Cheri’s garden in Ilwaco was created and planted up by Cheri and Charlie; all we have done is enhance it with our favourite plants. According to my photo records, we have been helping to care for the garden since at least 2007.
Our first wake-up call to the garden on March 9th, 2009, found crocus and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ abloom in the front garden, a charming curved raised bed with mossy brick edging over which plants trail and tumble in the summertime.
I adore having the cat audience from the sunny south windows….
While we can’t take credit for the shapely garden beds, we can take credit for our usual idea of planting sedums and tiny bulbs in the old red wagon.
By April 7th, species tulips we had planted the previous fall glowed in the brick garden along with that tireless Erysimum.
June 4th the big red rhododendron in the front garden stole the show, although the prolific Erysimum and a cascading cranesbill geranium came a close second. I personally am not a big fan of rhodos unless they are, oh, maybe off in a big woodsy setting, but their two weeks of glory is spectacular.
Poppies carry the rhododendron’s red throughout the garden, under the tree in the northeast bed and in the sunny garden by the driveway. On the right, below, if you look past the poppies, you can see two inviting sit spots: the fire circle and the lovely corner patio with moss set in between pavers.
On June 19th that rhododendron is still in bloom! As is Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ whose fate is to completely bloom itself out within a year or two and then need replacing. (It grows easily from cuttings stuck in the ground so if one plans ahead one can have some young ones coming along behind.) I would be exhausted, too, if I had to put on a show like that twelve months of the year.
Above, the bark surround had been recently refreshed by Cheri and Charlie. Cheri’s front brick garden bed also has lavender, daylilies, bluebells, cranesbill geranium, Johnny Jump-ups, and is edged with beautiful dianthus (old fashioned pinks).
The long, railroad sleeper edged bed (“railroad ties” in the USA, but let’s be Anglophiles) is a mass of daisies and, we realized in 2009, way way too many columbines. Some of the Alliums I had added the previous autumn had bloomed, including my favourite, Allium schubertii.
Behind the house and hidden by the back sunporch is a lavishly planted slightly rectangular garden bed, just coming into its peak bloom. Its high point is midsummer.
Next to the driveway the poppies’ red flowers are now echoed with yummy red strawberries, while the cool mossy corner invites you to sit and contemplate my belief that strawberries are the most delicious fruit of all.
On our garden visit on July 8th, Cheri and Charlie had got a puppy! Meeting the darling Porsche was completely distracting and no garden photos were taken at all. My, but she was cute and active. The following evening, we saw her sound asleep on Cheri’s arm after all the excitement of an art walk at the Port of Ilwaco marina.
On July 22nd the little red wagon looked mighty cute. The mossy sit spot just across the lawn, tucked into an L at the house’s north east corner, showed slight signs of midsummer dryness.
On the corner of the poppy bed by the driveway, the rhubarb probably called out to be made into a pie.
In the sheltered but mostly sunny back garden a midsummer fling had begun with daisies, lilies, phlox, astilbe, alstroemeria, poppies and buddliea.
The back garden’s summer show continued on the 6th of August with gorgeous oriental lilies and a mass of lavender phlox.
On the same day, in the front garden, white cosmos (our favourite annual, which we insist on adding to every garden) bloomed in front of the hydrangea, and yellow perennial sunflowers set off a cheerful front porch banner.
We had our usual audience of cats….all presenting their cheeks to be scratched, but we couldn’t reach them through the window.
In the L corner of the house, Heuchera and a pot of hens and chickens livened up the quietly mossy patio.
During August and through the rest of the year, events in our life and my mother’s proved so distracting and all consuming that I didn’t follow through with fall clean up photos in some of our gardens. I wasn’t blogging that year, and even my yearly Facebook photo album fell by the wayside in August. I did take one more photo in Cheri’s garden that summer, when I stuck the fallen seedhead orbs of Allium schubertii as decorative accents in a tree. I made plans for enhancing the long straight railroad sleeper garden with more perennial sunflowers, adding some clumps of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ whose pale yellow flowers on tall stems would carry the garden into early fall in future years. Autumn crocus bloomed in the brick edged front garden….unrecorded by my camera.
Meanwhile, a certain young puppy had put on remarkable growth. Porsche became a well-behaved and charming young dog, accepted by the cats. She dug a few holes in the garden and claimed the dahlia bed in the southeast corner as her own sit spot for watching passersby on Lake Street.
We did the usual fall clean up, made the garden nice and tidy…didn’t plant any spring bulbs in autumn of 2009 because with a young dog who still did some garden romping it seemed that they might just be casualties of canine playtime.
In December, Long Beach restaurant The Hungry Harbour Grille put out their annual Christmas village extravaganza. I put an album up on Facebook and tagged friends in various photos (a bed and breakfast for Susie of the Boreas Inn, a pub for a Seattle friend who’s a connoisseur of microbrews….). Cheri, of course, got the Village Realty tag because she’s a real estate agent of note here on the Peninsula (tied for best realtor in the Daily Astorian best of…) and the one I suggest you call Discovery Coast Real Estate if ever you decide to move to the Peninsula.