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Archive for the ‘2011 garden journal flashbacks’ Category

On our yearly early spring plant buying road trip we always go to Joy Creek first, then on to Cistus on Sauvie Island.  The first time I went to Cistus I recognized only a small proportion of the plants on offer.  Here is a true collectors’ nursery.  I have heard that Dan Hinkley shops at Cistus.  (True or rumour?  The gardening elite do all know each other.)  Any nursery with so many cutting edge plants is highly educational and I now recognize maybe one third of what owner Sean Hogan sells.  I hope you enjoy perusing the photos of these unusual plants.

3 May 2010

by the parking area

entering the sales room

greenhouse exotica

in the greenhouse

Pseudopanax ferox...had this, but a very tiny one...killed it...just bought a new gallon size in 2012. Looks like it is made of metal.

Rubus lineatus...amazing leaves. Also had it, and it died, and I just bought it again....a familiar theme.

inside the greenhouse

The checkout desk cat

outdoor sales area. The metal chicken is for outdoor barbecue feasts. Note the clear-roofed plant room to the back right; there is one in each corner.

If I wanted this so much that it still haunts me, and did not buy it...I should have. It was not in bloom in 2012 or I surely would have.

display borders

display borders

detail

27 April 2011

the driveway

In 2011 a new path had been opened up to the left of the greenhouse entrance.

beckoning

punctuation

new path

gold...

layered...

...gold

exploring

returning to the greenhouse entrance...to the left, an area which will become another new path...

exotic and boggy plants

boxes of water

I adore this water feature.  In 2011 I acquired from the city of Long Beach two big wooden boxes in which glass had been delivered.  I placed them just like this, sort of offset from each…and filled them with soil and plants.  What was I thinking??

plants of desire

again with the Pseudopanax ferox.

Psuedopanax ferox:  I saw a big specimen when touring with Allan in north Seattle in 2005.  It did indeed look like a metal sculpture.  Later, much later, I acquired a tiny six inch pot of it, so small and slow growing that it got buried by a weed.  In spring of 2011 I found one tough leaf sticking out of that pot, but that particular plant never did put on any size…Thus my gallon, acquired in 2012….Will I succeed with it this time?

in the big greenhouse

one of the regular staff members

Chaenomeles

I did acquire in 2011 this gorgeous Chaenomeles (Japanese flowering quince) and planted it in a rough area in my little woods.  It still survives.  The deep mahogany blooms spoke to me.  I hope it gives me a flower or two in 2012.

blue bottle tree by the parking lot

the 2011 Joy Creek/Cistus haul

I don’t know what was wrong with me that day. I rejected some plants at Cistus cos my new garden has almost too lush soil and ended up with some room left in the car…unheard of.  But I made up for it in 2012….

12 April 2012

The disadvantage to going so early is that the display gardens are not yet showing as spectacularly as just two weeks later, although a Daphne outside the main greenhouse filled the air with intoxicating sweethouse.

sales desk cat

in the greenhouse

another cat

Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira'

I did very much want to buy the Echium but feared that it would simply rot away from moist cold in my garden.  It is so beautiful.  I would have taken a chance if it might have bloomed during the upcoming garden tour.

At Cistus part of the enjoyment is the entertaining plant labeling.  For example, on the Pseuodpanax ferox which I did buy for myself:  “One of those cool dinosaur plants found down Kiwi way that catches the eye and triggers the lust gene in plant geeks and adventurous gardeners. Juvenile leaves are dark brown, long, very narrow, stiff, and saw-toothed, growing downward from a central stem — odd indeed. Slow growing, trees reach 20 ft in 20+ years, only then producing adult foliage, shorter, wider, and green. Sun to dappled or bright shade and regular summer water. Frost hardy in USDA zone 8b in a sheltered location, though even in Portland we keep most of ours in containers and shelter during winter cold.”  You can read all sorts of information like that in their mail order catalog.

I have no budget for the plant tour, and by that I mean I will buy any plant I want for just this one year.  (Uh huh.)  Time will tell whether before July 21st we make another trip inland to feed the frenzied tour-driven plant lust.  I’d like to visit Sheila and Joy Creek/Cistus could very well be on the way….but down Sheila’s way we have Dancing Oaks and Gossler Farms, and my friend Shaz sent me a gift certificate to Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery with an invitation to visit her near Portland….and our car is simply nowhere near big enough.

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I love our yearly trip to Joy Creek and its neighbour down the road, Cistus Nursery.  Because if you are still slogging through all these garden tours, you are probably also a plant nut, here are scenes from three years of spring shopping trips.  I do remember one glorious year that I was there more than once, and once I even got to take a design workshop there with Lucy Hardiman and Ann Lovejoy.  The Joy Creek schedule of classes would be well worth attending every single spring-autumn weekend were it not for the fact that we live two hours way.

3 May 2010

Agave with the house in background; Oddly I have never taken much to Agave...but it looks wonderful here.

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold' (??)

Alliums by the small circular lawn

the border we worked on in the Ann & Lucy workshop; It's been redone since then.

gravel path

wind resistant English delphiniums in bud

glorious piles of ingredients

Joy Creek is very big on using quarter-ten washed gravel in the garden beds.

Just Google “Joy Creek gravel” and you will find plenty of information.

They even use it under their small lawn near the house.  If you poke your finger at the grass roots you can feel the gravel base which helps the lawn hold up beautifully to lots of foot traffic.

I love the way the gravel sweeps from the paths right in to mulch the beds.

sunny path

mid spring

Dodecathon?

display gardens go on and on...

and have a variety of metal sculptures...

mixed borders...shrubs, trees, perennials

splash of gold

Dianthus

magestic

27 April 2011


Many plants are tagged; if not, you can show the photo on your phone or camera to the helpful staff to get the ID

Gunnera leaves emerging

Rheum...something...ornamental rhubarb. I had one at my old house...wish I had bought one...

Springtime was LATE in 2011.

Euphorbia backed with gold

If that's a Forsythia, and I think it is, I want to prune mine like that.

textural gravel

more gold

tulips and gravel-based lawn

bright tulips

Pulsatilla

must have....

I was completely smitten with this tree that was sitting on the sold table.  Around and around the table I walked taking photos of the tree.   Took photo of tag on tree: Crataegus Laevigata Contorta …contorted ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ Hawthorn.  Turned out it was the only one…and had been sold to Kathy, one of the nursery workers (or Katie, I wrote it down..somewhere). So she let me buy it, because she can get the next one that comes in. I have Googled it and find the uncontorted version gets to 20′, but this tag says 6′. Wondering if that is true.  We planted it in our front garden, and as it went in the ground I heard the trunk make an ominous crack.  But although it was shocky for awhile, it came through winter of 2011-12 and is leafing out nicely in spring 2012.

12 April 2012

Never have we gone on our spring road trip this early….but I had a nagging desire to shop for the coolest plants ever since having found out a couple of weeks before that our garden had been selected as one of the tour gardens for the Music in the Gardens tour for 2012.  And because we were selected as Ilwaco’s business of the year for 2010….but the ceremony was in autumn of 2011….it seems one of our duties is to be grand marshalls of  the early May  Loyalty Day parade in Ilwaco.  (This is ironic because I often grumbled in the past about the McCarthy-esque origins of Loyalty Day, and being a non-patriot who’s fond of the world and who does not like nationalism….well, I could go on, but it might sound unappreciative of the honour, and I do believe it is an honour.)  Along with that, we have to make Long Beach perfect for its parade day (Ilwaco is Saturday, Long Beach is Sunday) and that’s a longwinded way of explaining why we went to Joy Creek so early, before more tender plants were on offer.

The gardens were rather bare. I like this fencing.

another neat fence barrier

early spring pizzazz

tufts of moss atop a stone fence pillar with garden beyond

Look at the way the white petals have drifted down one side of the tree...

rebar art

The sales area had some wonderful rebar trellises including this fan shaped one.  As some of my friends know, my former co-gardener made exceptional rebar garden art.  I wish I had taken up on his offer to teach me to weld with his oxygen and acetylene (??) torch but I was kinda scared of it.  Kaboom!

A ceramic artist had made birdbaths so beautifully mounted on little tree trunk poles.  I had to have the fish one.  Because we are going to be on the garden tour and need beautiful objects to keep up with all those fancy gardens I’ve toured in the cities.

How could I resist?

She had also made clever birdhouses with the holes sized, we were told, just right for the birds.

birdhouses

I resisted the birdhouses because I had not resisted pretty much any plant that caught my fancy….again with the garden tour excuse.  And our next stop at Cistus would assuredly provide more plant temptations.

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For the last several years, I resolved to work a bit less in order to spend time in our own garden…with visions of barbecues, actually sitting in the garden chairs, maybe a garden party…and then interesting work intervenes.

For the past three years, we have begun in February with a one-off, week long pruning of almost 300 hydrangeas in a Japanese style setting by the bay.

just some of the 300 hydrangeas

just some of the 300 hydrangeas

The job is always weather-challenged…and after a very few hydrangeas, gets pretty boring.  But the surroundings are lovely.  I will miss it; I think the job passed away when the client did so in midsummer.

also prune azaleas at the hydrangea job...

also prune azaleas at the hydrangea job…

Not many people get to see the beauty and architecture of the place….

at the hydrangea job

at the hydrangea job….the caretaker rakes this sand…

We care for one garden that is sort of private AND public: a vacation rental house called Sea Nest down a dead end street, right on the dunes just past the Loomis Lake area.

Amazingly, the driftwood “temple” that my former partner, Robert Sullivan, built over ten years ago still stands…after being repaired by Allan when damaged by the Dec. 2007 storm.

Sea Nest west side, March

Sea Nest west side, March

Since a change of ownership of Sea Nest, we have gone to a more naturalistic, lower maintenance look than the flowery garden of annuals that we had when artist Phyllis Ray owned it.  It fits better into the budget to not have to water weekly, so what you now see is a garden so drought tolerant that we can rely pretty much on natural rainfall to keep it beautiful.

Sea Nest entry garden, summer

Our other private gardens are the sort of lovely secrets that you only see when invited, or when they might be on the Peninsula garden tour.

Jo’s Long Beach garden has been on the garden tour more than once when in its full June glory, but we get to see it in springtime bloom.

Jo's garden in spring bloom

Jo’s garden in spring bloom

At Marilyn’s up near Surfside, we continued to try to achieve privacy.  The goal was achieved looking to the west.  We are still waiting for shrubs to fully fill in to provide year round blockage of the driveway of neighbours  to south and west who hacked down their sides of the garden (and to the east, encroached on some beach pine branches that should have stayed put on Marilyn’s side of the line!).  While the shrubs take their own time to grow, ornamental grasses do the trick for the west sightline in summer.

Marilyn's, 22 May

Marilyn’s, 22 May, with view of neighbours’ driveway

Marilyn’s, September

Marilyn's in mid-July

Marilyn’s in mid-July

At Casa Pacifica, a garden that is so secret you would not even guess it existed, and which is not even on the Peninsula (it’s on the road leaving the Peninsula toward Raymond), we added lots of colour to twelve new whiskey barrels.

Casa Pacifica barrels in spring

Casa Pacifica barrels in spring

Of course, in summer the barrels were planted with our favourite annuals (can you guess? cosmos and painted sage, etc), and we are hoping the narcissi will cycle around for 2012.

The soil at Casa Pacifica is heavy clay, and the water system is iffy because it’s on a well.  The needs of the householders trump the needs of the garden in late spring, so we try to plant very dought-tolerantly, and the garden is at its best in early summer.

Casa Pacifica, thick with foxgloves in June

Casa Pacifica, thick with foxgloves in June

Casa Pacifica, June

Casa Pacifica, June

The garden is up on a rock wall on a slope, backed with woods, and the house looks out on it as if onto a theatre stage.

One of these times we hope to bring in mulch, but getting it up the rock wall and onto the garden is going to be a tiring feat.

The latest project going on there is to plant all sorts of ground cover on this vertical slope.

Casa Pacifica hillside project

Casa Pacifica hillside project

We’ve got cotoneasters, ‘Point Reyes” Ceanothus, some yellow splashed vinca, a collection of sedums, and lots of small narcissi bulbs in there and are hoping for the best.  It’s about halfway up the long drive to the house, across from the guest house (which has its own set of planted whiskey barrels).

In Ilwaco, we only have only one private garden to care for.  (Odd, that!)  Cheri does some of the gardening herself, and we check up on it a couple of times a month.  Her yellow house will definitely be a feature in the essay on colour that I am working on for my other blog (Our Ilwaco)!

Cheri's yellow house w/red pineapple sage

Cheri’s yellow house w/red pineapple sage, October

looking down on the painted sage and poppy patch

looking down on Cheri’s painted sage and poppy patch

We made a new area where once was strawberries and poppies…Now painted sage, cosmos, and poppies.  (I’m so predictable.)  Went up on a crane for this one….No, actually, top of the stairways of the over-garage studio.

The saga of reclaiming the woods at Crank’s Roost in Seaview goes on.  I hope I have written about this before.  We want to keep the woodsy feeling, block the view of a big neighbouring house wall (the usual mission!), add more flowers via hardy fuchsias (my pet plan) and have paths that are high and dry in the winter.  The plan is working…

Crank's Roost in June

Crank’s Roost in June

stunning cones

stunning cones

Just look at the cones on one of the new trees.  Japanese black pine?? (I think.)

Crank's Roost in August

Crank’s Roost in late August where once was partly a thicket of bog sedge and blackberry

autumn, Crank's Roost

autumn, Crank’s Roost

Finally, the true test: the gravel paths stayed almost entirely high and dry in much rain.

Occasionally we do a one-off gardening job.  We did a few days at the quite lovely garden of our good friend Patti in Seaview…a garden which has several times been the beginning point of the Peninsula garden tour.

at Patti's, afterwe defined the plants...

at Patti’s, after we defined the plants around the little pond

at Patti's after a good pruning and weeding session

at Patti’s after a good pruning and weeding session

On just one day, we went to Patti’s rental property.  Next door to it was a former Patti property, a parklike garden that I used to liken to a manicured miniature golf course when it was first installed (before Patti owned it).  Over the years, the shrubs have filled in and gotten a little wilder and the bridges and paths are charming, as was the wildlife, especially since it’s not a garden I have to fret over.

Patti's former property...

Patti’s former property…

...and one of its residents

…and one of its residents.

Finally, after absolutely swearing to myself that we would take on NO NEW JOBS, we couldn’t resist taking on a scrumptious garden on the bay, one I had heard about for years and hadn’t seen.  Every now and then, I heard of a new gardener getting the job (as gardening businesses came and went) and felt envious because of the great reputation the garden (and its owner) had.  Through the power of Facebook we finally connected and it turned out she had always heard I was too busy!  So despite the problems of scheduling more time, it has been a pleasure to go every other week for a good session at this secret paradise.  It’s been on the tour before, so some of you have seen it.  Those were the years certain gardens of mine were on the tour, so I had always missed it.

the bay house garden in spring

the bay house garden in spring

bay house garden

bay house garden

a stream runs through it....down to the pool on the bay side

a stream runs through it….

The stream runs from one side of the house to the other and drops from a waterfall into a pool.  I don’t take many pictures there…preoccupied with peaceful grooming of the garden.

the upper pool where the stream begins

the upper pool where the stream begins

All this beauty was designed by the owners, who did the rock work themselves.

the woodsy side

There’s lots of potential to make interesting paths through the woods behind the garden.

We’re working now on defining the native shrubberies in a new driveway circle at the bay house garden.  Of course, I did add one patch of cosmos to the formal flower garden area, but mostly it is in a different and much more restful style than my usual gardens and is probably the most peaceful one to work in.  The sort of place where one removes pine needles and cones from the moss so that every detail is perfect.

There you have, I think, all of our current private gardens.  As for my yearly vow to not take on anymore…Yesterday while on staycation in my own garden, I was surprised by a couple who came in through the gate.  They had been to both my mother’s and my old garden during garden tours and want us to come and create a flowery garden bed for their place in Long Beach.  Can I resist this? I doubt it very much.

[January 2013 update:  We had to quit the bayside garden because it was so very far north, and we had gotten too overbooked, and because the owner wanted to bring in a garden designer and have us just plant things.  I felt too old for that.  We did put in the little Long Beach flower bed, and it did ok but needed more watering than we had time to provide.  It has drought tolerant plants and will, I feel, do much better now that it is established by a rainy season.]

(Note: if a photo appears as a question mark…am having some trouble with that…I think it will show up if you click on it.)

Next up: two public garden that I forgot!

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Finally the last cottage lived up to the name, adorable inside and out.

an honest to goodness cottage!

an honest to goodness cottage!

cottage fireplace

cottage fireplace

still life

still life

lace curtains

lace curtains

kitchen

kitchen

“Life is grand….Live at the Beach.”

a pretty bedroom

a pretty bedroom

view into the yard

view into the yard

A great many of these cottages do not have gardens, and I think it is because so many of them are just summerhouses or rentals, with the owners being there only occasionally.

But back to the delightful interior:

bathroom detail

bathroom detail

an unusual archway

an unusual archway

cottage light

cottage light

cottage windows

cottage windows

step outside

step outside

This little garage was one of my favourite places on the tour.  So much potential!

cottage garage

cottage garage

inside the garage

inside the garage

I guess this proves I would rather see the inside of a small cottage-like garage than any number of fancy modern homes that were built, as a friend said,  “where a cottage used to be 100 years ago.”

I love this cover for the sort of fluorescent ceiling lights that we have in the ceiling of our manufactured home kitchen.  I wish I could find ones like it that would fit.

light cover

light cover

Upstairs, I fell in love with the big sheets of linoleum “rugs” on the floor, and did some research when I got home to see if I could find such a thing to replace the worn and a bit hideous wall to wall carpet in my new house.  Apparently linoleum rugs can no longer be had, unless by a miracle one finds a vintage one still in good shape.

linoleum

linoleum “rugs”

upstairs in the garage

upstairs in the garage

This darling double feature cottage and garage finished up the tour with a moment of historic perfection.

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The next home on the tour housed a nursing museum created by a former nurse who is passionate about her profession.  Throughout her home she has on display art and artifacts all about nursing.  She calls it “The Lost Art Of Nursing”, but adds on her website that “its time has come again.”

nursing museum

nursing museum

nursing museum

nursing museum

nursing museum

poster

posters

"For Humanity"

“For Humanity”

a sad pillow tale

a sad pillow tale

” I slept and dreamed that life was beauty.  I awoke and found that life was duty.”

I later ran across the full quotation by Rabindranath Tagore:

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I woke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service was joy.

dolls...and bedpans

dolls…and bedpans

One end of the upstairs is devoted to a big and bright playroom.

playroom

playroom

bathing beauty

bathing beauty

brightness

brightness

uniforms

band uniforms

nautical bathroom

nautical bathroom

In the nautical upstairs bathroom, I coveted the sea captain painting with clever wooden frame.  And I had also coveted this mirror, which I think hung in a hallway.

mirror of desire

mirror of desire

In an upstairs bedroom of the nursing museum home we found a bedroom devoted to the spouse’s hobby: Zeppelins!

the zeppelin bedroom

the zeppelin bedroom

When I remarked upon a quiet sitting room with no art on the walls, the owners told us that sometimes they just had get away from the collections and relax.

peaceful retreat

peaceful retreat

The home itself was part of a group of townhouses, as we can from this view from an upstairs window.  Not exactly cottages!  Nevertheless, the nursing museum was a worthy addition to the historic tour.

townhouse commons

townhouse commons

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Moonshell

Moonshell

Moonshell Cottage gave me a strong sense of deja vu as soon as I saw the beautiful driftwood mirror.  And indeed, it had been on the tour in 2010.  It seems a bit TOO repetitive to do the same cottage two years in a row, but it is a good one.   Because it’s a vacation rental (with its own Facebook page), it’s good for prospective guests for it be on the tour again.

driftwood mirror

driftwood mirror

kitchen detail

kitchen detail

kitchen

kitchen

beachy floats

beachy floats

moonshell bathroom

moonshell bathroom

living room

living room

intricate ceiling

intricate ceiling

The cottage’s fireplace is one of its best features.  The ceiling is a wonder to behold and must take a lot of dusting to be so cobweb free.

and a detail

and a detail

Last year I was taken with the little clothesline of postcards in one of the bedrooms and copied the idea in the bedroom and kitchen of my new home.

inspiration 2010 (left)

inspiration 2010 (left)

in my kitchen

in my kitchen

The next place was rather large for a cottage but housed a nursing museum that made it strangely and sometimes disconcertingly intriguing.

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Ah, here we have a couple of tiny cottages, homes that qualified as COTTAGE in my mind.

small cottage with porch sit spot

small cottage with porch sit spot

looking in

looking in

If you wonder, as I have done, how the interiors of these cottages can be so tidy, we think many of them are summer homes, or vacation rentals, the latter occupied year round in busy Cannon Beach but not actually lived in full time.

another tidy cottage

another tidy cottage

living room

living room

shore thing

shore thing

beachy decor

beachy decor

cottage loft

cottage loft

loft with beach games

loft with beach games

view

view from the little tower

a parting look

a parting look

From the tiny cottage we walked back down side streets toward the beach, past cottages and gardens.

interlude

interlude

Half a block from the beach we reached the next tour, the very familiar Moonshell Cottage.

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