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Posts Tagged ‘Casa Pacifica’

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

On the way out of Ilwaco, I admired the crocus and tulips in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.

post

Ilwaco post office

Ilwaco post office

crocus

 

Before our job of the day, we had a somewhat ridiculous errand to run in Long Beach.  About a week ago, we saw a white bucket by one of the east parking lot gardens.  It had a label different from than any of ours but we had stopped our van and taken a look at it anyway, only to find it filled with dirty diapers.  We were both repulsed and squeamishly just left it there, since there was no handy garbage receptacle to bung it into.

Yesterday, a guy who bikes around town a lot saw us working at Jo’s and told us we had left a bucket, so we realized the city crew probably thought it was ours.  We meant to look for it on our way home and forgot.  This morning, it weighed heavily on my mind and we went up to Long Beach to retrieve it, dirty diapers, some kind of oily goo, sticky handle, and all.

After putting it in our trailer to throw out in our own wheelie bin at home (because we decidedly did not want to touch the contents while putting them into a city trashcan), we were off to our last spring clean up job of the season.  We are about a week ahead of last year in making our first visits to all of the gardens.  We just paused to deadhead some spent narcissi in front of the Home at the Beach gift shop and to dote on the gorgeous Tulip sylvestris blooming in the same planter.

Tulip sylvestris

Tulip sylvestris

Tulip sylvestris, one of my favourites, an early bloomer

Tulip sylvestris, one of my favourites, an early bloomer

We got some coffee at the Great Escape drive through.  Beth from the Anchorage Cottages was right behind us and asked when we were coming back there.  I was pleased to be able to tell her that Anchorage is on our schedule for tomorrow because…YAY!…this was to be the last big spring clean up day.

Casa Pacifica

We spent the rest of the workday at our only job that is not on the Peninsula.  (Well, Ilwaco is technically not on the Peninsula, either, but that’s another story.)  Casa Pacifica is east out of Seaview; it only takes 8 minutes to get there straight from our house.  Perhaps it is because it has no proximity to the bay or the ocean or the river that it seems so different a place than our other jobs.

We began by tidying up the big barrels by the workshop/garage that we pass on the way in.  How strange it was to find calibrachoa (million bells) blooming on March 4.

They usually bloom around May.

These trailing annuals  usually bloom around May, or April inside a warm greenhouse.

Last year, we did not get to this job till March 11th.

Last year, we did not get to this job till March 11th.

Across from the workshop, we’ve planted narcissi and a few tough trailing perennials on an almost vertical bank of heavy clay.

scrimmy grass at the cliff base; Allan cleaned it up

scrimmy grass at the cliff base; Allan cleaned it up

We did some limbing on a fallen tree that was blocking the view of some of our narcissi

We did some limbing on a fallen tree that was blocking the view of some of our narcissi.

Next, we worked our way along the long entry drive pruning sword ferns and pulling the native blackberry along the edge.

before

before

before

before

The dogs were all watching from the top of the hill; they are such good dogs that they wouldn’t come all the way down to the workshop area.  When I was halfway up the hill, my good buddy Dusty and the shy Darcy came to see me.

my good friend Dusty with a stick

my good friend Dusty with a stick, which I won’t throw yet as all he will want to do is play.

Oh how he wants me to throw that stick!

Oh how he wants me to throw that stick!

"Hi, Darcy, what a good girl; see, Dusty likes pets!"

“Hi, Darcy, what a good girl; see, Dusty likes pets!”

my helpers; too bad Dusty won't haul all the fallen branches away for us.

my helpers; too bad Dusty won’t haul all the fallen branches away for us.

after: Clipping and pulling is all we have time for as there is much to do up in the garden.

after: Clipping and pulling is all we have time for as there is much to do up in the garden.

Dusty waiting for us to come up the hill.

Dusty waiting for us to come up the hill.

further up:  I'm pleased someone hauled off some fallen branches that would have hidden this ring of narcissi.  (The top of this tree broke off last year.)

further up: I’m pleased someone hauled off some fallen branches that would have hidden this ring of narcissi. (The top of this tree broke off last year.)

more tree fall by the driveway

more tree fall by the driveway

The main highway is just over that hill.  Owners Dan and Leanne bought the place from a satellite view, not realizing it is a noisy road.  My dog, Bertie Woofter, would have been right down that slope chasing cars.  The Casa Pacifica dogs, Spook, Darcy, and Dusty, are such good dogs that they stay on the property.  I would love to have a good dog like that.

Spook

Spook, still feeling shy and nervous at company

Spook, a remarkable 17 year old rescued Great Dane, finally let me pet her on our last work day in November 2014.  She remembered that we are friends now and no longer feared me, although it took a couple of hours before she came to me for pets.

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Spook still pondering.

While I worked the flower barrels and the narrow beds next to the house, Allan cut back the big pampas grass and pruned the downside of a hydrangea on the lawn island.  (It pains me to work standing on a slope.)  I came in after him and pruned the hydrangea, ferns, and a buddleia that are on level ground.

the island before

the island before

after

after

after

after

before and after, Allan's photos

before and after, Allan’s photos

While Allan went to the back of the house to prune ornamental grasses, ferns, hydrangeas and buddleias on the raised wall, I did the damp little corner by the office.

before and after

before and after; I hope the Darmera peltata will come back in this spot.  All the roof drainage seems to end up here.

The rock wall garden stretches in a gentle curve all along the back of the house.  Allan takes care of this part of the garden because it hurts me knee to climb up there.

before

before

before

before

before and after, Allan's photo

before and after, Allan’s photo

after

after

after

after

The rock wall garden needs mulch; it would show the plants off better to have soil darker than the brown clay.  Any pile of mulch would have be dumped in the driveway and then wheelbarrowed past the house and up the far end of the slope.  I’ll be 60 in a couple of weeks and I just don’t feel up to such a strenuous job.  This is the year of house remodeling, so the garden is in sort of a holding pattern.  I hope we can find a solution to the mulch problem in the form of younger backs and knees by 2016.

a pale brown garden

a pale brown garden

I chop and drop some of the plant debris here to try to add some compost; great big pruned dry grasses are too messy so Allan hauled them further back out of sight.

