Sunday, 19 July 2015
After being lured across the river by a garden tour of the Bohnke garden, we took Debbie to see the gardens at the Millpond Village, especially Helen’s garden, which I had visited several times before…
in July of 2012
in March of 2013
in June of 2013
in September of 2014
I led the way our parking spot to the garden only to find a fence around it and Helen’s neighbour, Sami, on the other side sitting on her porch. I called out that Helen had said we could come see the garden anytime. Sami said that we could but that it was her garden now! Helen had sold it to her, in order to have more time for other pursuits, although they still both enjoyed it. Thanks, Sami, for letting us in!
The garden is a lot between two townhouse buildings that Helen purchased for the making of a garden.
a handsome hypericum
This year Helen and Sami have experimented for the first time with having a kitchen garden.
huge tomatoes growing on the south wall of Sami’s townhouse
Allan’s photo: Sami’s dog
Sami’s little dog escaping the sunshine
bench by the dry creek bed (winter drainage swale)
the creek bed and drainage swale
a garden of tiny details
looking west toward the millpond
We appreciated Sami letting three semi-strangers with cameras swarm through her garden. Helen arrived at her townhouse toward the end of our visit and I was pleased to see her again.
Helen and friends (Allan’s photo)
Mill Pond Village
After exploring Sami’s garden, we strolled around the Mill Pond Village, one of the most garden-y neighbourhoods I’ve ever seen. I fantasize about living there but know that we couldn’t afford it. Or if we could, we would be amongst moneyed people who would speak of their expensive travels and lifestyles that would be so different from what we can indulge in. A working class neighbourhood with a street full of gardeners would be a more realistic fantasy for us.
I read up on the history of the village, a former mill pond that was saved from contamination, on this website. This particularly interested me: “The homes at Mill Pond Village all have garages that are accessed from rear alleys. Alley access reduces curb cuts in front of homes and maximizes available on-street parking. This traditional parking design allows for ample vehicle space while maintaining pedestrian friendliness.” I thought back to my neighbourhood in Seattle, where most houses were backed with alleyways, and realized how much that did contribute to pedestrian friendliness. I miss alleys. They seem to be almost nonexistent in Peninsula towns.
Here is another site with history and photos of the village. It says “The diversity of housing allows for a range of incomes, ages and family structures. Housing types create the seaside village-like, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.” Hmmm….maybe I can imagine, after all. It’s not the townhouses that draw me, just the fact that almost everyone seems to like gardening.
looking north to the Columbia River. This expanse of lawn is just to the east of Sami’s garden.
looking back to Sami’s garden
between two townhouses
one of many pocket gardens
hydrangea and hosta
hosta, hydrangea, Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Well grown hostas are all the rage here.
white hydrangea by crisp white railing
gardening between buildings
to the north, the River Walk and the tracks of the Astoria Trolley
curbside garden in full exposure to river storms (Allan’s photo)
looking south, Sami’s garden is on the right at the end of the sidewalk.
freighter heading toward the mouth of the Columbia River
In Astoria, bar pilots are employed to navigate the ships over the hazardous Columbia River Bar (long known as the Graveyard of the Pacific).
These folks had just moved from Seattle to Seaside, Oregon, and were reveling in small town life.
Allan’s photo as the wind drove them from their reading.
I was ever so pleased at the ship putting on a good show for Debbie, and even more pleased when the trolley came by right on cue.
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley. Ding, ding, ding went the bell.
Debbie and the trolley (Allan’s photo)
looking south over the village
looking south at the river and Big Red
From Astoria’s History Along the (trolley) Tracks: “The big red building out in the river was a net drying and mending shed or net loft. Natural fiber nets, which often were made in the fishermen’s homes during the winters, needed to be dried between uses. Fishermen could navigate their boats right up under the building where a hoist would lift the nets to dry. The building was used in the movie “Free Willy II.” A local artist and art professor has purchased the building and is renovating it to be artist studios and small shops.” (It was badly damaged in the big storm of November, 2007, and since then efforts have been made to save it.) “It was as if the top floor and roof kind of twisted and lifted up, and went over the river and fell into the river,” said Sarah, recounting the 160-mile-per-hour winds that tore through Astoria that day, ripping away the second story of the building. …. Eddie Park, a friend of the Nebekers who had been helping board up the windows was thrown 40 feet and broke his arm against a wall. Royal and Park were trapped in the loft as winds raged around them. After 20 hours, they escaped by strapping themselves to a ladder for weight and then crawling on their bellies down the long gangplank to shore.”
Read more: http://djcoregon.com/news/2012/06/04/preservationists-try-to-save-uppertown-net-loft-in-astoria/#ixzz3hcm6jFv7
We drove the couple of blocks west to the actual Mill Pond so that Debbie could get a close look at both it and the public garden next to it.
the mill pond; the public park is at the lower left-ish
the park, Allan’s photo
I espied a darling little garden right on the banks of the pond. We took a good look at it from every angle (except for looking up from the steep bank of the pond).
It was windy!
Right across the street to the west was the cutest red house. I had assumed you could not paint your house a colour like that in the village.
red like my grandma’s house
small, but long…garage in the back?
It has a vacant lot next door that could perhaps be purchased for a garden. My new dream house, if it included the lot next door.
Allan’s photo. I could weep with unrequited desire for this house.
Debbie parted ways with us as she was headed back to her home up north. Allan and I had not intended to go the market because we’d assumed we would not find parking. When a parking spot opened up for us on Marine Drive, we took the opportunity after all.
Astoria Sunday Market
Who should be playing but Double J and the Boys, who also play the Ilwaco Saturday Market.
always one of my favourite booths of small bottles made into hanging vases with twists of wire.
looking south up the market blocks
one of several produce stands
dog pyjamas? (Allan’s photo)
I’ve often seen this woman and her dog around the Peninsula.
I saw our Long Beach friend Debbie at the Master Gardeners booth but did not have much time to visit as the market was due to close in a few minutes. (It only goes till 3 PM.) I needed to browse the plant displays.
I did buy a coneflower.
jams to taste (Allan’s photo)
another flower booth: The wind was blowing hard so I think that fellow was holding the booth in place.
There was our Peninsula Humane Society raffle booth.
Someone had purchased this enviable garden art.
some of the excellent Astoria planters
I think Astoria gardener Jessica Schlief may have something to do with these?
I do wish Ms. Jessica would send me her email address so we could get in touch.
Even thought the market was packing up, the food court was mostly still open so we were able to get a meal from my favourite vendor, O Falafel!
later at home: a falafel plate with hummous, baba ganoush, tabouli….O! Joy.
Allan actually went out watering in Ilwaco Sunday evening after all that….
while filling up the water tank at the boatyard…
cool silver painted tree at a new business in town (Paula’s shop)
watering the community building garden
It feels like we have been garden touring for days. It’s time to get back to work, with the next garden tour due next Sunday at Pam’s public gardens in Seaside.
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