Posts Tagged ‘Rhododendron pachysanthum’

Sunday, 2 October 2022

The garden of John Stephens and Steve McCormick, on Willapa Bay

We had a lovely afternoon walk though the garden with Steve. The home and garden may have been sold…so this may be our last visit to this rhododendron paradise, created on part of the former property of Clarke Nursery with some older specimens of rhododendrons and with many additions by Steve and John, who cleared yards and yards of salal and scrub to expand the garden.

We brought a bouquet and a couple of books to donate to the next meeting of the Portland, Oregon chapter of the Rhododendron Society. I’ve been freeloading by virtually attending their monthly meetings while they were presented on zoom; they are back to in person meetings in Portland now.

We strolled down the south side of the garden, past the tree around which they had their driveway built, to the cryptomeria grove.

By the house, Rhododendron pachysanthum
Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’ (Floating Clouds Japanese Maple) between the two wings of the house
Gardens beds near the house, north side
The pittosporum on the left is ‘Tasman Ruffles’. I took some cuttings, wish me luck!
Going west along the road
The thujopsis around which the driveway was built
My favorite of all the rhododendrons
Rhododendron degronianum spp yakushimanum x pachysanthum
Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’
deer ferns reseeding into path
Rhododendron edgeworthii with Cryptomeria japonica ‘Araucarioides’ 
Cryptomeria grove
Cryptomerias ‘Sekkan’ and ‘Black Dragon’
Rhododendron makinoi

We then walked to the north across the big lawn, past the irrigation pond, to the sunny lawn beds.

South side of road
Irrigation pond
clipped escallonias
Steve and Athrotaxis laxifolia (Tasmanian pencil pine)
Escallonia ‘Gold Brian’
at the north edge of the property
Leptospermum (tea tree)
Thuja ‘Forever Goldy’

We then explored the woodland paths leading back to the house…

…and walked to the bay to the east of the house.

Dahlias by the pump house
At the north edge of the property

We departed with a sense of poignancy, as this could be the last time we visit this paradise.

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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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Thursday, 11 May 2017

As one storm passed over and another was due, with far worse weather predicted for tomorrow, we arranged to visit one of our favourite gardens a day earlier than planned.

While this Willapa Bay garden merits a visit at any season, rhododendron time is its peak.  Some of the rhodos had already bloomed, starting in February. (As I was looking something up for this post, I ran across this article that I think will please rhododendron fans.)

Join us as we walk with Steve and John from the house, down through the gardens and back.   In the photo captions, which we hope are correct, R. of course means Rhododendron.  All mistakes in identification are completely mine and will soon be corrected, because Steve and John will catch them.  I have virtually no expertise in rhododendrons.  Until I began to visit this garden, I had no idea how wonderfully varied they are.

close admiration of the tomentosum (soft underside of foliage) on a trio of R. pachysanthum by the front door

One of a curve of five or six Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Vintage Gold’

John at the start of a new path laid by local landscaper Steve Clarke

A well-built Steve Clarke wall guides the path around to the pump house.

chives in the kitchen garden (Allan’s photo)

A soft and misty space between rain storms.

Allan’s photo

To our left, R. loderi ‘Venus’ carried its fragrant flowers almost out of reach this year. Underneath is the white R. ‘Olympic Lady’.

looking up into R. loderi ‘Venus’

R. loderi ‘Venus’

new foliage on an old pieris

golden Taxus (prostrate yew) embracing several plants, including R. ‘Ken Janeck’

Allan’s photo

We are looking at an Osmanthus burkwoodii that is just recovering from the winter and early spring winds…

Garden bed to the north of the driveway:

Corokia virgata ‘Sunsplash’, center


Allan’s photo

shapes, including Pittosporum kohuhu (nicknamed golf ball pittosporum).  Note the twirly conifer to the lower left.  My notes just helpfully say “little twirly yellow guy.’

