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Archive for October, 2012

I had a flurry of photographing the downtown Long Beach planters during tulip time, and then, like with most of 2012, became distracted by our garden tour preparation and slacked off on recording the rest of the year in pictures.

Long Beach Welcome Sign

Long Beach Welcome Sign

On April 1st, we found that deer had at long last discovered the tulips in the Long Beach welcome sign (above), right about where Allan is standing.  I thought for sure they would eat them all but they only nipped a few down at that end.

They do come right into the main drag of Long Beach and eat tulips from some of the planters at street intersections.

29 April: Tulip 'Gavota'

29 April: Tulip ‘Gavota’

Sometimes I do try colour coordination (like matching yellow flowers to the yellow Portside Café in Ilwaco), and above, I chose Tulip ‘Gavota’ to match the trim colours of the Hungry Harbor Grille.

29 April in front of NIVA green

29 April in front of NIVA green

NIVA green in Long Beach is my favourite gift shop, well, ever.  The artist who owns the shop, Heather Ramsay, has a connection with me because her sister gardened with me way back in 1998 or so, then moved back to the city to start a family.  I had met Heather back then and was just thrilled when she moved here and opened this shop, thus putting me back in touch with her sister, as well.  (In early January of 2013, I had the joy of having dinner here at the beach with Heather, her sister, and her sister’s two daughters!)

by NIVA green

by NIVA green

I had every intention of having green tulips in the NIVA green planter.  Better luck in 2013 I hope!  Meanwhile across the street, the planter bu Scoopers had a stunning ‘Spring Green’ tulip just about to bloom at the beginning of May.

Tulip 'Spring Green'

Tulip ‘Spring Green’

29 April across from the merry go round

29 April across from the merry go round
in front of the Sand Dollar Deli

in front of the Sand Dollar Deli

In front of a rental cottage on Fifth Street downtown, we went with a mostly yellow theme for the little yellow Summerhouse rental cottage.

Summerhouse

Summerhouse

Summerhouse

Summerhouse

Summer, the time of few photographs for 2012, is here represented by the California poppies in one planter.

summer planter

summer planter

I have a mystery in one of the planters just outside the Long Beach Elks.  Left over from when the planters were done by volunteers is this very fragrant, midsummer blooming plant.  Can someone ID it for me?

what am I?

what am I?

On the same June day that we redid the Kite Museum garden, we also refurbished the Fish Alley planters.  They had had the saddest old mugo pine in one and a crapulous Phormium in the other.  After some struggle, we got the big old tired boring plants removed and replanted them with our favourite annuals, with Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ as a semi-permanent centerpiece.  (I saw semi-permanent because this floriferous perennials usually needs replacing every couple of years.)

Fish Alley planters with yellow sanvitalia and cosmos and painted sage

Fish Alley planters with yellow sanvitalia and Cosmos’Sonata’ and painted sage

Fish Alley

Fish Alley has four planted whiskey barrels and a giant frying pan

I used a lot of the yellow Sanvitalia (from The Basket Case Greenhouse) in planters around town and also tried out a new Agyranthemum called Spring Bouquet.  The latter looked wonderful in May, then petered out and I almost went off it. But when we sheared it, it came back with a fabulous show in late summer…(below) in a planter on the Veterans Field stage.

Agyranthemum 'Spring Bouquet'

Agyranthemum ‘Spring Bouquet’

on Veterans Field stage, still going strong on 9-28

on Veterans Field stage, still going strong on 9-28

That was relief because I had suggested that The Basket Case carry it (after I had seen one all pretty in pinks and pale yellows) and I did not want it to be a failure.

Speaking of The Basket Case, they again provided their amazing hanging baskets for the city.

basket at Fifth Street restroom

basket at Fifth Street restroom

June 2012, Long Beach City Hall, hanging baskets by The Basket Case Greenhouse

June 2012, Long Beach City Hall, hanging baskets by The Basket Case Greenhouse

I was never very big on putting petunias in the Long Beach planters, but some of the colours of petunia have won me over.  Here’s ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ in one of the containers at The Anchorage Cottages, another Long Beach job.

Petunia 'Pretty Much Picasso'

Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso’

I intend to use lots of Sanvitalia and Pretty Much Picasso in the 2013 planters and have every intention of taking more photos.

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Kite Museum

In late June, the World Kite Museum hired us to reclaim a tiny little garden that we had helped make years ago.  The idea had been that volunteers would maintain it, but over time it had reverted to pure grass and weeds.

26 June, 6:30 PM

26 June, 6:30 PM

Being terribly busy, we started the project in the early evening.  I am pleased to report that the weedy grass peeled off fairly easily, and we had thought ahead to bring some soil and plants with us, so the results were swift.

9 PM the same day

9 PM the same day

24 August

24 August

Diane’s Garden

In September, we weeded a strip along the road at Diane’s garden on Sandridge Road.

the beginning

the beginning: mid September

The weather was so hot and dry that we waited till late September to plant.

late September

late September

The whole project was inspired when Diane saw this heather for sale at The Planter Box and wanted to showcase it in a new garden.  Because there was not enough for the whole long stretch (and also because I prefer variety), we added Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and some lavenders to the mix.

pale pink heather

pale pink heather

late September

late September

At Diane’s request, we edged it with river rock from Peninsula Landscape Supply.  Later we planted many the Narcissi bulb so we are hoping for great things in spring of 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 October

Nancy is back from vacation and we get back to work on day two of her new ornamental border.

We are making it with the same method that I used to create the garden in back of our new house.

Here comes the soil.

Here comes the soil.

Peninsula Landscape Supply delivers ten yards of Soil Energy.  We have it dumped onto a tarp so we will not lose one precious morsel into the lawn.

Mike of Peninsula Landscape Supply getting every bit out of the truck.

Mike of Peninsula Landscape Supply getting every bit out of the truck.

We like Mike.

We like Mike.

ten delicious yards

ten delicious yards

The beds will be built on thickly layered and overlapped newspaper.

The beds will be built on thickly layered and overlapped newspaper.

It is difficult to not stop and read every interesting article while laying the newspaper down.

newspaper

It is difficult to not stop and read every interesting article while layering the newspaper over the sod.  (I do not do well with intolerant friends.)

The first wheelbarrow full of soil.

The first wheelbarrow full of soil.

Above, me digging into the pile.  Behind, you can see stacks of newspaper and cardboard.  We spread them just ahead of the area being “soiled” so they don’t blow away before we get to them. On a windy day, I’ll lay some out and throw handfuls of sod from the wheelbarrow to hold them down.

newspaper and cardboard base

newspaper and cardboard base

Newspaper and cardboard laid over the sod and overlapped.  I kind of prefer just newspaper, but it is hard to get enough.  It goes down with more flexibility, especially when tucking it into the edges and around the trees where we have cut out the sod on day one. Newspaper alone must be laid very thickly; eighteen sheets thick is not too much.  Nancy and Phil had gotten new kitchen cupboards and appliances so had lots of big cardboard from the deliveries.

the ceremonial dumping of the first load

the ceremonial dumping of the first load

I really don’t have any special sayings or invocations for this exciting moment.

Six hours later:

six hours later

We have piled the soil about a foot to a foot and a half thick over all the newspaper and garden beds.  Here’s a reminder of how it looked at the end of day one.

before...

before…

an idea

an idea

At the six hour mark, we realize that the composter at the west end of the bed must be moved so the bed can be run all the way along the south side…Otherwise it will not look right.

18 October

The first thing we do on day three is to dig out all the way to the south end; by the time we get to the site, Phil and Nancy have moved the composter.  Because it is a small area to complete the bed, we remove all the sod.

finishing the back corner

finishing the back corner

We still put down layered newspaper and cardboard to keep bits of grass roots from growing.

After we finish spreading Soil Energy even unto the west corner, we add pseudo biochar….not at all scientific, just charred bits from our campfire circle at home.

biochar of sorts

biochar of sorts

biochar tossed onto the garden....

biochar tossed onto the garden….

and raked in

and raked in

The Soil Energy is usually quite hot and steaming, so I never plant in it till it sits for a day in the garden bed and cools off.

The bed now goes all the way back.

The bed now goes all the way back.

Now Nancy and Phil have their own Mount Sod: All the sod that we dug, covered with tarps.  She can do what I did in my own garden and grow spuds in it next year.  The potato crop lived up to its reputation and seemed to clean the soil and help break it down.  I just dug out handfuls of sod, filled the holes with soil, and put seed potatoes in and got a very good crop.

Nancy's Mount Sod

Nancy’s Mount Sod

Next, we will get dairy manure delivered onto this tarp, which we set up the night before in case we don’t get to the site in  the morning before the delivery truck arrives.

prepared

prepared

19 October

We manage to arrive in time to take photos of the thrilling arrival of the washed dairy manure. In many the lecture by Ann Lovejoy, back in the years when she would speak at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, she preached the word of Washed Dairy Manure.

To quote the garden goddess:

“Not just any manure will do, however. The most helpful manure for garden use is well-composted cow manure, preferably from dairies that don’t use Bovine Growth Hormone or steroids. ….Best of all is pit-washed dairy manure, which is collected from milking barns into a holding pit. The liquids (called “effluent”) are captured and returned to the farm fields, while the fiber-rich remains are composted. The result is usually lovely, fluffy stuff which may have wood shavings or bedding straw mixed in.”

It took a long time to get a good source of it on the Peninsula, but now The Planter Box carries it  from the hormone free dairies of Tillamook, Oregon, and I am so happy about that.

The Planter Box truck arrives.

The Planter Box truck arrives.

four yards of cow fiber

four yards of cow fiber

Raymond gets us every last morsel.

Raymond gets us every last morsel.

a pile of beauty

a pile of beauty

And here is the garden all mulched with the manure, on top of the Soil Energy from yesterday.

all mulched

all mulched

We have planted some plants that Nancy had kicking around in pots and a few starts I brought from my own garden.

manured

It is done!

It is done!

Later we will plant bulbs, and in late winter or early spring we will give Nancy some starts of cool plants from our own garden.

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On October 6th, Erin and Diego Glenn were the very last of our garden visitors.  But the garden put on a good show that went strongly through the middle of the month.

Diego in the bogsy woods

Diego in the bogsy woods

8 October by Allan's shed; plants from The Basket Case Greenhouse

8 October by Allan’s shed; plants from The Basket Case Greenhouse

8 Oct, new plant table acquired from a neighbour one street over; we saw it for free and grabbed it.

8 Oct, new plant table acquired from a neighbour one street over; we saw it for free and grabbed it.

8 October, Echinacea 'Tomato Soup'

8 October, Echinacea ‘Tomato Soup’

I planted this once upon a time in the McDonalds garden back when I did that job.  It would be better for a restaurant that actually serves tomato soup.

8 Oct, Salvia Africana lutea.  I hope to bring this through in the greenhouse.

8 Oct, Salvia Africana lutea. I hope to bring this through in the greenhouse.

8 October, Lochroma (Violet Tubeflower), a cool plant from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.   Might make it in the cold greenhouse!

8 October, Lochroma (Violet Tubeflower), a cool plant from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart. Might make it in the cold greenhouse!

8 October, Lochroma (Violet Tubeflower)

8 October, Lochroma (Violet Tubeflower)

8 October, Lochroma (Violet Tubeflower) with green Zinnia

8 October, Lochroma (Violet Tubeflower) with green Zinnia

8 October, Rudbeckia (maybe 'Cherry Red')

8 October, Rudbeckia (maybe ‘Cherry Red’)

garden boat, 8 October

garden boat, 8 October

By October 8th, I had stopped deadheading the cosmos in the garden boat.  My excuse was that birds like the seeds, but really, I was just sick of deadheading.

back garden, 8 October

back garden, 8 October

above: Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’. Solidago ‘Fireworks” (a well behaved goldenrod), Aconitum (monkshood)

8 October, the cat bench

8 October, the cat bench

8 October, Nicotiana langsdorfii

8 October, Nicotiana langsdorfii

This Nicotiana (flowering tobacco), painted sage and cosmos were the plants that were repeated throughout the garden from front to back.

shade bed, 8 October

shade bed, 8 October

Passiflora caerulea (passionflower)

Passiflora caerulea (passionflower)

Dicentra scandens by front porch, 8 October

Dicentra scandens by front porch, 8 October

and two presents on the front porch...the birthday basket from Nancy and a cute little tick tock sunflower from Jenna.

and two presents on the front porch…the birthday basket from Nancy and a cute little tick tock sunflower from Jenna.

I snuck back into this post at the end of October to add a few more photos:

sweet peas still blooming on the deer fence, 15 October

sweet peas still blooming on the deer fence, 15 October

Cosmos on October 20th

Cosmos on October 20th

a black Scabiosa that I grew from seed, 20 October

a black Scabiosa that I grew from seed, 20 October

23 October:  I did manage to grow some red runner beans

23 October: I did manage to grow some red runner beans

and they were quite beautiful in pink and black...

and they were quite beautiful in pink and black…

 

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On October 3rd we began the fall project of helping our friend Nancy (organizer of the Peninsula garden tour) create an ornamental border with the newspaper and cardboard method.

October 3rd

Day one: painfully hot and bright!  I was so desperate for a cooler work shirt that we almost left to drive home and get one; then I realized I had a cotton shirt in the back of the car.  October is not supposed to be so darn hot!

looking west from southeast corner

looking west from southeast corner

(Above). The beds behind Nancy (standing, on right) who did not want to be in the photo but did not back up far enough, oops) are her extensive veg garden. After seeing our garden, she wanted more flowers, thus the new area.

and so it begins

and so it begins

(Above)  I have cut  lines in the sod with the half moon edger  (which is leaning against the wheelbarrow.)  Allan has begun to pull up the strips of sod.

the halfway point of the long bed, showing neighbours' house to the south.

the halfway point of the long bed, showing neighbours’ house to the south.

looking east from halfway down the border to be.

looking east from halfway down the border to be.

around the trees

around the trees

By blissfully cooler early evening, we have dug out a wide strip of sod along the edge of the new border,  and we also dug out around existing trees so the roots won’t be buried too deeply.

another tree dug around near west end of border

another tree dug around near west end of border

Looking east: edges and trees dug around

Looking east: edges and trees dug around

looking east

looking east

Looking east:  Grass path between veg patch and ornamentals will remain. Salmonberry patch (right) will remain for hummingbirds.  And also because I am too old and tired to dig them out.  It is true, however, that salmonberry flowers are one of the earliest hummingbird foods, and I have used the same excuse for not digging them out in my own garden.

looking east

looking east

Looking east from halfway back….areas dug out to tuck newspaper down into.  Soil will cover the newspaper to make an instant bed. Well, instant considering it took five long hot hours to dig out these areas.  Maybe a sod cutter would have worked, but I prefer the quietude of hand tool work.

looking west

looking west

We leave this garden for awhile as Nancy is going on vacation and the whole idea is to create the garden with her.  We will return on October 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Sept: a mystery.  Got it at Hardy Plant weekend.  Late blooming and blue.

2 Sept: a mystery. Got it at Hardy Plant weekend. Late blooming and blue.

2 September, a glorious new rose from Heirloom Roses

2 September, a glorious new rose from Heirloom Roses

2 September, sweet peas and Robinia pseudo acacia 'Frisia'

2 September, sweet peas and Robinia pseudo acacia ‘Frisia’

front garden with Veronica and Eupatorium, 5 September

front garden with Veronica and Eupatorium, 5 September
Nigella (Love in a Mist), 5 Sept

Nigella (Love in a Mist), 5 Sept

Cleome, 5 Sept; an annual

Cleome, 5 Sept; an annual

on the porch, 13 Sept.

on the porch, 13 Sept.

above, birthday basket (March 2011) from Nancy Aust of The Basket Case Greenhouse, still blooming a year and a half later! (through porch window)

front garden, 14 Sept

front garden, 14 Sept

front garden, Sanguisorba and Cleome, 14 Sept

front garden, Sanguisorba and Cleome, 14 Sept

Sanguisorbas

Sanguisorbas

I love Sanguisorbas (burnets) and have collected them every since seeing them in a slideshow during a lecture by Piet Oudolf at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show years ago.  They are one of the plants that made me long for a sunny garden.  Deer like them so I could not successfully grow them at Discovery Heights or Wiegardt Gallery, two of my more meadowy but unfenced gardens.

white sanguisorba, 14 Sept

white sanguisorba, 14 Sept

Cleome, 14 Sept

Cleome, 14 Sept

front garden, Salvia viridis, 14 Sept

front garden, Salvia viridis, 14 Sept

Salvia viridis (painted sage) is my favourite annual after Cosmos.  The pink, white or blue colour comes from bracts rather than the tiny white hidden flower.

Nicotiana langsdorfii

Nicotiana langsdorfii

Annual, or tender perennial, Nicotiana langsdorfii with little green tubes is up there in my top ten (or five) favourite annuals.  I used to grow it, then had forgotten about it till I saw it on a garden tour in June 2011.  This year I got lots and lots of it from The Basket Case and more from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart (all sourced in from Blooming Nursery near Portland.)

Echinacea 'Green Envy', 14 Sept

Echinacea ‘Green Envy’, 14 Sept

above….backed with the silvery toothed leaves of Melianthus major and more Nicotina langsdorfii.

dahlia, 29 September

dahlia, 29 September

dahlia, 29 September

dahlia, 29 September

I never had enough sun in my old garden to grow dahlias although my mother and I grew scads of them in her Long Beach garden.

water lily dahlia, 29 Sept

water lily dahlia, 29 Sept

September harvest

September harvest

I did grow some edibles, but harvested the corn too late and it had turned to pure starch.  The potatoes were yummy.

south window view, 29 Sept

south window view, 29 Sept

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