Posts Tagged ‘our garden’

Friday, 24 August 2018

reader photo: 

Lorna (formerly of Andersen’s RV Park) recently returned from a trip to Norway, where she found these planters and sit spots in Oslo.  “As usual, I’ve kept an eye out for street flowers in which you might be interested. Nothing….until tonight walking along the 5 mike long!! harbor front promenade. Don’t know about watering needs but certainly no deadheading.”

At home…

last night’s night blooming cereus flower was done…

..and I enjoyed the first of three days off with a few accomplishments in the garden.

Frosty was especially glad to have me home for the day.

I dipped out every rainwater barrel with our five gallon green jugs (wonderfully useful reusable kitty litter jugs with lids).  And filled every watering can.  The rainwater is all saved now and the barrels and bins are ready to fill up again if the forecast of rain comes true.  This should help with conserving water in September, one of the four months per year on which our water bill is based. (Three days later, I was relieved to find out that the autumn months of water averaging are October and November, not September.)

Continuing the theme of heavy lifting, I divided the fifty pound bag of grit, purchased from the Planter Box on Wednesday, into two buckets.  This is what I bought.  I hope it is the sort of grit that Monty Don speaks of so often on Gardeners’ World.  Is it?

I greatly enjoyed turning compost bin four into compost bin two, skipping empty bin three altogether.  This now gives me TWO empty bins into which I will start combining green clippings with the older brown stems of compost material.

The cats hung out together next to the compost bins, in the shade.



putting larger stuff back onto the pile

This dry and not at all rich partial wheelbarrow is all bin four had to give me…

…along with potato bugs and a very large spider.

six hours later, a huge mountain of compost in bins one and two, with bins three and four empty

It probably only took a couple of hours to sift through bin four.  I did other garden puttering during breaks from compost sifting.

Cosmos ‘Cupcake’ appreciation.

and Cosmos ‘Psyche’, probably

hips of Rosa moyesii

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ clambering into Rosa glauca (rubrifolia)

Allan weeded and beautifully mulched his own garden, and took no photos of befores and afters.  Here is a photo from two days later, when we did indeed have a fine spell of rain.

mulched with Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner

I continue to read The Prickotty Bush by Montagu Don, just a little bit every evening.

Every evening, I try to figure out what the cover photo is supposed to be.

It’s a poignant tale of creating a garden whilst knowing it might be lost for financial reasons.

Friends who have Seasonal Affective Disorder might find this article about Monty Don’s experiences with depression interesting and comforting.  I appreciate his honesty about his condition because I also suffer from depression on and off, although it tends to be situational rather than season; winter (Reading Time!) is my favourite season.  Perhaps when I can retire or partially retire, summer will be my favourite.

Tomorrow begins a series of several posts about our wonderful Saturday with friends, touring gardens public and private on the north Oregon coast.


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Friday, 10 August 2018

My goal today, other than getting enough sleep in the morning, was to sift the compost from bin one, thus having one empty bin to start layering green and brown in, as clean clippings are now frequently created by deadheading and tidying. (I do not put weeds in my compost.)

The day started lovely and cool.

Agapanthus ‘Xera’s Cobalt’

Echinops (blue globe thistle)

Skooter wanted to help.

Bin one looked promising.

Skooter watching a bug.

first barrow of sifted compost

an excellent bin

Now Frosty wanted some attention.

Two and a quarter hours later, I had sifted and dumped five good wheelbarrows of luscious compost.  And then, ominously, the sky brightened.

And out came the sun.

With this much left to go, I went into the house, planning to finish in the evening:

The temperature read 77 degrees, much too hot for me.

I spent the afternoon and into the early evening catching up completely on writing this blog, an unusual occurrence as I tend to run days behind.  That took so long that I almost did not make it back outside in time.  We had been planning a campfire dinner, but almost as soon as Allan got some corn wrapped in foil, a light rain began.  I finished the compost project anyway.

Allan’s photos in the evening:

I realized from the heavy fragrance that my brugmansia had its first flower.

rainwater for the barrels

the final wheelbarrow

Frosty escaping the rain

a new layer of newspaper for the bottom of the bin

Mission accomplished!


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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

at home

I had let some friends know that our garden was at its peak lily time.  While Allan went grocery shopping over the river, I stayed home, gardened, and had some visitors (11, if you count the dogs).

front garden lilies, middle

front garden lilies, east side

back garden with Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

pale yellow Lily ‘Conca D’Or’

center bed, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river, full of bees

east bed

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Lily ‘Salmon Star’ (pretty sure)

Frosty and Skooter

I had decided to not worry about the garden being weedy (mostly the little scrimmy horsetail and the dwarf fireweed).

The lilies’ first visitors were Amy, April, and Tricia from the port office on their all too short half hour lunch break.  Like many visitors, they were surprised that the garden is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.

Everyone likes the passion flowers.

They loved the honeysuckle mixed with hops and roses.

After they left, I had little energy for actual garden work.  I did set myself a small goal of sifting the fourth compost bin.  Over the course of the day, it provided several wheelbarrows of good compost.

Tony and Scott arrived with Rudy and Bailey and did a thorough tour of the garden.

Scott, Rudy, Bailey

Before they left, I wanted a photo of them all by the copper (painted) heart.  They were such a cute bunch that I forgot to get the heart properly showing.

I went back to my compost sifting, ever so slowly.

found a compost resident

finally got the bottom of the bin

I shifted the next bin over.  It had no good stuff to sift out.

In the late afternoon, Mark and Joe, two local gardeners, came by with Joe’s daughter Bella.  (I have visited Mark’s garden twice and blogged about it here.)  Bella, 9 years old, was a treat to observe in the garden.  She noticed everything and would say “I’m going to try to get lost now!” and run off to the bogsy wood, or through the door to the meadow to the west, or around behind the shed.  We would hear her voice from afar calling, “I’m lost now!”  I wish I could experience my garden as a child would, between age 4 and 10.  I am sure it would be as memorable as a few gardens I visited with my grandma as a child.

Skooter let her pick him up and lug him around—twice! He won’t let us do that.

Allan came home before they departed and was amazed to see, out the back window, Skooter being carried:

Allan’s photo

Allan and I got to hold Joe and Bella’s tiny dog.

Later, thinking about Bella’s reaction to the garden, I had some childhood garden memories: Lying on a hammock in a flower filled garden while Gram visited with friends.  The sky a bright blue overheard; I was sure I was looking at the very center of the sky.

And going down a flight of steps next to a pond in a garden on Phinney Ridge, a garden belonging to Gram’s best friends, May Lancaster and Addie.  I would love to be able to find that garden again.

And getting “lost” in the big woodland driveway circle bed—probably small in reality—at my uncle’s house in Shoreline.  How big was it, really?  Here it is now; my cousin who inherited the house seems to have tidied and landscaped it.  Pretty big, really. Those big trees may the the same ones I played under.

via Google street view (with Puget sound in the background; house valued at $1,717,700. !

I wish I could find May and Addie’s old garden to look at online. Maybe the pond is still there.





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Monday, 16 July 2018

After a windy Sunday spent mostly blogging out the Markham/Grayland tour, we got back to work.


Allan remembered that we needed to water some plants we had planted at the end of last week. Allan planted a Crambe maritima (sea kale) from the Master Gardeners sale in Grayland.

We are also trying out a Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’ from the Markham Farm garden.

Allan’s photo

The new rudbeckia clump was wilting.  I was so glad Allan had remembered to check it.  It got well soaked.

It was fine the next morning.

Long Beach

We pulled horsetail at the welcome sign and I wondered why, even though I did not fertilize them, in hopes they would not bolt up with no flowers till late in the summer, the cosmos are beautifully green…with only one flower so far.

At least the cosmos helps disguise the horsetail.


one cosmos flower so far, on the north side

the resident of the water timer box (Allan’s photo)

Before starting to water downtown, we called an emergency meeting with the powers that be about a matter that I am not going to write about.   I try not to bring gardening problems to the city and have succeeded, with two exceptions, for twenty years. (Twenty years of Long Beach gardening, maybe even longer…I can hardly remember when I began.) Having passed the problem on, I am now able to put the matter out of my mind, but I also felt quite firmly that I can no longer imagine tottering on till I’m 70 or 80 (should I be so lucky) with the city job (planters, parks, beach approaches, parking lot berms).  I have imagined for years that I could not give it up, and yet this week I feel mentally exhausted; I have hit a wall (one that maybe I will end up able to climb over after all).

I could give the city gardens up if only someone was coming along behind us eager to take the job on.  It’s not my business to choose the person(s), but I sure would hope it would be someone with the focus (in my case gimlet eyed autistic focus on every little plant picture in town) to keep everything as perfect as possible.  (We constantly fail at that.)  Maybe it would be someone who dared plant even cooler plants, taking the risk they would be stolen.  Maybe it would be someone who’d remove my personal favourite perennials and plant something with a tidier look.

I’ve promised the parks manager to keep going for two more years, if they can all stand me that long, and I keep my promises, usually.  Are you the one who would like to take it on after that?  (A week later: I may have just the person in mind, someone I have talked to who is a good ornamental and container gardener, and fit (because it’s a hard job) and who would actually want and love this job.  I have no control over the city will hire when the time comes, but at least I can strongly recommend…)

Imagine being partially retired…I could keep up on reading other people’s blogs! Letting Long Beach go would immediately result in being half retired.  That would be cool.  The plan right now is two more years till then.

And yet I still hope to keep tottering along on the Ilwaco and the Shelburne gardens forever.  Forever is a long time, and yet it is a word that people invoke so easily (example: “forever homes” for animals, when we all know that homes end when we die).  So why can’t I imagine forever gardens at the port and the Shelburne? Maybe I will haunt them.

But enough of that.  We watered the street trees and planters.

Someone decided to go barefoot.

dahlias in a planter

I like my mini-meadow look in each planter.  It would be weird to see someone else’s probably much tidier approach.  I will have to come to grips with that.

It’s tigridia time.

an agastache reseeded in the gutter!

Tigridia (held still because of wind); AKA Mexican Shell Flower

Allan’s photo

parsley, lavender, santolina, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

I now have Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ in almost every planter.  I love its angular shape.

A fellow came to me while I was watering and said how much he loved the planters. He was visiting from elsewhere.  He insisted on shoving a tip into my hand, the hand that was holding the hose….paper money in a surprising amount.  I said I water as a paid job but he would not take it back, so….I split it with Allan!

It was Allan’s turn to bucket water the four Fish Alley barrels.  He found that someone had trashed one of them, stealing a clump of sedums and ripping up the santolina in the process (or maybe trying to steal the santolina itself?):

evidence: dropped sedum bits and soil

Color coordinated lilies (with Bensons sign) in Fifth Street Park

I finally got another clump of lilies on the other side of that little garden bed:

still in bud

in a planter: The new Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ compared in size with Cosmos ‘Sonata’

We checked on the parking lot berms.  I had thought they would desperately need weeding, but only a goodly amount of the really quite pretty birds-foot trefoil was bothersome, so we were able to just drive on to the…

Shelburne Hotel

…where I watered, while Allan hurriedly removed a dahlia and planted a new sedum in one of the planters on the number four deck, before the guests arrived to check in.

Allan’s photo

The dahlia got rehomed in the garden.

Sedum ‘Double Martini’, Cosmos ‘Xanthos’, “society garlic”, purple alyssum (Allan’s photo)…and one dahlia that is tall enough to stay here

The new nandina on the center deck is doing well. (Allan’s photo)

The faucet that would make watering easier is not working yet; Allan schlepped water up the stairs in a bucket and then watered part of the outdoor garden.

We love to see guests photographing the garden. (Allan’s photo)

lilies and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (Allan’s photo)

I cut the pollen off of the lilies that are next to the path and planted an astilbe and a fuchsia where we had taken a cordyline down last week.  Allan did a project at the north entrance to the restaurant:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it, often reaching out to where people walk.

In clearing it out, he found a plastic tub full of mud and water, and a broken pottery jar.

stinky old mud his foot would sink into

We will figure out a plant for in here.


Allan watered the planters and street trees with the water trailer while I watered the boatyard with a nice new long hose that had appeared there.  Only had to use three hoses instead of four!  I even had time to do some weeding after watering.

Out of the ceanothus came my usual audience, my little feathered friend.

coming closer

The bird repeatedly sharpens? its little beak on the metal fence.

I’m not sure what that means.

Allan found that deer had been enjoying some planter nasturtiums.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

I had big plans for this all Ilwaco day: weed and tidy at Mike’s garden, shear the shrubs at Coho Charters (Allan), water all the curbside gardens (mostly me) and weed at the boatyard (both of us).

Mike’s garden

Escallonia ‘Iveyi’

front garden needed more water

Allan tidied the path:



front garden, designed by “The Elves Did It” gardening business, years ago

I am trying to get the boxwood to be a solid hedge instead of little square clipped shapes.

Port of Ilwaco

At the port, I watered the east end curbside garden and did some weeding while Allan started shearing Coho’s escallonias.  Someone had accidentally driven over the end of our hose while Allan was attaching two hoses to reach the east curbside bed.  We now no longer had two hoses that would hook together today, so we took Captain Butch of Coho up on his offer to use his water instead.  The job was much easier by hooking our one hose up to his long hose, so I think the parking lot hose days are over for good.

As I was about to go on drag my hose to the other curbside gardens, a misty rain appeared and all of a sudden I just hit a wall and walked the two blocks home, putting everything else off till later in the week.  Allan kept shearing the three big escallonias.








one of the future Coho Charters captains


On my way home, I got to pet my neighbour, Rudder.

Good old Rudder snoozing in his front garden.

Puttering at home revitalized me.  I ran sprinklers and planted some of my new plants.

from The Pot Shed in Grayland

two more from the Pot Shed

a new sarracenia from the Master Gardener sale joins two others in a new container

It is almost the peak of lily time, most definitely the best time in my garden.

right: Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

Even though the mist had ceased, overnight we had enough light rain to make a puddle in the street (but not enough to fill the rain barrels).


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Saturday, 7 July 2018

Other than having to go take photos of the Ilwaco fireworks (for a Facebook page that I administrate), I planned to spend the weekend at home, hoping to accomplish some weeding and compost sifting.

Saturday, I was on day three of feeling like I had an ear infection (which used to be chronic) and I did not garden much at all. I did try, but with 70 F weather, it was too hot for me to enjoy the outdoors.  I stayed in and finished my Hardy Plant Study Weekend blog series and had a good visit, in person, with Our Kathleen.

Of course, I was stressed that my little ear infection might turn big and make me miss the Grayland/Markham garden tour which is the garden touring high point of my year.

Frosty helped me blog.

At dusk, we went out to take the fireworks photos.

front garden sky (Allan’s photo)

A few favourites:


High tide made for good reflections.

While I staked out my favourite spot on the dock bridge with a good reflective view, Allan walked around on the docks in the dark.  Without falling in.

These guys were dancing to music up on their boat.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Allan went boating in Grayland, which you can read about on his blog.  He also succeeded, after quite a quest, into getting us tickets there for the Grayland/Markham garden tour!

Upon arising quite late and well rested (unusual!), I went out on the porch to rinse off my foot after stepping barefoot in a small pile of cat york.  On the way back in, I caught my little toe on the door frame, badly.  With my weird knee, sometimes I just do not know where my foot is anymore.

Never have I had a wee toe pain so extreme. The pain made me think for awhile I had broken it and made gardening impossible for the day, so….I worked on getting caught up on my blog, fretting that my toe would make it difficult to tour the Grayland/Markham gardens on July 14th. Finally, I consulted Dr Google and realized I should be icing my toe.  By the end of a day of icing, it was almost better.

