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Posts Tagged ‘arbour’

Friday, 14 August 2015

I did very little Friday but work on the blog.  I am guilty of spending more free time blogging about gardening than free time actually gardening lately.  We have not had appreciable rain since March, they say, and I am so tired of the dryness that watering is about all I accomplish at home.  On the other hand, Allan has been busy with the project!

hoisting the beam

hoisting the beam

the center splice, clamped

the center splice, clamped

Here's a photo of the beam splicing he did on our last weekend off.

Here’s a photo of the beam splicing he did on our last weekend off.

Up it goes.

Up it goes.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: second crosspiece going up

Allan’s photo: second crosspiece going up

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Fully in place.

Fully in place.

I’m still looking for the energy to replace that grass path with gravel.

Melianthus major by the front fence shows evidence of some moisture.

Melianthus major by the front fence shows evidence of some moisture.

Someone wanted this elephant garlic?

Someone wanted this elephant garlic by the front sidewalk?

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front sidewalk fence

front sidewalk fence

Along with the project, Allan had to go water the Ilwaco planters and street trees.

He saw this flower stand on the way.

He saw this flower stand on the way.

At the Ilwaco city works yard, where he stores the water pump trailer, he discovered a doe and fawn on opposite sides of the fence.

Mother inside.

Mother inside.

baby outside

baby outside

He tried to herd the doe out of the works yard, to no avail.

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Poor baby!

He had to leave the situation and go do the watering, beginning with filling the tank at the boatyard (where the water has good pressure).

a boat being brought in

a boat being brought in

one of our planters on Spruce Street

one of our planters on Spruce Street

When he took the water trailer back to the works yard, the deer had somehow reunited.  (Or there were two fawns, which is a worrisome thought.  Allan reassures me there is way through at the back.)

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As it happened, Pam Fleming was in town for the evening, as her spouse was playing with a band at the Blues and Seafood Festival at the Port.  She came by afterwards to examine the project, which had been her idea (when I had mentioned to her that I needed a gate there).  We stepped back and forth through the gate opening several times and agreed that it feels good and gives a sense of entry and enclosure.

We sat on the patio for awhile, out of the north wind. (Allan's photo)

We sat on the patio for awhile, out of the north wind. (Allan’s photo)

sunset over the new project

sunset over the new project

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Allan added the gate to the arbour.

He had built it to spec. (Allan's photo)

He had built it to spec. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Our Kathleen came for tea in the early afternoon and then we went to the market, but not for long as the heat (all of 80 something, I suppose, or maybe 75!) made me dizzy.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Ilwaco Saturday Market

I bought peaches...

I bought peaches…

dinner at Sea Star acres

We had been invited to dinner at Dave and Melissa’s new-since-last-October home near Oysterville.  I was looking forward to seeing their garden and it lived up to my expectations.  Someone who loved plants lived there before, and Dave and Melissa have been making all sorts of discoveries in the overgrown garden.

They used to own a nursery and if I thought *I* sometimes have a lot of ladies in waiting (unplanted plants), it is nothing on their vast and cool collection.  All they need is some time off from working to expand the plantable garden space.

arriving

arriving  (Allan’s photo)

Melissa has told me she does not quite get what blogging is, so since she may not know, I am going to not show you so much that I totally invade their privacy.  I’m not sure she had any idea what she’s in for getting to be friends with a blogger.  (Someone’s already told her that they know we have dinner at the Cove once a week.)

the front of the garden

the front of the garden

I heard the sound of this waterfall pond at the west side of the house.

I heard the sound of this waterfall pond at the west side of the house.

bamboo accents on the house

bamboo accents on the house

Pontederia cordata (blue pickerelweed) in bloom in the pond.

Pontederia cordata (blue pickerelweed) in bloom in the pond.

looking across the pond from next to the house

looking across the pond from next to the house

one of the big frogs

one of the big frogs

We suppose it is the invasive species bullfrog.  Melissa caught one eating a bird the other day!  And yet at a job recently, she caught a snake eating a frog, so…

Frog is so big you can see its head poking up in the water beneath the Japanese maple.

Frog is so big you can see its head poking up in the water beneath the Japanese maple.

the waterfall

the waterfall; what a great feature to get with a home purchase.

four different kinds of figs, in pots, waiting for homes

four different kinds of figs, in pots, waiting for homes

a trio of Geum 'Eos'

a trio of Geum ‘Eos’

lots of fabulous ladies in waiting!

lots of fabulous ladies in waiting!

north side of house

north side of house

triple bridge

triple bridge

a huge eucalyptus

a huge eucalyptus

They are finding all sorts of mysteries and treasures in the overgrown garden.

an old pond with a pump

an old pond with a pump

espaliered pears in among larger trees

espaliered pears in among larger trees

an old outbuidling on the north side

an old outbuilding on the north side

fence along north side

fence along north side

The fence had a Japanese style roofed top.

The fence had a Japanese style roofed top.

exploring the edges of the old garden (Allan's photo)

exploring the edges of the old garden (Allan’s photo)

a box of bamboo had escaped and run...

a box of bamboo had escaped and run…

and run....

and run….

and run!

and run!

more ladies in waiting

more ladies in waiting

There will be room for all, because the property is six acres.  Four are wetlands; that leaves two to plant.

Dave is constructing a most awesome patio.

Dave is constructing a most awesome patio.

I had also so been looking forward to meeting their dogs.  Both Anna and Coulee are Hovawarts, a breed that is rare in this country.

meeting Anna (Allan's photo)

meeting Anna (Allan’s photo)

Anna is a rescue who is rather shy; she was friendly, calm and quiet.

Allan meets Anna.

Allan meets Anna.

a lovely girl

a lovely girl

Coulee is full of energy.

Coulee is full of energy.

soft and affectionate, when not focused on his ball

soft and affectionate, when not focused on his ball

one more of Anna

one more of Anna

In the fenced dog yard is a large Acer griseum (paperbark maple) that made Melissa knew she just had to have this property.  (And I knew she was a plant nut when I first met and she told me about the “Acer griseum” that she saw when she came around the corner.)

Melissa and the maple

Melissa and the maple

Acer griseum. It is gorgeous and positioned to get backlit by the western sunlight.

Acer griseum. It is gorgeous and positioned to get backlit by the western sunlight.

Anna welcomes us in for dinner.

Anna welcomes us in for dinner.

We had strips of steak made on the barbecue, baked potatoes with butter and sour cream, corn on the cob, a salad with avocado in it, and chocolate chip cookies.  Delicious.  We also saw the cats, including Jack and Butterbean.  They were too shy for photos.

inside

inside

The long, dark, quiet drive home emphasized how long and mostly rural our Long Beach Peninsula is.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

I felt bad that Allan spent another day working on (and finishing) the project and not doing anything fun for himself.  I felt glad that it is done because I like it very much.

Allan attaches wire to keep the deer out.

Allan attaches wire to keep the deer out.  And for sweet peas!

wiring in progress

wiring in progress

Our neighbours across the street were having a family reunion with about 50 people.  One of their cats (who spends a lot of time in our garden when we are inside or not home) came over to our side.  Allan noticed him and took these photos.

He lay by our fence ...

He lay by our fence …

took a nap

took a nap

and checked up on the goings on from afar.

and checked up on the goings on from afar.

It looked pleasant and made me wish I had a birth family of fifty instead of, now, one.

A 25 mph wind made gardening unattractive.  I did manage to water all but the front garden, and rather miraculously, did a thorough vacuuming of the house, as well.  I did not think turning the sprinkler on the front garden would help Allan finish the project.

Fuchsia 'Pink Marshmallow'

Fuchsia ‘Pink Marshmallow’

Fuchsia 'Jingle Bells'

Fuchsia ‘Jingle Bells’

new growth coming up on a "Todd fern" that we all thought had plotzed.

new growth coming up on a “Todd fern” that we all thought had plotzed.

Echinops (globe thistle) in the back garden

Echinops (globe thistle) in the back garden

There’s a lot I could be doing if the wind would stop and I could get up some energy.

Weeding this area and controlling bindweed from the gear shed lot next door.

Weeding this area and controlling bindweed from the gear shed lot next door.

weeding here and maybe cutting back the most pathetic looking salmonberries.

weeding here and maybe cutting back the most pathetic looking salmonberries. (That poor sad astilbe needs moving this fall.)

Weeding in the old Danger Tree bed would be pretty and fun.

Weeding in the old Danger Tree bed would be pretty and fun.

How the heck did orange montbretia get in there?

How the heck did orange montbretia get in there?

I could expand the end of this bed and use it for all the sad astilbes from other beds. The ones on this corner seem happy.

I could expand the end of this bed and use it for all the sad astilbes from other beds. The ones on this corner seem happy.

a low, hardy impatiens

a low, hardy impatiens omeiana, might be ‘Ice Storm’

I have to admit this heather is rather nice.

I have to admit this heather is rather nice.

The 20 plus mph north wind was blowing so hard that it blew the sprinkler water right away from the north end of this back yard bed:

I had to hose water the end.

I had to hose water the end.

A couple of weeks ago, I got my Sarracenia (brought to me by Debbie Teashon) planted in, well, a black cat litter tray.  They are doing well now on the shelf edge of the water boxes

Sarracenia (pitcher plants)

Sarracenia (pitcher plants)

This Anthemis from The Planter Box keeps blooming without deadheading.

This Anthemis from The Planter Box keeps blooming without deadheading.

With Allan’s help, I got a bathtub water feature moved out to where it shows.  It was hidden under the rose.  By help, I mean I dipped out most of the water, still could only barely budge it, and Allan dragged it forward for me.  We got this elegant water feature from our friend Terry, who used to live in the Cove RV Park.  When the park got new management, residents were no longer allowed to keep “junk” outside their trailers.  This was the same Terry, a Vietnam vet who struggled with PTSD, who died in 2012 and whose well-loved kitties we adopted, Smokey, Frosty, and Mary.  But I digress.  Here is the sort of water feature we see when we tour gardens:

at Little and Lewis garden

at Little and Lewis garden

the Little and Lewis-y water feature

the Little and Lewis-y water feature at Floramagoria

at a Hardy Plant tour in Bellevue

at a Hardy Plant tour in Bellevue

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And here’s what my budget and abilities run to:

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I am going to paint it with some Fusion dark green spray paint, though!

Maybe when we retire, we can learn how to build something more elegant and elaborate.

Tomatoes from the greenhouse almost eluding me by dangling behind the flower pot.

Tomatoes from the greenhouse almost eluding me by dangling behind the flower pot.

End of day: The project is done!

End of day: The project is done!

At some time, Allan will put little crosspieces over the top.

Other than that, there is just one more thing to do, by the front gate: Put up two posts and a simple cross piece to tie this all together.  I wonder if this side will be enough to keep the deer out.  They could jump the low front fence but might not want to.  If they do, I will now have the tall posts to use for running a couple of strands of wire across the front.

Tomorrow: back to the work watering rounds after a long weekend that seemed too short.

 

 

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This garden is, as you know, for sale.  (Oh, and the cottage, too.)  For the amazing price of only seventy five thousand.  Okay, I’ll stop with the direct sales pitch and take you on a garden tour from the lower garden gate to the upper gate.  I thought “Why make another blog post about that garden-for-sale when the last two entries have slide shows which say it all?”, but neither slide show really explains the layout of the garden. So if you like, come with me for a long walk through the garden.

In we go at the lower gate.  In the summer, the entry arch and the driftwood and wire fence to the left of it are covered with three different white rambling roses, including the large blossomed ‘Bobbie James”.  An akebia and a clematis and some golden hops also twine through, along with the unusual lavender blue rose ‘Veilchenblau’.  The roses provide a succession of bloom from early May through fall, because one of the old fashioned white ones is a late bloomer.

entrance: lower gate

In summer, peeking through the gate offers this enticing view:

peeking through the gate

As soon as you step through the gate, you are enveloped by sunny garden.

stepping through the gate

A stream runs through the garden, and over it: two rebar arbours with a garden bed on each side.   Some climbing roses, an ornamental grape vine and a clematis make a bower; you can walk through the stream on stepping stones if you step carefully.

stream path

The stream used to be seasonal but has run year round the last two years.

Each garden bed on either side of these arbours  is anchored by a large contorted filbert, ‘Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.’  These shrubs show off their form best in winter, and have interesting dangling catkins in the early spring.  Here’s what one of them looked like last week:

Harry Lauder in winter

I pruned the other one even further up to reveal the twisty trunk (also photographed last week):

pruned Harry Lauder

You can see to Harry’s left the purple garden shed.  Let’s walk past it further up the south side of the garden.  If you had taken the alternate path, over to the northeast corner, you’d have passed this lovely sunny bed, and a mini-pond where the stream water can gather before leaving the garden:

northeast sunny garden corner

But we are moving up the south side of the two Harry Lauder beds, past the purple garden shed (which has a convenient large door out on the street side, and a smaller door on the west side).

looking back after passing the purple garden shed

We’ve now come almost to the big spruce tree at the centre of the lower garden.  If you look to your right, just past Purple Shed, this crosspath will give you a choice of how to circumnavigate around the tree:

crosspath below the spruce

The little stream runs along the path, then turns in front of the bench and goes through the stream arbour.

If you walk up the south side path around the big spruce, you’ll see the little stream and hostas and a Hydrangea quadricolour, hardy Fuchsia ‘Pat’s Dream’ and the original old rhododendrons. The north side is a fairy-like walk through hardy fuchsias that are taller than you are.  Below, having reached the center garden, just past the tree, looking back on the south side path, with Fuchsia ‘Pat’s Dream’:

south side path

Below, looking back along the path on the north side through the grove of pink and red hardy Fuchsias:

Fuchsia walk

During one garden tour, I hung cards with garden quotations among the fuchsias, and had a great time watching people read them.

Now we have reached the open space at the centre of the garden, a good area to create your own shady sit spot under the big tree.

your own sit spot in centre garden

If you stood facing these chairs, just behind you and to the right would be the large silver metal shed, high ceilinged and approximately 120 square feet.  Garden shed? Work shop? Guest house?  You decide.  And there’s even an open, ungardened space behind the shed to store something like a rowboat or kayak.

silver metal shed

On the south side of centre garden, just across from here, is a semi shady bed with a paperbark maple, a Descaisnea fargessii (Chinese Blue Bean shrub, the only one I have seen here on the peninsula) and more hardy fuchsias.

across from the silver shed

Foreground: red spikes of Persicaria superba.  The charming little stream runs along behind the paper bark maple.  On days when gardening enthusiasm waned, I always found I could get it back by puttering along the little stream.

another view of the useful silver shed

Now we are going to leave the centre garden and walk through the willow arch to the pond garden and our first good view of the house (possibly your future home?). But first, have a look to your right; there are a couple to steps down to a patio outside a little green painted travel trailer with an eccentric attic storage or sleeping space.

looking through arch from centre garden

The white flowered shrub is a spectacular spring-blooming double file viburnum.

When you step through the arch, you’ll have the sensation of leaving an enclosed space and coming out into the open. Ahead of you is the house, to your right is a large garden bed with a lot of choice shrubs and small trees that, happily for the future new owner and sadly for me, are just too big to take to our new garden!  And here is a wintertime view, from past the arch, of the wacky, eccentric trailer, which someone who appreciates odd little structures might enjoy:

green trailer

A rose ‘Paul’s Himalyan Musk’ planted at the corner of the trailer can either be sternly controlled…or allowed to clamber over the whole structure as it used to do.From spring to summer, foliage makes the trailer patio quite a secret spot.

flower pot water wheel

The flower pot water wheel, a feature of the trailer patio, was still working as of this posting.

Back to the pond path, which goes between pond and big garden bed; a little wooden bridge crosses the stream to the “island”:  a gravel patio overhung by a dappled variagated willow and more hardy fuchsias.

 

My mum on the island on garden tour day, 2008

In the foreground, the pond water with water lilies.

Here’s the view my mum would have had of the house, across the pond from where she sat.

 

view from island

Here’s what you would see in summer if you were standing right where I took that photo of my mother:

 

pond garden view

To your left, the pond.  To your right, the garden bed with some good evergreen shrubs, making the winter view from the living room window or dormer window green and interesting even in January. To the right lower side of the house, a half greenhouse/walk-through arbour sort of structure.

Let’s turn to our left and have a good look at the pond, probably my favourite feature of the whole garden.  It’s spring-fed (which is probably why the road going past the house uphill is called Spring Street).  We were told by the previous owners that it was the site of a turn of the century Chinese worker’s dormitory and that when they dug out the pond, the previous home-owners found Chinese bowls and opium bottles.

 

pond in summer

fishing float in winter pond

pond and garden in winter

 

fish, January 2011

A school of fish awaits a new caretaker.  You can see the mossy rock plunging into the pond.  The dark area in back is where the spring water flows always.

Looking back down the path in spring, you can see how gorgeous that viburnum is, and how the green trailer patio has become a secret hideaway.

 

pond garden path

One of the most remarkable things about this garden is the change in elevation once you get past the pond.  The expanse of a huge and ancient rock drops from the upper  entry gate till its mossy base is submerged in the pond.  It is my third favourite feature of the garden (first the pond, then the stream, then the amazing giant rock).

 

looking over rock to pond and island

Above: the view from halfway up the stone steps that lead from the pond level, alongside the big rock,  up to the house.  But we are going the other way, around the basement side of the house into the back yard.  Here’s what the house looks like from the base of those stone steps:

 

looking up from base of steps

To get to the back yard, we walk through that half greenhouse/half arbour made from salvaged windows.  It has a couple of benches and a space to stand and work on potting up plants. We’ll walk past the door to the half-daylight stone-walled basement and come around the corner into the shady back garden.

 

back garden

Two gorgeous small trees back here, the Salix magnifica (a remarkable willow with long spring catkins and huge glossy leaves) and the golden Robinia are too big for me to move…Lucky new owner.  Here is also room to expand the house if you wanted to.

Walking up a slope to the left of that birdbath, you come to a rock wall and some stone steps to the upper garden….so there are two stairways to get up there, one at the front of the house and one at the back of the house.

 

back yard rock wall

Just to the left of this photo are the steps going up.

Below: Here we are on the upper patio, on the same level as the main floor of the house.  Looking even further up we can see a little wooden deck with a painted wall that I think says “love, health, long life”…or something like that.  No one has been up there for awhile so test it for sturdiness if you do climb the wooden stairs to that deck!

 

topmost deck

The upper patio is made of brick and pavers, surrounded by a dramatically sloped garden, and offers two distinct areas to make your own outdoor living spaces.

 

upper back patio

Above: The back part of the upper patio (decorated for a garden tour), which has its own private feeling and even an old wood stove where you might dare to have a tiny outdoor fire on a damp day.  (After all, the roof of the house is metal!)  This area is below that wooden deck with the red wall.

 

trilliums

There will be many the plant that I haven’t moved to my new garden, like these trilliums along the upper patio which will surprise and delight you in springtime.

middle upper patio

Above, the middle section of the upper patio, beside the bay window.

 

entry patio

Above, the patio just past the front door of the house.

 

entry patio in winter

There’s room for a table and chairs outside the front door…and another working (as of now!) little water feature behind the sitting area.

 

front door

Let’s go in the front door and have a peek inside the house as it was when we lived there.

 

living room

dining table and bookshelves

You can see the stairs to the loft behind the dining table.

The house itself used to be in the boatyard, then was brought up to its present site and bolted to a stone foundation.  Although we don’t have a precise measurement, we think it is about 600 square feet.  I lived there quite cosily for 16 years, and the main reason I decided to move was because the garden was completed, done, had attained perfection (if only for a moment!), and I wanted a new challenge.

From the living room’s arched window, you get a great view of the pond:

 

arched window view

If you climb the stairs into the loft, there’s a dormer window which provides spectacular views of the garden.

 

dormer window view

a rare snowy day

garden tour day from dormer window

 

dormer view, December 2010

The dormer itself has a built in table where you can sit, think, dream, and overlook the garden (and you can also watch the boats being hauled in and out of the Ilwaco boatyard).

 

dormer table

The upstairs has a sleeping area under the peaked roof; from there, you’ll have  a view of rustling leaves and hummingbirds.

