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Posts Tagged ‘beach approach garden’

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Ilwaco

Fortunately, we were awake and having breakfast when Todd arrived in the late morning to bring some plants from his recent plant acquisition trip to T&L Nursery.  He said that the weather while I was sleeping  had been misty and not work-conducive.

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barely awake, checking out the plants

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Never too many Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’, in my opinion.

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Allan’s birthday present from Todd, ‘hairy lip fern’ doing well.

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a quick look at what’s in bloom in the back garden

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Smokey flopping around seeking some attention

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Smokey still seeking some pets

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“Hrmph.”

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“If the maple gets tall enough, it won’t be swallowed up by the baptisia.”

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(Todd had remembered that this young Japanese maple has a large baptisia next to it.)

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Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ and Nepeta ‘Six Hills Gold’

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Sambucus ‘Black Tower’ and the Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ trio

 

With the new plants in the ladies in waiting area, Allan and I headed for Long Beach with a stop on the way to pick up DVDs from the library.  I took the opportunity to review the Ilwaco community building garden.

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crocuses

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more crocuses

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still more crocuses

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narcissi

The heather flowers are already starting to brown off.  Oh, how I wish this garden were not so heavy with heather.

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I suggested to Allan that, because the kinnikinnick looks so terrible, all of it should be sheared back hard.

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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick, bearberry) looks awful and is hard to weed.

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Kinnikinnick infested with grass

I think large sections of the bearberry need to be rogued out and replaced with something more interesting and with less tendency toward shabbiness.  At the moment, areas of this garden need weeding but the time is not there to do it.

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This area, well weeded within the last month, has held up well.

We got a wonderful haul of movie fare from the library: Party Girl (one of my all time favourite films that Allan has never seen), Jurassic World, Train Wreck and Interstellar…but we must finish watching the delightful latest season of Girls on DVD first.

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a comedy about library science

Long Beach

bolstad

the long narrow Bolstad garden

We returned to the first section of the beach approach garden to finish cutting back the rugosa roses and weeding.

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today’s area, before, at 12:51 AM

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after: 3:32 PM

Each section takes about five hours for the two of us to weed (above was a half section) and so the whole first weeding job of the year takes about 130 hours!  It is difficult to find that amount of time to carve out of the rest of our schedule.

I tell myself only three more years, including this one, till Allan has turned 66 and we may then insist they find someone else to do this part of the Long Beach job.  And yet, there is something terribly satisfying about it.  I hope that this year it will seem less deadly, since we have (by choice) several fewer other jobs than last year.

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today, before (Allan’s photos)

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during (picking roses out from along the edge)

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almost done

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3 days ago

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today

Last year, we didn’t even get started on weeding these garden beds till June; this year, I hope to get the first weeding done in time to plant poppy seeds in the areas won back from weeds and roses.  Some seeds did go in at the end of the garden above.

Of course, it would be lovely to mulch the whole long sandy garden.  I just don’t want to add that many hours of labour.

With the first section done, we drove out to the “end cap” by the driveway to the big public parking lot.

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3:49 PM

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starting the end cap

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I enjoy the parade of dogs walking by.

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Doug stops to tell us about a “weeding” job he’s doing.  (More on this later.)

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Diane came by with my very good friend, Misty!

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after (Allan’s photo)

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the last of the ornamental grasses got chopped by Allan (before)

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after

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5:11 PM

All too many rose roots are still in there—too many to put poppies in that area.  We did manage to peel some roses away from the edge.  I often yearn for the past when all this garden had a collection of pretty perennials and poppies.  Unfortunately, the kite festival crowds trampled it year after year and the roses have been allowed to take over because they can hold their own against humans.

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still rather damp for beach approach picnics

I’m eager to get back out there to weed another section.  Tomorrow calls for 40 mph winds which will definitely be not conducive to work.  And I made a problem for us by buying lilies and violas, as we must now return to three gardens to plant them, gardens we could otherwise ignore for a couple of post-spring-cleanup weeks.  Ooops.

On the way to the city works debris pile, I snapped a photo of the Culbertson Field flower garden:

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…only to realize that old flowers of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ were obscuring the view.

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a few minutes later.  Ignore the weeds to the the right, no time to pull them today

Above is another plant on my loathed plants list: Lithodora.  It has been there for years.  I will clip in back hard after it blooms to avoid the dead-inside look that it gets.  Like heather, it has such a short bloom time followed by a long tatty looking time unless clipped.

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Now off to dump a scratchy load of roses

As we drove to the city works yard four blocks south, a woman tried to flag us down with a “YooHoo!”  We simply had to keep driving in order to get the debris dumped while we still had daylight.  Perhaps she wished to hire gardeners, in which case we would suggest our friends at Sea Star Gardening.

I remembered to sit a couple of times during the day to force myself to bend my right knee.  I think some of my problem is from working with a straight leg all day until it locks open, causing much pain trying to get into the van at end of day.  Today was better.

At dusk, we gave in to the impulse to dine at the Kabob Cottage.  Restaurateur Behnoosh and landlord Doug were just completing the patio.  You may recall that earlier today, Doug had driven by us on our beach approach project and said he was “weeding” another area.  Below: His version of weeding is to fill in an ugly weedy patch of sorrel and horsetail with matching pavers.

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It is a huge improvement.

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So is the excellent spring clean up that Dave and Melissa did for us on this park a couple-three weeks ago.

