Archive for Jul, 2017

It seems rather dull to go back to our quotidian gardens after touring fabulous ones for two days.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

At the end of our tour day of six local gardens, Allan watered the garden at the Ilwaco community building, which badly needed it.


toadflax under a witch hazel


Rozannes are smallish because of thirst.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Long Beach

Allan watered the tree gardens and a few planters while I watered the rest of the planters.  I noticed again how beaten down and miserable the tree garden in front of Abbracci Coffee Bar looks after having endured a roofing project next door, with a dumpster right next to the tree and some trampling going on.  Could not get a good photo because of bright light.  Resolved to DO something about it this week.


It looks pitiful.


Allan’s photo: It can get crowded watering the trees.  This one tends to get trampled.


He had to skip this tree and come back to it.


painted sage and cosmos (Allan’s photo)


one of the first Tigridias (Allan’s photo)


Fuchsia, probably ‘Golden Gate’ (Allan’s photo)


The big planter in Lewis and Clark Square.  Too much drapey cotoneaster, I thought.


same planter, meadow-y

Police station planter is still getting attacked, and not from deer.  This is vandalism, not nibbling.


Geranium ‘Rozanne’ half pulled out on south end (not by the roots).


north side Rozanne also getting attacked.


It takes considerable time to tease out all these dead stems.


It looks terrible.


So far, only Rozanne is getting damaged.  Brodiaea is being left alone.

I was in foot pain and bought these at the pharmacy:


They helped a little bit but keep slipping and then the ridge hurts my heels. (A week later, I got some good advice: Buy an insert called Superfeet instead.)

Microclimate observation: As I water the planter by the pharmacy and look across to the north side, the flag (by the hanging basket) is hanging straight down.


Look between the P and the T.

On the east side, the wind was whipping.


over the pharmacy planter

I had one of my verklempt moments while watering across the street from the carousel.  The sight of the ferris wheel going round and round behind the carousel top, with the passengers swaying back and forth in the enclosed pods, suddenly had me all choked up…


…and feeling emotional about people’s quest to have fun.  In the words of Malvina Reynolds: “This old world is mean and cruel but I love it like a fool.  I’d rather go to the corner store than sing hosanna on that heavenly shore.  I’d rather live on Parker Street than fly around where the angels meet.”

The thalictrum by the Fifth Street restroom looked nice.  The sign tells me I have been working in Long Beach for a long time, because I helped plant it when this park was first installed (1999).



same bed: Leycesteria ‘Jealousy’ has suffered a caterpillar attack.


note to self: Redo this planter.  The blue veronica is boring for months after its beautiful short-lived flowering.


southernmost planter, east side




The rugosa roses that annoyed us by volunteering under a tree look great now.


another Tigridia


Allan noticed it, too.


reseeded California poppies


a business I have never thought of: horse blanket washing and repair

I had been pondering for the last two blocks of watering about a treat of a crab roll at Captain Bob’s.  Oh how sad I was to look across and see it was closed early today.


We checked up on the park.  A tourist was admiring the Eryngiums.  I wanted to show him ‘Sapphire Blue’ as well as ‘Jade Frost’, but SB had not bloomed in the park this year. I need more Sapphire Blue or Big Blue next year.  Sometimes they just do not bloom.


Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ and catmint (Allan’s photo)

Some women in the park asked what the Dierama is.  They loved the name ‘Angel’s Fishing Rod.”  It is often asked about.


dierama (Allan’s photo)


the classic World’s Largest Frying Pan photo being taken (Allan’s photo)

I just love people watching sometimes, the way they do the same rituals as tourists.  Just like watching the folks on the ferris wheel, I get choked up to see that frying pan photo.

Yeah, I heard a funny thing
Somebody said to me
You know that I could be in love with almost everyone
I think that people are
The greatest fun.”  (Bryan Maclean, in the song Alone Again Or, by Love.)

See, I am not just an old grouch complaining that people bother my plants.

Allan had found a fortune from Zoltar (who dwells in Stormin’ Norman’s shop):


Before leaving Long Beach, we went to city works and scraped up four buckets of mulch from the almost empty pile to put under the tree by Abbracci coffee.


Allan’s rather blurry photo….looks much better blurry or not.

Allan bucket watered the planter at the end of the Sid Snyder beach approach, while I sat in the van and watched because my foot hurt.



Allan watered the planters, while I stayed home and finished a long book that was overdue and almost done.


in the boatyard (Allan’s photos)



boatyard poppies


post office planter

At the library, he pulled a quantity of spent poppies.





My book was Jodi Picoult’s novel, Small Great Things.  Oddly, I had just read Julia Glass’s A House Among the Trees, a novel about a children’s book author whose most famous book features a little boy waking to a black and white world and bringing colour back into it.  Imagine my surprise at the coincidence of this dream in Small Great Things:



Then this had me thinking about the tender fragility of humans again:


I have only read a few of the books and articles on the suggested reading list at the end of Small Great Things.  This will add to next winter’s reading:



Tuesday, 18 July 2017 …

…was a day at home of resting my foot and garden tour blogging while Allan went grocery shopping over the river.  Frosty helped with my blogging:



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Sunday, 16 July 2017

While waiting for Todd and our friends to return from a walk to the bay, along with reading and thinking, I had been texting Steve of the bayside garden to tell him we would soon be on our way.  He said, “Bring Todd,” so we easily talked Todd into accompanying us to the last garden of our tour.  Melissa and Dave had gone their own way to get some work done.

Steve and John’s bayside garden

Steve and John were sitting and waiting by the front door as if they had not been weeding before we came. Midway through our informal tour day, I had learned that Evan is a rhododendron fan, so I was especially pleased for him to see this garden.  The long driveway up to the house gives a good feel for how many wonderful plants we were about to see. (My note-taking ability disappeared with so many friends touring together.  Steve and John helped me out via email, later.)

We started on the bay side of the house.

John by the house (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, John, Allan, Steve, Todd.

Allan’s photo

to the north, the evergreen huckleberry glade

another bayside bed

detail (Allan’s photo)


That bed includes this fabulous rhododendron: R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum ‘Yaku Angel’ Form

Next to a camellia, this cool wavy leaved rhododendron is ‘Jan Dekans’.

On the patio on the bay side of the house sat this box of succulents.  They were a gift from a friend in consolation for the green roof of the pump house having lost its most special plants in our cold winter.

More ordinary succulents are now the stars of the pump house roof.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


at the front of the house: Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’ (Floating Clouds Japanese Maple) with Taxus x media ‘Beanpole’

Here we admire an osmanthus that had lost its leaves during the past winter. It is now limbed up and leafed out again, and more light can now enter this area.

shade and hosta garden; note two inviting shares in the sunshine

new foliage on Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’


high gloss rhodie and hydrangea

A big old cotoneaster with a ruff of aucuba around its trunk. (They were all grown together when Steve and John took on this garden.)

John and a small rhododendron with finely cut leaves; Evan knew the name, and I have one, and have forgotten, of course.  Per Evan: Rhododendron stenopetalum ‘Linearifolium’

Todd by a sunny mixed border (Allan’s photo)

Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Sir Charles Lemon’

Newly cleared area now has sprinklers installed and is soon to be planted.

lots of room and nicely contoured ground

My favourite of all.   Rhododendron pachysanthum x ??

more gorgeous leaves on R. ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Rhododendron ‘Starbright Champagne’ is a favourite in this garden.

More R. ‘Ever Red’ (easy to remember!) (Allan’s photo)

strolling into an area that was newly planted about a year ago or less.


evergreen huckleberry in a bed of moss

a brand new bed with Taxus baccata ‘Watnong Gold’ to echo the same up near the house.

Rhododendron sinogrande with grand leaves.

Todd and Evan, who worked together at Plant Delights

The irrigation pond

glistening afternoon light

Steve had said that the garden looks best in afternoon light, and that was why we had gone here last.

Todd and Ann looking up a plant

I love the foliage on this genista best when it is not blooming.

Callistemon viridiflorus (Allan’s photo)

after two days of touring

on our walk back to the house, to the south of the driveway: This tree will be incorporated into a bed, and the salal to the right is next for the axe (or pick).

I heartily approve of the continued removal of boring old salal!

And then we had cake and tea, coffee, sparkling water.

The cake was from Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta.  Todd, Evan, Ann, me, Steve

When we walked outside again to leave, the evening light was stunning, looking west.

Ann getting the back light just perfect.

Chaemacyparis pisifera ‘Vintage Gold’

Allan’s photo

After this feast of plants, then cake, then light, we parted ways. Evan and Ann had a drive back to Portland and Castle Rock, and Allan had plans to water the community building garden before dark.  It seemed like many hours since we had begun touring in our garden, then Pink Poppy Farm, The Oysterville garden, Marty and Steve’s, Sea Star, Todd’s, and the bayside garden.  Someone of the group complimented me for having arranged “the best garden tour”.

Next: Back to work…and trying to get the blog back to closer to real time again.






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First, an exciting announcement. The Astoria garden tour is back!  Read more about it here.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

We continued our peninsula garden tour day, with Ann and Evan, at Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Garden on the outskirts of Oysterville.  On several acres, much of which is ungardenable wetland, our friends have spent the past two years using their rare days off from their gardening business to create their own paradise. Because they used to own a nursery called Glauca Moon, they arrived here with a large palette of plants in pots.

Dave and Mel’s past life

Sea Star Garden

On the left as you enter the driveway is a large raised garden where once a decrepit old house stood (a house that was unsafe to even enter).  This garden came about when a new septic system had to be installed last year.

Melissa and Evan

On top, a carpet of sedums will solve the problem of not being able to plant anything deep rooted on the septic system.

Allan’s photo


Dave, me, Melissa, Ann, Sean (Allan thinks this looks like a landing party from Star Trek.)

By the back deck of the house is a water feature with waterfall, made by a friend of the previous owner.

Evan and Ann looking at the pond.

the deck pond

in the water (Allan’s photo)

water lilies (Allan’s photo)

pond frog (Allan’s photo)

north of the house

north of the house

The property had been owned by a gardener before and abounds in interesting trees and shrubs.

The Eucalyptus that Melissa named Elvis.

Ann and one of at least two Acer griseum (paperbark maple)

Acer griseum (Allan’s photo)

one of the maples that Dave and Mel brought with them

Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Eskimo Sunset’; This tree had a surprise.

bird nest (Allan’s photo)

old bridge on the north side (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, Melissa in the woods to the north of the house (Allan’s photo)

As Dave and Mel clear the underbrush, they are finding all sorts of hardscapes like two small ponds and a big stone circle with a stone bench.

Evan and the mysterious stone circle (Allan’s photo)

Hostas are one of their favourites in the shade garden.

on the deck (You can find sand dollars on the north end of the beach here.)

Next, we went to the garden of a North Beach Garden Gang friend, just south of Oysterville.

Todd’s Family Garden

As we drove up, Todd was weeding.

Allan’s photo

The house reminded us all of a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.

Around the family home, Todd has planted his collection from his years as the display garden curator at Plant Delights nursery in North Carolina.

in the sunshine

Morina longifolia

Ann and Evan examining and inspecting (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Ann and Evan admire the view of Willapa Bay.

Todd surveys an area full of potential.

You can see Allan taking this photo of the shade garden.

Todd’s shade garden (Allan’s photo)


Spigelia marilandica ‘Little Redhead’

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The kitchen garden, which one of Todd’s family describes as “a real garden, none of this foo foo stuff” lay far below.  Because my heel was hurting, I sat this part of the trip out. (Todd kindly offered to go get a truck but I did not want everyone to have to wait.) Allan’s photos of that part of the excursion:

descending on a woodland path

the kitchen and flower cutting garden

Evan in the berry patch

kitchen garden

Ann harvesting carrots

sweet peas

fenced garden

walking to the bay

Todd has a handful of lettuce and carrots that became our salad for the next two nights.

Ann in her element

back up the road (the woods path down was a shortcut)


While I waited up top, I looked at my present from Lorna.  She had given me a book as we parted ways at The Oysterville Garden.

Thank you, Lorna!

a dedication that speaks to my heart

I also pondered curmudgeonly thoughts about garden tour programs that I feel compelled to share.  If curmudgeonliness annoys rather than amuses you, please avoid.

One of the gardens on today’s informal tour, Martie and Steve’s, had been on the local tour the day before. The tour program suggested its symmetry was “reminiscent of centuries old British estates” and “will put you in mind of Downton Abbey”.  Perhaps because it had a cricket lawn? Perhaps because of the green lawns in general?  It reminded me of my thoughts about garden tour descriptions, something that is always on my mind during garden tour season.

The Captain Stream House

Martie and Steve’s garden completely stood on its own and did not need to be compared to any other place.  The garden’s lines seemed clean and modern to me and certainly did not remind me of Downton Abbey.  Other than my usual desire to be in the UK, I would rather visit their garden than the site of Downton Abbey, anyway.

 I was reminded of the previous year’s comparison of a small garden to an Italian courtyard, leading to confusion on the part of tour guests (much of which I heard about later…even unto it being mentioned this year, and at the time, a friend texted me from that garden asking for enlightenment about the description).  I think that serious garden tour guests take every word of a description into consideration.  Raising expectations is not wise.  That particular garden (the non-Italian-courtyard) also stood well on its own because its big pots and hand made pavers were all portable; I would have described it as being a small garden that showed perfect solutions for folks who are renters rather than property owners.  There’s no need to get fanciful and make tour guests expect something grander than what is there.  Instead of describing a garden as “extensive” when it isn’t, describe it honestly as small but plant-i-ful. (To be fair, this year the word “extensive” was used to describe a tiny local garden in a newspaper article, not in the program itself.)  I think it is especially important not to aggrandize a garden.

The Master Gardeners’ north county tour, which I have now attended for two years, is good at avoiding hyperbole (with only one exception out of 12 garden descriptions in two years…a solid record of accurate descriptions).

The Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend programs tend to be accurate and non-aggrandizing (although I do remember, just once, looking for a cactus garden that turned out to be a couple of specimens in a pot).

I also do not like being told to walk here, stroll there, sit there, admire this, ask the gardener that.  Just describe the garden in a factual sense.  Here is an imaginary example: If I am told that “a salvaged window defines the edge of the garden by the river”, I will find it and admire it on my own without being told “Be sure to admire the salvaged window,” or “Ask the gardener where she got that window.”  (Clearly, I do have issues with being told what to do—thus 41 years of self employment.)

I don’t expect all readers to agree.  Now, let’s go on to one of my favourite peninsula gardens, the bayside garden of Steve and John.


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Sunday, 16 July 2017

After we had toured The Oysterville Garden, Lorna and Gail and Debbie (who had seen our next garden on yesterday’s local tour) went on their respective ways.  Dave, Melissa, Ann, Evan, Allan and I drove a few blocks north to Steve and Martie’s garden.  I’ve never met Steve and Martie although, before they moved to Oysterville, Allan and I worked on a garden just south of theirs, a garden that Dave and Melissa do now.  Dave and Mel (Sea Star Gardening) also helped ready Marty and Steve’s garden for the tour, and the creator of the fabulous Oysterville garden down the street has had some influence here.  You can read about Martie’s design work here.  And here.  And here.  And you can read about her Oysterville home, whose garden we are about to visit, here.

Martie designs plant decor for clients including the Ace Hotel in Portland.

historic Captain Stream House (Allan’s photo)

Captain Stream House (Allan’s photo). Much of Oysterville has lichened picket fences like this one.

front garden (Allan’s photo)

Ann (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

That’s one of my favourites, Verbena bonariensis, to the right.

a handsome stand of eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)

orchids (Allan’s photo)

From the back deck.

A few days later, I happened to be at The Planter Box garden center when Teresa got a phone call asking what plant had been in the container above.  It’s sarracenia.

productive kitchen garden on both sides of the walkway

stone sink on the north side of the deck

closely mown croquet lawn on the south side

south of the garden (a guest house, I think)

coming around to the front garden again

now viewing the front garden from the entry driveway again, with Ann and Evan still lingering.

You can see more of this garden on Instagram at Oysterville Life.

We will now go on to tour two gardens of friends, and because we’ll be just with friends, I am going to share some garden tour thoughts.


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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Allan and I and Dave and Melissa and Evan and Ann  continued our informal tour of the Peninsula at…

THE Oysterville garden.

There we were joined longtime former client and former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, Lorna, and her lifelong friend Gail.  Lorna had been longing to tour this garden. Shortly after that, we were joined by Debbie Teashon of Rainyside.com.  I feel most fortunate to have permission to take CPNs (certified plant nut) friends to see this garden.



Queen Elizabeth roses at the front of the house


inside the front gate


dark leaved geraniums on the front steps


Tall border on south side of the house



Ann and Evan examining every plant on the terrace


The terrace always makes me misty.


Although this photo does not show it well, I made sure everyone noticed how the backs of the chairs echo the shape of that window.


on the other side of the driveway


I loved this delicate yellow and burgundy daylily.

We passed the garage and entered at the west end  of the allée of Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’.  Lorna said blissfully, “I can die now!”  This had definitely been on her must see list.



Debbie and Evan (Allan’s photo)


Evan by a tree fern urn


Allan’s photo


backlit rhododendron


primula (Allan’s photo)


Thalictrum in the background


Allan’s photo


another thalictrum (Allan’s photo)


textures, light, and shade in the woodsy back of the garden


Allan’s photo


parade of gardeners (Allan’s photo)


looking back down the allée


the north lawn


primulas still blooming against the allée’s hornbeam hedge


north side of the house


I was reminded that I used to have a small flowered double blue geranium.  Must have it again!


Allan’s photo


the front border from the inside


looking south


The ruff of begonias in a big planter were much admired.


clematis (Allan’s photo)


the front lawn path


the beautiful dark leaved pelargonium again


Wayne on the front porch


happy gardeners and the garden creator


the garden creator, his good dogs Wayne and Malcolm, and me

Wayne and his buddy Malcolm went running around for awhile.


Here comes Malcom!


It’s Superdog!


Allan’s photo

Of course, we could have all happily walked round this garden again, but we had four more gardens to see, the next one just a few blocks up the road.

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

I woke up very early (for me), filled with anticipation of a fun day of touring local gardens with Ann (The Amateur Bot-ann-ist), Evan (from Plant Delights, Cistus, and now Plant Lust), and more.  First I needed to water my greenhouse and patio plants.

Skooter is so happy to be allowed out during the day again (even though I have concerns that it is too soon).



Ann and Evan arrived at ten.  They toured our garden for awhile.



Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’




These photos remind me of how for five years, to no avail, I kept asking the local tour to change the promotion wording, “You are invited to examine and inspect the gardens” to “appreciate and enjoy the gardens”, to sound less like a medical exam.  I would be listened to and humored, but the wording never changed.  Yet here we are examining and inspecting!



not an area of collectible plants but for some reason I noticed it.


Salvia patens petals on the lawn (Allan’s photo)

With the garden pretty thoroughly and kindly inspected, we were off to tour six (and a bit) Peninsula gardens.  The little bit was our stop at the Clarke garden on the way north.  I did not have a way to contact them, and I did want to show Ann and Evan the attractive containers especially.  (Karen, we did not trespass into the back garden although I have a feeling you would not have minded.)  We just “examined and inspected” the containers in the driveway.



Evan wanted to know which grass this is.


more glorious containers

Pink Poppy Farm

We began our tour with Pink Poppy Farm, a favourite of mine.  Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) arrived to join us. Pink Poppy Farmer Mike greeted us with the offer of drinks and walked with us through the garden, soon joined by his spouse Lynn, even though they must have been tired because their garden had been on the peninsula garden tour yesterday (while we were in Menlo).  The garden name may sound familiar to you because their daughter, Madeline, is the owner of Pink Poppy Bakery.


Ann, Evan, Skyler, Mike

For a more orderly beginning-to-end tour of this garden four years ago, check out this post.

Today, we wandered here and there in the garden.


Allan’s photo


Mike, Dave, and Allan by the Imperial Chicken Palace


The Imperial Chicken Palace



Look closely to see the bear on the coop.




Melissa communing with a hen (Allan’s photo)


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and clematis (Allan’s photo)


Maddy and her dad love old black and white films.


Allan’s photo


Evan taking photos


interior design: I love this kitchen tile.


up a slope into the garden


house and workshop


looking back at the chicken palace


Allan’s photo


The garden specializes in food and in cutting flowers.


Maddy’s old swing set repurposed into a bean trellis


one of several greenhouses and hoop houses


Ann and Lynn (Allan’s photo)


must be amaranth (Allan’s photo)


Evan, Allan, Ann, and Lynn


(left) Evan taking photos


We got our sprinklers-on-posts watering idea from this garden.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


fire area with a “cemetery rose”


Looking back over the garden.  (Right) one of the tables left from the fabulous Wedding at Pink Poppy Farm

One of the hoophouses had a crop of young wasabi.


The leaves were hot and delicious.



another productive hoophouse

Some of the produce you will find for sale when Pink Poppy Bakery has a booth at the market (which is not every Saturday this year).


tiered beds at the end of the hoophouse


another cutting bed


Lynn pointed out this exceptionally pretty calendula.


sweet peas and bachelor buttons




pompom dahlias, my favourite kind




Allan’s photo


Tigridia (Allan’s photo)


Here we go heading off to four gardens in and near  Oysterville.




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Saturday, 15 July 2017

On our way home from the Visions of Paradise tour, we drove by a garden where I knew a great gardener lived, someone I used to know but had not seen since 2003.  I blogged about a previous garden of hers here.

Kate’s garden


driving slowly past the front garden


We drove past the corner, where I learned later that Kate is trying to kill off horrible horsetail..


a scene of battle against horsetail

…and I could not see down into the secret garden below except for glimpsing one foxtail lily glowing in sunlight.  Trying to spy more successfully, we turned the corner but could not see in because of an effective privacy barrier of a steep slope of blackberries.  Up the road, we turned around at the courthouse and came back to head on home…and there was Kate just pulling into her driveway.  She had also been on the garden tour and had thought she glimpsed me in one of the gardens.

She warmly invited us in and began our tour by showing us her latest visions of art, intricate assemblages around masks cast from faces of herself and her friends.



Most of the pieces were accompanied by poem fragments, which Kate read to us.  One was by Mary Oliver.  I confess I had not heard of her but I intend to read her work.

After being enveloped in the magical world of Kate’s home, she took us out the back door to see her garden.


on the back porch, with garden books


This is so Kate.



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

The garden lay below the porch in a hidden space that felt like a bowl of light.  It gives the impression of an entirely sunken garden because of the house on one side and two steep banks.


a fountain was burbling in the shade against the wall.



Here my camera battery died and I switched to my iPhone.


ornamental and edible


a little fountain


Kate was amazed I had managed to glimpse that one foxtail lily from above.



rebar and hoops from an old whiskey barrel


an outhouse (with a bucket)



an enviable ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud


It loves this sheltered spot.


Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’


Forest Pansy redbud (Allan’s photo)



huge buddleia flower


Allan’s photo


in a little leanto greenhouse



double rain barrel (Allan’s photo)


the house from below


leaf tapestry









shed in a corner of the garden (with lean to greenhouse on one side)



Allan’s photo



back up on the porch:






lifting the veil



another veil lifted


more of Kate’s art in the kitchen


one of Kate’s “rug” paintings



When I knew her years ago, she used to paint scenes like the one above on furniture.


from the front porch (Allan’s photo)

She walked us outside and we looked at the corner where her horsetail battle is waged.



I told Kate that she is an artistic genius. Then Allan and I had to depart because we were due back at home to meet friends.

A Naselle garden

On the way, we of course drove the Naselle and river route rather than the OUTSIDE lane of the Willapa Curves.  Besides, I wanted to check out a garden that we had seen when attending an Indivisible meeting in Naselle last winter.  We have only seen this garden by skirting around the outside, from the street and from the Naselle Timberland Library parking lot.


In the winter, this swalewas full of rain water.


view from the library parking lot



This was IN the library parking lot.


from the street

Running fairly late by now, I texted our friends that we would soon be joining them.  They were already in our garden waiting.

Apres-tour in our garden

Debbie (Rainyside Gardeners) and Jeanne had gone on the Peninsula garden tour that day.  (Perhaps three years ago, I had introduced Debbie to our local tour and since then she has been invited back to write about it.)  We arrived home and immediately set about making a campfire so that we could all relax and talk about garden touring.  I set Skooter free from the convalescent room so he could join us. He ran joyously from one end of the back garden to the other after his week indoors. 


Allan, Debbie, Jeanne, and Devery from next door

Debbie, author of Gardening for the Homebrewer, had found some perry (a pear cider made from a certain type of pear) at Sid’s market in Seaview.  It was delicious and I intend to acquire more.


campfire food

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:

Somehow, probably because of not reading the description thoroughly, we completely missed finding the greenhouses.

by the parking lot, one of several garden boats (Allan’s photo)

the plant sale in its last hour (Allan’s photo)

We were able to get a free spider plant, something that Devery had been looking for.

Allan’s photo

on the deck overlooking the river (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

view of North River (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo with houseboats in distance (that belong to this property, or at least the moorage does)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

another garden boat (Allan’s photo)

and another (peonies, as I recall)

inside a small fenced garden

I could use a sign like this for after my lilies bloom.

walking down to the river…

…to take this picture.

Allan has boated past the North River Resort and had blogged out about here, so it was especially interesting to him to see it from onshore.  The whole 83 acre place is for sale, with a video overview available here.

Old Downtown, Raymond

a riverside drive back to Raymond

After the scenic drive back to the town of Raymond, we took a detour to the old downtown to see what sort of landscaping or containers it might feature.

a lavender trimmed grocery store

a long concrete planter with butterfly decorations, just watered

from the back

three attractive containers by a gallery

I liked the downtown banners (one of several bird themed ones)

I’d like to have seen that movie; it played the following evening on the Peninsula, way up in Surfside.  Unfortunately, it was the evening that the Ilwaco planters must, without a doubt, be watered.

another planter, also just watered

Dennis Company’s main store had floriferous planters outside.

with sunflowers

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Well done, Dennis Co!

As we drove toward home, we cruised by a garden in South Bend where an old friend and great gardener lives.  Next post!





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The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:



Next to the fourth garden, we parked by a field of farm equipment, some new and some old.



Allan’s photo


promise of a garden up ahead



entry to the front garden


Trapeoleum speciosum on the trellis (Allan’s photo)


the ornamental front garden



Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


campanulas (Allan’s photo)

Coming around to the back garden, the focus changes to food production.


tomatoes against the south side of the house


a chicken coop in the background



traffic jam at the door


plump and pretty hens


a raised bed edged with growing bags (Allan’s photo)


in the greenhouse (Allan’s photo)


farmland and cattle beyond

If I had to feed myself out of my garden, I might be eating chickweed, sheep sorrel, and some potatoes and a few berries, with some tomatoes from the greenhouse in late summer.  The intensive growing method in this garden made me ponder what I could do with the future kitchen garden space that I envision between our fence and Devery’s driveway.


This could protect the plants from deer.






I overheard that these were sweet Walla Walla onions.


lettuce (Allan’s photo)


grapevines on the left


berries and peaches



roses, honeysuckle, blueberries (Allan’s photo)


kitchen gardener extraordinaire, Tim


gunnera by the back deck


ready for alfresco meals from the garden


on the deck (Allan’s photo)

Because this was not an ornamental plant collector’s garden, I was surprised to see a Melianthus major as we departed.


A tour host was surprised that I recognized it; I said “There are six people touring behind me who will also know what it is.”  (Melissa, Dave, Ann, Evan, Pam, and Teresa!)

We had only one more tour garden to see, this one ten miles northwest of Raymond, and I was hoping to at least spy around the edges of two interesting private gardens on the way home.

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All of the gardens we toured today were in bucolic country side, making for a pleasant drive between each.



We soon reached the third garden of the day.

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:




The entry drive is a bridge over a river.





approaching the one acre man made pond


Allan’s photo



Only Ann got a good photo showing the pleasing design of a spit of land going out into the pond.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo (coming round the pond the other way)



a sign warning of roots above the grass

Just as I was navigating that maze of roots, I met up with blog readers Deborah and her sisters from up north!  They had driven down from the tour, a longer drive than ours, and were doing the tour in the opposite order; I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.  They still had the glorious Willapa riverside garden in store.  They asked where Allan was.  He had parked the van in a provided parking area across the river and was coming round the pond in the other direction.

It always amazes me to hear that people read this blog over their morning coffee.  I tend to actually forget that!  As I told them, while they are reading, I am probably still sleeping.  Deborah is one of my favourite kinds of readers, because she makes comments, as well.


Allan coming around the other side of the pond


Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


Glen’s house


Note how there is not a glimpse of underlying liner in this dry river bed.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo




Prunus serrula (Allan’s photo)



Allan’s photo

Right about here is where I finally met Terri, tour organizer.  We had been emailing back and forth for a month and have a lot in common in garden interests.  Allan and I will be visiting her garden near Westport sometime in August and are very much looking forward to that.


view from the porch


view from the porch


view from the porch


Allan’s photo


on the porch


before photos



before photo

Notes about the garden:



hose watering! (Allan’s photo)

Neither Allan nor I got a photo that got across the vastness of this property that had been transformed into an arboretum.  Ann did:


photo by Ann Amato-Zorich


sighted as we stroll back to the exit


Another huge parklike expanse was to our left on the road side of the bridge.


Allan’s photo

We did not walk into that meadow because of my ill timed sore foot.  Now, looking at this photo, I wish I had made the effort.

 As we walked to our van to depart, we encountered Teresa from the Planter Box.  It seemed that our timing was off from that of all the other peninsulites.  She told us that she had heard that garden four had a great vegetable garden.  That was our next destination.


chatting with Teresa, then on to the next garden




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