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Archive for November, 2013

Friday, 29 November, 2013

Just some rather dull befores and afters

I was sure I heard rain this morning and thought we might have a day off.  I wanted to work in order to cross one more thing off the list.  Later, Kathleen S. told me I had not heard rain at all.  There had been none.  Apparently I had heard the moisture from heavy fog burbling into the water barrel.  She was impressed that I could “hear fog”.

So we went to the Port and clipped back Lavender and Gaura ‘Whirling  Butterflies’ in the beds along Howerton near the Port Office.

before, looking east

before, looking east

after

after

summer flashback on Howerton

summer flashback on Howerton

At the Time Enough Books garden, we removed a big woody Lavender.  My idea to take it out, Allan’s work with the pick:

We will put something new here next spring.

We will put something new here next spring.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

books

Next we went to Fifth Street Park in Long Beach and weeded and cut back catmint in the quadrant in front of Marsh’s Free Museum and Captain Bob’s Chowder.

before

before

after

after

flashback to summer

flashback to summer

A light mist fell on us now and then and no glaring sun cast a blinding light on the job.  To me, today offered pleasant weather.

We circled round to the “little pop outs” on Boulevard and 7th SW to pull some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

crocosmia

We just ignored most of the low growing weeds because we had a mission to get to Andersen’s today.

I now consider Long Beach almost done.  After the upcoming predicted cold spell, we will walk the town one more time to cut back frost damaged plants and then consider it put to bed for the winter.  (Unless, when we are driving through town, I see something in a garden or planter that bothers me.)

Sadly, we could not dump our debris because the city works gate was locked and our key would not work.  (It has been acting sticky.)  So,  stuck with a trailerload, we just drove on and made it up to Andersen’s RV Park after two thirty.

Allan took on the arduous task of wheelbarrowing dairy manure mulch all the way from the pile on the southeast side of the house (under some trees) to the gardens on the west side.

I cleaned up the picket fence garden some more and still did not get it done.

before

before

after

after

before and after

before and after

still more to do...and bad weather coming.

still more to do…and bad weather coming.

flashback to summer

flashback to summer

Allan’s job looked lovely.

west bed

west bed

The bed in the foreground remains to be done and certainly shows the difference!

The bed in the foreground remains to be done and certainly shows the difference!

flashback to summer

flashback to summer

While we gardened, the Andersen’s staff cut down a shore pine and brought it in for a Christmas tree.

Andersen's office

Andersen’s office

We need just a few more hours here to declare this garden put to bed.

The work board is getting smaller.  I erased most of the jobs that are done.

board

I officially put Klipsan Beach Cottages and Wiegardt Gallery gardens to bed by deciding that they don’t need another visit and removing them from the list.  That was easy.  Marilyn’s could use another session of cutting back perennials (but not too many; we like to leave it wild for the winter).  Ilwaco and the Port need one more walk through.  I should put a big question mark after Erin’s as we may wait till February to make her new garden bed.   And I started a new work list called “After Frost” for those last removals of blackened plants.

The most recent work list is called 2014, and is the one to which I will shift everything that does not get done soon.

I am eager to start staycation as soon as possible because the relaxation of January is going to be impacted by my being called for jury duty.  Around here, that probably means that I will call in every weekend and find that the trial for the next week has been cancelled, but it COULD mean having to get up horribly early during my month off.

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and bulb time, day 18

Thursday, 28 November, 2013

At last, a partial day off at home to plant my own bulbs!   For myself, I had some Eremerus (just three) and some rather expensive Narcissi ‘Sinopel’; the latter always entices me from the catalog, and then I allow myself ONE, and then I miss it blooming.  So this time I planted five and hope I actually see them when they bloom with an intense green cup.  Or is it green?  The Van Engelen catalog shows it as green as can be:

Sinopel, photo from Van Engelen

Sinopel, photo from Van Engelen

Other image sources show varying colours:

versions of Sinopel

versions of Sinopel

When it doubt, read the descriptions.  Van Engelen’s may explain why I did not differentiate the bulb from other small cupped Narcissi (which are my favourites so I have a lot of different ones):

 “Fragrant, it has a perfect 3″ ivory-white perianth and a bowl-shaped, greenish white cup edged in yellow. Circa 1974 and a bit like a mood ring, its dainty cup is more yellow in cool temperatures and more green when basking in warm temperatures (cherish its greenness indoors in a bud vase). Bulb size: 14/16 cm. April. 16″ to 18”. HZ: 4-8. Limited supply.”
And yet the Fairegarden blog says “Narcissus ‘Sinopel’ really has the green cup described in the catalog, and is fragrant as well.”  Oh, but they are in Tennessee.  I wonder how warm their springs are?
Today was my last chance to get photos to illustrate the difference in the size of narcissi bulbs.  Because I have been planting the big showy Narcissi this year along with my usual more tasteful choices, we have been dealing with some very large bulbs that are especially challenging to plant in hard soil.
Narcissi bulbs

Narcissi bulbs

These are all Narcissi.  The smallest bulb is ‘Baby Moon’.  The biggest of this batch was from ‘Fragrant Rose’, a substantial and tall one.  (I must remember to smell it, as it is “said to have the fragrance of raspberries and roses”, according to Van Engelen.

One would think the littler flowers would always have tinier bulbs, and yet that is not true.  “Peeping Tom’, an heirloom Narcissi with multiple flowers and a shorter height,  has bulbs of substantial size.

bulbs of Peeping Tom

bulbs of Peeping Tom

None that I planted here compare to the monstrous size of the ‘King Alfred’ Narcissi that Lorna ordered for us to plant at Andersen’s RV Park.  Fortunately, the garden there is all light, sandy soil.

