Posts Tagged ‘Surfside Washington’

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

7.  “Fantastic, easy-care RV lot maximizes fun, minimizes maintenance.”

Part of the Surfside lifestyle is folks bringing their RVS for the summer.  Many lots have a shed on them for winter storage, but the RVs can’t be left all winter.  This tour garden was on an RV lot that had been in the family for many years.

Allan’s photo

The fire circle was made by the previous generation, with rocks brought from the Toutle River.

Allan’s photo

We learned that the owners hail from the beautiful town of Castle Rock and love it there.  You may recall that we were mind-boggled by the beauty of the gardens there.

8. “Amazing transformation in just a few years. Terraced for easy access, perennials for easy maintenance.”

The before photos at the eighth garden showed an impressive change.

a plant list for tour guests to take

We stopped by the Homeowners Association building on our way to the last garden.  They had gotten a good supply of donations to the food bank.

Allan’s photo

9. “Custom fireplace is a focal point for this low maintenance beauty.”

The last garden took us into familiar territory on a short cul de sac where we used to work.

This is the garden bed that divides the fireplace garden from what once was Marilyn’s garden.

Spanish fir

Around to the back garden.

back to a familiar garden

Now that our official touring was done, we went next door to barge in on the new owners of “Marilyn’s garden.”  They had called me in mid spring for some plant ID help, and I am so bad at making phone calls that I never called back.  Today, I could hear them outside gardening.

The view below may look familiar from many old blog posts.  This is the garden where we first met Skooter, who came to live with us after Marilyn died.

The owners after Marilyn had seemed to like the garden at first.  They hired friends of ours, who we recommended, to help them care for it, but over the next two years said owners wanted many plants removed and garden areas covered with landscape fabric and river rock.  Now they have moved on and gardeners live there again.  I am so happy about that.  We strolled the garden with the new owners and IDed the plants that remain.  They love the height of the garden and are adding plants back in.

The one change I like that happened two years ago was was the addition of this bed along the front.  Marilyn liked an open view.  I like complete enclosure.

This delightfully sweet dog was visiting.

These two (not a two-bodied dog) are residents of the garden.

Allan’s photo

This garden should surely be on any future Surfside tour.

Our garden tour day was not done.  We still had three more garden visits to make on the way home.



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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

Somsri’s Garden

I had been hoping that Somsri’s wonderful garden, which we have visited before, would be on this tour.


Allan’s photo

Marble art is Sam’s new passion.

Pirates and mermaids have become a theme since we last were there.

Her septic vault planting was the inspiration for the whole block.

Somsri (Sam) Allan’s photo

She makes all the concrete (hypertufa?) leaves.

She sells the leaves at local art shows.

The garden has moved a little further out to the street since our last visit.

Allan’s photo

Next: the rest of the Yardscape Tour gardens, in one post which will publish this evening, because our blog is falling too far behind real time.

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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

We continued our tour with four gardens on one block at the north end of Surfside.  Each had a septic vault, common with new septic systems.

3. “RV lot designed for easy care, easy access. See a new septic vault installation.  Compare to the vault just across the street, to see the transformation!”

Surfside allows RV dwellers, with some restrictions. I think that one rule is that the RV can’t be left all year.

In this small lot at the north end of Seabreeze Lake, we viewed new planting on a new septic vault.

A lake view sit spot…

…..would make for wonderful birdwatching.

4. “Gorgeous front yard planted with mature, low maintenance varieties for the above ground septic vault.”

Right across the street is a mature septic vault planting.

This garden wrapped around to the back of the house.

love the driftwood fence and arch

The back garden segues into the wild woods.

a handsome gunnera
Allan’s photo

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Cellophane gives the look of water. (Allan’s photo)

We like the list of questions that most gardeners answered.

I could be very happy with that woodsy back garden view.

5. “Another easy-care, low water use yard, with planted above-ground septic.”

Allan’s photo

I love the look of the boardwalk, although one of the advantages of a septic vault garden is that it is the perfect height to weed while standing next to it. It is too wide to reach the middle, though.


Allan’s photo

I am a little uncomfortable about the Round Up.  Let’s just say it is not what we do.

Allan’s photo

Next: Just down the block, a wonderful garden that we have visited before.  I have heard that its owner was the inspiration and helper for the septic vault gardens all down the block.



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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Surfside Yardscape Tour

Surfside is directly across from Oysterville on the ocean side of the Long Beach Peninsula  Its addresses are “Ocean Park”, which may be why it’s hard to find a map showing it by name.

We began at the Homeowners Association office.

Yay, a garden tour!

Inside, informative displays and handouts were on offer.

The neighborhood has two particular fire hazards, beach pines and dune grass.  The unamended ground is sand.

Excellent.  This was a serious garden tour.  I picked up the current Washington State noxious weed pamphlet and other useful literature and the attractive trifold tour pamphlet.

We each were given a free packet of seeds along with the tour guide.

view out the window of the Surfside canal

 I was sorry to see that Surfside resident George Miller’s garden was not on the tour. I had been sure it would be, having seen his many photos of its beauty on a local gardening Facebook group.

On to the first two gardens, one on a small lake and one on the oceanfront.

1.  “See what you can do with a small space and waterfront property.”

The north end of the peninsula is where sand dollars are to be found.

Seabreeze Lake

The owner had a Green Goddess calla lily and had hoped for a white one.

I told her I’d be happy to trade a white one for some starts of that green one!

blue and white lithodora (Allan’s photo)

2. Beautiful, owner-created front yard, easy-care, water-wise perennials, deer-resistant plantings.”

Allan’s photo

The house fronts onto the dunes.



We learned that our friend Ed Strange (now retired from landscaping) had helped design and install the hardscape.

This dwarf buddleia was much asked about.

We saw the informative handout and realized that every garden had one; we had missed it at the first garden. What an excellent idea.

As we drove on, we passed the free chipping site for residents.  It’s a good idea because it prevents flammable piles of debris.

Surfside has a somewhat controversial ordinance that all shore pines on properties on the flatland must be pruned to a certain height to preserve the view of the people on the hill. We had just missed a lecture from the knowledgeable Arbor Care arborists from Astoria.  I would be interested to know if they feel that all that topping affects the health of the trees. It must create a lot of chipping material.

Next, three septic vault gardens (or as we call it in Diane’s garden, “raised box”; now we know the real name).


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Monday, 28 September 2015

Surfside in the Water

While working and visiting in Surfside, I have noticed a waterway bisecting the community. Maybe forty feet wide, it seems to wind from one end to the other. It isn’t tidal as it doesn’t drain into the ocean. Like Ocean Shores, it offers back yard views, similar to following a train track through a city.

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Up the North Beach Peninsula

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I launched at 350th & G st for the northern waterway.

A side benefit of this blog is that that I was offered a nine foot mini-kayak over the summer by blog reader MaryBeth for a price I couldn’t pass up. It fits inside the van even with the with the garden tools.  I can carry it like a big suitcase across fields and culverts.


The day I bought this, MaryBeth and I had a good conversation abut how wet the interior of the boat would be. Sit on top (SOT) kayaks have ‘scuppers’ that let water in and out. I’ve tried plugging them but then the water that splashes in just gets deeper and deeper. I don’t wear cotton shoes or pants as there is always a puddle flowing in or draining out.


SCUPPER: “an opening cut through the bulwarks of a ship so that water falling on deck may flow overboard” (Merriam-Webster)

This kind of boat is unsinkable and would probably float equally well upside down without having my legs stuck under a deck. No way to do a proper ‘eskimo roll’, I’d just float out.


An ‘eskimo roll’ (Steps 1,2 & 3 were not shown due to profanity).

The northern waterway had lots of squiggly green growth.


No problem, I bring my own drinking water.


Maybe not so wild and unexplored


Sometimes it can be woodsy


A little fence discourages critters from trotting up from the canal.

“[Geese] will eat slugs, snails, worms, froglets and small rodents . . . this is normally baby rats and mice but keep them away from children’s pets unless you wish to explain where hamster has gone.” from poultrypages.com


No fence here. The geese are hunting for slugs & bugs while they fertilize the lawn.


A pair auditioning for yard art.


I just missed getting a picture of a raccoon coming down this ramp. With the glass door open the owners may someday find a hungry critter and a damaged screen door.


I saw a lot of these paddle boats. Foot powered, it leaves your hands free for a camera or a tasty beverage.


After teasing me away from the launch a dragon fly posed for a picture.

It just takes an hour to explore this 1.5 mile waterway end to end. Off I went to find a launch to check out the longer canal to the south.

Great Day Cafe next to Surfside Golf Course would have made me an excellent lunch. However, they are closed Sundays and Mondays. I forgot my lunch at home so it was just vanilla wafers & water today.


Sadly today is a Monday

There is a second longer waterway south that extends from 338th south to 295th, about 2.5 miles long. After driving around I think the most public launch available is located just north of the Homeowner’s Association building. I didn’t paddle very far north but I did reach the southern end.

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The 315th auto bridge is in the background.


There were plastic ducks…


…and steel pelicans.


There were wooden birds on benches…


…and a bench to fly away from.


Here was a secret bench almost overgrown.


There were tree houses.



Someone climbed that tree, tied up that boat and has built themselves a tree house. Looks like a fun childhood.


There was evidence of gardeners.


A blue bottle tree.


A below the root level view of a pampas grass.

A new homeowner from the ridge that overlooks Surfside saw me out on the water and came down to visit. His house has a guaranteed view over Surfside to the ocean. That has resulted in a lot of tree-topping as tall trees in lower Surfside are legally required to be mowed short.


Lichen is the only green on a dead tree that has been topped.


The waterway stops at at 300th St.

I could have continued south five more blocks with the little boat if I carried it over the roadway but I hadn’t gone north of 315th yet so back I went.


Looking south from 300th over a muddy beach.


Past a quiet but very alert dog pacing back and forth.


The Shrubbery at the Surfside Mini mart/video store as seen over an old canoe. This is roped off and not a public boat launch.

This is an odd house. There is a windowless door under the floodlight but no view at all of the water.


Built for a fine view of the street.

Earlier, as I was making a u-turn to get better picture of decor on an empty house, there was a resident giving  me a wave from their window. A window that faced the water as there is a lot of charm in a community built on the water.


Next: Before going back to work (yes, we do still work sometimes), we re-visit the Oysterville garden.

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