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Archive for the ‘hardscaping’ Category

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

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, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

Garden 7: Beauty and the Bay

I had reasons to look forward to this garden.  Diane is the aunt of Terri of Markham Farm, and Terri would be co-hosting.  I am not playing favourites when I say I liked this garden best.

photo by Evan Bean

along the street

along the street

Allan’s photo

the other side of the front driveway

Kilyn’s photo on instagram…followed by her caption

(Each garden had a sign reminding us of the plant sale at the community garden.)

Note those cool rocks with holes in them.  I found some like that in 1991 on Kalaloch Beach.

into the back garden

just inside the gate

Allan’s photo

To our left was the memory garden with mementos including the hard hat and boots worn by Uncle Neil when he helped build the road to Paradise on Mount Rainer.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

On to the back garden.  I was already smitten.

To our right, a sunroom/greenhouse.

fire circle

sunroom

Allan’s photo

To our left, vegetables in barrels….

Roses and driftwood…

photo by Evan Bean

roses and agapanthus…

In the corner, a garden boat.

Then a mossy burbling rock…

.

..and a driftwood gate.

 

photo by Evan Bean

Outside the gate, a view of North Bay:

Looking back at the house:

fire circle

Allan’s photo

On the deck:

Allan’s photo

Leaving the deck…

…we explored the rest of the bayside garden, a separate-feeling area to the right of the driftwood gate.

path to a gate

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the bay side of the house

Twin frogs instead of lions flank the doorway.

another burbling rock

Allan’s photo

wheelbarrows and probably pots of spring bulbs beside the house

We still had not seen it all; we next found the enclosed garden at the front of the house.

a little pond

You might recognize this from the garden tour poster.

photo by Evan Bean

a beautiful front porch

a woman after my own heart in many ways

We had found Terri in the front garden courtyard and had a good chat.  Because her aunt was out touring other gardens, we did not get to meet her, but I know Terri will tell her how much we loved her garden.

Kilyn and Peter had arranged a tailgate teatime for four with homemade scones (Peter’s) and cookies and small sandwiches.  What a delight. We were joined by Evan and Ann.

Allan’s photo

We loaded up plants that Ann had brought for me to purchase from two nurseries she works for (propagating plants): Secret Garden Growers and Cistus Nursery.

While Kilyn and Peter went on ahead to the next (and last) garden, I just had to have one more walk through the Lemke garden because I loved it so much.  When we finally were about to tear ourselves away, Teresa from the Planter Box arrived, much to our surprise and pleasure.

She had manage to wrangle two days off from her garden center, so of course we all extended an invitation to her to come tour Markham Farm garden with us on Sunday.  We left her chatting with Terri and departed for the final tour garden.

 

 

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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

garden six: Deep in the Woods

Allan’s photo

The base of the front porch has rocks made by the owner, from molds and a cement dye.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A dry creek bed flows from the side garden to the street.

Allan’s photo

the side garden under the trees

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

That’s Ann taking a detail photo

A windowed gate says something about friendly neighbours.

looking back at the side gardens

A greenhouse draws the eye and the garden tourist into the back garden.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Debra Winslow’s photo

(Debra, Alan and Dawn had come from Lake Tapps for the tour, but they were touring in a different order from us, and, unfortunately, our paths did not cross.)

Ann Amato got a good photo of the stained glass above the greenhouse door.

photo by Ann Amato

I get involved with photographing the narrative flow of a garden and sometimes I miss the details.  While Allan is good at the details, neither of us noticed the stained glass.  I am sure the base of the greenhouse also had the convincing artificial rocks made by the owner.

behind the greenhouse

Allan’s photo

We recall overhearing that the overhead plants were on a drip system, got watered daily and fertilized twice a week.  I love the way the plants look up there.

patio next to the woods (Allan’s photo)

I spy a compost bin.

at one end of the back deck

stairs to the back deck

Allan’s photo

back porch (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

At the back of the garden is the cool green wild woods.

Evan got the best photo of the woodsy feeling.

photo by Evan Bean

Interlude

I liked this house nearby.  It looked older than most Ocean Shores homes.

The cat likes it, too.

We saw a vibrant stand of dahlias on the way to the next garden.

I love how simply humble Ocean Shores is.  Even near the water, the homes we saw were mostly not large and ostentatious.  It made me want to move there.

 

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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

garden three: At the Fore Front

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Every garden has this notice.

tight, well laid cobblestone style paving (Allan’s photo)

This garden was the first of three on the Ocean Shores canals.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

a clear deck railing for unimpeded views

the view across the neighboring yard

The dog sculpture by the canal moved in the breeze; we all thought it might be an effective raccoon deterrent. (Allan heard it is a geese deterrent.)

Allan’s photo

Looking back from the waterside:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

manicured to the water’s edge (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

The waterfall cascaded into the canal.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

This was the first of three gardens on the Ocean Shores canals.  I think it would be grand to live on one of them, 23 miles of interconnected waterways that were dug out over half a decade in the 1960s. Read more here and here. The second article has a map with the charming names of the inland passages.  You can read about Allan’s 2018 canal adventure here.

I was so enticed by the idea of living on one of the canals that I looked up real estate prices and found them to be surprisingly affordable.  This lot is pretty amazing, and only lacks one thing—a house.  And this is my little dream house.

I was enamored with the house right next door to the tour garden.

next door, but not for sale

Next: gardening neighbours on the canal

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

garden two: Living Rooms

In the front garden, ivy and honeysuckle had been trimmed around some sort of pre-existing structure, but neither Allan nor I found out for sure what it was.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Oh but wait! Here is a before photo!

Before photos are always appreciated.

On the other side of the honeysuckle sculpture, a small pond was screened against raccoons.

Down the side of the house to the back garden…

back deck

decorated shed

Allan’s photo

Sit spots abound in this garden.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Kilyn followed these footprints…

…but did not find a bear.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

In the way back corner, we found a playhouse and a campfire circle with a useful grill…

…and a space for games. Kilyn looked through the back gate and said it was a place to put debris, something gardeners wonder about.

Allan’s photo

Just like Kilyn, I always look for the hidden areas that show how the garden works, where the compost is and where the debris goes and the empty flower pots are stored.

We found a greenhouse.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo – Just take this bucket to where you’re working to always have the right tool nearby.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

This may be a memory garden for a tuxedo cat:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

On the shady side of the house…

And we emerge into the front garden again.

Allan’s photo

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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

garden one: On the Beach

 

Allan’s photo, front garden

I felt immediately that this garden was unique and distinctly the creation of its owners.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

path leading along the side of the house

We overheard that the home used to be waterfront, but with beach accretion (probably caused by the north jetty in Ilwaco, which has also caused accretion along the Long Beach Peninsula and erosion at Washaway Beach), it is now a half mile from the water. (Do have a look at the Washaway Beach This Week blog.) It is rare to see a garden planted this close to the dunes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Never have I seen so many blue bottles in the garden.  The reflections and sparkle are supposed to deter the deer. Allan overheard that many were collected from the recycling center.

Allan’s photo

row of once waterfront homes

On the back porch:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

beautiful and fragile old stepping stones in the side garden

I would like to know if the multi-hued round rocks are natural to the garden or were they imported? They were comfortable to walk on.

Returning to the front garden…

Looking at our photos, I am now strongly reminded of Derek Jarman’s garden.

Instead of the rusty bits and pieces in Jarman’s famous garden, we have blue bottles and watermelons, and who is to say which is better?    If I lived closer, I would gift them with a flat of santolina starts, silver and green, which would do well in their tough garden conditions, and a recommendation to have a look at this book.  I think they would be as pleased with the comparison as I am.

 

 

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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

We continued our tour with four gardens on one block at the north end of Surfside.  Each had a septic vault, common with new septic systems.

3. “RV lot designed for easy care, easy access. See a new septic vault installation.  Compare to the vault just across the street, to see the transformation!”

Surfside allows RV dwellers, with some restrictions. I think that one rule is that the RV can’t be left all year.

In this small lot at the north end of Seabreeze Lake, we viewed new planting on a new septic vault.

A lake view sit spot…

…..would make for wonderful birdwatching.

4. “Gorgeous front yard planted with mature, low maintenance varieties for the above ground septic vault.”

Right across the street is a mature septic vault planting.

This garden wrapped around to the back of the house.

love the driftwood fence and arch

The back garden segues into the wild woods.

a handsome gunnera
Allan’s photo

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

Cellophane gives the look of water. (Allan’s photo)

We like the list of questions that most gardeners answered.

I could be very happy with that woodsy back garden view.

5. “Another easy-care, low water use yard, with planted above-ground septic.”

Allan’s photo

I love the look of the boardwalk, although one of the advantages of a septic vault garden is that it is the perfect height to weed while standing next to it. It is too wide to reach the middle, though.

 

Allan’s photo

I am a little uncomfortable about the Round Up.  Let’s just say it is not what we do.

Allan’s photo

Next: Just down the block, a wonderful garden that we have visited before.  I have heard that its owner was the inspiration and helper for the septic vault gardens all down the block.

 

 

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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

Surfside is directly across from Oysterville on the ocean side of the Long Beach Peninsula  Its addresses are “Ocean Park”, which may be why it’s hard to find a map showing it by name.

We began at the Homeowners Association office.

Yay, a garden tour!

Inside, informative displays and handouts were on offer.

The neighborhood has two particular fire hazards, beach pines and dune grass.  The unamended ground is sand.

Excellent.  This was a serious garden tour.  I picked up the current Washington State noxious weed pamphlet and other useful literature and the attractive trifold tour pamphlet.

We each were given a free packet of seeds along with the tour guide.

view out the window of the Surfside canal

 I was sorry to see that Surfside resident George Miller’s garden was not on the tour. I had been sure it would be, having seen his many photos of its beauty on a local gardening Facebook group.

On to the first two gardens, one on a small lake and one on the oceanfront.

1.  “See what you can do with a small space and waterfront property.”

The north end of the peninsula is where sand dollars are to be found.

Seabreeze Lake

The owner had a Green Goddess calla lily and had hoped for a white one.

I told her I’d be happy to trade a white one for some starts of that green one!

blue and white lithodora (Allan’s photo)



2. Beautiful, owner-created front yard, easy-care, water-wise perennials, deer-resistant plantings.”

Allan’s photo

The house fronts onto the dunes.

 

ceanothus

We learned that our friend Ed Strange (now retired from landscaping) had helped design and install the hardscape.

This dwarf buddleia was much asked about.

We saw the informative handout and realized that every garden had one; we had missed it at the first garden. What an excellent idea.

As we drove on, we passed the free chipping site for residents.  It’s a good idea because it prevents flammable piles of debris.

Surfside has a somewhat controversial ordinance that all shore pines on properties on the flatland must be pruned to a certain height to preserve the view of the people on the hill. We had just missed a lecture from the knowledgeable Arbor Care arborists from Astoria.  I would be interested to know if they feel that all that topping affects the health of the trees. It must create a lot of chipping material.

Next, three septic vault gardens (or as we call it in Diane’s garden, “raised box”; now we know the real name).

 

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Saturday, 25 August 2018

We continued garden touring with Pam, Prissy, Beth, and Ketzel, visiting a oceanfront house with a garden designed by Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery.

Usually, I notice the garden first.  This time, the first thing I noticed was the gutters, and I was obsessed with them.

Can I retrofit my double wide to have gutters like this?

rain chains going into a little pool

center outfall with clear channel for watching rain water

Allan’s photo; he’s the one who noticed the clear channel.

garden reflected in windows under the fabulous gutters

That’s all I will show of the house, to respect the privacy of the friend of one of our group, who kindly allowed us to tour.  I simply had to show you those gutters.  They have been on my mind ever since. This is the first time I have ever wished it was pouring torrential rain when on a garden tour.  I would love to see these gutters in action.

And now for the glorious garden.

by the gate

passion flower clambering outside the gate

on the entryway fence between the east side garden and the south side

inside, a focal point and a wall covered with Muehlenbeckia axillaris (wire vine, yes, the same one I am battling in a Long Beach planter)

The garden is a showcase for plants to covet, from Cistus Nursery.

in the sheltered back garden

hydrangeas under trees on the east edge of the garden

Crinodendron hookerianum

Arisaema in bloom

Ketzel taking pics

This green stemmed sarcoccoca had a couple of us rapt in admiration.

Later, at home, I was watering my ladies in waiting and I realized I seem to have bought this one at the Hardy Plant weekend!  Pretty sure:

Cistus Nursery’s treasures in a carpet of wire vine

going through to the south side garden

and further along to the west side

south side lawn

west side, on a bluff over the beach

Allan’s photo

at the edge of the bluff

I stayed away from the edge, as the beach seemed very far below.  I asked Allan to “show” me (in photos) the path to the beach, as I could just see the beginning of it.

a classic beach path scene

I returned the way I had come.

returning to the south side garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, ivy leaf Geranium, Pelargonium peltatum ‘Crocodile’

We rounded ourselves up from far flung corners of the garden and gathered in the driveway.

Prissy creates the container gardens for the house next door to the one we toured; we could see one overlooking the beach.

Prissy’s work next door

Now we were ready to drive to Manzanita to visit the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon open garden which had been the inspiration for this day.

 

 

 

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