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I woke in the night to the sound of rain. On and on. This was good. All the plants we have been planting will get watered.

It was not so good at ten AM when a seemingly ceaseless torrent was falling. We had in the garage five flats of plants for today’s job and I just wanted them out of here. I did not want to be carrying them out to the patio to get light, and then into the car tomorrow instead of today. Annuals hell must end, as weeding jobs are urgently calling to us. As is my own garden.

Mary sets a tempting example

Mary sets a tempting example

But wait…Was there some lightness in the sky to the south? The sky was definitely light around the edges to the south and to the west. I said we should just go to the job. I cited the example of Deadliest Catch, an inspirational tv show about hardworking crabbers on the Bering Sea. Allan looked skeptical about the weather, especially since the forecasts all called for it to worsen hourly all day long. But the rain suddenly stopped. We loaded, and as we did the rain came lashing sideways again. I did not care (much). Surely we could endure and plant twelve whiskey barrels even in a torrent. And yet…if I stayed home I could read a couple more months of the Tootlepedal Blog archives.

But we went to Casa Pacifica, Dan and Leanne’s garden near Wallicut Farms. It is our only job off the Peninsula (unless one is a stickler for the fact that technically Ilwaco is part of the mainland).

When we got there, the sun came out intermittently. And rain came back for a while but not for long.

after a squall

after a squall

Soon raincoats came off and stayed off and all twelve barrels and several smaller containers were cleaned up and planted.

The barrels have Narcissi so we cut the foliage back by two thirds. It must be done in order to plant. My guru Ann Lovejoy would not approve; in this recent article she writes of the importance of letting the foliage mature. And yet once NW garden celebrity Ed Hume (who was as well known as Ciscoe in his day) said in a lecture that narcissi foliage can be cut three weeks after the flower has bloomed.

before

before; unplantable.

before:  last year's boringly overgrown Helichrysum

before: last year’s boringly overgrown Helichrysum

after

after, Helichrysum cut back VERY hard

Planted: An Agyranthemum in the center (“Butterfly’, ‘Spring Bouquet’, or the white one) and around the edges mixed (80!! total) calibrachoas of various colours and sanvitalias and, in the planters closer to the house, some blue felicia as well. In the mid-center of each, three painted sage triangulated around the Agyr. Some have Diascia that came back from last year.

Dusty lives in hope that I will stop to play fetch. It will not happen as then he will not stop pestering. But most of the time he walks with me all around the job with his head just where I can reach down and pet him. I love that and lavish him with smooches.

Dusty

Note Spook in the background.

Dusty

Dusty

Spook continues to be very shy, but it is progress that she stays out from under the deck while we are here.

Spook

Spook

We did not have time to weed, but I did walk along the bottom of the garden casting Sluggo up into it, with camera in hand. (Allan deadheaded narcissi while I talked to Dan and Leanne at the end of the work session.)

the shady end of the long border

the shady end of the long border

I don’t add many new perennials to this garden because it has water troubles in the summer; the well is just not enough for home and garden, too. It might be fixed for this year. It has therefore been a garden that peaks in mid springtime.

Another problem is that I would like to lavish the garden with cow fiber mulch but the lawn where a truck would have to drive to deliver the load close to the garden is also the septic field. And it would have to be wheelbarrowed up at the end of the wall. And if the pile were dumped in the driveway it would be far from the end of the wall. And I am tired just thinking about it. Maybe this fall we will manage to do it. As I have said to myself every year since taking on this job.

long curved border goes from shade to sun

long curved border goes from shade to sun

guardian of the garden

guardian of the garden

geranium and hosta

geranium and hosta

Silene

Silene

hardy geranium

Geranium macrorrhizum

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Around the north side of the house, in a spot that is usually wet from roof runoff, I found a small blue flower which I think is a kind of Camassia that I planted last fall. I would have rain barrels at every gutter catching water for summer in this garden.

camassia

I surprised Spook in her nap on the hot tub cover and got as close to her as I ever have!

snoozing

she was snoozing

With this, the last of the big batches of annuals is planted, and I can see the light at the end of Annuals Planting Hell. There are still a few days of filling in here and there. The concrete planter in Ilwaco that needs a hole drilled is still undrilled. Andersen’s needs more cosmos and some Salvia patens. Some gaps in the Long Beach planters need filling, and because I had made a careful list of exactly what plant was needed where, we went to The Basket Case to get some more annuals.

My list would have been incomprehensible to another: two uppies here, four trailies there, five herbie flatties there. But I knew what I wanted.

We also got some plants for a big shady planter against the house at Andersen’s RV Park; it only gets morning sun.

I'm trying a big new impatiens there.

I’m trying a big new impatiens there.

and assorted types of begonias

and assorted types of begonias

These might like more sun but they do ok in the east facing planter. The tuberous begonias excel and are the same thing that Andersen’s owner Lorna’s dad used to plant there.

At The Planter Box I stocked up on Cosmos for planting at the Ilwaco boatyard, Larry and Robert’s garden and….soon I hope! my garden. Uh oh, I still need more for my friend Nancy! And more for a few last clumps of Cosmos at Andersen’s, in an area it was too late to weed tonight. I got one flat of the very good Salvia patens plants that Planter Box grew this year.

At The Planter Box

At The Planter Box

Teresa and I talked a bit about when would be a good date for a midsummer madness Cash Mob at the Planter Box, probably in early July.

Planter Box

Planter Box

I saw salpiglossis starts and wanted some for gardens of ours that might be on the tour this year, but we were full up with plants by then.

Salpiglossis has a gorgeous flower.

Salpiglossis has a gorgeous flower.

I also saw just two of this cute little plant I had once found for sale somewhere and planted in an Ilwaco planter. It looked adorable all summer long. Apparently, it is a house plant. I don’t know why it is not sold in quantity for summer containers.

so cute!

so cute!

Then…Andersen’s after six. The wind had come up with a biting chill and the rain returned, but the east facing planter was not at all bad to work in with the house between us and the ocean. I was so tired I did not put on gloves, then regretted it, then could not get them on over wet hands. I just remembered that one of the crew gave me some Hershey’s kisses, as he often kindly does, and I was so busy I put them in my pocket and did not eat a one. (I think that shirt is still in the car….tempting….). I decided to hold off on planting some Salvia patens in the Payson Hall planters, as it is supposed to get down to 44 degrees tonight. I think they will be happier if they wait till we go to Andersen’s (and all other north end resorts) on Friday to fluff it up for the three day holiday weekend.

The last task was to plant 12 tiny little not very promising white petunias in the two west side whiskey barrels that lacked them. They were in little six packs so small that one could hardly tell each held six plants. The wind and rain blew straight from the sea just over the foredune and I thought very hard about Deadliest Catch while planting the little plugs.

I often think in bad weather, "Could be worse, could be crabbing on the Bering Sea!"

I often think in bad weather, “Could be worse, could be crabbing on the Bering Sea!”

It’s on tonight and I look forward to sitting in my chair eating warm food and drinking wine and feeling inspired by the crabbers’ hard work in almost all weather. I have put on hand lotion five times and my hands still feel dry from the wet cold soil. I could never be a crabber…too wimpy.

Home by seven PM! I had had it with the outdoors, but Allan went out and mowed and weed-ate our lawn…in the drizzle. The grass was long and so wet it is amazing A) that he did it and B) that our little rechargeable electric mower got through it at all.

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Today we went to one of the thrice yearly volunteer beach clean up events organized by the Grassroots Garbage Gang. We decided that instead of going to our usual spot on the Seaview approach or our second usual choice, Benson Beach, we would start at Beard’s Hollow. It’s the very south end of the beach that runs for (I think) 18 miles north and is a bit of a walk from the parking lot so is not as frequently cleaned. It used to be my beach walking destination when I lived in Seaview in 1993.

near the parking lot

near the parking lot

The trail used to be underwater until well into spring, causing me a lot of frustration after I moved to Ilwaco. I then found a trail up and over the big hill between me and the beach, crossing over where Discovery Heights is now, only to find that after about half an hour, when I got as far as Beard’s Hollow I could get no further without hip waders.

Since then, the Discovery Trail has been built and provides access to walkers and bicyclists year round.

Discovery Trail

Discovery Trail

beside the trail

beside the trail

licorice fern in tree

licorice fern in tree

Salmonberry

Salmonberry

still pool reflections

still pool reflections

skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage

I have read that in the UK, our native skunk cabbage is sold at a pretty price as an ornamental plant and is called “swamp lantern”. I don’t want to Google and find out it is not true. It is a gorgeous bog plant, but difficult to tranplant.

swamp lantern

swamp lantern

sword fern

sword fern (unpruned!)

When one gets to the really big rock, one is almost at the beach. The trees have grown considerably since I used to walk here.

the big rock

the big rock

Here is what the trail used to be like in winter; this is one of the roads through the dunes.

road around the rock

road around the rock

the rock

the rock

native stonecrop and blackberries

native stonecrop and blackberries

the rock

a small part of the rock

nature's moss garden

nature’s moss garden

At last, the beach…

to the beach

to the beach

The Coast Guard helicopter flew by.

Beard's Hollow fishing rocks

Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks

Someone had lost a bouquet, or tossed it overboard in a memorial service perhaps.

mystery flowers

mystery flowers

flowers

 

flowers and fishing rocks

flowers and fishing rocks

The Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks have witnessed many dramatic scenes. When the tide comes in, human explorers are taken by surprise on the outer rocks and many have been rescued over the years.

rock full of birds

rock full of birds

rockscape

rockscape

clues that the tide does come in

clues that the tide does come in

rocks

We found enough garbage in the next hour and a quarter to fill three large bags. People who drive down the beach to have a campfire…(and the beach is a legal highway, and in my opinion that is very regrettable) don’t even have to pack their garbage out on foot, so why do they leave it behind like this? Just throw it in the truck bed, folks!

campfire debris

campfire debris

They did at least put it all back in the packaging.

the south end of the long beach

the south end of the long beach

While it is satisfying to fill a bag with larger items, the tiny little bits of coloured plastic are especially bad for birds. They think it is food and fill themselves up and then starve.

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

I become obsessed with picking up each one but I know that many more are tumbled under the sand.

Far in the distance with the telephoto I could see folks in groups cleaning to the north.

cleaning crew

cleaning crew

People enter at each of the major beach approaches or walk out from their own streets. Most start at 9:30 AM but we usually manage to roll in at about 10:15. Today about 325 signed in.

We walked down as far as this shallow seasonal stream.

stream

stream

The one time I do like to see vehicles on the beach “highway” is when the volunteers come along to take our bags.

loaded with debris

loaded with debris

And then, back through the green along the beautiful trail.

a side trail around the big rock

a side trail around the big rock

bicyclists

passing the big rock

passing the big rock

more licorice ferns

licorice fern, a tree dweller

licorice fern, a tree dweller

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

elderberry grove

elderberry grove

moss and mushrooms

moss and mushrooms

The trail is a draw for bicyclists as it goes all the way from Ilwaco to north of Long Beach.

discovering the trail

discovering the trail

Discovery trail map

Discovery Trail map

We were just down at the Beard’s Hollow section. Click here for a larger view.

Next on our agenda: the volunteer soup feed reward halfway up the Peninsula at the Senior Center. Because we start late, and go late, we have been known to arrive for the very last bowls of soup, but today we arrived in time to have two choices, and we both chose clam chowder made by Steve of The Great Day Café.

soup reward for volunteers

soup reward for volunteers

The Senior Center is right next door to Golden Sands Assisted Living so we found it handy to check on all the new plants starts we planted yesterday, and I am happy to report they are all standing up tall…no wilting. Allan found this very nice monthly newsletter that shows how much they appreciate the courtyard garden.

from Golden Sands newsletter

from Golden Sands newsletter

Thus we segued into the work day and after going north past Nahcotta on the bay to pick up a free plastic pond (more on this later), we checked on Marilyn’s garden. My intention was to do nothing but deadhead the narcissi and move on, but oh dear…horsetail was on the march and had to be dealt with…and then my eye fell on a problem that had been bothering me for some time.

This giant Miscanthus had ended up in the foreground of the garden where it blocks the view of the Helianthus behind it. It bothers me every year.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

I worried at it with the pick for a short while. Its roots are like iron. Allan decided to have a go so I went back to the horsetail, and returned to this satisfying result.

what an accomplishment

what an accomplishment!

It’s a challenge to find anything evergreen and tall to block the view of the neighbours’ driveway and garage because deer practically live in this garden…so I rely on tall deciduous plants.

Marilyn's today, looking north from back porch

Marilyn’s today, looking north from back porch

There is much to do here, especially since the plan is for this garden to be on the Peninsula garden tour in July of this year…but we had to move on to have time to check three more gardens.

At the Wiegardt Gallery, the lilac is close to bloom:

Wiegardt lilac

Wiegardt lilac

Tulip 'Lilac Wonder' opens wide in the faint sunshine.

Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ opens wide in the faint sunshine.

The narcissi are still looking fine, but how did scilla get into the garden? I most certainly did not plant it.

narcissi...and scilla

narcissi…and scilla

This thug will be bad news. I wonder if someone else planted some bulbs to be nice? Because they are so pretty.

the dreaded scilla invasion

the dreaded scilla invasion

I have three other thugs in this garden: sweet woodruff and the bad aster that came from who knows where, and geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that I once thought a very fine plant indeed.

Eric’s brother sometimes plants a very choice treasure, and I am hoping that these Eremurus that he put in two years ago might flower this year.

Here's hoping for some foxtail lilies

Here’s hoping for some foxtail lilies…

We still have lots more to do at Wiegardt’s (sounds so familiar) but we had to get on to Klipsan Beach Cottages. On the way, we did a quick check up at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.

There is the exciting new ‘Green Star’ tulip. Have I been calling it ‘Green Ice’?

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

It's a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

It’s a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

There were three but someone swiped one, and the finger blight evidence of twisted stem shows the person did not even have clippers but just worried the stem till the stolen tulip was theirs.

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence...

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence…

At Klipsan Beach Cottages, we had delegated a rhododendron removal job to another landscape business, and had not expected the end result to be a bed all askew and us with no time to fix it. My fantasy was that we would find the job all done. Silly. Realistically I probably should not have hoped that a backhoe would be brought in, huge rhododendrons pulled, and then the edging put back all nicey nice (by whom?) All we could do today was deadhead the narcissi and check for weeds. Next weekend we can deal with the other problem, maybe.

narcissi in cottage windowbox

narcissi in cottage windowbox

Tulip clusiana 'Lady Jane'

Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’

in the garden

in the garden

In a pot I had six Tulip ‘Green Star’ and in this safe haven, no one had picked any.

Green Stars

Green Stars

Green Star

Green Star

The first year I saw this in the Van Engelen catalog, I waited too long to order and they had sold out. So it was a year and a half before I had it in bloom, and I am a little obsessed with it this month.

Green Star

Green Star

in the garden...

in the garden…

two matching pots

two matching pots

and some Blushing Ladies

and some Blushing Ladies

I wonder if this year at long last the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal [not very] Giant’ will get the size I have seen it elsewhere. It has been sulking for three years.

still only as tall as a daylily

still only as tall as a daylily

sword fern...I like our pruned ones better than mother nature's messy ones!

sword fern…I like our pruned ones better than mother nature’s messy ones!

Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

at KBC: Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

A rain squall decided our stop time at KBC but by the time we got home, the sky had cleared again. I thought I was too cold, and extra tired from getting up “early” for beach clean up, and that all I had the oomph to do was look out the window.

back garden window view

back garden window view

Then I remembered the pond form and had to go think about where it might go.

It probably won't look very real...

It probably won’t look very real…

pondering

pondering

We decided to install it next to the boat. Because of my upcoming mini-vacation (why???) we won’t have time for awhile.

While I uploaded photos to the Grassroots Garbage Gang Facebook page, Allan mowed the lawn. He reports that it takes an hour and a quarter. Less than it did last year because of my winter expansion of the garden beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The day started chilly but dry and with a chance of showers.  I optimistically pictured them as light and intermittent.   The knowledge that new plants had arrived at the Basket Case Greenhouse put me in a cheerful mood, as did the sight of the new-to-us tulip “Green Star’ in bloom in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

We headed north through Long Beach because we needed to buy some magnesium sulfate at The Planter Box.  (We apply it to roses at this time of year:  a cupful per rose to encourage basal breaks.)

Long Beach planter at the stoplight

Long Beach planter at the stoplight

At The Planter Box, I had the great pleasure of petting some baby ducks.

ducklings!

ducklings!

While we were at the Basket Case admiring the new plant acquisitions, the cold rain began.  Misty wore a fluffy pink coat and still shivered.

Walter and Misty

Walter and Misty

We filled our small car with wonderful plants, with me fretting to myself as usual that someone else would come along and get some of the best ones before I do.

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’!

From the Basket Case, we drove to Andersen’s RV Park and deadheaded the road box.  I suggested we drive on to points north because the sky looked just a bit light around the edges and the weather might improve as we traveled.  We traveled to Ocean Park and deadheaded a few narcissi from the Oman and Son Builders Supply garden.

OBS spring bulbs

OBS spring bulbs

and rain...

and rain…

The rain was not just wet but very chilly.   We decided to go north of Nahcotta to pick up a free composter that had been offered to us.  When we turned onto the residential road off Sandridge a memory surfaced from past work.

One summer before 2002, Robert and I had cared for the garden at the end of the road.  It had had a view of the bay from its deck and we had planted containers on the deck.  The new trendy plant at the time was Helichrysum petiolare and oh how I loved it.  Only later in the summer did I find out that the man of that household called it “that grey junk that she planted.”

I also had a strong memory of dropping a container of Soil Moist (the synthetic product we then used in pots;  now we use Zeba Quench, even though it is getting harder to find) on the lawn and having to pick up all the slippery little jelly pieces and then having to put a cone there so no one would walk on it and fall.  What an embarrassment!

not the best gardening memories!

not the best gardening memories!

Just to the left of the top of the driveway, our sad Soil Moist incident occurred.

And here is our wonderful new composter, a valuable acquisition.  It rotates.

nice composter

nice composter

Heading south again, we stopped at the Wiegardt Gallery to deadhead a few narcissi and plant a ‘Jade Frost’ Eryngium and a pine scented rosemary (intoxicating!).

Allan planting in the rain

Allan planting in the rain

We had piled our new plants on top of our raincoats and were still hoping the rain would stop.   The narcissi glowed in the grey weather and took my mind off being cold.

Narcissi

Narcissi

at Wiegardt Gallery

at Wiegardt Gallery

love the wee frilly cup!

love the wee frilly cup!

Narcissi and pine scented rosemary

Narcissi and pine scented rosemary

The rain washed away my enthusiasm for weeding the bed at the north end of the parking lot.  We decided an in-car Hawaiian barbecue feast might pass the time till the rain lifted so we stopped at Tu Tu’s Lunch Wagon in Ocean Park.

Tu Tu's

Tu Tu’s

During our car picnic the truth finally sunk in:  the rain had no intention of stopping.  We determined that we would at least get the narcissi deadheaded at Klipsan Beach Cottages and Andersen’s and then go on home.

Ocean Park interlude:  Why I dislike pampas grass:

so ugly if not cut back

so ugly if not cut back

But we love this driftwood fence and admire it every time we are in Ocean Park.

lovely

lovely

Then on to the deadheading at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

very wet

very wet

Oh how deeply thrilled I was to see that over the past week. Luis had mulched the fenced garden with the washed dairy manure from The Planter Box!  We are still behind on work so we are so glad to not have to do this.  What a beautifully detailed job he did, too.

mulched fenced garden

mulched fenced garden

a beautiful job by Luis

a beautiful job by Luis

stunning dark red tulips

stunning dark red tulips
Tulip 'Cool Crystal'

Tulip ‘Cool Crystal’

tulips

Tulips

Tulips

a returning tulip

a returning tulip

Most of the large KBC tulips are planted in pots and treated as annuals, but this particular tulip (above) has returned year after year in the garden.

Tulip

tulip

by the basement door

After attending to the house garden we walked across the drive to deadhead narcissi at the A Frame (one of the rentals when not occupied by its owners, Pete and Darlene).  Darlene wanted a vast show of narcissi in her woods garden so last fall we planted more, and more, and more…and finally this is the first year we got the breathtaking show that we wanted.  Enjoy:

entry to A Frame driveway

entry to A Frame driveway

A Frame garden A Callistemon blooms among the narcissi….

Narcissi

what a show!

what a show!

Allan had finally retrieved his raincoat from under the plants in the car and he toned will with the narcissi display.

Allan

narcissi and clam cleaning shed

narcissi and clam cleaning shed

The windowboxes on the cottages feature tiny species bulbs.  This will be the last year for the windowboxes;  they are being phased out and these bulbs will instead be displayed in some larger seasonal containers.  We all agree we’ll miss the windowboxes but they take too much time in the busy summer.

cottage windowbox

cottage windowbox

cottage windowbox

cottage windowbox

It’s nice to have the view of looking up into the faces of the flowers.  Sometimes they look back.

tulip

tulip

Owner Mary asked me to take some photos inside the cottages for the website…That made for a nice dry job for awhile while Allan continued to weed.

windowbox from inside

windowbox from inside

a wonderful place to stay

a wonderful place to stay

much more pleasant than out in the rain

much more pleasant than out in the rain

I fell in love with this valance in the cottage four kitchen.

I fell in love with this valance in the cottage four kitchen.

The cottages all have guest journals and I do so want to come up some winter day and read them all.  The last time I read them was the winter when Robert and I painted the cottages inside, to make some winter money, and that must have been before 2002.

room journal

room journal

guests from Russia!

guests from Russia!

and a recommendation

and a recommendation

Before we moved on from KBC, three more shots of the garden:

by the garage: Corokia cotoneaster

by the garage: Corokia cotoneaster

sword fern unfurling...the payoff for all the earlier cutting back

sword fern unfurling…the payoff for all the earlier cutting back

rhododendron and waterfall

rhododendron and waterfall

On the way back south I was sorry to have forgotten to even take a look at the Golden Sands Assisted Living garden….and our second visit of the year is so overdue…but we no doubt would have seen some big need that would have given me sleepless hours tonight.  We drove straight on to Andersen’s to deadhead the narcissi in the RV park.

west side garden

west side garden

Payson Hall planters

Payson Hall planters

tulips

tulips

Lorna will be thrilled that her tulips have almost popped, but the most thrilling sight of the entire day to me was that her sweet peas are up.  With the cold wet weather I have been terribly worried, having planted all the special seeds with no way to replace them if they failed.

Thank you, Mother Nature, for those teeny tiny sprouts.

Thank you, Mother Nature, for those teeny tiny sprouts.

The silver lining to the day is that although this blog entry took much longer than I thought it would, I may have time to read a few back entries of the Tootlepedal blog tonight.   I don’t know how he gets so much done and also writes such long blog entries each day.  Perhaps with practice at daily writing will come more speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allan moved in on his birthday, January 2nd, and went into sort of a state of shock about living in such a small space and also about how COLD my house can be in winter.  (No matter how we tried, we never got it above 50 on a cold day.)  His arrival unfortunately was followed by a cold snap which did not help.
Normally I would have taken more of January off but I wanted to impress him with the gardening business so that he would not feel he had quit his other job for nought but love.  (He had spent years assembling bicycles for Fred Meyer stores, but due to the incursion of cheap Wal-mart bikes, the job had been in a disturbing decline.)  So we started back to work early in the month. Our first job, while both of us had bad colds, was to spead yards and yard of horse manure all over Laurie’s garden beds by the bay. Sophie went with us one day. Below: Allan on his first day as a professional gardener.
introduction to gardening

introduction to gardening

mulch on Laurie's winter garden

mulch on Laurie’s winter garden

Below: Laurie’s garden in winter, being well mulched by manure, and plagued by moles, with the barn in the background and to the right, Allan having a brief lunch break at the car. It was so cold that we would warm our hands up on the car engine after we arrived at work.  What an initiation!

lunch time

lunch time

Our next big project was to gather ferns in the woods at Discovery Heights for replanting in the gardens there.

fern gathering

fern gathering

dragging ferns

dragging ferns

planting ferns along the middle garden at Discovery Heights

planting ferns along the middle garden at Discovery Heights

We operated out of Allan’s small Saturn with a utility trailer hauled behind. Between working, we went back and forth to Tacoma several times in the spring moving Allan’s stuff down. One memorable late stormy night, we turned back at the Willapa curves by a tree over the road and had to go back through Naselle and along the river route. After the trauma of trying to turn to car and trailer in the dark with possible traffic coming up behind (and no cell phone signal, of course), we decided to rent a U Haul for the rest of his stuff.

Below: Another spring project: creating some garden beds along the fences at Garnette S’s Seaview garden. I mucked out the stalls from Bennie, the carriage horse, who lived right next door, to improve the soil in the new beds.

Seaview project

Seaview project

Most of the during and after photos of the project are gone but the creation of long beds along this fence, and inside and outside of the other long fence length, took about a week. This was another of those gardens that I created but don’t maintain….

Seaview project

Seaview project

Below:  Narcissi (planted very late in 2004) in the middle garden at Discovery Heights.  Before long, a big gate would go in almost at the end of the garden.  After cleaning a couple of houses in the late 70s in the gated, exclusive Broadmoor neighbourhood of Seattle, I had sworn I would never work in a gated neighbourhood again, but I could not resist this garden.  Later, the gate made sense to me because until it went in, drivers went speeding up and down the curves of this hill for fun.

Narcissi at Discovery Heights

Narcissi at Discovery Heights

At this time, I don’t think anyone lived at Discovery Heights yet, and the Coastal Ridge townhouses were just being built.

Discovery Heights lower garden with baby plants and narcissi

Discovery Heights lower garden with baby plants and narcissi

Below:  J9’s dog Sophie on one of the days that Allan and I dogsat her by taking her to work with us. I accidentally made her look like a bad dog by asking her to sit for the photos….on top of the flowers.

my good friend Sophie

my good friend Sophie

Meanwhile, in other spring gardens…

tulips at the Shelburne

tulips at the Shelburne

Joanne's garden all cleaned up for spring

Joanne’s garden all cleaned up for spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In spring 2000, Mike Kitzman and his crew put in a new garden area along the Bolstadt beach approach, which became my project from then on.

beach approach garden, spring 2000

beach approach garden, spring 2000

Later that spring: Bolsdtadt Beach approach garden, with one of my favourite volunteer planters ever by a woman named Lily Gibson whom I was just getting to know.

later in spring with Lily's planter

later in spring with Lily’s planter

Part of the beach approach project had been to move half of the downtown planters to the two approaches (Bolstadt and Sid Snyder Drive, and replace those planter spaces with street trees.

Lewis and Clark Square planter in spring

Lewis and Clark Square planter in spring

one of the new little pop outs on Ocean Beach Boulevard in spring

one of the new little pop outs on Ocean Beach Boulevard in spring

the "big pop out" in spring

the “big pop out” in spring

One of the park gardens (by what is now Bensons By the Beach Restaurant) to which I had added bulbs and perennials:

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Below, summer 2000 in the Fifth Street Park by Marsh’s. The Phormium in the back center, which had been part of the original landscape architect’s planting, would later become a hideous monster.  In fact, pretty much everything in the original planting scheme has been replaced.  The ornamental grasses were huge and blocked the view of the shops behind.  An escallonia hedge was planted in a space allowing for a hedge about two feet wide and four feet tall, and of course it wants to be five or six feet wide and very tall.  ‘Dorothy Perkins’ rose is prone to mildew, and I really hated his original planting scheme of splodgy orange short annual rudbeckias and had already changed it to catmint, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and cosmos.

Fifth Street Park in summer

Fifth Street Park in summer

The beach approach garden grew lovelier by the month with delicate poppies and wildflowers mixed with beach-hardy perennials.

beach approach

beach approach

Mike and crew had placed driftwood and rocks at intervals and that is where we planted perennials.

beach approach detail

beach approach detail

beach approach garden and planter

beach approach garden and planter

Mid August came, and with it, kite festival.  I was deeply disgruntled because festival goers trampled all over my beach approach garden, and never felt quite as joyous about kite festival again.

kite festival 2000

kite festival 2000

The delicate wildflower approach changed as a result of the trampling, and over the years the beach approach garden had to become tougher, able to defend itself, but as a result, less beautiful.

 Below, Long Beach city hall, west side, the first spring (2000) after they let us replace some tired and wind-damaged old rhododendrons with perennials. My mission in Long Beach was to get the gardens to look great in summer, which meant removing tatty rhodos from city hall AND the police station.
city hall, spring 2000

city hall, spring 2000

The park by Marsh's in summer 2000

The park by Marsh’s in summer 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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in gallery form, a tulip (and occasionally narcissi) tour of all “our” gardens….  It’s not intuitive that if you click on the first photo, the gallery appears in a larger format that you can click through.

Tulips are  favourite of deer so in many of the gardens we care for, they cannot be grown.

Spring 2012 was a tough time for tulips. The deer grazed on some of the tulips right on the main street in the Long Beach planters, and the foliage got beaten up with water spots and looked, to me anyway, diseased and uninviting.  But once the flowers came out, the foliage no longer mattered.  I use a lot of single late tulips so that they will still be in bloom by the parades that take place in Long Beach and Ilwaco around the first of May each year.  And all my displays are heavy on viridiflora (green) tulips because they are my favourites of all.

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2011 in our new garden…

I do love a slideshow.

There is such a gap between tulip time and the flowers of early July.  2011’s tulips were extraordinarily late, and my new baby plants of other sorts were late to flower.  I lacked roses because we did not yet have our deer fence.  2012’s new roses will be babies, so I might have a similar gap this year.  I hope not.

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The rain has returned today more heavily than the forecast predicted.  Yesterday we did manage one day of work.  A Facebook friend from Cornwall tells me to get out there with waterproofs but I don’t relish the way water wicks up one’s arms and down one’s neck, so am still hoping for a spate of good weather. Were we still terribly behind on spring clean up, we would have to be out there no matter what, but we are down to only two spring cleanups left.

One was the Long Beach Subway garden where we had the joy of removing four tatty and awful Phormiums.  Or rather, Allan had the hard slog of digging them out and I the joy of seeing them gone. I believe he enjoys the feat of pick and shovel because he does volunteer for it.

Phormium hell

hideous Phormiums

biggest Phormium

Biggest of the Four

Both ends of the Subway entrance garden had battered Phormiums with blades falling onto the sidewalk.  To trim them and keep them there would be a harder battle year after year, so I campaigned for their complete removal.

at work

Allan at work on the second Phormium

results

so much better

We transplanted some catmint down to empty space at the far end.  The new look will provide a better sightline for vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot.  Now if only the rain would stop so we could finish the other parts of that landscape.

We had started the day at the Depot Restaurant’s garden and a private garden, Crank’s Roost.  Crank’s ferns are unfurling, the reward for having cut them back earlier this year.  You can see the effect of all our rain.

sword fern unfurling

sword fern unfurling

deer fern unfurling

deer fern unfurling

path after rain

path after rain

Crank's Roost

at Crank’s Roost

The day ended with a drive-by check on Long Beach’s tulips and a stop at the gardens at The Anchorage Cottages.   I’m pleased to report only a 5% or so loss in tulips from the wind.  Yes, the gales did snap off some blooms and the foliage is sadly spotted, and some of the blowsier tulips are browning off instead of opening properly, but I expected far worse.

Anchorage tulips

Anchorage tulips

Anchorage tulips

Anchorage tulips

Anchorage Hellebore

Anchorage Hellebore with Pulmonaria and Trillium!

green tulips

“green” tulips, Ilwaco library

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Wednesday morning we got a call from our client Dan Sass that contractors were digging a ditch through the back of the garden….a necessity to lay electrical line to a new building.  We decided we had better go check it out.  (I had still been pondering where to go on that day.  After three days off due to weather, it is sometimes hard to kick my mind into work mode.)  The contractors of AirRun construction (Astoria) had done an excellent job of working through the back of the garden without damaging any trees and shrubs.  We could see the route the rest of the ditch would take, so moved a hosta, a daylily, and some narcissi out of the way.

digging

a careful job of digging

the garden

the garden from north to south

Since we were there, we occupied ourselves for a few hours with the weeding and seed planting that we had been planning to do the following week, and enjoyed the wide variety of narcissi and other harbingers of spring.

trillium

trillium

narcissi

narcissi (with untrimmed sword fern)

We also got the last of the sword ferns trimmed on the upper part of the driveway.

new foliage

beautiful spring foliage

Narcissi bulbicodicum

Narcissi bulbicodicum ‘Golden Bells’ goes by the common name “yellow hoop petticoats”.

Tulip sylvestris

Tulip sylvestris

Narcissi

Narcissi

Narcissi

Narcissi

Narcissi poeticus

Narcissi poeticus

I am especially fond of the “poeticus” Narcissi with the tiny rimmed cup.

Spook and Guerra

Spook and Guerra

Gumby

Gumby

The spooky Great Dane relaxed for a short while before fleeing under the porch.  Until I found out that Spook actually hangs out with the contractors, I thought I had made great progress.  Then, I was just envious that Spook likes them better than she likes me!

zombie

zombie bridal bouquet

Oh, and here’s a re-enactment of the zombie bridal bouquet with which I described myself shambling through Long Beach a couple of entries ago.

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After a week of being completely distracted by creating that Discover Ilwaco page and by sorting through over 800 old slides that came back from India via Scancafe, I’m back to blogging.

Friday we worked at Klipsan Beach Cottages where all sorts of springtime wonders made us happy.

new fence

new fence

KBC owner Denny has build a new fence to give us an enclosed fruit and vegetable area; we moved four roses inside the fence to thwart the deer and planted sweet peas.

mouseplant

Arisarum proboscideum

Tulip sylvestris

Tulip sylvestris

Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant) is so called because its flower, which hides under the leaves, looks like a little mouse diving into the ground.

Tulip sylvestris is my favourite species tulip.  I get it from a catalog called Colorblends.

deer fern

deer fern

hostas

hostas unfurling

The deer and sword ferns visibly unfurling is the reward for cutting back the old foliage.

My favourite moment for the hostas is when they first emerge (before slugs have a chance to turn them into lace leaf variety).

golden comfrey

golden comfrey

tulip

early tulip

Love the colour of the golden comfrey, which is not too invasive (unlike the Japanese anemone which I am desperately trying to eliminate from that same bed.

That pink tulip should not be out yet!

A frame narcissi

A Frame narcissi

Narcissi in the newly cleared A Frame garden.  We hope to have ten times that many planted in there next year.

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