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Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

Saturday, 21 July 2018

2018 Spade and Wade Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Master Gardener Association

After garden four, we realized that we had about a half hour drive to the next two gardens, so we had better put lunch at Hidden Acres Greenhouse next on our agenda.

from the tour program

I had been to Hidden Acres before, on a visit to the Sylvia Beach Hotel and looked forward to revisiting.  It was only two minutes from the previous garden.

Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Café, Tillamook

arriving

Now that is a cordyline I could love.

Oh! (Not complaining when I think it must take several hours to make.)

Allan’s photo

in the restroom

Allan’s photo

noisy nest in the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

out back

hanging basket greenhouse

good signage (Allan’s photo)

perennial house (Allan’s photo)

Small herbs were just $3.95.

Allan’s photo

In the café, where we had our lunch:

The ingredient in hummingbird cake is bananas, just so you know.

I remember loving this café and shop, and I still do.

I want this chandelier, but without the bed springs, which would get too dusty.

Allan’s photo

Allan found a cute pop up book with which I amused myself till lunch arrived, which was soon.

Allan went to get me my specs so I could find a certain rabbit, but then our tasty lunch came and we forgot.

tuna melt and French onion soup and Mediterranean pasta salad

my plant haul

We then were off on a drive to Cape Meares.

The drive looks lovely.  I found it nerve-wracking because of my recurring nightmare of going off a road into water.

It is curvier than it looks, and I was so glad to get onto the cape.  (Going back, on the inside, was not too bad.)  Allan noted that the water was too shallow for kayaking.

Garden Five: A Walk in the Woods, Cape Meares

Allan’s photo

unusually handsome phormiums in front

front porch

around to the side

Crinodendron seed pods

Higher, one crinodendron flower remains. (Allan’s photo)

I used to have a crinodendron at my old garden, from Clarke Nursery, wish I still had it.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Coprosma, maybe hardy here?? (Not where I live)

Pacific wax myrtle

at the back of the house

And now into the woods we go. I passed the garden owner sitting with tour guests at a table talking about wild critters, including elk who come into the back garden.

chatting around the table (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

a most clever idea for a garden tour with rough ground

The tree below had been cut decades before and other trees had grown around the stump.

Allan’s photo

I turned back from a steep path and Allan later went down it.

nurse log (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, docent with tour goers

Back in the garden, there really were artichokes with the aprons.

and paintings by Jenny Stanley

Allan’s photo

the ocean side of the house

the family dog comes home from the beach (Allan’s photo)

I regret I was not in that part of the garden at that moment to meet that dog!

Barbara had put many of her favourite gardening books out.

on the back porch

On the front porch:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Just a few blocks down the street is the ocean.

We now drove a block over and a couple of gravel blocks uphill to a garden that I could hardly bear to leave at closing time.  It is glorious, and will be tomorrow morning’s post.

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Unlike the first night at the hotel, I had only gotten about four hours of sleep.  We had to rise at the shocking hour of 7 AM for the morning lectures.  (The lecture notes will appear all together, later.)  Today, Alison of the Bonney Lassie blog drove again in her car with its superior satnav system.  Unlike yesterday’s cool grey weather (great for photos), today was hot and bright.

The garden I was most excited to see was our first stop.

Cascadia Art Museum/Salish Crossing

I am such a fan of Withey and Price, having heard wonderful lectures by them in the past, going way back to when they had a garden at the home of one of their mothers.  And, of course, public gardening is my life so this garden would be of special interest.

Just feast your eyes on all this.

Alison happy to see and smell a floriferous garden

embothrium, which I recently acquired thanks to Steve and John of the bayside garden

I can get a free start of Tiger Eyes sumac at KBC and will put it somewhere in Long Beach!

cars included for scale

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

like a lace curtain over the roses

I was in heaven.

Allan’s photo

I later learned that this is Alstroemeria ‘Rock and Roll’.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The garden goes around a corner to a restaurant courtyard where the wall is this high. (Allan’s photo)

Allan saw a gardener working on the plants and talked to him for a bit, not realizing he was either Withey or Price.  I was intrigued and found where he was working, with a couple of people talking to him, but I got an attack of the shys and walked away.

Withey…or Price (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Little did Allan know he was chatting with one of my idols.

I followed Alison across the parking lot to what must be the Salish Crossing gardens.

 

I felt inferior but inspired.

You can view Alison’s exquisite photos of flowers in the Hampton garden and this garden right here.

This, and a garden that we will see tomorrow, were my two favourites of the tour.

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at home (Allan’s photo)

We began the day by driving by and photographing, but not helping, a volunteer clean up effort in downtown Ilwaco.  You can read about it on our Ilwaco blog, here.

Before our Long Beach tasks, we watered the garden at

The Shelburne Hotel.

We have newly planted areas there that need monitoring.

I took a bouquet for the hotel lobby:

The back yard is turning into an open patio space.  I was excited to see the long narrow area in the middle, thinking maybe it could be a place to grow edible flowers….

…but no; it will be a bocce ball court.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

after watering

I turned to take a photo of the building…

…and realized that a rhododendron branch was blocking the sign.

So we fixed it.

 

And then, on to

Long Beach

to tidy up all the downtown planters and street tree gardens for Sunday’s annual parade.

Silverstream tulips

I immediately realized that I was cold, in the wind, and had neglected to bring warmer clothes.

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’

I clearly must plant more Tulip batalinii: They are short, sturdy, and bloom late enough for the parade.

sparaxis

sparaxis and cerinthe

I was disappointed that not every planter had Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’.  I plant more every year, but did not replant in every planter this time.  I guess they peter out after awhile, probably from too much watering in summer.

As I walked along, I photographed every planter for a reference post, something I started to do last fall.  That will be the next blog post, and I will be able to refer back to it to see which planters are especially dull right now.  Sadly, the parade always falls on the first weekend in May at an awkward time between peak spring bulb season and mid-May flowers.

I am worried about Allium christophii surviving parade day.

So vulnerable. I must have been mad to plant them.

As soon as this veronica completes its brief bloom time, it is coming out. I mean it this time.

a difficult and wet, rooty, weedy bed in Fifth Street Park

We had encountered Parks Manager Mike and talked to him about somehow re-doing the above bed.  It is a problem.

Mike and me

He warned me that a crew member, having mulched a shrubby park, had then dumped bark on one of “my” flower beds.  It will not happen again.  Mike knew I would not like it, even though he probably does not know that our business slogan is “Just say no to barkscapes.”  Especially RED barkscapes.

red bark. Ouch!

This is where the bark ran out! (Allan’s photo)

We moved the bark from the half-done spot back to the shrubby side of the park.

Allan’s photo

bark around hydrangeas, etc, with gunnera and Darmera peltata

Allan found masses of bindweed to pull in the corner:

tree garden outside Abbracci Coffee Bar

a rain spotted Tulip ‘Cummins’

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ did not quite make it to parade day. (Allan’s photo)

I have agastaches for the empty centers of the planters.  I am holding off on planting them to prevent parade day damage and to avoid having to start watering before the end of next week.

Oh for more Baby Moon!

another good, late doer: Tulip linifolia. I think. (Allan’s photo)

The sparaxis flowers look good, but the foliage on them is not attractive this year; it browned off early.

Soon, while planting annuals, we will chop all the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by half to make it tighter.

The sedums were all serving as snail homes.

Just half of the snails I got from one clump of sedum.

The snails went into the trailer with the debris to be rehomed in the debris pile at City Works.

What have we here? Someone did this. Why?

We also accomplished the tidying and weeding of the Veterans Field gardens:

And then got back to the last two blocks of planters.

by NIVA green, another late narcissi; I need to figure out which one it is.

another great late bloomer, tall

Tulip ‘China Town’

At the very end, by the bus stop in Coulter Park, I saw a problem that needs fixing.  Tomorrow!  I had been cold and miserable throughout the Long Beach portion of the day.

sidewalk blockage, must fix, but too cold now!

a snail escaping from the trailer. I let it go.

We had a load of debris to dump, along with all the rest of the snails.

I treat the big tulips as annuals and discard them.  They do not come back as well the second year, and Long Beach needs a good, fresh show every year.

