Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘gardens’

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The weather seemed disturbingly warm as we went to work.

First, we did a couple of volunteer projects, planting a few perennials and some seeds at the fire station, and one agastache at the post office, where we happened to learn that a crew was about to power wash and paint the building.  Oddly, it seemed they did not have a hose and so they borrowed ours, and our special wrench that turns on the water.  We plunged in and moved all the rocks away from the bottom of the wall at the back of the garden.  They had been placed there by us years ago, when we dug up the lawn to make the garden and found that we had revealed an unpainted strip.  It will be good to have that strip painted and to have a path for  walking to the faucet without the rocks in the way.

Of course, I fretted about potential damage to the lilies that grow near the back.  The postmistress said she would put boxes over them.  It was not till later in the day that I realized what she meant.  We encountered Mayor Gary there and he told us we could take out the old and defunct irrigation hoses in the fire station garden.

A few blocks east, at Mike’s garden, we realized it had become painfully hot.  We weeded and fertilized and got a few agastaches and eryngiums in the ground to try to make this odd little afterthought of an area look better:

sad little narrow side garden, part sun, part shade

white narcissi

We are still fretting about one conifer dying.

It is a goner, so they both have to go.

the front garden

Suddenly I could not take the heat anymore, so without finishing the weeding of the gravel path, we went home.  I learned that it was 81 degrees, and a friend got a reading of 87 out on the Bolstad beach approach.

Skooter was snoozing on the bed.

not so little cat feet

Frosty played with his Kitty Karrot, a catnip toy made by a blog reader which has entertained the cats for well over a year.

We stayed indoors from two till six PM waiting for the temperature to drop.  I was glad to rest and finish reading A Breath from Elsewhere by Mirabel Osler,  as I am feeling puny with sniffles and sneezes and just a bit of a cough.  Not leaving my comfy chair, I made a blog post for the next morning and then accidentally published it.  I blame an overheated brain. It was still 79F at 5:30.

With two hours of daylight left, I dug up about fifteen starts of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, admiring some tulips on the way into the back garden.

Tulip ‘Cool Crystal’

Narcissus with a tiny green cup, and Tulip ‘China Town’

We quested fruitlessly for our faucet wrench back at the post office.  We did find the sort of boxes that the postmistress used to protect the lilies:

Allan’s photos

She is wonderful.  The priority mail boxes made me laugh.  They were boxes that customers had opened up the wrong way.

At the fire station, Allan removed the old hoses from the corner garden while I planted the sedums along the west side.

No before photo was taken of the corner garden hoses.  I have this one from earlier.

And tonight:

On the south side of the port office, we planted Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’ and ‘Sangria’ and some santolinas where Allan had dug out old, woody lavenders.

looking west

looking west

looking east

At home, the work board had gotten a tiny bit shorter:

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 22 April 2018

When I first tried to continue with my weeding of the front garden, an attack of sneezing sent me rushing indoors for allergy medicine.  The local weather report explained that I was probably not alone.

I am skeptical about the sources listed; I think pine pollen carried by the cold strong wind (again!) was the culprit.

I would rather have worked in the less windy part of the garden, but I could no longer stand the idea of sidewalk passersby being able to see so many weeds.  So after reading A Breath from Elsewhere for a half hour till the medicine took hold, I returned to the front garden, where the wind was literally whistling overhead.

before

I forgot the after from the above angle.  Will get one tomorrow.

Next day. I will be repainting the bamboo poles!

before

after

before

My after is all blurry; I will try again tomorrow.

Next day

I have decided to take one more day off to weed at least a couple more areas that are so terrible.  Fortunately, they will be in the back garden where the soil is looser and more pleasant to work in.  And I must fertilize all my roses.

Flashback:

The front garden was created by digging up all the sod (because I wanted to plant bulbs straight away), and the soil is still tighter and more difficult than in the back garden, which was made by the newspaper method.

front garden, 8 November 2010

14 November 2010, showing part of a pile of soil energy.

That sod digging was absolutely exhausting!

16 November 2010

Newspaper method in the back garden:

22 December 2010

December 2010, garden beds slowly expanded as I got more newspaper and soil down.

5 January 2011.

Eventually, I cut the old rhododendron down (right) because it blocked my window view of the Cape Disappointment bluff and of the port office weather warning flag.

This method of newspaper, soil energy mulch, cow manure, and homemade compost made the most luscious and easy to weed beds.

From yesterday, a repeat photo showing how they look now:

You can the whole sequence of initially creating the garden starting here.

Back to the present: Due to the cold wind, I suppose, Skooter had had no interest in joining me outdoors today.

In the afternoon, Allan went to work on his own, “just” to dig two woody old lavenders from the Port Office garden.  It was a more difficult job that either of us had expected.  I felt bad at having delegated, and yet I don’t think I would have been much help.  It was a job for one strong person.

Port of Ilwaco

the garden boat at Time Enough Books

Port Office, south side, before

a tough, rooty job

bleached out bulb foliage fro being hidden in the lavender

before, other end

after

just across the lawn

south side, port office, after

I think I might plant Agastaches instead of lavenders, for no reason other than my great love for Agastaches (and because a couple of lavenders remain in the middle of the bed).  The reason the lavender sprawls so much is that in the summer, hanging baskets give an increasing amount of shade.

a surprisingly large load of debris

I had forgotten how huge those lavenders had become.

In the evening, we watched this film, based on a great book by the author of Ethel and Ernest, which we had purchased because we could not find it otherwise. (I think it might be available for online viewing. I like to watch films on a nice old fashioned DVD, from the comfy chair.)

Per IMDB:

“A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.”

And then, as happens sometimes, i suddenly came down with all the symptoms of having caught Allan’s cold.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 19 April 2018

I was surprised in the morning when Allan woke me up by saying breakfast was ready and that he wanted to go to work.  As (I think it was) Mark Twain said, the proof that worrying works is that most of what we worry about it does not happen.

Skooter having a drink on the plant table (Allan’s photo)

I picked a bouquet for the Shelburne.

Allan dug some borage and red mustard starts for the Shelburne.

removing a deadhead at the Ilwaco Post Office.

The post office garden is looking drab.  Mulch would cheer it up but there is a limit to how much mulch I can provide from my own budget.  Soon the plants will cover the grey looking soil.

I told Allan we could have a light day with just some fertilizing, planting, and deadheading. (The usual story!)

Our first stop was at

The Planter Box 

to buy some Dr. Earth fertilizer.

Allan’s photo

at the Planter Box

With our bags of Dr. Earth loaded up, we headed south again to

Long Beach

and gathered up the very last of the pile of Soil Energy mulch.

all gone, need more

We weeded and deadheaded at city hall and added the mulch to the wide part of the west side garden, where it had been looking beaten down and sad.

much better

even better with horses

Horses make the landscape more beautiful. –Alice Walker

Allan’s photo

We weeded the narrow beds along the side; we did not plant the top tier and would not have chosen so much Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, because it has a short season of bloom.  I’ve mixed some elephant garlic in along the top because the office staff loves it so.  Last year, the flowers got stolen as soon as they opened; I hope that with MUCH elephant garlic, some will be left.

We checked on Veterans Field again, the main site of this weekend’s Razor Clam Festival, and I remembered that I had wanted to plant some chives in the corner garden.  I happened to have a bucket of chives with me and realized the red mustard would look good there, too, evoking the Farmers Market that takes place there on summer Friday afternoons.

species tulips and nigella (love in a mist)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I have realized that the red monarda is spreading like mad throughout this garden, even though I had thinned it earlier.

monarda all over the place; will have to thin it some more.

