Archive for the ‘nurseries’ Category

Thursday, 22 March 2018

We did not do much work today.  We’d have done none, had we not had an appointment with our excellent new accountant who lives at the north end of the Peninsula about forty minutes away.  Since we were driving north, we also resolved to do a bit of work up that way.

First, we stopped in at the Port of Ilwaco office to try to find out more about the boatyard garden (will it be dug up for an important water project, and if so, how much?).  I could not connect with the port manager today to find out. We did deadhead the narcissi on the south side of the office in the full-on cold wind. A shopper from the Don Nisbett Art Gallery next door got caught in my photo because I was too eager to escape the wind to let him walk out of the way before snapping the shot.

On the way north, we bought some potting soil and two more packets of sweet pea seeds at

The Planter Box.

(I have resolved to plant sweet peas along the boatyard fence as I always do.  Surely the diggers, if diggers they be, would not dig by the fence all the way along.)

at The Planter Box


After our accounting appointment, we briefly worked at

Klipsan Beach Cottages

where Allan trimmed a big sword fern and I planted a few sweet pea and poppy seeds.

looking in the east gate of the fenced garden

I recently came across a photo that compares the yews when Robert and Denny laid the pavers and the yews were first planted in 2003:

and now:

The garden, while still somewhat bare, has plenty to show of interest:

early tulips

blooming rosemary


new foliage of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ which will tower overhead.

summer in the fenced garden with Thalictrum ‘Elin’ at middle right

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Euphorbia (dulcis ‘Chameleon, probably)

Euphorbia myrsinites (donkeytail spurge)

daphne (several years old despite a miffy reputation)


double hellebore




camellia (Allan’s photo)

And inside, out of the bitter cold and wind that was blustering even in that sheltered garden:

our good friend Bella, sensibly indoors

Ed’s garden

On the way south, we visited our friends Ed and Jackson Strange to drop off some plant starts (libertia and Lonicera fragrantissima and some rugosa roses; he can pot up and sell the latter at his big plant sale on Memorial Day weekend).

Jackson was most excited to see us.

We humans toured Ed’s exquisite small garden.

a WELL mulched gunnera

the deck

Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’

In the back garden, I scored a presale on the sort of garden bench I have wanted for a long time.

Ed helped Allan load it into our trailer, where it still sits, because I can’t help unload it.  We need help to get it into the back yard; the top piece is SOOOO heavy.

Long Beach

The sun had come out again as we drove further south.  Even though the wind was cold and fierce, we decided we could just about stand getting some buckets of mulch for Fifth Street Park.

Allan’s photo


after (Allan’s photos)

While Allan applied the mulch, I deadheaded narcissi in front of the Hungry Harbor, and then we rewarded ourselves for our work in truly miserable wind, with crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder.

Captain Bob’s is behind the NW quadrant of the park.

Captain Bob’s cookies

Refreshed and warm again, we soon got cold by deadheading a few narcissi at city hall and then a rough deadheading of the narcissi at the welcome sign.


I took my after photo from inside the van….

….while Allan finished up the back of the sign, somewhat out of the wind and in a rain squall.

The rain stopped again.  We had had enough.  The local weather shows why we could not take anymore today, with 34.5 mph wind that felt like 35 degrees:


I had some cyclamens from MaryBeth to plant at the Shelburne. Next time!

At the library, we picked up a book and Allan took these photos:

Fritillaria meleagris


and a quilt

At home, I delivered some narcissi clippings to the compost bins and ever so briefly enjoyed my garden.

Corylopsis pauciflora

a good crop of shotweed in this bed

window box

Frosty came with.

Allan’s photo

None of us stayed outside for long.

All I could erase today was one sweet pea task; Fifth Street still needs more mulch.

I am determined to take tomorrow off in order to avoid more cold wind.



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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The garden that we visited today is so excellent that I need a long evening or day off to blog about it.  Meanwhile, I can much more easily share the trip there and back.

A bouquet of flowers in our van, ready for the almost two hour drive to the garden.


Part one of the drive: 101 to 401 to 4 to 101

As we drove along the Columbia River (on our route through Naselle that avoids the dreaded—by me—Willapa Curves), we saw that the river was carpeted with little fishing boats.  It is the height of little boat “Buoy 10” fishing season.  We pulled into the Dismal Nitch viewpoint to have a better look.

