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Posts Tagged ‘Sea Star Gardening’

First, an exciting announcement. The Astoria garden tour is back!  Read more about it here.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

We continued our peninsula garden tour day, with Ann and Evan, at Dave and Melissa’s Sea Star Garden on the outskirts of Oysterville.  On several acres, much of which is ungardenable wetland, our friends have spent the past two years using their rare days off from their gardening business to create their own paradise. Because they used to own a nursery called Glauca Moon, they arrived here with a large palette of plants in pots.

Dave and Mel’s past life

Sea Star Garden

On the left as you enter the driveway is a large raised garden where once a decrepit old house stood (a house that was unsafe to even enter).  This garden came about when a new septic system had to be installed last year.

Melissa and Evan

On top, a carpet of sedums will solve the problem of not being able to plant anything deep rooted on the septic system.

Allan’s photo

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Dave, me, Melissa, Ann, Sean (Allan thinks this looks like a landing party from Star Trek.)

By the back deck of the house is a water feature with waterfall, made by a friend of the previous owner.

Evan and Ann looking at the pond.

the deck pond

in the water (Allan’s photo)

water lilies (Allan’s photo)

pond frog (Allan’s photo)

north of the house

north of the house

The property had been owned by a gardener before and abounds in interesting trees and shrubs.

The Eucalyptus that Melissa named Elvis.

Ann and one of at least two Acer griseum (paperbark maple)

Acer griseum (Allan’s photo)

one of the maples that Dave and Mel brought with them

Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Eskimo Sunset’; This tree had a surprise.

bird nest (Allan’s photo)

old bridge on the north side (Allan’s photo)

Evan, Ann, Melissa in the woods to the north of the house (Allan’s photo)

As Dave and Mel clear the underbrush, they are finding all sorts of hardscapes like two small ponds and a big stone circle with a stone bench.

Evan and the mysterious stone circle (Allan’s photo)

Hostas are one of their favourites in the shade garden.

on the deck (You can find sand dollars on the north end of the beach here.)

Next, we went to the garden of a North Beach Garden Gang friend, just south of Oysterville.

Todd’s Family Garden

As we drove up, Todd was weeding.

Allan’s photo

The house reminded us all of a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.

Around the family home, Todd has planted his collection from his years as the display garden curator at Plant Delights nursery in North Carolina.

in the sunshine

Morina longifolia

Ann and Evan examining and inspecting (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Ann and Evan admire the view of Willapa Bay.

Todd surveys an area full of potential.

You can see Allan taking this photo of the shade garden.

Todd’s shade garden (Allan’s photo)

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Spigelia marilandica ‘Little Redhead’

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The kitchen garden, which one of Todd’s family describes as “a real garden, none of this foo foo stuff” lay far below.  Because my heel was hurting, I sat this part of the trip out. (Todd kindly offered to go get a truck but I did not want everyone to have to wait.) Allan’s photos of that part of the excursion:

descending on a woodland path

the kitchen and flower cutting garden

Evan in the berry patch

kitchen garden

Ann harvesting carrots

sweet peas

fenced garden

walking to the bay

Todd has a handful of lettuce and carrots that became our salad for the next two nights.

Ann in her element

back up the road (the woods path down was a shortcut)

Meanwhile….

While I waited up top, I looked at my present from Lorna.  She had given me a book as we parted ways at The Oysterville Garden.

Thank you, Lorna!

a dedication that speaks to my heart

I also pondered curmudgeonly thoughts about garden tour programs that I feel compelled to share.  If curmudgeonliness annoys rather than amuses you, please avoid.

One of the gardens on today’s informal tour, Martie and Steve’s, had been on the local tour the day before. The tour program suggested its symmetry was “reminiscent of centuries old British estates” and “will put you in mind of Downton Abbey”.  Perhaps because it had a cricket lawn? Perhaps because of the green lawns in general?  It reminded me of my thoughts about garden tour descriptions, something that is always on my mind during garden tour season.

The Captain Stream House

Martie and Steve’s garden completely stood on its own and did not need to be compared to any other place.  The garden’s lines seemed clean and modern to me and certainly did not remind me of Downton Abbey.  Other than my usual desire to be in the UK, I would rather visit their garden than the site of Downton Abbey, anyway.

 I was reminded of the previous year’s comparison of a small garden to an Italian courtyard, leading to confusion on the part of tour guests (much of which I heard about later…even unto it being mentioned this year, and at the time, a friend texted me from that garden asking for enlightenment about the description).  I think that serious garden tour guests take every word of a description into consideration.  Raising expectations is not wise.  That particular garden (the non-Italian-courtyard) also stood well on its own because its big pots and hand made pavers were all portable; I would have described it as being a small garden that showed perfect solutions for folks who are renters rather than property owners.  There’s no need to get fanciful and make tour guests expect something grander than what is there.  Instead of describing a garden as “extensive” when it isn’t, describe it honestly as small but plant-i-ful. (To be fair, this year the word “extensive” was used to describe a tiny local garden in a newspaper article, not in the program itself.)  I think it is especially important not to aggrandize a garden.

The Master Gardeners’ north county tour, which I have now attended for two years, is good at avoiding hyperbole (with only one exception out of 12 garden descriptions in two years…a solid record of accurate descriptions).

The Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend programs tend to be accurate and non-aggrandizing (although I do remember, just once, looking for a cactus garden that turned out to be a couple of specimens in a pot).

I also do not like being told to walk here, stroll there, sit there, admire this, ask the gardener that.  Just describe the garden in a factual sense.  Here is an imaginary example: If I am told that “a salvaged window defines the edge of the garden by the river”, I will find it and admire it on my own without being told “Be sure to admire the salvaged window,” or “Ask the gardener where she got that window.”  (Clearly, I do have issues with being told what to do—thus 41 years of self employment.)

I don’t expect all readers to agree.  Now, let’s go on to one of my favourite peninsula gardens, the bayside garden of Steve and John.

 

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I wondered if I would regret by now that I did not decorate for Christmas.  No, I am just relieved that I have more reading time instead of a day spent un-decorating.  Putting this card, from 1977, out was my entire extent of decorating this year:

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Two pleasant intervals with friends provided some holiday feeling to the season.

I had indeed gotten sick by Tuesday morning with a bad cold, just as Allan was getting over his.  Even though the evening weather had been dry and not windy, we hadn’t had a solstice campfire on Wednesday the 21st as I had hoped.  The knee brace fitter had showed up unannounced at the door with the brace, and I had sent her away politely because I felt so terrible.  (She should have called first.  I just wasn’t up to it by surprise and didn’t want to pass on the illness.  If she’d called, I could have thought ahead and done the fitting out in the garage where the germs were not thick…but I couldn’t think fast enough when put on the spot. Next week, I hope we will connect.)

Thursday, 22 December 2016

While getting the mail on Thursday, Allan had a look at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Christmas village.

in the museum window

looking in the museum window

frontier Christmas village

frontier Christmas village

the Christmas train goes round and round.

the Christmas train goes round and round.

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Skooter helped Allan wrap some presents.

Skooter helped Allan wrap some presents.

Even though I did not think I should take my contagious self to Dave and Melissa’s holiday dinner party, Melissa was strangely insistent that I should attend.  She, Dave, and Todd all expressed conviction that they would not get sick.

Sea Star holiday dinner

at Sea Star

at Sea Star

entry way

entry way

Unlike me, Melissa did not refrain from decorating this year.  (Dave says, “It’s all Melissa.”)

a table top tree with all fruit and veg ornaments

a table top tree with all fruit and veg ornaments

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I love the indoor window between dining room and great room.

I love the indoor window between dining room and great room.

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the big tree

the big tree

Dave, Melissa, Todd

Dave, Melissa, Todd

As always, a delicious feast by the Sea Star chefs

As always, a delicious feast by the Sea Star chefs

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flowers

flowers

 

North Beach Garden Gang

North Beach Garden Gang

When gift exchange time came, we learned why Melissa had been so determined for us all to come.  She presented the entire gang with matching garden club hoodies.

How about that?

How about that?

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home made cookie assortment including chocolate truffles

home made cookie assortment including chocolate truffles, and Allan brought pumpkin pies.

It was impossible to get a good photo of the ever active Coulee.  Here he is, though, as we were also celebrating his tenth birthday.

Coulee gets a scritching.

Coulee gets a scritching.

And a hug.

And a hug.

When we arrived back home at ten, look who we found in the unfenced part of the front garden:

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and a third one behind our neighbour's house

and a third one behind our neighbour’s house

Friday, 23 December 2016

The glass blocks arrived for the upcoming bathroom beautification project.

all the way from Seattle

all the way from Seattle

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This is all being organized by master builder Bill Clearman.

I kept reading, alternating between Modernity Britain and online discussions of intersectional feminism. By the end of the day, I had finally finished the 758 page tome of Modernity Britain, and I am anxious because I can find nothing online regarding when historian David Kynaston will publish the next volume, Opportunity Britain.  I long for it.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

I spent the afternoon reading more discussions about intersectional feminism and trying to finish a book called Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. I was too distracted to completely finish the rather short book.  My concentration is nil these days.

Allan took a DVD back to the library, a ten block walk.

Allan's photo: library garden

Allan’s photos: library garden

view from library entrance

view from library entrance

A walk back by the marina netted another gift certificate from Salt Pub.

at Salt Hotel

at Salt Hotel

The tide was low.

The tide was low.

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from the docks

from the docks

the steamer at OleBob's Café

at OleBob’s Café

a Christmas eve day walk

a Christmas eve day walk

Crabbing season will finally begin at the New Year.

Crabbing season will finally begin at the New Year.

It is hard on the crabbing families when the lucrative season does not begin till after Christmas.

The Depot Dickens Dinner

At 8 PM, we met J9 and Our Kathleen for the traditional Christmas Eve Dickens dinner at the Depot Restaurant.  I felt ever so much better than earlier in the week.

Depot Restaurant entry way

Depot Restaurant entry way

Depot tree with train and culinary ornaments

Depot tree with train and culinary ornaments

on the tree

on the tree

Dickens dinner: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts

Dickens dinner: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts

Allan had the crab stuffed petrale sole.

Allan had the crab stuffed petrale sole.

eggnog flan

eggnog flan

vanilla bean caramel cheese cake

vanilla bean caramel cheese cake

J9 and Allan tuck in to dessert after we opened our Christmas crackers and donned our crowns.

J9 and Allan tuck in to dessert after we four opened our Christmas crackers and donned our crowns.

in the pass

in the pass

a nice card from the Depot

a nice card from the Depot

Sunday, 25 December 2016

We had a quiet Christmas afternoon, with the opening of presents (not-morning-people don’t open presents in the morning) and the writing of this blog post.

Skooter enjoyed the unwrapping

Skooter enjoyed the unwrapping

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

presents from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, Klipsan Beach Cottages, and to the right a Slow Drag mug by Don Nisbett (from Allan to me)

presents from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, Klipsan Beach Cottages, and to the right a Slow Drag mug by Don Nisbett (from Allan to me)

a beautiful sculpture from Jenna

a beautiful sculpture from Jenna, made by Astoria artist Judith Niland

three from the pile of Christmas cards

three from the pile of Christmas cards

Allan found me a darling house.  It lights up and is not just for Christmas.

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Here, to you, our Christmas greetings; the photo is from a long ago trip.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

During the day, I got to finish my book.

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And at four, we drove through torrential rain one half hour north to Oysterville to have Thanksgiving dinner with Melissa, Dave, and their family members at Sea Star Garden.

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”  -Cesar Chavez

approaching the house in bucketing down rain (Allan's photo)

approaching the house in bucketing down rain (Allan’s photo)

Dave and Melissa had prepared a feast.

Dave and Melissa had prepared a feast.

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gravy making

Dave and me

Dave and me

an oven full of goodness

an oven full of goodness

Both Dave and Mel are excellent cooks.

Both Dave and Mel are excellent cooks.

Anna imitates a throw rug.

Anna imitates a throw rug.

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cutting board very similar to one my grandma had

cutting board very similar to one my grandma had

the bird

the bird

I made a new very good friend: Peanut, a dog recently rescued by Melissa’s sister, Liza.

a wonderful, sweet, amazing dog

a wonderful, sweet, amazing dog named Peanut

a perfect dog (Allan's photo)

a perfect dog (Allan’s photo)

with Melissa's mum, Betty

with Melissa’s mum, Betty

buffet feast being laid out

buffet feast being laid out (lower left, squash rolls from Bailey’s Café)

Melissa was a whirl of cheffing activity

Melissa was a whirl of cheffing activity

table centerpiece

table centerpiece

pumpkin pies by Allan, pear and cranberry cake by Melissa

pumpkin pies by Allan, pear and cranberry cake by Melissa

ever hopeful Peanut

ever hopeful Peanut

one of Mel's three sons and his girlfriend

one of Mel’s three sons and his girlfriend dishing up.  All dishes but two were vegetarian.

Anna and Melissa

Anna and Melissa

dessert time (Allan's photo)

dessert time (Allan’s photo)

how we all felt after feasting

how we all felt after feasting

the end of a happy evening

the end of a happy evening with simpatico friends

It was good to have a gathering where, because of being in agreement, we did not having any of the anxieties of talking politics that plagued many families this Thanksgiving.  Melissa’s mother heaped praise upon her daughter and son in law for the delicious meal, and it was especially pleasant to meet the family members we’d heard so much about…and to have lots of time to commune with the delightful Peanut.

I was thinking again of what I read earlier this week in She Made Me Laugh, a biography of Nora Ephron:

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We are ever so thankful for having found Melissa and Dave.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Nov 24:  11:00 to 2:30 GOT RAINED IN  Finished raking leaves except upper driveway and I’ll get them when I plant bulbs there.  I have at least 18 bags to shred plus the straw all to be used as mulch.

Robert & Skyler arrived about 5 PM.

1997 (age 73):

Nov 24:  Watered some houseplants and puttered around the house and got recyclables ready for pick up.

1998 (age 74):

Nov 24:  Windy.  Errand day.  Cashed CD in at FCB which should give me enough ready cash for down payment on whatever place we see for me to live in.  [She moved to Long Beach the following June.]

Watered plants with indoor hose.  The wand popped off once and sprayed water all over my lazyboy but no harm done.  Spent $96.00 at QFC.

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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I woke to such intense wind and rain that I was sure Melissa and Dave would not be working two doors down on the hedge trimming project.  But when I looked out my window, there they were.  I went over to record their perseverance and fortitude.

Neither wind nor rain keeps Sea Star Gardening from its rounds.

Neither wind nor rain keeps Sea Star Gardening from its rounds.

over the gate, gale warning flags at the port

over the gate, gale warning flags at the port

warning flags flown at the port office

warning flags flown at the port office

Mel tarping debris while Dave uses hedge shears for the final cut.

Mel tarping debris while Dave uses hedge shears for the final cut.

I warned Mel about the spear effect of falling branches from the alder grove.

I warned Mel about the spear effect of falling branches from the alder grove.

The trees made a huge wind noise.

The trees made a huge wind noise.

leaning in

leaning in

a second tarp

a second tarp

I posted a video here with the sound of the wind and the sight of the hedge whipping about.  At least it did not rain on our friends.

This wind record is from a weather station over on Sandridge Road; it was probably 10 mph stronger here:

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Melissa said that she was experiencing Ilwaco weather.  I often complain that it is so windy here when in their sheltered garden way up in Oysterville, the wind is minimal.

I left them to their task and went home to spend my day indoors doing all the bulb spreadsheets.

Calvin and Skooter

Calvin and Skooter face off over the cat door. (A squabble did not ensue.)

Smokey supervising.

Smokey supervising.

my Smokey

my Smokey

Skooter

Skooter

Meanwhile, Allan painted.  He said that any stray drop of paint blew away, sometimes onto the green paint of the gates, which then had to be wiped off with paint thinner because he was using an oil based paint.

painting the back arbor

painting the back arbor

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before

and after

and after

before

before

and after

and after

It was all his idea to paint the posts black, and it turned out beautifully.

My view at 6:11 PM

My view at 6:11 PM

I finished the spreadsheets just in time for us to depart to have dinner with Dave and Mel at

The Depot Restaurant.

This was a bonus dinner rather than our weekly meeting.  We like to go sometimes to Wednesday “Burger Night”, an offseason treat offered by the Depot.

You choose from many ingredients.

You choose from many ingredients.

If you get a fried egg and pineapple, you can deconstruct the burger and have the egg as an appetizer and the pineapple as dessert.

view from our table

view from our table

a well filled burger

a well filled burger

vanilla bean flan

vanilla bean flan

chocolate espresso pot de creme

chocolate espresso pot de creme

sorbet duo: Cranberry and Pineapple

sorbet duo: Cranberry and Pineapple

Tomorrow, I am determined to get back to bulbing, rain or shine.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Oct 26: 1:30-5:30  I fell again from the little extra step of back porch.  Messed up my knee.  I started to weed asparagus/strawberry bed.  Ended up pulling up the berry plants and trimming them.  They need replanting now—maybe tomorrow.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 26:  10:30-3:30  SUNNY & WARM  I planted more bulbs in UDFB, PRFB-S and Tam.  Then the perennial order from Parks arrived so I potted them.  I picked up apples then got the recycle and garbage.  Then I came in and peeled two pails of apples.  I may can the applesauce tomorrow.  I quit working at 9:30.

 

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

THE Oysterville garden

Having heard that the  Oysterville garden had reached another peak of glory,  we made our workday one or two jobs shorter than usual and headed north in the late afternoon, arriving at 4:30 PM.  I had been thinking about the aster collection so was glad to be invited to visit while they were all blooming.  They are the gardener’s mother’s favourite flower and a herald of autumn.

looking in from the street

looking in from the street

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autumn crocus along the roadside lawn

It is the season of glory for ornamental grasses.

It is the season of glory for ornamental grasses.

late blooming clematis and asters

late blooming clematis and asters

looking in (Allan's photo)

looking in (Allan’s photo)

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approaching the front gate

approaching the front gate

potted plants on either side of the brick entry path

potted plants on either side of the brick entry path

asters and ornament

asters and ornament

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clipped boxwood in pots

As expected, we found Melissa at work in the garden.

As expected, we found Melissa at work in the garden.

Our Melissa (Allan's photo)

Our Melissa (Allan’s photo)

golden cotinus

golden cotinus

tall pink asters to tone with the house of palest lovely pink

tall pink asters to tone with the house of palest lovely pink

All this, and we still have not set foot inside the garden.

We are happy to have an invitation to enter.

We are happy to have an invitation to enter.

Before the stern “keep out” signs, folks would just wander through at any time, thinking perhaps that it was a park.  The other day when Melissa was working there, a fellow slowed his vehicle down and called out “What is this place FOR?”  Her reply was that it is a private garden, but she wishes she had said “An amusement park for honeybees!”

phlox, Joe Pye Weed, asters

phlox, Joe Pye Weed, asters

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking north down the front lawn

looking north down the front lawn

the south side of the house

the south side of the house

brick path inside the boxwood hedge, which I just realize matches up with...

brick path inside the boxwood hedge, which I just realize matches up with…

south side of the driveway

…brick path on south side of the driveway; the stakes mark new(ish) columnar beeches

south side of driveway

south side of driveway

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

north side of driveway

north side of driveway

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None of us know the name of this tufted grass.

None of us know the name of this tufted grass. I intend to find out by asking Scott Weber of Rhone Street Gardens.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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the terrace that always makes me weepy

the terrace that always makes me weepy

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Let's go up there.

Let’s go up there.

Melissa and me in plant appreciation mode (Allan's photo)

Melissa and I in plant appreciation mode (Allan’s photo)

on the terrace

on the terrace

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For the first time, I notice how the boxwoods come to a point.

For the first time, I notice how the boxwoods come to a point.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a stray salvia

a stray salvia

across the driveway

across the driveway

Japanese anemones and asters

Japanese anemones and asters

south side of garage

south side of garage

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button sized orange chrysanthemums

looking east along the driveway

looking east along the driveway

south side of driveway, Japanese anemone and solidago

south side of driveway, Japanese anemone and solidago

fennel and solidago

fennel and solidago

Japanese anemone

Japanese anemone

anemone and aster

anemone and aster

behind the garage

behind the garage

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

pumpkins and sunflowers at the west end of the driveway (Allan's photo)

pumpkins and sunflowers at the west end of the driveway (Allan’s photo)

We noticed the many different shapes of the sunflowers.

We noticed the many different shapes of the sunflowers.

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We turned the corner to the allée of ‘Incrediball’ hydrangeas.

entering the allée (Allan's photo)

Melissa and Dave and I entering the allée (Allan’s photo)

the allée

the allée, running east west (looking east)

lawn path, running north south

lawn path, running north south (looking north)

white begonias

white begonias

urns of tree ferns and begonias

urns of tree ferns and begonias

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

hamamelis foliage

hamamelis foliage

Primula vialii in the woodsy garden along the west side of the north-south lawn path

Primula vialii in the woodsy garden along the west side of the north-south lawn path

at the west end of the allée

at the west end of the allée

progressing up the allée

progressing up the allée

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looking west

looking west

We have emerged onto the north lawn.

We have emerged onto the north lawn.

the outside of the allée

the outside of the allée

asters and angelica

asters and angelica

tall pink aster backed with hornbeam

tall pink aster backed with hornbeam

the north border

the north border

more of the aster collection

more of the aster collection

Japanese anemones; there's room here for their running habit.

Japanese anemones; there’s room here for their running habit.

more tall pink asters

more tall pink asters

the front border

the front border

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This begonia ruffle around a big potted boxwood has looked perfect all summer long.

This begonia ruffle around a big potted boxwood has looked perfect all summer long.

'Queen Elizabeth' roses

‘Queen Elizabeth’ roses

Rosa 'Queen Elizabeth'

Rosa ‘Queen Elizabeth’

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borrowed view of yews across the street

borrowed view of yews across the street

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' and Joe Pye weed

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ and Joe Pye weed

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

front gate from inside

front gate from inside

sarracenia

sarracenia

Tetrapanax, Allan, Dave

Tetrapanax, Allan, Dave

new tetrapanax leaves

new tetrapanax leaves

proceeding south on the front path

proceeding south on the front path

some dark pink asters

some dark pink asters

More of that grass. Scott thinks it might be Pennisetum 'Red Head' going to seed.

More of that grass. Scott thinks it might be Pennisetum ‘Red Head’ going to seed.

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looking north; we have come full circle.

looking north; we have come full circle.

outside again

outside again

outside, the pear sculpture, and way in the background is a tall old pear tree.

outside, the pear sculpture, and way in the background is a tall old pear tree.

Sea Star Garden

Before going home, we went to see the garden of Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening).  Contractors had just finished putting in a new septic system, involving a new dirt road and the knocking down of a derelict old house toward the front of the property.

the new road

the new road

Dave and his favourite hen

Dave and his favourite hen

the chicken yard; left: big old paperbark maple

the chicken yard; left: big old paperbark maple

Deer chomped the hosta collection in the shade garden.

Deer chomped the hosta collection in the shade garden.

coleus with miraculous lack of snail damage

coleus with miraculous lack of snail damage

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the tall old eucalyptus that they call "Elvis"

the tall old eucalyptus that they call “Elvis”

pond and waterfall just off the front deck

pond and waterfall just off the front deck

with very large frogs

with very large frogs

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beside the deck

beside the deck

on the exterior garage wall

on the exterior garage wall

This glorious hour and a half of garden touring had made a good end to a short workday.

Tomorrow: back to the gardening rounds in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 6 June 2016

Just after I awoke, I got an actual phone call (not an email or a text which is our usual form of communication) from Debbie T asking if I wanted to go to breakfast…well, er, brunch, considering the time.  She had decided to stay at the beach for an extra day, partly due to seeking a softer afternoon light for taking photos.  I listened to the gusty wind outside and bailed on my idea of a gardening day.  Within fifteen minutes, Debbie was at my door.  (Allan had gone across the river for an exciting oil change that morphed into four hours at the auto shop while a new alternator was installed.)

We drove by the 42nd Street and Laurie’s Cafés (closed on Mondays) and happily, we found Benson’s by the Beach open.

Here is a different side of my Gunnera in Fifth Street Park.

Here is a different side of my Gunnera in Fifth Street Park.

I overheard our nice server telling folks at the next table the name of and some information about the gunnera, and later she showed me that they have an interpretive sign by the window because so many people ask about it.

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I am so glad they appreciate it instead of being unhappy that it blocks the view of the waterfall pond and the squirting clam (probably only from the table at which we were seated).

During our meal, as we talked about gardens, I had a brainstorm and asked Debbie if she would like to see that Oysterville garden…the wonderful one.  Yes, she would LOVE to, having seen some pictures of it on my blog.  I emailed the owner to ask if it was ok to bring a friend and would it be ok for her to take photos of plants.  He has said to visit it anytime but I do feel I should ask before trooping through with a friend.  I called Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) to see if she and Dave might be working there today and learned they were working in O’ville,  just up the street from THE garden.

When we went back to Salt Hotel to get Deb’s big camera, I waited outside and brooded briefly over the dry state of the westernmost curbside beds….the ones we struggled to water last year because the nearest merchant would not let us use the hose.

SO DRY

SO DRY

On the way to our garden tour, I called the port office and asked them to contact the NEW business about watering…because the one that wouldn’t let us is gone now.  I don’t want to be in the front line anymore….  (Later, I got an email saying the owner of the building, to whom I did not think to appeal last year, said go ahead and use the water.  So we are set for at least the summer. Watering is on the agenda for tomorrow.)

Let the garden touring begin!

Sea Star Garden

When we arrived in Oysterville, our first stop was Melissa and David’s own garden.  They were on a lunch break and had time to give us a walk around.

The new, so very solid coop should keep the problematic predators out. There have been some losses when the coop used chicken wire...not strong enough.

The new, so very solid coop should keep the problematic predators out. There have been some losses when the coop used chicken wire…not strong enough.

Debbie adding to a collection of water feature videos

Debbie adding to a collection of water feature videos

I covet this pond and waterfall, right off the back deck, and would like to create something like this.

I covet this pond and waterfall, right off the back deck, and would like to create something like this.

to the north of the house

to the north of the house

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The problem with gardening for a living is that it is hard to find time to finish a sunken patio.

The problem with gardening for a living is that it is hard to find time to finish a well-designed sunken patio.

When Dave and Mel returned to work, Debbie and I went on to…

THE Oysterville garden

valerian along the road

valerian along the road

Debbie noticed the wooden pear immediately.

Debbie noticed the wooden pear immediately.

That pear is the first thing that tipped me off, one winter day, that something special was going on here.  Each time we went to Oysterville, I would peer wistfully over the fence.  I think it was by getting to know Todd that I finally got to go inside.  Todd used to weed in this garden for the previous owners back when he was but a boy.

the redesigned entry

the redesigned entry

This garden makes my heart go all a flutter.

This garden makes my heart go all a flutter.

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by the terrace

by the terrace

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I find this view deeply moving.

I find this view deeply moving, in any season.

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(Note to self: I have yellow achillea at home; should have it at the port, too!)

(Note to self: I have yellow achillea at home; should have it at the port, too!)

candelabra primroses

candelabra primroses

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Debbie lamented the bright sunshine.

Debbie lamented the bright sunshine.

My camera battery had run out after the first few photos; I had switched to my iPhone and a shot into the sunlight did something that made the next five photos nothing but blank whiteness until I realized something was wrong and restarted the phone camera.

The allée

The allée

in the allée, I would guess Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave, my favourite one.

in the allée, I would guess Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave, my favourite one.

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looking back toward the outside of the allée

looking back toward the outside of the allée

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coming back around the house

coming back around the house

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Debbie says my Sarracenia will get this big. I do hope so.

Debbie says my Sarracenia will get this big. I do hope so.

Tetrapanax

Tetrapanax

outside again

outside again

and across the street

and across the street

I believe that the walk through the garden made Debbie most happy.

Linda and Peter’s garden

We drove a couple of blocks north and visited Dave and Melissa at their job, a garden that Allan and I weeded a few times in the distant past.

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Melissa emerging with weeds.

Melissa emerging with weeds.

to the east: Oysterville Sea Farms

to the east: Oysterville Sea Farms

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Debbie making a video.

Debbie making a video.

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the front of the house

the front of the house

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Melissa emerging with pruning debris.

Melissa emerging with pruning debris.

Dave at work

Dave at work

What is that tree?

What is that tree?

the garden just north of Linda and Peter's garden

the garden just north of Linda and Peter’s garden

Leaving Dave and Mel to work with no further disturbance, we drove back to Ilwaco where Debbie delivered me home and went back out again on her mission to photograph three more private gardens.

I fortified myself with some Builders Tea.  This isn’t a joke to me because I am seriously working class.  That is something that has become even more important to me in the last couple of years, being a class outsider to quite a lot of things, things that I do not need in order to be content.

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The tea box makes me ever so chuffed, especially since I have been to Leeds and used to be married to a Leedsman.

Fortified, I wrote three blog posts after giving up on watering the back garden.  (Three of the hoses/sprinklers were problematical.  Allan fixed the problems when he got home.)

At dusk, from the east window:  In the last light of day, the colour blue shows up more than any other colour including white:

blue catmint glowing at dusk

blue catmint glowing at dusk


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

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from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

June 6: Today I planted the Walla Walla onions—one fill row next to the row of scallions from last year.  Then I planted tomato plants in one row between winter cabbage and strawberries.  There are scads of green berries.  It’s supposed to be sunny days coming up which should ripen them.

[Later she added this note:} My WW onions did not grow at all because I didn’t water them.  I had planted tomatoes right up to the onion row and when I watered I tried to keep the water off the tomato leaves so the onions didn’t get much water.  Must separate better next year.

1998 (age 74):

June 6:   72 degrees.  I replanted three trays of violet leaves.  I watered houseplants.  I watered outdoor plants then planted the rest of the “little bulbs” and planted some other plants in various bowls.  Then it was too early to come in (4:15) so I weeded two rows of berries and picked 5 ripe ones.  First berries.  When I decided it was time to feed Tabby it was 6:15.  Quite a productive day.  As soon as I get the 6 new gro light bulbs from Charlie’s I’ll call Bill to do several jobs in one day.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Our mission today was to get three jobs done so that we could spend the rest of the week concentrating on Long Beach and Ilwaco.  This weekend will be the annual parades in each town.

Ilwaco

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at home: Tulip ‘Formosa’ proves again to be one of the latest of all.

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at home, tulips and Allium bulgaricum

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at home: Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ is threading its airy white flowers through the Melianthus major.

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Ilwaco post office garden, lots of green waiting for flowers.

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Post Office: Allan calls this “Dog Poop Corner’ because there is often a dog poop deposited there and not cleaned up.

Anchorage Cottages

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Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)

We got the two remaining window boxes ready for them to put in place when the brackets are done (tomorrow).

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flowers will be mostly orangey to go with the sign

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honeysuckle, center courtyard

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working on center courtyard (Allan’s photo)

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Allan did lots of weeding and bluebell-pulling in the center courtyard garden.

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Allan’s photo

Manager Beth told us that not all the cottages came from Fort Canby, as we mentioned the other day.  A couple of them came from the nearby golf course and a couple of them were built on the property.

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Tulip ‘Greenland’

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Tulip ‘Green Wave’, my weird and wonderful alltime favourite

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Green Wave

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our good friend Mitzu

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Mitzu could go to a Prince memorial dance party in her purple coat.

I would go to a Prince memorial dance party if there was one nearby.

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Last week’s window boxes installed with new brackets.  More annuals to come with warmer weather.

I had to change into warmer clothes at the Anchorage because of a brisk and chilly wind.

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The rhodos are getting tall enough to provide some privacy again.

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Three yellow rhodos in a courtyard that is difficult to make look good.

I am so not a fan of bark, at all….”Just say no to barkscapes” is our motto (one of them).  However, maybe some very fine very DARK bark (shredded, not horrid nuggets) would look better around those shrubs, although I would prefer a soil based mulch.

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callas and climbing hydrangea

Golden Sands Assisted Living

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Allan’s photo

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from the hallway to the courtyard (Allan’s photo)

At last, I got the bag of dahlias planted, an assorted mix of pinks and maroons.  Each quadrant got some weeding.  There never seems to be time to achieve perfection.  The four flower gardens are in a green stage between spring bulbs and late spring flowers.  Quite dull:

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Future mission: beat back the horrible salal that is jumping into the garden.

I would love to see salal completely out of this whole courtyard….I hope we can remove some every week between now and fall.  By we, I mean Allan.

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a bit of colour with daylilies and mom’s Joseph’s Coat rose.

One of the residents told us that a new resident has enjoyed the tulips and been reminded of the tulips she had at her own home.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

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driveway to “Joanie’s Cottage” next door, where we park when we work at KBC (Allan’s photo)

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looking south from the driveway (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

He pruned a sword fern that we had missed on the outer lawn:

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before

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after (much easier to clip when dormant!)

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from our parking spot, we can see Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’ aglow.

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Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’

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Tulip ‘Marilyn’

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Allan’s photo

We missed the elegant shape of that tulip before it opens, as shown below:

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My favourite crazy Tulip ‘Green Wave’

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Tulip ‘Spring Green’

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I cannot remember what this blue flower is!

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Tulip ‘Formosa’

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Allan’s photo

When good plants go bad:  After years of being well behaved, Allium sphaerocephalon has turned into a grassy looking mess, just like another grassy allium in Fifth Street Park.

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very annoying and messy

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sword and deer ferns

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sword fern and weigela

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Camassia cusickii

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looking into the fenced garden

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looking south from the bench nook 

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At the A frame garden, Allan tucked in a teucrium that I’d taken out of a pot at the Anchorage (in prep for something more interesting).

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tucked in between tree roots

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deadheaded narcissi at the A Frame

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Allan produced lots of deadheads.

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Hydrangea ‘Lemon Wave’ (probably) Allan’s photo

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unfurling fern by the clam shed (Allan’s photo)

Ilwaco again

I had clipped back a rosemary at Golden Sands that had been mysteriously bent sideways.  (One of the residents agreed it was like a bear had lain on it, but no bears can get into the courtyard.)  We delivered the clippings to Salt Pub.

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an armload of rosemary and “Don’t take my picture!” as I was feeling decrepit.

The curbside gardens need weeding before the weekend…at least, the ones that are not all river rock, because at this point I cannot even walk on river rock, much less stand on it to weed it.  Today I had some plants with me to add to the Ilwaco planters.  I was just too tired to do it.

When we arrived home, Dave and Melissa were about to leave their big pruning job two doors down.

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We admired the spiffing job.  If you cut this too hard, it will not grow back from the brown centers.  (Allan’s photo)

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Melissa pointed out two deer dossed down in Nora’s back meadow.

I told Nora’s grand daughter (now owner of the house) that it is good to have a wildlife refuge with mown paths back there.

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Allan’s photo…and our deer fence

On the other side of the yard, a darling waggle tailed dog watched us.  Allan could read his name tag: Dickens.

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Allan’s photo

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We were smitten.

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the hedge yesterday

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today, a job well done.  (The brown cut on the end was already that way…had to be because of the gate.)

Now we have three days to get Ilwaco, the Port of Ilwaco, and Long Beach parks and gardens as perfect as possible before parade weekend.

ginger

1995 (age 71):

April 26:  Finished planting begonias in baskets and pots.  Was able to get them all in by moving Forest Farm plants outside.  Next big job is planting the dahlias.

1997 (age 73)

April 26:  11:00-4:00  warm and sunny  Planted the Tristar daughter plans in 3 rows except the small ones which I put into square tray.  That job took until 5:00.  Turned on garden faucets.  Watered strawberry rows.  Then started weeding the pathway until I quit when I was exhausted.

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