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Posts Tagged ‘Ceanothus’

We care for the curbside gardens along Howerton Avenue in Ilwaco.  Originally, sometime around 2003, the garden beds were installed and planted up with things that proved to be much too tall: pampas grass, New Zealand flax, Arbutus, California wax myrtle.  In 2005, street trees (columnar pears) were planted. We were hired around that time to care for the bed to the north of Time Enough Books, and the job eventually evolved to being hired by the port to care for all of the gardens.  Our mission has been to add drought tolerant plant diversity that can hold up to the wind and to replace tall plants with low ones that allow good traffic sightlines.  The long drought of summer 2015 proved challenging for the gardens.  We especially wish to thank the businesses that let us hook up to their water: Time Enough Books, Bruce and Wendi Peterson and Salt Hotel. There are two places where we can hook up to port water to reach a few of the gardens (at the port office and the Ilwaco pavilion).  We are hoping (or dreaming) for two or three more convenient water hook ups to appear by 2016. Thanks also to CoHo Charters who keep their escallonias nicely trimmed and healthy and to Don Nisbett and Jenna Austin who regularly water the garden near their gallery.

Here are the curbside gardens through the year in 2015.  I decided to present them as a gallery rather than a slide show so that those who wish can see them in more detail.  If you click on the first one to biggify, you will get a nice display with backward and forward arrows.

 

 

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I had a new outlook on life after deciding to quit a very big job. Perhaps now we could finally begin to catch up on work and maybe even get around to a couple of valued private garden clients that we have had to completely neglect. (I prefer doing public gardens, but we tend to become friends with our clients over time and then we like doing their private gardens as well.)

Mike’s garden

We began with Mike the Ilwaco mayor’s garden. I must remember to acquire a nice plant to fill this hole left by pulling out some tatty rose campions. I am thinking a Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’ if Basket Case Greenhouse still has any.

just the spot for a Brunnera

just the spot for a Brunnera

entry

entry

Allan painstakingly weeded the gravel path while I weeded the beds and thinned out more rose campions, too many feverfew, and spent foxgloves.

front path, nicely weeded

front path, nicely weeded

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' and feverfew

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ and feverfew

I still want to know for sure what this plant is:

I almost know its name but can't remember.

I almost know its name but can’t remember.

Cheri’s garden

Kitty corner from Mike’s is longtime client Cheri’s garden.

Mike's garden from Cheri's

Mike’s garden from Cheri’s

While we were weeding her garden, a cement truck showed up to make two pads, one for a new compost area and one for the new outdoor haven for the cats.

future cat paradise

future cat paradise

They will be able to enter from inside the house (I think, although I can’t quite picture how).

In the front garden, we found another wind and rain flop:

splayed cranesbill geranium

splayed cranesbill geranium

side garden with cement truck backdrop

side garden with cement truck backdrop

We’ll have to wait till next time to do the garden next to the cat room!

Anchorage Cottages

Next we went up through Long Beach to the Anchorage Cottages where we saw many bees on the Ceanothus, just like last week. I managed to prune one more branch to make the number one show even better. The bees buzzed me but not with apparent anger.

Ceanothus (California lilac)

Ceanothus (California lilac)

bee feast

bee feast

Allium albopilosum in office planter

Allium albopilosum in office planter

Allium

On a shady north wall we found one of the largest Pacific tree frogs I’ve ever seen.

sizeable Pacific tree frog

sizeable Pacific tree frog

lily

lily

The windowboxes are looking great…

windowbox at south end

windowbox at south end

The ones on the north end of the parking lot looked better after we pruned down the Viburnum in front of them.

It's a constant task to keep these at the right height and still let them bloom in winter.

It’s a constant task to keep the Viburnum at the right height and still let them bloom in winter.

We also saw a very large spider in the parking lot and Allan thinks it might light up when the brakes are engaged.

!!

Gene’s garden

We did a quick check on Gene’s in south Long Beach. It looks fine although has room for…more plants!

The porch is perfection.

The porch is perfection.

Eryngium and Lavender

Eryngium and Lavender

more plants, please!

more plants, please!

It’s the “first year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap” perennial syndrome.

Long Beach

Back to Long Beach, we watered and fertilized all the planters on the main street (and also touched up the street tree gardens).

a miniature rose planted by one of the former volunteers

a miniature rose planted by one of the former volunteers

by the credit union

by the credit union

by Home at the Beach (Agyranthemum 'Butterfly')

by Home at the Beach (Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’)

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

planter by the Cottage Bakery

planter by the Cottage Bakery

We twist our quick connect device into the, er, water place in each planter.

There are two exceedingly boring planters that I keep thinking of redoing; one has just vinca and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, and the other has azaleas that bloom in the spring, two blue star Junipers, and a lot of very invasive mint mixed with a cranesbill geranium.

boring and more boring

boring and more boring

In some of the planters, I remembered to cut back the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in June, and it has now recovered into a tidy, compact and smaller flowering shape. The ones I forgot are big, splayed, and floppy.

pruned and not pruned...ooops

pruned and not pruned…ooops

I checked the planters by the Veterans Field Stage and had a gander at the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market which takes place there on Fridays from 4-7 PM. (Gene’s late wife Peggy was one of the prime movers on getting this market going.)

farmers market

farmers market

There, I bought myself five Heirloom tomato plants and was pleased to talk with the seller, Kim, who had had one of my favourite gardens on the 2010 Peninsula garden tour.  [edited later to add:  She and her spouse, Paul, have a flower farm at Deer Island, Oregon called River Rock Farm.]

tomatoes

tomatoes

Her plant selection including fascinating varieties and each plant came with a packet of fertilizer for potting on.

Back to the planter work: I am enjoying the new Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’, very refreshing in name and appearance.

Callie 'Lemon Slice'

Callie ‘Lemon Slice’

One the way to dump our debris at city works, I stopped to photograph this tidy edible garden and left them a note asking if they would be on this year’s Edible tour on August 11th. Have not yet got an email from them, but I know the organizer of that tour is looking for a couple more small edible gardens to include.

charming

charming

Our last task in Long Beach was to cosmetically de-horsetail the welcome sign.

horsetail free (or so it appears)

horsetail free (or so it appears)

Ilwaco boatyard and planters

We closed the day with the rather dreaded bucket watering of the Ilwaco planters, a task for which Allan does the heavy lifting. I pulled a bit horsetail out of the boatyard garden while checking to make sure that it did not need watering yet (not, thank goodness). The evening light at 7:30 PM flatters the garden. The following photos are sort of like the big bunch of fireworks all at once that ends any good fireworks display.

Flanders Field poppies

Flanders Field poppies

Mother of Pearl poppy

Mother of Pearl poppy

daisy

daisy

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', colour NOT boosted

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, colour NOT boosted

Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

I think a Shirley poppy

I think a Shirley poppy

Allium albopilosum; I am so pleased there has been no finger blight on these!

Allium albopilosum; I am so pleased there has been no finger blight on these!

more poppies

more poppies

Stipa gigantea

Stipa gigantea

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

more poppies and Stipa gigantea

more poppies and Stipa gigantea

I walked through town and checked the condition, deadleafing, and deadheading of each planter and did some weeding under the ten street trees. At the corner of 1st and Eagle, Ethel has turned her holly hedge into a deer fence around her private garden.

It should work!

It should work! Although deer will crawl to get in…seriously, they will.

I long to remove the irritating-to-weed bricks from around the trees, fill in with soil, and just keep the plants clipped in to the square area.

my nemesis

my nemesis

It would save the city money in the long run as these are a bugger to weed, so I am going to suggest it to Mike the mayor.

I think a plant got swiped out of this planter!

I think a plant got swiped out of this planter! We have to keep filling in…

Finally, Allan waters the library planters, and then there is only one more to go back down at the Port at Peninsula Sanitation’s office.

at the Ilwaco library

at the Ilwaco library

Note how he swiveled the planters so that the two thymes match in position.

At last, home at 9 with time to have a quick look at the garden.

past the alstroemeria by the garage

past the alstroemeria by the garage

back yard

back yard

Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns'

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

a new to me Allium

a new to me Allium in the front garden

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Due to my rashly planned mini-trip this week, I have so much to do that I could not take the day off today.  We did begin with a worthwhile errand:  acquiring yet another free composter, this time from Cheri’s garden.  It may have to be roped back together, but it will work:

The price is right!

The price is right!

The compost pile was not broken down enough to put it on the garden, so we set it to one side.  Two snazzy new rotating composters will be installed here side by side.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

Cheri's lovely Dutch iris

Cheri’s lovely Dutch iris

I had a bit of anxiety that some of the special plants at The Basket Case Greenhouse would sell out while I am away on my three day trip, so we detoured from our Ilwaco gardening plans to go up and snag some more Sanguisorbas and Agastaches.  Fred and I discussed what we could put in the Veterans Field garden for the red colour needed for the dedication ceremony on May 5th.  He really wants me to plant red geraniums but I have annoyingly strong opinions that certain plants (geraniums and petunias!) belong in containers rather than in the ground so I am hoping to find something else that is red and blooming.  But if not…I know where to buy some very fine dark red geraniums.

at the Basket Case

at the Basket Case

Later for the (first ever for me because I am not a nationalist) red white and blue theme I will have more interesting plants:  Salvia patens, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Cosmos ‘Purity’, Salvia ‘Lipstick’ (or is it Hot Lips? anyway, a nicely shaped red one), Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’, Sapphire blue oat grass and Lobelia tupa.

A friend last year was searching hard for the Aquilegia called ‘Clementine’. and this year The Basket Case has it.

Aquilegia 'Clementine'

Aquilegia ‘Clementine’, a double white

Speaking of red, white and blue, when we stopped back at home I noticed that my Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’ is in bloom.

Pulsatilla 'Red Clock'

Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’

The very cool contorted English Hawthorn that I got at Joy Creek two years ago seems to be doing well after struggling for a couple of years.  (Picture Allan and I having an argy bargy about how to best face it up* while planting the large root ball and then hearing an ominous crack in the lower trunk.)

a happy Hawthorne

a happy Hawthorne (between the red tulips)

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden...but not today...

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden…but not today…

We began our post-shopping workday at the topmost garden on Discovery Heights, where we found my favourite ornamental grasses, Stipa gigantea, looking surprisingly tatty.

not very nice

not very nice

Allan combed them out while I weeded.  I found a mysterious sight: another grass sitting sideways out of the ground.  And not a small grass.  What happened here, I wonder?

??!!??

??!!??

You can see that the garden is full of Montbretia.  The rampant orange one came in on the soil that was used (not by us) to build the garden bed.  The owners actually like the montbretia so I just try to keep it from swamping everything and making a monoculture out of the garden.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

The stipa looked much better after Allan had attended to them.  I wonder if they will flower?

improved

improved

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

On the way down the hill, we stopped to photograph a stunning display of native plants below a curve in the road.  I believe this might mean this is a moist spot.  (My botanist friend Kathleen Sayce will tell me what it is and I will add the name.)

a curving sweep of white flowers

a curving sweep of white flowers:  Petasites, sweet coltsfoot (thanks, Kathleen!); ‘

Kathleen says:  “Sweet coltsfoot, loves wet seeps, and flowers relatively early, tho’ it’s late this year.”

We skipped the T Junction garden (three quarters of the way up the hill) and went to the middle garden by the gate.  I walked down partway, pruning some sword ferns by a couple of the light bollards, and Allan deadheaded middle garden narcissi.  A scrim of maddening horsetail is appearing but the narcissi should provide a distraction and let us postpone a thorough weeding for another week.

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

That bit of ocean is at Beard’s Hollow where we cleaned the beach yesterday.

I had a revelation that I could use Ceanothus as a green backdrop in Marilyn’s deer-chomped garden because the deer do not eat it here.

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

I credit my friend Terran with the idea to plant all white Narcissi.  The narcissi “All White” mix from Van Engelen has lasted so well in this middle garden although it has petered out a lot in the lower and T Junction gardens.

middle garden band of white

middle garden band of white

white mix aglow

white mix aglow

A Hellebore feotidus has reseeded itself below the rocks in middle garden.

Hellebore and child

Hellebore and child (to the right by the road is the child)

This hellebore has amazed me by coming through year after year in these harsh windy and not very shady conditions.

a toughie

a toughie

We also skipped lower garden because we needed to do some weeding and planting at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, especially one long section that I knew had lots of horsetail.

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

horsetail in sidewalk crack

horsetail in sidewalk crack

My guru Ann Lovejoy says you must cut rather than pull horsetail or you will make it worse:

“Chemical warfare only takes out this season’s stalks, while mowing is more effective and less environmentally damaging. That’s because the best way to get rid of horsetail is to cut, not pull.

Pulling horsetail actually stimulates new growth. Pull one stalk and three or four will take its place. Cut it at ground level and you will slowly deplete the roots.”  (Ann Lovejoy)

We don’t cut it but we do break it off pretty close to the ground.  Even in places where we have greatly improved the soil (like my own garden) it comes back but it does weaken in time.  We did a quick job today because a thorough job will need to be done before the day of the children’s parade (May 4th).

boatyard before...

boatyard before…

after

after

A lot of the green is from California poppy seedlings.

This Stipa gigantea at the boatyard is putting out flower stalks, as it should, unlike the battered ones up on Discovery Heights.

healthy Stipa gigantea

healthy Stipa gigantea

At the southern end of the garden, the horsetail had not sprouted back with such force, but many mushrooms had appeared.  I am no mycologist so I can’t ID them.

with blue oat grass

with blue oat grass

mushrooms

They do come in sometimes, but not always, on the Soil Energy mix….

boatyard

boatyard

I photographed some boats in the yard for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page and we then moved on to the Marie Powell Gallery garden on Howerton.  (More boat photos from earlier years here.)

While weeding the Powell Gallery garden I pondered on how I think the plants in it are too tall.  I am hoping to convince the powers that be to remove that pampas grass with a large machine.

We did not get this one cut back in time!

We did not get this one cut back in time!

I prefer the shorter plant schemes in our newly redone garden beds on this street.

looking west with telephoto

looking west with telephoto

The pampas even hides Marie’s print making shop from street view.

too big!

too big!

I also pondered how much I dislike weeding among river rock.  I wish it were confined only to a faux stream bed!

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks...

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks…

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

The river rock does set the plants off nicely so I should stop whinging, I suppose.

By six forty five, I had tired of an increasingly cold evening wind.  We went home…just a block away! and I tried to plant 18 or so small Nicotiana langsdorfii in my own garden.  I hit the wall after only three.  Why did 51 degrees seem so very chilly?  Could it be that working on the blog seemed more amusing than being outdoors?

.

*Facing a plant up is when you put its best side to your most important view of said plant.

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