Sunday, 23 March 2014
back garden, freshly mowed
Fritillaria by our driveway. A day at home was not to be.
Yes, the weather was perfect all day. Not too warm, not too cold. 54 degrees F with only the lightest of winds, and a slight haze over the sun so no glare. We started by planting some sweet pea seeds in the northwest quadrant of Fifth Street Park in Long Beach; while I did that, Allan put magnesium sulfate around the roses to encourage basal breaks. I believe in certain of these early spring fertilizing rituals even if it might be magical thinking.
one corner of Fifth Street Park
Two and three years ago, the sweet peas in this park were glorious. Last year, they did bupkis. Cold, wet, or slugs got them.
I am hoping for this again: glorious sweet peas in 2012
this year’s selection
Streamers mix, Saltwater Taffy Swirls, Zinfandel, Pastel Sunset, Strawberry Fields, Watermelon, Old Spice Blend, Lipstick, Spencer Ruffled Mix, Cupani’s Original, Painted Lady, In the Pink mix
Signs of spring: The town was full of visitors, with one group after another posing by the frying pan.
The manager of the carousel was just putting on the finishing touches, as it was fully assembled again with children already waiting in line.
Long Beach Carousel
Next to the carousel, a brand new kiosk to replace a weather beaten one. I hope the interesting old photos of beach treasures are returned.
Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters
Narcissi in the frying pan park
We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob’s Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park…but had to move on.
Having gotten worried about the Gunnera in the southeast quadrant of the park, I gave it a good look. There are two little leaves coming up…but it sure looks nothing like the good growth on the one we saw in our friend Ed’s garden yesterday.
Gunnera, is there hope? It would be a bugger to dig out the old one.
The progress of Ed’s Gunnera has made me very worried.
I had decided to plant annual poppy seeds (mostly California poppy) in the big pop out instead of a delightful selection of rock garden plants. I know that the roots of Rugosa rose and couch grass lurk in wait; it will be easier to maintain if we can clean it all out once or twice a year.
One Stop Poppy Shoppe seeds
I have poppy seeds from Renee’s Garden and from the One Stop Poppy Shoppe. You can see, above, how small the packets of the sweet One Stop shoppe are; one feels they are home packaged with love and care. Her selection is the best I’ve seen anywhere.
the world’s tiniest zip lock bags are inside each packet
I find my hands are too clumsy to open those little bags, so I cut them with scissors and then put the unused portions back in the larger packet.
getting ready to plant in the big pop out
California Poppy seeds are easy to broadcast. Some of the finer Papaver seeds, like Flanders Field Poppy, are so tiny that I use another method. First, I put the seeds in my palm.
Then I blow, like blowing out a birthday candle. This broadcasts the seeds over a good arc (provided nature’s wind is not competing with me).
Then we very lightly rake or sometimes even use a broom to even out the soil and get the seeds in good contact without covering them. I’ve heard of mixing the seeds with granules of this and that to make them show up better, but I haven’t the patience.
I think I spilled part of a packet by holding it upside down over the sidewalk. Will I never learn? One of many reasons I don’t especially enjoy seed planting. (Another reason is that I do not have deep faith that they will come up. California poppies are almost foolproof.)
I had a few plants for the westernmost planter of the Bolstadt Beach approach. Each got two Armeria (sea thrift) and two Santolina (lavender cotton).
near the boardwalk
Narcissi against beach grass
Even this close to the shore, we had no appreciable wind today. Happy tourists used different methods to get around.
bikes and horses
While I checked on all the planters, Allan cut down the few ornamental grasses along the beach approach garden. We still have to get out here and weed this monster.
grass cutting befores and afters
We did a little more work downtown, planting sweet peas in the planter that has a tuteur in it (displaying signs for shops that are off the main street). Allan weeded the Veterans Field garden, I chopped some Fuchsias back behind Lewis and Clark Square and then checked Dennis Company’s selection of flower seeds.
Outside Dennis Co: We’ll re-do this planter after bulb time; I’m sick of the vinca.
the tree planter outside Dennis Co
Across the street from Dennis: That’s not a conifer on the right, it’s Hebe ‘Boughton Dome’, several years old.
In a planter one block south, we had cut the Escallonia to the ground. A volunteer had once planted these shrubs in two of the planters. They would like to be over ten feet tall. I am determined this time to keep them well pruned to preserve the traffic sightlines. Would that I could remove them; I fear we would hit the electrical line for the lamp post if we dug that deep.
Escallonia coming back
A stop at the Cottage Bakery for tiger paws figured into our schedule. They pastries were eaten in haste on the way to do two short but effective projects at the Anchorage Cottages.
Anchorage courtyard sweet pea trellis
Allan built the string and bamboo sweet pea trellis in the office courtyard. While he did that, I tackled some pruning. Manager Beth had spoken of perhaps having a tree removed from the southeast corner of the resort. I had pointed out that without the tree, the lawn area and cottages would lose a sense of enclosure and we would be able to see right through to cars passing on the main street, a block away. She agreed (because she is agreeable) to just let me limb it up.
tree before and after, with pile of branches behind
done with these quiet tools (rechargable electric Makita chain saw, very quiet)
It all went well except when the chainsaw got stuck and I needed some help getting it out of a pinching branch. (I had gotten cocky and not cut the branch further out to take the weight off.)
Anchorage: some hosta spears saying “Spring!”
We had to leave the pile of tree boughs behind because our trailer had a large item in it to deliver to our friend J9’s new home. On the way, we put in a couple of hours of work at Andersen’s RV Park: planting more sweet peas and weeding couch grass out of a bed so I could plant California poppies.
now weeded and planted with California poppies
looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)
Andersen’s: Muscari latifolium
At last, we made our delivery to J9: a rebuilt and strengthened two tiered platform for her cat Buddy to climb to the cat door. I briefly walked around and further admired her darling new place.
all moved in!
on the back porch
J9 and Buddy
We took a different road out of her Tides West neighbourhood. I made Allan back up after we had driven past a compound (two houses) so cute that I had to have a photo. He took it from the driver’s seat so it does not show very well the detail of the staggered shakes decorating the top part of the houses. I will be watching this promising place to see what the garden looks like in summer.
so very cute!
The evening chill had come on at home and I was draggin’ leg so did not plant any more sweet peas. Maybe tomorrow.
This is about all I saw of my garden at home. Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi, backed with Nora’s house
That cardamine is a delight. It’s in the same family as shotweed but so much nicer. You’ll also see much of the irksome shotweed in our garden.
I had one big plan for the evening, if only we had gotten home sooner. For my birthday, J9 gave me a vintage mirror that she thought I would put in the garden. I decided it had to go in the house. It will reflect the dining room table, so if only I could clear all the papers and other detritus and put a nice bouquet of flowers there (and keep it that way!), I’d have a wonderful picture. Didn’t happen, so here’s a smaller view.
In the mail a few days ago, I got another birthday present from my old friend Shaz, who well knows my fondness for Mary Engelbreit and for little boxes. A former Peninsulite and garden client, Shaz talks of visiting here from her Oregon home this year, and I think of her so often….I hope we don’t let life go by without a visit in either direction.
a little box from a much loved friend
Speaking of birthdays, we want to wish a very happy one to Garden Tour Nancy’s husband Phil, an architect and a food-gatherer extraordinaire. Nancy texted me this photo of him getting oysters on the shores of Willapa Bay during that cold windy day we had last Friday.
Happy birthday, Phil!
Tomorrow I think we will finally get to that one private garden that has not yet seen a glimpse of us this year.
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