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Archive for April, 2014

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

It was 80 degrees when we were getting ready to go to work at ten-ish.  This is almost unheard of here.

bright mid morning shadows in our driveway, Allan's photo

bright mid morning shadows in our driveway, Allan’s photo

Our goal for the day was the get the boatyard and all the Howerton Way gardens perfect for Saturday’s big events:  the children’s parade, Blessing of the Fleet, and opening day of Ilwaco Saturday Market.  We started at the boatyard, where at first I felt pleased at the lack of weeds.

boatyard: not too bad at the north end of the garden

boatyard: not too bad at the north end of the garden

This will take hardly any time at all, thought I.

This will take hardly any time at all, thought I.

I brooded over this hole where something recently planted had been stolen, probably a Penstemon or an Agastache.

I brooded over this hole where a small plant, recently planted had been stolen, probably a Penstemon or an Agastache.

and then I saw the great horsetail-y mess for a longish stretch of the garden.  Yikes.

and then I saw the great horsetail-y mess for a longish stretch of the garden. Yikes.

In the non gardening world, the Sea Breeze was taking to the water after a spell in the boatyard.

In the non gardening world, the Sea Breeze was taking to the water after a spell in the boatyard.

Just as I was about to really get down to weeding, Bill Clearman showed up so of course we had to have a schmooze before I went on the clock.

Carpenter and Craftsman Bill.

Carpenter and Craftsman Bill.

When I began to weed, I noticed that the deer had been browsing the garden.

They ate the tips of the Gaura, which is odd as they don't eat it on the Long Beach beach approach garden.

They ate the tips of the Gaura, which is odd as they don’t eat it on the Long Beach beach approach garden.

By one o clock, I could not take the heat anymore.  When I looked at the local weather page, 642weather, I saw why.

It certainly did feel like 81.1 degrees.

It certainly did feel like 81.1 degrees.  I call that HOT, not warm.

We repaired to Olde Towne Café for some hydration.

We repaired to Olde Towne Café for sandwiches and some hydration.

Olde Towne Café

Olde Towne Café

Luanne's lilac bouquet

Luanne’s lilac bouquet

The writers' group was meeting at the front table.

The writers’ group was meeting at the front table.

We had to go, but not back to work.  After a stop at City Hall to pick up the rather large packet of paperwork for the Ilwaco planter job (which we are still pondering), we headed to the relative coolness of home.  I had the end of month billing to do, and did it in midafternoon rather than in the evening.  Allan took apart and reassembled a recalcitrant string trimmer.  And then, at 5, we went back out to work, even though it was STILL 80 degrees.  Over an hour later, we had finished weeding the boatyard.

looking north from the gate

looking north from the gate

and south

and south

There was very little blooming yet, just three sorts of flowers.

lavender

Three of the lavenders had flowers

just ONE California poppy flower although there are many many seedlings.

just ONE California poppy flower although there are many many seedlings.

and two Euphorbias were blooming.

and two Euphorbias were blooming.

I must have had heat stroke, because I thought the above photo was straight when I took it.

not many flowers to pick yet.

not many flowers to pick yet.

After six PM, we had moved over the the west end of Howerton Way.

the two westernmost beds, looking west

the two westernmost beds, looking west

I wondered why the poppies were so much larger in the garden above than in the boatyard, till I started weeding and remembered the nice layer of washed dairy manure we had applied last fall.  I think I must propose doing that all along the boatyard in autumn 2014.

Papaver rhoeas (Flander's Field poppy)

Papaver rhoeas (Flander’s Field poppy)

The poppy reminds me of a Saturday last year when I was going to Olde Towne for lunch and a woman stopped me on the street and said “Don’t you do the boatyard garden?”  I replied yes, expecting a compliment.  Instead, she said “You have GOT to get down there and water; all the plants are wilting!”  Aborting my plan for lunch, I hurried the three blocks to the boatyard in a fit of anxiety, only to find that the “wilting” plants were the poppy buds which always start bent over and and then rise up.

the magical light of evening

the magical light of evening, and still no coolness in the air

Allan weeded the plain river rock bed in front of the old Harbour Lights Motel.

Allan weeded the plain river rock bed in front of the old Harbour Lights Motel.

harbourlights

motel

We keep hearing rumours that the hotel has sold, but maybe not.  We wish someone would buy it and reopen the ocean view cocktail lounge with pleasant ambience.

Working our way east, we weeded the Time Enough Books garden.

Working our way east, we weeded the Time Enough Books garden.

The coating of small river rock makes it very hard to weed out all the little grasses.

The coating of small river rock makes it very hard to weed out all the little grasses.

I think I am going to move a bucket of river rock every week to the INSIDE bed of the garden.

I think I am going to move a bucket of river rock every week to the INSIDE bed of the garden.

The rocks could all go the area where no plants are grown.  The ankle turning rocks are so hard to walk on while weeding.  I say keep river rock in dry creek beds and OFF of garden beds.

Looking east, we still had many garden sections to check on and we were out of time for the Port.  Fortunately, all but the easternmost three beds were recently done and should be easy (I fervently hope).

tomorrow's task

tomorrow’s task

AND we still have to get the whole main street of Long Beach looking good for Sunday’s parade.  Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be cooler tomorrow.

For the last hour, we worked on the Ilwaco planters.  I don’t really think it is for the last time, but the job is now officially in limbo till the city reviews “proposals”.  Allan would sort of rather not make a proposal, as he says he finds the job “boring” and “there is nothing new to learn.”  We have made an ultimatum: Please do not even consider us unless we have a faucet at each corner, as we are done with bucket watering the planters.  And the ten street trees.  Something has to be figured out or the plants that are in there will suffer.  It was a revelation to us when we had to think about making a proposal for the job and gave us the chance to step back and think about how we were killing ourselves hauling buckets.  I write this slathered with bengay just from pulling weeds!

I found out something I never knew before:  Allegedly, the original tree planting scheme did include water sources, but the money got spent elsewhere, so without water on hand, bucket watering or a frustratingly slow water pump truck was the only solution.

one of our pretty little tree gardens

one of our pretty little tree gardens

I would not miss the frustration of finding bulbs and plants pulled out of the planters and tossed on the ground.

I would not miss the frustration of finding bulbs and plants pulled out of the planters and tossed on the ground.

In another planter, more finger blight.

In another planter, more finger blight.

What I would miss is beautifying my town.  (The port gardens are a separate job.)

What I would miss is beautifying my town. (The port gardens are a separate job.)

As we checked on four blocks worth of planters (which are rather bare now, as we have not added any plants while the job is uncertain), I reflected on how obsessed we are with the job, doing things not all planter care people would think of.  We not only deadhead but remove dead or unsightly leaves, and we look at the planters each day as we drive in and out of town and stop for every problem.  And we can’t leave town for more than two days in summer without fretting over the plants dying in the small and easily baked cement containers.  That alone is giving me mixed emotions about trying to keep the job.

Tomorrow’s plan: We finish the Howerton Way gardening and then move on to Long Beach town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Wanting to get all the perennials planted here and there before Annuals Planting Hell begins late next week, I gathered a couple of trays of them into the van.  All the while, I could hear marching band music from the high school. It was getting louder as if the students were going to do what they sometimes do and march along the port to practice for the Loyalty Day Parade this weekend.  I expected them to march on down Pearl or Advent so while I continued sorting plants, Allan went to have a look-see.  I felt a great love for my little town while listening to the upbeat and well played music.

Ilwaco High School marching band

Ilwaco High School marching band

They had already turned and were marching back up the hill to the high school.

band2

Allan said they were playing that new hit song “Happy” (which I have somehow avoided hearing).

 

Larry and Robert’s garden

We started at Larry and Robert’s garden, half a block away.

very hard to get a photo of the shade border, which provides context for the next photo

very hard to get a photo of the shade border, which provides context for the next photo

two brunneras in the shade border:  'Jack Frost' and 'Looking Glass'

two brunneras in the shade border: ‘Jack Frost’ and ‘Looking Glass’

bright rhodo at the northwest corner of the house

bright rhodo at the northwest corner of the house

southwest corner of yard where we cleaned out a big pile of debris a year or so ago...now with Honesty

southwest corner of yard where we cleaned out a big pile of debris a year or so ago…now with volunteer Honesty

the little bit of landscaping that we did in the back yard...

the little bit of landscaping that we did in the back yard…

..inspired Larry to put out a table and chairs.  I like to see that.

..inspired Larry to put out a table and chairs. I like to see that.

Along west side of back yard...here's a big job, removing blackberries.

Along west side of back yard…here’s a big job, removing blackberries.

and we still have not had time to finish this!

and we still have not had time to finish this!

Today all we did was plant five Nicotiana langsdorfii in the flower garden.

Today all we did was plant five Nicotiana langsdorfii in the flower garden.

Howerton Way, Port of Ilwaco

Next, we planted (by which I mean Allan planted and I weeded elsewhere) three sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ clumps dug out of our own garden.

Allan has them planted but needs something from the van...much backing and forthing across the street as I set up plants.

Allan has them planted but needs something from the van…much backing and forthing across the street as I set up plants.

Narcissus 'Baby Moon', one of the latest bloomers.  I can count on it to be blooming on parade days (first weekend in May)

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’, one of the latest bloomers. I can count on it to be blooming on parade days (first weekend in May)

Tomorrow we will be weeding all the curbside gardens to prepare for Saturday's children's parade

Tomorrow we will be weeding all the curbside gardens to prepare for Saturday’s children’s parade

It was hot, hot, hot; later I heard from Our Judy that it was 74 F in the shade in her garden.

From where we were working, we could see all along the meander line that backs the properties that front onto Lake Street.

a makeshift panorama of the meander line.  Our bogsy woods are next to Jeff's red boat shed.

a makeshift panorama of the meander line from Myrtle to Advent. Our bogsy woods are next to Jeff’s red boat shed.

To the far right, above, willows mark the pond in the back of the Lost Garden.

I telephotoed a new sign behind the bogsy woods (easier than walking over to it).   It is going to be the new boat trailer parking area for the port. That used to be east of the marina, where now they are planning to set up Blues and Seafood in August.  I think the grassy field out back of our place will be livelier this year.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 8.52.40 PM

 

We added Eryngiums, sea thrift, and penstemons to the Marie Powell Gallery garden.

We added Eryngiums, sea thrift, santolinas, and penstemons to the Marie Powell Gallery garden.

Long Beach

All I wanted to get done in Long Beach town was to plant some Gaura ‘So White’ and Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ at Veterans Field and the big planter in Lewis and Clark Square.  In the big planter, we found some errant lady’s mantle and a dead Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfiles’ from last year, so some digging ensued.  I’d love to get all the lady’s mantle out of the planter.  Unfortunately, some of it is so close to the sprinkler heads that we can’t.  It just reseeds too much and has become one of my disliked thugs.

Allan digging out plants

Allan digging out plants

dead gaura and unwanted lady's mantle

dead gaura and unwanted alchemilla (lady’s mantle)

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' in the Lewis and Clark Square planter

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in the Lewis and Clark Square planter

After that, I felt the strong need for a revitalizing snack.  The wise thing would be, perhaps, a banana, but the lure of instant energy was too strong.

Cottage Bakery

Cottage Bakery

Tiger Paws!  I don't get a sugar crash at all; one of these keeps me going for hours.

Tiger Paws! I don’t get a sugar crash at all; one of these keeps me going for hours.

Several of my friends are embarking on much more healthful food regimens, especially because of the theory that cancer cells feed on sugar.  I should be more mindful, and actually have been having far fewer tiger paws this year.  Today, though, I was just in so darn much pain (sore from yesterday’s long day) that three ibuprofen barely made a dent.

When we dumped our debris, a small flock of these birds peeped and fluttered around the Long Beach city works yard.

When we dumped our debris, a small flock of these birds peeped and fluttered around the Long Beach city works yard.

My friends tell me it’s a killdeer and it will drag its wing and pretend to be injured if we came near its nest.  Sheila tells me, “They nest and lay their eggs in the gravel in open areas. I’ve had to block,off areas of my driveway to protect their nests.”

Erin’s Garden

We only had two plants to add to Erin’s garden:  Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ (she likes yellow flowers) and a Dianthus ‘Essex Witch’ (I like the small old fashioned pinks).

Felix emerged to say hello.

Felix emerged to say hello.

The boat narcissi required much deadheading.

The boat narcissi required much deadheading.

I am sure this is Princess Irene tulip, supposed to be a single early tulip; how can she bloom for so amazingly long?

I am sure this is Princess Irene tulip, supposed to be a single early tulip; how can she bloom for so amazingly long?

This tulip has been nonstop for weeks.

This tulip has been nonstop for weeks.

Oh, good going, someone got new lavenders to replace dead ones that we removed by the porch.

Oh, good going, someone got new lavenders to replace dead ones that we removed by the porch.

Soon we will be planting cosmos in the boat.

Soon we will be planting cosmos in the boat.

the garden of the cottage east of the big house

the garden of the cottage east of the big house

cottage garden: groundcovers good and bad

cottage garden: groundcovers good and bad

I am flummoxed by any way to get rid of the march of the oxalis through this garden.  (I did not plant the stuff.)

But I love the epimidium (bishop's hat), which I did plant.

But I love the epimidium (bishop’s hat), which I did plant.

Tulips, and the march of the oxalis

Tulip ‘Virichic’

tulippeach

tulips and a peachy heuchera

still more tulips coming on, an another groundcover that annoys me in its lust for space: sweet woodruff

still more tulips coming on, an another groundcover that annoys me in its lust for space: sweet woodruff

Tulip 'White Parrot'

Tulip ‘White Parrot’

poeticus narcissi, my favourite kind

poeticus narcissi, my favourite kind

fountain, and solomon's seal.  I wish I had some of that plant!

fountain, and solomon’s seal. I wish I had some of that plant!

It's a shady beauty.

It’s a shady beauty.

I was so busy deadheading that Allan had to point out to me the houses at the base of the fountain.

I was so busy deadheading that Allan had to point out to me the houses at the base of the fountain.

three of them

three of them

Erin had added a lovely Dicentra to her back garden.

Erin had added a lovely Dicentra to her back garden.

Anchorage Cottages

Just a bit north of Erin’s garden, we planted three dwarf escallonias where the pampas grass used to be at Anchorage Cottages.

laburnum beginning to flower by where we parked

laburnum beginning to flower by where we parked

No need to prune

“No pruning necessary; it just grows like this.”

I planted some dahlias in the same area, as it seems to be the only space not full of plants and Manager Beth craved some dahlias.  I hope they work out, get enough sun, and are not eaten by slugs and snails.  That took all my energy so photos fell by the wayside.

Boreas Inn

We had about ten plants (Agastaches, Eryngium, Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, violas and night scented phlox) for the Boreas garden, and while Allan planted them, I began to edge the gardens with the half moon edger.  He was skeptical about whether or not they needed edging, but I felt strongly that they did need it and  that weeding along the round rock edge would not be enough.

After I got the three main lawn beds cut out, I went to get the Boreas wheelbarrow from the other side of the inn.

Oh, no, the handle is broken!

Oh, no, the handle is broken!

