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Posts Tagged ‘edible gardening’

Friday, 24 July 2015

Garden Tour Nancy and I had plans for some Edible Garden Tour pre-touring, but first, we went by invitation to see a charming small Seaview garden.

Sue’s Garden

My Facebook friend Betty had told me about the garden of her neighbour, Sue.  First, Nancy and I had a look over the fence at the well-grown vegetables on Betty’s “Farm”.

Betty's farm

Betty’s farm

and her darling dog, Ella

and her darling dog, Ella

We then went to view the cottage garden next door belonging to flower-loving neighbour, Sue.  Betty had told me it was a good example of how someone on a budget and a small space can have a garden with, as Betty says, “just love and hard work. She looks for ‘deals’ and nurtures them into lush, healthy plants. Sue grows most of her garden from seeds which she shares freely.”

Black Eyed Susan vine at the gate

Black Eyed Susan vine at the gate

Sue's flower garden, staged in containers.  Later there will be sunflowers along the fence.

Sue’s flower garden, staged in containers. Later there will be sunflowers along the fence.

zinnia

zinnia

zinnia

zinnia

zinnias

beans

beans

morning glory

morning glory

We had an audience.

We had an audience.

cat2

rose

sweet peas

sweet peas

sweet peas

sweet peas

Nancy and I were both delighted.  I would much rather see a tiny garden grown from scratch and from sharing than the grandest estate.

Dawson Garden

Next, Nancy and I visited another small garden in Long Beach to get some sneak peek photos for the Edible Garden tour (which, by the time you read this, will have taken place on August 9th.  Although I’ll save most of the photos for my edible tour posts.  Upon arrival, we were offered a free hydrangea which Nancy happily arranged to dig up this fall.

the hydrangea in question

the hydrangea in question

a well grown delphinium

a well grown delphinium

The edible portion of the garden is in containers, and I am sure, or at least I assume, that’s because, like me, the gardeners are more into using the majority of the space for a flower garden.  Because the paths are narrow, they’ll have that part of the garden blocked off during tour day.  Owners John and Judy let us go through it.

This driftwood is piled over a little fish pond to protect the fish from the local raccoons.

This driftwood is piled over a little fish pond to protect the fish from the local raccoons.

pond

protected pond

John makes garden art from objects.

art

driftwood decor

driftwood decor

screened fish tub

screened fish tub

and another tub protected with driftwood

and another tub protected with driftwood

view from the deck

view from the deck

potted plants on the deck

potted plants on the deck

overlooking the garden

overlooking the garden

another creation

another creation

ingredients

ingredients

a pond next door

a pond next door

The home is on a cul-de-sac where several other homes also have gardens, and one gets the feeling it’s a friendly street to live on.

a tidy house at the inside end of the cul-de-sac

a tidy house at the inside end of the cul-de-sac

42nd Street Café

Nancy and I replenished our strength..and talked about garden tours…over lunch at the 42nd Street Café.

locally canned albacore tuna sandwich with house made potato chips

locally canned albacore tuna sandwich with house made potato chips

Russian vegetarian scramble with sour cream

Russian vegetarian scramble with sour cream

homemade jellies

homemade jellies

Gene Miles, retired Long Beach city administrator, was at the café and showed us some photos of how he is remodeling his garden, which was on the garden tour in 2013.  I got him to email them to me and will share them a little later.

On the way to our next pre-tour, Nancy and I went to the

Columbia Pacific Farmers Market 

It takes place every Friday afternoon at Veterans Field in Long Beach.

produce stall

produce stall

flowers

flowers

Nancy admires some fresh berries.

Nancy admires some fresh berries.

berries2

Double J and the Boys on stage (except more girls than boys today)

Double J and the Boys on stage (except more girls than boys today)

our neighbours' farm, Starvation Alley

our neighbours’ farm, Starvation Alley

Our garden makes a nice backdrop.

Our Vet Field corner garden bed makes a nice backdrop.

the Humane Society raffle booth...with kitty litter buckets holding down the tent in the ubiquitous wind

the Humane Society raffle booth…with kitty litter buckets holding down the tent in the ubiquitous wind

plants

plants

onions and flowers

onions and flowers

dahlias

green

Nancy's bouquet

Nancy’s bouquet

Pink Poppy Bakery

Pink Poppy Bakery

squash blossoms from Pink Poppy Farm

squash blossoms from Pink Poppy Farm

another good backdrop: our flag pavilion garden

another good backdrop: our flag pavilion garden

Garden Tour Nancy

Garden Tour Nancy

The Planter Box garden

pb

Next, Nancy and I went on a sneak peek pretour of the expansive vegetable garden grown by Ray Millner, patriarch of The Planter Box.  He and his wife, Barbara, have pretty much retired and passed on the garden center to their son and daughter, Raymond and Teresa, and Ray devotes himself to growing enough food to feed his extended family.

Ray and his grapes, protected from dew.  He says he will remodel the top to be domed.

Ray and his grapes, protected from dew. He says he will remodel the top to be domed.

I am saving the photos for the edible tour coverage.  But here is the hand of a gardener:

hand

On the way home, in Long Beach, we saw the family of deer that eat from the planters on Seventh Street (which is just north of where they are).

at home in the town

at home in the town

in my own garden

This is a before photo of an upcoming project area.

This is a before photo of an upcoming project area.

I had thought I was going to spend most of my weekend painting lumber and was thrilled to find that Allan had already done it.

posts

posts

And he was now mowing the lawn.

And he was now mowing the lawn.  At least the part in back that is still growing.

While watering, I found a Todd plant that had suddenly sprouted!

While watering, I found a Todd plant that had suddenly sprouted! I up-potted it right away.

The tadpoles in the water box are refusing to turn into frogs.

The tadpoles in the water box are refusing to turn into frogs.

passion flowers

passion flowers

with sweet peas

with sweet peas

After dark, I heard the sound of rain.

rain, making a puddle! thrilling!

rain, making a puddle! thrilling!

Gene’s Garden

Gene had emailed me the photos of his Long Beach garden and here they are.  You may remember his garden from the 2013 garden tour, or from this article by Debbie Teashon.

the driveway container garden

the driveway container garden

new: a two tiered deck on the west side

new: a two tiered deck on the west side, surrounded by garden beds…and do I see a new fence?

the view from the driveway

the view from the driveway…hey, that fence is new along the street!

I am so impressed with the new streetside fence and sweet peas.

