Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A special Open House!

Here's your chance to check out this gem of a nursery quietly hiding right under our noses here on Vashon! Carole Lynn Ives & Rick Paquette of Robinwood Nursery, a wholesale nursery that can also be found from time to time at some of the larger local plant sales including the Vashon Garden Tour Art Market, will be hosting a rare Open House at their Nursery this Saturday, September 22nd from 9-4! Robinwood will have a huge inventory of plants for sale to make room for all the new stock they will be growing through the winter to have available for spring. Robinwood specializes in a unique selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, groundcovers, dwarf conifers and a huge selection of hardy fuchsias. Stop by, I'll be on hand to help answer any questions you may have about some of the plants available and for general gardening advice. This is a sale not to be missed! Come with your checkbooks ready and cash on hand!

Click on the Image for a link to their website,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall is the new Spring!

Lots of exciting events coming up this month! Check back frequently to keep updated on all the gardening demos & nursery sales and how to join in the fall gardening fun! I'll also be posting the essential fall gardening checklist and highlighting some of my favorite fall gardening projects. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Have a WINNER (or 5)!

Announcing the lucky winners of the Garden Tour Raffle Prizes....

Planted Container donated by Me(!), retail $250
WINNER - Carol Maki

Salt & Pepper Granite Bench donated by Marenakos Stone, retail $575
WINNER - Gary Koch

5 yards of Organic Compost delivered from Vashon Bark & Soils, retail $250
WINNER - Dan & Nancy Connolly

14 cubic foot Garden Cart & Tools donated by Vashon True Value, retail over $350
WINNER - George Thieme

$250 Shopping Spree to Kathy's Corner Nursery
WINNER - Christa Gomez

A BIG congrats to all our winners! 
Also, a HUGE thanks to the businesses who donated these wonderful raffle prizes.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Peony Photo Courtesy: Tom Conway

Check out Tom Conway's blog post on for a little sneak peak at the beautiful blooms gracing the stage for his garden talk tomorrow at the Foster garden, "Grand Dames of the Garden".

A little Rain Never Hurt No One...

Secrets to Fantastic Container Creations Garden Talk with Melissa Schafer (that's me!)

Despite the bouts of torrential downpours, I'd consider today a success! The die-hard gardeners were out in force donning their finest rain attire and umbrella accessories. The Garden Talks entertained enthusiastic crowds and the Art Market maintained a steady flow of visitors admiring the fantastic garden art & the great plant selection at the Robinwood Nursery booth. For those of you "fair-weather" gardeners out there - don't despair - the sun is beginning to peak out this afternoon and promises to make an appearance throughout the day tomorrow.

Tour tickets can be purchased at the Blue Heron (Vashon Allied Arts) for $25 and don't forget to pick up a couple $5 raffle tickets for your chance to win one of the 5 fantastic raffle prizes including my fully planted demo container with free delivery. Follow the link to find out more about the raffle prizes. Garden Talks will continue throughout the day Sunday and a description of the individual garden talks can be found here.

See you there! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunday's Garden Talks

Jonathan Morse - Recognizing Design Details in Inspiring Landscapes
Garden Entrance at the Morse Garden, Photo Credit: News Tribune
Jonathon Morse has been a part of the design and horticulture industry for fifteen years though his interests in the field were cultivated as a youth. “I am living my dream, gardening on my family's land here on Vashon; it has given me the opportunity to express my creativity without limits.” Jonathon will be leading tour guests through the Carhart garden Sunday at 11 identifying and discussing design details they have implemented to create a landscape to be remembered. “I will discuss where we can seek out inspiration for the details that will make our own garden a truly unique work of art; our world is filled with inspiring features that can be adapted to our home landscape.” You’ll walk away with a renewed approach to seeking out inspiration for your own garden designs.

The Lavender Sisters - Essential Oil Distilling

Photo Provide by Chris Beck
The Lavender Sisters; Merrilee Runyan, Dana Illo and Katy Jo Steward have been collectively farming lavender and handcrafting a variety of fine lavender products on Vashon for going on 13 years; selling their lavender bouquets and sweetly scented balms and lotions to wholesale florists, Puget Sound Metropolitan Markets and farmers markets throughout the greater Seattle area. The Lavender Sisters will be sharing their unique process of distilling essential lavender oils which are then used to create their organic lavender products Sunday at 11am in the Soholt garden. 

Sara Van Fleet - Gardening for Wildlife

Photo Credit: Sam Van Fleet

Designing the garden with wildlife in mind doesn’t just mean selecting plants that deer won’t forage but also incorporating plants and creating habitat to encourage a wider range of birds, pollenators and other animals. Sara Van Fleet, a passionate gardener and wildlife enthusiast has transformed her 3 acre property on Vashon into an oasis for wildlife by providing a mix of natives and ornamental plants with attractive flowers and berries as well as protective habitat for nesting birds and animals and a thriving pond eco-system. Sara will be exploring some of the key components to creating a wildlife-friendly landscape at noon in the Pearson garden.   

Tom Conway -  Introducing the Grand Dames of the Garden

After years of urban living, blogger Tom Conway of opted for the “country life” moving to Vashon Island and settling into a sweet old farmhouse on four acres of possibilities. “Gardening has always been a passion and constant in my life; there is joy to be found in the blossom, and the leaf.”  When Tom’s not making compost, plotting against scotch broom, and shooing (not shooting) deer, he’s blogging about his exploits in gardening and cooking as well as the comical antics of his two bulldog companions. “As a fan of big bossy flowers, I’m eager to share my gardening tips for growing bodacious blossoms that can’t be ignored.”  Stop by the Foster/Fillinger garden Sunday at noon where Tom will introduce a few of his favorite “Grande Dames” of the garden: Lilies, Peonies, Dahlias & Roses.

Saturday's Garden Talks

Jan Nielsen - Stone in the Garden
Surrounded by over 8 acres of river rock, quartzite, granite and basalt it’s safe to say that Jan Nielsen, Project Manager at Marenakos Stone in Fall City, knows a thing or two about this versatile design element. Stone is often used naturally among plantings, as pathways, retaining walls and to provide sculptural art in the landscape. Join Jan at 11am Saturday where he will be discussing the stone installations featured within the Carhart landscape and share with listeners how to select and install stone for their own garden projects.

Dave Hunter - Mason Bee Expert & Educator

Dave Hunter of Hunter’sMason Bees in Woodinville and Crown Bees educational website and online mason bee product supplier, is working to change pollination methods for future orchards across North America. Dave has partnered with 500 gardeners across the NW (70 just on Vashon) to raise mason bees to improve the health of their orchards, gardens and overall landscape and promote healthy mason bee populations. For more information on Mason Bees and how to get involved, stop by the Pearson garden at noon on Saturday.

Melissa Schafer (Hey, that's me!) - Secrets to Fantastic Container Creations

I'll share my secrets to designing a container using design elements focusing on plant structure, texture & color to bring your container to life! Similar to incorporating art into your garden, a single container in the landscape provides a focal element and by grouping containers together, your able to create a versatile extension of the landscape with a condensed pallet of plant texture and color combinations. Watch step by step as the container comes to life Saturday at 1pm at the Soholt garden and be sure to purchase a raffle ticket to take the container planting home with you! 

 Leda Langley - Top Plant Picks for the Garden

Hollyhock, Columbine & Scabiosa
Leda Langley is part of the husband and wife team behind Langley Fine Gardens, a wholesale nursery specializing in the unique and hard to find varieties of vegetables and annuals including over 100 varieties of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants suitable for the PNW and custom blends of salad greens. Leda will be sharing some of the exciting plants they are growing this year including the “black” flowering varities such as ‘Sooty’ dianthus, Scabiosa ‘Ace of Spades’ and ‘Watchman’ Hollyhock as well as some of her continued favorites like the night scented flowers, hummingbird attractors and the rare Echium pinninana - a 12’ tall biennial from the Canary Islands producing tall cones of lavender colored flowers, a favorite of honeybees. Leda will be sharing Saturday, 2pm in the Foster/Fillinger garden and their unique plants will be available for purchase at their farm stand conveniently next door.

Garden Talks & Demos Schedule

This year's Garden Tour boasts a wide variety of Garden Talks & Demos being offered free to tour participants. Garden experts, artists and enthusiasts will hold presentations in the gardens throughout the day Saturday & Sunday sharing their knowledge and expertise to fuel inspiration and cultivate confidence in tackling gardening projects. Learn the latest in gardening trends, how to select and install stonework, create beautiful container arrangements and how to design a garden that fits your lifestyle. In addition, garden hosts Sylvia Soholt, Barry Foster, Whit Carhart & David Pfeiffer will engage listeners with an introduction to their garden highlighting their design inspiration and features that make their gardens unique. Each host will be scheduled to speak throughout both tour days. Check out the Garden Talks Schedule below and plan to make a full day out of your Garden Tour experience! For more information about the individual garden talks, you can check out the posts to follow highlighting Saturday & Sunday's speakers.