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Allan’s photo

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delicious chicken kabobs

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Kabob Cottage by night

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 27:  It seems like I start all my notes with “Finally”.  Well, today I finally got the leaves raked up in lower driveway and behind house.  I used the trash bag frame with 33 gallon bags and it worked fine.  I have five bags to be shredded “someday”.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 27:  Didn’t get to sleep till after 4 AM—then slept till almost noon.  My Dutch Gardens order came today, 5 boxes, $806 worth.  Now I really have my work cut out for me.  I must get the begonias potted and pot up the various perennials roots etc and get them under lights.

.

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Long Beach

We began, as planned, with the little popouts on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

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looking north toward the little popouts

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sidewalk tile by Renee O’Connor

For the past two summers, a mystery citizen has taken over the south little popout, planting annuals among the santolinas, so we don’t mess around with it much.

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today, before

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and after

The mystery person had planted tulips.  7th Street is a deer highway; the tulips are getting munched and some were even pulled out.

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I hope the volunteer gardener will know that the deer did this, not us while clipping!

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the north little popout, before

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before

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shifting rocks and weeding along the edge

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after

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after

That was satisfying.  Also painful.  For some reason, my feet hurt the worst on this part of the job.

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2 ibuprofen and an aspirin.  (I thought the aspirin was a tylenol!)

As we worked, a couple of people walked by with dogs, and I suddenly remembered a big Akita named Tomo who used to be a special friend of mine and who would pull her person down the street to greet me.  I remembered her name by “She’s a big dog, she can tow mo’.”  An elderly dog when I first met her, she has been gone for years.  Tomo, I remember you.

tomo

Four or five bicyclists asked us for a lunch recommendation.  I suggested Captain Bob’s Chowder a block away for chowder (obviously) or fish n chips or crab rolls (my favourite), or Kabob Cottage three blocks away for Middle Eastern food.  As they cycled off, we heard them deciding on fish n chips, and a half hour later as they happily cycled past again, they called out a thanks for the lunch recommendation.

Many years ago, Robert and I used to take care of the private garden next to the little popout.  Back then, we had it looking like this:

Sanddollar

1995-ish

What remains of the garden is this bed of heather and juniper tams by the house, and for some reason, even though I like neither of those plants in garden settings, I like them here:

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I recall this was a bugger to weed.

Next, we began the huge job of the Bolstad beach approach garden.  First, at a comfort stop out at the beach approach loo, we met a fellow on an electric bike.  In the course of conversation, we told him about the Tootlepedal blog, and as we prepared to drive off, he was looking at Mr T’s blog on his phone and reading aloud, “a look at life in the borders”, so perhaps we will see him in the comments.

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Allan’s photo

 

 

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I wish I had gotten the “L”.

We wish him many long and enjoyable rides.

Speaking of Mr Tootlepedal (famed for moss and fungus photos), Allan photographed a fungus the other day, and I forgot to post it with the other photos from Diane’s garden.

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I thought this was part of the stump in Diane’s roadside garden.

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Now..to begin the beach approach garden.

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before

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looking east toward the arch

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after

We chopped all the tall rugosa roses to the ground.  We do that about every third year; they still bloom just fine.  This first section-and-a-bit, being sheltered by the building, has much taller roses.  As we go along all the beds, we will pry the roses back from the edge; that has not been thoroughly done for about three years.

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looking west at the remaining 12.5 sections; the roses get shorter as the wind gets stronger and we won’t cut them down; we will thin them.

While working out on the street side, I took a step and my foot landed on this little rock:

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So small it was and yet the next thing I knew, I was down face first flat on the ground, banging my “bad” knee but fortunately not doing an actual face plant.  I could not stand for awhile and just asked Allan to make sure no one ran over me.  All passersby and a nearby resident were kindly sympathetic.  I began to feel more urgent about my upcoming visit to the neurologist, until I recalled assorted ridiculous tumbles going back into my early 20s or even further back.

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still this much to do

Allan went to dump debris and get 12 buckets of mulch from the city works yard while I finished weeding the last bit.

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off to city works yard with a load

Despite the tumble, I felt well chuffed to get the beach approach started this early in the year.

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our precious mulch pile (Soil Energy, Allan’s photo)

Allan’s befores and afters of our beach approach progress:

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before

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roses chopped

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after

We then added the mulch to the Fifth Street Park garden.

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a start on mulching

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yummy Captain Bob’s chowder behind the park

Just as we finished dumping the mulch, Allan caught a finger blighter with a flower in her hand.  “Hey, that’s our flower!” he called out in a gently humorous tone.

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hiding the evidence

We actually had a fun conversation with the culprit and her companion, including the usual lecture of “If everyone picked just one flower, there would be none left”, and I told her I was sorry she got busted.  Her charming boyfriend (with a delightful Scottish accent) said he kept telling her not to pick the flowers.  It was the most pleasant finger blight encounter I’ve ever had.

There are plenty of crocus.  I still don’t like them to be picked.  Perhaps I’m a bit selfish and nuerotic about it.

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Allan’s photo…lots of crocus in a planter.  Hmmm.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan added Soil Energy to the planter where he’d dug out Shasta daisies not long ago.

Ilwaco

We had to knock off early in order to get our own lawn mowed before rain returns.  I tried to mow Nora’s front yard next door with the old battery mower of my mom’s.

