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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Labor Day Weekend -- Part III Tangly Cottage


See Part I and Part II of my Labor Day adventure here and here.

The absolute top highlight of my Labor Day weekend trip to Long Beach, WA was getting to meet Skyler Walker and see her garden in Ilwaco, WA, a town nearby to Long Beach, on the mouth of the Columbia River. I discovered Skyler and her blog Tangly Cottage through Debbie Teashon of Rainy Side Gardeners, via Facebook. Debbie posted a link on Facebook to the Music in the Gardens Tour in Seaview, WA, which I wanted to go to, but it was the same weekend as a planned trip to Portland, and I just couldn't sort out the logistics of doing both. Debbie went, and posted about it (you can read her post here), and when Skyler commented, I sent her a Friend Request, and started following her blog.

So when Nigel and I went to Long Beach for the long Labor Day holiday weekend, I wanted to be sure and seek her out and check out her garden. She was kind enough to let me traipse all over, taking pictures and talking about the garden, taking time out from her busy schedule on a day I'm sure she would have preferred to devote to working in her garden. Skyler runs a business, also called Tangly Cottage Gardening, maintaining many gardens, both public and private, in the Long Beach area.

What a treat her garden was! Creative, fun, whimsical. And fearless.


How many people actually have the balls to write on the side of their brightly painted house?

I love this quote paired with the sign. Perfect!


Skyler has a problem with deer. The entire garden is fenced to keep them out.

I wish I had taken more wide-angle photos like this. The garden consisted of several beds similar to this, stuffed with plants.

To the right are two more beds, and at the back several more, all separated by wide, grassy paths. This was the type of garden where every step you take, you see something new and fascinating.

This dark Scabiosa caught my eye!


I have a soft spot in my heart for the enormous leaves of Gunnera.

The sole Phormium in Skyler's garden is growing in a trashcan, which she says is where this plant belongs. Such a clever display, almost as if someone had tried to throw it away, and like a monster that refuses to die, it had thrived.

When a Camellia died, Skyler cut it back and painted it blue. Then, of course, one branch started to leaf out...

Roscoea 'Spice Island'


Eucomis 'Freckles'

A bridge over a dry stream leads to a gate out into a wilder area. If you look closely at the fence, you can see it is topped by sharp garden tools as a further deer deterrent.

A planted table made out of an old door


Fairy door set into the trunk of a tree

Gate created by Skyler's husband Allan

An old gutter planted up makes a great fence accent

The gardener herself, surrounded by hops vine.

Thank you, Skyler, for sharing your garden with me!

6 comments:

  1. Oh, there are so many wonderful elements in this garden! I love the quotes she used.

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  2. So very charming...looks like a fun place to visit...and I LOVE those dark Scabiosas!

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  3. I'm happy that you got to visit Skyler's garden. I also read her blog and it's nice to see more of her place through your lens!

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  4. Very bold and vigorous garden. I've seen the dark scabiosas looking fantastic coming up through some pale brown grasses. I wish I could have a tall deer fence around my whole property, that would be wonderful.

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  5. Love this garden! I've done some bold painting decor inside my house, but have never thought about doing something on the outside. I don't think I'm ballsy enough to try it. I love the idea of painting a dead tree. I'm so going to do that! She's got the cutest fairy door I've ever seen. I could go on & on. I just love her whole garden.

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  6. There is nothing I would rather have been doing that day than sharing the garden with you.

    I painted on the house because it's a manufactured house and terrible things are supposed to happen if one puts in a nail or screw (to hang a sign) and "punctures the seal". But I had painted quotations on garden sheds before...so it seemed natural.

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Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.