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Posts Tagged ‘Peninsula Edible Garden Tour’

August 11, 2013

I got up early, invigorated by the idea of tour day, and I do mean at about 8 AM.  The night before, I had made tabouli which I dressed up with all sorts of vegetables from my garden: cucumber, tomatoes, chives, cilantro on the side, and edible flowers:  Calendula, tuberous begonia, borage, chive flowers.  We had some lemon water to offer, and Allan had bought some animal crackers but forgot to put them out. Brownies (and Allan’s favourite, red licorice) did not seem quite right to offer on a serious and healthy edible garden tour.

a welcoming table

a welcoming table

I arranged some samples of edible flowers on plates, an idea I swiped from last year’s edible tour at Lisa Mattfield’s Homewood garden.

edible flowers

edible flowers

On the shed wall across from the tabouli table:

Let's see, what's edible?  Fuchsia flowers, and a Stevia to the right

Let’s see, what’s edible? Fuchsia flowers, and a Stevia to the right

The beautiful wall vase was made by my friend Sheila, who brought it to me when she came from Oregon for the Music in the Gardens tour.

wall vase

wall vase

In the remaining time before noon,  I rushed around pulling a few more weeds and wishing again that we had run the string trimmer around the garden beds…

I thought Pam Fleming from my favourite local collectors’ nursery, Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, might come and was feeling the garden was not at its required tour perfection…

I put out some of my favourite garden books, this time mostly ones with an edible theme (Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest, The Bountiful Container).  Even though it is purely ornamental, I did simply have to put out my very favourite garden book, Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs.  And I hung at the gate a print of the cover of the Beverly Nichols’ book, Garden Open Today.

garden open today

garden open today!

My garden was looking much more ornamental than edible….

garden boat (The "Ann Lovejoy") with cosmos and elephant garlic.

garden boat (The “Ann Lovejoy”) with cosmos and elephant garlic.

But I had gone to great effort to grow salad greens in containers all over the garden.

salad containers, background

salad containers in background

It really is an ornamental garden, though; there is just no denying that.  Lisa really had wanted us to be on the tour, and I did my best…

In the greenhouse, I had tomatoes from The Planter Box, The Basket Case, and the River Rock Farm booth at Long Beach’s Columbia Pacific Farmers Market.

in the greenhouse

in the greenhouse

lavender as one enters the back yard

lavender as one enters the back yard

encouragement to smell scented geraniums, etc

encouragement to smell scented geraniums, etc

laundry lines and raspberries

laundry lines and raspberries

my grandma's embroidered pillowcases

my grandma’s embroidered pillowcases

one of four corn plants, and potatoes on the debris pile

one of four corn plants, and potatoes on the debris pile

veg box

veg box

To have more edibles with little open ground available, I had planted some drawers with autumn crops of kale, and labeled them.  Kale is ornamental as well as edible.  I could have just labeled them and not even planted the seeds! But the seeds are in there, I guarantee it.

Let the tour begin!!

Local jobbing gardener Diana Canto and her dog Lucy were first to arrive just after the tour start time of noon.  Diana is the gardener who created the Bristol garden, featured on the Music in the Gardens tour.

Diana and Lucy

Diana and Lucy

Soon after, Nancy (Music in the Gardens tour organizer) and Phil Allen arrived.

Phil, Nancy, Lucy, Diana

Phil, Nancy, Lucy, Diana

group

Phil, Nancy, Diana, and I

Phil, Nancy, Diana, Lucy, and I

in the distance, tour guests

in the distance, tour guests

Our friend Sarah Sloane, local author (of the charming children’s book The Marble Game) and topiary artist, came early.  I showed her the topiary that she gave me last year and said “I have been clipping on him”.  “Hand me the scissors!” she said, and went to work.

sarah3

Sarah Sloane

Sarah Sloane

s3

More people came, in fact we had quite a rush of about 18 people in the first hour and fifteen minutes!

tour guests

tour guests as Sarah clips  the topiary bird

Ann Gaddy came to see the garden.  I was thrilled to meet her.  Her father, Pete Hanner, is the one who told the story about my garden at my neighbour, Nora’s, funeral earlier this year…  Ann intends to bring Pete sometime soon, and I look forward to seeing him again.

 Ann Gaddy in the garden
enjoying Ann's company

enjoying Ann’s company

We had “met” on Facebook but not in person before this day.  Note Frosty, above, in the background watching from his cat perch.

Sarah, me, and Ann

Sarah, me, and Ann

One man turned out to be very interested in biochar.  I told him he and Jim Karnofski would have a lot to talk about, and he said he was going to Jim and Vera’s Biocharm Farm next.  He had been to a national bochar conference of some sort recently.  I hope he and Jim had a great time having a discussion on the subject.  As Mr. Tootlepedal (one of my two favourite bloggers of all time, the other being Mary Ruston of Moosey’s Country Garden) commented on my photos of Jim and Vera’s veg, “A very good advertisement for his methods.”

Another man introduced himself as from Astoria.  In conversation, I realized he had had his garden on the Astoria garden tour before, and I had been there.  It is in this blog entry as the Wigutoff garden, a lovely front garden that leads up to a deck with a Columbia River view, and had more edibles than I do, as I recall.  Unfortunately it was written when I used smaller photos on my blog (and before my great computer crash where I lost all original photos from 2010-12).  (Yes, I have a better back up system now!)

I believe this is Mr. Wigutoff from Astoria.

I believe this is Mr. Wigutoff from Astoria.

I have no idea why there is a corkscrew next to The Intelligent Gardener book.  I swear I was not boozing during the garden tour!  I have my phone out because am looking up Mr. Wigutoff’s garden on my blog.  (Allan tells me the corkscrew was to open his own bottle of Mexican soda pop.)

A young couple passing by on the street had asked early in the tour (which began at noon) if they could come in just to see our garden.  They had sailed down from Alaska in their boat and were docked at the marina.  Of course, we said yes.  They wandered appreciatively through the entire garden and I think they stayed for over an hour.

I showed the woman the way the seeds of the Impatiens balsamina jump when you touch a ripe pod (which is why it’s common name is Touch Me Not and why it is a class 2 noxious weed….ooops).

She's about to test out a seedpod.

She’s about to test out a seedpod.

laughter as it pops

laughter as it pops

Something about her smile and her voice convinced me I had met her before, but that was impossible.  She must have strongly reminded me of someone.  Her partner took a great interest in the cats.

cat

Frosty loved the attention.

Frosty loved the attention.

I wish them both smooth sailing and hope touring our garden gave them a fond memory of Ilwaco.

Debbie Haugsten came with her friend Charlene.  They arrived at the peak of the early guests, so we did not have time to visit.  Later, due to my face blindness, I thought maybe she had been with Helen Westbrook (whose fabulous Astoria garden I like to visit) but Debbie helped me sort it out later….

Debbie and Charlene

Debbie and Charlene

charlene

The two Colleens from Peninsula Landscape Supply arrived and stayed for awhile.

Sarah and Colleen

Sarah and Colleen

Not only was I happy to see them but I also was glad they could meet Sarah.  I think the topiaries would be a great addition to the stock at Colleen’s garden center.

And then, after they left, there was….no one else!   Sarah kept clipping the topiary as we visited on the patio.  Allan got discouraged after awhile and put the tabouli salad away.  He made us a lunch of chili and mandarin oranges (a house specialty that Sarah enjoyed).  After awhile, thank goodness, Judy came  from her garden four doors down to see how the tour was going and kept us company for awhile.

Allan noticed that Sarah’s dogs were in the car, so we invited them both in.

patiently waiting

patiently waiting

Judy loves little dogs.  They provided much entertainment as we continued to wait and marvel at the lack of tour guests.  These two dogs won the obedience trial at the Doggie Olympic Games in Long Beach earlier this year and they performed some cute tricks for us.

Judy

They liked Judy very much!

They liked Judy very much!

The tour was due to end at five;  Sarah and Judy had left by about four.  The bird was re-shaped to Sarah’s satisfaction.

an excellent bird

an excellent bird

I have to admit that I was kind of let down when my friends had departed.  I did not expect the 500 people who had come through on Music in the Gardens tour 2012, but I was hoping for at least 50!  I walked through the garden taking some photos of it while it was in such excellent condition (and pulled a few more weeds on the way).

That one spot of lawn always gets brown.

That one spot of lawn always gets brown.

archway to back garden

archway to back garden with Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’

entering the back garden....This is where folks always exclaim they did not know it was so big.

entering the back garden….This is where folks always exclaim they did not know it was so big.

elephant garlic

elephant garlic

Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns'

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

cat bench

I had been worried all the lilies would be done by tour day, but there were still plenty of them.

lilies

lilies

Eryngium and lilies

Eryngium and lilies

more lilies

more lilies

afternoon light on the garden boat

afternoon light on the garden boat

blue Agastache

blue Agastache (hyssop) and Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)

Verbascum 'Eleanor's Blush'

Verbascum ‘Eleanor’s Blush’

Geranium 'Rozanne' river from the side

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river from the side

my flock of chickens

my flock of chickens by the garden boat

Sheesh, not only is my garden not full of edibles, but I don’t even have real chickens!

more Agastache because I love them.

more Agastache because I love them.

by the bogsy wood, many empty chairs...

by the bogsy wood, many empty chairs…

by the edge of the bogsy wood....Hey, salmonberry groves have edible berries!

by the edge of the bogsy wood….Hey, salmonberry groves have edible berries!

weeded woodsy edge with before photos clipped to  branches

weeded woodsy edge with before photos clipped to branches

into the bogsy woods

into the bogsy wood at the south end of the lot

same area as above in November 2010

same area as above in November 2010

looking north from the bogsy wood

looking north from the bogsy wood

looking west

looking west

Gunnera

Gunnera

salmonberry tunnel

salmonberry tunnel

plant table inspired by George Schenk

plant table inspired by George Schenk

another well weeded bogsy wood area

a well weeded bogsy wood area

Oh well, it IS nice to have the garden almost perfect on occasion!

fairy door with market basket; the fairies have gathered their "edibles"

fairy door with market basket; the fairies have gathered their “edibles”

another fairy dwelling

another fairy dwelling

Judy’s son said the fairies do not need stairs because they can fly.  But they DO need stairs for their pet frogs.

from the bridge over the swale, looking west

from the bridge over the swale, looking west

fish in the well weeded swale

fish in the well weeded swale

south edge, inside fence, looking east.  The property goes further south outside the fence.

south edge, inside fence, looking east. The property goes further south outside the fence.

Emerging from the bogsy wood, I photographed my way up the west side path.

looking north

looking north

beside the shade garden

beside the shade garden

blue

blue bottle hanger from The Natural Nook in Gearhart

blue bottle hanger from The Natural Nook in Gearhart

Fuchsia magellanica

Fuchsia magellanica and purple trunks of old camellia

before photo of the camellia which is now just purple painted trunks

before photo (with no garden) of the camellia which is now just purple painted trunks . Nov 2010

looking back south

looking back south

walking north into the sun

walking north into the sun

And then….JOY!  Another garden guest arrived!  She was a member of The Mozart Chicks quintet who had performed at Pink Poppy Farm on Music in the Gardens tour day and had reprised their performance with a trio during the edible tour!

a musician in our garden

a musician in our garden

I walked around with her, and as she left, Pam and Kathy from Back Alley Gardens and The Natural Nook in Gearhart arrived.  More joy.  I really had been rather glum about having only nineteen people so far (and pretty much all of them in the first hour with three hours in between having no new arrivals).

Pam Fleming  and Kathy Cates

Pam Fleming and Kathy Cates

We walked all around every inch of the garden, which was most satisfactory and made my day.  Pam told us that she and Kathy had not known where our street, which is one block south of the main drag through Ilwaco, was.  I am so used to people having a GPS that I never thought to make sure the program had more specific directions.  Because of their determination to visit us, they turned back when they realized they were heading east out of Ilwaco.  But what was worse was that Adelaide’s Coffee in Ocean Park, the northernmost ticket sales point, had been CLOSED.  CLOSED on Sunday?  On tour day???  Which is when most people buy tickets???  When their hours say they are OPEN on Sundays?  Why had they agreed to sell tickets at all????  I found out later that they had told Lisa, the tour organizer, a few days before that they would be closed that day.  Whatever the emergency was, if there was one, my mind is still boggled that this happened.  How many other people might have tried to buy tickets and then given up and done something else with their day?

Because of this fiasco and having to drive back south to buy tickets at Jimella and Nanci’s Café in Klipsan, the only two gardens that Pam and Kathy visited other than ours was Pink Poppy Farm and the Millner Garden.  They loved Pink Poppy Farm…who wouldn’t? and Pam raved about a pink drink with Shiso (Perilla, a Japanese herb)….somehow the Shisho made the drink a gorgeous pink colour.  Then they went to the Millner garden at the Planter Box.  Pam was so taken with Ray Millner’s talk about the health benefits of his garden that she had made a movie of him with her iPad to show to Back Alley plantswoman Prissy.

Pam taking an iPad photo

Pam taking an iPad photo

We sat in the patio and talking about gardening, especially public gardening.   (Pam does the gorgeous Seaside, Oregon gardens and I have admired her work for years.)  Allan brought the tabouli salad back out.  Time passed.  Pam played us a bit of the video of Ray Millner.    They were thinking of stopping by Painted Lady Lavender Farm for the very end of the Beach Bellydance Festival but we kept nattering on.  (Last year the festival was beautiful and I was sorry to have missed it this year.)  By the time they departed, they decided to skip the festival.  On the way out, we all had a good look at Allan’s garden, especially his unidentified mystery fern.

Kathy and the mystery fern

Kathy and the mystery fern

One more guest wanted to come in, but by now the tour was over….

Onyx from next door

Onyx from next door

…except for Vera and Jim Karnofski who came up from Biocharm Farm to bring us the big tour sign to return to Lisa the next day.    We walked all around with them, and they took some tabouli with them to eat later.

I had emailed Nancy Allen to bemoan we had only had 23 people.  She responded:  “Phil told me I shouldn’t tell you Andrea had 130” [at the Patten edible garden].   I believed it for about two minutes and thought that many many people had been unable to find our address!  It tied in with Pam and Kathy having told me that they heard the Pink Poppy Farm-ers were surprised they had so many people.  But it turned out that the 27 people that they did get seemed to them like quite a few for the edible tour (that only got 20 people in 2012!)

This tour needs a better attendance, especially since it is a benefit for the food bank.  We have the Facebook page now, and had some good publicity in both the Chinook Observer (local weekly paper) and the Daily Astorian.  Next year we need to get a promo on the public radio.  The tickets are extremely reasonable:  $7 or 5 cans of food for the food bank.  I hope it is just not that people (like me) are more interested in purely ornamental garden tours….but I won’t pass up the chance to tour any kind of garden.

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August 10, 2013

After touring “Lavender And”, Allan and I were might hungry so we stopped at the delicious Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta.

Chef Jayne Bailey at work

Chef Jayne Bailey at work

We used to take more time to stop for lunches but for the past few years have worked pretty much non stop from February through early December.  My mission this year is to have more time enjoying pleasures like a lunch stop.  We still have not taken many, so I don’t yet have to worry that it is going to result in poverty.  Taking time off to go garden touring…and blog…is more likely to get me in financial trouble!

inside Bailey's

inside Bailey’s

After our excellent lunch we drove back to Ilwaco and a bit to the east to Jim and Vera Karnofski’s Biocharm Farm.   We wanted to get photos for the edible tour Facebook page and had also been charged with the delivery of the signs and tickets for the tour.  The name of the farm refers to Biochar.  To say Jim is a big believer in the stuff would be an understatement.  Here is the Biocharm description of the farm:  “Biocharm Farms is a demonstration mineral augmented organic garden with the goal of maximizing the nutrient density of the vegetables as shown by the Brix Refractometer. The soil is mineral balanced annually and biochar has been added for several years with promising results. There will be handouts and an explanation of these amazing gardening breakthroughs that seem to be converging to make a ‘good food revolution’ possible. Presently, besides feeding our family, we market our produce primarily to [a local] restaurant, Klean rehab facility and Coastal Corner Market. There are 3 gardens about 100 yards apart against a backdrop of forest on which there is a ½ mile trail if you feel like having a really nice nature walk.  “

Jim Karnofski

Jim Karnofski

a charming dog indeed, a rescue from our local shelter

a charming dog indeed, a rescue from our local shelter

I thought for sure I’d remember the name of the cute Karnofski dog, but writing this two weeks later, I’ve forgotten.

You can watch a video of Jim explaining all about biochar.  I believe that I’ve had good results using what I call “pseudobiochar”, the chinky black bits left behind in the burn piles of clients who live in areas where burning is allowed, mixed with dairy manure into garden beds.  I did a test, as Jim advised, of growing carrots (or any crop) in a barrel amended with biochar and one without, the the carrots in the biochar planter got much bigger.

At the entrance to the Biocharm vegetable garden, bins hold piles of soil amending ingredients.

pallet bins

pallet bins

We first walked through the vegetable garden that be seen from the highway between Ilwaco and Chinook; the farm is on the left as you drive east out of Ilwaco, east of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm.

looking east

looking east

bio2

yellow sticky trap to catch insect pests

yellow sticky trap to catch insect pests

bio4

bio6

bio8

bio9

Vera Karnofski

Vera Karnofski

lettuce

lettuce

bredlettuce

a stand of grain

a stand of grain

To the right you can see Highway 101 running next to the farm.

To the right you can see Highway 101 running next to the farm.

looking west

looking west

As we walked along, Jim and Vera harvested vegetables for their dinner.

harvesting

harvesting

carrots

carrot, Allan's photo

gathering dinner

gathering dinner

looking west

looking west

looking south

looking south

After we had thoroughly explored the garden beside the highway, Jim and Vera guided us along a grassy path to a surprise: another garden area almost equally large in a clearing to the north.

grassy path

grassy path

playtime

playtime

another garden!

another garden!

Vera and the beanstalks

Vera and the beanstalks

beans

garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

enormous bean pole structure

enormous bean pole structure

beans

Vera Karnofski

Vera Karnofski harvesting dinner

more grain

I should have taken notes on what grains were being grown in the garden.

two large garden beds

looking north, two large garden beds

the garden was hacked out of wilderness.

the garden was hacked out of wilderness.

northernmost bed

northernmost bed

Jim waters down a compost bin.

Jim waters down a compost bin.

In the background, the dog and cat still play.

In the background, the dog and cat still play.

playtime continues

playtime continues

back toward the farmhouse

back toward the farmhouse

more harvesting

more harvesting

Soon after this, Jim realized he had the carrot destined for dinner way back by that compost pile he was watering down.

The spuds were so good that they even tasted good raw.

The spuds were so good that they even tasted good raw.

back to the start

back to the start

At the house, there were ducklings on the loose….

ducks

ducklings on the run

They were under the protection of a large rooster.

He was monitoring the ducklings.

He was monitoring the ducklings.

Vera said they had not had time to clean up the area around the house.  I said I thought there was plenty of impressive garden to show without that area.  Jim invited us in for a beer, but we had to get home to finish the last weeding of our garden. He gave us a couple of freshly dug spuds for our dinner.

Indeed, when I started to go over all the garden beds at home, I desperately wished I had more time to make them perfect, and that we had run the strimmer around all the edges of the beds.  Oh dear.  At least the tour on the very next day did not start until noon so I might have time for some last minute weeding.

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Leaving Deanette at her garden to do more pre-tour preparations, Allan and I went north on the Willapa bay side of the Peninsula to “Lavender And”, described as “Commercial-scale lavender production, and abundant personal garden and animals”.

lavender and

We had been hoping to have a guided tour by owner Patti, but she had not yet returned from giving Lisa a ride home from the last of our other pre-tour gardens, so we wandered freely seeking edible garden beds and animals.

Visible from the road is the lavender field.

lavender field

lavender field

lavender and

The field reflects beautifully in the big new lavender processing building.

lavender reflection

lavender reflection

lavenderand

At the top of the field is a little building selling some lavender products.

north side of lavender shop

north side of lavender shop

baskets for picking

baskets for picking

Garden tours are available at a set time.

tour information

tour information

When we had been there on an earlier day to get some preview photos for the edible tour Facebook page, we had not been sure whether the house behind the field and shop even belonged to the property.  This time, we felt free to nose around.  We walked past a field that seemed like it would hold animals but could not see any.

Where are the birds and animals?

Where are the birds and animals?

Just a few chickens appeared.

Just a few chickens appeared.

Past the house, we found a large fenced vegetable area.

Patty's veg patch

Patty’s veg patch

rosemary and veg

rosemary and veg

fenced

fenced

fenced

I like the homebuilt greenhouse.

I like the homebuilt greenhouse.

inside the greenhouse

inside the greenhouse

nice big windows

nice big windows

inside

Allan’s greenhouse view

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's squash photo

Allan’s squash photo

 

squash blossoms

squash flowers, Allan’s photo

Walking east, I realized that the beautiful big property went all the way to the bay.

more veg in a huge bay view outbuilding

more veg by a huge bay view outbuilding

A road went around the big green pole building and next to it lavender grew above the bay’s grassy verge.

lavender with a view

lavender with a view

lavender

lavender

lavender bed curving along the bayfront

lavender bed curving along the bayfront

It occurs to me as I look at these photos that if Patty had been guiding us, I might have asked why the house was low down, without a view, instead of being up on this ridge to watch the sun rise over the bay.

lavender and caged tree

lavender and caged tree

looking back (southeast) at the lavender curve

looking back (southeast) at the lavender curve

Coming around the big pole building, I got a good overview of the house, greenhouse, and vegetable area.

looking southwest

looking west

This time I walked behind and below the vegetable field and found a slope planted with squash.

south slope

south slope

looking east

looking east

This looks to me like bundled compost ingredients.

This looks to me like bundled compost ingredients.

I still wanted to find the animals and so I went to the south side of the animal enclosure fence.

At first, the animal yard still looked empty.

At first, the animal yard still looked empty.

Finally I saw a couple of goats, rather far across the field, and Allan on the north side.  I called to him to get some photos as the two goats were closer to him.  While I walked around to the north side, a whole herd of little goats and some ducks emerged from a lean to.

hello!

saying hello! to Allan

goats galore

goats galore

more chickens appeared

more chickens appeared

hen

a tribe of goats

a tribe of goats

goats

cute kid

cute kid

The goats were difficult to leave, but we had one more garden to see, Biocharm Farm east of Ilwaco, and I still needed to do the last minute pre-tour touches on my own garden.  It was a good thing we had started at ten A.M.!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 10, 2013

From Pink Poppy Farm on the west (ocean) side of the Long Beach Peninsula, we drove up, across 227th, and down again to a house almost directly across on the Willapa Bay side.  Here on a large property, Kim Patten, Extension Professor at Washington State University Cranberry Research Station, and Andrea Patten, Artisan Baker at her Wholesome Hearth Bakeries, have an extensive vegetable and fruit garden which they describe as “A functional garden designed to eat from year around”.

One enters on a long road with apple trees on both sides.

looking back (east) down the entry road

looking back (east) down the entry road

laden apple tree

laden apple trees behind deer fence

apple

Kim was there when we came for our pre-tour and told us that most of the apples are used for juicing, that he has done a lot of grafting, and that Liberty apple seems to be the most successful.  He agreed there were a lot of apples to pick and said they have a large family harvesting gathering in the fall from which they make quantities of juice.

I did not think to ask if they also harvest grapes.

I did not think to ask if they also harvest grapes.

The grapes grow over an old greenhouse.

The grapes grow over an old greenhouse.

another greenhouse to the north

another greenhouse to the north, built like half of a quonset hut

the half greenhouse

the half greenhouse with a solid wall on the north side

Across the driveway to the south of the apple orchard, grapes, and greenhouse is the fenced vegetable and fruit garden.

the garden

the garden

Kim by the deer fence

Kim by the deer fence

Lisa and Kim

Lisa and Kim (Allan’s photo)

I did not learn until revisiting this garden the Monday after the tour that the windowed area in the center of the house, seen above, is Andrea’s Wholesome Hearth Bakery.  Photos will be posted in the entry for Monday, August 12th.

Kim showed us all around the garden.

Kim giving a guided tour

Kim giving a guided tour

Kim, photo by Allan

Kim, photo by Allan

(One of Robert’s and my first gardening jobs on the peninsula was weeding, mowing and pruning at the Cranberry Research Station in 1994.  Robert even built them a set of steps, and I cleaned the office.  I don’t think I was a good employee; I worked hard but wanted to be independent (partly because we could make more money out on our own, and I was used to be self employed….so before long we moved on to our own business.  I still remember interesting things about it, like how they planted heather by the bogs to attract early pollinators and the use of evergreen huckleberry for a beautiful clipped hedge.)

Kim describes his raised bed methods to Lisa.

Kim describes his raised bed methods and crop rotation to Lisa.

raised bed and poly tunnel

raised bed and poly tunnel

a beautiful glaucous blue row of leeks

a beautiful glaucous blue row of leeks

Kim said the strawberry rows in the background, below, would be ripped out this fall and new ones planted.  I asked if he would use runners from the existed strawberries and he said he intends to buy new ones as they will produce better.

squash and strawberries

squash and strawberries

doomed strawberry patch!

doomed strawberry patch!

barrow

Out with the old! gestures Kim

Out with the old! gestures Kim.

The goal of the garden is to have something to eat from it year round.

veg

It contains a wide assortment of veg; the crops are rotated to different beds.

squash

Allan’s photo squash

thumbs up from Lisa!

thumbs up from Lisa! (Allan’s photo)

a German potato

Kim and a German potato, Allan’s photo

arugula flowers

arugula flowers

Cardoon

Cardoon

I was surprised to learn that cardoon, which in my own front garden is mistaken for artichoke by passerby, actually does have an edible portion under the flower.

Mary ("Lavender And"), Deanette, Kim, Lisa (garden tour organizer)

Patty (“Lavender And”), Deanette, Kim, Lisa (garden tour organizer)

I cannot remember what Kim was demonstrating, below; possibly he was telling us how he mulches with grass from the bay.

I should have been paying attention.

I should have been paying attention.

Deanette focused on learning.

Deanette focused on learning.

inside the veg garden, looking north across the entry drive toward the apple orchard

inside the veg garden, looking north across the entry drive toward the apple orchard

On the south side of the big fenced garden is a berry patch protected with bird netting.

assorted berries

assorted berries

berries

berries

He had tried a honeysuckle with an edible berry but said it was not very tasty; however, it was a beautiful plant.

the honeysuckle in question

the honeysuckle in question

By the garage grew an enormous fig tree.  I realized how very large the fig tree at Marilyn’s might get, and that if it were eventually limbed up it would not block the view from her living room.    I also had second thoughts about where I had planted the fig tree given to me by Nancy Allen!

fig tree being admired by Lisa and Mary.

fig tree being admired by Lisa and Patty.

The Pattens keep chickens, and just one was out to entertain us and be photogenic.

on the mulch pile

on the mulch pile

On the east side of the house, a few flower beds have been planted.

east side of house

east side of house

Note the shallots hanging from the porch; Nancy Allen especially likes these, so I will reprise my photo of them taken on my first visit there on August 6th.

drying shallots

drying shallots

As we walked around the house to the bay, Kim showed us the remnants of an Japanese style ornamental garden.

a formerly landscaped area with pond

a formerly landscaped area with pond

a lost bridge

a lost bridge

Allan found a Buddha.

Allan found a Buddha….

and a toppled lantern

and a toppled lantern

Kim said to us, “If it’s not edible, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it.  If it’s edible, at least I get something out of it.  Otherwise, it’s just a lot of work.”  He said Andrea had spoken of getting someone like us to bring the Japanese garden back.  My first reaction was the usual “don’t have time” but now, looking at the photos, I think it would be enormous fun!

Further remnants of ornamentals remain on the bay side of the house.

Willapa bay side

on the Willapa bay side of the house

by the bay

by the bay (Allan, Patty, Kim, Lisa)

more "edibles", clam beds!

low tide on the bay

more edibles: clam beds!

more edibles: clam beds!

Willapa Bay, looking north

Willapa Bay, looking north

old wood and native blackberry vine

old wood and native blackberry vine

Kim pointed out the beauty of a dead tree on the bay side, safely far enough from the house to let stand in its gnarly glory.

deadtree

Below: Allan winds his way through the lost Japanese garden beside an adorable little rental house.

a cute rental...we could live there and make an ornamental garden for Andrea!

a cute rental…

I was in awe of Kim’s vegetables and fruits and did not feel this garden needed to be ornamental in order to be impressive.  But I would kind of like to get into that pond area with a pruning saw and some loppers….

From here, Patty and Lisa left the pre-tour.  Patty would give Lisa a ride home and, we hoped, meet us a bit later at her lavender farm to show us around.

