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Posts Tagged ‘deer-resistant plants’

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

Surfside is directly across from Oysterville on the ocean side of the Long Beach Peninsula  Its addresses are “Ocean Park”, which may be why it’s hard to find a map showing it by name.

We began at the Homeowners Association office.

Yay, a garden tour!

Inside, informative displays and handouts were on offer.

The neighborhood has two particular fire hazards, beach pines and dune grass.  The unamended ground is sand.

Excellent.  This was a serious garden tour.  I picked up the current Washington State noxious weed pamphlet and other useful literature and the attractive trifold tour pamphlet.

We each were given a free packet of seeds along with the tour guide.

view out the window of the Surfside canal

 I was sorry to see that Surfside resident George Miller’s garden was not on the tour. I had been sure it would be, having seen his many photos of its beauty on a local gardening Facebook group.

On to the first two gardens, one on a small lake and one on the oceanfront.

1.  “See what you can do with a small space and waterfront property.”

The north end of the peninsula is where sand dollars are to be found.

Seabreeze Lake

The owner had a Green Goddess calla lily and had hoped for a white one.

I told her I’d be happy to trade a white one for some starts of that green one!

blue and white lithodora (Allan’s photo)



2. Beautiful, owner-created front yard, easy-care, water-wise perennials, deer-resistant plantings.”

Allan’s photo

The house fronts onto the dunes.

 

ceanothus

We learned that our friend Ed Strange (now retired from landscaping) had helped design and install the hardscape.

This dwarf buddleia was much asked about.

We saw the informative handout and realized that every garden had one; we had missed it at the first garden. What an excellent idea.

As we drove on, we passed the free chipping site for residents.  It’s a good idea because it prevents flammable piles of debris.

Surfside has a somewhat controversial ordinance that all shore pines on properties on the flatland must be pruned to a certain height to preserve the view of the people on the hill. We had just missed a lecture from the knowledgeable Arbor Care arborists from Astoria.  I would be interested to know if they feel that all that topping affects the health of the trees. It must create a lot of chipping material.

Next, three septic vault gardens (or as we call it in Diane’s garden, “raised box”; now we know the real name).

 

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I had a rainy day off today so worked on my iPhoto.  Deleted 10,819 photos from 2013 and 2014 (leaving a mere 30,000 which need to be culled some more).  In the process, I organized some into potential through- the-year slideshows, so here is Marilyn’s in 2014.  I thought I’d been clever enough to take a photo every time from the back of the garden, looking northwest.  I hadn’t been all that clever, and so the perspective jumps around.  Keep in mind that deer are frequent visitors to this garden.

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Monday, 9 June 2014

Back to work.  We had several quick stops to make on our way to Marilyn’s garden, one of our two main features of the day.


Andersen’s RV Park

First, we stopped at Andersen’s RV Park just to add a chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) to one of the office planters.  The picket fence garden is almost at its mid-spring peak right now:

The orange lilies had popped!

The orange lilies had popped!

and

glistening, with Allium 'Purple Sensation'

glistening, with Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

lovely perennial poppy from Joy Creek nursery (have forgotten its name)

lovely perennial poppy from Joy Creek nursery
(have forgotten its name)

Lorna's white peony

Lorna’s white peony

Allium moly 'Jeannine' and Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

Allium moly ‘Jeannine’ and Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Baptisia australis (false indigo)

Baptisia australis (false indigo)

Seedhead of Allium bulgaricum, Nicotiani langsdorfii (chartreuse bells), Allium 'Purple Sensation'

Seedhead of Allium bulgaricum, Nicotiani langsdorfii (chartreuse bells), Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

east wall of house

east wall of house with hydrangea, golden spirea, and Leycesteria formosa in the center.


 

Golden Sands Assisted Living

I had just a few plants to pop in at Golden Sands.

One 6 pack of Cosmos 'Antiquity' joined the plants in the northwest quadrant.

One 6 pack of Cosmos ‘Antiquity’ joined the plants in the northwest quadrant.

The asiatic lilies are just starting to bloom.

The asiatic lilies are just starting to bloom.

I had two extra irises (an ensata and  a siberica ‘Contraband Girl’) that were extras from divisions Todd had sent from North Carolina.  (Clumps that had had two rooted pieces so I had one to share.)  Golden Sands is a job with a low budget for plants, so it got the extras.


 

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Not only did I want to make sure that Mary of KBC had a fragrant chocolate flower for her garden, but I was eager to see if her Cardiocrinum had bloomed, and it had!  Snails got every leaf but not the flowers.

