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Posts Tagged ‘river rock’

There were three north end gardens on the July 21st, 2012 Music in the Gardens tour.  Because our own garden was on the tour, we did not see the other gardens on tour day.   On June 28th I went with tour organizer Nancy Allen to the Windy Meadows Pottery home and garden in Surfside. I visited there again with the happy bunch of tour hosts on the day after the garden tour, when we got together to enjoy each others’ gardens.

Windy Meadows

Windy Meadows

Tom and Judy and I agree that this new house has the wonderful look of the old historic homes of the Peninsula.   Judy described it as a “warm and loving garden and home”.

around the east side of the house

around the east side of the house

From the tour programme: “A berm of scented lavender welcomes visitors to this artist, potter and gardener’s home, aptly named Windy Meadows. Here is a one person garden on a scale to which most of us can relate. A tiled and mirrored retaining wall creatively camouflages the raised septic system.”  The modern raised field is a real problem for people landscaping on the north end of the Peninsula, and potter and gardener Jan Richardson solved it with the help of her mosaic artist daughter.

mosaic detail

mosaic detail

a mosaic wall

a mosaic wall

the centerpiece

the centerpiece

On the same side of the house is a greenhouse window, which I covet, and a sweep of daylilies.

greenhouse window and flower bed

greenhouse window and flower bed

cat

cat

As we walk around to the north side of the house, we see more clever solutions to the eternal septic field landscaping problem (one of the reasons I chose to live at the south end of Peninsula in the land of sewer hook ups!).  This big Japanese lantern area is a handsome way to disguise one of those big green plastic covers.

lantern and grasses

lantern and grasses

trellis

trellis

Just to the west of the lantern, Jan made a boggy area, I think with some plastic under the mulch, so that she could grow a giant gunnera.

On the north side of the house Jan used an old orchard ladder as a trellis.  In this pre-tour photo you can see that, like me, she used old newspaper and magazines to keep the weeds down.  Later, she and some friends would cover the whole area with shredded bark; she had eliminated all need for mowing a lawn.

In a large flat area behind her clay studio, she displayed some of her sculptural pieces.  On our post-tour day, she let us come into her home and view what are my favourite of her artworks: the cottages!  Judy loved ’em.

garden art

garden art

From the Windy Meadows website, a sample of her fantasy cottages.  Oh how I love them!

cottages

cottages

But back to reality!  As we come around the west side of the house, the studio end, we walk through a path with her long inviting porch on one side and a river rock landscape on the other.

dry creek bed

dry creek bed

Windy Meadows porch

Windy Meadows porch

If I were to design a house, a comfortable long porch like that would be essential.

And below, the garden tour hosts gathering in Jan’s garden on our post tour day.

tour hosts

tour hosts

(left hand photo) In yellow jacket, Jan of Windy Meadows.  In the foreground, Judy Hornbuckle, then Allan (blue shirt).  In the white shirt, Ann Skordahl, and Gary Skordahl, and a friend of Ann’s.  Tom Hornbuckle was with us, too.  We had all had a whirlwind of preparation and then the joy of opening our gardens to so many appreciative guests.  Now we would get back to every day life…except that Allan and I had plans to go on another garden tour, this time in Gearhart, Oregon, the following week.

 

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By the end of the first week in November, most of the bulbs were in the ground while we awaited a second shipment.  It never fails that no matter how extravagant my bulb order, more will be needed as people see us planting them and request just a few more.

We embarked on a new project for a new client, Sharon, who we’d met during her quest for a Gunnera leaf; she teaches classes in making stained glass pavers and in the casting of sculptural leaves in concrete.  She’d stopped to talk with us while we worked by the giant Gunnera in downtown Long Beach.  When we went to look at her proposed project we enjoyed the tour of her garden with all its creative touches.

(above, left) Sharon’s “Koi pond” of stained glass pavers, and (right) two of a long path along the bay side of the house representing the birds she sees out on the water.

The project of making a vasty sweep of grasses on a mounded garden bed along the driveway involved no weeding, as the ground was already prepared.  We decided a dry river rock stream bed was called for to match up with the rest of the theme of the garden…and went on a trip to several nurseries to collect as wide as assortment as possible of interesting grasses…and we divided out the best of the grasses from different gardens of ours to add as much variety as possible,.  Our favourite is Stipa gigantea which does not seem to be readily available here, so we use our existing plantings as a source for more.

before and after, above

(Above) grasses under a picturesque old tree, and the “pond” at the “headwaters” of the stream, which was softened by planting some clumps of water-loving acorus right through the landscape fabric, with granules of Zeba Quench mixed in to keep them moist enough.

The completion of the job was interrupted by my taking a three day vacation (next entry) but as soon as I returned we got back to the planting.  The dry creek bed tied in with river rock areas on the west side of the house (the new bed is further west) and with a charming dry creek bed which seems to emerge from under the east side of the house near the bay.

(left) The original bay side dry creek bed; (right) our new dry creek bed, newly planted, which theoretically disappears “underground” and “reemerges” to join the eastward river rock features.

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