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Posts Tagged ‘shade’

July 20, 2013

from the program:  Instead of being “deer resistant”, this garden is wildlife friendly and proof that you can coexist with deer and still have plenty of flowers.  Nancy and Marilyn call this their healing garden because, while recovering from knee surgery and from cancer, they have been inspired and comforted by watching plentiful birds and a mother deer and fawns living in the garden.  It was designed and planted by Tangly Cottage Gardening to be viewed and enjoyed year round with structural perennials and ornamental grasses for winter interest. There will be a page at tanglycottage.wordpress/deer featuring deer resistant plants.

This garden on a small lot is one that Allan and I began from scratch in 2006.   I’ve written about it a lot since then, so will just do a walk through here from the day before tour day (when we did the final tidy up) and tour day itself.  I hope the tour guests understood that while small, the garden shows off how you can have lots of flowers even though the deer amble through daily.  If you can see a hose in the photo, it’s the day before tour day.

the view from the street

the view from the street

To the left of this photo (out of the picture) is the driveway, where the neighbour to the east and Marilyn and Nancy have planted shrubs for privacy…eventually.

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour's house

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour’s house

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking south

Above, looking south: We took up our nicest table and chairs, and Nancy thought it was so great to have a sit spot on the lawn that she says she is going to get a table and chairs for it!

Nancy ready for tour guests

Nancy ready for tour guests

She served cookies made by her spouse, Chef Michael of the Depot Restaurant.  There were 200, I believe, and my first hint that the tour was quite successful is when we arrived to find all the cookies gone.  I did not mind at all because I was so happy we had had that many people come through.

The deer, for some reason, focus on the area in front of the front porch, but they have left the lady’s mantle and geranium ‘Rozanne’ alone.

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate was the musician for this garden.  She does a great deal for the community.  She sang at my mother’s memorial service and knew the words to the song my father used to sing, “Because”.  (We made a garden for her in 2008, not the sort we go back and maintain.)  Barbara’s musical repertoire is vast and she was perfect for this venue.  Last year, she was the musician for the Hornbuckle garden, and later Tom and Judy told me people were dancing in their courtyard.

Barbara

side view of front porch (looking east) with Barbara

barbara

looking west

looking west from the lawn

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

The only pre-existing plant in the flower borders was the orange monbretia that had run over the neighbour’s garden to the west.  I consider it a thug, but don’t fight it in the front corner by the street because it intermingles with salal (speaking of thugs!) and adds some colour.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

where the lawn meets the gravel path

Above, where, the lawn meets the gravel path:  Phygelius, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’, lady’s mantle, backed with Miscanthus.

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

west of porch:  Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', Salvia viridis, and Lavender

west of porch: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Salvia viridis, and Lavender

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', photo by Kathleen Sayce

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, photo by Kathleen Sayce

against west wall of house:  Papaver 'Lauren's Grape' and Salvia viridis

against west wall of house: Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’ and Salvia viridis

looking south on tour day

looking south on tour day

looking south

figs

The fig tree grows larger and larger on the east side of the path against the house.  The deer do not eat the figs!

tour guests

tour guests

tour

guests

guests

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

I brought my Deer Xing sign for the chair by the southwest corner of the house and a bowl to fill with water.  It had occurred to me that this bird and deer friendly garden had no water!  Nancy was so taken with this that she agreed a bird bath would be an excellent gift for her mother, Marilyn.

day before

day before

I decided to present the garden quite honestly and did not trim the stems where deer had eaten the white mallow and Crocosmia as they nibbled their way by.  It is impressive enough that there are enough flowers to share and enough things they do not eat.  A chaise lounge is kept across the back porch or the deer will climb right up there and eat flowers (although in my experience, they usually leave dahlias alone).

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

To the south side of the house is a river rock dry pond which is good for drainage in the winter.  On its south side grow native shrubs and trees along the property line, and on the house side we have a path and a planting of Siberian iris, Persicaria ‘Firetail’, and double orange daylilies.

river rock swale

river rock swale

Hops grow up on the east side of porch railing (not shown).  I’ve tried to grow a honeysuckle on the south side but the area does not get watered and so that has not been a success.  If I remembered to water it whenever we check on the garden, it would do much better.

On tour day, we went in to visit Marilyn and saw the garden from a different perspective: from the inside out.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.  Oops.

I planted that tree between two windows and did not expect it to do this well!  Next time we visit the garden we will do some pruning.

another west window...that's better

another west window…that’s better

From this window, a deer has been observed birthing a fawn right in the garden.

another west window

another west window

from the kitchen window, looking south to the greenbelt

from the kitchen window, looking south to the native shrub and tree border

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

As we drove away, we saw one of the garden residents just down the street.

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

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July 1994:  Orson checks out his new garden

July 1994: Orson checks out his new garden

Sadly, our little orange cat, Valene had disappeared while we were living in Ocean Park and we never did find her.   I should have had that old trailer removed, but instead I gardened all around it and it became a permanent fixture.

view from the house

view from the house

Orson by the stone foundation of the house

Orson by the stone foundation of the house

I had divisions of plants which had moved with me to the Sou’wester, then to Shakti Cove, and now to here, and I needed to get them in the ground. As soon as I began planting, I found that with no fences, deer walked right in, so fencing became a high priority.

We were working a bit, for Maxine and her daughter Jo and some odd jobs here and there, but for the first year we could afford to take some time off and just settle in.

(Below) Here’s what the pond looked like in  July 1994. We were told that at the site of this pond had been an old dormitory for Chinese men, who worked in the fish processing plants but were not allowed to fish or to bring their families. When former owners Will and Cheri  had the pond dredged out, they found Chinese bowls and bottles.

pond in July '94

pond in July ’94

(Below)
Robert by the pond in August 1994 after we attacked the swamp grass that was taking it over (and still wants to come back to this day).

pond in August '94

pond in August ’94

living room view, July '94

living room view, July ’94

By autumn 1994, I had started garden beds around the trailer, down the north side, and in the lower lawn, and Robert had made a fence of driftwood and chicken wire which was all we could afford.

by autumn '94

by autumn ’94

(Below) Autumn as Orson explored new garden beds. The idea of two Skyrocket Junipers did not work; they plotzed within a year or two.

Orson in autumn

Orson in autumn

We all reveled in having a home of our own again.

We all reveled in having a home of our own again.

(Below) Just outside our front door. Beaky, our VW van, had taken its last trip from Shakti Cove to our new house, and we had bought the Ford pick up from a local gardener. This area is completely private and fenced nowadays.

entry patio

entry patio

autumn 1994

autumn 1994

 autumn '94

autumn ’94

December .94

December ’94

360 Square feet plus loft was not working for us very well, so Robert, who always seemed to have to build a room when we moved to a new place, remodelled the front porch into an extra space. Bryan came down and helped us build the room, and also took us up to Seattle to see one of our favourite bands, Red Dress, perform on New Year’s Eve.

enclosing the front porch

enclosing the front porch

(We were good citizens and asked at the county building if we needed a permit to enclose the porch and were told no.  I am sure it is a different story nowadays.)

While Robert worked on the porch, a stray back lad came by two days in a row with a chewed off leash dangling.  He was at Sid’s Market in Seaview a couple of nights later, running in and out to the donut section. We offered him a ride and he jumped right in our truck. Soon we realized he was a crazy escape artist and obsessed car chasing dog, about 9 months old, but we kept him anyway and named him Bertie Woofter. He did nothing over the years to make our life calmer.

Robert and Bertie

Robert and Bertie at the beach

Bertie lived to chase cars and to run, swim and fetch.

Bertie Woofter

Bertie Woofter

January 1995

January 1995

january

below: view out kitchen window, January ’95. We had been told our property ran all the way to the burn barrel, but it turned out that area was actually on an undeveloped city street. Bertie was soon to crack the glass of the living room window that faces this view when he could not bear that we were outside while he was inside.

back yard, Jan. '95

back yard, Jan. ’95

In the winter, we got our new tiny kitchen put together with some old cabinets that had come from that old farm we had cleaned up the spring and summer before.

kitchen window

kitchen window

For the next 14 years, I functioned with a rustic little kitchen, just big enough for one person to stand in….usually Robert, because he liked to cook.

kitchen window from the back porch, spring '95

kitchen window from the back porch, spring ’95

Below: spring 1995, working on new garden beds. Bertie is tied to something or he would have been down the street chasing cars. (Years later, when I read “Marley and Me”, I thought “Those people don’t know what a bad dog is!”)

spring 1995

spring 1995

We had created the bed next to Robert (below) in autumn of ’94.

north side of garden, spring '95

north side of garden, spring ’95

expanding the north side border

expanding the north side border

the lower garden coming together, spring '95

the lower garden coming together, spring ’95

My idea was to have the stream outflow from the pond run under an arbour in the middle of the lower garden.

Euphorbia in lower garden

Euphorbia in lower garden

Iris by the pond, 1995

Iris by the pond, 1995

We had learned that our pond had not only frogs, but also crawfish.

looking west from the street, 1995

looking west from the street, 1995

Below:  lower garden 1995, enclosed in driftwood and wire deer fence. I had built most of the beds with soil on top of thickly layered newspaper.

lower

Below:  looking down from the house, summer 95. That area across the pond was still wild and roughly unwalkable.

view from house

view from house

Below: shade garden bed in midsummer.  I was learning that well over half of my garden was deeply shady.

shade bed

shade bed

Here was how the entry area to our house looked when we bought the place in 1994…

the patio by the front door when we first got the house (1994)

the patio by the front door when we first got the house (1994)

Robert took all sorts of bricks that we found buried in the garden and made a lovely patio.

patio autumn 1995

patio autumn 1995

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the front garden

The tour brochure described Marc McCalmon and Sara Brallier’s Froggy Bottom garden in DuPont thus:  Froggy Bottom garden, DuPont, “a 600 foot long stroll path and tumbling stream lead downhill to a stone and gravel patio at the foot of the garden, furnished with…owner-made benches inspired by a visit to Beth Chatto’s garden”.  Our speaker from the UK was the famous Adrian Bloom of Blooms of Bressingham, whose garden is “Foggy Bottom”, so this was perfect to have on the tour.

entry sign

in the gate

just inside

the garden's upper level

Walk with me down Froggy Bottom's stroll path.

Here we turn to look back up the path.

Now we look down to the lower patio.

Sheila takes a detour, crossing the waterfall stream.

We pass a bank of artfully placed rocks.

Strolling on down...

A shady border is to our left.

We approach the lower patio.

And again we look back.

The stream from above ends in a pool by the lower patio.

We pause in admiration.

Just look at those inlaid stones.

Standing on those inlaid stones, we look up at the waterfall.

The water theme carries past the lower patio with this dry creek bed....

...that ends in the very bottom of the garden.

At the bottom, a borrowed view, and borrowed space to hang a birdhouse.

We'd like to sit around the fire but have many gardens still to see.

From the fire circle, we look back at a little shed...

...and at another view of the waterfall pool.

Again we admire the paving.

We gaze up the hill from the fire circle.

One last look at the lower pool.

Back we go up the stroll path, past the shady corner.

At the top again, we explore the gardens and pond.

braving the stepping stones

the upper pond...

bog plants

and another view

It's hard to leave this garden.

I was a little embarrassed by these, er, pot "feet" until I realized the pun: "Froggy Bottom".

Alliums

And so we depart, onward to more gardens.  The only way to get to spend enough time in a garden like this is to create it yourself, attach yourself to the creator, or become their jobbing gardener.

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