Posts Tagged ‘bayside garden’

Friday, 5 June 2020

At last we managed to visit Steve and John’s garden by Willapa Bay. Although (due to the second spring clean up at work after our non-essential weeks and to the emergency building of our coyote-proof catio and then the time-consuming plant sale prep) we had missed the peak rhododendron bloom time, this garden has much to offer at any season.

When we arrived a few minutes early, Steve was tidying the garden with bucket and picker-upper.


Let’s walk through through the garden with Steve and John, enjoy the vistas, and give the plants some individual attention…social distancing, of course.


In the upper beds near the house:


Acer platanoides ‘Rezak’, “the only plant on the property with a tag”


Allan’s photo of an unidentified acer


Steve and John (Allan’s photo)

I tried to take good notes, but had forgotten a clipboard, so many rhododendron names were illegible.


As always, Steve and John helped via email with the identifications.


Rhododendron ‘Ring of Fire’


Rhododendron ‘Ring of Fire’


I was overexcited by the purple stems and my photo is blurry…


Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’ (highly fragrant in its pink bloom)


enviable hostas


Hosta ‘Madame Wu’ (Allan’s photo)


more perfect hostas and proof that we had missed peak rhododendron bloom time


grassy paths down the north side of the property


The rhododendrons with white tomentum, the powdery substance on top of the leaves, are my favourites. Rhododendron sinofalconeri Vietnamese form


emerging into sun on the north side, as we amble westward


left: ‘Orange Rocket’ barberry, which we all expected to be more columnar. Right: Drymis winteri

A few more rhododendrons had kindly waited for our visit.




R. ‘Anna’ in front of R. ‘Leo’


Rhododendron ‘Mango Tango’

Many in this collection had leaves that, to me, are as good as any bloom.  Visits to this garden have been a revelation from the standard rather boring rhododendrons that I had been familiar with before.


R. ‘Sir Charles Lemon’ with R. ‘Lissabon’ in foreground

We now cross the driveway to the shady south beds under limbed up trees.


looking back north across the driveway


south side of driveway: a grove of rhodies original to the property, which was a rhododendron nursery at one time.



Allan’s photo


R. ‘Cupcake’



Rhododendron degronianum ssp yakushimanum x R pachysanthum, my favourite of all


Cornus canadensis, a groundcover that I love.

In the ferny beds…


cinnamon fern


Allan’s photo




Rhododendron ‘Jan Dekens’


the cryptomeria grove



Crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean lantern tree)


R. ‘Yaku Princess’


the glorious variety of rhododendron leaves


Allan’s photo


Rhododendron macabeanum


Rhododendron sinofalconeri


Allan’s photo, Steve and a few remaining blooms


R. quinquefolium


Rhododendron lepidostylum


Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’


and its flowers

P1030333 2

Rhododendron ‘Starbright Champagne’, Steve’s favourite


R. pseudochrysanthum


Hydrangea ‘Lemon Daddy’ which I love and keep forgetting to look for…maybe I can beg a cutting later this year.


looking north across the irrigation pond

We crossed over there, but I got too busy chatting about plants and only took one photo.



Allan’s photo: Leptospermum lanigerum ‘Lydia’ from Xera plants. Woolly tea tree, comes from New Zealand. Genista in the background.

John had left us to prepare some tea and cake.  We walked up the driveway…


…around the south side of the house…

DSC04135…to …to the sheltered sit spot at the southeast corner of the house, where this was our view:


We had walked here to start our tour and to admire a little rhododendron growing in a stump on the north side of the lawn.



R. keiskei ‘Yaku Fairy’. What a little cutie.

We sat for tea and cake with this backdrop.



Allan’s telephotos of an interesting vessel…


…and of Baby Island.

We had tea from Beach House Teas...



…and observed proper social distancing.

John had baked a dessert of Dutch Spice Bread (Ontbijtkoek, aka Breakfast Cake). Delicious.


(Steve, with a bouquet I brought)


Allan’s photo

It was our first social outing since the stay at home order expired.


We were serenaded by birds…


Allan’s photo

…and visited by Mr. Towhee, a special friend of the family.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

As we departed, we further admired the entry garden.




Allan’s photo

If you would like to visit this garden in other seasons and earlier years, just put “bayside garden” into our search box, and you will get a wealth of posts.

You can see a drone video of the garden (which also shows inside the house) on this realty listing…which also means you could dream of living here yourself.

Steven and John were organizing the big 2020 conference for the American Rhododendron Society, when the coronavirus reared up and postponed it till 2022. If you live in the US and all these amazing rhododendrons inspire you to become a collector, joining that organization would be a good place to begin.


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Sunday, 5 August 2018

Steve and John of the Bayside Garden had invited a group of working gardeners for lunch and an afternoon in the garden.

John and a bouquet that we brought (Allan’s photo)

some flowers from my garden

and sweet peas from Todd’s garden

We had Todd Wiegardt of Willapa Gardening, Pam Fleming of Nature’s Helper in Seaside, Dave Van Domelon representing Sea Star Gardening, and Ed Strange, who has just this past week retired and passed on his business, Strange Landscaping, into new hands. (I wonder if the new owner will change the name?)

We started with mimosas. Pam, Todd, Dave (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Todd had brought carrots, beets, zucchini and lettuce from his amazing family veg garden (Allan’s photo)

As always at Steve and John’s, the food was delectable.

Allan’s photo

Dave, Pam, Steve, me

Ed, Todd, and John (Allan’s photo)

After a good long lunch and chat, Ed departed because he had much to do.  He has started a new business doing estate sales, at which he will excel.  The rest of us went on a tour throughout the garden, starting with the Willapa Bay (east) side.

the view from inside looking east

and the view to the north

There are about 80 clipped evergreen huckleberries in this bayside dell.

Hydrangeas ‘Bombshell’ and ‘Endless Summer’ at the north edge of the bayside garden; low tide on the bay.

We walked around the house to the driveway garden on the south side.

Here is Corokia x virgata ‘Sunsplash’…

which I know because John had his database notebook with him.

…which is something I keep meaning to do for my garden.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

west side of the house

looking west down the south side of the driveway

As we continued our walk, I resolved this time to try to photograph the views of the garden as a whole rather than focusing so much on individual plants.  (It also takes less brain power, which is waning in August.)  The bright sunlight was not entirely conducive

looking across to the north side of the driveway

north side

north side

north side: Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’

Ulmus ‘Jacqueline Hillier’ demands a close look.

looking west down the driveway

We proceeded through the newest planting areas under the limbed up trees on the south side of the driveway.

the joy of plants (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

further along the south side, in a newly planted area (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

A merged trunk to puzzle over (Allan’s photo)

A ruffly ligularia (farfugium) reminds me that I used to have this plant…(pretty sure)

a rhododendron with a mind of its own

my special silver leaved pet

Rhododendron degronianum ssp yakushimanum x R. pachysanthum

Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’, another one I especially like.

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’

right: Rhododendron sinogrande

Allan’s photo

all beautifully mulched

a young Itea illicifolia (Allan’s photo)

cryptomeria grove

Dave, Todd, John

Pam wanted to get into the sun (I liked the cool shade) and she and Steve went to the other side of the irrigation pond to the sunny borders.

a look back at the blissful shady cryptomeria grove

looking east toward the house

a frog in the irrigation pond (Allan’s photo)

Allan saw “hundreds and thousands” of tadpoles in the pond.

the north side of the pond

Monarda and Todd (Allan’s photo)

rudbeckia by the pond (Allan’s photo)

a young Camperdown elm

Pam, John, Steve, Todd, and a Berberis ‘Orange Rocket’ that was supposed to be columnar

Allan’s photo

a sit spot as we walk east toward the house

a sunny border

(The wooden boxes above are on the next door property.)

another sit spot

enviable hostas as we near the house

a gorgeous old hydrangea

a prostrate golden yew wending its way among rhododendrons

kitchen garden by the pump house

We had completed our tour, and the party dispersed because Pam needed to be in Astoria soon.

more garden talk before departing (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo: Steve, John, Pam, Todd, Dave, me

I wouldn’t have minded staying for cocktail hour! But we did want to show Pam our own garden, since she only makes it up here a couple of times a year.

postscript at our garden

On the way south, Pam stopped for a 20 minute tour at our place.