I am so impressed with the new streetside fence and sweet peas.

sweet peas

sweet peas

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ might have come back from 2013.

what was a too-narrow straight edged bed along the house

what was a too-narrow straight edged bed along the house

Thanks, Gene, for the virtual garden tour.  You have done grand improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

The first photo that does not show what I want it to show:

many many gulls in the sky over Nora's house

many many gulls in the sky over Nora’s house

We had to work, but for a workday it was a pretty easy one.  We went to Ann’s garden just up on school hill.  Another photo that does not show what I hoped it would:

spider webs...take my word for it...

spider webs…take my word for it…

There were three or more big, perfect spider webs in the area of Ann’s garden along the fence.  I did not want to ruin the spiders’ day so I saved the weeding along there for another time.

After a couple of hours of work, we went to Olde Towne Café for a couple of hours of coffee klatsching with Judy and Tom and Patt (former Ilwaco resident who is dog, cat, and housesitting for our client Cheri).  Tom and Judy were on time while the rest of us lagged a bit, and they are the ones who got to enjoy the full band of Double J and the Boys perform.  Only two musicians were left when we got there.

music at Olde Towne

music at Olde Towne

Our coffee get together was to make up for the one we missed when the power went off on Thursday.

Olde Towne mirror

Olde Towne mirror

After two hours, we exerted enough discipline to get back to work at Ann’s and made it almost all the way around the house weeding.

Ann's hydrangea...

Ann’s hydrangea…

and the upper terrace of the back yard

and the upper terrace of the back yard

When I get a chance to divide some plants at home, I am going to bring Ann some starts:  ‘Fireworks’ golden rod and a couple of different kinds of shasta daisies.  Along the east fence in the lower garden, below the enclosed kitchen garden, is a big pruning and pulling job for Allan to do when bulb hell begins and I am sorting bulbs for three or four days.

I like Ann’s idea of hanging her sunflowers in a tree and on the fence for the birds.

sunflower

sunflower heads

sunflower heads

She and Butch would have had a good living room window view of birds feasting on these.

At home, I noticed many more orb spider webs and finally got one photo that actually shows a spider.

against the house

against the house

Our moderately expensive new this summer Honda lawn mower still will not GO properly, so Allan mowed with the old electric Husqvarna that belonged to my mum.  It takes almost an hour longer.   Despite that, I would do the mowing and would be all for the rechargeable electric mower except that it just does not cut as low as I like a lawn to be.  The problem with not having bought the gas mower locally means that, under warranty, we have to take it to Astoria for repair….a big hassle to find time for two such trips.  Allan’s research still shows that the Honda he bought SHOULD have been the best mower for the price.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A day off!  I could have slept till one, I was that tired…but the sun was out and I had garden plans.

The first thing I noticed upon going outside was the warm temperature, the second was wind.  Here’s another photo that does not show what I hoped it would:

leaves were blowing hard off the Bogsy Wood alders.

leaves were blowing hard off the Bogsy Wood alders.

The leaves were whirling the whole length of the garden.

on the lawn Allan mowed just last night

on the lawn Allan mowed just last night..

I had been inspired by the bayside garden I recently toured, whose owners had managed to clear, on their own, large wooded areas of salal.   I think I want to tackle  the salmonberry in the bogsy wood.

tatty looking salmonberry grove

tatty looking salmonberry grove

And yet, they are the first flowers for the hummingbirds in the early spring…and I can cut interesting paths through them.

a path through a grove...with a salmonberry springing back up

a path through a grove…with a salmonberry springing back up

It would be more interesting to have an assortment of shrubs.  But would be so much work.

I started cutting some canes down on the east side, then got distracted by the realization that horrible bindweed is coming through the fence from the gear shed neighbours.

bindweed crisis

bindweed crisis

After I had pulled some of the horrible vine, I realized the wind had gotten much stronger and that it would be foolish to stay under the trees.  Not only is the Danger Tree a big hazard but even the living alders have dead limbs that drop in the wind.

alder, a brittle tree

alder, a brittle tree

Danger Tree

Danger Tree

I am going to see about getting Danger Tree cut down soon.  If I have it cut, it will make far less of a mess than if it falls and its big root ball pulls up a section of garden.  Although that could create some interesting changes of elevation….Hmm…

an big limb that blew down last week

a big limb that blew down last week, one third of the way up the garden

I began to cut back the three big mixed garden beds in the back yard.  I lost my clippers, then found them, then thoroughly lost them again.

before they disappeared altogether

before they disappeared altogether

Clipperless, I started gathering in the milk crates that have been used for greenhouse shelving this summer but will soon be needed for bulb sorting.

into the garage they will go

into the garage they will go so they are good and dry for bulbs

I simply had to get back to clipping, so I got Allan’s hand clippers out of the van.  I hoped to get them put back away before he realized I had borrowed them.  (In the last two weeks, I have misplaced my blue handled clippers, my red ones, and the black handled ones and am now down to none.)

Meanwhile, Allan had tackled the forsythia between our house and Nora’s driveway.  We have to think ahead to someone maybe buying that house now that Nora is gone. We may need a path for dragging the big wheelie bin out for garbage day in case we will no longer be able to share her driveway.

forsythia before and after

forsythia before and after

That’s radical pruning, but was all my choice.  There is growth underneath that will rise up and can become a sort of hedge.  Meanwhile, the top growth still gives us some privacy.  When the lower growth gets taller, we will then cut the three remaining old trunks down.  I don’t even especially like forsythia and would probably be happiest if we could muster the strength to dig it out and plant something better.

I went back to clipping in the back garden (with Allan’s clippers!).  Smokey accompanied me throughout the day.

Smokey

Smokey

The wind had Frosty all excited and I saw him dashing back and forth in the bogsy wood.  I kept one eye on the trees and listened for cracking sounds and stayed out of the south end of the garden…most of the time.

smoke

When I noticed Smokey drinking from a frog bowl, I remembered another one way back in the woods. I did not want it to get broken by a falling branch and made a quick dash of my own to get it, feeling rather stupid.  Obviously, I survived.

I pondered, while cutting down some Shasta daisies, that garden writer Christopher Lloyd was said to be a stickler for cutting stems low enough so that one does not get stabbed by sharp old stubs when weeding the following year.

left: not good enough; right: probably good enough for Christopher Lloyd

left: not good enough; right: probably good enough for Christopher Lloyd

I think of that whenever I get into a garden bed and cut down the perennials.

Ann Lovejoy is a big believer in waiting till spring when the stems often break off easily.  I used to leave my gardens a wild tangle all winter long, following her example.  Somehow, in tidying up gardens for the cities and resorts, I’ve come to enjoy a sparser winter look.

I like to leave plants up that have a good architectural shape, and anything potentially spooky looking has to be cut down shortly before Halloween for our Corridor of Dead Plants (more on this as the month progresses).  If I cut the spooky things too soon, they might soften up.

One of my lobelia tupas is finally blooming!  I have to move it away from Geranium ‘Rozanne’ soon.

But it is sideways and rather pitiful.

It is sideways and rather pitiful.

Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ is blooming, looks wonderful, and I remembered its name.  Also wonderful.

'Chocolate' Joe Pye Weed

‘Chocolate’ Joe Pye Weed with Euphorbia in front

Throughout the garden my large and sadly unlabeled collection of hardy Fuchsias still flowers profusely.

Fuchsias

some fuchsia or other

cheerful Helenium 'Sabin's Early'

cheerful Helenium ‘Sabin’s Early’

a late dahlia

a late dahlia

A white begonia reminds me of my friend Mary F. who had to move away for health reasons (to be closer to family).  Moving to a colder clime, she gave many of her plants to Peninsula friends.  A year after being told she was near death, she is still creating beauty all around her and has cancer beaten back.

Mary's white begonia

Mary’s white begonia

The cosmos in the boat are bravely blooming even though they have been sideways since recent winds.

the good ship 'Ann Lovejoy'

the good ship ‘Ann Lovejoy’

Over the roofs, I saw a blaze of red from Larry and Robert’s tree and telephotoed it so you can see it, too.

half a block to the west!

half a block to the west!

On the kitchen garden front, I got some more beautiful spuds out of the debris pile.

such pretty potatoes

such pretty potatoes

It just takes ruching around by hand to find these healthy tubers.

There’s plenty going on in the assorted squash patch by Nora’s driveway.  I have no idea when to harvest these or what to do with them!

big and green

big and green

I fooled Judy and even myself a couple of times with a glass gourd.  Now it has a real squash next to it.

real and fake

real and fake

I grew some zucchini, which I do not like, just because of the edible tour.  This round one might be ready for Judy to harvest (and she could get some little gold tomatoes out of the greenhouse, as well).

Oh, Judy...I can't tell if this little guy is ready or not.

Oh, Judy…I can’t tell if this little guy is ready or not.

Maybe a “zucchini squash” is not really a zucchini.

Another mystery squash...Is it supposed to turn orange, or what?!?

Another mystery squash…Is it supposed to turn orange, or what?!?

a pitiful harvest of sweet and delicious corn

a pitiful harvest of sweet and delicious corn

The day’s results:  After clipping out the unattractive old stems of shasta daisies and such, and the too tall, sideways falling stems of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, there is a little more definition in the big east side bed.

results

results

I did lots of cutting of daisies, Lemon Queen, and blue globe thistle stems, and pulling of volunteer nasturtiums in the west bed.  The rather warm wind was still whipping so I had to avoid the area closer to the trees.

west bed, before

west bed, before

The red drawer was planted for the edible garden tour with some old kale seeds.  I might as well have just stuck the label in and not planted the seeds.  They turned out to be no longer viable!  I got a fall crop of kale in two out of four drawers but don’t know what to do to make it tasty other than fry it up with bacon.  That would seem to defeat the purported health benefits of the kale.

after

after

I couldn’t haul the debris to the west side debris pile because it is way back past Danger Tree.

piles of debris on west path...for when the wind stops.

looking south at piles of debris on west path…for when the wind stops.

The new debris pile is almost all the way to the south end of the fence.

through a west gate: the autumn garden

through a west gate: the autumn garden

My latest plan is to put the Gearhart Garden tour inspired scree garden to the right, next to the garden boat.  Or maybe a pond!  But then where will the scree garden go?  Such a dilemma.

I stopped before dark.  The wind was getting pretty annoying.  I got Allan’s clippers back into the van and I don’t think he realized I used them.  The truth will come out tomorrow when I have to use his back-up clippers for work.

south window view

south window view

Allan does his own thing on days off, which today had something to do with the lawnmower being drained, and the hood of the van being open while he did something about the engine, and some sawing noises, and the putting up of the Halloween lights!

spider lights

spider lights

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Friday, October 4, 2013

South end days have more work time because of less of a commute..  We started with Mayor Mike’s house just a few blocks to our east.

Mike's house

Mike’s house

I like it that the mayor lives in a “double wide” just like we do.

mike

Our first job would have been even closer if I had remembered that we had dropped off, the evening before, two half buckets of gravel for a tiny project at Larry and Robert’s garden less than a block to our west.  But I did not remember till dusk.

When we stopped off at home to put some of the compostable debris from Mike’s into our clippings piles, I saw the blooming Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince’ near the driveway.

a Very Good Aster

a Very Good Aster

I realized that what with the rain, I had been spending very little time in my own garden.

dahlia

A dahlia near the debris pile caught my eye…and next to it a stunning clematis that has been blooming on and off all summer.

Clematis

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Nearby, I found a baby artichoke.  I wonder if there will be time for it to get large enough to eat.

The plant is young, so this bodes well for next year.

The plant is young, so this bodes well for next year.

Smokey wished I would stay home (and so did I).

smokey

Smokey in his BirdsBeSafe collar.

But we had things to do in Long Beach town.

west side of Long Beach City Hall

west side of Long Beach City Hall

The west side of city hall has two escallonias (one Pink Princess, one white Iveyi) that have gotten too big (my fault).  I don’t want them scraping at the building during wind storms.

before

before

They were pushing out too far on the sidewalk side, as well.  I had already trimmed them back a bit just awhile ago.  Now, if they had been in my garden, I would just have cut them almost to the ground and let them come back.  (Not quite true:  In my garden, they are planted where they can get to full size…proof this planting was far from my wisest choice.  Live and learn.)  But I thought that would be too shocking to passersby.  So I pruned the one at the north end of the bed into a more tree like, cleaned up form, and figured that later, when light that now can get to the inside gets more foliage to break out, I would cut it down.  It came out looking all right, but unfortunately the one at the south side proved to have such an ugly trunk shape that we DID have to cut it most of the way down.

after:  Once you cut it, you can't put it back.

after: Once you cut it, you can’t put it back.

Drat.  Now my plan is to chop down the one on the north end as soon as the weather gets bleaker.  Phooey.

While we were pruning, an acquaintance from the past, the daughter of the late Don Woodcock who once lived in Seaview, stopped by to visit and said she reads my blog.  How in the world did she find it, I asked, and she said something like “I’m nosy”.  I laughed, because I have been known to Google people.  I was pleased to learn that Don’s grand old Seaview house, The Sandcastle, is now a lived in family home again.  It and the Collie House are my favourite two Seaview houses.  I promised her I would stop by and take a new photo of the house.  I had noticed on driving by that the yard is looking cared for and pruned and all spruced up lately.

Across the street, our next door neighbours from Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm have some great new signage on their new coffee/juice shop.

