Posts Tagged ‘WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties’

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

On every garden tour I attend, I have a favorite. I don’t think there has ever even been a tie. This does not make the other gardens lesser, as it’s a matter of personal idiosyncratic taste. This garden was our favorite for this year. This means there are about a million photos, so I will arrange them in galleries which you can enlarge by clicking through them, if you like this sort of thing as much as we do. We did our best to get every item in the correct spot.

We arrived at a handsome house with an interesting array of signs and containers on the front porch. One of the docents checking us in was Wendy, whose garden we loved the first time we attended this tour.

We then walked down the side driveway and came upon a huge parking area between house a long garage and shed. Against the wall were appealing arrangements of automotive relics and plants. I said to Allan, “Wow, these people really know how to display their stuff.”

I noticed people up on the large porch and went up a convenient ramp to see what was to be seen. I love the way all the plants and objects were displayed. It is a talent to put vignettes together so well.

Through an arbor is a secluded back porch room with transparent ceiling. I said to Allan how very much I want a room like that.

A lower level one step down had more delightful displays.

I peeked inside the open shed to see the well set up potting area.

The L shaped garden was off to the side (and front) of the house, and in the middle of it was an outbuilding which houses more vintage items.

I wanted to but did not go inside because of my Covid protocols; it was small with other tour guests coming and going. However, Terri of Markham Farm sent me her photos of the interior, so you and I can peruse them together. Garden owner Glenna, whose husband Mike gives her full credit for all the great arranging of stuff, sat on the porch and regaled us with a story of how one day while working on restoring the house, which had been full of rats, cats, bats, and blackberry vines when they bought it, she found a piece of wood with a man’s name written on it and wondered what the story was about it. Within a few hours, a truck had pulled up in front of the house with a man driving, who turned out to be that man, and out of the back seat emerged a tiny 99 year old woman who had been an original homesteader in the neighborhood. “We were all in tears by the time the visit ended,” said Glenna. The man then mailed her a packet of photos of the house as it once was.

Glenna and Mike restored the house and added the dormer and porches.

I explored the back corner of the garden…

…and the long side garden past the vintage display shed…

…and discovered that the large side porch had even more impeccably curated displays.

Around to the front of the house, I admired the porch closer up but did not go out the gate. I liked the whole place so much that I walked around the whole thing in the other direction before we departed.

This sort of thing is exactly my cup of tea.

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Saturday, 23 July 2022

WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County present:

We entered down a long driveway…

…and were greeted by the gardeners, family members, and a cute, soft and friendly dog.

To the right was the kitchen garden.

In the back garden, we found lots of sit spots, shady shelters, homes and water for birds, flowers for pollinators, and a rustic greenhouse and shed.

The garden was chock full of the gardeners’ creativity and humor. I observed guests enjoying the signs.

I’d have liked to spend more time with that darling dog, but we had four more gardens to see.

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Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

In a neighborhood near Aberdeen, we toured a garden with the spectacular feature of ancient tree stumps overgrown with native plants and shrubs. Fascinating. The huge landscape is surrounded on two or three sides by woodland.

This was another garden that was easy to navigate with a rollator, maybe something all gardeners should think about, as we all get old if we’re lucky, and most of us know or will know someone with walking disabilities. As always with a very large garden, and with two people taking photos, we are not completely sure that the progression of our walk is entirely in the right sequence. We have included some of the text of a handout that was given to tour guests.

The entryway had some bright annuals added.

As we entered the former home of giant trees, the look became more woodsy and naturalistic. We applaud the garden owners for preserving the giant tree stumps.

Allan noticed this clever signage that shows what the garden looks like in its autumn finery.

We came upon a vertical strawberry patch and kitchen garden along the back fence.

Allan found this clever usage of a tire to protect the faucet from damage.

We walked through the behind the house garden to another large area surrounded by woods.

The signs told us that we could not wander off into the woods, tempting though those paths were.

Back to the start

The garden most definitely had lived up to its tranquil name.

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Saturday, 23 July 2022

Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

Our first garden was in Montesano, a town just east of Aberdeen. The home is next to Vessey and Sons contractors and its work yard full of big trucks. How enviable to have such a great source of wonderful rocks (which we assumed, perhaps correctly, were sourced by the Vesseys). As Allan and I tour together, we notice similar and different things.

