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First, an exciting announcement. The Astoria garden tour is back!  Read more about it here.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

We continued our peninsula garden tour day, with Ann and Evan, at Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Garden on the outskirts of Oysterville.  On several acres, much of which is ungardenable wetland, our friends have spent the past two years using their rare days off from their gardening business to create their own paradise. Because they used to own a nursery called Glauca Moon, they arrived here with a large palette of plants in pots.

Dave and Mel’s past life

Sea Star Garden

On the left as you enter the driveway is a large raised garden where once a decrepit old house stood (a house that was unsafe to even enter).  This garden came about when a new septic system had to be installed last year.

Melissa and Evan

On top, a carpet of sedums will solve the problem of not being able to plant anything deep rooted on the septic system.

Allan’s photo

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Dave, me, Melissa, Ann, Sean (Allan thinks this looks like a landing party from Star Trek.)

By the back deck of the house is a water feature with waterfall, made by a friend of the previous owner.

Evan and Ann looking at the pond.

the deck pond

in the water (Allan’s photo)

water lilies (Allan’s photo)

pond frog (Allan’s photo)

north of the house

north of the house

The property had been owned by a gardener before and abounds in interesting trees and shrubs.

The Eucalyptus that Melissa named Elvis.

Ann and one of at least two Acer griseum (paperbark maple)

Acer griseum (Allan’s photo)

one of the maples that Dave and Mel brought with them

Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Eskimo Sunset’; This tree had a surprise.

bird nest (Allan’s photo)

old bridge on the north side (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, Melissa in the woods to the north of the house (Allan’s photo)

As Dave and Mel clear the underbrush, they are finding all sorts of hardscapes like two small ponds and a big stone circle with a stone bench.

Evan and the mysterious stone circle (Allan’s photo)

Hostas are one of their favourites in the shade garden.

on the deck (You can find sand dollars on the north end of the beach here.)

Next, we went to the garden of a North Beach Garden Gang friend, just south of Oysterville.

Todd’s Family Garden

As we drove up, Todd was weeding.

Allan’s photo

The house reminded us all of a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.

Around the family home, Todd has planted his collection from his years as the display garden curator at Plant Delights nursery in North Carolina.

in the sunshine

Morina longifolia

Ann and Evan examining and inspecting (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Ann and Evan admire the view of Willapa Bay.

Todd surveys an area full of potential.

You can see Allan taking this photo of the shade garden.

Todd’s shade garden (Allan’s photo)

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Spigelia marilandica ‘Little Redhead’

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The kitchen garden, which one of Todd’s family describes as “a real garden, none of this foo foo stuff” lay far below.  Because my heel was hurting, I sat this part of the trip out. (Todd kindly offered to go get a truck but I did not want everyone to have to wait.) Allan’s photos of that part of the excursion:

descending on a woodland path

the kitchen and flower cutting garden

Evan in the berry patch

kitchen garden

Ann harvesting carrots

sweet peas

fenced garden

walking to the bay

Todd has a handful of lettuce and carrots that became our salad for the next two nights.

Ann in her element

back up the road (the woods path down was a shortcut)

Meanwhile….

While I waited up top, I looked at my present from Lorna.  She had given me a book as we parted ways at The Oysterville Garden.

Thank you, Lorna!

a dedication that speaks to my heart

I also pondered curmudgeonly thoughts about garden tour programs that I feel compelled to share.  If curmudgeonliness annoys rather than amuses you, please avoid.

One of the gardens on today’s informal tour, Martie and Steve’s, had been on the local tour the day before. The tour program suggested its symmetry was “reminiscent of centuries old British estates” and “will put you in mind of Downton Abbey”.  Perhaps because it had a cricket lawn? Perhaps because of the green lawns in general?  It reminded me of my thoughts about garden tour descriptions, something that is always on my mind during garden tour season.

The Captain Stream House

Martie and Steve’s garden completely stood on its own and did not need to be compared to any other place.  The garden’s lines seemed clean and modern to me and certainly did not remind me of Downton Abbey.  Other than my usual desire to be in the UK, I would rather visit their garden than the site of Downton Abbey, anyway.

 I was reminded of the previous year’s comparison of a small garden to an Italian courtyard, leading to confusion on the part of tour guests (much of which I heard about later…even unto it being mentioned this year, and at the time, a friend texted me from that garden asking for enlightenment about the description).  I think that serious garden tour guests take every word of a description into consideration.  Raising expectations is not wise.  That particular garden (the non-Italian-courtyard) also stood well on its own because its big pots and hand made pavers were all portable; I would have described it as being a small garden that showed perfect solutions for folks who are renters rather than property owners.  There’s no need to get fanciful and make tour guests expect something grander than what is there.  Instead of describing a garden as “extensive” when it isn’t, describe it honestly as small but plant-i-ful. (To be fair, this year the word “extensive” was used to describe a tiny local garden in a newspaper article, not in the program itself.)  I think it is especially important not to aggrandize a garden.

The Master Gardeners’ north county tour, which I have now attended for two years, is good at avoiding hyperbole (with only one exception out of 12 garden descriptions in two years…a solid record of accurate descriptions).

The Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend programs tend to be accurate and non-aggrandizing (although I do remember, just once, looking for a cactus garden that turned out to be a couple of specimens in a pot).

I also do not like being told to walk here, stroll there, sit there, admire this, ask the gardener that.  Just describe the garden in a factual sense.  Here is an imaginary example: If I am told that “a salvaged window defines the edge of the garden by the river”, I will find it and admire it on my own without being told “Be sure to admire the salvaged window,” or “Ask the gardener where she got that window.”  (Clearly, I do have issues with being told what to do—thus 41 years of self employment.)

