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Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

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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Monday, 22 January 2018

I had begun an enormous book, set from the 1920s through WWII. The protagonist, Joshua Bland, an insecure, sarcastic, depressed, self-absorbed, lonely, unhappy man cannot be described as sympathetic. I cared for him.


As usual, my own self-absorbed qualities meant that Joshua’s experiences brought up some memories of my own. Here are my favourite passages out of 558 pages and a few of the thoughts and memories that the book inspired.

About his dog, Ab, and animals:


…….

 Joshua’s small town childhood home, while much bigger, reminds me of living in a Seattle house and later a tiny Ilwaco house with all but one room blocked off to save heat.


I used to think, “I could be living outside,” and never thought of a cave.

As is true for many lucky readers, a good librarian was one of Joshua’s mentors.


Two teachers, of whom his mother disapproved:



I was fortunate to have a warm and wonderful second grade teacher, Miss Ruth Gregory. Already in at least her late fifties if not older, Ruth Gregory lived in a small University District apartment with Miss Larson. Because my cousin George was gay and lived with his partner Bob, my family never displayed prejudice against obviously gay couples. My mother and grandmother and I would go into the apartment building door with the green awning to visit my beloved teacher, for several years after elementary school.


Years later, a friend lived in that same building with that same view to the south. I wondered if by some chance she might even have lived in the same apartment.

A  passage describing a depression era farm foreclosure made me wonder, why can’t people behave so generously and kindly in modern day foreclosures?



My focus on reading is not as powerful as it was before distractions of online news and social media, so I did not quite make it halfway through the book by Monday evening telly time. (We are watching an old British show called Fresh Fields.  I did not like it at first and then it grew on me .)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

We had slept through a tsunami watch associated with a 7+ Alaskan earthquake. While some friends were up till 4 Am waiting to see if it would turn into an actual warning, others drove inland, and others prepared for possible evacuation of the critters in the animal shelter. I went to sleep at two, as usual, with my phone turned off and unaware of all the stress. I was inspired today to refresh the contents of my go bag, also known as a bug out bag, and to put it close to hand at the foot of my bed. It is also suggested that we have a pair of sturdy shoes by our beds with socks already tucked into them.

When I moved here 25 years ago, potential tsunamis were not much spoken off, research had not yet shown the danger, and tsunami evacuation signs did not dot our roadsides. If they had, I might not have moved here,  might not have become a jobbing gardener, and…a different path would have awaited me in Seattle. (My little Seattle house is now worth about $600k, so I’d very likely be wealthier in assets but perhaps poorer in job satisfaction.)

The weather was stormy, with 60 mph wind gusts at nearby Cape Disappointment.


The cats had no interest in going outside.




Here I will throw in a decorating tip: Hooks and a string and some tiny wooden clothes pins make for postcard display. The ones by my bed all represent sleep and dreams.

The cards in the kitchen represent cats, gardening, and tea time.



The card to the left, below, is titled Noodle Takes a Nap. In the eighties, I named a grey cat after that card.


Allan’s Medicare card arrived, well over two months since he carefully applied for it. (My insurance card finally came at the end of last week, good news which I forgot to relay in this blog.)

I continued with my book, managing to focus better by putting my internet devices out of reach.

As often happens when I read a book about someone with social difficulties, I found words that spoke to me. Advice from a college teacher and mentor:


I was reminded, below, of some of the bad behavior I see on social media:


The author grew up in a small town and well knows the power of small town gossip.  I once said a thing, not even a bad thing, in the foyer of a local pub in Seaview.  By the next day, the thing had been repeated by a pub patron, via email, to a client of mine who lived part time in New York, and was repeated back to me by a friend who lived in Long Beach.  In the fictional small town, in the 1930s, gossip was as fast moving as it is today.


I once, so long ago, was part of a small social group in which I indulged in gossip about one particular (now former) citizen who had caused pain and irritation to most of us. I got uncomfortable when the group became exclusive of others besides that one person. And I soon learned that expressing that discomfort was a quick route to being one of the shunned. It was a powerful and life changing lesson in more than just the speed of gossip.

I’ve had many thoughts about the power of gossip over the years. Here is a good book I read about it in the 80s.


I thought then, and still do, that there is a big difference between what I called sweet gossip (kindly topics) and malicious gossip.  And there’s this:

Back to A Gay and Melancholy Sound. While I do not feel that “They”, meaning me, is (are?) out to destroy my own happiness (well, not since my 30s), the following passage perfectly describes hypochondria. (And Joshua did not even have Dr Google to scare him.)


Advice from the college professor and mentor about the delicious meal of happiness:

By now, the story has moved on to WWII. Here is we could strive to be like, if it’s not too late:



I am not sure I know anyone like that. Anger (often justifiable) disqualifies most people.   I will have to think on it.

A footnote:


On a trivial note, I smiled in recognition at Joshua’s inability to tell his left hand from his right and his failure at good package wrapping.  Allan wraps our packages now. I have indeed had one rejected by the postmaster.



And on another trivial note…Oh, how carefully I learned, when attending the symphony on a grade school field trip, to not clap in the wrong place.  It still makes me anxious.


Skooter continued to avoid the bad weather.

In the evening, we watched This is Us, a now favourite show that I had avoided because it looked too tear-jerking to me. Its scenes of a house fire, combined with the Alaska earthquake and local social media freaking out about the “ring of fire”, made me decide that I had to finish my book before sleeping, in case disaster overtook us by morning.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

So I read into the night, finishing at 3:30 AM and thereupon letting out an involuntary sob so loud that it woke the cats.

In email today came some photos from The Anchorage Cottages.

Could these be reseeded sweet peas?  They look more like Cerinthe to me except for the tips. (I have decided on cerinthe.)


I replied with a request that Beth clip off the two ugly hellebore leaves, below, so that I don’t feel compelled to make the trip up there to do so:

A sweet small cupped narcissus:

The weather continues to be good reading time, and will probably be that way for at least another week. I still have shingles…not as painful now…so rest is good.  None of the big garden projects, and especially not the mulching with eight yards of Soil Energy, will happen this winter. I need to be philosophical and relaxed about that.


We had a new washing machine delivered today.  Our old one broke down hours after last week’s delivery of a new refrigerator. I am feeling as though we should start economizing because of all our recent expenses (appliances, vet bills).  What I am really hoping is that we get back an old garden that I love, thus making a bit more money, having maybe six hours a week less free time, and not having to economize on our main non gardening indulgence, our garden club restaurant meals.

Speaking of which, tonight we had our first North Beach Garden Gang dinner this year. We chose burger night at The Depot Restaurant.



Talking about gardening with Dave and Melissa felt a lot like getting back to normal.

Next: I have every intention of getting out of my comfy chair and over to my desk to write those retrospective blog posts.

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Friday, 15 December 2017

When we’d learned there was to be a rally against ICE deportations in the afternoon, interfering with my at-home goals, I had decided that we should try to polish off some of the leftover work beforehand.

We began at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, planting about six good sized starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in empty spaces along the two block long garden.

boatyard garden looking south

planting

The last of the old cosmos got pulled, and I am calling this garden done for 2017.

crab pot tree at the end of the garden (Allan’s photo)

In Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, I planted two clumps of the solidago (a short and well behaved clumping goldenrod) while Allan snipped a few stray brown stems from nearby planters.

Fifth Street Park

Narcissi already blooming in Fifth Street Park

We cruised up to the Anchorage Cottages, thinking we could finally clip back the chrysanthemums and agyranthemums.  Our summery weather had them still blooming, so we did not even get out of the van, just turned around and left.

At The Red Barn Arena, we planted a couple of pieces of the goldenrod and pulled out one dead erysimum.

a wee bit of weeding

Midge in her fine coat.

Next door at Diane’s garden, the remaining annuals still looked too lush to pull.  I left a note suggesting she just cut back anything in those pots that looks tatty later.  I can’t keep going back to check on them every week; that is not cost effective for either of us.

the annuals that will not die

I look forward to many bulbs in this raised septic garden.

We now had an hour and a half left before the rally, with no more work to do.  This called for a stop at NIVA green.

In NIVA green, with Heather’s assistant, Wes, and Heather Ramsay herself

a peek through the doorway into the magic workshop (Allan’s photo)

Heather had put out some new lamps:

I fell hard for this double decker nightlight and got it for myself, even though buying presents for myself was not on the agenda.

This red truck is going to go beautifully with a “Card Lady’ card of a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back.

After NIVA, we spent 40 minutes relaxing at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  I am quite annoyed that the bright summer-like sun blurred out my focus on the Christmas tree in their window.  Trust me, it was such a pretty sight.  Let’s say it is like a water colour.

an elegant pattern on my latte

Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery is retiring her business to become a personal chef for an artists’ retreat.   Abbracci will be the only local place to get her baked goods, like this delicately flavoured Swedish Traveling Cake.  Elixir Coffee up in South Bend will also have her treats.

Abbracci art (Allan’s photo)

In Abbracci, I had such a helpful conversation with owners Tony and Bernardo and one of their patrons. I was asked (not in these exact words) about the severe clean up of the narrow garden to the south of their building: Would the plants come back? I had dug up lots of volunteer blue scabiosa and other perennials in an attempt to start over. I told them that I try to rein in my “messy gardening style” and was thinking of a much tidier planting there. Turns out all three of them love the wild and tangly style. It made the happy to hear that I could so easily make that garden bed messy again.

Finally, it was time for the rally.  This time, the organizer had decided to split the event between Long Beach and Ocean Park.  I had kvetched about it making the groups too small, and indeed, the rally began with only three of us.  For new readers, here is the background again:

“[Long Beach Peninsula Resident] Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech.

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

Today, when we first arrived, we thought there was no one else, and we waited in our van for a bit.  Then we saw one lone figure arrive; it was Ann, who had also been waiting in her vehicle.

Allan’s photo

We settled into our rallying as the wind picked up and the rain arrived.  Allan took all the rally photos but one.  My hands were so cold that I didn’t even think of getting out the camera.

Only once were we heckled with a “WOOO Trump!” from a young fellow driving a foreign made car; the rest of the interaction from passing vehicles was all waves and honks and thumbs up.

Everyne at the Ocean Park rally point bailed out when the rain came.  I was not about to stop for rain; I know darn well that Rosas himself worked on the bay in all sorts of weather.

MaryBeth saw my one real-time photo on Facebook and came to join us.  Four felt much more effective to me than three.

The rain finally stopped and out came a rainbow behind us.

Our good friend Susie was just at that moment returning from an out of town trip, too late to join us..

our Susie

We endured till 4:15 PM.

Allan and I could see a glorious pink sky and so we drove to the west end of Sid Snyder drive for a better look.

looking west

Allan’s photo, to the south

We nabbed a few Christmas lights photos on the way home.

Ilwaco City Hall

Ocean Beach Hospital, Ilwaco (Allan’s photo)

Ocean Beach Hospital (Allan’s photo)

Crab pots on First Avenue

We had a mere 45 minutes turn around time at home.  I was able to erase Diane’s garden and the Red Barn from the work board.  The other jobs are simply going to have to wait until we have a hard frost for their final check up…if we have such a thing this winter.

We soon left again for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner at OleBob’s Café at the Port.

on the way: The Crab Pot Tree

The four us us (Tangly Cottage Gardening and Sea Star Gardening) were joined this week by our good friend Ed of Strange Landscaping.

In the entry hallway: Pins show where visitors have come from.

a local sea captain

This week’s specials:

a beef empanada

the view

south window reflection shows the inside, the outdoor dining deck, and the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co Christmas star

Dave, Ed, Allan, Melissa, with Lynn and Chef Laura in the background

Paella was another special of the night.

Allan’s fresh caught rockfish with Laura’s chimichurri sauce and a “perfectly done” baked potato

flan for dessert

We stayed till after closing, when I was so happy to sit with Laura’s dog, Pancho.

I so much want a nice little dog.  Pancho is such a good boy.

I suddenly felt ever so exhausted.  Yet tomorrow is another busy, not at-home day.

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We had run into Steve and John at the 6×6 art auction three days before and were invited to tour their latest garden expansion.  On this cold and windy late afternoon, we bundled up and examined the entire garden…except for the beds on the east side, by the bay, from whence the wind came.  The tour was so interesting that we hardly commented on the cold.

Our tour started as we drove up to the house.

the driveway in

two beautiful piles of mulch that had just been delivered

young gingko by the irrigation pond

Met by Steve and John by the house, we began our walking tour.

This bed to the south east of the house was salal just a few days ago.  It is a hard task to get all the roots of that vigorously running native out of the ground, especially under a tree.

John picks a non variegated leaf off of a new variegated hydrangea.

The whole south side has been cleared of scrubby trees, including holly.

The tidal stream marking the edge of the property is now revealed.

Allan’s photo

I teased Steve and John that they would now be stretching a plank across the stream to lie on and trim the sword ferns on the other side.

I would have thought for sure the new shrub, below, in a new bed, was a rhododendron.  It is not.

Rhododendron ‘Pinky Purple People Eater’

Looking back on the new area. The tall old species rhododendrons to the left will enjoy the increased light.

Here is how it looked (not from exactly the same spot) earlier this year:

16 July 2017

We continued our walk to the west.

Foreground: Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Arbor Care from Astoria had done the expert clearing and had also limbed up the remaining trees. Steve and John said that when Arbor Care is done, you can’t even tell they were there (other than the results), because all the debris is chipped and cleaned up.

The photo below from January 1st demonstrates the difference in how the trees look now.

1 January 2017

We crossed the driveway, where the garden beds are also expanding.

a sinuous new bed

a fairly recent bed in the northwest lawn

Allan took notice of this tree, Athrotaxis cupressoides (Pencil Pine)

the very newest lawn bed of all

Each new plant gets some attention and admiration.

Quercus alnifolia (golden oak)

Quercus alnifolia (golden underside of leaves)

Allan noticed wire laid to discourage deer.

An independent minded dawn redwood which lost its leader and turned into a shrub.

The redwood on the other side of the driveway had behaved like a regular tree. This one…not. (Allan’s photo)

At least one big tree has been removed from this view, looking east over the pond.

Compare to May 2 of 2015.

May 2, 2015, on the Rhodie Tour

We walked back up the driveway, admiring the pushing back of scrubby salal and undergrowth on the south side, giving the garden greater depth..

Allan admired a fern.

the cryptomeria grove

Even though the photo below, from May 2, 2015, is from a little further to the east, it shows the difference that the clearing and limbing up has made.

May 2, 2015

center: Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

right: Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Hill’s Bright Red’

another new area

We admired more plants in the mature beds, planted in late spring 2009, to the northwest of the house.

Acer ‘Bijou’ in gold

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ blowing in the wind.

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ (Allan’s photo)

autumnal hosta

(background) Rhododendrons closing their leaves against the cold wind

Brrr. They will close their leaves even more against winter’s cold.

Allan’s photo

Rhododendron pachysanthum by the front door

in the courtyard, looking through the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

coral bark maples

the last of the dahlias and the green roofed pump house

falling leaves

a look to the west before retreating indoors

same view on July 16 ’17

From the kitchen, we looked across the lower level to the stormy bay.  At a high winter tide, the water will come up over the rough grass.

south east corner: The evergreen huckleberry glade and the outlet of the tidal stream

view to the north: To the rear is Sorbus ‘Pink Pagoda’

A friend had given John and Steve some quinces, from which John had made a special treat, Quince membrillo, served with Monchego cheese, a delicious cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep.  Served on crackers, it brought back memories of my grandmother’s quince jelly.

Quince membrillo

We admired a new piece of art that they had recently acquired from local woodcarver Jim Unwin.

by Jim Unwin

We visited till early evening, about gardening and politics, little knowing the glorious news of the blue wave of Democrat victories that awaited us in the evening news.

If you would like to virtually tour this garden in different seasons, here are some of our past posts about it:

26 September, 2013

21 April 2014

16 June 2014

19 July 2014 (garden tour)

2 September 2014

7 March 2015

2 May 2015 (Rhodie Tour)

23 June 2015

21 April 2016

24 July 2016

1 January 2017

11 May 2017

16 July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Long Beach

My brain was so bulbed out today that I took not a single photo, so all of them are by Allan.

We started planting up the planters, and some of the street tree pocket gardens, on Pacific Way in Long Beach, working south to north.  I did not expect to get all 36 planters and 18 trees done today.

In the middle of the first block, I decided the escallonia in one of the planters, formerly planted by a volunteer, had to be be chopped to the base for traffic sight lines.  It wants to be at least eight feet tall and wide, and is too firmly entrenched for us to dig it out without being afraid of hurting the plumbing and electrical works in the planter.  Later in the day, I saw Parks Manager Mike in town and asked him if the city crew could remove the four escallonias, in two planters, and he agreed; not sure when this will happen.

Meanwhile, we pruned these two, as we do about once a year.  What you see is one season’s growth, already pruned many times.

DSC05247

I was a bit miserable for awhile because I’d dressed for autumnal weather with my warm pants, and it was like a summer day.

The other menace in the above planter is the vicious barberry ‘Rose Glow’ that the volunteer shoved in between lamp post and street.  It wants to be the size of a VW bug.  Allan cut it to the base, knowing it would soon come back.  When I noticed it was rocking slightly, I asked him to dig out the whole thing, and it popped out pretty easily.

DSC05249

barberry and escallonia chopped


DSC05251

barberry out

I’m sure someone would have liked to adopt the barberry.  I did not have the mental energy to find it a new home.

DSC05252

escallonia planter after

While planting bulbs, we sheared back some of the wind battered perennials and pulled almost all of the Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and painted sage.

DSC07594

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ before a haircut


DSC05254

and after

I appreciated the sight of Zauschneria californica and wished that it did not take so long to bloom; it would like more heat than our weather offers.

DSC05258

Zauschneria californica


DSC05257

Zauschneria californica

We digressed from planters at the end of the second block to plant some bulbs on the west and east sides of Fifth Street park.

DSC07596

east side, before


DSC07598

tulip bulbs and bulb food


DSC05264

after


DSC07599

tulip bulbs set up on a planter bench

I walked to all four planters on this intersection, placing two sets of yellow tulips (‘Strong Gold’) on the planter benches, while some park bench sitters idly watched.  Then I looked at the restroom building’s blue green trim and took the yellow tulip bag back around, bagged them up, and did the whole routine again with Tulip ‘Palestrina’.  I’m glad I had that thought before planting.

tul_triumph_palestrina_main

Tulip Palestrina from Van Engelen bulbs

Most of the planters get 10-12 tulips bulbs.  Some that are thickly planted with shrubs, from volunteer days, don’t have soil room to jam more than 3 tulips in.

DSC07600

Allan found a rock.

Fifth Street west side got some camassia and some narcissus.  Tulips do not do well in the ground there, possibly because it is too wet and heavy.

In the fourth block, I sicced Allan on the wire plant in the planter by Stormin’ Norman’s.  Last year, we dug out the two original plants that had taken over the whole planter.  I had a feeling then that we should dig out every bit of soil, which goes halfway down into the planter before meeting landscape fabric and rocks.  We did not, hoping instead that we could pull every scrap that came back.  (The roots had even gone under the fabric.

That did not work!

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little scrim of wire plant all through the planter

Before we dug it out, the wire plant (which I had foolishly thought was a tender houseplant) had made huge mounds on either side, enveloping two big lavenders.

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It’s a pernicious little thing.

He dug and pulled and got most of it, and did not take an “after”.  We worked until almost dark.  There is still a section of the wire plant to pull, and I am sure it will come back.

We still had two blocks of trees and planters left to do.

I tried something new this year which I now fear will not make for as exciting a tulip display.  I decided to use, in the first and third blocks, a continuing theme of a 100 of a varied tulip bulb, just because i would like to see all the variations it has.  Now I think it won’t be as interesting to people as a lot of different kinds of tulips.  (On alternating blocks, I used assorted colours.)  I also love this tulip’s name, Silverstream.

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Tulip ‘Silverstream’ from Van Engelen

“A magical sport of Jewel of Spring, fragrant Silverstream ranges from creamy-yellow to deep yellow with red feathering, to red with every combination in between. But the surprise garden party doesn’t stop there: it has showy, attractive foliage with silver-white margins. (Did you know that the phenomena of marginated foliage occurs due to a lack of or insufficient pigmentation and chlorophyll in the plant cells on the outer petal edges?) Tulip Class: Giant Darwin Hybrid”

On the other hand, for people driving through, it might make a beautiful impact.  I did the same on the fourth block with a tulip called ‘Rhapsody of Smiles’.

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Tulip ‘Rhapsody of Smiles’ from Van Engelen

“New! Registered by W. van Lierop & Zonen in 2011, this shapely Big Smile sport is a luscious blend of yellows and reds with variable flames, flushes and stripes. Tulip Class: Single Late.”

I have always found Big Smile to be a very strong yellow tulip.  After years of preferring pink and purple tulips (Angelique was a big favourite of mine), I now prefer yellows and oranges…except for the viridiflora (green) tulips, which are still my favourites.  It is a real shocker that I did not add my favourite, Green Wave, this year.

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weird and wonderful Tulip ‘Green Wave’

In planters on alternate blocks, I have some of my usual favourites: Only three green tulips this year instead of a dozen (China Town, Palestrina, Night Rider), and also Black Hero, Cool Crystal, Sensual Touch, Strong Gold, Akebono, Madonna, Rococo, Texas Gold, Formosa, Cummins.  If springtime has heavy rain, I’ll regret planting the fancy fringed and double tulips. 

I use a lot of late blooming ones in hope that they will be in bloom for the early May parade.   I use many and many of the late blooming Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ for the same reason. Last year, a warm early spring had them all bloomed out by parade day (first weekend in May).    One of these years, if the warm weather trend continues as it has for the past two springs, I might just use all tulips that are shorter and supposed to bloom in April rather than May.  Being cheered by tulips earlier would not be a bad thing, and the parade can stand on its own without tuliperous enhancement. 

This year, I am adding more species tulips to each planter, as well, for (mostly) earlier bloom. The species tulips will often multiply and reliably return.  The big tulips dwindle after the first year, which is why we replant them annually.

Tomorrow: onward with the Long Beach planters and more bulbing beyond that.

 

 

 

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Before work, Jenna (Queen LaDeDa) came over to find out what plant cuttings she could have for a Jake the Alligator Man event costume: a “wild woman”.  While I did not have anything to make a mossy head dress with, we found all sorts of ideas while walking through the garden.  She will come tomorrow morning, probably before we wake, to acquire the materials, because it is too early to cut them now.

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Jenna and I on the hunt for plant costume ideas.

After she departed, I started to pick four bouquets for my favourite Art Night participants.  I ran out of steam after two bouquets.

Port of Ilwaco

I delivered a bouquet to Don Nisbett’s Art Gallery.  (He is Jenna’s spouse.)

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And to Salt Hotel.

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Allan watered the Time Enough Books curbside garden and did some other garden tidying in the area.

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We finished weeding the south end of the boatyard garden.

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battling the scrimmy little horsetail

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I pictured lots of people parading along here between a downtown gallery and the port this evening.

From a distance, Allan thought the name of this incoming boat was “Sleepwear”.

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Allan’s photo

Allan liked the idea shown below, of a rope tied to the hose on the boatyard faucet that people use to power wash their boats.  It keeps the faucet from being yanked by the hose, he says.

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While we had been near Time Enough Books, I’d seen shop owner Karla.   She said she would be at the museum this evening for their exhibit opening and so I thought I might just give a third bouquet to the museum.  We took a break to go home and make one more bouquet.

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Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

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Seaview

On the way to Long Beach, we stopped by the cannabis emporium to get me a product that the Freedom Market does not have in stock.

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Mr Doobie’s in Seaview

I’ve been taking a tincture called Ethos 2:1, mostly CBD, on the recommendation of a friend.  As promised, it does not get me high but what I think it has done is almost eliminate my back spasms.  I doubt it’s a placebo effect because I combine all new medications with a big dose of skepticism.

We acquired these photos, two blocks from the pot shop, of a garden I enjoy in passing.

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peeking over the fence

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Across the street from that garden, I asked Allan to photograph the deck railing that I quite like.  The garden is good, too.  We had a communication breakdown over getting a photo that included the garden on the corner of the property.  Maybe next week.

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Long Beach

Allan thought a drive-through coffee would be helpful for the day.

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Horses had been through the drive through before us!

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at the drive through window

I thought all we had to do in Long Beach was to give the planter at the end of Sid Snyder Drive some water (done!) and then dump yesterday’s debris.  On the way to city works, we found one more thing to do.

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Minnie Culbertson Park, before

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after

I had seen an ad in the local paper about a wee dahlia “farm” in the town. (I left off the line with the phone number:)

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Of course, we had to have a look.

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gardener Dale picking a bouquet for a visitor

He said there will be lots more dahlias starting next week.  He was also offering lots of little plants for sale in cute little containers:

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My grandma would have loved the wooden shoe.

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Allan’s photo

Dale’s pond had sprung a leak.  You can see it will be good-looking when re-filled.

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Basket Case Greenhouse

We needed soil and plants for an Ilwaco planter.

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new shade cloth entryway

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Allan’s photo

Buddy wanted to get in our van and Allan handed him to me.

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Roxanne and I joked that I was taking him home.

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I gave this little darling back most reluctantly.

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Klipsan Beach Cottages

We’d postponed our weekly cleanup of KBC because of Wednesday’s heat.  I clipped a whole lot of brown lady’s mantle out of the driveway garden and have no photos to show for that.  After working, we took photos for the KBC Facebook page (which I administrate).

The sky was still grey with a smoke haze from the fires in Canada.

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lawn border

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in the fenced garden

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I cannot ID this special plant, a gift from Mary’s plantsman brother, with golden yew.

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Veronicastrum and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (kind of a fail photographing white, as usual)

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Dierama (Angel’s Fishing Rod)

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birdbath view

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Allan’s photo

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the pond island

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I see they bought those string lights that were “shiny objects” to me last time we went to Costco.  If I see them for sale again, I will not resist. Or maybe I will resist because we don’t have effective outdoor outlets.  Oh well!

The Anchorage Cottages

On the way south, we made the briefest stop at the Anchorage.  Since we had been there Monday this week, I felt we should do a second quick deadheading.

I am quite worked up about how this dierema is darker than any of my others.

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This thrills me.  I wonder if it would come true from seeds.

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in the office courtyard (Allan’s photo)

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When it was built, partly by moving WWII cottages from Cape Disappointment, the Anchorage was Ocean Front. Now, because of beach accretion, it is about a half mile from the beach.  A path leads through piney woods to the shore.

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Astilbe and Fuchsia ‘Pat’s Dream’

As I had begun to deadhead, I’d asked Allan to photograph an adorable caravan in the car lot at the corner.

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such a cute face

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I smile in response.

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Would make a great guest house.

Ilwaco

We drove past the boatyard garden to see the crowds of strolling art walk patrons that I had imagined…and saw no one at all till we drove past the galleries along the port.

We had every intention of immediately finishing the day by planting up the Ilwaco planter that got dug out, due to poor drainage, last weekend.  That is, until I looked at my Ilwaco Facebook feed on my phone to see if there were some last minute Art Walk posts that I could share to Discover Ilwaco.

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I saw this photo from the museum!

The exhibit opening was on a topic that interests us.  We had planned to see it later in the month because of a reluctance for peopling (me) and simply wanting to get the work day done.  But the snacks called to us and soon we were there.

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Join the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum as we explore the history of “Derbyville” and the early years of salmon derbies, recreational fishing, and the emergence of the charter-boat fishing industry on the Long Beach Peninsula. This exhibit will be on view August 4 – October 7, 2017.

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the big room (The plates were about to get replenished)

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Allan’s photo.  Someone at the museum said “No one’s ever brought us flowers before.”  That gives me a new bouquet target.

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center: Dan and his wife had just toured our garden today (by invitation).  (Allan’s photo)

We did not have time to thoroughly peruse the exhibit.  I can see it is one that I will very much enjoy.

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I like this sort of display.

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This history goes back to when our garden was riverfront property, before the port was built out on fill.

Information about the mayor, for whom our street of curbside gardens at the Port if named:

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We had to get back to work and plant the planter by the fire station.

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Allan made the small hole, added this week by the city crew, bigger.

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new plants getting firmed up

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red for the fire station, including Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

At home, our neighbor Mary from two doors down brought us some freshly caught salmon and, of course, I dragged her back to see the towering, fragrant lilies.

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Skooter indicated that he would like to have a campfire some evening soon.

Now for two days off, with some more lily guests invited.

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