We’ve been helping with garden care at Klipsan Beach Cottages for many years and it’s still our favourite job for a number of reasons: Owner Mary loves and collects cool plants; her spouse Denny is droll and amusing; the budget includes soil amendments and some new plants each year; part of the garden is fenced away from deer, and we don’t have to worry about the watering because it’s well taken care of by the garden owners. A view of the beach from the old-fashioned row of cottages, a nice dog (Riley) and two charming cats (Timmy and Sarah), and sometimes a cup of tea with cookies are also factors in KBC’s rating top of the jobs. In 2010, I created a Facebook page for KBC and during gardening season I update it every week to ten days with new photos.
While I am sorely tempted to do a slide show, I fear that format could be repetitive so I’ll save it for the Long Beach planters. Here’s a photo essay on the KBC gardens in 2009. (My favourite part of a three year high school photography class was when teacher Denise Mannery’s assigned photo essays…which involved pasting photos onto paper, with captions, to tell a story. How she would have loved being able to do the sort of photo essays we can now do online!)
4 April, basket of Fritillaria meleagris
In April, one of the cats observed our work closely.
feline audience, 4 April
On the fourth of April after work, I looked up from where we park near Denny’s burn pile and saw the most amazing colour of blue sky.
so blue, 4 April
18 April, cottage windowboxes
Each of the eight cottages at KBC has two windowboxes, as does the A Frame rental. We insert plastic windowboxes inside wooden frames, first with a selection of early blooming small bulbs (narcissi, species tulips, snowdrops, crocus, fritillaria meleagris), then with summer annual combinations chosen and planted by Mary.
By the entry to the basement laundry room blooms yearly one of my favourite species tulips, Tulipa sylvestris. I order this one from Colorblends. It’s combined with the precisely checked Fritillaria meleagris, AKA Checkered Lily, AKA Guinea Hen Flower.
On the 3rd of July, we made our weekly visit to get the gardens quite perfect for 4th of July weekend. The guests surely share this motto from outside one of the cottage doors:
Mary’s windowboxes, planted in mid-May, flourished and trailed by the cottage windows.
windowboxes, 3 July
On the very bright and sunny 9th of July, climbing rose ‘New Dawn’ put on a pretty show with its petals scattered on the lawn. Unfortunately. ‘New Dawn’ gets such blackspot that we often resolve to get rid of it, but when it does this, we relent:
9 July, New Dawn
Inside one of the five gates to the blissfully deer-proof garden (blissful for the gardeners), Allium schubertii (lower right) was the star of the show.
Deer proof garden
By the A Frame and well outside of the deer fence, a large white rugosa rose bloomed…apparently not very tasty, or perhaps the hair-like thorns are more prickly than the larger thorns of other roses.
Mary’s window boxes by the office looked even prettier than the ones on the cottages, maybe because they get more sun (a south rather than an east wall).
office windowbox, 9 July
(Below) By the big lawn is a surprise flowerbed we made for Mary one October afternoon when she and Denny were at the state fair.
Mary’s birthday flowerbed
You can see beyond the garden to the cottages on the ridge. Just as the sun began to set we went into one and I was charmed by the table decoration as well as the great view.
On the 24 of July the garden had reached its full summer exuberance.
24 July, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in the fenced garden
24 July, Astrantia major and golden hardy Fuchsia
24 July, Eryngium
24 July, the lady fountain in Mary’s birthday border
After wandering the flowerbeds looking at hot summer colours one could gaze upon the lady fountain or the waterfalls in the pond.
pond waterfall, 24 July
On July 30th, the elephant garlic were just losing their little paper caps inside the deer fence…
Mary’s birthday flowerbed on July 3oth:
Shasta daisies, 30 July
Denny’s contribution to the birthday border had been to run plumbing and wiring for the lady fountain.
Within the deer fence, in a big pot in the very center, bloomed one of my favourite tender perennials, Salvia patens:
It looks to me like we had chosen the paler, and harder to find, ‘Cambridge Blue’ cultivar.
The cottage windowbox trailing plants cascaded down into the hydrangeas.
cottage windowbox, 30 July
On August 6th, the following plants especially caught my camera’s attention:
beautiful mophead hydrangeas by one of the cottages, 6 August
Allium schubertii and Catananche (Cupid’s Dart)
Agapanthus backed with Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, 6 August
Elephant Garlic, 6 August
Agapanthus (gold), 6 August
blueberries, blue globe thistle, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, 6 August
Rose ‘Polka’, 6 August
Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’, 6 August
Elephant garlic with its cap on, 6 August
lily, 6 August
Sanguisorba, 6 August
On the 20th of August, both kitties joined us outside.
I find it hard to tell them apart, although Sarah is said to have a more worried looking face than Timmy does.
A new flowerbed along the A Frame deck planted with (of course) Cosmos and Painted Sage:
A Frame garden and deck
In the fenced garden, a delectable lily bloomed, one of a growing collection:
Lily, 20 August
We are so thankful for gardens with fenced areas where we can grow what we please without sharing with the deer.
deer fence gate detail
The three rebar gates were made by my former partner, Robert Sullivan. I take credit for the idea of putting glass fishing floats in some of his artistically welded creations.
On October 2nd, I must have been feeling especially fascinated with the individual plants.
Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’, 2 October
Dahlia and “Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage
Meliathus major (South African honeybush) has big toothy leaves that smell just like peanut butter. Some say old socks, but I repectfully disagree. We like fragrant foliage….whether it be peanut butter, or the clearly pineapple fragrance of pineapple sage, or the irresistable chocolate of chocolate cosmos, or the fizz of “seven-up plant’, or the tart lemon of Santonlina, and even the harsh bitterness of Artemesia.
Verbascum, 2 October
Billardia longiflora berries, 2 October
By one of the deer fence gates, Billardia longiflora (once more rare of a find than it is now) dangled its purple or cobalt blue (depending on the light).
I don’t even remember growing a passionflower there in 2009, but here’s irrefutable evidence from my iPhoto library:
Passiflora caerulea, 2 October
Recently, on Garden Rant, I read an essay about how much more wonderful old roses, even with blackspot, are than the new Knock Out series. Let me assure you the KBC gardens have their share of lovely old-style roses. Mary’s favourite is ‘Jude the Obscure’. But she has purchased a few different colours in the Knock Out series, as in this one (and I think I see one…black…spot on a leaf):
a Knock Out rose
I like Geum ‘Mango Lassi’ because I love Indian food and mango lassi….and the apricot colour of the flower:
Geum ‘Mango Lassi’, 2 October
The special hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’ from the old Heronswood Nursery was a gift from one of Mary’s brothers, who lives near Heronswood and mourns that it is not as it once was. This lacecap hydrangea has the starriest flowers of cobalt and a lighter blue:
Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’
An Eryngium seedhead displays a fiercer, harder star:
Eryngium, 2 October
Although we would continue to visit the garden (every other week now that tourist season had ended) into the first week in December, the last photo of it that I took in 2009 said that autumn had arrived:
Autumn crocus, 2 October
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