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Archive for Apr, 2013

Enthralled by SBH

Our big plans to go to Newport harbour came to nought because we could not tear ourselves away from the hotel. We had our delicious breakfast…

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And then checked into the Colette Room.

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Carol had not slept well so took a nap while I read room journals. And then when she awoke we found we had both lost the desire to go out.

My day was consumed by room journals. More on this later, of course. I now have four more to read from the Robert Louis Stevenson room. That room has become Jules Verne but I was thrilled to find the RLS journals in a glass front bookshelf in the fourth floor library.

Two truths and a lie at dinner started discouragingly slow but then worked its magic.

We saw the beginning of sunset from the Tables of Content restaurant. And the more sunset through the gauzy curtains of the Colette room.

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Carol went for an afternoon walk (through the neighborhood as the beach was very windy). I have not put one toe outside today. And I must admit that when I stay here, that’s the way I like it.

And now, more journals to read.

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To the SBH

Here at the Sylvia Beach Hotel, life immediately becomes uncomputerized. So I’ll write more later but meanwhile:
Highlights of the day in pictures.

Beginning with coffee at Olde Towne…

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The drive down the Oregon coast where, in Cloverdale, I got photos of a little house that caught my eye last year.

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Then lunch at wonderful Nepali Cafe in Lincoln City. Many more photos later.

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We passed so much beautiful scenery on our eager way to get to the SBH. And here we are.

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We have the Emily Dickinson room tonight.

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Tomorrow we have the Colette room. The cat Shelly sleeps there tonight.

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I have an enormous stack of room journals to read.

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We spent the early evening in the library. Then dinner across the street. Wind too cold for beach walking.

And in the library it is now night time and time for mulled wine and reading.

This view will greet us tomorrow in Emily’s room.

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Fulfilling our agreement to give our friend Patti a few hours each month, we went to her lovely Seaview garden today with no idea of what gardening tasks she would want done.

Patti's front garden

Patti’s front garden

closer

closer

front garden

front garden before weeding

shady corner

shady corner

Her new dog, Stella, about six (seven?) months old proved to be so friendly and happy that I have several photos that only show part of a dog.

Stella

Stella

Stella

Stella

Stella

Stella

Patti and Stella

Patti and Stella

Patti had her own project in the back garden and wanted advice for what to plant on the curved edge of that bed.  I am now thinking Dianthus would be a good idea.

Turns out Patti had been to the Basket Case Greenhouse and bought three Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, one Verbascum ‘Clementine’. two Agastache rupestris (smells like licorice!) and an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.   Allan agreed to plant them in the front garden, a project requiring the removal of a lot of rampant creeping Jenny along the edge of the bed.

Agastache and Eryngium

Agastache and Eryngium

Patti had the great idea that the colour of her new Agastache (Hyssop) would tone very well with the leaves of the Eryngium.

Meanwhile, she asked me to work on the Rose Cottage garden.  The large lot is a mini-compound with two adorable cottages as well as the main house.

Rugosa roses, before

Rugosa roses, before

after

after

Patti wanted the rose hedge lower, so there it is!

Rose Cottage weedy bed before and after

Rose Cottage weedy bed before and after

the adorable Rose Cottage

the adorable Rose Cottage

As I finished up my project, Allan was just planting the last new plant in the front garden.

planting the last plant

planting the last plant

The new plants went into this border.

The new plants went into this border.

My relationship with this garden goes back to 1993 when I met and (in 1994) briefly worked for the woman who then owned the house and who had a gardening business.  I am so pleased that a few years later, the new owner turned out to be a gardener who remade the garden into her own particular paradise, and even more pleased when Patti and I became friends.

Today Patti offered me a baseball cap with the slogan “Official Weed Puller”.  I declined saying that I don’t wear them.  In fact, I have always felt they look silly, even though two women gardeners that I know wear them every gardening day.  She convinced me to try it on so I thought I would wear it for a little while.  Well!!   I have rarely had such a comfortable time working with the sun not in my eyes and….suddenly I am completely sold on baseball caps and am looking online for one that says ‘Plant Manager”, preferably without a marijuana leaf because my specialty is more along the line of ornamental gardening.

one of Patti's maples

one of Patti’s maples

We took the debris from Patti’s roses up to Peninsula Landscape Supply and picked up a yard of Soil Energy to finish yesterday’s  garden bed expansion at the Boreas Inn.  I had the sad feeling that I was not going to have time to get to Andersen’s RV Park to do a bit of weeding that I very much wanted to accomplish.  (Our day had begun with the stress of forgetting something important and having to go back home, and since then everything seemed to take a little longer than I wanted it to.)

one yard of Soil Energy

one yard of Soil Energy

Even though I was right and we ran out of time without ever getting to Andersen’s RV Park, I am pleased enough with the results at the Boreas to call it a satisfactory day.

Boreas innkeeper Susie’s inspiration for this project was that she wanted her garden to look more like mine with really big beds in the lawn.  These two beds are much smaller than mine even now, but I just don’t have time to make huge beds.   Getting the horrid landscape fabric out earlier this spring was a great start and now they can be expanded bit by bit.   I think they are large enough now to be effective.  One of these angles will make for a good before picture after more perennials and some cosmos are added to the beds:

Boreas

Yesterday I dug out sod to make both beds longer. The righthand one used to end at the Buddha.

This bed is at least a foot wider.

This bed is at least a foot wider now.

looking west...I would still like to de-wonkify those two little beds by the arbour!

looking west…I would still like to de-wonkify those two little beds by the arbour!

I added several different Agastaches (my latest fad!), an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ (would have done three but am short on them) and just three Nicotiana langsdorfii because I am not sure how they will hold up to the wind.

On the way home we planted three Echinacea ‘Green Envy’ at Larry and Robert’s garden to tone with their pale green house, but I took no more photos as I am preoccupied with my upcoming two night trip.  Allan will be staying home, attending to the deadheading of the Long Beach planters prior to the arrival of Friday guests to the revived Clam Festival.  (If I had known last winter that a big new festival would be in Long Beach this weekend, I probably would not have scheduled my little trip!)  Allan also also fully intends, I am sure, to enjoy having time to himself at home.

I am very anxious about leaving for three days when I have not even gotten as far as putting magnesium sulfate on the roses at Andersen’s, Klipsan Beach Cottages, or my own garden.  I will do my best to put work out of my mind.  (My traveling companion is a dear NGF…non gardening friend….so I won’t be able to stuff the car with plants from nurseries on the way and then schlep them from one room in the hotel to another like I would if I were traveling with a plant nut like Sheila!)

I will also do my best to upload the daily blog, probably briefly, from my phone while I am gone…

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We began today at The Red Barn, our second visit of the year to that little garden of four whiskey barrels and a narrow strip along the fence. I was pleased to see horsewoman Amy, who had earlier in the year asked us if we could do a spring clean up on her own garden. I had foolishly said yes, and then had to back pedal, and found it a big relief today to learn that she had done the weeding herself and wasn’t upset with us for never getting there.

She told us she was not sure whether or not to mow a plant that had spilled out of the garden by the barn. It is a plant that I know to be a weed, but it is so pretty that I would buy it if it were not so rampant.

a gorgeous weed

a gorgeous weed

one of the barrels

one of the barrels

The barrels no longer get red tulips because a cold wind blows across the pasture on them most of the spring and the tulips got all beaten up. We just pulled weeds out today and will plant annuals after Mother’s Day.

The one barrel that is on the sheltered side of the big barn does much better because it is completely sheltered from wind.

the happiest barrel

the happiest barrel

Red Barn still life

Red Barn still life

Crab pots are ubiquitous on this fishing Peninsula and here they are stacked at the Red Barn’s newish outbuilding.

crab pots

crab pots

I like the horsey view all around this job.

looking north

looking north

Next door to the Red Barn fields we checked on Diane’s garden. The new long bed along the road will fill in more later….I could have sworn I had planted pastel poppies in there but there is not a sign of them! Phooey.

new, still rather empty bed

new, still rather empty bed

Thug of the day: Along the edge of the older, corner bed grows this strawberry thingie. I did not plant it. I swear. But I once planted a potentilla to the side of the bed. Is this some kind of sport of that? There is an ornamental strawberry that is a cross between Potentilla and Fragaria…I think.

vigorous edger

vigorous edger

The leaf texture is gorgeous and the white flowers are nice.

the first of many white flowers

the first of many white flowers

However, it does want to run all through the bed. Every year I think we will get it all removed, and we never have time. So why did I bring some starts home and plant in my bogsy woods? I am sure I will regret it….

Mistake of the day: Diane likes pastel colours, and yet…these tulips in one of her pots turned out so bright. I am pretty sure these are ‘Blushing Lady’, the one that started out with a beautiful swirled pointed bud of gentle colour. And now…much too bright!

not very gently blushing

not very gently blushing

'Cummins', a favourite tulip, got wrecked by rain...

‘Cummins’, a favourite tulip, got wrecked by rain…

but 'Cool Crystal' looks good.

but ‘Cool Crystal’ looks good.

I hope Diane’s earlier tulips were successful because the later ones are a disappointment!

The narcissi are allowed to be bright.

The narcissi are allowed to be bright.

Next door to Diane’s are more horses to admire.

The goat and donkey were out of sight today.

The goat and donkey were out of sight today.

I was a horse crazy city girl. My horses were made of china and plastic, but I loved them and books by Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry.

Before we moved on to our next job, we found it advantageous to be at one of those great locations where we can dispose of debris rather than hauling it away.

the joy of dumping debris on the edge of a field

the joy of dumping debris on the edge of a field

Next, Allan planted some Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ at Veterans Field in Long Beach while I deadheaded some planters on the main drag.

on Pacific Way...more brazen Blushing Ladies

on Pacific Way…more brazen Blushing Ladies

Fish Alley with Erysiumum 'Bowles Mauve'

Fish Alley with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

I returned to Veterans Field with a treat from Sweet Celebrations: Chocolate Ganache cupcakes.

more elegant than the usual Tiger Paws!

more elegant than the usual Tiger Paws!

We then checked the raised planters on the Bolstadt approach but (joy!) did no ground level weeding except the occasional dandelions. Our weeding job of a few weeks ago had held up reasonably well. I do wish the city crew had time to mulch this long stretch of garden…

beach approach garden, looking east from the end

beach approach garden, looking east from the end

After deadheading at city hall, we tried to drive nonstop through town but had to stop to deadhead unsightly narcissi.

this cannot stand!

this cannot stand!

a fringed tulip basks in the sun

a fringed tulip basks in the sun

Two pink Gauras went into a planter that too-tall sanguisorbas came out of last week…

Allan planting:  I weaseled out of planting by "making a plant list"...

Allan planting: I weaseled out of planting by “making a plant list”…

And then: The Boreas. We had a mission to widen one of the narrow lawn beds because it just has always looked too small.

before

before

end of day

end of day

I had the brainstorm that the two westernmost beds need to be longer as well as wider. Tomorrow we will bring a yard of soil. I had something completely different (some weeding at Andersen’s RV Park) planned for tomorrow afternoon, but this needs to be finished.

Various aches and pains had me hitting the wall at work well before sunset, but at home I did manage to plant nine more Nicotiana langsdorfii and one Verbascum. While planting, I tried not to let myself fret about going out of town while two of the beds still have unweeded horsetail areas.

I should stay home and pull horsetail!

I should stay home and pull horsetail!

While planting down the west side of the garden, I had a thrill. I could see plants of Eremurus (foxtail lily) coming up in a large healthy way. I could never grow them in my old shady garden, and when I planted some in fall of 2011 the results were disappointing. Maybe 2013 will be their year. My friend Sheila grows amazing tall ones in her sunny Oregon garden.

great excitement!

great excitement!

I could see several in the two big beds, east and west. Joy!

By the front steps, the Dicentra scandens vine is getting longer!

yes!

yes!

In other at home garden news:

Epimidium

Epimidium

rhubarb

rhubarb

Persicaria bistorta superba

Persicaria bistorta superba

shade bed...weeded but not trimmed up

partial shade bed…weeded but not trimmed up

new bed next to the bogsy woods

new bed next to the bogsy woods

foreground: my young Salix magnifica

foreground: my young Salix magnifica

ornamental rhubarb

ornamental rhubarb

golden cutleaf elderberry

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’: golden cutleaf elderberry

And finally, one of the hostas that my friend Mary F. gave me when she moved away:

thoughts of a much missed gardening friend...

thoughts of a much missed gardening friend…

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Due to my rashly planned mini-trip this week, I have so much to do that I could not take the day off today.  We did begin with a worthwhile errand:  acquiring yet another free composter, this time from Cheri’s garden.  It may have to be roped back together, but it will work:

The price is right!

The price is right!

The compost pile was not broken down enough to put it on the garden, so we set it to one side.  Two snazzy new rotating composters will be installed here side by side.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

Cheri's lovely Dutch iris

Cheri’s lovely Dutch iris

I had a bit of anxiety that some of the special plants at The Basket Case Greenhouse would sell out while I am away on my three day trip, so we detoured from our Ilwaco gardening plans to go up and snag some more Sanguisorbas and Agastaches.  Fred and I discussed what we could put in the Veterans Field garden for the red colour needed for the dedication ceremony on May 5th.  He really wants me to plant red geraniums but I have annoyingly strong opinions that certain plants (geraniums and petunias!) belong in containers rather than in the ground so I am hoping to find something else that is red and blooming.  But if not…I know where to buy some very fine dark red geraniums.

at the Basket Case

at the Basket Case

Later for the (first ever for me because I am not a nationalist) red white and blue theme I will have more interesting plants:  Salvia patens, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Cosmos ‘Purity’, Salvia ‘Lipstick’ (or is it Hot Lips? anyway, a nicely shaped red one), Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’, Sapphire blue oat grass and Lobelia tupa.

A friend last year was searching hard for the Aquilegia called ‘Clementine’. and this year The Basket Case has it.

Aquilegia 'Clementine'

Aquilegia ‘Clementine’, a double white

Speaking of red, white and blue, when we stopped back at home I noticed that my Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’ is in bloom.

Pulsatilla 'Red Clock'

Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’

The very cool contorted English Hawthorn that I got at Joy Creek two years ago seems to be doing well after struggling for a couple of years.  (Picture Allan and I having an argy bargy about how to best face it up* while planting the large root ball and then hearing an ominous crack in the lower trunk.)

a happy Hawthorne

a happy Hawthorne (between the red tulips)

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden...but not today...

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden…but not today…

We began our post-shopping workday at the topmost garden on Discovery Heights, where we found my favourite ornamental grasses, Stipa gigantea, looking surprisingly tatty.

not very nice

not very nice

Allan combed them out while I weeded.  I found a mysterious sight: another grass sitting sideways out of the ground.  And not a small grass.  What happened here, I wonder?

??!!??

??!!??

You can see that the garden is full of Montbretia.  The rampant orange one came in on the soil that was used (not by us) to build the garden bed.  The owners actually like the montbretia so I just try to keep it from swamping everything and making a monoculture out of the garden.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

The stipa looked much better after Allan had attended to them.  I wonder if they will flower?

improved

improved

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

On the way down the hill, we stopped to photograph a stunning display of native plants below a curve in the road.  I believe this might mean this is a moist spot.  (My botanist friend Kathleen Sayce will tell me what it is and I will add the name.)

a curving sweep of white flowers

a curving sweep of white flowers:  Petasites, sweet coltsfoot (thanks, Kathleen!); ‘

Kathleen says:  “Sweet coltsfoot, loves wet seeps, and flowers relatively early, tho’ it’s late this year.”

We skipped the T Junction garden (three quarters of the way up the hill) and went to the middle garden by the gate.  I walked down partway, pruning some sword ferns by a couple of the light bollards, and Allan deadheaded middle garden narcissi.  A scrim of maddening horsetail is appearing but the narcissi should provide a distraction and let us postpone a thorough weeding for another week.

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

That bit of ocean is at Beard’s Hollow where we cleaned the beach yesterday.

I had a revelation that I could use Ceanothus as a green backdrop in Marilyn’s deer-chomped garden because the deer do not eat it here.

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

I credit my friend Terran with the idea to plant all white Narcissi.  The narcissi “All White” mix from Van Engelen has lasted so well in this middle garden although it has petered out a lot in the lower and T Junction gardens.

middle garden band of white

middle garden band of white

white mix aglow

white mix aglow

A Hellebore feotidus has reseeded itself below the rocks in middle garden.

Hellebore and child

Hellebore and child (to the right by the road is the child)

This hellebore has amazed me by coming through year after year in these harsh windy and not very shady conditions.

a toughie

a toughie

We also skipped lower garden because we needed to do some weeding and planting at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, especially one long section that I knew had lots of horsetail.

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

horsetail in sidewalk crack

horsetail in sidewalk crack

My guru Ann Lovejoy says you must cut rather than pull horsetail or you will make it worse:

“Chemical warfare only takes out this season’s stalks, while mowing is more effective and less environmentally damaging. That’s because the best way to get rid of horsetail is to cut, not pull.

Pulling horsetail actually stimulates new growth. Pull one stalk and three or four will take its place. Cut it at ground level and you will slowly deplete the roots.”  (Ann Lovejoy)

We don’t cut it but we do break it off pretty close to the ground.  Even in places where we have greatly improved the soil (like my own garden) it comes back but it does weaken in time.  We did a quick job today because a thorough job will need to be done before the day of the children’s parade (May 4th).

boatyard before...

boatyard before…

after

after

A lot of the green is from California poppy seedlings.

This Stipa gigantea at the boatyard is putting out flower stalks, as it should, unlike the battered ones up on Discovery Heights.

healthy Stipa gigantea

healthy Stipa gigantea

At the southern end of the garden, the horsetail had not sprouted back with such force, but many mushrooms had appeared.  I am no mycologist so I can’t ID them.

with blue oat grass

with blue oat grass

mushrooms

They do come in sometimes, but not always, on the Soil Energy mix….

boatyard

boatyard

I photographed some boats in the yard for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page and we then moved on to the Marie Powell Gallery garden on Howerton.  (More boat photos from earlier years here.)

While weeding the Powell Gallery garden I pondered on how I think the plants in it are too tall.  I am hoping to convince the powers that be to remove that pampas grass with a large machine.

We did not get this one cut back in time!

We did not get this one cut back in time!

I prefer the shorter plant schemes in our newly redone garden beds on this street.

looking west with telephoto

looking west with telephoto

The pampas even hides Marie’s print making shop from street view.

too big!

too big!

I also pondered how much I dislike weeding among river rock.  I wish it were confined only to a faux stream bed!

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks...

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks…

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

The river rock does set the plants off nicely so I should stop whinging, I suppose.

By six forty five, I had tired of an increasingly cold evening wind.  We went home…just a block away! and I tried to plant 18 or so small Nicotiana langsdorfii in my own garden.  I hit the wall after only three.  Why did 51 degrees seem so very chilly?  Could it be that working on the blog seemed more amusing than being outdoors?

.

*Facing a plant up is when you put its best side to your most important view of said plant.

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Today we went to one of the thrice yearly volunteer beach clean up events organized by the Grassroots Garbage Gang. We decided that instead of going to our usual spot on the Seaview approach or our second usual choice, Benson Beach, we would start at Beard’s Hollow. It’s the very south end of the beach that runs for (I think) 18 miles north and is a bit of a walk from the parking lot so is not as frequently cleaned. It used to be my beach walking destination when I lived in Seaview in 1993.

near the parking lot

near the parking lot

The trail used to be underwater until well into spring, causing me a lot of frustration after I moved to Ilwaco. I then found a trail up and over the big hill between me and the beach, crossing over where Discovery Heights is now, only to find that after about half an hour, when I got as far as Beard’s Hollow I could get no further without hip waders.

Since then, the Discovery Trail has been built and provides access to walkers and bicyclists year round.

Discovery Trail

Discovery Trail

beside the trail

beside the trail

licorice fern in tree

licorice fern in tree

Salmonberry

Salmonberry

still pool reflections

still pool reflections

skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage

I have read that in the UK, our native skunk cabbage is sold at a pretty price as an ornamental plant and is called “swamp lantern”. I don’t want to Google and find out it is not true. It is a gorgeous bog plant, but difficult to tranplant.

swamp lantern

swamp lantern

sword fern

sword fern (unpruned!)

When one gets to the really big rock, one is almost at the beach. The trees have grown considerably since I used to walk here.

the big rock

the big rock

Here is what the trail used to be like in winter; this is one of the roads through the dunes.

road around the rock

road around the rock

the rock

the rock

native stonecrop and blackberries

native stonecrop and blackberries

the rock

a small part of the rock

nature's moss garden

nature’s moss garden

At last, the beach…

to the beach

to the beach

The Coast Guard helicopter flew by.

Beard's Hollow fishing rocks

Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks

Someone had lost a bouquet, or tossed it overboard in a memorial service perhaps.

mystery flowers

mystery flowers

flowers

 

flowers and fishing rocks

flowers and fishing rocks

The Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks have witnessed many dramatic scenes. When the tide comes in, human explorers are taken by surprise on the outer rocks and many have been rescued over the years.

rock full of birds

rock full of birds

rockscape

rockscape

clues that the tide does come in

clues that the tide does come in

rocks

We found enough garbage in the next hour and a quarter to fill three large bags. People who drive down the beach to have a campfire…(and the beach is a legal highway, and in my opinion that is very regrettable) don’t even have to pack their garbage out on foot, so why do they leave it behind like this? Just throw it in the truck bed, folks!

campfire debris

campfire debris

They did at least put it all back in the packaging.

the south end of the long beach

the south end of the long beach

While it is satisfying to fill a bag with larger items, the tiny little bits of coloured plastic are especially bad for birds. They think it is food and fill themselves up and then starve.

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

I become obsessed with picking up each one but I know that many more are tumbled under the sand.

Far in the distance with the telephoto I could see folks in groups cleaning to the north.

cleaning crew

cleaning crew

People enter at each of the major beach approaches or walk out from their own streets. Most start at 9:30 AM but we usually manage to roll in at about 10:15. Today about 325 signed in.

We walked down as far as this shallow seasonal stream.

stream

stream

The one time I do like to see vehicles on the beach “highway” is when the volunteers come along to take our bags.

loaded with debris

loaded with debris

And then, back through the green along the beautiful trail.

a side trail around the big rock

a side trail around the big rock

bicyclists

passing the big rock

passing the big rock

more licorice ferns

licorice fern, a tree dweller

licorice fern, a tree dweller

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

elderberry grove

elderberry grove

moss and mushrooms

moss and mushrooms

The trail is a draw for bicyclists as it goes all the way from Ilwaco to north of Long Beach.

discovering the trail

discovering the trail

Discovery trail map

Discovery Trail map

We were just down at the Beard’s Hollow section. Click here for a larger view.

Next on our agenda: the volunteer soup feed reward halfway up the Peninsula at the Senior Center. Because we start late, and go late, we have been known to arrive for the very last bowls of soup, but today we arrived in time to have two choices, and we both chose clam chowder made by Steve of The Great Day Café.

soup reward for volunteers

soup reward for volunteers

The Senior Center is right next door to Golden Sands Assisted Living so we found it handy to check on all the new plants starts we planted yesterday, and I am happy to report they are all standing up tall…no wilting. Allan found this very nice monthly newsletter that shows how much they appreciate the courtyard garden.

from Golden Sands newsletter

from Golden Sands newsletter

Thus we segued into the work day and after going north past Nahcotta on the bay to pick up a free plastic pond (more on this later), we checked on Marilyn’s garden. My intention was to do nothing but deadhead the narcissi and move on, but oh dear…horsetail was on the march and had to be dealt with…and then my eye fell on a problem that had been bothering me for some time.

This giant Miscanthus had ended up in the foreground of the garden where it blocks the view of the Helianthus behind it. It bothers me every year.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

I worried at it with the pick for a short while. Its roots are like iron. Allan decided to have a go so I went back to the horsetail, and returned to this satisfying result.

what an accomplishment

what an accomplishment!

It’s a challenge to find anything evergreen and tall to block the view of the neighbours’ driveway and garage because deer practically live in this garden…so I rely on tall deciduous plants.

Marilyn's today, looking north from back porch

Marilyn’s today, looking north from back porch

There is much to do here, especially since the plan is for this garden to be on the Peninsula garden tour in July of this year…but we had to move on to have time to check three more gardens.

At the Wiegardt Gallery, the lilac is close to bloom:

Wiegardt lilac

Wiegardt lilac

Tulip 'Lilac Wonder' opens wide in the faint sunshine.

Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ opens wide in the faint sunshine.

The narcissi are still looking fine, but how did scilla get into the garden? I most certainly did not plant it.

narcissi...and scilla

narcissi…and scilla

This thug will be bad news. I wonder if someone else planted some bulbs to be nice? Because they are so pretty.

the dreaded scilla invasion

the dreaded scilla invasion

I have three other thugs in this garden: sweet woodruff and the bad aster that came from who knows where, and geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that I once thought a very fine plant indeed.

Eric’s brother sometimes plants a very choice treasure, and I am hoping that these Eremurus that he put in two years ago might flower this year.

Here's hoping for some foxtail lilies

Here’s hoping for some foxtail lilies…

We still have lots more to do at Wiegardt’s (sounds so familiar) but we had to get on to Klipsan Beach Cottages. On the way, we did a quick check up at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.

There is the exciting new ‘Green Star’ tulip. Have I been calling it ‘Green Ice’?

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

It's a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

It’s a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

There were three but someone swiped one, and the finger blight evidence of twisted stem shows the person did not even have clippers but just worried the stem till the stolen tulip was theirs.

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence...

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence…

At Klipsan Beach Cottages, we had delegated a rhododendron removal job to another landscape business, and had not expected the end result to be a bed all askew and us with no time to fix it. My fantasy was that we would find the job all done. Silly. Realistically I probably should not have hoped that a backhoe would be brought in, huge rhododendrons pulled, and then the edging put back all nicey nice (by whom?) All we could do today was deadhead the narcissi and check for weeds. Next weekend we can deal with the other problem, maybe.

narcissi in cottage windowbox

narcissi in cottage windowbox

Tulip clusiana 'Lady Jane'

Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’

in the garden

in the garden

In a pot I had six Tulip ‘Green Star’ and in this safe haven, no one had picked any.

Green Stars

Green Stars

Green Star

Green Star

The first year I saw this in the Van Engelen catalog, I waited too long to order and they had sold out. So it was a year and a half before I had it in bloom, and I am a little obsessed with it this month.

Green Star

Green Star

in the garden...

in the garden…

two matching pots

two matching pots

and some Blushing Ladies

and some Blushing Ladies

I wonder if this year at long last the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal [not very] Giant’ will get the size I have seen it elsewhere. It has been sulking for three years.

still only as tall as a daylily

still only as tall as a daylily

sword fern...I like our pruned ones better than mother nature's messy ones!

sword fern…I like our pruned ones better than mother nature’s messy ones!

Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

at KBC: Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

A rain squall decided our stop time at KBC but by the time we got home, the sky had cleared again. I thought I was too cold, and extra tired from getting up “early” for beach clean up, and that all I had the oomph to do was look out the window.

back garden window view

back garden window view

Then I remembered the pond form and had to go think about where it might go.

It probably won't look very real...

It probably won’t look very real…

pondering

pondering

We decided to install it next to the boat. Because of my upcoming mini-vacation (why???) we won’t have time for awhile.

While I uploaded photos to the Grassroots Garbage Gang Facebook page, Allan mowed the lawn. He reports that it takes an hour and a quarter. Less than it did last year because of my winter expansion of the garden beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The rain fell with force till about noon today, and I tried (and failed) to catch up on my sleep.  By catch up I mean just get a solid eight hours for once.  That would be so very healing.

After a shockingly late breakfast, I suggested we go to Cheri’s garden and dig up some plants where Charlie is going to build an outdoor cat room.  Cheri (who was our realtor for selling our old house and buying our new one) has kindly agreed that I could take as many starts as I wanted to the courtyard garden at Golden Sands.  I figured we would dig them in the rain, bucket them, and wait till tomorrow to plant them.

future outdoor cat paradise

future outdoor cat paradise will go about as far over as the end of the window

To our surprise, the edges of the sky quickly lightened and by one PM the rain had ceased and we had raided a goodly pile of astilbe, phlox, and alstromeria.  Some went into other areas of Cheri’s garden and the rest came with us to Golden Sands.  I had also raided my own garden a bit AND had found the Lost Perennial Sunflower.  After being missing for three days, it turned up in a bucket in the garage, where both Allan and I could swear we had looked before.

the cat corner after the plant raid

the cat corner after the plant raid

On the way north, we did a quick narcissi deadheading at Long Beach City Hall.

city hall

city hall

Already I needed a boost, so I had to have a double mocha to go at The Great Escape coffee drive through.

cuteness at The Great Escape

cuteness at The Great Escape

coffee...coming up

coffee…coming up

At Golden Sands, Allan wheeled two barrows down the longest hallway.  We use the long red corridor on which my mother had a room.  The other corridor is green; that helps new residents who might have a little memory loss find the right room.

Either route is a long indoor run for a wheelbarrow.

Either route is a long indoor run for a wheelbarrow.

new plants ready for the courtyard gardens

new plants ready for the courtyard gardens

Phlox starts went to the back of the four quadrants, with the pesky beach strawberry dug out to make room.

expanding to the back

expanding to the back

I dug lots of strawberry and rose campion out of the northwest quadrant.  (I like rose campion but there is just too, too much.)   With phlox and astilbe and Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ starts added, it is already looking better than two days ago when we ran out of mulch for this section.

much improved

much improved

The windows straight back are to the dining room and a meeting room where I hope residents enjoy the garden view.

mulitflowering Tulip 'Red Bouquet' looking good against the new mulch

mulitflowering Tulip ‘Red Bouquet’ looking good against the new mulch

I am stressed that outside the quadrants, much weeding also needs to be done, but we have for sure used up the money/time budget for this month.

weedy areas

haze of tiny weeds

I had such plans to do a volunteer day during January removing every beach strawberry from the quadrant garden beds, and as with my big plan to do the mulching in January, my staycation won out.

By the time we were done with our weeding and planting, the drizzle returned and I simply felt too, too tired to go on and weed and deadhead Wiegardt Gallery and Klipsan Beach Cottages.  We will be up the same way tomorrow for the soup feed that follows the Grassroots Garbage Gang volunteer beach clean up, so we can do the rest of the north end public gardens then.

Beach clean up is an early morning for us so it will be another night with not enough sleep.  Sleep is the prize that is always just out of reach.

On the way home we stopped at Ann’s garden and planted some perennial sunflower (Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’) starts.  I think the deer will leave it alone.

admiring Ann's fine new birdbath

admiring Ann’s fine new birdbath

But what is this, in Ann’s front garden?  Those horrid lily of the valley are popping back up again.   Someone once told me that an old tale claims that if you transplant lily of the valley, you will die within the year.  Making up that tale was probably a way of expert gardeners trying to discourage people from sharing this hugely invasive pretty plant.

They're baaaack....

They’re baaaack….

Home at last, I knew I needed to visit my elderly beloved neighbour and yet I felt so tired I wanted to just plop down in this chair.  Out of the distant memory of Sunday school, a voice said “When I was sick, ye visited me” so I picked a bouquet of rain-spangled flowers and brought it to her.

a casual bouquet of back yard tulips

a casual bouquet of back yard tulips

I must plant more tulips in the back yard.  I can rarely stand to pick a flower from the front yard and decrease the showy (show-offy) display.

Nora had company so I did not stay long.  I’d noticed when photographing the tulips out of the rain that the greenhouse plants needed watering, and while gathering the water I brooded briefly over the weedy state of the patio, something I had noticed from my window this morning.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

When will I get to THAT?   I’m fretting a lot about how this coming week, I will be taking three days off for an annual getaway with my friend Carol.  It’s the best time for her, but not a good time for me to leave the garden (mine or others) for even a day.  Last year I brooded so much I was sure I would not enjoy a minute of it and then I had a grand time, so this year I remind myself that three days gone will not destroy anyone’s garden.  (And yet…there is a Clam Festival in Long Beach next weekend and I won’t be here to deadhead at the end of the week!)  Allan will continue to do some weeding and deadheading but he will also enjoy his time alone, a pleasant thing now and then when one lives AND works with one’s partner.

I still have not weeded the horsetail out of this bed in my back garden:

You can see the gear shed neighbours have now covered their crab pot stack with a silver tarp.

You can see the gear shed neighbours have now covered their crab pot stack with a silver tarp.

I won’t get a day off this weekend so here are three more garden photos from today’s evening garden time at home:

buds on variegated honeysuckle

buds on variegated honeysuckle

Not horsetail: Restio

Not horsetail: Restio

baby Bartlett pear tree

baby Bartlett pear tree

The young pear tree will grow and provide shade for Allan’s garden, which did not turn out as shady as we thought it would be (due to how very low the roofline of an old manufactured home is).   I have been waiting for the flowers and indeed one sniff took me back to my grandmother’s big Bartlett pear, in spring, in my Seattle garden.

pear tree from my back roof, Seattle 1989

pear tree from my back roof, Seattle 1989

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My rainy day off did not materialize in the morning. While the lazy side of me regrets that, the part that wants to be caught up on work was happy to get out there and get stuff done. So off we went to work despite a very cold and blustery wind.

I did take a brief moment to admire the front garden before leaving. That pointed bud of the peachy tulip just amazed me with its swirled petals. I wonder if it will ever actually open!

This might be 'Blushing Lady' single late tulip.

This might be ‘Blushing Lady’ single late tulip.

with bleeding heart

with bleeding heart

In Long Beach, I continued to admire tulips after we parked at the halfway mark of downtown and I went south while Allan went north to deadhead the planters and the street tree gardens. I also put some Mission Bells California poppy seeds in some empty tree garden spots.

This batch of parrot tulips looked especially good.

parrot buds

parrot buds

I have always disliked that sign on one of the shops that says “This shop is every husband’s nightmare” and find it interesting that the little red gift shop has the sign “My husband’s nightmare” with the word husband x’ed out so it reads “My nightmare.” Very odd indeed.

These will be spectacular if not damaged by wind and rain.

‘Apricot Parrot’ and “Rococo’: These will be spectacular if not damaged by wind and rain.

I stopped into the Home at the Beach shop to get some photos to use to promote the next Peninsula Cash Mob event and thought a reader might enjoy their perfectly beachy displays:

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Then…back out into the chilly wind to deadhead the planters in the next block.

This tulip would be wide open on a sunny day.

This tulip would be wide open on a sunny day.

yellow backed with yellow

yellow backed with yellow

Back at the Fifth Street quadrant of parks, the Darmera peltata bloomed next to the waterfall pond. Later it will have large leaves, but not as large as the gunnera.

Darmera peltata

Darmera peltata

One of the planters already has a good display of reseeded Cerinthe purpurascens, one of my three favourite annuals.

The colour comes from bracts as well as flowers.

The colour comes from bracts as well as flowers.

The Asphodeline that reliably returns each year in the planter right across from the one shown above always amuses me. I think it would be kicky to have more. They are not readily available; I got this one on a wonderful visit to Mesogeo nursery in 2007 and here it still is.

asphodel

asphodel on Fifth Street

A half block further north the ‘Cool Crystal’ and ‘Sensual Touch’ peony/fringed tulips testified to the restaurant behind that planter, The Hungry Harbor, being run by two very nice people. I wanted to give them an extra special planting which is why two of my most spectacular tulips live there.

Hungry Harbour:  The Gavota tulips are from last year.

Hungry Harbour: The Gavota tulips are from last year.

Hungry Harbour:  Tulip 'Cool Crystal'

 Tulip ‘Cool Crystal’

'Cool Crystal' (pink) and 'Sensual Touch' (orange)

‘Cool Crystal’ (pink) and ‘Sensual Touch’ (orange)

The planter straight across the street is the one I think often of redoing. The azaleas look good now but will be blah all summer.

looking over the Hungry Harbour planter

looking over the Hungry Harbour planter

In the planter south of Hungry Harbour in front of the former Sand Dollar Deli (now Sweet McPhees….frozen yogurt perhaps?), I put some more ‘Cool Crystal’ and in this shadier planter it tones well with a purple Heuchera.

Heuchera and 'Cool Crystal'

Heuchera and ‘Cool Crystal’

That particular planter is one of my favourites for good perennial combinations: golden marjoram, the Heuchera, and a dusky cranesbill geranium that I acquired at Joy Creek Nursery.

a good planter

a good planter

Before we drove off, we went into a new shop called The Wooden Horse. It had been recommended to me by the owners of Home at the Beach and is a treasure trove of clever displays.

The Wooden Horse

The Wooden Horse, just south of Frantic Fred’s!

The Wooden Horse

The Wooden Horse

display cases made of pallets

display cases made of pallets

fencing

display shelves with old fencing

wooden horse

The Wooden Horse

wooden horse

The Wooden Horse

The Wooden Horse

At the city works dump spot, while ridding ourselves of plant debris, we briefly sifted the top of the pile to see if we could find the perennial sunflower start we had lost two days ago. No, but we did find a lost hand tool, and I swear it was the one Allan was using. That makes up for my having left another pair of clippers behind at Golden Sands yesterday. (I know I will find them next time we go there.)

We had one more work stop to make for sure. We had brought a hydrangea for Crank’s Roost and although the weather was changing for the worse, I did not want to take it back home again. The dog Maddie greeted us.

Maddie..or Mattie.

Maddie..or Mattie.

A couple of years ago, one of a matched set of hydrangeas on either side of an arbour had mysteriously died. Ominously, so had a small replacement. Today we put in a replacement in hope of regaining balance.

asymmetry

asymmetry

satisfying symmetry

satisfying symmetry (if one grows to match the other)

I need to bring some Dr Earth rhododendron food to help out the old hydrangeas.

a sit spot

a sit spot

And as we left, a serious rain began. We did stop one block away to deadhead the narcissi at The Depot Restaurant.

The Depot

The Depot

I think this tulip is Yellow Mountain

I think this tulip is Yellow Mountain

the pink and green one is Virichic.

The pink and green one is Virichic.

The timing of the rain conveniently coincided with Judy wanting to meet me at 3 PM at Olde Towne. And I had gotten a message from owner Luanne suggesting that because of the rain, she hoped to see me there today.

To be warm, and meet friends, and have a delicious chai latte, and watch the rain blowing sideways outside was such a relief after battling the stiff wind in Long Beach.

Judy, Tom, Jenna

Judy, Tom, Jenna

Not only were the Hornbuckles there but also our dear friend Jenna of Queen La De Da’s so we had an excellent visit. And remember yesterday when I tempted Judy with a photo of a beautiful Japanese maple I’d seen at The Planter Box? This morning she bought not one, but three different maples (making a total in their small garden of 29?) AND she and Tom had already planted the little trees by the time we met for coffee.

Finally, after an hour at home where I got a head start on this blog entry, we went back out with our friend Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics to have dinner at The Depot. We arrived in late daylight, so I was glad I did not have to worry about deadheading tulips before dinner, and we almost closed down the restaurant like My Dinner with Andre.

late evening at The Depot

late evening at The Depot

So tomorrow, will I have a rainy day to relax and read the Tootlepedal blog? I don’t know what to hope for because it would be awfully nice to get the north end resort gardens done….

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I awoke early after the usual frustratingly short sleep with the thought that we MUST mulch Golden Sands Assisted Living courtyard garden with cow manure today! Last year the garden disappointed me, and I had big plans that never came to fruition of mulching in January….but could not tear myself away from staycation. Only if Raymond is at The Planter Box garden centre can the mulch be loaded into our trailer, and yes! a phone call ascertained that he would be available to load in the midmorning.

Upon our arrival at the Planter Box, I browsed the plants while Raymond helped another customer.

potted spring bulbs at The Planter Box

potted spring bulbs at The Planter Box

at The Planter Box

at The Planter Box

There are only four baby ducklings left!

There are only four baby ducklings left!

sedums in a colander

sedums in a colander

I could not buy ducklings but I did succumb to a small flock of metal chickens. Photos later in my garden.

I admired the selection of Japanese maples and wondered if my maple-crazy friend Judy could fit in just one more.

This would look very fine in Judy's garden...and I could visit hims.

This would look very fine in Judy’s garden…and I could visit hims.

Acer palmatum viridis...another angle

Acer palmatum viridis…another angle

maple corner at Planter Box

maple corner at Planter Box

Enough pandering to my regular reader(s). I peeked in the first greenhouse…

first sales greenhouse

first sales greenhouse

Choisya backed with Clematis

Choisya backed with Clematis in the first greenhouse

and if you like cute little cacti...

and if you like cute little cacti…

This is the time when it is hard to make the big bucks in our business. Especially if the job has a smallish budget (as many of our clients do), how do we charge for hanging around waiting to get to the front of the queue and get the product to the job? I have never quite figured that out.

I heard the rumble of the loader and got outside just in time to get a photo.

Raymond loading the cow fiber

Raymond loading the cow fiber

3 scoops with the Kubota

3 scoops with the Kubota

Raymond explained to us the difference between plain old washed dairy manure and cow fiber: Cow fiber is actually steamed, killing weed seeds and pathogens. So from now on I will specifically refer to this excellent product by its real name.

[Note: In the course of writing this, I sent Judy a sneak preview of that Acer viridis and she is already planning where to put him!]

At Golden Sands Assisted Living, we asked that the back corner fire door be opened so that we could get the soil into the courtyard. Usually, we go down this long hallway with our wheelbarrow, but not with loads of manure!

our usual route down a long hall and around a corner and another half hallway

our usual route down a long hall and around a corner and another half hallway

Now, if I had designed the place I would have had a door right out the back of the building for quick access to the completely enclosed central courtyard building. But instead, we need to wheelbarrow down this carpeted hallway, being careful not to track or spill the mulch.

back hallway, Golden Sands

back hallway, Golden Sands

turning...

turning…

and through the door

and through the inner door

into the courtyard

into the courtyard

There are four quadrants of garden, one on each corner, that used to be a thin sad lawn til my mother moved in and we started turning them into gardens. The soil, if you can call it that, is terrible. Mom initially bought some bags of soil amendment for the northeast quadrant, the one she could see from her window, and Golden Sands provided a budget for some more bales of mulch (Gardner and Bloom Soil Building Compost) but it was nowhere near enough for the grey sandy rubbly dirt. We schlepped buckets of free horse manure from The Red Barn a couple of summers ago. Horse manure is weedy and highly inferior to Cow Fiber.

sad quadrant, before

sad southeast quadrant, before

and after

and after

Using two barrows so that I could work carefully on where to dump the piles, Allan moved sixteen not too full wheelbarrows in (being cautious in the amount so as not to spill on the carpet).

southwest quadrant

southwest quadrant

The northeast quadrant (near my mom's old room) before

The northeast quadrant (near my mom’s old room) before

and after

and after

Sadly, three scoops (over a cubic yard) was not enough to complete the coverage of much of the fourth (northwest) quadrant. We need more…. at least two more scoops to finish the northwest quadrant and all the way to the back of the four quadrants. I would love to get ALL the wild beach strawberry out; it jumps the edging right into the cultivated garden, but for now at least three of the main planted areas are better.

sadly lacking northwest quadrant

sadly lacking northwest quadrant

We will probably wait till very early May to finish the mulching so as to spread the financial shock into the next month…

I do so want to mulch all the way to the back edge

I do so want to mulch all the way to the back edge (and get those danged strawberries out)

The tulips already look better against the dark background:

Golden Sands tulips

Golden Sands tulips

This could be the most amazing deerproof, wind protected, tropicalismo exotic colourful oasis if only I had the time and money.

Then we went south again to check on the garden at Seanest, a vacation rental house. I knew it would need a good weeding as we had not made it there since the first spring cleanup.

Seanest entry garden

Seanest entry garden

When the septic system was redone a few years ago, this entry garden was designed by a Seattle gardening company. I’ve gotten rid of a couple of Phormiums since then and am finding this year, as last year, that the Cotinus is shockingly late to leaf out.

slowpoke!

slowpoke!

parking spot planter

parking spot planter

in the old days

in the old days

The garden used to be owned by artist Phyllis Ray and back then we did a much more floriferous garden. The new owner of the past few years would rather have a low maintenance garden, and that has worked out fine for us because it is hard to find time to water here. Nevertheless, it is not as interesting to me as it used to be and I have been considering passing it on to someone else.

When we walked around to the west side today, we saw a sad sight. At long last, and not unexpectedly, the driftwood temple that Robert had built in 2002 had irrevocably been damaged by wind. Allan had repaired it after the Big Blow of 2007, but this time new driftwood would be required, and we simply do not have time for that sort of project here.

askew

askew

and badly broken

and badly broken

While I weeded and Allan improvised a barrier to keep guests out of the danger zone, I decided this is the job on the chopping block. I won’t quit suddenly, but I will email the owner and tell her that we will keep the garden weeded through this year, but not in 2014…and that it would be wonderful if she (or the property manager) could find someone to take it over sooner. It is time to let it go…

improvised safety barrier

improvised safety barrier

I am sad! However, we are overbooked and the hour and a half spent weeding here would have much more satisfyingly spent at the far more creative job of Andersen’s RV Park. Andersen’s was our last stop of the day and we wished we had had more time there.

At Andersen's, cow fiber mulch still looks great

At Andersen’s, cow fiber mulch still looks great (and has baby poppies coming up)

Those big narcissi are lasting a very long time.

Owner Lorna did get to the park over the weekend to see her tulip pots:

tulips by office door

tulips by office door

This row is not quite open:

tulips coming on

tulips coming on

in bud

in bud

And at last we planted about twenty different plants in various parts of the garden. I had almost suggest that we drive on home after deadheading the narcissi in the box by the highway. I felt I had truly hit the wall. And then I thought how frustrating it would be for the poor plants to go for a car ride again, like they did yesterday, and again go back home without getting their feet into the ground, so I conjured up that last hour of work strength and we got it done.

new planting

new planting

Now that there is a deer fence, I could plant a Rosa mutabilis in the bed above, an area which up till now has not been much used. One of the park workers, Al, had more energy than ten men put together and last fall he got the three raised beds at this end of the garden all cleared out and filled with good soil. He had returned this week from winter vacation and said he would be disappointed if we did not plant it up with something after all his work. Lorna likes peachy and apricot plants so along with the rose I planted two Agastaches whose colours will please her.

The three little raised beds are at the end of the picket fence garden:

picket fence

Only with the new tall fence at the south end has that area at the far end become civilized, not browsed by deer from the woods and not encroached on by tall meadow grass.

The narcissi outside the fence are deerproof:

fence

These are more of the really big flowered cultivars that Lorna (inspired by Martha Stewart) bought by the hundreds last fall.

daffs

daffs

very showy

very showy

As we loaded our gear a predicted drizzle began. That will be good for the sweet peas at my garden and the Ilwaco post office…

As Allan shopped at the grocery store on the way home (we’ve been so busy we were even out of bread) and I checked my email in the car I relished the sight of rain….

raindrops on 45th Street

raindrops on 45th Street

Even though I had big plans to do lots of Port of Ilwaco and Discovery Heights weeding tomorrow, a really rainy day would mean some pleasant hours of reading back entries in the Tootlepedal blog.

just a blur!

just a blur!

That reminds me, I tried to take a photo of a bird in flight for Mr. Tootlepedal, who features glorious bird photos daily on his blog.

How does he do it?? Without an SLR, I might have to try a sports photo setting.

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I took more plants with us today than actually got planted, so they rode around for the day and then came back home.

My first thought was that the Ilwaco Post Office garden, a volunteer project I came up with a couple of years ago, desperately needed a half moon edging by the little grass walkway.

Because our town does not have home mail delivery, the Post Office is a six day a week stop for many people. It’s an embarrassment when I get too busy to keep the garden nice.

blurry edge

blurry edge

Over an hour later we had weeded as well as edged, even though we had had no intention of staying that long. We especially removed reseeded Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that seems to annoyingly travel around with everything I plant for free. In this case, it had come with some plants from my mother’s garden, along with a much worse thug:

the truly awful Euphorbia 'Fen's Ruby'

the truly awful Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’

My mother had purchased this from a catalog and I had implored her to get it out of her garden before it ran rampant…but she liked it. For awhile. Then she agreed with me, but by then it had worked its wiles into all the perennials in the border nearest the house. When her house was sold I brought a few perennials from it to the post office…and also, despite much root-cleaning, the nasty little thug. At the post office, I don’t have time to win the battle so I try to keep Fen’s Ruby edited to a small amount and hope no one falls in love with it and wants some.

Post Office garden after weeding

Post Office garden after weeding

I had originally planned to make it a rectangular garden but people do insist on cutting that corner so I gave in and left a triangle of lawn.

I still dream of sweet peas along that picket fence. Some of the ones I planted have come up, but in this dry week I wonder how they will do?

post office

I plant one or three of every special kind of tulip there from my yearly collection.

From the Post Office we headed north to Long Beach, stopping to photograph the new fence around Nancy’s garden. Will it be tall enough to keep the deer out? They could easily hop it, but we share her hope that the deer in Long Beach are less greedy that the Ilwaco deer who try to break through my tallest fence. A couple of wires could be added higher up if need be.

Phil and Nancy's fence

Phil and Nancy’s attractive new fence

That’s something that was so much easier about my Seattle city garden: no deer problems!

In Long Beach, I wanted to get the dwarf pampas grass cut back in the garden we call “the big pop-out” which is just south of Boo Boo’s Putt Putt Golf (I am not making that up) on Boulevard. That is a long block south of city hall.

the big pop out

the big pop out, before

In it, a rugosa rose that had behaved itself for years had gone rampant all the way to the edge over the past two years, making it a real chore to weed out the couch grass which had weaseled its way in from the lawn behind the garden.

After a bit of weeding, extreme energy measures became necessary:

two tiger paws

two tiger paws

The Cottage Bakery is only one block over, and I was tired, so tired! My tiger paw perked me up for hours. I expect that someday I will write about health woes related to this weakness.

Big Pop Out after

Big Pop Out after

So today my not very elaborate plan involved throwing some ‘Mission Bells’ California poppy seeds in here to fight it out with the rose, whose roots still lurk toward the front. It is a lovely white rugosa rose: ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ (the double white one). But it will pop up in any perennial that I plant here, so annuals seem like a better idea.

The job created a surprising amount of debris to be dumped at city works….

dumping

dumping

These dwarf fireweed caught my eye. No wonder I sometimes find it hard to convince people that it is a weed that needs pulling.

a very ornamental weed

a very ornamental weed

During the whole big pop out time I could have been stressing out about the next job, since as all too usual I found more to do at the pop out than I had planned. My new philosophy this year, of not rushing around and leaving things undone but doggedly finishing one thing before moving on, did feel more satisfying. We can’t always do that….For example, when checking on all the resorts gardens we need to make sure each one gets a visit even though they don’t all get everything done each week. Today, though, it felt good to really do the pop out well.

We drove a bit north to the next job only to see someone else weeding the spot that I’d been aiming at. Oops, well, people cannot wait forever for us to turn up…so we’ll go back later with the new plants for that garden.

We finished the day back in Ilwaco at Ann’s garden. I started five minutes later than Allan because I simply had to walk back and take a couple of photographs at the house at the crest of the hill where Ann used to live. It has a fine new fence:

fence with azalea

fence with azalea

And I so admire the way the sidewalk passes between their garden and their hedge.

sidewalk garden

sidewalk garden

Two of the three dogs had something to say about me taking photos.

attentive audience

attentive audience

I joined Allan a block away in Ann’s garden where we mainly worked on the back yard this time.

Ann's back garden upon our arrival

Ann’s back garden upon our arrival

Last fall we got the curved flower bed well weeded and mulch. Today we mainly had to address the return of creeping buttercup and shotweed. Allan dug up a big clump of old Siberian iris to make a spot for a birdbath.

Butch and Allan placing the birdbath

Butch and Allan placing the birdbath

They put a big paver underneath and were making sure it was quite level, although Butch says, correctly, that the ground will shift and it will have to be leveled again.

Meanwhile, I weeded an area along the west side…

west side, buttercups

west side, buttercups

And the iris divisions went in there.

newly planted iris

newly planted iris

The sword ferns caught the slanting early evening light.

ferns

ferns

ferns and trillium

ferns and trillium

Allan particularly liked the green and pink contrast on the fading trillium blooms. (They start out white, then turn to pink.)

pink and green

pink and green

The slanting light made it very difficult to find the hand clippers that I set down….somewhere…so they will stay in the garden till next time. Ann may find them, as she recently found a Ho-mi that Allan had left behind in the fall.

Somehow we lost the start of a perennial sunflower (Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’) that we were going to plant at Ann’s. It is probably in the Long Beach dump pile. Fortunately, I can acquire another piece.

At home, I had time before dark to pull one and a half buckets of weeds and to admire a few flowers.

I love the swirl of petals on this tulip bud.

I love the swirl of petals on this tulip bud.

fringed tulip

fringed tulip

a Euphorbia

a Euphorbia

evening sunshine

evening sunshine

long blooming tulips backed with cardoon

long blooming tulips backed with cardoon

white bleeding heart

white bleeding heart

Finally settling in after dark to write this, I also checked my email. Unusually, I had not done so today. I found a very nice email from Nancy at the port office saying we had left two little plants unplanted in the south side office garden. I immediately knew that they had to be two small santolinas. Argh. She offered to put them in the ground for us but I had not seen the email in time. Allan went down in the dark (only two blocks away) to check on them and they appear to have been planted; we will double check tomorrow. A big oops like that does not feel very professional. Nor does losing the clippers (as usual)…or being so far behind that someone else starts doing the weeding. Or losing a plant (even a free one) along the way. I can’t think of a clever conclusion to that train of thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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