Magazine article Sunset

Bare Dirt To.Shady Retreat in about Two Years

Magazine article Sunset

Bare Dirt To.Shady Retreat in about Two Years

Article excerpt

Visiting Eric Holdeman's garden in Puyallup, Washington, like stepping into a forest meadow. Towering firs, spruces, and cedars surround the garden, giving it privacy and. Across the lower portion of the lawn, a perennial bed sends up blooms throughout the year. Square -foot vegetable beds hug the house just outside the back door.

None of this was in place when the Holdemans moved into their house eight years ago. "This was my first true attempt at building a garden from scratch," says Eric Holdeman. `All topsoil (if any) was gone, and we had lots of rocks."

After Holdeman drew a rough diagram of the site, he contacted a local nursery and paid $150 for a customized list of plants that work well in the Northwest. "That [plan] gave me a starting point," says Holdeman. "A little professional help goes a long way." Then he set a few basic goals: to build brick-on-sand walkways, to plant trees and a perennial bed, and to build small beds for vegetables. …

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