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Friday, 15 May 2015

Eleagnus 'Quicksilver' by our driveway

Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’ by our driveway


This may be the first year it has bloomed with tiny, intoxicatingly fragrant flowers.

This may be the first year it has bloomed with tiny, intoxicatingly fragrant flowers.


on the way out of Ilwaco, some deadheading of Narcissus 'Baby Moon' at city hall; the dead flowers had been bugging me for two days.

on the way out of Ilwaco, some deadheading of Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ at city hall; the two dead flowers had been bugging me for two days.

Long Beach

We began with adding a lot of cosmos to the back side of the Long Beach welcome sign.

Cosmos 'Sonata' set to go in

Cosmos ‘Sonata’ set to go in (Allan’s photo)


all in, Allan's photo

all in  (Allan’s photo)


front side, with cosmos added

front side, with cosmos added (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Taking up where we left off yesterday, we continued the planting of Cosmos ‘Sonata’ on the two northernmost blocks of planters.  As we worked, blog reader and Facebook friend Merry presented us with two delicious cookies that gave us a boost of energy.

Thankyou, Merry!

Thank you, Merry!


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


the very last of the tulips (and a variegated Euonymous left over from volunteer planter days)

the very last of the tulips (and a variegated Euonymous left over from volunteer planter days)

Some of the planters were planted up, back in the day, by volunteers, with full sized shrubs that require lots of shearing and that allow little room for annuals.  They certainly are beautiful (most of them) and those planters are the easiest to take care of.  I would like to redo one further south that is just red azaleas and is quite dull all summer long.

the newly redone planter by Dennis Co

the newly redone planter by Dennis Co; I can manage to redo just two or three a year.

Diane’s garden and The Red Barn

After the last planter had its cosmos, we headed north for more plants, stopping to count up how many we will need to plant Diane’s containers.

the roadside garden at Diane's, with Stipa gigantea

the roadside garden at Diane’s, with Stipa gigantea (ornamental grass)


Allan strimming at The Red Barn Arena

Allan strimming at The Red Barn Arena


Our quiet rechargeable weedeater doesn't scare the horses.

Our quiet rechargeable weedeater doesn’t scare the horses.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

I now had a list of exactly what I needed to finish the annuals planting in Long Beach.

the gatekeeper of the "employees only" greenhouse where we get to shop

the gatekeeper of the “employees only” greenhouse where we get to shop


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Kitty accompanies us all around the nursery.  (Allan's photo)

Kitty accompanies us all around the nursery. (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

After collecting our plants, Fred and Nancy and I perused the new availability list for cool plants to order.

Basket Case Nancy (not to be confused with Garden Tour Nancy)

Basket Case Nancy and Fred (not to be confused with Garden Tour Nancy)


What to buy....Some Sanguisorbas and Agastaches!

What to buy….Some Sanguisorbas and Agastaches!

bc

Andersen’s RV Park

Next stop, Andersen’s.  Rose ‘Climbing Cecile Brunner’ is in bloom over the picket fence arbour.

Climbing Cecile Brunner

Climbing Cecile Brunner

Allan cleared all the old bulb foliage from Leucojum (Summer Snowflake) from the white brick planter by the house and planted begonias.

Two wheelbarrow loads of foliage came out.

Two wheelbarrow loads of foliage came out.


after planting some begonias and New Guinea impatiens

after planting some begonias and New Guinea impatiens


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We added some assorted Calibrachoa to the Payson Hall planters at Andersen’s.

Payson Hall

Payson Hall

All the time, I feel weird about planting them as my feelings tell me it is about to sell.  After all this worrying about my newly planted babies, it will be funny and kind of a relief if we end up working there all summer after all, even though I so very much want one less big job.

planting Payson Hall

planting Payson Hall

Long Beach again

Finally, we added some godetia and blue bacopa to the sidewalk end of the Long Beach welcome sign.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

We had worked till dusk, and the spotlights were on at the welcome sign.  The last thing I wanted to do was more planter work.  However, on the way home through Ilwaco I saw an annoying sight: a plant pulled up and just left sitting on top of one of the planters.

"Stop the car!" I yelled at this sight.

“Stop the car!” I yelled at this sight.


"Whyyyyyyyy?!?!?!"

“Whyyyyyyyy?!?!?!”

The plant was one I had mentally slated for replacing, and we had a fresh new non-leggy Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ to go in its place. I noticed something else really weird at the same corner but in the gathering dusk I did not have the time or energy to do more than take a picture and wonder what had happened, and then put it out of my mind till later; the plants under one of the street trees were just…flat…What the heck???

It would be two more days before I had time to take a closer look at this tree garden.  Something is wrong.

It would be a couple of  days before I had time to take a closer look at this tree garden. Something is wrong.  Why is it flat?  Too tired to think about it.

At home, the work board got just a bit more erasing.

DSC00798

All the Andersen’s annuals are in and the cosmos are planting in all the Long Beach planters.

I forgot to add this photo from yesterday:  I thought the colours in Nellie’s garden, seen on the way home, with the yellow house to the south as backdrop, looked stunning.

DSC02225

Look how the top of the hedge, all aglow, is almost the same colour as the yellow house,

 

 

 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Long Beach

With the van full of annuals, we headed to Long Beach hoping to make it through all the planters with Cosmos ‘Sonata’, painted sage, and assorted annuals that I call “uppies” and “trailies”.

This involves more thinking than usual for me, so I asked Allan to be the principal blog photographer for the day.

a full van

a full van

One reason why what used to be “Annuals Planting Hell” has become  “Annuals Planting Time” (mostly) for the past two years is that we are working out of a comfy sized van instead of a tiny two door Saturn.  I shudder with horror at the memory of eight years of bending and twisting to get plants in and out of the back seat of that car.

The trailer was also loaded with short plants (less likely to be damaged by wind while driving) and buckets of water for burbling.

The trailer was also loaded with short plants (less likely to be damaged by wind while driving) and buckets of water for burbling.


deer in the grassy lot next to the credit union (which is the same block in which they nip at the plants in the planters)

deer in the grassy lot next to the credit union (which is the same block in which they nip at the plants in the planters)

DSC00746

one of the planters

one of the planters


Cosmos 'Sonata' and painted sage all burbled and set up for planting

Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and painted sage all burbled and set up for planting


the big Lewis and Clark Square planter ready for planting

the big Lewis and Clark Square planter ready for planting


L&C Square

L&C Square


all planted up with the lemon-pink Osteo and Cosmos 'Sonata'

all planted up with the lemon-pink Osteo and Cosmos ‘Sonata’

I wish I could get the lady’s mantle permanently gone from the right side of the planter, above.  We can’t get the darn roots out without damaging the sprinkler system, so some experiments with perennials (lady’s mantle, a variegated ivy, some trailing cotoneaster) along the edges have become permanent fixtures.

The street planter next to L&C Square has a wealth of reseeded violas.  We cleared it out of a dull perennials geranium last fall.

The street planter next to L&C Square has a wealth of reseeded violas. We cleared it out of a dull perennial geranium last fall.


Geranium 'Rozanne' has been a successful perennial experiment in some of the planters.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has been a successful perennial experiment in some of the planters.  I’d like to plant more; it’s surprisingly hard to come by.


planting

planting

Passersby often want to converse.  The fellow in the photo below is one of my favourites.  He used to be a landscaper, for thirty years.  I told him that I do not enjoy planting, and he said he did not enjoy weeding but had liked planting, so we agreed we would have made a good team.

garden talk

garden talk

As Allan and I went along, we sheared back the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  Although they will look regrettably sad for a couple of weeks, they will later bloom more profusely with smaller flowers and won’t fall open from the center.

sheared Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

halfway sheared Sedum ‘Autumn Joy'; it could have been done earlier before the set of flowers.


more planting

more planting


Allan got artistic with this one.

Allan got artistic with this one.


Occasionally, it was possible to sit and plant.

Occasionally, it was possible to sit and plant.

We ran out of blue painted sage just after the Police Station planter.  A second sowing from The Planter Box should be ready for us in a couple of weeks to finish up the blues in the last three blocks of planters.  We ran out of trailies by the Cottage Bakery, not unexpectedly.  Part of the plan is to be able to count how many more we will need to finish on a second planting day.  We also ran out of time by 7 PM and did not finish the cosmos in the last two blocks.  Allan asked if we had ever gotten it all done in one day, and I agreed probably not, but I live in hope.

almost 7:30 PM after dumping debris at City Works

almost 7:30 PM after dumping debris at City Works

The Cove Restaurant

We arrived for Thursday night at the Cove too late for ahi tuna.  Fortunately, Prawns Solo is a splendid second choice.

Prawns Solo

Prawns Solo


and a $2 fish taco

and a $2 fish taco


Allan had Lomo Soltado

Allan had Lomo Soltado. Left overs made for a splendid omelettte the following night

To make the evening perfect, Chef Jason sautéed us some freshly foraged fiddlehead ferns in butter.

fiddlehead ferns

fiddlehead ferns

Tomorrow: finishing Long Beach and more

bonus book report

Over the past week, in small portions, I enjoyed book about statistics gleaned from users of OK Cupid and Facebook and other social internet sites.  I gave it five stars.  It dealt only with people under 50, as the author felt older people did not use the social internet as much.  As a 60 year old, I certainly don’t find that to be true of folks my age, as plenty of us are social internet addicts.  I suppose not as many of us are looking for online dating success, though.

Some takeaways from the entertaining book:

dataclysm

About John Waters and fandom:

waters

John Waters said:  “Beauty is looks you never forget.  A face should jolt, not soothe,” inspiring Christian Rudder to reflect: “He’s completely correct, for as with music, as with movies, and as with a wide variety of human phenomena, a flaw is a powerful thing.  Even at the person-to-person level, to be universally liked is to be relatively ignored.  To be disliked by some is to be loved all the more by others.”  (I actually don’t think that’s true but it is a thought provoking statement and sort of comforting.)

indivuals

I found it sweet how he then added a photo of his own self at age fourteen.

the author

the author

some true thoughts about writing in the modern world:

writing

damgerl

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I was eager to get on with the cosmos Annuals Planting Time as they were getting tall in the six packs despite pinching.

The Depot Restaurant

Cosmos lined up to plant

Cosmos lined up to plant


cosmos in

four six packs of cosmos in

Long Beach

I’d found some Cosmos ‘Purity’ (all white) at Seven Dees yesterday so 12 went into the corner garden at Veterans Field.

Not even sure if I am supposed to make this corner red white and blue.

Not even sure if I am supposed to make this corner red white and blue.

Jo’s Garden

The biggest project of the day was to plant about eight six packs of cosmos, some painted sage, and a few perennials at Jo’s.  She was at home and had some ideas.

"Let's get that azalea out, what do you think?"  Looks like a job for Allan.

“Let’s get that azalea out, what do you think?” Looks like a job for Allan.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Azalea gone, annuals in (and deer ferns showing that were hidden before)

Azalea gone, annuals in (and deer ferns showing that were hidden before)

Next, Jo turned her eye to an ever growing conifer.

before, Allan's photo, with me bringing cosmos in

before, Allan’s photo, with me bringing cosmos in


before, Allan's photo

before, Allan’s photo


after, Allan's photo

after, Allan’s photo: Jo says that next time, that barberry can go!  It’s in a barrel, and can be cut to the ground and will come back small.


some painted sage and a chocolate cosmos

some painted sage and a chocolate cosmos

Note how Allan’s third project of the day had been to clean up more of the back part of this bed, removing running rugosa rose, Japanese anemone, and a running pink phlox.  Below shows how it looked on May 6th:

before

before


before, Allan's photo

before, Allan’s photo


after, Allan's photo

after, Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, some tall white phlox had to go in the northwest bed because they looked diseased.  This also turned out to be a job for Allan.

