Friday, 17 July 2015
I took the day off to do some weeding in my own garden—which is NOT on the garden tour (having been on in 2012) but which was going to be seen by some gardener friends for the first time.
My night blooming cereus bud looked about the same and I wondered if it would open tonight.
I weeded all day, wanting to get the garden looking passable by evening, and took absolutely no before or after photos. Debbie, garden writer and photographer of Rainyside
fame, came by in the afternoon, bearing some cool plants from her selection at Kingston Henery Hardware
, some which I was buying and a couple as lovely presents.
Debbie bearing plants. (Allan’s photo)
a gift of a sophora, a plant I’ve never grown that is sure to be good. .
and a Black Cherry fuchsia for my fuchsia collection. Thanks, Debbie!
She went back to the nearby Salt Hotel
, where the Visitor’s Bureau was putting her up for the tour, and then returned in the evening to share a campfire with us, and with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Landscape Maintenance). The garden, while not exactly weed free, looked passable, and the lilies filled the air with scent. We had hoped Our Kathleen could join us, as well; she had driven down to her cottage that day and. after mowing her lawn there, she stayed home to conserve energy for garden tour day.
the hips of Rosa moyesii
Debbie making a garden video (Allan’s photo)
Melissa and Dave at the campfire
We were treated to an excellent sunset. (Allan’s photo)
Debbie and Allan
Well after dark, Melissa and Dave departed, as they live north of Oysterville, about forty minutes away. Debbie was outside the front door of our house when she heard me yell, “Oh my GOD!” and she told me later she feared my house was on fire. But no…I had seen this:
The night blooming cereus had opened. I felt so bad that Melissa and Dave had left, that I had not remembered to check the flower (because I was having so much fun having campfire company). Melissa told me later they might have come back if I had texted them. My brain did not work that fast.
Above: The plant starts at the left, throws stems up to the ceiling and down, with the flower at the right.
Debbie, Allan and I admired the flower from all angles and I told the story of how the plant had bloomed only once before for me, in 2003, shortly after Robert had moved out. That night, I sent an email to a Seattle-based email list of about 200 imaginary friends, saying “My night blooming cereus is blooming, and no one is here to see it.” One of the listmembers replied, “Yes there is; you are there to see it.” That was a profound moment for me.
If I took better care of my houseplants, it might bloom more than once every 12 years. It does like to be potbound, and to not be overwatered. I think the trick to more flowers might be to give it a mild dose of fertilizer next spring.
Here is a time lapse video of a night blooming cereus flower. I said to Allan if we had been indoors, we could have seen it. He pointed out it COULD have happened when we were in Portland at the Hardy Plant weekend.
I stayed in the living room till 2 AM as the scent of the flower, a subtle but intoxicating fragrance, slowly filled the entire room.
Astute reader Sue says, in a comment: “Your cactus is an Epiphyllum, probably the species Epiphyllum oxypetalum. While night blooming, it’s not a cereus, which is a different genus. The flowers do look a lot alike, but cereus are columnar, and grow upright, while Epiphyllums are epiphytes, and grow hanging down from trees. Another common name for this is Queen of the Night.”
Tomorrow: garden tour day! Have a look at a video that Debbie Teashon made of the last couple of years of tours, imbedded in her article about the anticipation of this year’s tour.
I’ll be making a no-doubt lengthy blog posts about each garden, but for now I’ll skip ahead to tomorrow evening’s après-tour dinner.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
Ilwaco, after the garden tour
After the garden tour, we had to do a quick watering job at the port because I felt one bed with some new plants needed a splash, and I was right. Allan walked to the other side of the building to get a few photos of the last minutes of the day’s Saturday Market.
Oliver’s pickled garlic and more
vehicles appear on the usually pedestrian only Waterfront Way to pack up the market booths.
Allan said “These turtles are going home.”
watering duty: easy when the adjacent merchants lets us use their hose. (Thanks, Bruce and Wendi Peterson!)
I collapsed at home for an hour in my easy chair. I kept thinking I should get up and do some watering at home. The heat had enervated me. Seaside Pam came by to wait with us for dinnertime, and as we walked round the garden, I saw some plants wilting. She reminded me that this is what plants do to protect themselves in heat, and indeed, the next morning they were upright again.
Pam and me waiting in the shade for dinnertime (Allan’s photo)
our garden tour dinner at The Depot Restaurant
Debbie, Todd, Our Kathleen, Dave and Melissa, and Pam Fleming of Seaside joined us for dinner. We wanted Ed Strange as well, but he was, strangely, tired from a day of garden touring in the heat and then taking my dog-nephew Jackson to the beach. I invited Garden Tour Nancy to at least come take a bow, but she had another dinner engagement.
When we arrived at our table on the outdoor deck, we found that Todd had decorated it with two lavish bouquets of fragrant sweet peas.
sweet peas from Todd’s garden
Melissa and Dave, Sea Star Landscape Maintenance
carne asada appetizer
Pam with the Depot’s renowned clam chowder (Allan’s photo)
my salmon special
Allan’s filet mignon with mashers
Melissa’s Kowloon Duck (Pan roasted Duck Breast simmered in Orange Supremes and Brandy Glaze Sliced and presented on Charred Pineapple Sticky Rice)
Everyone had a scrumptious dinner, even if I did not get photos of every dish….
digging in (Allan’s photo)
and peach cobbler for dessert!
and flourless chocolate torte (Todd’s dessert, Allan’s photo)
After dinner, Todd disappeared for a few minutes and returned with this stack of boxes.
He said that it was a tradition to have door prizes. Allan and I started laughing, knowing that this was a reference to the infamous door prize distribution at the Hardy Plant weekend last month, where Allan and Todd each won a special and cool plant and I won… ten zinc plant labels. There were five prizes tonight, three in boxes and the other two being the sweet pea bouquets. Each couple only got to choose and share one prize.
Melissa and Dave picked first and got…plant tags! She said she needed plant tags, and since then has asked me where she could get more just like them.
Debbie and Melissa
Dave and Melissa knew the door prize story. Pam didn’t, so she was mystified when she chose the package that Todd said was from his brother’s art gallery and got paint brush handles suitable for … plant tags!
She didn’t know Eric is a nationally famous water colorist so the prize was extra mystifying till I managed to explain it fully in an email a couple of days later. (She described showing the handles to her husband and going “???”.)
I picked next. While there’s no way the prizes could have been rigged, I was the lucky one this time who got a very cool plant.
Allan’s photo: Fuchsia procumbens!
Debbie and Kathleen each got to take away a glass vase of the sweet peas that had filled the deck with fragrance to the point that our server said how much she had enjoyed being reminded of her grandma’s garden.
Allan said later that this was one of the special evenings that a person will remember for their whole lives. We didn’t want the evening to end but we departed when we had been the last ones on the deck for awhile. Then we found there were still two tables in the dining room, so we could have stayed longer.
Continuing our conversation out on the street (Allan’s photo)
In the last few months, we have been gifted with wonderful new gardening friends, Todd, Melissa and Dave, all of whom relocated or returned to the Peninsula. In the last year, we’ve had the pleasure of Our Kathleen’s twice a month visits now that she has a beach cabin, and the annual garden tour now brings us visits from Debbie and from Pam. While Pam no longer is a partner in Back Alley Gardens nursery, that place enabled us to get to know her personally. That has been such a treat for me as I had always deeply admired her work in the Seaside, Oregon public gardens.
I don’t know why we have gotten so lucky in friends all of a sudden. It’s something to rejoice in and I’m feeling all sentimental about it as I write this.
Next up: Nine posts about the Music in the Gardens Tour, followed by a day of spontaneous garden touring in Astoria, closely followed (after a bit of work) by Pam’s Seaside garden tour and (after a bit more work) by the Peninsula Edible Garden Tour.
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