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Posts Tagged ‘containers’

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Garden Bloggers Fling, Portland

Saturday Itinerary with times

Saturday Itinerary with times

JJ De Sousa Garden

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Even the name of this garden evokes music, vibrancy, and fun.

the bloggers arrive

the bloggers arrive

handsome privacy screen for the front garden

handsome privacy screen for the front garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

from the sidewalk to the front gate

from the sidewalk to the front gate

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The entry walk is low and between two walled gardens.

The entry walk is low and between two walled gardens.

It's already clear that orange is a theme.

It’s already clear that orange is a theme.

inspired by the fabulous carrot gate

inspired by the fabulous carrot gate?

GMTA (Allan's photo)

GMTA (Allan’s photo)

front entryway rock walls

just inside the gate to the right, rock walls, with water feature behind the grasses

water bubbler

water bubbler

a wee rhodo for Steve and John (Allan's photo)

a wee rhodo for Steve and John (Allan’s photo)

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front door

front door

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

DeSousa pooch (Allan's photo)

DeSousa pooch (Allan’s photo)

What a cutiepatootie!

What a cutiepatootie! (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

bamboo against the chimney

bamboo against the chimney

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This is why the buses split to only bring half of us at a time to the tiny gardens! (Allan's photo)

This is why the buses split to only bring half of us at a time to the tiny gardens! (Allan’s photo); That’s JJ herself in black.

from patio on left side as you walk to the house

from patio to the left as you face the front door; you can see how the sundial is situated right inside the gate

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

with shady sit spots

with shady sit spots

on the patio table

on the patio table

the carrot gate

the carrot gate

against the front wall of the house

against the front wall of the house

and around the corner to the shady side

and around the corner to the shady side

a light thingie!

a light thingie!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; the fence must be by the neighbour’s house on the shady side.

cool refreshing foliage on the shady side

cool refreshing foliage on the shady side

in the back gate

in the back gate

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan was clearly smitten with this seed pod.

Allan was clearly smitten with this seed pod.

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Allan’s photo

My memory does not serve me well whether this red door is in the front or the back.  I'm guessing the back.

My memory does not serve me well whether this red door is in the front or the back. I’m guessing the back.

the back yard is a party space

the back yard is a party space

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two levels of seating

two levels of seating; I have never seen furniture like that outside in the Pacific Northwest

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

corner of back yard; I'm fond of fences made of metal like that.

corner of back yard; I’m fond of fences made of metal like that.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

(It may be dull for the reader, but for my own amusement I like to see our similar photos. Remember, I plan to read this someday in the assisted living home, should I and WordPress live that long!)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo of Stipa gigantea (my favourite ornamental grass)

I can't get up there!

I can’t get up there!

Even with no injuries, I cannot do stairs without railings because I am just and have always been kind of clumsy. (Allan's photo)

Even with no injuries, I cannot do stairs without railings because I am just and have always been kind of clumsy. (Allan’s photo)

(Another blogger told me she got there early and “crawled up and down” before anyone was watching; that I could have done!)

It’s time to say “Allan, would you take photos up there for me, of everything!?” I returned to the shady front patio and sat with Mary Ann Newcomer for the rest of the visit.

Allan’s photos:

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on the upper deck

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looking down on the couch corner

looking down on the couch corner

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back door: adorable!

back door: adorable!

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fuzzy tails!

fuzzy tails!

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looking down through Stipa gigantea

looking down through Stipa gigantea

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Allan has now enlightened me that this area is at ground level down another flight of stairs at the other side of the deck, in a corner of the garden. The little greenhouse is down there, as well.

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Now he appears to be back up on the decks again.

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Thanks to Allan, I feel we got to see every detail of this garden.

I overheard something about the garden owner own a garden and interior design shop called Digs, and that a lot of the containers in the garden were spray painted, and that the day before the tour she had re-painted some chairs from black to orange or the other way around.

The De Sousa blog is here.

Here she is on Pinterest.

