Posts Tagged ‘Primula vialii’

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Colorful Coastal Gardens tour

Markham, Washington

presented by the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County

We drove not far from the little town of Grayland to nearby Markham.

Cindy and Carl’s garden, Markham

Gardener’s quotation: “I like gardening—it’s a place where I can find myself when I need to lose myself.” -Alice Sebold

At the top of a wide driveway, we took a good look at a couple of hillside beds….

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

…and then walked around the side of the house to the welcome table.

Every box on the sustainable garden list was checked.

Just inside…

a big outbuilding, and beyond it, the She Cave.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the back patio of the house

across the lawn

That just might be a repurposed pallet. (But would it be strong enough?)

I walked around the side of the big shed or shop building and saw that my great wall of china (eight plates) is a very meager wall of china indeed.

I noticed the plates were not put up with plate hangers, and as Cindy was nearby, I asked her how she did it.  The answer was Gorilla Glue and a big paper clip.

She takes them down before the first big gale of the autumn.  Or tries to; sometimes she loses some first to the wind and then uses the broken pieces in the garden.  A woman after my own heart!

a truly great wall of china

I found that the oyster shell road would lead me around to the She Cave.

To get there, I walked past a shady garden.

I wondered if Compost Corner was an old debris pile turned garden.

Allan’s photo

I came upon a wall of boxes that was another garden decorating idea I have dabbled in, but here made lavish and delightful.

I was delighted.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Next came a table of treats…

And the She Cave with its “woodstove heat, a cozy place on a rainy winter evening.”

I feel that this she cave will be planted all around within a few years.

Allan’s photo

I very much want to read here. Allan took the photo.

looking toward the house

backside of the wall of china shed


looking in

Allan’s photo

birds on a nearby feeder (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

one way down

I walked back around the shade garden side.

past the wood shed

and the big shed with mirrors on the end

shade garden reflected

Almost to the middle of the garden by the wall of china, I looked toward a yew arch that led to the main lawn.

I had seen there a bit earlier the clever idea of displaying a bird nest under a cloche.

But I returned to walk further down along the shade garden side.

past the back of this little shed

stained glass in the shrubbery

“A shade garden is a special challenge to any gardener, working with a dry shade environment.  Techniques of limbing up can be observed.”

I thought that was a latticed porch but it is another mirror!

along the shady side

Then I saw this:

Mama Kitty and Rockie’s graves

I did not see Cindy again or I’d have asked her was Rockie a cat or a dog, and what color was Mama Kitty and what was she like.  I teared up and then I saw this:

a door in the woods near a sign that pointed to a secret garden

inside, a bench with one of my favourite garden books

in the secret garden

Soon after, Allan came exploring down the shady side and I had tears streaming down my face because I felt so at home in this garden.  (And is there a door I could walk though to see my Smoky cat again?)

Allan in the secret garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I love when tour hosts put books out in the garden (although I once put so many out that I forgot a book by Christopher Lloyd and only found it again weeks later when the rain had glued the pages together).

Allan’s photo

the side of the shed further on (Allan’s photo)

Still coming down the shady side, to my left was the big lawn with the monkey tree,

I stayed on the shady side especially since I had big tears coming down.

Allan’s photo

the lawn borders

I examined an island bed at the shady end of the lawn and had to explain to a couple of tour guests that I had been weeping only because this garden moved me so much.

YOWZA! What’s this primula??

It is Primula capitata. (Allan’s photo) Thank you, Plant Idents Facebook group.

I’m thinking YOWZA!

yellow corydalis; intensely purple stems to the right are a thalictrum

The purple spiky primula to the lower left is the one called viallii (which I used to have).

Primula viallii

Allan’s photo

thalictrum and more

Time to go out into the sun, although first I wanted to look at the front of the little shed that had that lattice mirror on the back.

love the curtains

Allan’s photo

Allan noticed that a container had some Cosmos ‘Cupcake’.

Cosmos ‘Cupcake’

I was now below the yew arch.

garden hat

below the house

Now to go back down and walk the sunny lawn borders.

The quiet public road runs below a short drop beyond this border.  Except for lots of vehicles of tour guests, it is just far enough below that you can’t really tell from out there that a big garden is in here.

a tiny tour guest in the distance


turning the corner

Behind this end of the garden is a big parking area and another big outbuilding.

I am sure I had this once, and I cannot remember what it is. (Asked on FB: It is galega!)

Others were standing around guessing, saying it looked like a lupine, but none of us knew its name. (Galega ‘Lady Wilson’, per FB.)

I had thoroughly enjoyed this garden and parts of it had touched my heart.

Takeaways: more boxes on fence, more plates on wall, Gorilla Glue and paper clip!; door in the bogsy woods (and I have two extra old doors already); acquire galega and that primula.  Maybe limb up the bogsy woods somewhat.

Now we had one more garden to see; I was saving our friend Terri’s garden for last.


On the way, we detoured slightly to Westport Winery nursery (which I blogged about last summer), where I bought a few more plants.

my haul for the day so far (with succulent box tucked behind the others)




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Considerable wind and rain led to a late start on our second day off accomplishments.  However, I believe it is time to declare the end of annuals planting hell, just not quite yet the end of planting.  Some gardening friends will find this amazing:  I did get every single plant of mine planted in my garden.  Allan helped with an Azara microphylla which was stuck in its pot.  By helped I mean freed it from the pot and planted it.  Other than that, I got all my cosmos and painted sage planted and even some bean seeds.  And some annoyingly small purple broccoli seeds.  Wish me luck because I am not much good at growing veg and even worse at finding time to harvest them.

These are the only plants left to plant, some at Ann’s, some at Mike’s, one at Gene’s, one at Cheri’s, two at the Depot, a couple at Larry and Robert’s, three at Dan and Leanne’s.  I am hoping to get the Ilwaco contigent all in the ground tomorrow, weather permitting:

the remaining line-up

the remaining line-up

Getting all my plants’ roots in the ground is an accomplishment, to be sure, but cleaning up afterwards wasn’t because we went to the 6:30 PM show of Star Trek: Into Darkness,  leaving the garden in quite a state.  I was ever so pleased with the film, especially the reverse echoing of a certain scene in The Wrath of Khan.  I wish I had torn myself away from planting to go see Iron Man 3 before it left town.  It won’t be as impressive on my 32 year old television set.  But I will have subtitles so won’t miss any dialog.

So, the tomatoes are planted up in the greenhouse, but the greenhouse is a mess.

I take the shelves out, and then the framework helps support the tomatoes.

I take the shelves out, and then the framework helps support the tomatoes.

The plants are in the ground, but the garden is in a state of minor chaos.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 9.23.59 PM

Typically, I had let a triad of ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard get taller than me without eating any.  The seed heads look like some sort of conifer.

gone to seed

going to seed

I may get some help picking up all the plant droppings, as Allan will want to mow the lawn at the next opportunity.

Two of my water tubs are rather a mess.  The one on the left needs to have last year’s dead growth cut out, and I have left it far too late.  On the right, there may be no hope, but those pots are going to be awfully heavy to pull out of the water.

in a sad state

in a sad state

My river of blue Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is showing just a few blue flowers.  Unfortunately, I could not find all the Allium albopilosum to move them further out last fall, and the ones that remain in the river are already being swallowed.  I thought they would float on top like round glass balls but the geranium is much bigger than I had expected.

Rozanne river drowns Alliums!

Rozanne river drowns Alliums!

This year I am going to mark each Allium for saving.  I know from sad experience that they do not like being moved at this time.

The patio containers are planted, but the patio is all messy; the Cosmos is moved from next to the greenhouse and the bean seeds planted, but the weeds are scattered higglety pigglety.

much to do

Here are some good things:

Dianthus and Alliums

Dianthus and Alliums

an iris

an iris

Primula vialii

Primula vialii

Camassia leichtlinii alba

Camassia leichtlinii alba

wind battered ornamental rhubarb, like red velvelt

wind battered ornamental rhubarb, like red velvet

Agastache and Persicaria

Agastache , Iris, and Persicaria

(The lawn along this part is all creeping buttercup.  I won’t use weed and feed, so that’s just the way it is.  Would love an organic solution other than digging.)

Parahebe 'Waterfall Mist'

Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’

Parahebe perfoliata

Parahebe perfoliata

When I ordered Parahebe from a catalog with text but no photos, I thought it would be the one I had grown before (Parahebe perfoliata), with Eucalyptus-looking leaves and blue flowers.   It isn’t, but I love the low white one, and I think if I shear it after blooming (which I did not do last year), it might rebloom.

Osteospermum and Penstemon came through the winter in a big pot!

Osteospermum and Penstemon came through the winter in a big pot!

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin', (potato vine)

Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ (potato vine)

Thalictrum 'Illuminator'

Thalictrum ‘Illuminator’


Finally, although my bird photography skills are poor, here is a bird for Mr. Tootlepedal.


For excellent daily bird (and garden, and cycling) photo, visit the Tootlepedal blog.

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