Posts Tagged ‘Davidia involucrata ‘Lady Sunshine’’

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

After a glorious garden tour day trip, we were back to our Wednesday work rounds.

at home, Dichroa febrifuga (right)

Davidia ‘Lady Sunshine’

at the post office

The Depot Restaurant

…the usual watering and weeding….

south and east of the dining deck

the view from inside (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

hops dangling from the lattice (Allan’s photo)

lattice wall of hops on north side of deck

Allan’s photo

north of the dining deck

lilies and persicaria

Once upon a time, when I first started buying lilies, I did not like the ones with polka dots.  Now I love them.

You can see I cut off the pollen on flowers that might brush and stain people’s clothing.

The barrels and window box flowers on the north side are planted by Roxanne from the Basket Case.

Diane’s garden

Holly arrives home and is happy to see me.

Misty relaxing

my dear old friend Misty

the roadside garden with Stipa gigantea and blue Perovskia

project for this fall: start planting up this septic tank box

The Red Barn

While I took care of Diane’s garden, Allan watered and deadheaded at the Red Barn.


I will replace this sad old Erysimum soon!

The Basket Case Greenhouse

I wanted to see what new perennials were available, and did find some, along with a chrysanthemum that will have “green” flowers.

lots of good new lavenders


I found some Geranium ‘Rozanne’ which I will keep till later for replacing four of the ‘Orion’ geraniums in the Long Beach welcome sign.

me and Buddy

sweet Penny (Allan’s photo)

We stayed for a long time having a conversation about current events, which was so absorbing (described as a mental health break) that when I finally said we must get back to work, we almost drove off with the van tailgate open. A shout from Roxanne’s father saved the day.

Klipsan Beach Cottages 

looking in the east gate

blue berries on Billardia longiflora

honeysuckle berries


lilies and veronicastrum

in a container, white flowered little shrub that I cannot ID

hydrangea glowing blue in the shade

lilies and cosmos

hardy fuchsia

hummingbird on agapanthus (Allan’s photo)

We have started to pull some of the bloomed-out Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  It will always come back.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

The Anchorage Cottages

office courtyard (with a peculiar camera effect on the chimney)

sweet peas

center courtyard

center courtyard garden

I met this darling Cairn Terrier.

Port of Ilwaco

We watered the Howerton Avenue curbside gardens under our watering care, from the Ilwaco Pavilion to the west end.

It started as a warm evening.

gardens still looking fine

Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’ (Allan’s photo)

Eryngium and yarrow (Allan’s photo)

Time Enough Books garden boat

I trimmed back the elderberry but my foot hurt too much to walk on the river rock to pick off the yellow leaves!

The next morning, I would be delivering some flowers to Nisbett Gallery and I’d ask Allan to pick off those yellow leaves.

Just as we were finishing the watering, the weather quite suddenly turned to this:

While the drizzle was enough to make us soaking wet, it was only enough to briefly refresh the gardens.  The watering had still been necessary.  Of course, Allan got asked by a passerby why he was watering while it was raining.





Read Full Post »

Hardy Plant Study Weekend

study weekend

study weekend

No garden tour photos in this entry; I think some readers might be interested in the garden tour lectures; more garden touring will commence in the next entry.

Friday, 20 June 2014

After a day of garden touring and nursery shopping on Whidbey Island, we made it back to the hotel by six with barely time to register for the study weekend and get our badges and materials, make a quick stop in our rooms, and get down to the lecture hall for the first lecture.  We did not even have time to look at the plant sale, but I had exercised my plant lust quite well at the two nurseries on Whidbey.  I can’t even remember what we ate while touring gardens; we must have had some sort of snacks on the go, and our Friday night dinner would have to wait till after two lectures.

In the lecture hall, participants examine an L shaped display of choice cut flowers and foliage gathered by true plant nuts.

In the lecture hall, participants examine an L shaped display of choice cut flowers and foliage gathered by true plant nuts.

Allan's photo of some of the vases.

Allan’s photo of some of the vases.

The first speaker was Nancy Pearl and I had been looking forward to hearing her speak as I love her Book Lust and More Book Lust tomes of book recommendations.



I will share the notes I scrawled in my Little Fat Notebook as she spoke of “Perils and Pleasures of a Life of Reading”.  Nancy Pearl did not talk about gardening books at all; turns out she is not a gardener.  I was surprised by this and yet still very glad to be in the same room, breathing the same air and listening to the words of this northwest literary icon.

I certainly identified with her saying “When you are someone who only has one thing to talk about, it’s hard to go to a cocktail party.  I have nothing to say about anything other than books and reading so I avoid social situations and now I never get invited anywhere because people know I will say no.”  (It does seem to me that reading a wide array of books, as she does, would provide more material with which to engage with assorted party guests than having the main subject of one’s conversation be gardening.)

She spoke fondly of staying in the Mallory Hotel in Portland while on a book promotion junket.  I stayed there once with my good friend Mary and could easily visualize the slightly shabby and utterly endearing hotel, a grand dowager sort of hotel, now gone.

The other comment that I was inspired to write down:  When you’re a reader, you never know if your memories are yours or something you’ve read.”

It was a lecture that I found most satisfying although an odd one to start a gardening event!

Next we had gardener Frank Ronan:


He was an amusing speaker, and while the sharing of my notes might not be as scintillating as garden tour photos, I think some blog readers will be interested.

Here’s what I jotted down from his lecture “Treat it Mean and Keep it Keen“:

“If it’s raining, I stay in.  I like reading books.”

“I love my plants, and I want to go on living with them.”

“You can admire other plants, but you only love your own.  If you go to someone else’s garden [and you have given them a plant] the first thing you to do go to see how YOUR plant is doing.”

Upon showing a garden with long lengths of grass edging, he said “Oh, it’s all right if you just do an hour or two every evening after work!” and went on to recommend a hard edge that you can run your mower along.

“My garden isn’t tidy but then I don’t charge anyone to look at it.”

He and his husband have a couple of dogs called “lurchers’; he says they are the best breed.

He advises that one should have as much pond as possible as ponds mean no work (meaning weeding and so on).

Another gem of advice:  When moving large stone about the garden, do so only when you are on your own, as if you have help you are sure to throw out your back (because of the awkward way two people move a heavy object.)

“Learn to love the plants that will do well for you.”  [Hmm, I seem to keep pursuing the ones that have already died on me once or twice.]

He spoke of “rattle”, a kind of grass parasite plant that knocks back grass in the meadows in the UK, which is why they can grow more delicate flowery meadows than here with our coarser and more vigorous grass.  In his lawn, he grows crocuses, a favourite being ‘Ruby Giant’…”neither ruby nor giant”.

He say to plant tulips EIGHTEEN INCHES DOWN to get them to come back well year after year.

His favourite tulips for a return show:

General de Wet:  fragrant; he said often the orange tulips are fragrant.

White Triumphator

Menton, a pink one

Negrita, “a real stayer” (dark dark purple)

Flamenco, a fringed tulip (which won him over from not liking fringed tulips; I love them!)

He recommended a fern, the photo of which must have impressed me as I wrote it down:  Dryopertis velitchiana, the golden scale fern.

He calls having a corner of one’s favourite plants “Pet’s corner.  That’s where you put the things you love in a way you shouldn’t.”

He says that a 4 inch pot does not stand a chance when planted in the border, so he has a stock bed, a square bed where he grows on little plants.

I intend to read his novels:

  • The Men Who loved Evelyn Cotton (1989)
  • Picnic in Eden (1991)
  • The Better Angel (1993)
  • Dixie Chicken (1994)
  • Lovely (1995)
  • Handsome Men Are Slightly Sunburnt (1996)
  • Home (2002)


After Ronan’s absorbing lecture and slide show (for what is a garden lecture without a gorgeous slide show), Sheila and Allan and I repaired to the Bellevue Hilton restaurant for a 9:15 PM dinner.  The hotel restaurant’s tasty food and kind and attentive service made for a pleasant evening for three tired travelers.

We were impressed by the size of Sheila's "small bites" order of scallops.

We were impressed by the size of Sheila’s “small bites” order of scallops.

I had an app called Poki Poki, an ahi tuna salad that was delicious.

I had an app called Poki Poki, an ahi tuna salad that was delicious.

For me, pasta was comfort food after a long day.  A very long day for me and Allan as we rarely get up before nine thirty.  The study weekend is all 7 AM rising.

For me, pasta was comfort food after a long day. A very long day for me and Allan as we rarely get up before nine thirty. The study weekend is all 7 AM rising.

Of course, because I am used to being up till two or three, the nights of mild sleep deprivation continued as I can’t fall asleep well at a civilized hour!

From our room, Sheila and I had a tantalizing view of the parking lot and…the plant sale room!

gleaming in the darkness; I planned to go shopping early before the first morning lecture.

gleaming in the darkness; I planned to go shopping early before the first morning lecture.

I later learned that this was Allan’s view:


from the seventh floor

I also learned, when I went up to take a shower in his room (because our shower was not working right and was not repaired the first night), that I have a previously undiscovered phobia:  panic upon riding to a high floor in a glass elevator.  Fortunately, Sheila and I were on the second floor!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Up at 7, and down to the plant room when it opened at eight!  Pretty amazing for night owl me.  The plant sale room is only open for limited hours before and after lectures, and we would be departing immediately after the morning lectures to begin garden touring again.

plant sale

the plant room

the plant sale room





Gossler Farms; Roger Gossler in white striped shirt

Gossler Farms; Roger Gossler in white striped shirt

My heart so desired Davidia involucrata 'Lady Sunshine'...

My heart so desired Davidia involucrata ‘Lady Sunshine’…


but…..  I carried her around the table in my arms and then put her back.  There were only two…

More cool plants.

More cool plants.

Allan's photo of a happy study weekender.

Allan’s photo of a happy study weekender.

I started a tray of purchased plants (ones that were less than $140) over in the holding area.  Allan bought some ferns.  Sheila bought some garden art.

Then Allan and Sheila and I took our seats in the lecture room for the first lecture of the morning.

First lecture:  Couples Therapy for the Fun and Fabulous by Annie Hayes.


She was charming and delightful and funny and I took copious notes.

“We’re completely insane in that we don’t do this for profit.”

“For many years, I went into a nursery with $10 in my picket wondering what I could possibly buy.”  [I remember a few years, early on when buying my Seattle house, when $10 in seeds was about my whole gardening budget for an entire year!]

“I represent the girly contigent of the horticultural world.”

She described how one gets interesting variations on plants when growing from seed, and described box store plants as looking short and squatty “like party favours”.  In her nursery, people are “shocked to see snapdragons 3 to 4 feet tall.  Tall bachelor buttons, she says, have disappeared out of regular nurseries.

She showed a slide of how thickly she uses Sluggo around her plants:  it was white on the ground like vermiculite!

She said a lot of the old strains of sweet pea colours are getting lost, so she acquires seeds from New Zealand.

“Next to your bed, [a vase of] sweet peas give you the sweetest dreams and help you forget everything you saw on the news.”

I liked that she was a little hesitant about plant parts:  “Sepals?  I think they’re called?”

I wrote down two pages of plant names, and she also provided a slide list (71 glorious slides!).    You can find your own inspiration from http://www.anniesannuals.com.


Second lecture (after a break for coffee and pastries; we ran on pastries for the first half of every day):


Do You Suffer From a Fear of Plant Commitment?” was the title he chose for his lecture.

When did you fall in love [with plants]? he asked.

“Only go to nurseries of days that end in Y.”

“The five most dangerous words to landscape designers:  Where do I put this?”

“Ask a plant ‘Who do you want to play with when you get home?'”

“My hope is that you will say about your garden, ‘I meant to do this.'”

Billy has a Facebook page called Crimes Against Horticulture, and a book called Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space Into the Garden of Your Dreams, which Allan bought and we both will read.  As a plant nut, I didn’t agree with all of his rather stern (but very funny) advice about design; I still enjoyed the lecture and slides immensely.


Third lecture:  “Hollywood Marriages: Celebrities and the Gardens and Homes that Possess Them.”

I did a bad thing.  I walked out of the lecture, as quietly and discreetly as possible; there weren’t enough plants and gardens and far too many photos of celebrities.


Sheila soon followed me.  Allan was more polite and stayed.

Sheila and I mingled in the book sales room where I learned that Nancy Pearl has written a new Book Lust (“To Go”) which I will read soon.

Sheila and I played hooky, along with some other non-celebrity loving attendees, in the book room.

Sheila and I played hooky, along with some other non-celebrity-loving attendees, in the book room.

Next…back to garden touring, this time of five Bellevue and Medina gardens.


Read Full Post »