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Archive for June, 2014

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Tucker garden

Our last tour garden in North Seattle was one I especially wanted to see because Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden is one of my favourite books.

photo

by the street

by the street

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking up into the garden

looking up into the garden

detail in the low retaining wall around the patio

detail in the low retaining wall around the patio

the front yard patio

the front yard patio

Allan's photo of thyme on the patio

Allan’s photo of thyme on the patio

front garden

front garden

from gravel to lawn in the front garden

from gravel to lawn in the front garden

gravel path, front garden

gravel path, front garden

very Beth Chatto

very Beth Chatto

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the first of a selection of assorted Eryngiums…my favourites!

Dahlias, Allan's photo

Dahlias, Allan’s photo

a mosaic step up the lawn

a mosaic step up the lawn

gazing upon the lawn and house

gazing upon the lawn and house

next to the pebble mosaic: a cluster of Salvia viridis (painted sage), my favourite annual and one you don't see in many gardens.

next to the pebble mosaic: a cluster of Salvia viridis (painted sage), my favourite annual and one you don’t see in many gardens.  It is not quite blossomed out yet.

painted sage, which I discovered in a slide show lecture by Lucy Hardiman

painted sage, which I discovered in a slide show lecture by Lucy Hardiman

Eryngium

Eryngium again, backed with Ceanothus

looks like my friend Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

looks like my friend Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a tour guest photographing poppies

a tour guest photographing poppies

Here's why!

Here’s why!

I see Sheila heading for the back garden.

I see Sheila heading for the back garden.

I look back at the gravel garden.

I look back at the gravel garden.

Into the back garden.  Note the pond to the left.

Into the back garden. Note the pond to the left.

Perfection!

Perfection!

I poked at the lip to see if I could ascertain whether or not it was made from a big round tub.  Couldn't tell.

I poked at the lip to see if I could ascertain whether or not it was made from a big round tub. Couldn’t tell.

I have begun Googling “huge round tubs for ponds” and certainly hope I can find something like this, so nice and round, not one of those squiggly shaped plastic forms.  Looks like it has a wide lip for setting the pavers.  Maybe it is not a tub at all.

To my right, the garden.

To my right, the garden.

a trough garden

a trough garden

a reading spot

a reading spot

Along the same side of the garden as the pond, a wall drips with ferns over a path lower than the lawn.

Along the same side of the garden as the pond, a wall drips with ferns over a path lower than the lawn.

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blossoms drifted onto a fern

clematis fluff drifted onto a fern

Stepping from the fern grotto up onto the lawn

Stepping from the fern grotto up onto the lawn

a single yellow rose

a single yellow rose

levels in the back garden

in the back garden

There's Ciscoe!

There’s Ciscoe!  Note the sunroom to the left.

The sun room is open for tour guests to enter.

The sun room is open for tour guests to enter.

The sun room is open for tour guests to enter.

stunning.

stunning…may I have this AND the round pond, please!

a frog welcome mat at the door that goes straight out the back.

a frog welcome mat at the door that goes straight out the back.

into the garden

into the garden

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more levels of stone and plants

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another angle

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

another water feature

another water feature

I got distracted by a conversation and did not get any detail photos of this lovely area.  However, if you look at this entry in the Bonney Lassie blog, not only will you see an excellent photo of it but also links to other blogs about this garden.  (Alison, do you think that big round pond is a tub??)

looking down at the house and sunroom

looking down at the house and sunroom

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another level up, above a greenhouse, and going up to a little shed

Another level up, above a greenhouse, and going up to a little shed.

looking down

looking down

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little greenhouse

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greenhouse and shed

a path between greenhouse and an outbuilding (as I recall)

a path between greenhouse and an outbuilding.

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a shady nook by the house

We are about to go around the other side of the house.

We are about to approach the other side of the house.

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more simply lovely single roses

fern planter

fern planter

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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in the front garden again

in the front garden again

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I asked Sheila to take one more photo for me out the passenger window before we drove away.

I asked Sheila to take one more photo for me out the passenger window before we drove away.

This garden was very much my cuppa tea in every way and I feel now, looking at the photos, that I was too punchy and distracted to catch all of the details.  It is four hours way from me now, so I will have to read other people’s blogs to see more of it.


 

Sky Nursery

We had time to get to Sky Nursery before their closing time of six PM in order to get a birdbath that we have wanted for a long long time.  It is rather pricey (for us) and is often out of stock.

