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Posts Tagged ‘Music in the Gardens’

Real time announcement: On today, Wednesday, June 22nd, the Basket Case Greenhouse summer clearance sale begins with 40% off annuals, 25% off perennials, and $5 off baskets!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Smokey and our neighbour, Onyx

Smokey and our neighbour, Onyx

I like the way these Landini lilies have arranged themselves...

I like the way these Landini lilies have arranged themselves…

compared to this clump more out in the open.

compared to this clump more out in the open.

There is a big fuss on the internet lately about lilies being toxic to cats, even pollen that might fall on them.  This does concern me, but…I have had cats coexisting with lilies for over thirty years with no problem.  I hope my luck (and the cats’ luck) continues.

I'd like to stay home and enjoy my garden and cats...

I’d like to stay home and enjoy my garden and cats…

Going to work was required.  At least I had a couple of nursery visits to anticipate.

The Red Barn Arena

The Red Barn garden has clearly enjoyed all our good rain (including more last night).

The Red Barn garden has clearly enjoyed all our good rain (including more last night).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Diane’s garden

Misty!

Misty!

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back yard pots got groomed

back yard pots got groomed

from the street

from the driveway

curbside garden

curbside garden with penstemon

Agastache, probably 'Cotton Candy'

Agastache, probably ‘Cotton Candy’

Misty following me around

Misty following me around

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The Basket Case Greenhouse

We picked up the bill to take to Long Beach city hall, and found some white bacopa to replace the ones missing at the welcome sign.

in the greenhouse

in the greenhouse

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“What you looking at?”

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"You are disturbing me."

“You are disturbing me.”

a bigger tray

a bigger tray

Some neighbours were visiting.

Some neighbours were visiting.

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Hen liked pets!!!

Hen liked pets!!!

The duck had feasted on slugs under the bench.

The duck had feasted on slugs under the bench.

Hen and duck brought joy.

Hen and duck brought joy.

Fred says they visit often.

Fred says they visit often.

The Planter Box

I acquired a second heuchera for Long Beach city hall.

Teresa's hanging baskets; she said they got hailed on yesterday.

Teresa’s hanging baskets; she said they got hailed on yesterday.

silver and white baskets

silver and white baskets

fuchsia, an award winner at RHS or Chelsea

fuchsia, an award winner at RHS or Chelsea

I still have not found time to browse the selection of healthy and happy roses.

I still have not found time to browse the selection of healthy and happy roses.

We headed up to Surfside for an hour of weeding at Marilyn’s garden.

Marilyn’s Garden

from the street

from the street

looking south

looking south

Scooter!

Scooter!

Scooter (Allan's photo)

Scooter (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Scooter keeping me company while I detail the path.

Scooter keeping me company while I detail the path.

looking north

looking north

view west from back porch

view west from back porch

Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

Garden Tour sneak peek

On the way south again, we stopped for half an hour at a friend’s home in Ocean Park.  Her tiny garden will be on this year’s Music in the Gardens tour. I needed some sneak peek photos for the tour’s Facebook page.

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a dreamy little cottage

I will be feeding some of these photos onto the page between now and tour day (July 16th).  Blog readers get an advance look today.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

pink on pink

pink on pink

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This campanula will be done blooming by tour day. I recently bought one like it at The English Nursery in Seaview, and a cobalt blue version at The Planter Box.

This campanula will be done blooming by tour day. I recently bought one like it at The English Nursery in Seaview, and a cobalt blue version at The Planter Box.

The sneak peek trick is to get photo vignettes that don’t give away too much.  The following photos gives a lot away; Allan helped our friend Debbie trim some errant kiwi off the side of the cottage.

Ocean Park Debbie's cottage

Ocean Park Debbie’s cottage

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

You may recall that we had dinner there last winter and watched a documentary about Dead Moon.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

A little over an hour of weeding and deadheading got the KBC gardens looking pretty near perfect, our goal for every week.

bird bath view

bird bath view

If only Geranium 'Ann Folkard' reseeded like the annoying blah pink one!

If only the gold and purple Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ reseeded like the annoying blah pink one!

daylilies, Asiatic lilies, Allium albopilosum

daylilies, Asiatic lilies, Allium albopilosum

elephant garlic

elephant garlic

pulmonaria under rhododendron

pulmonaria under rhododendron

rockwork by the pond

rockwork by the pond

south gate with rose New Dawn

south gate with rose New Dawn

Garden Tour Sneak Peek

The next sneak peek garden was conveniently located a few blocks south of Klipsan Beach Cottages.  And across the street from the Lost Garden, leading me to reflect that I was grateful to now have the free time to run pleasant errands.  However, the administration at our former job has not paid us for February, March, April or May despite submitting the earlier invoices twice…so I fear we are going to have to engage with them again eventually and I am not looking forward to that.

The particular garden at which I was going to sneakily peek is one that I greatly admired when it was on the tour several years ago.  My peek at it today was particularly sneaky as I just took some photos from the street.

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It's a garden featuring choice trees and shrubs.

It’s a garden featuring choice trees and shrubs…

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...lots of garden art...

…lots of garden art…

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and a collector's eye for plants.

and a collector’s eye for plants.

I look forward to seeing the hidden areas of this garden again on tour day.  It is one of my top ten favourites of the tour gardens over the past ten years.

The Anchorage Cottages

Back to work in north Long Beach, Allan did a weeding project and I did the general grooming of the gardens at The Anchorage Cottages.

Allan’s project: weeding alongside the sport court under the grape arbour for the first time this year (oops).

before

before

weeds creeping under

weeds creeping under

under the grapes, before

under the grapes, before

after

after

after

after

after

after

vigorous grapes, not pruned for ages

vigorous grapes, not pruned for ages

this many weeds!

this many weeds!

evening light on a north wall garden

evening light on a north wall garden

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office courtyard

office courtyard

Snails are making dahlias unsuccessful center plants for the two smaller pots...dang it.

Snails are making dahlias unsuccessful center plants for the two smaller pots…dang it.

center courtyard

center courtyard

Long Beach

out on the beach approach...poignant half mast flag

out by the beach approach…poignant half mast flag

This gull actually did have two legs.

This gull actually did have two legs….

and dozed off while I watched.

and dozed off while I watched.

We added another heuchera at City Hall....

We added another heuchera at City Hall….

I noticed this "weeping love grass" looked utterly decrepit.

which looked like this two days ago.

We added more white bacopa back in to the welcome sign garden, and I had a revelation…The area where the whole stretch of plants is missing is right where I saw a guy reclining with a rucksack next to the planter last week.  I thought it odd at the time that he would not have chosen a more private spot to nap.

welcome sign back, edged properly again

welcome sign back, edged properly again

welcome sign front

welcome sign front

The Depot Restaurant

We made the spontaneous decision to try to get in on the last burger night of the season at the Depot.  The sign on the door said “closed” but as it was before eight, we barged in anyway, and they were kind enough to serve us.

the very last burger of the last burger night before summer 2016!

the very last burgers of the last burger night before summer 2016!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Depot garden at dusk

Depot garden at dusk

home

at home: the cereus bud is getting fatter

at home: the cereus bud is getting fatter


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

June 15:  I heard Walt’s chain saw again cutting wood in his yard, then he went over next door and cut more but didn’t feel like going over there.  I went out back and picked berries again (10 pkgs).

1998 (age 74):

June 15:  11:00 to 6:00  It took me until 3:00 to pick, rinse, hull, and slice strawberries.  I put 5 pkgs in the freezer.  After a short rest I went out again.  I moved the various bowls over the the cover of the wood box so I could move the tomatoes out of the greenhouse.  Now I’ll move out some seed trays to the greenhouse starting tomorrow?

 

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Saturday, 2 May 2015

a reminder

Seaview rhododendrons

As we approached the first tour garden, rhododendrons along the road caught our eye.

at 38th and L just north of the Sou'wester

at 38th and L just north of the Sou’wester

I've always admired this house set back from the street.

I’ve always admired this house on K Place, set back from the street.

a row of pale pink rhodos on K Place

a row of pale pink rhodos on K Place

K and 39th

K and 39th

Pink flowers reflected

Pink flowers reflected

The old house above sits on the corner of 39th and K used to be a gathering place for a group of old women every summer.  They always hung a wooden sign on the porch that read “Bat Cave” and I used to sometimes be invited to sit with them.  I miss them all.  Their neighbours to the north, Tootie and Helen, lived across from each other and were best friends.  How I especially miss them.  Many years ago, in 1993, Dee Dee Rainbow visited us in Seaview and took this photo of her in Helen’s garden at 38th and K:

Dee Dee

Dee Dee Rainbow

Garden One:  Big Mama, Seaview

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

From the programme:  Local legend says this original 1886 Victorian Seaview home has the oldest Rhododendron on the Peninsula. Walk around to the backyard to greet “Big Mama.” With a 12″ diameter trunk and gorgeous blossoms, it will provide a unique garden delight. The owner, who is selling the home, has graciously agreed to be on the tour and to open house on the day of the tour for those who would like to peek inside this vintage charmer for another perspective of its star landscape feature. Drive or walk around this neighborhood of early Peninsula cottages to see more historic Rhododendrons.

"Charles Johnston house", photo by Kathleen Shaw

“Charles Johnston house”, photo by Kathleen Shaw

Allan entering the cottage

Allan approaching the cottage, built in 1866

Kathleen was already there and pretended it was her house"  "Come in in!"

Kathleen was already there and pretended it was her house” “Come in in!”

on the roof:  Allan's photo, a flying bird for Mr. Tootlepedal

on the roof: Allan’s photo, a flying bird for Mr. Tootlepedal

We are going to tour the inside of the cottage, as well, because who doesn’t love a beach cottage?  I fell in love the moment I walked in the door.  I think Allan was nervous that I was about to make an offer.  It was tempting, as I’ve always loved this little place from the outside, and I would love to live in Seaview…but not enough to leave my big sunny garden and the convenience of a one story home with garage.

by the front door

by the front door

living room fireplace

living room fireplace

fireplace

living room

living room

kerosene lamp

kerosene lamp (there’s wiring to hang an electrical lamp here)

closet under the stairs

closet under the stairs

bedroom off the living room

bedroom off the living room

bedroom

east bedroom window

east bedroom window

bedroom wall

bedroom wall

looking back to living room from kitchen door

looking back to living room from kitchen door

kitchen, photo borrowed from Pacific Realty

kitchen, photo borrowed from Pacific Realty

kitchen with north window

kitchen with north window

stove and a trash burner like my grandma used to have

stove and a trash burner like my grandma used to have

over the stove

over the stove

I so wanted to see what words were on the back of this mottoware pitcher, but it was too  high to safely reach.

