Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Today’s rain lacked gloriousness because we chose to work in it. We thought, when we woke to light drizzle, that we would enjoy the accomplishment of checking a couple of hauling jobs off of our list. We grabbed the opportunity to chop down a couple of plants in our front garden and divest ourselves of the resulting debris. My Rubus lineatus may not even return after this past winter’s hard freezes, and the Australian mint shrub in the foreground had a tattered look and had also got bigger than I thought it would.
after…much better view of the Hellebores
Off we drove in a light drizzle to the Depot Restaurant in Seaview, the next beach town north. We had two piles of debris there from previous work days to pick up, and I went along because I had three more pruning tasks in mind there.
at the Depot: forgot to take a before
during…native Spiraea douglasii
after….old stems removed to encourage new growth
I tackled the Escallonia that had caught my attention a few days earlier. Not only did it have a bald top, but it is so much the wrong plant for that spot. It would like to get huge and block the window entirely. Now, my plan is that it will come back from the base and will then be easier to keep low.
You may observe that as I pruned, the skies opened and heavy rain began to fall. It was not pleasant.
with debris loaded and ready to go
Our plan was to pick up the pile we had left after pruning a tree at The Anchorage Cottages. We swung by Garden Tour Nancy’s on the way to leave a container of mixed sweet pea seeds on her porch, a trade for some purple podded edible peas that she’d dropped off on my porch. She saw us and beckoned us in. I left my dripping raincoat and wet shoes on her porch, although my hair was streaming water as I can’t bear to wear a hat while working. That’s when the day turned better. Not only did we have a good visit with Nancy and Phil; we were invited to a delicious impromptu lunch!
a tableau in Nancy and Phil’s new powder room
view from the east window
view from the south window
and a wonderful lunch with Nancy’s homemade pasta sauce, freshly grated Parmesan, and basil
After lunch and garden talk, the rain had stopped so we had a quick tour of the garden.
a chicken coop from a kit; soon to be occupied
the flower border we made a year and a half ago
Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’
In the lack of rain, we continued our work day by collecting our branch pile from the Anchorage Cottages just north of Long Beach.
Sunday’s pruning job looks more defined with the branches removed from behind the tree.
On the way to the transfer station (AKA the dump), we stopped at Dennis Company so I could buy more sweet pea seeds. The tulips in the planter just north of the store looked promising. A sharp eye can see chickweed underneath them. We did not have time to deal with it because the local dump closes at four thirty.
city planter: to be weeded later
The dump is located east of Sandridge Road. We could have taken to debris to Peninsula Landscape Supply but I thought they might have closed their gates in discouragement over the torrential rain. On the way to the dump, we drove past cranberry bogs and saw we were not the only ones working in bad weather.
digging out a bog
entering the transfer station road
up and over a little hill
and here we are; we dump yard waste behind the big blue building.
4:25 PM: On the way back home down Sandridge Road, we were cheered by the sight of our client Diane’s nice display of Narcissi.
heading south past Diane’s garden
Oddly, when we got home the weather had almost completely cleared and yet…the power was out. Our plans to have dinner with visiting friend Kathleen Shaw looked perilous, as we learned that the power had gone out all the way to Klipsan Beach, encompassing every dinner restaurant that we like. Even stranger, our telephone internet (4G) also disappeared just after I’d managed to learn from the local Facebookers how widespread the outage was.
I’m so happy to tell you that the power returned at 5:45 PM, just in time to fulfil our plan to dine at Mexican Fiesta night at the Lightship Restaurant in Long Beach…the last fiesta night of the winter.
at the Lightship: Guacamole made tableside
We were joined by local artists Don Nisbett and Jenna (Queen LaDeDa) and their son Joe for an even more festive fiesta night.
Kathleen and Jenna
I had a feeling that the next day would turn out to be another work day. I’m still hoping for a storm this weekend that will permit me to read High and Dry!
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Still with the halfway decent weather and no rainy reading day! (Does all this wanting to stay home and read mean I want to retire? Maybe. I spend some time at work these days wondering why we are working so hard when we could afford to partially retire. The problem is, we really like all of our jobs.)
So we began at the Port, weeding a bit and planting some assorted California poppy seeds in the Howerton Street gardens.
West end of Howerton, looking east
While Allan weeded the Howerton Way beds on the north side of the Port Office, I weeded the little bed on the south side.
Port Office, south side
Muscari and Anemone blanda along Howerton
Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’ backed with tulips
I had hoped to have a rainy day get together at Olde Towne Café with our friend Kathleen before she drove back north. The good weather intervened. We finally made it there, after Judy (four doors down) had been and gone and Kathleen was done with her lunch. A half an hour did pass before we got back to work.
the view from our Olde Towne table; I was very taken with that brown coffeepot even though brown is “not my colour”.
other patrons at Olde Towne
one of our city planters right outside Olde Towne Café
To further our mission of getting sweet pea and poppy seeds planted, we went to the next (and last!) sweet pea job, the Boreas Inn in Long Beach. I was pleased to see some of my mom’s dogtooth violets coming up…. I had transplanted them here and there when my mother left her garden.
Erythronium at Boreas Inn garden
Because grass always creeps under the fence from the neighbour’s lawn into the area where Susie likes to plant sweet peas, I had decided to try a new method: planting them in long, narrow containers.
And then I began to plant poppy seeds and noticed that the hole where Ed Strange had removed a Phormium a few weeks before still had no new soil added. I decided that we should go get a yard of soil as I knew Ed was running behind in his landscape and mowing business because of rain. Part of what he does so excellently is mowing lawns, and that’s not a job that can wait for very long. So off we went. As we departed the Boreas property, a heavy rain began to fall and I felt sunk in gloom, being determined to do the soil job but expecting to be thoroughly and miserably drenched.
On the way to Peninsula Landscape Supply, we stopped at The Basket Case Greenhouse to pick up a few more santolinas and an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.
Eryngium’ Jade Frost’…I love it so much I always want more.
By then, I could see a lighter cast to the southwest sky and got some hope that the rain might stop.
still raining at Peninsula Landscape Supply while our soil was being loaded into the trailer
While sitting in the van hoping for the rain to stop, I realized I needed MORE Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ and a few other cool perennials for a long bed next to the squirting clam in Fifth Street Park. Fred and Nancy were not terribly surprised when we pulled back into the Basket Case parking lot and bought another two trays of perennials.
at the Basket Case
the perennial and herb greenhouse
On the way back to Boreas, we swung by Long Beach City Hall to drop off a plant bill. The north side display of mostly white flowers is looking even better than last week. And the rain had stopped!
Long Beach City Hall
With our yard of soil, Allan fluffed up the Boreas’ Garden Suite bed where he had positioned the new sweet pea planters.
We added soil to various spots in the lawn beds and, at Susie’s request, used to rest to level out some dips in the lawn itself.
It looks rather odd now.
Brown sand might have been better; I’m wondering if the lawn will now have areas that are too happy because of being in better soil. However, it needed to be done, and now it’s done, and Ed is happy that he does not have to find time to do it.
looking east toward the inn and the hot tub gazebo
As we drove off, Susie herself was happily broadcasting some lawn seed.
I had high hopes for a big storm coming in the next day so that I would have time to sit down and read High and Dry.
Friday, 28 March 2014
At last…after a good long sleep, I awoke to the sound of pelting rain. I celebrated with rain photos from every window.
Allan took this photo, from his window, of a robin on the wheelbarrow.
from the kitchen window
rain to the east
and to the south
The work board was peacefully almost empty of first time garden clean ups.
soon the next round of work will be added…but for now there is little guilt.
While breakfasting, before settling down to read High and Dry, I checked my Facebook feed on my phone. There, I saw that it was Olde Towne Café owner Luanne’s birthday. That changed the day’s plan.
Allan and I went to the new fiber arts shop at the Port, Purly Shell, to get her a gift certificate for yarn.
Purly Shell, right next to Time Enough Books, with art by Don Nisbett
inside Purly Shell
a cosy place for knitting and crocheting
We popped next door to Time Enough Books. I had a certain kind of book in mind for Luanne, one that speaks to the joys and strengths of solitude and self discovery. I was thinking SARK or May Sarton (Plant Dreaming Deep). Although bookshop owner Karla did not have those on such short notice, she knew exactly what I meant and picked up a copy of Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman. I had read it oh so recently on a rainy day and it was the perfect choice.
I also quite liked the “I dress this way…” magnet as it reminded me of the passage I had read just yesterday (in Sing Them Home) about a woman, new to a small town, being critiqued for the way she dressed.
On the board where customers can recommend a good book, I added Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, another wonderful recent read.
And then…Olde Towne Café. At first, Luanne was too busy cooking and serving to join her own birthday party!
Luanne on the move at Olde Towne
After we sat visiting with Jenna, Cat, and Rosemary for awhile, the lunch crowd thinned and Luanne’s son and coworker Michael took over so she could relax for a bit.
Luanne with a bouquet sent by her daughter back east
Luanne opens some tiny buttons from Cat.
Cat’s gift: inspirational mug and buttons
“Wild and beautiful heart”, ‘Soul sisters teach us how to fly”, “Put on your brave girl boots”.
birthday book and cards
Just as the party was almost ending, our friend J9 arrived to get a cup of coffee.
J9 and Luanne
Meanwhile, in the background, Allan talked with Chris about the new Black Lake Yacht Club, which apparently is a real plan (for really small boats), not just a joke. If Allan’s going to join a “yacht club”, we really will have to find a way to cut back on work.
By the time we got home, the rain had stopped and instead of reading, I had to go out and plant my own damn sweet peas, which led to some weeding, and to another day gone without reading. Rain is predicted for tomorrow. Could I possibly be so lucky?
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