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Monday, 23 May 2016

Ilwaco

During gardening season, picking up our mail always involves a bit of weeding and deadheading at our volunteer garden at the post office.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

post office garden

post office garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

pink California poppies

pink California poppies

We drove to the fire station to check on the water needs of the planter there, which is under the eaves and gets no rain.  I looked again at the garden areas that I keep thinking of taking over as a volunteer…especially now that we have been fired (or I suppose I could say REPLACED) at Golden Sands and therefore have an extra two hours a week.  I walked all round looking for a hose faucet and found none anywhere near the gardens, except for one down in a hole in the sidewalk that is turned off.  The lack of water, and the thought that I might be crazy to take on a new project while needing a new knee, put the kibosh on the idea for now…along with the fact that it is getting late to transplant free plants.

one of the areas that calls out to me...north wall, under wide eaves...

one of the areas that calls out to me…north wall, under wide eaves…

and the other...southwest corner, sunny

and the other…southwest corner, sunny

The station deserves a volunteer garden because the firefighters themselves are volunteers.

We did a bit of weeding at Time Enough Books (Allan's photo)

We did a bit of weeding at Time Enough Books (Allan’s photo)

and some weeding and planting at the Community Building, which got some Sedum 'Autumn Joy' starts and a couple of sanguisorbas that had come out of my garden to make room for my mom's copper rose.

and some weeding and planting at the Community Building, which got some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ starts and a couple of sanguisorbas that had come out of my garden to make room for my mom’s copper rose. (Allan’s photo)

free plants going in

free plants going in

Long Beach

Today was the first day for liquid fertilizing of the Long Beach planters.

As we secured an excellent parking spot by Fifth Street Park, my eyes zoomed in on something that really bugged me.

Do you notice what is wrong?

Do you notice what is wrong?

The old lavender in the planter kitty corner, that I had cut back to improve traffic sight lines earlier this spring, is so dead inside.  So ugly.  I planted another small lavender in front of it in hopes of hiding the horror.  I can’t wait, so I asked Allan if he could dig the big old one out after he did his portion of the watering rounds.

lavender on left is glaringly hideous

lavender on left is glaringly hideous

In the first planter that I watered, I found half of the Lollipop lilies broken off.

What happened here?

What happened here?

I just philosophically picked them up and threw them out.  Now the planter is all out of symmetry.

Lilies remain on the other side.

Lilies remain on the other side.

This is one of the planters with a planting scheme left over from volunteer days, with an aggressively running rose that is too vigorous for the planter (beautiful right now when in its once-blooming stage).  I don’t plant lilies in the planters because their foliage, while dying back, is unattractive.  To have them broken off just in full bud is a darn shame.  Oh well!

Right about that time, Todd drove by and called out “You guys rock!”.  That was nice.

Also nice: I had unearthed a pair of my favourite clippers, the ones Fred Meyer stopped carrying.

Also nice: I had unearthed a pair of my favourite clippers, the ones Fred Meyer stopped carrying.  I wish I could find these to buy somewhere.

a Long Beach planter (Allan's photo)

a Long Beach planter (Allan’s photo)

In Fish Alley, I came upon the city crew hard at work making a big sandbox.  There will be sand castles built here by expert builders every weekend this summer.

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Parks Manager Mike driving the back hoe.

Parks Manager Mike driving the back hoe.

While bucket watering the four barrels in Fish Alley, I discovered that the two barrels at the west end of the alley had once again had every edging plant stolen. I told Mike it’s not from lack of trying that those barrels look blah.  One of the crew pointed out that all the lower light bulbs on the poles at the alley entrance had been stolen.  You can see the results in the first photo of the crew, above, and below.

light bulbs almost all gone!

light bulbs almost all gone!

This is not a crazy crime ridden town.  Yet things like this are so frustrating.  I told the crew that I had just had a brainstorm:  I am going to stuff the back two barrels with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ which is easily replaced with divisions if the plants get stolen.  It is the perfect plant for that: drought tolerant, so divisible, and yet not invasive or impolite toward other plants.  No more special plants for whomever is repeatedly stealing there.

Outside Wind World Kites, I joined in on petting the Mighty Quinn, whose tail never stopped wagging.  Quinn is so big and only two years old.

Quinn and the Kite Guy

Quinn and the Kite Guy

Quinn’s predecessor was a good friend of Tank, the kite shop mascot dog, and after Tank died of old age, his buddy used to check out Tank’s “office” in the back of the shop to see if maybe Tank was there.

Tank in his office

my very good friend Tank in his office, years ago

Allan finished watering and accomplished his lavender removal project.  His photos:

before

before

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He moved the new small lavender into the space.

He moved the new small lavender into the space.

after

after

I’d like to redo that whole planter and get the curly teucrium and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out of it—both too invasive—but not this spring.

Allan's photo by Hungry Harbor Grille

Allan’s photo by Hungry Harbor Grille

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Walking by the park on Third Street reminded me that Mike had asked me to prune the hydrangeas by the bench.  After watering, Allan and I parked by there and did so.

after pruning. The hydrangeas had been blossoming through the back and seat of the bench.

after pruning. The hydrangeas had been blossoming through the back and seat of the bench.

A fellow smoking by the fence told me he had picked some flowers (rhododendrons, I believe) from the park and then felt he had done something wrong.  I was touched by his confession and gave him the hydrangea flowers I had needed to cut.  He was ever so pleased.

At the back of the park: aegepodium. DO NOT ever plant it! and tall fireweed. I left the fireweed, remembering that in the UK it goes by the lovely name rosebay willowherb.

At the back of the park: aegepodium. DO NOT ever plant it! and tall fireweed. I left the fireweed, remembering that in the UK it goes by the lovely name rosebay willowherb and is much admired.

Allan bucket watering the stage planters at Veterans Field

Allan bucket watering the stage planters at Veterans Field

We have a lot of little things to remember to do in Long Beach in order to keep plants alive and happy.

Eschscholzia californica 'White Linen' and Salvia 'May Night' in vet field corner garden

Eschscholzia californica ‘White Linen’ and Salvia ‘May Night’ in vet field corner garden

We had saved the northern two blocks of planter fertilizing till late afternoon.  I took a break  to go into NIVA green and get some more photos for the shop’s Facebook page.

front window, NIVA green

front window, NIVA green

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Heather Ramsay’s lamps

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a seat for a miniature garden

a seat for a miniature garden

doggies

doggies

Heather has the most artistic selection of greeting cards around.  I had a birthday gift certificate from Todd burning a hole in my wallet and I decided a wide selection of cards would be the perfect things to spend it on.

owl card

owl card

many choices throughout the shop

many choices throughout the shop

Allan's photo by Dennis Company

Allan’s photo by Dennis Company

Back to Fifth Street Park Allan and I went to get some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  I planted all the rest of my sweet pea seeds, tired of packets floating around the house with just a few seeds in each.  It is crazy late to plant, I know.

looking toward the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park

looking toward the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park

When I took the above photo, I did not even remember that it was the planter whose lilies had been broken off on the north side.  That’s because I was being all philosophical about plant damage today.

Fifth Street Park, NW corner

Fifth Street Park, NW corner

Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) (Allan's photo)

Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) and the first lily (Allan’s photo)

We dumped our debris and got some soil from the city yard and went to Fish Alley to replant the stripped out two barrels.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' on the move (Allan's photo)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ on the move (Allan’s photo)

Fish Alley replanting (Allan's photo)

Fish Alley replanting (Allan’s photo)

Because we still had time in our day, we went to the Bolstad approach to remove some of the clover that had turned out to have boring, lax white flowers.

the silver Pacific Ocean, end of the Bolstad approach (Allan's photo)

the silver Pacific Ocean, end of the Bolstad approach (Allan’s photo)

clover attack

clover attack

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photos)

and after

and after

I worked on pulling grasses from among the roses.  As I approached the nearby planter, I let out a bellow and all thoughts of being philosophical flew away.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

That hole marks where a brand new perfectly shaped santolina had been planted within the past month, to match its brother on the other side of the planter.

Now its brother is all alone.

Now its brother is all alone.

utterly maddening

utterly maddening

The fairy door at the base of the planter had not protected it nor had the little green soldier that Allan found in the planter itself.

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I looked around to make sure no tourists or children were nearby and then let out a string of swearing and imprecations against plant thieves.  To anyone looking from the distant hotel windows, I must have looked like a cartoon character hopping about and waving my arms in rage.

hopping mad!!

hopping mad!!

This is why the beach approach planters look so sparse.  I plant repeatedly, and choice new additions are repeatedly stolen.  I suspect it might be just one person, maybe the same one also stealing in Fish Alley, who is furnishing quite a nice little garden somewhere.  I have no idea who.  Someone who knows good plants and only takes the choicest ones. Perhaps they think I will just replace the plant.  Well, no, because now every nursery on the Peninsula is sold out of it.  I found a small specimen of a different santolina cultivar at ground level, where I had stuck in some cuttings earlier this year.

It would have been swamped by resprouting roses anyway.

It would have been swamped by resprouting roses anyway.

into the planter it goes...maybe won't be stolen as is not impressive.

into the planter it goes…maybe won’t be stolen as is not impressive.

On the other side of the sidewalk, I noticed that someone had stolen one of the fairy doors, breaking it off in the process of prying it from the driftwood.

gone!

gone!

Wendy Murry had sent me this photo of it on May 15th.

Wendy Murry had sent me this photo of it on May 15th.

All thoughts of being philosophical had disappeared and I was back to being a crabby gardener.

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The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett, an art idea suggested, oddly enough, by someone who knows me.

In better news:  The beach approach was so easy to weed now that we got two sections done in less than an hour and stopped work at the eight hour day mark.

It should be easy to do a weeding of the rest of the approach, maybe just a one day job.

It should be easy to do a weeding of the rest of the approach, maybe just a one day job.

at home

the garden at 8 PM

the garden at 8 PM

I moved my kitty statue from near the greenhouse over to Mary’s grave after suddenly realizing how much it looks like Mary.

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Mary herself

Mary herself

Rose 'Mary Rose' planted on her grave

Rose ‘Mary Rose’ planted on her grave

Mary Rose, picked for a closer look

Mary Rose, picked for a closer look

and to float in my mom's birdbath

and to float in my mom’s birdbath


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

On this day in 1995, my father went into the hospital with a heart problem.  The diary entries from May 23 through June of that year will appear in one post at the end of this month.

1997 (age 73):

May 23:  Don [her neighbor helping get ready for a garage sale] 12:00-3:00.  We sorted the rest of the boxes from garage shelves.  I found some pink dishes that might match Skyler’s dishes and several pieces of colored glass to put on kitchen shelf over sink.  Sorted through flower seeds for ones to direct seed.

1998 (age 74):

May 23: Cool wet dreary—too lousy weather to go outside so I planted seeds—for several hours.  I keep switching trays between heating mats on the card table and Floralight.  The Jazz swept the Lakers.

 

 

 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A day of garden puttering at home is perfection for me.  Another form of perfection might have been a rainy day so that I could read my book.

Not today.

Not today.

I wish to read it in one sitting.  Meanwhile, for my daily bedtime reading, I am partway through this excellent non fiction book:

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Smokey would have liked a reading day.

Smokey would have liked a reading day.

Before I began gardening, I got a text from a friend who had caught someone picking a bouquet at the boatyard.  Allan and I tore down there and nipped it in the bud.  The picker was parked on one side of the street with our friend parked on the other, as if, having been interrupted while picking, she had returned to her vehicle and was waiting the witness out.  The picker claimed she had just picked up broken flowers.  Our friend, still there, had witnessed her actively browsing and picking in the garden.  I knew darn well that one flower, from a plant I have only one of in the garden, was from right underneath one of the “Please Leave the Flowers for Everyone to Enjoy” signs.  No yelling was involved, but I hope stern words made an impression.  I have photos showing exactly who it was.  I won’t be sharing them publicly…this time.

a detail. She told Allan she had been sketching the garden.

a detail, with flowers in hand. She told Allan she had been sketching the garden. You can see the sketch behind the flowers.

Finally home again for the rest of a day off, in good weather, I garden puttered.  Or, as the mom of one of the Sylvia Beach Hotel called it, “piddlefarting around the garden”.

I’d been worried all weekend for Susie of the Boreas Inn, who had been ambulanced to a Portland hospital with a heart attack on Saturday morning.  The news that an angiogram showed no damage and that she could come home today was a great relief. 

Parahebe 'Waterfall Mist'

Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’ by Nora’s driveway


Parahebe 'Waterfall Mist', a good mounding perennial

Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’, a good mounding perennial


perfectly placed self sown lavender and golden oregano on the patio

perfectly placed self sown lavender and golden oregano on the patio


more self sowing...

more self sowing…


from this plant table

from this plant table


decided it was time to trim the restia

I decided it was time to trim the restia


Smokey found this most amusing.

Smokey found this most amusing.


rescued a frog who had gotten trapped in a bucket by the water boxes

rescued a frog who had gotten trapped in a bucket by the water boxes

I got trapped in a sudden heavy rain squall back by the bogsy woods and, somewhat sheltered by trees, weeded the bindweed corner.

probably won't have time for this

Here it was last week.


and today

and today

I see room for a new shade plant, or five.

During the rain, Allan painted top pieces for the new arbour.

During the rain, Allan painted top pieces for the new arbour.

When the rain stopped, Allan fixed the back gate whose hinges had rusted shut.  He had to grind off the old hinges and install more expensive, non rusting new stainless steel ones.  (“The hinges cost more than the door”, says Allan.)

Allan's project

Allan’s project


old hinge

old hinge could not be unscrewed

I failed to get a photo of the door-gate put back on.  I was able to use the door-gate to go to the other side and pull bindweed off the fence where our lot meets the gear shed property line.

From nearby, the fragrance of Philadelphus wafted about.

From nearby, the fragrance of Philadelphus wafted about.


Stipa gigantea in the back garden

Stipa gigantea in the back garden


Eucomis 'Glow Sticks' from Terra Nova Nursery

Eucomis ‘Glow Sticks’ from Terra Nova Nursery


mom's red velvet rose doing well next to a giant daylily that I am wondering why I spared in the daylily purge last year.

mom’s transplanted red velvet rose doing well next to a giant daylily that I am wondering why I spared in the daylily purge last year.

Allan also installed on the front gate a sign that was a present from Mary and Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages.

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He also put up a bamboo rose trellis.

He also put up a bamboo rose trellis.


last garden puttering the of the day: digging some baby new potatoes for J9 to pick up tomorrow.

last garden puttering the of the day: digging some baby new potatoes for J9 to pick up tomorrow.


Allan found the first ripe strawberry.

Allan found the first ripe strawberry.

We only had a two day weekend because we have much work to do this week making towns and resorts perfect for Memorial Day weekend.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 22:  In garage moved my garden stuff into empty NW corner.  Moved boxes of priced stuff over to east wall.  Planted the rest of sprouted upright begonias and one more basket. There are about a dozen of Dutch Garden begonias that haven’t sprouted.  I’ll write to them about it.

1998 (age 74):

May 22:  12:00-5:00  Worked all that time planting tomatoes.  The greenhouse is jammed.  I had to stop twice to sift compost and mushroom compost.  All the black pots, milk jugs and bleach jugs are full.  All the tomatoes are out of the shop finally.  I started throwing some away but there are about 10 left of misc varieties that I’ll plant.  Next job is to plant tulips in garden and replant begonias in the tubs.

 

Saturday, 21 May 2016: Allan’s day

warning: The following content may be limited in variety as there are only a few different shots available. When you got to keep up with the group and the group consists  of identical looking red boats, camera fiddling just slows you down.

I had been looking forward to this trip for months. West Cast Sailing, who had sold me my boat was inviting everyone with similar Hobie boats to an afternoon sailing around Ross Island in Portland Oregon. Picnic provided and over fifteen boats had RSVP’d. “It looks like we will have good wind and a low probability of rain.” The owner of the shop, Peter McGrath, had confirmed all around and I was looking forward to learning, looking around and fun as sailing kayaks are scarce around here.

The event was at Willamette Park in Portland. The plan was to sail around Ross Island and return for socializing. The computer said about two and a third hour trip, the GPS for the car said three and a third hours. SO, I believed the car’s GPS and set out really early. As I cruised past Hillsboro, just west of Portland, it showed I still had over an hour to go. I backed out the screen’s view. I was headed to Willamette Park in Corvallis, south of Salem. The Portland park of the same name wasn’t listed. I reprogrammed it to Ross Island Grocery Store which would  get me close and presto,  now I was going to be an hour early. Yay. Wish I had brought a paper map.

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Portland (the rose city) features roses heavily in their landscaping such as this freeway ramp

 

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Setting up forty minutes early should make me on time when they start

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A delightful audience of a young boy full of questions and observations as I expertly fuddled about. All was good except an outrigger is installed backwards (a training wheel to the little guy).

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A wooden dory with leather oarlocks, and a good sail boat to boot. I would have loved to listen more as he explained it to the fellow with the brown shoes but the party was beginning.

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Carl and Connie had just arrived from the tri-cities, about 220 miles away, a day trip that humbled my 85 mile trip.

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He brought his new two passenger  model (with the comfy seats).

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A home modified version  of a similar trailer we use for Tangly Cottage Gardening.

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Our host Peter  (in the back), and his guest, Carl & Connie in the middle red boat …and that was it. The rest canceled partly because showers were predicted.

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I was putting the wheels away (I now see that they can ride behind), and guess who was going to be last in?

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A trampoline is handy for phones and strong enough for people or crab pots.

Julez from the Salt Hotel told me before I left: “What makes an adventure is when things go wrong.”

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A Canadian goose is first out

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Leaving the dock by foot power

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Heading off. Carl on the left using the new spinnaker, Peter sailing, and I’m about to head for the beach to flip around the outrigger.

The wind was so light we all went about 4 mph no matter what. Carl put up two sails and I pedaled harder. Peter just sailed. His shop has a wide array of small sail boats but these are the only ones with built in pedal drives. That feature allows sloppy sailing techniques for the rest of us. He’s been sailing almost weekly since his teens. I pedaled, sailed hard and caught up with him so I could shadow him and learn. “How do you know where to head without a wind vane?” “I’m a wind ninja” Ah. more practice is needed.

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Connie with her phone on a stick camera. Carl now has both sails up. We’re still all together.

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Ross Island is a rock processing site. Couldn’t really explore as I had to keep up.

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Rounding the top of Ross Island near the Hwy 26 Ross Island bridge. The Tilikum Crossing is behind it.

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The wind was much stronger on this side of the island

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Kayakers under the Tilikum Crossing, the largest car free bridge in the country.

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I barely got my camera ready in time to catch this fast paddler with an outrigger.

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A fireboat quietly went by on its way to a kayak gathering up north.

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Peter giving the ‘thumbs up’ as I might be able to share this good pic with him later. My better camera was back in its bag after refusing to snap pics.  I found out later that it recorded a useless ten minute movie instead. It’s busy out there!

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Connie taking my picture after I ran parallel with them on the last stretch

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Peter heading off while the fire boat displays for a kayak event up north. It even briefly sprayed a red white and blue pattern.

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Peter mixing with his own kind and a fishing boat on the right.

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A tourist boat glided by among all the little boats.

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Keeping up as we headed back to the launch. Note the wet sail. Nothing says fast like lots of water splashing in your face. The newer boats have designed out a lot of the splashy fun.

With just one person and 64 percent of their sail area I felt pretty good about keeping up. Nine mph felt fast because of the wind and spray.

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Packing up for a long ride halfway across the state. My boots also were filled with water.

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One way around Ross Island

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The Portland Aerial Tram went by overhead. First time I became aware of its existence.

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Tree bases are set in stone with car / bike / people deflector stones on either side.

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Must be art on poles. I looked it up and it’s called Inversion Plus Minus

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Whump! A gale blew in so suddenly I saw a convertible on the shoulder working on getting the top up – quickly.

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Sunset over the Columbia from Astoria’s Maritime Museum.Back to the quiet local waterways and home.

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Saturday, 21 May 2016

I had the day to myself because Allan had gone boating.  The unusual state of complete solitude inspired me to skip the Saturday market.

 As usual, it tok me ages to get started on a day off.  J9 stopped by unexpectedly just before I got outside, and we had a good natter for half an hour and then I began to plant my own painted sage.

What I most wanted was to be done with annuals planting time.  Otherwise, I would have rejoiced in the rain that stopped me halfway through the planting, and would have settled in with volume 4 of the Cazalet Chronicle.  I felt sorry for the vendors down at the Saturday Market; the rain was torrential.  I might have kept planting in the privacy of the back yard, but in the more public front yard I did not feel like exhibiting drowned rattiness.

rain from the east window

rain from the east window

from the porch

from the porch

pelting

pelting

topping up the rain barrels

topping up the rain barrels

As soon as it slowed, I was back out finishing the planting.

Frosty preferred to stay in.

Frosty preferred to stay in.

I reassembled my mom’s sedum table display next to the water boxes.  It has gone from her own garden to Golden Sands, lived there under a courtyard tree for six years, and has now come home.

mom's little wooden table, still sturdy.

mom’s little wooden table, still sturdy.  Edged with brick, piled with soil, planted with succulents that were brought home in a bucket.

potatoes growing on the debris pile

potatoes growing on the debris pile

Paul's Himalayan Musk rose overhead

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose overhead

Rose 'Gloire de Dijon'; if I were retired, I'd pick off every blackspotty leaf.

Rose ‘Gloire de Dijon’; if I were retired, I’d pick off every blackspotty leaf.

Egyptian Walking Onion outside the deer fence.

Egyptian Walking Onion outside the deer fence.

strawberries outside the deer fence; before I put this mesh up, Devery caught the deer browsing them.

strawberries outside the deer fence; before I put this mesh up, Devery caught the deer browsing them.

almost ready!

almost ready!

a rose across the driveway at Nora's old house (now her granddaughter Alicia's)

a rose across the driveway at Nora’s old house (now her granddaughter Alicia’s)

Calvin was the one who followed me around outside today.

Calvin was the one who followed me around outside today.

looking south east from the gate

looking south east from the back gate

the one rose that came with the house...a prolific once-bloomer

the one rose that came with the house…a prolific once-bloomer

(weedy) patio with no plants to plant!

(weedy) patio with no plants to plant!

Onyx from next door came to visit.

Onyx from next door came to visit.

Onyx and Frosty

Onyx and Frosty

front path with painted sage planted along the edge

front path looking west with painted sage planted along the edge

Chickadees have made a next in the circuit board bird house.

Chickadees have made a next in the circuit board bird house.

purchased once upon a time at Saturday market

purchased once upon a time at Saturday market

If I had the patience of Mr Tootlepedal, I would get a photo of the chickadees going in and out.

I was chided from a nearby perch.

I was chided from a nearby perch.

front path looking east

front path looking east, not raked up yet

Clematis durandii on new arbour (where wire mesh will be inserted for it to climb on).

Clematis durandii on new arbour (where wire mesh will be inserted for it to climb on).

more small painted sage plants along more edges. I had to pull some red poppies to make room, felt it was a shame but did it anyway.

more small painted sage plants along more edges. I had to pull some red poppies to make room, felt it was a shame but did it anyway.

I used up all my six packs of sage with not a one left to squeeze into the boatyard garden.  At last, with all the plants in the ground, I had time to begin the sort of tasks that I like best in the garden.

clipping hellebore: before...

clipping hellebore: before…

and after. I had been looking forward to that.

and after. I had been looking forward to that.

With all the plants planted, I can now turn my attention at work to projects, the sort of work I much prefer to planting.

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Now, if I just stop buying plants, I won’t have any more planting to do till next year, will I?

Allan got home just after dark.  Tomorrow’s post will be about his adventures in Portland.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 21:  10:30-5:00  Don and I worked about 3 hours in the garage going through the NW corner sorting stuff for garage sale.  When he left, I worked in front weeding out the sweet woodruff, etc.  I think I have about 4 or 5 wheelbarrows to add to the compost pile.

1998 (age 74):

May 21:  I brought out all the baskets that are growing good.  I managed to hang several of the baskets with rigid hangers.  I worked again potting tomatoes.

Friday, 20 May 2016

I awoke after five hours of sleep, thought briefly about the lost Golden Sands garden, and went back to sleep for two more hours.  The cycle of sleepless stress is finally broken.

Before work, Allan helped me place my mother’s birdbath in the front garden.  It will make a fine view from my writing desk.

Allan's photo: Two round marks in the center are from yellow duckies that sat on it at Golden Sands...where it was only filled with water on the days we worked there, or by rain.

Allan’s photo: Two round marks in the center are from yellow duckies that sat in the birdbath at Golden Sands…where it was only filled with water on the days we worked there, or by rain.

I found decorative glass pieces to put on those spots.

I found decorative glass pieces to put on those spots.

Mom's birdbath under the Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant'

Mom’s birdbath under the Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’, from the window

On the front gate, we found a treasure:

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Later, an email revealed it was from Patti of the Seaview garden.  She’d also given us some cool rusty stuff earlier in the week after Melissa’s birthday party.

rust from Patti (Allan's photo)

rust from Patti (Allan’s photo)

At the library, I had a book to pick up: an interlibrary loan of book 4 of the Cazalet Chronicle.  We did some weeding along the sidewalk while we were there and I cast a stern eye on the clump of salal that wants to run to the right and interfere with the rhododendron.

I am sure its horrid roots are firmly entrenched under the sidewalk.

I am sure its horrid roots are firmly entrenched under the sidewalk.  I want it gone.

I placed the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (rescued from mowing in the Golden Sands lawn) atop the wall  and Allan planted it.  The ones that had not been mowed flat, he cut back hard to avoid them looking wilty to passersby.

placing Rozanne at the Community Building

placing Rozanne at the Community Building

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, a planting place for Rozanne

pulling bindweed

pulling bindweed

Long Beach

the welcome sign

the welcome sign

welcomeback5-20

after pulling some horsetail

after pulling some horsetail

Next on the Long Beach town list: weeding the big pop out.

It was a pleasantly cool day for comfy clothes.

It was a pleasantly cool day for comfy clothes.

after...just a little better.  The roses are rambunctious.

after…just a little better. The rugosa roses are rambunctious. I regret planting them here.

We checked on all the planters on the Bolstad approach.  A Mental Health Walk was planned along there for Saturday, sponsored by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

lots of sand in planters closest to the beach (Allan's photo) due to recent winds

lots of sand in planters closest to the beach due to recent winds (Allan’s photo)

beach sand and verbascum (Allan's photo)

beach sand and verbascum (Allan’s photo)

This darling little dog was ignoring his guardian.  He came to us and Allan nabbed him and carried him back to her.

little dog on the loose (Allan's photo)

little dog on the loose (Allan’s photo)

I found some of the usual theft (which is one reason why the beach approach planters are especially challenging, the others being sand, salt, drought and wind).

one side: nice little golden thyme tucked in on the edge under the catmint

one side: nice little golden thyme tucked in on the edge under the catmint

other side: matching thyme is gone, and the catmint is a small division to replace one that was stolen earlier.

other side: matching thyme is gone, and the catmint is a small division to replace one that was stolen earlier.

Someone treats these planters as their own personal nursery of free plants.  I put golden thyme back on the shopping list, hoping the Basket Case still had some of the same cultivar.

Allan weeding

Allan weeding

big footprints in the sand

big footprints in the sand

a bit of weeding on the beach approach ground level

a bit of weeding on the beach approach ground level

I realized with glee that our weeding job earlier this spring had been so effective that we could probably touch up the entire beach approach garden in just one day.  Soon, I hope.

rugosa roses

rugosa roses

view looking east

view looking east

the fairy door some good fairy added to a planter

the fairy door some good fairy added to a planter

am thrilled to see some of the poppy seeds that I planted have germinated

am thrilled to see some of the poppy seeds that I planted have germinated

How beautiful thyme is when it is left alone to establish rather than being swiped.

How beautiful thyme is when it is left alone to establish rather than being swiped.

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To my delight, I found another fairy door in the garden.

telephoto so as not to disturb the occupants

telephoto so as not to disturb the occupants

roses that were cut back to the ground not long ago

rugosa roses that were cut back to the ground not long ago

reminder to self while parked near city hall: must remember to weed that tatty garden of not much up head on the corner

reminder to self while parked near city hall: must remember to weed that tatty garden of not much up ahead on the corner

Jo’s Garden

We planted a plethora of painted sage in Jo’s garden.

Jo's center courtyard

Jo’s center courtyard

center courtyard daylily

center courtyard daylily

northwest garden bed

northwest garden bed

The center of the shasta daisy patch is lower than the edges.  I think it because the Cow Wow! mulch got spread more thickly along the edge.

Plants respond to Cow Wow.

Plants respond to Cow Wow.  The center is lower.  Phlox is along the fence.

west garden bed

west garden bed

north side of house

north side of house, looking east

center courtyard

center courtyard

guest cottage

guest cottage

painted sage (Salvia viridis) added to entry garden

painted sage (Salvia viridis) added to entry garden

salvias planted (Allan's photo)

salvias planting before (Allan’s photos)

and after

and after

With all this planting of salvia viridis going on, I had better show new readers what it looks like:

Salvia viridis

Salvia viridis

I was relieved to see that the entry garden had begun to grow out of a mysterious problem of repeatedly dying foliage.  Jo was not at home till later today, but she texted me that she had figured it out.  She had sprayed with that anti-mosquito recipe that has been making the rounds on Facebook, with ingredients including mouthwash and epsom salts.  In the areas she sprayed, the plant leaves were burned.  Mystery solved!  Beware of where you spray that recipe (and note that Google will tell you it’s not very effective, anyway).

The big Annuals Planting Time is officially over for work, leaving only the rest of my annuals planting at home.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We couriered the cheque for plants from Long Beach over to the Basket Case Greenhouse.

in the perennial house

in the perennial house

Geranium 'Orion', supposed to be even better than 'Rozanne'

Geranium ‘Orion’, supposed to be even better than ‘Rozanne’

I recommend these echibeckias for long season of colour, even though they were not hardy for me.  I was going to plant eight of them at Golden Sands!  OH WELL!

I recommend these echibeckias for long season of colour, even though they were not hardy for me. I was going to plant eight of them at Golden Sands! OH WELL!

With all the salvias out of the van, I actually had room to buy my two hanging baskets!

perusing the Blooming availability list, and remembering (finally) two hens and chickens for Diane's little planter

perusing the Blooming availability list, and remembering (finally) two hens and chickens for Diane’s little planter

I did get one golden thyme, then ran out of steam to go back to the beach approach and plant it.

World Kite Museum

We added Gardner and Bloome Soil Building Compost to improve the garden.

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It takes an effort to get the tightly compacted mulch out of the bale.

It takes an effort to get the tightly compacted mulch out of the bale.

Our friend Patty, the museum store manager and official Garden Waterer, came out to admire.

Our friend Patty, the museum store manager and official Garden Waterer, came out to admire.

Ilwaco

In order to not have to water on Sunday, we drove around to all the Ilwaco planters and added just enough water to make them happy, without getting out the water trailer or the usual 20 buckets for bucket watering.  Thanks to rain this past week, they each needed just an empty Costco sized mixed nuts jar dipper full of water.

freshly planted not long ago

freshly planted not long ago

I did not plant any nasturtium seeds in the planters this year because last year, the deer feasted on them.

By the boatyard garden: someone had picked a bouquet and then abandoned it in a planter...which is not the meaning of the signs that read "please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy"!

By the boatyard garden: someone had picked a bouquet and then abandoned it in a planter…which is not the meaning of the signs that read “please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy”!

boatyard garden, looking south

boatyard garden, looking south

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north fence...once upon a time I had a garden along here, too.

north fence…once upon a time I had a garden along here, too.  It got dug up when new utility lines were installed.

east: the leaning tree garden and one little planter

east: the leaning tree garden and one little planter

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center: Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

center: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

south end of boatyard garden

south end of boatyard garden

Salt Pub

After a brief time at home, I went out again to meet Our Kathleen for dinner at Salt Pub.  Allan stayed home because he was loading up his boat for a sailing adventure in Portland tomorrow.

Salt

Salt Hotel and Skookum Surf (surfing lessons)

I had just had time to pick a bouquet, something I try to do weekly for Salt because I value the place highly.

I had just had time to pick a bouquet, something I try to do weekly for Salt because I value the place highly.

my delicious chili

my delicious chili

Kathleen's nachos

Kathleen’s nachos

We had the baked to order cookie with ice cream for dessert; so good, and the end of such an eventful work week, that I forgot to take a photo.  We had been so deep in conversation that I had not even photographed the view of the port.

the moon over Salt after dinner

the moon over Salt after dinner

later, on my lap: Smokey and Frosty

later, on my lap: Smokey and Frosty

Now for two days off in my garden.  I have a desire to not leave my property even for the Saturday Market.  Meanwhile, Allan will be off on a Saturday adventure.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my  mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 71):

May 20:  1:00-7:40 with time out to eat.  HOT  Spent almost all afternoon planting flower seed (finally).  I love doing this job outside so it doesn’t matter if I’m sloppy.  Then I spent the evening sorting my seeds into: Do now, do next, do later i.e. plant in fall, winter, etc.

1997 (age 73):

May 20:  ?-5:30  Dahlias were my #1 job for today but it was raining.  It cleared up in early afternoon so I went out and got all the dahlias planted!  Then I started pulling the bedraggled forget me nots, the yellow invasive plants and sweet woodruff.  I am going to plant some seeds in front to see how they do.

1998 (age 74):

May 20: cool-rainy.  I had the blahs today.  I really didn’t want to go out but I did around 2:00.  I potted some tomatoes and needed more room in the greenhouse so I dragged the “window box” begonias out.  (Don’t ask me how I managed that.)  I replaced the tubs of tulips with the begonia boxes.  Then it started raining.  I also moved several trays of tomatoes to the greenhouse to be repotted (maybe tomorrow).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

I woke after five hours of sleep with the feeling of a broken heart.  Of course, my first thought was about the lost (to me) garden at Golden Sands, and the astilbes and lilies that were about to bloom.

I had not yet written the post about it, the one you may have read yesterday.  I would not have time for that catharsis for at least three days (as this blog tends to run four days or more behind).

When I did publish yesterday’s story, I appreciated your many comments, both here and on Facebook. I especially liked this, written by Carol Sheaffer, who perfectly and poetically expressed my vision for that garden:

Your plantings and dedication were given to/for the seniors to experience a peace filled vision of beauty to help with their own memories and day dreams.”

Exactly.  The words of comfort, inspiration about letting go, and appreciation that poured in both here and on Facebook were a great help to me…but that was in the future on this particular Thursday.

