Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Dave and Melissa, our good friends of Sea Star Gardening, had agreed to help us for a couple of days in Long Beach so that I could get back to reading sooner. As always, the work year began in Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park.
Before photos of the areas we got to today (the west side, mostly):
While they got down to the chopping and weeding of the park, I walked around two blocks of planters and street trees; Allan helped me out with a couple of them and then got to work on the SW quadrant of the park.
The daisies, left over from the days of volunteer planter care, always looked thirsty and beat up in summer.
In the deer highway along 7th S, the bulbs are getting pulled up and chomped, so I’m glad of my decision not to plant new tulips in those four planters. Several of the planters have large woody lavenders that I am too kindly to dig out. Or lazy. I did cut back hard the part below that, in bloom, blocks the traffic sightline.
By now, the weather had changed from the pleasantness of mid morning to a constant drizzle. I decided surely I could manage the next two blocks of planters and street tree gardens. By the time I got one and half blocks north, my hands were so cold I could hardly feel the stems of some chickweed I was pulling. I realized that the rain had become heavy and ceaseless, and that I was utterly miserable and soaked, and so must be all our crew. I tried to call to tell them to be ready to bail out, but my hands were too wet to operate my phone.
I noted that one planter was almost all dug out so the city crew could access the wiring for the light. Oh dear. I rescued some tulips and later learned that a whole block of planters might need to be dig out. I am philosophical about it. It is worse for the city crew than it is for the tulips.
Finally I turned around at the stoplight, picked some weeds out a few more planters, managed to dry off enough to call Allan to say I was returning and that we should all give it up for the day, skipped a few planters and made it back to the park.
The weather forecast I had counted on still informed me that the weather was sunny with occasional sprinkles.
We were all glad to stop an hour before we’d planned, as we could return tomorrow. Well, no, tomorrow calls for pouring rain AND wind. Perhaps the next day, or the next…All we need is one more day to finish this park, and spruce up the Vet Field garden, city hall garden, prune a few hydrangeas, make the pocket garden by Kabob Cottage nice again….maybe two more days and then Long Beach can rest for awhile before the early spring gardening begins.
While we are not going to join forces with Sea Star on a regular basis (just because we each have a full schedule), I will be able to get them to assist with the first big weeding of the beach approach garden in early spring. That will be so helpful. It is a pleasure to work with people who know their plants so I don’t have to worry about just turning them loose to clean an area.
The after photos for today:Melissa had done intense battle with the damnable wild garlic and with way too much schizostylis. Allan had done this area:
I did remember to set Map My Walk today, and in this four block area, I walked 2.75 miles in five hours, just going back and forth and round and round the planters.
If tomorrow is as stormy as predicted, I’ll be perfectly happy to read a book, as we got the most unsightly areas in the park looking so much better that it was worth getting drenched to accomplish what we did. It is easy to say that now after a nice hot bath (me), a nap (Allan), wet muddy clothes run through the laundry, and tea and biscuits.