And in an article by Kym P0korny. Thanks to Kym, I now know the secret of that outdoor couch area: “The horseshoe sectional is made of recycled polyethylene, which is naturally anti-microbial to keep mildew at bay. “

more stunning photos from Alternative Eden here

Pam Penick, an Austin blogger’s view of the garden here

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Ilwaco Post Office

Our only volunteer garden in Ilwaco is at the Ilwaco Post Office, now that the boatyard garden has turned into a “real job”.  On this, its third year, it still looked fine, although perhaps not as lovely as its first year.  Being on the garden tour 2012 consumed a lot of our time and energy.

Here is the post office garden with spring tulips.  I am happy to see that while deer do prowl Lake Street gardens (thus our ginormous deer fence), they have so far not nibbled on the Post Office tulips.

1 March with Cistus in back

1 March with Cistus in back

6 March, species tulips

6 March, species tulips

6 March, narcissi

6 March, narcissi

Post Office, 2 April

Post Office, 2 April

I had great dreams of growing sweet peas along that picket fence, prepared the ground, added some manure, planted seeds around St Patrick’s Day, and had a total fail.  Possibly they did not get enough water.

11 April

11 April

6 June

6 June

21 June

21 June

Uh oh!  This seems to be the time when I became self-obsessed about our own garden and stopped taking post office photos for the year.  (I did lose in my iPhoto crash one photo of the pitiful straggle of flowerless stunted sweet peas, but maybe it is better that you not see it.)

Street Trees and Planters

On First Avenue we continue to care for the little squares at the base of the street trees and the several planters per block.

15 March, windblown narcissi by Azure Salon

15 March, windblown narcissi by Azure Salon

14 April, planter at 1st and Eagle with Narcissus bulbocodicum 'Golden Bells' (Yellow Hoop Petticoats)

14 April, planter at 1st and Eagle with Narcissus bulbocodicum ‘Golden Bells’ (Yellow Hoop Petticoats)

That garden tour prep intervened is obvious by the lack of midsummer photos!  Here is one from sometime in midsummer.

by First Avenue Rods and Customs

by First Avenue Rods and Customs in midsummer

same planter on 10th October

same planter on 10th October

10 October, by Ilwaco Antique store, looking toward Azure Salon

10 October, by Ilwaco Antiques store, looking toward Azure Salon

10 October by Portside Café

10 October by Portside Café

We try to make the Portside planter yellow, but those feverfew crept in and looked so pretty I did not have the heart to yank them.

a yellow cottage

When working on one Ilwaco garden that was new to us and got its own journal entry back in August, we got hired for a one off clean up job just down a dead end street.  It was most exciting to learn that the little yellow house on the property was a sister house to the one that I used to own behind the boatyard.

yellow cottage

yellow cottage

I had been told that three cottages used to sit in the boatyard.  One was moved to Spring Street and was our original Tangly Cottage.  I THINK the other one may have been the one next door to Lake Street house, lived in by our friend Jeannine and now by the owners of Pink Poppy Bakery.  And this yellow cottage is definitely one of the boatyard cottages.  Its owner (who owns several houses next door to it as well) told us that when it got moved, the old woman who lived in it was asked if she wanted to move, too.  She said “I always wanted to live on the hill” and so she lived here for the rest of her life.

cottage

yellow cottage

Someone had later lived there who had planted these two beautiful hydrangeas…

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old garden revived

and the euphorbia on the east side of the house told me the previous gardener had been something of a plant collector.  We weeded out a long bed where most of the perennials had gone to weeds and had the pleasure of cleaning up and making pretty an old water feature.

tiny pond

tiny pond

Because this is a one time job, it’s not the sort of thing we usually take on, but I could not resist working around the little yellow cottage.

Cheri’s garden

Cheri’s garden, one of my favourites, had a slightly off year because the chimney came down, as it had to, and brick were piled in a corner of the back garden.  The rest of the garden had gone to the dogs…Porsche and Beamer.  For two energetic boxers, they don’t do much harm to the garden except for one corner where they like to look out of the fence and one small area where Beamer just loves to dig.

Cheri's front garden in mid spring.  Lovely!

Cheri’s front garden in mid spring. Lovely!

One of the dogs walking carefully through the flowers.