As always, the tour program is a keepsake booklet with each garden getting two pages.
Each garden got this nice sign as a memento.

This was my first foray into rollator touring. I’ve been in many gardens where it would have been a struggle to get through with such a device. This one was a dream to start out in, very easy to navigate.

A place to show painted rocks

The front garden is a parklike setting with shrubs and trees and beautiful rocks with pools of bright annuals.

The front entry garden with annual accents segues into a flawless lawn with massive boulders in the center.

Spectacular and enviable boulders!

At the front of the house, annual color brightens up the weedless beds.

Walk through to back yard

The back garden is set up for entertaining in sun or shade.

A shed with a garage door like this would be ever so useful to us!

The business work yard also has landscaping.

This was the only Montesano garden on the tour. We were now off to Aberdeen, a city that I love. We saw some wonderful old houses as we drove west through Montesano, and I wish we had stopped to photograph them, but the lure of garden touring was too strong to allow for getting sidetracked.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor Garden Tour

We entered the garden at the end of a long driveway. As always, this wise sign was by the entry way.

We could immediately tell that the gardeners love music.

In the distance, we could hear pop music playing on some good speakers.

The immediate driveway garden had been planted fairly recently but intermingled with some well established trees, mostly beautiful conifers.

Wider garden beds go off to either side.

I covet that rhododendron
The house appears.

As I approached the house, the song Ten Million Fireflies, which I heard for the first time only recently and happen to find especially gorgeous, started playing. As a sign said in the previous garden, it was a moment that took my breath away.

The patio with garden views

The signs must have been fun to come up with and the numbers corresponded with a garden map that I’d been given at the entrance.

Rosa glauca

Around the side of the house was a woodsy path….

…with a most interestingly pruned bamboo that reminded me of a floor lamp.

The path led off to the right and down to a lawn on which several new and empty beds were being prepared for an ambitious and expansive new planting. Because it was 85 degrees in the sun, I didn’t think to take a photo of those.

Behind the house, beds around a new fire circle were newly planted.

We liked the shakes on a shed and the cute and friendly dogs within.

At the edge of the woods nearby, I found the entrance to a pet memorial garden…

…and I felt sentimental, of course.

The walk back down the driveway included more garden sights.

I love to hear a Swainson’s thrush.

This time, I crossed over to the impressive fenced kitchen garden that I’d noticed on the way in. I didn’t go inside because I wanted to return to the shade.

Down by the road again, Allan noticed the trunks of a tree and wondered what it was. I do not know.

I hope that this garden returns to the Grays Harbor tour in a few years so that folks can see the new gardens all grown up. I’d love to see what the gardeners do with the empty lawn beds.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor Tour

Today’s tour features three large country gardens in the countryside around Elma and Satsop, east of Aberdeen. Each had so much to offer that three gardens easily took up all the tour time.

As we approached the first garden, I had a lovely chat with a gentleman whose garden had been one of my favorites on a previous north county tour.

the sign on a shed

There was a lot to look at even before we got to the official ticket check in table, starting with the orchard and berries, where a wealth of information was provided.

Two outbuildings lured us away from the check in table.

A fairy garden for the grandchildren (and grandmother, too):

In a bed of ferns, we admired a cleverly enhanced pump house.

Looking across to the fenced garden

We finally checked in like proper tour guests.

Our next exploration was of a border that was two years old. Allan overheard someone say, “Last time we were here, you were chopping wood in this area!”

We turned our attention to the planting at the side of the house.

We walked the passageway between the side of the house and the fence.

I like words in a garden.

Where the path continued…

….we turned to the garden on the other side of the house.


Who did we then see but Debbie and her sisters! Debbie told us they had found out about the tour through our “real time update” in a blog post.

Dawn, sister in law Laura, Debbie, Dana

They had been touring since earlier in the day and were able to give me some reassurance about a long gravel road that would take us to the next garden.

We had a delightful natter until I suddenly realized I was much too hot and had to get out of the sun. The temperature was approaching 80 degrees. On the side of a large shed, I found a shady dell with a fire circle.

A farewell look back to a paradise

As I left there and emerged back into the sun, it was time to move on to the next garden.

From our vehicle, driving away, we had one last view of the orchard and berry patch from below.

This garden left us well pleased. The long drive from home had already been proven worthwhile.

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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

Garden 8: Fruit, Berries and Roses

Allan’s photo

A path winds through front garden trees…

…to a fenced side yard full of fruits and veg.  I am always impressed with a successful kitchen garden, especially in a maritime climate.  Kitchen gardening is something at which I do not excel.

a serious deer fence (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo

lemons and oranges


Allan’s photo

roses and grapes

at the back of the grapes


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

inside the green mesh house

Allan’s photo

potted paulownia tree

into the back garden…

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

..where a path led off into the woods.

We returned to the front garden and made our plans with Peter and Kilyn for an early dinner.

Peter contemplates the front garden

Allan and I waited till Teresa caught up and then we all met at…

Galway Bay Irish Pub

Allan’s photo

We enjoyed our meal and could see why an Ocean Shores friend had recommended this place.

bangers and mash

potato soup

Just before we left, we found that if we went through the Guinness door…

…we would come upon an dining patio that looked most appealing.

It lacked the large table that we had needed for our excellent feast.

We parted ways, till meeting again tomorrow morning at Markham Farm.

pink petunias on the way to Markham

The last page of the tour booklet:

Still to come before returning to the workaday world: Markham Farm, of course, and a return visit to Cindy’s garden, one of our favourites from last year’s tour.





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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

Garden 7: Beauty and the Bay

I had reasons to look forward to this garden.  Diane is the aunt of Terri of Markham Farm, and Terri would be co-hosting.  I am not playing favourites when I say I liked this garden best.

photo by Evan Bean

along the street

along the street

Allan’s photo

the other side of the front driveway

Kilyn’s photo on instagram…followed by her caption

(Each garden had a sign reminding us of the plant sale at the community garden.)

Note those cool rocks with holes in them.  I found some like that in 1991 on Kalaloch Beach.

into the back garden

just inside the gate

Allan’s photo

To our left was the memory garden with mementos including the hard hat and boots worn by Uncle Neil when he helped build the road to Paradise on Mount Rainer.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

On to the back garden.  I was already smitten.

To our right, a sunroom/greenhouse.

fire circle


Allan’s photo

To our left, vegetables in barrels….

Roses and driftwood…

photo by Evan Bean

roses and agapanthus…

In the corner, a garden boat.

Then a mossy burbling rock…


..and a driftwood gate.


photo by Evan Bean

Outside the gate, a view of North Bay:

Looking back at the house:

fire circle

Allan’s photo

On the deck:

Allan’s photo

Leaving the deck…

…we explored the rest of the bayside garden, a separate-feeling area to the right of the driftwood gate.

path to a gate

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the bay side of the house

Twin frogs instead of lions flank the doorway.

another burbling rock

Allan’s photo

wheelbarrows and probably pots of spring bulbs beside the house

We still had not seen it all; we next found the enclosed garden at the front of the house.

a little pond

You might recognize this from the garden tour poster.

photo by Evan Bean

a beautiful front porch

a woman after my own heart in many ways

We had found Terri in the front garden courtyard and had a good chat.  Because her aunt was out touring other gardens, we did not get to meet her, but I know Terri will tell her how much we loved her garden.

Kilyn and Peter had arranged a tailgate teatime for four with homemade scones (Peter’s) and cookies and small sandwiches.  What a delight. We were joined by Evan and Ann.

Allan’s photo

We loaded up plants that Ann had brought for me to purchase from two nurseries she works for (propagating plants): Secret Garden Growers and Cistus Nursery.

While Kilyn and Peter went on ahead to the next (and last) garden, I just had to have one more walk through the Lemke garden because I loved it so much.  When we finally were about to tear ourselves away, Teresa from the Planter Box arrived, much to our surprise and pleasure.

She had manage to wrangle two days off from her garden center, so of course we all extended an invitation to her to come tour Markham Farm garden with us on Sunday.  We left her chatting with Terri and departed for the final tour garden.



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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

garden six: Deep in the Woods

Allan’s photo

The base of the front porch has rocks made by the owner, from molds and a cement dye.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A dry creek bed flows from the side garden to the street.

Allan’s photo

the side garden under the trees

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

That’s Ann taking a detail photo

A windowed gate says something about friendly neighbours.