Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

13 July: the usual watering plus

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Allan told me the rain barrels were partially full.  I asked if there was a puddle in the street and he said no, so I figured that the barrels must just be fuller because I had run a back and forth sprinkler that puts some water into the gutters.  Imagine my thrill when I found that ALL the barrels had more water, and that there WAS a puddle in the street.  We had had blessed rain!


a full barrel that was empty yesterday


the official rain gauge


a refreshed garden

However, none of that meant we could skip watering.  Rain water is rarely strong enough to get down inside the planters.

At the post office:



Asiatic lilies

I planted the Korean Agastache that Roxanne gave me yesterday.  She grew them from seed.


Agastache rugosa


post office planter (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

We began with a check up on the welcome sign.



Geranium ‘Orion’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Orion has an empty green middle…


Rozanne has flowers all over herself!

Plus Orion needs deadheading and Rozanne does not.  Rozanne wins!


Rozanne and a fan (Allan’s photo)


 Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ is just not putting on much of a show. (Barely visible in the center of this photo)


Allan weeding

Before watering, we weeded and clipped the south parking lot berm.


Rugosa roses got clipped back from hanging over the edge.


Allan’s photo (with a bucket that got full of garbage. No diapers this time, yay.)


Allan’s photo, before


Allan’s photo, after


making a mess


another view, after clipping (with one errant leaf!)


an attractive plant hodge podge


Rosa glauca (rubrifolia) doing well, witn Stipa gigantea

The soil was faintly damp.  I am sure the three berms appreciated the rain, as they get no supplemental water.

We tidied up the horsetail-infested corner bed at Veterans Field.


The usual meadow look seems to happen for me everywhere…


It is red white and blue 😉


Brodiaea laxa ‘Silver Queen’ and lambs ears


red monarda

After dumping our load of debris, we drove out to the end of the Bolstad approach to check up on Sandsations progress.


just the beginning

Then came the watering and, this time, fertilizing of the Long Beach downtown planters.


My favourite one from last year is finally filling in.  One side lacks the golden fuchsia (it is there but tiny).  Look, very little wind today!


Agastache, cosmos, and some nice looking painted sage


Police station planter.  Some trashed Rozanne again!

I made a police report!  Not exactly.  I just went in and kvetched.  It is quite possible this planter is getting targeted repeatedly BECAUSE it is in front of the police station.


It took a long time to tease out the dead parts.


Got even more dead stuff than this photo shows…plus the Rozanne on the other side of the planter was also hit, although not as bad.


next planter down; Todd keeps telling me the name of this plant and I keep forgetting it.


speaking of names I have forgotten…this Phygelius with dark leaves…

Allan’s photos while watering:


birdsfoot trefoil in a planter




With the downtown planters, we weeded in Fifth Street Park.  A group of young women told me that they thought the flowers looked like “fairy flowers”.  They were especially pleased when I told them the Dierama is called “Angel’s Fishing Rod”.



Dierama, right side


Sanguisorba may also have seemed like a fairy plant…


especially the feather pink one (right)

We get a lot of much appreciated compliments about the planters being beautiful.  I especially liked the observation about fairy flowers.


By the restroom with Rose ‘Super Dorothy’, lady’s mantle still going strong, and a Basket Case Greenhouse basket

We watered the Sid Snyder beach approach planters at the end of our Long Beach time.


a whole field of birdsfoot trefoil


Allan bucket watered the end planter, the one where the water does not work. The plants, with the cute little “This is my home” (and so on) tags, are still not stolen.

World Kite Museum

Ed had driven by and told us his project at the kite museum was done, so we had a look and were impressed.


Tatty hebe hedges replaced with river rock


much improved


how it used to be


I walked the planter route, checking them all in a more time consuming way than Allan has time for when watering (which he did, starting in the other direction).




I still recall someone making me mighty mad by telling me, while deep in his cups (meaning drunk), that the planters don’t make any difference to Ilwaco and that no one even notices them because the town itself is shabby.  I strongly disagree (and I love my town, too).

I had time, while Allan continued watering, to water almost all of the boatyard garden and accomplish some weeding.  I say almost all because one end had its hose access curtailed by the hose running up into a boat.  I decided last night’s rain would have to do for that part.


Someone has been picking flowers off the globe thistle, as usual…


…despite its close proximity to a do not pick sign.

I want the sign right OVER the blue globe thistle, just for proper outrage when it gets picked.


strong evening shadows

Toward the end, I realized it was a darn good thing I was weeding.  Clamshell Railroad Days will be on Saturday and Sunday at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, and folks will for sure be taking the driving tour.



one of many railroad history signs from Ilwaco to Nahcotta

Around 8 PM, I found a message from Jenna requesting a bouquet for something special.  I picked it at home, Allan delivered it, and it looked like this.


Allan’s photo

We now have a three day weekend with some weeding time at home (Friday, for me) and some exciting garden tour plans.



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July 29, 2012, Gearhart, Oregon

At the end of a shopping trip preceding our own garden tour, I had seen a flyer for the Gearhart tour.  There had been Gearhart tours that I had not known about every year since the glorious one I had been on in 2008?  If so, we had been missing out!  (But I do not recall the 2008 one being a benefit for Casa.)

FIFTH annual?? Argh.

FIFTH annual?? Argh.

At the starting point, a lawn next to the Trail’s End Art Center, fliers explained the mission of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children), and delicious treats were offered.

starting point

starting point

bouquets and plants for sale

bouquets and plants for sale

on the refreshments table

on the ticket table

The Ridge Trail

The Ridge Trail

Could this fascinating collection of plants be the first garden?

Could this fascinating collection of plants be the first garden?

On the corner, a collection of my favourite Eryngiums!

On the corner, a collection of my favourite Eryngiums!

Acacia pravissima

Acacia pravissima

We were all stopped in our tracks by this garden, which was not on the tour. The owner, Roger, was busy painting something and did not make any effort to lure us in. We were all buzzing around so he came to talk to us, of course.  As I suspected, A lot of Roger’s plants came from my favourite nursery, Cistus on Sauvie Island…including the Acacia (above) which I once had till it got broken off when snow slid off my roof in an unusually bad winter.


Acacia pravissima detail

Acacia pravissima detail


Roger’s glorious Eucalyptus collection also spoke to me of Cistus nursery; it turned out he is a professional landscaper, not at all to our surprise.

Roger's house

Roger’s house

in Roger's garden

in Roger’s garden


Roger's wonderful dog

Roger’s wonderful dog

He also had an exceptionally sweet dog.   But while his garden had been on the tour before, this year it was just a serendipitous find on the corner of the block which had, further down, an actual tour garden.   After  much dog petting and plant admiring, we finally moved on to tour garden number one, half a block away.

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maples, rooms, wonderment

Onward we go with the Astoria garden tour, a benefit for the Lower Columbia Preservation Society.

Five years ago, two gardens were on the tour which I have remembered ever since with fond admiration.  One my friend Carol and I tried to peek at this past May but were thwarted by the Astoria landslide’s reconfiguration of the streets.  To my delight, the second was again on the tour this year: the multilevel Alameda Street garden of rooms and hidden delights created by Leroy Adolphson and David Drafall on Alameda Street.

Adolphson-Drafall garden, bridge from street level

You enter the garden from the street level onto this amazing bridge. Pardon the blurry lefthand photo; I want you to see the bench but I had to jump forward as someone was opening the gate behind me.

view down from the bridge to lower deck, and on other side, to a collection of potted plants. Clematis and wisteria grow on the railings.

From the left side of the bridge, you look down to a wonderfully enticing patio with a green mossy pond.  Once, stairs went down from the street to that level, then back up to the door.  The bridge is an absolutely brilliant solution for entering the home and has created a great deal of the magic in the garden by dividing it and providing transitions from shade to sunshine.

(above) views of the bridge from below; to the right: gate to the street. Under the bridge is a shady bench between the two garden rooms.

A moongate leads from a patio of bonsai specimens along the side of the house where, as in all the garden room, a collection of choice Japanese maples is numbered to correspond with a list of the cultivars.

Under the bridge, a bamboo wall and a gong…and the Moon gate

Passing a small burbling water feature one is suddenly dazzled by the bright back yard with its deck hovering over an exansive river view (and on the deck lounge two adorable tiny chihuahuas).

a garden of intricate details

As we return into the shade, I admire more exquisite details.  One of my companions asks the owners if they ever have a hard time getting garden visitors to leave, and he says “Yes, but I have a big dog!” (meaning the wee chihuahua).

I believe that this was Sonja’s favourite garden of the day but, because of my obsessive plant lust, mine is yet to come.

