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Posts Tagged ‘dry creek bed’

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Colorful Coastal Gardens tour

 Grayland, Washington

presented by the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County

Our ticket to the tour is a beautiful booklet with photos and a write up about each garden.

Each gardener chose a quotation to go with the garden description.

I must give credit to The Outlaw Gardener for the idea of using snippets of the garden descriptions throughout these posts.

As you can see, we were close to salt water all day.

Charles and Hans’ garden, Grayland

Gardeners’ quotation: “Gardening requires a lot of water, mostly in the form of perspiration.” -Lou Erickson

From the description, I expected a low maintenance and perhaps rather sparse garden.  We were delighted to find instead a lush but wisely planted garden of great beauty.

Allan’s photo

Each garden has a poster with a list of which sustainable garden practices were employed.

Hans and Charles’ garden

Our greeter and ticket stamper had on a most delightful garden hat.

A docent, neither Charles nor Han (Allan’s photo)

up the driveway (Allan’s photo)

looking back to the entry

When one of this gardener team, Charles, decided to remove a patch of lawn to install a dry river bed, he was responding to the summer drought situation this coastal region experiences. Except for small plantings, this part of the garden is watered only by rainfall.”

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

on up the driveway past the two story garage

along the side of the garage

handsome brunnera and enviably perfect hostas

farther up the shady border

Allan’s photo

across the front lawn to the sunny side

Allan’s photo

on the front porch

green and lovely table setting

At the back of the garage, on the shady side again:

Allan’s photo

looking back

from whence we came

The path around the side of the house beckons.

looking back along the side pathway

entering the back garden

Allan’s photo

“The garden behind the home invites guests into a private peaceful space of manicured lawn edged in stone block.  This formal setting contrasts with the informal dry river bed in front of the home.”

straight ahead

to my right

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

“The Lazy Gardener”

looking back

gorgeous tawny achillea

behind: the garden shed

Allan’s photo

Charles identifies a plant. (Allan’s photo)

Linaria (toadflax) was perhaps the plant in question. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan and I almost always walk through the garden by different routes and at a different pace, crossing paths occasionally, so it always interests me when we take almost the same photo.

Allan, in blue shirt, is in the above photo.

Allan’s photo

looking back

further back garden exploration

Here is the entry, through a hedge, to the field where the vegetable garden resides.

entry to the vegetable garden area (Allan’s photo)

“The vegetable garden continues to the rear of the formal garden and slips over the hillside to the raised beds designed for efficiency of labor.”

Allan’s photo

“Sand was the challenge to overcome. Compost and mulching was the answer.”

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The next door neighbour also had a vegetable garden.

Next door (Allan’s photo)

What a great start to the tour!

 

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Sunday, 3 September 2017

We left on our day trip before 10 AM, along with a bowl of tabouli and some chocolate cupcakes for a potluck and open garden over two hours inland.

My next door neighbour, Royal, saw us off.

Our route: We had another 15 minutes still to go when we got to Castle Rock.

The first part of our drive, east of the Astoria bridge: The Columbia River abounded with little boats fishing.  (Taken while on the move; we were on too much a mission to stop for better pics)

As we passed through Castle Rock, I glimpsed some enticing public gardens.  We will visit those in tomorrow’s post.

Our destination was the garden of Evan Bean, who has worked at Longwood Garden, Plant Delights (with our friend Todd), Cistus, and now works for Plantlust.com.  His garden, at his family home about 15 minutes east of Castle Rock, was open for garden bloggers and friends.

When we arrived, met by heat in the high 90s, a few other guests had already arrived, including Sean, owner of the fabulous Cistus Nursery and Jane of the Mulch Maid blog.

Allan’s photo, as we approach the kitchen door

Needing to adjust to the heat, we indulged in the delicious potluck offerings before touring the garden.  In conversation with Evan’s mum, Nancy, we learned that the two headed calf in Marsh’s Free Museum (Long Beach, home of Jake the Alligator Man), belonged to her grandfather’s side show. Her father, “Pony Bill” Giberson, had pony rides where the Long Beach carousel now sits.  (I thought I had this right, but Evan has clarified that “my mother’s father, Leonard, donated the two-headed calf. Her grandfather, Bill, had the pony rides.”)  Nancy herself has had a career in forestry, and encouraged Evan as a child to appreciate nature.

Fortified and refreshed, we plunged into the heat and a full tour of Evan’s garden.

the impressively small ladies in waiting collection

Garden writer Amy Campion in the greenhouse, with Evan reflected in the door

The greenhouse has a mister for the plants that Evan is propagating.  I am pleased and hopeful that Allan took an interest in how it works.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

plant babies

treasures

Near the greenhouse, Nancy showed us a stump that had resisted digging out, so they burnt it to represent nearby Mount St Helens and planted a Mt St Helens azalea in it.

burnt stump

Jane photographing the circular front garden bed.

Allan’s photo

The round bed was Evan’s high school senior project, on which he spent much more time than most seniors did on theirs.  He has enhanced and improved it since then.  (He’s now in his almost-late 20s.) It had much plant interest to offer us.  We walked around it admiring everything.

Sesli gummiferum (Moon Carrot), which I very much wish I had.

Notice all the pleasing rocks in the garden.

Jane noticing the details

continuing around

two kinds of ornamental oregano

Allan’s photo

The garden bed seems round but is actually more complex.

Allan’s photo

Having made it all the way around, I turned my attention to the bed by the house.

DSC00998

some form of Melianthus next to the house (Later: Evan says it is Melianthus villosus.

easy access and I like the railings

The shade of the lower garden enticed me and others.  The rest of the garden that we will see is less than a year old, except, says Evan, “a section of the rhododendron border behind the hakonechloa bed, and a scattering of trees through the rest of the garden”.

the hakanechloa bed

By now, our friend Ann (the Amateur Bot-ann-ist) had arrived, with Paul Bonine, owner of the glorious Xera Plants, from whom I would buy one of every Xera plant if I lived in Portland.

Ann in the red checked shirt

The dry creek was installed to solve some drainage problems.

starry detail

sunny wall of house

In Evan’s words: “The annual wildflowers, and even some of the fast-growing perennials and subshrubs like Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’, and similar plants, were mostly put in place to fill in space and cover the ground to help reduce weeds while longer-lived plants grow. They were plants I could obtain cheaply and easily propagate more of. In some cases, I’m not even sure yet what the longer-lived plants should be, so they obviously haven’t even been planted. In most of the garden, the longer-lived plants will have to be ones that can adapt to dappled shade as the cork oaks and other trees grow. I picture layers of relatively drought-tolerant evergreen shrubs like Elaeagnus, Choisya, Mahonia repens and nervosa, mixed with a few tough, easy-care evergreen herbaceous plants like various carex for textural contrast, and here and there some deciduous perennials or ephemeral plants for added seasonal variation. Some of those plants are already in place. Some have yet to be selected and planted.”

the path back to the shady patio

 

As I knew it would be, this was the sort of garden where I could not identify a fair number of the plants.  Any mistakes are mine from when I was too shy to ask.

Tricyrtis ‘Blue Wonder’ (I asked Evan for IDs on some of these plants.)

Allan’s photo

heading into the sunshine

looking back from whence I came

The fence encloses about two acres and keeps the deer out. Evan’s mom, a forester, says that our west coast deer are lazy and that a six foot fence is enough. She also said they have a fear of breaking their legs.  Other species of deer WILL jump a six foot fence.

A group of gardeners clustered around this plant pronounced it some sort of gentian.  Evan later IDed it for us: Gentiana asclepiadea, the willow gentian.

a young castor bean

seed heads of Dranunculus vulgaris

Dranunculus vulgaris

Mimulus cardinalis

Calceolaria arachnoidea

I am smitten with this plant.

Evan recommends orange Calceolaria ‘Kentish Hero’.

kniphofia

castor bean with beautiful airy coreopsis

Brachyglottis greyi, or it might be Brachyglottis ‘Otari Cloud’, says Evan.

These beds which are full sun will eventually have a bit of shade.

Allan’s photo

more lovely free flowing coreopsis

Heptacodium miconioides, which I knew, because I have one, thanks to my friend Debbie Teashon of Rainyside Gardeners.

This little guy got lots of attention.


Evan says, “”The wildflower look is sort of nice, but really not my style. It’s a planned successional stage in the gardens development, filling in space while the real garden grows.””

I must have been mad during my phase of not liking rudbeckias.

This poppy got lots of attention.

Allan’s photo

new growth.  Later I got the ID from Evan: Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum

The shady patio is where we would soon be sitting again.

Zauschneria

Allan’s photo

a hardy geranium of some sort

the path back to the shady patio

looking out from our shady chairs

Allan’s photo

patio corner

outside the kitchen window

When we walked down to our van to depart, Nancy walked with us and, because we showed interest, took us to the kitchen garden.  It is located below the garage because the rest of the property used to be so shady.

tomatoes

yacon

That was a fine day out, with more to come, as we will tour some Castle Rock gardens on the way home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 27, 2013

Gardens by the Sea tour benefits Clatsop CASA.

interlude between gardens

We saw while driving from the first to the second garden:

a raised veg and flower garden

a raised veg and flower garden, edged, I think, with broken concrete. I like it.

(Ann Lovejoy had a garden bed edged in a tall wall of broken concrete. I liked that, too.)

next door to garden two

next door to garden two

attractive entrance to the house next door to garden two

attractive entrance to the house next door to garden two

Garden two: Al and Carol Vernon garden.

From the program: “Collectors’ picture perfect garden, tended by two who love to garden.”

I do wish that Al and Carol had been there. From Nancy Allen, who met them, I heard they are delightful, and heard the same later at Back Alley gardens. My one suggestion to improve the tour this year comes because I don’t think there was a single garden where the owner was present. Owners can cast much light on the meaning of their gardens. We heard that they went out touring each other’s gardens during the latter hours of the tour. Each garden had a ticket checker at the entrance, but those folks did not know much of anything about the gardens. Might I suggest that the Gearhart garden tour organizers encourage the garden owners to stay at home and to make pre- or post-tour visits to each other’s gardens!

I would have loved to have met the owners of the delightful second garden.

As we approached the garden entrance. we were able to peek in over a sea of cotoneaster.

a garden glimpse

a garden glimpse

from the street

from the street

sign

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

entering the garden

entering the garden

along the house, a row of hostas

along the house, a row of hostas

I heard tour guests marveling at the lack of slug or snail damage on the hosta leaves.

Allan's photo of same area

Allan’s photo of same area

shade

a shady spot

artful clipping

artful clipping

We heard that the owners, a retired couple, do the work here themselves. Impressive.

Tour guests admire a scree garden area

Tour guests admire a scree garden area

tour guests

tour guests

The tour guests were discussing the ID of a certain plant. When I looked at it, I was sure that they had gotten it wrong. That is when the presence of the owners, clearly plantspeople, would have been very helpful! (I hope if they read this, they feel no regret, just the knowledge that we would have loved to meet them to tell them in person how much we liked their garden.)

scree garden

scree garden: lovely

Our rockhound friend Judy will like this detail.

Our rockhound friend Judy will like this detail.

scree garden: Reginald Farrer would love it.

scree garden: Reginald Farrer would love it.

Now I want to redo one of my front garden beds into a nice scree garden like this one.

I could have stood here for much longer!  Fascinating.

I could have stood here for much longer! Fascinating.

Allan's view

Allan’s view

curving around

curving around

where the scree garden ends

where the scree garden ends

chocolate cosmos

chocolate cosmos

On the side of the garden, bordering the neighbours, across the grass from the scree border, a planting had caught my eye so I walked back to it. With the attention to detail apparent everywhere in this garden, bergenia had been hollowed out to put another plant in its center.

cute!

cute!

Tour goers also commented that the baby’s breath (lower right) was large and well grown and unusual to see this days. It might have been Nancy Allen, organizer of the Music in the Gardens tour. By this time, I was texting back and forth with her as she was about two gardens ahead of us.

baby's breath

baby’s breath; next year, I want to get back to growing this old favourite!

Behind the scree garden and the mixed border into which it segued runs a dry creekbed of stone.

dry stream

dry stream

Allan's photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

You may have noticed a glimpse of red lava rock at the edge of one of the photos above. Usually red lava rock is anathema to me, causing instant dislike. (I just do not feel it looks right in gardens near the sea.) But in this garden….after my initial startled reaction…I realized it was perfect, as it was clearly planned to set off the rusty colour of the sculptures and the red leaves of the plants:

red on red

red on red

colour echoes

colour echoes

Allan's view of path by lava rock patio

Allan’s view of path by lava rock patio

side view

side view

side

herons

At the far end of the red patio, a lava rock path leads to the side into the flower bed.

path

path

The streambed curves around to the end of the patio.

The streambed curves around to the end of the patio.

looking back, Allan's view

where the red path curves back, Allan’s view

my view

my view

looking back

looking back

paths

As we reach the back corner of the house, we look at the red curving path from the side.

red path curve

red path curve

Now we turn to the path along the back of the house. At first glance, my impression is just of a narrow walkway.

along the back

along the back

salal and a place to put debirs

salal and a place to put debris

Later when we stopped post-tour at Back Alley Gardens, Pam Fleming (locally famous gardener for the town of Seaside, Oregon, and co-owner of wonderful Back Alley!) asked me if I had noticed the detail at the steps to the basement: a perfect arc of smooth stones. Indeed I had and had photographed it.

attention to detail

attention to detail

She commented about the attention to detail, something else I would have liked to compliment the owners about.

further along

further along

As we walked along the woodsy path behind the house, the vista opened up with a delightful and unexpected surprise: To our right, a view of a deep ravine appeared…with water at the bottom.

ravine

ravine

how beautiful a vista!

how beautiful a vista!

trees draping over the ravine

trees draping over the ravine

I would spend many hours absorbing this view if I lived here.

ravine

view

Allan's view

Allan’s view

At their edge of the ravine, the Vernons had placed bird feeders and a birdbath.

back

birdbath

birdbath

The birds hardly paused in their eating as we walked by.

bird

With three more gardens to see, we had to leave this paradise and turned up the path by the other side of the house.

exit path

exit path

Near the front of the house, this narrow space had been used to grow a few vegetables.

veg edge

veg edge

Allan's photo of the protective caging

Allan’s photo of the protective caging

We took one more look at the gorgeous garden…and would have walked around again if we had had the time.

a last look

a last look

This is in a tie with garden number four as my favourite garden of the tour. I simply could not choose between the two!

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Coral’s garden

In midsummer, I took on a one-off job at a Surfside garden that was pretty much a blank slate except for a few trees.

before

before

I brought in two other garders and worked in coalition with them to get it done:  Carol of the Elves and my good friend Terran, who had a gardening business at the time.

before

before

I planned out the job according to Coral’s vision and drawings of a dry “waterfall” and creek bed with a berm along the street side.  Carol of the Elves and I plunged into the job and spoke after a day of moving rocks that we should merge our two businesses and change the name to Amazon Gardening. I could move rocks for 8 hours back then, at age 49, and only feel tired in the last hour…

during

during

Carol left halfway through the job because of a crisis pertaining to her friend and my ex: She thought I was awfully cold-hearted to not want to be involved.  So Terran stepped in and helped finish the job.  That was the end of my work association with the Elves, although I continued to pass extra jobs onto them.

Coral's new creekbed

Coral’s new creekbed

bermTerran helped me finish the berm that the owner wanted along the front of the garden.  I could have finished myself, but did not have the time as I was sandwiching this in among all my regular jobs.

Coral's creekbed

Coral’s creekbed

Coral was happy because the job came out just as she planned.  She would complete the rough edges herself after having a deck built next to the house.

after

after

Below:  Coral’s garden, January 2010…still there!  By this time, the deck which we had left space for had been built along the house. Coral was there and I told her the true story of the drama behind the making of her streambed, and she said she had no idea, and was just impressed that this assorted crew of women kept showing up to do the work.  I’m pleased that I successfully hid the crisis going on behind the scenes.

2010

January 2010

Discovery Heights

I had taken on the job of making a series of entry gardens for the new Ilwaco development called Discovery Heights.   Below,  the north side of the lower entry garden after the developers had put rocks in place. 

new garden, south side

new garden, south side

Discovery Heights lower garden, north side

Discovery Heights lower garden, north side

I got started on the project so late that the clients must have wondered whether or not I was really going to get around to it.

I would not have taken it on at all had I not known that a new partner was going to join my business in January (more on this later).  Meanwhile, Roger of Clean Cut Services helped with clearing the ground and adding a nice layer of washed dairy manure.

Roger helping out

Roger helping out

In 1992, Roger had been the bartender at the Heron and Beaver Pub who had helped inspire Robert and me to move to the beach with his tale of having moved here with no job and little money and living in a place with a leaky roof and cold water only, just to be here.

middle garden

middle garden

Meanwhile, the middle garden waited clearing.   Roger went up one day and did it, and then it was ready for me to plant it up as one of the first projects of 2005.

the middle garden awaits, late December 2004

the middle garden awaits, late December 2004

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sweet poodle

Next we went into an exclusive Olympia neighbourhood along some “residents only” streets to the garden of Sharon and Ed Stanford. This friendly poodle greeted us.  To our left we could see a gravel and raised bed garden.  We turned right toward a gazebo.

Gazebo to right side of driveway

walking onto the lawn, looking back to the gazebo garden

the gazebo garden

outer lawn borders. I bet these beds were full before the harsh winter of '09-10.

Looking toward house from lower front lawn.

lower garden detail, Puget Sound view

getting closer to the house garden

from the tour guide brochure: “After you’ve been inspired by a visit to the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, what could you possibly do but create a 150-foot-long granite outcroppiong around your house with 130 tons of boulders?”  Why yes, of course, I would get onto that straight away!

the granite outcropping

at the base of the outcropping

granite outcropping detail

the granite outcropping

Wave Hill chairs at the base of the outcropping

Looking back, you can how small the gazebo is in the grand scale of this garden.

Sheila takes the high road

From the tour guide brochure: “How could you possibly respond to Adrian Bloom’s Foggy Bottom garden but go home and assemble a collection of rare conifers, perfectly complemented by perennials, ornamental grasses, trees and shrubs…?”  Indeed.

halfway to the back garden

toward the back, a sit spot

the back left corner of the house

toward the back, with Puget Sound view

Up we go onto the deck where brownies and lemonade are on offer.

Looking down into the granite garden, we see another path to explore. The garden from the house goes: border, path, granite outcropping garden, lawn, border, street.

the view toward the gazebo

looking toward the driveway where we entered

gazebo from the corner of deck

view of gravel garden by driveway

view from deck of driveway and gravel garden

Once off the deck, we walk the path we saw straight down....with the house garden on one side, the bed of granite rocks on the other. We enjoy this cute sign, humans one way and dogs another.

(We would love to have spend more time on that hidden path but we know we have an hour or more of driving left between the rest of the day’s tour gardens.)  Back at the end of the entrance driveway, we again head toward the back of the house; maybe this time we will make it all the way without being distracted.

end of driveway

On our right is a dry creekbed.

Sheila gives a sense of scale to the grand size of the creekbed.

Beware of affectionate dog!

At last we've reached the back garden.

beautiful back garden

                                       Off the back path, this was the only sign of a work area!

We would need hours to fully admire each plant combination.

Round and round the house we go...

We walk the hidden granite garden path again in front of the house because there is so much more to see.

Finally we have a look round the gravel garden to the right of the driveway from where we entered and saw the friendly poodle.

As with all other parts of this garden, it is perfectly lovely.

a final look

I wonder how much seeing the huge gardens of Monday influenced me to buy a new house later in 2010.  I don’t want a grand house but I would love to have a garden with so much room.  I certainly am unlikely to ever have this big of a lot, or the time or resources to develop it, but in the fall of 2010 I did increase my garden size from a 50 by 200 lot to an 80 by maybe 250 lot.  In another life, maybe I’ll have my own granite outcropping.

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the front garden

The tour brochure described Marc McCalmon and Sara Brallier’s Froggy Bottom garden in DuPont thus:  Froggy Bottom garden, DuPont, “a 600 foot long stroll path and tumbling stream lead downhill to a stone and gravel patio at the foot of the garden, furnished with…owner-made benches inspired by a visit to Beth Chatto’s garden”.  Our speaker from the UK was the famous Adrian Bloom of Blooms of Bressingham, whose garden is “Foggy Bottom”, so this was perfect to have on the tour.

entry sign

in the gate

just inside

the garden's upper level

Walk with me down Froggy Bottom's stroll path.

Here we turn to look back up the path.

Now we look down to the lower patio.

Sheila takes a detour, crossing the waterfall stream.

We pass a bank of artfully placed rocks.

Strolling on down...

A shady border is to our left.

We approach the lower patio.

And again we look back.

The stream from above ends in a pool by the lower patio.

We pause in admiration.

Just look at those inlaid stones.

Standing on those inlaid stones, we look up at the waterfall.

The water theme carries past the lower patio with this dry creek bed....

...that ends in the very bottom of the garden.

At the bottom, a borrowed view, and borrowed space to hang a birdhouse.

We'd like to sit around the fire but have many gardens still to see.

From the fire circle, we look back at a little shed...

...and at another view of the waterfall pool.

Again we admire the paving.

We gaze up the hill from the fire circle.

One last look at the lower pool.

Back we go up the stroll path, past the shady corner.

At the top again, we explore the gardens and pond.

braving the stepping stones

the upper pond...

bog plants

and another view

It's hard to leave this garden.

I was a little embarrassed by these, er, pot "feet" until I realized the pun: "Froggy Bottom".

Alliums

And so we depart, onward to more gardens.  The only way to get to spend enough time in a garden like this is to create it yourself, attach yourself to the creator, or become their jobbing gardener.

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By the end of the first week in November, most of the bulbs were in the ground while we awaited a second shipment.  It never fails that no matter how extravagant my bulb order, more will be needed as people see us planting them and request just a few more.

We embarked on a new project for a new client, Sharon, who we’d met during her quest for a Gunnera leaf; she teaches classes in making stained glass pavers and in the casting of sculptural leaves in concrete.  She’d stopped to talk with us while we worked by the giant Gunnera in downtown Long Beach.  When we went to look at her proposed project we enjoyed the tour of her garden with all its creative touches.

(above, left) Sharon’s “Koi pond” of stained glass pavers, and (right) two of a long path along the bay side of the house representing the birds she sees out on the water.

The project of making a vasty sweep of grasses on a mounded garden bed along the driveway involved no weeding, as the ground was already prepared.  We decided a dry river rock stream bed was called for to match up with the rest of the theme of the garden…and went on a trip to several nurseries to collect as wide as assortment as possible of interesting grasses…and we divided out the best of the grasses from different gardens of ours to add as much variety as possible,.  Our favourite is Stipa gigantea which does not seem to be readily available here, so we use our existing plantings as a source for more.

before and after, above

(Above) grasses under a picturesque old tree, and the “pond” at the “headwaters” of the stream, which was softened by planting some clumps of water-loving acorus right through the landscape fabric, with granules of Zeba Quench mixed in to keep them moist enough.

The completion of the job was interrupted by my taking a three day vacation (next entry) but as soon as I returned we got back to the planting.  The dry creek bed tied in with river rock areas on the west side of the house (the new bed is further west) and with a charming dry creek bed which seems to emerge from under the east side of the house near the bay.

(left) The original bay side dry creek bed; (right) our new dry creek bed, newly planted, which theoretically disappears “underground” and “reemerges” to join the eastward river rock features.

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