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from the program: This pocket-size townhouse garden was created by the late Peggy Miles and continues to thrive in her memory with tending by her husband Gene. The front porch abounds with the charm and beauty of colorful hanging baskets and potted plants. Narrow beds surrounding the house are planted with deer-resistant plants. The jewel of this garden is the tucked-away courtyard in back, filled with a bold composition of shade plants and well-chosen ground covers placed in crevices between pavers and river rocks. At the end of the courtyard is Gene’s upcycled pallet composter and a chiminea-seating area.

The first garden we visited on tour day…after getting a bit of a late start so our friends could visit the Port of Ilwaco Saturday Market…was the Peggy Miles Memorial garden. We had been working on it since Peggy’s husband had asked for our help a couple of months before, but most of the gardening preparaton for the tour was his, on the foundation of the garden that he and Peggy made together.

the garden viewed from the street, previous day

the garden viewed from the street, previous day

on tour day

on tour day

Gene had set up, by his garage, photo boards showing the progress of the garden along with pictures of his late wife, Peggy, who had died of ovarian cancer in the spring of 2013.

photos

more

the story of the garden

the story of the garden

Peggy Taylor Miles

Peggy Taylor Miles

Gene's beautiful eulogy

Gene’s beautiful eulogy

I am sure my friend Sheila was not the only one who wept when reading the story of the garden.

Later in the day, Gene brought out delicious snacks and served wine; we were north touring other gardens by then, so I am borrowing a photo taken by Peggy’s daughter:

photo by Annalisa Taylor Smith

photo by Annalisa Taylor Smith

Gene told us later that he served to tour guests the first batch of wine and brought out more from his personal cellar! The little caprese pizzas were a hit.

Shelley Loring was the musican at the Miles garden.

Shelley Loring was the musician at the Miles garden.

storyboards, tent, music, in the garage driveway

storyboards, tent, music, in the garage driveway

Next to this display, the front porch overflowed with beautiful containers that Gene had planted, along with hanging baskets from The Basket Case Greenhouse.

 Annalisa Taylor Smith got a good shot of how the porch relates to the garage entrance.

Annalisa Taylor Smith got a good shot of how the porch relates to the garage entrance.

front porch

front porch

porch banner

porch banner

I love the way that Gene has containers lined up all along the driveway line between his and the neighbouring townhouse.

Gene talking to tour guests by the streetside garden.

Gene talking to tour guests by the streetside garden.

The main thing we did to help Gene prepare was to choose plants to go in the streetside garden which was new and had only spring bulbs in it when we started, except for a big beautiful lavender at the far corner.

streetside garden

streetside garden

tour guests

tour guests

You can see, above, the big lavender encircling the lamp post.

As always, folks wanted to know the name of the painted sage (Salvia viridis).

As always, folks wanted to know the name of the painted sage (Salvia viridis).

Everyone loved the sweet little garden in the drainage spot by the road, planted up by Gene with absolutely no help from us and just adorable!

a miniature garden

a miniature garden

looking from the tiny garden to the townhouse garden (across entry drive)

looking from the tiny garden to the townhouse garden (across entry drive)

Our friend Kathleen Sayce took this photo from the lavender corner of the driveway, looking toward the porch.

Our friend Kathleen Sayce took this photo from the lavender corner of the driveway, looking toward the porch.

two plants by the house, planted by Gene: a salpiglossis and a ??

two plants by the house, planted by Gene: a salpiglossis and a ??

These photos, taken the day before the tour, show the two narrow beds running along the house and street.

Gene plans to make the bed next to the house curvier.

Gene plans to make the bed next to the house curvier to echo the outer bed.

at the east end of the garden, a box planted with edibles.

at the east end of the garden, a box planted with edibles, and a potato cage (left)

Just next to that wire cage planted with spuds is the gate to the beautiful little sheltered courtyard. Our friend Kathleen Shaw took a good photo showing the entry to the courtyard:

daylily at SE corner of house by courtyard gate

daylily at SE corner of house by courtyard gate

through the open gate

through the open gate

the courtyard on tour day

(Above) The medley of groundcovers and shade plants was designed by Peggy with the addition of baskets and, on the left, a new area planted by Gene in the early summer.

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

pavers and river rock

pavers and river rock

On the back wall of the courtyard sits a composter that Gene built from old pallets.

Gene's compost bin

Gene’s compost bin

looking south from the courtyard...one of the prettiest green gardens.

looking south from the courtyard…such a pretty green oasis.

I appreciate my friends letting me use their photos. It is hard to remember to photograph everything on tour day in a garden with which I have become so familiar. I think this garden spoke to a lot of people about loss, love, and memory and it’s important to me to show every view of it.

“In one sense, there is no death. The life of a soul on earth lasts beyond her departure. You will always feel that life touching yours, that voice speaking to you, that spirit looking out of other eyes, talking to you in the familiar things she touched, worked with, loved as a familiar friend. She lives on in your life and in the lives of all others that knew her.” Angelo Patri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome rain fell this morning accompanied by an unwelcome 30 mph wind, as predicted.  While I loved that all the gardens were getting watered, I am still having much work anxiety about all that has to be done.  At two PM, with a slight sun break giving some hope, we went in the blustery wind to Time Enough Books and planted some cosmos in the boat on the leeward side of the building.  I was fretting too deeply to remember to take a photo.  I had had other plans today, a new garden to take on and did not know how long it would take, but it was not a good job to do in wind and rain.

I had taken two photos in our garden by where we load the car:

clematis by garage wall

clematis by garage wall

a tall allium

a tall allium

Every year I remind myself that by mid June all plants WILL be in the ground and this stressful month will be all worth while because then begins my favourite part of gardening, caring for the plants, grooming and deadheading them.  The stress is mainly because I have to get the plants in the ground to get back the money for them and it is all very difficult financially juggling, listing, remembering, and billing.

We needed a few more plants to finish the Long Beach welcome sign so went to The Basket Case to get some more Brachychome and Bidens, and to prepare for a day tomorrow at Andersen’s by acquiring some yellow calibrachroa and more Butterfly agyranthemum.  Woe betide, I could only get 12 white petunias to go with them so will be 24 short of what I need for the display Lorna likes in her barrel planters.  Perhaps Planter Box will have white ones.  Another shopping stop (but I need more cosmos anyway).

Basket Case herbs and perennials greenhouse

Basket Case herbs and perennials greenhouse

No one but me seems to buy the Sanguisorbas that I love so much:

stunning!

stunning! (in my eyes anyway)

Owner Fred took down this particular lovely basket for us to admire:

with Petunia 'Pink Lemonade'

with Petunia ‘Pink Lemonade’

It was a vast relief to arrive at the welcome sign and find the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ on the front had held up pretty well to the wind:

front of sign

front of sign

Butterfly Agyr. battered and a little bit bowed

Butterfly Agyr. battered and a little bit bowed

We finished the edge planting.  How I wish I had chosen blue bacopa instead of the usual brachychome.  It is the only place I USE brachychome and while it does provide some blue it is not all that impressive.  Whereas the blue bacopas these day have bigger flowers than they used to and are quite lovely.   NEXT year….I will use it along the welcome sign edges.

blue bacopa at the Basket Case

blue bacopa at the Basket Case

Now I remember…I used brachychome because it is a slightly taller plant than the yellow bidens and it used to go in the center row.  (See previous entry for a picture of what I am talking about;  this must be very boring, sorry!)

Ok, enough planting stream of consciousness.  After five, we finally arrived at our new job, Gene’s garden in Long Beach.  It is now a memory garden for his late wife Peggy, someone I wish I had gotten to know.  I knew her a bit through Facebook and could tell we would have had much in common.  This spring she had been too ill to weed, but we could tell the garden had been well maintained in the past.

Here are some befores and afters of what we accomplished in two hours.  Gene helped with some deadheading of tulips as he wants to learn how to care for the garden.

before, by the house (south wall)

before, by the house (south wall)

after

after

That streetside bed has lots of possibilities.

before

before

after

after

There are dahlias in there that slugs had been feasting on.  They will now be thwarted by an application of Sluggo and the dahlias should return, as I could see green shoots.

front (west side) with weed buckets at the ready, before

front (west side) with weed buckets at the ready, before

after

after

In the east side enclosed courtyard:

before

before

hellebore trimmed

hellebore trimmed

hydrangea corner before

hydrangea corner before

and after

and after

We will get back later this week to go over the lovely shady courtyard’s groundcover and get little grasses out.  I am very pleased with what we got done in two hours.

I had to add one Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ to the streetside bed…

a favourite sea holly

a favourite sea holly

and six painted sage.

just six (blue, white, rose)

just six (blue, white, rose) along the edge

In the last daylight at home, Smokey and I checked out a few interesting things in my own garden that beckoned me from my south window.

a late evening stroll

a late evening stroll

I tried last fall to get all the Allium albopilosum moved so it would not get buried by Geranium ‘Rozanne’, and I can see I missed some.  And I must chop that Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ before it gets big and floppy.

oops

oops

On the plus side, the ornamental rhubarb has shot to twice my height.

rhubarb behind the purple trunks

rhubarb behind the purple trunks

Agastache

Agastache backed with Persicaria

an enormous poppy

The bright red poppy is what drew me out of the house, and no wonder; the flowers are exceptionally enormous this year.  I have never seen the like.

!!!!

!!!!

Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ has leafed out (as has the one we planted at Larry and Robert’s down the street):

Robinia

Robinia

And Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’ did not get planted and is blooming in his pot.

Black Stockings

Black Stockings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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