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Posts Tagged ‘crocus’

Sunday, 11 February 2018

We decided to work on the downtown Long Beach planters and street trees.  I had big ideas that we would also get to the Anchorage Cottages garden and then get rugosa roses cut down in the beach approach garden by the arch.

As I began with the southernmost planters, Robert (wasband and former co-gardener) bicycled up and we had an interesting chat, reminiscing about our friend Lily who died some years ago of ALS.

Robert

My mission was to trim back any Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still standing and to clip santolina hard so it will make a nice round ball instead of getting rangy.

before

after; this planter has too much of a boring little hardy geranium but is not one I plant to re-do.

crocuses in a planter

crocuses and an iris reticulata

santolinas, before

an after from across the street, because I forgot…

before

after

Would be huge escallonias that we cut back hard by the pet shop last fall are leafing out:

anemone

After clipping and tidying in eight planters and three trees, I re-joined Allan who had been working on a difficult tree garden that whole time.

before, with an unfortunate batch of rugosa roses

Those roses reseeded into there, and I thought, years ago, how cute, and let one or two stems bloom.  Oh, what a mistake…and yet it does look pretty when blooming in summer.

after; unfortunately, the roses will come back.

after; will this be the year we prevail?

I notice every time I come to a clump of narcissi and find flower stalks picked.  (Deer are not the culprits here, although they might be with tulips.)

Why not leave ALL the flowers for all the people to enjoy?

It was not a pleasant weather day, with wind that became increasingly strong and cold.

not feeling comfortable

Another street tree job by Allan:

before

after (the stems are a hardy fuchsia)

In another tree, we worked on eliminated all but two corners of Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’; I planted too much of it way back when I had a low budget, and it was free (for good reason).

before

after

sidewalk display at The Wooden Horse gift shop

In the last two blocks, the wind was much colder and stronger.  We were determined to finish.

We cut back these chrysanthemums, with foliage undamaged because of our mild winter.

Allan cut down the other two escallonias that are crowded into a planter.

before

after

I came along behind him and trimmed those green santolinas hard.

At home, I was able to erase the Long Beach downtown planters from the work board, and added the Pop Outs (little gardens on Ocean Beach Boulevard).

There may be a reader who is wondering when Kite Museum will appear on the work board.  It finally got added on Feb. 14th!

It took hours after work to finally feel warm again.

 

 

 

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Ilwaco

Fortunately, we were awake and having breakfast when Todd arrived in the late morning to bring some plants from his recent plant acquisition trip to T&L Nursery.  He said that the weather while I was sleeping  had been misty and not work-conducive.

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barely awake, checking out the plants

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Never too many Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’, in my opinion.

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Allan’s birthday present from Todd, ‘hairy lip fern’ doing well.

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a quick look at what’s in bloom in the back garden

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Smokey flopping around seeking some attention

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Smokey still seeking some pets

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“Hrmph.”

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“If the maple gets tall enough, it won’t be swallowed up by the baptisia.”

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(Todd had remembered that this young Japanese maple has a large baptisia next to it.)

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Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ and Nepeta ‘Six Hills Gold’

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Sambucus ‘Black Tower’ and the Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ trio

 

With the new plants in the ladies in waiting area, Allan and I headed for Long Beach with a stop on the way to pick up DVDs from the library.  I took the opportunity to review the Ilwaco community building garden.

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crocuses

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more crocuses

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still more crocuses

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narcissi

The heather flowers are already starting to brown off.  Oh, how I wish this garden were not so heavy with heather.

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I suggested to Allan that, because the kinnikinnick looks so terrible, all of it should be sheared back hard.

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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick, bearberry) looks awful and is hard to weed.

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Kinnikinnick infested with grass

I think large sections of the bearberry need to be rogued out and replaced with something more interesting and with less tendency toward shabbiness.  At the moment, areas of this garden need weeding but the time is not there to do it.

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This area, well weeded within the last month, has held up well.

We got a wonderful haul of movie fare from the library: Party Girl (one of my all time favourite films that Allan has never seen), Jurassic World, Train Wreck and Interstellar…but we must finish watching the delightful latest season of Girls on DVD first.

