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Posts Tagged ‘bulb hell’

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Allan briefly visited the Cranberrian Fair while I did some last minute bulb organizing.

our friend Jan Bono

We made a quick visit (with a small amount of social time) to the Boreas Inn to deliver some narcissi to innkeeper Susie G.  We hope she finds time to plant them!

some interesting growth in the Boreas entry garden

Ilwaco Community Building

We planted at the community building in hot and windy weather.  So windy paper bulb bags flew away when empty and even shifted somewhat when full.  Not pleasant.

I got Allan to move some saxifrage in a too-dry spot…

…too a shadier spot by the library entry.

Allan’s photos

The saxifrage had originally come from his mother’s garden.

Ilwaco Timberland Library entrance

Good news, per local newspapers: No library branch will be closed this year, giving the board a year to figure out their budget (and hear from concerned patrons).  Not sure about the South Bend branch, which was closed because mold was found in the unused basement.  Have been too bulb-busy to follow that story.

bags of tulips tossed out for Allan to mix and plant (Allan’s photo)

I learned slowly over the years that it works better to toss the bags out into the garden than tossing loose bulbs on the ground to roll around and get lost or hidden in bright glaring sunlight.  Works well on rainy days, too, easy to pick up bags and go home if a sudden storm comes.

the light as we finished, after 4 PM

the tiered garden in front of the Ocean Beach Alternative (high) School

autumn blooming crocus

I felt like I physically could not, and yet I did, dig deep enough to get us down to plant in the garden boat and curbside at Time Enough Books, where no photos were taken because we were so darned tired.

Getting to cross TWO things off the work list was the satisfying reward.

I then sorted bulbs from six to eight PM and was able to add some more check marks to the work list, indicating a batch being sorted.

At eight, we rolled out our back garage door and into the back door of the Nora House next door, having been invited to dinner by Alicia (Nora’s granddaughter) and Brian. They had been painting the cranberry colored trim on the house (now Alicia’s house). They had prepared delicious steaks, baked potatoes, with salad and corn.  They are night owls like us and were pleased to hear that we often dine at home at ten PM or later.

At dusk, they had been amazed to see a doe stroll out the driveway, right past them in the back patio, not scared at all.

Allan’s photo

The pleasant dinner invitation had saved me tonight from feeling that I must sort till 10 PM with my head swimming with names and numbers.  Alicia and Brian and Coco would be dream neighbors if they moved here full time…but city life is what they enjoy.

Alicia’s cat, Coco, entertained us.

Allan’s photo

 

sitting on Allan’s lap!

She is a good girl.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tomorrow, back to more daytime bulb planting and evening bulb sorting.  The clear weather cannot be missed.  Bulb Time is much easier if I get a couple of rainy days to sort all the bulbs at once.  Not this year.  This year is brain-hurting mental chaos of keeping just one step ahead on the sorting.

 

 

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

I woke at 7:30, after a mere five hours of sleep, with bulbs on my mind.  When I simply could not go back to sleep, I went outside at about 8:15 (almost unheard of!) and planted a few of my bulbs-in-waiting in the front garden where the chilly shade almost made me give up.  Instead, I moved to the back garden in the sunshine.  By the time Allan had made a nice hot breakfast (which he does on all work days, bless his heart), I had all the back garden bulbs in the ground and I asked if he would help me plant the front garden ones so I could stop losing sleep over them.  It will only take two of us about 40 minutes, said I, and it turned out to be just 45.  Total number of bulbs planted at home this autumn:  a mere 171 (more than last year’s 116).  I’d like to plant more but I run out of steam and I worry about money.  Memories of being poor are too strong to overcome the fact that I could buy more bulbs for me nowadays.

me being so happy to have help with the at-home bulbing

me being so happy to have help with the at-home bulbing


tossing out bags of bulbs in their proper planting place

tossing out bags of bulbs in their proper planting place

Just as we were finishing the planting of the front garden bulbs, the final end of season order from Colorblends arrived, so we were able to plant up the garden boat (the Ann Lovejoy) as well with 20 tulips Big Ups mix.

I got this as one slide was fading into another on the colorblends site.

I got this as one slide was fading into another on the colorblends site.

big ups

I wondered why the Colorblends catalog often does not name the bulbs in their mixes; Todd suggested that perhaps this enables them to change the mix depending on which compatible bulbs they can get a good price on each year.

The arrival of the Big Ups tulips changed our plan for the day.  Instead of doing fall clean up for Ilwaco port and town, we could possibly finish Bulb Time today!

Port of Ilwaco

I had pulled 20 narcissi from my own stash to fill in the empty spot along Howerton where some arbutus had been removed for the sake of traffic sightlines.

with my head in the game (planting narcissi)

with my head in the game (planting narcissi); looking west on Howerton


Allan planted these clusters in the formerly shrubby area

Allan planted these clusters in the formerly shrubby area

 On the way to our next job, we witnessed the Port of Ilwaco crew working on the Crab Pot Christmas Tree.

Allan's photo: The tree has gotten much too big to build with just human power now.

Allan’s photo: The tree has gotten much too big to build with just human power now.

Ilwaco Community Building

Allan had helped me plant my bulbs, so I helped him plant the last of the bulbs at the Ilwaco Community Building (his job).  The difference is, I will get paid by his client.  His reward is just me having a lower stress level.

the last of the leaves at the community building

the last of the leaves at the community building

As we planted narcissi, some tulips (in an area inaccessible to deer), some crocus and pushkinia and iris reticulata, a library patron said that the garden there looked so much better since we had taken it over.  I gave all the credit to Allan.

Speaking of compliments, last week someone told me she had taken a guest to walk along the curbside gardens at the port (going to the shops and galleries) and he had commented on how tidy and well tended they are.

Allan's photo: He, or we, may emerge from staycation to mulch the community building garden which badly needs it.

Allan’s photo: He, or we, may emerge from staycation to mulch the community building garden which badly needs it.  (needs weeding, too; he’s been too busy bulbing)


Allan's photo: the really horrible soil under the new sign

Allan’s photo: the really horrible soil under the new sign

Long Beach City Hall

On the way north, I planted some hyacinths in the narrow raised bed along the city hall entryway.  They will be at a good height for smelling.  We both worked on finishing the fall clean up and clipping at city hall, thus being able to cross two things off of the work list (the dregs of the LB bulbs and the city hall cleanup).

city hall entry ramp garden (Allan's photo)

city hall entry ramp garden (Allan’s photo)

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Geranium 'Rozanne' still blooming. Allan was shocked when I clipped it, but I knew the first frost will bring it down.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ still blooming, west side of city hall. Allan was shocked when I clipped it, but I knew the first frost will bring it down.  (Allan’s photo)


hebe blooming (Allan's photo)

hebe blooming (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photos: city hall, south end of west wall, before

Allan’s photos: city hall, south end of west wall, before


after Allan clipping the Rozanne

after Allan clipped the Rozanne


wish I had gotten the whole "Ocean Beach Boulevard" sign...was not trying to. west side city hall

west side of city hall; I wish I had gotten the whole “Ocean Beach Boulevard” sign…was not trying to. 


dumping debris at city works

dumping debris at city works

After dumping our debris, we went on to the last of the 2015 bulb jobs at…

Golden Sands Assisted Living

Golden Sands: in the courtyard, four quadrants of flowers

Golden Sands: in the courtyard, four quadrants of flowers

Each of the four garden quadrants in the center courtyard got 20 Big Ups tulips and a few others.  I have a tiny budget there.  While I’d like to have way more tulips in this deer protected garden, at least next spring there should be a bigger show than usual.

view while bulbing in the courtyard

view while bulbing in the courtyard


the last bulb job of 2015

the last bulb job of 2015


So very tired of planting bulbs!

So very tired of planting bulbs!

The newly cleared (of old siberian iris) triangle by the dining room door got some special bulbs: viridflora (green) tulips, some species tulips and narcissi, and a cluster of snowdrops.

dining room pocket garden

dining room pocket garden


with Junco close up

with Junco close up (there had been many in there eating fallen bird seed but most flew away when I raised the camera.)


cyclamen donated by Our Kathleen

cyclamen donated by Our Kathleen

We did as much fall clean up as we will do this year; thinning pesky plants can wait till next February.

Each of the four quadrants presents a different challenge.

The SW quadrant

The SW quadrant


SW quadrant problem: beach strawberry and creeping buttercup invading from the back

SW quadrant problem: beach strawberry and creeping buttercup invading from the back


SE quadrant: the most problematical

SE quadrant: the most problematical


SW: too much cranesbill geranium, and an infestation of big horsetail

SW: too much cranesbill geranium, and an infestation of big horsetail from the back corner of the courtyard…It is marching, marching, marching.


invasion of weedy grass, beach strawberry, and creeping sorrel climbing over the edging board.

SE: invasion of weedy grass, beach strawberry, and creeping sorrel climbing over the edging board.

The outer areas of the courtyard landscape are in some areas sort of a wasteland that Allan hits with a string trimmer but that we don’t have time to maintain otherwise.

more SE quadrant mess: too much blue scabiosa and (sadly) too much Sweet William.

more SE quadrant mess: too much blue scabiosa and (sadly) too much Sweet William.  The scabiosa MUST be thinned or eradicated.


A pink cranesbill geranium in one of the original pocket gardens would love to take over the SE quadrant completely.

A pink cranesbill geranium in one of the original pocket gardens would love to take over the SE quadrant completely.

The four quadrant gardens used to be scrubby, weedy lawn, and the only flower areas were the four little triangular pockets, two at each entry.

the NE quadrant

the NE quadrant

As I was trimming down the euonymus in front of the window of my mom’s old room, I saw it had been vacated. 

the Euonymus in question (Allan's photo)

the Euonymus in question (Allan’s photo)

(Note:  Don’t plant shrubs that want to be huge in front of windows.  Why this was done is beyond me, as the fire department wants the shrubs at sill height, and the residents would like to see out!)  I inquired and was relieved to learn that the latest resident of my mom’s room had moved to Seattle to be closer to family.

Biggest problem with the NE quadrant: Getting rid of the damnable pesky running salal behind the garden, as it constantly wants to invade from the back.

Biggest problem with the NE quadrant: Getting rid of the damnable pesky running salal behind the garden, as it constantly wants to invade from the back.


NW quadrant has gone from worst of all to the most problem free.

NW quadrant has gone from worst of all to the most problem free.

I pruned the poor, oversized Ceanothus outside the quadrants some more, taking some off the top so the resident behind it can see the courtyard.

Don't tell Plant Amnesty about my ugly pruning. Note the yellow rose blooming in the background.

Don’t tell Plant Amnesty about my ugly pruning. Note the yellow rose blooming in the background.  I will likely cut the ceanothus to the ground next spring.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


leaving Golden Sands at dusk

leaving Golden Sands at dusk

Ilwaco 

We checked on the crab pot tree progress.  It is all put together and ready to be decorated.

crab pot tree, real tree

crab pot tree, real tree at 5 PM

Allan’s photos by the crab pot tree:

DSC00083

a half moon ornament

a moon tree topper


boat heading for the river

boat heading for the river

at home

These housemates of ours had apparently not moved all day.

These housemates of ours had apparently not moved all day.


the rapidly thinning work board!

the rapidly thinning work board!

Bulb planting is completely gone from the work board, and from the fall clean up list I removed City Hall and Golden Sands.  With 20 degree weather due on Thanksgiving, we may even get to do the post-frost checkups before the end of the month and then will officially be on staycation.

The 2015 bulb total of 3,374 is much less than 2014’s 5,121 bulbs planted, mostly because Flowering Hedge Design and Sea Star Gardening (Dave and Melissa) have two of our former big big big bulbing jobs, and Todd and Sea Star have a couple of our former medium sized bulbing jobs.  Thank heavens above!

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

I woke at the shocking hour of 7:30 to unexpected sunny weather, and fretted for an hour about how we should go to work.  However, if I woke Allan up early, that would not be fair, especially because he might someday have morning insomnia and want me to go to work early.  I don’t want to set a precedent.  So I bided my time and lost sleep worrying over Bulb Time and unpredictable weather.

When we were ready, we began work at…

Mike’s garden

…just a couple of blocks to the east.  I had a smallish batch of green and white tulips, white narcissi, and alliums for his green, white, blue, and pink themed garden.

I suddenly thought how cool it would be to have Allium albopilosum’s starry round globes in between the little boxwoods.  I did not have enough for every one so tried every other one, every now and then, to see how it will look.  We will return for a day of fall clean up as soon as Bulb Time is over.

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

Mike's Verbena bonariensis still blooming

Mike’s Verbena bonariensis still blooming

As we were leaving Mike’s, we heard a long rumble of ominous thunder.  No!!  The weather forecasts had all called for a day with just slight showers.  A torrential rain began and changed my mind about finishing the bulb planting at the port.

11:30: optimistically heading north at the Ilwaco stoplight.

11:30 AM: optimistically heading north at the Ilwaco stoplight.

Long Beach

Doing some Bulb Thinking last evening, I had remembered that I like to plant some along the strip to the north side of the Frying Pan park.  Fortunately, I had two bags of tulips (Fantasy and Virichic) left over from the planters, so I figured we could use the rain storm time to drive up there, wait for it to break, get the bulbs in….  We got a perfect parking space but just had to sit, and wait, and wait, and wait for the intense rain to stop dumping.  I know some friends who would suit up and be out in it, and once upon a time that would have been me.  Now, we waited.

11:38: Parked and waiting by the Frying Pan park in Long Beach.

11:38: Parked and waiting by the Frying Pan park in Long Beach.

11:47: the downspout catch basin started backflowing water.

11:47: the downspout catch basin started backflowing water.

the garden I want to be planting in, behind a post that is showing effects of weather.

the garden I want to be planting in, behind a post that is showing effects of weather.

11:55: My weather sense tells me the sky is lightening.

11:55: My weather sense tells me the sky is lightening.

noon: Is that blue sky coming or is it just a "sucker hole"?

noon: Is that blue sky coming or is it just a “sucker hole”?

Allan's photo: This bucket in the trailer had been empty of water when we left Ilwaco.

Allan’s photo: This bucket in the trailer had been empty of water when we left Ilwaco.

We started to plant in light rain at noon.  At least the blinding waterfall effect had stopped.  It did not take long to pull three sopping wet large cosmos (two of them the annoyingly tall ones with no flower buds at all) and get about 30 bulbs into the sodden ground.  Finally the rain truly stopped.

The Anchorage Cottages

I had a pleasant and intricate bulbing project at the Anchorage, so I placed out all the bulbs for the garden and planters for Allan to deal with, and then got to work on the window box liners.

Allan's photo: removing the two plastic window box liners of annuals from each window box.

Allan’s photo: He removed the two plastic window box liners of annuals from each window box.

I was not sure how well the bulbs would have fared over the summer in the matching plastic liners that had been summering in neglect behind the building, so I dumped them on a tarp in the trailer to check the contents.

trailer work space

trailer work space

These two mismatched, bigger liners are so bothersome that I won't use them again.

These two mismatched, bigger liners are so bothersome that I won’t use them again.

The others are so tiny that they are just silly, because the wood window box enclosures are tiny, too.

The others are so tiny that they are just silly, because the wood window box enclosures are tiny, too. The old annuals from the summer liners will end up in my debris pile at home.

Rather to my surprise, most of the bulbs were ok despite the lack of room.  The iris reticulata has rotted away just leaving papery husks; species tulips, narcissi, and crocus, and a few fritillaria meleagris were fine.

I added an assortment of new tiny bulbs and then replanted all the extra old ones in the pots all around the courtyards, to enhance the large tulips that Allan had just planted.

The empty plastic liners will be stored till next May and then replanted with annuals, when the bulb liners will go behind the office again for the summer.  Next November, I will have faith that the bulbs survived and won’t bother to replant them for a couple of years.

new liners in: Allan's photo

new liners, stuffed full of small spring bulbs, in place: Allan’s photo

window boxes done; I'd brought some red twig dogwood for decorations....

window boxes done; I’d brought some red twig dogwood for decorations….

and added some Escallonia 'Iveyi' cuttings for temporary decorations.

and added some Escallonia ‘Iveyi’ cuttings for temporary decorations.

center courtyard, with narcissi and alliums planted and bulbs added to the pots.

center courtyard, with narcissi and alliums planted and bulbs added to the pots.

The Red Barn

We had some little tulips and narcissi to add to the six barrels, and some tall narcissi to plant along the fence.  I found one particular horse to be extra friendly today.

my new friend

my new friend

DSC01609

DSC01607

Diane’s garden

We did not plant any new bulbs in the narrow long strip of roadside garden this year because it is possibly going to be removed due to a septic project.

before

before: cosmos ready to go and bulb bags set on the lawn to go next to the house

after

after

no new bulbs along here this year

no new bulbs along here this year

We may have to come out of staycation for a day to dig up that strip of plants and heal them into a pile of soil till the project is done…not sure when or if it will happen.

lots of bulbs tucked into these back yard pots....need a frost to take down all the annuals!

lots of bulbs tucked into these back yard pots….need a frost to take down all the annuals!

almost sunset, looking back to the Red Barn and its annex

almost sunset, looking back to the Red Barn and its annex

at home

I was thrilled to see my Acanthus sennii has flower buds!  You can read all about this painfully irresistible plant over on Danger Garden.

mid November garden

mid November garden

Acanthus sennii (it WILL hurt you)

Acanthus sennii (it WILL hurt you)

Only five bulbings left. I had forgotten to add mine and Golden Sands to the list until tonight.

Only five bulbings left. I had forgotten to add mine and Golden Sands to the list until tonight. And the Port is almost done, just a few more..

I decided we deserved a reward for not giving up during that rain storm.

The Depot Restaurant

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

burger and sweet potato fries (Allan's photo)

Burger Night!!  burger and sweet potato fries (Allan’s photo)

This beer from local North Jetty Brewery is made with a touch of Starvation Alley organic cranberries.

This beer from local North Jetty Brewery is made with a touch of Starvation Alley organic cranberries.

tart and deliciously flavorful

tart and deliciously flavorful

The bar stools at the Depot are unusually comfortable and provide an interesting view of the bustling about of the staff.

The bar stools at the Depot are unusually comfortable and provide an interesting view of the bustling about of the staff.

a seasonal turkey somehow made of an old broom

a seasonal turkey somehow made of an old broom

Now, the question is will the big rain finally come, or will we get one more day of bulb planting first?  The outlook:

…SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL POSSIBLE THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH THE FIRST
HALF OF THE WEEKEND…

SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IS LOOKING INCREASINGLY POSSIBLE BEGINNING
LATE THURSDAY ON THE SOUTH WASHINGTON AND FAR NORTH OREGON
COAST…SLOWLY MOVING SOUTHWARD THROUGH NORTHWEST OREGON THROUGH
SATURDAY.

 

My friend Jackie, amateur meteorologist, has this to say:
forecast Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.55.47 PM
One way or another, it will be a bulbing day, either planting the last work batches OR typing out bulb spreadsheets.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I decided to devote the whole day to planting the Long Beach tree and planter bulbs.  While it would have been gratifying to finish the port bulbs, saving the last of those for a possible stormy day is better because if there’s a brief clear interlude we can dash right out to those gardens.

We optimisitically packed the Anchorage bulbs also.  Even though we did not get there, I still give us full marks for bulbing excellence as it is rare to be able to get all the LB bulbs planted in one day.  To back off a bit on tootling our own horn, we did plant fewer bulbs than usual in each Long Beach planter, simply because they now have many crocuses and species narcissi that reliably return (I hope!).  And this time I did not even bother to plant tulips in the six planters by the 3rd Street deer corridor and deer recreational field, as for the last two years those tulips have been well chomped.

By First Place Mall: still floriferous on November 10th.

By First Place Mall: still floriferous on November 10th.  Parsley used as ornamental, to the right.

I had sorted, and microsorted, and thought ever so hard about what to plant where, and labelled each bag.  With the new plan of not putting tulips in the deer-iest planters, I had changed my method of planning for every single planter.  I realized after the first block that I had completely forgotten to sort for the four planters at the police station intersection!  Fortunately, after another block of fretting and almost going home for another bag of bulbs, I remembered that I had packed one extra bag just in case I had messed up.  Between that and two packs of tulips purchased at Dennis Company, today’s completion of the planter project was saved.

Fifth Street: How I love my asphodel, of which I have only one. I want many more. It is good in flower and also just in foliage.

Fifth Street: How I love my Asphodeline lutea, of which I have only one. I want many more. It is good in flower and also just in foliage.

Asphodel going strong in Fifth Street Park

Asphodeline going strong in Fifth Street Park, 4 May 2015

Asphodeline (which I wish I had more of) and drummers

Asphodeline (which I wish I had more of) and drummers, 4 May 2014

Asphodel about to bloom...wish I had more of these.

Asphodeline about to bloom again…23 October 2013

In a planter by the park, the Asphodeline was thwarted in its attempt to bloom.

The Asphodeline  thwarted in its attempt to bloom: 28 December 2013, after a frost

thrilling, and possibly because the first stalk got frozen.

thrillingly blooming in March 2014.

Enough reminiscing about the glories of asphodeline.  I just wish someone around here had it for sale.

planting bulbs in the asphodeline planter

planting bulbs in the asphodeline’s planter  (Allan’s photo)

The carousel is all gone now; Allan planting in front of the framework

The carousel is all gone now; Allan planting in front of the framework

California poppies in the Hungry Harbor planter

California poppies in the Hungry Harbor planter

Charming gift shop, The Wooden Horse

Charming gift shop, The Wooden Horse

a startling sight at Scoopers

a startling sight at Scoopers

The small front building, which has been an espresso vendor (I think) and the Mexi-Go! food window, is being torn down.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

in the window of my favourite shop, NIVA green

in the window of my favourite shop, NIVA green

NIVA green is closed on Tuesdays. (Allan's photo)

NIVA green is closed on Tuesdays. (Allan’s photo)

chrysanthemums almost over

chrysanthemums almost over

getting windier

getting windier

I chopped off my bangs again with the garden shears today.

Chrysanthemums and hardy fuchsias by the stoplight

Chrysanthemums and hardy fuchsias by the stoplight

By Stormin' Norman's

By Stormin’ Norman’s

The Muehlenbeckia complexa in the Stormin’ Norman’s planter is starting to work my nerves as it buries all other plants.  I had to pull out three still blooming cosmos to find a place to plant some tulips.  I thought the wire vine was a cute little house plant that would last one season, not swallow the world.  Monrovia says it’s a “moderate grower to 2 to 4 in. tall, spreading to 30 in.”  Also…zone 6-9 so well able to withstand our winters.  Danger Garden has this post about its thuggish ways.  Because it roots all along the stems, it is taking over this planter, and yet it does look so charming trailing to the ground.  Perhaps I can manage it better, or perhaps we will dig out this planter and start over.

DEFINITELY digging out this planter next spring, just before annuals planting time

DEFINITELY digging out this planter next spring, just before annuals planting time

I am tired of planting bulbs in the recurring root mass of the plain running blue hardy geranium that dates back to volunteer planter days in the planter above.  (When the planters were first installed, different volunteers did each one, and often quickly lost interest.  That is why some of them have such thugs and oversized plants, although I have no one but myself to blame for that wire vine just up the block.)

In the background, above photo, you can see the peachy pink and so tempting Kabob House; we did not have time to eat there today.

The city crew were busy putting up holiday lights including some new pieces.

by the gazebo

by the gazebo (Allan’s photo)

That's Parks Manager Mike on the right! (Allan's photo)

That’s Parks Manager Mike on the right! (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, stake driving to protect the light structure from toppling in wind

The crew has to start putting up decorations early, because they have so very many, including lights wrapped around each lamp post and illuminated stars where the small flags fly in summer.

Othanna's not so great flowers. Another plant I want more of.

Othanna’s not so great flowers. Another plant I want more of.

lots of flowers in the Lewis and Clark Square planter

lots of flowers in the Lewis and Clark Square planter

I may have planted enough Allium albopilosum in the L&C Square planter that some might survive despite finger blighters. Across the street, you can see the holiday lights thing that the city crew put in place.

With all the main street planters done by 4 PM, we were able to plant assorted bulbs in the Veterans Field gardens, after pulling some still blooming cosmos that was too much in the way.  The sky turned dark and we felt a few drops of rain and I feared, as I walked back to the main street to add a few species tulips to a planter, that we would be caught in a downpour.

I was changing the tulip plan because I had seen a pile of deer poop on the lawn in Veterans Field, boding ill for tulips in that garden.  I still planted some green and white ones in the curved garden by the flags.  Hoping for mercy.  The viridiflora green and white tulips would look so sweet when the kids have their Easter Egg hunt, if they happen to bloom at the right time and not get chomped.

As I crossed the street, the sky put on a dramatic show.

As I crossed the street, the sky put on a dramatic show.

The rain did not materialize although the wind kicked up considerably, and the sky lightened again, making the work easier.

To finish up, we planted some species tulips and narcissi in the newly redone two planters at the east end of Sid Snyder beach approach road, as the sun set.

The last of the Long Beach bulbs and some poppy seeds (Allan's photo)

The last of the Long Beach bulbs and some poppy seeds (Allan’s photo)

(There is still a chance I might buy a few more end of season sale bulbs so I can’t guarantee this is the very last bulb to be planted in Long Beach this year.)

sunset over Adrift Hotel

sunset over Adrift Hotel

Just as we got in the van, the predicted rain storm (said to be a big one lasting for the next day or more) arrived, and the holiday lights lit up in the planter we had just worked on.  (Only this one planter’s lights came on; the city will be waiting till closer to Thanksgiving to start its holiday lights extravaganza.)

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I am so proud of us.  I was able to erase Long Beach from the work board and we now have only six small-ish bulb plantings to do and could finish easily in two days…when the weather breaks.  And then…pure fall clean up of each garden.  And then…staycation (and a blog that will be random rather than daily).

Bulb time is much shorter this year as two of our biggest bulb jobs of years past are now in the capable hands of other gardeners (Flowering Hedge Designs at Erin’s garden and Sea Star Gardening (Dave and Melissa) at Casa Pacifica).

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You can see that a fall project has appeared in the lower left.

Bulb planting with the intensity of today’s work leads to conflict and argy bargy.  I had bought Allan the perfect candy bar at Dennis Company.  He still had it in the lunch box when we got home.

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We had tested out that solar jar from the Planter Box by putting it in the greenhouse all day.  It had charged up and created a delightful effect out in the garden:

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo: Would be interesting with clear marbles inside.

Allan’s photo: Would be interesting with clear marbles inside.

Unfortunately, rain and wind (audible outside as I write this) will not mean a lovely reading day as I have hours of bulb spread sheets to create.  That it a task I actually enjoy although not as much as diving into my pile of Elinor Lipman, Lena Dunham, and Stephen McCauley library books, optimistically ordered two weeks ago and rapidly approaching being overdue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 9 November 2015

As predicted, the weather was fine.  Our first work stop was the Planter Box for potting soil and some more bulbs; I had run short of narcissi for the boatyard garden.

a good selection of bulbs at The Planter Box

a good selection of bulbs at The Planter Box

I got myself some paperwhites.

I got myself some paperwhites.

Teresa at the Planter Box (Allan's photo)

Teresa at the Planter Box (Allan’s photo)

We are going to try out one of these solar jars.

We are going to try out one of these solar jars.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

"Plant 'em all through there" (Allan's photo, obviously)

The A Frame garden:  “Plant ’em all through there” (Allan’s photo, obviously)

This time, I just piled all the tall narcissi and let Allan arrange them.

This time, I just piled all the tall narcissi and let Allan arrange them.

Meanwhile, I planted bulbs in Mary and Denny’s garden.

Bella

Bella

Bella basking in attention

Bella basking in attention

after planting many the bulb

after planting many the bulb

blueberry foliage and agapanthus seedheads

blueberry foliage and agapanthus seedheads

hardy fuchsias

hardy fuchsias

Hydrangea 'Izu No Hana'

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

blueberries, agapanthus, Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant'

blueberries, agapanthus, Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’

Iris foetidissima

Iris foetidissima

big cosmos flopped over and blooming sideways

big cosmos flopped over and blooming sideways

I pulled it because frost will perhaps soon take it down.

I pulled it because frost will perhaps soon take it down.

(That big grass needs to be moved… but where?)

I was pleased at how fast we got done (two hours!) and that we had time to plant the bulbs at our furthest north job.  On the way, I photographed this newly painted house which I simply love.

darling house in Ocean Park

darling house in Ocean Park

I think a soulmate must live here.

I think a soulmate must live here.

Marilyn’s garden

had insomnia...needed wake up beans.

had insomnia…too many bulb thoughts…needed wake up beans. (dark chocolate covered coffee beans, from the Cash and Carry in Warrenton, Oregon)

view northwest from the back porch steps

view northwest from the back porch steps

planted lots of bulbs in the newly cleared former montbretia area, left, will give good view from kitchen table window

planted lots of bulbs in the newly cleared former montbretia area, left, will give good view from kitchen table window

I concentrate the bulbs here where they can easily be seen from the windows or when getting out of a car in the driveway.

We even had time for some fall clean up.  While we leave this garden pretty wild for the pleasure of birds and critters, trimming some plants lets light in to the bulbs lurking underground from previous plantings.

Allan cut down a big Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', revealing the fall foliage of a virburnum.

Allan cut down a big Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, revealing the fall foliage of a virburnum.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photo: before cutting another blackened Helianthus.

I don’t remember ever noticing a Zebra Grass putting up a big clump of new growth in the center of flopped open stems.

Miscanthus 'Zebrinus'

Miscanthus ‘Zebrinus’ and Miscanthus variegatus.

I decided to trim them to the new fresh center growth.

before

before

after (sort of)

during (Allan’s photo)

during (Allan's photo)

during (Allan’s photo)

after: fabulous!

after: fabulous!

although now we have a trailerload of debris to deal with...

although now we have a trailerload of debris to deal with…

Marilyn's from the road, after sunset

Marilyn’s from the road, after sunset

It was glorious to get so much done and I was well chuffed with our bulb planting accomplishment.  All the batches of bulbs we put in today were big ones, making a big dent in Bulb Time.

We drove south down Sandridge Road past the beautiful sight, in the dusk, of banks of fog floating over pastures.

taken from moving van...just so I remember...lovely low white banks of fog over grassy field

taken from moving van…just so I remember…lovely low white banks of fog over grassy fields

at home

Mary and Smokey were too comfy to wake up to greet me.

Mary and Smokey were too comfy to wake up to greet me.

cute from every angle:

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Smokey in his BirdsBeSafe collar; Mary is not a bird chaser.

Smokey in his BirdsBeSafe collar; Mary is not a bird chaser.

son and mother

son and mother

I micro-sorted the bulbs for the Long Beach planters to make it easier on planting day (which might be tomorrow) and a good thing, too, as I had already sort of forgotten my plan and was able to refine it.  Allan provided snacks:

from the Ilwaco Saturday Market and good with cheese and crackers (Allan's photo)

from the Ilwaco Saturday Market and good with cheese and crackers (Allan’s photo)

The bulb planting list (left) is getting shorter, while the fall clean up list (right) remains the same....

The bulb planting list (left) is getting shorter, while the fall clean up list (right) remains the same….

A storm is due on Wednesday.  We hope to have Tuesday to bulb, with the goal of completing Ilwaco (the rest of the port, Mayor Mike’s garden, the Anchorage and perhaps some Long Beach planters).

at 1 AM

at 1 AM

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

We woke to a surprisingly nice day and were pleased to get started on the bulb planting, even though I would have liked to read.  I’ve been on the same excellent Stephen McCauley book (Insignicant Others) all week due to lack of time while sorting and planning the bulbing.

Just in case the weather changes, we began by working our way through Ilwaco bulbs.

We started at Allan’s job, the Ilwaco Community Building.  I had sorted out some small narcissi, some snowdrops, Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’, and some species tulips to enhance the landscape he cares for.

Allan's photo as I place the bulbs.

Allan’s photo as I place the bulbs.

A note about bulb placement:  When putting out a lot of bulbs, it is easier to find the unplanted ones if you set the paper or mesh bag down in the spot you want them planted in.  Bulbs themselves get lost in the glare of the autumnal sun or simply blend in with the colour of the earth.  I learned this through experience of finding lost unplanted bulbs the following spring.

an assortment of special bulbs by the entrance

an assortment of special bulbs by the entrance (Allan’s photo)

The soil in these gardens is so low.  We must find time to add three or more yards of mulch.  It is tricky to schedule because Peninsula Landscape Supply has short autumn hours, not including Sunday, which is the only day the library parking lot is not bustling.  And if we have them deliver mulch, it would have to be placed below the parking lot, requiring Allan to push every wheelbarrow load uphill.

Next, we planted up some of the Ilwaco planters.  This year, we just added bulbs to the ones along Spruce Street as they are newer, and the ones on First are packed with bulbs.

You can see from the photo below that we have a lot of rain.  You can also ponder the sign placement of a new business that has been closed for the season since early September.  The white sign, including the new vertical one, belongs to the older business, the Ilwaco Market.

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It was time to pull out the nasturtiums. (Allan's photo)

It was time to pull out the nasturtiums. (Allan’s photo)

nasturtium gone, bulbs in (Allan's photo)

nasturtium gone, bulbs in (Allan’s photo)

"Can you please trim back this viola?" (sez I while placing bulbs)

“Can you please trim back this viola?” (sez I while placing bulbs)

Stopped at home to avoid using a sanican…..The bogsy wood trees had many crows.

crows

crows

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Next, we planted bulbs at our volunteer garden at the Post Office.

post office garden after planting

post office garden after planting

an adorable dog waiting for its mail

an adorable dog waiting for its mail

A fellow came up and asked if we had seen his lost cat.  If you see a black cat with a red collar, who answers to the name of George, please call Rocky.

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a note on the time card

Next came re-doing the garden boat at Time Enough Books.  Allan pulled out the cosmos and planted tulip bulbs ‘Strong Gold’ and ‘Formosa’; now the boat is ready for Karla to put up the bookstore’s Christmas decorations.

before and after (Allan's photos)

before and after (Allan’s photos)

Meanwhile, I planted bulbs in the curbside garden and scattered some saved poppy seeds as well.

Meanwhile, I planted bulbs and eremurus roots in the curbside garden and scattered some saved poppy seeds as well.

Erermurus roots and bulbs (Allan's photo)

Erermurus roots and bulbs (Allan’s photo)

plant with the yellow-gold buds up (Allan's photo)

plant with the yellow-gold buds up (Allan’s photo)

Check out how beautiful, if grown in just the right conditions:

photo from vanengelen.com

photo from vanengelen.com

I asked Allan to photograph the ceanothus and its late, profuse re-bloom.

ceanothus

ceanothus with admiring passersby

Ceanothus and Artemisa 'Powis Castle'

Ceanothus and Artemisa ‘Powis Castle’

I was so very pleased at our fast pace that I decided we should go plant the 200 bulbs that go in the Long Beach welcome sign planter, since I thought we might run out of Port of Ilwaco bulbs before dark.

The Echibeckia on the front side, and the annual bidens, still looks so good that I had to plant among them.

It's easier to plant an empty area.

It’s easier to plant an empty area.

Feeling for bulbs in amongst the foliage.

Feeling for bulbs in amongst the foliage.

It helped that I could sit.

It helped that I could sit.

The back side was much easier to plant.

The back side was much easier to plant.

These are the mixes, from Colorblends, that I chose this year.

Much Niceness, from Colorblends.

Much Niceness, from Colorblends, for the back of the sign.

Torch Song, for the front, from Colorblends.

Torch Song, for the front, from Colorblends.

This is a change from my choices for the past few years:

Red and Yellow Cubed, from Colorblends

Red and Yellow Cubed, from Colorblends

Short Wave from Colorblends

Short Wave from Colorblends

Long Beach Welcome Sign

Long Beach Welcome Sign in April 2013 with Red Yellow Cubed on the front and Short Wave on the back.

after planting

after planting

In my mind, as I plant bulbs, I see what the gardens are going to look like in full spring bloom.

Next, we went back to the Howerton Avenue gardens at the port, starting at the east end, working westward, adding narcissi and some eremurus.  It’s an experiment to see if the foxtail lilies will like the conditions there.  They like dry areas, but perhaps will get too much wind.

Just as we got to our last section of the day, north of the port office and Nisbett gallery, one hour before sunset, down came a torrent of rain.  I was frustrated because that meant I could not erase the port from the bulb list.  Maddening.  The rain came with such dark skies that even if I did not mind getting drenched, it would have been hard to see what we were doing.

We gave up and went home, just as Karla (ahead of us) was leaving from her day at Time Enough Books.

We gave up and went home, just as Karla (ahead of us) was leaving from her day at Time Enough Books.

Karla's Scout getting in the van (Allan's photo)

Karla’s Scout getting in the van (Allan’s photo)

at home (Allan's photo)

at home (Allan’s photo)

Before going inside, I sorted into bags and labeled the tulips that I had saved for Todd.

sorting again (Allan's photo)

sorting again (Allan’s photo)

Apparently, my hands were shaking with excitement when I photographed the before and after of the work board, showing today’s thrilling erasures.

before and after work board

 

Dave and Melissa came over at dark-thirty to pick up two boxes of assorted bulbs that I had sorted out for their enjoyment, and we had a good visit as always.

Tomorrow, the weather should be excellent allowing for much more bulb planting.  I debated all evening which jobs to choose based on which would enable the most erasures from the work board.

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Friday, 6 November 2015

The weather was infuriatingly gorgeous for a bulb sorting day.  By noon I had all the bulbs sorted for the port and debated whether or not to go down and plant them.  But it always adds to the bulb chaos to sort and plant, sort and plant.  Just for one year I wanted to get all the sorting done first, so I stayed in, feeling frustrated, while Allan went to weed the boatyard garden.

Ilwaco boatyard

before, at the boatyard

before, at the boatyard, north end

weeding

weeding

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after

after

Allan said it was “absurd and discouraging” that it took him all afternoon to weed the boatyard garden.  Seems normal to me because sometimes it has taken the two of us all day to weed it. It will have to be gone over again when a frost takes the annuals down.

lingering sweet pea

lingering sweet pea

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boatyard activity

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Allan worked until sunset and, while not fulfilling the dream of turning the corner and weeding the Howerton Avenue gardens as well, he put in what I consider to be a  good day.

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sunset over the boatyard buildings

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meanwhile, at home

I made great strides in sorting while mildly fuming about missing the warm, almost windless day.

Before he left, Allan had made me a delicious snack tray.

Thanks, Allan!

Thanks, Allan!

I stepped outside for a few minutes to fret about missing such good gardening weather.  If only the bulbs had come last week and been sorted by now!  (They used always to come by the third week on October but have been later in recent years.)

O to be out planting.

O to be out planting.

Smokey also thought I should stay outside.

Smokey also thought I should stay outside.

Parahebe 'Waterfall Mist' by the garage

Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’ by the garage

late season colour

late season colour

Erysimum 'Winter Orchid' and Geranium 'Rozanne'

Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

calendula

calendula

I felt so much better in the last hour of daylight when the rain returned.

Now that's good sorting weather!

Now that’s good sorting weather!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

We woke to strong wind and rain; perfect sorting weather.

Allan took down the great wall of china; they were flapping in the wind!

Allan took down the great wall of china; they were flapping in the wind!

On Allan's trip to the post office: crabbers moving their pots

On Allan’s trip to the post office: crabbers moving their pots

Allan’s project of the day was defrosting the refrigerator freezer, a task which had been neglected during the garden season.  He took a photo and said if we posted it, this blog might lose readers for being so very boring.

Here it is. Heated water in pans and teakettle speeds up the job.

Here it is. Heated water in pans and teakettle speeds up the job.

I applied myself with every ounce of brain and back power and felt deeply thrilled when I finished the sorting by 6 PM and glad that I had sorted yesterday, as well.

In the evening, we went to the Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview to hear the band Ages and Ages.

south side of the Sou'wester

south side of the Sou’wester

Sou'wester in rain (Allan's photo)

Sou’wester in rain (Allan’s photo)

on the sunporch (Allan's photo)

by a sunporch window (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s camera was misbehaving, so he borrowed mine and took all the photos:

audience by the fireplace (a toasty place to watch over the heads of seated listeners)

audience by the fireplace (a toasty place to watch over the heads of seated listeners)

Ages and Ages

Ages and Ages

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From the Sou'wester Facebook page

From the Sou’wester Facebook page

Ages and Ages

 

The band lived up the to decription that had got me out into the rainy night to see them:  “Anthemic choruses, irresistible pop harmonies, and the kind of exuberant vibes that everyone can use” -NYLON

The two songs that moved me the most were No Nostalgia, the refrain of Over It, and their best known and inspirational song, Divisionary (Do the Right Thing).

“Do the right thing, do the right thing
Do it all the time, do it all the time
Make yourself right, never mind ’em
Don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering”

The lead singer was turning 40 this weekend.  I wonder if he realizes he is actually entering his 41st year?  Many of his friends and family had come to celebrate with him and the Sou’wester’s welcoming atmosphere drew us all in.  We were especially charmed when the keyboardist’s modern keyboard failed and he simply moved over to the lodger’s living room piano and kept playing.

Tomorrow:  If the weather permits (which it is not supposed to) bulb planting begins, and if not, the typing up of bulb spreadsheets begins.

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