Friday, September 20, 2013, part two
On our way home from a shopping trip to Astoria, we stopped at Inspirations Stained Glass to finally pick up the two little fish and a bowl that we had made on cash mob day back in June. That shows how busy our summer has been; any Saturday trip taking us through Chinook town has been rushes to get across the river for one garden tour or another!
Who did we find at the stained glass workshop but Rob from Andersen’s RV Park! He’s making a stained glass window for his RV and knew what he was doing.
And then, after an interlude at home, we went to pick up the Long Beach check. A sure sign of fall is the fact that all the baskets have been removed from downtown and from city hall.
We then checked out a new (old) job. We’ve worked for Erin on and off at her Long Beach house and cottage. This year, we didn’t have time in the summer to do the cottage garden but she had another able gardening friend who took care of it. Now time is freeing up and we can consider doing some sort of gardening at the big house.
We were greeting first by a cute and friendly cat.
And then by Erin, who gave me a huge hug because she was so happy we had finally found time to talk about her garden. We looked briefly at the cottage garden and offered to give it a good fall clean up (although it looks good). Our attention turned to the big house.
In 1974 or 75, when I visited the beach with my old friend Mary, we took a walk and got lost in the dunes. We ended up getting back to the road by coming onto private property and passing an old house that I photographed in awe. It has a widow’s walk and is one of the grandest houses in Long Beach.
I had a copy of this photo tacked to my wall for the next 20 years to remind myself that I had formed a dream of living on the “North Beach Peninsula” as it was then known. The cosmic thing would have been if I had ended up owning this house, but it was still pretty cosmic that I met Erin and ended up making a garden around the big house in 2001. Back then, we started by making a boat garden.
Today we saw the boat has been reclaimed by nature.
We also enhanced an area by the south side porch in 2001 with lots of flowers.
I was amused to see that that arc shaped garden is now the playground for Erin’s son.
I think that is ideal, and what a great way to be able to start with a blank slate someday when he and his friends have outgrown the sandbox.
Along the porch, Erin and her mom have planted lavender and grasses, an excellent choice.
Back then, the cottage to the east of the big house was lived in by Erin’s friend Paul.
Later we took care of the cottage garden while Erin lived there and while it was a rental, but it never made it onto our roster of weekly or biweekly jobs. The big house was empty for awhile, but now that it is occupied again the question is: What to do with the garden?
The arc garden is a sandbox, and the porch gardens are just fine the way they are. The wonderful old garden boat is no more. So what to do?
Looking southwest from the stone steps next to the sandbox, we contemplated the vast stretch of lawn.
We are not looking for big new jobs, but I have a long interest in this house so I said to Erin that we could maybe do a couple of big flower beds like we have in our back garden. They would be different from mine in that deer frequent this garden and it would be on sand rather than the dirt with a high water table that keeps our back garden so lush. The slope of the lawn would allow the view over the dune grass to be still visible even with fairly tall plants.
I suggested Erin look for another garden boat that we could plant up for her. She is already on that quest. As for her desire for a wonderful fire circle, I suggested she call Bill Clearman who is a genius at carpentry, stonework, concrete, and hardscaping, none of which are our forté.
I may be mad, but I could imagine taking on some sort of big project here…especially since Erin has the gardening friend who could do a lot of the maintenance. It will be interesting to think about this and perhaps, just perhaps, make a new garden bed for Erin this winter.
Meanwhile, we’ll tidy up the cottage garden and keep thinking.
After visiting Erin, we finally had time to stop by Nancy and Phil Allen’s to see how her new garden is doing. Just like Erin’s garden might be a late fall project for 2013, helping Nancy with her new flowerbed was our 2012 fall project.
The mixed flower border is still not as good as I would like.
I haven’t checked on it enough or encouraged the adding of enough plants. I’ll remedy this by bringing more plant starts this fall.
Nancy’s vegetable garden continues to impress with its productivity and attractiveness.
Why can’t I get a nice veg garden going like Nancy’s? I just cannot seem to spare the room to make a tidy area like this:
We sat inside because the rain had returned; Phil’s remodeling of their historic old home has come along to the wonderful moment of the kitchen having a gorgeous oak floor and the lighting and painting being almost done.
We had to hightail it home before dark so that Allan could install a headlight to replace a burnt out one. And I found our day off had been so eventful that it took me not one, but two evenings to blog about it.