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Archive for May, 2016

Thursday, 26 May 2016

I felt a strong desire for a four day weekend.  We could have one (except for watering the Ilwaco planters) if we got enough done in Long Beach today.

Long Beach

We began by fertilizing the welcome sign garden along with the weekly horsetail attack.

welcome sign, front

welcome sign, front

side

side

back

back

We gave the planters and street trees a good watering that will hold them till Tuesday, especially if there is a bit of rain as predicted.

the maddeningly coiling hose

the maddeningly coiling hose

and the maddening hose kink

and the maddening hose kink

Allan's photo: The hose he uses kinks even worse.

Allan’s photo: The hose he uses (not shown) kinks even worse.

I do so love the mature, clipped santolinas in some of the planters.

I do so love the mature, clipped santolinas in some of the planters.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' (Allan's photo)

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan did the watering of the street trees, the bucket watering of Fish Alley barrels and the two north blocks.

He found Heather of NIVA green setting up for the annual Peninsula-wide garage sale weekend.

He found Heather of NIVA green setting up for the annual Peninsula-wide garage sale weekend.

Garage sale signs were already appearing. We do prefer ones like these with wire "feet" that don't mash the plants.

Garage sale signs were already appearing. We do prefer ones like these with wire “feet” that don’t mash the plants.  (Allan’s photo)

Cerinthe major purpurascens and golden oregano (Allan's photo)

Cerinthe major purpurascens and golden oregano (Allan’s photo)

Geranium 'Rozanne' (Allan's photo)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Allan’s photo)

recently re-done Fish Alley barrels (Allan's photo). They get water hauled by bucket.

recently re-done Fish Alley barrels (Allan’s photo). They get water hauled by bucket.

When we got to Fifth Street Park and began weeding there, Cathy of Captain Bob’s Chowder brought us out a coke and an orange soda to help us keep going.  She said I looked tired.  I was more depressed than tired and her kindness cheered me up.

purveyor of delectable chowder and delicious crab rolls

purveyor of delectable chowder and delicious crab rolls

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park, northwest corner

Fifth Street Park, east side (Allan's photo); I'd have deadheaded that rhodo, which was sort of the point of this photo.

Fifth Street Park, east side (Allan’s photo); I’d have deadheaded that rhodo, which was sort of the point of this photo.  The frying pan is much photographed by visitors.

Fifth Street Park, southeast corner (Allan's photo) with gunnera

Fifth Street Park, southeast corner (Allan’s photo) with gunnera and Darmera peltata

Next: weeding Veterans Field

Next: weeding Veterans Field gardens

vet field (Allan's photo)

vet field (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Vet Field northeast corner (Allan's photo)

Vet Field northeast corner (Allan’s photo)

We spiffed up Coulter Park although I am daunted at the area where thick salmonberry is coming under the fence and mingling with the thorny roses.  The beach approach garden proves I have no fear of weeding around roses, but this mess thwarts my efforts.

salmonberry and bindweed from the other side creating a nightmare

salmonberry and bindweed from the other side creating a nightmare

I think the solution is for the crew to backhoe out these poor roses and replace them with some sort of single trunked shrub so we can really get in there to weed.

We worked on the little pop out a block north of city hall, where two unhappy mugo pines struggle among a pernicious weed grass. We had not had time for it lately; now with a little more time in our schedule, we can keep up with it.

reminder to self while parked near city hall: must remember to weed that tatty garden of not much up head on the corner

Last week I took this photo to remind myself to do it.

today

today

today

today

as far as we got...

as far as we got…

Next week: will add mulch after trying to get more grass roots out.

Next week: will add mulch after trying to get more grass roots out.  They go deep and the soil is hard packed.

We had just time to weed city hall’s garden before dumping our debris.

City Hall west side

City Hall west side

sidewalk tile by Renee O'Connor

sidewalk tile by Renee O’Connor

I do so love this edge at this time of year.

I do so love this edge at this time of year.

City Hall north side

City Hall north side

this spot could be a little better

this spot could be a little better…

The predicted rain arrived at the perfect moment, when we were done.

city hall, east side

city hall, east side

"Peggy's Park", east side city hall memorial garden for Peggy Miles.

“Peggy’s Park”, east side city hall memorial garden for Peggy Miles.

After our debris dump, we just made it on time for our weekly dinner (second one this week!) with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening), this time with Susie and Bill of the Boreas Inn.

The Cove Restaurant

attention to detail in the ladies room

attention to detail in the ladies room

Annika and Kiaia provided music and ambience.

Annika and Kiaia provided music and ambience.  (Allan’s photo)

Dave's conchinita

Dave’s conchinita (Allan’s photo)

Melissa's beautifully arranged meal

Melissa’s beautifully arranged meal by Chef Jason Lancaster

my ahi tuna

my ahi tuna

Allan's vegetable stir fry

Allan’s vegetable stir fry

weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang

weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang (Dave, Bill, Susie, Melissa, me)

golf course view (Allan's photo)

golf course view (Allan’s photo)

We enjoyed this month’s art show featuring mosaics by our friend Annie.

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My Woman by Annie Fletcher

My Woman by Annie Fletcher

We had achieved work success and so we would now enjoy a four day weekend.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 74):

May 26: Store day—Puget Power, Tim’s for Rx and QFC.  I had a baloney sandwich and ice cream for dinner.  I planted some seeds in early evening.

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Wednesday 25 May 2016

Today, we went to the north and back again.  We did not have to go all the way to Marilyn’s because Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening), who live at the far north end of the Peninsula, had taken care of her garden yesterday.  We now only have to go there every week, a nice arrangement.

Ilwaco Community Building

We stopped at the ICB to put some water on the newly planted Geranium ‘Rozanne’ plants.  They had been cut back hard for transplanting.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

  I cast a fierce eye on the salal, as usual.

salal coming up all in the rhododendron's business

salal coming all up in the rhododendron’s business

The Depot Restaurant

watering

watering


Allan weeds while I reflect that this end of the garden looks sparse.

Allan weeds while I reflect that this end of the garden looks sparse.

The Red Barn and Diane’s garden

Today was fertilizing day for the Red Barn’s barrels.

an observer (Allan's photo)

an observer (Allan’s photo)


the barrel that sits all alone

the barrel that sits all alone


Diane's streetside garden (Allan's photo)

Diane’s streetside garden (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' (Allan's photo)

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (Allan’s photo)


left: Perovskia (Russian Sage) (Allan's photo)

left: Perovskia (Russian Sage) backed with Stipa gigantea (Allan’s photo)


Allium albopilosum (Allan's photo)

Allium albopilosum (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Stipa gigantea and alliums (Allan’s photo)


Diane's containers got fertilized (Allan's photo)

Diane’s containers got fertilized (Allan’s photo)

Basket Case Greenhouse

Salvia 'Hot Lips'

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

I had the desire to acquire just a few plants to fill in the dull area at the Depot.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' and 'Jade Frost' still available

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’ still available


Eryngium 'Jade Frost' (Allan's photo)

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ (Allan’s photo)


and some sanvitalia for the Depot barrel planter (Allan's photo)

Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’, agastaches, and some sanvitalia for the Depot barrel planter (Allan’s photo)

back to the Depot

We backtracked to the Depot garden and put these plants in.  The Cornus should brighten up the garden.  I had thought of waiting till we went there for dinner later in the evening and was glad I had not as it would have been so hard to work around parked vehicles.

It will look better when it settles in.

It will look better when it settles in.

The Anchorage Cottages

We weeded, deadheaded, and fertilized all the containers and windowboxes.

DSC09264

our good friend Mitzu


Allan's photo

If you look closely, you can see all the moss that Beth had been scraping up.  (Allan’s photo)


New Dawn rose (Allan's photo)

New Dawn rose (Allan’s photo)


calla lily (Allan's photo)

calla lily (Allan’s photo)


The bird must have a nest as it gave us many warnings. (Allan's photo)

The bird must have a nest as it gave us many warnings. (Allan’s photo)

 

center courtyard

center courtyard

DSC09265

I remembered while taking the above photo that manager Beth had expressed a desire for us to find a hanging basket for the office area.  The Basket Case would be an easy detour on the way to our next job.

back to the Basket Case

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


which one of Nancy's masterpieces to choose?

which one of Nancy’s masterpieces to choose?


We saw Shelly from Flowering Hedges gardening!

We saw Shelly from Flowering Hedges gardening!


I like the ones with lots of colours.

I like the ones with lots of colours.


Fuchsia 'Pink Marshmallow', a favourite of mine.

Fuchsia ‘Pink Marshmallow’, a favourite of mine.

I picked a multi coloured basket and we were on our way north to…

Klipsan Beach Cottages

In the A Frame garden, other helpers had tied the narcissi foliage into bundles.

DSC04470

cute but not necessary; the dead foliage can just be pulled.

cute but not necessary; the dead foliage can just be pulled.


in the fenced garden

in the fenced garden

There was some debate about who had clipped the Climbing Cecil Brunner rose before it bloomed.  There were three possible culprits, one being Allan.  Surely I would have noticed had Allan pruned the rose down to the fence top.

honeysuckle and roses clipped so hard the flowers are gone...huh??

honeysuckle and roses clipped so hard the flowers are gone…huh??

I said I would find the photo that showed it after Allan pruned it two weeks ago.

Ha! Allan's "after" photo from May 11th lets him off the hook. ;-)

Ha! Allan’s “after” photo from May 11th lets him off the hook. 😉 The roses are still well up over the fence top.

Oh well!  As long as we didn’t do it, it’s not my problem.  See how philosophical I have become?  There is still plenty of beauty in the garden.

Knock Out roses

Knock Out roses


Rose 'Bow Bells' (pretty sure)

Rose ‘Bow Bells’ (pretty sure)

DSC09285

verbascum

verbascum

DSC09288

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’


Rose 'New Dawn'

Rose ‘New Dawn’


callistemon

callistemon

DSC09297

Tiger Eyes sumac

Tiger Eyes sumac

back to The Anchorage

…just to hang the new basket.

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red to echo the chairs, and yellow to tone with the nearby sign

DSC09303

Long Beach

We had over an hour before dinner so we devoted it to weeding on the beach approach.  Allan tackled some more clover:

before

before


after

after


looking east from where we left off

looking east from where we left off weeding

back to the Depot Restaurant

for Burger Night dinner with Dave and Melissa!

Allan and Dave seriously contemplate their burgers.

Allan and Dave seriously contemplate their burgers.

We were having a lovely week with two dinners with Dave and Mel, one tonight and one tomorrow.

an unpleasant end to a good day

We had gone back and forth between gardens today, and something happened in the evening that took me back to the bad feeling about the garden (more than just a job) that we had lost last week.  I had reconciled myself to the loss, and the only bad moment earlier in the week was when I had seen the bus from that facility go by in Long Beach and felt kicked in the gut by the memory of how it used to warm the cockles of me heart to see the residents on an outing.  Other than that, I was fine, really, till tonight.  I liked having more time to devote to other (much better paying) jobs.

A friend who knew my mom well and who had followed the creation of the garden in her memory had written an irate letter to “corporate” re our being let go from our beloved garden.  She was especially irked that we were never contacted by the new person in charge. She shared with me the reply from the new person in charge that completely made my head spin and brought up many questions.

Why would someone say that the condition of the exterior landscape was weedy and over grown and had become too much for us to handle when we were NEVER hired to pull ONE WEED from the exterior of the building and when our only job was the four small flower beds INSIDE the interior courtyard (as any examination of our invoices for the past five years would have indicated)?  Even our string trimming of the tiny otherwise neglected courtyard lawn and our clipping of the courtyard window shrubs so residents could see out was beyond our actual job there.

How could great care have been taken in hiring a new landscape maintenance business when the great care did not include any communication with us about what our job had actually entailed?  How could hiring a young man just starting out in the gardening business be better than having someone with 40 years experience?  How does that build ties to the local community more than having longtime gardeners who have created many gardens for the community, both paid and volunteer, and who have over the past 23 years been involved in many community projects?  How does that enhance the environment for residents more than the inspiration of having someone there who created a garden out of love and memory and donated plants? If job opportunities for young men are not plentiful here, how do they compare with job opportunities  for most women in their 60s, and does that justify specifically choosing to hire a young man?

 I remember how much I learned through experience in over 40 years of being a gardener and I wonder: Will someone just starting out know that the dahlias need protection from slugs, and that only non toxic bait must be used because a small dog takes walks in the garden?  Will it be obvious that the annuals have not yet been planted so that the garden is still looking rather bare in spots?  Will it be clear how to keep the thuggish plants from swamping the more delicate ones?  Which plants need regular deadheading so that they will rebloom and which are once bloomers? Which is the better mulch to wheelbarrow down the long hallway, a good rich soil amendment or bark? Which of the roses donated by family members are outside the sprinkler area and how often do the white hydrangeas need supplemental water? What is the name of every unusual perennial in the garden?  People do ask frequently.

If “corporate” had decided that they required just one business to mow the vast, dry outer lawn and do the interior courtyard, would it have been appropriate to ask us if we could like to add it to our tasks?  We would have declined but  would been more than willing to give the new gardener some information about the flower gardens.

If the facility powers that be are grateful for what we created for the residents, doesn’t gratitude usually involve some communication with the person to whom one is grateful?  If it is time to pass the torch, doesn’t passing the torch usually involve the torch bearer being aware it is being passed?   If a worker had not tipped us off to what was going on, would we have shown up for work and found we had been replaced? If we are invited back anytime to just look at our former gardens, why in all of creation and tarnation would we take precious time to visit a place where we might see plants that need care and be unable to care for them?   Although before this fiasco I had always planned on returning to doing the flower beds as a volunteer if the budget got eliminated, returning as a bystander is of no interest.

Sleep again became elusive as a result of this ongoing saga.  I will just say that three days later, I’m still bothered that it is being said that we did a bad job on the barked and weedy and dry exterior landscape area that was never even part of our job at all.  If it HAD been, it would have been pretty near perfect.

One more question:  Does any of it matter to me anymore?   The answer is becoming: Not especially. 

Two hours later: I feel enormously better having written about it here, for what I hope is the last time except for a possible future slideshow of the garden over six and a half years.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 74):

May 25: Holiday.  Planted more seeds.  Also I put the remaining violet leaves back into jars and glasses.  I needed the plant mix.  Enough of the leaves had rotted that I was able to get them all into the jars.  Some had started to root.  I planted 55 packets of petunia seeds many of them 1995 and 1996. The Pacers beat the Bulls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

in our garden before work (Allan's photo)

in our garden before work, one of the chickadees that has made a home in the “motherboard birdhouse”  (Allan’s photo)

I do like a day spent all in Ilwaco.  With work never more than a few blocks from home, it feels the most comfortable of all work environments.  These all Ilwaco days are rare because, in order to not shock the budget, I do refrain from achieving complete perfection in the public gardens except for before the big holidays and events: Children’s Parade and Blessing of the Fleet day, Memorial Day, July 4th weekend, Tuna Classic, Slow Drag, Blues and Seafood, and so on.  This means that about once a month in gardening season I get to indulge in an all Ilwaco day.

We began by weeding gardens along Howerton Avenue.

looking west from Elizabeth Avenue

looking west from Elizabeth Avenue, before

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

much deadheading of sea thrift awaits...

much deadheading of sea thrift awaits…

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

determined California poppies popping up in the east parking lot

A few determined California poppies are popping up in the east parking lot.

The weedkiller applied in early spring to  the grassy parking lot areas (not by us, of course) had no lasting effect.  I rather rejoice in that.

The weedkiller applied in early spring to the grassy parking lot areas (not by us, of course) had no lasting effect. I rather rejoice in that.

after weeding and deadheading

after weeding and deadheading

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

debris, water for any thirsty plant, and the marina in the background

debris, water for any thirsty plant, and the marina in the background

lavender and Nassella tenuissima

lavender and Nassella tenuissima

We seem to have a lot of white rose campion this year, very nice.

We seem to have a lot of white rose campion this year, very nice. (backed with dog daisies that just appear on their own)

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' on north sides of the light pole.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ on north sides of the light pole.

By the old Wade Gallery (now owned by Fort George Brewery who have given us watering permission, bless them), I reflected that the soil needs mulching this fall.

Even the Agastaches need better soil

Even the Agastaches crave better soil.

I do so long to pull the fabric out of this bed.  Rock mulch would have worked better than bark.

I do so long to pull the fabric out of this old bed. Rock mulch would have worked better than bark.  The adjacent business does the escallonia pruning.

At the Craft 3 bank building, we did some pruning for sightlines.

Allan's photos, before

Allan’s photos, before

and after

and after

I finally made the decision to take a pair of wax myrtles to the ground.  They have been pruned harshly in the past (not by us) and looked all stumpy but with fresh new growth at the base.

before

before

making the decision

making the decision

making a further decision to get radical

making a further decision to get radical

after

after

Pretty shocking, but we did the same thing to a myrtle just one garden west, and it has come back nicely and is easy to keep low and shapely.

Here is the result we hope for.

Here is the result we hope for.

No regrets; my mission was clear sightlines while pulling out of that parking lot.

No regrets; my mission was clear sight lines to the west while pulling out of that parking lot.

My favourite garden bed is still the same as last year: the one with the clipped wax myrtle.  Allan took some photos of it at my request:

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pink California poppies

lavender

lavender

We worked our way west and when we got to the port office curbside garden, I went to the south side of the building to check on the little garden there.

port office garden with baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse

port office garden with baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse

a lovely tall allium

a lovely tall allium

But wait, what's this? FINGER BLIGHT!

But wait, what’s this? FINGER BLIGHT!

Each allium has just one flower per year, a flower that will dry and look grand on the stem all summer long.  Nancy and April in the port office were so mad when they saw that the one above had been picked that they made a sign.

DSC09243

back to Howerton Ave: Port Office garden looking east

back to Howerton Ave: Port Office garden looking east

I also learned that one of the two businesses that wouldn’t let us use their hose for the curbside bed is gone.  I hope the new business going into its place, which happens to be a marijuana shop (so I hear), will be friendly enough toward plants to be generous with a splash of water during the dry season.

new business

new business

I would be surprised if they were not kind to plant life.  Fortunately, it has been raining enough lately that I don’t have to worry about that at the moment.

westernmost Howerton bed (Allan's photo)

westernmost Howerton bed (Allan’s photo)

a weed and an ornamental grass that died from lack of water last year

a weed (not “weed”) and an ornamental grass that died from lack of water last year

finished with our Howerton curbside weeding (Allan's photo)

finished with our Howerton curbside weeding (Allan’s photo); in the very west end only the most drought tolerant survived last summer.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The dog daisy is actually a weed.  I choose my battles to be kind to the budget.  (Allan's photo)

The dog daisy is actually a weed. I choose my battles to be kind to the budget. (Allan’s photo)

 

After weeding the cursbide gardens, Allan left me at the boatyard and went off to water Ilwaco planters and street trees with the water trailer.  As I pulled horsetail and bindweed, I reflected after awhile that he was taking a terribly long time.  He returned at almost sunset with the dire news that the water pump had stopped working, necessitating watering with just gravity feed.  Eventually, that had taken too long so he left me again to dump debris and then finish the last few planters with hand-lugged buckets, the old way.  I kept weeding even though I was longing to stop.

bucket watering the last few planters (Allan's photos)

bucket watering the last few planters (Allan’s photos)

boatyard at twilight

boatyard at twilight

I hadn’t gotten the bed on the south side of the gate weeded.  It has so much less horsetail and bindweed that I said it would just have to do for the Memorial Day weekend. We were out of time for this project.

boatyard looking south

boatyard looking south from midway along

twilight poppies and ceanothus

twilight poppies and ceanothus

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' (Allan's photo)

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Very last task:  At my request, Allan shifted one of our polite Do Not Pick signs to hang right over the plant that gets picked the most.  Or rather, people try to pick it, but the stem is tough and often the flower just gets twisted and bent over, and then sometimes the would-be pickers return with clippers.

Echinops ritro (blue globe thistle), a prime finger blight target

Echinops ritro (blue globe thistle), a prime finger blight target

While he was zip tying the sign onto the fence, a fellow from the Harvey O chatted with us and admired the gardens.  He imparted the interesting information that Harvey O is an old boat with a lot of history, can be seen in a video at the local museum, and used to be docked in Juneau, Alaska.

The Harvey O

The Harvey O

I wrote a couple of blog posts about the boatyard in my Ilwaco blog, reflecting in one that boats are more often named for women than for men.

The day had turned out to be longer than I’d expected (9.5 hours), and it was a little frustrating to not get the whole boatyard weeded.  It was no doubt more frustrating for Allan who spent another hour after dark working on the pump, and satisfying that he managed to fix it.

He says it was corroded electrical parts.

He says it was corroded electrical parts.

Meanwhile in Scotland…(yesterday)

I forgot to add this yesterday:  On our way home from work I read the Tootlepedal blog, after having been advised by Mr T. in a comment on my blog that I might want to be sitting down while reading it.  I was sitting, in the van, and a good thing, because there were Garden Tour Nancy and her spouse, Phil, at Mr and Mrs T’s garden.  Even though I knew they were visiting Scotland, and that Nancy is a daily reader of that excellent blog, it had never occurred to me they might visit Langholm.  (I probably would have been too shy.)  Today via email, Nancy sent me these photos:

Nancy (center) with the Tootlepedals

Nancy (center) with the Tootlepedals

Nancy with Mrs T

Nancy with Mrs T

You can read all about it from Mr Tootlepedal’s point of view here.

I usually do not envy travel.  I have to admit I felt a stab of it, not initially, but later when I thought more about it!  I was comforted by Mr T’s own comment that due to the distance and his dislike of flying, he would be unlikely to take them up on the invitation to come to the peninsula garden tour.  (I would love if they did visit.  His comment made me feel less alone in my disinclination to travel long distances; financial conditions are another reason, of course.) From reading his blog every day, I sometimes almost feel like I am standing in Mrs. T’s garden anyway.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 24:  After going to the store, I worked outside.  I planted Freesia by the Hydrangea; caladiums in a container.  In the front of the tam area [formerly juniper tams, now flowers, by the road], I planted 100+ anemones, Pulmonarias, and the new mums, also the yellow daylilies (Stella D’Oro) from Raintree last year.  I came in at 5:00 shaking from exhaustion.

 

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Monday, 23 May 2016

Ilwaco

During gardening season, picking up our mail always involves a bit of weeding and deadheading at our volunteer garden at the post office.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

post office garden

post office garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

pink California poppies

pink California poppies

We drove to the fire station to check on the water needs of the planter there, which is under the eaves and gets no rain.  I looked again at the garden areas that I keep thinking of taking over as a volunteer…especially now that we have been fired (or I suppose I could say REPLACED) at Golden Sands and therefore have an extra two hours a week.  I walked all round looking for a hose faucet and found none anywhere near the gardens, except for one down in a hole in the sidewalk that is turned off.  The lack of water, and the thought that I might be crazy to take on a new project while needing a new knee, put the kibosh on the idea for now…along with the fact that it is getting late to transplant free plants.

one of the areas that calls out to me...north wall, under wide eaves...

one of the areas that calls out to me…north wall, under wide eaves…

and the other...southwest corner, sunny

and the other…southwest corner, sunny

The station deserves a volunteer garden because the firefighters themselves are volunteers.

We did a bit of weeding at Time Enough Books (Allan's photo)

We did a bit of weeding at Time Enough Books (Allan’s photo)

and some weeding and planting at the Community Building, which got some Sedum 'Autumn Joy' starts and a couple of sanguisorbas that had come out of my garden to make room for my mom's copper rose.

and some weeding and planting at the Community Building, which got some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ starts and a couple of sanguisorbas that had come out of my garden to make room for my mom’s copper rose. (Allan’s photo)

free plants going in

free plants going in

Long Beach

Today was the first day for liquid fertilizing of the Long Beach planters.

As we secured an excellent parking spot by Fifth Street Park, my eyes zoomed in on something that really bugged me.

Do you notice what is wrong?

Do you notice what is wrong?

The old lavender in the planter kitty corner, that I had cut back to improve traffic sight lines earlier this spring, is so dead inside.  So ugly.  I planted another small lavender in front of it in hopes of hiding the horror.  I can’t wait, so I asked Allan if he could dig the big old one out after he did his portion of the watering rounds.

lavender on left is glaringly hideous

lavender on left is glaringly hideous

In the first planter that I watered, I found half of the Lollipop lilies broken off.

What happened here?

What happened here?

I just philosophically picked them up and threw them out.  Now the planter is all out of symmetry.

Lilies remain on the other side.

Lilies remain on the other side.

This is one of the planters with a planting scheme left over from volunteer days, with an aggressively running rose that is too vigorous for the planter (beautiful right now when in its once-blooming stage).  I don’t plant lilies in the planters because their foliage, while dying back, is unattractive.  To have them broken off just in full bud is a darn shame.  Oh well!

Right about that time, Todd drove by and called out “You guys rock!”.  That was nice.

Also nice: I had unearthed a pair of my favourite clippers, the ones Fred Meyer stopped carrying.

Also nice: I had unearthed a pair of my favourite clippers, the ones Fred Meyer stopped carrying.  I wish I could find these to buy somewhere.

a Long Beach planter (Allan's photo)

a Long Beach planter (Allan’s photo)

In Fish Alley, I came upon the city crew hard at work making a big sandbox.  There will be sand castles built here by expert builders every weekend this summer.

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Parks Manager Mike driving the back hoe.

Parks Manager Mike driving the back hoe.

While bucket watering the four barrels in Fish Alley, I discovered that the two barrels at the west end of the alley had once again had every edging plant stolen. I told Mike it’s not from lack of trying that those barrels look blah.  One of the crew pointed out that all the lower light bulbs on the poles at the alley entrance had been stolen.  You can see the results in the first photo of the crew, above, and below.

light bulbs almost all gone!

light bulbs almost all gone!

This is not a crazy crime ridden town.  Yet things like this are so frustrating.  I told the crew that I had just had a brainstorm:  I am going to stuff the back two barrels with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ which is easily replaced with divisions if the plants get stolen.  It is the perfect plant for that: drought tolerant, so divisible, and yet not invasive or impolite toward other plants.  No more special plants for whomever is repeatedly stealing there.

Outside Wind World Kites, I joined in on petting the Mighty Quinn, whose tail never stopped wagging.  Quinn is so big and only two years old.

Quinn and the Kite Guy

Quinn and the Kite Guy

Quinn’s predecessor was a good friend of Tank, the kite shop mascot dog, and after Tank died of old age, his buddy used to check out Tank’s “office” in the back of the shop to see if maybe Tank was there.

Tank in his office

my very good friend Tank in his office, years ago

Allan finished watering and accomplished his lavender removal project.  His photos:

before

before

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He moved the new small lavender into the space.

He moved the new small lavender into the space.

after

after

I’d like to redo that whole planter and get the curly teucrium and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out of it—both too invasive—but not this spring.

Allan's photo by Hungry Harbor Grille

Allan’s photo by Hungry Harbor Grille

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Walking by the park on Third Street reminded me that Mike had asked me to prune the hydrangeas by the bench.  After watering, Allan and I parked by there and did so.

after pruning. The hydrangeas had been blossoming through the back and seat of the bench.

after pruning. The hydrangeas had been blossoming through the back and seat of the bench.

A fellow smoking by the fence told me he had picked some flowers (rhododendrons, I believe) from the park and then felt he had done something wrong.  I was touched by his confession and gave him the hydrangea flowers I had needed to cut.  He was ever so pleased.

At the back of the park: aegepodium. DO NOT ever plant it! and tall fireweed. I left the fireweed, remembering that in the UK it goes by the lovely name rosebay willowherb.

At the back of the park: aegepodium. DO NOT ever plant it! and tall fireweed. I left the fireweed, remembering that in the UK it goes by the lovely name rosebay willowherb and is much admired.

Allan bucket watering the stage planters at Veterans Field

Allan bucket watering the stage planters at Veterans Field

We have a lot of little things to remember to do in Long Beach in order to keep plants alive and happy.

Eschscholzia californica 'White Linen' and Salvia 'May Night' in vet field corner garden

Eschscholzia californica ‘White Linen’ and Salvia ‘May Night’ in vet field corner garden

We had saved the northern two blocks of planter fertilizing till late afternoon.  I took a break  to go into NIVA green and get some more photos for the shop’s Facebook page.

front window, NIVA green

front window, NIVA green

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Heather Ramsay’s lamps

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a seat for a miniature garden

a seat for a miniature garden

doggies

doggies

Heather has the most artistic selection of greeting cards around.  I had a birthday gift certificate from Todd burning a hole in my wallet and I decided a wide selection of cards would be the perfect things to spend it on.

owl card

owl card

many choices throughout the shop

many choices throughout the shop

Allan's photo by Dennis Company

Allan’s photo by Dennis Company

Back to Fifth Street Park Allan and I went to get some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  I planted all the rest of my sweet pea seeds, tired of packets floating around the house with just a few seeds in each.  It is crazy late to plant, I know.

looking toward the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park

looking toward the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park

When I took the above photo, I did not even remember that it was the planter whose lilies had been broken off on the north side.  That’s because I was being all philosophical about plant damage today.

Fifth Street Park, NW corner

Fifth Street Park, NW corner

Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) (Allan's photo)

Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) and the first lily (Allan’s photo)

We dumped our debris and got some soil from the city yard and went to Fish Alley to replant the stripped out two barrels.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' on the move (Allan's photo)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ on the move (Allan’s photo)

Fish Alley replanting (Allan's photo)

Fish Alley replanting (Allan’s photo)

Because we still had time in our day, we went to the Bolstad approach to remove some of the clover that had turned out to have boring, lax white flowers.

the silver Pacific Ocean, end of the Bolstad approach (Allan's photo)

the silver Pacific Ocean, end of the Bolstad approach (Allan’s photo)

clover attack

clover attack

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photos)

and after

and after

I worked on pulling grasses from among the roses.  As I approached the nearby planter, I let out a bellow and all thoughts of being philosophical flew away.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

That hole marks where a brand new perfectly shaped santolina had been planted within the past month, to match its brother on the other side of the planter.

Now its brother is all alone.

Now its brother is all alone.

utterly maddening

utterly maddening

The fairy door at the base of the planter had not protected it nor had the little green soldier that Allan found in the planter itself.

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I looked around to make sure no tourists or children were nearby and then let out a string of swearing and imprecations against plant thieves.  To anyone looking from the distant hotel windows, I must have looked like a cartoon character hopping about and waving my arms in rage.

hopping mad!!

hopping mad!!

This is why the beach approach planters look so sparse.  I plant repeatedly, and choice new additions are repeatedly stolen.  I suspect it might be just one person, maybe the same one also stealing in Fish Alley, who is furnishing quite a nice little garden somewhere.  I have no idea who.  Someone who knows good plants and only takes the choicest ones. Perhaps they think I will just replace the plant.  Well, no, because now every nursery on the Peninsula is sold out of it.  I found a small specimen of a different santolina cultivar at ground level, where I had stuck in some cuttings earlier this year.

It would have been swamped by resprouting roses anyway.

It would have been swamped by resprouting roses anyway.

into the planter it goes...maybe won't be stolen as is not impressive.

into the planter it goes…maybe won’t be stolen as is not impressive.

On the other side of the sidewalk, I noticed that someone had stolen one of the fairy doors, breaking it off in the process of prying it from the driftwood.

gone!

gone!

Wendy Murry had sent me this photo of it on May 15th.

Wendy Murry had sent me this photo of it on May 15th.

All thoughts of being philosophical had disappeared and I was back to being a crabby gardener.

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The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett, an art idea suggested, oddly enough, by someone who knows me.

In better news:  The beach approach was so easy to weed now that we got two sections done in less than an hour and stopped work at the eight hour day mark.

It should be easy to do a weeding of the rest of the approach, maybe just a one day job.

It should be easy to do a weeding of the rest of the approach, maybe just a one day job.

at home

the garden at 8 PM

the garden at 8 PM

I moved my kitty statue from near the greenhouse over to Mary’s grave after suddenly realizing how much it looks like Mary.

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Mary herself

Mary herself

Rose 'Mary Rose' planted on her grave

Rose ‘Mary Rose’ planted on her grave

Mary Rose, picked for a closer look

Mary Rose, picked for a closer look

and to float in my mom's birdbath

and to float in my mom’s birdbath


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

On this day in 1995, my father went into the hospital with a heart problem.  The diary entries from May 23 through June of that year will appear in one post at the end of this month.

1997 (age 73):

May 23:  Don [her neighbor helping get ready for a garage sale] 12:00-3:00.  We sorted the rest of the boxes from garage shelves.  I found some pink dishes that might match Skyler’s dishes and several pieces of colored glass to put on kitchen shelf over sink.  Sorted through flower seeds for ones to direct seed.

1998 (age 74):

May 23: Cool wet dreary—too lousy weather to go outside so I planted seeds—for several hours.  I keep switching trays between heating mats on the card table and Floralight.  The Jazz swept the Lakers.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 22 May 2016

A day of garden puttering at home is perfection for me.  Another form of perfection might have been a rainy day so that I could read my book.

Not today.

Not today.

I wish to read it in one sitting.  Meanwhile, for my daily bedtime reading, I am partway through this excellent non fiction book:

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Smokey would have liked a reading day.

Smokey would have liked a reading day.

Before I began gardening, I got a text from a friend who had caught someone picking a bouquet at the boatyard.  Allan and I tore down there and nipped it in the bud.  The picker was parked on one side of the street with our friend parked on the other, as if, having been interrupted while picking, she had returned to her vehicle and was waiting the witness out.  The picker claimed she had just picked up broken flowers.  Our friend, still there, had witnessed her actively browsing and picking in the garden.  I knew darn well that one flower, from a plant I have only one of in the garden, was from right underneath one of the “Please Leave the Flowers for Everyone to Enjoy” signs.  No yelling was involved, but I hope stern words made an impression.  I have photos showing exactly who it was.  I won’t be sharing them publicly…this time.

a detail. She told Allan she had been sketching the garden.

a detail, with flowers in hand. She told Allan she had been sketching the garden. You can see the sketch behind the flowers.

Finally home again for the rest of a day off, in good weather, I garden puttered.  Or, as the mom of one of the Sylvia Beach Hotel called it, “piddlefarting around the garden”.

I’d been worried all weekend for Susie of the Boreas Inn, who had been ambulanced to a Portland hospital with a heart attack on Saturday morning.  The news that an angiogram showed no damage and that she could come home today was a great relief. 

Parahebe 'Waterfall Mist'

Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’ by Nora’s driveway


Parahebe 'Waterfall Mist', a good mounding perennial

Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’, a good mounding perennial


perfectly placed self sown lavender and golden oregano on the patio

perfectly placed self sown lavender and golden oregano on the patio


more self sowing...

more self sowing…


from this plant table

from this plant table


decided it was time to trim the restia

I decided it was time to trim the restia


Smokey found this most amusing.

Smokey found this most amusing.


rescued a frog who had gotten trapped in a bucket by the water boxes

rescued a frog who had gotten trapped in a bucket by the water boxes

I got trapped in a sudden heavy rain squall back by the bogsy woods and, somewhat sheltered by trees, weeded the bindweed corner.

probably won't have time for this

Here it was last week.


and today

and today

I see room for a new shade plant, or five.

During the rain, Allan painted top pieces for the new arbour.

During the rain, Allan painted top pieces for the new arbour.

When the rain stopped, Allan fixed the back gate whose hinges had rusted shut.  He had to grind off the old hinges and install more expensive, non rusting new stainless steel ones.  (“The hinges cost more than the door”, says Allan.)

Allan's project

Allan’s project


old hinge

old hinge could not be unscrewed

I failed to get a photo of the door-gate put back on.  I was able to use the door-gate to go to the other side and pull bindweed off the fence where our lot meets the gear shed property line.

From nearby, the fragrance of Philadelphus wafted about.

From nearby, the fragrance of Philadelphus wafted about.


Stipa gigantea in the back garden

Stipa gigantea in the back garden


Eucomis 'Glow Sticks' from Terra Nova Nursery

Eucomis ‘Glow Sticks’ from Terra Nova Nursery


mom's red velvet rose doing well next to a giant daylily that I am wondering why I spared in the daylily purge last year.

mom’s transplanted red velvet rose doing well next to a giant daylily that I am wondering why I spared in the daylily purge last year.

Allan also installed on the front gate a sign that was a present from Mary and Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages.

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He also put up a bamboo rose trellis.

He also put up a bamboo rose trellis.


last garden puttering the of the day: digging some baby new potatoes for J9 to pick up tomorrow.

last garden puttering the of the day: digging some baby new potatoes for J9 to pick up tomorrow.


Allan found the first ripe strawberry.

Allan found the first ripe strawberry.

We only had a two day weekend because we have much work to do this week making towns and resorts perfect for Memorial Day weekend.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 22:  In garage moved my garden stuff into empty NW corner.  Moved boxes of priced stuff over to east wall.  Planted the rest of sprouted upright begonias and one more basket. There are about a dozen of Dutch Garden begonias that haven’t sprouted.  I’ll write to them about it.

1998 (age 74):

May 22:  12:00-5:00  Worked all that time planting tomatoes.  The greenhouse is jammed.  I had to stop twice to sift compost and mushroom compost.  All the black pots, milk jugs and bleach jugs are full.  All the tomatoes are out of the shop finally.  I started throwing some away but there are about 10 left of misc varieties that I’ll plant.  Next job is to plant tulips in garden and replant begonias in the tubs.

 

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Saturday, 21 May 2016: Allan’s day

warning: The following content may be limited in variety as there are only a few different shots available. When you got to keep up with the group and the group consists  of identical looking red boats, camera fiddling just slows you down.

I had been looking forward to this trip for months. West Cast Sailing, who had sold me my boat was inviting everyone with similar Hobie boats to an afternoon sailing around Ross Island in Portland Oregon. Picnic provided and over fifteen boats had RSVP’d. “It looks like we will have good wind and a low probability of rain.” The owner of the shop, Peter McGrath, had confirmed all around and I was looking forward to learning, looking around and fun as sailing kayaks are scarce around here.

The event was at Willamette Park in Portland. The plan was to sail around Ross Island and return for socializing. The computer said about two and a third hour trip, the GPS for the car said three and a third hours. SO, I believed the car’s GPS and set out really early. As I cruised past Hillsboro, just west of Portland, it showed I still had over an hour to go. I backed out the screen’s view. I was headed to Willamette Park in Corvallis, south of Salem. The Portland park of the same name wasn’t listed. I reprogrammed it to Ross Island Grocery Store which would  get me close and presto,  now I was going to be an hour early. Yay. Wish I had brought a paper map.

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Portland (the rose city) features roses heavily in their landscaping such as this freeway ramp

 

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Setting up forty minutes early should make me on time when they start

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A delightful audience of a young boy full of questions and observations as I expertly fuddled about. All was good except an outrigger is installed backwards (a training wheel to the little guy).

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A wooden dory with leather oarlocks, and a good sail boat to boot. I would have loved to listen more as he explained it to the fellow with the brown shoes but the party was beginning.

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Carl and Connie had just arrived from the tri-cities, about 220 miles away, a day trip that humbled my 85 mile trip.

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He brought his new two passenger  model (with the comfy seats).

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A home modified version  of a similar trailer we use for Tangly Cottage Gardening.

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Our host Peter  (in the back), and his guest, Carl & Connie in the middle red boat …and that was it. The rest canceled partly because showers were predicted.

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I was putting the wheels away (I now see that they can ride behind), and guess who was going to be last in?

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A trampoline is handy for phones and strong enough for people or crab pots.

Julez from the Salt Hotel told me before I left: “What makes an adventure is when things go wrong.”

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A Canadian goose is first out

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Leaving the dock by foot power

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Heading off. Carl on the left using the new spinnaker, Peter sailing, and I’m about to head for the beach to flip around the outrigger.

The wind was so light we all went about 4 mph no matter what. Carl put up two sails and I pedaled harder. Peter just sailed. His shop has a wide array of small sail boats but these are the only ones with built in pedal drives. That feature allows sloppy sailing techniques for the rest of us. He’s been sailing almost weekly since his teens. I pedaled, sailed hard and caught up with him so I could shadow him and learn. “How do you know where to head without a wind vane?” “I’m a wind ninja” Ah. more practice is needed.

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Connie with her phone on a stick camera. Carl now has both sails up. We’re still all together.

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Ross Island is a rock processing site. Couldn’t really explore as I had to keep up.

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Rounding the top of Ross Island near the Hwy 26 Ross Island bridge. The Tilikum Crossing is behind it.

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The wind was much stronger on this side of the island

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Kayakers under the Tilikum Crossing, the largest car free bridge in the country.

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I barely got my camera ready in time to catch this fast paddler with an outrigger.

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A fireboat quietly went by on its way to a kayak gathering up north.

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Peter giving the ‘thumbs up’ as I might be able to share this good pic with him later. My better camera was back in its bag after refusing to snap pics.  I found out later that it recorded a useless ten minute movie instead. It’s busy out there!

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Connie taking my picture after I ran parallel with them on the last stretch

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Peter heading off while the fire boat displays for a kayak event up north. It even briefly sprayed a red white and blue pattern.

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Peter mixing with his own kind and a fishing boat on the right.

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A tourist boat glided by among all the little boats.

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Keeping up as we headed back to the launch. Note the wet sail. Nothing says fast like lots of water splashing in your face. The newer boats have designed out a lot of the splashy fun.

A forty-six second video of Carl & Connie sailing can be seen here.

With just one person and 64 percent of their sail area I felt pretty good about keeping up. Nine mph felt fast because of the wind and spray.

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Packing up for a long ride halfway across the state. My boots also were filled with water.

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One way around Ross Island

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The Portland Aerial Tram went by overhead. First time I became aware of its existence.

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Tree bases are set in stone with car / bike / people deflector stones on either side.

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Must be art on poles. I looked it up and it’s called Inversion Plus Minus

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Whump! A gale blew in so suddenly I saw a convertible on the shoulder working on getting the top up – quickly.

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Sunset over the Columbia from Astoria’s Maritime Museum.Back to the quiet local waterways and home.

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Saturday, 21 May 2016

I had the day to myself because Allan had gone boating.  The unusual state of complete solitude inspired me to skip the Saturday market.

 As usual, it tok me ages to get started on a day off.  J9 stopped by unexpectedly just before I got outside, and we had a good natter for half an hour and then I began to plant my own painted sage.

What I most wanted was to be done with annuals planting time.  Otherwise, I would have rejoiced in the rain that stopped me halfway through the planting, and would have settled in with volume 4 of the Cazalet Chronicle.  I felt sorry for the vendors down at the Saturday Market; the rain was torrential.  I might have kept planting in the privacy of the back yard, but in the more public front yard I did not feel like exhibiting drowned rattiness.

rain from the east window

rain from the east window

from the porch

from the porch

pelting

pelting

topping up the rain barrels

topping up the rain barrels

As soon as it slowed, I was back out finishing the planting.

Frosty preferred to stay in.

Frosty preferred to stay in.

I reassembled my mom’s sedum table display next to the water boxes.  It has gone from her own garden to Golden Sands, lived there under a courtyard tree for six years, and has now come home.

mom's little wooden table, still sturdy.

mom’s little wooden table, still sturdy.  Edged with brick, piled with soil, planted with succulents that were brought home in a bucket.

potatoes growing on the debris pile

potatoes growing on the debris pile

Paul's Himalayan Musk rose overhead

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose overhead

Rose 'Gloire de Dijon'; if I were retired, I'd pick off every blackspotty leaf.

Rose ‘Gloire de Dijon’; if I were retired, I’d pick off every blackspotty leaf.

Egyptian Walking Onion outside the deer fence.

Egyptian Walking Onion outside the deer fence.

strawberries outside the deer fence; before I put this mesh up, Devery caught the deer browsing them.

strawberries outside the deer fence; before I put this mesh up, Devery caught the deer browsing them.

almost ready!

almost ready!

a rose across the driveway at Nora's old house (now her granddaughter Alicia's)

a rose across the driveway at Nora’s old house (now her granddaughter Alicia’s)

Calvin was the one who followed me around outside today.

Calvin was the one who followed me around outside today.

looking south east from the gate

looking south east from the back gate

the one rose that came with the house...a prolific once-bloomer

the one rose that came with the house…a prolific once-bloomer

(weedy) patio with no plants to plant!

(weedy) patio with no plants to plant!

Onyx from next door came to visit.

Onyx from next door came to visit.

Onyx and Frosty

Onyx and Frosty

front path with painted sage planted along the edge

front path looking west with painted sage planted along the edge

Chickadees have made a next in the circuit board bird house.

Chickadees have made a next in the circuit board bird house.

purchased once upon a time at Saturday market

purchased once upon a time at Saturday market

If I had the patience of Mr Tootlepedal, I would get a photo of the chickadees going in and out.

I was chided from a nearby perch.

I was chided from a nearby perch.

front path looking east

front path looking east, not raked up yet

Clematis durandii on new arbour (where wire mesh will be inserted for it to climb on).

Clematis durandii on new arbour (where wire mesh will be inserted for it to climb on).

more small painted sage plants along more edges. I had to pull some red poppies to make room, felt it was a shame but did it anyway.

more small painted sage plants along more edges. I had to pull some red poppies to make room, felt it was a shame but did it anyway.

I used up all my six packs of sage with not a one left to squeeze into the boatyard garden.  At last, with all the plants in the ground, I had time to begin the sort of tasks that I like best in the garden.

clipping hellebore: before...

clipping hellebore: before…

and after. I had been looking forward to that.

and after. I had been looking forward to that.

With all the plants planted, I can now turn my attention at work to projects, the sort of work I much prefer to planting.

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Now, if I just stop buying plants, I won’t have any more planting to do till next year, will I?

Allan got home just after dark.  Tomorrow’s post will be about his adventures in Portland.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 21:  10:30-5:00  Don and I worked about 3 hours in the garage going through the NW corner sorting stuff for garage sale.  When he left, I worked in front weeding out the sweet woodruff, etc.  I think I have about 4 or 5 wheelbarrows to add to the compost pile.

1998 (age 74):

May 21:  I brought out all the baskets that are growing good.  I managed to hang several of the baskets with rigid hangers.  I worked again potting tomatoes.

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