Wednesday, March 14, 2018

April 15th

Last date of frost for our area, so yes, it's to early to garden!   We do not open our gardens until after
this date.  It will be by appointment only!

Cutting back roses at this time and enjoying the hellebore.  We currently have only seeds from a couple years ago if you are looking for something, give us a shout.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 12, 2018

It was brought to our attention that our neighbor to the west reads our blogg when they submitted
photos to the judge in our case against them for damages to our fence.  Here it the photo that they submitted.  Great seeing the old photo but what does it have to do with the damage that their limbs did to our fence in Jan. 2017?   Their reason to submit is, we should of known that their trees behind us were there!   Excuse me here, look at the size of those trees in 1988.  Now compare them to the second photo which was taken after court, have they not doubled in size and the care is questionable!
Last year two of the trees to the north were removed as we learned that the one was split and the damage from past storms were making the tree unstable.  If you haven't read the back post on the damage to our fence it's in the blog so you can see it.

Sorry your Honor whom heard our case, but it's time to speak out!   We were floored when the neighbors played the we can't afford this card.....let's just say they drive newer vehicles than our and  these trees have costed us dearly for years.  You stated that there was no neglect on the care, come on, we have had three damages from falling limbs here and the issue is their shallow roots and the items that are parked up under these trees?   How much care have these trees had?   Let's just say no one was to touch them and we got heck if we trimmed anything that crossed the property line.  How much watering do they do?   I can tell you from the root system in our yard they are drinking when we water our yard.  There has only been one trimming prior to the new owners and the tree company stated more should come down but they weren't allowed to do the proper trimming.  Now we have new owners, the previous owner's son and they have only trimmed after we have had damage.  NO
apology, matter of fact the second damage, they tried to cover up the damage.  I have learned that when the wind blows to watch their trees!   Matter of fact, the insurance adjuster made the statement, "I should grab the dog and leave the house!!" They are not safe and when we hired an arborist we found out just how safe they are, not!!   These trees were not wind sailed and can topple over and will continue to cause damage.  After the second damage they hired a company, that only trimmed up their side of the trees and left damaged limbs on our side, which was what came down in Jan 2017.   The neighbor hired the same company to remove the two north trees, again hit the link above.  After the third damage we contacted our insurance company and went in to visit.  If we filed a claim we could loose our insurance, so we opted to take them to small claims court to collect the damages. 

I won't bore you with all the details but it's time to educate folks on neighboring trees that as many of you have talked about your own horror stories!  So this isn't new by far.

First, Clark County has no codes to protect adjacent properties!   Yep, you are on your own with this!

Second, since we live in the urban growth boundaries one can't rely on the laws that the city has in place.  Yep, they have some great laws but will do you no good and the County refused to take a look.
From permits to having a list of those they recommend one do business with.  You best know who you deal with and check out what the company has done before you hire them.  Do they have an arborist on staff with their company?   Just because they are cheap and have a license or are bonded, do you honestly think they know what they are doing?   Better safe then sorry when it comes to hiring someone to do business .  Educate yourself before you hire a company!

Third, know the laws that govern your area.   Do you have the right to trim their tree?  Or prune the said roots that have invaded your property in search for water?  That should tell you that the owner isn't properly caring for the said tree!   An arborist will tell you not to prune or cut the roots!   Why, you can do damage and then the owner of said tree,  can come back at you for damages!

Fourth, all leaf material that blows or falls onto your property doesn't allow you to sue for damages,
it is just what trees do.  But as a property owner that has looked into this, you have a right to return the said material back to where it came from!!  You just have to return what isn't yours, according to the local law enforcement.   If it's not yours, return!!  The county will also tell you that if you own a tree you are responsible to pick up after what drops but here I have watched folks allow it to blow where ever and refuse to pick it up.  These are your trees, pick it up.  Just like I have watch dog owners not pick up their animal waste and walk their animals into this area to do their jobs and not do it in their area.  Your trees, your responsibility!

Fifth, the only reason to sue someone is if their limbs or roots damage your property!   Yes, that is all one can do, due to the lack of codes.  You can't go to the Board of Equalization and tell them ya can't use your property due to what your neighbor's trees do to your property.  According to the accessor, this is a neighbor--neighbor issue.

So what do you do??   First send them a certified letter stating your issues.  When you send them one also send them one just straight in the mail.  Then you have the proof you have problems for them to address and you have a record to take to your insurance company and will need to file a copy for your records to start any court procedures.  Keep records of said issues.  Photos and record what happened on what date and time.  Prepare yourself with facts and do research on the issues.

Be prepared if your make a claim with your insurance company, know they can select to cancel your policy if you claim to much damage.  So take some time and talk to your agent.  Also why you are there check with your policy to make sure you are totally cover encase a tree does come down.  Make sure you are totally protected.    If you haven't notified your neighbor of the said problem when you should do so sooner than later!  Don't pick up the tab either!!  You pay for insurance use it and make sure you are covered.   Don't allow them to say Acts of God!!   Sorry but neglect is neglect and if the said trees have been left to just do their own without the proper care then they are a ticking time bomb.   Fir trees have shallow roots and can topple over even with the slight wind.  Do you honestly want to see your home on TV as we see many times?

From my research the county in't doing anyone justice here!!  They are not protecting property values when they allow smaller lots and someone is stupid enough to plant on the property line, put in a tree that should be planted in a forest or someone is stupid enough to plant many trees on their small lot.
Come on folks, don't ya think the tree is going to get big?   Yes, you need to prune them on a yearly bases.  Allowing them to get huge only states that you don't know how to care for them.   An 80 foot tree is dangerous!! 

Then you should also know your neighbor may not care for your choice of tree when they have to clean  up the mess it does to their yard.   Why should they have to pay for your stupidity?   Do not plant trees close to each other and think this is good for the trees.  Yes, that is so stupid it's not fair to anyone, let allow the tree.   Folks need to think about what they plant and if you don't understand, please contact someone that does.  Educate yourself!!    Planting on the property line is a habit some folks have due to not wanting to give up their space to enjoy their yard.   But remember there is no enjoyment  by one's neighbor if they have to deal with the mess.   I have one neighbor that has scalloped their  side of their trees and allow them to cross the property line on the other side, then they told a neighbor if you don't like it, you cut it.   Now is that being a good neighbor?   Same neighbor that we have watch several of their trees topple over and some are planted on their septic drain field.   Just drive around and you will see what we are talking about.  If you have a small lot you should plant only ornamental trees that will fit in the small space of your yard.  Remember you must prune to keep them small,  if you just plant and forget........ya should of just left the tree at the nursery! 

Let me end here with the good Lord put us here to be the care takers to leave what we found for generations to come.

Again your Honor if you do stop and read, more could of been stated but ya know there was a reason for our claim and the next time it will be the insurance company suing, like you stated!!  We have done their leg work just like we do the leg work for any attorney we hire!

WA State Supreme Court has addressed the neighbor's right's  when it come to tree's branches and roots that cross the property lines in the case of Gostina V. Ryland;

"The over hanging branches of a tree, not poisonous or noxious in its nature , are not a nuisance per se, to sustain an action for damages.  Some real, sensible damage must be shown to result therefrom...One adjoining owner can not maintain an action against another for the intrusion of roots or branches of a tree which is not poisonous or noxious in it's nature.  His remedy in such case is to chip or lop off the branches or cut the roots at the line."

Damaged and Diseased Trees:

In WA State, you may have to pay damages to your neighbor if a tree on your property that is damaged and/or diseased falls across your neighbor's property and causes injury, death or damage.  Your liability exists even if a so-called  "act of God" causes the tree to fall.  You can also be guilty of trespassing if you cut down or trim trees belonging to your neighbor even if you do so by mistake.

Know what your rights are and educate yourself before you take that saw /clipper in hand.


At this time we would like to thank these companies for there education information and their help in
getting this issue solved.

Cascade Tree Works, LLC
Greg Richardson , ISA Certified Arborist
Licensed, bonded and insured

He went beyond the call of duty!!

Noting that the trees in question has not had proper care, needed wind sailing and also
suggested that the tops appeared to be topped and the north tree was split.  He wrote a letter
of concern that we could send to our neighbor.

 SLR Enterprised, LLC
Jonathan Rhodes

What a beautiful man, he went beyond the call of duty and went to talk to our neighbor.
From what I was informed he offered them a deal and was willing to clean up our yard
when it dried our as he was very respectful of our gardens.   Sad to say the neighbors went
with another cheap company and he had his crew come back a few weeks later to remove
the limbs.  They were so great and only left min damage, which was repaired the same day.
It was Mr. Rhodes that recommended  Cascade Tree Works due to he was studying for his
arborist license, one stipulation we requested.


A to Z Tree Care and Service
Kelly Wayne

Whom also educated us on what he saw as in the split in the north tree, no proper care and the fact that these limbs were to close to our home.


We had three other companies come out from Home Advisors but sadly to say none of them felt
that they wanted to do the job nor did they pass what we requested.

We also checked each company out with BBB and the State.    If you are looking for tree service I can and will recommend the above companies. 

A big thank you to the City of Vancouver's Urban Forestry staff for their taking time and education us one what we should be asking and looking for.  The City of Vancouver has a great process with it comes to trees and their website is educational.

Lots of great information and they also have a list of endorsed firms that one can check out and contact.  For those of us in the urban growth boundaries of the City of Vancouver, one really needs
to check out what will be required of us when annexed.   With that stated,  annex to the City is starting to look like a great deal when it comes to the County's lack of code.  All they offer is their
Neighborhood Guide for working together for community livability in the code enforcement area.

Sorry but I don't find it being a livability with I have to deal with the mess of these trees and the lack of care.  Over the years I have become highly allergic to these!   They harbor pests and insects that eat our plant material and the constant clean up to keep our property at it's best takes time and effort that costs me close to 3 hours daily plus the cost of keeping the soil acid free.  NO grass will grow up under them and we constantly have to put out grass seed.    Let alone we can't allow our dog in the yard due to the sap and mess.  Where are my property values??    Yes I have real estate folks tell us that they would be hard sell to sell our property due to neighboring issues.  Beside where in clark county can they find us what we currently have? 

Let us know, 4 bedroom house on a large lot and landscaped to the hilt?    If you haven't made a visit, please make an appointment.   Our gardens are open after the 15th of April and by appointment only these days so that we can spend time with each visitor.    Five years ago we opened the gardens when we had our annual g and p sale and I stopped counting when I hit 450+ folks that weekend.   It depend what is in bloom when you want to visit.  We are not a typical PNW garden and love the tropical plants we grow.

Thank you for reading all this and going  back over past posts.   It is great to see that my neighbors read this but sad to say their yards are let go.    One beautiful person at one of our sales stated to us,
"How can you live by such trashy folks?"    One only smiles and state back to them, "Fences make for great neighborhoods!    Oh yes, that toilet next door is allow, Clark County Code states 1.5 cubic yards of trash is allowed.   To us it shows the caliber of what lives there.  Come on our mid after noon and you will hear the sound of their motorcycle engine to let us know they are home.  Code enforcement knows about this as I was on the phone one day with them.   Life isn't quite at the end of the deadend lane as they say it is.

We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.  
                                                                                  S. Hawkings 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January 2018

Time to start a new year and here is hoping that
everyone has a great New Year!
Time to get those seed catalogs out and plan
what to grow in this upcoming year.

We are planning a larger veggie garden this
year.  It has been so nice not having to buy
veggies for our meals.

Another plan in the works here is a new
security system.   One can never have to
many cameras?  Updated technology and
making sure the whole property is covered.
One should do this about every  5 to 10 years. 
Plus make sure you have 100 foot range on
the cameras that you put up or more cameras
with the shorter range.  Bells and whistles
are also a great feather with the ability to
select how
you view, computer or phone.

What are your plans??

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Good Question?? Due to Neighbor Issues....

I had a lady come to me the other day and said she was sad I had closed
my gardens earlier as she wanted to show a friend.  She asked why??
Fall isn't a good time to show off the gardens as we work to put it to bed for
the winter month and have to deal with neighboring issue.   We try to strip
the leaves off our plants and trees prior to the neighbors'  due to we know
what we will have to deal with on a daily bases.  I spend 2 hours or more, yea some
days all day trying to clean up what blows in.  I vac my yard at least twice a
week to get the junk out.  But why not let it decay and allow it to mulch?  NO
way if you saw the disease we deal with and to allow that into the yard, well
sorry......I don't like to use chemicals due to health conditions.  But after seeing
what is out there this fall, I know I'll be using chemicals next year!!

Y'll all know how we keep our yard and to have it trashed on a daily bases is
starting to take a tow not only physically but mentally.   If you haven't seen the
photos of last year's storm damage and know at that time I was dealing with some
serious health issue and unable to take care of the mess.   This year with putting the
health issues to rest I have been really trying to keep our yard in it's prime.   I was glad
to have many visitors stop and enjoy the gardens.  Our goal is to get folks to garden and
to make the community look better.   I really enjoyed the new friendship made and helping
the first time gardens.
 Last fall 2017 before the two trees
came down.
Last week after clean up.

Last week after clean up.

Mind you, my learning is from books and help from other gardens advice.  I have no degree
nor am I a master gardener.  One of my MG friends told me long ago you are far ahead of
what they teach and you have also gotten me to rethink what I do.    My degree is in Art Education
and long ago I was taught to listen to nature by an old time gardener.  Mother Nature has blessed
us with her knowledge.  Some of my friend classify me as a Environmental nut and all I can do
is smile.  Had my neighbor scream at me just last week, that I wasn't a conservationist........I just
laughed and yelled back at him, he sure isn't one!!  All the while he stood there with his camera in
hand video taping me cleaning out the street with my blower.  Mind you, they do nothing to their
yard and allow the leaves to blow.   Yes, we have plenty of neighbor issue here!   Which is another
reason to close the gardens early.   All one can say is if you have been here and seen the toilet in their
front yard you would know what they are about!!   I'm also betting the years of bullying would make
one want to move, but we are working on adding more fence!!   More on them later!!

We try to have the gardens open from April 15 to Nov. 1 but when we deal with what we do here
sometimes it's just best to close early.  I do have a business license as it's to protect me.   What we
do here is test plants for other growers across the globe.  Some species need testing before they are
named or registered so this is what we do.  Grow them out and give the hybridizer our findings.
We do not release plant material that we grow without their permission and have had to tell folks
they can't have the plant and it can be hard not to share but we respect those that hybridize!   We also
do hybridize and look for folks that are willing to test our plants.   I also start plants if room is available for folks but running two greenhouses full of tropicals the space is limited.

The reason we closed the gardens early is due to neighbor issues.   For over 15 years I have kept a
commitment to two County Staffers on keeping our circle clean after a couple neighbors complained
and knowing the county's budget issue, it also helped keep the leaves from going into our yard.  But I have neighbors to the east that have selected to trash the area by not doing anything to their yard for years.  They have bullied us this whole time, we have had to deal with the bus issue in the summer
and chalk all over the roadway.  The dear hanging from a tree one year and the parents moving out
and allowing the kids to live there trashing the house while they lived elsewhere.  Then there was the dog that barked all the time and getting loose.  The parties and rodents we had to take care of due to
the trash.  Constant being flipped off and the every day bullying, plus the motorcycle revving up the engine to let us all know he is home.   Life here for the past 10 years had taught us how to be a good neighbor!!  You see this past few years we have had enough,  constant religious mailing we have found in our mail, a super long list of real estate folks knocking on our door or mailings and the funny thing a resort that keeps calling saying we stayed at their resort on a certain date
and we signed up for their calls.  Haven't been to their resort, we don't belong to any church here and for a good reason!!   Nor have we put our name with any real estate person, or are they lying?  I know they target the best looking properties but come on when they tell us your neighbor sent us??   At this time I want to thank Comcast for the no more robo and we have started turning in folks as they keep calling....

Granted we looked into selling some years back but after looking at a dozen houses, we decided that
putting up more fencing is a better option.  Yes, the houses weren't the standards of what we have currently and to walk away from what we way!!   This house we bought from the folks
and let me tell you we paid full market value!  It has taken us 30 years of hard work to get out home
to look as it does!   So to all you real estate folks out there looking for a quick sale, do not bother us!!
We will add more fence and leave it at that. Plus we don't like trespassers!

Back to being a good neighbor!  For years we offered to help out our neighbors and welcomed folks
as they came into our area.  I even did the neighborhood leader for a few years and learned all that
those commissioners taught me, what I could ask for and always looked out for the whole neighborhood as this is the area where my folks moved to in the early 1960s.  Today it's gone to heck in a handbasket, so much development and now we deal with failing roadways.....hence the living at the end of a dead end lane.   But recent years, it's become more of a pain with C-Tran coming down here to turn around.  It appears they want to see the gardens and don't care about the peace and quite.
I have complained loudly.....given then another route to take but their subcontractor drivers are what they are.  Our circle isn't big enough for them to turn around without backing up and you know the drill.  I'll give you a good laugh, I contacted the head of the service there and asked why they need to come down here?  I told them about the unsafe sight distance intersection and asked if it wasn't wise
if they needed to turn around here, why they can't just pull into the driveway at the house they
service since they won't go around the loop on Lake Ridge which would put them in the right direction to pick up the client.  Look it's a handicap bus and to come down the quite lane upsets our dogs in the area.   Now the drivers do what their supervisor calls a pit maneuver and pulls into the top
of the circle to back out and turn around or they will go up further into the road and make a circle where the roadway is larger.  Did ya know they have cameras in the buses now and can watch more stopping at garage sales and touring?? 

