Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fennel’

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Allan mowed the lawn, even though the weather was so very cold (hovering around 39F).

Allan’s photo

After a weekend of cold, rainy and windy weather, with my head stuck into my old book lists, we emerged to have dinner  with Lorna, good friend and former client when she used to own Andersen’s RV Park.  What a great client she was, the biggest spender on wonderful plants that we ever had the pleasure to work for.  She treated us to dinner at The Depot Restaurant.

delicious salads and artichoke fritos appetizer.

Southern comfort pork for Lorna (also Our Kathleen’s favourite!)

Steak Killian for me

Parmesan chicken for Allan

blackberry cheesecake all ’round

We had excellent conversation, reminiscing about gardening days and catching up on all the latest news from here and from her new home in Seattle.  Because she is going to visit Norway this summer (and we hope to get guest photos), she recommended this blog post by Martha Stewart, all about the seed vault there.  We are honored that Lorna reads Martha’s blog, the Tootlepedal blog, and our blog.

Monday, 19 February 2018

I thought for sure we were going to have another day off.  I caught up on some lost sleep (chronic insomnia) and when I woke, the day was sunny and not quite in the thirties.  I’d been obsessing mentally about the Shelburne garden and so I suggested to Allan that we go to work.  I remembered, from the ten years or so that we cared for the garden in the past, that it is a sheltered place to work, out of any wind, and warmed by the sun.

The Shelburne Hotel

The hotel is bustling with workers as it is closed till early spring for refurbishing.

Our responsibility for now is to bring back the front garden to be an enchanting cottage style garden.  One feature of a true old fashioned cottage garden of days of old in England was passalong plants. My goal is something a bit more sophisticated, because passalong (free) plants are usually the most invasive ones.  Indeed, the garden today was particularly full of fennel, which is now on the noxious weed list, and is quite a bear to dig up because of its long taproot.  It is a class B noxious weed because “Common fennel escapes cultivation and quickly establishes dense infestations that crowd out native plants that are critical to wildlife habitats. Infestations are becoming more common in Western Washington and may pose a threat to native grasslands.”  While it should be fine to grow some in the herb and edible flower border that will eventually be part of the Shelburne’s courtyard garden, I don’t want it all over the front garden setting a bad example by inspiring folks to want to grow it because it is a beautiful plant.  It will also reseed so much that it pushes out variety, and of course, we need room for cosmos and lilies.

Allan’s photo

lemon balm, fennel, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and what I am 99% sure is the invasive yellow flag iris.

In case that is yellow flag iris, and because we don’t want to set a bad example by making people want to grow it, and because it is all along the front sidewalk garden and we want more variety, we got rid of two big clumps of it that were going to throw the entryway off balance anyway.  I’ll see what the remaining clumps turn out to be.

in close up

after

Ed and Jackson Strange (Strange Landscaping) stopped by briefly to see what we were up to.

Jackson Strange (Allan’s photo)

before, looking north from the hotel entrance

Four and a half hours later. (Eventually, the grassy sides of the paver walkway will be weeded.)

Before: looking south

Allan’s photo

four hours later (Allan’s photo)

To the right, above, you can see a wealth of crocosmia…rather too much.

Before: Looking southwest from the sidewalk

4.5 hours later!

We removed mint and lemon balm from the garden, and put a goodly amount in a couple of pots for the restaurant to use as garnish if they so desire, and planted the rest in an obscure corner of the back garden where it can be useful without running into good plants.  We started to eliminate the pesky orange montbretia, and edited way too many plain fuchsia magellanica that were crowding through the front garden (too much is too much even though it is a plant I love). They got relegated to a shady spot in the back garden.  An aggressively running aster is all through the beds and will be an ongoing challenge.

I want balance, and was pleased to move a little rose to balance another rose, so that now each side of the entry has a rose, as it once was and should again be.

Allan took out this euphorbia and this euonymus which were making the front sidewalk entry unbalanced, as they were only on one side.

before

after

There are lots of the euphorbias in the garden now, so one won’t be missed, and the euonymus got moved down to the north end of the garden.  The euphorbia went into our trailer, not worth saving as it was not a handsome specimen.  Some time later, a passerby did some “diving” into the trailer and asked if she could have it.  She was so happy when we said yes, and the euphorbia will have a new home.  (We warned her that some people have a bad reaction to the milky sap of a clipped stem.)

I found some surprising changes.  Where there used to be two hydrangeas, one at each end of the pub dining deck, now there is one hydrangea to the west, and this tropical accent to the east.  I have to ask Danger Garden what it is. (The answer: Cordyline australis.)  I remember now that the hydrangea that used to be there was slowly rotting out at the center.

a little bit silly in this spot?

I was thrilled to find some of “my” cool old plants had survived, like some epimedium and some pulmonaria.

Our goal is to bring the garden back to looking more like this, in photos from 2007:

summer garden at the Shelburne with lilies and Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’

Cerinthe major purpurascens, one of my favourite annuals

in 2007

You can perhaps see why this job has me so excited that I added it on, despite our vows to cut back on work.

Here was the dining deck by the pub in 2008, with some containers we planted.  We look forward to lunches there this summer:

This past weekend, we watched a delightful British gardening movie, This Beautiful Fantastic.

I like the second poster best.

Because we both have face blindness, we did not recognize Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey.

I thought about the film at the Shelburne because one scene featured an older gardener giving a tour of his own garden and saying how poisonous monkshood is.

I was thinking of that as I removed a dozen monkshoods from the front edge of the Shelburne garden. It’s too likely someone would pick them for a bouquet. I don’t allow them in resort or public gardens even though I do love them in mine.

I am eager to get back to the job; one more day of weeding and clipping, and we will be ready for mulch for the front garden.  However, when we stopped work today it was a finger numbing 39F, and tomorrow we might even get snow, and then a whole bunch of rain.  I will be impatient to return to this project.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

I woke very late, thinking I hoped it was early so I could sleep some more. Pouring rain mixed with wet snow will keep me from the Shelburne today and maybe for most of the week. My first thoughts were about plants for the Shelburne. It’s sentimental to me. Robert and I went to the pub there several times on vacations here and it’s one of the places that helped lure me to move to the peninsula.

Here’s a guest photo of the dunes in Surfside this morning.  If Ilwaco got snow like this, we missed it while asleep.  The light on the horizon is from a crabbing boat.

photo by Nancy Gorshe, co owner of the Depot Restaurant

I’ve been working on my old reading posts, which are publishing retroactively to Feb. 15th.

Read Full Post »