Sky Nursery

Sky Nursery

parking lot planters

parking lot planters

Allan took these three photos at my request.  The blue is Salvia patens, one of my favourites.

Allan took these three photos at my request. The blue is Salvia patens, one of my favourites.

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I bought a couple of hardy Fuchsias but was too tired to do much focused plant shopping.

mermaid birdbath from catalog

mermaid birdbath from catalog

Mer Family Birdbath

(MER-BB)

Designed by Kelly Godel

18″ x 18″ x 28″; 100 lbs (2 Pieces)

Mermaids, in folklore are supernatural, sea-dwelling creatures with the head and upper body of a beautiful women and the lower body of a fish. Many a travelled sailor has brought back tales of being enchanted by their beauty. In this original birdbath by Kelly Godel, we see all the members of a Mer family, happy in the knowledge that they won’t be disturbed by human presence. Mermaids were immortalized by Hans Christian Anderson’s famous 1837 novel, The Little Mermaid.

Mediterranean Kitchen

On the way back to the hotel (we were much too tired to go to the Bellevue Botanical Garden so missed that entirely on this trip) we had dinner at the Mediterranean Kitchen’s Bellevue restaurant.  It was a great favourite of mine in its lower Queen Ann and Capitol Hill (Komalco!) restaurants back when I lived in Seattle.  Zahrah, a deep fried cauliflower appetizer with tahini sauce, is so scrumptious.

Allan found it, close to the hotel, when he took a walk late Thursday evening.

Allan found it, close to the hotel, when he took a walk late Thursday evening.

When we arrived on Sunday night, the indoor seating was crowded so we ate on the patio.

The Mediterranean Kitchen

The Mediterranean Kitchen

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I got Farmer's Dish as it brought back happy memories of reeking with garlic.  Sheila and Allan got Dajaj Mishwi.

I got Farmer’s Dish as it brought back happy memories of reeking with garlic. Sheila and Allan got Dajaj Mishwi.

Allan's dish

Allan’s dish

I had forgotten how huge the portions were, and the sad thing was our hotel rooms at the Bellevue Hilton had no refrigerators so we could not take leftovers; the three of us could have split a Zahrah and one Dajaj Mishwi and been happy.

A dog walking with its human made eye contact with me.  I would love to have given him a taste, but garlic is not good for dogs.

A dog walking with its human made eye contact with me. I would love to have given him a taste, but garlic is not good for dogs.

back at the hotel...our new plant collection

back at the hotel…our new plant collection

and the water bottles Allan kept refilling to water the plants with, as some had been in the van for three days now.

and just some of the water bottles Allan kept refilling to water the plants with, as some had been in the van for three days now.

Tomorrow we would go home, but on our way we would visit five more gardens in southwest Seattle.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend hosted by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Livingston garden

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at street level

at street level, with Eryngiums

the front garden

the front garden

walking around the right side of the house

walking around the right side of the house

first glimpse of the descent that awaits

first glimpse of the descent that awaits

a gorgeous Acer griseum

a gorgeous Acer griseum

stunning glassed in breezeway

stunning glassed in breezeway

going down one level

going down one level

a little ways down

a little ways down

further descent ahead

further descent on the other side of the house

over the tree tops

over the tree tops

a view of the compost chute; what a great idea

a view of the compost chute; what a great idea

I see people way down there and didn't know that the garden went way further down past that.

I see people way down there and didn’t know that the garden went way further down past that.

I had gone as low as I could go.

I had gone as low as I could go.

Given all day, I could have certainly worked my way partway down, but it would be slow going because of dizziness and the usual phobias, so I waited and explored, along with several others who for one reason or another could not manage railingless stairs.  We still have one more garden to see after this one, with only about an hour left in the tour day.

a hidden water feature

a hidden water feature, found only because I heard it trickling

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On the left side of the house, a sign pointed to the basement and a very welcome WC!

On the left side of the house, a sign pointed to the basement and a very welcome WC!

From here on, all the photos and captions are by Allan.

Allan's photo:  Not just a deer fence but art in itself

Allan’s photo: Not just a deer fence but art in itself

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on the compost chute side, house to left

on the compost chute side, house to left

heading around the corner of the house

heading around the corner of the house

me, before I turned back

me, before I turned back

top of compost chute.  Their wheelbarrows would face a lot of stairs but the gravel paths lower down were somehow maintained.

top of compost chute. Their wheelbarrows would face a lot of stairs but the gravel paths lower down were somehow maintained.

A fern covered old path would down under the house while the main stairs were over on the natural stream side.

A fern covered old path would down under the house while the main stairs were over on the the side that had a natural stream.

A fern covered old path would down under the house while the main stairs were over on the natural stream side.  We stepped carefully.

A fern covered old path wound down under the house while the main stairs were over on the natural stream side. We stepped carefully.

The stone path enters one of the patios.  The tiled patio is upper right.

The stone path enters one of the patios. The tiled patio is upper right.

a few feet further on looking through the ferns

a few feet further on looking through the ferns

Astrantia

Astrantia

exiting the stone step trail to a patio

exiting the stone step trail to a patio

a few feet further overlooking the vegetable garden

a few feet further overlooking the vegetable garden

You can see the bottom of the compost chute to the right.

You can see the bottom of the compost chute to the right.

 

bottom of the compost chute

bottom of the compost chute (enlarged for detail)

the kitchen garden

the kitchen garden

more stone steps

more stone steps

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outdoor fireplace

outdoor fireplace

another terrace

He thinks the fireplace is on this terrace to the left, and that the kitchen garden was by the grass on the left.

rope bridge in ravine over a natural stream, taken from the overlook terrace

rope bridge in ravine over a natural stream, taken from the overlook terrace.  [Look at those brave tour guests!!)

a gravel path leads down from the kitchen garden

a gravel path leads down from the kitchen garden

The stairs on the left behind the three people...

The stairs on the left behind the three people…

...have inlaid pebbles and a rivulet on the left side.

…have inlaid pebbles and a rivulet on the left side.

a detail of the rivulet as it falls into a catch basin

a detail of the rivulet as it falls into a catch basin

The woman is standing at the near side of the rope bridge.  Beyond, a steep wood stairway enters a woodland trail that hugs the ravine.

The woman is standing at the near side of the rope bridge. Beyond, a steep wood stairway enters a woodland trail that hugs the ravine.

an enlargement to show the ladder-like stairway

an enlargement to show the ladder-like stairway

Below me, on the lower patio, people were descending the path to the rope bridge on a path that had somehow been graveled and maintained beautifully.

Below me, on the lower patio, people were descending the path to the rope bridge on a path that had somehow been graveled and maintained beautifully.

a waterfall

a waterfall

looking up

looking up

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looking down at the patio I photographed the ravine from

looking down at the patio I photographed the ravine from

The other side of the mossy tree had a recirculating stream to the same viewing patio.

The other side of the mossy tree had a recirculating stream to the same viewing patio.

another view of stream, close to the previous photo, with stone bridge at bottom of the photo

another view of stream, close to the previous photo, with stone bridge at bottom of the photo

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Looking back after crossing the stone bridge.  Rope swing by trellis.  Main steps on right.

Looking back after crossing the stone bridge. Rope swing by trellis. Main steps on right.

I am heading toward the side of the yard opposite the compost shoot, and am being shown the bends where the grids cross that make this stronger fence and trellis material.

I am heading toward the side of the yard opposite the compost shoot, and am being shown the bends where the grids cross that make this stronger fence and trellis material.

plants ready to dig in near ravine side

plants ready to dig in near ravine side

The overlook patio is in the upper right corner.  This is the steep path down to the rope bridge.

The overlook patio is in the upper right corner. This is the steep path down to the rope bridge.

same path with an adventurous log bridge going left over a real stream that the rope bridge also crosses.

same path with an adventurous log bridge going left over a real stream that the rope bridge also crosses downstream.

These women followed me down to this path that paralleled the natural stream.  Note the stumps lower right marking the path going upstream.

These women followed me down to this path that paralleled the natural stream. Note the stumps lower right marking the path going upstream.

stumps now to the left as I head upstream.

stumps now to the left as I head upstream.

a bridge to cross the stream

a bridge to cross the stream

Note its steel beam sides and rough textured steel treads.  Very secure.

Note its steel beam sides and rough textured steel treads. Very secure.

Now to climb back up.  Two women are at the top.  Even down here, shade plantings every bit as interesting as those close to the house.

Now to climb back up. Two women are at the top. Even down here, shade plantings every bit as interesting as those close to the house.

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the beginning of the recirculating stream to the view deck area.  Another guest crossing the stone bridge downstream.

the beginning of the recirculating stream to the view deck area. Another guest crossing the stone bridge downstream.

Barberry (something) Queen just going in.

Barberry (something) Queen just going in.

the fence in background as another guest was also admiring these blossoms.

the fence in background as another guest was also admiring these blossoms.

Thanks to Allan, I was able to join the rest of our readers on a tour of the Livingston garden.  The owner must be very spry, with a great sense of balance, to handle all those steep railingless stairs.

To read about Alison’s adventures in this wonderland, see this post on the Bonney Lassie blog.  Will she or won’t she cross the rope bridge?  Alison’s blog explains better just how the fireplace patio relates to the kitchen garden and has a great photo of the kitchen garden tiles.  Putting Allan’s and Alison’s photos together, I really feel that I saw the whole garden.

Next, the final garden of our north Seattle tour, to be followed the next day with more gardens in southwest Seattle.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend hosted by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Piquelle-Meador garden

I have truly become a small towner; just Allan’s trying to find hillside parking for the next garden wore me out so much that I only took a few photos. There was considerable jockeying around of vehicles at the entrance to cul-de-sac where the garden is.  We couldn’t get in, drove down around a scary (to me) corner, turned in a (scary to me!) driveway and went back up two blocks to park on a side street, then walked down a steep hill street with no shoulder.   Fortunately, Allan took more photos than I did.

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Me, walking down the scary street, cringing at traffic going by.

Me, walking down the scary street, cringing at traffic going by.  Where the burgundy coloured vehicle is emerging on the right, we turned and walked a block more to the garden.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the garden entry

the garden entry

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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the front garden

metal Alliums

Allan’s photo: metal Alliums in the front garden

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koi

koi

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Allan's photo of the excellent stand of pitcher plants (one of the best I have seen in a garden)

Allan’s photo of the excellent stand of pitcher plants (one of the best I have seen in a garden)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

from the upper level of the back garden

from the upper level of the back garden

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Lake Washington in the distance

back deck

hot tub deck

Allan's photo, looking to the lower level of the back garden

Allan’s photo, looking to the lower level of the back garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a shady retreat: Allan's photo

a shady retreat: Allan’s photo

tropicalismo: Allan's photo

tropicalismo: Allan’s photo

looking down on the veg garden:  Allan's photo

looking down on the veg garden: Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

At the side of the house, the work area: Allan's photo

At the side of the house, the work area: Allan’s photo

a long walk back up the hill.  Sheila was sitting up there waiting for us, tired; we agreed we are getting old.

a long walk back up the hill. Sheila was sitting up there waiting for us, tired; we agreed we are getting old.

The name of Susan Picquelle’s garden design expressed her own garden well:  Vivid Landscape Design.  She was the organizer and vivacious bartender of the Fifty Shades of Green garden party.

Already tired and with a sore knee, I mentally looked ahead to the next garden, whose description had a warning about steep stairs without handrails, and wondered how much of it I would manage to see, and was glad I could delegate Allan to take photos of it.

 

 

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Sunday 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend hosted by Northwest Perennial Alliance

On the way to the next garden, I regaled Sheila with facts like “That’s the Sunday school I went to! I went to Junior High School 2 blocks from here.  My parents’ house was just one block down!”  It must have been fascinating indeed.

When we parked for the next garden, I had to nip down half a block to get a photo of a rainbow flag house.

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I then caught up to Allan and Sheila to tour a small, formal city garden.

Scot Eckley garden

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in the front garden

in the front garden

a green haven

a green haven

the back garden

the back garden

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

turf steps

turf steps

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo of the gracious garden owner (with green tag)

Allan’s photo of the gracious garden owner (with green tag)

Allan's photo, side passageway

Allan’s photo, side passageway

Allan's photo, side passageway

Allan’s photo, side passageway

designer Scot Eckley’s website

Three more gardens to go on our Sunday tour!

 

 

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

Longres-Graham garden

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When I lived in Seattle (1955 – 1992), the area in Wallingford where several streets come together at angles was not called Tangletown.  I love the name.  Honeybear Bakery used to be an occasional  hangout of mine there.  I found it such a pleasure to tour a small city garden surrounding a house that, back in my day, would even have been affordable for the working class (of which I am a card carrying member).

approaching the garden

approaching the garden

looking up from the sidewalk

looking up from the sidewalk

at the corner

at the corner

 roses grown with no need for a deer fence

Allan’s photo: roses grown with no need for a deer fence

parking strip lavender and roses

Allan’s photo:  parking strip lavender and roses

well designed parking strip gardens with room for getting in and out of a car.

well designed parking strip gardens with room for getting in and out of a car.

I confess that years ago, the parking strip garden for my house made it almost impossible to get out of the car!

perfect

perfect

Allan was also impressed by this good design.

Allan was also impressed by this good design.

Allan's photo: parking strip barberries

Allan’s photo: parking strip barberries

room to move...and roses grown with no need for a deer fence

room to move.

Allan heard one of the owners say he has a groundcover in mind that he thinks will work in that walking area.

Steps to the garden at the corner of the lot

Steps to the garden at the corner of the lot.

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railing decoration

railing decoration

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looking back to the corner steps

looking back to the corner steps

a way back down to the sidewalk

a mossy way back down to the sidewalk

a veg parking strip bed

a veg parking strip bed

The driveway to an under house garage divides the front garden.

The driveway to an under house garage divides the front garden.

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a side entrance to the garden

a side entrance to the garden

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the driveway to the under house garage separates the two parts of the front garden.

Garden bed above the driveway

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a planted driveway

a planted driveway

I so want to plant the center of our garage driveway; it seems like ours is too narrow (and the concrete would have to be broken out) so it remains a dream so far.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

into the small back yard, actually a side yard

into the small back yard, actually a side yard

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Hydrangea aspera...gets big.

Hydrangea aspera…gets big.

water feature of recycled items

water feature of recycled items

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Somewhere I am sure I have a crockery pot like that that belonged to my grandma.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

shelves against the house

potting bench against the house

Allan's clematis photo

Allan’s clematis photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The back of the house was a narrow passage.  Coming around the other side, Ciscoe was right behind me.

The back of the house was a narrow passage. Coming around the other side, Ciscoe was right behind me.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I do love a small, good, colour-packed city garden.

Interlude: a Cotinus smoking in a parking strip bed on the way back to our van:

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

The Saturday night party was far from the end of the study weekend.  No, indeed.  We began Sunday morning with early rising to get back to the plant sale when it opened at 8 AM.

early rising heading out the ground level hotel door to the plant sales room (usually a parking garage)

early rising heading out the ground level hotel door to the plant sales room (usually a parking garage)

In my hand, I clutched a pain au chocolat, my favourite pastry (no one has it here at the beach!).

one of the perks of civilization, from Tully's coffee in the hotel lobby

one of the perks of civilization, from Tully’s coffee in the hotel lobby

Fueled on pastry and coffee and considerably sleep deprived, I re-entered the plant sales room and gravitated to the Gossler Farms table, where I bought…oh yes, I DID…the $140 Davidia involucrata ‘Lady Sunshine’.  (You all thought I had more willpower, didn’t you?)  Roger Gossler knew I would be back; he said he had only brought two to the sale, and that it is rare, and was discovered by a small grower in Oregon, and that it will be wind tolerant.  Someone had bought the other one, but the second Lady Sunshine waited for me.

plant room

plant room

Of course, I would have liked one each of everything.

Of course, I would have liked one each of everything.

Do I know where I am going to put the tree?  Not really, nor do I know where I will put all my other acquisitions.    Billy Goodnick would be appalled but probably not shocked.

I picked up all my plants (two flats of them) from the holding area and schlepped them to our van, so that we would be ready immediately after the morning’s lectures to begin touring. By the time we returned from the day’s tours, the plant sale vendors would all be gone and the big room would be a parking garage again.

By the way, Wilburton Pottery was one of the vendors; I love their tiles and have some at home that I acquired years ago at the NW Flower and Garden Show.  I did not look over their wares at the study weekend as I was completely plant focused, but check out their website to see some beautiful things.

a Northwest Perennial Alliance volunteer on guard at the plant holding area...Talk about "Pet's Corner!"

a Northwest Perennial Alliance volunteer on guard at the plant holding area…Talk about “Pet’s Corner!”

In the lecture room, we made one last walk around of the display of cut flowers and foliage.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo showing how all plants were labelled.

Allan’s photo showing how all plants were labeled.

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CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts)

CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts)

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Note how fresh the plants look on the fourth day after they were picked.  Clearly, volunteers have been fussing with them and refreshing the water and fluffing them up.

more CPNs

more CPNs

Eryngiums!

Eryngium!


 

Northwest Perennial Alliance Hardy Plant weekend lectures, Sunday morning

Northwest Perennial Alliance Hardy Plant weekend lectures, Sunday morning

First lecture:

Ciscoe and Mary

the lecture title

the lecture title

Mary began the lecture and spoke on her own for twenty entertaining minutes.  She said this photo proves that in younger days, she had a thing for hippie men:

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This garden division is about like me and Allan... if you count the lawn as part of his 20%.

This garden division is about like me and Allan… if you count the lawn as part of his 20%.

Mary said Ciscoe’s cooking runs to Top Ramen and Brussel Sprouts Surprise.  (I’m lucky Allan does the cooking or we would live on packaged salad and couscous.)

I enjoyed every moment of their lecture but was laughing so hard that the only notes I took were:

“windows in garage”  [Ciscoe has them, and has tender plants by them in winter; I want some more windows in our garage now]

“Choisya: cut down low in spring”

“Epimedium  ‘Spine Tingler’!” [must be a great one!]

“6000 square foot lot” [their size]

Seeing Ciscoe brought back happy memories of the day he visited our garden and transformed a mundane day into a thrilling one.

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Second Lecture (after a break for coffee and life-sustaining pastries):

Sue and Kelly

Their lecture title:  24/7/365 and Still Smiling

My interest in this lecture goes way back to when Kelly, with his previous partner, had a tiny storefront in Ballard (a north Seattle neighbourhood near where I lived) called Reflective Gardens.  Must have been about 1988 when I walked by and just about fell over at the sight of a passionflower blooming all up a brick wall.  I was smitten with their tiny landscaped parking strip garden and went home and dug up my parking strip sod and tried to recreate their design; I had even sketched out their placement of rocks.

Eventually Reflective Gardens moved from Ballard to one of the islands near Seattle.

Years later Kelly met Sue on a plant collecting trip, and, well, love is a burning thing, and makes a fiery ring…they fell into that ring of fire and after what they referred to as a “mess”, they ended up together at Far Reaches Farm.  Their nursery (from which I will be mail ordering Roscoeas!) features plants that they have collected (responsibly) from around the world.

My notes:

Cercium…a thistle like thing…must have, doesn’t spread

Castle Howard (where Brideshead Revisited was filmed) is the Yorkshire arboretum?!?

Meianthemum henryi!!

Roscoea…tough as nails…I must start collecting them!!

Meianthemum white and pink, must have!! So big! 6′ high

gold form of Polygantum

Polyganatum…phillinianum?? 9′ with flowers, little hooks to hang onto other plants it climb on…must have!

and so on…some in scrawls I can barely read.  Fortunately, they provided a slide list.

This is the sort of lecture we crave at a Hardy Plant weekend, all about plants.

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Third lecture:

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lecture title: The Invisible Garden

my notes:

Two great English gardeners went for a walk in Dungeness…Christopher Lloyd and Beth Chatto…and they came upon a garden that blended into the landscape of sea and shale…

I knew before he said so that they must have found Derek Jarman’s garden, which is also the name of one of my favourite gardening books of all time.  I used to lend it to every new client that wanted a beach side garden (back in the days when I took on new clients).

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Derek had heard of Beth Chatto and had never heard of Great Dixter (Christopher Lloyd’s garden)!

I thought, Beth wrote the great book The Gravel Garden, and that may be why he had heard of her.

Later, having gone there, Jarman said he loved Dixter because it was “shaggy”.

His idea of a nightmare was Hidcote, which he called Hideouscote.  Hidcote is often described as a series of  “outdoor rooms”.  Frank Ronan said,  You go outside to get away from the rooms not to be in another room with no roof.

He said Christo’s exotic garden encroached and enveloped you (his words accompanied by glorious slides).

He said the only place where nature is a good gardener is in the high Alps.

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He said England is poor in native flora and that one could learn all of it in two days of concentrated study.  That is, he thinks, why the cult of gardening took off in the UK.

He said that Ireland has no moles, no rabbits, and a high water table.

The front of his house has a boring garden in order to say “Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.”

He says clipped evergreens are “the ultimate statement of control; ‘This did not happen by itself'” and he does not have a fondness for huge yew topiaries.  He finds topiary static, admires it but doesn’t want that kind of static stability in his own garden.

