Sunday, 23 October 2016
The typing out of the bulb lists was not to be today. We woke to fine autumn sunshine and decided to get as far as possible in the bulb planting of the Long Beach planters and street tree gardens.
Bulb time has started much sooner than usual this year. For the past several years, my bulbs arrived in early November, and not early enough. This year I called and requested earlier shipment because of my planned knee surgery. The knee surgery is not happening this autumn after all because of economic reasons, and the payoff might be an earlier staycation than usual.
Today, we worked our way through the Long Beach blocks out of order, based on where we could find parking on a busy Sunday.
I had a catastrophe at the police station intersection. I have bulbs for each planter sorted into a separate bag or sometimes a bag for an entire intersection. I noticed when planting the police station intersection (Third Street) that all of the tulips were viridiflora (green) tulips. I always use green tulips for the NIVA green block, but since they are my favourite tulips, I did not wonder that I had them for the Third Street block also. That is, until I got to NIVA green and saw the “POLICE” bag was still in the van. I had grabbed the NIVA bag by mistake. Fortunately, I still had one set of green tulips for the NIVA planter itself. The other three on that block went purple and pink this year. Dang it all.
Each planter is a little different, and many that we have not redone still have rampant plants going back to the days when each one was done by a different volunteer. We don’t redo all of them, just the ones with extremely annoying plants like a nest of vinca or a thuggish hardy geranium. (In the recent case of the wire vine in front of Stormin’ Norman’s, I had only myself to blame.) Three planters have would-be huge escallonias that I cannot remove because their roots are all into the “works” of the plumbing, so I am stuck with constant pruning. Some have would be full size barberries that need constant attention, all leftovers from volunteer days. Each planter started with a dwarf rhododendron (on the street side of the lamp post. One of two that remain can be seen in the photo above) and two big heathers on either side of the lamp post, provided by the city. ALL the heathers are gone now. Oh my, they were boring, and filled up way too much space with flat dullness. The volunteers themselves eliminated most of the heathers.
I was tremendously annoyed today to find that someone who is hanging out by the NIVA green planter on a regular basis is filling it with cigarette butts even though there is an ashtray receptacle RIGHT NEXT TO THE PLANTER.
I popped briefly into NIVA green to get some Halloween display photos for the shops Facebook page (which I help manage).
My good friend Tam O’Shanter came to the door of the Herb N’ Legend Smoke Shop.
To my amazement, we did get all the planters and street tree bulbs installed, except for the four plants (Bolstad stoplight down to the police station) which might get dug up because of a problem with that electric line. I am holding tulips for those planters.
I was glad that I had also brought the box for Veterans Field even though I had been almost sure we would not get to it.
By the time we finished this little project, we were in a drizzle, and by the time we had finished dumping our trailer load of debris at City Works, a lashing rain had begun.
Tomorrow it will surely rain and give me time to type up the bulbs spreadsheets.
1998 (age 74):
Oct 23: 12:00-5:00 I worked in Tam area again planted tulips and narcissus. Also cleaned up the area by pruning and weeding. It was a lot cooler than yesterday. I called the WSU [Washington State University] extension office for up to date instructions on canning tomatoes, freezing, and drying.