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Posts Tagged ‘Armeria maritima’

 

We began the day picking a bouquet in the rain for the Queen La De Da’s hospitality room that Jenna had set up to welcome the crew of the tall ships.  The Hawaiian Chieftan and The Lady Washington had arrived in the wet, rainy dawn to dock in Ilwaco through the weekend.

tall ship in the rain

tall ship in the rain

I didn’t remember to take a photo of the bouquet on the day;  I thought it was rather a good one with Alstrolemaria, Nigella (love in a mist), roses, and Knautia macedonica.

I got a photo on Saturday.

I got a photo on Saturday.

Because of the rain, we lingered for awhile at Olde Towne Café.  It was bustling with other like minded folk.

a busy day for Olde Towne!

a busy day for Olde Towne!

The rain was not letting up for us so we had to go on to work.  By the time we arrived at Diane’s garden next to The Red Barn we were pleasantly surprised by better weather.

next door to Diane's

next door to Diane’s, her sister Amy’s horse

Last time we worked at Diane’s I thought to myself that we had better put an edge on the new streetside before Larry got busy with the Roundup.  That day we were in a hurry, and then it slipped my mind.  Oops!  Larry had already sprayed by the time we came back.  It was a skilled spraying that did no damage to the garden, but I still think a line of dead grass looks worse than a line of live grass, even if it was going in to the garden.  (Left and middle, below).  But we fixed it.  (Nicely edged, right, below.)

streetside garden

streetside garden

We also added twenty Dianthis ‘Diana’, appropriately named and useful for filling in a new garden, especially for a client who likes pinks and pastels.

The Anchorage Cottages was next, where we found bees still all over the Ceanothus.

California lilac

California lilac

center courtyard

center courtyard

lily and Melianthus major in center courtyard

lily and Melianthus major in center courtyard

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

popular with bees

popular with bees

I had a flashback to childhood while deadheading the window boxes behind the viburnums near the office.

Viburnum and windowbox

Viburnum and windowbox

I smelled the same bitter foliage smell that I used to smell as a child, walking down the hill one half block from John B. Allen elementary school to my grandma’s house.  While weeding near another Viburnum at The Anchorage, I smelled it again.

more viburnum

more viburnum

And I smelled it again on the corner of the same garden….bitter, sour, and emanating from a leatherleaf viburnum.

leatherlead viburnum

leatherlead viburnum

I suddenly realized that the childhood smell had always come, after rain, from a “snowball bush” by the sidewalk…another kind of Viburnum.  Mystery solved:  Viburnums, especially when recently pruned or when the leaves have dropped, whether deciduous (like the snowball bush) or evergreen, stink when it rains!  I had always thought that smell was just damp rotting foliage in general.  I later googled the terms Viburnum and stink, and sure enough, I found a lot to back up the solving of a lifelong mystery.

After the Anchorage, we added some more red Dianthus to the Veterans Field garden.

Vet Field

Vet Field

In the Fifth Street Park, I may finally succeed this year in having three striped Cannas in the damp area in the southwest corner!

If they grow bigger:  success!

If they grow bigger: success!

You can see it was another grey, darkish day but at least it was not as windy as earlier in the week.  And I was loving the rain.  Not having to water gave us time to finish other work tasks. Lately we have been too busy to dine out at all.  I would love to have time to try the fish and chips or have a delicious crab roll at Captain Bob’s Chowder, now located behind the northwest corner of the Fifth Street Park.

Captain Bob's Chowder

Captain Bob’s Chowder and a daylily that I like

It’s been hard for the city crew to keep the lawns short with all the rain.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

I tried growing sweet peas (annual) along the trellis at the back of the park and the slugs got them.  Then I planted some perennials ones, and the guy (not a city crew guy) who pruned the hedge walked back there.  Sigh.

where once sweet peas grew

where once sweet peas grew

Note:  It would be great to have blue and white Nigella (Love in a Mist) in the Veterans Field garden next year!

Note: It would be great to have blue and white Nigella (Love in a Mist) in the Veterans Field garden next year!  (Here it is in Fifth Street Park.)

Fifth Street Park, north west side

Fifth Street Park, north west side

Just south of the park by one of the street trees, you can see how much it had been raining.

much rain

much rain

Leaving Long Beach, we went to the Ilwaco Boatyard garden just to remove some poppies completely blown over by the wind.

I had no doubt the windstorms have stopped for the season.

I had no doubt the windstorms have stopped for the season.

boatyard

boatyard

The boatyard garden needs some serious horsetail control…

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

But we had other fish to fry.  We will time it for early next week so the garden looks perfect(ish) for the big fireworks day at the Port, July 6th.  The garden looks grand even now, especially if you squint.

boatyard

looking south

looking north

looking north

windblown

boatyard

I had realized in our midmorning stop at the port that the Marie Powell Gallery garden needed to have its sea thrift deadheaded.

not very attractive

not very attractive

Allan’s method was to give it a complete haircut.

a smooth pate

a smooth pate

I wanted to leave a few pink flowers, even though this is harder to achieve, for the many tourists who might come to see the Tall Ships this weekend.

more time consuming effect

more time consuming effect

Overall, both effects are pleasant.

Overall, both effects are pleasant.

The two year old Eryngium in the parking strip has thrown up lots of flowering stems.  I am thinking the harsher the environment, the more it flowers?

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I took a peek at the port, just at the other side of the gallery.  The Port Office still had its Basket Case hanging baskets down; they had stashed them on the north side of the building to protect them from wind.  Don Nisbett had his hanging back up again.

baskets

The weather warning flag showed that the wind had finally stopped.

calm at last

calm at last

calm water and a tall ship

calm water and a tall ship

One more job:  We wanted to pull out the huge dandelions from the garden by the public restroom and Ilwaco pavilion.  We have never been assigned to do this garden, but it bothers me.  We used to take care of it when we worked for Shorebank, before the bank changed names and before its resident botanist (who designed the garden) was laid off.

At least we got the dandelions out.

At least we got the dandelions out.

Sometimes it bothers me that the bank garden we used to care for, and quit due to being overbooked, has gone to such weediness.  Other times, like on this particular evening, I look at it and realize it is so far gone now I am just glad I am not the one who has to bring it back.

SEP: Someone Else's Problem

SEP: Someone Else’s Problem

One last look at the Port and a tall ship, and we were done for the day.

tall ship

the condor statue and a tall mast

the condor statue and a tall mast

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This was not the final day of planting.  There are still some cosmos to plant in Ann’s garden, a very few plants (about ten!) that I want to add to Long Beach, and quite a few plants for my own garden.  But the big planting jobs are all done now. What a relief.

So as we headed to first job, we got our mail and there was a catalog for….bulb planting hell!

bulb catalog with the last big batch of annuals

bulb catalog with the last big batch of annuals

Bulb hell has its own quality, but is easier.  My clients, who have all become friends, and I go in together for bulbs from Van Engelen, and then there are hundreds of bulbs in my garage while I sort out everyone’s order.  And plant them.  With annuals, we keep having to go out to get more, and more, and more, and although plant shopping is enormously fun, it is time consuming and not very lucrative (because it is hard to charge for the time accurately, since much is spent schmoozing about plants, and we don’t resell the plants at a profit because we want all our clients to get the best plants possible and the biggest amount for their budgets!).  Bulbs hell includes the anxiety of getting them all in the ground, despite weather, by early December.

Saturday, we first we planted at the Ilwaco boatyard in increasing drizzle.  Here is another lesson in Round Up weedkiller damage.  A few weeks back the boatyard crew sprayed behind the fence with weedkiller, trying to kill the horsetail.  While the horsetail is still happy as can be, some of the boatyard plants are still blighted by drift.  (The crew boss promises this will not happen again.)

yellowed poppy foliage, happy horsetail

yellowed poppy foliage, happy horsetail

blue globe thistle was hit

blue globe thistle was hit

I feel fortunate at so little damage.  When I have time I will prune out the bad parts.  If the weedkiller had caused as much damage as it did at Marilyn’s garden, where a one foot or more strip on each side of a path was affected by someone spraying Round Up (Am I still brooding about this?  Kinda.), the long, narrow boatyard garden would have been a goner.

The annual poppies seemed particularly susceptible (and you can see how, in this section we have not yet weeded, the horsetail just brayed with laughter and had no damage at all).

 Poppies are a delicate flower.

Poppies are a delicate flower.

The garden looks fine overall.  We planted the newer areas with cosmos and painted sage, and left the center area, three years old, to perennials and reseeded poppies.

newest section

newest section

Our plans to also weed the middle section were thwarted by heavy rain, so we went to Olde Towne Café for lunch and hoped for the weather to lighten.  It didn’t.

weather view from Olde Towne

weather view from Olde Towne

I have set for myself an enjoyable obligation of photographing the Saturday Market for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  Lately, because we have been working Saturdays, Allan has helped by taking photographs, too.  We feel for the market vendors as this is the second bad weather Saturday in a row!  In three previous years of photographing the market (only missed two Saturdays due to garden events!), I don’t remember two dire weeks back to back.

