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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

What a difference it makes to have no wind!  The temperature at midmorning was about the same 50F as yesterday but without wind, making for pleasant work weather.  Monday’s wind had worn me out so much that I was still deeply asleep at 10:15 AM.

We had plants still loaded from yesterday so did not have to linger in the driveway loading the van.  I still was struck by the beauty of two of my narcissi:

I think this is N. Avalon.

I think this is N. Avalon.

and...maybe...Stainless

and…maybe…Stainless

from Van Engelen catalog....I do not like..

from Van Engelen catalog….I do not like..

I have so many different narcissi that I lose track of the names.  Two kinds you will rarely or never see in any of my gardens:  double (rarely) or split cup (NEVER!) narcissi.  I find the split cup ones just repulsive.

I never even used to plant the large trumpet types until my client Lorna of Andersen’s RV Park ordered a selection of them and I fell in love with the big showy apricot and peachy trumpets that she had picked.

It is considered in very poor taste to plant large trumpets anywhere naturalistic so I still avoid that garden faux pas.  Here’s a great article on the topic.  I’m afraid I’ve been losing my claim to good taste by planting more of those large trumpets.

I was having a terrible time waking up.  A stop at Olde Towne Café for a double mocha helped a great deal.

At Olde Towne Café

At Olde Towne Café

And then, back to Fifth Street Park in Long Beach for some more weeding by the restroom building.  The very last Phormium that we had cut back earlier this year, only because it was too big to pull out, had not sprouted any new leaves.  To my delight, it was loose and a bit rotted and an experimental swing with the pick showed that it would come out with little trouble despite its size.

Goodbye to our last Phormium in Long Beach!  Oh wait, there are still two on the parking lots berms.

Goodbye to our last Phormium in Long Beach! Oh wait, there are still two on the parking lots berms.

The thrill of seeing that empty space is almost indescribable.

The thrill of seeing that empty space is almost indescribable.

That was a ridiculous spot for a plant with big poky leaves, right by where people lean over the drinking fountain.  I am happy to say it was the landscape architect, not I, who placed it there.

I also removed, with the pick, a nasty pampas grass that made it hard for the meter reader to get back to read the electrical meter.  The same landscape architect once upon a time decided that pampas grass would be a great idea for all around the narrow side and back of the restroom building.  Several years ago I completely rebelled against weeding back there because A) we had taken on the LB planters and did not have extra time and B) those huge grasses are just too silly and should be removed by someone far stronger than me.

I took a quick lopsided snapshot of the spitting clam across the street as folks were gathered by it and someone with a big microphone was doing an interview.

clam

Our mission in Long Beach is to ready the three most pertinent parks for the Razor Clam Festival this weekend.  At 2 PM on Saturday, there will be a dedication ceremony for the now functional clam.  You know what this means; I must post, yet again, the letter Montana Mary wrote some years ago:

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

You can bet we make every effort to be there for the dedication, even though it is also beach clean up day.

Fortunately, beach clean up is midmorning!

Fortunately, beach clean up is midmorning!

Speaking of phormiums, there are three more in town in the entry garden to Veterans Field.  They also show no signs of reviving.  However, they are SEP (someone else’s problem) because even though this looks like a city garden, it is a business’s property.  We hear a building expansion is happening here, and if it does, I will be so happy to see these phormiums go away.

goodbye, I hope.  And also goodbye to that invasive stripy grass, I do hope!

goodbye, I hope. And also goodbye to that invasive stripy grass, I do hope!

I have to admit I planted that horrible stripey grass as it was given to me, by a nursery owner, as a Good Thing.  And I also have to admit that Mike and I planted those damnable phormium back in the day when we thought they were so structural and grand, not knowing they each would get to the size of a small hut.  When the business took over the property, I no longer had the authority to hoik them out!

Allan and I weeded and deadheaded the two blocks of planters that we had not gotten to late last week.

Here, I'm in the process of removing much of a running, once blooming blue hardy geranium once planted by a volunteer.  This year, I WILL prevail.

Here, I’m in the process of removing much of a running, brief-blooming blue hardy geranium once planted by a volunteer. This year, I WILL prevail.

tulips

Tulip ‘Virichic’

I experienced deep irritation at Fish Alley where I found TWO tulips in one whiskey barrel, and THREE in the other, where there should have been five each.

FINGER BLIGHT!!!!

FINGER BLIGHT!!!!  The missing five had been clearly PICKED.

I’m determined to only mildly fume about the inevitable finger blight this year.  It helps to let off steam in the blog.

With the planters and trees well cared for, we drove north of downtown to plant some perennials in Erin’s garden.

boat of narcissi still blooming wonderfully

boat of narcissi still blooming wonderfully

in the boat

in the boat

more in the boat

more in the boat

and still more...all in the boat.  The yellow and apricot one might be Altruist.

and still more…all in the boat. The yellow and apricot one might be Altruist.

In Erin's cottage garden. I do love the tiny cups the best.

In Erin’s cottage garden. I do love the tiny cups the best.

I also love the windswept look...

I also love the windswept look…(but not the rampant oxalis groundcover)

in the cottage garden...too tired to think if this is Solomon's Seal or False Solomon's Seal...

Polyganatum in the cottage garden

Thalia, one of my favourite narcissi

Thalia, one of my favourite narcissi

After Erin, we drove just a bit further north to The Anchorage Cottages to plant three Nicotiana langsdorfii, two Viola ‘Etain’, two Viola ‘Bowles Black’, and a few other treasures. Allan planted, I deadheaded and weeded.  Slowly, our van was being emptied of plants.

The trillium are fading to pink and mauve.

The trillium are fading to pink and mauve.

pale apricot cups

pale apricot cups

Merlin?

Merlin? Edna Earl?

Altruist

Altruist

The scilla (bluebells) in the courtyard garden are the bane of the Anchorage job; however, right now I bet the guests think correctly that they look just lovely.

a haze of blue

a haze of blue

It does not hurt to pull the foliage out as soon as the blue flower is gone.  You cannot make this bulb go away.

tulips in the courtyard

tulips in the courtyard; the rain was hard on them

Finally, we went to Coulter Park to weed by the Long Beach Depot building.  By then, wind had returned and rain began, and I was sore and tired and wanted to be home with a nice cuppa tea.  Coulter had to be done as there is a very special clam festival event there this Saturday and the weather might worsen later in the week.

 

We got the park ready for the Queen’s event and ended up back at Fifth Street Park just to apply a few more buckets of mulch that we’d picked up at the city works yard.  The local Super 8 often has an inspirational sign.  Today’s reminded me why we are out there in the rain gardening.

sign

 

 

 

Monday, 14 April 2014

This weekend will be a big event in Long Beach, the newly revived Razor Clam Festival; this year one of the giant frying pans will be used to create clam fritters.  So we have to get the parks where the events will take place to look just spiffing.

We started with the quadrant of parks on Fifth Street.

in front of Captain Bob's Chowder

before: in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder

The garden in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder consumed a lot of my time; it has the very annoying wild garlic (some sort of maddeningly horrid Allium with dull flowers, that reseeds like mad), and old bulb foliage, and horsetail, and the dead foliage tips of the good alliums.  Oddly, the bad allium loves this park and the good ones don’t do all that well in here.  In the center, a big Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) died to the ground and is struggling to return, so it’s all very sad looking right now.  Next month, the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and the Nepeta (catmint) and other perennials will make it  lovely…too late for clam fest!

after a long struggle...better

after a long struggle…better

Just a few narcissi still bloom in that bed.

Just a few narcissi still bloom in that bed.

The day was one of those thoroughly miserable early spring VERY cold and strong north wind days.  I was not a happy worker.  The nicest part of the day was when we planted (well, I placed and Allan planted) some new perennials in the bed in the frying pan quadrant of the park.  The building next to it sheltered us from the north wind.

I hope some of the tulips are still blooming for Saturday's festivities.

I hope some of the tulips are still blooming for Saturday’s festivities.  In the foreground, that blue star juniper (YAWN) would not be my first choice.

Allan worked on the quadrant with the pond and waterfall, removing lots of leaves and a few weeds from the L shaped border.

leaves

Darmera peltata

Darmera peltata

The gunnera to the right of  the pond is very slow to start this year.

The gunnera to the right of the pond is very slow to start this year.

In my own garden I would have left the leaves, as I think they are good for the soil.  Parks seem to need to be all tidy.

This center bed is very hard to weed as it is so rooty.

This center bed is very hard to weed as it is so rooty.

Allan did a good job and we added some mulch from the city works yard.

Allan did a good job and we added some mulch from the city works yard, after dumping large amounts of debris.

I dealt with much of the horsetail in the restroom quadrant of the park.

I dealt with much of the horsetail in the restroom quadrant of the park.

a mess with some good plants including Thalictrum 'Illuminator' with gold foliage and some (new this year) Camassia

a mess with some good plants including Thalictrum ‘Illuminator’ with gold foliage and some (new this year) Camassia

oh so much better

oh so much better

We quit at around five, chilled and fed up with the wind.  At home, I happily examined something exciting that had come in the mail:

bill

Bill Dale, to whom I had emailed a fervent fan letter about his perfectly great song, Luckiest Man Alive, sent me two demo CDs.  I am planning to track down the bluegrass, country, or folk DJ from the local public radio and see if I can introduce them to my favourite song.  I am still obsessed with it.

I settled down in my comfy chair to read….and yet even though the book was an intensely interesting one, I felt too tired to concentrate.  Fortunately, the movie we watched in the later evening was gripping enough to fully keep my attention, although I have one complaint:  If the film maker makes a point at the beginning that there is no sound in space, why have schlocky orchestral music playing to increase the suspense?  I think that no musical soundtrack would have been much more effective.

I heartily recommend this book.

I heartily recommend this book.

GravityIMAXdontletgoBlackfloatpostbig

and this film

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Just as predicted, the weather was sunny with no wind. Although I would like to have stayed home, I knew that a windless day would be a good one to weed the very exposed boatyard garden.

Narcissus at home, with Nora's house in background

Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ at home, with Nora’s house in background

Narcissus 'Misty Glen' at home

Narcissus ‘Misty Glen’ at home

Akebia in bloom by our garage

Akebia in bloom by our garage

and then...weeding at the boatyard

and then…weeding at the boatyard

We chatted through the fence with Amanda, a young woman who was working on the Pura Vida.  She had a sweet dog named Toes.  We learned that it is a salmon and halibut fishing boat that was rebuilt (not their word) from a sailboat.

Lots and lots of horsetail needed pulling.  That, a bit of shotweed, and some areas of creeping sorrel were the only problem weeds. The horsetail is uneradicable.

looking north

looking north

looking south

looking south

The temperature got to 70.5 F.  I was downright dizzy and am apparently very hard to please about the weather.  I took a break on the viewing bench to eat half a sandwich.

the bench beckons

the bench beckons

south view from the bench

south view from the bench

and west view.  This is where the boats are hoisted up.

and west view. This is where the boats are hoisted up.

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

pretty well weeded

pretty well weeded

Will have to be weeded again, probably, before the annual children’s parade goes by here on May 3rd.

The boatyard santolinas are all looking good.

The boatyard santolinas are all looking good.

Planted five Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’. one Jackman’s Blue rue, and an Agastache ‘Sangria’.

Because the weather had cooled slightly, we decided to weed the garden at the east end of Howerton Way.

before: 4:20 PM

before: 4:20 PM

6:03 PM

6:03 PM

I think I was too tired to untilt the photos.

We rewarded ourselves for a long hot day with dinner at Pelicano Restaurant.

from our cozy corner table

from our cozy corner table

window view

window view

Calamari salad

Calamari salad

cod, potatoes, lemon garlic cream

cod, potatoes, lemon garlic cream

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

map

kayaking in Skamokawa (name origin: Smoke on the Water)

Price Island tour by Columbia River Kayaking

$65, half day   approximately 3 miles

Price Island is part of the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge, and is located right at the mouth of Skamokawa Creek. We will paddle up protected Steamboat Slough, leaving from our dock at the old steamboat landing and general store building and into the Wildlife Refuge. Osprey nests are perched in the top of Sitka Spruce trees that are up to 400 years old. Beaver and river otter are often seen here.

If the river is calm and paddlers are willing, we will return to Skamokawa on the outside of the island, using the main channel of the Columbia River. Cormorants and Bald Eagles are often seen on this side of the island, along with a sweeping westward view downriver. This is a great introductory tour for beginning kayakers.

what to bring:

June-September: 

One quart plastic water bottle (full)

Lunch for full day events, snacks 

Sunscreen and lip protection 

Sunglasses with strap 

Hat for rain and sun 

Paddling jacket or rain jacket 

Non-cotton shirts (2) for layering (wool, pile, polypro, other synthetic) 

Non-cotton pants (nylon, wool, spandex, fleece) 

Eyeglass strap 

noseplugs (optional) 

Sandals with heel strap or neoprene booties, or tennies that can get wet 

Wool or fleece socks 

Swimsuit (optional, but makes a quick-drying under-layer) 

Towel 

Change of clothes for the trip home 

Wetsuit if you have one 

Gloves for blister protection (optional) 

Drybag if you have one 

Camera, film, binoculars 

The Other Months: 

Drysuit if you have one 

More and warmer non-cotton layers 

Shatterproof thermos with hot drink 

Warm paddling gloves or pogies 

Evening and Moonlight Paddles: 

Flashlight or headlamp 

Warm non-cotton clothes 

Wetsuit, paddling jacket, and pogies available

At Columbia River Kayaking & their fleet of nice kayaks with another couple & instructor Mark Whitaker

At Columbia River Kayaking & their fleet of nice kayaks with another couple & instructor Mark Whitaker

The 14 foot boat I got to use. I looked it up and it retails for $1399. & the paddle was a couple hundred more. Quite a deal to use such nice equipment, have a guide, the trip planned and not have buy or to store the boat later.

The 14 foot boat I got to use. I looked it up and it retails for $1399, & the paddle was a couple hundred more. Quite a deal to use such nice equipment, have a guide, the trip planned and not have buy or to store the boat later.

P4120005

heading up the shore side of Price Island

heading up the shore side of Price Island

The tandem kayak the other couple got to use. These sell for over 2 grand and are very stable and fast

The tandem kayak the other couple got to use. These sell for over 2 grand and are very stable and fast

A barge that is used to ferry cattle that had broken loose and drifted aground

A barge that is used to ferry cattle that had broken loose and drifted aground

Cormerants on the river side of the island on the pilings.

Cormerants on the river side of the island on the pilings.

 

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Skamokawa Gardens Nursery

P4120001 P4120026 P4120027 P4120028 P4120029

Old Megler Mansion

At a site down 8 miles of gravel road OR easily accessed from the river. An old 100 foot apple tree & leveled areas, lots of sword ferns and my kayak instructor had spotted daffodils.

P4120030 P4120031 P4120034 P4120036 P4120037 P4120038 P4120039 P4120040 P4120041 P4120042

Duffy’s Irish Pub 

grays

  The little tower building is across the street.  The garden belongs to the pub.  Duffy’s in Gray’s River is a place where I like to stop for a lunch when I go on an excursion upriver.

P4120044 P4120046 P4120048 P4120049 P4120050 P4120051 P4120052 P4120053 P4120054 P4120057 P4120058

And on the way home, an old ivy covered house.  Old is relative compared to the age of ruins in Mr. Tootlepedal’s blog set in the Scottish borders!

ivy

Saturday, 12 April 2014

If you are just starting the blog here, let me explain that a cash mob is when a group of people converge on a business to make small purchases and boost the local economy. I’m not sure how busy today’s mob actually was. There weren’t as many photos taken as usual because Allan was off kayaking.

I began the event at Olde Towne Café by taking Luanne a bouquet of spring flowers.

flowers from my garden

flowers from my garden

Jenna (Queen La De Da) had helped with a beautiful sign outside of Olde Towne Café...

Jenna (Queen La De Da) had helped with a beautiful sign outside of Olde Towne Café…

and Luanne had filled a car with forget me nots.

and café owner Luanne had filled a cart with forget me nots.

I did not linger at the café but instead walked two blocks to Robert’s Antique Gallery. Robert and Larry, gardening clients of ours, own two antique stores in town. On the way, I stepped into Penny Treat’s new art gallery, halfway between our featured shops of the day; I’d suggested that folks might stop by and say hello, and Jenna had done just that.

Jenna and Penny

Jenna and Penny

At Robert’s shop, I heard a familiar voice in one of the several rooms. Imagine my delight when dear Patt appeared; she had driven all the way from her new home inland for the cash mob, due, I am sure, to love for her old home-from-home, Olde Towne Café.

Patt and her friend Esther from Astoria

Patt and her friend Esther from Astoria

Our client Cheri was there.

Our client Cheri was there.

Shop dog Freckles looked especially droll.

Shop dog Freckles looked especially droll.

I occupied myself taking photos for the store’s Facebook page. These things especially caught my eye:

for train buffs

for train buffs

little fishing floats

little fishing floats

I like the top part but not the bottom of this fishing lamp.

I like the top part but not the bottom of this fishing lamp.

I find this almost irresistible.

I find this almost irresistible.

Our friend Joe Chasse would incorporate these into the little trailers (caravans) that he makes out of ham tins.

Our friend Joe Chasse would incorporate the old metal spice tins into the little trailers (caravans) that he makes out of ham tins.

Jenna found the word "hope" to add to her word collection.

Jenna found the word “hope” to add to her word collection, and is also holding a cute “leave a note” thingie.

From there, I walked to Larry’s Antique Gallery Too!, two blocks away (around the corner).

Larry's shop.  Both shops are mutually owned but it's tradition that Larry is the shopkeeper in this one.

Larry’s shop. Both shops are mutually owned but it’s tradition that Larry is the shopkeeper in this one.

fishing lamps

fishing lamps

I wish I had wall space for this strange cat.

I wish I had wall space for this strange cat. I might have to go back for it.

