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Posts Tagged ‘Cryptomerias’

Monday, 21 April 2014

We returned to Stephen and John’s glorious garden, which I had last seen with Garden Tour Nancy in September, this time to see the rhododendrons in bloom.  Allan and I were first to arrive at 4:30, soon joined by Garden Tour Nancy and Phil and a bit later by Pam and Kathy from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  Stephen and John are regular shoppers at that excellent little nursery.

As we waited for Pam and Kathy to arrive (who had the longest drive by far and were delivering a Japanese maple), we admired the assorted views from the living room.  I am always a little hesitant to take lots of photos inside a home which is not officially on a home tour, but here are some hints (with permission):

the view, east over Willapa Bay

the view, east over Willapa Bay

two of a large collection of garden books

one of a large collection of garden books

Oh, and look, a book by local writer and daily blogger Sydney Stevens.

more gardening books

more gardening books

window view looking north

window view looking north

and east again

and east again

The garden will be one of seven or eight on the Peninsula Garden Tour, Music in the Gardens, on July 19th.  The musician will probably be sitting on the patio shown above.

This is their favourite bird sculpture...

This is their favourite bird sculpture…

and these were mine.

and this was my favourite.

birds2

And then…Pam and Kathy arrived and we soon walked out in the soft light to tour the garden.  I took copious notes, first on my phone (with many comical results by autospell like a “blow dry” rather than loderi rhododendron) and then scribbled on notecards.  I do hope I will be able to decipher them and get the right plant names on the many photos.

some of my notes!

some of my notes!  I gave up on autospell after ridiculous results

We began west of the parking area by the house.

We began west of the parking area by the house.

Intense fragrance in the air came from a huge rhododendron to the north, the same one we had seen from the north window.  I had no idea that rhododendrons ever had that intoxicating a scent.  Stephen and John’s garden and the property just to the north of it were originally part of Clarke Nursery, and the rhododendron collection goes back many years.  It is a beautiful thing that two knowledgeable rhodo fanciers bought this property.

Rhododendron loderi 'King George'

Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’

king george

The swoonworthy sweet fragrance made it hard to move on!

me, John, and Pam

me, John, and Pam

a very prostrate yew from The Planter Box

a very prostrate yew from The Planter Box

a Heuchera in bloom, probably 'Snow Angel'?

a Heuchera in bloom, probably ‘Snow Angel’?

bright new leaves on Pieris

bright new leaves on Pieris

frog

looking back toward the house and a striking Japanese maple

looking back toward the house and a striking Acer

and back to King George!

and back to Venus!

We then all went round the north side of the house to the bay.  Next door is the former Clarke Nursery home, and its garden will also be on the garden tour.

looking forth from Stephen and John's lawn

looking forth from Stephen and John’s lawn

As we strolled, flocks of birds swooped just above the water of the bay.

flock

flock2

Kathy, John, Pam, Phil, Nancy, Allan, John

Kathy, John, Pam, Phil, Nancy, Allan, John

Everyone focused their attention on Rhododenron 'Shamrock'...blooms on St Patrick's Day (my birthday!)

Everyone focused their attention on Rhododenron ‘Shamrock’…blooms on St Patrick’s Day (my birthday!)

Everyone focused their attention on Rhododenron 'Shamrock'...which had bloomed on St Patrick's Day (my birthday!)

Rhododenron ‘Shamrock’

our native evergreen huckleberry

our native evergreen huckleberry

the east patio

the east patio

John and Stephen have accentuated this lovely native dell.

John and Stephen have accentuated this lovely native dell.

moss and evergreen huckleberry

moss and evergreen huckleberry

Last time we visited, they wondered how to make a good walkway around the south corner of the house.  Over the winter, local landscaper Steve Clarke, whose family once owned this property, built this perfect solution.   I wish I had that sort of hardscaping skill.

the elegant new walkway, easy for wheelbarrows.

the elegant new walkway, easy for wheelbarrows….and discussion of what to plant in that corner.  Pam suggested a variegated Eucryphia.

walkway

The Eucryphia in question, I think from Back Alley.  Autospell could not handle that plant name.

The Eucryphia in question, I think from Back Alley. Autospell could not handle that plant name.

Rhododendron 'Capistrano'

Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’

mossy dell from the newwalkway

mossy dell from the new walkway

west side of the house, south of the parking area

west side of the house, south of the parking area, with a golden Lonicera

looking west down the driveway

looking west down the driveway

the west courtyard between the two wings of the house

the west courtyard between the two wings of the house

trees

courtyard

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo, variegated Japanese maple leaves

Allan’s photo, variegated Japanese maple leaves

Euphorbia flowers

Euphorbia flowers

Pam did not have her camera and particularly asked for photos of certain plants which caught her eye.  This little conifer, whose name I did not write down, was one.

Pam

setting

bed

One of the old rhododendrons

One of the old rhododendrons

hosta and mahonia

hosta backed with mahonia

a massive redwood trunk

a massive redwood trunk

magestic

magestic

sword fern and redwood

sword fern and redwood

house

gold

Vaccinium nummularium (a wee evergreen huckleberry)

Vaccinium nummularium (a wee evergreen huckleberry)

down a gentle slope...red huckleberries

down a gentle slope…red huckleberries

whirly

Next to three railroad tie steps going down, a Polemonium had popped up on all its own.  I am sure it is ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which is perfect as from below those simple risers lead toward the house.

Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder) 'Stairway to Heaven'

Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder) ‘Stairway to Heaven’

a glade, with a kiwi vine

a glade, with a kiwi vine

Pam had to pet it.

Pam had to pet it.

You can see why.

You can see why.

Pam commented that a kiwi with nothing to climb on will tend to stay smaller and not clamber all over.

Maianthemum (false lily of the valley)

Maianthemum (false lily of the valley)

When asked what we do about the rampant native groundcover, I had no solution but to live with it.  It does go dormant later in the year after going through a rather annoying yellowing off stage.

another choice rhodo

another choice rhodo…’Silver Skies’ perhaps?

Allan pointed out how meticulously the old fronds of the sword ferns were clipped.

Allan pointed out how meticulously the old fronds of the sword ferns were clipped.  No old stubs at all.

another rhodo...and I am floundering in my notes!

another rhodo…and I am floundering in my notes!  Sir Charles Lemon, perhaps? S&J know all the names!

Fatsia x hedera, Allan's photo

Fatsia x hedera, Allan’s photo

When the driveway was put in after Stephen and John bought the house, the builders wanted to remove the Thuja.  No indeed, the driveway curves around it.

drive

a thuja saved

To our south, while clearing the woods of salal (I applaud that!!) and alders, Stephen and John revealed a tall grove of species rhododendrons so old that even Steve Clarke could not identify them.

rhodogrove

cloud forest

cloud forest

We amble down the drive.

We amble down the drive.

Stephen and John cleared all these woods with pick and saw.

Stephen and John cleared all these woods with pick and saw.

Mango Tango

Pam pointed out that the flower of Rhododendron ‘Mango Tango’ matches the new growth on the huckleberry.

Next, in one of the open bays in the woods along the side of the drive, a bright hydrangea caught my eye.

hydrangea

gold leaves

behind it, a blue corydalis

behind it, a blue corydalis

hydrangea from a Dan Hinkley collection

a hydrangea from a Dan Hinkley collection

bronze

large serrated hydrangea leaves

large serrated hydrangea leaves

When they joined the Rhododendron Society of Portland, Stephen and John were given a rhododendron as a gift, and they chose this one:

Rhododendon 'Starbright Champagne'

Rhododendon ‘Starbright Champagne’

Rhododendron erosum

Rhododendron erosum

R. erosum

R. erosum

I recognized Disporum 'Night Heron'..doing better than mine.

I recognized Disporum ‘Night Heron’..doing better than mine.

I walked way back to look at this bright epimidium.

I walked way back to look at this bright epimidium.

Next to it, an epimidium in flower

Next to it, an epimidium in flower..looking best when you turn up the blooms to look underneath

and found a dark stream that marks the southern edge of the property...

I found a dark stream that marks the southern edge of the property…

flowing to the bay from the center of the Peninsula.

flowing to the bay from the center of the Peninsula.

Pam was interested to see the Lindera (spicebush) which had just leafed out.

Lindera benzoin?

Lindera benzoin?

As we came to the Thuja by the driveway, I thought that its bright skirt of foliage was a shrub planted underneath.

thuja

We all examined and remarked how the lower branches had layered and rooted into the ground.

We all examined and remarked how the lower branches had layered and rooted into the ground.

To our south, another bay in the woods held a Cryptomeria grove.  I kept asking what conifer each little tree was and only a bit later did I realize how little I had grasped that it was indeed a Cryptomeria grove and that they were all Cryptomerias!

Cryptomeria spiraliter falcata

Cryptomeria spiraliter falcata

another cryptomeria

another cryptomeria

but wait...is this one?  I am floundering in my notes.

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Auricariodes’

From the Xera catalog: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Auricariodes’ Zn6a (-10º to -5ºF) Cupressaceae

“Fantastic, exotic looking conifer with rope-like branches that are sparse  and twisty when young but become denser with age. To 10′ tall and forming a conical shape over time. Grows slowly in youth, picks up steam after several years. Full sun to light shade in WELL DRAINED soil, with regular summer water. Excellent specimen tree, well behaved. Always looks cool. Coldy hardy. Old selection of Japanese Cedar. Monkey Puzzle in miniature. “

I’m pretty good at going through a garden and identifying shrubs and perennials but am sadly lacking in knowledge of conifers.  A garden like this makes me want to change that.

another one...perhaps elegans

Cryptomeria elegans…or is it…’Dense Jade’?

a variegated sambucus

a variegated sambucus

I've never met a sambucus I did not love.

I’ve never met a sambucus I did not love.

On the other side of the driveway lies the big, still pond, which used to provide irrigation for Clarke Nursery.

looking north

looking north

We had to look from every angle.

We enjoyed every angle.

pond3

pond4

pond5

the view toward the neighbour's house

the view toward the neighbour’s house

pond7

reflection

bench

Those who like still water won't find that there are too many pond photos.

Those who like still water won’t find that there are too many pond photos.

Stephen and John are making a new garden bed on the north side of the pond.

new

I think that is where I saw this little rhodo.

I think that is where I saw this little rhodo.

and definitely this tree.

and definitely this tree.

photos

Pam and I were quite taken with it.

two

touring

We walked through large trees on the way back to the house.

We walked among larger trees on the way back to the house.

Eastern white pine

Eastern white pine

graceful trunks

graceful trunks; I think this was the very old, very large cotoneaster

And then…into the house where we were given martinis…

shaken by Stephen

shaken by Stephen (and note how the kitchen cabineta have wavelike handles)

and some amazingly delicious hors d’oeuvres.

martinia

After a martini, I was incapable to remember to photograph the caramelized onion and cheese on toast most delicious snacks I’ve had…or the friends having conversations about plants and books and architecture.  I do remember that earlier in the garden tour, Nancy said that a certain book, one that was fun and easy to read, was like “butter” and I loved that.

Thanks, Stephen and John, for including us in the soirée, and I hope you’ll let me know if I have any plant names wrong.  I believe your garden is going to be the best on the tour this year.

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