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Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We had run into Steve and John at the 6×6 art auction three days before and were invited to tour their latest garden expansion.  On this cold and windy late afternoon, we bundled up and examined the entire garden…except for the beds on the east side, by the bay, from whence the wind came.  The tour was so interesting that we hardly commented on the cold.

Our tour started as we drove up to the house.

the driveway in

two beautiful piles of mulch that had just been delivered

young gingko by the irrigation pond

Met by Steve and John by the house, we began our walking tour.

This bed to the south east of the house was salal just a few days ago.  It is a hard task to get all the roots of that vigorously running native out of the ground, especially under a tree.

John picks a non variegated leaf off of a new variegated hydrangea.

The whole south side has been cleared of scrubby trees, including holly.

The tidal stream marking the edge of the property is now revealed.

Allan’s photo

I teased Steve and John that they would now be stretching a plank across the stream to lie on and trim the sword ferns on the other side.

I would have thought for sure the new shrub, below, in a new bed, was a rhododendron.  It is not.

Rhododendron ‘Pinky Purple People Eater’

Looking back on the new area. The tall old species rhododendrons to the left will enjoy the increased light.

Here is how it looked (not from exactly the same spot) earlier this year:

16 July 2017

We continued our walk to the west.

Foreground: Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Arbor Care from Astoria had done the expert clearing and had also limbed up the remaining trees. Steve and John said that when Arbor Care is done, you can’t even tell they were there (other than the results), because all the debris is chipped and cleaned up.

The photo below from January 1st demonstrates the difference in how the trees look now.

1 January 2017

We crossed the driveway, where the garden beds are also expanding.

a sinuous new bed

a fairly recent bed in the northwest lawn

Allan took notice of this tree, Athrotaxis cupressoides (Pencil Pine)

the very newest lawn bed of all

Each new plant gets some attention and admiration.

Quercus alnifolia (golden oak)

Quercus alnifolia (golden underside of leaves)

Allan noticed wire laid to discourage deer.

An independent minded dawn redwood which lost its leader and turned into a shrub.

The redwood on the other side of the driveway had behaved like a regular tree. This one…not. (Allan’s photo)

At least one big tree has been removed from this view, looking east over the pond.

Compare to May 2 of 2015.

May 2, 2015, on the Rhodie Tour

We walked back up the driveway, admiring the pushing back of scrubby salal and undergrowth on the south side, giving the garden greater depth..

Allan admired a fern.

the cryptomeria grove

Even though the photo below, from May 2, 2015, is from a little further to the east, it shows the difference that the clearing and limbing up has made.

May 2, 2015

center: Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

right: Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Hill’s Bright Red’

another new area

We admired more plants in the mature beds, planted in late spring 2009, to the northwest of the house.

Acer ‘Bijou’ in gold

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ blowing in the wind.

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ (Allan’s photo)

autumnal hosta

(background) Rhododendrons closing their leaves against the cold wind

Brrr. They will close their leaves even more against winter’s cold.

Allan’s photo

Rhododendron pachysanthum by the front door

in the courtyard, looking through the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

coral bark maples

the last of the dahlias and the green roofed pump house

falling leaves

a look to the west before retreating indoors

same view on July 16 ’17

From the kitchen, we looked across the lower level to the stormy bay.  At a high winter tide, the water will come up over the rough grass.

south east corner: The evergreen huckleberry glade and the outlet of the tidal stream

view to the north: To the rear is Sorbus ‘Pink Pagoda’

A friend had given John and Steve some quinces, from which John had made a special treat, Quince membrillo, served with Monchego cheese, a delicious cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep.  Served on crackers, it brought back memories of my grandmother’s quince jelly.

Quince membrillo

We admired a new piece of art that they had recently acquired from local woodcarver Jim Unwin.

by Jim Unwin

We visited till early evening, about gardening and politics, little knowing the glorious news of the blue wave of Democrat victories that awaited us in the evening news.

If you would like to virtually tour this garden in different seasons, here are some of our past posts about it:

26 September, 2013

21 April 2014

16 June 2014

19 July 2014 (garden tour)

2 September 2014

7 March 2015

2 May 2015 (Rhodie Tour)

23 June 2015

21 April 2016

24 July 2016

1 January 2017

11 May 2017

16 July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Long Beach

My brain was so bulbed out today that I took not a single photo, so all of them are by Allan.

We started planting up the planters, and some of the street tree pocket gardens, on Pacific Way in Long Beach, working south to north.  I did not expect to get all 36 planters and 18 trees done today.

