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Posts Tagged ‘Xera plants’

We were most decidedly rained out of work; on both day I took photos of the gratifying amount of water in the bogsy woods.

Friday, 13 November 2015

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We could get fancier chairs but these are honestly the most comfortable (when upright).  We’d had some wind.

I see through the east gate that the crab pots next door have been moved and are elsewhere now in readiness for the crab season.

I see through the east gate that the crab pots next door have been moved and are elsewhere now in readiness for the crab season.

The garden would look wilder if we brought the hoses in.

The garden would look wilder if we brought the hoses in.

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turning to look back (north) up the west side path

turning to look back (north) up the west side path

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south fence

splishy splashy walk

splishy splashy walk

I find this most pleasing.

I find this most pleasing.

outside the south fence

outside the south fence (looking due south)

looking north from the south gate

looking north from the south gate

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looking east

looking west

looking west

I like the look of the extra river rock that we put into the (sometimes dry) creekbed.

I like the look of the extra river rock that we put into the (sometimes dry) creek bed.

hardy fuchsias still blooming

hardy fuchsias still blooming

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

one of our water features

one of our water features

and another

and another

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I meant to read after my walk round the property, but having the place all to myself inspired me to putter at tidying the garage (since I could make all the decisions about where to put things).  I noticed Allan had had the clever idea of inserting a couple of bulb sorting milk crates into the shelves, and I expanded on the idea and got all our garden supplies sorted by type.

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The blue tin can to the left has all the COOL tags.

A few days back I had sorted out a big bucket of plant tags, throwing out all the duplicates and winnowing the last couple of years of tags down to two containers.  Today, I refined them into having one blue can containing all the most special tags from Cistus and Xera and Joy Creek.  Like these:

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The bottom tag tells me that I HAD bought a Heptacodium before Debbie Teashon brought me one this fall, but clearly it had died in its youth, as I have none in the garden other than the one she brought.

These were all from when Pam Fleming had the glorious and much missed Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

These were all from when Pam Fleming had the glorious and much missed Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  Oh, except for the Hymenanthera, which I got at 7 Dees Seaside (and had lost that tag for four years!)

I spent several years not knowing what the cool shrub in my front garden was.

I spent several years not knowing what the cool shrub in my front garden was.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries, last month

ID for the lovely sedum I can see from my blogging window.

ID for the lovely sedum I can see from my blogging window.

and this Snowberry that is next to Allan's garden.

and this Snowberry that is next to Allan’s garden.

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In the last hour of daylight, the rain stopped. I had gotten my onw bulbs sorted into three boxes (front garden, back garden, and garden boat) and thought I might plant some…till I realized that Allan had taken all the bulb food away with him in the van!

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

So I had no choice but to finally finishing my book; thanks to a mention in the Susan Conant Dog Lover’s Mystery series, I had learned that a particular favourite author has two books I had not read:

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Just some bits I liked:

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And this amused me because I spend a great deal of time peering into my iPhone:

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and then this, as I am entering the third act:

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When I came emerged from the end of the book, I had a text from a friend telling me about the latest horrors in the real world, and when Allan arrived home he said he had been listening to the NPR newscast during all his driving time.  It cast much somberness over the evening as I contemplated the many such tragedies that take place around this world.

Allan’s day

a trip to Astoria and Warrenton for an oil change and shopping...

a trip to Astoria and Warrenton for an oil change and shopping…here on the Washington side along the Columbia River

waves splashing up over the breakwater

waves splashing up over the breakwater by a Lewis and Clark interpretive sign

an adorable Tillamook cheese van is a cheerful note to end on

an adorable Tillamook cheese van is a more cheerful note to end on

Saturday, 14 November 2014

  As for the day time, I took another walk in the late afternoon back to the bogsy wood to see how deep the water was (deeper than Friday), tried to read a book, could not concentrate, read a lot of news reports.

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

splashier than yesterday

splashier than yesterday

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Allan wonders when he will be able to mow.

Allan wonders when he will be able to mow and how far will the mower spray water if he did it now.

I'm glad I got these areas pretty much weeded.

I’m glad I got these areas pretty much weeded.

Today I wore boots so I could walk through here; the water came up to the tops of calf-height rain boots.

Today I wore boots so I could walk through here; the water came up to the tops of calf-height rain boots.

The big event of the evening will be another post on our other blog, which I will re-blog over to here by tomorrow morning.

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Friday, 1 November 2013

We had made a plan to go shopping “overseas” (NW Oregon) but had to squeeze some work in first.  (My Facebook friends know that I am trying to avoid using the word “but” too often in the blog, but here, oh, and THERE, I will allow it!)

I had noticed on Halloween evening as we toured the town’s decorations that Cheri’s garden definitely needed some fall clean up.  The dead brown stalks of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ might have looked spooky for the big Ilwaco holiday.  Now it is over, so today down they came.

Cheri's, before

Cheri’s, before

One of the cats (Jake, I think) was out in the new cat enclosure.

Pet me!  Rub my head now!  More please!

Pet me! Rub my head now! More please!

KITTY corner across the street, I checked on Mike’s garden as well.

Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'...

pale pink Schizostylis and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’…

...and Pulmonaria and Brunnera 'Looking Glass' in Mike's garden

…and Pulmonaria and Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’ in Mike’s garden

Then, at the Port, we weeded the Time Enough Books garden.  The next day a big event would take place.

Soup Night book signing tomorrow!

Soup Night book signing tomorrow!

I took some photos in order to help promote the event on Facebook.

books and bowls

books and bowls

Local potter Karen Brownlee, she who organizes the wonderful Empty Bowls charity event here on the Long Beach Peninsula, had created some bowls especially for Soup Night.

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I particularly looked forward to the event because the author, Maggie Stuckey, had co-written the excellent kitchen garden book, The Bountiful Container, and because Maggie is friends with Peninsula garden tour organizer Nancy Allen.

I then checked on the wee garden on the south side of the Port Office.

after a bit of deadheading and weeding

after a bit of deadheading and weeding

The marina’s mirror like reflection belied the storm warning evidenced by two triangle flags.

so peaceful....

looking west….so peaceful….

looking east

looking east…placid and still

and yet!!

and yet!!

The gale warning gave me something to worry about.  What if the power went out when the storm came during the night or the next morning?  How would we have delicious soup at the book signing?

Even though the weather continued into the afternoon warm and wind free, we went across the river.  I felt bad about it as we should have been working.  And yet Bulb Time fast approaches and I wanted to check out the fall plants available at Back Alley Gardens.  Crossing the river in the wind (on a bridge, not a boat) scares me.  And the cats would be quite agitated if we did not replenish their canned food treats at Costco….so off we drove.

Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart

Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart

It is pleasant to browse a nursery on a beautiful day.  We usually take trips there only on rainy days.  For the longest time I felt that the nearby town of Warrenton had a bleak and miserable appearance until I realized one summer garden touring day that I had ONLY seen it on rainy day Costco shopping trips.

As always, Back Alley had a collection of wonderful, irresistible plants from Xera.  Theirs is the only nursery locally to offer them.  I made another purchase to add to my collection of plants I have no idea where I am going to put…

They are must haves....

They are must haves….

One of the most interesting finds was a hardy water plant, to the left, above.    Xera says:  “Cyperus sp. ‘Zero’:  A large growing perennial for moist locations including water containers and the margins of ponds.  To 4′ tall and upright, outer stems bend outward in time.  Excellent textural plant throught the summer months.  Stiffly rising green stems have the look of bamboo topped with umbrella shaped leaflets.  Deciduous in winter (freezes back to the ground, returns in spring).”  I have one from the Planter Box that did come back once.  This one might be a more unusual cultivar!  Over the winter we intend to install an embarrassingly generic black plastic pond that we got for free (and we do appreciate it!), so we had better have something cool to make it special.

Another plant new (to me) was Escallonia ‘Lou Allen’.  I adore Escallonias even though many of my friends consider them passé.  Escallonia ‘Lou Allen’ is described by Xera as a “FANTASTIC compact form of Escallonia that grows relatively slowly to only 2′ tall and 3′ wide. Great low hedge or small scale groundcover.  Very formal looking. Medium pink flowers appear in early summer and sporadically throughout the year.Tough low maintenance shrub that is drought tolerant when established. Evergreen. Full sun to very light shade in average soil. No pruning necessary- it just grows like this. Cool.”  I have NO idea where I need three compact Escallonia (other than sitting in pots waiting to be planted somewhere).  They are here now!

on the deck at Back Alley

on the deck at Back Alley

inside the shop, "The Natural Nook"

inside the shop, “The Natural Nook”

All summer long, we could count on being stopped near the highest spot of the Astoria Megler bridge because of work going on.  Now that storm season is here the work has ceased, so I cannot show you a good photo of a marvelous sight we saw going home.  All I can offer is a hint taken from a fast moving van.

looking east, at 45 mph

looking east, at 45 mph

The Columbia River by Astoria, Oregon, was so calm and clear the the lights of cargo ships reflected in the water, while low tide revealed the sand bars.

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I have rarely seen such still water in the river.  It was hard to believe a storm was coming. Tomorrow, storm or calm, would be a day off for us because we had three artful events to attend.

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August 25, 2013

After our stroll through the Astoria Sunday Market, we headed south for the real purpose of our trip “overseas”:  checking out the new Xera plants at Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart and its sister business, The Natural Nook.  We entered via the home and garden gift shop.

inside The Natural Nook

inside The Natural Nook

Everything in the shop is something I would love to have if I were the sort of person who spent money on “stuff”.  Only a limited income and lack of space stops me!

Just look at these "hens and chickens" candles!

Just look at these “hens and chickens” candles!

a beautiful window

a beautiful window

chubby little birds

chubby little birds

Natural Nook is also a florist shop.

The Natural Nook is also a florist shop.

Outside in the nursery, I saw the abutilon that had caught our eye in the last garden of this year’s Astoria garden tour.

abutilon

and a tag telling all about it….

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Plantswoman Prissy Martin took us to her greenhouse behind the Back Alley plant sales area to show us a very cool plant…whose name I cannot remember.

mystery plant with green flower

mystery plant with green flower

She said it gets tall.  Maybe shop owner Pam Fleming will see this and comment with the name.

We then checked out the garden in the way back area where Prissy tests out plants and grows flowers for her darling small “tussy mussy” bouquets.

Kiss me?

Kiss me?

Now, is this “Kiss me Over the Garden Gate” or the more sinister sounding common name “Love Lies Bleeding”?   Or both?   Google tells me the latter is Amaranth and the former is Polyganum orientalis.  The amaranth has longer flowers.

backed with statice

backed with statice

Pam and Prissy navigate through the jungle of interesting plants...

Pam and Prissy navigate through the jungle of interesting plants…

I was impressed with Pam’s ability to make jungle noises.

Prissy points to a plant of interest.

Prissy points to a plant of interest.

The sad thing was that Cathie Cates, co owner and florist, had to miss all this fun because someone had to run the shop.

looking back toward the nursery from the verdant back garden

looking back toward the nursery from the verdant back garden

In the nursery, the latest acquisitions from Xera were artistically displayed.   Pam joked it was the “Skyler table”.  Or had the “Skyler influence.”  I will pretty much buy anything cool from Xera…  (Limited income has rarely stopped me from buying plants.)   The previous week, a garden club from Cannon Beach had been in and got most of the cool stuff before I got there, so I was glad the stock was replenished.

Xera table

Xera table

customer

customer…and competition for the best plants!!

When Pam and Cathie visited our garden on the Edible Tour day, Pam had suggested that I need more evergreens in the back beds, pointing out how beautifully an evergreen would set off the Stipa gigantea.  I did love evergreen columns and shapes in my old garden and had avoided them in the back yard of the new because I did not want to block my view of the port.  However, it is true that smaller evergreens correctly placed would not block the view.  Well, I am very suggestible, so….

Pam totalling my purchases, including a few evergreens (or ever-silver, ever-golds).

Pam totaling my purchases, including a few evergreens (or ever-silver, ever-golds).

And look how beautifully they fit in our new van!

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Before we left, we compared our gardening hand tools with Pam’s, the ones she uses in her job as the gardener for the town of Seaside.  Hers, on the right, look more serious somehow.

tools

We bought one of the excellent hefty red handled double headed tools and a good extra thin and pointy long handled shovel for digging in narrow spots.  I already own one of the good claws, in the middle right beside the pointy trowel, and yet I prefer my little green or gold handled 99 cent claw.  I used to have a pink handled one we called Pinky, and since then any nice fork-raking of disturbed and weeded soil is referred to, in our business, as “pinkifying”.  It was a sad day when I lost Pinky up at Discovery Heights because the pink ones no longer seem to be available.  Now it’s just “Greenie” and “Goldie”.  The pink ones were not a breast cancer awareness tie-in, either, and I used to be able to get all three colours at Dennis Company.

After this pleasant nursery visit, we came back home…

bridge view to the west

bridge view to the west

bridge view to the east

bridge view to the east

container ships at rest

container ships at rest

looking east

looking east

and back at the town of Astoria

and back (south-east) at the town of Astoria

My gardening life is enriched by having such a great collectors’ nursery less than an hour away (38 minutes if one does not get stopped by bridge construction).   I love and am loyal to our Peninsula nurseries, but Back Alley is the only place with those amazing Xera plants.

For more about local nurseries, you might want to read this excellent article.   I learned that Prissy is known as “the propagator”!

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