Archive for Feb, 2009

garden show loot

“More of my new plants: a gold leafed and a black leafed phygelius, and a gold leafed and dark leafed Hellebore foetidus were among my haul. And at the show I finally acquired Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’. It was too hard to haul plants from the show on the city bus….so did not buy many there. I gather the Yard, Garden and Patio show in Portland has a nifty loading system for purchased plants.”   (The hellebores came with me to my new garden in 2010, but the Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’ disappeared somewhere along the way.)
Work vignettes of February through April:
Laurie’s horses Moony and Kachina (two of the herd of five) waited for their horse treats on a cold February morning when we showed up to check on the garden.

Moony and Kat

We pruned the 300 hydrangeas as always in the blue-roofed house halfway up the bay….

part of the hydrangea field before pruning

The grave there of a beloved dog had had its marker freshly and beautifully repainted, probably by the home’s builder and estate caretaker, Bill Clearman, whose skilled attention to detail shows in every task.

Annie’s grave

Through sleet, rain, and hail we pruned for a week.  Our three year pruning plan was progressing well.  Birds had found a use for the ugly candelabras left by a previous “gardener”‘s chainsaw pruning.

hydrangeas with birdnests

On March 2nd the view of our garden from Allan’s desk window in the loft showed off how splendidly the assorted boxwoods carried out winter structure.  (I have never grown boxwoods on the Peninsula as successfully as in my sheltered garden, and in most gardens where they are hit by wind they spend the winters looking orangey-brown and ugly.)  Seeing the old trailer again was a shock, though.  With the glory year of our garden tours being past, we had severely chopped Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ so that Allan could work on building a roof over the trailer.

damaged hedge

Further and unplanned damage in the garden:  the snow storm of December had weighted down and snapped part of the tree hedge planted by the previous owners and I could now see much more of my neighbour’s house and yard.  The trees had originally been planted too far apart so they had never met up and yet had provided a considerable amount of privacy.

In March, we lost an occasional job that had brought me much pleasure.  Annie had decided to sell her house and we made our last visit there on March 14th to clean up the garden for a real estate showing.

Annie’s blue cottage

Established clumps of narcissi along the road made me wonder how she could bear to sell and leave (little knowing that later that same year, my mother would leave her garden and but a year after that in 2010 I would leave mine).

Annie’s narcissi

Had I been house-and-garden hunting I would have found the front garden and the wine-bottle-edged vegetable garden simply irresistable….

Annie’s garden

…as well as the kitchen corner and welcoming side porch.

Annie’s kitchen corner and kitchen door

We stopped by in late March for one peek at the Ocean Park garden we’d created in autumn of 2009.  Some narcissi bloomed; it definitely needed more plants, but was not on our regular job roster.

a project update

Again Allan managed to break our supposedly unbreakable Fiskars shovel. (Again, they sent us a new one for free with their lifetime warrantee!)

Fiskars shovel with extra wide step-upon place.

The Peninsula Quilt Guild held its annual March show at the museum in Ilwaco.  You’d think the flower quilts would always be my favourites…

but I was quite taken with one depicting houses, especially a little red house that reminded my of my Grandma’s little red house in Seattle and with one depicting blue teapots…

…but in 2009 I was most impressed with a couple of quilts of abstract pattern.

In April we twice visited Joanne’s garden for spring clean up and enjoyed seeing the foal basking in spring sunshine.

April 6th and April 23rd

On April 17th our oldest cat Maddy (then aged 9) enjoyed the garden, and I imagined what would be a cat’s eye view.

Maddy…and our garden from cat level?

On April 24th, the Ilwaco tree committee got together and again demonstrated how many of us it takes to plant a tree in honour of arbor day, in this case replacing one that had been vandalized and broken the previous year.

tree committee and helpers

Time to break the narrative flow of month to month and, in our next post, feature the year in Cheri’s garden with flowers, good sit spots, and an audience of cats.

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Here, written in February of 2012, begins a whole year of flashbacks about 2009, another important year in our lives as gardeners.  My mother’s garden and our dear client Laurie’s garden were each on the Peninsula garden tour.  While I skipped the Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend (because it took place in Canada, too time-consuming and expensive a trip), we did go on a couple of garden tours.  And for the year of 2009,  I have the thrilling idea that I can overview the whole year, garden by garden.  Not having the gift of prophecy, I can never do that when I am blogging on a weekly basis as life goes on.  This year was mostly written up in Feb-March 2012; material in quotations marks comes from Facebook photo captions that I actually wrote in 2009.


the show is about 7 blocks east of Pike Place Market

February 2009.  Little did I know it would be the last year for awhile that I would go to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  I felt its nature had changed to being more for beginning gardeners.  And of course I can count on the Rainyside website to post excellent and artful photos of the garden, taken by a garden VIP who can go on the press junket and set up for photos without crowds of people milling about.  This may well have been the year that I heard a wonderful lecture by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd and even though I’m not an autograph collector I was inspired to get them to sign their new gardening memoir, Our Life in Gardens, the tale of their happy longtime relationship and beautiful Vermont gardens.

I can no longer identify most of the gardens in the photos I took, so here I share with you what inspired, moved, and amused me (including a visit to the Pike Place Market, one of my favourite places in all creation).

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