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Posts Tagged ‘water gardens’

3 March: bin three

Sunday, 3 March 2019

At home

I returned to my compost project, once again a bit worried about being a bad neighbor by running The Toy intermittently for hours to chop up dry compost materials for faster decomposition. Although I had an idea for a different project of the day, I noticed my neighbors to the east (near the bins) seemed to be gone and so I did all of the noisy work in their absence. When I next see them, I’ll ask if The Toy is loud. They might not even notice its gentle buzzing, especially when compared to the local pressure washers and forklifts.

Bin three gave me a disappointingly low volume of sifted compost, just this much:

It was enough to mulch my irises by the pond.

Most of bin three got piled onto bin four….

…with some saved to add back in with fresh material.

I even found some whole apples that will please my canine friends next door.

After I had all the new material chopped and layers (green and brown mixed), bins one and two look quite promising.

A look from the back side reveals some woody material underneath so it won’t be all delicious siftings.

While adding my bit of mulch to the irises, I noticed the small pond was so low that the tops of the planting baskets showed.

This was most disconcerting. Then I remembered evaporation. Google informed me that even in winter, especially when the air is as dry as it’s been this week, evaporation of an inch or more per week is normal.

Fortunately, a rain barrel with a faucet is fairly close to the ponds.

(You can watch my beloved Christine Walkden speaking about water butts right here. )

The pond looked grand topped up with rain water and with a third papyrus added at the back.

I pondered adding one more pond, inspired by an episode of The Great British Garden Revival in which Charlie Dimmock demonstrated a simple pond idea.

Charlie says don’t forget your level.

Other than ordering and awaiting the liner, Allan and I could do this in a day, I bet.

My idea is for it to go here:

It would tie in to the look of the water boxes…

…which are just across a piece of lawn.

I like the way Charlie’s plan includes a bog garden at one end.

This will have to wait at least a week! We probably have to go to work tomorrow through Wednesday, and then my dear friend Seattle Carol will be visiting for three days.

In the garden:

Meanwhile, Allan had gone questing for tadpoles in the ponds along the meander line south of our property.

The only pond that is year round is the one behind The Lost Garden two doors down.

I don’t mind that he didn’t find any tadpoles yet. I am interested in the claim that if you build a pond, frogs will find it, and I sort of want to wait and see how long that takes.

Tonight, I am going to have a look at Christine Walkden’s more recent show, Glorious Gardens From Above, even though I should be checking out my seed arrivals and placing an order of much desired plants with Annie’s Annuals. My iPad tells me that my screen time is up.

Little does it know that a couple of those days were eight or more hours of The Great British Garden Revival.

Here I go down another rabbit hole.

Here is Christine …. Within the next month, we will each turn 64.

I do love her so!

Oh, OH, look where she is going to land!

I am in heaven.

Beth was 91 when this segment was filmed; the broadcast was in 2014.

What treasures these women are.

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Hardy Plant Study Weekend in Salem, Oregon

evening soirée at Dancing Oaks Nursery

Prepare for a looooong blog post.  I have not been to this nursery since I visited it with Sheila before the Eugene Hardy Plant weekend of eight years ago.  It is glorious and we are going to look at almost every bit of it.

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I was overwhelmed by plant shopping excitement and I forgot the part about the Beardless Irises garden book.

It goes up and over a steep hill.

The gravel road to Dancing Oaks is long and mysterious. It goes up and over a steep hill.

Eventually, one comes to the pillars marking the outskirts of Dancing Oaks.

Eventually, one comes to the pillars marking the outskirts of Dancing Oaks.

so excited

so excited

We parked with many other vehicles in a big grassy field and I made a beeline for the plant sales, which were already in full swing with booths from Far Reaches Farm and Dan Hinkley’s Windcliff.  I seem to have missed one plant I was urgently questing for: Dierama ‘Merlin’, the new, extra dark “angel’s fishing rod”.  I saw someone carrying away what might have been the last one. Nevertheless, I did acquire a goodly assortment of cool new acquisitions.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

plant sales!

plant sales!

cool plants

cool plants

amusing Dan Hinkley tag.

amusing Dan Hinkley tag.

Dan Hinkley and the hardy planters (Allan's photo)

Dan Hinkley and the hardy planters (Allan’s photo)

After Allan helped me schlep two boxes of plants up to our van (in hot sunshine, but the plants would be okay for a couple of hours), I headed over to the Dancing Oaks greenhouses for more plant shopping.  (I’ll be itemizing all my new plants later when I plant them at home.)

This building is central to the garden.

This building is central to the garden.

On the way....I am not officially garden touring yet, though.

On the way….I am not officially garden touring yet, though.

inside one of the greenhouses

inside one of the greenhouses

For some reason I resisted this one, and now I am so sorry.

For some reason I resisted this one, and now I am so sorry.

Allan's photo: He saw our friend Ann giving this plant a lot of attention. Not sure why that did not inspire him to immediately buy one!

Allan’s photo: He saw our friend Ann giving this plant a lot of attention. Not sure why that did not inspire him to immediately buy one!

I had my head down in the eryngiums reading tags when Garden Tour Nancy, who was also at the weekend tried to have a conversation.  We had been passing in our vehicles like ships in the night because we were touring at a different pace. I said (hot, tired, and hungry for dinner but unable to stop till I secured my plants!) that this was not a good time for me to talk.  She said later, when we did chat, that it was the same way that she shops at a book sale, very focused on getting the books she wants before someone else does.

I acquired another two boxes of plants, including….at last…Eryngium ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’, which I have wanted for years.

I do believe this is Miss Wilmott’s Ghost, reseeded by a path near the greenhouses to poke folks in the ankle.

Miss Wilmott's Ghost, named because she supposedly scattered the seeds of it in all her friends' gardens.

Miss Wilmott’s Ghost, named because she supposedly scattered the seeds of it in all her friends’ gardens.

At last, I sat for the delicious catered dinner, one of the best I have ever had at such an event.  My mind was on finding time to tour through the whole garden before the evening ended.

Allan's photo of a half consumed dinner. The heat had sapped my skills at narrative flow.

Allan’s photo of a half consumed dinner. The heat had sapped my skills at narrative flow.

After a scrumptious piece of strawberry cobbler for dessert, I leapt…well, creaked and hobbled up and began touring the gardens.  (This led to a couple more plant purchases.)

Folks still dining on the tasty food.

Folks still dining on the tasty food.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

bamboo, pruned for light and space

bamboo, pruned for light and space

I remember this garden idea inspired me greatly eight years ago.

I remember this garden idea inspired me greatly eight years ago.

a dripping water feature

a dripping water feature

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dripping water

dripping water

'Twas hot and bright for my little pocketcam.

‘Twas hot and bright for my little pocketcam.

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Acer palmatum 'Fairy Hair' aroused plant lust.

Acer palmatum ‘Fairy Hair’ aroused plant lust. I did not find it for sale, which does not mean it wasn’t available.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Lobelia tupa...never does this for me at the coast, must need more heat to get big.

Lobelia tupa…never does this for me at the coast, must need more heat to get big.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

sit spots can be found throughout the garden

Sit spots can be found tucked in throughout the garden.

I found a pond.

I found a pond.

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such a pleasant vista hidden away in a shady area

such a pleasant vista hidden away in a shady area

handsome horsetail

handsome horsetail

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oooh....Arundo donax variegata...I used to have this.

oooh….Arundo donax variegata…I used to have this.

 I immediately returned to the greenhouses to successfully quest for one of these.

I immediately returned to the greenhouses to successfully quest for one of these.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

'Mermaid' rose...I do have this.

‘Mermaid’ rose…I do have this.

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Eryngium variifolium (Allan's photo)

Eryngium variifolium (Allan’s photo)

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asclepias...on my third visit to the shed containing the check-out cash register.

asclepias…on my third visit to the shed containing the check-out cash register.

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I wandered into the shrubs and trees for sale area and was gobsmacked by a cloud of white.

Acer campestre 'Carnival' (variegated hedge maple)

Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ (variegated hedge maple)

I had to have it, bought it, got help carrying it to a holding area where we could pick it up on the way out.  (The evening would have been easier if I had done that with all the plants I bought.)  I was fortunate to overhear that these do better in the sun than deep shade. (That may only be true here in the Pacific Northwest and in the UK, not in areas with brighter and hotter sunshine.) I would have planted it far into the shade because it looks so delicate.

outside the buying shed...the obligatory photo of the shop cat

outside the sales shed…the obligatory photo of the shop cat

By the sales shed...How many times, three? have I tried to grow Argyrocytisus battandieri (pineapple broom), and had it not bloom (my old garden), or just simply plotz (my new garden).

By the sales shed…How many times, three? have I tried to grow Argyrocytisus battandieri (pineapple broom), and had it not bloom (my old garden), or just simply plotz (my new garden).

Dierama (not 'Merlin')

Dierama (not ‘Merlin’)

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below the sales shed

below the sales shed

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an undiscovered sit spot

an undiscovered sit spot

a sit spot guarded by stone cats

a sit spot guarded by stone cats

Steps made of cottage stone have become rusticated.

Steps made of cottage stone have become rusticated.

into the sun again: a prickly cloud of Eryngiums. (I bought several different kinds, including the exciting new 'Neptune's Gold'.

into the sun again: a prickly cloud of Eryngiums. (I bought several different kinds, including the exciting new ‘Neptune’s Gold’.

The vendors' tables were still selling.

The vendors’ tables were still selling.

After seven PM, the shadows were getting softer.

After seven PM, the shadows were getting softer.

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kitty cat!

kitty cat!

back to the dripping water

back to the dripping water

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This looks like the tree that I bought; if it is, it gets a lot bigger than the tag suggests.

This looks like the tree that I bought; if it is, it gets bigger than the tag suggests (10′). Maybe that IS what 10 feet looks like.

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into the lower shade garden again

into the lower shade garden again

giant bamboo

giant bamboo

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treasures!

treasures!

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A hardy planter ogling this sedum drew my attention to it.

A hardy planter ogling this sedum drew my attention to it.

I wanted it but was too shopped out to go looking for it.

I wanted it but was too shopped out to go looking for it.

looking again at the stacked garden idea

looking again at the stacked garden idea

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I took Allan to see the white tree....love the way it is like a cloud in the evening light.

I took Allan to see the white tree….love the way it is like a cloud in the evening light.

heading back to the sales shed and holding area to pick up my own white tree.

heading back to the sales shed and holding area to pick up my own white tree.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Because we won’t be going to the Hardy Plant weekend next year (its year to be in Canada), I would like to return to Dancing Oaks and Sebright Nursery on an overnight springtime shopping tour of our own.

Next: one more day of garden touring before we return to everyday life and once a day posting.

 

 

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend hosted by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Livingston garden

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at street level

at street level, with Eryngiums

the front garden

the front garden

walking around the right side of the house

walking around the right side of the house

first glimpse of the descent that awaits

first glimpse of the descent that awaits

a gorgeous Acer griseum

a gorgeous Acer griseum

stunning glassed in breezeway

stunning glassed in breezeway

going down one level

going down one level

a little ways down

a little ways down

further descent ahead

further descent on the other side of the house

over the tree tops

over the tree tops

a view of the compost chute; what a great idea

a view of the compost chute; what a great idea

I see people way down there and didn't know that the garden went way further down past that.

I see people way down there and didn’t know that the garden went way further down past that.

I had gone as low as I could go.

I had gone as low as I could go.

Given all day, I could have certainly worked my way partway down, but it would be slow going because of dizziness and the usual phobias, so I waited and explored, along with several others who for one reason or another could not manage railingless stairs.  We still have one more garden to see after this one, with only about an hour left in the tour day.

a hidden water feature

a hidden water feature, found only because I heard it trickling

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On the left side of the house, a sign pointed to the basement and a very welcome WC!

On the left side of the house, a sign pointed to the basement and a very welcome WC!

From here on, all the photos and captions are by Allan.

Allan's photo:  Not just a deer fence but art in itself

Allan’s photo: Not just a deer fence but art in itself

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on the compost chute side, house to left

on the compost chute side, house to left

heading around the corner of the house

heading around the corner of the house

me, before I turned back

me, before I turned back

top of compost chute.  Their wheelbarrows would face a lot of stairs but the gravel paths lower down were somehow maintained.

top of compost chute. Their wheelbarrows would face a lot of stairs but the gravel paths lower down were somehow maintained.

A fern covered old path would down under the house while the main stairs were over on the natural stream side.  We stepped carefully.

A fern covered old path wound down under the house while the main stairs were over on the natural stream side. We stepped carefully.

The stone path enters one of the patios.  The tiled patio is upper right.

The stone path enters one of the patios. The tiled patio is upper right.

a few feet further on looking through the ferns

a few feet further on looking through the ferns

Astrantia

Astrantia

exiting the stone step trail to a patio

exiting the stone step trail to a patio

a few feet further overlooking the vegetable garden

a few feet further overlooking the vegetable garden

You can see the bottom of the compost chute to the right.

You can see the bottom of the compost chute to the right.

bottom of the compost chute

bottom of the compost chute (enlarged for detail)

the kitchen garden

the kitchen garden

more stone steps

more stone steps

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outdoor fireplace

outdoor fireplace

another terrace

He thinks the fireplace is on this terrace to the left, and that the kitchen garden was by the grass on the left.

rope bridge in ravine over a natural stream, taken from the overlook terrace

rope bridge in a ravine over a natural stream, taken from the overlook terrace.  [Look at those brave tour guests!!)

a gravel path leads down from the kitchen garden

a gravel path leads down from the kitchen garden

The stairs on the left behind the three people...

The stairs on the left behind the three people…

...have inlaid pebbles and a rivulet on the left side.

…have inlaid pebbles and a rivulet on the left side.

a detail of the rivulet as it falls into a catch basin

a detail of the rivulet as it falls into a catch basin

The woman is standing at the near side of the rope bridge.  Beyond, a steep wood stairway enters a woodland trail that hugs the ravine.

The woman is standing at the near side of the rope bridge. Beyond, a steep wood stairway enters a woodland trail that hugs the ravine.

an enlargement to show the ladder-like stairway

an enlargement to show the ladder-like stairway

Below me, on the lower patio, people were descending the path to the rope bridge on a path that had somehow been graveled and maintained beautifully.

Below me, on the lower patio, people were descending the path to the rope bridge on a path that had somehow been graveled and maintained beautifully.

a waterfall

a waterfall

looking up

looking up

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looking down at the patio I photographed the ravine from

looking down at the patio I photographed the ravine from

The other side of the mossy tree had a recirculating stream to the same viewing patio.

The other side of the mossy tree had a recirculating stream to the same viewing patio.

another view of stream, close to the previous photo, with stone bridge at bottom of the photo

another view of stream, close to the previous photo, with a stone bridge at bottom of the photo

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Looking back after crossing the stone bridge.  Rope swing by trellis.  Main steps on right.

Looking back after crossing the stone bridge. Rope swing by trellis. Main steps on right.

I am heading toward the side of the yard opposite the compost shoot, and am being shown the bends where the grids cross that make this stronger fence and trellis material.

I am heading toward the side of the yard opposite the compost shoot, and am being shown the bends where the grids cross that make this stronger fence and trellis material.

plants ready to dig in near ravine side

plants ready to dig in near ravine side

The overlook patio is in the upper right corner.  This is the steep path down to the rope bridge.

The overlook patio is in the upper right corner. This is the steep path down to the rope bridge.

same path with an adventurous log bridge going left over a real stream that the rope bridge also crosses.

same path with an adventurous log bridge going left over a real stream that the rope bridge also crosses downstream.

These women followed me down to this path that paralleled the natural stream.  Note the stumps lower right marking the path going upstream.

These women followed me down to this path that paralleled the natural stream. Note the stumps lower right marking the path going upstream.

stumps now to the left as I head upstream.

stumps now to the left as I head upstream.

a bridge to cross the stream

a bridge to cross the stream

Note its steel beam sides and rough textured steel treads.  Very secure.

Note its steel beam sides and rough textured steel treads. Very secure.

Now to climb back up.  Two women are at the top.  Even down here, shade plantings every bit as interesting as those close to the house.

Now to climb back up. Two women are at the top. Even down here, shade plantings every bit as interesting as those close to the house.

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the beginning of the recirculating stream to the view deck area.  Another guest crossing the stone bridge downstream.

the beginning of the recirculating stream to the view deck area. Another guest crossing the stone bridge downstream.

Barberry (something) Queen just going in.

Barberry (something) Queen just going in.

the fence in background as another guest was also admiring these blossoms.

the fence in background as another guest was also admiring these blossoms.

Thanks to Allan, I was able to join the rest of our readers on a tour of the Livingston garden.  The owner must be very spry, with a great sense of balance, to handle all those steep railingless stairs.

To read about Alison’s adventures in this wonderland, see this post on the Bonney Lassie blog.  Will she or won’t she cross the rope bridge?  Alison’s blog explains better just how the fireplace patio relates to the kitchen garden and has a great photo of the kitchen garden tiles.  Putting Allan’s and Alison’s photos together, I really feel that I saw the whole garden.

Next, the final garden of our north Seattle tour, to be followed the next day with more gardens in southwest Seattle.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

Lane-Allers garden

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Because I knew I would be taking many photos and using them for the blog, I had my resolution set rather low.  Perhaps you will be able to read this hand out that was available for tour goers:

with a magnifying glass?

with a magnifying glass?

At the streetside edge of the garden

At the streetside edge of the garden

I chose this path that led to my left away from the front driveway.

I chose this path that led to my left away from the front driveway.

I passed a mirror on a wall that reminded me of how we had used a mirror for that window-like effect on our old house.

I passed a mirror on a wall that reminded me of how we had used a mirror for that window-like effect on our old house.

deeply shadowed woodland path

deeply shadowed woodland path

The hand out said all of the rocks were brought in to the property.

The hand out said all of the rocks were brought in to the property.

little bits of whimsy along the path

little bits of whimsy along the path

emerging into sunshine

emerging into sunshine

a bog, with lawn of clipped creeping buttercup

a bog, with lawn of clipped creeping buttercup

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a bird by the bog

a bird by the bog

walking past the buttercup lawn

walking past the buttercup lawns

with the pond to our left

with the pond to our left

Allan's most excellent photo

Allan’s most excellent photo

a rustic sit spot

a rustic sit spot

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Turning left, we cross the bridge.

Turning left, we cross the bridge.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: two garden guests pondering

Allan’s photo: two garden guests pondering

steps leading toward the house

steps leading toward the house

from the bridge

from the bridge

I've grown this primula, but it took another tour guest to show me that the flowers are sweetly fragrant.

I’ve grown this primula, but it took another tour guest to show me that the flowers are sweetly fragrant.

in bogland

in bogland

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Cercis 'Forest Pansy'!

Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’!  Note the glimpse of a folly just past the tree.

more of the big rocks

more of the big rocks

Someone thought this was the 20,000 lb one.

Someone thought this was the 20,000 pound one.

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Here is the folly that we saw just past the Forest Pansy tree.

Here is the folly that we saw just past the Forest Pansy tree.

For readers not from the Pacific Northwest, you may have noticed that several tour gardens have structures like this.  They were inspired by and often built by Little and Lewis.  I had the good fortune to tour their former garden once upon a time.

I would like one in my bogsy wood!

their beautiful book

their beautiful book

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The above view was taken from these steps:

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Now we will wend our way through the woods a bit more.

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a glimpse of the outside world

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

and of a sunlit lawn

and of a sunlit lawn

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out into the sunlight

out into the sunlight

a mirrored green wall

a mirrored green wall

more cunning mirror placement

more cunning mirror placement

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Near the mirrors, this path led right down to the street.

Near the mirrors, this path led right down to the street.

Imagine being able to have an unfenced garden without deer.  And what a surprise for anyone who wanders up that path into this amazing garden.

looking back to the sunny lawn and borders

looking back to the sunny lawn and borders

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Rosa pteracantha

Rosa pteracantha

and why I was so pleased to purchase a Rosa pteracantha to replace my diseased one.

and why I was so pleased to purchase a Rosa pteracantha to replace my diseased one.

That's what this rose is all about.

That’s what this rose is all about.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a totem

a totem of leaves

another woodsy path

another woodsy path

steps

Let’s go up these steps.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

by the house

by the house

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a patio for parties

a patio for parties

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by the patio

by the patio

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo of an area that I somehow completely missed.

Allan’s photo of an area that I somehow completely missed.

As we depart, a neighbour swings on a garden gate watching all the comings and goings.

As we depart, a neighbour swings on a garden gate watching all the comings and goings.

I wonder if we missed anything in this intriguing garden?  We must move on as we have three more gardens to see before the evening soirée (and I can tell you now, we did not make it to the final garden because of lack of time).

You can see more glorious photos of the Lane-Allers garden here on Alison’s Bonney Lassie blog.

 

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from the program:  Ultimate Party Garden:  Ferry Captain Fritz Elfings 1921 Wicks-designed home has been greatly enhanced by Kent and LJ’s energy and affection for historic preservation and gardening.  Beds in front of the welcoming color-rich front porch feature weeping gold chain and a vibrant rock garden including weeping blue atlas cedar, mature dahlias, tree roses and lilacs.  Shady old azaleas lead to the back gate where repurposed sap pots adorn an azalea just inside.  Woodstoves encircle the flagstone patio for party comfort within a lovely cornucopia of firs, maples, contorted filbert, black-eyed Susans, and trellised Fiona’s sunrise jasmine.  Long-established silverberry bush and cotoneaster dominate the upper back corner.  Near the home’s rear entry is a healthy urban herb garden.  Follow the waterfall down steps to a stunning water lily koi pond guarded by Gunnera and curly willow. Mature dogwood, camellia, peonies and daylilies grace the lower garden with a bay tree, nine-bark, grasses, and a profusion of potted beauties.

house with before picture

house with before picture

rock garden by front porch

rock garden by front porch

porch

porch

perfect use of red geraniums

perfect use of red geraniums

back garden entry patio with before picture

back garden entry patio with before picture

We walked past the upper entry patio with the post-tour food display to check out the koi pond first, entering dapped shade which made photos difficult.

Next to this porch, steps went down to the pond.

Next to this porch, steps went down to the pond.

the back porch

the back porch

at the top of the stream

at the top of the stream

3 before pictures at the top of the waterfall

3 before pictures at the top of the waterfall; stairs down are at left…
pond construction photo

pond construction photo

Only when I have opened my own garden on tour have I seen such well displayed before photos.  It is so much more effective to have them mounted at the right spot in the garden instead of in a photo album or computer slideshow.

looking down the waterfall

looking down the waterfall

The bright sun made this hard to see even not through the camera, but here is the top of the stream and waterfall.

water beginning

water beginning

It descends down a steep slope to the koi pond.

It descends down a steep slope to the koi pond.

deck

Stairs take one down next to the waterfall to this lower deck.

Stairs take one down next to the waterfall to this lower deck.

Slightly below the deck is this lawn.

Slightly below the deck is this lawn.
A large gunnera in the koi pond

A large gunnera in the koi pond

before picture

before picture

Gunnera

Gunnera
pond

pond and deck

friendly koi

friendly koi

garden tour-ers enjoying the deck

garden tour-ers enjoying the deck

under the porch at the foot of the stairs: all the amenities

under the porch at the foot of the stairs: all the amenities

Here Allan examines the porch and you can see how the hot tub area relates to the koi pond.

Here Allan examines the porch and you can see how the hot tub area relates to the koi pond.

Despite the bright sunlight, I made every effort to show how the stream comes down to the koi pond:

at the top

at the top

head of the stream

head of the stream

stream

flowing down by the stairs

flowing down by the stairs

waterfall

waterfall

waterfall2

While I have never craved a pond with koi, even though I admire them, this sort of waterfall stream is so much like what I would have wanted to do in my old garden with its descending levels and natural pond.  I never had time and  money at the same time, but when I see something like this garden had, I wish I had stayed there long enough to achieve it.

enormous koi

enormous koi

view of house from other side of pond deck

view of house from other side of pond deck

Now we’ll go up the back side of the garden to return to the top patio.  Here we look back at the koi pond deck and see the workings of the pipes and so on.

the pond works

the pond works

a side spur of the path back up to the top

a side spur of the path back up to the top

further up, wood for those party woodstoves and a secret sit spot

further up, wood for those party woodstoves and a secret sit spot

two shady stairs near the top of the stream

two shady stairs near the top of the stream

a bench in the shade

a bench in the shade

mag

looking from shade to sun down to the koi pond

looking from shade to sun down to the koi pond

shady grove

shady grove

Now, back to the sunshiny upper patio (and soon, an overview of the delicious refreshments).

before picture

before picture

another before

another before

and another

and another

This vine was in dappled shade by the patio. I wish I could recall its name.

This vine was in dappled shade by the patio. I wish I could recall its name.

I could not, but someone on Facebook helped me while I was writing this blog entry:  It is Abutilon megapotamicum,

flowers

The last garden on the Astoria tour always includes the raffle and refreshments.

raffle

some raffle items

some raffle items

Now we’ll get to all the refreshments that we passed by in our eagerness to tour the garden.

Just inside the front gate, punch was served, and the hosts let me put our Peninsula garden tour poster out for all to see.

punch bowl just inside entry gate

punch bowl just inside entry gate and our poster

(By “our” tour, I mean the Peninsula; Nancy is the organizer of the Music in the Gardens tour and I help out with the Facebook page.)

a patio table laden with food

a patio table laden with treats

more delicious refreshments

more delicious refreshments

food

food

food

food

food

garden party hat

garden party hat

beautiful decoration

beautiful decoration

enjoying the garden party!

enjoying the garden party!

A little lawn beside the patio

A little lawn beside the patio

corner by the little lawn

corner by the little lawn

by the patio

by the front gate

on the mini-lawn

on the mini-lawn

one of the party warmth stoves filled with plants for the summer

one of the party warmth stoves filled with plants for the summer

The small lawn provided a great view of the party.

The small lawn provided a great view of the party.

party

garden party

Some people took their plates downstairs and gathered around the koi pond and some settled in the shady sit spots beside the patio.

a quieter retreat

a quieter retreat

We left before the raffle drawing so that we would have plenty of time to shop at a couple of nurseries down the coast, but before we go, here are Allan’s charming photos of the party and the flowers surrounding the patio.

flowers

He really liked the abutilon flowers.

He really liked the abutilon flowers.

perfect garden party attire

perfect garden party attire

party

flowers

party

At the very last, he went up on the front porch (which it had not occurred to me to do!) and took this photo showing the view north east to the river.

from the front porch

from the front porch

And next…our apres-tour nursery expedition and a gorgeous community allotment garden.

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painted lady

painted lady

For the first time, the Peninsula Garden tour would be held in late July so the July 14th Astoria garden tour came first.  As always, the tickets were sold next to this beautiful painted lady high on the hill overlooking the Columbia River.

I have never seen this house look less than perfect.  Note that the colour scheme of the garden (and even the fire hydrant) echo the paint colours.

According to the programme, the first garden would be at the Millpond

colour coordinated garden

colour coordinated garden

Village.  Excitement did not fill my heart as we drove downhill and to the east.  I very much like the Millpond Village and admire its landscaping but figured we were in for a repeat of the tour in 2009 which had featured a lot of attractive curbside plantings.  (Ann Lovejoy and Beth Holland were among the designers for the Millpond landscaping so I certainly did not mind a stop to see how the parklike areas were coming along.)

However, when we got there we were treated to a lovely garden on an empty lot between two townhouses.  I had always thought a drawback to living there would be the tiny garden spaces.  What a brilliant solution to just (if one could afford to) buy an extra lot.

street view

street view

From the tour programme:   “Helen Westbrook garden:  This splendid young garden features a lovely river rock rain swale to manage storm water. With the high water table here, birds enjoy the temporary pond surrounded by “wet feet” plants. Birds are also attracted to shrubs…planted as a border for the neighbour’s patio. …It’s hard to believe this gem was once part of a plywood mill.”

As we approached, I still did not realize that an entire lot would be given over to garden.

narrow curbside garden....and bindweed in training!

narrow curbside garden….and bindweed in training!

curbside detail

curbside detail

 

arbour entrance

beside the arbour entrance

garden lot

garden lot

The main garden is between two townhouses on a lot which originally was planned to be another townhouse.

What a pleasurable oasis it has added to this area of otherwise tiny sidewalk gardens.

And what a joy it would be to be lucky enough to be the gardener’s neighbour.  We were told that the neighbour across the lot also participates in some of the gardening.

dry creekbed for water run off...

dry creekbed for water run off…

I very much liked the water swale between the townhouse and a central patio.  In mid July, it still had some water. I wonder if the little creek bed (right) has water in it all winter long?  In fact, if I remembered, I would love to look at this garden on a wet winter day.

water swale

water swale, looking east

swale

swale, looking west

seasonal pond

seasonal pond

I love the seasonal pond and admired the attention to detail: no underwear showing!

looking west from just outside the garden

looking west from just outside the garden

townhouse at NE corner of garden

townhouse at NE corner of garden

The neighbour toward the river carried the garden theme around to the front of her own townhouse.   The little front garden is more the usual size of the Millpond Village gardens.

neighbour's front garden

neighbour’s front garden

I LOVE gardening neighbours. Here’s the wall of the house north of the Westbrook Garden lot, where the neighbour has added to the ambience.  Her potting bench shows a simple but clever way to display plant tags.

neighbour's potting bench

neighbour’s patio

view from neighbour's

view of the garden from the neighbour’s sit spot

We circulated around the Westbrook garden several times, admiring all the details.

tags: painted paint stirrer and gold paint

tags: painted paint stirrer and gold paint

little fence

little fence

birdbath with sand dollars

birdbath with sand dollars

tablescape

tablescape with little polka dot plants

another planted chair

a planted chair

bird nest accent

bird nest accent

choice plantings

choice plantings

another planted chair

another planted chair

Across the street from the planted chair at the edge of the garden, you can see a vacant lot gone to yellow dandelions which is probably the same size as the garden whose every nook we had been admiring.

Our own garden would be on the Music in the Gardens tour in just seven days, and after seeing all the bright annuals tucked into Ms. Westbrook’s garden, I knew we had to make haste and see all the gardens in time to fill our car with still more plants for our garden open day.

I needed more colour!

I needed more colour!

So on we went headed west through downtown Astoria to the next garden.

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