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Posts Tagged ‘escallonia’

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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In the fall, we got a call from Phyllis, who owned a vacation house midway up the peninsula.  She wanted a beachy garden and because we immediately, upon meeting her and her spouse Robert, we knew we were sympatico with their artistic sensibilities and agreed to add the job.

She then told us that someone had said to her that she would be lucky if we showed up.  We had always been known as reliable, but apparently someone had been disappointed in our not taking on a new job during the early part of the year when Robert had, excuse me! been suffering from a heart attack!  That was pretty annoying.  But Phyllis soon realized that she could count on us.

We started with a day of prep collecting driftwood for the garden.

collecting driftwood from our best secret place

collecting driftwood from our best secret place (NOT the state park)

Below, a trailer full of driftwood.  We were now using a Jeep because our van had given out.  I liked the Jeep very much.

bounty

bounty

Below:  the entry garden, after digging out the sod:

entry garden

entry garden

Because we wanted to be able to plant bulbs that autumn throughout the garden, we dug it out rather than using the newspaper method.

entry garden day two

entry garden day two

The yard on the west side of the house went up to (and actually was partly on) state park land, so nothing would ever be built to spoil the view over the dunes.  All the way up the peninsula are odd little “piano keys” of park land, sometimes only two lots wide.  This was one of the piano keys.

west side, day one

west side, day one

day one, defining edges with the half moon edger

day one, defining edges with the half moon edger

west side, end of day one

west side, end of day one

the pile of soil for Sea Nest

the pile of soil for Sea Nest

Escallonia hedge going in on north side of the west garden

Escallonia hedge going in on north side of the west garden

Robert’s brilliant idea and creation was the driftwood temple in the corner of the west side garden.

temple

temple

detail of temple entry

detail of temple entry

newly planted west side garden

newly planted west side garden, with grass planted in driftwood

newly planted west side garden, with grass planted in driftwood

We placed a driftwood “treasure bench” by the gate leading in from the dunes path.

treasure bench

treasure bench

We met the nice neghbours to the north, Bobbi and June (who had met playing softball back in the era of World War II and been together ever since).  The invited us up to see the garden from their window.

Bobbi and June's view of the garden

Bobbi and June’s view of the garden

Here’s a window view from inside Seanest of the garden before:

from living room, before

from living room, before

and after

and after

This would be the last garden that Robert and I created together.

Although Phyllis and Robert sold the house a few years, it is still a vacation rental and we care for the (now simplified to need less watering) garden to this day.  I miss Phyllis and Robert.   On my new-at-the-time website, I have a page of Seanest owner Robert’s poetry about the garden and beach life, and beautiful entries by guests who wrote in the house journal.  I am adding the house journal entries here because I am simply in love with journal entries written by vacationers.

The new garden makes us smile. We love the creativity and gentle nurturing and amazing knowledge of beach gardens that Skyler and Robert of Tangly Cottage bring to us. Soon we’ll have our rose covered cottage that I always dreamed of. What wonderful surprises we have ahead!

– (Phyllis Ray)

In Sea Nest we are able to dream with angels, near heaven, at the sea, at the beach.

– (Brad Lee Miller)

Windless night, almost full moon, silent silver seagrass standing still. Short shadows precede us down to the beach. The sea flirts with kissing our feet.

– (Phyllis Ray)

We got such a lovely surprise when we arrived here as we are visiting from the UK and to see such a large beach house, as back home a beach house would be the size of a garden shed.

– (guests from the UK)

A weekend at the beach brings back all the good memories from childhood staying at grandma’s house. Just what I was needing…mission accomplished. I sure do miss her and the days at the beach.

– (Kimberley)

Ag 2 99 Flowers. The flower beds in Long Beach…and meeting Schuyler from Tanglewood Cottage – the master gardener who is responsible for many of the gardens that caught my eye. I began to see her signature…could tell which gardens she does.

– (Phyllis Ray)

“The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.”   Henry Beston, 1928, from The Outermost House

– (quoted in Sea Nest house diary)

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My mother moved to Long Beach in June 1999.   We talked her into it over the two years after my father died.

She had come to gardening late, getting interested in it when she was 50.  As a child, she had worked on her father’s farm after school and swore she would never garden again, but the passion for plants finally caught up to her.

Below:  her house before we started the new garden.

Before, south side.  The property was two lots.

Before, south side. The property was two lots.

looking south from the house, with a pile of soil

looking south from the house, with a pile of soil

We spent every Sunday that whole summer and fall creating garden beds for her. The concrete strips had originally supported a single wide home. The previous owner had planted some shrubs and trees in that strip, some of which we moved to further out along the edges of the garden.

mom's, south side, before

mom’s, south side, before, with a pile of soil and some rocks having been delivered

Robert working on a new border in Mom's garden

Robert working on a new border in Mom’s garden

spring 2000

spring 2000
early spring 2000, looking south from the porch

early spring 2000, looking south from the porch

spring 2000, looking south from the porch

spring 2000. An escallonia hedge curved along the outside is still in its infancy.

late spring 2000

late spring 2000

She had had doubts about moving and leaving her large retirement garden near Yelm, where she had lived for 18 years.  But within a year of coming to Long Beach, her new garden proved completely satisfactory.

before, the east side

before, the east side

hellebores in that same area a few years later

hellebores in that same area a few years later

tulips on the east side where we had torn out some horrible juniper tams and added rocks.

tulips on the east side where we had torn out some horrible juniper tams and added rocks.

 

Ten years after she bought the property, the garden was on the Peninsula garden tour in 2009.

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