Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2007

In Joanne’s garden….

We miss her! Joanne died a year and a half ago, and we keep the garden going for her family and in her memory.  She used always to come down and work with us when she had time and energy, or at least to walk around with us and plan, so we continue to fulfill those plans.  The stream garden was one, and now the Siberian iris are in bloom there, and the Japanese iris are heavy with buds.

The upper pond garden, looking down toward the stream

The layout of the garden is wonderful: an upper pond created by Joanne and her spouse, and a waterfall, and a stream which flows down into the natural lake.  SOMETHING likes to jump in that lake: fish?  Occasionally we hear a loud splash but have never been able to see what makes it. Giant bullfrogs abound and are fascinating to watch, even though we know they are a pernicious import and frowned upon.  When we walk around the edge of the upper pond, frogs go SQUEAK and jump one after another into the water.  We created the stream garden inspired by the book of the same name by Archie Skinner and David Arscott.

two views back up the stream; Joanne’s spouse, a lumberman, had the deck built on the back of the house to view the garden.

Primula vialii and Iris sibirica along the stream

I also had the pleasure of a petting visit from golden lab adolescent Daisy and the new dog, a gentle pit pull named Stoli, and a wee puppy named Harley belonging to a young woman who came to entertain the dogs for awhile. I used to let Daisy out of the dog pen to play, but she is too hard to handle in the garden and in her excitement does tend to break off the flowers.

Joanne was a skilled horsewoman and an appreciator of interesting plants. One feels the presence of a gardener who has passed on and hopes that her spirit is still able to see and enjoy the garden.  I think of her always as we garden there.

Read Full Post »

The planting of annuals is almost done! Today we weeded and mulched Carol’s garden and got her cosmos in: Seashells, Sensation, and Double Click.  Her garden looked lovely and was filling in in a most satisfactory way. Then on to meet a new client, who gave us carte blanche to fix up his entry garden in any way we like.  A perfect client, with perhaps one exception: the house is going to be sold so we will not see the garden come to complete growth.  That might be a good thing, though, as we are overbooked for permament gardening jobs. I am eager to begin this new job next week, by which time I expect to have all the cosmos planted, as only Joanne’s garden and the remainder of Discovery Heights remain.  The cosmos grown for me by the Planter Box is ready, although Cassius the cat slept on the flats, bending some of the plants sideways.  I thought he was my good feline friend!

Carol’s garden

At Carol’s garden, I am fond of the dry pond with daylilies, which segues to this long dry creek bed, and ends up in a large dry river rock pond on the bay side.

On to Marilyn’s, where we were thrilled to find hoses and sprinklers set up, so we will no longer have to fret about the watering.  (Saturday night after a long day we drove all the way up there just to water….a half hour drive each way, I think.) We’ll still check on it for weeding once a week, for the sheer joy of seeing it grow.

On to Seanest and more watering.  The Zepherine Drouhin rose looks fine…a thornless rose which will bloom in part shade…and Stipa gigantea shines in the evening sun.

Finally, Andersen’s, and more of the principle of stuffage in the whiskey barrels; Lorna wants to them to “punch” arrivees with colour!  She loves the petunia; I do not love the petunia, but this year, petunias she shall have (but with one yellow agyranthemum in the center of each barrel for height).

And home by seven! …with a sensation of joy from getting almost caught up at last!

Sparaxis tricolor by where we park our car at home

I have never grown Sparaxis before; I did not get these from my usual bulb order, but instead from a late autumn sale at Fred Meyer.  I adore them!  Their tidy, vibrant colour pattern and their late-spring bloom.  Will plant many more next year.

Read Full Post »

Finally, we got to plant up one of the damaged areas at the Shelburne Inn, from back in April when a truck drove into it!  Although the new fence is not yet painted, I felt the annuals MUST go in now, so we added a mix of topsoil, Gardener and Bloom soil building compost, and some of Laurie’s fine Peruvian Paso horse manure to make a berm along the front half of the garden.  We’ll raise up and plant the back when the owners’ son has finished painting.  We put in mixed lovely painted sage (Salvia viridis) in blue, pink, and white, with some annual cosmos, some perennials (Phygelius ‘Moonraker’, a chocolate cosmos, three white Verbascums, Lysimachia beaujalais, Echinacea ‘Double Decker’…new and exciting!)… and a honeymelon sage, a pineapple sage, and two Dahlias for owner David.

Above is the new bed…and across from it, the lushness of the established bed….Both sides used to look this lush by this time of year. There’s a Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’ in front of the centre window that caused quite a sensation last year.  (Hurry up and grow tall!)

The next morning we went down to plant Cosmos and Salvia at the China Beach Retreat, where our first sight in the garden was a deer boldly chomping on a lilac. It ambled away, occasionally gazing at me as if bemused that I did not want its company.

The fried egg plant annual (Limonanthes douglassii) is all frothy along the front of the long border.

Long Beach got some attention to the trees and main parks to make sure it looked good for the big holiday weekend.  It’s held up well from our massive weeding in early May.  Rounds of watering were made to many gardens.  In Ilwaco, I discovered to my fury that someone had sat on one of the planters and broken off one of my two choice Salvia patens…Two of them, among ten planters…Why did someone have to destroy that one plant which is hard to come by? A few other less precious things were also squashed. The tall ships were in town, the Lady Washington and her consort, and had drawn a bevy of pirates who came carousing down the street as I fumed over my planter;  Lucky for them they did not cross my warpath but instead crossed the street into the Sea Hag tavern! (Not that I blamed the pirates in any way for the plant tragedy; I was just not in a jocular Ahoy Matey mood.)

(left) white Siberian iris at Discovery Heights middle garden (right) one section of middle garden, with Stipa gigantea grass

The weekend we spent up at Discovery Heights at last catching up with a thorough weeding of our three gardens.  Still more to do, but the gardens are beginning to look lush and the amount that we accomplished set off the good plants to advantage. I need more cosmos for them, as well.

(left) middle garden with assorted colours of Armeria (sea thrift) (right) lower garden with draping Ceanothus ‘Point Reyes’

Discovery Heights was a peaceful environment during such a busy traffic weekend.  An admirer of the garden got out of his car and strolled the length of middle garden, which is always gratifying, and asked if we did the Shelburne and Wiegardt Gallery as well.  Did he recognize the planting style? I was well chuffed.

Clematis montana in bloom at mom’s…and a detail of same

Finally today…a holiday? for whom? we weeded Shorebank, watered and lightly weeded the Shelburne and Linda’s and Boreas, watered the Ilwaco planters and stuffed them with some more annuals, mowed mom’s lawn and did some small chores for her, and got home in the early rather than late evening. Other than lugging bucket water for Ilwaco, it was even a lighter day physically than usual…and only eight hours long!!! The thought of a day off next weekend shimmers tantalizingly ahead…if only the week goes well, and if I can postpone beginning three new projects that loom in the future.

Read Full Post »

Work has gotten to be a bit much, with days stretching into ten hours…and still all the annuals are not planted!  I have enough cosmos left for Carol’s garden in Nahcotta but not enough for Joanne’s, so till I get my hands on some more have been doing other things.  But what other things? Have been working so hard it all blurs together.  Lots of watering….it’s been dry, with only one brief downpour Wednesday afternoon to give us respite.   Only my daily photographs give me memories of what we did, and only the most striking things, like that adorable big frog, got me excited enough to fish out the camera.

KBC (Klipsan Beach Cottages) had a date with a photographer to take new photos for their website, so we spent a large portion of last Tuesday their making everything picture perfect.

We had time afterwards to plant some impatiens under one of Jo’s rhodos, at her request, and to check on the watering of the new garden at Andersen’s RV Park.  As always, the staff are  faithful waterers.

Oriental Poppies highlighted the day: the dusky mauve ‘Patty’s Plum’ at Andersen’s, and a bright red one backlit by late sun at Jo’s. .

Wednesday, we spent a thorough session at Laurie’s getting her garden perfected for a birthday party she’s holding for her mother.

Laurie’s Enkianthus

That Enkianthus (temple bells) shrub of hers is more amazing than the last time we were there, with its thickly clustered bells of such an unusual colour. Dusty apricot? Terracotta peach?

Meanwhile, I had an exciting plan for the late afternoon: to at last start replanting the Shelburne’s truck damaged garden area, but twas not to be as a shocking pouring windy black squall roared in.  We loaded the necessary soil amendments at the Planter Box, hoping for a weather reprieve, but as we reached the Shelburne the storm was still fierce and would have made for a muddy work mess, so we had to go home, unload the soil, and plan to start again the next morning.

Laurie has a sharp eye for good plants, and earlier in the aftenoon she espied in our car several plants on their way to the Shelburne.  Her admiration won her the Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’  and the Buplureum fruticosum!  So sorry, Shelburne, but I am easily swayed by the desires of a plant nut!

Read Full Post »

Monday, 21 May: As always when my friend Carol arrives on one of her twice or thrice yearly visits, we spent a day walking around Astoria, where I was, naturally, obsessed with the gardens.  I found the lower slope of a garden which I am sure is one I toured on the Astoria garden tour about three years ago, a garden which abounds in rebar grids which are constructed with twisted wire fasteners rather than welded.  I could do that, given time and patience!  Because of the astonishing Astoria landslide, which has taken out the street at the end of this block, we could not figure out how to get around to the top side of this garden to eye it from the front.  I think that this challenging slope has been developed as a garden since the garden tour:

I would like to replicate the rebar grid.

Across the street was a house with a sign saying some kind of studio, and something about the window shutters suggests music!  The front garden had a floral sculpture and a tiny water bowl with shiny rocks.

So after admiring a parking strip of Oriental Poppies, we returned to Carol’s car and drove up and over to Niagara Street where we stopped at a little deli for juices and then recommenced our walkabout.  Now we were too high above our targeted area of old houses, in the more modern section of 40s era houses, none of which had wonderful gardens, as if the more modern houses resisted anything but carpets of junipers and lithadoras. So after a long loop on winding streets we returned to the car and to another attempt to access that certain magical neighbourhood.  Our first loop put us right back to the one exuberant gardenin the modern section, a collection of gnomic figures in a profusion of lilies.  Our second attempt found us some good old houses but no more amazing streetside gardens.  By then, I was rather tired…Astoria is all up and down, and reminds me pleasantly of the way Seattle was when I was a more energetic youth.  We found an enticing steep stairway and path but decided to save exploring it till next time.

Oriental poppy parking strip and a path of deep mystery; a secret vegetable garden was behind the hedge to the left.

Oriental poppy parking strip and a path of deep mystery; a secret vegetable garden was behind the hedge to the left.

A trolley ride along the water front sounded enticing, especially the sitting down part, but was not to be as at this time of year it runs Friday through Sunday only, so we walked along the salty lovely riverwalk and made a 45 minute visit to the Maritime Museum where I got misty-eyed over the rescue feats of the Coast Guard, and then the Andes Cafe for Peruvian food.

love these Astoria sidewalk planters

I have a feeling someone does not know that the pretty, but stinky, noxious weed Herb Robert (Geranium robertissimum or Stinking Bob!) is a big part of the planting on the left.

Meanwhile, I have not figured out how to fit into the narrative flow the gorgeous show my Virbunum is providing right now, so here it is:

Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’; double file viburnum

As always, I was impressed with the Astoria street planters, excellently planted and designed with wire sides and plants all the way around.

Read Full Post »

Now that I have the finger blight rant out of my system, here’s an update on planting of annuals:

We spent the last several days continuing the rather frenzied planting of cosmos ‘Seashells’, ‘Double Click’ and ‘Sensation’ mixes and painted sage, intermixed with the occasional godetia and perennial.  (I just learned that the common name of cosmos is Mexican aster!) Due to unseasonably dry weather, we had to fill each planting hole with water (which should be done anyway, but I have been known to slack on that if the ground is nice and damp). Before planting, we ALWAYS burble each container or pack of plants in a bucket of water till all air bubbles emerge. Each plant gets a pinch of Quench and some Dr Earth all purpose fertilizer in the hole. (Note: I just went to that Quench website and ordered 52 more ounces; you can find it at Raintree Nursery in Seaside, and I do wish we had bought more last time we were there.)

Our various stops at nurseries are our only breaks lately, always involving some schmoozing.  Teresa of The Planter Box took us next door to see their well-trained and floriferous wisteria which wraps all around three sides of their garage. From inside looking out, it’s a blue waterfall.

he repetitive motion of planting small plants from six packs all day does do one’s head and back in after awhile.  One evening we stacked a cord of wood for mom at the end of the planting day, meaning at seven pm; Allan was going to do the whole stacking job himself but I couldn’t live with that.  By the end of that task, I was moving as slowly as my 83 year old mother.

My friend Cassius resting in one of the Planter Box greenhouses; their excellent and healthy selection of “basket stuffer” annuals

So tired was I that I barely noticed pretty things until later in the week, but as progress continued and hope of an end to the job was in sight (but not yet reached), I was able to stop and smell…not the roses, not in bloom yet, but some of the early perennials.

(left) Diane’s roadside garden still with late tulips (right) Wiegardt Gallery gardens with lots of early flowers

Since May 15th, we have planted Diane’s containers of many interesting annuals and her cosmos and perennial garden (and we got to see our canine friend Misty’s amazing frisbee catching skills), the Boreas (planted but not weeded yet!), Ilwaco trees and planters (except for some more annuals to squeeze into the planters), Laurie’s, the triplexes (that’s what I’m calling the transitional housing place now), McD’s, and Wiegardt Gallery, the Red Barn, where I petted a sweet old horse named London Fog, and some Mother’s Day cosmos at mom’s. We also planted the 3 large boxes by Payson Hall (the social building at Andersen’s RV Park), and tidied up Klipsan Beach Cottages’ garden for a photo session later this week. We also had to fit in some watering missions because the weather has been so dry…until this weekend.  Yesterday’s rain was not enough to soak into the soil, but today….

In my garden, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’; at Raymond Federal, Lewisia.

Today we optimistically went out in the drizzle to go to Discovery Heights, but first we stopped by to put some cosmos in the Peninsula Sanitation office planter.  The wind, once we left the shelter of our hill, was whipping and cold, and the rain returned in earnest, and back home we went. Tomorrow: a day off because my good friend Carol is in town (tonight we’ll have a luscious dinner with the new summer menu at the Depot!), and Allan has plans to tour some scenic sights in the Willapa Hills probably on his old Suzuki motorcycle, if it runs after a winter’s inactivity.   Still to do this week (thus I am having some stressful feelings about taking tomorrow off!): plant the cosmos at Discovery Heights, China Beach Retreat, a Nahcotta private garden, and Joanne’s garden.  Finish planting at McD’s. Weed and prep Long Beach and Andersen’s and the Shelburne for the upcoming holiday weekend… The front Shelburne garden is still torn up because rain is preventing the painting of the new fence!  Oh, how I long to fluff and plant it!  The extensive weeding at Discovery Heights may have to occur over Memorial Day weekend. And oh dear, now it seems that the Nahcotta and Joanne’s may have to wait till the NEXT week.  Oh dear me. AND I have almost run out of cosmos again.  Next year I will know that I need about thirty flats (36 plants in each).

[2012 note: I must make clear we no longer do the job in the top photo because new manager did not want plants to touch each other!  It is now in the capable hands of Ed Strange of Strange Landscaping and many of the plants have been removed or (in the case of bulbs) covered with landscape fabric and river rock or bark, as requested.  To coin a phrase (not), it’s their loss.  But no, it is a loss to those who used to enjoy the more, well, tangly garden.]

Read Full Post »

One day recently we did a brief drive down the Bolstadt beach approach road, where the garden needs weeding if only I had the time, and we saw from the car a woman walking with a group of four people, carrying proudly in her hands a bouquet of tulips and other flowers which she had picked from the approach garden.  “Finger blight” is one term I have heard for the audacious stealing of flowers from public gardens. She must have gotten just about the last of the tulips.  I shrieked like a banshee but as she was just leaving the approach I did not feel we could appropriately chase her down …If only I had seen her actually picking I would have pointed out the sign that reads “Please don’t pick the flowers; they are here for everyone to enjoy.” What makes people think it is appropriate to make a bouquet from a public garden?…not only the woman, but her companions?  Don’t they see that the garden is long but narrow and has a finite number of flowers, and that if 50 people or more walk there each day during tourist season, and each person picked a bouquet, there would be pitifully few left?  Why did she feel entitled to pick public flowers and take them home to a vase on her own table?  And why did her friends not stop her? I well understand the term “seeing red” when I observe such disregard.  One woman who had stolen quite a large bouquet once had the nerve to inform me that it was job security because the city would pay me to replace the flowers!  I was so aghast that I could not even manage to reply that the city has a limited budget and once she picks ALL the tulips (which comprised most of her armful of plants, as they did the woman’s recent bouquet), there will be no more for that year!

Another phenomenon which to some well-meaning people seems harmless is when they walk along and collect poppy seeds for their own gardens, thus leaving few seeds behind to reseed.   Each person must think their own paper bag of seeds is so small, but if a more than a few people do it, the reseeding is destroyed.  I saw a streetside wildflower garden in Seattle with a big sign imploring people not to gather the seeds.

Even worse has been the theft of entire plants; once I planted Crimson Pygmy barberry, thinking the thorns would deter theft.  Six of them were missing the next day, leaving gallon sized holes.  It happened right before Mother’s Day, so perhaps some mother was gifted with a miniature barberry hedge.  I know that Lois, who voluntarily plants and tends the Seaview Beach Approach garden, has met with similar discouraging thievery of newly planted shrubs, as have the Long Beach street planter volunteers.

My friend Mary photographed a wonderful sign at the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland, Washington:

Now, personally I have no problem with someone drinking alcohol as long as they don’t fall into the garden beds, nor do I care if someone brings a truly well behaved dog as long as it doesn’t romp through the flowers and snap them off…but if only people would stop picking those bouquets!

The beach approach poppies are best left to reseed themselves for the                              enjoyment of all.

[2012 note:  In the years since then, we have replaced the delicate strip of poppies and other reseeding flowers with tough rugosa roses that have pretty much taken over the entire approach garden.  They are pretty, but not as pretty.  The flower pickers and especially the trampling of the garden during kite festival was too disheartening.  The rugosa roses defend themselves.]

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »