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Posts Tagged ‘Seaview’

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Smokey and Mary say good morning.

Smokey and Mary say good morning.

Yesterday, I had gotten a message from a Canadian Facebook friend, Karla, saying that she and her spouse planned to be passing through Long Beach and wondered if we could have dinner with them.  We’ve been imaginary friends since August 2008, the year that I was obsessed with playing Scrabulous.  When the game of Scrabulous was discontinued, we continued to be imaginary friends.  Karla and Gary had some car trouble and did not make it here yesterday, so today I was waiting for a phone call saying that they had arrived so we could meet them for lunch.  That call came at 12:45 and Allan and I left immediately to meet them at the 42nd Street Café.

Meeting in person for the first time went very well. (Allan's photo)

Meeting in person for the first time went very well. (Allan’s photo)


Gary and Karla watch Allan taking photos of the food.

Gary and Karla watch Allan taking photos of the food.


I had the tuna sandwich, Garden Tour Nancy's favourite.

I had the tuna sandwich, Garden Tour Nancy’s favourite.


Karla and Allan had delicious mushroom quiche.

Karla and Allan had delicious mushroom quiche.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Gary's photo

Gary’s photo


Gary and Karla (Allan's photo)

Gary and Karla (Allan’s photo)

We all found it easy and natural to converse as if we had known each other for a very long time.  Our friends had come all the way from near Toronto.  As Karla said, she loves meeting old friends she’s never seen before, and as they continue down the Oregon Coast and then across country to their winter home in Florida, they might visit more Facebook friends.

After lunch, we had the pleasure of accompanying them to the Seaview beach approach where they saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


meeting a cute little dog named Taco (Allan's photo)

meeting a cute little dog named Taco (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The tide was out, making it a long trek over tire tracks to get to the water.  They agreed that it is weird and not very nice to see vehicles driving on the beach.

Looking back from the shoreline: I was embarassed that they had to cross this ugly mess to get to the beach.

Looking back from the shoreline: I was a wee bit embarrassed that they had to cross this ugly mess to get to the water.


Gary, Allan and Karla on the clean wet sand.

Gary, Allan and Karla on the clean wet sand.


looking south toward North Head

looking south toward North Head; edited out the wide view that would have had an SUV in it!


Gary's first visit to the Pacific.

Gary’s first visit to the Pacific.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


It's a long walk to the water at low tide. Karla, determined to get her feet in the Pacific!

It’s a long walk to the water at low tide. Karla, determined to get her feet in the Pacific!

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chasing the waves

chasing the waves


a dream fulfilled!

a dream fulfilled!


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; the water is cold!

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contagious happiness

contagious happiness


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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 Karla and Gary left to go down the Oregon Coast where they will get to see miles of spectacular beaches (with no cars on them).  We will be following their journey on Facebook.  The visit was joyous and too brief.  I wish we had a guest cottage where we could have put them up and taken them round to see all the sights…and yet they do need to get across the country before winter, and we do have a lot of sights.

At home, we spent the late afternoon working on the Corridor of Spooky Plants for Halloween.  We cannot assemble it all now in case there might be a windstorm.  It’s good to get the basic structure done a week in advance to avoid a last minute rush.

assembling the corridor (Allan's photo)

assembling the corridor (Allan’s photo)


Allan putting hops on the arbour.

Allan tying hops on the arbour.

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the framework in place with some Thalictrum 'Elin' and some spooky alder branches tied in place.

the framework in place with some Thalictrum ‘Elin’ and some spooky alder branches tied in place.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Evening brought the task of B&O taxes and state tax figuring, and I give myself a gold star for taking care of business.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

My rainy day with Susan Conant...sort of a friend from afar because we are Facebook friends.

My rainy day with Susan Conant…sort of a friend from afar because we are Facebook friends.

Monday, 26 October 2015

I had hope for another rainy day so I could read the next in the Dog Lover’s Mysteries.  It was not to be and so became a gardening day.  Allan took the opportunity to paint the trim on the front fence to match the new arbours.  This made me very happy.

setting up

setting up (Allan’s photo)


Allan starts painting.

Allan starts painting.


I was pleased to see a flower on my Tetrapanax.

I was pleased to see a flower bud on my Tetrapanax.


And lots of buds on my Eupatorium hernandezii , a plant from Todd that should bloom in winter.

And lots of buds on my Eupatorium hernandezii , a plant from Todd that should bloom in winter.  (With Mary)

I decided to clean up the back garden middle bed.

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Smokey was hoping for a campfire.

Smokey was hoping for a campfire.

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It was wonderful to see shy Calvin being brave out in the garden.

It was wonderful to see shy Calvin being brave out in the garden.

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Next door: The crab pots are being readied for commercial crabbing season.

Next door: The crab pots are being readied for commercial crabbing season.


my project: 2 PM

my project: 2 PM


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


5 PM

5 PM


I also kind of hoped Allan could move our "park" sign which does not show well with a passion flower and clematis growing over it.

I also kind of hoped Allan could move our “park” sign which does not show well with a passion flower and clematis growing over it.


speaking of which: passion flower still blooming

speaking of which: passion flower still blooming

It turned out that sign was attached with bolts that had rusted tight.  Allan managed to remove it and is going to rust proof the sign so the fine details do not not wear away.

The last photo of the sign in this spot.

The last photo of the sign in this spot.


Smokey continued to hope for a campfire, but we had other dinner plans.

Smokey continued to hope for a campfire, but we had other dinner plans.


Allan's paint job.

Allan’s paint job.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


I had added more material to the Corridor of Spooky Plants. (Much rain is predicted for Halloween, sadly.)

I had added more material to the Corridor of Spooky Plants. (Much rain is predicted for Halloween, sadly.)

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's painting sheet looking like modern art.

Allan’s painting sheet looking like modern art.

In the evening, we began a visit with another friend from afar.  Carol (my friend for 37 years!) was here from Seattle and we had dinner at the Depot Restaurant.

mango scallops at the Depot

mango scallops at the Depot


Wilted spinach salad is back!

Wilted spinach salad is back!


Allan's delicious French Onion Soup

Allan’s delicious French Onion Soup


Cinghiale Brasato, my favourite winter menu dish.

Cinghiale Brasato, my favourite winter menu dish.


8 PM at the Depot

8 PM at the Depot

After dinner, we took take-out desserts to Carol’s home for the night, the Zelmar Cruiser at the Sou’wester Lodge.

I love visiting the Sou'wester. The Zelmar Cruiser (Allan's photo)

I love visiting the Sou’wester. The Zelmar Cruiser (Allan’s photo)

When I entered the Zelmar Cruiser, which I had cleaned many times during my year of working at the Sou’wester (1993), I found myself hugging the round wall at the back of the kitchen!

The bathroom and bedroom are through there. (Allan's photo)

The bathroom and bedroom are through there. (Allan’s photo)


in the Zelmar Cruiser (Allan's photo)

in the Zelmar Cruiser (Allan’s photo)


the living room (with take out dessert from the Depot; Allan's photo)

the living room (with take out desserts from the Depot; Allan’s photo)


Carol in the Zelmar Cruiser living room

Carol in the Zelmar Cruiser living room


as we leave, more trailers: The Potato Bug and The Blue Wave (Allan's photo)

as we leave, more trailers: The Potato Bug and The Blue Wave (Allan’s photo)

Next: Carol and I tour Cannon Beach, followed by Allan goes boating.

 

 

 

 

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I wrote about some of these gardens in my 2007 blog, but since I the photos were actually taken in 2006, I will reprise them here.

Suzanne’s Garden

We did not do regular maintenance on the Sahalee garden that Robert and I had created for Suzanne, but she called me in a couple of times a year to weed.  On one of those days in 2006, Allan took these photos:

gate

gate

path

path

by the porch

by the porch

along the path

along the path

with glass ball

with glass ball

Joanne’s garden

Below:  Joanne ‘s garden in full bloom in summer. She died of cancer in the fall….and now we maintain the garden in her memory.

Joanne's garden

Joanne’s garden

Linda’s garden

Later in the summer, we were hired by Linda L. to put in a garden at her beach house in Seaview.

Linda's house

Linda’s house

First we made a tiny little pocket garden, all white, with ingredients she already had, in memory of her very special and beloved cat, Whitey. This was sort of a get to know you project, because her real idea was much bigger.

Whitey's garden

Whitey’s garden

Her dear husband had died several months before, and she wanted a healing and memorial garden on the west side of their beach house.

before

before:  Allan starting the garden

Here’s the garden from her deck; we chose mostly plants with blue flowers because that had been her husband’s favourite colour:

after

after

the garden from above in late summer

the garden from above in late summer

Because he had liked fishing, we made a river rock dry pond with fish.  You can’t see the fish very well; they were mounted on stakes.

dry creek

dry creek pool

Linda got a fish bench for the garden.

fish bench

fish bench

We made a little rock area in the garden, the idea being that anyone who visited could place a little round rock on the bigger rock in memory. They had both loved frogs so Linda added lots of frogs.

frog and the little rocks

frog and the little rocks

Linda herself took this photo of her cat in the garden:

cat

Up on a dune on the path to the beach they had an old boat; their guests had believed the story that it had washed way in from the ocean. I do love planting up a boat…

garden boat

garden boat

Linda has since moved away (and her life is happy again) and the house is now a vacation rental, but we have the memories.

Marilyn’s Garden

Another meaningful garden project was to create a garden at this new house near Surfside, for Depot Restaurant owner Nancy Gorshe’s mother, Marilyn. It was a blank slate except for the little entry sidewalk.

before

before

beginning

beginning

Marilyn wanted a lawn, so we delegated that, and we made a generous walking path around the house that would be friendly to any friends who used a walker or wheelchair.

garden with path

garden with path

Below: Marilyn’s garden with the lawn seeded and the gravel path rolled and some new plants already in.

progress

progress

Below: the entry from the driveway to Marilyn’s path.

entry

entry

We put round rocks along the house to make that strip of non-garden advocated by my garden guru Ann Lovejoy.

rocks along house

rocks along house

This garden turned out very well and it is scheduled to be on the Peninsula garden tour in July of this year.

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Meanwhile, as well as making our own garden, we were working when we could, one of our jobs being Maxine’s garden just around the corner from the Sou’wester in Seaview.   To this day I credit Maxine for getting me on the track of what Ann Lovejoy calls “Right Livelihood.”  She noticed my garden at the Sou’wester, hired me to weed hers for three hours a week, and from there word of mouth took over.

While weeding at Maxine’s, we had met a garden designer named Dale Browse and she had begun to hire us to help her on some jobs like making this “cloister garden” at the end of Maxine’s rose walk.

Maxine's west side garden

Maxine’s west side garden

Maxine's "cloister garden" 9n '95

Maxine’s “cloister garden” in ’94

Bev's new garden

Bev’s new garden

You could say our first two jobs were brought to us by dogs, because we had met Maxine through her dog Lady coming to visit us at the Sou’wester and we had met another Seaview friend, Bev Rolfe, through her cocker spaniel Kelly, who had spent much time with us while we lived in the Sou’wester carriage house.  (I felt bad for Kelly on the morning he must have come to see us and found our apartment there completely empty…but he remained my good dog buddy till he died years later, and Lady lived with me and Robert in Ilwaco for the last two years of her life.)

Bev Rolfe hired us to make garden beds along her pink picket fence by her pale pink bungalow in Seaview.

sweet peas that we planted on Bev's pink fence.

sweet peas that we planted on Bev’s pink fence.

Maxine has passed on, and Bev has moved away, but you can still stay in a darling vacation rental cottage at Bev’s old house.

We planted a shade garden down the narrow north side of Maxine’s house:

Maxine's shade garden

Maxine’s shade garden

Maxine’s daughter Jo then hired us to work in her Long Beach garden, a job that Allan and I still do to this day.

in Jo's garden

in Jo’s garden

We got a route of lawn mowing jobs established in Seaview.  On the way to one of them, we passed this cute sign.

cottages

cottages

Up that road not only did we mow the lawn but also cared for a pretty little shade garden.

in Couture's garden

in Couture’s garden

Again through Dale, we got the job way up in Nahcotta of caring for Mel and Carol’s garden on the bay.

a bay house

a bay house

Carol's flower border

Carol’s flower border

I adopted the mission of making the colours of their garden softer to tone with the grey of the house, and continued to care for this garden for many years until our public gardening job list got so massive that I had to quit some private gardens.

Another former job of Dale’s that was given to us (thus continuing the chain of Maxine>J0>meeting Dale>Carol and Mel) was “Peggy’s Cove”, a garden in Nahcotta where I worked for eight hours a week for two or three years.

Peggy’s Cove garden, a landscape of six different sections, had been designed by Dale. I started out just helping Dale but pretty soon took over the job because she preferred design to maintenance.

Peggy's Cove garden boat

Peggy’s Cove garden boat

flower borders at Peggy's Cove

flower borders at Peggy’s Cove

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove

At the end of the walkway above, one emerged on a patio of squares inset with thyme and a fire pit in the middle.

patio

patio

I loved the misty grey days when I could see oystering going on out on the bay.

view from the thyme patio of Port of Nahcotta

view from the thyme patio of Port of Nahcotta

leaving the patio

leaving the patio

One walked under this arbour to a vegetable garden next to the house and then up onto the deck with a wonderful view of the bay.

view from Peggy's deck

view from Peggy’s deck

Peggy's peonies

Peggy’s peonies

Around the north side of the house a path went through woodsy shrubs and past a Japanese style water dipping pool.  On the west side of the house was a small formal lawn with a rectangular flower bed at one end and, by the parking area,  a boxwood edged rose garden with statuary.

While Robert worked to repair a roof over the greenhouse/garage at Peggy’s Cove, Bertie on several occasions climbed the ladder to join him on the roof. When he saw a dog two yards over, he leapt off the roof and was off on the chase. This sort of crazed interruption was common, but Robert was determined to take Bertie to work with us.  My days working alone in Peggy’s garden were more peaceful.

Bertie on Peggy's garage roof

Bertie on Peggy’s garage roof

Our work had sorted itself out so that I mostly did the gardening and mowing and Robert did odd jobs.

 By 1995, I was also mowing the acreage of lawns at the Moby Dick Hotel in Nahcotta.
Moby Dick dining room with gardens beyond

Moby Dick dining room with gardens beyond

In 1995, we continued to work in Maxine’s Seaview garden once a week.

Maxine's cloister garden '95

Maxine’s cloister garden ’95

birdbath made by one of Maxine's grandchildren

birdbath made by one of Maxine’s grandchildren

I planted my favourite annual, white cosmos, around Maxine’s silver gazing ball.

Cosmos

Cosmos

frog and bee in Maxine's garden

frog and bee in Maxine’s garden

Meanwhile, we made a side garden for Glennie Woodcock in Seaview. Here it is in early spring ’95; we must have dug it out in autumn ’94 in order to have those bulbs blooming.

Glennie's in early spring

Glennie’s in early spring

Glennie's in summer '95

Glennie’s in summer ’95

We cleared out her front garden and turned it from a rhododendron garden into a rose bed.

Glennie's front garden

Glennie’s front garden in spring

and in summer

and in summer

We did some gardening at this house just north of Glennie’s, called “The Dolphin and the Whale”.  The Dolphin was the front house, The Whale was one of two tiny cottages behind, and the whole place had been for sale back in 1991 for a mere $35.000!

The Dolphin

The Dolphin

Another job I acquired (below) on the Sahalee hill in Ilwaco also had a connection back to Dale.  She had designed the garden but was not continuing to work there so they hired me to keep it going.

garden with a view

garden with a view

We helped out fairly often with gardening and odd jobs at a Seaview home and garden that is so pretty it deserved an entry of its own (next).  No, NOT next…I just realized I have photos of that garden all the way up to the year 2000 and perhaps beyond, so I am going to save it for later.

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While my new job kept me extraordinarily busy, I still found time to get to the beach a couple of times a week at the least.  I watched the seasons through the year in a way that I simply did not see in Seattle.

In winter, the beach trails were underwater.

In winter, the beach trails were underwater.

winter sky

winter sky

Water collected in the Seaview dunes wetlands.

Water collected in the Seaview dunes wetlands.

wetland

At least one a week I found time to walk down to Holman Creek and back along K Place.

At least one a week I found time to walk down to Holman Creek and back along K Place.

willows in the swamp by Holman Creek

willows in the swamp by Holman Creek

Yeo-Ho, one of the K Place houses in historic Seaview.

Yeo-Ho, one of the K Place houses in historic Seaview.

In late winter, clamming weekends drew many to stay at the Sou’wester.  If we had a full weekend, I did not have to clean on Saturdays!   I could catch up with the laundry and then go watch the clammers.

clam tide

clam tide

reflections

clamming in Seaview

clamSunset clamming was especially beautiful.

clammers in the sunset sky

clammers in the sunset sky

clammer's dream

clammer’s dream

I sold a print of Clammer’s Dream at local shop The Picture Attic and sold many photo cards with this photo.

clamming by moonlight

clamming by moonlight

clamming by lantern in the fall

clamming by lantern in the fall

Often in the evening I would see horse riders or the carriage making a last run along the beach.

castles

castles and carriage

castles and carriage

in the dunes

in the dunes

wild salmonberry

wild salmonberry

On Thursdays I picked flowers in the dunes to add to flowers from my gardens to put bouquets in all the rooms.

thistles (not for bouquets!)

thistles (not for bouquets!)

grasses along Holman Creek

grasses along Holman Creek

wildflowers along Holman Creek

wildflowers along Holman Creek

beach flowers

beach flowers growing in the sand

wild daisies

wild daisies

sheets of flowers to add to my Thursday night bouquet extravaganza

sheets of flowers to add to my Thursday night bouquet extravaganza

pearly everlasting

pearly everlasting

Rarely, I had time to make it all the way down to Beard’s Hollow.

pearly everlasting at Beard's Hollow

pearly everlasting at Beard’s Hollow

nature's ornamental grass display

nature’s ornamental grass display

I was amazed to find so many flowers that bloomed in the sand.

pink

dunes

pearly everlasting: a staple of my late summer bouquets

pearly everlasting: a staple of my late summer bouquets

tansy

autumn in the dunes

autumn in the dunes

sunset

sunset

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In autumn of 1992, we took a long vacation at the Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview.  It was supposed to be two weeks and became three and then three and a half.

Beaky and the Spartans

Beaky and the Spartans

We stayed in the “Royal Spartan Manor” with the open door. These are wonderfully solid old trailers made by an aircraft company.

While we vacationed, we often went to the Heron and Beaver pub at the Shelburne Inn, where the young bartender told us how he had moved to the beach with only $100 and lived in a house for the first winter that had no hot water and a leaky roof, just to be there. His story began to inspire us to take the risk.

Sou'wester, west side

Sou’wester, west side

One thing that we loved about The Sou’wester was that it was called a “Bed and Make Your Own Damn Breakfast.” The Lodge contained two 2-bedroom suites on the top floor, four 1-bedroom suites on the second floor, and a large living room, the owner’s bedroom, and two one room rentals on the main floor. I was sure I could do a better job cleaning than whoever was doing it at the time…little realizing what it would be like when everything needed cleaning all at once by one person.  As well as the Lodge, the vacation rentals included four cabins and at least 12 vintage trailers.   But meanwhile….we were on vacation!

Robert's beach kite

Robert’s beach kite

kite in the air

kite in the air

I proceeded to fall more in love with the beach.  After two weeks had passed, I started calling our housemate, Wilum, and our housecleaning clients and postponing our return.

Every day, I would take a walk down the Seaview beach approach road, south down the beach, back in at Holman Creek and walk up from 30th on K Place through Seaview.  Sometimes I would walk all the way up to Long Beach, always looking at for sale signs at houses.  But during the year we had postponed moving here, housing prices had doubled, and no more $35,ooo houses were to be had.

looking south toward North Head

looking south toward North Head

Collie House, just around the corner from the Sou'wester

Collie House, just around the corner from the Sou’wester

(Two years later, I cleaned this house a couple of times for the eccentric old Mrs. Collie.  She had been coming to the beach since the days of the Clamshell Railroad.  The tower room had been her art studio.  In the living room, vertical boards of light and dark wood alternated.  The bedrooms had no closets, and the kitchen and bathroom had the original fixtures.)

Harmony Lodge

Harmony Lodge

Robert at Beard's Hollow

Robert at Beard’s Hollow

Robert walked with me down to Beard’s Hollow occasionally; I walked down there several times during vacation. Here, the monstrously big rock that stands on its own:

the rock at Beard's Hollow

the rock at Beard’s Hollow

Beard's Hollow fishing rocks

Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks

mysterious Beard's Hollow

mysterious Beard’s Hollow

mushrooms at Beard's Hollow

mushrooms at Beard’s Hollow

Nature's design at Beard's Hollow

Nature’s design at Beard’s Hollow

Beard's Hollow Road

Beard’s Hollow Road

rocks at Beard's Hollow

rocks at Beard’s Hollow

sedums on the North Head cliff

sedums on the North Head cliff

One day I got Robert to drive me up to the beach side of Loomis Lake state park and drop me off so I could walk the miles back down the beach to Seaview, about a ten miles walk, I think; I planned it to take all day and it did.

to the beach

to the beach

a beach path market

a beach path market

somewhere along the beach toward Seaview

somewhere along the beach toward Seaview

beach grass

beach grass

The autumn before this vacation I had taken many a basketry class at the Seattle Basketry School in Fremont (no longer there). The grass reminded me of the base we would make to start a basket.

birds...

...in flight

…in flight

closer to North Head

closer to North Head

waterAs I walked, the tide went out and came in again.  I pondered as I walked about how we could move to the beach, and, as I had a year before, I imagined doing some cleaning, Robert doing some odd jobs, and maybe making some crafty things to sell.  In Seattle, Robert’s skills had become known among our cleaning clients, and he had been doing some painting and carpentry for them.  Surely that could translate into beach life.

sunset in Seaview

sunset in Seaview

Robert on a beach walk

Robert on a beach walk

birds at dusk

birds at dusk

a borrowed bike

a borrowed bike

Robert on the Seaview approach road

Robert on the Seaview approach road

It felt like home every time I walked back up this road and saw the warm light glowing at the Sou’wester windows.

By the third week of vacation, Robert, who used to be a roofer, went up on the roof to fix a leak…three stories up. Round about this time the owners of the S’wester offered us a job as cleaner and maintenance team. We would start out living in a trailer and Robert would convert the upstairs of the carriage house (next to the lodge) into a small apartment; it had a bedroom but needed kitchenette and bathroom. (He also used to be a plumber.)  In exchange for the roofing, they extended our vacation with some extra nights in one of the cabins and in the two bedroom, top story apartment, number 6.

Sou'wester sunporch

Sou’wester sunporch

roofing (for me, terrifying!)

roofing (for me, terrifying!)

a potential garden

a potential garden

I told the owners that if I were to live there I would have to make a garden. The work of cleaning and maintenance would be partly paid in money and partly rental trade, but the garden, I said, I would do on my own time.

My first gardening project began even before we went back to Seattle.  (So, I can say I have been gardening on the Peninsula since 1992!)

first beach garden bed!

first beach garden bed!

The owners ordered a pile of soil and I started several little gardens. We went home to Seattle after 3 and a half weeks, and came down for a long weekend at Thanksgiving bringing some plants and some of our possessions.

new gardens in progress

new gardens in progress at Thanksgiving

Thanskgiving weekend: low tide with foam

Thanskgiving weekend: low tide with foam

scenes like this entranced me

scenes like this entranced me

beachscape

beachscape

the Seaview dunes, pristine and undeveloped

the Seaview dunes, pristine and undeveloped

low tide beachcombing

low tide beachcombing

sunset kite flyer

sunset kite flyer

driftwood patterns

driftwood patterns

down to Beard's Hollow

down to Beard’s Hollow

North Head and Fishing Rocks

North Head and Fishing Rocks

Beard's Hollow...in autumn the road became a river

In autumn, the paths through the dunes became still deep ponds and sloughs.

beachcombing: trash and treasures

beachcombing: trash and treasures

We went back to Seattle to pack and face the sadness of leaving our housemate Wilum and my beloved Gramma’s house and garden. I was not planning to sell the house. Mary would move in with Wilum and pay a low rent, and I hoped we could live and work at the Sou’wester for years and still keep the Seattle house.

poignant evening photo in my living room

poignant evening photo in my living room (so much to pack!)

my china cabinet and cat Valene

my china cabinet and cat Valene

I had a silly fantasy that maybe eventually Wilum would join us and take brooding, gothic walks along the beach.  A ridiculous idea, but I found it hard to part from our home.  My housecleaning clients of many years expressed sorrow at our departure.  One wept, and one said “It’s going to be along drive to clean my house every other week!”  Why I felt such a need for change could be explained by being sick of housecleaning (except I was going to even more cleaning!), being obsessed with the beach, needing a change after our miscarriage loss of ’92.  I had a very weird feeling on my block because someone who had broken my heart in 1987 had in moved five houses away (bothersome and strange!), the Sou’wester had completely entranced me, and I felt that the aging owners needed us to keep the place going.  Robert kept saying ominously that the Sou’wester job “sounds like a lot of work”, but he had often said he would rather live in a small town than the city.  So…for good reasons and bad, off we went into a new life.

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Christina’s garden, Seaview

In early June, I helped tour organizer Patti Jacobsen check out all the 2010 tour gardens.  I really wanted to get back to this one on tour day, as I suspect it had all kinds of extra special touches, but in trying to attend Doggie Olympic Games and revisit my favourite gardens of the pretour, we ran out of time.  All my other favourites were up at the north end, so I missed out on seeing this one again (and Allan missed it altogether).

You would not guess from the naturalist landscape outside the fence that such a floriferous garden hides behind a house in historic Seaview.  This is a true secret garden.

view from the back porch looking west

The lawn beds had not popped into colour yet, but by tour day three weeks later, I bet they had.

The beds against the warm south wall of the house had plenty of flowers on show.

on the porch

all decked out in roses

poppy in house garden

roses in house garden

another porch view; note side garden with blue basket

looking southwest from porch

side garden with blue basket; tour prep in progress

Lady’s Mantle and Astrantia

At the foot of the lawn, a gate leads through to a second lot to the west of the house.

peeking into the next garden area

There a fence keeps the deer out of a flower bed.

a protected raised bed

more rustic deer fencing

Oriental poppies in the western garden

birdhouse with beach decor

poppies and rambling rose

At the end of the western lawn, an interesting old building.

We departed from the gate whence we entered.  If Christina’s garden looked this good three weeks before the tour, I can only imagine how much tour goers must have enjoyed it.  Why must the D.O.G. fall on garden tour day, I ask you.  Gardens or dogs…what a dilemma.

Inside the garden gate

(Note:  In 2012, the tour will be in late July, so the dog vs. garden conflict will not be a problem.  D.O.G. will take place on June 15th and 16th, the Music in the Gardens tour on July 21st.  Oh, and our new garden will be on the 2012 tour.)

On the way north we stopped at Patti’s garden nearby and I just must share with you how fine it is:

Patti’s veg garden

view from Patti’s living room

Patti’s pond patio

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a perfect evening in Seaview

Our friend Patti has a dreamy garden in Seaview.  Every time we visit her two dogs are joined by other dogs in what seems to be an endless round of Patti dog-sitting for friends.  There were four on the day in early August when we visited to deliver a pot of Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’: Bosco, who eluded the camera, Webster, the Portuguese water dog, and two small dogs, one rather bossy.

Was the charcoal furniture painted to match the adorable Webster?

The charcoal grey furniture throughout the garden provides plentiful sit spots.  Back in the days when Patti first bought and redesigned this garden, it didn’t have as much open space.  My former partner, Robert, lived there for a year some time after we parted and he, being an expert hardscaper and garden visionary, helped turn one area into a soothing gravel entertainment mecca.  Negative space is a positive thing.

Patti’s wonderful patio space

more water: a driftwood waterfall (another robert creation) and one of the cutest birdbaths i’ve ever seen

places to sit on and near the back porch deck

East of the back decks a richly tropical-themed garden with cannas and eucalyptus….(below left) on the morning August 2nd and (below right) again in the evening  of August 29th, when we were invited to dine al fresco with friends  on the gravel patio.  Patti’s one amazing cook so we got salmon with sauce, and prime rib, golden potatoes, a delectable dessert creamy sort of pastry tart, and scones made by Ocean Park guests.  It was an unusual evening at the beach: warm, helped along by a propane heater, and we lingered till almost dark in the magical paradise.

at Patti’s: the tropics in Seaview

There were four dogs in attendance, and later five, when the neighbour and owner of the Skookum Surf School brought his, so around and round the garden they ran and played and snuffled and romped, making it a perfect evening for a dog lover like me.

[2012 note:  We had a good time working in Patti’s garden on and off in 2011.  Be sure to click on that Skookum link just above; there’s a great little movie on the home page.]

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