Allan’s photo

That was a good day out and inspired me to make some further plans for the shady bogsy wood at home.




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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)




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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

While Steve and John were away rhododendron touring overseas, we took a walk through their garden.  This will publish a couple of days after their return so that they can see some of the beauty that was happening at home during their absence.  Because we did not have their guidance, this entry is all about the beauty and not at all about education and plant names.

We walked down to the irrigation pond and back to the house again.

north driveway bed near the house

sword ferns (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

north side of the house (and a corner of the pump house)

Allan’s photo

the depth and layers of the garden, looking west

Some folks might be interested to know that at this point, frustrated with the misbehavior of my Sony camera (which will no longer zoom one little bit), I switched to a refurbished Lumix which had just come in the mail.  Some might also be interested to know that within a day it had already twice told me “Turn the camera off and on again”—not a good sign for longevity!

west side of house with look through to Willapa Bay

Allan’s photo

overlooking Willapa Bay and the evergreen huckleberry dell

south side of driveway near the house

north side of driveway

Allan’s photo

The light was very bright and dark.

south side of driveway, the grove of old rhododendrons, almost done blooming

tall white one in full bloom

another cloud of white

Allan’s photo

looking southwest to the newer part of the garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

north side of driveway, toward the irrigation pond

the irrigation pond

as we walk back up toward the house

at the house again; west side

the garden between the two wings of the house

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

window reflection

Welcome back, Steve and John!





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Friday, 11 May 2018

McCormick-Stephens Garden on Willapa Bay

The entry drive is shared with Deb’s garden (formerly the Barclay garden), with rhododendrons from the old Clarke Nursery on Steve and John’s side of the driveway.

We had to stop the van to admire.

Another angle, photographed by Steve:

“Those are R. ‘Naselle’ (darker pink) and R. ‘Lem’s Cameo’ (lighter)” (Steve)

turning right to proceed up Steve and John’s long driveway

We saw new garden beds to our right.

still driving

We reached the house and, with Steve and John as our plant guides, began to tour the acreage and admire the glories of rhododendron time.

by the house: Podocarpus ‘Country Park Fire’

Steve and the upper garden

Taxus ‘Watnong Gold’ (prostrate yew)

Taxus ‘Watnong Gold’

Taxus ‘Watnong Gold’ (Allan’s photo)

well grown hostas, and a sword fern circle where once was salal

a richly purple iris

We all agreed the cold wind was terribly annoying, especially when trying to photograph madly swaying flowers.

Steve and Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’

the towering and strongly fragrant Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’

In the woodland as we walked west from the house, ‘R. Beauty of Littleworth’

Rhododendron  ‘Winsome Pink’

Thujopsis dolobrata ‘Nana’

stunning new leaves

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’

R. ‘Percy Wiseman’

R. ‘Butterfly’ (pretty sure)

R. ‘Butterfly’

R ‘Butterfly’ (Allan’s photo)

unidentified even by the experts

R. ‘Mayday’

Allan’s photo

Admiring a darling little rhodie with John. (Allan’s photo)

We are now wandering the paths in the newer areas of the garden on the lower south side of the driveway.

golden leaved osmanthus (Allan’s photo)

R. ‘Starbright Champagne’, still Steve’s favourite

more cool new leaves of R. ‘Bibiani’  (Allan’s photo)

Disporum ‘Night Heron’

Disporum ‘Night Heron’

a swathe of deer fern (Allan’s photo)

land of many treasures

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ (Allan’s photo)

a handsome arisaema

leaf appreciation (Allan’s photo)

and more leaf appreciation by Allan

New rhododendrons are always being added to the collection, which is why many in the lower and newly developed areas are still small.

R. protistum (species) with huge leaves (Allan’s photo)

admiring the white underside of Mahonia gracilipes (Allan’s photo)

Tolmiea menziesii

AKA “the piggyback plant” (Allan’s photos)

further leaf appreciation (Allan’s photo)

R. ‘PJM Elite’ (Allan’s photo)

the leathery leaves of R. edgeworthii

Allan’s photo

the tidal stream at the south side of the property; Steve has been grooming the other side with a long handled pruner or saw.  Low tide.

Looking east with the house way in the background

The area above, like all around the trees used to be, was salal.  Many of the new planting beds used to look like this one…

…which may soon be for the chop.  It takes hard work to get salal out.  I am terribly impressed with the triumph over this tough native (which I would also be trying to get rid of, although it is fine off in the woods somewhere).

Azalea ‘Arneson Gem’

Rhododendron ‘Fire Rim’

a fragrant magnolia

more leaf appreciation

Taxus ‘Black Dragon’

The new leaves are as beautiful as the flowers…to me.

the tiny bells of R. benhallii

covetable golden Hydrangea ‘Lemon Daddy’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

On the north side of the driveway, rhododendrons old and new:

We have now walked over to the north irrigation pond beds:

R. ‘Crater Lake’, with a lake of blue underneath (Allan’s photo)

The white pines (Pinus Strobus) evoke John’s childhood.

One of the newest beds. (Allan’s photo)

the darling funny flower of R. spinuliferum

a rhodie like a rose: R. ‘Autumn fire’ — a reblooming Encore azalea

All the names and knowledge of the rhododendrons comes out of Steve and John’s minds, not mine!

Here we are back up at the well established, mature garden by the house.

Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’….the same that I killed in my garden by moving it one too many times!

a backdrop of treelike mature rhododendrons

Allan’s photo

by the front door

between the wings, with a view through to the bay

Acer palmatum ‘Ukigomo’ (“Floating clouds” Japanese maple)in between the two wings of the house (Allan’s photo)

It was now time for tea and savory treats.

kitchen window view, evergreen huckleberry dell and Willapa Bay

Allan’s photo

tea time

and the low tide view from my chair

Looking back at older posts about this garden (some of which are listed at the end of this post), it is remarkable to see how it has matured in the last four years.  I want to live long enough to see the lower garden fully grown.  I cannot think of another garden on the peninsula that has such a carefully curated collection of plants.

Any mistakes in plant names are my own.  Here is one of four pages of my pitiful notes…  I email lots of photos to Steve for help.

bonus photos from Steve:

the glorious Rhododendron ‘Mango Tango’

Rhododendron ‘Snow Queen’

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We had run into Steve and John at the 6×6 art auction three days before and were invited to tour their latest garden expansion.  On this cold and windy late afternoon, we bundled up and examined the entire garden…except for the beds on the east side, by the bay, from whence the wind came.  The tour was so interesting that we hardly commented on the cold.

Our tour started as we drove up to the house.

the driveway in

two beautiful piles of mulch that had just been delivered

young gingko by the irrigation pond

Met by Steve and John by the house, we began our walking tour.

This bed to the south east of the house was salal just a few days ago.  It is a hard task to get all the roots of that vigorously running native out of the ground, especially under a tree.

John picks a non variegated leaf off of a new variegated hydrangea.

The whole south side has been cleared of scrubby trees, including holly.

The tidal stream marking the edge of the property is now revealed.

Allan’s photo

I teased Steve and John that they would now be stretching a plank across the stream to lie on and trim the sword ferns on the other side.

I would have thought for sure the new shrub, below, in a new bed, was a rhododendron.  It is not.

Rhododendron ‘Pinky Purple People Eater’

Looking back on the new area. The tall old species rhododendrons to the left will enjoy the increased light.

Here is how it looked (not from exactly the same spot) earlier this year:

16 July 2017

We continued our walk to the west.

Foreground: Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Arbor Care from Astoria had done the expert clearing and had also limbed up the remaining trees. Steve and John said that when Arbor Care is done, you can’t even tell they were there (other than the results), because all the debris is chipped and cleaned up.

The photo below from January 1st demonstrates the difference in how the trees look now.

1 January 2017

We crossed the driveway, where the garden beds are also expanding.

a sinuous new bed

a fairly recent bed in the northwest lawn

Allan took notice of this tree, Athrotaxis cupressoides (Pencil Pine)

the very newest lawn bed of all

Each new plant gets some attention and admiration.

Quercus alnifolia (golden oak)

Quercus alnifolia (golden underside of leaves)

Allan noticed wire laid to discourage deer.

An independent minded dawn redwood which lost its leader and turned into a shrub.

The redwood on the other side of the driveway had behaved like a regular tree. This one…not. (Allan’s photo)

At least one big tree has been removed from this view, looking east over the pond.

Compare to May 2 of 2015.

May 2, 2015, on the Rhodie Tour

We walked back up the driveway, admiring the pushing back of scrubby salal and undergrowth on the south side, giving the garden greater depth..

Allan admired a fern.

the cryptomeria grove

Even though the photo below, from May 2, 2015, is from a little further to the east, it shows the difference that the clearing and limbing up has made.

May 2, 2015

center: Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

right: Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Hill’s Bright Red’

another new area

We admired more plants in the mature beds, planted in late spring 2009, to the northwest of the house.

Acer ‘Bijou’ in gold

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ blowing in the wind.

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ (Allan’s photo)

autumnal hosta

(background) Rhododendrons closing their leaves against the cold wind

Brrr. They will close their leaves even more against winter’s cold.

Allan’s photo

Rhododendron pachysanthum by the front door

in the courtyard, looking through the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

coral bark maples

the last of the dahlias and the green roofed pump house

falling leaves

a look to the west before retreating indoors

same view on July 16 ’17

From the kitchen, we looked across the lower level to the stormy bay.  At a high winter tide, the water will come up over the rough grass.

south east corner: The evergreen huckleberry glade and the outlet of the tidal stream

view to the north: To the rear is Sorbus ‘Pink Pagoda’

A friend had given John and Steve some quinces, from which John had made a special treat, Quince membrillo, served with Monchego cheese, a delicious cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep.  Served on crackers, it brought back memories of my grandmother’s quince jelly.

Quince membrillo

We admired a new piece of art that they had recently acquired from local woodcarver Jim Unwin.

by Jim Unwin

We visited till early evening, about gardening and politics, little knowing the glorious news of the blue wave of Democrat victories that awaited us in the evening news.

If you would like to virtually tour this garden in different seasons, here are some of our past posts about it:

26 September, 2013

21 April 2014

16 June 2014

19 July 2014 (garden tour)

2 September 2014

7 March 2015

2 May 2015 (Rhodie Tour)

23 June 2015

21 April 2016

24 July 2016

1 January 2017

11 May 2017

16 July 2017







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Sunday, 16 July 2017

While waiting for Todd and our friends to return from a walk to the bay, along with reading and thinking, I had been texting Steve of the bayside garden to tell him we would soon be on our way.  He said, “Bring Todd,” so we easily talked Todd into accompanying us to the last garden of our tour.  Melissa and Dave had gone their own way to get some work done.

Steve and John’s bayside garden

Steve and John were sitting and waiting by the front door as if they had not been weeding before we came. Midway through our informal tour day, I had learned that Evan is a rhododendron fan, so I was especially pleased for him to see this garden.  The long driveway up to the house gives a good feel for how many wonderful plants we were about to see. (My note-taking ability disappeared with so many friends touring together.  Steve and John helped me out via email, later.)

We started on the bay side of the house.

John by the house (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, John, Allan, Steve, Todd.

Allan’s photo

to the north, the evergreen huckleberry glade

another bayside bed

detail (Allan’s photo)


That bed includes this fabulous rhododendron: R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum ‘Yaku Angel’ Form

Next to a camellia, this cool wavy leaved rhododendron is ‘Jan Dekans’.

On the patio on the bay side of the house sat this box of succulents.  They were a gift from a friend in consolation for the green roof of the pump house having lost its most special plants in our cold winter.

More ordinary succulents are now the stars of the pump house roof.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


at the front of the house: Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’ (Floating Clouds Japanese Maple) with Taxus x media ‘Beanpole’

Here we admire an osmanthus that had lost its leaves during the past winter. It is now limbed up and leafed out again, and more light can now enter this area.

shade and hosta garden; note two inviting shares in the sunshine

new foliage on Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’


high gloss rhodie and hydrangea

A big old cotoneaster with a ruff of aucuba around its trunk. (They were all grown together when Steve and John took on this garden.)

John and a small rhododendron with finely cut leaves; Evan knew the name, and I have one, and have forgotten, of course.  Per Evan: Rhododendron stenopetalum ‘Linearifolium’

Todd by a sunny mixed border (Allan’s photo)

Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Sir Charles Lemon’

Newly cleared area now has sprinklers installed and is soon to be planted.

lots of room and nicely contoured ground

My favourite of all.   Rhododendron pachysanthum x ??

more gorgeous leaves on R. ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Rhododendron ‘Starbright Champagne’ is a favourite in this garden.

More R. ‘Ever Red’ (easy to remember!) (Allan’s photo)

strolling into an area that was newly planted about a year ago or less.


evergreen huckleberry in a bed of moss

a brand new bed with Taxus baccata ‘Watnong Gold’ to echo the same up near the house.

Rhododendron sinogrande with grand leaves.

Todd and Evan, who worked together at Plant Delights

The irrigation pond

glistening afternoon light

Steve had said that the garden looks best in afternoon light, and that was why we had gone here last.

Todd and Ann looking up a plant

I love the foliage on this genista best when it is not blooming.

Callistemon viridiflorus (Allan’s photo)

after two days of touring

on our walk back to the house, to the south of the driveway: This tree will be incorporated into a bed, and the salal to the right is next for the axe (or pick).

I heartily approve of the continued removal of boring old salal!

And then we had cake and tea, coffee, sparkling water.

The cake was from Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta.  Todd, Evan, Ann, me, Steve

When we walked outside again to leave, the evening light was stunning, looking west.

Ann getting the back light just perfect.

Chaemacyparis pisifera ‘Vintage Gold’

Allan’s photo

After this feast of plants, then cake, then light, we parted ways. Evan and Ann had a drive back to Portland and Castle Rock, and Allan had plans to water the community building garden before dark.  It seemed like many hours since we had begun touring in our garden, then Pink Poppy Farm, The Oysterville garden, Marty and Steve’s, Sea Star, Todd’s, and the bayside garden.  Someone of the group complimented me for having arranged “the best garden tour”.

Next: Back to work…and trying to get the blog back to closer to real time again.






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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Steve and John threw a big “do” in the afternoon at their home  by the bay, in the setting of one of my favourite peninsula gardens.

Because many folks were expected, we parked below and strolled up through the garden.



conifers by the irrigation pond

conifers by the irrigation pond

Some ice remained on the irrigation pond.

Some ice remained on the irrigation pond.

south side of the driveway

south side of the driveway

the former salal bed

one of the former salal beds (so impressively cleared out last year!)


approaching the house

approaching the house

near the front door

near the front door

coral bark maple

coral bark maple


Steve later told me he had picked up every fallen leaf the day before, and then a wind blew and down came more.  I said the golden leaves, from a tall cotoneaster, were like gold leaf on a fancy dessert.

coral bark maple (Allan's photo)

coral bark maple (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the pump house roof garden (which has been covered at night because of frost)

the pump house roof garden (which has been covered at night because of frost)

Inside the house:

looking out the front window at the coral bark maple

looking out the front window at the coral bark maple

just part of the delicious food items

just some of the delicious food items


My favourite: a caviar and shrimp topped creation that was like the fanciest ever deviled egg.

My favourite: a caviar and shrimp topped creation that was like the fanciest ever deviled egg.

an exquisite mango dipping sauce; I tried not to be greedy.

an exquisite mango dipping sauce; I tried not to be greedy.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I should have known all of these people.  Because of face blindness, I was fairly well flummoxed except for a few.

dessert with a view

dessert with a view (looking east)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; John in the checked shirt

the view north to the pump house and kitchen/dahlia garden

the view north to the pump house and kitchen/dahlia garden

a tablescape

a tablescape

After noshing a bit, I happened to look out the front window again and saw the arrival of Dave and Melissa, walking up the drive with Nanci of Nanci and Jimella’s Café.

Dave and Mel and Nanci

Dave and Mel and Nanci

view to the southeast: the clipped huckleberry glade

view to the southeast: the clipped huckleberry glade


a show of clouds to the east. The table centerpiece is called Reflections, by local artist Jim Unwin.

a show of clouds to the east. The table centerpiece is called Reflections, by local artist Jim Unwin.

Jim Unwin himself admires another artist's creation.

