Posts Tagged ‘Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’’

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Our company arrived from Canada: Kilyn and Peter.  They came bearing gifts of books, a box of Builders Tea, some British throat lozenges for winter ills, some pastries from the local bakery and some British biscuits.

You may know Kilyn as the reader who comments as Steveston Gardener.  Her spouse, Peter, is a delightfully droll Australian.

We had our own garden as ready for touring as time and energy allowed—pretty good, if I dare say so, and the unweeded parts can be called “rewilded”.

Our Garden

We’d had this much rain in the past two days, giving us the gift of this day off.

In the back garden, I immediately realized the Cripps Pink apple tree was half its former height.  Rain, wind, and the weight of too many apples had snapped off the top.  Peter demonstrates how heavy with apples the snapped trunks are.  What a shame.

When Kilyn took a photo of the little pond, I saw that raccoons, or perhaps Skooter, had knocked several blue pottery pieces into the depths. Allan fixed it.  We were all excited to see the one fish. I had assumed it had been eaten weeks ago.

Those are the sort of things that would be a disaster on a garden tour day but are just fine with good friends.

By going garden touring in Ocean Shores this weekend, I will miss three days of lily-opening time.

That timing proves the wisdom of anyone setting a garden tour date for this weekend as peak lily time reliably begins now.

After touring into every corner and path of the garden…

followed by some sitting in the shade…

Peter (Allan’s photo)

…we needed to pass another hour or so before the main feature of the day and so we repaired to

The Boreas Inn.

After touring the entry garden and the west lawn beds…

…we had a tour of the inn…

(My favourite is the garden suite.)

…and a visit with Susie in the west-facing sunroom.

We then were off…

…for an afternoon at

The Bayside Garden.

Upon arrival, Peter said he almost cried on the way up the driveway “because it is so beautiful, and,” he added, “I’m not a gardener.”

Kilyn is the impassioned gardener and garden blog reader.  She faithfully reads (among others) my two favourites, The Tootlepedal blog and The Miserable Gardener.

We both best like blogs that show imperfections rather than, as she puts it, carefully curated photos.

Kilyn, Peter, and John with his garden notebook

A trio of Rhododendron pachysanthum was first to be thoroughly admired.

We viewed every part of the garden.

Kilyn’s photo

Kilyn’s photo

Kilyn’s photo

red stems of drimys picking up the color of Orange Rocket Barberry.

We all expected Orange Rocket to be columnar.  It is not.

Thuja ‘Forever Goldie’

Kilyn’s photo

“mosquito grass” (Allan’s photo)

Rhododendron ‘Sinogrande’

Allan’s photo

Steve, Kilyn, ‘Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

in the Cryptomeria grove

blue-silver Rhododendron lepidostylum

Rhododendron edgeworthii

deer ferns on the move

Kilyn’s photo

Rhododendron quinquefolium

Rhododendron sinofalconeri

Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

We visited my most special favourite pet of a rhododendron:

Rhododendron degronianum subsp. yakushimanum x R. pachysanthum

Hydrangea ‘Lemon Daddy’

Rhododendron makinoi

Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

How to hide an ugly electric box:

Steve says he’d now choose something other than laurel, and the vine to the right is fatshedera.

Kilyn and the evergreen huckleberry glade

Kilyn’s photo

kayaks passing by on a high tide

We closed our tour in the kitchen with coffee and homemade muffins and some garden talk.

from inside the house (Allan’s photo)

John’s garden book (Allan’s photo)

Later in the evening, we met again with Kilyn and Peter for dinner at

The Depot Restaurant.

steak Killian

Prawns Bangkok

After feasting, we walked west one block to tour

The Sou’wester Lodge and trailer court.

 I do believe that the next time they visit, Kilyn and Peter will be parking their caravan here.

We suggested the Peter “place a call” at the phone booth and could hear his laughter.

Kilyn tried it next.

vintage trailers for rent by the night (known as “Trailer Classics Hodgepodge”)

Jessica Schlief is doing a spectacular job on the Sou’wester gardens.

Tomorrow, the four of us leave to take two different routes to meet again at Saturday’s garden tour in Ocean Shores.

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We had run into Steve and John at the 6×6 art auction three days before and were invited to tour their latest garden expansion.  On this cold and windy late afternoon, we bundled up and examined the entire garden…except for the beds on the east side, by the bay, from whence the wind came.  The tour was so interesting that we hardly commented on the cold.

Our tour started as we drove up to the house.

the driveway in

two beautiful piles of mulch that had just been delivered

young gingko by the irrigation pond

Met by Steve and John by the house, we began our walking tour.

This bed to the south east of the house was salal just a few days ago.  It is a hard task to get all the roots of that vigorously running native out of the ground, especially under a tree.

John picks a non variegated leaf off of a new variegated hydrangea.

The whole south side has been cleared of scrubby trees, including holly.

The tidal stream marking the edge of the property is now revealed.

Allan’s photo

I teased Steve and John that they would now be stretching a plank across the stream to lie on and trim the sword ferns on the other side.

I would have thought for sure the new shrub, below, in a new bed, was a rhododendron.  It is not.

Rhododendron ‘Pinky Purple People Eater’

Looking back on the new area. The tall old species rhododendrons to the left will enjoy the increased light.

Here is how it looked (not from exactly the same spot) earlier this year:

16 July 2017

We continued our walk to the west.

Foreground: Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Arbor Care from Astoria had done the expert clearing and had also limbed up the remaining trees. Steve and John said that when Arbor Care is done, you can’t even tell they were there (other than the results), because all the debris is chipped and cleaned up.

The photo below from January 1st demonstrates the difference in how the trees look now.

1 January 2017

We crossed the driveway, where the garden beds are also expanding.

a sinuous new bed

a fairly recent bed in the northwest lawn

Allan took notice of this tree, Athrotaxis cupressoides (Pencil Pine)

the very newest lawn bed of all

Each new plant gets some attention and admiration.

Quercus alnifolia (golden oak)

Quercus alnifolia (golden underside of leaves)

Allan noticed wire laid to discourage deer.

An independent minded dawn redwood which lost its leader and turned into a shrub.

The redwood on the other side of the driveway had behaved like a regular tree. This one…not. (Allan’s photo)

At least one big tree has been removed from this view, looking east over the pond.

Compare to May 2 of 2015.

May 2, 2015, on the Rhodie Tour

We walked back up the driveway, admiring the pushing back of scrubby salal and undergrowth on the south side, giving the garden greater depth..

Allan admired a fern.

the cryptomeria grove

Even though the photo below, from May 2, 2015, is from a little further to the east, it shows the difference that the clearing and limbing up has made.

May 2, 2015

center: Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

right: Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Hill’s Bright Red’

another new area

We admired more plants in the mature beds, planted in late spring 2009, to the northwest of the house.

Acer ‘Bijou’ in gold

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ blowing in the wind.

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ (Allan’s photo)

autumnal hosta

(background) Rhododendrons closing their leaves against the cold wind

Brrr. They will close their leaves even more against winter’s cold.

Allan’s photo

Rhododendron pachysanthum by the front door

in the courtyard, looking through the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

coral bark maples

the last of the dahlias and the green roofed pump house

falling leaves

a look to the west before retreating indoors

same view on July 16 ’17

From the kitchen, we looked across the lower level to the stormy bay.  At a high winter tide, the water will come up over the rough grass.

south east corner: The evergreen huckleberry glade and the outlet of the tidal stream

view to the north: To the rear is Sorbus ‘Pink Pagoda’

A friend had given John and Steve some quinces, from which John had made a special treat, Quince membrillo, served with Monchego cheese, a delicious cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep.  Served on crackers, it brought back memories of my grandmother’s quince jelly.

Quince membrillo

We admired a new piece of art that they had recently acquired from local woodcarver Jim Unwin.

by Jim Unwin

We visited till early evening, about gardening and politics, little knowing the glorious news of the blue wave of Democrat victories that awaited us in the evening news.

If you would like to virtually tour this garden in different seasons, here are some of our past posts about it:

26 September, 2013

21 April 2014

16 June 2014

19 July 2014 (garden tour)

2 September 2014

7 March 2015

2 May 2015 (Rhodie Tour)

23 June 2015

21 April 2016

24 July 2016

1 January 2017

11 May 2017

16 July 2017







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Sunday, 16 July 2017

While waiting for Todd and our friends to return from a walk to the bay, along with reading and thinking, I had been texting Steve of the bayside garden to tell him we would soon be on our way.  He said, “Bring Todd,” so we easily talked Todd into accompanying us to the last garden of our tour.  Melissa and Dave had gone their own way to get some work done.

Steve and John’s bayside garden

Steve and John were sitting and waiting by the front door as if they had not been weeding before we came. Midway through our informal tour day, I had learned that Evan is a rhododendron fan, so I was especially pleased for him to see this garden.  The long driveway up to the house gives a good feel for how many wonderful plants we were about to see. (My note-taking ability disappeared with so many friends touring together.  Steve and John helped me out via email, later.)

We started on the bay side of the house.

John by the house (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, John, Allan, Steve, Todd.

Allan’s photo

to the north, the evergreen huckleberry glade

another bayside bed

detail (Allan’s photo)


That bed includes this fabulous rhododendron: R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum ‘Yaku Angel’ Form

Next to a camellia, this cool wavy leaved rhododendron is ‘Jan Dekans’.

On the patio on the bay side of the house sat this box of succulents.  They were a gift from a friend in consolation for the green roof of the pump house having lost its most special plants in our cold winter.

More ordinary succulents are now the stars of the pump house roof.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


at the front of the house: Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’ (Floating Clouds Japanese Maple) with Taxus x media ‘Beanpole’

Here we admire an osmanthus that had lost its leaves during the past winter. It is now limbed up and leafed out again, and more light can now enter this area.

shade and hosta garden; note two inviting shares in the sunshine

new foliage on Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’


high gloss rhodie and hydrangea

A big old cotoneaster with a ruff of aucuba around its trunk. (They were all grown together when Steve and John took on this garden.)

John and a small rhododendron with finely cut leaves; Evan knew the name, and I have one, and have forgotten, of course.  Per Evan: Rhododendron stenopetalum ‘Linearifolium’

Todd by a sunny mixed border (Allan’s photo)

Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Sir Charles Lemon’

Newly cleared area now has sprinklers installed and is soon to be planted.

lots of room and nicely contoured ground

My favourite of all.   Rhododendron pachysanthum x ??

more gorgeous leaves on R. ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Rhododendron ‘Starbright Champagne’ is a favourite in this garden.

More R. ‘Ever Red’ (easy to remember!) (Allan’s photo)

strolling into an area that was newly planted about a year ago or less.


evergreen huckleberry in a bed of moss

a brand new bed with Taxus baccata ‘Watnong Gold’ to echo the same up near the house.

Rhododendron sinogrande with grand leaves.

Todd and Evan, who worked together at Plant Delights

The irrigation pond

glistening afternoon light

Steve had said that the garden looks best in afternoon light, and that was why we had gone here last.

Todd and Ann looking up a plant

I love the foliage on this genista best when it is not blooming.

Callistemon viridiflorus (Allan’s photo)

after two days of touring

on our walk back to the house, to the south of the driveway: This tree will be incorporated into a bed, and the salal to the right is next for the axe (or pick).

I heartily approve of the continued removal of boring old salal!

And then we had cake and tea, coffee, sparkling water.

The cake was from Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta.  Todd, Evan, Ann, me, Steve

When we walked outside again to leave, the evening light was stunning, looking west.

Ann getting the back light just perfect.

Chaemacyparis pisifera ‘Vintage Gold’

Allan’s photo

After this feast of plants, then cake, then light, we parted ways. Evan and Ann had a drive back to Portland and Castle Rock, and Allan had plans to water the community building garden before dark.  It seemed like many hours since we had begun touring in our garden, then Pink Poppy Farm, The Oysterville garden, Marty and Steve’s, Sea Star, Todd’s, and the bayside garden.  Someone of the group complimented me for having arranged “the best garden tour”.

Next: Back to work…and trying to get the blog back to closer to real time again.






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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Because Seaside gardener Pam Fleming was on the Peninsula for a consultation, we were all (Pam, me, Allan) invited to lunch at Steve and John’s and a late winter tour of their garden on the bay.  You may remember it from previous posts such as “A Bayside Garden” “Bayside Garden in Springtime“, “A Bayside Garden Interlude“. “September in the Bayside Garden” and “McCormick-Stephens Garden” (on the garden tour).

On the way north, I admired our pot of tulips at the Ilwaco post office…

starring Tulip sylvestris

starring Tulip sylvestris

and we stopped at the Basket Case as they had their first shipment of perennials for the year…

Basket Case, the perennial greenhouse

Basket Case, the perennial greenhouse

including some plants that I especially admire:

Viola 'Etain'

Viola ‘Etain’

Hebe 'Boughton Dome'

Hebe ‘Boughton Dome’

Stachys 'Primrose Heron'

Stachys ‘Primrose Heron’

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

and three cultivars of santolina.

and three cultivars of santolina.

And then on to lunch with people I admire.

John and Steve’s Bayside Garden

When we arrived at the entry drive, I had Allan drop me off so I could take some photos of the sweep of red twig dogwoods along the lower driveway.

Cornus alba

Cornus alba



I walked up the long drive, cheating by getting an advance peek of the plants alongside it.

an early blooming rhododendron

an early blooming rhododendron

an edgeworthia that aroused envy because mine died...

an edgeworthia that aroused envy because mine died…

a freshly mulched bed

a freshly mulched bed

Allan's photo of me taking the above photo

Allan’s photo of me taking the above photo (I think)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the top of the driveway

the top of the driveway

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Coral Bark maples by the front door

Coral Bark maples by the front door

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I carried in a bouquet of hellebores and a few narcissi.

a fistful of hellebores

a fistful of hellebores (Allan’s photo)

Me and John, who was putting the final touches on dessert.

Me and John, who was putting the final touches on dessert.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Pam had already arrived.  We found her sitting with Steve in the living room talking plants.


After some coffee and plant talk, lunch was served.  Chef Steve had prepared spicy prawns and salsa to be rolled in butter lettuce.


John takes a seat.  The view is of Willapa Bay.

The second course was orange beef, as good as a fine Thai restaurant.

The second course was orange beef, as good as a fine Thai restaurant.

John had baked a scrumptious coconut buttermilk cake.

John had baked a scrumptious coconut buttermilk cake.

After more coffee, and interesting talk about plants, and garden shows, and the Sylvia Beach Hotel, and about Chess and Mani, the purebred border collies, we emerged into the chilly afternoon sunshine to tour the garden.

the coral bark maple

one of the coral bark maples

Allan's photo: the stroll begins

Allan’s photo: the stroll begins

Sweet scent wafted from this Osmanthus.

Sweet scent wafted from this Osmanthus.



and from this nearby Daphne

and from this nearby Daphne



I envied the handsome Euphorbia 'Tasmanian Tiger' as...mine plotzed.

I envied the handsome Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ as…mine plotzed.  It’s backed with Pieris, and the Daphne is to the top right.

Pam and I admiring the Euphorbia, Allan's photo

Pam and I admiring the Euphorbia, Allan’s photo

Steve and John had just replanted tender succulents, sent by a California friend, on their pumphouse roof.


John gives a sense of scale as we worry over cold nights.

John gives a sense of scale as we worry over cold nights.

We begin our walk through the shady garden down to the sunny field to the west.

On the way: Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant)

On the way: Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant)



The garden holds a large collection of young rhododendrons, along with old well established ones.

The garden holds a large collection of young rhododendrons, along with old well established ones.

Backlighting for a cryptomeria.

Backlighting for a cryptomeria.

I thought I heard this IDed as Cryptomeria arachnoides...like a spider...but I find it as Araucarioides...I guess.  Pam says it gets big.

I thought I heard this IDed as Cryptomeria arachnoides…like a spider…but I find it as Araucarioides…I guess. Pam says it gets big.

a baby rhodo, with boot for scale (accidentally)

a baby rhodo ‘Queen Bee’, with boot for scale (accidentally)

Rhodendron 'Ever Red'

Rhodendron ‘Ever Red’

Camellia 'Brushfield's Yellow'

Camellia ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Pam and John (Allan's photo)

Pam and John (Allan’s photo)

Rhododendron fletcherianum

Steve and John identified Rhododendron fletcherianum, the one I had admired on the way in

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We all admired its corky bark.

We all admired its corky bark.

The irrigation pond for the old Clarke Nursery, which used to be on this and the neighbouring property.

The irrigation pond for the old Clarke Nursery, which used to be on this and the neighbouring property.

We all strolled along the big sunny field southwest of the pond, as Pam was proposing ideas for how to best landscape it.  I came up with one idea: a sweep of Stipa gigantea somewhere.

sunny field

Pam, Steve, and John

A metasequoia that was supposed to have one leader.

A metasequoia that was supposed to have one leader, but has decided to do its own thing.

Pam says this Leptospermum from Xera Plants will get large.

Pam says this silver Leptospermum from Xera Plants will get large.  (There’s a boot for scale again!)

Allan's photo: Every plant is admired, and some are caressed.

Allan’s photo: Every plant is admired, and some are caressed.

newish beds to the north of the pond

newish beds to the north of the pond

Pam and John discussing the field, with Genista in the foreground.

Pam and John discussing the field, with Genista in the foreground.

I asked yet again for the name of this tree: Cupresses 'Blue Ice'

I asked yet again for the name of this tree: Cupressus ‘Blue Ice’

Closer; I do wish I had room for trees like this.

Closer; I do wish I had room for trees like this.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

another leptospermum

another leptospermum

I love the way Pam gets tactile with the plants.

I love the way Pam gets tactile with the plants.  (Allan’s photo)

I've admired her Seaside, Oregon gardens for so long that I sort of see her like this, an image captured by Allan.

I’ve admired her Seaside, Oregon gardens for so long that I see her like this image captured by Allan.

As we walked back to the house, we admired a reddish Pieris in the distance, through the glade of old rhododendrons.

telephoto brought it closer

telephoto brought it closer

I wish I had thought to take photos of the many tree roots, humped out of the ground and coated with moss.  I noticed them later, on departure, driving away when picture time was over.  You can get a hint of it at the bottom of the above photo.

We went back into the house for some more visiting, and when we left at almost dusk the garden by the house glowed in the early evening light.



that enviable euphorbia

There’s that enviable euphorbia again.

The rhododendrons hold their leaves partly closed in winter, for protection.

The rhododendrons hold their leaves partly closed in winter, for protection.

I always feel like I’ve entered a marvelous other world when I visit this garden, so different from mine (which is more full of fiddly little things).

On the way home, I got that anxious after-social feeling that I had talked too much about certain border collies and Long Beach work and decided I was lucky to get asked out at all.  Therefore, I was especially delighted when Pam pulled up behind us and asked to tour our garden, as well.  We had a pleasant walk around before dusk.

Next: Allan and I have different ways to enjoy a day off.







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