Back to Previous

Old Dog, New Tricks

  • overview

    In the 1990’s, Maurice Horn left a mainstream job to co-found Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, Oregon. He and Mike Smith “created the nursery they always wanted to find”, one that specializes in hardy perennials, shrubs, clematis and small trees. Maurice will talk about his move from a small urban garden to his partner’s existing, 10-acre garden on Sauvie Island and how it has led to many new understandings about the craft and the art of gardening.

    Suddenly changing from a site with compacted clay soil to one with loamy sand led to unexpected possibilities and some surprising disappointments. In addition, the forest and fields around the site were inhabited by a herd of hungry deer, countless undermining moles, and snails by the thousands.

    This is gardening on a grand scale. The setting overlooks a state park and encompasses vistas of distant mountains and hills. Deciding how to incorporate the work of two previous designers, as well as many previous gardeners, and still maintain the astonishing views was the first priority. Learning how to choose a plant palette that speaks to the landscape, yet allows them to satisfy their need to try new plants has been a struggle. They’ve learned how to frame the natural world around them and to open up the landscape where once they might have filled it.

    Maurice’s Horn presentation on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 6:30pm at CenterPlace, 2426 N Discovery Place in the Spokane Valley, WA is entitled “Old Dogs, New Tricks.” People who have long been used to doing things in a particular way will not abandon their habits easily but it is possible to learn new ways and amaze even yourself. So don’t let clichés about old dogs hold you back: keep growing.

  • map