Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Eryngium’

We had three gardens left to see as I toured with Ann’s garden club from Vancouver, Washington.

Next was Jo’s garden, always a big favourite on a garden tour.  Ann had seen it before but agreed that it was even better this year.

entering Jo and Bob's little paradise

entering Jo and Bob’s little paradise

honeysuckle arbour and gate

honeysuckle arbour and gate

I have seen over and over how joyous expressions accompany Jo’s garden.

This colourful garden brings happiness.

This colourful garden brings happiness.

jo

Lavatera and Cosmos

taking pics and taking notes

taking pics and taking notes

chatting with Jo

chatting with Jo

A suspenseful situation was brewing while we were at Jo’s.  The next garden was to be Gene’s garden, and because of the story of how it had been created by him and his late wife Peggy,  it mattered to me greatly that he be there.  There is something that happens after a garden tour if you are going through a hard time in life.  The tour preparation can be very absorbing and distracting, and the tour day is an exhilarating high…and then one crashes and reality sets in.  This happened to my friends Tom and Judy when their garden was on tour while he was going through chemo.  Right after the tour, reality hit them with a thud.  (I am happy to say he is fine over a year later!)  The same happened to Gene:  the let down after tour day and all the memories that he was able to share about Peggy’s garden.  I knew having Ann’s club come through the garden would be a pick me up, just as it was last year for Tom and Judy.  So  I called him as soon as we got to Jo’s to say we would be at his home in about half an hour.  He told me there was a problem:  he had to meet briefly with an engineer.  He’s the Long Beach City Administrator so has many responsibilities.  I decided (conspiring with Ann) that I had to delay the tour, somehow, even though the garden club members were getting hungry…so after Jo’s, I took them next door to see the garden at the Boreas Inn, just two doors north.   The beautiful interior of the inn (which we walked through) and the gardens on the west side between the inn and the dunes kept them occupied for a little while longer.  I was so anxious about timing that I forgot to take any photos of them there.

After that, I could delay no longer and we went to the south end of Long Beach to Gene’s garden:  The Peggy Miles Memorial Garden.  Gene had not yet returned…

the garden club at Gene's

the garden club at Gene’s

Ok, if he could not meet them, I decided I would at least have a photo for him, and I gathered the club members in the courtyard.  (They had already oohed and ahed over its every detail.)

Ann is third from the right.

Ann is third from the right.

But then, as they began to leave the courtyard, I had an idea.  I did not want them to miss the essence of this garden, so I called to Ann to get them to wait while I looked something up on my iPhone.  Of course, it took a long time to load…and I could not find the photo that I needed on Facebook…and then I remembered Debbie Teashon’s beautiful article about the garden on her website, Rainyside.com.  I knew the photo was there…and it loaded.  So I exerted all my crowd control and gathered the ladies back into the courtyard.  I said, “You must hear these words to understand this garden completely.  This was what Gene wrote and had on a display of photos of Peggy and her garden for the guests to read on tour day.”  And I read from my little phone screen, somehow without crying:

Gene's story of the garden

Gene’s story of the garden

The garden club was so moved, all were misty eyed, and one was weeping.  They expressed awe at how beautifully written the words were.   We then went around to the front of the townhouse so I could get one last photo of the group for Gene.

around the house for a photo

around the house for a photo

One group member said she was still crying.  As I took the photo…he drove up!  You can see the members of the club turning their heads as his car turns into the drive.

gene arrives

My mission was complete, and there was a little time for visiting.  Gene was told how much they appreciated what he wrote, and that they were not sure all husbands would do the same for their wives.  The mood was lightened when I said that is exactly what had been heard on tour day:  Women saying “I don’t think my husband would do this for me!”  Gene spoke of how he had gone to grief counseling and learned that you really do not “get over” such a loss, and it is okay, or good, to not get over it.  (Who would want to “get over” someone they loved?)

Gene and the garden club talk of love and loss.

Gene and the garden club talk of love and loss.

After that, we had only my garden to walk through.

