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Posts Tagged ‘garden touring’

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Because we were on the north end of the Peninsula to see our accountant, we took the opportunity to take our first walk this year through the beautiful Oysterville garden.

The pear in the tree and a collection of hellebores were my first hint, a few years ago, that an amazing garden was being created here.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A good friend of the gardener now owns the house to the south, and so a path and the lawn go through.  I would love to be neighbours here.

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) fetch poop from the home of two fine horses, Skyrocket and River, in order to mulch this garden.

Most horse poop is weedy, but not this stuff.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, along the driveway

The south side garden bed will be up to the height of the windows in summer; it is planned that way.

The perfection of the terrace always makes me weepy.

Allan’s photo

on the terrace

Hummingbirds were all over this callistemon.

Allan’s photo

The blue hills in the distance are across Willapa Bay.

Pittosporum backed with Melianthus major

Melianthus major (Allan’s photo)

Melianthus major (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Down the driveway, by the shed, are enough wheelbarrows for when a larger crew works on the garden.  (Sometimes Todd joins in, and the gardener himself works in it whenever possible, rain or shine.)

We crossed the hydrangea and hornbeam allée.

west end of the allée

the north-south path, looking north

a new boxwood back drop

Some old scrubby trees to the right (out of frame) have been felled, opening up the garden to more light.

Rhododendron ‘Rex’

Rhododendron ‘Sinogrande’

another R. ‘Rex’

tree fern in the garden

hellebores throughout

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking east up the allée, with Allan taking a photo. Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ was cut back for winter.

This is the telephoto he was taking, showing the steeple of the Oysterville church next door.

looking west

Allan’s photo

the lawn (east end) with the scrubby old trees gone

on the north side of the hornbeam and hydrangea allée

looking east

a stunning hellebore, wish I knew its name

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

peony foliage

in the front border

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking across to the bay

I was ever so glad we had had an excuse to skive off work and go garden touring for an hour.

 

 

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Friday, 12 January 2018 

From my chair, written on my iPad, and inspired by Ian Whitcomb (see my previous post) to blather on a bit more than usual. 

I made it out to water in my greenhouse, the furthest I have gotten into the garden since picking bouquets for Allan’s party on January 2nd.  

The rain gauges showed the rainfall that has made staying indoors for the past week not too frustrating. 

Skooter accompanied me. 

Bulb foliage is emerging in the new window boxes. 

I hope I will be well enough to cut back the epimediums soon. Positive thinking: I will be. 

The fern that Todd gave Allan for his birthday:

I think back to that glorious January 2nd birthday and how wonderful it was to surprise Allan with a bigger party than he had expected. I remember how healthy and energetic I felt (little knowing I would be felled by shingles less than two days later) and how well chuffed I was to have managed, with the help of friends, to organize such a splendid shindig.

 I thought about how once a friend had sternly told me that no one should have a potluck party; it simply was not the thing to do, and no party should be held unless one could pull off a dinner worthy of Martha Stewart. She was not joking. I secretly thought, “Okay then, you won’t be invited to my 60th birthday.”  That conversation was the moment when I knew the friendship was doomed by a class difference too wide to cross. She was too rich for my blood. Something about the conversation disheartened me enough that I  later solved the 60th year party problem by decamping to the Sylvia Beach Hotel five days. 

Not only did I need to surprise Allan with potluck items for his big 65th (or he would have realized how big the party was going to be), but… working class people have potlucks and that is just the way it is. 

After Allan’s party, I kept thinking of people I wish I could have invited. My criteria was to invite people who have invited  us into their homes. I figured that then the invitation would be a pleasure and not a burden.  But I am sure I forgot some. I also forgot to give a shout out to J9’s party helper business, Have Tux, Will Travel.  As a guest, she slipped into party help mode, including washing up, and made everything easier. I also forgot to make a little fuss of celebration at the party that it was the 12th anniversary to the day of Allan moving here. 

My next big party plan is for July 2009, which will mark the 25th anniversary of when I moved to the town of Ilwaco.  That can be a garden party. 