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Allan’s photo, raring to go

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Mom’s little mower

The little mower died fairly soon despite charging all day.  I think it is old and worn out.  It is ever so quiet, has a narrow cutting path and cuts a little higher than I like.

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I think this was its last outing.

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still wet out in the bogsy woods (Allan’s photo)

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Allan finished mowing at Nora’s with the gas mower.

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our front path looking east

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front garden crocuses

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the first mowing of the year

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pale yellow Corylopsis pauciflora, center, with the charcoal and white Salt Hotel in the distance

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Crocuses have clumped up the way my snowdrops don’t.

Because I count the two “end caps” of the beach approach garden as half sections, and we had weeded one end cap and half a section, I sort of cheated and erased one section (number 13) from the work board…AND erased “mulching Fifth Street Park” and “little popouts”.

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work board today.  Still need to wake up Coulter Park’s back borders and the big pop out.

Tonight we had our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang, this time joined by Our Kathleen who is at the beach for the week.  She had been pulling shotweed—five gallons of it, tightly packed down. Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) were wondering if it was time to start up their mowing jobs.  By our example, probably yes.

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Salt Hotel and Pub (Allan’s photo)

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Salt lobby

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Salt Hotel

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Kathleen tried the special pub dog, with crab, and curly fries, and pronounced it messy to eat but tasty.

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Pink Poppy cupcake

Tomorrow, I hope for rain because after six days in a row I crave a day off.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mom’s garden diaries of 2 decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 25:  It took 2 hours to finish sieving the compost.  Half of the box is for use until the compost soil is used up (for baskets, tubs, etc), then the whole box will be used for compost.  I put into the box all the weeds etc that were pulled so far this year.  This leaves the old box available to store mushroom compost for next spring.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 25:  Too tired to do much today.  Penney’s called and will install the new curtains and valences tomorrow so I had to move all my plants away from the windows.

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doubling up on some entries so we can get back to garden tours!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Every day but Sunday: a stop at the post office because we don't get home mail delivery.

Every day but Sunday: a stop at the post office because we don’t get home mail delivery.

our volunteer garden and its monster leaning lily

our volunteer garden and its monster leaning lily

Basket Case Greenhouse

The Basket Case closed for the season on Sunday.  We stopped by to get some sale perennials, mainly to help out by leaving them fewer plants to water.

Allan's photo:  Shadow, as usual, was in love with our van (which used to be "his").

Allan’s photo: Shadow, as usual, was in love with our van (which used to be “his”).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Long Beach 

Watering the Long Beach street trees and planters was the first order of the day.

Wooden Horse gift shop: that star was $125.  We might be in the wrong business.

Wooden Horse gift shop: that star was $125. We might be in the wrong business.

The Hungry Harbor with Basket Case hanging basket

The Hungry Harbor with Basket Case hanging basket

white nigella (love in a mist) in Fifth Street Park

white nigella (love in a mist) in Fifth Street Park

my audience while doing a bit of weeding in Fifth Street Park

my audience while doing a bit of weeding in Fifth Street Park

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' in Fifth Street Park

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ in Fifth Street Park (with sanguisorba and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Nicotiana langsdorfii)

While watering the planter outside the Herb ‘N Legend Smoke Shop, I saw my good friend Bill Clearman working on the entryway.

Our Bill, mixing some goop.

Our Bill, mixing some goop.

in a planter: Geranium 'Rozanne' with bee

in a planter: Geranium ‘Rozanne’ with bee

Coreopsis 'Star Cluster'

Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’

The city crew was out working hard, too.

The city crew was out working hard, too.

I'm pleased with this planter, that was all white yarrow last year.

I’m pleased with this planter, that was all white yarrow last year.  (The yarrow had been planted by a volunteer and was hard to get rid of.)

white tigridia

white tigridia

white catananche (Cupid's dart) under a street tree

white catananche (Cupid’s dart) under a street tree

I like this catananche a lot.

I like this catananche a lot.

Lilies on the east side of Fifth Street Park

Lilies on the east side of Fifth Street Park

Gunnera in Fifth Street Park (SE quadrant)

Gunnera in Fifth Street Park (SE quadrant)

yellow tigridia (Mexican shell flower)

yellow tigridia (Mexican shell flower)

Veterans Field...I must find time to deadhead that Salvia 'May Night' soon

Veterans Field…I must find time to deadhead that Salvia ‘May Night’ soon

Veterans Field with Gaura 'So White'

Veterans Field with Gaura ‘So White’

Catananche caerulea in Veterans Field

Catananche caerulea in Veterans Field

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' in Veterans Field

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in Veterans Field

Ilwaco 

With Long Beach done, Allan watered the Ilwaco planters and street trees while I watered and weeded at the boatyard garden.  While we were at our house getting the battery for the water trailer, Ed Strange pulled up behind us with my nephew, Jackson.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I long to pull all the poppies...but am letting them go to seed.

I long to pull all the poppies…but am letting them go to seed.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: A bee snoozing under a daisy petal

Allan's photo: The darn deer are nibbling the nasturtiums in some of the Ilwaco planters.

Allan’s photo: The darn deer are nibbling the nasturtiums in some of the Ilwaco planters.

Allan's photo: Don and Jenna were painting at Queen La De Da's

Allan’s photos: Don and Jenna were painting at Queen La De Da’s

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Allan's photo: the planter by the fire station

Allan’s photo: the planter by the fire station

While I chose the plants, Allan is taking care of the Ilwaco planters pretty much all by himself this year and is doing an excellent job of watering and grooming them.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

I had to get up at 8 AM to go across the river with Garden Tour Nancy for the Diggin’ In the Dirt radio show to promote the upcoming Music in the Gardens Tour.  Morning people will laugh, but that is awfully hard for me.  Allan went back to sleep and woke up at 9:30 to listen to the show.

We'd left extra time for stopping for work being done on the Astoria Megler bridge.

We’d left extra time for stopping for work being done on the Astoria Megler bridge.

workers way up on the tippy top!!!

workers way up on the tippy top!!!

KMUN community radio

KMUN community radio in Astoria

kmuninside

the view over buildings to the Columbia River

the view over buildings to the Columbia River

onair

My job was to describe the tour gardens, and Nancy’s was to talk about the music and other tour particulars.  I think it went well. Pam Fleming, our friend and the city gardener for Seaside, Oregon, joined us to promote her tour of the Seaside city gardens, which will take place on July 26th.

Pam's tour

After the show, we went to breakfast at the Blue Scorcher.  Getting to have breakfast with Pam, whom we do not see often enough, was one of my big motivations for getting up so early.

on the way: poppies

on the way: poppies

a courtyard

a courtyard

Pam and Nancy outside the Blue Scorcher

Pam and Nancy outside the Blue Scorcher

Blue Scorcher planter

Blue Scorcher planter

at the door of the Blue Scorcher

at the door of the Blue Scorcher

bc

bc2

I bypassed delicious treats...

I bypassed delicious treats…

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...in favour of a breakfast burrito, and Pam got the quiche.

…in favour of a breakfast burrito, and Pam got the quiche.

Blue Scorcher dining

Blue Scorcher dining

at our table

at our table

breakfast burrito

breakfast burrito

delicious quiche, made sweet by cabbage (we traded bites)

delicious quiche, made sweet by cabbage (we traded bites)

From this delightful (although sleepy) morning, I went home and then to the horror of weeding…

The Long Beach beach approach garden

before...our goal was to get two sections done (out of 13)

before…our goal was to get two sections done (out of 13)

before

before

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

It is such a tough job in this drought.  The weeds are stuck in so firmly.  The best parts of the afternoon:  When a passerby reminisced about her grandma making rose hip jelly, and how it smelled of roses.  And when the dial a ride bus stopped next to us and the doors opened and I said “Have you come to take us away?” and the driver said “The best thing Long Beach ever did for its gardens in town and out here was to hire you two!”  And when a woman asked “Are they edible?” when she was already nibbling on a rose hip.  (Good thing they are).  And when our neighbour Jared walked by with my good dog friend, Rudder.

Allan's photo: Rudder!

Allan’s photo: Rudder! (the big black dog, the other one is Yarrow)

This is about as good as we are getting it done.

This is about as good as we are getting it done.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: what we are up against

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

after

after

baafter2

after

Allan's photo: I resorted to desperate measures.

Allan’s photo: I resorted to desperate measures.

the parts where I just got fed up and used the strimmer.

the parts where I just got fed up and used the strimmer.

Ilwaco

On the way home, we drove by the port to see if any plants needed watering.  What did I spy but a fingerblighter, a woman in person, caught in the act, picking herself a bouquet of Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’!

Allan's photo: caught in the act

Allan’s photo: caught in the act

She was caught red handed as we pulled our van up next to her, and she had the grace to look mortified when I told her to stop.  She said she was sorry.  She said that the Eryngium was “just so unusual.”  Allan said it was an expensive plant.  I said it only blooms once, and that we work hard on the gardens and she was lessening them.  She asked if there was some way we could replant the flower.  (!!!)  I said no there was not. She said “I blame my grandmother because she always picked flowers and I got it from her.”  I could not think fast enough to say that MY grandmother taught me to NOT pick flowers from anyone’s garden, public or private.  As she bicycled away, I felt sorry for her and called “It was your bad luck that we happened to be driving by.”

or, rather, to protect the guilty

or, rather, to protect the guilty (Allan’s photo)

a soul-soothing view

a soul-soothing view

watering at Time Enough Books

watering at Time Enough Books

 

 

 

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Thursday, 11 June 2015

I was appalled to see a weather forecast of more 23 mph wind, as today we had planned to get back to the beach approach weeding.  I watched the garden swaying in the wind while having breakfast at my new table and felt much gloom.

my new breakfast table

my new breakfast table

 However, we had put off the beach approach weeding for over a week due to weather, so we decided to brave the elements and give it a try.

Long Beach

We selected a weedy looking section.  So far, the wind was not too bad.

before

before

 

before

before, looking east

 

before, looking west

before, looking west

All other Bolstadt beach approach weeding sessions, we have started at the outer end and worked our way toward the arch.

We were this far from the arch today, about half the length of the garden.

We were this far from the arch today, about half the length of the garden.  It’s between the two buildings, over the road.

This time, I was choosing to jump randomly into a section, on the theory that if we did not get it done, at least walkers would pass a good section, then a couple of bad ones, then a good one again.  Keep ’em guessing!

Both of us had dressed for a cold wind that did not materialize, and when the sun came out we were too hot and WISHING for wind!  After an hour of that, a breeze did arrive and then the weather was finally comfortable.  The weeding was strenuous and tiresome, as much sand has blown into the garden over the years.  Sand is tight and hard to pull weeds out of (even though I used to think it would surely be loose and easy).  The ground was dry and packed.  We had to use the pick more than ever before and frankly, I felt miserable most of the time.  So many other garden areas need doing, and we were so very far from being done with the 12.5 sections of the approach.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

one section done, Allan's photo

one section done, Allan’s photo

When Parks Manager Mike drove by to tell us he had acquired some barrels for Fish Alley, I said to him that perhaps the city could find an intern, or maybe even a person sentenced to community service, to weed the approach, as it is not a skilled job.  If a person could learn (or have marked) a few ornamental grasses and some santolinas and armeria (sea thrift) and then pull everything that is not a rose or shrub, that’s all that one would need to know to do a basic decent job.  Mike was agreeable to the idea.

At one point, I told Allan I had hit the wall; by then, we were on our second section.  (Each of the very weedy ones takes about three hours.)  Then I thought….No….I must get to the end of this one so I can cross two sections off the work board (for a total of three so far this year).  And we did.

weeding in sand, Allan's photo

weeding in sand, Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, a woman walked by with her dog and told me that a planter near where she lives on Sid Snyder Drive (the other beach approach) “had not been done for years”!  I said it had been “done” within the last month.  She looked skeptical and said maybe she should take it over.  I said nicely (really!) that she could go to city hall and they would probably let her try to do it as a volunteer.  After she had walked away, I realized that by “done” I meant it had been checked for weeds.  To her, “done” meant what I would call “RE-done”.  That particular planter, by Skipper’s horse rides, is nothing but a madly running variegated ornamental grass planted years ago by a volunteer.  We RE-do about two of the volunteer planters each year.  Last fall, we re-did four that were all vinca.  I had thought the planter by the horse rides was ok, for a tough rarely watered spot,  looking sort of beachy-horsey-stripeygrassy.

So I walked the couple of blocks to city hall to tell the staff that the woman might come in and ask to if she could take over the planter this fall and that it was ok by me; maybe the crew would even dig it out for her.  (It might go the way of most of the volunteer planters, which were planted with good intentions and then let go to weeds, which is why Allan and I now care for all but one of them.  Back Country Horse Rides (there are two beach horse riding outfits) reclaimed theirs, at the west end of Sid Snyder, last year, and they are doing a great job caring for it as far as I know.  Without frequent attention, planters on the beach approaches have to be planted with drought tolerant and tough plants.

Just as I was telling this story, the city manager came in and told me about an email he had gotten from a local woman who wants to be an intern and asked if she could weed the Bolstadt approach!  I’m Facebook friends with her so I wonder if maybe she saw on this blog how we are struggling with it. She could surely tell just by taking a walk out there.  She has an impressive resumé of horticulture classes and I said I am ALL for it and would be happy to turn over the whole approach garden to her.  Someone who had time could make it back into a garden of more variety, more the way it used to be, and maybe even have time to mulch it.  We had all sorts of cool plants out there till we gave up on them because of the way they got trampled during kite festival.

I felt like rescue had arrived just in time.  I had told Allan but an hour earlier that this was for sure going to be the last year we weeded the approach.  What was a do-able challenge a few years ago is now just too much physical pain because of the repetitive motion of the job and it is too frustrating to not have the time to get it done before the weeds get firmly entrenched.  Oh, I am filled with joy at the new hope for this garden.

after

after weeding

I was inspired to shear back the roses from the first (easternmost) section where they grow so vigorously that they were six inches out into the street again.

clipped back

clipped back

These same roses are sparser and sparser as one walks west, leaving rom for more weeds.

Sorry I was so tired today that I took no photos of the actual roses in all their white, red, or pink single or semi-double glory.

single pink

Here’s a single pink from last year

We then weeded all the raised planters along Bolstadt.  I am discouraged that one of the eryngiums has been stolen again from the Lisa Bonney memorial planter, making my scheme lopsided yet again.

You would think the memorial plaque would make this one not such a target for finger blight.

You would think the memorial plaque would make this one not such a target for finger blight.

Speaking of finger blight, we even had time to plant two of the plants to replace ones swiped out of main street planters, before we went to dinner at…

The Cove Restaurant

in the lobby

in the foyer

 

out our window: Sondra had planted some cosmos!

out our window: Sondra had planted some cosmos!

We were joined by Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Landscaping, whom we have been recommending to those who ask for gardeners, including some jobs that we used to do.  They know their plants and are sympatico people whose company we much enjoy.

me and Melissa

me and Melissa

 

Allan's dinner salad

Allan’s dinner salad

I felt too tired to eat anything as intricate as the beautiful ahi tuna dinner, so I opted for three simple fish tacos.

fish tacos, $3 each

fish tacos, $3 each

Tomorrow: more Long Beach, this time the planters that I love taking care of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Jo’s garden

We began our workweek at Jo’s garden, catching up on the weeding and adding some Cosmos ‘Antiquity’.

Jo and Bob's guest cottage

Jo and Bob’s guest cottage hosts many friends.

squeezed more cosmos in here

squeezed more cosmos in here

Jo's garden

Jo’s garden, northwest side

Allan’s project, requested by Jo, was to cut back a barberry in a barrel…hard.

Allan's photo, before

Allan’s photo, before

Allan's photo, after

Allan’s photo, after

Jo wants it to be just a little mound.  I am sure it would come back from nothing, so I went in and trimmed the little twiggy bits off after Allan took the above photo.

Allan's photo:  His further project, before, weeding along the southwest path.

Allan’s photo: His further project, before, weeding along the southwest path.

Allan's photo, after

Allan’s photo, after; this is one place I have not tried to get out that pink hardy geranium…yet.

Allan's photos of the rhododendron at the end of the path.

Allan’s photos of the rhododendron at the end of the path.

close up

close up

Imagine, this garden was once all and only rhododendrons.

Weeding Jo’s is a pleasant and rewarding job.

Then we went on to the dreaded…

Bolstadt beach approach garden

and started in on one of the thirteen sections that looked the worst.  (There are actually more like 12.5 sections, as I count two separate shorter end pieces as a section.)  We weeded one section and one end piece.

before

before

THREE hours later, it had taken six person-hours of non stop weeding to do just one section and an end piece.  I will leave you to do the math about how long the job might take.  It is sort of a satisfying project, and difficult because of being the same movement over and over.  At least the weather was calm, just slightly misty at times, and not windy.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; I had to resort to the pick at a spot where a path had been forged across the garden, making a hard pack of weeds.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

after

after

I have been wanting to explain how Bolstadt got its name and had been unable to find any history on it, even though I had heard the story.  As I write this post, our local paper has just published a story about the state patrolman Gene Bolstadt who lost his life during a surf rescue here.

Back on March 19th, Allan had weeded the westernmost section of the approach.  He walked out to see how well his job had held up.

March 19th

March 19th

June 2

June 2nd; it still looks better than the section we were working on today.

On the way back through town, we stopped to check Fifth Street Park.  I can’t remember why I walked down as far as the smoke shop planter.  There I found THIS.

a lily broken right off

a lily broken right off

the broken off flowers

the broken off flowers

This particular lily’s background is that it was stolen from who knows where and put into the planter by the thief, who thought he was doing everyone a favour.  The staff of the smoke shop are wonderful at trying to protect the planter.  This time I am the one who removed the lily entirely, and planted it in a park; it is too fragile to be right next to the planter’s bench and I don’t like lilies in these planters anyway as it is too hard to conceal their dying foliage.

Ilwaco

On the way home, we stopped at the Ilwaco boatyard just to admire it.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

Ilwaco boatyard garden

The poppies are coming on.

The poppies are coming on.

The blue globe thistle...which usually gets picked.  I hope it is spared this year.

The blue globe thistle…which usually gets picked. I hope it is spared this year.

We went on to Time Enough Books, where all I had intended to do was add a few cosmos to the garden boat.  I suddenly found myself pruning down the ceanothus.  It is a shame, but if allowed to reach its full height, it would block the sign.  I had waited for it to finish blooming.  Now it has a sinuous, sea-serpenty form, as it also had to be cut back from the sidewalk.  While the cultivar is a semi prostrate one, it still would like to get about as tall as me.

after pruning

after pruning

May 3

May 3

no longer threatening to block the sign.

Today: no longer threatening to block the sign.

On the way home:  Beautiful blue Ceanothus

Here it was on April 30th.  It would have begun to block the sign from the view of a car.  Sort of.

Ok, to tell you the truth, I wish I did not have to prune it, but once one cuts off the part that is swallowing the sidewalk, then the dead-ish inside is exposed and the only solution is to cut off the stubs and turn it into a bonsai.  Sigh…  The other solution would be to cut it all the way down to a flat stumps and see what happens.

Allan's photo, while dumping the Ceanothus debris.

Allan’s photo, while dumping the Ceanothus debris.

At home, tired, I had just enough energy for a quick bit of garden admiration while watering the ladies in waiting.

Dicentra scandens

Dicentra scandens over the water barrel

Dicentra scandens

Dicentra scandens.  I just learned this is now Lamprocapnos scandens.  Sheesh.

Rose 'Paul's Himalayan Musk'

Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’

At last, I got to cross one beach approach section off the work board….and was filled with optimism that we would get another section done on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The bliss of waking up after a night of rain; I could hear it as I fell asleep and it continued all night, making big puddles in the street.  We would not have to water Larry and Robert’s garden, and the rain had even been so very strong that we would not have to water the Ilwaco and Long Beach planters on our first day back to work after the Hardy Plant Study Weekend.

I did have to admire my new plants before we left for work.

IMG_5311

I sure hope I can get this little wonder to survive.

I sure hope I can get this little wonder to survive.

My Hydrangea aspera

My Hydrangea aspera

Smokey, who had missed me, stayed very close.

Smokey, who had missed me, stayed very close.

I hadn't seen much of my garden....

I hadn’t seen much of my garden…

I was mentally finding it hard to plunge back into work.  When I learned that the Basket Case Greenhouse had just begun its end of season sale,  that seemed like a good excuse to ease into the day; surely there would be a sales plant we needed for a client.

First, a stop in Long Beach to pick up our check.

First, a stop in Long Beach to pick up our check.

city hall astilbes

city hall astilbes

and poppies, reseeded from some planted by Gene Miles

and poppies, reseeded from some planted by Gene and Peggy Miles

and Nicotiana langsdorfii, one of my favourites with chartreuse bells

and Nicotiana langsdorfii, one of my favourites with tiny chartreuse bells

At The Basket Case, who should we encounter but Jo and Bob; I had told her about the sale and they arrived just ten minutes after we did.

The annuals house at the Basket Case was almost empty!  I did get some good perennials.

The annuals house at the Basket Case was almost empty! I did get some good perennials.

Since Jo and Bob also bought a few new perennials, we went to their house first to plant them (a service we would not have been able to offer that day had it not been for the rain postponing our watering rounds).

photo 1

the entry walk

the entry walk

Aconitum (monkshood) by the back deck

Aconitum (monkshood) by the back deck

the center patio

the center patio

path to the west

path to the west

looking to the west end of the garden

Eryngium ‘Sapphire blue’ taking center stage

Then we began the task that we usually do in March or early April:  the weeding of the Bolstadt beach approach garden, west of the Long Beach arch.  The weeds were thick and tall.  I had kept making noises to various city entities that we can no longer care for this garden, that it is not a highly skilled job because there are few “special” plants out there, that the downtown planters and parks take up all of our time, and so perhaps an intern or someone, anyone else could weed it.

No one had, and I could no longer stand its completely unweeded state, especially with the annual Doggie Olympic Games coming up on the following Saturday.

What a goshawful mess awaited us on the furthest west sections.

Below: looking east toward town from the end of the approach garden:

photo 5

the horror

the horror

Six and a half (13, with two people) hours later:

photo 5

Below: walking west, looking at the westernmost two of 12.5 sections of garden.

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

below: the same areas after about six and a half hours (with two people) of work.

photo 1

 

photo 4

 

photo 2

really rather nice now

really rather nice now

The rugosa roses have taken over out here, and have proven to be the only plant (other than ornamental grasses and the occasional escallonia or dwarf mugo pine) that can fully hold its own against the crowds that arrive for the August kite festival.  The days of a garden of small delicate lovelies is long past due to the kite festival problem.

While the roses are not pleasant to weed among, they do create areas that are thick enough to hide some weedy sins.

Ten and a half sections remained, so clearly the whole garden would not get weeded in time for Doggie Olympics.  We would be lucky to find one more partial day to work on it.

The knowledge that in the evening I could start blogging about the previous four days of garden tours kept me going, along with the prospect of watching The Deadliest Catch, which always puts my work woes into perspective.  Although if I made a crabber’s amount of money wrestling with the beach approach thorns, I might not find the job as disheartening.  We can make more per hour working for private gardens and resorts which is why spending days weeding the approach garden is our ever so slightly charitable donation to the beautification of Long Beach.

Next:  The beach approach garden will have to take a back seat again while we catch up on other work.

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Friday, 18 April 2014

at home:

dogwood out the rather foggy kitchen window (one of the few shrubs that was here when we moved in)

dogwood out the rather foggy kitchen window (one of the few shrubs that was here when we moved in)

groundcover dogwood (Cornus canadensis) from my friend Mary Fluaitt

groundcover dogwood (Cornus canadensis) from my friend Mary Fluaitt

Ilwaco

We started our day by deadheading the Ilwaco planters for what I plan to be the second to last time (see yesterday for why we have chosen to not make a proposal to the city to keep the job) and then did a tiny bit of planting and weeding at the boatyard.

It will feel a bit odd at first to not take care of the planters just north of the boatyard, but I will adjust.

top of photo shows three out of four planters on that intersection

photo shows three out of four of the planters on that intersection

photo shows three out of four of the planters on that intersection

The horsetail is already popping back up in the boatyard garden.

The horsetail is already popping back up in the boatyard garden.

dolphon

Next, we planted two Wilma Goldcrest cypress at Time Enough Books to replace two horrid, monstrously huge phormiums that were recently removed by backhoe.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

planted far enough back to never block the sign.

planted far enough back to never block the sign.

In the Time Enough boat, Strong Gold tulips

In the Time Enough boat, Strong Gold tulips

We wanted to get the curbside gardens looking great because tomorrow, the port is having a limited edition early opening of the Ilwaco Saturday Market in conjunction with Long Beach’s Razor Clam Festival.  After weeding Time Enough’s curbside garden and the one next to the old Harbor Lights Motel (still empty) to the west, we made a quick stop at Olde Towne Café to switch compost buckets and then headed north toward Long Beach.

at Olde Towne, a photo of Luanne's very old and beloved dog.

at Olde Towne, a photo of Luanne’s very old and beloved dog.

Seaview

Allan remembered to stop at the Depot in order to deadhead tulips and narcissi, and I just now remembered to remark upon the amazing fact that the weather today was perfect: clear, sunny, little wind, not too hot.

depot

tulips and narcissi in the Depot garden

tulips and narcissi in the Depot garden

a faded viridflora tulip

a faded viridiflora tulip

Long Beach

I remembered that we needed to deadhead the welcome sign, where a few tulips are hanging on.  I fear there is going to be a gap of three weeks between the end of the tulips and time to plant annuals.

welcome sign:  cool on the back, hot on the front

welcome sign: cool on the back, hot on the front

And finally, downtown Long Beach.  Allan planted some more violas and a Black Lace elderberry and did some touch up in the Fifth Street Parks while I walked four blocks worth of street trees and planters, weeding and deadheading.

The signs have been unveiled for tomorrow's dedication of the spitting clam.

The signs have been unveiled for tomorrow’s dedication of the spitting clam.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Darmera peltata loves the damp soil by the pond.

Darmera peltata loves the damp soil by the pond.

Now walk with me while I care for the trees and planters…

parrot Tulip 'Rococo'

parrot Tulip ‘Rococo’

The only finger blight that I saw downtown other than some random tulip picking was at the planter in front of the smoke shop; someone had pulled up five tulip ‘Rococo’, bulb and all, in full bloom, and then left them lying there.  Perhaps it was an interrupted theft.

Tulip 'Fringed Elegance'

Tulip ‘Fringed Elegance’

tulips2

curly parsley used as an ornamental

curly parsley used as an ornamental

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

I do love Dutch Iris even though ends of its foliage brown off before the flower even blooms, and the flowering is brief.

Tulip 'China Town'

Tulip ‘China Town’

Tulip 'Strong Gold'

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’

Tulip 'Virichic'

Tulip ‘Virichic’

narcissi and Dutch iris

narcissi and Dutch iris

and back to Fifth Street Park

and back to Fifth Street Park

I’m pleased that there will still be colour from tulips right next to the clam dedication tomorrow.

We then checked the big planter in Lewis and Clark Square and did one last check on the Veterans Field garden.

One tulip 'Flaming Parrot' opened up for tomorrow's giant clam fritter fry-up...

One tulip ‘Flaming Parrot’ opened up for tomorrow’s giant clam fritter fry-up…

and here's the giant frying pan that will be used.

and here’s the giant frying pan that will be used.

Allan and I went together to deadhead and weed the two northernmost blocks of planters.  In front of NIVA green is one of a very few quite expensive narcissi ‘Sinopel’.  In the catalog, it looks like this:

in the catalog at vanengelen.com

in the catalog at vanengelen.com, bulbs about $2 each

The catalog description explains why it’s not that colour in real life:  “Fragrant, it has a perfect 3″ ivory-white perianth and a bowl-shaped, greenish white cup edged in yellow. Circa 1974 and a bit like a mood ring, its dainty cup is more yellow in cool temperatures and more green when basking in warm temperatures (cherish its greenness indoors in a bud vase).”

in real life...more yellow than green....dang it.

in real life…more yellow than green….dang it.

I think next year I might try to grow some on my sun porch, or in the greenhouse.

The sun was low in the sky as we attended to the planters on both of the beach approach roads.  I was appalled to find some finger blight that completely shattered my resolve to be calm and philosophical.  When I saw this big hole (left of lamp post) where someone stole a big clump of lilies out of the Lisa Bonney memorial planter, my language was saltier than the sea air.

lisa

The lilies were planted not by me but by a friend or relative of Lisa’s.  As most locals know, Lisa was killed by an estranged boyfriend just a few feet away from this planter.  The thief, who was skilled in plant removal, bulbs and all,  and who removed a large clump of soil with the lilies, could surely read this sign:

lisabonney

It took a quarter bag of potting soil to fill the empty hole.

It took a quarter bag of potting soil to fill the empty hole.

So is someone’s mother or other loved one getting a nice pot of lilies for Easter?

Sedums had been lifted out of the corner of the planter, as well.

Sedums had been lifted out of the corner of the planter, as well.

Further down the approach, I saw two adult women having three small children stand right on the plants in another planter to have their photo taken.  Each planter has a nice bench to sit or stand on.  “Really?” said I fairly quietly to the women.  “I’m the one who takes care of these, and really?!! I find this very upsetting!”  They mumbled and walked on.  One of these days I fear I will read online that a tourist just hated Long Beach because of being chastised by a mean and heartless gardener.

A bit later, while deadheading narcissi at City Hall, I was cheered by the pretty sight of fallen rhododendron flowers.

rhodo flowers and blue ajuga flowers

rhodo flower carpet

By the time we got to the end of the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach road, the pleasant warm evening had me back in a good mood.

just past the westernmost planter, tourists head to the beach

just past the westernmost planter, tourists head to the beach

Port of Ilwaco

With the sun still poised above the hills of Cape Disappointment, we returned to the Port of Ilwaco to check on the Port Office garden.  A very few tents had been erected for Saturday’s small market day.  The Clam Festival has a scavenger hunt that included a stop at the Saturday Market, and my theory is that the organizers did not realize the market would not be there in April…so the port came through by setting up a small market with some of the local vendors.  That’s my story.

Tents for a few vendors were set up...

Tents for a few vendors were set up…

Port Office garden

Port Office garden

There is something odd about that tulip!

There is something odd about that tulip!

Just the way I found it.  I could get rich if I could propagate this tulip that makes easter eggs.

Just the way I found it. I could get rich if I could propagate this tulip that makes easter eggs.

just south, across Waterfront Walkway, from the port office

just south, across Waterfront Walkway, from the port office

evening light on the marina

evening light on the marina

Saturday we will have off and yet it will be a very busy day as it starts with the second Grass Roots Garbage Gang beach clean up of the year.

Fortunately, beach clean up is midmorning!

Fortunately, beach clean up is midmorning!

I am thrilled it starts at ten thirty rather than the usual nine thirty.  As a night owl, having to be anywhere by 9:30 AM just about kills me.  (“Oh, there are two nine o’ clocks in the day?” said Tallulah Bankhead.) Yesterday the weather forecast called for 44 degrees, rain, and thirty mile an hour winds.  I had decided if that were the case, we would skip it and go out to beach clean some other day.  We have simply reached the breaking point on working (or picking up trash) in horrid weather.  Now the forecast has improved and I have hope that the Razor Clam Festival and Saturday Market might get some passable weather.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 9.55.56 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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