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Archive for July, 2013

July 20, 2013

from the program:  Painted Lady Lavender Farm:  Whimsey abounds as you enter this gorgeous cultivated canyon, revealed at the end of a woodsy driveway. After being inspired by a visit to France 20 years ago, the owners decided to farm lavender on this undulating acreage. The terraced hillside holds four lavender fields, vegetables, perennials, a tree house, two charming cottages, chicken and quail coops and a bocce court. The valley floor of the farm holds a cafe, many seating areas, a stage, a store selling lavender products, garden rooms and a fountain. Wrought iron furniture and gates were made by the owner’s son Wade. Daughter Sherri will be on hand to lead tours through this paradise.

I’ve written about this garden before, and for a more organized photo tour of the garden, you could read this.  For garden tour day, I’d like to just share the impression of wandering through the garden.

Sheila and Debbie and Allan and I arrived at the farm with the foreknowledge that guided tours were being insisted upon; however, by invoking the fact that we had with us professional photographer Debbie Teashon, who has had photos in Fine Gardening and other famous magazines, and who needed to wander at will, and by reminding tour guide Sherri that I knew the gardens and its paths well and promising to keep my guests safe, we were given permission  to wander at will.

First we went up the hill behind the house to the fragrant stands of lavender.

First we went up the hill behind the house to the fragrant stands of lavender.

Sheila and Allan and I enjoyed the sights and smells while Debbie photographed this and that.

shade and sun

shade and sun

lavender

mural on back of house by "Painted Lady" Susan Wallace

mural on back of house by “Painted Lady” Susan Wallace

mural

Sheila taking a photo

Sheila taking a photo

A bit uphill from the back of the house is a gift shop with lavender items and antiques.

gift shop

gift shop

inside the gift shop with furniture painted by Susan

inside the gift shop with furniture painted by Susan

rose behind the main house

rose behind the main house

deck of the main house

deck of the main house

view from the deck

view from the deck

As we were enjoying the views from this area, a guided tour went by, crossed the field and went back down the hill.

tour

tour

tour being guided by Sherry

tour being guided by Sherri

Sherri was explaining all the different kinds of lavender and other herbs, but we were glad to be on our own rather than being guided because we are very stubborn independent minded.

tour group

tour group

We were able to go further up the hill to a delightful guest cottage.

 cottage at the very top of the hill

cottage at the very top of the hill
Sheila is enchanted.

Sheila is enchanted.

I am enchanted all over again.

I am enchanted all over again.
dreamy inside

dreamy inside

nearby, an outdoor tub

nearby, an outdoor tub

sink and tub

sink and tub

behind the tub wall

behind the tub wall

looking over wall to the cottage

looking over wall to the cottage

I knew of the stairs down to the back of the main house.

I knew of the stairs down to the back of the main house.

smoke rising from the outdoor kitchen

smoke rising from the outdoor kitchen

the chimney of the big pizza oven

the chimney of the big pizza oven

outdoor kitchen

outdoor kitchen dining room (same room as the big oven)

outdoor kitchen dining room (same room as the big oven)

dining

in the dining area

in the dining area

The farm is “off the grid” with any electricity powered by a generator and water supplied by a well.

more of the "summer kitchen"

more of the “summer kitchen”

summer kitchen

summer kitchen

kitchen

I remember reading a novel about farm life where the family had an indoor kitchen for the winter and a roofed outdoor kitchen for the summer.  It is an excellent idea, especially with the partial walls that provide windbreaks and shelter from any rain.

another tour departs from the main house patio

another tour departs from the main house patio

by the outdoor kitchen

by the outdoor kitchen

in the background: belly dancers

in the background: belly dancers

Belly dancing is a big part of the Lavender Farm lifestyle these days.  You can read more that here.  (They are having another Beach Bellydance Festival this year on August 10th and 11th.)

dancers

dancers

A dog inside the main house looks like Jo Fitzsimmon's Coco.

A dog inside the main house looks like Jo Fitzsimmon’s Coco.

kitchen

By now we had reunited with our friend Kathleen Shaw, who had been touring from north to south while we went south to north and then back south again.

Kathleen Shaw's photo of the main house patio

Kathleen Shaw’s photo of the main house patio

patio pond

patio pond

We can just see Kathleen next to the statue in the photo below:

a glimpse of a friend

a glimpse of a friend

Our friend Jenay, who lives just up the road from the farm, was there as well.

Allan and Jenay

Allan and Jenay

She had been stationed at the entrance but as the tour hours drew to a close, she could not resist joining the dancers.

stage

dancers

dancers

dancers

to the right, in black, “Painted Lady” Susan Wallace

Susan, the Painted Lady

Susan, the Painted Lady

Susan’s decorative floral painting can be seen on buildings around the Peninsula; her mural of flying kites is on the outside wall of the Payson Hall clubhouse at Andersen’s RV Park.

