Posts Tagged ‘Alchemilla mollis’

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

We woke to one of those soaking misty rains that appeared to have been falling all night; I had heard the dripping into the rain barrel outside my window at 2 AM.  This led to a slow start on the day.

As I was carrying a change of clothes to the van, I saw three young women walking by saying “Oh, what a cute garden! Look, it says Tangly Cottage!”  Then the speaker saw me and said. “Oh, it’s YOUR garden, no wonder, you garden for the whole community!”  That was nice.

Allan took two photos while dumping a wheelbarrow for me in the back garden:


Primula vialii fallen over


Cobwebs on the sprinklers show we have not yet had to use them this year.

I’m sure the windblown Ilwaco post office garden needs attention.  I just looked at it because it was so wet.  It was a winter clothes day because of a strong wind and I did not want to start out with damp sleeves and pants.


I had a few lambs ear starts from cleaning up the port office garden’s sidewalk area after the storm.  The Freedom Market garden, which I have so far failed to make beautiful, seemed like a good spot for them.


The curbside garden is attractive.



Allan planting the lambs ears in the shop’s own garden, where they might not get stepped on when they resprout.


I found several big dandelions in the curbside garden.

All the port gardens are on schedule for a thorough weeding next week before the July 1st fireworks show.

We had debris left over from Thursday’s post-storm clean up in Long Beach.  Our first stop was to dump it at city works.

The killdeer parents got very upset when we arrived because they have two little babies.

The mother birds tried to guide us away from the babies by fluttering and making a lot of noise and pretending to have a broken wing.



Allan’s photo


the broken wind feint?

Eventually, she seems to have realized we were not much of a threat so she rejoined her babies.


Our plan today had been to do Long Beach and Ilwaco watering, but with the extra rain and with the strong, annoying wind, we decided to do two more sheltered gardens instead.

Klipsan Beach Cottages


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

At KBC, we could hear the wind roaring through the tops of the surrounding trees.  In the garden, all was more peaceful as we tidied up storm damage.  Mary and Denny had been on a trip for a dear friend’s birthday over the weekend, and the staff and other residents told them that the wind had been fierce and the place had been a mess of small fallen branches and leaves, all cleaned up by the time Mary and Denny returned home.

The main plant that I had expected to be affected by wind was the towering Thalictrum ‘Elin’.


And indeed it was.


had to cut some of it off


Mary watches the struggle.

It took me and Allan and some long black string to truss it up in a way that I hoped looked moderately natural.  Allan went under the rugosa roses to find a strong enough branch to fasten the string loop to.


It doesn’t look too unnatural.


This rose had many rain sodden flowers and few leaves; I ended up choosing to cut it way back and fertilize with Dr Earth.

After a long work session, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.


east gate


Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’


birdbath view


Allium nigrum



driveway garden


Right now is the beautiful time for lady’s mantle’s chartreuse flower sprays.

The Anchorage Cottages


Our good friend Mitzu greets us.  (Allan’s photo)

Another somewhat sheltered garden is the Anchorage.  The wind does whip across the parking lot, but some moments of shelter can be found in the garden.  As we entered the driveway, I saw some sightline pruning needed to be done on a large shore pine by the street.  That led to some more pruning of dead branches on the chaemacyparis trees  by the road and to the removal of a dead willow, the whippy thin-leaved kind.

Beth and Mitzu all got involved in the pruning and hauling, and then Allan fertilized all the planters and window boxes while I weeded (and planted some starts from my bucket of extra lambs ears).


two of four window boxes


the other two; I try to coordinate the flowers with the signs.


center courtyard


New Dawn rose, would be quite perfect except she gets blackspot.


north garden


north garden


Allan’s photo


I pruned the rhododendron before Beth started to express worry about it reaching up to the gutters again.  I like it to provide some window privacy for that cottage.

Long Beach

On the way home, we assessed what work needed doing in Fifth Street Park and admired the lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis); I usually am off this plant until the all to brief period when it blooms.


It is all chartreuse and frothy.



hideous horsetail edging in the damp southwest bed.


I asked Allan for a photo of the lady’s mantle on the east side of the park.


evidence of rain

When we got home, I suddenly felt inspired to remove the bricks from the edge of a former garden bed in the nearby Norwood lawn so I could cross it off my work list.  I did not take my camera.  The garden bed is now defunct and will become part of the lawn; it is right inside a hedge and is competing too much with roots and has been allowed to go back to grass.  I used most of the bricks to make a little path to the faucet.


one down on the work list

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Tuesday, 5 November, 2013

We overslept yet again, fooled by rain and…just tired.  Thus we missed perhaps an hour of good working weather.   Our mission for today: to fill Erin’s new garden boat with soil.

 On our way out of Ilwaco, despite being late, we had to stop when we saw two hens on Williams Street.

Inn at Harbour Village hens taking a stroll

Inn at Harbour Village hens taking a stroll

a friendly and unskittish pair

a friendly and un-skittish pair

At Peninsula Landscape Supply, we got a yard of Soil Energy…



Next, a stop at The Planter Box as they have the best and thickest landscape fabric.

Teresa rolls up a length of fabric for us.

Teresa rolls up a length of fabric for us.

I realized we still did not have good scissors with us!

Teresa revealed to us the true weight of the pumpkin in her “guess the weight” contest.

150 pounds of pumpkin

150 pounds of pumpkin

She said she had ordered 150 pounds of pumpkins, but someone had left the “s” off on the receiving end of the order….

And then we drove to Erin’s, and up the side yard of her neighbours’ house (who does not seem to mind the traffic across their lawn) and rather suspensefully, across Erin’s lawn to park near the boat.  I have heard horror stories about vehicles sinking into old septic fields at old houses, so we stuck to the path that Chester’s truck had tested out when he delivered the boat!

Allan drilled some strategically placed holes in the bottom and soon I was able to start filling it.  I soon realized that I did not need to have soil in the dark spot under the prow of the boat (if that is the right term for inside the front of the boat).

filling the boat

filling the boat   

I told Allan my brainstorm and he went to the ruins of the original garden boat for reusable lumber.  (That boat has disintegrated over the  more than a decade since Robert and I first turned it into a garden boat.)

 scavenging the old boat

With his rechargable chainsaw, Allan was able to cut old wood to fit at the end of the open area of the new boat and save us from wasting a considerable amount of soil.

a fix it job on the spot

a fix it job on the spot

Eventually, when it’s needed as the old wood rots, he can make something better.

When I went to scavenge for a few small pieces to jam into a couple of holes in the makeshift wooden barrier, Felix appeared.


my friend Felix

my friend Felix

He hung around and helped us for awhile.

Felix and the boat

Felix and the boat

We had gotten the landscape fabric tucked underneath before making the boat heavy with soil.  As soon as we can (I hope tomorrow) we’ll cover the fabric with gravel and then decorate with river rock to make it look (with a lot of imagination) like it has washed up on a rocky beach.

Then came the careful backing and turning to get out of the yard without hurting the sprinkler heads.

the van and trailer in the big yard

the van and trailer in the big yard

Felix kept a careful eye on the proceedings.

Felix escorting us...

Felix escorting us…

on the fence at the northwest corner...

on the fence at the northwest corner…

and saying goodbye for now.

and saying goodbye for now.

We had a longish discussion about where to get the remainder of the soil to fill the boat.  If we went back to Peninsula Landscape Supply for another load of soil energy, the cost of material would be smaller but the cost of time and labour would be higher.  To make the soil richer, we could go to the Planter Box and get a load of cow fiber, but then we would have way more than we needed.   We decided that bagged soil from The Planter Box would be so time saving that it would pay off the extra cost of bags vs. bulk, and we would could buy enough for two other projects at the same time.

the drawback:  Allan loads the heavy bags

the drawback: Allan loads the heavy bags

Below:  Here’s the boat holding one yard of Soil Energy, two big bags of Gardner and Bloome potting soil and two bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Building Compost.

ready to plant!

ready to plant!