I don’t expect all readers to agree.  Now, let’s go on to one of my favourite peninsula gardens, the bayside garden of Steve and John.

 

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

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

tour

A focus of the Master Gardener tour is very personal gardens that are designed and maintained by their owners.

Garden One: “Shades of Paris”

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Like all of the gardens on this tour, this one was located by a quiet country road.

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impeccably maintained

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tour guests checking in (Allan’s photo)

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I was well chuffed to be there.

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flowers in patterns

There were lots of zinnias and dahlias that would be in bloom not long from now.  If I lived closer than an hour away, I would be trying to get a peek when the bed above is in full bloom.

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Red white and blue in this place could evoke the French flag.

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pasture just beyond the garden

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People were walking back across the pasture from a nature path, possibly for nearby Fuss Creek.

I missed this opportunity and another, in the third garden, to explore further, because I was having an extra problem today of having a sore foot!

To my left was a fenced kitchen and flower garden.

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berries and roses

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I continued to be impressed by the complete lack of weeds.

 

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This fence was possibly designed to keep out more critters than just deer.

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Guests were invited to snack on the berries.  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

We turned our attention to the large patio at the side of the house.

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I felt this might remind the owners of the tradition of dining outdoors in France.

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waterfall pond

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Allan pointed out that the black and white photo in the program got a better overview of the pond than either of us did.

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Between garden and pasture, a wide maintenance path would make wheelbarrowing easy.

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looking back at the house

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fire circle between pond and pasture

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Allan’s photo

Neither Allan nor I got as good a photo of the fire circle as did our friend Ann (Spiffy Seeds, The Amateur Bot-ann-ist) who was touring just behind us.

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photo by Ann Amato-Zorich: “my dream s’mores making fire pit”

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view over the pond from the fire circle

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beyond the garden

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hot tub

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to the next level

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The red tape was a warning where steps went down.

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a sit spot outside a fenced garden and more zinnias that will be colourful soon

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Allan’s photo

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fenced kitchen gardens with berries

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Allan’s photo

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between the house and the fenced berry patch

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Allan’s photo

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looking back as I walk around the house

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Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’ (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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zinnias, a big porch, quilt display

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I wish I had asked who was the quilter.

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leaving the colourful and impeccably maintained garden

 

 

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

While I puttered in the garden at home, Allan did about three hours of weeding at the Ilwaco Community Building garden.

entry garden, before and after

entry garden, before and after (minus a haze of tiny weeds)

cyclamen in the entry garden

cyclamen in the entry garden

Afterward, he picked up some alpine strawberries for Our Kathleen, from a garden where we used to weed on School Hill.  We had given it up when it became difficult for me to work on the steep slope.  Now it is in the care of Flowering Hedge Design with occasional help from Sea Star Gardening (our dear friends Melissa and Dave).  Allan knew I would be pleased to see Ann’s garden (in photographs) so well mulched and weeded.

The neighbour cats were at play.

The neighbour cats were at play.

a well cared for garden

a well cared for garden

three bags of alpine strawberries, one for Kathleen.

three bags of alpine strawberries, one for Kathleen.

Meanwhile, I’d been weeding and transplanting astilbes from dry areas to damper areas, and removing a large bronze fennel.

The spiders are enjoying the new arbour.

The spiders are enjoying the new arbour.

Here's the view WITH the fennel on Sept. 7th.

Here’s the view WITH the fennel on Sept. 7th.

and today with it gone.

and today with it gone.

Maybe I have opened up the view in a way that will make walking down the west side path more enticing.

I spent most of the afternoon fretting about the weather, checking various wind forecasts.  We had plans for an evening campfire with Dave and Melissa and yet the wind was gusting at 20 mph.  When Allan got home, he agreed it was too windy and we canceled the campfire dinner.

Imagine the trees whipping back and forth.

Imagine the trees whipping back and forth.

I went indoors to read, continuing my plan to not boot up the computer till the end of the long weekend…except for the irresistable peeks onto Facebook from my phone.  I already felt disgruntled when the wind died completely at dusk, and to make matters worse when I did go online from my phone, I found that there had been a “supermoon eclipse”.  My newsfeed was full of photos of a big red moon.  What a maddening result of (mostly) staying off the internet for a couple of days.  I had been quite in the dark about the big event (and Allan had an inkling, but forgot).  Now wouldn’t it have been nice to have had that campfire and been surprised by a big red moon (even though we would not have seen the eclipse from our tree-surrounded fire circle)?  I finished my book and ended the day in a grumpy mood with a viewing of an episode of the never-cheering Fear the Walking Dead.

Monday, 28 September 2015

I simply had to shake off the “I missed the eclipse!” malaise.  Allan had plans for a boating excursion.  Beforehand, we went to NIVA green to acquire a couple of birthday presents for two friends.  (This meant I have to leave my property not once but twice on the long weekend!)

Heather’s shop, our favourite, had a collection of old postcards, some with writing on the back, and I got one for myself that I found especially touching.

the postcard

the postcard

and the back of the postcard, with the story of a dream

and the back of the postcard, with the story of a dream

She writes to her mother and sisters: “I dreamed about all of you last night.  Thought I was there and you and I had arranged about a table you found in the attic.  I didn’t want you to put it there (ha ha).” I wish I could decipher the part where she writes “…I don’t have anything from you..”  Something about the postcard made me feel all verklempt, not in a bad way, just in the way of savoring human contact in the same way that I feel when I read room journals at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

I bought myself another little present, too...

I bought myself another little present, too…I won’t wear these spider earrings around Melissa!