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a comedy about library science

Long Beach

bolstad

the long narrow Bolstad garden

We returned to the first section of the beach approach garden to finish cutting back the rugosa roses and weeding.

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today’s area, before, at 12:51 AM

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after: 3:32 PM

Each section takes about five hours for the two of us to weed (above was a half section) and so the whole first weeding job of the year takes about 130 hours!  It is difficult to find that amount of time to carve out of the rest of our schedule.

I tell myself only three more years, including this one, till Allan has turned 66 and we may then insist they find someone else to do this part of the Long Beach job.  And yet, there is something terribly satisfying about it.  I hope that this year it will seem less deadly, since we have (by choice) several fewer other jobs than last year.

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today, before (Allan’s photos)

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during (picking roses out from along the edge)

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almost done

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3 days ago

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today

Last year, we didn’t even get started on weeding these garden beds till June; this year, I hope to get the first weeding done in time to plant poppy seeds in the areas won back from weeds and roses.  Some seeds did go in at the end of the garden above.

Of course, it would be lovely to mulch the whole long sandy garden.  I just don’t want to add that many hours of labour.

With the first section done, we drove out to the “end cap” by the driveway to the big public parking lot.

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3:49 PM

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starting the end cap

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I enjoy the parade of dogs walking by.

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Doug stops to tell us about a “weeding” job he’s doing.  (More on this later.)

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Diane came by with my very good friend, Misty!

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after (Allan’s photo)

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the last of the ornamental grasses got chopped by Allan (before)

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after

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5:11 PM

All too many rose roots are still in there—too many to put poppies in that area.  We did manage to peel some roses away from the edge.  I often yearn for the past when all this garden had a collection of pretty perennials and poppies.  Unfortunately, the kite festival crowds trampled it year after year and the roses have been allowed to take over because they can hold their own against humans.

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still rather damp for beach approach picnics

I’m eager to get back out there to weed another section.  Tomorrow calls for 40 mph winds which will definitely be not conducive to work.  And I made a problem for us by buying lilies and violas, as we must now return to three gardens to plant them, gardens we could otherwise ignore for a couple of post-spring-cleanup weeks.  Ooops.

On the way to the city works debris pile, I snapped a photo of the Culbertson Field flower garden:

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…only to realize that old flowers of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ were obscuring the view.

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a few minutes later.  Ignore the weeds to the the right, no time to pull them today

Above is another plant on my loathed plants list: Lithodora.  It has been there for years.  I will clip in back hard after it blooms to avoid the dead-inside look that it gets.  Like heather, it has such a short bloom time followed by a long tatty looking time unless clipped.

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Now off to dump a scratchy load of roses

As we drove to the city works yard four blocks south, a woman tried to flag us down with a “YooHoo!”  We simply had to keep driving in order to get the debris dumped while we still had daylight.  Perhaps she wished to hire gardeners, in which case we would suggest our friends at Sea Star Gardening.

I remembered to sit a couple of times during the day to force myself to bend my right knee.  I think some of my problem is from working with a straight leg all day until it locks open, causing much pain trying to get into the van at end of day.  Today was better.

At dusk, we gave in to the impulse to dine at the Kabob Cottage.  Restaurateur Behnoosh and landlord Doug were just completing the patio.  You may recall that earlier today, Doug had driven by us on our beach approach project and said he was “weeding” another area.  Below: His version of weeding is to fill in an ugly weedy patch of sorrel and horsetail with matching pavers.

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It is a huge improvement.

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So is the excellent spring clean up that Dave and Melissa did for us on this park a couple-three weeks ago.

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Allan’s photo

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delicious chicken kabobs

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Kabob Cottage by night

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 27:  It seems like I start all my notes with “Finally”.  Well, today I finally got the leaves raked up in lower driveway and behind house.  I used the trash bag frame with 33 gallon bags and it worked fine.  I have five bags to be shredded “someday”.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 27:  Didn’t get to sleep till after 4 AM—then slept till almost noon.  My Dutch Gardens order came today, 5 boxes, $806 worth.  Now I really have my work cut out for me.  I must get the begonias potted and pot up the various perennials roots etc and get them under lights.

.

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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.

crocus

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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Tuesday, 17 February 2014

When I woke, the first word and image that popped into my mind was “Chess”.  As you know from the end of yesterday’s blog, I am mourning the loss of Chess the purebred border collie of the Miserable Gardener blog.  Throughout the day, my thoughts were with the guy Chess lived with.

Allan and I had the day off because of my midday lunch date which would take too much of a chunk out of our workday, since it gets dark around five and we are Not Morning People.  Before Jenna arrived to pick me up, I took some photos of the garden.

view from front door

view from front door

Euphorbia wulfenii in back garden; not the most beautiful as its rather an old plant.

Euphorbia wulfenii in back garden; not the most beautiful as its rather an old plant.

We got the design for our high tech sprinkler system from Pink Poppy Farm.

drifts of purple crocuses in the center of the back garden beds

drifts of purple crocuses in the center of the back garden beds

the stunning tree one lot over to the east

the stunning tree one lot over to the east

crocus tomassianus n the front garden

crocus tomassianus in the front garden

I know I planted crocus tomassianus, and some photos of Crocus tomassianus in The Miserable Gardener blog look just like these, so I think I have the ID right.  I am terrible about remembering which bulb is which.

more of the big purple ones

more of the big purple ones

I sure wish my snowdrops had clumped up like that.

the ornamental cherry by the front gate

the ornamental cherry by the front gate

Jenna (Queen La De Da) arrived as I took that photo and we were off for a long lunch at the Cove Restaurant.  I told her all about Chess and story of the Miserable Gardener blog, and shed a few tears even though I had planned not to.  This is not to imply I was entirely morose lunch company as I do believe we had a good time and covered a number of topics.

When I returned from lunch at 2:30, I frittered away some time.  Allan had mowed the lawn, and I took the last unscreened photos from the south window before he inserted the screen.  We have been having summer-in-winter weather and may be deluding ourselves into thinking winter is over.

south view

south view

slightly SW (with the camera unfondly known as "Spot")

slightly SW (with the camera unfondly known as “Spot”)

SE view

SE view

A couple of cute dogs were visiting next door so I hung over the fence and talked to them.  They were not interested.

dogs

Rudder made himself comfy in the middle of our quiet street.

Rudder made himself comfy in the middle of our quiet street.

I frittered away more time looking at flowers. Actually, that’s a great use of time.  However, I did have mulch to move and was putting it off.

tulips

tulips

hellebore, double white

hellebore, double white

That hellebore that fell open....

That hellebore that fell open….

has good leaves in the center.  I wonder if it would bloom again if I cut it back?

has good leaves in the center. I wonder if it would bloom again if I cut it back?

more crocus admiration, coming up in that hellebore

more crocus admiration, coming up in that hellebore

Hellebore, double pink

Hellebore, double pink

Hellebore, a dramatic single "black"

Hellebore, a dramatic single “black”

in Allan's garden

in Allan’s garden

such a refreshing white hellebore in the front garden

such a refreshing white hellebore in the front garden, with evergreen candytuft to the side

I further put off the mulch moving by asking Allan to help me with a little project: making room to put a table and two chairs against the east house wall.

before

before

after

after

Something about having the wall on one side looks cozy to me.  The fence boards we salvaged from a debris pile at the city works dump and I was going to use them along part of the wire fence, but…I really did have to get that mulch moved.

The "cow fiber" from The Planter Box had to be moved so we'd get our trailer back for the next work day.

The “cow fiber” from The Planter Box had to be moved so we’d get our trailer back for the next work day.

I figure that is about a yard, as we got a yard and a third and probably applied one third of a yard to the post office garden yesterday evening.  I’d left it till one and a half hours before dark-thirty.

I set Map My Walk because I was curious about the mileage and time to wheelbarrow this much from outside the back gate to points in the back garden.  Map My Walk said it took an hour and twenty minutes and a mile of walking.  The circuitous route includes going into the house to get a cooler shirt, and then back for a warmer shirt when a wind came up.

mmw

The time also included stopping to take some photos of the dramatic sky, and raking the barrow loads of mulch out once they were dumped.

sky to the east

sky to the east

a panorama

a panorama

Allan returned from an errand just as I finished the mulch project, and he suggested we have a campfire.

sky to the west

sky to the west

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fire time

fire time

He had brought buns and dogs for an early campfire dinner.  (We usually dine at home at about nine o clock!)

He had brought buns and spicy sausages for an early campfire dinner. (We usually dine at home at about nine o clock!)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

As we sat around the campfire, geese flew over head and then…the space station.  Allan googled and found out it really had been the space station we unexpectedly saw pass over.  Next:  back to work at the Boreas Inn…or a stay at home reading day if it rains.  You can guess which one I would prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Nature is the one who wakes up the gardens, not me, but I like to take credit on the first gardening visit of the year.

We spent the day along Howerton Way at the Port of Ilwaco, concentrating on a four block stretch of curbside garden beds, all within sight of home.

We skipped the easternmost three beds and started at the one that caught my eye with tall ornamental grasses that needed clipping.

before, by the former Wade Gallery building

before, by the former Wade Gallery building

one hour later, trimmed, fluffed and weeded

one hour later, trimmed, fluffed and weeded

By the way, that cute little building is available to buy or rent.

Note there is one less tree. (It was lined up with the nose of the white truck.)  The columnar pear on the right had succumbed to wind and was crispy as can be, so down it came at last.  The ornamental pears that were planted by volunteers, at the port, in 2007 (as I recall) have not exactly thrived.  The ones in full wind (for example, next to an open parking lot) have suffered and, in this case, died.  It makes a big difference just to be protected from the south wind by a bulding.

It took another hour to weed persnickity small weeds out of the gardens by the former Shorebank building and the Ilwaco pavilion.

a carpet of shotweed and little weed grasses

a carpet of shotweed and little weed grasses

That's better!

That’s better!

looking back on the Shorebank garden

looking back on the Shorebank garden

A good display of yellow crocus at the base of redtwig dogwood, Shorebank

A good display of yellow crocus at the base of redtwig dogwood, Shorebank

Walking west to tackle the next garden bed

Walking west to tackle the next garden bed

Next, we did the tiny little square that Allan named “the drive-over garden”.  It’s by a big parking lot where a lot of fishing folks’ pick up trucks come and go and does get driven over and partially flattened fairly often.

The Drive-over Garden, before

The Drive-over Garden, before

A truck definitely went over this santolina.

A truck definitely went over this santolina.

after

after; Tough plants like Armeria, Santolina, thyme, and Sedums can stand the driving over.  The flowers of delicate spring bulbs…not so much.

We weeded along the garden by the Marie Powell Gallery.  I left Allan to finish because it hurts me knee to walk on river rock, in which that garden is covered, and headed further west to gardens where I’ve removed the rocky cover.

looking west

looking west

Birds are pulling up little crocuses in the gardens by Don’s gallery and the Port office.  I will say that having a river rock mulch does seem to protect the bulbs from birds.   Last fall, I did not even plant any more crocus here.  (Some of the bright yellow ones back at Shorebank were also pulled up.)

Not sure if the culprit is crows, seagulls, or both.

Not sure if the culprit is crows, seagulls, or both.

The birds don’t seem to bother the Iris reticulata in bloom, even though I’ve found bulbs pecked up in fall right after planting.  The irises are much prettier than crocus, anyway.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

and more Iris reticulata

and more Iris reticulata

and more....I love them very much.

and more….I love them very much.

I hope passersby are noticing and feeling awed by the iris display.  I like them so much more than big irises that bloom in summer.

I left Howerton Way to do the garden on the south side of the port office.  By do, I mean weed and clip plants back.

IMG_8280

before

calm weather and still water on the marina next to me

calm weather and still water on the marina next to me

after

after

Meanwhile, I grew hungry.  Allan had driven off to the east end of the marina to dump a load of clipped grasses and buckets and weeds (and one dead tree).  He had the lunch box, and my bag with money.  What could be taking him so long, I wondered as time passed.  Had the van broken down?

Later, he shared photos of what did happen.

in the field by the dump spot

in the field by the dump spot

too sunk to move

too sunk to move.  Using a found piece pf plywood to try to get out.

trying to get out

trying to get out

Rescue arrives in the form of passing Ilwaco port crew.

Rescue arrives in the form of passing Ilwaco port crew.

left rather a mess behind.  Fortunately, it's a work area, not a show lawn.

left rather a mess behind. Fortunately, it’s a work area, not a show lawn.

IMG_7018

I know exactly why this happened: because I was not along to say “Be careful, don’t sink, don’t get stuck!”  I was just glad to get my tahini and pickle sandwich when he rejoined me in the gardens.

As dusk drew in, we did not not get any further than the garden next to Time Enough Books.  I had dreamed of getting all the way to the end and then the boatyard garden, as well.  Silly.  I thought we might come back for the rest the very next day (but changed my mind and went elsewhere; we’ll get back to the port next week).

looking west...out of time

looking west…out of time

 

Here’s a fun thing, with which I will be amusing you (I hope) in upcoming posts.  I downloaded a phone app called Map My Walk.  Here it shows that I (Flora is the name I use on the social internet) walked almost three miles in five hours, over the course of four blocks.  The lines are thick as I went over and over and over and around and around each bed.

IMG_8288

The thick line going off the the water’s edge is when I did the port office garden (walking back to the van to carry debris; I did not have the wheelbarrow because of the van vs. mud incident). Here is a ‘satellite view’ that shows the workday imposed over the (May through Sept.) Port’s Saturday Market .

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 1.08.04 AM

We dumped the last debris, carefully and without driving onto the grass.  The water in the port remained still and reflective.

P1130984

CoHo Charter boats.

CoHo Charter boats.

Next: back to Long Beach on Thursday.

Book stuff (just for those who like book stuff)

No more garden stuff till tomorrow’s post.

I finished Open City by reading till 2 AM.

Open City

Open City

Calvin is rather a pest when I read in bed.

pushy and nudgy Calvin

pushy and nudgy Calvin

For those of you who like bookish posts, here are some examples of the beautiful writing in Open City.

I became aware of just how fleeting the sense of happiness was and how flimsy its basis.  A warm restaurant after having come in from the rain, the smell of food and wine, interesting conversation, daylight falling weakly on the polished cherrywood of the tables. It took so little to move the mood from one level to another, as one might move pieces on a chessboard.  Even to be aware of this, in the midst of a happy moment, was to push one of those pieces, and to become slightly less happy.”

(later)

Instinctively saving a baby, a little happiness.  Spending time with Rwandans, the ones who survived, a little sadness; the idea of our final anonymity, a little more sadness.  Sexual desire fulfilled without complication, a little more happiness; and it went on like that, as thought succeeded thought.  How petty seemed to me the human condition, that we were subject to this constant struggle to modulate the internal environment, this endless being tossed about like a cloud.  Predicatbly, the mind noted that judgment, too, and assigned it its place: a little sadness.”

On attending a photography exhibit by Martin Munkácsi, he looks at the following photo and thinks, “It was from this picture in particular than Henri Cartier-Bresson had developed the ideal of the decisive moment.”:

munkasci

Photography seemed to me, as I stood there in the white gallery with its rows of pictures and its press of murmuring spectators, an uncanny art like no other. One moment, in all of history, was captured, but the moments before and after it disappeared into the onrush of time; only that selected moment itself was privileged, saved, for no other reason that having been picked out by the camera’s eye.”

I just had been inspired to finally (eventually) read Anna Karenina while reading The Year of Reading Dangerously on my last bit of staycation.  Suddenly, she appears again in Open City...

anna

The second loveliest passage in Open City was this experience when the narrator goes into a little shop in Chinatown (New York City):

china

china2

And to me, this was the most beautiful passage in the book:

birds

 

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

I’d been bothered by the state of Fifth Street Park in Long Beach for the four days since I’d seen its messiness on beach clean up day.  So we took a staycation intermission to get it cleaned up.  I really did hate to leave my own garden.

at home

Arum italicum and crocus.  (The arum, said to be weedy, has always behaved with decorum for me.)

Arum italicum and crocus. (The arum, said to be weedy, has always behaved with decorum for me.)

crocuses in the front garden

crocuses in the front garden

crocus

The bees like the crocuses.

The bees like the crocuses.

On the way out of the town, we did a bit of weeding at the post office and I spread around some biochar from Ilwaco’s Biocharm Farms.

Long Beach

We wanted to make sure Long Beach looked good because it would soon be swarmed with clam diggers.

clams

The dates had been confirmed.

We zeroed in on Fifth Street Park, the one project I had in mind.  Unfortunately for my peaceful gardening plans, Paul of the city crew had also zeroed in on the same park with his pressure washer.

Paul hard at work

Paul hard at work

During a typical in-season work day, we would just have gone somewhere else, but this was (almost) the only project we’d gotten our tools and minds ready for.  So, we did it.  Fortunately for us, Paul had a lunch break and an afternoon break to provide some silence (for Paul as well).  I had to give myself repeated pep talks along the lines that it’s good for the park to look all nice and clean, and the whole world does not revolve around my comfort needs, etc. etc. etc.  Oh, it was so, so loud.

Allan did the south side of the park:

before

before

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

after

Allan’s photo: after

We left some of the more structural grasses still standing till later in February.

Allan then helped me finish the much larger north side of the park.

before

before

before

before

after

after

before

before

after

after

Normally I would not prune a rose this early.  However, the rose above is the annoying powdery mildew magnet, Dorothy Perkins, whose stems go every which way, and I wouldn’t even mind if it just disappeared.  It won’t be hurt by early pruning.  We completely removed two layered clumps that had worked their way to the corner end of the bed where they were constantly throwing canes out into the driveway.

Next we went to Coulter Park to pull the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from next to the old train depot. While working, we realized we had left our best collapsible rake at the other park.  I called Cathy at Captain Bob’s Chowder and she rescued it for us.

before

before

almost done

almost done

done

Allan’s photo: done

The ramp remodel has made this garden area hard to get at.

We had felt the need to get this area cleaned up because of this event, which people will be entering up that very ramp.

event

We had almost a full load of debris to dump.

at the city works yard

at the city works yard

After dumping, we did some tidying of one block of Long Beach planters where I had seen a dead Erysimum that I had missed during last Saturday’s brief clean up.

crocus in a city planter

crocus in a city planter

and lots of California poppy seedlings

and lots of California poppy seedlings

As the sun set, we returned to Captain Bob’s, exhausted, not just to get our rake but to also dine on tasty crab rolls.

bob

Now, back on staycation, we hope for at least ten more days.

Next, a couple of posts to wrap up the month of January (which was a vacation from blogging as well as from work).

The work list for February has been made but except for the first two items (now erased), it can wait till closer to Presidents Day weekend.

IMG_8107

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Saturday, 22 February, 2014

We are somewhat behind on work so shouldn’t be playing on a nice day.  The skiving off work part was by necessity since I needed to take photos of the Peninsula Cash Mob event at M&D Designs in Long Beach, with lunch at Captain Bob’s Chowder.  First, however, some morning photos from our front garden:

tulips

tulips

I just can't get a photo that captures the wonderful sweep of crocus in the front garden.

I just can’t get a photo that captures the wonderful sweep of crocus in the front garden.

crocus

crocus

crocus

crocus

crocus

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

tulips and euphorbia

tulips and euphorbia

and my gift daphne about to bloom!

and my gift daphne about to bloom!

Uh oh, it was an eventful day and the blog hasn’t even made it out of the front garden yet.  On to cash mob!

M&D Designs

M&D Designs

Kathleen kindly posed for the Facebook photo album.

Kathleen kindly posed for the Facebook photo album.

M&D Designs offered refreshments and a prize drawing.

M&D Designs offered refreshments and a prize drawing.

The shop has a wide assortment of local arts and crafts.

garden decor

garden decor

bird feeders

bird feeders

wall vases

wall vases

cranberry vine baskets

cranberry vine baskets

I think we had a pretty good turnout for the cash mob although I did not see as many regulars as usual.

I cannot reveal what I bought at M&D as it is a gift for Montana Mary.  Allan got a bottle of some sort to hang in the tree in his garden and Kathleen got a glass dangly for the window of her new beach cottage.

md

cash

Blog readers and very faithful cash mob attendees!

Debbie and Charlene, blog readers and very faithful cash mob attendees!

We SO appreciate the regulars who come to each “mob.”   Linda from The Wooden Horse (our previous cash mob shop) had taken the day off and came in to M&D with some family members.

Linda

Linda

Remembering that Linda said there would be some new garden themed items at The Wooden Horse, we peeked in there on the way to lunch and oh my, such pretty things she had acquired!

woodenhorse

in The Wooden Horse

wh2

rustic picture frame

rustic picture frame

box

picture box

wh

green on green on green

green on green on green

Linda, you have impeccable taste!

At noon, Kathleen and Allan and I had lunch at the cash mob café of the day, Captain Bob’s Chowder.  I was pleased that the tree and street planters between the two cash mob venues had burst forth with some narcissi.

three

crab cakes and crab roll, delicious! with gift bag from M&D

crab cakes and crab roll, delicious! with gift bag from M&D

food

Kathleen

Our Kathleen

We are so thrilled that Kathleen has found a vacation and weekend cottage here; the most ideal thing would be if she could move here full time!  We are going to treat her to a slap up feast at the Depot Restaurant when she comes down to take possession.

We did not have to rush home to meet the ISP tech guy, as last night at midnight our internet had mysteriously and capriciously returned.  So as soon as lunch was over, Allan and I absolutely had to buckle down and get some work done in case the rain returns tomorrow.  There are still areas of Long Beach we have not tidied and a few private gardens we have not been to yet in 2014.

I had realized just before lunch that the perfect job would be to prune the Super Dorothy roses in the park just south of Captain Bob’s.  The debris would be lightweight in case the city works yard was locked (we still don’t have our key!) and I could keep an eye on the café to see if any more cash mobbers came and could be photographed.  (They may have; I got too absorbed in pruning to watch.)

south fence, before

south fence, before

after

after

before and after

before and after
west fence, before

west fence, before

working

after

after

We pruned out larger old trunks and the twiggy bits off the top of these climbing roses.  Soon we will give each a handful of magnesium sulfate “to encourage basal breaks” (new growth from the base).

We were thrilled to find the city works gate open and to be able to get rid of the debris, and still have time to cut back and weed in the “little popouts”.

before and after

before and after

before and after, looking south

before and after, looking south

We had taken an end of day opportunity earlier this month to chop the ornamental grass in the second little pop just south of this one so all I had to do was weed it.

wee pop out

wee pop out

It looks tatty right now and I hope to remember to throw some poppy seeds in there.  I yanked three large and very woody silver santolinas today.  Buried in this little popout up to their rims, I found two large pulp pots that must have had annuals in them (I think sweet alyssum).  I wonder who did that?  What a nice present (and why did I not notice it last year?)

pots of mystery

pots of mystery

We can relax if tomorrow brings rain because we got so much done in Long Beach today and yesterday.  That’s a good feeling.

We arrived home at dusk;  Allan said something about the sunset, but I was focused on getting the cash mob photos uploaded to the Facebook page.  Then I looked out my window and saw a spectacular sky.  My camera refused to register the colours when I tried to get a photo out of the south window.

view

As I kept working on uploading cash mob photos, the colour intensified.

view from my desk; one pane is permanently fogged.

view from my desk; one pane is permanently fogged.

Finally Allan put his shoes back on (perhaps inspired by some loud pleas from my study) and went out to take some photos to close out today’s blog in style.

over New Judy's roof

over New Judy’s roof

from our back garden

from our back garden

trees

Lake Street

Lake Street

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