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Posts Tagged ‘annuals’

We got up early (for us) to be ready for the cash mob at the Basket Case Greenhouse.  The car was already loaded with plants for work later in the day, and the very heavy trailer, loaded from debris from Marilyn’s the day before, had to be hooked up.  On the way, we stopped at Diane’s garden next door to the Red Barn to drop off several flats of ingredients (plants) for her pots, in order to make room to buy more.  I counted space in the pots to see how many trailies and uppies I would need to get.  Then Allan dropped me off at Basket Case and went up the road to Peninsula Landscape Supply to dump the debris in their back field.

The chipper was hard at work turning debris into mulch.

The chipper was hard at work turning debris into mulch.

great potential for reflection photos in our car's sunroof!

great potential for reflection photos in our car’s sunroof!

Meanwhile, at Cash Mob:

Basket Case

Basket Case

A cash mob is when community members come together at a prearranged time at a certain business with a commitment to spend a small amount of money, between $3.00 and $20.00.   Of course, plantspeople do get carried away with the amount they spend.

Fred and Nancy

Fred and Nancy

Our clients Bob and Jo came, and Jo got a flat of godetia and some snap dragons and some perennials that we will plant in her garden on Wednesday.

Bob Fitzsimmons

Bob Fitzsimmons

Allan returned around the same time that our friend Sarah Sloane appeared (creator of  bird topiaries and author of The Marble Game and its soon to be published sequel).  I believe the book is available at Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco.

Sarah and Allan

Sarah and Allan

Sarah choosing

Sarah choosing

Tom and Judy arrived, my beloved gardening almost neighbours (four doors down).

Judy putting plants on the counter

Judy putting plants on the counter

Despite having a tiny garden, Judy and Tom seem able to fit more plants into their exquisite scheme all the time.  And none of the plants touch.  How do they do it?

Tom relinquishes the credit card.

Tom relinquishes the credit card.

Judy and Tom

Judy and Tom

I got Judy and Jo into the perennials greenhouse to buy some choice ones.  Most people were just shopping for annuals.  I wish the perennials at the Basket Case got more attention because the collection is choice!!  I know if my friend Sheila were here she would be buying some of each.

There was a free viola with each purchase, and specials on some annuals, and Nancy had made delicious brownies and punch.

cash mob

During the hour or so that we spent there, it was a jolly event indeed.

buyers

mob

mob

I needed to focus on work for part of the time so I went shopping in the back greenhouse where the stock is kept.

way in the back

way in the back

Lesley Ferguson took this photo of me and Allan:

work related clipboard in hand

in the back greenhouse, work related clipboard in hand

Despite feeling mentally scattered, I managed to select plants for Diane’s garden,  more for the Boreas, and I HOPE all the plants we will need to do twelve whiskey barrels and some other containers at Casa Pacifica (Dan and Leanne’s garden) tomorrow.

Even more amazingly, we managed to stuff them all in the car and trailer and off we went to Diane’s garden.

the ingredients we had dropped off before cash mob

the ingredients we had dropped off before cash mob

right over the fence

right over the fence

It was easy to sort out the Diane plants from the Casa Pacifica plants.  Diane likes pastels, and Leanne likes bright colours.

My friend Misty was there.

My friend Misty was there.

While I cleaned up the containers and consolidated the plants from some worn old plastic pots into new galvanized tubs, Allan planted Cosmos and painted sage and some perennials in the new roadside garden on the other side of the house.  We are trying a new Cosmos called ‘Happy Ring’ that is supposed to be shorter, and with a larger, showy flower.

roadside, after planting

roadside, after planting

newly planted containers by back porch

newly planted containers by back porch

more

by house

While Allan packed the car back up with the plants that had been riding in the trailer (and my lap) for lack of room, I walked over to the Red Barn with two yellow sedums to go in a couple of cowboy boots planters…only to find a little disaster.  No one had watered the whiskey barrel furthest from the barn.  I found my Red Barn lia1son (Diane’s sister) and pointed out the problem.  Then I had a little brainstorm and told her (in a jolly way, I do hope) that I am so overbooked that everyone is on probation this year, and whoever fails to water will be the first to go.  She promised to do better and got out the hose.

You can tell which barrel is furthest from the hose:

totally wilted

totally wilted Butterfly agyranthemum

The middle one:

beginning to show some stress

beginning to show some stress

and closest to the barn and people’s water buckets:

gets buckets of stall washing water!

gets buckets of water!

If these plants crisp up and die, well…..I have done my best to get the idea of daily watering across.

Once upon a time, I would have been grabbing a hose and watering and delaying moving on, but I have gotten tougher.  No more jobs where the client does not water!  (Unless they live out of town or are incapable.)  I would not take on a new job unless there were arrangements in place for someone else to water, and water well.  In fact, that is probably the main reason that we just quit the Sea Nest job; we were sick of having to go there to water.

We went home and spent about an hour of turnaround time unloading the car of tomorrow’s plants, watering them, watering all the plants in waiting on the patio, reloading  with a batch for Boreas and a batch for the Anchorage and then at six we took off again.  First, the Anchorage, where we finished the windowboxes and a couple of containers and can now cross it off our annuals planting hell list!

This time, i used bigger plants in the window boxes.  Much more instant than the tiny ones from the last session.

This time, i used bigger plants in the window boxes. Much more instant than the tiny ones from the last session.

added Salvia 'Victoria Blue' to the back.

added Salvia ‘Victoria Blue’ in back of those tiny plants.

center courtyard

center courtyard…with tulips still hanging on

The arbutus is browning off on the top.  It has done this before.  No time to deal with it today!

Arbutus problems

Arbutus problems

must get back to fix this...

must get back to fix this…

I hope the guests just look at the pretty things.

courtyard container

courtyard container

Next we stopped at the Boreas Inn and planted those perennials that got left behind at home a couple of days ago.

Boreas:  Is it filling in yet?

Boreas: Is it filling in yet?

Added:  six santolinas, a Gaura ‘So White’, a Catananche (Cupid’s Dart) and  a ‘Lacy Blue’ Russian Sage.

Finally, we planted at Long Beach city hall six plants donated by The Planter Box; Teresa wants to test them for weather in Long Beach and the Ilwaco boatyard.  I think three are strawflowers and three are fried egg plant, which I used to grow and have lost somewhere along the way so I am glad to have them again.

city hall west side; I love the low wall drapers

city hall west side; I love the low wall drapers

The baskets from The Basket Case were recently hung.

The baskets from The Basket Case were recently hung.

They are filling in well.

They are filling in well.

The city crew waters all the Long Beach baskets DAILY.  Our twice weekly watering of the Long Beach planters and the Ilwaco street planters is about all we can stand!

Finally, we did some light weeding of Peggy’s Park by the door to City Hall.

Peggy's Park

And we were home by eight.

I am tired.

Tomorrow’s plan for just doing Casa Pacifica (a big garden) and maybe some planting at the boatyard sounds like an easy day.

I have lost track of how many days in a row we have worked.  My own garden needs me, but we have to get to the end of annuals planting hell first.  The sound of rain outside is making me so happy and relieved to not have to worry yet about the plants we have recently put in the ground.

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One day recently we did a brief drive down the Bolstadt beach approach road, where the garden needs weeding if only I had the time, and we saw from the car a woman walking with a group of four people, carrying proudly in her hands a bouquet of tulips and other flowers which she had picked from the approach garden.  “Finger blight” is one term I have heard for the audacious stealing of flowers from public gardens. She must have gotten just about the last of the tulips.  I shrieked like a banshee but as she was just leaving the approach I did not feel we could appropriately chase her down …If only I had seen her actually picking I would have pointed out the sign that reads “Please don’t pick the flowers; they are here for everyone to enjoy.” What makes people think it is appropriate to make a bouquet from a public garden?…not only the woman, but her companions?  Don’t they see that the garden is long but narrow and has a finite number of flowers, and that if 50 people or more walk there each day during tourist season, and each person picked a bouquet, there would be pitifully few left?  Why did she feel entitled to pick public flowers and take them home to a vase on her own table?  And why did her friends not stop her? I well understand the term “seeing red” when I observe such disregard.  One woman who had stolen quite a large bouquet once had the nerve to inform me that it was job security because the city would pay me to replace the flowers!  I was so aghast that I could not even manage to reply that the city has a limited budget and once she picks ALL the tulips (which comprised most of her armful of plants, as they did the woman’s recent bouquet), there will be no more for that year!

Another phenomenon which to some well-meaning people seems harmless is when they walk along and collect poppy seeds for their own gardens, thus leaving few seeds behind to reseed.   Each person must think their own paper bag of seeds is so small, but if a more than a few people do it, the reseeding is destroyed.  I saw a streetside wildflower garden in Seattle with a big sign imploring people not to gather the seeds.

Even worse has been the theft of entire plants; once I planted Crimson Pygmy barberry, thinking the thorns would deter theft.  Six of them were missing the next day, leaving gallon sized holes.  It happened right before Mother’s Day, so perhaps some mother was gifted with a miniature barberry hedge.  I know that Lois, who voluntarily plants and tends the Seaview Beach Approach garden, has met with similar discouraging thievery of newly planted shrubs, as have the Long Beach street planter volunteers.

My friend Mary photographed a wonderful sign at the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland, Washington:

Now, personally I have no problem with someone drinking alcohol as long as they don’t fall into the garden beds, nor do I care if someone brings a truly well behaved dog as long as it doesn’t romp through the flowers and snap them off…but if only people would stop picking those bouquets!

The beach approach poppies are best left to reseed themselves for the                              enjoyment of all.

[2012 note:  In the years since then, we have replaced the delicate strip of poppies and other reseeding flowers with tough rugosa roses that have pretty much taken over the entire approach garden.  They are pretty, but not as pretty.  The flower pickers and especially the trampling of the garden during kite festival was too disheartening.  The rugosa roses defend themselves.]

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Since annual planting time began three days ago, I have continued to have a growing revelation: it is not good to be too busy.  I actually said no to a job: digging up some large shrubs for a valued client.  I suggested she find someone with more youthful vigor.  It’s not that we can’t work twenty days in a row if need be, but we have to pace ourselves, and if someone else can dig up shrubs, we choose to delegate.  I also called back a potential new client and left a message asking if he’s a plant nut, as only plant nuts could induce me to take on a new job at the moment.  It’s hard to say no, but we have enough creative things to do that I believe we can now focus on that sort of job: beautiful creativity with plants.

(left) The Basket Case Greenhouse  during annual season; (middle) getting a load of tat wonderful manure from the Planter Box…into our trailer with Raymond’s cute front loader; (left) flats and flats of Salvia viridis and Cosmos await us at The Planter Box.

And on we go with the planting of my three favourite annuals: assorted Cosmos, Salvia viridis (painted sage) and Godetia.  Along with the planting comes some more mulching of gardens….I hope we are almost caught up with the mulching routine..  Planting each little 6 pack of plants is painstaking: a little hole, a little bit of Quench to help hold the water, a bit of Dr Earth fertilizer mixed in with the Quench, water in each hole and then the plant.  Oh, and before each 6 pack gets divided out, we burble it in a bucket of water till it stops producing air bubbles. And of course, each garden must be groomed as we go along.

So busy are we with all of this that garden vignettes go by unremarked; I was in the KBC garden for half an hour before I noticed their new hummingbird feeder.  A few vignettes  stood out, though: Oliver of KBC with his ginormous tail and a luscious tree peony at Jo’s.

Meanwhile, all rain here has ceased and a cold dry wind blows, so I’m stressing about getting around to each job and checking on the watering….

And what will be the result of all this planting of the annuals? Here are photos featuring my favourite three:

left: Cosmos ‘Sensation’;  right: Salvia viridis (painted sage) and Godetia paired in Long Beach

Painted sage has the most lovely papery bracts which give it the deep blue, pink, or white colour…like bouganvillea in texture.

I also adore poppies galore and Cerinthe major purpurascens with a passion but they are best from seed as they resent transplanting.

We have bought every one of the tall cosmos available here on the Peninsula so soon must forage in the north coast Oregon nurseries for more.

(end of next day):

After a morning of planting under the street trees in Long Beach (Cosmos sonata and Salvia viridis), we drove to Raintree in Seaside and fit as many plants as possible into a two door Saturn:

Raintree had a glorious Meconopsis betonicifolia for $16; I resisted because would have little time to enjoy it.

Still to go: China Beach Retreat, The Shelburne (waiting for reconstruction of the garden area), Carol’s, Laurie’s, Wiegardt Gallery, Ted’s, Discovery Heights, Diane’s, The Red Barn, the 5-plex cottages, McD’s, Boreas, and Ilwaco street trees and planters.

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