After driving me back home, Allan went off boating (next post) and I gardened.  I was outraged to find that the deer had been inside the new arbour eating my new Joseph’s Coat rose.

much nibbled foliage!

much nibbled foliage!

I knew they COULD easily jump the front fence…and yet had hoped they would be creatures of habit (the habit of walking through the area where the new arbour now blocks them) and not go to that extreme.  Now more deer proofing would be necessary.  I have enough deer in my gardens at work; I want to keep them out at home.

We can run wires between these two posts.

We can run wires between this post and the new arbour to the west..

We can put a post in the corner and run more wires.

We can put a post in the east corner and run more wires.

But what can we do about the short gate??

But what can we do about the short gate??

While pondering that, I took some photos of a shrub that I cannot identify.  Nor could Todd.

an angular evergreen shrub

an angular evergreen shrub

It has white and grey berries.

It has white and grey berries.  (That’s a melianthus leaf intruding.)

I am going to post this on the Plant Idents group.

I am going to post this on the Plant Idents group.

A mere ten minutes later, Ian Barclay writes:  “Hymenanthera angustifolia, aka Melicytus angustifolius”.  Thank you!

In the afternoon, Debbie and her dog Ralph came over to get some divisions of plants for the Master Gardener fall plant sale.  I gave her some large Fuchsia magellanica pieces from one that keeps coming back in the wrong place in my garden (a bed that went from shade to sun when we cut down a big old rhododendron to get a view of Cape Disappointment’s hills).

Debbie and Ralph wheeling the fuchsia.

Debbie and Ralph wheeling the fuchsia.

I did not have my camera at hand till the end of the visit, so you will have to take my word that Ralph greatly enjoyed the garden.

my good friend Ralph

my good friend Ralph

After loading up the fuchsia, some sanguisorbas, some pink turtlehead, some astilbes, and plenty of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Debbie and I had a good visit leaning up against the front fence.

Later, I even sat down for awhile on the patio.

Later, I even sat down for awhile on the patio.

Ironically, after the cancellation of yesterday’s campfire due to the wind that maddeningly died down at dusk, today gave us perfect weather.  When Allan returned from boating we decided to go ahead and have a fire on our own and have another one next weekend with Dave, Melissa and Our Kathleen (weather permitting).

sunset sky

sunset sky to the west

and to the southwest over the port

and to the southwest over the port and Cape Disappointment

a nice fire

a nice fire

gathering kindling (Allan's photo)

gathering kindling (Allan’s photo)

Smokey got his own chair.

Smokey got his own chair.

We got our full moonrise over the east side of the garden.

We got our full moonrise over the east side of the garden.

Allan's photo: The moon at the end of Lake Street had a pink hue.

Allan’s photo: The moon at the end of Lake Street had a pink hue.  “Pink, pink, pink, pink moon.”

Allan's photo, one block east.

Allan’s photo, one block east.

Allan's photo, Lake Street moon

Allan’s photo, Lake Street moon

Allan's photo: moon over the work trailer!

Allan’s photo: moon over the work trailer!

and roasted our ears of corn in foil with butter, salt and pepper.

We roasted our ears of corn in foil with butter, salt and pepper.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Just for fun, I had posted some fire photos on Facebook and tagged Ilwaco artist Don Nisbett who had commented a few weeks ago that he’d like to smoke a cigar by our camp fire.  To our delight, he arrived as the fire was dying down, and proceeded to puff a fragrant cigar (and I do mean that it smelled good).  We had plenty of wood and built the fire up again.

Don by the fire

Don by the fire

Don and Allan

Don and Allan

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

moon over the gearshed

moon over the gearshed

campfire and moon

campfire and moon

We sat around talking for almost three hours and it more than made up for having missed the moon and fire the previous evening.

Before leaving, Don showed Allan the details in the Nisbett tiles that we have in our kitchen, depicting the Port of Ilwaco.

Before leaving, Don showed Allan the details in the Nisbett tiles that we have in our kitchen, depicting the Port of Ilwaco.

Next:  Allan’s Monday paddle of the Surfside canals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 14 August 2015

I did very little Friday but work on the blog.  I am guilty of spending more free time blogging about gardening than free time actually gardening lately.  We have not had appreciable rain since March, they say, and I am so tired of the dryness that watering is about all I accomplish at home.  On the other hand, Allan has been busy with the project!

hoisting the beam

hoisting the beam

the center splice, clamped

the center splice, clamped

Here's a photo of the beam splicing he did on our last weekend off.

Here’s a photo of the beam splicing he did on our last weekend off.

Up it goes.

Up it goes.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: second crosspiece going up

Allan’s photo: second crosspiece going up

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Fully in place.

Fully in place.

I’m still looking for the energy to replace that grass path with gravel.

Melianthus major by the front fence shows evidence of some moisture.

Melianthus major by the front fence shows evidence of some moisture.

Someone wanted this elephant garlic?

Someone wanted this elephant garlic by the front sidewalk?

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front sidewalk fence

front sidewalk fence

Along with the project, Allan had to go water the Ilwaco planters and street trees.

He saw this flower stand on the way.

He saw this flower stand on the way.

At the Ilwaco city works yard, where he stores the water pump trailer, he discovered a doe and fawn on opposite sides of the fence.

Mother inside.

Mother inside.

baby outside

baby outside

He tried to herd the doe out of the works yard, to no avail.

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Poor baby!

He had to leave the situation and go do the watering, beginning with filling the tank at the boatyard (where the water has good pressure).

a boat being brought in

a boat being brought in

one of our planters on Spruce Street

one of our planters on Spruce Street

When he took the water trailer back to the works yard, the deer had somehow reunited.  (Or there were two fawns, which is a worrisome thought.  Allan reassures me there is way through at the back.)

