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Posts Tagged ‘A Village of Flowers’

June Kroft’s garden

From the program: “The Kroft home and gardens have been featured in national publications. Kroft’s gardens were featured in Village of Flowers, a photo journal of Cannon Beach gardens. Her gardens are well known by landscape architects, gardeners, and flower enthusiasts around the Pacific Northwest.”

To see this garden again, one I had not seen since a memorable tour led years ago by Ann Lovejoy and Lucy Hardiman… I don’t think a day went by all summer when I did not look forward to it. I had hoped fervently that her cottage would also be part of the tour…because I am inquisitive that way… It wasn’t. Some of the cottages on the Tenth Anniversary Cottage Tour were cottage only with no garden, and June’s was garden only. (I could tell from the outside that the cottage interior is just adorable and in a perfect world I would somehow have become friends with June, not just a fan from afar, and had tea with her there!) I treasure her picture book “A Village of Flowers” and was thrilled to get a series of photos in her garden today.

June's front garden: view from the street

June’s front garden: view from the street

a bit of caution tape on a branch sticking out

a bit of caution tape on a branch sticking out

looking west from outside her garden....you can see the ocean

looking west from outside her garden….you can see the ocean

Fuchsias on the side of shed across the lawn

Fuchsias on the side of shed across the lawn

I think that last time I was here, the little building above was covered with a pink climbing rose.

front porch

front porch

Just to the west, another family cottage: Sea Shadows

Just to the west, another family cottage: Sea Shadows

Sea Shadows

Sea Shadows

a from the side peek into June's front garden

a from the side peek into June’s front garden

west side of the cottage with Allan and the volunteer greeter

west side of the cottage with Allan and the volunteer greeter

You can see how intriguing the cottage itself is!

west windows

west windows

gate

gate to June's back garden

gate to June’s back garden

June’s garden was every bit as magical as I remembered.

tour guests entering the garden

tour guests entering the garden

upon entering the garden (looking south)

upon entering the garden (looking south)

tomatoes

tomatoes

closer in

June in blue talks with a guest

June, in blue, talks with a guest; June’s daughter also helped host the tour.

I never did converse with June during this time in her garden. Allan listened to her telling guests how the garden was originally swamped with blackberries and how over the years she has created this tiny paradise. I tend to be shy on tours and not engage much with people, but when I tour a garden like this I feel that the garden IS the person and it communicates to me a great deal about the gardener.

dahlias

dahlias

flowers

I never thought to prune an old Santolina like a gnarly little tree!

I never thought to prune an old Santolina like a gnarly little tree!

a rosemary also pruned in a beachy way

a rosemary also pruned in an artfully beachy way

little path into the garden by the rosemary

little path into the garden by the rosemary

and by the santolina

and by the santolina

cottage window

On the south side of the house is the most enchanting deck I have ever seen, with an area enclosed by wings of the cottage. On the south side of the deck sits a garden shed..

looking onto the back deck

looking onto the back deck

with tour guests for scale, showing the garden shed to the right

with tour guests for scale, showing the garden shed to the right

deck

It is genius to include the garden shed as part of the deck, giving shelter from south wind and a wonderful sense of enclosure.

pots on the stairs to the deck

pots on the stairs to the deck

a gorgeous container

a gorgeous container

on the garden shed wall

on the garden shed wall

closer

closer

The faded print seems to read "little window to open to do what I can".

The faded print seems to read “little window to open to do what I can”.

wall container by the old window

wall container by the old window

Could this garden be where I got the idea to hang old windows on a wall?

side view of the garden shed

side view of the garden shed

looking east at the west wall of the garden shed

looking east at the west wall of the garden shed

window

The old window with the caption on it is to the right, and I now realize I did not find out (despite all my inquisitiveness) what was behind that wall!

door into the garden shed

door into the garden shed

peeking inside

peeking inside

next to the door

next to the door

view of deck from garden shed door

view of deck from garden shed door

Doors to left and to right lead into wings of the fascinating cottage.

chairs

deck

the sheltered nook between cottage wings

pot

I just cannot get enough of looking at this beautiful nook.

I just cannot get enough of looking at this beautiful nook out of the west wind.

I failed to get a photo of what it would be like to sit in those chairs and look back at the garden shed… Can I go back?

window

shingle patterns

shingle patterns

cottage door

cottage door

containers everywhere

containers everywhere

detail

looking west from the deck

looking west from the deck

against a south wall of the cottage

against a south wall of the cottage

On the east side of the deck, just past some rustic boxes of flowers…

containers

… a couple of steps lead down to a narrow area with lawn and clothesline.

looking back from the east side of the deck

looking back from the east side of the deck

I think there was a gate that could close to provide even more shelter.

Yes, there it is...

Yes, there it is…

side yard with clothesline

side yard with clothesline

bird bath and hydrangea

bird bath and hydrangea

hydrangea

old beach pine in back garden (SW corner, I think)

old beach pine in back garden (SW corner, I think)

old mossy bricks

old mossy bricks

The brick edges are raised in areas quite near the cottages and become softer in the shady areas toward the back of the tiny garden.

a blue bench

a blue bench

and June in blue

and June in blue

I appreciate that Allan got photos of June herself; I was awestruck to be there again and kept circling around and around the garden itself.

Allan's photo of a rose

Allan’s photo of a rose…

and of blue flower sculptures

and of blue flower sculptures

flowers

flowers

south side of garden shed

south side of garden shed

Ah. now I understand how the shed works; it is also accessible from the back!

sweet peas on the garden shed

sweet peas on the garden shed

I heard June say she plants her sweet peas later at the beach than she would in Portland because we do not get too much summer heat for them here.

June with garden guests.

June with garden guests.

spilling over

spilling over

flowers

Sea Shadows cottage shows to the west in this photo.

Sea Shadows cottage shows to the west in this photo.

a trellis against the west garden shed wall

a trellis against the west garden shed wall

It was a special experience to walk round and round in this garden and if we had not had twelve other places to see on the tour, we would have stayed even longer.

June Kroft, cottager, gardener, quilter

June Kroft, cottager, gardener, quilter

As we left, I took a telephoto view to the west, because that is how I see things…looking to the garden views that lay between June’s garden and the beach.

Indeed, a village of flowers...

Indeed, a village of flowers…

Around the corner, before we left the Tolovana neighbourhood for the rest of the tour, we saw four cute little cottages called Carefree, Comfy, Cozy and…? Allan tells me there was a fourth one but I missed it till the moment there was a car behind us and we had t drive on.

Care-free and Comfy

Care-free and Comfy

and cozy!

and Cozy!

I am left with the usual pondering of how I can make the area around a manufactured home look as nook-like and charming as June’s garden, the archetypical and ideal cottage garden.

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Way back in 1998, my friend and then-client Sharon and I went to a Haystack Rock summer weekend in Cannon Beach for which Ann Lovejoy and Lucy Hardiman taught a garden design workshop on Saturday and took us garden touring on Sunday.  (Sharon and I had become fast friends when we had created a garden for her earlier in the year; a few years later she moved away and the garden faded back into lawn.)

Digression:  Making Sharon’s Garden

In 1998 we created this garden around Sharon's house where once had been just three scraggly rosebushes.

In 1998 we created this garden around Sharon’s house where once had been just three scraggly rosebushes.

..and we made a rock wall garden along the bayside of her lot.

..and we made a rock wall garden along the bay side of her lot.

above: back in the days before the “straighten”button!

...and turned a mound into a little pond waterfall area.

…and turned a mound into a little pond waterfall area.

Sharon's beautiful bird bath.

Sharon’s beautiful bird bath.

And here is Sharon’s garden in 1999:

Shaz garden with pineapple sage

Shaz garden with pineapple sage

Shaz' garden

Shaz’ garden with new arbour by my former partner, Robert Sullivan

Back to the tour story:

On the weekend of the Haystack Rock garden design workshop, we toured the big country garden of Cannon Beach garden designer Beth Holland first, just on the other side of Highway 101 and down a short quiet road..

Beth Holland's garden just outside Cannon Beach.

Beth Holland’s garden just outside Cannon Beach.

Beth's greenhouse was constructed with large old windows from a school.

Beth’s greenhouse was constructed with large old windows from a school.

In Beth's garden

In Beth’s garden

After the lovely tour of Beth’s estate, we drove to the Tolovana neighbourhood of Cannon Beach and saw this lovely sight by the sea.

a Cannon Beach garden

a Cannon Beach garden overlooking the sea

garden detail

garden detail

in Cannon Beach

in Cannon Beach

One of the gardens had a train layout.

train garden

train garden

train layout in ocean view garden, Tolovana neighbourhood of Cannon Beach.

train layout in ocean view garden, Tolovana neighbourhood of Cannon Beach.

My favourite garden was that of local writer and quilter and gardener June Kroft.  (I was deeply saddened in 2010 to learn that the one year (2009)  when I had forgotten due to my mother’s ill health to go to the Cannon Beach Cottage tour, June’s cottage had been on it. I would love to see the inside.)

in June Kroft's garden

in June Kroft’s garden

In June's garden (left, Lucy Hardiman)

In June’s garden (left, in blue, Lucy Hardiman)

June's glorious garden shed

June’s glorious garden shed

I have an old book from the Cannon Beach Historical Society, a bit worse for wear from years in my old damp cottage.  I got it when the society had a photo exhibit called “A Village of Flowers”  at their museum in 1999.  The booklet is created from a manuscript by June Kroft and I share here a few pages from it in hope that perhaps you may be inspired to find yourselves a copy.

From the book:  Old Timer: Throw out a bunch of nasturtium seeds around a piece of driftwood.  That’s a beach garden.”

cover

Hinoki

sharing

historic

Tommy's garden

paths

vegetables

Now that’s my idea of a garden tour.

For my next birthday after the garden design workshop, Sharon gave me this framed sketch that Ann Lovejoy had made in Sharon’s notebook to illustrate the design concept of “bubble and flow”.  I treasure it to this day.

Ann Lovejoy: bubble and flow

Ann Lovejoy: bubble and flow

It helped a great deal with my garden design confidence, that while Lucy Hardiman makes design drawings that are intricate and scaled to the inch, Ann’s a more of a sketch, an idea, a chicken scratch….like mine.

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