He mentioned a novel about a man who lived in a bleak place and kept sneaking out to plant things elsewhere.  (I wonder if that is one of his own novels; I intend to read them.)

He says “If the house is ugly, hide it.”

“Be relaxed, don’t try to blow your own trumpet.  Don’t say look at me, say look at the plant.

He notes there is a lot of mulching going on in the Pacific Northwest gardens that he toured.  “If you mulch, you can’t get the self-sowers.  I’d rather be weeding things out than putting them in any day.”

“Nature can decorate things better than you can,” he said of a tree festooned with lichen.

Martagon lilies like to grow in the shady end of a garden.

Labels on plants:  “Don’t!  I’d rather not know what it is.  Labels are scars on the garden.”

Re “The Invisible Garden”:  “If you can’t see that it is a garden, it’s a paradise.”

Of course, because I am easily influenced I mentally drop the idea, inspired by the Hummingbird Hill garden mostly, of making my garden more formal with…rooms!


And now…back to garden touring!

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We’ve done Whidbey Island and Eastside Splendor, and today we will do the North Seattle Jewels.

 

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

Fifty Shades of Green evening party at Wells Medina Nursery

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I said to Sheila, “How will we be able to shop for plants if we are all taking a bus?” She said the bus would probably be a large one with a cargo hold underneath. Instead, we went on several orange school buses so could only bring back the number of plants we could hold on our laps.

That was fine, as otherwise I would have been so absorbed in plant shopping that I might have missed observing the party.

It was tough when I saw the selection of Eryngiums.  Fortunately they had only one that I didn't have:  'White Glitter'.

It was tough when I saw the selection of Eryngiums. Fortunately they had only one that I didn’t have: ‘White Glitter’.

I did not have room to get this amaranth for Alison, who had been unable to get a ticket to the sold out party.

I did not have room to get this amaranth for Alison of the BonneyLassie blog, who had been unable to get a ticket to the sold out party. (Yellow schoolbus in background limited shopping room!)

delphiniums and party tables

delphiniums and party tables

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an ensemble with green garden gloves

an ensemble with green garden gloves

one of the party organizers

one of the party organizers (I think)

another of the party organizers

another of the party organizers (for sure)

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in the fluffy head-dress:  Nancy Goldman of Nancyland in Portland, one of two people I recognized.

in the fluffy head-dress: Nancy Goldman of Nancyland in Portland, one of two people I recognized. (The other was Lucy Hardiman.)

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a tiny hat

a tiny hat; Garden Tour Nancy says this style of hat is called a “fascinator’

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the nursery looking lovely in evening light

the nursery looking lovely in evening light

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costume contest: my favourite

costume contest: my favourite

costume contest

costume contest

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then...rapt attention for the speaker of the evening

then…rapt attention for the speaker of the evening

author Debra Prinzing ("Slow Flowers" and "The 50 Mile Bouquet" gave a flower arranging demo

author Debra Prinzing (“Slow Flowers” and “The 50 Mile Bouquet” gave a flower arranging demo

Meanwhile, my purchases sat by our table. (Sheila graciously carried one of them on the bus for me.)

an Astrantia, a Fuchsia, an Eryngium

an Astrantia, a Fuchsia, an Eryngium

I gave the sales desk staff a copy of our garden tour poster.

I gave the sales desk staff a copy of our garden tour poster.

Allan’s photos of the event:

mixing infused sparkling drinks (champagne with lavender)

mixing infused sparkling drinks (champagne with lavender)

two of his favourite costumes posing for a photo

two of his favourite costumes posing for a photo

"No $50 chain fern today"

“No $50 chain fern today”

"cute seed pod on a stem"

“cute seed pod on a stem”

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appetizers

appetizers

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me and my plants

me and my plants

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Both Allan and I loved this lily head-dress.  I felt that I somehow knew the woman wearing it.

Both Allan and I loved this lily head-dress. I felt that I somehow knew the woman wearing it.

the costume contest

the costume contest

the three gentlemen in the costume contest

the three gentlemen in the costume contest

The woman with the necklace of sunglasses won, because she literally had "fifty shades of green".

The woman with the necklace of sunglasses won, because she literally had “fifty shades of green”.

Debra Prinzing's flower arrangement

Debra Prinzing’s flower arrangement

"Music in the Gardens" tour poster in the window

“Music in the Gardens” tour poster in the window

Next: Sunday morning lectures, followed by two more days of touring!

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