Allan took this from the Port Office deck.

Allan took this from the Port Office deck.

Japanese maples for sale, and Portside Café booth.  (That's the yellow café in whose street planter we plant yellow flowers.)

Japanese maples for sale, and Portside Café booth. (That’s the yellow café in whose street planter we plant yellow flowers.)

a line up of flowers in stone vases

a line up of flowers in stone vases

Allan and I both photographed the spectacular lupines at the Marie Powell Gallery.  His photo is much more clever.

my photo

my photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Those sea thrift (pink, foreground) are a bugger to deadhead later in the year but I love them.

After a wet walk through the market, it was back to work.   We got perhaps the last batch of cosmos for work at The Planter Box, where the tomatoes were irresistibly healthy looking (so I got three):

Planter Box tomatoes

Planter Box tomatoes

They have dozens of quite a few interesting varieties, so get ’em!

At The Basket Case, we picked up some Armeria (sea thrift) to fill in any spaces we might find in the Bolstadt beach approach planters.

Here are three more perennials that I did not mention in my rave review of Basket Case perennials:

Helenium (Helen's Flower)

Helenium (Helen’s Flower)

Basket Case has at least two kinds of Helenium, a tall mid to late summer plant with warm tones of daisy-like flowers.  I got me one of this new one.   These might not even bloom before Fred and Nancy close in midsummer, so only the discerning buyer will realize how great a plant this is.

Eupatorium 'Gateway'

Eupatorium ‘Gateway’

This Joe Pye weed is a little shorter than the others, claiming to grow “only” to five feet, with great big fluffy pink flowers that butterflies love.  My opinion is that it likes lots of summer water.  I adore this plant and bought one even though I probably already have it (but my Joe Pye gets taller than five feet! which might be just because it is mulched with cow fiber!).

There were only a couple of these left yesterday!

Helianthemum

Helianthemum

This orange Helianthemum is ‘Ben Nevis’.  These plants are great for growing on a rock wall.  I have found they do not bloom all summer, but the trailing foliage remains good.  Also comes in pink and yellow; not sure which other cultivars Basket Case has in stock.  I believe The Planter Box also has some cultivars of Helianthemum (rock rose).  Don’t be confused because Cistus (an excellent shrub which Basket Case also carries) is also called rock rose.

Dianthus 'Raspberry Swirl' and 'Fancy Knickers'

Dianthus ‘Raspberry Swirl’ and ‘Fancy Knickers’

Cute names, gorgeous plants.  “Pinks” are not always pink!  These are nice big healthy Dianthus.   I’m getting myself two more Raspberry Swirls if there are any left next time!

The rain continued to fall and we made the decision that we could not finish the weeding at Andersen’s RV Park this weekend.  We feel that to work in rain, with dripping raincoats, just makes vacationing guests feel sad for us and brings down the jolly weekender feeling!   We hope the guests there will see the pretty things (all the planters and containers are looking great, and plants well outnumber weeds in the garden beds).  I am too tired to give up my two days off because of not meeting the Andersen’s goal that I had set for us.

Allan also said he felt it was more important to check on the beach approach planters because more foot traffic walks by them, so we did.  We quickly used up the perennials we had bought for the Bolstadt approach planters (six Armeria, two Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’) and found space for about eight more tough perennials which we will buy and add later this week.

Allan weeding the Lisa Bonney memorial planter

Allan weeding the Lisa Bonney memorial planter

One of the planters surprised me with this beautiful columbine!

One of the planters surprised me with this beautiful columbine!

not as miserable a job as it looks because the weather was not cold...

not as miserable a job as it looks because the weather was not cold…or windy

The beach approach garden is weedy again, of course!  But when we get around to doing it again, it will not be as miserable a job as the first weeding of the year.

beach approach, west end

beach approach, west end

Adorably, the Armeria (sea thrift) has reseeded at the end of the lawn.  I have read that it grows wild on the sea cliffs in Wales.

sea thrift

sea thrift

approach garden looking west

approach garden looking west

looking east; rugosa roses about to bloom

looking east; rugosa roses about to bloom

rugosa roses in bud

rugosa roses in bud

The rugosa roses are thuggish and a pain to weed around, but they will earn their keep from now till frost, first with flowers of pink, magenta, or white, and then with big orangey red hips.  They are also known as “The Tomato Rose” because of the size of the hips (about which some tourists ask us, “Are those tomatoes?”) and “The Salt Spray Rose” because they can take beachy conditions.

Dianthus in a beach approach planter, at least seven years old.

Dianthus in a beach approach planter, at least seven years old.

and a hardy geranium

and a hardy geranium

rain brings the colours out

rain brings the colours out

I wish the volunteers, back in the day, had not planted chocolate mint in the easternmost planter.

why?

why?

It has choked out the other plants, except for dog daisies.  Someone in passing commented to me last year how lush and wonderful the planter used to be.  Well…yes, before someone stuck the mint in there and it got well established.  The Nepeta (catmint, not a mint, not invasive) is buried with just one flower showing.

mint vs. catmint: no contest

mint vs. catmint: no contest

With about fifty of these planters to care for, we redo poorly planted old ones at a rate of maybe two a year.  We might eventually get to this one, which would involve having to dig it out, soil and all, and start over…or we might just decide the mint is fragrant and has a pretty flower and just let it be mostly one thing.

We were still in the rain as we left the beach approach for our next job.

the Long Beach arch

the Long Beach arch

We had some plants for the tiny World Kite Museum garden on the Sid Snyder Beach approach.  While Allan weeded it, I walked the approach and weeded the seven planters along its north side.  I must admit some of the weeding was just cosmetic because we had much still to do and it was six o clock.

Kite garden with Cosmos 'Cutesy', painted sage, one one sanguisorba added to the remaining perennials.

Kite garden with Cosmos ‘Cutesy’, painted sage, one one sanguisorba added to the remaining perennials.

There seems to be a big fail in the volunteer mowing, in that it does not include weed-eating, apparently!   We are not really in the weedeating business, but last year after declining to hand weed all along the shrub border, below, we did weed eat it a few times.  I think we will have to step up to weed eat around our little garden, as well.

the shrub parking lot border, which we most decidely do not have time to weed.

the shrub parking lot border, which we most decidely do not have time to weed.

The soil in the tiny flower garden was weird in spots.  When we redid it last year, we mulched with some bagged soil amendments.  Over the winter, it has turned into a weird rooty sawdusty substance in some areas and despite the rain was very dry.  Where are the roots coming from?  They are definitely roots, not fungi.  It is odd.  I pulled some out to have a good look.

weird and unsettling

weird and unsettling

Surely the escallonia on one side or hebe on the other could not be encroaching with this many roots?

We hope to take a yard of cow fiber up to Marilyn’s garden soon to mulch the edges where we had to replant (due to round up, blah blah blah!) and I will save out a few buckets full for this garden.  It could take about a half an inch of mulch.

Next we went back down to Ilwaco.  We stopped at the boatyard to photograph some boats for Discover Ilwaco, and I pondered the amount of horsetail in the middle area where we have not yet weeded.

oh dear, oh dear

oh dear, oh dear

One hopes the two well weeded ends of the garden will keep passersby happy.

in the boatyard

in the boatyard

We finally did the last of Saturday’s planting at the Port of Ilwaco office garden with some Cosmos ‘Cutesy’, since we want the flowers to remain short in order to show off the Basket Case baskets that hang above.  Or maybe I should still add a very few salpiglossis.

port office garden

port office garden

There are some tiny little seedling that we are leaving in the garden till I figure out what they are.  I usually can identify seedlings….but these look like painted sage, which is unlikely as I had never planted it here, nor do I ever find it to re-seed this prolifically.

my favourite perennials, Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', in the port office garden

my favourite perennials, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, in the port office garden

Basket Case plants above and below

Basket Case plants above and below

just south of Port Office garden

just south of Port Office garden

Rain had stopped!  The gardens on the Howerton side of the office glowed with California poppies.

Howerton gardens

Howerton gardens (photo taken earlier in the day)

Finally, at 8 PM, we weeded the gardens at the east end of Howerton.  What had caught my eye when driving past earlier were the dead leaves (now picked off) on the Eryngium there.

bad leaves now plucked!

bad leaves now plucked!  This was caused by the hot spell around Mother’s Day.

Howerton by Queen La De Da's Art Castle

Howerton by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

The Howerton garden that was most recently done (below) is the very westernmost one;  it was filled in with plants divided from other areas, and they will size up to fill the space but maybe it needs a little something more to be added.

perhaps a few more wind tolerant perennials...

garden to right….perhaps a few more wind tolerant perennials…

Along with Andersen’s RV Park, we did not get to the weeding at the Howerton garden section at the very west end of the street.  And both will have to wait because, having caught up with this blog, I am about to commence on two days off.  (I can feel that Howerton Street weeding project tugging at me, but I will try to resist.)

When I get my own cosmos and painted sage, container plants and perennials,  planted in my own garden, I will officially declare Annuals Planting Hell 2013 over!

I have worked 18 days in a row and Allan has worked 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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