Ann's garden club in my garden

Ann’s garden club in my garden

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' being admired

an Eryngium being admired

We walked round all the beds and talked plant talk.   The garden club is comprised of women who, I realized when I rode around with them, talk of country clubs and travel at an economic level that is miles beyond my working class life, but they have just as much interest in a good garden attached to a humble “double wide trailer” as they do in a fine garden in a gated community like Butterfly Shores.  I like that.

more attention for the Eryngium!

more attention for the Eryngium!

And then they all departed to have their lunch, with lots of appreciation for their tour day, leaving me with the late afternoon and evening to do my own preparations for the edible garden tour which would be just four days hence.

Read Full Post »

As the garden tour approaches, life gets more pressured.  I have friends visiting my garden also even though it is not on the tour and I want it to look good but our time is limited.  Tonight had two “notes” to put together for the Facebook page (garden descriptions and music schedule) and now I have six or was it seven gardens from the Astoria garden tour to write about.  I am fairly obsessed, though, with trying to follow the quotidian working year, so here we go about last Friday.

July 12:

weekly deadheading and horsetail control of welcome sign

weekly deadheading and horsetail control of welcome sign

Yellow is said to stop the eye for a second (which fact I learned from Lucy Hardiman) so is good for a commercial roadside garden.

Then while Allan turned on the Sid Snyder beach approach planters I began to water the Long Beach main street planters, hoping to get at least halfway done before a garden tour event intervened.

yellow and yellow

yellow and yellow

painted sage, California poppy, Agyranthemum 'Butterfly'

painted sage, California poppy, Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’

Crazy about Geranium 'Rozanne' in the planters, thus will get more so almost every planter has some.

Crazy about Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the planters, thus will get more so almost every planter has some.

Salvia viridis (painted sage) in front of Home at the Beach

Salvia viridis (painted sage) in front of Home at the Beach

tourist bikes by the Long Beach fifth street restroom

tourist bikes by the Long Beach fifth street restroom

The basket, above, is by Nancy Aust of Basket Case Greenhouse; the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’ from Heirloom Roses.  She does not get powdery mildew like ‘Dorothy Perkins’ rose.

Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

I worked my way as far north as Marsh’ Free Museum by which time Allan had caught up to me just watering the street tree pocket gardens.  He then had to take over all the watering while I walked down to Nancy’s house to meet her for a trip to Astoria.

approaching Nancy's garden

approaching Nancy’s garden

Nancy has a very good idea regarding local real estate:  That gardeners should be able to find out from the realtor which lots are best for gardening.  A realtor could specialize in this.  Upon moving to this lot just south of downtown, she found it to be much windier than she expected and harder to grow veg in.  Bayside gardens are much milder for gardening.  Nevertheless, I think she is doing a remarkable job.

Nancy's veg

Nancy’s veg, looking south

looking north-ish

looking north-ish

Her sweet peas are much better than mine....envy!

Her sweet peas are much better than mine….envy!

My sweet peas at home were a fail this year.  I got a few, but the vines are not growing very tall.  The slugs got a lot of them…I was too busy to monitor them.

Nancy's garlic will be ready at the right time because (unlike me) she planted it on time.

Nancy’s garlic will be ready at the right time because (unlike me) she planted it on time.

The flower border is coming along slowly...

The flower border is coming along slowly…(foreground:  Sanguisorba)

And then, Nancy and I headed to Astoria to talk about the Music in the Gardens tour on KMUN radio.  One can never tell how long the bridge trip will take because of ongoing road work, so we got there early enough to stop at the Astoria food co op.

food coop garden

food co op garden

And then….KMUN.  Despite having a friend, Jeannine Grey, who had a jazz show on this community station, I had never looked closely at the building and had no idea it is so lovely.

KMUN

KMUN

inside was plush

inside was plush

fireside

fireside

The view from the KMUN house is spectacular; no wonder Jeannine liked going there so much.

the view of the Columbia River

the view of the Columbia River

Our little talk went well.   Many years ago I had an FCC license to work on a radio show (“Surviving in the Patriarchy”) on KRAB community radio in Seattle.  Still, just before our interview today I thought I would freeze up, but we managed to remain coherent as we spoke about the Music in the Gardens tour.

There was no time for lollygagging in Astoria so back to the Peninsula we went.  Nancy’s car is a little higher off the ground than Allan’s, so my bridge phobia was not as bad as usual.

In Long Beach, we did a walk through of the Columbia Pacific Farmer’s Market on Veteran’s Field.  For me, that did count as lollygagging, because Allan was still working on the Long Beach watering.

tomato plants at the market

tomato plants at the market

jello mold of sedums

jello mold of sedums

spuds

This market, every Friday in the late afternoon to early evening, is growing larger.  What a nice place for people coming into town to buy some fresh food for their beach cabins.

strawberries

strawberries

flowers

flowers

farms

Two of the Starvation Alley folks are our next door neighbours.

Two of the Starvation Alley folks are our next door neighbours.

Starvation Alley’s goal is to grow organic cranberries, which is more unusual than you might think.

Hrm, clearly I should have harvested my kale when younger....

Hrm, clearly I should have harvested my kale when younger….

chicken

I read on Facebook that the chicken had to do with “Chicken Poop Bingo”.  That’s all I know about that.

vegie

shoppers with flowers

shoppers with flowers

choc

I wish I had tried some of that chocolate.  Sometimes I am so busy taking photos I don’t stop to actually participate.

I did buy a cupcake for me and one for Allan at this booth:

Wholesome Hearth Bakery

Wholesome Hearth Bakery

I wish I had tried these as well!

I wish I had tried these as well!

Of course for me, a lot of my thoughts go to our gardens as they relate to various events.

flowers with music

flowers with music

Veterans Field garden and market

Veterans Field garden and market

OleBob's booth (from the Port of Ilwaco)

OleBob’s booth (from the Port of Ilwaco)

Enough dillydallying at the market…I joined Allan and we went to the Bolstadt approach to bucket water the planters.  I had asked if the city crew could do this with their new water truck, but we had to check…and the planters were dry.

Allan bucket watering

Allan bucket watering

In the garden, the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ has begun to bloom:

This plant always gets comments and questions.

This plant always gets comments and questions.

Bolstadt approach garden, looking east

Bolstadt approach garden, looking east

work intermission:  Allan later shared with me a little lollygagging of his own, as I had asked him to take some photos of City Sandsations’ progress on their sculptures by Veterans Field.  Here they are along with his photos of the market.  Our work life is deeply affected by the round of festivals that begins in the spring and continues most weekends till mid-September, so we might as well enjoy and share what we see.

P7120002_2 P7120005_2 P7120012_2 P7120015_2 P7120020_2 P7120023_2 P7120043_2 P7120047_2 P7120049_2 P7120060_2 P7120068_2 P7120069_2

After our watering and light weeding session on the beach approach, we watered the curbside gardens along Howerton at the Port of Ilwaco.

Gaura at the port

Gaura at the port

I weeded the port office garden.

I weeded the port office garden.

Eryngium and Lavender on Howerton

Eryngium and Lavender on Howerton

And then…home to water in the last light of day.

home at last

home at last

poppies

poppies at home

Read Full Post »

After a detailed viewing of each area and plant in Tom and Judy’s garden, Ann brought her garden club four doors east to walk through our garden.  We began with everyone smelling the peanut butter foliage fragrance of Melianthus major (South African honey bush) by the sidewalk fence.  (Some have dared to say it smells like old socks, but I tell you, it smells just like peanut butter!)

Melianthus major

Melianthus major

The tour of fragrance continued with the low, lemony smelling Santolina (lavender cotton) next to the driveway.  I realize that in many cases I will grow a quiet little plant specifically for its fragrance (although I also do love the look of Santolina’s silver, green or chartreuse foliage).

sniffing santolina

sniffing santolina

along the front path

along the front path

in the front garden

in the front garden

Foreground, above:  a tall Eryngium (sea holly) in blue, another Eryngium in silver-blue, and chartreuse Nicotiana langsdorfii.

between house and shed

Between house and shed…

several club members took photos of this scene,

several club members took photos of this scene.

“As I gaze upon the garden, my heart grows peaceful, still.

From its colour comes my being, from its spirit comes my will.”

I love putting that quotation by Ryan Gainey in my garden because his video called Creating the Romantic Garden was enormously influential in my choice to buy a garden of my own down here.  (Note: I need to write about that sometime.)

At left corner of photo above, you can see a gardener pausing to examine a “before” photo of the garden.

into the back garden

into the back garden

in the back garden

in the back garden

looking south at the river of hardy Geranium 'Rozanne'

looking south at the river of hardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’

My Rozanne river, inspired by a photograph in a lecture by Adrian Bloom at the Hardy Plant Society study weekend 2010, has been a big success in my garden, blooming from early June through October.  The slide showing Adrian’s own blue Rozanne river might have been why I decided I had to move from my old shady garden to this sunny one.

at the south end of the big flower beds

at the south end of the big flower beds

Everyone had to go past the fire circle to the bogsy woods and look at the fairy doors.

steps to a fairy door

steps to a fairy door

fire circle and bogsy woods

fire circle and bogsy woods

back to the driveway

back to the driveway

photography

photography

As we lingered in the front driveway, one of the club members photographed a frog on a flower…

Frog on Cosmos in front garden

Frog on Cosmos in front garden

Finally, Tom Hornbuckle took two photos of me and Judy; I had remembered them as being taken on post tour day (which is where I posted the other one), but now I realize that they were on this happy garden day.

gardening neighbours

gardening neighbours

It is a real bond being on the garden tour (a bond we also share with Ann of today’s garden club, whose garden was also on the Peninsula tour).  We worried about weeding, new plants, had we spent too much? (no doubt!) and what refreshments to serve, but it was all very worthwhile.

Read Full Post »

A week of planting and watering and the refurbishing of a small entry garden….and two plant buying excursions, including today’s blessedly rainy day….How we rejoice to think of rain falling on the beach approach, the new plantings at Linda’s, the new garden we planted in Nahcotta, and all the tree and planter gardens in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

Last Sunday during a rare and wonderful DAY OFF, I gave Allan all my shade plants from my plant ghetto (the unplanted languishing pots of purchased plants): some choice black and double hellebores, a stunning dark purple heuchera, and a golden threadleaf Sambucus.  I can see his garden from the kitchen window, and simply did not have time to weed shady areas in my garden to plant anew, whereas his garden is still mostly a blank slate (but no longer).  Meanwhile, due to plant expedition number one, which was mostly for Linda (blue things to commemorate her late beloved husband, whose favourite colour that was), and the new Nahcotta garden, the patio had refilled with plants.

(left) again the patio fills with plants waiting new homes (right) Wow! Diascia ‘Piccadilly Denim Blue’’ from Raintree…. exciting.

I got some wonderful plants at Raintree, where the displays are always seductive, but I’d like to compliment the Warrenton Fred Meyer whose garden manager has done some beautiful displays with simple but effective patterns of plants and cottage stone.

(above) Kudos to the manager of Warrenton’s FM for creating pleasing displays

As usual, mixed in with the standard fare the Warrenton FM had a few choice surprises: Black Taro for $4.00, and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’, which I had fruitlessly sought elsewhere.

A note re local shopping: Our Peninsula nurseries have wonderful choices and a wide selection, but plant nuts such as myself have to hit every nursery within many miles to make sure we have not missed out on one rare find.

Monday and Tuesday we descended with a carload of plants upon the entryway garden of a Nahcotta house about to be sold.  I had warned the potential client about my plant-nuttiness, and that I would follow my own plant design (lust?) rather than the tidy plans someone had skillfully drawn up, so away we went with an extensive weeding and soil improvement and  rearrangement of paths.   We diverged from the plan in plant choice, but I think it will be quite lovely.

Nahcotta project, before and after (above and below)

And (below) the million dollar view from the large property…. mostly pastures calling for trees, shrubs, adornment…and far more money and youth than we possess, but oh, what an opportunity for someone.

I gave up mowing after breaking one too many lawn mowers by asking of them feats that a push mower was never made to do.

Read Full Post »