Meanwhile, as well as making our own garden, we were working when we could, one of our jobs being Maxine’s garden just around the corner from the Sou’wester in Seaview. To this day I credit Maxine for getting me on the track of what Ann Lovejoy calls “Right Livelihood.” She noticed my garden at the Sou’wester, hired me to weed hers for three hours a week, and from there word of mouth took over.
While weeding at Maxine’s, we had met a garden designer named Dale Browse and she had begun to hire us to help her on some jobs like making this “cloister garden” at the end of Maxine’s rose walk.
You could say our first two jobs were brought to us by dogs, because we had met Maxine through her dog Lady coming to visit us at the Sou’wester and we had met another Seaview friend, Bev Rolfe, through her cocker spaniel Kelly, who had spent much time with us while we lived in the Sou’wester carriage house. (I felt bad for Kelly on the morning he must have come to see us and found our apartment there completely empty…but he remained my good dog buddy till he died years later, and Lady lived with me and Robert in Ilwaco for the last two years of her life.)
Bev Rolfe hired us to make garden beds along her pink picket fence by her pale pink bungalow in Seaview.
Maxine has passed on, and Bev has moved away, but you can still stay in a darling vacation rental cottage at Bev’s old house.
We planted a shade garden down the narrow north side of Maxine’s house:
Maxine’s daughter Jo then hired us to work in her Long Beach garden, a job that Allan and I still do to this day.
We got a route of lawn mowing jobs established in Seaview. On the way to one of them, we passed this cute sign.
Up that road not only did we mow the lawn but also cared for a pretty little shade garden.
Again through Dale, we got the job way up in Nahcotta of caring for Mel and Carol’s garden on the bay.
I adopted the mission of making the colours of their garden softer to tone with the grey of the house, and continued to care for this garden for many years until our public gardening job list got so massive that I had to quit some private gardens.
Another former job of Dale’s that was given to us (thus continuing the chain of Maxine>J0>meeting Dale>Carol and Mel) was “Peggy’s Cove”, a garden in Nahcotta where I worked for eight hours a week for two or three years.
Peggy’s Cove garden, a landscape of six different sections, had been designed by Dale. I started out just helping Dale but pretty soon took over the job because she preferred design to maintenance.
At the end of the walkway above, one emerged on a patio of squares inset with thyme and a fire pit in the middle.
I loved the misty grey days when I could see oystering going on out on the bay.
One walked under this arbour to a vegetable garden next to the house and then up onto the deck with a wonderful view of the bay.
Around the north side of the house a path went through woodsy shrubs and past a Japanese style water dipping pool. On the west side of the house was a small formal lawn with a rectangular flower bed at one end and, by the parking area, a boxwood edged rose garden with statuary.
While Robert worked to repair a roof over the greenhouse/garage at Peggy’s Cove, Bertie on several occasions climbed the ladder to join him on the roof. When he saw a dog two yards over, he leapt off the roof and was off on the chase. This sort of crazed interruption was common, but Robert was determined to take Bertie to work with us. My days working alone in Peggy’s garden were more peaceful.
Our work had sorted itself out so that I mostly did the gardening and mowing and Robert did odd jobs.
In 1995, we continued to work in Maxine’s Seaview garden once a week.
I planted my favourite annual, white cosmos, around Maxine’s silver gazing ball.
Meanwhile, we made a side garden for Glennie Woodcock in Seaview. Here it is in early spring ’95; we must have dug it out in autumn ’94 in order to have those bulbs blooming.
We cleared out her front garden and turned it from a rhododendron garden into a rose bed.
We did some gardening at this house just north of Glennie’s, called “The Dolphin and the Whale”. The Dolphin was the front house, The Whale was one of two tiny cottages behind, and the whole place had been for sale back in 1991 for a mere $35.000!
Another job I acquired (below) on the Sahalee hill in Ilwaco also had a connection back to Dale. She had designed the garden but was not continuing to work there so they hired me to keep it going.
We helped out fairly often with gardening and odd jobs at a Seaview home and garden that is so pretty it deserved an entry of its own (next). No, NOT next…I just realized I have photos of that garden all the way up to the year 2000 and perhaps beyond, so I am going to save it for later.