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Posts Tagged ‘Hardy Plant Society study weekend’

Friday, 24 June 2016

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend: Salem, Oregon

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We arrived at the first garden at 9:30. (Not being morning people, even that was a struggle.  It was about a half an hour from the Oregon Garden Resort.)  Because I was feeling worried about making it to all nine gardens, I did not browse the metal art even though I would have liked to.

When I have to rush through a garden, looking at the photos later is how I see more of the details.  I didn’t find the stack of garden maps till we were leaving.

map

As you can see, Rick Smith's creations were enticing.

As you can see, Rick Smith’s creations were enticing.

Bright sun vs. intense shade made it hard for my little pocketcam to cope.

shaded side of potting shed

shaded side of potting shed

sunny side

sunny side

greenhouse

greenhouse

Brilliant additions to A Frame, if you have a wide lot to add long one story wings.

Brilliant additions to A Frame, if you have a wide lot with room to add long one story wings.

I like a planted rock wall surrounding a patio.

I like a planted rock wall surrounding a patio.

patio

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Kathy said she climbs into this bed to weed among the roses.

I like art displayed on the wall of a house.

I like art displayed on the wall of a house.

a tower of clematis with tiny bells

a tower of clematis with tiny bells

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

utterly enticing

utterly enticing

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through the arch

through the arch

a joy to gaze upon

a joy to gaze upon

As I walked around the house…I heard the happy barking of some dogs.

perfect

perfect bed to the side of the house

a bubbler

a bubbler

The chickens were housed behind the garage. (Also saw two very cute large dogs, or maybe three, friendly and waggle tailed, in a pen. Too wiggly for pics.)

The chickens were housed behind the garage. (Also saw two very cute large dogs, or maybe three, friendly and waggle tailed, in a pen. Too wiggly for pics.)

Allan got a photo!

Allan got a photo!  The dogs were soon moved to somewhere quieter.  I would like to have petted them!  They usually have the run of the garden, on ordinary days.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

coming around behind the house

coming around behind the house

back porch deck

back porch deck

well grown variegated sage

well grown variegated sage

large gravel patio below

large gravel patio below

view from the deck

view from the deck

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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entrance to the Affirmation Trail

entrance to the Affirmation Trail

I love the metal walls.

I love (and covet) the metal walls.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

one corner of the back patio

one corner of the back patio

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking back at the house

looking back at the house

outdoor kitchen

outdoor kitchen

brick patio with mosaic and bay windows

brick patio with mosaic and bay windows and metal pieces with stars…lovely

Through the pointed metal arch was the affirmation trail.  I asked Allan to bring me some photos of it, as it was too steep for my hobbling.  Because his back was “out” as of that morning (and was hurting him all weekend), we were a pitiful pair.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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down the trail

down the trail

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affirmations

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We walked around the other side of the house….

walking around the other side of the house, metal screens

metal screens

glass flowers

glass flowers

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I do wish I'd gotten some of this fragrant white nicotiana. Next year!

I do wish I’d gotten some of this fragrant white nicotiana. Next year!

returning to the front of the house

returning to the front of the house

We walked through the front and side gardens again.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

clematis seedheads (Allan's photo)

clematis seedheads (Allan’s photo)

not your ordinary clipped balls....

not your ordinary clipped balls….

I don't think I've ever seen this half-ball clipping idea before.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this half-ball clipping idea before.

We went out that very path to the next garden which was just down the road. At the edge of the street, we found the  kitchen garden.

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the kitchen garden

the kitchen garden

I felt particularly inspired by the planted stone wall around the patio, the metal walls in the back garden, and the use of low boxwood hedging to enclose exuberant semi-shade beds.  This was one of my favourite gardens of the three day tour.

Next:  two tiny gardens

 

 

 

 

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a bonus post for friends who missed the weekend, including photos of Dancing Oak Nursery (location of next year’s study weekend garden party)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

study

On the walk from the hotel to the college, Allan photographed this water trailer set up used in Portland.

On the walk from the hotel to the college, Allan photographed this water trailer set up used in Portland.

Allan says it was powered by a gas motor, not a battery like ours; the guy started it with a pull like a gas mower.

Allan says it was powered by a gas motor, not a battery like ours; the guy started it with a pull like a gas mower.

lecture notes

For friends who couldn’t attend, here are the particular takeaways from the three lectures we attended Sunday morning.  As with Saturday, we barely got there in time, but Our Todd had held seats for us.

Todd's VIP seat holding method

Todd’s VIP seat holding method

C. Coleston Burrell: Redefining Right Plant, Right Place

Cole Burrell at last night's garden party (Allan's photo)

Cole Burrell at last night’s garden party (Allan’s photo)

Burrell’s lecture was wonderfully vindicating for me.  Here are the fragments transcribed from my notebook, all quickly scrawled and only exact quotes if I enclose them in quotation marks.  His slides were exquisite, so do go a speech of his in person if you can.

