Thursday, 17 April 2014
It was a tough workday while it lasted.
Despite waking to rain (and waking too early on a rainy day because I was worrying over something), we decided to finish getting the Veterans Field garden ready for Saturday’s Razor Clam Festival.
We headed up Sandridge Road to The Basket Case…
When we got there, I thought optimistically that the sky looked bright around the edges.
We picked up two flats of violas and I was thrilled to learn they also have Sambucus ‘Black Lace’ (“black” cut leaf elderberry). That will be good for the Fifth Street Park spot where we eliminated a Phormium earlier this week. As you can see, plenty of nice plants remain:
We’d been stormed out of our chance to spend a much needed all day weeding session at Andersen’s RV Park. At least we could go deadhead the narcissi.
They are almost gone from the west side garden.
By the office, wandering deer have left the tulips alone. Wind bowed the ones closest to the driveway.
With some frustration over lack of weeding time, we departed and headed down Pacific Highway to Long Beach.
The drizzle dramatically increased as we arrived at Veterans Field, where the city crew readied tents and chairs for Saturday.
It’s too early to add annuals to the red white and blue garden bed and most perennials are not yet blooming. Some blue and white violas and two red Geums livened up the show.
Sideways rain and the cracking sounds of the flags whipping overhead made the job unenjoyable. With the task done, we decided other violas and the elderberry could wait to be planted tomorrow. Perhaps if the weather improved, we could go weed at the Port. That’s another concern: the port gardens should look good for this Saturday’s early, clam related market opening. (Saturday market begins officially the first Saturday in May.). As we pulled up to our garage, the rain showed no sign up abating.
Indoors, I looked at our pleasant garden views while brewing some Cream Earl Grey tea.
Allan and I came to a decision about the thing I had been worrying over. The city of Ilwaco is putting various gardening projects out for “proposals” including the street trees and planters we’ve been caring for since 2005. After a couple of days of pondering the paper work involved and of thinking how backbreaking and all consuming the job is, we have decided to let it go. The city and the port are separate entities so this decision will not affect our gardens at the boatyard and Howerton Way.
The all consuming part of the job, which we’ve done since 2005 (when we volunteered to help plant the street trees), is that the planters are small and need regular watering. So if we leave for a four day gardening weekend trip, I fret intensely over how dry they will get. We look at the planters every day as we drive through town and feel compelled to stop to remove any speck of trash (often beer bottles) or dead blossom. Even when I walk to Olde Towne Cafe or the Satirday Market, I pause to groom each planter, plucking a tiny weed or a dead leaf. The backbreaking part is the watering, three times a week with eighteen to twenty buckets of water. We had a water pump trailer but even with a powerful battery, watering that way took too long . Letting a job go is not easy but we think it is time, as we are both hovering around 60 years of age and as we have more work than we can keep up with.
But…. The planters looked like this under our care:
Perhaps they will transition to a simpler, very drought tolerant scheme and there would be nothing wrong with that. (I just hope the new person does not plant cute baby phormiums.) For us, it is going to be an enormous treat to not have to dump 20 five gallon buckets of water on the trees and planters two to three times a week from mid May through September, always in the evening when we are tired. That burden has, in the last two years, fallen mostly to Allan. He seems quite pleased by our decision.
Relieved to have decided, I read some mystery short stories and a Nick Hornby novella (Not a Star,) enjoyed tea and orange ginger tea biscuits, and am about to finish The Science of Fear, a book I heartily recommend. It seemed easiest to recline and make a phone blog for today’s entry. The rain continues so there will be no weeding at the port today.
I found a quotation in the Hornby novella which may explain why my new favorite song, Luckiest Man Alive, repeatedly brings me to tears.
And from The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner, some cheering words about human nature: