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Posts Tagged ‘Castle Rock’

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock, Washington

We continued our exploration of Castle Rock public gardens with the

Castle Rock Visitor Center.

According to an article in The Daily News, the majority of the $247,000 project was completed by community volunteers and public works employees…including the landscaping around the building.  The center opened in May of 2016, so the garden is still young.

I walked this path away from the building…

…and back again.

By the wheelie bin enclosure at the end of that path, we had found a picnic shelter and pretty bed of annuals.

The hanging baskets were padlocked.

Allan’s photo

The enclosure had some useful posters.

More posters described assorted trees.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
the tree our bogsy wood is made of

Across the big parking lot….

…is a pollinator meadow.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

I could not find on my phone the location of the old jail, so we drove back downtown and got out and looked for a pedestrian to ask.  We found one just as I saw, across a parking lot, a garden that looked promising. Indeed, the pedestrian said it was the place we sought.  I noticed his t shirt for the Crosscut Taproom, which was one of two restaurants recommended at Nancy’s garden.  He was the owner, so that settled which one we would dine at (the other was Wine Down Dog).

Old Jail Park

Allan’s photo

The walls are reinforced with scrap iron and old horseshoes.

Allan’s photo of a horseshoe

A diseased tree had been recently cut…

…resulting in some scorched hostas.

Allan’s photo; beds are sponsored by local businesses.

downtown Castle Rock

We took a two block walk up and down one street a block from the park.

Allan’s photo of a poster behind the window display.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
a curbside garden and an apartment building

One of the apartments had its own little garden display, freshly watered and next door to the library.

The double baskets are gorgeous, as they were two years ago.  Then there were more trailing potato vines; this year, the theme is pink.

In the containers, the theme was green.

I liked it very much. The big containers had plants which I feel sure like lots of water.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
another street heading off south (Allan’s photo)

It took me till now to realize that Wine Down Dog is a pun (wind down).

Allan’s photo

We ate at the Crosscut Taproom, having gotten directions from its friendly owner.

We got there just before it got busy with the dinner crowd, including a large party who recognized us from today’s garden touring.

We enjoyed teriyaki rice bowls, cider and ginger beer…

Allan’s photo

…and petting a nice dog named Loki on the way out.

He was maybe a little tired from having had attention from many people.

As we drove away, we saw the other side of the apartment building with another sidewalk garden, one which I think I noticed two years ago.

Allan’s photo

We got home by dark.  I am already looking forward to next year’s tour.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock, Washington

 The Gardens at Sandy Bend 

The last private garden belonged to plantswoman Nancy, who is the Castle Rock Bloom Team Leader of the  downtown volunteer gardens program, Castle Rock Blooms.  You can find her on Facebook at The Plant Station.  We had already admired her opulent container plantings at the Partridge’s garden.  More big containers marked the parking area at her home.

I wish I could grow abutilons as huge as hers.

I think it takes more heat than we get at the beach—and I don’t like heat—but wow!

Abutilon ‘Red Tiger’ planted in the ground.

Her tomato display also credited the warmer inland weather.

Below the parking area, I was drawn to a magnificent shrub border (and later I heard her invoke the name Dan Hinkley about at least one of the specimens).

Allan said, “That car won’t hold many plants.” I thought it toned well with the big cotinus (smoke bush).

Nancy has Buddleja lindleyana and assured me that it is not on the invasive list, backing up my research with authority.  It does not set seed, she said, but does spread from runners (as I know, which is why I have three now).

Buddleja lindleyana

Looking back to the house…

entering the front garden

variegated climbing hydrangea
on the porch

For some reason, an attack of the shys I guess, I did not go onto the enticing porch.  Allan did:

Allan’s photo

I did look thoroughly at the intricate planting in the entry garden.

Abutilon ‘China Bells’

 I am pretty sure that the tree below is one that had us all circling and admiring and wanting to identify on a Hardy Plant Study weekend tour a few years ago.  Nancy’s labeling is superb so today all I had to do was read the tag.

‘Trost Dwarf’ birch

I was lured into an enticing winding woodland path, similar to the one at The Gardens at Stillmeadows.

The Secret Trail

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, deer fence?

Allan was coming the opposite way.
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

wisteria climbing a ladder and tree
returning to civilization; note the giant greenhouse to the left

This must be where Allan entered the secret trail:

Allan’s photo

I meant to explore that path…

Next to the greenhouse, I was about to fall in love.

This kitten had come to visit from next door.

Its fur was even softer than my Smoky’s fur.

Nancy works with Proven Winners and the local high school students to test new PW plants and to propagate plants for the downtown gardens.

On the back porch is some more of her container magic.

I turned away from the back garden because of a couple of railing-less steps and because of a kitten distraction.  Usually, I would find my way around the other side of the house to avoid the steps.  Somehow I managed to miss the whole back area.

Allan took some photos but said he did not realize he was the only one photographing it.

I missed a pond with fish!

When Allan and I reunited…

…he did not know that I had not found the back yard garden.

We talked with Nancy about the downtown gardens and saw the fertilizer and pots that they use.

The hanging baskets have a water saving system that Nancy says actually cuts down on watering. It was a pleasure to talk with her about the Castle Rock gardens, mostly maintained by volunteers (although the city crew waters the baskets).

Proven Winners had provided stacks of free catalogs.

As you will see, the Proven Winners partnership with the volunteers is helping Castle Rock’s downtown gardens thrive, and the hanging baskets are amazing.

As we left, the kitten was being petted by a little girl. I saw this road with bamboo and banana trees…

…and I might have found a vegetable garden had I walked back there.  In fact, as I wrote this, Allan said “There was a second garden down there that may have been hers!”  No wonder it is called the Gardens (plural!) at Sandy Bend! Next year, when I hope it will be on the Bloomin’ Tour again, I am determined to miss nothing of this place.

By now, it was 3:40 PM.  Our plan to see all the nurseries and private gardens by 4 PM (tour end time) had worked perfectly.  I would even have had time to see that back garden!  Now we still had daylight to find four floriferous public gardens in Castle Rock.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock Nursery

331 Buland Dr
Castle Rock, Washington
(360) 274-8388

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I did not want to be greedy when offered free annuals.  I would take them all for compost!  So I only took a few geraniums and begonias that I might be able to winter over.

Allan bought a fern.

Allan’s photo

The Book of Lists is an excellent book of plants that thrive in various conditions, and other such things.  It, and another book called Plants for Problem Places, were invaluable to me before the World Wide Web. I was pleased to see a book like that still in use.

Allan’s photo

Again I wished I still had my grandma’s old sewing machine (at least the stand).  I actually did used to sew on the old treadle machine, back when I sort of knew how to sew simple things, and it was the only one I had.

I saw a gorgeous tall Panicum and asked what it was.  Our garden host did not know.  When I saw three pots of Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and its base, I was astonished.  Could the little knee high Heavy Metal Panicums under a tree in Long Beach get that tall if they had good water?

the three pots of Heavy Metal and the big specimen

But then the daughter and plant expert returned from lunch and said the tall one was Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’.  There were two gallon pots of it left and I snagged them both.

Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’

Any other admirers would be out of luck because of my buying the last ones.

I did later google ‘Heavy Metal’ and learned that it could get to four to five feet in better conditions.

I also bought some small gauras because I want them at the Ilwaco Fire Station. Someone at the nursery told me, and I later confirmed, that gaura is the official flower of Castle Rock.  Could be true of Long Beach and Ilwaco, also, as I sure do use a lot of them.

Here is where you pay.
Allan’s photo

That was such a pleasant shopping experience.  I hope to visit again next year, when perhaps the Bloomin’ Tour will be in early August rather than early September.  May would be even better…if it were less than a two hour drive from home.  I imagine that it is the shopping hub for gardeners of the Castle Rock area.

Next: a deliriously delightful display of dahlias.

 

 

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Sunday, 3 Sept 2017

As we passed through the town of Castle Rock on our way to Evan Bean’s garden, I remembered childhood camping trips for two weeks each summer at the Toutle River, a beautiful campground that got washed away when Mt St Helens erupted in 1980.

 After our garden visit, we returned to Castle Rock and stopped to admire the public gardens.  I was pleased to find a Facebook page for the volunteer (!!!) group that does these gardens.  And, oh, LOOK! They have an annual garden tour (which we have, tragically, missed).

 Next year!

The first garden runs along the parking lot and street of the Riverfront Trail.  Allan went up onto the trail and got photos of the river.

I think this might presage a boating trip.

One of them waved.

The bank below the trail is newly planted.

Allan’s photo

how it gets watered (Allan’s photo)

This looks like the work truck.

Gateway Park

It was 96 degrees as we walked through the garden.

We had driven up that curved road heading to Evan’s garden.

I noted that somebody does hose watering.

roses and hydrangeas

This park runs for several blocks along a one way street going into town from the north.

Feast your eyes on the hanging baskets!  The park shows to the left in this photo.

I realized that each pole has a round banner which appear to be made by locals.  Let’s look at the baskets along this street and then get back to the park.

The baskets have gold sweet potato vine and at the top, some pink gaura making a spray of flowers.

Many hands make light work.

Now for our walk through this most amazing park.  I think that despite what the map below says it is called Gateway Park.

It’s long and narrow, between Huntington Avenue and Front Street.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

around the base of a tree (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

One plant source is Tsugawa. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, looking down from the road

Is this really all hose watered by volunteers?! (Allan’s photo)

white gaura (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We’ve walked south, and now we are walking back north.

On the way through town earlier in the day, my first hint of the great garden spirit here was a glimpse of the city hall garden, so we went looking for it.  On the way, we came upon what seems to be the same commercial street and stopped to admire its planters and baskets.

Castle Rock Blooms banner

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

dangling sweet potato vine (I think that is what it is)

painted rock (Allan’s photo)

 

It was 4:30 PM and we were the only pedestrians.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

sidewalk garden beds

We found City Hall a couple of blocks away.  It had been a great benefit of my freeway avoidance that we had glimpsed its garden on our route earlier in the day.

Allan’s photo

pink gaura, also used in the baskets

Digital cameras are weird. And WOW, what a garden.

The only other person we saw was a man across the street waiting at a table and holding a bouquet. There is a story there.

waterfall rock

Water rill goes under the entry walk.

seems like they get a lot of donations…

Allan’s photo

I was well and truly astonished by Castle Rock.

Here are a few bonus photos from our drive while looking for city hall:

On the way home:

The part of highway 4 (Ocean Beach Highway) between Longview and Cathlamet scares me, but what’s new….I’m no fun on the driving part of a road trip.

The 99 degree temperature as we passed through Longview dropped to 79 as we got closer to the beach.

In Naselle, we paused for a look at the big garden by the library.

They were having a party.

and the garden across the street….

with its big rooster.

I’m kind of in love with Castle Rock now, and I fantasized about moving in retirement to join that group of volunteers….if only it were not so hot there!  Here’s an upcoming event that you might want to attend.

castlerock.jpg

 

 

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