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Archive for the ‘public gardens’ Category

Thursday, 19 April 2018

I was surprised in the morning when Allan woke me up by saying breakfast was ready and that he wanted to go to work.  As (I think it was) Mark Twain said, the proof that worrying works is that most of what we worry about it does not happen.

Skooter having a drink on the plant table (Allan’s photo)

I picked a bouquet for the Shelburne.

Allan dug some borage and red mustard starts for the Shelburne.

removing a deadhead at the Ilwaco Post Office.

The post office garden is looking drab.  Mulch would cheer it up but there is a limit to how much mulch I can provide from my own budget.  Soon the plants will cover the grey looking soil.

I told Allan we could have a light day with just some fertilizing, planting, and deadheading. (The usual story!)

Our first stop was at

The Planter Box 

to buy some Dr. Earth fertilizer.

Allan’s photo

at the Planter Box

With our bags of Dr. Earth loaded up, we headed south again to

Long Beach

and gathered up the very last of the pile of Soil Energy mulch.

all gone, need more

We weeded and deadheaded at city hall and added the mulch to the wide part of the west side garden, where it had been looking beaten down and sad.

much better

even better with horses

Horses make the landscape more beautiful. –Alice Walker

Allan’s photo

We weeded the narrow beds along the side; we did not plant the top tier and would not have chosen so much Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, because it has a short season of bloom.  I’ve mixed some elephant garlic in along the top because the office staff loves it so.  Last year, the flowers got stolen as soon as they opened; I hope that with MUCH elephant garlic, some will be left.

We checked on Veterans Field again, the main site of this weekend’s Razor Clam Festival, and I remembered that I had wanted to plant some chives in the corner garden.  I happened to have a bucket of chives with me and realized the red mustard would look good there, too, evoking the Farmers Market that takes place there on summer Friday afternoons.

species tulips and nigella (love in a mist)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I have realized that the red monarda is spreading like mad throughout this garden, even though I had thinned it earlier.

monarda all over the place; will have to thin it some more.

We went after more of the scrimmy little horsetail and too much hesperantha (schizostylis) in Fifth Street Park and added Dr Earth to this area.

looking much better

Instead of putting the Dr Earth bag behind Allan’s van seat, I put it behind mine so I could access it better when parked in traffic.

camassia just colouring up (Allan’s photo)

I stopped a sweet dog named Bananie from running into the garden to snuffle the fertilizer.

Good Bananie. (His person was nearby.) (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We saw a U Haul with interesting artwork.

We like garter snakes. They eat slugs.

On the way back to city works to dump our debris, we remembered to deadhead the little garden at Culbertson Field.

We also remembered to deadhead by First Place Mall….

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ (I still forgot to check it for scent and for silver edges to the foliage.)

Tulip ‘Silverstream’…I can see the variegated foliage in this photo by Allan!

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ (Allan’s photo)

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ (Allan’s photo)

…and, thanks to Allan, we remembered to deadhead the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach and to deadhead and fertilize the World Kite Museum garden. Manager Patty was just bringing in the display banners.

Our “short” day had now reached 5 PM and we still had the Shelburne garden to do.  I was so glad we had spent more time in Long Beach to make it look better for Clam Festival.

Shelburne Hotel

I got the fertilizer bag out from behind Allan’s seat and fertilized the front garden.  Then I realized I had been using evergreen and azalea fertilizer.  I got the fertilizer bag (all purpose) from behind my seat and added more.  When I do fertilize, I tend to under-fertilize, so it will all work out.

Mustard and borage went into the west garden:

I added nasturtium seeds (in the front garden, too) because the chefs need many for garnish flowers.  Orchid Cream, Caribbean Cocktail, Vesuvius, Tip Top Mahogany, Alaska, Variegated Queen, Dwarf Cherry Rose.

Also some Calendula ‘Frost Princess, ‘Pink Surprise’ and ‘Kinglet Mix’ and some Bright Lights and Celebration swiss chard for some stem color.

By the pub deck and here and there where it might find a space to grow in the back garden, I planted more night scented stock seeds.

We decided to dine at the pub, as the workday had gone on until 6:45, longer than planned, and moved the van and work trailer a block north so as to not take up two parking places.  (Allan took into the pub with him a couple of disinfected wipes to spare the staff from any cold germs on his dishes.)

My bouquet still looked good (especially after I arranged it a little better than this:

Allan’s photo

looking south from the north end of the garden

from the sidewalk

From the front entry, looking south:

looking north

In the Shelburne living room, singer Bryan O’Connor was performing.

He is the spouse of Renee, the creator the tile work in Long Beach that you saw earlier in this post (the sidewalk tile and the obelisk).

I had a most tasty salmon special on black rice, and a cranberry cosmo (with Starvation Ally Cranberry Juice).

and delicious cranberry curd tart

Allan had the black garlic fried rice.  I reminded myself with one bite how tasty it is.  I could eat a casserole dish of it.

and “beeramisu” for dessert.

A local couple who were in the living room (lobby) listening to the concert bought us our dinner!  As we drove away they were just emerging, and I thanked them again. “For all you do!” she called out!

At home: I have whittled down the work board more than I expected this week, and Allan seemed none the worse for wear after a long day.

A most wonderful thing happened: I got an email from the woman who is the little girl pictured in my blog post about visiting the Isle of Skye in 1975, telling me what life was like there, then.  She is not, as I always wondered, related to Donovan, but she did know him when she was a child!

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Instead of me finishing my cutting garden book, we took advantage of a break in the rain to put in a couple of hours at the Shelburne on two things that had been bothering me.

But first, I picked a bouquet to take with us.

window box

and another window box

Muscari botyroides ‘Superstar’

some tulips hoping to open

The rain has been hard on the tulips; it is a challenge to find nice ones to pick that are not rain-spotted.  The peony flowering tulips are in the worst state, of course.  Even the single flowers are battered.  This is one of those years when I resolve to never again grow anything but single tulips.

sad mushy double tulips

the rain gauges (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

flowers on the way

The Shelburne Hotel

My project was to get some ferns removed from the roots of a rose in the front garden, and Allan’s was to prune a climbing rose in the back garden that may not have been pruned for years.  It had much dead whippy growth.

Allan’s photos:

before

before

Pruning canes with leaves does remove some of this year’s flowers.  However, the canes were so all over the place that it had to be done.  I would have had it done sooner but was unclear whether or not this arbor will be preserved.  It is more likely to be so if it does not look like a mess!

after

I am flummoxed by the formerly espaliered Asian pear trees on the west fence.  What to do?

(right) The pear has shot straight up in the past nine years.  The center tree is a limbed up hawthorn.

I got the center Asian pear tree looking a little better after I took this photo; it seems this one was not allowed to shoot straight up.

The third one has also been allowed to grow straight up. Its top growth does provide a screen from a window of a nearby house, so….might be valuable like this.

In the front garden:

looking south

base of the second rose today, where before it was all mucked up with a trashy fern.  It was almost buried in soft fern fronds.  And MINT.

Long Beach

We drove through town, stopping to deadhead under one tree, and then decided that the weather, which had just become miserably wet and windy, required the rest of the deadheading to wait.

Allan’s photos

Basket Case Greenhouse

A rainy day is a good time to check on the latest new plants at local nurseries.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We acquired some violas, at the request of Sous Chef Casey of the Shelburne, who wants them for edible flower garnishes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I cannot resist agastaches.

On the way home, we decided to not plant all the violas in the rain; four went into pots by the front door where they will be handy for garnishing.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

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Saturday, 14 April 2018

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

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

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

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

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

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

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

Skooter, lower right

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

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

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

A sweet story of how the author got started:

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

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

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Anyone who read yesterday’s post script knows that today turned out to be a sad day with the loss of our thirteen year old cat, Calvin.

This morning, Calvin seemed fine.  I made an appointment for him to get his asthma shot in the mid afternoon just to prevent him having an attack over the weekend. I felt I was being a good cat mom to get it taken care of today instead of later in the week.

Meanwhile, Allan noted this view from our garden:

crab pots being stacked next door

The work side of the day:

I had been thinking for a few years about imperializing adopting a spot at the corner of the fire house and turning it into a little garden instead of weedy mini-lawn.  Once upon a time, it had been a garden, evidenced by the remains of a Siberian iris.  Various things got in my way: First, the onset of having a bad knee, and then having just too much work to find time, and then the news that someone else was going to adopt it (but that did not come to fruition due to busy life of the other potential volunteer).  Finally, this was the time to bring the idea into being.  Our town, like the towns of Long Beach and Ocean Park, have volunteer fire fighters.  A wee garden bed with an orange and red and yellow theme seemed like a good way to give something back.

11:30 AM

The garden bed is L shaped but we only did the square, not the narrow bed.  It might be where people step if they park where we parked today.  I might decide to dig it up the L and plant something there later on.  It is a troublesome mess of sod and dandelions right now.  (I know, dandelions are so good for bees, but these are string trimmed to the ground.)

First, the half moon edger.


Next, the ho-mi and the double tool. (Allan’s photo)

The mayor, also a volunteer firefighter, stopped by.  We learned from him that the old sprinkler system does not work any longer and is turned off (too many leaks) but that the firefighters do sometimes water the garden areas.

12:30 PM

At this point in the project, all our buckets were full of weeds and sod and so Allan went to dump them while I went home (two blocks away) to dig a few plants for the new garden.

the first gathering of sod and dandelions

Before going inside, I admired a few flowers.

Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’

I forgot to smell that yellow muscari to see if it lives up to its name.

Muscari latifolium ‘Grape Ice’


window box with Tulipa sylvestris

In the house, I found Calvin in a sudden and shocking state of respiratory distress (he had seemed fine just one hour before), and we rushed him to the vet as soon as Allan returned.

While he was taken into the inner sanctum for treatment, we were advised to check back in a couple of hours. We went back to work, because that’s what we do, with the phone close at hand.

An hour later, after a phone call from the vet, we were back to the clinic because Calvin was failing fast, and, as I wrote yesterday, we made the decision to let him go because he was suffering so.  We will have him cremated, and so we just had an empty crate to bring home.

We then went back to work….because that is what we do.  The first thing I did was walk next door from the vet clinic to the Depot Restaurant and deadhead a few narcissi.

Tulip at the Depot

We went home for a short while so that I could dig up some plants for the fire station project….

the empty cat box 😦 (Allan’s photo)

…and then returned to the station to plant them.

4:30 PM


Allan’s photo


Ilwaco fire station and new garden

What I planted, quickly gleaned at home: Miscanthus variegatus, Helianthus ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’, and some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (one place where they will be quite perfect!), Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ (just because I had a clump ready to go, might not leave it here because the color will sort of clash, don’t you think?), lambs ears, Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, an eryngium (plain old blue), some bachelor button seeds, some red annual poppy transplants, some Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, some stuck-in cuttings of santolina that will probably “take”.

The whole time I was thinking if only I had taken Cal to the emergency vet when he was coughing on Saturday–or taken him yesterday even though it seemed he was better–he might still be alive. I felt I had been too focused on work (because that is what I do).

While Allan dumped the second load of weeds, I moved to our other volunteer garden at the post office.  There, we encountered the boatyard manager who was able to assure us that the digging for the boatyard project will likely cross the garden at some point but will not require much more in-garden digging than that.

The post office garden has been looking messy with the annoyance of wild garlic and some low weedy grass and some shot weed.  As I was contemplating the disapproval of tidy gardeners, a postal patron said “Your flowers are so wonderful; I have lots of photos of this garden.”

before

after


Ipheion uniflorum


Bellevalia pycnantha (Muscari paradoxum); the bells are olive green inside.


muscari (Allan’s photo)


a painted rock in the post office planter (Allan’s photos)

At home, I picked a bouquet to take tomorrow morning over to the J’s for a guest who is there.  Here it is in a not very elegant kitchen sink photo.

It had been a sad day, so not much joy was taken at erasing two more projects from the work board.

We are expecting several rainy days. Usually, I’d be relishing the prospect of reading days. But now I think it would be preferable to have the distraction of work. On the other hand, the joy of work is sapped right now because it had removed my focus from where it should have been, on Calvin’s every breath.

I have gotten reassurance from many friends who’ve had similar experiences. We all wish our cats had been able to tell us exactly how they felt. “I’m still feeling a bit under the weather even though I played with my toys and ate my dinner.” “Ok, let’s get you to the vet right away.”

Frosty was a comfort while I wrote yesterday’s postscript about Calvin.

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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Before work, Allan helped me dig up a start of Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ to take to the Shelburne.  I have it planted in a big old garbage can planter, not easy to divide from.  The one I got from Todd for my birthday is Eupatorium fortunei ‘Capri’, which is shorter and whose foliage is a brighter pink.

We had an audience.

digging

We then planted sweet peas along the fence at the

Ilwaco boatyard garden.

I still don’t know the extent of the possible digging.  The construction crew for the new boat washing thingie cannot dig the sweet peas all up, can they?  I figure there is no way they would dig all along the base of the fence, although they may have to go under it a time or two…

Allan’s photos:

With that done, we returned to

Long Beach

We first deadheaded the welcome sign.  Just in time for spring break, it’s in an awkward pause between narcissi and tulips.

deadheading

anemone blanda (Allan’s photo)

 

We then returned with enthusiasm to the final section of the Bolstad beach approach garden.