Himalayan lily

Himalayan lily

c3

c2

c4

I was in awe.  The fragrance is sublime.  Mary says her brother, in his expansive garden, has many.  I have tried to grow them but the slugs always win, and Mary has tried several times and failed until now.

Denny had the big pond drained and was pursuing a leak.

Denny had the big pond drained and was pursuing a leak.


 

Marilyn’s garden

I had told Marilyn’s daughter Nancy, co owner of the Depot, that we would work at Marilyn’s today, and here’s why:

a mama deer and two babies living right in Marilyn's garden

a mama deer and two babies living right in Marilyn’s garden, photo by Nancy G.

I did not see the deer, as it was midday (although sometimes they will be around at any time of the day).  However, I was inspired to photograph the flowers that are blooming even with deer living right in the garden.

Knautia  'Thunder and Lightning'

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’

Geum (in the foliage of some Phygelius)

Geum (in the foliage of some Phygelius)

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (catmint)

Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle)

Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle)

lavender (not quite in bloom)

lavender (not quite in bloom)

dog daisies and alliums (shasta daisies will bloom later)

dog daisies and alliums (shasta daisies will bloom later)

dog daisies and allium albopilosum

dog daisies and allium albopilosum

Bees love alliums (Allan's photo)

Bees love alliums (Allan’s photo)

Knautia macedonica and blue scabiosa

Knautia macedonica and blue scabiosa

foliage: copper fennel (a noxious weed, kind of) and some Lysimachia purpurea

foliage: copper fennel (a noxious weed, kind of) and some Lysimachia purpurea

Garage to the west would be hidden, but some of the giant Miscanthus has fallen over due to wind.

Garage to the west would be hidden, but some of the giant Miscanthus has fallen over due to wind.

bunny tail grass and Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

bunny tail grass and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Lychnis coronaria (rose campion, also comes in white and in pale pink)

Lychnis coronaria (rose campion, also comes in white and in pale pink)

Geranium 'Rozanne' (gets nibbled)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (gets nibbled)

Dianthus 'Raspberry Swirl'

Dianthus ‘Raspberry Swirl’

Persicaria 'Firetail' will bloom with red spikes.

Persicaria ‘Firetail’ will bloom with red spikes.

Cosmos

Cosmos

Hellebore, lower left, has already bloomed.

Hellebore, lower left, has already bloomed.

That deer family had been standing just left of here.

That deer family had been standing just left of here.

So, as you can see, you can have flowers and deer.  Allan caught a glimpse of another creature in the garden:

Marilyn's shy kitty

Marilyn’s shy kitty


 

lunch and an errand

We had found that Marilyn’s garden needed less work than anticipated so we hoped to have a quick lunch at the Great Day Café, just a few blocks away.  Monday turned out to be their closed day.  Then we tried the Full Circle in Ocean Park.  Also closed.  So our choice was Jack’s Country Store.

Jack's deli: delicious brocolli salad

Jack’s deli: delicious brocolli salad

Next: some gravel and some Soil Energy mulch from Peninsula Landscape Supply.

first a bit of pea gravel, then a tarp, then some mulch

first a bit of pea gravel, then a tarp, then some mulch

It's very tricky to not get too much weight in the little trailer.

It’s very tricky to not get too much weight in the little trailer.

We did a quick Long Beach job: switching the perennials from the planter at the end, now packed with pink petunias by Back Country Horse Rides, to the planter north of the kite museum.

Now this planter will be more attractive and full.

Now this planter will be more attractive and full.

I had a pleasant talk with the new folks at Back Country who did not know the planter volunteer program had ended.  They are going to care for and deadhead those petunias and geraniums.

I found a mystery in the planter:

Was it an assignation to someone, or could a friend have left it for ...me?

Was it an assignation to someone, or could a friend have left it for …me?

I did not turn the rock over, so it was not until the next day that this mystery got solved with a most poignant story.


 

Larry and Robert’s garden

Back in Ilwaco in the early evening, we revealed the gravel…

under the tarp and mulch

under the tarp and mulch

and finished the hose area on the west side of the house.

and finished the hose area on the west side of the house.

I was most pleased because I wanted it done as a nice surprise for Larry when he gets home from a trip a day later.


 

Port of Ilwaco

And we had time to address the one unweeded segment of the Howerton Way gardens down at the Port.

by the former Wade Gallery: blurry with vetch and birds foot trefoil.

by the former Wade Gallery: blurry with vetch and birds foot trefoil.

The lavenders, terribly old and woody, get to bloom once more time; then they are outta here.

The lavenders, terribly old and woody, get to bloom once more time; then they are outta here.

weeded

weeded


 

home

Allan went to water the garden down at Larry and Robert’s while I started to unload the rest of the mulch (had used a bit on Larry’s new west side garden area).   Before adding the mulch to the west side fence garden bed, I had to move more of the debris to the back corner.

before

done

Allan returned and helped me finish.  I had had plenty of energy until moving some of the gravel at Larry’s!  I was too tired to spread the mulch out nicely.

Now I will have room for some new plants.  There is also room for something tall in the center of the west bed.

It is strangely open because I moved some large fuchsias out of there.

It is strangely open because I moved some large fuchsias out of there to the bogsy wood garden.

One of only two foxtail lilies so far, and the wind knocked it over.

One of only two foxtail lilies so far, and the wind knocked it over.

and the other one is quite small compared to what I hoped for.

and the other one is quite small compared to what I hoped for.

No matter how tired I am, I still look covetously at the back yard of my late neighbor Nora’s house, and wonder if we could afford to buy it if the house goes up for sale.

I am probably too old to add another big garden...

I am probably too old to add another big garden…

Allan checked out the latest on the controlled burn site.

Soon no trace of the old house will remain.  Shall I sneak at night and plant poppy seeds this fall?

Soon no trace of the old house will remain. Shall I sneak at night and plant poppy seeds this fall?

 

 

 

 

 

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July 20, 2013

from the program:  Instead of being “deer resistant”, this garden is wildlife friendly and proof that you can coexist with deer and still have plenty of flowers.  Nancy and Marilyn call this their healing garden because, while recovering from knee surgery and from cancer, they have been inspired and comforted by watching plentiful birds and a mother deer and fawns living in the garden.  It was designed and planted by Tangly Cottage Gardening to be viewed and enjoyed year round with structural perennials and ornamental grasses for winter interest. There will be a page at tanglycottage.wordpress/deer featuring deer resistant plants.

This garden on a small lot is one that Allan and I began from scratch in 2006.   I’ve written about it a lot since then, so will just do a walk through here from the day before tour day (when we did the final tidy up) and tour day itself.  I hope the tour guests understood that while small, the garden shows off how you can have lots of flowers even though the deer amble through daily.  If you can see a hose in the photo, it’s the day before tour day.

the view from the street

the view from the street

To the left of this photo (out of the picture) is the driveway, where the neighbour to the east and Marilyn and Nancy have planted shrubs for privacy…eventually.

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour's house

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour’s house

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking south

Above, looking south: We took up our nicest table and chairs, and Nancy thought it was so great to have a sit spot on the lawn that she says she is going to get a table and chairs for it!

Nancy ready for tour guests

Nancy ready for tour guests

She served cookies made by her spouse, Chef Michael of the Depot Restaurant.  There were 200, I believe, and my first hint that the tour was quite successful is when we arrived to find all the cookies gone.  I did not mind at all because I was so happy we had had that many people come through.

The deer, for some reason, focus on the area in front of the front porch, but they have left the lady’s mantle and geranium ‘Rozanne’ alone.

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate was the musician for this garden.  She does a great deal for the community.  She sang at my mother’s memorial service and knew the words to the song my father used to sing, “Because”.  (We made a garden for her in 2008, not the sort we go back and maintain.)  Barbara’s musical repertoire is vast and she was perfect for this venue.  Last year, she was the musician for the Hornbuckle garden, and later Tom and Judy told me people were dancing in their courtyard.

Barbara

side view of front porch (looking east) with Barbara

barbara

looking west

looking west from the lawn

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

The only pre-existing plant in the flower borders was the orange monbretia that had run over the neighbour’s garden to the west.  I consider it a thug, but don’t fight it in the front corner by the street because it intermingles with salal (speaking of thugs!) and adds some colour.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

where the lawn meets the gravel path

Above, where, the lawn meets the gravel path:  Phygelius, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’, lady’s mantle, backed with Miscanthus.

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

west of porch:  Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', Salvia viridis, and Lavender

west of porch: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Salvia viridis, and Lavender

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', photo by Kathleen Sayce

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, photo by Kathleen Sayce

against west wall of house:  Papaver 'Lauren's Grape' and Salvia viridis

against west wall of house: Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’ and Salvia viridis

looking south on tour day

looking south on tour day

looking south

figs

The fig tree grows larger and larger on the east side of the path against the house.  The deer do not eat the figs!

tour guests

tour guests

tour

guests

guests

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

I brought my Deer Xing sign for the chair by the southwest corner of the house and a bowl to fill with water.  It had occurred to me that this bird and deer friendly garden had no water!  Nancy was so taken with this that she agreed a bird bath would be an excellent gift for her mother, Marilyn.

day before

day before

I decided to present the garden quite honestly and did not trim the stems where deer had eaten the white mallow and Crocosmia as they nibbled their way by.  It is impressive enough that there are enough flowers to share and enough things they do not eat.  A chaise lounge is kept across the back porch or the deer will climb right up there and eat flowers (although in my experience, they usually leave dahlias alone).

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

To the south side of the house is a river rock dry pond which is good for drainage in the winter.  On its south side grow native shrubs and trees along the property line, and on the house side we have a path and a planting of Siberian iris, Persicaria ‘Firetail’, and double orange daylilies.

river rock swale

river rock swale

Hops grow up on the east side of porch railing (not shown).  I’ve tried to grow a honeysuckle on the south side but the area does not get watered and so that has not been a success.  If I remembered to water it whenever we check on the garden, it would do much better.

On tour day, we went in to visit Marilyn and saw the garden from a different perspective: from the inside out.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.  Oops.

I planted that tree between two windows and did not expect it to do this well!  Next time we visit the garden we will do some pruning.

another west window...that's better

another west window…that’s better

From this window, a deer has been observed birthing a fawn right in the garden.

another west window

another west window

from the kitchen window, looking south to the greenbelt

from the kitchen window, looking south to the native shrub and tree border

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

As we drove away, we saw one of the garden residents just down the street.

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

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Years ago, as a volunteer, I  created a garden along the Ilwaco boatyard between Eagle and Howerton on First Avenue.  It had gone to nothing after being removed for a new electrical line.  Last year the port crew had dug out the mid section and Allan and I had started to bring it back (as a paid job!), to the delight of passersby some of who still remembered the old garden!  The response was so positive that the crew dug out a whole new section for us to plant in spring of 2012.

boatyard garden extension, 13 April

boatyard garden extension, 13 April

April narcissi in the middle sections.

April narcissi in the middle sections.

 

Thanks to Steve of the Port crew we had signs to discourage rampant picking.

sign

sign

26 May, Cistus and the Genie D

26 May, Cistus and the Genie D

2 June, the two year old middle section of the garden

2 June, the two year old middle section of the garden

2 June, California poppies at the boatyard

2 June, California poppies at the boatyard
California poppies

California poppies

12 July

12 July

Above, the two year old middle section.  I measure the garden sections by chain link fence panels, so the last six planted sections are new this year, and past the light pole the garden is still grass and weeds down to the corner (Eagle Street).

early August: poppies in the new section of the boatyardearly August: poppies in the new section of the boatyard

25 August, bicyclists on their way to Ilwaco Saturday Market

25 August, bicyclists on their way to Ilwaco Saturday Market

24 September, the new stretch of boatyard garden

24 September, the new stretch of boatyard garden

Deer browse along here so all the successful plants have proved to be deer resistant.

annual poppy 'Mother of Pearl', 24 Sept

annual poppy ‘Mother of Pearl’, 24 Sept

Port manager Jim Neva decided in the autumn to take the garden all the way down to Eagle Street.  A couple of weeks later, the crew filled the beds with soil energy and later in fall we planted bulbs and perennials divisions and also collected and tossed in some poppy seeds from the other sections.

12 October. all dug out

12 October. all dug out

The flower display carried through well into autumn and looked especially vibrant on misty days.

10 October, the new section planted in April and May

10 October, the new section planted in April and May

10 October, south end of boatyard, Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'

10 October, south end of boatyard, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

10 October, Cosmos before the first winter storm

10 October, Cosmos and Painted Sage before the first autumn wind storm

30 November

30 November

By late November, autumn storms had battered the garden and we had pulled the cosmos and planted narcissi.  (No tulips because of the deer.)  Steve strung Christmas lights along the boatyard fence in the rain.

3 December, Christmas lights and the brand new section of the garden dark with promise.

3 December, Christmas lights and the brand new section of the garden dark with promise.

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On June 16th, a month before the Music in the Gardens tour, I went to pre-tour Ann and Gary Skordahl’s garden with tour organizer Nancy Allen, to help write up the tour programme.   I had met Ann on many another garden tour; each year she brings a tour group of friends from Vancouver, Washington, about a month after tour day to see her favourite gardens of the year’s selection, so she had been twice to both my old garden and my mother’s garden.

nurse log in driveway garden, 16 June

nurse log in driveway garden, 16 June

“A gold leafed heron announces the South Bay gated community where Gary and Ann Skordahl have created a home and richly textured gardens fronting Willapa Bay. First be greeted by a circular shady entry garden of hostas….”

Below, the same area on our post-tour day, July 22, when most of us who had opened our gardens toured each others’.

driveway garden, 22 July

driveway garden, 22 July

Beside the driveway: a 60 foot flower border within curving basalt stone walls from the family owned rock quarry, set into place by the Skordahl men.

along the driveway

along the driveway

There are two stairways to the house, one a sturdy, widely spaced concrete staircase…

16th June

16th June

22 July

22 July

stone stairs, 16 June

stone stairs, 16 June

….and the other nearby picturesque stairway of stone softened by creeping thyme.  “Climbing up their stone steps, softened by fragrant creeping thyme, you will pass rhododendrons, escallonia, hydrangeas and ceanothus which anchor the wonderful home.”

stone stairs, 22 July

stone stairs, 22 July

After ascending either stairway, we see the shrub border at the front of the house…

shrub border at the front of the house

shrub border at the front of the house

and the lawn that leads back to the bay.

big pots hiding evidence of the septic field

big pots hiding evidence of the septic field

At the north side of the large lawn, a square of flowers made a tidy contrast to a wilder field of native shrubs and wild roses.

Sweet Williams

Sweet Williams

hydrangeas in a northeast facing nook

hydrangeas in a southeast facing nook

planted chimney

planted chimney

A sweep of blue hydrangeas nestled in a southeast facing nook of the house thrives and is not preyed on by the deer that create a big planting challenge for Ann.  The hydrangeas draw our eye around the corner of the house to a massive stone chimney, also made with rock from the Skordahl quarry, that flares out to a planted rockery base.

The windows on either side of the chimney are those of a gorgeous sun room with a view of the bay.  Ann had it open on tour day for the musicians who accompany the Music in the Gardens tour and served white wine and elegant refreshments on the side deck; tour guests were still speaking happily of this when they arrived at our garden down in Ilwaco, and frankly, I am surprised they could tear themselves away!  Ann told us that she served…I think…18 bottles of wine.  (Remember, there were over 500 tour guests!)

deck view and planters

deck view and planters

Gary loves to mow and has created the vast lawn and paths to the bay out of wild meadows.

To the north of the house, a fire pit is sheltered from the north summer wind by a belt of shrubs and trees.

fire patio

fire patio

On June 16th, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ flamed in the flower border, mixed with metal art,  that curved around the lawn beyond the fire patio.

fire garden

fire garden

Around the north side of the house, we find more garden art in a bed with the steely blue foliage of Rosa glauca (which, amazingly, the deer are not eating).

Rosa glauca and sculpture

Rosa glauca and sculpture

Before we walk down the lawn past that 60 foot long basalt rock edged garden and back to the driveway, we stop to admire Ann and Gary’s tall pole of birdhouses.

bird house pole

bird house pole

We would be seeing Ann again in a couple of weeks when she brought her Vancouver garden club to visit our garden and the Hornbuckle garden.

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At the last garden of the day, I was excited to see a garden bed with some collectible plants, something that I felt had been missing in all but the very first garden of the tour.

approaching last garden

approaching last garden

a collectible corner

a collectible corner

The corner contained a tiny pond or puddle surrounded by interesting plants.

puddle pond

puddle pond

As we went around the side of the house, I continued to be hopeful that at least we were in a collector’s garden.  I was also consumed with curiosity over whether or not the house was a double wide manufactured home that had been nicely clad in wood.  (I looked hard for evidence of a seam and I finally decided it was probably just a ranch style rambler.)  Having moved into one less than a year before, I wanted to find ones that were more cottagey and less manufactured looking.

around the side

around the side

We emerged from the side of the house not into more garden but into a landscape alongside a lake. This was the same lake, but a different garden, from where the tour ended last year, somewhere between Warrenton and Gearhart.

in the back

in the back

By the seating areas, magazines and an informative display of bad plants were laid out.

educational material

educational material

We walked down to the lake to look at a fenced vegetable patch…

veg patch by the lake

veg patch by the lake

On the way we passed a boggy pond garden in the lawn.

bog garden

bog garden

We were highly amused and delighted by the cat bridge.

cat bridge

little pond with cat bridge

little pond with cat bridge

down by the lake

down by the lake

a lakeside sit spot

a lakeside sit spot

This the first time we had been at the Astoria tour late enough to partake in the post tour reception, and a delicious feast it was.

delectable

delectable

We were in a crowd of many society members who knew each other, so we quietly sat and ate the yummy little treats.

garden party

garden party

Note all the garden hats!   In listening to the folks talking, I was moved as they spoke of missing the late Oregon garden writer Dulcy Mahar and of having toured her garden. Also, I had a revelation: I usually come away from the Astoria garden tour having wanted MORE. More plant collections, just more GARDENY gardens. The revelation was that this is put on by the historic preservation society. NOT by a bunch of plant nuts like the Hardy Plant Society. Thus the gardens vary in, well, garden ness. I don’t make negative comments about the ones I like less, because that seems mean. And there is almost always one or two “gardeny” gardens.  In the future I will not let my expectations be so high, so I will enjoy the tour more next year.

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Some further thoughts (after last post) on garden privacy…and just an update about work.

I shouldn’t feel too guilty about work because we have been accomplishing a lot…

We got the Buddliea and a bunch of other shrubs pruned at Cheri’s garden:

Allan pruning Buddleia

Oops, where’s the after photo?  It ended up a little taller than knee high.  Oh well, here’s a nice photo of Porsche, Cheri and Charlie’s dog, always a delight.

Porsche by Buddleia

This area is a secret garden and full of flowers in summer.

Cheri’s in summer

It’s a treat to work in a secluded garden because a lot of our work is right out in public, like in this park in Long Beach by Marsh’s Free Museum:

early March, Long Beach park

One always has to be cheerful, answer questions, and try not to look too horribly disheveled.

We’ve been getting lots of yards of soil energy (one by one, which is all our trailer will carry), and mulching assorted gardens, including that Long Beach park.

mulched Long Beach crocuses

Continuing on the spring clean up mission of mulching and cutting back, we headed for Marilyn’s garden yesterday.  After dumping a full load of debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply, we picked up another yard of soil energy.  This wonderful neighbour dog named Bob came over for pets and then played King of the Mountain.  His coat was so soft and clean you would never think one of his joys is running through the mud and lying on the sand pile.  We were told he also loves the soil energy pile because it’s warm.

Bob

Back to the question of privacy.  One of our goals with Marilyn’s garden on a smallish lot near Surfside was to provide some privacy from the neighbour’s garage, and also to stop the eye at the edge of the garden.  Here it is yesterday with last year’s grasses and perennials still up:

Marilyn’s, noon

Here it is in the afternoon after a day of chopping: all the seclusion rather shockingly gone.  We had tried planting escallonia along the back for a year-round stopping of the eye, but the pesky deer kept eating them.  We’ve been experimenting and find these particular deer leave California wax myrtle alone, for now, and so we’ll try those instead.

Marilyn’s, 4 PM

The  deer (three of them) were just waiting next door to see if we would plant something new and delectable.

one of the hungry neighbours

(They don’t bother Marilyn’s hellebores, as you can see by the healthy state of this one:)

hellebore along Marilyn’s driveway

Last summer, the garage was almost hidden by perennials, as it will be this summer. The trick is to balance privacy with leaving lots of room for flowers and grasses.  (If it were my place, I would probably have put up a solid fence, the privacy solution that leaves the most room for a colourful floriferous garden.)

Marilyn’s in summer

But last summer we ran into a sudden privacy/stopping the eye crisis when neighbours to the south cut back all the lower limbs on trees between the two lots, including limbs which were definitely on our side!  Suddenly, the eye was no longer stopped by a wall of evergreen but flew through to the stuff next door.

the disturbing new view

A telephoto shot like the one above exaggerates what we see, but that is actually how I felt, that the stuff against the neighbour’s garage was all I saw when looking to the south!  So we’ve added some shrubs on Marilyn’s side, and we hope this year they will take on enough height to make a green wall once again.  Years of experience helped us choose successfully some shrubs that the deer have left alone all winter:  Pieris, wax myrtle, Ceanothus, a couple of deciduous barberry ‘Helmond Pillar for a bronze contrasting effect, Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’.  All came through the winter looking healthy.  We’ll let you know if we manage to get our evergreen screen effect back this summer.  (Again,I often feel in a situation like this that the most instant solution is a sudden tall solid plank or panel fence!)

[January 2013:  Over the course of 2013 the lower parts of the border evergreen trees filled in some on the south side of the garden so it feels somewhat more enclosed there.]

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The only reason these two gardens are sharing a post is that I took few pictures of them in 2009.  Sea Nest, a wonderful place to stay on the Long Beach Peninsula, had changed owners and we were changing the garden to be more low maintenance.

Sea Nest, 30 June

For some reason the deer don’t bother this garden, partly because it is planted with deer resistant plants.  But there are two roses that remained untouched till one was discovered by deer in 2011 and slightly browsed.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ at Sea Nest, 30 June

Corokia cotoneaster and Allium albopilosum, 30 June

Seanest, 10 August, blue potato vine, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Escallonia

Seanest, 10 August, Agapanthus and Lavender

In early summer, we took on a new project, having been recommended by a local architect to new residents, in a home just east of the peninsula, who had moved here from Texas. They had christened their new home Casa Pacifica.  I keep promising myself to not add to the overbooked and stressful side of our business by taking new jobs.  I called back with every intention of saying no, but the new owner told us it was quite a gorgeous garden and perhaps we could just come have a look.  We did, and couldn’t resist.

The main garden bed is built on top of a rock wall with good structure of flowering shrubs because the previous owner had a sideline of doing cut flowers for weddings.  It’s like an amphitheatre backed by big trees, with the house as its audience.

14 July

Above, the main garden bed after extensive weeding and an application of Gardener and Bloome Soil Building Compost.  It was easier to mulch with bagged amendments than to wheelbarrow bulk compost across the lawn, down the the end of the rock wall, and up.

Rough stone steps in the middle of the amphitheatre bed lead up to a fire circle.

steps to fire circle, 14 July

An island bed in the lawn to the side of the house had become overgrown with grass and blackberries.

island bed, 14 July

On July 28th, we cleaned up the island bed…

island bed, 28 July

…and the entry garden by the walkway to the front porch.  I want to make garden beds on both sides of the entry walk, but the house will be remodeled eventually and that project must therefore wait.

sidewalk to front door, 28 July

Rose, possibly ‘Fourth of July’, by front deck, 18 July

The deer do not pester this garden (even though it has several established rose bushes) because of….

….Guera and Spook.   It took a several sessions of luring with bits of cheese to get Guera to like me.  Spook remained spooky all through 2011 and hides under the deck whenever we arrive.  But both are ace at keeping deer away.  Or could it be this warrior who stands by the shady side of the amphitheater garden?

shady side of amphitheatre garden, 28 July

We continued to weed and add plants to the garden beds, hampered by a lack of well water in the summer.  In 2011, I finally decided that problem means the gardens will always be at their best in spring, peak by July and in the dryness of August the shrubs and ornamental grasses can carry it through.  Unless the water situation improves, I won’t be adding lots of Cosmos…

19 November

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As well as Marilyn’s private garden, three of our public gardens have a particularly hard time with deer and we have to plant thoughtfully and sometimes with frustration as the taste buds of the deer seem to vary from season to season and even between neighbourhoods.

Andersen’s RV Park

The one place at Andersen‘s where deer did not bother tulips (yet) was in the box out by the road.  One could imagine them craning their necks in to munch, but so far they have not.

road box, 18 April

On the 29th of April in the planters by the Payson Hall clubhouse,  I was thrilled to see surely the largest head of Allium schubertii that I’ve ever grown.  Since the deer had become more interested in Andersen’s gardens, I could no longer grow tulips by the clubhouse.

Andersen’s RV Park….Allium schubertii

  On June 29th, Cosmos bloomed in the picket fence garden.

29 July, Andersen’s picket fence garden

Believe me, the picket fence is not enough to keep the deer out, especially with the south end of the garden open to the woods.  This sweet little garden is right in front of the home of Lorna, the RV park’s owner and, being on the east side of the building, is protected from the beach wind.   In 2009 the deer still let us have some roses but by 2011 the roses didn’t stand much of a chance except for the climbing Cecile Brunner over the arbour.

picket fence garden, 5 August

corner of picket fence garden, 5 August

The plants:  Salvia viridis (painted sage), Lavatera (in the corner), godetia, cosmos, white phlox, Alchemilla (Lady’s mantle), and more…

RV Park guests walk by this corner to check in at the office, and the flowers that get the most comments in summer are the sweet peas we grow all along the white fence.

sweet peas, 5 August

sweet peas, 5 August

In the planters by the clubhouse, Payson Hall, we grew on assortment of annuals and the old standbys Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  This might have been the first year we added Tigridia (Mexican Shellflower) and Lorna adored them.

Tigridia (Mexican Shell Flower)

We’re a long way from Mexico but so far these have come through the winter and rebloomed for us just fine.

Below, the new garden in the sand (created in 2007) on the west side; California poppies  predominate although earlier we had some red Papaver rhoeas:

17 July, sandy path through poppies

And…here’s why gardening can be a challenge at Andersen’s.  It’s not as sheltered as Marilyn’s garden so plants don’t get as lush, and it has the same problem with deer, as evidenced by these ambling through at 1:30 PM on a busy mid July afternoon.

an afternoon stroll at Andersen’s RV Park

We are fortunate that they don’t eat the plants that we grow in the whiskey barrels along the short drive to the RV parking: Lorna’s choice of white and yellow petunias and our additon of yellow million bells and a bright yellow Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ in the middle of each barrel.  And while the deer nip a bit at Lorna’s beloved godetias, they leave alone our painted sage, Cosmos, and the glorious sweet peas…and the California poppies.

On the 15th of October I took the last Andersen’s photo of 2009 one fall clean day when the misty light enhanced all the colours of the west side garden just outside the back door of the park office.

west corner garden, 15 October

Silver, feathery Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Euonymous (Burning Bush) and late blooming pink Schizostylus (River Lily) are also not pestered by the deer.

Discovery Heights

Another garden rife with deer (and where once a bear was spotted sleeping in the lower garden) is up at Discovery Heights in Ilwaco on the hill overlooking the ocean.  The lower garden is more woodsy and wind-protected.  The T Junction (refers to where the road goes either way) and the very top gardens are the most challenging because of the wind.  The middle garden is full sun and windswept with some protection from trees to the south.  All the gardens are heavily browsed by deer.

On April 9th, we planted in the new and topmost garden of our four Discovery Heights gardens.  It had been installed the autumn before at the entry to the Coastal Ridge Townhomes just in time to plant narcissi.

9 April, top garden

21 April, middle garden in mist

Deer will not eat Narcissi.  Above is a white mix from Van Engelen.

26 June, middle garden

6 July, middle garden

A partial plant list: Along the front, a trailing Ceanothus (California lilac) blooms blue and is not eaten by the deer, as is also true of tall, shrubby Ceanothus at the back of the border (the latter not shown in these photos).  We also planted Dianthus, Lavender, assorted ornamental grasses, Santolina, Artemisia, Alliums, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, Echinops and Solidago ‘Fireworks’ (a well behaved golden rod)…and bronze fennel, which I fear has now been declared invasive.  The foxgloves planted themselves.

The Wiegardt Gallery

The Wiegardt Gallery is on a main street in Ocean Park but that does not stop the deer from sampling the garden.  (They boldly enter gardens in all the towns on the Peninsula.)  For the first few years that we cared for this garden, deer did not figure out that tulips and a rose were on offer…Then word got around and now we can grow neither tulips nor roses.  Still, we have enough knowledge of what deer might leave alone that we’ve made a cottage garden look around the old house where Eric Wiegardt has his art studio and gallery.

3 July, Wiegardt Gallery

17 July, Wiegardt Gallery front (south-facing) and back (north-facing)

plants:  Salvia viridis (painted sage), Knautia macedonica, ornamental grasses, Rosemary, Santolina, Lavenders…and more…

24 July, with elephant garlic and Sanguisorba in street-side garden

I been rethinking the colours of the garden, though.  The house had been repainted a sort of pale pea green with olive green trim, yet the garden had been planted for…a pink house!

old Wiegardt Gallery colour, pink with blue trim

That garden theme still worked with the colours in 2007, a sort of dark creamy-pinky wall with dark green trim and a purple door….

Wiegard Gallery, 2007 colours

But in 2012 I still, three years after the green colour went on the walls, have not quite figured out the right plant additions to make the old plant colours work with it.  Even though I’ve somewhat gone off Alchemilla (lady’s mantle), I think I should introduce some into this garden.  (There are plenty available to dig out of other gardens!) because the chartreuse flowers might make a bridge between house colour and the existing plants’ colours.  And the deer don’t like lady’s mantle.

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