We continued to plant, groom, and bucket water the Ilwaco planters, as well as two at the library that we took on as a small volunteer project.
(plants: Cosmos ‘Sonata’, Salvia viridis (painted sage), Diascia, Golden Marjoram, Violas)
But wait, what is THIS? Some yobbo (walking between the port and the local tavern?) pulled a Cosmos right out and left it to die. Why? Not even theft, this is wanton vandalism.
Thankfully this cosmos was caught in time to be saved by emergency resusciation….Dunk completely into water bucket, fill planting hole with water, replant, water again.
Onward we went with our water buckets (and one watering can), fuming, no doubt.
On the east side of First at the stoplight intersection, our planter was joined by the containers cared for by the Café and Antique Store that was there at the time. That reminds me of a late afternoon when we were watering and an irate and officious man bustled out of the store and accused us of parking in a handicapped zone. I was hefting a five gallon bucket of water at the time (that’s over 40 pounds of water) and I said to him “I’ll NEED to park in a handicapped zone ALL the time if I have to carry these buckets any further.” We faced off. He retreated. I knew darn well we were NOT in a handicapped zone…confirmed by the store owner when I asked her later.
On the 26th of July, a Sunday morning, while on our way to do something else (work, probably), I saw that the planter nearest the tavern looked very strange…all wilted. A closer look revealed that someone had ripped all the plants out and thrown them around about a ten foot circle around the planter. (Evidence: soil on the sidewalk and street.) Then someone else (or the same person, repentant?) had piled them back into the planter, but just on top of the soil (below left). We got water, soaked the plants that might be salvageable, replanted them, put the others in a trash bucket, and were left with a planter looking pitiful (below right).
Why, we wondered, did someone put the plants back on top of the planter. Did s/he think that would save them? We’ll never know. In high dudgeon I took pictures of a couple of planters just up the block to show how they SHOULD look in comparison to the one we had tried to fix that was, really, unfixable. By the end of July, no more Cosmos ‘Sonata’ was available for sale so I could not acquire healthy plants to match the ones in other planters.
By the 29th of July, I was completely fed up with the finger blight…nay, outright theft…that plagued one particular planter down by the boatyard. Every time I planted it, the center plant was stolen, leaving a hole. After the fourth time, I put this sign in (inspired by a sign I had seen at Seattle’s Tilth garden]…and after that the new plant was left alone.
[2012 note: I learned over the winter that a woman who lived in an RV Park at the east end of the port was the consistent thief of plants from shops as well as the street planters. When she died, coffee cans each with a dead plant were found in her trailer. And no, I did not rejoice at her death, but it may explain why thievery has dropped off…nor was any planter completely trashed in 2010 or 2011 so perhaps the worst vandal has also left town, one way or another.]
We also cared for the streetside garden and the garden boat at Time Enough Books, starting with narcissi and tall yellow tulips (“Big Smile”).
By 2009 the old garden boat had gotten so decrepit that bookstore owner Karla thought it might have to be consigned to the dump. We repaired the boat with some stakes to make it last for another year or two. After the tulips, we planted Cosmos, but I seem to have not photographed the summer boat at all. So I’m cheating and putting it the photo, below, from 2007. The astute viewer might realize that the Phormium in the bow is smaller and that the stakes holding the boat together were not yet necessary.
At the beginning of October I decided to broach to the post mistress an idea that had been brewing in my mind for some time: making a volunteer flower garden at the post office. She gave us the all clear so on a very hot day, when the only thought in my mind came to be “Who’s stupid idea was this, anyway?!”, we dug out the sod. Fortunately the postmistress, who lived right next door, had some areas in her yard that needed filling in so we did not have to haul it far.
The scrubby lawn was a bugger to dig up and to my horror the subsoil turned out to be heavy clay like my garden over behind the boatyard. I had imagined easy peasy sand….
Happily for us, a wonderful new espresso place and antique store called Olde Towne Trading Post had opened two doors down so we went down there for a refreshing break. [Foreshadowing: this would become one of my favourite places of all time.]
The postmistress’s cat and dogs and her downstairs neighbour’s handsome Rottweiller watched us dig*.
Thank goodness for amusing cat and dog antics during a miserable hot digging session. Finally, at almost sunset, we got to cooler temperatures and the adding of soil amendments.
The English Nursery in Seaview donated some plants, and we provided a few, and later planted many the bulb. The garden turned out well….
*[Sad 2012 note: In 2011, the sweet Rottie who helped us endure that hot digging day died with his beloved human in a small plane crash. I mention this because Ilwacoans will have probably felt a sad pang at the photo of such a nice dog….and remembered his nice and well-regarded owner, Kevin Dooney.]