Today, once I returned from my very brief foray outside, I settled in with an interlibrary loan. 

Here’s a clear shot of the cover. 


I had discovered this garden while on a walk home from a Capitol Hill housecleaning job to my home in Greenwood in the late 1980s.  I used to walk miles between work and home. Sometimes a two hour walk would be faster than taking three buses and would be a way to discover wonderful places. I nosed around the hillside garden, not sure if I were really allowed to be there, and visited it several times, without ever meeting the owners, before I left Seattle in December 1992. Recently, I saw that the garden was to be featured on a (very expensive) Pacific Horticulture garden tour weekend. Recognizing it by one photo, I learned its actual name and found its website, at streissguthgardens.com. (The website seems to be down as I write this so I can’t link to it yet.) 

You can read more about it here.  And here.

The beginning of the gardens is the perfect story of gardening neighbors:


I have sort of an obsession with gardening neighbors, especially after finding a chapter on that topic in the book Gardening from the Heart: Why Gardeners Garden. 


I have longed for the glory of a gardening neighbor and never quite got there. Once I thought I had, with someone nearby but not quite next door. I was wrong, and it was deeply disappointing. I have felt envious when touring garden neighbors’ adjoining paradises on garden tours in Portland and Aberdeen.

Back to the Streissguth gardens.  I enjoyed reading about gardening on a hillside of blue clay, as parts of my previous Ilwaco garden was like that.  I had had no idea of the battle to save the hillside from development.  The solution of donating their garden to the city was genius and so admirable. 


I appreciate their use of human powered tools. 

One of the principles of the Streissguth Gardens that strongly speaks to me : “a good garden and its house should be a gift to its neighbors.”

Those of you who live in or visit Seattle, do visit this garden and send me some photos, if you would be so kind. 

The last time I visited the garden, still not knowing its name, was with a friend in July of 2003. Not even sure if I could find it again, we drove Capitol Hill streets until we came upon it from above. 

Here are my photos from that afternoon. 

Looking down the hill to the garages at the bottom of the garden: That may have been one of the garden owners. We didn’t chat as she seemed very busy in the vegetable garden (and I was shy).


Looking to the north side into the private part of the garden, well described in the book. 




Down by the old garages at the base of the hill:


The damp areas by the pond that catches water run off:

The beauty of a hillside garden:

The friend I was with, lost now in the mists of time, was not a gardener and could not understand my rapture over the garden. I’m glad I took photos anyway (before digital camera) and wish I had taken more.

Back in 2018, I finished the day of a convalescent with a suspense novel. Quite good, and set in the wild forests of Oregon. 


While I’ve been immersed in books, our friends Scott and Tony visited Oysteville,  and Tony took this photo of THE Oysteville garden. 

Photo by Tony Hofer

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Monday, 27 November 2017

We joined up with Scott and Tony to go on a real estate jaunt.

Rudy welcomes us to Scott and Tony’s place. (Allan’s photo)

Bailey and Rudy had to stay home.

inside Scott and Tony’s townhouse

The Old Church

Up north in Ocean Park, this old 1940 church had come up for sale, for the second or third time since I moved to the peninsula 25 years ago.  If it had been for sale in 1994, Robert and I would surely have bought it instead of our Ilwaco fisherman’s shack, and we would have been north-enders instead of Ilwacoans.

the back

The lot is only 5000 square feet, but if with it had come with the chance to also buy the lot behind it, it would have been a good enough size.

big empty lot to the north

In 1994, we lucked into a double lot to buy in Ilwaco.  I think that if we had not moved it Ilwaco, I would have been content with the church’s 5000 square feet to garden in, as my Seattle garden was only 3000 square feet.

The old church is walking distance from the Bank of the Pacific and Okie’s market…

That’s the Bank of the Pacific and some shops, from the back yard.

…and Jack’s Country Store, Oman and Son Builders Supply, and the Ocean Park Library.

While waiting for the realtor, we took an appreciative gander at all of the adorable cottages on the block.

 

Rock Lobster Cottage

His and Hermans

Fat Captain Cottage

right across the street

At the church, we were joined by Scott and Tony’s friends Robb and Cheryl and their adorable dog, Skipper, AKA “The Chosen One”.

Skipper

Realtor Mary Kay Ramage arrived to let us in.

front porch view looking west

and east (It is next to Ocean Park Resort.)

Inside the church, we found that there would a be a lot of work to do to make it liveable.  I will say that back in 1994, I could have managed to live in it pretty much as it is, with the addition of some sort of mini-kitchen.  You’d understand if you saw the primitive and rustic conditions of the Ilwaco fishing shack where I did live for 14 years!

the ceiling in the foyer

the entry foyer

Allan’s photo

Above us was a mysterious door way up high, under the square tower.

Allan’s photo

just inside

the nave? a baptismal spot? We wondered about the two tension cables that seemed to be holding the side walls together.

Allan’s photo

Above, I wondered if the big hatch in the floor had once held a baptismal tub.  We don’t know what kind of church it was.  I wish I could find its history.  So far, my online search has failed. Perhaps it was a folly rather than an active church.  Ocean Park was a church-oriented community when the town was first built.

I could live here. Or…I could have when younger.

a little stove for heat (Allan’s photo)

Tony thought maybe this back room with four doors and a buzzer was some kind of confessional.

Allan noticed that there had been a little stairway leading up to this door to the nave.

the bathroom, and a book bag from Powell’s Bookstore in Portland

in the very back, a drop down storage space

This dream was beyond all of us at our ages.  As one of us said, “I’d be dangerous if I was thirty!”  I think I might have been tempted at age 55 when we were looking for a new place in 2010…but I trust Allan would have had more sense than to go from one rustic space to another.  By then, after 14 years on a double lot, I would have soon felt frustrated by the tiny gardening space.  Tony and Scott had thought it might make a wonderful vintage and antique shop.

Maybe YOU could do it.  Here is the listing.  There is a big part of me that so regrets not going to live in that amazing space.

Deer Lake

After all our dreams died because of the church needing too much work, the four of us drove north to Surfside to visit Lorilyn, a friend of Tony’s who had attended our Halloween party (as had Robb and Cheryl).  We wanted to see her parents’ park-like property.

over the garage (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

It has a pet cemetery (“very Stephen King”, said Lorilyn).

blessings to Trouble and Fluffy

and to Our Buffy

A temporary fort, for the grandchildren, had been built in the summer and will be rebuilt next year.

mossy paths

Lorilyn and Allan

One side of the large property is bordered by the delightful small Deer Lake.

I would love to live by this little lake.

telephoto

On the way back south, Tony picked up a couple of delicious U-Bake pizzas from Jack’s Country Store, and we dined on pizza and salad Chez Scott and Tony.

Rudy hoping for scraps (He got a healthy treat instead)

Shoeboxes of Joy

While driving south again, Allan and I stopped at Coulter Park to make a monetary donation to the annual Shoeboxes of Joy project.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

You may recall that we tidied the garden along this ramp last week.

wrapped shoe boxes waiting to be filled

Assorted treats and supplies will go in the boxes.

Each box will be topped with a mini Christmas stocking filled with candy.

There are boxes especially for folks with diabetes, and extra boxes of cat or dog treats for people with pets.

Six to seven hundred people are served by this program, and the organizers are always trying to find more to make sure no one is missed.  They get help in this from various local societies and from the Long Beach and Ilwaco mayors.  Any boxes left over get taken to the Christmas day  dinner at the Elks.

Tomorrow: Rain or shine, Allan is going to help decorate the Crab Pot Christmas Tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 3 Sept 2017

As we passed through the town of Castle Rock on our way to Evan Bean’s garden, I remembered childhood camping trips for two weeks each summer at the Toutle River, a beautiful campground that got washed away when Mt St Helens erupted in 1980.

 After our garden visit, we returned to Castle Rock and stopped to admire the public gardens.  I was pleased to find a Facebook page for the volunteer (!!!) group that does these gardens.  And, oh, LOOK! They have an annual garden tour (which we have, tragically, missed).

 Next year!

The first garden runs along the parking lot and street of the Riverfront Trail.  Allan went up onto the trail and got photos of the river.

I think this might presage a boating trip.

One of them waved.

The bank below the trail is newly planted.

Allan’s photo

how it gets watered (Allan’s photo)

This looks like the work truck.

Gateway Park

It was 96 degrees as we walked through the garden.

We had driven up that curved road heading to Evan’s garden.

I noted that somebody does hose watering.

roses and hydrangeas

This park runs for several blocks along a one way street going into town from the north.

Feast your eyes on the hanging baskets!  The park shows to the left in this photo.

I realized that each pole has a round banner which appear to be made by locals.  Let’s look at the baskets along this street and then get back to the park.

The baskets have gold sweet potato vine and at the top, some pink gaura making a spray of flowers.

Many hands make light work.

Now for our walk through this most amazing park.  I think that despite what the map below says it is called Gateway Park.

It’s long and narrow, between Huntington Avenue and Front Street.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

around the base of a tree (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

One plant source is Tsugawa. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, looking down from the road

Is this really all hose watered by volunteers?! (Allan’s photo)

white gaura (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We’ve walked south, and now we are walking back north.

On the way through town earlier in the day, my first hint of the great garden spirit here was a glimpse of the city hall garden, so we went looking for it.  On the way, we came upon what seems to be the same commercial street and stopped to admire its planters and baskets.

Castle Rock Blooms banner

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

dangling sweet potato vine (I think that is what it is)

painted rock (Allan’s photo)

 

It was 4:30 PM and we were the only pedestrians.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

sidewalk garden beds

We found City Hall a couple of blocks away.  It had been a great benefit of my freeway avoidance that we had glimpsed its garden on our route earlier in the day.

Allan’s photo

pink gaura, also used in the baskets

Digital cameras are weird. And WOW, what a garden.

The only other person we saw was a man across the street waiting at a table and holding a bouquet. There is a story there.

waterfall rock

Water rill goes under the entry walk.

seems like they get a lot of donations…

Allan’s photo

I was well and truly astonished by Castle Rock.

Here are a few bonus photos from our drive while looking for city hall:

On the way home:

The part of highway 4 (Ocean Beach Highway) between Longview and Cathlamet scares me, but what’s new….I’m no fun on the driving part of a road trip.

The 99 degree temperature as we passed through Longview dropped to 79 as we got closer to the beach.

In Naselle, we paused for a look at the big garden by the library.

They were having a party.

and the garden across the street….

with its big rooster.

I’m kind of in love with Castle Rock now, and I fantasized about moving in retirement to join that group of volunteers….if only it were not so hot there!  Here’s an upcoming event that you might want to attend.

castlerock.jpg

 

 

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Sunday, 3 September 2017

We left on our day trip before 10 AM, along with a bowl of tabouli and some chocolate cupcakes for a potluck and open garden over two hours inland.

My next door neighbour, Royal, saw us off.

Our route: We had another 15 minutes still to go when we got to Castle Rock.

The first part of our drive, east of the Astoria bridge: The Columbia River abounded with little boats fishing.  (Taken while on the move; we were on too much a mission to stop for better pics)

As we passed through Castle Rock, I glimpsed some enticing public gardens.  We will visit those in tomorrow’s post.

Our destination was the garden of Evan Bean, who has worked at Longwood Garden, Plant Delights (with our friend Todd), Cistus, and now works for Plantlust.com.  His garden, at his family home about 15 minutes east of Castle Rock, was open for garden bloggers and friends.

When we arrived, met by heat in the high 90s, a few other guests had already arrived, including Sean, owner of the fabulous Cistus Nursery and Jane of the Mulch Maid blog.

Allan’s photo, as we approach the kitchen door

Needing to adjust to the heat, we indulged in the delicious potluck offerings before touring the garden.  In conversation with Evan’s mum, Nancy, we learned that the two headed calf in Marsh’s Free Museum (Long Beach, home of Jake the Alligator Man), belonged to her grandfather’s side show. Her father, “Pony Bill” Giberson, had pony rides where the Long Beach carousel now sits.  (I thought I had this right, but Evan has clarified that “my mother’s father, Leonard, donated the two-headed calf. Her grandfather, Bill, had the pony rides.”)  Nancy herself has had a career in forestry, and encouraged Evan as a child to appreciate nature.

Fortified and refreshed, we plunged into the heat and a full tour of Evan’s garden.

the impressively small ladies in waiting collection

Garden writer Amy Campion in the greenhouse, with Evan reflected in the door

The greenhouse has a mister for the plants that Evan is propagating.  I am pleased and hopeful that Allan took an interest in how it works.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

plant babies

treasures

Near the greenhouse, Nancy showed us a stump that had resisted digging out, so they burnt it to represent nearby Mount St Helens and planted a Mt St Helens azalea in it.

burnt stump

Jane photographing the circular front garden bed.

Allan’s photo

The round bed was Evan’s high school senior project, on which he spent much more time than most seniors did on theirs.  He has enhanced and improved it since then.  (He’s now in his almost-late 20s.) It had much plant interest to offer us.  We walked around it admiring everything.

Sesli gummiferum (Moon Carrot), which I very much wish I had.

Notice all the pleasing rocks in the garden.

Jane noticing the details

continuing around

two kinds of ornamental oregano

Allan’s photo

The garden bed seems round but is actually more complex.

Allan’s photo

Having made it all the way around, I turned my attention to the bed by the house.

DSC00998

some form of Melianthus next to the house (Later: Evan says it is Melianthus villosus.

easy access and I like the railings

The shade of the lower garden enticed me and others.  The rest of the garden that we will see is less than a year old, except, says Evan, “a section of the rhododendron border behind the hakonechloa bed, and a scattering of trees through the rest of the garden”.

the hakanechloa bed

By now, our friend Ann (the Amateur Bot-ann-ist) had arrived, with Paul Bonine, owner of the glorious Xera Plants, from whom I would buy one of every Xera plant if I lived in Portland.

Ann in the red checked shirt

The dry creek was installed to solve some drainage problems.

starry detail

sunny wall of house

In Evan’s words: “The annual wildflowers, and even some of the fast-growing perennials and subshrubs like Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’, and similar plants, were mostly put in place to fill in space and cover the ground to help reduce weeds while longer-lived plants grow. They were plants I could obtain cheaply and easily propagate more of. In some cases, I’m not even sure yet what the longer-lived plants should be, so they obviously haven’t even been planted. In most of the garden, the longer-lived plants will have to be ones that can adapt to dappled shade as the cork oaks and other trees grow. I picture layers of relatively drought-tolerant evergreen shrubs like Elaeagnus, Choisya, Mahonia repens and nervosa, mixed with a few tough, easy-care evergreen herbaceous plants like various carex for textural contrast, and here and there some deciduous perennials or ephemeral plants for added seasonal variation. Some of those plants are already in place. Some have yet to be selected and planted.”

the path back to the shady patio

 

As I knew it would be, this was the sort of garden where I could not identify a fair number of the plants.  Any mistakes are mine from when I was too shy to ask.

Tricyrtis ‘Blue Wonder’ (I asked Evan for IDs on some of these plants.)

Allan’s photo

heading into the sunshine

looking back from whence I came

The fence encloses about two acres and keeps the deer out. Evan’s mom, a forester, says that our west coast deer are lazy and that a six foot fence is enough. She also said they have a fear of breaking their legs.  Other species of deer WILL jump a six foot fence.

A group of gardeners clustered around this plant pronounced it some sort of gentian.  Evan later IDed it for us: Gentiana asclepiadea, the willow gentian.

a young castor bean

seed heads of Dranunculus vulgaris

Dranunculus vulgaris

Mimulus cardinalis

Calceolaria arachnoidea

I am smitten with this plant.

Evan recommends orange Calceolaria ‘Kentish Hero’.

kniphofia

castor bean with beautiful airy coreopsis

Brachyglottis greyi, or it might be Brachyglottis ‘Otari Cloud’, says Evan.

These beds which are full sun will eventually have a bit of shade.

Allan’s photo

more lovely free flowing coreopsis

Heptacodium miconioides, which I knew, because I have one, thanks to my friend Debbie Teashon of Rainyside Gardeners.

This little guy got lots of attention.


Evan says, “”The wildflower look is sort of nice, but really not my style. It’s a planned successional stage in the gardens development, filling in space while the real garden grows.””

I must have been mad during my phase of not liking rudbeckias.

This poppy got lots of attention.

Allan’s photo

new growth.  Later I got the ID from Evan: Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum

The shady patio is where we would soon be sitting again.

Zauschneria

Allan’s photo

a hardy geranium of some sort

the path back to the shady patio

looking out from our shady chairs

Allan’s photo

patio corner

outside the kitchen window

When we walked down to our van to depart, Nancy walked with us and, because we showed interest, took us to the kitchen garden.  It is located below the garage because the rest of the property used to be so shady.

tomatoes

yacon

That was a fine day out, with more to come, as we will tour some Castle Rock gardens on the way home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Markham Farm, part two

During our tour of Terri and Bill’s Markham Farm garden, Terri walked us down to the beach that is part of the acreage.  I had thought the path would be steep and difficult (for me).  Terri had described how when her children were young, she could be in the garden or on the deck of the house and hear them playing on the beach below.  It seemed like a long way down from there, but the path turned out to be an easy stroll.  On the way, Terri showed us where an old railway line had run below the house all the way to Aberdeen, and where she had embarked upon an enormous winter project of pulling ivy from the bank below the house, with impressive success.

Terri shows where the railway used to be.

Allan’s photo

an easy path and then one step down

Newly adopted dog Ilsa began to run the moment her toes hit the sand.  Terri said that it is unusual to have such a long stretch of sand, instead of mud, along Grays Harbor.

Allan’s photo

looking south

looking north

We walked south…


Allan and Terri

Allan’s photo

Ilsa running. In the distance you can see the Westport on the horizon.

Ilsa (Allan’s photo)

After checking back with us, Ilsa went running again.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

massive rocks left over from the railway line (and my streaky camera problem)

We turned and walked north, almost to the alder woods.  A trail through there is one of Terri’s joys, but today we did not walk back that way for two reasons: My sore foot, and the fact that Terri does not want new dog Ilsa to learn about the alder woods until she is completely bonded to home.  Ilsa did look at the trees with great interest.

The alders are beyond and above the shoreline willows.

The willows and the driftwood reminded me of riverbanks where my family camped when I was a child.  I suddenly said to Terri, “Uh oh, this is making me dissatisfied with my life!”  That does not happen very often.  But to walk on this beach every day….. I had to hold the picture of my beloved Ilwaco marina in my mind very hard for a moment to damp down my beach envy.

driftwood and willows

Ilsa would run, then check on us, then run again.

the scent of sand, seaweed, and willows

drifts of smooth pebbles

driftwood and native blue Elymus (beach grass)

below the house, part of Terri’s ivy clearing project

the alder woods

Ilsa almost discovered the alder woods path on her own.  She may have smelled a deer.  Like the good dog she is, she came back to us (eventually) when called.

railway remnants

just before we turned back

By the main path up to the garden, 15 month old Ilse had a good dig.

She is learning not to do this in the garden.

Someday we will take up Terri’s invitation to visit and stay overnight.  With a whole day (and I hope a better foot), I would walk and walk on this beach and explore the alder woods paths.

the main path back, marked with floats

Tomorrow: back to daily work.  As I write these two posts about Markham Farm, I am transported  there.  It is a garden that I will think about for as long as I can think.

I brought home these beachcombing finds to remember the beach by.

 

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Since early summer, I had been corresponding with Terri, the organizer of the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County garden tour, ever since contacting her to confirm the date of their 2017 tour.  She had invited us to come visit her garden sometime this summer.  When she sent me these photos in late June, I knew I just had to go there.

Terri’s photo

Terri’s photo

Terri’s photo

Today Allan and I got up early and drove two hours to the garden.  The property is named for Cynthia Markham who first claimed it in the mid 19th century.  Long before that, these shoreline acres were probably walked by the members of the Shoalwater Bay tribe.

As we approached, down a long dead end road, I exclaimed in joy.

DSC03862

I knew right away, from my first sight of the garden bed lit by sunshine at the end of the road, that we were in for something special.

DSC03863.JPG

to our left along the driveway

DSC03864.JPG

looking back along the driveway

DSC03865.JPG

The old tubs used to be used for horse watering troughs.

Two horses grazed over the fence by where we parked.  We soon learned that they are named Woody and Gus after characters in Lonesome Dove.  The white horse, Woody, is 35 years old and Gus is about 26.

DSC03780.jpg

Allan’s photo

We were greeted by Ilsa, a 15 month old recently adopted rescue dog who soon became my new dear friend.  She used to be a city dog and now lives in paradise.

DSC03866.JPG

Ilsa turning back at the sound of Terri’s voice.  This is the entry garden that I had seen from far up the road.

DSC03782.jpg

Ilsa and her tennis ball (Allan’s photo).  To the left of the driveway is a vast field of blueberries.

DSC03867.JPG

a stand of persicaria backed with phlox

Terri welcomed us and we walked slowly up toward the house, admiring the long driveway garden at every step along the way.

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to our right

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To our left. Teucrium hyrcanicum “Purple Tails’. I thought it was a salvia.  Must have!

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that face! 🙂

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to our left: Verbena bonariensis and phlox

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to our right: I was amazed to learn that this huge plant is a persicaria, Persicaria polymorpha, which I must acquire.

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to our right, smokebush smoking

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Look closely and you will see that the top of the stump is planted with teucrium.

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In this area and elsewhere, several enormous trees came down in the Great Coastal Gale of 2007.  Although she and Bill had owned the property by then for many years and had cleared the rhododendron forest from being completely overgrown by bindweed and more, and had grown  vegetables, it was not till after the gale that Terri focused on creating the ornamental garden.

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To our right: We are still walking up the driveway!

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to our left

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Ilsa got ahead of us.

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Ilsa by the pond

Waldo Pond got its name from “Where’s Waldo?”, as in looking for the frogs on the lily pads.  We only saw one today.  Terri says they hop off into the garden during the day.

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by Waldo Pond

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Some water has evaporated over our dry summer.

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Just past the pond is the house and garage.

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garage wall

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We met Terri’s spouse, Bill, and went up onto the deck where a group of chairs sat around a fireplace.

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The loon is a recurring symbol here.

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(taken later in the day)

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I was so focused on the deck’s ambience and on the bay view that it took me till I looked at my photos to see the second story skybridge going between the house and the garage.

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On the deck overlooking Grays Harbor.

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The wide deck goes all the way around the house.

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outside the kitchen window

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Allan’s photo

After walking all around the deck, Terri and Allan and I embarked upon a tour of the winding paths through the garden along the north side of the driveway.

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The paths strayed hither and yon, opening up into small clearing and vignettes.

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corylopsis leaves catching the sun

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Hydrangea and fuchsia magellanica

Terri and I had already figured out, through her reading of this blog and through email correspondence, that we share similar taste in plants.

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As you can see, Ilsa accompanied us through the garden.

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lacecap hydrangea

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Hydrangea aspera

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Hydrangea aspera

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textural Corylopsis leaves

A clearing revealed Terri’s latest project in progress, made from broken concrete.

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Hydrangea paniculata

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gorgeous

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Some garden art found at Pier 1

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Lamprocapnos scandens

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Lespedeza thunbergii (Bushclover)

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Cotinus (Smokebush)

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We walked down a slope on a paths that was easy, with non slippery mulch and nice wide steps.

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To the north is the alder wood.  You can just see the top of Terri’s head!

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I think this is Arundo donax variegata.

Terri is going off of big grasses that flop all over the place.  The one above is well behaved.

A long river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’ spills down the hill, about fifty of them, planted ten years ago. By this late in the summer, some of the crocosmia has flopped over the river of blue; Terri said she is planning to thin the crocosmia for that reason.

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with a scrim of Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’

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Allan’s photo

Below the Rozanne River lies the alder wood, also part of the property and also with paths.  We did not go into the woods because Ilsa is a newly adopted dog, and Terri does not want her to learn about those paths until she is sure to return home.

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to the west, the contained (by a concrete ditch, I think) bamboo grove (Allan’s photo)

Looking to the east, we could see Woody grazing in the pasture.

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Allan’s photo

As we climbed the hill again, I admired a low wall that I had walked right by before.

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made from a natural looking manufactured block, much better looking than “cottage” blocks.

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a sit spot

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colour and texture

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persicaria

When Terri and Bill’s children were young and they had first acquired the farm and were just spending weekends there from Seattle, they got rid of the television and have used the satellite dish as a planter ever since.  It conceals the access to the septic tank.

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approaching the house again

Their grandson loves the winding secret paths.  I was thinking how amazing it must be for children to visit there, something they will remember for a lifetime.

We took a short break for glasses of water in the kitchen.

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the old farmhouse kitchen ceiling (Allan’s photo)

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kitchen window (Allan’s photo)

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Allan noticed this interesting chair! Bill pointed out they were a north wind motif.

Refreshed, we embarked upon a walk toward the beach.  On the way, we admired more garden beauty.

To the south of the driveway is an enormous field of blueberries, transplanted from a farm and now a sanctuary for birds.

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next to the driveway fence

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Terri’s newest garden bed is a collection of pollinator friendly plants.

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echinaceas and more

Because the garden is not deer fenced, Terri has found an interesting way to repel deer.  She soaks tennis balls in deer repellent (heavy on the eggs!) and puts them on stakes around the garden.

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However, do you see Ilsa in the background?  She loves tennis balls and goes after the stinky staked ones.

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This open air pavilion is where an old forge used to stand, evidenced by piles of ashes found downhill.  I think it incorporates some of the forge building or an old carriage house.

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Allan’s photo

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the pavilion

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loon carving

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Bill and I

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looking east at the blueberry field from where the beach trail begins.

The many photos from our walk on the beach will be a bonus post, tonight.

Ilsa took a short nap upon our return from the beach. (Allan’s photo)

When we returned, Bill made us delicious burgers for lunch.  He called them smash burgers, made from a ball instead of a patty and smashed under a weight so that they are crispy on both sides.  That, and a salad made with avocado and endive that was eaten too eagerly to be photographed, went down a treat.

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quite honestly the best burger I’ve ever had

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Ilsa sits nobly by while we dine at a picnic table.

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our view toward Waldo pond

As I gazed from the picnic table to the pond, one small conifer shone like a golden torch.  It is not as evident in the photo as it was to my eyes.  You can see it next to an orb toward the left, above; it is Thuja platycladus ‘Weedom’.

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peach and apple cobbler for dessert

Soon after we had arrived, we had learned (to my vast relief!) that Bill and Terri share our thoughts about current events. That made for sympatico lunchtime conversation, which is a great comfort these days.

After lingering over our meal, we took a walk down the driveway to see the horses before saying goodbye.

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Some flowers on the way:

Verbena bonariensus

Persicaria (Allan’s photo)

Phlox (Allan’s photo)

The glorious Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’ again. Terri says it holds its colour for a long time. (Allan’s photo)

Buddleia (Allan’s photo)

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Barn wall (Allan’s photo)

Terri and Gus

Gus enjoying carrots

Here comes Woody. (Allan’s photo)

Woody is mostly blind. Terri tossed down some carrots for him but Gus got them first.

Woody moved away. (Allan’s photos)

Later that night, Woody got apple peels to make up for it.

As we got into our van to leave, I noticed one more cool little tree.

Allan’s photo

It is Staphylea pinnata (European Bladdernut), one that is new to me.

We drove off from an idyllic, perfect visit with seedpods on the dashboard.


If you are smitten with this garden, you’ll have a chance to see it next July on the Grays Harbor Master Gardener tour. It is a garden I will be revisiting in my mind many times and will find well worth the drive to visit in another season.

Tonight’s bonus post: Our midday walk on the beach below the garden.

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