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Friday, 22 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Valhalla Garden, Bothell

Upon our arrival, I was well pleased with the front of this garden.

more enviable metal alliums

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The entrance arbor was spectacular.

real alliums (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Then I walked around the side of the house…and stopped at the top of the railing-less stairs.  I felt dizzy just looking down.  How do people do this?

I went to the other side of the house.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

More steps, not scarily steep but still no railing.  I figured the paver line was a wheelbarrow access so I did walk almost all the way down it, and then just felt too tired to go the rest of the way (because the steep slope hurt my knee after all the nine and ten hour days we’ve been putting in), so back I went.  There was plenty to enjoy in the the front garden.

I could see the acanthus walk before I turned back.

Out of curiosity, I returned  to the top of the steep stairs.  I watched people prance down them like they were nothing.  Allan and Alison were down there.

On the other hand, I saw several people stop abruptly at the top and turn back.  They would no doubt find the other side quite negotiable, as I would have on some days.

telephoto of interesting chairs on the lower level

Meanwhile, knowing Allan would take good photos down below, I happily enjoyed the intricacies of the front garden.

trying to figure out what the tall flowering plant is

With Stipa gigantea

I will get this ID’ed! (It’s a veratrum!)

Veratrum (Allan’s photo)

garden tucked in by the front porch

coppiced paulownia, I think

And now here are Allan’s photos from far below.

the boardwalk

The boardwalk would have been quite doable for me because of the railings.

Pseudopanax ferox; I used to have one, wish I still did.

acanthus walk

acanthus walk

up the other side

You can read more about this garden, the last one of today’s touring, here.

evening

We officially checked in to the event at the college where the lectures would be held (more on this later), tried to navigate the crowded plant sale room (more on this later also)…

Dan Hinkley at his plant booth

…and we attended an excellent lecture by Dan Hinkley.  I am going to put all the lecture notes from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in a post of their own at the end of the Sunday touring day.

We took Alison to dinner at the Tavern on the Square at McMenamin’s Anderson School Hotel, in gratitude for her driving.

one of our two pizzas: fig and prosciutto.

Anderson School courtyard by night

Anderson School grounds at night

a magical place

 

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Friday, 25 September 2015

I accomplished nothing but a good long artificially aided sleep, since more than 6 hours seems impossible without help from an OTC potion.  I proofread two weeks worth of this blog (you wouldn’t want to read the unproofread version!) and now I intend to finish an excellent book, The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives and later, to watch The Amazing Race season opener.

I hear Allan being productive out mowing the lawn, and earlier in the day, he ran errands and checked on the community building garden; he had received a phone call from the head librarian that a new sign had been installed.

A mugo pine was the casualty.

A mugo pine was the casualty.  As were some trampled colchicums.


colchicums down

colchicums down

We are glad to have the space to plant something that will give some summer colour.  We don’t have a plant budget but we do have Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ aplenty and have already intermingled them into this front border.

the new sign, readable and bright

the new sign, readable and bright.  The old sign faced the street and was vulnerable to being hit by cars in the parking lot.


Allan has taken on full responsibility for this garden.

Allan has taken on full responsibility for this garden.


a fern by the entrance

a fern by the entrance

Allan then made his own visit to NIVA green to return a book that Heather had lent him (River Horse by William Least Heat Moon).

inside the wondrous NIVA green

inside the wondrous NIVA green


"New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful" and ecologically green

“New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful” and ecologically green

He deadheaded the post office garden…

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and generally put my non-productive day to shame.  As I typed this, I hear him hammering and, until dark, he applied the crosspieces to the top of the new arbour.

industrious Allan

industrious Allan


blue crosspieces

blue crosspieces


Allan's photo: his other audience

Allan’s photo: his other audience


looking east through the new deer barrier

looking east through the new deer barrier

I heard loud meowing from far to the west.  Even Smokey had been out having adventures.

He came running from Mary's yard, two doors down.

He came running from Mary’s yard, two doors down.


Perhaps he had been even further afield visiting little dogs down the block.

Perhaps he had been even further afield visiting little dogs down the block.


He returned at a quick pace.

He returned at a quick pace….

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and flopped for a tummy rub.

and flopped for a tummy rub.

Smokey suggested that he and I should go look at the back garden.

Touring the gorgeous Oysterville garden two days ago had convinced me I need to stop pecking away at the lawn, because large green areas do so much to enhance the garden.

The lawn has gone back to green almost everywhere.

The lawn has gone back to green almost everywhere.


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The back of the garden stayed green even during the worst of this summer’s drought.

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The large lawn area by the fire circle makes it easy to circulate when we have company.

The large lawn area by the fire circle makes it easy to circulate when we have company.

I went indoors to read and completely missed the spectacular sunset.

Allan's photo: He hammered until dark.

Allan’s photos: He hammered until dark.

Allan's photo

Allan's photo

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Book News

I recently finished this excellent book.

I finished this excellent book.

One passage that especially spoke to me was how the truly poor cannot even afford a cup of tea with friends or gas to go visit someone.  That’s the truth about grinding poverty.  However, while I don’t want to give the impression that the following passage is an idyll, I loved the story about city farms amid the urban blight of Detroit:

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A point to ponder, from Jim Ziliak:

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As I have seen people struggle just to find a place they can afford to rent, I’ve known for twenty years that if I had not owned a little house in Seattle that I was able to sell when I bought a little house here, I would not have been able to survive financially despite the years when we were working seven days a week and doing odd jobs during non gardening season.

The second half of How the Other Half  Still Lives proposes all sorts of useful ideas for how to improve the lot of the poor in this country.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Allan finished the arbour crosspieces, and, below, he shows the view from the ladder-top.

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While the perfect non-garden-touring weekend for me involves not leaving my own property, we did go to the last Saturday market of the season in order to get some peaches and a delicious take-home lunch.

our post office garden

our post office garden


Allan's photo: Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' in one of our curbside gardens

Allan’s photo: Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in one of our curbside gardens


looking west on Howerton

looking west on Howerton


Allan's photo from the dock

Allan’s photo from the dock


Allan's photo: three market-goers

Allan’s photo: three market-goers


De Asis Farm and Produce

De Asis Farm and Produce


The glass ball booth: I wanted these all summer and continued to frugally resist.

The glass ball booth: I wanted these all summer and continued to frugally resist.


Anthony De Luz of Blue Collar Eats. He rhapsodized about the way the wine marinade caramelized on the chicken.

Anthony De Luz of Blue Collar Eats. He rhapsodized about the way the wine marinade caramelized on the chicken.

From Anthony’s website (where you will also see my photos of his market booth over the summer)”

blue collar

menu

We had smoky chicken cabernet and buttery coco chicken.

We are hoping that he will be cooking at the Salt Hotel pub after helping to get the space ready to open.

At home, after we ate our scrumptious Blue Collar Eats, Allan embarked on another project.

outdoor lamp, before and after

outdoor lamp, before and after (Allan’s photo)


I admired the new arbor top....

I admired the new arbor top….


I like the strong shadows.

I like the strong shadows.

Knowing that we were taking an unusually long weekend, I enjoyed some weeding and transplanting in the garden without feeling any pressure.

the garden at dusk

the garden at dusk


sunset over the new arbour

sunset over the new arbour

I continued to read in the evenings without booting up the computer and with only an occasional check in to Facebook and email from my phone.  We still had three days to go on our long weekend, almost a mini vacation, during the slow time before fall clean up and bulb planting.

 

 

 

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