 

sleeping nook

As we leave the house and return to the upper patio garden, have a look down the stairs to the sit spot halfway down.  The big rock is on the other side of these stairs.

 

halfway stair sit spot

I always thought that right here would be a good spot for a deck.

Three or four steps take us up the to gate which leads to outside the private, walled upper patio.  If we turned to look back at the house, we would see the view that greets us upon entry:

 

from entry gate

Outside the upper entry gate is where you would probably park your car.  There is a choice Stewartia tree right outside the gate which I haven’t decided yet if I dare to move to my new garden!

 

upper entry

If you walk a few yards up rustic Spring Street, you’ll see our quirky “stockade” fence made of old garden tool pieces.

 

topmost fence

Right inside there is that topmost wooden deck, so I suppose you could put a gate through for easier access to the most remote sit spot of the garden.

To any soul who has made it through this whole garden tour:  Thanks for taking time to walk and remember with me, and if you know anyone who wants a unique garden and a tiny house, this might be the place for a very special person.  If you want to read more about the town where the garden is located, check out the Discover Ilwaco page on Facebook.  Here is the real estate listing for the house. And I promise that, finally, my next post will segue to our NEW garden.

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We have so much to do, including the dreaded pruning of the 300 hydrangeas.  It’s difficult to add in the 300 hydrangea job because the place is not an ongoing client, and fitting such a huge event in just once a year, during late winter clean up, interferes with caring for our regular clients.  So, as the hydrangeas loom, we dash about here and there trying to make things look halfway decent for when we disappear for a week into hydrangea-land.

We stopped by The Red Barn and Diane C’s place for some quick deadheading and saw an adorable flock of birds which I would normally have expected to see at the beach rather than in a pasture puddle:

sandpipers?

a puddle of birds

We spent another afternoon in Long Beach adding violas to the planters.  I was appalled to discover that the planter by First Place Mall…just north of the go-kart track…has had its tulips chomped by deer who were quite bold (as usual) to walk onto the main drag and have a tasty foliage snack. That is now going to be one lop-sided flower display.

bulb chomping

tulips chomped by deer

I’m moved by the paint job on on a little gift shop in the middle of Long Beach, because look at what little red house it resembles:

red shop

little red shop

Gramma's house

little red house

Same colour scheme as my Grandma’s (and later my own) little red house in Seattle, including the very bright colour…when I had the house repainted, I made sure the colour was bright and clear.

From a mouse’s eye view of the garden by Marsh’s Free Museum, you can see that the crocuses are looking grand.

Long Beach park

As we were planting violas in the Ilwaco planters a couple of days later, I felt mystified by why a planter which is extremely exposed to the wind had the healthiest trailing rosemary, while a more sheltered planter had the deadest one.

good rosemary

happy rosemary

dead rosemary

dead trailing rosemary

Why is nature so capricious?

At least I can take joy in the many colourful flowers that are coming on in all of the planters.

species tulips, Ilwaco planter

At home, during two rainy days, I worked on updating Facebook albums while the ever energetic Allan installed near our pond an arbour built by my former partner, Robert Sullivan.  It’s a thing of beauty which once embellished my mother’s garden, and which I was not about to let be sold with her house…so here it is.  There was some debate about where to put it: Over a main path would perhaps block the movement of Allan’s motorcycle or perhaps make it hard to bring in a new appliance if the need arose, so now it is the grand entry way to our pond patio. Bless Allan for being so energetic even on a rainy day off.

arbour detail

spider web arbour detail

Allan also reports that there is still a school of fish which has survived the pokings about of the three raccoons!

In two days we will begin (weather permitting) the hydrangea job…and when it is done I may actually get my own garden, all of Long Beach, and every other garden of ours truly ready for spring.

spider web arbour

spider web arbour

It is a darn shame that Robert did not continue on with his ironwork.  I believe there are three wonderful arbours like this in existence: one here, one at Kathleen’s Sea Garden, and one at my friend Sharon’s garden near Portland.  A number of his gates are at Klipsan Beach Cottagesand at a friend’s house in Ridgefield.  If I had a talent like that, I would pursue it with passion.

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