So no gardening got done at all this weekend except for hobbling out on Sunday to turn on and off almost all of the sprinklers.

During my 6 PM sprinkler walk, I did take some photos.

Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

edge of the bogsy wood

Iris ensata in the bogsy wood

plant table in progress

Paul Bonine (Xera Plants) admired this fuchsia when he visited earlier this week.


more astilbes

Luma apiculata beginning to bloom

bench in waiting

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

I have not had time lately to write here about reading.  I have finished Mirabel Osler’s memoir about her life, not just about gardening.  I recommend it to anyone bereaved.  More on it some time later….and have begun an astonishingly good book by her friend Katherine Swift.  I only have time to read a chapter or part of a chapter a day during these long summer evenings.

Real time alert: The Wade and Spade Garden Tour in Tillamook is coming up July 21st.  You can read about it here.  This tour happens only every other year.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

I was a little intimidated by who was coming to visit my garden today: our friend Ann accompanied by Evan Bean from Plant Lust AND Paul Bonine from Xera Plants, who had not seen my garden before but whose nursery is the source of some of the plants in it.  I took the day off because they were not sure when they would arrive from Portland.  I did a little more weeding and fluffing of the garden and a lot of blogging about the Hardy Plant tour.

When they arrived in the early evening, my neighbour Rudder walked right into the garden with Evan.  Rudder never does that even though I try cozying up to him.

Rudder and Evan

Rudder in the garden

Rudder going home (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Paul, Ann

Allan’s photo

Ann (Allan’s photo)

me and Paul (Allan’s photo)

Evan and Ann (Allan’s photo)

Ann botanizing

She found seeds on my variegated Azara.

Allan’s photo

Ann always has an eye out for seeds and she sells seeds at her Spiffy Seeds site.  Ann also works at Cistus Nursery and had brought me some plants from there.  Evan brought me some starts from his garden.  I was happy.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, Eryngium pandanifolium var. lesseauxii’ from Xera

Paul, me, Xera tag, photo by Ann Amato

Paul liked the garden.  Whew!

He identified some lost tag plants for me, ones I had bought from Xera via Pam Fleming’s former Gearhart nursery.

translation: Olearia traversii and Rhamnus alaternus ‘Variegata’

We took them for dinner at the Shelburne Pub, and for touring of the garden there, of course.  We were joined for dinner by Melissa and David (Sea Star Gardening).

Ann at the Shelburne

photo by Ann Amato, Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Cocktail’ (mix)

photo by Ann Amato

Paul Bonine at the Shelburne!

jambalaya at the Shelburne Pub

We lingered till after closing time and the staff were kind to let us do so.

after dinner (Allan’s photo): Paul, Dave, Evan, Ann

A perfect evening. To be followed by a perfect day.

Brace yourselves, because there will be four (comparatively short) posts tomorrow.  It will be like going garden touring here on the Long Beach Peninsula with us for all day July Fourth….exhausting and, I hope, fun.  I just can’t let this blog fall five days further behind with two more tour days (Grayland/Markham and, soon after, Tillamook) to blog about.






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Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend 2018

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

The thoughts refer to all the garden tour days and are at the end of this post.

my well thumbed booklet

Friday, 22 June 2018

After touring gardens all day, we checked into the college building where the lectures would be held and then looked in on the plant sale.  I had been disconcerted to find that parking was down a steep slope of grass and across the street; this hampered my purchasing and I bought far fewer plants than I otherwise would have.  The venue was not disability friendly.  Allan saw a woman with a cane standing at the bottom of the steep sloping lawn above the parking area while her friends tried to figure out how to get her up to the lecture hall.

outside the venue (Allan’s photo)

below the terrace (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

in the plant sale room (Allan’s photo)

Dan Hinkley and his plant sale table

Dan Hinkley, the best garden speaker ever, in my opinion, gave the keynote speech, titled “The Giving”, about garden memories in a way.

We had all been given plastic baggies containing plant material, and he asked us to breathe in the odors and remember times in the past.

In the bag, along with leaves and berries to evoke memories of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other gatherings, were seeds of Erythronium revolutum for us to grow.

As always, his lecture was so moving to me.  My notes were brief because it was mostly the emotional side of gardening:

“The Giving Tree” book, Dan fell in love with gardening at age five after seeing a pansy flower (I think it was the same for our friend Todd), “Who was the older person who was your first mentor?”  

He suggests…Walking into the garden and asking your plants, are you giving me what I expect from you?  “If not, then I ask Robert to dig them out.”

Something about how a red-tailed hawk’s cry was dubbed in for an eagle in a car ad because the eagle’s cry was not what they wanted.

He quoted from a poem by Wendell Berry: do read it.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

We were up at 7 AM for the plant sale (again) and lectures.  Again, I found negotiating the hill to the lecture hall difficult and had a little talk with the folks at the check-in table about testing a venue out with the idea of disabled people being able to use it well. I bought just two plants because of the difficulty of carrying them down that hill.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden director, Nancy Kartes, in introducing the talks, said something so true about public gardening: “When we make mistakes, we make them in front of everyone.”

The morning lectures began.

Claudia West: Planting in a Post Wild World 

I had heard her co-author lecture about this book at a previous study weekend.

Claudia’s talk was transformative and had me in tears at the end when she showed a slide of a devastated Germany after WWII, described how the people could not hang their laundry out without it turning black from soot, and then showed the same area now turned into a beautiful green landscape of lakes and trees: a new Lake District in Central Germany.

My notes: Less than 5% of the world is left in dark spaces.  (And some of those that show up as dark are actually industrial like commercial farming and mining).

Design rules where plants do not touch are bad for the environment, she hates to see “rain gardens” designed with space in between the plants.

We must use small spaces to 100% of their potential; plants want to cover ground.  (Yes! I am vindicated against clients who don’t want plants to touch!)

She strongly recommended the book The Hidden Life of Trees (Melissa gave it to me for my birthday!)

Ground covers are the best mulch.

She recommends Hansen/Stahl’s book Perennials and Their Garden Habitats.

After talking about the healing of the land in Central Germany (the part that made me weep), she said “We are in a global emergency.  We are losing the foundation of life.”

It was odd indeed that this study weekend did not include a book sales table.  I must read this book soon.

Jimi Blake: Salvias

Jimi Blake gave a talk on salvias.  My notes said to acquire Salvia fulgens (5′) and Salvia Amistad (“dies well”).  He suggested taking cuttings, growing them in perlite, and taking cuttings of the cuttings.  He recommended these websites: salvias.com.ar and fbts.com (flowers by the sea) and world of salvias.com.

His talk was followed by his sister’s.

June Blake: Discovering the Home Place: Making Sense with Plants, Buildings, and Landscape

Her talk was lovely but my notes are brief.

skybox (a structure with big walls like a box open to the sky that you sit in).

When parents let their children run through her meadow, she gets very cross and the parents walk out of the garden in a big huff.

She used a famine pot as a garden feature.  Read about famine pots here.

She provided a useful plant list with her slide show of 68 favourite plants.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Again, we were up by 7 AM.  This was near the parking garage (which continued to be a difficult uphill walk to the lecture hall for a cane user):

Along the water’s edge, the air is damp yet sweet.

hoop houses and veg beds

The land around us is wet Saturated with life

Dense thickets conceal a universe beneath

Seasons cycle through Balance emerges essential

I bought four more plants at the plant sale, judging them by their weight as to whether we could get them down the hill.  In a great (small) tragedy, I did not get back to the lecture hall in time for door prizes and I actually had won a plant for once! but was not in my seat so I lost out on it.  DANG it all to bits.

Sunday morning offered two lectures.

Janice Currie: My Recipe for a Lifetime of Gardening Pleasure.

The talk was about her world travels in gardens and did not offer up many plant names or information so did not teach me much. I did not quite realize it until another attendee pointed that out.

My notes, mostly about her useful information about rock gardens (as she has made an impressive one with tons of rock at her home garden):

use sand in scree beds

a rock garden of rock piled on a cement slab with little rocks in between

“Czech alpine gardens and gardeners” must refer to this.

make trough crevice garden 

Jimi Blake: A Beautiful Obsession

Jimi’s second talk was about his garden, which is on the same huge estate as his sister June’s.  He provided a slide list with 71 plants which I will be looking into.  The ones I gave multiple “must have” stars to are Erythronium ‘Joanne’, Corydalis calycos (the best, 1.5 feet high (??), Impatiens omeiana ‘Sango’ (pink stripe in leaf)  Epimidium ‘Wildside Amber’, Linaria vulgaris f. peloria, Linaria ‘Peachy’ (sterile), Linaria ‘Oslow Pink’, Geranium wallichianum ‘Havana Blues’, Sanguisorba ‘Black Thorn’ (6-7 feet, no staking), Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Martin’s Mulberry’, Cosmos peucedanifolius, Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’, Musa sikkemensis ‘Bengal Tiger’, Veronicastrum ‘Mammy Blake’ (named for his mum, can probably never get it here), Allium ‘Purple Rain’, Schefflera delavayi, Schefflera koranasii BSWJ1138.  And more.

He will have a book out for Christmas 2018.

You can follow him and his sister on Facebook.

the view from our lunchtime seating on the terrace

brief thoughts on garden tour kindness

Much has been written about the proper etiquette for touring gardens, but not much about how tour goers and garden hosts should treat others.

Let me just say that if I were hosting a tour of people that had paid to be in a horticultural group and had paid handsomely to attend a big event like the Hardy Plant weekend, I might very well, if my house were halfway through the tour and situated so people could easily access a bathroom, offer up its use.  I have seen this done on many other tours and it does make the day more comfortable for older people.  I would have no problem allowing members of a garden group like the Hardy Plant society to use mine, although I would feel differently about a regular garden tour where anyone could pay $10-20 and get in. I got through the day ok, but Allan saw a woman having to implore being allowed to use a bathroom.  Surely the budget could run to having a sanican on one of the larger estates halfway through.

And if I saw a disabled person who could not access my view deck because of stairs, I would offer him or her a quick way through the house to the deck.  I have seen this done on other garden tours that are for people in a big garden club (not a public $10-20 garden tour, although I would offer up such access to a person with a cane on any tour!)  JUST SAYING.  Members of the study weekend are not going to rob your house.

As for how garden tour guests should treat each other:

If someone is going against the flow, it is probably for a good reason, especially if you see that the person has a cane or other sign of disability.  I did not enjoy the experience of the snobbish man who said to his companion when I passed them, “I see someone is making up her own rules.”  I almost turned back even though I could not do the stairs going the other way.  Nor did I enjoy the woman older than I who cast her eyes to heaven when I passed her going “the wrong way”.  I can tell you for sure that these appeared to be moneyed upper class people.  Rude people.  It’s enough to make a lowly hobbling person give up garden touring for good, were it not that only in Seattle area tours (my home town!) have I run into this, never in Portland or Eugene and certainly not around here.  I am only a Northwest garden tour-er so I cannot speak for other places.

It wore me out.  Upon arriving home, I walked through my garden and I said to it, “I like YOU the very best of all.”

Sunday evening, 8:45 PM: back home:

Getting out of the passenger side of our van: HOME.

the front path

sweet smelling Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’


(Thank you so much to Devery, Jenna (Queen La De Da), and Our Kathleen, who had visited Skooter and Frosty over the five days we were gone.)  Devery watered, Jenna unscrewed a scary hot light bulb on a timer, and Kathleen found the missing Skooter and gave Frosty belly rubs.

Allan’s garden

our new plants

more new plants


back home to campfires

Frosty and Skooter

looking forward to sifting compost

front garden again

I’m going to repaint my poles next weekend!

driveway again

front porch view

a sweet welcome home from Jenna

There is no place like home, when you are lucky enough to have a home like ours.

A garden tour of the near future that is not to be missed:








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