Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘McCormick-Stephens garden’

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 (part one)

Steve and John’s most amazing bayside garden deserves its own separate post, so I’m dividing today into two parts.

After dining with them last Thursday night at the Cove, we were invited for a garden tour and lunch at Steve and John’s bayside home, where all is soothing and uncluttered.

We took some tomatoes and a bouquet of flowers and foliage from our garden; the bouquet went into the most perfect vase of wood (with a water holding insert).

in their kitchen

in their kitchen

Plant lovers that our hosts are, we spent quite some time discussing the various plants (including one I had to look up later, Clematis heracleifolia ‘New Love’ to the right, and Rubus lineatus, a few types of boxleaf honeysuckle, Hypericum (maybe ‘Albury Purple’), sanguisorbas, etc etc. Just the sort of conversation I love to have, although of course my mind went blank on some plant names till later.

the bay view (east) from the house

the bay view (east) from the house

and the north view with the newly planted green roof (which we will examine closely later).

and the north view to the flower and kitchen garden with the newly planted green roof (which we will examine closely later).

The window reflection above shows the bay and a good architectural feature: the opening into the lower level of the house has cross pieces like a window frame; Steve and/or John’s idea to enhance local architect Eric Fagerland’s design.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

north

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I wish I had taken a photo of the luncheon table, a few steps down from the kitchen. Sometimes it seems intrusive to take photos showing the inside of friends’ houses, so I tend to avoid it even at moments when it would be appropriate.

Allan did take this photo in the kitchen.

Allan did take this photo in the kitchen.

I hope I am counting and not pointing. (On an earlier visit, I did point at the drawer and cupboard handles, whose shape is the shape of a wave, so perfect for a home by the water.) The book is Eden on Their Minds, which I took to show them.

I did (of course) photograph Chef Steve’s delicious food.

the salad, picked from the kitchen garden

the salad, with greens picked from the kitchen garden

mushrooms in sauce on polenta

mushrooms in sauce on polenta cakes

so delicious

so delicious

After lingering over coffee, we went out to tour the garden. To Allan’s and my surprise, a very light mist had begun to descend. Before we went to see the new green roof on the pumphouse, John showed us the diagram he had made on his computer.

I wish I could remember how many inches each layer represents.

I wish I could remember how many inches each layer represents. It is a very exact diagram.

The view from John's computer desk would prevent me from getting much done.

The view from John’s computer desk would prevent me from getting much done; I would just gaze.

Then outside and to the north of the house...

Then outside and to the north of the house…

...to the patch of dahlias by the kitchen garden.

…to the patch of dahlias by the kitchen garden.

dahlia

dahlia

the renowned dahlia 'Bishop of Llandalf'

the renowned dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandalf’

dahlia with a glimpse of Willapa Bay

dahlia with a glimpse of Willapa Bay

an extra that the catalog added to the order

an extra that the catalog added to the order

a dahlia guest

a dahlia guest

The dahlias came from Old House Dahlias (Mark Harvey) in Portland (purchased at the Portland Home and Garden Show).

We turned to a close examination of the newly planted green roof of the pumphouse with its collection of succulents generously sent by Garden Tour Nancy’s friend Mary from Pasadena. Mary had been here for Music in the Gardens and clearly appreciated Steve and John’s garden.

roof

green roof

roof2

John gives a sense of scale.

John gives a sense of scale.

succulent forest at eye level

succulent forest at eye level

Pink salvia by the pumphouse

Pink salvia by the pumphouse with Cuban oregano

Now began our walk through all the borders.

a hydrangea flower on one long sideways stem

a hydrangea flower on one long sideways stem

Hydrangea fading into subtle autumn hues.

Hydrangea fading into subtle autumn hues.

It had been bright blue like this...

It had been bright blue like this…

The subtler colours have their own beauty.

The subtler colours have their own beauty.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'lemon twist' (Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress)

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lemon Twist’ (Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress)

Salvia guaranitica 'Winnifred Gilman'

Salvia guarantica

This plant was from Seaside gardener Pam Fleming.

This plant was from Seaside gardener Pam Fleming.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Little Goldstar' backed with Salvia guaranitica

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Little Goldstar’ backed with Salvia guaranitica

red fountain grass backed with Salvia 'Black and Blue'

red fountain grass backed with Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ (backed with Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)

red fountain grass, a dahlia, and a dwarf conifer that looks like a fern

red fountain grass, a dahlia, and a dwarf conifer that looks like a fern

Senecio greyii with leaves edged in silver

Senecio greyii with leaves edged in silver

dahlia

dahlia

Asclepias by the pond

Asclepias by the pond

Caryopteris 'Blue Balloon'

Caryopteris ‘Blue Balloon’

Genista:  I like the airy appearance without the flowers.

Genista: I like the airy appearance without the flowers.

a bright pink hebe

a bright pink hebe

pond garden

pond garden; the pink phlox is ‘Sherbet’

Coronilla valentina variegata

Coronilla valentina variegata (with the pale foliage, had bright yellow flowers, common name scorpion vetch!)

the pond garden from the other side (with rain making splashes in the water)

the pond garden from the other side (with rain making splashes in the water)

The spruce (left) will get outsized and will be removed soon.

The spruce (left) will get outsized and will be removed soon.

pond3

On the other side of the entry drive, we took a close look at Hydrangea ‘Plum Passion’.

Hydrangea 'Plum Passion'

Hydrangea ‘Plum Passion’

delicately fluffy lacecap flowers

delicately fluffy lacecap flowers

Pittosporum

Pittosporum, love the black stems

The bench may get an arbour soon.

The bench may get an arbour soon.

As the rain became a bit harder, we strolled on up the driveway.

As the rain became a bit harder, we strolled on up the driveway.

On the left of the driveway is a new bed, created with painstaking effort to get the native meianthemum (false lily of the valley) out, at least for awhile. The exposed root reminds me of the stone crevice garden at the John Kuzma garden in Portland.

new bed

new bed with new species rhododendrons

looking east toward the house

looking east toward the house

young species rhodo with old snag

young species rhodo with old snag

We all wondered at this red rhododendron blooming now.

We all wondered at this red rhododendron blooming now.

seems odd!

seems odd!

an impressively large fungus at the base of some salal

an impressively large fungus at the base of some salal

fungus

with Steve's hand for comparison

with Steve’s hand for comparison

an offshoot of the fungus

an offshoot of the fungus

on up the drive to the house

on up the drive to the house

Hebe 'Quicksilver' to the north of the driveway

Hebe ‘Quicksilver’ to the north of the driveway

Steve and John’s ladies in waiting section is admirably small. They had just been to Whitney Gardens and Nursery and returned with a few treasures (limited by plant hauling in a Prius).

Pinus densiflora 'Golden Ghost', stunning

Pinus densiflora ‘Golden Ghost’, stunning

Just look at that foliage.

Just gaze upon that foliage.

and look some more

and look some more

Rhododendron 'Cherries and Merlot'

Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

along the front of the house

along the front of the house

the drainage swale between the wings of the house

the drainage swale between the wings of the house; water from the roofs drips into here with a pleasant sound.

With the rain coming down in earnest now, we prepared to leave, although we were not sure if we were going to be able to work or not.

Rain or not, we had to examine the upper garden more thoroughly.

Rain or not, we had to examine the upper garden more thoroughly.

the form of the almost human tree

the form of the almost human, huggable tree

Steve says “The huggable tree is:

Xanthocyparis Nootkatensis ‘Green Arrow’ (Green Arrow Weeping Cedar)

The foreground shrub in the same shot (to the left) is:

Ulmus x Hollandica ‘Jacqueline Hillier’ (Dwarf Elm ‘Jacqueline Hillier’)”

the clearing of the white hydrangea

the clearing of the white hydrangea

a kiwi among rhodos seeks hosts on which to climb

a kiwi among rhodos seeks hosts on which to climb

a bank of heather dating back to the old garden (pre Steve and John)

a bank of heather dating back to the old garden (pre Steve and John)

I was still taking photos after we got in our van to drive away.

looking north from the parking area

looking north from the parking area

and northeast back to the house

and northeast back to the house

This spectacular garden will be on a Water Music Festival rhododendron garden tour next spring; I will let you know as soon as the date is set.

For our previous visits to the garden, see:

our first visit, Sept. 26 last year

a springtime visit, April 23

a June visit, June 21

the garden on tour day, July 20

I want to live a long life to see young parts of this garden mature over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Music in the Gardens Tour, Long Beach Peninsula

a benefit for the Water Music Festival

McCormick-Stephens Garden

photo 3

I did not take as many photos as I would have liked to do this wonderful garden justice, as I was hobbling around and eventually I just sat on the east side patio and listened to the music and had delicious snacks.  Meanwhile, Allan was helping out with something over at the Barclay garden and only got a few photos himself.  Fortunately, we have visited the garden before….and Garden Tour Nancy collected some extra photos for me from herself and another photographer, and I got some from Kathleen Shaw and Pam Fleming, who were touring in a different order than Allan and I.  Kathleen now has a vacation cottage here and traveled from the Olympia area for the tour.  Pam is the gardener for Seaside, Oregon and runs the fabulous Back Alley Gardens nursery in Gearhart, Oregon, a source for many cool plants in this garden.

I did make it though the whole garden, though, just not with as much close attention as it deserves.  Because of my excuse of mobility issues, I have also filled in a bit with some photos from earlier visits.

True plant nerds can drop to the bottom of this post for the amazing list of plants in the garden.

It was possible to simply stroll across the bayside lawn from Barclay’s to Steve and John’s garden; both gardens were part of the vastness that was once Clarke Nursery:

The lawn below the deck sweeps across the bayfront in a smooth transition to the garden to the south, which was also on the tour.

The lawn below Barclay’s east side deck across the bayfront in a smooth transition to Steve and John’s garden.

Steve and John's garden map

Steve and John’s garden map

As best as I can, I’ll number the photos for those who wish to refer to the excellent map.  Any mix up in numbering is mine alone.

The trees and shrubs collected by these two CPNs (certified plant nuts) come from all over the Northwest; I do know that some of them come from our local collectors’ nursery, Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  (Owner Pam Fleming provided some photos for this blog entry.)

I first entered through a path from Barclay’s south side garden to Steve and John’s kitchen garden.

a peek from the Barclay garden to Steve and John's garden just next door to the south.

a peek from the Barclay garden to Steve and John’s garden just next door to the south.

the kitchen garden

(4) the kitchen garden

Garden Tour Nancy's kitchen garden photo

Garden Tour Nancy’s kitchen garden photo

photo by Nancy Allen, who loves kitchen garden

photo by Nancy Allen, who loves kitchen gardens

photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Pam Fleming

to my right as I walked toward the house

(12) to my right as I walked toward the house

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

flowers

garden area 12

young trees and shrubs intermingle with established shrubs from the old nursery that was here.

(6) young trees and shrubs intermingle with established shrubs from the old nursery that was here.

Chamaecypris pisifera compressa, photo by Pam Fleming

Chamaecyparis pisifera compressa, photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Pam Fleming

lots of gold foliage glowing in the mixed borders

(6) lots of gold foliage and well thought out shapes glowing in the mixed borders northwest of the house

shrubs

garden area  6 (upper rhody grove)

photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Pam Fleming

photo by Dwight Caswell

photo by Dwight Caswell

sculpture by the front door

sculpture by the front door

elegance in design to the east of the house

(2) elegance in design to the east of the house; between two wings is a rainwater swale

Allan's photo, between the two wings of the house

Allan’s photo, between the two wings of the house

looking north from just west of the house, photo by Kathleen Shaw

looking north from just west of the house, photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

on the south side of the driveway

(3) on the south side of the driveway

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Dwight Caswell

photo by Dwight Caswell

Around the south side of the house, a path built by landscaper Steve Clarke makes an easy transition for wheelbarrowing mulch.

This area used to be a rougher descent; Steve Clarke solved the problem.

This area used to be a rougher descent; Steve Clarke solved the problem.

Willapa view covered patio, Sept 2013

Willapa view covered patio, Sept 2013

from Sept 2013: the dell below the patio with native Evergreen Huckleberry

a meticulously tended native landscape

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Pam Fleming:  Steve and John with garden guests

photo by Pam Fleming: Steve and John with garden guests

photo by Pam Fleming

John and Steve with…Lisa??  photo by Pam Fleming

My goodness, that certainly looks like our good friend Lisa of the hydrangea house!!

Wilho Saari playing the kantele.

Music in the Gardens: Wilho Saari playing the kantele on the east side patio.

Steve and John had specifically suggested Wilho Saari, a fifth-generation Finnish-American player of the kantele, the Finnish psaltery.  John’s Finnish heritage made it extra special to have Wilho be the featured musician.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan bought Wilho's CD

Allan bought Wilho’s CD

Allan's photo of tour guests who arrived from across the bayside lawn

Allan’s photo of tour guests who arrived from across the bayside lawn; in red is Water Music Festival board member Rita Nicely (whose garden has been on the tour before, I think in 2008).

John and a garden tour guest

John and Ann Goldeen, garden show host from KMUN community radio; the drink (soon replenished) was a delicious blueberry lemonade.

I was suddenly called back over to the Barclay garden for a tour-related question, and when I returned to Steve and John’s garden, I entered by a different way, down by the pond far to the west of the house.

north side of pond (garden area 11)

northwest side of pond (garden area 11-ish)

garden area 11, north side of pond

garden area 11, north side of pond

garden area 11 (which was being planted in Sept of '13, as I recall)

garden area 11 (which was being planted in Sept of ’13, as I recall)

garden area 11

garden area 11

garden area 11

garden area 11

as I walk around the pond (area 13)

Looking up into a mountain ash (Sorbus) as I walk around the pond (area 13)

You can just glimpse the shed, which is in area 8, I believe.

You can just glimpse the shed, which is in area 8, I believe.

hydrangeas, north of the driveway turn, including the dark leaved 'Plum Passion'

hydrangeas, north of the driveway turn, including the dark leaved ‘Plum Passion’ (9 or 10)

8, the holly/fern grove

8, the holly/fern grove

looking to the Cryptomeria grove (10?)

looking west to the Cryptomeria grove (10?)

Styrax japonicus 'Momo Shidare' (Weeping Pink Japanese Snowbell), photo by Dwight Caswell

Styrax japonicus ‘Momo Shidare’ (Weeping Pink Japanese Snowbell), photo by Dwight Caswell

the holly/fern grove

the holly/fern grove

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

Acer palmatum 'Peaches and Cream' (Peaches and Cream Japanese Maple)

Acer palmatum ‘Peaches and Cream’ (Peaches and Cream Japanese Maple), photo by Pam Fleming

looking east to the house through the lower rhody grove (to the left)

looking east to the house through the lower rhody grove (to the left)

The large rhododendrons date back to Clarke Nursery.

looking east through the rhody groves

looking east through the rhody groves

We were fortunate to have visited this garden in springtime when many of the rhododenrons were in bloom.

lower rhody grove

lower rhody grove with huckleberries, as well

approaching the house via the long driveway

approaching the house via the long driveway

Who should I see but my friend Carol Clearman, with her daughter and grand daughter!

Who should I see but my friend Carol Clearman, with her daughter and grand daughter!

garden area 2 (west of house) again

garden area 2 (west of house) again

the path to the north around the kitchen garden (area 4)

the path to the north around the kitchen garden (area 4)

Allan's photo, looking northwest over the kitchen garden

Allan’s photo, looking northwest over the kitchen garden

in the corner of the kitchen garden, photo by Dwight Caswell

Ulmus x hollanida ‘Wredei’ (golden elm) in the corner of the kitchen garden, photo by Dwight Caswell

and back to the east side patio where a friend of Steve and John's was replenishing the berry lemonade.

and back to the east side patio where a friend of Steve and John’s was replenishing the blueberry lemonade.

Blueberry Lemonade

Blend:

1 cup lemon juice (bottled is fine)

6 oz. blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup sugar

Add 3 cups water and ice

Voila!

delicious refreshments

delicious refreshments

and more, which were continually replenished by our gracious hosts.

and more (carmelized onions on crostini were simply delicious), which were continually replenished by our gracious hosts.

The garden tour menu was:

Skewered pepper jack cheese, cherry tomato and fresh basil.

Crostini with caramelized onion and crumbled Gorgonzola.

Hard salami, cream cheese, and arugula wraps.  Warm beef meatballs.  Salmon spread with crackers.  Grapes.  Hot coffee with ginger snaps.

photo by Nancy Allen of John and a tour guest

photo by Nancy Allen of John and Wilho Saari’s wife, Kaisa

Nancy Allen's photo

Nancy Allen’s photo

A member of the Mozart Chicks had finished playing at the Goelz garden, just down the road, and was listening to Wilho Saari with rapt attention.

A member of the Mozart Chicks had finished playing at the Goelz garden, just down the road, and was listening to Wilho Saari with rapt attention.

More plant photos by Pam Fleming and Nancy Allen:

Asclepias Curassavica 'Apollo  Orange' (Scarlet Milkweed)

Asclepias Curassavica ‘Apollo Orange’ (Scarlet Milkweed)

Penisetum setaceum var rubrum (Red Feather Grass)

Penisetum setaceum var rubrum (Red Feather Grass)

Chamaecypris obtusa 'Lemon Twist' (Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress)

Chamaecypris obtusa ‘Lemon Twist’ (Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress)

Chamaecypris pisifera compressa (Blue Moss Cypress), photo by Pam Fleming

Chamaecypris pisifera compressa (Blue Moss Cypress), photo by Pam Fleming

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake', photo by Dwight Caswell

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’, photo by Nancy Allen

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake', photo by Dwight Caswell

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’, photo by Nancy Allen

At a little before three, I realized that we simply must move on as there were two more gardens to see and I knew that the next one would take awhile to tour as it would be all new to Allan, so we took our leave.

I hope to get back to this garden later this year for some fall colour (a hint to Steve and John!) and get some better plant photos of their wide selection of collectors’ trees and shrubs.

The Plant List

…is  a work in progress, which has not been edited for publication, so there are still likely changes/corrections/additions to be made.  Any wobble in the formatting is mine from making  screenshots of the document.

list

list 1

list

 listlistlistlistlistlist

 

list

list

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.56.59 PMlist

list

list

list

list

list

 

listlistlistlist listlist

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 7.10.14 PMlistlistlistlistlistlistlist

list

Wow.  This has certainly inspired me to think about going out and cataloging my own garden so that I stop losing track of plant names!

Read Full Post »

Monday, 21 April 2014

We returned to Stephen and John’s glorious garden, which I had last seen with Garden Tour Nancy in September, this time to see the rhododendrons in bloom.  Allan and I were first to arrive at 4:30, soon joined by Garden Tour Nancy and Phil and a bit later by Pam and Kathy from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  Stephen and John are regular shoppers at that excellent little nursery.

As we waited for Pam and Kathy to arrive (who had the longest drive by far and were delivering a Japanese maple), we admired the assorted views from the living room.  I am always a little hesitant to take lots of photos inside a home which is not officially on a home tour, but here are some hints (with permission):

the view, east over Willapa Bay

the view, east over Willapa Bay

two of a large collection of garden books

one of a large collection of garden books

Oh, and look, a book by local writer and daily blogger Sydney Stevens.

more gardening books

more gardening books

window view looking north

window view looking north

and east again

and east again

The garden will be one of seven or eight on the Peninsula Garden Tour, Music in the Gardens, on July 19th.  The musician will probably be sitting on the patio shown above.

This is their favourite bird sculpture...

This is their favourite bird sculpture…

and these were mine.

and this was my favourite.

birds2

And then…Pam and Kathy arrived and we soon walked out in the soft light to tour the garden.  I took copious notes, first on my phone (with many comical results by autospell like a “blow dry” rather than loderi rhododendron) and then scribbled on notecards.  I do hope I will be able to decipher them and get the right plant names on the many photos.

some of my notes!

some of my notes!  I gave up on autospell after ridiculous results

We began west of the parking area by the house.

We began west of the parking area by the house.

Intense fragrance in the air came from a huge rhododendron to the north, the same one we had seen from the north window.  I had no idea that rhododendrons ever had that intoxicating a scent.  Stephen and John’s garden and the property just to the north of it were originally part of Clarke Nursery, and the rhododendron collection goes back many years.  It is a beautiful thing that two knowledgeable rhodo fanciers bought this property.

Rhododendron loderi 'King George'

Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’

king george

The swoonworthy sweet fragrance made it hard to move on!

me, John, and Pam

me, John, and Pam

 

a very prostrate yew from The Planter Box

a very prostrate yew from The Planter Box

 

a Heuchera in bloom, probably 'Snow Angel'?

a Heuchera in bloom, probably ‘Snow Angel’?

bright new leaves on Pieris

bright new leaves on Pieris

frog

looking back toward the house and a striking Japanese maple

looking back toward the house and a striking Acer

and back to King George!

and back to King George!

We then all went round the north side of the house to the bay.  Next door is the former Clarke Nursery home, and its garden will also be on the garden tour.

looking forth from Stephen and John's lawn

looking forth from Stephen and John’s lawn

As we strolled, flocks of birds swooped just above the water of the bay.

flock

flock2

Kathy, John, Pam, Phil, Nancy, Allan, John

Kathy, John, Pam, Phil, Nancy, Allan, John

Everyone focused their attention on Rhododenron 'Shamrock'...blooms on St Patrick's Day (my birthday!)

Everyone focused their attention on Rhododenron ‘Shamrock’…blooms on St Patrick’s Day (my birthday!)

Everyone focused their attention on Rhododenron 'Shamrock'...which had bloomed on St Patrick's Day (my birthday!)

Rhododenron ‘Shamrock’

our native evergreen huckleberry

our native evergreen huckleberry

the east patio

the east patio

John and Stephen have accentuated this lovely native dell.

John and Stephen have accentuated this lovely native dell.

moss and evergreen huckleberry

moss and evergreen huckleberry

Last time we visited, they wondered how to make a good walkway around the south corner of the house.  Over the winter, local landscaper Steve Clarke, whose family once owned this property, built this perfect solution.   I wish I had that sort of hardscaping skill.

the elegant new walkway, easy for wheelbarrows.

the elegant new walkway, easy for wheelbarrows….and discussion of what to plant in that corner.  Pam suggested a variegated Eucryphia.

walkway

The Eucryphia in question, I think from Back Alley.  Autospell could not handle that plant name.

The Eucryphia in question, I think from Back Alley. Autospell could not handle that plant name.

Rhododendron 'Capistrano'

Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’

mossy dell from the newwalkway

mossy dell from the new walkway

west side of the house, south of the parking area

west side of the house, south of the parking area, with a golden Lonicera

looking west down the driveway

looking west down the driveway

the west courtyard between the two wings of the house

the west courtyard between the two wings of the house

trees

 

courtyard

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo, variegated Japanese maple leaves

Allan’s photo, variegated Japanese maple leaves

Euphorbia flowers

Euphorbia flowers

Pam did not have her camera and particularly asked for photos of certain plants which caught her eye.  This little conifer, whose name I did not write down, was one.

Pam

setting

bed

One of the old rhododendrons

One of the old rhododendrons

hosta and mahonia

hosta backed with mahonia

a massive redwood trunk

a massive redwood trunk

magestic

magestic

sword fern and redwood

sword fern and redwood

house

gold

Vaccinium nummularium (a wee evergreen huckleberry)

Vaccinium nummularium (a wee evergreen huckleberry)

down a gentle slope...red huckleberries

down a gentle slope…red huckleberries

whirly

Next to three railroad tie steps going down, a Polemonium had popped up on all its own.  I am sure it is ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which is perfect as from below those simple risers lead toward the house.

Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder) 'Stairway to Heaven'

Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder) ‘Stairway to Heaven’

a glade, with a kiwi vine

a glade, with a kiwi vine

Pam had to pet it.

Pam had to pet it.

You can see why.

You can see why.

Pam commented that a kiwi with nothing to climb on will tend to stay smaller and not clamber all over.

Maianthemum (false lily of the valley)

Maianthemum (false lily of the valley)

When asked what we do about the rampant native groundcover, I had no solution but to live with it.  It does go dormant later in the year after going through a rather annoying yellowing off stage.

another choice rhodo

another choice rhodo…’Silver Skies’ perhaps?

Allan pointed out how meticulously the old fronds of the sword ferns were clipped.

Allan pointed out how meticulously the old fronds of the sword ferns were clipped.  No old stubs at all.

another rhodo...and I am floundering in my notes!

another rhodo…and I am floundering in my notes!  Sir Charles Lemon, perhaps? S&J know all the names!

Fatsia x hedera, Allan's photo

Fatsia x hedera, Allan’s photo

When the driveway was put in after Stephen and John bought the house, the builders wanted to remove the Thuja.  No indeed, the driveway curves around it.

drive

a thuja saved

To our south, while clearing the woods of salal (I applaud that!!) and alders, Stephen and John revealed a tall grove of species rhododendrons so old that even Steve Clarke could not identify them.

rhodogrove

cloud forest

cloud forest

We amble down the drive.

We amble down the drive.

Stephen and John cleared all these woods with pick and saw.

Stephen and John cleared all these woods with pick and saw.

Mango Tango

Pam pointed out that the flower of Rhododendron ‘Mango Tango’ matches the new growth on the huckleberry.

Next, in one of the open bays in the woods along the side of the drive, a bright hydrangea caught my eye.

hydrangea

gold leaves

behind it, a blue corydalis

behind it, a blue corydalis

hydrangea from a Dan Hinkley collection

a hydrangea from a Dan Hinkley collection

bronze

large serrated hydrangea leaves

large serrated hydrangea leaves

When they joined the Rhododendron Society of Portland, Stephen and John were given a rhododendron as a gift, and they chose this one:

Rhododendon 'Starbright Champagne'

Rhododendon ‘Starbright Champagne’

Rhododendron erosum

Rhododendron erosum

R. erosum

R. erosum

I recognized Disporum 'Night Heron'..doing better than mine.

I recognized Disporum ‘Night Heron’..doing better than mine.

I walked way back to look at this bright epimidium.

I walked way back to look at this bright epimidium.

Next to it, an epimidium in flower

Next to it, an epimidium in flower..looking best when you turn up the blooms to look underneath

and found a dark stream that marks the southern edge of the property...

I found a dark stream that marks the southern edge of the property…

flowing to the bay from the center of the Peninsula.

flowing to the bay from the center of the Peninsula.

Pam was interested to see the Lindera (spicebush) which had just leafed out.

Lindera benzoin?

Lindera benzoin?

As we came to the Thuja by the driveway, I thought that its bright skirt of foliage was a shrub planted underneath.

thuja

We all examined and remarked how the lower branches had layered and rooted into the ground.

We all examined and remarked how the lower branches had layered and rooted into the ground.

To our south, another bay in the woods held a Cryptomeria grove.  I kept asking what conifer each little tree was and only a bit later did I realize how little I had grasped that it was indeed a Cryptomeria grove and that they were all Cryptomerias!

Cryptomeria spiraliter falcata

Cryptomeria spiraliter falcata

another cryptomeria

another cryptomeria

but wait...is this one?  I am floundering in my notes.

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Auricariodes’

From the Xera catalog: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Auricariodes’ Zn6a (-10º to -5ºF) Cupressaceae

“Fantastic, exotic looking conifer with rope-like branches that are sparse  and twisty when young but become denser with age. To 10′ tall and forming a conical shape over time. Grows slowly in youth, picks up steam after several years. Full sun to light shade in WELL DRAINED soil, with regular summer water. Excellent specimen tree, well behaved. Always looks cool. Coldy hardy. Old selection of Japanese Cedar. Monkey Puzzle in miniature. “

I’m pretty good at going through a garden and identifying shrubs and perennials but am sadly lacking in knowledge of conifers.  A garden like this makes me want to change that.

another one...perhaps elegans

Cryptomeria elegans…or is it…’Dense Jade’?

a variegated sambucus

a variegated sambucus

I've never met a sambucus I did not love.

I’ve never met a sambucus I did not love.

On the other side of the driveway lies the big, still pond, which used to provide irrigation for Clarke Nursery.

looking north

looking north

We had to look from every angle.

We enjoyed every angle.

pond3

pond4

pond5

the view toward the neighbour's house

the view toward the neighbour’s house

pond7

reflection

bench

Those who like still water won't find that there are too many pond photos.

Those who like still water won’t find that there are too many pond photos.

Stephen and John are making a new garden bed on the north side of the pond.

new

I think that is where I saw this little rhodo.

I think that is where I saw this little rhodo.

and definitely this tree.

and definitely this tree.

photos

Pam and I were quite taken with it.

two

touring

We walked through large trees on the way back to the house.

We walked among larger trees on the way back to the house.

Eastern white pine

Eastern white pine

graceful trunks

graceful trunks; I think this was the very old, very large cotoneaster

And then…into the house where we were given martinis…

shaken by Stephen

shaken by Stephen (and note how the kitchen cabineta have wavelike handles)

and some amazingly delicious hors d’oeuvres.

martinia

After a martini, I was incapable to remember to photograph the caramelized onion and cheese on toast most delicious snacks I’ve had…or the friends having conversations about plants and books and architecture.  I do remember that earlier in the garden tour, Nancy said that a certain book, one that was fun and easy to read, was like “butter” and I loved that.

Thanks, Stephen and John, for including us in the soirée, and I hope you’ll let me know if I have any plant names wrong.  I believe your garden is going to be the best on the tour this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

McCormick-Stephens Garden

Consider this your first sneak preview of the Music in the Garden tour, 2014! The Barclay garden will be on the tour again, and Mr. Barclay suggested that his neighbours’ garden also be included. Said neighbours invited tour organizer Nancy Allen to visit and I got to accompany her. We both agreed the garden and the visit were an 11 (or more) on a scale of 1-10.

halfway up the entry drive

halfway up the entry drive

The property is five acres. Stephen and John have been developing the garden for only a few years. The land is part of the former Clarke family properties which means there already was a collection of old rhododendrons in place. Stephen and John have gotten to know plantsman and rhodo expert Steve Clarke who can identify every shrub and tree. The new owners are well versed in shrubs and trees themselves, much more so than I am! Any mistakes in plant names here are mine alone.

When the entry road was being built, the men with heavy equipment wanted to remove a tree that was in its path. It was a favourite kind of tree of Stephen and John and instead they had the road curve around it.

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

first glimpse of the house

first glimpse of the house

The house was designed by local architect Erik Fagerland, who has shared a slideshow of it here.

house

A courtyard between two wings collected runoff from the roofs. The architect believes gutters spoil the lines of the house, so the rocky swale is the solution.

courtyard and water collection swale

courtyard and water collection swale

The owners told us that sometimes the swale is not enough to process all the water. It just occurs to me as I post this photo: I wonder if it were planted with some cool water absorbing grasses, would it handle heavy rains better and still retain this clean, open look?

courtyard

courtyard

west end of courtyard garden

west end of courtyard garden

I loved the garage doors and rate them the most gorgeous garage doors I have ever seen. They are made of a special sort of glass.

I didn't even know this was possible, but Googling showed me many images.

I didn’t even know this was possible, but Googling showed me many images of doors like these.

In a bed to the west of the house are three beautifully displayed small rhododendrons with soft indumentum under the leaves.

indumentum

indumentum

colour

They perfectly echo the colour of the house and remind me of one of my favourite gardening quotations:

People go through five stages of gardening. They begin by liking flowers, progress to flowering shrubs, then autumn foliage and berries; next they go for leaves, and then the undersides of leaves. -The Duchess of Devonshire

The east side of the house has a bay view. The lawn sweeps smoothly between their house and the Barclay house and on garden tour day, tour goers will be able to stroll back and forth between the two.

Willapa Bay

Willapa Bay, looking northeast

bay

looking southeast

looking southeast

We talked about how the tour day would be set up, which musician might play, and Nancy reminisced about the amazing food that Mr. Barclay served on tour day 2010!

envisioning

envisioning

I missed tour day at the Barclay garden. I had pre-toured the gardens that year with then tour organizer Patti Jacobsen; on tour day itself I was taking photos of Doggie Olympic Games and only got back to a few of the gardens. I quite missed out on a feast of cheese and wine and more at the Barclay garden that day.

the musician might be on this bay view patio nook.

the musician might be on this bay view patio nook.

a sheltered spot in case of inclement weather

a sheltered spot in case of inclement weather

SE corner of the house

SE corner of the house

looking southeast

a meticulously tended native landscape

looking southeast: a meticulously tended native landscape

From inside the house, the tall windows bring the light and view into play from every angle.

inside

imagine that patio with a musician...

imagine that patio with a musician…

light

Passing through the house, we began a detailed tour of the garden.

sculpture on west wall of house

sculpture on west wall of house

northwest garden bed

northwest garden bed
a perfectly placed Hebe

a perfectly placed Hebe

I quite like hebes and ended up with several photos of this one!

I quite like hebes, especially mound-shaped ones.

another hebe-centric view

another hebe-centric view

I fell in love with this perfectly mounded pale green plant:

plant

They told me it is a Kohuhu, and I found it’s a Pittosporum, and on Monrovia there maybe be more information about this very one if it is indeed ‘Golf Ball’. I must have this.

On the north west side of the house, a bed is anchored by mounds of Hebe. Note on the left a big Limelight Hydrangea in the background. We will see it again!

a little further west

a little further west with the hydrangea in the background

rhodo

a little closer

a little closer

garden beds and specimen trees

garden beds and specimen trees

a young Gingko

a young Gingko

a dwarf elm!

a dwarf elm!

I think the Elm is Ulmus x hollandica‘ Jacqueline Hillier’. Here’s a nice article about it.

more of the northwest garden

more of the northwest garden

rhodos

a rhododendron with small leaves

a rhododendron with small leaves

They told us this rhodo is covered with flowers in spring, pale pink as I recall. What a perfect property for gardeners who already have a great love for rhododendrons.

a person-like tree

If there ever was a tree that wanted a hug, it would be that one.

I love the shapes in this bed.

I love the shapes in this bed.

fluffy and pointy

fluffy and pointy

near the house

near the house….a huge cotoneaster??
and a wee hopping frog

and a wee hopping frog

Hydrangea 'Limelight'

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

Hydrangea 'Limelight'

They call this their "bridge rhododendron".

They call this their “bridge rhododendron”.

sculpture

I am pleased to report that the patch of salal, below, is the last big patch left to be cleared. John and Stephen have succeeded in removing masses of the difficult and thuggish plant and this area will be next.

southside

goodbye salal

goodbye salal

an old,  shapely, tree-like cotoneaster

an old, shapely, tree-like cotoneaster

On the south side of the drive, John and Stephen have cleared, mostly by hand and chainsaw, alders and salal that were completely hiding the tree trunks.

south side

They save every fern they find.

south

As you can see, they carefully clean up each fern of last year’s foliage.

licorice fern on a tree

licorice fern…

an artistically bent tree

…on an artistically bent tree

trees

One of the areas where big trees came down in the 2007 windstorm will be planted with hollies and another with hydrangeas.

a bright spot in the forest

a bright spot in the forest…to be developed into a holly bed, I think

At the northwest side of the entire acreage is the old irrigation pond for the nursery that used to be here. In the near future, Stephen and John are planning to begin landscaping the banks.

reflection

pondtree

Beyond the pond is a meadow that provides a natural habitat for birds.

mown and unmown

mown and unmown

After this wonderful tour round the garden, we all walked back up to the house.

south side of driveway...with a little Hebe 'Quicksilver'

south side of driveway…with a little Hebe ‘Quicksilver’

John and Stephen’s knowledge of trees and shrubs far surpassed mine. Of course, I told them that Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart is the go to place around here for cool plants from Xera. They already knew about and had been to Dancing Oaks in Oregon; I suggested Cistus, Joy Creek and Gossler Farms. For an area that used to be the nursery parking lot and is terribly compacted, I suggested the book Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden might have some ideas, and that for meadows any book by Piet Oudolf offers beautiful visions.

I look forward to having more plant talk with these well informed and talented gardeners and to seeing their garden next spring when all those rhodos are in bloom.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,007 other followers