We spent almost two work days getting Ilwaco, the Ilwaco boatyard, and the Port of Ilwaco ready for the children’s parade, which would take place on April 30th.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
We began with the Ilwaco boatyard garden, which we had minimally weeded a couple of weeks ago. Today, we were seeking something closer to perfection.
I got to meet, but not pet, a “grumpy” little Schipperke named Rebel, who lives on a boat called Bambi. I told Rebel’s human that I’ve won over some grumpy little biting Schipperkes before, two of them that no one else but their humans liked, and convinced them to like me. I am hoping that if I see Rebel often enough, he will be my friend.
He was interested in and enjoyed one of the dog biscuits that we carry.
Rebel, Rebel, my future friend
The last couple of years, I’ve found time to hack away at the other side of the fence with the heavy pick or a mattock, to get the grasses back from the fence. This year, I haven’t, because of all the time we spent weeding the beach approach garden in Long Beach.
Old story: One day in summer of maybe 2012, a woman came up to me while I was walking to a local café and said “You’ve gotta get down to the boatyard; all your plants are wilting!” I aborted my café mission and hustled down to the boatyard only to realize that she had thought that the drooping buds of unopened poppies signified a watering crisis.
It’s normal for poppy buds to droop.
By three fifteen, we were done with the boatyard and got started on the east end of the Howerton Avenue gardens. I doubted we would get as far as I had hoped for. The weeds were thick in spots because, in order to keep the port budget balanced, we had been saving some of these gardens for a big pre-parade weeding.
east end garden looking west
east end garden looking east
The Armeria maritima (sea thrift) are glorious right now. They will need a lot of deadheading later. I find that if I get behind on clipping all the little pink or white balls, they politely reseed themselves around, so that’s a good excuse to not get it done immediately.
Just because they are north of the restroom pavilion, we also weeded the two Ilwaco pavilion beds next.
We had then time (with a big push and some stress) to get the two westernmost curbside gardens done. We have only the most difficult dragging-three-houses water access for the very westernmost bed, and this year I am probably going to test it out for complete drought tolerance. You can already tell the difference from last year, when it got less water than other sections.
I believe that deer, rather than humans, are removing flowers from the columbines. (Allan’s photo)
Below: These photos of Allan’s show the difference between the second to last bed, which we were able to water with the hose from the next door Salt Hotel…
You may recall that last summer, we had a drought that went for months. If this summer is wetter, that will make a difference.
For ideas on drought tolerant gardening, we recommend two books: Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden and the best dry garden book of all, High and Dry by Bob Nold.
With my knee getting painful by the end of the day, I found it terribly hard just to step in and out over the curb over and over and over again. While working along the port, and because I am obviously either limping or dragging one leg like the walking dead, I’ve talked with a couple of fishermen who also need knee replacements but are trying to get through the fishing season first, as I am trying to get through the gardening season (till after bulb time in November). By five o clock, I was having to hang onto a bucket for support each time, and finally holding onto to the curb to get in and out of the garden, and yowling in pain, and then almost fell over sideways (yelling for Allan but he was too far away, and so was my bucket). Before then, I had been wishing we could work till eight because we still had so much to do. I was glad to stop to have dinner at 6:30 with Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case Greenhouse.
The Depot Restaurant
Allan quickly deadheaded the Depot garden before dinner, and a good thing, too, as I forgot about it later in the week.
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Although I was anxious about how much we had to do in Long Beach, I decided we should finish Ilwaco first because it would be the windiest garden tomorrow (when wind and rain was predicted).
Allan began with the simple bed by CoHo Charters. Butch of CoHo prunes the escallonia.
Fortunately, the parade turns before Craft 3 as it is a garden in flux right now.
I dug five excellent favourite plants (a penstemon, three eryngiums, and a lavender that was small enough to move) out of one of the two no-water garden beds and put them in the port office and Time Enough beds where they can be cared for properly. Even most drought tolerant plants don’t look their best when they go months without a drink.
transplanted eryngium (right)
We weeded the street tree gardens and planters at the last two Ilwaco intersections and then with the feeling that the town and port plantings were pretty near perfect, we went on to Long Beach at 4:15 PM, an hour and a quarter later than what I had been hoping for.
Next: a day and a bit getting Long Beach ready for parade day.
1995 (age 71):
April 27: 1:30-4:30 Cleaned up the tam flower bed [used to be juniper tams], weeded, deadheaded some, removed mulch and put it all in bags to be shredded someday.
1998 (age 74):
April 27: 11:00-5:30 WARM I worked all afternoon planting begonias in boxes and baskets. There is another day’s work to finish. I took time to scrape the labels off about a dozen of the white baskets. I didn’t do that last year because I was anxious to get baskets filled. It is supposed to be hot all week.
April 28: 11:30-5:00. Ditto from yesterday. All the baskets are full. I think I have 22. I have 3 trays with 15 or so bulbs that I will put into the various tulip pots when the tulips are done. Unfortunately some of these bulbs were not labeled so I won’t know if they are trailing or upright until they bloom. I must label these begonias this summer.
Read Full Post »