The palette of shrubs does fairly well in the dry months of summer with little water.

The palette of shrubs does fairly well in the dry months of summer with little water.

narcissi

guy

A big kitchen extension is going to pop out here starting next week.

A big kitchen extension is going to pop out here starting next week.

Darcy followed me around at a safe distance.

Darcy followed me around at a safe distance.

Dusty lived in hope.

Dusty lived in hope.

Ribes sanguineum (pink flowering currant) by the garage (Allan's photo)

Ribes sanguineum (pink flowering currant) by the garage (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo, flowering currant

Allan’s photo, flowering currant (one of the shrubs we have added)

After work, Dusty and I took a walk round while I applied some Sluggo.

dusty

with Darcy close behind

with Darcy close behind… (Next time, I’ll put an edge on that garden bed.)

bird nest in the lawn island hydrangea

bird nest in the lawn island hydrangea

my good friend's rapt attention

my good friend’s rapt attention

Finally, work was done and I threw the ball for Dusty.

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playtime at last!  (Darcy never gets the ball but she tries.)

playtime at last! (Darcy never gets the ball but she tries.)

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The tennis ball is in the upper left corner! (Allan’s photo, of course)

Spook finally came for pets.  Dusty, jealous as usual, kept pushing her out of the way so Allan threw the ball some more and I got Spook to myself for a bit.

Spook and me

Spook and me, with Dusty pushing in

Spook, too old and stiff to play ball.  I know the feeling.

Spook, too old and stiff to play ball. I know the feeling.

O to be young and lively again.

O to be young and lively again.

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Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Darcy always a little behind Dusty (Allan's photo)

Darcy always a little behind Dusty (Allan’s photo)

Dusty is tireless.

Dusty is tireless even though he has to run up a steep hill after every throw.

He knows how to sit politely while waiting for the throw.

He knows how to sit politely while waiting for the throw.  Which is good because otherwise he knocks into me.

Such a good boy!

Such a good boy!

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Allan’s photo

I love them!

I love them! (Darcy almost let me pet her head, but not quite.)

my shadows.  Darcy finally got close enough to sniff my hand but she still has not let me pet her.

my shadows. Darcy finally got close enough to sniff my hand but she still has not let me pet her.

Allan used the Map My Walk application because he was the one who went up the the rock garden slope and also hauled the debris from all areas off into the woods.  I find my mobility limited by the steep slopes in this landscape.

Map My Walk says Allan walked 5.57 miles and took 13,296 steps in 4.26 hours.

Map My Walk says Allan walked 5.57 miles and took 13,296 steps in 4.26 hours.  (You can see how close the highway actually is to the garden.)

We had time to drive home and relax for an hour before going to dinner.  It was hard to get back up after sitting down.  We joined Fred and Nancy Aust, owners of the Basket Case Greenhouse, for Burger Night (takes place every Wednesday off season) at The Depot Restaurant.

at the Depot:  Allan's photo

at the Depot: Allan’s photo

Fred and Nancy's response when I said I needed a photo of them for the blog.

Fred and Nancy’s response when I said I needed a photo of them for the blog.

Back home, I admired the work board.  To the left of the empty “first visit” list is a list of projects.  Still, I do like the look of this:

all of the first visits, done!

all of the first visits, done!

Next: In honour of another delicious Depot dinner, a slideshow of the Depot garden in 2014.

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

On the way to work, I took a bouquet of flowers to Luanne at Olde Towne Café for the art night event later on. It recently occurred to me that using the dark foliage of my assorted Physocarpus shrubs would look great in bouquets and help keep the shrubs to a reasonable size for a mixed border.

bouquet and art

bouquet and art

While taking a few photos for the café’s Facebook page, I saw a book that I had loved:

The Child from the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge

The Child from the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge

Luanne said she loved it, too, and had read it many times, and she retrieved it from the for sale books, after all. She had looked for other books by Goudge and not found any; I told her I have a collection: Eight, as it turns out, so the next day I took her my copy of The Castle on the Hill to read.

outside Olde Towne

outside Olde Towne

Casa Pacifica

Then we were off to the Casa Pacifica garden, three miles east of the Peninsula. We don’t get there as often as we should, and I have said our feelings won’t be hurt if Dan and Leanne find someone else, but so far, they are willing to wait.

This is what Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' looks like undeadheaded for awhile.

This is what Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ looks like undeadheaded for awhile.

and cleaned up

and cleaned up, with new blooms to come

After deadheading the seven barrels down by the garage/workshop, we went to the house level of the garden.

My good friend, Dusty, greeted me.

My good friend, Dusty, greeted me.

My black lab, Bertie Woofter, used to make that same face.

My black lab, Bertie Woofter, used to make that same quizzical face.

Progress with Darcy:  She almost took a biscuit from my hand.

Progress with Darcy: She almost took a biscuit from my hand.

Spook and Darcy being shy.

Spook and Darcy being shy.

Poor old Spook is getting very stiff.

Poor old Spook is getting very stiff.

The maple by the front porch is the front garden's best feature.

The maple by the front porch is the front garden’s best feature.

five barrels of colour by the upper driveway

five barrels of colour by the upper driveway

just a bit of the back garden, which is dry due to a low well.

just a bit of the back garden, which is dry due to a low well.

The garden itself does not take very long as weeds don’t grow when it is so dry. I’d love to get some washed dairy manure mulch up there, but it is too much work for me to get it up and over the rock wall (after wheelbarrowing all the way across the lawn from the driveway). That’s a job for someone younger.

My buddy again.

My buddy again.

We needed to check on the Ilwaco gardens for art night; I was pleased that we would have time to do a few other tasks first, as that would make Friday much easier.

The Depot Restaurant, Seaview

At the Depot, we still have some cosmos that are waiting...and waiting...to bloom.

At the Depot, we still have some cosmos that are waiting…and waiting…to bloom.

The Helenium is just about done.

The Helenium is just about done…

While the clumping (not running) Solidago 'Fireworks' is just coming into its glory.

…while the clumping (not running) Solidago ‘Fireworks’ is just coming into its glory.

Long Beach Welcome Sign

The welcome sign takes so long to deadhead each week that it was excellent to get it done before Friday.

It's a good thing the Cosmos 'Happy Ring' only thrived at the sunnier end of the back of the sign, or it would have blocked the "Thank You".

It’s a good thing the Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ only thrived at the sunnier end of the back of the sign, or it would have blocked the “Thank You”.

Allan walks the ledge to get deadheads at the front of the sign.

Allan walks the ledge to get deadheads at the front of the sign.

Port of Ilwaco

As we entered Ilwaco, we saw a charming scene outside of Olde Towne.

Olde Towne again, customers surrounded by Luanne's container garden

Olde Towne again, customers surrounded by Luanne’s container garden

We had been wanting all summer to try out a new café at the port and finally had time. We’d heard that Nate’s Coastal Cones and Snacks had excellent wraps, and the word of mouth reviews were correct.

Nate's

Nate’s

We split this very tasty lunch so we would have an appetite for dinner at the Cove in the evening.

We split this very tasty lunch so we would have an appetite for dinner at the Cove in the evening. You get to choose your ingredients from a long list.

the view

the view

and an interesting boat house in the marina

and an interesting boat house in the marina

Then we got back to work weeding and watering the gardens by the Port Office, Time Enough Books, and Don Nisbett Art Gallery.

Time Enough Books garden boat

Time Enough Books garden boat; I think I need to move the golden marjoram and add to the sea of blue Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

The Howerton Way gardens had held up very well from our last weeding, so we moved on quite soon to the boatyard garden.

boatyard

north end of the boatyard garden (with more Solidago ‘Fireworks’)

Cosmos and a few poppy stragglers

Cosmos and a few poppy stragglers

The weather while we were weeding was uncomfortably hot by our standards (probably only 70 degrees or so); by the time we dumped our debris at the east end of the port, a cooling fog was rolling in.

delicious!!

delicious!!

Then it was time for a visit to the last monthly Art Night of the season.

one of our smaller Howerton Way gardens

one of our smaller Howerton Way gardens

Don's Gallery with baskets from the Basket Case Greenhouse

Don’s Gallery with baskets from the Basket Case Greenhouse

Don and Jenna (Queen La De Da)

Don and Jenna (Queen La De Da)

Don's Gallery always draws visitors.

Don’s Gallery always draws visitors.

the view

the view

as we left, looking west along Howerton Way

as we left, looking west along Howerton Way

We made an ever so quick stop at Olde Towne to get some photos.

Olde Towne art night

Olde Towne art night

One of the artists, Cynthia Pride Moore.

One of the artists, Cynthia Pride Moore.

I especially like this piece by Elizabeth Chappelle.

I especially like this piece by Elizabeth Chappelle.

We had to move on, because I had a strong feeling that I did not want to miss our Thursday tradition of dinner at The Cove.

Parking Lot Cat was glad to see us!

Parking Lot Cat was glad to see us!

PLC and me (Allan's photo, of course)

PLC and me (Allan’s photo, of course)

When we entered, the restaurant had every table full. Just before I said we would sit at the bar, we were told “You’re sitting with those two!” There were Steve and John of the bayside garden that we so admire. We had been vaguely planning a Thursday night Cove dinner, then they had had company; today I had thought at around 3 o clock of sending them an email but it seemed too late, and I was not sure when we would be able to leave art night. Cosmically, Steve had emailed ME at 3 o clock, and they had decided to go anyway. Allan and I were delighted. We had delicious food and conversation all about gardening, entertained with photos of the way their garden looks right now, which led to plans to garden tour there next Tuesday.

The food was delectable, as always.

Chef Jason Lancaster gifted us with a sample of his new lobster roll, which we split four ways.

Chef Jason Lancaster gifted us with a sample of his new lobster roll, which we split four ways.

the ahi tuna artistry of the week

the ahi tuna artistry of the week

Steve and John each had caesar salads and fish tacos.

Steve and John each had caesar salads and fish tacos, all pronounced delicious.

I was delighted to hear that Steve has subscribed to and daily reads the Tootlepedal blog, loves Mr Tootlepedal’s droll writing style and his wonderful photos of birds, gardens, and scenery.

Now we, and you, have a visit to their garden to anticipate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

I sat all day and worked on the blog about the Music in the Gardens tour. My knee had taken a discouraging turn for the worse when I got on the shuttle bus to go to the Pink Poppy wedding…even though it was just a tall van, not a real bus. That is how decrepit I have become of late! That was my excuse for just sitting on a Sunday off…and a 20 plus mph cold north wind made another good excuse. I was anxious to get all the tour gardens written up, and then to rave about the Pink Poppy Wedding and all its glories just the day before, and then get back to the work daybook. Even publishing twice a day had set this blog back by two weeks because of the 55 plus delightful gardens we had toured; each deserved its own set of photos and praise. (Well…a few, and a very very few, did not get many words of praise. On the rare occasion that a garden does nothing for me, I have photos to share but not many and fewer words.)

Allan went sailing on Black Lake…

The Black Lake Yacht Club

The Black Lake Yacht Club

He says the 20 mph made the sail more frantic than fun. He had to furl the sail and row back to the Yacht Club.

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rough seas!

rough seas out on the lake!

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safely back

passersby

passersby

After his exciting sail/row, Allan watered the Ilwaco planters with the water truck, and the usual tribulation:

The hose burst.  Again.

The hose burst. Again.

the usual repair

the usual repair

The watering job already takes forty five minutes longer with the trailer than before (when he used to do the back breaking bucket watering)…and would take even longer with a stiff hose to coil up on each short drive between planters. However, the soft hose, while easy to maneuver, is terribly delicate.

Monday, 28 July 2014

We began our work day with some weeding at the Ilwaco Post Office garden; it looks ok even though we have not kept up with it as well as usual.

good lilies!

good lilies!; I had had a vision of better sunflowers but…not enough watering.

Looking west down Lake Street, we could see a bank of fog just waiting to roll in.

Looking west down Lake Street, we could see a bank of fog just waiting to roll in.


 

Jo’s Garden

We had promised Jo a garden clean up. She had done a charming remodel of the former dank, dark rhododendron area on the north side of the center patio.

just before the arbor to the center patio

just before the arbor to the center patio

This photo from last year shows big rhodos on the left.

This photo from last year shows big rhodos on the left.

and now...

and now…

Now it's an open and light sitting area.

… an open and light sitting area.

The rhodos are still there…it would have been so hard to remove them with their roots perhaps going under the house. They will be kept clipped, I assume.

rocks

I love the gutter drainage with river rocks.

I love the gutter drainage with river rocks.

Good job, Jo! (and whichever family members helped)

looking west from the center patio

looking west from the center patio

While I weeded the west end, Allan worked on the north east garden.

He got the path to show again.

He got the path to show again.

and he dug out a big fern that was out of scale...

and he dug out a big fern that was out of scale…

and dug up a big fern that was out of scale.

after fern removal

another view, before

another view, before

and after

and after

Digging out the fern...

Digging out the fern…

...made the Japanese maple show up as one enters the garden.

…made the Japanese maple show up as one enters the garden.


 

Long Beach town

A good companion job to Jo’s was the watering the the Long Beach planters and light weeding of the parks.

I'm liking the new strip we planted on the north side of the World's Largest Frying Pan park.  (The blue star juniper was there before.)

I’m liking the new strip we planted on the north side of the World’s Largest Frying Pan park. (The blue star juniper was there before.)

It is kind of a mishmash of things that were blooming in mid April for the clam re-dedication.

It is kind of a mishmash of some plants that were blooming in mid April for the clam re-dedication; fortunately, I had room to add more for summer colour.

On the south side of Fifth Street Park...The gunnera, while small, did survive.  For the first time, the Darmera peltata is bigger than the gunnera!

On the south side of Fifth Street Park…The gunnera, while small, did survive. For the first time, the Darmera peltata is bigger than the gunnera!

The planter in front of the Herb 'N Legend Smoke Shop is one of my favourites this year.

The planter in front of the Herb ‘N Legend Smoke Shop is one of my favourites this year.

When one of the smoke shop employees told me, during planting time, that they defend the planter from vandals, I was inspired to give them some extra special plants like the white and pink coreopsis. The good yellow dahlias come back every year.

got it from the Basket Case, 'Star Cluster' Coreopsis

got it from the Basket Case, can’t recall the name

the smoke shop planter from across the street

the smoke shop planter from across the street

At the end of the workday, we tried the new Streetside Tacos restaurant (take out or sit at a few seats indoors).

taco

absolutely delicious

absolutely delicious

Every evening, I looked forward to getting home and returning to garden tour blogging.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Casa Pacifica

When Dan and Leanne moved here from Texas, they acquired a beautiful garden and we acquired our only job off the peninsula (ten minutes or less to the east).

Due to my torn calf muscle and knee pain, and our garden tour trips, private gardens that we care for had been neglected in favour of public ones. We had not been to Dan’s for a few weeks and I was so glad that the whiskey barrel planters looked fine.

We fertilized; Leanne had done a good job keeping them watered.

We fertilized; Leanne had done a good job keeping them watered.

There are seven by the guest house/garage.

There are seven by the guest house/garage.

and five along the driveway up by the house.

and five along the driveway up by the house.

When we got up to the house, my good friend Dusty was happy to see me as always.

Dusty, a very good dog.

Dusty, a very good dog.

rose by bay window

rose by bay window

maple

looking north at the gorgeous maple

maple by the front deck

looking south at maple by the front deck (Allan’s photo)

by the house, an always damp area, level and easy for me to weed

by the house, an always damp area, level and easy for me to weed; Darmera peltate does well there.

I did all around the house and lawn island while Allan climbed up the raised bed to the east of the house.

the bed atop the wall, south side

the bed atop the wall, south side

part of the north side

part of the north side

I was hobbling way too much to get up there.

I was hobbling way too much to get up there.

looking west to the house from behind the raised garden

looking west to the house from behind the raised garden (Allan’s photo)

a healthy golden barberry (Allan's photo)

a healthy golden barberry (Allan’s photo)

Erin’s Garden

After Dan and Leanne’s we went to check up on Erin’s garden just north of Long Beach. I could not face going up the stairs to the boat garden, so Allan took photos for me to peruse later.

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the garden boat has not had enough water!!

the garden boat has not had enough water!! I don’t know why that one cosmos is green.

so dry...and I thought it would be hard to find replacement plants at this time of year.

so dry…and I thought it would be hard to find replacement plants at this time of year.

This happened because the sprinkler, set for the rest of the garden area, was not getting water high enough to reach into the boat.

The rest of the garden...not too bad.

Looking east….The rest of the garden…not too bad.

At least some of the California poppies germinated and bloomed. The garden looks lopsided. Why? Maybe from the sprinkler hitting one side better? I don’t know as I did not get up there to poke at the soil.

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looking west...

looking west…

Sprinkler theory must be wrong (except for the boat being dry) as that is the side that would be getting water first. Deer tracks all over the garden might explain the bare spots..

happy to see some good cosmos

happy to see some good cosmos at ground level

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I had been very worried as we had not been to this garden for too long.

While Allan checked up on the west side lawn bed and boat, I weeded in the cottage garden and in the garden along the street.

in the cottage garden with my dear friend Felix.

in the cottage garden with my dear friend Felix.

mu buddy

mu buddy

felix2

A friend of Erin's has mulched and tidied the patio behind the house and the old chain link fence was removed.

A friend of Erin’s has mulched and tidied the patio behind the house and the old chain link fence was removed. Fabulous!

And then, home to work on the garden tour blog.

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

It’s a heavy responsibility and one that will weigh on us until mid September to keep plants watered. Fortunately some of our clients (especially Andersen’s RV Park and Klipsan Beach Cottages) can be counted on to keep the gardens watered for us, really for themselves.

I won’t even take on a new job now that requires regular watering.

Casa Pacifica

First job of the day, watering and fertilizing the whiskey barrels at Casa Pacifica, east of the Peninsula near Wallicut Farms.

Leanne has been doing a good job of keeping them watered.

Leanne has been doing a good job of keeping them watered.

two out of the seven by the guest house/shop.

three out of the seven by the guest house/shop.

My good friend Dusty greeted me when I walked up the long driveway to the house.  Tail going in happy circles.

My good friend Dusty greeted me when I walked up the long driveway to the house. Tail going in happy circles.

Darcy and Spook were standoffish as usual, although I may be making progress.

Darcy and Spook were standoffish as usual, although I may be making progress.

five more barrels atop a steep slope..tilting! and an interested Darcy.

five more barrels atop a steep slope..tilting! and an interested Darcy.

The barrels on the upper level are hard to reach with the hose and were a little too dry.

The garden atop the rocks was very dry.

The garden atop the rocks was very dry.

One of the artichokes that Leanne had asked for last year was falling over with thirst.

One of the artichokes that Leanne had asked for last year was falling over with thirst.

This garden has problems in that sprinklers cannot be set up because sometimes the well has run dry!

I emailed a photo of the artichoke to Dan and in the evening heard back that Leanne had watered it with her tears.  I know she cares so much for the plants; the amount of water needed is just not available.  I add very few new plants to that upper garden now even though I had originally envisioned it being lush.

Long Beach

Then we were off to water the main street planters in Long Beach:  36 of them, plus one big planter, four whiskey barrels, and two veterans field pots.  That does not include the planters on the two beach approach roads.

Long Beach fifth street restrooms, Sanguisorba, one of my favourite perennials.  Find the snail!  Allan sees it in the photo.

Long Beach Fifth Street restrooms, with Sanguisorba, one of my favourite perennials. Find the snail! Allan sees it in the photo.

As we were getting ready for the watering, one of the city crew chaps walked by and said to me “Don’t retire!  We don’t have time to do what you do.”  I said what WE don’t have time for this year is the relatively low skill job of weeding the Bolstadt beach approach six or so blocks long garden bed, a job that takes about seven days.  It is going to turn into a jungle and Allan and I have not had time to touch it this year (partly because I am determined to not work seven days a week or ten hours a day at our advanced age).

an immediate emergency...recently planted wilted Agyranthemum to the left!  Got an extra good soaking.

an immediate emergency…recently planted wilted Agyranthemum to the right! Got an extra good soaking.

As I began my walk around town with hose, quick-connect faucet device, and bucket (with Allan doing the same in the opposite direction), I saw a sign that reminded me that the Farmers Market opens this Friday afternoon.

We had better get the roses cut back from the sidewalk.

We had better get the roses cut back from the sidewalk.

And then I found another heart rock, to add to the mystery of the one I found yesterday.

rock

back

This time I looked on the back, and later looked at the heart rock I found yesterday and it did indeed have the same lettering.

Was it an assignation to someone, or could a friend have left it for ...me?

Yesterday’s rock

It is intensely poignant to find these “love rocks” memorializing two talented young girls.  I wonder who is distributing them here?  The ones I found will make their way to somewhere in Ilwaco.

Further up the block, I bucket watered the four whiskey barrel planters in Fish Alley.

It is a long, heart-pounding walk to those back two planters...

It is a long, heart-pounding walk with a 25 lb half bucket of water to those back two planters…one half bucket each, two walks….  

There are white strawberries to find in the planter in front of Wind World Kites.  I have seen people spit in the planters (sad but not uncommon) so would not eat them.

little white strawberries

little white strawberries

And in the planter just north of Dennis Company, I found something not so nice.

stinky dead crabs...with lemon...carried by me by their pincers, at arms length to a garbage can half a block away.

four stinky dead crabs…with lemon…carried by me by their pincers, at arms length to a garbage can half a block away.

Fifth Street Park planter, Allan's photo

Fifth Street Park planter, Allan’s photo

Fifth Street Park planter, Allan's photo, Lollipop Asiatic lilies from back when the planter was done by volunteers.

Fifth Street Park planter, Allan’s photo, Lollipop Asiatic lilies from back when the planter was done by volunteers.

(I love lilies but don’t add them to the planters because the foliage looks so bad when dying back.)

When we had finished watering the planters, we had time to reward ourselves with a quick meal at Captain Bob’s Chowder, right behind our starting point at Fifth Street Park.

bob

bouquet

The crab rolls were my favourite.

The crab rolls are my favourite….delicious.

Before we moved on, I was happy to see the wilted Agyranthemum had perked up.

I am going to have to keep an eye on this one.

I am going to have to keep an eye on this one.

I weeded and deadheaded at Veterans Field to prep for the Farmers Market...

I weeded and deadheaded at Veterans Field to prep for the Farmers Market…

and Allan cut back the white rugosa roses for the same reason.

and Allan cut back the white rugosa roses for the same reason.

Ilwaco planters and the boatyard (not)

Our plan for the evening was for Allan to water the Ilwaco planters and me to water the boatyard garden…until we found that in the boatyard faucets all the water was OFF.  Allan had to quest for water, eventually hooking up with a long hose to the port office faucet.  Thus his job took an extra half an hour.  I gave up and went home.

I had a rather lovely time puttering around my own garden for awhile.

Iris ensata about to open in the bogsy wood

Iris ensata about to open in the bogsy wood

Clematis 'Etoile Violette' on the rebar arbour

Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ on the rebar arbour

looking south west from the patio

looking south west from the arbour

Pink rose that came with the house

Pink rose that came with the house

I picked ripe strawberries from next to the boat.

I picked ripe strawberries from next to the boat.

If there was no rain, we would have to fill the water trailer at the port office soon to water the boatyard…although we did hope the water would be back on by the next day.

On the way home, Allan checked the controlled burn site, now level and clean.

It might not be too late to throw some seeds in there now...except I have none at hand.

It might not be too late to throw some seeds in there now…except I have none at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Annuals Planting Time day 12

We had taken all the plants for Casa Pacifica out of the van to water them last night, so this morning began with reloading them and driving to the private garden near Wallicut Farms, our only job east of the Peninsula.   Sometimes I think of this being the one more job we need to resign from to keep our schedule manageable…because it’s off of our usual driving route and parts of the garden are on difficult terrain for me…but I sure do love their dog, my friend Dusty.

Dusty shares my string cheese.

Dusty shares my string cheese.

a soft mouth

a soft mouth

Dusty helping

Dusty helping

dusty3

Most of the time, he walks around quietly right next to me so that my hand rests on the top of his sleek head.

my good friend

I so love my good friend.

The other dogs are more skittish but deigned to have bites of cheese that I threw to them.

Darcy

Darcy

Spook lurking

Spook lurking

I got closer to Spook today than I have ever managed to before.  I have been trying for years to cultivate her affection.  She is perfectly loving with her people but was rescued and does not trust strangers.

Dusty usually hogs the attention when I try to reach out to Spook.

Dusty usually hogs the attention when I try to reach out to Spook.

this close, no telephoto

this close, no telephoto

such a shy girl

such a shy girl

In other critter news, we heard a loud croaking from our trailer and found a frog that had hitched a ride from our house and was hiding in a fold of a tarp.

We left it there, hoping it would ride back home with us.

We left it there, hoping it would ride back home with us.

Oh, right, gardening, the real subject of the blog…

We planted 141 annuals from small pots and 13 6 packs (cosmos ‘Sonata’, lobelia, alyssum) for a total of 219 plants.  Or more, as Dusty may have absconded with a pot or two.  All went into 12 whiskey barrels and some other pots.  Calibrachoa, assorted colours, and Agyranthemum (white, and yellow ‘Butterfly’), lotus vine and diascia.  I am capable of planting pots with cool perennials, grasses, and more “sophisticated” designs, but the materials are not necessarily available here, and besides, my clients like colour all season long and lots of it.

barrels near the house

five barrels near the house parking area

and seven are around the big garage further down the entry drive

and seven are around the big garage further down the entry drive

Someone had cut the dying narcissi foliage down in all the barrels before we came, making our jobs so very much easier and quicker.  That kindness left us with some time for weeding around the garden, as well.

This is how happy I felt when that big batch of annuals was planted.

This is how happy I felt when that big batch of annuals was planted.  Allan noticed the face on the driftwood and put it on display.

the back garden

the back garden

the guardian

the guardian

healthy hostas and heucheras

healthy hostas and heuchera

I delegated all the hilly weeding to Allan and weeded the level areas around the house myself.

I delegated all the hilly weeding to Allan and weeded the level areas around the house myself.

colour coordination with peony, rose, and rhodo

colour coordination with peony, rose, and rhodo

one of the peonies I planted for Leanne, blooming at last.

one of the peonies I planted for Leanne, blooming at last.

Baptisia (false indigo)

Baptisia (false indigo), one of my favourite perennials

Halmioscistus wintonensis

Halmioscistus wintonensis

halmio2

I have added some of my favourites to this garden; I’d add more if I could just get some mulch onto that garden atop the stone wall.  But it is a difficult wheelbarrowing and bucketing job and I’m too old and tired to do it!  I’ll wheelbarrow all day if I need to, but not uphill.

would that someone young and strong would add some nice Soil Energy or Cow Fiber mulch to this garden

would that someone young and strong would add some nice Soil Energy or Cow Fiber mulch to this garden.

a challenging garden to mulch

a challenging garden to mulch

Much to my surprise, we were done in time to go to the Basket Case and get some bags of potting soil for our evening project in Long Beach.

Basket Case greenhouse

Basket Case greenhouse

While at The Basket Case, I realized we had not planted any godetia in Long Beach, and it is a favourite of parks manager Mike K.

awhile later: adding some godetia on the west side of Long Beach city hall

awhile later: adding some godetia on the west side of Long Beach city hall

We put in 12 more white alyssum to fill in along the edges of the Veterans Field garden. As soon as they were in the ground, I was able to declare Annuals Planting Time 2014 officially over.  There will be more to add here and there, but our gardening life will return to the pleasures of maintenance instead of ALL planting ALL the time.

I am very pleased with how nicely the red dianthus have returned from last year.

I am very pleased with how nicely the red dianthus have returned from last year.

Finally, we went out to that last planter on the Sid Snyder beach approach to dig it out.

what a horrible weedy mess

what a horrible weedy mess

after much stressful muddy nasty digging, and three and a half bags of potting soil

after much stressful muddy nasty digging, and adding three and a half bags of potting soil

Argh, the weed roots went all the way down to the gravel fill, so even 3.5 big bags of soil were not enough.  It’s fortunate that I had not thought we’d get this far with our day, as if I had had the plants with me I’d have been even more frustrated.  (They are perennials so do not count as Annuals Planting Time.)

It would have been satisfying to have a celebratory End of Annuals cocktail at The Pickled Fish which loomed high over the area where we were working.  Unfortunately I had a headache and a cocktail would have made it worse.  (Those who know me well would have been able to tell from the first photo in today’s entry that I had a headache; the clue is that I only wear a headband when my head is hurting.  Keeping it wet with cold water really helps.  Like anything I wear these days, it’s not a fashion statement.)

The Pickled Fish, atop the Adrift Hotel

The Pickled Fish, atop the Adrift Hotel…oh well….

We also were streaked with mud from the heavy sticky clay that for reasons unknown was mixed in with the potting soil of the planter we had just finished digging out.  And another thing, I was too tired to make words and if someone I knew happened to be at the restaurant, that might be misunderstood as unfriendliness.

photo

the work board, now with just the kind of jobs I like best.

The day had a happy ending.  Remember the little frog who rode with us to work?  It came back home quite safely and is again back by the water boxes outside my window croaking loudly with its friends and family.

frog on the wheelbarrow

frog on the wheelbarrow, at home

being carried by Allan back to the water

being carried by Allan back to the water

safely back home

safely back home

IMG_1388

Tomorrow begins a three day slam to try to get all the resorts and the town of Long Beach looking spiffing for Memorial Day weekend so that we can take two or three days off….I hope with every fiber of my being.

Now to watch Deadliest Catch and feel rather silly about all my complaining about planting annuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

At last we got to the Casa Pacific garden, our only job that is off the Peninsula.  (Technically, Ilwaco is not part of the Long Beach Peninsula, but never mind, we all pretend it is.)  Now I think there is only one garden we have not been to at all yet this year.

The first thing I attended to was cleaning up the whiskey barrel planters so that the narcissi showed without last year’s dead annual foliage.

before

before, by the shop building, old foilage of Helichrysum

after

after

I think I have gone off the Helichrysum petiolare as a container trailer.  I used to love it so much.  Lately I’ve been feeling clients would appreciate something more colourful.  I’ll still use ‘Limelight’, the chartreuse one.

Narcissi on the steep clay slope on the way up to the house

Narcissi on the steep clay slope on the way up to the house

Allan worked on pruning sword ferns next to the long uphill driveway.

before

before

after

after

Above:  As I started to walk up toward the house (after finishing the seven whiskey barrels by the workshop), my good friend Dusty came to greet me.

Dusty

Dusty

He had a ball in his mouth and was so happy his tail was going in circles.  I knew better than to start to play, though, as then he would get so excited he would pester me all day.  If I don’t throw anything, he settles down and walks right next to me while I work so that I can put one hand down and pet his head.  What a very good dog he is.

a lousy picture to show that the pink flowering currant we planted was in bloom

a lousy picture to show that the pink flowering currant we planted was in bloom

I started to weed alongside the living room windows and had an audience the whole time.

"Shredder"

“Shredder”

cat

cat

cat

Shredder would likely have been especially interested in this frog.

frog

As usual, Spook the shy Great Dane tried to ignore me and slunk under the deck when I got too close.

Spook, telephoto

Spook, telephoto

Dusty eventually tired of following me.

Dusty eventually tired of following me.

As I weeded the house beds, Allan cut back a big pampas grass and a hydrangea and the sword ferns on the lawn island bed.

during, since I forgot to take a picture before the pampas grass was cut

during, since I forgot to take a picture before the pampas grass was cut

after

after

I weeded the edges of the island bed while Allan went to the big raised bed on the other side of the house.

behind the garden...Last year we thought this was a nest but now I think it might be a mutation on the tree.

behind the garden…Last year we thought this was a nest but now I think it might be a mutation on the tree.

Tall grasses needed cutting, as did hydrangeas and some perennials.

Tall grasses needed cutting, as did hydrangeas and some perennials.

after

after

at the shadier end of the rock wall garden

at the shadier end of the rock wall garden

Narcissi and gold twig dogwood

Narcissi and gold twig dogwood

I especially like the narcissi with reflexed petals

I especially like the narcissi with reflexed petals.

I went along the front of the wall cutting ferns and perennials.  Unfortunately, when I tried to work where I had to walk up and down on the sloping ground, my leg cramped up so much that I had to find another project.  An unpleasant one beckoned.

truly hideous Phormium (New Zealand Flax( near the house

truly hideous Phormium (New Zealand Flax) near the house

I suggested to the owner, Dan, if that if there is ever a backhoe on the property for any reason, have them remove this monster.  He agreed.  Meanwhile, I cut it as far back as I could.

after

after

The blades, every one of which looked bad, are thick, fleshy and  hard to cut low.  I probably could have taken a couple more inches off, but is it worth it?  We have gotten rid of so many of these that I’ll be watching this one to see how it looks when it leafs out again, as there are not many left in any of our gardens.

We had worked so many hours that we were there later than usual in the afternoon.  I think this is first time I have ever gotten a photo of the entire rock garden border without part of it being in shade; the house windows face this as if it were a stage:

the long curved garden

the long curved garden from north end

With the job done for now, I played a little ball with Dusty.  He was ecstatic.  Then, to fill in the last hour of our workday, we went to check on the Fifth Street Park in Long Beach as I feared it might have lots of narcissi to deadhead.  It didn’t.  It is full of the foliage of an annoying small allium that spreads like a weed.  It IS a weed and I pull and pull to no avail.

it's back!

it’s back!

I wouldn’t mind except that I think non gardeners will assume it is a weed grass.

I despair of the Phlomis fruticosa that we cut to the ground because it looked so bad after hard frosts.

I hope it returns...

I hope it returns…

However, I was well chuffed to see lots of sprouts at the base of the Melianthus major.

encouraging signs of life on the Melianthus

encouraging signs of life on the Melianthus

From across the street, we saw the clam sculpture, recently re-plumbed, squirt on the hour to the amazement of some tourists who told us they thought they were being “punked”.

It now squirts again on the hour, or when you put a quarter into a nearby device.

clam sculpture and quarter device

clam sculpture and quarter device

Of course, this means I have to post Mary’s wonderful letter again.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

The day has come.  I was so delighted.

clam2

A visitor deposits a quarter.

A visitor deposits a quarter.

getting the classic "World's Largest Frying Pan" shot

getting the classic “World’s Largest Frying Pan” shot

Note the nice new garbage can.  The park got new benches, too.

park

Update:  I learned the next day that the clam was not supposed to be on till the official dedication in April, so the plumbing may be turned off now.

I’m concerned about the rhodos that are the back drop for the clam.  We did not prune these.  I’m thinking that if they don’t leaf out better by the time of the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival in mid April, I may ask if we can fix them up a bit.

too stubby

too stubby

After all the clam excitement, we went home with a stop at the Ilwaco Timberland Library.  Heather and Narcissi are blooming by the front door.

library garden

library garden

There were no books for us but Allan did succeed in getting some old newspapers for tomorrow’s garden bed creation job.  I couldn’t stand the way the thyme in our two volunteer planters looked so had to prune them.

before

before

after

after

I’m still doing catch up on the blog.  That consumed my evening while Allan did a wonderful job of mowing the still damp lawn.

evening mowing

evening mowing

Tomorrow:  a project begins!

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Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

I planned that this would be the last big bulb planting day for clients. We started with Casa Pacifica, just east of Wallicut Farm and actually off of the Long Beach Peninsula, with a batch of 186 bulbs.

I was wishing that the cold weather had taken down the annuals in the twelve whisky barrels. No joy there, meaning that I can’t put them to bed for the winter. They will have to put themselves to bed because this is the last visit here till after staycation.

TOO much Helichrysum

TOO much Helichrysum by the guest house/garage

I started tossing out bags of bulbs and Allan started planting in the cliff-like hill across from the garage/shop/guesthouse. He ran across some narcissi from previous years while planting, as often happens in “our” gardens.

hillside

hillside

I staged clumps of narcissi all up and down the long entry drive.

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

Much of the ground is heavy clay, requiring about 20 whacks with the red mattock (Thanks, Kathleen, for the proper word for the tool!) that we got at Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, Oregon.

my new favourite tool for hard ground

my new favourite tool for hard ground

in heavy clay at China Beach

narcissi in heavy clay at China Beach

These seem like daunting conditions for narcissi to grow in. I know from experience that they can come back for years in conditions like these. The ground at one of my former jobs, China Beach Retreat, was equally clay-like. I hacked holes into the lawn with a pick and planted Narcissi that returned year after year. They may have dwindled since I quit the job in 2009, but the Narcissi in even heavier clay up on Discovery Heights continued to come back for ten years (and may still do so; that’s one of three jobs we let go of this year due to being overbooked).

April, Discovery Heights

April, Discovery Heights, faithfully returning white Narcissi mix in heavy clay

When we finished planting along the road (Narcissi ‘Pheasant’s Eye’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Actaea’, Long Trumpet Mix, ‘Avalanche’, ‘Sweet Love’, and Spring Loaded Mix), we drove up to plant around the house. Leanne put my friend Dusty in the garage, saying that he would be a pest.

Leanne and Dusty

Leanne and Dusty

She’s right, as he thinks the larger Narcissus bulbs are some sort of ball to play with. The shy dogs, Spook and Darcy, went into the garage, too, because they follow Leanne everywhere.

Spook

Spook contemplates how to get past me to join Leanne and Dusty

Right around the deck of the house, I planted some small narcissi: ‘Sun Disc’ and ‘Peeping Tom’. Over on the lawn island, I planted ‘Rapture’, ‘Mt Hood’, and ‘Stainless’. Up atop the stone wall of the curved back garden, we both planted the showy and perhaps gaudy Narcissi that I chose this year: ‘Tropical Sunset’, ‘Altruist’, ‘High Society’ ‘Fragrant Rose’, ‘Flower Record’ and ‘Fortissimo’. This garden (and any of “my” gardens) have never seen the like. We also added some Alliums, a Triumph tulips mix and some other bright tulips ‘(Apricot Parrot’, ‘Strong Gold’, ‘Formosa’); Leanne likes yellow.

Most of our jobs cannot have tulips unless the gardens are fenced. Even in Long Beach town, deer wander through and eat some of the tulips in the street planters. Here at Dan and Leanne’s “Casa Pacifica’, the three dogs keep all the deer away.

I kind of don’t like BIG tulips in the ground. I am sure they are wonderful at a bulb farm or en masse in Holland, but in groups around a landscape they bother me more and more. So most of the tulips went into a big pot on the porch (‘Texas Gold’ and ‘Golden Artist’) and 45 parrot tulips in the five whiskey barrels and another big pot along the upper driveway.

After that, we left with no time to socialize with Dan and Leanne and returned to The Depot Restaurant, site of yesterday’s mulching, to add 15 parrot tulips. Hmm, I won’t mind them in the ground in this small bed. Okay, if a garden bed is small, I find tulips in the ground to be just dandy.

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Species tulips are always good in the ground; they look more appropriate to me. This is the first year I have not ordered assorted small and early blooming tulips. I just need the big, late blooming, showy ones for Long Beach and that uses up my tulip budget. When the deer started eating my kaufmanniana and Greiggi tulips out on the beach approach gardens, I lost out on my main place to plant them. I miss getting them; maybe next year, I will add more to the Long Beach planters. Yes, definitely.

After planting at the Depot Restaurant, we went to the Fifth Street park in Long Beach and planted along the newly cleared strip by the soon to be squirting clam. Two of the city crew guys came by and told us that the clam, which used to squirt on the hour years ago, may be functional again by the end of the year. This will make my old friend Mary very happy.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

(I’ve shared her letter before, but I never tire of it.)

Even better, where the white circle is in the photos below, a coin operated device will make it possible for folks to put in a quarter and make the clam squirt, for folks who want a photo opportunity and don’t want to wait till the top of the hour. Genius!

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The Long Beach crew is so beloved that they have their own fan club.

two of the crew

two of the crew

Finally, we went up to Golden Sands Assisted Living to plant 80 tulips (40 Triumph, 40 Parrot mix) and some Narcissi in the newly mulched four quadrants of the courtyard. No deer can get in here because it is completely enclosed by the building. We did some cutting back of perennials and, like Casa Pacifica, we are now done with this job till after staycation.

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room (and two resident’s rooms)

NE quadrant by my mom's old room, dining room, and kitchen

NE quadrant by my mom’s old room, dining room, and kitchen

SW quadrant

SW quadrant

SE quadrant

SE quadrant

By the time we finished, the sun was minutes from setting. Blissfully, cloud cover had kept the sun from glaring on us all day long and made for much better working conditions, visually, than during the previous week.

My latest thought at Golden Sands is that these two trees have to go.

looking west from the dining room doors

looking south from the dining room doors

In a garden made for younger people, a sense of mystery is important. One might well want the two trees there to entice a stroll of discovery to see what is beyond them. But here, many of the residents are frail, and I think they are more likely to be enticed out into the under-utilized courtyard if they can see what is beyond. I would like the trees cut to the ground and two large pots …or rocks!… put there instead. (There is too much wiring in the ground for the fountain, I’d think, to allow the trees to be dug up.)

looking north from the south end of the courtyard at the trees

looking north from the south end of the courtyard at the trees

I talked to Pam, the activities director, about this and she agreed, and is going to run it by the director. I know the maintenance man agrees with me completely as he and I have discussed it before.

At home, the list of last visits of each garden has decreased by two with Golden Sands and Casa Pacifica (Sass) being officially put to bed.

done

Some of the jobs that are left have very little to do, and others, like Long Beach and Jo, will take at least a day each.

More significantly, the bulbs for jobs are ALL PLANTED…almost. I have a few crocuses and lilies coming on December 2 that will go in at Long Beach and the Depot. It is almost the end of Bulb Time.

Tomorrow we hope to mulch at Boreas Inn and be able to add that to gardens put to bed for the winter. It depends on the weather and being able to connect with Raymond at the Planter Box to get our cow fiber loaded.

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