Posts Tagged ‘meadows’


While the beehives near the parking area for garden six were interesting, I was more pleased to see a sanican.  A note that I made on my Facebook album of this tour:  One restroom option is NOT enough for ten gardens.  This says to me there might have been ten, rather than seven, gardens on this tour, and that perhaps we found three completely forgettable.


A pile of materials (ingredients!) at the entry to garden seven managed to look artful.

From the foot of a formal stairway, Sheila and  other garden tourists admired a meadow’s vertical accents.

punctuated meadow

stairs detail

This garden was in the process of design by Maurice Horn from Joy Creek Nursery.  My companions and I felt very satisfied with the fifth and sixth gardens, but later at Joy Creek I mentioned to Maurice that we had overheard grumblings about most of the gardens not having enough cool and collectible plants.  I found it commendable for a plant purveyor to say, as he did, that this garden was about structure, not plant collecting.  I gathered he had perhaps taken a couple of complainers gently to task about this, and was glad I had phrased my remark in such a way that I sounded (correctly) like an admirer, not a critic, of garden number six.

further up the steps

and further…

Wide open spaces set off spaces crammed with plants.

I remember once attending a lecture by Ann Lovejoy back when she told a story about gardener Kevin Nicolay.  He visited one of her early gardens and made a pithy comment about how a garden is better if there is at least a bit of room to step back and admire it.

Ah…a delicious cold beverage and cookies were on offer.  The day had turned quite warm for a coastal dweller.

thank you

Past the formal stairs and patio, a casual lawn offered a view of the meadow with its verticality…

meadow view

…a verticality that was strongly featured in the formal beds just behind us.


(I now feel an urgent need to buy more Ilex ‘Sky Pencil”.)

We learned that the plan was to change the look of this area;  either move toward or away from the look (above, lower left) of individual plants inside the boxwood squares.  Oops, I can’t recall which it was to be….or perhaps the boxwood was to be done away with altogether.


We moved on into an area of scree plantings and then down a wide, formal steps stairway.

stairs down to meadow

Picky though I might be, I have no objection to a garden where part of the design is brand new; I’m just frustrated when most of it is brand nw.

As in garden five, mown paths through meadows enticed the garden tourists to explore….past a billowing garden bed and off into the prairie.

returning from a grassland adventure

Above, you can see in the background the island bed photographed below:

garden bed by an outbuilding

But as usual, we had no time to sit and had to hustle on to have time for a plant buying frenzy at Joy Creek Nursery.  Only two and half weeks remained till both Laurie’s and my mother’s gardens would be on the Peninsula garden tour, and each still had spaces that could be filled with especially choice plants.  My mother’s garden in particular was all about plants.  She did not like boxwoods or any other things of foliar garden structure, so her tour day would be ALL about the colour and flowers.

Read Full Post »

Touring on Study Weekend, hosted by Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group

The garden we almost skipped due to time factors ended up being the one I most wished was my own.  It was only eight years old in 2008, on 2.5 acres, with “a perennial garden, heath and heather beds, lavender grid, formal vegetable garden and orchard, antique apple orchard, meadow, and creek garden”.

First we walked up the drive because we saw a blessed sight: a sanican!  (Thank you, Bryan and Cassandra Barrett or the Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group!)  Just past there was this old barn with chickens.

From there we could see a wide rustic path to the unpretentious house…and the beautiful veg patch.

vegetable garden

Over the informally arranged and clearly productive veg garden we glimpsed glorious flowers.

an enticing glimpse

A gravel scree lay between us and the house and garden beds into which we were eager to wade.

scree garden

 For a little while I’ll just let the plants around the house do the talking.

We could see through the lattice a glimpse of the orchard and field beyond:

…and stepping through an opening between the garden areas we looked back at the beds we had just toured.  Then we saw the sloping field.  I am not a big fan of heather in gardens and have never seen it used with complete RIGHTness anywhere other than the natural hills of Scotland and the Bronte Moors until I saw this:

The heaths and heather slope segued into the “lavender grid” and then a wild meadow; of course, we had to wander down and walk through it.  I doubt either of us made many comments because we were in awe.

The mown meadow path led us back up to more gardens around the house.

I’d love to have a sculpture like the one below with a passage from a gardening book on the pages.

Rustic steps led back up into the house gardens.

We looked back at the gardens between us and the meadows, bright with colour even on a grey day.

As we explored the front garden we saw the house we saw the house looked much more old fashioned and bungalow style than it did in the back.

Around the side of the house we glimpsed the old barn where we’d begun.

Every bit of garden around the house was a perfect picture.

We crossed the road (a collection of conifers with various colours of needles protected the house from the road) to the newer garden that the Barrets were developing along the creek.

We meandered back to the deck behind the house.  I loved the fact that the deck needed repair.  Clearly the money was going to the best place:  Into the garden.

The final touch of perfection: The most attractive rain barrel I had ever seen, imported from England:

Tour time was over and back we went to Sheila’s home and garden which deserves an entry of its own.

Read Full Post »