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Posts Tagged ‘garden touring’

Saturday, 11 February 2017

I got these in the mail from a friend:

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On my last full day of uninterrupted staycation reading, I finished the huge history of WWII and then felt restless because of the sudden emergence of sunshine.

No winter gardening had taken place because of unusually cold weather.  Books (and a sore back, now all better) had won out over my plan to mulch with 6-8 yards of topsoil.  Now the first crocuses are out and can’t be buried with mulch.  I emerged from the house to see them.

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the first crocuses

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at the base of tetrapanax

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more clumps, and shotweed

The apricot scent of Hamamelis (witch hazel) wafted all over the front garden.

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raggedy yellow flowers with the most powerful scent

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a bronze Hamamelis

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not as fragrant as the yellow

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another pale one

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I added several new ones last summer.

I found myself gardening and got some more hellebores clipped back.

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before

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after

Soon, though, one more book called me back inside.  It had been recommended by a friend, had 450 small print pages and was due back at the library in four days.  I had intended to have it all read by now and instead was just beginning.

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By the end of the day, I can tell you that this is a shocking must read for citizens of the USA who were not taught by life or by school about the enormous number of small towns (many in the north and in the west!) which through violence and discrimination remained almost totally white even into the 1990s (and beyond?).

Meanwhile, in Oysterville, Dave and Mel were helping to dig up and move an enormous rhododendron several blocks down the road to THE Oysterville garden.

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Melissa’s photo

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Good weather would have had us starting work today had not two events intervened.  The first was a two hour long meeting of a local Indivisible group.  The town of Naselle, a half an hour away, had been chosen for the meeting because that location allowed an easier drive for folks from north county.  We had a group of thirty concerned citizens, sprung out of a larger Indivisible group from north coast Oregon.  Indivisible groups are forming all over the nation by those of us who are deeply concerned at the dark and ominous and non egalitarian turn our country is taking.

It was a joy to attend a gathering of like minded folk from as far north as Aberdeen, as well as the Peninsula and South Bend and Rosburg.

Next door to the meeting place was a most glorious private garden which we admired from the parking lot.

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a large Naselle garden

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Allan’s photo

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next door: the Naselle Library garden

Back in Ilwaco, we went straight (and late for the party) to Salt Pub, pausing only to look at work waiting for us in a curbside garden at the port.

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pondering work

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soon….

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Allan’s photo

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5 PM view from Salt Pub

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a private party at Salt

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Allan’s photo

The occasion was the birthday of Boreas Inn Bill, who said he did not even know he had that many friends on the peninsula!  Dave and Mel joined us because they now care for the Boreas Inn garden.  It has been good for us to have their great gardening business, Sea Star Gardening, to recommend as we cut back to a manageable amount of work.

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Pink Poppy Bakery cakes

In  the evening, I got through another 75 pages of Sundown Towns.

The cats are going to miss staycation reading days, as will I.

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lapcats Frosty and Smokey

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Frosty at bedtime

Sundown Towns is going to be a couple of days overdue by the time I’m done with it. On Monday, work season begins (with more rainy reading days sure to come before too long).

 

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 Saturday, 16 July 2016

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

garden eight: “Painting with Plants”

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The last garden we toured was just a block from the two gardening neighbours.  It is always so nice (although not always possible, of course) when tour gardens are close together.

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Walking one block over; I wondered if this might be the next garden.


looking down the side street

looking down the side street

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I could see from the clock on the porch that we were going to be done with tour on time (4 PM).

I could see from the clock on the porch that we were going to be done with tour on time (4 PM).  You can see to the left where the garden changes from lawn to bark.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Yes, this was indeed the tour garden.

Yes, this was indeed the tour garden.


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I like what I see from the outside.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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The lots to one side of the house are "painted with plants".

The lots to one side of the house are “painted with plants”.


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Who needs a sunny day when you have colour like this? (I love gold foliage.)


looking back at the house

looking back at the house


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sweeps of vibrant color from foliage


a little sit spot

a little sit spot


Three extra city lots to garden on!

Three extra city lots to garden on!


You can see how the bark will fade to brown as it ages.

You can see how the bark will fade to brown as it ages.


an outdoor pavilion

a fireplace pavilion

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Note the window frames for the back wall of the pavilion.

Note the window frames for the back wall of the pavilion.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


garden shed at the far side of the property

garden shed at the far side of the property

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I was smitten with the heathers in this landscape.  Or are the ones that drew my ardent admiration heaths rather than heathers?  I read up on it and am still confused.  I must completely rethink my opinion about heathers.  All this time, I have been bored by the flattish winter blooming ones of dull white and off pink.  These spiky airy lovely plants are a different look entirely.

Heath or heather, that white flowering plant is all spiky and I like spikes.

Heath or heather, that white flowering plant is all spiky and I like spikes.


outside a "reading room"

outside the “reading room”


Inside, a peaceful retreat (Allan's photo)

Inside, a peaceful retreat (Allan’s photo)

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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From comments I overheard from tour guests, the plantings in this garden have dramatically expanded since the last time it was on the tour.  I would love to see it in five more years with even more plants added.  I envy the amount of space left to plant in.  No walking around with a plant you shouldn’t have bought because there is no more room!

Below the reading room, an orchard (Allan's photo)

Below the reading room, an orchard (Allan’s photo)

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At the edge of the upper garden, the tops of trees below show the dramatic drop off where 95 tons of boulders and many loads of soil created a flat terrace.

tree tops from the garden area below

tree tops from the garden area below


the patio created by the boulder wall

the patio created by the boulder wall


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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the lawn below the house

the lawn below the house

It was difficult to get a photo of this effect, but I overheard that the boardwalk that goes all around this big rectangular area is meant to be a photo frame.

Allan on the lower boardwalk

Allan on the lower boardwalk


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


I have always like heathers (and heaths) planted on a slope. This one will look stunning.

I have always like heathers (and heaths) when they are planted on a slope. This one will look increasingly stunning.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


avoiding the railing-less stairs

avoiding the railing-less stairs


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Most of the garden was easily accessible with paved walkways.

Most of the garden was easily accessible with paved walkways.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan went down to the lowest part of the garden and took some photos for me to peruse:

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gold and purple….heath or heather…I want it!

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boulder wall and the lower part of the orchard

boulder wall and the lower part of the orchard

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the lowest level of the garden

the lowest level of the garden

Before our departure, we filled out a little survey that had been handed out asking what we thought of the tour, and deposited it in a box on the patio.  I wrote in the comments that eight out of eight gardens had been excellent.  I can’t remember ever being on a garden tour (and I have been on many) where I so much liked every single garden on offer.  Each was different, interesting, with plant diversity, perfect grooming, innovative ideas, and sustainable gardening practices.  Not one felt ostentatious or like the design and work had just been hired out.

Several of the members of the Master Gardener group that puts on this tour had assured me that it is their standard to have a tour this good every year.  I know it is going to be a top priority for me to attend it next year.  If only I could go back in time, I would love to have attended last year’s.

Tonight: a bonus post of our evening in Aberdeen.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

One of my most longtime gardening dreams is to have a sympatico gardening neighbour right next door.  As our garden tour day continued, Allan and I visited two gardens whose creators share that ideal situation.

Garden Six:  “A Captivating Mix”

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The front garden bed flows between the two houses.

The front garden bed flows between the two houses.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

thyme

thyme (Allan’s photo)

A path enticed me to a planted mound.

A path enticed me to a planted berm.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

across the berm, a glimpse of the neighbouring garden

across the berm, a glimpse of the neighbouring garden

I love the melding together of the groundcovers.

Here we go around the side.

Here we go around the side.

and into the back garden...

and into the back garden…

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 lawn in the center

 well-kept lawn in the center

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Each edge is crisply sheared (Allan's photo)

Each edge of the garden bed is crisply sheared (Allan’s photo)

an interesting planting idea to give tree roots room to breathe.

an interesting and attractive planting idea to give tree roots room to breathe.

To the side: a sit spot

To the side: a sit spot

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The paved area is next to the lawn, on the opposite side from the other tour garden.

the two matching sit spots

two matching sit spots

choice and well grown plants

choice and well grown plants

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Past the paved garden, the ground fell away in a series of terraces.

path to the precipice

path to the precipice

I didn't go closer to the edge.

I didn’t go closer to the edge.

lavender at the top of the slope

lavender at the top of the slope

shrub border next to the lawn

shrub border next to the lawn

At the other side of the lawn, we could glimpse the view of the neighbouring garden and tour guests.

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garden seven: “Beauty and the Bees”

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Many of the gardens of today had been pretty, well maintained, and pleasing to the eye in the front, with no hint of being extraordinary "behind the garden gate".

Many of the gardens of today had been meticulously maintained and pleasing to the eye in the front, with no hint of being extraordinary “behind the garden gate”.

The second front garden of the gardening neighbours

the second front garden of the gardening neighbours

the path to the back garden

the path to the back garden

Allan points out that this simple path was spaced perfectly for his natural footfall.  He is right; it was easy and natural to walk on.

and the entry to yet another gardening paradise

and the entry to yet another gardening paradise

looking back at the entry path

looking back at the entry path

garden bed against back wall of the house

garden bed against back wall of the house (Allan’s photo)

snapdragons (Allan's photo)

snapdragons (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a container of sweet peas

a container of sweet peas

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Garden beds encircle a patio.

Garden beds encircle a gravel patio.

On the other side of the patio, a peekaboo view into the next door garden (with tour guests)

On the other side of the patio, a peekaboo view into the next door garden (with tour guests)

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Outside the back door, a concrete patio had a table and chairs where I imagined how nice it would be to dine al fresco.

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 bouquet and gardening books

bouquet and gardening books

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one of the tour volunteers

one of the tour volunteers

A small garden bed set into the gravel patio had turned out to be half in shade and half in sun and was planted accordingly.

shade-sun bed

shade-sun bed

the shady side

the shady side

At the end of the garden, a deck seems to float over the woodland below.

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below the deck (Allan's photo)

below the deck (Allan’s photo)

underneath (Allan's photo)

underneath (Allan’s photo).  Note how even under the deck, the sword ferns are perfectly clipped (i.e. tatty old foliage removed)

view from the deck to the house

view from the deck to the house

view from the deck shows a glimpse of the terraces on the steep hill below the garden next door

view from the deck shows a glimpse of the terraces on the steep hill below the garden next door

We exited on the other side of the house where we are both 99% sure the hedge shows that deer browse here.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 the other side of the planted berm between the two front gardens

the other side of the planted berm between the two front gardens

in the front garden

in the front garden

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I suddenly realized I was looking at heather!  Since every single garden on this tour had a group of knowledgeable volunteers to help out, I said to one of them that I had not realized one could prune heather like this.  Not being a heather fan, except for plantings on moor-like slopes, I recently got involved helping to care for a garden that is almost all heather.  I had even turned the job down because of the heather overload; Allan had taken it on and, since it is a public garden in our town, I eventually joined in.  NOW I see what I can do with some of them to vary the monotony.  (They are mostly big flat winter blooming ones.)  Little did I know that another heather revelation awaited me in the very next garden.

I had been marveling throughout the entire tour at its high quality, and here I asked one of the volunteers, “Is your tour always this good?”  She said yes, and I asked, “How do you find such good gardens year after year?”  Her answer spoke volumes to me about what makes a superb garden tour, the sort that appeals both to brand new gardeners and to CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts).  She said that when they first started the tour years ago, they “dabbled in having a garden party atmosphere”. Eventually they decided that they are a serious gardening group and wanted to have a serious garden tour with only high quality gardens.  As soon as this tour is done, they will be finding the gardens for next years tour.  (I hope they take a week off to recuperate and reward themselves.)

I asked how in the world the gardeners achieve such good plant diversity in their gardens and was there a collectors’ nursery in the area?  I was told about a few good local nurseries, and that some of them drive to Olympia to shop at Bark and Garden, and that the gardeners often mail order the most cool collectible plants.

I wish I could go back in time and attend all their tours.  I had absolutely no idea that such a completely satisfying gardening event had been going on year after year so close to home.

We had one more garden left, and if it maintained standard of excellence, we would have had eight out of eight wonderful gardens.

Next: The final garden actually changes my mind about heathers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

garden five:  “The Art of Taming a Hillside”

We got a taste of how much the hillside needed to be tamed as we approached this garden up a very steep narrow road, met at the top by other vehicles that had not been able to find parking and wanted to come down.  There was just one panicky scream from the passenger seat as we backed down the long narrow slope and found a parking spot two blocks away (and a slightly less steep incline to walk up).

the view as we walked along the street to the garden

the view as we walked along the one lane street to the garden.  The water is the Chehalis River.


narrow street, narrow sidewalk (Allan's photo)

narrow street, narrow sidewalk (Allan’s photo)


The slope we had to back down is steeper than it looks in this photo of Allan's.

The slope we had to back down is steeper than it looks in this photo of Allan’s.

Because I have recently decided not to use surnames in describing most gardens (for privacy reasons), this particular program description looks a bit funny after retouching:

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It was not until I began writing this post that I saw the mobility issues warning in the garden description.  I find it so difficult to focus on garden descriptions the day of a tour that I completely missed it.  My reading comprehension suffers because of eagerness to get into the garden.  (That’s why I think it is helpful to have a Facebook page or a newspaper article with descriptions and warnings…even maybe locations of nearest restrooms!…to peruse in advance of a tour, to help with planning one’s day.)

To anyone just joining this blog: I have a collapsed knee (which will be dealt with this winter) and some dizziness and balance issues AND acrophobia.  I will work through all of these to see a worthwhile garden and a warning, even if seen, would not have stopped me from trying.

Here I blithely go, not having noticed the big "mobility issues" warning.

Here I blithely go, not having noticed the big “mobility issues” warning.


arriving at last!

arriving at last!

my journey through the amazing hillside garden

Entering the garden, past the check in table: I look to my right. That doesn't really look like the path.

Entering the garden, past the check in table: I look to my right. That doesn’t really look like a path, more like I’d be walking in a garden bed.  It was a little more vertical than it looks in the photo.


to my left: a high quality shade bed

to my left:  shade bed with good plants


straight ahead

straight ahead


a bit further, to my right: The ivy is on a vertical hill.

a bit further, to my right: The ivy is on a vertical hill.


to my right, below: the spring run-off

to my right, below: the spring run-off


I dither for awhile about whether or not to go straight ahead. Allan goes onward; I decide to try another way.

I dither for awhile about whether or not to go straight ahead. Allan goes onward; I decide to try another way.


feeling doubtful

feeling doubtful, about to turn back

I needed to find a way UP that I was pretty sure I could also use to get back DOWN.

Okay...I am going this way after all. Hope it is a real path!

Okay…I am going this way after all. Hope it is a real path!


All righty, I got this far! Looking down on the greenhouse and the entry to the garden.

All righty, I got this far! Looking down on the greenhouse and the entry to the garden.


good plantings to keep me going

good plantings to keep me going


Now I am on a path that I know is legit.

Now I am on a path that I know is legit.


looking back after making it somewhat further.

looking back after making it somewhat further.


This is midlevel in the garden.

This is midlevel in the garden.


The terrace or plateau has room for several sit spots.

The terrace or plateau has room for several sit spots.


a large level terrace with paths and a patio

large level terrace with paths and a patio


well planted, intricate plant diversity

well planted, intricate plant diversity

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along the fence. I heard chickens that are in the neighbour's yard.

along the fence. I heard chickens that are in the neighbouring yard.


at the end of the fence walkway

at the end of the fence walkway


looking back

looking back


skilled and intricate construction at the base of the hill. Note the door to the right into the compost bin enclosure.

skilled and intricate construction at the base of the next hillside. Note the door to the right into the compost bin enclosure.  Behind the grate: water run-off from the spring.


water, same stream that appeared way below at the entrance to the garden.

water, same stream that appeared way below at the entrance to the garden.

I was astounded to see the brilliant way that the gardeners had solved the problem of an almost vertical hillside.  If only I had thought of this for the vertical clay hill that sat next to the front patio of my old garden—a planting problem that daunted me for 14 years.

My jaw dropped.

My jaw dropped. What a brilliant solution!


a collection of cool ferns and more

a collection of cool ferns and more

Steve, the garden owner, stood nearby as I paced back and forth, marveling.  “HOW?”  I asked him.  He told me he had driven rebar 8 feet (I think) into the hardpan to support this structure.

I just can't get enough of this.

I just can’t get enough of this.


He must lay a ladder against it to climb up and maintain it so well??

He must lay a ladder against it to climb up and maintain it so well??

I decides I had better figure out how in the world I was going to get back down to the street.  Maybe I could find a better way than the bark slope.  It was worrying me.

Looking through an arbour to a bridge that goes to the house.

Looking through an arbour to a bridge that goes to the house.


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by the bridge to the house


I scuttle across quickly.

I scuttle across quickly.


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view from the side porch of the house


Here are the stairs Allan came up. Hmmm.

Here are the stairs Allan came up. Hmmm. No……..

I decided I would go back down the bark-y slope…eventually.  Meanwhile, I went back to the amazing hillside planters.

On the way back: The lattice is decorated with china pieces.

On the way back: The lattice is decorated with teacup and saucer creations that I like so much.


Admiring the hill planting some more. Look: I saw people WAAAAY up top and was not sure how they got there.

Admiring the hill planting some more. Look: I saw people WAAAAY up top and was not sure how they got there.  WAY up over the stone wall is another path.


I see Impatiens omeiana and other cool plants to delight a collector.

I see Impatiens omeiana and other cool plants to delight a collector.


boxes spilling over with goodness

boxes spilling over with planty goodness

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I admired every detail, also postponing the inevitable trip back down the lower barky slope.  But then…Allan appeared and told me there was an alley up above!  Similar to the previous garden, I had a way out other than going back down.

looking up from the base of the planted boxes. Allan is up there, checking it out.

looking up from the base of the planted boxes. Allan is up there, checking it out.  There is a gate to the alley.

I found out that the upper deck ALSO had a gate to the alley.  The owner had told Allan that’s how they bring in their groceries.  Thinking about it, it would be a long grocery carry from the bottom, over the lower bridges and up the stairs.

last look at the central plateau

last look at the central plateau

I think I would have explored the many beds of the central plateau better if I had known I had an easy way out.  Now I would like to go back and peruse the plants more thoroughly.

looking at the garden stairs that might take me to the alley gate

looking at the garden stairs that might take me to the alley gate


probably not (Allan's photo)

probably not (Allan’s photo)

I crossed the bridge to the house again, climbed some enclosed stairs with a nice railing, and emerged onto the back deck.

I found my way to the top level to exit into the alleyway.

I found my way to the top level to exit into the alleyway.


one of those clacking crow fountains that I love.

one of those clacking crow fountains that I love.


not sure what, fire or water?

not sure what, fire or water?

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alongside the deck

alongside the deck


from the back gate, an easy way out

from the back gate, an easy way out

From the alley, I found the exterior gate that led to that mysterious path WAY above the wooden planters.

steps down to the center terrace

steps down to the center terrace


The path along the uppermost level. I would have been clutching that railing.

The path along the uppermost level. I would have been clutching that railing. Or maybe fainting.

The stream from the spring went underneath the alley. (I’ve since learned this is a one way city street, not an alley.)

across the alley: water from the spring

across the alley: water from the spring


Thus begins the water course that is diverted down through the levels of the garden.

Thus begins the water course that is diverted down through the levels of the garden.  I wonder if it flows dramatically in the winter or on rainy days?

Usually, I blend Allan’s and my photos together to describe a garden, even though we often walk through at a different pace and direction.  This particular garden was so complex and interesting and challenging to describe that I am going to let Allan’s photos tell their own story about his experience of the hillside.

Allan’s exploration of the astonishing hillside garden

entering from the street

entering from the street


next to the greenhouse

next to the greenhouse


We have a birdhouse just like that from Ilwaco Saturday Market!

We have a birdhouse just like that from Ilwaco Saturday Market!

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I am walking away; Allan goes on up the path and stairs.

I am walking away to try a different climb; Allan goes on up the path and stairs.


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the way up


looking back

looking back

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another explorer

another explorer


Many ladders must be necessary for this garden.

Many ladders and scaffolding might be necessary for this garden (and, owner Steve said, painting the house).


looking down

looking down


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Top of photo: You can see the very tiptop walkway with the railing along the fence.

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beds next to the deck


the upper deck

the upper deck

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window low down by the deck

window low down by the deck


in a workshop window next to the deck: meticulous

in a workshop window next to the deck: meticulous

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looking down into the garden. I’m at the base of the wooden planters on the steep slope.


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from the deck

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a way up to the topmost level

a way up to the topmost level


agile not acrophobic people on the uppermost path

non acrophobic people on the uppermost path

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(Allan is like a mountain goat with a good head for heights.)

(Allan is like a mountain goat with a good head for heights.)


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intricate levels.  This is the topmost, and you can see one of the wooden planter boxes.


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the topmost path


looking down from the highest point

looking down from the highest point


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at the end of the upper path


the hillside boxes

the hillside boxes


the back deck again

the back deck again, just before we exited

This was one of the most fascinating gardens I have ever seen, with good plant diversity, artistry, and impressive engineering skills.  I have been thinking about it a lot since tour day and am so glad I managed to see it (and also that Allan filled in with photos of the areas I did not attain).  Every stone, paver, plant, and cubic foot of mulch had to be brought in up or down stairs.

Having now visited five out of eight, I continued to marvel at how perfectly groomed they all were for tour day: No weedy bits around the edges, every plant deadheaded and dead-leafed (any unsightly leaf removed).  This is what I hope for from a garden tour.

Next: One of my favourite finds on a garden tour: gardening neighbours.

 

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

garden three: An Eclectic Eden

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Jo’s was the third of three gardens fairly near to each other in Cosmopolis, a town just south of Aberdeen.

a volunteer adjusts the garden tour sign that had blown over

a volunteer adjusts the garden tour sign that had blown over


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front garden


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front patio


front walkway

front walkway


beside the driveway

beside the driveway


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around the side of the house


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If that is indeed an old garage, I don’t think it is used for a car anymore.

 

love the painted doors

love the painted doors


a closer look

a closer look


Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

We have turned the corner and….OH! This is the third excellent garden in a row.

Jo's vibrant back garden.

Jo’s vibrant back garden.


a picket fence next to the old garage separating two garden areas

a picket fence next to the old garage separating two garden areas


rose foliage (Allan's photo)

‘Climbing Cecile Brunner’ rose foliage (Allan’s photo)


to my right: another painted panel

to my right along the fence: another painted panel


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


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beginning our walk through the back garden


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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another reminder that I want threadleaf coreopsis back in my life again

to my left: another reminder that I want threadleaf coreopsis back in my life again


Coreopsis verticillata, possibly 'Zagreb' (Allan's photo)

Coreopsis verticillata, possibly ‘Zagreb’ (Allan’s photo)


jam packed with planty goodness

jam packed with planty goodness


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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a handsome eryngium smack dab in the middle


looking back from about halfway in

looking back from about halfway in


forward again: the back patio

forward again: a covered back patio

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just past the covered patio

just past the covered patio


across from the patio

across from the patio


so many well grown plants!

so many well grown plants!


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Cosmos (Allan’s photo)


arch to a little courtyard

arch to a little courtyard


to my left: roses

to my left: roses


coleus tucked in

coleus tucked in


to my right: a familiar sight

to my right: The Shinto gate is a familiar sight


The photo of it on the poster for the tour had piqued my interest enough to get us all the way to Cosmopolis.

The photo of it on the poster for the tour had piqued my interest enough to get us all the way to Cosmopolis.


the far corner of the garden

the far corner of the garden


around to the other side of the house

around to the other side of the house

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Surely this dahlia is in a big pot?

Surely this dahlia is in a big pot?


Dahlia is not in a pot! Progamme held out at shoulder level.

Dahlia is not in a pot! Progamme held out at shoulder level.


dahlias towering overhead

dahlias towering overhead

I turned back to find Allan to get a photo to prove the height of the dahlias.  Another tour guest walked up saying “Those must be in a pot…Wow, they are in the ground!”

looking back

looking back


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


looking back through the arbour

looking back through the arbour


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


more garden admiration

more garden admiration

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by the covered patio

by the covered patio

I found Allan and he took a photo proving the height of the dahlias:

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on the way out (Allan's photo)

on the way out (Allan’s photo)

We expressed our thanks to the gardener for opening her garden, and our pleasure in the high quality of gardens so far on the tour.  Now we would leave Cosmopolis and cross the Chehalis River to Aberdeen.  So far, “Behind the Garden Gate” was the perfect name for this tour so far; each garden had delivered such delightful surprises when one got into the back gardens, and each was not a garden entirely visible from the street.

interlude: entering Aberdeen

Cosmopolis and Aberdeen are divided by the Chehalis River, not far from the Pacific Ocean.

Cosmopolis and Aberdeen are divided by the Chehalis River, not far from the Pacific Ocean.

Fortunately, Allan knew of a handy Aberdeen rest stop: The Safeway store downtown.

on the wall at Safeway, some Aberdeen history

on the wall at Safeway, some Aberdeen history

Aberdeen’s working class nature deeply appeals to me.  The small city was hard hit by the downtown in the fishing and timber industries.  I fantasize about what it would be like to live there.

downtown Aberdeen. All of our garden destinations are to the north.

downtown Aberdeen. All of our garden destinations are to the north of downtown.

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I notice the street planters, similar in size to the ones we care for in Ilwaco.

I notice the street planters, similar in size to the ones we care for in Ilwaco.


good job, Aberdeen! I like the planters clustered together...great idea!

good job, Aberdeen! I like the planters clustered together…great idea!


so much better with two together (and again, good job!

so much better with two together (and again, good job!)

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old Aberdeen houses.

old Aberdeen houses on the flatland

Next, a garden full of useful ideas.

 

 

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

To new readers: As we take you with us on a tour through a garden, some of our photos are almost repetitive for two reasons.  One: We want to share with you the progress of the garden stroll and how a bit more is revealed with each step.  Two: Allan and I tour at a different pace and usually in a different direction, and it interests me to see his views, and amuses me when we take almost the same photo.  I try to present the story of each garden in a way that explains how the paths flow and how the garden areas segue from one to the other.  If there are lots of details that I like, I’ll obsess over every one.  When I fall in love with a garden, as I did with this one, it can make for a long post.

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

garden two: For the Birds

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from the street

from the street

Tervetuloa means "Welcome" in Finnish.

Tervetuloa means “Welcome” in Finnish.

inside the fence

inside the fence

borrowed view of neighbours' green roof

borrowed view of neighbours’ green roof

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Garden there’s magic in the dirt!

against the wall of the house

against the wall of the house

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well grown sweet peas

well grown sweet peas

entry to back garden

entry to back garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I was starting to feel excited as I glimpsed what was in store.

Gorgeous.

Gorgeous, with rich shade planting.

to my right as we enter the back garden

to my right as we enter the back garden

L Shaped arbor with benches, what a great idea.

L Shaped arbor with benches, what a great idea.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary sign

I love an intricate shade planting.

I love an intricate shade planting. Ferns, Brunnera, Baby’s Tears, and more

koi waterbowl

koi water bowl

Allan's photo.

Allan’s photo.

As we began oohing and aahing, the owners greeted us with recognition.  They had been to our garden at the original Tangly Cottage when it was open for touring in 2008!  I told them I had hoped for two or three really good gardens on the tour to make the drive worthwhile and I could tell I already had two.

This was such a happy moment. (Allan's photo)

This was such a happy moment. (Allan’s photo).

against back wall of house

against back wall of house

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I felt deeply happy to be in this little paradise of well chosen plants.  Shade gardening is no challenge, but instead a pleasure,  to a knowledgable gardener.

looking from shade to sun

looking from shade to sun

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

path down one side of the lawn, impeccably weeded

path down one side of the lawn, impeccably weeded. Corner of the deck is at lower right.

looking back at the deck

looking back at the deck

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preformed pond, I think, with edges covered in rocks.

preformed pond, I think, with edges well covered in rocks.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

further along the path

further along the path

blue hydrangea, blue framed window mirror, blue pottery in birdbath

blue hydrangea, blue framed window mirror, blue pottery in birdbath

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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where side fence and back fence converge

where side fence and back fence converge

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

along the back fence

along the back fence

looking back

looking back

I spy Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'!

I spy Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’!

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'. After passing up several opportunities to buy this hard to find plant, now I have fallen in love with it.

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. After passing up several opportunities to buy this hard to find plant, now I have fallen in love with it.

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' (Allan's photo)

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ (Allan’s photo)

(When I say a plant is hard to find, I probably just mean it is hard to find in small town nurseries.)

detail with oxalis and lamium (Allan's photo)

detail with oxalis and lamium (Allan’s photo)

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We have now walked up that path to the lawn.

Look how well groomed the garden is!

Look how well groomed the garden is! Perfect to every corner.  I also appreciate that the bark is a subtle color that blends with the shady woodsy beds.

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I do love a planted birdbath.

I do love a planted birdbath.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

silene under the birdbath

silene under the birdbath

looking back to the greenhouse; a kitchen garden is on my right.

looking back to the greenhouse; a kitchen garden is on my right.

kitchen garden

kitchen garden

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

dahlias and verbascum (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

cranesbill geranium and rose (Allan’s photo)

strawberry tower

strawberry tower; I have to read up on this because it is such a space saver.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

In the background of the above photo is the answer to the soothing colour of the mulch.  I enlarged it:

brown mulch!

brown mulch!

pea tower

pea tower

on the kitchen garden fence

on the kitchen garden fence

looking out from the kitchen garden

looking out from the kitchen garden

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such an exceptionally nicely arranged little kitchen garden

such an exceptionally nicely arranged little kitchen garden

You can see diagonally across the lawn to the back deck.

You can see diagonally across the lawn to the back deck.

Next to the kitchen garden, Allan admired the bird netting, arranged like an umbrella that you could go underneath to pick berries.

netted berries

netted berries

netted berries (Allan's photo)

netted berries with access underneath (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

poppies and eryngium (Allan's photo)

poppies and eryngium (Allan’s photo)

looking back at the kitchen garden

looking back at the kitchen garden

kitchen garden in background (Allan's photo)

kitchen garden in background (Allan’s photo)

 

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On the other side of the greenhouse is the little shaded patio with a metal fire circle.

On the other side of the greenhouse is the little shaded patio with a metal fire circle.

Rosa rubrifolia foliage and Echinops

Rosa rubrifolia foliage and Echinops

Echinops (blue globe thistle)

Echinops (blue globe thistle)

inside the greenhouse

inside the greenhouse

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

in the greenhouse (Allan's photo)

in the greenhouse (Allan’s photo)

tidy and organized (Allan's photo)

tidy and organized (Allan’s photo)

under the blue globe thistle

under the blue globe thistle

looking into the shade again

looking into the shade again

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choice plant selection with Impatiens omeiana in the center.

choice plant selection with Impatiens omeiana in the center.

I do love gold foliage.

I do love gold foliage.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I had made my way to the back deck, in the corner of the garden diagonal from the kitchen garden.

on the back deck

on the back deck

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on the fence by the deck

on the fence by the deck

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a lower level of the deck on the side of the house

a lower level of the deck on the side of the house

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under the upper level bench

under the upper level bench

a garden well groomed even in the areas that don't show. We notice.

a garden well groomed even in the areas that don’t show. We notice.

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looking across to the kitchen garden....I wonder why the plant on the bench is caged.

looking across to the kitchen garden….I wonder why the plant on the bench is caged.

Look at the nice crisp edge on that lawn.

Look at the nice crisp edge on that lawn.

That maple gives me plant lust.

That maple gives me plant lust.

view from the deck to the shade garden and to where we entered (left)

view from the deck to the shade garden and to where we entered (left)

view down the side of the garden to the back corner where Spotty Dotty lives.

view down the side of the garden to the back corner where Spotty Dotty lives.

I found Wendy and told her how very much I loved every aspect of her garden.  I could happily have walked round the whole estate again, but we had started the tour an hour late and had five more gardens to see.

A squirrel entertained us on our way out.

A squirrel entertained us on our way out. (Allan’s photo)

While, as it turned out, this garden was my favourite on the tour, there are delightful ones yet to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Our route takes us fifteen minutes longer because the Willapa Curves terrify me now, so we go along the river and up through Naselle and over.

Our route takes us fifteen minutes longer because the Willapa Curves terrify me now, so we go along the river and up through Naselle (about where the number 4 is) and then over to 101.

We decided to explore new territory and drive 1.5 hours north to Aberdeen and Cosmopolis to attend the Washington State University Master Gardeners’ Tour.  When we had driven to Aberdeen for a visit to a neurologist in early March, I had noticed the hillside homes seemed to abound in interesting looking gardens. I could not resist the opportunity of a summer view.  My expectations were low; I have often attended tours (other than the Hardy Plant tours) with some mediocre gardens.  I said to Allan, if we get to see two really good gardens out of the eight on offer, the trip will have been worthwhile.  He pointed out that we could also go to the Star Wars store in Aberdeen.

The other choice would have been the Tillamook tour two hours south.  That tempted me because Tillamook has three good nurseries.  The deciding factor was that I was able to find enticing advance descriptions of the Aberdeen tour in a newspaper article.

 So north we went.  Halfway there, on a restroom break in South Bend (just south of Raymond), I said to Allan:

"If I lived in South Bend, I would DO something about these public planters!" And you know I would.

“If I lived here, I would DO something about these public planters!” And you know I would.

In about half an hour, we arrived in Cosmopolis, eager for the garden tour.

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

I had been given the address of the first garden by a Facebook friend who is a member of the Master Gardeners group, saving us having to find a sponsoring store to buy tickets. Arriving at the garden, we were greeted by volunteers and paid our $12 each.  We received a beautiful booklet, our passport to the gardens.  Kudos to the copy editor(s) for such a well written and typo-free booklet.

The cover was the poster in full colour, the back had a space for a stamp for each of the gardens.

Inside, opposite a list of the gardens, was a wise list of suggestions for garden tour courtesy:

touring tips

The next page had a detailed map showing the locations of all the gardens.  We found it to be accurate, although we used our GPS to navigate.  Each garden got a full page description with two black and white photos, and the booklet closed with valuable gardening information.  It’s a keeper.

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And now, with no further ado, let’s tour the first garden, located in Cosmopolis. On most garden descriptions, I am removing the person’s last name for privacy reasons.  In this one case, it meant changing the name of the garden, which was referred to in the program by the owner’s surname.

Garden One: Linda’s Haven

Linda's Haven

Linda’s Haven

I do love the last sentence, regarding gardening as we age: Gardening at a slower pace is still gardening.

from across the street

from across the street

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front garden

front garden


Eryngium and sculpture in front garden

Eryngium and sculpture in front garden


front garden lily

front garden lily


Beside the driveway. Seeing hellebores looks promising.

Beside the driveway. Seeing hellebores looks promising for plant diversity.


by the gate

Each garden had this notice by the gate.


The term "Legal Beagles" is a friendly sounding one that softens the legalese.

The term “Legal Beagles” is a friendly sounding one that softens the legalese.


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art by the gate


Allan with the volunteer greeters and passport-checkers.

Allan with the volunteer greeters and passport-checkers.

I asked how many people usually attend the annual tour and was told 200-300 people. I was glad to hear it.  It takes a lot of work and expense to make one’s garden tour-worthy, and the reward is the many compliments of tour guests. (This year, the tour came close to the 300 mark.)

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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sweet!

sweet!


beside the deck

beside the deck

Walking along the right side of the shed, we passed a fairy garden.  We later learned that Linda’s grandchildren had helped her get ready for the tour.

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the grandchildren’s fairy garden. Pine needle mulch keeps the weeds down.


a back corner of the garden

a back corner of the garden


the sound of water, and the sight of trillium leaves

the sound of water, and the sight of trillium leaves


well grown hostas

well grown hostas


along the back fence

along the back fence


Hosta 'Cherry Berry' (Allan's photo)

Hosta ‘Cherry Berry’ (Allan’s photo)

Each garden had volunteer docents to answer questions.  I learned that all of the paving in the garden had been recycled, including this path:

path by a large shed, made of broken concrete, placed well and non trippingly flat.

path by a large shed, made of broken concrete, placed well and non-trippingly flat.


between the house and the large shed

between the house and the large shed

I was well pleased with how meticulously the garden was maintained.

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good labeling

good labeling

Later, when I complimented Linda on her labeling, she said that the tour tries to be educational and informative.

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'Ruby Slippers' oakleaf hydrangea

‘Ruby Slippers’ oakleaf hydrangea


oakleaf hydrangea (Allan's photo)

oakleaf hydrangea (Allan’s photo)

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another happy clematis

happy clematis on back wall of house


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detail


looking back

The women in white have just come down the pathway of broken concrete.


clematis fronted with astilbes

clematis fronted with astilbes


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by the garden shed


Allan's photo

fragrant rose (Allan’s photo)

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


looking back

looking back

On the deck was a photo album showing the progress of the garden.

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Linda herself

Linda herself

When I thanked Linda for opening her garden, and told her it had been worth a longish drive, she told me that she had originally begun the garden to have a haven from her work of counseling displaced workers who had lost their jobs in the timber and fishing industry.  That is a problem that my little town, Ilwaco, shared with the Aberdeen-Cosmopolis.  She also told me that the tour group makes a strong effort to find good gardens each year, and that one of their criteria is to find gardens that are hidden behind fences and gates and not visible from the street.

She loves Japanese maples and plans to add more.

One of her maples by the deck

One of her maples by the deck


Each maple has a marker like this.

Each maple has a marker like this.

As we left, Allan noticed this page that was being passed out to children who attended the tour: a hunt for treasures in the garden.

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inside the front gate, a hummingbird fountain

inside the front gate, a hummingbird fountain

This garden had been a treat and talking with Linda had increased my anticipation for the rest of the tour.

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