Jenay

Jenay

dancers

dancers (daughter and mother)

dancer

As the dancing continued, we explored the gardens around the house.

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

shed near the outdoor kitchen

shed near the outdoor kitchen

fix it supplies in the window

fix it supplies in the window

just uphill: the chicken coop

just uphill: the chicken coop

another little cottage

another little cottage

peeking in a window

peeking in a window

window

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

woodsy

secret garden

secret garden

inside the secret garden

inside the secret garden

Sheila exploring

Sheila exploring

looking back at the stage

looking back at the stage

picket

an old well

an old well

Sheila and Sherri contemplating the well

Sheila and Sherri contemplating the well

the height of the water table inside the well

the height of the water table inside the well

a resident of the old well

a resident of the old well

frog

frog

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

Jenay and Kathleen Shaw

Jenay and Kathleen Shaw

Kathleen is amazing for the connections she has made as a vacationer here on the Peninsula.  We so look forward to her moving here someday.  The sooner the better!

Jenay by the main house

Jenay by the main house

upstairs window, photo by Kathleen Shaw

upstairs window, photo by Kathleen Shaw

gift booth by entrance

gift booth by entrance

lavender

by the entrance

by the entrance

by the driveway

by the driveway

The five of us (Kathleen, Allan, Debbie, Sheila, and I) walked back to our cars in a happy mood, went back to our house and all sat around for awhile discussing the tour and then went out for a delicious meal at the Depot Restaurant.  Depot owner Nancy Gorshe was beaming because she had so much fun hosting tour guests at her mother’s garden.  Our three friends from out of town were pleased with Chef Michael’s sulbimel food.  (It was not a new experience for Kathleen, a frequent visitor to and future resident of the Peninsula.)

And our touring was not over, because on Sunday we all had plans to tour several more gardens on a private tour day of our own.

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from the program:  Peggy Miller’s bayside garden:    Through a gate flanked by totem poles is a formal parklike landscape. Though there is no house on this bayfront property, there is still a lot to view. Peggy’s edible garden of berries, artichokes and greens is well-protected from wildlife with the sturdiest elk and bear fence you’ll ever see. A natural path winds its way to the bay through woodlands, a meadow and an old orchard.  A surprise structure will greet you at the end of the trail. Peggy was on the tour last year; you may remember her great support and patronage to local artists and the community.  She shares her passions on two fronts this year:  First a tent with local artists demonstrating how various garden art is made.  Also, the Bikes for Books is back, a wonderful program for the area’s elementary schools that rewards reading with a chance to win a new bike.

from the road, photo by Kathleen Sayce

from the road, photo by Kathleen Sayce

This property has a few garden elements but is really a landscape on Willapa Bay.  Some photos were taken on a pre-tour walk through with organizer Nancy Allen.  Owner Peggy, a staunch supporter of local art,  had proposed the idea of having artists giving demonstrations of making garden art.

to the left of entrance

to the left of entrance

I think the reason there are unplanted plants might be because some plants were sale from Peninsula Landscape Supply.  Otherwise I am mystified!

on pre-tour day, June 24

on pre-tour day, June 24

Sheila and Debbie approaching the art demonstration area on tour day.

Sheila and Debbie approaching the art demonstration area on tour day.

Peninsula Landscape Supply had a table set up.

Peninsula Landscape Supply had a table set up.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Brian O'Connor was the musician.

Brian O’Connor was the musician.

Brian’s spouse is Renee O’Conner, the tile artist who made the beautiful obelisks in Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park and who was also performing on tour day in the Mozart Chicks at Pink Poppy Farm.

flower bed

flower bed

Tlingit art

Tlingit art

patio

patio

on tour day

on tour day

art demo schedule

I was pleased to find that our visit coincided with the garden art demo by Jan Bartlett Richardson, whose beautiful Windy Meadows Pottery garden was on last year’s tour.  She creates the most enchanting miniature clay houses that I have ever seen.

Jan Bartlett Richardson

Jan Bartlett Richardson

her garden art piece on progress

her garden art piece on progress

She will be using the fern fronds and other leaves to add impressions to the piece.

By the time Jan and I were done chatting, Sheila and Debbie had gone on the path to the bay.

path to bay

path to bay

I’m not sure all the tour guests realized the path existed if, like me when garden touring, they just skim the tour description while at each garden.

This would be very wet in the winter.

This would be very wet in the winter.

path

onward

path

path

path

into the light

into the light

Sheila and Debbie by an old orchard

catching up to Sheila and Debbie

old fruit trees

glimpsing the bay

glimpsing the bay

For those who don’t know our geography, the Long Beach Peninsula lies between two bodies of water, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Willapa Bay to the east.

to bay

bay view tree house

bay view tree house

For safety, the ladder to the treehouse was removed on tour day.

the setting, photo by Kathleen Sayce

the setting, photo by Kathleen Sayce

bay view aerie

bay view aerie

on pre tour day

on pre tour day

the bay, photo by Kathleen Sayce

the bay, photo by Kathleen Sayce

walking west again

walking west again

Back in the entrance area, we stopped to have another look at one of the landscape’s main features:  a deer and bear proof set of vegetable enclosures.

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

No critter will get in here!

No critter will get in here!  photo by Kathleen Sayce

veg fortress

veg fortress

Next:  The Painted Lady Lavender Farm…and here’s hoping it won’t take me two days to write it up because it’s a truly fabulous and enchanting garden.

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July 20, 2013

from the program:  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.  It was designed and planted by Tangly Cottage Gardening to be viewed and enjoyed year round with structural perennials and ornamental grasses for winter interest. There will be a page at tanglycottage.wordpress/deer featuring deer resistant plants.

This garden on a small lot is one that Allan and I began from scratch in 2006.   I’ve written about it a lot since then, so will just do a walk through here from the day before tour day (when we did the final tidy up) and tour day itself.  I hope the tour guests understood that while small, the garden shows off how you can have lots of flowers even though the deer amble through daily.  If you can see a hose in the photo, it’s the day before tour day.

the view from the street

the view from the street

To the left of this photo (out of the picture) is the driveway, where the neighbour to the east and Marilyn and Nancy have planted shrubs for privacy…eventually.

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour's house

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour’s house

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking south

Above, looking south: We took up our nicest table and chairs, and Nancy thought it was so great to have a sit spot on the lawn that she says she is going to get a table and chairs for it!

Nancy ready for tour guests

Nancy ready for tour guests

She served cookies made by her spouse, Chef Michael of the Depot Restaurant.  There were 200, I believe, and my first hint that the tour was quite successful is when we arrived to find all the cookies gone.  I did not mind at all because I was so happy we had had that many people come through.

The deer, for some reason, focus on the area in front of the front porch, but they have left the lady’s mantle and geranium ‘Rozanne’ alone.

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate was the musician for this garden.  She does a great deal for the community.  She sang at my mother’s memorial service and knew the words to the song my father used to sing, “Because”.  (We made a garden for her in 2008, not the sort we go back and maintain.)  Barbara’s musical repertoire is vast and she was perfect for this venue.  Last year, she was the musician for the Hornbuckle garden, and later Tom and Judy told me people were dancing in their courtyard.

Barbara

side view of front porch (looking east) with Barbara

barbara

looking west

looking west from the lawn

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

The only pre-existing plant in the flower borders was the orange monbretia that had run over the neighbour’s garden to the west.  I consider it a thug, but don’t fight it in the front corner by the street because it intermingles with salal (speaking of thugs!) and adds some colour.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

where the lawn meets the gravel path

Above, where, the lawn meets the gravel path:  Phygelius, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’, lady’s mantle, backed with Miscanthus.

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

west of porch:  Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', Salvia viridis, and Lavender

west of porch: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Salvia viridis, and Lavender

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', photo by Kathleen Sayce

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, photo by Kathleen Sayce

against west wall of house:  Papaver 'Lauren's Grape' and Salvia viridis

against west wall of house: Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’ and Salvia viridis

looking south on tour day

looking south on tour day

looking south

figs

The fig tree grows larger and larger on the east side of the path against the house.  The deer do not eat the figs!

tour guests

tour guests

tour

guests

guests

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

I brought my Deer Xing sign for the chair by the southwest corner of the house and a bowl to fill with water.  It had occurred to me that this bird and deer friendly garden had no water!  Nancy was so taken with this that she agreed a bird bath would be an excellent gift for her mother, Marilyn.

day before

day before

I decided to present the garden quite honestly and did not trim the stems where deer had eaten the white mallow and Crocosmia as they nibbled their way by.  It is impressive enough that there are enough flowers to share and enough things they do not eat.  A chaise lounge is kept across the back porch or the deer will climb right up there and eat flowers (although in my experience, they usually leave dahlias alone).

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

To the south side of the house is a river rock dry pond which is good for drainage in the winter.  On its south side grow native shrubs and trees along the property line, and on the house side we have a path and a planting of Siberian iris, Persicaria ‘Firetail’, and double orange daylilies.

river rock swale

river rock swale

Hops grow up on the east side of porch railing (not shown).  I’ve tried to grow a honeysuckle on the south side but the area does not get watered and so that has not been a success.  If I remembered to water it whenever we check on the garden, it would do much better.

On tour day, we went in to visit Marilyn and saw the garden from a different perspective: from the inside out.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.  Oops.

I planted that tree between two windows and did not expect it to do this well!  Next time we visit the garden we will do some pruning.

another west window...that's better

another west window…that’s better

From this window, a deer has been observed birthing a fawn right in the garden.

another west window

another west window

from the kitchen window, looking south to the greenbelt

from the kitchen window, looking south to the native shrub and tree border

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

As we drove away, we saw one of the garden residents just down the street.

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

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I learned just in time to call it by the right name for this entry that this garden is known as Pink Poppy Farm!

from the program:   The Dickerson garden:  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 poly tunnels which shelter tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, peppers and more.  Masters of edible landscapes, the owners have lived and worked on the grounds for 19 years.  The garden is full of clever ideas for watering, fencing, and decor.

Expansive indeed, this garden is going to make for a long entry!

Our friend Kathleen got this good shot of the entry gate:

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

Inside the gate, we saw to our right a lavender garden and ahead, a circle of dahlias and other flowers.

entry garden

entry garden

To our left is the front porch and behind us the bright red door of the garage.

photo by Kathleen Shaw, looking east

photo by Kathleen Shaw, looking east

north side of house

north side of house

After an amazing tour of this garden we will exit through that narrow passageway.

front porch

front porch

NW corner of house

NW corner of house

a detailed garden

So far, it seems like a normal, nice, restrained garden.  Then, coming around the west side of the house….

west lawn and garden bed...

west lawn and garden bed…

…we get the first indication of the special delights of this garden.  Below, Sheila sees the Imperial Chicken Palace!

just wow!

just wow!

ICP

Imperial Chicken Palace

Imperial Chicken Palace

ICP

side view

side view

chicken palace window box

chicken palace window box

There, I am back in love with Petunia ‘Phantom’!

the girls; top photo by Kathleen Shaw:  dust bath time

the girls; top photo by Kathleen Shaw: dust bath time

nesting boxes accessed by an exterior hatch

nesting boxes accessed by an exterior hatch

Although it was hard to leave “the girls”, we walk east along the south side of the house.

looking east

looking east

chairs and a photo album I wish I had taken time to look at

chairs and a photo album I wish I had taken time to look at

up a slope of lawn, looking back

up a slope of lawn, looking back

Below, Allan and Debbie from Rainyside Gardeners, who sets up for a photo while garden owner Mike Dickerson walks forward to greet them.

SE corner of house

SE corner of house

from further east

from further east

This garden had been on tour before, but on the same year that my old garden was on the tour, so we did not get to see it,  This time, Mike joked “You’ve finally paid to come see my garden!”

Mike demonstrates a simple clever fence to keep chickens out of the garden beds.

Garden owner Lynn demonstrates a simple clever fence to keep chickens out of the garden beds.

along the south side of the garden...In the background, you can see the compost bins

along the south side of the garden…In the background, you can see the compost bins

further east, hoop houses, "two and a fourth" (small one), Lynn said.

further east, hoop houses, “two and a fourth” (small one), Lynn said.

veg boxes (compost bins in background)

veg boxes (compost bins in background)

Sheila and I always enjoy the true working areas of the garden, like the compost bins.  Here, they are enviably large, running along the middle south side of the property and made of old pallets.

much compost

much compost

Speaking of working areas, we admire the watering system in this garden:

hose manifolds

hose manifolds

Hoses lead to oscillating sprinklers which are mounted on posts.  Each hose connects with a quick connect to the sprinkler which is permanently set for optimum watering pattern.

sprinkler

sprinkler

and another view of the chicken fence

and another view of the chicken fence

We intend to adopt this watering system for our garden as soon as we have time.  It will save lots of fiddling with the sprinklers.

a tour guest walking east

a tour guest walking east

poppies

pre-tour photo showing two hoop houses (looking east)

pre-tour photo showing two hoop houses (looking east)

on tour day

on tour day

The first and smaller hoophouse:

house

one of the the hoop houses

 north door

inside

inside

south door

south door

looking east

looking east

The big hoop house and raised beds:

approaching a big hoop house

approaching  big hoop house

I loved the raised box of nasturtiums (photo taken while pre-touring in June)

I loved the raised box of nasturtiums (photo taken while pre-touring in June)

hoop

inside the hoop house

inside the hoop house

a prolific crop

a prolific crop

tomatoes

tomatoes

Allan was interested in the details of how it was constructed, and you might be, too:

how to

how to

how to

how the windows open

how the windows open

Way up at the top of garden by a house (which is also part of the property but lacks amenities) is another, smaller hoophouse where Madeline and Jacob grow their produce for the Saturday Market.  The garden also provides food for a few CSA boxes.

the littlest hoophouse

the littlest hoophouse

garden tour guests

garden tour guests
friends

guests

boy

Donna and M.R.

Donna and M.R.

Because this was the most central garden of the tour, we ran into some of our touring friends there.  We found our friends Donna and M.R. photographing flowers on the route from the hoophouses to the north side of the garden.

bachelor buttons

bachelor buttons

Set in a fenced garden of its own, the garden shed charmed everyone with its old windows and shingled sides, and windowboxes.

taken on pre-tour day, late June

taken on pre-tour day, late June

shed windowboxes

shed windowboxes

neatly cut edges in the  shed garden

neatly cut edges in the shed garden

an old swingset used as trellising near the garden shed

an old swingset used as trellising near the garden shed, in late June

on tour day

My, how the flowers had grown since June 24th when I first visited the garden!

right...the smaller hoophouse...left...the garden shed

right…the smaller hoophouse…left…the garden shed

cornflowers and just a glimpse of the "stage" area

cornflowers and just a glimpse of the “stage” area

Coming around a grass path from the garden shed, we followed the beautiful music to the green stage setting for the Mozart Chicks.

The Mozart Chicks

The Mozart Chicks

classical quintet

classical quintet

music appreciator

music appreciator

I took an iPhone video walking from the musicians’ area around the garden which you may be able to view here.

One garden bed after another abounded with food and flowers mixed together.

produce

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

sunflowers against the "extra house"

sunflowers against the “extra house”

mix

dahlias

dahlias

The Pink Poppy Bakery booth at the Ilwaco Saturday Market offers bouquets of flowers from this garden.

After going round and round the garden, we came to the patio on the east side of the house where delicious treats awaited.

handsome steps down to the patio area

handsome steps down to the patio area

treats

treats

You can see in the background, above, how popular the Pink Poppy Bakery treats were!

treats

 

This garden will also be on the Peninsula Edible Garden Tour...

This garden will also be on the Peninsula Edible Garden Tour…

patio detail

patio detail

The patio wraps around the corner of the house.

The patio wraps around the corner of the house.

view from just inside the house

Around the patio, many tour guests converged and lingered and chatted, even though we all had more gardens to see.

M.R. photographing flowers

M.R. photographing a birdhouse

house

We photographed it, too.

(right) garden owner Mike Dickerson

(right) garden owner Mike Dickerson

Mike and Sheila

Mike and Sheila

Mike and M.R.

Mike and M.R.

Finally, we did have to tear ourselves away because we had three more gardens to see…

walkway between garage and house

walkway between garage and house

back to the entry garden

back to the entry garden

back

And with wistful looks back, we departed for the rest of our tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 20, 2013

from the program:  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.  This remarkable garden design was planted and maintained  by local gardener Diana Canto.

A few years ago, the owner of this property asked me if we would create a garden for her.  We were simply too busy, so I referred her to local gardener Diana Canto, whose own garden I had admired.  Here is the wonderful landscape that Diana has created in front (west) of the house.

side

Bristol garden

Bristol garden

There is only one house and dune grass between this garden and the beach.

looking from the garden to the west on a pre-tour visit.

looking from the garden to the west on a pre-tour visit.

house

garden

Everything in this garden is exposed to salt wind, storms, and I am sure to deer.

beachy

beachy

daisies and ornamental grasses

daisies and ornamental grasses

detail, taken on a rainy pre-tour day in late June

detail, taken on a rainy pre-tour day in late June

also on pre-tour day

also on pre-tour day

in late June

in late June

on that rainy pre-tour day

on that rainy pre-tour day

 

in the west (front Garden), Deb sets up for a photo

in the west (front Garden), Deb sets up for a photo

It was such enormous fun touring with Debbie and Sheila.  Kathleen was touring from north to south so we did not connect with her till the end.

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

This is one of the prettiest Perovskias I have ever seen.

This is one of the prettiest Perovskias I have ever seen.

grasses

looking west

looking west

The house across the road is attractive indeed and is said to be built to be tsunami safe.

daisies

daisies, Allan’s photo

another daisy photo by Allan

another daisy photo by Allan

beds around the house

beds around the house

garden confab by the porch.  Left: Diana Canto, who designed the garden, and in the center, Phil, spouse of tour organizer Nancy.

garden confab by the porch. Left: Diana Canto, who designed the garden, and in the center, Phil, spouse of tour organizer Nancy and a stanch supporter of the garden tour.

a serious discussion

a serious discussion

plants by the foundation and porch steps

plants by the foundation and porch steps

lovely built in porch planters, taken late June

lovely built in porch planters, taken late June

on tour day

on tour day

garden next to porch

garden next to porch

from the porch looking west

from the porch looking west

To the north side of the front garden, a path leads into the fenced back garden.

to the back

to the back

garden near the arch path

garden near the arch path

Inside the back yard, a raised bed grows edibles.

veg

veg

back garden, taken in late June

back garden, taken in late June

on tour day

on tour day

Kathleen Shaw's photo of the north side of the back garden

Kathleen Shaw’s photo of the north side of the back garden

Our friend Kathleen Sayce's view of the back garden

Our friend Kathleen Sayce’s view of the back garden

On the porch, I greeted singer Randy Brown, the musician for this garden, who last year was the musician for our garden on the tour.  I was hoping we would be at the Bristol garden during one of his sets.

Randy Brown

Randy Brown

We reminisced for a little while; he said, “Your garden was industrial strength colour therapy!  Vietnam vets with PTSD should go there to heal.”  He would have loved Jo’s garden!

Allan's photo of Randy

Allan’s photo of Randy

Randy and his drummer.  He excels at making up songs about the moment.

Randy and his drummer. He excels at making up songs about the moment.

from the porch, looking west

from the porch, looking west

The garden tour confab had gotten bigger.  I joined it just before we left, and then Sheila and Debbie and Allan were waiting for me, after I had tried to keep them on schedule up til then!

on the back patio, a sheltered spot from wind

on the back patio, a sheltered spot from wind

The patio is on the east side of the house.

The patio is on the east side of the house.

delicious refreshments

delicious refreshments

yummy

yummy

fire circle

fire circle

patio

patio

Sheila taking a photo

Sheila taking a photo, Deb probably thinking about taking a photo

I am sure I would have snagged some Sheila photos for this blog, but she is having computer problems and has not been able to process hers yet.  Debbie’s photos will likely appear on her own Rainyside website.  In fact, it is on the Rainyside and other gardens forums that Sheila and I originally “met” even thought at the time, we both lived on the Long Beach Peninsula.

I should add that this house and property is for sale as of July 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 20, 2013

from the program: Laura Deemer is a passionate gardener who never has trouble finding time to work in her yard. As you enter through a gated archway you will be greeted by a cottage garden in small raised beds. Circling the property to explore the many planted areas and shady retreats you will find specimen trees, original metal garden art by husband Don, a quirky mix of mounted birdhouses and a gazebo perfectly suited for music in the garden. A pond built by Don and Laura is fed by a small recirculating stream.

The Deemer garden was discovered by tour organizer Nancy Allen when she was going down a tiny local road looking for an estate sale. She knew by peeking into the garden that something good was going on there, so she introduced herself and asked Laura if she would like to be on the tour. Nancy and I visited the garden again about a week later and were both impressed with Don and Laura’s garden artistry. Happily, Laura did agree to open her garden for tour day. (Again, because I did not photograph every last thing on tour day, I have included some photos I took of details on the two occasions that I visited the gardens before the tour.)

roadside fence

roadside fence

From the driveway, the main garden has two entries, one, below, leading to the front porch. The Deemers extensively remodeled their home and added decks over the years.

entry, looking south

entry, looking south, with garden tour guest

Entering through the gate above, you will see garden beds on your right.

entering

entering

Kathleen Sayce got a good angle on the symmetrical flower beds.

Kathleen Sayce got a good angle on the symmetrical flower beds.

looking southwest

looking southwest

Another gate leads you below the flower beds, and that is the one we entered through on tour day.

looking south from the other gate on a pre-tour visit

looking south from the other gate on a pre-tour visit

barberryNow the flower beds are to our left, and on tour day, Laura had put out informative signage about her favourite plants.

Geranium

Geranium psilostemon

This is information that I did not know!

This is information that I did not know!

My friends were especially smitten with the Deemers’ artisitic birdhouse posts. Laura told me she had made this one since my previous visit which had only been a couple of weeks earlier.

shell birdhouse post

shell birdhouse post

post

mosaic post

mosaic post

On my previous visit, Laura told me they had also made the leaf and round pillar birdbath.

birdbath

birdbath

They also built their pond and streamlet water feature.

pond

pond on an earlier visit

pond on tour day with garden art by Don Deemer

pond on tour day with garden art by Don Deemer

pond on tour day

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

head of recirculating streamlet

head of recirculating streamlet

the tiny stream on a pre-tour visit.  I love this!

the tiny stream on a pre-tour visit. I love this!

stream and pond

stream and pond

Our friend Kathleen Shaw caught a slightly different angle.

Our friend Kathleen Shaw caught a slightly different angle.

another birdhouse

another birdhouse creation
coming around from the front porch and deck to the south side of the house

coming around from the front porch and deck to the south side of the house

east of pond

looking west back to the pond

Above, the shady southwest side of the garden used to be a vegetable patch until Laura decided to turn it into a woodland.

On the south side of the garden, where she has planted specimen trees and shrubs, she set up a table with before photos of the garden. I remember seeing this garden in its early days, over the fence, before it was surrounded with trees and shrubs…maybe 18 years ago as it is near Andersen’s RV Park, one of our longtime jobs.

before pictures

before pictures

rustic birdhouses in woodsy south side garden

rustic birdhouses in woodsy south side garden

another birdhouse with fanciful post

another birdhouse with fanciful post

People could walk all around the house via what is usually fenced off as a dog yard where two Australian Shepherds romp.

dog yard

dog yard

Laura told me she likes to create sheltered places to get out of the sun. Below is an outdoor room behind the house.

outdoor room

outdoor room

The wall was painted by Susan Wallace of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm, which would be our last stop on tour day.

wall

Leaving that room, we go along a shady walk, still in the dog yard. Laura told us one of the two dogs has been quite a problem with digging, but she has still managed to grow hydrangeas, ferns and hostas.

a shady walk

a shady walk

more good signage in the shade garden

more good signage in the shade garden

Leaving the dog yard, we enter a large, square sunny garden room on the north side of the house….a secret garden that you might not even find it you did not look for it. Along the back fence (to the right in the photo below) is a low area that is used as a debris and compost pile. I am hoping our friend Sheila may have photographed that, as we both like to see the work areas of a garden! The main part of the garden here has another outdoor shelter, a gazebo large enough to have dinner in…or place a Music in the Gardens tour musician.

Laura herself approaches as we leave the dog yard.

Laura herself approaches as we leave the dog yard.

Between the two raised beds of ferns, to the left, a path leads to another gate out to the driveway. This garden is enclosed with a tall fence, and the construction of the pergola is absolutely solid.

musician Jennifer Goodenberger

musician Jennifer Goodenberger

Jennifer Goodenberger

Jennifer Goodenberger

An elegant garden of shrubs and ferns with a dry creek bed runs along the north fence of this garden area.

Note the hydrangrea blossoms in the birdbath

Note the hydrangrea blossoms in the birdbath

dry creek

dry creek

dry creek with bridge

dry creek with bridge

gazebo...note fire circle just beyond it.

gazebo…note fire circle just beyond it.

looking northeast through the gazebo windows

looking northeast through the gazebo windows

I don’t see many “outdoor rooms” that are this beautifully built with windows…a perfect shelter from the beach wind.

another of Don's old garden tool birds

another of Don’s old garden tool birds

The skills of Don and Laura are evidenced in everything from the well built structures, to the paths and decks and paving, to the birdhouses and pond and Don’s playful metal sculptures.

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July 19th and 20th, 2013

from the program:  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.

The garden tour was on the 20th, but I have included some photos from the 19th when we did our last check up on this garden, one we have been working on, with owners Jo and Bob, for 19 years.  I knew it would be crowded with people on tour day so wanted to get some clear photos of the garden from one end to the other the day before.

This photo, taken by a friend on tour day, shows the driveway approach to the home.   You might not guess what a lavish garden lies beyond the gate.

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

Looking west at the entry arch, photo by Kathleen Shaw on tour day

Looking west at the entry arch, photo by Kathleen Shaw on tour day

On Friday, Jo agrees the garden is ready.

On Friday, Jo agrees the garden is ready.
through the arch on tour day

through the arch on tour day

Just inside, along the wall of the garage (which has been turned into a garden shed on one side and a darling guest cottage on the other) are containers and windowboxes featuring plants from The Basket Case Greenhouse.

along the guest cottage wall (a north facing wall)

along the guest cottage wall (a north facing wall)

The annual geraniums, alternating pink and red, thrive even though one side is at the base of a north wall.

geranium (pelargonium) walk

geranium (pelargonium) walk

For the windowboxes, Jo buys flats of assorted annuals from the Basket Case and then I figure out an arrangement with what she brings home.  Every year we do her ground level arrangement of pink and red geraniums with alyssum so the window boxes echo that pattern.

guest cottage windowbox, north wall

guest cottage windowbox, north wall

At the northwest corner of the guest cottage (formerly a garage), you get the first good look at the 1896 house.

beach house

beach house

Meanwhile, on the other (north) side of the geranium walk, raised up with a railway sleeper wall (railroad ties to non-anglophiles) is a bed of mixed colourful perennials and annuals.  Inspired by visiting my garden last summer, Jo had us tear out some shrubs and some dull perennials (big yellow daylily, for example) and plant thickly with our favourite plants, especially the ones she had pointed at as we walked through my garden.

sunny bed on north side of entry walk

sunny bed on north side of entry walk

Above: I see Salvia viridis (painted sage), Nicotiana langsdorfii (chartreuse flowering tobacco), snapdragons, salpiglossis, Eryngiums, Cosmos, Agastache, backed with Lavatera ‘Barnsley’.  The rugosa rose at the right is so fragrant that it was allowed to stay during the re-do.

another view of new mixed bed

another view of new mixed bed

Back to the northwest corner of the guest house:  If you look south, you will see a shade bed planted against the house deck.

(left) more windowboxed (right) shade bed

(left) more windowboxes
(right) shade bed

a view looking north from beside the shade bed, photo by Kathleen Shaw

a view looking north from beside the shade bed, photo by Kathleen Shaw

Above, shade bed would be to your left and the guest cottage window to your right.

Up we go to the next level.

Up we go to the next level.
to the right, an old bench with containers

to the right, an old bench with containers

Fat little birds like to sit on the rail above that bench.  A friend told me the birds were there even on tour day.

friendly bird

friendly bird

A wooden arch and metal gate lead into a narrow path in the new mixed border.

the day before tour day

the day before tour day

Honeysuckle grows over the arch.

Honeysuckle grows over the arch.

Inside the arch, people could walk one by one on a narrow brick path through the newly planted colour beds.  Jo calls it a “one butt path”.

path

narrow path, east to the white entry arch through which we entered the geranium walk.

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

just inside the honeysuckle arch where the garden comes to a narrow corner

just inside the honeysuckle arch where the garden comes to a triangular corner

North of the honeysuckle arch on a small patio at the north side of the deck is a water feature with a tipping bucket.

This is a favourite spot for the birds.

This is a favourite spot for the birds.

on the deck the day before tour day

on the deck the day before tour day

on tour day, photo by Kathleen Sayce

on tour day, photo by Kathleen Sayce

tour day refreshments including Bob Fitzsimmons' home made cookies.

tour day refreshments including Bob Fitzsimmons’ home made cookies.
Jo serving lemonade

Jo serving lemonade

Jo and Bob have a wonderfully arranged deck, sheltered from south and west winds and with a roofed nook by the back door.

Tom Trudell was the musician at this garden and played in a cozy corner of the deck.

Tom Trudell was the musician at this garden and played in a cozy corner of the deck.

northeast corner of deck

northeast corner of deck, looking over the garden; hanging basket at right is on guest cottage

Just west of the tipping bucket water feature, we walk through another wooden arch into the center patio.

just past that arch....the day before tour day

just past that arch….the day before tour day

Above, the guest house is marked by the hanging basket, and the tipping bucket water feature would be to your right if you walked back through the wooden gate.  You can see the metal gate to the left, and the plant bench below the rail where the chubby birds like to sit.

just west of that gate, photo by Kathleen Sayce

just west of that gate on tour day, photo by Kathleen Sayce

Here is the center courtyard, on the north side of the house, looking west.  Next year, Jo wants to remove the old rhododendrons and make a new, no doubt colourful, shade garden on the north wall.

center courtyard

center courtyard

When we first started working in this garden in about 1995, all that was here was a line of rhododendrons running along the fence and a straight gravel path down the middle.

center courtyard with bird feeders

center courtyard with bird feeders

looking west; to the left, stairs to the house.

looking west; to the left, stairs to the house.

looking west over the fence

looking west over the fence

Jo demands that every plant provide lots of colour; if it is not colourful enough, she says a plant “doesn’t have enough bang for the buck”.

colour

colour

This garden view was one of my main inspirations to move from my old shady garden to a sunny one in 2010!

through the gate

through the gate

just past the windmill

just past the windmill

birdbath where the path curves to the west

birdbath where the path curves to the west

turning south at the west side of the house

turning south at the west side of the house

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' that Allan fenced in with rebar and bamboo

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that Allan fenced in with rebar and bamboo

looking south

looking south; the path to the right leads to a west gate, below

west gate

The west gate opens onto a big lawn that is also part of the property.  When Jo said she wanted part of her garden to look just like mine with all her favourite plants that she saw when mine was on tour last year, I never thought to say we could make a garden exactly like mine by doing great big beds out in this lawn!   We are contemplating the idea, I’m not sure how seriously on Jo’s part!

daisies and monkshood in southwest garden

daisies and monkshood in southwest garden

looking south: the garden ends here

looking south: the garden ends here

Let’s turn around and walk back to the center courtyard, admiring the plantings from a different angle.

looking north from the end of the brick path

looking north from the end of the brick path

the northwest corner of the old porch steps

the northwest corner of the old porch steps

The house had a west and north facing wrap around porch that has been enclosed into a wonderful L shaped sitting room.

looking east, swinging back around the corner

looking east, swinging back around the corner

Years ago, my former partner Robert Sullivan laid this path for Jo and Bob.  Originally, the beds were straight and edged with railroad ties and the whole impression was not soft and flowing like this.

around the corner, looking east to the center courtyard

around the corner, looking east to the center courtyard

daisies and Lavatera 'Barnsley'

daisies and Lavatera ‘Barnsley’

from the garden, looking over Knautia macedonica to center courtyard

from the garden, looking over Knautia macedonica to center courtyard

the day before the tour:  Coco went to "doggy spa" on tour day.

the day before the tour: Coco went to “doggy spa” on tour day.

looking east in the center courtyard the day before the tour

looking east in the center courtyard the day before the tour

guests in tour attire

guests in tour attire

pointing at a hummingbird

pointing at a hummingbird

It was an enormous pleasure to help Jo and Bob get this garden ready for the tour.  For more history of their garden, just put “Jo’s garden” into the search box on this blog!

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