 Some of you saw the damage we have had on our back fence.....that story goes on also.  Trying to get our west neighbor to be the 'good neighbor.' he saids he is, has been priceless!!  No joke!!  These folks moved in after the mother die and the damage last Jan was the third time our fence was damaged.  We have paid dearly due to their trees.  The first time we had a chainlink fence, the owner's grandson, so she said was the owner of the dog.  It would charge at our fence to get at our dogs, so we didn't dare let out dogs out alone.  One day I over heard her praise the dog for jumping at the fence at me while I was planting new flowers.  Her words were I don't like the new flowers, plant something else.

 We had a storm and it took out a section of the chainlink, so we contacted the insurance company.   They would only replace the chainlink but we wanted to match the north fence.  The north fence is PVC and put in after my husband caught one neighbor taking down his boards to watch me garden.
Long story short after that was, we took them to court to put their fence back to where it was after they moved it onto our property.  When it was moved back I noticed he would do anything to watch me garden, act like he was working on something to have a ladder out.  I noticed the boards being removed and it took my husband watching one day to believe what I said.  When the PVC fence went up we still had an open chainlink to the west and the guy cut a spot in his fence so he could watch.
So we opted to put in at our expense the PVC and soon after that the folks moved and they rent out the house now.   We know the PVC fence pissed off the neighbor to the west, as she too couldn't sit and watch the gardens.  Matter of fact when I had husband remove a section of the fence so I could
get the other side of the fence cleaned, she came out and started screaming....."How did you get on my property??"   I told her that the retaining wall was out property and we didn't want her to put stuff
on the wall or she would have to pay the cost of the wall if and when that would need it.   Soon after that stuff was off the wall and move away from it.  To this day I will not go over and clean the PVC.  Now we deal with the son whom now owns the house and that is another trip.  Two years ago a couple limbs came down and again it damaged the new PVC fence.  I was watching it blow and watched the limb come down on their side of the fence.  I watch someone remove the limb and put the damaged PVC piece back like nothing happened.  No one came to our door to let us know either.
I called the insurance company and they sent out an adjustor.  I was shocked when I was told, if we get strong winds, I should grab the dog and leave as these trees would come down in a heartbeat.
For years we were told to trim and the Father of the now owner showed us how.  Trim the under growth to spring the limb upward and that was all.  We were told to toss the stuff from the tree back
across the fence as he felt it was their responsibility to removal.  But once he die and the mom was there we removed up until we saw what was going on and it was time to stop paying for their neglect.

So this Jan when I was unable to get the mess cleaned up it was time to do what I do best....ACTION!!   I started calling licensed tree trimmers and one beautiful gentleman whom I felt
comfortable with informed me, he couldn't help.  Those are not your have a serious problem!!  He recommended I hire an arborist.....licensed one and get an assessment of what we were
dealing with.   I remember when we first moved in and after the father died there was a license arborist come to the door.  He stated he thought I should know the trees on our property needed thinning?   I looked at him and said they weren't ours and to go to the neighbors.  He also asked about the ones over our property line, again not ours.   He was going to talk to both  the neighbors, I told him the ones to the east, the lady was at work.  Funny thing,  a few weeks later we noticed the house
went up for sale......ya putting two and two together??

We hired an arborist and from what we were told we had a long list to do next.  We met with our insurance company and the list just got longer.  So I started with a letter to all our neighbors that had
trees adjacent to our property and they all hung over the property lines!  I took a serious look at the County's website on their take of trimming trees and quickly found that they put us into a 'Catch 22'
and if we trimmed we could be liable for damage.  Hey they hand over our property line and we weren't the stupid folks that planted them on the property line.  What is a property owner to do is they neighbor plants on the property line due to they want space for a yard??   I don't get any enjoyment form their trees and come certain times of the year they are a total pain when I have to clean up the mess they drop into our yard.  No it's just not the fall, these fir trees drop needles and limbs all the time.   We are talking 80 footers to the west and  40 footers to the east.  Then the 20 footers to the
north, ya got the picture?   To the north there is also maples that have mite damage in the leaves that have dropped for well over a month and half now and to the east other maples planted over their septic tank and drainfield.  The East Fir trees were scalped up one side to allow them to use the yard and not cared for on our side.   We were shocked when the tree guy came back to us and told us if we
would pay for the tree trimming both neighbors would allow it?   Say what, we pay for their tree service??   It gets better yet, the neighbor to the north of the east neighbors was told she had to pay to have the limb over her property removed.  Yep, she paid for it and still has issues with the trees stuff.
Back to the good neighbor to the west, after some conversation with the tree guy and finding out they wouldn't be hired to do the job.  He told me they would remove the limbs for us as he knew I couldn't do it.  What a blessing this guy was and I highly recommend him to do tree service!!   I told the guys to do their best to stay on the path and I would clean up the mess.  They were worried about the plant material under the soil and I told them the damage was done already.  They stayed on the path and really was careful.  One guy pointed out damage so I knew they didn't do it.  If you need tree service I highly recommend them, let me know.
Back to the good neighbor as he keeps saying.  They hired the same company they hired when they moved in and the other damage.  Didn't do what we asked in our letter and we had to deal with more damage in the pouring rain.  Does this not tell you about the company they hired?   All the tree folks asked whom they hired and a couple guys walked away saying they wouldn't touch what they did with a 10 foot pole, wished me luck and left.  I asked why and they said they were damaged beyond
repair.  So this is what we dealt with, I turned to mediation and was told they wanted us to pay for their tree removal......their damaged trees?   We have talked to an attorney and weighing out options at this point.  They have our bill for damages to the fence and clean up, but we have yet to see this money.  Time for court?

We asked for advance notice of cutting so we could protect the gardens, we had less than 8 hours notice and here is the mess.  We also stated in the letter we would cleanup the mess and charge them to do do as I know how these folks clean up after the last mess.  No you do not clean up in the pouring rain!!   The last time when they trimmed I watch them kick plants and only picked up a few
branches and called it good.  I was pissed and went out and started to toss stuff over the fence that they missed.  They are tree trimmers not gardeners!

Then let's talk about the Drug house across the circle, another priceless story!!  Drug busts, travel trailers, junk all over, cars coming all hours of the night, we watch as this house was sold over and over to new owners but the same folks stayed?   One neighbor complained their gas was taken from their tank.   Soon after that we got security cameras, not the cheap ones as we researched and talked to folks whom had them.   We had seen damage to the yard and foot prints so we knew what was going on.  Then our garage can went missing.....yes the two east neighbors were friends.  Again are you adding two and two?  I kept telling my husband about the cars coming and going.   So it was time to call in code enforcement.  We noticed a black truck one day and thought it was odd, there was a blatter in the back and I had watch them take liquid out of it.  Mind you these folks were always at home and always had plenty of gas for their toys.   I turned to the fire marshal on what was going on and they tried to make contact, we noticed they all would disappear.  Just like when things would go on here and they would scatter.   So the fire marshall couldn't do anything if he couldn't make contact.  We also would smell strange metals coming from their fireplace, so add two and two.  NO garbage service and the place was alway a pit, an eye sore.  They weren't better then the last tow folks that lived there so what can one say?   I talked to the Sheriff Commander Lucas one evening about what I was seeing and soon after that there was an arrest!   All I was told was they arrested a couple folks from this house for stealing gas across Clark County.  He was interested in what else was going on there and I told him I would post some videos for them to check out, don't take my word for it.
That whole house was a trip and they too started to bully us.  When they realized we were turning in stuff we saw the house being cleaned up.  I dealt Sheriff's warning us to be careful and how they would play the victim, just be careful as this is what they do.  Same thing we see with the east neighbor now that their friends are gone.   We were home on the last drug bust when the vancouver officer stop done as he noticed we were watching.  We just kind of laughed, he knew my husband and my husband was asked what he saw.  He told the officer that he needed to talk to me!  I told him I saw the guy hop the fence and take off running north before they got there.  Yes another drug bust.

Ya know, slap on some fresh paint and sell the house happened.   I watch as they took the dog waste and spread it all over the yard.  The house was painted with cheap paint and only three sides.  Needless to say before the new buyers moved in a huge limb came down into the neighbor's yard to the south.  Yes, the new owners had to take the trees out but what can one say.   My bet is they didn't do research on the house before they bought it??   Plus they believe the stories they are being told.
It's just like the neighbor to the south whom lost the gas was friends of the druggies.  More stories can be told but this is our neighborhood and what can one say.  Good to visit and see our lovely gardens but not a place you want to stay?

Yes, we have had real estate folks here when they have acted up and they know how bad it can
get.  One was here when the drunks had a party in the middle of the afternoon.  She just looked at
me and said she couldn't sell our house.  Just like the agent that was helping us a few years back, you
have a great house, but sorry I have seen what you live with when I'm here and I can't sell your house as folks don't want the drama!!


North yard

Deck area

East side
West side
 west side
West side

West side

So with all the constant yard clean up from what is dumped here we have decided to start treating our neighbors like they treat us!!   What comes from their trees go back to where it comes from.....we had a Sheriff deputy called out (Mind you we have had many called out on us, their words have been priceless from your neighbors sure play the victim to what is their problems?  Why aren't they cleaning up their yard?)  when the kids for the upteen time toss the ball into the yard and stood at the fence screaming for their ball.   I don't have time for the games so I grabbed the ball and brought it into the house.  We usually toss it back across the back fence for the dogs to tear up.  But the Officer said, "If it's not yours, you can't keep and must return!"   After telling the officer this is gone on for weeks, he said, "They must want your attention? What are their problems?"  I looked at his and saids, they called you and let me tell you they call alots.  Don't you guys track these type of calls?  Does it look like I have time for their games??

So it comes to now,  I have been cleaning up our yard daily for the past two months, it's not our stuff but neighboring stuff.  Ya know they trash our yard so it's time to treat them like we are treated.  I have been tossing it back into their yards.  We noticed the neighbors to the east have now gotten security cameras, why are they tired of shoving their phone cameras in my face?  I will just toss and wave to the camera, like the good neighbor they have taught us to be!!   Come on out Officier!!  They are not the victim they say they are!  All one has to do is take a serious look at the back yard or come out prior to whenever they decide to clean up. 

I have even this past year filed to get our taxes lowered due to what we live with daily!!

More on that story later......or should I start the book that folks keep telling me I should write?  Life at the end of the deadend circle isn't what they say it is.     

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Closing the Gardens!

October is about done!  We close the gardens on the 15th of Oct. so we can get the yard
ready for the winter months.  We are now closed and working hard to put everything
to rest.  The Brug house is now up and running and a lot of the Brugmansia are still
blooming inside.  This year we had to put on new plastic so that took a few days to
complete, photos later.  I need an other greenhouse!! 

A big thank you to all the folks that visited this year!  Now is the time to get those hard
wood cuttings rooting for next year! 

Give me a couple weeks to deal with the leaves and I'll get back to adding photos!

Here is the series on the Brug House plastic being added.

The front yard completed and read for winter.  Just need to keep the leaves
picked up!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side of The Fence

In our case, yes!  We keep our yard green
and the grass growing, not brown during
the summer months.  This means watering
and mowing!!  As some of you know we
have been fighting a yellow green grass
that has taken over our yard, we first noted it
in the spring with three large spots in the front.
After spraying crab grass killer and it still remained
we used Roundup to kill the spots then reseeded
the area.  Last Fall we killed all the grass and reseeded
the lawn area.  Many visitors are afraid to walk on
the lawn and when they ask if it's okay and learn it's
just fine.  They are shocked at what they walk on.
I had one person ask how we do it?  We know
that for a good lawn one must have the grass seed
down by Sept. 1 and growing!!  So it's time to gather
all the items to do so.  Roundup is used to kill the lawn
and let me tell you it will take two spraying.  I will also
tell you that one should use this with great care, long pants and
sleeves and mask is wise.  Roundup according to my experts is a good top soil killer and it also
will kill the roots so be warned if you have other plants near by.  Also do not spray on a windy
day as the over spray will kill.  After the first spraying of Roundup, I recommend putting down a good basic fertilizer, Scotts basic anytime fertilizer/feeder is what we use.  Next is to gather enough seed to do the area you want grass to grow.  A good quality grass seed!!  We do perennial rye, try to find a product that is mainly rye seed and not full of junk grass.  Buy enough to put done now and keep a bag to do filler for in the spring.   What do we use??  JB grass seed and you can find it at Home Depo.  I put down  two large bags in the front alone and in the spring it was full.  I keep some on hand when I see a spot that needs it.  Yes, I know every blade of grass in the front yard, you will find I walk the yard looking for grass that doesn't look right.  I then pull.  After a week, then do the second spray of Roundup and wait at least 10 hours so it is totally dry before putting down the grass seed directly on top of the brown grass.  Easy right??    We have now done this 4 times to our yard  in the about 30 years we have lived here.

Here is the north side of the house after we found the same
kind of the grass growing there.  I have pulled by hand over
26 - 5 gallon buckets of this yellow grass.  I recommend watering
before pulling and you will find it pulls easily.  Then water like
crazy to get the grass to grow and you can reseed at this time also.
During the heat of the summer I don't recommend any fertilizer as it's
a waste of money.  We do recommend that one use Golf Course Lime as our soil is acidic and to sweeten up the soil will help the grass green and better for the environment!   We only recommend Scott's early spring weed and feed and in the fall their Scott fertilizer.  Yep just twice a year!!  To rid the yard of weeds in the spring and to make the roots healthier the fall.  For here we do the spring feeding in late March or before April 15 and for the fall  no later than Oct. 15th.  But for new grass do not do this allow the grass to grow one year before
using Scott's, do things naturally for the first 9 months.  That means weeding by hand and a general all watch the grass grow.  If one sees the grass yellowing then the lime is the route to go.  Feed stores are the best place to buy the lime.  Just tell them golf course lime, glandular  
not powder and use the #8 setting on a drop spreader.

I was also asked how I put out the grass seed, I do it by hand.  It might take folks a couple times in doing so that is why the extra seed.  Casting out in one direction and then going back and casting out the other direction is the best method.

You can see by this photo the yellowing grass that needs pulling.  It's grass right so why not leave it?  I have found that this yellow grass takes over the rye and it seeds like crazy.  So if removed you will find
the rye comes back stronger and with some TLC will fill in fast.  Or one can reseed.

I will also mention that cleaning of one mower is important as it spreads the grass seed.  It's like cleaning ones hand tool so you don't spread disease to plants, a lesson one needs to learn if one gardens.  I watch lawn services mow and just put their equipment in their trailers and just wonder what they are spreading to the next job??  

So if you want a perfect lawn, it might be a ton of work to keep what you grow looking good if your neighbors don't care about their yards.  I will tell you every 6 years we kill our yard and redo our lawns as we know it's impossible to keep our yard looking great when we have neighbors around us with brown, weedy lawns.   Lawn care is just as important as planting trees and flowers.  It's about keeping the birds and bees happy!!

For those of you that live in other zones, one needs to know the last date of frost and when your area is going to freeze.  Doing this helps you determine a month and a half prior to frost is when you do the process.  Remember spray the Roundup twice and then after it dries you can put the grass seed directly down on top of the dead grass.  Then water in so the grass seed drops to the soil.

If I don't pull the weeds I use Weed Be Gone in the flower beds if the weeds get out of hand.  Remember if you disturb the soil you will get more weeds to grow.  Knowledge about the products you use will save the environment.   Weeding is a part of gardening!

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Summer Time, let the watering begin.  Hey Mother Nature, with the record spring rains, why is it
that you allow us here in the PNW to go bone dry in the summer months?  Ya know the dancing
with the garden hose is getting a little hard with us that are aging fast!!  Come on and allow us at
least a few days of rain during the week?  With that stated ya all know where I am most of the day
and yes it's not here!!  We are currently seeing the first buds on the Brugmansias but are to have
record heat this weekend, come on 90s is hot for us but at least it's just a couple days here and
later.  Love the low 80s temps the best so I have made a request to her to knock off the heat.  And
whom said there was nothing to this Climate Change??  Oh yea, that guy that site in the golden
Trump Tower and doesn't garden!!   We here have noticed the change, didn't get our garden in
until the first of the month due to the snow on the mountains.  Ya know tomatoes need the heat and
the cold spring wasn't good for the corn crop either.  It's finally in and growing, what ya bet we will
have another bad winter??   Loved the 14 inches of snow but I left Nebraska for a reason!!  Yep we
had more snow then some of my friends back there.  We had over 16 inches this year!!  Unusual but
love the white stuff where I can see it on the mountains, not the valley floor where folks have no
clue how to drive in the snow and ice!!    One tends to stay home during those white days of winter!!

Back to the gardens....... almost done cutting back the spring bloomers here.  Just waiting for seeds on some of the plants.  Have finally brought out the summer tropicals!!   Have the greenhouse almost emptied out and stuff tucked into the Brug House where it is much cooler so they won't cook.  All that is left if one Brugmansia Shorty's Variegated and my variegated tomatoes!!  They both love and need the heat to take off.

The gardens are to die for this year now that we have some of the major issues behind us, still have
the fence to repair but losing the neighbors' three trees have made a world of difference!!   We will still have to deal with the other trees when they come down.  Plus it appears the legal system will be the route to go with dealing with these.  Don't ya just love your neighbors??  Lots of drama and no respect!!  Got to love the one that drives the motorcycle and revs up the engine before shutting it down in the garage every afternoon when it comes home.   Was talking to Code Enforcement the other afternoon when Voom Voom and the staffer heard what we deal with here as we were talking about property values and changing codes!!  Yes, putting on the old shoes again and ya know it's nice to hear County Staff tell you, you are right!!    Time to get one's taxes lower as the County isn't protecting our values!!   Off the soapbox and into the real world!!  Life is just so much fun at the end of the dead end lane!!  Whom said it was quite and no traffic???

 Y'll have a great summer and I'll try to pop in and add photos when I can.