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Posts Tagged ‘terraced garden’

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, 16 July 2016

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

garden five:  “The Art of Taming a Hillside”

We got a taste of how much the hillside needed to be tamed as we approached this garden up a very steep narrow road, met at the top by other vehicles that had not been able to find parking and wanted to come down.  There was just one panicky scream from the passenger seat as we backed down the long narrow slope and found a parking spot two blocks away (and a slightly less steep incline to walk up).

the view as we walked along the street to the garden

the view as we walked along the one lane street to the garden.  The water is the Chehalis River.


narrow street, narrow sidewalk (Allan's photo)

narrow street, narrow sidewalk (Allan’s photo)


The slope we had to back down is steeper than it looks in this photo of Allan's.

The slope we had to back down is steeper than it looks in this photo of Allan’s.

Because I have recently decided not to use surnames in describing most gardens (for privacy reasons), this particular program description looks a bit funny after retouching:

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It was not until I began writing this post that I saw the mobility issues warning in the garden description.  I find it so difficult to focus on garden descriptions the day of a tour that I completely missed it.  My reading comprehension suffers because of eagerness to get into the garden.  (That’s why I think it is helpful to have a Facebook page or a newspaper article with descriptions and warnings…even maybe locations of nearest restrooms!…to peruse in advance of a tour, to help with planning one’s day.)

To anyone just joining this blog: I have a collapsed knee (which will be dealt with this winter) and some dizziness and balance issues AND acrophobia.  I will work through all of these to see a worthwhile garden and a warning, even if seen, would not have stopped me from trying.

Here I blithely go, not having noticed the big "mobility issues" warning.

Here I blithely go, not having noticed the big “mobility issues” warning.


arriving at last!

arriving at last!

my journey through the amazing hillside garden

Entering the garden, past the check in table: I look to my right. That doesn't really look like the path.

Entering the garden, past the check in table: I look to my right. That doesn’t really look like a path, more like I’d be walking in a garden bed.  It was a little more vertical than it looks in the photo.


to my left: a high quality shade bed

to my left:  shade bed with good plants


straight ahead

straight ahead


a bit further, to my right: The ivy is on a vertical hill.

a bit further, to my right: The ivy is on a vertical hill.


to my right, below: the spring run-off

to my right, below: the spring run-off


I dither for awhile about whether or not to go straight ahead. Allan goes onward; I decide to try another way.

I dither for awhile about whether or not to go straight ahead. Allan goes onward; I decide to try another way.


feeling doubtful

feeling doubtful, about to turn back

I needed to find a way UP that I was pretty sure I could also use to get back DOWN.

Okay...I am going this way after all. Hope it is a real path!

Okay…I am going this way after all. Hope it is a real path!


All righty, I got this far! Looking down on the greenhouse and the entry to the garden.

All righty, I got this far! Looking down on the greenhouse and the entry to the garden.


good plantings to keep me going

good plantings to keep me going


Now I am on a path that I know is legit.

Now I am on a path that I know is legit.


looking back after making it somewhat further.

looking back after making it somewhat further.


This is midlevel in the garden.

This is midlevel in the garden.


The terrace or plateau has room for several sit spots.

The terrace or plateau has room for several sit spots.


a large level terrace with paths and a patio

large level terrace with paths and a patio


well planted, intricate plant diversity

well planted, intricate plant diversity

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along the fence. I heard chickens that are in the neighbour's yard.

along the fence. I heard chickens that are in the neighbouring yard.


at the end of the fence walkway

at the end of the fence walkway


looking back

looking back


skilled and intricate construction at the base of the hill. Note the door to the right into the compost bin enclosure.

skilled and intricate construction at the base of the next hillside. Note the door to the right into the compost bin enclosure.  Behind the grate: water run-off from the spring.


water, same stream that appeared way below at the entrance to the garden.

water, same stream that appeared way below at the entrance to the garden.

I was astounded to see the brilliant way that the gardeners had solved the problem of an almost vertical hillside.  If only I had thought of this for the vertical clay hill that sat next to the front patio of my old garden—a planting problem that daunted me for 14 years.

My jaw dropped.

My jaw dropped. What a brilliant solution!


a collection of cool ferns and more

a collection of cool ferns and more

Steve, the garden owner, stood nearby as I paced back and forth, marveling.  “HOW?”  I asked him.  He told me he had driven rebar 8 feet (I think) into the hardpan to support this structure.

I just can't get enough of this.

I just can’t get enough of this.


He must lay a ladder against it to climb up and maintain it so well??

He must lay a ladder against it to climb up and maintain it so well??

I decides I had better figure out how in the world I was going to get back down to the street.  Maybe I could find a better way than the bark slope.  It was worrying me.

Looking through an arbour to a bridge that goes to the house.

Looking through an arbour to a bridge that goes to the house.


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by the bridge to the house


I scuttle across quickly.

I scuttle across quickly.


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view from the side porch of the house


Here are the stairs Allan came up. Hmmm.

Here are the stairs Allan came up. Hmmm. No……..

I decided I would go back down the bark-y slope…eventually.  Meanwhile, I went back to the amazing hillside planters.

On the way back: The lattice is decorated with china pieces.

On the way back: The lattice is decorated with teacup and saucer creations that I like so much.


Admiring the hill planting some more. Look: I saw people WAAAAY up top and was not sure how they got there.

Admiring the hill planting some more. Look: I saw people WAAAAY up top and was not sure how they got there.  WAY up over the stone wall is another path.


I see Impatiens omeiana and other cool plants to delight a collector.

I see Impatiens omeiana and other cool plants to delight a collector.


boxes spilling over with goodness

boxes spilling over with planty goodness

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I admired every detail, also postponing the inevitable trip back down the lower barky slope.  But then…Allan appeared and told me there was an alley up above!  Similar to the previous garden, I had a way out other than going back down.

looking up from the base of the planted boxes. Allan is up there, checking it out.

looking up from the base of the planted boxes. Allan is up there, checking it out.  There is a gate to the alley.

I found out that the upper deck ALSO had a gate to the alley.  The owner had told Allan that’s how they bring in their groceries.  Thinking about it, it would be a long grocery carry from the bottom, over the lower bridges and up the stairs.

last look at the central plateau

last look at the central plateau

I think I would have explored the many beds of the central plateau better if I had known I had an easy way out.  Now I would like to go back and peruse the plants more thoroughly.

looking at the garden stairs that might take me to the alley gate

looking at the garden stairs that might take me to the alley gate


probably not (Allan's photo)

probably not (Allan’s photo)

I crossed the bridge to the house again, climbed some enclosed stairs with a nice railing, and emerged onto the back deck.

I found my way to the top level to exit into the alleyway.

I found my way to the top level to exit into the alleyway.


one of those clacking crow fountains that I love.

one of those clacking crow fountains that I love.


not sure what, fire or water?

not sure what, fire or water?

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alongside the deck

alongside the deck


from the back gate, an easy way out

from the back gate, an easy way out

From the alley, I found the exterior gate that led to that mysterious path WAY above the wooden planters.

steps down to the center terrace

steps down to the center terrace


The path along the uppermost level. I would have been clutching that railing.

The path along the uppermost level. I would have been clutching that railing. Or maybe fainting.

The stream from the spring went underneath the alley. (I’ve since learned this is a one way city street, not an alley.)

across the alley: water from the spring

across the alley: water from the spring


Thus begins the water course that is diverted down through the levels of the garden.

Thus begins the water course that is diverted down through the levels of the garden.  I wonder if it flows dramatically in the winter or on rainy days?

Usually, I blend Allan’s and my photos together to describe a garden, even though we often walk through at a different pace and direction.  This particular garden was so complex and interesting and challenging to describe that I am going to let Allan’s photos tell their own story about his experience of the hillside.

Allan’s exploration of the astonishing hillside garden

entering from the street

entering from the street


next to the greenhouse

next to the greenhouse


We have a birdhouse just like that from Ilwaco Saturday Market!

We have a birdhouse just like that from Ilwaco Saturday Market!

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I am walking away; Allan goes on up the path and stairs.

I am walking away to try a different climb; Allan goes on up the path and stairs.


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the way up


looking back

looking back

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another explorer

another explorer


Many ladders must be necessary for this garden.

Many ladders and scaffolding might be necessary for this garden (and, owner Steve said, painting the house).


looking down

looking down


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Top of photo: You can see the very tiptop walkway with the railing along the fence.

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beds next to the deck


the upper deck

the upper deck

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window low down by the deck

window low down by the deck


in a workshop window next to the deck: meticulous

in a workshop window next to the deck: meticulous

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looking down into the garden. I’m at the base of the wooden planters on the steep slope.


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from the deck

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a way up to the topmost level

a way up to the topmost level


agile not acrophobic people on the uppermost path

non acrophobic people on the uppermost path

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(Allan is like a mountain goat with a good head for heights.)

(Allan is like a mountain goat with a good head for heights.)


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intricate levels.  This is the topmost, and you can see one of the wooden planter boxes.


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the topmost path


looking down from the highest point

looking down from the highest point


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at the end of the upper path


the hillside boxes

the hillside boxes


the back deck again

the back deck again, just before we exited

This was one of the most fascinating gardens I have ever seen, with good plant diversity, artistry, and impressive engineering skills.  I have been thinking about it a lot since tour day and am so glad I managed to see it (and also that Allan filled in with photos of the areas I did not attain).  Every stone, paver, plant, and cubic foot of mulch had to be brought in up or down stairs.

Having now visited five out of eight, I continued to marvel at how perfectly groomed they all were for tour day: No weedy bits around the edges, every plant deadheaded and dead-leafed (any unsightly leaf removed).  This is what I hope for from a garden tour.

Next: One of my favourite finds on a garden tour: gardening neighbours.

 

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