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Archive for June, 2013

I am determined to catch up, having fallen behind on the caterpillar emergency non-blogging day, and skipping a day has been exacerbated by the long hours of daylight.  You see, if I suddenly pop my clogs, Allan would know how to keep the business going just by reading the blog for 2013 and replicating the work!  It is the same every year, pretty much!

He would find three jobs had been quit this year, but there is plenty to fill in on the other jobs (thus the quitting).

So:  Friday and Saturday in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

Friday, we began with some deadheading at Larry and Robert’s garden half a block away.  No watering necessary due to blissful rain!

their garden boat

their garden boat

My dear friends Judy and Tom’s new car shows up pretty and red in this photo.

The empty new planters had been put in place in downtown Ilwaco (more on this later) but not in the best spots (more on THAT later) so Allan shifted two of them.  While we were parked for that task, our good friend and brilliant carpenter Bill Clearman stopped for a by-the-car visit.  Allan provided a bucket for a seat.

catching up with Bill

catching up with Bill

Bill is an inspiration to us, still working hard at 70 plus.

Bill's reaction on learning he was being photographed for The Blog

Bill’s reaction on learning he was being photographed for The Blog

We checked on The Depot Restaurant garden next.

at the Depot

at the Depot

Next we drove up to The Basket Case to get soil for the Ilwaco planters.  Because Basket Case closes for the season in mid July (having originally been mostly annuals and hanging baskets), we are glad to have the chance to help them sell more of their soil now.

Basket Case

I wish I had bought myself one of their yellow Shasta daisies!  I just was not quick enough with the realization that I want one.  Or two.

yellow daisies

“Banana Cream’ yellow daisies

Next:  Long Beach.  I will regale you with some photos of the planters downtown;  I walked around weeding and deadheading all of them while Allan went out to Bolstadt to weed the beach approach….a job we had planned to spend two days on but wind and rain intervened.  At least I did not have to water the planters!

northernmost planter, east side of street

northernmost planter, east side of street

Diascia and Sunbini

Diascia and Sunbini

Geranium 'Rozanne' and golden marjoram

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden marjoram

My goal:  to have two Rozanne in each planter.  I formulated this goal too late to add them this year, as I think good, damp planting season is over (and the planters are full of annuals).  Rozanne has surpassed my expectations as a good container plant.  I might buy some and hold for fall planting.

Note:  Plant Brodiaea 'Queen Fabiola' in Vet Field garden.  Great blue for early summer.

Note: Plant Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ in Vet Field garden. Great blue for early summer.

also...white and blue Nigella (love in a mist)

also…white and blue Nigella (love in a mist)…here in a planter near the LB pharmacy

The big planter by Lewis and Clark Square is a mish mash that I am not very happy about.  I have gone through phases in this planter.  The phormium phase…long gone.  The Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ phase.  Still pulling those as they come back.  I like the Erysimum.  Every time we tear into it to do it over, we manage to puncture some sprinkler hoses, thus not making parks manager Mike K happy.

what to do?

what to do?

I have tried to get rid of all the Lady’s Mantle and look how much has come back.  Oops.

Across the street from Home at the Beach, the painted sage is fabulous in a re-done planter.  Good, new soil has it thriving.

Salvia viridis about to pop

Salvia viridis about to pop

Kitty corner to that by an empty lot is a planter that continues to thwart me.  I keep thinning the yarrow, planted by a volunteer back in the day, in order to add more interest, and the yarrow keeps winning.  This is one that can only be fully changed by ripping out plants, soil and all and starting over.  It is pretty enough when the yarrow blooms….

kind of dull

kind of dull

The planter in front of Home at the Beach cheered me up again.

Agyranthemum 'Butterfly'

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’

Calibrachoa 'Lemon Slice'

Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’

I made it through all the planters and walked past City Hall to join Allan on the beach approach.

City Hall Astilbe (north side)

City Hall Astilbe (north side)

I love Astilbes and should plant more in LB.

The wind knocked my prize goatsbeard specimen over so badly that we had had to cut half of it back off the sidewalk earlier in the week!

city hall

Now, the beach approach.  The rugosa roses, which have taken over the whole garden pretty much, are glorious right now.

pink ones

pink ones

single pink

single pink

slightly double pink

slightly double pink

pink

white

white

single white (Rosa rugosa alba)

single white (Rosa rugosa alba)

Coreopsis and roses

Coreopsis and roses

I checked the planters all the way to the end, where the two westernmost ones (planted with horribly dense vinca by volunteers way back when) have practically merged into the dunes.

almost a lost cause

almost a lost cause..and that dratted vinca

the westernmost planter

the westernmost planter

The last planter is just feet from the Long Beach boardwalk.  It could be so much better but we would have to tear out ALL the soil because of the dratted vinca and start over.  This has been the case with a number of the volunteer planters.  We manage to redo one or two a year.

