Posts Tagged ‘garden touring’

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

7.  “Fantastic, easy-care RV lot maximizes fun, minimizes maintenance.”

Part of the Surfside lifestyle is folks bringing their RVS for the summer.  Many lots have a shed on them for winter storage, but the RVs can’t be left all winter.  This tour garden was on an RV lot that had been in the family for many years.

Allan’s photo

The fire circle was made by the previous generation, with rocks brought from the Toutle River.

Allan’s photo

We learned that the owners hail from the beautiful town of Castle Rock and love it there.  You may recall that we were mind-boggled by the beauty of the gardens there.

8. “Amazing transformation in just a few years. Terraced for easy access, perennials for easy maintenance.”

The before photos at the eighth garden showed an impressive change.

a plant list for tour guests to take

We stopped by the Homeowners Association building on our way to the last garden.  They had gotten a good supply of donations to the food bank.

Allan’s photo

9. “Custom fireplace is a focal point for this low maintenance beauty.”

The last garden took us into familiar territory on a short cul de sac where we used to work.

This is the garden bed that divides the fireplace garden from what once was Marilyn’s garden.

Spanish fir

Around to the back garden.

back to a familiar garden

Now that our official touring was done, we went next door to barge in on the new owners of “Marilyn’s garden.”  They had called me in mid spring for some plant ID help, and I am so bad at making phone calls that I never called back.  Today, I could hear them outside gardening.

The view below may look familiar from many old blog posts.  This is the garden where we first met Skooter, who came to live with us after Marilyn died.

The owners after Marilyn had seemed to like the garden at first.  They hired friends of ours, who we recommended, to help them care for it, but over the next two years said owners wanted many plants removed and garden areas covered with landscape fabric and river rock.  Now they have moved on and gardeners live there again.  I am so happy about that.  We strolled the garden with the new owners and IDed the plants that remain.  They love the height of the garden and are adding plants back in.

The one change I like that happened two years ago was was the addition of this bed along the front.  Marilyn liked an open view.  I like complete enclosure.

This delightfully sweet dog was visiting.

These two (not a two-bodied dog) are residents of the garden.

Allan’s photo

This garden should surely be on any future Surfside tour.

Our garden tour day was not done.  We still had three more garden visits to make on the way home.



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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

Somsri’s Garden

I had been hoping that Somsri’s wonderful garden, which we have visited before, would be on this tour.


Allan’s photo

Marble art is Sam’s new passion.

Pirates and mermaids have become a theme since we last were there.

Her septic vault planting was the inspiration for the whole block.

Somsri (Sam) Allan’s photo

She makes all the concrete (hypertufa?) leaves.

She sells the leaves at local art shows.

The garden has moved a little further out to the street since our last visit.

Allan’s photo

Next: the rest of the Yardscape Tour gardens, in one post which will publish this evening, because our blog is falling too far behind real time.

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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

We continued our tour with four gardens on one block at the north end of Surfside.  Each had a septic vault, common with new septic systems.

3. “RV lot designed for easy care, easy access. See a new septic vault installation.  Compare to the vault just across the street, to see the transformation!”

Surfside allows RV dwellers, with some restrictions. I think that one rule is that the RV can’t be left all year.

In this small lot at the north end of Seabreeze Lake, we viewed new planting on a new septic vault.

A lake view sit spot…

…..would make for wonderful birdwatching.

4. “Gorgeous front yard planted with mature, low maintenance varieties for the above ground septic vault.”

Right across the street is a mature septic vault planting.

This garden wrapped around to the back of the house.

love the driftwood fence and arch

The back garden segues into the wild woods.

a handsome gunnera
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Cellophane gives the look of water. (Allan’s photo)

We like the list of questions that most gardeners answered.

I could be very happy with that woodsy back garden view.

5. “Another easy-care, low water use yard, with planted above-ground septic.”

Allan’s photo

I love the look of the boardwalk, although one of the advantages of a septic vault garden is that it is the perfect height to weed while standing next to it. It is too wide to reach the middle, though.


Allan’s photo

I am a little uncomfortable about the Round Up.  Let’s just say it is not what we do.

Allan’s photo

Next: Just down the block, a wonderful garden that we have visited before.  I have heard that its owner was the inspiration and helper for the septic vault gardens all down the block.



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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

Surfside is directly across from Oysterville on the ocean side of the Long Beach Peninsula  Its addresses are “Ocean Park”, which may be why it’s hard to find a map showing it by name.

We began at the Homeowners Association office.

Yay, a garden tour!

Inside, informative displays and handouts were on offer.

The neighborhood has two particular fire hazards, beach pines and dune grass.  The unamended ground is sand.

Excellent.  This was a serious garden tour.  I picked up the current Washington State noxious weed pamphlet and other useful literature and the attractive trifold tour pamphlet.

We each were given a free packet of seeds along with the tour guide.

view out the window of the Surfside canal

 I was sorry to see that Surfside resident George Miller’s garden was not on the tour. I had been sure it would be, having seen his many photos of its beauty on a local gardening Facebook group.

On to the first two gardens, one on a small lake and one on the oceanfront.

1.  “See what you can do with a small space and waterfront property.”

The north end of the peninsula is where sand dollars are to be found.

Seabreeze Lake

The owner had a Green Goddess calla lily and had hoped for a white one.

I told her I’d be happy to trade a white one for some starts of that green one!

blue and white lithodora (Allan’s photo)

2. Beautiful, owner-created front yard, easy-care, water-wise perennials, deer-resistant plantings.”

Allan’s photo

The house fronts onto the dunes.



We learned that our friend Ed Strange (now retired from landscaping) had helped design and install the hardscape.

This dwarf buddleia was much asked about.

We saw the informative handout and realized that every garden had one; we had missed it at the first garden. What an excellent idea.

As we drove on, we passed the free chipping site for residents.  It’s a good idea because it prevents flammable piles of debris.

Surfside has a somewhat controversial ordinance that all shore pines on properties on the flatland must be pruned to a certain height to preserve the view of the people on the hill. We had just missed a lecture from the knowledgeable Arbor Care arborists from Astoria.  I would be interested to know if they feel that all that topping affects the health of the trees. It must create a lot of chipping material.

Next, three septic vault gardens (or as we call it in Diane’s garden, “raised box”; now we know the real name).


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Monday, 24 September 2018

Our garden tour continued in Oysterville.

Martie and Steve’s garden

For a detailed and orderly tour of this garden, see here.

north side of driveway

At this entrance to the garden, Ketzel and Beth stopped and marveled at the silence of Oysterville.

Schefflera admiration

schefflera and restio (Allan’s photo)

Joe Pye was much admired.

still north side of driveway

south side of driveway

front lawn, looking northeast

on the front garden with Tetrapanax

south side of front lawn

south side of the house with Melianthus major

Allan’s photo

the croquet lawn with their guest cottage to the far left

astelia on north wall of pottery studio

(To my surprise, I learned that astelia works in dry shade and now I am strongly interested in acquiring some.)

looking into the pottery studio with Martie and Steve

the house from the studio

fire circle and also raku pottery kiln

Ketzel likes this bonsai.

northwest back garden

Allan’s photo

from behind the house

at the sculpture (Allan’s photo)

looking west from the deck

kitchen garden

Panicum next to the deck

Allan’s photo

on the deck

We heard about some of Martie’s future plans for the garden and then departed to continue our tour.

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Monday, 24 September 2018

When we went garden touring down to Manzanita in late August with Pam and Prissy, we had been joined by Beth Holland and Ketzel Levine,  When they learned we gardened on the Long Beach Peninsula, Beth and Ketzel were eager for a tour.  So today they arrived at our house at ten AM for a tour that I had arranged.  (We were almost joined by Ann Amato from Portland but she could not make it, and Pam and Prissy, unlike us, were working instead of skiving off.)

I had been pretty socially anxious about arranging the tour, having long been an admirer of Beth’s gardening from Cannon Beach to Astoria and having read all of Ketzel’s gardening columns when she wrote for the Oregonian.

You’ve seen hundreds of photos of our garden and our work gardens, so we will zoom through those.

our garden

Ketzel meets Frosty (Allan’s [photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

You can imagine how pleased I was that they liked our garden.

Next, we drove past the boatyard and the Port of Ilwaco curbside gardens and then on to the garden at

The Shelburne Hotel.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

from the pub deck (Allan’s photo)

Candles had been hung in the laurel for a weekend wedding.

We continued on for a brief look at Fifth Street Park in

Long Beach.

Allan’s photo

Darmera had seeded itself into the top of the Fifth Street Park waterfall.

Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Beth, me, and Ketzel

Allan’s photo

Ketzel was taking photos for a talk she was giving the very next day at the Nehalem Garden Club.  (I would have done my best to attend this previous talk at that garden club if I had known about it back in February!)

Ed Strange’s garden

We next went to our good friend Ed’s garden in Tides West.  Beth and Ketzel expressed appreciation for being taken to a garden on a small city sized lot as well as to parks and grand estates.

Ed was there to greet us.  Ketzel liked meeting Ed’s sweet dog, Jackson.

The day was perfect faux summer weather for garden enjoyment, not so much for taking photos.

Ed had recently cut back the huge leaves on his gunnera.

He described how he gets many seedlings by just laying the long seedheads down on the soil.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The placement and quality of Ed’s phormium was much admired. (Allan’s photo)

on the porch (east side of house)


between house and garage

Artistic upcycled plant stand

The back garden has recently turned from shade to sun from the cutting down of a substantial number of trees to the south.

south garage wall

west side of back garden

We then drove north toward Oysterville.  As we approached Nahcotta, everyone agreed that a lunch stop would be a treat. We were fortunate that one of the best cafés on the peninsula was open.

Bailey’s Café

Bailey’s, like the Depot Restaurant in Seaview, is housed in a former stop on the old Clamshell Railway.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The art on the walls was given a close look before and after lunch.

The tuna pita wrap is my favourite sandwich on the peninsula.  I don’t have it often because we don’t often pass this way.

the best!

With a burst of energy, we returned to our tour and headed on to see two gardens in Oysterville.








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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Depot Restaurant

weeding, deadheading, watering…

Fuchsia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’

Solidago ‘Fireworks’ and Persicaria ‘Firetail’

Last week, I was finally able to cut down all the twiggy stems on the escallonia.

It has more or less died out in the middle.

Long Beach

We did a quick weeding of horsetail in Fifth Street Park.  With the days getting shorter, we no longer have time to fit a project into the middle of a Long Beach-Shelburne-Ilwaco watering day.

Skookum Surf was returning from the beach….

to their new shop in First Place Mall.

The Red Barn

We did not have to water.  Amy said, “If those plants are telling you they are thirsty, they are lying.”  (The plants had told us that they were quite satisfied.)  So only some light deadheading and weeding was necessary.

our tiny Red Barn garden

crab pots and thistles by the Red Barn

Cosmo the barn cat (Allan’s photo)

I want to take Cosmo home. Maybe he wants to come home with us.

Allan’s photo

Diane’s garden

Diane herself doing some deadheading by the road.

By the way, Diane is a champion barrel racer. I found this photo (not by us) from four years ago.

Diane and Bunny

I told Diane today how impressed I am with her skills.

We had a good talk about the various plants in the raised box garden.

I had my new version of lunch: a deconstructed cheese, pickle, and onion sandwich, because I don’t especially like bready sandwiches.

deconstructed sandwich

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We did the usual hour long tidy. Deer had got into the garden again.

leaves stripped off the roses

birdbath view

Strobilanthus atropurpurea

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

looking in the east gate

Perovskia (Russian sage)

in the fenced garden


Timmie (Timothea)

Mary and I are starting to talk about labeling a lot of plants by the end of the year for the new owners, and about which plants Mary will want to take starts of to their new home.

We were finishing work early today so that we could tour a friend’s garden near KBC.

Gail’s garden

Going down a road we had never been down before, and jogging over to another road, we found a woodland garden tucked away at the end of a long gravel driveway.  Gail has lived here for a couple of year.  Local gardeners Mark and Joe have helped her to create a garden in a woodland frequented by deer, raccoons, and bears.

The property abounds in old rhododendrons because the previous owners used to work at Clarke Nursery, the local specialists in rhododendrons, which was located where Steve and John’s Bayside garden is now.  Steve Clarke’s family nursery had a big influence here on the peninsula and you will find their plants in many gardens (including mine).

We were greeted by Gail and Bob the Dog.

Bob the Dog

lots of big old rhododendrons

Allan’s photo

a late lily and a rhodie with huge leaves

a “fairy garden” around an old stump

Bob the Dog on the back porch

The east edge of the property is marshland, with Spirea douglasii on an island in the middle.

The spirea is a haze of pink spires earlier in the year.

The raccoons and bears go in under the tree to the right, above, and cross over to the solid ground island.

farther along the edge of the marsh

I felt a little presence at my feet, and looked down to see Collar.  That was my clue that Mark and Joe had arrived to join our tour.

Joe and Collar. Let me see your ears!

Let me see your ears, Collar!

There we go!

a sit spot

Jack the Cat appeared.

a plush and friendly cat

Green Man on a tree

More sun along the entry drive allowed room for a flower garden on either side.

Gail took us back into the shade to see the last few blooms on the Crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean lantern tree).  Clarke Nursery used to sell this little tree; I do not see it often.

Gail sent me some photos later of the garden in springtime.

three rhodies by the woodshed (Gail’s photo)

a support built for the start of a new “Princess Rose”; it has covered the poles now. (Gail’s photo)

Crinodendron hookerianum (Gail’s photo) Best one I have ever seen.

Chilean Lantern Tree (Gail’s photo)

She also sent a photo of the bashful resident we did not get to meet:

“My assistants” (Gail’s photo) Freya the Beautiful and Jack the Cat

Gail says, “Bob the Dog, who is 14 ½, and Jack the Cat, 10?, both rescued me several years apart and were very happy with their original “guys at the pub” names so we kept them. Freya (formerly Rumbly!) was renamed by me to give her confidence and ranking.”

We departed after a good hour in this hidden woodsy paradise.  I love discovering a special garden like this down a secret road.

On the longish drive home, we decided to have a dinner work reward at the

 42nd Street Café.

We had a gift certificate from Allan’s January birthday from our friends Susie and Bill of the Boreas Inn.

42nd Street Café

Dinner there always begins with their good bread with corn relish or marionberry preserves.

brussels sprouts appetizers

delicious carne asada style steak

Butternut squash ravioli

My favourite dessert on the peninsula is their tiny chocolate mint sorbet served with a tiny spoon.

Allan had the tiramisu, which came as a cake, not layered in a glass.

better this way, I decided.

a new mural painted by Susan Spence

Why, I thought, don’t we eat here more often?  I tend to frequent restaurants associated with gardening jobs. The ambience here is friendly and cozy and the food is so tasty that I felt especially happy throughout the meal.

sunset over the trees in Seaview on our way home








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