Posts Tagged ‘Bainbridge Island’

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The storm did not veer away or fizzle out.  It appeared as predicted with 47 mph wind gusts at the port and 1.36 inches of rain (with three hours of rain left to go in the day as I write this).


Skooter had no desire to go outside.



I finished my book.  (We’ll get to some garden photos after this reading time.)


This is the same author whose reading we attended at Time Enough Books last week.


author Kathleen Alcalá at Time Enough Books

The entire book is wonderful…except for one brief passage when the slim and beautiful author expresses her distaste for seeing overweight people buying pallets of food at Costco. (The day I read that paragraph, I in fact went shopping at Costco!)  At her reading, I mentioned to her that passage and gently suggested she read Body of Truth by Harriet Brown, and I hope she does.  I wrote it down for her.

Nevertheless, every other paragraph in the book gets my top rating.

Here are a few of my favourite parts.

About Michele Obama’s White House garden, and her book American Grown, in better days:



I loved that The Deepest Roots mentions Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens, a book written by a Bainbridge Islander.  I used to own a copy and just loved it even though I don’t have chickens.  (I need to get that book for Melissa!)

Description of the author’s garden:


I appreciate the mention of Jamaica Kinkaid.



Kinkaid’s book is excellent.

In my teens and twenties, I used to frequently take the ferry to the town of Winslow on Bainbridge Island for a fun day out.  I doubt I would recognize Winslow now.


I like the woman who just calmly read:


for readers who are fungus fans:



Think about this:


I love the quiet in the garden, when no one in the neighborhood is mowing or string trimming!


Sharing food garden at Town and Country Market:


People have suggested that we have a food forest growing in Long Beach and Ilwaco.  The problem is that our windy weather is not very conducive to fruit trees on the ocean side of the Peninsula.  I was excited to Google and read about the town of “Incredible, edible Todmorden” in England.


I want to grow these:


It is useful to know that white camassia is poisonous to eat!


She imagines a post apocalyptic world:


I looked to my right and was pleased to see a wall of books.



And those are just novels and memoirs; the gardening and nature books are on another wall.


This is a beautiful book and I can think of several people who would love it as much as I do (and I have already bought a copy for one of them).

I looked back in my own archives and found these photos, from sometime between 1970 and 1973, of some trips that my friend Montana Mary and I took to Bainbridge Island.

on the ferry, with Seattle as the backdrop

We would go to the grocery store and buy apple beer, which was a non alcoholic drink that amused us.

Winslow, Eagle Harbor

Winslow by the ferry dock

I believe this is all built up by now.

We used always to walk down to this beach near the ferry dock.

We walked along a county road all the way to Fay Bainbridge State Park and back. It is now a busy road.

Mary on the quiet road.

That was quite a walk from Eagle Harbor. Mary and I often took long all day walks; back then I could live up to my last name of Walker.

Coming back to the present stormy afternoon, I checked the Heroncam.  Dark and rainy in Long Beach.


I followed the book with a thorough catch up on reading my favourite blog, by Mr Tootlepedal.  If I read it a couple of weeks late, I can also enjoy the witty and informative comment section.

At 6 Pm, the wind had finally slowed.  We went out to check for storm damage and to assess whether or not we could enjoy the four day weekend I had so been hoping for.


My rambling rose flowers had not blown off.


Eryngium ‘Big Blue’

Port of Ilwaco

The gardens were not as damaged as I had feared.

The boatyard garden:



Stipa gigantea had suffered.








still have red poppies


On Howerton Avenue, the worse damage was to these sea thrift on the north side of the bookstore!

Long Beach


welcome sign

The baskets did not look as bad as I had feared.  The leaves did not get turned to blackened mush like during the strong freak summer storm of late August 2015.

That storm has wind of 56 mph and more.  Long Beach probably had 35-40 mph this time and the damage was not severe.



still looks good in what is probably the windiest planter


The bigger Geranium ‘Rozanne’ were the most windblown of the planter plants.


Had to deadhead these Dutch iris…

The south side of the police station was the biggest crisis.




We fixed it so we could have tomorrow off.


earlier this week




I did cut off the asphodel flower.


Fifth Street Park not too bad.


Allan’s photo


protected baskets on north side

Port of Ilwaco Office

We saved this for last because I knew there would be some work there and I did not want to start out wet and cold.  I was thrilled to see the port staff had put up hooks to protect the hanging baskets by putting them on the north side of the building.


a beautiful sight


gale warning storm flags (Allan’s photo)


south side


after some staking and clipping and waterfalls falling on us from the deck above



rain gauge plus water buckets I filled before the storm so the barrels could refill; rose flopped across the path


Snails on my new tradescantia.  NOT cute.  I was not nice to them.





Otherwise, very little damage.






Recently transplanted paperbark maple is still happy.

Now we can have the four days off that I have been wanting, and I’m hoping for good enough weather to get a lot of weeding and planting done. Allan’s plans may be more adventurous.






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Ann Lovejoy’s garden

I have no photos of the 2000 garden show in Seattle because that was one of the years that a show had a VHS tour available for purchase.  The day after the garden show, Ann Lovejoy (yes, the Northwest garden writer whose 1988 lecture at Tilth I credit with turning me into an impassioned gardener) invited me and Mary to Bainbridge Island and took us to lunch, as a thankyou to me for having started the volunteer boatyard garden in Ilwaco.  I had talked with her about it at the workshop in Cannon Beach the previous summer.  That was also the day we helped a bit with one of her volunteer garden projects at the Bainbridge Library. She took us to her own garden and to the nursery of which she was then part owner.   Below, her garden in February with a wall made of broken concrete.

Anne's Bainbridge garden, 2000

Anne’s Bainbridge Island garden, 2000

wattle fence around a tank, Ann's garden

wattle fence around a tank, Ann’s garden

Below:  In Ann Lovejoy’s garden, at the side of a large open area she used for outdoor Tai Chi. The property was her home and garden school and Tai Chi studio all in one.

Tai Chi area

Tai Chi area

The wattle fence behind the patio had been created by Sue Skelly, whose long ago Ballard garden had been an inspiration to me.

Below:  In Ann’s  garden; I was thrilled to see her work area.

work area

work area

Ann took us to a new garden that she was creating; this shows the design technique of leaving space between shrubs and one’s house.

leaving space
leaving space
She also took us on a tour of Bainbridge Island Nursery

She also took us on a tour of Bainbridge Island Nursery

a typical Ann design

a typical Ann design idea (love!)

At lunch, she shared her own hardships in beginning her writing career, in her marriage ending, and other stories that made me realize my own personal struggles were much the same and that eventually I might be able to come out the other side of the difficulties.



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After another short week of frenzied work, off we went to Seattle to stay with Allan’s folks and go to nurseries and to the Garden Conservancy tour of 3 Bainbridge Island gardens plus Heronswood.  Up at seven on Saturday, a shockingly early hour for us, we headed for the ferry and then for the McFarlane Garden overlooking the water at the island’s south end.  A grand house confused us with gates and entries: which one to take? Inside we heard voices (which turned out to be those of the Rainysiders who we were meeting for part of the tour.) Finally a quite beautiful man with dreadlocks and a charming Jamaican accent guided us through a gate; when we had arrived and parked at the end of the cul de sac we had seen him doing the final touches of pruning.  We also noted that a bed in the park across the street was being landscaped with overflow from the house gardens, a generous gesture and helpful when a gardener runs out of room.

McFarlane garden

The house was grand, the gardens mostly formal and structured with some exuberant plantings and some restful Italianate scenes.

verticality in the MacFarlane garden

While I enjoyed walking through and admired every inch, I was not deeply moved perhaps because it all seemed so far beyond my reach (a feeling I did not get in the grandeur of the Old Germantown Road Garden, oddly enough).  I enjoyed but did not gasp or get teary-eyed with gardening joy.

Maybe I just was not awake enough yet, because it truly was an impressive garden, and Allan said he appreciated the style because “there was no chaos” and if he were taking care of the garden, he would be “very proud of how tidy it was.”  He pointed out the the Germantown garden is totally maintained by the owners and perhaps that made it more exciting to me.

The next stop, the famous Little and Lewis garden, did bring gasps and thrills and joy.  I’d been there before but would never tire of it, and I wanted Allan to see it (and, later, especially, Heronswood).  Allan commented that it is very small compared to “how big it photographs” and marveled at how much is there.  It’s the Tardis effect: bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.  He also noted what pleasant hosts the artists/owners are. You can see far more wonderful photos of the garden in Little and Lewis’ own book, A Garden Gallery, but I must share some of my favourite scenes.

entry courtyard, so vibrant; the famous gunnera leaf; raccoon sculpture

(left) the famous painted pillars (right)One of the beautiful painted walls with the ever so famous weeping tree of ferns and baby tears.

Onward to the nearby Skyler garden where the sunny entryway gave little hint of the winding maze of paths.  Allan liked it becaue of the paths, and the variety of materials used to make them, and the “changes of character and mood” as we moved through the garden.

entering the Skyler garden

I especially appreciated and felt empowered by the narrowness of some of the paths and by how the garden was opened to us despite its admirers having to move carefully one by one. (Empowered because sometimes I question the narrowness of some of my own paths.  But even Lucy Hardiman has narrow paths at the back of her garden.)

paths in the Skyler garden

(Above) Paths narrow, and narrower, and one which had charmingly disappeared.  It was there, if one looked closely under the foliage, but we had to backtrack, and I loved that: the plants came first.  By now, we had diverged from the Rainyside group, most of whom were planning an hour and a half social picnic lunch…but we had several nurseries to visit before touring Heronswood so would be waiting till dinnertime to socialize.

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