Archive for the ‘private gardens’ Category

Saturday, 21 July 2018

2018 Spade and Wade Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Master Gardener Association

After garden four, we realized that we had about a half hour drive to the next two gardens, so we had better put lunch at Hidden Acres Greenhouse next on our agenda.

from the tour program

I had been to Hidden Acres before, on a visit to the Sylvia Beach Hotel and looked forward to revisiting.  It was only two minutes from the previous garden.

Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Café, Tillamook


Now that is a cordyline I could love.

Oh! (Not complaining when I think it must take several hours to make.)

Allan’s photo

in the restroom

Allan’s photo

noisy nest in the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

out back

hanging basket greenhouse

good signage (Allan’s photo)

perennial house (Allan’s photo)

Small herbs were just $3.95.

Allan’s photo

In the café, where we had our lunch:

The ingredient in hummingbird cake is bananas, just so you know.

I remember loving this café and shop, and I still do.

I want this chandelier, but without the bed springs, which would get too dusty.

Allan’s photo

Allan found a cute pop up book with which I amused myself till lunch arrived, which was soon.

Allan went to get me my specs so I could find a certain rabbit, but then our tasty lunch came and we forgot.

tuna melt and French onion soup and Mediterranean pasta salad

my plant haul

We then were off on a drive to Cape Meares.

The drive looks lovely.  I found it nerve-wracking because of my recurring nightmare of going off a road into water.

It is curvier than it looks, and I was so glad to get onto the cape.  (Going back, on the inside, was not too bad.)  Allan noted that the water was too shallow for kayaking.

Garden Five: A Walk in the Woods, Cape Meares

Allan’s photo

unusually handsome phormiums in front

front porch

around to the side

Crinodendron seed pods

Higher, one crinodendron flower remains. (Allan’s photo)

I used to have a crinodendron at my old garden, from Clarke Nursery, wish I still had it.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Coprosma, maybe hardy here?? (Not where I live)

Pacific wax myrtle

at the back of the house

And now into the woods we go. I passed the garden owner sitting with tour guests at a table talking about wild critters, including elk who come into the back garden.

chatting around the table (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

a most clever idea for a garden tour with rough ground

The tree below had been cut decades before and other trees had grown around the stump.

Allan’s photo

I turned back from a steep path and Allan later went down it.

nurse log (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, docent with tour goers

Back in the garden, there really were artichokes with the aprons.

and paintings by Jenny Stanley

Allan’s photo

the ocean side of the house

the family dog comes home from the beach (Allan’s photo)

I regret I was not in that part of the garden at that moment to meet that dog!

Barbara had put many of her favourite gardening books out.

on the back porch

On the front porch:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Just a few blocks down the street is the ocean.

We now drove a block over and a couple of gravel blocks uphill to a garden that I could hardly bear to leave at closing time.  It is glorious, and will be tomorrow morning’s post.

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Colorful Coastal Gardens tour

 Grayland, Washington

presented by the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County

Gary and Kristie’s garden, Grayland

Gardeners’ quotation: “Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.” 

by the street

Allan saw some history that I somehow missed.

The house, when purchased, was 528 square feet and I believe is still that size.

today (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

shady side of front garden

The gardeners seem to be winning over the depredations of slugs and snails.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

blue bottle edge just inside the front gate

“Clematis are their passion…”

at the front of the house (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

This golden barberry got lots of admiration.

“The first plant Kristie placed in her garden from the coastal region is the calla lily at the entrance of her home, greeting guests.”

back of house (Allan’s photo)

At the back of the house, I admired the well grown vines.


A green and white clematis made me green-ish with envy.

Like Chie and Bill’s garden, this one had enviable outbuildings.

an outbuilding

just by where the two women were walking in previous photo

“...carvings abundant in the garden…”

same little building seen from behind the main house

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


further back, an enormous (to me) outbuilding, AKA She Shed.

Allan’s photo

“…ease the soreness of gardening with the charming outdoor shower and spa...”

beachy outdoor shower (Allan’s photo)

between the two outbuildings

Behind the smaller shed was a grandchild’s play garden.

Allan’s photo

back wall of small shed

The center area of the back garden has a fire circle and hot tub.

with those nice, smooth beach rocks

and a driftwood fence

cannas and curry plant

Allan’s photo; he saw this but I did not.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

At the back of the garden:

ladies in waiting at the back of the garden

Allan looked toward the back for compost heaps because the description had mentioned “tons of compost” to overcome the challenge of sand.  We learned that they have bought compost (as we did at first and still do sometimes) and had it delivered.

On the shady side:

the shady side

All this on what realtor info sites say is a lot slightly under ten thousand square feet.  That is one of the great advantages of having a tiny house with a small footprint.

Right across the road, this sandy road led over a dune to the beach.

Takeaways:  I haven’t had a Helichrysum italicum (curry plant) for a few years.  Must get some.

Ask Allan if he would be so kind as to collect reasonably sized not too difficult driftwood on boating trips. And some beach rocks.


Nearby, we saw this cute little trailer painted like a lady bug.

Plant Sale

Next up was the Master Gardener group’s plant sale at a different house.

It had an enticing front garden that was not on the tour because, as the owner said, she had been spending all her time on the plant sale.

Allan’s photo

ducks! (Allan’s photo)


I got some good plants, including some Crambe maritima, and some hakonechloa grass at a great price, which I got with Alison of the Bonney Lassey blog in mind.

I am holding (and will buy two) one of those cool teucriums that I liked last year in Markham Farm garden…which will be our last stop on this garden tour.

thinking of you, Alison!

some baby Verbena bonariensis!

People were trying to ID this plant and could not.  I couldn’t remember what it was, either.

It has blue flowers.  I know I have had it before.  Does it start with a p…? a b….?

Two more gardens to go on this tour!




Read Full Post »

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Colorful Coastal Gardens tour

 Grayland, Washington

presented by the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County

Chie and Bill’s garden, Grayland

Gardener’s quotation: “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener.”

At first, I thought the house next door belonged to the garden and thought, “That’s not small.”  Later, Chie herself told me a lot of people get that first impression.  Their 600 square foot little house is tucked so well into the garden that it is not as readily seen.

After touring the garden, I was sure that they could have checked off more of these boxes:

Allan’s photo

beside the driveway

big house, little house (Allan’s photo)

the little house

by the front corner

Allan’s photo

“….the water feature that Bill installed near the driveway, greeting us with the music of flowing water.”

Allan’s photo

I felt delight as we came around into the back garden beside the house.

I loved everything about it!

I love outbuildings, and this garden has two, plus a greenhouse.

garden shed (Allan’s photo)

on the garden shed exterior wall

“The greenhouse is not heated, but look for potted lemons and limes that winter in the shelter.”

Allan’s photo

inside (Allan’s photo)

from inside (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

lemons and limes

“A playhouse is a structure built by Bill and occupied frequently by grandchildren.” Very lucky grandchildren, who will remember this garden for the rest of their lives.

Note the softly rounded beach rock.  Chie says it is comfy to walk in in bare feet.

playhouse porch

side of playhouse (Allan’s photo)

I totally missed this. (Allan’s photo)

Behind the greenhouse is a kitchen garden.

Allan’s photo

and compost bins

A path goes further out into a wild area.

Now we turn back to keep exploring around the house.

side of the playhouse

I like the driftwood and old window frame.

next to the playhouse porch

at the back of the house

I see a shy kitty!

“The garden is designed for family to spill out onto the grounds.”  The big comfy deck with lots of seating is a good, warm and sunny extension of the interior.

smooth and comfy driftwood railings on every set of stairs (thank you)

one of so many spectacular clematis we saw today

“…a tumbling climbing rose [and clematis], providing shade to the sitting area.”

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

home made rain chain (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

“The cook’s garden, located near the deck…filled with herbs and salad ingredients…abounds in kitchen necessities.”

the beauty of lettuce

Daylily flowers are also edible.

deck from the side

I talked with Chie for awhile about small house living, a topic of interest because I lived in a less than 600 square foot house for 14 years.  I would probably still live there had it been as sunny as this one.  (Mine was in deep shade all winter.)

Up on the deck:

Allan’s photo

I did not want to leave, but we had three more gardens to see.


I liked the look of the little house next door to Chie and Bill’s place.

Its smallness and metal roof appeal to me.

Immediately following is a brief bonus post of two places we stopped before the next garden.

Takeaways:  Put my variegated acanthus in a pot for better care.

I saw some stunning daylilies today that are making me rethink them…again….if I can find ones that are immune to daylily leaf streak.

I urgently want an outbuilding for me!  (Allan has one.)



Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

We continued our garden tour day with a relaxing late afternoon and evening at

The Bayside Garden.

Here is their map of their garden.  You can see this park-like collectors’ garden on July 21 when it is on the local garden tour; tickets available here.

rhododendron trio by the front door

The new boxes right along the property line are in the next door garden, which will also be on the tour.


the irrigation pond

After the earlier part of the day had been hot and muggy, we now had a cooling and quite pleasant rain.

There are many plants from Xera Plants in this garden, and Xera owner Paul Bonine got to see how they are faring at the coast.

John and Paul

Evan, Paul, and Ann

deer protection

Evan botanizing

Steve says “Bartlettina sordida (Dirty Thoroughwort or Blue Mist Flower) — Mexico native;  Rare in cultivation!”

This shiny little fellow is R. ‘Rwain’ (rhododendron without an important name)

Paul, Steve, Ann

R. sinogrande

Allan’s photo

R. rex ssp. fictolacteum

dogwood by the pond, close up

R. ‘Grandma’s Hat’

That’s Hydrangea ‘Lemon Daddy’

R. makinoi

my favourite: R. degronianum ssp yakushimanum x R. pachysanthum

newly planted area

Rhododendron ‘Cupcake’

other side of tidal stream

Acer platanoides ‘Rezak’

ladies in waiting

on the pump house roof

We repaired to the east side patio and sat.

our view

a gift from a friend

Ann and Paul

delicious morsels. The flower pot arrangement was also a gift from a friend.


Ann, Evan, and Paul were going to see the fireworks in Long Beach at dusk, and we had been touring for so long that they did not have time to go back to Ann’s family vacation house in Naselle (half an hour away).  Steve and John kindly rustled up a delicious pasta dinner to keep us all fortified.

photo by Ann Amato (Evan, John, Steve, Paul, me)

The end of a perfect day:

Steve’s photo: me, Allan, Evan (Plant Lust), Paul (Xera Plants), John (Bayside Garden), Ann (Spiffy Seeds/Cistus Nursery)




Read Full Post »

I am trying to get this blog to be only one, not two, weeks behind before the next garden tour which is, in my garden-tour-experienced opinion, the best of the local tours by far, and so reasonably priced.

**Tuesday, 26 June 2018**

Our main mission was to water.  Fortunately, the weather had been cool and occasionally misty here at the beach so no plants were distressed by our five day absence.

Ilwaco Post Office

Ilwaco post office

Long Beach

Lots of people asked me to ID Allium christophii.

Allium chrisophii

California poppies, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’, Agastache (Allan’s photo)

Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Alchemilla mollis in flower reminded me of how Riz Reyes defended it as a good plant.

sign of summer: a WSDOT (Wash. State Dept of Transportation) traffic counter (Allan’s photo)

I found out that a big healthy hydrangea had been removed and this area rocked over because someone thought hydrangeas were invasive.  It made me think about the Hardy Plant lecture about the book Planting in a Post Wild World and about how important green spaces are rather than heat reflecting paving and rock.  I was sad. Also flummoxed because who thinks hydrangeas are invasive??

Gunnera reflected, Fifth Street Park

I was disappointed as we drove home to catch someone we sort of know, who often passes by our gardens, who has agreed with us that picking and stealing is damaging, picking herself a big bouquet out of the Long Beach parking lot berms.  When I asked her to stop, and she turned, I knew who she was, and I was sad.  She said sorry, but I realized she was the same person that the city manager’s wife had seen picking.  How disheartening.

To go on watering required a dose of ibuprofen and tylenol.

Shelburne Hotel

elephant garlic

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ (Allan’s photo)

the first sweet pea (Allan’s photo)


I watered the boatyard while Allan watered the street trees and planters.

audience (Allan’s photo)

Allan left me the trailer for weeds.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and santolina

When we got home, we found that our dear friend Tony Hofer had toured the garden and left us a watermelon.

Thanks, Tony!

**Wednesday, 27 June 2018**

The Depot Restaurant


The Red Barn Arena

The “water me!” sign has been working.


Diane’s garden

Allan’s photo (showing the house next door and the big Red Barn horse trailer)

Diane wanted more flowers in one of her containers that just had subtle hardy begonias and a heuchera so we went to

The Basket Case

a welcome rain as we left the Red Barn (where we leave our trailer to go to Diane’s because her driveway is tight)

Basket Case greeters

my buddy, Buddy (Allan’s photo)

Greeting is hard work.

Basket Case co owner, Darrell (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s again

some filling in on the septic box garden

The new roadside bed is taking a long time to fill in….I should have planted more. (Allan’s photo)

Must remember, re perennials: “The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap.” But I should have filled in with more annuals.

The Planter Box

I was on a quest for some plants for a restaurant friend.

The neighbour’s cat was visiting Teresa.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We got there pretty late, but we did get there!

birdbath view

The garden is full to overflowing, the way I like it. Beloved friend and KBC manager Mary likes more space between plants, likes some ground showing.  Now I have Planting in the Post Wild World to cite!

The tall plant is Thalictrum ‘Elin’.

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ (with ‘Seashells’ in the corner)

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

OleBob’s Restaurant, Port of Ilwaco

In the evening, we redid some pots for our friend Chef Laura of OleBob’s.  They had been full of dead and dying pampas grass, of all things.

before, June 15th

Someone had pulled the pampas grass out, which saved us some time.

working on it

after, with pancho. Lemon balm and lemon verbena included for Chef Laura to garnish her tea. (Allan’s photo)

At home, I found THIS MANY snails on one cluster of lilies.  They went for a long walk.

my cute little nemesis

**Thursday, 28 June 2018**


I do love an all Ilwaco day.  Our mission was to water as many of the port curbside gardens as possible.

We started at the fire station where I was furious that someone had stolen a cheap little silly celosia.  Stealing from a volunteer garden and even worse from the volunteer firefighter’s garden!

There used to be three.

Fire Station garden (Allan’s photo)

We went on to weed and water along the port curbside.

the only eremerus of many that bloomed, and it is short. (Allan’s photo)

Let it be known that except for Time Enough Books and the Freedom Market gardens, we do the curbside only (left) not the business properties (right).

one of my favourite beds

When I got to my most favourite bed to take my usual photo, I yelled.

Someone had put great gaping ugly holes in my photos.

The santolina will recover. The lavenders might not.

I was livid.  I went to the port office, where I have been mildly agitating for some signs at the boatyard, and waved my arms around.  Of course, the office staff was supportive and upset on my behalf because they all love the gardens.  I posted the photos on Facebook, too, with an accompanying rant, and our dear friend Artist Don Nisbett spotted it.  He emerged from his gallery with this, which by the time he found me watering nearby he had already shown to the port; they just wanted him to add the word please.

He is going to laminate signs and the port will get them installed in my most favourite curbside beds and at the boatyard.  The number is the non-emergency police number.  I know they have better things to do than go after plant thieves…but…it was a brilliant idea to add that.

I am not a hugger, but Don got a big hug.

When we got home, Allan dug out a sickly hypericum stump for me, the one I cut back and later regretted…

I had time to sift out a couple of barrows of compost for the now empty spot.

looks like bin four is full of good stuff

I got one of my new ladies in waiting planted in one of my new troughs.

tag by Dan Hinkley, I do like that sort of thing.

At the end of the day, Don came over with a present for us.

T shirts!

Oh, why the crab, you might ask? Ilwaco is a fishing community and one of its biggest fisheries is crab.  Don had already made this “crabby gardener” art.  I don’t know who he was thinking of when he painted it. 😉

**Friday, 29 June 2018**

I woke up feeling like a cough or cold was brewing in my lungs.  This worried me because I am a hypochondriac AND because I am obsessed with getting to the Grays Harbor garden tour next weekend.  I canceled our Garden Gang dinner because of feeling poorly.

Skooter behind the garage

J’s and Norwood gardens

We started at the J’s, kitty corner across the street.  I heard meowing and looked at our house and saw Skooter watching us.

He is to the right of our driveway.

Blackberries that were coming from next door got cut.

Allan’s photo

Weeded the Norwood shade garden, too (two doors down)

our post office garden

Long Beach

Welcome sign finally has some colour, but is no Withey Price masterpiece…sigh.

We checked to see if the rugosa roses had been machine-trimmed on the beach approach, which I was hoping for.  They were not.  I felt very sorry for myself as I started to shear them.  They were out onto the road a few inches and this will not do for the heavy traffic of Fourth of July.

poor pitiful me

I sheared and Allan picked up. After, Allan’s photo

There was no street parking downtown, so we parked in the big parking lots.  I wondered if we are going to have to string trim the big center berm…and when?

We watered all the city planters in town but not the ones on the beach approaches.

I was grumpy because a new fence is blocking an alley where we have ALWAYS walked through with our hoses when there is no main street parking.

While working, I met a nice blog reader named Peggy, which cheered me up considerably. She offered to bring a crew of friends to help us put up our heavy cement bench!  I demurred because the garden is a mess and I have to focus on weeding for company next week.  It was awfully sweet and I may end up taking her up on it in August.

Allan’s photo

The nice Wind World Kites owner took my heavy bucket of water and walked it to the far planters in Fish Alley.  His greeting is always “How’s the hardest working girl in Long Beach?”

Thank you!

Shelburne Hotel

We watered.

Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’ in the back garden

Allan went up to water the sad rose on the balcony above the pub deck.  I was watching because it worried me; if it gets too much water, it will overflow onto the deck where people are dining.

casting a suspicious eye

It was going well, with the drained water from the rose pot going into the gutter.  Then it turned out the end of the gutter was missing and whoosh, a small waterfall went onto the deck, just missing a diner.  Thank goodness she was a cheerful and understanding sort.  I was so mortified I cried out NOOOOOOOO as the water fell, and then went and hid in the van. fretting that the episode would end up on Trip Advisor.  “I was dining on the deck and the gardener poured water on me and the other gardener was in the garden yelling NOOOOO and it was not a pleasant dining experience.  One star!”  We will NEVER water than rose again when anyone is dining.

I dared to emerge again and did some weeding along the front and was soothed by guests enjoying the garden.

sweet peas

front garden


Allan watered the planters and street trees and the post office garden while I watered and weeded the two west beds at the port.


after, with many oxeye daisies cut back or pulled.

I met two lovely people who just moved to Ilwaco.  I was so sure I’d remember their names, but have forgotten now.  I had pulled some elephant garlic out of this part of the Freedom Market garden…

…because people use it as a walk through. The new folks and I agreed that it is unexpected that people would walk and jump over the log.  But they do.  I gave them the bulbs to either eat or replant in their new garden.  I was so tired I was not up to finding a spot for them.

Meanwhile, Allan had been watering.

watering at the post office (Allan’s photo)

sanguisorba at the post office (Allan’s photo)

We finished at sunset.

Allan’s photo


Read Full Post »

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Jorgenson Garden

We now come to my favourite private garden of all those we toured on the  2018 Hardy Plant tour days.

Ah…just the sort of garden I like best.

treasures in the parking strip

rose and more next to the driveway

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

front steps

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

It was hard to get photos in the extremely bright afternoon sun, but trust me, the front slope was full of just the sort of plants I like.

Allan’s photo

happy me just stood here for awhile

If only I had one (or more) of each.

People were doting on the very aromatic Salvia clevelandii, smells so good

I finally left the sidewalk and went up the stairs to the front porch area…

And decided to go around the other way rather than go down these steps (which were not difficult, but still…)

I empathize with the man with a cane going down very carefully. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I had had some rude responses in other gardens when I politely bucked the flow to go the way that was easiest for me.  More on this in the post with which I will conclude this tour sequence!  Here, there were no problems as I entered the back garden by the “wrong way”.

hardy schefflera in the back garden

a small garden packed with fascination for me

packed with tour guests also

Allan’s photo

I was in a tizzy over this, a gomphrena, yes?, little bitty and I want it!!

Rambling Rosa banksiae way up a tree caused a sensation with tour guests.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Lady Banks rose is thornless. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photos; I totally missed this part.

soothing shady sit spot

Coming around the side of the house…I had been well aware all day that it was Pride Day in Seattle.  It would have been great to be able to be in two places at once and go to the big parade, which I had attended so many times in its early days.  It was good to see the flag in this garden.

with lilies in bud

looking back at the lawn

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

through the gate to the front garden

Allan’s photo

O how I wish I could grow eremerus at home…they seem to need more heat than I can provide…..or something.

Lobelia tupa

I have occasionally had success with this plant but never managed to get it through the winter.

a new batch of tour guests in for a treat

I like what I like and that garden is just what I like.  And I like to see small gardens; I tire quickly of grand estates.

See more at the Facebook page of Jorgensen’s garden design company.




Read Full Post »

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Mallet Garden, Shoreline

Puget Sound in the distance

Allan’s photo

near the front porch

Puget Sound is also known as the Salish Sea.

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

Allan’s telephoto

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

history, on the deck

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

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

weeping tree underpruned for the view


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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »