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Posts Tagged ‘City of Long Beach’

Sunday, 3 November, 2013

Enough with slacking, Halloween, books, art!   We must buckle down to work or we will not get done with the year’s tasks in time for our winter staycation of reading and rest (and winter gardening projects at home).  Our first two days back at work did not provide any scintillating stories for the November Blog Posting Month in which I am participating via blogher.com.  I picture new readers dropping off in droves.

We decided to get a hard job over with: redoing four Long Beach planters that, back in volunteer days, had been planted by others with horribly boring plants.  The first two, on the west end of the Bolstadt beach approach, would be the hardest, thought I, and I was right.

westernmost planter full of vinca

westernmost planter full of vinca and a couple of struggling santolina

It was hard.  The roots had gone verily into the landscape fabric that separates soil from gravel down inside the planter.  This planter is near the north end of the Long Beach boardwalk and took an exhausting hour and a half to clear out, partly because we had to figure out whether or not every scrap of soil had to be removed.

Allan working on it

Allan working on it

It did, and so much debris ensued that we had to make a trip to the City Works dump pile before tackling the next planter.

about to offload at city works

about to offload at city works with many full, heavy buckets and a pile

Planter two, the next one inland, had the same nasty plant.  Vinca (periwinkle): avoid it!

planter number two...requiring shovel, pick, hand tools, and strength

planter number two…requiring shovel, pick, hand tools, and strength

second planter down to the gravel

second planter down to the gravel

On this one, the sheet of heavy landscape fabric had been installed right over the access panel!   We will reinstall new fabric with a rectangle cut away for if the crew ever needs to dig down there.  Planter two took only forty five minutes because we knew there was no saving any soil so we just ripped into it.   The first one had been filled in behind to the very top with sand and had some beach grass growing into it that took extra work to remove; this one was still slightly raised up from the dune behind it and therefore had less grass invading it.  Both were freestanding when they were first installed!

On this one, the sheet of heavy landscape fabric had been installed right over the access panel!

After another trip to dump debris, we went to a planter over on the Sid Snyder beach approach road.  It had been planted with moneywort which was so much easier to remove as it peeled off in sheets without leaving viable mats of root behind (we hope).

planter number three

planter number three with plants peeling off

Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort, creeping Jenny) and weeds

Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort, creeping Jenny) and California poppies

Number three planter took only half an hour.

Number three planter took only half an hour.

As you can see, the lack of a sand dune built up behind it also made this one easier to deal with.

Finally, we tackled a planter down town in front of the carousel; we removed a larger, more ornamental, but still annoying vinca and some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

before and after

before and after

That one took forty five minutes and we did not remove all the soil.  We may have a problem with the vinca coming back even though we fervently went after the roots.  The larger vinca created roots that were clumpier and less of an all over, pernicious mat.

Now there is only one other planter with some vinca in it, near Dennis Company.  There are plants in that one that I want to save so we will do it on a day when we have soil with us to immediately re-do the planter.

Pale pinks of approaching sunset could be seen from the city works dump where we went to get rid of the last two planters’ debris.

sunset over city works

sunset over city works

Increasing rain made it unlikely that the sunset would be spectacular.

clouds closing in

clouds closing in

Feeling chilled the unloading in the drizzle, we chose not to purse the sunset any further than a stop at the Long Beach arch.

beach

Then home to hot tea and an evening of financial work: the monthly e-billing of the clients.  And a panicked last minute search for misplaced ballots and then voting.  The wonderful weather we have been having and all our local events had completely distracted me from it being almost November 5th!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Overslept and then rushed to get ready.  Our first stop was at the Planter Box to get landscape fabric for the city planter job.  We had forgotten to measure the planters on the way up.  Allan made what turned out to be the perfect guess for how much fabric we would need.

autumn colour on Planter Box trees for sale

autumn colour on Planter Box trees for sale

Undaunted by a faint drizzle, we went on to Golden Sands Assisted Living.  Part of the last minute preparation at home had been loading plants donated for the Golden Sands garden by our friends Kathleen Shaw and Sheila.  We had taken them up months before and wheeled them, unplanted, right back out again due to the broken sprinkler system.  Now, with the sprinklers working, the garden mulched with cow fiber, and drizzle descending, they could finally go into the ground.

plants ready to be wheeled into the courtyard

plants ready to be wheeled into the courtyard

As I barrowed down the hall and caught my first window view of the garden since we mulched a couple of weeks ago, I felt satisfaction with the garden’s appearance and promise.

luscious mulch

luscious mulch

southeast quadrant

southeast quadrant

I am now trying for a nice cohesive planting of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ slightly staggered across the front of each quadrant.

northeast quadrant

northeast quadrant

The northeast quadrant, being outside my mom’s old window, still has the most interesting selection of established plants.  Behind it, salal grows under some shrubs and is trying to jump into the garden.  You can see in the background (above) that the maintenance man severely topped the maple tree at the back of the garden.  Oh, well.

northwest quadrant

northwest quadrant

This is where the bench used to be.  It is so much better without the bench blocking the view.  I don’t like that rosemary being all big and clumpy to the right.  Should I move it?  No, that would probably kill it.  This bed is where most of the donated plants went and as they grow, the rosemary will look less dominant (I hope).

southwest quadrant, with Allan planting

southwest quadrant, with Allan planting

We popped in a few agyranthemums and osteospermums that were kicking around my plant bench, leftover from summer.  They may or may not come back next year.

As I figured out where the plants should go, I wondered what had possessed me to plant low growers like Sweet Williams in the center and back of the two southern quadrants…and then remembered scattering a wildflower mix in there in spring of 2010 when I had no budget for buying plants for the newly cleared south quadrants.

A poignant sight:  Where my mom’s three tiered plant light table sat in a hallway, filled with her beloved African violets, a pleasant sitting nook has now been created.  We need to take the light table home (and put it where?)  Without her attention, the violets dwindled or got overwatered.  I am terrible at growing them myself.  I hear some went to good homes.

a pretty sitting nook

a pretty sitting nook

We could not take the plant table today because next on our agenda was picking up soil for the emptied Long Beach planters.

getting a load of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply

getting a load of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply

steaming hot!

steaming hot!

When you get a soil mix that is hot like this, you must let it cool for a couple of days before planting.  I remember when a gardening biz (not us!) planted a new garden at Shorebank down at the port.  They planted right into hot soil and the shrubs died within two days and had to be replaced.

Back we went to the Bolstadt beach approach.  The drizzle had become rain….enough to be chilling but not enough to bundle up in rain coats and rain pants.

crows (ravens?) near the first planter

crows (ravens?) near the first planter

discovery trail

The arch marks an entrance to the Discovery Trail through the dunes, a hiking and biking path from Ilwaco to north Long Beach.

looking east through heavy drizzle

looking east through heavy drizzle

Lack of wind made the rain tolerable, and I certainly felt more comfortable unloading a yard of soil in refreshing rain than on a day that was too hot and sunny.  (So I told myself in a moderately effective pep talk.)

The scissors that Allan had picked up on the way out the door this morning proved ineffective at cutting the fabric into planter friendly shapes.

a difficult time

a difficult time

He had to hack the fabric with the sharpest of the garden clippers.  The scissors ended up in the trash at the end of this misadventure.

a full planter!

a full planter!

The generous yard of soil we had gotten filled the two planters on Bolstadt, the ones that had been completely emptied, and topped up the one on Sid Snyder drive, but left but one bucket full for the one on the main drag in Long Beach.  I am sparing you a photo of each filled planter, mainly because the rain came on in earnest and I did not want to get my camera out with muddy hands.  We will top off the fourth planter with bagged soil rather than making another trip for more soil energy.  Sometimes one must weigh the cost of supplies  vs. the time it takes to acquire and offload something in bulk that is cheaper.

We were glad to have an hour turn around time to get warm and dry before a planned dinner at The Depot Restaurant.

depot

at toast at The Depot

Leslie, front left, and Marilyn, in red to the right, are good friends of my friend since age 12, Mary.  We were toasting her and wishing she could be with us.  None of us completely understand why she has chosen Montana over the Pacific Northwest and our more frequent company!  Those big skies must be quite a draw.  We all reminisced (possibly to the boredom of the two others at the table, members of Leslie and Marilyn’s book club that had met this past weekend at the beach).  I showed Leslie Mary’s profile photo from Facebook, taken by me sometime in the 80s on a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, and I suddenly got teary-eyed and could hardly speak.  I miss her.

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Now that I am officially calling this a “photo diary” (having added those words to my header text), I might try a post that is just photos and captions.  But it can’t be this one because I wrote this much already!

Friday, 11 October, 2013

Depot Restaurant Garden

Depot garden, north side, with cosmos still blooming and wall of hops.

Depot garden, north side, with cosmos still blooming and wall of hops.

Sheltered from the south wind by the restaurant deck and lattice wall, these cosmos are still lush in mid October.

Sheltered from the south wind by the restaurant deck and lattice wall, these cosmos are still lush in mid October.

But the "Fireworks' goldenrod had collapsed and I cut it down...

But the “Fireworks’ goldenrod had collapsed and I cut it down…

The removal of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ (which had lost any interesting architectural quality by lying sideways) left a big hole that I halfway concealed by leaving up a couple of cosmos that were rather tatty looking themselves.

Anchorage Cottages

We did a light clean up and when I went in to talk to Beth, the manager, for a moment, I asked Allan to take a few photos for the blog.

one of the Anchorage signs

entrance to center courtyard

'New Dawn' rose

‘New Dawn’ rose on courtyard arbour

Schizostylis

Schizostylis

pampas grass on lower lawn (telephoto, with neighbour house closer than it is)

pampas grass on lower lawn (telephoto, with neighbour house closer than it is)

Andersen’s RV Park

I cleaned up dead and dying sweet peas and cosmos and a rangy somewhat invasive perennial Helianthus (not Lemon Queen) in the picket fence garden.

before and after

before and after

before and after, outside the fence

before and after, outside the fence

I can see the fence would look better if a picket were lined up to conceal the post!

Staffer Joy helped by picking snails off of the fence, revealed as the sweet peas came down, and putting them in the dumpster to ride to the dump.  She took the last of the sweet peas into the office.

the last of the sweet peas

the last of the sweet peas

by the office door

by the office door

By the way, once upon a time I used to make sophisticated container arrangements with Sedums and grasses and other perennials, but at RV Parks and tourist towns, bright cheerful colours get the most appreciation.

I have had my most elegant trailing Helichrysum in more “tasteful” planters referred to as “that grey junk”, so somewhere along the line I got much more bright and cheerful and less artistic, I suppose, with my plantings.  At ground level, I still insist on planting quirky perennials.

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower'

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

Meanwhile, Allan worked on the west side garden, pulling the BadAster that had gotten all pretty in the fall but now is ousted.  Or so I would like to think.  It no doubt will return.

during and after

during and after

That’s the poppy garden in spring and early summer and before that is a field of golden daffodils.

To the west of the poppy field:

RV Park, looking west

RV Park, looking west

Path to the beach is right at the end of the parking spots.

While dumping debris, I was thrilled to come upon a pile of dairy manure from The Planter Box that I did not know had been delivered.

cow fiber

cow fiber

Someone checking in to the park had made one of the usual comments to me while I pulled sweet peas by the picket fence: “Looks like work!”  I suppose that could be the reaction to the sight of several yards of cow fiber, but it looks like a happy garden to me.

Just an interesting sight:  The underside of this pulled up grass looks like burlap, because it had molded itself to the plastic grid pattern on top of one of the septic covers.

faux burlap

faux burlap

City of Long Beach

Before getting back to work, we stopped to look at the Peninsula Arts Association fall show in the old Long Beach Depot (one of the original depots for the Clamshell Railroad, although it used to be a block south where Scoopers market is now).

Long Beach Depot

Long Beach Depot

We usually forget about the show till the last day, by which time some of the art has sold and been removed by the buyers because they are leaving to return to the cities.  My theory was that by going on the first day, we would get to see all the art. But one piece had already sold:  “Garden Sentinal” a sculpture by the amazing Jan Richardson of Windy Meadows Pottery.  We were told that some people who had not even intended to be on the Peninsula had happened upon the art show and fallen in love with and purchased  Jan’s piece.  They were leaving again this same day so they were allowed to take it.  That we could certainly understand!

art show

art show

The show had many beautiful paintings and photos and mixed media pieces.  It runs through Monday (closing on that day at 2 PM, I believe).

Allan’s favourite was a stunning photo of the Astoria waterfront trolly tracks by Bonnie Lou Cozby, and I chose as favourite (for people’s choice award) a painting called Found Nest.

As we drove a side street to the Fifth Street park to get back to work, the horse and carriage went by.  Seeing it in October was a surprise.  The day, beautiful as summer, provided a treat for the carriage horse who gets a little bored when not working.

on Oregon Street

on Oregon Street

I walked up to the stoplight and back working on planters while Allan tackled a big job in the park.  The carriage passed again as I neared the Friday Farmer’s Market.

by Veterans Field

by Veterans Field

The carriage horse is such a sweetheart; I’ve seen little children run up and hug him and he is as calm as can be.

Of course, I had to check the Veterans Field flower bed…which coincidentally put me into the Farmers Market.

flower bed

flower bed and market

Locally famous mushroom gatherer Veronica (who supplies fine local restaurants) was advising a young man to never tell anyone where he harvests mushrooms.  The locations are precious and secret to the foragers.

Veronica's mushroom lore

Veronica’s mushroom lore

her beautiful smile

her beautiful smile

I would like to have visited with her for awhile, but I had to circle through the market and then get back to work as the sun would set in just an hour.

Double J and the Boys

Double J and the Boys

produce table

produce table

cider press

cider press

I do believe this was a pie eating contest.

I do believe this was a pie eating contest.

Choffy

Choffy

I had a taste of the delicious chocolate/coffee.  I could not linger to buy some because I truly did have to get back to work.

Sanvitalia in a street planter

Sanvitalia in a street planter

Agyranthemum 'Spring Bouquet' in autumn

Agyranthemum ‘Spring Bouquet’ in autumn

Just two days ago, Mr. Tootlepedal showed in his blog a photo of a late blooming poppy.  I commented that mine were pretty much all bloomed out (partly because I had pulled tatty old plants).  In Fish Alley I found a flower that belied that comment.

poppy with an almost spent while painted sage that got pulled out after the photo

poppy with an almost spent volunteer white painted sage that got pulled out after the photo

oppy

The Fish Alley barrels, other than some exuberant tall volunteers, are forming up into attractive tapestries as I had planned.

two out of four

two out of four

(above) Planters never quite match up; the Sedum ‘October Daphne’ looks much better on the left.

Fish Alley

Fish Alley

Further south, more planter vignettes:

African blue basil

African blue basil

Geranium 'Rozanne' carrying on and on and on

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ carrying on and on and on

dahlias

dahlias

I remind myself again that I want to plant more patio dahlias in the planters next year.  After an awkward stage, even the seed heads looks ok (see photo on left, above) when I don’t get them all deadheaded at this time of year.

The planter in front of Home at the Beach has turned into a riot of colour, thanks to the nasturtium.

over the top

over the top

It would be nice if it were all blue and white next year to tone better with their beautiful shop.

On the way north at noon today we had seen the frying pan park on Fifth Street was torn up and we had stopped at city works to ask Parks Manager Mike Kitzman to please, please feel free to totally tear out the garden bed to the left of the photo below, so that we could replant with something other than BadAster.

Frying Pan Park

Frying Pan Park

We learned that new lighting is being put in and that the clam is finally being readied to squirt again every hour on the hour!  My friend Mary will be so pleased…as in 1997 she wrote this letter to the editor (which I have shared before, but it bears repeating).  She is describing the scene from the coffee shop known as Pastimes, located where Benson’s restaurant is now.  (I am the one who got misty eyed describing the clam.)

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

Mike agrees the asters can go away and he might even get the crew to dig them out, but if not, we will.

While I did my planter rounds (and market visit), Allan cleaned up the area of Darmera peltata behind the pond.  The crew always appreciates that at this time of year so they can get in easily to clean the pond itself.

The carriage passed by him, as well.

The carriage passed by him, as well.

The foliage is showing its autumn colour.

The Darmera foliage is doing its autumn descent.

darmera

before and after

before and after

Then, what joy, the day had finally come when we did not have to go to Ilwaco to water planters and could instead have dinner at Captain Bob’s Chowder!

Behind Fifth Street Park

Behind Fifth Street Park

It has tantalized us all the busy summer when we did not have time to stop.  So tonight we each had crab rolls and I had chowder.

The crab rolls are lavish and scrumptious.

The crab rolls are lavish and scrumptious.

outside the front door

outside the front door

chowder after dark

chowder after dark

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