I so wanted to see what words were on the back of this mottoware pitcher, but it was too high to safely reach.

kitchen corner

kitchen corner

kitchen looking west

kitchen looking west

real estate flyer

real estate flyer

Here is the listing, where as long as it is for sale, you can view more photos.

view of Big Mama out of west kitchen window

view of Big Mama out of west kitchen window

The story behind the rhododendron being called Big Mama is that when the children misbehaved, the mother of the house would have them sit in among the trunks of the huge old rhodie so that she could keep an eye on the them from while she worked in the kitchen.

Oh, the lovely clawfoot tub...

Oh, the lovely clawfoot tub…

sunporch with west and north windows

sunporch with west and north windows

west window of sun porch with view of Big Mama

west window of sun porch with view of Big Mama

Allan went up the narrow staircase and took some photos upstairs.

stairway, photo borrowed from Pacific Realty

stairway, photo borrowed from Pacific Realty

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Allan's photo

upstairs bedroom: I would have to put a railing along that opening!

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east window view

east window view

looking toward the west window

looking toward the west window

west window view of Big Mama

west window view of Big Mama

This view must be breathtaking when Big Mama is in bloom.

This view must be breathtaking when Big Mama is in bloom.

And now for the yard and the famous Big Mama herself.

view east from the porch

view east from the porch

north side arbor

north side arbor

two sheds in back garden

two sheds in back garden

Big Mama with Allan for scale

Big Mama with Allan for scale

She's bright pink when in bloom.

She’s bright pink when in bloom.

bigmama

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo with Kathleen and me

Allan’s photo with Kathleen and me

To the west: "The Double House"

To the west: “The Double House”

The little cottage watched over by Big Mama is going to be in my dreams for a long time.

More Rhododendrons in Seaview and south Long Beach

On the way to the next garden, we stopped many times to get photos for the Rhodie Driving Tour.

Allan's photo: right across the street from Big Mama:  This is why we don't like salal in a garden!

Allan’s photo: right across the street from Big Mama: This is why we don’t like salal in a garden!

My dear friends John and Val used to live in that house.

My dear friends John and Val used to live in that house.

K Place

K Place

lavender

flower

rhodies reflected

rhodies reflected

Seaview rhododendrons

Seaview rhododendrons

rhodies

salmon

flowers

 

r

white

twored

peach

 

azalea

south Long Beach

south Long Beach

south Long Beach

south Long Beach

Allan noticed this classic beach cottage seating.

Allan noticed this classic beach cottage seating.

As we drove through north Long Beach, we could have stopped to photograph many more beautiful rhododendrons.  However, we realized that if we did, we would never get to all five remaining gardens on the tour.

Next:  Diana Canto’s garden

 

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July 20, 2013

from the program:  Painted Lady Lavender Farm:  Whimsey abounds as you enter this gorgeous cultivated canyon, revealed at the end of a woodsy driveway. After being inspired by a visit to France 20 years ago, the owners decided to farm lavender on this undulating acreage. The terraced hillside holds four lavender fields, vegetables, perennials, a tree house, two charming cottages, chicken and quail coops and a bocce court. The valley floor of the farm holds a cafe, many seating areas, a stage, a store selling lavender products, garden rooms and a fountain. Wrought iron furniture and gates were made by the owner’s son Wade. Daughter Sherri will be on hand to lead tours through this paradise.

I’ve written about this garden before, and for a more organized photo tour of the garden, you could read this.  For garden tour day, I’d like to just share the impression of wandering through the garden.

Sheila and Debbie and Allan and I arrived at the farm with the foreknowledge that guided tours were being insisted upon; however, by invoking the fact that we had with us professional photographer Debbie Teashon, who has had photos in Fine Gardening and other famous magazines, and who needed to wander at will, and by reminding tour guide Sherri that I knew the gardens and its paths well and promising to keep my guests safe, we were given permission  to wander at will.

First we went up the hill behind the house to the fragrant stands of lavender.

First we went up the hill behind the house to the fragrant stands of lavender.

Sheila and Allan and I enjoyed the sights and smells while Debbie photographed this and that.

shade and sun

shade and sun

lavender

mural on back of house by "Painted Lady" Susan Wallace

mural on back of house by “Painted Lady” Susan Wallace

mural

Sheila taking a photo

Sheila taking a photo

A bit uphill from the back of the house is a gift shop with lavender items and antiques.

gift shop

gift shop

inside the gift shop with furniture painted by Susan

inside the gift shop with furniture painted by Susan

rose behind the main house

rose behind the main house

deck of the main house

deck of the main house

view from the deck

view from the deck

As we were enjoying the views from this area, a guided tour went by, crossed the field and went back down the hill.

tour

tour

tour being guided by Sherry

tour being guided by Sherri

Sherri was explaining all the different kinds of lavender and other herbs, but we were glad to be on our own rather than being guided because we are very stubborn independent minded.

tour group

tour group

We were able to go further up the hill to a delightful guest cottage.

 cottage at the very top of the hill

cottage at the very top of the hill
Sheila is enchanted.

Sheila is enchanted.

I am enchanted all over again.

I am enchanted all over again.
dreamy inside

dreamy inside

nearby, an outdoor tub

nearby, an outdoor tub

sink and tub

sink and tub

behind the tub wall

behind the tub wall

looking over wall to the cottage

looking over wall to the cottage

I knew of the stairs down to the back of the main house.

I knew of the stairs down to the back of the main house.

smoke rising from the outdoor kitchen

smoke rising from the outdoor kitchen

the chimney of the big pizza oven

the chimney of the big pizza oven

outdoor kitchen

outdoor kitchen dining room (same room as the big oven)

outdoor kitchen dining room (same room as the big oven)

dining

in the dining area

in the dining area

The farm is “off the grid” with any electricity powered by a generator and water supplied by a well.

more of the "summer kitchen"

more of the “summer kitchen”

summer kitchen

summer kitchen

kitchen

I remember reading a novel about farm life where the family had an indoor kitchen for the winter and a roofed outdoor kitchen for the summer.  It is an excellent idea, especially with the partial walls that provide windbreaks and shelter from any rain.

another tour departs from the main house patio

another tour departs from the main house patio

by the outdoor kitchen

by the outdoor kitchen

in the background: belly dancers

in the background: belly dancers

Belly dancing is a big part of the Lavender Farm lifestyle these days.  You can read more that here.  (They are having another Beach Bellydance Festival this year on August 10th and 11th.)

dancers

dancers

A dog inside the main house looks like Jo Fitzsimmon's Coco.

A dog inside the main house looks like Jo Fitzsimmon’s Coco.

kitchen

By now we had reunited with our friend Kathleen Shaw, who had been touring from north to south while we went south to north and then back south again.

Kathleen Shaw's photo of the main house patio

Kathleen Shaw’s photo of the main house patio

patio pond

patio pond

We can just see Kathleen next to the statue in the photo below:

a glimpse of a friend

a glimpse of a friend

Our friend Jenay, who lives just up the road from the farm, was there as well.

Allan and Jenay

Allan and Jenay

She had been stationed at the entrance but as the tour hours drew to a close, she could not resist joining the dancers.

stage

dancers

dancers

dancers

to the right, in black, “Painted Lady” Susan Wallace

Susan, the Painted Lady

Susan, the Painted Lady

Susan’s decorative floral painting can be seen on buildings around the Peninsula; her mural of flying kites is on the outside wall of the Payson Hall clubhouse at Andersen’s RV Park.

Jenay

Jenay

dancers

dancers (daughter and mother)

dancer

As the dancing continued, we explored the gardens around the house.

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

shed near the outdoor kitchen

shed near the outdoor kitchen

fix it supplies in the window

fix it supplies in the window

just uphill: the chicken coop

just uphill: the chicken coop

another little cottage

another little cottage

peeking in a window

peeking in a window

window

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

woodsy

secret garden

secret garden

inside the secret garden

inside the secret garden

Sheila exploring

Sheila exploring

looking back at the stage

looking back at the stage

picket

an old well

an old well

Sheila and Sherri contemplating the well

Sheila and Sherri contemplating the well

the height of the water table inside the well

the height of the water table inside the well

a resident of the old well

a resident of the old well

frog

frog

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

Jenay and Kathleen Shaw

Jenay and Kathleen Shaw

Kathleen is amazing for the connections she has made as a vacationer here on the Peninsula.  We so look forward to her moving here someday.  The sooner the better!

Jenay by the main house

Jenay by the main house

upstairs window, photo by Kathleen Shaw

upstairs window, photo by Kathleen Shaw

gift booth by entrance

gift booth by entrance

lavender

by the entrance

by the entrance

by the driveway

by the driveway

The five of us (Kathleen, Allan, Debbie, Sheila, and I) walked back to our cars in a happy mood, went back to our house and all sat around for awhile discussing the tour and then went out for a delicious meal at the Depot Restaurant.  Depot owner Nancy Gorshe was beaming because she had so much fun hosting tour guests at her mother’s garden.  Our three friends from out of town were pleased with Chef Michael’s sulbimel food.  (It was not a new experience for Kathleen, a frequent visitor to and future resident of the Peninsula.)

And our touring was not over, because on Sunday we all had plans to tour several more gardens on a private tour day of our own.

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first would-be guests

first would-be guests

The day before our tour day, rain and wind had me quite worried.  Of course we spent all day working on our garden despite the weather.