The beach approach garden itself, due to our lack of time this week, did not get done as well as we could have with an extra day….the day we went to a sheltered garden to work instead because of 30 MPH winds.   We (especially Allan) did, however, make a difference.

before and after

before and after

Then we had to leave to get those three Ilwaco planters done.  They had been languishing in semi-hidden neglected spots in private yards; the city crew had gathered and emptied them and placed them for us to fill with soil and plants.

First, we did one in yellows down by the Portside Café.

yellow enhancing yellow

yellow enhancing yellow

golden thymes and marjoram, Erysimum 'Fragrant Sunshine'

golden thymes and marjoram, Erysimum ‘Fragrant Sunshine’

I will now illustrate with buckets how we found the planters placed this morning at the intersection of First and Spruce, where big trucks and trailers sometimes swing wide.

Can you see the faint tire tracks?

Can you see the faint tire tracks?  southeast corner

You can definitely see the tire tracks on the northeast corner!

You can definitely see the tire tracks on the northeast corner!

looking southwest

looking southwest; bucket marks where planter WAS placed

The planters would have been wiped out there, so Allan had moved them inboard.

looking east

looking east down Spruce

adding soil

adding soil

That odd little planter is left over from when there used to be a café and antique shop on this corner, whose owner had put out several containers of plants.

one...

one…

The planters are mismatched because I could not find any more good Erysimums for centerpieces.

The Hebe is a good center so I wish I had gotten two!

The Hebe is a good center so I wish I had gotten two!

That Hebe is left over from when I thought I needed one for a spot at Andersen’s RV Park…and didn’t…

When this job was done at sunset Friday evening, we had the refreshing feeling that we now had two days off!

home to a beautiful sunset, blissful prospect of leisure

home to a beautiful sunset, blissful prospect of leisure

Perhaps our plan of a Saturday taking photos at Saturday Market and then the Doggie Olympic Games was not entire a prospect of leisure, and not my perfect day off at home in the garden…but when I checked my email I realized we had to do a bit of work Saturday after all.

One of the port business owners wished to have her garden tidied, and while we did not need to jump to it, I did want to get it done for the fourth of July and especially for the Ilwaco sixth of July fireworks.  So in order to get it off the list, we did it Saturday late afternoon after Doggie Olympics.

hot and tedious work

hot and tedious work

but now it is done

but now it is done (too tired to straighten photo!)

We had a wonderful reward for doing that job when we did.  While dumping the debris out in the field at the east end of the port, we saw the Tall Ships set sail and were able to photograph them on their way to their Battle Cruise.  Cannons, sea shanties, climbing the rigging, and other delights awaited the passengers.  Well, the passengers were not made to climb the rigging, but I do believe they had to sing sea shanties.

We saw two ships go sailing out

We saw two ships go sailing out

Technically, they were motoring, not sailing, till they got farther out.

ships

ships

Avast, me hearties!

Avast, me hearties!

I reflected, as I often do, on what an amazing place Ilwaco is to live in.  Somehow, through a series of events that often seemed like mistakes, we ended up in this glorious place and with right livelihood.

ships

The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftan

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We began the day picking a bouquet in the rain for the Queen La De Da’s hospitality room that Jenna had set up to welcome the crew of the tall ships.  The Hawaiian Chieftan and The Lady Washington had arrived in the wet, rainy dawn to dock in Ilwaco through the weekend.

tall ship in the rain

tall ship in the rain

I didn’t remember to take a photo of the bouquet on the day;  I thought it was rather a good one with Alstrolemaria, Nigella (love in a mist), roses, and Knautia macedonica.

I got a photo on Saturday.

I got a photo on Saturday.

Because of the rain, we lingered for awhile at Olde Towne Café.  It was bustling with other like minded folk.

a busy day for Olde Towne!

a busy day for Olde Towne!

The rain was not letting up for us so we had to go on to work.  By the time we arrived at Diane’s garden next to The Red Barn we were pleasantly surprised by better weather.

next door to Diane's

next door to Diane’s, her sister Amy’s horse

Last time we worked at Diane’s I thought to myself that we had better put an edge on the new streetside before Larry got busy with the Roundup.  That day we were in a hurry, and then it slipped my mind.  Oops!  Larry had already sprayed by the time we came back.  It was a skilled spraying that did no damage to the garden, but I still think a line of dead grass looks worse than a line of live grass, even if it was going in to the garden.  (Left and middle, below).  But we fixed it.  (Nicely edged, right, below.)

streetside garden

streetside garden

We also added twenty Dianthis ‘Diana’, appropriately named and useful for filling in a new garden, especially for a client who likes pinks and pastels.

The Anchorage Cottages was next, where we found bees still all over the Ceanothus.

California lilac

California lilac

center courtyard

center courtyard

lily and Melianthus major in center courtyard

lily and Melianthus major in center courtyard

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

popular with bees

popular with bees

I had a flashback to childhood while deadheading the window boxes behind the viburnums near the office.

Viburnum and windowbox

Viburnum and windowbox

I smelled the same bitter foliage smell that I used to smell as a child, walking down the hill one half block from John B. Allen elementary school to my grandma’s house.  While weeding near another Viburnum at The Anchorage, I smelled it again.

more viburnum

more viburnum

And I smelled it again on the corner of the same garden….bitter, sour, and emanating from a leatherleaf viburnum.

leatherlead viburnum

leatherlead viburnum

I suddenly realized that the childhood smell had always come, after rain, from a “snowball bush” by the sidewalk…another kind of Viburnum.  Mystery solved:  Viburnums, especially when recently pruned or when the leaves have dropped, whether deciduous (like the snowball bush) or evergreen, stink when it rains!  I had always thought that smell was just damp rotting foliage in general.  I later googled the terms Viburnum and stink, and sure enough, I found a lot to back up the solving of a lifelong mystery.

After the Anchorage, we added some more red Dianthus to the Veterans Field garden.

Vet Field

Vet Field

In the Fifth Street Park, I may finally succeed this year in having three striped Cannas in the damp area in the southwest corner!

If they grow bigger:  success!

If they grow bigger: success!

You can see it was another grey, darkish day but at least it was not as windy as earlier in the week.  And I was loving the rain.  Not having to water gave us time to finish other work tasks. Lately we have been too busy to dine out at all.  I would love to have time to try the fish and chips or have a delicious crab roll at Captain Bob’s Chowder, now located behind the northwest corner of the Fifth Street Park.

Captain Bob's Chowder

Captain Bob’s Chowder and a daylily that I like

It’s been hard for the city crew to keep the lawns short with all the rain.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

I tried growing sweet peas (annual) along the trellis at the back of the park and the slugs got them.  Then I planted some perennials ones, and the guy (not a city crew guy) who pruned the hedge walked back there.  Sigh.

where once sweet peas grew

where once sweet peas grew

Note:  It would be great to have blue and white Nigella (Love in a Mist) in the Veterans Field garden next year!

Note: It would be great to have blue and white Nigella (Love in a Mist) in the Veterans Field garden next year!  (Here it is in Fifth Street Park.)

Fifth Street Park, north west side

Fifth Street Park, north west side

Just south of the park by one of the street trees, you can see how much it had been raining.

much rain

much rain

Leaving Long Beach, we went to the Ilwaco Boatyard garden just to remove some poppies completely blown over by the wind.

I had no doubt the windstorms have stopped for the season.

I had no doubt the windstorms have stopped for the season.

boatyard

boatyard

The boatyard garden needs some serious horsetail control…

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

But we had other fish to fry.  We will time it for early next week so the garden looks perfect(ish) for the big fireworks day at the Port, July 6th.  The garden looks grand even now, especially if you squint.

boatyard

looking south

looking north

looking north

windblown

boatyard

I had realized in our midmorning stop at the port that the Marie Powell Gallery garden needed to have its sea thrift deadheaded.

not very attractive

not very attractive

Allan’s method was to give it a complete haircut.

a smooth pate

a smooth pate

I wanted to leave a few pink flowers, even though this is harder to achieve, for the many tourists who might come to see the Tall Ships this weekend.

more time consuming effect

more time consuming effect

Overall, both effects are pleasant.

Overall, both effects are pleasant.

The two year old Eryngium in the parking strip has thrown up lots of flowering stems.  I am thinking the harsher the environment, the more it flowers?

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I took a peek at the port, just at the other side of the gallery.  The Port Office still had its Basket Case hanging baskets down; they had stashed them on the north side of the building to protect them from wind.  Don Nisbett had his hanging back up again.

baskets

The weather warning flag showed that the wind had finally stopped.

calm at last

calm at last

calm water and a tall ship

calm water and a tall ship

One more job:  We wanted to pull out the huge dandelions from the garden by the public restroom and Ilwaco pavilion.  We have never been assigned to do this garden, but it bothers me.  We used to take care of it when we worked for Shorebank, before the bank changed names and before its resident botanist (who designed the garden) was laid off.