Being that close to the entry garden, I had to have a peek.

white scilla redeeming its invasive nature with beauty

white scilla redeeming its invasive nature with beauty

Drat! The Leycesteria needs its ends trimmed.

Drat! The Leycesteria needs its ends trimmed.

And a hardy fuchsia needs its old stems cut...blast!

And a hardy fuchsia needs its old stems cut…blast!

Those things would have to be added to the end of the day.  Meanwhile, I joined Allan at pulling up the cut strips of sod around the beds, and we shared our wheelbarrow with only minor squabbling.  I think he may be as tired as I am and that might be why he was not thrilled about the edging job.

After awhile, I desperately needed bengay for the pectoral muscle involved in lifting and flinging sod.  There was a panic as I could not find any.  Finally, I fished out from under the passenger seat a tube that I had cut in half to get some dregs last time I needed it, and I was able to find a usable amount to soothe my pectoral muscle and finish the job.

a beautiful find.  And a removed sock because my toe hurt.  And it is six o clock and still much edging to finish.

a beautiful find. And a removed sock because my toe hurt. And it is six o clock and still much edging to finish.

one of three big beds, before and after, well worth it, I think.

one of three big beds, before and after, well worth it, I think.

And then we did the pruning in the entry garden.

with the dead fuchsia sticks pruned away

with the dead fuchsia sticks pruned away

the sword ferns looking lovely

the sword ferns looking lovely

ferns2

especially this one against the blue porch wall

especially this one against the blue porch wall

I keep hoping to find this little area (by stairs the guests don't use) miraculously transformed with some pavers.  One of these days, we will do it.

I keep hoping to find this little area (by stairs the guests don’t use) miraculously transformed with some pavers. One of these days, we will do it.

Susie's kitchen windowbox at the Boreas

Susie’s kitchen windowbox at the Boreas

west side deck

west side deck

Deck planter with dahlia and the very fragrant Viola 'Rebecca'

Deck planter with dahlia and the very fragrant Viola ‘Rebecca’

One of three plants we planted on the deck is Zaluzianskya, a new name to memorize…

It's a night scented phlox that is supposed to smell like chocolate in the late evening hours.

It’s a night scented phlox that is supposed to smell like chocolate in the late evening hours.

home

Home at last.  I thought this was going to be an easy day.  We had one plant, a Verbascum ‘Eleanor’s Blush’, to plant at Jo’s.  Even though she lives just south of the Boreas, at the end of the day I just could not do it because I was too tired to make words.

at home, bright light at 8 PM on Nora's garden to our west.

at home, bright light at 8 PM on Nora’s garden to our west.

a dazzling vignette in our front garden with wallflower and golden oregano

a dazzling vignette in our front garden with wallflower and golden oregano

I just about had enough oomph to take some plants out of the greenhouse; it’s getting awfully warm during the day.

Onyx and Mary on Nora's driveway

Onyx (from next door east) and Mary on Nora’s driveway

Smokey, Onyx, Frosty and Mary hanging out

Smokey, Onyx, Frosty and Mary hanging out on Nora’s parking pad

The few moments in our own garden were glorious and brief, after which I sat down and have not moved for two hours.  During our usual late dinner, we will be watching…any minute now…The Deadliest Catch.  I am sure it will inspire me with strength for tomorrow, as it always does.

my inspiration

my inspiration

I hope tomorrow, an all Ilwaco day to make perfect the gardens on Saturday’s parade route, turns out to be the pleasant and easy-ish day that I had in mind for today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 28 April 2014

more photo stream of consciousness (which may be all I have time for in the near future)

First on the agenda:  Get a birthday present for a friend at Time Enough Books.  Here's Scout.

First on the agenda: Get a birthday present for a friend at Time Enough Books. Here’s Scout.

Scout in a characteristic pose!

Scout in a characteristic pose!

I identify with that sign "I don't remember planting that."

I identify with that sign “I don’t remember planting this.”

dropped something off at home, looks awfully nice, wish could stay there!

view from the van:  dropped something off at home, looks awfully nice, wish could stay there!

planted two gallardia in the first Bolstadt beach approach planter.  Still have not had time to weed out here.  Rugosa roses are hiding weeds, though.

planted two gallardia in the first Bolstadt beach approach planter. Still have not had time to weed out here. Rugosa roses are hiding weeds, though.

and we planted along west side of city hall to replace some hebes and lavenders that had died...not with the same plants, though, as that particularly hebe was nowhere to be found.

and we planted along west side of city hall to replace some hebes and lavenders that had died…not with the same plants, though, as that particularly hebe was nowhere to be found.

Next:  The Basket Case Greenhouse.

Next: The Basket Case Greenhouse.

shy

Last week my kitty friend knocked over and broke one of those garden boot planters.

Last week THIS kitty knocked over and broke one of those garden boot planters.

kitty2

my Basket Case buddy Walter

my Basket Case buddy Walter

and Shadow who always wants to get in our van because it used to be the Basket Case van.

and Shadow who always wants to get in our van because it used to be the Basket Case van.

IMG_1328_2

next, Peninsula Landscape Supply to dump some debris from home, and a dead cistus we chopped at the Pelicano Restaurant garden today.

next, Peninsula Landscape Supply to dump some debris from home, and a dead cistus we chopped at the Pelicano Restaurant garden earlier today.  This is what happens to all the debris.

We got a yard of Soil Energy to offload at home at the end of the day.

We got a yard of Soil Energy to offload at home at the end of the day.

Next, Golden Sands Assisted Living.  The courtyard shows so well on Google earth.

Next, Golden Sands Assisted Living. The courtyard shows so well on Google earth.  A truly deer proof garden but it is hard to get supplies in there.

We were there with the weedeater for the center lawn.  A lawnmower would be faster but harder to get through the hallways into the courtyard.

We were there with the weedeater for the center lawn. A lawnmower would be faster but harder to get through the hallways into the courtyard.

These are the rhodos that were pruned too hard...till I arrived last fall and stopped it.

These are the rhodos that were pruned too hard…till I arrived last fall and stopped it.

These are the ones that I stopped from being pruned too hard.

These are the ones that I stopped from being pruned too hard.

A resident wanted to see out of her window.  Very reasonable, but if that it the case the rhodos just have to go away altogether.

A resident wanted to see out of her window. Very reasonable, but if that it the case the rhodos just have to go away altogether.

I was walking down the hallway brooding about the rhodos when I encountered a friend who mows lawns for a living.  He told me how a client wanted him to weed, and that he can make $150 a day weeding but $500 a day mowing.  This is true.  I know, because I used to mow.  It kind of boggled my mind though, as I pondered it on our way to our next job.  Knowing what to weed and plant is more skilled, and yet it pays so much less than slamming through a bunch of “mow and blow” jobs.  It was kind of upsetting to think about that!

Next, Andersen's RV Park.  No one was edging this bed, so we had brought the strimmer for that purpose, too.

Next, Andersen’s RV Park. No one was edging this bed, so we had brought the strimmer for that purpose, too.

Strimmer = string trimmer = weedeater.  That’s what they call it in the UK.  Much nicer.

Allan's weedeating method saves me from having to cut an edge with the half moon edger.

Allan’s weedeating method saves me from having to cut an edge with the half moon edger.

flip the strimmer sideways...like this

flip the strimmer sideways…like this

nicely edged now, although I did not have time to weed in the picket fence garden.

nicely edged now, although I did not have time to weed in the picket fence garden.

Tulips 'Artist' and 'Golden Artist' still blooming.

Tulips ‘Artist’ and ‘Golden Artist’ still blooming.

I weeded and planted in the garden shed garden.

I weeded and planted in the garden shed garden.  No time to edge, which WILL require the half moon edger.

ran out of time to weed back edge by wall

ran out of time to weed back edge by wall

need more time for this bed, too, although it is much better as had gone to couch grass AGAIN

need more time for this bed, too, although it is much better as had gone to couch grass AGAIN

Look, Salvia patens came back in the Payson Hall planter despite the cold winter!  Painted sage reseeded some as well, and moved some seedling down to edge of garden shed garden.

Look, Salvia patens came back in the Payson Hall planter despite the cold winter! Painted sage reseeded some as well, and moved some seedling down to edge of garden shed garden.

Allan finished weeding behind the office where we left off last time.

Allan finished weeding behind the office where we left off last time.

Oriental poppies heavily budded.

Oriental poppies heavily budded.

Also Allan got lots of goldenrod out of the garden by the restrooms and clam cleaning shed.  A little that comes back will be just enough this fall.

Also Allan got lots of goldenrod out of the garden by the restrooms and clam cleaning shed. A little that comes back will be just enough this fall.

The narcissi are done here, and the path needs weeding but....no time, the constant refrain. This job could take two days a week to be perfect.

The narcissi are done here, and the path needs weeding but….no time, the constant refrain. This job could take two days a week to be perfect.

We did have it perfect, all of it, every last bed and plant, last year for the Sisters on the Fly weekend, one of my most popular blog entries ever because of some photos I pinned to a trailer (caravan) board on Pinterest.

We left for home at 6:00 and by 6:18 we were about to start the project for which we got the soil.

planning to make this debris pile look more like a garden

planning to make this debris pile look more like a garden

Allan emptied this composter; we got it for free and it is good to put compost in, but it sure does not spin.

Allan emptied this composter; we got it for free and it is good to put compost in, but it sure does not spin.

inside the composter

inside the composter, wet and heavy muck…We have four assorted composters, because we collect kitchen scraps from Olde Towne Café as well as our own kitchen.

I am going to show you something repulsive now, so brace yourself if slugs make you queasy.  Slaughter followed, which made me queasy.  I tire of the carnage in the ongoing battle against slugs and snails.

THIS is why my transplanted potatoes are not doing well in the debris pile.

THIS is why my transplanted potatoes are not doing well in the debris pile.

a blanket of soil energy...and some Sluggo got sprinkled on this bed.

a blanket of soil energy…and some Sluggo got sprinkled on this bed.

If Allan had not helped me with this, it would have taken me far longer than till 8:00 o clock.  And from 6:18 was a ridiculously long time to offload one yard, even with compost spreading involved as well.  I would not have been able to charge a client for my end of day painful slowness.  I had to dig deep, so very deep, to finish this little task.

the back garden at almost dusk does not look too awfully weedy

the back garden at almost dusk does not look too awfully weedy

Persicaria bistorta superba and ornamental rhubarb

Persicaria bistorta superba and ornamental rhubarb

I have GOT to get this plant staked!

I have GOT to get this plant staked!

front garden just before hobbling indoors

front garden just before hobbling indoors

wallflower

and a stunning and long blooming wallflower

and a stunning and long blooming wallflower

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

an at home photo stream of consciousness

out in the garden...where to begin? so much horsetail

Saturday midmorning, out in the garden…where to begin? so much horsetail

east side, very hard to weed because grass comes under fence.  Would neighbours let me weed-eat their side?  Wish they wanted a garden bed on their side; they could grow peas or beans on our fence!

east side, very hard to weed because grass comes under fence. Would neighbours let me weed-eat their side? Wish they wanted a garden bed on their side; they could grow peas or beans on our fence!

where to begin...middle bed?

where to begin…middle bed?

or here...this could be my little scree garden but I have to move those strawberries first..the nice white ones a friend gave me.

or here…this could be my little scree garden but I have to move those strawberries first..the nice white ones a friend gave me.

maybe some of the strawberries could go here...and some could go down that narrow east side bed.

maybe some of the strawberries could go here…and some could go down that narrow east side bed.

or I could get the shotweed out of the boat!

or I could get the shotweed out of the boat!

Oh...that red grass I liked seems to have died...and the plume poppy is on the run everywhere...

Oh…that red grass I liked seems to have died…and the plume poppy is on the run everywhere…

I did not follow me mum's example and do ANY clean up of the bed of red strawberries, but they look ok.

I did not follow me mum’s example and do ANY clean up of the bed of red strawberries, but they look ok. She used to divide her strawberries annually and fussed over them a lot.

Allan decides to go overseas (Warrenton) to buy a toilet to replace our second leaky one.  Bye!  He pulls a weed on the way out.

Allan decides to go overseas (Warrenton) to buy a toilet to replace our second leaky one. Bye! He pulls a weed on the way out.

This fringed tulip 'Cummins' popped up from 2012's bulb.

This fringed tulip ‘Cummins’ popped up from 2012’s bulb.

Look at the inside!  It's a favourite but often browns off in rain.

Look at the inside! It’s a favourite but often browns off in rain.

trying new pea method...I just placed these containers by the fence...these are purple podded ones from Garden Tour Nancy...maybe safer from slugs this way (and put out Sluggo, too)

trying new pea method…I just placed these containers by the fence…these are purple podded ones from Garden Tour Nancy…maybe safer from slugs this way (and put out Sluggo, too)

Dug out the dead grass, planted Chamaecyparis 'Red Star'

Dug out the dead grass, planted Chamaecyparis ‘Red Star’, being influenced by Pam Fleming’s conifer suggestion…am easily influenced (by good gardeners)

west side...found room for a second golden barberry...wish east side strip was wide as this...bad original layout on my part resulted in narrow east strip, too hard to move path now...

west side…found room for a second golden barberry…wish east side strip was wide as this…bad original layout on my part resulted in narrow east strip, too hard to move path now…

rain, as predicted, in mid afternoon

rain, as predicted, in mid afternoon

got the strawberries moved...and got very tired of cold, strong wind...27 mph...exasperating

got the strawberries moved…and got very tired of cold, strong wind…27 mph…exasperating

Planted Chamaecyparis 'Treasure Island' where the Australian mint shrub used to be.

In the front garden now: Planted Chamaecyparis ‘Treasure Island’ where the Australian mint shrub used to be. Pretty little gold tree.

Look!  New growth!  My Dichroa febrifuga is not dead after all!

Look! New growth! My Dichroa febrifuga is not dead after all!

pruned old branches off...much joy...I loved that shrub last year with its dark blue berries.

pruned old branches off…much joy…I loved that shrub last year with its dark blue berries.

I like the Clematis montana by the garage...would like it trained across the garage door...but it might get into the works.

I like the Clematis montana by the garage…would like it trained across the garage door…but it might get into the works.

I love the dark Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'

I love the dark Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

and Geranium renardii

and Geranium renardii

I so adore Ribes speciosum, still blooming

I so adore Ribes speciosum, still blooming

and even though am not a heather person, I like this heather I got from Back Alley Gardens.

and even though am not a heather person, I like this heather I got from Back Alley Gardens.

Mary and Smokey usually garden with me, but not today.

Mary and Smokey usually garden with me, but not today. Too windy.

Frosty also stayed indoors instead of following me.

Frosty also stayed indoors instead of following me.

and now a serious squall arrives...

and now a serious squall arrives…

wanted to get more gardening done....yet am happy I will be able to finish my book.

wanted to get more gardening done….yet am happy I will be able to finish my book.

I just sit down and out comes the sun, so back out to the garden.  Not for long, as more rain comes very soon.

I just sit down and out comes the sun, so back out to the garden. Not for long, as more rain comes very soon.

I go back indoors.  Frosty has moved to the bedroom.

I go back indoors. Frosty has moved to the bedroom.

Calvin has not stirred from the bed all day.

Calvin has not stirred from the bed all day.

now, rain and 35 mph wind...so I do settle in with my book.

now, rain and 35 mph wind…so I do settle in with my book.

I love this book and find all sorts of good passages in it.

I love this book and find all sorts of good passages in it.

two

three

this is me in a the shell of a nut...

this is me in a the shell of a nut…

a marvelous excuse for avoiding a social occasion!!!

a marvelous excuse for avoiding a social occasion!!!

For years, I have been arranging my life in ways that make an introvert comfortable.

For years, I have been arranging my life in ways that make an introvert comfortable.

and yet people may think I am an extrovert because our job is so public...and this explains how and why I manage to give that impression to tourists in Long Beach!

and yet people may think I am an extrovert because our job is so public…and this explains how and why I manage to give that impression to tourists in Long Beach!

The idea of Free Trait Theory is a revelation to me.

The idea of Free Trait Theory is a revelation to me.

How I love this!  All the many mistakes I made brought me to being the gardener for Long Beach and Ilwaco.  And I am well aware of that when I think of the past.

How I love this! All the many mistakes I made brought me to being the gardener for Long Beach and Ilwaco. And I am well aware of that when I think of the past.

As I finish the book after midnight (after watching Grimm and some Doc Martin on telly), Frosty snoozes on my lap.

As I finish the book after midnight (after watching Grimm and some Doc Martin on telly), Frosty snoozes on my lap.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

boat garden, north side, ready for scree...except must wait till garlic harvest to have the whole space

boat garden, north side, ready for scree…except must wait till garlic harvest to have the whole space

the many white strawberries that I transplanted recovered just fine...

the many white strawberries that I transplanted recovered just fine…

this much rain fell overnight

this much rain fell overnight

disturbed a frog when bringing pots of scented geraniums outdoors, not too early I do hope

disturbed a frog when bringing pots of scented geraniums outdoors, not too early I do hope

Salvia africana lutea is blooming...hope does not mind being outdoors.

Salvia africana lutea is blooming…hope does not mind being outdoors.

worried that I planted some little narrow columnar trees too close to perennials...because I don't have much room in the garden for the tree idea.

worried that I planted some little narrow columnar trees too close to perennials…because I don’t have much room in the garden for the tree idea.

This little yew may get buried.

This little yew may get buried. Also…still much horsetail and plume poppy to pull…

loving Geum 'Alabama Slammer' and the name amuses me.

loving Geum ‘Alabama Slammer’ and the name amuses me.

spent most of the day planting things...not my favourite task...here is early evening light in shade garden under former danger tree

spent most of the day planting things…not my favourite task…here is early evening light in shade garden under former danger tree

Today Smokey gardened with me.

Today Smokey gardened with me.

So did Mary.  And Onyx from next door.

So did Mary. And Onyx from next door.

Black Parrot tulips returned from last year.

Black Parrot tulips returned from last year.

love them

love them

must find name of this barberry I got from Dancing Oaks in 2008...get better pic...email it to them for ID

must find name of this barberry I got from Dancing Oaks in 2008…get better pic…email it to them for ID. (They had one in their display garden so they should know.)

Euphorbia backed with Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns'

Euphorbia backed with Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

Geranium phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'

Geranium phaeum ‘Margaret Wilson’

'Red Magestic' contorted filbert

‘Red Magestic’ contorted filbert

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

new leaves on smoke bush

new leaves on smoke bush

Telephoto shows how well they tone with Jeff's boat house two lots away!

Telephoto shows how well they tone with Jeff’s boat house two lots away!

pulled last year's forgotten carrots from a pot...relic of edible garden tour...a bit woody now, I would think..

pulled last year’s forgotten carrots from a pot…relic of edible garden tour…a bit woody now, I would think..

got lots and lots of plants planted, including a flat of Nicotiana langsdorfii (running theme in garden) but still have not figured out where to out all these hellebores.  Allan's garden looks so good.

got lots and lots of plants planted, including a flat of Nicotiana langsdorfii (running theme in garden) but still have not figured out where to out all these hellebores still sitting by Allan’s garden …which looks so good.

hellebores in garden still blooming...want a "hellebore walk" through the garden but running out of room!

hellebores in garden still blooming…want a “hellebore walk” through the garden but running out of room!

Smokey and Thalictrum 'Illuminator'

Smokey and Thalictrum ‘Illuminator’

Callistemon...dying...just like they always do...so frustrating.

Callistemon…dying by front gate…just like they always do…so frustrating. Too much sun? One at KBC doing well in shade. Too much wind?

very good late yellow tulip in front garden

very good late yellow tulip in front garden

Meanwhile….

Allan flew a kite in the parking lot in the evening (and during the day, the nasty job of replacing the old toilet)

Allan flew a kite in the parking lot in the evening (and during the day, the nasty job of replacing the old toilet)

A nice reward, and he saved us money (as I was going to hire a plumber to do the job)

A nice reward, and he saved us money (as I was going to hire a plumber to do the job)

and he picked this lovely zombie bride bouquet from the boatyard garden

and he picked this lovely zombie bride bouquet from the boatyard garden

Accomplished: much planting, much less weeding than I would have liked, one excellent book read, and the fastest two-day blog post I have ever done. So wish could take tomorrow off but there is much to do to get the towns ready for the next weekend’s annual parades.

Had to do as fast a blog post as possible because…Doc Martin is due soon at the library and we have to finish season four and watch all of season 5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 25 April 2014

The crisis is just that I’m almost 60 and cannot slam out twenty ten hour days in a row anymore like I could when I started writing this blog (2007). I am giving lots of deep, deep thought to the problem that, while we like all our jobs, we could financially afford to take two days a week off, even…gasp!..three sometimes, and maybe we won’t be the lucky ones who live and garden till 80. If I have 20 years or less left to garden, I want to spend more of it at home.

You may note there has been no whinging about the horrors of weeding the Long Beach beach approach garden. That’s because we have not even had time to start on it. Most other jobs have been started but not brought anywhere near perfection yet.

Smokey and Mary would love if I spent more time at home; they like to spend time with me whether I am reading or in the garden.

Smokey and Mary would love if I spent more time at home; they like to spend time with me whether I am reading or in the garden.

Despite finger blight, my favourite jobs are the public ones because I feel they give more joy to more people…the city jobs, the resorts, the B&Bs. Even though they are the most high pressure jobs because they have to look good all the time, they would be the hardest to let go.

Some of them are where we worked today.

We stopped at The Depot Restaurant just to put some Dr Earth all purpose fertilizer on the rosemary bed. I have tried all sorts of potions (not all at once) to get the rosemaries to stay green: Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Safe, lime…

pitiful rosemary

pitiful rosemary

I’ve had such great results with Dr Earth on various plant problems that I don’t know why I have not applied it before. I was of the mind that herbs don’t like fertilizer.

In Long Beach town, we deadheaded and weeded Fifth Street Park.

orcas, squirting clam, frying pan

squirting clam, orcas, frying pan

I was thrilled that the Phlomis fruticosa and the gunnera are both showing signs of life after having been almost given up for dead. However, there is not much action from the sweet pea seeds. I have so little faith in a seed. Do they know? Even though it is late, I planted some more.

Phlomis emerging after all....so slowly

Phlomis emerging after all….so slowly

Tulip 'Artist'...and foliage of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' which I want OUT of that planter.

Tulip ‘Artist’…and foliage of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ which I want OUT of that planter.

In a damp corner:  Camassia.  With one flower stem broken off, I hope by wind and not fingers.

In a damp corner: Camassia. With one flower stem broken off, I hope by wind and not fingers.

The gold in the background is the lovely Thalictrum ‘Illuminator’.

And then we went to the Boreas Inn on the mission of planting some plants, including 9 Nicotiana langsdorfii (green flowering tobacc0, a chartreuse bell that is a great repeat accent spread throughout a garden).

at the Boreas

at the Boreas

looking east to the hot tub gazebo

looking east to the hot tub gazebo

looking east...the new lawn patches filling in.

looking east…the new lawn patches filling in.

We pulled lots of horsetail sprouts from the beds and hope to find time to edge the beds soonish. The horsetail here is the big stemmed kind, much easier to pull (we should cut it off, but that takes too long) than the thready delicate kind that my garden suffers.

Next, we went over to the Red Barn Arena, mainly to deadhead at Diane’s garden next door. Allan did shift soil from an old whiskey barrel to a new plastic one. The first thing I thought when I saw the new planter was “I hope there are holes in that.” There were not and it was half full of water.

Lacking a drill, Allan put holes in it like this:

desperate measures

desperate measures

from old

from old

to new

to new

Part of Diane’s garden is an area I think of as public as it provides a pleasant garden view to folks driving down Sandridge Road.

It was quite the eyecatcher earlier when the narcissi were in bloom.

It was quite the eyecatcher earlier when the narcissi were in bloom.

In the back driveway are containers, now featuring tulips.

Diane likes pastels.  I think 'Artist' might be too bright here.

Diane likes pastels. I think ‘Artist’ might be too bright here.

Tulip 'Artist', brighter than I expected

Tulip ‘Artist’, brighter than I expected

Tulip 'Jackpot'

Tulip ‘Jackpot’

Jackpot is one of my favourites.

Jackpot is one of my favourites.

We made a shopping stop at The Basket Case Greenhouse a couple of miles north; the Blooming Nursery truck had come today with some new Agastaches, and a couple of flats of my favourite perennial:

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

How much is that kitty in the plant tray?

How much is that kitty in the plant tray?

While we were there, Nancy brought out easter cupcakes for us! By the time I took the photo later on, one had tipped over in the package. I look forward to feasting on mine after dinner.

Thanks, Nancy!

Thanks, Nancy!

Then we drove east on Cranberry Road, which may not have the Cranberry Museum (it’s on Pioneer Road instead) but does have bogs.

Cranwood bogs

Cranwood bogs

I had been hoping for a whole day to spend at Andersen’s RV Park, had realized that would be impossible because of the other stops we needed to make, and was moderately pleased to get there a little after three. Allan tackled a very weedy spot behind the office.

couch grass...the horror.

couch grass…the horror.

Couch grass is one of the hardest weeds.

Couch grass is one of the hardest weeds.

...and it is all through these beds.

…and it is all through these beds.

I sorted out some plants to go in the ground, and this time I did the planting.

Nicotiona langsdorfii, an Agastache 'Summer Glow', Lavatera 'Barnsley' and a few more

Nicotiona langsdorfii, an Agastache ‘Summer Glow’, Lavatera ‘Barnsley’, Carex ‘Cappucino’ and a few more

looking west.  The narcissi in six whiskey barrels are all done blooming.

looking west. The narcissi in six whiskey barrels are all done blooming.

Those narcissi have gotten so thick I think we will dig them out, plant them somewhere in the garden, and start over next fall with new bulbs.

In the Payson Hall planters, the first California poppies of the season (volunteers)

In the Payson Hall planters, the first California poppies of the season (volunteers)

I worked in the picket fence garden and did end up wishing I had all day.

Tulips 'Artist' and 'Golden Artist' are proving to be very good, long lasting doers.

Tulips ‘Artist’ and ‘Golden Artist’ are proving to be very good, long lasting doers.

tulips at a windy corner by the office

tulips at a windy corner by the office

blown

almost gone but too pretty to deadhead

almost gone but too pretty to deadhead

I managed to get all the plants planted in the picket fence garden, while running into a problem that is new to me. The Phlox, a white one, has decided to be a runner of sorts and is up into everything.

phlox....acting thuggish

phlox….acting thuggish

I dug some clumps of it out, and yes, discarded them. Allan commented later that we knew people who would have wanted them, but I don’t have time to share work plants unless the person is standing right there at the right moment.

I did not get nearly as far as I wanted with the weeding and clearing of phlox.

still in progress

still in progress

At least there is some definition now, and some Nicotiana are in there.

At least there is some definition now, and some Nicotiana are in there.

Allan’s weeding project looked much better.

after, west side of office sidewalk

after, west side of office sidewalk

and east side

and east side

It’s deceptive though, because if one looks closely, one sees the background of that horrid grass where there was not enough time to finish.

next time!

next time!

It was only 6:30, but I had hit the wall and hour before, kept on plugging along anyway, and had been thinking frantically about our overbooked situation, as described at the beginning of this entry.

At home, while I composed emails to three of our most recently acquired private garden clients bemoaning the hard fact that I have no idea when I will get back to them, Allan somehow mustered up the energy to mow the lawn. He had commented that there was an hour of daylight left. I was too tired to enjoy it outside.

I heard back almost immediately from two clients, each of whom said they will wait as long as it takes (even though I had offered up two other gardeners’ names and phone numbers!). One signed his email with the names of his two cats and three dogs as well. Clever fellow; he knows I am especially fond of one of those dogs.

We are taking two days off, days I wish I could spend tackling my own horsetail mess and planting crisis, days that are forecast to be rainy and windy so they might be reading time instead. Once upon a time we would have worked straight through for twenty or more days till we got caught up. I am done with that. Life is too fragile and short and I need to be in my own garden, and I think Allan needs to paddle his boat around on a lake. We are nowhere near retiring, and I might do Long Beach till my dying breath if they let me. Just give me two days at home in some nice weather!

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Ah…rain. Wednesday had been a rainy day off during which a number of things (like business paperwork) kept me from just reading all day, so I was very pleased to see more rain at 10:30 AM:

south window, blissful rain

south window, blissful rain

And then…out came the sun.

east window half an hour later!

east window half an hour later!

We still had plants in the van so were quick to get ready to go to work.

By our driveway, an allium emerging

By our driveway, an allium emerging

and chives taking on the sun

and chives taking on the sun

We made a quick stop at Olde Towne Café to switch compost buckets; while we were there, a patron told us about a bright spot of tulips near the old high school, so on our way north, we detoured down School Road to have a look.

colour in the distance

colour in the distance

tulips2

tulips3

tulips4

Kudos to whoever planted these. I am surprised wandering deer don’t eat them, as our client Ann’s garden is just uphill to the south and is continually plagued by deer.

We deadheaded and weeded at the Depot Restaurant, where the tulip and narcissi show is almost over. I won’t be planting annuals till after Mother’s Day so there will be a bit of a gap. We planted some Nicotiana langsdorfii and a pineapple sage and an Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’.

Tulip 'Green Wave' is coming on still.

Tulip ‘Green Wave’ is coming on still.

My first plan had been a bit of planting on Long Beach, but instead we decided to drive straight on to Klipsan Beach Cottages. We had not been there for two weeks.

on the entry lawn at KBC

on the entry lawn at KBC

big old rhodos, visible from the highway

at KBC: big old rhodos, visible from the highway

plants to go in at KBC

plants to go in at KBC

Above, Nicotiana langsdorfii, Jackman’s Blue Rue, Agastache ‘Sangria’ and ‘Cotton Candy’, and an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ to replace one that died, and a Lobelia tupa (which is so hard to get results from but when one does, it is spectacular). Later I added a Zaluzianskya capensis (‘Night Sceneted Phlox’).

Allan planted and weeded while I deadheaded narcissi and weeded. Below, I lift some leaves to show you some mice jumping headfirst into the ground.

Arisarum proboscideum (mouse plant)

Arisarum proboscideum (mouse plant)

By the mouseplant, mossy steps lead up to the pond.

By the mouseplant, mossy steps lead up to the back of the pond.

looking south across the pond

looking south across the pond

By the driveway, Mary has planted up the old fountain with sedums.

lady fountain all planted up.

lady fountain all planted up.

I went over to the A Frame garden to pick many and many the dead narcissi.

The A Frame woods

The A Frame woods

narcissi

 

narcissi2

narcissi3

narcissi4

 

They are my favourite flower.

They are my favourite flower.

deadheads:  the making of zombie bride bouquets

deadheads: the making of zombie bride bouquets

The foliage has to be let die down naturally, but it helps the bulb to pick the dead flower so no energy goes to making seeds. Or so I have read. I cling to what Ed Hume (northwest gardening personality) said in a lecture, that one can cut the foliage down three weeks after the flower blooms. I just need to do that because we have so many public gardens that look terrible with floppy old bulb foliage.

in the deer fenced garden

in the deer fenced garden

Tulip 'Jackpot' safe from munching deer

Tulip ‘Jackpot’ safe from munching deer

more tulips

more tulips

almost done

almost done

stunning foliage, including the purple-y Thalictrum 'Elin'

stunning foliage, including the purple-y Thalictrum ‘Elin’

cat

outside the fence, windblown Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy)

outside the fence, windblown Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy)

clematis

clematis

Pieris and the lawn border with new fountain

Pieris and the lawn border with new fountain

The most exciting thing I saw was that Mary’s Cardiocrinum giganteum (a tall stately “lily” that takes years to bloom) is reaching for the sky and has a bud. I forgot to photograph that, of all things.

The saddest thing was to learn that my dear friend Riley had died over the weekend. I will miss him.

my friend Riley, February 2005 - April 19 2009

my friend Riley, February 2005 – April 19 2009

We are going to pause now for The House Dog’s Grave by Robinson Jeffers, so brace yourselves:

I’ve changed my ways a little: I cannot now

Run with you in the evenings along the shore,

Except in a kind of dream and you,

if you dream a moment,

You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door

Where I used to scratch to go out or in,

And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor

The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do

On the warm stone,

Nor at the foot of your bed: no, all the nights through

I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet

Outside your window where firelight so often plays,

And where you sit to read – and I fear often

grieving for me –

Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long it is hard

To think of you ever dying.

A little dog would get tired of living so long,

I hope that when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear

As good and joyful as mine.

No, dears, that’s too much hope: you are not

as well cared for

As I have been,

And never have known the passionate undivided

Fidelities that I knew.

Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided…

But to me you were true.

You were never masters but friends. I was your friend.

I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures

To the end and far past the end. If this is my end

I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

************************************************************************

We got a grip on ourselves and went on with the work day.

Oman Builders Supply garden, Ocean Park

Oman Builders Supply garden, Ocean Park

When we got to Bailey’s Café in Nahcotta, I had to tell Jayne that when our job at Wiegardt Gallery ends, we will no longer be doing our small sessions of weeding at Bailey’s because it will be too out of the way.

Bailey's Café and old Clamshell Railroad timetable

Bailey’s Café and old Clamshell Railroad timetable

We saw oystering out on Willapa Bay.

We saw oystering out on Willapa Bay.

lilacs blooming at Wiegardt Gallery (where we continue to do some garden care till Eric's gardening brother arrives)

lilacs blooming at Wiegardt Gallery (where we continue to do some basic garden care till Eric’s gardening brother arrives)

I thought we might go to Andersen’s RV Park next to deadhead narcissi. Then we decided to check Golden Sands Assisted Living on the way, assuming that would mean we would not have to return there next week. Oops….because the visit was spontaneous, we did not have our string trimmer for the center lawn, so we will have to return next week anyway.

I hope to eventually have this all turn into moss spangled with little flowers.

I hope to eventually have this all turn into moss spangled with little flowers.

The beds need lots more weeding, anyway.

The beds need lots more weeding, anyway….although they are not bad and are full of promise.

I toyed again with the idea of just deadheading narcissi at Andersen’s RV Park, then thought how frustrating it would be to AGAIN have to leave without much time to weed. It was already five o clock. Deciding to give Andersen’s a longer session tomorrow, we drove right on by, heading south to the Long Beach tasks that I had originally planned to start the day with.

We deadheaded Narcissi in front of Dennis Co.

We deadheaded Narcissi in front of Dennis Co.

added plants to the planter by the arch

added plants to the planter by the arch

deadheaded city hall, where the Aruncus (goatsbeard) is growing rapidly

deadheaded city hall, where the Aruncus (goatsbeard) is growing rapidly

hosta echoes rhodo flowers in Peggy's Park, east side of city hall

hosta echoes rhodo flowers in Peggy’s Park, east side of city hall

Peggy's Park...a memory garden

Peggy’s Park…a memory garden

Allan put in a new rosemary where an old mostly dead one had come out by the police station and I deadheaded the Veterans Field white narcissi.

Tulip 'Flaming Parrot' at Veterans Field, Allan's photos

Tulip ‘Flaming Parrot’ at Veterans Field, Allan’s photos

We added a lavender to balance this planter where one had died.

We added a lavender to balance this planter where one had died.

And then, with the sun low in the sky, we replaced another lavender down at Time Enough Books at the port.

clouds over the boat storage yard, Port of Ilwaco

clouds over the boat storage yard, Port of Ilwaco

I even had a little time to sort out and move around some of the stash of unplanted plants at home. I dream of time this weekend to plant them. Tomorrow, I do hope for some good enough weather to put in a satisfying weeding session at Andersen’s RV Park.

today:  Ilwaco to Klipsan Beach to Ocean Park to Nahcotta to Long Beach to Ilwaco

today: Ilwaco to Klipsan Beach to Ocean Park to Nahcotta to Long Beach to Ilwaco

 

 

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Oh, the accursed cold wind…We headed out optimistically with some plants in the van, thinking to get all the way to Klipsan Beach Cottages and then pick up a load of soil for where the pampas grass had been removed, by backhoe, at the entrance to The Anchorage Cottages.  First we went through Long Beach so I could take a couple of photos to show to the powers that be at Ilwaco City Hall.

Long Beach hole in the ground with quick connect hose

Long Beach hole in the ground with quick connect hose

The Ilwaco planters are still in play, it seems, and we may still be making a proposal. When the city put the job out for propsals,  and we initially decided not to propose, we were at first sad, then hugely relieved and even jubilant to no longer be facing four months of bucket watering.  We realized that we, and that means mostly Allan last year, have been carrying 20 five gallon buckets of water every third and sometimes every second day.  That comes to about 670 lbs of water per watering session (assuming about a gallon spills as he wrestles the bucket out of our utility trailer).

We probably would have continued watering the planters by bucket until we keeled over with buckets in hand.  But now we have been forced to think about the job and we realized we don’t want to do that anymore.  We are trying to find a solution because some locals really want us to do the job.

One year we did try to use a water pump truck.  Even with a powerful battery and a powerful pump, it took an extra 45 minutes to water each time, because of the time spent coiling and uncoiling hoses and waiting for water to come out of the hose.  We did not have 45 extra minutes to spare so we went back to the quicker method of using buckets.

We were chatting with Long Beach administrator Gene Miles about how hard it is to bucket water and he said “Why doesn’t the city put faucets in the ground with quick connects?”  What a concept!  We have a few of those in Long Beach, as shown in the photo above.  We realized how wonderful it would be for us, or for whoever had the job, to have a faucet available at each intersection to which a hose could be hooked up to water four planters and four trees.  If the hose did not reach to a planter in the middle of the block, it would be easy to fill a watering can and walk half a block to the planter.  We realized that we are quite simply through with bucket watering.  I’m almost 60 and Allan is 61; this bucket watering thing has got to end because it is physically the hardest and most exhausting and dreaded part of our work week.  We are hoping that our town decides it will be possible to install such an arrangement at each intersection (four in all) and if they do, the planter job will be easier for anyone to do.

With that photo mission accomplished, we swung by The Anchorage to make sure the pampas grass had indeed been removed.  And they had.

Anchorage Cottages: It's a short walk through beach pines and dunes to the beach.

Anchorage Cottages: It’s a short walk through beach pines and dunes to the beach.

The grasses were in the entry bed just where the drive curves, left of the pointer.

The grasses were in the entry bed just where the drive curves, left of the pointer.

The pampas grasses as they were...from the Anchorage Cottages website

The pampas grasses as they were…from the Anchorage Cottages website

In the past year, the work crew at the Anchorage have cut down the plumes just before their peak, because the fluff, blown by the wind, gets into all sorts of ventilation grates on the cottages and sticks to everything.  I said, if you are not going to let them bloom, which is the only good thing about them, get rid of them!

The weeds left behind were more extensive than I had imagined, a veritable lawn in places.

The pampas grass had hidden quite a mess.

The pampas grass had hidden quite a mess.

I realized immediately that there would be no Klipsan Beach Cottages gardening that day and we began to weed.  The white flowered Escallonia iveyi shrubs looked beaten up by our cold winter with lots of dead twigs so we cut them way back to where there is nice firm new growth at the base.

escallonia before pruning

escallonia before pruning

waiting out a squall in the van, looking west toward beach pines and dunes

waiting out a squall in the van, looking west toward beach pines

With the weeding done, we went to The Basket Case to get a few lavenders and armeria (sea thrift) for the Long Beach planters. I thought we would have time to do some planting in the very late afternoon.  The annuals greenhouse is full of luscious plants that we will not start planting till around Mother’s Day, my magical date for the weather being, one hopes, warmer and the high winds being over.  (This theory has not always worked as we have had some high wind after Mother’s Day that has been mighty hard on little cosmos.)

Basket Case annuals house

Basket Case annuals house

next door to The Basket Case, a stunning double file viburnum

next door to The Basket Case, a stunning double file viburnum

Just up the road was our next destination, Peninsula Landscape Supply.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply

We offloaded the escallonia debris....

Allan offloaded the escallonia debris….

The debris pile will be ground up and turned into this sort of aged mulch.

The debris pile will be ground up and turned into this sort of aged mulch.

And then we got a yard of Soil Energy.

And then we got a yard of Soil Energy.

I thought about our next acquisition which will be a load of pea gravel to top off the recently weeded garden at the 42nd Street Café.

an hour of gravel shifting looms in our future...

an hour of gravel shifting looms in our future…

back we go, west on Pioneer Road, past the Cranberry Research Station to the Anchorage

back we go, west on Pioneer Road, past the Cranberry Research Station to the Anchorage

I had seen a scrim of weeds along one of the garden beds at The Anchorage so I set to work on that.  Allan was able to park right next to the former pampas grass bed so the offloading of the lightweight soil energy was fairly easy. (By the way, we have never chosen to plant a pampas grass anywhere; these were old plants from before our time.)

Anchorage center courtyard; imagine a strong, cold, miserable wind blowing.

Anchorage center courtyard; imagine a strong, cold, miserable wind blowing.

Many of the tulips had held up to the weather.

Tulip 'Virichic'

Tulip ‘Virichic’

more tulips in the center courtyard

more tulips in the center courtyard

late tulips still coming on

late tulips still coming on

I'm concerned that the larger shrubs in the courtyard have had a hard winter...and may be as tired of the wind as I am.

I’m concerned that the larger shrubs in the courtyard have had a hard winter…and may be as tired of the wind as I am.

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' in the courtyard.

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in the courtyard.

We still have not found time to prune down the Viburnums by the office...They have to be kept below the window boxes, and the top leaves look battered by winter.

We still have not found time to prune down the Viburnums by the office…They have to be kept below the window boxes, and the leaves look battered by winter.

by the office, Tulips 'Jackpot ' and 'Rococo'

by the office, Tulips ‘Jackpot ‘ and ‘Rococo’

'Irene' and 'China Town' are a colour clash that I did not intend.

‘Irene’ and ‘China Town’ are a colour clash that I did not intend.

Strong Gold is going on for weeks...almost over now.

Strong Gold is going on for weeks…almost over now.

Parrot Tulip 'Green Wave' in bud, one of my favourites

Parrot Tulip ‘Green Wave’ in bud, one of my favourites

Parrot Tulip 'Rococo' just barely hanging on

Parrot Tulip ‘Rococo’ just barely hanging on

I have noted that the peony flowering tulips, like Angelique and Sensual Touch, tend to molder away in the rain.  Despite their similar frilliness, the parrot tulips do beautifully and last a long time and look wonderful even as they shatter.

The birdbath by the office.

the birdbath by the office

Behind the birdbath I saw some weedy grass.  The wind had me chilled and miserable and I had decided I could not even stand to plant anything in Long Beach.  Maybe the rosemary by the police station.  Maybe a couple of lavenders?  I just wanted to be home with a nice hot cuppa tea.

not today...

not today…

As we raked out the soil energy mulch and packed up our gear, the wind got worse and the sky looked ominously dark.

today's project, after

today’s project, after

done just in time...

done just in time…

and then the rain came

and then the rain came

I tried to check Dark Sky (a weather app) and was told where we were….

in the middle of nowhere!

in the middle of nowhere!

a few blocks closer to town....

a few blocks closer to town….

and at 642.weather.com, I saw the wind had been 27 mph at their Sandridge Road weather station, inland so usually less windy.

and at 642.weather.com, I saw the wind had been 27 mph at their Sandridge Road weather station, inland so usually less windy.

We drove down First Avenue in Ilwaco, scouting for gravelly or grassy spots at the four intersections where maybe the city could put in water faucets for the planter watering.

dark skies at the Ilwaco boatyard

dark skies at the Ilwaco boatyard

The plants in the van would have to just go for a ride and wait for better weather.  At home, it became clear we had made the right decision to stop working.

I had hoped that Anchorage would only need half of the soil energy mulch so that I could put some onto the pile next to Nora’s driveway, for planting some veg there later.  The Anchorage had needed the entire yard and I was awfully glad to have none left to offload in the rain.

from my southeast window, this project will have to wait.

from my southeast window, this project will have to wait.

Nora's bluebells

Nora’s bluebells

reflected in the wet driveway

reflected in the wet driveway

rain to the south

rain to the south

Allan worked on his rechargeable electric chainsaw...in the kitchen sink.

Allan cleaned his rechargeable chainsaw…in the kitchen sink.

A dramatic downpour turned Nora’s driveway into a river.

downpour

battered the south windows...

battered the south windows…

east window

east window

Later I saw that the tulips in my garden boat had turned to face me.

Later I saw that the tulips in my garden boat had turned to face me.

beautiful in disarray

beautiful in disarray

I had plenty of time to create the long and involved blog entry about visiting Stephen and John’s garden on the previous day.   My ear panged with a sharp intermittent ache, I hoped just from the cold wind as I do not have time to be sick.  And then we watched some telly that I had been longing to see:  the season premiere of The Deadliest Catch.  I’d been thinking all day that I needed a refresher in how hard crabbers work insanely long hours in the worst weather.  When out in the wind, or worse yet wind and rain (which we try to avoid but there are gardening emergencies related to upcoming tourism events), I repeat to myself, “It could be worse; I could be crab fishing on the Bering Sea.”

my inspiration

my inspiration

 

 

 

 

 

 

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