Archive for the ‘tulips’ 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.

Read Full Post »

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



Read Full Post »

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.


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.


barberry and escallonia chopped


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.


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.


Geranium ‘Rozanne’ before a haircut


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.


Zauschneria californica


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.


east side, before


tulip bulbs and bulb food




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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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’.


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.

15 May, Tulip 'Green Wave'

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.




Read Full Post »

I was so tired while writing that I called yesterday’s post “Friday” instead of Thursday. In real time, here is a PSA:



Friday, 5 May 2017

The predicted rain storm and thirty mile an hour winds did not arrive!

I was so hoping we could accomplish a whole lot of garden tidying pre-Sunday’s parade so that we would not have to go back to Long Beach on a crowded Saturday afternoon.  (We will be attending the Saturday parade in Ilwaco, but not the Sunday one in Long Beach.)

Others in our household had no particular worries:

on the porch

Smokey and Skooter

Skooter is not to be walked on.

Peace was soon restored.



Before leaving our block, we did two tiny garden tasks: mowing at the J’s and weeding round the Norwood garden.

We spent a little while weeding our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.  The garden is still looking rather dull.  While we weeded, an old man said “Why don’t you plant something I like so that I’ll have something good to look at?”  While I chuckled weakly, here is a hint: Gardeners  prefer to not be teased while they are working.

dullsville garden at the moment

Depot Restaurant

Just some quick deadheading…

north side of deck

Tulips ‘Night Rider’ (left) and ‘Virichic’ (right)

Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’

Tulip ‘Green Wave’

Long Beach

When we got to the welcome sign and I opened the back of the van, I was momentarily appalled to see a flat of bidens sitting there, that had not been unloaded last night.  I then decided to just plant the darn things, since the welcome sign was their destination.  I would usually wait for annuals planting till the magic date of Mother’s Day (which is next Sunday).

low yellow bidens along the front edge

The tulips on the back side had gone over, every one.

all moldy and unattractive

too much rain! (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Too bad that boring moment between spring bulbs and annuals happened this weekend.

Here’s how the whole welcome sign would look if we didn’t control the horsetail:

the east end, around the faucet….

cheatin’ weedin’ with string trimmer (Allan’s photos)

The Red Barn 

Part of the weekend’s events will include a “cowboy breakfast” at the Peninsula Saddle Club.  Figuring that the patrons might spill over to the Red Barn Arena next door, we detoured to make sure the little garden there looked ok.

after some weeding (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s garden

I was eager to talk to Diane about garden plans, while deadheading her narcissi.

Misty, as you can tell, is getting older. Diane and I discuss….

The roadside garden will return as soon as a fence is built. (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Allan and I finished the north parking lot berm at last.

North “berm”

 I had high hopes that the second one would also be done today.  I even had a fantasy that Allan would have time to do the string trimming that is the way we handle the less planted middle berm.  I left Allan to it….

south berm

Allan’s photos:

cleaning up along the edge

…while I went to groom four blocks of tree garden and planters.

lots of Baby Moon narcissi still blooming for parade day

‘New Baby’ is white and yellow.  (really)

fringed tulips still blooming

escallonias that would like to be eight feet tall (left over from someone’s volunteer planting)

crocus foliage

I used to tidy up foliage like that before parade day.  Now I leave it, on the theory that it is good for the bulbs…and that the fuller the planter is, the less likely to be sat or stood upon.

Primulas have been blooming for weeks.

thrilled that Fifth Street Park, west side, did not need weeding

Fury: Out of 20 of these late blooming tulips in two adjacent planters, all but 7 had been stolen.

I called Allan to see how he was doing…and due to the plethora of weeds, the south berm was still not done.  We had to abort that mission so that he could de-horsetail by the Heron Pond while I tidied the north two blocks of trees and planters.

more late blooming narcissi on the northernmost block

These tulips might hang on for Sunday.

As I weeded the tree garden outside Dennis Company, a friend and business owner stopped by to tell me of her anger at a politician who had just said that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”  (Really? It took me less than one minute to remember two people I knew who had died of exactly that.)

As I deadheaded tulips in a planter five minutes later, a friend and valued community member walked by and told me how she and her family are seriously exploring a move to Canada.  I felt sad to hear it but I certainly understand.

Meanwhile, Allan’s project:


Someone had deposited painted rocks at the edge of the waterfall (without falling in).

“love” rock and some leftover easter egg decor


sidewalk edge, before


We still had the east side of Fifth Street Park to check up on with some light weeding.


Darmera peltata leaves…


and flowers (Allan’s photos)

7 PM shadows

Just last year, I would have been able to push till 8:00 PM to try to finish the berms.  Now, I find that I just cannot.  We drove by to look…and found a stack of lost buckets!  Allan said he thought he was running inexplicably short on buckets.  This is a sign of how tired we both are.

He had been too tired to remember where the buckets had gone to…. They had been just sitting by the north berm.

Nobody’s parade day is going to get ruined by some weeds in the parking lot beds and so…we are not going to finish the berms till next week.

workboard tonight

Planting Time is starting to show up on the work board.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 2 May, part two

After working two jobs in the rain, we drove north of Oysterville on a mission to see the always impressive Oysterville garden’s tulip display.

Arriving in Oysterville, we took the scenic loop.





Peter and Linda’s garden


arriving at our destination in increasingly heavy rain

THE Oysterville garden

Join us in our usual walk around the garden that looks as fine in rain as it does on a perfect day.  I kept my camera pointed down between photos and felt very lucky to not get a water spot on the lens.

We walk along the roadside verge, looking in….









Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo




with tetranpanax and camassia (Allan’s photo)

We turn in at the driveway…



This southerly bed will have plants taller than me come summer.


Allan’s photo


the glorious terrace


at the back of the garden

The gardener puts on the crisp lawn edge with an old fashioned half moon edger.



the allée of Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


onto the north lawn


Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


yellow Welsh poppies


woodsy garden west of the lawn


rodgersia and camassia


Allan’s photo




Allan’s photo





Allan’s photo


returning to the front, to see the tulips from the inside.



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo






a trio of golden barberries




Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



Erysimum (Allan’s photo)



honesty and digiplexus








Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


lunaria (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


from across the street

That opulent display of tulips was well worth the drive and the drenching stroll; in fact, I did not even notice the sensation of rain (other than being aware my camera was wet yet again).

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 2 May 2017, part one

Even though more unfortunate rain had arrived, it was not such a cold and windy rain, so we decided that we could polish off two jobs and two errands and make a pilgrimage to a favourite local garden (which deserves a post of its own, tomorrow).

The Anchorage Cottages


not an ideal work day


Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)

I had brought four Nicotiana langsdorfii to plant.


lots of narcissi deadheads  (Allan’s photo)


sword fern unfurling (Allan’s photo)


so much scilla in the center courtyard (was there when we first started this job years ago)


center courtyard


species tulips

Some of the larger tulips in the office courtyard had just gone all moldy from rain, leaving some pots empty till annuals planting time…which is fortunately coming up soon.


just sad

I was going to put the little pot into the big pot, above, for some interest, but the sides of the little pot were also sadly moldy.  (Manager Beth said she will clean it and do the tiered pot arrangement.)


My favourite Tulip ‘Green Wave’ still looked good.


Spring bulb window boxes will be switched out for summer ones soon.

The Planter Box

We made a brief stop to buy some fertilizer and check on our cosmos seedlings.  I did not actually walk back to look at them, just got a good report from Teresa.


potted narcissi for sale


Soon we will be shopping in the big greenhouse.  Mother’s Day is my target date to start planting annuals.


Allan’s photo

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Even though the rain and wind were increasing, we knew KBC would be more sheltered from wind and figured we could stand an hour of weeding and deadheading, and we did.


Clematis in bloom


clematis and evergreen huckleberry (Allan’s photo)


ajuga at its best (Allan’s photo)




Euphorbia characias wulfenii (deer proof, outside the fence


driveway garden


in the fenced garden


fringed tulips (Allan’s photo)






lilies and Thalictrum ‘Elin’


Tulip ‘Green Star’



Tulips ‘Green Wave’ and ‘Flaming Spring Green’


tree peony buds


more tulips

Mary had placed out some new dianthus to plant.  Allan planted them.



Now we have more chives to plant in the port gardens!


Mary and me

We visited the rain drenched garden in Oysterville (next post) and checked on the way home if some interesting new shrubs had arrived at

The Basket Case….

where we learned that said shrubs were being fetched today.


at The Basket Case


tomato in a bag


Basket Case doggie

We were cold and wet and yet very pleased to have the Anchorage and KBC done for this week.  Now we can focus completely on parade garden prep during the next three days that are supposed to deliver nicer weather.

Read Full Post »

Friday, 28 April 2017


a postcard promising a new exhibit at our local Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Today our main mission was to get Long Beach gardens as fluffed up as possible in the areas where the annual Razor Clam Festival would take place.  But first:

The Depot Restaurant’s 

….garden needed deadheading.

This is not a good beetle.  It was inside a curled up leaf.  I haven’t identified it, though.



north garden, with tulips, looked better in person


lily foliage and tulips

Long Beach


The wind and some deer damage (at the right end) have diminished the tulip display on the front of the sign.


The backside is still awesome.

We checked the planters on the west end of the Bolstad approach…


no Autumn Joy left in the most western one 😦

I felt a sense of mild and unsurprised disgruntlement and disappointment in human nature. But the Autumn Joy was not stolen from the next three planters to the east, so that was good news.


ducks on a pond or are they gulls? (Allan’s photo)


just off the beach approach, path from restroom parking lot is a pond now (Allan’s photo)

Allan then worked on the Veterans Field gardens and the north parking lot berm while I walked around and checked on all of the Pacific Way planters AND made notes on what plants each one might need.


Vet Field (Allan’s photo)


berm, before


after (Allan’s photo)


across the street from the berm (Allan’s photo)

my walk around:


the first flower on a Geranium ‘Rozanne’ recently added to a planter (and first Rozanne of the year)


red tulips to match red building


parrot tulip ‘Rococo’


note to Allan: must weed this horsetail before the parade on Sunday, May 7


No time to visit NIVA green today



must put nice edge on this little garden in Coulter Park before the parade…and weed the whole park…next week.


Sometimes vehicles make it hard to weed the tree gardens.


possibly Tulip ‘Madonna’


bud of T. ‘Flaming Spring Green’ and some cute yellow hoop petticoat narcissus


would love to find the energy to totally dig out and redo this planter of boring, once blooming blue geranium (left from volunteer days).  It is a mad runner and fills back in every time I thin it.


thrilling asphodel, last year’s birthday present from Dave and Melissa, from Plant Delights Nursery


Fifth Street Park still looking nice with mulch.


Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ STILL blooming

I called Allan to meet me at the last four planters because I was exhausted.  He weeded the very weediest street tree garden while I finished the planters.






southernmost east side planter; Allan in view weeding that difficult tree garden (right middle of photo)

We weeded at city hall and the big pop out because lots of folks will be walking by this weekend.


city hall detail with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ (Allan’s photo)


Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ foliage (Allan’s photo)

After checking on the Sid Snyder Drive planters…


sweet little species tulip in a Sid Snyder Drive planter (Allan’s photos)


Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’ with a poppy seedling

and the kite museum garden…..


just a touch of string trimming at the kite museum….and those tatty hebes are still there!

…we filled up the rest of the day with more weeding of the north parking lot berm.


berm, weeded (Allan’s photo)

but did not QUITE get it done before time to meet Dave and Melissa at

The Cove Restaurant


two tired gardeners (Allan’s photo)


delectable clam chowder; I made Mel take her spoon out so I could get this photo.


dinner salad


Thai street prawns (spicy)


vegetable stir fry


fish and chips (Allan’s photo)


curry fish dinner (Allan’s photo)

Melissa and I always agree that our North Beach Garden Gang dinner is the highlight of our week.

All of us had been working hard to the point of pushing ourselves to the limit and it felt mighty good to sit and eat and talk about gardening.

Tomorrow: I hope to work in my own garden!  We won’t be attending the clam festival; you can read about it from a past year here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »