Notes from Yakima|Home & Garden Issue

by on Aug 29, 2013

Robin and Jill sit for a spell in front of a grapevine covered fountain. Photo by Jill St. George.

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.
—Elizabeth Lawrence

My new love of gardening has taught me many things. First, weeds grow faster than flowers. Much faster. Another lesson I’ve learned is that gardens are not all work, nor should they be. The work produces a result that should be enjoyed, and fall is one of the best times to do that.

Now that summer’s end is near, I’ve found myself watering less and observing more. Flowers are waning beautifully, pumpkin vines are blooming with orange globes and the light seems somehow filtered with the approaching season. Instead of manically weeding, I’m more often sipping a glass of wine on my back patio.

Jill says fall is her favorite season. “School starts, routines set in and everything seems to slow down a little — especially yard work,” she says. “Which means I get to move indoors and begin work on some of the interior projects I have planned.” And boy do we have a lot of those.

We hope this Home & Garden issue of Yakima Magazine helps to inspire you to both slow down and smell the roses and plan some projects of your own. In it you’ll find a fun feature on antiquing in the Yakima area, a look intoLaurie and Mariano Morales’ gorgeous Victorian farmhouse and some insight into upcycling your home decor. We’ve also cooked up some delicious recipes in our “test kitchen,” including revamped Rice Krispie treats and Andrea McCoy’s minestrone. Also make sure to read Chris Conklin’s story about local wood artisan Norman Brown and Carol Barany’s column that talks all about dahlias.

And there’s much more.

Don’t forget to catch us on our blog, From the Notepad, at And do send us any ideas, comments or suggestions. We love to hear from our readers! Until then, take some time to slow down and enjoy the season.

Robin & Jill

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Garden “Before”

by on Jul 8, 2013

A sign in the Yakima County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden in Ahtanum Youth Park. Oh, if my garden looked like that! (Photo by Jill St. George)

If you read our letter in the Outdoors edition that came out on Friday, you know that Jill and I have been trying our hands at gardening. I, for one, am loving it. It’s admittedly a challenge, but one I’m not shy of taking up. Having said that, a majority of my gardens are really, well, a mess.

I’m in what I call my “demolition” phase. With three very large trees recently felled, gardens that were previously shaded are now sunlit – and burned to a crisp. So most of those plants are now gone, and the ones I want to keep to transplant must wait until cooler weather. The weeds love it. So I happily pull them, while dreaming about September.

I’ve been busy in other parts of the garden, though, doing as much planting as I can (and spending many a weekend at Russell’s Nursery). But I’m trying to go slowly, since I’m still on a learning curve. A couple of lessons along the way:

1) Make sure to score the roots of a new plant before you put it in the dirt. I’ve extracted two fairly new flowering shrubs from the ground, and their roots were bone-dry, even though I watered them frequently. Once their roots were pulled out a bit to allow for water and air, they began to bounce back.

2) Don’t skip even one day of watering when it’s hot and the plant is not established. I skipped a day watering my false spiraea (see below for example), and it curled up. I’ve managed to revive it, but without much of its foliage.

So my major projects for fall and next spring are the two gardens below: the hillside garden and the quarter-moon garden.  You’ll see they’re in various states of disrepair, due to the absence of the trees that once graced them.

In the hillside garden, I’ll transplant the Siberian iris to just outside the picket fence behind. I’ll move the bleeding heart (it’s horrified at the heat and sunlight) to under an evergreen, and I’ll probably move the hostas to a place just out of sight in this picture – with more shade.

In the quarter-moon garden, my first task is to eradicate the VINCA. I can’t write that name without ALL CAPS. It’s a horrid groundcover, unless you want a flower that behaves like an ex-boyfriend: it won’t go away. It doesn’t appear that prolific here, since I’ve spent the better part of one day pulling it out. You’ll also see two aspen tree trunks that need to be dug out. I’ve managed to manhandle most of the roots (the problem) out of the garden, but the trunks must go, too. They’re just ugly. I’ll likely keep the two roses, the Dogwood and the peony, but the VINCA and the daisies will go. I’m still not sure what this garden will become, but I want to create the feeling one gets when looking at this garden art, here, on Country Living’s website. Isn’t it dreamy?

In any case, here’s a look at some of the plants I’ve put elsewhere in the gardens, and some I think are just gorgeous and belong somewhere. And a peek into a local gem of a nursery, the aforementioned Russell’s, on Tieton Drive:

So here’s to dreaming about landscaping. My hope is to post an “after” picture next spring. And for those of you readers who are fellow gardeners, send us pictures of your own! Just email us at We’d love to see the results of your own hard work!



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The Green Door is Moving

by on Jun 18, 2013

About a year ago, I spotted a new shop on Front Street called The Green Door. It’s run by Marie, who’s from Zillah, but moved her shop to Yakima, hoping to increase traffic. The Green Door’s inventory mainstay is repainted furniture, which Marie does using Annie Sloan chalk paint, which is decorative paint with a matte finish. The Green Door also carries antiques and some jewelry.

I loved the store, so I was excited to learn that this month, The Green Door moved from its cramped quarters on Front Street to the old Hallmark shop on Yakima Avenue (in the old Yakima Mall). I stopped in to see the new digs yesterday. If you’re into French Country or shabby chic, you’ll love it. Marie says she hasn’t moved all her items from the old store, so more’s yet to come.

The Green Door now includes five additional vendors (plus Marie), including a shop called The French Rabbit and another called Whimsical Details. Another bonus is that The Green Door will be open daily: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Marie’s planning an open house on Monday, July 1. Check out updates on her Facebook page.

Here’s a glimpse inside:

This is one of the outdoor table sets on display. Love the color.


Cloches and Americana knick-knacks.

There's quite a bit of furniture, including stools, chairs, tables and mirrors.

A moroccan-style bird cage, with candlesticks, on top of a painted desk.

A painted and stenciled coffee table.

Marie still carries Annie Sloan chalk paints, which she uses to repaint old furniture.

How cute is this Americana birdhouse?


And a close-up...


Neat way to display necklaces ... on a paper mache model.

Love chalkboard signs!


...and this is the entrance - right off Yakima Avenue.

 The Green Door • 317 E. Yakima Ave.509-945-1031




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Wine Bottle Garden Border

by on Apr 2, 2013

Wine bottle border from the garden of Joyce and Tony Sagare. Photos by Sara Gettys.

With our wine edition coming out this Friday, we thought it would be fun to show you how to use your old wine bottles as garden decor.

In 2010, we featured Joyce and Tony Sagare’s secret garden in Yakima Magazine, in which they showed us how they use wine bottles to create a decorative border in their garden. They simply turned the bottles upside-down and then pushed them into the soil. They chose to randomly alternate sizes and colors for an eclectic look, but you could do something more uniform as well. The Sagare’s used their wine bottle border to section off a patch of daylilies, with walking paths on either side.

The next time you think about tossing an empty wine bottle, you might think twice, and consider starting your own secret garden adorned with a shiny wine bottle border.

The Sagare's put a colorful wine bottle border around a patch of daylilies.

The wine bottle border is also adjacent to a walking path.

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Feather Your Nest

by on Nov 1, 2012

Feather Your Nest is hosted by Stephanie Agledal, Kristin Hayes & Katie Dauer. Photos courtesy of Feather Your Nest by Samantha Deyette.

After having heard about the Feather Your Nest Sale, I can think of few ways I’d rather spend my time. But of course, that’s coming from a total design junkie. Twice a year – in the spring and in the fall, Stephanie Agledal, Kristin Hayes and Katie Dauer take over a local resident’s home to create a two-day unique “pop-up” boutique. It’s filled with one-of-a kind vendors selling rustic cottage, shabby chic and French country decor, that’s been re-purposed or hand-crafted.

This year the sale takes place at 4710 Richey Road in Yakima. It kicks off at 5:30pm Friday and goes until 9pm. They’ll open their doors again at 9am Saturday morning for a day filled with shopping fun.

Take a peek at some of the darling decor from past events…

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Pretty Little Vanity

by on Sep 25, 2012

Pretty little vanity from Attic Clutter.

Last January I moved into a darling little craftsman style cottage. It was built in the twenties with hardwood floors, wide baseboards, built-in bookshelves, glass doorknobs and the cutest little wood-burning fireplace I may have ever laid eyes on. But there are some drawbacks to old homes too. I have a serious electrical outlet problem – or lack there of. I searched the bathroom high and low until I finally accepted the fact that I am not going to find an outlet in there – because one doesn’t exist – ugh!

But a girl has got to have a space of her own to do her hair and makeup, which gave me a great excuse to buy this darling little antique vanity. I found it tucked away in a little corner of Attic Clutter, an antique store on Yakima Avenue. I keep my hair products and appliances in the bottom drawers, and use the smaller drawers on top to store cosmetics. It’s also a great space to display my jewelry and hair accessories.

My pretty little vanity has become one of my favorite pieces of furniture – it’s absolutely perfect!

I love mixing and matching vintage dishware to hold and display my jewelry.

I found this over-sized goblet at St.Vincent's Center for $1.49. It's perfect for my big bracelets.

I love the detail on the vanity's hardware.

Little wheels for feet add charm, but also make moving it easier.

This darling little dish is another thrift-shopping find. It's perfect for smaller pieces like rings, watches and hair pins.

This piece was featured in the Sept/Oct edition of Yakima Magazine. It's also a vintage thrift-store find from the Old Lighthouse Shoppe. It holds my scarves.

Although I rarely wear this perfume, the pretty little Prada bottle is irresistible.

This unique piece is perfect for brooches and hair accessories.

This jewelry stand perfectly organizes and displays my bracelets and necklaces. Every girl should have one...or two!

Check back tomorrow for the DIY tutorial on this ribbon-wrapped jewelry stand.


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