The long flat stretch of the Astoria bridge is the background here.

Tongue Point

Allan’s photo

When we arrived in South Bend, we took a coffee break at Elixir Coffee.  I had been wanting to experience their ambience.  Many years ago, Robert and I used to have a burger or fish and chips at a restaurant in the same location whenever we drove down from Seattle.

Elixir Coffee

This oyster is near Elixir.

right on the water

flower stall inside the coffee shop

For a moment, I thought the middle book on the table, below, was a journal for patrons to write it and I thought, “Uh oh, I might be here for more than the 15 minutes we had allotted.”  Fortunately for our plans, it turned out to not be a journal.

We had our coffee and tasty scones out on the deck.

view to the north

and to the southwest

I wish there had been a heron in view.

I’m sending the gardener we were going to visit a photo of the café.

We did keep our coffee break to about fifteen minutes and then embarked upon the second hour of our drive, which took us up to Aberdeen and then over toward Westport.

We turned on a road that would dead end into our destination.  On the way, I admired this cool bay window on a double wide:

I want a window like this very badly now.

Just past that house, looking ahead down the road, I saw my first glimpse of our destination garden and exclaimed “Oh, my gosh! LOOK!”

I knew right away, from my first sight of the garden bed at the end of the road, that we were in for something special.

The garden will be tomorrow’s post.  It is huge, stuffed full of cool plants, and has a beach as well, so prepare yourself for a long-winded tour.

However, in the interest of having this blog not fall more than two weeks behind Real Time, I must combine the trip there with the trip home and save the garden tour for tomorrow.


We had gone up 101 to Aberdeen; we returned on 105 via Westport and Tokeland.

Westport Winery


Allan’s photo

After our day in her garden, on the recommendation of our garden host, we toured the gardens at Westport Winery and checked out their nursery.  It proved to be excellent.

The nursery is on the left side of the building.

plants for sale


Allan’s photo

iris sculptures (Allan’s photo)

Near the nursery is outdoor seating for the restaurant.

giant scrabble game

Allan’s photo

one of my four plant acquisitions

After purchasing four treasures, we walked around the large display garden.  I was having foot pain by then and could not even make it all the way to the back of the garden—it’s huge and is divided into themes, each area with excellent signs.  Allan was out there, too, and we did not even see each other in the vast garden area.

Fragrance Garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the driftwood arch entrance to an “underwater” garden that I found most inspirational.

The early evening light made it feel like being underwater.

Allan’s photo

I walked along a series of gardens behind the main building.

behind the outdoor dining area

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looks like a green roof in the making? (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

a wall of bottles behind a bench (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

patterns of thyme

lavender labyrinth

a showy kniphofia

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I am sure we missed a lot of garden here because of time and disability.  I hope to return…If not before, next July when the Master Gardener tour will be in this area.


We took a slight detour from our route home to see the boats in the Westport Harbor.

Allan’s photo

a substantial safety fence

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Planters along the harbor were a new addition since the last time we drove through here.

an enticing row of cottages

If we had gone on the road past the cottages, we would have found this memorial garden.  I wish we had…but then we would have not gotten out of the woods before dark.


Allan google-earthed it.

pelicans (Allan’s photo)

jetty (Allan’s photo) Me: “Don’t break a leg up there!”

We passed this mural and I wondered if this Andersen was any relation to our friend Lorna’s dad.


After a drive down the coast, most of which was along a quiet highway with few views of the water, we made one more detour to look at the famous Tokeland Hotel.

It is said to be haunted.

I had hoped to be home before dark.  Because the detours took longer than expected, it was dusk by the time we passed through South Bend and reached the long road along Willapa Bay.

marshes at low tide

We got out of the woodland roads and to the Columbia River by dusk and home by dark.  I look forward to writing tomorrow’s post about the garden visit that was the focal point of our journey.

A text from our friend Tony asked me if we had found the cake.  Cake?  We had come in the garage door.  I checked the front porch and indeed there was a delicious pineapple cake left there for us.  You might recall that Bailey and Rudy are our pomeranian friends.





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Monday, 22 May 2017

I couldn’t stay at home with my friends, because we had many plants to plant.






always in the mood for a belly rub


Skooter on the front porch…


blocking the door with his hind legs. “I couldn’t go to work today; my cat wouldn’t let me out.”

We did go to work, starting with picking up some more cosmos at

The Planter Box


I could not resist this gorgeous clematis.


a hot bright day

The temperature was already soaring, and would soon be up to 85 degrees F.

More clematis, that I did resist, so they might still be there for you:




baby birds (Allan’s photo)


little bitty poultry (Allan’s photo)

Erin’s garden

Melissa and Dave were working at our former job, Erin’s garden, and had some Agastaches and boxwoods for me among other Blooming treasures.  We stopped to load up the plants.  I was thrilled to see my old friend Felix:


I’ve missed this guy!

Allan went up the stairs to look at our old garden.  I would not be surprised if those are our original santolinas from the creation of this garden several years ago.  It pleases me to see it looking so good.


Long Beach

For the rest of the day, Allan took all but three of the photos.  My lack of enjoyment in the task of planting translates into not thinking about taking pictures.


No plants stolen out of the most recently completely re-done planter.


City crew member repairing the cracks from when it was driven into by an errant vehicle. They had been repaired, but needed to be mudded with a consistent color.

You can see from the lamp post flag, above, how very windy it had become.  For once, I did not mind the wind so much because it cooled the air.  However, at 20 mph, it was a little hard on the new plants we were planting.


As we went around, I pruned Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ so that it will not be top heavy. Now the flowers will be smaller and the plants won’t splay open.


I almost removed this stray elephant garlic just for looking like a silly onesie. It was saved by being hard to pull.

Because of the heat and wind, we had to water every planter into which we plopped cosmos starts, and each plant had to be pinched for bushier growth.


one of our two watering apparatus


We’re using agastaches from Blooming, via the Basket Case, for uppies by each pole.

I sent Allan to deal with the above planter.  I couldn’t face hacking into the running, aggressive Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, left over from volunteer days.  (I think that often the volunteers just used to put in free starts from their own gardens.  Which is fine, except that free starts tend to be pushy plants.)


The spot Allan battered out for the new plants probably won’t last for long before being encroached on again.

I swear we will redo that planter this fall, with a total dig out and new soil!


The Agastache ‘Mexican Giant’ had better get giant quickly.


Third Street Park. I wanted to go across and met that dog, The Mighty Quinn, but was too busy planting.  By the time I got over there with some cosmos, he was walking away.



utter chaos in the vehicle by the end of the day

We unloaded all the new plants onto the driveway so I could sort and water them.  Allan went off to water the Ilwaco planters with the first 2017 excursion of the water trailer.


This is the second time this street tree pocket has looked like this. I think someone is helping themselves to golden marjoram starts.  Or lady’s mantle.  Speaking of invasive free plants, the trees were pretty much planted up with what we could find for free, back before there was a plant budget.


Allan lent a hose to the local window washing crew, who had come up short from the nearest faucet.


His loaner hose was not the best.



the one shady planter….with some free hardy begonia transplants struggling a bit.


last task: watering the post office garden

I had taken about the same out of time to sort and water all my new plants, then schlepping them to the ladies in waiting area.  My back hurt like the dickens.  Tomorrow: Planting Time continues.




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Friday, 19 May 2017


I had had a bright idea several days ago of some shrub rearrangement at the J’s across the street.  Of three dwarf hydrangeas, one looked fairly good, one quite sad but with a few leaves, and one looks dead but has green underneath the bark when I scrape a stem.  Putting the good one in the middle would at least make the picture balanced.  And if the good one turns up its toes, we can replace it with three matching ones.  If not, we can maybe replace the outer ones with a matched set of two, so it won’t be off balance.


before (Allan’s photos); the good hydrangea is off to the left.

Underneath the soil, Allan found landscape fabric.  That explains why so many of the shrubs were planted on mounds (by the previous owner, not the J’s).


landscape fabric underneath! No wonder the shrubs could not get their roots down; no wonder they were tipped over sideway.


replanted with the best one in the middle and with all three given some Dr Earth evergreen fertilizer.


a tidy garden at the J’s

I got to pet a sweet dog at the post office.


Allan’s photo

Further down the street, we saw our friend Ed Strange (Strange Landscaping) and his buddy, Jackson.


Jackson! (Allan’s photo)

On the way out of our town, we had one plant to put in at the main intersection and four at the Ilwaco city hall planters.


PPR means Peninsula Poverty Response.  I should probably replace this leggy Erysimum, right?

Long Beach


City Hall: The Basket Case baskets are hung up all over town now.

While Allan weeded and groomed Fifth Street Park, I checked on a couple of blocks worth of planters.


Sparaxis in a planter. I need to plant this in every planter. It seems not that common in bulb catalogs.


Sparaxis and Cerinthe major purpurascens


a gorgeous tail wagger in a parked vehicle (taken from a distance so as not to get him too excited).


NOOOOOO.  One of my special new orange bidens pulled right out of the soil in a planter.


I had planted a matched pair to tone with this building.

The abused plant still looked alive at the base.  Remembering a live faucet on the outer wall of the Hungry Harbor across the street,  I filled my bucket partway, dunked the plant, lugged plant and water bucket back across, and trimmed and replanted the bidens with water in the hole, then clipped its partner plant to match in size.


dogs big and little outside the Hungry Harbor

Last fall, I had had a big mystery while bulb planting.  A set of three special Camassia ‘Sacajawea’ bulbs had gone astray while I was planting Fifth Street Park.  I looked for them so hard.  Today, I saw the three of them about to bloom under one of the street trees (along with a noxious weed Iris pseudocorus that I had tried to get rid of).  How could this be?



The camassia has variegated leaves.

I figured it out.  I was sorting bulbs and handing Allan sets of narcissi to plant under each street tree, and must have handed him the camassia by mistake.  I thought it would do well in the park where the soil is damp; I will try to transplant it later.  That tree, with its mess of vigorous hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) is not the best place to show off something special.


Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

You might agree with me that a trio of something tall and columnar would look great in that park.  I’m not supposed to plant anything taller than the fence!


that big dog again


I transplanted some red monarda, divided out from Vet Field garden last night, into this damp bed in the SW quadrant.


Darmera peltata and gunnera in Fifth Street Park (SE quadrant)

Some of that red monarda would do well in the damp bed behind the gunnera, etc.  But will I remember for long enough to get some moved from Vet Field?

We took time to go to Abbraccio Coffee Bar.


crossed dogs outside of Abbracci (I got to pet one). (Allan’s photo)


A delightful Abbraccio break (with no checkers played)….I used to love to play checkers but honestly do not remember how.  Allan challenges his computer to chess on most nights.

I rushed out of the coffee car to meet a tiny Boston terrier…Lily, age 4 months…who was causing quite a sensation.


Before leaving Long Beach, we dumped a small load of debris, mainly so I could ask the city crew to get the water turned on for the welcome sign garden (where we had pulled dead tulips at the beginning of our Long Beach time today).


When we went to city works to dump debris, Allan found this marble in the pile.

The Planter Box

We picked up some cosmos for Long Beach and elsewhere.


The big front greenhouse showed signs of a rush on annuals. (Allan’s photo)


healthy Seashells mix cosmos (Allan’s photo)


with Teresa, some desk-leaning rest

The Basket Case

The gardening grapevine (AKA Melissa) had told me that a Blooming Nursery truck had been seen on its way to Basket Case this morning.  We had to see what was new.


plants overflowing in abundance


Hot Toddy: cute name for a daylily. (I don’t collect daylilies, though.)


I could not resist a new to me red salvia named ‘Free Speech’.


per Blooming Nursery


couldn’t resist some agastaches and echinaceas…

Another new feature: Penny, the grandparents’ dog, who is being dogsat this week.


Allan’s photo


my sweet, soft, adorable, and quietly talkative new friend Penny





got me some penstemons and agastaches and lemon grass and more

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We drove north to KBC to plant some cosmos and to weed and tidy the garden.


our good friend Bella (Allan’s photo)


Clematis montana in evergreen huckleberry (Allan’s photo)


horrifying bindweed pretending to belong (Allan’s photo), in the debris area behind the garage


creeping buttercup removal featuring the ho mi tool (Allan’s photo)


Mary, garden owner, edged outside the fenced garden. (Allan’s photo)


Mary’s edging tools


nicely edged


belly rub time


Bella will put her foot on your foot or arm to ask for more belly rubbing.


fenced garden weeded and with cosmos planted


bird bath view


sit spot


Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’


the pond (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Although I was tired, we found the energy to plant some agastaches in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.  While I delegated the planting (which I so do not enjoy), I checked on the intersection of planters.


