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Archive for the ‘garden touring’ Category

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Beverly had invited me to come with her to see artist and dancer Linda King’s garden, one of her favourites on last summer’s Long Beach Peninsula garden tour.  I had seen Linda’s garden briefly on the tour when it was brand new, in 2009, the same year my mother’s garden was on the tour (so my visit to Linda’s had been rushed). I was delighted to have the opportunity to see how it had matured.

arriving

Beverly had given each of us a small fairy for our fairy gardens.  After Linda opened hers, we went into her studio so that Beverly could pick up some acrylic pour paintings that she had made in one of Linda’s classes.  They were gorgeous abstract swirly patterns which I neglected to photograph, but here are some examples of Linda’s work in that medium:

Beverly is holding up the big floral one.

Views from the studio windows:

With the paintings packed up…including one of Linda’s that Beverly bought for her collection…we took a walk through the woods to Linda’s “Tarry House”.

A large fallen branch was evidence of last week’s storms.

The path to the Tarry House, a writing studio, leads through a woods carpeted with moss and ferns….

…and fungi tiny and large.

tiny white mushrooms

The Tarry House:

view from the Tarry House porch
ephemeral art

We walked down the long lawn back toward the house…

…and then toured the gardens around the main house.

On the front lawn:

And here we return to where we began.

Back at home again, Skooter awaited my return…

…and Allan got home from work just in time see Beverly and I discussing garden tour plans for 2020.

 

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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

A new-this-year gardening friend had invited me to tour a garden with her today, one I very much wanted to see.  Because we would have time to visit at least one other garden first, I suggested we go to the home of an artist couple who had invited me and Allan to see their autumn garden.  In the early afternoon, Beverly and I set off garden touring, while Allan decided to get a hedge trimming job done.

The Toepfer Garden

….is one of my top three favourite local gardens. It is the haven of two artistic plant collectors and up-cyclers.  You can read about Kent and Betsy’s art on the Northwest Artist’s Guild site, here.

The big wheels on the fence are something to do with (I think) cable tv.  At least, I think these are the circles that once were a big structure in the garden itself, as you can see in this post from my first visit there.

Coincidentally, the next day Allan saw the big circles in use an electrical utility truck.

Although the garden creators had to be gone today during our tour time, we had permission to wander.  We were greeted by a purple donkey.

To the east side of the entry drive is a dry garden whose red theme is now enhanced by bright autumn foliage.

We noticed a theme of cotinus (smokebush) throughout the garden, beginning with the blazing red one above.

Turning to the west, we walked along a shaded path.

(I think) Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’

I remember this horse from previous tours and had been looking for it.

The glorious main is all wire.

We turned to the garden around the house.  Beverly pointed out that the repurposed pot covering, left below, is the whirly vent thing that goes up on a roof.

Left, below, another smoke bush of a more subtle hue and I think a rhododendron with dark foliage.

mirror ball

I would like to trade with them a start of my very silver pulmonaria for a start of theirs with long and narrow leaves:

another fancy rhododendron

Coming around to the north side of the house:

I was filled with envy when I saw their Pseudopanax ferox; I have tried and failed three times to grow it, and it is not readily available to replace after a failure.

It is perfect for  a garden with lots of repurposed metal accents.

I lingered covetously…

…but finally moved on to a hydrangea with exceptional fall colour.

I think I spy another smokebush.

The outdoor fireplace would be sheltered from winter wind.

.

by the back deck
on the deck

I bet that Betsy’s art, or maybe mirrors, get hung here during summer days.

I hope Beverly and I can return next spring to see the garden in a different season.

We still had an hour before our arrival time at our garden destination.  Beverly suggested the long way round and I suggested that we could go to one of the furthest north gardens in Surfside and at least look at it from the road.

Somsri’s garden

We arrived at our second artist’s garden, and Somsri, being home, welcomed us in.  You can see full tours of her garden here (2015) and here (2019, summer).  Today, I was focused in on the art pieces she has created.  Beverly is artistic and crafty herself and had good questions about how the art was made.

Somsri’s two greeters were ever so sweet and welcoming.

Somsri’s magnificent septic vault garden is always the high point for me.

I am particularly smitten with the bowling balls decorated with marbles.  Another way Somsri gets the orb shape is to cover a light globe with cement and then break the bulb…or something like that!  (Not quite sure why you’d have to break it; I think Beverly understood the crafty parts better than I did.)

We both loved the orbs covered with glass shapes other than marbles.

Another local artists had made the plate and bowl flowers, screwing them together, which would work much better than gluing.  I have noticed that glued ones soon fall apart.

Somsri even makes her own stepping stones.

And these realistic squashes were made, in a method that mystifies me, out of paper and (I think) crumpled nylon…

We had to tear ourselves away because we were now running a quarter of an hour late for our arrival at our original artist’s garden destination.

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock, Washington

We continued our exploration of Castle Rock public gardens with the

Castle Rock Visitor Center.

According to an article in The Daily News, the majority of the $247,000 project was completed by community volunteers and public works employees…including the landscaping around the building.  The center opened in May of 2016, so the garden is still young.

I walked this path away from the building…

…and back again.