Three or four more clumps had to go.

Three or four more clumps had to go, and were replaced with cosmos.


I was pleased and surprised to see that Jo's Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) had come back.

I was pleased and surprised to see that Jo’s Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) had come back.


northwest garden after planting

northwest garden after planting

You might wonder what my job was in all this: to figure out how to squeeze in and then plant all the cosmos and painted sage.

Jo herself.

Jo herself.

The Anchorage Cottages

what we did not get done: weeding and pulling scilla along this area.

what we did not get done: weeding and pulling scilla along this area.


Allan's photo: Mitzu

Allan’s photo: Mitzu


I added lots of annuals to the containers in the courtyard and office entry.

I added lots of annuals to the containers in the courtyard and office entry.


a bright orange calibrachoa

a bright orange calibrachoa


a lemony-pink osteospermum

a lemony-pink osteospermum


the weird 'Coralberry Punch' callie

the weird ‘Coralberry Punch’ callie


12 cosmos planted in this garden

12 cosmos planted in this garden

Meanwhile, Allan cleared a narrow bed of scilla and planted more cosmos.

before: Allan's photo

before: Allan’s photo


after:  Allan's photo

after: Allan’s photo

Usually I put something tall in the windowboxes (by tall I mean a few inches taller than the trailies…)  Not this year because the new liners are so narrow that there is no room to set a tall thing a bit to the back.

narrow plastic liners

narrow plastic liners

Ideally, I would like to see the wooden frames rebuilt to hold full sized plastic windowbox liners for more root room.  Maybe next winter?

more Long Beach

We did more weeding and a bit of planting in the raised planters along Boldstadt. I averted my eyes from the beach approach garden’s understory of weeds. No time for that! Below: a planter backed with the naturescape of dune grass.  

some tall armerias added to the Bolstadt beach approach planters

some tall armerias added to the Bolstadt beach approach planters

Ilwaco 

Eager to cross off two small jobs from the work board, we planted the cosmos in the Time Enough Books garden boat, working around the still-blooming Tulip ‘Formosa’.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo: This small dog has appeared in the Geranium 'Rozanne' next to the boat

Allan’s photo: This small dog has appeared in the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ next to the boat

We added 12 or 18 or ?? cosmos to our volunteer garden at the post office.

Our audience got bored and left.

Our audience got bored and left.


Just as I had feared, the new fence slats had made a mess of my sweet pea area.

Just as I had feared, the new fence slats had made a mess of my sweet pea area.

I put little bamboo stakes around the remaining sweet peas but I don’t have much hope if someone goes in to paint these boards.  Sigh….

with cosmos added

with cosmos added


the work board, with a few items erased

the work board, with a few items erased

 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

We woke to unexpected rain and wind.  Much as I would have liked to stay home, reading The Stations of Solitude by Alice Koller (author of An Unknown Woman), a plant expedition called to us.  We are so busy with work that we rarely get to go plant shopping off the Peninsula.  In previous less busy years, we were able to go to Joy Creek and Cistus in early May each year.  A sudden thought:  Maybe that was partly because my old garden was more or less done and did not require the time, on days off, that my newer one does.

by the driveway:  Eleagnus 'Quicksilver' bowed low by rain.  (Thanks, Todd, for IDing this plant for me.)

by the driveway: Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’ bowed low by rain. (Thanks, Todd, for IDing this plant for me.)

At the post office, I saw through rain drops something ominous: new boards in the fence along which I had planted sweet peas.

through the passenger window: Unpainted new boards bode ill for my sweet peas.

through the passenger window: Unpainted new boards bode ill for my sweet peas.

While sitting in the van, I saw our client Diane approach.  She asked when we would be planting up the container down at the Peninsula Sanitation office.  I said we had not even done Long Beach yet, but soon.  Perhaps I should not tell people this, but I usually do grease the squeaky wheels ASAP so getting some plants for her business container became a priority at our next stop:

The Planter Box

Before heading south, we went north to The Planter Box to stock up on cosmos.  While we try to avoid such a waste of gas and driving time, we need, when possible, all the good weather waking time to plant rather than shop.

Allan's photo: someone's load of cow fiber

Allan’s photo: someone’s load of cow fiber ready to tractor away soon

baby chicks at the Planter Box

baby chicks at the Planter Box

soft and yellow and fuzzy

soft and yellow and fuzzy

a wide assortment of bird feeders

a wide assortment of bird feeders

Well grown Cerinthe major purpurascens are hard to find in nurseries.  I'd snap these up if I were you.

Well grown Cerinthe major purpurascens are hard to find in nurseries. I’d snap these up if I were you.

Allan's photo: a load of cosmos

Allan’s photo: a load of cosmos

Allan's photo: a van vull

Allan’s photo: a van full

Before offloading the plants at home and leaving the Peninsula, we cleaned up old bulb foliage and added four new plants to the Peninsula Sanitation planter.

more plants next week

at Pen San: will add more plants next week

Going Overseas

Off we went, east through the town of Chinook.  When we pulled in toward Chinook Coffee drive through, a tree boggled my mind.

I did not get a long shot of it.

I did not get a long shot of it.

It took me a few minutes to remember that it is a buckeye.

It took me a few minutes to remember that it is a buckeye AKA Aesculus.

Why doesn’t this glorious tree get planted more often around here?  I remember that I planted one up in our former garden at Discovery Heights.  I wonder if it is still there.

Chinook Coffee drive through window

Chinook Coffee drive through window

and window box

and window box

Someone immediately took a big bite out of my mint chocolate brownie.

brownie

heading east out of Chinook

heading east out of Chinook

mist on the hills

mist on the hills

to our right, the Columbia River rolls on.

to our right, the Columbia River rolls on.

Now for the scary bits.  We have to go through the Chinook tunnel.  My longtime friend and professional bus driver Carol dreads this tunnel, as she thinks it is too narrow after the time we were driving through it with a semi truck driver coming the other way and his mouth was open with an expression of sheer terror.

here it comes

here it comes

tunnel2

AAAAAAAAAAAA!

AAAAAAAAAAAA!

whew, out the other side

whew, out the other side

When you emerge at the east end of the tunnel during a winter storm at high tide, wave spray crashes over this rock barrier onto your windshield.

Now, the always traumatizing (to people like me) 4.1 mile long Astoria-Megler bridge.

the long straight stretch on which people like to PASS.

the long straight stretch on which people like to PASS.

going up

going up; bridge work was off today because of the weather…

better a school bus than a huge logging truck

better a school bus than a huge logging truck

almost to the top

almost to the top

rollercoastering around the curve

rollercoastering around the curve

whew!

whew!

Our first fun part of our excursion was to drive up and down Broadway in Seaside, 17 miles south, to look at Seaside city gardener Pam Fleming’s gardens.

astoriatoseaside

As usual, I just took photos from my window, as we are always short on time to walk around.  I missed getting the tall lavender thalictrum.  Some photos are blurry; am including them here for my own record.

daisies and catmint

daisies and catmint

looking west on Broadway

looking west on Broadway; note the shelter on the right

by the shelter with benches: a little tree, and hydrangeas

by the shelter with benches: a little tree, and hydrangeas

my kind of bridge, across the Necanicum River in downtown Seaside

my kind of bridge, across the Necanicum River in downtown Seaside

one of Pam's tinier gardens, with lambs ears

one of Pam’s tinier gardens, with lambs ears

daylilies, and...I wonder what that tree is?

daylilies, and…I wonder what that tree is?

outside the Pagan Pancake

outside the Pagan Pancake

Let's call this one impressionistic.

Let’s call this one impressionistic.

white against glaucous foliage

white against glaucous foliage

the turnaround at the west end of Broadway, with Lewis and Clark

the turnaround at the west end of Broadway, with Lewis and Clark and a garden fully exposed to oceanside elements.

north side of the turnaround

north side of the turnaround

south side, with the headland obscured by rainy mist

south side, with the headland obscured by rainy mist

Our main destination for the day came next, a few miles south of Seaside:

SevenDees Seaside

SevenDees Seaside

I often still call this nursery Raintree, as it was when I first moved to the beach in 1992.  I miss Janice who used to work here; she was so helpful, friendly, and a plantswoman who always pointed me to something cool and new (like Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’!).

Enkianthus in a large pot by the entryway

Enkianthus in a large pot by the entryway

entry display

entry display

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

an unusual colour of calibrachoa: Coralberry Punch.

an unusual colour of calibrachoa: Coralberry Punch.  Had to have a few.

also found it necessary to get this Salvia.

also found it necessary to get this Salvia.

salvias and heucheras

salvias and heucheras

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

The angel and I ponder a cool Euphorbia

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: part of our haul

Allan’s photo: part of our haul

Allan's photo: all ours

Allan’s photo: all ours

Allan's photo: The van could have held lots more.

Allan’s photo: The van could have held lots more.  I’m still not used to that after years of shopping in a small car.

I found the outdoor sink arrangement by the sanican to be worthy of sharing.  It would be nice to have anywhere on a garden tour where a portable loo is provided.

the sanican (a large and luxurious model)

the sanican (a large and luxurious model)

and next to it, the outdoor sink.

and next to it, the outdoor sink with a bowl of coloured glass pieces.

We had to do some necessary grocery shopping at both Costco and Fred Meyer; both stores have lighting that makes me long for escape and makes me wonder if I need to urgently see an optometrist, a feeling that lingers till I have been out in normal lighting for half an hour.  Only during plant buying season to I regularly go to these stores.  In the winter, Allan enjoys going alone as there is less kvetching that way.

my vision goes all blurry inside Costco

my vision goes all blurry inside Costco

in one of the parking lots (Fred Meyer?), rain continues

in one of the parking lots (Fred Meyer?), rain continues

now, the downhill bridge ride over the Columbia River

now, the downhill bridge ride over the Columbia River

downhill

Just to the east of the dreaded Chinook Tunnel lies a peaceful lagoon surrounded with yellow Iris pseudocaris (considered an invasive weed).  Sometimes a heron fishes there.  No parking place exists to ever see it is more than a flashing drive by glimpse.

peaceful lagoon

peaceful lagoon…whoosh, and it is gone

Ilwaco and home

Back in our town, I collected a couple of photos for the Music in the Gardens Tour page “Rhodie Driving Tour” album.

at Spruce and Maryann

at Spruce and Maryann

at Lake and Elizabeth

at Lake and Elizabeth

flowers and fireplace smoke

flowers and fireplace smoke

safely back in our own driveway

safely back in our own driveway

My cool plant acquistions:

Euphorbia, Eucomis, Salvia

Euphorbia, Eucomis, Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Eucomis 'Glow Sticks'

Eucomis ‘Glow Sticks’

Geum 'Banana Daiquiri'

Geum ‘Banana Daiquiri’

some $2.00 ferns and Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' from Fred Meyer

some $2.00 ferns and a little bright conifer and Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ from Fred Meyer (I’d been wanting that Agastache).

more little ferns and a sedum

more little ferns and a sedum

Heuchera 'Midnight Rose'

Heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’

Now I just need a day at home to plant them, and other ladies in waiting:

the unusual primula given to me recently by Kathleen

the unusual primula given to me recently by Kathleen

and Panicum 'North Wind'; fell in love with it last summer at Rhone Street Gardens

and Panicum ‘North Wind'; fell in love with it last summer at Rhone Street Gardens

I had time to briefly assess some good and bad by the ladies in waiting area.

This plant from Todd has survived the slug and snail attacks....

This asarum from Todd has survived the slug and snail attacks….

that appear to have completely decimated 'Shell Shocked'.

that appear to have completely decimated ‘Shell Shocked’.

I have hopes for my Tetrapanax getting as tall as my garden tuteur.

I have hopes for my Tetrapanax getting as tall as my garden tuteur.

