Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Streissguth Gardens’

Friday, 12 January 2018 

From my chair, written on my iPad, and inspired by Ian Whitcomb (see my previous post) to blather on a bit more than usual. 

I made it out to water in my greenhouse, the furthest I have gotten into the garden since picking bouquets for Allan’s party on January 2nd.  

The rain gauges showed the rainfall that has made staying indoors for the past week not too frustrating. 

Skooter accompanied me. 

Bulb foliage is emerging in the new window boxes. 

I hope I will be well enough to cut back the epimediums soon. Positive thinking: I will be. 

The fern that Todd gave Allan for his birthday:

I think back to that glorious January 2nd birthday and how wonderful it was to surprise Allan with a bigger party than he had expected. I remember how healthy and energetic I felt (little knowing I would be felled by shingles less than two days later) and how well chuffed I was to have managed, with the help of friends, to organize such a splendid shindig.

 I thought about how once a friend had sternly told me that no one should have a potluck party; it simply was not the thing to do, and no party should be held unless one could pull off a dinner worthy of Martha Stewart. She was not joking. I secretly thought, “Okay then, you won’t be invited to my 60th birthday.”  That conversation was the moment when I knew the friendship was doomed by a class difference too wide to cross. She was too rich for my blood. Something about the conversation disheartened me enough that I  later solved the 60th year party problem by decamping to the Sylvia Beach Hotel five days. 

Not only did I need to surprise Allan with potluck items for his big 65th (or he would have realized how big the party was going to be), but… working class people have potlucks and that is just the way it is. 

After Allan’s party, I kept thinking of people I wish I could have invited. My criteria was to invite people who have invited  us into their homes. I figured that then the invitation would be a pleasure and not a burden.  But I am sure I forgot some. I also forgot to give a shout out to J9’s party helper business, Have Tux, Will Travel.  As a guest, she slipped into party help mode, including washing up, and made everything easier. I also forgot to make a little fuss of celebration at the party that it was the 12th anniversary to the day of Allan moving here. 

My next big party plan is for July 2009, which will mark the 25th anniversary of when I moved to the town of Ilwaco.  That can be a garden party. 

Today, once I returned from my very brief foray outside, I settled in with an interlibrary loan. 

Here’s a clear shot of the cover. 


I had discovered this garden while on a walk home from a Capitol Hill housecleaning job to my home in Greenwood in the late 1980s.  I used to walk miles between work and home. Sometimes a two hour walk would be faster than taking three buses and would be a way to discover wonderful places. I nosed around the hillside garden, not sure if I were really allowed to be there, and visited it several times, without ever meeting the owners, before I left Seattle in December 1992. Recently, I saw that the garden was to be featured on a (very expensive) Pacific Horticulture garden tour weekend. Recognizing it by one photo, I learned its actual name and found its website, at streissguthgardens.com. (The website seems to be down as I write this so I can’t link to it yet.) 

You can read more about it here.  And here.

The beginning of the gardens is the perfect story of gardening neighbors:


I have sort of an obsession with gardening neighbors, especially after finding a chapter on that topic in the book Gardening from the Heart: Why Gardeners Garden. 


I have longed for the glory of a gardening neighbor and never quite got there. Once I thought I had, with someone nearby but not quite next door. I was wrong, and it was deeply disappointing. I have felt envious when touring garden neighbors’ adjoining paradises on garden tours in Portland and Aberdeen.

Back to the Streissguth gardens.  I enjoyed reading about gardening on a hillside of blue clay, as parts of my previous Ilwaco garden was like that.  I had had no idea of the battle to save the hillside from development.  The solution of donating their garden to the city was genius and so admirable. 


I appreciate their use of human powered tools. 

One of the principles of the Streissguth Gardens that strongly speaks to me : “a good garden and its house should be a gift to its neighbors.”

Those of you who live in or visit Seattle, do visit this garden and send me some photos, if you would be so kind. 

The last time I visited the garden, still not knowing its name, was with a friend in July of 2003. Not even sure if I could find it again, we drove Capitol Hill streets until we came upon it from above. 

Here are my photos from that afternoon. 

Looking down the hill to the garages at the bottom of the garden: That may have been one of the garden owners. We didn’t chat as she seemed very busy in the vegetable garden (and I was shy).


Looking to the north side into the private part of the garden, well described in the book. 




Down by the old garages at the base of the hill:


The damp areas by the pond that catches water run off:

The beauty of a hillside garden:

The friend I was with, lost now in the mists of time, was not a gardener and could not understand my rapture over the garden. I’m glad I took photos anyway (before digital camera) and wish I had taken more.

Back in 2018, I finished the day of a convalescent with a suspense novel. Quite good, and set in the wild forests of Oregon. 


While I’ve been immersed in books, our friends Scott and Tony visited Oysteville,  and Tony took this photo of THE Oysteville garden. 

Photo by Tony Hofer

Read Full Post »