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Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Maples’

I did take a break from weeding yesterday to visit my gardening friends four doors down, but only for a very few minutes to admire the improved mini-stream in their courtyard.  Tom cleaned the pump and the water runs more vigorously through the miniature landscape.

tiny

tiny stream

with tiny dog

with tiny dog head

Towbeh wanted her picture taken.

Towbeh wanted her picture taken.

Beep had to be asked to pose.

Beep had to be asked to pose.

Stymie was a bit of a curmudgeon.

Stymie was a bit of a curmudgeon.

Judy and Tom have been planting out some pretty new plants:

Dianthus

Dianthus

another Dianthus

another Dianthus

a row of Dianthus (Tom likes them)

a row of Dianthus (Tom likes them)

one of the three new maples recently acquired from The Planter Box

one of the three new maples recently acquired from The Planter Box

and another

and another

and the third

and the third

a salvia?

a salvia?

I have that same plant and it came thr0ugh the winter but is just barely budding.  Hm, three of those might be good in my Veterans Field garden…

daisy

I also visited Eryngium “LB”, so named because he was supposed to go to Long Beach but Judy snagged him first!

It turned out I did not need him..

It turned out I did not need him..

LB will be even more gorgeous when his flowers turn ‘Sapphire Blue’.

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On August 9th, Ann Skordahl’s garden club from Vancouver toured our garden and Tom and Judy Hornbuckle’s garden four houses down.  Ann’s garden was also on the garden tour this year.  Every year, her club visits a couple of weeks later to see the gardens that were her favourites on the year’s tour. This club had, in the past, been welcome guests at my old garden and my mother’s garden.

entering Tom and Judy's front garden

entering Tom and Judy’s front garden

In the photos of the club touring the Hornbuckle garden, you can see not only how lovely and well maintained the garden is, but how much fun it is to have an appreciative and knowledgeable group come to visit one’s garden.

On a tiny lot, similar to the small lots that might be found in a city, Tom and Judy have created an impeccable garden with several microclimates, a collection of Japanese maples, two courtyard areas and a collection of carefully chosen annuals and perennials.  Tom mows his lawn every three days in the growing season, and it is simply perfect.

Tom talks lawns

Tom talks lawns

down the west side

down the west side

into the driveway

into the driveway

admiring the porch

admiring the porch

the porch

the porch

photo time

photo time

garden club friends

garden club friends

around the east side

around the east side

on the east side

on the east side

admiring

admiring

front garden again

front garden again

happy garden dance

happy garden dance

explaining how it's done

explaining how it’s done

and off they go...four doors down to our garden.

and off they go…four doors down to our garden.

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A continuing trend on the Astoria Garden Tour is to revisit old gardens, and in 2012, three of the gardens were ones I had already seen.  I was particularly pleased to see the garden of Leroy Adolphson and David Drafall, which I had last visited in 2007.  Not only did I remember it as one of my favourite Astoria gardens but I was glad for the chance to photograph the garden to share with my new gardening neighbour, Judy, who lives four houses down from me in Ilwaco and collects Japanese maples.  She was unable to join us but I looked at the garden through her eyes as well as mine.  This garden is so powerful that looking at the photos pulled me in; I tried to write about it in the past tense but kept being brought into the present.

houses on the same block

houses on the same block

On the way we passed houses similar to the Adolphson Drafall home; one had a bridge to get to the front door.  The pink one, right next door, had no bridge, so you can see you would have to go down and then up many stairs to get to the front door.  Oh, and look at the upper right window of the pink house:

doggie in the window

doggie in the window

Ah, here we are at Leroy and David’s gate.  From the programme:   “Cross the wisteria and clematis entwined bridge into a hidden sanctuary.”

bridge from sidewalk to house

bridge from sidewalk to house

on the bridge

on the bridge

bridge detail

bridge detail

looking down

looking down

large maple

large maple

Above:  Looking over the bridge and down to the left into the courtyard.  The garden features “Forty seven Japanese maples, each a different variety, grace room after garden room created by …fences and gates that also serve as windbreaks.”  On this hill above the Columbia River, the wind must be fierce. Right:  Looking to the right of the bridge at a large maple that grows higher than the bridge itself, and the amazing thing is that they moved it in at almost that size.  The lower foreground of the photo is the clematis growing on the railing of the bridge.

stairs from bridge

stairs from bridge

And…looking down the stairs to the lower level and contemplating my vertigo.  Note the stairs further on leading up to a back door.

But I made it, hanging on tightly to the railing after waiting for everyone else to pass.  I stopped halfway down to clear my head, with the excuse of taking the next photo.  Sadly, some older people simply could not get down the stairs at all, and missed a lot.

by the stairs

by the stairs

looking back

looking back

foliage detail

foliage detail

the side door stairs

the side door stairs

the side garden

the side garden

by the base of the stairs from the bridge

by the base of the stairs from the bridge

and under the stairs

and under the stairs

ferns, two views

ferns, two views

The programme tells us that “”Native and hybrid fuchsias, irises, conifers, lilies, hostas, trillium, Jack in the pulpits and 20 + varieties of ferns abound.”

We enter the courtyard through a moon gate; here, the stairs from the bridge are to our right.

Moon gate

Moon gate

east side of courtyard

east side of courtyard

The courtyard is on both sides and under the bridge, between the much higher sidewalk and the house.  The wood wall is that of the old two story (front opens onto the street above) garage. One of the owners told Allan his mom had been called a communist, and this wood is from her old building downtown where someone had carved the word “RED”. (above right)

mossy patio, and under the stairs

mossy patio, and under the stairs

under the bridge

under the bridge

We emerge from the shady grotto created by the wooden bridge into the sunny patio to the west side of the back garden.

west patio

west patio

Next we explore the plantings on and around the wooden deck.  Below, you can see the steep south side of the garden and the fence up along the sidewalk.

on the deck

on the deck

looking north from the deck

looking north from the deck

detail

detail

a gong against the garage wall, with bridge above

a gong against the garage wall, with bridge above

maple

maple

maple

maple

maple

threadleaf maple

looking back to the wooden deck

looking back to the wooden deck

in the courtyard

in the courtyard

in the courtyard; look up to see the bridge

in the courtyard; look up to see the bridge

All around us are Japanese maples of texture bold or feathery and colours of pink, red, gold, cream, green and white.  A large peeling paperbark maple reminds me of how I had to leave mine behind in my old garden.

I also had a huge handsome massed set of contorted filberts which I had been inspired by another garden tour to prune up into tree form, but I had moved before doing so.  Here was another good example of such pruning.paperbark maple and pruned up contorted filbert

paperbark maple and pruned contorted filbert
looking toward the street

looking toward the street

toward mossy west side path

toward mossy west side path

garden detail

garden detail

Mossy path would not hold up to tour foot traffic.

Mossy path on west side of house would not hold up to tour foot traffic.

back we went under the bridge

back we went under the bridge

..and through the moon gate.

..and through the moon gate.

The moon gate takes us back to the shady side garden and the two flights of stairs.

The moon gate path goes back to the shady side garden and the two flights of stairs.

Again we examined all the details of the lovely shade border.

ferns silver, gold, and green

ferns silver, gold, and green

ferns and moss

ferns and moss

shade border

shade border

into the light

into the light

little river rock beach water feature

little river rock beach water feature

 

Just past a river rock “beach”, we step out onto a sunny, flat lawn.  The Japanese maple theme extendsinto this river view, much more exposed area of the garden.  You can see how tall the house is, like many in the neighbourhood that reach for that Columbia River view.

back yard with maple

back yard with maple

back garden details

back garden details

On the west side of the back garden, we get another view of the so lovely moss walkway.

mossy path

mossy path

back garden

back garden

view from the deck

view from the deck

The deck seems to float in the air over the Columbia and a lightweight netting keeps one from accidentally reaching one’s hand through the clear panels.  As we gaze at the river, we also realize that yet another lawn and shrub border lies below us.  We found that it was accessed from a steep side path which was tactfully blocked for our safety.

path to the lowest garden

path to the lowest garden

cookies and bottled water

cookies and bottled water

Allan and I are interested to see what treat has been provided for the tour goers because we and our nearby neighbours Tom and Judy have been discussing, with some small anxiety, what we will serve for our guests when our tour happens on July 21st  Even though we know that bottled water is not environmentally correct, we took away this idea (and it worked out well on our very hot and sunny tour day when we were too busy to refill water jugs).

 

back toward the stairs

back toward the stairs

Having now thoroughly explored the garden from front to back, we had difficulty leaving.  We attempt to return to the stairs to the bridge but find ourselves back through the moon gate for one more look at the courtyards.

I would like to see this garden in the mist with droplets clinging to every leaf or in the winter with all the colours and forms of trunks and twigs revealed.

back through the moon gate

back through the moon gate

the bridge

the bridge

I marvel again at the large maple that they brought in with a crane.

under the bridge

under the bridge

Finally we remove ourselves from the lower courtyrds, climb the stairs (much easier going up than down) and have one last look from above.  Several more gardens await us and we want to get to our favourite little nursery in Gearhart before closing time.

one last look from above

one last look from above

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maples, rooms, wonderment

Onward we go with the Astoria garden tour, a benefit for the Lower Columbia Preservation Society.

Five years ago, two gardens were on the tour which I have remembered ever since with fond admiration.  One my friend Carol and I tried to peek at this past May but were thwarted by the Astoria landslide’s reconfiguration of the streets.  To my delight, the second was again on the tour this year: the multilevel Alameda Street garden of rooms and hidden delights created by Leroy Adolphson and David Drafall on Alameda Street.

Adolphson-Drafall garden, bridge from street level

You enter the garden from the street level onto this amazing bridge. Pardon the blurry lefthand photo; I want you to see the bench but I had to jump forward as someone was opening the gate behind me.

view down from the bridge to lower deck, and on other side, to a collection of potted plants. Clematis and wisteria grow on the railings.

From the left side of the bridge, you look down to a wonderfully enticing patio with a green mossy pond.  Once, stairs went down from the street to that level, then back up to the door.  The bridge is an absolutely brilliant solution for entering the home and has created a great deal of the magic in the garden by dividing it and providing transitions from shade to sunshine.

(above) views of the bridge from below; to the right: gate to the street. Under the bridge is a shady bench between the two garden rooms.

A moongate leads from a patio of bonsai specimens along the side of the house where, as in all the garden room, a collection of choice Japanese maples is numbered to correspond with a list of the cultivars.

Under the bridge, a bamboo wall and a gong…and the Moon gate

Passing a small burbling water feature one is suddenly dazzled by the bright back yard with its deck hovering over an exansive river view (and on the deck lounge two adorable tiny chihuahuas).

a garden of intricate details

As we return into the shade, I admire more exquisite details.  One of my companions asks the owners if they ever have a hard time getting garden visitors to leave, and he says “Yes, but I have a big dog!” (meaning the wee chihuahua).

I believe that this was Sonja’s favourite garden of the day but, because of my obsessive plant lust, mine is yet to come.

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