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Sunday, 21 June 2015

at home

Smokey

Smokey

I find it so sweet that Smokey now sits on the chair closest to my new table while I have breakfast; he sat next to the other table when I would dine there.

I could not get going outside today despite big plans. I had so little energy for gardening that I wrote two blog posts instead, feeling a nagging guilt the whole time because the weather was warm and not terribly windy.  I attribute some of the lack of energy to having heard this morning that Long Beach won’t hire an intern to weed the beach approach. I don’t get it as they have to pay someone to do it, right? So it seems like the remaining ten sections are again hanging over my head like the axe of doom. Or…it just won’t get done. Other than that, I suppose we all need a rest sometimes and I had to take one.  Fortunately, it was the longest day of the year and so even though I did not begin to garden till 4:30, I still had time to put in a good four plus hours.

I ate the Pink Poppy Bakery Swedish Traveling Cake, which I'd forgotten about yesterday, for energy.

I ate the Pink Poppy Bakery Swedish Traveling Cake, which I’d forgotten about yesterday, for energy.

Allan had already helped me enormously by setting up a sprinkler to water the front garden.

front garden lilies

front garden lilies

lilies2

pale yellow lilies in bud

pale yellow lilies in bud

Scrophularia variegata (figwort) and a variegated Hellebore

Scrophularia variegata (figwort) and a variegated Hellebore

Lily 'Landini'

Lily ‘Landini’

Lily 'Landini'

Lily ‘Landini’

I had been excited after a rain shower late last week to find the new water bin full…until Allan pointed out it also collected roof water from when we run the oscillating sprinkler.  (Our house is short).

I should have dipped water out before today's sprinkler session.

I should have dipped water out before today’s sprinkler session.

In the back garden, I found two frogs, not Pacific tree frogs but a larger kind (leopard frogs?) hanging out under a piece of driftwood in one of the water boxes.

frogs

frogs2

I could also see some small tadpoles swimming around, the ones Allan had rescued last weekend.  They are elusive and dive down when observed.

Allan had mowed the lawn earlier in the day.  I watered with the four back garden sprinklers, weeded the former Danger Tree bed and added whatever mulch I had around (not enough!), and then I partially trimmed out the sides of the salmonberry tunnel back in the bogsy woods…

before...forgot to take an after.  And the results were just middling because of lack of energy.

before…forgot to take an after. And the results were just middling because of lack of energy.

Japanese iris by the woodpile at the tunnel entrance

Japanese iris by the woodpile at the tunnel entrance

iris2

I had company in the garden.

I had company in the garden.

Allan went to water the Ilwaco Community Building.  I observed that he does not mind going to work for a bit on a day off, whereas to me, having to work even a bit makes it completely not count as a day off.

Allan's photo: flooding the sad horsetail-y soil at the community building.

Allan’s photo: flooding the sad horsetail-y soil at the community building.

Allan's photo: Brodiaea at the community building.

Allan’s photo: Brodiaea at the community building.

When he returned, he built a campfire.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

allanfire

Later in the evening, I got the impulse to completely get rid of that old tricycle piece at the lower right, above; it has slowly disintegrated, and makes it impossible to expand the garden into that area.  It’s gone now.

Near the fire circle:  two beloved plants, Sambucus laciniata from Joy Creek Nursery and Rose 'Radway Sunrise' from Cistus.

Near the fire circle: two beloved plants, Sambucus laciniata from Joy Creek Nursery and Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’ from Cistus.

Walking to and from the house to collect campfire food and drink, I noticed that the vine that Nancy gave me, from Annie’s Annuals, is blooming.  I have completely forgotten its name even though it is a vine I have wanted to grow, so I hope someone can help me ID it.

exciting!

exciting!  Sorry did not get a long shot of the plant.

Paul's Himalayan Musk rose is still blooming over the big west arbour.

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose is still blooming over the big west arbour.

Then, we settled in for our campfire.

view of the Danger Tree bed I had weeded earlier today.  I want to build the bed up higher now that the tree is just a snag.

view of the Danger Tree bed I had weeded earlier today. I want to build the bed up higher now that the tree is just a snag.

to my left: the bed that I expanded recently.  Quite satisfying to see those ladies in waiting planted.

to my left: the bed that I expanded recently. Quite satisfying to see those ladies in waiting planted.

fire

At last, a fire, and no wind.  We had hoped for this last night when Kathleen was available to join us.  It has been a couple of windy weeks waiting for a campfire evening.  Tonight was summer solstice, and even though I knew it was the longest light evening of the year, I totally forgot that we should howl and …recite poetry… and other solstice rituals.  We just quietly sat and toasted sausages and had a hard apple cider with lime each.

fire2

lots of wood waiting for future campfires

lots of wood waiting for future campfires

above: trees with no roaring wind; what a delight

above: trees with no roaring wind; what a delight

Monday, 22 June 2015

My plan was to title this post “A lazy day and a busy one” or something like that, as I had expected to do a lot of weeding and pruning at home on Monday (while waiting for the plumber).  And then….because the next six days will be tremendously busy…I completely skived off and read the brand new book in a series that I love: The Seaside Knitters.  How could I resist?  It had come from the library, and if I did not read it today I would only have time for small bits of reading later in the week.  That is no way to read a mystery.

ahhhhh.....

ahhhhh…..

Mary immediately saw that it was going to be a good day for her, as well.

Mary immediately saw that it was going to be a good day for her, as well.

She made a good book rest.

She made a good book rest.

I love this series so much that I wrote a special blog post about it, and when I have time I have some new descriptive details about the fictional town of Sea Harbor to add to that post.  Despite an unusual number of murders, the town is idyllic, and even more so is the friendship among the women who comprise the core characters.  It is possible to find friends like that, and rare, and they should be treasured.  (I can guarantee that none of them would tolerate mean girl shenanigans any more than they tolerate unsolved murders.)

During that time, the plumber came and Allan dealt with the whole interlude so that I got to just keep reading.  He was being much more productive than me and had painted some posts and an old door for an upcoming project.

Allan's photo: He also scraped and repainted an old door that is one of the deer fence gates.

Allan’s photo: He also scraped and repainted an old door that is one of the deer fence gates.

I did not rush through my book despite my usual feelings of garden guilt, so I was not outside until after five.  (A sunny but not too hot day reading indoors is not as purely pleasurable as a winter day….)  In the following three hours, I managed to accomplish some weeding, some watering (including watering can applications from the full rain barrel), picked some strawberries and blueberries, and tied about twenty more tall bamboo stakes to the fence wherever I thought the deer might be jumping over.

bamboo stakes ready to go

bamboo stakes ready to go

evening light

evening light

reseeded Nigella (love in a mist)

under the rose arbor

deep blue nigella

deep blue nigella (love in a mist) reseeded from last year

looking south over the water boxes

looking south over the water boxes

a pretty annual given to me by Teresa from The Planter Box

a pretty yellow annual given to me by Teresa from The Planter Box

tall bamboo stakes in place

more tall bamboo stakes in place

looking south

looking south

looking southwest

looking southwest

Cosmos 'Antiquity'

Cosmos ‘Antiquity’

This daylily is a keeper.

This daylily is a keeper.

This evening I pulled a lot of bindweed off the backside of this area: East side of bogsy woods.

This evening I pulled a lot of bindweed off the backside of this area: East side of bogsy woods.

Salvia 'Hot Lips' came back from last year.

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ came back from last year.

Cyperus in the water boxes

Cyperus ‘King Tut’ in the water boxes

While I had a couple of productive hours in the garden, Allan went out to water the Ilwaco planters and street trees, so again it was not a true day off for him.  I find that a shame.  I think it bothers me more than it bothers him to see him have to go to work instead of having a real two day weekend.

We finished the day with the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line.  In one scene, June Carter uses the phrase “a hitch in your giddyup”, which is sort of cosmic because I just heard and adopted “hitch in your getalong” last week.

Tomorrow:  the north end jobs come early this week.  I am hoping, oh so fervently hoping, that the Long Beach planters will hold out till Wednesday and will not need watering tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Annuals Planting Time day 12

We had taken all the plants for Casa Pacifica out of the van to water them last night, so this morning began with reloading them and driving to the private garden near Wallicut Farms, our only job east of the Peninsula.   Sometimes I think of this being the one more job we need to resign from to keep our schedule manageable…because it’s off of our usual driving route and parts of the garden are on difficult terrain for me…but I sure do love their dog, my friend Dusty.

Dusty shares my string cheese.

Dusty shares my string cheese.

a soft mouth

a soft mouth

Dusty helping

Dusty helping

dusty3

Most of the time, he walks around quietly right next to me so that my hand rests on the top of his sleek head.

my good friend

I so love my good friend.

The other dogs are more skittish but deigned to have bites of cheese that I threw to them.

Darcy

Darcy

Spook lurking

Spook lurking

I got closer to Spook today than I have ever managed to before.  I have been trying for years to cultivate her affection.  She is perfectly loving with her people but was rescued and does not trust strangers.

Dusty usually hogs the attention when I try to reach out to Spook.

Dusty usually hogs the attention when I try to reach out to Spook.

this close, no telephoto

this close, no telephoto

such a shy girl

such a shy girl

In other critter news, we heard a loud croaking from our trailer and found a frog that had hitched a ride from our house and was hiding in a fold of a tarp.

We left it there, hoping it would ride back home with us.

We left it there, hoping it would ride back home with us.

Oh, right, gardening, the real subject of the blog…

We planted 141 annuals from small pots and 13 6 packs (cosmos ‘Sonata’, lobelia, alyssum) for a total of 219 plants.  Or more, as Dusty may have absconded with a pot or two.  All went into 12 whiskey barrels and some other pots.  Calibrachoa, assorted colours, and Agyranthemum (white, and yellow ‘Butterfly’), lotus vine and diascia.  I am capable of planting pots with cool perennials, grasses, and more “sophisticated” designs, but the materials are not necessarily available here, and besides, my clients like colour all season long and lots of it.

barrels near the house

five barrels near the house parking area

and seven are around the big garage further down the entry drive

and seven are around the big garage further down the entry drive

Someone had cut the dying narcissi foliage down in all the barrels before we came, making our jobs so very much easier and quicker.  That kindness left us with some time for weeding around the garden, as well.

This is how happy I felt when that big batch of annuals was planted.

This is how happy I felt when that big batch of annuals was planted.  Allan noticed the face on the driftwood and put it on display.

the back garden

the back garden

the guardian

the guardian

healthy hostas and heucheras

healthy hostas and heuchera

I delegated all the hilly weeding to Allan and weeded the level areas around the house myself.

I delegated all the hilly weeding to Allan and weeded the level areas around the house myself.

colour coordination with peony, rose, and rhodo

colour coordination with peony, rose, and rhodo

one of the peonies I planted for Leanne, blooming at last.

one of the peonies I planted for Leanne, blooming at last.

Baptisia (false indigo)

Baptisia (false indigo), one of my favourite perennials

Halmioscistus wintonensis

Halmioscistus wintonensis

halmio2

I have added some of my favourites to this garden; I’d add more if I could just get some mulch onto that garden atop the stone wall.  But it is a difficult wheelbarrowing and bucketing job and I’m too old and tired to do it!  I’ll wheelbarrow all day if I need to, but not uphill.

would that someone young and strong would add some nice Soil Energy or Cow Fiber mulch to this garden

would that someone young and strong would add some nice Soil Energy or Cow Fiber mulch to this garden.

a challenging garden to mulch

a challenging garden to mulch

Much to my surprise, we were done in time to go to the Basket Case and get some bags of potting soil for our evening project in Long Beach.

Basket Case greenhouse

Basket Case greenhouse

While at The Basket Case, I realized we had not planted any godetia in Long Beach, and it is a favourite of parks manager Mike K.

awhile later: adding some godetia on the west side of Long Beach city hall

awhile later: adding some godetia on the west side of Long Beach city hall

We put in 12 more white alyssum to fill in along the edges of the Veterans Field garden. As soon as they were in the ground, I was able to declare Annuals Planting Time 2014 officially over.  There will be more to add here and there, but our gardening life will return to the pleasures of maintenance instead of ALL planting ALL the time.

I am very pleased with how nicely the red dianthus have returned from last year.

I am very pleased with how nicely the red dianthus have returned from last year.

Finally, we went out to that last planter on the Sid Snyder beach approach to dig it out.

what a horrible weedy mess

what a horrible weedy mess

after much stressful muddy nasty digging, and three and a half bags of potting soil

after much stressful muddy nasty digging, and adding three and a half bags of potting soil

Argh, the weed roots went all the way down to the gravel fill, so even 3.5 big bags of soil were not enough.  It’s fortunate that I had not thought we’d get this far with our day, as if I had had the plants with me I’d have been even more frustrated.  (They are perennials so do not count as Annuals Planting Time.)

It would have been satisfying to have a celebratory End of Annuals cocktail at The Pickled Fish which loomed high over the area where we were working.  Unfortunately I had a headache and a cocktail would have made it worse.  (Those who know me well would have been able to tell from the first photo in today’s entry that I had a headache; the clue is that I only wear a headband when my head is hurting.  Keeping it wet with cold water really helps.  Like anything I wear these days, it’s not a fashion statement.)

The Pickled Fish, atop the Adrift Hotel

The Pickled Fish, atop the Adrift Hotel…oh well….

We also were streaked with mud from the heavy sticky clay that for reasons unknown was mixed in with the potting soil of the planter we had just finished digging out.  And another thing, I was too tired to make words and if someone I knew happened to be at the restaurant, that might be misunderstood as unfriendliness.

photo

the work board, now with just the kind of jobs I like best.

The day had a happy ending.  Remember the little frog who rode with us to work?  It came back home quite safely and is again back by the water boxes outside my window croaking loudly with its friends and family.

frog on the wheelbarrow

frog on the wheelbarrow, at home

being carried by Allan back to the water

being carried by Allan back to the water

safely back home

safely back home

IMG_1388

Tomorrow begins a three day slam to try to get all the resorts and the town of Long Beach looking spiffing for Memorial Day weekend so that we can take two or three days off….I hope with every fiber of my being.

Now to watch Deadliest Catch and feel rather silly about all my complaining about planting annuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 28 February 2014

The days are supposed to seem shorter as we age.  That seems to only apply to staycation days, while lately workdays have seemed very long.  This has been a good thing when I marvel at how much work we get done in a few hours, but today it was tedious when I hit the wall in late afternoon.

The day started well enough.  Here’s a not good photo of the line of crocuses that meanders through our front garden from west to east.  I don’t have many more days to manage to get the successful photo that I envision!

crocus display, purple, white, yellow and lavender

crocus display, purple, white, yellow and lavender

Our first task: to drive to the Long Beach transfer station and divest ourselves of yesterday’s debris.

Our little trailer was full indeed.

Our little trailer, by the yard waste pile, was full indeed.

blue sky over the metal pile

blue sky over the metal pile

On the way to Andersen’s RV Park to work, we stopped at The Basket Case Nursery for a visit.  Although they are not officially open yet (maybe next week!), we bought some violas for Long Beach and The Anchorage.

violas coming along...

violas coming along…

At Andersen’s, Narcissi were showing colour by Payson Hall (due to the reflected heat from the warm south wall, I suppose, as in the rest of the garden they are still just in bud).  Violas would be so nice here, if only the deer would not eat them.

Payson Hall

Payson Hall

Narcissi and California poppy volunteer seedlings

Narcissi and California poppy volunteer seedlings

Lorna loves the big showy narcissi.

Lorna loves the big showy narcissi.

The weather felt so hot (65 degrees!) that I had to put on a cotton summer shirt and was so glad I had brought it with me.

While I weeded here and there in a scattered manner focusing on where RVing guests were most likely to be on a clamming weekend …by the clam cleaning shed and along the garden on the way to the clam cleaning shed…Allan tackled the corner of the garden shed garden that we had not gotten done last November.

before and after

before and after

He removed some weed infested Siberian Iris and Bergenia that date back to before I took on the Andersen’s job (pre 2007 at least).  I had divided them once or twice along the way but have lately come to the conclusion that they don’t bloom long enough for a tourism-related garden.  I do still have some by the Fifth Street Park pond in Long Beach (and in private gardens).

Andersen’s has a new staff puppy!!   Maisie is 8 weeks old, a Schnauzer-mini-poodle mix, will get to be about 12 lbs, and is a real squirmer so that it was a challenge to get a photo.

maisie

 

I told her (in baby talk of course) that she is going to be my friend and she will see me every week.

In midafternoon, we headed south and stopped at The Anchorage to do a bit of weeding, plant thirteen violas, and rejoice that the staff had cut back the pampas grass.  We are thrilled to not have to do it, and the task provided some extra income for the cleaning crew.

by the entry...chopped!!

by the entry…chopped!!

and on the lawn...chopped!

and on the lawn…chopped!

by the office...yellow ranunculus (celandine)

by the office…yellow ranunculus (celandine)

Next, on to Long Beach, where we cut down an ugly resprouted tree on the big pop out garden and then did a check up on the Bolstadt Beach approach planters.

The deer had chomped the crocuses in this one.

The deer had chomped the crocuses and grape hyacinth in this one.

The very next planter had excellent crocuses.

The very next planter had excellent crocuses.

Of two planters with bright white crocus displays, this one is the memorial planter for Lisa Bonney, a beloved local woman who was killed by her estranged boyfriend out here on the beach approach in front of many witnesses.

plaque on Lisa's memorial planter

plaque on Lisa’s memorial planter

I thought at the time that I’d never be able to work the beach approach gardens again without brooding about her and about domestic violence in general.  I still think of her every time, but the flowers in the planter give comfort to me and I hope to her friends and family.

white

Lisa’s crocuses

The community has organized an annual beach run in her memory.

Moving on down the thirteen garden sections of the long narrow garden, I gazed with resignation and gloom upon the matts of weeds.

beach approach garden

beach approach garden

Soon I know we will have to spend a whole week of days bent over weeding this stretch…and as with every year, I will complain of my misery.

The crocuses are nice, though.  The bulbs along this whole garden have dwindled and I should plant more come fall.

crocus

beach approach crocuses

Four of the downtown planters got violas, including some blue and white ones by Home at the Beach gift shop and some purple and yellow ones in one of the planters we had almost completely cleared of vinca last fall.

a planter that is almost a blank slate...

a planter that is almost a blank slate…across from The Hungry Harbor Grille

Around the time of planting those violas, the afternoon went pear shaped for me.  A car with two friends pulled up next to me and they said hi, and I was so contorted and focused on the job I could barely turn my head to look.  My left big toe had started to hurt, and then my right calf, and then I started checking my watch to see how much more must I endure.  Another hour at least…

I admired the tulip foliage, glaucous....

I admired the tulip foliage, glaucous….

and with a pink stripe

and with a pink stripe

The planters which were redone and planted with crocus several years ago now have excellent displays.

crocuses in abundance

crocuses in abundance

crocus

We worked our way down the last two blocks, weeding, cutting back some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Santolinas that I’d skipped last time we worked through town, cutting back some Rusgosa roses that have maddeningly appeared under a street tree, and so on.  I kept “hitting the wall” but seeing more weeds, leading to much reneging on the statement of “That’s it, we are DONE.”  I was momentarily cheered when Allan showed me an intriguing note he had found in a parking spot.

note

high intrigue

Finally at dusk we gave in and drove home, detouring to look at the boatyard and Howerton Street gardens to see if many narcisis were in bloom yet (not).  At the south end of the boatyard, I saw a very low tide, inspiring a stop to take some photos.

looking south from the end of the boatyard

looking south from the end of the boatyard

mud beach

mud beach

water below the ladders

water below the ladders

Allan boldly went down a steep slope to the slippery rock beach and got some photo angles we’ve never seen before.

Allan’s photos:

 

At high tide these rocks would be covered.

At high tide these rocks would be covered.

Ilwaco Landing, a fish company

Ilwaco Landing, a fish company

south end of boatyard from below

south end of boatyard from below

ladders

rungs

Our drive home via the Howerton Way gardens revealed a few more ornamental grasses that need to be cut back.  However, we have decided to take a couple of days off (I almost wrote weeks, such wishful thinking!).  I have a feeling the knowledge of those grasses still being tall is going to bother me.

I got my shoe off to soothe my (gouty??) toe and then had to go back outside to look at a sunset that suddenly glowed with a lovely pinkness to the south.

at the end of the next door yard

at the end of the next door yard

The spring peepers frog chorus was deafening.  I took a little video with my phone and if you don’t mind going to Facebook, you might be able to watch it here.  When I get to the edge of the ditch that is called the meander line, between the bogsy wood and the port parking lots to our south, the frogs closest to me stop croaking while the ones further away keep at it.  I could see them swimming around in the almost dark puddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love it when we go to Joanne’s memorial garden and the horses come to the fence near where we park expecting a treat.  The pastures are extensive so it’s especially friendly when they trot up from way down the road.

“The treats will be mine, all mine.” (22 July)

After a bit, they get back to their own business.

salt lick

We park by the combination house and barn (house on top, barn underneath) and from there survey the condition of the garden.  This one gets a monthly visit so there’s always much to do.

looking down to the garden

(Above) Straight ahead, the garden-surrounded pond.  Waterfall comes out by the piece of driftwood. To the right, the raspberry patch.  Allan, tired at the end of a full day, returns to the car.  To the left (out of the picture) a stream runs past the gazebo and into the small natural lake.

the pond, 22 July

north end of pond garden, 22 July

It’s odd that deer don’t browse this garden.  The daylilies are never chomped.  There are dogs around most of the time but they are not let loose at night to keep the deer away…

In July of 2009 we visited twice, not just once…We must have been backed up on the weeding!

27 July, the pond

27 July, back of pond garden

27 July, daylilies reflected in the pond

The frogs in the pond and small lake are enormous and I think must be the dreaded bullfrog (invasive in the Pacific Northwest).  The smaller frogs make a high pitched sudden cheep when they jump into the water.  Having one of the big fogs suddenly leap and splash from next to one’s feet can be startling.

This guy keeps watch from a perch next to the water and perhaps referees territory squabbles between the little and big frogs.

sentinal frog

Back when Joanne was alive, she had a sweet old black labrador named Cassie who was expert at catching the smaller pond frogs and carrying them off into the pasture.  We called her “the frog-eatin’ dog” and she might have bothered more little frogs than the bullfrogs do.

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