He spoke of a tree planting group with the clever name of Neighborwoods.  Perhaps it was this one.

He recommended a book by Bebe Miles called Bluebells and Bittersweet: Gardening with Native American Plants as informative and also a good read.

He told us about the Biota of North American Program and showed us a slide of one of the maps that shows which plants are truly native to which area.  I think it would be useful for people who want to be very specific in using native plants that grow in their own particular spot.  (That’s not me, of course.)

He said that “Reginald Farrer was the first to give plants human characteristics…this plant prefers this…or that plant is miffy.”  Before Farrer’s writing, we did not anthropomorphize plants.  [I remember well enjoying the effusive prose of Reginald Farrer’s My Rock Garden.]

He spoke of the North America Rock Garden Society’s phrase “moving scree” and said you could achieve it by putting scree on top of an old fashioned motel bed with magic fingers.

Checks and balances like drought keep native plants from being invasive.  [I thought about salal in a few terribly dry gardens still infuriatingly poking its way into other plants.]

He recommended the book Noah’s Garden by Sarah Stein for information like this:  Robins eat the fruit of native dogwood, but Cornus kousa, the fancier cultivar, has fruit that is too big for them to eat.  I read that book years ago and am due for a re-read.

Friends of mine (who know I’m not in the native plant brigade) might wonder why I say a lecture about native plants was so vindicating.  Here comes the part I loved.  Burrell quoted from Joni Mitchell:

Back in 1957
We had to dance a foot apart
And they hawk-eyed us from the sidelines
Holding their rulers without a heart

and said that making sure plants don’t touch in a public landscape is typical, but “we need to let them touch,  bumping and grinding.  Health and vitality depends on plants being integrated horizontally.”

[Oh yes!  We quit one job, a local credit union, because the new director said he did not want any plants to “touch or come up through each other” in the landscape which we had created to be floriferous and Piet Oudolf-y.  He then fired a friend of ours who had taken on the job, because our friend (having removed many plants already to make the don’t touch guy happy) refused to cut down a Shasta daisy in full bloom.  That Shasta daisy was so old and well established that it pre-dated my work in the garden, and I praised my friend for refusing to butcher it.

that garden on June 29 2015

that garden on June 29 2015

The way it looked when we did it, in 2010

The way it looked when we did it, in 2010 (further back, which is now also changed to a barkscape with fewer plants).  This was an early photo that does not even show its later lushness.

We got “let go” from another commercial job whose garden, under our care, had won the company’s regional landscaping award.  A new manager had been hired and wanted the garden returned to plain, plant-less bark.

the way their fast food drive  through looks now

the way their fast food drive through looks now

July 29: bark and horsetail

July 29 2015: bark and horsetail against rhododendrons

the way it looked when we took care of it (

the way it looked when we took care of it: flowers in front of the rhododendrons

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entry to the drivethrough (garden now completely gone)

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Sometimes remarks have gotten back to me of sniffy uptight people in whose gardens the plants are separated from each other and who disapprove of our gardening style.  I appreciated Burrell’s full support of letting plants get up close and person with each other.]

Burrell recommended the book Sand County Almanac and shared this quotation:

one of Cole Burrell's slides

one of Cole Burrell’s slides

Evelyn Hadden:  Hellstrips to Havens:  Paradise at the Curb

As it happens, I own her book Hellstrip Gardening and was particularly looking forward to her lecture.  It lived up to my expectations with lots of information and great, inspiring photographs.

Smokey at home with the book.

Smokey at home with the book.

Hadden describes herself as an “avid pedestrian.”  She writes for the Garden Rant blog.  She credits Lauren Springer, author of The Undaunted Gardener, for coming up with the term “hellstrip” and referred to an 800 foot long hellstrip, or curbside planting, I think made by Springer (but not sure; you know how notes are).

She calls cut off areas “fragments” (little pockets of dirt in a concrete environment).

Lawnless blocks make her heart leap.

Hellstrips and fragments in public places provide

beauty….expansion…xeric zones….more space…emotional benefits…respite…

giving people a new experience….

transforming a public sidewalk into a path through your garden (by planting on both sides)

front yard gardening is contagious.  [I wish it were more so!; it was slow going when I first started curbside gardening at my house in Seattle, and when I left there were no others on my block, but when I go back now, curbside gardens are all over the city.]

Even a smallest pocket can make a landscape; otherwise there is no “place”.

