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Posts Tagged ‘vegetable gardens’

Friday, September 20, 2013, part two

On our way home from a shopping trip to Astoria, we stopped at Inspirations Stained Glass to finally pick up the two little fish and a bowl that we had made on cash mob day back in June.  That shows how busy our summer has been; any Saturday trip taking us through Chinook town has been rushes to get across the river for one garden tour or another!

Who did we find at the stained glass workshop but Rob from Andersen’s RV Park!  He’s making a stained glass window for his RV and knew what he was doing.

Rob making stained glass window

Rob making stained glass window

Inspirations: a good place to find glass "jewels" for garden decoration

Inspirations: a good place to find glass “jewels” for garden decoration

I do love this fish on a stream of glass jewels.

I do love this fish on a stream of glass jewels.

And then, after an interlude at home, we went to pick up the Long Beach check.  A sure sign of fall is the fact that all the baskets have been removed from downtown and from city hall.

a sad sight to see the baskets gone...

a sad sight to see the baskets gone…

another autumnal sign: Colchicum in the city hall entry garden

another autumnal sign: Colchicum in the city hall entry garden

We then checked out a new (old) job.  We’ve worked for Erin on and off at her Long Beach house and cottage.  This year, we didn’t have time in the summer to do the cottage garden but she had another able gardening friend who took care of it.  Now time is freeing up and we can consider doing some sort of gardening at the big house.

We were greeting first by a cute and friendly cat.

Felix

Felix

And then by Erin, who gave me a huge hug because she was so happy we had finally found time to talk about her garden.  We looked briefly at the cottage garden and offered to give it a good fall clean up (although it looks good).  Our attention turned to the big house.

In 1974 or 75, when I visited the beach with my old friend Mary, we took a walk and got lost in the dunes.   We ended up getting back to the road by coming onto private property and passing an old house that I photographed in awe.  It has a widow’s walk and is one of the grandest houses in Long Beach.

Glenn house

Glenn house

I had a copy of this photo tacked to my wall for the next 20 years to remind myself that I had formed a dream of living on the “North Beach Peninsula” as it was then known. The cosmic thing would have been if I had ended up owning this house, but it was still pretty cosmic that I met Erin and ended up making a garden around the big house in 2001.  Back then, we started by making a boat garden.

boat planted up with cosmos

boat planted up with cosmos, 2001

Today we saw the boat has been reclaimed by nature.

former garden boat, Sept 2013

former garden boat, Sept 2013

We also enhanced an area by the south side porch in 2001 with lots of flowers.

entry garden

entry garden

I was amused to see that that arc shaped garden is now the playground for Erin’s son.

a big sandbox!

a big sandbox!

I think that is ideal, and what a great way to be able to start with a blank slate someday when he and his friends have outgrown the sandbox.

Along the porch, Erin and her mom have planted lavender and grasses, an excellent choice.

porch garden

porch garden

Back then, the cottage to the east of the big house was lived in by Erin’s friend Paul.

Paul's cottage gate

Paul’s cottage gate

Later we took care of the cottage garden while Erin lived there and while it was a rental, but it never made it onto our roster of weekly or biweekly jobs.  The big house was empty for awhile, but now that it is occupied again the question is:  What to do with the garden?

The arc garden is a sandbox, and the porch gardens are just fine the way they are.  The wonderful old garden boat is no more.  So what to do?

looking northeast to porch and sandbox

looking northeast to porch and sandbox

Looking southwest from the stone steps next to the sandbox, we contemplated the vast stretch of lawn.

lawn, then dunes, then beach

lawn, then dunes, then beach

We are not looking for big new jobs, but I have a long interest in this house so I said to Erin that we could maybe do a couple of big flower beds like we have in our back garden.  They would be different from mine in that deer frequent this garden and it would be on sand rather than the dirt with a high water table that keeps our back garden so lush.  The slope of the lawn would allow the view over the dune grass to be still visible even with fairly tall plants.

I suggested Erin look for another garden boat that we could plant up for her.  She is already on that quest.  As for her desire for a wonderful fire circle, I suggested she call Bill Clearman who is a genius at carpentry, stonework, concrete, and hardscaping, none of which are our forté.

the simple fire circle now

the simple fire circle now

I may be mad, but I could imagine taking on some sort of big project here…especially since Erin has the gardening friend who could do a lot of the maintenance.  It will be interesting to think about this and perhaps, just perhaps, make a new garden bed for Erin this winter.

Meanwhile, we’ll tidy up the cottage garden and keep thinking.

After visiting Erin, we finally had time to stop by Nancy and Phil Allen’s to see how her new garden is doing.  Just like Erin’s garden might be a late fall project for 2013, helping Nancy with her new flowerbed was our 2012 fall project.

The mixed flower border is still not as good as I would like.

pretty enough but I want more!

pretty enough but I want more!

I haven’t checked on it enough or encouraged the adding of enough plants.  I’ll remedy this by bringing more plant starts this fall.

Nancy’s vegetable garden continues to impress with its productivity and attractiveness.

bean tower

bean tower and spuds

purple bush beans

purple bush beans

Why can’t I get a nice veg garden going like Nancy’s?  I just cannot seem to spare the room to make a tidy area like this:

a beautiful vegetable area

a beautiful vegetable and herb area

We sat inside because the rain had returned; Phil’s remodeling of their historic old home has come along to the wonderful moment of the kitchen having a gorgeous oak floor and the lighting and painting being almost done.

kitchen window

kitchen window

a charming old kitchen cupboard

a charming old kitchen cabinet

a perfect detail by the stairs

a perfect detail by the stairs

Nancy's harvest bowl

Nancy’s harvest bowl

We had to hightail it home before dark so that Allan could install a headlight to replace a burnt out one.  And I found our day off had been so eventful that it took me not one, but two evenings to blog about it.

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I learned just in time to call it by the right name for this entry that this garden is known as Pink Poppy Farm!

from the program:   The Dickerson garden:  Allow yourself time to explore this expansive, one acre country garden where edibles and flowers grow in harmony, surrounded by mature conifers which provide privacy and some wind protection. As you enter the front gate, see swirls of lavender and rosemary filling deep perennial beds.  After circling a ring of dahlias,  head for the cutest chicken house ever, “The Imperial Chicken Palace,” which is filled with 13 gorgeous hens.  Meandering through the property you will see  2 poly tunnels which shelter tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, peppers and more.  Masters of edible landscapes, the owners have lived and worked on the grounds for 19 years.  The garden is full of clever ideas for watering, fencing, and decor.

Expansive indeed, this garden is going to make for a long entry!

Our friend Kathleen got this good shot of the entry gate:

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

Inside the gate, we saw to our right a lavender garden and ahead, a circle of dahlias and other flowers.

entry garden

entry garden

To our left is the front porch and behind us the bright red door of the garage.

photo by Kathleen Shaw, looking east

photo by Kathleen Shaw, looking east

north side of house

north side of house

After an amazing tour of this garden we will exit through that narrow passageway.

front porch

front porch

NW corner of house

NW corner of house

a detailed garden

So far, it seems like a normal, nice, restrained garden.  Then, coming around the west side of the house….

west lawn and garden bed...

west lawn and garden bed…

…we get the first indication of the special delights of this garden.  Below, Sheila sees the Imperial Chicken Palace!

just wow!

just wow!

ICP

Imperial Chicken Palace

Imperial Chicken Palace

ICP

side view

side view

chicken palace window box

chicken palace window box

There, I am back in love with Petunia ‘Phantom’!

the girls; top photo by Kathleen Shaw:  dust bath time

the girls; top photo by Kathleen Shaw: dust bath time

nesting boxes accessed by an exterior hatch

nesting boxes accessed by an exterior hatch

Although it was hard to leave “the girls”, we walk east along the south side of the house.

looking east

looking east

chairs and a photo album I wish I had taken time to look at

chairs and a photo album I wish I had taken time to look at

up a slope of lawn, looking back

up a slope of lawn, looking back

Below, Allan and Debbie from Rainyside Gardeners, who sets up for a photo while garden owner Mike Dickerson walks forward to greet them.

SE corner of house

SE corner of house

from further east

from further east

This garden had been on tour before, but on the same year that my old garden was on the tour, so we did not get to see it,  This time, Mike joked “You’ve finally paid to come see my garden!”

Mike demonstrates a simple clever fence to keep chickens out of the garden beds.

Garden owner Lynn demonstrates a simple clever fence to keep chickens out of the garden beds.

along the south side of the garden...In the background, you can see the compost bins

along the south side of the garden…In the background, you can see the compost bins

further east, hoop houses, "two and a fourth" (small one), Lynn said.

further east, hoop houses, “two and a fourth” (small one), Lynn said.

veg boxes (compost bins in background)

veg boxes (compost bins in background)

Sheila and I always enjoy the true working areas of the garden, like the compost bins.  Here, they are enviably large, running along the middle south side of the property and made of old pallets.

much compost

much compost

Speaking of working areas, we admire the watering system in this garden:

hose manifolds

hose manifolds

Hoses lead to oscillating sprinklers which are mounted on posts.  Each hose connects with a quick connect to the sprinkler which is permanently set for optimum watering pattern.

sprinkler

sprinkler

and another view of the chicken fence

and another view of the chicken fence

We intend to adopt this watering system for our garden as soon as we have time.  It will save lots of fiddling with the sprinklers.

a tour guest walking east

a tour guest walking east

poppies

pre-tour photo showing two hoop houses (looking east)

pre-tour photo showing two hoop houses (looking east)

on tour day

on tour day

The first and smaller hoophouse:

house

one of the the hoop houses

 north door

inside

inside

south door

south door

looking east

looking east

The big hoop house and raised beds:

approaching a big hoop house

approaching  big hoop house

I loved the raised box of nasturtiums (photo taken while pre-touring in June)

I loved the raised box of nasturtiums (photo taken while pre-touring in June)

hoop

inside the hoop house

inside the hoop house

a prolific crop

a prolific crop

tomatoes

tomatoes

Allan was interested in the details of how it was constructed, and you might be, too:

how to

how to

how to

how the windows open

how the windows open

Way up at the top of garden by a house (which is also part of the property but lacks amenities) is another, smaller hoophouse where Madeline and Jacob grow their produce for the Saturday Market.  The garden also provides food for a few CSA boxes.

the littlest hoophouse

the littlest hoophouse

garden tour guests

garden tour guests
friends

guests

boy

Donna and M.R.

Donna and M.R.

Because this was the most central garden of the tour, we ran into some of our touring friends there.  We found our friends Donna and M.R. photographing flowers on the route from the hoophouses to the north side of the garden.

bachelor buttons

bachelor buttons

Set in a fenced garden of its own, the garden shed charmed everyone with its old windows and shingled sides, and windowboxes.

taken on pre-tour day, late June

taken on pre-tour day, late June

shed windowboxes

shed windowboxes

neatly cut edges in the  shed garden

neatly cut edges in the shed garden

an old swingset used as trellising near the garden shed

an old swingset used as trellising near the garden shed, in late June

on tour day

My, how the flowers had grown since June 24th when I first visited the garden!

right...the smaller hoophouse...left...the garden shed

right…the smaller hoophouse…left…the garden shed

cornflowers and just a glimpse of the "stage" area

cornflowers and just a glimpse of the “stage” area

Coming around a grass path from the garden shed, we followed the beautiful music to the green stage setting for the Mozart Chicks.

The Mozart Chicks

The Mozart Chicks

classical quintet

classical quintet

music appreciator

music appreciator

I took an iPhone video walking from the musicians’ area around the garden which you may be able to view here.

One garden bed after another abounded with food and flowers mixed together.

produce

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

sunflowers against the "extra house"

sunflowers against the “extra house”

mix

dahlias

dahlias

The Pink Poppy Bakery booth at the Ilwaco Saturday Market offers bouquets of flowers from this garden.

After going round and round the garden, we came to the patio on the east side of the house where delicious treats awaited.

handsome steps down to the patio area

handsome steps down to the patio area

treats

treats

You can see in the background, above, how popular the Pink Poppy Bakery treats were!

treats

 

This garden will also be on the Peninsula Edible Garden Tour...

This garden will also be on the Peninsula Edible Garden Tour…

patio detail

patio detail

The patio wraps around the corner of the house.

The patio wraps around the corner of the house.

view from just inside the house

Around the patio, many tour guests converged and lingered and chatted, even though we all had more gardens to see.

M.R. photographing flowers

M.R. photographing a birdhouse

house

We photographed it, too.

(right) garden owner Mike Dickerson

(right) garden owner Mike Dickerson

Mike and Sheila

Mike and Sheila

Mike and M.R.

Mike and M.R.

Finally, we did have to tear ourselves away because we had three more gardens to see…

walkway between garage and house

walkway between garage and house

back to the entry garden

back to the entry garden

back

And with wistful looks back, we departed for the rest of our tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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