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Monday, 25 July 2022

Before work, Ilwaco

After a day off recuperating from touring, I woke up horribly early, and if I had checked my email at 7, I would have known that a sit in was about to start by the Beacon RV park. Per Luke Whittaker, writing for the Chinook Observer,

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Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

On the first year when we happily discovered this always great annual garden tour, this garden was on it. You can look back at the garden in 2016 here.

Back then, the owners had planted an orchard, which they have since removed because the apple trees had difficulties with disease and with the constant wind.

The garden is a tapestry of foliage texture and form.

In any area where foliage intermingles, each plant is carefully and artistically clipped so that each plant shows off its own beauty. I especially noticed this in a bed near the patio.

Let’s take a walk through the garden.
lower patio and utility shed
Site of former orchard

After touring, I sat on the patio and had a good chat with Terri of Markham Farm, who was a docent for this garden.

Allan looked over the view garden behind the house.

He also went down the stairs that I could not easily navigate.

One of the boulders at the base of the garden has the dynamite hole from the quarry. It looked to him like nine small holes with the center punched out.

That was the final garden of a glorious day, well worth a four hour round trip. We can always count on this tour to be good and are already looking forward to next year.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Abderdeen, Washington

I love Aberdeen, which I first realized when we made a trip to see a neurologist there. It’s a working class town, which appeals to me, and even in that trip in wintertime, I could see that it had interesting gardens, both on the hill and on the flatlands.

Today, we parked on one of the flatland blocks to see the “Veggie Delights” garden and the Randall Street Community Garden (yesterday’s post). If I could find a house with a double lot, I would love to live right here among these adorable houses. (Sure, I’d really rather have acreage on a dead end road on a bluff over a beach, like Markham Farm, but my dreams are realistic ones. I could afford this neighborhood. And could be part of the community garden project.)

You can see why the neighborhood might be at risk of flooding.

You can tell that one of these houses has shared lilies with two or three others.

This house was a pretty shade of lavender.

I know all about how the flatlands of Aberdeen have flooding problems, but if I were 55 instead of 67, I’d be questing for a home in this neighborhood. I just can’t move now because I am unlikely to live long enough to see another garden mature.

I love a house that’s set well back from the street.

After our drive through the lower neighborhood, we began to ascend up the hill to the next garden. I took a few more photos.

I felt bad for this woman who probably wondered why someone snapped her photo from a moving vehicle. I love her house, garden and greenhouse! I hope she knew there was a garden tour today.

As the hill rises, so does the cost of property, and the houses become more modern and thus less inclined to get my shutter finger to click. This is the last one I photographed. It looks Frank Lloyd Wright-ish to me.

This final photo was from the end of the block on which the last tour garden resides in a gated neighborhood and shows the view over Aberdeen, the town of my dreams. I do regularly look at real estate listings there, just to imagine living there.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

We parked in such a charming Aberdeen neighborhood that it will get its own post after this one.

Jake and Bertie’s vegetable garden lives up to the ideal of the Master Gardener organization’s mission to educate about gardening.

The clever signage that brings more than one season into the picture was thought up by Terri of Markham Farm and would be a good addition to any garden tour, but especially to kitchen gardens.

The green house Jake built is enviably large, and the little shed is an inspirational upcycled construction.

After perusing the veg beds with envy…so much better than mine!…I noticed a sign on the gate and realized that the community garden mentioned as a bonus to the tour was right next door, so I went through.

One of the organizers of the community garden handed me a flyer and asked if I was someone she used to know. She called me by a name I have not used since 1980 and I thought, did I know you in high school?? But her friend, with the coincidental same name, was someone she knew more recently than that. My doppelgänger. Our ensuing conversation about the garden was so interesting that I failed to take many photos, just these. (The ducks had made themselves scarce.)

Terri had recently helped with the community garden by digging out and planting this strawberry bed.

I learned that there is going to be a meadow garden including some unusual plants, and saw the plant propagation bed with so much interest that I took no photos.

Martha and her partner live in this darling house right between the vegetable garden and the community garden. It reminded me so much of my grandmas house, and she said it reminded her of her grandma’s house, as well.

Then I returned to the Jake and Bertie’s garden and had a good conversation with Jake. I told him his veg put mine to shame and we discussed how our long cold spring had made for vegetable gardening frustration this year.

Meanwhile, Allan had not realized there was another garden through the gate, so he didn’t see the community garden at all. I thought he’d toured it while I’d been chatting. It wasn’t till we got home that he asked why we had not been visited the community garden. I said I had, next door to Veggie Delight, he said that was impossible because they had different addresses. I had to turn to Google earth to clarify the address confusion. Thus we didn’t get the usual two person view of the community garden.

Jake and Bertie’s is lower part of pic, community garden is above

I want to live on this block with a big lot and be neighbors with Jake and Bertie and help with the community garden. Next: a tour of the neighborhood and beyond.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

On every garden tour I attend, I have a favorite. I don’t think there has ever even been a tie. This does not make the other gardens lesser, as it’s a matter of personal idiosyncratic taste. This garden was our favorite for this year. This means there are about a million photos, so I will arrange them in galleries which you can enlarge by clicking through them, if you like this sort of thing as much as we do. We did our best to get every item in the correct spot.

We arrived at a handsome house with an interesting array of signs and containers on the front porch. One of the docents checking us in was Wendy, whose garden we loved the first time we attended this tour.

We then walked down the side driveway and came upon a huge parking area between house a long garage and shed. Against the wall were appealing arrangements of automotive relics and plants. I said to Allan, “Wow, these people really know how to display their stuff.”

I noticed people up on the large porch and went up a convenient ramp to see what was to be seen. I love the way all the plants and objects were displayed. It is a talent to put vignettes together so well.

Through an arbor is a secluded back porch room with transparent ceiling. I said to Allan how very much I want a room like that.

A lower level one step down had more delightful displays.

I peeked inside the open shed to see the well set up potting area.

The L shaped garden was off to the side (and front) of the house, and in the middle of it was an outbuilding which houses more vintage items.

I wanted to but did not go inside because of my Covid protocols; it was small with other tour guests coming and going. However, Terri of Markham Farm sent me her photos of the interior, so you and I can peruse them together. Garden owner Glenna, whose husband Mike gives her full credit for all the great arranging of stuff, sat on the porch and regaled us with a story of how one day while working on restoring the house, which had been full of rats, cats, bats, and blackberry vines when they bought it, she found a piece of wood with a man’s name written on it and wondered what the story was about it. Within a few hours, a truck had pulled up in front of the house with a man driving, who turned out to be that man, and out of the back seat emerged a tiny 99 year old woman who had been an original homesteader in the neighborhood. “We were all in tears by the time the visit ended,” said Glenna. The man then mailed her a packet of photos of the house as it once was.

Glenna and Mike restored the house and added the dormer and porches.

I explored the back corner of the garden…

…and the long side garden past the vintage display shed…

…and discovered that the large side porch had even more impeccably curated displays.

Around to the front of the house, I admired the porch closer up but did not go out the gate. I liked the whole place so much that I walked around the whole thing in the other direction before we departed.

This sort of thing is exactly my cup of tea.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:

We entered down a long driveway…

…and were greeted by the gardeners, family members, and a cute, soft and friendly dog.

To the right was the kitchen garden.

In the back garden, we found lots of sit spots, shady shelters, homes and water for birds, flowers for pollinators, and a rustic greenhouse and shed.

The garden was chock full of the gardeners’ creativity and humor. I observed guests enjoying the signs.

I’d have liked to spend more time with that darling dog, but we had four more gardens to see.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

In a neighborhood near Aberdeen, we toured a garden with the spectacular feature of ancient tree stumps overgrown with native plants and shrubs. Fascinating. The huge landscape is surrounded on two or three sides by woodland.

This was another garden that was easy to navigate with a rollator, maybe something all gardeners should think about, as we all get old if we’re lucky, and most of us know or will know someone with walking disabilities. As always with a very large garden, and with two people taking photos, we are not completely sure that the progression of our walk is entirely in the right sequence. We have included some of the text of a handout that was given to tour guests.

The entryway had some bright annuals added.

As we entered the former home of giant trees, the look became more woodsy and naturalistic. We applaud the garden owners for preserving the giant tree stumps.

Allan noticed this clever signage that shows what the garden looks like in its autumn finery.


We came upon a vertical strawberry patch and kitchen garden along the back fence.


Allan found this clever usage of a tire to protect the faucet from damage.

We walked through the behind the house garden to another large area surrounded by woods.

The signs told us that we could not wander off into the woods, tempting though those paths were.

Back to the start

The garden most definitely had lived up to its tranquil name.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

Our first garden was in Montesano, a town just east of Aberdeen. The home is next to Vessey and Sons contractors and its work yard full of big trucks. How enviable to have such a great source of wonderful rocks (which we assumed, perhaps correctly, were sourced by the Vesseys). As Allan and I tour together, we notice similar and different things.

As always, the tour program is a keepsake booklet with each garden getting two pages.
Each garden got this nice sign as a memento.

This was my first foray into rollator touring. I’ve been in many gardens where it would have been a struggle to get through with such a device. This one was a dream to start out in, very easy to navigate.

A place to show painted rocks

The front garden is a parklike setting with shrubs and trees and beautiful rocks with pools of bright annuals.

The front entry garden with annual accents segues into a flawless lawn with massive boulders in the center.

Spectacular and enviable boulders!

At the front of the house, annual color brightens up the weedless beds.

Walk through to back yard

The back garden is set up for entertaining in sun or shade.

A shed with a garage door like this would be ever so useful to us!

The business work yard also has landscaping.

This was the only Montesano garden on the tour. We were now off to Aberdeen, a city that I love. We saw some wonderful old houses as we drove west through Montesano, and I wish we had stopped to photograph them, but the lure of garden touring was too strong to allow for getting sidetracked.

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Long Beach

We deadheaded the front of the welcome sign. The back has still not been dug out.

We watered all the downtown planters. Someone had helped themselves to some lavender. I learned that bees love lambs ears. I didn’t know this, but they were all over it.

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Wednesday, 20 July 2022

After a quiet Tuesday off, in which I avoided the strong wind by reading 1/3 of a long new scintillating biography of Barbara Pym, we embarked on a busy work day.

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