We went after more of the scrimmy little horsetail and too much hesperantha (schizostylis) in Fifth Street Park and added Dr Earth to this area.

looking much better

Instead of putting the Dr Earth bag behind Allan’s van seat, I put it behind mine so I could access it better when parked in traffic.

camassia just colouring up (Allan’s photo)

I stopped a sweet dog named Bananie from running into the garden to snuffle the fertilizer.

Good Bananie. (His person was nearby.) (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We saw a U Haul with interesting artwork.

We like garter snakes. They eat slugs.

On the way back to city works to dump our debris, we remembered to deadhead the little garden at Culbertson Field.

We also remembered to deadhead by First Place Mall….

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ (I still forgot to check it for scent and for silver edges to the foliage.)

Tulip ‘Silverstream’…I can see the variegated foliage in this photo by Allan!

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ (Allan’s photo)

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ (Allan’s photo)

…and, thanks to Allan, we remembered to deadhead the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach and to deadhead and fertilize the World Kite Museum garden. Manager Patty was just bringing in the display banners.

Our “short” day had now reached 5 PM and we still had the Shelburne garden to do.  I was so glad we had spent more time in Long Beach to make it look better for Clam Festival.

Shelburne Hotel

I got the fertilizer bag out from behind Allan’s seat and fertilized the front garden.  Then I realized I had been using evergreen and azalea fertilizer.  I got the fertilizer bag (all purpose) from behind my seat and added more.  When I do fertilize, I tend to under-fertilize, so it will all work out.

Mustard and borage went into the west garden:

I added nasturtium seeds (in the front garden, too) because the chefs need many for garnish flowers.  Orchid Cream, Caribbean Cocktail, Vesuvius, Tip Top Mahogany, Alaska, Variegated Queen, Dwarf Cherry Rose.

Also some Calendula ‘Frost Princess, ‘Pink Surprise’ and ‘Kinglet Mix’ and some Bright Lights and Celebration swiss chard for some stem color.

By the pub deck and here and there where it might find a space to grow in the back garden, I planted more night scented stock seeds.

We decided to dine at the pub, as the workday had gone on until 6:45, longer than planned, and moved the van and work trailer a block north so as to not take up two parking places.  (Allan took into the pub with him a couple of disinfected wipes to spare the staff from any cold germs on his dishes.)

My bouquet still looked good (especially after I arranged it a little better than this:

Allan’s photo

looking south from the north end of the garden

from the sidewalk

From the front entry, looking south:

looking north

In the Shelburne living room, singer Bryan O’Connor was performing.

He is the spouse of Renee, the creator the tile work in Long Beach that you saw earlier in this post (the sidewalk tile and the obelisk).

I had a most tasty salmon special on black rice, and a cranberry cosmo (with Starvation Ally Cranberry Juice).

and delicious cranberry curd tart

Allan had the black garlic fried rice.  I reminded myself with one bite how tasty it is.  I could eat a casserole dish of it.

and “beeramisu” for dessert.

A local couple who were in the living room (lobby) listening to the concert bought us our dinner!  As we drove away they were just emerging, and I thanked them again. “For all you do!” she called out!

At home: I have whittled down the work board more than I expected this week, and Allan seemed none the worse for wear after a long day.

A most wonderful thing happened: I got an email from the woman who is the little girl pictured in my blog post about visiting the Isle of Skye in 1975, telling me what life was like there, then.  She is not, as I always wondered, related to Donovan, but she did know him when she was a child!

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

I got very little sleep because of worrying that we were both going to get sick.  With the clam festival coming up, we had much to do in Long Beach town.  There is no back up plan if we can’t do it; all of our other working gardener friends are even busier than we are.

Little dramas loom large when one is self employed.

Allan felt poorly in the morning with sniffles and a cough, and yet with the good weather, we did go to work.  It is maddening; we were so good about disinfecting our hands every time we went somewhere public, and yet…the germs got him.

If only we could have followed Skooter’s example:

Skooter

(Skooter has a chin condition, a problem common with orange cats, says the vet.  My orange cat of years ago, Valene, had the same thing.)