I had offered up free rugosa roses (with plenty of warning about how they run) on a Facebook group for Peninsula Gardeners.   I recall that about four group members said they would come get some, so I asked Allan to start by pulling the roses right along the edge (where we try to keep them back from sidewalk and street).

We have this much left to do.  The buoy has been our goal all along.

As it turned out, only one couple showed up for roses.  I saved two buckets of cuttings for a friend who is out of town.

befores (Allan’s photos):

I found a painted rock from “Long Beach school” hidden deep under lupines.  A lot of these rocks get put in places where plants grow over them and only the gardeners will find them.  I put it on better display.

I did not complain about picked narcissi yesterday, deciding to give the finger blight rants a one day rest.  Today, I found several narcissi clumps whose flowers were plucked and one big hole where something got stolen, probably a nice clump of narcissi.

We had a delightful visit from our friend Mitzu, former staff member at a place where we recently quit working.  She and her people were going for a walk.

Our good friend Mitzu.

At 3:30, we made it to the end!

“Ocian in view!”, as Lewis or Clark wrote.

We had come all this way.

And the vehicle traffic had not been nearly as bad (for weeding on the street side) as we had expected on this sunny spring break Saturday.  A woman walking by said, “Your town is so pretty! I love coming here!”

afters (Allan’s photos):

We will add some mulch when a new pile is delivered to city works.

A bit of deadheading by the hotel/townhouse/arch end of the beach approach, and we were done.

We had an audience from a hotel window. (Allan’s photo)

Allan and I separated, he to dump debris and then to deadhead the south blocks of planters and street tree gardens and me to deadhead city hall and the north blocks.

trilliums at city hall

The wider part of the west bed needs more narcissi planted next fall.

drab!

I had wanted to take a March photo record of all of the planters and street tree gardens.  Due to bright sun and deep shadows and to my camera battery dying, this mission failed. My iPhone camera couldn’t handle the light contrast. We did get some pretty photos, and enough of a record that I can use to make a list of which planters are low on narcissi.

Here are some of the end of March flowers of Long Beach.

my photos:

planter by NIVA green

variegated tulip foliage (battered by rain)

Dennis Company tree

under tree across from Dennis Co.

one early tulip…

and finger blight!!

Dennis Co planter

a flock of ducks at the Heron Pond

tree by Long Beach Pharmacy

Fish Alley

an Easter rock (from “Vancouver Rocks” group, SWWashington)

Third Street

Lewis and Clark Square, Tulip ‘Formosa’ which usually blooms in late April

Tulips ‘West Point’ and ‘Tom Pouce’

Third Street gazebo

Tulipa sylvestris

If this is Cool Crystal, it is awfully early.

Tulip acuminata buds

Allan’s photos:

shrubby planter left over from volunteer days (that hebe!)

If I could get up the energy, I would like that to be the next planter we clear out as it looks rather dull most of the time.

Fifth Street Park

by Abbracci Coffee Bar

This old planting of azaleas and a rhododendron (not by us) is only interesting right now.

With all of Long Beach town deadheaded, we repaired to the Shelburne Hotel to plant one Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ and to reward ourselves for our completed days and days of weeding the beach approach.

Shelburne Pub

epimedium flowers outside (Allan’s photo)

The hotel lobby now includes spillover pub seating. (Allan’s photo)

in the pub: Cosmo with Adrift Distillers cranberry liqueur

I had black garlic fried rice and am still remembering its goodness as I write this a day later.

black garlic fried rice and a salad

Allan’s pub burger and salad

well deserved treats

 

delicious beeramisu

At home, I woke two sleeping cats.

The only let down to the happy end of the beach approach project was that Calvin’s cough has come back.  It was so bad in the late evening that I thought of the emergency vet.  Some soothing medicine I had left over from Smoky helped him, so that he can wait till Monday to go in for an asthma shot.

The re-written work board:

I have every intention, some time in the next two weeks, of working on a new volunteer garden project at the Ilwaco Fire Station.

 

 

 

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Friday, 30 March 2018

With more good weather predicted, I had high hopes for finishing the beach approach today.  And yet, drizzle greeted us as we left home.  My assorted weather apps denied the rain and suggested the day would stay cloudy but clear, with little wind.

We began with a little bit of deadheading at The Depot Restaurant garden:

Depot deadheading

Depot lilies emerging

We then planted some monarda and some Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ at the Shelburne Hotel, where I grieved mightily over this sight:

The dreaded aegepodium popping up in the sidewalk garden, where it did not used to be nine years ago when the garden was consistently under my command.

an unfurling fern at the Shelburne

Long Beach

We drove out to the beach approach and contemplated this weather…

…and I decided it would be best to finish mulching Fifth Street Park and hope that the drizzle stopped.  It was ironic that the most weatherbeaten garden of any that we do, the west end of the beach approach, was our goal for today.

soil scooping

mulching in Fifth Street Park

Allan’s photo

I cut down the tattered Melianthus major on the other side of the park.  The beds still need weeding but at least there are some narcissi:

Finally, despite a continued light drizzle and some wind gusts that almost made me decide to go home and read (till Allan said the gusts might blow the rain away), we returned to the beach approach.

Two sections to go till the red buoy.

Allan’s befores of the twelfth of thirteen sections:

I got to meet and pet a darling pug.

and this sweet wiggly girl.

We found a rock:

By 3:30, we had section twelve almost done but for the clean up of rose cuttings and sand along the road and sidewalk edges.

Allan’s afters of section twelve:

The drizzle had ended partway through that section and  I did so hope that we could do the last section by 7 PM.  Section thirteen is the longest one of all.

starting section thirteen, 3:45 PM

And then, when we had barely got started on it….

We tried for a bit to keep going but it got too cold and muddy and messy.

There are many roses right along the edge to pull out with the pick.  At least tomorrow the weather is supposed to be good, and we will start with higher energy.

We are SO CLOSE.

This much remains.

after we gave up. (Allan’s photo)

Dark Sky, which is usually accurate, had been wrong for much of the day.

Just one section to go!

Tonight, I finally felt that I had the energy to follow through with offering some rugosa starts to some local gardeners who wanted them.  We had saved some rooted pieces today, and tomorrow  we will be stripping more from along the edge, so I put out the word that the gardeners could come get some tomorrow afternoon.  I also have issued dire warnings about what eager colonizers these roses are and to not plant them where they will escape into the dunes.

I was relieved the person from yesterday did not return. I had some good advice from friends: To write down answers to the person’s repeated questions and give the person a list of answers on paper was one of my favourites.  And to do what I should have done yesterday, to leave for ten minutes and then come back.  Will do if it happens again.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

I found on my front porch some cool plants from Todd, from Far Reaches Farm, some I had ordered and two that were a birthday present.  (More on the plants in a future post.)

Before we left home, our neighbour, Rudder, said hello.

Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We started our workday weeding the Veterans Field garden beds because we are pretty sure there will be an Easter egg hunt on the lawn this weekend.

corner garden, before

anemone in the garden (Allan’s photo)

tiny little grasses

after

You probably cannot tell much difference.  Lots of little weed grasses were removed and the ‘Jackman’s Blue’ rue got a trim.

Then we returned to the Bolstad beach approach.

This photo shows what the garden looked like back in 2004 when we could grow more delicate things.  Theft and too much walking upon made us switch to almost all rugosa roses.  It really is a darn shame, despite the roses being beautiful in their own way.  The deer had, oddly, not discovered this garden yet in 2004 and were leaving tulips alone.

 

This spring, wee are working east to west, and the red buoy is our goal.

This far to go at the beginning of today’s work…

We began the day with four more sections to do, with the hope of polishing off two of them today.

We also began with the usual annoyance of finding holes where plants (either Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ or narcissi clumps or clumps of red poppies that I’d brought from home) had been stolen.

I think narcissi from this hole, because the sedums are still there.

Thievin’ varmints.

First section of today, before (Allan’s photos):

That’s Juniperus conferta, which grows well in sand.

After:

I met some cute dogs today (Allan’s photos):

The darling corgi sat on my feet to get petted.

A person stopped to talk.  I am going to use “they/their” pronouns to tell this singular story and make the person less identifiable.  Person said they had been a horticulturist and wanted to know if we were hiring.  I said no, we don’t want the paperwork of hiring, but that some other gardening businesses might be, and named a few, and suggested going to the nurseries and asking. They asked what kind of mulch could be added to sand and I suggested Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply.  They picked up a rooted piece of rugosa rose, and I said they could have it.  “I will start it in water,” they said, even when I pointed out it was already rooted.  After asking three times about mulch and twice more about being hired, they walked off, and Allan said “[They] would have failed the interview” (with us) because we find it hard to cope with a steady stream of talking whilst working.

Below, narcissi and muscari at the edge of the lawn, from assorted weed dumpings (Allan’s photos):

Narcissus ‘Golden Bells’ (yellow hoop petticoats, one of my favourites)

Horses clop-clopping by.

some species tulips not found by the deer

We began the second section of the day.  Before (Allan’s photos):

Just as I was thinking that it looked like we would get through the rest of the section with no interruptions, pleasant or otherwise, the person for whom I am using they/their pronouns returned, offering us two cans of pop.  I declined with thanks, especially after they had mentioned being poor, but they looked so disappointed that Allan took the sodas to the van with many thank yous.  The person was speaking in an altered way and said “I’m talking different because I am exhausted,”  And then the questions began: Where to get mulch? How much to use? How often did we work out on the approach? Where to get mulch? Were we hiring?  Why weren’t we hiring? How much mulch should one add to sand? Were we hiring?  Where did we live? Were we going to plant anything? Could the person plant wildflower seeds out here? I said no, because a lot of wildflower mixes might contain nixious weeds.  (Years ago, a cheap wildflower mix introduced orange hawkweed, on the forbidden list here, and it took me a couple of years to get rid of it.)  Were we hiring? Did we need help? Where did we live? Did we live here? Allan answered very vaguely. Then, If we didn’t live HERE, did we live in Oregon?  (I was tempted to say yes.)  Just how much mulch should be added to sand?

We had already answered each question thrice.  I was flummoxed.  There was no sense of vagueness or dementia to the questions, just an increasing feeling of aggression.  Allan commented a few times that it was a nice day to go for a WALK.

Before long, I just stopped answering.  I was tired and sore and my hands hurt in that way that gives extra pain when you bang into something like rose thorns.  Allan answered sometimes but in few words.  Then one word.  The person kept saying “I am not watching you.”  I had my back to them.  Allan would look up and every time, he was being closely watched.

I was getting desperate after fifteen minutes of this, so I finally straightened up and turned around and said that I was sorry, but I had to focus on work, as we had to get this done, and I was feeling too tired to make words and simply could not carry on a conversation.

Then: How much mulch? Could the person plant wildflower seeds? Where did we live? Were we hiring? How often were we out here?  (Allan lied, “Just once a year,” hoping to discourage a repeat performance.  That led to many repeated questions about why we only weeded it once a year!)

I straightened up again and turned around and said “I really need to focus on this job and you are distracting me and slowing me down.  I have got to get this done today!” (meaning the second section).

But…were we hiring? How much mulch? Wildflower seeds? Where do we live?

By now we were not answering or engaging at all.  I turned again and asked the person to please stop standing so close and watching us and please stop asking questions because we had to work.

But…Mulch? Wildflowers? Hiring? An an additional “I am going to city hall and tell them I am going to plant wildflowers.”

I turned again and said (with my head exploding inside), “This is like you walking into my office when I’m working at my desk and you talking and talking while I am trying to get stuff done.”

“No,” said the person, “You are in MY office because I live here.”  I thought they had an inarguable position, what with freedom of speech and all, although I later thought that the OFFICE belongs to the person who is working or trying to work.

I thought about leaving but I wanted so much to reach my daily goal.  Finally I said to Allan, “Could you please use the blower behind me because there is too much debris on the sidewalk.”  I whispered to him, “On the loudest setting!”  With the blower on, the person backed up thirty feet…and then returned with more questions and FINALLY with the pronouncement that they were going to give an “invocation”, something about blessings and family.  And then finally the person walked away (not to city hall, I watched).

Then I felt the rest of the day feeling like an old meanie.  What would you have done?

It had most definitely slowed us down.  We would have had time to get started on a third section.  I am just glad we did finish the second one.

Afters:

This is how far we have come from the arch in the first spring weeding.

And now we have only two sections to go:

At home, I erased two more sections from the work board.

Two to go!

Salt Pub

In the evening, we met Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) at Salt for our garden club (the North Beach Garden Gang) dinner.

We brought some flowers from home.

Of course, I told them my story of being pestered for an hour or more, and Melissa said she was glad she doesn’t do public gardens!

the view from our table

scrumptious brussel sprouts appetizer

my delicious tuna melt (with salad subbed for fries)

Allan’s polenta cake was so tasty.  (I had a bite.)

Dave’s Cubano sandwich; he said it was excellent.

Melissa’s clam chowder

At the end of the day, Allan put the mason bee tube into the new bee house.  It might be too soon…or not…I am just afraid they will hatch out in the bag and expire.

 

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