Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Labor Day Weekend Part I -- Boreas Bed & Breakfast

On Labor Day weekend, Nigel and I went away to Long Beach, Washington, for two nights. We stayed at the Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn, which is a lovely five-bedroom B&B just off the main street in Long Beach, a short walk to the shops, and about a ten-minute walk through grass and sand dunes to the beach.

Long Beach is a town on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwestern Washington state, not far from the Oregon state line. Its principal industry is tourism, although fishing, crabbing, oyster farming and cranberry growing are all close seconds. It boasts the longest beach in the world -- 28 miles long -- but according to Wikipedia, there is one in Bangladesh that is longer. We visited the beach and it is beautiful and enormous. You can drive your car right onto the beach and park. We didn't do that because we drive a Prius, and I didn't want to get stuck. Even with people driving onto the beach, there was still plenty of room for people to walk along and play without being crowded. (The shops in the center of town were a different story -- I've since come to the conclusion that we probably should have avoided them. Ah well, live and learn.)

The Long Beach Peninsula is bounded on the south by the Columbia River (and Oregon), on the east by Willapa Bay, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean (d'uh). It was one of the final destinations of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In case you are too long out of school to remember, or went to school in a country other than the U.S., the Lewis & Clark Expedition, commissioned by President Jefferson in 1803, was the first expedition to cross the continental U.S. after the Louisiana Purchase. The leader of the expedition was Captain Meriwether Lewis and his second-in-command was his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. Its purpose was to map the land and establish a U.S. presence on it, as well as to study the flora and fauna. Two native plant genera from western North America are named after these two -- Lewisia and Clarkia -- as well as many others that have some version of their names in the species name -- Linum lewisii, for example. By the way, just in case you're wondering where Sacajawea figures in all of this, in short, she was their Indian guide and interpreter. Here's a link to some info about her.

Had enough of the history lesson?

Boreas Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers' Residence

A view of the inn's front garden from the street

The innkeepers Susie and Bill whipped up delectable breakfasts for us each morning in this small, efficient kitchen

Dining table set for the morning's meal

Our light airy room had the ambiance of a traditional sleeping porch -- which according to photos of the early days of the inn, is exactly what it was, albeit with a hot tub.

Colorful beach-themed mural on the wall over the bed

Living room of the inn, decorated with intriguing kites
There was a kite festival going on at the beach, which we didn't realize when we made our getaway plans, which perhaps explains the crowds at the shops.

In the living room was this ancient, enormous jade plant

Lots of babies growing in the soil beneath

Wonderful peely bark

After settling in and getting oriented, I set out to explore and photograph the inn's garden.

Fuchsia magellanica in the front garden

A row of pretty begonias

Himalayan honeysuckle/Leycesteria formosa, an expertly pruned and lovely example, brimming with drupes of berries and flowers

Cozy reading bench tucked away in a shady spot in the front garden

Our breakfast pastry plates were adorned with Fuchsia flowers every morning

One of many containers brimming with flowers on the way to the front door

And in the back garden:

Nigel relaxes in the shade with his Kindle and a glass of ice water, on the deck just outside our room's French doors

Lots of flowering Dahlias

Comfy hammock -- a couple of our fellow B&B'ers nearly spent the night outside sleeping here

Large Phormium and colorful garden flags -- Beyond is the path to the beach

Lobelia tupa flourishing

The garden contained a handful of well-tended, meandering, organically shaped beds full of colorful flowers

Terra cotta-colored Agastache aurantiaca, possibly 'Acapulco Orange'

Visions of Cosmos dance in Buddha's head

Planted wicker chair

A fascinating miniature world

Dahlia flower floating in a bowl of water

A collector of morning dew

Another Dahlia flower sitting in a bowl

Dancing Cosmos swayed in the breeze

Orange Crocosmia/Montbretia

Nicotiana langsdorffii

Sleeping honeybee also has a delicious breakfast awaiting her awakening!

I hope you enjoyed this visit to the Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn. Parts II and III still to come -- the beach, the town and a very special visit to a local gardener and blogger's garden!


  1. What a fun weekend you had!
    Thanks for sharing; I feel rested now ;)

  2. I just love staying at places like this with pretty gardens.

    The "longest beach in the world" at 28 miles got a giggle from me. The longest driveable beach in Texas is 130 miles and makes no such claim.

  3. Such a beautiful place! sounds like a wonderful weekend. I could see myself hanging out on that hammock. And the lobelia tupa is wonderful!!!

  4. Thank you for your very sweet words and wonderful images of Boreas! We loved hosting you and Nigel last weekend at the Inn. Perhaps you can return in the wintertime when it's blowing outside and the summer gardens are a lovely memory and a plan in the works! I appreciate all the help Skyler Walker, aka Tangly Cottage, has been to me stocking the Boreas gardens with lovely perennials, giving good advice and helping me keep things pretty. She is an inspiration and a dear friend. I'm so glad you got to meet as you both are incredibly knowledgeable and obviously garden with the divas! Susie

  5. Oh that looks lovely. I would be tempted to spend time in the hammock, but then with all those lovely flowers.....It looks like a lovely place to relax.

  6. What a charming location, garden, and B&B! And that reading bench looks so inviting and restful!

  7. I love this post. What a great get away. We spent a couple of nights in a B&B in that area quite a few years ago. That's unusual for us because we have family beach houses on the Oregon coast, and on Whidbey Island. Sometimes it's nice to just do something different.

  8. Stunning photos. Thanks for noticing so many details including the planted chair. I think you just ran into the Labour Day crowds as kite fest Saturday was the week before. (Kite festival always starts the third Monday.) But I bet there were plenty of kites on the beach anyway.

  9. Lobelia tupa-envy here! I love your bedroom with all of those breezy windows although that hammock would have been tempting too. What a fun place. Thanks for sharing. Nigel looks like a great hubby!


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