The challenges of curbside gardening:

heat, roots, critters, flooding, litter, compacted soil, dog poop, access to cars, access—how to get across,  wind, foot traffic, Home Owners Associations, power lines.  [Oh yes, I know them all, except for HOAs.  I had my original boatyard garden torn up and destroyed by the necessity to put in a new power line and fence.)

She advises “don’t put your best stuff out there.”

She mentioned a “pervious paving” that lets water through to tree roots and said that service berry is a good public tree.

Sh advised using well adapted plants and using nitrogen fixers to improve your soil.  To my surprise, ceanothus is a nitrogen fixer (as are lupines).  She also proposed the idea of using one season taprooted plants to penetrate compacted soil, an interesting idea that she says is untried.  One plant she proposed trying was rutabega!

It is good to cover old soil with plants (and topsoil, I assumed at the curbside because it has years of lead contaminants.

Re watering…how to make it absorb…where the run off falls is where it is absorbed…  Curb cuts let water in from the street side gutters.

More ideas: incorporate ledge seating, have a green driveway.

She says some plants are ambassadors for winning public acceptance of hellstrip gardening: “Grandma plants” (that remind people of their childhood), big flowers, color, fuzzy texture, curiosities…to make people like the garden.

People are reassured if a group volunteers to maintain a public garden.

She suggests giving lavender bundles to neighbours.  Hey, I took a bundle of lavender to Salt Hotel because they are so supportive of watering at the port.

Hellstrips provide wildlife habitat…pollinators (early blooming crocus is good for pollinators), larval food, milk weed, plant diversity…

And [I love this]: Pest-free plants = no bugs = NO BIRDS.

Curbside gardens provide nest materials for birds.  Hummingbirds use hairy leaves and plants with threadlike foliage.  Leave the seed heads up, don’t tidy up.

Tree frogs drink from the drops of water on alchemilla (lady’s mantle).  [I guess I will start liking that plant again!]

More about good plants for hellstrips: Communities of self sowers….plants that heal themselves if broken off…

[At the port, we also have to consider traffic sightlines in our curbside gardens.]

On her trip to Portland, she had been able to see the Wright garden for herself, after having used photos of it in the book.

She spoke about an earlier book in which she wrote about “having to move because of the stares”.  It just might be this one, which I am going to acquire as soon as I get home.

book

What a wonderful lecture.  It made me so glad that here on the peninsula where there are hardly any sidewalks with strips of curbside lawn, I am lucky to have the Port of Ilwaco curbside gardens to play with (and the beach approach in Long Beach, difficult though that is because of the way it used to get trampled before it became almost all rugosa roses…

I will re-read her book, and I advise you to get it if you have any sort of hot, dry, difficult gardening area, because the ideas can be translated into solving the problems of challenging home gardens.

I am fortunate to also own her other book, which I haven’t read yet but will in short order! (I got it as a free book at the Bloggers Fling and the only reason I haven’t read it is that replacing lawns is not something that comes up in my work.)

no mow

no mow

breaktime

The silent auction was finalized.

I took a last close look at the stage display.

I took a last close look at the stage display.

stage2

 Allan took some photos.

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Jonathan Wright: Design by Detail

Jonathan Wright plants and maintains gardens at the famous Chanticleer public gardens, with 7 full time gardeners working for him.  He accompanied his speech with 237 exquisite slides.  I could have happily viewed twice that many.

The promotion of a new restroom building at Chanticleer, to fit into a Japanese style garden area:  “Come enjoy the flush of spring—the Asian pee house.”

The plant lists for Chanticleer are kept in beautiful boxes, instead of labels being stuck in all over the garden.

He said a garden like Kensington is meant to be seen from overhead—no details, no surprises.  At Chanticleer, things that need further inspection slow visitors down in the garden.

They would rather use willow hoops than signs to keep people out of an area.

using rivers of white anemone to trace the pattern made by tree roots

peony stakes from hammered in copper tubes interlaced with copper wire

If you can see mulch you don’t have enough plants. [Yay! Thank you!]

Sometimes the detail is in what you remove.

reusing old things, like an old chain…thingie…with pockets filled with little succulents.

(Every single one of his 237 slides was amazing.)

Plants that I coveted:

Schidoxys, like a red allium…phonetic spelling; must find

rye seed interplanted with bulbs to hide old foliage

Echinacea ‘Rocky Top’

Little bluestem ‘Ovation’ and ‘Blue Heaven’

Gladiolus ‘Atom’

Scadoxus multiflorus (looked like a red allium)

dwarf amber sorgham

Gladiolus calianthus

He plants summer plants into the spring plants (like pansies and alyssum) and then the spring plants turn into mulch.

He repeated that he hates seeing bare soil.

Put sod in a basket, cut holes in the sod and then plant in it…

“You don’t notice the details immediately, but you feel them.”  

His book The Art of Gardening is coming out in September, and I can’t wait!

my favourite quotations from the three lectures:

We need to let plants touch,  bumping and grinding.  Health and vitality depends on plants being integrated horizontally. -Cole Burrell

You don’t notice the details immediately, but you feel them. -Jonathan Wright

Even a smallest pocket can make a landscape; otherwise there is no “place”. -Evelyn Hadden

preview of the 2016 Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

After the lectures, a spokesman from the Salem, Oregon chapter of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon spoke to the crowd about next year’s study weekend.  It will be in Salem instead of Eugene because of some sort of Olympics trials being in Eugene that month.  The online registration will open early, on January 15th, and will be limited to 400 attendees. I have already set a reminder on my phone.  The spokesman told us some enticing information:  The seminars will be held in an old mill, and Sebright Nursery will be on the tour list, and the Saturday night soirée will be held at Dancing Oaks nursery.  Dancing Oaks is a plant nerd’s mecca, one that is so far from where I live that I have only visited it once, in 2008.  Garden Tour Nancy was there last month.  This is the perfect opportunity to share her photos.  I hope we will all be there for study weekend 2016.

Garden Tour Nancy’s visit to Dancing Oaks (late June, 2015)

the long road to the nursery

the long road to the nursery

 

 

photo 2

 

the welcoming gates

the welcoming gates

photo 2

gate detail

gate detail

photo 1

photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

Nancy's Phil, with "gorgeous, deep green bamboo".

Nancy’s Phil, with “gorgeous, deep green bamboo”.

bamboo

bamboo

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 1

Fremontodendron

Fremontodendron

photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

double flowering Philadelphus (mock orange)

double flowering Philadelphus (mock orange)

Nancy brought some of these pitcher plants home. I was jealous!

Nancy brought some of these pitcher plants home. I was jealous!

Nancy says they have a large collection of hens and they sell the eggs.

Nancy says they have a large collection of hens and they sell the eggs.

So…we hope to see you at Hardy Plant Study weekend in Salem next year.  I’m already so looking forward to a garden party at Dancing Oaks (and a major garden spending spree).

Our next post will get you back to garden touring, with four gardens yet to go before our return home.

 

 

 

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Monday, 23 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

The last garden of the tour…approximately garden number 20 or 21? I’ve lost count!…was one of my favourites.  (My other favourites were Froggwell, Hummingbird Hill, and the Tucker garden and the Galicic garden.)  All of my favourites are busy rather than completely serene, green gardens.  It’s a matter of personal taste.

We leave the Steen garden and walk past just two or three houses, admiring the extra wide parking strip.

We leave the previous garden and walk past just two or three houses, admiring the extra wide parking strip.

We leave the previous garden and walk past just two or three houses, admiring the extra wide parking strip.

looking down the block toward Jon's garden

looking down the block toward Jon’s garden

Jon Dove’s garden

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This luscious parking strip bed announced that we had arrived.

This luscious parking strip bed announced that we had arrived.

looking back along the sidewalk

looking back along the sidewalk

the enviably extra wide parking strip

the enviably extra wide parking strip

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the house

the house

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the front walk

the front walk

Allan's photo: front porch

Allan’s photo: front porch

narrow side yard

narrow, leafy side yard

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

hazed out purple Clematis

hazed out purple Clematis

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

into the back garden

into the back garden

Jon his very self

Jon his very self

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

in the corner, a tiny cottage

in the corner, a tiny cottage

I was immediately drawn into the small building in the back corner of the garden.

I was immediately drawn into the small building in the back corner of the garden.

This tiny cottage is what popped this garden up into my top five favourites of the tour.

This tiny cottage is what popped this garden up into my top five favourites of the tour.

mirror over daybed

mirror over daybed

and old books!

and old books!

in the corner, a cabinet of little houses

in the corner, a cabinet of little houses

view out the front windows

view out the front windows

overhead

overhead

looking out the side

looking out to the side porch

rabbit with carrot laptop

rabbit with carrot laptop

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; Jon’s mother had contributed this

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

view over the rabbit's head

view over the rabbit’s head

beside the retreat

beside the retreat

looking back to the house

looking back to the house

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

in the back corner

in the back corner

On the other side of the fence was a parking lot and some sort of offices or warehouse.

a hideway from the city

a hideaway from the city

the back wall of the house

the back wall of the house

second story balcony

second story balcony

and out the front walkway

and out the front walkway

in the parking strip garden

in the front garden

Allan's photo:  You can just glimpse the commercial/industrial building to the left of and behind Jon's house.

Allan’s photo: I think that you can just glimpse the commercial/industrial building to the left of and behind Jon’s house.

