I saw such a lovely garden today! It deserves its own entry and since we are supposed to have five (some say eight!) inches of rain in the next two or three days, and high wind on Sunday, I am sure I will plenty of time to give to that story.
At the Post Office, an odd work related encounter occurred. Yesterday at Olde Towne (during a stop to change compost buckets), Allan told me a man wanted to talk to me about work. He’d asked Allan and Allan had pointed me out and said I set the schedule. I was chatting with Luanne and glanced up and saw a man standing outside. I did not think much of it except I knew I would say we did not want any more jobs. When we left with the compost bucket, the man was gone. Today he came up to Allan in the post office (where we have to go each day for our mail) and said in, I gather, an irritated way, “I guess you don’t want the work!” He got into his vehicle right in front of where we were parked and almost spun his wheels in an angry-looking departure. I was mystified till Allan explained. What good fortune to not having taken on a job (say, if he had lured us with a fabulous garden full of collectible plants) for someone that crabby! Yesterday, he had perhaps expected me to stop my conversation at Olde Towne and hustle right out to talk to him. If he had come up to me, I could have given him a couple of phone numbers of other gardeners to try.
Today we did that one-off job of cleaning up the 42nd Street Café garden. In the front, the pea gravel had ruched around and the underwear (the worst thin landscape fabric) showed. While I was weeding along the north side, and cutting back some lady’s mantle, Allan did an amazing job of digging out a severely chopped hydrangea and redistributing the gravel so it looks good again. (He also cut the fabric that was sticking up; he called it “dorsal fins”. The fabric is no loss; it is so thin that weeds came right through.) I did some of the weeding, but the excellent gravel work is almost all Allan’s.
We took time to clean up the triangle of soil at the south side of the garden (above, after picture, left!) , even though originally I did not think we would get that far in the time I had allotted to the job (a little over two hours).
The restaurant had an event planned for Saturday that would require, due to liquor regulations, for guests to entry through that usually unused red door and walk through the restaurant and out the main door into the parking lot. There they would enjoy an old fashioned Oktoberfest with an oompah band, mermaids courtesy Queen La De Da, beer, sausages, and so on.
Meanwhile, on the north side, I dealt with the messy lady’s mantle and some bindweed.
The sad thing is that due to the threatening storm, the Oktoberfest for which we were preparing has been cancelled because of the weather forecast. I asked restaurateur Blaine Walker if they could just have the event inside the restaurant; he said that a brass oompah band would be overwhelming in the smallish dining room!
When we were done with the garden clean up, Nancy Allen picked me up to go see the garden on the bay while Allan went on to Andersen’s RV Park to work some more. Here is just a sneak peak of the garden I saw:
More to come as soon as stormy weather allows!
Two hours later, I rejoined Allan at Andersen’s. He had been weeding behind the office.
The Bad Aster actually looks lovely (since I never seem to succeed in eradicating it).
Where once grew a thick meadow of annual poppies, the asters hid out all summer and have redeemed themselves.
Looking at the blue sky and feeling warm air, it was hard to believe tomorrow will bring a three day long storm.
With less than two hours till sunset, we left to fill the day in with some work in Long Beach. Especially on my mind was the removal of some old woody Helichrysym italicum (curry plant). I mainly like it because it smells so good and has silver foliage. It does not come back as nicely when clipped as the silver Santolina.
The planter just north of Dennis Company had lost its bench to a curry plant and two lavenders. Once the curry had been removed, the lavenders looked so misshapen that they had to go as well.
Two more curry plants came out in the planter near the Long Beach Gazebo.
That planter is plagued with a blue geranium that is not much of a rebloomer (Johnson’s Blue, maybe). Every year I dig a lot of it out but it is such a runner that I would have to replace all the soil to get rid of it. I have found it does rebloom lightly if cut back hard.
I cut back lavender in another planter and wanted to clean up under a street tree but I happened to see a shirtless young man noisily hack a big spitball into it. Then he sat on the bench by the tree and smoked. The joys of public gardening…. That tree garden will have to wait till later (with medical exam gloves on, which I usually do wear while gardening).
While Allan pulled Croscosmia ‘Lucifer’ from another planter and a tree, I did some cutting back at city hall.
The Lavatera in the west side garden has halfway died back. I would cut it back even harder than this to help it through the winter, but did not have time today so took out some big dead branches toward the front. Then, although the sun was ominously low, I decided I had to clip the Escallonia and especially two Miscanthus variegatus (a favourite grass!) that were hanging out over the sidewalk.
I must address the Escallonia situation severely, but not at dusk. I see they have gotten way too big.
As we drove out of the city works yard after dumping, the view down 6th street revealed we had worked for every last possible minute. Or so I thought.
We had reason to celebrate today (about something outside of the blog story) so decided to go to The Hungry Harbor Grille for Mexican Fiesta night. From our parking spot, I could see Veterans Field and realized we had not deadheaded the garden! If the weather forecast was wrong and Columbia Pacific Farmers Market did not get rained out, we’d have to go back, or do it now. So of course, I did it. The flags show the complete calm….before the storm as with last Saturday night when we had a campfire in still, beautiful weather? We’ll see.