In the middle of the first block, I decided the escallonia in one of the planters, formerly planted by a volunteer, had to be be chopped to the base for traffic sight lines.  It wants to be at least eight feet tall and wide, and is too firmly entrenched for us to dig it out without being afraid of hurting the plumbing and electrical works in the planter.  Later in the day, I saw Parks Manager Mike in town and asked him if the city crew could remove the four escallonias, in two planters, and he agreed; not sure when this will happen.

Meanwhile, we pruned these two, as we do about once a year.  What you see is one season’s growth, already pruned many times.

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I was a bit miserable for awhile because I’d dressed for autumnal weather with my warm pants, and it was like a summer day.

The other menace in the above planter is the vicious barberry ‘Rose Glow’ that the volunteer shoved in between lamp post and street.  It wants to be the size of a VW bug.  Allan cut it to the base, knowing it would soon come back.  When I noticed it was rocking slightly, I asked him to dig out the whole thing, and it popped out pretty easily.

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barberry and escallonia chopped


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barberry out

I’m sure someone would have liked to adopt the barberry.  I did not have the mental energy to find it a new home.

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escallonia planter after

While planting bulbs, we sheared back some of the wind battered perennials and pulled almost all of the Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and painted sage.

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Geranium ‘Rozanne’ before a haircut


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and after

I appreciated the sight of Zauschneria californica and wished that it did not take so long to bloom; it would like more heat than our weather offers.

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Zauschneria californica


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Zauschneria californica

We digressed from planters at the end of the second block to plant some bulbs on the west and east sides of Fifth Street park.

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east side, before


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tulip bulbs and bulb food


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after


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tulip bulbs set up on a planter bench

I walked to all four planters on this intersection, placing two sets of yellow tulips (‘Strong Gold’) on the planter benches, while some park bench sitters idly watched.  Then I looked at the restroom building’s blue green trim and took the yellow tulip bag back around, bagged them up, and did the whole routine again with Tulip ‘Palestrina’.  I’m glad I had that thought before planting.

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Tulip Palestrina from Van Engelen bulbs

Most of the planters get 10-12 tulips bulbs.  Some that are thickly planted with shrubs, from volunteer days, don’t have soil room to jam more than 3 tulips in.

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Allan found a rock.

Fifth Street west side got some camassia and some narcissus.  Tulips do not do well in the ground there, possibly because it is too wet and heavy.

In the fourth block, I sicced Allan on the wire plant in the planter by Stormin’ Norman’s.  Last year, we dug out the two original plants that had taken over the whole planter.  I had a feeling then that we should dig out every bit of soil, which goes halfway down into the planter before meeting landscape fabric and rocks.  We did not, hoping instead that we could pull every scrap that came back.  (The roots had even gone under the fabric.

That did not work!

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little scrim of wire plant all through the planter

Before we dug it out, the wire plant (which I had foolishly thought was a tender houseplant) had made huge mounds on either side, enveloping two big lavenders.

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It’s a pernicious little thing.

He dug and pulled and got most of it, and did not take an “after”.  We worked until almost dark.  There is still a section of the wire plant to pull, and I am sure it will come back.

We still had two blocks of trees and planters left to do.

I tried something new this year which I now fear will not make for as exciting a tulip display.  I decided to use, in the first and third blocks, a continuing theme of a 100 of a varied tulip bulb, just because i would like to see all the variations it has.  Now I think it won’t be as interesting to people as a lot of different kinds of tulips.  (On alternating blocks, I used assorted colours.)  I also love this tulip’s name, Silverstream.

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Tulip ‘Silverstream’ from Van Engelen

“A magical sport of Jewel of Spring, fragrant Silverstream ranges from creamy-yellow to deep yellow with red feathering, to red with every combination in between. But the surprise garden party doesn’t stop there: it has showy, attractive foliage with silver-white margins. (Did you know that the phenomena of marginated foliage occurs due to a lack of or insufficient pigmentation and chlorophyll in the plant cells on the outer petal edges?) Tulip Class: Giant Darwin Hybrid”

On the other hand, for people driving through, it might make a beautiful impact.  I did the same on the fourth block with a tulip called ‘Rhapsody of Smiles’.

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Tulip ‘Rhapsody of Smiles’ from Van Engelen

“New! Registered by W. van Lierop & Zonen in 2011, this shapely Big Smile sport is a luscious blend of yellows and reds with variable flames, flushes and stripes. Tulip Class: Single Late.”

I have always found Big Smile to be a very strong yellow tulip.  After years of preferring pink and purple tulips (Angelique was a big favourite of mine), I now prefer yellows and oranges…except for the viridiflora (green) tulips, which are still my favourites.  It is a real shocker that I did not add my favourite, Green Wave, this year.

