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Archive for March, 2013

Today was the last day till autumn to see the garden from my window without the screen in.  From now on, window view photos will have the screen in the way.

Frosty enjoys the view.

Frosty enjoys the view.

looking south

looking south

and southeast

and southeast

I had that list of things to accomplish that I had formulated last night, starting with trimming some penstemons.

east backyard bed

east backyard bed

penstemon before

penstemon before

after some trimming

after some trimming

Above, you can see on the other side of the fence that crab season is over and the neighbouring gear shed owners have stacked up their pots.  The pots will sit there looking picturesque for awhile, and then will probably get covered with a big tarp.

Below:  The horsetail is popping up throughout the back yard garden beds but I knew I would have little time to deal with it today.  Such a disappointment it was when it appeared.

hideous horsetail

hideous horsetail

It had been lurking in the well mowed lawn all along, showing no sign until garden beds were made.

lurking menace

lurking menace

In edible news:  I got the last of the sweet peas planted, and some snow and sugar peas, and even a bit of mesclun ‘Festive Mix’.  I even have some garlic coming up; I had no place prepared for it when my friend Nancy gave me some last fall, so planted it in containers.

garlic

garlic

Maybe next fall I will actually get a place in the ground prepared in time.  I do have some edible gardening ideas…thwarted by lack of time.

Back to ornamentals:   My latest plant table (scavenged from a free pile from a nieghbour’s sidewalk) is looking good:

plant table

plant table

And in a pot of hostas, given me by a friend who had to move away for health reasons, I see vigorous sprouts:

Miss Mary's hosta

Miss Mary’s hosta

The tulips are almost ready to bloom in the garden boat.

The tulips are almost ready to bloom in the garden boat.

I got the last of the poppy seeds planted, Sluggo put around, and eight more buckets of little jewelweed (touch me not, wild impatiens) removed.

I am so glad that Allan purchased one of these spotted leaved red flowered trilliums (below).  A big patch grew at Tootie Erickson’s garden in Seaview, but when she moved away and her house sold, the new owners tore down the house and built their new house right on top of the trillium patch!  They did not even know it was there, I’m sure, because it was probably dormant at the time.

Trillium kurabayashii

Trillium kurabayashii

More plants in Allan’s garden:

a white pulmonaria

a white pulmonaria

a blue pumonaria

a blue pumonaria

a pink pulmonaria

a pink pulmonaria

hellebore

hellebore and cardamine

hummingbird

hummingbird by Allan’s feeder

In the rest of the front garden, it looks like my Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ might finally size up this year.  It got enormous one year in my old garden (and then died in a cold winter).

I hope Steroidal Giant lives up to its name.

I hope Steroidal Giant lives up to its name.

Dicentra spectabilis

Dicentra spectabilis

Very exciting news:  My Dicentra scandens is coming back.  (That axe was stuck in there for Halloween decor and then forgotten.)

Dicentra scandens

Dicentra scandens

The area where I cleared out a great deal of jewelweed and shotweed looks so much better:

hellebores

hellebores

fairly nicely weeded overview

fairly nicely weeded overview from front porch

Allan, being his usual industrious self, mowed and edged the lawn, put in two hours of work up on Discovery Heights cutting back some ornamental grasses that we had not yet gotten to, and finished making a gate between our fence and the neighbour’s cottage, made of old shutters.  Their cottage, built before setback rules, is a short distance from our property line, so at both ends Allan has made gates that swing over to meet the cottage corner.  This will enable the nice neighbours to come through to work on the siding or wash their windows, meanwhile keeping the deer out.

the other gate, made from an old door

the other gate, made from an old door

This corridor runs between the cottage and our shed.

the new shutter gate

the new shutter gate

How very nice!  He even had some black paint to tone with their cottage.  I stuck my camera over the fence to see if it looks nice from their side…and it does.

very nice indeed!

very nice indeed!

I had my eye on one more project:  pruning the water sprouts out of the old ornamental plum tree:

ornamental plum

ornamental plum

It will be a satisying project.  I hired someone to do it once (mainly to be nice because I was momentarily flush and he needed work), and he took out exactly the opposite of what I would have, and left the straight up new branches which are the ones I think should come out.  Last year, Allan worked on it some and I like the shape very much now, but those straight uppy branches will be trouble later if we don’t get them while they are smallish.  Perhaps in a week we will have another day off….

Allan asked if I felt rested after our day off, and I had to admit no, not physically. Nor did he.  Winter is for rest.  Now it is garden season.  Better than rested, I felt a sense of accomplishment, especially because I also got the monthly billing done.

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We could not go back to the beach approach project today, even though the weather would have been perfect for it, because there is too much traffic on the beach approach road on spring break/Easter weekend, and part of the job entails standing on the road to reach the outside edge of the garden.

What I most desired to do today was spend the entire time at Marilyn’s garden, doing all the mid spring things that will make it better for its moment on the garden tour in July. But with so many resort gardens in our care, we had to check on several on the way up the Peninsula, mainly to make sure that the narcissi were deadheaded.

But first, the daily check on progress at Olde Towne Coffee!

still coming along!

still coming along!

Then a stop at the Anchorage Cottages just north of Long Beach to deadhead narcissi and pull a few weeds. As we passed through downtown Long Beach, I rejoiced that I had taken time to deadhead there yesterday, because the town swarmed with tourists.

We spent considerable time at The Anchorage earlier this year so it’s holding up well. Oh, and I remembered to put Sluggo where I had planted sweet peas.

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

Anchorage Cottages trillium

Anchorage Cottages trillium

We probably should have driven into the park at Andersen’s RV Park to check on deadheading the narcissi there, but I felt we did not have time, so we just worked on the road box.

The deadheaded road box from inside our car just before we drove away.

The deadheaded road box from inside our car just before we drove away.

We then stopped at Klipsan Beach Cottages, again on narcissi patrol. There, I was thrilled to see employee Luis working on the huge pile of dairy manure (non stinky!). Because we would not have time to address the problem of mulching there for at least another week, I felt great relief that he is on the job.

Luis has already made a dent in the nine yard pile.

Luis has already made a dent in the nine yard pile.

beautifully mulched

beautifully mulched

Mary has a shrub that neither of us can identify for sure, although we think it is a Viburnum. Her brother gave it to her, and it is deliciously fragrant.

smelling the wonderful flower

smelling the wonderful flower

Then on to check the little garden by Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park, pull a few horsetail sprouts and deadhead a few narcissi.

Oman Builder's Supply garden

Oman Builder’s Supply garden

And then a narcissi and weed session at Wiegardt Gallery, where we could easily have spent more time but we knew that we had debris to haul from Marilyn’s so we had to make haste.

Fritillaria meleagris at Wiegardt Gallery

Fritillaria meleagris at Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

Finally, at last, we made it to Marilyn’s garden in Surfside. Lacking proximity to sugar treats, and not having had time to stop at Jack’s Country Store for an invigorating snack, I popped a handful of wake up beans (chocolate covered coffee beans).

wake up beans

wake up beans

I lose a fair amount of sleep at this time of year counter-productively fretting about how we are going to get all the work done.

At Marilyn’s, we each had a task. Allan’s job was near the street, to find some way to make this area (that I started on last time) look good.

Allan's project, 2 PM

Allan’s project, 2 PM. blurred with debris and native blackberry vines

Allan's project, 3:25 PM

Allan’s project, 3:25 PM

He got done ahead of time and came to help me with my project, the swale garden behind the house, which started out like this:

swale garden, 2 PM

swale garden, 2 PM

And ended up like this:

swale garden, 4 PM

swale garden, 4 PM

There is still some grass to be pulled from along the house, and the whole thing would have been a much easier job if only we had had time earlier to cut back the foliage of the Siberian iris before the new spears began to grow. But it will do. It’s not a very exciting part of the garden, consisting merely of Siberian iris, daylilies, a variegated running grass, and some Persicaria ‘Firetail”….plants that speak to me of a streamside garden. No one else walks back here except to turn on the hose faucet.

