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Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

Thursday, 23 March 2017

I might have tried to work if the weather had been good.  I did not want to go out, feeling poorly, in rain and wind.

When the sun appeared in the mid afternoon, Allan departed for Long Beach to do some weeding and deadheading.

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returning a book to the Ilwaco library (Deep Survival, I read it, did not love it)

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Long Beach welcome sign

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He laid out the deadheads to show me how many there were.

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welcome sign

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Long Beach city crew putting up banners.

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deer-pulled tulips in a planter on one of the main deer intersections (where we no longer plant new tulips)

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Narcissi and primrose.  It is hard to get ALL the tatty hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) foliage pulled.

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crocuses chomped by deer.  Pretty sure they had flowered first.  Also on one of the main deer intersections (7th South)

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tulips

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deadheads. so glad Allan went to pick them

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after, with grape hyacinth

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Muscari (grape hyacinth) and lavender

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Tulipa sylvestris, one of my favourites

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snail damage

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Sluggo got applied.

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lilies emerging in Fifth Street Park

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Muscari, one narcissi, scilla (which I did not plant…it goes back to volunteer days).

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by Fifth Street Park

 

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the rain returned

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narcissi and rhododendron

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more white and blue scilla (which would take over if I let it)

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more banners, with Fitz and Parks Manager Mike

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in a street tree garden

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tulips and crocuses 

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By Stormin’ Norman’s. Calocephalus brownii came through the winter.

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under a street tree

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Allan checked on the Veterans Field gardens:

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anemones

Meanwhile, at home:

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I’ve never seen Skooter and Smokey snuggle up before.  It was Smokey’s idea; he tucked himself in under Skooter’s head.

I had read about Jaywick, a semi-derelict English seaside town recently in A Kingdom By The Sea by Paul Theroux and decided to look at a video about it, which turned into watching several.  I could actually afford a bungalow there.

The longest and most official Jaywick video is here.

From that, instead of reading, I segued into the Bill Bryon Notes from a Small Island series on youtube.  I meant to watch only the first one and ended up watching all of them in my comfy chair. Partway through my watching, Allan returned with a tasty crab roll for me from Captain Bob’s Chowder.

In closing, here is a public service announcement from Steve of the Bayside garden:

There are two upcoming special events which Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden hosts — the “Early Show” and “Mother’s Day” events.    Details on one-sheet, attached.    Both have judged flower shows and plant sales.  Info on rules, etc., on both at:  http://rhodies.org/chapter/pdx_activities_detailed.htm#early a page available at www.rhodies.org, the Portland Chapter’s website.

 It could be a worthwhile day trip for Peninsula people.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Not getting home-delivered mail here means a daily trip to the post office.  I was still malingering because of my cold.  Allan went to the Ilwaco Timberland Library as well and photographed the garden there.

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It was an especially wet day.

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Fritillaria meleagris

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hellebore

At home, Skooter and all the cats slept.

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I read a book, just arrived from the library, one I had been looking forward to.

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with Calvin

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after the yawn

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I am sorry to say that the book did not live up to my hopes.  The author wrote about several Mass Observation diarists’ lives but without using enough of their words.

The diarist”Helen” was inspired by my beloved Nella Last, who had three Mass Observation books all in her own words.

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Unfortunately, only a few paragraphs of Helen’s own words are in the chapter about her life.  I would like her to get the “Nella Last treatment” with a book all her own.

After starting her adult life as a Tory, she became a “socialist firebrand.”

This reminds me of the recent postcard parties I’ve attended.

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In her old age, she went out to Gulf War protests.

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I would like to read much more in her own words instead of a few scattered paragraphs.  If only I could spend months at the Mass Observation archives.  I would hope that Helen’s handwriting is more legible than Nella Last’s.

Here’s a guest photo from Todd Wiegardt:

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Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

At the post office, on our way to work, Allan found a note in our box asking him to talk to the postmaster.  A postal patron had urgently needed to know the identification of a plant “that looks like a coleus”.

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Here it is: a greigii tulip.

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The foliage is as great as the flower to come.

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I realized it was time to apply some sluggo.

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Ilwaco City Hall ready for St Patrick’s Day

Long Beach

We hoped to accomplish two tasks on the project list today.  The first was pruning and weeding the five roses in the back of Coulter Park.  They are exceedingly difficult because of weeds, including salmonberry, coming under the fence.  The neighbouring house has but a tiny strip between house and fence that would be almost impossible for the homeowner to maintain, and in that strip dwell salmonberries, blackberries, and birds-foot trefoil that long to join up with the roses.

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the dreaded rose bed, before

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south side of park with pieris

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Pieris and Ribes (flowering currant)

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There was another ribes in that gap that turned up its toes a few years ago, as ribes are wont to do.

Allan trimmed up in the garden next to the old train depot.

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before

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after trimming sword fern

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rose bed; line cut with half moon edger (Allan’s photo)

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I was inspired to do two lines of half moon edging.

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after

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a pretty patch of primroses

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One dead rhododendron (azalea) has thrown this old threesome off balance.

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one of the two good rhodos (Allan’s photo)

We had two cold and windy squalls of heavy rain pass through; we sat them out in the van to avoid getting drenched and miserable.  (During the second one, we went to the Great Escape espresso drive through for invigorating sustenance.)

To add to our load of debris, we decided to do a bit of pruning on an escallonia at city hall.

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city hall, west side

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before (Allan’s photos)

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and after

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city hall hellebore

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telephoto through the arch (Allan’s photo)

We dumped our debris at city works and filled up all our buckets with Soil Energy mulch.  (The crew had got us a pile from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)

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a pile of riches

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first load 

On the Bolstad approach, we filled up the lower spots in the planters.

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before

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after

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looking east

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not a good day for a picnic

And we added some mulch to city hall west side garden.

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city hall after pruning, lily bulb planting, weeding, mulching

The last five buckets went into Fifth Street Park.  Yesterday, drenched from rain, we had left behind a messy patch of sorrel:

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yesterday

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today

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mulched

A lily bulb had worked its way to the top of the soil.  This is just one third of how big it was, after I divided it:

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Allan’s photo

We followed our first load of mulching with a break for delicious crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder.

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Captain Bob’s crab rolls

Back we went to city works to get another load of mulch.  Jackpot! I saw two good pallets on the pile.

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Thank you, Allan.

Now I need just two more for my triple compost bin.

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A red wing blackbird serenaded us.  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Full load of mulch buckets (Allan’s photo)

This load went to the big welcome sign garden.  It had gotten low after pulling out last year’s annuals and absorbs a large amount of soil.

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before

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We found loads of shotweed to pull.

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mulching carefully around bulbs

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after

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back side

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after

I am sorry to report that deer are eating the tulips along the east end of the front side.  I hope they don’t eat them all.  One of these years, we may have to give up on tulips here.

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well chomped

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So glad deer do not eat narcissi, my favourite flower

On the way home, we stopped briefly at the Depot Restaurant to pour some water on the two sheltered window boxes, and there we discovered a sad situation.

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a flattie!

The spare is weirdly located under the front seats.  Everything there had to be moved and the t-bar thingie assembled to loosen a bolt in the floor that holds the spare tire in place.

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complicated!

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underneath

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the culprit

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Fortunately, Allan had all the tools (even two jacks for extra safety).

Despite having to look at the instruction book, Allan got the tire changed in 40 minutes and we were back on our way home.  But tomorrow will be devoted to getting a the good (fairly new, now punctured) tire repaired.

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one more big  task on the workboard

When the boatyard spring clean up is done (I hope by Sunday evening), the board will be gloriously blank for a moment and will then fill up with the beach approach clean up and more.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Two nights of poor sleep from assorted aches and pains did not dissuade me from willingness to work in a light drizzle.  I couldn’t stand not having the Fifth Street Park roses pruned. My usual goal is to have roses all pruned between Presidents Day and March 1.  This year, the weather has not been conducive.

Fifth Street Park

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tree garden nearby with primroses

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I pruned by the restroom entrance, with fish bicycle rack…before

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working from the Wiegel Cottage side. The restroom building also looks cottagey.

This fence has a double line of fence boards, making for a dead zone of rose canes inside.  Un-gettatable.

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The drizzle stopped soon into the job and we had pleasant weather until increasingly hard rain in the last half hour.

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after….the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’

Meanwhile, Allan removed a messy patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis).  They will come back, no doubt.

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before

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after

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before and after

He then pruned the Super Dorothy roses on the south fence.

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before

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after

That white fence was erected by the hotel next door.  I predict it is going to get weedy between tall white fence and low concrete wall and that neither the hotel staff nor us will be able to get at said weeds.

I had turned my attention to weeding in the northwest quadrant of the park, where wildly invasive alliums are a problem.  For last year’s first clean up, in early 2016, Melissa and Dave had helped us.  She had gone after those alliums with much more determination to get every bulb.  I had been curious if her effort would pay off.  No, there were just as many as always.

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northwest quadrant, before

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damnable thread like alliums have fairly inconsequential flowers in summer.

Full disclosure: I may have planted a few clumps many years ago.  Sorry now, if so.

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a nice clump of ‘Ice Follies’ or some such

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after (but not done)

My former spouse had come by on his bike while I was weeding.  We’d had a good time commiserating about politics.

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I had gotten my hopes up about having time to also tidy the roses in Coulter Park…till the rain came.

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We were fairly well drenched.

While dumping debris at city works (where Allan did all the hard work), I was thrilled to see that the city now has a pile of mulch for us.  Perhaps if we have good weather tomorrow, we will do some mulching in Long Beach.

 

Ilwaco

On the way home, we scouted for pallets at a spot that sometimes has free ones.  We scored two.  Allan did all the heavy lifting.  The scavenging spot also had an unusual offering: a pile of driftwood, maybe cleaned off the shore bank at the marina.

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Got some good decorative pieces.

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We did not try for the wood in two big bins.

A block from home:

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Ocean Thunder and Ocean Lightning parked on Lake Street

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home with a good haul.  Have enough pallets now for the first bin. Need four more to make three bins.

I had planted a few lilies in Fifth Street Park and planted more at home.  The weather had gotten fine again.

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lily time

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planted with a bit of bulb food

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It has been windy.

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bogsy wood (Allan’s photo)

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work board tonight with just three pressing things

It won’t take long to re-fill the board when those last three spring clean up tasks are done.

 

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Friday, 10 March 2017

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Skooter thinks the morning light is just too bright.

We had a break from the rain.  The predicted wind did not arrive, making it even better. Work ensued.

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at home: Tulip kaufmanniana ‘The First’

While it looks like that tulip is growing in straw, it is actually in the old growth from Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

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Allan noticed and photographed the same tulips.

We went down to the port, just a block south, to finish the garden beds along Howerton Avenue.  Of course, I had high hopes, thinking we could finish there, AND the boatyard, and maybe even prune roses in Long Beach.  Not bloody likely, as it turned out; my ambitions are usually greater than reality.

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Curbside gardens run from east to west all along Howerton, on the landward side of the buildings.

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Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west, before

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after, 1.5 hours later

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Partway through that first garden bed, three ibuprofen were required.

I’m kind of old and my arthritic legs ache like fury sometime when I am working.

Allan’s photos of the east end bed, before and after:

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before

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after

He also yanked a dead lavender out of the CoHo Charters garden bed because I felt it was bringing down the tone.

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It was really most sincerely dead.

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space for something new

 

Next, I made an executive decision that we simply had to get the sword and deer ferns cut back in a pocket garden in front of the former Shorebank building.  Otherwise, they will bother me all summer long…and they do show very much from the sidewalk.

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before

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clipping

 

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A sweet 7 month old dog had jumped out a truck and came running up to me.  I held on to her till her daddy got her back.  Reminded me of my escape artist black lab, Bertie Woofter.

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Oh, how she wanted to keep running.

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The deer fern looked especially unsightly

 

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20 minutes later.  I felt so much better at this being done.

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Allan’s photo

We had done all the gardens in between the east and west end last week, so we skipped right ahead to the garden by Salt Hotel.  Allan did most of the clipping of santolinas in the river rock bed; I find that difficult to walk on nowadays.

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before

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half an hour later, almost after

Allan had dug out one tatty old blue fescue and, to fill the hole it left, he got a piece of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ from the garden to the west.  Someone called out from the upstairs window of the adjacent building, which now houses the marijuana store, “Why are you taking plants?”  We were thrilled that the folks there are watching out for the garden.  Allan thanked them for their vigilance.

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Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, about to be divided

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and in its new home

I had clipped all the sword ferns in the Salt’s containers along the sidewalk…because I could not stand not to do so.  The pub readerboard said “beef on weck”; I had to google it and found it was a roast beef dip sandwich.  Good thing I did not google it till I got home or I might have found a lunch break irresistible, and we still had much to do.

Next came the two beds at the west end.  These took much longer than I had expected.

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before, looking west

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an hour and a half later

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We saw our former next door neighbour, Killer.  It had been interesting to move in and learn our neighbour was called Killer.  It means “fish killer”.

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I divided and put some sedums and some golden oregano into the pot shop’s garden bed.

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narcissi (Allan’s photo)

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another dog on the run

In the parking lot across the street, forklifts buzzed around loading crab pots onto trucks.

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Last night, when I looked out my south window, I could see the lights from the Ilwaco Pavilion building (a view that disappears when leaves come on the salmonberries and willows at the south end of our property).  This morning, the view had changed to stacks of crab pots.

We drove to the Ilwaco Community Building just to stick some starts of santolina in a sunny bed.  It is an easy plant to start right in the ground just by poking in a short hardwood cutting.

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Ilwaco Community Building and its garden beds

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sticking cuttings

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view of shade garden from inside the building’s corridor.

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crocuses at the library entrance (Allan’s photo)

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Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno’ double snowdrop (Allan’s photo)

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narcissi (Allan’s photo)

 

We ended the day down at the boatyard, which of course we did not get near to done.

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The long, narrow garden runs along the fence by 1st Ave South.

 

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boatyard, looking south, before

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an hour later

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Euphorbia in bloom and a disheartening number of weeds and pleasing number of poppy seedlings

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so weedy

We ran into one big problem: We had created so much debris that we had to break in order to dump.  I went home at that point because it was but an hour till dark.  If I had realized that Allan had the energy to go till dark, I could have stayed at the boatyard and done more clipping while he disposed of the first load of debris.  My brain is not fully work functional yet and I did not even think of that solution, one we have used many times in the past.

I long for a good weather full work day at the boatyard.  The weeds came out like butter (smooth and easy) and it would be a pleasure to spend a day perfecting this long narrow garden.  There is still so much to do here.

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boatyard garden, looking south from the gate

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and looking north from the gate

The boatyard had a line of boats in every spot along the fence.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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The only item of collateral damage today

The cats were happy I came home early.

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Skooter and Calvin

Allan returned to the boatyard and worked till dark.

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before

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after

Rain and wind are again predicted for the weekend, which is just as well because we have political meetings during both days.  At this point, I am feeling behind on work and it would be frustrating to miss a good weather day with indoor events.

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workboard tonight, still did not get to erase first clean up

 

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Because I believed the weather forecast (rain and wind) and the wind flag flying over the port office, I decided we had better do a project more sheltered than working at the port gardens.  They and the beach approach garden are the worst jobs in bad weather.

I called Peninsula Landscape Supply and learned they are back to their daily hours instead of limited winter hours.  So off we went to get a load of mulch.

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steaming hot soil energy

Note: When the mulch is hot, wait for it to cool before planting new plants in it.

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one cubic yard

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Elijah Blue fescue at Peninsula Landscape Supply

J’s garden

Our first mulching project used a little over half a yard, at the J’s garden across the street.  There, when previous owner had planted a pretty little garden, she planted many of the shrubs humped up on mounds.  Strange.  Too hard to dig a hole? By now, years later, their roots were exposed.  I have been looking forward to fixing this.

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Soil Energy (Allan’s photo)

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bucket application

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before

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after

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before (hydrangeas in the center, back, are so humped up they are falling sideways)

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after

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after

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before

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after

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fluffed up rose beds by back patio

Norwood garden

We had enough mulch left to do the Norwood garden beds, two doors down from us.

Allan’s photos:

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The soil in the narrow bed in the back had looked quite poor and grey when we weeded earlier this month.  Now the bed looks rich and happy.

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then

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now

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happy Euonymous

Port of Ilwaco

As we had worked on the two mulching projects, I realized the weather forecast had been quite wrong.  We could have pleasantly done the spring clean up all along the port.  With a few hours left in the day, we decided to get as much done there as we could.

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Allan clipping sword fern behind (north side) the port office building

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before and after

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south side port office, before

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after some clipping and two buckets of mulch added

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I especially love narcissi with strongly reflexed petals.

Just across a little lawn is the marina, and the tide was high.

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We decided to get as many of the Howerton Avenue curbside gardens done as possible, concentrating on the most walked-by ones, especially ones with the larger ornamental grasses.

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red twig dogwood at the old Shorebank building

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Shorebank: crocuses and kinnikinnick

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by Ilwaco pavilion, before

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and after

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“drive over garden” before

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and after trimming the santolinas (four different cultivars)

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Fort George Brewery (office), before

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and after (Allan’s photos)

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Art Port Gallery, before

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after

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by Art Port Gallery

We surprised ourselves by getting all of the garden beds done except for the west and east ends. While not enough to erase the job from the work board, we should be able to finish it in just a couple more hours.

Home after 5 PM: Skooter was waiting.

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Allan’s photo

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Skooter and Frosty

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Skooter, Frosty…and Calvin!  (Allan’s photo)

Somehow Allan found the energy to nip across the street and mow the J’s little lawn.

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before and after

Even though they are invasive, I cannot help loving the yellow ranunculus (lesser celandine) in the lawn.  It’s not the most evil creeping buttercup.  I asked Allan to mow around it.  It will go dormant in the summer.  Sometimes I am just weak about plants.  But it is a cutie.

I’d love another nice day tomorrow so we could finish the port and the boatyard gardens and have the first spring clean up done!

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work board tonight

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

As usual lately, workable weather gave me the big idea that I could cross four things off of the work list.

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Iris reticulata at the Ilwaco post office (Allan’s photo)

After a brief post office weeding, we headed to Long Beach and began with the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

Sid Snyder Drive

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looking west on Sid Snyder

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santolina and narcissi

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clipping santolina (Allan’s photo)

 

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I find it regrettable that this resort replaced drought tolerant lavenders and ornamental grasses with lawn.

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planter, before (Allan’s photos)

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and after

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more narcissi.  I should have paused to break off those echinops stubs.

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west end of Sid Snyder, south end of boardwalk, last planter

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a short scenic break, from the boardwalk, because life is short.

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interpretive signs on the boardwalk

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whale sculptures

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Discovery Trail (Allan’s photo)

Allan noticed two socks abandoned by a tourist excited to see the ocean.

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World Kite Museum

Also on Sid Snyder is the Kite Museum. While we began a little touch up clipping on the small entry garden, museum store manager Patty emerged and I was able to ask what the plans were for a newly cleared entry area.

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Kite Museum entry; our little garden is out of frame to the right.

The answer is that the museum will have a new bike rack and picnic table spot and some big flower pots.  Patty and I agreed that the row of tatty old hebes to the right should be pulled out, as the ones on the left side had been removed.  I like that idea even more if someone other than us does the digging.  Then our little garden will show better.

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before, with shabby hebes to the left that will be gone

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after

Allan did all the work while Patty and I discussed big ideas.  She knew we were coming soon because she watches the work board on this blog.

Bolstad beach approach

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west end of Bolstad

I had brought some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ starts from home to fill in these planters; last year we had a startling amount of theft of good plants along this approach.

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an interesting display showing local volcanos (Washington and Oregon)

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I myself have found pumice stone on this beach, probably from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St Helens.

In the second planter to the east, I found the first finger blight of the year.

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two recently stolen armeria (sea thrift) plants

Our thief is at it again.  I wish I could catch her.  I could tell her that sea thrift does not transplant well.  I put Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in its place.  She may like that, too.

Allan had gone to the beach approach garden to clip ornamental grasses.  He brought the van back to me so that we could sit out a heavy rain squall.

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looking east

Fortunately, it was but a squall and we were able to get back to work without misery.

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lots of standing water in the dunes

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beach approach garden, looking east

Today we were only clipping.  The big weeding of the beach approach garden still awaits us.  I do not think it will be as tough a job as usual; the weeds are not a thick carpet this year.

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not too bad!

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some poppy seedlings; I scattered lots of seedpods last fall.

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looking west, rugosa roses

One of the things we will be doing along with the weeding is pulling out as many rugosa roses from right along the edge as we can.  So if any of you locals want some, let me know and I’ll tell you when that is about to happen.

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What have we here? Deer or thieving human? I think someone was trying to steal bulbs that are planted deep.

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Not very weedy.  I wish there were more poppy seedlings.  Maybe later.

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Looking east.  A volunteer wax myrtle is fighting it out with an escallonia.

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definitely deer eaten tulips

Parks Manager Mike drove by and agreed to get us a pile of Soil Energy mulch.  I am thrilled we do not have to drive up peninsula to get it ourselves.  We will bucket it from a pile in the works yard.

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rugosa rose stems sticking out too far into the sidewalk area

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a temporary fix by clipping

While I weeded and clipped in the planters, Allan had clipped tall grasses all along this garden.  It’s a tedious task.

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before and after

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before and after

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before and after

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before and after

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It’s especially unpleasant to pull old crocosmia leaves from inside prickly roses.

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This leads to thorns in the fingers.

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planter work

Parking Lot “Berms”

We tidied up several Stipa gigantea and a few perennials on the north and south parking lot gardens, east of downtown.

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Allan’s photos: Stipa gigantea before

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and after

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the north berm

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last Stipa, south berm, before trimming

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end of south berm

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While pulling crocosmia, I found an old bird next.

I had had a dream today of getting the rambling roses pruned in Fifth Street Park. Since the temperature was dropping, a wind kicking up, and not enough time left, we did one more small project that had never even made it to the work board.

Minnie Culbertson Park

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before

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after, with a vigorous trimming of the lithodora

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The first clean up column is almost done!

While we might be able to polish off the Port of Ilwaco spring clean up in one day or two, the weather forecast is dire so I cannot count on it happening tomorrow.

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