By the wheelie bin enclosure at the end of that path, we had found a picnic shelter and pretty bed of annuals.

The hanging baskets were padlocked.

Allan’s photo

The enclosure had some useful posters.

More posters described assorted trees.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
the tree our bogsy wood is made of

Across the big parking lot….

…is a pollinator meadow.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

I could not find on my phone the location of the old jail, so we drove back downtown and got out and looked for a pedestrian to ask.  We found one just as I saw, across a parking lot, a garden that looked promising. Indeed, the pedestrian said it was the place we sought.  I noticed his t shirt for the Crosscut Taproom, which was one of two restaurants recommended at Nancy’s garden.  He was the owner, so that settled which one we would dine at (the other was Wine Down Dog).

Old Jail Park

Allan’s photo

The walls are reinforced with scrap iron and old horseshoes.

Allan’s photo of a horseshoe

A diseased tree had been recently cut…

…resulting in some scorched hostas.

Allan’s photo; beds are sponsored by local businesses.

downtown Castle Rock

We took a two block walk up and down one street a block from the park.

Allan’s photo of a poster behind the window display.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
a curbside garden and an apartment building

One of the apartments had its own little garden display, freshly watered and next door to the library.

The double baskets are gorgeous, as they were two years ago.  Then there were more trailing potato vines; this year, the theme is pink.

In the containers, the theme was green.

I liked it very much. The big containers had plants which I feel sure like lots of water.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
another street heading off south (Allan’s photo)

It took me till now to realize that Wine Down Dog is a pun (wind down).

Allan’s photo

We ate at the Crosscut Taproom, having gotten directions from its friendly owner.

We got there just before it got busy with the dinner crowd, including a large party who recognized us from today’s garden touring.

We enjoyed teriyaki rice bowls, cider and ginger beer…

Allan’s photo

…and petting a nice dog named Loki on the way out.

He was maybe a little tired from having had attention from many people.

As we drove away, we saw the other side of the apartment building with another sidewalk garden, one which I think I noticed two years ago.

Allan’s photo

We got home by dark.  I am already looking forward to next year’s tour.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock, Washington

Two years ago, the city hall garden had caught my eye as we drove through town on the way to a blogger event at Evan’s garden.

This evening, began our tour of four city gardens there.  These gardens are maintained by Castle Rock Blooms volunteers and the plants are from Proven Winners.

Castle Rock City Hall

Allan’s photo

 

Allan’s photo
A stream runs under the entry to city hall.

Allan’s photo

rain barrel
Allan’s photo
side garden

Allan’s photo

Gateway Park

Two years ago, we had also discovered Gateway Park, which I think is its name now, even though you will find it on maps as Harry S Truman Park.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
euphorbias in a dry strip by the highway (Allan’s photo)

All the parks are supposed to be non-smoking.  Wonderful!

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

As I understand it, even the lawn is mown by a volunteer.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

The scrubby lot in the background across the street is for sale.  More on that in a moment.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The long lot to the right, below, almost two acres that comes to a point, is for sale.

 It includes this little red house, built in 1900!

I immediately had the longing to buy it. The house reminds me of and is just slightly smaller than my Seattle house.  I could make such a garden there! Two parcels!

Behind it is an embankment with a walking path on top overlooking the river.  Allan wondered if maybe it floods. Doesn’t look like the park across the street floods.  It is fronted by a busy one way road, dangerous for cats, and would be overlooked by walkers on the path.  Oh, but what a dream to live by such a beautiful park.

I wonder if I had the same dream two years ago.

Next, two more public gardens.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock, Washington

 The Gardens at Sandy Bend 

The last private garden belonged to plantswoman Nancy, who is the Castle Rock Bloom Team Leader of the  downtown volunteer gardens program, Castle Rock Blooms.  You can find her on Facebook at The Plant Station.  We had already admired her opulent container plantings at the Partridge’s garden.  More big containers marked the parking area at her home.

I wish I could grow abutilons as huge as hers.

I think it takes more heat than we get at the beach—and I don’t like heat—but wow!

Abutilon ‘Red Tiger’ planted in the ground.

Her tomato display also credited the warmer inland weather.

Below the parking area, I was drawn to a magnificent shrub border (and later I heard her invoke the name Dan Hinkley about at least one of the specimens).

Allan said, “That car won’t hold many plants.” I thought it toned well with the big cotinus (smoke bush).

Nancy has Buddleja lindleyana and assured me that it is not on the invasive list, backing up my research with authority.  It does not set seed, she said, but does spread from runners (as I know, which is why I have three now).

Buddleja lindleyana

Looking back to the house…

entering the front garden

variegated climbing hydrangea
on the porch

For some reason, an attack of the shys I guess, I did not go onto the enticing porch.  Allan did:

Allan’s photo

I did look thoroughly at the intricate planting in the entry garden.

Abutilon ‘China Bells’

 I am pretty sure that the tree below is one that had us all circling and admiring and wanting to identify on a Hardy Plant Study weekend tour a few years ago.  Nancy’s labeling is superb so today all I had to do was read the tag.

‘Trost Dwarf’ birch

I was lured into an enticing winding woodland path, similar to the one at The Gardens at Stillmeadows.

The Secret Trail

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, deer fence?

Allan was coming the opposite way.
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

wisteria climbing a ladder and tree
returning to civilization; note the giant greenhouse to the left

This must be where Allan entered the secret trail:

Allan’s photo

I meant to explore that path…

Next to the greenhouse, I was about to fall in love.

This kitten had come to visit from next door.

Its fur was even softer than my Smoky’s fur.

Nancy works with Proven Winners and the local high school students to test new PW plants and to propagate plants for the downtown gardens.

On the back porch is some more of her container magic.

I turned away from the back garden because of a couple of railing-less steps and because of a kitten distraction.  Usually, I would find my way around the other side of the house to avoid the steps.  Somehow I managed to miss the whole back area.

Allan took some photos but said he did not realize he was the only one photographing it.

I missed a pond with fish!

When Allan and I reunited…

…he did not know that I had not found the back yard garden.

We talked with Nancy about the downtown gardens and saw the fertilizer and pots that they use.

The hanging baskets have a water saving system that Nancy says actually cuts down on watering. It was a pleasure to talk with her about the Castle Rock gardens, mostly maintained by volunteers (although the city crew waters the baskets).

Proven Winners had provided stacks of free catalogs.

As you will see, the Proven Winners partnership with the volunteers is helping Castle Rock’s downtown gardens thrive, and the hanging baskets are amazing.

As we left, the kitten was being petted by a little girl. I saw this road with bamboo and banana trees…

…and I might have found a vegetable garden had I walked back there.  In fact, as I wrote this, Allan said “There was a second garden down there that may have been hers!”  No wonder it is called the Gardens (plural!) at Sandy Bend! Next year, when I hope it will be on the Bloomin’ Tour again, I am determined to miss nothing of this place.

By now, it was 3:40 PM.  Our plan to see all the nurseries and private gardens by 4 PM (tour end time) had worked perfectly.  I would even have had time to see that back garden!  Now we still had daylight to find four floriferous public gardens in Castle Rock.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Cowlitz River Dahlias and Succulents

We drove down a long woodsy road, one lane with turn outs for oncoming cars…

…till we arrived at a field full of dahlias.

You could wander the field with a clipboard, writing down which dahlias you wanted to mail order.  I could have but did not because I already have so many assorted ladies in waiting at home.

Allan’s photo

My photos:

The fluffy ones are amazing and have great colors, especially when they have speckles or are two toned…

…and picotee.

This one almost looks fasciated.

I love the spider dahlias.

The huge dinner plate style, though astonishing, are not my cup of tea.

My favourites are the ones with tidy spoon shaped leaves, especially the smaller pom pom ones (didn’t see many of those here).

Allan’s dahlia photos:

Apart from dahlias, we saw chickens…

and succulents and a few perennials (including Salvia ‘Amistad’, of which I bought two). I got me one of these:

Sempervivum ‘Oddity’ (Allan’s photo)

I had to get me one of the Albuca ‘Frizzle Sizzle’—new to me.

Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ (Allan’s photo)

Also had to try one of these (sorry, no photo was taken of the plant, yet).

For next year’s Bloomin’ Tour, I intend to be mentally prepared to order some dahlias, speckled, picotee, and spidery.

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock Nursery

331 Buland Dr
Castle Rock, Washington
(360) 274-8388

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I did not want to be greedy when offered free annuals.  I would take them all for compost!  So I only took a few geraniums and begonias that I might be able to winter over.

Allan bought a fern.

Allan’s photo

The Book of Lists is an excellent book of plants that thrive in various conditions, and other such things.  It, and another book called Plants for Problem Places, were invaluable to me before the World Wide Web. I was pleased to see a book like that still in use.

Allan’s photo

Again I wished I still had my grandma’s old sewing machine (at least the stand).  I actually did used to sew on the old treadle machine, back when I sort of knew how to sew simple things, and it was the only one I had.

I saw a gorgeous tall Panicum and asked what it was.  Our garden host did not know.  When I saw three pots of Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and its base, I was astonished.  Could the little knee high Heavy Metal Panicums under a tree in Long Beach get that tall if they had good water?

the three pots of Heavy Metal and the big specimen

But then the daughter and plant expert returned from lunch and said the tall one was Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’.  There were two gallon pots of it left and I snagged them both.

Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’

Any other admirers would be out of luck because of my buying the last ones.

I did later google ‘Heavy Metal’ and learned that it could get to four to five feet in better conditions.

I also bought some small gauras because I want them at the Ilwaco Fire Station. Someone at the nursery told me, and I later confirmed, that gaura is the official flower of Castle Rock.  Could be true of Long Beach and Ilwaco, also, as I sure do use a lot of them.

Here is where you pay.
Allan’s photo

That was such a pleasant shopping experience.  I hope to visit again next year, when perhaps the Bloomin’ Tour will be in early August rather than early September.  May would be even better…if it were less than a two hour drive from home.  I imagine that it is the shopping hub for gardeners of the Castle Rock area.

Next: a deliriously delightful display of dahlias.

 

 

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