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!

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.