Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Friday, 26 June 2015

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend, Portland 2015

study

Lost Lagoon Farm, Sauvie Island

From the program: Jane Hartline and Mark Greenfield, Lost Lagoon Farm.  See what happened when two seasoned gardeners unleashed their energy and passion for gardening, wildlife and native plants on 3 acres on Sauvie Island.  A decade ago, we researched what plants were truly native to our land ecosystems, ripped out agricultural weeds around our 1/4 acre pond and planted more than 2,500 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns to provide habitat for songbirds, amphibians and other wildlife.  The self-guided tour of our habitat restoration project is the main event, but the gardens around our house are charming, with lots of interesting (non-native) plants and garden art, a rain garden, an awesome vegetable garden with a work space that will make you envious, and several cozy, verdant nooks for relaxing.

on the way into the garden

on the way into the garden

It was too hot for wearing wool coats.

It was too hot for wearing wool coats.

Because of the heat and extreme contrast from sun to shade, I’ve decided not to try to fix the contrast on the photos.  Walk with us; this is the experience that we had, back and forth from deep shade to blinding sunshine.

start here

Start Here: the walk toward the house

a woodsy approach

a woodsy approach

One of several shady sit spots.

One of several shady sit spots.

arrow2

The path becomes more formal.

The path becomes more formal.

We could go this way...but...

We could go this way…but…

We turn toward the barn.

We turn toward the barn.

another sit spot

another sit spot

I like the mulch of fallen cones.

I like the mulch of fallen cones.

the barn

the barn (Looking through, you can see the resting flock of sheep.)

Inside the barn, with a few of the chicken coop

Inside the barn, with a view of the chicken coop

chicken coop view

chicken coop view

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

back to the shady path...well planted along the sides.

back to the shady path…well planted along the sides.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We are seeking the house.

We are seeking the house.

light at the end...

light at the end…

a bright circle

a bright circle

We turn right to inspect the kitchen garden.

delicious compost!

delicious compost!

tour goers and veg

tour goers and veg

IMG_9592

 

veg

 

purple martin houses

purple martin houses on a tall pole

martin

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

purple martin pictures: Allan's photo

purple martin pictures: Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The weather was so hot that a jug of water by the veg garden workshed was hot like from a recently boiled teakettle.

Perhaps I exaggerate slightly.

Perhaps I exaggerate slightly.

tools in the kitchen garden shed

tools in the kitchen garden shed

work area

work area

artfully screened wall

artfully screened

screen2

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking across the lawn to the house

looking across the lawn to the house

lawn surrounded by garden

lawn surrounded by garden

a familiar shed

a familiar shed

We toured this garden on the Garden Conservancy tour in 2009.

photos from 2009

photos from 2009

Redwing blackbirds were all over this.

Redwing blackbirds were all over this feeder by the kitchen garden fence.

Small birds flew all around the house patio, where many feeders served them.  They flew up onto the roof when we approached.

birds2

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo (hats)

the patio

the patio

The birds decided it was safe to come down.

The birds decided it was safe to come down.

They kept a close eye on us.

They kept a close eye on us.

Ah...icy cold water

Ah…icy cold water

patio corner

patio corner

 

lemon tree

lemon tree

looking back toward the veg garden

looking back toward the veg garden

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

A path leads around the house.

A path leads around the house.

shrubs

 

patio3

another example of a house with lovely, big garden embracing windows

another example of a house with lovely, big garden embracing windows

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

in a side yard: native plants for sale...

in a side yard: native plants for sale…

douglas

Darmera peltata (umbrella plant) is one that I do like to have in my garden.

Darmera peltata (umbrella plant) is one that I do like to have in my garden.

fringe

tour guests

tour guests

We’ll now leave the house gardens and walk the self-guided tour of Lost Lagoon.  As we followed the path, we made every effort to take photos that will share the experience and information with you.  We were both impressed with the high quality of the information signs.

sign2

lost

raccoon

 

Allan's photo

 (Allan’s photo)

Raccoon Camp

Raccoon Camp

snags

snags2

snags

path to Lost Lagoon

path to Lost Lagoon

path3

cottonwoods

oak

brush

warbler

Warbler Tree Bench

Warbler Tree Bench

oregon

pollinator

turtle

turtle highway

turtle highway from the farmland irrigation ditch…

to the Lost Lagoon.

to the Lost Lagoon.

lost2

Lost Lagoon

Lost Lagoon

nettles

wildlife

wildlife corridor

wildlife corridor

martins

martins2

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We continue around the lagoon.

We continue around the lagoon.

chains

 

winter

 

view to the bridge from behind the pond

view to the bridge from behind the pond

As we continued our walk, we could see the Sauvie Island bridge. (This is slightly telephoto)

from the backside of the lagoon path: Sauvie Island bridge. (This is slightly telephoto)

currant

swaths

 

Allan's photo

viewing bench

viewing bench

cafe2

an idyllic life

an idyllic life

messy

prairie

The path goes under a weeping willow.

The path goes under a weeping willow.

wood

Looking back through the willow: magical

Looking back through the willow: magical

willow3

lagoon

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

tour guests view the lagoon

tour guests view the lagoon

azolla

(Sorry all blurry, and the beaver lodge was too shady to photograph.)

(Sorry all blurry, and the beaver lodge was in shade too deep to photograph.)

dock

a bit about frogs

a bit about frogs

Having circled the lagoon, we return to the house.

Having circled the lagoon, we return to the house.

arbour at front of house

arbour at front of house

"Variegated climbing hygrandea!" said another tour guest.

“Variegated climbing hygrandea!” said another tour guest.

front door

front door

more of those enviable windows

more of those enviable windows

I think this is just a regular garage door, but painted...which I would like at our house.

I think this is just a regular garage door, but painted…which I would like at our house.

another bird feeder (Allan's photo) in an area with fewer tour guests

another bird feeder (Allan’s photo) in a front garden area with fewer tour guests

Joe Clifton was selling artwork near the Raccoon Camp

Joe Clifton was selling artwork near the Raccoon Camp

Joe Clifton

Joe Clifton: Allan bought a screwdriver flower sculpture, which would have been my pick, too.

Allan's photo

 Allan’s photo

birds on the Raccoon Camp fence

birds on the Raccoon Camp fence

As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw Todd driving in, and had a conversation through our vehicle windows.  He’d gotten a late start due to having to do watering back on the Peninsula, and was running one garden behind us.  Because Allan and I were not going to go to all five tour gardens, we had time to make a side trip to Cistus Nursery.  That will be a comparatively short bonus post tonight, since I hope, for my own sake, to get caught up to the present day before the end of summer.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 20 November, 2013

The morning was so cold that I was glad we were starting with a project other than bulbs:  picking up a trailer load of cow fiber.  At our post office stop, I noticed a cat face on a pumpkin at the house next door.  I think it is new.  It must be a Thanksgiving rather than a Halloween pumpkin.

still seasonal

still seasonal

At the Planter Box around 11:30 AM, we saw evidence of the cold.

pond

Raymond loaded us up with four Bobcat scoops of dairy manure, carefully maneuvering around our small and rather fragile trailer.

incoming

incoming

Allan scraped the pile level with each scoop.

leveling off

leveling off

The sun, while it did provide welcome warmth, glared in an irksome and blinding way all day long from its uncomfortably low wintry angle.

scoop number four

scoop number four

getting the last precious bit of cow poo out of the scoop

getting the last precious bit of cow poo out of the scoop

the beautiful pile of beautiful dairy manure

the beautiful pile of beautiful washed dairy manure

Back to Long Beach:  At the World Kite Museum on Sid Snyder Drive in Long Beach, we planted Narcissi, Alliums christophii and schubertii, species Crocus and Iris reticulata.  I had been afraid the ground would be frozen.  It was stiff, but diggable.  The nice layer of mulch on top will keep the bulbs snug.

mulch

It is a small patch of garden for such a big building.

in context

in context

Brainstorm:  The strip of lawn along the sidewalk should be removed all the way along where the Hebes are planted.  I have thought this before.  Perhaps, if we can get the go ahead, we will do that in February.

That grass needs digging out!

That grass needs digging out!

There is also a ridiculous spot inside the Escallonias that needs to be newspapered and then mulched to save someone from having to try to get a mower or strimmer into there.

an unfortunate grassy patch

an unfortunate grassy patch

From the Kite Museum, we went back to Diane’s garden and laid mulch all down the bed where we had planted bulbs yesterday.

during, and after

during, and after

deliciously fluffy now

deliciously fluffy now

We had enough mulch for the blueberry patch but not enough for a small bed against the northeast corner of the house, an area where extra plants get popped in.

Oops!

Oops!

I could get free horse manure from right next door at the Red Barn just for this spot, even though I do find horse manure to be horribly weedy.

The Cow Fiber we had used at the Kite Museum would have been the perfect amount for this spot, dag nab it.

Surprised that it was just a bit past one o ‘clock—How had we gotten so much done in two hours??—we went back to The Planter Box for another load.

The difficult to work in angle of the sun made pots of Bright Lights Swiss Chard live up to their name.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard

Bright Lights Swiss Chard

as did Heather 'Wickwar Flame'

as did Heather ‘Wickwar Flame’

ornamental cabbages for sale

ornamental cabbages for sale

I wandered to the back of the nursery because the reflections in the big pond had caught my eye.

pond

trunks

sketchy

sketchy

We drove all the way to The Wiegardt Gallery simply because it would be such a satisfying mulching job to accomplish.

along the front of the gallery

along the front of the gallery

newly cleared beds, "bulbed" last week

recently cleared (of Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson) beds, “bulbed” last week, mulched today

The sun finally went down behind some trees, reducing some of the glare.

sun

Even though it was barely three o’clock, the temperature began to drop.

We could not bear to quit work quite this early in the day, even though I had recently checked my email and learned that the 30% off final end of season bulb sale had begun on the Van Engelen website!

So we went to Jo’s and did some pulling of cosmos.

before and after

before and after

I can see Joe got tired of waiting for us and cleaned out her own window boxes.  She likes annuals to be removed and perennials cut all the way down in fall.  We have a long way to go on this garden clean up.  Today we only lasted an hour because our hands got so cold, the sun was setting, and the bulb sale was on my mind.

I pulled the last of the Salvia viridis

I pulled the last of the Salvia viridis

many weeds await our return in slightly warmer weather

many weeds await our return in slightly warmer weather

birds on one of Jo's feeders

birds on one of Jo’s feeders

We rushed home, as we would need to go out again at five, and I placed a quick end of season sale for my garden:

bulb order

I will be very curious about whether or not they will ship the Alliums.  The catalog says they won’t, but I have heard they DO ship them to the Seattle area.  This is the first year there has been a restriction of Alliums shipped to Washington.  I have also heard that Western Washington state Costcos and other stores have had Alliums for sale.  I did not even really mean to order any.  My fingers just had to click on my favourite Allium at 20% off, and I did not realize what I had done till the order was finalized.  Our area has no commercial onion crop, so perhaps that is why the company is selectively shipping Alliums.

At a little after five, we were back out for an art gallery opening at The Cove Restaurant featuring the art of our friend Jean Nitzel of The Picture Attic in Long Beach.  As the event was so successful and crowded, we toured the paintings but did not linger.

a happy crowd

a happy crowd at jean’s art opening

This little bird:  sold.

This little bird: sold.  Photo by Robbie Richeson

Yesterday at the sushi benefit, landscaper Ed Strange had told us about a wonderful new Mexican dinner night on Wednesdays at The Lightship Restaurant and we wanted to try it out.  We suspected Ed would be there, and he was indeed.

Our Ed Strange

Our Ed Strange

Ed wants to get the word out about this excellent weekly dinner so that it is successful and stays with us.  Here we go:

Mexican Fiesta night has not been "discovered" yet.

Mexican Fiesta night has not been “discovered” yet.

As Ed had promised, the chef made fresh guacamole at tableside.

fresh quacamole for each table

fresh quacamole for each table

the ingredients

the ingredients

guac

guac

couldn't be fresher

couldn’t be fresher

All of the food was delicious…prepared from the chefs’ grandmas’ traditional recipes, Ed told us.

food

chicken molé and steak fajitas

We will return next week to try other items on the Wednesday night Mexican dinner menu.

On the way home, we saw that the lights on the Long Beach clam and world’s largest frying pan have been lit.

holiday lights

holiday lights

Especially exciting to me are the ground level lights to the left.  They mean the underground wiring and lighting are done in that garden bed, and tomorrow we can finish planting the Long Beach bulbs.

Read Full Post »

In my continuing quest to catch up to the present day….

Monday, September 2, 2013

The day began inauspiciously with the discovery of a broken glass ball in the garden by the front steps.  It had been tucked into that bare spot by the pot of water….How it rolled so far is beyond me.  Allan blames cats.

There was no fallen apple to explain it...

There was no fallen apple to explain it…

Before we left for work, our friend and fellow garden businessperson Ed Strange stopped by and what with sitting around schmoozing for awhile, all of our days got off to a late start.  No wait, Ed had probably been working since eight AM and was taking a late morning break!

We accomplished a one-off weeding job that had been on the schedule for a couple of weeks.  Last week’s rain put it off because it is not a job we would want to do in bad weather.  Too many people driving on busy Sandridge Road would feel sorry for us.

helping out at The Basket Case...before and after

helping out at The Basket Case…before and after

Next, Jo’s garden, where we have been working once a week to keep it up to the perfection it enjoyed on garden tour day.

Jo's garden

Jo’s garden

Jo kept saying how sad it was to see the garden going down…and it is, even though many of the flowers keep blooming.

the northwest side

the northwest side

A pair of doves or pigeons (I’m not much of a birder) cooed in the tree by the birdfeeder area….

pigeons

And I wondered if they caused competition for the little birds.

Pine siskins I do know!  (I think.)

Pine siskins I do know! (I think.)

That was not much to accomplish for one day.  A weekend off seems to make it hard to get revved up on Monday, and added to that the fact that it was the Labour Day holiday Monday seemed to sap our will to work into the evening.    We remembered that the Depot Restaurant was having its annual Labour Day ribs special and were lured into an early dinner….at 5:30!   We usually eat at 11:00 PM at this time of year…after I am done with a blog entry (and thank goodness Allan cooks or it would be cold cereal for me).

inside the Depot

inside the Depot

Gazpacho soup

Gazpacho soup

Just imagine:  “Gazpacho Seville: Traditional Cold Spanish Soup with Plum Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Sweet Bell Peppers, Smoked Paprika topped with Grape Tomato Salsa ”

Oh my, it is my favourite summer menu item.

Outside, the Solidago ‘Fireworks’ put on an excellent show even though last week’s rain had somewhat knocked them over.

'Fireworks' goldenrod and cosmos in the Depot garden

‘Fireworks’ goldenrod and cosmos in the Depot garden

When we got home there was still enough light to cut out another strip of lawn to fill the wheelie bin.  I continue my internal debate about whether or not to turn this whole area to gravel paths and a scree garden.

it's not the prettiest lawn....

it’s not the prettiest lawn….the concrete to the right is my neighbour’s driveway

Tomorrow we would have to get cracking on work again, but for now…dusk is peaceful at home.

back garden at dusk

back garden at dusk

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In the morning watering of the greenhouse and patio plants, I noticed that my miniature cattail was in bloom.

catttails

cat tails

I would never make the mistake again of planting them in a natural pond (as I did at my old house) but they look great in a water tub.

The Sugar Magnolia pea that Nancy Allen gave me is blooming and making pretty purple peas even though I planted it quite late.

Sugar Magnolia pea

Sugar Magnolia pea

garden boat in the morning

garden boat in the morning

front garden looking east:  still pondering whether to make gravel paths

front garden looking east: still pondering whether to make gravel paths

As is convenient when I dawdle while Larry and Robert’s garden needs watering, Allan had left for their place five doors down across Pearl Street.  I walked down and joined him.

Past Tom and Judy's house

Past Tom and Judy’s house, heading west

the Larry-Robert garden boat, looking south

the Larry-Robert garden boat, looking south

sad

sad little squirt on this side of the three river rocks

While we have been watering pretty regularly, the state of this Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ (should be at least five, if not eight, feet tall! rather than about six inches) shows that it is not enough.  We will be mulching this whole garden with cow fiber as a fall project and it will hold moisture better next year.

In concern over the weightiness of the new this year Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’…..seems to be leaning way too much…I pruned it a bit and hope I don’t regret it later.  Allan brought the tree back from Seattle.  I wish it had started out smaller and more upright.

before and after

before and after

Next we drove to Casa Pacifica, a garden near Wallicut Farms.  It had been three weeks or so (more?) since we had been there.  It has water problems so nothing grows much in summer, not even the weeds.

the two shy dogs, Darcy and Spook

the two shy dogs, Darcy and Spook

two indoor kitties watching from a screen door

two indoor kitties watching from a screen door

Even that bit inland the day was hotter.  We deadheaded the twelve whiskey barrels of annuals.  A daisy had made its way into one of them.

daisybee

There wasn’t much to do in the garden borders.   Spider season has begun and they are all over the gardens.

spider

Right after I took the above photo and then had to deadhead the buddliea to which the spider had attached its web, it ended up on my wrist trying to crawl up my sleeve.  My cries of “NO!” were more gutteral than shrill and seemed to scare the spider away.

Next we deadheading the Long Beach welcome sign…hundreds of dead little blossoms of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’.

Acidanthera just started to bloom at the welcome sign

Acidanthera just started to bloom at the welcome sign

yellow Bidens along the edge is self cleaning....

yellow Bidens along the edge is self cleaning….

While we watered the Long Beach planters, I considered that the reason that people sometimes thank me for working is that they think I am volunteering.  Even though we took over all the planters several years ago, some of them still have signs naming a business or individual who used to maintain them.

sign

Some of the business names don’t even exist anymore, like The Rocket Diner and Las Maracas Restaurant.

sign

 

One of my planter favourites:  Salvia patens

One of my planter favourites: Salvia patens

While I watered the main street planters, Allan was bucket watering the Bolstadt beach approach planters and hose watering the street trees.  I still had nine planters to go (of 37 plus six whiskey barrels) when I looked north and saw him watering his last tree.

He's so far away you can't see him in the photo...but I could.

He’s so far away you can’t see him in the photo…but I could.

Just about then, I looked in the planter just showing at the bottom of the photo and saw three gleaming jewel cases.  CDs, I thought; what could they be?

not very hidden

not very hidden

I am sorry to say they turned out to be three porn movies.  Particularly creepy ones purportedly featuring teenage girls.  They ended up broken in the garbage but I had to wonder….I have often found empty beer cans and liquor bottles in the planters near bus stops, but….Wouldn’t someone have to be pretty drunk to forget their porn when the bus came?

the bus stop from across the street

the bus stop from across the street

I’m glad I found the discs before someone’s child did.

Shaking off that weird experience, we finished the day with Allan watering the Ilwaco planters while I weeded the boatyard.   The port and boatyard gardens needed to be perfect for the annual Slow Drag at the Port, coming up on Friday.

boatyard garden

boatyard garden

a good section with Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'

a good section with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and cosmos

Solidago 'Fireworks'

Solidago ‘Fireworks’

I can think of a few gardens we do that do NOT have Solidago ‘Fireworks’:  Boreas, Ann’s, KBC and The Anchorage.  What an oversight!

We then dumped our debris in the peaceful boat trailer parking area at the east end of the marina.

field

I love this view and am sad there is going to be a building and parking lot put here, or at least that’s the word around town.

view

The words “paved paradise and put up a parking lot” come to mind.

sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

August 20, 2013

Our day began….with a frog on a daisy.  I was watering a few containers in the the back garden when I saw it, and it stayed put till I went into the house and returned with my camera.

daisy

Pacific tree frog

Pacific tree frog

froggie

My first stop was the Depot Restaurant.  Here is a different view from the usual:

the outdoor dining deck

the outdoor dining deck

and the usual garden view

and the usual garden view

and an update on the herb garden (rosemary, oregano, chives and some thyme in the foreground)

and an update on the herb garden (rosemary, oregano, chives and some thyme in the foreground)

Then I walked to meet Allan who was watering at Crank’s Roost.

I love this house sign between the Depot and Crank's.

I love this house sign between the Depot and Crank’s.

I had said goodbye to Crank’s a few posts ago, so I asked Allan if he would take a photo essay of what was most evocative to him of the essence of Crank’s Roost, and here it is:

Allan’s Crank’s Roost photos:

crank

crank

door

door

crank

lighthouse bird

blue

crank

shed

crank

fern

crank

crank

 

You can see that Crank’s Roost is a wonderful place to think a green thought in a green shade.

Jo’s garden and the Boreas Inn

We then worked on the gardens on 6th North in Long Beach:  Jo’s on the south side of the road and the Boreas on the north side.

At Jo's: a large patch of daisies to deadhead

At Jo’s: a large patch of daisies to deadhead

Jo and Bob's bird sanctuary

Jo and Bob’s bird sanctuary

agapanthus

agapanthus

snapdragons

snapdragons

Uh oh, Coco chewed through another sprinkler head!  Fortunately, Allan carried parts to replace it because occasionally we snip one when it is entwined with plant stems.

Oh, Coco!

Oh, Coco!

Poor Coco looked sad after being shown the sprinkler head by Jo and told not to do it again.  It has been rather chronic…

Coco

Coco:  Who, me?

coco

I confess.

Then: The Boreas Inn garden.

looking east toward the Boreas Inn

looking east toward the Boreas Inn

The newly redone beds have been gorgeous this year.

beds

I acquired a few flats of Lobelia tupa this year and planted it in pretty much every garden I could get my hands on….and the one at the Boreas is the only one that has bloomed!

Lobelia tupa, why so temperamental?

Lobelia tupa, why so temperamental?

stunning Lobelia tupa

stunning Lobelia tupa

Only Susie of the Boreas is going to believe me about what a gorgeous plant this is!

cosmos at the Boreas

cosmos at the Boreas…at least I can count on them everywhere

We stopped work a bit early to go the the retirement party for Jim Neva, Port of Ilwaco manager.  He has been such a great friend of landscaping at the port…and has been instrumental in supporting our work in the boatyard garden and Howerton street gardens.

to the right: Jim Neva

to the right: Jim Neva

The party was the the museum and the theme was Hawaiian because Jim is retiring partly to spend more time with his wife Jet’s family in Hawaii.  The food was delicious!

a feast

a feast

food

The new port manager, Guy Glenn Jr, says he is going to be just as much a friend of the gardens as Jim was.  We are very happy about that.

left: Mark, who oversees the boatyard; Guy, our new friend of gardens, and Allan

left: Mark, who oversees the boatyard; Guy, our new friend of gardens, and Allan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

July 27, 2013

Gardens by the Sea tour benefits Clatsop CASA.

interlude between gardens

We saw while driving from the first to the second garden:

a raised veg and flower garden

a raised veg and flower garden, edged, I think, with broken concrete. I like it.

(Ann Lovejoy had a garden bed edged in a tall wall of broken concrete. I liked that, too.)

next door to garden two

next door to garden two

attractive entrance to the house next door to garden two

attractive entrance to the house next door to garden two

Garden two: Al and Carol Vernon garden.

From the program: “Collectors’ picture perfect garden, tended by two who love to garden.”

I do wish that Al and Carol had been there. From Nancy Allen, who met them, I heard they are delightful, and heard the same later at Back Alley gardens. My one suggestion to improve the tour this year comes because I don’t think there was a single garden where the owner was present. Owners can cast much light on the meaning of their gardens. We heard that they went out touring each other’s gardens during the latter hours of the tour. Each garden had a ticket checker at the entrance, but those folks did not know much of anything about the gardens. Might I suggest that the Gearhart garden tour organizers encourage the garden owners to stay at home and to make pre- or post-tour visits to each other’s gardens!

I would have loved to have met the owners of the delightful second garden.

As we approached the garden entrance. we were able to peek in over a sea of cotoneaster.

a garden glimpse

a garden glimpse

from the street

from the street

sign

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

entering the garden

entering the garden

along the house, a row of hostas

along the house, a row of hostas

I heard tour guests marveling at the lack of slug or snail damage on the hosta leaves.

Allan's photo of same area

Allan’s photo of same area

shade

a shady spot

artful clipping

artful clipping

We heard that the owners, a retired couple, do the work here themselves. Impressive.

Tour guests admire a scree garden area

Tour guests admire a scree garden area

tour guests

tour guests

The tour guests were discussing the ID of a certain plant. When I looked at it, I was sure that they had gotten it wrong. That is when the presence of the owners, clearly plantspeople, would have been very helpful! (I hope if they read this, they feel no regret, just the knowledge that we would have loved to meet them to tell them in person how much we liked their garden.)

scree garden

scree garden: lovely

Our rockhound friend Judy will like this detail.

Our rockhound friend Judy will like this detail.

scree garden: Reginald Farrer would love it.

scree garden: Reginald Farrer would love it.

Now I want to redo one of my front garden beds into a nice scree garden like this one.

I could have stood here for much longer!  Fascinating.

I could have stood here for much longer! Fascinating.

Allan's view

Allan’s view

curving around

curving around

where the scree garden ends

where the scree garden ends

chocolate cosmos

chocolate cosmos

On the side of the garden, bordering the neighbours, across the grass from the scree border, a planting had caught my eye so I walked back to it. With the attention to detail apparent everywhere in this garden, bergenia had been hollowed out to put another plant in its center.

cute!

cute!

Tour goers also commented that the baby’s breath (lower right) was large and well grown and unusual to see this days. It might have been Nancy Allen, organizer of the Music in the Gardens tour. By this time, I was texting back and forth with her as she was about two gardens ahead of us.

baby's breath

baby’s breath; next year, I want to get back to growing this old favourite!

Behind the scree garden and the mixed border into which it segued runs a dry creekbed of stone.

dry stream

dry stream

Allan's photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

You may have noticed a glimpse of red lava rock at the edge of one of the photos above. Usually red lava rock is anathema to me, causing instant dislike. (I just do not feel it looks right in gardens near the sea.) But in this garden….after my initial startled reaction…I realized it was perfect, as it was clearly planned to set off the rusty colour of the sculptures and the red leaves of the plants:

red on red

red on red

colour echoes

colour echoes

Allan's view of path by lava rock patio

Allan’s view of path by lava rock patio

side view

side view

side

herons

At the far end of the red patio, a lava rock path leads to the side into the flower bed.

path

path

The streambed curves around to the end of the patio.

The streambed curves around to the end of the patio.

looking back, Allan's view

where the red path curves back, Allan’s view

my view

my view

looking back

looking back

paths

As we reach the back corner of the house, we look at the red curving path from the side.

red path curve

red path curve

Now we turn to the path along the back of the house. At first glance, my impression is just of a narrow walkway.

along the back

along the back

salal and a place to put debirs

salal and a place to put debris

Later when we stopped post-tour at Back Alley Gardens, Pam Fleming (locally famous gardener for the town of Seaside, Oregon, and co-owner of wonderful Back Alley!) asked me if I had noticed the detail at the steps to the basement: a perfect arc of smooth stones. Indeed I had and had photographed it.

attention to detail

attention to detail

She commented about the attention to detail, something else I would have liked to compliment the owners about.

further along

further along

As we walked along the woodsy path behind the house, the vista opened up with a delightful and unexpected surprise: To our right, a view of a deep ravine appeared…with water at the bottom.

ravine

ravine

how beautiful a vista!

how beautiful a vista!

trees draping over the ravine

trees draping over the ravine

I would spend many hours absorbing this view if I lived here.

ravine

view

Allan's view

Allan’s view

At their edge of the ravine, the Vernons had placed bird feeders and a birdbath.

back

birdbath

birdbath

The birds hardly paused in their eating as we walked by.

bird

With three more gardens to see, we had to leave this paradise and turned up the path by the other side of the house.

exit path

exit path

Near the front of the house, this narrow space had been used to grow a few vegetables.

veg edge

veg edge

Allan's photo of the protective caging

Allan’s photo of the protective caging

We took one more look at the gorgeous garden…and would have walked around again if we had had the time.

a last look

a last look

This is in a tie with garden number four as my favourite garden of the tour. I simply could not choose between the two!

Read Full Post »

July 19th and 20th, 2013

from the program:  Cottage gardens wrap around this 1896 home in a succession of outdoor rooms, each filled with breath-taking color and whimsical garden art.  Flowers and feeders provide a sanctuary for birds, which you will surely hear as you meander on the brick path.  The welcoming deck is a haven for friends and family.  This exquisite garden will be a great inspiration to those who garden in small spaces.

The garden tour was on the 20th, but I have included some photos from the 19th when we did our last check up on this garden, one we have been working on, with owners Jo and Bob, for 19 years.  I knew it would be crowded with people on tour day so wanted to get some clear photos of the garden from one end to the other the day before.

This photo, taken by a friend on tour day, shows the driveway approach to the home.   You might not guess what a lavish garden lies beyond the gate.

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

Looking west at the entry arch, photo by Kathleen Shaw on tour day

Looking west at the entry arch, photo by Kathleen Shaw on tour day

On Friday, Jo agrees the garden is ready.

On Friday, Jo agrees the garden is ready.
through the arch on tour day

through the arch on tour day

Just inside, along the wall of the garage (which has been turned into a garden shed on one side and a darling guest cottage on the other) are containers and windowboxes featuring plants from The Basket Case Greenhouse.

along the guest cottage wall (a north facing wall)

along the guest cottage wall (a north facing wall)

The annual geraniums, alternating pink and red, thrive even though one side is at the base of a north wall.

geranium (pelargonium) walk

geranium (pelargonium) walk

For the windowboxes, Jo buys flats of assorted annuals from the Basket Case and then I figure out an arrangement with what she brings home.  Every year we do her ground level arrangement of pink and red geraniums with alyssum so the window boxes echo that pattern.

guest cottage windowbox, north wall

guest cottage windowbox, north wall

At the northwest corner of the guest cottage (formerly a garage), you get the first good look at the 1896 house.

beach house

beach house

Meanwhile, on the other (north) side of the geranium walk, raised up with a railway sleeper wall (railroad ties to non-anglophiles) is a bed of mixed colourful perennials and annuals.  Inspired by visiting my garden last summer, Jo had us tear out some shrubs and some dull perennials (big yellow daylily, for example) and plant thickly with our favourite plants, especially the ones she had pointed at as we walked through my garden.

sunny bed on north side of entry walk

sunny bed on north side of entry walk

Above: I see Salvia viridis (painted sage), Nicotiana langsdorfii (chartreuse flowering tobacco), snapdragons, salpiglossis, Eryngiums, Cosmos, Agastache, backed with Lavatera ‘Barnsley’.  The rugosa rose at the right is so fragrant that it was allowed to stay during the re-do.

another view of new mixed bed

another view of new mixed bed

Back to the northwest corner of the guest house:  If you look south, you will see a shade bed planted against the house deck.

(left) more windowboxed (right) shade bed

(left) more windowboxes
(right) shade bed

a view looking north from beside the shade bed, photo by Kathleen Shaw

a view looking north from beside the shade bed, photo by Kathleen Shaw

Above, shade bed would be to your left and the guest cottage window to your right.

Up we go to the next level.

Up we go to the next level.
to the right, an old bench with containers

to the right, an old bench with containers

Fat little birds like to sit on the rail above that bench.  A friend told me the birds were there even on tour day.

friendly bird

friendly bird

A wooden arch and metal gate lead into a narrow path in the new mixed border.

the day before tour day

the day before tour day

Honeysuckle grows over the arch.

Honeysuckle grows over the arch.

Inside the arch, people could walk one by one on a narrow brick path through the newly planted colour beds.  Jo calls it a “one butt path”.

path

narrow path, east to the white entry arch through which we entered the geranium walk.

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

looking west back to the honeysuckle arch

just inside the honeysuckle arch where the garden comes to a narrow corner

just inside the honeysuckle arch where the garden comes to a triangular corner

North of the honeysuckle arch on a small patio at the north side of the deck is a water feature with a tipping bucket.

This is a favourite spot for the birds.

This is a favourite spot for the birds.

on the deck the day before tour day

on the deck the day before tour day

on tour day, photo by Kathleen Sayce

on tour day, photo by Kathleen Sayce

tour day refreshments including Bob Fitzsimmons' home made cookies.

tour day refreshments including Bob Fitzsimmons’ home made cookies.
Jo serving lemonade

Jo serving lemonade

Jo and Bob have a wonderfully arranged deck, sheltered from south and west winds and with a roofed nook by the back door.

Tom Trudell was the musician at this garden and played in a cozy corner of the deck.

Tom Trudell was the musician at this garden and played in a cozy corner of the deck.

northeast corner of deck

northeast corner of deck, looking over the garden; hanging basket at right is on guest cottage

Just west of the tipping bucket water feature, we walk through another wooden arch into the center patio.

just past that arch....the day before tour day

just past that arch….the day before tour day

Above, the guest house is marked by the hanging basket, and the tipping bucket water feature would be to your right if you walked back through the wooden gate.  You can see the metal gate to the left, and the plant bench below the rail where the chubby birds like to sit.

just west of that gate, photo by Kathleen Sayce

just west of that gate on tour day, photo by Kathleen Sayce

Here is the center courtyard, on the north side of the house, looking west.  Next year, Jo wants to remove the old rhododendrons and make a new, no doubt colourful, shade garden on the north wall.

center courtyard

center courtyard

When we first started working in this garden in about 1995, all that was here was a line of rhododendrons running along the fence and a straight gravel path down the middle.

center courtyard with bird feeders

center courtyard with bird feeders

looking west; to the left, stairs to the house.

looking west; to the left, stairs to the house.

looking west over the fence

looking west over the fence

Jo demands that every plant provide lots of colour; if it is not colourful enough, she says a plant “doesn’t have enough bang for the buck”.

colour

colour

This garden view was one of my main inspirations to move from my old shady garden to a sunny one in 2010!

through the gate

through the gate

just past the windmill

just past the windmill

birdbath where the path curves to the west

birdbath where the path curves to the west

turning south at the west side of the house

turning south at the west side of the house

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' that Allan fenced in with rebar and bamboo

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that Allan fenced in with rebar and bamboo

looking south

looking south; the path to the right leads to a west gate, below

west gate

The west gate opens onto a big lawn that is also part of the property.  When Jo said she wanted part of her garden to look just like mine with all her favourite plants that she saw when mine was on tour last year, I never thought to say we could make a garden exactly like mine by doing great big beds out in this lawn!   We are contemplating the idea, I’m not sure how seriously on Jo’s part!

daisies and monkshood in southwest garden

daisies and monkshood in southwest garden

looking south: the garden ends here

looking south: the garden ends here

Let’s turn around and walk back to the center courtyard, admiring the plantings from a different angle.

looking north from the end of the brick path

looking north from the end of the brick path

the northwest corner of the old porch steps

the northwest corner of the old porch steps

The house had a west and north facing wrap around porch that has been enclosed into a wonderful L shaped sitting room.

looking east, swinging back around the corner

looking east, swinging back around the corner

Years ago, my former partner Robert Sullivan laid this path for Jo and Bob.  Originally, the beds were straight and edged with railroad ties and the whole impression was not soft and flowing like this.

around the corner, looking east to the center courtyard

around the corner, looking east to the center courtyard

daisies and Lavatera 'Barnsley'

daisies and Lavatera ‘Barnsley’

from the garden, looking over Knautia macedonica to center courtyard

from the garden, looking over Knautia macedonica to center courtyard

the day before the tour:  Coco went to "doggy spa" on tour day.

the day before the tour: Coco went to “doggy spa” on tour day.

looking east in the center courtyard the day before the tour

looking east in the center courtyard the day before the tour

guests in tour attire

guests in tour attire

pointing at a hummingbird

pointing at a hummingbird

It was an enormous pleasure to help Jo and Bob get this garden ready for the tour.  For more history of their garden, just put “Jo’s garden” into the search box on this blog!

Read Full Post »

Thursday, July 18th

Our very first thing on Thursday was to go to The Planter Box garden center to take some photos for the Peninsula Cash Mob Facebook page. Some of our friends were there, so we timed it well. Unlike offseason cash mobs, we could not wait around for more folks to show up. We heard later that Tom and Judy went and bought another Japanese maple for a grand total of 31 in their small garden.

friends at the cash mob

friends at the cash mob

Then we began our work day back in Long Beach checking on the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach. I want to share how good the World Mark resort garden looks at the west end of the road. It had been languishing and looking pretty awful a few years ago, with tatty overgrown Phormiums and lots of weeds. Local landscaper and nurseryman Steve Clarke took it on a little over a year ago and now it looks wonderful.

garden by Steve Clarke

garden by Steve Clarke

We checked on Gene’s garden and did just a little more weeding and deadheading to keep it absolutely spiffing for tour day.

Allan weeding Gene's cute little streetside pocket garden

Allan weeding Gene’s cute little streetside pocket garden

ready for tour day

ready for tour day at Gene and Peggy’s garden

Peggy, who created this garden, died of ovarian cancer late this spring. She would have been so proud of all the work Gene has done here. The arrangements of pots and hanging baskets is all his (with large baskets created by Nancy Aust of the Basket Case Greenhouse). All we did was add plants to the long streetside garden and do some advising and weeding on the rest of the garden.

Gene's porch and driveway arrangements

Gene’s porch and driveway arrangements

Next, the Depot Restaurant, where the Dierama is in its full glory.

at the Depot

at the Depot

Cosmos filling in at the Depot

Cosmos filling in at the Depot

Then…

the weekly deadheading and horsetail purge at the Long Beach welcome sign

the weekly deadheading and horsetail purge at the Long Beach welcome sign

And on to Jo’s for the last thorough check up before garden tour day.

newly planted area looking good at Jo's

newly planted area looking good at Jo’s

friendly little bird at Jo's

friendly little bird at Jo’s

no telephoto required for Jo's birds!

no telephoto required for Jo’s birds!

Jo’s garden is looking wonderful and would get one more pre-tour visit.

We next weeded in Long Beach’s Coulter Park because a “Railroad Days” event would take place the next day in the old train depot building there. (I love the annual Railroad Days but this year its weekend would be all garden touring instead.) It is so difficult to weed where a neighboring house lets salmonberry and bindweed grow up thickly on the other side of the fence so that it pops through both above and underground. I despair.

Coulter Park disaster

Coulter Park disaster

I had found a solution to the problem of having to water the Long Beach planters again. We would do them again on Thursday, and that would hold them through the weekend. We just would not have time on Friday. The plants must have been thrilled to get delicious water two days in a row…unheard of! Allan watered the tree gardens and bucket watered the Bolstadt beach approach planters (so tiring) and I did the city ones. No resting on the cute bench by NIVA green!

NIVA bench

NIVA bench

By seven thirty, we were back in Ilwaco giving a good watering to Larry and Robert’s garden. Tom and Judy came across the street and visited with us while we finished up.

the boat needs more plants!!

the boat needs more plants!!

right: Larry and Robert garden, and across the street, Tom and Judy's

right: Larry and Robert garden, and across the street, Tom and Judy’s

Finally, in the later evening at home I had a bit more time to check my garden. Even though I was expecting three discerning garden friends to visit I had not had time to make it perfect. That will have to wait till we are on the Edible Garden tour on August 11!

a lily at home

a lily at home

in the back garden

in the back garden

Friday, July 19th

We had cleared the decks of work and only needed to check the three tour gardens one last time! At each one, I took a series of photos of the garden in perfection, as I knew that on tour day there will be people milling about (another good photo subject, but I would like some clear shots of each garden as well).

We took our best table and chairs up to Marilyn's lawn.

We took our best table and chairs up to Marilyn’s lawn.

and only found this many weeds and clippings to remove!

and only found this many weeds and clippings to remove!

Marilyn's mom, Nancy, is ready for tour day!

Marilyn’s mom, Nancy, is ready for tour day!

garden

and so is the garden, all filled in on the edges!

Yes, the Round Up disaster was successfully thwarted and the garden looks lush.

"Marilyn and Nancy's healing garden"

“Marilyn and Nancy’s healing garden”

Just down the street, a deer demonstrated why this garden is a good example of how one can have lots of flowers even with deer browsing by the house windows.

by the road

by the road

We made a quick stop at Jo’s and found very little to do other than take lots of photos to add to the tour day album.

Jo is ready, too.

Jo is ready, too.

Coco would love to meet all the people on tour day.

Coco

Coco

But Coco is going “to the doggy spa” on tour day so that there is no chance she might escape the garden with all the gates open and people going into and out of the house.

Sorry, Coco!

Sorry, Coco!

At Gene’s, we met his daughter who had come to help on the last day. Gene was off buying food for the tour since he, as all the tour hosts, were going all out on hospitality.

Gene's garden is ready!

Gene’s garden is ready!

And finally…after texting them several times to report about how close we were to being done with work…we got to Olde Towne Café in time to join our friends from out of town!

Kathleen, Olde Towne owner Luanne, and Sheila!

Kathleen, Olde Towne owner Luanne, and Sheila!

Debbie Teashon showed up shortly after this photo was taken and the party was complete.

Later that evening we gathered for a Serious Pizza dinner in our garden along with Tom and Judy, our wonderful gardening neighbours from down the block.

pizza party with Sheila, Judy, Tom, Debbie, Allan

pizza party with Sheila, Judy, Tom, Debbie, Allan

Kathleen was staying at the north end of the Peninsula so we would not see her again till Saturday.

Just outside the fence from our party patio (where we have quiet, good neighbour gatherings only!) sits my late neighbour Nora’s house. I miss her and hope that someday when it goes up for sale that some wonderful gardener neighbours buy it….someone like my friends here.

Oh for a good neighbour

Oh for a good neighbour

Next, the Music in the Gardens tour! But first, do let me remind you of a wonderful tour coming up on July 27th:

CASA tour

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »