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Posts Tagged ‘ponds’

Today we went to one of the thrice yearly volunteer beach clean up events organized by the Grassroots Garbage Gang. We decided that instead of going to our usual spot on the Seaview approach or our second usual choice, Benson Beach, we would start at Beard’s Hollow. It’s the very south end of the beach that runs for (I think) 18 miles north and is a bit of a walk from the parking lot so is not as frequently cleaned. It used to be my beach walking destination when I lived in Seaview in 1993.

near the parking lot

near the parking lot

The trail used to be underwater until well into spring, causing me a lot of frustration after I moved to Ilwaco. I then found a trail up and over the big hill between me and the beach, crossing over where Discovery Heights is now, only to find that after about half an hour, when I got as far as Beard’s Hollow I could get no further without hip waders.

Since then, the Discovery Trail has been built and provides access to walkers and bicyclists year round.

Discovery Trail

Discovery Trail

beside the trail

beside the trail

licorice fern in tree

licorice fern in tree

Salmonberry

Salmonberry

still pool reflections

still pool reflections

skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage

I have read that in the UK, our native skunk cabbage is sold at a pretty price as an ornamental plant and is called “swamp lantern”. I don’t want to Google and find out it is not true. It is a gorgeous bog plant, but difficult to tranplant.

swamp lantern

swamp lantern

sword fern

sword fern (unpruned!)

When one gets to the really big rock, one is almost at the beach. The trees have grown considerably since I used to walk here.

the big rock

the big rock

Here is what the trail used to be like in winter; this is one of the roads through the dunes.

road around the rock

road around the rock

the rock

the rock

native stonecrop and blackberries

native stonecrop and blackberries

the rock

a small part of the rock

nature's moss garden

nature’s moss garden

At last, the beach…

to the beach

to the beach

The Coast Guard helicopter flew by.

Beard's Hollow fishing rocks

Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks

Someone had lost a bouquet, or tossed it overboard in a memorial service perhaps.

mystery flowers

mystery flowers

flowers

 

flowers and fishing rocks

flowers and fishing rocks

The Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks have witnessed many dramatic scenes. When the tide comes in, human explorers are taken by surprise on the outer rocks and many have been rescued over the years.

rock full of birds

rock full of birds

rockscape

rockscape

clues that the tide does come in

clues that the tide does come in

rocks

We found enough garbage in the next hour and a quarter to fill three large bags. People who drive down the beach to have a campfire…(and the beach is a legal highway, and in my opinion that is very regrettable) don’t even have to pack their garbage out on foot, so why do they leave it behind like this? Just throw it in the truck bed, folks!

campfire debris

campfire debris

They did at least put it all back in the packaging.

the south end of the long beach

the south end of the long beach

While it is satisfying to fill a bag with larger items, the tiny little bits of coloured plastic are especially bad for birds. They think it is food and fill themselves up and then starve.

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

I become obsessed with picking up each one but I know that many more are tumbled under the sand.

Far in the distance with the telephoto I could see folks in groups cleaning to the north.

cleaning crew

cleaning crew

People enter at each of the major beach approaches or walk out from their own streets. Most start at 9:30 AM but we usually manage to roll in at about 10:15. Today about 325 signed in.

We walked down as far as this shallow seasonal stream.

stream

stream

The one time I do like to see vehicles on the beach “highway” is when the volunteers come along to take our bags.

loaded with debris

loaded with debris

And then, back through the green along the beautiful trail.

a side trail around the big rock

a side trail around the big rock

bicyclists

passing the big rock

passing the big rock

more licorice ferns

licorice fern, a tree dweller

licorice fern, a tree dweller

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

elderberry grove

elderberry grove

moss and mushrooms

moss and mushrooms

The trail is a draw for bicyclists as it goes all the way from Ilwaco to north of Long Beach.

discovering the trail

discovering the trail

Discovery trail map

Discovery Trail map

We were just down at the Beard’s Hollow section. Click here for a larger view.

Next on our agenda: the volunteer soup feed reward halfway up the Peninsula at the Senior Center. Because we start late, and go late, we have been known to arrive for the very last bowls of soup, but today we arrived in time to have two choices, and we both chose clam chowder made by Steve of The Great Day Café.

soup reward for volunteers

soup reward for volunteers

The Senior Center is right next door to Golden Sands Assisted Living so we found it handy to check on all the new plants starts we planted yesterday, and I am happy to report they are all standing up tall…no wilting. Allan found this very nice monthly newsletter that shows how much they appreciate the courtyard garden.

from Golden Sands newsletter

from Golden Sands newsletter

Thus we segued into the work day and after going north past Nahcotta on the bay to pick up a free plastic pond (more on this later), we checked on Marilyn’s garden. My intention was to do nothing but deadhead the narcissi and move on, but oh dear…horsetail was on the march and had to be dealt with…and then my eye fell on a problem that had been bothering me for some time.

This giant Miscanthus had ended up in the foreground of the garden where it blocks the view of the Helianthus behind it. It bothers me every year.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

I worried at it with the pick for a short while. Its roots are like iron. Allan decided to have a go so I went back to the horsetail, and returned to this satisfying result.

what an accomplishment

what an accomplishment!

It’s a challenge to find anything evergreen and tall to block the view of the neighbours’ driveway and garage because deer practically live in this garden…so I rely on tall deciduous plants.

Marilyn's today, looking north from back porch

Marilyn’s today, looking north from back porch

There is much to do here, especially since the plan is for this garden to be on the Peninsula garden tour in July of this year…but we had to move on to have time to check three more gardens.

At the Wiegardt Gallery, the lilac is close to bloom:

Wiegardt lilac

Wiegardt lilac

Tulip 'Lilac Wonder' opens wide in the faint sunshine.

Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ opens wide in the faint sunshine.

The narcissi are still looking fine, but how did scilla get into the garden? I most certainly did not plant it.

narcissi...and scilla

narcissi…and scilla

This thug will be bad news. I wonder if someone else planted some bulbs to be nice? Because they are so pretty.

the dreaded scilla invasion

the dreaded scilla invasion

I have three other thugs in this garden: sweet woodruff and the bad aster that came from who knows where, and geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that I once thought a very fine plant indeed.

Eric’s brother sometimes plants a very choice treasure, and I am hoping that these Eremurus that he put in two years ago might flower this year.

Here's hoping for some foxtail lilies

Here’s hoping for some foxtail lilies…

We still have lots more to do at Wiegardt’s (sounds so familiar) but we had to get on to Klipsan Beach Cottages. On the way, we did a quick check up at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.

There is the exciting new ‘Green Star’ tulip. Have I been calling it ‘Green Ice’?

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

It's a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

It’s a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

There were three but someone swiped one, and the finger blight evidence of twisted stem shows the person did not even have clippers but just worried the stem till the stolen tulip was theirs.

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence...

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence…

At Klipsan Beach Cottages, we had delegated a rhododendron removal job to another landscape business, and had not expected the end result to be a bed all askew and us with no time to fix it. My fantasy was that we would find the job all done. Silly. Realistically I probably should not have hoped that a backhoe would be brought in, huge rhododendrons pulled, and then the edging put back all nicey nice (by whom?) All we could do today was deadhead the narcissi and check for weeds. Next weekend we can deal with the other problem, maybe.

narcissi in cottage windowbox

narcissi in cottage windowbox

Tulip clusiana 'Lady Jane'

Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’

in the garden

in the garden

In a pot I had six Tulip ‘Green Star’ and in this safe haven, no one had picked any.

Green Stars

Green Stars

Green Star

Green Star

The first year I saw this in the Van Engelen catalog, I waited too long to order and they had sold out. So it was a year and a half before I had it in bloom, and I am a little obsessed with it this month.

Green Star

Green Star

in the garden...

in the garden…

two matching pots

two matching pots

and some Blushing Ladies

and some Blushing Ladies

I wonder if this year at long last the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal [not very] Giant’ will get the size I have seen it elsewhere. It has been sulking for three years.

still only as tall as a daylily

still only as tall as a daylily

sword fern...I like our pruned ones better than mother nature's messy ones!

sword fern…I like our pruned ones better than mother nature’s messy ones!

Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

at KBC: Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

A rain squall decided our stop time at KBC but by the time we got home, the sky had cleared again. I thought I was too cold, and extra tired from getting up “early” for beach clean up, and that all I had the oomph to do was look out the window.

back garden window view

back garden window view

Then I remembered the pond form and had to go think about where it might go.

It probably won't look very real...

It probably won’t look very real…

pondering

pondering

We decided to install it next to the boat. Because of my upcoming mini-vacation (why???) we won’t have time for awhile.

While I uploaded photos to the Grassroots Garbage Gang Facebook page, Allan mowed the lawn. He reports that it takes an hour and a quarter. Less than it did last year because of my winter expansion of the garden beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The day began with a stop at the Basket Case to check out the new availability list. We pored over it page by page, although I do skip certain plants entirely. (Phormiums and Agaves. I know there is probably still an Agave fad but they do not call to me.)

perusing the list

perusing the list

Whatever shall we do when Fred and Nancy retire?

Nancy was planting the last of the baskets…

Nancy

and had rigged up a board to keep the three poodles from leaving the back greenhouse.

Walter

Walter

We bought some Sanguisorbas, of which I never have enough. And some more grasses for Andersen’s Rv Park. There will be some excellent plants of all sorts (including another new-to-us Sanguisorba) arriving Friday.

And then, at last, we went to one of those four clients whose gardens we had not yet set foot in this year. At Steve’s garden, we got an unexpected greeting.

Last time I saw them they were babies!

Last time I saw them they were babies!

They had gotten quite large.

They had gotten quite large.

I thought of the time my friend Sheila had been knocked down by a sheep…

QUITE large.

QUITE large.

I was actually fascinated because I like animals, but I did wonder how they would behave because when they were younger, they would jump up on Steve when he fed them.

I have been doing Steve’s garden for a long time, going way back to when he owned the house that later became Laurie’s, and way back then two little goats used to nudge and butt me while I gardened. These two large goats would pack quite a wallop if they were in a nudging mood.

They were interested in everything. Allan later realized that they had peeled all the reflective tape off the back of the trailer.

trailer

wheelbarrow

shovel handle

I felt sheer delight when they let me pet them. The only truly disconcerting moment was when I opened the car door to get some plants. I had decided earlier that Steve’s garden should have some (deer candy) Sanguisorbas because his garden is never bothered by deer. I did not even have the plants all the way out when there were two goats next to me, standing on their hind legs with their front feet on top of the car, leaning on me and chewing the leaves off the plants. Ok, no Sanguisorbas then. Perhaps Steve could only have a Cistus. The deer on Discovery Heights do not bother assorted Cistus at all.

The goats followed us to the garden.

Down the slope by the garden I was thrilled to see someone else had weeded the raspberry patch and the blueberry patch! There are advantages to being late to the garden job.

fenced blueberry patch

fenced blueberry patch..usually thick with creeping sorrel

raspberry patch

raspberry patch

The goats followed us to the garden and showed a great interest in the raspberry canes…and our lunchbox.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

Allan planted the Cistus and we got down to weeding (befores and afters coming up, of course). Meanwhile, the goats wandered through the garden chowing down…on daylilies, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a Buddliea…

goats

goats

They stood on hind legs, broke long branches off the variegated Buddleia (time to prune it anyway!), ate a few leaves from each, and moved on…soon discovering the new Cistus. Allan barely rescued it as they greedily began to consume it, so back in the car it went. It can live at Discovery Heights or Marilyn’s among the deer. I am not sure what we can plant to fill in empty spaces in Steve’s garden, because the only thing that seemed to be goat-proof were narcissi and (boring) rhododendron.

At lunchtime, Steve came home and put the goats away in their indoor-outdoor pen. (I told him I would have put them away myself if they had had sharp horns.) Allan pointed out to me later that (aside from my joy in petting them!), it was a good thing they were out, or we would have planted a bunch of nice new plants with no idea that they would soon be eaten.

And now, some garden photos. I have been doing this particular garden since creating it for Joanne. While I will always think of her there, and miss her gardening presence, I have finally segued into calling it Steve’s garden instead of Joanne’s garden.

Due to our late-season arrival the garden had gone all blurry with weeds.

before

before, looking south

before, looking west

before, looking west

before, looking north

before, looking north

before, the path by the stream

before, the path by the stream

This garden has a wonderful layout with an upper pond with waterfall, created by Steve and Joanne and a backhoe, and then a long stream that runs under a bridge down to a small natural lake.

the streamside path after Allan's weeding

the streamside path after Allan’s weeding

On the other side from the path we have Siberian and Japanese irises in a planting inspired by a lovely photo in a book called The Stream Garden.

iris bed is on other side...very hard to keep the pasture grass out

iris bed is on other side…very hard to keep the swamp grass out!

looking upstream

looking upstream

weeded pond bed

weeded pond bed at head of stream

pond bed

The front bed was made by leveling the mound of soil left from digging out the pond.

pond

Five and a half hours later…

across the pond

across the pond; driftwood marks the waterfall

reflected iris

reflected iris

I wonder if there will be any flowers at all this year with those goats?

We still need to get back, do some edging, and weed the backside of the garden….and am not sure when that will be.

While I sorted out the billing, Allan took some photos of the lake from points that I never take time to walk to while working.

by the gazebo, looking south

by the gazebo, looking south

the stream bridge

the stream bridge

When Joanne was alive, she had taught horse riding and had developed a bridle trail all around the large acreage.

from the trail, looking northeast

from the trail, looking northeast

Every now and then something jumps in the lake but we have never seen what it is!

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

The garden looks very small compared to the vastness of the property, but feels very large while we are weeding it. I am going to wait and see what happens with the goats before I worry about how the garden will survive their interest.

Tomorrow I hope to make the wake up call to another private garden. Or, should it rain, I will happily read back entries in Tootlepedal’s Blog. I had time today only for the most recent entry (excellent as always).

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Very early in 2004 I was waiting for the bus near my mother’s house when Robert drove by and gave me a ride home. He told me he had been working at Jessie’s fish plant and it had given him an appreciation for how much better it had been working with me.  Having been legally divorced since November seemed to have reduced a lot of drama.  We agreed we would try working together on some projects.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

The first  was to make a new central area inside the fenced garden at Klipsan Beach Cottages.  We replaced a simple round bed with the urn in the middle with a much more formal look.  Denny had been given some big pavers; the columnar yews were Mary’s idea.  Here it is later in the early summer of 2004.

new Klipsan Beach Cottages courtyard

new Klipsan Beach Cottages courtyard

species tulip at KBC

species tulip at KBC

KBC courtyard in summer

KBC courtyard in summer

KBC's new cat, Tommy, in the catmint.

KBC’s new cat, Tommy, in the catmint.

The Boreas Inn

Robert and I also tackled a blank space on the west lawn at the Boreas B&B. Our working arrangement was good for our dog Bertie, because Robert would take him for a run on the beach at the end of the day, then leave the dog with me while he went “home” to my mom’s house, where he was still living. I was still hoping he would eventually be able to take Bertie altogether as Bertie was rather pining for him; I was not as much fun.

Boreas before

Boreas before

Boreas after

Boreas after

Above: The rock bed we made at the Boreas Inn.
The plan was that Robert soon be would working with Andy fulltime doing carpentry, so our co-gardening was to be a short-lived thing. We turned most of the rest of the garden bed creation at the Boreas over to another gardening couple, because I was going to have a hard enough time just keeping my regular gardens cared for on my own.   (I ended up taking the job back and in later years fighting with the landscape fabric that they had used under the beds!)
Seanest
Roses on the Seanest trellis

Tulips on the Seanest trellis

I partnered up for part of the summer with another gardening business, The Elves Did It.  Being new to their own business, they did not have a full schedule of work, so worked with me part time, and I passed on to them some extra jobs that I did not want to keep.

Carol of the Elves watering at Seanest

Carol of the Elves watering at Seanest

the driftwood temple at Seanest

the driftwood temple at Seanest

Meanwhile, my old friend J9 (Jeannine), whom I had known since Sou’wester days, had a hankering to move to the beach, so we made a symbiotic arrangement; she arrived in May, got her business license, started looking for work as an occupational therapist, restaurant server and party helper but also did some weeding for me.  She was not a gardener, but learned four basic weeds (creeping buttercup, creeping sorrel, grass, dandelion!) and was invaluable…and drove me around!

Another helper, J9, at Seanest with a tall foxglove

J9 at Seanest with a tall foxglove

Starting Joanne’s new garden

Joanne had been a client of mine when she owned the house that was now Laurie’s  on the bay.  Joanne and Steve had moved to a big farm on the lower end of the bay and she hired me back to help make a garden there, around a big pond and waterfall that she and Steve had created.

J9

J9 at Joanne’s

Carol of the Elves, J9 and I put in quite a day later that year making a garden in front of the pond where that mound of grassy dirt is, above.   We “caber-tossed” the log in front all the way down from a woodpile up by the house.

Joanne's new garden

Joanne’s new garden

Laurie’s Garden

At Joanne’s former garden, now Laurie’s garden, the curving flower border had all sorts of interesting plants, mostly from Joy Creek Nursery, each of which got rapt attention from Laurie.  She noticed and appreciated every detail.

Laurie's sunny border

Laurie’s sunny border

Sanguisorba canadensis

Sanguisorba canadensis

Penstemon and feverfew

Penstemon and feverfew

Cleome and feverfew

Cleome and feverfew

China Beach Retreat

I still took weekly care of The Shelburne Inn garden and their sister vacation rental, The China Beach Retreat.  I had extended around the corner with the China Beach flower garden, after RAM Landscaping had backhoed out a huge tough stand of red hot poker.  That old shake shack stands where later the Audubon Cottage would be built.

China Beach garden

China Beach garden

The Shelburne Inn

late Spring at the Shelburne

late Spring at the Shelburne

Shelburne poppy

Shelburne poppy

The Anchorage Cottages

Imagine my dismay when I showed up at The Anchorage Cottages one day and found that in cleaning the patio, some toxic substance or possibly round up had been sprayed all along the edge of the courtyard garden. It did not recover for the rest of the summer and in fact, pretty much all the plants along the edge died.

a little tragedy

a little tragedy

 Whatever it was made the new plants along the edge do rather poorly the next year, as well.  Moral:  be very careful with chemicals around a garden!
Andersen’s RV Park
'Patty's Plum'

‘Patty’s Plum’

‘Patty’s Plum’ poppy at Andersen’s RV Park…a plant that Lorna, Andersen’s owner, had purchased at Heronswood.
And more
This may be the year that I did not work at Wiegardt Gallery because Eric decided to have his sons do the job.  Long Beach will get it own entry, as it was my biggest and most photographed job.  A few private gardens where I just pruned and weeded ordinary beds filled in the time.
By now I had a regular round of clients: Shelburne, China Beach, Andersen’s RV Park, Sea Nest, Laurie’s, The Anchorage Cottages, Long Beach….which meant working 13 to 14 days in a row, taking a day off, then starting another long stretch. I was absolutely determined to get out of debt and was living a life so frugal that I didn’t even buy plants for my own garden.

 

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January 1999

January 1999

Sometimes there would be years when work was all consuming that plans to improve our own garden were put on hold.  This was especially true during the years when I did most of the gardening work so that Robert could work on his artful welding.  I would realize halfway through the summer, “This is another lost year in the garden”, and the bindweed, horsetail, and creeping buttercup would win again.

January 1999, snow on a water feature Robert had built by our upper patio

January 1999, snow on a water feature Robert had built by our upper patio
Maddy

Maddy

Our new cat, Maddy, continued to like small baskets.  She was now our only cat because my beloved Orson, my best cat ever, died in spring of 1999….I came home to find him sleeping in the same spot as in the morning, and when I patted him to tease him about it, he was cold. He had only recently forgiven me for getting Maddy and started sitting on my lap again; he was only 14 and I hope the stress of my having brought a kitten home did not hasten his demise.  We buried him near the pond.

a new water feature right outside the front door

a new water feature right outside the front door

Thalictrum 'Hewitt's Double' by our upper patio, spring '99

Thalictrum ‘Hewitt’s Double’ by our upper patio, spring ’99

upper patio water feature in spring

upper patio water feature in spring

Over the summer, backhoe madness continued on the properties to the north and south of us (both owned by the same person).  Below, this is what the hills looked like on both sides of us by the end of that summer, with just one block’s thickness of trees that belonged to the city between us and the scalped hill to the south; this was the view to our north.

RV Park

RV Park

Fortunately, our house had only one window looking in that direction, and the others looked into our garden to the east, south, and west.

cats

Dumbles, Miss Marble, Maddy

In late 1999, I adopted two feral kittens who had born and lived their early kittenhood under the Shelburne Inn. I thought Maddy WANTED company, but she hated them intensely. They were so shy that I despaired of ever making friends with them; first, they lived under the bathtub, and when outside they would hide under the porch until patiently lured by me, often standing in the rain, with canned catfood.

Dumbles, slowly deciding to trust me.

Dumbles, slowly deciding to trust me.

2000

The biggest personal gardening event for me was the acquisition of my first computer in January, 2000.   I had been partly inspired by Ann Lovejoy‘s amazement when she learned in 1999 (at the workshop in Cannon Beach) that I did not have an email address!

my first computer!

my first computer!

The first online community I discovered was the gardening groups at Onelist, which soon because yahoogroups. It took awhile before I found my best online community, though, in a social e-list that sprung up from Seattle Webgrrrls (which I had joined on the advice of my friend Mary to try to understand computers).   I don’t think I opened up much about my personal life the first year, but later they would give me invaluable advice on escaping my increasingly difficult relationship.
flowering currants on north side

flowering currants on north side

The shrubs along the mid-north side of the garden were finally starting to grow up  enough to hide the neighbours house…. just in time for a major sewage back up which in that winter required us digging a ditch through the garden, in pouring rain, all down one side. Thank heavens Robert had been a plumber and knew how to lay the new sewer pipe. It turned out the old line had gone under the huge spruce tree area and a big root had crushed it. The culmination was, when buying the last section of pipe (and sinking further into debt), someone at the lumber store closed the back end of our van and pushed the pipe right through our windshield. Another $300.  All I craved was one peaceful winter with no car breakdown or home repair crisis.  Perhaps such a winter would make Robert happy at last.

Summer in the middle, shady part of the garden:  A Decaisnea which had grown large and would eventually tower over my head.

Decaisnea fargessii

Decaisnea fargessii

Below:  Rose ‘Ghislane de Feligonde’ had come with me from Seattle, to the Sou’wester, then Shakti Cove, and then my new garden.  I had acquired it at a wonderful old rose garden in Snohomish, probably in 1989, on the advice of the rosarian.

Rose 'Ghislane de Feligonde'

Rose ‘Ghislane de Feligonde’

I successfully brought it with me in late 2010 to my new Lake Street garden.

by the lower pond, 2000

by the lower pond, 2000

our house, summer 2000, from beside the pond

our house, summer 2000, from beside the pond

Dumbles in the garden

Dumbles in the garden

Our new cats, Miss Marble and Dumbles, had finally become friendly to us.  They were still skittish, and friends found it hard to believe they existed as they skedaddled at the sight of anyone but me or Robert.  When we took them to be spayed and neutered, we were told “Sorry, we could not spay Marble”…because she was a boy.   We tried to call her “he” and change her name to the “Masked Marble”, but Marble was a she to us for the rest of her life.

Miss Marble and Dumbles

Miss Marble and Dumbles

Can you see the resemblance to a cat’s eye marble in the swirl on her face?

upper patio, summer 2000;  Robert made a woven fence to hide the ugly RV park view.

upper patio, summer 2000; Robert made a woven fence to hide the ugly RV park view.

same area with some of Robert's ironwork

same area with some of Robert’s ironwork

Robert frequently changed the water feature outside the front door .  Eventually, we had to give up on the fountain aspect because wind would blow the water sideways till the reservoir was dry.  We were seeking a splashy sound to mask the daily backhoe noise as our neighbour, seemingly pointlessly, moved dirt from one side of his lots to another and back again.  (Within another year, he had tired of it and moved on to an area closer to his home further up the hill, and the alders grew back and after awhile you could not even tell what he had done.)

water feature outside the front door

water feature outside the front door

As I shared earlier, a big change to the middle garden was the building of Robert's welding shed.

As I shared earlier, a big change to the middle garden was the building of Robert’s welding shed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For clarity in these prequels, I’m going to call our OLD Tangly Cottage garden the Spring Street garden (and our new garden since autumn 2010 is the Lake Street garden).

1996

Orson loved to bask on the big rock above the pond.

Orson on his rock, 1996

Orson on his rock, 1996

He loved basking in general.  His fur would bleach to brown in the summer.

my twenty-pounder

my twenty-pounder

Looking north (below) from the backside of the pond, you could still see across to the neighbour’s garage and hill opposite, a view that would soon start to disappear as the garden grew. I always wished the previous owners had planted those columnar trees closer together, which is just what they themselves said one time when they came to visit.

by the pond, '96

by the pond, ’96

Below, Orson snoozing on the wicker chaise lounge which I had no room for in the tiny house. I had bought this item for Carol to have her own telly and reading space when she lived with me and Wilum in Seattle, and now it was to molder away outside.

a sad eventual fate for a nice wicker piece

a sad eventual fate for a nice wicker piece

pond in May '96 with rhodos in bloom

pond in May ’96 with rhodos in bloom

I felt we were not making much progress with our own garden, being so busy with work.

Orson by the little rivulet that ran from the pond.

Orson by the little rivulet that ran from the pond.

pond '96, still quite wild

pond ’96, still quite wild (although the irises were new)

In ’96, we started making concrete garden paths with a plastic pattern called Rock’n’Mold that we had got at the garden show. It made faux-paving stone paths; below, looking toward the house is the first section we made by mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow. We urgently needed hardscape paths because in winter the grass paths were so muddy that our feet would sink in to shoetop level. With the going back and forth to Seattle (a four and a half hour trip each way with the ferry) we did not get any further than this strip of path in summer 1996.

the first strip of path

the first strip of path

1997

The tiny cottage was finally coming together, helped enormously by Robert having enclosed the front porch in winter ’95.  In winter ’96 he finished the trim and I had some bookshelves at last and room to acquire a desk (even though in the photo below, I’m still using the window area to pile stuff.)

a new room, '97

a new room, ’97

bookshelvesIt was a tiny house, so tiny.  I had bookshelves now and had been able to unpack my books, but over the years the damp air did them no good.  We replaced the scary big old propane stove with a fancy new one, but every time the wind blew the pilot light went out; the manufacturer suggested disconnecting the safety feature, but that idea did not appeal to me.  Oh well, I spent most of the time outside anyway!

stove

stove

I read books about Tiny Houses for inspiration.

tiny

tiny

lower path

lower path

In our own garden, we were working hard on the Rock’n’Mold paths with the aid of a home sized cement mixer from Costco.

Our Tangly Cottage sign, made by our friend John (who had been a renter in the cottage when we bought it in ’94) was getting framed by climbers.

at the lower gate

at the lower gate

I took the photo of the sign with ‘Bobbie James’ rose that would become our logo and avatar:

Tangly Cottage sign

Tangly Cottage sign

Making the paths helped define the lower garden.  Below, I had dug out a little pond at the bottom of the garden over the winter to collect water run off from the big pond.

lower pond

lower pond

Below, Lower garden, 1997, with paths. It looks so perfect, but the path idea was not one I would recommend. Despite using landscape fabric underneath, weeds got into every crack. By 2008 I had replaced almost all these paths with gravel and used the cement pavers for making low walls. Only toward the end of the project did Robert and I figure out that you could pour the concrete and then just stamp the pattern on the top of it, thus elimated those pesky weedy cracks.

lower garden summer '97

lower garden spring ’97

Below:  The twig arbours in the lower garden, midsummer 1997. Around this time, our truck’s tie rod completely broke…a very big problem. We bought a Voyager van which turned out to be a complete lemon and plagued us with repairs and crises for the rest of the year.

arbours

arbours

Meanwhile, the upper garden paths and the lower gardens paths had a long way to go to meet in the middle of the garden which was still undeveloped.  The enormous spruce tree two third of the way down daunted me.  Oddly, when I first looked at the property in spring of  ’94, I had been so entranced by the pond I had not even noticed the monster tree!

upper garden path 1997

upper garden path spring 1997

1998

In winter of ’97-’98, I messed around with river rock around the pond.  Why do we always think that a look like this will last?

river rock

river rock by the pond overflow stream

It was always very pretty when I cleaned up fallen leaves and weeds, but never again looked as perfect as this…

We started to come up the north side of the garden into the middle section.  The shrubs on the north side had still not filled in enough to hide the neighbour’s house.

north middle path

north middle path, spring ’98

Here’s the view  from our upper back yard across to the trailer park two houses away. The hill was still clothed in trees; this would change within a couple of years.

RV park view

RV park view

Throughout all my years in this garden, deer kept breaking in despite our best fencing efforts.

another break in!

another break in!

May 1998:  Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose starting to cover the old trailer in our garden.  I had spray painted the trailer green with Rustoleum.

Rose of May

Roses of May

view from loft window, May 1998

view from loft window, May 1998: middle path finally done!

mej9

J9 and me, 1998

Our friend J9 came to visit us and took this photo of me by our new garden shed that Robert had built over the winter.  We had been in a hurry to get it built before the city council changed the setback law for commercial property.  (Our lots were zoned commercial.)  It got built in time to sit right on the property line instead of five feet back.

the purple shed, summer '98

the purple shed, summer ’98

I wrote on the shed wall: “This used to be among my prayers, a piece of land not so very large, which would contain a garden, near the house, a spring of everflowing water, and beyond these, a bit of woods”, which perfectly described our property with its spring fed pond and the woods by the dirt road that ran along the south side.

street side of the purple shed

 

front door, early summer '98

front door, early summer ’98

My friend Elissa (a former Moby Dick innkeeper) and I found a tiny feral kitten in Long Beach and I brought her home.  I named her Madeline (“The stars are God’s daisy chain”) to go with our dog, Bertie Woofter.

Maddie as a kitten

Maddie as a kitten

I thought Orson would be pleased, as he had been fond of our orange cat Valene, she who had gone missing while we were at Shakti Cove Cottages.  I was terribly wrong, and he sulked up in the loft for most of the winter.

Maddie  by the front window

Maddie by the front window

I have only once mentioned the fact that we had rescued parakeets; the first two needed a home, then one would die, the other would be lonely, we would get another, and so on. Robert had turned one of our windows into this aviary, but Maddie (unlike the more placid Orson) was so obsessed with the birds that we found better homes for them where they had more room to fly.

goodbye to the birds

goodbye to the birds

Having her cling to the wire of the cage must have been unsettling for them.

While this journal skims over most of the personal events, I should say (so it won’t be a big shock later) that signs of discontent were brewing in my personal life.    But by the end of 1998, Robert said that, as a former welder, he thought he could make garden art from rebar with oxygen and acetyline tanks, so we got some…(more on his wonderful projects soon).  I hoped that a major creative outlet of his own would make him happy at last.  His first creation, at the end of 1998, were twin arbours to replace the rotting twig ones in the lower garden.  He felt they were rough and unsatisfactory but I loved them (as did the man who bought the cottage and garden from me in 2011).

Robert's rebar arbours, lower garden

Robert’s rebar arbours, lower garden

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While we had our successes (and failure) in Seattle, we also did some garden touring in the area.

Elandon Gardens

On one of our first working trips to Seattle, we swung round through Bremerton to see Elandon Gardens, whose designer always did a stunning display garden for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.   Because our old truck hated the freeway (“I’m givin’ her all she’s got, cap’n, she can’t take anymore!” Robert would exclaim), we would go north through Shelton and take the ferry to Bryan’s house, only two blocks from the ferry dock in West Seattle.
pond at the water's edge

pond at the water’s edge

bonsai and water

bonsai and water

bonsai

bonsai

bonsai and a beagle

bonsai and a beagle

Village Green Perennials

Here, we visit a favourite nursery, Village Green Perennials in West Seattle.  The display garden was gorgeous, with a pond and streams running through the garden.  I had discovered the nursery before we had left Seattle and Robert and I had taken a workshop in their pond building technique.  (The base was some sort of synthetic material that they applied with brushes.)  I had taken to heart their story of how they drove into the mountains and looked at streams and rock placement in order to create a naturalistic design.

pond

pond

I certainly hope that the photo above is one of the Village Green ponds and not a mix up with the Japanese Garden at Bellevue Botanical Gardens.   The Village Green pond certainly was just that pretty.

The next time I visited there, the display gardens had gone to weeds, but since I see that the nursery blog is active, I hope it has been revived because it was so lovely that years later I had gotten Allan to take me all the way to West Seattle to see it again.  (Not a wasted trip, because I bought choice plants there.)  The website is active, and that is a good sign.

cat at Village Green

cat at Village Green

Might I also say that Village Green Preservation Society is one of my favourite songs.

At one time, I thought this photo was from Village Green, but it might have been from the next garden...

At one time, I thought this photo was from Village Green, but it might have been from the next garden…

Northwest Perennial Alliance Border at Bellevue Botanical Garden

In 1996, The Northwest Perennial Border at the Bellevue Botanical Garden took my breath away that summer with its bold colour scheme and started to wean me away from tasteful pastels.

hotsy totsy

hotsy totsy

gold and purple

gold and purple

NPA border in summer

NPA border in summer

Robert on the center path

Robert on the center path

Bellevue Botanical Gardens 1996

Bellevue Botanical Gardens 1996

And somewhere….perhaps in the lower, work area of the NPA border?…a charming trellis.

woven gate

woven trellis and compost

Puget Garden Resources

On one of our trips to Seattle, we visited Pete Ray’s Puget Garden Resources on Vashon Island.

Arbour and the home where Pete and his partner lived.

Arbour and the home where Pete and his partner lived.

Robert with Gunnera

Robert with Gunnera

cat bench

cat bench

Puget Garden Resources display garden had a dry creek area which furthered my vision that the shadiest, dullest area could be made interesting with rocks.  I found the garden memorable and inspirational.

dry creek bed

dry creek bed

I can’t find much in search results about such a wonderful place and its charming plantsman, so I don’t know if it is still there…

 

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Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle:  favourite scenes

These are not the best photos, all being pre-digital and with a disposable camera (which was the easiest way to take photos of the garden show without being weighed down).    But they do help me remember the designs that spoke to me the strongest during these years.

I had missed all but a couple of hours of the show in ’91 because I was preoccupied with the Federal Building protest, in ’92 because I was ill from a miscarriage that week, had missed ’93 and ’94 because of the Sou’wester job.  I think we had gone in ’95 and stayed at Bryan’s rented house in West Seattle.

I usually attended 18 seminars, and took notes through every one.  Some day I hope to go through all my notebooks and type up the best of what I learned.  I hope a lot of it sunk in!  Hrm, typing my notes into this blog would be a great project for next winter.

1996

In February 1996, Bryan drove to the beach, picked me up and drove me to Seattle during a time of much flooding in Pacific County, Grays Harbor, and the Chehalis area. Just after we got through Chehalis the freeway went underwater and Robert, who did not enjoy attending seminars, was unable to drive up for three days.  This began a tradition of me going to the garden show by myself.

dripping rocks

dripping rocks

rock wall

rock wall

patio made of recycled materials

patio made of recycled materials

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

sod table and chair (adorable!!)

sod table and chair (adorable!!)

Rapunzel's tower

Rapunzel’s tower

 

1997

This moss-scape made me realize I should qui removing the moss from the huge rock by our pond and just let it be green!

This moss-scape made me realize I should qui removing the moss from the huge rock by our pond and just let it be green!

teapot

teapot

green roof.  I still do not have one....

green roof. I still do not have one….

mysterious door

mysterious door

1998

Bryan had gotten married, so I took the train from Kelso and stayed with my old friend Carol in Ballard, an arrangement which turned into a fun yearly event for the next seven years.

I think this garden was designed by Dan Hinkley.

I think this garden was designed by Dan Hinkley.

large water feature

large water feature

garden shed

garden shed

bridge and stream

bridge and stream

fence with old tools

fence with old tools

1999

I went to the garden show in 1999 and stayed at Carol’s, but did not take photos for this year or the next couple of years because the show for awhile provided video tours of the display gardens.

video tour of the display gardens!

video tour of the display gardens!

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