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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Music in the Gardens Tour, Long Beach Peninsula

a benefit for the Water Music Festival and music programs in local schools

ticket tour map

ticket tour map

Garden 5: Somsri’s Garden

A fire-circle patio welcomes you to this plant collector’s two-year-old garden, whose owner has shopped globally for unique plants from Hong Kong, Japan, and her native Thailand as well as nurseries in the Pacific Northwest.  Her beautiful raised-bed septic drain field includes driftwood creatures and garden art partially hidden among the flowers.   More magical pairings of plants and art await your discovery throughout this garden.  

Sit yourself down and make yourself comfy as I have a lot to share about this garden, which I visited twice before the tour as well as on tour day.

Nancy and I went out pre-touring on June 1st.  When we got to north Surfside we took a wrong turn and ended up half a block west of Somsri’s garden.  On that block, I said we must stop and look at the raised septic field garden.

down the block from Somsri

down the block from Somsri

a driftwood serpent

a driftwood serpent

with a marble eye

with a marble eye

When Nancy and I went in the right direction, and saw Somsri’s garden, I realized that she must have created the neighbouring one, too.  Yes, she said, she helped her neighbour by planting that garden and making the artistic touches.  I am always smitten with someone taking her personal gardening outside of her own space to beautify the world.

As usual, I will intermingle pre-tour with tour day photos of Somsri’s garden.

Somsri's garden: Photo by Bob Duke

Somsri’s garden: Photo by Bob Duke

photo by Bob Duke

photo by Bob Duke

On tour day, we arrived at the same time as our friends Ed Strange and Basket Case Greenhouse’s Fred Aust.

Basket Case Nancy was gone visiting her mother, so Fred and Ed toured together.

Basket Case Nancy was gone visiting her mother, so Fred and Ed toured together. (Allan’s photo)

My nephew Jackson

My nephew Jackson

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: Jackson was having a break from riding in the truck.

Pretty soon Debbie Teashon also turned up!  She was touring at a slower pace than ours because of taking photos and videos and listening to some of the music.  In fact, she saw only six of the gardens.  That’s a good reason to have no more than seven gardens next year, in my opinion.

me, Debbie, Ed and Fred

me, Debbie, Ed and Fred

west side of the garden

west side of the garden

south side

south side

main entrance via the driveway

main entrance via the driveway

east side of driveway

east side of driveway

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

dragon2

Allan’s photo

June 1st

June 1st

June 1st: the moment I fell in love with this garden.

June 1st: the moment I fell in love with this garden.

tour day

tour day

Somsri’s repurposed found objects and her driftwood scupltures are throughout the garden all the way out to the street.

driftwood and shell planter

driftwood and shell planter, June 1st

acanthus

patio

patio2

patio

patio3

patio4

Across the patio, the music tent.

walkway to front door, photo by Kathleen Shaw

walkway to front door, photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

entry garden, west garage wall, photo by Kathleen Shaw

Debbie taking photos.

Debbie taking photos.

front porch

front porch

pre-tour visit, June 1st

pre-tour visit, June 1st

west window garden, photo by Kathleen Shaw

west window garden, photo by Kathleen Shaw

pre-tour visit, June 1st

pre-tour visit, June 1st

balls

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

dierama, July 3rd

dierama, July 3rd

and on tour day

and on tour day

planters

Brian O’ Connor was the tour day musician.

brian

This man has an excellent voice.

This man has an excellent voice.

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

daisy

Somsri (whose nickname is Sam), right, walks with a tour guest.

Somsri (whose nickname is Sam), right, walks with a tour guest.

On the west side of the garden, the raised drain field, required in modern septic systems at the beach, has been transformed into an eye level garden.  In my opinion, this area is the star, planted up with cool plants chosen by a true CPN (Certified Plant Nut) who is always on the lookout for something new and interesting.

south end of the drain field garden

south end of the drain field garden

pre-tour visit, June 1st

pre-tour visit, June 1st

June 1st

June 1st

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

eye level garden

eye level garden

ird

Allan’s photo

June 1st

June 1st

Sam and a tour guest

Sam and a tour guest

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

July 3rd

July 3rd

raised2

June 1st

June 1st

July 3rd

July 3rd

June 1st

June 1st

June 1st

June 1st

hens2

June 1st

June 1st

north end of raised garden. June 1st

north end of raised garden. June 1st

June 1st

June 1st

plants

plants

I could walk around and around this raised bed garden for hours.  It’s great seeing the plants at this level.

pulsatilla

pulsatilla

Nothing much gets past Somsri's desire to turn objects into art.

Nothing much gets past Somsri’s desire to turn objects into art.

cup

cup2

Allan’s photo

farm

hens

bird

nest

Allan’s photo

dahlias

Allan’s photo

drift

white centaurea, June 1st

white centaurea, June 1st

A driftwood fence backs up the garden on the north side of the house.

north side of house

north side of house

a tour guest explores

a tour guest explores

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

Among the beach pines on the south and west sides of the lot, Somsri places her driftwood, fishing float, and shell planters and decorations.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

shell

out

mobiles

The garden extends out to the street.

The garden extends out to the street.

Gunnera, June 1st

Gunnera, June 1st

guests

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

out3

out4

out6

Allan’s photo

June 1st

June 1st

out5

Allan’s photo

out7

Allan’s photo

out9

out10

Allan’s photo; Someone else had told Allan to look for the painted driftwood pieces.

out11

June 1st

June 1st

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I am sure that if you were to walk by Somsri’s garden and saw her outside, that she would invite you to tour the garden and share her love and enthusiasm for each plant and each creation.

Somsri talks to us about a plant she brought back, years ago, from Thailand.

Somsri talks to us about a plant she brought back, years ago, from Thailand.

siam4

Allan’s photo

It spends the winter indoors.

It spends the winter indoors.

She calls it Siam Lucky Plant.

She calls it Siam Lucky Plant.

siam3

Allan's photo: Somsri's spouse quietly watching the tour guests.

Allan’s photo: Somsri’s spouse quietly watching the tour guests.

I told him that I loved the garden because walking through it was the best kind of experience of being in the gardener’s mind.  He said Sam has a very busy mind, and he just helps her realize her ideas.  What a nice man.  I also told both of them that Somsri’s edges out all the other gardens as my favourite, because she is an artist and a plant collector and her garden has the quirkiness that I adore.  Another reason it was my favourite is because she does it all herself, and that always pleases me.  It’s not made to impress or dazzle anyone but Sam and her spouse, yet provides delight for anyone who walks through.  It had plants I had never seen before (ones she’d brought from Thailand and Japan years ago when it was easier to bring plants through customs).  I’d like to see the garden in all seasons.

interlude

Before we left for the next garden, I took a walk a block down the street and saw Sam’s influence on other gardens.  The way her passion for gardening has spilled out into the neighbourhood is another reason her garden was this year’s favourite of mine.

a couple of houses to the west

a couple of houses to the west

I like the wooden deck.

I like the wooden deck.

wooden deck next to raised drain field.

wooden deck next to raised drain field.

a half block to the west, the garden Sam helps out with.

a half block to the west, the garden Sam helps out with.

It has that Somsri touch.

It has that Somsri touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 30 October, 2013

We needed to hit a lot of jobs today in order to clear the deck for Halloween Thursday (partly for the pagan rites of Ilwaco, and partly because a rainy Thursday had been predicted).  But first, a pleasant errand:  delivering some extra tubers of Darmera peltata to Windy Meadows Pottery in Surfside.  The Darmera had come from the edge of the pond in Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park where it always outgrows its space. In the fall, we peel the tubers off the pond’s edge so the crew can clean it.

Windy Meadows Pottery

Windy Meadows Pottery

Although we were sorry that potter Jan Richardson was gone for the day, we could see that she was using the newspaper (in this case, magazine) method of building a new garden area.

 a new area

a new area

As always, we admired the most beautiful raised septic….thingie…on the entire Long Beach Peninsula.

a beautiful solution

a beautiful solution

Nowadays newer septic fields have to have a long rectangular mound; this is the best solution I have seen to landscaping one.

tile

The Darmera is a large leaved northwest native that will enjoy the boggy area, as does the Gunnera whose leaves are much much larger than the Darmera’s!

Jan's Gunnera

Jan’s Gunnera

I believe that Jan created this boggy area with a plastic underlayment.

After our self guided garden tour, we checked on Marilyn’s garden, not far away from Jan’s.

tall Miscanthus at Marilyn's

tall Miscanthus Zebrinus (Zebra Grass) at Marilyn’s

midlevel ornamental seed heads

midlevel ornamental seed heads

low growing Bunny Tail grass

low growing Bunny Tail grass

the jungle effect

the jungle effect

the view of neighbour's garage completely hidden...for now

the view of neighbour’s garage completely hidden…for now

After Marilyn’s we did some more autumn thinning of the garden at the Wiegardt Gallery.  Out with more bad asters!

Cosmos still looking fine on the west side of Wiegardt Gallery

Cosmos still looking fine on the west side of Wiegardt Gallery

Next, Klipsan Beach Cottages garden:

KBC fenced garden

KBC fenced garden

Garden shapes become more clear by the week.

Garden shapes become more clear by the week.

the good lavender aster that keeps on going...

the good lavender aster that keeps on going…

Agapanthus seedheads

Agapanthus seedheads

Verbascum 'Southern Charm'

Verbascum ‘Southern Charm’

golden yew...the woods...the cottages

one of quite a few hydrangeas

one of quite a few hydrangeas

Fuchsia magellanica 'Versicolor' in the dog memorial garden

Fuchsia magellanica ‘Versicolor’ looking ethereal in the dog memorial garden

Misty, Debbie, and Raven (two Great Pyrenees and a black Labrador), all of whom I loved very much,  are buried there.

Hydrangea 'Izu No Hana'

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

looking in through the deer fence with Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'

looking in through the deer fence with Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’

I forgot that I had meant to work on the rampant rambling rose….

too much of a good thing

too much of a good thing

so instead we tackled the three maddening ground covers in the lawn border…none of which I planted.  Wild volets, mint, and creeping Jenny.  We did not have time to get it done but it looks much better….

about halfway done

about halfway done

We pulled some shabby lavenders.  They were the wrong plant for here.  Mary agrees that hellebores and heucheras would be a better idea as the bed is shadier than we though it would be.

Sarah kept us entertained throughout the time we worked at KBC….

outside the deer fence

outside the deer fence

and on the driveway

and on the driveway

two

three

Next, we spent a couple of hours at Andersen’s RV Park.

a bright Euonymous elata

a bright Euonymous elata in the west garden

Allan weeded near the restrooms while I did some cutting back down by the garden shed at the east end of the park.

before and after

before and after

I feel inspired to tackle this area extensively next week and hope to remove all of the lady’s mantle and three tired old Stella D’Oro daylilies.

out they must go!

out they must go!

After dumping this week’s wheelbarrow full of debris in the woods, I dug into the new pile of “cow fiber” for the first time so as not to run an empty wheelbarrow back to the shed.

dairy manure...a great mulch

a dent in the pile of dairy manure…a great mulch

Then, at the Anchorage Cottages, we pulled some annuals because I am sick of looking at them even if they have a few nice flowers left.

stemmy and leggy Petunia 'Picotee'...pulled

stemmy and leggy Petunia ‘Picotee’…pulled

Anchorage:  Fuchsia 'Hawkshead' flowering on

Anchorage: Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’ flowering on

The sky darkened too early for dusk and we were so, so tired.  As we departed, a welcome rain came….meaning we did not have to find another hour of work to do.

blissful rain

blissful rain

We hoped the rain would come and go before Halloween evening as we were ALMOST ready for the Ilwaco extravaganza.  A moderate wind had been predicted, so I would wait till the last couple of hours before trick or treat time to finish the potentially topheavy Corridor of Spooky Plants.

Having been inspired by the tall and spooky creature in a front yard over on Spruce Street, I  had asked Allan to get a sheet up and over the garden tuteur.  Even though it had yellow rose flowers all over it, it looked satisfyingly ghostlike in the dusk.

ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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