I must have started caring for the Shelburne Inn garden before 1999, because I have a polaroid of its sister establishment, The China Beach Retreat, from spring 1999:
I do recall that when I began to care for the Shelburne garden, it had four main perennials in the front garden: Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan), hardy geranium, Shasta daisies and Campanula (bellflower). From a small area, I removed a bushel basket of creeping buttercup. Once the weeds were gone, I thinned out some of the four perennials and added some more to make the garden more diverse.
The owner loved gladiolas and bought a big bag of them from Costco for me to plant each year.
(Above) The square herb beds had been all taken over with orange montbretia, and I was making it my mission to make them more interesting.
I still worked at Carol’s garden on the bay:
I still tended my volunteer garden at the Ilwaco boatyard.
According to the dates on my photos, this is also the year I started taking care of the gardens at the Anchorage Cottages just north of Long Beach, a job that had a connection to the famous Heronswood Nursery. I had been ordering plants from Heronswood since before I left Seattle, but had never been there. The Anchorage had been previously owned by the sister of Robert Jones, partner of plantsman Dan Hinkley, so Heronswood had done some redesign of the Anchorage gardens.
I added perennials along the front of the courtyard garden.
February 1999, we started redoing the old herb garden at Klipsan Beach Cottages into a deer-proof garden.
Robert is the one who made the garden level by using rocks and railroad ties to build up where the land sloped. Over a couple of years, Robert build three rebar gates for the fence.
Oh! There is some white Salvia viridis (painted sage); I must have heard, by then, the lecture by Lucy Hardiman at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and seen her slide of this plant, and gotten The Planter Box to start to grow it for me. In one lecture, she had shown both painted sage AND Cerinthe purpurascens, two annuals that I simply had to have. Yes, I remember the excitement of a new friend, Tamara, who worked with me sometimes that summer, as we both fell in love with those two new (to us) plants.
below: Spencer, the KBC cat, and catmint. The scrim of garden bed outside the fence was planted in deer-resistant plants to soften up the edge, an idea I had seen in Horticulture magazine.
Although we were trying to make time for Robert to do ironwork by me working part time with Tamara, photos show that we also began to make a grass garden for Bill P. who had a summer house in the Klipsan area. The thing is, we needed to make money, and the ironwork was only paying pennies per hour. I also needed Robert’s talent at making things level on a job like this.
Bill wanted simple paths with square pavers.
Much of the garden was right on the foredunes, and gave me much thought about how wonderful it would be to have an ocean view, but then I would envision a tsunami, so never mind.
I was still doing my four volunteer planters in Long Beach. I heard that city manager Nabiel Shawa had said in a council meeting that my particular planters were “magnificent.”
In ’98, the city had hired me to water the city planters once a week. The next thing I knew, the city had hired me to care for the gardens in all the city parks, including a new one which was just then being created by Marsh’s Free Museum. I had thought parks manager Mike Kitzman would have been sick of me always pestering his crew to keep their feet out of the planters when putting Christmas lights on the poles, but he told me he realized it just meant I really cared about the gardens.
Mike and his wonderful crew started making popout gardens along Ocean Beach Boulevard; below is a young planting in its first year of my making gardens for the city. This one is just south of Boo Boo’s Putt Putt Golf.
Over by the playing field, there used to be a fence along which I planted godetia (one of Mike’s favourite flowers) alternated with Salvia viridis, painted sage, which I had gotten the Planter Box to grow for me.
(The yellow edge is from the crew using Round-up.)
I planted up this big planter in Lewis and Clark Square:
Later, I changed the look to ornamental grasses and perennials, but when I found this old photo in 2010, I changed it back to the above look of annuals! I think a tourist town should have less tasteful planting and more cheery colour. But that the colour should be provided by unusual and interesting annuals.
We (and by “we” in ’99, I often mean me and Tamara) planted up a little corner garden in the patio belonging to Don Woodcock, Glennie’s brother in law, who summered at the Sandcastle, that gorgeous house with the tower just west of the Shelburne Inn. He had bought this fountain at the Planter Box and just loved it.
Sharon’s garden on the bay had gotten even more lush and glorious:
I told the story of that garden in my previous entry.
Another job with a Heronswood connection came along in ’99, creating a rock walled semi circle in a clearing by the house of Cynthia, another sister of Dan Hinkley’s partner, Robert Jones. She was able to get an exciting discount on mail order plants from the nursery.
I definitely needed Robert’s help on this one.
We had a load of supposedly one man rocks dumped off by Ollie Oman. I don’t know if Robert was imagining this, but he always thought Ollie was impressed that we managed to handle these large rocks and turn them into a garden on our own, with no machinery but a pry bar and a hand truck.
The semi circle of rocks in spring of 2000:
This was one of those rather maddening jobs that I try never to do now, where we made a garden whose owner had the intention of maintaining it herself so we did not see how it turned out in the end. The middle was intended to become a patio and firepit.
She said we could come back and look at it any time, but as usual life became extraordinarily busy…
More of work 2000 coming up…