11am – Jan Nielsen in the Carhart garden 
11am – David Pfeiffer (Garden Host)
11am – Sylvia Soholt (Garden Host)
Noon – Dave Hunter in the Pearson garden
Noon – Barry Foster (Garden Host)
1pm – Melissa Schafer in the Soholt garden
1pm – Whit Carhart (Garden Host)
2pm – Leda Langley in the Foster garden
3pm – David Pfeiffer (Garden Host)

 11am – Jonathon Morse in the Carhart garden
11am – David Pfeiffer (Garden Host)
11am – Lavender Sister in the Soholt garden
Noon – Sara Van Fleet in the Pearson garden
Noon – Tom Conway in the Foster garden
1pm – Sylvia Soholt (Garden Host)
1pm – Whit Carhart (Garden Host)
2pm – Barry Foster (Garden Host)
3pm – David Pfeiffer (Garden Host)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mukai Update

Mukai Homestead Surrounded by Fence

In an unfortunate, albeit not totally surprising turn of events, the Mukai Garden Open House did not go as planned. However, the turn out of islanders eager to show their interest & support in the efforts to restore & revitalize the organization & property did not dissapoint with over 100 people in attendance. We feel confident that with the support of our wonderful community and the hardworking and dedicated team driving the effort, the Mukai property will once again thrive.

Mukai Homestead with Barreling Facility in Background

Mukai Barreling Facility

For more information about the effort check out this recent Vashon Beachcomber article. For more details about the debacle Monday night at the open house, you can read this Vashon Beachcomber article. Please note that you must be a subscriber to the Vashon Beachcomber in order to view these articles.

Garden Sneak Peak

The gardens have been primped and primed for months now and this weekend is their time to shine! The tour will boast 5 beautiful gardens, each with a unique style. To take a sneak peak at the gardens, check the blog, "Garden On Vashon" where Karen Dale features a full & lengthy article for each of the gardens sharing highlights and interviews with the hosts. And, check out NW Garden Writer, Valerie Easton's blog for a wonderful review of the Pfeiffer & Klein garden.

"Gardening With Weeds" Postcard courtesy of David Pfeiffer

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mukai Garden Open House Tonight from 5:30-7:30

The Mukai Residence, date unknown

The Vashon Island Mukai farm and garden is a historic treasure and precious community asset.  Island Landmarks, a local non-profit, was set up in 1995 and charged with stewardship of the property.  Over the past several years, Island Landmarks has been inactive and the property is in need of restoration.  To remedy this situation, over 70 islanders recently became members of Island Landmarks, convened a special meeting on Monday June 4th, removed the old board, and unanimously elected 11 islanders as new board members, with the goal of revitalizing the Mukai house and garden for the benefit of the broader community.

Island Landmarks new board members would like to invite you to an Open House at the Mukai farm and garden on Monday evening, June 18th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Please stop by, tour the house, view the gardens, become an Island Landmarks member, and meet the new board.  At 7:00 p.m., the board will meet to discuss next-steps; all are welcome to attend this meeting as well. There will be lots of opportunities for islanders to become involved in the Mukai farm and garden community initiative.  Contact one of us if you're interested in helping or join us on Monday June 18th at the open house as we celebrate our efforts to reclaim this property for our island community.

The Island Landmarks board:  Glenda Pearson, President; Ellen Kritzman and Helen Meeker, Vice Presidents; Yvonne Kuperberg, treasurer; Rayna Holtz, secretary;  Bruce Haulman; Lynn Greiner; Bob Horsley; Anita Halstead; Kelly Robinson; and Sally Fox.  

The Mukai farm address:   18017 107th Ave. SW , Vashon.  We hope to see you then!!

For more information and photos detailing the history of the Mukai Cold Process & Barreling Plant, Property and Family visit,

Enter to WIN!

You can link to the KPLU Ticket giveaway by clicking on the photo above for your chance to 
WIN a pair of free tour tickets!


We've officially crossed the 1 week mark on the countdown to garden tour weekend and things are really in full swing now! A big thanks to everyone that stopped by True Value this weekend to pick up their tour & raffle tickets! It's great to see people so enthusiastic about the tour this year. I like to think that people are not only excited about the 5 fantastic gardens we have lined up but also all of the new tour features including the garden talks & demos that will be taking place both days as well as the chance to win one of the generously donated raffle prizes. We have over 5 raffle prizes each retailing over $250! Check them out...

A 14 cubic foot garden cart & tools donated by True Value retailing over $350

Or how about a $250 shopping spree to Kathy's Corner Nursery

Perhaps instead, 5 yards of organic compost with free delivery from Vashon Bark & Soils retailing over $250

Don't forget the salt & pepper granite bench donated by Marenakos retailing over $575

Finally, a container planted with year-round interest plants retailing at $250, not pictured above

Raffle tickets are only $5 so be sure to pick up a handful when you purchase your tour ticket or when you stop by the Art Market at K2 next weekend. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stop by True Value this Saturday during the Annual Grill Out Event to purchase Garden Tour & Raffle Tickets. This year is sure to be the bigger & better than ever with tons of new offerings for tour participants including free Garden Talks led by gardening experts & the chance to win 5 fantastic raffle prizes like....

a salt & pepper granite bench donated by Marenakos Stone retailing for $575
 or perhaps

5 yards of organic compost with free delivery from Vashon Bark & Soils retailing over $250
and maybe....

A Schafer Specialty custom designed container planting featuring plants with year-round interest retailing $250 
one more thing....

14 cubic foot garden cart & tools donated from Vashon True Value retailing over $350
and finally....

A $250 shopping spree to Kathy's Corner Nursery


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hanging Terrariums by Melissa Schafer

Just wanted to share the terrarium creations I made for the new SAW gallery up town on Vashon. Although I'm admittedly biased, I think they turned out GREAT! I've planted them with a variety of design styles and each of the beautiful glass vessels are uniquely hand-blown by the local & talented artists behind Bluejays & Bumblebees. If you haven't had the chance to check out SAW yet, I highly encourage you to stop in and explore the beautifully handcrafted works by Vashon's local artists. We truly have an amazingly creative community!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rise & Shine Vashon!

Check out that handsome guy, up with the sun, to water Vashon's hanging baskets!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wow! Time has truly escaped me this spring and I thank my fantastic blog-o-sphere audience for their patience. And, as a special way to thank you, be prepared to be inundated with tons of new posts and updates leading up to Garden Tour weekend! See - I told you I've been busy!

A big thank you to one of our favorite NW garden writers, Val Easton for the fantastic write-up about this year's Garden Tour. Check it out here

And Don't Forget....
Renowned Plantsman, Dan Hinkley
 If you have not already purchased tickets to attend the pre-tour lecture with renowned plant expert & explorer, Dan Hinkley you can stop by the Blue Heron or purchase online by linking here. If you have never had the opportunity to see Hinkley up until now, you have no idea what you've been missing out on! Hinkley's enthusiasm for plants is permeating and his fondness of unique and interesting plant color & texture in his design style is truly inspiring.

The Gardens at Windcliff
This Sunday, join Hinkley as he shares his personal journey designing the gardens that define "Windcliff", the sunny bluff perched above the Puget Sound that he & his partner call home. The gardens at Windcliff provided Hinkley with a second chance to reinvent his garden design style after leaving behind the shady forested property of his previous home and the inspiration that launched his career & well known rare plant nursery, Heronswood. Hinkley will share the diverse palette of plants he incorporated into the aptly named Windcliff property where plants are exposed to a variety of challenging sunny, blustery & dry conditions considered unique to many NW gardeners living near the Sound.

The lecture will take place this Sunday, June 10th at 3pm at the Blue Heron and wine & appetizers will be included with the ticket purchase.  Tickets purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets will be $30 or stop in at the Blue Heron to purchase a discounted Lecture & Garden Tour ticket combo for $45!

Plunge Pool Custom Designed by Terry Welch for the Carhart Garden

Check out....
the June edition of the Island Arts publication for a 6 page spread with fantastic photos and information about this year's Garden Tour.The publication has been mailed out to Vashon residents and is available for pickup around town at most stores.

Check in often as the countdown to the Vashon Garden Tour weekend has begun, 16 days to be exact! We'll not only explore the 5 fantastic & unique gardens that comprise this years tour but I'll highlight some of the fantastic garden artists that will be featured in the gardens and also introduce readers to the lengthy list of speakers offering free garden talks & demos during both tour days providing tour participants with the knowledge & inspiration to get out in their own garden & grab the buttercup by the horns...or rather roots!

Marenakos Bench

 Also new this year & a huge opportunity to get you started on the right path in your garden, we will be giving away over $1500 in raffle prizes including a custom stone bench by Marenakos, a 14 cubic foot garden cart stuffed with all the essential garden tools from Vashon True Value and so much more!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vashon's Hanging Baskets

For the past few months we've been watching our hanging baskets begin to take shape and eagerly anticipating Memorial Day weekend when these baskets will take center stage throughout town brightening up Vashon's storefronts for the entire summer season. We offer a big THANKS to Kathy's Corner for partnering with us as our grower for these beautiful baskets.

Saturday on Vashon

It's shaping up to be a beautiful Mother's Day weekend and in case you haven't figured out what to get that special Lady in your life, stop by the Annual Potting Day at the Vashon True Value where they'll be potting up containers and baskets for free with a store purchase. You can either buy a planter or flower start at the store or bring up your own and they'll take care of the rest! They'll pot up anything including the kitchen sink, no joke.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Seeing Green

We took off for the eastside over the weekend to celebrate a special little boy's 3rd birthday and when we got home, it was like a two day time warp to summer! The weather around here has been beautiful and reluctant leaf buds threw caution to the wind unfurling a verdant pallette of green against the landscape. Looking closer, the signs of spring have long been underway and it's time to jump on board, get outside and take advantage of this prime growing season!

Stop by True Value this Saturday when I'll be discussing tips to growing a "green" lawn. Learn the steps to installing, rejuvenating and overhauling your lawn, choosing seed blends suitable for the northwest, and how to identify and tackle common lawn (& garden) concerns, diseases and weeds the natural way! So get out there and dig up that pesky weed (or bring in a photo) Saturday between 11 & 1 for help in identifying and finding an organic and sustainable approach to keeping your lawn & garden healthy and safe for you, your family & pets and the environment we love!

Keep an eye out for the store flyer featuring discounts on lawn & garden products that will be discussed and featured during the lawn & garden demo! The True Value Service Center will also be offering discounts on lawn equipment rentals to help you get started with your lawn projects.

Monday, April 9, 2012

VIGA Movie Screening

The Vashon Island Growers Association will be sponsoring a screening of the movie Queen of the Sun: What the Bees are Telling Us at the Vashon Movie Theatre Sunday, April 29th at 1:30pm. There is a suggested donation of $5 that will go to support the EBT Market Buck Match program.

Push play on the link below to watch the movie trailer. 


For more information you can visit the posting on the VIGA website.

To check out my previous posting on our native Orchard Mason Bees, click here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Check the Mailbox

and get EXCITED!
This year's tour is going to be awesome & you won't want to miss it!


There are 5 beautiful and distinctly different gardens being showcased this year as well as more than 8 FREE Garden Talks & Demos each day of the tour highlighting a variety of engaging and informative topics! Ticket holders and general public will have the opportunity to also visit the Art Market featuring local garden artists as well as plant vendors Robinwood Nursery & Langley Fine Gardens! And, if that wasn't already enough to get you excited, we will be selling $5 raffle tickets for some pretty fantastic prizes! So keep checking in here and on the Vashon Allied Arts website under the special events page to keep up to date on the Garden Tour happenings and schedule of events.

To purchase tickets in advance and save $5, send in your ticket order form on the bottom of the brochure or purchase by calling VAA at (206) 463-5131. You can also purchase tickets online through Brown Paper Tickets by clicking on the link.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Bzzzz on Orchard Mason Bees

Chances are, you've already noticed signs of the Orchard Mason Bees (Osmia lignaria) as they emerge from their cozy winter quarters. They only rest briefly to bask in the spring sunshine as they know they've got a job to do and the clock is ticking to create cozy homes for their impending broods. These docile bees are native to most of the lower 48 states and have gained support amongst farmers and gardeners alike eager to encourage these beneficial friends and raise awareness of the devastating environmental effects plaguing pollinating bee populations. 

Orchard Mason Bees (OMBs) are approximately half the size of a true honey bee and are recognized by many names including the Blue Mason Bee describing their dark blue iridescent body color similar to that of a house fly, a common quick-glance identification mistake. They have a docile disposition common for a "solitary" bee having no need to protect a hive, therefore only when feeling imminently threatened by being handled roughly or trapped under clothing will they be forced to sting. Their sting is low in venom and more comparable to that of a mosquito bite.

Orchard Mason Bees are true Northwest troopers! During these unpredictable spring weather patterns you will find them happily buzzing about their business on even the cloudiest day and weeks ahead of their fair weather friends. True to their name, the Orchard Mason Bee is a key fruit tree pollinator but also do well foraging under the forest canopy for early blooming natives like Oregon Grape and Flowering Currant. Studies show that it takes about 250 nesting female OMBs, or 3-4 per fruit tree to pollinate a one acre orchard whereas it would take 1-2.5 honey bee hives housing thousands of honey bees to pollinate the same acreage. The pollen collected by the OMB provides food that will be stored to feed their future offspring as they emerge the following year prepared to repeat this important and short life cycle.

Resting OMB on nesting tube
Cocoons & stored pollen

Raindrop Mason Bee House from Crown Bee
Orchard Mason Bees make their homes in vacant holes left by woodpeckers and wood eating grubs and beetles. Like many of us in the northwest, they too, appreciate the rustic look of cedar shake siding and can often be found nesting peacefully underneath the overlapping gaps which provide protection from hungry birds. You can also provide homes for your local OMB population by building or purchasing nesting boxes. These nesting boxes are specifically designed with appropriately sized drilled holes that are then inserted with replaceable cardboard tubes or completely house an inventory of replaceable cardboard tubes to prevent spreading communal diseases and mites. They are best placed on a wall with an early morning sun exposure so emerging bees can bask in the spring warmth and build energy. The young bees begin to emerge in late March and early April and only live about 6-8 weeks but in that short period each female mason bee will visit upwards of 2000 flowers.

Beginning in 2006 there has been an alarming amount of evidence piling up documenting a decline in pollinating bee populations and especially in the case of the Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera. This continued mystery surrounding the disappearance of bees is being referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and possible contributing factors include infectious diseases, environmental stress and perhaps most concerning is pesticide exposure and poisoning. Many field crop producers implement the use of pesticides as a means of pest control not realizing where bee pollinators are being used this pesticide application then coats the pollen that is then collected and brought back to the hive as food subjecting the colony to this non-discriminatory chemical agent.

One way we can help reduce possible risk to the bee population, not to mention other beneficial insects, animals, ourselves and the environment we live in as a whole, is to reduce the use of pesticides. Better yet, STOP using pesticides all together. As we become more aware and educate ourselves on the dangers and hidden effects of chemicals in our environment, implementing the use of safer alternatives should always be the first approach. In the event that you feel it necessary to use pesticides (which I am in no way advocating) it is important to first educate yourself on the pesticide you are using and it's effects on both the intended target and risk it poses to other unintended targets such as birds that may be feeding on the targeted pests playing a key role in natures intended pest control. As with any organic or synthetic pesticide products, apply them early in the morning and late in the evening when our friendly pollinators are less likely to be out foraging.

To encourage healthy populations of pollinators both native and non native think about providing and encouraging nesting sites like the Orchard Mason Bee boxes mentioned above and consider gardening with plants that will provide good sources of nectar including native plants. Many of these plants double as attractors for other welcomed gardens guests too like Hummingbirds and Butterflies! I've listed some of my favorites below.

Pacific Northwest Natives include:
OMB on Oregon Grape flower
Acer circinatum, Vine Maple 
Mahonia nervosa or aquifolium, Oregon Grape
Ribes sanguineum, Red Flowering Currant
Oemlaria cerasiformis, Indian Plum
Digitalis purpurea, Foxglove
Iris tenax, Oregon Iris
Penstemon spp, Penstemon
Aquilegia formosa, Columbine
Lupinus polyphyllus, Big Leaved Lupine

Bulbs & Ornamentals:
Caryopteris buzzing with Honeybees
Rosemarinus, Rosemary
Lavandula, Lavender
Caryopteris, Bluebeard
Salvia, Sage
Solidago, Goldenrod
Nepeta, Catmint
Papaver, Poppy
Helianthus, Sunflower
Erica & Calluna, Heaths & Heathers

For a fantastic online guide with great information on pollinators and suggested plants specific to your region hosted by the NAPPC click here.

For a direct link to the planting guide they provide for the PNW click here!

And for more information on Orchard Mason Bees & the plight of the Honeybee please visit these websites below. 

Crown Bees - Orchard Mason Bee Resource for Education & Nesting Materials & Home of the Orchard Bee Association
Hunters Mason Bees - Western Washington based program partnering with gardeners to study and promote Orchard Mason Bees
"Silence of the Bees" - Link to watch the full episode aired on PBS that documents the race to solve the mysterious disappearance of bees
NAPPC - North American Pollinator Protection Campaign
USDA Ag. Research Service - Information on CCD
US Environmental Protection Agency - More info on CCD
Natural Resources Defense Council - Education & how to take action

"Bee" the change you wish to see in the world.