Feeling chilled and exhausted, we then repaired to

The Shelburne Pub

for a good warming hot toddy and meal.

….ah….

delicious chopped salad

the astonishingly delectable black garlic fried rice

I took some photos of the Shelburne as we left, trying to capture its evening magic.

Blue flowers show up strongly at dusk.

the pub deck

 

Here is the hotel website; you just might like to dine or to stay there sometime.

At home, I was intensely relieved to relax and watch a show of Gardeners’ World before our regular telly.

ahhhh….

Nigel!

garden touring!

The garden tour segment of this episode was stunning and theatrical.  You can watch it here.

Later, at bedtime, I watched another episode with another glorious garden tour…here.

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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Looking out the front window, I noticed that the goldy-bronze Japanese maple, which I planted for eventual privacy, tones well with the cottage across the street.

Allan picked up some books from the library and did some deadheading there:

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

In the early evening, Allan went on a splashabout in the back garden.

I wish that white bucket was not sitting there. Fire water bucket. I keep forgetting to move it.

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

In the evening, we watched the documentary Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul.  It was glorious.  You can watch it right here.

Skooter, lower right

To protect our telly, we had to put Skooter into the laundry room.  The soundtrack of meowing cats had him all in a tizzy. He never gets worked up by the meowing on the show My Cat From Hell.

After the film, I studied the first couple of chapters of this book, a gift from Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, a longtime past job of ours..

I have looked at all the lovely photos before, but this time I am seriously studying it as I am not all that successful at intensive cutting gardens.  I am wanting a small one around the edges of the back garden of the Shelburne Hotel and would like to do better with cutting flowers at home because I am taking bouquets there on a regular basis.

A sweet story of how the author got started:

I don’t often pick bouquets for myself but I do like to make them for other people. I learned useful items already, such as succession seeding for annual flowers up till July 15th.  And planting them extra close together for cutting flowers.

After midnight, I looked to see how much rain had fallen on Saturday: 4.36 inches! And 8.55 since this storm began.

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Monday, 9 April 2018

Oh, fer-cryin-out-loud!:

in our back garden

The work board as it is now:

Muscari paradoxum at the post office

As we were about to leave Ilwaco, we were flagged down by local antique shop owner and artist Wendi (Wendi’s Attic) who gave me these two kitties “for the two you’ve lost,” she said.

Thank you, Wendi.

The cats are especially perfect because Calvin loved to play with his “pinball” toy.

On Saturday, I had gotten a sympathy card from our beloved vet, Dr. Raela, that helped me to know I made the right choice for Calvin, which is something the vet cannot say while you are trying to make The Decision.

We began work with a brief visit to

The Shelburne Hotel

to scope out the spot where we are planning to put a fig tree.

I took a small bouquet for the hotel; the background is Sid’s grocery store.

I leave the flowers by this sink for the innkeepers to find.

poking around in the front garden

looking north

golden Lamprocampnos

Late last night, I started to re-read The Bad Tempered Gardener by Anne Wareham.  It is so delightful and funny and cantankerous.  She likes ground covers and planted “vareigated ground elder” on purpose.  Meanwhile, I am fretting as it pops up at the Shelburne:

along with other weedy pests

Later, I emailed back and forth with hotel owner Tiffany and arranged that we will be the ones to dig up the west side of the back garden in order to turn it into a herb and flower garden:

next Shelburne project (soon!)

in the mysterious shady corner which we will also fix up soon

Long Beach

We planted two starts of Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ from home into the parking lot “berms”.  It does not matter here that they are infested with the Bad Aster.

The rest of the work day was getting buckets of mulch from  city works and getting a little over halfway through mulching the 18 street trees and weeding and topping up any planters that need care.

Soil Energy mulch

We will just have enough mulch in the pile to finish out this task, so I have asked the city crew for another pile, when they have time.

Deer did not eat the tulips planted by the Coastal Inn:

Tree and planter photos of the day:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Camassia, Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

FINALLY out with a boring fern that has been bugging me for years (Allan’s photo)

somewhat battered

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

wheelbarrow hitch hiker

The planter below is going to be the one for a re-do this spring, as soon as the golden veronica blooms.  It is a once bloomer and has filled up way too much space.  This year I will be smart and hold some plants back for a new look along the curved edge later on.

The temperature was a muggy 65 degrees, a bit too hot for my comfort.

Resident killdeer at city works when we went for our second load of mulch:

Abbracci Coffee Bar tree

Here is a lovely instagram photo from Abbracci.

instagram from Abbracci

I planted 100 of a tulip called Silverstream which comes in various tones of pink to orange, with feathering.

by Hungry Harbor Grille

An employee of the Carnival Gift Shop told Allan he loves this planter (below, a shrubby one left over from volunteer days):

Even though it was hard to stop with an hour and a half of daylight left, we did our civic duty to be informed, by attending the city council meeting.  Two council members were absent on a trip with the high school band.

Allan’s photo

From the corridor of the Ilwaco Community Building:

and from the entryway as we departed

 

 

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Friday, 16 March 2018

On the way out of Ilwaco, we dropped off and picked up books at the library.  Now I have an even bigger pile of books to read, which is problematical at this time of year.

Ilwaco Community Building

Community building garden with Ocean Beach Hospital and a salal I want to get rid of this year.

Supposing we do manage to dig out that tatty salal, what should we put in that triangular corner instead?  I am thinking.  The sidewalk is narrow and peculiarly designed there.

We began with a quick visit to the Basket Case Greenhouse, to give Roxanne some seeds to try growing for me.  If she succeeds, she will have some Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’ for sale eventually!

Two seedy characters (Roxanne and me)

Right now, the Basket Case has the excellent Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.

The leaves of Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ eventually revert to green. So it’s worth refreshing with a new plant every couple of years.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Our first work destination was the acquisition of some Soil Energy mulch.

When we drove in, I had a brief wave of anxiety because the bins looked empty and I had not called to confirm that Soil Energy was in stock.

When we pulled up closer, I was relieved to see enough for us.

The fish of Peninsula Landscape Supply

The Depot Restaurant…

…was our mulching destination.

Before: I wanted to improve this tight and rooty bed and to plant a start of Tetrapanax.  Chef Michael wants tall things in here.  I tried to transplant a start of Tetrapanax last year to no avail.

Allan’s photo, south side of dining deck

after

We used the remainder of the mulch on the north side of the dining deck.

filling in along the edge

Allan’s photo

We were making good time, so we went to the city works yard in…

Long Beach

….and filled all our buckets from the city pile of Soil Energy, enough to mulch the arc garden at the Veterans Field flag pavilion.

Driving to city works, I had seen two sets of narcissi that needed deadheading, the first by the Coastal Inn and Suites.  We took care of that and noticed that the inn now has a tulip bed.

Very nice; we hope the deer don’t eat them.

Allan’s photo

Next, we deadheaded the tree garden in front of Abbracci Coffee Bar.

Allan’s photo

Feeling weary after the usual night of semi-insomnia (and dreams when asleep about the film Ethel and Ernest, now one of my favourite films of all time), I had a craving for coffee and a Pink Poppy Bakery treat.  Just as we finished deadheading, the closed sign went up in the door of the coffee bar.  Dang it! It was already three thirty.

I guess it was just as well, because it gave us time to get more done; we went through the Great Escape Coffee Drive Through instead.

The Shelburne Hotel

Our visit to the Shelburne garden was a quick one, just long enough to plant some Eryngium and Dierama seedlings and a bit of variegated saxifrage.

The epimedium whose leaves (some of them) I cut back in the rain a couple of weeks ago is blooming.  The flowers would not show if the leaves were all still there.

Remember the hellebore whose flower got broken off to many cries of woe (and blame)?  It made a new flower.

Allan’s vindicating photo

I made a fun photo of the Shelburne with the Popsicolor app last night:

Popsicolor: Double Mint, Natural Focus, Top to Bottom Gradient, Inked: India Ink, Enhanced

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We tackled the last of the targeted (by us) clumps of the Pennisetum macrourum, where we had run out of time yesterday.

Allan’s photo, before…the horror

I went over the last area he had dug and picked over yesterday, and had not had time to finish.  There were so many deep roots, I despaired of winning.  But humans WILL WIN this battle.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo: But what lurks beneath?

Yesterday:

looking north (the steam is from a boat engine that just got put in the water)

Today:

We had a look in the boatyard:

Right above the High Hope, to the left of the Starwest, is the spruce tree in the lower part of our old garden.

At home, Allan decided he had time to mow our lawn, and I unloaded and piled roots of the pennisetum for future wheelie bin disposal (it’s full now) until I ran out of steam, and then erased “mulch Depot” from the work board.

Skooter was sleeping on my go bag again.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, is my birthday—not a big important one, just age 63, but worth a day off and (I hope) some garden accomplishments at home.

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

After a rainy Tuesday of working on my blog posts about reading, I had woken up today thinking about the Shelburne garden and how much better recent photos of it would look if it had spring flowering bulbs, especially my favourite kinds of narcissi.  Next year!  I thought about digging some up from my own garden to put there.  But I am too selfish with my own flowers for that.  I can barely pick bouquets sometimes.

I hope that next spring, the Shelburne garden will look more like mine (and the gardens of our other clients) does right now (by which I mean my flowers, not my weeds):

When we got our mail, I briefly pondered weeding the wild garlic out of the post office garden so that it would look better for people attending this weekend’s quilt show at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum across the street. No, not yet; I decided that we might finish the boatyard garden and return to the post office at the end of the day.  Allan was rightly skeptical.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

looking south from the north end

We still do not know if some of this garden is going to be dug up for a water project.  It needed cleaning up either way.  We carefully did not disturb the orange and red spray paint marks, already almost washed away by rain.

Allan’s photo, Pennisetum macrourum, before

and after removing it

Pennisetum macrourum is described on some garden sites as being slowly spreading, and that is the impression I had for years, until suddenly a couple of years ago it decided to run.  I no longer wanted any of it at the north end of the boatyard garden, where I had transplanted a clump before it showed its true nature.  I used to think it might be a grass I had brought down with me from my Seattle friend Pat’s garden.  If that were true, I would have had it in all my other gardens over the years, because it is quite beautiful.  Now I think it was introduced to the boatyard during the years between when I started it as a volunteer and then it got torn up for an electrical project, and when I came back to work on it as a paid job.  During that time, a nice old man provided the port with some pampas grass, which they planted along the narrow strip and which eventually covered half the sidewalk.  The pennisetum may have also been donated at that time.  It is misbehaving now.

Here is what it looks like in bloom:

Pennisetum macrourum, (which as you can see is going a bit too strong), Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Pennisetum macrourum at the boatyard

We were not very far along today before this happened.

 

With the rain pelting down and a 20 mile an hour wind kicking up, we drove home to put the pennisetum roots in our garbage can and, I assumed, to give up on work for the day.  Even Allan’s mentioning The Deadliest Catch TV show…

…did not inspire me to want to work in the rain and wind.

In the rain, we (well, Allan) did one more thing on the way home, deadheading these narcissi in front of Azure Salon.

Allan’s photo

Ten minutes later, we had this:

looking west from our driveway

…so we went back to work.

trimming well behaved grasses (Allan’s photos)

We also sheared many santolinas (Allan’s photos)

Sheared santolinas will stay rounded instead of falling open.

We crossed over the boatyard gate, meaning we were more than halfway done in distance.  Allan trimmed another pennisetum that can stay because we don’t want to be digging around the light pole:

He trimmed another….and I decided the tatty old lavender had to go.

before

later, before he hoiked the lavender out

I then decided that whole darn pennisetum had to go, a job for tomorrow.  I do not want this many of them!

Pennisetum nightmare

 

This was more than we would be able to deal with today.

It did not rain again until 4 PM:

And even then it did not last and we were able to keep weeding, trimming, and digging until the temperature dropped to discomfort in the early evening.

Allan’s photo

At home, I was thrilled to finally finish my last blog post about thirty five years of reading, from 1982 to 2016!

Even though I was not able to erase any gardening tasks from the work board, I did erase from the at home rainy day tasks “Goodreads”, which was the reading blog project.

All the indoor jobs were supposed to be done in winter, till shingles put an end to my staycation energy.

 

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