A Labor of Love ~ The Gardens of the Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast

Guest Blogger
Kathe McIntire
Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast
Cottage Grove, Oregon

It was determined by Kathe in 2001 that a project that required physical labor and exercise was in order. So the garden at the Apple Inn B&B began.

The Apple Inn Garden Story

The Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast in Cottage Grove, Oregon"I discovered a delightful yard next door to my daughters family in Creswell and in my curiosity was leaning over the fence and gawking when the lady of the house came home. She gave me the tour and the name of guy who had designed and created her special yard. Nolan Blansit became my designer and drew a plan that even a novice could use.

"The summer was spent in digging up the beds and discarding mountains of sticky clay soil in favor of purchasing soil that plants would actually like to live in. Then the adventure of visiting every nursery I could find in order to purchase the hundreds of plants on my plan. Fall arrived and each day after teaching school I would come home to my raingear and plant until dark. I measured according to the plan and put plants that had little appearance of life in the ground. A thankless job it seemed as I had little idea of what these lumps of dirt with little sticks on top would actually look like. No mulch this first year as I was out of time and money and energy.

The Gardens of the Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast in Cottage Grove, Oregon
"Then spring began and there was green attached to the little sticks and I could not wait to wake up, grab a cup of coffee and see what was appearing in my dirt each morning. It was like Christmas everyday for the whole growing season and I was dragging everyone who would allow it out to the garden to see the little plants grow and bloom.

"The garden has evolved and changed over the last 9 years. Some transplanting and of course dividing has changed the plan some. Pruning is now a full time event when years ago I would never have thought to cut anything as there was not enough to spare. I have ventured out from the original plan and added and subtracted where it seemed a good idea. It was not always a good idea but it was my idea and labor and my garden so there you go.

"I am limited by the great amount of shade that our forest setting provides so there do not get to be many sun loving plants in the plan. When I add plants I am learning to read the label and look for shade to part sun so I am not killing the poor choices.

The Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast in Cottage Grove, Oregon
"I enjoy the work and challenge of the landscape and even though I get tired of the weeds, I get satisfaction from removing them and hoping they are gone for good. (ha!) I have learned to mulch and mulch and mulch. It makes my plants happy and comfy and irritates the weeds a little. I have learned to have trucks bring large loads of soil and mulch and dump them in big piles where I can wheel them to their new destination. These piles are handy for those impulsive days when I decide to make a change, move a plant, or create something different. I have learned to feed the plants and water them more, they like me better for it. Soaker hoses and a watering system needed to appear in this plan early on. My husband is really good at repairing the hoses as I manage to chop them in pieces when I make my impulsive changes. And there are the deer. I have learned that some plants must be placed in pots on the deck or they are just going to be dinner. I have learned to plant some things the deer like close to the fence in hopes that it will keep them busy and they will leave the others alone. (ha!) I have learned to find plants that the deer don’t like so much.  I enjoy my garden and love to share it with others, just not the deer, gophers and voles!"

Imagine yourself relaxing in the gardens of the Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast in Cottage Grove, Oregon
The Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast in Cottage Grove, Oregon is a distinct member of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild and was chosen by a committee of gardeners to be included in a Garden Tour set up as a fundraiser for a worthy cause, this past July. 

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild take pride in providing a relaxing and personal getaway both in their gardens and within their unique inns.  Make your plans to visit one very soon.


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