering illness. We felt privileged and honored to be allowed to visit such a beautiful and peaceful place. 
Taking the journey slowly and methodically allowed time to notice many little nuances and treasures, with obvious special personal meaning, tucked in here and there. Watching fellow creatures going about their daily routines became an ethereal experience.
Through these pictures, I hope you will mentally walk along the path, pause to reflect, and enjoy the peaceful journey.

I loved the words Donna sent with these pictures: "Just a few photos of a lovely and peaceful hour in the Reser Spiritual Labyrinth Garden". Sometimes we forget how the simple things in life can bring such intense peace and pleasure if we pause long enough just to notice.  Thank you, Donna, for capturing these memories and sharing with us. Thank you, Jane, for the opportunity to know this beautiful place.

You can learn more about labyrinths at http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Just a short drive from Kinsey Fair is Laurel Hedge Gardens. Owners Darin Simmons and Matthew Greydanus have transformed their vintage farm into a garden wonderland. Flowing down the gentle slope from the farmhouse are grassy pathways, pieces of art, a great sitting area that overlooks the pond, many water features and beds filled with plants for all seasons. It was obvious that the owners/designers of this garden are serious plant collectors and talented garden designers. The breathtaking beauty helped divert our attention from the steady downpour and chilly air and the boutique nursery helped satisfy the need to bring a memory home for our own gardens. Marian Kuch took these gorgeous shots of the garden during our visit. You can see more pictures and learn more about the gardens, design, and plants at http://www.laurelhedge.net/LaurelHedge/Welcome.html

The rainy, cool weather made for less than perfect touring conditions, but also made the gardens look even more lush and green. That is one of the reasons we all love living here where the climate creates the perfect "Gardener's Paradise"


After a very lucky run of good weather for most of our outdoor functions, Mother Nature decided to remind us not to get too comfortable before July 5th arrived - which is, as we all know, the official beginning of summer in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, this happened on a day we planned not just one, but two garden visits for our group. The first stop was Kinsey Fair, a garden I'd heard so much about but never before had the opportunity to visit. Even the wet weather could not dampen our spirits and actually may have enhanced the beauty of this lush garden in its woodland setting.

We encountered so many lovely vignettes and beautiful expansive vistas that our hearts were all aflutter with an enthusiasm that could not be dampened by the rain.


With jackets and umbrellas to beat back the cold and wet weather, we scoffed at Mother Nature. There was no way we would allow her to have the satisfaction of chasing us away from such a beautiful place.

After the tour, we gathered inside the guest house to eat lunch. What a treat to have a comfy, dry place to visit and refuel before saying goodby to Millie and Penny and continuing on to our next stop.


This has been a glorious year for foliage in the garden, and that is the silver lining behind all of the clouds that hung on and on and on………..seemingly forever at the time……..this past spring. We are now reaping the benefits with a much extended bloom season and plenty of lush growth everywhere. My clematis and daylilies are usually finished blooming by now and I’ve begun to cut them back, but I am still enjoying blooms on both. It could be September before I do any major pruning.

My goal for clearing the daylilies from the back lot to make room for Trillium is quickly becoming a reality. Thank you to everyone who gave the daylilies new homes. I saved a few of my favorites and will leave them scattered about to bask in the sunshine so that I can continue to enjoy them. They would never be so happy in the garden where all of the sunny spots have already been claimed by others. Having that space in back to spread out and experiment with abandon is such a pleasure.

I’m thoroughly enjoying what has been a very pleasant summer with the cooler temperatures. It is warm enough for tomatoes and chile peppers to set and cool enough to dig and transplant and just be in the garden. If the temperature never reaches ninety degrees this year, I’ll be ecstatic.

This past two months have flown by and my intentions of getting this blog totally updated by the end of July were not fulfilled. My new goal is the end of August. I guess I should be realistic when the garden calls me out and won’t let me come back inside. :-)
I'll be brief with recaps of our June and July meetings and then briefly recap our field trips to Kinsey Faire and Laurel Hedge in June and Reser's Labyrinth on August 9th.

It was a beautiful day to meet outside and enjoy gathering on Jane Coomb’s patio surrounded by her beautiful garden. Renee provided a table full of refreshments for us to enjoy. Thank you, Renee. 

Jane’s artistic talent is evident everywhere as she “paints” her garden masterpiece with plants of varying colors, textures and sizes. Her pruning methods are simple and straightforward and it is obvious that she has an eye for what needs to stay and what needs to go, creating a perfectly balanced plant that appears to have just grown that way. Jane gave us a demonstration and shared her pruning methods with us.

Next, we toured the garden and enjoyed seeing the troughs that Jane made last year - now beautifully planted and looking like they had always been that way.

We shared memories and a moment of silence in honor of Jo Manske as we retired her name tag and held her memory close to our hearts. 

It was an unsettled day, so we met inside my home where the weather would have no affect. Marsha brought an array of refreshments for us to enjoy. Thank you, Marsha. We talked about valuable tips and information learned at our meetings. Several members mentioned the support from the group at this time in our lives as being most helpful. This is such a fabulous group and we continue to learn and grow both our gardens and our spirits as we share our thoughts and experiences. We are so thankful to have our fellow Golden Aged Gardeners to share this time in our gardening lives.

After the meeting, the weather was perfect for touring the garden. I was happy to see that the daylilies on the back lot were cooperating so that members could make selections while they were blooming.

Several of us also checked out the “Tomcat” mole trap with a demo on how to set it perpendicular to an active run. Hopefully, there are fewer moles around these days. Click on this link for more information:

BLOG CHANGE NOTES: You will note that the link to Barbara's column will now connect you to her blog where she continues to actively write about gardening. Be sure to visit and enjoy.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Just a short trip and we were at Carolyn's garden, the huge trees making it feel as though the trip from Mike's should have taken much longer than it did - it felt as though we should be in a national forest. The curbside view didn't provide a clue that there was a woodland wonderland only a short walk away. 

Carolyn gave a brief overview of how the garden evolved into what it is today, and then, the journey began. Off we went, rounding the corner of the house where ferns and foliage gave the first hint of what we were about to experience. First, it felt as though we were in a park, then in a well maintained forest. 

Who could keep such a large place in such pristine condition? The answer is Carolyn. She maintains it all herself.

It was just about lunch time when we arrived. Carolyn provided drinks and had the patio and gazebo set up with tables and chairs. 

Many of us sat down right away and ate our sack lunches while others still had enough energy to start the tour before succumbing to hunger pains.

Once our energy was restored, we were eager to get going and enjoy the scenery. Everywhere we looked, there was beauty to behold.

 Many plants called for a closeup encounter. 

We were fascinated by Carolyn's "Mystery Plant" and maybe one of these days, someone will be able to put a name to it.

Sometimes, we just stared into the distance, trying to soak up every morsel of the view.

Beautiful pathways under huge trees invited us to continue exploring. Imaginations could run wild in this magical setting - I expected to see seven dwarfs, or maybe Little Red Riding Hood, or Hansel and Gretel............... 

But the most memorable feature for me was the pond, so natural in its setting - making it difficult to believe it is man-made.

What a glorious day it was!Thank you Carolyn and Mike for opening your gardens to us and to Diana for making the arrangements.