15 May, Tulip 'Green Wave'

weird and wonderful Tulip ‘Green Wave’

In planters on alternate blocks, I have some of my usual favourites: Only three green tulips this year instead of a dozen (China Town, Palestrina, Night Rider), and also Black Hero, Cool Crystal, Sensual Touch, Strong Gold, Akebono, Madonna, Rococo, Texas Gold, Formosa, Cummins.  If springtime has heavy rain, I’ll regret planting the fancy fringed and double tulips. 

I use a lot of late blooming ones in hope that they will be in bloom for the early May parade.   I use many and many of the late blooming Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ for the same reason. Last year, a warm early spring had them all bloomed out by parade day (first weekend in May).    One of these years, if the warm weather trend continues as it has for the past two springs, I might just use all tulips that are shorter and supposed to bloom in April rather than May.  Being cheered by tulips earlier would not be a bad thing, and the parade can stand on its own without tuliperous enhancement. 

This year, I am adding more species tulips to each planter, as well, for (mostly) earlier bloom. The species tulips will often multiply and reliably return.  The big tulips dwindle after the first year, which is why we replant them annually.

Tomorrow: onward with the Long Beach planters and more bulbing beyond that.

 

 

 

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Before work, Jenna (Queen LaDeDa) came over to find out what plant cuttings she could have for a Jake the Alligator Man event costume: a “wild woman”.  While I did not have anything to make a mossy head dress with, we found all sorts of ideas while walking through the garden.  She will come tomorrow morning, probably before we wake, to acquire the materials, because it is too early to cut them now.

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Jenna and I on the hunt for plant costume ideas.

After she departed, I started to pick four bouquets for my favourite Art Night participants.  I ran out of steam after two bouquets.

Port of Ilwaco

I delivered a bouquet to Don Nisbett’s Art Gallery.  (He is Jenna’s spouse.)

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And to Salt Hotel.

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Allan watered the Time Enough Books curbside garden and did some other garden tidying in the area.

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We finished weeding the south end of the boatyard garden.

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battling the scrimmy little horsetail

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I pictured lots of people parading along here between a downtown gallery and the port this evening.

From a distance, Allan thought the name of this incoming boat was “Sleepwear”.

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Allan’s photo

Allan liked the idea shown below, of a rope tied to the hose on the boatyard faucet that people use to power wash their boats.  It keeps the faucet from being yanked by the hose, he says.

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While we had been near Time Enough Books, I’d seen shop owner Karla.   She said she would be at the museum this evening for their exhibit opening and so I thought I might just give a third bouquet to the museum.  We took a break to go home and make one more bouquet.

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Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

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Seaview

On the way to Long Beach, we stopped by the cannabis emporium to get me a product that the Freedom Market does not have in stock.

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Mr Doobie’s in Seaview

I’ve been taking a tincture called Ethos 2:1, mostly CBD, on the recommendation of a friend.  As promised, it does not get me high but what I think it has done is almost eliminate my back spasms.  I doubt it’s a placebo effect because I combine all new medications with a big dose of skepticism.

We acquired these photos, two blocks from the pot shop, of a garden I enjoy in passing.

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peeking over the fence

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Across the street from that garden, I asked Allan to photograph the deck railing that I quite like.  The garden is good, too.  We had a communication breakdown over getting a photo that included the garden on the corner of the property.  Maybe next week.

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Long Beach

Allan thought a drive-through coffee would be helpful for the day.

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Horses had been through the drive through before us!

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at the drive through window

I thought all we had to do in Long Beach was to give the planter at the end of Sid Snyder Drive some water (done!) and then dump yesterday’s debris.  On the way to city works, we found one more thing to do.

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Minnie Culbertson Park, before

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after

I had seen an ad in the local paper about a wee dahlia “farm” in the town. (I left off the line with the phone number:)

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Of course, we had to have a look.

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gardener Dale picking a bouquet for a visitor

He said there will be lots more dahlias starting next week.  He was also offering lots of little plants for sale in cute little containers:

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My grandma would have loved the wooden shoe.

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Allan’s photo

Dale’s pond had sprung a leak.  You can see it will be good-looking when re-filled.

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Basket Case Greenhouse

We needed soil and plants for an Ilwaco planter.

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new shade cloth entryway

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Allan’s photo

Buddy wanted to get in our van and Allan handed him to me.

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Roxanne and I joked that I was taking him home.

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I gave this little darling back most reluctantly.

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Klipsan Beach Cottages

We’d postponed our weekly cleanup of KBC because of Wednesday’s heat.  I clipped a whole lot of brown lady’s mantle out of the driveway garden and have no photos to show for that.  After working, we took photos for the KBC Facebook page (which I administrate).

The sky was still grey with a smoke haze from the fires in Canada.

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lawn border

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in the fenced garden

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I cannot ID this special plant, a gift from Mary’s plantsman brother, with golden yew.

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Veronicastrum and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (kind of a fail photographing white, as usual)

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Dierama (Angel’s Fishing Rod)

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birdbath view

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Allan’s photo

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the pond island

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I see they bought those string lights that were “shiny objects” to me last time we went to Costco.  If I see them for sale again, I will not resist. Or maybe I will resist because we don’t have effective outdoor outlets.  Oh well!

The Anchorage Cottages

On the way south, we made the briefest stop at the Anchorage.  Since we had been there Monday this week, I felt we should do a second quick deadheading.

I am quite worked up about how this dierema is darker than any of my others.

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This thrills me.  I wonder if it would come true from seeds.

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in the office courtyard (Allan’s photo)

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When it was built, partly by moving WWII cottages from Cape Disappointment, the Anchorage was Ocean Front. Now, because of beach accretion, it is about a half mile from the beach.  A path leads through piney woods to the shore.

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Astilbe and Fuchsia ‘Pat’s Dream’

As I had begun to deadhead, I’d asked Allan to photograph an adorable caravan in the car lot at the corner.

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such a cute face

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I smile in response.

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Would make a great guest house.

Ilwaco

We drove past the boatyard garden to see the crowds of strolling art walk patrons that I had imagined…and saw no one at all till we drove past the galleries along the port.

We had every intention of immediately finishing the day by planting up the Ilwaco planter that got dug out, due to poor drainage, last weekend.  That is, until I looked at my Ilwaco Facebook feed on my phone to see if there were some last minute Art Walk posts that I could share to Discover Ilwaco.

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I saw this photo from the museum!

The exhibit opening was on a topic that interests us.  We had planned to see it later in the month because of a reluctance for peopling (me) and simply wanting to get the work day done.  But the snacks called to us and soon we were there.

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Join the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum as we explore the history of “Derbyville” and the early years of salmon derbies, recreational fishing, and the emergence of the charter-boat fishing industry on the Long Beach Peninsula. This exhibit will be on view August 4 – October 7, 2017.

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the big room (The plates were about to get replenished)

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Allan’s photo.  Someone at the museum said “No one’s ever brought us flowers before.”  That gives me a new bouquet target.

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center: Dan and his wife had just toured our garden today (by invitation).  (Allan’s photo)

We did not have time to thoroughly peruse the exhibit.  I can see it is one that I will very much enjoy.

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I like this sort of display.

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This history goes back to when our garden was riverfront property, before the port was built out on fill.

Information about the mayor, for whom our street of curbside gardens at the Port if named:

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We had to get back to work and plant the planter by the fire station.

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Allan made the small hole, added this week by the city crew, bigger.

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new plants getting firmed up

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red for the fire station, including Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

At home, our neighbor Mary from two doors down brought us some freshly caught salmon and, of course, I dragged her back to see the towering, fragrant lilies.

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Skooter indicated that he would like to have a campfire some evening soon.

Now for two days off, with some more lily guests invited.

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First, an exciting announcement. The Astoria garden tour is back!  Read more about it here.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

We continued our peninsula garden tour day, with Ann and Evan, at Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Garden on the outskirts of Oysterville.  On several acres, much of which is ungardenable wetland, our friends have spent the past two years using their rare days off from their gardening business to create their own paradise. Because they used to own a nursery called Glauca Moon, they arrived here with a large palette of plants in pots.

Dave and Mel’s past life

Sea Star Garden

On the left as you enter the driveway is a large raised garden where once a decrepit old house stood (a house that was unsafe to even enter).  This garden came about when a new septic system had to be installed last year.

Melissa and Evan

On top, a carpet of sedums will solve the problem of not being able to plant anything deep rooted on the septic system.

Allan’s photo

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Dave, me, Melissa, Ann, Sean (Allan thinks this looks like a landing party from Star Trek.)

By the back deck of the house is a water feature with waterfall, made by a friend of the previous owner.

Evan and Ann looking at the pond.

the deck pond

in the water (Allan’s photo)

water lilies (Allan’s photo)

pond frog (Allan’s photo)

north of the house

north of the house

The property had been owned by a gardener before and abounds in interesting trees and shrubs.

The Eucalyptus that Melissa named Elvis.

Ann and one of at least two Acer griseum (paperbark maple)

Acer griseum (Allan’s photo)

one of the maples that Dave and Mel brought with them

Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Eskimo Sunset’; This tree had a surprise.

bird nest (Allan’s photo)

old bridge on the north side (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, Melissa in the woods to the north of the house (Allan’s photo)

As Dave and Mel clear the underbrush, they are finding all sorts of hardscapes like two small ponds and a big stone circle with a stone bench.

Evan and the mysterious stone circle (Allan’s photo)

Hostas are one of their favourites in the shade garden.

on the deck (You can find sand dollars on the north end of the beach here.)

Next, we went to the garden of a North Beach Garden Gang friend, just south of Oysterville.

Todd’s Family Garden

As we drove up, Todd was weeding.

Allan’s photo

The house reminded us all of a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.

Around the family home, Todd has planted his collection from his years as the display garden curator at Plant Delights nursery in North Carolina.

in the sunshine

Morina longifolia

Ann and Evan examining and inspecting (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Ann and Evan admire the view of Willapa Bay.

Todd surveys an area full of potential.

You can see Allan taking this photo of the shade garden.

Todd’s shade garden (Allan’s photo)

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Spigelia marilandica ‘Little Redhead’

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The kitchen garden, which one of Todd’s family describes as “a real garden, none of this foo foo stuff” lay far below.  Because my heel was hurting, I sat this part of the trip out. (Todd kindly offered to go get a truck but I did not want everyone to have to wait.) Allan’s photos of that part of the excursion:

descending on a woodland path

the kitchen and flower cutting garden

Evan in the berry patch

kitchen garden

Ann harvesting carrots

sweet peas

fenced garden

walking to the bay

Todd has a handful of lettuce and carrots that became our salad for the next two nights.

Ann in her element

back up the road (the woods path down was a shortcut)

Meanwhile….

While I waited up top, I looked at my present from Lorna.  She had given me a book as we parted ways at The Oysterville Garden.

Thank you, Lorna!

a dedication that speaks to my heart

I also pondered curmudgeonly thoughts about garden tour programs that I feel compelled to share.  If curmudgeonliness annoys rather than amuses you, please avoid.

One of the gardens on today’s informal tour, Martie and Steve’s, had been on the local tour the day before. The tour program suggested its symmetry was “reminiscent of centuries old British estates” and “will put you in mind of Downton Abbey”.  Perhaps because it had a cricket lawn? Perhaps because of the green lawns in general?  It reminded me of my thoughts about garden tour descriptions, something that is always on my mind during garden tour season.

The Captain Stream House

Martie and Steve’s garden completely stood on its own and did not need to be compared to any other place.  The garden’s lines seemed clean and modern to me and certainly did not remind me of Downton Abbey.  Other than my usual desire to be in the UK, I would rather visit their garden than the site of Downton Abbey, anyway.

 I was reminded of the previous year’s comparison of a small garden to an Italian courtyard, leading to confusion on the part of tour guests (much of which I heard about later…even unto it being mentioned this year, and at the time, a friend texted me from that garden asking for enlightenment about the description).  I think that serious garden tour guests take every word of a description into consideration.  Raising expectations is not wise.  That particular garden (the non-Italian-courtyard) also stood well on its own because its big pots and hand made pavers were all portable; I would have described it as being a small garden that showed perfect solutions for folks who are renters rather than property owners.  There’s no need to get fanciful and make tour guests expect something grander than what is there.  Instead of describing a garden as “extensive” when it isn’t, describe it honestly as small but plant-i-ful. (To be fair, this year the word “extensive” was used to describe a tiny local garden in a newspaper article, not in the program itself.)  I think it is especially important not to aggrandize a garden.

The Master Gardeners’ north county tour, which I have now attended for two years, is good at avoiding hyperbole (with only one exception out of 12 garden descriptions in two years…a solid record of accurate descriptions).

The Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend programs tend to be accurate and non-aggrandizing (although I do remember, just once, looking for a cactus garden that turned out to be a couple of specimens in a pot).

I also do not like being told to walk here, stroll there, sit there, admire this, ask the gardener that.  Just describe the garden in a factual sense.  Here is an imaginary example: If I am told that “a salvaged window defines the edge of the garden by the river”, I will find it and admire it on my own without being told “Be sure to admire the salvaged window,” or “Ask the gardener where she got that window.”  (Clearly, I do have issues with being told what to do—thus 41 years of self employment.)

I don’t expect all readers to agree.  Now, let’s go on to one of my favourite peninsula gardens, the bayside garden of Steve and John.

 

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Tuesday, 31 May 2017

The workday began late because when I was walking peacefully with a mere 1/3 watering can to the greenhouse to water my tomatoes, my back went into a spasm.  I hobbled in (after watering the tomatoes!) and stood against a door for awhile to straighten up and slathered on some Traumica, the miracle cure that Jenna gave me a sample of awhile back.  I am a skeptic about natural cures so it’s not a placebo effect when I say this stuff is amazing.

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I was still somewhat disabled as we took off for work, and I felt anxious about the day.

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Looked at my post office garden from my passenger seat instead of getting out to pull a weed.

Because of the late start, I decided to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow and slingshot around the sun by not doing Diane’s garden first, as originally planned.  The task awaiting there was to move about a half yard of river rocks. They had been used to edge the roadside garden.  We had stacked them against the house when we dismantled that garden for the septic installation project.  That had seemed like an ideal place until we recommended the brilliant Steve Clarke to install her new lawn.  He was going to wrap it around the side of the house, so now the rocks had to go to a new storage spot.  Maybe by end of day I’d be able to bend over to bucket up the rocks.

The Depot Restaurant

I watered; Allan ran the string trimmer by the parking area.

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Depot garden today

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We lowered the escallonia to make the sign show. (Allan’s photo)

The Anchorage Cottages

I filled in the planters with some painted sage while Allan did some weeding.  I put off till next week the pruning of the center courtyard virburnum, which is sneaking forward into the perennials border.  My back was feeling considerably better by now although I still moved cautiously.

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our good friend Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

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Anchorage center courtyard

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The Planter Box

I had used up all my painted sage so needed some for Diane’s garden.

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white dahlia at the Planter Box

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a bit more painted sage and some fish fertilizer

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some chicks (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

As we parked behind the fenced garden, we heard a great screaming ruckus up in the trees.  “It’s a bald eagle,” said Allan.  In a rather horrible way, the eagle appeared to be eating out of a stellar jay bird nest.  The jays were off to the side screaming and shrieking.  (Allan later pointed out that the jays are also known to raid other birds’ nests.)

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looking up

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Not a nice bird at all. (Allan’s photo)

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talking back to the angry jays (Allan’s photo)

In the garden, Allan’s project was to prune the honeysuckle over an entry gate.

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before

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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view from on high (Allan’s photo)

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after, no longer raggedy with uppies

After weeding and grooming the garden, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.

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driveway garden with purple and pink Geranium sanguineum

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pink Geranium sanguineum

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with chartreuse Lady’s Mantle

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a crevice garden!

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dianthus

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Allium schubertii getting starrier.

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Allium albopilosum just getting started

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Allium bulgaricum

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Thalictrum ‘Elin’ getting taller (in front of the dark pink rugosa rose)

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Another angle: The thalictrum has the blue-grey foliage.

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birdbath view

I asked Allan to take some photos of the big rhododendron by where we park.

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The Basket Case Greenhouse

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Allan’s photo

I needed to pick up some plants for one beach approach planter in Long Beach.

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a hen visiting from the house next door (Allan’s photo)

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another bird

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hens n chicks

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afternoon snack

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Allan’s photo

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got two of these gorgeous diascia for me

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Gazania ‘Sunshine’

I also had the pleasure of picking out two baskets for our house.  (I’ll have to get photos of them later at home.)

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Allan’s photo: The center basket with pink and yellow was one that I picked.

Diane’s garden

We got to Diane’s at five, prepared to move a pile of river rock.  As we entered the garden, I saw the most joyous sight:

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Steve had already moved it with a back hoe!

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yard looks leveled in preparation for lawn installation

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Allium (Allan’s photo)

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Allium albopilosum (Allan’s photo)

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some of the back garden pots

I squeezed Diane’s painted sage into a couple of the pots rather than out in the garden bed by the road; that bed seems dusty now with everything that is going on.

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my good friend Misty

I also got to see the new puppy, Holly, twice!  Once here, and once at our last job of the day…

The Red Barn

Diane brought Holly over while checking on Diane’s horse.

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I was snubbed by a whippet again!

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He breezed right by me.

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Our little Red Barn garden

At home, I was able to erase more from the planting list.

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Allan prepped for our first job tomorrow by hauling soil amendments two doors down.

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Guest photo:  Steve and John saw an Allium bulgaricum in Astoria and sent me this photo from a small garden on Exchange, just above the Fort George Brewery:

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Steve’s photo

And Melissa sent me this from THE Oysterville garden:

Melissa’s photo

 

 

 

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

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Captain of the good ship Ann Lovejoy

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our post office garden (Allan’s photo)

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creamy California poppies (Allan’s photo)

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picking a peck of snails

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They went into the garbage with some weeds to snack on. (Allan’s photo)

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added some of my perennial begonias to the planter at Round 2 in Ilwaco

We planted up one flat of red trailies in two planters by the Cottage Bakery in Long Beach, and some blue trailies in the police station planter, and then went to…

Diane’s garden

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I miss my long streetside garden! It will return eventually.

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lots of pots to fill

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Allan’s photo

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It’s quite a production to plant many small containers.

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Diane’s azalea (Allan’s photo)

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Misty and Diane

Basket Case Greenhouse

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at the Basket Case (Allan’s photo)

I quested for more plants to complete the Ilwaco planters.

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small Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ are my favourite size to plant; making sure the base is well foliated.

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Ooooh, for me, I found some old fashioned cup and saucer campanulas.

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The ever patient proprietor, Darrell, listens to my plant thoughts.

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Red Barn Arena

We added some gazanias to the barrels.

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Allan had an audience.

Long Beach

The two planters by the Cottage Bakery had looked empty.  I don’t have my main agastaches for center plants yet, so we added some Cosmos ‘Sonata’ to just four planters (which was all the cosmos we had till next week).

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Tulip ‘Formosa’ still blooming

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Ooops, a car had driven into a garden, and left part of its mirror casing, too.

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Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ still blooming.  Bulb foliage mess makes it hard to have these planters look good right now.  I try to plant narcissi with more delicate foliage; some big strappy ones are left over from volunteer days.

After planting (Allan) and checking on a block and a half of planters (me), we weeded Veterans Field, and I remembered that a special Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ was getting swamped by monarda.  Allan fixed that:

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before

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after

Ilwaco

Although I was mighty tired, we needed to do two little jobs when we returned to our street.

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mowing the back (wet) lawn two doors down

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took two passes by Allan

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rhododendron behind the house to the west (used to be Nora’s parents’ house)

I weeded in the front garden of the J’s until I could weed no more; I had to give it up to finish tomorrow morning.  Seems it is pretty impossible for me to go for a nine hour work day now.  Eight is the limit.

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Before, a gazillion little dwarf fireweeds. Too tired to take an after.

Allan mowed the pocket lawn in the back, and we both admired the roses.

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Allan’s photos

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At home, I reorganized the work board, and I cheated by erasing Ilwaco planters even though we have four more plants to put in tomorrow morning.

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planting round 2, cosmos, coming up

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

As one storm passed over and another was due, with far worse weather predicted for tomorrow, we arranged to visit one of our favourite gardens a day earlier than planned.

While this Willapa Bay garden merits a visit at any season, rhododendron time is its peak.  Some of the rhodos had already bloomed, starting in February. (As I was looking something up for this post, I ran across this article that I think will please rhododendron fans.)

Join us as we walk with Steve and John from the house, down through the gardens and back.   In the photo captions, which we hope are correct, R. of course means Rhododendron.  All mistakes in identification are completely mine and will soon be corrected, because Steve and John will catch them.  I have virtually no expertise in rhododendrons.  Until I began to visit this garden, I had no idea how wonderfully varied they are.

close admiration of the tomentosum (soft underside of foliage) on a trio of R. pachysanthum by the front door

One of a curve of five or six Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Vintage Gold’

John at the start of a new path laid by local landscaper Steve Clarke

A well-built Steve Clarke wall guides the path around to the pump house.

chives in the kitchen garden (Allan’s photo)

A soft and misty space between rain storms.

Allan’s photo

To our left, R. loderi ‘Venus’ carried its fragrant flowers almost out of reach this year. Underneath is the white R. ‘Olympic Lady’.

looking up into R. loderi ‘Venus’

R. loderi ‘Venus’

new foliage on an old pieris

golden Taxus (prostrate yew) embracing several plants, including R. ‘Ken Janeck’

Allan’s photo

We are looking at an Osmanthus burkwoodii that is just recovering from the winter and early spring winds…

Garden bed to the north of the driveway:

Corokia virgata ‘Sunsplash’, center

textures

Allan’s photo

shapes, including Pittosporum kohuhu (nicknamed golf ball pittosporum).  Note the twirly conifer to the lower left.  My notes just helpfully say “little twirly yellow guy.’

Steve IDs for me as Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Lutea’
(Nana Lutea Dwarf Hinoki Cypress)

Allan’s photo

Walking into the upper north gardens…

two toned pink R. ‘Perry Wiseman’ and, in the background, the white R. ‘Pohjola’s Daughter’

a wealth of pink tones on R. ‘Perry Wiseman’

Allan’s photo

a variegated wiegela, I think (Allan’s photo)

an impeccably perfect hosta

the brightness of new growth

Allan’s photo 😉

new growth on R. ‘Winsome’, a word that we agreed has fallen out of use.

This area around a tree had been the dreaded salal just two days ago, and now look:

sword ferns

Walking down toward the irrigation pond….

Tall R. ‘Beauty of Littleworth’ blooming above a pair of new rhodos

close up of the young pair, R ‘Scarlet Wonder’, in the above photo, one blooming and one not.

twins with different personalities

R. ‘Butterfly’

Allan’s photo

looking back at the de-salaled tree

R. ‘Milky Way’ with flowers like powder puffs

R. ‘Milky Way’ (Allan’s photo)

R. sinofalconeri (species) with fuzzy new leaves

R. stenopetalum

Thujopsus dolobrata

Allan’s photo

Looking south across the driveway, you can see the same full grown thujopsis that the driveway was made to curve around.

more bright new calyxes

R. ‘Susan’

R. ‘Susan’

Crossing over to the south side of the driveway…

cinnamon fern

Allan’s photo

more fuzzy new growth on R. leucaspis (species)

Steve’s favourite, ‘Starbright Champagne’

Rhododendon ‘Starbright Champagne’ blooming a couple of years ago

Looking west, I gasped when I saw (below) a vasty new area that Steve and John had grubbed out of rough undergrowth:

I know this will soon be a display of wonderful new plants.

Below is a new area created last year:

looking east

The paths are delightfully soft and springy underfoot.

impeccably pruned sword ferns by the stream ditch that bordered the estate; you can see on the other side what they look like uncared for (just brown and tatty).

new area made last year

a handsome Disporum ‘Night Heron’

strongly textured R. erosum

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Allan’s photo.  The background of native meianthemum is not a favourite and will be controlled as time permits!

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ showing off

Allan’s photo

Athyrium ‘Goliath’, Japanese painted fern

a soft and kind Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, no prickles!

more of the new area

Kalmia latifolia 'Sarah'

Kalmia latifolia ‘Sarah’ (Allan’s photo)

perfectly trimmed deer ferns (Allan’s photo)

bluish new foliage on R. lepidostylum

R. ‘Little Carmen’

stunning new silver foliage. (The fuzz on the top of leaves is called tomentosum.) Steve says: R. sinofalconeri (like the other, smaller Vietnamese form we identified before, but this one goes 10-30′!))

(If you think I can read my notes on all these names, think again.  At least a third of these rhododendron identifications involved emails to Steve. Every time I visit this garden, I plan to spend the next winter making a proper database for my garden…and don’t.)

R. quinquefolium

R. quinquefolium , one of those you would not even guess was a rhodie!

Allan’s photo

looking back as we walk toward the house

a brief detour to look across the pond

drizzle begins (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

R. ‘Carmen’

R. ‘Medusa’

R. ‘Kodiak’

detail, R. ‘Kodiak’

Allan’s photo

mossy backdrop for R. ‘PJM Compacta’

looking back

Rain started as we approached the house…

However, despite rain, I had to see the ladies in waiting.

R. ‘Tall Timber’

Due to rain and over-excitement I only got a fuzzy photo of this amazing R. benhallii that looks like an enkianthus.

Steve told me that Professor Ben Hall at the University of Washington has finally had this rhododendron named after him.  You can read more about his research here.

a covetable euonymous

weird and wonderful R. spinuliferum

By now, the rain was quite serious.

from inside the house

the dell of evergreen huckleberries

from the north window: the succulent pump roof landscape had frozen out over the winter.

Steve showed us some photos of how the pump roof had looked in close up late last summer:

like a miniature forest, we all agreed

It was time to warm up with tea and a treat.

John’s coconut banana bread (Allan’s photo)

A torrential and noisy sheet of rain fell. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

As we finished our cake, tea, and plant talk, a beautiful light fell over the bay.

Allan’s photo

From the front door (telephoto), Steve pointed out the glow of the red maple in the far distance.

On the way down the drive, departing, we took a few more photos of the early evening light.

A silver shower of rain suddenly fell off this tree.

Allan’s photo 😉

north of upper driveway

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

a row of redtwig dogwood along the lower driveway (Allan’s photo)

by the entrance drive (Allan’s photo)

the entrance driveway (Allan’s photo)

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Steve’s photo

 

Allan cropped his photo because of raindrops on the lens.  I got the full view of the driveway, above, from Steve. I asked for the names, and here they are: “From the east, R. ‘Red gold’ — then two numbered (unnamed) crosses by Jim Elliott (from Knappa).  Next, four of R. ‘Gala’ — then two (low) R. ‘Naselle” — then R. ‘Lem’s cameo’  — then three R. ‘Nadine’ with  R. ‘Golden gala’ (not in bloom this year) on the very west end [closest to the highway].”

This rhododendron-lined driveway is shared with the home next door, which has just  been listed for sale.  It was once Clarke Nursery.  We all want to see gardeners buy it, and you’d have the best neighbors in Steve and John.  Here is the listing.  Here is the garden on the Rhododendron Tour.  And here it is on the July garden tour.  Just imagine yourself driving past that line of peachy rhododendrons to your own piece of bayside paradise.

We were glad to have found a time between storms to visit.  The next day began with a pea sized heavy hail storm that I imagine might have damaged some of the blossoms at the Bayside Garden, and rain and wind continued during the whole of Friday.

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Skooter enjoyed reading this blog post along with Allan.

 

 

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