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Saturday, 14 July: Patti Jacobsen, organizer of the Long Beach Peninsula garden tour and Sonja May, local artist, and I went to the Astoria garden tour in Patti’s blue bug. The Astoria tour benefits the Lower Columbia Preservation Society. Our first stop was to visit Patti’s family members staying at the Elliot Hotel awaiting a night at the opera (yes, the opera comes to Astoria).  We informally began the tour with a peek at the roof gardens and agreed they need more wind-hardy Mediterranean sorts of plants.  Like almost everywhere on the tour, a breathtaking view of the river was on offer, deep blue on another bright hot day.  Where was Allan? Off on his red Moto Guzzi to the annual Northwest Guzzi club’s deep woods campout on Mount Rainier, thus missing yet another garden tour!

This beautifully painted house is always the ticket buying point of the tour.

Our first stop on the yearly Astoria tour is always this splendidly painted house with a view of the Columbia from its vintage front porch. Tickets and a raffle are sold at tables outside.  As we drove to the first garden, the Rose River Inn a couple of blocks away, we marveled as always at Astoria’s intricately decorated Victorian houses.

We skipped the charming healing garden at Columbia Memorial Hospital; I had spent a little, but too much, time there last year and did not want to be there at all, and my companions had already seen it.  Kudos to any hospital which adds a healing garden; such gardens have been proven to speed the patients’ recovery.

Way out in the pastures on Lewis and Clark road we toured another garden which segued beautifully into the neighbouring garden.

Elena and Steve Miller’s garden on Lewis and Clark road

Both gardens had productive vegetable gardens, but I especially liked the wildflower patch accentuating the neighbour’s deer-fenced vegetables.

vegetables and a wildflower patch

Since I am without a doubt a CPN (certified plant nut) and also a fan of gardens with clearly defined rooms, the next two gardens were the ones which made me swoon, gasp, linger, and almost refuse to leave them!


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Monday, 21 May: As always when my friend Carol arrives on one of her twice or thrice yearly visits, we spent a day walking around Astoria, where I was, naturally, obsessed with the gardens.  I found the lower slope of a garden which I am sure is one I toured on the Astoria garden tour about three years ago, a garden which abounds in rebar grids which are constructed with twisted wire fasteners rather than welded.  I could do that, given time and patience!  Because of the astonishing Astoria landslide, which has taken out the street at the end of this block, we could not figure out how to get around to the top side of this garden to eye it from the front.  I think that this challenging slope has been developed as a garden since the garden tour:

I would like to replicate the rebar grid.

Across the street was a house with a sign saying some kind of studio, and something about the window shutters suggests music!  The front garden had a floral sculpture and a tiny water bowl with shiny rocks.

So after admiring a parking strip of Oriental Poppies, we returned to Carol’s car and drove up and over to Niagara Street where we stopped at a little deli for juices and then recommenced our walkabout.  Now we were too high above our targeted area of old houses, in the more modern section of 40s era houses, none of which had wonderful gardens, as if the more modern houses resisted anything but carpets of junipers and lithadoras. So after a long loop on winding streets we returned to the car and to another attempt to access that certain magical neighbourhood.  Our first loop put us right back to the one exuberant gardenin the modern section, a collection of gnomic figures in a profusion of lilies.  Our second attempt found us some good old houses but no more amazing streetside gardens.  By then, I was rather tired…Astoria is all up and down, and reminds me pleasantly of the way Seattle was when I was a more energetic youth.  We found an enticing steep stairway and path but decided to save exploring it till next time.

Oriental poppy parking strip and a path of deep mystery; a secret vegetable garden was behind the hedge to the left.

Oriental poppy parking strip and a path of deep mystery; a secret vegetable garden was behind the hedge to the left.

A trolley ride along the water front sounded enticing, especially the sitting down part, but was not to be as at this time of year it runs Friday through Sunday only, so we walked along the salty lovely riverwalk and made a 45 minute visit to the Maritime Museum where I got misty-eyed over the rescue feats of the Coast Guard, and then the Andes Cafe for Peruvian food.

love these Astoria sidewalk planters

I have a feeling someone does not know that the pretty, but stinky, noxious weed Herb Robert (Geranium robertissimum or Stinking Bob!) is a big part of the planting on the left.

Meanwhile, I have not figured out how to fit into the narrative flow the gorgeous show my Virbunum is providing right now, so here it is:

Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’; double file viburnum

As always, I was impressed with the Astoria street planters, excellently planted and designed with wire sides and plants all the way around.

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