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Archive for the ‘public gardens’ Category

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Before work, Allan checked on the J’s new rose.

Calendula reflected in our van window:

Port of Ilwaco

Today’s mission: To weed all the rest of the gardens we care for along the Port.  (There is one that we skip, that is all escallonias with horrible landscape fabric showing all around them.  One of these days when I have time, I will cut the landscape fabric out of there and then will start to weed around the escallonias.  At the moment—no time for that.)

I still could not step up and down off the curb without yowling in pain from my calf.  However, I had remembered the compression stockings that I wore last time I had this injury.  They did help keep my muscle, tendon, or whatever the heck is hurting me from jumping around so much (even though they are a bugger to put on).

Fortunately, there is plenty of weeding to do all around the edges of the curbside beds, or I could take one step up and just stay in the middle and weed the length of a bed.  Allan has to do the four sections covered with large river rock (dating from before our time).  I simply cannot walk on that without knee pain. I wonder if anyone who landscapes a whole bed with river rock ever thinks ahead to how hard it will be to weed.  The one with landscape fabric underneath is the worst, of course.

We watered the At the Helm Hotel curbside where I had planted seeds recently and, because of the dry and windy weather, we also watered six of the other beds.  At this time of year, we do not have time to start up the whole watering regimen and we are not best pleased at the extreme dry weather with no rain in the forecast.  It is worrisome, with the longterm forecast of a dry summer.

Without any more whinging (or just a bit), here are today’s photos.

I kept planting seeds, even though with no rain, I have little confidence in the results.

We cannot water every day!

We can only hope.
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
helianthemum
Eschscholzia californica
proof that the California poppies have not all reverted to orange
the drive-over garden
Allan’s photo
some rocks I cannot walk on

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ reverting to green

Allan’s photo
Armeria (sea thrift) Allan’s photo
Irony (Allan’s photo)
Allan’s photo
joy

Allan’s photo
Tulip linifolia
at Time Enough Books

Here is better photo recently taken by Purly Shell.

photo courtesy Purly Shell Fiber Arts
by Time Enough Books (Allan’s photo)

I got Allan to pull out some tired old elagrostis (weeping love grass).

ceanothus
a helper at Salt Hotel

For some reason, it has fallen on Allan to strim the edge of the sidewalk by the Freedom Market.

before
after
west end, looking east
Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, the little funny hat of a California poppy seed pod, already

 

the west end

By now, we had weeded and sometimes watered from the Pavilion to the west end.  We were utterly exhausted and yet simply had to go back to weed the long bed at the east end and the lava rock bed by CoHo Charters.

finishing at 7 PM

Even though I had planned to do all Long Beach on Thursday and Friday, we still had not made it to the Ilwaco fire station or one of the curbside gardens that we had hoped to do today.

 

 

 

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Friday, 15 March 2019

Before work, I had an exciting delivery from Gossler Farms, a Stachyurus praecox.  I have been looking for this plant since I left my old garden and had to leave a large one behind.  (It probably got crushed when the new owner had some danger trees felled from the slope above it.)  It is a winter blooming shrub that I adore.

Allan’s photos

It is gorgeous.  Now I just have to figure out how to squeeze it in to a garden bed that I can see from my living room desk in early spring.

I dug up several clumps of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and one clump each of a couple of more special sedums (“Strawberries and Cream’ and one with more glaucous foliage whose name I forget) to plant as the new center plant in the

Ilwaco planters.

Allan took most of the photos for this first part of the day.

in the boatyard

My hope is to make the small round easily-baked-in-the-sun planters need watering only once a week…or even just once every five days, or even four, would be an improvement.  We had removed the winter battered Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ which have been the centerpieces for years.

loads of snails in a planter near the boatyard

under a street tree

I admired both the south facing window and the garden bed below it at the Col Pacific Motel.

One of three erysimums that we had left because they looked ok looked so bad close up that I was sorry I had left it.

A variegated sedum had been taken over by a green reversion.  I axed all the green parts off and I do hope it will stay the handsome variegated form.

Just look how much it had reverted!  I had all but forgotten that it was anything but the plain green form.

The offending green parts in a bucket will be welcome elsewhere.

Long Beach

We began with a quick check up and some tidying at the city hall garden….

a corner at city hall before…

and after

The old lavatera in the west side garden beds that were planted by Gene and Peggy Miles has become so worn that this is probably its last year.  I will need to plant something low there because the office staff likes to be able to see out the window.

And then we trimmed santolinas and did some other grooming on the planters on the Sid Snyder approach and the six downtown blocks.

Sid Snyder Drive

The trimming will inspire the santolinas to have a nice round shape instead of getting raggedy.

before…this one took a lot of hand trimming rather than the speedy Stihl trimmer….

…because it was so intertwined with narcissi.

Allan took on the truly horrid job of clipping the rugosa roses that volunteered itself under one of the trees and then weeding it for the first time this year.

before

after

I walked back and forth between planters and street trees, heading north and trimming santolinas as I went.

This is the planter that started it all, one of four that I did back in about 1998 when they were all done by different volunteers.  The city administrator at the time said it was “magnificent”.  It still has the original santolinas.

before

A few years ago, I got so bored while hand trimming the furthest one that I suddenly cut it back to the trunk! It took it two years to come back.  I am glad I have The Toy now which makes the job fun rather than high pressure and tedious.

after (I blocked part of the photo with my thumb, oops)

Allan caught up to me halfway through town and removed the protective old leaves from the Fifth Street Park gunnera…

…and then trimmed a couple of blocks of planters himself.

The carousel is back, a sure sign of the tourist season.

I love small cupped narcissi.

I realized I would not have the satisfaction of erasing santolinas from the work board because we still have the ten or so planters on Bolstad beach approach to trim.  At five o clock, I was too exhausted to do it even though in past years I’d have gone on till dark to get it done.  I blamed the after effects of the Shingrix vaccine (whose side effects can last 3-5 days) rather than aging.

I did not even think I could muster the energy for the last two untrimmed planters north of the stoplight that I saw when we were on our way to dump debris. But I did (which means Allan did, too) because those blocks would be more crowded on a Saturday.

one of the last two planters

The downtown santolina trimming used to take all day, with sore hands from clipping afterwards.  The Toy made it take just the afternoon.

The work board tonight:

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 18 February 2019

Long Beach

We would have started at the Heron Pond had there been a parking place.  Instead, we began with the City Hall gardens.

I was so pleased with how the Stihl trimmer (The Toy) worked on the ornamental grasses on the west side that this is the only photo I took there.

I did not ask my phone to make its photo all artsy black and white.

Allan did better with before and after photos on the east side of city hall.

before
after

I channeled Gardeners’ World’s Carol Klein by putting some cuttings of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ into a plastic baggie to keep them fresh till I can pot them up.  I had forgotten to bring a baggie but had fortuitously found one in the gutter (lord knows what was once in it).

Before we had quite finished cleaning up, Allan espied a parking space by the pond, a block away, and hightailed the van over there to snag it, then came back for the wheelbarrow and tools.

While he tidied and weeded and clipped around the pond, I did the same for the north two blocks worth of planters, therefore missing the traditional photo of Allan crossing the little waterfall without falling in.

His work location could have been viewed on the Heron Cam, shown here the following afternoon…

…so someone would surely see if he lost his balance.

My planter photos:

Erysiumum ‘Bowles Mauve’

The Toy works wonderfully at trimming small stems in the planters, and I believe it has already saved me hours of clipping.

Before:

a messy golden oregano

after (with hand clipping around the bulb foliage):

I helped Allan finish the last bit of work around the pond.

our audience

Allan’s Heron Pond photos:

before
after
before
after

before
after

Note how the underwear shows on the way across to the waterfall (and around the edges). I want to avoid this with our pond.

Next came Veterans Field and the Police Station rugosa roses, with only an hour clipping before time to clean up and dump debris.

Neither area allowed for use of The Toy; both required big loppers and the cutting of individual stems.

Police station (Allan’s photos):

before
after

Veterans Field flag pavilion, before…

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies” has very tough stems.

The great big mess (Allan’s photo) had me fearing we would not get done by dark.

We prevailed. (I left the Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ unclipped because we are still due for some cold nights.)

Way over by that white car, below, is the little corner garden.

Because I did not get that far, I cannot erase Vet Field from the work list.  We did make an excellent dent today and also scored a gorgeous bookshelf from a “free” pile on our way home.

This morning:

This evening:

None of these work accomplishments are refined and perfect weeding jobs, just the somewhat rough first clean up.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

I spent the next day in the greenhouse at home, avoiding the rain by potting up some plants for my sale and rearranging my room to accommodate the new book shelf.  This meant that I actually emptied out my ancient and ugly filing cabinet, the one full of old letters from friends and of sorted articles (on non-gardening topics) that I have been collecting since the 70s.  Putting the files into two cardboard boxes does not mean that I can erase “filing cabinet” from my at home list.

I have a plan for the old filing cabinet.  More on this later.

Allan’s outing included taking some of his boating book to Time Enough Books (where it had sold out!) and a quick tidy of the post office garden.

Ilwaco Post Office, before
after

I even booted up my computer to write this post instead of writing from the depths of my comfy chair.  With rain due tomorrow as well, there may be a blog break.  I feel more comfortable and less pressured when the blog is running at least three days behind.

 

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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

With some colder weather in store, Allan had tried adding some plastic to the sides of the greenhouse lean to:

Allan’s photo

We found out this morning that it was so flappy and noisy in the wind that I worried it would keep our neighbours to the east awake.  Adding weights to the bottom did not help, so down it came.  The lean-to is useful enough without doors as it should keep frost off of tender plants.  Allan may add something stronger, but removable, for the coldest nights, once it gets figured out…

I began a project of cutting back honeysuckle and hops, all tangled with a lot of dead in it, on the arbors to the east of the compost bins.

before

I was quite enjoying the task when I happened to look at my pineapple sage and realized that the cold had surely damaged plants in the less sheltered Long Beach gardens.

pineapple sage

and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

So halfway into the afternoon, we had to switch gears and go to work.

We pulled the last of the Ilwaco cosmos…

….at the boatyard garden…

….and the Ilwaco pavilion garden.

We checked on the window boxes and barrels at the Depot Restaurant in Seaview and found that the annuals were still not ready to pull, even though I wish they were.

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ still has some yellow daisies….

and the window boxes still have some flowers.

In Long Beach, we cut down chrysanthemums and Salvia leucantha in several planters.  The city crew has had to dig in one of them, probably for electrical Christmas lights reasons.

Oh, dear.

I visited NIVA green for a bit of Christmas shopping.

beautiful new velvet bags, too soft for my lifestyle

There is one photo I cannot show because a Christmas present is front and center.

I was able to tell Heather in person that I was going to remove myself as co-administrator of the NIVA green Facebook page, because her assistant, Wes, is now doing such a great job with it.  It is much better for someone who is on the spot to do it, and my grandmother told me many times that too many cooks spoil the broth.  I have another place to share my photos: the “favourite shops” album on my own Our Long Beach Peninsula page.  For all its flaws, Facebook is a strong connector in our beach communities.

We finished Long Beach by clipping back some frost-limp perennials in Fifth Street Park, where the very last cosmos got pulled.  Allan had covered the gunnera with leaves during an errand run the day before.

Our last work stop was brief.  I finally cut the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen that was STILL blooming in front of the Shelburne.  I no longer wanted to wonder every day if it looked good or was frost blackened.

This one lonely stem had emerged unplanned.

the fig tree

pineapple sage looking better than mine

We rewarded ourselves for our staycation work day with dinner at the pub.

Our drinks:

I had never heard of a Salty Dog drink.  Delicious because I love salt and I love grapefruit juice.  Amazingly, Allan had never before had a hot buttered rum.

view from our favourite table

chopped salad with chicken and a pub burger

and our favourite desserts

My BOOK had arrived at the post office today, per an email notice, but it was closed so I would have to wait till tomorrow.  I read a short book instead, which turned out to be a moderately well written and quite interesting experience of the Hillary Clinton campaign, 2016.

As with Hillary’s memoir, What Happened, I felt by the end that Hillary would be a good and kind person to know (and a much finer president than what we have now).

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Port of Ilwaco

We had to rise “early” to be to the port by ten so that Allan could help with the crab pot tree.

While he and others got started, I did some planting in the boatyard garden of plants I had dug in a path widening project yesterday: Egyptian walking onions, sanguisorba, some Persicaria ‘Firetail’ and some phlomis.

still interesting

cosmos, pink yarrow, California poppies (and santolina)

rosemary and ceanothus both sporting some blue flowers

lavender

California poppies

penstemons

cosmos

A the end of the boatyard, the CoHo King came in for its off season paint job.

CoHo Charters Captain Butch Smith in yellow

me and Butch making sure all goes well

Just past the boatyard stands the crab pot tree, where more floats were added and lights secured with zip ties.

A float for Kevin Soule, who died in a crabbing accident on Willapa Bay this past year.

the volunteers, organized by Our Jenna (Queen La De Da)

The star had been left in a storage unit in north Long Beach.  While it was fetched, I took a walk along the marina with Della and her corgis.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Howerton Avenue (telephoto)

Both Jim and Della are in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, so I got her to tell me about some of what they do, including safety instruction and even escorting boats upriver.

Salt Pub is being remodeled to include the lower floor.

a new bar top being stained in beautifully warm weather

Laila of Salt meets a corgi

high tide

the condor

Back at the crab pot tree, the star had arrived.

Allan and Jim on the tree

Jim at the top

Della hands up some ties.

They all said it was easier to climb up than to get down.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Coast Guard floats

Allan’s photo

Jim installing the star (Allan’s photo)

As a finishing touch, CoHo Butch brought some fishermen’s boots for the crab pot snowman.

I learned that Evertuff boots are the favourite brand.

I was then very proud of us for going to the pharmacy and getting flu jabs, which we have never done before.  I had a terrible fear of side effects interfering with work so had waited till the good weather was done.  As I write this three days later, neither of us had any side effects at all.

home

The crab pot time had given me only about an hour to do some weeding.

Skooter helped.

I moved this last bit of firewood under cover behind the garage.

That was the end of last winter’s windfalls.

A horrid sight by the wood pile: the golden foliage threaded through the eucalyptus is bindweed that has crept in from the gear shed yard.

ominous

Allan added a third birdhouse to where I had noticed a lack with only two.

I went with Allan while he grocery shopped at Sid’s supermarket, right across the street from the Shelburne Hotel, and in the hotel garden I planted a goodly start of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ from our last day at Klipsan Beach Cottages, and some Egyptian walking onions, and put some decorative branches in containers:

We watered the Depot Restaurant window boxes and went home again, where Allan managed some more work on his greenhouse lean-to project before night fell.

Much later in the evening as we watched some telly, we heard the rain finally begin.

 

 

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Despite the daunting sight of wind whipping our alder grove around, we decided to try to work.  Rain was predicted at 2 PM.

Long Beach

We headed straight for city works and got 19 buckets of mulch from our pile.  That was every five gallon bucket with a handle that I could find.  We could use more if you have any to give us!

at city works

We mulched at city hall first (which also involved some weeding and some escallonia pruning).

city hall north side (Allan’s photo)

west side; I was pruning the escallonias so they would not touch the building.

Back we went to get another load.  This time, we gave the Bolstad planters their autumn top up.

I had been carrying with us some cereal that had dropped on the kitchen floor, waiting for the right birds.  Today was the day to distribute it.

Allan’s photo

We had only enough treats for a few, leaving many disappointed. (Allan’s photo)

While we were working on the beach approach, we encountered a couple of tourists (probably) who had parked at the west end of Bolstad before we arrived. A guy on a black bike smashed the window of their car and stole their belongings while they had walked down to get ice cream at Scoopers. The driver of the car saw the theft happening as they returned and ran back and chased the thief down the gravel that goes through the pines to the city from the Bolstad restroom parking lot. But the thief got away.  It was a sad encounter to see tourists’ have a ruined day. The police came, and one hopes a search was made of the beach pine woods because that’s where the culprit disappeared to, we think.

This happened to a friend’s car once when I was with her at the Oregon coast (the door jimmied rather than the window smashed).  Among my items stolen were two precious rolls of undeveloped film of our visit in Eugene, Oregon, and my leather looseleaf pocket notebook in which I had kept for years a list of books to read. Many books were unread by me because of that theft.

Back to work; I hoped the nineteen buckets would be enough for the eleven planters.  The soil in those planters sinks quickly into the netherworld, or what lies beneath.

Allan’s photo, the light layer won’t prevent beach strawberry or sedums from survival

Nineteen buckets was not quite enough so back we went for load three.  The wind was getting worse and a slight drizzle had begun.

We finished topping up the last three Bolstad planters and the west side of city hall, by which time the rain had fully arrived.

work conditions at city all

Long Beach City Hall west side

I was longing to get another load for Veterans Field, and then another load for Fifth Street Park.  The rain might stop in half an hour, said our weather apps, so we repaired to Taqueria el Jalapeño for lunch.  Yes, finally, many months since it opened, we had a rainy break to try out the new restaurant behind Lewis and Clark Square.

Vet Field

ready for a walk through the rain to the café

Inside, the decor was cheerful and delightful and the food was excellent.

I noted that the pop bottles were prettier than the Mexican coca cola bottles we had used for bouquets for an immigrant fundraiser, so we saved two and will keep saving them.  You do, too, if you dine there, please.

The rain did not cease and a 20 plus mph wind was kicking when we emerged. We gave up on getting more mulch.  We did accomplish planting two Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and four Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ in the newly redone planter by the Long Beach frying pan.

Shelburne Hotel

And at the Shelburne, we removed three or four echeverias from two back deck planters to take home and winter in my greenhouse, replacing them with some hardy hens and chicks and sedums for the winter.

echeverias about to go home for the winter (Allan’s photo)

one of the pots, after

and the other (Allan’s photos)

front, looking north

Bulb Time day 11: the spreadsheets

I got the bulb lists all typed up and added.  When the last bulbs come for the welcome sign (which will be day 12), we will have planted slightly over 5332 bulbs.  (The overage is from some buckets of port bulbs from the defunct office garden that were waiting to go back in.)

The typing is not something Allan can help with because I use increasingly scrawled abbreviations for bulb names as the sorting goes on.

Only I can deal with these lists.

Fortunately, I very much enjoy sitting down to do a spreadsheet.  In another life, I might have quite liked an office job.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

(I am trying to get the blog caught up so we won’t be a week behind at Halloween.)

The Colorblends bulbs for the welcome sign arrived a day early!  The weather was dry and not windy, perfect for planting them.  We took a few more bulbs with us for a little job at

The Depot Restaurant

but could not plant them because the barrel for which they are destined is still so flowery and full.

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’

the “after” photo we did not take after cutting back perennials in order to plant bulbs last week.

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

Long Beach

Bulb Time day 12

Into the welcome sign bed went about 300 tulips, red and yellow for the front and a soft pastel mix for the back.

Also single early tulip ‘Flair’ and some Orange Emperor along the front (Allan’s photo)

Now bulb time is done except for a couple of postscripts: the 15 or so tulips for the Depot barrel and the transplanting of some Lily ‘Conca D’Or’ from my garden to the Shelburne and the Post office.

We filled up 21 buckets of mulch at city works and mulched the corner garden in Veterans Field, not as deeply as I wished, because I realized the pile of mulch was not as big as I had thought.  The tarp was on a bit of a mound and the pile looked deeper than it was.

Then with ten buckets left of that load, Allan mulched five of the most beaten down street tree pocket gardens.  The rest will have to wait till next spring.

Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, I cut back one Geranium Rozanne:

And admired the flowers in another planter:

Zauschneria californica

Must have more Zauschneria californica next year.

It is much smaller across the street where it gets a bit less afternoon sun.

While Allan mulched the last two trees, I tackled a big patch of the BadAster that we have not had time to control.  He helped me finish up.

We returned to city works and gathered all the rest of the Soil Energy Mulch, 22 buckets this time and a bit more just piled in the trailer.  It all went to Fifth Street Park.

badaster bed, mulched. It’s the northeast corner of the four Fifth Street park quadrants. (Allan’s photo)

Salvia leucantha in a planter

Most of the mulch went to the northwest quadrant.

after, with mulch added (not as much as I would like)

One of Allan’s projects, before and after

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

The park still has sweet peas.

On the work board, almost all bulbs are planted, and mulch LB is erased by virtue of running out of mulch.

At home: Alycia has returned to the Nora house for a few days and so we are about to repair next door for a spaghetti dinner with “warm cookies and ice cream” for dessert.  With rain predicted, I think we will now have time off for paperwork (necessary) and Halloween decorating…oh, and cleaning the house after Bulb Time chaos and exhaustion.

Friday, 26 October 2018

After a rainy Thursday of paperwork (no time for fun reading), we took advantage of good weather to get a jump on the fall clean up.

the rain gauge (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

before and after, Coulter Park

before and after, Lewis and Clark Square; I would have pulled the hesperantha, also.

While Allan did those, I clipped and tidied several planters.

by the pharmacy

clipped santolina, cosmos too pretty to pull

lots of snails revealed when I pulled a trailing California poppy…they are living at the city works yard now.

L&C Square planter before and after BadAster removal

hydrangeas in Third Street Park

Shelburne

We did a quick check up before their pre-Halloween ghostly event.

looking south

still sweet peas for Halloween

al fresco dining area

indoors

No time for a meal there; I wanted to work on a four part blog post in memory of my Smoky, starting tomorrow.  (Anyone who finds cats boring or irksome will want to skip those days and return to us on Nov 2.) And Halloween preparation begins full force on a series of days off; that’s what we’ll be doing (and then processing photos about it) while our most faithful readers try to load posts with a kajillion photos of my Smoky.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A sunny day turned reading plans into work reality.   I had rearranged today’s work in order to stay to home because we were expecting a cable telly repairperson in the afternoon to replace our suddenly plotzed DVR box.  I had briefly pondered if it were a sign to give up cable telly and just watch shows online.  I could not find the energy to figure out a new thing so had resignedly waited the two days for a repair appointment.

Ilwaco

I planted the Conca D’Or lily bulb into the fire station garden while Allan photographed a couple of Ilwaco houses that are further along with Halloween prep than we are.  (We have not begun.)

on Spruce Street

another Spruce Street house….

…wherein lives a friend sympatico with us (not shown in the window).

I wonder if she had just gotten back from a demonstration we had not heard about?

Allan helped by deadheading at the fire station.

We dug out annoying plants from two of the city planters kitty corner from the boatyard.

part of the boatyard garden

the north side of the boatyard

I once had a garden running partway along the north fence as well as the full length of the east fence.  Only the east garden remains because a pipe laying project about fifteen years ago put paid to the north garden.

A teucrium (?) of great vigor had completely filled up one of the planters, and in another, a golden oregano had repeatedly been crispy by watering days.

Allan’s photo

We had a bag of potting soil that had an unfortunate large vein of sawdust in it.

Allan’s photo

formerly swamped with golden oregano (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

I should have dumped the whole bag of potting soil into the wheelbarrow and mixed it up.

We took the teucrium (?) and golden oregano down to the port and planted it in curbside beds where a reasonably vigorous plant is welcome.

east end

port crew member at work tidying the bank of the marina (Allan’s photo)

Allan at work at the west end

While waiting for the cable repair, we worked across the street from our house at the J’s.

ghosts in Jay and Jodie’s tree

azalea oddly in bloom

Looking at that photo, I think that I will remove those blue fescue.  They are well past their prime.

The only irksome thing about waiting for the cable repair was the several automated phone calls from the company wanting to be assured that we had not changed our mind about the two hour window for the appointment.

The situation reminded me of how people say “First World Problems” about things like cable tv or mobile phone woes.  This excellent essay explains why the phrase is problematic—and inspired me to read the novel Open City by Teju Cole.

In case you don’t click the link, here is part of what Cole wrote about “First World Problems”: “I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.”

Here is another essay on the same topic.

And The Guardian eloquently weighed in right here.

Right after another automated call let me know that the repair would take place in a half an hour, two cable guys arrive, one a trainee, both efficient and pleasant.  The new DVR box is smaller and yet also so subtly grumbly at all times that much later, while reading at midnight, I thought we had a dripping leak somewhere. It was just the disk making a faint racket, the sort of racket that most people would say only bothers me (but Googling proved it does bother other people with sensitivity to noise). Every appliance we have had to replace this year, (refrigerator, washing machine, and now the DVR) is noisier than the old one we had before.  I wish the engineers would realize that quietness is a worthy goal.

I failed, by punching the wrong menu number, to correctly take the survey in yet another phone call right after the appointment was over, so I missed my chance to give the guys a good review.

But I digress.  In one of Marion Cran’s books, she mentions being told that her books were “discursive”.  The kindest part of the definition is “rambling, digressive, meandering, wandering, maundering, diffuse.

After the repair, we had time to garden for two more hours at

The Shelburne Hotel.

I went into the north side garden by the pub windows to dig out the utterly silly echinops, AKA blue globe thistle plants there.  From the original clump I planted in the sun years ago, these had been moved all over in my ten year absence.  They won’t bloom in this deeply shady bed.

before

I like the short, narrow bladed, and very controllable round-handled shovel when I am working by the old windows.

after plant removal and then shifting of a pulmonaria and scrophularia, both with white or silver leaves.

The last of the sweet peas are still good enough to stay.

looking north

looking south

from the south end sidewalk

Meanwhile, Allan had checked the plants on the second floor decks and balconies.

dahlia on the room four deck

He then sheared down the Persicaria ‘Firetail’ that had been planted under the rhododendron at the south end of the property.

before

My former spouse and former co-gardener stopped by for a chat.

In the mail today arrived three books by Marion Cran.

Garden Talks has transcripts of her 1920s gardening radio show. She is said to be the first gardening broadcaster.  The little book is Garden Wisdom, excerpts from her various books. Gardens of Character is her second to last gardening memoir.  I set aside the final memoir, Hagar’s Garden, and sat down straightaway to read halfway through Gardens of Character (with a break for dinner and This is Us).

12:30 AM: Skooter usurps the late night reading lap space

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