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Re: Alex's Gardem

  • Subject: Re: Alex's Gardem
  • From: "Barbara Weitemier" <bweite@hscis.net>
  • Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 09:12:17 -0700

    I've been there!! About 7 or 8 years ago or so, I went to visit my
cousin in N. Vancouver. She gave me a half-page article that had appeared
the day before, on a hosta garden, Alex's garden. I was so impressed---350
hostas! What a large garden that must be! I arranged to visit him on my way
out of town a few days later.
    I plotted my route carefully on the map, but unknowingly picked a route
right through the middle of downtown Vancouver. So I arrived at his home
much later than we had arranged. It was raining too, and although Alex was
practically out the door on his way to do a portrait sitting for a client,
he graciously gave me a quick half-hour tour through his garden.
    So here are my remembered impressions (Alex, please correct me if I have
made some errors!). His home is a large classical two-story brick home on a
60-80' wide lot, with little hint of the hidden garden in the rear. Not at
all the huge garden I had thought would be needed for such a large
collection. Imagine, for a moment, a spoon or a scoop with a very short
handle, but in a rectangular shape. The house is on the handle, level with
the street, with a lawn surrounded by trees and hosta beds in front of it
and the garden behind is like a sunken garden, with sloping walls either
side, tapering down to an alley and garage in the rear.
    We entered the garden to the right of the house, down a short, narrow,
steep rock stairway and the magic began. Hosta everywhere, ferns, trees,
many other plants. Walls of hosta and fern in  rockeries extended up either
side of the garden.    There were so many exciting plants to see, "old
friends" I knew, but had never seen grow so big! This was the first
honest-to-goodness hosta garden I had ever seen, and I was overwhelmed with
the beauty and lushness of it all.
    Alex advised me to buy  The Hosta Book, and contact Robyn, good advice,
as I had only the Bond hosta book at this time. Alex pointed out the damage
little slugs can do, tiny little things, not at all like the five-inchers we
have in Walla Walla, but just as damaging, and much harder to eradicate. He
also showed me two seemingly different plants of  a variegated venusta, now
    Because of the rain, I didn't take photos!! So all this is stored in my
memory, but the total impression was of a very rich, carefully planned
garden. I didn't have the chance to ask Alex if he had built the garden from
"scratch" or if he had found the spoon-shaped structure already there and
added his own magic as the garden grew.
    Then there was the time he and his wife were returning from the States
after a gala affair with----no, I don't think I'll mention that! But I do
know I'd like to visit Alex and The Garden again---someday when it isn't

Barbara Weitemier, Walla Walla (rainfall 17") WA, where I'm trying to
re-create the memory of an absolutely beautiful garden from a north-west
rain belt.

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