Jim Unwin himself admires another artist’s creation.

Seaside gardener Pam, her spouse Dave, and Sean and Jim arrived.  I gazed at this seasonal tableau while seated and chatting with Pam.  Outside, hummingbirds hovered around a blooming camellia.


Dave and Melissa and I took an afternoon walk through the garden.



The most sensitive rhododendrons are saying Brrrr. And it is supposed to get colder.

The most sensitive rhododendrons are saying Brrrr. And it is supposed to get colder.


Some rhodos are just fine with the cold.

glowing dogwood twigs

glowing dogwood twigs

I hope my pittosporum 'Tasman Ruffles' eventually gets this tall.

I hope my Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’ eventually gets this tall.

The baby specimen rhododendrons are toddler sized now.

The baby specimen rhododendrons are toddler sized now.


moss and berries

moss and berries

Pretty sure this is my favourite, whose leaves will be silver in springtime.

Pretty sure this is my favourite, whose leaves will be silver in springtime.

The irrigation pond mirrored the garden.





back up the driveway

back up the driveway

Sean and Allan

Sean and Allan

"Take a better picture!" said Sean, but I was too far away.

“Take a better picture!” said Sean, but I was too far away.

Back inside:

clouds over the Willapa Hills

clouds over the Willapa Hills

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


We departed as the clouds began turning pink.  Thank you, Steve and John!  We overheard many words of praise about the “do”.


twilight coral bark maple

twilight coral bark maple

On the way home, we made a detour over to Klipsan Beach Cottages to deliver Denny’s belated birthday present.

at Klipsan Beach Cottages

at Klipsan Beach Cottages

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

by the office door

by the office door

A bit of a social whirl will continue as we have a political meeting and a special birthday tomorrow, followed by a not so exciting dentist appointment on Tuesday and then…back to reading.

One of these days I WILL get back out into my own garden.









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Thursday, 21 April 2016


Tulip ‘Leo’ at home.  A Christmas gift from Todd that we have been admiring daily.

Garden Tour Nancy and I had our first “swanning about” day of the year as she drove us by five of the excellent gardens she has picked out for this year’s Music in the Gardens Tour.  (She could use a couple more large gardens for the tour, so if you know of any, let me know.  The garden tour rule is that a garden cannot be repeated till four years have passed since last time it was on the tour.)

We picked up delicious chicken salad sandwiches at Roots Juice, Salad, and Java Bar in Ilwaco.


Roots, a drive through for espresso, juice drinks and lunches


inside Roots

I did not take any preview photos of the gardens as we were viewing them just from the road.  Soonish, we will have a proper walk through for the purpose of description writing.

the bayside garden

We took a lovely break for a picnic at one of my two favourite private gardens on the Peninsula: Steve and John had invited us to include their bayside garden, now at its rhododendron peak, in our day of swanning about.  (It was on the garden tour just two years ago and also on last year’s Rhodie tour).


along the driveway, rhododendrons going back to when this was Clarke Nursery


redtwig dogwoods coppiced along the right side of the drive (for brighter red stems)


an old rhododendron to the right of the long drive

Advance garden touring is hungry work, so our picnic came first.


a perfect seat for a picnic

Nancy had brought me a bag of birthday gifts, delightfully stretching my birthday celebration out for an extra month.


Clever wrapping for a St Patrick’s Day birthday book: Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul


and a bunny to go in a flower pot, and a pot holder much too pretty to hold pots with.  It will go on the wall.

And a customized card by our good friend Artist Don Nisbett with a perfect quotation inside:


Roots picnic lunch: chicken salad sandwich on flatbread


the view from our picnic spot


picnic view

Satisfied with our yummy sandwiches, Nancy and I took a walk all around the garden.  Formerly part of a rhododendron nursery, it is a skillfully planted combination of young plants intermixed with mature shrubs and trees.






Nancy inhaling the fragrance of Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’


Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’


The garden abounds in young rhododendrons.


hostas and perfectly trimmed sword ferns

(Last week when driving north on the road past this garden, I had noticed that even the ferns along the highway are perfectly trimmed.)


Ulmus x hollandica ‘Wredei’ by the pumphouse

The succulents on the pump house roof have sailed through the mild winter: