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Posts Tagged ‘bulbs’

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:

DSC01533

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.

DSC01478

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

DSC01480

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.

IMG_0984

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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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nelly’s garden

I was shocked to awake this morning to nice-ish weather.  The plan had been to do the Nelly bulbs project on a rainy day as it was a garden shed job.  I wanted to get the Port and the Boreas done instead!  I thought, however, that Nelly might have some outdoor projects in mind as well, and when we arrived at her house just two blocks down the street, I was right.  The dahlias had gone down from frost and they and some other perennials needed clipping.

Allan gets started on clipping.

Allan gets started on clipping and on a mission to get rid of the Bad Aster..

Nelly told me that someone had given her a start of the running blue aster years ago and she has been trying to get rid of it ever since.

after; the tall plant to the left is a hardy fuchsia

after

Allan would also be the one to dig the flowerpots of bulbs back into the ground.

center garden before adding pots

center garden before adding pots

Nelly came out to the shed to show me her bulbing method, and also told us there had been a misunderstanding last time, one that is of a type so familiar to me.  She asked her spouse, Don, to come out and tell us to cut down “the pink flowers”.  He did so, and pointed to Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, in the center of the square bed, above.  I said “Are you sure?  Some poeple like to look at the dried flower heads all winter.”  He was sure.  Turns out what Nelly meant was to cut to the ground the two escallonia shrubs along the back that Don had partly pruned.  Escallonias have pink flowers, too!

To the right, by the fence: two stubby escallonias

To the right, by the fence: two stubby escallonias

I’m tempted to find some flowerheads in my garden of the sedum and stick them in with the clipped plants in that center bed so that Nelly can see them from her kitchen window.  It would be easy to do and a fun surprise.  At first, I thought of adding whole plants, and then realized just the strong-stemmed flat flower heads would do.

warm tones of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' dead flowers...before the chop.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’: I grow it in most of my gardens, and the dried flowers are  sturdy enough to stick in the ground and hold up till next spring.  The ones in this photo are at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

I started the bulb project.  Nelly showed me that she dumped out each pot of tulips or narcissi or hyacinth in a round plastic dish, removed the bulbs, then placed them back in the pot on top of some of the old soil mixed with bone meal, and filled in with new potting soil from a bag.

garden shed work area with plastic sorting bowl and bucket of new potting soil

garden shed work area with plastic sorting bowl and bucket of new potting soil

It did not take me long before the work area looked like this:

The plastic bowl was not enough sorting space for me!

The plastic bowl was not enough sorting space for me!

Nelly has good luck getting tulips to rebloom this way.  The pots get pulled out of the ground after blooming, sit by the side of the garage on a plank all summer, and get put into the garden shed before fall rains come, ready to be resorted and placed back out in the garden again.  They had been labeled “kitchen” (under kitchen window), “garage” (a narrow bed beside the garage) and “garden’; over the summer, a helper had pulled the labels out so there’s no telling what the colour mix will be.

tulips bulbs

tulips bulbs

some sort of small narcissi

some sort of small narcissi

Fortunately, I can at least tell tulips, narcissi and hyacinth bulbs apart.

I had enough spare narcissi bulbs (due to the way they multiply) to put some little ones along the narrow wooden planter by the back steps.

planter

There’s also a pot sunk into the tiny garden bed to the left.

In the summer, perennials and dahlias blowse out and cover the spots where the bulb pots go in the fall through spring.

I had a client back in Seattle who did the same thing but replaced the pots of spring bulbs with pots of annuals in the summer.

I set out the pots each time I finished two, for Allan to plant.

I set out the pots each time I finished two, for Allan to plant.

ready to go in

Allan’s photos: ready to go in

IMG_1791

 

pots in the ground

pots in the ground

IMG_1794

Allan’s tidy nature made him perfect for getting the pots in all nicey nice.

Meanwhile, he had cut back the escallonia level with the ground.  I think Don will just mow over it and turn it into a lawn path; the shrubs were placed where it would be more natural to have a walk- through.

Allan's photos:  before

Allan’s photos: before

hand pruner and rechargable chain saw

hand pruner and rechargable chain saw

leveled out

leveled out

after

after

I know from having done the same thing to two big escallonias at the Wiegardt Gallery that if they are cut level and then any new sprouts taken off, the shrubs will disappear.  If left alone and not mowed over, they might resprout and grow again.

When I went in to say the job was done, Nelly was pleased at how quickly we had accomplished it.  She showed me her latest quilt in progress.

Mail Attachment

I especially like the way slanted yellow lines makes the pattern intriguingly asyemmtrical.

I especially like the way slanted yellow lines makes the pattern intriguingly asyemmtrical.

little houses

little houses

and flowers

and flowers

Nelly has been a member of the Peninsula Quilt Guild for over 20 years.

I admired their wood stove.  Although it is not an antique, it was built from an Amish design.  I thought it would keep the kitchen warm when the power goes out in storms; Nelly said unfortunately, strong winds make the chimney backdraft so it’s not helpful in a windstorm power outage.

It sure is pretty, though.

It sure is pretty, though.

Port of Ilwaco

We still had some hours of daylight left and the predicted rain had not arrived, so we went down to finish the port gardens.

before, Howerton Way garden north of the Port Office

before, Howerton Way garden north of the Port Office

After Allan trimmed the lavenders and cut back the Gaura 'Whirling Butterfly'

after Allan trimmed the lavenders and cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’

Allan's before....

Allan’s before….

and after photos.  Most of the low feathery foliage is of California poppies.

and after photos. Most of the low feathery foliage is of California poppies.

Meanwhile, I clipped a few plants in the garden bed on the south side of the port office.

before

before

after creating two buckets of debris

after creating two buckets of debris

my view, looking south

my view, looking south

my audience

my audience

In the photo below, you can see a black crane (not the bird) in the far distance, behind the boats.

crane

That’s the US Army Corps of Engineers dredge, which is working on keeping the port channel deep enough for boats.  Nancy Beesley, who works at the Port Office and co-administrates the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page with me, took some photos of the dredge yesterday, which I think you will like to see.    You can read more about it in this recent article.

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

I think this is the port's own, smaller dredge.  photo by Nancy Beesley

I think this is the port’s own, smaller dredge. photo by Nancy Beesley

dredge repairs, photo by Nancy Beesley

dredge repairs, photo by Nancy Beesley

local Port of Ilwaco dredge crew, photo by Nancy Beesley

local Port of Ilwaco dredge crew, photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

our little harbour

our little harbour

Back to today:  Don Nisbett was at his art gallery next door to the Port Office, so I got a chance to deliver Jenna’s two bags of biochar soil right to his truck.

behind the gallery

behind the gallery

Ok, back to work.  We drove east down Howerton to the garden by the Ilwaco Pavilion where I knew a gaura waited to be cut down.

center: Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies', crisped by frost.

center: Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, crisped by frost.

I cut it back that hard,

I cut it back that hard,

This particular bed is one of my favourite port gardens this year.

This particular bed is one of my favourite port gardens this year.

While Allan went to the field east of the marina to dump debris, I did some weeding of maddening little grasses in the easternmost bed.  There is still a little scrim of tiny green grass here and here.  It can wait now till February; Allan commented that to him, it just looks like moss.

Looking west down Howerton and calling this job done for the year.

Looking west down Howerton and calling this job done for the year.

Looking southwest across the parking lot, I could see a nice photo to be had...

Looking southwest across the parking lot, I could see a nice photo to be had…

We were running out of daylight so I resisted scenic photo opportunities in order to try to get one more job done.

Boreas Inn

We had an hour and a half-ish till dark to drive up to Long Beach and do some clipping back and weeding at the Boreas Inn garden.

The nasturtiums by the front walk way were most definitely done.

The nasturtiums by the front walk way were most definitely done.

Boreas Inn, east side

Boreas Inn, east side

We worked like mad and managed to get the job done enough to say that the garden is put to bed for the winter.

Boreas, looking east from beach path

Boreas, looking east from beach path

We finished at dusk.

We finished at dusk.

path to the beach, looking west

path to the beach, looking west

I was so focused on finishing that I did not realize until we got into the van that it had been raining lightly.

rain

Cove Restaurant

Of course, we had to reward ourselves with our traditonal Thursday dinner at the Cove.  I texted fellow gardener Ed Strange (Strange Landscape Services) who joined us.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Coziness at the Cove

Coziness at the Cove

Chef Jason was back from a brief surfing vacation with his Thursday Chef's Mercy menu.

Chef Jason was back from a brief surfing vacation with his Thursday Chef’s Mercy menu.

2

roasted beet salad

roasted beet salad

Ed got Prawns Solo...

Ed got Prawns Solo…

and a yakisoba bowl.

and a yakisoba bowl.

Allan and I both got the Thai Beef Curry.  It smelled so good that we both tucked in before I took a photo.

Allan's, with rice added

Allan’s, with rice added

Because of living in a small town area, we saw Lisa of the Hydrangea House, Seaview Patti, and Basket Case Fred also out for dinner.

home

At home, I had the sheer delight of erasing almost all jobs from the work board:

photo

We now can declare staycation can commence.  We are due for some rainy days which may delay the final check up of Marilyn’s garden for a few days.  The Depot window box clean up is contingent on the annuals finally dying.  The planting of the memorial garden and the mulching of Golden Sands are projects for 2015, and the post office is volunteer, and here is home, so theose mulching projects don’t count as work.

Time to put our feet up and watch telly.  We’d like to finish the Bill Nighy show (Page Eight) that we’ve been too tired to finish for the last two nights, and then there’s Hell’s Kitchen, a truly silly show and yet I will watch pretty much anything by Gordon Ramsay.

I see a problem, though.  I’m not sure there is room in my chair.

cats

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 18 November, 2013

There was to be no planting of bulbs today, just some looking out the windows.  Because Olde Towne Café is closed on Mondays, I couldn’t enjoy one of my favourite rainy day activities of going there for coffee.

It is probably the time of year to take the screen off of the south window so that I can get better photos of the back garden in winter.

not so good

not so good

The cardoon is still up in the front garden, providing interesting structure.

out the front window

out the front window

Looking down, I see that the Dichroa febrifuga is still putting out fresh flowers.

Dichroa

Dichroa

Along the front entry walk, the structure for Halloween’s Corridor of Spooky Plants is still in place and must look odd to passersby who don’t know why it was there.  I realized we needed to dismantle the part that blocks the city meter reader from getting to the water meter.  Allan did it.  I’ll take the rest down someday soon.  It will be in my way when I plant my own bulbs.

former spooky plant corridor

former spooky plant corridor

looking east from the cat ramp window

looking east from the cat ramp window

In the sun porch window, a poster reminds me of the sunny day when the garden was on the Music in the Gardens tour in 2012.

Finally, I sorted my own bulbs into three batches for front yard, back yard, and the garden boat, so if I get a break in the weather the planting will go faster.

sorted

sorted

The little cardboard boxes that 50 or 100 bulbs came in are very handy for detailed sorting.  Then I was inspired by an entry in Sydney Stevens’ Oysterville Daybook blog to finish the spreadsheet counting of bulbs and came up with the figure of 5,513 bulbs planted.  That is based on what I planted new and on an estimate of 12 bulbs per planter for the 14 former windowboxes that I dismantled and replanted for Klipsan Beach Cottages.

Later, I read all the photo captions and perused the photos in a book about green roofs that I had happened upon at the Ilwaco Timberland Library.  As you can see, it had rotated from the Mountain View branch of the regional library.  I always have so many books ordered to read that I don’t do much spontaneous book selection.

roofs

roofs

I must admit I did not read all the technical parts as I doubt I will ever install a green roof other than, perhaps, on a small shed (and even that is unlikely).  I do love to look at them, though.

The High Line in New York

The High Line in New York…I would love to walk along it.

a good privacy wall in San Francisco

a good privacy wall in San Francisco

an echo of nature

an echo of nature

Armeria (sea thrift) in Cornwall

Armeria (sea thrift) in Cornwall

What I want the most:  a shipping container to be placed right where I want a shed between us and the bright lights on the neighbouring house’s garage.  (Would it be tall enough to block the light?)

This is glorious.

This is glorious.

The book is full of design ideas that would work just as well at ground level.

There may be a cessation of wind and rain tomorrow; I certainly hope to get back to bulbing because when we get all the bulb planting, cow fiber mulching, and fall clean up done, we can begin our staycation and have many days of reading.  I’d like to get a garden bed installed by Erin’s new garden boat, as well, but there will be a time when no matter what we have not done, staycation WILL begin.  The planting of the bulbs, though, is non-negotiable.

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Thursday, 14 November, 2013

Although we had a big bulbing day planned, we just had to make a brief stop at Olde Towne to see Luanne, who had been gone for 13 days to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grand daughters in Maine.

She's back!

She’s back!

We had the briefest of visits (she had time to sit at a table for maybe two minutes) and then we had to be on our way till a rainy day.  Soon we will be back for a proper sit down, I hope!

I had hoped that today would be the rainy day as I would have liked to have had time to sort, at home on the sorting table (with my sorting hat on?) the Long Beach bulbs into tidy batches with a bag ready for each planter.  That did not happen.  However, being able to set the boxes with easy access from the side doors of our new van made it possible to sort right on the job.  That is the main reason that this year, we are experiencing Bulb Time rather than Bulb Hell.  The new vehicle and the pleasant weather are collaborating to make it the easiest bulbs season in my experience.  Getting bulb crates into and out of Allan’s two door Saturn was not a happy time.

easy sorting

easy access

I had a little “office” set up on my passenger seat with clipboard and pen.  What luxury.

Down by the empty lot on Third Street, where the birds had view unimpeded by building of me setting tasty morsels of bulbs out on the edge of the planters, I garnered lots of attention.

These two...

These two…

and especially this one.

and especially this one.

The gull who staked out the bulbs actually did not get a single one, but it sure did want to.

gull

pacing and plotting

pacing and plotting

closer

closer

gull

acting cool near the bag of bulbs

acting cool near the bag of bulbs

Only my presence right there kept him thwarted.

Only my presence right there kept him thwarted.

Years ago, I learned not to lay out bulbs all down the length of the beach approach garden before planting them.

bulb planting on the beach approach in 2004

bulb planting on the beach approach in 2004

(Now that rugosa roses have pretty much taken over the beach approach garden and now that we have full care of the Long Beach planters, we don’t plant many new bulbs out there anymore.)

There are a few businesses with such a strong colour theme that I try to plant bulbs that sort of match.

Tulip 'White Parrot' in fron the blue and white Home at the Beach gift shop.

I planted Tulip ‘White Parrot’ in fron the blue and white Home at the Beach gift shop.

Red Parrot tulip 'Rococo' did very well last year so I planted more near this red cottage.

Red Parrot tulip ‘Rococo’ did very well last year so I planted more near this red cottage.

The lower tulip is 'Rococo', last spring.

The lower tulip is ‘Rococo’, last spring.

A couple of years ago I had the perfect colour match for the Hungry Harbour Grille:

Tulip 'Gavota' matched the paint trim perfectly.

Tulip ‘Gavota’ matched the paint trim perfectly.

The Cottage Bakery also called for red 'Rococo'.

This year, The Hungry Harbor and The Cottage Bakery both got Rococo.

Red tulips are my least favourite (except for the fabulous ‘Rococo’ with its green flames).  I always have plenty of “green” tulips as they are my favourites.  That makes it easy to plant green ones in front of Niva green.

Niva green, last spring

Niva green, last spring; this year it will get ‘Green Wave’

Maybe some year I will buy tulips in tiny (more expensive) quantities so that I can match every building!

I tried not to do any projects other than planting, but one that did need doing today was to dig out two big, old, woody Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ from a planter by the Fifth Street Park.

Allan used our cool new shovel from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

Allan used our cool new shovel from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

old Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

old Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

woody center

woody center

I have many Autumn Joy sedums around and so I just went to the park and got two fresh new division for the planter, after Allan added some new potting soil.  I think every Autumn Joy in every park and garden that we do on the Peninsula is a division of the one I brought down from Seattle in autumn of 1992!

While on the same block, I enjoyed seeing two peace posters in the “Herb ‘N’ Legend” smoke shop windows.

peace

peace

While Schizostylis can fill up a planter too vigourously, it can also choose to bloom in a perfect late season floral arrangement.

Schizostylis by Fifth Street

Schizostylis by Fifth Street

I had a passerby ask me about it today, but she did so when I was not by a planter than had it, or I would have yanked some up and given it to her.  Later, when I was working by The Wooden Horse gift shop, manager Linda came out and saw a blooming piece of this very Schizostylis in our trailer (accidentally pulled while planting bulbs by the lamp post) so I gave the rooted piece to her;  I should dig her up a nice clump!

outside The Wooden Horse...I like the sign with clothespins for photos or postcards.

outside The Wooden Horse…I like the sign with clothespins for photos or postcards.

Today’s easiest planter was the one by the Carousel where we had dug out vinca recently and replaced it with nice fluffy dirt.  I was glad to see no birds watching this one as the bulbs would be easy picking with no plants to protect them.

The easiest planter to plant was the one by the carousel...recently dug out vinca and replaced with fluffy soil.

The easiest planter today.

I put in two little golden marjoram starts (dug from another planter) and two little Sedumn ‘Autumn Joy’ starts (snagged from a park).

Hungry Harbor Grille

Hungry Harbor Grille

When I got as far as The Hungry Harbor Grille, I remembered that tonight is Mexican night (every Thursday offseason) and that, because I had finished the big bulb sorting, we could go after work!

It had taken, as always, what seemed an incredible long time to get just that far.  Some rain began.  I examined the sky.  Was the blue just a sucker hole?

This is what a sucker hole looks like.

This is what a sucker hole looks like.

The blue came through for me and the rain stopped.

While Allan planted the last planters on the block south of the Bolstadt stop light, I put tiny bulbs in the four Fish Alley barrels.  The tapestry effect I was trying for is still working.

Fish Alley, one of four planters

Fish Alley, one of four planters

In went some species crocus, some Iris reticulata, some snowdrops and some Narcissi ‘Baby Moon’.  I plant Baby Moon every year and am adding 410 more to the planters this year because it reliably blooms during the annual first-Satuday-in-May parade.

Moon rise over Fish Alley

Moon rise over Fish Alley

From the alley, I could see the most amazing sky to the west:  wild shapes of clouds outline in pink.  I had bulbs all placed ready to plant and could not abandon them and a building was between me and any long distance photo of the sky.  We did get out to the beach.  While the clouds still looked impressive, the outline of pink had gone.

beyond the boardwalk

beyond the boardwalk

I will scour Facebook to see if any local caught the sunset on film!

I will scour Facebook to see if any local caught the sunset on film!

It was mildly frustrating to have run out of daylight with eight planters and two trees still to do on the main street.  It always takes me by surprise what a long job it is to plant the bulbs there.

We had our comforting Mexican dinner and came home, NOT to sort bulbs.  Instead, I finally added thirteen days of time card information to the work spread sheet.  Sometimes this blog is essential to remembering what we did on a certain day.

And the cats snoozed…

Smokey and Mary

Smokey and Mary

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Wednesday, 13 November, 2013

Now, having sorted many the bulb last night, I have time to share the photos of the lovely workday that preceded the bulb sorting frenzy.

We began with blue skies and warmish weather at The Wiegardt Gallery in Ocean Park.

Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

What a contrast to last week’s weather when we got stormed out.  Our mission this week and next week is to get bulbs in the ground without too much distraction.

Quite a few went into this newly cleared area.

Quite a few went into this newly cleared area.

a late Cistus flower

a late Cistus flower

rhodo blooming early

rhodo blooming early (or late)

glorious autumnal grass

glorious autumnal grass

Then we planted some Narcissi at the Oman Builders Supply garden.  I was pleased at how well it continues to look; on our last two trips north we have only had time to look at it while driving by.

looking south

looking south

looking north

looking north

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve, Hebe, Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve, Hebe, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

The only bothersomely empty spots are two areas where three gorgeous Eryngiums were stolen early in the summer.

lacking Eryngiums

lacking Eryngiums

By then, I could not acquire any to replace them with.  Or so I thought.  I remember now that The Planter Box may still have some Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.  Perhaps if I acquired and planted some now, they would root in and be harder to steal next year.

Not brooding overmuch about the theft, we went on to the garden at Klipsan Beach Cottages where we had some plans for more than just bulb planting.   Allan got to the task of removing the big rambling rose canes that were tangled in the bay tree.

before

before

after

after

He cleared more wild violets and Schizostylis from the lawn border and planted Narcissi.

bulbs placed to go in

bulbs placed to go in, before weeding

It was backwards to put the bulbs down before he got the weeding done;  I should have laid them out on the lawn instead.

My task was to sort out the bulbs from 16 seasonal window box liners, all small species narcissi, tulips, crocus, snowdrops, Fritillaria meleagris and Iris reticulata, all blooming before May.  The window boxes have been removed from the cottages for the sake of trying to streamline the care of the gardens somewhat as we are all getting older.

old window box

delving into an old window box

a treasure trove of minor bulbs

a treasure trove of minor bulbs

I lavished them all around the gardens outside the deer fence since most will be deer resistant, and even the occasional species tulip might be too short to be tempting.

I had been especially looking forward to meeting the new dog that Mary and Denny are fostering and may adopt.  Like the dear departed Misty and Debbie, she is a Great Pyrenees.  If she and Riley (Mary and Denny’s Doberman) get along ok, she will join the family permanently.  Riley is feeling jealous so I was careful to give him more pets and attention than the new dog…

Here she is!

Here she is!

The poor girl was used as a puppy mill and is over 20 pounds underweight.

In the garden, there is still much beauty to see.

Fuchsia 'Debron's Black Cherry'

Fuchsia ‘Debron’s Black Cherry’

bird bath of stillness

bird bath of stillness

Rose 'New Dawn'

Rose ‘New Dawn’

the pond island bed

the pond island bed

two of eight cottages

two of eight cottages

dusk in the autumn garden

dusk in the autumn garden

orbs

orbs

The fall clean up sessions we have been doing have inspired Mary to put one of her winter signs in the garden:

garden

And then, straight on home where I plunged into five straight hours of bulb sorting (as described in yesterday evening’s hasty blog post).  Before I entered Bulb Central (the garage), the reflection our neighbour’s upstairs window alerted me to take a look at the sunset.

moonrise over our neighbours' roof

moonrise over our neighbours’ roof

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street

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Wednesday, 13 November, 2013

I don’t have time to share the pretty pictures of part one of today, the planting of bulbs…in daylight.  Part one will have to come after part two.

Part two was sorting, tonight.  I got into a bulb sorting frenzy in the desire to finish the sorting job.

Fueled by snack plates and leftover Halloween candy bars given to us by the staff at Andersen’s RV Park so that THEY would not eat them…

last night's and tonight's snack plate

last night’s and tonight’s snack plate

….and in an exhilarated mood because I had hopeful news from the friend I have been so worried about.

Imagine thinking a loved one might have a very short time to live, and imagine learning from a learned doctor that your loved one could well have 15 years to live.  That is exhilarating indeed and I felt like I had taken a nice warm bath in hope and relief.

So I sorted like mad from five PM till 10 PM and despite feeling quite punchy, got it done.

in the midst of the frenzy

in the midst of the frenzy

the bulb stash thinning out

the bulb stash thinning out

Got it down to this many...

Got it down to this many…

Could I manage to go on with the small narcissi and the tiny crocuses and iris reticulata and so on?

I did.

empty sorting table

empty sorting table

I was ecstatic till I saw one more shelf with a few bags of a certain kind of bulb that I had missed.   Did it, determined to be done.

And, done…with 14 crates ready to go out and be planted.

triumph

triumph

Then I went into my office and ordered a few hundred more narcissi.  I have not gone mad; I have a client/friend who wanted a LOT of narcissi and I did not have enough for her garden;  I just had to get done with the sorting so I could find out just what the shortfall was and rectify it.  It will not involve much sorting as they are all for her and one other client/friend.

Tomorrow, I will cover part one of today with some pretty pictures of the gardens at Wiegardt Gallery, Oman Builders Supply, and Klipsan Beach Cottages, our three bulbing spots today.

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