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Posts Tagged ‘found objects’

July 20, 2013

from the program: Laura Deemer is a passionate gardener who never has trouble finding time to work in her yard. As you enter through a gated archway you will be greeted by a cottage garden in small raised beds. Circling the property to explore the many planted areas and shady retreats you will find specimen trees, original metal garden art by husband Don, a quirky mix of mounted birdhouses and a gazebo perfectly suited for music in the garden. A pond built by Don and Laura is fed by a small recirculating stream.

The Deemer garden was discovered by tour organizer Nancy Allen when she was going down a tiny local road looking for an estate sale. She knew by peeking into the garden that something good was going on there, so she introduced herself and asked Laura if she would like to be on the tour. Nancy and I visited the garden again about a week later and were both impressed with Don and Laura’s garden artistry. Happily, Laura did agree to open her garden for tour day. (Again, because I did not photograph every last thing on tour day, I have included some photos I took of details on the two occasions that I visited the gardens before the tour.)

roadside fence

roadside fence

From the driveway, the main garden has two entries, one, below, leading to the front porch. The Deemers extensively remodeled their home and added decks over the years.

entry, looking south

entry, looking south, with garden tour guest

Entering through the gate above, you will see garden beds on your right.

entering

entering

Kathleen Sayce got a good angle on the symmetrical flower beds.

Kathleen Sayce got a good angle on the symmetrical flower beds.

looking southwest

looking southwest

Another gate leads you below the flower beds, and that is the one we entered through on tour day.

looking south from the other gate on a pre-tour visit

looking south from the other gate on a pre-tour visit

barberryNow the flower beds are to our left, and on tour day, Laura had put out informative signage about her favourite plants.

Geranium

Geranium psilostemon

This is information that I did not know!

This is information that I did not know!

My friends were especially smitten with the Deemers’ artisitic birdhouse posts. Laura told me she had made this one since my previous visit which had only been a couple of weeks earlier.

shell birdhouse post

shell birdhouse post

post

mosaic post

mosaic post

On my previous visit, Laura told me they had also made the leaf and round pillar birdbath.

birdbath

birdbath

They also built their pond and streamlet water feature.

pond

pond on an earlier visit

pond on tour day with garden art by Don Deemer

pond on tour day with garden art by Don Deemer

pond on tour day

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

head of recirculating streamlet

head of recirculating streamlet

the tiny stream on a pre-tour visit.  I love this!

the tiny stream on a pre-tour visit. I love this!

stream and pond

stream and pond

Our friend Kathleen Shaw caught a slightly different angle.

Our friend Kathleen Shaw caught a slightly different angle.

another birdhouse

another birdhouse creation
coming around from the front porch and deck to the south side of the house

coming around from the front porch and deck to the south side of the house

east of pond

looking west back to the pond

Above, the shady southwest side of the garden used to be a vegetable patch until Laura decided to turn it into a woodland.

On the south side of the garden, where she has planted specimen trees and shrubs, she set up a table with before photos of the garden. I remember seeing this garden in its early days, over the fence, before it was surrounded with trees and shrubs…maybe 18 years ago as it is near Andersen’s RV Park, one of our longtime jobs.

before pictures

before pictures

rustic birdhouses in woodsy south side garden

rustic birdhouses in woodsy south side garden

another birdhouse with fanciful post

another birdhouse with fanciful post

People could walk all around the house via what is usually fenced off as a dog yard where two Australian Shepherds romp.

dog yard

dog yard

Laura told me she likes to create sheltered places to get out of the sun. Below is an outdoor room behind the house.

outdoor room

outdoor room

The wall was painted by Susan Wallace of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm, which would be our last stop on tour day.

wall

Leaving that room, we go along a shady walk, still in the dog yard. Laura told us one of the two dogs has been quite a problem with digging, but she has still managed to grow hydrangeas, ferns and hostas.

a shady walk

a shady walk

more good signage in the shade garden

more good signage in the shade garden

Leaving the dog yard, we enter a large, square sunny garden room on the north side of the house….a secret garden that you might not even find it you did not look for it. Along the back fence (to the right in the photo below) is a low area that is used as a debris and compost pile. I am hoping our friend Sheila may have photographed that, as we both like to see the work areas of a garden! The main part of the garden here has another outdoor shelter, a gazebo large enough to have dinner in…or place a Music in the Gardens tour musician.

Laura herself approaches as we leave the dog yard.

Laura herself approaches as we leave the dog yard.

Between the two raised beds of ferns, to the left, a path leads to another gate out to the driveway. This garden is enclosed with a tall fence, and the construction of the pergola is absolutely solid.

musician Jennifer Goodenberger

musician Jennifer Goodenberger

Jennifer Goodenberger

Jennifer Goodenberger

An elegant garden of shrubs and ferns with a dry creek bed runs along the north fence of this garden area.

Note the hydrangrea blossoms in the birdbath

Note the hydrangrea blossoms in the birdbath

dry creek

dry creek

dry creek with bridge

dry creek with bridge

gazebo...note fire circle just beyond it.

gazebo…note fire circle just beyond it.

looking northeast through the gazebo windows

looking northeast through the gazebo windows

I don’t see many “outdoor rooms” that are this beautifully built with windows…a perfect shelter from the beach wind.

another of Don's old garden tool birds

another of Don’s old garden tool birds

The skills of Don and Laura are evidenced in everything from the well built structures, to the paths and decks and paving, to the birdhouses and pond and Don’s playful metal sculptures.

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This garden, about a block up the steep hill from the Japanese style garden, was my favourite of the 2011 tour.  From the street, strong colours of foliage let me know we approached a tour garden even before we saw the sign.

sidewalk view

sidewalk view

The tour programme informed us that the owners incorporated found and recycled art material for art and structure throughout the garden.

front slope

front slope

A rabbit let us know that we needed to watch our step.  I sympathized with the worry of letting strangers into one’s garden because our own former garden had been so up and down that I had been anxious when opening it to the public.

path at top of slope

path at top of slope

south side path

south side path

path to sit spot

path to sit spot

sit spot...and view

sit spot…and view

looking back at the south side sit spot

looking back at the south side sit spot

recycled steppersThe sit spot on the south side of the house (left, above) would have been much nicer had the nieghbours not dropped a store-bought, tall playhouse right smack dab in the middle of the view, thought I.

The owners told us that the chunks of wood that made stepping stones around the southwest corner of the house came from an old local building or pier.

Throughout the back garden recycled materials were used to create garden art and whimsy.

In the back garden, steps led to an upper level which melded at the back into the trees of an old orchard.

back garden with heron

back garden with heron

back garden, upper level

back garden, upper level

upper level gate

upper level gate

back garden, lower level

back garden, lower level

a nice cat

a nice cat

(I published this entry, then went back to add their nice, friendly cat.  Because what nice cat does not deserve a moment of fame?)

old stove in the garden

old stove on the patio

looking back

looking back

We left on the north side of the house where wide concrete steps took us past a long dry creek bed.

I had enjoyed the idiosyncrasies of this multi leveled garden and could tell the owners spent many hours enjoying it.  Even without collectible plants to stop me in my tracks the garden kept my attention and I revisited several areas.  It reminded my of Nancy Goldman’s Nancyland in Portland, also a landscape of found objects.

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The Toepfler garden in Klipsan Beach neighbourhood. Large. Gardened by CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts.) Seems to me to be planted for drought tolerance. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.  I toured it twice, one on June 6th with Patti, and again on the Music in the Gardens tour day.  It is one of my favourite gardens, not only of the Peninsula tour but of the many garden tours I’ve attended over the years.

outside the gate

You can tell the garden will be interesting by the exterior fencing.

fence detail

street view

peeking in

more fence detail

Ok, enough tantalizing peeks through the fence (which is in itself enough to make this a favourite garden of all time); let’s go inside.

through the gate

Now, supposing we had entered the driveway gate, we would turn left and see this path:

left of the driveway

through the arbour

looking back at the driveway

Walking down the path, we find a wooden sculpture.  I never would have guessed what this is: A deconstructed whiskey barrel planter!

deconstructed planter

And past that…Oh!  a purple horse!

Have you ever seen a purple horse?

the purple horse

Verbascum

While art created by the garden owners creates a buzz throughout the garden, it also abounds in good plants.

a collectible rhododendron

also, I think! a rhododendron

a Katsura with chocolate foliage!

a well displayed fern

a planter with Diascia and Eucomis

to the right of the driveway

Turning right from the driveway entrance, we find another horse sculpture.

left: Allan talks with Kent Toepfler

to right of driveway

stone mulch

This garden is not about lush plantings covering all of the soil.  Each plant tends to be featured on its own and set off with found objects and, in this case, a mulch of small stone.  It’s a style different from what usually makes me swoon, but swoon I did throughout this fascinating landscape.

fish

a bird

birds

and the classic beach boat…

saws

a bird

round

The garage has its own decoration.

A glimpse into the home’s front window reveals Puss and books.

rabbit sighting

stumpy guy

approaching the house

the front porch

back garden ensemble

Coming around the house into the back we found, indeed, music in the garden.

Music in the Garden

It was magical.

back garden near musicians

frog backed with birdhouse tree

metal tree with birdhouse ( I think we were told it’s from a shop on Hwy 30 east of Astoria)

in the back garden

against the back fence

a sheltered sit spot

overhead

deck between house and outbuilding

The north side of the garden is backed with a neighbour’s woods, creating a peaceful borrowed view.  To the west side of the house stands the pièce de résistance of the garden’s sculptures, this one created by the owners from big spools that are used to lay cable.  I think the spools were acquired from a cable tv installing storage facility…or something like that.  They were not easy to transport. With some bicycle wheels, they have become a one of a kind…arbour?  gazebo?

cable ring thing

Driftwood and a bronzy foliaged Hypericum complement the artistic creation.

Here is one of those gardens that keeps one going around and around to check everything out for a second or third time.  And one that stays clearly in my mind as one of the ideal landscapes.  A good lesson:  Not every vertical object needs to have a plant clambering over it. And look at every found object with an artist’s eye, and, more to the point, use it.  The garden did not feel at all cluttered with things, nor was there anywhere to be seen a pile of rusted unused ingredients.

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