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Posts Tagged ‘dry creek beds’

We were most decidedly rained out of work; on both day I took photos of the gratifying amount of water in the bogsy woods.

Friday, 13 November 2015

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We could get fancier chairs but these are honestly the most comfortable (when upright).  We’d had some wind.

I see through the east gate that the crab pots next door have been moved and are elsewhere now in readiness for the crab season.

I see through the east gate that the crab pots next door have been moved and are elsewhere now in readiness for the crab season.

The garden would look wilder if we brought the hoses in.

The garden would look wilder if we brought the hoses in.

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turning to look back (north) up the west side path

turning to look back (north) up the west side path

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south fence

splishy splashy walk

splishy splashy walk

I find this most pleasing.

I find this most pleasing.

outside the south fence

outside the south fence (looking due south)

looking north from the south gate

looking north from the south gate

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looking east

looking west

looking west

I like the look of the extra river rock that we put into the (sometimes dry) creekbed.

I like the look of the extra river rock that we put into the (sometimes dry) creek bed.

hardy fuchsias still blooming

hardy fuchsias still blooming

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

one of our water features

one of our water features

and another

and another

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I meant to read after my walk round the property, but having the place all to myself inspired me to putter at tidying the garage (since I could make all the decisions about where to put things).  I noticed Allan had had the clever idea of inserting a couple of bulb sorting milk crates into the shelves, and I expanded on the idea and got all our garden supplies sorted by type.

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The blue tin can to the left has all the COOL tags.

A few days back I had sorted out a big bucket of plant tags, throwing out all the duplicates and winnowing the last couple of years of tags down to two containers.  Today, I refined them into having one blue can containing all the most special tags from Cistus and Xera and Joy Creek.  Like these:

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The bottom tag tells me that I HAD bought a Heptacodium before Debbie Teashon brought me one this fall, but clearly it had died in its youth, as I have none in the garden other than the one she brought.

These were all from when Pam Fleming had the glorious and much missed Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

These were all from when Pam Fleming had the glorious and much missed Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  Oh, except for the Hymenanthera, which I got at 7 Dees Seaside (and had lost that tag for four years!)

I spent several years not knowing what the cool shrub in my front garden was.

I spent several years not knowing what the cool shrub in my front garden was.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries, last month

ID for the lovely sedum I can see from my blogging window.

ID for the lovely sedum I can see from my blogging window.

and this Snowberry that is next to Allan's garden.

and this Snowberry that is next to Allan’s garden.

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In the last hour of daylight, the rain stopped. I had gotten my onw bulbs sorted into three boxes (front garden, back garden, and garden boat) and thought I might plant some…till I realized that Allan had taken all the bulb food away with him in the van!

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

So I had no choice but to finally finishing my book; thanks to a mention in the Susan Conant Dog Lover’s Mystery series, I had learned that a particular favourite author has two books I had not read:

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Just some bits I liked:

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And this amused me because I spend a great deal of time peering into my iPhone:

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and then this, as I am entering the third act:

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When I came emerged from the end of the book, I had a text from a friend telling me about the latest horrors in the real world, and when Allan arrived home he said he had been listening to the NPR newscast during all his driving time.  It cast much somberness over the evening as I contemplated the many such tragedies that take place around this world.

Allan’s day

a trip to Astoria and Warrenton for an oil change and shopping...

a trip to Astoria and Warrenton for an oil change and shopping…here on the Washington side along the Columbia River

waves splashing up over the breakwater

waves splashing up over the breakwater by a Lewis and Clark interpretive sign

an adorable Tillamook cheese van is a cheerful note to end on

an adorable Tillamook cheese van is a more cheerful note to end on

Saturday, 14 November 2014

  As for the day time, I took another walk in the late afternoon back to the bogsy wood to see how deep the water was (deeper than Friday), tried to read a book, could not concentrate, read a lot of news reports.

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

splashier than yesterday

splashier than yesterday

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Allan wonders when he will be able to mow.

Allan wonders when he will be able to mow and how far will the mower spray water if he did it now.

I'm glad I got these areas pretty much weeded.

I’m glad I got these areas pretty much weeded.

Today I wore boots so I could walk through here; the water came up to the tops of calf-height rain boots.

Today I wore boots so I could walk through here; the water came up to the tops of calf-height rain boots.

The big event of the evening will be another post on our other blog, which I will re-blog over to here by tomorrow morning.

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Here’s our tour of  Helen Westbrook’s beautiful Mill Pond Village garden last Saturday, a garden I discovered on the July 2012 Astoria garden tour and then saw again in March on one of the last days of winter.

view from our parking spot, SW corner of townhouse

view from our parking spot, SW corner of townhouse

approaching the entrance (Hebe)

approaching the entrance (Hebe)

just as beautiful as I remembered

just as beautiful as I remembered

I’m going to give you every view, because why should you not enjoy it to the fullest?

Helen's garden

garden

One of my favourite features of this garden is the dry creek bed or swale which captures winter water runoff.

looking east over the swale

looking east over the swale

I find this so very pleasing.

I find this so very pleasing.

To the right, above, you can see a bit of the Sambucus ‘Black Lace’.  Helen said she had recently pruned it and brought some of the flowers into the house and said they did not smell very nice.

Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

looking west over the swale

looking west over the swale
seating by the swale

seating by the swale

barrel planter

barrel planter

arbour into the center to the garden

arbour into the center to the garden

arbour detail

arbour detail

a little wishing well

a little wishing well

Below, you can see how shrubs have grown in the last year and provide a privacy screen for the porch of the neighbour to the north.  The garden itself is on an unbuilt lot between the two townhouses.

view looking west

view looking west

shrub screen

shrub screen

By now Helen had emerged from her house.  We wondered together whether or not it was normal for the Physocarpus ‘Coppertina’ (?I think it is that one) to be showing both white and copper flowers.

two colours

two colours

a fragrant rugosa rose in the hedge

a fragrant rugosa rose in the hedge

Looking from the hedge toward Helen's porch

Looking from the hedge toward Helen’s porch

a comfy bench

a comfy bench

blue table

blue table

to the west of the table, a solar powered water feature

to the west of the table, a solar powered water feature

Helen says even a passing cloud will make it turn off, but it would still be attractive.

Helen says even a passing cloud will make it turn off, but it would still be attractive.

bicycle basket

bicycle basket

That combination of sedums and ferns is unusual and most attractive.

I marveled to Helen at the detail in her groundcovers; even without being on a garden tour this year, she has attended carefully to creating small vignettes which I know take attention to maintain.

shells and moss

shells and moss and stones

a little jug

a little jug

a tiny clearing for stones

a tiny clearing for stones

and precious jewels.

and precious jewels.

This makes me want a smaller garden so I can attend to such details, but Allan has time for effects like this in his shady fern garden.

Anton memorial

Anton memorial

Anton was a golden labrador who was friends with all the residents of Mill Pond Village.  Helen described him as bringing neighbours together.  He died recently and his ashes were shared among his human friends, and some are buried here.

There must be a gardening bond among many of the residents as almost all have little curbside gardens (which were featured on the Astoria Garden Tour several years ago).

a floriferous porch

a floriferous porch

along a shady walkway

along a shady walkway

If Loren of Futureworld sees this post, I hope he will tell me if the hosta above is more interesting than the ones he described earlier this year.

on a corner

on a corner

lawn between townhouses

lawn between townhouses

At the end of the long lawn is the Astoria Riverwalk along the Columbia River, and in summer the adorable trolley goes by.

It was such a treat to see Helen’s garden again and we would have liked to walk all around the village and see the little gardens and the houses that are built right by the old mill pond itself, but we had nurseries to get to…so perhaps we will make another visit in late summer.

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There were three north end gardens on the July 21st, 2012 Music in the Gardens tour.  Because our own garden was on the tour, we did not see the other gardens on tour day.   On June 28th I went with tour organizer Nancy Allen to the Windy Meadows Pottery home and garden in Surfside. I visited there again with the happy bunch of tour hosts on the day after the garden tour, when we got together to enjoy each others’ gardens.

Windy Meadows

Windy Meadows

Tom and Judy and I agree that this new house has the wonderful look of the old historic homes of the Peninsula.   Judy described it as a “warm and loving garden and home”.

around the east side of the house

around the east side of the house

From the tour programme: “A berm of scented lavender welcomes visitors to this artist, potter and gardener’s home, aptly named Windy Meadows. Here is a one person garden on a scale to which most of us can relate. A tiled and mirrored retaining wall creatively camouflages the raised septic system.”  The modern raised field is a real problem for people landscaping on the north end of the Peninsula, and potter and gardener Jan Richardson solved it with the help of her mosaic artist daughter.

mosaic detail

mosaic detail

a mosaic wall

a mosaic wall

the centerpiece

the centerpiece

On the same side of the house is a greenhouse window, which I covet, and a sweep of daylilies.

greenhouse window and flower bed

greenhouse window and flower bed

cat

cat

As we walk around to the north side of the house, we see more clever solutions to the eternal septic field landscaping problem (one of the reasons I chose to live at the south end of Peninsula in the land of sewer hook ups!).  This big Japanese lantern area is a handsome way to disguise one of those big green plastic covers.

lantern and grasses

lantern and grasses

trellis

trellis

Just to the west of the lantern, Jan made a boggy area, I think with some plastic under the mulch, so that she could grow a giant gunnera.

On the north side of the house Jan used an old orchard ladder as a trellis.  In this pre-tour photo you can see that, like me, she used old newspaper and magazines to keep the weeds down.  Later, she and some friends would cover the whole area with shredded bark; she had eliminated all need for mowing a lawn.

In a large flat area behind her clay studio, she displayed some of her sculptural pieces.  On our post-tour day, she let us come into her home and view what are my favourite of her artworks: the cottages!  Judy loved ’em.

garden art

garden art

From the Windy Meadows website, a sample of her fantasy cottages.  Oh how I love them!

cottages

cottages

But back to reality!  As we come around the west side of the house, the studio end, we walk through a path with her long inviting porch on one side and a river rock landscape on the other.

dry creek bed

dry creek bed

Windy Meadows porch

Windy Meadows porch

If I were to design a house, a comfortable long porch like that would be essential.

And below, the garden tour hosts gathering in Jan’s garden on our post tour day.

tour hosts

tour hosts

(left hand photo) In yellow jacket, Jan of Windy Meadows.  In the foreground, Judy Hornbuckle, then Allan (blue shirt).  In the white shirt, Ann Skordahl, and Gary Skordahl, and a friend of Ann’s.  Tom Hornbuckle was with us, too.  We had all had a whirlwind of preparation and then the joy of opening our gardens to so many appreciative guests.  Now we would get back to every day life…except that Allan and I had plans to go on another garden tour, this time in Gearhart, Oregon, the following week.

 

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On the west slope of Astoria’s long tall hill (I just realized Astoria seems to be a town of one big hill rather than Seattle’s several hills), a private garden took a different  approach to dealing with a steep slope than had the formally terraced Warrenton garden.

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The lower slope’s dry creek bed culminated in a pool with a view across Young’s Bay.

dry creek

view to Young’s Bay

On the side of the house away from the water view, a deck provided a level spot to observe the steep slope and garden beds.

looking uphill in sun and shadow

The drop in elevation was dramatic, viewed here from only halfway up the back garden.

looking down at the house

Different materials were used to edge the beds.  (Some design books say to carry the same material throughout the garden, but I find a change to be refreshing.)

terraces

Grass paths segued into fine gravel paths until in the very top corner we came to a soothing grove of trees.

grove

The huge lot went all the way through from one block to the next and I’d love to see how it looks now that all the beds have likely filled out, three years later.

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