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Posts Tagged ‘Peonies’

Saturday, 11 April 2015

When Garden Tour Nancy texted me from the spring seminar near Astoria, I suddenly realized that I could ask her to guest blog!  I did not go for two reasons:  The first seminar is too early for me, and I urgently needed to weed my own garden.  I am not much for growing veg, as I keep filling every space with ornamentals (a few of which are also edible); that would have made the topics educational for me, had I gone.  By the time I asked her to guest blog, she was already in the “Growing Healthy Soils” lecture, so most of the photos were taken toward the end of the event.

Any comment that I could not resist interjecting is in [brackets and italics].

Master Gardener Spring Seminar

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fairground location

fairground location; That is the Columbia River separating Washington and Oregon.

food web

From the event description: “North Coast Food Web is teaming up with Clatsop County Master Gardeners for Spring Into Gardening this year, all in celebration of Food, Glorious Food! Growing workshops, cooking demos, food tastings, lots of vendors selling plants, gardening gear, books and more, plus we’re hosting Meet Your Farmer at Spring Into Gardening! Come out and meet over a dozen local farms, many of them selling plants and products, and find out how they grow and how you can buy from them.”

an overview, photo by David Reid from the Facebook event page

an overview, photo by David Reid from the Facebook event page

“Spring Into Gardening” by guest blogger Nancy Allen 

Spring into Gardening always has an all-day, complimentary buffet decorated with fresh flowers.

Prairie Fire crab apple

Prairie Fire crab apple

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buffet

buffet, with Gluten Free options

plant sale

Debbie Haughsten and Darlene Houser provided a cheerful welcome and advice to all at the plant sale..

Debbie Haugsten and Darlene Houser provided a cheerful welcome and advice to all at the plant sale.

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Joanie Chapel's award-winning dahlia bulbs sold out quickly.

Joanie Chapel’s award-winning dahlia bulbs sold out quickly.

raffle

There were lots of great gifts for gardeners in this very popular large raffle.

Long-time Master Gardener of Astoria, Chris Bennett works at the Tongue Point raffle table.  The Peninsula's late Bob Caswell won this raffle twice in years past.

Long-time Master Gardener of Astoria, Chris Bennett works at the Tongue Point raffle table. The Peninsula’s late Bob Caswell won this raffle twice in years past.

[The winner of the Tongue Point raffle prize gets eight hours of gardening by the Job Corps students.  The thought occurred to me to go just to enter this; I could have unleashed the crew to clear out some of salmonberry in the bogsy woods!]

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[Above:  a donation from our neighbours, the owners of Starvation Alley Farm, purveyors of fine organic cranberry juice.]

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 Vendors

The show features many  vendors:

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Why didn't I buy these lovely red coral bells?

Why didn’t I buy these lovely red coral bells?

Leo D Mock promoting his book titled Compost, By Any Other Name, Makes Good Dirt

Leo D Mock promoting his book titled Compost, By Any Other Name, Makes Good Dirt

Cute totes from grain bags

Cute totes from grain bags

Green Angel Gardens

Green Angel Gardens

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Garden furniture from Tongue Point

[The above photo is the one that Nancy texted to me, thus inspiring me to ask her to do a guest story.]

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Ilwaco’s Jim and Vera Karnofski’s Biocharm Farms

[For our tour of BioCharm farms, click here.]

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Washington State Master Gardeners had a booth and a very popular peony sale.  They have had over 700 peony sales this year!

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peonies

peonies

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Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery

Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery

Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery will be selling again at the Long Beach Farmers Market and also starting a program where visitors to the creamery can feed the baby goats!  And yes, I bought some of the garlic dill Chèvre.

Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm

Starvation Alley Farms

Starvation Alley Farms

Starvation Alley Farms

Starvation Alley Farms

Starvation Alley Farms

Food! Glorious Food! lecture

Two local farmers, Teresa Retzlaff and Kelly Huckestein described the most successful food to grow here on the North Coast.  First they presented a long list of vegetables and berries that are easy to grow here at the coast. Next a much shorter list of semi challenging foods to grow here. Finally a group of foods called Heartbreakers because they are so difficult to grow here. They recommend letting the farmers grow these for you. We’re talking tomatoes, peppers, and basil.  All of their PowerPoint slides will soon be available at the Clatsop County Master gardeners website.

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Food Demonstrations

Each demonstration was 15 minutes. The audience got to taste everything. First, Merianne Meyers cooked braised greens.  Next was asparagus with onion-lemon vinaigrette.

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As soon as I finished my generous helping of rhubarb cake, I had to dash back across the bridge to the peninsula.  I made it just in time for the lecture of the Cantankerous Farmer versus the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company given at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum by local historian Michael Lemeshko.  My full and entertaining day ended with a folk concert at the Peninsula Art Center, followed by dinner prepared by husband Phil.

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Shrimp scampi for two.

 It was delicious.

Grazie mille caro mio~!

Next day, in the garden: (Below) My garden art purchase, found at one of the vendor booths.  At one time it had eggs you could drop through the head.  Push the hen down, and an egg will pop out the front!

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I had one major thing on my mind today, that I learned this morning that my best local friend and neighbour gardener, Judy from four doors down, had a small heart attack yesterday. Apparently not too bad because she is home again. We visited her at the hospital in our small town before we went to work and of course I thought of her all day long.

Work did get done because work must be done barring complete emergencies (like me or Allan having a heart attack! I have been through that when my former partner, Robert, had one in 2002, and he got well enough to work as a gardener again even though he did not take nearly as good care of himself as he could have. His was worse as they kept him for at least three days. Six weeks later he had a clean bill of health except for taking Lipitor. So take heart (sorry) if you are reading this, my dear friend Judy!)

So imagine through this whole day in the back of my mind I am just thinking about Judy.

We went to Ann’s garden after the hospital visit to pop in a few baby calendula from my garden, and I photographed the Siberian iris that I admired yesterday, and some peonies.

pink peony

pink peony

red peony

red peony

Siberian iris

Siberian iris

Just through oversight, I have ended up with no peonies in my new garden even though I had two in my old one. I must remedy this as I like their foliage and their flowers.

After the stop at Ann’s we went to Olde Towne for a brief coffee break. I needed some as had taken a sleeping pill the night before (worried about Judy!) and that always has a regrettable result the next day. Our friends there all had reassuring stories about people doing very well after mild heart attacks. Allan took this interesting photograph looking toward a mirror at the back of the café that was showing the front window.

at Olde Towne

at Olde Towne

We had a big project to do at the Boreas Inn: removing a big pile of junk. Famous NW gardener Ciscoe Morris will be staying there Sunday night after giving a talk to benefit the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club (see end of post for details) so we really could not have junk as the backdrop of the western garden beds.

looking toward garden from lower entry...

looking northwest from lower entry…

looking sout from garden; Allan getting ready to tackle the pile.

looking south from garden; Allan getting ready to tackle the pile.

before...

before…

The pile went deeper into a hollow than we thought it would, contained most of an old shed, and turned out to weigh 900 pounds!

pile offloaded at the dump

pile offloaded at the dump

I didn’t get a photo of it in our little trailer because a backhoe was running back and forth next to our car at the dump and I couldn’t get out for a bit.

It all fit in here with Allan's expert loading.

It all fit in here with Allan’s expert loading.

We then went to the Basket Case to get some plants to fill in along the edges at Boreas. That was my excuse for riding along to the dump. I think the real reason was I was fretting about Judy and did not want to stay behind at the Boreas weeding all alone.

At the Basket Case, their last (I think) Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ was starting to colour up:

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

(The Basket Case may soon be out of this plant, but the Planter Box also has some.)

We put a nice edge on three of the lawn beds at Boreas and filled in around the edges with some little Dianthus, some Portulaca, and added a Helianthemum ‘Dazzler’, a Helenium, and a Phygelius ‘African Queen’ to make the beds more full.

looking east

looking east

looking southwest...trash pile gone!

looking southwest…trash pile gone!

nice crisp edge

nice crisp edge

west, evening

west, evening

The ocean is at the end of that path through the dunes.

I took a quick walk to show you how pretty the inn is looking.

west side

west side

deck, southwest corner

deck, southwest corner

east side

east side

new sit spot, east side

new sit spot, east side

The new sit spot on the east side (main entrance to inn) was created when a big pine was removed. Our good friend, local gardener Ed Strange (who mows the Boreas lawn) facilitated the job and provided the lovely pots of bamboo that make such an excellent backdrop.

One last satisfying view as we left:

no trash pile!

no trash pile!

And so my outdoor workday ended. Allan did the tedious and back-straining round of bucket watering the Ilwaco planters while I worked on my belated May billings, interspersed with messages to and fro with Judy’s friends. Kathleen S, Patt, and I, Ann from up the hill, Luanne and Chester from Olde Towne, Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case, Jenna from Queen La De Da’s Art Castle, and Judy’s dear friend Liz from way down in Nevada (Judy’s former home) are all thinking of her.

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details re the Ciscoe talk:

  • Sunday, June 9th, Gardening with Ciscoe!
    • The Kiwanis Club of Long Beach is hosting, “Gardening with Ciscoe,” June 9th. All proceeds will go towards the Boys & Girls Club! We are so excited!
    • This special fundraiser will take place Sunday, June 9th, at the Long Beach Elks Lodge, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with activities, including book sales and signing, and photo opportunities, beginning at 12 p.m. We will have plants for sale that were planted, and being taken care of by the kids thanks to The Planter Box!
    • Tickets are $20 each and are for sale at Peninsula Pharmacies, Inc. (Long Beach), Adrift Hotel & Spa, and Coastal Eye Care – Long Beach Office

 

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