Thursday, 19 May 2016
I woke after five hours of sleep with the feeling of a broken heart. Of course, my first thought was about the lost (to me) garden at Golden Sands, and the astilbes and lilies that were about to bloom.
I had not yet written the post about it, the one you may have read yesterday. I would not have time for that catharsis for at least three days (as this blog tends to run four days or more behind).
When I did publish yesterday’s story, I appreciated your many comments, both here and on Facebook. I especially liked this, written by Carol Sheaffer, who perfectly and poetically expressed my vision for that garden:
“Your plantings and dedication were given to/for the seniors to experience a peace filled vision of beauty to help with their own memories and day dreams.”
Exactly. The words of comfort, inspiration about letting go, and appreciation that poured in both here and on Facebook were a great help to me…but that was in the future on this particular Thursday.
I had recently read an article about how helpful gardens are to people with dementia. “Doctors should prescribe gardening for patients more often”, in The Guardian. A friend with severe chronic pain pointed out correctly that gardening is not a tonic for that, nor, in the experience of friends of mine, is it a reliable cure for deep depression. What spoke to me in this article was this:
“Outdoor spaces including gardens can reduce social isolation among older people as well as help patients recover and manage conditions such as dementia, according to the influential King’s Fund health thinktank. ….
Dementia patients can benefit from being near a garden and one study cited in the report found a 19% reduction in violence in patients staying in garden sites and a sevenfold increase in violence in the non-garden sites during a year. Many studies suggest that a garden changes how residents, staff and visitors interact in the long term and can help people reconnect with their past interests.” This could have been an argument (among many!) successfully presented to the powers that be that pulled the plug on the Golden Sands garden. It is one of the many reasons that it would be a shame to have that garden decline. I still hope some knowledgeable volunteers step up to care for it, and that they (these imaginary volunteers) are allowed to keep it as a flower garden that evokes memories of gardens past.
However, it is done. Once I got up and went out to check on my mother’s three transplanted shrubs (two roses and a rhodie), I felt fine again except for sleep deprivation.
Mom’s “red velvet” rose flowers in the window this morning (her name for it, don’t know the actual name).
Mom’s rhodie looks fine, with no wilt at all.
the “red velvet” rose this morning in the garden
Her Melianthus major also looks fine even though a big piece of the root broke off in transplanting.
the middle garden with Allium albopilosum
Last night, I finished Lust and Wonder
by Augusten Burroughs. I liked it, although I felt sorry for his former significant other who got written about rather harshly. And I don’t like the way he judges people by their appearance. What I liked best were his passages about being a catastrophizer. My own tendency to catastrophize is why I had hoped that my fears that the garden would be lost to me were just another case of me imagining the worst.
I also enjoyed the following passage because of the many times that Allan and I are almost hit by bicycles tearing down the sidewalks (illegally) in Long Beach. We much prefer skateboards because we can hear them coming.
Last night, I had forgotten to update the work board. Here is what remained this morning:
We took with us lots of painted sage, the special cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’, and the tray of Cosmos ‘Sensation’ mix that had been intended for Golden Sands, with the intent of finding other homes for them.
We planted one of the extra cosmos six packs down at Mike’s garden.
The post office garden has no room for more.
adding some more painted sage at the post office
Allan planting two Helenium at the boatyard garden.
at the boatyard (Allan’s photo)
I had considered adding just a few painted sage at the boatyard. However, next week we will be doing a thorough pre-Memorial Day weekend weeding of horsetail. IF we have any sage left, that would be the time to add some. Meanwhile, we went to Time Enough Books and added a few to the garden boat.
moving on in a light mist
The Depot Restaurant
The Depot got its painted sage and Cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’. I also found a home there for one of the mown-down Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that I had rescued yesterday.
Allan’s photos: It replaced part of an area of Schizostylis.
a new home for one chopped back Rozanne.
pulling bindweed in the rain
north side of dining deck; one of the big logs has been pushed in by a nosy vehicle. No plants were harmed (yet, but I do catastrophize about what would happen if the log gets pushed further in).
The planting session in Long Beach, during which I hoped to get all the painted sage into the planters, started in a cold and gusty rain.
Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’ added to Fifth Street Park. It will have to grow taller to show up well. (Allan’s photo)
The rain lightened to a fine mist, easy to work in, and perfect planting weather. Nothing needed to be watered in; the soil was damp way down, we did not have to hook up the hose to each planter, and it could not have been more wonderful to plant. We accomplished our mission of finishing every planter. I even had ONE bidens with me to replace one that I found stolen. If any more get stolen, I am out of luck as I have used every bidens available at local nurseries.
I noticed that the foliage on the occasional annual had turned purple, indicating it is still too cold for their comfort at night. It was not endemic so I won’t worry. If all were like this, I’d be in a right old state.
a purpled, pinched back cosmos
and an annual salvia gone purple leaved
Reminder to self: shear these rugosa roses back from the sidewalk edge. These were cut to ground level in March.
Basket Case basket by the police station
Because the planting had gone so well, we had time to weed the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.
Allan photographing a planter we dug out and replanted last fall
variegated thyme (Allan’s photo)
I love santolinas in a beach planter. But why is there only one catmint?
Mature thymes are so gorgeous if they make it past the tiny, cute, and easily stolen stage.
thyme (Allan’s photo)
We had timed the day to finish it with cleaning up the entry garden and planting some cosmos and painted sage at the World Kite Museum. Allan’s photos:
The soil in this small bed is intensely rooty, perhaps from the escallonia roots invading from the side. Despite all the rain, it was dry underneath, and not from lack of hose watering.
Snails love to hitch a ride on the bottom of the six packs of plants.
after. I decided it badly needs mulch…tomorrow.
Shrubs on either side are poking up with their roots. They will enjoy the mulch, too.
after work: still misting
We left the the Kite Museum with time to dump our load of debris at Long Beach city works yard. On the way there, in the pocket garden at Culbertson Field, I saw some dead bulb foliage that necessitated an emergency weeding stop. We ran out of time for our debris dump.
The Cove Restaurant
We arrived at our weekly dinner with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) only a few minutes late. Outside, Lacey the golf course mascot loved getting a belly rub.
Sondra’s garden at the restaurant entrance, nicely mulched
I had very much been looking forward to this cider.
Annika was singing.
Sondra making us laugh (Allan’s photo)
Melissa’s elegantly presented dinner
after dinner (Allan’s photo)
Because it was still just light when we left the restaurant at 9:00 o’ clock, we went to the works yard after all and had the satisfaction of getting rid of our debris. (We have our own key, since our hours differ from that of the city crew.)
almost full moon over the works yard
At home, the work board shows that Annuals Planting Time is almost over:
Ginger’s Garden Diaries
from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago
1997 (age 73):
May 19: Robert’s birthday—Omaha Steaks. Drs appt and errands—dentist office, vets for Tabby’s Advantage, Tim’s for Rx and Gordon’s [Nursery]. [Robert was my spouse and co-gardener during those years.]
1998 (age 74):
May 19: I decided to plant some of the petunia seeds concentrating on the basket petunias at about two and I got tired of sitting so I went out and started repotting tomatoes and pepper seedlings. Alan [a neighbor] came over and was real interested and he planted some tomatoes and sieved the seed in the wheelbarrow. He said he would hang my baskets next week.
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