Posts Tagged ‘Corylopsis pauciflora’

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Allan went off shopping across the river, partly for a new string trimmer and partly for pandemic supplies—in other words, enough canned goods, rice and beans and other staples to enable us to avoid shopping for a month if, heavens forfend, there is a coronavirus pandemic here. We should be able to go to work since our work can be pretty much non-peopling. I’m not scared, exactly, but I am depressed to have to think about all this, and worried for friends who are in fragile health, and sad because Seattle Carol (a Seattle metro bus driver) will probably cancel an early April visit during this uncertain time. Of course, I am made for being a recluse but would rather not have such a potentially dire reason.
Today I did a bit of propagating for my plant sale, wondering if fate will even allow The World’s Longest Garage Sale to take place as usual on Memorial Day weekend in late May.
The big plan was to prune all my roses that are not the old fashioned kind. The ramblers and shrubs I just let do what they will except for removing dead wood.
After the front garden roses, I got distracted with other projects….

Weeding a small front garden bed…

Yesterday ….




I removed yet another Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ that had suddenly died, as they seem wont to do…

4B339961-5D3B-4C2C-AE12-77746D5BDBCCIn the background, behind the Melianthus, said ilex had been fine till it turned up its toes just last week. I probably won’t replace it with another shrub since the Melianthus would shade it out unless I put in something quite tall to begin with.  My budget doesn’t run to that.

I decided I must get the celandine out from the two beds by the front gate. Its pretty bright yellow daisy flowers set a bad example, making passersby think that it is a lovely winter bloomer that they should have.

It has smothered out some choice small flowering bulbs that I used to have in that area. Because its root clumps leave tiny earth colored nodules behind, it will be back next year no matter how much sifting I do, thus the removal is not impressive as it might look.
In the far back garden where I dug and sifted and fretted over every nodule last spring, the celandine now looks like this, stronger than ever.
Utterly maddening.
In Modern Nature, Derek Jarman says this about a childhood memory of celandine.

Instead of pruning all of the back garden roses as planned, I allowed myself to be distracted by the second pile of compost and leaves, this pile actually on the back corner of the Nora House driveway, which is a rather rude encroachment even though I know that her granddaughter, Alicia, does not mind.
Yesterday, before and after Allan dealt with the bamboo:


My leaf bin contents had sunk during the winter and so, after moving the compost debris to the big bins, I was able to fill the leaf bins to the top with the tarped leaves. The rest were strewn onto the driveway garden bed and the final amount filled two oyster baskets.
My audience:

I had found it all so exhausting and so very cold that I almost quit several times. To finish the pile was revitalizing enough that I found the oomph to prune my mother’s two tea roses, but no more.
There is still much cutting back to do, including six Stipa giganteas….

….and two more large roses. I would have done them a disservice to prune them at the end of the day when so very tired and cold.
The last thing I managed was a brief back garden appreciation walkabout.
Oh no, some stray celandine. Was too tired to get shovel…must remember before this makes a new big patch.

We did not get cold enough weather to kill the Azolla that covers the ponds.

3FDE589F-018C-4169-B3A2-EB6C5FACB3F1In better news, I found….




Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’


Corylopsis pauciflora





Thick new shoots of Dranunculus vulgaris


Yellow hellebore


Narcissi in the Bogsy Wood

…and in the greenhouse…


Echeverias flowering



Salvia Africana-lutea

…and in Allan’s garden at dusk some crocuses toning well with a hebe.

Tomorrow just had better be an all day Jarman reading day. I’m tired of waiting!

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Monday, 11 March 2019

At last, after being on the waiting list since November, we were able to get part one of our two part Shingrix vaccinations. We had intended to languish about at home after the anti-shingles jabs, until the pharmacist said that we would have less pain if we kept our arms moving. So we went to work trimming santolinas at the port. Using The Toy made the job so fast that we got from the east end to Time Enough Books in just two hours. Amazing. Rain and wind arrived on schedule and drove us home with the west port gardens and the boatyard garden still to do.

Allan’s photos:

Some of the santolinas in this end have gotten too woody to cut back hard.

We transplanted some uppy red grasses to the fire station garden.

At home, I added santolina clippings to the compost and potted some chives for my plant sale. Allan shredded some of the debris from yesterday in The Pencil Sharpener.

The pampas grass did not shred well and will get hand chopped later.

Earlier today, before the jabs, I had taken some photos of our floriferous garden. I managed to accidentally get this post in reverse chronological order, too hard to fix on my iPad, so here are the morning photos. I really must stop blogging from my lazy chair and must start using my new camera instead of my phone. Soon, as I keep promising.

The front garden:

Poor Melianthus major got cold.

Iris unguicularis aka stylosa.

Ribes speciosum about to flower. It is summer deciduous so looks at its best now.

East side garden:

I keep forgetting to trim this epimedium so that the flowers will show.

Back garden:

The rain gauge had ice on it the first time I went outdoors today.

Sweet pea did not make it through this last set of freezing nights.

Corylopsis pauciflora

I must come up with a feature for the very back corner of the Bogsy Wood. I have some ideas.

Tomorrow should be a good day to languish because of wind and rain.

I am almost sorry to say that I found a source for Monty and Sarah Don’s old gardening show, Fork to Fork, AND a new to me show called The A to Z of TV Gardening…pronounced Zed, because it is British tv with excerpts from all sorts of shows featuring many of my favourites British telly gardeners.

My stack of books to read is dwindling terribly slowly, although I just finished a great one that I must recommend.

Her thoughts about medical testing were of great interest to me. I share her feelings about going to the doctor…even though I know of people who have been saved by medical tests.

I could personally relate to the problems of reduced attention span brought on by social media.

……and so on.

My favourite chapter was about the pressure to exercise and diet in order to grow very old (even though many successful exercisers have died far too young).

I was especially amused when I later read a yoga instructor’s self-described “rant” on social media about how his clients must find “satisfaction in the sacrifice” even though it’s “no fun”. I thought yoga was supposed to be soothing and perhaps prevent the urge to rant?

I appreciate that, as always, this author of Nickel and Dimed addresses the classism of health advice.

Finally, the author ponders death itself and shared a poem that speaks exactly to some thoughts I have been having about appreciating that life will eventually go on without me, with frogs in the pond and flowers blooming just as pleasantly without me around to enjoy them. Here it is:

 When in my white room at the Charité

I woke towards morning

And heard the blackbird, I understood

Better. Already for some time

I had lost all fear of death. For nothing

Can be wrong with me if I myself

Am nothing. Now

I managed to enjoy

The song of every blackbird after me too.

**Bertolt Brecht

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Monday, 13 March 2017

As I write the first part of this in the mid afternoon, the rain is not as fierce as it was this morning.  In my youth…maybe five years ago…I would have leapt out to do some work.  Now, I feel less like working in the drizzle.  I added last week’s one day of work to the time sheet and was shocked to see we’ve eight rain and windy bitter cold and even snow days off.  Meanwhile, I’m embarrassed to report that Dave and Melissa bundled up in rain gear and worked through almost ALL the weather.

My excuse today: The soil is boggy and the plants are all drenched.  What a wimp!

I did take a walk in the soft rain throughout the garden.


Skooter looked startled that I opened the front door.


hyacinth basket


looking south


soggy footing


lots of crocuses


Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (contorted filbert)


way too much fried egg plant reseeded in the bogsy wood


narcissi, and monster shotweed


Slippery ground prevented the shotweed pulling and fern clipping from starting up.



pulmonaria (spotted dog)


hard to even imagine when we’ll be able to have a campfire


The swale path is a pond.


Looking north.  Water on the center path is over the top of my boots.


south gate

The top of the south gate represents a Chinook tribal canoe, the sort that used to ply the river when this very spot was river front, before the port parking lots and building sites were built on fill, in the early 1950s.


I do wish this water stood all year long.



coming round the west side


more pulmonaria


corydalis foliage



As you can see, the chop and drop method looks pretty messy.  I look forward to the future three compost bins which will be made as soon as we get six more free pallets…from somewhere.  I have decided the bins will tuck in nicely next to the greenhouse.


They will replace the wonky tadpole pond set up…


I love my new stop the eye fence.


Euonymus ‘Wolong Ghost’ is seriously climbing the front of the house, which is vinyl clad.

As I had walked all around the garden, I had collected one flower from every hellebore.  I’m sorry to report that many had minuscule snails hiding inside, putting paid to the idea that a cold winter would mean fewer snails.

Here is the full collection of hellebore blossoms.



Skooter appeared.



The center one is last year’s birthday present from Our Kathleen.




Because my camera has been finding it hard to capture the glory of the corylopsis in bloom, I asked Allan to photograph it.


Corylopsis and crocus, my photo

He returned with these:



Corylopsis pauciflora





with some fill in flash

Smokey snoozed through all of it.


I’d like to read for the rest of the day in this most wonderful book:


I can already tell you I am going to be rating this book at 20 stars.  As a former housecleaner for 18 years, I find deep familiarity in the stories of doing housework for richer folk.  And as the protagonist, Mildred, talks with her best friend about race, I keep marveling in a furious way that 70 years after it was written, how very much about racism is still the same.  Read it; it is wonderful and it’s funny despite its serious topics.  Read about it here.

My reading hours are curtailed because tonight is the local Democrats meeting.  I know Mildred would want me to go.  Here are her thoughts on a meeting:

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Friday, 26 February 2016

As I had breakfast, Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) were already at work.  Melissa texted me a few photos from the Oysterville garden.


Melianthus blooming, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Narcissi and tree fern, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


anemone, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


trillium, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Viburnum carlesii, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Cornus mas by Oysterville church, photo by Melissa Van Domelen

With rain predicted, Allan and I thought we might take the day off and go shopping overseas.  But would it rain?  The mid morning felt cold, misty, grey, but not wet.

Before our journey, I took a walk around the garden.


Japanese maple all of a sudden has leafed out


Tulip kaufmanniana ‘The First’


many more bulbs emerging, including lilies


Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ about the bloom


crocuses and last year’s allium in upper right


Iris reticulata


last year’s cardoon


Pulmonaria (lungwort, spotted dog)


The first big tulip (‘Rococo’)


Euphorbia characias wulfenii and crocus


Corylopsis pauciflora and more crocus


Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’


My one heather, from Pam Fleming


Hellebore, primrose, crocus


Lamprocapnos scandens already coming up!  Was floppy so got tied onto the support.

We drove up the The Basket Case Greenhouse to have a gander at two availability lists from inland nurseries.


checking the availability list (Allan’s photo)


Greenhouse kitty being unhelpful


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

I noted that the availability lists still refer to Lamprocapnos by its more mellifluous old name, Dicentra.


Kitty and Walter where plants will be displayed in springtime.


Fred going back to the house, followed by Walter and Shadow (and the kitty, behind the fern)


Camellia across the street from the Basket Case (Cranguyma Farm)


Allan’s photo

We took the narrow and somewhat obscure Jim Street through cranberry bogs to get back to the 101 highway.


Jim Street is in the center; 101 is where the word Google is.


cranberry bogs


This is Jim Street, pretty much one way (Allan’s photo); fortunately, they were behind us.

As we came to the 101 intersection, rain began, removing any question of whether or not we were skipping a good work day out on the beach approach garden.


across 101:  The “Thank you Farmers” sign in a Starvation Alley organic cranberry bog.

For some reason, I felt no anxiety at all in either direction of the Chinook Tunnel or the 4 mile long Astoria Bridge over the Columbia.



I wish I knew who made the graphic below; it shows so well how our area fits together.


In Warrenton, by a marina, we had lunch at a small Thai Restaurant.


Allan’s photo


on the porch




art  by our table


chicken satay


pad prik king and Thai fried rice

The food was milder than I was used to for this dish.  Adding Thai hot sauce from a little pot on the table fixed that.


across the road: What a chilly day to be pressure washing marina docks


nearby: pigeons hunkered down in the cold rain

The pickings are still slim for plant buying around these parts.  I managed to get some lilies and dahlias at Costco, and some violas at Fred Meyer.


a breath of spring in my shopping cart


We were home by dusk and able to deliver some groceries to a dear friend whose spouse is in hospital.

While I typed up this entry, Smokey got into my cup of tea, as he often does.


Smokey enjoys a nice cuppa at tea time.

There are no gardening entries from my mother’s old garden diaries to correspond with today.













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Monday, 23 February 2015

After nine hours of exhausted sleep, I still found it rather hard to get going on my day-off garden projects.  Allan headed off in the early afternoon to float his boat around somewhere.

What to do?  The back patio certainly could use a good weeding:

Ruching out the weedy grass and leaving just the poppies would be a good patio project.

Ruching out the weedy grass and leaving just the poppies would be a good patio project.

In the spirit of procrastination, I was propping up the front fence telling a passing friend, landscaper Steve Clarke, how I planned to pull many the shotweed out of the front garden today, when my neighbours Jared and Jessika (of Starvation Alley Farm organic cranberry fame) appeared.  I asked them if they would mind if I made a half moon edger line down their side of my east fence and they said it would be fine.  So there was my day’s project, even though I had originally meant to spend the time removing fiddly little weeds.  Because Jared and Jessika were bundling their dogs into their vehicle, it would be a good time for me to dig the edge on their side of the fence without making the dogs feel trespassed upon.

I had a walkabout while questing for the red wheelbarrow.

crocuses in the back garden

crocuses in the back garden

a bad sight: hardy fuchsia with annoying orange montbretia popping up at the base.

a bad sight: hardy fuchsia with annoying orange montbretia popping up at the base.

Allan is lucky he went boating or I would have asked him to totally remove that fuchsia/montbretia combo for me.  I found the red wheelbarrow (just the right size so I don’t overfill it) in the bogsy woods with some river rock that Allan had been gathering for the swale.

By the gate into the neighbouring yard, I saw another project that needs doing: In several areas of the garden, I need to remove the rampant seedlings of “touch me not”, AKA jewelweed, policeman’s helmet, or wild impatiens, before it smothers good things.

a field of touch me not

a mess of touch me not

The project began at 1:30.

before, the east side of our fence

before, the east side of our fence

an hour and a half later, after removing two strips of sod

an hour and a half later, after removing two strips of sod

Jared and Jessika plan to till out a bed here for planting beans to grow on the fence.  Digging out the strip along the edge will benefit them, and it also greatly benefits me as the grass grows under the fence and makes the narrow garden bed on my side very hard to weed.  I did the same sort of edging outside the west fence (Nora’s back yard) earlier this year.  I have hope that the edging will help the maintenance with or without a bean bed.  Last summer, I edged along the fence down by the gear shed and the line has held up well since then.

This was a mess  last midsummer.

This was a mess last midsummer.

When the edging was done, my big plans for the day went awry as I went into the house, sat down, and did not manage to get up again for an hour or more.  By then, the sun’s angle was blinding for seeing little weeds.  I did remove some shotweed from the front garden, since I’d said I would, and then tried to return to the mission of weeding my side of the east fence.  By then, I’d missed the warm and balmy afternoon and the soil was cold and I was mad at myself for losing so much time to sitting (not even reading, just goofing around looking at Facebook on my iPhone!)

I was reminded of this poem:

Timothy Took His Time

by Frieda Wolfe

Timothy took his time to school and plenty of time he took

but some he lost at the tadpole pool and more at the stickleback brook

ever so much at the linnet’s nest and more at the five bar gate.

Timothy took his time to school but he lost it all and was late.

Timothy has a lot to do, how can it all be done?

He didn’t get home ’til close on 2 when he might have been home by 1.

There’s sums & writing & spelling too and an apple tree to climb.

Timothy has a lot to do, how shall he find the time?

Timothy sought it high and low, he looked in the tadpole pool

To see if they’d taken the time to grow, that he’d lost on the way to school.

He found the nest and he found the tree and he found the gate he’d crossed

But Timothy never shall find (ah me!) the time that Timothy lost!

I dawdled a bit more by walking around admiring plants.

Lonicera standishii has been blooming for weeks.

Lonicera standishii has been blooming with small ultra fragrant white flowers for weeks.

Sedum 'Xenox'

Sedum ‘Xenox’

narcissi backed with hellebore

narcissi backed with hellebore

another hellebore

another hellebore

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem, given to me by Sheila.

Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem, given to me by Sheila.

It's supposed to be a runner, which is why it's back by the bogsy woods.  There it is, running, with a kazillion baby touch me nots.

It’s supposed to be a runner, which is why it’s back by the bogsy woods. There it is, running, with a kazillion baby touch me nots that need pulling.

I further procrastinated by looking for growth on the plants given us by Todd.

I further procrastinated by looking for growth on the plants given us by Todd.

I am embarrassed to say that when watering in the greenhouse, I found a dried up little Garnet Wiegela from Todd, in a little pot in which I had planted it to give it time to grow on, and which had gotten shoved behind another plant and dried up.  Sorry, Todd!  Very careless.

Hellebore 'Golden Sunrise', still a baby

Hellebore ‘Golden Sunrise’, still a baby

I pondered whether to cut the hardy fuchsia, below, all the way to the ground, or just trim the ends off since the branches are putting out new growth.  I like fuchsias to be tall. But the new basal growth looks lush. Such musings can use a lot of time.

hardy fuchsia

hardy fuchsia

The ribes (flowering currants) are starting to show some colour.

The ribes (flowering currants) are starting to show some colour.

I returned to crocus admiration, after noticing that the Corylopsis pauciflora is in bloom.

I returned to crocus admiration, after noticing that the pale yellow Corylopsis pauciflora is in bloom right above this patch.


You may note a lot of twiggy debris on the soil.  I’m influenced by two gardeners in that regard.  Ann Lovejoy recommended the “chop and drop” method of garden clean up.  And Anne Wareham’s book The Bad-Tempered Gardener firmly makes the point that it is senseless to haul debris to a compost heap, let it break down, and then haul it back into the garden.  Unfortunately, I cannot use this brilliant method of gardening at work because most of our gardens are public and people expect to see neat and tidy soil in winter.

To the obnoxious former neighbour who cried "Why PURPLE?" when we painted our house:  This is just one of many reasons.

To the obnoxious former neighbour who cried “Why PURPLE?” when we painted our house: This is just one of many reasons.

Pulmonaria in Allan's garden

Pulmonaria in Allan’s garden

Impatiens omeiana already popping up among the black mondo grass in Allan's garden

Impatiens omeiana already popping up among the black mondo grass in Allan’s garden

a handsome hellebore

a handsome hellebore

In the front garden, a potted, struggling daphne had put out some incredibly fragrant flowers.

In the front garden, a potted, lopsided, struggling daphne had put out some incredibly fragrant flowers.

It looked to me like deer have been putting their heads over the low front fence and tasting these tulips.

It looked to me like deer have been putting their heads over the low front fence and tasting these tulips.

I searched the garden for an old piece of birdcage to protect the tulips.

I searched the garden for an old piece of birdcage to protect the tulips.

a line of early species tulips coming up in the front garden

a line of early species tulips coming up in the front garden

Oh dear, one of TWO big clumps of epimidium that I have not cut back to let the flowers show.

Oh dear, one of TWO big clumps of epimidium in Allan’s garden that I have not cut back to let the flowers show.

Hamamelis mollis in front garden, smells like apricots

Hamamelis mollis in front garden, smells like apricots

haze of yellow Hamamelis mollis flowers

haze of yellow Hamamelis mollis flowers

Ribes speciosum in the front garden

Ribes speciosum in the front garden

grass path toward back garden, where I SHOULD be, weeding the east edge

grass path toward back garden, where I SHOULD be weeding the east edge

I ponder how I could get more garden space by narrowing the lawn, but there is something comfortable and expansive about the wide swathe of green.

By now, you can just imagine how much of the time that I took out into the garden today has been lost without much getting done.  At five o clock, I entered the fray of weeding the narrow east bed.

It was a mess.

It was a mess.

The first bit I tackled had that horrible grass, not couch or quack grass but another one with tiny, tightly meshed roots.  It is tightly matted around the base of an old lilac, and the soil feels tight, too.

It's a tight mess.

It’s a tight mess.

Adding some mulch would help loosen this soil so that the roots slip out easier.  Right now, it’s a misery to weed in cold, damp soil.

My beautiful Drymis winteri cheered me up.

My beautiful Drymis winteri cheered me up.

It's blooming!

It’s blooming!

Seems early for such fat buds on Clematis 'Crystal Fountain', whose tag says "blooms June through September".

Seems early for such fat buds on Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’, whose tag says “blooms June through September”.

By dusk, I had the narrow bed looking not perfect, but much better.

By dusk, I had the narrow bed looking not perfect, but much better.

Allan said last night that he wondered why gardeners back east, when reading Pacific Northwest gardening blogs, don’t all move here when they see how mild our winters are.

 Because I got so much less accomplished today than I had wished, I long for tomorrow off, as well.  It cannot be, because there are still gardens where we have not even begun spring clean up.  I swear that next year I will have more time to spend at home where I am happiest.  I swore that last year, too, and the year before.  Life is short and I simply must figure out how to make it happen.

 Next:  Allan’s day off on the water.









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