Akari Space signs

Akari Space signs

closer...I love "mission control"

closer…I love “mission control”

I wonder if Jared and Jessika (who live right next door to our house) would notice if I stole “mission control” for one of our Tangly Cottage signs.

While I’m writing about admiration of artistry, here is one of the many mosaic tiles by Renee O’Connor that are set into the sidewalk along Beach Boulevard Street and the Bolstadt Beach Approach.

signs

This one reminded me that it is a clam digging weekend and that we should check the condition of the planters along the beach approach roads, so we did that next.

rose hips in the beach approach garden

rose hips in the beach approach garden

the last of the rugosa rose blossoms

the last of the rugosa rose blossoms

late blooms on Rosa Rugosa

late blooms on Rosa Rugosa

We did some clean up of wind toppled Cosmos at the Boreas Inn and some impatient deadheading of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ at the Long Beach welcome sign.

looking very tired now

looking very tired now

We had just one more plant (a blue oat grass) to pop into the newly cleared (formerly Pampas Grass) area in front of Marie Powell’s studio in Ilwaco.

fresh plants, fresh river rock

fresh plants, fresh river rock

When we got home, I decided I must make a twilight tour of the garden because I was behind on my plant appreciation.

a cheerful yellow...Rudbeckia? or ?? in front garden

a cheerful yellow…Rudbeckia? or ?? in front garden

monkshood and fuchsia

monkshood and fuchsia

Echinacea 'Green Envy'

Echinacea ‘Green Envy’

late blooming red Salvia something or other

late blooming red Salvia something or other

Geranium 'Rozanne' river is tired but still somewhat blue

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river is tired but still somewhat blue

Cardoon against the sunset sky

Cardoon against the sunset sky

In the last of daylight, I picked some more tomatoes and peppers from the greenhouse and some Cox’s Orange Pippin apples from our young apple tree.  How I love that I HAVE the very British Cox’s Orange Pippin apple…  It is susceptible to disease but oh how delicious.  I read somewhere that the Pacific Northwest is the only place where it will grow as well (or almost as well) as it does in England.  We got the tree at Brim’s Farm and Garden in Astoria.  I may be picking these apples a bit too early, but I am afraid they will fall off the tree as it is heavily laden for its small size…and supposedly they will ripen more indoors.

peppers green, chocolate (not really) and hot...several kinds of tomatoes...orange pippin apples

peppers green, chocolate (not really), banana and hot…several kinds of tomatoes…orange pippin apples

I am very impressed with the bell peppers grown in the greenhouse!

We have to work on Saturday but I do hope for Sunday off to spend some time in our own garden.

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Saturday, August 31

The idea of regularly taking weekends off is a new development, and perhaps one that we will regret come the winter if the money gets low.  It’s part of my “life is too short” philosophy and the desire to spend more time in my own home and garden.

I had Saturday to myself because Allan had gone to Olympia for the day for a family obligation.

I’m still working on getting a good photo of the “Butterfly Gladiolus”.

gladiolus papilio

gladiolus papilio

called "Butterfly Glad" because of the markings inside the flower

called “Butterfly Glad” because of the markings inside the flower

On the way to Olde Towne for coffee, I stopped at Larry’s Antique Gallery Too! shop just for fun and to catch up on town gossip  news.

Antique Gallery

Antique Gallery

There is always a shop dog to pet.  Of three of the Larry and Robert dogs, this is usually the one:

Sophie

Sophie

The shop is lush with beautiful objects…

shop

After my midmorning coffee and a treat at Olde Towne Café, I headed for the Saturday Market via the Antique Gallery, Robert’s branch of the family business.

cute kitchen towels at Robert's antique shop

cute kitchen towels at Robert’s antique shop

The two Antique Galleries and Olde Towne Trading Post are a big draw for antiquers and I always think of my grandma going “antiquing” on Greenwood Avenue in Seattle when I see the happy browsers in the shops.

I walked past the Ilwaco boatyard….

Picotee cosmos at the boatyard

Picotee cosmos at the boatyard

My friend and basketmaker from Seattle, Pat Reese, gave me this grass long ago.  It has beautiful soft plumes and is a runner but not too annoyingly so.  Can anyone ID it for me?  It is a nice alternative for pampas grass because it stays much smaller and its blades are not as sharp and harsh…if it is not considered noxious because of its spreading habit.

a lovely grass at the south end of the boatyard garden

a lovely grass at the south end of the boatyard garden

I did my usual stint photographing the Saturday Market for Discover Ilwaco.  For the blog, some garden related photos:

succulents

succulents

salsa in a bag from De Asis Farm

salsa in a bag from De Asis Farm

flowers and herbs from Pink Poppy Farm (at the Pink Poppy Bakery booth)

flowers and herbs from Pink Poppy Farm (at the Pink Poppy Bakery booth)

I saw, taking photos (of dogs, she said) my good new friend Donna, someone I am fortunate to have met through Facebook.

Donna sighting on a booth dog

Donna sighting on a booth dog

The local Facebook connections have been an amazing boon to my sense of being connected to other like minded folks on the Peninsula.

Donna's dog Chloe:  15 years old

Donna’s dog Chloe: 15 years old

good advice

good advice

Another friend connection:  Our friend Kelly’s booth of screen printed apparel:

Blue Crab Graphics

Blue Crab Graphics; her sign is made from an old screen printing frame

As I walked the two blocks home, for once not going in through the field and my back gate, I saw that water was rising at the meander line that divides the parking lots from our residences.

The grove of trees marks the Bogsy Wood.

The grove of trees marks the Bogsy Wood.

Other than social and photographic wanderings, I did my first mowing with our new gas mower.  It definitely goes faster than the rechargeable electric one.  I would have stuck with the electric for ecological reasons but for its battery getting old and a replacement would have been ridiculously expensive…and its mowing path was quite narrow.

My big new idea is to mow this fall and leave unmowed all the edge areas that do not flow easily into the mowing pattern and then cut those bits of sod out with a half moon edger.  Mowing without having to back up and fiddle around with awkward areas is my goal.

Sunday, September 1

Here’s another grass in my garden for which I crave an identification.  Pam and Cathie from Back Alley Gardens had an idea when they visited, but I forgot the name Pam suggested.

It is delicate and reddish and I got it at a Hardy Plant weekend or maybe Cistus nursery.

It is delicate and reddish and I got it at a Hardy Plant weekend or maybe Cistus nursery.

I need to divide a bit off of this and put some down at the boatyard!

New idea:  Plant peas and beans in containers like this along the fence; they won’t have to fight with tree and shrub roots of the mixed border hedges I am trying to grow.

not elegant but works well

not elegant but works well

Looking back on my attempt to grow “edibles” for the edible tour, I think it worked out pretty well.  I still have lots of tomatoes…more than I can use so I share with Judy and Devery.

greenhouse tomatoes

greenhouse tomatoes

tomatoes

I had more cucumbers than I could eat and shared with Devery, Judy and Mary N!

I have some peppers coming along in the greenhouse as well.

peppers

banana peppers

The crop of cilantro is substantial although I and Mary N’s husband seem to be the only ones who like it.

slow bolting cilantro

slow bolting cilantro

The hops are ornamental as far as I am concerned because I don’t make beer.  However, Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery told me that dried hops are good in sleepytime tea so I am going to give that a try for my chronic insomnia.  (I can sleep, but not till two AM!)

hops on the old clotheline

hops on the old clotheline

Red Runner beans look gorgeous against the back wall of Allan’s shed…but don’t seem to be all that tasty so I just grow them to look good.

red runner beans

red runner beans

and a showy dark purple bean

and a showy dark purple bean

Before the edible tour, in order to keep the lettuce from bolting, I was dedicated to harvesting the young leaves and making salads.  I must admit I have not done so since tour day.  Now it has gone old and bitter and I should compost it and plant a fall crop (if it is not too late….maybe in the greenhouse)…

lettuce bowl, given to me by Nancy Allen

lettuce bowl, given to me by Nancy Allen

My favourites are the ornamental flowers and if I were still making salads, I’d be putting begonia flowers in them.

The yellows taste like citrus and the reds taste like berries!

The yellows taste like citrus and the reds taste like berries!

The long stretch of lawn going back to the bogsy wood culminates in something new now:

looking south

looking south

a new debris pile built on newspaper

a new debris pile built on newspaper

I am hoping to take the old debris pile on the other side of the garden, clean it up, get all the spuds out and make it into a garden bed.

How can I have run out of space for new beds in such a large yard?

I continue to debate about whether or not to have the Danger Tree…quite dead…cut down or wait and see if it falls.  It shouldn’t hit the house unless it really flew, but might take out some fence.

shade

The bark is cracking in an ominous way.

bark

I hope I can have it cut just above the branches where the blue bottles hang and if a tree cutter could make it look kind of rough like it broke naturally, it would make a most convincing snag.

It's too dangerous to leave even though the birds love it.

It’s too dangerous to leave even though the birds love it.

An arbourist assured me it had just died of old age, not because I built a carefully shallow bed on one side of it.

shade bed

shade bed

an orchid? or lily? growing in the shade

an orchid? or lily? growing in the shade

(In my old garden and in my clients’ gardens, I know every plant but in my own I have lost track…from planting it up so quickly over just two years.)

As the day progressed, I had company expected and unexpected.

Garden Blogger Alison of Bonney Lassie arrived at three and we had a splendid talk and walk throughout the garden.

Alison taking photos...

Alison taking photos…

She is also someone I met through Facebook’s network of gardeners.

Gene Miles came by with a friend and I had another pleasant walk seeing it through others’ eyes.  His friend from Oregon proved to be knowledgeable about plants but was camera shy.

Gene is not the shy type.

Gene is not the shy type.

Pretty soon Judy came by with Beep, both on the way home from a walk.

The well trained Beep!

The well trained Beep!

Judy and I had been neighbours for over a year when we became Facebook friends and found out much more quickly than in the old fashioned way just how much we had in common.

Judy and The Beep

Judy and The Beep

We sat in the shade back by the fire circle because neither of us is fond of hot sun.

The gregarious cats Smokey, Mary and Frosty were thrilled to meet new people but as usual, Calvin made himself scarce and hid out indoors.

Smokey, people lover

Smokey, people lover (in his BirdsBeSafe collar)

Calvin the shy

Calvin the shy

Meanwhile, Allan was up to something…

a project

a project

allan

But I wasn’t sure what.

It turned out to be this:

a shelf for the van...

a shelf for the van…

that hold tools underneath

that hold tools underneath

If we have to eat rice and beans, forgo restaurants and have tea instead of fancy coffees at Olde Towne this coming January due to not having worked hard enough this summer, it will have been worth it for days like these.

evening peace in the garden

evening peace in the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 10, 2013

From Pink Poppy Farm on the west (ocean) side of the Long Beach Peninsula, we drove up, across 227th, and down again to a house almost directly across on the Willapa Bay side.  Here on a large property, Kim Patten, Extension Professor at Washington State University Cranberry Research Station, and Andrea Patten, Artisan Baker at her Wholesome Hearth Bakeries, have an extensive vegetable and fruit garden which they describe as “A functional garden designed to eat from year around”.

One enters on a long road with apple trees on both sides.

looking back (east) down the entry road

looking back (east) down the entry road

laden apple tree

laden apple trees behind deer fence

apple

Kim was there when we came for our pre-tour and told us that most of the apples are used for juicing, that he has done a lot of grafting, and that Liberty apple seems to be the most successful.  He agreed there were a lot of apples to pick and said they have a large family harvesting gathering in the fall from which they make quantities of juice.

I did not think to ask if they also harvest grapes.

I did not think to ask if they also harvest grapes.

The grapes grow over an old greenhouse.

The grapes grow over an old greenhouse.

another greenhouse to the north

another greenhouse to the north, built like half of a quonset hut

the half greenhouse

the half greenhouse with a solid wall on the north side

Across the driveway to the south of the apple orchard, grapes, and greenhouse is the fenced vegetable and fruit garden.

the garden

the garden

Kim by the deer fence

Kim by the deer fence

Lisa and Kim

Lisa and Kim (Allan’s photo)

I did not learn until revisiting this garden the Monday after the tour that the windowed area in the center of the house, seen above, is Andrea’s Wholesome Hearth Bakery.  Photos will be posted in the entry for Monday, August 12th.

Kim showed us all around the garden.

Kim giving a guided tour

Kim giving a guided tour

Kim, photo by Allan

Kim, photo by Allan

(One of Robert’s and my first gardening jobs on the peninsula was weeding, mowing and pruning at the Cranberry Research Station in 1994.  Robert even built them a set of steps, and I cleaned the office.  I don’t think I was a good employee; I worked hard but wanted to be independent (partly because we could make more money out on our own, and I was used to be self employed….so before long we moved on to our own business.  I still remember interesting things about it, like how they planted heather by the bogs to attract early pollinators and the use of evergreen huckleberry for a beautiful clipped hedge.)

Kim describes his raised bed methods to Lisa.

Kim describes his raised bed methods and crop rotation to Lisa.

raised bed and poly tunnel

raised bed and poly tunnel

a beautiful glaucous blue row of leeks

a beautiful glaucous blue row of leeks

Kim said the strawberry rows in the background, below, would be ripped out this fall and new ones planted.  I asked if he would use runners from the existed strawberries and he said he intends to buy new ones as they will produce better.

squash and strawberries

squash and strawberries

doomed strawberry patch!

doomed strawberry patch!

barrow

Out with the old! gestures Kim

Out with the old! gestures Kim.

The goal of the garden is to have something to eat from it year round.

veg

It contains a wide assortment of veg; the crops are rotated to different beds.

squash

Allan’s photo squash

thumbs up from Lisa!

thumbs up from Lisa! (Allan’s photo)

a German potato

Kim and a German potato, Allan’s photo

arugula flowers

arugula flowers

Cardoon

Cardoon

I was surprised to learn that cardoon, which in my own front garden is mistaken for artichoke by passerby, actually does have an edible portion under the flower.

Mary ("Lavender And"), Deanette, Kim, Lisa (garden tour organizer)

Patty (“Lavender And”), Deanette, Kim, Lisa (garden tour organizer)

I cannot remember what Kim was demonstrating, below; possibly he was telling us how he mulches with grass from the bay.

I should have been paying attention.

I should have been paying attention.

Deanette focused on learning.

Deanette focused on learning.

inside the veg garden, looking north across the entry drive toward the apple orchard

inside the veg garden, looking north across the entry drive toward the apple orchard

On the south side of the big fenced garden is a berry patch protected with bird netting.

assorted berries

assorted berries

berries

berries

He had tried a honeysuckle with an edible berry but said it was not very tasty; however, it was a beautiful plant.

the honeysuckle in question

the honeysuckle in question

By the garage grew an enormous fig tree.  I realized how very large the fig tree at Marilyn’s might get, and that if it were eventually limbed up it would not block the view from her living room.    I also had second thoughts about where I had planted the fig tree given to me by Nancy Allen!

fig tree being admired by Lisa and Mary.

fig tree being admired by Lisa and Patty.

The Pattens keep chickens, and just one was out to entertain us and be photogenic.

on the mulch pile

on the mulch pile

On the east side of the house, a few flower beds have been planted.

east side of house

east side of house

Note the shallots hanging from the porch; Nancy Allen especially likes these, so I will reprise my photo of them taken on my first visit there on August 6th.

drying shallots

drying shallots

As we walked around the house to the bay, Kim showed us the remnants of an Japanese style ornamental garden.

a formerly landscaped area with pond

a formerly landscaped area with pond

a lost bridge

a lost bridge

Allan found a Buddha.

Allan found a Buddha….

and a toppled lantern

and a toppled lantern

Kim said to us, “If it’s not edible, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it.  If it’s edible, at least I get something out of it.  Otherwise, it’s just a lot of work.”  He said Andrea had spoken of getting someone like us to bring the Japanese garden back.  My first reaction was the usual “don’t have time” but now, looking at the photos, I think it would be enormous fun!

Further remnants of ornamentals remain on the bay side of the house.

Willapa bay side

on the Willapa bay side of the house

by the bay

by the bay (Allan, Patty, Kim, Lisa)

more "edibles", clam beds!

low tide on the bay

more edibles: clam beds!

more edibles: clam beds!

Willapa Bay, looking north

Willapa Bay, looking north

old wood and native blackberry vine

old wood and native blackberry vine

Kim pointed out the beauty of a dead tree on the bay side, safely far enough from the house to let stand in its gnarly glory.

deadtree

Below: Allan winds his way through the lost Japanese garden beside an adorable little rental house.

a cute rental...we could live there and make an ornamental garden for Andrea!

a cute rental…

I was in awe of Kim’s vegetables and fruits and did not feel this garden needed to be ornamental in order to be impressive.  But I would kind of like to get into that pond area with a pruning saw and some loppers….

From here, Patty and Lisa left the pre-tour.  Patty would give Lisa a ride home and, we hoped, meet us a bit later at her lavender farm to show us around.

Next, Allan and I visit Deanette’s tiny new garden which, it turns out, is at a house that we know very well!

 

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August 10, 2013

I am certainly not tired of seeing photos of Pink Poppy Farm, even though this was the fourth time I had been there in a little over a month.

From the Edible Tour program:  Allow yourself time to explore this expansive, one acre country garden where edibles and flowers grow in harmony. Hens live happily in “The Imperial Chicken Palace.” Meandering through the property you will find two “and a quarter” poly tunnels that grow food for the family, the Pink Poppy Bakery market booth, and a few CSA boxes.  Masters of edible landscapes, the owners have lived and worked on the grounds for 19 years.  The garden is full of clever ideas for watering, fencing, and decor.

As usual, folks gathered by the gorgeous Imperial Chicken Palace.

Garden owner Mike Dickerson conferring with tour organizer Lisa Mattfield

Garden owner Mike Dickerson conferring with tour organizer Lisa Mattfield

looking east

looking east

Japanese anemone; this garden has room for thugs.

Japanese anemone; this garden has room for thugs.

One thug Lynn says she deeply regrets introducing is Aegopodium (bishops weed, ground elder) which came in with a plant and has run rampant.

squash

squash

entering the medium poly tunnel

entering the medium poly tunnel (Patty, Lynn Dickerson, Deanette, Lisa, Mike Dickerson

Lynn Dickerson and Deanette

Lynn Dickerson and Deanette

lettuce

lettuce

Even with all their space, I find it interesting that they grow lettuce in containers.  I find it much easier to do as one is somewhat less likely to find a slug on it.

pp

colourful kale

colourful kale

looking toward the big poly tunnel

looking toward the big poly tunnel

I love the arbour with nasturtiums on top.

I love the arbour with nasturtiums on top.

the big poly tunnel

the big poly tunnel

inside

inside

looking out the west door

looking out the west door

tomatoes, etc,  growing tall

tomatoes, etc, growing tall

The Dickersons pick a lot of leaves off their tomatoes.  I started doing this in my little greenhouse, as well.

Lynn shows Deanette the tiniest poly tunnel

Lynn shows Deanette the tiniest poly tunnel

sunflowers

sunflowers

shed on north side of garden

shed on north side of garden

 o so clever swing set bean support

o so clever swing set bean support

back to the house

back to the house

steps to the house level

steps to the house level

There were several guests there, family members as I recall, to help with prep for the garden tour.

prepping

prepping on the patio; pretty sure this is Lynn’s mum come to help

ingredients for garden art

ingredients for garden art

a gathering of gardeners

a gathering of gardeners

ppbeans2

ppbeans

garden discussion

garden discussion

more discussion and garden admiration

more discussion and garden admiration (Allan, Patty, Deanette, Lynn)

How I love this garden!  But we had to move on with two more garden for the group to see and then two more for Allan and I to visit for photos (while I mildly wondered if I really felt our own garden was perfectly ready for tour day tomorrow).

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I spent the weekend at home weeding and prepping for the Edible Garden tour.  My standards are high when my garden is on a tour so I even had to weed in the bogsy wood (so I told myself).  I must admit that part of each day was spent sitting with Judy (my gardening friend from four doors down!) either in her garden or mine.

Saturday, August 4, saw a mystery.  The night before, Frosty had come in without his BirdsBeSafe collar!  I was so hoping to find it and get it back on him before he resumed his hunting ways.  Saturday morning, I found this on the lawn near the patio:

The BirdsbeSafe collar cover laid out straight on the lawn, and a ways behind it, the quick release collar, also laying straight!

The BirdsbeSafe collar cover laid out straight on the lawn, and a ways behind it, the blue quick release collar, also laying straight!

Behind the collar was this paper, which had the words "food safe paper" so must have wrapped some take out food!

Behind the collar was this paper, which had the words “food safe paper” so it must have wrapped some take out food! (photographed later in the house)

I know some friends visited the garden a couple of days before and may have accidentally dropped some snack paper, but why in the world was it all lined up with the lost collar?   It remains a mystery, but Frosty again is wearing his colours.

Smokey models his BirdsBeSafe collar.

Smokey models his BirdsBeSafe collar.

Meanwhile, I had two edible garden triumphs.  Our neighbours had a surprise birthday party and as they spoke on their deck, I heard one guest ask “Where’s your basil?”  They had none!  I was able to pick a sizeable sheaf of basil from my greenhouse and, going to the fence, said “I couldn’t help but overhear;  here is some basil.”  Yes!   I am a legitimate edible gardener!

On Sunday, I saw that our friend, client, and realtor Cheri Diehl had posted on Facebook that if anyone was going to the Astoria Sunday Market, she needed some arugula and basil.  I was able to email her to come and get some and added a bouquet of sweet peas and a flower of edible tuberous begonia.

Cheri proves that my garden is edible!!

Cheri proves that my garden is edible!!

I was well chuffed to be able to share (had already been sharing cukes with Judy!) and it made me feel more ready for the edible tour.

Cheri made a Caprese salad with the arugula and basil (and, I gather, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes).

Some photos from the garden after a weekend of weeding:

A year and a month after being pruned hard and painted purple, the camellia is trying to make a comeback!

A year and a month after being pruned hard and painted purple, the camellia is trying to make a comeback!

shade bed by the bogsy wood

shade bed by the bogsy wood

cat bench

cat bench

Lilies, please last one more week til tour day!

Lilies, please last one more week til tour day!

not a good photo, but I love the accidental echo of a pale peachy hardy gladiolus with a pale peachy rose.

not a good photo, but I love the accidental echo of a pale peachy hardy gladiolus with a pale peachy rose.

Because the Depot Restaurant was having its yearly Paella special, we got a reservation for the latest possible spot in the evening (to allow as much gardening time as could be had.)

Paella...so delicious

Paella…so delicious

departing after dark

departing after dark

Depot aglow at night

Depot aglow at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We left the last garden on the Astoria garden tour and drove east down the hill to get back to the main road.

heading downhill

heading downhill just outside the final garden

In the above photo, you might see what caught my eye: a curbside garden on the left a few lots down.  And here it is:

peace house

peace house

We then, of course, went to Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  This time, they did have a selection of wonderful plants from Xera.

Back Alley Gardens

Back Alley Gardens

Allan sat on a bench and pointed out to me that it was like a wheelbarrow for moving around the garden but very stable to sit on.

wheeled bench

wheeled bench

We got some cool plants and achieved one of the main purposes of our visit: to get the Music in the Gardens poster up in their window.  The Back Alley/Natural Nook clerk offered to also put our poster in the Gearhart post office, if we would take some posters for the Gearhart tour north with us, so we did.

Natural Nook window

Natural Nook window with Music in the Gardens poster

CASA (Gearhart) tour poster

CASA (Gearhart) tour poster

We stopped at Seaside 7 Dees nursery for the same purpose (some cool plants and a poster distribution).

Seaside 7 Dees

Seaside 7 Dees

sign

sunflowers at 7 Dees

sunflowers at 7 Dees

a colourful display

a colourful display

and a cat on the sales counter

and a cat on the sales counter

Although we were eager to get to Costco before its early closing time on Saturdays (6 PM!), we had time do something I had been wanting to do:  walk through the Seaside Community gardens, an allotment patch (as they say in the UK) or P Patch (as they say in Seattle) along the old railway line beside the highway.

We walked from one end to the other, in haste but taking photos to peruse later.

Seaside Community Garden

According to this article, Pam Fleming of Back Alley Gardens (now located in Gearhart rather its former Seaside address) is involved in this fairly new community garden project, which I believe is only three years old.

patch

patch

patch

north end of first section

In the second section, it looks like the whole area was once nought but horrible horsetail.

horsetail

horsetail

As with the Long Beach welcome sign, it may have grown right up through this raised bed:

a problem

a problem

If so, the other gardeners were doing an amazing job of controlling it.

patch

further north

such lovely veg

such lovely veg

protection from critters (or humans)

protection from critters (or humans)

Allan taking photos

Allan taking photos

patch

looking north

looking north

artichokes

artichokes

chokes

garden

north end of community garden

north end of community garden

looking back south

looking back south

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

hose

sign

long view of the whole garden

long view of the whole garden

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11 August  Garden Four:  Millner garden by the Planter Box

a garden of edible beauty

a garden of edible beauty

For many years, the Millner family have operated a garden center and feed store called The Planter Box.  When I first moved here, the store was run by parents Ray and Barbara.  Now it is in the capable hands of son and daughter Raymond and Teresa,  with Barbara and Ray still turning their expertise to seed growing and plant propagation.  Here is where we buy all sorts of garden supplies and where farmers buy hay, horse treats, poultry feed, and even baby ducks, chickens, and rabbits.  Two of the family homes are right next door and in the huge back yard, Ray has created a vegetable garden that is a thing of beauty.  All the tour goers were treated to a guided tour by Ray himself of the extensive garden.

Ray waits to guide us through the garden.

Ray waits to guide us through the garden.

Ray used to be a teacher and gives a very good garden talk.

Ray used to be a teacher and gives a very good garden talk.

family homes and garden

family homes and garden

Ray and Barbara feed an entire extended family from this garden.  I think he said six people, maybe more, with enough left over to have a produce table at the Long Beach Grange farmers market.

I found this garden deeply inspirational in its classic formal vegetable garden loveliness.

vegetable rows

vegetable rows

fall crops just beginning

fall crops just beginning

inspirational

inspirational

rows of squash

rows of squash

This seems so idyllic to me: a family that gets along so well they run a business through two generations and have two homes on the same property.

Ray told us all about the coarse sand that he uses to improve his garden beds:

coarse sand improves the soil

coarse sand improves the soil

old blueberry bush which revived with dairy manure mulch

old blueberry bush which revived with dairy manure mulch

cow fiber mulch

cow fiber mulch

Ray also spoke highly of a product I love: washed dairy manure, sold as “cow fiber” by the yard at The Planter Box.  Because cows have a longer digestive process, their manure comes out with way fewer weed seeds than horse manure.  [Hmm, I googled how many stomachs a cow has and found this: “Technically a cow does not have four stomachs; it has 4 digestive compartments within their stomach. The four digestive compartments in order are:  reticulum (the hardware stomach, where foreign objects collect that cannot pass through the digestive system)
rumen (where bacteria break down cellulose and fibre from plant material)
omasum (absorbs water and digestible nutrients)
abomasum (which would be the true stomach, as in humans)”.  Little did I know; I always had the unscientific image of four stomachs!]

Horses are often treated with de-wormers, which is another reason that some organic gardeners prefer to not use horse manure.  The cow fiber at The Planter Box comes from Tillamook, Oregon, where cows are raised hormone-free.

[from Wikipedia’s entry about Tillamook’s dairies:  “The move that garnered Tillamook the most nationwide attention though, came in 2005, after a slew of consumer inquiries about dairies’ use of a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone designed to boost milk production. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had said milk products derived from cows injected with the hormone were safe, but consumer worries about potential cancer risks persisted.  Over objections from some member farmers and from biotechnology giant Monsanto, which manufactured the hormone, Tillamook County Creamery Association voted to require all its dairy suppliers to phase out its use. Tillamook was one of the first big national dairy brands to make such a decision.”]

Ray recommended two raspberries, Heritage and Polana.

Ray recommended two raspberries, Heritage and Polana.

the pond, looking east from house gardens

the pond, looking east from house gardens

Across a field from the vegetable garden, to the east, is a large natural pond.  Since retiring first from teaching and then from full time management of the garden center, Ray has been developing the north side of the pond into another vegetable area.  To get there, we walked between the main garden and a flock of happy chickens.

contented free range flock

contented free range flock

As we turned toward the pondside path, Ray drew our attention to his frame for hanging baskets.

Ray's hanging basket frame

Ray’s hanging basket frame

new beds north of pond

new beds north of pond

pondside garden

pondside garden

netted strawberries

netted strawberries

an idyllic setting

an idyllic setting

Ray's plan: to continue the path east with a bridge.

Ray’s plan: to continue the path east with a bridge.

looking west from the pondside path

looking west from the pondside path

Walking back toward the house gardens...

Walking back toward the house gardens…

chicken coop is upper right

chicken coop is to the right

Next Ray led us back along the pondside path, past the chicken coop and the big vegetable gardens, through one of the nursery propagation area, past greenhouses and storage buildings to another vegetable area behind the nursery itself. There, on a bed of old compost from the nursery, he had a bed of assorted lettuces backed with Jerusalem artichokes.

Ray speaks of compost to a rapt audience.

Ray speaks of compost, lettuces, and Jerusalem artichokes to a rapt audience.

He then led us out a long green road to a far flung potato patch in a clearing in the woods.  He told us he deliberately planted it that far out so that every day he would have a reason to take a long, healthful walk to check on the garden.

the long trek to the potato patch

the long trek to the potato patch

potato field

potato field

potato field

talking about spuds

digging up a spud

digging up a spud

As you can imagine, many different kinds of potatoes are grown in this field, and there is plenty of room to expand to fresh soil.  The plants thrive without any supplemental water being carried out there, and deer have no interest in scavenging potatoes.

Potato flowers are as lovely as those of ornamental potato vines.

beautiful potato flower

beautiful potato flower

On the green trek back to the nursery, I thought about how there does not seem to be as much joy and exuberance in the tour goers on an edible tour as what I have experienced on my many tours through ornamental gardens.  The feeling at the earlier gardens on the edible tour had been more serious and thoughtful and not especially lively.  Ray had excelled at sharing his great joy of vegetable gardening and had inspired me to make a greater attempt at incorporating more edibles in my garden.  (It would be easier if I had a whole ‘nother lot, because mine garden is sort of full up with non edible ornamentals now.)

the trek back to the nursery

the trek back to the nursery

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11 August, 2012  Garden Three: West garden

building materials sign

building materials sign

On a lot as small as many city lot, the West family of four produces enough to food to supply their own harvest table at the Long Beach Grange farmers’ market, all from a  garden which is, I believe, just a few years old.

Upon entering from the quiet street in a neighbourhood  in mid-Peninsula, one first sees an interpretive sign.  I am a big fan of such signs on a garden tour.

The chicken house caught my fancy  first.  Like the rest of the garden, it was simply practical.

chicken coop

chicken coop

chicken sign

chickens

chickens

chickens

chickens

Past the chicken coop by the garden fence, we were offered a delicious slice of bread and jam that is for sale at the Wests’ farmers market table.

bread and jam

bread and jam

We entered the garden area and perused a good selection of chicken books.  In my town, a friend and I had started a Facebook page called Ilwaco Citizens for Chickens in an attempt (later successful) to get the ordinance changed so that chickens could be raised within the city limits.  These books could be a good resource for new chicken people; my favourite chickens book of all time, though, has to be Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens, just because of its charm.

chicken books

chicken books

Just by the entrance to the garden area we found the compost pile, always a welcome site for the avid organic gardener.

compost bin

compost bin

[I recently learned that pallets are treated in different ways and perhaps only the heat treated ones are safe to use for edible gardening purposes.  This wikipedia article goes into great detail about the questionable food safety of some pallets, something to consider even when making the pallet projects that are so popular on Pinterest.]

The vegetable garden area had another helpful interpretive sign.

raised beds

raised beds

verticality

verticality

Another vegetable bed benefited from last year’s chicken area.

last year's chicken area

last year’s chicken area

Another sign gave a useful idea for raised bed construction.

boardssign

Lincoln log raised bed method

Lincoln log raised bed method

squash

squash

tomatoes

tomatoes

kale

kale

cauliflower

cauliflower

While impressed with the produce, I did find myself craving whimsy in this garden.  I wanted cute things on the fence and droll signs on the chicken house.  And it goes without saying that I would have painted the house some sort of fun colour. There is a fantastical place for the girls to play, though:  a creative playhouse tower.

playhouse

playhouse

Here’s the flyer for the Grange market.  Next: a large vegetable garden and an educational garden tour.

Grange market

Grange market

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