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Posts Tagged ‘Lespedeza thunbergii’

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.

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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.

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to our left along the driveway

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looking back along the driveway

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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)

Allan’s photo

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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