Archive for the ‘garden touring’ Category

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Much as I wanted to just stay home in my garden, we felt morally compelled to attend this Indivisible North Coast Oregon event in Astoria:

“Bring your signs and American flags, and show support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump has vowed to end. Sometimes called dreamers, these young people were brought here by their parents when their children were in some cases infants.

INCO is holding this non-violent, peaceful event in accordance with the law. We ask participants to not engage in any act of violence or violate any applicable law, to avoid confrontations with those who disagree, to obey the orders of law enforcement authorities, and to follow the guidance of INCO’s coordinators at this event. Our goal remains to defend democracy and build community.”

an early arrival with some extra signs

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

(An aside: Filling in letters makes a sign read better.)

Allan’s photo

I was hoping more would turn out for this very specific protest. (Allan’s photo)

We did cover all four corners. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Joan from KMUN community radio was interviewing for a show.

I stood by a woman from South Bend, Stephanie, whom I had already noticed on our local Facebook groups.  With a shared passion for the rally and a love of cats and gardening, we had much to discuss.

Stephanie’s photo.  This sign has proved appropriate for a number of different rallies.

We got lots of approving honks and thumbs up and waves.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The driver (and the dog?) gave us a thumbs up.

Allan’s photo

We also got some thumbs down, at least one “Fuck you!”, and one middle aged white man who leaned out the passenger window practically frothing at the mouth as he yelled at us, “Get out! GET OUT!”

An enormous cruise ship was docked by the town.  One gentleman cruiser strolling by said “You are all welcome to move to Canada.”  He was not being sarcastic, not being one of those “Love it or leave it!” types.  He really was from Canada and agreed with us.

The rally, scheduled for one hour, went on for an hour and a half.  We were almost the last to go, except for Steve whose task it was to pick up all extra signs.

Steve and Allan

Two more events were to follow the rally, going on until 8 PM: A film about immigration and a Celebration of Hispanic Culture.  From an article in the Daily Astorian: “The Hispanic Council had considered canceling this year’s heritage celebration in light of current politics.

“There’s not much for the Hispanic community to celebrate this year,” said Jorge Gutierrez, the council’s executive director.

But, he and others ultimately concluded it was the right time to come together. Besides, the folk dance group had been practicing hard.  ”  The event had the highest turnout of any council event for the past few years.  Many from the rally stayed through the day but….I was longing to get home and do some gardening.

Allan and I did think we might have lunch at the Blue Scorcher before departing Astoria.

Some handsome houses on the way:

I love the flags on the porch.

line of coleus by the sidewalk

hillside garden

Above the Blue Scorcher/Fort George Brewery building, I walked through the public garden cared for by Jessica Schlief.


hardy fuchsia and ornamental oregano


Meanwhile, Allan had looked at the historical area next door, which tells a terrible story when considered from the point of view of the first people to live here.  I find this sign quite disturbing, except for the Garden of Eden part.  Allan points out that it was “written in a different age”.

A more multicultural sort of history:


We went down the ramp inside the brewery to get to the Blue Scorcher…which was simply too crowded to find a seat.

In the Blue Scorcher: Perhaps the cruise ship accounted for busy restaurants; Fort George was also full.

We decided to walk five or so blocks west to accomplish a goal: trying out the food trucks.

a sign along the way

The Garden of Surging Waves is also on the way.

Of the food trucks, two were closed, and one had a limited menu.

Fortunately, I especially wanted to try the Snackle Box.

When I admired the paint colour, the owner told me that she had had a house and a car painted that blue, her “happy colour”, and that someday the Snackie Box will become a reading and writing shed in her garden.

Bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich) and lumpia (a Filipino treat).

A spam treat evoked Hawaii. (Allan’s photo)

I am glad we had that delightful meal before the weather turned autumnal and blustery.

Now for the five block walk back to our van.  I did wish I had brought my cane on our spontaneous lunch excursion.

street planters including a ginko tree (background)

We saw a garden by the Senior Center that spoke to me of Jessica Schlief.  She later told me that she does not do this one.  A volunteer from the Senior Center works on this steep garden by attaching a rope to their van, parked above!  She told me there’s an article about it, and I found it here. It is an excellent read.  Excerpt: “There are five tow ropes. Three are attached to a metal guardrail and the fourth to the open door of the Astoria Senior Center bus. The fifth is wrapped around Larry Allen’s torso to form a harness.

“At 75 years old, I’m finally getting to do what I wanted to do,” he says as he bends down to pat the dirt around a patch of young sunflowers.

Over the past year, Allen has built a garden perched above the Senior Center, turning a rocky, weedy wall into a tiny gem.”

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

container at the Senior Center door

Allan’s photo

a sign stuck in at a parking lot by the Astoria co op

Allan’s photo

Allan noticed a garden shed high up on a hill over where we parked.

Driving down Marine Drive toward the bridge, I was amused but could not get a good photo of a cargo ship called Ultra Bulk.

Cruise ship people enjoying the River Walk

The cruise ship dwarfed an old waterfront hotel.

Finally we arrived back in Ilwaco.  Instead of going straight home, I felt that (while Allan ran a shed-repair related errand)  I needed some September market photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  Could be my last chance if the rest of the month has windy Saturdays.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Salt Pub

My black lab, Bertie Woofter, used to make that same face.

Oh! The port office hanging baskets are gone.

Don Nisbett Gallery’s baskets still look fine.

De Asis Produce

On the way home, I got to pet Rudder next door.

I was too worn out to accomplish any great gardening plans.

east gate view of back garden

All I did was place a tarp and a pallet behind a tree for the new wood pile.

Frosty helped with the tarp folding.

Skooter in the gear shed yard next door.

the last of the old firewood area

Allan continued to tear off shakes and to putty old nail holes.

At dusk, we had a fire before the rain.

hardy fuchsias at dusk

roasted corn on the cob for dinner (Allan’s photo)

If Sunday or Monday bring rain, we will have three more days off.  We are entering an easy stretch of work, post-tourist season and pre-fall clean up and bulb time.







Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

For the second year, the wording of the cottage tour description included “dream homes”.

I gleaned that there were a couple of reasons for this.  In recent years, some larger homes have been featured.  It had become more difficult to find historic small cottages, as many have been remodeled and enlarged.  (I find that heart rending but I am probably in the minority. I’m an avid watcher of tiny house shows on HGTV and I appreciate the small and humble.)  I admire the tour organizers for changing the description to reflect the new reality of the tour, and I appreciate their efforts in finding as many small cottages as possible.

So far today, we been touring in the low lying neighbourhood north of the Ecola Creek estuary.

satellite view

We were about to go uphill to the ocean view ridge.  A docent at the last cottage we had viewed noticed my decrepitude and suggested we drive to the last two homes because of a steep hill.  While I have never in the past, no matter how hobbled, resorted to driving on this tour, I am glad we took his advice.

Our route took us up this hill.  Walking tour-goers took the stairs.

I saw I had a raindrop on my lens!

Then we went down a steep, gravelly street to the lowland again.

Mindy’s Cottage

You can read Mindy’s blog here.

Allan’s photo

I somehow missed noticing the garden to the north, and did not peer over the fence.

Oh, but look! Allan noticed and got a photo!

inside: Classic white, blue, and yellow beachy decor (Allan’s photo)

I met Mindy’s delightful cat.

sweet tucked in feet

a lovely sit spot

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo. I missed seeing kitty emerge onto the porch.

Allan’s photo

I wish I had gone out there and looked back.

Allan’s photo

Driving around the block took us to the wealthiest homes on the ridge.

ocean view home

beside the driveway

The east side has a cottage look.

From steps down to the dune path, north side, you can see why the house is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.


Allan’s photo


artful gate

The gate pivots vertically though the outer edges taper outwards. Allan admired that the offset upper hinge is the solution.

Allan’s photo


looking out the west window; Chapman Point and Bird Rocks to the right

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A fireplace door handle (Allan’s photo)

Allan went to the lower level:


on a closed door

green on green

west side patio


We walked half a block to a view point.

house next door for sale, by Sotheby’s, of course.

I sometimes wish we had put a circular drive in our front garden, so that we would not have to unhook the work trailer at night.

I peeked in.

houses continue up the hill to the north (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo nearby


Allan’s photo of another house nearby

public beach path half a block north

Although there be many mansions, the beaches in Oregon are public.  You can read the history, here.

Chapman Beach

We drove back through the flatlands.

a house that I would like to live in and surround with a garden

We wanted to look at Pam Fleming’s downtown Seaside gardens.  Unfortunately for us, the street was blocked off for a car show and we were out of energy to find a parking spot nearby.

a brief drive through Seaside

Pam’s diligent watering of the Seaside hanging baskets has paid off beautifully.  She stands and counts (to one minute, I think) as she waters each one daily.

The Astoria-Megler bridge seemed to disappear before reaching Washington State.

Thus ends one of the most anticipated events of our summer, and with it comes the end of tourist season.  I am already looking forward to next year’s cottage tour.




Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

1972 Cottage

from the program:  This house was built in 1972.  There have been a few changes to the house, including remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, new floors, windows, the deck and the skylight.  And interesting feature is that the deck is built around the tree.  The homeowner’s kids have enjoyed walking to the beach and playing in the sand; the pictures in the home tell many stories.  The owner was the vice principal and principal of Seaside School for many years.

Allan’s photo

over the inside of the front door

high school theatre productions by the cottage owner

bunk bed book nook


The house just to the south of our next destination had a beachy garden.

the house next door

We overheard one of the docents say that this part of north Cannon Beach was hit hard in the 1964 tsunami.  You can read more about that here.  We could see that the estuary was just a couple of blocks to the south.  It was disconcerting to imagine a tsunami flowing up the street. Allan found a map that shows, in orange, the low lying area where these cottages sit.

1924 Cottage

darling dining nook with view of that beachy next door garden

reminds me of our friends Don and Jenna

kitchen tiles

on a bedroom dresser

bedside reading

I have read this book.

Must read this one.

I was smitten with this cottage and its books.  Of all the cottages today, it was my favourite.

And it has a clawfoot tub (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

back garden

outdoor shower (Allan’s photo)

by the door to the garage loft

Allan went up to the garage loft, not me.

nautical things table in the loft

west garden

Allan’s photo

We walked half a block north to look for the farmhouse and barn.

We think this is the farmhouse.

And this has to be the remodeled barn.


across the street

I would like this. It is probably only $300K or so.

Next: the last two homes of the tour.


Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

Inga’s Cottage

Just up the street from Salmon Trout House is Inga’s Cottage.  It had been on the tour in a previous year, an anniversary tour which had so many cottages that we ran out of time before seeing this one at the north end of town.  I was glad to get the chance to see it today.

It is a vacation rental and is also the part time home of the owner.



Inga’s Cottage

from the cottage’s Facebook page


We all leave our shoes off when touring.


beachy turquoise front door




view of neighbouring garden



a guest book!

As longtime readers of this blog know, I am obsessed with guest books.

Fortunately, it was not a very full guest book or we would have been delayed.


courtyard view bedroom



Allan went to the upstairs, which I find difficult (coming down, not going up) these days.  Allan says only one side of the duplex was viewable.

bathroom floor tiles

beautiful lamp


We now walked  a block west to a street where two more cottages were featured.  Along the way,  small cottages appealed to me:

I want two bay windows like this on my double wide, in the front.

a double wide! a rare sight in Cannon Beach

nicely framed greenhouse window

such a sweet blue cottage

porch with hammock


“And they lived happily ever after.” (per the life ring)


I could happily live in any of these.

Clerodendron trichotomum

Clerodendron flowers (Allan’s photo) will be followed by stunning berries.

Clerodendron in my old garden, the best bloom and berries I ever had from it.  Adding to my must have list to reacquire.

tiny, with a big remodel of a small cottage going on next door

“Tree House” 

When I entered this home, I immediately noticed how it felt surrounded by greenery. I commented to the owner, who was there, and she said that to her it feels like a tree house.

front porch (Allan’s photo)

north side of front porch


north window

west window view with wetland below full of skunk cabbage (aka swamp lanterns)

south window

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

bird watching deck (Allan’s photo)

bird watching deck (Allan’s photo)

I went out to the patio on the south side.

south side patio

at the edge of the wetland

succulents window box

south side fence with cutouts

blurry, but shows clever way to hide the works of the electrical box (Allan’s photo)


At the end of the street sat a house that looked so very private.

a true hideaway

On our walk to the next home, a substantial drizzle had begun.  I was pleased and also cold and damp.  I admired this cottage along the way:

Next: two delightfully small cottages





Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

Lannie’s Cottage

closing in on the cottage

front garden

For some reason, neither Allan nor I got a photo of the front of the cottage.  Possibly it was crowded with tour guests and we thought we’d do so on the way out, and did not.

The entry is up stairs.

back deck has view of ocean (Allan’s photo)

the travel tiles

(Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

garden shed

love the sinuous wood

the iconic Haystack Rock

The Daily Astorian featured this article about Lannie and her cottage.

“On the outside, the house looked terrible, [prosepective buyer Kelly] Giampa recalled. “We almost didn’t want to go in,” she said. “But when we walked in, Lannie greeted us in the kitchen, which was unusual because usually the seller isn’t there.”

They immediately connected and soon bonded over their shared love of Broadway, music and shared roots in Portland.

In the transition, Hurst quickly became family to the Giampas. “We told her to keep a key to the house,” Giampa said. “It was our house.”

 “…… to Giampa, what makes her home special is the friendship that formed there before Hurst’s death in 2010. That’s what she hopes to share with more than 500 people who signed up for this year’s tour.

“To me, this house is a person. That’s how it’s always been. Every time I’ve walked in here the past 15 years, it feels like I’m getting a hug,” she said. “It feels like Lannie.”

Lannie herself

You can read a bit more about Lannie here.

“Even after Hurst moved back to Portland full time in 2002, she would get calls from Hurst asking if she could pop in. Hurst would come over to have dinner with Giampa’s family, and in Portland the two made a habit of going to the theater together. When they were in bloom, Giampa would make sure to bring Hurst a bouquet of the cow lilies that grew in their shared yard.”


We walked back through the grounds of the Ecola Creek Lodge, and encountered a group of Peninsulites, including Karyn and Kathy, who own Home at the Beach.

Home at the Beach Kathy, left

As Allan and I walked back to Les Shirley Park, we noticed that the estuary was just past a field to our left.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo; not exactly a path to the estuary

plaque by a grove of trees (Allan’s photo)

a cottage near our next destination

interesting car decal along the way

a license plate our friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) should have

Salmon Trout House

Salmon Trout House

limbed up myrtles in front

The stairs up were easy.

front corner of steps

window sill

in the kitchen

kitchen counter corner

window seat

Allan’s photo of a cute clock

Allan’s photo

upstairs (Allan’s photo)

curved windows (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

idyllic reading nook (Allan’s photo)

shower outside the back door for washing off beach sand

on the back deck

back patio with a natural water feature just beyond

a shed placed well for privacy

I think this is the John Klein house next door referred to in the description.

stairs down

back garden

A creek runs right next to the fire patio.

I thought, “I’d make that water show more.”

Allan overheard that the neighbourhood is built around a wetland, thus some of the houses are on stilts, or built up high, and I imagine that the stream is much higher in winter.

I walked along the north side of the house.

the house next door to the north

North side path, looking back. Creek is on the left.

Allan’s photo


I walked up the street a bit because I was interested in how the creek related to the homes.

That peak-roofed entry arbour is a classic Cannon Beach style.

a simple small cottage (which in Cannon Beach is probably worth a quarter of a million or more).

house accessed by bridge, with enticing landscape

another bridge access

by a driveway, with salal

Next: a cottage just up the street and another two blocks west












Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

cottage with coral room

The cottage, built in the year 2000, had a lavish little garden in front.

Allan’s photo

My grandmother had this sign in her garden. I did not notice it here till I looked at our photos.

Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

sun porch window and tour docent

front window view

One of the rules of the cottage tour is a restriction on interior photos.  We so much appreciate that the tour director gives us press passes, and we treat the cottages with the respect of not giving away too much.

view out the front window

I love these tree trunks.  Allan thinks they are a mural, not wallpaper as I assumed.

Allan’s photo

kitchen windowsill

Allan noticed this beautiful solution to replacing fluorescent ceiling panels.


Downstairs back window view shows that this neighbourhood is getting built up with modern  homes, which is a shame in my opinion.  In the central areas of Cannon Beach, I think the architectural style is more restricted.

The Coral Room (Allan’s photo)

Loved seeing the books (Allan’s photo)

a parting look


next door mini balcony

next door garden

a nearby garden

Would that all the newer houses looked more like this.  Classic low maintenance beachy landscape.

little cottage in the trees

next: two cottages





Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

We attended one of our favourite annual events, the tour of homes in Cannon Beach, this time in a neighbourhood north of the estuary where I had never walked around.

We saw homes between Ecola Creek estuary and Chapman Point.  The starting point was Les Shirley Park by E 5th Street.

satellite view

Here we go.

The queue for maps at Les Shirley Park. We had purchased our tickets online a month ago; one exchanges one’s ticket for the tour map.

While walking to our first destination, we noticed a tiny creek running toward the estuary.

Impatiens capensis, the native orange jewelweed. (Allan’s photo)

Bindweed appreciation (Allan’s photo)

Ecola Creek Lodge

NW corner of the lodge

I was pleased to realize that the little tower was going to be part of our tour.

Inside, we found an essay on this history.  It helps to know that “A remittance man is a historic term for an emigrant, often from Britain to a colony, supported by regular payments from home, on the expectation that he stay away.”   Cannon Beach was quite a repository for them back in the day.

Inside Room #8:

the corner room

We strolled all around the grounds.

south side deck

koi pond, surrounded by shrubbery (very safe for guests)

I liked the weathered rusticity of the buildings.

Looking again at the pond garden…

A sign explained the best viewing point.

The deck provided a clear view of fish.

Looking down from the deck, as instructed, we saw a wealth of fish.

And an enormous koi.

I found on the lodge website a photo showing the koi pond earlier in the year.

We walked around the north side of the resort again.

Allan’s photo, the SW corner tower

just east of the room we had toured

Peacock window. I’d like to see what it looks like from the inside.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


coming around the east side

Allan’s photo

Oh! The entrance is on the east side.

by the office

Next: a cottage with a tiny cottage garden

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »