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Posts Tagged ‘Discovery Heights’

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

We had an errand before work that took us near a former job of ours, so we took ourselves on a brief tour of

Discovery Heights,

a series of entry gardens that we planted and maintained from 2005 through…I can’t quite recall when we stopped gardening there.  As these photos show, the job entails a lot of climbing up onto raised, boulder-edged beds, something that became difficult as my knee got worse.  The garden is now in the capable hands of Terran Bruinier of BeeKissed Gardening.

lower garden, south side

The middle garden:

All montbretia in the gardens were brought in with the soil (not my choice of soil, not sure where it came from).

Salal, to the right, most definitely not planted by us!

Some of “my” ceanothus still survive…

…including this large one.

When we first began this job, I asked if the community was going to be gated and was told no.  I have a preference of not working in gated neighbourhoods, but I was fully invested in the job when the gate went in.

Driving back down the hill to where the Discovery Heights entry road intersects with the 100 Loop road that goes to Cape Disappointment State Park:

lower garden, south side, am pleased at how the plants drape the rocks as planned (cotoneasters, and I think some prostrate ceanothus)

lower garden, north side, on heavy clay

Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’ pruned into balls (left)

I regretted having planted the escallonias at the front of the top tier.  Terran’s solution to their height works.

Salal…snuck in!

Rugosa roses (left) are finally outpacing the deer.

from the loop road

It is pleasing to see the garden full grown.  The first flat terrace was always a problem because of such heavy clay and a break in the irrigation line.  My camera failed to get a driveby of the back of the garden where some rhododendrons, once quite small from the Clarke Nursery going out of business one gallon sale, are now full sized.

We went on to work at

Mike’s garden.

Our task was the last of the fall tidying, along with pruning an Escallonia iveyi that was hanging out into the sidewalk area…or the area where a sidewalk would be if there were one.

My preference with escallonia is to have them thick and shrublike all the way to the ground, so that it looks like this (same escallonia, this past July).

Escallonia iveyi

However, it was now growing well over the property line and Mike wanted it pruned. Cutting it back to the line revealed a tree like rather than shrub like form.  I had to work with that, and also had to reduce the height, because that is what people generally want when they ask for a shrub to be pruned.  Given what we had to do, here are the befores and afters:

before

after

The lilac to the left is going to be completely removed…by someone else…because it is pestering a sewer line.

before

after

It is rather shocking how much had to be cut to get it back behind the railroad tie edge.  At least I managed to save a layer of foliage that will give privacy for the deck.

before

after

Poor thing!  It should fill out again quickly next year.  It is now possible to easily walk the path behind it, also, which was party blocked before the pruning.  If it had to be done, I would rather it be done by me that someone else who might have just leveled it off halfway down and left nothing but shrubs.

We left Mike’s and turned our attention to the

Ilwaco planters and street tree gardens.

I was not sure if we would get through them all.  Rain was predicted.  The sky was so dark for awhile that it felt more like dusk than midday.

The city crew (a much smaller crew than that of Long Beach) was installing the cords for the lighted crab pot holiday decorations.

Allan made quick work under the trees with The Toy (our new Stihl rechargeable trimmer).

before (the truly horrible perennial sweet pea)

after (Allan’s photos)

That darn invasive pea under one tree has swamped all the “winter interest” plants, as have the BadAsters in the other tree garden pictured above.

Here is a before with no after…

The blob of blue felicia daisy got cut way back because it looks silly.

I got distracted from taking an after photo by my thoughts about the post office garden. I’d been asked by the crew if a crab pot could go IN the garden and had said yes, if they would just avoid tramping around with their boots.  I suddenly decided we had better go to the post office and make some clear space.

before

after

We had pulled all the cosmos.  The Toy worked a treat trimming the Stipa gigantea (the tall airy grass in the center).

Back to the planters, I left a few of the healthier nasturtiums just out of curiosity about how long they will last.

We are said to be due for an extra mild “El Nino’ winter.

trailing rosemary in a planter (Allan’s photo)

That rosemary is in one of the two planters on Spruce Street, out of the First Avenue wind tunnel that damages the ones I have tried there.

With the planters done, Allan went to dump the debris while I used The Toy at the Norwood garden, two doors down from ours.

before; I scored some of those leaves (left), too.

after; Allan helps clean up in the dusk while I weeded the north bed.

before (twilight)

after

The Toy made what would have been tedious clipping into a less than five minute shear!

We just had time before dark to check up on and pull some montbretia out of the J’s back garden, leading to some happy erasure on the work board.

I am hoping for semi-staycation to begin in two days.  I am calling it semi this year because we cannot completely neglect the Shelburne and Long Beach for two and a half months.  Post frost clean up—if we get frost—will be necessary in a few locations.

I had a nice cuppa tea at home.  Only one Builders tea bag remains and I am saving it…

Allan’s photo

As we watched an amusing show on telly, I was astonished by a city street scene. I had to hit pause in amazement.

Look at that overhead tram, and all the traffic, and bridges.  I reflected on my 38 years of city life in Seattle and on how much quieter my last quarter century has been here at the beach.

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 16 April 2018

You may recall that starting in late 2004 up till just a few years ago, we planted and maintained the gardens at Discovery Heights.  When my knee started to plague me, we passed the job on to a younger gardening business, Flowering Hedge Design (Shelly Hedges and Terran Bruinier).  It is a job that requires a lot of clambering up rocks and hills.  These young women are most capable of such feats.

Terran and Shelly, photo courtesy Flowering Hedge Design

Terran just sent me some photos of their recent work on those gardens.  She says that almost all of the white narcissi are ones that we planted years ago that have naturalized.  It was her idea, back in 2004, to plant all white ones.  Terran and Shelly have removed some of the plants that the deer were destroying.  (I was startled way back when to find that deer eat yew!)

Terran and Shelly have formalized the garden by pruning those escallonias in the lower garden.  I always regretted having planted them so far forward!

Photos by Terran Bruinier:

lower garden, north side

lower garden, south side

lower garden, south side

middle garden

middle garden

upper garden

It pleases us greatly to see these gardens well maintained.  Just keeping them all nice and clean along the front edge is a big project.

More old photos of the gardens in this post: Three Gardens in Deer Country.

rainy day reading

The Monday weather started with much rain and wind.

Skooter snoozing

Allan ran errands, one of which was to pick up Calvin’s ashes at the Oceanside Animal Clinic.  Oh how terrible it felt to put the pretty little box of ashes next to the box containing Smoky’s remains, on the second tier of the table by my chair.  They will be interred in the garden with Smoky’s mother, Mary, when I can bear to do so.

Frosty, the last one of the three cat family, must miss his mother and his brother.

I know that Skooter misses Calvin, because Calvin incited and seemed to enjoy the Chasing Game. And I sometimes found them curled up next to each other on the bed.

I miss having a good lap cat.  Frosty likes the back of my chair, as shown above, and Skooter is not a lap cat.

I began my reading by finished Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden, while taking copious notes.

from Saturday night

This was rather shocking to me!

I was glad, later in the book, to see this:

A brilliant bouquet idea:

I had plenty of time left for more reading, and I finished two more books, each of which I had already begun.

I had started with book 2 of a novel series by Virginia Ironside, and then, partway through, I realized I must reread the first one.  I got it from the library:

With that one finished, I returned to the second in the series, which I had purchased.

I will share more when book 3 and 4, which I just ordered, arrive and get read.    I dote on the author because she wrote the helpful book about pet loss, Goodbye Dear Friend.

The sun came out for awhile, much to my dismay.  I kept reading, though.  Allan went out and mowed four lawns, the Norwoods, 2 doors down, Devery’s next door, and J’s across the street.  And the part of ours that was dry enough to be mowable.  They had all gotten so long with all the rainy days (and having to work on the rare nice day).

Norwood lawn

I was worried in the evening because Allan had a troublesome little cough and sniffle.  Oh please please please don’t let us be getting sick when we have so much to do.  (Spoiler: He does have a bad cold now and I feel an ominous tickle in my throat.)

Skooter, hours later

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Saturday, September 7

my day 

After being up till 2 AM the night before sorting, editing and uploading photos of the Slow Drag to Discover Ilwaco, I slept…even beyond when Allan left the house…and then meandered down to Olde Towne for breakfast.

on the way....wildness in the sidewalk on Lake Street

on the way….wildness in the sidewalk on Lake Street

alliums from the boatyard...stemless...on display at Olde Towne

alliums from the boatyard…stemless…on display at Olde Towne

I ambled into Larry’s Antique Gallery Too! for a bit of a look around.

the prettiest garden dishes

the prettiest garden dishes

And then past the boatyard garden to the Saturday market…

some painted sage still hanging on at the boatyard

some painted sage still hanging on at the boatyard

At the market:

bouquets

bouquets

berries

berries

gnome doors

gnome doors

apples

apples

cute dogs, as always

cute dogs, as always

and the one thing I bought for myself:

mini donuts...with chocolate glaze

mini donuts…with chocolate glaze

On the way home, I checked the level of the pond at the back of the Lost Garden….

very low

very low

I went into the back garden and did some watering of containers.

Mary was comfy in the sunshine

Mary was comfy in the sunshine

It was too hot for me, though….over 70 F!  I went indoors, I thought just for a little while…

And then I found assorted reasons to stay indoors and apply myself to catching up on this blog rather than be outdoors.  First it was too hot…then too cold and windy.  The wind of 20-ish mph put paid to my idea of having a campfire in the way back garden in the evening.  Until we get the Danger Tree dealt with, that is not a place to sit in a high wind.

Other than a handful of weeding in the front garden, I accomplished nothing of a gardening nature all day except for a brief admiration of the yellow glow of the increasingly autumnal back garden.

autumnal glow

autumnal glow

Solidago 'Fireworks'

Solidago ‘Fireworks’

Meanwhile….

Allan’s day

Allan went up to the Rod Run field at Ocean Park and returned with these photos of what he found most interesting:

Rod Run field

Rod Run field

coast Guard

the most moving story

The Coast Guard car

The Coast Guard car
car talk

car talk by a Swedish Volvo

Allan found that big old truck I liked from the Slow Drag.

big Dodge truck

big Dodge truck

opens into a kitchen!

opens into a kitchen!

large and small

large and small

Allan says "The van with ramp is a factory stock Chevrolet Corvair rear engine pick-up like a VW "

Allan says “The van with ramp is a factory stock Chevrolet Corvair rear engine pick-up like a VW “

I love a VW van

I love a VW van

a cool vehicle

a cool vehicle

Allan found it amusing to see the contrast between a vehicle like the above and, below, “The 1979 brown pickup with white stripe is a pretty common car at the opposite end of the spectrum from the early 50’s Studebaker painted up as a fighter (with the ‘kills’ (other car makes) painted under the window.”

a more common truck

a more common truck whose owner is quite proud

Allan tells me there were vehicles there worth a million dollars.

I prefer the cute old Coca Cola truck from the Slow Drag!

I prefer the cute old Coca Cola truck from the Slow Drag!

a lot of these vehicles have the engines exposed...

a lot of these vehicles have the engines exposed…

Engines are the subject of much discussion.

Engines are the subject of much discussion.

Buick

cruising

cruising

and more cruising

and more cruising

audience lined up to watch cruising

audience lined up to watch cruising

There is an official cruise in the afternoon around the north end of the Peninsula.  More about what the cruise used to be like when I write about planter-sitters in Long Beach in Monday’s post!

When Allan and I were both at home in the evening, he thought of looking at the Heron Cam which shows the Long Beach town intersection at Bolstadt and Pacific.

At 9 in the evening, the crowds were thick in Long Beach.

At 9 in the evening, the crowds were thick in Long Beach.

later

later

There's a planter sitter!!!

There’s a planter sitter!!!

I knew the Long Beach planters would be getting very much sat upon but it’s not something I worry about anymore.  Much.

Sunday, September 9

my day

Our friend Kathleen Shaw was in town for a week so Judy and I met her for coffee at Olde Towne!

me, Judy, Kathleen

me, Judy, Kathleen

We met at noon and closed the place down.  (It closes at two on Sundays.)

an old town vignette

an old town vignette

Little did we know that one of the ducks on the shelf of…duck items…is actually a telephone.

Luanne taking a call on the duck phone

Luanne taking a call on the duck phone

After coffee klatsch, Judy went home and Kathleen came to visit me at home.  Here’s an odd thing: we sat INDOORS even though we are both gardeners.  The wind was cold, it is true, but earlier in the year we probably would have been sitting outdoors despite it.   Now, we had both seemingly had enough of the outdoors for the moment.

She departed after a good discussion of Peninsula life and of books (she recommends Facing the Wave about the Japanese tsunami, and I have ordered it from the library)…..with a nice bunch of tomatoes from the greenhouse for snacking on in her cottage at The Anchorage.

Before she left we discussed the scree garden idea and both agreed it should go by the boat instead of in the front garden by the driveway.

future scree garden?

future scree garden?

Then I did a very quick watering of the greenhouse and patio area.

patio plant table

patio plant table

bird bath by the greenhouse

bird bath by the greenhouse

The afternoon light brought out the best of the garden’s colours.

nice afternoon light on begonias

nice afternoon light on begonias

again, the golden garden

again, the golden garden

And that was that for outdoors.  I started in on my blog post about the Slow Drag and kept at it till 11 PM.

Meanwhile…

Allan’s Day

After briefly joining the coffee klatsch at Olde Towne, Allan went…to work!  He still has not given up on Discovery Heights even though I have (because of being overbooked and it being physically the hardest job).  He is finding it hard to let go and brought back these photos:

Solidago 'Fireworks'

Solidago ‘Fireworks’

middle garden where one of the Ceanothus has had a hard time

middle garden where one of the Ceanothus has had a hard time

middle garden

middle garden with wildly reseeded bronze fennel

long view of middle garden

long view of middle garden

one of the two upper gardens

one of the two upper gardens…looks like no one else is taking over…

the upper garden being carried by grasses and the montbretia that came in with the soil

the upper garden being carried by grasses and the montbretia that came in with the soil

Wherever the soil came from (we did not acquire it), it must have been full of the orange montbretia corms.  It will take over completely between the grasses without me pulling it…and so it goes.

more Fireworks in the upper garden

more Fireworks in the upper garden

the upper garden

the upper garden

This would be such a great job with many hours of work if only someone would take it on!

After perhaps the most non-gardenish weekend for me since work season began, I felt mentally refreshed and looked forward to the fall season of Projects.  Now that the tourist season is pretty much over and the weather may have cooled, we can get to the list of interesting work projects that we have had to put off.  The first will be removing the bricks from the Ilwaco street trees but first, Monday will be devoted to trying to bring the Long Beach planters back what whatever may have been wrought on them during Rod Run.

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Our day started promisingly with a quick walk through our back garden to pick a bouquet for Queen La De Da’s Art Night event. I took a little time to admire some of the flowers.

I'm pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

I’m pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

California poppies

This tiny jewel of a Pacific tree frog on a rose made my morning happy.

tiny perfection

tiny perfection

(As I write this, I can hear the evening chorus of frogs that tells me many more are out there.)

"Maxine's rose" rambling

“Maxine’s rose” rambling

I even have a very few Eremurus (foxtail lilies) that, while not a patch on my friend Sheila’s, are the best I’ve ever managed to grow. (A thought: They would look excellent in the front garden where I like tall plants, so I must plant some there this fall.)

Eremurus

Eremurus

And Mary was looking cute and silly. (She came to us with that name.)

my Mary

my Mary

Next we checked the Ilwaco boatyard garden and saw some beautiful flowers and interesting boats.

a pleasant name

a pleasant name

Condor II

Condor II

Janice Ann

Janice Ann from Newport

boatyard garden

boatyard garden, looking north

toadflax

toadflax

looking south

looking south

reseeded California poppies

reseeded California poppies

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

We then weeded and removed dead bulb foliage from the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and Don Nisbett Art Gallery and the Port office to make sure they looked good for the art night scheduled for that evening.

looking west on Howerton

looking west on Howerton

Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' at the Port office

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ at the Port office

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', of course.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, of course.

I pondered why two out of three of the Eryngiums from last year bloomed beautifully while one just sat there.

a non flowering year

a non flowering year

That was the only annoying bit of a pleasant morning, but the day would soon turn difficult.

At 12:30, we went up to Discovery Heights with the intention of spending seven hours on the gardens there, and so we did. But what a horrible mess they were. We simply have too many clients and this job, being one we do not drive by on our regular route, tends to get neglected during planting season. It consists of two very large and three medium sized planting areas, all of which require getting up onto a rock wall either high or low.

middle garden

middle garden

west end of middle garden

west end of middle garden

We both weeded along the front of the middle garden for awhile and then Allan went down to the lower garden while I tried to at least finish the front of the middle one. I took a before photo but did not have the heart to take an after.

before

before

The gardens are basically gorgeous, if I do say so, having planted them in late 2004 and then with Allan when he first moved here in 2005. The selections are deer resistant and have grown well together. The weeds in middle garden have always been a problem because bad soil was brought in (not my choice) containing much horsetail and rush. We were laid off for eight months or so in 2009 and during that year the weeds moved in fiercely. By the time we took the job back, the large time slot it had had was lost to other jobs, and we have never really managed to find time get the garden the way we like it to be. But that is not the main issue. I just am finding the job terribly hard as I get older, and I finally had a revelation that was right up there with the Great Revelation of 2007: to only do jobs that bring joy. I may only have another twenty years of active gardening IF I am as lucky in health as my mother. (She was able to retire at age 55, and that may have contributed to her being able to work in her garden till age 82.)

But it is hard to give up a garden that one has planted. I walked down to join Allan at the lower garden and sat for a moment in the car to eat a snack, gazing up into the garden where the sight of still more thick weeds met my eyes.

grass obscuring the garden

grass obscuring the garden

Did I weep? If I did, it would be unusual. Did we go up into this garden and weed for an hour? We most certainly did. Did I make a final decision? Yes. Before we even got back into the zone of cell phone coverage, I was composing a email of gradual resignation on my phone. I’ve tried to back off from this job before but have always been talked out of it by the owners. They deserve better, someone who has the time to weed thoroughly. I explained that the cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco and the Port of Ilwaco gardens have gotten more expansive every year and that those public gardens are my priority, but I think that one particular point that I made finally got the owners to agree to ask another local gardening business to begin to take over the weeding. I wrote that “the city jobs, to be quite frank, are MUCH more comfortable to do being on level ground and with, well, bathrooms! Climbing down off the rock wall and trekking off into the woods is no fun for a middle aged lady, let me tell you!” Ha! I should have used that VERY accurate reason for resigning before. Later when I told my friend Judy that I need jobs with three amenities: some shade, a chair or bench to sit on at lunchtime, and a bathroom, she said “No chair, no shade, no bathrooms, no Skyler!”

When we got home, I had to recover from all the emotion before going out again, so we did not get to Art Night till the last hour and missed the crowd of over sixty people who had attended. I was thrilled that the event had done so well and regret that I only got photos after the biggest crowd had gone.

Marie Powell's gallery

Marie Powell’s gallery

floral monotype in Marie's gallery

floral monotype in Marie’s gallery

Don Nisbett's gallery

Don Nisbett’s gallery

 

a Basket Case basket from inside Don's gallery

a Basket Case basket from inside Don’s gallery

outside Queen La De Da's

outside Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

evening music

art night guests outside the Port office

art night guests outside the Port office

From inside Queen La De Da’s, this piece of art spoke to me about the big decision of the day:

follow your heart

My heart says to only do jobs that bring us joy and to NOT do so many jobs that we have no time to spend in our own garden during spring through autumn. My perfectionism says that fewer jobs done well are better for our own satisfaction and that of the clients. My social conscience tells me that the most important jobs to me are the ones that benefit the most people: resorts, city gardens, art gallery gardens. The very most important jobs are the ones whose gardens benefit passersby of all classes and economic status, i.e. the city gardens. The very good sleep that I got that night told me that I had made the right decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Despite there being much to do at work, I took one day off to weed my own garden.  Allan’s little garden looks perfect:

Allan's garden with Maddy

Allan’s garden with Maddy

Disporum 'Night Heron'

Disporum ‘Night Heron’

Impatiens omieana

Impatiens omieana

I love the new foliage on this mahonia.

I love the new foliage on this mahonia.

crabapple blossom

apple blossom

After that pleasant interlude admiring Allan’s tidy garden, I moved on to the three big weedy beds in the backyard.  I want to see if a before and after set of photos even shows the results of six hours of almost-steady weeding.

east bed, before

east bed, before

east bed after a couple of wheelbarrow of weeds went away

east bed after a couple of wheelbarrow of weeds went away

middle garden, before

middle garden, before

My reward for getting middle garden weeded, I decided when I began, would be to put out my birthday present from Judy.

middle garden, after

middle garden, after

with Ross the pig

with Ross the pig

west garden, before

west garden, before

west garden, after

west garden, after

I completely filled our large wheelie bin with weeds, with one bucket and one wheelbarrow left over, and dumped at least another wheelbarrow full of compostable items (that is, thinned perennials rather than invasive weeds) onto the debris pile.  I wish I had tomorrow off as well; without any rain, we have to check on watering at several places and we have plants to plant.  I did not get time to plant any in my own garden, but I think I would rather wait for some rain.  (The soil is moisty underneath here at home, I am glad to say.)   My friend Kathleen S stopped by to visit but my dedication to weeding trumped my true desire to just sit down with her on the patio.

Some good things I saw along the way:

my good friends Frosty and Smokey

my good friends Frosty and Smokey

white verbascum

white verbascum

Tulip 'Cummins'

Tulip ‘Cummins’

bogsy woods plant table

bogsy woods plant table

a new rose

a new rose

shade bed has a few big weeds, but not bad.

shade bed has a few big weeds, but not bad.

shade bed

shade bed

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

scilla outside the deer fence

scilla outside the deer fence

the outer bogsy woods

the outer bogsy woods

Some not so good things:

The pond between us and the port parking lot is drying up but there are still little tadpoles in it.

will tadpoles survive?

will tadpoles survive?

I am losing my tunnel through the salmonberries:

disappearing path

disappearing path

One side of the middle bed has lots of reseeded California poppies.  The other side has none!

unbalanced

unbalanced

If we ever get rain again, I’ll transplant some to the empty side.

Santolina 'Lemon Fizz' wants to revert to green.

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ wants to revert to green.

I need to find time to trim him, AND to chop the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by half so it won’t flop open.

The Bright Lights chard that bolted to taller than me is sadly representative of how I rarely get around to harvesting and eating any edible thing that I grow.

a giant

a giant

The patio still needs weeding:

patio

patio

My Rosa pteracantha is still dead.

I thought I saw a new shoot, but apparently not.

I thought I saw a new shoot, but apparently not.

And the real heartbreaker:  There are hardly any sweet peas along here.  I think it might be because I got too busy to regularly apply Sluggo, so maybe they got eaten.

where ARE they???

where ARE they???

Next year, instead of planting all of them at once, I will make two plantings, one on the outside and one on the inside, a week apart.  And I will not go on a trip in April.  And I will put out Sluggo every day.

I will have to find an alternative, perhaps an annual vine that I can acquire in pots…or maybe the few remaining sweet peas will surprise me.

Meanwhile, Allan worked up at Discovery Heights, deadheading hundreds of narcissi:

pre-deadheading

pre-deadheading

and saw a coyote, but it moved fast so he just got a blurry photo:

coyote on the move

coyote on the move

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Due to my rashly planned mini-trip this week, I have so much to do that I could not take the day off today.  We did begin with a worthwhile errand:  acquiring yet another free composter, this time from Cheri’s garden.  It may have to be roped back together, but it will work:

The price is right!

The price is right!

The compost pile was not broken down enough to put it on the garden, so we set it to one side.  Two snazzy new rotating composters will be installed here side by side.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

Cheri's lovely Dutch iris

Cheri’s lovely Dutch iris

I had a bit of anxiety that some of the special plants at The Basket Case Greenhouse would sell out while I am away on my three day trip, so we detoured from our Ilwaco gardening plans to go up and snag some more Sanguisorbas and Agastaches.  Fred and I discussed what we could put in the Veterans Field garden for the red colour needed for the dedication ceremony on May 5th.  He really wants me to plant red geraniums but I have annoyingly strong opinions that certain plants (geraniums and petunias!) belong in containers rather than in the ground so I am hoping to find something else that is red and blooming.  But if not…I know where to buy some very fine dark red geraniums.

at the Basket Case

at the Basket Case

Later for the (first ever for me because I am not a nationalist) red white and blue theme I will have more interesting plants:  Salvia patens, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Cosmos ‘Purity’, Salvia ‘Lipstick’ (or is it Hot Lips? anyway, a nicely shaped red one), Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’, Sapphire blue oat grass and Lobelia tupa.

A friend last year was searching hard for the Aquilegia called ‘Clementine’. and this year The Basket Case has it.

Aquilegia 'Clementine'

Aquilegia ‘Clementine’, a double white

Speaking of red, white and blue, when we stopped back at home I noticed that my Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’ is in bloom.

Pulsatilla 'Red Clock'

Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’

The very cool contorted English Hawthorn that I got at Joy Creek two years ago seems to be doing well after struggling for a couple of years.  (Picture Allan and I having an argy bargy about how to best face it up* while planting the large root ball and then hearing an ominous crack in the lower trunk.)

a happy Hawthorne

a happy Hawthorne (between the red tulips)

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden...but not today...

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden…but not today…

We began our post-shopping workday at the topmost garden on Discovery Heights, where we found my favourite ornamental grasses, Stipa gigantea, looking surprisingly tatty.

not very nice

not very nice

Allan combed them out while I weeded.  I found a mysterious sight: another grass sitting sideways out of the ground.  And not a small grass.  What happened here, I wonder?

??!!??

??!!??

You can see that the garden is full of Montbretia.  The rampant orange one came in on the soil that was used (not by us) to build the garden bed.  The owners actually like the montbretia so I just try to keep it from swamping everything and making a monoculture out of the garden.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

The stipa looked much better after Allan had attended to them.  I wonder if they will flower?

improved

improved

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

On the way down the hill, we stopped to photograph a stunning display of native plants below a curve in the road.  I believe this might mean this is a moist spot.  (My botanist friend Kathleen Sayce will tell me what it is and I will add the name.)

a curving sweep of white flowers

a curving sweep of white flowers:  Petasites, sweet coltsfoot (thanks, Kathleen!); ‘

Kathleen says:  “Sweet coltsfoot, loves wet seeps, and flowers relatively early, tho’ it’s late this year.”

We skipped the T Junction garden (three quarters of the way up the hill) and went to the middle garden by the gate.  I walked down partway, pruning some sword ferns by a couple of the light bollards, and Allan deadheaded middle garden narcissi.  A scrim of maddening horsetail is appearing but the narcissi should provide a distraction and let us postpone a thorough weeding for another week.

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

That bit of ocean is at Beard’s Hollow where we cleaned the beach yesterday.

I had a revelation that I could use Ceanothus as a green backdrop in Marilyn’s deer-chomped garden because the deer do not eat it here.

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

I credit my friend Terran with the idea to plant all white Narcissi.  The narcissi “All White” mix from Van Engelen has lasted so well in this middle garden although it has petered out a lot in the lower and T Junction gardens.

middle garden band of white

middle garden band of white

white mix aglow

white mix aglow

A Hellebore feotidus has reseeded itself below the rocks in middle garden.

Hellebore and child

Hellebore and child (to the right by the road is the child)

This hellebore has amazed me by coming through year after year in these harsh windy and not very shady conditions.

a toughie

a toughie

We also skipped lower garden because we needed to do some weeding and planting at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, especially one long section that I knew had lots of horsetail.

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

horsetail in sidewalk crack

horsetail in sidewalk crack

My guru Ann Lovejoy says you must cut rather than pull horsetail or you will make it worse:

“Chemical warfare only takes out this season’s stalks, while mowing is more effective and less environmentally damaging. That’s because the best way to get rid of horsetail is to cut, not pull.

Pulling horsetail actually stimulates new growth. Pull one stalk and three or four will take its place. Cut it at ground level and you will slowly deplete the roots.”  (Ann Lovejoy)

We don’t cut it but we do break it off pretty close to the ground.  Even in places where we have greatly improved the soil (like my own garden) it comes back but it does weaken in time.  We did a quick job today because a thorough job will need to be done before the day of the children’s parade (May 4th).

boatyard before...

boatyard before…

after

after

A lot of the green is from California poppy seedlings.

This Stipa gigantea at the boatyard is putting out flower stalks, as it should, unlike the battered ones up on Discovery Heights.

healthy Stipa gigantea

healthy Stipa gigantea

At the southern end of the garden, the horsetail had not sprouted back with such force, but many mushrooms had appeared.  I am no mycologist so I can’t ID them.

with blue oat grass

with blue oat grass

mushrooms

They do come in sometimes, but not always, on the Soil Energy mix….

boatyard

boatyard

I photographed some boats in the yard for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page and we then moved on to the Marie Powell Gallery garden on Howerton.  (More boat photos from earlier years here.)

While weeding the Powell Gallery garden I pondered on how I think the plants in it are too tall.  I am hoping to convince the powers that be to remove that pampas grass with a large machine.

We did not get this one cut back in time!

We did not get this one cut back in time!

I prefer the shorter plant schemes in our newly redone garden beds on this street.

looking west with telephoto

looking west with telephoto

The pampas even hides Marie’s print making shop from street view.

too big!

too big!

I also pondered how much I dislike weeding among river rock.  I wish it were confined only to a faux stream bed!

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks...

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks…

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

The river rock does set the plants off nicely so I should stop whinging, I suppose.

By six forty five, I had tired of an increasingly cold evening wind.  We went home…just a block away! and I tried to plant 18 or so small Nicotiana langsdorfii in my own garden.  I hit the wall after only three.  Why did 51 degrees seem so very chilly?  Could it be that working on the blog seemed more amusing than being outdoors?

.

*Facing a plant up is when you put its best side to your most important view of said plant.

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In Seattle

In Seattle for his father’s memorial service in late February, Allan photographed this stunning Callicarpa (beauty berry) for me.  Mine are still but small, but I still remember the time when, going from one housecleaning job to another in the Laurelhurst neighbourhood of Seattle, stopping still in amazement at the sight of one in someone’s yard.  I had no idea at the time what it was or why it was blooming in winter.

Allan did not know what it was either, but he knew I would want to see it.

A Seattle beautyberry

A Seattle beautyberry

At Home

19 February

back garden crocus run, more filled out than last year.

back garden crocus run, more filled out than last year.

You can see the neighbouring gear shed (other side of fence) has their crab pots restacked so their crabbing season must be slowing down or over.

Smokey enjoys the new water feature

Smokey enjoys the new water feature

Smokey

1 March

Smokey among the Hellebores

Smokey among the Hellebores

Wherever I go in the garden, there is Smokey also.

early tulips

early tulips

on the new plant table

on the new plant table

At Work (and Around)

25 February at Discovery Heights

Upon his return, while I was obsessively working on my blog prequel, Allan did a session chopping grasses at the Discovery Heights middle garden.

before

before

after

after

tidy

tidy

 27 February: touring Oysterville

In the drizzle, we took a drive up to Oysterville to get photos for a new Discovery Coast Real Estate page.  We photographed houses and scenery, and the Huson garden, well known as a glorious new landscape at in town.  The owners have also spread narcissi through the town, and pumpkins in fall and lights at Christmas.

along the Huson fence

along the Huson fence

Huson garden hellebores

Huson garden hellebores

Huson garden, moss and pear

Huson garden, moss and pear

That night on Facebook, I was messaging with my friend Kathleen S, who does not live on the Peninsula but will soon, I hope.  She has been visiting for years and I swear she knows more about the Peninsula than I do.  She told me the last name of one of the gardeners in this Oysterville garden and I said…wait a sec…and looked up the name of a garden that I had adored as one of my favourite gardens ever in Ruston (near Tacoma).  I had toured it in 2010 with Sheila on the Hardy Plant Weekend.  I messaged Kathleen with the question:  could the Oysterville Huson be related to the Ruston Huson?  She who knows all told me it is the SAME person.  How about that?  The Ruston garden has stuck firmly in my memory since my visit there….It was truly a place of dreams.

27 February at Klipsan Beach Cottages

On the way home, we stopped to chat with the owners of the A Frame on the grounds of KBC about their five year garden plan.  In the drizzle, we did not want to actually work (although the ferns need cuting back) so all I did outdoors was take one photo of an early rhododendron.

rhodo and pond island at KBC

rhodo and pond island at KBC

1 March in Long Beach

We cleaned up Peggy’s Park, a pretty garden bed by Long Beach City Hall.

Peggy's cyclamen

Peggy’s cyclamen

Long Beach Planter at 3rd and Pacific

Long Beach Planter at 3rd and Pacific

crocuses in a Long Beach planter

crocuses in a Long Beach planter

Fifth Street Park in front of Captain Bob's Chowder

Fifth Street Park in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder

When we have time, which we sometimes do not, we like to get a delicious crab roll from Captain Bob.

3 March in Long Beach

clean up of pond garden at Bolstadt and Pacific

before

before

after

after

2 March at Jo’s garden

Allan working on a re-do

Allan working on a re-do

Jo wants the above bed all dug out except for a few roses and redone, because she fell in love with the look of our flower beds when she came to see our garden on tour last year.  We are determined to accomplish this, but time is tight.  There are still seven jobs we have not even BEEN to yet.

3 March at Andersen’s RV Park

narcissi in Payson Hall Planters

narcissi in Payson Hall Planters

and a Payson Hall frog!

and a Payson Hall frog!

Fritillaria michailovskyi in Payson Hall planter

Fritillaria michailovskyi in Payson Hall planter

The Van Engelen catalog says “Native to Turkey, it has up to five, pendant reddish-purple bells with a yellow edge on the outside and a shiny yellow interior” and adds that it blooms April/May.   Hmmm.  It’s a bit early, then.

Narcissi in Payson Hall planters

Narcissi in Payson Hall planters

Lorna of Andersen’s bought many of the great big narcissi like King Alfreds and other large cultivars.  Since I always buy mostly the little ones, it will be interesting to see how the big ones do in her west side garden….which we are about halfway through mulching with cow fiber from The Planter Box.

This center bed will be full of King Alfreds.

This center bed will be full of King Alfreds.

lovely mulch

lovely mulch

and some new Carex testacea

and some new Carex testacea

Larry and Robert’s garden

Their little garden boat is starting to show some spring bloom.

19 February

19 February

7 March

7 March

BONUS:  Judy and Tom’s garden

Just down the street from us and across the street from Larry and Robert’s, we like to watch the season unfold in our friends’ garden.

6 March, as I leaned over the fence to admire..

6 March, as I leaned over the fence to admire..

7 March, new primrose pots

7 March, new primrose pots

and a fun new whirligig

and a fun new whirligig

7 March:  Today, we cleaned up Larry and Robert’s, the boatyard, and a Howerton Street garden.   Two clients have contacted us today regarding when we will get to their gardens.   As for the seven gardens….and one Long Beach park….and the very very very long and tedious beach approach garden….that we have not even been to yet…

I can only say that we will get there when we get there.  I am trying a new policy of not fretting and losing sleep over the schedule, as that does not make things go any faster.  (I joked to one of the clients that maybe someone will do us a favour and fire us! As usual, we need two fewer jobs than what we have.)

We even…gasp! stopped for an hour today and had a coffee break with Patt and Judy at Olde Towne Café.   Life is too short, as I have learned extra hard this winter from the experience of a friend and sister gardener who has cancer, to spend it all fretting about work.  I want to slow down, but have not yet figured out how without making at least some clients sad.  Who could possibly be patient as they wait for us and look at a weedy garden?  There seems to be no solution to this other than I just have to stop worrying about it.

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