The view from my bedroom window shows that it will be awhile before I have a day at home to appreciate my own garden.

a patio full of plants for jobs

a patio full of plants for jobs

Because it was Tuesday night, we watched The Deadliest Catch and I pondered how wimpy I am to be so scared of a bridge and a tunnel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 11 May 2015

We usually are careful to wait till Mother’s Day for planting annuals, to avoid cold nights. Jo’s annuals never suffer from being planted (at her request) a week or two before any of our other clients, but I don’t want to risk it unless the client is determined (like Jo!).  This year, we’d begun annuals last week, here and there.  However, annuals time can’t officially begin without changing the work board.

as it was

the work board as it was

I still have not gotten my back garden weeded enough to fertilize more than a few plants, and we have no sign of when we might have time to weed the 13 sections of the beach approach garden.

The annuals board has begun.

The annuals board has begun.

While we have some of annuals in at Andersen’s and the Red Barn already, they won’t get crossed off till they are completely done.  Cosmos are an annual, too.  Here, “annuals” means container plants like calibrachoas and trailing lobelia, quite a different planting experience than putting cosmos in the ground.

Mary watched us leave for work.  I wished I could spend the day with her in our garden.

Mary watched us leave for work. I wished I could spend the day with her in our garden.

First stop: check the painting situation at the Depot Restaurant.  The lattice is done.

First stop: check the painting situation at the Depot Restaurant. The lattice is done.

planted three Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' and two Helichrysum 'Limelight' in the barrel.

planted three Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ and two Helichrysum ‘Limelight’ in the barrel.

The Planter Box

We began to collect our flats of cosmos from the back greenhouse of the Planter Box.

some handsome heucheras on our way back to the last greenhouse

some handsome heucheras on our way back to the last greenhouse

I often ponder this table and two chairs, as we have a larger chair that matches this set.

I often ponder this table and two chairs, as we have a larger chair that matches this set.

Teresa at The Planter Box

Teresa and Raymond,  sibling owners at The Planter Box

a van packed with cosmos

a van packed with cosmos (Allan’s photo)

With the van stuffed with flats of cosmos and more, we drove to Andersen’s RV Park, just a few blocks up the road.

Andersen’s RV Park

Allan watering the garden shed garden after some weeding and the planting of cosmos there.

Allan watering the garden shed garden after some weeding and the planting of cosmos there.

Alliums in the garden shed garden

Alliums in the garden shed garden

allium closeup

allium closeup

Allan's photo: We also have Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' and some Salvia viridis (painted sage).

Allan’s photo: We also have Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ and some Salvia viridis (painted sage).

Cosmos 'Sonata' short) and some Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' went into the Payson Hall planters.

Cosmos ‘Sonata’ short) and some Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ went into the Payson Hall planters.

pinching after planting

pinching after planting

planting cosmos in the picket fence garden (Allan's photo)

planting cosmos deep down in the picket fence garden (Allan’s photo), with sweet peas

Each plant gets some Dr Earth fertilizer mixed with Quench, or whatever natural moisture retentive product that we are using now that Zeba Quench has seemingly disappeared from the market

If you plant cosmos deep, they root along the stems like tomato plants do.

I have a feeling we won't be working here all summer to see this garden mature...

I have a feeling we won’t be working here all summer to see this garden mature…

It’s weird planting annuals at places that are for sale.  I always wonder if I will see those gardens through the summer.

Having one fewer job would be wonderful.  I just don’t want a sale to happen right after we’ve added all the new babies.  Either before or at least two months after annuals planting time would be perfect.  

Speaking of fewer jobs, I completely forgot to tell you about the moment of truth while we were planting at Jo’s last week.  I realized, after spending all day (as usual when behind on work) trying to figure out which job to quit to make life more manageable, that one job did have to go.  I chose the most private one, because it has less impact on the world.  I wrote to the client with much sadness at quitting in May, of all the times…but said truthfully that I had thought I could manage one more year at this pace and I’d been wrong.  I recommended three other gardening businesses.  Because the home is being extensively remodeled right now, it would not be a bad year to have the garden in transition.  In the long run, I don’t have time to implement a whole new garden bed around the newly shaped house, nor do I have time to make the woods parklike, as the client dreams of, and I think one of the younger and possibly less busy local gardening businesses could find the time and energy to turn it into something wonderful.  Fortunately, our client understood.  So, a poignant farewell to Casa Pacifica and its darling dogs….   I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the break in person in the presence of my good canine friends Dusty and Spook.

On the way home from Andersen’s today, we drove by the hotel at the port to admire the increasingly charcoal grey paint job.

hotel

At home: I burble every flat of painted sage so that they stay healthy and vigorous till we get them planted.

At home: I burble every flat of painted sage so that they stay healthy and vigorous till we get them planted. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo: waiting for the air bubbles to stop.

Allan’s photo: waiting for the air bubbles to stop.

Allan had to clean up an entire bin of hand tools from the van because the container of corn starch based soil moisture product sprung a massive leak and coated everything in the large tote bin.

Allan's photo, as he transfers to product to a new container.  That was a big leak.

Allan’s photo, as he transfers to product to a new container. That was a big leak.

It had happened at Andersen’s and fortunately we did not spill any on the ground, as that would have made the lawn dangerously slippery.  I miss Zeba Quench; it had more substance, like fine grains instead of a powder.  I learned about it from Ann Lovejoy.  Allan says whenever he tries to order it online nowadays, it is unavailable.  On one order, a synthetic gel like product was substituted and we refused it.  Allan even corresponded with the man behind Zeba Quench, who sent us some directly, and then that contact fizzled out.  It’s frustrating.

One job got erased from the work board: Cosmos at Andersen’s.

board

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Skyler, at home

On a Sunday off, I began with great determination to get the back garden’s huge west bed weeded of its sheet of dwarf fireweed.

Arthur Lee Jacobsen has some choice words for this plant: “Dwarf Fireweed is like a cheap throwaway ink pen overshadowed by a fine fountain pen. This small version has none of the glamor, beauty and interest generated by the legion towering wands of deep rosy flowers its famous cousin sports. “But,” protests the dwarf, “my claim is ubiquity; unlike big Fireweed, I’m in every garden.” ….a despicable but not really harmful pest…. It can flower and seed in its first year, but lives as a perennial.”

west bed, before

west bed, before

before...with a carpet of fireweed which would love to grow to three feet tall or taller.

before…with a carpet of fireweed which would love to grow to three feet tall or taller.

I had ambitions to get the west bed done and move on to more fun weeding projects…

such as this bed under the trunk of the former Danger Tree

such as this bed under the trunk of the former Danger Tree

or this east side shade bed that I truly look forward to weeding again.

or this east side semi-shade bed that I truly look forward to weeding again.

or the wealth of jewelweed that remains to be pulled on the east side of the bogsy woods.

or the wealth of jewelweed that remains to be pulled on the east side of the bogsy woods.

or this satisfyingly small area that still needs weeding in the east bed...

or this satisfyingly small area that still needs weeding in the east bed…

I allowed myself very few distractions.  On a debris run (the worst part of a big weeding job is barrowing away wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow from the garden bed), I did see a busy female Stellar Jay whose behavior indicated she might have a nest nearby.

next door

next door

in Nora's rugosa rose patch

in Nora’s rugosa rose patch

jay2

keeping an eye on the situation from Nora's garage roof

keeping an eye on the situation from Nora’s garage roof

and from my debris pile

and from my debris pile…

while Mary and Smokey lounged on Nora's garage carpark.

while Mary and Smokey lounged on Nora’s garage carpark.

further south in the west bed, more fireweed

further south in the west bed, more fireweed

I have to peel it off with a short handled garden claw like rolling back a carpet.

I have to peel it off with a short handled garden claw like rolling back a carpet.

It's popping up all among the Persicaria bistorta (which has gotten a bit too rampant, I think).

It’s popping up all among the Persicaria bistorta (foreground, which has gotten a bit too rampant itself, I think).

an area well done and ready for cosmos

an area well done and ready for cosmos

I planted these seeds from Nancy; I'm not very good at growing plants from seeds...

I planted these seeds from Nancy; I’m not very good at growing plants from seeds…

siberian iris

siberian iris

some space without a blur of weeds

some space without a blur of weeds

I kept slogging away on the project till six.  I will admit I started at noon. A strong and annoying wind pestered me the whole time.  And at the very end, not only did I not get to the more fun weeding areas, but I did not even manage to pick up the last two wheelbarrows full of fireweed, pulled into a pile and left behind.  This is exactly what happened last year, which is how it reseeded all over the place, because tomorrow we are beginning annuals planting hel….er, TIME, and my at home weeding days will be curtailed till the plants are in the ground.

I had a bit of a walkabout with my remaining strength.

center bed with Stipa gigantea blooming

center bed with Stipa gigantea blooming

east bed, another iris

west bed, another iris

Camassia leitchlinii alba; apparently I was too tired to hold the camera straight

Camassia leitchlinii alba; apparently I was too tired to hold the camera straight

with cut leaf elderberry from Joy Creek nursery

with cut leaf elderberry from Joy Creek nursery and some white columbine…very tasteful

I need to chop all the big sedums partway down so they don’t splay open this summer…and SOON.  I must find time to do it even if I don’t find time to clean up the mess (which leads to more and more sedums as they root from fallen pieces).

Rose Zepherine Drouhin  by the patio; she's thornless.

Rose Zepherine Drouhin by the patio; she’s thornless.

another climber, so beautiful, so blackspotty.  It might have to go.

another climber, so beautiful, so blackspotty. It might have to go. (Gloire de Dijon)

outside the west gate: Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' as tall as the house.

outside the west gate: Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ as tall as the house. (Admittedly, the house is short.)

Meanwhile….

Allan, at work in Ilwaco

We were concerned that the Ilwaco planters might be getting dry, as they are small and densely planted and a drizzle of rain water does not penetrate well.  They dry out quickly and then the soil pulls away from the sides.  (We heard the powers that be are considering a search for better planters.)

Allan decided to do the inaugural run with the Ilwaco water trailer today, as tomorrow planting time resumes and we’ll be otherwise occupied.  The first run always takes longest as the water trailer has to be convinced to work perfectly again.

The water trailer, ready to emerge from its winter home at the Ilwaco City Works yard.

The water trailer, ready to emerge from its winter home at the Ilwaco City Works yard.

hooked up and ready to be filled....

hooked up and ready to be filled….

down at the Ilwaco boatyard

Having driven down to the Ilwaco boatyard…

Allan found this beam blocking access to the boat launch and to the faucet he usually uses to fill up.

Allan found this beam blocking access to the boat launch and to the faucet he usually uses to fill up.

There was no water anywhere, not in the big boat barn...

There was no water anywhere, not in the big boat barn…

only a quickly ending dribble at the faucet by the main gate...

only a quickly ending dribble at the faucet by the main gate…

He had to have a look at our old house (set way back to the left)

He had to have a look at our old house (set way back to the left, with green roof)

the southeast corner of the boatyard...No water for watering.

the southeast corner of the boatyard…No water for watering.  Pretty, though.

Giving up on the boatyard, Allan drove to the community building.  It is actually more fair to fill up there than at the port as it is city water rather than port water, I suppose.  However, it would not be possible to get close enough when the library is open or if a council meeting is in session, and the water pressure is lower so the filling took markedly longer.

Allan tried to do something productive during the filling, and thinks he could weed the community building garden during that time.  At the boatyard, the garden is on the other side of the long chain link fence while he’s filling the tank, so the weeds are inaccessible while he monitors the filling process. He sometimes occupies the boatyard faucet time by running his strimmer down the back of the fence.

filling up in the community building...parked in the handicap spot because the building was closed

filling up in the community building…parked in the handicap spot because the building was closed

Finally, all the planters got a good soaking; this now takes up the entire 100 gallon tank of water because three new planters have been added to the route.

round, dry little concrete planters

round, dry little concrete planters…with the hose run a long distance from the van

Allan uses one of those collapsible hoses because one of the more time consuming parts of the job would be recoiling a heavy hose at each move of the van.  The collapsible hose only explodes and needs to be repaired with tape perhaps once per watering session.  The job took much less time back when we could bucket water.  Hoisting twenty two five gallon buckets of water three times a week got to be too much for our backs and arms.

typical

typical

Allan must enjoy this job in some way because whenever I suggest we give it up because of the pain in the arseness of the watering, he wants to go on with it.

Allan at home

After all that, he strimmed down the outside of our fences at home.

down the west side (Nora's back yard)

down the west side (Nora’s back yard)

down the east side by the next door gear shed

down the east side by the next door gear shed, before

after

after.  I must get out there and pull bindweed and jewelweed.

and outside the south fence to the meander line

and outside the south fence to the meander line…

where he saw tadpoles in the water ditch

where he saw tadpoles in the water ditch

DSC00683

I suppose they will be baby frogs by the time we are done planting annuals...

I suppose they will be baby frogs by the time we are done planting annuals…

He was fascinated by a large boat which had appeared in the port parking lot behind our property.

new boat

Looks like someone got a new boat. It disappeared the next day but must be somewhere being finished.

 

boat on trailer

A ‘lowered’ trailer that couldn’t even climb a driveway until it’s raised.

 

I do hope some rain arrives to allow the planter watering to hold for a few days so that we can focus solely on planting time.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

I began the day at midmorning with an obligatory walk to the Ilwaco Saturday Market to take photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  Even though the market is always a treat, I felt more like weeding my garden.  I’ll enjoy the weekly excursion more when I get my spring clean up finally done.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

at the market

at the market

This cute puppy was well worth the trip...

This cute puppy was well worth the trip…

and got lots of attention, of course.

and got lots of attention, of course.

Looking at this photo now, I wonder why I did not buy at least one of these.

Looking at this photo now, I wonder why I did not buy at least one of these.  I hope this vendor returns.

The tamale booth beckoned.  However, I was saving up my appetite for dinner plans.

The tamale booth beckoned. However, I was saving up my appetite for dinner plans.

yummy

yummy

Speaking of asparagus, De Asis Produce featured it exclusively this week.

Speaking of asparagus, De Asis Produce featured it exclusively this week.

Blog reader Rose Power recommends the new Smoked Salmon salad.

Blog reader Rose Power, whom I met by chance at the market,  recommends the new Smoked Salmon salad.

flowers at one of the charter fishing companies

flowers at one of the charter fishing companies

a new fish taco booth...but I could not succumb!

a new fish taco booth…but I could not succumb!

more cute dogs

more cute dogs

and a hopeful dog

and a hopeful dog

Alliums in our port office garden

Alliums in our port office garden

another cutie

another cutie

¯

more flowers

more flowers

more flowers by Purly Shell knitting shop

flowers by Purly Shell knitting shop

I was pleased to see that our neighbours have a booth for their organic cranberry business.

I was pleased to see that our neighbours have a booth for their organic cranberry business.

I like their juice in tonic water with lemon or lime.

I like their juice in tonic water or plain water with lemon or lime.

cran3

heading home....our garden on Howerton

heading home….our garden on Howerton

and another of our curbside gardens

and another of our curbside gardens

the xeriscape in front of the old Harbor Lights Motel (soon to reopen as the Salt Hotel)

the xeriscape in front of the old Harbor Lights Motel (soon to reopen as the Salt Hotel)

blue ceanothus still blooming

blue ceanothus still blooming

the Time Enough Books boat

the Time Enough Books boat

detail: the latest tulip, 'Formosa'

detail: the latest tulip, ‘Formosa’ backed with ‘Florette’

I popped into Time Enough to order Ken Druse’s new shade garden book, and saw another book that might help me.

hmmmm....

hmmmm….easier to do in the garden than inside

Unfortunately, my house does not reflect the fact that I had a Seattle housecleaning business for 18 years before I moved to the beach and started gardening for a living.

another Howerton garden

another Howerton garden

On the way home I checked the meander line ditch as I went in the back way through Nora’s yard.  Oh!  It is aswarm with tadpoles.

lots and lots of tadpoles

lots and lots of tadpoles

at home in the garden 

Allan mowed our lawn and also Nora’s and made a path through her back lot (which is much too long and time-consuming to completely mow with our push mower).

path

I find it fascinating to see this lawn turn into a meadow.

Mary on her way to check out the new path.

Mary on her way to check out the new path.

A little bird with a small worm in its mouth watched us carefully.

A little bird with a small worm in its mouth watched us carefully.

atop the west gate

atop the west gate

must be a nest somewhere near...

must be a nest somewhere near…

fragrant peachy roses by Nora's back porch

fragrant peachy roses by Nora’s back porch

I spent the afternoon with the pick removing more variegated carex from along the front yard entryway.  The metal decoratey thingies were hidden so I moved them into a more visible spot.

weeding

While I weeded, a car pulled up and two gardeners, Laura and Mary (who said I used to mow her ex-husband’s lawn many years ago in Seaview…) came to tour the garden.  We went all around every pathway, something I always enjoy.  (Allan was still mowing that lawn path, so no photos were taken of that pleasant event.)

After they left, I think I managed to get all of that carex out at last.

At five-ish, Todd arrived for our evening excursion, with time to tour the garden first.

This is when he IDed the shrub that I could only remember started with a C...

This is when he IDed the shrub that I could only remember started with a C…

the red flowered Calycanthus; I think it might be 'Hartlage Wine'

the red flowered Calycanthus; I think it might be ‘Hartlage Wine’

We found some of the little plants that he had sent us, still alive, and briefly examined the benches of Ladies in Waiting.

DSC00614

Allan was lurking nearby with his camera, and soon after this all the little ferns Todd sent him got checked out. All but one look promising.

And then the three of us were off in Todd’s car into the wild backroads of Naselle to find Ann, the Amateur Bot-ann-ist‘s, ancestral home.

dinner at the Estancia

It proved to be an adventurous trip, with excursions and tight turn arounds down country roads with many “Beware of Dog” and one “Impeach Obama” sign, some exciting backing up (Todd:  “It’s ok, we’re on a curve.”), the dreaded “no service” on my phone, driving back out to the “Hunter’s Lodge” where we suddenly thought to try Todd’s phone as he has a different carrier.  (Note: Verizon works better in the wilds of Naselle.)  Ann directed us back to where we had already been, and just one sharp turn past a tall hedge brought us to the Estancia.  We were late, but were reassured that that was “Italian time”.

Ann and I had met the Bloggers Fling in Portland last summer and she had since been to visit my garden once.  She had invited to us to a Sicilian style dinner.

a riverside Italianate fishing lodge

photo borrowed from Ann: a riverside Italianate fishing lodge

Allan's photo, Todd and Ann

Allan’s photo

We walked a grassy path, imprinted with deep hoof-holes from a rogue herd of cows, down to the Naselle riverbank.

Naselle River

Naselle River

on the riverbank

on the riverbank

a viewing chair

a viewing chair

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

riverlight

the path

the path

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Up the stairs we went, and I worried a little about the embarassment of having to go down backwards at the end of the evening….the price of encroaching decrepitude.

view of the river from the dining room

view of the river from the dining room deck (Allan’s photo)

view from the front (Allan's photo)

view from the front (Allan’s photo)

the dining room with the first courses on the table

the dining room with the first courses on the table

I had brought Ann a bouquet.  You might recognize that I swiped the roses from Nora's peachy rosebush; I did not have any as pretty, yet.

I had brought Ann a bouquet. You might recognize that I swiped the roses from Nora’s peachy rosebush; I did not have any as pretty, yet.

Ann’s father is into all things fishing (he publishes several fishing magazines) and all things Italian.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan, Ann, and Todd, watched over by her father's antique crucifix.

Allan, Ann, and Todd, watched over by her father’s antique crucifix.  “He’s very Catholic.”

I described to Todd the floral headdress that Ann wore at the opening soirée of the Bloggers Fling, and he asked if he would be expected to come up with such attire for the Hardy Plant weekend in June.  Oh, no, we said, although I did remember the green on green costumes at the Fifty Shades of Green evening at last year’s Hardy Plant weekend.  Hmmm.

Ann and blogger Kate at the Bloggers Fling, July 2014

Ann and blogger Kate at the Bloggers Fling, July 2014

the feast:  Allan's photo

the feast: Allan’s photo

This was a smaller version of the five course Italian dinners that Ann gives in Portland.  We all contributed, as prearranged, some funds for the ingredients, which I tell you because otherwise I would feel we had taken advantage of such lavish hospitality and many many hours of cooking.

an intricate Sicilian eggplant dish

an intricate Sicilian eggplant dish

delicious calimari (Allan's photo)

delicious calimari (Allan’s photo)

a light salad with oranges and parsley

a light salad with oranges and parsley and olives

extraordinary food

extraordinary food

food2

squid

another course: enormous fancy meatballs

another course: enormous fancy meatballs

The whole experience was so glorious that it was almost surreal.  I should have taken notes on the many dishes; I did not.

so satisfying (Allan's photo)

so satisfying (Allan’s photo)

Ann makes another course: pasta with cauliflower, and regales us with tales of the popularity of cauliflower in Sicily.

Ann makes another course: bucatini pasta with cauliflower and anchovies, and regales us with tales of the popularity of cauliflower in Sicily.

anchovies

delicately flavourful anchovies in salt from Sciacca, Sicily

delicately flavourful anchovies in salt from Sciacca, Sicily

Ann and her husband reside in Portland, Oregon, where such delicacies are available.  She said the owner of the little shop where she bought the anchovies expressed great approval of her selection.

cooking

Ann is used to creating regionally themed Italian dinners with an audience.

Ann is used to creating regionally themed Italian dinners with an audience.

pasta

the pasta course in progress (Allan's photo)

the pasta course in progress (Allan’s photo)

Chef Ann

Chef Ann

Ann stuffing cannolis for dessert.

Ann stuffing cannoli for dessert.  (Allan’s photo)

dipping the cannoli

dipping the cannoli

I asked Ann later to remind what was in the filling, and she wrote back: “ricotta, powdered sugar, cinnamon, shaved unsweetened chocolate, candied fruit (melon), candied fruit peel (blood orange and lemon), and rosewater. I didn’t have a strainer, but it’s best to strain the ricotta for a day or two in order to thicken it a bit. This is also the traditional cake filling in Sicily too. It goes really well with lemon cake.”

Ann's father is especially fond of his Viking napkins, which I recall he purchased in Astoria.

Ann’s father is especially fond of his Viking napkins, which I recall he purchased in Astoria.

Cannoli served on her dad's Viking napkins.

Cannolo served on her dad’s Viking napkins. “The Vikings were in Sicily, you know.” (Allan’s photo)

ends

I learned that just one of these delectable treats is a cannolo and that the singular of ravioli is raviolo.

Ann’s young cat, Quincy Mercurio Carbone, had also come to the river house for the weekend.  You can read all about him here.

Quincy in repose (after some madcap running back and forth)

Quincy in repose (after some madcap running back and forth)

Quincy

Quincy

ever watchful

ever watchful

DSC00655

The conversation was, of course, plant-centered once we had settled down to eat.  Ann is an avid seed collector; Todd was the curator for the display garden at the famous Plant Delights nursery until recently moving back to the Peninsula.  I thought it simply brilliant that he presented Ann with some cool seeds at the end of the evening.

This dinner was one of the best things to happen in my life because of blogging (that and the comments from regular readers).  After 11 PM, I made it down the stairs (backwards) and we found our way out of the country roads without any more adventures.

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