I had recently read an article about how helpful gardens are to people with dementia.  “Doctors should prescribe gardening for patients more often”, in The Guardian.  A friend with severe chronic pain pointed out correctly that gardening is not a tonic for that, nor, in the experience of friends of mine, is it a reliable cure for deep depression.  What spoke to me in this article was this:

“Outdoor spaces including gardens can reduce social isolation among older people as well as help patients recover and manage conditions such as dementia, according to the influential King’s Fund health thinktank.  ….

Dementia patients can benefit from being near a garden and one study cited in the report found a 19% reduction in violence in patients staying in garden sites and a sevenfold increase in violence in the non-garden sites during a year. Many studies suggest that a garden changes how residents, staff and visitors interact in the long term and can help people reconnect with their past interests.”  This could have been an argument (among many!) successfully presented to the powers that be that pulled the plug on the Golden Sands garden.  It is one of the many reasons that it would be a shame to have that garden decline.  I still hope some knowledgeable volunteers step up to care for it, and that they (these imaginary volunteers) are allowed to keep it as a flower garden that evokes memories of gardens past.

However, it is done.  Once I got up and went out to check on my mother’s three transplanted shrubs (two roses and a rhodie), I felt fine again except for sleep deprivation.  

Mom's "Red Velvet" rose in the window this morning (her name for it, don't know the actual name).

Mom’s “red velvet” rose flowers in the window this morning (her name for it, don’t know the actual name).


Mom's rhodie looks fine, with no wilt at all.

Mom’s rhodie looks fine, with no wilt at all.


the "red velvet" rose this morning

the “red velvet” rose this morning in the garden


Her melianthus major also looks fine even though a big piece of the root broke off in transplanting.

Her Melianthus major also looks fine even though a big piece of the root broke off in transplanting.


the middle garden with Allium albopilosum

the middle garden with Allium albopilosum

Last night, I finished Lust and Wonder by Augusten Burroughs.  I liked it, although I felt sorry for his former significant other who got written about rather harshly.  And I don’t like the way he judges people by their appearance.  What I liked best were his passages about being a catastrophizer. My own tendency to catastrophize is why I had hoped that my fears that the garden would be lost to me were just another case of me imagining the worst.

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I also enjoyed the following passage because of the many times that Allan and I are almost hit by bicycles tearing down the sidewalks (illegally) in Long Beach.  We much prefer skateboards because we can hear them coming.

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Last night, I had forgotten to update the work board.  Here is what remained this morning:

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We took with us lots of painted sage, the special cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’, and the tray of Cosmos ‘Sensation’ mix that had been intended for Golden Sands, with the intent of finding other homes for them.

Ilwaco

We planted one of the extra cosmos six packs down at Mike’s garden.

The post office garden has no room for more.

The post office garden has no room for more.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


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adding some more painted sage at the post office


Allan planting two Helenium at the boatyard garden.

Allan planting two Helenium at the boatyard garden.


at the boatyard (Allan's photo)

at the boatyard (Allan’s photo)

I had considered adding just a few painted sage at the boatyard.  However, next week we will be doing a thorough pre-Memorial Day weekend weeding of horsetail.  IF we have any sage left, that would be the time to add some.  Meanwhile, we went to Time Enough Books and added a few to the garden boat.

moving on in a light mist

moving on in a light mist

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot got its painted sage and Cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’.  I also found a home there for one of the mown-down Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that I had rescued yesterday.

Allan's photo: It replaced part of an area of Schizostylis.

Allan’s photos: It replaced part of an area of Schizostylis.


a new home for one chopped back Rozanne.

a new home for one chopped back Rozanne.


pulling bindweed

pulling bindweed in the rain


north side of dining deck; one of the big logs has been pushed in by a nosy vehicle.

north side of dining deck; one of the big logs has been pushed in by a nosy vehicle.  No plants were harmed (yet, but I do catastrophize about what would happen if the log gets pushed further in).

Long Beach

The planting session in Long Beach, during which I hoped to get all the painted sage into the planters, started in a cold and gusty rain.

Cornus 'Hedgerows Gold' added to Fifth Street Park.  It will have to grow taller to show up well.

Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’ added to Fifth Street Park. It will have to grow taller to show up well. (Allan’s photo)

The rain lightened to a fine mist, easy to work in, and perfect planting weather.  Nothing needed to be watered in; the soil was damp way down, we did not have to hook up the hose to each planter, and it could not have been more wonderful to plant. We accomplished our mission of finishing every planter.  I even had ONE bidens with me to replace one that I found stolen.  If any more get stolen, I am out of luck as I have used every bidens available at local nurseries.

I noticed that the foliage on the occasional annual had turned purple, indicating it is still too cold for their comfort at night.  It was not endemic so I won’t worry.  If all were like this, I’d be in a right old state.

a purpled, pinched back cosmos

a purpled, pinched back cosmos


and an annual salvia gone purple leaved

and an annual salvia gone purple leaved


Reminder to self: shear these rugosa roses back from the sidewalk edge.  These were cut to ground level in March.

Reminder to self: shear these rugosa roses back from the sidewalk edge. These were cut to ground level in March.


Basket Case basket by the police station

Basket Case basket by the police station

Because the planting had gone so well, we had time to weed the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

a planter we dug out and replanted last fall

Allan photographing a planter we dug out and replanted last fall


variegated thyme (Allan's photo)

variegated thyme (Allan’s photo)


I love santolinas in a beach planter.  But why is there only one catmint?

I love santolinas in a beach planter. But why is there only one catmint?


Mature thymes are so gorgeous if they make it past the tiny, cute, and easily stolen stage.

Mature thymes are so gorgeous if they make it past the tiny, cute, and easily stolen stage.


thyme (Allan's photo)

thyme (Allan’s photo)

We had timed the day to finish it with cleaning up the entry garden and planting some cosmos and painted sage at the World Kite Museum.  Allan’s photos:

before

before


before

before


The soil in this small bed is intensely rooty, perhaps from the escallonia roots invading from the side.

The soil in this small bed is intensely rooty, perhaps from the escallonia roots invading from the side.  Despite all the rain, it was dry underneath, and not from lack of hose watering.


Snails love to hitch a ride on the bottom of the six packs of plants.

Snails love to hitch a ride on the bottom of the six packs of plants.


after

after


after.  I decided it badly needs mulch...tomorrow.

after. I decided it badly needs mulch…tomorrow.


Shrubs on either side are poking up with their roots.

Shrubs on either side are poking up with their roots.  They will enjoy the mulch, too.


after work: still misting

after work: still misting

We left the the Kite Museum with time to dump our load of debris at Long Beach city works yard.  On the way there, in the pocket garden at Culbertson Field, I saw some dead bulb foliage that necessitated an emergency weeding stop.  We ran out of time for our debris dump.

The Cove Restaurant

We arrived at our weekly dinner with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) only a few minutes late.  Outside, Lacey the golf course mascot loved getting a belly rub.

Lacey

Lacey

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Sondra's garden at the restaurant entrance

Sondra’s garden at the restaurant entrance, nicely mulched


I had very much been looking forward to this cider.

I had very much been looking forward to this cider.


Annika was singing.

Annika was singing.


artichoke fries

artichoke fries


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Sondra making us laugh (Allan's photo)

Sondra making us laugh (Allan’s photo)


Melissa's elegantly presented dinner

Melissa’s elegantly presented dinner


after dinner (Allan's photo)

after dinner (Allan’s photo)

Because it was still just light when we left the restaurant at 9:00 o’ clock, we went to the works yard after all and had the satisfaction of getting rid of our debris.  (We have our own key, since our hours differ from that of the city crew.)

almost full moon over the works yard

almost full moon over the works yard

At home, the work board shows that Annuals Planting Time is almost over:

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Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 19: Robert’s birthday—Omaha Steaks.  Drs appt and errands—dentist office, vets for Tabby’s Advantage, Tim’s for Rx and Gordon’s [Nursery].  [Robert was my spouse and co-gardener during those years.]

1998 (age 74):

May 19:  I decided to plant some of the petunia seeds concentrating on the basket petunias at about two and I got tired of sitting so I went out and started repotting tomatoes and pepper seedlings.  Alan [a neighbor] came over and was real interested and he planted some tomatoes and sieved the seed in the wheelbarrow.  He said he would hang my baskets next week.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

I woke after five hours sleep with my first thought being the garden in jeopardy and immediately checked my email, to find this from the facility manager:

“I had meeting last night about this with my regional however I could not change their minds. I did instruct staff this morning that you may of course pick up the bird feeder/ birdbath  whatever is yours.

I am truly sorry about this. I tried to argue many points but they will not budge.”

WHAT?  I find it hard to believe that there was no way to budge them, that collecting signatures from family members of residents in the facility would not have helped, just for one example.  Of course, I would like to see a march with canes and wheelchairs and protest signs.  But I am tired of it, and not going to fight for a job that is clearly dependent on the whim of whoever might be the manager in the future.  We had charged them such a low rate that, for all the hours we had worked there over six years, we would be ten thousand dollars richer if we had charged our normal rate.  I did the math three times, astonished that giving them “Grandma rates” had made such a difference, and it came out the same every time.  I don’t think the manager had sought enough ammunition to win her case, and ours.

I’d like to hear what Linda, the former manager who first authorized the job, might think about all this.  And when I posted about it on Facebook (but of course), someone very much in the know commented that the facility was designed by the woman who is considered the mother of assisted living and who would be appalled at this news.  Eventually, her dream facility was sold to a big group that operates many such facilities.

  However…on to a regular work day, with the closing down of our six year garden project to come at the end of the day.

The Red Barn Arena

As we were adding some red diascias to the barrels at the Red Barn, a horsewoman said to us how much she loves our gardens in Long Beach.  “Thanks for putting a smile on our face every day!” she said.  That was just the kind of thing I wanted to hear on this sad and tired day.

looking back from Diane's garden to the Red Barn.

looking back from Diane’s garden to the Red Barn.

Diane’s Garden

I had a few painted sage to add to Diane’s planters and I wanted to check on the watering.  I had forgotten to get two little sedums or sempervivums for a teeny tiny planter.  Next time!

The containers had been watered well.

The containers had been watered well.

Diane and Larry's streetside garden (Allan's photo)

Diane and Larry’s streetside garden with Agastache (Allan’s photo)

by the driveway (Allan's photo)

by the driveway (Allan’s photo)

Allium schubertii (center) and albopilosum

Allium schubertii (center) and albopilosum (Allan’s photo)

Rain set in as we drove up Sandridge Road.

Rain set in as we drove up Sandridge Road.

We picked up more sage at the Planter Box.  I usually take photos for their Facebook page; today I was feeling sort of numb and did not even think to do so.

Allan took this one of their colourful wooden pots for sale.

Allan took this one of their colourful wooden pots for sale.

Marilyn’s Garden

My mission was to add some Cosmos ‘Double Click’ and ‘Seashells’ and some painted sage to Marilyn’s garden.

When I looked up from the planting, I saw a big blackberry situation that Allan took care of.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; he cleared blackberry out of a big evergreen huckleberry.

view from the street

view from the street

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cosmos in

cosmos in

looking south

looking south

looking north

looking north

view from back porch

view from back porch

On the way to our next job, we made a bank deposit in Ocean Park and admired the garden bed that Todd cares for there.

Todd's garden

Todd’s garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Again, my mission was to add Cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’ and painted sage.

birdbath view

birdbath view

Rose 'Jude the Obscure' and Rhododendron 'Cynthia'

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’ and Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’

left side of path: Thalictrum 'Elin'

left side of path: Thalictrum ‘Elin’

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Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

clematis

clematis

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Goodbye to a garden

“Assisted living… is a program that promotes resident self-direction and participation in decisions that emphasize choice, dignity, privacy, individuality, independence and homelike surroundings”, says this website about the history of assisted living.  A friend of mine wrote an irate letter to the powers that be who had pulled the plug on our garden at Golden Sands, one we had created from nothing when my mother lived there in 2009.  She quoted back to them some of the values on their website:

“We are empowered and encouraged to continually look for new and innovative ways to improve our services.

We strive toward…creating an environment that enhances the lives of our residents, their families, and our employees.

We recognize the importance of…building strong ties with the communities we serve.”

 

before: These were what the quadrants looked like that we made into gardens. The quadrants were not even lawns, just weeds.

2009: These were what the quadrants looked like that we made into gardens. The quadrants were not even lawns, just weeds.

2010: another of the quadrants becoming a garden

2010: another of the quadrants becoming a garden

We turned it into this on a budget of about $150 a month for labor and plants (therefore, we donated 99% of the plants):

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Today, we made our last visit there to collect my mother’s birdbath and a few plants that she had donated that were her special favourites.  A heavy windy rain began as we arrived.  This would make for unpleasant working conditions but would be good for the plants.

the long hallway to the courtyard

the long hallway to the courtyard

Every resident has a shelf outside her door.  I used to imagine what I would put on mine, when I lived there someday.  Now I am filled with horror and fear at the thought because it would be so painful to end up there after this garden debacle.

a shelf belonging to a plant lover

a shelf belonging to a plant lover

Allan's photo: down the hall to the garden

Allan’s photo: down the hall to the garden

Behind where I am turning in that photo is a spur of the hallway, next to which is the room I used to think I would like best; it is a little set off from the others and would allow me to be a bit of a recluse.

was once my dream room

was once my dream room

The second length of hallway. Allan is wrapping some gro-light bulbs just by where we turn again to the courtyard door.

The second length of hallway. Allan is wrapping some gro-light bulbs just by where we turn again to the courtyard door.

I won’t miss the difficulty of getting plants and supplies into this garden.

view of the garden through the south window

view of the garden through the south window

I had been cultivating flowers in the lawn: Scabiosa, Knautia, Johnny Jump Ups, at the request of a resident who had suggested a mossy wildflower meadow.  She spoke of how she had felt terribly sad before we came when the lawn had been treated with moss killer and herbicides.  It was already thick with beach strawberries.  No one ever mowed it, so we had started neatly string trimming it around the flowers.  Now they had all been mowed, of course, by someone who has not had to worry about mowing this area for six years.

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I had donated and planted a river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’ down the middle of the concave lawn.  Two of them had been mowed flat.  I dug them to take with us as I knew all the rest would eventually meet a similar fate.

partially mowed Rozanne river

partially mowed Rozanne river

mowed Rozanne

mowed Rozanne

As you can see, because it was not much of a lawn anyway, and was a concave drainage swale, it might as well have been a flower meadow.

I dug up sand to fill in the holes.

I dug up sand to fill in the holes.

 

my mom's birdbath, in a tiny corner garden bed that was planted by volunteers once upon a time.

my mom’s birdbath, in a tiny corner garden bed that was planted by volunteers once upon a time.

After two weeks of not being touched, the four quadrants were already weedy.  I wish they had been in a burst of bloom for great goodbye photos.  They were almost ready for their mid spring peak.  This move was ill timed for taking any of the many, many lilies my mother donated, so I left them all behind in full bud.

For the last time:

SW quadrant

SW quadrant, soon to be a riot of color, just like my mom liked.

SE quadrant...a difficult one because it is full of horsetail that will take over quickly.

SE quadrant…a difficult one because it is full of horsetail that will take over quickly.

My mother's lilies will be blooming soon.

My mother’s lilies will be blooming soon.

NE quadrant, outside my mom's old room. The salal will quickly move in to this garden if no one controls it.

NE quadrant, outside my mom’s old room. The salal will quickly move in to this garden if no one controls it.  Allan is digging out her rhodie.

My mother’s yellow rhodo had, at her request, been planted outside her window in an area that the sprinklers did not hit.  (For the first few years, we did not even have working sprinklers and had to hand water everything.)  She had instructed me back then to take it home if we ever did not do the garden anymore.  I think it was quite possibly her most treasured plant.  This corner of the courtyard, outside of the flower garden, had an unfortunate amount of salal which we were slowly battling.

my mom's rhodo, infested with salal

my mom’s rhodo, infested with salal

ready to go home

ready to go home…I hope with no salal attached!

the salal, ready to take over the whole corner

the salal, ready to take over the whole corner and the adjacent flower bed

NW quadrant, with plenty of room for cosmos

NW quadrant, with plenty of room for cosmos

I had enough cosmos waiting at home to fill in the spaces in the garden and provide flowers well into fall.  All the dahlias, including a new bag of about 20 that I had donated this spring, were just coming up.  They were one of my mom’s top favourite flowers.  Will anyone think to put out Sluggo to protect them from the snails?  I will not get to see the dahlias, and that irks me.

I had been very concerned about digging out my mother’s two beloved rose bushes, the ones she called “my red velvet rose” and my “copper rose”.  I left the two Joseph’s Coat roses because I knew their ID so had been able to buy myself one in memory of my mom.  Her two other favourites were impossible for me to ID so I could not replace them.  I had posted photos to a rose group, to no avail, and had tried and failed to make cuttings last winter.

I cut them back hard before digging.  They came out with a pretty good set of roots.

mom's "copper rose", with soil on the flower

mom’s “copper rose”, with soil on the flower

her "red velvet" rose

her “red velvet” rose

Her Joseph's Coat roses remain on each pillar. They need supplemental water because they are under the eaves.

Her Joseph’s Coat roses remain on each pillar. They need supplemental water because they are under the eaves.

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a Joseph’s Coat on each pillar outside the dining room

Every week, I'd do a little clipping to try to keep the badly placed euonymus from covering the windows.

Every week, I’d do a little clipping to try to keep the badly placed euonymus from covering the windows.

Will someone clip by the windows? Will anyone hose water the five roses that were planted by family members outside of the sprinkler system area?

Will someone clip by the windows? Will anyone hose water the five roses that were planted by family members outside of the sprinkler system area?

Will anyone weedeat the areas outside the garden beds? We had no time to weed the outer areas on $150 a month. Or...will the whole garden get removed...we wonder...

Will anyone weed eat the areas outside the garden beds? We had no time to weed the outer areas on $150 a month. Or…will the whole garden get removed…we wonder…

Here is the last look….just before going out the door.  Who will hose water the hydrangeas on each side that are out of the sprinkler range?

Goodbye, dear garden.  I loved making you and I know the residents loved you.  So many times we were told how much it reminded someone of her own garden left behind or of her mom’s garden or a garden of her childhood.

Goodbye, plants. Wish I could rescue more of the ones my mother donated.

Goodbye, plants. Wish I could rescue more of the ones my mother donated.

I won’t miss the horsetail, the salal, the patches of my least favourite pink hardy geranium or the old woody Siberian iris (all of which were there when we began).

During the two hours that we were there today, during regular business hours, not one resident or staff member came to us with any word of appreciation or sorrow.

One more thing we had to take: the three tiered Floralight plant table that I had loaned to a resident.  I did not see her, and although I had asked the staff for explain to her why we had to take it away (because it would cost over $600 to replace it and I did not have faith that I would be able to retrieve it later), I am not sure she knows why.  This plant table often figured in my mother’s own garden diaries.

disassembled and stored in our garage until I retire and have time to grow seeds

disassembled and stored in our garage until I retire and have time to grow seeds (Allan’s photo)

When we got home, the sun came out so the transplanting, which had to be done immediately, was not a miserable cold task.  I was tired, and that made it hard.

mom's rhodo with a bag of Gardner and Bloom Acid Planting Mix for luck.

mom’s rhodo with a bag of Gardner and Bloom Acid Planting Mix for luck.

Mom loved its pale yellow flowers.

Mom loved its pale yellow flowers.  It has handsome new foliage.

In the background, the tiny rhodo that I won as a door prize at an Astoria garden tour is all of a sudden putting out excitingly white new leaves:

I'd like to move it to where it would show better. It feels too firmly rooted.

I’d like to move it to where it would show better. It feels too firmly rooted.

I'm so glad I got this area cleared on Monday for the rhodie's new home.

I’m so glad I got this area cleared on Monday for the rhodie’s new home.

still have not had time to look up what this is.

still have not had time to look up what this is.

I think red velvet rose will like the much better soil here.

I think red velvet rose will like the much better soil here.  So small now, having been cut back for transplant. Had to move my precious new Angelica gigas to fit the rose in here.

Copper rose in the front garden, also cut back hard

Copper rose in the front garden, also cut back hard

red velvet roses on our kitchen windowsill

red velvet roses on our kitchen windowsill

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

Ginger's Garden Diaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 71):

May 18:  11:30-5:00  HOT  Watered berries and some in front flower beds.  Planted Sunnyslope carnations in PRFB:W [Patio Right Flower Bed West??] edge,  I need more!  Also weeded in driveway keeping in shade.  Started squash seeds and brought them in to place them on heat mat.

1998 (age 74):

May 18:  Fairly warm—some sun.  I moved the 4 petunia baskets (temporarily) and fuchsia baskets up to the front porch.  I can hang the ones with rigid hangers—the hook can go over the rod instead of in the “S” hooks.  But I can’t hang the baskets with the chains.  Then I started potting tomatoes into various milk and bleach jugs.  I got 25 done before I had to come in to watch basketball—the Jazz beat LA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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