Archive for the ‘container gardens’ Category

Long Beach, downtown

Photos for my reference, taken July 10th and July 12th.  I used Allan’s idea of a sidewalk angle as well as the street view angle.  They almost all have some diascia and some bidens, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and a couple of santolinas (some newly added this year so still small). Also added Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple to almost all of them this spring.

Going north to south:

Block one, east side:

Lawyer’s office

lawyer office

Lawyer office, just golden oregano and two Geranium ‘Rozanne’, with a Sanguisora ‘Pink Elephant’ that is determined to stay even though I thought I moved it all to Fifth Street Park (because it is so tall).

Dennis Co storage lot

Dennis storage lot

Shrubby, two Crimson Pygmy Barberry that stay small, two gold euonymus that want to get huge, a chrysanthemum, left over from volunteer days

Block one, west side:

Dennis Co north

Dennis Co north

Dennis Co north, by parking lot, Rozanne and golden oregano plus Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ that reverted to green foliage and some wonderful Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (the original; most of the planters have it now).

Dennis Co south

Dennis Co south

My favourite planter. Agastache, golden fuchsia, heuchera, cosmos and painted sage, diascia, Rozanne,  and more…and tigridia, which a lot of them have

Block two, east side:



Narrow sidewalk passageway on this block.  Heucheras, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, cosmos and painted sage, a stray lady’s mantle or two, aquilegias that I keep pulling out

NIVA green

NIVA green

Lilies and Iberis left over from volunteer days, lambs ears, chrysanths, heuchera, a dwarf rhododendron from volunteer days. Originally someone thought would be a good idea to have a dwarf rhodie at the post in each planter.  Not me! Only two survive out of many (I did not remove them; they died from sun and wind).

Block two, west side:

Scoopers north

Scoopers north

Maybe the windiest planter, two wanna be huge escallonias from volunteer days, two lavender, sedums, green santolina, lots of annoying little red clover

Scoopers south

Scoopers south

Boring groundcover that blooms in spring, tatty old Erysimum that is coming out in fall, chrysanths, the other dwarf rhodo, all but the Erys. from volunteer days.  Used to be the most vandalized planter.  Now it seems to be left alone, i should re do the ground cover with something better, at least.  Two old daylilies, boring, used to regularly get their foliage torn off.  Theory: the vandal grew up and moved away.

Block three, east side:



I let mint (volunteer days leftover) take hold this year.  I shouldn’t have but this planter is so windy and it just smells good when I water.  I will be sorry in the fall when I try to pull it all out.  Used to be all mint from a volunteer!  Now thyme, some badaster that snuck in, santolina…Oh, almost all of them have a couple of santolinas, which I have been forgetting to mention. Lambs ears, cosmos, Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’, a tall armeria

Cottage Bakery

Cottage Bakery

CB has that variegated Knautia that reverted to green, pink gaura, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Calif poppies, cosmos and so forth


Funland (most sat upon planter)

flat creeping sedums, S Autumn Joy, cosmos, pink Gaura, painted sage, Rozanne

police station

police station

Blue agastache, Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola, Rozanne, Allium christophii, lambs ears; wanted it to be all blue but I don’t pull the orange Calif poppies just because I don’t.

Block three: west side:

corner building for rent

corner building (has boring climbing rose by pole that needs to go!)

That annoying rose, fuchsias, Autumn Joy, chrysanths, daisies left over from volunteer days, Rozanne

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

a couple of fuchsias and lavenders swamped by Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that nice shop keeper loves, and some white fruited strawberries

Stormin’ Norman’s

Stormin’ Norman’s

redone in autumn 2015, the damnable wire plant is coming back, so it has to be dug out again.  Pink gaura, cosmos, santolina, Rozanne, lavenders, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (like most of the planters now)

park by Gazebo

park by gazebo

Recently redone (last fall), Allium christophii, bkue agastache, santolinas, Rozanne, and diascia and boring old Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ trying to come back but I won’t let it.

Block four: east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Lewis and Clark Square

Rozanne, Autumn Joy, agastache, way too many calif poppies, Allium c! and othonna of some sort, which I love and am trying to spread around.

Carnival Gifts (shrubs left over from volunteer days)

Carnival Gift shop

Carnival Gifts has most boring planter except for a week in spring. Easy care! Also left from volunteer: mint all through the shrubs. Smells nice.



Catmint, golden oregano, agastache, cosmos, creeping sedums, Rozanne, tigridia (which many of the planters have), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer trying to come back, green santolina

Fifth Street Park (NE)

Fifth Street Park (NE) (Frying Pan Park)

Left over from volunteer days, a running once blooming rose, tatty lavenders, a spiraea (why??) and a huge hebe (also why???)  Quite nice when the roses are briefly in bloom.

Block four, west side:

park by Long Beach Tavern

by LBT

all the usual suspects: Rozanne, agastache, Autumn Joy, lavender, Calif poppies

Hungry Harbor Grille

Hungry Harbor Grille

Golden oregano, too many calif poppies, a dark leaved Phygelius whose name I have forgotten

Sweet Phees (too much golden oregano!)

Sweet Phees (probably the shadiest planter because of roof overhang)

Too much golden oreg. for sure, with an astilbe and two heucheras

Fifth Street Park (NW)

Fifth Street Park (NW)

Lavender, a running curly teucrium, badaster, Lucifer! Due for a big redo this fall.

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street Park (SE)

Fifth Street Park (SE)

Rozanne, golden vinca that i wish was not there, cosmos and Calif poppies (too many) and the usual annuals (cosmos, diascia) plus Allium C.

RV park

RV Park

Sort of redid this one to get rid of Lucifer, which is trying to come back.  Big old lavenders, creeping sedums, blue agastache, red diascia (red tattoo shop is just south of here)

Coastal Inn

Coastal Inn

Golden oregano, santolina, variegated bulbous oat grass, which I have been told “looks like a weed”, Calif poppies, Salvia patens, a Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that snuck in!. Used to be swamped by nasturtiums, did not let that happen this year.

Block five, west side:

public restroom

public restroom

Due for a redo, at least of the edge where a pretty veronica blooms much too briefly.  Teucrium, which I regret, must go, too.  Rozanne. Big ol’ lavender.

smoke shop

smoke shop

blue agastaches, lots of Calif poppies, aster that I try to eradicate, Rozanne, of course. Maybe the messiest most meadowy planter.

Streetside Tacos

Streetside Tacos

Agastaches, which are not showing much (but many of the planters have two by the post), the best silver santolinas, old and big, Geranium macrorrhizum.  Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  The former city manager loved this planter so much when i did it as a volunteer that I think it is why I got the city job.

Block six, east side:

empty lot

empty lot

Rozanne, santolina, blue agastache, pink oenothera which always makes me think of Ann Lovejoy, Gladiolus papilio which I am beginning to regret because it is so aggressive, the usual annuals (diascia, cosmos, which most of the planters have)

pet shop (two sheared wanna be full size escallonias)

pet shop

volunteer left over escallonia and euonymous and big old lavender; did not succeed in getting sweet peas growing on the pole thingie this year.  Sad.

Powell and Seiller accounting

Powell and Seiller accounting

Re did this one a year ago, pink Calif poppies,, a couple of yellow glads left over from volunteer along with two left over miniature roses and a silene, added agastache, sedums, Rozanne, diascias, cosmos, painted sage.

Block six, west side:

credit union

credit union

lots of different coloured Calif poppies, Rozanne, blue agastaches, two pink dahlias that do so well I always swear I will add more dahlias to planters and then I forget. Plus it takes awhile to win against the snails.

bus stop

bus stop (mostly a hardy geranium that blooms early)

The hardy geranium, boring now, swamping lavender and Autumn Joy and a big old armeria on the street side.  Easy care!

First Place Mall

First Place Mall

Rozanne, lavender, armeria, cosmos and diascia and so forth and …parsley! Which is so fun I should use it more in other planters.

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Wednesday, 11 july 2018

Red Barn Arena

The garden had been watered! (Yay!) So we only had a bit of deadheading to do.

Our good friend Misty was there (with her human, Diane).

and our good friend Rosie

the first tigridia of the year in one of the barrels

Diane’s Garden

Next door to the barn, we added a few perennials to Diane’s garden.  We are going to just call the septic box garden the raised box garden from now on.  Sounds so much nicer.

Allan deadheading

Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

also Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

also Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’!

It is quite variable.

drumstick alliums

Basket Case Greenhouse

We stopped for a few Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’.  I could not resist some echeverrias, as well.

still lots of healthy annuals and baskets for sale.

green fireworks display

and a really big healthy blue agastache

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour tidying and then I took photos for the Facebook page.  We skipped KBC last week because of the holiday and company.  Mary says she could get by with us just every other week, which would be great, but she says “Not yet, though!”  This is now our only north end job, and it is a long drive for one hour of work.  The cottage cleaning staff also like to weed the paths and beds, so we can be somewhat dispensible, for which I am grateful.  It is an odd feeling to work there knowing this longtime job ends in the late autumn, when Denny and Mary retire.

Allan had stood on a bucket and deadheaded the roses over the arbors.

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ with sanguisorba, probably ‘Pink Elephant’

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Timmy (Timothea)

All these years I thought Timmy, Sarah’s sibling, was a boy!  Mary and I talked about how I might take ten year old Timmy and Sarah if Mary and Denny move to Arizona.  I would love to have them.

more Timmy

I want to take her home right now!

Shelburne Hotel

I had had a wee brainstorm.  In the back garden, we took the variegated mint out of a low pot and put it into the pot that does not drain well.

Then we made a succulent pot out of the low pot for the one deck that had no plant container.

I laughed when I found myself thinking, “I wish there were some river rock to decorate these pots with.”  Of course, the front garden has river rock all along the edge of the path!

no shortage!

lavender and thyme pot in back garden

front garden

71 degrees on the way home at the early hour of 5 PM.

I did no evening gardening at home other than watering all my pots and running one sprinkler because the north wind was a ridiculously strong and miserable thirty something miles an hour.



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Thursday, 5 July 2018

at the post office

our post office garden

matchy matchy Asiatic lily (probably ‘Landini’) and a sanguisorba

Depot Restaurant

weeding and watering…

Dierama (Angels’ Fishing Rod) is blooming.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Agastache (‘Blue Boa’, maybe) and Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’

Long Beach

Allan string trimming around the welcome sign

back side

We watered the Long Beach planters downtown.

busy tourist town (Allan’s photo)

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’

We will crisscross the street to do the other three planters in a group of four while waiting for a large crowd to move on.  Still, we do end up having to ask people to move so we can water.

Only once years ago did someone get angry and ask me to come back later; I said gently that we were on our way to water all the Ilwaco planters after Long Beach so no, we could not come back later—and she did move.

Sometimes, even though Long Beach is fun, I get tired of the noise and traffic in summer and end up counting off how many planters I have to do before I am done watering.

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ persists in a planter even after I decided it was too tall and moved it to Fifth Street Park.

One of the shop workers arrives to work on this. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

We tidied up the gardens in Veterans Field for the Friday farmers market.

Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’…and a white one.

Due to sprinkler problems, the monarda looks stressed. I think I don’t want it in this bed anymore. (Sprinkler probably blocked by too many plants—typical of our gardens.)

Port of Ilwaco

We watered some, but not all, of the curbside gardens.

my one pitiful eremerus (Allan’s photo)

by Ilwaco pavilion

A pleasant fellow stopped to ask about santolinas; he liked them.

My favourite bed is still marred by finger blight.

The lavenders may not heal up. Certainly not by the big fireworks show on July 7th.

The santolina will heal…eventually.

Don Nisbett’s signs have been installed!

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ gets the most comments and queries nowadays.

We were tidying because of fireworks show crowds on Saturday and Art Walk on Friday.

This is what a properly pruned santolina looks like.  It will flower later.

This is the only one I forgot to clip!

We got the watering done from David Jensen’s architecture office all the way to Time Enough Books; then I did a walkabout of the Ilwaco planters while Allan watered them.

downtown window

before chickweed removal

after…it lurks beneath though

Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ (top) is my favourite. I was worried people would not find it bright enough.


Good citizen Ethel was string trimming and then raking along the sidewalk for art walk night.

Ethel’s efforts to beautify the town were a perfect example of action instead of big talk and complaints.

While Allan continued watering the planters, which takes an hour and a half minimum, I watered the boatyard garden.  It used to take us half an hour or forty five minutes to water the planters back when we bucket watered them, before the water trailer.  But we are just no longer up to hauling what was literally 800 pounds of water twice a week.

view from behind the boatyard fence; the shadow is of a boat prow that was above me

While watering, I pulled some horsetail and grass away from the back of the fence.

I was daunted by huge slugs hiding down there.  I had not brought to the far end of the fence my slug disposal tools or a pair of gloves.  I was just pulling with bare hands.  I do hate touching a slug.

Afterwards, I looked at my particularly arthritic finger and for a creepy few moments I felt like it was just going to break right off at the joint.

horrific, depressing old age

I walked down to the other far end of the boatyard and the hose was not there.  (I use a series of hoses that lay around by the faucets…usually.)  I simply could not hobble all the way back to the middle of the other stretch of fence and drag a hose back.  Fortunately, Allan, who has no arthritis that we know of, showed up in the nick of time and watered the south end of the garden while I sat in the van in a state of collapse.  So glad to be home at dusk.




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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Geometry in Motion Garden

approaching the garden

At the neighbours’, where a real estate open house was in session, lemonade was for sale under an umbrella.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

small lawn in front garden

bright front porch

front garden


many tour guests

In walking along the easy path on one side of the house, I was amused by the window wells.

approaching the back garden

the water feature and its reflections

at one end of the water feature


The pot of sarracenia floated freely in the water.

garden admiration

back porch

back wall of house

at the back of the garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I enjoyed the next set of window wells on the way out.

plants to enjoy from a basement room

more supplicating hands

a narrow, level path and dappled light

plants tucked in wherever possible

Now for some more exploration of the front garden, while most of the tour guests have gone to the back.

Before going to the next garden, I admired the house across the street:

I like the windows.


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4 June 2018

To make this somewhat entertaining for the reader, I will start with some photos that show the Long Beach town scenery, and then get down to the nitty gritty.

Wind World Kites storefront was recently repaired. We hope it gets painted bright blue again.

Third Street Park gazebo

Lewis and Clark Square


Hungry Harbor

Sweet Phee’s

Fifth Street Park NW (We will redo this planter in fall, I hope)

Fifth Street Park SW

Fifth Street Park NE

Fifth Street Park SE

Now for the aforementioned nitty gritty.

Long Beach planter reference post

This is a record I am trying to do once a month while watering the planters.  About half of the planters are photographed from across the street before they get groomed and watered, to avoid the stressful and slightly dangerous crossing back and forth.  The others are lucky enough to get photographed after being watered and tidied.

I took the photos walking north to south on June 4, 2018.

block one, west side:

Dennis Company north

Dennis Co south

Block one, east side:

law office before removing bulb foliage

Dennis Co storage lot

Block two, west side:

Scoopers north with would be huge escallonia cut back hard

Scoopers south, leggy erysimums will need replacing

block two, east:


by NIVA green

block three, west side:

stoplight corner

Wind World Kites (he likes the Crocosmia!)

Stormin’ Norman’s

Third Street Park gazebo

block three, east side:


Cottage Bakery


Police Station

Block four, west side:

Third Street Park.

Hungry Harbor Grille

Sweet Phee’s…pretty much swamped with golden oregano

Fifth Street Park. I WILL redo this one in fall!

Block four, east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Carnival Gifts, all spring flowering shrubs (blah now except for geraniums)


frying pan, shrubby, dominated by hebe

Block five, west side:

Fifth Street restroom; the plan is redo this one in fall because the veronica blooms too briefly.

Smoke Shop

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street pond

north of tattoo shop

As I write this and get to block five, I just found out that Allan hadn’t remembered to take his set of photos for the last block and a bit.  So the rest of the photos were completed by him on June 14, 2018.  

My idea has been to show how the planters read from the street.  He took a different approach, which makes them look more interesting but is not really what passersby see (since they don’t stand out in the street with a camera held up high).  I like these and am debating whether to switch to this angle in the future.  If you have made it this far, what do you think?

Block five, continued:

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop (west side)

Streetside Taco (west side)

Coastal Inn (east side)

Block six, west side:

Credit Union

bus stop

First Place Mall

Block six, east side:

empty lot

Paws by the Sea Pet Supplies (has big old escallonias that are clipped low in spring)

Powell and Seillor accounting (redone last year after a vehicle smashed the planter)





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Monday, 4 June 2018

Long Beach

I decided we had better do a big clean up in the oft neglected Coulter Park, just north of Dennis Company.

the back way in (Allan’s photo)

the dreaded rose patch with salmonberry coming through the fence (Allan’s photos)

The salmonberry comes under the fence on powerful runners and pops up all through the roses.  It’s infuriating on many levels.

the mother….plant on the other side of the fence

Allan’s photo

after; unfortunately, all the bad roots can’t be gotten at (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

Meanwhile, I weeded around the front of the park and then limbed up some conifers on the north side so that we could get the bindweed, salmonberry, blackberry, and garbage out from under them.

before; impossible to weed

I pruned as much as I could and then Allan crawled in and sawed off the stubs.


another one, before


spider babies dispersing when touched

If mama spiders were like mama bears, we would not get much done.

a paper towel dispenser…why and how? (Allan’s photo)


more salmonberry invaders

I’ve sort of given up on the north side of this park. All we can do is cut these salmonberries back, and they regrow quickly.

It looks cleaner and better even from afar.

I thought you might be interested in the sign on the Long Beach depot building in this park.

the old train depot

“I just knew there was nothing in the whole wild world that would ever be as exciting and wonderful as a Sunday at Long Beach.”

I’ve made the photo a bit bigger than usual in hopes that it might be readable when biggified by clicking.

self seeded cerinthe in the rocks, even though the nearest one is a block away.

With that done, we went on to water the downtown planters and street tree gardens.

Agastache and Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

‘Copper Pot’ California poppy

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

I got to pet this little dog named Gizmo.

We still have alliums.  On the third street intersection, 12 are left out of 24 that were planted there.

Allium christophii

Allium christophii

Allium christophii with cosmos and cerinthe

one of the most windswept planters (Allan’s photo)

cosmos (Allan’s photo)

California poppies (Allan’s photo)

Cerinthe major purpurascens (Allan’s photo)


  I meant to water and weed at the boatyard; I really did.  However, I had hit a wall of exhaustion and since the watering was not critical (I’d watered it just last Friday), I left the weeds to thrive and went home with the excuse (valid!) of having more of the monthly billing to do.

Allan watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters.

downtown planter

a self seeded columbine

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 Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Looking out my window (over the storage/water trailer/garbage area), I saw that the driveway was wet, oh joy!  Such a relief to know the gardens got some water.

Ilwaco Fire Station

I planted some assorted sunflower seeds at the fire station.

Ilwaco Post Office

I wanted to quickly plant 12 cosmos in our volunteer garden at the post office.  Quickly was not the word because of how weedy it had gotten.

It took an hour to make space and get the plants in.

While we were gardening there, someone from the port office came to get mail and told us that yesterday evening, she had seen a man and a boy picking an armload of flowers from the boatyard garden.  When she asked him not to, he was argumentative and said “No one is going to take care of them and I’m keeping them from dying.”  (“No one is going to take care of them”!!!!!!) She and I had a good conversation that I fervently hope will result, and soon, with some official “Do not pick” signage from the port.  Our polite little “Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy” signs are not working.

I thought of a few more things to say so I went to the port office while Allan planted cosmos in the office garden (south side).  The baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse had been hung.

Couldn’t get a long shot because the port truck was there.

curbside gardens on the south side of the port office

I did not want to look at the boatyard so we went on to add more to the planters in

Long Beach.

I am tired of planting.

I asked Allan to make room for a blue felicia daisy by the blue painted Benson’s restaurant.



The golden variegated vinca in that planter is beautiful but much too aggressive for my taste.

Allan was entertained while planting by motorcycle tourists.

taking pictures of their bikes

They asked a Long Beach crew member to take their photo with the frying pan.

The south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park:

Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Later, Allan photographed a hole where a trailing plant had gotten stolen.

I am upset. And tired of this.

We added a few cosmos to the west side of city hall.

Shelburne Hotel and Pub

Today was Melissa’s birthday.  Allan and I worked on the Shelburne garden for 45 minutes until the birthday dinner at the pub began.

the back edible and shady totem pole garden

front garden looking north

and south

In the pub:

avocado toast

chopped salad

pub burger

cranberry curd tart

Melissa declared her chocolate pot du creme the best ever.

Allan took an amusing group photo.

We stayed till well past closing time (with permission from bartender Juan).

On the way to our van, after Dave and Mel had left, we went into the back garden to see if the tiny daisy flowers of the Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) were scenting the courtyard.  They were, intoxicatingly.

the lawn by night (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, pub deck

At home, I was able to make the work list shorter by erasing Long Beach parks and planters.

*Annuals Planting Time AKA Annuals Planting Hell

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