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Archive for Aug, 2013

So much for buckling down to work as I had promised myself to do after the edible garden tour.   After being rained out early the day before, we now had a day that was interrupted with much socializing.

At home, on my usual route to and from the greenhouse to see if tomatoes needed watering, I saw an unexpected flower:

a hardy ginger in flower

a hardy ginger in flower

with Coleus 'Wasabi'

Roscoea ‘Spice Island’ with Coleus ‘Wasabi’

Going out the front gate, I noticed a Chelone blooming…one I could have sworn I had remembered to move to a damper area in the back garden.

Chelone (Pink Turtlehead)

Chelone (Pink Turtlehead)

the view in...

the view in…

First we did our every other week weeding and grooming of Mayor Mike’s garden….

blue and white theme

blue and white theme

path weeded and raked

path weeded and raked

Next, kitty corner to Cheri’s garden where we found that Charlie had finished creating the outdoor cat room.

room

kitty retreat

kitty retreat

After working in the front and side gardens there, we were only half an hour late for a coffee klatsch at Olde Towne Café, celebrating our friend and former Ilwacoan Patt finding another reason to pass through town.  While she only lived here for a year before having to move away for work reasons (her spouse’s job), she fell hard for this town.

clockwise from left:  Judy, Tom, Patt, Allan, Donna...all talking at once?

clockwise from left: Judy, Tom, Patt, Allan, Donna…all talking at once?

Our friend, art historian Pat Moss, showed up a bit later.  While I failed to get a photo of her, I did get one of her dog outside…my good friend Bella.

Bella

Bella

We stayed longer than we had planned, then hightailed to the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle to get it weeded and fluffed before Art Night began at 6 PM.  We checked on a couple of other gardens along the port buildings and then made a tour from one end of art night to the other…

Randy Powell at Marie Powell Gallery

Randy Powell at Marie Powell Gallery

Nisbett

At the Don Nisbett gallery:  Susan and Sherri from Painted Lady Lavender Farm

At the Don Nisbett gallery: Susan and Sherri from Painted Lady Lavender Farm

Don and some tasty cupcakes from Sweet Celebrations in Long Beach

Don and some tasty cupcakes from Sweet Celebrations in Long Beach

his gallery was hopping

Don’s gallery was hopping

outside the Nisbett Gallery

outside the Nisbett Gallery

Peter on ukelele, baskets by The Basket Case greenhouse

Peter on ukelele, baskets by The Basket Case greenhouse

Allan and Jenna at Queen La De Da's

Allan and Jenna at Queen La De Da’s

Much as we would have liked to linger, work was not done (due to lingering earlier at Olde Towne) so we left to finish weeding the boatyard.  It still was not quite up to my standards for Blues and Seafood weekend.

The marina looked extra beautiful as we departed.

marina

boatyard garden....kind of care and tidy with old annual poppies pulled out

boatyard garden….kind of care and tidy with old annual poppies pulled out

boatyard

As we were weeding, a fisherman came to the other side of the fence and complimented the garden.  He told us that he sometimes tells people not to pick flowers from it.  Recently he saw a young man who had already picked a few flowers (despite the signs asking him not to).  The young man said he hoped it was ok because he was picking them for his girlfriend.  The fisherman told him exactly what I do:  That if everyone picked there would be none left!  He added, “You should give your girlfriend the ones you’ve already picked and tell her they are really special.”   If everyone took such care to watch out for our gardens, I would be most happy.

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We left home late because of an unexpected visitor: a gentleman from North Carolina who was friends with Jeff and Mary (two doors down) and was here to go fishing with Jeff.  He had heard from Mary about our garden (and from her back porch, there is a view down Nora’s back garden showing an enticing glimpse of ours).  I walked through with him as he took lots of photos to show his wife.  She is, he told me, a painter who likes to paint gardens, and he told me her name so I could Google her website later on.

I was impressed with how well he saw the garden and what he chose to photograph; he noticed the tunnel cut through the salmonberry with a painted door at the end.  Not everyone notices that.

It took me two weeks to get around to looking up her page, Connie Winters Art.  I strongly encourage you to peruse it; she is a wonderful artist!

We began the work day with a quick fix: taking some buckets of water from home to the two most westerly planters on the Bolstadt beach approach in Long Beach.  There had been a misunderstanding:  Allan thought I meant to have him skip watering them because we are so bored with the planting of plain old vinca out there (done by someone else ages ago).  I had noticed them wilting the day before and wanted them refreshed before kite festival.  Had we known what the day’s weather would bring, we wouldn’t have bothered.

On the way we saw these folks photographing their vintage autos by the iconic arch.

the Bolstadt arch

the Bolstadt arch

Next, I had a small mission.  Teresa of The Planter Box had messaged me the day before asking if I wanted a “Pistachio”.  Before she even finished, I asked “Pistachio Hydrangea??!”  Yes!  It had been on my list of plants to acquire for ages, so I got two, one fore me and one for another garden….probably Larry And Robert’s where we can keep a good eye on it, although it would also look good against the greeny colour of the Wiegardt Gallery.

Hydrangea 'Pistachio' from The Planter Box.

Hydrangea ‘Pistachio’ from The Planter Box.

I admired a beautiful Clematis for sale.

I admired a beautiful Clematis for sale.

And then, way up north to Marilyn’s garden….

begonias on front porch at Marilyn's

begonias on front porch at Marilyn’s

Phygelius

Phygelius

I think this is some kind of phlox, but I wish I knew for sure.  It spreads, but not aggressively (so far) and the deer do not eat it:

phlox? wish photo had turned out better

phlox? wish photo had turned out better

?

?

I have inquired on the Plants to Identify Facebook group, as I should do more often.

Helianthis ‘Lemon Queen’ is starting to bloom and will put on a good tall show for a few weeks.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', a favourite perennial

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, a favourite perennial

I am amazed the deer are not eating Marilyn’s lilies.  Do I dare plant more throughout the garden?  I might try!

oriental lilies

oriental lilies

looking northish from the back steps

looking northish from the back steps

bronze fennel, lovely and thuggish

bronze fennel, lovely and thuggish (too many tiny seedlings)

Next, the usual routine:  Back down to Wiegardt Gallery on the cusp of Ocean Park and Nahcotta.

The bed on the west side of the building is so unsatisfactory to me.  It does not get enough water (not for lack of trying, but soaker hoses just do not work well) and just looks scraggly.  But I have a solution!   Pam Fleming of Back Alley Gardens will be pleased to hear that I want to plant evergreens here.  Because of rampant deer and because Eric did not like it when I used to have two escallonias (too big!) , I am thinking three groups of Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’.  That may be trite, but I know they will work.  And surprisingly few people on the Peninsula use them.  (So they are not trite here…yet.)

terrible, terrible, terrible

terrible, terrible, terrible

If it got more water, the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ would be beautifully tall.  I must get rid of the horrible Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’…have tried…it is a curse.  The nice pine scented Geranium macrorrhizum can stay.  If it were my garden, I would plant some lemony small very columnar gold conifers….

The north bed looks better with three variegated Miscanthus:

grasses

height and repetition

I still love the view to the street (Bay Avenue);

lots of grasses with cotoneasters and a few rhodos

lots of grasses with cotoneasters and a few rhodos

Some drizzling began while we were weeding at Wiegardt’s.  By the time we got to Oman Builders Supply Ocean Park store, we had a serious situation.

rain and lots of it

rain and lots of it

So we went to the Full Circle Café…

driftwood fence, Full Circle on Bay Avenue

driftwood fence, Full Circle on Bay Avenue

drift

inside...nice and dry...

inside…nice and dry…

with pie

with pie

The sad thing is we had just eaten our lunchbox sandwiches or we could have had one of their tasty lunches.

We waited for awhile and saw the sky looking brighter to the southwest…so set off again optimistically.

The café is almost this close to the ocean.

The café is almost this close to the ocean.

The Klipsan Beach Cottages garden awaited us.  Even the birds looked rather hunched and miserable, as we had called the weather wrong and the rain soon returned.

hunkered down

hunkered down

After awhile, I took shelter from the torrent in the garage.  Allan was off working under some trees.  Neither of us were prepared with proper coats for this weather.

unfinished job

unfinished job

Mary, garden owner, had come out to chat and commiserate.  At first I told her we would bail out for the day and come back.  Then I realized that the weather already had us running behind and it is a long drive back to KBC, so we perservered and worked through the weather.

in the fenced garden

in the fenced garden

sweet peas

sweet peas

Veronicastrum virginicum

Veronicastrum virginicum…

with lilies

with lilies

After getting thoroughly soaked, we bailed on the rest of the day and went home.  I managed two photos on the way to check the greenhouse tomatoes:

Sarah Sloane's bird

Sarah Sloane’s bird

And a quotation; a reader has asked me for more photos of quotations in the garden.  Eventually, I hope to do a post with all of them together.

This seems to be a favourite!

from “The Pleasures of Merely Circulating”

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August 13, 2013

After work I walked around the garden in the last light of the day and took photos, mostly of hardy fuchsias because one of my favourite bloggers likes them a lot…Had I known I would someday be blogging so thoroughly, I would have done better labeling.

fuchsia

Debron's Black Cherry

Debron’s Black Cherry

fuchsia

fuchsia

fuchsia

fuchsia

fuchsia

Fuchsia magellanica

Fuchsia magellanica

fuchsia

fuchsia fuchsia

Fuchsia magellanica

Fuchsia magellanica

fuchsia

fuchsia

fuchsia

I have them in almost every bed throughout the garden.

In other plant news:

Smokey came with me on my fuchsia walk.

Smokey came with me on my fuchsia walk.

a tomatillo in the greenhouse...like a green paper balloon...but what to do with it?

a tomatillo in the greenhouse…like a green paper balloon…but what to do with it?

astible

astilbe

that shrubby blue clematis...Sheila found the name for me, but now I have lost it again.

that shrubby blue clematis…Sheila found the name for me, but now I have lost it again.

sweet peas and Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia'

sweet peas and Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’

front east side garden: most frustrating area

front east side garden: most frustrating area (will be better when various winter blooming shrubs size up)

Dichroa febrifuga

Dichroa febrifuga

NE corner of house

NE corner of house

The very end of the day was made most pleasant when Mary from two doors down gave us some filleted salmon that her husband Jeff had caught that day out on the Columbia River.  It was delicious and made two wonderful dinners.

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August 13, 2013

We began at the Depot Restaurant garden, where an errant bindweed taunted us with white flowers way up on top of the wall of hops.

Allan undaunted

Allan undaunted

Solidago 'Fireworks' will soon burst into golden flames.

Solidago ‘Fireworks’ will soon burst into golden flames.

Persicaria 'Firetail' at the Depot

Persicaria ‘Firetail’ at the Depot

Then we tackled the Bolstadt beach approach garden in Long Beach.

looking east from the west end of the garden

looking east from the west end of the garden

Unlike the huge and days-long spring weeding of the garden, all we wanted to go was get big weeds out and grassy sections improved.

and cut back old flowers from santolina...

and cut back old flowers from santolina…

and cut some of the more unsightly lupines...

and cut some of the more unsightly lupines…

The set up for the weeklong Kite Festival would begin the following Sunday.  Kite Festival is singularly responsible for our choosing to change this garden from a carefully cultivated long bed of beautiful flowers to a pretty much monoculture of rugosa roses…the only thing that will stand up to what used to be days of garden trampling.

The first year after planting a few experimental rugosas, even they got trampled to blackened mush.  Now they are strong enough to hold their own.

roses with hips

roses with hips

I noticed new banners on the poles, and am not thrilled about them.  I have much sympathy for anyone who for economic reasons may have joined the military for educational and job opportunities.  I especially think they need support after returning home.   However, I think a nice kite banner might be more appropriate for happy, strolling tourists than this fierce eagle.  (I can think of plenty of political type slogans that could be on banners:  Feed the Hungry, Stop Violence against Women, House the Homeless, none of which would be perfect for a beach stroll, in my opinion.)

banner Downtown seems like a better place for this banner than on the beach approach.  (It could distract, perhaps, from the hotel whose gift shop flies, and I am not kidding, a confederate flag.)  There is a way that the Peninsula supports the troops:  Specials for Service Members.   I walked along weeding and thinking about war and its consequences on drone-bombed civilians and on my veteran friends with PTSD and was not in as cheerful a mood as I had started out in.

Anyway.  We got to the last section of the garden and I decided the rugosa roses needed to be cut back to make plenty of room for kite festival crowds.

during and after

during and after

We always get lots of questions about what the rose hips are…Some folks think they are tomatoes (which is why the one of the rose’s common names is The Tomato Rose).

I had sort of thought about trying to water the beach approach garden until I realized it had been so long, over a year, since I had done so that the water sources (faucets under metal plates in the lawn) were so overgrown with lawn grass that I could not find them without a metal detector.  This certainly proves that the roses are drought tolerant.

rose hips

rose hips

and just a very few late roses

and just a very few late roses

We then dumped a trailer load of rose debris at city works.  Allan took a trailer full of buckets of water out to water the Bolstadt planters while I began the task of watering all 37 of the main street planters (and six whiskey barrels and the two planters at Veterans Field).

northernmost planter on east side of Pacific

northernmost planter on east side of Pacific

Tigridia (Mexican shell flower)...held for the photo because of wind

Tigridia (Mexican shell flower)…held for the photo because of wind

Fortunately, the broken bottle in this planter showed well enough so that I did not stick my hand into it while grooming the plants.

???!! why?

???!! why?

When I got to the two planters at the Veterans Field stage, I would have been deeply mystified at their newly mismatched appearance….

left: with Salvia patens (blue) in the center.  right: No Salvia patens.

left: with Salvia patens (blue) in the center. right: No Salvia patens.

However, I had already gotten a message from my friend who organizes the Jake the Alligatorman Birthday Party and its events the previous Saturday on this very stage.  She had written, “I feel bad the beautiful pot to the right of the stage got squished. It was a local who was drunk and him and a friend were throwing themselves around aggressively and one landed in the planter. Missy got him out and gave him a scolding.”  I replied, “ARGH! Drunks! Oy! Well, these things happen, and it will probably revive. We will check it on Monday!  What can ya do!  Tell Missy awesome for giving him a scolding. Do you have a pic of that moment? Would be great for me blog.”  She wrote, “Darn no pic! Everyone was just kind of disgusted he was an ass. Should have snapped a pic, he was slumped with a cig in his mouth.”  I can picture the scene from similar ones in my punk rock background.  Let me reassure Wendy again that the Jake event does very little damage to the plants and flowers.  (The broken bottle in a planter was nothing new or particular to that weekend.)  The more “genteel” crowds at the kite festival do FAR more damage (or used to, before the Rugosa Rose Solution) than the Jake crowd ever has, as do the Rod Run sitting-on-planters-and-watching-cars-go-by people on the second weekend in September.

While Allan watered some of the south end of downtown planters, he took a nice photo of someone on the Benson’s Restaurant porch indulging in an old fashioned pastime.

the reader

the reader

And a funny bumper sticker:

newfie

After Long Beach, we went back to finish weeding the boatyard garden.  Blues and Seafood would take place Friday and Saturday night at the Port of Ilwaco, and Art Night would be Thursday, resulting in many passersby.  Our lives are scheduled by festival preparation year round.

at the boatyard...I love Geranium 'Rozanne' mingling with Artemisia 'Powis Castle'.

at the boatyard…I love Geranium ‘Rozanne’ mingling with Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’.

gorgeous 'Hopley's Purple' oregano

gorgeous ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano

four o clocks reseeded from last year, with cosmos

four o clocks reseeded from last year, with cosmos

and on their own

and on their own

After the boatyard was weeded well enough, we fluffed up the gardens to the south and north sides of the Port Office.

on north side of Port Office along Howerton (looking east)

on north side of Port Office along Howerton (looking east)

south side of port office

south side of port office

Agastache 'Navajo Sunrise' and Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning'

Agastache ‘Navajo Sunset’ and Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’

The marina was like a mirror…

marina

and the angled light at the late hour made it hard to keep working, which made a good excuse to go home and have a wander through my own garden.

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Monday we were still somewhat in garden tour mode as we were picking up and delivering some of the Edible Tour canned food to the non-vehicular abode of Lisa, tour organizer.  The tickets were purchased with either money or cans of food, all to benefit our local food banks.

First, we stopped at The English Nursery, one of the four ticket sales points.  Owner Dirk had a bag of canned food for us and en envelope of ticket money.

English Nursery in Seaview

English Nursery in Seaview

birdhouses for sale

birdhouses for sale

open

Dirk Sweringen

Dirk Sweringen

One of the specialities of the English Nursery is a great collection of hostas.

also perennials and ornamental grasses

also perennials and ornamental grasses

plants

plants

Dirk is also a photographer and is working on developing the building on the property into a gallery (and once upon a time he said a teahouse, an idea we quite like).

Dirk's photos

Dirk’s photos

When I told him how few people had attended the tour, Dirk proposed what I think it an absolutely brilliant idea.  Why not have the edible tour be on the Sunday after the Saturday Music in the Gardens tour?    It could be advertised as “Garden Tour Weekend at the Beach.”  Hotels could offer special deals, like “book our garden tour weekend package and get tour tickets” sort of thing.  The edible tour would have to start earlier than noon, eleven at least, because visitors would be touring before returning home to the cities.  I think the gardens would look better on the third weekend in July (although fewer ripe tomatoes).  What do you think?  I have since run this idea past both tour organizers and it is being…thought about.

Next we stopped at The Planter Box to drop off ours and the Karnofskis’ garden tour signs.  (The signage is very good for the edible tour, nice big wooden signs…so we can’t blame that for the lack of visitors!)  The owners of the Planter Box are very involved with the local grange which provides the signs.  We picked up more canned food bags.  Now that the tour was over, I did not have to buy any more soil for all my edible garden containers!

soil and amendments at The Planter Box

soil and amendments at The Planter Box

Teresa, Ray Millner’s daughter, was pleased to hear that his garden talk had been a big hit with tour goers.

We had to dump some debris left over from our last week’s jobs, so a stop at Peninsula Landscape Supply (where Mike makes his own mulch from yard debris)  was in order.  Look at the beautiful colour of the hemlock bark:

hemlock to the right

hemlock to the right

It is completely beyond me why I see, on garden tours, gardens mulched with red bark.  WHY?  WHY? when this natural, dark colour that looks good with our beachscapes is so readily available.  WHY?  (I am still pained by red bark that I saw on recent tour gardens, but I am too kind to rant about it on an entry about any particular garden because I don’t want to hurt the owners’ feelings.)  Our business motto is “Just say no to barkscapes” but what I really object to is RED barkscaping.

In order to pick up one more tour sign, we stopped at the Patten garden.  Andrea was home and showed us the oven where she does her Wholesome Hearth baking (available at a booth on Fridays from 4-7 PM in Long Beach at the Farmers Market).

Nancy Allen tells me this is a most amazing oven.

Nancy Allen tells me this is a most amazing oven.

view from the bakery, looking east to veg garden

view from the bakery, looking east to veg garden

dahlias in front of the bakery

dahlias in front of the bakery

Andrea told me that she had had about 27 tour guests (4 more than us!!) and that one group had arrived on motorcycles.  They did not come to our place which is a shame as Allan would have enjoyed that.  Because the Patten garden is in mid Peninsula, their guests were staggered all day long, so she did not have the long empty-of-new-guests stretch in the middle of the tour that we had!

Finally, we got to Lisa’s Homewood garden.  It had been a favourite of mine on the previous year’s edible tour and once again I was very taken with it.

With the lot facing south and lots of sun, she has a beautiful group of sunflowers in bloom.

sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sun

sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homewood

Homewood:  the garden shed 

compost

The house was built by Lisa and her husband and catches lots of solar heat.

lots of sun for asparagus

Asparagus thrives in the sunny south garden.

homewood

We piled up the food cans (5 cans bought a ticket to the edible tour) in the garden for a photo; there were still some more to collect from the ticket sales at Jimella’s Café but it would be closed til Thursday.  I suppose there would be none from Adelaide’s, the ticket sales place that was, for whatever reason, CLOSED on the Sunday of the tour!!  (See previous entry for how that inconvenienced would-be tour goers.)  I have ideas about that now…There could have been another store on the same block, say…Bay Avenue Gallery…that might have been asked to take over the ticket sales at the north end on that day!….or some plan other than people driving all the way up there and finding no tickets were available in Ocean Park!  I am all exclamation-pointy about this because it still really bothers me that this happened and that the northernmost garden, Lavender And, lost out on some tour goers…and maybe we all did!)

After a long visit with Lisa in her living room (procrastinating because the day was hot) and with Patty from Lavender And who dropped by for awhile, we went to work at Golden Sands.  Just as I was reaching in the back of the car for my hand tools, my hand hit upon another plastic bag…of food cans!  Argh!   Back to Homewood we went…and took another set of photos of a much more impressive stack on cans.

cans

cans

The heat was still not inspiring us to go to work (I suppose it might have been as high as 79 degrees!) but we had to…so, back to Golden Sands.  The sprinkler problem (lack thereof) continued there, so some of our time was devoted again to hand watering rather than weeding.    This time, though, I was determined to get the place looking better so we had not scheduled much other work for the day and took some extra time…

Allan weeded this horsetail and boring daylilies section

Allan weeded this horsetail and boring daylilies section

I had time for some cutting back in the NE quadrant (outside my mum's old room)

I had time for some cutting back in the NE quadrant (outside my mum’s old room)

Her dahlias are looking fine.

Her dahlias are looking fine.

some grooming accomplished on the SW quadrant

some grooming accomplished on the SW quadrant

although there is still so very much to do.

although there is still so very much to do.

I could almost visualize the pitiful Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river in the center filling out if the sprinkler system gets fixed.  It was actually showing some blue.  At over two years old, these poor plants are a good example of stress from lack of water…Hand watering once a week is not enough.

hope

We closed out the workday with watering the Ilwaco planters and weeding and watering at the boatyard.

boatyard garden, looking north about midway along it

boatyard garden, looking north about midway along it

further north

further north

love the name of this boat

love the name of this boat

And then…home for a bit of a beautiful evening in our garden.

screened south window view

screened south window view

Below:  I had painstakingly picked every dried leaf from the stems of the Eupatorium (Joe Pye weed) below, in the gloaming on the night before our edible garden tour day.

front garden

front garden

Echinacea 'Green Envy'

Echinacea ‘Green Envy’

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' in front garden

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ in front garden

Dichroa febrifuga

Dichroa febrifuga

I could now declare that Garden Tour Season 2013 officially over (until the Cannon Beach Cottage & Garden Tour on September 14th) and it was about time we started to seriously apply ourselves to make enough money to get through the winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 11, 2013

I got up early, invigorated by the idea of tour day, and I do mean at about 8 AM.  The night before, I had made tabouli which I dressed up with all sorts of vegetables from my garden: cucumber, tomatoes, chives, cilantro on the side, and edible flowers:  Calendula, tuberous begonia, borage, chive flowers.  We had some lemon water to offer, and Allan had bought some animal crackers but forgot to put them out. Brownies (and Allan’s favourite, red licorice) did not seem quite right to offer on a serious and healthy edible garden tour.

a welcoming table

a welcoming table

I arranged some samples of edible flowers on plates, an idea I swiped from last year’s edible tour at Lisa Mattfield’s Homewood garden.

edible flowers

edible flowers

On the shed wall across from the tabouli table:

Let's see, what's edible?  Fuchsia flowers, and a Stevia to the right

Let’s see, what’s edible? Fuchsia flowers, and a Stevia to the right

The beautiful wall vase was made by my friend Sheila, who brought it to me when she came from Oregon for the Music in the Gardens tour.

wall vase

wall vase

In the remaining time before noon,  I rushed around pulling a few more weeds and wishing again that we had run the string trimmer around the garden beds…

I thought Pam Fleming from my favourite local collectors’ nursery, Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, might come and was feeling the garden was not at its required tour perfection…

I put out some of my favourite garden books, this time mostly ones with an edible theme (Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest, The Bountiful Container).  Even though it is purely ornamental, I did simply have to put out my very favourite garden book, Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs.  And I hung at the gate a print of the cover of the Beverly Nichols’ book, Garden Open Today.

garden open today

garden open today!

My garden was looking much more ornamental than edible….

garden boat (The "Ann Lovejoy") with cosmos and elephant garlic.

garden boat (The “Ann Lovejoy”) with cosmos and elephant garlic.

But I had gone to great effort to grow salad greens in containers all over the garden.

salad containers, background

salad containers in background

It really is an ornamental garden, though; there is just no denying that.  Lisa really had wanted us to be on the tour, and I did my best…

In the greenhouse, I had tomatoes from The Planter Box, The Basket Case, and the River Rock Farm booth at Long Beach’s Columbia Pacific Farmers Market.

in the greenhouse

in the greenhouse

lavender as one enters the back yard

lavender as one enters the back yard

encouragement to smell scented geraniums, etc

encouragement to smell scented geraniums, etc

laundry lines and raspberries

laundry lines and raspberries

my grandma's embroidered pillowcases

my grandma’s embroidered pillowcases

one of four corn plants, and potatoes on the debris pile

one of four corn plants, and potatoes on the debris pile

veg box

veg box

To have more edibles with little open ground available, I had planted some drawers with autumn crops of kale, and labeled them.  Kale is ornamental as well as edible.  I could have just labeled them and not even planted the seeds! But the seeds are in there, I guarantee it.

Let the tour begin!!

Local jobbing gardener Diana Canto and her dog Lucy were first to arrive just after the tour start time of noon.  Diana is the gardener who created the Bristol garden, featured on the Music in the Gardens tour.

Diana and Lucy

Diana and Lucy

Soon after, Nancy (Music in the Gardens tour organizer) and Phil Allen arrived.

Phil, Nancy, Lucy, Diana

Phil, Nancy, Lucy, Diana

group

Phil, Nancy, Diana, and I

Phil, Nancy, Diana, Lucy, and I

in the distance, tour guests

in the distance, tour guests

Our friend Sarah Sloane, local author (of the charming children’s book The Marble Game) and topiary artist, came early.  I showed her the topiary that she gave me last year and said “I have been clipping on him”.  “Hand me the scissors!” she said, and went to work.

sarah3

Sarah Sloane

Sarah Sloane

s3

More people came, in fact we had quite a rush of about 18 people in the first hour and fifteen minutes!

tour guests

tour guests as Sarah clips  the topiary bird

Ann Gaddy came to see the garden.  I was thrilled to meet her.  Her father, Pete Hanner, is the one who told the story about my garden at my neighbour, Nora’s, funeral earlier this year…  Ann intends to bring Pete sometime soon, and I look forward to seeing him again.

 Ann Gaddy in the garden
enjoying Ann's company

enjoying Ann’s company

We had “met” on Facebook but not in person before this day.  Note Frosty, above, in the background watching from his cat perch.

Sarah, me, and Ann

Sarah, me, and Ann

One man turned out to be very interested in biochar.  I told him he and Jim Karnofski would have a lot to talk about, and he said he was going to Jim and Vera’s Biocharm Farm next.  He had been to a national bochar conference of some sort recently.  I hope he and Jim had a great time having a discussion on the subject.  As Mr. Tootlepedal (one of my two favourite bloggers of all time, the other being Mary Ruston of Moosey’s Country Garden) commented on my photos of Jim and Vera’s veg, “A very good advertisement for his methods.”

Another man introduced himself as from Astoria.  In conversation, I realized he had had his garden on the Astoria garden tour before, and I had been there.  It is in this blog entry as the Wigutoff garden, a lovely front garden that leads up to a deck with a Columbia River view, and had more edibles than I do, as I recall.  Unfortunately it was written when I used smaller photos on my blog (and before my great computer crash where I lost all original photos from 2010-12).  (Yes, I have a better back up system now!)

I believe this is Mr. Wigutoff from Astoria.

I believe this is Mr. Wigutoff from Astoria.

I have no idea why there is a corkscrew next to The Intelligent Gardener book.  I swear I was not boozing during the garden tour!  I have my phone out because am looking up Mr. Wigutoff’s garden on my blog.  (Allan tells me the corkscrew was to open his own bottle of Mexican soda pop.)

A young couple passing by on the street had asked early in the tour (which began at noon) if they could come in just to see our garden.  They had sailed down from Alaska in their boat and were docked at the marina.  Of course, we said yes.  They wandered appreciatively through the entire garden and I think they stayed for over an hour.

I showed the woman the way the seeds of the Impatiens balsamina jump when you touch a ripe pod (which is why it’s common name is Touch Me Not and why it is a class 2 noxious weed….ooops).

She's about to test out a seedpod.

She’s about to test out a seedpod.

laughter as it pops

laughter as it pops

Something about her smile and her voice convinced me I had met her before, but that was impossible.  She must have strongly reminded me of someone.  Her partner took a great interest in the cats.

cat

Frosty loved the attention.

Frosty loved the attention.

I wish them both smooth sailing and hope touring our garden gave them a fond memory of Ilwaco.

Debbie Haugsten came with her friend Charlene.  They arrived at the peak of the early guests, so we did not have time to visit.  Later, due to my face blindness, I thought maybe she had been with Helen Westbrook (whose fabulous Astoria garden I like to visit) but Debbie helped me sort it out later….

Debbie and Charlene

Debbie and Charlene

charlene

The two Colleens from Peninsula Landscape Supply arrived and stayed for awhile.

Sarah and Colleen

Sarah and Colleen

Not only was I happy to see them but I also was glad they could meet Sarah.  I think the topiaries would be a great addition to the stock at Colleen’s garden center.

And then, after they left, there was….no one else!   Sarah kept clipping the topiary as we visited on the patio.  Allan got discouraged after awhile and put the tabouli salad away.  He made us a lunch of chili and mandarin oranges (a house specialty that Sarah enjoyed).  After awhile, thank goodness, Judy came  from her garden four doors down to see how the tour was going and kept us company for awhile.

Allan noticed that Sarah’s dogs were in the car, so we invited them both in.

patiently waiting

patiently waiting

Judy loves little dogs.  They provided much entertainment as we continued to wait and marvel at the lack of tour guests.  These two dogs won the obedience trial at the Doggie Olympic Games in Long Beach earlier this year and they performed some cute tricks for us.

Judy

They liked Judy very much!

They liked Judy very much!

The tour was due to end at five;  Sarah and Judy had left by about four.  The bird was re-shaped to Sarah’s satisfaction.

an excellent bird

an excellent bird

I have to admit that I was kind of let down when my friends had departed.  I did not expect the 500 people who had come through on Music in the Gardens tour 2012, but I was hoping for at least 50!  I walked through the garden taking some photos of it while it was in such excellent condition (and pulled a few more weeds on the way).

That one spot of lawn always gets brown.

That one spot of lawn always gets brown.

archway to back garden

archway to back garden with Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’

entering the back garden....This is where folks always exclaim they did not know it was so big.

entering the back garden….This is where folks always exclaim they did not know it was so big.

elephant garlic

elephant garlic

Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns'

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

cat bench

I had been worried all the lilies would be done by tour day, but there were still plenty of them.

lilies

lilies

Eryngium and lilies

Eryngium and lilies

more lilies

more lilies

afternoon light on the garden boat

afternoon light on the garden boat

blue Agastache

blue Agastache (hyssop) and Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)

Verbascum 'Eleanor's Blush'

Verbascum ‘Eleanor’s Blush’

Geranium 'Rozanne' river from the side

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river from the side

my flock of chickens

my flock of chickens by the garden boat

Sheesh, not only is my garden not full of edibles, but I don’t even have real chickens!

more Agastache because I love them.

more Agastache because I love them.

by the bogsy wood, many empty chairs...

by the bogsy wood, many empty chairs…

by the edge of the bogsy wood....Hey, salmonberry groves have edible berries!

by the edge of the bogsy wood….Hey, salmonberry groves have edible berries!

weeded woodsy edge with before photos clipped to  branches

weeded woodsy edge with before photos clipped to branches

into the bogsy woods

into the bogsy wood at the south end of the lot

same area as above in November 2010

same area as above in November 2010

looking north from the bogsy wood

looking north from the bogsy wood

looking west

looking west

Gunnera

Gunnera

salmonberry tunnel

salmonberry tunnel

plant table inspired by George Schenk

plant table inspired by George Schenk

another well weeded bogsy wood area

a well weeded bogsy wood area

Oh well, it IS nice to have the garden almost perfect on occasion!

fairy door with market basket; the fairies have gathered their "edibles"

fairy door with market basket; the fairies have gathered their “edibles”

another fairy dwelling

another fairy dwelling

Judy’s son said the fairies do not need stairs because they can fly.  But they DO need stairs for their pet frogs.

from the bridge over the swale, looking west

from the bridge over the swale, looking west

fish in the well weeded swale

fish in the well weeded swale

south edge, inside fence, looking east.  The property goes further south outside the fence.

south edge, inside fence, looking east. The property goes further south outside the fence.

Emerging from the bogsy wood, I photographed my way up the west side path.

looking north

looking north

beside the shade garden

beside the shade garden

blue

blue bottle hanger from The Natural Nook in Gearhart

blue bottle hanger from The Natural Nook in Gearhart

Fuchsia magellanica

Fuchsia magellanica and purple trunks of old camellia

before photo of the camellia which is now just purple painted trunks

before photo (with no garden) of the camellia which is now just purple painted trunks . Nov 2010

looking back south

looking back south

walking north into the sun

walking north into the sun

And then….JOY!  Another garden guest arrived!  She was a member of The Mozart Chicks quintet who had performed at Pink Poppy Farm on Music in the Gardens tour day and had reprised their performance with a trio during the edible tour!

a musician in our garden

a musician in our garden

I walked around with her, and as she left, Pam and Kathy from Back Alley Gardens and The Natural Nook in Gearhart arrived.  More joy.  I really had been rather glum about having only nineteen people so far (and pretty much all of them in the first hour with three hours in between having no new arrivals).

Pam Fleming  and Kathy Cates

Pam Fleming and Kathy Cates

We walked all around every inch of the garden, which was most satisfactory and made my day.  Pam told us that she and Kathy had not known where our street, which is one block south of the main drag through Ilwaco, was.  I am so used to people having a GPS that I never thought to make sure the program had more specific directions.  Because of their determination to visit us, they turned back when they realized they were heading east out of Ilwaco.  But what was worse was that Adelaide’s Coffee in Ocean Park, the northernmost ticket sales point, had been CLOSED.  CLOSED on Sunday?  On tour day???  Which is when most people buy tickets???  When their hours say they are OPEN on Sundays?  Why had they agreed to sell tickets at all????  I found out later that they had told Lisa, the tour organizer, a few days before that they would be closed that day.  Whatever the emergency was, if there was one, my mind is still boggled that this happened.  How many other people might have tried to buy tickets and then given up and done something else with their day?

Because of this fiasco and having to drive back south to buy tickets at Jimella and Nanci’s Café in Klipsan, the only two gardens that Pam and Kathy visited other than ours was Pink Poppy Farm and the Millner Garden.  They loved Pink Poppy Farm…who wouldn’t? and Pam raved about a pink drink with Shiso (Perilla, a Japanese herb)….somehow the Shisho made the drink a gorgeous pink colour.  Then they went to the Millner garden at the Planter Box.  Pam was so taken with Ray Millner’s talk about the health benefits of his garden that she had made a movie of him with her iPad to show to Back Alley plantswoman Prissy.

Pam taking an iPad photo

Pam taking an iPad photo

We sat in the patio and talking about gardening, especially public gardening.   (Pam does the gorgeous Seaside, Oregon gardens and I have admired her work for years.)  Allan brought the tabouli salad back out.  Time passed.  Pam played us a bit of the video of Ray Millner.    They were thinking of stopping by Painted Lady Lavender Farm for the very end of the Beach Bellydance Festival but we kept nattering on.  (Last year the festival was beautiful and I was sorry to have missed it this year.)  By the time they departed, they decided to skip the festival.  On the way out, we all had a good look at Allan’s garden, especially his unidentified mystery fern.

Kathy and the mystery fern

Kathy and the mystery fern

One more guest wanted to come in, but by now the tour was over….

Onyx from next door

Onyx from next door

…except for Vera and Jim Karnofski who came up from Biocharm Farm to bring us the big tour sign to return to Lisa the next day.    We walked all around with them, and they took some tabouli with them to eat later.

I had emailed Nancy Allen to bemoan we had only had 23 people.  She responded:  “Phil told me I shouldn’t tell you Andrea had 130” [at the Patten edible garden].   I believed it for about two minutes and thought that many many people had been unable to find our address!  It tied in with Pam and Kathy having told me that they heard the Pink Poppy Farm-ers were surprised they had so many people.  But it turned out that the 27 people that they did get seemed to them like quite a few for the edible tour (that only got 20 people in 2012!)

This tour needs a better attendance, especially since it is a benefit for the food bank.  We have the Facebook page now, and had some good publicity in both the Chinook Observer (local weekly paper) and the Daily Astorian.  Next year we need to get a promo on the public radio.  The tickets are extremely reasonable:  $7 or 5 cans of food for the food bank.  I hope it is just not that people (like me) are more interested in purely ornamental garden tours….but I won’t pass up the chance to tour any kind of garden.

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August 10, 2013

After touring “Lavender And”, Allan and I were might hungry so we stopped at the delicious Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta.

Chef Jayne Bailey at work

Chef Jayne Bailey at work

We used to take more time to stop for lunches but for the past few years have worked pretty much non stop from February through early December.  My mission this year is to have more time enjoying pleasures like a lunch stop.  We still have not taken many, so I don’t yet have to worry that it is going to result in poverty.  Taking time off to go garden touring…and blog…is more likely to get me in financial trouble!

inside Bailey's

inside Bailey’s

After our excellent lunch we drove back to Ilwaco and a bit to the east to Jim and Vera Karnofski’s Biocharm Farm.   We wanted to get photos for the edible tour Facebook page and had also been charged with the delivery of the signs and tickets for the tour.  The name of the farm refers to Biochar.  To say Jim is a big believer in the stuff would be an understatement.  Here is the Biocharm description of the farm:  “Biocharm Farms is a demonstration mineral augmented organic garden with the goal of maximizing the nutrient density of the vegetables as shown by the Brix Refractometer. The soil is mineral balanced annually and biochar has been added for several years with promising results. There will be handouts and an explanation of these amazing gardening breakthroughs that seem to be converging to make a ‘good food revolution’ possible. Presently, besides feeding our family, we market our produce primarily to [a local] restaurant, Klean rehab facility and Coastal Corner Market. There are 3 gardens about 100 yards apart against a backdrop of forest on which there is a ½ mile trail if you feel like having a really nice nature walk.  “

Jim Karnofski

Jim Karnofski

a charming dog indeed, a rescue from our local shelter

a charming dog indeed, a rescue from our local shelter

I thought for sure I’d remember the name of the cute Karnofski dog, but writing this two weeks later, I’ve forgotten.

You can watch a video of Jim explaining all about biochar.  I believe that I’ve had good results using what I call “pseudobiochar”, the chinky black bits left behind in the burn piles of clients who live in areas where burning is allowed, mixed with dairy manure into garden beds.  I did a test, as Jim advised, of growing carrots (or any crop) in a barrel amended with biochar and one without, the the carrots in the biochar planter got much bigger.

At the entrance to the Biocharm vegetable garden, bins hold piles of soil amending ingredients.

pallet bins

pallet bins

We first walked through the vegetable garden that be seen from the highway between Ilwaco and Chinook; the farm is on the left as you drive east out of Ilwaco, east of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm.

looking east

looking east

bio2

yellow sticky trap to catch insect pests

yellow sticky trap to catch insect pests

bio4

bio6

bio8

bio9

Vera Karnofski

Vera Karnofski

lettuce

lettuce

bredlettuce

a stand of grain

a stand of grain

To the right you can see Highway 101 running next to the farm.

To the right you can see Highway 101 running next to the farm.

looking west

looking west

As we walked along, Jim and Vera harvested vegetables for their dinner.

harvesting

harvesting

carrots

carrot, Allan's photo

gathering dinner

gathering dinner

looking west

looking west

looking south

looking south

After we had thoroughly explored the garden beside the highway, Jim and Vera guided us along a grassy path to a surprise: another garden area almost equally large in a clearing to the north.

grassy path

grassy path

playtime

playtime

another garden!

another garden!

Vera and the beanstalks

Vera and the beanstalks

beans

garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

enormous bean pole structure

enormous bean pole structure

beans

Vera Karnofski

Vera Karnofski harvesting dinner

more grain

I should have taken notes on what grains were being grown in the garden.

two large garden beds

looking north, two large garden beds

the garden was hacked out of wilderness.

the garden was hacked out of wilderness.

northernmost bed

northernmost bed

Jim waters down a compost bin.

Jim waters down a compost bin.

In the background, the dog and cat still play.

In the background, the dog and cat still play.

playtime continues

playtime continues

back toward the farmhouse

back toward the farmhouse

more harvesting

more harvesting

Soon after this, Jim realized he had the carrot destined for dinner way back by that compost pile he was watering down.

The spuds were so good that they even tasted good raw.

The spuds were so good that they even tasted good raw.

back to the start

back to the start

At the house, there were ducklings on the loose….

ducks

ducklings on the run

They were under the protection of a large rooster.

He was monitoring the ducklings.

He was monitoring the ducklings.

Vera said they had not had time to clean up the area around the house.  I said I thought there was plenty of impressive garden to show without that area.  Jim invited us in for a beer, but we had to get home to finish the last weeding of our garden. He gave us a couple of freshly dug spuds for our dinner.

Indeed, when I started to go over all the garden beds at home, I desperately wished I had more time to make them perfect, and that we had run the strimmer around all the edges of the beds.  Oh dear.  At least the tour on the very next day did not start until noon so I might have time for some last minute weeding.

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