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Saturday, 7 September 2019

When we had discovered the Castle Rock public gardens two years ago on a drive to Evan Bean’s garden, we had just missed the annual tour by a month.  Last year, the tour didn’t happen, so I’d been looking forward to it for two years!

We left Ilwaco at 8 AM and arrived at the first garden, east of Castle Rock, just before 11 AM.

The Gardens at Stillmeadows

The garden name had made me eager to ask if the garden owners were fans of Gladys Taber, a favourite author of mine who wrote memoirs about her home called Stillmeadow. No, Still Meadows Lane is the name of the road along which you will find this large garden and overnight retreat.  You can read here about how the owners transformed “a mess of brush and blackberries” into a rambling garden acreage.

As planned in advance, we met Debbie, Dana, and Dawn from up north as we arrived and as they were leaving for the next garden.

me, Bailey, Debbie, Dawn, Dana

This was the only time we saw them all day because they were running an hour ahead of us on the tour.  We had a good but short visit (and they gave me flower pots and some garden decor, thank you!).  Allan and I then walked up the hill toward the garden, guided by our new friend, Bailey.

The gift shop, to the right on the way up the road, was closed for the season.

Now I so wish I had my grandma’s old treadle sewing machine.  (I sold it before leaving Seattle 26 years ago; it was so heavy) Something like this idea is genius for making a window box without attaching hardware to the window frame area….or just the idea of using something other than a standard window box.

To our left, we followed the sound to a waterfall.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
a bit further uphill

The first of two houses is a manufactured home similar to ours. (Of course, I loved that.)

It has an intricate front porch arbour.

Between the first and second house is the entrance to a secret garden.

Allan’s photo

We continued to explore the entrance garden on the way to the retreat office, located in the second house.

one of four elusive kitties

Take a drippy paint can and turn it into a vase with same colour flowers.
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A large seating area near the office would be perfect for dining al fresco while staying in one of the retreat rooms.

We met the friendly garden owners and then wended our separate ways down the hill into the lower gardens.

path to the sauna

A path gravel worked its way gently downhill.

looking back

Allan’s photo

The tour was perhaps not as well attended as it should have been.  I saw only two other people in the garden, a couple who delightedly commented about the imagination required to create such a space.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
lower right, above, seed heads of a favourite of mine, eryngiums
Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’, one of my favourite late summer bloomers

At the bottom of the hill awaited an impressive stand of sunflowers, cosmos, and zinnias.  I love zinnias but don’t seem to have enough heat to grow them at the beach.

 

A dahlia garden came next as one turns to another path back into the lower garden.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Looking back at the dahlias…

Past the dahlias, a bridge over a river of blue fescue leads to a reflective pond.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Chickens!

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

That must be the back of the sauna.

Past the picket fence, a path wound sinuously through the woods….

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

The woodsy path emerged at the base of steps leading up next to a waterfall.

Allan’s photo of a clever break in the railing as it crosses a stream.

Even though the stairs were easy enough, with a sturdy railing, let’s go back around the long way, retracing some of our steps to see more, including a closer look at a grove of Acer griseum (paperbark maple).

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

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
returning to the upper level (Allan’s photo)

As we were leaving, we met Rosemary from St Helens (a lower Columbia River town in Oregon), who had sent me a beautiful greeting card after happening upon my plant sale last May.  What a lucky encounter today.

Rosemary and me

I do hope we meet again.

And I hope to visit The Gardens at Stillmeadows again in late spring or early summer.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

I woke up very early (for me), filled with anticipation of a fun day of touring local gardens with Ann (The Amateur Bot-ann-ist), Evan (from Plant Delights, Cistus, and now Plant Lust), and more.  First I needed to water my greenhouse and patio plants.

Skooter is so happy to be allowed out during the day again (even though I have concerns that it is too soon).

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Ann and Evan arrived at ten.  They toured our garden for awhile.

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Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

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These photos remind me of how for five years, to no avail, I kept asking the local tour to change the promotion wording, “You are invited to examine and inspect the gardens” to “appreciate and enjoy the gardens”, to sound less like a medical exam.  I would be listened to and humored, but the wording never changed.  Yet here we are examining and inspecting!

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not an area of collectible plants but for some reason I noticed it.

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Salvia patens petals on the lawn (Allan’s photo)

With the garden pretty thoroughly and kindly inspected, we were off to tour six (and a bit) Peninsula gardens.  The little bit was our stop at the Clarke garden on the way north.  I did not have a way to contact them, and I did want to show Ann and Evan the attractive containers especially.  (Karen, we did not trespass into the back garden although I have a feeling you would not have minded.)  We just “examined and inspected” the containers in the driveway.

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Evan wanted to know which grass this is.

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more glorious containers

Pink Poppy Farm

We began our tour with Pink Poppy Farm, a favourite of mine.  Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) arrived to join us. Pink Poppy Farmer Mike greeted us with the offer of drinks and walked with us through the garden, soon joined by his spouse Lynn, even though they must have been tired because their garden had been on the peninsula garden tour yesterday (while we were in Menlo).  The garden name may sound familiar to you because their daughter, Madeline, is the owner of Pink Poppy Bakery.

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Ann, Evan, Skyler, Mike

For a more orderly beginning-to-end tour of this garden four years ago, check out this post.

Today, we wandered here and there in the garden.

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Allan’s photo

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Mike, Dave, and Allan by the Imperial Chicken Palace

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The Imperial Chicken Palace

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Look closely to see the bear on the coop.

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chooks

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Melissa communing with a hen (Allan’s photo)

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Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and clematis (Allan’s photo)

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Maddy and her dad love old black and white films.

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Allan’s photo

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Evan taking photos

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interior design: I love this kitchen tile.

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up a slope into the garden

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house and workshop

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looking back at the chicken palace

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Allan’s photo

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The garden specializes in food and in cutting flowers.

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Maddy’s old swing set repurposed into a bean trellis

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one of several greenhouses and hoop houses

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Ann and Lynn (Allan’s photo)

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must be amaranth (Allan’s photo)

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Evan, Allan, Ann, and Lynn

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(left) Evan taking photos

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We got our sprinklers-on-posts watering idea from this garden.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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fire area with a “cemetery rose”

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Looking back over the garden.  (Right) one of the tables left from the fabulous Wedding at Pink Poppy Farm

One of the hoophouses had a crop of young wasabi.

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The leaves were hot and delicious.

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another productive hoophouse

Some of the produce you will find for sale when Pink Poppy Bakery has a booth at the market (which is not every Saturday this year).

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tiered beds at the end of the hoophouse

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another cutting bed

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Lynn pointed out this exceptionally pretty calendula.

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sweet peas and bachelor buttons

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pompom dahlias, my favourite kind

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Allan’s photo

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Tigridia (Allan’s photo)

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Here we go heading off to four gardens in and near  Oysterville.

 

 

 

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The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:

tour

 

Next to the fourth garden, we parked by a field of farm equipment, some new and some old.

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Allan’s photo

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promise of a garden up ahead

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entry to the front garden

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Trapeoleum speciosum on the trellis (Allan’s photo)

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the ornamental front garden

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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campanulas (Allan’s photo)

Coming around to the back garden, the focus changes to food production.

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tomatoes against the south side of the house

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a chicken coop in the background

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traffic jam at the door

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plump and pretty hens

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a raised bed edged with growing bags (Allan’s photo)

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in the greenhouse (Allan’s photo)

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farmland and cattle beyond

If I had to feed myself out of my garden, I might be eating chickweed, sheep sorrel, and some potatoes and a few berries, with some tomatoes from the greenhouse in late summer.  The intensive growing method in this garden made me ponder what I could do with the future kitchen garden space that I envision between our fence and Devery’s driveway.

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This could protect the plants from deer.

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carrots

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beans

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I overheard that these were sweet Walla Walla onions.

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lettuce (Allan’s photo)

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grapevines on the left

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berries and peaches

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roses, honeysuckle, blueberries (Allan’s photo)

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kitchen gardener extraordinaire, Tim

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gunnera by the back deck

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ready for alfresco meals from the garden

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on the deck (Allan’s photo)

Because this was not an ornamental plant collector’s garden, I was surprised to see a Melianthus major as we departed.

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A tour host was surprised that I recognized it; I said “There are six people touring behind me who will also know what it is.”  (Melissa, Dave, Ann, Evan, Pam, and Teresa!)

We had only one more tour garden to see, this one ten miles northwest of Raymond, and I was hoping to at least spy around the edges of two interesting private gardens on the way home.

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Touring Mark and Brian’s Garden

With our workday almost done, we drove almost to Nahcotta to tour a garden new to us.  When garden owner Mark had posted some beautiful photos of it on the Peninsula Gardeners Facebook group, I had commented that I would be hanging over the fence trying to see in if I walked by. I was forthwith invited to come visit.  Because I focus on one thing at a time, I did not look closely at the address until we were on our way from Klipsan Beach Cottages.  Then I said “OH my gosh, I think this is the garden I have wanted to see for a long time!”  Sure enough, as we parked, I knew that it was the place where I HAVE peered wistfully over the front fence, wishing to see what was in the secret garden.

I am incorporating into this story some of Mark’s photos that drew me into this hidden paradise.

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the front garden

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beginning our tour

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front garden

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by the woodsy edge of the front garden

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cool and wavy trellises

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cosmos!

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deep blue Salvia patens

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washing machine tub planters!

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talking about the assorted raised boxes

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Now I want a kitchen garden just like this.

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The sides come off.

I’d put a kitchen garden like that in the sunny spot between our fence and Devery’s garage parking pad so we could both harvest.

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Allan’s photo: fence between front and back garden

At last, I got to go through the gate to the back garden.

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having entered the secret garden (Allan’s photo)

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view upon entering

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Immediately, we heard the sound of a waterfall and found the source: a large pond with stream and two waterfalls.  Mark said when they bought the house, it was a strawberry bed, and as he cleaned it out, he found a big cement pond.  He and Brian then constructed the stream bed that runs down a slope from behind.

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Mark’s photo

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Mark’s photo

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up the slope to the waterfall

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I did not quite succeed with this photo of the pond from under the maple branch.  Let’s just call it impressionistic.

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Allan’s photo

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maple admiration society

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at the pond’s edge

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Allan’s photo

We turned our attention to the garden on the west side of the house, which I had been thrilled to see was a double wide, like ours, but with better windows and nice wood siding.

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Mark’s photo

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looking across to the pond, what a view! (Mark’s photo)

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Mark’s photo

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west facing deck with strong shadows

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on the porch

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Mark’s photo

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Mark’s photo

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west side flower garden

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dierama (Mark’s photo)

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Mark’s photo

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a deer fenced area…The additional height on top was added because deer jumped this!

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just done blooming

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on the shed wall

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Allan’s photo

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roses protected from deer (Allan’s photo)

Beyond the house is a luxuriously large chicken coop.

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just part of the multi-roomed coop

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friendly girls

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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an old door recycled from Penttila’s Chapel

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up the ramp, in the door, hoping for a treat

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by the greenhouse

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echeverias

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geranium with great foliage

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on the corner of the deck

We began to wend our way out of the garden because we had more watering to do in Ilwaco before day’s end.

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love these grasses in wooden boxes

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another view of the pond

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Allan’s photo

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hydrangea (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

Soon we are going to have Mark and Brian over to have a walk about in our garden.  I felt so lucky to have gained entry to theirs.

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Friday, 3 March 2017

If you don’t enjoy progressive politix, you might want to skip this one, because that’s all we have on offer today other than some faux chickens at the very end.

In shockingly cold and windy rain, we drove north to the Naquaiya Studio for the pleasure of participating in a postcard party.

Part of the mission is a mass mailing to the preznit in mid March, coordinated from liberal groups all over the country.  Perhaps all it will do is inspire us.  I don’t expect it to change anything. The meetings are productive in another way as we have excellent conversation throughout.

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An excellent time was had by all.


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a studio filled with art

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me, Judy, and Yudy.

My mind is still boggled by how much Yudy looks and talks and laughs like a Judy I used to know.  The resemblance makes me smile every time.

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fuel

This ongoing group effort by local artists is all old folks, as far as I know.  I am especially pleased with how punk rock the postcards are.

Michelle had printed out all sorts of bits of topical text that she calls “pasties” to add to postcards.  She observed that the news changes so fast that some of them are outdated already.

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inspirational notes:

hope

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Yudy’s ideas for wording


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Yudy’s cards of the day


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a beauty, made by Carole

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also by Carole


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another by Carole

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by Carole’s friend

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Carole’s friend made these with a nice cut out for inserting the address.

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by a postcard-er with a beloved transgender family member


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four cards, fronts


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backs

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Seniors are mad!

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fronts


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backs

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backs

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These original pieces, by someone who wasn’t in attendance today, were especially interesting to me.

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face

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I just the straightforward simplicity of these to the point messages.

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woman

He has said so many terrible things about women.

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I am using seed catalogs to assemble postcards, so mine are pretty pretty.  Two of them are planned to be thank you notes for politicans who are defending the EPA.

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Whoever in government defends the environment next gets this one.

On the way home, Allan and I stopped at Dennis Co for a remarkably cheap sale on Rustoleum spray paint…not for graffiti, mind you, but for the repainting of my bamboo poles.

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Dennis Company store display

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Tomorrow, more politics, possibly mixed with a delicious lunch in Astoria.  I have a sad on that I might miss the next postcard party because of an ACLU training session.  These parties do my heart and energy good.

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Not only had we been looking forward to having dinner with Todd at Dave and Melissa’s place in Oysterville, but I had been eagerly anticipating meeting their chicken flock, petting their dogs, and seeing what progress they’ve made on their garden.  It can be so tough to find time for one’s own garden when one does gardening for a living, as they do with their Sea Star Gardening business.  They had made good progress since our last visit.

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the Sea Star abode

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A hummingbird frequents the waterfall. The water makes a glorious noise.

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on the porch (Allan’s photo)

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new shade bed in progress (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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the girls! (Allan’s photo)

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Acer griseum (paperbark maple)

The only drawback to this wonderful landscape by woods and wetlands is that the mosquitos are fierce.

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Allan’s photo, skeeters on the back of my shirt on the first walk around

When Todd arrived, Allan walked all around again.  I stayed in for that part of the tour and admired the window views.

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from the window

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from the back porch

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Todd admiring the garden in progress (Allan’s photo)

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The tour returns: Dave and Melissa

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Melissa and Todd and Allan

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Dave and Todd (Allan’s photo)

After garden touring, we repaired indoors for a delicious dinner by Chef Dave.

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Allan’s photo: salads and steelhead

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and brownies (Allan’s photo)

A friend had given Melissa, this vintage book, which brings back memories of reading ALL of Marguerite Henry as a horse crazy city girl.

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After dinner, the dogs, both Hovawarts,  joined us.

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me and Anna

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me, Coulee, Dave

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Coulee took a liking to Todd (Allan’s photo)

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Coulee (Allan’s photo)

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Coulee

The best thing in the past year has been becoming friends with these three gardeners, Melissa and Dave and Todd.

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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Music in the Gardens Tour, Long Beach Peninsula

a benefit for the Water Music Festival and music programs in local schools

ticket tour map

ticket tour map

Garden 8: Charles Nelson Guest House

A classic 1920s era Sears & Roebuck house anchors this bay view property with traditional gardens including hydrangeas, peonies, and window baskets full of flowers. Sheltered by a tree-like camellia, a pond is home to a large 16 year-old Koi.  Three raised beds display edible flowers and vegetables.   Henry, a magnificent rooster, presides over six laying hens in a purple French chicken coop.

We entered Ginger’s garden at the Charles Nelson Guest House through the side gate just across the road from her friend Marla’s garden to the north, which was also on the tour.

photo by Bob Duke

photo by Bob Duke

We’ll show you the front entrance first, though, as it is the way most guests would enter.

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Allan’s photo

front (east side)

front (east side)

front door

front door, June 1st pre-tour visit

Waterlogue

Waterlogue

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looking at house from the southeast garden, photo by Kathleen Shaw

looking at house from the southeast garden, photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

roses

north side of house, photo by Kathleen Shaw

north side of house, photo by Kathleen Shaw

pre-tour visit, June 1st

pre-tour visit, June 1st

birdbath

This painted stone sits near the birdbath.

This painted stone sits near the birdbath.

back porch

back porch

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kitchen garden, outbuildings and garage on north side of house

kitchen garden, outbuildings and garage on north side of house

kitchen garden

the charming kitchen garden

raised bed kitchen garden

raised bed kitchen garden

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

patio on north side of house

patio on north side of house, June 1st

north side patio

north side patio; dog run is behind the fence but the dogs were in the shady garage

The chickens were hiding out in the shade on tour day because of the heat.

chicken coop, photo by Kathleen Shaw

chicken coop, photo by Kathleen Shaw

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chicken coop

chicken coop

hens in the shade on tour day

the flock in the shade on tour day (that naked neck hen is supposed to look that way

Too hot!

Too hot!

Henry in the shade

Henry in the shade

Fortunately, I had visited the chickens twice before on days with more normal coastal temperatures.

June 1st

June 1st

On July 3rd, Garden Tour Nancy and I had gone specifically to get some photos that artist Barbara Sampson from Tokeland could use for the a painting for the garden tour.  It wouldn’t be painted plein air like the others, but she was unable to travel from Tokeland to do the painting.

July 3rd

July 3rd

July 3rd

July 3rd

chooks on July 3rd

chooks on July 3rd

White hen wonders why all the fuss about Henry.

White hen wonders why all the fuss about Henry.

July 3rd, Henry

July 3rd, Henry

painting of Henry

painting of Henry by Barbara Sampson of Tokeland

Henry was supposed to be a hen, and when he turned out to be a rooster, Ginger tried to find a home for him.  People wanted to make a meal of him, so she kept him.  She warns B&B guests that he does crow early.  It is the rare guest who minds that, and many say it reminds them of childhood farm life.

chicken coop from west side of garden

chicken coop from west side of garden (june 1st)

west garden bed

west garden bed

pre-tour visit, June 1st

pre-tour visit, June 1st

Bird feeders placed all around the garden attract birds for guests to enjoy watching.

Bird feeders placed all around the garden attract birds for guests to enjoy watching.  (Photo taken June 1st)

another bird feeder

another bird feeder

pre tour visit, June 1

pre tour visit, June 1

tree

west side deck, June 1st

west side deck, June 1st

pond by the west side deck (pre-tour visit, June 1st)

pond by the west side deck (pre-tour visit, June 1st)

June 1st

June 1st

photo by  Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

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The fountain kids look a little scary close up!

The fountain kids look a little unintentionally scary close up!  (Allan’s photo)

looking down at the pond from the deck

looking down at the pond from the deck

pond fountain

pond fountain with lurking giant koi

16 year old koi and friend (photo by Kathleen Shaw)

16 year old koi and friend (photo by Kathleen Shaw)

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

feeding time, viewed from the deck

feeding time, viewed from the deck

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feeding time

Speaking of feeding time, I was hungry!!  With only the “not a garden” left to see, I had a little bit of time to relax and nosh.

snacks, on the easily accessible deck

snacks, on the easily accessible deck, with another painting by Barbara Sampson

foooooood!!!!

foooooood!!!!

on the deck, photo by Kathleen Shaw

on the deck, photo by Kathleen Shaw

on the deck

on the deck

on the deck

on the deck (Allan’s photo)

view to the south from the deck

view to the south from the deck

gazebo

June 1st

June 1st

musician Tom Trudell, photo by Kathleen Shaw

musician Tom Trudell, photo by Kathleen Shaw

A young man name Sam filled in while Tom took a break. Photo by Kathleen Shaw

A young man name Sam filled in while Tom took a break. Photo by Kathleen Shaw

SW corner of the garden, photo taken June 1st from the gazebo

SW corner of the garden, photo taken June 1st from the gazebo

gazebo roof (Allan's photo)

gazebo roof (Allan’s photo)

south side sunroom

south side sunroom

south side of the house

south side of the house

It boggles my mind that this was a Sears and Roebuck house!  I believe that my Grandma’s house was also a Sears Craftsman style house.  I did not know that those plans or kits came as grand as this one.

south side garden at front of house

gardens on south side at front of house

white chair

June 1st

We left the way we came in, by the gate on the north side of the house.  As we left, I saw a woman carrying THIS out of the house…a gift from Ginger for having helped out on tour day.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Scadoxus!

Scadoxus!

I may have been scary in my covetousness and plant envy.  I had first seen this flower that looks so much like a red allium at a garden on the recent Hardy Plant tour in Portland, and put it on my list of must have plants.  It is not a common plant, so how in the heck did it end up here??  I was told it had been in the plant sale next door at Marla’s garden, the plants of her orchid expert brother-in-law, Greig Warner.  I scurried back over there, but there were no more.  I was told that he could get one for me, once he moves here.

north garden

north garden (looking south)

north garden

north garden

by the walkway to the north gate, June 1st

by the walkway to the north gate, June 1st

Allan's photo, tour day

Allan’s photo, tour day

near the north gate

near the north gate

on the right, the garage

on the right, the garage

June 1st, when the callas were in bloom

June 1st, when the callas were in bloom

June 1st

June 1st

by the north gate

by the north gate as we leave on tour day

Because the last stop on the tour is a “not a garden”, I’m making it a bonus post tonight, as I am anxious to get on to a spontaneous day of garden touring that took place the next day in Astoria.

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