Some bulbs are exceptionally shiny and beautiful.

Narcissi bulbs, possibly 'Avalanche'.

Narcissi bulbs, possibly ‘Avalanche’

(By the time I planted the bulbs in my own garden, the bags had been reused and relabeled so many times that I was not very sure about the names of some.)

While I planted my selection of home bulbs, Allan mowed the damp and quite tall lawn.

mowed for the last time this year...probably...

mowed for the last time this year…probably…and the boat is full of tulip bulbs

I was mildy distressed between noon and 1:45 PM that we had made plans to go to the community dinner on such a glorious gardening day.  Would I be losing the last three pleasant weather hours of the year in my garden?  (Because tomorrow we must work, and Saturday the weather is due to change.)  On such a windless day, there was much I could do back toward the trees.  And I had really wanted to have time to get bulbs planted in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.  However, I have set myself certain self imposed obligations to photograph events for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page and we had our friend Kathleen S, here for the weekend from  Olympia,  to go to the dinner with us.  When she arrived just before two, I was still offloading yesterday’s debris from Jo’s garden and was in no way ready to go.  I unappreciatively bemoaned the dinner being during the day and she kindly pointed out that it draws some older people who would not want to drive and walk up the hill to the inn in the dark.  So I stopped whinging (and about bloody time).

Flinging the last of the debris on the pile, I then changed quickly into dry shoes and socks;  Allan changed from lawnmowing clothes, and off we went on the five block walk to the Inn at Harbour Village.

poster

Inn at Harbour Village, site of Ilwaco Community Dinner

Inn at Harbour Village, site of Ilwaco Community Dinner

On the way up the hill, Kathleen and Allan pointed out the cutest sight:  a little dog with a driving coat on, paws on the steering wheel:

dog

dog

Kathleen and I cresting the hill, greeting by innkeeper Chuck Parker

Kathleen and I cresting the hill, greeting by innkeeper Chuck Parker

Kathleen's photo of the Inn at Harbour Village

Kathleen’s photo of the Inn at Harbour Village

Unlike previous years when we had walked right in, this time the event had become so popular that there was a wait.  Here is where the good weather was an advantage; people were able to wait in comfort outside.  The dinner is free to all who come, although monetary donations are welcome.  It is sponsored by the owners of the Inn, who also own several stores in Long Beach, including Stormin’ Norman’s kite shop and The Wooden Horse gift shop.

waiting for dinner

waiting for dinner

Inside in the handsome parlour, Allan found some of our friends also waiting.

Susie and Bill from the Boreas Inn

Susie and Bill from the Boreas Inn

Heather Ramsay from NIVA green and local artist Joe Chasse

local artist Joe Chasse and Heather Ramsay from NIVA green

I had Bulb Knee so walked around the inn to the lower entrance, thus taking a bit longer than Allan and Kathleen and so I missed seeing our neighbours Mary and Jeff (fisherman extraordinaire) just finishing their dinners.

Jeff and Mary from two doors down, with MR on the right

 Mary and family from two doors down

And I just barely got a glimpse of Donna and MR before they left.

MR and Donna

MR and Donna

Kathleen's photo of Donna and Allan

Kathleen’s photo of Donna and Allan

at the table

at the table

centerpiece

centerpiece

pecan, apple, and pumpkin pies

pecan, apple, and pumpkin pies

the dining room

the dining room

diners

diners

coffee

The meal is set up like a restaurant with servers taking orders.

menu

menu

restaurant quality service

restaurant quality service

We were thrilled to be seated with Joe and Heather!

Heather and Joe

Heather and Joe

Heather’s Long Beach shop, NIVA green, is my source for almost all birthday and holiday presents.

At the next table, dear Sarah Sloane, local author and topiary artist, was seated when we were about halfway through our meal; due to the bustling nature of the event, we just waved and smiled.

Our Sarah

Our Sarah

Allan's photo capture the lot of us

Allan’s photo capture the lot of us

I marveled at how the kitchen staff and servers, all volunteers, kept the meals emerging to the crowded room.

in the kitchen

in the kitchen

plating

plating

plating

serving

serving

washing

washing

After our delicious pie, when we left by the back door we saw a stack that reveals how much roasting had been done so far:

roasting pans outside

roasting pans outside

another view of the kitchen

another view of the kitchen

We strolled down the hill and back to our house and visited outside for a bit.

in the garden, stunning Dichroa febrifuga

in the garden, stunning Dichroa febrifuga

Allan's garden

Allan’s garden

Kathleen took her leave to enjoy the last forty five minutes of daylight and I realized that I DID still have time to plant the bulbs at the post office.  While I would have walked down to accomplish the task, Allan was not opposed to helping out.

The Post Office garden now planted and put to bed for winter!

The Post Office garden now planted and put to bed for winter!

Afterward, with a trace of post-sunset pink still in the sky, we went down to the Port to look at the Jessie’s star.  The low tide was not good for reflective photographs.

low tide

low tide

The Canyon Cruiser with holiday lights

The Canyon Cruiser with holiday lights

Next Saturday (December 7) is the lighting of the Port’s crab pot Christmas tree and the lighted boat parade; The Canyon Cruiser is just the first to be decorated.  Last year, we had severe storms the week before that event …right about now, as the first Saturday of December in 2012 was the 1st.  People could not decorate the boats very well because of high wind.  And today…summery warmth and not a breath of wind.

Port of Ilwaco office

Port of Ilwaco office

Allan, more sure footed than I, took a walk out on to the docks.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Company

Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company

jessie

PB280016

Allan's photo of Waterfront Way

Allan’s photo of Waterfront Way

and a crab pot outside of Queen La De Da's Art Castle

and a crab pot outside of Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

Soon the traditional (for three years now) crab pot Christmas decor will go up around town.

I have realized over these past months of trying to write every day that my town is as almost much about our quality of life in Ilwaco and the Long Beach Peninsula as it is gardening.  That might bore all of my readers half of the time (all 30-60 of you!).

I did close the day with a last bulbing project: collecting enough glass “pebbles” from the patio to anchor my five paperwhites in a trough of water.

paperwhites

paperwhites

Is it now the official end of bulb time?  Not quite.  One more comparatively small shipment will arrive on Monday.  I just could not resist that 20% off end of season sale at Van Engelen.  300 more bulbs and we’ll be done.

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Wednesday, 27 November, 2013

And the day begins for Mary and Smokey:

Mary and her son Smokey (in his BirdsBeSafe collar)

Mary and her son Smokey (in his BirdsBeSafe collar)

I am pleased that we rendezvoused with Raymond at the Planter Box and got 4 scoops of delicious (to worms and plants) and visually pleasing Cow Fiber.

Raymond also has a larger machine for loading larger vehicles.

Raymond also has a larger machine for loading larger vehicles.

I was not so pleased by the return of bright sunshine.  Planter Box co-owner Teresa agreed with me that it is difficult to work outside at this time of year with the glare of the low angled sun making it hard to see, and she did not think I was crazy to say I would rather work in a light, not too cold rain.

Christmas trees, and 61 degrees out!

Christmas trees, and 61 degrees out!

Our mulching destination of the day:  The Boreas Inn.  There, I suddenly realized that the old daylily patch had to be dug out now so that mulch could be laid on the bed.  Allan did the digging; I was spreading mulch on three other beds and doing considerable trimming back of spent plants.

earlier this fall

earlier this fall

re-done today

re-done today

The daylilies were terribly boring old yellow and orange ones.  At least I think they were.  I don’t recall seeing a single flower this year, and I think they were deer food.  I picture ornamental grasses in their place.

Boreas garden, officially put to bed for the season!

Boreas garden, officially put to bed for the season!

looking east toward the Boreas Inn

looking east toward the Boreas Inn in August

Boreas

as it was in August

today

today, tucked up in a bed of dairy manure

all accomplished in the mind boggling glare of the sunshine

all accomplished in the mind boggling glare of the sunshine

I wondered if I would be able to find a shady spot across the street in Jo’s garden, the job that would keep us busy for the rest of the workday.  Imagine my delight when I found that the whole garden lay in shade!   When we arrived at 1:20 PM, the sun had dipped below some beach pines to the southwest of the lot.  For the next three and a quarter hours, we worked at blazing speed cutting down all the perennials and doing a fair amount of weeding.  Jo likes the perennials  FLAT for the winter.

1:20 PM, looking west from the front gate

1:20 PM, looking west from the front gate

4:30 PM

4:30 PM

The area above could be made flatter (for example, by cutting down the Schizostylis to the right)…but we were out of time and daylight.

by the middle gate, before and after

by the middle gate, before and after

We did a more thorough job at the west end of the garden (where we started today’s session).

Northwest garden, before

Northwest garden, before

after

after

and last July

and last July

Jo’s garden was a great hit on the Music in the Gardens tour this past summer.

west garden before

west garden before

after

after

and last July

and last July

A rose still blooming in the northeast garden

A rose still blooming in the northeast garden today

the northeast garden today

the northeast garden today

and last summer

and last summer

What a glorious year it was for Jo’s garden—now officially put to bed for the winter.  Because of the many beach pine needles that will fall on the garden between now and the end of our staycation, we will wait to mulch it sometime in February.  Jo credits last spring’s dairy manure mulch with giving the garden its best summer ever.

We dumped the weeds over the fence and loaded a trailer full of clean debris to add to my pile at home….but will unload tomorrow, as we went straight from work to a social engagement.

Allan and I had a dinner date for five PM with Kathleen S, would-be and we hope future Peninsulite, at the Lightship Restaurant’s Mexican Fiesta Night.

Kathleen arrives just in time to see the guacamole being made at tableside.

Kathleen arrives just in time to see the guacamole being made at tableside.

We do so wish that she could live here full time.  Work up north still has her in its clutches.

I had the crab stuffed chile relleno

I had the crab stuffed chile relleno, as did Kathleen.  The frame is for the amusement of Mr. Tootlepedal but it may be over the top!

Allan had an outstanding prawn fajita with rice and beans on the side.

Allan had an outstanding prawn fajita with rice and beans on the side.

We stayed talking and laughing till 7:40 PM and, due to being Thanksgiving eve, were the only people there.

At home, a certain tableau had hardly changed at all.

Do they move at all during the day?

Do they take any exercise at all during the day?

The “last visit” work list that stands between us and staycation would be getting shorter had I not forgotten two jobs and had to add them in.

work as of today

work as of today

Diane’s and the Red Barn will be a quick clean up of annuals after the next hard frost.  Long Beach and the Port of Ilwaco are the only big jobs left….(unless we decide to do that big garden bed for Erin….)  The more I look at the list, the more I think to myself that maybe Wiegardt Gallery and Klipsan Beach Cottages and The Anchorage Cottages are already done!

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Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

I planned that this would be the last big bulb planting day for clients. We started with Casa Pacifica, just east of Wallicut Farm and actually off of the Long Beach Peninsula, with a batch of 186 bulbs.

I was wishing that the cold weather had taken down the annuals in the twelve whisky barrels. No joy there, meaning that I can’t put them to bed for the winter. They will have to put themselves to bed because this is the last visit here till after staycation.

TOO much Helichrysum

TOO much Helichrysum by the guest house/garage

I started tossing out bags of bulbs and Allan started planting in the cliff-like hill across from the garage/shop/guesthouse. He ran across some narcissi from previous years while planting, as often happens in “our” gardens.

hillside

hillside

I staged clumps of narcissi all up and down the long entry drive.

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

Much of the ground is heavy clay, requiring about 20 whacks with the red mattock (Thanks, Kathleen, for the proper word for the tool!) that we got at Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, Oregon.

my new favourite tool for hard ground

my new favourite tool for hard ground

in heavy clay at China Beach

narcissi in heavy clay at China Beach

These seem like daunting conditions for narcissi to grow in. I know from experience that they can come back for years in conditions like these. The ground at one of my former jobs, China Beach Retreat, was equally clay-like. I hacked holes into the lawn with a pick and planted Narcissi that returned year after year. They may have dwindled since I quit the job in 2009, but the Narcissi in even heavier clay up on Discovery Heights continued to come back for ten years (and may still do so; that’s one of three jobs we let go of this year due to being overbooked).

April, Discovery Heights

April, Discovery Heights, faithfully returning white Narcissi mix in heavy clay

When we finished planting along the road (Narcissi ‘Pheasant’s Eye’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Actaea’, Long Trumpet Mix, ‘Avalanche’, ‘Sweet Love’, and Spring Loaded Mix), we drove up to plant around the house. Leanne put my friend Dusty in the garage, saying that he would be a pest.

Leanne and Dusty

Leanne and Dusty

She’s right, as he thinks the larger Narcissus bulbs are some sort of ball to play with. The shy dogs, Spook and Darcy, went into the garage, too, because they follow Leanne everywhere.

Spook

Spook contemplates how to get past me to join Leanne and Dusty

Right around the deck of the house, I planted some small narcissi: ‘Sun Disc’ and ‘Peeping Tom’. Over on the lawn island, I planted ‘Rapture’, ‘Mt Hood’, and ‘Stainless’. Up atop the stone wall of the curved back garden, we both planted the showy and perhaps gaudy Narcissi that I chose this year: ‘Tropical Sunset’, ‘Altruist’, ‘High Society’ ‘Fragrant Rose’, ‘Flower Record’ and ‘Fortissimo’. This garden (and any of “my” gardens) have never seen the like. We also added some Alliums, a Triumph tulips mix and some other bright tulips ‘(Apricot Parrot’, ‘Strong Gold’, ‘Formosa’); Leanne likes yellow.

Most of our jobs cannot have tulips unless the gardens are fenced. Even in Long Beach town, deer wander through and eat some of the tulips in the street planters. Here at Dan and Leanne’s “Casa Pacifica’, the three dogs keep all the deer away.

I kind of don’t like BIG tulips in the ground. I am sure they are wonderful at a bulb farm or en masse in Holland, but in groups around a landscape they bother me more and more. So most of the tulips went into a big pot on the porch (‘Texas Gold’ and ‘Golden Artist’) and 45 parrot tulips in the five whiskey barrels and another big pot along the upper driveway.

After that, we left with no time to socialize with Dan and Leanne and returned to The Depot Restaurant, site of yesterday’s mulching, to add 15 parrot tulips. Hmm, I won’t mind them in the ground in this small bed. Okay, if a garden bed is small, I find tulips in the ground to be just dandy.

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Species tulips are always good in the ground; they look more appropriate to me. This is the first year I have not ordered assorted small and early blooming tulips. I just need the big, late blooming, showy ones for Long Beach and that uses up my tulip budget. When the deer started eating my kaufmanniana and Greiggi tulips out on the beach approach gardens, I lost out on my main place to plant them. I miss getting them; maybe next year, I will add more to the Long Beach planters. Yes, definitely.

After planting at the Depot Restaurant, we went to the Fifth Street park in Long Beach and planted along the newly cleared strip by the soon to be squirting clam. Two of the city crew guys came by and told us that the clam, which used to squirt on the hour years ago, may be functional again by the end of the year. This will make my old friend Mary very happy.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

(I’ve shared her letter before, but I never tire of it.)

Even better, where the white circle is in the photos below, a coin operated device will make it possible for folks to put in a quarter and make the clam squirt, for folks who want a photo opportunity and don’t want to wait till the top of the hour. Genius!

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The Long Beach crew is so beloved that they have their own fan club.

two of the crew

two of the crew

Finally, we went up to Golden Sands Assisted Living to plant 80 tulips (40 Triumph, 40 Parrot mix) and some Narcissi in the newly mulched four quadrants of the courtyard. No deer can get in here because it is completely enclosed by the building. We did some cutting back of perennials and, like Casa Pacifica, we are now done with this job till after staycation.

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room (and two resident’s rooms)

NE quadrant by my mom's old room, dining room, and kitchen

NE quadrant by my mom’s old room, dining room, and kitchen

SW quadrant

SW quadrant

SE quadrant

SE quadrant

By the time we finished, the sun was minutes from setting. Blissfully, cloud cover had kept the sun from glaring on us all day long and made for much better working conditions, visually, than during the previous week.

My latest thought at Golden Sands is that these two trees have to go.

looking west from the dining room doors

looking south from the dining room doors

In a garden made for younger people, a sense of mystery is important. One might well want the two trees there to entice a stroll of discovery to see what is beyond them. But here, many of the residents are frail, and I think they are more likely to be enticed out into the under-utilized courtyard if they can see what is beyond. I would like the trees cut to the ground and two large pots …or rocks!… put there instead. (There is too much wiring in the ground for the fountain, I’d think, to allow the trees to be dug up.)

looking north from the south end of the courtyard at the trees

looking north from the south end of the courtyard at the trees

I talked to Pam, the activities director, about this and she agreed, and is going to run it by the director. I know the maintenance man agrees with me completely as he and I have discussed it before.

At home, the list of last visits of each garden has decreased by two with Golden Sands and Casa Pacifica (Sass) being officially put to bed.

done

Some of the jobs that are left have very little to do, and others, like Long Beach and Jo, will take at least a day each.

More significantly, the bulbs for jobs are ALL PLANTED…almost. I have a few crocuses and lilies coming on December 2 that will go in at Long Beach and the Depot. It is almost the end of Bulb Time.

Tomorrow we hope to mulch at Boreas Inn and be able to add that to gardens put to bed for the winter. It depends on the weather and being able to connect with Raymond at the Planter Box to get our cow fiber loaded.

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Monday, 25 November, 2013

As the weather continues to be bright and warm, I am not envious of the sleeping cats when I leave the house for work.

Smokey and his mom Mary are awfully cute.

Smokey and his mom Mary are awfully cute.

I had looked hopefully on the porch for the delayed shipment of 200 tulips that had been supposed to arrive on Friday, and without which the three last bulb planting jobs and the happy end of bulb time was frustratingly delayed. No bulbs! My back up plan, to mulch instead, would depend on whether or not Raymond was available at the Planter Box to load us with cow manure. Yes, he was!

First we had to unload yesterday’s debris from the trailer. The clean debris went into one of the piles in the back garden, giving me a chance to check on it; I had not had much free daylight time lately.

back garden today

back garden today

The last glorious dahlia is done.

The last glorious dahlia is done.

All the hardy Fuchsias have their leaves crisped by frost. This makes me sad as they usually last much longer.

Fuchsias and Verbascum

Fuchsias and Verbascum

With an empty trailer, we went straight to The Planter Box. While getting ready to load the “Bovine Fiber Digest” (their official name for the processed dairy manure), Raymond told me that we are one of the two warmest spots in the country today: Florida at 70 something degrees and SW Washington Coast in the 60s. I had already changed to my summer shirt.

first load of cow fiber

11:30 AM: first load of cow fiber

Our first target: The Anchorage Cottages.

Anchorage, garden near office, before

Anchorage, garden near office, before

after

after

lovely cow poo

lovely cow poo

Courtyard garden, before, with more of the low glaring sun we are having daily.

Courtyard garden, before, with more of the low glaring sun we are having daily.

courtyard after

courtyard after

I kept the mulch a bit back from the edge so the little, well, turdlets, won’t roll out onto the nice clean courtyard. So the contrast between old sandy soil and the new rich look shows well here:

contrast

contrast

We had enough mulch to do part of the beds by the south end of the cottage complex, as well. Then, back to The Planter Box. I was determined to get as much mulching done as possible since Raymond was there all day long; when he is off on a landscaping job, there is no one to load the fiber.

12:44 PM:  second load

12:44 PM: second load

We had a problem when leaving the Planter Box: The speedometer, tachometer, and gas tank, er, thingie (how much gas is left) all went to zero. It was not the alternator, as the radio and the indicator that shows our miles per gallon still worked. It added considerable worry, in my mind at least. The day had been going so well and I hoped to get three loads of mulch distributed without mechanical problems bringing us to a halt. I especially dread a breakdown with a heavy trailer of mulch attached.

When we got to Long Beach, the second load (which I decided to not refer to as “load number two”) went here:

the newly redone bed in frying pan park, Fifth Street in Long Beach

the newly redone bed in frying pan park, Fifth Street in Long Beach

Hmm, I think that garbage can brings down the tone. It is a cute enough garbage can, but having the bag showing is not quite right. However, it is Not My Problem, and it will not show as much when a bench gets put back next to it. [Next day I learned that it is going to be removed.]

We also added a nice layer of cow poo to the small garden bed on the south side of Summer House, the yellow house you can see in the background of the above photo. And joy! When Allan turned the van back on, all the meters worked as they should. I had been hoping that turning if off and on again would do the trick.

Next we added a nice layer of Cow Fiber at the welcome sign. (Last week we had mulched all three of these areas with Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)

welcome sign with a double whammy of two kinds of mulch

welcome sign with a double whammy of two kinds of mulch

To my delight, the four scoops of cow fiber extended far enough to put a thick layer on the north and east side beds at the Depot Restaurant.

lusciousness at the Depot

lusciousness at the Depot (north side of deck)

east side of dining room

east side of dining room

Back to The Planter Box for load number three!

2:20 PM: Raymond tidies up the Cow Fiber pile after loading our trailer.

2:20 PM: Raymond tidies up the Cow Fiber pile after loading our trailer.

By the way, The Planter Box has a nice selection of bulbs for those who might still need some. It is not too late to plant; around here, you can plant bulbs well into December.

bulbs

bulbs

Just to keep the suspense strong about whether or not we would accomplish offloading three loads of mulch today, the engine light came on in the van. My heart sank when I came back outside from paying and saw Allan with his head under the hood. Whatever he did worked. The light went off and all was well as we drove to the Port of Ilwaco.

and at the Port of Ilwaco

at the Port of Ilwaco

We mulched the end of the bed where we had weeded and planted new plants last week.

bed, with empty wheelbarrow

bed, with empty wheelbarrow

And we mulched down at the Port Office on the new-this-past-year south side bed.

3:07 PM:  Oh, how I wanted the glaring blinding sun to go behind Cape Disappointment!

3:07 PM: Oh, how I wanted the glaring blinding sun to go behind Cape Disappointment!

Then we headed over to Mayor Mike’s garden at the south end of Lake Street. There, we used much less mulch than I had thought the garden would need. The beds are quite narrow. I forgot to take a picture, but I did take one of two of my canine friends walking by.

Dwight walking Larry and Big River.

Dwight walking Larry and Big River.

The dogs had had a great time at the riverside park on the east end of town.

With plenty of cow fiber left, we unexpectedly had enough to do more mulching down at the port along Howerton Street.

beds along Howerton north of the Port Office

beds along Howerton north of the Port Office

I do hope to find time Friday or even on Thanksgiving day to do some trimming of the plants here, as this weekend is the first day of the Saturday Christmas Market in a storefront just at the end of these beds (next to Time Enough Books, where the red Christmas Market sign is on the left).

More luscious mulch should help hold moisture next summer.

More luscious mulch should help hold moisture next summer.

We had just enough left to add a smattering of mulch by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and The Imperial Schooner restaurant at the west end of Howerton.

a Jade Frost Eryngium still blooming, albeit sideways

a Jade Frost Eryngium still blooming, albeit sideways

looking east

looking east

and north

and north

more jet trails

pots ready for crabbing

On the drive down to Ilwaco, I had seen a disconcerting sight in the Fifth Street park’s waterfall quadrant: The Gunnera was DOWN. We did not stop for fear we would not have gotten the manure offloaded before dark, but now we went back to Long Beach to deal with the problem.

unsightly frosted Gunnera

unsightly frosted Gunnera by Benson’s By The Beach Restaurant

I saw a Little Brown Bird dining on the Gunnera seeds!

very busy

very busy

Little Brown Bird

Little Brown Bird

bird

At the back of the park, the lacecap Hydrangea had also been hit hard by unseasonal frost. It is a darn shame because the frost was followed by such summery weather and warmer nights.

a limp hydrangea

a limp hydrangea

We cut back the dead leaves of the Gunnera and tucked some of them over the crown in hope of protecting it from future frost. The seeds are still there for the Little Brown Bird.

Gunnera tucked in for winter

Gunnera tucked in for winter

Here’s something ever so satisfying: The white board in the kitchen tonight.

Today's accomplishment! before and after

Today’s accomplishment! before and after

Also satisfying: the last bulbs came and are now sorted and ready to plant tomorrow. We have one large and one medium bulb batch to plant and two little afterthought batches of fifteen each. When that is done, and The Boreas Inn and Andersen’s RV Park are mulched, one side of the project board will be blank. I am going to shift mulching Jo’s over to the planned work for next February! Then we just have to deal with the list of last clean ups (weeding and cutting plants back) for each garden:

here they all are

here they all are

Jo’s is a big one, as is Long Beach.

And then staycation will begin! Unless….unless….we decide to put in a big garden bed at Erin’s place before our winter break.

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Sunday, 24 November, 2013

Today was a big bulbing day.  With no recreational or social stops whatsoever, we drove straight up to Klipsan Beach Cottages, where we had 566 Narcissi to plant at the A Frame.    The A Frame sits down lower than the eight cottages that line the ridge and is to the south of Mary and Denny’s house and the entry road.  Like all the units, it is privately owned, and when the owners Pete and Darlene are not there it becomes one of the vacation rentals.

The A Frame from the entry road

The A Frame from the entry road (taken after our planting session)

The A Frame

The A Frame

When tossing out batches of bulbs for Allan and I to plant, I have learned that if there is a batch of 5 to 10 in a bag, it is easier to find them if I just drop the bag and then whoever plants arranges the bulbs in a pleasing pattern.

bags in a ground-cover-y area

bags in a ground-cover-y area

Otherwise, the bulbs disappear into ground cover (here, beach strawberry that has had the nerve to move in to the area, and sweet woodruff, which I most decidedly did not plant.  It is a nemesis of mine!).

When looking for somewhere to fit that many bulbs, I noticed an impractical in and out swoop of the lawn between a few hydrangeas that Darlene had had planted a couple of years ago.  Denny agreed the area was awkward for the lawn mower so I decided to join up the hydrangea semi circles.

before

before

after

after

Unfortunately, the horrible ivy just beyond the garden actually is on the neighbouring property next to the irregularly shaped lot.

bright sunshine and strong shadows

bright sunshine and strong shadows

Again, the sun shone powerfully, blinding me as I moved from sun to shade.  While digging out the new bed I got so hot that I changed into a summer shirt and was awfully glad I had not removed it from the car.  It was 61 degrees!

blue blue sky

blue blue sky

Someone told me later that the unusual number of jet trails in the sky were from jets being turned around due to a big storm in Texas that has delayed many flights.

In the beds around the decks of the house, I planted the showy narcissi that I chose (unusually) this year:  Flower Record, Tropical Sunset, Fragrant Rose, High Society.  I hope they won’t be too gaudy.

by the deck

by the deck

I thought for sure I had pulled the last of the painted sage yesterday at the boatyard.  Here was a healthy clump still in bloom by the A Frame’s propane tank!

Much of the A Frame garden is wooded.  Once upon a time, ivy covered the soil between the A Frame and the cottages till Allan and I hacked at it and rolled it off like a noxious carpet.

sparsely treed woods reclaimed from ivy

sparsely treed woods reclaimed from ivy

To plant in that tough ground and in the rooty spots of the newly created hydrangea bed, I found that the new red tool we recently got from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart outshone my beloved Ho Mi (Korean hand plow, E-Z Digger, Zen Digger).

My ho mi supplanted by the hefty red tool

My ho mi supplanted by the hefty red tool

The warm sun continued to make bulb planting feel unseasonal during our entire long session at KBC.

the last leaves of Tiger Eyes sumac

the last leaves of Tiger Eyes sumac

over by the garage

over by the garage

and the matching pump house door

and the matching pump house door

I had been terribly worried toward the end of our A Frame planting  that we would not get done in time to do Marilyn’s garden as well.  We did, and with enough time to take some Christmas decoration photos.

It feels weird to see Christmas decorations out in the summer-like weather.  Mary went ahead and put them up today because later this week, she will be so busy with visiting family that she won’t have time.

tower of white lights in the garden

tower of white lights in the garden

I have not been able to bear cutting down the wands of the Dierama

I have not been able to bear cutting down the wands of the Dierama (even though they hang over the path)

Up on the cottages, Mary hung a wreath for each one.

cottage door

cottage door

wreath with ocean view

wreath with ocean view

A little after two thirty, we went north to Marilyn’s garden and planted a considerably smaller batch of bulbs: only 136.

We leave many of the tall perennials and grasses standing all winter at Marilyn’s as they provide shelter and seeds for the birds she loves to watch from her window.

I did pull the cosmos, painted sage, and cut back some flopsy perennials along the path to make room for bulbs.

before

before

after

after

Just when we had finished, I noticed that in the driveway garden, a double pink Hellebore is already about to bloom.   I cut all the tatty old leaves to the ground, as one is supposed to do.

Hellebore before

Hellebore before

and after

and after

Hellebore in bud.  It will be glorious.

Hellebore in bud. It will be glorious.

Much to my delight we got done in time to go to Wiegardt Gallery with enough light to cut back some perennials and plant 20 more Narcissi bulbs.  This job absorbed 10 of the ‘Fragrant Breeze’ bulbs that I forgotten to account for in my last order.

Allan chopping perennials

Allan chopping perennials (and the last, still green cosmos pulled out)

As the sunset, I took some photos of the ornamental grass area by the road.

My favourite, Stipa gigantea

My favourite, Stipa gigantea

I wanted to take photos showing the view to east and west on the paved walking path that goes by Wiegardt Gallery.  First,  I noticed all the windblown grass blades all over the lawn.

uh oh....it was on both sides of the paved walking path.

uh oh….a mess on both sides of the paved walking path.

 With enough light left to pick them up, I gathered over three hundred blades in a big armful.  It is the sort of job that leads to counting.  Allan did not understand why I didn’t just rake; I felt the area was too large, and there were too many leaves, and it was just easier to gather them.
He helped me finish.

He helped me finish.

Then I could take a tidy set of east and west photos.

looking west along Bay Avenue toward the ocean

looking west along Bay Avenue toward the ocean; the sky was pale pink. Really.

looking east to Willapa Bay

looking east to Willapa Bay, with another pink sky that did not register

To the left, the Pacific Ocean.  To the right, Willapa Bay.

Bay Avenue

Bay Avenue. What they call Peninsula Highway, we call Sandridge Road (along the bay)

Now we have but three batches of bulbs to plant other than mine own, one large, one medium, one quite small.  It is all contigent on an order of 200 tulips arriving that were due on Friday and have somehow got hung up in Portland (according to UPS tracker).  Without them, bulbing is now at a standstill.

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Saturday, 23 November, 2013

Tomorrow we will get back to some serious bulbing.  Enough were planted today to just barely qualify it as a bulbing day!  We had many distractions, in particular the monthly Peninsula Cash Mob event which we help organize.

Cash mob came almost first on the schedule.  We were distracted on the way by the site of the World’s Largest Dungeness Crab Pot Tree being decorated.

Allan took this photo.

Allan took I both took a photo from this angle; his came out better.

His photo of adding garlands and lights was also better than mine!

His photo of adding garlands and lights was also better than mine!

Then we arrived at the Don Nisbett Art Gallery.

nisbett

nisbett

nisbett

We felt the startlingly warm and pleasant weather may have gotten in the way of masses of people attending the mob.  For such a gorgeous day, it was reasonably successful.

a happy crowd

a happy crowd

The idea of cash mob is that just a small purchase helps.  Don had set out a number of lower priced things:  magnets, cards, tiles, and a special deal on handpainted wine glasses.

wine

Allan asked if Don had ever done a painting of the crab pot tree.  One of the cash mobbers found the painting to show us.  I loved the way his smile got bigger as I took the photo.

one

one…

two

two

three!

three!   This fellow is an expert in invasive plants.  The crab pot tree is non invasive.

Don was working on a new painting…

artist at work

artist at work

But we had to go to work for awhile at the boatyard.

The cosmos were completely done…

Cosmos season officially over!

Cosmos season officially over!

At the boatyard, we are leaving some architectural stems and dried flowers and seedheads up, at least till midwinter or the next big storm.

boatyard garden

boatyard garden

There was a horrific amount of creeping sorrel in some areas of the southernmost stretch of the long narrow garden.  We did not have time to deal with that today, and the sun’s low angle would have made it hard to weed.

not done!

not done!

At least we got the cosmos out…and ten Narcissus ‘Fragrant Breeze’ added to the garden, thus helping to qualify this as a “bulb time” day.

Back we went to the Nisbett Gallery, where we saw the painting Don had made:  by request, a steam punk crab!

don

Don with the purchasers, Dee and spouse.

Don with the purchasers, Dee D. and spouse.

Dee D. and her husband told us the steam punk crab had been their idea, for a relative who is very much into it.  I suggested they advise him to go to the Jules Verne room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

By the way, this is the view right outside Don's gallery.

By the way, this is the view right outside Don’s gallery.

We had lunch at the cash mob restaurant of the day, OleBob’s Galley, just a few doors to the west.

OleBob's

OleBob’s

my delicious crab cake lunch and some purchases of Don's art magnets.

my delicious crab cake lunch and some purchases of Don’s art magnets.

For years, I thought the restaurant was pronounced Ole Bob’s (like Old Bob) till I learned it was named after two fishermen friends, Ole (pronounced Olee) and Bob, the latter being the dad of the people who own the restaurant now.

Ole and Bob

Ole and Bob

Their boat the OleBob.

Their boat, the OLE BOB.

While we were dining, Allan (who was seated facing the water view) said “Dog!”  As in, Dog Alert!  I looked and saw the most amazing dog walking by and had to leave my meal to go meet him.

a Caucasian Ovtcharka!

a Caucasian Ovtcharka!

The enormous Caucasian Ovtcharka (a breed I had never heard of) was tail wagging and pettable and had exceptionally soft fur.

As I finished my crab cakes, I worried a bit that not many cash mob diners had gone to OleBob’s.  The weather had just been too fine, I think.  I hope some locals do a belated cash mob lunch there next week.  (They will be open only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday due to Thanksgiving.  And I think they are open on Sundays.)

We also stopped it at Time Enough Books, my favourite bookstore, which happens to be between OleBob’s and Nisbett Gallery.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

Owner Karla told us that for $200, any local citizen can sponsor a boat to be decorated for the lighted boat parade (this year on December 7) and of the $200, $100 will be donated to the Ilwaco High School music program.  The students will decorate (and undecorate) the boat.

Back at Don’s gallery to take a few more photos for the cash mob page, we saw our friend Robbie, who as a “Critter Sitter” had also been impressed with the big dog and had taken his photo.  I’m hoping she will send it to me as it is better than mine.

She did!

She did!

Our friend Robbie who has a Critter Sitter business bought this wine glass with dogs.

Our friend Robbie who has a Critter Sitter business bought this wine glass with dogs.

Robbie's photo of me on photo detail, mainly to show the little camera behind most of this blog.

Robbie’s photo of me on photo detail, mainly to show the little camera behind most of this blog.

I got the classic photo of cash going over the counter:

Allan and Jenna

Allan and Jenna

North of the parking lot after leaving the gallery, the sunlight cast an intense tree shadow on a green house at the south end of Myrtle Avenue.

tree

tree house

tree house

And then we were on our way to work, or so we planned.  First we needed to stop at home (just a couple of blocks away) and pick up some fresh caught crab at the house of our neighbours Jeff and Mary.  Then I saw that New Judy’s front door was open and called out to our new neighbour, who had just moved in, and offered her some crab.  She was most pleased.  Soon Our Judy heard us talking and came over and the four of us had a good natter.  Allan was getting restless about work, while I adopted my new philosophy that many things are more important than work (if one has the luxury of having enough money to get through the winter).

With only two hours of daylight left, we finally got back into work mode and headed to The Depot Restaurant to pull their dead cosmos.

They're not only merely dead, they're really most sincerely dead.

They’re not only merely dead, they’re really most sincerely dead.

We planted some ‘Akebono’ tulips and some ‘Fragrant Breeze’ narcissi and cut back the Persicaria that had gone to mush.

All it needs is some cow fiber to be put to bed for the winter.

All it needs is some cow fiber to be put to bed for the winter.

I do think that in the kitchen garden, the rosemary are greening up after being given a tonic of Ironsafe and Lime.

greener?

greener?

And yet two are still quite brown.  The only other tonic I can think of is to add some magnesium sulfate (epsom salts).

brown, green(ish), brown

middle one greening up but flanked by two small browned off ones

It’s a mystery.  If I had more time, I would get the soil tested.  It is Soil Energy, which has always been just fine for rosemary, on top of whatever old soil was in there.  I am thinking maybe the sprinkler system was on too much this past summer.

After the Depot we went to the Anchorage Cottages and cleared all the frosted annuals out of the windowboxes and containers.  The hardy fuchsias were all hit hard.  That makes me sad, as they often bloom into December.

Phooey!

Phooey!

I refuse to cut them back even though they look dead because I want them to be tall next year.  Next on the agenda for this job is a nice layer of mulch; the soil has lacked this for at least two years and is looking sandy grey and paltry.

Ten more Narcissus ‘Fragrant Breeze’ and I have almost dealt with that package of fifty that I’d forgotten to count!

We closed the day back at the port where I planted an Oriental poppy in the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and Allan dumped out and arranged a bag of white marble rocks we had gotten Jenna for her belated birthday.

The Queen's garden glowing in the dusk.

The Queen’s garden glowing in the dusk.

Just to the north, crab pots in the parking lot

Just to the north, crab pots in the parking lot

Of course, I had to walk around to the other side of Jenna’s shop to see the sunset colours in the water.

the marina

the marina

Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Company

Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company

I was standing on the upper dock so could not back up enough to get the sky into this horizontal shot, so….

sky

and here is another composition with Christmas lights on the railing:

lights

lights

The temperature at sunset was still crazily balmy.

At home, I ate some of the crab from Jeff and Mary right over the sink and found it awfully hard to save any for dinner later on!  Then processed and uploaded the cash mob photos to the Facebook page and, of course, blogged.

Meanwhile, Allan went down the street and snagged a blue wading pool that had been set in a “free” pile outside the house of someone who is moving.  It will be perfect to set plants in, with the pots in shallow water, when waiting to plant them during next year’s annuals season.  Thanks to Sheila for this tip; I have awaiting the arrival of a free wading pool for quite some time.  Although it has a pinhole leak or two, as one might expect from something salvaged from a “free” (read “junk”) pile, Allan has some goop that will fix it.

Tomorrow should be a SERIOUS bulb day.  I have a huge order sorted for the A Frame (part of Klipsan Beach Cottages) and am hoping to also get a smaller but still substantial batch planted way up north in Marilyn’s garden.

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