This planter has the weedy, running, short season of bloom blue geranium (‘Johnson’s Blue’?), not nice, long blooming, well behaved Rozanne. I thought about re-doing it this spring. Did not get to it. Maybe in fall.  Originally planted by a volunteer.

We also found the energy to finish planting the two planters at Ilwaco City Hall.  We had meant to plant cosmos in the Kite Museum pocket garden and completely forgot to stop there.

at home

Allan amazed me by finding even MORE energy to mow (while I sat in my chair and read the scintillating news of the day).  Way out in the bogsy woods, he found that our bridge railing had just rotted away and fallen over.  The water in the swale had been up to the base of the railing for most of the winter.




Later: Skooter wants to come in Allan’s window!



We now have two days off, except for maybe having to water all the newly planted Ilwaco planters on Sunday.  (Edited to add: Some drizzle on Friday night saved us from watering Sunday.  I hope we don’t regret waiting till Monday.)

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017, part one

Even though more unfortunate rain had arrived, it was not such a cold and windy rain, so we decided that we could polish off two jobs and two errands and make a pilgrimage to a favourite local garden (which deserves a post of its own, tomorrow).

The Anchorage Cottages


not an ideal work day


Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)

I had brought four Nicotiana langsdorfii to plant.


lots of narcissi deadheads  (Allan’s photo)


sword fern unfurling (Allan’s photo)


so much scilla in the center courtyard (was there when we first started this job years ago)


center courtyard


species tulips

Some of the larger tulips in the office courtyard had just gone all moldy from rain, leaving some pots empty till annuals planting time…which is fortunately coming up soon.


just sad

I was going to put the little pot into the big pot, above, for some interest, but the sides of the little pot were also sadly moldy.  (Manager Beth said she will clean it and do the tiered pot arrangement.)


My favourite Tulip ‘Green Wave’ still looked good.


Spring bulb window boxes will be switched out for summer ones soon.

The Planter Box

We made a brief stop to buy some fertilizer and check on our cosmos seedlings.  I did not actually walk back to look at them, just got a good report from Teresa.


potted narcissi for sale


Soon we will be shopping in the big greenhouse.  Mother’s Day is my target date to start planting annuals.


Allan’s photo

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Even though the rain and wind were increasing, we knew KBC would be more sheltered from wind and figured we could stand an hour of weeding and deadheading, and we did.


Clematis in bloom


clematis and evergreen huckleberry (Allan’s photo)


ajuga at its best (Allan’s photo)




Euphorbia characias wulfenii (deer proof, outside the fence


driveway garden


in the fenced garden


fringed tulips (Allan’s photo)






lilies and Thalictrum ‘Elin’


Tulip ‘Green Star’



Tulips ‘Green Wave’ and ‘Flaming Spring Green’


tree peony buds


more tulips

Mary had placed out some new dianthus to plant.  Allan planted them.



Now we have more chives to plant in the port gardens!


Mary and me

We visited the rain drenched garden in Oysterville (next post) and checked on the way home if some interesting new shrubs had arrived at

The Basket Case….

where we learned that said shrubs were being fetched today.


at The Basket Case


tomato in a bag


Basket Case doggie

We were cold and wet and yet very pleased to have the Anchorage and KBC done for this week.  Now we can focus completely on parade garden prep during the next three days that are supposed to deliver nicer weather.

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

After a gloriously satisfying garden tour day, we spent a couple of hours in Aberdeen before the hour and a half drive home.  We parked at this intersection to go to our first destination.

downtown Aberdeen

downtown Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Days were in session, with a grunge band playing in a lot next to this building and lots of folks in attendance.

Kurt Cobain Days were in session, with a grunge band playing in a lot next to this building and lots of folks in attendance.  Kudos to whoever cares for the hanging baskets.

Nirvana t shirts (Allan's photo)

Nirvana t shirts (Allan’s photo)

We visited the garden store which had been one of the ticket sellers for the tour.

Marshall's Garden and Pets

Marshall’s Garden and Pet

I was smitten with the Dramm sprinklers.  The clerk told us how the works are different from other sprinklers and make them last indefinitely instead of the usual breaking down after a year.  (Allan remembers exactly what was said and may fill in here.)  I imagined how much better these colourful sprinklers would look on our sprinkler posts, but even on sale they were about $30 each and I felt I could only afford one.  Can you guess which colour I picked?

This trio of colours matches our house.

This trio of colours matches our house.

The shop carried ho-mis, our favourite hand tool.

The shop carried ho-mis, our favourite hand tool.

the plant area (Allan's photo)

the plant area (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Here is Mahonia 'Soft Touch', which I had recently acquired at the collectors' plant sale at the Hardy Plant weekend.

Here is Mahonia ‘Soft Touch’, which I had recently acquired at the collectors’ plant sale at the Hardy Plant weekend.

a nice selection of heucheras

a nice selection of heucheras

and hens and chicks

and hens and chicks

I wish I had bought that Fatsia hedera. I deluded myself into thinking I already had it...but that was at my former garden!

I wish I had bought that Fatshedera. I deluded myself into thinking I already had it…but that was at my former garden!

I did get myself another Rudbeckia. Not this one, 'Little Goldstar' instead. And an interesting climber, Hydrangea integrifolia.

I did get myself another Rudbeckia. Not this one, ‘Little Goldstar’ instead. And an interesting climber, Hydrangea integrifolia.

Marshall’s would be a worthwhile detour if we still went to Seattle sometimes.

an interesting mural downtown

I wish my photo of this interesting historic postcard mural downtown had turned out better.  We were at a stoplight at the time.

Next, we explored Sucher and Sons Star Wars Shop.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo



A full sized speeder bike would be an awesome ornament for our bogsy wood.

A full sized speeder bike (Return of the Jedi) would be an awesome ornament for our bogsy wood.

This smaller model was still out of my price range.

This smaller model was still out of my price range.

Perhaps a Millenium Falcon? I used to have one, not quite this big, that fell by the wayside somehow during our move to the beach.

Perhaps a Millenium Falcon? I used to have one, not quite this big, that fell by the wayside somehow during our move to the beach.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The store was packed with shoppers. (Allan's photo)

The store was packed with shoppers. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Outdoors again, I admired the handsome tree grate.

Outdoors again, I admired the handsome tree grate.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

...and realized this must be the shop owner's vehicle.

…and realized this must be the shop owner’s vehicle.

The mural on the side of the building is what had brought our attention to the shop when we had visited Aberdeen in March for a medical appointment.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I searched Trip Advisor for a place to eat and found a well-reviewed Salvadoran restaurant.  (A lunch spot in Cosmopolis, called Luna Rana, had been recommended to us by one of the Master Gardeners: “Best potato salad at any restaurant, and the sandwiches are terrific.” It closed at four so we missed out on the tater salad.)

Allan's photo

La Salvadorena, Allan’s photo

I would eat here frequently if I lived in Aberdeen.

I would eat here frequently if I lived in Aberdeen.

We tried four different flavours of pupusa, which I have never had before and now want to eat daily.

We tried four different flavours of pupusa, which I have never had before and now want to eat daily.

My mouth waters remembering this tastiness. (Allan's photo)

My mouth waters remembering this tastiness. (Allan’s photo)

an excellent carne asada dinner

an excellent carne asada dinner

on the road again: a farm stand I might frequent if I lived here

on the road again: a downtown Aberdeen farm stand I might frequent if I lived here

leaving Aberdeen

leaving Aberdeen

and…home again to pick up our mail at our little post office.


I’m left with many thoughts about why Aberdeen appeals to me so much.  It feels like a working class area without as much of a class divide as exists here at the beach. I’d like to live in a place that had so many avid gardeners but is still not a big city.

The unpretentious nature of the Aberdeen garden tour, the consistently excellent gardens, the perfect garden grooming and plant diversity, and the welcoming host of knowledgeable volunteers at each garden had given us such a good day.   I look forward to next year’s tour and hope that I can encourage more gardening friends to make the drive to attend, whether it is in Aberdeen or one of its neighbouring towns.

Buried here at the bottom of this extra post,  is this news:  I recently removed myself as administrator of  the Facebook page for the local Long Beach Peninsula garden tour because of creative differences.  That is a big change in my life, at least from April through July of each year.  Because creating a beautiful page had been so important to me for the past four or five years, I found an able person to pass the page on to so that I felt comfortable with the decision (rather than just abandoning it to an uncertain fate).  I wish them good gardens and continued success and we will buy tickets to attend their tour on any year that it does not conflict with the Aberdeen area tour.  

Never having been a believer in the “when one door closes, another always opens” theory, I was pleased that in this case it all worked out for the best with our discovery of the Aberdeen Master Gardener tour.  I can honestly say that even on tours in Seattle and Portland, it is rare to experience a tour where every garden is one that I find inspirational, beautiful, and satisfying.  So from a disheartening situation, a new door did open and I was glad to share in the previous seven posts the hidden gardens “behind the garden gate” that we otherwise would have missed.

Next: back to the workaday world as I long for time in my own garden (and Allan longs for time to go boating).






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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend in Salem, Oregon

garden 18: Schreiner’s Iris Gardens


the enormous iris display garden, past iris bloom season

the enormous iris display garden, past iris bloom season

allium balls floating above the iris beds

allium balls floating above the iris beds

I will confess I was so hot that I did not take a walk down the tempting grass paths.

I will confess I was so hot that I did not take a walk down the tempting grass paths. Now I do wish I had done so.

It turned out that THIS was the shuttle to the personal garden of the owner.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Fortunately, when the driver saw me hobbling with my cane, he gave us directions for how to drive our van over and park near the private garden.



a green oasis set among brown fields

the access road to the garden

the access road to the garden

satellite view of the wonderland we are about to explore

satellite views of the wonderland we are about to explore


I fear now that I might have missed the path on the left edge of the garden.




Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Because it was 85 degrees, I was so happy to take a path into the shade.


Ray himself presided over the garden entrance and some cookies and ice water.

Ray himself presided over the garden entrance and some cookies and ice water.

and a little dog too (Allan's photo; I think the dog was a guest)

and a little dog too (Allan’s photo; I think the dog was a guest)

entrance to the garden around the house

entrance to the garden around the house


I felt privileged to enter this space.

I felt privileged to enter this space.

This garden was my favourite today (closely followed by the last garden of the day).  Walk with me while we try to look at every aspect of it.



a rain chain waterfall

a rain chain waterfall


garden greeter

garden greeter


love the multi colored house

love the multi colored house










lots more trees and shrubs in pots in the gardens around the house...making me want big pots at home.

lots more trees and shrubs in pots in the gardens around the house…making me want big pots at home.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo



The steps to the deck were railingless. I asked Allan to go up there take photos of everything.

The steps to the deck were railingless. When I found Allan again, I asked him to go up there take photos of everything.  I wish I had tried harder.  Getting up is not the problem; getting down without a railing is.  I had overheard a tourgoer say “That’s where all the special treasures are”.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: I wonder if this is Acer 'Carnival' like the one I bought at Dancing Oaks.

Allan’s photo: I wonder if this is Acer ‘Carnival’ like the one I bought at Dancing Oaks.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo. As you can see, it turned out to be a raised patio rather than a wooden deck.

Allan’s photo. As you can see, it turned out to be a raised patio rather than a wooden deck.

abutilon (Allan's photo)

abutilon (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo




Taking grassy paths away from the tightly planted house garden, we found wide paths among large mixed borders.





A greenhouse from which almost everything had been planted. Very few ladies in waiting here.

A greenhouse from which almost everything had been planted. Very few ladies in waiting here.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo






Allan's photo

Allan’s photo






Allan's photo

Allan’s photo



Allan's photo...at one of the edges of the garden

Allan’s photo…at one of the edges of the garden




I wonder if the hoses meant that he does a lot of hand watering.

I wonder if the hoses meant that he does some hand watering.






over a stream, a bridge with benches

over a stream, a bridge with benches


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


astrantia, one of Mr. Tootlepedal's favourite flowers.

astrantia, one of Mr. Tootlepedal’s favourite flowers.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


I had wandered back to the house again.

I had wandered back to the house again.

I went round this garden twice and I wish I was still there.

looking back: I want to be there now.

I am sure I missed something, or many things, and have been ejected from paradise.

Next: three small gardens


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