Posts Tagged ‘Basket Case Greenouse’

Thursday, 4 May 2017

By the time we went to work, the anti-health care vote had happened, and I felt furious and disgusted on behalf of the old and the poor, reading on the way to work about the projected cuts to health care for disabled school children, the proposed sharp rise in premiums for folks in their fifties and early sixties,  and more.  I pondered again just exactly how we are supposed to work harder in order to pay higher premiums.

Some might think I could give up my workdays in my own garden and use that time to take on more clients.  Many a year at my old garden I just had to think sadly, “It’s another lost year for my garden,” as I spent seven days a week working for other people. I just don’t have it in me physically any more to pushpushpush at for 20 work days in a row as I used to do.


“Push Push Push, all the way, all the time, right on down the line.”  (Twilight Zone, A Stop at Willoughby)

My former partner and I used to quote that Twilight Zone boss’s slogan to each other as we worked and worked and worked.

Today was a workday, as Allan and I were still pushing to get the Long Beach and Ilwaco gardens looking good for McCarthy Day-I-mean-Loyalty-Day weekend.  You can read some history about L Day here.  “In 1955 Congress passed a resolution designating May 1 of that year as Loyalty Day. It was the height of McCarthyism and an anti-Communist red scare in America.”  That was my birth year, in fact.  I have read that there are very few town that still have Loyalty Day celebrations.  Long Beach’s parade is a mostly cute and surprisingly long one, with lots of baton twirlers, marching bands, some llamas and horses and basset hounds.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

The dredge was getting pressure washed right next to where we needed to weed.  That did not stop us.



Allan’s photo; I started where I had quit from exhaustion yesterday evening.


I hope this one Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ reseeds like mad (dark foliage behind the tulip).  (Allan’s photo)

Yesterday, the weather was almost 70 F and some cool misty overspray would have been welcome.  We got the boatyard weeding done at last.


looking back; we had come a long way, from the north end far in the distance.

Home again for a moment, Allan took a photo from the kitchen window of the rampant wild cucumber vine.  He says he has been training it.




We weeded and deadheaded at city hall in Long Beach, intending to follow that task with a good weeding of Coulter Park.  Almost as soon as we began city hall, we heard loud thunder and decided it would be a good time to deliver the plant cheque to…

The Basket Case Greenhouse.

By the time we got there, serious rain had begun.


heading for refuge from the rain; Darrell told me how his grandma had been struck by lightning more than once!


Allan’s photo.  I like this, because my liberal heart was bleeding today.




There are still a few callistemon left.  I’m getting them all if they are still there next time I go!


Check out time.  (Pink petunias were not mine.)  Had stayed out of the rain as long and productively as possible.

Long Beach

At Coulter Park, we worked in a storm of wind, thunder, rain, and pink petals.


The back end of this park continues to be a challenge where the roses are, because of salmonberry and bindweed coming under the fence.


Salmonberry running UNDER the roses and then popping up.  Everything is thorny and difficult.


the horror of a grass infested rose

That particular grass WAS the variegated bulbous oat grass that I used to like so much, till I found out how quickly it reverts to green, and how its bulbous roots like to migrate.


Allan won that battle.


There’s a dead columnar conifer along the fence, too, and two other conifers toward the front seem to be dying.


The south back side, away from the fence of invasives, is doing just fine.


Allan’s photo


just about to leave the park to dump debris

I checked Dark Sky.  It was discouraging.  “Heavy rain stopping in 30 minutes, starting again 11 minutes later.”


I thought we could stand to do one more thing in the rain, so I scooped up six buckets of mulch at city works…


…and we returned to the front corner of Coulter Park, where lots of people will line up for the parade on Sunday.


Last week:



a quick fix

I looked at Dark Sky again.  Stopping in 30 minutes and then overcast?


We decided to go to Abbracci Coffee Bar.  On the quest for parking, we passed the little popout and stopped there for another quick fix.  I said it would take two minutes.




12 cold, wet, and windy minutes later

And then: Abbracci


Allan’s photo.  Abbracci is just south of the Fun Rides.


shelter from the storm




more treats available than on our first visit!


and they have Pink Poppy Bakery treats now!


the wonderful owners Bernardo and Anthony  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo




We like the floral art.


The other customers were a knitter, two chess players, and a woman reading a book in the other window seat.


waiting out the rain

Even better, we acquired a bucket of coffee grounds for my compost pile!

With the rain stopped, I headed out to deadhead a block worth of planters while Allan went to weed and deadhead at Veterans Field (main stage for the festivities following Sunday’s parade).


tree garden outside of Abbracci: still lots of narcissi for parade day


and bright tulips

Guess what, there should be TEN tulips in each of those planters.  Broken off stems showed that five had been stolen.


only five left, dang blang it.

Does someone think I won’t notice or care?  I DO notice.  Plus, these were special tulips from Brent and Becky’s bulbs.

Allan came over to help me finish the little park behind Lewis and Park Square, where the city crew had dug a trench at the lawn’s edge, surprising me with an unexpected clean up job.  He pulled bindweed from the rugosa roses on the south side of the police station, where many will walk by to go to Vet Field on Sunday, and then we went over the two Vet Field beds again for more tiny weeds.



Note to self: Monarda is swallowing this Jade Frost Eryngium; maybe next time, I can move it.


Someone had carefully filled a tulip with some grape hyacinth foliage, making a fanciful flower.  (Allan’s photo)

We finished the Vet Field gardens as this returned:


But in driving from Abbracci to Vet Field, Allan had found an emergency by one of the parking lot berms.



A tourist information trailer had been parked next to the weedy south berm.  All we usually know is the date of each festival, but the intricacies of what the city crew does is left for us to discover on our own.  I decided we simply had to do some weeding.


Allan’s photo


the biggest weed of all (Allan’s photo)


6:20 PM


7:11 PM

One more debris dump trip ended the work day.


At home, I could have erased one berm from the work board.  We have the north one about fifteen minutes from being done, and the south one is over halfway done.  That surely counts as one done…but I did not feel like finagling on the board.  I did finally get to erase the boatyard!


Everywhere Skooter sits for awhile lately ends up looking like an explosion of cat fur.


front porch from today


And yet here he is, still whole and fluffy!


and Frosty

I could hardly believe my last check on the weather for tomorrow, showing heavy rain all day with 30 mph winds.  No!  This means we would have to do the planter deadheading in Long Beach on late Saturday afternoon among throngs of visitors.  Oh please.  Just give us a few hours of workable weather tomorrow so we can finish the two berms and the deadheading, and please spare the tulips from 30 mph winds that would blow them all apart.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Pouring rain almost put an end to the idea of work.


We’d had this much rain overnight.

And then it stopped by midmorning.

I scheduled an easy day, which included a visit to THE Oysterville garden.  That self -guided tour will be our next post.

At home before work


Azara microphylla ‘Variegata’ and Skooter (Allan’s photo)


Erythronium (dog tooth violet)


Allan digging a Tetrapanax sprout, too close to the maple


Acer campestre ‘Carnival’


Acer campestre ‘Carnival, acquired from Dancing Oaks last year


Our post office garden looks unexciting so far.  I planted some bachelor button seeds.

The Depot Restaurant

I planted the wee sprout of tetrapanax in the garden on the south side of the dining deck…my second attempt to get one started there. Light weeding and deadheading ensued.


north side of deck


Tulip ‘Akebono’ (Allan’s photo)


the barrel by the east window


Tulip ‘Virichic’

Long Beach

A stop at city hall to pick up our cheque led to some deadheading and weeding.


the ramp garden


north side: pulmonaria still blooming


north side


signs of finger blight


city hall west side

Basket Case Greenhouse

I’m collecting plants for the upcoming Planting Time, so far just perennials.  I consider it too early for annuals, and yet, as always, I am concerned that folks who plant (too) early will get all the good stuff before I’m ready for annuals (round about Mother’s Day).