One of the dogs walking carefully through the flowers.

Now, if this were my garden, what I would do is make where Porsche is walking (above) be a wide path, and I would make the LAWN be a picket fenced garden.  Maybe plant some tough shrubs along the outer chain link fence….then a wide barked path for the dogs to run…and a fenced bed right where the lawn is…and then the sidewalk around the house.  That would be an awful lot of work, though.

Cheri's delightful cats live indoors; this is the outdoor cat.

Cheri’s delightful cats live indoors; this is the outdoor cat.

Across the street on their other lot, the red hot pokers that Cheri and Charlie transplanted are thriving along the fence.

Kniphofia

Kniphofia

a new garden

We have not even touched this one yet, but in December of 2012 we agreed to take on its care; it is kitty corner from Cheri’s so will be very convenient.

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

Next: the gardens along Howerton at the Port of Ilwaco.

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It seems the only reason I have time to write here is because I am not feeling quite well so have taken the day off while Allan weeds on our gardens at Discovery Heights, an area I feel comfortable delegating because there are no precious new plantings or mysterious seedlings that no one but I would recognize.   Normally, I would work through what slightly ails me but am desperate to not get sick before next week’s Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend!

So here’s what I have been planning to write about: the many thoughts that occur while we work on the container gardens in Long Beach, Ilwaco, and other private and public gardens.  It might look like we are just deadheading or watering, but there are all sorts of worries going on in the background at this time of year!

Lisa's memorial planter

Lisa’s memorial planter

You may recall we planted this beach approach container in the rain.  Now, I was hoping and am still hoping that having a memorial plaque on a planter would protect it from vandalism, so I fervently wish it were a bird that pulled out a plant where you can see a hole.  The plant was still there, just moved to sit atop the soil several inches away, so perhaps, just perhaps, it was a gull or crow who did the damage.  Allan had gone to check this planter on his own, bless his heart, and the rain had kept the little plant moist so he was able to pop it right back in.

successful Ilwaco planter

successful Ilwaco planter

bothersome Ilwaco planter

bothersome Ilwaco planter

In Ilwaco, on one side of the street I have a lovely planter which was totally redone this spring and thus had less bulb foliage to contend with.  Right across the street, I have a planter that plagues me with discontent.  Its Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was too big so I cut it back by half, which usually works by making it bloom with smaller but more profuse flowers.  But our late spring storms beat it up and now I find it an embarrassment.  It will perk up…surely…but for now I am dissatisfied, yet it seems too wasteful to do the container over.

kicky Ilwaco planter

kicky Ilwaco planter

reasonably good Ilwaco planter

reasonably good Ilwaco planter

sad catmint in Ilwaco planter

sad catmint in Ilwaco planter

The container to the left is okay….Not glorious but it will do.  The one to the right gives me a thrill because I planted it mostly in yellow to echo the colour of the little cafe.  It would be the only planter in town that has a yellow erisymum center except for a little problem with mislabeling….(More on this a bit later.)

Oh, and here is another problem (above); usually the Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (center photo) has profuse and lovely blue flowers at this time of year, but a freak 45 mph wind storm and constant, record breaking rain has made it look pretty pitiful.  So what to do? Cut it back and wait for a second bloom?  Pick off every yellowed leaf?  In this case, I decided to cut it halfway back and am not sure that was the correct decision. Just looking at this photo makes me want to walk downtown and cut the rest of it off.

yellow or purple

yellow or purple Erysimum

Back to the mislabeled Erysimum:  A reputable and excellent local nursery got a whole shipment of gallon sized Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’, and then some of them started to come out with bright yellow flowers.  I decided I wanted some of the yellow ones, to put by that yellow cafe, and at a McDonald’s drive through pocket garden, and a few other places.  I tried, as did the nursery owners, to sight out which ones were going to be the yellow ones, but when I planted a pair of planters at Diane’s garden next door to the Red Barn horse arena, I was horrified to see one of the two alleged ‘Bowles’ Mauve’  emerging bright garish yellow in a garden where the owner likes pastels and purples and blues!  Then I remembered the purple one I’d planted in a whiskey barrel next door at the barn, and did a quick switch.  I wonder if anyone noticed that the colours changed overnight?

An odd thing also happened with the Ilwaco street tree gardens, which are small enough to almost be called planters (at least for the purpose of fitting the story into this post!).  First of all, I was might grumpy to see my Salvia viridis (painted sage) plants just stepped on…I mean really, sometimes, what is the point of planting special little things?

goodbye little painted sage

goodbye little painted sage

Most of the Ilwaco tree gardens were doing quite well despite the wind, with solidly established perennials.  We are slowly removing some of the bricks because they are such a trial to weed between, which is why I had had room to add a few annuals salvias.

The tree gardens were looking like this...

The tree gardens were looking like this…

or, a bit boringly, like this

or, a bit boringly, like this

like this,

like this,

When the trees were originally planted, I added some free perennials starts that I garnished here and there: (left) Geranium macrrorhizum with fragrant leaves, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’; (middle) golden marjoram, the same geranium, and a dwarf Solidago (goldenrod); right; variagated bulbous oat grass and some of the geranium and a chrysanthemum.  To our surprise, we recently found one of the trees completely denuded of underplantings except for two dandelions and some chickweed which had been hiding under the perennial foliage!

"weeds" removed

“weeds” removed

I got one of the kind folks from the merchants who pay me to care for these gardens to find out what happened.  The store owner beside this tree had decided the plants underneath were weeds and removed every one.  I can’t recall what….free things like some Lady’s Mantle, a Chrysanthemum and some self seeded white feverfew.  (The oddest things was leaving behind the dandelions and chickweed…) I don’t want to be mean and say which tree it was, and I hope no one will be able to tell because it now has six new plants under it that should make it blend in with the others.  And let’s face it, Lady’s Mantle and Feverfew ARE a little boring to some gardeners who have gotten tired of their self-seeding frenzies.

Oh, and the idea of having the yellow cafe’s planter being the only one in Ilwaco that had a yellow Erysimum, and all the rest would be centred with Eryisimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’?  Well, at least three of the others are popping out bright yellow, so…so much for that.

Meanwhile, in the Long Beach Planters:

wind dameged cosmos

wind damaged cosmos

That damnable windstorm whacked my cosmos badly; even some of the ones that I thought had survived browned off and plotzed within a week. We went round and did a second planting, and have a few more to do a third planting in the areas that were hardest hit.  If I had read the Cliff Mass weather blog at ten AM on the morning when we went out to plant…I would have waited…but we were just loading the car at the time he posted his dire wind warning.

Salvia patens

Salvia patens

Two of four of the lush gallon sized Salvia patens that we had placed on either side of four of the lamp posts in Long Beach planters broke right off in the wind, but pluckily they are putting out new growth from the base.

Basket Case hanging baskets

Basket Case hanging baskets

The good news is that the gorgeous baskets from the Basket Case Greenhouse were not yet hung in Long Beach for the big wind storm, and they came through a second and lesser wind storm with no damage.  One of the city crew members waters them daily, including weekends.

And here’s a little thing that has made me really happy:  I planted this little red plumed cutie in two Ilwaco planters (and promptly lost the tag, so I can’t tell you what they are).  I have no idea how well they will do in a container that gets watered three times a week, but the best news is that two weeks later, both plants are still there!

cute plant

cute dangly plant

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For a job that I quit a a year later because of the Big Revelation of 2007. we created on a deck some container gardens that I simply adored all summer of 2008.

deck containers with nasturtium and 'Black Lace' elderberry

hanging baskets and planters

hanging baskets and planters

We checked them often, deadheaded, groomed.  It was my idea to have the flower containers guard the precious stained glass windows; the original seating arrangement for this outdoor dining area had metal chairs right next to the windows and I could see two terrible accidents waiting to happen.  A diner stands up and slams a shoulder into the heavy pointy bottom of the metal hanging baskets, or leans a chair back and shatters the irreplaceable window.  These are the sort of scenarios one must always ponder when public gardening.

You may recall the truck-damaged garden that we repaired in 2007.  I never put a final update on the 2007 blog so here are some photos from 6 August 2007 of how well those gardens recuperated with fluffy new soil and lavish use of painted sage along the edge.

a border of painted sage

a border of painted sage

repaired border

repaired border with Cosmos, Painted Sage, Echinacea

On the other side of the paver and river rock path grew one of my favourite combinations:  Lilies with Melianthus Major.  Every winter I mulched and nurtured the Melianthus to bring it through.

Melianthus major and lilies

Melianthus major and lilies

The same spot was equally beautiful on August 10th of 2006:

August 2006

How I defended those lilies with Sluggo!  The intense fragrance stopped passersby in their tracks.

When I had begun to care for this garden sometime in the mid to late 90s, it had only four predominant good plants in the front bed: shasta daisies, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ a Campanula, and some Yarrow.  They were joined by creeping buttercup so thick that on my first day of work there I removed a bushel basket of it in a very small area.  One end of the garden was infested with the deliberately planted (by a previous gardener) Bishop’s Weed, and bindweed twined throughout.  During my time there I added many the choice perennial and had quite a few returning guests tell me that they looked forward to seeing what new plant had appeared.  I have not looked closely at the garden since I departed but I suspect that the rampant pink ‘A.T. Johnson’ geranium and Rosa Rugosa ‘Alba’, both of which I kept firmly in check, may be taking back over again, and without constant battling I imagine that the Bishop’s Weed is creeping ever more determinedly through the other perennials.  Is the Melianthus major still there?  I rather doubt it.  It was ‘Antenow’s Blue’ by the way, the best steely blue (peanut butter scented) leaf of all.

Hardscaping note:  When the paver path was being laid I expressed concern about using river rocks between the round stepping stones.  Indeed, the round rocks frequently got kicked onto the pavers.  I always advise using tightly packed gravel (and never pea gravel) in a path that will have heavy foot traffic.

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At the beginning of August, I was fortunate to read a small notice in Coast Weekend  that a street of gardens in Gearhart was to be open to the public. Allan and I had considerable trouble finding it, ending up a few extra miles south in Seaside at first,  but it proved to be well worth the search.
Gearhart is an expensive and mostly residential beach town.  I expected the street to be in the older part of town but instead found a new development of modern homes. They were neither cookie cutter homes nor cookie cutter gardens.  Almost everyone in the street was mad for gardening and each had a different style.  This was the first garden…

garden 1: an entry grid

path around side of house, garden 1

further along the path

The first garden’s highly structured plan gave way to a naturalistic corner in the back yard.

beachy corner

From the beachy area (and I doubt they imported this sand!) you can see how the garden segues back to a formal patio.

informal > formal

The owners had a business importing pots and furniture, thus all the good pieces.

patio set up as if for a party

a corner of the patio

another grouping

no old rusty buckets for containers here!

Around the corner of the house, more seating areas.  From what we overheard it sounded like the gardeners on the street were all friends and we could imagine them gathering here on the rare warm coastal evening.

party central…in a dignified way

From the beachy area of the first garden one could look over into the neighbour’s yard, garden two.

second garden

in the second garden

I believe this was also the second garden:

overlook

Clearly the inspiration for the second garden had come from Japan.

a shady corner….and Asian inspiration

After the second garden we went back and walked all around the first one again.  I don’t think I could ever achieve such a crisp and upscale style, but I loved the way it went from the swale with grasses on one side to the sandy beachy area and then to the formal patio.

Whichever of the two gardens it was in, I love this sort of detail:

mossy inset rock

Moving on to the next garden, we met this friendly woman who told us she was going to be in charge of the garden section at the new Home Depot which was due to open shortly up the highway in Warrenton:

in the third garden

Here’s her very new and charming garden:

garden three

the front of the third garden

I wish I had taken a photo on one of the outer edges of a stand of dwarf fireweed which was glistening in the sun just outside her back gate.  It looked beautiful and the gardener and I had a good conversation about the beauty that can be found in weeds.  Especially ones that will be easy to pull after reseeding.

How I wish I lived on a street of gardeners!

As is usually true on garden tours, one garden…in this case, the last one…stood out as my favourite and will get an entry all its own.

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