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July 27, 2013

Gardens by the Sea tour benefits Clatsop CASA.

garden one: Hubik garden. From the program: “A flowing garden walled in green, displaying a beautiful drainage solution.”

Hubik garden

Hubik garden

The beautiful fencing and gates, we were told, had been built by Mr. Husik.

The beautiful fencing and gates, we were told, had been built by the late Mr. Hubik.

front corner

front corner

tour guests at the gate

tour guests at the gate

stepping inside

to the left, the front porch

to the left, the front porch

detail

detail

inside the gate, photo by Allan

inside the gate, photo by Allan

Turning to the right, we find a water feature.

to the right, a pond

to the right, a pond

with water dripping from a shell

with water dripping from a shell

curving around from the pond, a mixed border

curving around from the pond, a mixed border

border

birdfeeder

birdfeeder

Allan went into the little path that you can see to the left of the photo above.

corner

corner

corner view

corner view

And look who he found there!

garter snake

From the lawn by to the flower border we look back toward the house.

curvy boxwood

curvy boxwood

side door

side door

Allan saw evidence of a dog’s presence….

a sure sign

a sure sign

And then saw the dog in the glass door on the side of the house.

dog

The dog looks like one of my favourite bloggers, Chess the purebred border collie.

Chess's relative?

Chess’s relative?

On the other side of the lawn from the house, the garden border has curved the corner and runs down the side. (Unlike Peninsula gardens, I cannot name south or north or west or east side as I got all turned around while looking for the garden.)

While perusing this area, we encountered our friend and client Lorna, owner of Andersen’s RV Park, touring with Karen, wife of consummate local plantsman Steve Clarke.  Lorna had already taken photos of things that she liked in garden six, where they had begun the tour, especially a pink flowering plant that she wanted identified but I could not tell what it was from the photo.

side border

side border

from the border to the house

from the border to the house

Passing a fire circle, we approach an intriguing garden shed.

circle

looking back at the house

looking back at the house

elegant garden outbuilding

elegant garden outbuilding

inside

inside

inside

inside

inside

the view out the back of the shed

the view out the back of the shed

What a delightful place. Before we go around the shed to enter that appealing view, we find another water feature at the corner of the house.

fountain

fountain

and a handsome gate to a parking area

and a handsome gate to a parking area

Going behind the shed, we find the “beautiful drainage solution”, a wetland that I would love to have at the back of my garden.

still with water even in summer

still with water even in summer

Pond is partly? fed with this system.

Pond is partly? fed with this system.

pipes

The vegetable garden behind the shed and next to the pond is impressively beautiful and perfectly maintained.

stunning

stunning

dahlias

dahlias

pyramid

pyramid

happy fig in a barrel

happy fig in a barrel

(I think I need to dig up the little fig tree that Nancy Allen gave me and plant it in a barrel against the warm back wall of our house.)

an excellent trellis

an excellent trellis

dahlia

This whole area with its big green pond and symmetrical beds and well placed trellising was my favourite part of the garden.

Here we come to the end and turn around.

the end of the garden

the end of the garden

I stood and gazed back for quite awhile enjoying the view and waiting for another tour guest to move so that I could take more photos.

She was photographing this view.

She was photographing this view.

looking back

looking back

nice plump onions

nice plump onions

Allan's photo

You can see her on the right taking another photo in this very photogenic area.

You can see her on the right taking another photo in this very photogenic area.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

beside the pond (and Allan examining the drainage system)

beside the pond (and Allan examining the drainage system)

Above: Note the nicely built terracing next to the pond. I like the bark, too; perfect for a veg garden as it echoes the colour of straw.

Allan feels that the pump system was for pulling water out of the pond rather than draining water into the pond.

bench

We return to the main garden on the path between the garage and the garden shed.

back

lawn

Now we see the garden from inside the curving boxwood hedge.

inside

rose garden

rose garden

tour guests, photo by Allan

tour guests, photo by Allan

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

And the boxwood hedge guides us back to the front gate.

gate

I enjoyed all of this garden and while there thought of the poignancy of continuing to garden after one’s partner has passed away.  On this subject, I recommend the garden writer Mirabel Osler, of whose book A Breath from Elsewhere,  Publisher’s Weekly wrote that she “addresses the neglected topic of coping with garden demands when one’s gardening partner dies or becomes ill. Drawing on her own experience, she offers suggestions for handling guilt, grief and moving forward in new ways.”  This is a book I have not read (I was searching to see if her wonderful book A Gentle Plea for Chaos addressed that issue, because I remembered that she carried on their garden after her spouse died.  It is now top of my “to read” list.

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Because my old friend Bryan lived two blocks from the Fauntleroy ferry, and because he sometimes had work for Robert, we traveled back and forth to Seattle a few times a year in 1996 and 1997.

Jane’s garden

In ’96, we made a garden for my accountant, Jane, at her home in Laurelhurst.

Below:  First we dug up a square of lawn atop a brick walled bed.

lawn dug up and boxwoods placed

March ’96:  lawn dug up and boxwoods placed

But, oops, we found a concrete lip just down a bit inside the edge, so we moved the boxwoods in a bit and planted Dianthus along the edge instead.

emergency redesign!

March ’96:  emergency redesign!

May '96, filling in nicely

May ’96, filling in nicely

midsummer, poppies

midsummer, poppies

midsummer: Jane's with cosmos

midsummer: Jane’s with cosmos

late summer with a big white Cleome

late summer with a big white Cleome

autumn '96 with Lavatera and chrysanthemums

autumn ’96 with Lavatera and chrysanthemums

Jane's garden in autumn with a late blooming Salvia and mums

Jane’s garden in autumn with a late blooming Salvia and mums

Bryan’s garden

Bryan had a lot of money and liked our company, so he created a project for us at his house, simply making a flower garden in one corner of his lawn.

beginning to dig

beginning to dig

Bertie continued his escape artist ways. We tried tying him to a cement H block only to find him chasing a car down the street hauling it behind him. Bryan loved Bertie and put more fencing around the yard to keep him in since we were regular visitors. Once when the ferry traffic was going by, he said “Whose that stupid dog chasing cars?” Of course it was Bertie, who had somehow escaped the fence and had to be chased down with our truck.  He could not resist the truck so would jump in the passenger door as soon as one pulled up next to him.

Bryan's garden in late summer, with Cleome and Cosmos

Bryan’s garden in late summer, with Cleome and Cosmos

Mina lobata on Bryan's fence

Mina lobata on Bryan’s fence

And a disaster

In autumn of that year, Jane’s daughter and son in law hired us to build a wall for them out of a hollow cottage stone type of material at their suburban house.  We were not experienced, nor were they.   The wall was four or five courses tall at its highest point, only two at its lowest.  It did not seem terribly daunting because the tall corner did not have a very long run, and most of the wall was low.  They gave us the materials and a diagram of how the blocks fit together, and as each course of the wall went in, the idea was to fill the hollow centers of the blocks with gravel.  It was a hard job but got us a nice paycheck (much cheaper than hiring experienced hardscapers).  Then within the month came a “100 year flood” type of rainstorm.  The tallest portion of the wall bowed and began to collapse and it was ascertained that we had assembled it upside down…or was it backwards?   Either way, I felt we had to return part of the money we had earned, even though we had been clear that we were novices at wall building and that the diagrams were unclear.  (The owners had seen us build it and seemed to think we were doing it right.)  That was it for me with Seattle jobs.  The stress of having something go wrong so far away convinced me that we had to keep our successes …and possible failures….close to home so that we could fix anything that went rock.  Ironically, that was the only major failure we ever had in our gardening career.

Moral:  Be sure when hiring out the building of a wall to get someone experienced.   And as a worker, say no to hardscaping unless you are qualified to do it right.   I now specialize only in taking care of plants.

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