Archive for the ‘hardscaping’ Category

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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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Mallet Garden, Shoreline

Puget Sound in the distance

Allan’s photo

near the front porch

Puget Sound is also known as the Salish Sea.

This view and feeling was familiar to me as my uncle had a home in Shoreline with a similar view.

Allan’s telephoto

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

history, on the deck

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A moon gate would be a wonderful garden feature to have.

weeping tree underpruned for the view


Realizing that this garden had been in the Innis Arden neighbourhood moved me.  As a child, my parents and grandmother and I often visited friends Dena and Emil there.  As a young woman, Dena had been a housekeeper for my wealthy uncle (my mother’s brother) and had become part of the family.  She and Emil had a lovely modern house, on a humbler Innis Arden lot with no view.  I remember driving in past the Innis Arden sign, which we saw today, and I remember a beautiful garden on two levels, with lots of well kept shrubs, and a little slope that I could slide down on a piece of cardboard until Dena would get worried about damage to the lawn.  Dena’s garden lives in my memory as being similar to some of the tasteful, shrubbery type gardens we have seen on this year’s tour.  I think she would have enjoyed the study weekend.  She must have been an avid gardener; she died when I was fairly young and my memories of that garden ended there.

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Stacie Crooks Garden

a gift to the street

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


soothing private courtyard behind the bright front garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

at the sunny side of the house, a kitchen garden; the mailbox holds supplies and tools.

Allan’s photo

I also use those gloves to garden. (Allan’s photo)

Roger Gossler of Gossler Farms (to the right in above photo) commented that this was the perfect size of kitchen garden, not too big.  (I have purchased many a good plant from Gossler Farms Nursery,  both at Hardy Plant weekends and by mail order.

looking back at the kitchen garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

This is the moment when I learned that there are scheffleras hardy to the Pacific Northwest.

hardy schefflera….must have

entering the back garden

dazzling combination at one end of the garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

tour guests talk to the gardener

on the terrace

I believe that is Stacie in the center.

I rarely talk to the garden owners—as they are usually well occupied with comments and questions.  Allan heard her say that she had five dump truck loads of soil brought in to make the garden level rather than sloping, looking ahead to easier gardening.

That end of the garden drew my eyes the most.

Allan’s photo

You can read more about Crooks Garden Design here.

More articles about the garden here. And here, this might be her former, steeper garden.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had indeed visited her former garden in 2010: second garden in this post.  Some of the photos in the old post will enlarge if you click on them; this goes back to when I used to try to get fancy with formatting.  I also used to have more to say about each garden.  I felt I had to review them in some way.  Now I am more inclined to let you walk through with us in your own imagination and create your own impressions.





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Friday, 22 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Hampton Garden, Redmond

going in

We were pleased to see more flowers bordering the large expanse of front lawn.

Allan’s photo

I recognized painted sage in the planter in front of the porch and went to have a closer look.  Like mine lately, it was not colouring up in a showy manner.

Salvia viridis (painted sage); I wonder if it will show more colour soon?

painted sage, not what it used to be; the bracts don’t seem to colour up as in days of yore.

rose garden by the front porch

lawn border

more metal alliums—I want some! Sign says Allium metallica.

Allan’s photo

Allium schubertii seedhead with water bottle for scale

Allan’s photo


looking across the lawn

flower beds at the end of the lawn

Allan’s photo

a gorgeous iris

I like flowers.  I prefer a garden with perennials and annuals mixed with shrubs, even though it is more maintenance.

This made me happy!

This made me envious.  (I can’t seem to grow delphiniums.) Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Behind the flower beds, a fenced kitchen garden:

further along the side garden, pots of dahlias

another angle on the handsome delphiniums

We thought this might be a clever upcycled…something…to keep the strawberries off the ground.

By the side porch of the house, we found the chicken topiary with eggs.

On the porch:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the catio

Allan’s photo

garden shed in the side yard, next to a chicken coop

I have that same set of chickens, and they fall over all the time.  These were wired into the ground to stay put.

real chooks

a rose petal snack

vigorously digging a hole

Allan’s photo

After the chicken coop came the shade garden.

a courtyard off to the side as one goes toward the back garden.

at the center of the paths

a perfect hosta

Allan’s photo

I looked beyond to find the work area, always of interest.

horse poop, I believe

how so perfect??

Behind the back garden was a barn and pastures.  One dark grey horse walked away from having its photo taken; another was being groomed.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

an enormous climbing hydrangea

behind the house

I love this cat sculpture.

more of the garden along the horse pastures

plates in a bike wheel

Coming around the house, another border featuring perfect hostas…

Allan’s photo

By looking hard, Allan found a few tiny holes in hosta leaves, just to make me feel less inferior.

Allan’s photo

the house from the hosta bed


We had taken a long time touring this garden and admiring all the flowers and those perfect hostas.  We still had one more garden to tour today before the tour time ended.





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Friday, 22 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Guthrie Garden, Woodinville

Allan’s photo

Magazine articles and a photo album made for good reading at the entryway.

So I only saw the top level of this garden, and the view from the deck.  I will start with my photos and then switch to Allan’s.

Tour guests were asked to ring this gong on the way down the stairs.

looking down from the deck

on the deck

Now for Allan’s photos.

You can read more about this garden here and here (which has just the sort of walk-through description that I like in a tour post).

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

After we had toured The Oysterville Garden, Lorna and Gail and Debbie (who had seen our next garden on yesterday’s local tour) went on their respective ways.  Dave, Melissa, Ann, Evan, Allan and I drove a few blocks north to Steve and Martie’s garden.  I’ve never met Steve and Martie although, before they moved to Oysterville, Allan and I worked on a garden just south of theirs, a garden that Dave and Melissa do now.  Dave and Mel (Sea Star Gardening) also helped ready Marty and Steve’s garden for the tour, and the creator of the fabulous Oysterville garden down the street has had some influence here.  You can read about Martie’s design work here.  And here.  And here.  And you can read about her Oysterville home, whose garden we are about to visit, here.

Martie designs plant decor for clients including the Ace Hotel in Portland.

historic Captain Stream House (Allan’s photo)

Captain Stream House (Allan’s photo). Much of Oysterville has lichened picket fences like this one.

front garden (Allan’s photo)

Ann (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

That’s one of my favourites, Verbena bonariensis, to the right.

a handsome stand of eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)

orchids (Allan’s photo)

From the back deck.

A few days later, I happened to be at The Planter Box garden center when Teresa got a phone call asking what plant had been in the container above.  It’s sarracenia.

productive kitchen garden on both sides of the walkway

stone sink on the north side of the deck

closely mown croquet lawn on the south side

south of the garden (a guest house, I think)

coming around to the front garden again

now viewing the front garden from the entry driveway again, with Ann and Evan still lingering.

You can see more of this garden on Instagram at Oysterville Life.

We will now go on to tour two gardens of friends, and because we’ll be just with friends, I am going to share some garden tour thoughts.


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Saturday, 15 July 2017

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:

Garden Two: “Colorful and Creative”

Every garden tour has one garden that becomes my favourite.  Gina and Jeff’s garden is one that could be my favourite of many tours.

I was thrilled just by looking at it across the street!

Before we crossed the road, we encountered Wendy and Bill, whose garden had been my favourite on last year’s tour.  Since then, I’d learned that for many years they owned the boat Aallotar which I often see at the Port of Ilwaco.  I longed for Aallotar stories but garden touring won out for everyone.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo




walk to the front porch

Allan’s photo

wooden window box looks like copper

We finally made it to the check in table!  We could already hear the sound of the river and realized that the garden, while huge, is long and narrow because the river is just past the house and down a steep drop off.

The river sounded wonderful.

a double sort of curb holding the edge of the garden; that lawn is far below

The drop off at the edge of the garden is steep and dramatic.

Allan’s photo

garden creator Gina’s friendly little dog (Allan’s photo)

This cat was also getting attention. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I felt faint just looking at this path between the house and the edge. Folks with a good head for heights breezed along it.

Allan’s photo

Gina must have a great head for heights; she had picked every bad leaf off of the statuesque hollyhocks.

Allan’s photo

hollyhocks below the edge

I decided to explore the garden that stretched expansively from the other side of the garage.

back wall of garage

Allan’s photo

This was to cover up some sort of unattractive utilitarian thing. (Allan’s photo)

The long, narrow garden lay on both sides of the house between the road and the drop off to the river.  We began with the longest area, to the left of the house.

a sit spot (Allan’s photo)


on the side of the garage




looking down the expansive lawn

Because this garden is a work in progress, I have a feeling that eventually all of these beds will be as full as the ones right around the house.


looking back

Squash and big healthy tomatoes grew in the roadside bed.  Someone commented about the fertile farmland valley silt in this area.


Allan’s photo

One of the folks strolling toward me said (because of my knee brace, cane, and sore heel related limp), “Nothing stops you from garden touring, does it?!”

The garden beds on the river side go right up to the cliff edge.


right on the edge….I wondered if eventually these trees would go.


I would have to crawl on my belly to weed up to that edge!



Allan’s photo


plants clinging to the very edge of the steep drop off!


Allan’s photo


looking down (Allan’s photo)

I tip my gardener’s cap to the bold gardener who weeds along that curving edge.


Most of the beds are more safely inland.

We turned back and walked toward the house.


garden tour guests enjoying a sit spot


peach tree near the garage



a perfect rose


I am now thinking about how this garden does not seem bothered by deer.

When Ann (Spiffy Seeds, The Amateur Bot-ann-ist) toured this garden just after we did, she especially noticed the burned tree (which went right over my head).


photo by Ann Amato-Zorich, who says “Burned tree. Nature’s own shou sugi ban.”


rustic woodsy planter


from another angle


and another….an idea I am going to emulate.


Allan’s photo

To reach the other side of the garden, I went along the front of the house.


Brick front porch wrapped front and right side of the house.





front garden


looking out from the porch

On the right side of the entry porch, the brick porch narrowed and became L shaped.  Its decor was so fascinating that I could have spent an hour there.





This area had a concrete floor and a high roof with a chandelier and a skylight.






story of my life!

I could almost weep with delight over all of these artful vignettes.




Just off the porch was a waterfall pond.



Going around the corner of the house, we found another tiny shady pool.



Allan’s photo

Around the corner at the back of the house, we passed through an arbour to a greenhouse.

We failed to step back and get a long shot.  Ann kindly provided us with this:


photo by Ann Amato-Zorich




sink fountain



Allan’s photo


in the greenhouse


We recently saw someone making a cool light fixture like this on a tiny house show.


in the greenhouse


in the greenhouse

Near the greenhouse, steps and a path go down to the river level.




looking down


plantings on the upper bank (Allan’s photo)


from the path going down; garden creator Gina in view (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

We learned later that the rock retaining wall was new this past year, and Gina has begun planting it up.


Allan’s photo

I was still up on the top level by the greenhouse.


the back porch and sunroom


the other side of the path I couldn’t do!


Looking down again, I could see a great temptation for reaching the river level:


The kitty was there!

Someone told me that an easy access driveway was available at the other end of the garden.  I made my way in that direction.


by the greenhouse, a basket ready for berries


past the greenhouse




looking back at the house and L shaped porch


an easy road, with a greeter


kitty welcoming Allan to the river road



Allan’s photo


along the river bank

I learned later that the river causes much destruction along this bank during a stormy winter.  The lawn survives!


looking up the newly cleared area to the greenhouse


The river made a beautiful sound.


Allan’s photo


new rock wall with tour guest for scale



Look at the edge on that lawn.  Allan noticed that all the bare ground was weed free and carefully raked.


the river bank, which likely gets flooded in rainy winters


the sound of water always in the background



the path down from below


Allan’s photo


We made our way back up the easy road to the top and appreciated the garden for awhile longer.


a natural hose hanger


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo




Look who we met arriving just as we were leaving!


Dave, Melissa, Todd, Pam (downtown Seaside gardener)

They would be one garden behind us all the way.  Ann and Evan arrived just after this photo was taken. We should have just slowed down and toured with them, because they would notice things that we had missed.  I am always afraid of running out of time, so on we went to the next garden.


I’m thinking how much I loved this garden and that I did not want to leave.










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