Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bohnke garden’

Sunday, 19 July 2015

On the evening of the Music in the Gardens tour day, I had found a handwritten note under my door.  After some deciphering and pondering, I realized that it was from the owner of the Bohnke garden, which I had written about with well-deserved effusiveness a couple of years ago when it had been on the official Astoria garden tour.  Because the Astoria garden tour had been canceled this year, and their garden had been one of the proposed gardens, Bob and Helen Bohnke had decided to go ahead and have a garden open anyway.  I Googled to see if I could find any information to confirm this.  (Bob had left me his phone number, but I hate making phone calls!)  I found this letter to the editor in last week’s online issue of the Daily Astorian.

bobOh my gosh!  Now I was really determined to go.  I made a screen shot of the letter and put in on my Facebook page in hopes that others would see it and attend.  In the morning, I got a text from Rainyside Debbie Teashon saying that she was going.  I’d texted Todd about it, but he did not get the message till evening.  So off Allan and I went at Sunday midmorning over the Astoria Megler Bridge.

the view from the bridge

the view looking west from the bridge

We parked on the hilly street in Astoria, and someone walking by said, “Are you here for the tour?  It doesn’t start till noon, but he let me walk through.”  It was 11:30, so we just started nosing around the edges.

a charming garden three doors uphill

a charming garden three doors uphill

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The Bohnke Garden

bohnke

from the sidewalk

from the sidewalk: the colours make me happy

atop the retaining wall

atop the retaining wall

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, Allan’s photo

I went up the lawn below the house, which belongs to a church but which the Bohnkes maintain.

I went up the lawn below the house, which belongs to a church but which the Bohnkes maintain.

From the back porch, a kitty came to the lawn to greet me.

From the back porch, a kitty came to the lawn to greet me.

kitty2

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

(Bob later told us that chair had given way when he sat down with his morning coffee!)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

ever so friendly

ever so friendly

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

From the lawn, I could see a memorial spot positioned at the edge of the garden.

memory

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

returning to the front sidewalk

returning to the front sidewalk

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking up at the front garden with Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

looking up at the front garden with Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

front corner; bucket had crocosmia corms to give away to anyone who might want some.

front corner; bucket had crocosmia corms to give away to anyone who might want some.

There was so much to see that I did not feel at all impatient while waiting.

Here came Debbie, setting up her camera!

Here came Debbie, setting up her tripod!

big camera, little camera

big camera, little camera

Noon: Here comes Bob!

Noon: Here comes Bob!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

hydrangeas

hydrangeas at the foot of the front steps

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Here comes another garden host.

Here comes another garden host.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Bob and friend

Bob and friend

I tink I taw a puddytat.  (Allan's photo)

I tink I taw a puddytat. (Allan’s photo)

Bob himself

Bob himself

I asked Bob about last week’s garden tour, the one about which he had written that he was disappointed with the turn out.  He told us that because of the Astoria tour getting canceled, he had just put up some signs on phone poles inviting people to come see his garden.  I love that!  I think it is a shame that the Astoria tour was canceled, and from what I have heard through the grapevine, there is no plan by the organization that used to organize it to hold one in the future, because they don’t need the money.  If true….What does needing money have to do with it?  Someone, who can get proper event insurance and who can use any profits to fundraise for a good cause, needs to step up and take on this tour, sez I!

I thanked Bob for finding my house and leaving me a note.  He had just recently been alerted to my blog post of 2013 about his garden.  I asked how in the world he had found where we live, and he said “I just went to Ilwaco and asked around.”  I love that, too.

front garden, looking north.  That is the Columbia River in the background, way down the hill.

front garden, looking north. That is the Columbia River in the background, way down the hill.

Looking out over 'Lucifer'

Looking out over ‘Lucifer’

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

birdhouses

Bob had put out his Party sign for tour day.

Bob had put out his Party sign for tour day.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a shady spot with hostas

a shady spot with hostas

north side of front porch (Allan's photo)

north side of front porch (Allan’s photo)

I was so happy that tour guests started to show up!

I was so happy that tour guests started to show up!

The side gardens of the house are as narrow as the ones in my Grandma’s house back in Seattle.  I wish I had devoted as much effort to beautifying mine.  It gives me ideas for the narrow-ish area between our house and Nora’s driveway.

at the back of the south side garden

at the back of the south side garden

butterfly

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

swallowtail butterfly (IDed by Debbie)

swallowtail butterfly (IDed by Debbie)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

back porch, Allan's photo

back porch, Allan’s photo

looking north along the narrow back porch

looking north along the narrow back porch

pots of annuals everywhere

pots of annuals everywhere

east window

east window

by the back porch

by the back porch

SE corner of back porch

SE corner of back porch

back porch

back porch

narrow garden on south side of house

narrow garden on south side of house

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

birdhouse

 

retaining wall fence with flower boxes along the top

retaining wall fence with flower boxes along the top

retaining wall flowers

retaining wall flowers

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the tiny little debris pile.  I love it!

the tiny little debris pile. I love it!

looking back

looking back

I went out to the street to take a photo of the front of the house…

the front with tour guests arriving...

the front with tour guests arriving…

Then I went around to the back by going uphill, and around half a block and down the driveway to the apartments next door, thus avoiding steep steps.

the east side of the house

the east side of the house

garden on steep wall by neighbours' parking lot

garden on steep wall by neighbours’ parking lot

The neighbours in the apartment building also enjoy gardening so they share a space by the parking lot.

apartment building garden and Bohnkes intermingle

apartment building and Bohnkes gardens intermingle

looking up from the parking lot

looking up from the parking lot

lucifer4

rose draped down the steep wall

rose draped down the steep wall (with Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’)

(Fen’s Ruby is a nemesis of mine in certain gardens but here it is contained on the wall garden where it thrives.)

the wall garden

the wall garden

back porch from below

back porch from below

hosta tucked into driftwood

hosta tucked into driftwood

Allan's photo, tour guests on north side of house

Allan’s photo, tour guests on north side of house

Allan's photo: tour guests taking photos

Allan’s photo: tour guests taking photos

Allan's photo: looking down from above

Allan’s photo: looking down from above, with Helen setting up snack table

Bob and Helen had set up a table of delicious refreshments.

Bob and Helen had set up a table of delicious refreshments.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

My new friend joined us.

My new friend joined us.

DSC03079

George

I recall his name as George.

This little tour was a peak garden touring experience for me.  Bob and Helen’s openness and hospitality in opening their  beautiful and colourful garden sets a good example for all gardeners, and I am so grateful that he left the note telling us about it.  I’ve sent him a friend request on Facebook; I hope he figures out that Flora Gardener is me!

Allan's photo: Bob, me, and Helen at the refreshment table

Allan’s photo: Bob, me, and Helen at the refreshment table

I told Debbie that there was another garden in Astoria that I could show her.  Being a garden tour nut like me, she readily agreed, so we headed east through Astoria to the Mill Pond village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Bob and Helen Bohnke Garden

from the program: Eclectic English Garden: 11th Street is a happier place for the Boenkes’ splendidly restored home and well-loved garden. This 1895 Italianate, formerly known as ‘the ugly sister’, was built by David Warren of Warrenton fame as one of three identical professional rentals. Snug around the house, beds overflow their borders with lush abundance as diverse grasses and ferns complement roses, daisies, lilies, carnations, African iris and heather, as well as coastal favourites such a hostas, hydrangeas, rosemary and lavender. You’ll find carefully transplanted forest floor plants and delightful pots full of dahlias, geraniums, lobelia, begonias, and fuchsias, all interspersed with driftwood, found objects and sculptures galore. With a ‘live and let live’ credo, the red Japanese maple thriving within the front walking path demands careful skirting. Until recently there was no rear garden and now flora charmingly buffers the driveway. Don’t miss the whimsical flowerbox fence lining the shady south side.

I got breathless with joy as soon as I saw the colourful house.

Bohnke house

Bohnke house

the colour!

the colour!