I had told the tour organizer that I wanted to be on the tour either this year or in ten years.  Because it is impressive to say “This garden is only one and a half years old” and demonstrate how quickly a garden can be created.  It would not be so impressive as a NEW garden after two and a half years.

Tour day dawned hot and lovely and two guests were already outside the gate by 8 AM.

refreshments

refreshments

One of the most fun things this year had been that my friends and ALMOST gardening neighbours down the street (sadly not RIGHT next door) were also on tour.  Judy and I had many discussions regarding what food to serve, as neither of us wanted to COOK anything, but we did want the guests to feel welcome.  It is not required to put out food, but we had heard another garden was offering sushi, and felt we, on the flatlands, had to make an effort.  (In a later post, you will get to tour her garden as well.)   We had juice in a jug and bottled of water in a wheelbarrow full of ice.

Allan and I served several kinds of cookies, including some made by our dear next door neighbour, Nora, and his favourite, red licorice. A friend commented that the declassé red licorice was perfect for the working class Ilwaco flatlands.  Above left,  you can see the first group of tour goers goggling over Allan’s lovely fern garden. All told, we had about 500 guests.

view from my screened window

view from my screened window as the tour begins

Randy Brown

Randy Brown

Because the tour is a benefit for Water Music Festival, each garden gets a musician. We were fortunate to be assigned Randy Brown, a man with a delightful sense of humour and winning personality.  Most of the time he used the patio as his stage but he did a bit of musical wandering in the garden.  Allan made a video of him improvising a garden song…You can watch it here.

Guests began to pour in on the dot of ten a.m. and kept a steady flow all day.

patio stage

patio stage

I did not take many photos because the plant questions kept me hopping all day long.  In fact, I did so much talking in the hot sun that my lips got sunburned.  I realized later that most of the time when I am outside I am looking down at plants, not up at people.

Having so many appreciative gardeners walking through gave us much joy, and I was thrilled when many who had worked their way from north on the Peninsula to south, our being their last garden, said that ours was their favourite.

garden photographer

garden photographer

In fact, we heard several times, as did our friends Judy and Tom down the street in their tour garden, that Ilwaco ruled the tour and that Lake Street was the best.  It was especially gratifying because every other garden except for mine and Allan’s and Judy and Tom’s had a staff, or at least a paid gardener or friends helping out.  Ours were the only two that were solely and completely created and cared for by the owners.  And to further toot our own horns, Tom was going through chemo every other week while preparing for the tour (he’s fine now!) and Allan and I were also working full time.

I would love to see the many photos that I observed being taken.  I did get a few photos from friends…and would like more.

One particular thrill was having a guest introduce herself as garden celebrity Jolly Butler, someone who actually knows my ultimate gardening mentor-from-afar, Ann Lovejoy, whose lectures originally inspired my fulltime devotion to horticulture.  It had become clear to me after some pondering that the only right name for my garden boat was the “Ann Lovejoy”.

"Plant Vessel" Ann Lovejoy

l will make another post following this one with more details of the garden.  I like to go all out for a garden tour with every inch of the garden weeded (which is why I am always amazed when I tour a garden that has weedy patches).  Naturally, one of the first guests pointed out to me a three foot tall dwarf fireweed that I had missed, and as I walked around I did see other flaws.  I put out a photo of my mom in her garden, and one of my grandmother, and a pile of my favourite gardening books.  A friend got a photo showing the photo of my mother and, in the background on the right, a guest leafing through one of my favourite gardening book inspirations, Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs.

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

All day long, I talked plants, and talked and talked…

tour day

guests

more talking

more talking

and talked…and talked…and talked…  My face blindness hampered me from recognizing people out of context, so between that and the large number of people, by the end of the day I had only a vague idea of which local people had actually visited.  I know that some good friends came through and (while I would have recognized them), I was so busy I did not even see them.

People checked out the entire garden from front to back, so all that weeding had been quite worthwhile.  In my next entries, I’ll take you on a tour  throughout the whole garden as it looked its absolute best.

from my window

from my window

and again a window view

and again a window view

south end of sunny borders

south end of sunny borders

center path

center path

up the west side path

up the west side path

exploring the bogsy wood

exploring the bogsy wood

Join me in my next blog entries for a walk through of the garden in its moment of perfection.  We gardeners all know that perfection in a garden is fleeting but oh so satisfactory.  Following that, I will share the other featured gardens which I visited on a pre- and post-tour day.

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The Toepfler garden in Klipsan Beach neighbourhood. Large. Gardened by CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts.) Seems to me to be planted for drought tolerance. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.  I toured it twice, one on June 6th with Patti, and again on the Music in the Gardens tour day.  It is one of my favourite gardens, not only of the Peninsula tour but of the many garden tours I’ve attended over the years.

outside the gate

You can tell the garden will be interesting by the exterior fencing.

fence detail

street view

peeking in

more fence detail

Ok, enough tantalizing peeks through the fence (which is in itself enough to make this a favourite garden of all time); let’s go inside.

through the gate

Now, supposing we had entered the driveway gate, we would turn left and see this path:

left of the driveway

through the arbour

looking back at the driveway

Walking down the path, we find a wooden sculpture.  I never would have guessed what this is: A deconstructed whiskey barrel planter!

deconstructed planter

And past that…Oh!  a purple horse!

Have you ever seen a purple horse?

the purple horse

Verbascum

While art created by the garden owners creates a buzz throughout the garden, it also abounds in good plants.

a collectible rhododendron

also, I think! a rhododendron

a Katsura with chocolate foliage!

a well displayed fern

a planter with Diascia and Eucomis

to the right of the driveway

Turning right from the driveway entrance, we find another horse sculpture.

left: Allan talks with Kent Toepfler

to right of driveway

stone mulch

This garden is not about lush plantings covering all of the soil.  Each plant tends to be featured on its own and set off with found objects and, in this case, a mulch of small stone.  It’s a style different from what usually makes me swoon, but swoon I did throughout this fascinating landscape.

fish

a bird

birds

and the classic beach boat…

saws

a bird

round

The garage has its own decoration.

A glimpse into the home’s front window reveals Puss and books.

rabbit sighting

stumpy guy

approaching the house

the front porch

back garden ensemble

Coming around the house into the back we found, indeed, music in the garden.

Music in the Garden

It was magical.

back garden near musicians

frog backed with birdhouse tree

metal tree with birdhouse ( I think we were told it’s from a shop on Hwy 30 east of Astoria)

in the back garden

against the back fence

a sheltered sit spot

overhead

deck between house and outbuilding

The north side of the garden is backed with a neighbour’s woods, creating a peaceful borrowed view.  To the west side of the house stands the pièce de résistance of the garden’s sculptures, this one created by the owners from big spools that are used to lay cable.  I think the spools were acquired from a cable tv installing storage facility…or something like that.  They were not easy to transport. With some bicycle wheels, they have become a one of a kind…arbour?  gazebo?

cable ring thing

Driftwood and a bronzy foliaged Hypericum complement the artistic creation.

Here is one of those gardens that keeps one going around and around to check everything out for a second or third time.  And one that stays clearly in my mind as one of the ideal landscapes.  A good lesson:  Not every vertical object needs to have a plant clambering over it. And look at every found object with an artist’s eye, and, more to the point, use it.  The garden did not feel at all cluttered with things, nor was there anywhere to be seen a pile of rusted unused ingredients.

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Christina’s garden, Seaview

In early June, I helped tour organizer Patti Jacobsen check out all the 2010 tour gardens.  I really wanted to get back to this one on tour day, as I suspect it had all kinds of extra special touches, but in trying to attend Doggie Olympic Games and revisit my favourite gardens of the pretour, we ran out of time.  All my other favourites were up at the north end, so I missed out on seeing this one again (and Allan missed it altogether).

You would not guess from the naturalist landscape outside the fence that such a floriferous garden hides behind a house in historic Seaview.  This is a true secret garden.

view from the back porch looking west

The lawn beds had not popped into colour yet, but by tour day three weeks later, I bet they had.

The beds against the warm south wall of the house had plenty of flowers on show.

on the porch

all decked out in roses

poppy in house garden

roses in house garden

another porch view; note side garden with blue basket

looking southwest from porch

side garden with blue basket; tour prep in progress

Lady’s Mantle and Astrantia

At the foot of the lawn, a gate leads through to a second lot to the west of the house.

peeking into the next garden area

There a fence keeps the deer out of a flower bed.

a protected raised bed

more rustic deer fencing

Oriental poppies in the western garden

birdhouse with beach decor

poppies and rambling rose

At the end of the western lawn, an interesting old building.

We departed from the gate whence we entered.  If Christina’s garden looked this good three weeks before the tour, I can only imagine how much tour goers must have enjoyed it.  Why must the D.O.G. fall on garden tour day, I ask you.  Gardens or dogs…what a dilemma.

Inside the garden gate

(Note:  In 2012, the tour will be in late July, so the dog vs. garden conflict will not be a problem.  D.O.G. will take place on June 15th and 16th, the Music in the Gardens tour on July 21st.  Oh, and our new garden will be on the 2012 tour.)

On the way north we stopped at Patti’s garden nearby and I just must share with you how fine it is:

Patti’s veg garden

view from Patti’s living room

Patti’s pond patio

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I’ve always wanted to have a neighbour who was passionate about gardening.  If you can find a copy of a book called Gardening from the Heart: Why Gardeners Garden, you can read the chapter about two such neighbours that instilled in me that dream.  Meanwhile, on the Long Beach Peninsula garden tour we got to tour two such gardens next door to each other in Ocean Park.  The Door House (Lailer garden) and its neighbour, the Gruetter garden are owned by  two gardening families that share space and plants back and forth.  I toured these gardens with Patti Jacobsen on June 6th and will Allan on the official garden tour day, June 26th.

The Door House

First, the pretour, which is of course less perfectly decorated, as most gardeners will be working up till the last minute to make their garden as fascinating as possible for a garden open day.

6 June

Patti checks out the Door House garden, 6 June. To her right, by the big tree, is the entrance to the neighbouring garden.

driftwood decor in side garden, 6 June

And now…..the excitement builds, and it’s TOUR day!

We were greeted by this little darling who loved having lots of company.

tour day!

I had always wanted to get a closer look at the Door House.

garden tour treats

south side of garage

detail

garage wall

garden bed against a neighbour’s garage

the gate between two gardens

entering the Gruetter garden

a clever fence made of paddles, posts, and wire

looking back to the Door House

The Greutter Garden

Just inside the gate we found this little beach….

a little beachscape

and ahead of us, a small firecircle with bright chairs.

fire circle, two views

If I’m not mistaken (and I think I remember discussing this with the gardener), that is a stunning restio behind the red chair.  You’d have to be a plant nut to seek out one of those.  In fact, the Greutter garden would have stood up very well on a big city horthead garden tour.

Restio by fence?

In a space much tinier than the large Door House yard, this garden packed much interest into its small lot: two sit spots, the porch and the fire circle…

porch

and a hammock which they actually use; that’s the advantage of a small garden.

hammock

The owners have the equipment to recycle glass into cool coloured mulch which both they and their Door House friends feature in their gardens.  Glass is a theme in the Greutter garden.

glass bottles and mulch by outbuilding

glass edging

edging with bottles

a glowing edge

bottlescaping

glass in the garden

by shed or guest house, glass mulch

I love the colour echo of paint and plant

bottles, glass mulch, and more oars

an exuberant border by the fire circle

verticality

For the gardening neighbours, this garden offers coziness and intense detail, and the Door House has a more expansive fire circle and room for kids and dogs to run.  I imagine parties with groups going back and forth.  It seems like an idyllic life.  Don’t we all want to have the perfect place to hang around with our very best friends?

As we left via the Door House garden, we noticed that the neighbour to the north had joined in with an excellent sweet pea patch.

another gardening neighbour


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I saw some of the gardens of the 2010 Long Beach Peninsula garden tour twice because I went round them on a June 6th pretour with organizer Patti Jacobsen.  My mission then was to help her write up a blurb for each garden.  On June 26th, the actual tour day, we attended The Doggie Olympic Games and then Allan and I made a return trip to my favourite gardens.

Barclay garden on the bay

Whalebone House, Ocean Park

Whalebone House rose and poppy

.


Hensen garden on the bay

  The approach to the Hensen garden promised good things.

a lovely approach

Patti ponders the garden.

detail

garden to be

I would love to see the garden beds filled in as they must be when I write this in 2012.  The owners had plans to further develop paths and sit spots in the bay side area (right).   This garden called to me to bring Allan back on tour day so that he could enjoy it as well.

tour day

paths on south side of house

How very clearly we can tell when a place is owned by passionate gardeners.  We enjoyed walking and talking with them and we hope this garden is featured again on the Peninsula Garden Tour.

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The day had arrived for our stint on the Music in the Gardens tour…and absolute perfection had been attained in our garden, or so I hoped.

upstairs window view

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose (upper left, above) had blessed the garden with its one week of peak bloom.

The beds and pots around the pond were weeded, even the difficult hill in back.

by the pond

Of course as I walked down to the lower gate putting out the final touches (pillows on the middle patio and some last minute printed signage) I found a few more strands of bindweed to pull.

The Akebia vine and roses had started growing back around the Tangly Cottage sign after the massive pruning of 2007.

My Beverly Nichols book cover had been copied, laminated, and hung near the entryway

“Garden Open Today”

The entry with tour guides and signs and a white balloon to mark this as a tour garden.

interpretive signs

On some plants I placed photos of what they would do later on; in this case, the berries of Hypericum ‘Glacier’.  Along a shady walk, I wrote garden quotations on cards and hung them from the tree-like hardy fuchias.
The sunny day was not wonderful for photo taking but made the tour-goers happy.  My lower garden looked like it always enjoyed this sort of weather.

sunny lower garden

 The stepping stone stream walk through the lower garden arbour had never looked more inviting.

walk through the stream

Barely had I pulled a few more strands of bindweed (which must have sprouted overnight) than the hordes of people came.  I found it overwhelming and exciting and did not once think to take photos of women in their garden hats wandering through….except for my mother who sat for awhile on the pond patio.  She said that she could now understand why Allan and I did not want to leave this garden and move to her place even though that was a possibility that we still often discussed.

my mom by the pond, overhung with Fuchsias

This would have been her view across the pond bridge toward Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’.

view from pond island

(We called that sit spot an island, but the back border was a seasonal damp ditch rather than water.)

squeeze effect

Just before you got to the pond island bridge, after walking past the spruce tree from Lower Garden, you’d get this enticing view of our cottage.  Ann Lovejoy would call passing through this willow arbour “a squeeze effect”.

approaching the cottage

We’d planted up containers on the stone steps going up to the house with cool annuals we’d acquired on recent plant shopping trips….an expense we had never gone to just for ourselves.

Below, I’m looking back from the base of those steps toward the willow arch. “Before” pictures of the garden placed there caused quite a sensation regarding how blank (just lawn and a spruce tree!) it was in 1994.

looking back, with before and after pictures posted at the right

These were the before pictures that astonished people, taken in 1994 from around the same spot.

befores

Now the old trailer was still there but painted hunter green and covered with roses.  The silver shed and the old trailer formed an L shaped roofed nook and in it was a water feature with a working flower pot water wheel made by Allan.  The water gave the illusion of having come from the pond because it was at about the same level.  Behind the roofed and shady patio I’d put big pillows on the trailer porch and some people sat and hung out there for awhile.

Allan’s water wheel

Allan’s garden

We guided people through the half-greenhouse/half pergola on the downhill side of the house and around through Allan’s garden shade garden. One of my happiest moments of the tour is when two women stopped in the greenhouse and read aloud to her mother a gardening poem I had posted there.*   Allan had achieved perfection in his backyard garden that used to be nothing but a weedy, muddy dog yard.

As she left the garden from the upper patio a friend took this photo looking back to the house.  This has remained one of my favourite images of the old Tangly Cottage.

from the upper gate

During a midafternoon lull in touring I found myself missing the praise and compliments and said “I want more people!  More people! ”  (And some more came through at the end, folks who had begun the tour at the north end of the Peninsula.)  Therefore I was not at all averse when a member of a garden club from Vancouver asked if she could bring her group back through the garden on August 12nd.  That would be an inspiration to keep it perfect.

Meanwhile, we would check out more tour gardens in Astoria and Gearhart, Oregon and try to catch up on our rather neglected work.

*The poem which was read aloud in the greenhouse:
Portrait of a Neighbour by Edna St. Vincent Millay

PORTRAIT BY A NEIGHBOR

BEFORE she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!

It’s long after midnight
Her key’s in the lock,
And you never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!

She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon.

She walks up the walk
Like a woman in a dream,

She forgets she borrowed butter

And pays you back cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s lace!

The local paper had these wonderful words to say about our garden on tour day:

“We headed for Ilwaco and entered into an uber-planetary oasis called Tangly Cottage, Skyler Walker and Allan Fritz’s gnomish Eden.* Teacups adorned curly willow.** Quotes were clothes-pinned along the pathways. A small water wheel of tiny clay pots graced the patio of an abandoned single-wide***, the first structure on the property. 

Everywhere we looked, there was a fascinating plant we had never seen before and Skyler would appear, as if from nowhere, to give us the name of it.

Strategically placed here and there were gardening reference books, in case anyone wanted to look at pictures instead of the real thing. No way!

‘The main purpose of a garden is to give its owner the best and highest kind of earthly pleasure,’ wrote Gertrude Jekyll, influential British garden designer, writer, and artist.****

We couldn’t have agreed more.”

Cate Gable, Chinook Observer newspaper, July 2, 2008

*We don’t have any garden gnomes, though.

** contorted filbert (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick’), not curly willow

***actually a small travel trailer

****one of the quotations I put up in the garden.

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Long Beach Peninsula Garden Tour: 

Nahcotta Rhododendron Garden

picture-1146

When Robert and I first moved to the Peninsula on Christmas eve of 1992, we soon heard of a nursery called Hall’s Gardens, owned by Don and Marva Hall.  Over the next few years we stopped by there a number of times, drawn by the walk around the large pond, the rock garden of interesting small plants, many new to me, and the nursery offerings.  In my garden today grow two large ‘Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick’ contorted filberts originally purchased from Hall’s.

When Hall’s went up for sale, we heard that Dan Hinkley of Heronswood toured the property but decided too much of it was wetland without enough room for propagation houses. Would that Heronswood had moved to the Peninsula…I had already been mail ordering from them since their beginning…what a joy that would have been!

Then Hall’s disappeared into obscurity for me until a couple of years ago when I heard that it had been purchased and the garden renovated by Gary Ayers and Daniel Drinkard. So for it to be on the Music in the Garden tour caused me considerable excitement.

(Below) The gardens around the house are rich in detail…the decorative stepping stones inside the entry arch and a deep blue glossy urn backed with bamboo

…and a fountain pond on the way to the front door…..

The house, for sale again, was open for touring but I was pretty much drawn straight through from the front door to the veranda with its view of the pond.  Now here’s a pond you could take a small boat out on.

the deck overlooking the pond

Maybe the metal sign saying “SIMPLIFY” is one reason the house and garden is for sale.  I would imagine it requires considerable work, but if we were about $200,000 dollars richer it is work we would gladly take on. (Allan has two small boats, and there is that pond….)…  As it is, our having no mortgage provides much freedom from financial stress…and yet, that pond!! Ours is a wee puddle in comparison, a mere muddy dewdrop.

(left) looking from the shady verandah out to the pond and (right) from the other side of the pond back to the house.

With over 8 acres there’s so much to see.  The back end of the property is swamp which may be innaccessible, but the one half acre pond itself still has a soft mossy path wandering all around it.

views of the pond

The pond, the pond, sigh, the glorious pond.  I am sure every gardener who toured the place dreamed of owning it. I suppose I would rather own my tiny bit of paradise than be in thrall to a mortgage on a bigger one, but I do hope an avid gardener buys the place. I’ll imagine myself there often!

Thanks to Patti Jacobsen for putting on a wonderful tour and to all the Peninsula residents who opened their gardens.

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