U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When I Love My Big Fir Trees

I have a love-hate relationship with fir trees which encompass our yard and garden. When we bought this property, we noticed how nice it was encircled by them. The firs, which are about 50-60 years old, are quite tall and stately. They create a great background for my garden. Moreover, they shield the garden plants from strong winds and serve as insulation from cold temperatures. Sometimes, when the surrounding areas are white from frost, our lawn remains green thanks to them. I feel like we have our own microclimate.
I do love our fir trees for that.

 On the other hand, the trees represent a challenge when it comes to working with the soil and planting.
 The tree roots create a dense mat, make digging a chore, suffocate my perennials, stretch under the stepping stones and destabilize them.
Wherever I dump good soil, the roots will find it and compete with the garden plants for water and nutrients.
I wouldn't call it hate, but dealing with the fir roots irritates me.
Nevertheless, I readily can overlook my misgivings regarding the fir trees in winters when we have a rare snow.
Let's not mix apples and oranges. Mess on the roads, bad traffic, cold, etc. has nothing to do, in my book, with the beauty of the evergreens covered with snow.
I spent a couple of hours in the garden on the 9th of February, walking around, looking at it from here and there. I do love my snow-covered garden.
The firs seem to be like curtains framing the garden. They look like textured three-dimensional  screens. What would my garden be without them?

I know I show my gazebo too often, but it is a landmark in my garden!

What is behind those trees in the background? Something. But, I don't see it, I don't think about it.
The trees are the walls. Beautiful walls of the big garden room, and the gazebo is a 'piece of furniture'.

Deciduous trees and shrubs are gorgeous with such a rich dark-green background which sets them out:

( Japanese maple, Lilac, Wild rose bush)

How would this little sculpture of a boy with a turtle look without the green trees?

I am so glad I didn't cut several huge low-hanging branches:

 They fill the space, give me a sense of coziness like being in the real deep woods.

Isn't it a perfect frame for the birdbath?

One of the respected landscaping specialists recommended to cut down 
one of these two fir trees growing next to each other (Pictures below). 

 I know, I make some mistakes, but I'm pleased with myself for not following that advice.

Or should I? Cut down the left one and leave the right one? No.

Trees are the perfect place for garden accessories:

And their bark! Isn't it beautiful?
Below is the only Western Hemlock in our garden, Tsuga heterophilla, 
which is the state tree of Washington.

Aralia's  big lobbed leaves look very nice next to the firs' needles (picture above), as well as to the smaller foliage of Escallonia and Ligustrum  (picture below).

Several fir trees, together with the evergreen salal and huckleberries, on the left, camouflage my compost pile:

When there are no colorful flowers, different shades of green  are pleasant to the eye.

Brown and red colors also pop up.

There are times when the fir trees, with their roots and tons of cones and  branches, give me additional chores, but I still love them and appreciate their role in my garden.

***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS


  1. So so every pretty all the trees and green.
    As you know I am not a gardener but I sure do love coming here and looking at your garden.
    Winter Spring Summer and Fall.

  2. Great shots. It hasn't snowed here in England yet!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  3. We have similar feelings about the cedars that surround us. Our neighbor is always offering to limb them up for us. He doesn't know what to make of our polite refusals. Shame on anyone who counsels you to break up the love affair between those two trees and good for you for not bowing to the pressure.

  4. So beautiful! Never too many pictures of the gazebo either!

  5. Pięknie wygląda Twój ośnieżony ogród i ozdoby na drzewie. Jodły masz olbrzymie, ale i zielone palmy widzę. Pozdrawiam.
    Your looks beautiful snow-covered garden and ornaments on the trees. Fir trees have huge, but I see green palms. Yours.

  6. Love all the shapes snow makes in a garden. You have a lot of great plants for winter interest.

  7. Yes, I agree. Your garden is cozy and lovely--and a great deal of that mood is set by the evergreen background. Especially this time of year when the snow nestles so magically on the branches. It would be a different garden without them, that is for sure.

  8. I understand what you are saying, Tatyana, because I have a love-hate relationship with several plants in my garden. My walnuts trees are a case in point, with their juglone poisoning my soil, but their stately beauty in all seasons making me forgive their faults. Never too many gazebo pics!! P. x

  9. Hi Tatyana! It´s been a long time since I visited you and your blog, but here I am! I know that love-hate feeling... But I do believe that if you cut them down your garden would look naked! We have a Malus outsid the frontdoor that I´d love to cut down for so many years! But now I´ve completely changed my mind and I love it (almost) during all the different garden seasons. The bark, the flowers in May and the birds outside my bedroom windor all year long... I don´t want to be without that!

  10. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos! Snow always look so nice for the first few days. Then it gets annoying!

  11. Beautiful SNOWscapes....... when we thought colours tickle some sense of beauty, whiteness gives the same effect. Have a nice weekend.....

  12. Thank you everyone! I'm happy that you share my vision of beauty!

  13. I always admire your stately and beautiful green walls when you show images of your garden. Towering evergreens are one of the very special things about the Pacific Northwest that make me love it here and those in your garden are gorgeous!

  14. They are so lovely with the snow on them. They can be such a wonderful wall or screen around your home. I think it makes us feel secure somehow. I like a little privacy at times and welcome being behind my trees. Happy Valentines and have a lovely weekend.

  15. Love all the snow captured in your photos...but I know they are much lovelier in person.
    I tried so many times to photograph that glittery, sparkly icicle look on tree branches but they were hard
    to capture on film. Really like your colorful moon ornament, Tatyana!

  16. I agree the fir trees where the snow well. And your garden is fabulous in snow. I also show my gazebo a lot but they are great landmarks not to be missed.


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