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

wow! zip! pow!

wow! zip! pow!

colour coordinated mailbox!

colour coordinated mailbox!

looking up from the sidewalk

looking up from the sidewalk

a beautiful tour sign

a beautiful tour sign

sign

I was backing and forthing down on the sidewalk and had to explain to the owner of the garden that I was just so gobsmacked I had not got around to climbing the steps yet.

owner Bob Bohnke

owner Bob Bohnke

Bob Bohnke was the cover guy on the garden tour issue of the Daily Astorian!

cover guy!

cover guy!

from the e-edition

from the e-edition

I finally went up the steps and started around the north (downhill) side of the house. You would think from the garden description that it might be a larger garden than it is, but no…it is a narrow city lot, densely planted. My house in Seattle had equally narrow sides (and my grandmother had had them equally densely planted). I felt right at home.

front porch

front porch

historic register

historic register

side of front porch

side of front porch
Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a porch photo by Allan

a porch photo by Allan

north side path

north side path
driftwood planter along the path

driftwood planter along the path

along the path

along the path

ogre

Canna leaf

Canna leaf

duck

duck

Allan's view

Allan’s view

Around the corner, we came to the back porch.

so colourful

so colourful

At the back corner of the house, just before turning to the south side: cookies and lemonade served by Helen Bohnke.

treats

treats

pouring us some delicious lemonade

Helen pouring me some delicious lemonade

I went down the south side chomping my cookie because the cunning planter top to the fence (or is it a retaining wall?) so captured my attention.

looking back toward the cookie tray

looking back toward the cookie tray

Here, I look toward the front of the house along the south side. I so love this fence.

planter topped fence on south (uphill) side of house

planter topped fence on south (uphill) side of house

looking back again as I admire the planters

looking back again as I admire the planters and Allan gets some lemonade

compost pile!

compost pile!

I loved the tiny little compost pile. Bob Bohnke told us it had been much bigger before the tour.

Coming around the corner and back into the blazing sun…

return to the front garden

return to the front garden

the precariously situated little maple

the precariously situated little maple

front porch again

front porch again

by front steps

by front steps

further ogling of the front porch

further ogling of the front porch

I turned back to return to the back yard, figuring I could find a more dignified exit than inching my way down the steep steps to the sidewalk. I carefully stepped around the little maple; owner Bob had expressed concern that its one sideways branch would survive the tour.

the maple in question

the maple in question

I hope it did!

another detail

another detail

enjoying the south side path again

enjoying the south side path again

We skirted past Helen’s lemonade area to get to the parking lot behind the house where we could get a good view of the back.

east side of house

east side of house

back garden

back garden

The back garden, said to be new, looks well established.

back garden detail

back garden detail

looking up to the back porch

looking up to the back porch

To the south and below the garden is a lawn where we were able to walk back to the sidewalk.

south side of house

south side of house

perfect roses

perfect roses

Allan remarked that the roses had no blackspot!

rose

front porch from south lawn

front porch from south lawn

porch

side garden at eye level from below

side garden at eye level from below

eye to eye with the gnome

eye to eye with the gnome

I hope you enjoy looking at the porch as much as I did.

I hope you enjoy looking at the porch as much as I did.

I crossed the street to get a photo of the front of the whole place. I could easily have walked round again, especially the south side with the planter wall.

the whole shebang

the whole shebang

I have tried to analyze why of all the lovely gardens this was my favourite, and in posting these photos I have figured out that it is because I adore brightly painted houses. Painted Ladies, Daughters of Painted Ladies, and A Gift to the Street are books that I own and treasure about painted Victorian houses. I also realize now that the narrow side gardens remind me of my beloved Gram’s garden on its small Seattle city lot (although her front and back yards were bigger than this).

Brief Intermission

One of the Lower Columbia Preservation Society volunteers at this garden told us that she, too, has a purple house. Allan must have commented to her about the big one up the street from this garden. She kindly gave us the address so that we could go see it and it was well worth the side trip into a different neighbourhood.

a cottage of purpleness

a cottage of purpleness

I love it! Next: a garden full of something I love: quotations in the garden.

Read Full Post »