Jon's parking strip from across the street

Jon’s parking strip from across the street

What a paradise!

What a paradise!

For more on Jon Dove’s garden, see this article by Valerie Easton.

Jon is instrumental in organizing the Georgetown Garden Walk.  I’d love to go back, but have another gardening event to attend that very weekend.

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I found a blog entry here with more photos of Jon’s garden.

For more about the study weekend garden tours, see:

Bonney Lassie’s overview of all the agaves and other popular plants, and her post about several of the gardens, which includes links to others’ blog posts on the subject.



 

Georgetown postscript

Just down the block from Jon's garden, on a lawn; I believe the hedge hides a commercial parking lot.

Just down the block from Jon’s garden, on a lawn; I believe the hedge hides a commercial parking lot.

I would really enjoy living in this neighbourhood, despite the planes flying low overhead.

I would really enjoy living in this neighbourhood, despite the planes flying low overhead.

the door even has its own code

the door even has its own code

Allan's photo of me nosing around across the street from Jon's garden

Allan’s photo of me nosing around across the street from Jon’s garden

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across the street, more wide parking strips

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peace sign mailbox

rustic gazebo in the peace sign garden

rustic gazebo in the peace sign garden (fence festooned with bindweed)

another house across the street

another house across the street

I like the way the chainlink fence is softened with wood.

I like the way the chainlink fence is softened with wood.

I feel like a lot of soulmates live in this block.

I feel like a lot of soulmates live in this block.

further down, a set of townhouses

further down, a set of townhouses

softened with Cotinus 'Golden Spirit' (if that is what it is, must note that mind could get big!)

softened with Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’ (if that is what it is, must note that mine could get big!)

Someone's big stand of Euphorbia

Someone’s big stand of Euphorbia

a lively door

a lively door

a coop for city chickens

a coop for city chickens

parking strip by the chicken coop house

parking strip by the chicken coop house

with list of bee friendly plants

with list of bee friendly plants

and a little free library

and a little free library

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With that, we left Georgetown (where I could have browsed for well more than a day) and headed for the West Seattle ferry and home.  The Northwest Perennial Alliance had outdone themselves with fabulous study weekend garden tours.  If you live in the Seattle area and join them, you will find out about all sorts of garden tours that they offer all season long.

Next: the road home and my plant bounty

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Monday, 23 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

We continued on a short drive through Georgetown to the next two gardens, which were only a few houses apart.

a well planted Georgetown traffic circle

a well planted Georgetown traffic circle

Or maybe not so well planted if the shrub prevents traffic views, but it is certainly attractive.

The garden descriptions in the booklet are presented in the reverse order of the order in which we viewed them.  I tried to reverse the gardens  in the blog to reflect the order (since one description refers to the other) and found that I could not.  This blog is all about presenting events in order as they happened and I found I could not mess with that without feeling uncomfortable.  We saw Jon’s garden after the Steen garden and I have to be honest about that.

Steen garden

The Steen garden

On the curbside of the Steen garden.  Have you EVER seen such a wide parking strip?  I think I never would have left Seattle had I possessed a parking strip of this width by my old house.

On the curbside of the Steen garden. Have you EVER seen such a wide parking strip? I think I never would have left Seattle had I possessed a parking strip of this width by my old house.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo of a different part of the parking strip

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

entering the garden

entering the garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: Clematis tangutica, I bet.

Allan’s photo: Clematis tangutica, I bet.

along the side

along the side

an attractive rain barrel

an attractive rain barrel

Allan's photo; of course it caught his eye, as well.

Allan’s photo; of course it caught his eye, as well.

a soothing square of water

a soothing square of water

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: "a very slender tree for a very slender space"

Allan’s photo: “a very slender tree for a very slender space”

looking back

looking back

Allan's photo (We almost always end up walking through gardens separately because I am shy and just look, whereas he likes to chat with the hosts at the entrance.)

Allan’s photo (We almost always end up walking through gardens separately because I am shy and just look, whereas he likes to chat with the hosts at the entrance.)

entering the back garden

entering the back garden

more water

more water

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looking back at the house

looking back at the house

looking from the small shed to the other back corner of the garden

looking from the small shed to the other back corner of the garden

a sit spot

a sit spot

overhung with fragrance (jasmine?)

overhung with fragrance (jasmine?)

now looking back at the small shed

now looking back at the small shed

a gathering room with natural light

a gathering room with natural light

Next, our last garden of the four day tour.

 

 

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Monday, 23 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend, sponsored by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

After a frustrating misadventure between Normandy Park and Georgetown, with an important small bridge over the Duwamish Waterway being closed for construction, with no detour sign pointing anywhere useful, and going in circles (“Recalculating! Recalculating!” cried our New Zealand accented GPS guide, because she neither knew or believed the bridge was closed), we finally asked for directions and got out of the mess. Sometimes one can drive far enough from a detour to have the navigator find a new route, but that method did not work for us; I almost gave up and said “Let’s just head south, to home” (on the horrible freeway!); I am so glad we preservered.

Georgetown was all I hoped it would be: a neighbourhood that I would be very happy to live in. I have read that it gets lots of railway noise from a couple of train tracks, and it has frequent airplanes flying low overhead to Boeing Field. That might have kept the property values lower, although certainly not low enough for us to move back to the city (should we ever so desire).

Seattle neighbourhoods; Phinney Ridge was where I lived till moving to the beach in December 1992.

Seattle neighbourhoods; Phinney Ridge was where I lived till moving to the beach in December 1992. Bellevue, where the Hardy Plant weekend took place, is to the right across Lake Washington.

First Georgetown garden: Reiquam garden

This description had me curious and excited all weekend, looking forward to the Monday tour.

photo

I pictured a slice of ground between two buildings reminiscent of the tiny sliver of garden next to the old Café Septieme in Seattle’s Belltown neighbourhood (just north of downtown). The garden turned out to be more residential than I had expected, and to my sorrow:

NOOOOOOO!!!!

NOOOOOOO!!!!

the posture of sorrow

the posture of sorrow

and again NOOOOOO!!!!

and again NOOOOOO!!!!

We had heard a rumour while at the Normandy Park gardens earlier in the day that a garden was closed. This one was, it turned out, perhaps the best one to not be able to enter because we could see some of it from the street.

I poked my camera lens through the fence.

I poked my camera lens through the fence to photograph the front garden. (The advantage of a tiny pocket camera!) There was a raised round pool (metal, I think) to my right, hidden behind some greenery.

The narrow beds were barked.

The narrow beds were barked.

the house

the house, passiflora in bloom

the side garden with motorcycle sculpture

the side garden with motorcycle sculpture

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We wish the Reiquams the best for the emergency that must have arisen, and we enjoyed every bit that we could see of the garden.

interlude

We strolled down to the other end of the block for the next garden.

two lovely painted ladies

two lovely painted ladies on the way

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Wiley garden

I had NO unsureness about the colours and combination in the little city garden we toured next. I found it so refreshing to be in a tiny garden in a working class style house.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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purple!

purple!

a simple house

a simple house; garden owner in red shirt

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the owner's card!

the owner’s card!

Allan's photo:  Wiley Youngblood

Allan’s photo: Wiley Youngblood

Allan's photo, front of house

Allan’s photo, front of house

from the front gate

from the front gate

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

going around the side; the stakes are tree stakes from the Chihuly garden, painted purple

going around the side; the stakes are tree stakes from the Chihuly garden, painted purple

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo with Eryngiums 'Sapphire Blue' and 'Jade Frost'

Allan’s photo with Eryngiums ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, bright and dark coleus

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 chicken coop in back yard

chicken coop in back yard

Allan's photo of me taking a chicken photo

Allan’s photo of me taking a chicken photo

chickens!

chickens!

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

on the shed

on the shed, another touch that made me happy

corner of back yard

corner of back yard

Looking down over the back fence...veg growing in hay bales.

Looking down over the back fence…veg growing in hay bales.

in the alley behind the back fence

in the alley behind the back fence

I love alleys. My house in the Phinney Ridge neighbourhood had an alley behind it and I used to take alley walks throughout the neighbourhoods. Alleys are rare, perhaps non existent on the Long Beach Peninsula. I miss alley walks.

looking back at the sweet little house

looking back at the sweet little house…

the back yard gathering place is to my right

the back yard gathering place is to my right

back porch

back porch

The silhouette is of a hen who had run up the back stairs and gone into the kitchen to drink from a bowl on the floor!

The silhouette is of a hen who had run up the back stairs and gone into the kitchen to drink from a bowl on the floor!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

interlude

a nearby grocery store

a nearby grocery store

We drove off (could have walked) to the next stop, passing this cute little grocery store that would be so handy to walk to.

art in the traffic circle

art in the traffic circle by the grocery store

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more traffic circle art (reward of being too lazy to walk)

more traffic circle art (reward of being too lazy to walk)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo. I am loving Georgetown

and walked down the block to see...this!

By our next parking spot, we walked down the block to see…this!

a stunning house

a stunning house

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detail of grand house

detail of grand house and an outbuilding? set further back

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an impressive tetrapanax papyrifer

an impressive tetrapanax papyrifer

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Could it be for sale?!?  No, this turned out to be for a tiny house tucked back in the deep shade next door.

Could it be for sale?!? No, this turned out to be for a tiny house tucked back in the deep shade next door.

We thought this was part of the garden but have now realized it's a walkway to the house next door.

We thought this was part of the garden but have now realized it’s a walkway to the house next door.

from the realtor: tiny hidden house

from the realtor: tiny hidden house

real estate photo

real estate photo

“Fabulous condo alternative. Next to the Castle in Georgetown you will find this remarkable carriage house. Cute & cozy. Set off the street and very private. Across the way, you will find the community pea patch and “The Hat and Boots”, local icons. Come live in this hip neighborhood near restaurants & services. ” See more (while it lasts) at: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/6422-Carleton-Ave-S-Seattle-WA-98108/48822160_zpid/

When I learned that the tower house is called the Georgetown Castle, I found some articles about it here, here, and a tour of the inside here.

Oxbow Park (Hat and Boots Park)

While not one of the tour gardens, the Hat and Boots was a suggested stop, and I was pleased to find a P Patch (allotment garden) there.

from Seattle Parks and Recreation: In 1953, Seattle artist Lewis Nasmyth was hired to “rustle up” a design for a western-style gas station in Georgetown. Featuring a 44-ft. wide cowboy hat and 22-ft. high boots, the Hat n’ Boots opened the next year to a stampede of customers. In fact, for a time it was the biggest selling station in the state. Legend has it even Elvis dropped by when he was in town during the World’s Fair in ’62. But in the early 60’s, a brand new interstate, I-5, started diverting traffic away from the station. By the late 80’s it pretty much looked like trail’s end for the Hat n’ Boots. That’s when some Georgetown residents saddled up to rescue the soul of their community. “The Hat n’ Boots is as important to Georgetown as the Golden Gate Bridge is to San Francisco,” says Allan Phillips, former director of the Georgetown Community Council. “If the Hat n’ Boots were ever to be gone from Georgetown, it would be like losing our soul.”

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“Respect the Hard Work of Your Neighbors; Please Do Not Disturb the Gardens”

mosaic retaining wall

mosaic wall

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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the back of a bench made of recycled plastic

the back of a bench made of recycled plastic: “378 milk jugs were recycled to make this nice place to sit”

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Oh, yes, and the hat and boots

Oh, yes, and the hat and boots

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

 

 

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Monday, 23 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend, sponsored by The Northwest Perennial Alliance

Zazzi garden

The Zazzi garden, right next door (sharing the same driveway) with the Galicic garden in Normandy Park, had no description in the study weekend booklet or driving directions.  You can make up your own as we walk through this elegant green garden.  Allan spoke with one of the owners and found out that they have lived there for thirty years.  They used to have berms and a horsetail problem; they removed all the berms, having the soil taken away; the horsetail must have come in on the berm soil as they no longer have that problem.

Right next door to the Galicic garden; was maybe added to the tour at the last minute, as the Zazzi name is not on the booklet's list of garden hosts.

Right next door to the Galicic garden; was maybe added to the tour at the last minute, as the Zazzi name is not on the booklet’s list of garden hosts.

Even if it was a recent addition, the garden was certainly ready to be toured.

behind a big driveway gate

behind a big driveway gate

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inside

inside

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

by the entry patio

by the entry patio

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

A shady path leads beside the house.

A shady path leads beside the house.  On the other side of the fence would be the shared driveway.

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strolling through the shade garden

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a secret sit spot

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

circling around the house; we can't get lost.

circling around the house; we can’t get lost.

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I like how the house fits into the landscape.

I like how the house fits into the landscape.

a stunning clematis

a stunning clematis

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the way to the street

continuing around the house

continuing around the house

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

view toward a neighbour

the view toward a neighbour, with a friendly path

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continuing around the house

into the back yard

into the back yard

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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a doorway to an alley (a pedestrian walking alley)

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peeking out to the compost and work area

peeking out to the compost and work area

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a look back

a look back

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Allan’s photo

a splash of colour in a mostly green landscape

a splash of colour in a mostly green landscape

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the back deck

the back deck

with fireplace

with fireplace

As we left along the shared driveway, the cat from the next door garden said goodbye.

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soft kitty, soft lambs ears

At last, we were now on our way to view four gardens in Georgetown, a working class (now somewhat gentrified) neighbourhood by the railway lines that had long fascinated me from afar.

 

 

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Monday, 23 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend sponsored by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Allan, Sheila and I had all gotten confused Sunday night trying to plan out Monday’s tour; the study weekend booklet only had three of the six gardens and the driving directions handout seemed to be missing the description of the Zazzi garden, the second one on the tour.  Sheila decided (not for that reason) that she was too tired to deal with city traffic, tour gardens, and then have a five hour drive back to her Oregon home, so we parted ways.  For various reasons of disorganization (not hers or mine is all I will say!), Allan and I got a late start touring.

leaving the Bellevue Hilton

leaving the Bellevue Hilton

As we drove toward the first tour gardens, we saw an official city sign by the main road:  “Welcome. We are building an inclusive community”.   I love that so much more than a community describing itself as “family friendly.”  I am not sure which of the communities we drove through has the sign.

It was a relief to finally get to the first garden, an hour or more after the tour opened for the day.

Two gardens right next door each other is always a treat as it means less driving and parking.

Two gardens right next door each other is always a treat as it means less driving and parking.

Galicic Garden

photo

Walking up the driveway of this Normandy Park garden, we passed two long tables filled with cool plants for sale.

that schlumpy gal again

that schlumpy gal again

Solanum laciniatum, would have bought but already had bought three at the event's plant sale.

Solanum laciniatum, would have bought but already had bought three at the event’s plant sale.

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant'; I have one in the ground at home but should have taken the opportunity to buy another.

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’; I have one in the ground at home but should have taken the opportunity to buy another.

We walked past this to our right on our way up the driveway.

We walked past this to our right on our way up the driveway.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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entering from the driveway into the back garden

entering from the driveway into the back garden

I find myself in a kitchen garden area.

I find myself in an elegant kitchen garden area.

kitchen garden

kitchen garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: how to guide a vine up a tree

Allan’s photo: how to guide a vine up a tree

Another arbour leads to a lawn.

Another arbour leads to a lawn.

a quiet area

a quiet area

a look back to the kitchen garden

a look back to the kitchen garden

and a greeter to the busier garden near the back of the house

and a greeter to the busier garden near the back of the house

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Zazzi: winner hands down in the snack department!

Galicic: winner hands down in the snack department!

Allan was also impressed.

Allan was also impressed.  Plantain is on the lower tier.

I was so taken with the garden views that I forgot to snack on any of the proffered treats.

an entertaining patio, viewed from the snacks table

an entertaining patio, viewed from the snacks table

cool plants in every nook

cool plants in every nook

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

and a waterfall pond!

and a waterfall pond!

This is one of the most interesting ponds I have seen, and we will examine it carefully!

This is one of the most interesting ponds I have seen, and we will examine it carefully!

the main waterfall

the main waterfall

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan gazes upon the pond, to the great interest of the white cat.

Allan gazes upon the pond, to the great interest of the white cat.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking across to a bridge and a tiny gazebo

looking across to a bridge and a tiny gazebo

a momentary distraction

a momentary distraction

looking back toward the patio

looking back toward the patio

some shy koi

some shy koi

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

My attention returns to the waterfall.

My attention returns to the waterfall.  It made a nice loud splashy noise.

to the other side of the pond

to the other side of the pond

On the back side of the bridge is another waterfall.

On the back side of the bridge is another waterfall…

and a very small pool.

and a very small pool.

a tropical feeling

a tropical feeling

There is a little sideway rlll that spilled water down into a narrow curved channel that went around the back of the tiny gazebo.

There is a little sideway rlll that spilled water down into a narrow curved channel that went around the back of the tiny gazebo.

like this

like this

and curving around

and curving around

and curving around some more.

and curving around some more.

very damp and mysterious

very damp and mysterious

I remember poking at the channel’s water to try to figure out which direction in flowed in, so I think the water came from both sides (a side rivulet from each waterfall).  I was completely flummoxed and gobsmacked would would most certainly like to have a water feature like this at home.

I couldn’t get a good photo of the little gazebo without being IN the pond, and I did not think to take a telephoto from the other side of the pond.

by the house

by the house

looking back along the house

looking back along the house

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Another white arbour beckons.

Another white arbour beckons.

along the side of the house

along the side of the house

Eryngium (agavafolium, pretty sure)

Eryngium (agavafolium, pretty sure)

Eucalyptus against the house

Eucalyptus against the house

detailed plantings

detailed plantings

along the side of the house

along the side of the house

into the front garden

into the front garden

Looking to my right along the front of the house

Looking to my right along the front of the house

Instead of turning, I walk straight ahead into a shade garden.

Instead of turning, I walk straight ahead into a shade garden.

Allan's hydrangea photo

Allan’s hydrangea photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

every detail impeccable

every detail impeccable

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I emerge onto a front yard lawn.

I emerge onto a front yard lawn.  Way in the back, you can see the white arbour entry to the kitchen garden where our tour began.

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the formal entry

the formal entry

side view of entry fountain

side view of entry fountain

the front porch

the front porch

at the front corner of the house

at the front corner of the house

And you can see how close the next garden is!

And you can see how close the next garden is!

 

 

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