Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘garden swales’

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

Friday, 13 November 2015

DSC01659

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

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

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

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

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

DSC01661

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

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

DSC01662

south fence

splishy splashy walk

splishy splashy walk

I find this most pleasing.

I find this most pleasing.

outside the south fence

outside the south fence (looking due south)

looking north from the south gate

looking north from the south gate

DSC01670

looking east

looking west

looking west

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

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

hardy fuchsias still blooming

hardy fuchsias still blooming

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

one of our water features

one of our water features

and another

and another

DSC01682

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

DSC01683

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

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

DSC01687

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

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

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

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

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

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries, last month

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

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

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

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

DSC01695

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

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

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

DSC01697

Just some bits I liked:

DSC01698

DSC01699

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

DSC01700

DSC01701

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

DSC01702

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

Allan’s day

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

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

waves splashing up over the breakwater

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

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

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

Saturday, 14 November 2014

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

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

splashier than yesterday

splashier than yesterday

DSC01705

DSC01706

Allan wonders when he will be able to mow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 25 October 2014

We had 47 mph winds and Allan saw the excitement of a big branch coming down in the bogsy woods, on the gear shed side, and breaking as it hit another branch on the way down.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer's campfire wood.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer’s campfire wood. (Allan’s photo)

IMG_1831

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

The wind in the bogsy wood was so dramatic that it was hard to stand up to take this (safely far away) photo:

rain

Later, while I worked on adding more photos to my page about Gram’s garden, Allan prepared the framework for the upcoming Halloween Avenue of Spooky Plants, through which brave trick or treaters will arrive to the porch.

We left the posts up since last year.

We left the posts up since last year. (Allan’s photo)

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo.

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo. (Allan’s photo)

I’ll wait till closer to Halloween before attaching the plants, as they could blow every whichway in the wind.

I had good company while blogging.

cats

Later, I finished a book, Mean Girls Grown Up. While I did like some passages, I debated whether the subject was good for this blog, and decided to save the topic of friendship for sometime this winter, perhaps. Now and then this summer, I’ve written a paragraph on the subject and then deleted it before publishing because I hesitated to be so revealing. (As Ann Lamott so amusingly wrote, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”)

I then began a new to me Margaret Drabble book, Seven Sisters. Immediately I fell in love with the (sort of) chapter titles being set off to the right side of the text. (Below, what is not clear is that she is not HIGH, she’s in an upper floor flat.)

drabble

drabble2

Ms. Drabble, how I love thee.

suffolk

I was surprised to see Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers invoked in the same sentence:

heyer

That’s nothing against Georgette Heyer; my significant other of the 80s, Bryan, loved her books and during those years I read every one of them and loved them, too. He also got me to read Jane Austen for the first time, and A.A. Milne and P.G. Wodehouse. For a punk rock club manager and soundman, he had the gentlest of reading taste.

Surely on Sunday, I would get another rainy day to finish my Drabble book and probably read another book, as well.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Our rainy day off was not to be. We woke to rain, then sunshine and a rainbow over School Hill.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

Another heavy rain squall passed right after I took the rainbow photo and I thought we had a reprieve from work. I yearned to get back to my Drabble novel! And then….out came the sun.

I decided to take a look in the back garden to see how many tree branches had come down in the storm. I am utterly fascinated with every little change in our garden: what’s blooming, how deep the puddles are, and how many branches and twigs have fallen in a storm.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

The rain had filled the water barrels.

The rain had filled the water barrels.

water

...except for this one, which has a leak.

…except for this one, which has a leak.

I hadn't battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

I hadn’t battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

a branch halfway up the garden

a branch halfway up the garden

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don't go into the back garden in a wind storm.

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don’t go into the back garden in a wind storm.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

BIG branches

BIG branches

I stared up at my alder trees for a little while, trying to figure out which tree the really big branches had come from. I couldn’t see any break that explained the large amount of alder on the ground. Then I looked to my right.

trunk

tree

It took me a couple of minutes to realize that the small-of-girth dead alder in Nora’s back yard had snapped halfway up and fallen mostly on our side.

trunks

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

An old tricycle had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

An old tricycle (now a planter) had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

I went to fetch Allan to share in my marveling at all our campfire wood and wondered if I should try to find a friend with a big chainsaw. He walked down Nora’s yard and took some photos from that angle.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo showing the broken trunk

Allan’s photo showing the broken trunk

Allan's photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Allan’s photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Unbeknownst to me, he also took some photos of me checking out the water level in the bogsy woods.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

IMG_1127

I had found that the swales had an attractively pleasing amount of water.

the meander line swale

the meander line swale

the bridge swale

the bridge swale

chairs blown around the fire circle

chairs and tables blown around the fire circle

I went into the house for a few minutes and was amazed, when I returned to the scene, to find that Allan had already managed to cut the trunk off of the fence.

allan

Even more amazing, he had cut it with our corona hand saw:

Allan's photo showing little red saw

Allan’s photo showing little red saw

He cut the weight off the Nora side first and then braced the long piece with a thingie from his workshop:

IMG_1139

Allan's photos of bracing thingie.

Allan’s photos of bracing thingie.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: It’s a “table saw outfeed stand”, used upside down.

We couldn’t linger to do more clean up as we had decided to work, mostly a drive around day checking for storm damage and fallen over plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

On the way out of our driveway, our own personal Lake Street puddle was much bigger than usual.

work

I’ve had so much to say about wind that I’ll make a separate post for today’s and tomorrow’s fall clean up work.

When we got home from work, we spent some enjoyable time until dark picking up sticks and rolling trunks in the back garden. The weather remained so pleasant and windless, and some of the fallen tree wood was so dry, that I wished we had some sausages so that we could have a campfire. (I find the roasting of sausages to be essential to campfire enjoyment.) The next morning, I took photos of our progress:

27 October:  LOTS of campfire wood

27 October: LOTS of campfire wood

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them...or they may be for burning next summer.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them…or they may be for burning next summer.

 

20141028-181651.jpg

Read Full Post »

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

view from our parking spot, SW corner of townhouse

view from our parking spot, SW corner of townhouse

approaching the entrance (Hebe)

approaching the entrance (Hebe)

just as beautiful as I remembered

just as beautiful as I remembered

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

Helen's garden

garden

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

looking east over the swale

looking east over the swale

I find this so very pleasing.

I find this so very pleasing.

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

Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

looking west over the swale

looking west over the swale
seating by the swale

seating by the swale

barrel planter

barrel planter

arbour into the center to the garden

arbour into the center to the garden

arbour detail

arbour detail

a little wishing well

a little wishing well

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

view looking west

view looking west

shrub screen

shrub screen

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

two colours

two colours

a fragrant rugosa rose in the hedge

a fragrant rugosa rose in the hedge

Looking from the hedge toward Helen's porch

Looking from the hedge toward Helen’s porch

a comfy bench

a comfy bench

blue table

blue table

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

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

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

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

bicycle basket

bicycle basket

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

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

shells and moss

shells and moss and stones

a little jug

a little jug

a tiny clearing for stones

a tiny clearing for stones

and precious jewels.

and precious jewels.

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

Anton memorial

Anton memorial

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

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

a floriferous porch

a floriferous porch

along a shady walkway

along a shady walkway

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

on a corner

on a corner

lawn between townhouses

lawn between townhouses

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

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

Read Full Post »