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As it happened, Pam Fleming was in town for the evening, as her spouse was playing with a band at the Blues and Seafood Festival at the Port.  She came by afterwards to examine the project, which had been her idea (when I had mentioned to her that I needed a gate there).  We stepped back and forth through the gate opening several times and agreed that it feels good and gives a sense of entry and enclosure.

We sat on the patio for awhile, out of the north wind. (Allan's photo)

We sat on the patio for awhile, out of the north wind. (Allan’s photo)

sunset over the new project

sunset over the new project

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Allan added the gate to the arbour.

He had built it to spec. (Allan's photo)

He had built it to spec. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Our Kathleen came for tea in the early afternoon and then we went to the market, but not for long as the heat (all of 80 something, I suppose, or maybe 75!) made me dizzy.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Ilwaco Saturday Market

I bought peaches...

I bought peaches…

dinner at Sea Star acres

We had been invited to dinner at Dave and Melissa’s new-since-last-October home near Oysterville.  I was looking forward to seeing their garden and it lived up to my expectations.  Someone who loved plants lived there before, and Dave and Melissa have been making all sorts of discoveries in the overgrown garden.

They used to own a nursery and if I thought *I* sometimes have a lot of ladies in waiting (unplanted plants), it is nothing on their vast and cool collection.  All they need is some time off from working to expand the plantable garden space.

arriving

arriving  (Allan’s photo)

Melissa has told me she does not quite get what blogging is, so since she may not know, I am going to not show you so much that I totally invade their privacy.  I’m not sure she had any idea what she’s in for getting to be friends with a blogger.  (Someone’s already told her that they know we have dinner at the Cove once a week.)

the front of the garden

the front of the garden

I heard the sound of this waterfall pond at the west side of the house.

I heard the sound of this waterfall pond at the west side of the house.

bamboo accents on the house

bamboo accents on the house

Pontederia cordata (blue pickerelweed) in bloom in the pond.

Pontederia cordata (blue pickerelweed) in bloom in the pond.

looking across the pond from next to the house

looking across the pond from next to the house

one of the big frogs

one of the big frogs

We suppose it is the invasive species bullfrog.  Melissa caught one eating a bird the other day!  And yet at a job recently, she caught a snake eating a frog, so…

Frog is so big you can see its head poking up in the water beneath the Japanese maple.

Frog is so big you can see its head poking up in the water beneath the Japanese maple.

the waterfall

the waterfall; what a great feature to get with a home purchase.

four different kinds of figs, in pots, waiting for homes

four different kinds of figs, in pots, waiting for homes

a trio of Geum 'Eos'

a trio of Geum ‘Eos’

lots of fabulous ladies in waiting!

lots of fabulous ladies in waiting!

north side of house

north side of house

triple bridge

triple bridge

a huge eucalyptus

a huge eucalyptus

They are finding all sorts of mysteries and treasures in the overgrown garden.

an old pond with a pump

an old pond with a pump

espaliered pears in among larger trees

espaliered pears in among larger trees

an old outbuidling on the north side

an old outbuilding on the north side

fence along north side

fence along north side

The fence had a Japanese style roofed top.

The fence had a Japanese style roofed top.

exploring the edges of the old garden (Allan's photo)

exploring the edges of the old garden (Allan’s photo)

a box of bamboo had escaped and run...

a box of bamboo had escaped and run…

and run....

and run….

and run!

and run!

more ladies in waiting

more ladies in waiting

There will be room for all, because the property is six acres.  Four are wetlands; that leaves two to plant.

Dave is constructing a most awesome patio.

Dave is constructing a most awesome patio.

I had also so been looking forward to meeting their dogs.  Both Anna and Coulee are Hovawarts, a breed that is rare in this country.

meeting Anna (Allan's photo)

meeting Anna (Allan’s photo)

Anna is a rescue who is rather shy; she was friendly, calm and quiet.

Allan meets Anna.

Allan meets Anna.

a lovely girl

a lovely girl

Coulee is full of energy.

Coulee is full of energy.

soft and affectionate, when not focused on his ball

soft and affectionate, when not focused on his ball

one more of Anna

one more of Anna

In the fenced dog yard is a large Acer griseum (paperbark maple) that made Melissa knew she just had to have this property.  (And I knew she was a plant nut when I first met and she told me about the “Acer griseum” that she saw when she came around the corner.)

Melissa and the maple

Melissa and the maple

Acer griseum. It is gorgeous and positioned to get backlit by the western sunlight.

Acer griseum. It is gorgeous and positioned to get backlit by the western sunlight.

Anna welcomes us in for dinner.

Anna welcomes us in for dinner.

We had strips of steak made on the barbecue, baked potatoes with butter and sour cream, corn on the cob, a salad with avocado in it, and chocolate chip cookies.  Delicious.  We also saw the cats, including Jack and Butterbean.  They were too shy for photos.

inside

inside

The long, dark, quiet drive home emphasized how long and mostly rural our Long Beach Peninsula is.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

I felt bad that Allan spent another day working on (and finishing) the project and not doing anything fun for himself.  I felt glad that it is done because I like it very much.

Allan attaches wire to keep the deer out.

Allan attaches wire to keep the deer out.  And for sweet peas!

wiring in progress

wiring in progress

Our neighbours across the street were having a family reunion with about 50 people.  One of their cats (who spends a lot of time in our garden when we are inside or not home) came over to our side.  Allan noticed him and took these photos.

He lay by our fence ...

He lay by our fence …

took a nap

took a nap

and checked up on the goings on from afar.

and checked up on the goings on from afar.

