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Posts Tagged ‘container gardening’

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Castle Rock, Washington

Partridge’s Garden

The Partridge’s garden had been fairly recently installed by Backyard Blitz Landscaping, with one area toward the back still under construction.  The whole yard was beautifully laid out and of interest even though it was so new, and the house itself, also new, had an appealing and pleasing design.

from the street

inside the gate to the left
and to the right
and to the left again

I so appreciated that the bark mulch is brown and not red.  It makes all the difference, avoids that raw look and is restful to the eyes.

Allan’s photo

The garage doors were also soothing in appearance.

We admired the tilted posts on the house….

And, of course, we were most impressed with the pots.  The garden owner told us that they were planted by Nancy, whose garden we’d see later in the tour and who is big in the public gardening of Castle Rock.

On the east side of the house, a tall privacy screen blocked part of the house next door, and the new shrubs were given room to grow.

Allan’s photo

We had wondered why not all the fencing between the two houses was tall for privacy, until we found out that the owner’s son lives next door.

 Behind the house, we found a covered patio and more gorgeous Nancy pots.

Allan’s photo

…and lemonade and cookies on offer.

 We were invited to go next door, through an open room and onto a pool patio, to see more stunning pots.

I do wish I could get the chartreuse ornamental sweet potato vine to thrive at the beach.  We just do not seem to have the heat.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

I had made a new friend.

Allan’s photo

We returned to the big garden next door.

To the back, this area is soon to be completed.

On the other side of the large outbuilding, we found a productive kitchen garden.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

We continued our walk around the new ornamental garden.

Allan’s photo
at the front again
a last look

We saw the owner of this garden again later, at Nancy’s garden, and she agreed that her garden could be on the tour again to show its progress.  We would be interested to see that.  One thing that I appreciate about this tour is that the landscaping company is given credit where credit is due.  In fact, they were hosting this garden, but we did not get to meet them because they had gone to lunch.

Next: Castle Rock Nursery.

 

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Monday, 22 August 2016

Ilwaco

the lovely helenium by our driveway

the lovely helenium by our driveway


our midsummer dull post office garden

our midsummer dull post office garden.  The white is gaura.

I’m resistant to spending more money on plants for our volunteer Ilwaco post office garden right now.  And it is not a good time to transplant free ones.  Still, the empty spaces bother me.

The post office planter is better than the garden.

The post office planter is better than the garden.

Long Beach

Because Thursday will be truncated, for me, by a dentist appointment, we watered the main street trees and planters today in Long Beach.  (“Tree day” would have been Thursday.)  I find the trees almost impossible to do because I have a difficult time getting the hose faucet bayonet hooked up in the hole in the ground.

Allan's photo: quick connect hose hooked up in a tree garden

Allan’s photo: quick connect hose hooked up in a tree garden.  It was hard to hook up because of how the truck was parked.


Nature wins: The Badaster is strongly evident on the northeast side of Fifth Street Park.

Nature wins: The Badaster is strongly evident on the northeast side of Fifth Street Park.


bees and cosmos

Bees love cosmos.


Fifth Street Park: view, looking west over a hebe

Fifth Street Park: view, looking west over a hebe


Nearby, it was exciting to see the repaired ferris wheel going round. It has been broken for a long time.

Nearby, it was exciting to see the repaired ferris wheel going round. It has been broken for a long time.


I look forward to once again hearing the background noise of excited screaming.

I look forward to once again hearing the background noise of excited screaming.


The cute new ride is getting closer to functional.

The cute new ride is getting closer to functional.


Kudos to the new owners of Fun Rides.

Kudos to the new owners of Fun Rides.


This week's sand sculpture in Fish Alley. (I bucket watered the four alley planters.)

This week’s sand sculpture in Fish Alley. (I bucket watered the four alley planters.)

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I got to pet this cutie.

I got to pet this cutie.


But I didn't see this one. (Allan's photo)

But I didn’t see this one. (Allan’s photo)


This dog can often be seen outside the Long Beach Tavern.

This dog can often be seen outside the Long Beach Tavern.

The town was suddenly full of bicyclists, who had arrived via a sternwheeler tour along the Columbia River.  They converged on the local cafés, including the Cottage Bakery, Castaways, and Captain Bob’s Chowder.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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all sorts of bikes

all sorts of bikes, even though it was officially a tandem tour


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

They all seemed pleasant and happy except for one not very gentlemanly fellow (not shown) who scowled and fumed and slammed his bike around angrily when I had to ask him to “please and sorry, sir” move it so that I could hook my hose up to the planter he had leaned it on.  I hope his day improved.

the tour t shirt

the tour t shirt

Allan noticed that one couple was from Minneapolis, and another woman told me she was from Virginia.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


The Long Beach gazebo planters (by the Basket Case) were in fine form. I like the raggedy banners.

The Long Beach gazebo baskets (by the Basket Case) were in fine form. I like the raggedy, colourful banners.


Basket Case basket at Fifth Street Park restroom

Basket Case basket at Fifth Street Park restroom


the southernmost planters

the southernmost planters


looking north from the last planter, with variable colours on the Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

looking north from the southermost planter, with variable colours on the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

I am sorry to tell you that Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is now Hylotelephium telephium ‘Autumn Joy’.  Not sure when I’ll start calling it that here.  Seems the name change happened several years ago, and I am slow to catch on.

Coast Guard helicopter and Geranium 'Rozanne' (Allan's photo, northernmost planter)

Coast Guard helicopter and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Allan’s photo, northernmost planter)

Allan and I met up after watering in Fifth Street Park and had time for some weeding.

Fifth Street Park pond with Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Fifth Street Park pond with Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Leaving Long Beach, I admired the south “berm” in the big parking lots just east of town.  It gets absolutely no supplemental water.

a planting of tough stuff

a planting of tough stuff

Ilwaco

While Allan watered the planters and street trees with the water trailer, I hose watered the boatyard garden.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle', cosmos, santolina

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, cosmos, santolina


weeding the boatyard

weeding the boatyard

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some dog admiration

some dog admiration


south end of the big boatyard building

south end of the big boatyard building


The end has been torn off.

The end has been torn off.


a new spot to stand and look south

a new spot to stand and look south


sweet peas as I water along the inside of the fence

sweet peas as I water along the inside of the fence


a beautiful setting for boats on land

a beautiful setting for boats on land


looking north, showing 3/4 of the length of the boatyard garden

looking north, showing 3/4 of the length of the boatyard garden (all the way to past that red building)

Meanwhile, Allan was watering downtown and took these photos.

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Some very late “Mother of Pearl’ poppies have appeared.


Queen La De's hanging basket

Queen La De’s hanging basket

Tomorrow will be our easy day, all Port of Ilwaco gardens.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

August 22:  Weeded in onion rows—mostly purslane and pulled hundreds (?) of dandelions from behind garage and in path by wood box.

1997 (age 73):

August 22: Finished “pruning” Strawberry Rows 1 and 2.  I want to find out if it is ok to take the new runner “daughter’ plants and put them in trays in greenhouse under lights for a month or so.  I’ll stop in at Gordons [Nursery] and ask them.

1998 (age 74):

August 22:  11:30-4:30  I cut out the old raspberry canes.  I chopped them up putting the leaves in the compost and the cut canes in a box to burn.  Then I weeded in the strawberry rows among the 3 or 4 rows that are solid with new runner plants.  I wanted to move plants into the rows but I know I should wait for cooler weather.  I also covered the stuff in compost box with soil from the old box.

I checked last year’s journal and found I had the first tomato on August 14.  I have lots of small ping pong size green tomatoes but no sign of any starting to ripen.

 

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

The WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties present:

aberdeen

garden five:  “The Art of Taming a Hillside”

We got a taste of how much the hillside needed to be tamed as we approached this garden up a very steep narrow road, met at the top by other vehicles that had not been able to find parking and wanted to come down.  There was just one panicky scream from the passenger seat as we backed down the long narrow slope and found a parking spot two blocks away (and a slightly less steep incline to walk up).

the view as we walked along the street to the garden

the view as we walked along the one lane street to the garden.  The water is the Chehalis River.


narrow street, narrow sidewalk (Allan's photo)

narrow street, narrow sidewalk (Allan’s photo)


The slope we had to back down is steeper than it looks in this photo of Allan's.

The slope we had to back down is steeper than it looks in this photo of Allan’s.

Because I have recently decided not to use surnames in describing most gardens (for privacy reasons), this particular program description looks a bit funny after retouching:

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It was not until I began writing this post that I saw the mobility issues warning in the garden description.  I find it so difficult to focus on garden descriptions the day of a tour that I completely missed it.  My reading comprehension suffers because of eagerness to get into the garden.  (That’s why I think it is helpful to have a Facebook page or a newspaper article with descriptions and warnings…even maybe locations of nearest restrooms!…to peruse in advance of a tour, to help with planning one’s day.)

To anyone just joining this blog: I have a collapsed knee (which will be dealt with this winter) and some dizziness and balance issues AND acrophobia.  I will work through all of these to see a worthwhile garden and a warning, even if seen, would not have stopped me from trying.

Here I blithely go, not having noticed the big "mobility issues" warning.

Here I blithely go, not having noticed the big “mobility issues” warning.


arriving at last!

arriving at last!

my journey through the amazing hillside garden

Entering the garden, past the check in table: I look to my right. That doesn't really look like the path.

Entering the garden, past the check in table: I look to my right. That doesn’t really look like a path, more like I’d be walking in a garden bed.  It was a little more vertical than it looks in the photo.


to my left: a high quality shade bed

to my left:  shade bed with good plants


straight ahead

straight ahead


a bit further, to my right: The ivy is on a vertical hill.

a bit further, to my right: The ivy is on a vertical hill.


to my right, below: the spring run-off

to my right, below: the spring run-off


I dither for awhile about whether or not to go straight ahead. Allan goes onward; I decide to try another way.

I dither for awhile about whether or not to go straight ahead. Allan goes onward; I decide to try another way.


feeling doubtful

feeling doubtful, about to turn back

I needed to find a way UP that I was pretty sure I could also use to get back DOWN.

Okay...I am going this way after all. Hope it is a real path!

Okay…I am going this way after all. Hope it is a real path!


All righty, I got this far! Looking down on the greenhouse and the entry to the garden.

All righty, I got this far! Looking down on the greenhouse and the entry to the garden.


good plantings to keep me going

good plantings to keep me going


Now I am on a path that I know is legit.

Now I am on a path that I know is legit.


looking back after making it somewhat further.

looking back after making it somewhat further.


This is midlevel in the garden.

This is midlevel in the garden.


The terrace or plateau has room for several sit spots.

The terrace or plateau has room for several sit spots.


a large level terrace with paths and a patio

large level terrace with paths and a patio


well planted, intricate plant diversity

well planted, intricate plant diversity

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along the fence. I heard chickens that are in the neighbour's yard.

along the fence. I heard chickens that are in the neighbouring yard.


at the end of the fence walkway

at the end of the fence walkway


looking back

looking back


skilled and intricate construction at the base of the hill. Note the door to the right into the compost bin enclosure.

skilled and intricate construction at the base of the next hillside. Note the door to the right into the compost bin enclosure.  Behind the grate: water run-off from the spring.


water, same stream that appeared way below at the entrance to the garden.

water, same stream that appeared way below at the entrance to the garden.

I was astounded to see the brilliant way that the gardeners had solved the problem of an almost vertical hillside.  If only I had thought of this for the vertical clay hill that sat next to the front patio of my old garden—a planting problem that daunted me for 14 years.

My jaw dropped.

My jaw dropped. What a brilliant solution!


a collection of cool ferns and more

a collection of cool ferns and more

Steve, the garden owner, stood nearby as I paced back and forth, marveling.  “HOW?”  I asked him.  He told me he had driven rebar 8 feet (I think) into the hardpan to support this structure.

I just can't get enough of this.

I just can’t get enough of this.


He must lay a ladder against it to climb up and maintain it so well??

He must lay a ladder against it to climb up and maintain it so well??

I decides I had better figure out how in the world I was going to get back down to the street.  Maybe I could find a better way than the bark slope.  It was worrying me.

Looking through an arbour to a bridge that goes to the house.

Looking through an arbour to a bridge that goes to the house.


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by the bridge to the house


I scuttle across quickly.

I scuttle across quickly.


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view from the side porch of the house


Here are the stairs Allan came up. Hmmm.

Here are the stairs Allan came up. Hmmm. No……..

I decided I would go back down the bark-y slope…eventually.  Meanwhile, I went back to the amazing hillside planters.

On the way back: The lattice is decorated with china pieces.

On the way back: The lattice is decorated with teacup and saucer creations that I like so much.


Admiring the hill planting some more. Look: I saw people WAAAAY up top and was not sure how they got there.

Admiring the hill planting some more. Look: I saw people WAAAAY up top and was not sure how they got there.  WAY up over the stone wall is another path.


I see Impatiens omeiana and other cool plants to delight a collector.

I see Impatiens omeiana and other cool plants to delight a collector.


boxes spilling over with goodness

boxes spilling over with planty goodness

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I admired every detail, also postponing the inevitable trip back down the lower barky slope.  But then…Allan appeared and told me there was an alley up above!  Similar to the previous garden, I had a way out other than going back down.

looking up from the base of the planted boxes. Allan is up there, checking it out.

looking up from the base of the planted boxes. Allan is up there, checking it out.  There is a gate to the alley.

I found out that the upper deck ALSO had a gate to the alley.  The owner had told Allan that’s how they bring in their groceries.  Thinking about it, it would be a long grocery carry from the bottom, over the lower bridges and up the stairs.

last look at the central plateau

last look at the central plateau

I think I would have explored the many beds of the central plateau better if I had known I had an easy way out.  Now I would like to go back and peruse the plants more thoroughly.

looking at the garden stairs that might take me to the alley gate

looking at the garden stairs that might take me to the alley gate


probably not (Allan's photo)

probably not (Allan’s photo)

I crossed the bridge to the house again, climbed some enclosed stairs with a nice railing, and emerged onto the back deck.

I found my way to the top level to exit into the alleyway.

I found my way to the top level to exit into the alleyway.


one of those clacking crow fountains that I love.

one of those clacking crow fountains that I love.


not sure what, fire or water?

not sure what, fire or water?

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alongside the deck

alongside the deck


from the back gate, an easy way out

from the back gate, an easy way out

From the alley, I found the exterior gate that led to that mysterious path WAY above the wooden planters.

steps down to the center terrace

steps down to the center terrace


The path along the uppermost level. I would have been clutching that railing.

The path along the uppermost level. I would have been clutching that railing. Or maybe fainting.

The stream from the spring went underneath the alley. (I’ve since learned this is a one way city street, not an alley.)

across the alley: water from the spring

across the alley: water from the spring


Thus begins the water course that is diverted down through the levels of the garden.

Thus begins the water course that is diverted down through the levels of the garden.  I wonder if it flows dramatically in the winter or on rainy days?

Usually, I blend Allan’s and my photos together to describe a garden, even though we often walk through at a different pace and direction.  This particular garden was so complex and interesting and challenging to describe that I am going to let Allan’s photos tell their own story about his experience of the hillside.

Allan’s exploration of the astonishing hillside garden

entering from the street

entering from the street


next to the greenhouse

next to the greenhouse


We have a birdhouse just like that from Ilwaco Saturday Market!

We have a birdhouse just like that from Ilwaco Saturday Market!

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I am walking away; Allan goes on up the path and stairs.

I am walking away to try a different climb; Allan goes on up the path and stairs.


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the way up


looking back

looking back

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another explorer

another explorer


Many ladders must be necessary for this garden.

Many ladders and scaffolding might be necessary for this garden (and, owner Steve said, painting the house).


looking down

looking down


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Top of photo: You can see the very tiptop walkway with the railing along the fence.

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beds next to the deck


the upper deck

the upper deck

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window low down by the deck

window low down by the deck


in a workshop window next to the deck: meticulous

in a workshop window next to the deck: meticulous

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looking down into the garden. I’m at the base of the wooden planters on the steep slope.


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from the deck

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a way up to the topmost level

a way up to the topmost level


agile not acrophobic people on the uppermost path

non acrophobic people on the uppermost path

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(Allan is like a mountain goat with a good head for heights.)

(Allan is like a mountain goat with a good head for heights.)


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intricate levels.  This is the topmost, and you can see one of the wooden planter boxes.


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the topmost path


looking down from the highest point

looking down from the highest point


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at the end of the upper path


the hillside boxes

the hillside boxes


the back deck again

the back deck again, just before we exited

This was one of the most fascinating gardens I have ever seen, with good plant diversity, artistry, and impressive engineering skills.  I have been thinking about it a lot since tour day and am so glad I managed to see it (and also that Allan filled in with photos of the areas I did not attain).  Every stone, paver, plant, and cubic foot of mulch had to be brought in up or down stairs.

Having now visited five out of eight, I continued to marvel at how perfectly groomed they all were for tour day: No weedy bits around the edges, every plant deadheaded and dead-leafed (any unsightly leaf removed).  This is what I hope for from a garden tour.

Next: One of my favourite finds on a garden tour: gardening neighbours.

 

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June Kroft’s garden

From the program: “The Kroft home and gardens have been featured in national publications. Kroft’s gardens were featured in Village of Flowers, a photo journal of Cannon Beach gardens. Her gardens are well known by landscape architects, gardeners, and flower enthusiasts around the Pacific Northwest.”

To see this garden again, one I had not seen since a memorable tour led years ago by Ann Lovejoy and Lucy Hardiman… I don’t think a day went by all summer when I did not look forward to it. I had hoped fervently that her cottage would also be part of the tour…because I am inquisitive that way… It wasn’t. Some of the cottages on the Tenth Anniversary Cottage Tour were cottage only with no garden, and June’s was garden only. (I could tell from the outside that the cottage interior is just adorable and in a perfect world I would somehow have become friends with June, not just a fan from afar, and had tea with her there!) I treasure her picture book “A Village of Flowers” and was thrilled to get a series of photos in her garden today.

June's front garden: view from the street

June’s front garden: view from the street

a bit of caution tape on a branch sticking out

a bit of caution tape on a branch sticking out

looking west from outside her garden....you can see the ocean

looking west from outside her garden….you can see the ocean

Fuchsias on the side of shed across the lawn

Fuchsias on the side of shed across the lawn

I think that last time I was here, the little building above was covered with a pink climbing rose.

front porch

front porch

Just to the west, another family cottage: Sea Shadows

Just to the west, another family cottage: Sea Shadows

Sea Shadows

Sea Shadows

a from the side peek into June's front garden

a from the side peek into June’s front garden

west side of the cottage with Allan and the volunteer greeter

west side of the cottage with Allan and the volunteer greeter

You can see how intriguing the cottage itself is!

west windows

west windows

gate

gate to June's back garden

gate to June’s back garden

June’s garden was every bit as magical as I remembered.

tour guests entering the garden

tour guests entering the garden

upon entering the garden (looking south)

upon entering the garden (looking south)

tomatoes

tomatoes

closer in

June in blue talks with a guest

June, in blue, talks with a guest; June’s daughter also helped host the tour.

I never did converse with June during this time in her garden. Allan listened to her telling guests how the garden was originally swamped with blackberries and how over the years she has created this tiny paradise. I tend to be shy on tours and not engage much with people, but when I tour a garden like this I feel that the garden IS the person and it communicates to me a great deal about the gardener.

dahlias

dahlias

flowers

I never thought to prune an old Santolina like a gnarly little tree!

I never thought to prune an old Santolina like a gnarly little tree!

a rosemary also pruned in a beachy way

a rosemary also pruned in an artfully beachy way

little path into the garden by the rosemary

little path into the garden by the rosemary

and by the santolina

and by the santolina

cottage window

On the south side of the house is the most enchanting deck I have ever seen, with an area enclosed by wings of the cottage. On the south side of the deck sits a garden shed..

looking onto the back deck

looking onto the back deck

with tour guests for scale, showing the garden shed to the right

with tour guests for scale, showing the garden shed to the right

deck

It is genius to include the garden shed as part of the deck, giving shelter from south wind and a wonderful sense of enclosure.

pots on the stairs to the deck

pots on the stairs to the deck

a gorgeous container

a gorgeous container

on the garden shed wall

on the garden shed wall

closer

closer

The faded print seems to read "little window to open to do what I can".

The faded print seems to read “little window to open to do what I can”.

wall container by the old window

wall container by the old window

Could this garden be where I got the idea to hang old windows on a wall?

side view of the garden shed

side view of the garden shed

looking east at the west wall of the garden shed

looking east at the west wall of the garden shed

window

The old window with the caption on it is to the right, and I now realize I did not find out (despite all my inquisitiveness) what was behind that wall!

door into the garden shed

door into the garden shed

peeking inside

peeking inside

next to the door

next to the door

view of deck from garden shed door

view of deck from garden shed door

Doors to left and to right lead into wings of the fascinating cottage.

chairs

deck

the sheltered nook between cottage wings

pot

I just cannot get enough of looking at this beautiful nook.

I just cannot get enough of looking at this beautiful nook out of the west wind.

I failed to get a photo of what it would be like to sit in those chairs and look back at the garden shed… Can I go back?

window

shingle patterns

shingle patterns

cottage door

cottage door

containers everywhere

containers everywhere

detail

looking west from the deck

looking west from the deck

against a south wall of the cottage

against a south wall of the cottage

On the east side of the deck, just past some rustic boxes of flowers…

containers

… a couple of steps lead down to a narrow area with lawn and clothesline.

looking back from the east side of the deck

looking back from the east side of the deck

I think there was a gate that could close to provide even more shelter.

Yes, there it is...

Yes, there it is…

side yard with clothesline

side yard with clothesline

bird bath and hydrangea

bird bath and hydrangea

hydrangea

old beach pine in back garden (SW corner, I think)

old beach pine in back garden (SW corner, I think)

old mossy bricks

old mossy bricks

The brick edges are raised in areas quite near the cottages and become softer in the shady areas toward the back of the tiny garden.

a blue bench

a blue bench

and June in blue

and June in blue

I appreciate that Allan got photos of June herself; I was awestruck to be there again and kept circling around and around the garden itself.

Allan's photo of a rose

Allan’s photo of a rose…

and of blue flower sculptures

and of blue flower sculptures

flowers

flowers

south side of garden shed

south side of garden shed

Ah. now I understand how the shed works; it is also accessible from the back!

sweet peas on the garden shed

sweet peas on the garden shed

I heard June say she plants her sweet peas later at the beach than she would in Portland because we do not get too much summer heat for them here.

June with garden guests.

June with garden guests.

spilling over

spilling over

flowers

Sea Shadows cottage shows to the west in this photo.

Sea Shadows cottage shows to the west in this photo.

a trellis against the west garden shed wall

a trellis against the west garden shed wall

It was a special experience to walk round and round in this garden and if we had not had twelve other places to see on the tour, we would have stayed even longer.

June Kroft, cottager, gardener, quilter

June Kroft, cottager, gardener, quilter

As we left, I took a telephoto view to the west, because that is how I see things…looking to the garden views that lay between June’s garden and the beach.

Indeed, a village of flowers...

Indeed, a village of flowers…

Around the corner, before we left the Tolovana neighbourhood for the rest of the tour, we saw four cute little cottages called Carefree, Comfy, Cozy and…? Allan tells me there was a fourth one but I missed it till the moment there was a car behind us and we had t drive on.

Care-free and Comfy

Care-free and Comfy

and cozy!

and Cozy!

I am left with the usual pondering of how I can make the area around a manufactured home look as nook-like and charming as June’s garden, the archetypical and ideal cottage garden.

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I am determined to catch up, having fallen behind on the caterpillar emergency non-blogging day, and skipping a day has been exacerbated by the long hours of daylight.  You see, if I suddenly pop my clogs, Allan would know how to keep the business going just by reading the blog for 2013 and replicating the work!  It is the same every year, pretty much!

He would find three jobs had been quit this year, but there is plenty to fill in on the other jobs (thus the quitting).

So:  Friday and Saturday in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

Friday, we began with some deadheading at Larry and Robert’s garden half a block away.  No watering necessary due to blissful rain!

their garden boat

their garden boat

My dear friends Judy and Tom’s new car shows up pretty and red in this photo.

The empty new planters had been put in place in downtown Ilwaco (more on this later) but not in the best spots (more on THAT later) so Allan shifted two of them.  While we were parked for that task, our good friend and brilliant carpenter Bill Clearman stopped for a by-the-car visit.  Allan provided a bucket for a seat.

catching up with Bill

catching up with Bill

Bill is an inspiration to us, still working hard at 70 plus.

Bill's reaction on learning he was being photographed for The Blog

Bill’s reaction on learning he was being photographed for The Blog

We checked on The Depot Restaurant garden next.

at the Depot

at the Depot

Next we drove up to The Basket Case to get soil for the Ilwaco planters.  Because Basket Case closes for the season in mid July (having originally been mostly annuals and hanging baskets), we are glad to have the chance to help them sell more of their soil now.

Basket Case

I wish I had bought myself one of their yellow Shasta daisies!  I just was not quick enough with the realization that I want one.  Or two.

yellow daisies

“Banana Cream’ yellow daisies

Next:  Long Beach.  I will regale you with some photos of the planters downtown;  I walked around weeding and deadheading all of them while Allan went out to Bolstadt to weed the beach approach….a job we had planned to spend two days on but wind and rain intervened.  At least I did not have to water the planters!

northernmost planter, east side of street

northernmost planter, east side of street

Diascia and Sunbini

Diascia and Sunbini

Geranium 'Rozanne' and golden marjoram

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden marjoram

My goal:  to have two Rozanne in each planter.  I formulated this goal too late to add them this year, as I think good, damp planting season is over (and the planters are full of annuals).  Rozanne has surpassed my expectations as a good container plant.  I might buy some and hold for fall planting.

Note:  Plant Brodiaea 'Queen Fabiola' in Vet Field garden.  Great blue for early summer.

Note: Plant Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ in Vet Field garden. Great blue for early summer.

also...white and blue Nigella (love in a mist)

also…white and blue Nigella (love in a mist)…here in a planter near the LB pharmacy

The big planter by Lewis and Clark Square is a mish mash that I am not very happy about.  I have gone through phases in this planter.  The phormium phase…long gone.  The Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ phase.  Still pulling those as they come back.  I like the Erysimum.  Every time we tear into it to do it over, we manage to puncture some sprinkler hoses, thus not making parks manager Mike K happy.

what to do?

what to do?

I have tried to get rid of all the Lady’s Mantle and look how much has come back.  Oops.

Across the street from Home at the Beach, the painted sage is fabulous in a re-done planter.  Good, new soil has it thriving.

Salvia viridis about to pop

Salvia viridis about to pop

Kitty corner to that by an empty lot is a planter that continues to thwart me.  I keep thinning the yarrow, planted by a volunteer back in the day, in order to add more interest, and the yarrow keeps winning.  This is one that can only be fully changed by ripping out plants, soil and all and starting over.  It is pretty enough when the yarrow blooms….

kind of dull

kind of dull

The planter in front of Home at the Beach cheered me up again.

Agyranthemum 'Butterfly'

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’

Calibrachoa 'Lemon Slice'

Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’

I made it through all the planters and walked past City Hall to join Allan on the beach approach.

City Hall Astilbe (north side)

City Hall Astilbe (north side)

I love Astilbes and should plant more in LB.

The wind knocked my prize goatsbeard specimen over so badly that we had had to cut half of it back off the sidewalk earlier in the week!

city hall

Now, the beach approach.  The rugosa roses, which have taken over the whole garden pretty much, are glorious right now.

pink ones

pink ones

single pink

single pink

slightly double pink

slightly double pink

pink

white

white

single white (Rosa rugosa alba)

single white (Rosa rugosa alba)

Coreopsis and roses

Coreopsis and roses

I checked the planters all the way to the end, where the two westernmost ones (planted with horribly dense vinca by volunteers way back when) have practically merged into the dunes.

almost a lost cause

almost a lost cause..and that dratted vinca

the westernmost planter

the westernmost planter

The last planter is just feet from the Long Beach boardwalk.  It could be so much better but we would have to tear out ALL the soil because of the dratted vinca and start over.  This has been the case with a number of the volunteer planters.  We manage to redo one or two a year.

The beach approach garden itself, due to our lack of time this week, did not get done as well as we could have with an extra day….the day we went to a sheltered garden to work instead because of 30 MPH winds.   We (especially Allan) did, however, make a difference.

before and after

before and after

Then we had to leave to get those three Ilwaco planters done.  They had been languishing in semi-hidden neglected spots in private yards; the city crew had gathered and emptied them and placed them for us to fill with soil and plants.

First, we did one in yellows down by the Portside Café.

yellow enhancing yellow

yellow enhancing yellow

golden thymes and marjoram, Erysimum 'Fragrant Sunshine'

golden thymes and marjoram, Erysimum ‘Fragrant Sunshine’

I will now illustrate with buckets how we found the planters placed this morning at the intersection of First and Spruce, where big trucks and trailers sometimes swing wide.

Can you see the faint tire tracks?

Can you see the faint tire tracks?  southeast corner

You can definitely see the tire tracks on the northeast corner!

You can definitely see the tire tracks on the northeast corner!

looking southwest

looking southwest; bucket marks where planter WAS placed

The planters would have been wiped out there, so Allan had moved them inboard.

looking east

looking east down Spruce

adding soil

adding soil

That odd little planter is left over from when there used to be a café and antique shop on this corner, whose owner had put out several containers of plants.

one...

one…

The planters are mismatched because I could not find any more good Erysimums for centerpieces.

The Hebe is a good center so I wish I had gotten two!

The Hebe is a good center so I wish I had gotten two!

That Hebe is left over from when I thought I needed one for a spot at Andersen’s RV Park…and didn’t…

When this job was done at sunset Friday evening, we had the refreshing feeling that we now had two days off!

home to a beautiful sunset, blissful prospect of leisure

home to a beautiful sunset, blissful prospect of leisure

Perhaps our plan of a Saturday taking photos at Saturday Market and then the Doggie Olympic Games was not entire a prospect of leisure, and not my perfect day off at home in the garden…but when I checked my email I realized we had to do a bit of work Saturday after all.

One of the port business owners wished to have her garden tidied, and while we did not need to jump to it, I did want to get it done for the fourth of July and especially for the Ilwaco sixth of July fireworks.  So in order to get it off the list, we did it Saturday late afternoon after Doggie Olympics.

hot and tedious work

hot and tedious work

but now it is done

but now it is done (too tired to straighten photo!)

We had a wonderful reward for doing that job when we did.  While dumping the debris out in the field at the east end of the port, we saw the Tall Ships set sail and were able to photograph them on their way to their Battle Cruise.  Cannons, sea shanties, climbing the rigging, and other delights awaited the passengers.  Well, the passengers were not made to climb the rigging, but I do believe they had to sing sea shanties.

We saw two ships go sailing out

We saw two ships go sailing out

Technically, they were motoring, not sailing, till they got farther out.

ships

ships

Avast, me hearties!

Avast, me hearties!

I reflected, as I often do, on what an amazing place Ilwaco is to live in.  Somehow, through a series of events that often seemed like mistakes, we ended up in this glorious place and with right livelihood.

ships

The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftan

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This was not the final day of planting.  There are still some cosmos to plant in Ann’s garden, a very few plants (about ten!) that I want to add to Long Beach, and quite a few plants for my own garden.  But the big planting jobs are all done now. What a relief.

So as we headed to first job, we got our mail and there was a catalog for….bulb planting hell!

bulb catalog with the last big batch of annuals

bulb catalog with the last big batch of annuals

Bulb hell has its own quality, but is easier.  My clients, who have all become friends, and I go in together for bulbs from Van Engelen, and then there are hundreds of bulbs in my garage while I sort out everyone’s order.  And plant them.  With annuals, we keep having to go out to get more, and more, and more, and although plant shopping is enormously fun, it is time consuming and not very lucrative (because it is hard to charge for the time accurately, since much is spent schmoozing about plants, and we don’t resell the plants at a profit because we want all our clients to get the best plants possible and the biggest amount for their budgets!).  Bulbs hell includes the anxiety of getting them all in the ground, despite weather, by early December.

Saturday, we first we planted at the Ilwaco boatyard in increasing drizzle.  Here is another lesson in Round Up weedkiller damage.  A few weeks back the boatyard crew sprayed behind the fence with weedkiller, trying to kill the horsetail.  While the horsetail is still happy as can be, some of the boatyard plants are still blighted by drift.  (The crew boss promises this will not happen again.)

yellowed poppy foliage, happy horsetail

yellowed poppy foliage, happy horsetail

blue globe thistle was hit

blue globe thistle was hit

I feel fortunate at so little damage.  When I have time I will prune out the bad parts.  If the weedkiller had caused as much damage as it did at Marilyn’s garden, where a one foot or more strip on each side of a path was affected by someone spraying Round Up (Am I still brooding about this?  Kinda.), the long, narrow boatyard garden would have been a goner.

The annual poppies seemed particularly susceptible (and you can see how, in this section we have not yet weeded, the horsetail just brayed with laughter and had no damage at all).

 Poppies are a delicate flower.

Poppies are a delicate flower.

The garden looks fine overall.  We planted the newer areas with cosmos and painted sage, and left the center area, three years old, to perennials and reseeded poppies.

newest section

newest section

Our plans to also weed the middle section were thwarted by heavy rain, so we went to Olde Towne Café for lunch and hoped for the weather to lighten.  It didn’t.

weather view from Olde Towne

weather view from Olde Towne

I have set for myself an enjoyable obligation of photographing the Saturday Market for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  Lately, because we have been working Saturdays, Allan has helped by taking photographs, too.  We feel for the market vendors as this is the second bad weather Saturday in a row!  In three previous years of photographing the market (only missed two Saturdays due to garden events!), I don’t remember two dire weeks back to back.

Allan took this from the Port Office deck.

Allan took this from the Port Office deck.

Japanese maples for sale, and Portside Café booth.  (That's the yellow café in whose street planter we plant yellow flowers.)

Japanese maples for sale, and Portside Café booth. (That’s the yellow café in whose street planter we plant yellow flowers.)

a line up of flowers in stone vases

a line up of flowers in stone vases

Allan and I both photographed the spectacular lupines at the Marie Powell Gallery.  His photo is much more clever.

my photo

my photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Those sea thrift (pink, foreground) are a bugger to deadhead later in the year but I love them.

After a wet walk through the market, it was back to work.   We got perhaps the last batch of cosmos for work at The Planter Box, where the tomatoes were irresistibly healthy looking (so I got three):

Planter Box tomatoes

Planter Box tomatoes

They have dozens of quite a few interesting varieties, so get ’em!

At The Basket Case, we picked up some Armeria (sea thrift) to fill in any spaces we might find in the Bolstadt beach approach planters.

Here are three more perennials that I did not mention in my rave review of Basket Case perennials:

Helenium (Helen's Flower)

Helenium (Helen’s Flower)

Basket Case has at least two kinds of Helenium, a tall mid to late summer plant with warm tones of daisy-like flowers.  I got me one of this new one.   These might not even bloom before Fred and Nancy close in midsummer, so only the discerning buyer will realize how great a plant this is.

Eupatorium 'Gateway'

Eupatorium ‘Gateway’

This Joe Pye weed is a little shorter than the others, claiming to grow “only” to five feet, with great big fluffy pink flowers that butterflies love.  My opinion is that it likes lots of summer water.  I adore this plant and bought one even though I probably already have it (but my Joe Pye gets taller than five feet! which might be just because it is mulched with cow fiber!).

There were only a couple of these left yesterday!

Helianthemum

Helianthemum

This orange Helianthemum is ‘Ben Nevis’.  These plants are great for growing on a rock wall.  I have found they do not bloom all summer, but the trailing foliage remains good.  Also comes in pink and yellow; not sure which other cultivars Basket Case has in stock.  I believe The Planter Box also has some cultivars of Helianthemum (rock rose).  Don’t be confused because Cistus (an excellent shrub which Basket Case also carries) is also called rock rose.

Dianthus 'Raspberry Swirl' and 'Fancy Knickers'

Dianthus ‘Raspberry Swirl’ and ‘Fancy Knickers’

Cute names, gorgeous plants.  “Pinks” are not always pink!  These are nice big healthy Dianthus.   I’m getting myself two more Raspberry Swirls if there are any left next time!

The rain continued to fall and we made the decision that we could not finish the weeding at Andersen’s RV Park this weekend.  We feel that to work in rain, with dripping raincoats, just makes vacationing guests feel sad for us and brings down the jolly weekender feeling!   We hope the guests there will see the pretty things (all the planters and containers are looking great, and plants well outnumber weeds in the garden beds).  I am too tired to give up my two days off because of not meeting the Andersen’s goal that I had set for us.

Allan also said he felt it was more important to check on the beach approach planters because more foot traffic walks by them, so we did.  We quickly used up the perennials we had bought for the Bolstadt approach planters (six Armeria, two Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’) and found space for about eight more tough perennials which we will buy and add later this week.

Allan weeding the Lisa Bonney memorial planter

Allan weeding the Lisa Bonney memorial planter

One of the planters surprised me with this beautiful columbine!

One of the planters surprised me with this beautiful columbine!

not as miserable a job as it looks because the weather was not cold...

not as miserable a job as it looks because the weather was not cold…or windy

The beach approach garden is weedy again, of course!  But when we get around to doing it again, it will not be as miserable a job as the first weeding of the year.

beach approach, west end

beach approach, west end

Adorably, the Armeria (sea thrift) has reseeded at the end of the lawn.  I have read that it grows wild on the sea cliffs in Wales.

sea thrift

sea thrift

approach garden looking west

approach garden looking west

looking east; rugosa roses about to bloom

looking east; rugosa roses about to bloom

rugosa roses in bud

rugosa roses in bud

The rugosa roses are thuggish and a pain to weed around, but they will earn their keep from now till frost, first with flowers of pink, magenta, or white, and then with big orangey red hips.  They are also known as “The Tomato Rose” because of the size of the hips (about which some tourists ask us, “Are those tomatoes?”) and “The Salt Spray Rose” because they can take beachy conditions.

Dianthus in a beach approach planter, at least seven years old.

Dianthus in a beach approach planter, at least seven years old.

and a hardy geranium

and a hardy geranium

rain brings the colours out

rain brings the colours out

I wish the volunteers, back in the day, had not planted chocolate mint in the easternmost planter.

why?

why?

It has choked out the other plants, except for dog daisies.  Someone in passing commented to me last year how lush and wonderful the planter used to be.  Well…yes, before someone stuck the mint in there and it got well established.  The Nepeta (catmint, not a mint, not invasive) is buried with just one flower showing.

mint vs. catmint: no contest

mint vs. catmint: no contest

With about fifty of these planters to care for, we redo poorly planted old ones at a rate of maybe two a year.  We might eventually get to this one, which would involve having to dig it out, soil and all, and start over…or we might just decide the mint is fragrant and has a pretty flower and just let it be mostly one thing.

We were still in the rain as we left the beach approach for our next job.

the Long Beach arch

the Long Beach arch

We had some plants for the tiny World Kite Museum garden on the Sid Snyder Beach approach.  While Allan weeded it, I walked the approach and weeded the seven planters along its north side.  I must admit some of the weeding was just cosmetic because we had much still to do and it was six o clock.

Kite garden with Cosmos 'Cutesy', painted sage, one one sanguisorba added to the remaining perennials.

Kite garden with Cosmos ‘Cutesy’, painted sage, one one sanguisorba added to the remaining perennials.

There seems to be a big fail in the volunteer mowing, in that it does not include weed-eating, apparently!   We are not really in the weedeating business, but last year after declining to hand weed all along the shrub border, below, we did weed eat it a few times.  I think we will have to step up to weed eat around our little garden, as well.

the shrub parking lot border, which we most decidely do not have time to weed.

the shrub parking lot border, which we most decidely do not have time to weed.

The soil in the tiny flower garden was weird in spots.  When we redid it last year, we mulched with some bagged soil amendments.  Over the winter, it has turned into a weird rooty sawdusty substance in some areas and despite the rain was very dry.  Where are the roots coming from?  They are definitely roots, not fungi.  It is odd.  I pulled some out to have a good look.

weird and unsettling

weird and unsettling

Surely the escallonia on one side or hebe on the other could not be encroaching with this many roots?

We hope to take a yard of cow fiber up to Marilyn’s garden soon to mulch the edges where we had to replant (due to round up, blah blah blah!) and I will save out a few buckets full for this garden.  It could take about a half an inch of mulch.

Next we went back down to Ilwaco.  We stopped at the boatyard to photograph some boats for Discover Ilwaco, and I pondered the amount of horsetail in the middle area where we have not yet weeded.

oh dear, oh dear

oh dear, oh dear

One hopes the two well weeded ends of the garden will keep passersby happy.

in the boatyard

in the boatyard

We finally did the last of Saturday’s planting at the Port of Ilwaco office garden with some Cosmos ‘Cutesy’, since we want the flowers to remain short in order to show off the Basket Case baskets that hang above.  Or maybe I should still add a very few salpiglossis.

port office garden

port office garden

There are some tiny little seedling that we are leaving in the garden till I figure out what they are.  I usually can identify seedlings….but these look like painted sage, which is unlikely as I had never planted it here, nor do I ever find it to re-seed this prolifically.

my favourite perennials, Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', in the port office garden

my favourite perennials, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, in the port office garden

Basket Case plants above and below

Basket Case plants above and below

just south of Port Office garden

just south of Port Office garden

Rain had stopped!  The gardens on the Howerton side of the office glowed with California poppies.

Howerton gardens

Howerton gardens (photo taken earlier in the day)

Finally, at 8 PM, we weeded the gardens at the east end of Howerton.  What had caught my eye when driving past earlier were the dead leaves (now picked off) on the Eryngium there.

bad leaves now plucked!

bad leaves now plucked!  This was caused by the hot spell around Mother’s Day.

Howerton by Queen La De Da's Art Castle

Howerton by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

The Howerton garden that was most recently done (below) is the very westernmost one;  it was filled in with plants divided from other areas, and they will size up to fill the space but maybe it needs a little something more to be added.

perhaps a few more wind tolerant perennials...

garden to right….perhaps a few more wind tolerant perennials…

Along with Andersen’s RV Park, we did not get to the weeding at the Howerton garden section at the very west end of the street.  And both will have to wait because, having caught up with this blog, I am about to commence on two days off.  (I can feel that Howerton Street weeding project tugging at me, but I will try to resist.)

When I get my own cosmos and painted sage, container plants and perennials,  planted in my own garden, I will officially declare Annuals Planting Hell 2013 over!

I have worked 18 days in a row and Allan has worked 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s entry is in two parts because after this I want to focus on some cool plants at the Basket Case Nursery in an entry all its own.

But first:  Work.  At most times of the year, a day with .72 inches of rain predicted would be a welcome day off (especially after we have just worked 20-ish? days in a row).   But we are anxious to get done with annuals hell AND this weekend is a big holiday weekend here.  We want “our” resort and public gardens to look fine. Perfection will not happen due to weather.  But at least the Long Beach planters, we hoped, could be done.

We did sleep in to the sound of pounding rain, and then procrastinated, but by 11:30 I was pacing and looking out every window.  There was no lightness around the edges of the sky…

to the north

to the north

east from living room

east from living room

east from kitchen window

east from kitchen window

The plants lined up on the walkway are crying out to be planted.

The plants lined up on the walkway are crying out to be planted.

east sunporch rain barrel

east sunporch rain barrel

From the south window, the garden was just an impressionistic wet blur.

kinda painterly

kinda painterly

By noon, we decided we definitely had to go to work in our best raincoats and boots.  For some reason, going back to being a little child, I have never liked zipping up a rainboat so raingear only helps me somewhat….

the daily Ilwaco post office stop

the daily Ilwaco post office stop

We then procrastinated a bit more at Olde Towne Café where our intention was only to switch the compost bucket and get coffee drinks to go.  The company was good with stories of old Ilwaco so we were there till one.

by the Olde Towne counter

by the Olde Towne counter

Then we simply had to go to Long Beach.  I had (I thought) a complete list of the spaces and plants needed to fill them in all the five long blocks of street planters, and had (I thought) all the necessary plants in the car to complete the job.

It was wet.

It was wet.

Above is not one of my favourite planters.  It has lots of white yarrow in it from old volunteer days…and Lithodora on the edges!   One of my least favourite plants, although these look good because I have chopped them back hard, repeatedly.  One of these days I might redo this one completely.

In the background is one of my favourite shops, Home at the Beach, where I had a drawing prize to pick up from the recent Peninsula Cash Mob there.  I didn’t pick it up today because by then (having already planted in five planters) I would have dripped muddy water all over their floor.

The Wooden Horse

The Wooden Horse

The rain came pelting harder as we parked further into downtown.

The Wooden Horse

The Wooden Horse, where I briefly took shelter under an overhanging roof.

across the street:  The Hungry Harbor.  I like the owners a lot and try to make their planter extra good.  Favouritism!

across the street: The Hungry Harbor. I like the owners a lot and try to make their planter extra good. Favouritism!

We made it all the way to the stoplight.  I needed a couple more trailing plants for a planter to the north of there but…I was out as had found some spaces that I had missed noting and had filled with what we had with us.  I also noticed that the two planters in front of the Cottage Bakery and Funland needed more stuffage.  (I think it was my garden writer guru Ann Lovejoy who coined the phrase “The principle of stuffage” to describe filling planters with sheer exuberance.  And in our beachy winds, lots of plants help hold each other up.)

So with a dearth of plants to finish the job, we peeled off our miserable wet raincoats and got in the car to go local nursery shopping for more ingredients.

from our last LB parking spot of the day

from our last LB parking spot of the day

At the Basket Case we picked up a flat of godetia for Andersen’s RV Park.  I had almost forgotten to get some; owner Lorna loves them.  The plan had been to plant them today as well, and weed there for three hours or so, but dang blang it! We could not take any more rainy work.   With rain still lashing the greenhouse roofs, I walked around enjoying Nancy’s basket making artistry.

Baskets for sale:

Basket Case

Basket Case

basketsbaskets

the blues

pinks

More on the great selection of perennials there in my next post.

We then drove a few blocks up Sandridge, over Cranberry, and back south a long block to The Planter Box to get more Cosmos and Salvia patens.  We also picked up three different handsome, colourful thymes.  They make excellent edgers in Long Beach planters that tend to get sat upon, like the one by Funland.

three colours of thyme

three colours of thyme

Teresa showed me, on her camera, photos of the latest delivery of cow fiber from Tillamook, Oregon.

cow fiber (washed manure) delivery

cow fiber (washed manure) delivery

They now have a generous supply, and I cannot recommend this product highly enough for mulching your garden.

plenty of cow fiber

plenty of cow fiber

Planter Box also had an amusing new hummingbird food for sale:

the finest vintage of hummer food.

the finest vintage of hummer food.

I wish my garden tools had ducky handles.

tools

And there were new baby chicks.

babies

It’s a real farm store with livestock feed and supplies along with a huge selection of perennials, trees, and shrubs.

We gave up on planting and went home at five.  I changed into dry clothes and socks before sorting out and watering today’s purchases in the garage.  (Each plant got burbled, dunked in a bucket of water till the soil stopped bulbing, to ensure their happiness.)   The rain on our south window was even more fierce…

NO lightness around the edges

NO lightness around the edges

And from the garage, Lake Street appeared to live up to its name.

Lake Street

We had 1.33 inches of rain today by the time we were both indoors for the evening.

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Annuals hell is now getting to the point of disarray and arguments.  It is like when a person is moving, and plans that the move will be completely organized with everything going into labelled boxes, and then at the end the possessions are thrown into any old container willy nilly, and maybe one even moves a box of dirty dishes.  Not that I have ever done that.

Yesterday (Saturday) after the fascinating Coast Guard open house, we went at 2:30 P.M. to the Basket Case to check out the new shipment of perennials and to pick up the annuals for the Red Barn planters.

stunning variegated Diascia 'Katherine'.  I wanted them all but was kind enough to leave a few for other customers.

stunning variegated Diascia ‘Katherine’. I wanted them all but was kind enough to leave a few for other customers.

At the Red Barn, it was distressing to see how bad the four whiskey barrels looked with dead bulb foliage.  We had left it too long.  My friend Misty came over to say hello.  That was cheering.

Misty did not mind about the old bulb foliage.

Misty did not mind about the old bulb foliage.

By the time we left, the barrels were all  planted with red Calibrachroa, yellow Sanvitalia, and a centerpiece of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, and in some, Diascia ‘Denim Blue’ that had come through from last year.

Allan planting

Allan planting

I love santivalia

I love sanvitalia’s tiny bright yellow green centered flowers.

It is also cheering to say hi to the horses.

It is also cheering to say hi to the horses.

Next year I will not take a trip in April so that I have just three more days to keep on top of work and, one hopes, not have any jobs where dead bulb foliage is allowed to droop and offend the eye.

We then re did all 20? of the Ilwaco street planters (and the two at the library and one at Peninsula Sanitation office).   And planted a few things at the Ilwaco boatyard, where the Allium albopilosum is opening with its usual fabulosity and which I pray will not fall victim to finger blight.

boatyard garden

boatyard garden

please no finger blight here

please no finger blight here

The horsetail is coming back, but we just do not have time to deal with it right now.

on the sidewalk's edge:  horsetail, dock bindweed

on the sidewalk’s edge: horsetail, bindweed, dock

boatyard garden

boatyard garden

Across the street from the boatyard a porch is draped in wisteria.

Wisteria at First and Eagle

Wisteria at First and Eagle

At the same house, I long to see the holly hedge brought down to the lower level, and then let grow, which would give so much privacy to the garden and be low enough to let in sunlight.

Don't you agree?

Don’t you agree?

Most of the planters were a straightforward bulb cleanup and planting task.one of the tidied and planted planters

one of the tidied and planted planters

In the planters:  Sanvitalia, Diascias of assorted colours, an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in the center, maybe a painted sage.  A few have golden marjoram and Nepeta (catmint) and one or two have a trailing rosemary that survived; I tried it in all of them but it only hung on in a couple.

At First and Main, the Col Pacific Motel has a good display of bearded iris.  The owners have been working to make their strip of garden look good.

iris

iris

At the corner of First and Lake, one of the planters has become stagnant and goopy and had to be totally dug out.

It was stinky!

It was stinky!

We found the bottom had no hole, and have emailed city hall to get the crew to punch one through.  It is a mystery to me how some that have no hole have not filled up with mucky water before.

not right!

not right!

So I don’t have the satisfaction of checking Ilwaco planters off my list yet…

Back in 2008, the empty lot where Red’s Restaurant used to be was allowed to flower with wild beach pea.

2008 by Ilwaco Pharmacy

2008 by Ilwaco Pharmacy

Does it really look better sprayed with Round Up (not by the city, by the owner of the lot).  I THINK NOT!

not an improvement

not an improvement

By the end of the day we were working in a drenching rain.  It was surprising, when we got home at 8:30 PM, to see a pink sky in the west.

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street

Today (Sunday), I began by taking a bouquet to my neighbour, Nora.   She is now in a hospital bed, and can barely speak,  with family in attendance, and I wept (but not so she could see).

a bouquet for Nora

a bouquet for Nora

I said to her grand daughter how terrible I feel that this is the time of year when we work so much, but Elisha understood.  Nora has been the ideal neighbour; the only thing better would have been to have known her in younger days when she could still tend her pretty garden.

All this should put life into perspective, but…the day managed to be annoying despite better intentions.

We went to the Boreas Inn to plant a few perennials, only to find that one flat with santolinas and a wonderful Russian Sage called Lacy Blue had been left at home.  “Take the flat out behind your seat” (in the car), I had said.  Allan took out two flats.  One needed to be put back in.  “Bring the one with the Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ in it,” I said.   But two flats had that Knautia, so the wrong one rode with us all day, filled with that pretty variegated Diascia that we did not need at any of today’s jobs.

missing plants at the Boreas

missing plants at the Boreas

Then to the Anchorage to plant some more windowbox plants, and they did get one of those variegated Diascias that were not supposed to be with us today.  And then The Planter Box to pick up Cosmos and painted sage for Marilyn’s garden.

Planter Box has Eryngium 'Jade Frost, one of my favourites!

Planter Box has Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’, one of my favourites!

and herbs

and herbs

We picked up some lovely purple violas for Monday’s job.

pansies or violas?  Monday's client likes both.

pansies or violas? Monday’s client likes both.

We scooted over to The Basket Case to pick up a couple more perennials for Marilyn’s garden and two annuals that we needed for the two Ilwaco library planters (for symmetry:  a pink scabiosa had died, and we needed to balance it with another, and oddly an Agyranthemum had lived and also needed to be balanced!)

Then way up north to Marilyn’s garden.  I walked the path first to check on things and something was not right.  Not right at all.  It took me a little while to figure out the garden catastrophe:  Someone had round up-ed the path and had seriously oversprayed into the garden.  The results were dire.  Marilyn’s daughter Nancy was there and kindly listened to my cries of woe and walked the path with me to share my sorrow over the plants.  We could only figure that the person who does some maintenance of the lot must have taken it upon himself to round up the path with a lavish back and forth spraying motion.  It will not happen again, but that was little comfort for the dying plants.  Now, they might have revived and grown out of it if cut way back….but this garden is going to be on the garden tour just two months from tomorrow so it cannot have wrecked plants.  Once this happened at The Anchorage and it took the edge of the garden two years to look right again.

my favourite Eryngium, blighted.

my favourite Eryngium, blighted on the edges.

Round up on Oregano.

Round up on Oregano.

round up on catmint

round up on catmint; the front is yellowed and twisty

a sprayed artemisia

a sprayed artemisia

another sprayed catmint

another sprayed catmint (front half is yellow)

damaged scabiosa

damaged scabiosa

round up and Rosemary

round up and Rosemary

damaged rosemary

damaged rosemary

So what was this diligent sprayer after?  In the path, scabiosas and linaria that had reseeded and would actually have been transplantable to Golden Sands or the Boatyard or in some places would have looked cute and pretty where they were.

Do reseeded flowers really look better sprayed and dead than alive and green?  I ASK YOU!

Do reseeded flowers really look better sprayed and dead than alive and green? I ASK YOU!

I’ve noticed that people who apply round up seem to have no problem with the fact that the sprayed plants are the same size but dead and brown and still need to be removed.  This is so strange to both me and Allan.  How is this an improvement?

As if we needed all the extra work during annuals hell…. Our plan had been to weed enough to plant some six packs of sage and cosmos and a few perennials to get them established and well grown for the tour,  go back to the Anchorage and finish planting the windowboxes, and get home in time to do some needed spreadsheet work tonight.  As soon as annuals hell ended, we would have come back to Marilyn’s to do a full day of weeding.  Instead, we ended up having to remove with the heavy pick maybe twenty damaged edge plants, big ones (catmint, lavender, oregano, scabiosa, and more), smooth out the soil, and now we have a huge load of debris to dispose of tomorrow along with everything else we had in mind for that day.

However, all the kvetching aside, we did have lots of painted sage with us so we used it to fill in the edges and will get some Dianthus later.  (I think the person who sprayed should pay for some new lavenders, but…)   It looked rather nice when we were done.  I just pray that there is no residue in the soil that will mess up the new plants.   If there is, this garden will have to be pulled off the garden tour and I will be annoyed beyond, well, beyond anything annoying that has happened in any garden of “ours” in the last twenty years, including when the truck went into the Shelburne garden (because that was an accident!)

This is the only area NOT cleared because of round up.  It had too big a grass at the edge.

This is the only area NOT cleared because of round up. It had too big a grass at the edge.

the path

the path

The big Phygelius (right) also showed signs of spray damage.

The big Phygelius (right) also showed signs of spray damage.

Re-planted all along the edge

Re-planted all along the edge

Some Allium albopilosum near the edge are also twisty and messed up by the overspray.  I am so sad because I wanted LOTS of them for the tour day.

Before, the plants, especially catmint, were billowing and spilling over the edge.  Will this possibly look filled in and melded with the back of the garden in two months?  I am anxious.

from back deck; neibhbour's garage will soon almost disappear.

from back deck; neighbour’s garage will soon almost disappear.

looking north-ish.

looking north-ish.

The one advantage:   The round rock edge shows again.  My mind still boggles that someone had the chutzpah to walk that path with a round up sprayer and cause so much damage to the garden.  I am so glad we have the support of the owners to fix it, and hope that it looks healed by tour day.

We were well out of time by the end of all this and did not get the rest of the windowbox plants to the Anchorage so that job has now spilled over onto tomorrow….  We were sorting plants from the car and dealing with trying to get some of the round up plant debris into our garbage can (to make the trailer lighter weight) until dark and we are both just a little bit crabby.

*****************************************************************

P.S.  Tomorrow:  Cash mob at The Basket Case.

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Noon:  I again welcome rain for the gardens but remember fondly a year when the rain fell often but only at night, thus not hindering our work.  We have more trailing plants to put in the Long Beach planters and was really hoping to do it today, thus getting those plants into this particular two week pay period.  I am not sure how many we will use to finish those planters; the leftover ones will go to other container homes.

The cats are snoozy and I think that I will spend an hour reading the Tootlepedal blog for July 2011.

Frosty and his mother, Mary

Frosty and his mother, Mary

Smokey

Smokey

Calvin hasn't even got out of bed.

Calvin hasn’t even got out of bed.

Maddy hates all the other cats so was snoozing on a sunporch chair.

Maddy hates all the other cats so was snoozing on a sunporch chair.

Two hours later (after I read most of Tootlepedal for July 2011):

Mary and Frosty

Mary and Frosty

Calvin

Calvin

Smokey

Smokey

Heavy rain sorted itself into a drizzle and we decided we must get a batch of plants into the Long Beach planters.  I especially wanted to go through them all and make a list of which areas still need filling.  So in the light and not especially cold rain we worked south to north for the six long blocks.  At least we did not have to water the plants in.

I put a few cosmos into the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.  I ponder this one a lot.  Years ago I started planting garlic in the middle of the planter in honour of what seemed then to be a very important local festival, the mid-June Garlic Festival in Ocean Park.  The garlic tended to get tatty looking so for the last few years I have had a patch of elephant garlic in the planter instead, with tall purple globes later in the year.  But I am not sure about it anymore.  Maybe it takes up too much room and should be replaced with something more delicate.

decisions...

decisions…

I also have gone off Lady’s Mantle but it looks so fresh and pretty when a new one starts up that I tend to leave it and then be sorry later.  There is a big one whose roots persist under the iron railing.  The railing is incomplete now because a piece was vandalized but years ago it was made by my former partner, Robert.

Below, you can see the new Veterans Field Flag Plaza in the background.

I do with the front iron piece had not been broken out.

I do wish the front iron piece had not been broken out.

Maybe whoever made the rebar tower could make a new rebar railing.

Maybe whoever made the rebar tower could make a new rebar railing.

detail:  Cerinthe major purpurascens, reseeded

detail: Cerinthe major purpurascens, reseeded (backed with Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve)

Looks like ONE sweet pea may have survived to climb the iron tower.  (The tower has signs pointing to businesses half a block back.)  Three years ago I had wonderful success with sweet peas here and have not been able to replicate it.

one lonely sprout

one lonely sprout

Perhaps another sprout lurks in the background.  About such things I fret the whole time I work in Long Beach.  (Also:  should I pull the variegated ivy, so as to not encourage the growing of ivy?)

We weeded and deadheaded a bit at Veterans Field, finished checking the last block of planters while I made a new plant shopping list….

Vet Field garden looks good but needs many tiny lawn grass sprouts weeding out.

Vet Field garden looks good but needs many tiny lawn grass sprouts weeded out.

And then we knocked off work early in order to be half an hour late for a belated birthday party for Heather of our favourite shop, NIVA green.  Here is the old purse that I thought would be a perfect present for her.  I have had it since Seattle days.

peacock purse from India

peacock purse from India

It is decorated with metal and later in the evening Heather told us it was made “old school”.

I toy with the idea of buying this so cool truck decorated by a friend of Heather’s but Allan thinks it might not get the kind of gas mileage we are used to or might not be big enough.  I do love it.

winged truck

winged truck

It really is for sale.

It really is for sale.

The party took place at the cottage home of local art historian Patricia Moss.

And we just had the most wonderful time.  Pat made a glorious dinner of lobster tails, salad, brocolli from the new Coastal Market in Long Beach town, and provided a tomato bisque soup from the 42nd Street Café that makes me want to go eat there very soon.

the buffet

the buffet

I got to meet and lavish pets on Pat’s wonderful dog, Bella.

Bella

Bella

a sweetheart of a dog

a sweetheart of a dog

Heather, Tiny, and Allan

Heather, Tiny, and Allan

IMG_7338I just realized from this photo how much Sarah looks like my friend Carol!  And I was finally able to tell her that this past week I read her fantasy novel, The Marble Game.  I had a happy moment when I did not have a stack of almost overdue library books!  It gave me the same feeling of mystery and delight that I used to get from the Green Knowe books and I highly recommend it.   (In looking for a link to the Green Knowe books, I found they have been made into a miniseries, starring a Heather Ramsay!  Now that is pretty cosmic, but unfortunately it does not seem to be readily available to rent on DVD.)

The coconut cake was made by an apprentice baker at Jimella and Nanci's Café.

The coconut cake was made by an apprentice baker at Jimella and Nanci’s Café.  Rosemary blows a party whistle.

The birthday girl will get her wish.

The birthday girl will get her wish.

exchanging tales of Alaska

exchanging tales of Alaska

Patricia with Cate Gable, who writes for the Chinook Observer

Patricia with Cate Gable, who writes for the Chinook Observer

Cate asked me if we wanted to have our garden on the Edible Garden Tour this year.  I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough about edibles, even though I have some…  Pondering…. It could be an embarrassment!

After cake, we took a garden tour of the tiny garden Pat has created.  It is this garden’s first and last garden tour, because next week Pat is moving up to downtown (Long Beach) living and the baker of the cake is moving into this little cottage.

a private retreat

a private retreat

herbs

herbs and strawberries

Look above at the clever growing of strawberries along the rail, safe(r) from slugs and snails.

Callas

Callas

hostas

hostas

I wish I had thought to photograph an elegant cluster of hostas under a tree.  Perhaps tomorrow, when we work on planting Margaret’s annuals across the street, I will.  Tonight I got all distracted by the fun of everyone getting their dogs out to meet and greet each other.

dog party

dog party

farewells

farewells

I feel very fortunate that a (former?) recluse such as myself gets to know such fascinating, artistic people.  I must credit Facebook with a lot of the connections I have made locally, but my connection with Heather goes way back to when I bought two of her art clocks back in the early 90s in Seattle, and then to when I finally met her here at the beach when her sister Elissa gardened with me in 1998.  Imagine my amazement when Elissa visited my house and said “Those are my sister’s clocks!”  Elissa moved away after a few months and (pre-email for me) we lost touch.  To my delight, Heather moved here two years ago and opened the most artistic and fascinating gift shop I have ever seen, NIVA green in Long Beach.

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On the way to another day of planting in Long Beach (that’s Washington, not California), we stopped to plant two Diascia ‘Blue Denim’ (or ‘Denim Blue’) by Azure salon.  That’s our little theme for Ilwaco:  yellow or orange flowers for the yellow café, blue for the Azure Salon.  Then a quick compost bucket switch at Olde Towne Café, where we found that great strides had been made over the past week in the antiques rooms at the back of the shop.

looking into the back rooms

looking into the back rooms

I took some photos for their Facebook page but did not have time for a coffee break.  In fact, I had awoken at eight AM in great anxiety about work but did not feel I should wake Allan early because I would be rather annoyed if he got a burst of early morning work energy and woke me early.  (We are both chronic night owls and at least we are compatible in our schedule;  my ex the famous mystery writer Chris used to be up, breakfasted, and returning from several yard sales before I even opened my eyes on Saturday morning!  I always felt I had missed out on some good yard sale acquisitions.)

But I digress.  My anxiety was mainly because I suddenly felt we simply MUST redo the planter in front of the charming shop called Home at the Beach before they are the featured  Peninsula Cash Mob site on Saturday.  And then the planter across the street would have to match.  Both were full of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  That’s a perennial I once loved and now view with suspicion.  I once thought it was a good plant because it does not spread like the similar orange montbretia, , but it will take over a spot and spear through all surrounding plants.  I regret ever having planted it in any of the Long Beach planters.

Sheila and I attended a Hardy Plant Society study weekend where Adrian Bloom, whose nursery introduced ‘Lucifer’ to the gardening world, was the keynote speaker.  The emcee introduced him partly with the questions “How many of you grow Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’…and how many of you are trying to get rid of it?”  The audience laughed as we almost all raised our hands to both questions.  Adrian defended it as a very good plant (which it really is if one has the room).  He also is the one who introduced many many other great plants including one of my all time favourites, Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

So first we watered and added some annuals to the southernmost street planters and planted some cosmos (tall) in the Fifth Street park and then….the difficult task began.

before

before

When it blooms, the Crocosmia gets so tall it somewhat blocks the view of the shop.  I want prettier things with longer than a three week bloom period for the nice owners.

Allan begins to dig

Allan begins to dig

The last time we removed Crocosmia from a planter, our shovel broke (and the manufacturer, Fiskars, honoured their lifetime guarantee!)

the planter across the street

the planter across the street

These planters were two of four that I did as a volunteer way back in ’99 or 2000 when the planters were first installed.  They were installed without a maintenance plan other than perhaps volunteers would take them over, and later every other one was replaced with a street tree.  Then city administrator Nabiel Shawa said mine were “magnificent” and that’s what began the series of events that got me my Long Beach gardening job.  Originally the one across the street had no working water so was planted to be drought tolerant with Santolina, Geranium macrorrhizum, variegated bulbous oat grass and the Crocosmia and some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  It worked, because the plantings have lasted for all these many years, but I am just tired of the same old thing.

While Allan dug (it took well over an hour if not more!), I watered and planted Cosmos and painted sage and some sanvitalia and calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’ (yum!) in several of the planters on the blocks to the south.

empty centers

empty centers

The lavenders and sedums around the edges are just fine with me and can stay.

A trip to The Planter Box got us some painted sage and diascia and agyranthemums and at The Basket Case we added some different agyrs and different diascia and a lot of Cosmos ‘Sonata’ (the short one).

Fred and Nancy of The Basket Case have us shop in the back greenhouse so we don’t deplete the displays up front of all our favourites, and while there we met their son’s lovely old dog, Biggins.

a very sweet boy

a very sweet boy

And here are the planters later in the day, all nicey nice.

after

after

across the street, after

across the street, after

The old Adopt a Planter sign has not showed for years since it was covered with the hardy geranium!

historic sign

historic sign

We took a short breather to consume the delicious cupcakes that Home at the Beach owners Kathy and Karyn had brought us from the new Sweet Celebrations cupcake shop.  Then we kept going till 8 PM, watering and planting.  We parked for part of the time near the new Veterans Field garden which looks more filled in than last week.

Veterans Field

Veterans Field

Veterans Field

Perhaps the worst of annuals hell is already over.  Planting the Long Beach planters is the hardest spring planting job because of working in traffic, watching for cars, people honking in a friendly way (but still startling!) and just the sheer size of it.  We will go through again adding more but the basic annuals planting is done now.

And now only ONE planter has lots of Crocosmia.   It is in front of Wind World Kites and the owner actually loves the plant and does not mind the way it sort of hides the shop at its peak, so we will leave it there for him.  It is also under several street trees and tends to bloom like fireworks right around the fourth of July, making the town look festive.

The dry weather has put us behind on our other jobs (watering Long Beach took precedence) so tomorrow after taking photos at Saturday Market and Cash Mob we hope to get to at least two, preferably three gardens up north.

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