Posts Tagged ‘water’

Through the end of February and into the middle of March, we had much rain.  The bogsy wood looked so scenic; I do wish these were year round ponds and puddles!


water in the bogsy woods

water in the bogsy woods

Meanwhile, in the back yard of our neighbour’s home behind the tiny cottage where our friend J9 lived a lake formed, pretty but impractical.

j9's lake

J9’s lake

Of course, the weather gave us some days off which I put to good use doing flashbacks of the years 2008 and 2009 for this blog.

Lake J9

Lake J9 (our neighbour’s yard)

The photos above were all taken around March 12th-15th. Enough bad weather continued into March that I was able to reminisce about the year 2010 before work season hit full force.  I was fortunate to be home during the day on March 30th and to see the Port of Ilwaco backhoe operating on the “meander line” between our property and the port parking lot.  (I love the meander line and have chronicled it from one end to the other here.)  Steve of the Port kindly asked me just how I would like to have the ditch dug, and I said I would love a pond, even though it would be seasonal, so he made a nice wide spot right there.

skillful digging

skillful digging

As I returned to the house to get ready for work I again wished that the standing water remained all year, because look how pretty!

looking north from outside the south gate

looking north from outside the south gate

looking north from the bridge

looking north from the bridge

On the 8th of May I rejoiced in bluebells (scilla) in the bogsy wood, outside the fence: deer proof and a perfect spot for this sometimes annoyingly invasive bulb.

bluebell woods

bluebell woods

I tend to come across Scilla bulbs at work when people want to get rid of them, so I now have a perfect place to plant them.  If I may digress from water for a moment, they look beautiful against my neighbour’s house as well.

Nora's bluebellsBut back to the bogsy wood:  The seasonal pond continued to look grand on the 8th of May.

seasonal pond in Mary

seasonal pond in May

On June 18th, we still had water!  A client came over to visit and brought her young son back to see the bridge and the fairy doors in the woods.  He ran out to the water and pointed out something that I had not noticed: tadpoles!

the pond in June

the pond in June

with tadpoles!

with tadpoles!

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The Astoria Garden Tour is put on by  a society whose focus is preservation historic homes rather than hortheads.  So forgive me if I say that in 2008 I ended up saving only these few photos from the tour…2008 was not the tour’s most impressive year.

two gardens

(left) the garden with dog and interesting container display is a gardening business down a hard to find road.  For years I kept their beautiful business card…..something Moon??  They had a fascinating collection of container plants and I remember a good water feature down by the street….

I liked the middle garden’s waterfall cascading through a couple of ponds down a shady ferny slope.  I remember talking with the homeowner, a woman older than me, about chronic dizziness (brought up by my choosing to go around the edge path rather than back down the steep steps).  She had suffered from it for years.  Happily mine passed by 2011, mostly.  The righthand photo is from the same garden on the very top of the slope.  When I saw the greenhouse I remembered I had been in the garden before the waterfall had been built.  It must have been on a previous tour and a far different garden without the lovely water feature.

The best garden for me was one I had lucked into seeing several years earlier, back when the Daily Astorian had an excellent weekly column called “In the Garden” (and why they dropped it is beyond me; I loved it and read it first thing every week in the Coast Weekend section).  The author’s name was…can I remember? Cathy Peterson maybe? and I had corresponded with her a bit in e-mail.  Oh!  She interviewed Robert and me for the paper once!  And my webmistress saved it on our website…Yes, Cathy Peterson….What a great weekly column she wrote.  When she retired from the column, the Astoria brought in a new writer who wrote at least two very good columns (one was about installing an old garden shed into her new Ilwaco garden lot)…and then the column was dropped.  I remain flummoxed and think of it every time we drive by the Ilwaco house with the old shed.

Cathy and an Astorian gardener named Jessica (whose business had a charming name like Wyndlesham gardens or something like that and whose clever slogan was “hand tool gardening”) spirited us away from the tour that year to see a non-tour garden up and over the hill in an area of more modern homes.  I have now slowly worked to my point:  In 2008 that garden was again on the tour and had it not been such a bright, hard to photograph day, I would have more photos of it.

by the sidewalk

Golden foliage brightens the gardens in front of the house and the Alliums are the sure sign of someone who appreciates good plants.

by the deck

The back yard has sunny beds around the inviting deck.

on the deck

The deck has a prow shape, good for standing as on a ship and overlooking the garden.

The garden falls away in the back to shady woods which are not particularly planted up but do have the occasional decorative touch.

in the woods

On the left is a good idea for camouflaging a black plastic pot and on the left, a statue makes a focal point in an old outdoor fireplace.

After visiting so many gardens in June and July I felt a little bereft at the end of the Astoria tour.  I had one more open day to look forward it in our own garden and in less than a month we would luck into a surprisingly excellent tour of gardens not far from Astoria.

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 Study Weekend Touring, hosted by Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group

Feeling the anxiety of getting all the tour gardens properly seen before the end of the day we next drove to a hillside garden.  A lion’s face greeted us as we entered. I think that this is the  garden and creation of Byan Lauber.

The garden included a pond with a view.

I love the boardwalk and keep wanting to use this idea every time I see it.  It might get slippery but not if it had wire mesh affixed over the boards.

Next we saw what I believe is the Ron Hodges garden.  Why I have no photos of the courtyard that one entered after this hillside is a mystery.  Perhaps I was feeling the pressure of time slipping away.

a steep terraced hillside garden

Coming down that little rocky stairway, I very much felt the effect of the chronic dizziness that plagued me for a couple of years, and gardener’s knees, and felt quite old as I had to take the owner’s proferred hand to get down.  Maybe that is why I didn’t take photos of the courtyard…I do remember it as an enclosed little oasis with a water feature and tropical plants.

We almost skipped the large garden (next entry) that was a long drive out from the others, and I’m so glad we didn’t because it was sheer perfection.  The description in the tour guide said “2.5 acre site which stretches out on both sides of the road and along Lost Creek” and we decided it sounded too intriguing to miss even though we still had an hour or more drive in the other direction to get home to Sheila’s house.

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