Posts Tagged ‘Riz Reyes’

Monday, 25 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

McMenamins Anderson School with Gardens Manager Riz Reyes

We were surprised to awaken to rain.  At 9 AM, after loading all our traveling possessions into our van to be ready to leave, we walked out into the garden of the Anderson School Hotel for what was listed in the study weekend program as a 20 minute lecture by Gardens Manager Riz Reyes.  I had thought that it could not possibly be a disappointingly short 20 minutes…and I was right.

The weather made for perfect garden touring because it kept all the other guests out of the courtyards.

the route from our room entrance to the meadow garden

Hardy Plant hardy souls and Riz

Allan’s photo

I had not met Riz before and found him a complete delight.  And I am happy to report that the walking and talking lecture was two and a half hours long, not just 20 minutes.  It could have been twice as long as that and I would have enjoyed every minute.  As we walked, we paused and examined pretty much every aspect of the garden which is spread over 5.41 acres of hotel grounds.

Allan’s photo

with Holboellia coriacea ‘Cathedral Gem’ (pretty sure)

Some of us had brollies. Looking at meadow garden from undercover, I was glad Allan and I had packed our raincoats.

meadow garden pavers are reused from part of the old school

in the meadow

Sometimes guests do not understand the meadow and expect a more formal entry garden.  Sillies—it is so wonderful.  It was put together quickly as the hotel was about to open and Riz had to work around a lot of construction.  He will continue to refine it.

We looked at plants along the foundations of the buildings.

hardy schefflera that makes my heart go pitter pat

1. I am numbering some of these photos. Please feel free to use these numbers to help ID the plants that I don’t know. I am assuming this is some sort of allium with these lilies. Or maybe not.

looking across the meadow

We now walked along the street side of the old school.

Riz describes how he cuts back variegated comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’) when it gets tatty looking (my words). This one had been cut back a couple of weeks ago.

He left this one (right) to show what it looks like not cut back.

2. My notes just say “silver oak” about this beautiful tree.

3. Allan took this closeup of the leaves earlier this weekend.  I am not good an IDing a lot of trees but doesn’t look oaky to me.  Help?

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Hypericum ‘Ignite’ in center

a newish allium, ‘Red Mohican’, must have!

Riz defended Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle), which a lot of people (including me sometimes) go off of because it reseeds so much. He uses the flowers in bouquets.

By the way, floral design is another of Riz’s gardening passions and he is renowned for his work.

One of the best features of alchemilla is the way it holds raindrops in its leaves.

Allan’s photo

White Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ on the edges of this corner of the garden.  Riz is showing us Datisca (false hemp).

Allan’s photo

Luma, which I have from Xera Plants. Riz says the berries are edible.

something cool!

Allan’s photo

We walked past the wine cask containers that were outside our room’s corridor; Riz has no prejudice against common annuals like coleus and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’.

We proceeded up the walkway to the various restaurant courtyards.

chain fern of some sort

Thalictrum ‘Spendid White’

We passed a fragrant rose I had been admiring all weekend.

Rose ‘The Poet’s Wife’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Riz also recommended earlier in the walk the roses called the Kordes series, with names like ‘Easy Does It’.

‘Jude the Obscure’, which I remember Riz saying was his favourite rose.

Pseudopanax ferox at the edge of a courtyard

Wish I still had this! On my list it goes. (Allan’s photo)

Edging to keep people out of the gardens.

Riz had been waiting for this lily to bloom. (Allan’s photo)

Riz botanizing in the wilds of the Anderson School (Allan’s photo)

Jeff Allen is the metal artist, per Allan’s notes.

Stacked recycled concrete is known as urbanite.

ornamental pink-tipped kiwi clambering up bamboo clad posts

Allan’s photo

We walked on to the kitchen garden.  Although it does not produce enough for the everyday use of the restaurant kitchens, it does provide ingredients for banquets and special events.

kitchen garden path

Allan’s photo

The new building, which went up after the garden was planted, has not cast too much shadow.

more construction in the distance

sampling peas planted on netting against a wall

espalier fastening (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We walked on to the xeriscape garden by the far parking lot.

Allan’s photo (Sesili gummifera, moon carrot, in the foreground)

I learned from Riz that Baptisia won’t flop if grown in dry soil. (Allan’s photo) I am going to try it at the port.

Allan’s photo

The aeoniums get brought in for winter. (Allan’s photo)

Amorpha fruticosa? (with the long flowers)

the furthest reaches of the garden

A couple of us walked down to see this patch of sarracenia.

turns out it was planted in a container of some sort

We walked on to the tropical themed garden around the Lagoon.

Allan’s photo

Container planting in an outdoor dining area (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Alstroemeria ‘Rock and Roll’; Riz thought it was a bit much.

In order to care for the window boxes that hang above the salt water swimming pool enclosure, Riz and his assistant have to set up long ladders in the swimming pool to climb up.

At a little before 11:30, the lecture was over and Allan and I got coffees to go in the hotel store.

On the way to our van, we passed by the wheelbarrow where Riz was getting ready to plant his acquisitions from the study weekend plant sales.

I had especially enjoyed the parts of the talk about the trials of public gardening: plants that get stood upon or broken when folks walk into the garden to take photos of themselves among the flowers, special plants from his own collection that get damaged…and on top of that, the garden has rabbits.

And I liked what brings him joy in his work: The pleasure of having knowledge, “the effect of plants on people”, and the satisfaction of making a career in plants and flowers after being that little kid picked on for wearing flowers in his hair.

You can see many more photos of the Anderson School garden in our two other posts of this weekend, here and here.  And in two excellent posts by Danger Garden, a more knowledgeable plantswoman than I, starting here.

I have absolutely no idea what Allan’s closing photo from Anderson School is.  Perhaps he can enlighten us.

Jeff Allen, the metal artist, soldered together fancy plumbing for some of the restrooms (that the women didn’t see).

I thought so!





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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Saturday evening soiree at McMenamins Anderson School Hotel

The soiree took place in a large room, with dinner provided and with Ciscoe Morris as the MC.

Ciscoe (Allan’s photo)

a contest for best garden hat

and most colourful outfit (Allan’s photo)

later, in the courtyard outside the dining room

Afterward, we walked with Alison and with Jean (from Portland) all around the glorious Anderson School gardens (created by Riz Reyes).

stairs from one courtyard to another

Allan’s photo

courtyard wall made of “urbanite”

Allan’s photo

in a restaurant courtyard

dog friendly outdoor dining

flaming post thingie, one of several


the meadow garden by the hotel’s main entrance (Allan’s photo)

I love all aspects of this meadow.

So we are looking at it from many angles!

Note the flaming torch and the late evening sun highlighting a tree.

We finally walked toward the gardens by the most distant parking area.

Seseli gummiferum (moon carrot)

Alison, Jean, and me

Allan’s photo

We all wanted to know what this is.

more moon carrot

Seseli gummiferum, with which I am obsessed.

A balloon floated overhead.

Allan’s photo

We walked past the meadow garden again:

I am going to try to grow Echinacea pallida from seed.

We then walked along the front of the building.  I expect that only the CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts) are still with us.    I am pretty sure that Danger Garden is still with us, because she blogged about this garden before.

We later learned that the path you can see below is a guest-made path, a place where the guests cut through.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

monarda (Allan’s photo)

I do hope you will want to see more of this garden when we tour it again in the rain on Monday morning with its creator, Riz Reyes.

Time to rest up for another day of garden touring, this time in north Seattle.


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Thursday, 21 June 2018

After watering the Shelburne Hotel garden, we began our trip. (We may be publishing twice a day until the whole trip story of many gardens is told; otherwise, this blog will end up a month behind real time.)

In South Bend, we had coffee and scones at Elixir Coffee, overlooking the Willapa River.

I like this rusty metal railing next to Elixir.

by Elixir entrance

Elixir inside and deck

the deck

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo…the perfect motto for me.

From there, we (meaning Allan) drove to the Kingston Ferry.

in Montesano (about one fourth of the way there)

Even the traffic in Kingston had me seriously wanting to turn around and go home, never mind the loss of money for the event and hotel reservations.  However, we persevered.

my view of a passenger on the Kingston Ferry

Allan’s photo

I was glad that the drive from Edmonds, on the other side of the water, to the city of Bothell was only half an hour; we arrived at 8:15 PM on the longest day of the year.

The Hardy Plant Study Weekend would begin early the next morning.  Meanwhile, we checked into the

McMenamins Anderson School hotel,

a converted old junior high school with extensive landscaping.  As soon as we had parked, I felt that seeing the garden made the trip worthwhile. All McMenamins hotels and restaurants are known for their landscaping.  In 2014, we toured the gardens of their Kennedy School Hotel in Portland.

Riz Reyes is the Gardens Manager at the Anderson School, and before our trip was over, we would get to spend two and a half hours with him on a tour of the garden.  This evening, we simply walked around marveling and appreciating.

A drought tolerant garden by our far flung parking spot. The hotel is the tall red building in the distance; the closer building is one of the hotel restaurants.

loved the edging of old wine barrel hoops

thrilled to see Moon Carrot (Seseli gummiferum)

garden admirers (Allan’s photo)

Echinacea pallida in a meadow garden as one approached the hotel

the meadow garden

The check in office is to the far right, above, at the end of that covered walkway, but we did not realize that yet.  So we started walking along the sidewalk to the front entrance of the building.  I was carrying my pillow and one bag.

now walking along the front of the old junior high school

For those who don’t know, back when I was in school, junior high housed grades 7-9, ages about 12-14.

After entering the building and wandering a bit of the first floor, clutching my pillow in a elderly waifl-ike fashion, I asked a guest where to check in.  We then left the building and finally found the check in office and then, on our way to the room, appreciated the courtyard gardens.

Railings and arbours and sculptures by the same craftsman are to be seen at many McMenamins venues.

The metal worker’s name is Jeff Allen.

I had managed to book a basement room that could be entered, with no stairs, from a corner door, down a long exterior walkway and through a sort of work corridor for the restaurants and past stacks of wood for the courtyard outdoor fireplaces.  (I wish I had photographed the good looking stacks of firewood.)

looking back toward the check in office

It was 8:45 PM and I was grateful for the longest day.

I later learned this fragrant rose is ‘The Poet’s Wife’.

The basement hotel rooms look out at ground level.

Each room has a name, often named for a student, a teacher, or a Bothell citizen of note.  Ours was called The Willow People.  That could not have been more perfect.


willow and rushes painted on the bathroom wall

The history of the Willow People was in a frame on the wall both inside and outside of the room.

We did not have time over the weekend to read any of the books in the room.

Another book. My mother used to tell me I was a late bloomer.

The view out of our room window does show the beautifully stacked wood in the covered corridor.

from our window

We went back outside and walked through the gardens some more before having dinner.

We found the sloping kitchen garden which supplies some delicacies for the restaurants.

variegated horseradish

on our garden walk (Allan’s photo)

We found the building that has a big salt water swimming pool that is partly open to the sky.

the salt water pool (Allan’s photo)

I wanted to dine at the North Shore Lagoon tiki bar (its menu looked best, tropical in flair, of the three or four restaurants on the acreage).  A long flight of stairs daunted me and the elevator was too scary looking, like a giant shabby dumbwaiter.

We chose the ground level Tavern on the Square instead.

view from our table

another view from our table

We shared a delicious pizza.

the walk back to our room through the magical garden

garden by night (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

hotel corridor (Allan’s photo)

The only flaw in the hotel’s many amenities is that the rooms do not have little refrigerators for leftovers (or any way to make a cup of tea), nor is there an ice machine.  I needed ice for my ice pack for chronic neuralgia, and after we went back to our room, Allan had to go begging at three different restaurants before someone had time to fill the ice bucket that was available in the room (with instructions to get ice from a restaurant…woe betide if they had all closed!)  The room was dark and quiet and, unusually for being away from home, I was asleep by midnight instead of the usual 2 AM and I slept the sound sleep of the exhausted.




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