Nature as Neighbors - Gardeners Experience Zen Digging in the Dirt

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

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.


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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”.






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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


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

May 23, 2016 01:17 AM #3
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

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. 

May 23, 2016 01:37 AM #4
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

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!


May 23, 2016 01:38 AM #5
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

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

May 23, 2016 02:14 AM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is great information to share with area residents. 

We are doing some planting this afternoon in Maryland.

May 23, 2016 02:36 AM #7
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

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

May 23, 2016 02:41 AM #8
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

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.

May 23, 2016 03:07 AM #9
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

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

May 23, 2016 03:44 AM #10
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

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

May 23, 2016 03:54 AM #11
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

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

May 23, 2016 03:56 AM #12
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

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.   

May 23, 2016 04:49 AM #13
Ted Glover
Alderman Classic Realty, LLC - Moultrie, GA
ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422

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

May 23, 2016 05:57 AM #14
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

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

May 23, 2016 12:04 PM #15
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

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

May 23, 2016 12:12 PM #16
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

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

May 23, 2016 12:28 PM #17
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

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

May 23, 2016 04:57 PM #18
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

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. 

May 23, 2016 11:27 PM #19
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

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!

May 24, 2016 01:41 AM #20
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

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

May 25, 2016 02:02 PM #21
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


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

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 27, 2016 12:25 PM #22
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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