Darrel waters the many tempting plants in the annuals house.


Me and Roxanne with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and some Erysumum ‘Bowles Mauve’


Buddy behind the desk


YOU, yes you (those who live here), should snap these callistemon.  It’s rare to see them for sale on the Peninsula!




and more heucheras


Buddy woke up.

We left the Basket Case and took ourselves to Oysterville to tour its premier garden, one of the top two gardens on the Peninsula (the other being Steve and John’s bayside garden).  If there are better gardens here, I have not seen them. That will be tomorrow’s post.

Driving south from Oysterville, we saw Todd gardening at a Nahcotta bed and breakfast.


in front of the Charles Nelson Guest House


Todd Wiegardt at work


Allan’s photo

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent a pleasant two hours at Klipsan Beach Cottages. In a preview of Planting Time, Allan planted four Nicotiana langsdorfii, one Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, and an Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’.




driveway garden


Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ has been going strong in this spot for years.


looking in the east gate of the fenced garden


Allan planting


He found a furtive dandelion.


tulips (Flaming Spring Green and a parrot in bud)


the burgeoning garden



Tulip ‘White Parrot’



blue inside


Tulip ‘Artist’ hiding under rhubarb


Tulip ‘Artist’


tree peony in bud


fringed pink tulip


Thalictrum ‘Elin’ will get about 7 feet tall.


“pink” narcissi


more narcissi



Fritillaria meleagris, in the lawn bed that I note needs mulching.


double hellebore


white narcissi


Podophyllum (Allan’s photo)


Mary, her friend Katie, Bella, and Katie’s dog Libby, back from the beach (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photos: a hard to reach blackberry sprout across the pond


He got it.


We drove around by the port on the way home, just to see how lively the 4-20 event was at the Freedom Market pot shop. (Their outdoor barbecue looked well attended.)


garden boat at Time Enough Books (PV=Plant Vessel instead of FV for Fishing Vessel).  Allan’s photo


Tulip ‘Akebono’

While Allan mowed at the J’s (across the street), I planted some poppy and bachelor button seeds in the back garden.  The weeded spots in the east and west bed have seeds, and the unweeded spots will let me know where I can put new plants (after more weeding).


a seeded spot


At the J’s (Allan’s photo)

Next, our tour of the Oysterville garden.

And we really do have to get back to the beach approach weeding!




Read Full Post »

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter brunch at Salt pub was not on our schedule. We have too much work to do after too few nice days. I was pleased to see our flower bouquet in their announcement.

We figured that a clam tide in the late morning would have the beach approach very crowded, so it was a good day to begin with a bit of shopping at The Basket Case.

Basket Case Greenhouse

Oops, they open at noon on Sundays and we got there at 11:20.  Three other vehicles arrived at the same time so Darrell and Roxanne put the open sign out!


Beautiful new sign


garden art


Darrell putting out a pelican


Gardener Ed Strange (Strange Landscaping) and Jackson


the annuals house


meeting shop dog Buddy


the perennials house


and so it begins

We won’t buy annuals till around Mother’s Day, but perennials and tender perennials are good to go now.


diascias, erysimum, agastache, nicotiana

Long Beach

On the way to the beach approach, we checked out Veterans Field for signs of an easter egg hunt.


All ready!



Allan’s photo


The hunt would begin in an hour.  We did not take time to wait and see it.

Then back to the beach approach, where we began with the last of the somewhat open of the 13 sections.  All the remaining sections after this are rugosa rose thickets.


Allan attacks the roses with a pick to get them pushed back from the edge.


today’s section, before


today’s section, before, looking east


Cat stopped for a chat.


picking some crocus bulbs out of a weed clump




an old dog and a puppy (Allan’s photo)



With the section done, and the time being not quite four o clock, I had the bright idea that we could do just one more section, the 45 foot long one (instead of the usual 55 footers) that we had skipped when it had had a big puddle on the street side.




two hours and forty five minutes later

Even though we finished it, I was sorry we had started it because I was so very tired and sore by the end.