Next, Allan and I visit Deanette’s tiny new garden which, it turns out, is at a house that we know very well!

 

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August 10, 2013

I am certainly not tired of seeing photos of Pink Poppy Farm, even though this was the fourth time I had been there in a little over a month.

From the Edible Tour program:  Allow yourself time to explore this expansive, one acre country garden where edibles and flowers grow in harmony. Hens live happily in “The Imperial Chicken Palace.” Meandering through the property you will find two “and a quarter” poly tunnels that grow food for the family, the Pink Poppy Bakery market booth, and a few CSA boxes.  Masters of edible landscapes, the owners have lived and worked on the grounds for 19 years.  The garden is full of clever ideas for watering, fencing, and decor.

As usual, folks gathered by the gorgeous Imperial Chicken Palace.

Garden owner Mike Dickerson conferring with tour organizer Lisa Mattfield

Garden owner Mike Dickerson conferring with tour organizer Lisa Mattfield

looking east

looking east

Japanese anemone; this garden has room for thugs.

Japanese anemone; this garden has room for thugs.

One thug Lynn says she deeply regrets introducing is Aegopodium (bishops weed, ground elder) which came in with a plant and has run rampant.

squash

squash

entering the medium poly tunnel

entering the medium poly tunnel (Patty, Lynn Dickerson, Deanette, Lisa, Mike Dickerson

Lynn Dickerson and Deanette

Lynn Dickerson and Deanette

lettuce

lettuce

Even with all their space, I find it interesting that they grow lettuce in containers.  I find it much easier to do as one is somewhat less likely to find a slug on it.

pp

colourful kale

colourful kale

looking toward the big poly tunnel

looking toward the big poly tunnel

I love the arbour with nasturtiums on top.

I love the arbour with nasturtiums on top.

the big poly tunnel

the big poly tunnel

inside

inside

looking out the west door

looking out the west door

tomatoes, etc,  growing tall

tomatoes, etc, growing tall

The Dickersons pick a lot of leaves off their tomatoes.  I started doing this in my little greenhouse, as well.

Lynn shows Deanette the tiniest poly tunnel

Lynn shows Deanette the tiniest poly tunnel

sunflowers

sunflowers

shed on north side of garden

shed on north side of garden

 o so clever swing set bean support

o so clever swing set bean support

back to the house

back to the house

steps to the house level

steps to the house level

There were several guests there, family members as I recall, to help with prep for the garden tour.

prepping

prepping on the patio; pretty sure this is Lynn’s mum come to help

ingredients for garden art

ingredients for garden art

a gathering of gardeners

a gathering of gardeners

ppbeans2

ppbeans

garden discussion

garden discussion

more discussion and garden admiration

more discussion and garden admiration (Allan, Patty, Deanette, Lynn)

How I love this garden!  But we had to move on with two more garden for the group to see and then two more for Allan and I to visit for photos (while I mildly wondered if I really felt our own garden was perfectly ready for tour day tomorrow).

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August 10, 2013

I needed photos for the edible garden tour Facebook page and would not be able to get them on the August 11th tour day because of hosting our garden as part of the event.  So even though I normally would have spent the day before a garden open obsessively tweaking the garden to complete perfection, Allan and I took the morning off to go to the other gardens with two of the other garden hosts.   (I do not understand why people whose gardens are on a tour are not ALL obsessed with seeing the other gardens…but not everyone loves garden touring the way I do.)

Lisa Mattfield, tour organizer (whose garden, Homewood, was my favourite on last year’s edible tour), and Patty from “Lavender And” and Deanette, another tour garden owner, and Allan and I met at the Planter Box at the very early (for us) hour of ten AM.  Ray Millner took us on a tour of his garden, the second favourite of mine on last year’s tour.  We began by the enviably big pond just north of the Millners’ Planter Box garden center.

The Millner pond

The Millner pond

Ray is in the process, since retiring from teaching and from running the garden center, of turning the back side of this small lake into a park.

First we all trooped to the beds behind the garden center where Ray uses old potting soil and compost to grow lettuces and Jerusalem artichokes.

Ray and Deanette

Ray and Deanette

Ray used to be a teacher and is good at imparting information.

Ray used to be a teacher and is good at imparting information.

lettuce and Jerusalem artichokes

lettuce and Jerusalem artichokes

lettuces and Jerusalem artichokes

lettuces and Jerusalem artichokes

Deanette, Ray, Lisa, Allan, Mary

Deanette, Ray, Lisa, Allan, Patty

pb7

Back to the pond, Ray describes his park in progress.

pb8

We then go to the garden behind the family homes.

plant starts with edible garden in background (looking NW)

plant starts with edible garden in background (looking NW)

the main part of the garden

the main part of the garden

the chickens come running

the chickens come running

Deanette takes notes

Deanette takes notes

chickens with a pond backdrop

chickens with a pond backdrop

pbroostereggs

corn and beans

corn and beans

big healthy plant

big healthy plant

I must confess that while I am pretty good at recognizing perennials and annuals, I am not so good at veg.  Kohlrabi? Brocolli? Kale?

handsome onions

handsome onions

a parade of gardeners

a parade of gardeners

berries

berries

raspberries

raspberries

The garden continues around the north side of the pond.

around the corner

around the corner

potato flower

potato flower

behind the chicken coop

behind the chicken coop

protected strawberries by the pond

protected strawberries by the pond

a harvested raised box planter

a harvested raised box planter

Ray said these tomatoes were much improved by the row cover protection.

Ray said these tomatoes were much improved by the row cover protection.

pbcover

raspberries by the pond

raspberries by the pond

squash

squash

Ray and Deanette

Ray and Deanette

Deanette is on her second year of veg gardening and took lots of notes.

Deanette is on her second year of veg gardening and took lots of notes.

Ray in his element

Ray in his element

I happen to know from last year’s tour that Ray also has a big potato patch off in the woods down a green road.  He says checking on it makes him take a good long walk every day.  We did not have time to see it on our pre-tour because Patty and Deanette had other places to be, so we departed for a look at Pink Poppy Farm.

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Garden tour season inspires me to do a lot of slacking on actual work.  It will show up when I total the end of month profits!

We began the day at the Red Barn and Diane’s garden.  Diane and Larry’s dog Misty, a good friend of mine, could not wait to see us and came across the field to the barn.

Misty

Misty

a horse at the Red Barn

a horse at the Red Barn

We fertilized the containers by Diane’s porch…

porch planters

porch planters

I am happy with them and also with the garden by the entry drive.

with Stipa gigantea

with Stipa gigantea

I am not very happy with the street-side garden, especially when I compare it to Gene’s.  Larry has been doing a good job of watering.  It is mulched by the owners with cranberry mulch.  I feel it needs some dairy manure.  With a great big free pile of horse manure next door at the barn, that might feel like an excessive purchase, but I know from experience that horse manure brings in many weeds and therefore increases labour.

needs help!

needs help!

I’ll add more lavenders and santolina this fall….

Next, we skived off work and went to two of the gardens that would be on the edible tour in order to take enticing pre-tour photos for the Facebook page.

First we stopped at Kim and Andrea Patten’s garden on the bay.  Kim is the head of the Cranberry Research Station and Andrea has the Wholesome Hearth baked goods booth at the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market (in Long Beach on Fridays, 4-7 PM).

Patten garden

Patten garden

deer fenced

deer fenced Patten veg garden

shallots hanging on the porch

shallots hanging on the Patten porch

an amazing apple orchard

an amazing apple orchard at Patten garden

apples

apples, Patten garden

The owners were not there so I did not feel I should poke my nose around to the more private bay side of the garden.

Next we went way north on Sandridge almost to Oysterville to get some pre-tour photos at “Lavender And”, a small commercial lavender farm.  Again, the owner was not to be found so we did not go into the area around the home.

geometric lavender

geometric lavender at Lavender And

dramatic reflection

dramatic reflection

And then, a run of work working from north to south….

Marilyn's garden

Marilyn’s garden

Cosmos 'Cranberry Double Click'

Cosmos ‘Cranberry Double Click’

Knautia macedonica, Phygelius, Salvia viridis

Knautia macedonica, Phygelius, Salvia viridis at Marilyn’s

Cosmos 'Happy Ring' at Marilyn's

Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ at Marilyn’s

Wiegardt Studio Gallery garden

Wiegardt Studio Gallery garden

lily at Wiegardt Gallery

lily at Wiegardt Gallery

Oman Builders Supply garden in Ocean Park

Oman Builders Supply garden in Ocean Park

We skipped Klipsan Beach Cottages for later in the week and headed all the way down to Long Beach to water the planters.  I had barely emerged from our car when I saw three boys picking dahlias from one of the planters.  “Hey! No picking!!” came my usual cry.  They shuffled a bit and one said “My mom’s getting married and we want to take her some flowers.”  That’s a touching story indeed.  I said, “Look, there are three of you, right?  Now imagine if every group of three people in town picked themselves a bouquet…How many flowers would be left?”  They shuffled some more.  I said “Congratulations to your mom, and you can give her what you have already picked, but don’t pick any more.”  One boy opened a plastic bag to put the flowers in…and there was half a bag more of flowers in there.  “So where did you get those?” I asked.  “Oh, not from the planters, from our own garden!” was the hasty reply.  Odd how the flowers looked exactly like the ones I had in planters further down the street.  I just sighed and moved on, as did they.

off to mom's wedding?

off to mom’s wedding? with a bag of flowers

Is there any point in even asking people to stop picking?  Perhaps it will sink in and save someone else’s flowers in the future.  Perhaps not.

the daily painted sage photo

the daily painted sage photo

Next: garden touring with the garden club: a Music in the Gardens tour reprise…

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