Archive for the ‘private gardens’ Category

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

We were pleased to have time to visit the Oysterville garden, which has been on my mind.

looking in (Allan’s photo)

from the road

looking north inside the front border

below the terrace that always makes me misty eyed

chair pattern echoes the window

Allan’s photo

Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) was working there today.  I asked her what the soft white ball plant was and she said some kind of geranium!  I asked on “Plant idents” Facebook group and before I had added five more photos, I got the answer.

Geranium maderense ‘Guernsey white ‘

foliage of G. ‘Guernsey White’

Geranium maderense ‘Guernsey white ‘; Allan’s photo shows flower and foliage together

Melissa hard at work, applying liquid fish fertilizer (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking south from the terrace

Allan’s photo for scale

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the allée of Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’

the west end of the allée

the south-north path

Allan’s photo

tree fern unfurling


Allan’s photo


looking south

returning to the allée

looking west

looking back after emerging onto the lawn

clematis climbing a tree

the north bay of the lawn

inside the front border

along the front walkway


The lawn sprinkler turned me back along the way I came.

Melissa had kept fertilizing the pots (with fish fertilizer) the whole time we were there.  Allan had pitched in to help her.

the driveway from inside

Meanwhile, next door, a friend of the gardener has moved in and the garden is being expanded across the front of his house.

across the road, a meadow and Willapa Bay

Allan’s photo

looking across the front of the Oysterville garden before departing

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

We had an easy day planned, with a garden tour and a garden visit after work.

The Red Barn Arena

bees on California poppies (Allan’s photo)

I dug out some more wilted Helianthus, determined to grow only plants here that will look good without much watering.

This little patch of helianthus might get enough spill over water from the barrel, which gets watered more often than the garden does.

doesn’t make me happy to dig these out

in the barn (Allan’s photo)

horses going to pasture

Two coreopsis in a barrel also came out.  They have been wilted the last two times so they cannot live here anymore.

out they came

I need plants here that will thrive only on our once a week watering.  It is a windy area, which makes it even harder.

By the front gate, drought tolerance is even more necessary as water has to be schlepped out there.

Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ (not invasive here)

Diane’s garden

We weeded and did not need to water.

allium going to seed (Allan’s photo)

our good friend Misty (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s roadside garden

The Planter Box

I found a few succulents for the planter we had taken the coreopsis out of.

dazzling pelargoniums at the Planter Box (did not buy these for the barrel)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We weeded and tidied for an hour, and took photos for the KBC Facebook page.

a bud on Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’, an improvement on ‘Black and Blue’

This will be our last summer in this garden because managers/owners Denny and Mary are retiring.  It feels odd.  Can’t do planting for the future here.

Thalictrum ‘Elin’ and rugosa rose


fern by the clam shed (Allan’s photo)

the pond (Allan’s photo)


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

Now that KBC is the only job we have north of Long Beach, we try to sometimes add a fun north end garden tour or some such thing to make the round trip (about forty minutes driving) worthwhile.  (Next year, not having KBC will probably give us an extra day off on some of the summer weeks.) This time, we visited the Oysterville garden (which will be tomorrow’s post).

This was at the Oysterville Church afterward.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

behind the church

If you are ever taking a walking tour of Oysterville (a map is available inside the church), it is useful to know that there is a sani-can behind the church.

On the way back south, we stopped briefly in Ocean Park at

Mark and Brian’s garden.

You may remember our tour of their garden last summer.  Today, we were just picking up some Japanese anemone that they had potted up for us (to go in the bogsy wood).  Of course, we did have a good walk around the garden.

calendulas and marigolds

the front garden

The air immediately becomes cooler and fresher when one enters the back garden with its two waterfall pond.

Allan’s photo

a garden expansion in front of the pond

rock dragonfly

fancy pelargonium

succulent pot

hellebore foliage

Rhododendron ‘Pink Walloper’

Rhododendron ‘Pink Walloper’

Brian with maples from seedlings found in a parking lot planting

the deckside garden (The deck has an enviable view of the pond.)

a gift of Japanese anemones. I gave them a six pack of Cosmos ‘Cupcake’.

a bit more work

On the way home, we swung by the Red Barn again and bunged some succulents and gaillardia into the barrel.  I also put in a small, perhaps too small, sign that says “Water me!”  The poor erysimum got awfully dried up, but I left it in there for now because it is blooming so well.  The bulb foliage (in an awkward place) is tigridia.

Allan’s photos

After we got home, Allan watered at the J’s….

and the Norwoods….

The forecast still calls for rain on the weekend.  We hope so…as long as it does not fall on the Pride parade in Astoria.



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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

While Steve and John were away rhododendron touring overseas, we took a walk through their garden.  This will publish a couple of days after their return so that they can see some of the beauty that was happening at home during their absence.  Because we did not have their guidance, this entry is all about the beauty and not at all about education and plant names.

We walked down to the irrigation pond and back to the house again.

north driveway bed near the house

sword ferns (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

north side of the house (and a corner of the pump house)

Allan’s photo

the depth and layers of the garden, looking west

Some folks might be interested to know that at this point, frustrated with the misbehavior of my Sony camera (which will no longer zoom one little bit), I switched to a refurbished Lumix which had just come in the mail.  Some might also be interested to know that within a day it had already twice told me “Turn the camera off and on again”—not a good sign for longevity!

west side of house with look through to Willapa Bay

Allan’s photo

overlooking Willapa Bay and the evergreen huckleberry dell

south side of driveway near the house

north side of driveway

Allan’s photo

The light was very bright and dark.

south side of driveway, the grove of old rhododendrons, almost done blooming

tall white one in full bloom

another cloud of white

Allan’s photo

looking southwest to the newer part of the garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

north side of driveway, toward the irrigation pond

the irrigation pond

as we walk back up toward the house

at the house again; west side

the garden between the two wings of the house

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

window reflection

Welcome back, Steve and John!





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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Depot Restaurant

We checked on the watering, although not the window boxes because we were in a hurry with much planned for today.

camassia and rodgersia (Allan’s photo)

The Red Barn Arena

This little pot by the barn door looked good.

The first section of garden looked good.

But further on, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ was drooping from lack of watering.  The same thing happened last year, and I this year I decided it had to go.

I give up on the idea of yellow sunflowers by a red barn.  I have to rethink and plant only the most drought tolerant plants here.

I left a little bit of it by a barrel.  They get watered a bit more regularly and so some water might spill over.

Cosmo the barn cat

Allan’s photo

in the barn (Allan’s photo)

thirsty coreopsis by the barn

I need to remove that coreopsis and replace with something that needs minimal water.  This particular barrel used to get watered more regularly…

We then went next door to…

Diane’s garden

Allan’s photo

our good friend Misty

back yard containers

talking with client and friend Diane by the septic box garden (which still needs more!)

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Allan potted up a new calla lily that Diane had brought home.

the roadside garden


valerian and catmint against the house (Allan’s photo)


Basket Case Greenhouse

It’s hard to drive by without stopping.

Penny  (Allan’s photo)

Deb’s garden

We took a break to tour two gardens: Steve and John’s bayside garden and the work going on at Deb’s garden (formerly the Barclay garden), where Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) have been working hard for the new owner.

future farmers’ market produce garden

planting trees in new berms along the driveway

North Beach Garden Gang

the way to Willapa Bay

Next door is Steve and John’s Bayside Garden.  We walked through it before returning to work.  That self guided tour will be our next post; their garden always deserves its own space.

Steve and John’s garden from Deb’s (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

This year, we did not get around to cutting back a native grass on the edge of the woodsy swale.  I asked Allan to just dig it out, which I have thought of doing every year.


It was big.

after (Allan’s photos)

elephant garlic (Allan’s photo)

Sarah (Allan’s photo)

There is some talk that if Mary and Denny move away after retiring, we might take Sarah and her brother Timmy.

