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Posts Tagged ‘water in the garden’

July 20, 2013

from the program: Laura Deemer is a passionate gardener who never has trouble finding time to work in her yard. As you enter through a gated archway you will be greeted by a cottage garden in small raised beds. Circling the property to explore the many planted areas and shady retreats you will find specimen trees, original metal garden art by husband Don, a quirky mix of mounted birdhouses and a gazebo perfectly suited for music in the garden. A pond built by Don and Laura is fed by a small recirculating stream.

The Deemer garden was discovered by tour organizer Nancy Allen when she was going down a tiny local road looking for an estate sale. She knew by peeking into the garden that something good was going on there, so she introduced herself and asked Laura if she would like to be on the tour. Nancy and I visited the garden again about a week later and were both impressed with Don and Laura’s garden artistry. Happily, Laura did agree to open her garden for tour day. (Again, because I did not photograph every last thing on tour day, I have included some photos I took of details on the two occasions that I visited the gardens before the tour.)

roadside fence

roadside fence

From the driveway, the main garden has two entries, one, below, leading to the front porch. The Deemers extensively remodeled their home and added decks over the years.

entry, looking south

entry, looking south, with garden tour guest

Entering through the gate above, you will see garden beds on your right.

entering

entering

Kathleen Sayce got a good angle on the symmetrical flower beds.

Kathleen Sayce got a good angle on the symmetrical flower beds.

looking southwest

looking southwest

Another gate leads you below the flower beds, and that is the one we entered through on tour day.

looking south from the other gate on a pre-tour visit

looking south from the other gate on a pre-tour visit

barberryNow the flower beds are to our left, and on tour day, Laura had put out informative signage about her favourite plants.

Geranium

Geranium psilostemon

This is information that I did not know!

This is information that I did not know!

My friends were especially smitten with the Deemers’ artisitic birdhouse posts. Laura told me she had made this one since my previous visit which had only been a couple of weeks earlier.

shell birdhouse post

shell birdhouse post

post

mosaic post

mosaic post

On my previous visit, Laura told me they had also made the leaf and round pillar birdbath.

birdbath

birdbath

They also built their pond and streamlet water feature.

pond

pond on an earlier visit

pond on tour day with garden art by Don Deemer

pond on tour day with garden art by Don Deemer

pond on tour day

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

head of recirculating streamlet

head of recirculating streamlet

the tiny stream on a pre-tour visit.  I love this!

the tiny stream on a pre-tour visit. I love this!

stream and pond

stream and pond

Our friend Kathleen Shaw caught a slightly different angle.

Our friend Kathleen Shaw caught a slightly different angle.

another birdhouse

another birdhouse creation
coming around from the front porch and deck to the south side of the house

coming around from the front porch and deck to the south side of the house

east of pond

looking west back to the pond

Above, the shady southwest side of the garden used to be a vegetable patch until Laura decided to turn it into a woodland.

On the south side of the garden, where she has planted specimen trees and shrubs, she set up a table with before photos of the garden. I remember seeing this garden in its early days, over the fence, before it was surrounded with trees and shrubs…maybe 18 years ago as it is near Andersen’s RV Park, one of our longtime jobs.

before pictures

before pictures

rustic birdhouses in woodsy south side garden

rustic birdhouses in woodsy south side garden

another birdhouse with fanciful post

another birdhouse with fanciful post

People could walk all around the house via what is usually fenced off as a dog yard where two Australian Shepherds romp.

dog yard

dog yard

Laura told me she likes to create sheltered places to get out of the sun. Below is an outdoor room behind the house.

outdoor room

outdoor room

The wall was painted by Susan Wallace of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm, which would be our last stop on tour day.

wall

Leaving that room, we go along a shady walk, still in the dog yard. Laura told us one of the two dogs has been quite a problem with digging, but she has still managed to grow hydrangeas, ferns and hostas.

a shady walk

a shady walk

more good signage in the shade garden

more good signage in the shade garden

Leaving the dog yard, we enter a large, square sunny garden room on the north side of the house….a secret garden that you might not even find it you did not look for it. Along the back fence (to the right in the photo below) is a low area that is used as a debris and compost pile. I am hoping our friend Sheila may have photographed that, as we both like to see the work areas of a garden! The main part of the garden here has another outdoor shelter, a gazebo large enough to have dinner in…or place a Music in the Gardens tour musician.

Laura herself approaches as we leave the dog yard.

Laura herself approaches as we leave the dog yard.

Between the two raised beds of ferns, to the left, a path leads to another gate out to the driveway. This garden is enclosed with a tall fence, and the construction of the pergola is absolutely solid.

musician Jennifer Goodenberger

musician Jennifer Goodenberger

Jennifer Goodenberger

Jennifer Goodenberger

An elegant garden of shrubs and ferns with a dry creek bed runs along the north fence of this garden area.

Note the hydrangrea blossoms in the birdbath

Note the hydrangrea blossoms in the birdbath

dry creek

dry creek

dry creek with bridge

dry creek with bridge

gazebo...note fire circle just beyond it.

gazebo…note fire circle just beyond it.

looking northeast through the gazebo windows

looking northeast through the gazebo windows

I don’t see many “outdoor rooms” that are this beautifully built with windows…a perfect shelter from the beach wind.

another of Don's old garden tool birds

another of Don’s old garden tool birds

The skills of Don and Laura are evidenced in everything from the well built structures, to the paths and decks and paving, to the birdhouses and pond and Don’s playful metal sculptures.

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The day began with a stop at the Basket Case to check out the new availability list. We pored over it page by page, although I do skip certain plants entirely. (Phormiums and Agaves. I know there is probably still an Agave fad but they do not call to me.)

perusing the list

perusing the list

Whatever shall we do when Fred and Nancy retire?

Nancy was planting the last of the baskets…

Nancy

and had rigged up a board to keep the three poodles from leaving the back greenhouse.

Walter

Walter

We bought some Sanguisorbas, of which I never have enough. And some more grasses for Andersen’s Rv Park. There will be some excellent plants of all sorts (including another new-to-us Sanguisorba) arriving Friday.

And then, at last, we went to one of those four clients whose gardens we had not yet set foot in this year. At Steve’s garden, we got an unexpected greeting.

Last time I saw them they were babies!

Last time I saw them they were babies!

They had gotten quite large.

They had gotten quite large.

I thought of the time my friend Sheila had been knocked down by a sheep…

QUITE large.

QUITE large.

I was actually fascinated because I like animals, but I did wonder how they would behave because when they were younger, they would jump up on Steve when he fed them.

I have been doing Steve’s garden for a long time, going way back to when he owned the house that later became Laurie’s, and way back then two little goats used to nudge and butt me while I gardened. These two large goats would pack quite a wallop if they were in a nudging mood.

They were interested in everything. Allan later realized that they had peeled all the reflective tape off the back of the trailer.

trailer

wheelbarrow

shovel handle

I felt sheer delight when they let me pet them. The only truly disconcerting moment was when I opened the car door to get some plants. I had decided earlier that Steve’s garden should have some (deer candy) Sanguisorbas because his garden is never bothered by deer. I did not even have the plants all the way out when there were two goats next to me, standing on their hind legs with their front feet on top of the car, leaning on me and chewing the leaves off the plants. Ok, no Sanguisorbas then. Perhaps Steve could only have a Cistus. The deer on Discovery Heights do not bother assorted Cistus at all.

The goats followed us to the garden.

Down the slope by the garden I was thrilled to see someone else had weeded the raspberry patch and the blueberry patch! There are advantages to being late to the garden job.

fenced blueberry patch

fenced blueberry patch..usually thick with creeping sorrel

raspberry patch

raspberry patch

The goats followed us to the garden and showed a great interest in the raspberry canes…and our lunchbox.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

Allan planted the Cistus and we got down to weeding (befores and afters coming up, of course). Meanwhile, the goats wandered through the garden chowing down…on daylilies, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a Buddliea…

goats

goats

They stood on hind legs, broke long branches off the variegated Buddleia (time to prune it anyway!), ate a few leaves from each, and moved on…soon discovering the new Cistus. Allan barely rescued it as they greedily began to consume it, so back in the car it went. It can live at Discovery Heights or Marilyn’s among the deer. I am not sure what we can plant to fill in empty spaces in Steve’s garden, because the only thing that seemed to be goat-proof were narcissi and (boring) rhododendron.

At lunchtime, Steve came home and put the goats away in their indoor-outdoor pen. (I told him I would have put them away myself if they had had sharp horns.) Allan pointed out to me later that (aside from my joy in petting them!), it was a good thing they were out, or we would have planted a bunch of nice new plants with no idea that they would soon be eaten.

And now, some garden photos. I have been doing this particular garden since creating it for Joanne. While I will always think of her there, and miss her gardening presence, I have finally segued into calling it Steve’s garden instead of Joanne’s garden.

Due to our late-season arrival the garden had gone all blurry with weeds.

before

before, looking south

before, looking west

before, looking west

before, looking north

before, looking north

before, the path by the stream

before, the path by the stream

This garden has a wonderful layout with an upper pond with waterfall, created by Steve and Joanne and a backhoe, and then a long stream that runs under a bridge down to a small natural lake.

the streamside path after Allan's weeding

the streamside path after Allan’s weeding

On the other side from the path we have Siberian and Japanese irises in a planting inspired by a lovely photo in a book called The Stream Garden.

iris bed is on other side...very hard to keep the pasture grass out

iris bed is on other side…very hard to keep the swamp grass out!

looking upstream

looking upstream

weeded pond bed

weeded pond bed at head of stream

pond bed

The front bed was made by leveling the mound of soil left from digging out the pond.

pond

Five and a half hours later…

across the pond

across the pond; driftwood marks the waterfall

reflected iris

reflected iris

I wonder if there will be any flowers at all this year with those goats?

We still need to get back, do some edging, and weed the backside of the garden….and am not sure when that will be.

While I sorted out the billing, Allan took some photos of the lake from points that I never take time to walk to while working.

by the gazebo, looking south

by the gazebo, looking south

the stream bridge

the stream bridge

When Joanne was alive, she had taught horse riding and had developed a bridle trail all around the large acreage.

from the trail, looking northeast

from the trail, looking northeast

Every now and then something jumps in the lake but we have never seen what it is!

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

The garden looks very small compared to the vastness of the property, but feels very large while we are weeding it. I am going to wait and see what happens with the goats before I worry about how the garden will survive their interest.

Tomorrow I hope to make the wake up call to another private garden. Or, should it rain, I will happily read back entries in Tootlepedal’s Blog. I had time today only for the most recent entry (excellent as always).

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Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle:  favourite scenes

These are not the best photos, all being pre-digital and with a disposable camera (which was the easiest way to take photos of the garden show without being weighed down).    But they do help me remember the designs that spoke to me the strongest during these years.

I had missed all but a couple of hours of the show in ’91 because I was preoccupied with the Federal Building protest, in ’92 because I was ill from a miscarriage that week, had missed ’93 and ’94 because of the Sou’wester job.  I think we had gone in ’95 and stayed at Bryan’s rented house in West Seattle.

I usually attended 18 seminars, and took notes through every one.  Some day I hope to go through all my notebooks and type up the best of what I learned.  I hope a lot of it sunk in!  Hrm, typing my notes into this blog would be a great project for next winter.

1996

In February 1996, Bryan drove to the beach, picked me up and drove me to Seattle during a time of much flooding in Pacific County, Grays Harbor, and the Chehalis area. Just after we got through Chehalis the freeway went underwater and Robert, who did not enjoy attending seminars, was unable to drive up for three days.  This began a tradition of me going to the garden show by myself.

dripping rocks

dripping rocks

rock wall

rock wall

patio made of recycled materials

patio made of recycled materials

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

sod table and chair (adorable!!)

sod table and chair (adorable!!)

Rapunzel's tower

Rapunzel’s tower

 

1997

This moss-scape made me realize I should qui removing the moss from the huge rock by our pond and just let it be green!

This moss-scape made me realize I should qui removing the moss from the huge rock by our pond and just let it be green!

teapot

teapot

green roof.  I still do not have one....

green roof. I still do not have one….

mysterious door

mysterious door

1998

Bryan had gotten married, so I took the train from Kelso and stayed with my old friend Carol in Ballard, an arrangement which turned into a fun yearly event for the next seven years.

I think this garden was designed by Dan Hinkley.

I think this garden was designed by Dan Hinkley.

large water feature

large water feature

garden shed

garden shed

bridge and stream

bridge and stream

fence with old tools

fence with old tools

1999

I went to the garden show in 1999 and stayed at Carol’s, but did not take photos for this year or the next couple of years because the show for awhile provided video tours of the display gardens.

video tour of the display gardens!

video tour of the display gardens!

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July 22nd, 2012

lower garden, by where we parked

lower garden, by where we parked

Because of having opened our own garden on tour day,we had been unable to go around and be tour guests.  The day after tour day, most of the gardeners who had opened their gardens got together to around and admire each others.  High on the hill in Ilwaco’s  Sahalee neighbourhood, I was pleased to finally get to tour Donna and Truman Rew’s garden.  I had only seen it from above when I used to work on another Sahalee garden that is a bit higher up, but it had always fascinated me, especially since I could hear the sound of running

to the right of entrance to garden

to the right of entrance to garden

water.  On tour day, docents had helped with the rather tight parking area and had guided guests throughout the garden.  After admiring the bridges (above left), we walked back up the driveway to enter the garden near the front door of the house.

From the programme guide:  “With a home perched on a dramatic hillside overlooking Baker Bay, the Columbia Bar, and sometimes Tillamook Point, it is hard to imagine a competing view. Yet this multilevel garden does just that, with three Japanese style bridged spanning still ponds and man-made streams connected by five waterfalls, all sheltered by a forest with 30 year old specimen trees.” Natural springs begin their flow throughout the garden on the upper hillside (left) and also enter the garden down the hill and through pipes under the driveway.  Upon first buying the house, before the water was captured, mushrooms grew indoors; channeling the water not only beautified the landscape but solved many problems.

We walked through an opening between two wings of the house and around to a narrow deck with a wonderful view of the bridged ponds.   Truman Rew had built the bridges, and the landscaping was done by a local company called Shrub and Grub…or a son of that company….not the most mellifluous name, but what a glorious vista they had created.

looking down from the deck

looking straight down from the deck

view from deck, southwest

view from deck, southeast

The water is all natural ground water from springs which has been managed and routed into ponds and waterfalls.

The water is all natural ground water from springs which has been managed and routed into ponds and waterfalls.

 east, from the deck

east, from the deck

detail of above scene

detail of above scene

From the deck, we then descended to get a closer view of the ponds.  Around the base of the house lay a simple landscape of sand, rocks, and trees.

by the house

by the house

 closer view

closer view

a network of water

a network of water

On the south side of the house, with its view of the Columbia River bar, the decking included different levels and seating areas.

 fire circle
fire circle

From the south decks one could walk out onto a knoll overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River.  A path led over the hill to a sauna…but the sauna area had been taken over by a black bear so could no longer be used!

Beyond this point be monsters!

Beyond this point be monsters!

From here, our group of gardeners will head north on the Peninsula to tour more of the gardens that were opened to us on the day after tour day.

If you would like to read an article about the tour itself, a good one appeared in our local paper.  (We won’t be visiting the Leadbetter Farms garden in this blog…at least not yet…because it was made available the day of our post-garden tour..)

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The Fries garden, somewhere on Lake Washington

We arrived at the last garden and parked near a woodsy entry area.  I had no idea quite where we were and thought perhaps the woodsy area might comprise the entire landscape.

                                    entry garden

But a road led down the hill and we followed it past a working area with compost bins.

Sheila checks out the compost bins.

The long driveway continued on passing increasingly fascinating side gardens that reminded me of Heronswood of old.

side garden paths

a little further down the drive!

to the side of the driveway

By now we had walked a city block or two …or three…down the drive…and we knew something even more special must await us.

Maggie on her way down the drive

side paths beckoned…

It was hard to move fast with so much to look at but we knew we were running out of time!  Soon we came to a charming chicken house.  (Later we met the owner of the garden who told us that as a teenager she had started the boxwood swirls from cuttings.)

approaching the chicken house

the chicken house

in the semi-shade

Around the chicken house, verdant shade plantings included a towering Cardiocrinum, another reminder of visiting Heronswood.

A bridge just past the chicken house led us onward.  Behind it you can see the next focal point.

And oh!  Look how the little finials on the bridge rail posts echo the shape of the tower!  I did not notice that at the time.

bridge with glimpse of a tower

We loved the swoopy rails on the bridge.

We went to one side of the tower, following the path down.  We’ll return to it later on our way back up.

By now we had seen glimpses through the trees that let us know that Lake Washington lay below us.

Next we came upon a tidy vegetable garden with a copper roofed gazebo…

parterre and gazebo

As we progressed down the drive we looked to one side and saw a pirate playhouse.

pirate fort

And then we reached the bottom of the hill where Lake Washington lapped on a private beach.

Lake Washington

miniature Adirondack chairs

Okay, I am usually contented with my humble life and I rarely envy the wealthy, but I must admit some considerable envy now nagged at my emotions.

beach

There’s no getting around wanting to have THIS at the end of one’s blocks-and-blocks long garden….A grand house had a view of all this loveliness, but I did not photograph it.  Some of the residents were right there and I felt like too much of the hoi polloi, even though I am sure they weren’t thinking that at all.

greenhouse and fountain

As we turned to hustle rather quickly up the long hill, Sheila or Maggie had wandered off to the side and called out, “Have you seen the grotto?!”

I had seen a greenhouse….Could that be what she meant?  The fountain next to it was rather grand.

But no, she actually meant a bona fide grotto….with pieces that had, I recall, been salvaged from an old downtown Seattle theatre.  (The Fifth Avenue?  The Music Box?)   It is stunning.

the glorious grotto

We made our way back up the hill, soon passing another charming little garden structure.

another garden nook

and then approached, from a different side, the building with the tower.

Like a miniature castle it was.

knot garden

The side door of the miniature castle were open and inside, in a comfortable room, the garden owner herself greeted us and told us the story of starting the boxwood knots with little cuttings.  It turned out there was some connection between Maggie, or Maggie’s parents, and this family.

welcoming doors to the “castle”

We would have loved to stay longer but had to get on up the drive for dinnertime and our evening Hardy Plant lectures.  (Withey and Price, Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd were among the famed speakers: like rock stars for hortheads.)

two ways up the hill, the driveway or a cobble path next to it

Up we climb, passing on the other side of the big stones.

The cobble path takes us into narrower areas.

We find even more treasures on the way up.

at the very top, as we left…

Thanks to Ed and Kathy Fries for sharing their most astonishing garden.

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