Erin and I were discussing paint colours for the boat; she had said she liked white or green.  I realized today it should be white, with the red paint redone in the same green as the house’s shutters.

We had some daylight left and had only used two of seven bags of potting soil, so we went to The Anchorage Cottages where two containers awaited fresh soil.  While Allan filled them, I was suddenly inspired to tackle an annoying area of beach strawberry by some parking spots.  One of my goals in quitting some jobs this year is to at last be able to do some of the little things for which we just have not had time.   This was one:

before and 45 minutes later

before and 45 minutes later

The blue potato vine in this spot has a history of blowing over, and the courtyard garden has two others, so out it went.  I was sick of the schizostylis here, so it too was ousted.  When we have time to finish around the edges, the garden will be blank but for two Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and some lily bulbs.  Manager Beth saw the empty area and requested dahlias; I am not sure it will be enough sun (morning sun only) but we can give that a try…although I had had something more formal in mind.

I keep picturing small columnar evergreens.  Must be Pam Fleming’s influence.

We just had time then for a bit of Long Beach work.  Allan took potting soil to fill in the planter by the carousel (the one from which we had pulled vinca two days before).  I pulled Salvia viridis (painted sage) out of the planters in front of and across from the Home at the Beach shop.  I’d noticed driving past that they looked raggedy from Saturday’s wind.

Close up, a few of the blue ones did look quite bad, and one was still pretty.  And one of the pink ones looked almost as good as in midsummer…

In fact, the planter looked downright summery.

In fact, the planter looked downright summery.

Close up, you can see the pink one would need some deadheading to look perfect…


And I was just tired of it, so out it came.  I almost immediately felt bad, and now feel worse looking at this photo…but it is NOVEMBER, for heaven’s sake, and these summer flowers are so last month!

I wonder how long it would have lasted had I left it alone?  I am tired of the nasturtiums, too, but I left them.  I figure that some visitors will be impressed that we have blooming nasturtiums this late and perhaps will not notice that they are rather tatty by now.  I suppose the same could have been said of the salvia…darn it.

I am hoping that tomorrow we can get gravel and river rock to make that faux beach at Erin’s house.  The idea of a garden on that huge lawn has me wanting to neglect other jobs in order to get it done…

Wednesday, 6 November, 2013

Back to the boat project!  We headed straight up to Peninsula Landscape Supply to get some pea gravel and river rock.  We cannot carry much of something that heavy in our little old trailer.

 a small scoop of river rock

a small scoop of river rock

The river rock went in the bottom of the trailer as it would be applied second.  The pea gravel went on top.  Allan set up some buckets so that some of the gravel would arrive ready to go.

topping off with a scoop of pea gravel

topping off with a scoop of pea gravel

Meanwhile, I handpicked two buckets of larger river rock.  Had I wanted to, I could have gone into the bin of rainbow rock and got an even larger one.

I like the pink one at lower right!

I like the pink one at lower right!

I fished some fairly big ones out of the bulk pile, though.

Then we delivered our rocks to the new garden boat at Erin’s.  Yesterday, we had tucked landscape fabric under the edges of the boat.  Today, I tucked some newspaper underneath as well, just to make extra sure of smothering the turf.

The hardest part of using the newspaper method of garden building is acquiring enough for a big project.  The second hardest thing is laying newspaper in wind.  (Today was calm, so no problem.)  The third is resisting the urge to read every article that looks interesting.  We had The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal today and because I have several friends who have had cancer recently, my eye was particularly caught by this article.


boat with pea gravel

boat with fabric and newspaper, and pea gravel application in progress

For several years, whenever doing a dry creek bed or any sort of river rock effects, I would lay down landscape fabric, and then medium to small river rock, and then spend the rest of the lifespan of that garden tweaking the rocks so that the “underwear” (fabric) did not peek through.  FINALLY in 2007, when doing a  garden with a dry creek bed in memory of a man who loved to fish, I realized that small gravel would hide the fabric and added it after the fact, then had to shift and fuss with the rocks to get the larger pretty ones on top.  Now we always put down a layer of pea gravel, or even plain crushed gravel, first, to completely hide the fabric, and then dress it up with larger rocks.

first: a solid sheet of gravel.  second: river rock.

first: a solid sheet of gravel. second: river rock.

The part of the fabric and newspaper left showing is where more thick layers of newspaper will get laid down and soil put on top to meet the gravel “beach”.

Allan screwed it one bit of the boat that had come loose.


And I rejoiced that I had found the blue scissors that cut the fabric well.  We had struggled without them while cutting fabric for some Long Beach planters on Monday.  They had been in the van the whole time, hidden under some papers (not in the box they were supposed to be in).



over the picket fence, the dunes, and then the beach

over the picket fence, the dunes, and then the beach

Felix made an appearance but did not linger so no cute cat photo for Wednesday.

By now, what I wanted to do for the rest of the day was to get a yard of soil and start making a garden bed around the boat.  I had not brought enough newspaper for that as it was not in my original plan.  Perhaps, I thought, we could scavenge some from the recycling bin.  First, though, I should check the weather.  Oh dear, high wind and rain warning for tomorrow.  We had better go to one of our weekly jobs, Andersen’s RV Park, in case we were rained out tomorrow…And it does make more sense at this point in the Erin garden job to have a really big pile of soil delivered to just outside the picket fence. Unfortunately, now it will have to wait till after Bulb Time, and I am burning to do this garden…

Oh well, on to Andersen’s.  I had a project in mind for there:  removing lady’s mantle and three tired Stella D’Oro daylilies from the garden shed garden.

1:44 PM and 4:06 PM

1:44 PM and 4:06 PM

The rain came on a little after two PM.  Without wind, I found it sort of refreshing (for awhile).  This is the hottest spot to work in on a scorching (well, 65 degrees and up) sunny day.

While Allan cleared the long bed, I cleaned up a little area by the garden shed door.  Somehow this year it got full of beach strawberry, and there was way too much of  boring old Bergenia.  The Bergenia has been there since before I started caring for the Andersen’s gardens.

before and after

before and after

In between pecking away at the beach strawberry and bergenia, I worked over the areas Allan dug out to prep them for receiving wheelbarrows full of cow fiber, as with every trip he made to dump debris, he returned with a wheelbarrow full of mulch.

before with hideous Stella D'Oro

before with hideous Stella D’Oro



before:  I am SO over lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

before: I am SO over lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis)



We even got started on the eastern end of the garden.

one huge lady's mantle gone from the corner...

one huge lady’s mantle gone from the corner…

The rain had become harder and chilly, so we were not inspired to finish all the way to the end today.

Now, what to plant next year in the lovely blank slate?  Lorna loves bright flowers and is fond of cosmos (as am I).  I wonder how she feels about dahlias?  Something extra bright might get some attention drawn to the garden as people drive into the park.

At dusk, we went to our appointment at NW Financial and Insurance where our insurance broker, Shelly Pollock, was finally able to help us register for the Affordable Care Act.  Yes, the state website was working and we are now officially enrolled.  Even though we chose one of the mid range plans, we are still going to save (and this will not be a typo) $937 a month over what our cost for a similar plan would have been in 2014.  And our ACA plan will have a much lower deductible AND will help with prescriptions, which our old plan did not.  “Obamacare”, at least in states with a Health Exchange set up, will be so beneficial to the working class.  No more will we be paying 20 to 25% of our income for health insurance, and local friends who have never been able to afford insurance are now able to sign on.  We believe this will be an stimulus to the local economy.  I can guarantee Allan and I will have a dinner out to celebrate and raise a toast to Obamacare.











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