It looked pleasant and made me wish I had a birth family of fifty instead of, now, one.

A 25 mph wind made gardening unattractive.  I did manage to water all but the front garden, and rather miraculously, did a thorough vacuuming of the house, as well.  I did not think turning the sprinkler on the front garden would help Allan finish the project.

Fuchsia 'Pink Marshmallow'

Fuchsia ‘Pink Marshmallow’

Fuchsia 'Jingle Bells'

Fuchsia ‘Jingle Bells’

new growth coming up on a "Todd fern" that we all thought had plotzed.

new growth coming up on a “Todd fern” that we all thought had plotzed.

Echinops (globe thistle) in the back garden

Echinops (globe thistle) in the back garden

There’s a lot I could be doing if the wind would stop and I could get up some energy.

Weeding this area and controlling bindweed from the gear shed lot next door.

Weeding this area and controlling bindweed from the gear shed lot next door.

weeding here and maybe cutting back the most pathetic looking salmonberries.

weeding here and maybe cutting back the most pathetic looking salmonberries. (That poor sad astilbe needs moving this fall.)

Weeding in the old Danger Tree bed would be pretty and fun.

Weeding in the old Danger Tree bed would be pretty and fun.

How the heck did orange montbretia get in there?

How the heck did orange montbretia get in there?

I could expand the end of this bed and use it for all the sad astilbes from other beds. The ones on this corner seem happy.

I could expand the end of this bed and use it for all the sad astilbes from other beds. The ones on this corner seem happy.

a low, hardy impatiens

a low, hardy impatiens omeiana, might be ‘Ice Storm’

I have to admit this heather is rather nice.

I have to admit this heather is rather nice.

The 20 plus mph north wind was blowing so hard that it blew the sprinkler water right away from the north end of this back yard bed:

I had to hose water the end.

I had to hose water the end.

A couple of weeks ago, I got my Sarracenia (brought to me by Debbie Teashon) planted in, well, a black cat litter tray.  They are doing well now on the shelf edge of the water boxes

Sarracenia (pitcher plants)

Sarracenia (pitcher plants)

This Anthemis from The Planter Box keeps blooming without deadheading.

This Anthemis from The Planter Box keeps blooming without deadheading.

With Allan’s help, I got a bathtub water feature moved out to where it shows.  It was hidden under the rose.  By help, I mean I dipped out most of the water, still could only barely budge it, and Allan dragged it forward for me.  We got this elegant water feature from our friend Terry, who used to live in the Cove RV Park.  When the park got new management, residents were no longer allowed to keep “junk” outside their trailers.  This was the same Terry, a Vietnam vet who struggled with PTSD, who died in 2012 and whose well-loved kitties we adopted, Smokey, Frosty, and Mary.  But I digress.  Here is the sort of water feature we see when we tour gardens:

at Little and Lewis garden

at Little and Lewis garden

the Little and Lewis-y water feature

the Little and Lewis-y water feature at Floramagoria

at a Hardy Plant tour in Bellevue

at a Hardy Plant tour in Bellevue

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And here’s what my budget and abilities run to:

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I am going to paint it with some Fusion dark green spray paint, though!

Maybe when we retire, we can learn how to build something more elegant and elaborate.

Tomatoes from the greenhouse almost eluding me by dangling behind the flower pot.

Tomatoes from the greenhouse almost eluding me by dangling behind the flower pot.

End of day: The project is done!

End of day: The project is done!

At some time, Allan will put little crosspieces over the top.

Other than that, there is just one more thing to do, by the front gate: Put up two posts and a simple cross piece to tie this all together.  I wonder if this side will be enough to keep the deer out.  They could jump the low front fence but might not want to.  If they do, I will now have the tall posts to use for running a couple of strands of wire across the front.

Tomorrow: back to the work watering rounds after a long weekend that seemed too short.

 

 

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Saturday, 18 June 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 1: Lily and Rose Garden

The lush green entry gives you but a small clue to what is beyond. Kristine’s secret garden slopes down from a deck filled with bountiful containers of flowers and a small kitchen garden. This gentle change in elevation provides a vista of the perennials and roses she grows for bouquets. This is a classic cutting garden and bird watchers’ paradise. Continuing through a second gate to the west, you’ll discover an artistic deer fence enclosing flowers and vegetables. Granddaughter Lily’s delightful playhouse, The Lily Pad, has been the site of many tea parties.

Garden Tour Nancy and I previewed this garden on July 3rd; those photos are included in this post.

On tour day, look for the pink and red balloons.

On tour day, look for the pink and red balloons.

Kristine made all the beautiful signs for parking, guest book, and refreshments.

Kristine, an avid photographer, made all the beautiful signs for parking, guest book, and refreshments.

The day was already hot, so the greenery and shade of the front garden was restful to the eyes.

The day was already hot, so the greenery and shade of the front garden was restful to the eyes.

The garden is close to the  dunes. (Allan's photo)

The garden is close to the dunes. (Allan’s photo)

front garden

front garden

up the front door (but we are not going that way)

up the front door (but we are not going that way); note the well trimmed sword fern

front

the gate to the secret garden, with our friend Gene emerging

the gate to the secret garden, with our friend Gene emerging

(Gene’s garden was on the 2013 tour, and we have some new photos of his garden to show you in an upcoming post.)

through the gate (Allan's photo)

through the gate (Allan’s photo)

tour guests entering

tour guests entering

another of Kristine's photo signs on the entry table

another of Kristine’s photo signs on the entry table

welcome

guest book and bouquet inside the front gate

guest book and bouquet inside the front gate

The Mozart Chicks were playing under a tent in the front corner of the garden, to the right as we entered the gate.  Hot bright sun made photos difficult today.

The Mozart Chicks

The Mozart Chicks

Mozart Chicks

mozartchicks

the Mozart Chicks, tootling

chicks

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Kristine her ownself

Kristine her ownself

path curving around the house

path curving around the house

south wall of house

south wall of house

from a pre-tour visit on July 3

from a pre-tour visit on July 3

rose on pre-tour visit, July 3

rose on pre-tour visit, July 3

pink

I want this pale pink fringed sidalcea or whatever it is; Kristine says I can have seeds.

I want this pale pink fringed sidalcea or whatever it is; Kristine says I can have seeds.

Kristine doesn't spray anything toxic for blackspot on roses; she told us she picks off any bad leaves.

Kristine doesn’t spray anything toxic for blackspot on roses; she told us she picks off any bad leaves.

rose2

Allan's photo, looking through flowers to the deck

Allan’s photo, looking through flowers to the deck

looking up at the back deck, pre-touring on July 3

looking up at the back deck, pre-touring on July 3

July 3

July 3

July 3

July 3

tour day

tour day

guests

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

poppies

treats

bouquet, Kristine's cards, and treats

bouquet, Kristine’s cards, and treats

choc

 

pecan

Cool liquid refreshment was so refreshing on such a hot day.

Cool liquid refreshment was so refreshing on such a hot day.  It was a scorcher by beach standards, possibly up into the 90s.

containers on the deck

containers on the deck

Brodiaea in deck container

Brodiaea in deck container

flowers

view from the deck

view from the deck

from the deck, Allan (right) taking a photo

from the deck, Allan (right) taking a photo

This is the photo Allan was taking.

This is the photo Allan was taking.

roses

pinks

deckrose

view looking west from next to the deck

view looking west from next to the deck

looking southwest from the deck (telephoto)

looking southwest from the deck (telephoto)

I never find time to just sit on these garden tours, especially the Peninsula tour which always has at least eight gardens.  I know that some folks here just skip and garden or two, but as the administrator of the Facebook page, I need our photos of each one, and also I just cannot bring myself to skip a garden.

southeast corner of the garden at the top of the grassy slope, next to the deck

southeast corner of the garden at the top of the grassy slope, next to the deck

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

ferns

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Halfway down the garden from the deck, on the south side, is Kristine’s cutting garden.

cutting garden

cutting garden

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

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Kristine said she wished there had been more lilies in bloom.

Kristine said she wished there had been more lilies in bloom.

flowers2

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

Allan's photo, the Mozart Chicks viewed from the cutting garden

Allan’s photo, the Mozart Chicks viewed from the cutting garden

Allan told me he found out halfway through this garden that his camera was on a “night” setting so he did not get many photos here.

gladiola

gladiola

cutting garden path

cutting garden path

clematis in the cutting garden

clematis in the cutting garden

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

cutting

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3, 2015; a second garden area is on the other (west) side of this fence.

pre-tour visit, July 3, 2015; a second garden area is on the other (west) side of this fence.

Beside the conical tree, one enters the second (west) garden area.

Beside the conical tree, one enters the second (west) garden area.

astilbe inside the gate

astilbe inside the gate

deer fenced garden in second area

deer fenced garden in second area (pre tour visit, July 3rd)

rose climbing on deer fence, July 3rd

rose climbing on deer fence, July 3rd

looking through the deer fence

looking through the deer fence

with my camera lens poked through the fence

with my camera lens poked through the fence

a picotee gladiola

a picotee gladiola

rose

that flower that I want

that flower that I want

Outside the fence, lavender is unbothered by deer.

Outside the fence, lavender is unbothered by deer.

July 3rd

July 3rd

tours

looking through the veg patch into the playhouse patio

looking through the veg patch into the playhouse patio

and from the playhouse path looking north

and from the playhouse path looking north

veg patch, July 3rd

veg patch, July 3rd

The Lily Pad

The Lily Pad

Kristine’s grand daughter, Lily, is three, and could not come visit from the east coast this summer because Lily’s mom is expecting a baby soon.  As you can imagine, this has been sad for grandma Kristine.  Thanks to Skype, grandma and granddaughter can communicate daily.  This tea party was set up to Skype to Lily for her birthday.

The Lily Pad

The Lily Pad

tea

kitty2

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a message to Lily

a message to Lily

Oh, how I do wish I had a granddaughter named Lily (or Rose, Iris, Violet, Jasmine, Poppy, Willow, Fern…)

The Lily Pad

The Lily Pad

view west from the Lily Pad

view west from the Lily Pad

monkey puzzle tree to the west of the Lily Pad

monkey puzzle tree to the west of the Lily Pad

a simple border along the north fence

a simple border along the north fence

looking along the north fence toward the house

looking along the north fence toward the house

Kristine’s was a contender for my favourite tour garden because of the driftwood gate on the deer fence and the assortment of colourful plants, especially the lilies.

Next: an inspirational one year old garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 2 May 2015

rhodietour

Long Beach Peninsula Rhodie Tour

Klipsan Beach Cottages

from the programme:  As you walk into the property, view the prolific lilacs peaking over the gray private backyard fence to your right. The park-like setting west of the dunes has landscaping surrounding a small pond which is refreshed by three little waterfalls. Explore a fenced deer-proof garden with artistic rebar gates, full of roses and collectors’ choice perennials. Wander by the charming clamming shed and picnic area, next to woodland gardens with shrubs and perennials.

As you leave Klipsan Beach Cottages, stroll the big lawns to the north between two tall conifers to view a semi-circle of old rhododendrons at the entrance of the road to the beach cottage next door. You are welcome to walk up that road to view the rhododendrons by “Joanie’s cottage”.

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our KBC gardens

KBC gardens

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I had every intention of getting to Klipsan Beach Cottages in time to help host guests at the Rhododendron tour.   It was not to be as all the other gardens were so fascinating.  We did not get to KBC until about 3:20.  Owner Denny told us that all the guests had been well behaved and pleasant and he sounded  delighted when he told us how one of the plein air painters had set up her easel and done two painting of the garden while tour guests watched.

A few more guests arrived, even after “closing time”.  I’ve worked in this garden for almost twenty years so it’s a great pleasure for me to see people enjoying it.

Rhododendron 'Cynthia' by the pond.

Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’ by the pond as you enter the grounds.

a tour guest tries out the bench

a tour guest tries out the bench (her dog was very tired of being in the car, so got to come, too)

the pond garden

the pond garden

more of the pond garden

more of the pond garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages, just outside the fenced garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages, just outside the fenced garden

south side of fenced garden

south side of fenced garden

fence

Euphorbia characias wulfenii outside the deer fence

Euphorbia characias wulfenii outside the deer fence

a clematis peeking through the lattice

a clematis peeking through the lattice

Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy)

Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy)

Clematis (photo by Kathleen Shaw)

Clematis (photo by Kathleen Shaw)

Pieris japonica

Pieris japonica with the beach cottages on the ridge in the background

the deer fence

the deer fence

looking in the south gate; center of garden has four columnar golden yews

looking in the south gate; center of garden has four columnar golden yews

inside the deer garden: Dutch Iris

inside the deer garden: Dutch Iris

bee

bubbler in the fenced garden

bubbler in the fenced garden

nectro

Allium bulgaricum

 

below the house deck: Mary's decorated dry fountain

below the house deck: Mary’s decorated dry fountain

Tiger Eyes Sumac and Cynthia

Tiger Eyes Sumac and Cynthia

tree

 

boxwood ball outside the east gate

boxwood ball outside the east gate

Cynthia and the pond with its three little waterfalls

Cynthia and the pond with its three little waterfalls

Cynthia's trunk structure

Cynthia’s trunk structure

waterfall

waterfall

tour guests

tour guests

bench

bench

Cynthia, painted by Cynthia Pride

Cynthia, painted by Cynthia Pride for the garden tour

pulmonaria growing underneath Rhododendron 'Cynthia'

pulmonaria growing underneath Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’

Tour guests were invited to walk further in to the property.

Tour guests were invited to walk further in to the property.

red rhodies with the A Frame in background (one of the vacation rentals)

red rhodies with the A Frame in background (one of the vacation rentals)

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by a woodland area that not long ago had an understory of narcissi

up by the cottages

up by the cottages

pink

looking east down the road from the cottages

looking east down the road from the cottages

the south side of the pond garden (photo by Kathleen Shaw)

the south side of the pond garden (photo by Kathleen Shaw)

back in the garden:  Allan and local tour guests Dave and Melissa of Sea Star Landscaping

back in the garden: Allan and local tour guests Dave and Melissa of Sea Star Landscaping

sit spot in the fenced garden

sit spot in the fenced garden

sword ferns and columbine

sword ferns and columbine

The unfurling shows so beautifully when the old fronds have been removed in early spring.

The unfurling shows so beautifully when the old fronds have been removed in early spring.

Cynthia from inside the fenced garden

Cynthia from inside the fenced garden

Knock Out roses inside the fence

Knock Out roses inside the fence

As we left, we walked over to look at the semi circle of old rhododendrons by the road into “Joanie’s Cottage”, another vacation rental that is managed by KBC.

looking west: the road to Joanie's cottage

looking west: the road to Joanie’s cottage

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enormous old rhodos

enormous old rhodos; some will bloom later this month

pink

 

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pink2

pink3

 

more

looking south to the KBC outer lawn

looking south to the KBC outer lawn

pinkred

red

red3

lawn

Thanks for joining us on the rhodie tour, whether you attended in person or just followed along here in the journal.  Here, from Bay Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park, are some of the plein air painting from the tour:

all

by Eric Wiegardt

by Eric Wiegardt

 

 

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

A beautiful warm sunny day began with my taking a photo of one of the spider azaleas that I got for Steve and John to make sure that they wanted it. (They might already have one in their vast collection.)

Smokey agreed it's a cool plant.

Smokey agreed it’s a cool plant.

As I understand it, all azaleas are really rhododendrons.

As I understand it, all azaleas are really rhododendrons.

By the time we got to our first project, getting some mulch from Peninsula Landscape Supply, I’d had an email back that they would love to have it, so I should have followed my instinct and carried it along with us.  We’ll be back up that way to get more mulch in two or three days, depending on weather.  Any excuse to see their fabulous garden!

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Colleen on her way to load our mulch

Colleen on her way to load our mulch (Allan’s photo)

the acquisition of a yard of soil energy

the acquisition of a yard of Soil Energy

Peninsula Landscape Supply pond

Peninsula Landscape Supply pond (Allan’s photo)

a pretty container by the pond

a pretty grouping in a container by the pond

I quite like this new line of mossy birdhouses and planters.

I quite like this new line of mossy birdhouses and planters.

I toyed with the idea of getting this lighted tree for evening when we have campfires!

I toyed with the idea of getting this lighted tree for evening when we have campfires!

I'm also thinking this might be our liquid fertilizer of choice this year for planters;  still pondering.

I’m also thinking this might be our liquid fertilizer of choice this year for planters; still pondering.  I want an organic one, and fish fertilizer does not work well in a sprayer. We hear this one was developed for pot farmers.

Marilyn’s Garden

My mission today was to get several things erased from the work list.  First, mulching Marilyn’s garden; second, planting poppy seeds there.  Note that it would probably be better that all poppies and sweet peas were already planted, but it hasn’t happened yet.  March 17th is supposed to be sweet pea planting day, which also happens to be my birthday and as you know, I skived off the the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  Renowned Cannon Beach gardener June Kroft says it is ok to plan sweet peas later at the coast.  But I digress.

Before: I found a massive influx of bad aster in one of Marilyn's garden beds...From where???

Before: I found a massive influx of bad aster in one of Marilyn’s garden beds…From where???

after, cleared, mulched, poppy seeds in

after, cleared, mulched, poppy seeds in (and aster roots still lurking in the clumps of other perennials)

before1

before

 

before, the main border

before, the main border

Goldie kept me company.

Goldie kept me company.

after:  Allan did almost all the mulching; I did weeding and seeding.

after: Allan did almost all the mulching; I did weeding and seeding.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before

almost done

almost done

after

after

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Next, I wished to get the sweet peas and a few poppy seeds planted at Klipsan Beach Cottages.  We checked on Oman Builders Supply garden on the way but I completely forgot to photograph it.  It felt odd not to have to check on the Wiegardt garden; Eric’s brother Todd has that garden now.  It felt odd…and GREAT because much as we love the Wiegardt Gallery, and we do, we are trying to cut back.  I am looking forward to seeing the changes Todd makes as he will have more time to devote to that one than we did.  I apologize for leaving behind the dratted Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ and the bad aster that had appeared from wherever the heck it appears from.  But again, I digress.

The bay tree was blooming above blueberry bushes in bloom at KBC.

The bay tree was blooming above blueberry bushes in bloom at KBC.

I worked in the fenced garden, weeding and de-bad-astering along the fence (where the heck does that damn aster come from everywhere?) and then planting sweet peas.  Allan ranged all over the grounds deadheading narcissi.

Allan's photo: rag tag narcissi deadheads (before)

Allan’s photo: rag tag narcissi deadheads (before)

after

after

Allan's photo: narcissi in the A Frame garden

Allan’s photo: narcissi in the A Frame garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Clematis on a deer fence gate

Clematis on a deer fence gate

Pieris in bloom

Pieris in bloom

Pieris with the clematis arbour in background

Pieris with the clematis arbour in background

the lawn border and fountain

the lawn border and fountain

hellebores in the lawn border

hellebores in the lawn border

double white hellebore

double white hellebore

hellebore

hellebore

Japanese maple and deer fern by the pond

Japanese maple and deer fern by the pond

new bench by the pond

new bench by the pond

pulmonaria next to the new bench

pulmonaria next to the new bench

The adorableness of Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant)

The adorableness of Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant)

You have to look under the leaves to see the cunning little mice.

You have to look under the leaves to see the cunning little mice.

exciting! Cardiocrinum giganteum

exciting! Cardiocrinum giganteum in the fenced garden

Also exciting: tree peony bud

Also exciting: tree peony bud

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driveway garden

driveway garden

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driveway garden, Tulip 'Lilac Wonder'

driveway garden, Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’

fullblown rose in March

fullblown rose in March

Timmy...or maybe Sarah

Timmy…or maybe Sarah

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the fenced garden

 

kbcgatemar25

Since I administrate the Klipsan Beach Cottages Facebook page, among many many more, I was pleased to see a recent guest leave this excellent review.

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The Cove Restaurant

The Cove is at the Peninsula Golf Course.  Co Owner Jim was taking two dogs for a ride in a golf cart.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; he said the dog to the left wanted to shake hands.

The dog on the right is 16!!  Allan's photo

The dog on the right is 16!! Allan’s photo

Allan's photo...so cute!

Allan’s photo…so cute!

cove

Since we are both now OVER SIXTY years old, I thought it would be just fine to knock off early for our Thursday night meal at the Cove.    It was on my mind that narcissi need deadheading at the Port…but driving all the way down and back seemed more wasteful then letting those deadheads wait till tomorrow.  I clearly am still not back into high gear.

We rarely dine this early in the evening!

We rarely dine this early in the evening!

We saw Todd there, come to have dinner with some friends.  (Todd, you are now officially blog fodder!)   It was a treat to have a brief chat with him and we look forward to some good garden talk in the future.

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ahi tuna

ahi tuna

the most amazing Thai curry soup

the most amazing Tom Kha Gai

Allan had a Peruvian stir fry which was simply delectable.

Allan had Lomo Saltado, a Peruvian style stir fry which was simply delectable.

Susie of the Boreas saw me “check in” to the Cove on Facebook (a good way to promote local businesses as long as you don’t have “friends” who will break into your house while you are dining) and could not resist showing up to join us for some ahi tuna.  We had such a good time we ended up staying till after seven (which is about the time we usually used to arrive).

When we got home, I had the pleasure of reducing the work list; since returning from my trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel, I’ve been able to erase Andersen’s, Long Beach, and KBC from the sweet pea list, Marilyn and KBC from the poppy seed list, and mulching Marilyn’s from the projects list!

Next up: The Boreas Inn sweet peas and poppies

Next up: The Boreas Inn sweet peas and poppies

I thought my birthday celebration was completely over, but no!  Mary of KBC gave me a lovely purple scarf from the Deux Chapeaux gift shop.  My cat Mary (no relation) agreed to model it for you:

The cats are sticking close to my computer spot since I came back from a five night absence.

The cats are sticking close to my computer spot since I came back from a five night absence.

 I thought the sentiments of their card were exceptionally inspirational:

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IMG_8894

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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