Frazel garden San Juan Island 2015- present

Elaine and Miles Frazel didn’t intend to make this the home it has become. Elaine didn’t intend to garden either but a home and garden have flourished and I am fortunate enough to have been a part of it from the start.

A cloak of blackberry thicket over a pile of cobble and tires, rusty, slightly recognizable bits of vehicles, bottles and old metal cans transformed, with the help of Forrest’s mini excavator, a flail mower and multiple buckets and thumbs. First a fence, a few maples, that all died from verticillium wilt, and then it all rolled on from there; a parade of plants and a passion revived.

Brief: sandy soil, deer browsing, within sight of the sea, sun, wind, desire to minimize irrigation; all limiting and expanding.

It has become a kind of on-going experiment nourished by my own passion for plants, combinations and ecological design and Elaine’s love and commitment to her blossoming garden and learning new things. It has become richer everyday for each of us. It is a joy to be in and grow.

Most plants are chosen for their suitability to dry, free-draining soils, sun and wind, and deer presence, browsing and rubbing; the last one is most difficult.

Forrest begins the bramble removal. November 2015

Forrest begins the bramble removal. November 2015

First trees going in, soil prepped. I admit to using machines when necessary. This soil can handle it. Brambles make enrich; there is not doubt about that.

First trees going in, soil prepped. I admit to using machines when necessary. This soil can handle it. Brambles make enrich; there is not doubt about that.

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