There were three north end gardens on the July 21st, 2012 Music in the Gardens tour. Because our own garden was on the tour, we did not see the other gardens on tour day. On June 28th I went with tour organizer Nancy Allen to the Windy Meadows Pottery home and garden in Surfside. I visited there again with the happy bunch of tour hosts on the day after the garden tour, when we got together to enjoy each others’ gardens.
Tom and Judy and I agree that this new house has the wonderful look of the old historic homes of the Peninsula. Judy described it as a “warm and loving garden and home”.
From the tour programme: “A berm of scented lavender welcomes visitors to this artist, potter and gardener’s home, aptly named Windy Meadows. Here is a one person garden on a scale to which most of us can relate. A tiled and mirrored retaining wall creatively camouflages the raised septic system.” The modern raised field is a real problem for people landscaping on the north end of the Peninsula, and potter and gardener Jan Richardson solved it with the help of her mosaic artist daughter.
On the same side of the house is a greenhouse window, which I covet, and a sweep of daylilies.
As we walk around to the north side of the house, we see more clever solutions to the eternal septic field landscaping problem (one of the reasons I chose to live at the south end of Peninsula in the land of sewer hook ups!). This big Japanese lantern area is a handsome way to disguise one of those big green plastic covers.
Just to the west of the lantern, Jan made a boggy area, I think with some plastic under the mulch, so that she could grow a giant gunnera.
On the north side of the house Jan used an old orchard ladder as a trellis. In this pre-tour photo you can see that, like me, she used old newspaper and magazines to keep the weeds down. Later, she and some friends would cover the whole area with shredded bark; she had eliminated all need for mowing a lawn.
In a large flat area behind her clay studio, she displayed some of her sculptural pieces. On our post-tour day, she let us come into her home and view what are my favourite of her artworks: the cottages! Judy loved ’em.
From the Windy Meadows website, a sample of her fantasy cottages. Oh how I love them!
But back to reality! As we come around the west side of the house, the studio end, we walk through a path with her long inviting porch on one side and a river rock landscape on the other.
If I were to design a house, a comfortable long porch like that would be essential.
And below, the garden tour hosts gathering in Jan’s garden on our post tour day.
(left hand photo) In yellow jacket, Jan of Windy Meadows. In the foreground, Judy Hornbuckle, then Allan (blue shirt). In the white shirt, Ann Skordahl, and Gary Skordahl, and a friend of Ann’s. Tom Hornbuckle was with us, too. We had all had a whirlwind of preparation and then the joy of opening our gardens to so many appreciative guests. Now we would get back to every day life…except that Allan and I had plans to go on another garden tour, this time in Gearhart, Oregon, the following week.