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Posts Tagged ‘California poppies’

Ilwaco

at home by our driveway: a snail who has taken up residence in one of the tree cups (Allan's photo)

at home by our driveway: a snail who has taken up residence in one of the tree cups (Allan’s photo)

We began with a light weeding at the post office.

We began with a light weeding at the post office.

I planted still more sweet pea seeds to fill in among the ones that have germinated along the picket fence.  Not sure if there is any hope for late planting, but I do recall that Cannon Beach gardening icon June Kroft says she plants her sweet peas late in her beach garden.  I also have to commit to watering these daily and I have a feeling I will slip up on that.

We worked for hours day all the gardens down Howerton Avenue.  In two days (May 2), it will be part of the parade route for the annual children’s parade and will also see many passersby for opening day of the Saturday Market.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

east end of Howerton, looking west

east end of Howerton, looking west

California poppies

California poppies

I used to discount the beauty of California poppies until I read this passage in An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter.  (You can read the book online here.  In searching for the specific quotation, I came upon it in a garden blog new to me called Island Gardener 2014.)

“One blossom I take in a loving hand the more closely to examine it, and it breathes a glory of color into sense and spirit which is enough to kindle the dullest imagination…. Every cool gray-green leaf is tipped with a tiny line of red, every flower-bud wears a pale-green pointed cap like an elf, and in the early morning, when the bud is ready to blow, it pushes off the pretty cap and unfolds all its loveliness to the sun…. As I hold the flower in my hand and think of trying to describe it, I realize how poor a creature I am, how impotent are words in the presence of such perfection. It is held upright upon a straight and polished stem, its petals curving upward and outward into the cup of light, pure gold with a lustrous satin sheen; a rich orange is painted on the gold, drawn in infinitely fine lines to a point in the centre of the edge of each petal, so that the effect is that of a diamond of flame in a cup of gold. It is not enough that the powdery anthers are orange bordered with gold; they are whirled about the very heart of the flower like a revolving Catherine-wheel of fire. In the centre of the anthers is a shining point of warm sea-green, a last, consummate touch which makes the beauty of the blossom supreme…. Turning the flower and looking at it from the outside, it has no calyx, but the petals spring from a simple pale-green disk, which must needs be edged with sea-shell pink for the glory of God! The fresh splendor of this flower no tongue nor pen nor brush of mortal man can fitly represent.”

Now I know that California poppies come in many colours and I grow pink, rose, white, yellow, and red ones.  A good source for seeds is the One Stop Poppy Shoppe.

creamy white California poppies

creamy white California poppies

burnt orange California poppies

burnt orange California poppies

Ceanothus is still blooming in several of the Howerton gardens.

by the Loading Dock Village, a building that houses several small businesses.

by the Loading Dock Village, a building that houses several small businesses.

ceanothus

Below:  This particular bed by a cannery was planted years ago with Escallonia which will get too tall for the space.  I’m waiting to see if they prune it, so we don’t have to.

It is a barkscape on top of landscape fabric....

It is a barkscape on top of landscape fabric….

and the underwear shows all over the place.

and the underwear shows all over the place.  A little barberry struggles in a small hole in the fabric.

I’d love to see all the fabric and the escallonias ripped out and something smaller planted.

We had only lightly weeded at the Craft 3 (formerly Shorebank) building last time (a garden of too-tall shrubs that was planted years ago).  Today I had a mess of weeds to pull in one of the open areas.

before

before

Two five gallon buckets of weeds came from that small area.

Two five gallon buckets of weeds came from that small area.

after, with strawberry and kinnickinnick left behind.

after, with strawberry and kinnickinnick left behind.

Allan pruned some of the California wax myrtle shrubs between the bank and the Ilwaco Pavilion.

Allan pruned some of the California wax myrtle shrubs between the bank and the Ilwaco Pavilion.  (Allan’s photo showing the job halfway done)

by the Ilwaco Pavilion, my favourite curbside bed

by the Ilwaco Pavilion, my favourite curbside bed

next, the little one we call the drive-over garden

next, the little one we call the drive-over garden

by the Don Nisbett Gallery and the port office, three good gardens

by the Don Nisbett Gallery and the port office, three good gardens

The only garden on the waterfront side, other than assorted containers maintained by businesses, is at the Port Office.

Lots of alliums already blooming

Lots of alliums already blooming

Half of the Time Enough Books curbside bed, all gravelly and rocky, is crying out for more cool scree garden type plants.

looking east from Time Enough Books

looking east from Time Enough Books

Tulip 'Florette' still blooming in the garden boat

Tulip ‘Florette’ still blooming in the garden boat

The other half is mostly filled by a ceanothus that will need to be pruned lower once it blooms.

The other half of the curbside bed is mostly filled by a ceanothus.

Bees love it.

Bees love it.

It echoes the colour of OleBob's upstairs.

It echoes the colour of OleBob’s upstairs.

Bookstore owner Karla says the ceanothus will need pruning lower after it blooms, as it is almost blocking the view of her sign.  The ceanothus were all planted years ago and too tall and too wide for the space.

In front of the soon to reopen Harbor Lights Motel, the beds are big river rock on top of landscape fabric.

In front of the soon to reopen Harbor Lights Motel, the two beds are big river rock on top of landscape fabric.

I’ve shown all but three of the curbside beds.  Here are the last two at the western end:

looking west

looking west, before

after weeding

after weeding

the westernmost bed

the westernmost bed

The best part: My goal had been to finish Howerton Avenue by five o clock so we could move on to another job, and look:

in the van, ready to go: spot on!

in the van, ready to go: spot on!

On the way our of town, we stopped near the boatyard and Allan hoiked a big old trailing rosemary out of the foreground planter, below.  The rosemaries that had survived several winters had gotten big, woody, and battered looking and I had suddenly realized they just looked like big green unsightly blobs on the side of the planters, throwing off any symmetry.

a quick addition of some diascias to planters by the boatyard...

by the boatyard, rosemary replaced by a nice diascia, Baby Moon narcissi still blooming

in the boatyard: Remembrance

in the boatyard: Remembrance  (Allan’s photo)

and Fear Naught

and Fear Naught  (Allan’s photo)

The Anchorage Cottages

I had a particular mission at The Anchorage, while Allan checked other areas of the garden: to pull out scilla from the center courtyard garden.

before

before

Scilla has swamped this bed in springtime since before I took on the job.

Scilla has swamped this bed in springtime since before I took on the job.

It's pretty and blue for awhile and then it has to go.  I'd get every bulb out if I could.

It’s pretty and blue for awhile and then it has to go. I’d get every bulb out if I could.

I only got it pulled halfway back.

I only got it pulled halfway back.  This bed also used to be full of way too many calla lilies.

Next week, I hope to get the back part cleaned up.

Next week, I hope to get the back part cleaned up.

after, some definition regained

after, some definition regained

Another problem needs imminent attention: The virburnums in the middle have gotten way too big and need to be pruned back before they smother out good lilies and perennials growing in front of them.

The viburnum would like to march forward over the birdbath and all.

The viburnum would like to march forward over the birdbath and all.

I cut a little bit back to dark older leaves...more next week.

I cut a little bit back to dark older leaves…more next week.

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin', blue potato vine, in a corner of the courtyard

Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’, blue potato vine, in a corner of the courtyard

Dutch iris 'Eye of the Tiger'

Dutch iris ‘Eye of the Tiger’

more scilla to pull next week

more scilla to pull next week

It's almost time to redo the four window boxes with summer annuals.

It’s almost time to redo the four window boxes with summer annuals.

Allan made a watering well for the new Acer 'Butterfly'.

Allan made a watering well for the new Acer ‘Butterfly’.  It was dry because no one had noticed its arrival.

The Cove Restaurant

We made it to the Cove Restaurant, our Thursday tradition, by seven thirty.

Prawn solo appetizer, shared

Prawns Solo appetizer, shared

Chef Jason Lancaster presented us with a bonus dish to try.

Seared duck breast with Starvation Alley Farms cranberry and wild foraged huckleberry sauce with walnut wild rice

Seared duck breast with Starvation Alley Farms cranberry and wild foraged huckleberry sauce with walnut wild rice

The sauce’s deliciousness was enhanced by the fact that the owners of Starvation Alley Farms reside in the house just to our east.

Our tiredness had inspired both of us to order a heavier entree of comfort food than usual.  We ended up taking half ot home for a late night nosh.

cajun chicken alfredo

cajun chicken alfredo (with a spot of sauce from the Prawns Solo

We now had just one day left to get gardens along the Long Beach parade route looking perfect.

 

 

 

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Friday, 13 March 2015

It started out well, with me getting Montana Mary’s birthday presents wrapped and sent.  At my request, Allan took a few photos of the garden just out the front door….

Wow! My second favourite tulip, 'Leo', is blooming and I almost missed it.  (left, red)

Wow! My second favourite tulip, ‘Leo’, is blooming and I almost missed it. (left, red)

Hmm.  That might not be the spectacular Leo after all, as the petals don’t look fringy enough. Here is Leo in the past.

The real Leo is very fringy.

The real Leo is very fringy.  (from  2013)

flowering currant

flowering currant

closer

closer

We did a little weeding and I planted some California and other poppy seeds at the Ilwaco post office.

post office garden

our volunteer post office garden

seeds planted

seeds planted (Buttercream, Dusky Rose, Rosa Romantica, Falling in Love

snails have badly chewed the beautiful Iris bucharica, dang blang it.

Snails have badly chewed the beautiful Iris bucharica, dang blang it.  You can see sluggo has been liberally applied.

Port of Ilwaco

We took up where we left off yesterday, planting seeds (me) and weeding (Allan) along Howerton Way at the port.

my reference for seeds planted by the Ilwaco Pavilion

my reference for seeds planted by the Ilwaco Pavilion

and in the other Ilwaco pavilion bed, my favourite one...

and in the other Ilwaco pavilion bed, my favourite one…

Dusky Rose and Thai Silk mix

Dusky Rose and Thai Silk mix

For the first time, I seeded California poppies in red shades and Legion of Honor poppies into the river rock (which blissfully for us does not have landscape fabric underneath) by the Powell Gallery.

powell

red shades, and then I added some mixed colours here and there

red shades (Carmine King and Red Chief), and then I added some mixed “Jelly Bean’s here and there

Marie Powell gallery garden

Marie Powell gallery garden

The small square garden bed closest to Don's gallery got some Artist's Glory.

The small square garden bed closest to Don’s gallery got some Artist’s Glory.

seeds for Time Enough books garden....also river rock over dirt rather than fabric

seeds for Time Enough books garden….also river rock over dirt rather than fabric (Thai Silk pink, Rosa Romantica, Dusky Rose, Buttercream, Ivory Castle, and Legion of Honor

the boat tulips are coming on....

the boat tulips are coming on….

The ceanothus hanging over the sidewalk is about to bloom, so I don't want to prune it now.

The ceanothus hanging over the sidewalk is about to bloom, so I don’t want to prune it now.

I weeded the small garden on the south side of the Port office, noticed it needed a couple of bags of mulch, and added to the day the dream of getting said bags at Dennis Co in Long Beach and applying it at the end of the day.  (This did not happen…it was only a dream.)

After planting some poppies in the westernmost beds, which had some coming up already, while Allan used to pick to hammer four santolinas into the river rock bed that does have landscape fabric underneath (by the old Harbor Lights motel), we planted a couple more santolinas at the boatyard…

boatyard garden with Euphorbia

boatyard garden with Euphorbia

and then we were on our way to Long Beach with one drive around the block because I’d seen some narcissi deadheads in an Ilwaco planter.

On the swing around I was struck by how well these ornamental pears show against the Shorebank building.

On the swing around I was struck by how well these ornamental pears show against the Shorebank building.

Long Beach

We tried to deadhead at the Depot on the way only to find the little restaurant getting a new roof.  It looked like there might be ladders on top of my alliums.  I felt philosophically sad, and we drove on.  After some deadheading at the welcome sign, I left Allan weeding Fifth Street Park while I walked around grooming the planters and street trees.

a park supervisor

a park supervisor

Fifth Street Park before

Fifth Street Park before

before, or rather during, with lots of infuriating wild alliums that look like grass to most people, probably

before, or rather during, with lots of infuriating wild alliums that look like grass to most people, probably

First thing when I get back after my trip to Sylvia Beach Hotel (which starts tomorrow) will be to plant sweet peas along where Allan is weeding out those bad alliums and some shotweed.

As I walked around the planters, I felt the time stress level mounting; we really hoped to be done by five thirty to allow time at home for paperwork, packing, and blogging, and some telly.  Here is some work stream of consciousness:  must be out of my mind scheduling such a long trip to Sylvia Beach during almost spring work season…so what if 60th birthday…will love it when I get there but so behind on work…wish could weed beach approach garden and berms…still have not done the damn big pop out! but Allan says he will do it when he returns (he’s coming back four days before I do)…bless his heart.

primroses under a street tree

primroses under a street tree..good…

a sign in the building by that tree..Thai food?  New?? Soon????

a sign in the building by that tree..Thai food? New?? Soon????

love the colour of these tulips

love the colour of these tulips

The owner of the smoke shop says a Thai restaurant is indeed opening very soon.  Better weed a little harder under that tree in front…I went back and did so… . Also she told me her cute little dog loves to patrol for snails around the base of the planter.  I offered him a job, but he already has one as mascot of the shop.

from the Herb 'N Legend smoke shop brochure

from the Herb ‘N Legend smoke shop brochure

species tulip...saxatalis

species tulip…saxatalis

deer

The southernmost planters are getting visited by deer now!!

Heading back north now…lugging my bucket, my ho mi and clippers. I get rid of some weeds along the way in the garbage cans.

Even the planter by the bus stop is nibbled a bit.  This means deer are dining on planters for the entire southernmost block.  Bodes ill for tulips there.

Even the planter by the bus stop is nibbled a bit (leaves tulips leaves bit in half). This means deer are dining on planters for the entire southernmost block. Bodes ill for tulips there.

At least they don't eat narcissi.

At least they don’t eat narcissi.

street tree narcissi; each tree needed a bit of weeding to look ok for another week

street tree narcissi; each tree needed a bit of weeding to look ok for another week

I paused Fifth Street park, where Allan was making great progress, and told him that I would do the two block to the north, as far as the stoplight and back, and that we would end the day by driving to the last two blocks of planters that are north of the light.  My legs hurt too much to walk that far.  I told him I hoped to be back to the park by four thirty so we could finish and get home early.

Tulip 'Gavota' came back; originally planted because it goes well with the Hungry Harbor colours.  It's a pretty good repeater.

Tulip ‘Gavota’ came back; originally planted because it goes well with the Hungry Harbor colours. It’s a pretty good repeater.  (With yellow Tulipa sylvestris)

Lily flowering tulip.  Look, the carousel is getting assembled for the season!

Lily flowering tulip. Look, the carousel is getting assembled for the season!

The carousel in winter

The carousel in winter: Just last week, it looked like this.

lily flowering tulip bulbs are cool

lily flowering tulip bulbs are cool

a viridiflora tulip beautiful in bud

a viridiflora tulip beautiful in bud

The tulip foliage is looking so healthy this year compared to previous years when it was spotted and battered with rain.

The afternoon turned to misery when I found the tree garden by Long Beach Tavern absolutely thick with chickweed.  I filled my bucket and had to call Allan for help dealing with the debris.

a hellish sight

a hellish sight

Allan comes to the rescue from half a block away

Allan comes to the rescue from half a block away

As I walked on, I hoped I would not run into any more chickweed messes.  My lower back was all wonky from carrying a heavy bucket and I had a sudden brainstorm.  I need an upright shopping cart, bucket sized, with a holder for all my hand tools.  I must make this happen.  I wonder if I have my mom’s old one anywhere around.  A wheelbarrow is too wide and blocks the sidewalk, but a little cart….must have…or maybe I could use a rolling walker with a seat for the bucket!

MUST HAVE; carrying a heavy bucket is killing me.

MUST HAVE; carrying a heavy bucket is killing me.

onward...the big planter in Lewis and Clark square

onward…the big planter in Lewis and Clark square

got this many snails from inside just one of those pretty tulips...argh

got this many snails from inside just one of those pretty tulips…argh

I cannot kill a snail (except discreetly with sluggo).  I threw them behind the wall in a weedy area.  And looked over the other side of the wall at a park which we so need to weed and clip but we don’t have time…

That fuchsia needs cutting, etc etc etc etc etc

A fuchsia needs cutting, etc etc etc etc etc  Happy to see the city crew barked it, which is hiding some weeds…

further north...a Cerinthe major purpurascens in bloom

further north…a Cerinthe major purpurascens in bloom

old Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'...gnarly and woody, needs replacing, but not today

old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’…gnarly and woody, needs replacing, but not today

mint tryng to take back over in the planter by the Pharmacy...MUST be pulled but not today (planted in the past by a volunteer)

mint tryng to take back over in the planter by the Pharmacy…MUST be pulled but not today (planted in the past by a volunteer)

I found another chickweed nightmare under another tree, and then a third chickweed nightmare in the planter by gazebo park, and called Allan to tell him I would not be back to the park by five.  He had already started to work his way north along a line of planters to meet me.

All day much stream of consciousness about too many jobs…should quit Long Beach…private jobs the most lucrative…but Long Beach is my right livelihood, my life’s mission…my legs hurt…too old…knowledge is worth a lot…must get little shopping cart. …a big cold 20 mph wind had come up and was making work a battle… Crossing a street with cars waiting, remembering a younger woman, a regular at the coffee shop I used to frequent, laughingly telling me I looked like a red faced old drunk when I was working in the wind.  Remembering that other woman telling me (while she tugged at and fidgeted with her tight uncomfortable outfit) that I shouldn’t be allowed to work in public because I looked like a homeless hobo.  And recalling my mother asking me “Why does Long Beach hire you, with the way you look?” And wondering  why I get completely stymied for a response to the astonishing things people say.

At-home gardeners, especially women, often write about the shabby, comfortable old clothes that they put on for a day in the garden (except for Katharine White, who was renowned for going out in her work dresses and heels the moment she got home from the New Yorker).  There is a reason why people prefer to garden in old, soft, comfy clothes: because it is COMFORTABLE.  Pretty much any couture would be beat to hell by the end of one of our workdays. I am not going to change wearing the most comfortable layers of clothes possible for getting through a long day nor will I apply any potions other than sunscreen and soothing hand lotion or lip balm.

Would any of those women who critiqued me to my face dare to question an old fisherman or male farmer about his personal style?  No. They would not. (Except for maybe a husband or son.) I’ve never been comfortable being defined by gender expectations. If I were younger I would adopt the wonderful new term Non-Binary or Genderfluid (which wouldn’t even be a thing were it not for rigid gender expectations).

Still, knowing that I’ve been judged and found wanting, my will to live today was getting seriously sapped by the horrible windy stream of consciousness, critical voices in my memory,  and increasing age-related physical pains that were making me hobble in front of the cars with my bucket and my work clothes and imagine those people judging me, too. (I used to move fast enough to get out of their vision quickly.) It was not being a good day.  Here’s something new and fresh instead:

Here are the new benches in Gazebo park for which we pruned back rhododendrons.

Here are the new benches in Gazebo park for which we pruned back rhododendrons.

This small leaved rhodo looks dead like this sometimes in spring and then revives, but now I think it has to go...by the city crew, not me.

This small leaved rhodo looks dead like this sometimes in spring and then revives, but now I think it has to go…by the city crew, not me.

Allan and I met up and went back to the van, and I was able to admire his work.

after shot of his project

after shot of his project

He had found time to weed this bed, also...

He had found time to weed this bed, also…

The next half hour was a frenzy of grooming the two north blocks of trees (only two trees there, thankfully) and planters (fewer per those two blocks than the other blocks).  Then home to do the work spreadsheet and back and blog…Usually my back is not a problem but it hurt enough when I sat down to make me yowl loudly…and finally at ten PM there will be dinner and telly.

Leaving tomorrow for Sylvia Beach Hotel with no worries about blogging as I am over ten days ahead.  Scared because might have to cross the big bridge to Astoria in wind and heavy rain.  Hoping to survive to turn 60 on the 17th.  Hope to come back with some sort of enlightenment that I always seek by reading the room journals.  And maybe some brilliant thoughts about what to do about work.

 

 

 

 

P.S.  Two days later, typing this from my phone: I’m at the SBH and all is well, even though I haven’t found complete enlightenment yet.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

at home

Rain and wind provided a blissful day off.

snoozy Mary

snoozy Mary

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

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

I read a gripping mystery from cover to cover.

I read a gripping mystery from cover to cover.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The work list is growing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

looking west at the neatened edge

looking west at the neatened edge

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

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

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

lots for Allan to pick up

lots for Allan to pick up

getting closer to the arch

getting closer to the arch

a trailer load of prunings

a trailer load of prunings

looking west from the arch

looking west from the arch

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

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

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

Allan's photo of Rudder

Allan’s photo of Rudder

City Hall, north side

City Hall, north side

narcissi

Narcissi and weeping love grass

Narcissi and weeping love grass

The hellebore is darkening as it ages.

The hellebore is darkening as it ages.

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

same hellebore on Feb 14

I do love small cupped narcissi.

I do love small cupped narcissi.

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 The Planter Box

a cute driver outside the Planter Box garden center

a cute driver outside the Planter Box garden center

a lovely flowering quince

a lovely flowering quince

Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)

Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)

Raymond ready to scoop

Raymond ready to scoop

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

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

in the store: assorted abodes for bees

in the store: assorted abodes for bees

and some pertinent information

and some pertinent information

The Basket Case

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

The Basket Case Greenhouse

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

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

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

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

Mike’s Garden

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

mulching at Mike's: Allan's photo

mulching at Mike’s: Allan’s photo

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

mulch being added

mulch being added

all nice now

all nice now

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

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

Narcissi 'Thalia', one of my favourites

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

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

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

a red pieris

a red pieris

Port of Ilwaco

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

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

before, looking northwest

before, looking northwest

after

 

before

before

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

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

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

oppies

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

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

The bed is by the Loading Dock Village.

The bed is by the Loading Dock Village building

flowering pear street tree in that same bed

flowering pear street tree in that same bed

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

more rocks to help hide the landscape fabric

more rocks to help hide the landscape fabric

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

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

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

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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

Cove Restaurant

the garden outside (Allan's photo)

the garden outside (Allan’s photo)

behind the counter (Allan's photo)

behind the counter (Allan’s photo)

menu

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

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

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

ahi

ahi tuna

bronzed scallops with lemon butter

bronzed scallops with lemon butter

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For your pleasure, a slide show from varying angles of the west garden at Andersen’s RV Park.  It is located between the owner’s house and office and the RV parking field, beyond which is the Pacific Ocean.  Its base is pure beach sand amended over the years with dairy manure and Soil Energy mulch.  While we did work there every week, our harried busy-ness last June and July (because of going on garden tours in Seattle and Portland) seems to have discouraged the regular taking of photos.

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This evening: a short bonus slideshow of another garden bed at Andersen’s.

 

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

I had hoped to get enough work done to see the handcrafted kite competition at the Kite Festival. So why did I schedule so many tasks before we got there? It just seemed proper to do the jobs in order, and besides, there was very little wind in the morning.

Ilwaco

First, we added some free begonias from The Basket Case to the vandalized and replanted Ilwaco planter.

and a lotus vine, thus adding some extra colour before the three remaining big tourism weekends.

and a lotus vine, thus adding some extra colour before the three remaining big tourism weekends.

One of the begonia colours coincidentally echoes the building colour across the street.

One of the begonia colours coincidentally echoes the building colour across the street.

When we did our compost bucket switch at Olde Towne Café, we were so pleased to see the Depot’s Nancy Gorshe and her mom, Marilyn of Marilyn’s garden.

Nancy and Marilyn out and about

Nancy and Marilyn out and about

Luanne's container garden

Luanne’s container garden

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot garden

The Depot garden

I realized today that half of the cosmos are lush and yet not blooming.

I realized today that half of the cosmos are lush and yet not blooming.

Solidago 'Fireworks' (goldenrod) just about to flower

Solidago ‘Fireworks’ (goldenrod) just about to flower

Persicaria 'Firetail', a favourite perennial of mine

Persicaria ‘Firetail’, a favourite perennial of mine

Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' after a good deadheading

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ after a good deadheading

windowboxes and barrels on the north side are by Nancy Aust of the Basket Case Greenhouse.

windowboxes and barrels on the north side are by Nancy Aust of the Basket Case Greenhouse.

The rosemary on the south side of the deck are finally thriving, having responded well to a dose of Dr Earth all purpose fertilizer.

Chef Michael's herb garden

Chef Michael’s herb garden

Kite Festival

Even though it would have been next in consecutive order, we skipped the Long Beach welcome sign in order to get to the kite festival in time to see the Water Creatures in the Sky mass ascension. Although it was not to be, as there was so little wind, we did see some sights that made the walk well worthwhile.

Pink Poppy Bakery, set up outside with liquid refreshments by Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm;

Pink Poppy Bakery, set up outside with liquid refreshments by Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm

We saw  passersby wondering over the rose hips in the beach approach garden

We saw passersby wondering over the rose hips in the beach approach garden.

a very few roses still hanging on.  Many people ask us what the rose hips are.

a very few roses still hanging on. Many people ask us what the rose hips are.

the source of Vitamin C rich rose hip tea

the source of Vitamin C rich rose hip tea

The rugosa roses can stand up to kite festival foot traffic as the prettier and more delicate garden of yore could not.

path worn through

path worn through because of booths on both sides of the street

at the end of the garden, nice amenities for dogs

at the end of the garden, nice amenities for dogs

out on the sand, a photo being taken...

out on the sand, a photo being taken…

of this

of this

Some frogs were flying; you can see on the sand that there was not enough wind to get the kitty kite in the air.

Some frogs were flying; you can see on the sand that there was not enough wind to get the kitty kite in the air.

the cat kites in 2009.  Later in this week, there was enough wind to launch them.

the cat kites in 2009. Later in this week, there was enough wind to launch them.

banners in the sand

banners in the sand

One of my favourite events at the kite festival is on Saturday afternoon when festival participants parade down the boardwalk holding their banners in the Parade of Colours. I would miss that this year as I was so much longing for a weekend at home.

Parade of Colours over the sand in 2010

Parade of Colours over the sand in 2010

and in 2009

and in 2009

Our work schedule did not allow us to wait around to see the handcrafted kites in the air (as it seemed from the announcements that the event might have been delayed due to no wind earlier).

quilt kites on the ground

quilt kites on the ground

I mostly hobbled around with my cane just off the hardpacked road, while Allan made it all the way down to the water’s edge.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking south toward North Head

looking south toward North Head (Allan’s photo)

Fishing is HOT this summer.  Nine boats on the horizon.  (Allan's photo)

Fishing is HOT this summer. Nine boats on the horizon. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan saw a handsome display with the likeness of extraordinary multiple kite flyer Ray Bethell. I had seen on Facebook that he is using a cane this year; he is 86 years old.

Ray Bethell banners

Ray Bethell banners (Allan’s photo)

Here he is in 2009 flying a kite with each hand and one off his hip.

Here he is in 2009 flying a kite with each hand and one off his hip.

I felt poignant all day about Ray, and later I heard that he did fly two kites later in the week.

You can see some videos of him here.

Near the event field, I saw this banner created by a fan of his.

Ray and a fan

Ray and a fan; he is beloved.

We had to get back to work…

Kite Festival booths on the beach approach, as we head back to town

Kite Festival booths on the beach approach, as we head back to town (Allan’s photo)

Our next work stop was Erin’s garden. We could see the kites off in the distance.

Erin’s garden

looking south

looking south

Cosmos and Kites

Cosmos and Kites

The new garden bed at Erin’s has come out fairly well except for a bare area at the west end. My solution will be a drift of silver santolina made from cuttings (stuck right into the ground) this fall. A river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’ would be awesome, too, although I would have to buy those somewhere and they would need a lot of water and deer might nibble them.

mysterious empty spot

mysterious empty spot

looks better closer in

looks better closer in

In some areas, California poppies grew well (just not in that bare spot).

In some areas, California poppies grew well (just not in that bare spot).

pink ones

‘Thai Pink Champagne’

'Buttercream'

‘Buttercream’

probably 'Red Chief'

probably ‘Red Chief’

bud

poppies2

cream2

probably 'Rose Chiffon'

probably ‘Rose Chiffon’

rose2

and a great, tall feathery poppy

and a great, tall feathery poppy

Erin has a friend helping in the garden and they have done a good job in the back courtyard.

back courtyard with three new Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning'

back courtyard with three new Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’

Anchorage Cottages

At the Anchorage, we were greeted by my good friend Mitzu.

mitzu

mitzu2

mitzu3

lots of deadheading to do in the containers

lots of deadheading to do in the containers: Salvia ‘Victoria Blue’ and Salvia viridis (painted sage)

the windowboxes are pretty much self-cleaning

the windowboxes are pretty much self-cleaning

I'm going to get me some of this persicaria in the fall for my garden and for an edger at Larry and Robert's garden.

I’m going to get me some of this Persicaria ‘Dimity’ in the fall for my garden and for an edger at Larry and Robert’s garden.

Long Beach

We circled back to the Long Beach welcome sign, just where Seaview turns into Long Beach, for the dreaded deadheading of hundreds of yellow daisies on Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’.

before

before

after

after

What the heck?! One of the bidens along the edge is missing, leaving a hole.

What the heck?! One of the bidens along the edge is missing, leaving a hole.

the whole view, with a gap of a missing plant; did they think I would not notice??

the whole view, with a gap of a missing plant; did they think I would not notice??

Cosmos 'Happy Ring' doing very well in the welcome sign garden.

Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ doing very well in the welcome sign garden.

Back to downtown Long Beach to water the planters. We parked near Veterans Field where we heard drumming and found a troupe of Korean drummers and dancers on the stage.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

dancer

drummers

 

The Veterans Field garden mostly white now with Gaura.

The Veterans Field garden mostly white now with Gaura.

just a little blue and red(dish)

just a little blue and red(dish)

After nitpicking little lawn grass sprouts out of the Vet Field garden, we left there to water the street planters just in time, as I looked back and saw the dancers down in the audience hauling citizens up to the stage! No photos of the planter watering as I was just tired.

After the planters, we weeded and deadheaded in Fifth Street Park.

After the planters, we weeded and deadheaded in Fifth Street Park.

Much as I love Baptisia australis, the one in this garden has gotten so large, and has such a short period of bloom, that I think it has to be removed.

too big and just too plain green

too big and just too plain green

During this and the previous water session this week, we got many compliments about how exceptionally pretty the town looks with all its flowers, not only the parks and planters but also the many hanging baskets created by Nancy Aust at Basket Case Greenhouse.

bask

Nancy’s baskets on the restroom building, Fifth Street Park

On the other side of the street, while Allan pulled some bindweed from behind the fence, I sat on a bench and had a pleasant view of the waterfall pond.

a sit down view that I have never seen before!  Backed with Darmera peltata (with Gunnera on the right, small as it was beaten down by a hard winter)

a sit down view that I have never seen before! Backed with Darmera peltata (with Gunnera on the right, small as it was beaten down by a hard winter)

beautifully reflective

beautifully reflective

Cove Restaurant

I had been looking forward all day to our weekly reward at the Cove Restaurant.

Allan's photo, art by our friend Don Nisbett

Allan’s photo, art by our friend Don Nisbett

the entry garden, Allan's photo

the entry garden, Allan’s photo

Parking Lot Cat (who despite his name, has a cushy life)

Parking Lot Cat (who despite his name, has a cushy life)

He wanted to come in but was shooed out per health rules.

He wanted to come in but was shooed out per health rules.

Chef Jason's strawberry salad

We dined on Chef Jason’s strawberry salad

ahi tuna, a fish taco and a Vortex beer went down a treat.

Ahi tuna, a fish taco and a Vortex beer went down a treat.

An outside diner got the company of Parking Lot Cat who sat in the chair through the whole meal.

An outside diner got the company of Parking Lot Cat who sat in the chair through the whole meal.

Next, we are planning on a three day weekend (except for Allan watering Ilwaco) and perhaps, if it is not too hot and dry so that we can put off watering Long Beach till Tuesday, a four day weekend. My goal is to not leave the property.

 

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

back garden, freshly mowed

back garden, freshly mowed

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

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

Yes, the weather was perfect all day.  Not too warm, not too cold.  54 degrees F with only the lightest of winds, and a slight haze over the sun so no glare.  We started by planting some sweet pea seeds in the northwest quadrant of Fifth Street Park in Long Beach; while I did that, Allan put magnesium sulfate around the roses to encourage basal breaks.  I believe in certain of these early spring fertilizing rituals even if it might be magical thinking.

one corner of Fifth Street Park

one corner of Fifth Street Park

Two and three years ago, the sweet peas in this park were glorious.  Last year, they did bupkis.  Cold, wet, or slugs got them.

sweet peas

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

this year's selection

this year’s selection

Streamers mix, Saltwater Taffy Swirls, Zinfandel, Pastel Sunset, Strawberry Fields, Watermelon, Old Spice Blend, Lipstick, Spencer Ruffled Mix, Cupani’s Original, Painted Lady, In the Pink mix

Signs of spring:  The town was full of visitors, with one group after another posing by the frying pan.

spring

The manager of the carousel was just putting on the finishing touches, as it was fully assembled again with children already waiting in line.

Long Beach Carousel

Long Beach Carousel

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

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

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Narcissi in the frying pan park

Narcissi in the frying pan park

We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob's Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park...but had to move on.

We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob’s Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park…but had to move on.

Having gotten worried about the Gunnera in the southeast quadrant of the park, I gave it a good look.  There are two little leaves coming up…but it sure looks nothing like the good growth on the one we saw in our friend Ed’s garden yesterday.

Gunnera, is there hope?

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

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

The progress of Ed’s Gunnera has made me very worried.

I had decided to plant annual poppy seeds (mostly California poppy) in the big pop out instead of a delightful selection of rock garden plants.  I know that the roots of Rugosa rose and couch grass lurk in wait; it will be easier to maintain if we can clean it all out once or twice a year.

One Stop Poppy Shop seeds

One Stop Poppy Shoppe seeds

I have poppy seeds from Renee’s Garden and from the One Stop Poppy Shoppe.  You can see, above, how small the packets of the sweet One Stop shoppe are; one feels they are home packaged with love and care.  Her selection is the best I’ve seen anywhere.

the world's tiniest zip lock bags

the world’s tiniest zip lock bags are inside each packet

I find my hands are too clumsy to open those little bags, so I cut them with scissors and then put the unused portions back in the larger packet.

getting ready to plant in the big pop out

getting ready to plant in the big pop out

California Poppy seeds are easy to broadcast.  Some of the finer Papaver seeds, like Flanders Field Poppy, are so tiny that I use another method.  First, I put the seeds in my palm.

seeds1

Then I blow, like blowing out a birthday candle.  This broadcasts the seeds over a good arc (provided nature’s wind is not competing with me).

whoosh!

whoosh!

Then we very lightly rake or sometimes even use a broom to even out the soil and get the seeds in good contact without covering them.  I’ve heard of mixing the seeds with granules of this and that to make them show up better, but I haven’t the patience.

I think I spilled part of a packet by holding it upside down over the sidewalk.  Will I never learn?  One of many reasons I don’t especially enjoy seed planting.  (Another reason is that I do not have deep faith that they will come up.  California poppies are almost foolproof.)

I had a few plants for the westernmost planter of the Bolstadt Beach approach.  Each got two Armeria (sea thrift) and two Santolina (lavender cotton).

near the boardwalk

near the boardwalk

Narcissi against beach grass

Narcissi against beach grass

Even this close to the shore, we had no appreciable wind today.  Happy tourists used different methods to get around.

bikes and horses

bikes and horses

While I checked on all the planters, Allan cut down the few ornamental grasses along the beach approach garden.  We still have to get out here and weed this monster.

grass cutting befores and afters

grass cutting befores and afters

We did a little more work downtown, planting sweet peas in the planter that has a tuteur in it (displaying signs for shops that are off the main street).  Allan weeded the Veterans Field garden, I chopped some Fuchsias back behind Lewis and Clark Square and then checked Dennis Company’s selection of flower seeds.

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

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

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

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

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

In a planter one block south, we had cut the Escallonia to the ground.  A volunteer had once planted these shrubs in two of the planters.  They would like to be over ten feet tall.  I am determined this time to keep them well pruned to preserve the traffic sightlines.  Would that I could remove them; I fear we would hit the electrical line for the lamp post if we dug that deep.

Escallonia coming back

Escallonia coming back

A stop at the Cottage Bakery for tiger paws figured into our schedule.  They pastries were eaten in haste on the way to do two short but effective projects at the Anchorage Cottages.

courtyard sweet pea trellis

Anchorage courtyard sweet pea trellis

flowersAllan built the string and bamboo sweet pea trellis in the office courtyard.  While he did that, I tackled some pruning.  Manager Beth had spoken of perhaps having a tree removed from the southeast corner of the resort.  I had pointed out that without the tree, the lawn area and cottages would lose a sense of enclosure and we would be able to see right through to cars passing on the main street, a block away.  She agreed (because she is agreeable) to just let me limb it up.

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

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

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

It all went well except when the chainsaw got stuck and I needed some help getting it out of a pinching branch. (I had gotten cocky and not cut the branch further out to take the weight off.)

Anchorage: some hosta spears saying "Spring!"

Anchorage: some hosta spears saying “Spring!”

We had to leave the pile of tree boughs behind because our trailer had a large item in it to deliver to our friend J9’s new home.  On the way, we put in a couple of hours of work at Andersen’s RV Park:  planting more sweet peas and weeding couch grass out of a bed so I could plant California poppies.

now weeded and planted with California poppies

now weeded and planted with California poppies

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

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

Andersen's: Muscari latifolium

Andersen’s: Muscari latifolium

At last, we made our delivery to J9: a rebuilt and strengthened two tiered platform for her cat Buddy to climb to the cat door.  I briefly walked around and further admired her darling new place.

all moved in!

all moved in!

on the back porch

on the back porch

garden relics

garden relics

J9 and Buddy

J9 and Buddy

We took a different road out of her Tides West neighbourhood.  I made Allan back up after we had driven past a compound (two houses) so cute that I had to have a photo.  He took it from the driver’s seat so it does not show very well the detail of the staggered shakes decorating the top part of the houses.  I will be watching this promising place to see what the garden looks like in summer.

so very cute!

so very cute!

The evening chill had come on at home and I was draggin’ leg so did not plant any more sweet peas.  Maybe tomorrow.

This is about all I saw of my garden at home.  Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi

This is about all I saw of my garden at home. Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi, backed with Nora’s house

That cardamine is a delight.  It’s in the same family as shotweed but so much nicer.  You’ll also see much of the irksome shotweed in our garden.

I had one big plan for the evening, if only we had gotten home sooner.  For my birthday, J9 gave me a vintage mirror that she thought I would put in the garden.  I decided it had to go in the house.  It will reflect the dining room table, so if only I could clear all the papers and other detritus and put a nice bouquet of flowers there (and keep it that way!), I’d have a wonderful picture.  Didn’t happen, so here’s a smaller view.

thanks, J9!

thanks, J9!

In the mail a few days ago, I got another birthday present from my old friend Shaz, who well knows my fondness for Mary Engelbreit and for little boxes.  A former Peninsulite and garden client, Shaz talks of visiting here from her Oregon home this year, and I think of her so often….I hope we don’t let life go by without a visit in either direction.

a little box from Shaz

a little box from a much loved friend

Speaking of birthdays, we want to wish a very happy one to Garden Tour Nancy’s husband Phil, an architect and a food-gatherer extraordinaire.  Nancy texted me this photo of him getting oysters on the shores of Willapa Bay during that cold windy day we had last Friday.

Happy birthday, Phil!

Happy birthday, Phil!

Tomorrow I think we will finally get to that one private garden that has not yet seen a glimpse of us this year.

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Our day started promisingly with a quick walk through our back garden to pick a bouquet for Queen La De Da’s Art Night event. I took a little time to admire some of the flowers.

I'm pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

I’m pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

California poppies

This tiny jewel of a Pacific tree frog on a rose made my morning happy.

tiny perfection

tiny perfection

(As I write this, I can hear the evening chorus of frogs that tells me many more are out there.)

"Maxine's rose" rambling

“Maxine’s rose” rambling

I even have a very few Eremurus (foxtail lilies) that, while not a patch on my friend Sheila’s, are the best I’ve ever managed to grow. (A thought: They would look excellent in the front garden where I like tall plants, so I must plant some there this fall.)

Eremurus

Eremurus

And Mary was looking cute and silly. (She came to us with that name.)

my Mary

my Mary

Next we checked the Ilwaco boatyard garden and saw some beautiful flowers and interesting boats.

a pleasant name

a pleasant name

Condor II

Condor II

Janice Ann

Janice Ann from Newport

boatyard garden

boatyard garden, looking north

toadflax

toadflax

looking south

looking south

reseeded California poppies

reseeded California poppies

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

We then weeded and removed dead bulb foliage from the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and Don Nisbett Art Gallery and the Port office to make sure they looked good for the art night scheduled for that evening.

looking west on Howerton

looking west on Howerton

Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' at the Port office

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ at the Port office

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', of course.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, of course.

I pondered why two out of three of the Eryngiums from last year bloomed beautifully while one just sat there.

a non flowering year

a non flowering year

That was the only annoying bit of a pleasant morning, but the day would soon turn difficult.

At 12:30, we went up to Discovery Heights with the intention of spending seven hours on the gardens there, and so we did. But what a horrible mess they were. We simply have too many clients and this job, being one we do not drive by on our regular route, tends to get neglected during planting season. It consists of two very large and three medium sized planting areas, all of which require getting up onto a rock wall either high or low.

middle garden

middle garden

west end of middle garden

west end of middle garden

We both weeded along the front of the middle garden for awhile and then Allan went down to the lower garden while I tried to at least finish the front of the middle one. I took a before photo but did not have the heart to take an after.

before

before

The gardens are basically gorgeous, if I do say so, having planted them in late 2004 and then with Allan when he first moved here in 2005. The selections are deer resistant and have grown well together. The weeds in middle garden have always been a problem because bad soil was brought in (not my choice) containing much horsetail and rush. We were laid off for eight months or so in 2009 and during that year the weeds moved in fiercely. By the time we took the job back, the large time slot it had had was lost to other jobs, and we have never really managed to find time get the garden the way we like it to be. But that is not the main issue. I just am finding the job terribly hard as I get older, and I finally had a revelation that was right up there with the Great Revelation of 2007: to only do jobs that bring joy. I may only have another twenty years of active gardening IF I am as lucky in health as my mother. (She was able to retire at age 55, and that may have contributed to her being able to work in her garden till age 82.)

But it is hard to give up a garden that one has planted. I walked down to join Allan at the lower garden and sat for a moment in the car to eat a snack, gazing up into the garden where the sight of still more thick weeds met my eyes.

grass obscuring the garden

grass obscuring the garden

Did I weep? If I did, it would be unusual. Did we go up into this garden and weed for an hour? We most certainly did. Did I make a final decision? Yes. Before we even got back into the zone of cell phone coverage, I was composing a email of gradual resignation on my phone. I’ve tried to back off from this job before but have always been talked out of it by the owners. They deserve better, someone who has the time to weed thoroughly. I explained that the cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco and the Port of Ilwaco gardens have gotten more expansive every year and that those public gardens are my priority, but I think that one particular point that I made finally got the owners to agree to ask another local gardening business to begin to take over the weeding. I wrote that “the city jobs, to be quite frank, are MUCH more comfortable to do being on level ground and with, well, bathrooms! Climbing down off the rock wall and trekking off into the woods is no fun for a middle aged lady, let me tell you!” Ha! I should have used that VERY accurate reason for resigning before. Later when I told my friend Judy that I need jobs with three amenities: some shade, a chair or bench to sit on at lunchtime, and a bathroom, she said “No chair, no shade, no bathrooms, no Skyler!”

When we got home, I had to recover from all the emotion before going out again, so we did not get to Art Night till the last hour and missed the crowd of over sixty people who had attended. I was thrilled that the event had done so well and regret that I only got photos after the biggest crowd had gone.

Marie Powell's gallery

Marie Powell’s gallery

floral monotype in Marie's gallery

floral monotype in Marie’s gallery

Don Nisbett's gallery

Don Nisbett’s gallery

 

a Basket Case basket from inside Don's gallery

a Basket Case basket from inside Don’s gallery

outside Queen La De Da's

outside Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

evening music

art night guests outside the Port office

art night guests outside the Port office

From inside Queen La De Da’s, this piece of art spoke to me about the big decision of the day:

follow your heart

My heart says to only do jobs that bring us joy and to NOT do so many jobs that we have no time to spend in our own garden during spring through autumn. My perfectionism says that fewer jobs done well are better for our own satisfaction and that of the clients. My social conscience tells me that the most important jobs to me are the ones that benefit the most people: resorts, city gardens, art gallery gardens. The very most important jobs are the ones whose gardens benefit passersby of all classes and economic status, i.e. the city gardens. The very good sleep that I got that night told me that I had made the right decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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