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Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

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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Sunday, 11 February 2018

We decided to work on the downtown Long Beach planters and street trees.  I had big ideas that we would also get to the Anchorage Cottages garden and then get rugosa roses cut down in the beach approach garden by the arch.

As I began with the southernmost planters, Robert (wasband and former co-gardener) bicycled up and we had an interesting chat, reminiscing about our friend Lily who died some years ago of ALS.

Robert

My mission was to trim back any Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still standing and to clip santolina hard so it will make a nice round ball instead of getting rangy.

before

after; this planter has too much of a boring little hardy geranium but is not one I plant to re-do.

crocuses in a planter

crocuses and an iris reticulata

santolinas, before

an after from across the street, because I forgot…

before

after

Would be huge escallonias that we cut back hard by the pet shop last fall are leafing out:

anemone

After clipping and tidying in eight planters and three trees, I re-joined Allan who had been working on a difficult tree garden that whole time.

before, with an unfortunate batch of rugosa roses

Those roses reseeded into there, and I thought, years ago, how cute, and let one or two stems bloom.  Oh, what a mistake…and yet it does look pretty when blooming in summer.

after; unfortunately, the roses will come back.

after; will this be the year we prevail?

I notice every time I come to a clump of narcissi and find flower stalks picked.  (Deer are not the culprits here, although they might be with tulips.)

Why not leave ALL the flowers for all the people to enjoy?

It was not a pleasant weather day, with wind that became increasingly strong and cold.

not feeling comfortable

Another street tree job by Allan:

before

after (the stems are a hardy fuchsia)

In another tree, we worked on eliminated all but two corners of Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’; I planted too much of it way back when I had a low budget, and it was free (for good reason).

before

after

sidewalk display at The Wooden Horse gift shop

In the last two blocks, the wind was much colder and stronger.  We were determined to finish.

We cut back these chrysanthemums, with foliage undamaged because of our mild winter.

Allan cut down the other two escallonias that are crowded into a planter.

before

after

I came along behind him and trimmed those green santolinas hard.

At home, I was able to erase the Long Beach downtown planters from the work board, and added the Pop Outs (little gardens on Ocean Beach Boulevard).

There may be a reader who is wondering when Kite Museum will appear on the work board.  It finally got added on Feb. 14th!

It took hours after work to finally feel warm again.

 

 

 

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Friday, 9 February 2018

At home: My green hellebore, a gift last year from Our Kathleen.

and Clematis ‘Freckles’

The Depot Restaurant

We started with the spring clean up at the Depot in Seaview, mainly the cutting of the ornamental grasses on the south and east side of the dining deck.

south side, before (Allan’s photos)

and after

 

before

after; Allan is putting back the sprinkler line, which he pulled out to protect it from getting snipped.

The perennial and annuals border to be, on the north side of the deck

Allan chopped the one big grass at the house next door (Depot office space):

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

next door to the Depot (Allan’s photos)

We took our load of debris, including some branch-y clippings from coppicing shrubs at home, to the dump.  Because the usual clean green debris area was so muddy, we were instructed to put the compostables into a big dumpster.  It was a scary drop in my mind so I stayed well back from the edge.

way down far

Allan is brave.

In the evening, I finished a book.

Guess which orange one I love, and which one I loathe.

Long Beach

We returned to Fifth Street Park to do the two east side quadrants.

This narrow bed to the northeast desperately needs mulch.

One of these days, I will find Parks Manager Mike working in town and ask for a load to be placed for us at City Works.  I am glad he did not get any late last fall because I was all tired out and glad to go on staycation without mulching.

Rudbeckia blooming in February

While Allan pruned the big hydrangea in the SE corner, I checked on a few of the nearby trees and planters, cutting back old Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and pulling little weeds.

tree in front of Abbracci Coffee Bar

We did not have time for a coffee break.  We did get some banana bread slices to go for our post-work tea time.

primroses under a street tree by Malai Thai restaurant

Geum unseasonably blooming in February

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ blooming three months early (or four months late)

hydrangea before

and after (Allan’s photos)

I hope we did not sacrifice flowers by pruning so low.  But if the flowers are up higher, they are hidden by tree branches and interfere with the light on the pole.

Allan found a painted rock representing a fried egg, quite appropriate for the park next to Benson’s Restaurant, a breakfast establishment.

I was able to erase Fifth Street Park and Depot from the work board clean up list…and remembered to add Third Street park.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Long Beach

We started with the spring clean up of Long Beach City Hall; Saturday, when it is closed, is a good day for that because parking is easy.

Peggy’s Park, east side of city hall, before

Peggy’s Park was planted by Gene and Peggy Miles and is kept up by us in her memory.

after

Allan did the clean up on the west side.

City Hall, west side, before

narcissi and rosemary and rue

after (Allan’s photos)

With the city hall garden done, we dumped a load of debris at City Works and then went to Third Street.  Allan battled the roses on the south side of the police station:

before: Rosa rugosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’

before

welding gloves

passersby

after

after

And he cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in the Veterans Field flag pavilion garden.

before

memorial wreaths

making a mess

cleaned up

Meanwhile, I weeded and pruned hydrangeas in the little park by Lewis and Clark Square.

I am excited to tell you that the sign in the window says “Coming Soon: Taqueria el Jalepenos”!

before

after

I also pruned the hydrangeas in the southwest quadrant of Third Street park….

before

after

…and tidied up another block’s worth of planters.

more blooming Geranium ‘Rozanne’

and knautia blooming with the crocuses

That knautia was the variegated ‘Thunder and Lightning’ which unfortunately reverts to green leaves by the second year.

historic photos in the window of a business for sale (the building on the southwest corner of Bolstad and Pacific)

I hope passersby are appreciating the snowdrops in the planters.

We had another load of debris to dump.

evening sun in the city works yard

We drove out to the end of the Bolstad approach to view the sunset.

I was able to erase Vet Field, Third Street, and police station roses.

But then I remembered to add the parking lot berms.

For the bookish:  I’ve added 1985 in books, here.  I’m not sure if email subscribers will get a notice of these posts that I am publish retroactively, because I want to keep them all tidily together.

 

 

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Calvin was sunbathing on the bed, showing how much brown is in a black cat’s fur.

A blue blanket showed off Frosty’s pretty blue eyes.

Speaking of snoozing and blue blankets, here is a guest photo of Todd’s dog, Ansel.

The J’s garden

We had an accounting appointment in the middle of the day, so we started at J’s garden across the street from our house, a job we could easily leave and come back to later.

While Allan was fetching the lawn mower for the tiny lawn in the J’s back yard, Ed and Jackson Strange (Strange Landscaping) stopped by on their way to a much bigger mowing job.  Ed was on his way to mow around a garden we created and used to care for by the pale green house at the far right of this photo:

Jackson and Ed

After some schmoozing with Ed and some smooching for Jackson (not Ed, who is the one on the right), we all got back to work.

At J’s, I got locked into the back garden behind the new gate.  Allan had a bit of a hard time getting the latch open.  From now on we will be sure to prop it with a heavy bucket while we are working back there.  It led to some excitement about getting to our new accountant on time (our former one, in Ilwaco, has retired.)  We were only two minutes late, thank goodness, because we did want to make a good first impression.  Because her office is almost to Surfside, we took the opportunity to drive further north and east and tour The Oysterville Garden, which will be tomorrow’s post.

We did not get back to J’s till an hour before dusk, so the befores and afters, taken by Allan, have a different light:

before

after

before

after

before: shotweed

before

after, with sword ferns trimmed

sword fern fronds to go across the street to our compost bins

just after sunset

Long Beach

Prior to returning to J’s, we went to the Sid Snyder beach approach to tidy the planters there, AND did the spring clean up on the tiny flower garden at the World Kite Museum.  We had a look at a few of the street tree and planter narcissi downtown.

I love narcissi with reflexed petals and long trumpets.

My favourites are the ones with tiny cups.

I like them all (except for the split cup ones, which look messy to me); they are my favourite flower.

also plenty of crocuses

Allan’s photo

On the beach approach, we clipped santolinas so that they will remain in a silver mound.  Allan’s photos:

before

after

the westernmost planter, before

The gazanias came through the winter.

after

At the World Kite Museum, Patty came out to chat.

not much going on in this garden yet

As of midsummer, the hebes that were on the right (above) are gone, and I wonder if that will make this little bed less rooty, or it the roots were all from escallonia on the left (above, and on the right below) creeping in for better nourishment.

At home, after finishing J’s, we were able to erase two tasks from the work list, so I tightened up the spring clean up section.

reading

Over the last month, despite being preoccupied with blogging about reading from years before, I did manage to read three books.  I already mentioned this one:

And I may have mentioned this one which, of the three, if you only have time for one, is a must read for white Americans.  I say white Americans because I don’t think black Americans should have to re-traumatize over this horrible history. The book smashes the myth that Rosa Parks was just a quiet lady with sore feet; she was a firebrand!  This is the most historically groundbreaking book I have read in a long time.

This evening, I finished the third book.  It is essential reading:

I  now have a new stack of library books, all pretty much light reading, and during work season that is sometimes all I have a mind for.

I am quite concerned that I have so many books out of the library right now!

The black book to the right is an autobiography by Nina Bawden.  79 Squares is a re-read inspired by my book posts.  The Bookstore Mouse was recommended by Roxanne, who co-owns the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Dawn Powell (upper left) might have to go back till next winter; I have renewed her three times.  I have already started Ian Whitcomb’s novel, Lotusland (lower right).  The Private I is edited by Molly Peacock, who wrote the wonderful The Paper Garden that I recently read.

When will I find the time, especially since I am still obsessed with the blog posts about old reading and still have five years of books to do!?

AND the books poured in that I ordered while writing the book posts.

These are not all re-reads, some were new to me books that I found while adding books to my Goodreads list of books I’ve read.  The rarest came all the way from the UK and is called Nonie; it is a biography of Lenora Mattingly Weber, who wrote the middle-American midcentury Beany Malone series.

Please bring on some rainy days.

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