Posts Tagged ‘driving phobia’

After three days of madly planting Cosmos, including Cosmos ‘Sonata’ in all the Long Beach main street planters, we learned a major storm was about to hit the coast.  Even if I had known of the wonderfully informative blog by weather expert Professor Mass, I wouldn’t have seen the storm warning in time to abort Monday’s planting session.  I only hope those little cosmos are holding their own as today we had the power out for two hours in the early evening and have had 55 mph winds.

Because there was no hope of actually gardening, we left a sheltered patio full of waiting plants and headed to Oregon to check out all the local  nurseries as far as the Seven Dees’ just south of Seaside, about a 45 minute drive. Locally, this is known as “going overseas’ and involves crossing the long Astoria bridge, a venture that increasingly car-phobic me does not like at the best of times. The lure of plants was strong, so off we went, hoping to beat the storm’s early afternoon arrival.

Astoria bridge work

Astoria bridge work

Astoria bridge

There’s bridge work going on with flaggers that slows down traffic. I prefer that. Big oncoming traffic terrifies me. There is nowhere to go sideways.

up the Astoria bridge

Here we go up the high part….

down the bridge curve

Here we go down the bridge curve.  I particularly dislike this part.

my nemesis

Here we are about to curve  to the stoplight to go either right toward Seaside and Cannon Beach or left to downtown Astoria.


I’m also perplexed and filled with anxiety throughout the roundabout (left) right before the Young’s Bay Bridge, leaving Astoria for Warrenton.  Allan, who shares almost none of my phobias, has his own little problem, since he thinks those big cement blocks at the top of that bridge structure  (right) might just fall on our heads.

Young’s Bay Bridge view

I try to distract myself with the view toward the Columbia River.

We took a detour down the turnaround in Seaside, Oregon, to show you the streetside gardens there…photographed from the car, on the move, because we were in a great big hurry to beat the storm.  Sometimes I am happy because the Long Beach gardens look better.  In the spring, I can occasionally feel mine are better because I plant more tulips. But today Seaside’s were looking pretty darn good.  Their gardeners have the advantage, I tell myself, of slightly bigger curbside plantings….

Seaside street garden

Seaside street garden

Seaside street garden

view, Seaside turn around

The end of the Seaside turn around provides this ocean view.

Seven Dees nursery used to be Raintree, Seaside, not the same as the Raintree in Morton (?), and I loved the staff and was always greeted warmly.  Now there is a new staff and, in my opinion, a disappointing selection of plants to add to the Long Beach containers. Even though it was midweek, and perhaps this week’s delivery had not come, I’ve never run across such slim pickings there.  I was hoping for an exciting osteospermum or agyranthemum of a colour not available locally…just a little something to add a few of to supplement the wonderful local selection…but didn’t find much.

Seven Dees

The container gardens were nice, and if I hadn’t such a great plant selection here on the peninsula, I would have found a lot more to buy here.  In previous years, they always had something rare, something new, something I just had to have a tray of for the planters.

I do love this little tree and have three in my own garden, and cannot remember its name, and had I been seeking them would have been thrilled to find this happy batch.We stopped at Costco (catfood and coffee, not plants) and Home Depot, where I always check to see if they might have just one special sort of plant.  Usually I do find one thing, and this time it was a showy Penstemon in a gallon pot. At Fred Meyer, where some years I’ve found some spectacular and unusual osteospermums with ringed centers, I did find a whole flat of Salvia ‘Victoria’ and Salvia ‘Striata’.  I am sure that some years they have a plant nut buyer…and some years…not.road to Brim's

view from old bridge

We took the back road past Fort Clatsop so we could stop at Brim’s Farm and Garden (and Lewis and Clark Nursery, which had nothing to offer my planter collection).  I knew Brim’s would have something good; they always do, even though the nursery part of the shop is small.

Henry, greenhouse cat

Henry, with warm fur

Not only did I find a flat of high quality Armeria ‘Joy Stick’ and another of the gorgeous Viola ‘Etain’, but in the back greenhouse I got to pet this sweet and friendly cat who had been lolling in a warm spot.

Beautiful window boxes and window frames lined the walls of the outdoor section of the nursery.

container at Brim’s

container detail

I loved this container back in the greenhouse with its gorgeous echevarria.

from the top of the bridge looking down

I know people who cannot drive across this bridge at all…and others who cross it regularly without a qualm. The fierce wind pushed our little car sideways, and for once I was glad it is low to the ground.

One thing that distracts me as we come up the scary curve to the highest spot is the view of the old houses in Astoria. I wonder what it’s like to have the curving onramp to the bridge in your home’s view all the time?I have rarely been so relieved to get home; we took a short detour down to the port, where the red flag, denoting bad weather, was flying in the 55 mph winds.

My conclusion: Except for a couple of Penstemons and that flat of Viola ‘Etain’, and the flat of Salvias ‘Victoria’ and Striata’, I found little to add to our palette of plants,  and I left a message on the Facebook wall of the owner of our local Basket Case nursery (she also creates the wonderful hanging baskets you’ll see around our towns) and let her know that her nursery rules them all.

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