Allan does the hardest part, swinging the pick to remove rose canes and wheelbarrowing the heavy barrow of weeds off to the long grass.  While I used to just lazily dump right at the far edge of the lawn, he insists on humping the loads up and over the little hill so the piles of weeds don’t show.

As we drove away, we saw yet one more banner had been stolen…probably on the same night as the three missing banners that I noticed yesterday.


further west than the other three

We were too tired to dump the rose debris at city works so we just took it home.  Then the plants from Basket Case needed to be unloaded and watered and that is when I learned that Allan had since yesterday been feeling tired to the point of being queasy.

At age 64 and 62, are we pushing ourselves too hard? But the work needs to be done (and trust me, over the years I’ve tried finding helpers, and no one works in the way that we do except for folks who have set up their own successful gardening businesses).

While weeding that last section today, I had contemplated how I will find it hard to retire from our public gardening jobs (Long Beach and Ilwaco) unless I knew that someone who cared as much as we do would be taking over.  Someone who is bothered by every weedy spot and every deadhead.  When I give up a private garden, its condition doesn’t bother me because I don’t have to see it again.

What to do?

The short term solution is that rain and 30 mph wind is due tomorrow, and we will take the day off whether or not that forecast comes true.

An even shorter term solution is that Allan took an hour long nap and felt much better.

We will make our next work day something easier than the remaining sections of the beach approach garden (a project that will take us at least three more days, possibly four or five).

Erasing the work board to show that we are over halfway through the approach garden was not as satisfying when I realized I had been pushing both of us too hard.


work board tonight

Some check-ups on jobs, involving deadheading and tidying, would be easier than anything that is on that work board right now.

Read Full Post »

I had one major thing on my mind today, that I learned this morning that my best local friend and neighbour gardener, Judy from four doors down, had a small heart attack yesterday. Apparently not too bad because she is home again. We visited her at the hospital in our small town before we went to work and of course I thought of her all day long.

Work did get done because work must be done barring complete emergencies (like me or Allan having a heart attack! I have been through that when my former partner, Robert, had one in 2002, and he got well enough to work as a gardener again even though he did not take nearly as good care of himself as he could have. His was worse as they kept him for at least three days. Six weeks later he had a clean bill of health except for taking Lipitor. So take heart (sorry) if you are reading this, my dear friend Judy!)

So imagine through this whole day in the back of my mind I am just thinking about Judy.

We went to Ann’s garden after the hospital visit to pop in a few baby calendula from my garden, and I photographed the Siberian iris that I admired yesterday, and some peonies.

pink peony

pink peony

red peony

red peony

Siberian iris

Siberian iris

Just through oversight, I have ended up with no peonies in my new garden even though I had two in my old one. I must remedy this as I like their foliage and their flowers.

After the stop at Ann’s we went to Olde Towne for a brief coffee break. I needed some as had taken a sleeping pill the night before (worried about Judy!) and that always has a regrettable result the next day. Our friends there all had reassuring stories about people doing very well after mild heart attacks. Allan took this interesting photograph looking toward a mirror at the back of the café that was showing the front window.

at Olde Towne

at Olde Towne

We had a big project to do at the Boreas Inn: removing a big pile of junk. Famous NW gardener Ciscoe Morris will be staying there Sunday night after giving a talk to benefit the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club (see end of post for details) so we really could not have junk as the backdrop of the western garden beds.

looking toward garden from lower entry...

looking northwest from lower entry…

looking sout from garden; Allan getting ready to tackle the pile.

looking south from garden; Allan getting ready to tackle the pile.



The pile went deeper into a hollow than we thought it would, contained most of an old shed, and turned out to weigh 900 pounds!

pile offloaded at the dump

pile offloaded at the dump

I didn’t get a photo of it in our little trailer because a backhoe was running back and forth next to our car at the dump and I couldn’t get out for a bit.

It all fit in here with Allan's expert loading.

It all fit in here with Allan’s expert loading.

We then went to the Basket Case to get some plants to fill in along the edges at Boreas. That was my excuse for riding along to the dump. I think the real reason was I was fretting about Judy and did not want to stay behind at the Boreas weeding all alone.

At the Basket Case, their last (I think) Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ was starting to colour up:

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

(The Basket Case may soon be out of this plant, but the Planter Box also has some.)

We put a nice edge on three of the lawn beds at Boreas and filled in around the edges with some little Dianthus, some Portulaca, and added a Helianthemum ‘Dazzler’, a Helenium, and a Phygelius ‘African Queen’ to make the beds more full.

looking east

looking east

looking southwest...trash pile gone!

looking southwest…trash pile gone!

nice crisp edge

nice crisp edge

west, evening

west, evening

The ocean is at the end of that path through the dunes.

I took a quick walk to show you how pretty the inn is looking.

west side

west side

deck, southwest corner

deck, southwest corner

east side

east side

new sit spot, east side

new sit spot, east side

The new sit spot on the east side (main entrance to inn) was created when a big pine was removed. Our good friend, local gardener Ed Strange (who mows the Boreas lawn) facilitated the job and provided the lovely pots of bamboo that make such an excellent backdrop.

One last satisfying view as we left:

no trash pile!

no trash pile!

And so my outdoor workday ended. Allan did the tedious and back-straining round of bucket watering the Ilwaco planters while I worked on my belated May billings, interspersed with messages to and fro with Judy’s friends. Kathleen S, Patt, and I, Ann from up the hill, Luanne and Chester from Olde Towne, Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case, Jenna from Queen La De Da’s Art Castle, and Judy’s dear friend Liz from way down in Nevada (Judy’s former home) are all thinking of her.


details re the Ciscoe talk:

  • Sunday, June 9th, Gardening with Ciscoe!
    • The Kiwanis Club of Long Beach is hosting, “Gardening with Ciscoe,” June 9th. All proceeds will go towards the Boys & Girls Club! We are so excited!
    • This special fundraiser will take place Sunday, June 9th, at the Long Beach Elks Lodge, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with activities, including book sales and signing, and photo opportunities, beginning at 12 p.m. We will have plants for sale that were planted, and being taken care of by the kids thanks to The Planter Box!
    • Tickets are $20 each and are for sale at Peninsula Pharmacies, Inc. (Long Beach), Adrift Hotel & Spa, and Coastal Eye Care – Long Beach Office


Read Full Post »

We have been in the midst of annuals planting hell.  Planting is my least favourite gardening task; I like setting the plants out but not so much putting them in the soil.  Perhaps this is because we plant with obsessive attention to detail, putting water and a mix of Zeba Quench and Dr Earth fertilizer in each hole so it’s time consuming and very detailed and I never feel we have enough time.  Today we were going up to the Wiegardt Gallery to plant cosmos but considerable rain decided us to go Warrenton and Seaside plant shopping instead. On the Long Beach Peninsula, oldtimers call going to Astoria and the north Oregon coast going “overseas”, from days when there was a ferry instead of the (long, scary) bridge.  I’d been planning to go on Thursday because I could not stop wondering what other nurseries had to offer that I did not already have…. Today was better because Thursday will be a big push to get all our public gardens perfect for memorial day weekend.

First we went to Seven Dees in Seaside.  Only when we went into a back greenhouse did I find a few things that thrilled me; I knew it would be fairly picked over on a Sunday.  I did find the wonderful pink and green leaf variegated Eryngium and another Eryngium called something like “Big Blue”…snagged them of course.  (I let my pink and green Eryngium halfway revert to green….)   And saw this water feature which spoke to me….Oh, it would look so wonderful next to our bogsy woods.  It was marked sold and I did not even ask the price.  Right now an old bathtub is pretty much the limit of my water feature budget.

stunning, peaceful water feature

The fairy garden container also pleased me even though I spend my budget on plants rather than little things….

tiny details in fairy garden

We only filled our small car up maybe halfway with plants.  Occasionally I do find something cool at Fred Meyer:  last year, some good inexpensive ferns and a whole flat of small Salvia patens.  I wondered if perhaps this time we would have room for groceries without juggling plants.  I used to often travel home with a flat of plants on my lap till I realized that the air back going off would kill me with the hard plastic flat.  How ironic that would be.

On a whim, we went west into Gearhart to check out the former Fitzgeralds, once a good nursery, last year just an outpost of Seven Dees with nothing much exicting.  How thrilled I was to find new owners and wonderful new plants, well priced, a lot of them from Xera.  I learned that last year “Back Alley Gardens” was a hidden treasure of a shop in Seaside, and now it’s in the old Fitzgeralds building.  The Fitzgeralds sign is still there with “Natural Nook” and “Back Alley” gardens signage underneath (washed out in this photo).

Back Alley Gardens

I got a few lavenders that were new to me, one irresistibly named ‘Dilly Dilly’.  The lovely ‘Raspberry Ruffles’ lavender in the front of the photograph, below, I already have from one of our good Peninsula nurseries, The Basket Case Greenhouse.  The best thing at Back Alley for me was a whole selection of new plants that did not duplicate anything I already have…some cool salvias, a couple of gorgeous cold-hardy Jasmines, a pewter-hued small grass, a couple of plants from Xera that were new to me.  I didn’t take pictures till I had half cleaned out one table, and bought so much we ended up having to layer plants on top of each other in the car.

plant tables at Back Alley

It’s great to know there’s a place closer than Cistus and Joy Creek that can fill my lust for the unusual.  Our local nurseries are so good to us and will order pretty much anything we want, but I crave the excitement of finding trays of plants that I did not even know existed.  And because we are going to be on the garden tour this year, I’ve given myself license to buy, buy, buy.

Two of the three owners our purchases….

Inside, the shop had, as Fitzgeralds used to, lots of appealing home and garden decor.

inside the shop

I’m still trying to get back to posting about garden touring 2011….(which by manipulating the publishing date I am putting where it belongs in the timeline)  When the annuals are planted and we settle into my favourite activity, garden care, I should have some writing time.  Or maybe tomorrow, whose weather promises rain and wind…

Read Full Post »

We knew the weather would be intermittently bad but felt we need to keep ahead at this time of year lest worse rains set in before we set off for the garden show in Seattle.  So off we went to Long Beach to prune a large lacecap hydrangea in the quadrant of parks which we call Fountain Park, Frying Pan Park (home of the purported world’s largest frying pan), and the two Obelisk Parks.

Despite some wind and roaring sound effects where it whipped down the street past the buildngs, we got the hydrangea pruned and assorted perennials trimmed and moved across the frying pan park where Allan took down one large ornamental Miscanthus grass while I tidied a border.  Then the huge rain came while we loaded the trailer and dumped debris so for a spot of colour and comfort we went to the Basket Case Greenhouse on Sandridge Road to buy some more primroses for the Long Beach trees.

Basket Case primroses

I am pondering the purchase of some of the pots which are now for sale at the Basket Case at quite a reasonable price.  My containers run toward galvanized pails and tubs kindly provided by a client in exchange for an occasional bottle of Coconut Rum….and I do love the galvanized pails and wonder if the elegant pots of cobalt blue would be just too lavish an addition to our humble garden.

We planted the new batch of primroses with very cold hands, a task which then called for the purchase of some Pepperidge Farm dark chocolate chunk cookies to be consumed with a pot of tea. Tonight we’ll watch the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” Last night, it was the beautiful and wrenching Indian movie “Earth” about the division of Pakistan and India in 1947.  I had no idea the horrors that happened then.  Director Deepa Mehta’s previous and exquisite movie “Fire” caused controversy to the point of rioting in India because it portrayed a lesbian romance. Next comes “Water” which I have on order from Netflix.

Read Full Post »