Steve IDs for me as Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Lutea’
(Nana Lutea Dwarf Hinoki Cypress)

Allan’s photo

Walking into the upper north gardens…

two toned pink R. ‘Perry Wiseman’ and, in the background, the white R. ‘Pohjola’s Daughter’

a wealth of pink tones on R. ‘Perry Wiseman’

Allan’s photo

a variegated wiegela, I think (Allan’s photo)

an impeccably perfect hosta

the brightness of new growth

Allan’s photo 😉

new growth on R. ‘Winsome’, a word that we agreed has fallen out of use.

This area around a tree had been the dreaded salal just two days ago, and now look:

sword ferns

Walking down toward the irrigation pond….

Tall R. ‘Beauty of Littleworth’ blooming above a pair of new rhodos

close up of the young pair, R ‘Scarlet Wonder’, in the above photo, one blooming and one not.

twins with different personalities

R. ‘Butterfly’

Allan’s photo

looking back at the de-salaled tree

R. ‘Milky Way’ with flowers like powder puffs

R. ‘Milky Way’ (Allan’s photo)

R. sinofalconeri (species) with fuzzy new leaves

R. stenopetalum

Thujopsus dolobrata

Allan’s photo

Looking south across the driveway, you can see the same full grown thujopsis that the driveway was made to curve around.

more bright new calyxes

R. ‘Susan’

R. ‘Susan’

Crossing over to the south side of the driveway…

cinnamon fern

Allan’s photo

more fuzzy new growth on R. leucaspis (species)

Steve’s favourite, ‘Starbright Champagne’

Rhododendon ‘Starbright Champagne’ blooming a couple of years ago

Looking west, I gasped when I saw (below) a vasty new area that Steve and John had grubbed out of rough undergrowth:

I know this will soon be a display of wonderful new plants.

Below is a new area created last year:

looking east

The paths are delightfully soft and springy underfoot.

impeccably pruned sword ferns by the stream ditch that bordered the estate; you can see on the other side what they look like uncared for (just brown and tatty).

new area made last year

a handsome Disporum ‘Night Heron’

strongly textured R. erosum


Allan’s photo.  The background of native meianthemum is not a favourite and will be controlled as time permits!

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ showing off

Allan’s photo

Athyrium ‘Goliath’, Japanese painted fern

a soft and kind Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, no prickles!

more of the new area

Kalmia latifolia 'Sarah'

Kalmia latifolia ‘Sarah’ (Allan’s photo)

perfectly trimmed deer ferns (Allan’s photo)

bluish new foliage on R. lepidostylum

R. ‘Little Carmen’

stunning new silver foliage. (The fuzz on the top of leaves is called tomentosum.) Steve says: R. sinofalconeri (like the other, smaller Vietnamese form we identified before, but this one goes 10-30′!))

(If you think I can read my notes on all these names, think again.  At least a third of these rhododendron identifications involved emails to Steve. Every time I visit this garden, I plan to spend the next winter making a proper database for my garden…and don’t.)

R. quinquefolium

R. quinquefolium , one of those you would not even guess was a rhodie!

Allan’s photo

looking back as we walk toward the house

a brief detour to look across the pond

drizzle begins (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

R. ‘Carmen’

R. ‘Medusa’

R. ‘Kodiak’

detail, R. ‘Kodiak’

Allan’s photo

mossy backdrop for R. ‘PJM Compacta’

looking back

Rain started as we approached the house…

However, despite rain, I had to see the ladies in waiting.

R. ‘Tall Timber’

Due to rain and over-excitement I only got a fuzzy photo of this amazing R. benhallii that looks like an enkianthus.

Steve told me that Professor Ben Hall at the University of Washington has finally had this rhododendron named after him.  You can read more about his research here.

a covetable euonymous

weird and wonderful R. spinuliferum

By now, the rain was quite serious.

from inside the house

the dell of evergreen huckleberries

from the north window: the succulent pump roof landscape had frozen out over the winter.

Steve showed us some photos of how the pump roof had looked in close up late last summer:

like a miniature forest, we all agreed

It was time to warm up with tea and a treat.

John’s coconut banana bread (Allan’s photo)

A torrential and noisy sheet of rain fell. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

As we finished our cake, tea, and plant talk, a beautiful light fell over the bay.

Allan’s photo

From the front door (telephoto), Steve pointed out the glow of the red maple in the far distance.

On the way down the drive, departing, we took a few more photos of the early evening light.

A silver shower of rain suddenly fell off this tree.

Allan’s photo 😉

north of upper driveway

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

a row of redtwig dogwood along the lower driveway (Allan’s photo)

by the entrance drive (Allan’s photo)

the entrance driveway (Allan’s photo)


Steve’s photo


Allan cropped his photo because of raindrops on the lens.  I got the full view of the driveway, above, from Steve. I asked for the names, and here they are: “From the east, R. ‘Red gold’ — then two numbered (unnamed) crosses by Jim Elliott (from Knappa).  Next, four of R. ‘Gala’ — then two (low) R. ‘Naselle” — then R. ‘Lem’s cameo’  — then three R. ‘Nadine’ with  R. ‘Golden gala’ (not in bloom this year) on the very west end [closest to the highway].”

This rhododendron-lined driveway is shared with the home next door, which has just  been listed for sale.  It was once Clarke Nursery.  We all want to see gardeners buy it, and you’d have the best neighbors in Steve and John.  Here is the listing.  Here is the garden on the Rhododendron Tour.  And here it is on the July garden tour.  Just imagine yourself driving past that line of peachy rhododendrons to your own piece of bayside paradise.

We were glad to have found a time between storms to visit.  The next day began with a pea sized heavy hail storm that I imagine might have damaged some of the blossoms at the Bayside Garden, and rain and wind continued during the whole of Friday.


Skooter enjoyed reading this blog post along with Allan.



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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Empty Bowls event

Strangely, I found myself in bed and falling sleep by 1 AM instead of 2 last night so was awake at the bright hour of 9 AM!  This would have been a shock to Allan so I checked my email and Facebook for half an hour.  Thus, we were at the Empty Bowls event by 11 AM.  From the event page:

This annual event brings handmade bowls created by local artists and elementary students together with handmade soups and bread made by local restaurants to help fund local food service organizations. Each year bowls are made and at the event are sold for $10 each. With that donation you get a lunch of soup and bread. After the event you keep your bowl to remind you of all the empty bowls in the world. Open to the public.

This is part of a national outreach to educate and empower communities through art and understanding.

Empty Bowls is held at the Peninsula Church Center, which has a tidy garden outside.

Empty Bowls is held at the Peninsula Church Center, which has a tidy garden outside.

The rose garden must be lovely in summertime.

The rose garden must be lovely in summertime.

Inside, bowls were still being added to the display.  It was hard to choose!

Inside, bowls were still being added to the display. It was hard to choose!

Many of the bowls at this event are made by grade school children.  I asked local potter and event organizer Karen Brownlee if that is unusual, and she said yes, most of the similar events around the country have more “grown up” bowls (my words).  There are plenty of “grown up” bowls mixed in to the choices at our local event.  The children’s bowls add a great deal of charm and are a great way to introduce kids to this mix of art and community.

picking a bowl

picking a bowl

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Several different restaurants donated soup.

Several local restaurants donated soup.

Just last night on Facebook, I saw Karen put out a request for a donation of butter to make the bread better.  The butter arrived, and the bread was rustic and delicious.

bread and butter

bread and butter

Our bowls (you can buy more than one).

Our bowls (you can buy more than one).

In the background, above, Karen’s spouse is bringing our soup, as the event includes table service.  It was later pointed out to me that the two green and yellow bowls that I chose are in the colours of an Oregon sportsball team.  One even has the letter O in side!  The completely went over my head as I don’t follow sports.  I believe our good friend Susie is a fan of the team known as the Oregon Ducks (but I won’t part with my pretty green and blue bowl!)  Allan always likes to get one with a bird’s head.

Our soup arrives!

Our soup arrives!

Allan's egg drop soup and his bowls.  I wanted the red one so he got an extra as well as his usual bird selection.

Allan’s egg drop soup and his bowls. I wanted the red one so he got an extra as well as his usual bird selection.

We were graced by the presence of local artist Rose Power, who sat with us.  I had figured out (by asking around) that she was the woman at yesterday’s art event who had such nice things to say (in a delightful English accent) about our gardening.

We had to tear ourselves away from the good company in order to begin the workday. As we left, we met a most handsome dog who was just quietly lying outside.  He stood up and licked my hand when I sweet talked him, then wandered off so I guess he had just come to visit where a crowd of people gathered.

a handsome boy

a handsome boy

The Basket Case Greenhouse 

Our second pre-work stop was at the Basket Case Greenhouse, which was on our way to stops three and four.  I needed just one thing, a bag of potting soil for planting sweet peas at home, and also took the opportunity to snag some new photos for the Basket Case Facebook page.

Walter: Allan's photo

Walter: Allan’s photo

red Geum and Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

red Geum and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Papaver 'Wonderland Orange'

Papaver ‘Wonderland Orange’

Fred and me...somehow I ended up buying a few plants.

Fred and me…somehow I ended up buying a few plants.

I didn’t get much, just a red Monarda for Jo, and one for the red white and blue Veterans Field garden.

When we looked over at the van, we could see Shadow the poodle all the way inside, and Walter had been thinking about getting in.  This is not surprising for Shadow, as this used to be “his” van before we bought it from Fred and Nancy (thus VASTLY improving our lives) in autumn of 2013.

Shadow is in there.

Shadow is in there.

They've been called back to the greenhouse by Fred and Nancy.

They’ve been called back to the greenhouse by Fred and Nancy.

The Bayside Garden

Next, we went a bit further north, past our first actual work destination, to deliver a lovely spider azalea which we’d gotten at Monkey Business Nursery for Steve and John.

I got two of these spider azaleas, one for me, and one for Steve and John if they want one.

At Monkey Business 101: I got two of these spider azaleas, one for me, and one for Steve and John.

Here it is in bloom.

Here it is in bloom, and here’s an article about it.

near the front door to the bayside house

near the front door to the bayside house

the drainage swale between the wings of the house

the drainage swale between the wings of the house with Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ behind a Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Sunlight Lace’.

three rhododendrons

Rhododendron pachysanthum, in a bed of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

by the front door

by the front door

When Steve and John invited us in for coffee and a slice of a peanut butter and chocolate “Elvis” cake, we could not resist.  (They make an excellent and flavourful cup of coffee and John is an accomplished baker.)  We then had a brief tour of part of the garden.  You may notice some lines of dug up soil, as an irrigation system is being installed by renowned local landscaper and rhododendron expert Steve Clarke’s capable team.


by the driveway


Rhododendron campylogynum Myrtilloides.


detail of Rhododendron campylogynum Myrtilloides.


Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’ (has a yellow tint that the camera ignored) 

a prostrate form of taxus backed with a Daphne, still blooming (as it was on our last visit)

a prostrate form of taxus backed with a Daphne, still blooming (as it was on our last visit three weeks ago)

garden 4

There’s that stunning white variegated Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ gathering the light.

Hostas just emerging.

Hostas just emerging.

Steve and John had recently visited The English Nursery in Seaview, whose owner, Dirk Sweringen, sells an impressive variety of hostas.

a garden of well defined shapes

a garden of well defined shapes






Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’


the woodland, which Steve and John have painstakingly edited for beauty


a natural cup of moss

a natural cup of moss

Have I told you that this garden is going to open for touring on May 2?


We had to get to work, and Steve and John were off to the art show in Long Beach.  Our first work destination was just a couple of blocks to the south, where we got a yard of Soil Energy mulch and headed to our first job.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply:  Mike bringing us a scoop

Peninsula Landscape Supply: Mike bringing us a scoop (Allan’s photo)

They have some handsome heucheras for sale.

They have some handsome heucheras for sale.

The Boreas Inn

I had one major goal for today, to get that yard of Soil Energy spread at the Boreas and then to plant two plants and some poppy seeds in Long Beach.  While Allan got the mulch moving, I delivered the red bee balm plant to Jo’s, had a brief visit with her and little dog Coco, and then hightailed it back to the Boreas to get to work at last.

It went swimmingly and by the time we were almost done, my ambition for the day had increased.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

and weeding

and weeding some of the horrid creeping Jenny out (it’s too invasive)

hard at it

hard at it.  Soon weather will permit the cushions will be brought out for guests to lounge.

IMG_1997 - Version 2

Boreas lawn beds

Boreas lawn beds yesterday

and today, raised up with muclh

and today, raised up with mulch

I always wish for these beds to be level with the lawn, if not raised a little higher.  We might finally have almost achieved that.

Mission accomplished.

Mission accomplished.

The garden suite garden also got mulched.

The garden suite garden also got mulched.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The lawn beds, finally level with the lawn (for now, at least)

The lawn beds, finally level with the lawn (for now, at least)

Buddha had snail earrings today.

Buddha had snail earrings today. (Allan’s photo)

and then….back to

Peninsula Landscape Supply (again)

Colleen scooping Soil Energy

Colleen scooping Soil Energy

and dumping it into our little trailer, which holds just a yard and a bit.

and dumping it into our little trailer, which holds just a yard and a bit.

Instead of planting two plants and some seeds in Long Beach, my goal had changed to mulching the Port office garden and an area in my garden and then finishing the little gravel project at the Port office garden.


On the way to Ilwaco, I added to my goal the planting of sweet peas at our Ilwaco post office garden, as having some mulch to add would help them along.

post office garden, before

post office garden, before



I DO hope I have some luck with sweet peas in this spot.  The last two years I have tried and failed for various reasons: lousy soil, not enough water, snails.

Post office garden today

Post office garden today, after some work

with Tulip 'Green Star'

with Tulip ‘Green Star’

With that done, we drove to the port office and added soil to make the garden fluffy and happy.

Port Office before

Port Office before

after mulching

after mulching

just across the lawn from our mulching job

just across the lawn from our mulching job

Next, we applied the rest of the Soil Energy at home…

on a mulch mission at home

on a mulch mission at home

filling in an edge by the bogsy wood

raising an edge by the bogsy wood

raising an edge by the bogsy wood

every last scoop of precious mulch

every last scoop of precious mulch; Allan kept the wheelbarrows filled.

And then we went back to the port, got some gravel from their supply, and finished making the backsplash for the office garden.

view from near the gravel pile

view from near the gravel pile


gravel and mulch both applied!

gravel and mulch both applied!

After all that, I declared tomorrow a day off.  I had been able to erase more from the work board than I had expected.  And perhaps while walking around my own garden, I had been so horrified by the amount of weeds that I just had to have a day off.  I just hope I get more done than just “piddlefarting around the garden.”

plants need to be planted

plants need to be planted

The shotweed is shocking!

The shotweed is shocking!

Horsetail is popping up all over!

Horsetail is popping up all over!

and I must pull the dangblang touch-me-not!

and I must pull the dangblang touch-me-not!

Pretty things soothe my anxiety about the garden:

a marmalade Heuchera

a marmalade Heuchera



Smokey walking with me and flopping down in front of me

Smokey walking with me and flopping down in front of me

fringed tulip 'Cummins'

fringed tulip ‘Cummins’

the garden boat

the garden boat

The Ann Lovejoy

The Ann Lovejoy



Oh!! A lost ho mi in the mini scree garden!

Oh!! A lost ho mi in the mini scree garden!

tulips and gold acanthus

tulips and gold acanthus

a sentimental hosta given to me by Mary Fluaitt before she moved away

a sentimental hosta given to me by Mary Fluaitt before she moved away

Where Allan found the energy to mow our lawn AND Nora’s tonight I just cannot imagine.


But he did.  I went inside and caught up on the Tootlepedal and Miserable Gardener blogs.

Mission accomplished: a new red bowl for tea bags!

Mission accomplished: a new red bowl for tea bags!

and a much decreased work list.  Tomorrow if I do my own sweet peas, I can erase sweet peas altogether.

and a much decreased work list. Tomorrow if I do my own sweet peas, I can erase sweet peas altogether.

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