Debb Dodges Raindrops - Exploring Clark County Washington

Nature as Neighbors - Gardeners Experience Zen Digging in the Dirt

Nature as Neighbors - Sun Chart for Garden

If you're like me, digging in the dirt can calm, ground, and refresh your mood, all at once.  It's truly an enjoyable endeavor that also pays off in beautiful blooms and tasty vegetables and fruits. Studies have shown that gardening can have a meditative, healing effect on people - one study coined the phrase Horticultural Therapy.  It is definitely an area in our lives where we experience "elbow room for the soul".

In Clark County, WA, you'll have to adjust your gardening style to the different conditions within our region. For example, those of us who live in East County - Fishers Landing, Camas, and Washougal have gorge winds to reckon with as they can cause problems with our plantings.

Strong winds tug at delicate root systems and prevent optimal growth. In addition, the wind dries out soil, therefore gardeners must be mindful and water deeply and with more frequency to avoid stress.  Pathogens are also carried from one plant to the next, especially when accompanied by rain (that never happens around here, right?).

Facing the Gardening Challenges of Windy Conditions

You can create barriers for your more delicate plantings (eg. tomatoes) to help block the winds. Small retaining walls, mesh screens, and trellis panels can be quite effective.  Some gardeners create small recesses within windy slopes or other areas. These pockets are surrounded with a build up of stone or rocks and covered with a heavy layer of mulch to help retain moisture.

Thoughtful placement of trees and shrubs can also provide wind protection for your garden in East County. Consider hardy varieties such as redbud, mountain ash, dogwood, and Japanese maples, to name a few. We like shrubs such as rose hips, lavender, and high-bush cranberry. It's essential that windbreaks are 50% permeable to filter the winds.

We've designed our raised-bed garden on a terraced southern slope that gets more sun and less cold north winds. Terracing makes it possible to garden on a slope with little concern over erosion. The heat stored by the terrace wall above each strip provides a bit of thermal protection for the crops below.

Gardening provides such a feeling of satisfaction. Digging in the dirt is good for the soul and our health. You can't get much more fresh and local than the harvest from your own garden. Here's to a great growing season in East Clark County, Washington.



ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






Next weekend will be digging in the dirt days.  My wife is buying all the plants for the flower bed which I will have to help to put in so I will let you know how calm I will be onces it it over.  lol

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 4 years ago

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - while I say I do not enjoy gardening everything I do play in the dirt - plant new plants ... I always feel refreshed and renewed ... although tired and sore from all the bending and squatting. Anything and everything in nature has a healing component. 

Your post provides helpful information on how to deal with and manage the conditions in your area ... strategic planting to create wind barriers ... all good stuff here. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 4 years ago


I am looking forward to seeing your garden.  We both are fond of terracing, it is lovely to look at.  Wishing you and Bernie a great week.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 4 years ago

Hi Debb, I can't say I'm a gardener but do enjoy playing in the dirt every now and then, it's calming for sure. 

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 4 years ago

Debb and Bernie

We've had to adapt our gardening to the drought and growing conditions here in SoCal that are dramatically different from what we had back in New England. Must longer growing season, though!

Most of our gardening right now is in containers, in large part due to space.

Some great tips here! Hope your gardening yields must pleasure and relaxation, and some wonderful fruuits and vegetables!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Hi Debb, proper planning is key to getting the most out of your flowers and garden. Thanks for the great advice.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 4 years ago

This is great information to share with area residents. 

We are doing some planting this afternoon in Maryland.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 4 years ago

Great tips, and this weekend hopefully will be a great time to get out into the yard!

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) over 4 years ago

Hi Debb - Great information and Mary would completely agree about the psychological benefits of gardening - she set aside enough time to spend most of last weekend playing in the dirt and getting the gardens going for the summer.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 4 years ago

Digging in the dirt and planting beautiful plants does put me in a zen mood.  Great chart!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 4 years ago

This probably adds to the reason as to why I cannot grow a I will try to remember this.

Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) over 4 years ago

I often have true gardeners point out sunlines to me so they can get their zen on Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) over 4 years ago

Hi Debb and Bernie -- another thoughtful and well-written post.  While my gardening is confined to containers, I agree about the theraputic benefits of some well-placed dirt on your hands.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 4 years ago

I am not a gardener but I could see how the chart would be very helpful. Thanks.

Posted by Ted Glover, ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422 (Alderman Classic Realty, LLC) over 4 years ago

I am not a gardener and don't have that issue, which would be a problem with so many tall trees around the property

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 4 years ago

Great tips to help homeowners take advantage of nature's assets.  This information is likely to help a lot of gardners.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 4 years ago

Yard work in general is so therapeutic to me! We spent all weekend digging, and pulling to make our garden grow!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Debb my therapeutic action is Cooking and funny part is Diane does not see me as being distressing...when I chase her out of "my kitchen":)Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 4 years ago

Debb, having grown up tending to a big garden I completely agree that digging in the dirt is very therapeutic. I am looking forward to seeing your garden, I bet it's going to be spectacular. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

This is such an educational article. Clearly, landscaping has many benefits and knowing which direction to build on or buy property is a very important part of the equation.

I am so grateful for this wise post and extremely grateful to you!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 4 years ago

I love gardening and use it as therapy. This is a good locaism post. One needs to know about the different conditions.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) over 4 years ago


Your tips are timely . . . . we are putting a small garden for the summer . . . . and your tips will help.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago

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