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Posts Tagged ‘Bolstadt beach approach garden’

Thursday, 22 June 2017

I’ll get my initial 25 mph wind complaint out of the way right here at the beginning, and get back to more fervent complaining at the end.

First, a watering of all the container plants at home.  I still don’t have the patio area tidied and arranged and it is almost July!

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As we drove off to work, we saw that Dave and Melissa were working on a former garden we had created several years ago.  We quit because of…reasons.  I wouldn’t say it bothered me to see that garden fill with weeds; however, for the sake of the remaining good plants, I was glad to see them working on it.

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Sea Star Gardening doing a great job releasing plants from weedy smothering.

Long Beach

We weeded and tidied at the welcome sign and made sure the water was on, because the temperature for this weekend is predicted to be 90 degrees.  (I’m going to complain about that for sure.)

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Welcome sign…seems lacking without the high maintenance Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ that I decided to forgo this year. Also, no one had echibeckia available. Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ is not making a good background show at all.

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I hope the cosmos get taller soon.  Must remind self many plants have been slowed this year by cold weather.

Despite the wind, our next project was to start a methodical end to end weeding of the beach approach.  We’ve been jumping around to the sections that need mulch the most.  Today, I did not think we had time to get mulch from the works yard, so weeding took priority. (All Allan’s photos:)

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starting at the west end

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sand and clover

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These big flat yellow clovers are satisfying to pull because they come out easily on one main stems and clear a big area when gone.  (Allan’s photo)

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After: We got two out of 12.5  sections done, with probably another whole section or more done earlier this week in mulched areas further on.  Only took 1 1/2 of hours for two sections, compared to about 3 hours (meaning 6 with two people) per section on the initial spring weeding. (Allan’s photo)

My goal is to get through the whole garden by July 4th and then to do the complete mulching of all low and/or open areas by mid July’s Sandsations event.  The garden will be a little wild but will, I hope, not have tall weed grasses or vetch all through the roses.

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after

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passersby

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We usually eat lunch by holding a peanut butter sandwich with one hand and taking bites while weeding with another hand.  Often I forget to eat lunch at all. Today we rewarded ourselves for our good work with a Pink Poppy Bakery treat and coffee at Abbracci Coffee Bar by Fifth Street Park (east side).

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In the words of Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery: “It may look plain but don’t judge a bundt by it’s cover! Pecan brown sugar pound cake will remind you of Grandma’s kitchen.”

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In Abbracci Coffee Bar

Next, we weeded in Fifth Street Park.

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I had petted this friendly little doggie named Woo Woo.

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Allan weeded an annoying scrim of horsetail.

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Allan used the string trimmer to clear this area that goes behind the restroom.

Someone years ago planted “dwarf” pampas grass on the L shaped “behind the restroom” area.  It is infested with weeds. I made it clear a few years back that it was no longer our problem.  In my opinion, it needs to be totally removed…by someone younger and stronger.

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Woo Woo and her guy having lunch from Captain Bob’s Chowder. (Allan’s photo)

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Northwest corner before weeding horsetail and trimming stems that had gone cattywampus in the wind. Forgot to take an after.

With the park pretty thoroughly weeded, we set out on our watering walkabout.  I went north and Allan went south on Pacific Way (the main street).

Allan’s photos:

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starting at the carousel

I’m amazed that allium has not been bothered.  If they would remain unbothered, I would plant a lot more of them in the planters.  In previous years, they did not last more than a few days before being plucked.

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yellow bidens

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the recently re-done southernmost planter

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ending across the street from the carousel

my photos:

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In Fifth Street park, east side: Eryngium and starry Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.  The latter is starting to make up for its rampant, floppy foliage.

A young woman tourist stood by this Basket Case Greenhouse basket….

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and said “This is just what my baskets look like at home…” and then laughed and added, “Not so much!”  I could have said “You can get one just like that at the Basket Case on Sandridge for $29.99!”

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Looking across the street, I thought the Stormin’ Norman planter looked great…..

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…with lots of red to tone with the building.

When I got there at the end of my rounds, I found it full of chickweed and fireweed and the dangnable ornamental wire plant that we have tried to eliminate.

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Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’

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Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

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Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Because I was all out of photos for the NIVA green Facebook page, I stopped in there to take some.

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NIVA green

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I peeked into the plant section at Dennis Company and saw this list of deer resistant plants.

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I have found they do eat Astilbe and Gaura, and I am sorry, but this needs a spell check.

Ilwaco

I walked around all the planters and street tree gardens and groomed them (especially the deadheading of the older and larger Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, most of which are rocking back and forth a bit after the recent windstorm).  The wind was horrible…so cold, and so strong it was like a bully almost knocking me over at times.

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a business’s planter on First Avenue

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First Avenue window

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Allan watered and fertilized all the planters with the water trailer.

Since the last thorough go-round, a lot of big weeds had appeared.

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under one of the street trees! (Allan’s photo)

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the orange lilies someone planted in one of our planters. (Allan’s photo)

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one of my favourite tree beds blowing in the wind

A friend drove by on the way to birdwatch at the port and said “It’s late, you have to go home! I saw you can hardly walk across the street!”  I said, “I can’t; this has to be done!” And it did have to be done; we could not quit with only two thirds of the planters watered and cared for.

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old Erysimum, before

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after

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boatyard

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boatyard garden (will get plenty of weeding next week)

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picotee poppy at the end of the boatyard garden (Allan’s photo)

We finished by watering and some weeding at our post office garden, by which time we were both cold and wet and miserable and windblown and squabbling after a 9.5 hour day.

Tomorrow, I have some local weeding to do and Allan has some volunteering at the playground build project. That will make for a short work week.  We will be making up for that with many hours next week.

 

 

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Monday, 8 May 2017

I was determined to get the two scratchiest, thorniest, physically hardest jobs done today at last.

First, though, I had a couple of Nicotianas for the Ilwaco post office garden and for the Time Enough Books garden boat.

Geum ‘Mango Lassi’ in the Time Enough garden (Allan’s photo)


Ceanothus starting to bloom


a visit with bookseller Karla, someone who agrees with us about the world’s problems.


my good friend Scout


good reading

Long Beach

Before the hard jobs, we planted some Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and a few agastaches in the planters.

Rozanne and an agastache…in


The white tulips lasted through the weekend!


planting

Then, the harder work began. I finished weeding the third parking lot berm while Allan used the string trimmer on the middle berm, which is almost all grass.

Look, the information booth that was parked there is gone!


Our Kathleen stopped by for a chat. World problems discussed.


weeding whilst chatting; she had just come from Abbraccio Coffee Bar

Our Kathleen is here on vacation; she is usually not a weekday lady of leisure.

later

Allan’s middle berm project, before:

You can imagine after, like a mowed lawn.

After a brief moment of rejoicing at the berms being done for now, we headed out to weed the very worst section of the beach approach garden.  This called for a handful of wake up beans.

wake up beans=chocolate covered coffee beans


Allan’s photo


The worst section, full of a swamp rush that defeats us.


huge clovers (Allan’s photo)


weeds along the sidewalk edge, before…


and being dealt with (Allan’s photos)


after….


Still grassy. Nature wins this battle every time.


Other sections have clear areas and not the horrible running rush (the one I call tube grass).

I can only think there was a swamp under that one section and all those roots were lying in wait.  It’s the only section that is so daunting.

We weeded grasses down the street side of three other sections that we had not completed on our last beach approach workday.

before


after


before


a tidier edge (Allan’s photos)

And we could finally take the celebratory photo of the arch to signify that all the approach garden had had its first spring weeding.

As we finished, two women cyclists arrived from the west and took photos of each other under the sign.  They told us they had not ridden a bike in 20 years, and that they had just turned 62.  At age 17, they had come to Long Beach together with fake IDs for a wild weekend, and for this birthday, they came to recreate their long ago journey.  The longterm friendship reminded me of my friend Montana Mary, with whom I will celebrate (perhaps long distance) a 50 year friendship anniversary this September.

At home: some glorious erasing from the work board.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

At the post office, on our way to work, Allan found a note in our box asking him to talk to the postmaster.  A postal patron had urgently needed to know the identification of a plant “that looks like a coleus”.

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Here it is: a greigii tulip.

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The foliage is as great as the flower to come.

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I realized it was time to apply some sluggo.

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Ilwaco City Hall ready for St Patrick’s Day

Long Beach

We hoped to accomplish two tasks on the project list today.  The first was pruning and weeding the five roses in the back of Coulter Park.  They are exceedingly difficult because of weeds, including salmonberry, coming under the fence.  The neighbouring house has but a tiny strip between house and fence that would be almost impossible for the homeowner to maintain, and in that strip dwell salmonberries, blackberries, and birds-foot trefoil that long to join up with the roses.

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the dreaded rose bed, before

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south side of park with pieris

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Pieris and Ribes (flowering currant)

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There was another ribes in that gap that turned up its toes a few years ago, as ribes are wont to do.

Allan trimmed up in the garden next to the old train depot.

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before

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after trimming sword fern

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rose bed; line cut with half moon edger (Allan’s photo)

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I was inspired to do two lines of half moon edging.

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after

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a pretty patch of primroses

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One dead rhododendron (azalea) has thrown this old threesome off balance.

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one of the two good rhodos (Allan’s photo)

We had two cold and windy squalls of heavy rain pass through; we sat them out in the van to avoid getting drenched and miserable.  (During the second one, we went to the Great Escape espresso drive through for invigorating sustenance.)

To add to our load of debris, we decided to do a bit of pruning on an escallonia at city hall.

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city hall, west side

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before (Allan’s photos)

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and after

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city hall hellebore

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telephoto through the arch (Allan’s photo)

We dumped our debris at city works and filled up all our buckets with Soil Energy mulch.  (The crew had got us a pile from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)

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a pile of riches

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first load 

On the Bolstad approach, we filled up the lower spots in the planters.

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before

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after

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looking east

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not a good day for a picnic

And we added some mulch to city hall west side garden.

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city hall after pruning, lily bulb planting, weeding, mulching

The last five buckets went into Fifth Street Park.  Yesterday, drenched from rain, we had left behind a messy patch of sorrel:

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yesterday

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today

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mulched

A lily bulb had worked its way to the top of the soil.  This is just one third of how big it was, after I divided it:

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Allan’s photo

We followed our first load of mulching with a break for delicious crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder.

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Captain Bob’s crab rolls

Back we went to city works to get another load of mulch.  Jackpot! I saw two good pallets on the pile.

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Thank you, Allan.

Now I need just two more for my triple compost bin.

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A red wing blackbird serenaded us.  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Full load of mulch buckets (Allan’s photo)

This load went to the big welcome sign garden.  It had gotten low after pulling out last year’s annuals and absorbs a large amount of soil.

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before

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We found loads of shotweed to pull.

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mulching carefully around bulbs

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after

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back side

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after

I am sorry to report that deer are eating the tulips along the east end of the front side.  I hope they don’t eat them all.  One of these years, we may have to give up on tulips here.

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well chomped

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So glad deer do not eat narcissi, my favourite flower

On the way home, we stopped briefly at the Depot Restaurant to pour some water on the two sheltered window boxes, and there we discovered a sad situation.

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a flattie!

The spare is weirdly located under the front seats.  Everything there had to be moved and the t-bar thingie assembled to loosen a bolt in the floor that holds the spare tire in place.

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complicated!

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underneath

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the culprit

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Fortunately, Allan had all the tools (even two jacks for extra safety).

Despite having to look at the instruction book, Allan got the tire changed in 40 minutes and we were back on our way home.  But tomorrow will be devoted to getting a the good (fairly new, now punctured) tire repaired.

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one more big  task on the workboard

When the boatyard spring clean up is done (I hope by Sunday evening), the board will be gloriously blank for a moment and will then fill up with the beach approach clean up and more.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

at home

Rain and wind provided a blissful day off.

snoozy Mary

snoozy Mary

Smokey waited for me to settle down to read.  (Calvin, not Smokey, is the one who claws this chair.)

Smokey waited for me to settle down to read. (Calvin, not Smokey, is the one who claws this chair.)

I read a gripping mystery from cover to cover.

I read a gripping mystery from cover to cover.

I did not do the things I had instructed myself to do: pack for my trip and wrap Montana Mary’s birthday presents to mail on Friday.

Allan, inspired the the orange beef that Steve recently served us for lunch, made a tasty orange chicken dish.

Allan, inspired by the orange beef recently served at lunch by Steve and John, made a tasty orange chicken dish.

At the end of the day, Mary and Frosty were again snoozing together.  A new trend.

At the end of the day, Mary and Frosty were again snoozing together. A new trend.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The work list is growing.

The work list is growing, and the beach approach weeding has not even made the list yet.

After a night of inexplicable insomnia (no particular worries, just could NOT sleep well), my big plan was to get some cow fiber mulch, shop a bit at the Basket Case, mulch Mayor Mike’s garden back here in Ilwaco and then do some mulching at the port and plant poppy seeds there.  I was hoping for two easy days to close out the week.

As we were leaving Ilwaco I checked my phone messages and found I had missed one from Monday.  Yikes.  It was from Parks Manager Mike in Long Beach and the beach approach garden needed to be pruned of some branches sticking out a bit too far, not into the traffic lane, but just hanging a bit over the curb to where someone who had to swerve to the side might run into them.  The whole day’s plan got upended; we postponed the mulch pick up and headed straight to the Bolstadt beach approach.  Allan took the photos:

I got right down to pruning and Allan came behind picking up and hauling and clipping anything I missed..

I got right down to pruning and Allan came behind picking up and hauling and clipping anything I missed..  You can see behind me not that much was sticking way out.

Fortunately, mugo pine wood is soft and easy to lop.

Fortunately, mugo pine wood is soft and easy to lop.

looking west at the neatened edge

looking west at the neatened edge

Maddeningly, this job had not even made it to the work list yet, at which time, when we actually schedule it, we will remove some of the rugosa roses from along the edge.  That will last for a year or so before they creep back.

trying to do as neat a job as possible while in a frenzy.

trying to do as neat a job as possible while in a frenzy.

lots for Allan to pick up

lots for Allan to pick up

getting closer to the arch

getting closer to the arch

a trailer load of prunings

a trailer load of prunings

looking west from the arch

looking west from the arch

I was in a state of “We have way too many jobs for two people” semi-misery.  Finally, we were done; I walked to city hall, a block east, to check on the garden there while Allan picked up the last pile.

Who should I see but my neighbour, Rudder!  (His people, of Starvation Alley Farms, have their business HQ by the arch.)

Who should I see but my neighbour, Rudder! (His people, of Starvation Alley Farms, have their business HQ by the arch.)

Allan's photo of Rudder

Allan’s photo of Rudder

City Hall, north side

City Hall, north side

narcissi

Narcissi and weeping love grass

Narcissi and weeping love grass

The hellebore is darkening as it ages.

The hellebore is darkening as it ages.

and a hellebore, which caused a sensation with some passersby.  "What is that plant?!"

same hellebore on Feb 14

I do love small cupped narcissi.

I do love small cupped narcissi.

Leaving the city works yard, after dumping debris, we were finally back on track for my original plan.  Near the works yard, I saw a flying bird for Mr. Tootlepedal.

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 The Planter Box

a cute driver outside the Planter Box garden center

a cute driver outside the Planter Box garden center

a lovely flowering quince

a lovely flowering quince

Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)

Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)

Raymond ready to scoop

Raymond ready to scoop

I told him there is nothing handsomer than a man with a scoop of cow manure.

I told him there is nothing handsomer than a man with a scoop of cow manure.

in the store: assorted abodes for bees

in the store: assorted abodes for bees

and some pertinent information

and some pertinent information

The Basket Case

We swung up and over Cranberry Road to get to the Basket Case, in order to pick up a few more violas for the Ilwaco and Long Beach planters and some more santolina and lavender for the port gardens.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

a shipment of clematis, passion flower, and climbing hydrangea; I got myself a Clematis viticella 'Polish Spirit'.

a shipment of clematis, passion flower, and climbing hydrangea; I got myself a Clematis viticella ‘Polish Spirit’.

Fred waits for me to make up my mind about how many more plants to buy.

Fred waits for me to make up my mind about how many more plants to buy.  Foreground: the fragrant Viola ‘Etain’  (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s Garden

We returned to Ilwaco in a big hurry to get mulch onto Mayor Mike’s garden and the port.

mulching at Mike's: Allan's photo

mulching at Mike’s: Allan’s photo

When we had weeded there a couple of weeks ago, I thought that the soil look hard and tired.

mulch being added

mulch being added

all nice now

all nice now

We had to scoop around the edges of the trailer to get mulch that was cool to the touch, and Allan hosed it down to cool it all the way.  You can’t pile hot mulch on plants without making them very unhappy.  Speaking of hot, the weather had turned warm and I was kinda miserable but did not have time to think about it much.  I knew it would be cooler when we got to the port gardens.

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

Narcissi 'Thalia', one of my favourites

Narcissi ‘Thalia’, one of my favourites.  Bulb foliage has speared an old leaf.

Mike's garden; the little table is to put a sprinkler on in summer.

Mike’s garden; the little table is to put a sprinkler on in summer.

a red pieris

a red pieris

Port of Ilwaco

By a little after four, we made it to the east end of Howerton Way at the port, a block east and a block south of Mike’s garden.

The east end bed has never gotten a nice mulching and I think it will be happier now and hold water better.  Allan took the photos of this project.

before, looking northwest

before, looking northwest

after

 

before

before

after, with me planting California poppy seeds (mixed colours) and Legion of Honour poppies down the center

after, with me planting California poppy seeds (mixed colours) and Legion of Honour poppies down the center

My dream had been to get poppy seeds planted in some of the gardens the whole length of Howerton.  I ran out of steam after planting some at the next bed that had room.  (Allan planted six santolinas and two lavenders.)

oppies

the next bed to get poppies (and last one for today): Dusky Rose, Tropical Sunset, Buttercream, Copperpot.

the next bed to get poppies (and last one for today): Dusky Rose, Tropical Sunset, Buttercream, Copperpot.

The bed is by the Loading Dock Village.

The bed is by the Loading Dock Village building

flowering pear street tree in that same bed

flowering pear street tree in that same bed

We had collected some river rock from the east end bed and now we dumped them into the rock bed by the old hotel at the west end.

more rocks to help hide the landscape fabric

more rocks to help hide the landscape fabric

Other public gardeners will recognize how dogs like to leave a deposit right on top of a plant.

Other public gardeners will recognize how dogs like to leave a deposit right on top of a plant.  (Second grass clump)

We added Viola ‘Etain’ and some more variegated lemon thyme to a few more of the city planters.  We found a cute surprise in the one by the Portside Café.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

By 6:45, we were done and even though we were tired after a difficult day, the appeal of some delicious ahi tuna at the Cove Restaurant was too hard to resist.

Cove Restaurant

the garden outside (Allan's photo)

the garden outside (Allan’s photo)

behind the counter (Allan's photo)

behind the counter (Allan’s photo)

menu

the ceremonial photography of the food (Allan's photo)

the ceremonial photography of the food (Allan’s photo)

We had dived into a caesar salad with anchovies before remembering to take a photo…

ahi

ahi tuna

bronzed scallops with lemon butter

bronzed scallops with lemon butter

I got to erase two thing: mulch Mike and mulch Port...

I got to erase two thing: mulch Mike and mulch Port…(Marylin for poppies should be Marilyn)

Tomorrow….I so hope for an easy day, but it will have to start with packaging Montana Mary’s presents (I’m a lousy wrapper; my friends are used to sloppy packaging but I do struggle each time to do better) and then finishing the poppy planting at the port….and then some tidying in Long Beach and (I hope) finishing the big popout, and then packing for a trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 13 February 2015

On the way out of Ilwaco, Allan took two photos of our planter at the post office:

Last fall we re-did this planter, taking out a big old woody lavender.

Last fall we re-did this planter, taking out a big old woody lavender.

Long Beach

I left Allan in charge of the so enjoyable job of chopping down the roses (Rugosa rose, ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’) at the police station.

south wall police station

south wall police station

While he chopped away, I walked a long block north to another project and checked a block’s worth of planters on the way.

narcissi, backed with Stormin' Norman's kite shop

narcissi, backed with Stormin’ Norman’s kite shop

The previous owner of Stormin’ Norman’s was known by that nickname long before a certain military leader rose to fame.

Cerinthe showing blue-purple colour already.

Cerinthe showing blue-purple colour already.

Diascia came through the winter and is already sizing up.

Diascia came through the winter and is already sizing up.

weeded under a street tree and admired the crocuses

weeded under a street tree and admired the crocuses

My main project was to clip and weed around the pond on the NE corner of Bolstadt and Pacific.

before

before, looking north

This is the pond that you can view on the heroncam.  Which means I was slightly aware of being on camera as I worked along the street side of the water.

before

before

Geoff, one of the Pacific Realty staff members, came to see me while I weeded.

Mr. Geoff himself

Mr. Geoff himself

snapdragons blooming in February in Pacific Realty's big south-facing windowbox

snapdragons blooming in February in Pacific Realty’s big south-facing windowbox

I filled the wheelbarrow and two buckets and started piling weeds, waiting for Allan to come with the trailer, which he did, after he had finished the police station job:

after, rugosa roses cut to the ground so they will (mostly) not hang over the sidewalk this year

police station, after, rugosa roses cut to the ground so they will (mostly) not hang over the sidewalk this year

police station garden, all tidied up (with some old, tatty blue oat grass removed as well)

police station garden, all tidied up (with some old, tatty blue oat grass removed as well)

Allan brought the lunch box and more buckets.  I dived right in to the lunch box and took three ibuprofen, as the climbing up and down on rocks to clip sword ferns was causing me considerable leg pain.  Allan joined me to do the most agile part of the pond job: going out to the waterfall area to clip sword ferns.

It would make a big splash for camera viewers if he fell in.

It would make a big splash for camera viewers if he fell in.

While he was balancing out there, our friend Charlene walked up and gave us a bag with treats!

Thanks, Charlene: instant energy!

Thanks, Charlene: instant energy! And they remind me pleasantly of Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.

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I popped into NIVA green for a few minutes, two doors up the block, to get some photos for their Facebook page.

treasures inside NIVA green

treasures inside NIVA green

Then back to sweeping and taking after photos.

after

after

I had stripped a mat of beach strawberries off the front edge to expose the original rockwork.

I had stripped a mat of beach strawberries off the front edge to expose the original rockwork, which had been covered to the edge of the sidewalk..

The pond is a thing of beauty…except for where its underwear shows.

a strip of liner shows going to the water fall

a strip of liner shows going to the water fall

and along the back edge

and along the back edge

If it were mine, I’d be trying to cover all the places where the liner shows.

Most people just enjoy it without kibitzing.

Most people just enjoy it without kvetching about the liner.

Allan had had to park a block north, so we tidied up the planters on the way.

Iris chrysographes in the planter by NIVA green

Iris chrysographes in the planter by NIVA green

I got Heather to leave her shop to admire the iris.  She had invited us to join her and two friends for dinner, and we had accepted.

green Iris, NIVA green (New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful)

green Iris, NIVA green (New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful)

our planter by the Long Beach Elks

our planter by the Long Beach Elks

by the Elks Lodge

by the Elks Lodge

Heuchera, Daphne, Narcissi

Heuchera, Daphne, Narcissi

We had a full load of debris to dump at the city works yard, where we saw two killdeer.  Friend Sheila told me they will lay eggs right in the gravel, which is rather worrisome as this is a heavily trafficked lot.

killdeer

killdeer

With the debris dumped, we still were not done.   A series of clamming days would start on Sunday, so we drove out to the Bolstadt approach to tidy the planters (me) and to cut down ornamental grasses in the long narrow garden (Allan).

looking west from the last planter, showing the end of the Long Beach boardwalk

looking west from the last planter, showing the end of the Long Beach boardwalk (and Goldie, my indispensable $1.29 garden tool)

looking east from the last beach approach planter

looking east from the last beach approach planter

In the planters, I trimmed back the santolinas...

In the planters, I trimmed back the santolinas…

like this

like this

a larger santolina, before

a larger santolina, before

and after

and after

crocus and lavender

crocus and lavender

Looking east from the end of the beach approach, I felt deeply disheartened at the thought of having to weed it sometime this spring, a job that takes us 7-8 days.

a horrible prospect

blocks and blocks of this: a horrible prospect

the stuff of nightmares

the stuff of nightmares

Here's a santolina that got all woody from not being clipped back last year.

Here’s a santolina that got all woody from not being clipped back last year.

seasonal standing water on the beach approach lawn

seasonal standing water on the beach approach lawn

We’ll wait till the garden soil is not so wet and heavy before tackling the long and painful weeding job.  Last year, we did not get to it till shockingly late in the spring season.

I recorded the day on Map My Walk:

The spur to the north was actually driving to dump at city works...so the walking was more like four miles.

The spur to the north was actually driving to dump at city works…so the walking was more like four miles.  You can see the circling round and round the pond.

satellite view

satellite view

At the end of the afternoon, we swung by Coulter Park to have a browse of the NW Artist’s Guild show.

in the old train depot building

in the old train depot building

Allan (right) picking out some cards to buy (by local artist Jean Nitzel).

Allan (right) picking out some cards to buy (by local artist Jean Nitzel).

We had happened to arrive at the opening reception...

We had happened to arrive at the opening reception…

with punch and cookies on offer.

with punch and cookies on offer.

Outside in Coulter Park, the Pieris are coming into bloom.

Outside in Coulter Park, the Pieris are coming into bloom.

Lightship Restaurant

We had but an hour’s turnaround time at home before dinner, during which I managed to compose one of the quickest blog posts ever.  We then joined NIVA green’s Heather, with her entertaining and funny Seattle friends David and Allison, at the Lightship in north Long Beach.

in the Lightship Restaurant

in the Lightship Restaurant

Allison dips the onion rings.

Allison dips the onion rings.

We lingered, talking, until only the Columbia Bar (at the other end of the building) still had customers.

Next: we wake up some north end gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 30 June 2014

We got a slightly late start for a pleasant reason. As I ate breakfast, I heard familiar voices outside. Sonya, from up on school hill, was looking over the fence with her partner and with her daughter, who was visiting for one day from California. I put on my shoes and invited them into the garden.

over the fence

over the fence

and in the garden

and in the garden

We were determined to get a few more sections done on the Bolstadt beach approach garden.

Two horses made it extra scenic when we arrived.

Two horses made it extra scenic when we arrived.

The areas we had already done looked sort of okay, certainly not wonderful.

The areas we had already done looked sort of okay, certainly not wonderful.

looking east, what remains to be done

looking east, what remains to be done, before

before, with a haze of yellow birds foot trefoil

before, with a haze of yellow birds foot trefoil

tall white field clover ( may have come in on a wildflower mix)

tall white field clover ( may have come in on a wildflower mix years ago)

Before

Before

after

after

Allan found a bird nest in the roses.

Allan found a bird nest in the roses.

I wore a cold wet bandanna on my head because the weather was hot.

I wore a cold wet bandanna on my head because the weather was hot.

That's about as far east as the weeding got.

That’s about as far east as the weeding got. I think four sections remain undone.

after

after

after

after

after

after

after

after

a lucky shot

a lucky shot

after.  The santolina, which I usually trim back in early sring, did not get trimmed this year.

after. The santolina, which I usually trim back in early sring to keep it round, did not get trimmed this year.

looking good in the evening sun

looking good in the evening sun

thinned and cut lower but did not have time to dig out the tall white clover

thinned and cut lower but did not have time to dig out the tall white clover; at least it won’t flop sideways over the street now.

I also clipped a lot of rugosa rose by the arch so that drivers coming out of the hotel and townhouse parking lots will be able to see around them. We are not going to have time to get back to this garden this week at all.

The best part of the day was when reader MaryBeth, whose frequent Facebook comments about blog entries I so much appreciate, walked by on her afternoon constitutional and stopped for a chat…the first time we had met face to face.

Later she commented on Facebook that she noticed I was limping. Here’s some foreshadowing of a a near-future event (since I am writing this about a week behind due to all the garden tour blogging): I have been having trouble with my left calf for a long time. Being somewhat doctor-phobic (somewhat?!?), I am used to just powering through pain, and I would not even have described it as pain, just chronic mid-to-end-of-day stiffness that makes it hard to lift and move that leg. I call it “draggin’ leg” or “the zombie walk”. My friend J9, whose field is occupational therapy, has commented on the problems I have walking or climbing stairs at the end of the day. It may seem strange to have not seen a doctor about it; I always figure when I go and start describing all my problems, something terrible and life-ending will be found so I would rather live in ignorant if painful bliss. (I know this is illogical.) I also have residual fear of bills from years of living close to poverty, and the habit of thinking that if I were told to ease off from work, I wouldn’t make enough money to pay my medical insurance. Times are better now…

wildlife on the beach approach as we were leaving

wildlife on the beach approach as we were leaving

IMG_1583

At the very end of the day, we planted a few plants at the Boreas Inn. (Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’…lucky Susie!…and some achillea and…something else good.

The gardens are looking full and interesting, although this photo does not get that across.

The gardens are looking full and interesting, although this photo does not get that across. I will blame the lawn being a bit long.

Eryngium 'Blue Glitter' at the Boreas....not too exciting now, but next year...

Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ at the Boreas….not too exciting now, but next year…

At home, I sat down to blog and felt a strange double SPROING behind my left knee. Ouch and double ouch! And then put it out of my mind.

In the still very warm dusk, I was blogging about garden touring (reliving a visit to one of my favourites on the Hardy Plant Study Weekend tour), when a motion on top of my rolltop desk started me. Could it be…was it, yes! a frog! How the heck did it get there?

It's leg, stretched fully out, looked strange and startling.

Its leg, stretched fully out, looked strange and startling.

Allan caught it in a jar...

Allan caught it in a jar…

and released it into one of the water boxes,

and released it into one of the water boxes,

where it found a hidey hole.

where it found a hidey spot.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

back garden, freshly mowed

back garden, freshly mowed

Fritillaria by our driveway.  A day at home was not to be.

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

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.

sweet peas

I am hoping for this again:  glorious sweet peas in 2012

this year's selection

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.

spring

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

Long Beach Carousel

Next to the carousel, a brand new gazebo to replace a weather beaten one.  I hope the interesting old photos are returned.

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

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Narcissi in the frying pan park

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.

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?

Gunnera, is there hope?  It would be a bugger to dig out the old one.

The progress of Ed's Gunnera made me suddenly very worried about mine.

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 Shop seeds

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

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

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.

seeds1

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).

whoosh!

whoosh!

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

near the boardwalk

Narcissi against beach grass

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

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

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.

Out side Dennis Co:  We'll re-do this planter after bulb time; I'm sick of the vinca.

Outside Dennis Co: We’ll re-do this planter after bulb time; I’m sick of the vinca.

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

Across the street from Dennis:  That's not a conifer, it's Hebe 'Boughton's Dome', several years old.

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

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.

courtyard sweet pea trellis

Anchorage courtyard sweet pea trellis

flowersAllan 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

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

done with these quiet tools (rechargable electric Makita chain saw, very quiet)

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!"

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

now weeded and planted with California poppies

looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)

looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)

Andersen's: Muscari latifolium

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!

all moved in!

on the back porch

on the back porch

garden relics

garden relics

J9 and Buddy

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!

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

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.

thanks, J9!

thanks, J9!

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 Shaz

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!

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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