After grooming the garden, I took some photos for the Klipsan Beach Cottages Facebook page.


bearded iris

Allium bulgaricum

also known as Nectaroscordum

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

birdbath view

Tiger Eyes sumac

corokia cotoneaster

On the way south, we stopped at…

The Planter Box

I sought and acquired a pineapple sage.

And a couple more tomatoes and some cukes.

Shelburne Hotel

Allan screwed some wire between trellis and big flower pots to help mitigate the windsail effect on the trellises.

Allan’s photos

I trimmed back the big sanguisorba that I had transplanted from KBC last week; it had just kept on looking a bit wilty around the edges.

Allan’s photo

Port of Ilwaco

We watered several of the gardens along Howerton Avenue.

on Waterfront Way (Allan’s photo)

in a curbside garden (Allan’s photo)

Montana Mary had asked why we call one little garden “the driveover garden”.  Here it is, a tiny bed between big parking lots and driveways.  Big trucks drive over it sometimes.

Another tiny bed by the port office:

Linaria purpurea (toadflax) seeds itself around but is not really up to the harsh conditons:

The Depot Restaurant

We had our North Beach Garden Gang dinner tonight.  On the way in to the restaurant, I saw that the window boxes were not getting watered.  (Roxanne from The Basket Case plants them up and we care for them, relying on the sprinkler system to water them.)  This led to a flurry to Allan watering them with a jug of water that we carry for emergencies, me fretting over them, and texts to various people.

Finally, dinner.  It was burger night.  We are thankful at this time of year for restaurants that let us dine at eight.  Restaurants that close at eight are no good to us now.

Allan’s photo

chocolate pot du creme

Annuals planting time is over except for at home, where I soon have to plant in my garden two six packs of painted sage and tomatoes and cukes from the Planter Box.


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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Skooter waking up.

Todd and I had gone in on an order from Digging Dog nursery.  It arrived in the morning, and took an hour to unpack.  Allan’s photos:

I found it time consuming to unpack the shredded paper and to look at my list of which were for Todd and which for me.

Crambe cordifolia did not look happy.

I felt skeptical about this angelica gigas.

The rest of the plants looked promising.

just a few

more (and a hardy orchid birthday present which I have not figured out where to put yet)

While I sorted and listed, Allan went across the street to mow at J’s.  We have fallen far behind.

good thing it is a small lawn

rhodie from next door to J’s

Before we left, I picked some snails to take for a long ride to a place with wild plants.

on my alliums!

Mike’s garden

We finally got a start on getting Mike’s garden back into good order.  I decided to not plant any cosmos there so I don’t have to worry about watering them.  (All work photos today are Allan’s.)

Me and Mike discuss the prospect of getting rid of a suckering and not very floriferous lilac, at the same time that two slowly dying conifers get removed.

While I weeded, Allan’s project was to reshape two Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ to the round form that Mike likes.





Ilwaco boatyard garden

We did some weeding, and I planted cosmos.  Oh, what a difference the mulch made (applied last fall).  Last year I was hammering away at gravel to plant the cosmos.  This year, it was easy peasy.

euphorbia and columbine

This euphorbia came out. (There are plenty. It had reseeded too close to the sidewalk and was old and woody.)

We added two more of our signs.

As for the man who was caught picking flowers earlier this week and told a port office person that “no one is going to take care of them so I am saving them”, I fumed for awhile while planting.  Just exactly where did he think all these cool plants come from?  The garden was in pretty good shape; what did he think an uncared for garden looks like?  I got up a good head of steam.  I fervently hope the port comes up with some official no picking signs.

fresh cosmos

Stipa gigantea

Stipa is at its best right now.

Talking with the nice boatyard head honcho Mark about plant thievery.

stems from picking

It might seem inconsequential to pick poppies, but I have no way of knowing if someone who is picking is going to also pick the alliums and the eryngiums that only bloom once, ONE CHANCE for beauty.

For example, after the cosmos were all in, we went to the Ilwaco pavilion garden to water some new plants.  Here, the Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ are blooming.  If someone picks them, that is the last we will see of them because each puts out just ONE flower.

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

our garden

At home, I walked back to the Bogsy Wood to check on some newly transplanted fuchsias and took a few photos on my way there and back again.  I was terribly sad at how weedy my garden is and how I do not have time for it, and yet there is still much to admire.

Thrilled to see my severely coppiced cotinus finally putting out new red leaves. Whew! I did not kill it!

dreamy Ceanothus ‘Oregon Mist’

I picked up all the weed piles I left on the lawn last week, and Allan mowed.  It had gotten so long, Frosty had to pick his paws up high.

Skooter was staring intently….

…at his next door nemesis, Onyx.

viewed over the most unweeded part of the garden

My mom’s beloved rhododendron, originally from her garden, then moved to Golden Sands when she lived there, then to here:

Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’

The snails are enjoying my compost bins.  I long for time to turn the compost.

I even had time to sit down and finish this book by my favourite cartoonist, Roz Chast.  It is due back tomorrow.

She poses an interesting question, hearkening back to when her parents would spend a day in the city:

I remember taking many long walks as a youth and not carrying a water bottle.  How was that possible?  Now, I take water with me pretty much everywhere.

I was able to erase Mike’s garden and Ilwaco from the work board Annuals Planting Time list, leaving only Klipsan Beach Cottages and here.  This means the worst of the APT pressure is over.  No wonder my headache decreased today.

The one thing that I sadly have not had the time for the past two days is watching even a short episode of Gardener’s World.



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Friday, 20 April 2018

We are taking three days off to recuperate from a difficult week.

Because the weather was rather chilly, I took the excuse to read.  I have two sets of three books by two authors.

Mirabel Osler and Alan Titchmarsh

More on Mirabel Osler when I finish all three books.

Neither Skooter nor Frosty was interested in the outdoors.

I finished A Gentle Plea for Chaos, then walked to the Norwood garden to plant four ferns.

two sword, one autumn, one maidenhair

At home, I walked around our garden just to show you the real story of how weedy it is.  But first:

Facebook gave me this memory of how the front garden looked this week in 2011, seven years ago, our first spring in this house.

Here it is today (although would be better if I had weeded the front today as I had originally planned).

I had planned to weed this, and had read instead:

inside the front gate, pleased with the growth on this climbing rose

more shotweed I meant to weed today

unclipped sedums!

good: Erythronium in bloom

front garden mess

good: Ribes speciosum in bloom

Ribes speciosum

Allan’s garden has just a touch of shotweed. I love the Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’.

The trick is to give Allan a part of the garden, and he will then keep it weeded.

Allan’s garden

pear tree

bad: unweeded pots of hardy fuchsias

window box

window box two

Compost bin two needs turning, but I read instead.

weedy; I’ve been noticing the dock, bottom middle, for weeks and still not removed it

rain spotted tulips

good: an area I got more or less weeded last week

between the cats, the stump of the smokebush I think I killed by coppicing too hard.  I need to get those pots put on pavers and filled with soil.

So weedy near the Bogsy Wood

the horror of lesser celandine now that I know it is a noxious weed

a huge amount of reseeded poached egg plant, maybe good, maybe bad (with shotweed mixed in)

huge dandelions overtaking an Acanthus ‘Whitewater’

good: my Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’



It has been too wet and slippery to do anything in the Bogsy Wood!

I loathe this pushy native foam flower in the garden.

haven’t deadheaded the hydrangeas yet! Good: corydalis and pulmonaria

the horror of native meianthemum (nature wins again)

lilies looking strong

the future cat memorial garden not worthy of ashes yet

pitiful weedy patio

from the double gate

As I returned to the house, I pondered that it is not that I lack energy for gardening.  I just use it up at work at this time of year, and I usually don’t get my own garden into satisfying condition till the end of May.

Did I weed? No, I started Mirabel Osler’s next book, In the Eye of the Garden, and read 100 pages before writing this and yesterday.

Mirabel on garden photography:

Neither cat had accompanied me outdoors.

Allan’s work in the afternoon

Meanwhile, Allan had gone to the library and done some deadheading at the Ilwaco Community Building and the Port:

(Mirabel Osler does not like heather, which dominates this garden in a plain winter blooming white form. “…..Heather, how it mutilates gardens with its puréed fruit-pulp appearance, its neutered growth and depressing meanness.”)

Dog daisies are budding at the boatyard.  Mirabel Osler wrote a passage about “dog” plants being named as an insult (dog daisies, dog roses, dog mercury).

At the port office garden, all the narcissi needed deadheading.  We are going to replace those old sprawling lavenders soon.

old pot of hostas behind the port office

Tomorrow I may have a lunch with Our Kathleen, and maybe Sunday I will do some gardening…although I confess that reading continues to hold a stronger lure unless the weather is inarguably perfect.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Allan’s cold hit him hard today.  My grandma used to say, when ill, that she was “sickabed on two chairs with my feet on the woodpile.”  Google tells me that the original quotation was “sick abed AND two chairs”, apparently something to do with putting two chairs next to your bed so you don’t roll out.

I worried about work all day and as a result I could not focus on weeding my own garden, until about five o clock, when a cold wind drove me indoors soon after I began.  Before that, I assuaged work worries slightly by going to the Norwood and the J’s garden, both just yards away from home.

Skooter accompanied me to the Norwood garden.

the north side shade garden

Across the street, I weeded the J’s front garden.

But look, one of the three arborvitae at the end is dying from the base up. I have no idea why.

looks completely ominous

So I found this possibly useful post.

Someone might tell me “That is not an arborvitae, it’s a juniper.”  I have to admit I don’t pay much attention to the particulars of common columnar evergreens.

The cold wind that sent me indoors after working allowed me to finish reading a wonderful book by Monty Don.  I wish I could remember which recent book led me to this one.  I got it via interlibrary loan; it came from the Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, which appears to be a linked chain of libraries, similar to our Timberland Regional Library.

Frosty likes dogs.  He grew up with dogs with his previous person, Terry, who died after the dogs did and who passed his cat family on to us.

I was smitten with Monty Don’s writing style.  If I lived in the UK, he would be familiar to me as the host of Gardener’s World.  Oh, how I wish we had more gardening shows to watch on this side of the pond.  We used to, but Home and Garden Television (HGTV) turned into just Home television.  It looks like I may be able to watch Gardeners World online.

I now want to read all of Don’s books.

I was hooked by this paragraph at the beginning:

Because the book reminisces about all the dogs of Monty Don’s life, not just the famous Nigel (who appears with him on telly), there is the tragedy of losing one’s companion, which strikes me hard because of losing my feline friends Calvin and Smoky so recently.  I wept over this passage from The Sword in the Stone.

I liked this passage about having a seasonal pond, as we do out on the Meander Line.

Nigel likes peas.

Nigel also likes apples.

Below: More of the agony of losing a canine friend.  I hope I will feel this way about the place where I will put Smoky and Calvin’s ashes, where Smoky’s mother is already buried.

On changing the garden:

I appreciate that Monty Don is so open about having suffered from depression.  I have ordered The Jewel Garden, the story of how he and his spouse lost their jewelry design business and eventually ended up with a beautiful garden and a prime spot on Gardeners World.

I am pleased to report that after lying sickabed all day, Allan got up in the evening and enjoyed watching some telly (not Gardeners World, unfortunately, just Rachel Maddow and Survivor!).  His improvement, despite still having a cough and sniffles, was remarkable, but I said that we must still have tomorrow off so that he can continue to recuperate.

At bedtime, I began to reread Mirabel Osler’s gardening trilogy, beginning with A Gentle Plea for Chaos.

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