On the way, we dropped off a book at the library (housed in the Ilwaco Community Building).

at the Ilwaco Community Building

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ at the community building

The community building garden needs a bit of weeding…(not shown in the photos above).

In case I end up having to go to work on the bus later this week, we went to the two least-accessible-by-bus jobs first.

The Red Barn

Because I am thinking of using a different plant for the centerpiece of the Ilwaco planters, Allan pointed out how good the Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ looks at the Red Barn.  They get less wind here.

My very good friend Rosie was at the barn.

Diane’s garden

My very good old friend Misty greeted us next door at Diane’s garden.

snoozing

till the camera clicked

The septic box bulb display pleased me; we had missed some of it, of course.  After deadheading:

Muscari ‘Bling Bling’

Muscari paradoxum

I was pleased to find sweet peas just emerging along the picket fence.

The corner driveway garden needs mulching; soon, I hope. I asked Allan to take this photo, and did not get what I wanted, which is the fact that the Stipa gigantea grass is already showing flower spikes.  Oops, I should have specified.

Long Beach

Long Beach had been on the schedule for all day this coming Thursday, to get the parks and planters perfect for the Razor Clam Festival.  I was fretting about what would happen if we both got sick and could not work then.  So we did a lot of it today, which led to more fretting on my part that I was going to make Allan sicker by having him work.  I brooded about how I recently delayed one day taking Calvin to the vet, prioritizing work instead because he seemed not especially sick, and then…we know how that turned out.

We went down the six downtown blocks of street trees and planters, deadheading.  I felt reassured each time I saw Allan taking a photo, figuring it must mean he did not feel too terrible.  (He said, “It’s easier than working!”)

Allan’s planter and tree garden photos:

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ and Tulip ‘Silverstream’ and Tulip sylvestris

Geum ‘Mango Lassi’ and muscari

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in street tree garden (with tulip)

Tulip ‘China Town’ and Fritillaria meleagris

Tulip ‘Princess Irene’

AKA ‘Prinses Irene’

Tulip ‘Silverstream’

Van Engelen catalog says: A magical sport of Jewel of Spring, fragrant Silverstream ranges from creamy-yellow to deep yellow with red feathering, to red with every combination in between. But the surprise garden party doesn’t stop there: it has showy, attractive foliage with silver-white margins. (Did you know that the phenomena of marginated foliage occurs due to a lack of or insufficient pigmentation and chlorophyll in the plant cells on the outer petal edges?)

I did not think to smell the tulips nor did I notice white margins on the foliage.

street tree garden

Tulips ‘Green Wave’ and ‘Formosa’

Tulip ‘Formosa’

lower left: a tulip ‘Sensual Touch’ that went mushy with rain

My planter and tree garden photos:

Tulips that had been broken, and not by the wind.

Tulip ‘Silverstream’

As you can tell by now, I planted a big run of Silverstream through town.  I think they are too tall to choose again.  And the color variation is nice but it does not thrill me.

one of the viridiflora (green) tulips…too tired to look it up

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’ in one of the windiest planters. Short and strong.

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’…would that all tulips were this tough

more Silverstream

Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’ and Tulip acuminata

Tulips ‘Sensual Touch’ and ‘Black Hero’

Tulips ‘Green Star’, sylvestris, acuminata

Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’

Tulips ‘Prinses Irene’, ‘Sensual Touch’, ‘Black Hero’

We also weeded in Fifth Street Park because…Razor Clam Festival!  Fifth Street Park needs so much more attention, and I hope we can do more later this week.  So much horsetail, so much wild garlic.  (No photos there.)

We went on to Veterans Field, which will be the central place for the clam festival.  It is not ideal to deadhead and weed four days before the festival, but needs must.

Veterans Field flag pavilion garden

The last time we were in Long Beach, Allan asked where the blue was in that arc garden.  I said the grape hyacinth along the edge.  Well, now look at what a string trimmer did:

Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’ as was

And right before the festival, when we were trying to make it perfect despite feeling poorly.  I wanted to lie down on the lawn and blub, but it would be too hard to get back up again.  Some white narcissi were also casualties along the edge.  Then I thought…Ok, maybe this is a sign that I do not have to struggle so hard and fret so darn much about making it perfect.  Maybe I can stop worrying about whether we will be able to get back to deadhead on Thursday.

Still….dang blang it!

On the way south, we deadheaded the welcome sign.

And finally, we paused at the

Shelburne Hotel

where I planted 9 more violas and two Agastache ‘Apricot Sunrise’.  I would like to have weeded more, but we had already worked four hours longer than I had originally planned and Allan was not feeling any better.  The question is, was it wiser to work today so that we can take a day off? Or did it make everything worse?  It would have been so bad if we had stayed home today and then both got sick and couldn’t do a thing before the weekend.  It would be even worse if we got even sicker.  Such woes of self employment have plagued me for the last 42 years.

three by the fig tree, the rest in front

If the gardens in Long Beach are not perfect when you attend clam festival, you now know why.  We forgot to stop at First Place Mall on the way south and deadhead the one dead narcissus that I noticed in the planter there.  I will try not to lose sleep over it.

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Instead of me finishing my cutting garden book, we took advantage of a break in the rain to put in a couple of hours at the Shelburne on two things that had been bothering me.

But first, I picked a bouquet to take with us.

window box

and another window box

Muscari botyroides ‘Superstar’

some tulips hoping to open

The rain has been hard on the tulips; it is a challenge to find nice ones to pick that are not rain-spotted.  The peony flowering tulips are in the worst state, of course.  Even the single flowers are battered.  This is one of those years when I resolve to never again grow anything but single tulips.

sad mushy double tulips

the rain gauges (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

flowers on the way

The Shelburne Hotel

My project was to get some ferns removed from the roots of a rose in the front garden, and Allan’s was to prune a climbing rose in the back garden that may not have been pruned for years.  It had much dead whippy growth.

Allan’s photos:

before

before

Pruning canes with leaves does remove some of this year’s flowers.  However, the canes were so all over the place that it had to be done.  I would have had it done sooner but was unclear whether or not this arbor will be preserved.  It is more likely to be so if it does not look like a mess!

after

I am flummoxed by the formerly espaliered Asian pear trees on the west fence.  What to do?

(right) The pear has shot straight up in the past nine years.  The center tree is a limbed up hawthorn.

I got the center Asian pear tree looking a little better after I took this photo; it seems this one was not allowed to shoot straight up.

The third one has also been allowed to grow straight up. Its top growth does provide a screen from a window of a nearby house, so….might be valuable like this.

In the front garden:

looking south

base of the second rose today, where before it was all mucked up with a trashy fern.  It was almost buried in soft fern fronds.  And MINT.

Long Beach

We drove through town, stopping to deadhead under one tree, and then decided that the weather, which had just become miserably wet and windy, required the rest of the deadheading to wait.

Allan’s photos

Basket Case Greenhouse

A rainy day is a good time to check on the latest new plants at local nurseries.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We acquired some violas, at the request of Sous Chef Casey of the Shelburne, who wants them for edible flower garnishes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I cannot resist agastaches.

On the way home, we decided to not plant all the violas in the rain; four went into pots by the front door where they will be handy for garnishing.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Looking out the front window, I noticed that the goldy-bronze Japanese maple, which I planted for eventual privacy, tones well with the cottage across the street.

Allan picked up some books from the library and did some deadheading there:

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

In the early evening, Allan went on a splashabout in the back garden.

I wish that white bucket was not sitting there. Fire water bucket. I keep forgetting to move it.

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

In the evening, we watched the documentary Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul.  It was glorious.  You can watch it right here.

Skooter, lower right

To protect our telly, we had to put Skooter into the laundry room.  The soundtrack of meowing cats had him all in a tizzy. He never gets worked up by the meowing on the show My Cat From Hell.

After the film, I studied the first couple of chapters of this book, a gift from Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, a longtime past job of ours..

I have looked at all the lovely photos before, but this time I am seriously studying it as I am not all that successful at intensive cutting gardens.  I am wanting a small one around the edges of the back garden of the Shelburne Hotel and would like to do better with cutting flowers at home because I am taking bouquets there on a regular basis.

A sweet story of how the author got started:

I don’t often pick bouquets for myself but I do like to make them for other people. I learned useful items already, such as succession seeding for annual flowers up till July 15th.  And planting them extra close together for cutting flowers.

After midnight, I looked to see how much rain had fallen on Saturday: 4.36 inches! And 8.55 since this storm began.

Read Full Post »

Monday, 9 April 2018

Oh, fer-cryin-out-loud!:

in our back garden

The work board as it is now:

Muscari paradoxum at the post office

As we were about to leave Ilwaco, we were flagged down by local antique shop owner and artist Wendi (Wendi’s Attic) who gave me these two kitties “for the two you’ve lost,” she said.

Thank you, Wendi.

The cats are especially perfect because Calvin loved to play with his “pinball” toy.

On Saturday, I had gotten a sympathy card from our beloved vet, Dr. Raela, that helped me to know I made the right choice for Calvin, which is something the vet cannot say while you are trying to make The Decision.

We began work with a brief visit to

The Shelburne Hotel

to scope out the spot where we are planning to put a fig tree.

I took a small bouquet for the hotel; the background is Sid’s grocery store.

I leave the flowers by this sink for the innkeepers to find.

poking around in the front garden

looking north

golden Lamprocampnos

Late last night, I started to re-read The Bad Tempered Gardener by Anne Wareham.  It is so delightful and funny and cantankerous.  She likes ground covers and planted “vareigated ground elder” on purpose.  Meanwhile, I am fretting as it pops up at the Shelburne:

along with other weedy pests

Later, I emailed back and forth with hotel owner Tiffany and arranged that we will be the ones to dig up the west side of the back garden in order to turn it into a herb and flower garden:

next Shelburne project (soon!)

in the mysterious shady corner which we will also fix up soon

Long Beach

We planted two starts of Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ from home into the parking lot “berms”.  It does not matter here that they are infested with the Bad Aster.

The rest of the work day was getting buckets of mulch from  city works and getting a little over halfway through mulching the 18 street trees and weeding and topping up any planters that need care.

Soil Energy mulch

We will just have enough mulch in the pile to finish out this task, so I have asked the city crew for another pile, when they have time.

Deer did not eat the tulips planted by the Coastal Inn:

Tree and planter photos of the day:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Camassia, Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

FINALLY out with a boring fern that has been bugging me for years (Allan’s photo)

somewhat battered

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

wheelbarrow hitch hiker

The planter below is going to be the one for a re-do this spring, as soon as the golden veronica blooms.  It is a once bloomer and has filled up way too much space.  This year I will be smart and hold some plants back for a new look along the curved edge later on.

The temperature was a muggy 65 degrees, a bit too hot for my comfort.

Resident killdeer at city works when we went for our second load of mulch:

Abbracci Coffee Bar tree

Here is a lovely instagram photo from Abbracci.

instagram from Abbracci

I planted 100 of a tulip called Silverstream which comes in various tones of pink to orange, with feathering.

by Hungry Harbor Grille

An employee of the Carnival Gift Shop told Allan he loves this planter (below, a shrubby one left over from volunteer days):

Even though it was hard to stop with an hour and a half of daylight left, we did our civic duty to be informed, by attending the city council meeting.  Two council members were absent on a trip with the high school band.

Allan’s photo

From the corridor of the Ilwaco Community Building:

and from the entryway as we departed

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »