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Posts Tagged ‘Water Music Festival’

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Music in the Gardens Tour, Long Beach Peninsula

a benefit for the Water Music Festival and music programs in local schools

ticket tour map

ticket tour map

Garden 3: Mimosa Garden (Holtermann Garden

Waving tropical fish flags greet you as you begin your tour of an art-filled patio garden with colorful pots, choice and well-grown plants, and a wall pocket of textured succulents. Stroll through the full-sun gardens wrapping around the this dune-facing home, which well meets all the challenges of the wind, fog and salt air.  Enjoy the many spots to sit, a working potting bench, and a small kitchen garden.

This aerial photo taken by local photographer Bob Duke with the aid of his drone show how close the garden is to the dunes:

photo by Bob Duke

photo by Bob Duke, showing the triangular shaped lot

garden tour day

garden tour day

on a pre-tour visit June 1st

on a pre-tour visit June 1st (when we just looked at the garden from here, as we were making a spontaneous drive-by)

fish

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Bob Duke

photo by Bob Duke

entrygarden

south side of house

Mimosas and lemony ice water were on offer at the welcome table.

Mimosas and lemony ice water were on offer at the welcome table.

treats (Allan's photo)

treats (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Gardener Pat's t shirt (Allan's photo)

Gardener Pat’s t shirt (Allan’s photo)

west side, photo by Kathleen Shaw

west side, photo by Kathleen Shaw

cheerful entry garden

cheerful entry garden

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

The garden had looked just as perfect when Nancy and I visited on July 3rd to get some “sneak peek” photo for the tour’s Facebook page as it did on tour day.  I noticed how well-grown the plants are.  Just two days before the tour, Pat’s husband sent us this photo captioned “Working through the pain to get ready for the garden tour.”  Pat had hurt her leg and was continuing the preparation on crutches.  Because the garden already looked so fine, it was not the disaster it would have been for someone like me whose garden is not perfected till about one day before a tour.

photo by John Holtermann

photo by John Holtermann

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

pre-tour visit, July 3rd

tour day

tour day

colour

lookback

front door

front door

pre-tour visit, July 3rd, digiplexis

pre-tour visit, July 3rd, digiplexis

digiplexis

Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’

pre-tour visit, July 3rd:  This little heart bench belonged to Pat's mother.

pre-tour visit, July 3rd: This little heart bench belonged to Pat’s mother.

tour day

tour day

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

stepping stones to patio on west side of house

stepping stones to patio on west side of house

patio4

pre-tour visit, July 3rd, Scophularia vareigata (variegated figwort)

pre-tour visit, July 3rd, Scophularia vareigata (variegated figwort)

west side patio

west side patio

patio2

lower windows tip out

lower windows tip out

Our Kathleen toured the garden in the late afternoon and found Barbara Bate playing piano on the west patio.

bate

Barbara Bate

north wall of patio

north wall of patio

On a pre-tour visit on June 1st

On a pre-tour visit on June 1st

succulent pocket garden on pre-tour visit, July 3rd

succulent pocket garden on pre-tour visit, July 3rd (lower right corner: Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso’

July 3rd

July 3rd

and on tour day

and on tour day

pots

chair

hydrangea at gate to next area

hydrangea by the entry to the next area of the garden

window reflection with more plants inside

window reflection with more plants inside

looking back on the west side patio

looking back on the west side patio

to our left as we step through into the next area

to our left as we step through into the next area

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

The little watering can is a clever reference to the flowing shape of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'.

The little watering can is a clever reference to the flowing shape of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’.

Or is it 'All Gold'?

Or is it ‘All Gold’?

gold3

Allan’s photo

When we were there in the morning, Barbara Bate was playing in the north side garden.  For her second set, she moved into the sun where Kathleen found her later on.

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo “They were talking Beethoven while Barbara Bate was playing him some samples by memory.”

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

As in all the gardens, I wished for more time to sit and enjoy the music.  I have a soft spot for Barbara, who played at my mother’s memorial at Golden Sands and who knew her favourite song, Because (you come to me with naught save love, and hold my hand, and lift mine eyes above…).

Gunnera in the triangle corner of the garden

Gunnera in the triangle corner of the garden

Every now and then, I run across a garden blogger who lists all sorts of garden descriptive phrases we are not supposed to use anymore because they’ve become passé (“architectural foliage” is one, and “garden rooms” is another).  Well, too bad, because here is a great example of architectural foliage in a garden room.  Each section of this garden is enclosed by a fence, a dense planting, or the wall of the house or a shed and it is like a series of outdoor rooms.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Barbara and the reflected garden

Barbara and the reflected garden

back

garden room with chairs and a carpet

curve

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

daisies

Here’s that aerial photo again; you can pick out the white daisies and the gunnera in the corner.

photo by Bob Duke

photo by Bob Duke

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

yellow

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

garden room with chairs and tub

garden room with chairs and tub

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

on the north fence

on the north fence

window2

flag

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

gate to the kitchen garden

gate to the kitchen garden

kitchen garden

kitchen garden

pre-tour visit, July 3

pre-tour visit, July 3

garden shed

garden shed

hosta detail

hosta detail

diascias

diascias

looking back

looking back

east wall of house

east wall of house

another sit spot

another sit spot

Another aerial photo shows the garden shed and another enclosed nook near the front driveway.

drone photo by Bob Duke

drone photo by Bob Duke

pots2

chairs

photo by Kathleen Shaw in the afternoon

photo by Kathleen Shaw in the afternoon

hydrangea2

The weather was so scorching hot that some plants were wilting, so garden owner John began to water.

John chats with Allan while watering in the nook off the driveway.

John chats with Allan while watering in the nook off the driveway.

by the driveway

by the driveway

Waterlogue

Waterlogue

The Mimosa Garden was a close contender for my favourite 2015 tour garden because of the garden rooms, the whimsical decorations, and the selection of interesting and well grown plants.  To be a contender, a garden must have art that tells me something about the owner, must have more garden than lawn, and must not be a barkscape; the plants must touch and intermingle.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Music in the Gardens Tour, Long Beach Peninsula

a benefit for Water Music Festival

Patti Jacobsen’s Garden

I have had a long connection with Patti’s Seaview garden.  We’ve been friends since well before she started the Music in the Gardens Tour in 2007; after three or four years, she passed the organizational torch to Garden Tour Nancy.

It was high time that her garden was on the tour again, especially since this may be the last year it is under her care.  She has put her home, with its two darling rental cottages, up for sale as she is looking to downsize.

I was sorely tempted by this until I realized how much I enjoy being able to say that Allan and I have completely created our garden ourselves.  The design of Patti’s is so excellent that if I bought the place, I would not want to change much at all (except to add more of the weird plants I like).  There is also the slight matter of being in debt for the rest of our lives!  But for someone, perhaps a garden blogger!, this is a perfect paradise just waiting to be found.

blurb

We were among the first tour guests to arrive at Patti’s garden.

Who could resist this house?

Who could resist this house?

Patti greets Allan.

Patti greets Allan.

When Patti needed some gardening help this year and we were unable to fit her garden in (due to our various extra long weekends of skiving off to garden tours), I recommended a couple of other good gardeners to her.  She said she did not want them “because they don’t come with Allan.”

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Patti’s good friend Susan ready to greet guests; Allan’s photo

Patti, pre-tour, was squirting some organic mosquito repellent around the garden.

Patti, pre-tour, was squirting some organic mosquito repellent around the garden.

As I look longingly upon the house and try to remind myself of the good reasons to stay where we are, I also remind myself that Ilwaco does not seem to have a big mosquito problem.

the front borders

the front borders

beds

I had suggested to Patti over the years solutions for the corner of a yard where a big Cryptomeria had half dead limbs touching the ground.  The first thing she showed me was how she had had it cleaned up (because she did finally find a gardener who was as good as Allan!).

Allan's photo showing the newly limbed up tree

Allan’s photo showing the newly limbed up tree

clean path into the back corner

clean path into the back corner; big tree is to the left

path

under the tree, with refreshed river rock

under the tree, with refreshed river rock

all fixed!

all fixed!

We had offered to haul the pile of debris away and then  I had forgotten all about it, so I was glad to see it all done and so very welcoming a space now.

to the south of the house

to the south of the lawn; big tree is to the right

Allan's photo, looking out to the lawn

Allan’s photo, looking out to the lawn

The whole space around that tree is so opened up now and it is possible to walk all down that side of the garden.

As the tour began, Long Beach city administrator Gene Miles was among the first to arrive.  His exquisite small garden was on last year’s tour.

guests

 

On the south side of the house, a patio with plenty of room for entertaining is bordered by a river rock bed and a small pond.

looking back to the front garden

looking back to the front garden

from the patio: a path leads west to the limbed up tree

from the patio: a path leads west to the limbed up tree

arbour2

pond

patio

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

patio

patio

 

The driftwood bench is from one piece found buried in mud along Willapa Bay.

The driftwood bench is from one piece found buried in mud along Willapa Bay.

dry creek bed by the pond

dry creek bed by the pond

creek

French doors, south side of house.

French doors, south side of house.

The French doors and porch were built by my former partner, Robert, while he lived at Patti’s for a year some time after he and I parted ways.  Now there’s a tale!  He installed the patio was well with his excellent sense for negative space and for not filling everything up with plants.  (I still strive to learn from this.)

As we go around the corner of the house, the patio gravel makes a wide entry to the back deck.

Around the corner

Around the corner

Robert also made the water feature by the back door.

Robert also made the water feature by the back door. (photo from earlier in June)

Behind the low hedge (photo above the water feature) in the southeast corner of the yard is Patti’s kitchen garden.

veg

raspberries and veg; I neglected to photograph the gorgeous stained glass over the entry arbour!

tour guests in the kitchen garden

tour guests in the kitchen garden

The garage is on the north side of the back garden, with a little lean to greenhouse at the end.

Patti's rose garden to the east of her deck.

Patti’s rose garden to the east of her deck.

the east end of the garden

the east end of the garden

the lean to greenhouse

the lean to greenhouse

work area with compost bins and chicken coop; Patti used to keep chickens years ago.

work area with compost bins and chicken coop; Patti used to keep chickens years ago.

The other gate leads to the little garden belong to Rose Cottage, one of Patti’s rental cottages (studio sized).

the back of the house

the back of the house

Patti (Allan's photo)

Patti (Allan’s photo)

One of the birdhouses was occupied by baby birds.

One of the birdhouses was occupied by baby birds.

birdhouses2

houses

around the northeast corner to the north garden

around the northeast corner to the north garden

Allan's photo, looking into the garden from the arbour that leads from the side gate to the back deck

Allan’s photo, looking into the garden from the arbour that leads from the side gate to the back deck

P7190016

looking through the lattice to the north side lawn

looking through the lattice to the north side lawn

shade garden

shade garden

West of the shade garden lawn is the two bedroom rental, a sweet situation if you get the right tenants.

West of the shade garden lawn is the two bedroom rental, a sweet situation if you get the right tenants.

It has its own little fenced yard.

It has its own little fenced yard.  (The two yews in the background mark the front gate of Patti’s garden.)

looking back to the garage and back deck

looking back to the garage and back deck

and then around to the front garden again

and then around to the front garden again

and another look back

and another look back

The south side of the rental cottage makes one side of Patti's front garden.

The south side of the rental cottage makes one side of Patti’s front garden.

The front porch beckons.

The front porch beckons.

While we made our walk around the house, the tour had jumped into full swing.  (Over the course of the day, over 371 people would come through the garden.)

tour guests arriving

tour guests arriving

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Patti's daughter's dog; her own wiggly dog was boarded for the day.

Patti’s daughter’s dog; her own wiggly dog was boarded for the day.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

classic porch swing

classic porch swing

on the porch: raffle items for those who purchase a Water Music Festival membership

on the porch: raffle items for those who purchase a Water Music Festival membership

drawing

at one end of the porch, treats

at one end of the porch, treats

and fine local coffee

and fine local coffee

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Patti's daughter enjoying the visitors.

Patti’s daughter enjoying the visitors.  Oat cakes and jam!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Patti's friend on the porch swing

Susan on the porch swing

tour guests Helen and Debbie arrive.

tour guests Helen and Debbie arrive.

Helen is the owner of the fabulous Westbrook garden in Astoria which we must visit again soon; Debbie is a staunch reader of this blog.

more friends arrive!  Debbie and me (Allan's photo)

more friends arrive! Debbie and me (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Debbie (left) of Rainyside.com had come all the way from Kingston, and Allison (center) had come from Bonney Lake (the Bonney Lassie blog).  We were so pleased to see them both.

guests browsing the garden

guests browsing the garden

In the living room, Cheri Walker of the 42nd Street Café warmed up on her harp.  One of the unusual features of this garden tour is that because it is a benefit for the Water Music Festival (which in turn benefits music programs in local schools), each garden features an accomplished musician.

Cheri in Patti's living room

Cheri in Patti’s living room

which is so beautiful I can't even imagine living there!

which is so beautiful I can’t even imagine living there!

the view from the living room onto the patio

the view from the living room onto the patio

cheri4

Cheri set up so her music would waft out of the French doors onto the patio.

Cheri set up so her music would waft out of the French doors onto the patio.

at the corner of the patio porch

at the corner of the patio porch

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We sat on the porch for awhile, even though I knew we should be getting on as we had ten gardens to see!

P7190027

view from the porch, Allan’s photo

visiting with Helen and Debbie (Allan's photo)

visiting with Helen and Debbie (Allan’s photo)

I told Patti we would be back later (although as it turned out, we saw the last garden in the closing minutes of the tour and never did get back that day to take more photos of Patti’s garden).  Although there’s probably no surprise in the news that Patti’s garden was my favourite, there are many fine gardens to come.

For another view of Patti’s garden, see Alison’s post on the Bonney Lassie blog.

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first would-be guests

first would-be guests

The day before our tour day, rain and wind had me quite worried.  Of course we spent all day working on our garden despite the weather.

I had told the tour organizer that I wanted to be on the tour either this year or in ten years.  Because it is impressive to say “This garden is only one and a half years old” and demonstrate how quickly a garden can be created.  It would not be so impressive as a NEW garden after two and a half years.

Tour day dawned hot and lovely and two guests were already outside the gate by 8 AM.

refreshments

refreshments

One of the most fun things this year had been that my friends and ALMOST gardening neighbours down the street (sadly not RIGHT next door) were also on tour.  Judy and I had many discussions regarding what food to serve, as neither of us wanted to COOK anything, but we did want the guests to feel welcome.  It is not required to put out food, but we had heard another garden was offering sushi, and felt we, on the flatlands, had to make an effort.  (In a later post, you will get to tour her garden as well.)   We had juice in a jug and bottled of water in a wheelbarrow full of ice.

Allan and I served several kinds of cookies, including some made by our dear next door neighbour, Nora, and his favourite, red licorice. A friend commented that the declassé red licorice was perfect for the working class Ilwaco flatlands.  Above left,  you can see the first group of tour goers goggling over Allan’s lovely fern garden. All told, we had about 500 guests.

view from my screened window

view from my screened window as the tour begins

Randy Brown

Randy Brown

Because the tour is a benefit for Water Music Festival, each garden gets a musician. We were fortunate to be assigned Randy Brown, a man with a delightful sense of humour and winning personality.  Most of the time he used the patio as his stage but he did a bit of musical wandering in the garden.  Allan made a video of him improvising a garden song…You can watch it here.

Guests began to pour in on the dot of ten a.m. and kept a steady flow all day.

patio stage

patio stage

I did not take many photos because the plant questions kept me hopping all day long.  In fact, I did so much talking in the hot sun that my lips got sunburned.  I realized later that most of the time when I am outside I am looking down at plants, not up at people.

Having so many appreciative gardeners walking through gave us much joy, and I was thrilled when many who had worked their way from north on the Peninsula to south, our being their last garden, said that ours was their favourite.

garden photographer

garden photographer

In fact, we heard several times, as did our friends Judy and Tom down the street in their tour garden, that Ilwaco ruled the tour and that Lake Street was the best.  It was especially gratifying because every other garden except for mine and Allan’s and Judy and Tom’s had a staff, or at least a paid gardener or friends helping out.  Ours were the only two that were solely and completely created and cared for by the owners.  And to further toot our own horns, Tom was going through chemo every other week while preparing for the tour (he’s fine now!) and Allan and I were also working full time.

I would love to see the many photos that I observed being taken.  I did get a few photos from friends…and would like more.

One particular thrill was having a guest introduce herself as garden celebrity Jolly Butler, someone who actually knows my ultimate gardening mentor-from-afar, Ann Lovejoy, whose lectures originally inspired my fulltime devotion to horticulture.  It had become clear to me after some pondering that the only right name for my garden boat was the “Ann Lovejoy”.

"Plant Vessel" Ann Lovejoy

l will make another post following this one with more details of the garden.  I like to go all out for a garden tour with every inch of the garden weeded (which is why I am always amazed when I tour a garden that has weedy patches).  Naturally, one of the first guests pointed out to me a three foot tall dwarf fireweed that I had missed, and as I walked around I did see other flaws.  I put out a photo of my mom in her garden, and one of my grandmother, and a pile of my favourite gardening books.  A friend got a photo showing the photo of my mother and, in the background on the right, a guest leafing through one of my favourite gardening book inspirations, Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs.

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

All day long, I talked plants, and talked and talked…

tour day

guests

more talking

more talking

and talked…and talked…and talked…  My face blindness hampered me from recognizing people out of context, so between that and the large number of people, by the end of the day I had only a vague idea of which local people had actually visited.  I know that some good friends came through and (while I would have recognized them), I was so busy I did not even see them.

People checked out the entire garden from front to back, so all that weeding had been quite worthwhile.  In my next entries, I’ll take you on a tour  throughout the whole garden as it looked its absolute best.

from my window

from my window

and again a window view

and again a window view

south end of sunny borders

south end of sunny borders

center path

center path

up the west side path

up the west side path

exploring the bogsy wood

exploring the bogsy wood

Join me in my next blog entries for a walk through of the garden in its moment of perfection.  We gardeners all know that perfection in a garden is fleeting but oh so satisfactory.  Following that, I will share the other featured gardens which I visited on a pre- and post-tour day.

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The day had arrived for our stint on the Music in the Gardens tour…and absolute perfection had been attained in our garden, or so I hoped.

upstairs window view

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose (upper left, above) had blessed the garden with its one week of peak bloom.

The beds and pots around the pond were weeded, even the difficult hill in back.

by the pond

Of course as I walked down to the lower gate putting out the final touches (pillows on the middle patio and some last minute printed signage) I found a few more strands of bindweed to pull.

The Akebia vine and roses had started growing back around the Tangly Cottage sign after the massive pruning of 2007.

My Beverly Nichols book cover had been copied, laminated, and hung near the entryway

“Garden Open Today”

The entry with tour guides and signs and a white balloon to mark this as a tour garden.

interpretive signs

On some plants I placed photos of what they would do later on; in this case, the berries of Hypericum ‘Glacier’.  Along a shady walk, I wrote garden quotations on cards and hung them from the tree-like hardy fuchias.
The sunny day was not wonderful for photo taking but made the tour-goers happy.  My lower garden looked like it always enjoyed this sort of weather.

sunny lower garden

 The stepping stone stream walk through the lower garden arbour had never looked more inviting.

walk through the stream

Barely had I pulled a few more strands of bindweed (which must have sprouted overnight) than the hordes of people came.  I found it overwhelming and exciting and did not once think to take photos of women in their garden hats wandering through….except for my mother who sat for awhile on the pond patio.  She said that she could now understand why Allan and I did not want to leave this garden and move to her place even though that was a possibility that we still often discussed.

my mom by the pond, overhung with Fuchsias

This would have been her view across the pond bridge toward Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’.

view from pond island

(We called that sit spot an island, but the back border was a seasonal damp ditch rather than water.)

squeeze effect

Just before you got to the pond island bridge, after walking past the spruce tree from Lower Garden, you’d get this enticing view of our cottage.  Ann Lovejoy would call passing through this willow arbour “a squeeze effect”.

approaching the cottage

We’d planted up containers on the stone steps going up to the house with cool annuals we’d acquired on recent plant shopping trips….an expense we had never gone to just for ourselves.

Below, I’m looking back from the base of those steps toward the willow arch. “Before” pictures of the garden placed there caused quite a sensation regarding how blank (just lawn and a spruce tree!) it was in 1994.

looking back, with before and after pictures posted at the right

These were the before pictures that astonished people, taken in 1994 from around the same spot.

befores

Now the old trailer was still there but painted hunter green and covered with roses.  The silver shed and the old trailer formed an L shaped roofed nook and in it was a water feature with a working flower pot water wheel made by Allan.  The water gave the illusion of having come from the pond because it was at about the same level.  Behind the roofed and shady patio I’d put big pillows on the trailer porch and some people sat and hung out there for awhile.

Allan’s water wheel

Allan’s garden

We guided people through the half-greenhouse/half pergola on the downhill side of the house and around through Allan’s garden shade garden. One of my happiest moments of the tour is when two women stopped in the greenhouse and read aloud to her mother a gardening poem I had posted there.*   Allan had achieved perfection in his backyard garden that used to be nothing but a weedy, muddy dog yard.

As she left the garden from the upper patio a friend took this photo looking back to the house.  This has remained one of my favourite images of the old Tangly Cottage.

from the upper gate

During a midafternoon lull in touring I found myself missing the praise and compliments and said “I want more people!  More people! ”  (And some more came through at the end, folks who had begun the tour at the north end of the Peninsula.)  Therefore I was not at all averse when a member of a garden club from Vancouver asked if she could bring her group back through the garden on August 12nd.  That would be an inspiration to keep it perfect.

Meanwhile, we would check out more tour gardens in Astoria and Gearhart, Oregon and try to catch up on our rather neglected work.

*The poem which was read aloud in the greenhouse:
Portrait of a Neighbour by Edna St. Vincent Millay

PORTRAIT BY A NEIGHBOR

BEFORE she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!

It’s long after midnight
Her key’s in the lock,
And you never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!

She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon.

She walks up the walk
Like a woman in a dream,

She forgets she borrowed butter

And pays you back cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s lace!

The local paper had these wonderful words to say about our garden on tour day:

“We headed for Ilwaco and entered into an uber-planetary oasis called Tangly Cottage, Skyler Walker and Allan Fritz’s gnomish Eden.* Teacups adorned curly willow.** Quotes were clothes-pinned along the pathways. A small water wheel of tiny clay pots graced the patio of an abandoned single-wide***, the first structure on the property. 

Everywhere we looked, there was a fascinating plant we had never seen before and Skyler would appear, as if from nowhere, to give us the name of it.

Strategically placed here and there were gardening reference books, in case anyone wanted to look at pictures instead of the real thing. No way!

‘The main purpose of a garden is to give its owner the best and highest kind of earthly pleasure,’ wrote Gertrude Jekyll, influential British garden designer, writer, and artist.****

We couldn’t have agreed more.”

Cate Gable, Chinook Observer newspaper, July 2, 2008

*We don’t have any garden gnomes, though.

** contorted filbert (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick’), not curly willow

***actually a small travel trailer

****one of the quotations I put up in the garden.

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Long Beach Peninsula Garden Tour: 

Nahcotta Rhododendron Garden

picture-1146

When Robert and I first moved to the Peninsula on Christmas eve of 1992, we soon heard of a nursery called Hall’s Gardens, owned by Don and Marva Hall.  Over the next few years we stopped by there a number of times, drawn by the walk around the large pond, the rock garden of interesting small plants, many new to me, and the nursery offerings.  In my garden today grow two large ‘Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick’ contorted filberts originally purchased from Hall’s.

When Hall’s went up for sale, we heard that Dan Hinkley of Heronswood toured the property but decided too much of it was wetland without enough room for propagation houses. Would that Heronswood had moved to the Peninsula…I had already been mail ordering from them since their beginning…what a joy that would have been!

Then Hall’s disappeared into obscurity for me until a couple of years ago when I heard that it had been purchased and the garden renovated by Gary Ayers and Daniel Drinkard. So for it to be on the Music in the Garden tour caused me considerable excitement.

(Below) The gardens around the house are rich in detail…the decorative stepping stones inside the entry arch and a deep blue glossy urn backed with bamboo

…and a fountain pond on the way to the front door…..

The house, for sale again, was open for touring but I was pretty much drawn straight through from the front door to the veranda with its view of the pond.  Now here’s a pond you could take a small boat out on.

the deck overlooking the pond

Maybe the metal sign saying “SIMPLIFY” is one reason the house and garden is for sale.  I would imagine it requires considerable work, but if we were about $200,000 dollars richer it is work we would gladly take on. (Allan has two small boats, and there is that pond….)…  As it is, our having no mortgage provides much freedom from financial stress…and yet, that pond!! Ours is a wee puddle in comparison, a mere muddy dewdrop.

(left) looking from the shady verandah out to the pond and (right) from the other side of the pond back to the house.

With over 8 acres there’s so much to see.  The back end of the property is swamp which may be innaccessible, but the one half acre pond itself still has a soft mossy path wandering all around it.

views of the pond

The pond, the pond, sigh, the glorious pond.  I am sure every gardener who toured the place dreamed of owning it. I suppose I would rather own my tiny bit of paradise than be in thrall to a mortgage on a bigger one, but I do hope an avid gardener buys the place. I’ll imagine myself there often!

Thanks to Patti Jacobsen for putting on a wonderful tour and to all the Peninsula residents who opened their gardens.

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You might think we never work anymore, just take days off and go on garden tours. Not so, but in order to get some time off it’s true that I’m so focused on work that I don’t get out the camera much on jobs.

This week we did accomplish one long awaited thing:  The Shelburne fence got its final coat of paint where the truck went into the garden and we were able to add soil and plants.  And at Anthony’s-darling-Home-Court, we pruned down the rhodos to let more light into the cabins.  And of course, we spent a half day at Jo’s garden getting it to shine on the “Music in the Garden” tour of the peninsula, a benefit for Water Music Festival.

We did some work at (left) The Shelburne and (right) Anthony’s Home Court.

Long Beach Peninsula garden tour

We began the tour by meeting Mary of Klipsan Beach Cottages and her mother, also Mary (known as “Mary Mom”), who joined us for the first part of the tour.  Then back we went to Long Beach so that the Marys could be part of the amazed visitors Jo’s garden which is so stuffed with colour and beauty that it fills one with joy to enter.  That effect is not achieved without much investment of love, time and money, good soil amendments and dependable watering.  Jo displayed some of her lovely garden quilts (an area where her talent is as great as gardening) and lemonade and cookies. Familiar faces already began to appear in the gardens:  Dianne Duprez, Seaview masseuse, and others whom I recognized but could not place a name to. It is awkward sometimes to be able to remember plant names so much better than human names.

Jo’s garden (left), with cookies! and (right) Mary Newell’s archway.

Onward to Mary Newell’s garden in Surfside…  I have always admired it as we drive by it on the way to work in Marilyn’s garden just a block away.   The brick arch, seen in the background, right, over a lawn with an island rose bed, impressed me deeply. The tour brochure said she has 125 roses, but I overheard a remark that it might be more like 200 by now.

Mary Newell’s garden

Mary Newell’s back yard (above) is a lovely shady dell with island beds, a playhouse, and a deck filled with those charming whimsical touches that skilled gardeners add to their hardscapes. She let me peek into her pot ghetto and there were only a few, maybe only ONE, unplanted plants in it: most impressive.

North and east over to Oysterville we drove to Polly Friedlander’s large back yard garden with its formal topiaries and live classical piano music.

Friedlander garden in Oysterville

I would never be able to have a garden like this; inside the fenced topiary garden (above left) are little geometrical beds which I would so soon have spilling over with plants that the lines would disappear.  I love the way the wilder part of the garden (above right) just spills out into the meadows with a view of Willapa Bay.

We toured one more garden before Mary and Mary returned to KBC, but oh my! it and the final garden on our tour will need their own entry.

So let’s move on to Allan and I visiting a tiny garden in Ocean Park at Debbie Halliburton’s tiny gem around a 1910 cottage.  You know how I love small houses so you can imagine my delight at this impeccably cute one.

The front of Debby’s tiny cottage, and the back deck’s inviting purple chairs. The garden greeter had a dog to pet…named Stinky…who wasn’t.

As we drove back through Nahcotta to the next garden, we passed the Charles Nelson Guest house and Allan said “People are dancing!” We knew it was on the tour and featured music to promote water music festival, but dancing? It turned out a wedding was in progress and the garden closed to touring for an hour and half, so we missed out on the fairy garden there.

Our next stop was Larry Warnberg and Sandy Bradley’s garden, with potatoes a particular feature. Sandy has promoted a project to plant potatoes in gardens all over the Peninsula.  Their poppy patch was so beautiful with a fringed purple poppy that I got a dreadful photo of, but perhaps I don’t want to show it anyway and get too much competition for the seeds.

Sandy’s “potatoes in a sandy land” foreground) and Poppies. Dibs on a few of the fringed purple seeds.

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