Dare I complain that it was hot today, after complaining of the cold yesterday? It was 72 F!! That is too hot! I would prefer 60 degrees with no wind, thankyou very much.

Marilyn’s narcissi display is excellent this year:

at Marilyn's

at Marilyn’s

and her sword ferns are unfurling:

new fronds

new fronds

This gives me an anxious feeling about not having even been to the garden called Casa Pacifica yet, where there are many ferns to trim. But there is nothing to be done about it; the beach approach has to be finished before we can move on to the four still untouched (by us) private gardens.

We dumped our load of debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply and I took some photos for their Facebook page.

'Thundercloud' flowering plum

‘Thundercloud’ flowering plum

We knocked off a bit early today due to tiredness and the desire to go to a housewarming party in Chinook, and as I walked through my garden picking a housewarming bouquet, I realized how much I must do, and immediately:

1. plant edible peas (they are LATE to be planted and may comprise my only early edible crop due to lack of time….so much for this year’s great edible plans)

2. plant poppy seeds (also LATE but I have had success in the past planting them this late

3. put out sluggo! the slugs are eating the narcissi flowers

4. trim the Penstemon! it is all raggedy

5. weed buckets more jewelweed and shotweed out of the front garden!

No matter how direly behind on work we are, I am taking tomorrow off. Allan may be noble and go do some paid work up at Discovery Heights. I also must do the monthly billing tomorrow evening if we are to avoid financial disaster. How very much I wish we could take two days off…but that time will come either by getting caught up or by finally admitting we may have too many jobs.

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First on our daily agenda: The check up on the progress at Olde Towne Coffee. It is surprising how much I miss it being open even though these days I would not even have time to go!

They're still moving in!

They’re still moving in!

And then….we finally got the tree pocket gardens and the planters on First Avenue in Ilwaco clipped and weeded.

Narcissi in the boatyard garden

Narcissi in the boatyard garden

I love the way this golden marjoram looks right now.

I love the way this golden marjoram looks right now.

As always, yellow to match the Portside Café

As always, yellow to match the Portside Café

And then….to Long Beach, but before we got back to the beach approach, other tasks beckoned, in particular, tidying up the parking lot berms one block to the east of the main street.

before and after (Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass)

before and after (Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass)

All we had time for was trimming the worst messes; weeds at ground level are dire but remain a task for another day.

more weeding

The temperature had dropped, a chill wind had come up, and we had to put our jackets on. Allan went out to get back to the beach approach weeding, but I needed to walk around town and deadhead spent and unpleasant looking narcissi from the planters and parks.

There was some evidence of finger blight (theft of flowers):

please don't pick the tulips!

please don’t pick the tulips!

more picking and a bulb pulled out

more picking and a bulb pulled out

I think people try to pull a flower, or break and take the stem, and the bulb comes out.

Excuses I have heard for finger blight:

“I have to pick a flower when I see a pretty girl that needs one.” (NOT referring to me!)

“I just had my wedding on the beach and had to pick a bouquet.” (This young woman had her arms full of every tulip in bloom from the beach approach garden on that day, back before the deer discovered those species tulips.)

The same woman, who was the daughter of a local (now out of business) restaurateur, also told me, “I’m making work for you because the city will hire you to plant more!”

“It’s just a few”, to which of course the answer is if everyone picked a few, there would be none for the rest of the passersby to enjoy.

Anyway….Aside from finger blight, I worrited over the rain spotted and pitiful appearance of the tulip foliage in the downtown planters.

ghastly leaves

ghastly leaves

They get terribly beat up by the weather, but when they start to bloom, the later tulips fill in the gap between narcissi and annuals and provide colour for the parade that is always the first Sunday in May.

so glorious in bloom

so glorious in bloom

tulips

tulips

tulips

tulips

I did have a brainstorm today though…I am going to make sure to follow through carefully on my half-baked method of planting the big tulips to the inside and species tulips to the outside of the planter array….so that I can yank ALL the big ones every year, because they are never as good the second year anyway (whereas the species tulips can multiply).

I like the new primrose in bloom that Allan brought back from Seattle’s Emerald City Gardens:

dark leaved primrose

dark leaved primrose

Along with the tulip foliage problem, I also pondered how some of the planters still have too much, perhaps, of the original plantings done back in the days of different volunteers doing each planter. I get tired of thinning the vigorous white Achillea in one of them; over the winter, it again took over the whole planter:

Yarrow

Yarrow

And the planter in front of one of the arcades still has shrubs, planted by a volunteer, that look exciting right now but are dull green blobs during the height of tourist season…and are intermingled with mint!

spring azalea planter

spring azalea planter

I’ve been redoing some of the older planters, but just cannot decide about the one above.

We recently mulched under all the trees and the pocket gardens look refreshed.

tree garden

tree garden

another tree garden

another tree garden

After checking on all the trees, planters, and parks, I joined Allan on the beach approach garden, where he had tackled the horrible section infested with rush. We only managed to get that one section done, and so we do not feel much closer to the arch than we did yesterday…

so near yet so far.

where we were at the end of yesterday…

and how far we got today

and how far we got today (pitiful!!!)

I did practice saying “no” to something when the parks manager asked us today if when we get the whole thing weeded, would we like to mulch it…or something like that…and I said while I would love to have it mulched, the city crew would have to do it because we still have four private gardens we have not even been to yet this year and we just do not have time…

The only thing that got me through that last hour or two of weeding on the beach approach was a special treat from the Cottage Bakery. They were out of tiger paws, but the nice man made us custom tiger paws out of Persians with chocolate and maple frosting! “We like to take care of our locals,” he said.

custom made fuel for hard, cold work

custom made fuel for hard, cold work

I have almost forgotten to whine about how cold it was on the approach. Cold, windy, miserably chilly….just the sort of weather I try to avoid out there, and I never would have made it through a whole day; would have gone somewhere less windy instead.

On the way home, we trimmed up most of the planters on Sid Snyder Drive, the other beach approach, and oh my, was it cold…But crocosmia and grasses desperately needed to be cut back in all those planters, also once done by volunteers and still with an odd assortment of plants. I was so glad to be done, at 7:15…

In reminiscing about the dreadful cold wind, I almost forgot to add that Allan took these charming photos yesterday of narcissi blooming on the edge of the approach lawn, where we dump weeds from the garden.

gone wild

gone wild

gone wild

gone wild

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On the way to resume the hard task of weeding the beach approach garden on Bolstadt, we stopped at Olde Towne to check on progress of my favourite ever coffee shop.  The sink was hooked up, but Chester would not let me take a picture of him turning the water on.  They still have to have the  inspection (although we are sure that will go well)  before they can officially open, and Chester drolly said that if people saw a photo of running the water, they would start coming in for coffee!

It is hooked up!

It is hooked up!

I feel urgency about tidying up the little gardens under the trees in Ilwaco, but since the mid morning was still chilly and misty, we decided to postpone it till the end of the day.  I made the same plan yesterday and did NOT get the tree pocket gardens done.

To pass a bit of time till the skies cleared (as I felt they would because the sky was light around the edges), we stopped at Stylin’ Boutique so that I could take some photos as teasers for the next Peninsula Cash Mob (April 13th at Stylin’).

Stylin'

Stylin’

And I got to meet shop dogs Buddy and Sadie, both of whom I found delightful.

Buddy and Sadie

Buddy and Sadie

By then, I really had put off work long enough, so we headed to the approach.  But on the way, Allan made a little detour and we admired the narcissi that we had planted at Margaret’s garden last fall, in the little beds we made along the street the previous spring.  The beds seem to be doing well and benefiting greatly from an autumnal mulch of dairy manure.

Margaret's narcissi

Margaret’s narcissi

Margaret's narcissi

Now why in the world did I plant all yellow in one spot and all white in another?  I think that they would look better mixed up, but will I remember to do so later on?

cute little beachy cottage

cute little beachy cottage

And…here we go, on the approach, at the spot where we left off yesterday after doing three and a quarter of the twelve and a half sections.  I did hope to get three more done today.

looking east toward the arch

looking east toward the arch

That whole ground level haze of green is almost entirely grass and clover…Oh dear.

Today we were asked three times what the power boxes are on the north side of the street.  Two questioners thought they were for hooking up motor homes, and one had the correct thought, that they were probably for kite festival, a beautiful and beloved local event.  That they are, for when fair booths are set up all along both sides of the street, leading to much back and forth foot traffic right across the garden.  And that is why we planted, from a native plant nursery that offered them for a very low price, Rugosa roses on the beach approach garden.  That is why the garden is no longer full of pretty little annuals and perennials.  It needs something strong enough to stand up to the festival.  See:

The Walk of Shame 2001 (about halfway down the page)

The Walk of Shame 2002 (partway down the page)

The Walk of Shame 2003 (toward the bottom of the page)

The Walk of Shame 2004 (a particularly gruesome one with befores and afters!)

and Kite Festival from a gardener’s perspective, 2007

This is why when we weed the approach now, we wrestle the weeds out from among prickly roses, and pull rose runners off from the very sides of the garden so they don’t overhang into the sidewalk area.    Many people do comment on how much they love the roses in bloom, but I miss the prettier garden of old.  However, the old garden needed watering in the summer, but the roses don’t, so that is a big plus because the beach approach is a bugger to water and involves many hose hook ups and hose dragging.

After two sections, I needed a break and went to my favourite shop, NIVA green, to buy a birthday present for my favourite coffee shop owner, Luanne…and I returned with two Tiger Paws from the Cottage Bakery.  A big gooey chocolate and maple Tiger Paw does the trick of giving us strength to keep going for a couple more hours far more than any healthy lunch I have ever eaten.  I hate to admit such a bad thing, but it is true.

On the way back to the approach, I admired the narcissi along the north side of city hall, a planting I like because they have become  a nice mix of white and yellow over the years.  This is a place where I plant some extra special cultivars (but don’t keep track of which ones).

city hall narcissi

city hall narcissi

city hall

city hall

Finally, fueled by sugar, we finished the third section.  I truly had thought we might not make it that far, and I would have found that very disappointing.  Here is how much closer we are to the arch:

so near yet so far.

so near yet so far.

There are six sections and a bit to go (the bit at the far end past the last planter), but one of them is so terrible that there,  we pretty much let nature win.

The worst section of all!

The worst section of all!

This whole section (between a planter and a sidewalk cut-through) is infested with what we call tube grass.  A rush, actually.  Wetlands run on the south side of the sidewalk and lawn, and I am sure that this particular section had the rush underneath it when the garden was made.  We pull out a few clumps of velvet grass in here and then…shocking indeed…we just let the “tube grass” win!  We simply do not have time to engage in a battle for supremacy over mother nature here. I hope passersby, if they are gardeners, feel sympathy and understanding, and that non gardeners just walk on by to a nicer section.

On the way home, we deadheaded the Narcissi at the Long Beach welcome sign.  We have been so busy that we never did stop to get a photo of it at its peak, before it had mostly deadheads.

past its narcissi peak

past its narcissi peak

There are tulips coming on:  red and yellow for this side, and pink and white for the other side.  If we continue to be lucky, the deer will not move in on them.  (Last year, they ominously nibbled a few at the far end.)

We got back to Ilwaco to see more progress at Olde Towne!

Espresso sign in the window

Espresso sign in the window

And…we did NOT get the tree pocket gardens done in Ilwaco…yet again.  Tomorrow, we must do them first thing.

I walked around my own garden to pick some flowers for my neighbour and saw some exciting things…

lily shoots!

lily shoots!  (and, argh, horsetail)

If these lilies are this far along, I simply must get planted…so late!…the bag of lilies that is still languishing in the garage for lack of time.

Look at the colour on this emerging ornamental rhubarb!

so bright!

so bright! (and….dwarf fireweed, argh).

And, eying me from my neighbour Nora’s window, her granddaughter’s cat, Coco!

Coco!

Coco!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here it comes again, but later than usual:  The yearly first weeding of the Long Beach Bolstadt beach approach garden, which we usually have done by spring break.

First though, a check up on my favourite coffee shop, Olde Towne, which is making progress toward re-opening after their move to 108 First Ave in Ilwaco.

still coming along...

still coming along…

I am finding it surprisingly disturbing to be without my coffee shop, even though in work season we did not stop there every day!  But just knowing it’s there is important to me.

Then, on to Long Beach where we went to the outermost western end of the beach approach garden.  Thirteen sections long (two small end pieces are counted by me as one section), each section taking an hour or more for two people….What a chore.  It is a tedious job, and one that is truly miserable in wind or bad weather which is why we jumped on it when we saw the mild, warmish day today.

from the west end, looking east

from the west end, looking east

Far in the distance is the Long Beach arch claiming (incorrectly but with admirable chutzpah) that this is “the world’s longest beach”.   First, I spent an hour walking and weeding the raised planters while Allan got started on ground level weeding.

a sea thrift blooming at the west end

a sea thrift blooming at the west end

Here’s a practical demonstration.  All along the beach approach and in the planters, I have planted Santolina (lavender cotton), both the silver and the grey.

Take your Santolina at this time of year when it looks like this:

Santolina, before

Santolina, before

And trim it to the tight new growth so that it looks like this:

Santolina, after

Santolina, after

That will keep it in an attractive ball shape and keep it from getting too woody and leggy.

Santolina virens (the green one), before

Santolina virens (the green one), before

Santolina virens, halfway trimmed

Santolina virens, halfway trimmed

Santolina virens, done

Santolina virens, done

This could even be cut a little closer and more tidily, but I have many to do and am in a big hurry.  But not to big of a hurry to show you that out of the trimmings, you can take little hardwood pieces that look like this:

a small trimmed piece

a small trimmed piece

and just stick it in the soil like this:

little hardwood cutting, stuck firmly in the soil

little hardwood cutting, stuck firmly in the soil

…and you will almost always get a new plant.  I love this plant so much I always mean to make trays of cuttings at home but I just don’t find the time.

Now, a little tour of the beach approach garden today while I check on the planters:

in a planter:  Hermodactylus iris tuberosus

in a planter: Hermodactylus iris tuberosus

at ground level: species Narcissi and Anemone blanda

at ground level: species Narcissi and Anemone blanda

Anemone blanda blue shades

Anemone blanda blue shades

Narcissi bulbocodium 'Golden Bells'

Narcissi bulbocodium ‘Golden Bells’ (yellow hoop petticoats)

more small Narcissi

more small Narcissi

I used to plant lots of species tulips out here as well, but the deer discovered this garden about four years ago and now decimate them.  I don’t know why it took the deer several years to start eating the tulips.  There are still some that survive to bloom but nothing like the show I used to have.

For those who haven’t been to Long Beach, here’s how close we are to the beach at the western end of the garden:

west end of approach

west end of approach garden

After about ten hours of weeding, we are now this close to the arch:

nine and a bit sections to go.

nine and a bit sections to go.

One of the things that makes this long job more enjoyable is we get to see lots of cute dogs walk by.

dog and friend

dog and friend

On the way south toward home, we planted thirty six blue and white violas in the new Veterans Field garden.  I hope they last well till the dedication ceremony in early May.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

I like the mostly white narcissi, which will not last till May…

white narcissi

pale yellow and white narcissi

Tomorrow, if the weather is as pleasant as today’s, perhaps we can make more progress toward the arch out on the beach approach.  I so much want to get back to the private gardens that still need their first visit, but must take advantage of pleasant weather days for the beach job.

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I am doing a little test to see how blogging works from my phone. Here is one of my favorite spring bulbs, Fritillaria meleagris aka Guinea hen flower or checkered lily, growing in my front garden.

I won’t check the entry till morning so if this does not work out, oops, never mind.

20130327-004256.jpg

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While the weeding and prep was not entirely done at Jo’s, we started the day by picking up a generous yard of Cow Fiber (washed dairy manure) at The Planter Box.   The cow fiber, by the way, does not smell of poop.  But on the counter of the Planter Box, an Erysimum ‘Charity mix’ filled the air with the intoxicating scent of wallflower.

Erysimum 'Charity Mix'

Erysimum ‘Charity Mix’

Planter Box still has the primrose for sale that caused several comments when I posted a photo on my blog:

Primrose 'Antique Mauve'

Primrose ‘Antique Mauve’

All loaded up with cow fiber, we took a detour through the nearby Andersen’s RV Park to get some flower photos for owner Lorna, who has not been able to be here for her latest narcissi show.

Andersen's

Andersen’s

Andersen's road box

Andersen’s road box

She also wanted lots of scilla on the edge of the trees, and this patch is just getting started.

scilla

scilla

She bought the really big flowered narcissi like King Edward and Ice Follies, whereas I usually buy the smaller ones (as in the whiskey barrels), so it is of interest to me to see them blooming in quantity.

One of six whiskey barrels of Narcissi

One of six whiskey barrels of Narcissi

Lorna's choice

Lorna’s choice

IMG_4147 IMG_4148 IMG_4153

I found a packet of sweet peas that I had missed, so finished the run all the way to the corner of the picket fence.

a bit of weeding after planting sweet peas

a bit of weeding after planting sweet peas

Hmm, no wonder people think I have such a strong back.   My legs get much more sore than my back does, even though this is my usual work posture.

Then, on to Jo’s.

Here is the garden as of our leaving time yesterday:

1:00 PM today

1:00 PM today

Allan whacked away further at root mats while I weeding the rest of the garden more thoroughly and then we mulched, mulched, mulched.

2 PM

2 PM

all mulched

all mulched

The west side beds needed mulching, as well, and we ran out (as I knew we would) and went back to The Planter Box to get more.

The pile is getting lower!

The pile is getting lower!

Raymond loading us up

Raymond loading us up

an audience appears to check out the good stuff

an audience appears to check out the good stuff

The fella in the white hat intends to order some.

The fella in the white hat intends to order some.

three scoops with the Kubota

three scoops with the Kubota

Then, back to the grind.  And what makes it particular hard at Jo’s is:

three steps up

three steps up

I’ve seen worse situations with stairs, but it is always a pain to have to haul buckets rather than just use the wheelbarrow.

So here is the area that Jo wants to be “just like” my (backyard) garden:

yesterday

yesterday

today

today

What Jo wants:

our garden, July 2012

our garden, July 2012

our garden, July 2012

our garden, July 2012

And here is what *I* wanted when I moved, in 2010, from my old shady garden to a sunny lot

Jo's west side garden in summer

Jo’s west side garden in summer

Jo's garden on the garden tour, 2006

Jo’s garden on the garden tour, 2006

So our inspiration has been mutual.

When Jo and I walked though my garden in late summer, she pointed out the following plants as the ones that called out to her:  Calendula, Verbena bonariensis, variegated sea holly, assorted poppies. hardy fuchsias, lilies, Verbascum chaixii, and she said, and I agree, NO to daylilies.  (We are both kind of tired of them, although I have quite a few, but she wants something more exciting in her small planting area.)

By 6:45 PM, after much exhausting schlepping of buckets in an increasing and unexpected rain, Allan and I had our results on the west side.  (We had been hoping to come over the west lawn and into the gate with the soil, but the neighbour where we would have needed to park was spraying the whole parking area with Casaron.  Not what we wanted near us or our organic mulch.)

yesterday

yesterday

6:30 PM today

6:30 PM today

I still regret that the damnable geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ is still on the left side.  Maybe later this spring I will have time to remove it.

yesterday

yesterday

6:45 PM today

6:45 PM today

Thank goodness that is done.  Now we can move on to the gardens we have not yet even visited this year:  Steve’s garden, Casa Pacifica, Ann’s garden, Erin’s garden, and the dreaded and painful weeding of the Bolstadt beach approach garden.

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