Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘finger blight’

Yesterday’s post about gardening partners elicited such good comments that I was inspired to remember and add some photos of Bryan helping in the garden. I had forgotten about that. Go back one day and have a look if you were one of the readers who responded to that post. I think you will like them.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Long Beach

Before we began our project, we saw our friend Jan and her nice, soft-to-pet dog out by the beach approach.

Allan’s photo

We set out to weed one section of the Bolstad beach approach and to plant assorted California poppies (me) in the planters out there.  I know I said I had totally given up after the recent disheartening plant theft but….hope springs eternal.

While planting, I found more plant theft holes.

We found a santolina that had grown from cuttings tossed (by me) behind the planter; Allan dug it up and I put it in one planter to replace a big stolen one…for what it is worth.

Allan’s photo

I also dug a couple of starts of the native beach grass with its wide blue blades, where it was growing right by the road. It has mostly been pushed out by European beach grass.  Maybe it will be left alone to grow in the hardest hit planter…

…or maybe not. So much has been stolen that the grass might as well fill up the whole planter.

I got to see our very good friend Mitzu, who was on her way to a beach walk.

I thought that maybe the Lisa Bonney memorial planter (which is just a few feet from where she was killed) had been left untouched by thieves.  Loved ones of hers have planted new plants in it.

Then I looked closer:

one side still complete…
stolen well established sea thrift from the other side

I left about four of the planters unplanted with the poppies in a moment of panic when I thought I had lost my camera.  (It was in the van.) So that task did not get erased from the work list.

The beach approach garden, at the beginning, looking east:

Satellite view:

the long narrow Bolstad garden
Allan’s photo

I remember that moment from late last fall, on the last or almost the last workday, when I stood at this spot and felt an odd surge of enthusiasm for weeding this blocks long garden in the spring.  I wish I could feel it again.

Allan’s photo

While weeding the westernmost section of the approach, I had a brainstorm.  Instead of saying that the approach garden has thirteen sections (counting two end caps as one section), I will divide it further.  Each section has a clear halfway point, and so I am putting 26 sections on the work board.  That way, on a day like today when we have other places to be, at least I get to erase one number.  And my right hand is so arthritic now that combining the beach approach with other, less painfully repetitive tasks, is a good idea.

Allan’s photo, after today’s work

Boreas Inn

I planted a few plants, including a Verbascum ‘Cotswold King’ and ‘Southern Charm’ and a Salvia ‘Amistad’ in the west side gardens, along with more poppy seeds.

Allan’s photo

I have learned from Monty Don and Carol Klein that I should have more success with the sort of seeds that one covers only lightly if I press them down hard.

Allan wheelbarrowed some bucketed mulch to the east entry garden, followed by mulching and then pruning a hardy fuchsia (me) and trimming some ivy (Allan).

what’s left of the five yards of Soil Energy (Allan’s photo)
before
after
entry garden sit spot
Allan’s project, before
after

We would never plant English ivy.  It is considered a noxious weed now but is firmly entrenched in some places.

The work board tonight, with revised beach approach sections.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Monday, 18 March 2019

I woke to wind battering the house, sounding like a winter storm.

I so wanted to stay home with Frosty and Skooter.  Frosty wanted nothing to do with the outdoors.

We resolved to try to finish the center parking lot berm in Long Beach, the one that mostly involves just string trimming.

The Veterans Field flags nearby showed the strong east wind.  The temperature was warm and the east wind, usually icy cold, was just a bit cool.

Allan’s photo

I started work a half hour later than Allan because Jenna (Queen La De Da) was taking some items to her new Mermaid Sandcastle just across the parking lot.

 

After Jenna and I put the world to right, I joined Allan on the job.

Some of the mess of the center berm, with more of the miserable-to-weed crocosmia and rugosa rose combination:

Allan’s photo

The wind blew our wheelbarrow right over.

Allan’s photo

string trimmed and tidied (Allan’s photo)

Despite the wind, I wanted so much to erase santolinas AND berms from the work board that we went out to the Bolstad beach approach to trim the santolinas in the planters.

In the westernmost planter, I found that just in the last couple of weeks, someone had removed one of the large old santolinas, a project that would require standing on the bench or the dune wielding a shovel.

 

the hole

Most of the small plants have already been stolen. Now the big ones are the prey.

As I walked along, I found more large plants had been dug out. Up till now, most of the plants stolen could have been removed with hand tools.

This planter is also off balance with a big santolina removed from one side:

trimmed, for what it is worth (Allan’s photos)

Santolinas that size would not even transplant well and so probably the thief ended up with dead plants.  The plants LIKED it out here in the salty wind and open air.  They wanted to be left to live their quiet lives.

windy and fuming

trimming some ground level santolinas

Of course, the many blocks long ground level garden needs weeding….but not in lousy weather of any sort.

finding another planter with large stolen santolina…or rather, without it

Just every OTHER grape hyacinth dug up and stolen…how thoughtful to leave some.

A sea thrift used to be where that hole is.

This poor fella got replanted.

These planters used to all have a lot more plants. Even most of the little sea thrifts that the Basket Case Greenhouse donated last fall have been taken.

gesturing in outrage with The Toy at more holes.

Don’t even ask why there are so very few narcissi out in these planters; they have been dug and stolen batch by batch over the past few years along Bolstad.  I don’t bother to plant them anymore; it would be a waste of time and money.

Another planter, this one with our name on it from volunteer days, had its big old green santolina missing.

We stopped at city hall because I had an urgent need to kvetch and whinge to the city staff while Allan watered the entry ramp garden that gets no rain (being under wide eaves).

One brilliant staffer had the idea that the planters could just have landscape fabric and river rock put down (by the city crew, as if they have time for that….) around the few existing plants.  I said that would be a good solution.  What plants remain would look scree-garden-y and not so annoyingly off balance.  (A layer of small pea gravel would have to go down first and then the larger river rock, so that the underwear did not show).  I just cannot imagine how the city crew could find the time. And I feel too arthritic to haul bucket after bucket of rock at a work pace.   We are 64 and 66 years old, fer-cryin’-out-loud!!

[update: That idea was rejected because people might throw the rocks. Wildflowers were suggested, but they get stolen, too, and they won’t thrive in summer unless someone has time to water them with the Long Beach water truck.)

Regarding another common couple of suggestions: There is nowhere to put cameras, no one to monitor the footage, and thorny plants like barberries have been stolen as readily as plants without thorns.

I told the nice office staffers that once upon a time, I imagined keeping the Long Beach job till I was doddering along with a walker.  Now, I just think “two more years” (what counts as full retirement age for social security), because the thievery has sapped some of the joy out of the job.  The beach approach planters used to be beautiful, before whatever happened that brought on so much thieving.

From the glory days:

one of the beach planters in 2015

Allan weeding one of the western Bolstadt planters in 2015

3 Aug, beach approach; these planters have to be relatively drought tolerant and very salt wind tolerant.

It makes me sad to compare photos of how good they once looked to how they look today.

A reader of my instagram had a suggestion that had already crossed my mind, that each hole could have a sign that said “This empty space courtesy of a plant thief.”  That wouldn’t look appealing to the tourists.

Now….I will keep my focus on the downtown planters and parks.  I am done with even trying to replant on Bolstad. I have to stop my blood from boiling about this or I won’t make another two years of living, much less working.

We went home early because the wind was unbearable at 35 mph.

A block and a bit away from home, we applied some water from big green jugs (formerly kitty litter containers) to our newly planted bed at the fire station, under a wide eave so not getting much rain.

not much going on yet (Allan’s photo)

Frosty was thrilled to have me home early.

I calmed down by making about fifty santolina cuttings (feeling just like Carol Klein!), potting up some plant sale starts, and writing four blog posts.

Berms and santolinas got erased from the work board. Sweet peas and poppies have appeared as the next round of tasks. The beach approach weeding will have to wait.

Next day I realized I must add Boreas Inn to both sweet peas and poppy lists. Susie hasn’t had sweet peas since we passed the job to someone else two years ago. One of the reasons I took it back. I hope I can have sweet pea success like I used to there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Monday, 4 March 2019

I felt the need to work despite the morning being so chilly that we discussed taking the day off.

The water boxes were frozen…

As were the ponds.

…so frozen that tossed pebbles just sat on the ice.

Cota and Bentley next door enjoyed an icy apple each.

We mulched the rose beds at the J’s garden across the street. The first bed is empty and needs a new rose.

And it needs a trellis to match the one at the other end.

Fortunately, there is a trellis going spare behind the flowering quince on the west fence.

Now we have a tiny future project, to move a trellis (Allan) and find a red or pink climbing rose (me).

The J’s garden front garden has plenty of crocuses.

To further test out the weather, we tidied the Ilwaco planters and street tree pocket gardens. Fortunately, lack of wind made 45 degrees workable. All but two of the tatty old erysimums came out of the planters today. (The two least tatty ones get a reprieve for now.)

Allan’s photo

Tatty (Allan’s photo)

I will wait till the nights are above freezing to add some Sedums. It would be great to have some hens and chickens and even echeverias, but the cooler the plant is, the more likely it will be stolen, so I must stick with something as basic as Autumn Joy that I can replace without expense.

As the day felt a bit balmier, we went on to Long Beach, first to Fifth Street Park to finish a bit of trimming in the northeast quadrant.

Allan trimmed a rudbeckia and a lavender…

…and was asked by the owners of the new barbershop to trim a rhododendron. He referred that to me. It was full of buds so I did the barest of trimming so that it does not dare to actually touch the building. It was enough to make the new business happy and feel welcomed.

You probably can’t even see a difference. Most of the pruning was at the back. People like to be listened to, and they saw me carry off several branches. I’ll try to remember to continue to leave an inch of space between the shrub and the building.

Allan had a look inside the spiffing new barber shop.

In a planter by the park, Allan saw this sorry sight in an ash tray by a planter.

Other than the rhododendron, I further pruned a row of Super Dorothy roses that had looked too thick in Allan’s after photo from last week:

After, today:

We went on to the Bolstad beach approach to check the planters. A plant thief has indeed helped themselves to some of our new sea thrifts. I think it must have happened before someone added primroses to the Lisa Bonney memorial planter, or surely there would be two holes instead of one.

We worked our way all along the beach approach garden, trimming ornamental grasses and pulling crocosmia. The weeding will come later.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I was pleased to find that The Toy made quick work of most of the small stems of rugosa roses along the edge.

A hellebore at city Hall:

Allan’s photo

The planters on the Sud Snyder Drive beach approach got their late winter tidy.

The planter furthest east has become a smoking lounge.

I left the smokers a wee notice.

The next planter to the west is also a smoking lounge, but those smokers have thoughtfully put a bucket by the planter for their cigarette butts.

We had time to tidy up the World Kite Museum garden at four o clock, as the temperature began to fall quickly.

It’s a shame I had not put the beach approach trimming on the work board, as I did not get the pleasure of erasing it. At least I could erase three things, leaving a short list of late winter garden check ups still to do.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

While Allan pruned the Shelburne Hotel wisteria (see yesterday’s post), I did some garden clipping and tidying before helping to load the debris.

Before:

After:

I was happy to see the beginning of the spring bulb display.

With the wisteria debris loaded into the trailer and the trailer parked at home, we joined Our Kathleen for burger night at The Depot Restaurant.

Baked apple cider

Allan’s photo

Apple cobbler

Vanilla bean flan

We had a good long talk and, just as in My Dinner With Andre, we looked around when the kitchen lights went off to realize that we were the only diners left and that the staff was tidying up.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Our small Pond was lightly iced over.

The pond edges are cluttered, like my mind.

I noticed that next door, Nora’s patch of snowdrops is blooming by her garage.

After a dump run with yesterday’s wisteria clippings, I decided that the remaining pile of wisteria at The Shelburne, along with what we would clip today, would not be enough to fill the trailer for a second dump run. In order to save our clients money by combining a load, I resolved to collect some more debris first.

Long Beach

We visited City Works to ask the crew for a pile of Soil Energy mulch and picked up a bucket of gravel for a low edge on the Heron Pond garden.

Allan’s photo

The area we weeded earlier is level with the sidewalk now but needs some river rock (of which there is a bin at City Works) to dress it up.

We could have dumped today’s LB debris at City Works…but It would save time to just include it with the dump load.

We spring cleaned the corner garden at Veterans Field…

….and clipped and weeded the little popouts.

Allan’s photos. The Toy makes quick work of ornamental grass shearing.

I walked over to the main street to check on a planter that I had been told had been recently dug in (plumbing problems). The damage was minor. To my distress, I saw on a different planter that someone had picked every single flower, the crocuses and irises and early narcissi, and shredded them into a pile left on the edge.

WHY?????

I carried the petals back to show Allan. I had resolved to not get so upset about finger blight this year and have already failed in my resolution.

The Depot Restaurant

We trimmed the ornamental grasses on the south and east side of the dining deck. That doesn’t mean we can erase The Depot from the work list, as the north side garden is still untouched.

The Toy, which made short work of the lighter grasses, is not strong enough to go through the giant Miscanthus, whose stems are like bamboo.

The Shelburne Hotel

While Allan finished the wisteria pruning and made the second dump run, I did more general spring clean up of the garden. (I wish I had a before and after of the excellent pruning of an old woody hydrangea that I accomplished there yesterday.)

Anyone who has a lot of sword ferns to clip should buy themselves The Toy. It is available at Clatsop Power in Astoria and is saving us a substantial amount of time.

It also worked wonders on zipping through the epimedium. You can trim epimedium to the ground now so that the new flowers show off. I just thinned it here to avoid a bare effect.

In the garden:

We worked on wisteria clipping and clean up till dusk and then rewarded ourselves with dinner in the pub.

Brian O’Conner performs there most Thursdays. His deep and resonant voice makes any song emotionally moving. I resolved to try to dine there most Thursdays this year. That may be a resolution I can keep.

He plays in the parlor, which is adjacent to the pub and also has pub dining.

View from our favourite table

Hummus appetizer

My favourite, chopped salad with Mary’s fried chicken

The work board this morning

And the work board tonight

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

How I love an all Ilwaco day.

We started at the volunteer garden that Allan did not have time to water yesterday evening:

Ilwaco Fire Station

Out of all the ammi majus seeds I planted, I got these.

the ornamental corn, all two of them

Mike’s garden

after we watered

We finally pruned all the dead branches off the conifer in the front…

It is part of a matched set; the other one is also very slowly dying back.

I would like to see them both gone, but neither Allan’s wonky ankle or my wonky knee inspire us to try to dig them out.  I’m hoping Mike will find a strong person to do this.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We weeded thoroughly all along from the north end to the gate.  South of the gate does not get as much horsetail.

(I did not download photos for a week, so it took me that long to realize I had a spot on my lens.)

my usual audience

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Chickadee, Doreen, Stipa gigantea

a boat on its way to the water

Allan’s audience

Port of Ilwaco

We accomplished our long weekly watering of almost all the curbside gardens.  (We skip just one that is just escallonias, landscape fabric that shows, and a thin coat of bark mulch.)

In my favourite bed by the Ilwaco pavilion, the three plants vandalized earlier this year are trying to heal themselves but are still bringing down the tone.

Santolina had the best chance of healing itself.

One lavender is trying….

…and the other one is not succeeding much at all in getting better.

Eryngium and achillea (Allan’s photo)

by the port office

lavender abuzz with bees

weeding while watering

On one of my recent days off for Lily Time, a young woman and man came walking by the front garden and the woman called out, “I love your lilies!”  Quite out of character for a recluse, I brought the two of them into the back garden to see the really tall lilies.  Today, the woman (who works at the port) brought me her new puppy to hold.  (At least, I hope it was her, because of my face blindness.)

Annabelle, 8 weeks old, best moment of my day

I admired the Salt Hotel courtyard.

Then I went home because it was the night of the dreaded monthly billing.  I had two big clients and some small ones that I had not even billed for June yet.  It was difficult and took four hours.  Allan went on to water the east end garden bed (the hardest one) and, as always, to make our dinner.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Monday, 23 July 2018

Long Beach

We watered, deadheaded, and otherwise tidied the street trees gardens and planters. The wind was annoying but not terribly cold…yet.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tigridia

Variegated bulbous oat grass, which to some looks like a weed.

But look! It’s variegated! (At least unless it reverts to green blades and then out it goes.)

Allan’s photo: Funny hats are a common sight in Long Beach.

new lilies in Fifth Street Park

For those familiar with Long Beach, you will know where I mean when I say the two garden beds just south of Funland are not ours to care for.  Funland just mulched them with these pine needles; both Allan and I found that interesting when we walked by it at different times.

my photo

Allan’s photo

Allan got done before me and pulled horsetail from the corner bed at Veterans Field, where he found a sign of the Friday Farmers Market:

among the Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ (Allan’s photo)

I recently read that Brodiaea likes dry conditions and so am going to try it out at the port curbside gardens.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the Vet Field flag pavilion

I wonder if after we finally retire from LB someday, will someone put in a more traditional red, white and blue garden?

I took photos of 17 of the 18 street tree gardens and am going to publish a reference post (just once, not every month) tomorrow morning. (There is a long, non-bloggable story of why just 17.)

Shelburne Hotel

We watered, including Allan checking on the upstairs balcony and deck pots.

room 4 deck

The rose that got moved to the room 4 deck is going to flower. I hope it is a good one and not some old root stock.  It is happy here.

I love working at the Shelburne.  The garden makes me happy.  Today was an intense session of thinning and editing, including pulling a sheaf of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ had appeared to have gladiolus rust and needed to depart the garden post haste, bagged.  There is way too much Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ spread all around anyway, although I did not feel as much that way when it was in full bloom.

Along the railing (right) is where I pulled suspect crocosmia.

I debated in early spring about whether to prune or remove that ‘Helmond Pillar’ Barberry. Glad I pruned the pitiful branches and let it revive itself.

The garden got some breathing room by the pulling of running aster, mostly.

I keep cutting back the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ so it won’t block the pub sign from the street view.

Ilwaco

When we left the sheltered Shelburne garden, we realized that a strong cold wind of at least 20 mph had kicked up.  It was blasting fiercely along the boatyard garden, where I had to water.  I felt tremendously sorry for myself, wearing a winter scarf in late July and so very cold.

not enjoyable at all

my audience

I wondered if the birds were cold, too.

The larger boats gave me some temporary shelter from the cold north wind.

I had no will to weed in the icy gale.

horrible horsetail

After watering and deadheading a few sweet peas, I just walked by the garden and on home.

Someone had picked more blue globe thistle right under one of the signs…

“Please leave flowers for everyone to enjoy.”

…and had pulled some out by the roots and just left it there.

Perhaps a passerby interrupted the thievery or perhaps the thief decided the stem was too stickery.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ is looking brown instead of silver.

too much wind? not enough water?

?? why?

santolina with pesky self sown orange montbretia

I’d like to pull swathes of floppy California poppies, but not today.

My walk home:

mystery paths in the field across the street

First Avenue

Behind the museum is the Discovery Garden, which is now maintained by the Pacific County Master Gardeners.

Interpretive sign from the original park installation.

This was formerly a recirculating stream.

formerly upper pool of little stream

Our friend Bill Clearman helped to construct this memorial wall.  I feel that these big planters distract from viewing its beauty.

This was the unobstructed wall years ago.

The tiles are by Renee O’Connor.

As for the plans that the MGs have for this garden, you can read about their project here.  I am not a Master Gardener so am not involved in this volunteer project.  I admit to a prejudice against “native plant gardens”. It is a rare artificially created native landscape that doesn’t look just scruffy, in my opinion.  It can be done, by the brilliant Leslie Buck, for one.

I hoped to see some of the feral cat colony (featuring many orange cats with quizzical faces) further down the block.  They were all sheltered somewhere out of the wind.

On Main Street (which is not very “main”, being only two and a half blocks long).

Meanwhile, Allan had watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters with the water trailer, also not enjoyable I am sure (but at least it is a little bit in and out of the van and thus with breaks from the wind).

for those interested in the mechanics of watering the Ilwaco planters

We did not plant gladiolas in any of the planters.  Someone persists in planting them in the planters, and someone (else, I am sure) persists in picking them pretty much every year when they are at their best.

finger blight

I told Allan later to just pull out the foliage and corm when that happens.

I texted him when I got home; he had just started hose watering our volunteer gardens at the fire station and the post office.  A nine hour day for me and longer for him.

 

Read Full Post »

 Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Looking out my window (over the storage/water trailer/garbage area), I saw that the driveway was wet, oh joy!  Such a relief to know the gardens got some water.

Ilwaco Fire Station

I planted some assorted sunflower seeds at the fire station.

Ilwaco Post Office

I wanted to quickly plant 12 cosmos in our volunteer garden at the post office.  Quickly was not the word because of how weedy it had gotten.

It took an hour to make space and get the plants in.

While we were gardening there, someone from the port office came to get mail and told us that yesterday evening, she had seen a man and a boy picking an armload of flowers from the boatyard garden.  When she asked him not to, he was argumentative and said “No one is going to take care of them and I’m keeping them from dying.”  (“No one is going to take care of them”!!!!!!) She and I had a good conversation that I fervently hope will result, and soon, with some official “Do not pick” signage from the port.  Our polite little “Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy” signs are not working.

I thought of a few more things to say so I went to the port office while Allan planted cosmos in the office garden (south side).  The baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse had been hung.

Couldn’t get a long shot because the port truck was there.

curbside gardens on the south side of the port office

I did not want to look at the boatyard so we went on to add more to the planters in

Long Beach.

I am tired of planting.

I asked Allan to make room for a blue felicia daisy by the blue painted Benson’s restaurant.

before

after

The golden variegated vinca in that planter is beautiful but much too aggressive for my taste.

Allan was entertained while planting by motorcycle tourists.

taking pictures of their bikes

They asked a Long Beach crew member to take their photo with the frying pan.

The south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park:

Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Later, Allan photographed a hole where a trailing plant had gotten stolen.

I am upset. And tired of this.

We added a few cosmos to the west side of city hall.

Shelburne Hotel and Pub

Today was Melissa’s birthday.  Allan and I worked on the Shelburne garden for 45 minutes until the birthday dinner at the pub began.

the back edible and shady totem pole garden

front garden looking north

and south

In the pub:

avocado toast

chopped salad

pub burger

cranberry curd tart

Melissa declared her chocolate pot du creme the best ever.

Allan took an amusing group photo.

We stayed till well past closing time (with permission from bartender Juan).

On the way to our van, after Dave and Mel had left, we went into the back garden to see if the tiny daisy flowers of the Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) were scenting the courtyard.  They were, intoxicatingly.

the lawn by night (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, pub deck

At home, I was able to make the work list shorter by erasing Long Beach parks and planters.

*Annuals Planting Time AKA Annuals Planting Hell

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »