Wednesday, 19 November 2014
We started work an hour and a half earlier than usual, a must (and an unusual decision for us) because of my feeling of urgency to get lots of work done before rain comes. The previous night, I was in bed before 1 AM, which is practically unheard of as both Allan and I are night owls and are usually awake till two.
The cats were still snoozing. There’s nothing unusual about that at any hour.
I had a huge list of tasks to accomplish. The first were two jobs that had not even been on the list that I cooked up last night. We’d gotten such an early start that I thought we could add them.
The Red Barn
The four whiskey barrel planters were finally done and ready for the annuals to be pulled.
I always say hello to this fine, one-eyed fellow.
the sign on his stall
Disney said hello.
I thought this bit of green in one of the barrels was a leaf. Allan showed me it was a sleeping frog.
Frog had lost his plant cover, so I tucked him in under these sedums and he snuggled down all comfy.
No time to weed any more at ground level. It can wait till next February.
Crabbing preparation was going on at the barn.
Next door to the Red Barn property, we did frost clean up on Diane’s pots of annuals.
The pots are stuffed with bulbs for next spring.
Next door, Amy’s horse.
Allan clipped back perennials along the road.
We said goodbye to the Diane and Larry garden and the Red Barn garden for this year and went on to my list of Long Beach tasks.
First, we checked the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach road and found two that needed a bit of attention.
In one of the westernmost planters, I couldn’t bear to totally cut down the blue globe thistle as it still looks fine, so Allan just clipped a few dead stalks.
the view from our parking spot
This one needed just a bit of tidying.
Allan had started tidying the Kite Museum garden; I walked across the lawn to join him
our little kite garden
put to bed for the winter
Next, we clipped and weeded the bed in the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park.
after, with some Gladiolus papilio corms added
Next, we pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and some weeds and trash from the garden bed behind Lewis and Clark Square. It’s behind the L&C wall of plaques and we had forgotten to deal with it earlier.
Lewis and Clark Square
The wall curves around two sides of the square, with plaques about L&C’s explorations.
the garden behind the wall a couple of springtimes ago
today, before clean up
no time to cut the lady’s mantle. Hydrangea was hit hard by frost, will look better when leaves fall off, as they will.
As we drove toward this project, I had noticed some wilt on an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in a planter half a block back. I walked back to check on it.
No wonder it was wilted; it was loosened out of the ground and I had to pull it.
Now the planter is lopsided, which bugs me.
It was actually fortuitous that I was inspired to walk back, as I found that whoever had been supposed to plant the bulbs in this planter (me or Allan!) had missed some and the little bulbs were still placed along the edge!
a startling sight for me to find.
If only I had planted some little crocuses in this particular planter yesterday, I would have seen those stray bulbs then.
On the way back to the Lewis and Clark garden, I saw an apropos sign….
because I was anxiously watching the clock.
The little park almost done, or at least as done as we had time for.
Next, we drove out the Bolstadt beach approach road and tidied up its planters. The 25 mph wind gusts were not cold and therefore only mildly irksome; the remainder of our jobs would be more sheltered.
The city crew had added garlands and lights to the lamp posts.
Our next task was to finish cleaning up the garden on the west side of city hall.
before, Geranium ‘Rozanne’
after. We left the Solidago ‘Fireworks’ standing because I think it looks more interesting than nothingness.
I was so pleased with how much we had done by now that we took time to go through the Great Escape espresso drive through for some much needed coffee.
at the Great Escape window
Our last little thing in Long Beach was to finish the little memorial garden on the SE corner of Coulter Park.
after pulling the tattered schizostylis leaves
There was no time to pull this patch of Crocosmia. I will call it decorative and leave it till late winter (late February 2015).
In less than two hours, we had made a big load of debris to dump at the city works yard.
We now say goodbye to Long Beach parks and planters for 2014, except for some small thing I might see to do when driving through town (such as when the yellow chrysanthemums eventually turn black). It happened to be the crew’s lunch break so I bid them adieu for the year. One of the things I appreciate most about the Long Beach job is how we are allowed to just decide what needs doing when, with very little instruction.
Now we headed up north to get back to some bulb planting. On the way, we just had time to run an errand for a friend.
The Planter Box
Jenna (Queen La De Da) had asked me if we could pick up two bags of the new biochar soil mix, made by the local Biocharm Farm, the next time we were by the Planter Box garden center. So we did. I saw that they had lots of small packages of bulbs for sale.
I resisted…except for one!
Allan commented that recently, a passerby in Long Beach had asked him where to buy hummingbird feeders, and noted that Planter Box has the best selection.
Just some of the feeders on offer.
Along with one packet of bulbs, I also bought myself five paperwhites to grow indoors.
two bags for Jenna
Klipsan Beach Cottages
I had some bulbs to plant in the window boxes for the A Frame vacation house; this involved removing the annuals and going through a couple of old windowbox liners from behind the garage. In them, I found a few more early spring bulbs to supplement my small collection for this last minute request.
Allan fetched me the plastic window box inserts from the A Frame while I started clipping some perennials down inside the fenced garden. He began to spread three bales of Gardner and Bloome mulch. We had been planning to bring a yard of washed dairy manure at some point and had been awfully glad when owner Mary bought this bagged stuff…saved us a lot of work (even though it did not cover the whole garden).
in the fenced garden, before
greenhouse corner, before
after clipping back Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’, Melianthus major, etc etc
Bella in the basement; she got a quick bellyrub
from east gate of fenced garden
boxwood and blueberries, backed with bay tree
Knock out roses may be sneered at by some, but they are still blooming.
In a perfect world, we would have taken time to clip the uppies off the New Dawn rose. We did not.
Hydrangea and hardy fuchsias hit hard by the frost. Both will be fine.
I turned my attention to the windowbox project, while Allan did some clipping and raking in the woodsy swale by the clam cleaning shed.
at work in the swale clipping crocosmia, daylily and iris foliage
One of two A Frame windowbox liners planted with bulbs and back in place.
I provided Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’, species crocus mix, Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’, and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’.
Bright Gem and Lilac Wonder
A frame deck
We bid farewell to the Klipsan Beach Cottages gardens for 2014. We will revisit before the end of the year, but for social rather than work reasons. I hope to read the guest books in the cottages sometime this winter.
Oman Builders Supply garden
A bit further north, in Ocean Park, I planted ten white mix narcissi in the entry garden at Oman and Son Builders Supply (the last of the bulbs!!!), and we did some clipping of lavender, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, and lily stalks.
grasses, lavender, erysimum, hebes
I debated cutting back the lavender at the south end of the garden, as it is woody and yet looks like it has a good new center growth. I decided to wait.
It could use a renewal, even though I usually do not cut back lavender that hard…
However, I think the old growth will help keep people from continuing to drive their cars into the wall this winter!
The cottage stone wall keeps getting shoved back, apparently by people’s car bumpers, even though one parks parallel next to this garden…supposedly.
Amazingly, we had time to go a few block northeast and put the Wiegardt Gallery garden to bed. Most of it was done on earlier visits. We did some clipping along the west wall and in the back garden bed.
after (in the darkening dusk)
The grasses will stay up all winter.
a last look at the Wiegardt garden for 2014.
Lately, we have been dining out an awful lot. Well….we are tired, and we feel like rewarding ourselves for continuing to plug along with work at the exhausting end of the season. (For many years, I did not take hardly any break and kept going year round with odd jobs…painting, cleaning, winter garden work; I am grateful to be financially secure enough now to take the midwinter off). So, for another reward (this time for finishing Long Beach for the year):
The Depot Restaurant
Wednesday’s offseason Burger Night special sounded so warm and cozy, we could not resist.
Burger night: You choose your desired ingredients.
Yes, I am greedy. We get the egg and the pineapple and then deconstruct the burger to have the egg as an appetizer (Allan calls it “breakfast”) and the pineapple as a dessert.
with sweet potato fries, a Mac and Jack for me and a Guinness for Allan.
We were offered the very last piece of chocolate Guinness cake to share….and did not say no.
Speaking of chocolate, while we were ordering our dinner, Depot server (and garden lover) Laura showed us a couple of photos she had recently taken at Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas. Here are her photos, for my cacti loving friends.
chocolate cacti, photos by Depot Laura
At home, I planted, in a big pot that has some tulips already in it, the ten bulbs that I had bought at the Planter Box:
I don’t think I have grown Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’ before.
I then had the delight of completely removing the fall clean up list from the work board, as we had finished its last item, the Long Beach parks. Now, we just have a few last garden check ups to do. VERY few. Less than two days of work, all told. The Depot task is only to pull the last few annuals out of the window boxes if they ever decide to die back. The Nelly bulb project is on for tomorrow.
I would like enough good weather for the opportunity to polish off that list so that I can make the big satisfying announcement that Staycation has officially begun. (The rest of the projects are either for here, thus not really work, or for 2015.)
I planted the paperwhites in marbles and water on the kitchen windowsill.
As I finished writing this, I heard the rain begin outside. It is sorely needed; the ground has felt awfully dry while I’ve been bulb planting. A few rainy reading days would be most welcome. Now, time to put me feet up and watch Survivor, and to finish the show we started watching last night at ten and then got to sleepy to finish: Page Eight starring the delightfully droll Bill Nighy.