Larry and another shop dog, Sophie.

Larry and another shop dog, Sophie.

a lovely painting

a lovely painting

one of three

one of three

Back at Olde Towne, the coffee klatschers and a few more cash mobbers converged.

klatsch

Our Judy, Birdie, Jamie, Patt

Shelly of Grass Roots Garbage Gang sat next to me with Jenna. I used a jolly photo for the event’s Facebook page, but I love this more pensive one.

Shelly and Jenna

Shelly and Jenna

I took my leave from the cafe as I needed to try to get some more photos at the antique shops. After another look into Robert’s shop (he said he’d had all of 9 people and now there was a lull), I walked home along Lake Street. I felt rather low as I was not sure if cash mob had been much of a success. Next year, I will run it from October to March. By April, the high school and college spring break season has tipped us into tourist season. There had been 160th year anniversary festivities in Oysterville today as well. I’d heard that some of the regulars might come to cash mob later in the day. My own garden called to me so I did not wait to see.

larryrob

Larry and Robert’s garden on my way home

and then Our Judy and Tom's garden

and then Our Judy and Tom’s garden, with all the Japanese maples leafing out

Our Judy's tulips

Our Judy’s tulips

Just next door to Judy and Tom’s garden, New Judy’s new yard showed signs of digging. I should have taken a before photo!

approaching my garden

approaching my garden

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

I did not feel as much like weeding as I’d anticipated. The wind kicked up and after working in it for two days, the idea of weeding in a chilly wind at home did not strongly appeal. I was glad when Jamie popped by to visit (by my earlier invitation) and we could sit on the patio, sheltered against the south wall of the house. We conversed for well over an hour on some deep and interesting topics. During that time, Garden Tour Nancy texted me a photo of her day. She had gotten to tour the Huson garden in Oysterville after attending the anniversary there.

I am envious as have wanted to get in to see this garden for, well, years!

I am envious as have wanted to get in to see this garden for, well, years! photo by Nancy Allen

Jamie left at about 4:30 and I decided to simply force myself to pull one oyster basket full of horsetail and shotweed.

I excepted to get into the rhythm of gardening and forget about the wind but I did not. I saw a dead Euphorbia and a dead shrub or two that had suffered too much last winter. The idea of digging them out appealed slightly, but not quite enough. After half a basket of weeds, I gave up and went into the nice cozy house.

From the south window: looks deceptively warm and sunny.

From the south window: looks deceptively warm and sunny.

All three big beds need much weeding.

All three big beds need much weeding.

And look, Allan got home from kayaking (there will be photos later) and went out to use the strimmer.

telephoto from my window

telephoto from my window

When I got online, I saw an enthusiastic Facebook comment from the owner of Heidi’s Inn Ilwaco about there being lots of happy people walking back and forth in downtown today. That gave me encouragement that the cash mob event got more crowded as the day went on.

I looked at the bouquet I’d picked for my table before Jamie’s visit. It had certainly reflected my blue mood.

I do hope I get my gardening drive back soon. Sunday should be warm weather with only a little wind. How I would love to spend it weeding at home and yet I feel that we should weed the boatyard garden as rain is due to return later this week.

20140413-005011.jpg

Tomorrow, I might stick some yellow tulips right in the middle of that somber bouquet.

Friday, 11 April 2014

We almost got everything done today that was on the list.  One significant failure was that we did not find time to weed the 42nd Street Café garden.  Yesterday evening, on the way home, I was idly thinking that it would be nice to go out to dinner and glanced at the 42nd Street as we drove by and suddenly remembered that the last time we ate there  (March 17th), or maybe even the time before, owner Blaine had asked me to weed, and I said yes, and absolutely nothing has come of it.

It will be first on next week’s agenda.

Nora's house, and bluebells, from our east window this morning.

Nora’s house, and bluebells, from our east window this morning.

I was planning our day around the delivery truck arriving at the Basket Case Greenhouse, so we started in Ilwaco by planting one new Phygelius in the boatyard garden and replacing the flower protection signs.  Let me just get the whining out of the way:  The cold wind blew all the day long.

Ilwaco boatyard

Ilwaco boatyard

The old style sign stuck in the ground and could be hidden by tall plants.

The old style sign stuck in the ground and could be hidden by tall plants.

same sign, new height

same sign, new height

The boatyard garden needs our attention.  It is terribly full of horsetail sprouts.

but we don't have time....

but we don’t have time….

and even some mushrooms (or toadstools?)

shrooms

I am happy to say that, unlike the five that died down by the port office, all the santolinas look very healthy in the boatyard garden.

a happy sight among the dang blang horsetails

a happy sight among the dang blang horsetails

narcissi

narcissi

I hope all the pretty narcissi distract folks from the weeds.  I figure any gardeners will see what we are up against and sympathize, and local gardeners will know the weather has not been conducive to being caught up.

We then turned out attention to the Ilwaco planters and street trees. We want them to look as good as can be because tomorrow, the Peninsula cash mob will be in downtown Ilwaco.

bulb foliage had lifted a Cape Blanco sedum up into the air....

Bulb foliage had lifted a Cape Blanco sedum up into the air….

Bulbs with delicate foliage, like these Narcissi bulbicodium 'Golden Bells' are the best for these planters.

Bulbs with delicate foliage, like these Narcissi bulbicodium ‘Golden Bells’ are the best for these planters.  I wish I had always remembered that.

I go for a yellow theme in the four planters on the intersection by Don's Portside Café.

I go for a yellow theme in the four planters on the intersection by Don’s Portside Café.

two yellow flowered planters

two yellow flowered planters

Every now and then we do a little bit of pruning on the street trees lower branches.

Is there a difference?

Is there a difference?

Just after that little project, look who stopped for a little chat!

Our good friend and brilliant carpenter, Bill Clearman.  (Hi, Carol!)

Our good friend and brilliant carpenter, Bill Clearman, on his way to a job. (Hi, Carol!)

Next, we encountered Penny Treat, whose new art gallery is opening soon.  Her window will have displays showing her different styles of painting and printmaking.

She'll be there Saturday, 4-12, between 11 and 12:30 during the cash mob event.

She’ll be there Saturday, 4-12, between 11 and 12:30 during the cash mob event.

When we got to the last planter, which happened to be outside Olde Towne Café, we rewarded ourselves with a sit down lunch.

I had both the items on these signs.

I had both the items on these signs.

a vignette at Olde Towne

a vignette at Olde Towne

Rousting ourselves back out to work, we deadheaded tulips and narcissi at The Depot Restaurant in Seaview (between Ilwaco and Long Beach).

Depot Restaurant garden

Depot Restaurant garden

And then the Long Beach welcome sign, with a hot mix of tulips on the front side…

lb

Tulip mix 'Triathlon' from Colorblends

Tulip mix ‘Triathlon’ from Colorblends

and a cool mix on the back…

signlb

Triple Play tulip mix from Colorblends

Triple Play tulip mix from Colorblends

And then…the weeding and deadheading of the Long Beach trees and planters.  We got to all but one block of them…

Long Beach street tree with tulips and narcissi

Long Beach street tree with tulips and narcissi

in a planter: Tulip bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'; it multiplies!

in a planter: Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’; it multiplies!

We treat the tall, showy tulips as annuals.

We treat the tall, showy tulips as annuals and pull them out, as they do not multiply and the flower size decreases each year and eventually peters out altogether.

in front of Home at the Beach gift shop

in front of Home at the Beach gift shop

Tulip 'Rococo' with an old bulb of 'Black Hero'

Tulip ‘Rococo’ with an old bulb of ‘Black Hero’ (much smaller flower than three years ago); it’s hard to get all the bulbs pulled…

street tree primulas

street tree primulas

Fifth Street Park:  Joy! the Gunnera leaves are bigger.

Fifth Street Park: Joy! the Gunnera leaves are bigger.

(Last week, Ed Strange taunted me with this recent photo of HIS gunnera, shown here with his neighbour, Judy:)

It's just not fair!

It’s just not fair!

Mine and the one in Fifth Street Park were in standing water and I think they just plain froze, after coming through several winters just fine.

Fifth Street Park: a strip of spring bulbs

Fifth Street Park: a strip of spring bulbs

Further up the street, I found an annoying sight in one of the planters: evidence of finger blight.  I think.

The tulips look familiar but the scilla (bluebells) are not from a Long Beach city garden.

The tulips look familiar but the scilla (bluebells) are not from a Long Beach city garden.

Tulip 'Princess Irene'

Tulip ‘Princess Irene’

4-11-14

Tulip ‘Apricot Parrot’

Apricot Parrot

Apricot Parrot

She's one of my favourites.

She’s one of my favourites.

I found a woman mesmerized by these tulips and she asked where she could get some.  I told her they were from Van Engelen, and that she could just remember ‘Beauty from Bulbs’ to find Van Engelen’s retail catalog.  She told me she’s 86 and might have a hard time remembering, and neither of us had a pen so I do hope her quest is successful.  And I hope I am still planning next year’s spring garden at age 86.

street tree in front of Dennis Company

street tree in front of Dennis Company

tulip flowers and a deadhead; picking off the deadheads is supposed to make the bulb stronger for next year.

tulip flowers and a deadhead; picking off the deadheads is supposed to make the bulb stronger for next year.

I popped quickly into the NIVA green gift shop to get my birch trunk shower curtain…

one of Heather Ramsay's lovely shop displays

one of Heather Ramsay’s lovely shop displays

We drove a couple of blocks south to deadhead the narcissi at the Veterans Field garden…

white narcissi in the Veterans Field Garden

white narcissi in the Veterans Field Garden

And then we got a call from Fred at the Basket Case Greenhouse that the delivery truck from Blooming Nursery had arrived, much much later than expected.  We zoomed (at speed limit) up there even though it was almost their closing time.   We had plans other than gardening for Saturday, and I did not want to risk missing first choice of plants.  Also we wanted to help Fred and Nancy out because a new shipment is a lot to deal with at the end of a long workday and none of us are getting any younger!

The last flat was off the truck when we arrived...

The last flat was off the truck when we arrived…

and we helped carry some into the greenhouse while Nancy did the pricing.

and we helped carry some into the greenhouse while Nancy did the pricing.

I got some of the choice plants that I wanted….and I have to admit I only left two Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ for other customers.  Well, I NEED them.

Nancy suggested we all go out to dinner.  She and Fred needed about twenty minutes to close down the shop, so Allan and I rushed back to park by Veterans Field and check on one little park in Long Beach.

pocket park behind Lewis and Clark Square

pocket park behind Lewis and Clark Square

A quick trimming and weeding got it ready for Monday, when a new restaurant is opening up just to the east of it.  Now we won’t have to do that on Sunday.

Finally we arrived at El Compadre Mexican Restaurant in north Long Beach.  We could see Fred through the window about to call us to see if we had changed our minds about coming!

Fred and Nancy, two of the hardworking plantspeople I know.

Fred and Nancy, two of the hardworking plantspeople I know.  Nancy creates the amazing hanging baskets for the towns of Long Beach and Ilwaco.

After dinner, we drove home in the fading light and, in the one block of planters we had not had time to check, I saw two dead narcissi.  “Two deadheads aren’t going to ruin any tourist’s weekend,” I said hopefully…and then, “Okay, four….okay, TWELVE deadheads won’t ruin anybody’s weekend.”  I certainly hope not, because we were out of time.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Peninsula Cash Mob in Ilwaco, at the Antique Gallery and Olde Towne Café on First Avenue..  That will thoroughly occupy the mid-part of my day while Allan goes kayaking upriver in Skamokawa.   That last block of planters will have to wait for perfection.

P.S.: our new birch trunk shower curtain from NIVA green:

curtain

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Before we left for work, Allan helped New Judy (three doors down) measure for a new screen door.  Her new home is coming right along with her latest project, painting the picket fence.

newjudy

New Judy's Bella

New Judy’s Bella

Then we were off, first with what was planned to be a quick stop at The Anchorage Cottages just to plant the windowboxes.

our route for the day

our route for the day; we started and ended at “G”

Anchorage window box refreshed with violas

Anchorage window box refreshed with violas

two

While Allan planted, I weeded and deadheaded.  (If possible, I always connive to get out of planting.)

Anchorage courtyard tulips

Anchorage courtyard tulips

A sad tulip container blighted by rain...

A sad tulip container blighted by rain…

happy parrot tulips by the Anchorage office

happy parrot tulips by the Anchorage office

I note that parrot tulips tolerate rain better than peony flowering tulips...

I note that parrot tulips tolerate rain better than peony flowering tulips…

Just as we were about to leave, I saw a catastrophe: lots of dead on one of the Ceanothus.

This is after we cut down one big dead trunk.

This is after we cut down one big dead trunk.

I don't like making cuts like these...but had no choice.

I don’t like making cuts like these…but had no choice.

I’d cut the whole shrub to near the ground and let it regrow, were it not for the fact that it balances out another tall ceanothus on the other end of this bed.

after removing some more small dead branches and running out of time...

after removing some more small dead branches and running out of time…

Our second job was at Golden Sands Assisted Living: weeding in the courtyard.

one of four quadrants: not much excitement yet

one of four quadrants: not much excitement yet

I was so, so right about the bad pruning of the rhododendrons last fall.  Thank goodness we showed up that day and stopped it so only three got The Treatment.  Next time we work here, we will cut out the dead trunks.

We didn't do it, and the person who did is not going to do it this way again...

We didn’t do it, and the person who did is not going to do it this way again…

I planted some wildflower seeds in an area outside the quadrant gardens.  They are from a cute roll of seed coins that Garden Tour Nancy gave me last year.  I had to bury the coins just slightly, because they look so real I was afraid someone would be trying to pick them up off the ground.

seed money

seed money

We made a quick weed and deadheading stop at Oman Builders Supply’s little entry garden.

Oman Builders Supply

Oman Builders Supply

detail: OBS

detail: OBS

And then, we weeded and deadheaded at Wiegardt Gallery in Ocean Park.  I had just received the check for March’s work there, enclosed with a beautiful card of one of Eric’s paintings.

poppies by Eric Wiegardt

poppies by Eric Wiegardt

This inspired me to plant some more poppy seeds in the garden:  California “poppies” mostly:  Coppery Pot, Dusky Rose, Tequila Sunrise, Buttercream….and some Shirley poppies ‘Angel’s Choir ‘ and ‘Falling in Love’.  There were only a few seeds left of the latter two, so my hopes for them are not high.

Just as we were about to leave, we learned that Eric’s brother, a landscaper, is going to move here and will be taking over the garden sometime this summer.  You might think I would be sad, but I’m afraid my reaction was “YES!”, almost with a jig and a fist pump.    I had to explain:  We are overbooked, and yet it is so hard to quit jobs because I feel attached to every garden.  I did manage to quit three last year, with great difficulty, only by telling myself that in ten years, I’ll be almost 70, and surely by then will not be gardening full time, so since the jobs won’t be mine in ten years, I might as well quit them now.  But even with dropping those three last year, we still don’t have time to keep up, especially not if we want to spend any time in our own garden (me), or boating (Allan).  In fact, as I was preparing ground for poppy seeds today, I had been worrying over the fact that we have not had time to even start weeding the Long Beach beach approach garden.  Thus, my glee at knowing we’ll soon be down one job.

The new gardener will inherit the badaster challenge by the front entry!

The new gardener will inherit the badaster challenge by the front entry!

While in the past, I’ve been laid off to hire cheaper labour, and then usually hired back after two years of people pulling the wrong plants, this time I KNOW the garden will be in good hands, because the new gardener has the amazing pedigree of having worked for the very famous Plant Delights Nursery…   Now we just have to keep the garden going till he completes his move to the Peninsula.  (Another great thing:  if he is starting a gardening biz, we’ll have someone else to whom to refer extra jobs.  We’ve been sending them to Ed Strange and he’s in the same time pickle as we are!)

Can I point out the coincidence that the song I am obsessed with right now (Luckiest Man Alive) is set in Asheville, North Carolina, and Plant Delights is in Raleigh, North Carolina?  How cosmic is that?

North Carolina

North Carolina

The only thing I would not have done today if I had found out about the job change ten minutes sooner was I’d have saved for myself all the seeds in this packet that friend J9 brought back from Scotland:

Oh well, what a nice farewell present to the garden!

Oh well, what a nice advance-farewell present to the Wiegardt garden!

By the way, all the poppies should have been planted sooner; that’s the problem with being short on time.

After Wiegardt’s, we went north to check on Marilyn’s garden.  I felt we would only have time to deadhead her narcissi.  Of course, we found weeds to pull as well and we really need several hours to spend there.

It's hard to believe that by midsummer, the garage to the right will be almost hidden.

It’s hard to believe that by midsummer, the neighbours’ garage to the right will be almost hidden.

in Marilyn's garden

in Marilyn’s garden

and another

and another

We ended the workday deadheading and weeding at Andersen’s RV Park.

the road box after deadheading

the road box after deadheading

Andersen's tulips

Andersen’s tulips

and more

and more

We need a full day here to weed the west side garden.  At least we got most of the couch grass out of the garden by the clam cleaning room.

by the clam cleaning shed and restroom buildings

by the clam cleaning room and restroom building

We stopped when the angle of the sun got so low that we could not see well what plants we were pulling.

looking north from the clam cleaning shed toward Payson Hall clubhouse

looking north from the clam cleaning room toward Payson Hall clubhouse

Andersen's:  in the picket fence garden

Andersen’s: in the picket fence garden

and more

and more

and another

and another

I forgot to whinge in  today’s entry about the hardn and cold north wind that blew all day long.  It was most annoying at every job except for Marilyn’s, so I was ever so glad to be home and looking out the south window at Allan’s mowing job from yesterday evening.

home

When I took another photo to the southeast, I saw, on the round table, a potted plant blown over and had absolutely no desire to go back out in the wind to right it.  Tomorrow is another day.

southeast

 

 

 

 

 

 

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