Thursday, 1 December 2022

On my rainy garden walkabout yesterday, I decided I must do the deep path extension. I’d been thinking about it for so long. I didn’t think it would be today because we had some snow. I slept so late that I missed it, and Allan just saw the end of it.

However, after breakfast, the weather looked possible for a project despite being 38 degrees F. I knew the project would be aerobic and would keep me warm.

I have another winter of beautiful skies to the south, and being able to see the weather flag over Alicia’s lawn, without a tall building blocking the views of this entire block. I will appreciate it.

In my garden, the snow was almost gone.

My Corylopsis pauciflora seem to display raindrops better than any other shrub.

In the Bogsy Wood, I started to dig the channel to connect the metal path and the deep path. I had envisioned a narrow channel, perhaps bridgeable by three long cement pavers. The digging was easier than I thought; fortunately, Allan had agreed to make whatever size bridge was required.

Even though I kept the ends dammed up, water rose from the ground as I dug.

It was a thrilling moment when I broke through the ends and the water rushed and out from the metal path. I had feared one area would drain away but instead it all leveled out. Perfect.

I had used the soil and sand to extend a bed by the bridge after removing a strip of sod and to fill low spots in the former salmonberry tunnel. When I was done with all my digging, Allan brought a wheelbarrow of mulch and had a look at the project.

He likes it. I am well chuffed.. We set up some cones to remind ourselves or unexpected visitors not to fall in. Now it’s over to him to build a bridge sometime this winter. When the water recedes, I’ll add some rocks and shape up the edges.

This is my favorite new view, looking southeast over the deep path.

A Christmas package had arrived from Montana Mary with instructions to open one gift today. It immediately was clear why I should open it today: an advent calendar with shortbread for every day!

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Allan went to the library to pick up the first batch of my activated holds and photographed some holiday cheer.

I am all set for rainy days now. In fact, I spend the day happily reading the David Sedaris and the new Seaside Knitters book.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

at home

After breakfast, I went exploring and sloshing to see how the deep path was faring after well over an inch of rain. It still had not worked to drain off the center lawn path.

Two big branches had come down right next to where I wanted more big branches to set in upright.

The part I made deeper on Monday…

The metal path…

the bridged swale…

….and the frog bog had plenty of water…

…as did the west Bogsy path.

As soon as I had dry socks on, I settled in to read the wonderful new-ish biography of E. Nesbit. Other than telly time with dinner, I read it all afternoon and evening and finished it at one AM. I hope to write a few reading posts this month to share some reading that I especially liked.

Skooter had perhaps too much catnip and took refuge in a bag…but Faerie found him.

Monday, 28 November 2022

at home

Good weather inspired me to begin by moving two plants, one a move that has been planned but forgotten for two years, a purple pulsatilla that needs a place to show off better (now in a new bed on Willows Loop West). I should probably get that conifer, whose name I forget but I do know it doesn’t get very big, out of that pot.

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Sunday, 27 November 2022

at home

We had unexpectedly dry and still weather despite a forecast of wind and rain. This meant the maple moving project could proceed. “Move maple” was on the project list for awhile, and had turned into moving two maples. (“Move roses” was on it, too, but I decided to leave the two roses in question in the front garden for another year and try treating them better.)

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Saturday, 26 November 2022

We were surprised to wake up to clear weather, although raindrops on the Catio wire mesh told us it had been raining. Dark Sky told me that we could work today.

642weather (642 is the Long Beach and Ilwaco land line prefix) told us otherwise.

But I always believe Dark Sky the most of all. Sadly, it might disappear on January 1st. I rely on it a lot. It is being absorbed by Apple weather. I hope its good features remain.

You might wonder about the beach hazard warning, so here it is.

Long Beach

We were on a mission to finish Long Beach, with the main task being to tidy the planters frequented by deer, in which we had not planted tulips, starting with the six southernmost planters.

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Thursday, 24 November 2022

As we left for work, the temperature was 37 degrees. Miscanthus giganteus glowed in the sun. I remembered being too warm in my winter shirt at Diane’s yesterday and wondered if I should take a summer weight shirt. Surely not.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2022

With the weather warm and sunny, I had high hopes for getting two jobs plus some of Long Beach bulbs planted today. As we left for work, Skooter enjoyed the sun on the front porch.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2022

at home and close to home

We woke to heavy rain and torrential wind.

I worked on bulb spread sheets and watched the storm out the window. In the afternoon, fate was kind to us and we had a couple of hours of drier and almost windless weather. It is irksome to plant bulbs in wind, as the paper bags blow away.

We hightailed it over to the J Crew cottage and planted some narcissi down the driveway, and some alliums and tulips inside the fence.

The view from Js’ house showing Allan wheeling the trailer forward to hook up for work:

Next, we planted narcissi in our volunteer gardens at the Ilwaco post office…

…and at the fire station. Below, the long building to the right is the original hook and ladder building.

South side:

North side:

East side:

We went around the town to our next little bulb target, stopping to water Wendi’s planter. She’s turned her Halloween pumpkins around to make an autumnal display.

We planted a few narcissi at the future Smart Moves Clinic (which will be the clinic of Dave and MaryAnne, our hillside garden folks) and watered because of the overhanging roofline.

I then planted at home until dark.

Meanwhile, Allan went back to the fire station and gathered leaves for the leaf bin. I am fortunate that he takes an interest in this.

After dark, he set up the tables in the garage and I further sorted the Long Beach bulbs into smaller batches bagged up for each area where we can plant tulips. The south block and the two northernmost planters don’t get any because they are invariably chomped by deer. The other planters in busier parts of town are worth a try.

I was plenty tired by the time I had micro-sorted and worked on spread sheets some more. No time to relax and watch my garden show on my iPad in the mid evening, although Allan and I are enjoying our mutual dinner time telly watching of the McDonald and Dodd mystery series.

The work board tonight:

Monday, 21 November 2022

We got the garage ready in anticipation …

At last, the bulbs arrived from Van Engelen. It was pretty much my fault they were so late. I made my order late because I had been thinking of doing even fewer this year. Then in September, when we took on the hillside garden, I realized it would benefit wonderfully from lots of deer resistant bulbs and made a bigger order than originally planned.

The nice weather being frustratingly good for planting, I sorted like mad until I had narcissi and alliums, mostly, ready for Time Enough Books and the Freedom Market…

….and then we rushed out to plant them in the late afternoon.

Just look at the mess of weeds I asked Allan to photograph in the little bed we used to care for just east of Time Enough. Apparently no new gardener has been hired. It baffles me that apparently no one cares, except for the bookstore and pot shop who hired us to care for their areas at the port.

We planted Time Enough (and Purly Shell) including planting more tulips in the garden boat…

…and then hurried on to Ilwaco Freedom Market (the pot shop) and planted in both the new entry bed and the curbside.

Then back home where I sorted till about nine o clock and got it done. I reflected back to when our bulbing list was so long, when we also had Klipsan Beach Cottages, Jo’s garden, Andersen’s RV Park, the Depot Restaurant, Boreas Inn, and some other private gardens AND were still planting loads of narcissi in LB (no longer needed because they have plenty). Bulbs sorting used to take three days and planting took at least seven. It was truly Bulb Hell back then before our many clients retired or moved away.

Allan’s job each night of planting is refolding and to cross off the writing on the bulbs bags so they can be reused over and over each year.

The work board tonight. I think we can do it all the planting in three or four more days. If only we can have three days before rain returns!

Sunday, 20 November 2020

at home

Although I was sorely frustrated that the bulb shipment hadn’t arrived so we could be planting them all before rain, I did have a satisfying day gardening at home. The day started cold.

As always when I can’t think of what to do right away, I started in on sifting compost. I found a pair of lost clippers in bin four, still in good working order.

I got to the bottom of the bin, rather to my surprise…

…and put the compost in the area from which I had cleared out a thirsty veronicastrum earlier this weekend.

The front of the empty bin needs some de-wonkifying before I fill it again.

I had two clumps of veronicastrum to plant, one on either side of a dustbin with a Buddleia lindleyana in it. First, I had to dig out some saponaria.

My new thought about the Saponaria ‘Flore Pleno’ (soapwort, bouncing bet) that got into my garden by hitchhiking on another plant and is trying to take over that bed (below, see how it runs!)…

….is that I will simply plant taller plants with equally thickly matted roots and let them fight it out. The human has lost this battle. I probably don’t have enough years of gardening vigor left to win it. So, the veronicastrum can battle for the space.

I’ve noticed that the saponaria does not get into the vigorous patches of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ or Solidago ‘Fireworks’, and it is pretty when it blooms in late summer. (Eventually, I’ll acquire a four foot backless bench for this spot.)

Then, while adding some of the compost to the new bed by the reconfigured Willows Loop West path, I realized right where I needed an evergreen.

As it happened, I had one nearby that had never looked quite in the right spot, this crinodendron.

I had already moved it twice so am little worried about how it will feel about it.

A dark pink phlox had to be moved first.

I was pleased to see that the crinodendron is layering itself, and planted the layered bit, too, rather than add to its shock by dividing it.

The watering post might have to be moved away from the transplanted crinodendrum eventually…

…and someday the south end of path might also have to be moved, if I live long enough to see the crinodendron get big. The path could go straight through, in photo above, by just moving a gold stemmed dogwood and some astilbes, although I do like the curve it has now. To the left is where I had thought of putting one of my two chaise longues and never got round to it, partly because they are white in color and I don’t think that would look right in a shrubby area of the garden. I had been contemplating finding a green spray paint that would stick. Somehow or other, a small sit spot or lounging spot will go in there, tucked away between a tall fuchsia and my Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’.

Meanwhile, I asked Allan if he could install the water barrel that our friend Carol Ham gave us. Later, I felt bad that it turned out to be such a hard project. I had not realized he needed to get inside of it to install a faucet lower down, and the lid was welded on.

It does hold more water though, and best of all it freed up a non leaky plastic dustbin with which I replaced the leaky rain water-collecting dustbin in the lean to greenhouse, giving me a steady winter supply of greenhouse temperature water.

Some sights around the garden today:

Assorted cornus with autumn color…

And acers:

Molinia ‘Transparent’:

The big native willows have turned gold.

I love the look of the Euonymus’Green Spire’ at the west fence.

And two more views of the back garden.