At least we got the dandelions out.

At least we got the dandelions out.

Sometimes it bothers me that the bank garden we used to care for, and quit due to being overbooked, has gone to such weediness.  Other times, like on this particular evening, I look at it and realize it is so far gone now I am just glad I am not the one who has to bring it back.

SEP: Someone Else's Problem

SEP: Someone Else’s Problem

One last look at the Port and a tall ship, and we were done for the day.

tall ship

the condor statue and a tall mast

the condor statue and a tall mast

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Wednesday, we added a Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’ to fill in a space in Mayor Mike’s garden…

much better!

much better!

admired this combo at our Ilwaco Post Office volunteer garden:

Asiatic lily and Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Asiatic lily and Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Note:  Mike’s garden, which we just started doing this year, needs some white lilies.

We stopped at The Basket Case Nursery, where Walter greeted us.

Walter, one of three poodles

Walter, one of three poodles

Next, we stopped at The Planter Box for more Dr. Earth organic caterpillar spray and to confirm the date (July 18th!) when they will be “cash mobbed”.  (Later in the week, we got back to “the caterpillar job” and decided not to spray again.  There were just a few left and we did not want to hurt the busy bees.)

at The Planter Box

at The Planter Box

Next, on to Andersen’s RV Park.  From here on, it would be a “north end day”.  I like a north end day because the gardens are all favourites of ours and it is easier to do two hours here and two there with a car ride in between than a steady slog at one garden all day.

Andersen's west garden

Andersen’s west garden

Baptisia australis backed with Stipa gigantea

Baptisia australis backed with Stipa gigantea

west side garden with Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

west side garden with Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

west side

west side

Staffer Rob Rosett had taken some wonderful photos of the Sisters on the Fly gathering.  Here he is in the office with two of them.

Rob Rosett

Rob Rosett

Stunning photos, eh?

On our way north to our next job, we stopped at our friend Sarah Sloane‘s home to drop off a couple of roses for her garden.  I was smitten with the Dianthus in her neighbour’s window box.  The apartment complex has sweet garden beds.  I was distracted by conversation and forgot to take more photos.

at South Wind Apartments

at South Wind Apartments

Klipsan Beach Cottages came next.

at KBC

at KBC

fenced garden

fenced garden

roses

roses

lilies

lilies

Lily 'Landini'

Lily ‘Landini’

Allium schubertii

Allium schubertii

The week of rain had been hard on some of the roses.

unopened buds

unopened buds

That rose looked fine once we pruned it.  (Down to the next junction with five leaves.)

all better

all better

This rose was just fine despite rain.

This rose was just fine despite rain.

I decided a tree in the lower fenced garden (where the fence protects raspberries, a fig tree, apple trees and more roses) should be limbed up for the sake of the plants underneath. “No sooner said than done” Allan had already cut one branch by the time I took the before photo.

(sort of) before and after

(sort of) before and after

By the drive up the the cottages, the foxgloves were still going strong although the unseasonable strong winds of the last week pushed them sideways.

entry sign

entry sign

To the south of that sign, I have a river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (plant of the century!)

Rozanne blooming in shade

Rozanne blooming in shade

Because I love fuchsias, there are several, including one of my favourites:

Fuchsia 'Hawkshead', white with green tips

Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’, white with green tips

Hawkshead is a tall one.

Hawkshead is a tall one.

Behind it, a Callistemon still blooms.

bottlebrush

bottlebrush

Next, we stopped to deadhead Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ (three big ones!) at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.

OBS garden

OBS garden

And we concluded our workday at The Weigardt Gallery (which had closed by the time we got there).

Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

the north side, showing Eric's upstairs studio

the north side, showing Eric’s upstairs studio

By the time we left there, it was 6:30 PM.  Since I’d been to Marilyn’s garden with Nancy on Sunday on our pre-tour look at the tour gardens, and since rain had been falling on us off and on all day, we knew it would not need watering.  We were both rather damp and tired so we ended the workday early and headed home.

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On the way to work Monday, we touched up the Ilwaco Post Office garden.

not really work, a volunteer project

not really work, a volunteer project

lily and Eryngium

lily and Eryngium

Then I went off garden touring with Nancy while Allan undertook a Long Beach project on his own: the pond at the corner of Pacific and Bolstadt; it had become a haze of horsetail since our spring cleanup there.

before and after

before and after with weed buckets

He had just finished when I rejoined him and we accomplished the replanting of the Fish Alley planters. The Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ had gotten leggy and tired from fighting the wind.

before...and afters

before…and afters

I am determined to have to water these less, as they are a bucket watering chore, so am going with Sedums, Sempervivums, Thymes.

With that accomplished, we did more weeding at Jo’s garden. A weekly visit between now and the July 20th garden tour will keep it in tip top shape.

Jo's east garden

Jo’s east garden

Jo's, looking west

Jo’s, looking west

one of Jo's feeders

one of Jo’s feeders

adorable youngster

adorable youngster

east side patio

north side patio

Not only did we weed but also did a bit of planting; Jo had gotten some lovely plants to fill in the hole where we removed a daylily last time.

newly planted spot

newly planted spot

We closed Monday out with some planting at Gene’s garden. I wanted the streetside garden to be full and had felt it needed more along the edges. Gene had bought some Dianthus and some Alyssum from the Basket Case and we had a few more plants to add.

Gene has been working hard on new areas.

Gene has been working hard on new areas.

I now feel the garden looks full.

I now feel the garden looks full.

ready for the tour! with a month to fill in

ready for the tour! with a month to fill in

Tuesday, we finally made it back to Casa Pacifica. Increasing rain did not stop us from getting the garden looking satisfactory again. We had intended to put in the day on the Long Beach Bolstadt beach approach garden, to get it spiffing for Doggie Olympic Games on the beach the coming Saturday, but an intense wind changed our garden choice to this sheltered somewhat inland one.

no before picture, but this area had been no longer recognizable as garden!

no before picture, but this area had been no longer recognizable as garden!

before and...improved

before and…improved

lawn island, before and after

lawn island, before and after

Dusty kept a close eye on my work.

Dusty kept a close eye on my work.

Spook continued to be shy.

Spook continued to be shy.

the back garden, south side

the back garden, south side

the back garden, north side

the back garden, north side

rose campion and lavender

rose campion and lavender

Halmiocistus wintonensis draping the rock wall

Halmiocistus wintonensis draping the rock wall

and its flowers

and its flowers

 

groundcover wall

groundcover wall

I would so love to see this garden mulched with yards and yards of dairy manure, and I would so like to avoid being the one to heft yards and yards of it up over those rocks. I must suggest that perhaps this garden owner could find a young person who wants to make a day’s wages shifting lovely non smelly Cow Fiber.

After almost five hours we left. Unusually for us we ended the work day early. There was simply nowhere else close enough by to finish the day out of the blustery wind (although it did die down enough so that we were able to enjoy our own garden!) First we ran an errand to the Basket Case Greenhouse, where their plants told the tale of how windy it had been.

toppled and strewn about!

toppled and strewn about!

We chose a hanging basket to go by our garage. It was a tough choice. Would it be this one?

callibrachoa dark red

calibrachoa dark red

Or this one?

double callies

double callies

Or this one?

blue and pink

blue and pink

Allan picked this one, liking the way that the yellow matched some of the trim on our house:

new basket at home

new basket at home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There was not much time in our garden this week but what time we had was very productive.  Sunday, part of my day off was spent on the pleasant activity of garden touring.  When I got home at almost three, a very rained on Maddy greeting me with complaints about the weather.

grumpy

grumpy

Calvin had been more sensible and stayed dry on the cat perch.

a sensible boy

a sensible boy

I am trying to decide which daylilies stay and which will go.  This one was in disfavour on Sunday but I thought it looked pretty attractive on Thursday morning…

Am I going to be a softie?

Am I going to be a softie?

This one I do like.

This one I do like.

This one is horrid.

This one is horrid.

I must tag the horrid ones so I remember to remove them later.  I am thinking, because the flowers are edible, that they had better all stay till after the edible garden tour on August 11th!

My task of the afternoon was to plant all my acquisitions from Saturday’s plant shopping excursion.  The light and not too cold rain made for perfect planting weather, negating the need to water anything in.  To my disappointment, I found that the still somewhat empty end of the new west side border is still unplantable.  It looks enticing but is mostly unbroken down garden clippings on top of newspaper with just a thin layer of soil on top.

deceptive

deceptive

Frustrating because I needed more room for my new plants, but I did manage to get them all into soil here and there.  I think Cataline ‘Gilded Grape’ Torenia looks wonderful next door to Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso’.

Torenia and Petunia

Torenia and Petunia

Some garden vignettes:

arbour with Clematis 'Etoile Violette'

arbour with Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’

The ends of these beds were extended last winter.

The ends of these beds were extended last winter.

Allan cut a monster branch of this tree, but I forgot to take a before pic.  Lots more sun for potato pile now!

Allan cut a monster branch of this tree, but I forgot to take a before pic.

Lots more sun for the potato pile now…spuds grown in debris pile along the east fence.  (Someone recently told me that if spuds come back on their own, crop rotation is not an issue.  I hope that is true.)

Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

"Maxine's white rambler"

“Maxine’s white rambler”
by the cat bench

by the cat bench

Centaurea montana; I have not had this become a weed...yet.

Centaurea montana; I have not had this become a weed…yet.

My version of edible gardening...neglecting to harvest the chard.

My version of edible gardening…neglecting to harvest the chard.

Rose 'Dortmund' bowed by rain

Rose ‘Dortmund’ bowed by rain

Rose 'Nearly Wild':  I am unimpressed.

Rose ‘Nearly Wild’: I am unimpressed.

some of Allan's ferns

some of Allan’s ferns

Pulmonaria

Pulmonarias

Dicentra scandens

Dicentra scandens

And a few hardy Fuchsias:   I love them and have at least thirty different kinds.  I got many of them at The Basket Case Greenhouse where you will find an excellent collection for sale.

Debron's Black Cherry

Debron’s Black Cherry

pale pink magellanica

pale pink magellanica

fuchsia

I got my passion for Fuchsias from my grandma, who grew a few small flowering hardy ones and lots of annual ones, wintered over under lights.  She called them her dancing girls.

Fuchsia

This is why I keep quitting jobs lately….to try to strike a better balance between being able to pay the bills and yet having more time at home in our own garden.

Tuesday after work I had another garden interlude at home because an intense wind made it unpleasant to work anywhere in Ilwaco or Long Beach.  We had gone to a garden a bit inland for about five hours.  When we got home, the wind had blown alder leaves and even a few Oriental poppy petals all the way over the low roof of the garage and into the driveway.

windblown

windblown

I thought that I would stay indoors and work on catching up on the blog (which is running about three days behind); then suddenly the wind died down enough to weed outside without fear of falling tree limbs, and Allan got the lawn mowed, even unto the bogsy woods.

My photos of our garden from that day were taken before work:

intensely fragrant white lilies by the sidewalk fence

intensely fragrant white lilies by the sidewalk fence

Melianthus major by the sidewalk fence (handy for showing people that the leaves smell like peanut butter!)

Melianthus major by the sidewalk fence (handy for showing people that the leaves smell like peanut butter!)

front garden, still mostly green

front garden, still mostly green

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' hiding a lily

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ hiding a lily

Lily 'Landini'

Lily ‘Landini’

Tomorrow:  The week in work, and maybe then I will be caught up just momentarily.

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save the dateOn Sunday, Nancy, garden tour organizer, picked me up at 11 and we went to some of the gardens that will be on the Music in the Gardens tour, July 20th.  Our mission: to write descriptions for each garden.   First, a garden on the bay.  I can only show you glimpses, not big spoilers of the whole landscape!

Bayside Garden

Through a gate flanked by totem poles is a parklike landscape.  We think if the owner puts out some tables and chairs it will be a great place for people to stop and have a picnic lunch.

sneak peekThere’s no house here, just a natural landscaped setting and a path to the bay.  There’s also the sturdiest elk and bear fence you’ll ever see.

safe veg

safe veg

woodland path

woodland path

seguing to meadow path

seguing to meadow path

There’s a surprise along the way to the bayside, but I won’t reveal it till you’ve been on the tour!  After tour day, we’ll post a detailed view of each garden.

beautiful Willapa Bay

beautiful Willapa Bay

I don’t think Nancy has worked up the description for this one yet.

Marilyn’s Garden

Those who follow this blog already know about Marilyn’s garden, a wildlife friendly landscape on a city lot (50 by 100 or something like that) in Surfside.  When Nancy and I arrived on Sunday, these two were just crossing into the neighbour’s yard.  I would not be surprised if, as has happened before, the fawn was born in Marilyn’s garden among the ornamental grasses.

mother and child

mother and child

description (first draft):

Marilyn and Nancy Gorshe garden

Instead of being “deer resistant”, this garden is wildlife friendly and proof that you can coexist with deer and still have plenty of flowers.  Nancy and Marilyn call this their healing garden because while recovering from knee surgery and from cancer, they have been inspired and comforted by watching plentiful birds and a mother deer and fawns living in the garden.  Designed and planted by Tangly Cottage Gardening to be viewed and enjoyed year round with structural perennials and ornamental grasses for winter interest.

Butterfly Shores

Next we checked out a tour garden in Butterfly Shores where a meadow, just over the foredune from the ocean, is exposed to the salt wind and storms and still thrives with well chosen plants selected and planted by local gardener Diana Canto.

meadow effect

meadow effect

detail

sedum wreathDescription (first draft):

This large meadow garden on the dunes of a Butterfly Shores estate showcases the many plants that thrive in full exposure to salt, wind and winter storms.  As you wander through the meadow, notice the garden art, collected driftwood planters and sculpture, pond and fountain.  The tall fence around the back gardens protects artful bird feeders from bears, raised-bed vegetables from deer and encloses a sheltered patio.  Garden designer:  Diana Canto

intermission

I must break from the tour to show you two ocean front houses that caught my fancy.  One, across from the tour garden, is known locally as “The Microsoft House’ and is built, it is said, to withstand a tsunami.  That would be quite a feat as it is the first house in line from the shore.

the microsoft house

designed to survive

designed to survive

I was also intrigued by a narrow house further to the north.  Unfortunately, neither photo shows a feature that I liked:  Part of the house (the north end) is separate and reached by an elevated breezeway.

an unusually narrow house for such a setting

an unusually narrow house for such a setting

detail

Jo’s garden

Jo’s is another garden that readers of this blog might feel they already know well.  By the time we got there, the rain was pretty intense so Jo, Nancy and I sat inside and talked about gardening and about the garden description.  Coco sat on my lap.

Coco

Coco

I think she likes me.

I think she likes me.

Here’s a sneak peek of Jo’s from when I worked there the next day:

Jo's garden

Jo’s garden

Description (first draft):

Cottage gardens wrap around this 1896 home in a succession of outdoor rooms, each filled with breath-taking color and whimsical garden art.  Flowers and feeders provide a sanctuary for birds, which you will surely hear as you  meander on the brick path.  The welcoming deck is a haven for friends and family.  This exquisite garden will be a great inspiration to those who garden in small spaces.

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On Monday, we went to two more gardens.  We again looked at the Deemer garden which we had visited earlier in the month. I do long to show you all of it but mustn’t post spoilers for the tour!  Let me just say it is one of my top three favourites on this tour.

Deemer garden

just a hint

just a hint

birdhouses

birdhouses

perhaps more than a hint, but there is much more to see!

perhaps more than a hint, but there is much more to see!

Nancy hasn’t sent me the rough draft of the description, but it will be about the many garden areas, the shady retreats because Laura likes to get out of the hot sun, the specimen trees and  shrubs, the pond, and the original metal garden art.

Dickerson garden

We also visited a garden that was on the tour back in 2008;  I missed it then because that was the year our own garden (our former garden) was on the tour.  I have wanted to find time to see it, but life keeps slipping by.  The owners’ daughter, Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery, says it has changed much since 2008 so there will be lots to see even if you have toured it before.

One of the prettiest chicken coops I've ever seen

One of the prettiest chicken coops I’ve ever seen

expansive beds of flowers and veg

expansive beds of flowers and veg

clever ideas

clever ideas

I photographed this and the Deemer garden extensively but can’t share all the photos yet!

description (first draft):

Allow yourself time to explore this expansive, one acre country garden where edibles and flowers grow in harmony, surrounded by mature conifers which provide privacy and some wind protection. As you enter the front gate, see swirls of lavender and rosemary filling deep perennial beds.  After circling a ring of dahlias,  head for the cutest chicken house ever, “The Imperial Chicken Palace,” which is filled with 13 gorgeous hens.  Meandering through the property you will see  2 and “1/4” poly tunnels which shelter tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and more.  Edible landscape masters, the owners have lived and worked on the grounds for 19 years.  The garden is full of clever ideas for watering, fencing, and decor.

Peggy and Gene’s garden (Peggy Miles memorial garden)

Finally, we visited Gene’s garden where he carries on the memory of his late wife, Peggy.  Allan and I helped with the weeding and with the planting of the streetside bed.

mossy courtyard detail

mossy courtyard detail

townhouse porch

townhouse porch

description  (first draft):

This pocket-size townhouse garden was created by the late Peggy Miles and continues to thrive in her memory with tending by her husband Gene.  The front porch abounds with the charm and beauty of colorful hanging baskets and potted plants.

Narrow beds surrounding the house are planted with deer-resistant borders.  The jewel of this garden is the tucked-away courtyard in back, filled with a bold composition of shade plants and well-chosen ground covers placed in crevices between pavers and river rocks.

At the end of the courtyard is Gene’s up cycled pallet composter and a chiminea-seating area.

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Another garden that will be on the tour is the Painted Lady Lavender Farm, about which I have raved on this blog before.

Where to buy tickets:  Tickets may be purchased with cash or check one week before the tour. Credit cards are not accepted, as the ticket-selling venues are doing so on a volunteer basis.

The English Nursery
corner of Highways 101 and 103
Seaview, WA

Peninsula Landscape Supply
15289 Sandridge Rd
Long Beach, WA

Adelaide’s Books & Coffee
1401 Bay Avenue
Ocean Park, WA

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On Monday, before we went to see the official gardens, we visited one that is not on the tour this year because it is so new, but I think it is pretty special.

Nancy and Phil’s garden

'Sweet Magnolia' peas!

‘Sweet Magnolia’ peas!

just wow!

just wow!

lettuces

lettuces

veg boxes

veg boxes

eight month old flower border

eight month old flower border

Alllium albopilosum and schubertii

Alllium albopilosum and schubertii

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Maybe next year, or the year after, Nancy will feel her garden is ready for its own tour day.

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Here’s our tour of  Helen Westbrook’s beautiful Mill Pond Village garden last Saturday, a garden I discovered on the July 2012 Astoria garden tour and then saw again in March on one of the last days of winter.

view from our parking spot, SW corner of townhouse

view from our parking spot, SW corner of townhouse

approaching the entrance (Hebe)

approaching the entrance (Hebe)

just as beautiful as I remembered

just as beautiful as I remembered

I’m going to give you every view, because why should you not enjoy it to the fullest?

Helen's garden

garden

One of my favourite features of this garden is the dry creek bed or swale which captures winter water runoff.

looking east over the swale

looking east over the swale

I find this so very pleasing.

I find this so very pleasing.

To the right, above, you can see a bit of the Sambucus ‘Black Lace’.  Helen said she had recently pruned it and brought some of the flowers into the house and said they did not smell very nice.

Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

looking west over the swale

looking west over the swale
seating by the swale

seating by the swale

barrel planter

barrel planter

arbour into the center to the garden

arbour into the center to the garden

arbour detail

arbour detail

a little wishing well

a little wishing well

Below, you can see how shrubs have grown in the last year and provide a privacy screen for the porch of the neighbour to the north.  The garden itself is on an unbuilt lot between the two townhouses.

view looking west

view looking west

shrub screen

shrub screen

By now Helen had emerged from her house.  We wondered together whether or not it was normal for the Physocarpus ‘Coppertina’ (?I think it is that one) to be showing both white and copper flowers.

two colours

two colours

a fragrant rugosa rose in the hedge

a fragrant rugosa rose in the hedge

Looking from the hedge toward Helen's porch

Looking from the hedge toward Helen’s porch

a comfy bench

a comfy bench

blue table

blue table

to the west of the table, a solar powered water feature

to the west of the table, a solar powered water feature

Helen says even a passing cloud will make it turn off, but it would still be attractive.

Helen says even a passing cloud will make it turn off, but it would still be attractive.

bicycle basket

bicycle basket

That combination of sedums and ferns is unusual and most attractive.

I marveled to Helen at the detail in her groundcovers; even without being on a garden tour this year, she has attended carefully to creating small vignettes which I know take attention to maintain.

shells and moss

shells and moss and stones

a little jug

a little jug

a tiny clearing for stones

a tiny clearing for stones

and precious jewels.

and precious jewels.

This makes me want a smaller garden so I can attend to such details, but Allan has time for effects like this in his shady fern garden.

Anton memorial

Anton memorial

Anton was a golden labrador who was friends with all the residents of Mill Pond Village.  Helen described him as bringing neighbours together.  He died recently and his ashes were shared among his human friends, and some are buried here.

There must be a gardening bond among many of the residents as almost all have little curbside gardens (which were featured on the Astoria Garden Tour several years ago).

a floriferous porch

a floriferous porch

along a shady walkway

along a shady walkway

If Loren of Futureworld sees this post, I hope he will tell me if the hosta above is more interesting than the ones he described earlier this year.

on a corner

on a corner

lawn between townhouses

lawn between townhouses

At the end of the long lawn is the Astoria Riverwalk along the Columbia River, and in summer the adorable trolley goes by.

It was such a treat to see Helen’s garden again and we would have liked to walk all around the village and see the little gardens and the houses that are built right by the old mill pond itself, but we had nurseries to get to…so perhaps we will make another visit in late summer.

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