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Posts Tagged ‘Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’’

We care for the curbside gardens along Howerton Avenue in Ilwaco.  Originally, sometime around 2003, the garden beds were installed and planted up with things that proved to be much too tall: pampas grass, New Zealand flax, Arbutus, California wax myrtle.  In 2005, street trees (columnar pears) were planted. We were hired around that time to care for the bed to the north of Time Enough Books, and the job eventually evolved to being hired by the port to care for all of the gardens.  Our mission has been to add drought tolerant plant diversity that can hold up to the wind and to replace tall plants with low ones that allow good traffic sightlines.  The long drought of summer 2015 proved challenging for the gardens.  We especially wish to thank the businesses that let us hook up to their water: Time Enough Books, Bruce and Wendi Peterson and Salt Hotel. There are two places where we can hook up to port water to reach a few of the gardens (at the port office and the Ilwaco pavilion).  We are hoping (or dreaming) for two or three more convenient water hook ups to appear by 2016. Thanks also to CoHo Charters who keep their escallonias nicely trimmed and healthy and to Don Nisbett and Jenna Austin who regularly water the garden near their gallery.

Here are the curbside gardens through the year in 2015.  I decided to present them as a gallery rather than a slide show so that those who wish can see them in more detail.  If you click on the first one to biggify, you will get a nice display with backward and forward arrows.

 

 

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Soon I'll be able to spend the days at home with my feline friends!

Soon I’ll be able to spend the days at home with my feline friends!

Long Beach

My big plan today was to finish all the fall clean up in the Long Beach Parks, beginning with the south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park.

Allan clipping siberian iris

Allan clipping siberian iris

I’m not tidying the bed under the three trees because I am hoping the city crew will dig it out so we can start over (or maybe they will river rock it).  I’m afraid to dig in there because it would take a heavy pick and I don’t want to damage the sprinkler system.

a possible do-over is in the works for this bed

a possible do-over is in the works for this bed

I clipped back the gunnera by the pond to make it easier for the city crew to do the end of season pond cleaning.  After the first hard frost, the rest of the leaves will turn black and I will lay a couple over the crown to protect it for the winter.

before

before

after. two baby gunneras at lower right.

after. two baby gunneras at lower right.

We noticed a banner of poinsettias made of Christmas lights suspended over the intersection.  I said to Allan, wouldn’t that be great for our front arbour?  So I googled it when I got home and found out that it is called a “Skyline” (across the street banner) and that this particular one listed for $3953.00

Never mind!

Never mind!

The Anchorage

I decided it would be great to throw the Anchorage fall clean up into the day’s work since I’d rather work there during the week than on the possibly busy weekend.

Allan cleaned the front of this garden bed. Before...

Allan cleaned the front of this garden bed. Before…

and after

and after

We'll have to return after a hard frost to remove the mushy calla lily leaves.

We’ll have to return after a hard frost to remove the mushy calla lily leaves.

I planted a cyclamen from Our Kathleen, who used to stay at the Anchorage before she bought her cottage.

I planted a cyclamen from Our Kathleen, who used to stay at the Anchorage before she bought her cottage.

This volunteer yucca near the office will simply have to go. Today, it charmed me for some reason.

This volunteer yucca (?) near the office will simply have to go. Today, it charmed me for some reason.  I think it will get too big and pointy.

Rose 'New Dawn' got all its black spotty leaves picked off. Before...

Rose ‘New Dawn’ got all its black spotty leaves picked off. Before…

and after, with poky-outie bits trimmed off.

and after, with poky-outie bits trimmed off.

Melianthus major in the courtyard

Melianthus major in the courtyard might go down in a hard frost.

Other than a post frost check up, we are now done with the Anchorage Cottages garden for 2015.

back to Long Beach

The Long Beach “Holidays at the Beach” extravaganza will be centered around Veterans Field, so that was our next project.

holds

I have a suspicion that the Grandmer Mermaid’s under-the-sea photo booth just might turn out to be created by our friend Queen La De Da!

corner garden in Vet field, after pulling more painted sage and some perennial clipping

corner garden in Vet field, after pulling more painted sage and some perennial clipping

 

flag pavilion garden, before

flag pavilion garden, before

I decided the Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' did have to be clipped as they were simply too whirled around by wind.

I decided the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ did have to be clipped as they were simply too whirled around by wind.  And the blue oat grass came out as it is old and tatty.

Allan's photo: I'm poised to tidy up the lawn, not run a marathon.

Allan’s photo: I’m poised to tidy bits of debris off of the lawn, not to run a marathon.

after. Almost no wind. Flag at half mast for France.

After. Almost no wind. American flag at half mast for France.

I checked up on a block’s worth of planters, forgot to photograph some glowing yellow chrysanthemums still blooming in one of them, and Allan weeded and clipped in the park next to the Kabob House.  No time to eat lunch there today.

We took a load of debris to city works.  An argy-bargy ensued when I thought we could go first to Coulter Park and pull all the crocosmia and put it in the trailer also.  Allan felt that there was so very much crocosmia that the trailer would be overloaded so we dumped the first load.

Next, Coulter Park got a good crocosmia pulling and some weeding.  I also pulled the crocosmia by the Peninsula Arts Association building next to the park because it was such a mess.

PAA building, before

PAA building, before

Long ago, it was the Kite Museum and we had a sweet little garden there.

Historic photo from 2007: Long ago, it was the Kite Museum and we had a sweet little garden there.

As you can see in the present day photo, the garden has now disappeared except for the crocosmia.

today, after pulling crocosmia

today, after pulling crocosmia

Meanwhile, Allan pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ next to the entry ramp for the old train depot building, a job that got much harder to access when the new railings and ramp were installed.

 

going in

going in

Allan's photo, before

Allan’s photos, before

another before view with Dennis Company in the background

another before view with Dennis Company in the background

I cleaned up the little circle garden at the front of the park and checked two blocks worth of planters while Allan cleaned the strip by the ramp.

after

after

after

after

after, admiring his accomplishment

after, admiring his accomplishment

 

The second load of debris did turn out to be quite substantial.

The second load of debris did turn out to be quite substantial.

After our second debris run (accomplished before the gate closes at four, to avoid fussing with the keys), we returned to Coulter to prune one more siberian iris and do a bit more weeding.

the iris in question (Allan's photo)

the iris in question (Allan’s photos)

after

after

This is all done in time for Shoeboxes of Joy to set up their annual volunteer HQ and donation station in the old train depot building.

coming soon

coming soon

Shoeboxes of Joy: “Our goal is to be able to provide a “Shoebox of Joy” to the low income elderly and/or disabled, who may not have family or friends close by. This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to work together and provide a “special gift to those in need”. A “Shoebox of Joy” may be the only gift they receive during the Holiday Season.”

Before dark, we did more clipping in a couple of blocks worth of planters.  Passing Fifth Street Park, we saw that since our work session across the street at noon, the city crew had erected the seasonal lighted sea serpent!

And they did not cut down my ornamental grass to do it. ;-)

And they did not cut down my ornamental grass to do it. 😉

the southernmost planter, and the last cosmos in town about to be pulled

the southernmost planter, and the last cosmos in town about to be pulled

In her office just north of this last planter, we had neatly arranged a 4:30 appointment with Shelly Pollock of NW Insurance and Financial so she could help us transfer to a new medical insurance plan for 2016.  She is brilliant (and is also the founder of the Grass Roots Garbage Gang beach clean up group), so if you are local and need help with such things, do look her up.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are still able to afford medical insurance (even though our cost will double from last year).  Thanks, Shelly.

Steve and Shelly

Steve and Shelly at our place on Halloween

at home

three more items erased from the work board: LB Parks, LB planters, Anchorage

three more items erased from the work board: LB Parks, LB planters, Anchorage

A bit of a cheat: I erased Ilwaco from fall clean up list, too, as I decided it will save the city money if we just do one more walk-around AFTER the first hard frost.  As for the mulching library (Ilwaco Community Building) project, that is Allan’s to organize because it is his job.  (I might help spread the mulch even if it means emerging from staycation.)

We are now three, perhaps even two, days way from the start of staycation, other than the pesky frost cleanup.  Tomorrow, weather permitting: Klipsan Beach Cottages and Marilyn’s.  Sunday, we just might be able to finish the port and the boatyard and the last tidying in Long Beach.  (No matter how weedy the beach approach garden and berms are, all they are getting from us till 2016 is the pulling of some crocosmia and clipping of a few more perennials).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Because life is more than just touring gardens, we had to get back to work.  We are indulging ourselves by only working four days a week.  We may financially regret this later. For now, it’s wonderful.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Long Beach

The first of two weekly waterings of the planters…and the once-weekly watering of the street trees.  Oh how I am thinking about Pam’s lushly irrigated Seaside gardens!  I wish our street tree gardens, small though they are, could be as lush.  The planters I don’t mind watering because I use the time for deadheading and other grooming tasks.  The street tree water hook ups are much harder to access and frustrate me so much that Allan waters them, and they only get done once a week.

Seventh and Pacific

Seventh and Pacific

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Geranium 'Rozanne and a blue Agastache

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and  Agastache ‘Estella Indigo’

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

pink dahlia, pale pink California poppy

pink dahlia, pale pink California poppy

finger blight on the lavender!!!

finger blight on the lavender!!!  someone picked a nice big bouquet….grr.

Basket Case Greenhouse basket

Basket Case Greenhouse basket

hangs right over the planter

hangs right over the planter

If, as the sign says, no bicycles are allowed on sidewalks, why are we a couple of times a week almost collided into by a sidewalking bike!? I’m all for bicycling as an ecological form of transport, but not on the busy sidewalk. One cannot hear them coming till the whooooosh is almost next to one.  Skateboards are banned in LB town, and yet they are more audible and I think actually safer to work around.

Stormin' Norman's Kites and clothing

Stormin’ Norman’s Kites and clothing

Geranium 'Rozanne', Allan's photo. Our planters are hugely attractive to bees.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Allan’s photo. Our planters are hugely attractive to bees.

Geranium 'Rozanne' and golden oregano

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden oregano (Allan’s photo)

Allan was watering the trees and the two north blocks of planters so he got to admire my favourite one.

by Dennis Company

by Dennis Company (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

When I still had more planters to water, Allan got the horsetail off the pond garden by the stoplight.

before

before

after

after, de-fuzzed

After watering, we went out to weed on the beach approach.

the long narrow Bolstad garden

the long narrow Bolstad garden, that thin strip along the street

Out at the west end of the beach approach

Out at the west end of the beach approach

I have become so re-inspired by the beach approach since Andersen’s RV Park sold and I realized my dread of the beach approach garden was mostly because it had been years since we had enough time for it.  I felt so inspired that I thought we might even hook up a hose to the underground spigot and pour some water on the garden while we weeded it.  Allan found the hatch, swept the sand off, pried it off…

sand

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

He dug the sand off of the buried faucet....

He dug the sand off of the buried faucet….

And then he turned on the faucet…and there was no water.  We called the parks manager and it will be turned on later this week.  We have not watered out here for two years, which certainly says something about the drought tolerance of rugosa roses.  I am, however, thinking of finding ALL the buried hatches so that we can put some water on the poor dry planters along this street.  We quite simply stopped hauling buckets out to them when we both got to be 60!  The city water trailer guy (who diligently waters the hanging baskets every day, thus earning much praise from me) has been spraying them sometimes…but it is not enough.

so sad and thirsty. Heathers and rosemary left over from a volunteer planting.

so sad and thirsty. Heathers and rosemary left over from a volunteer planting.

Something must be done about this watering situation.  It is time consuming to hook up long hoses to water these planters.  OH how I envy Pam’s irrigation.

The rugosa roses are so tough. And that gallardia gets a gold star for still being alive out here.

The rugosa roses are so tough. And that gallardia gets a gold star for still being alive out here.

today's weeding job, before

today’s weeding job, before

My friend Lady B came by.

My friend Lady B came by.

Allan at work

Allan at work

I did not manage to take an after photo; Allan took this little sequence:

before

before

after

after

We had high hopes that the next day, we would finally finish this year’s first complete weeding of the beach approach garden.

Tuesday: 28 July 2015

Ilwaco Post Office: one flower left on the ridiculously giant lily, and someone keeps stripping off the flowers. It's a mystery.

Ilwaco Post Office: Someone keeps stripping off the flowers of the ridiculously giant lily. It’s a mystery.

The Red Barn and Diane’s Garden

The Red Barn garden from across the parking lot (looking north)

The Red Barn garden from across the parking lot (looking north)

I always feel I must be looking west here.  The map shows otherwise because of a deceptive curve in Sandridge Road.

Red Barn

Red Barn Arena

Red Barn Arena

the most wind-protected of four barrels at the Red Barn

the most wind-protected of four barrels at the Red Barn

my camera shy friend Misty at Diane's garden

my camera shy friend Misty at Diane’s garden

Diane's garden along the highway, with Stipa gigantea

Diane’s garden along the highway, with Stipa gigantea and cosmos

Diane's alliums

Diane’s alliums

perovskia

perovskia

Diane and Larry do a good job of keeping this garden watered.

It's harder to water this end.

It’s harder to water this end.

Long Beach Bolstad Beach Approach

We have every intention of finishing the weeding of the beach approach garden today.

We have every intention of finishing the weeding of the beach approach garden today.

Allan's photo: This garden has not been watered all summer, and it has not rained appreciably for over two months.

Allan’s photo: This garden has not been watered all summer, and it has not rained appreciably for over two months.

Allan's photo: trimming the sidewalk side

Allan’s photo: trimming rugosa roses on the sidewalk side

Allan's photo: brave gaillardia

Allan’s photo: brave gaillardia and one last rose

The gardens seems dull to me, being almost all rugosa roses.  We used to have an assortment of gorgeous perennials until I realized this could never be because of the trampling it gets during kite festival.  Only rugosa roses and other small, tough shrubs can hold their own during that.

I do wonder though, if it had irrigation and could be as lush as Pam’s Seaside gardens, would it be so garden-y that people would not trample it?  I suppose I will never know.  We do get many compliments on the garden and many questions about the rose hips.  Are they tomatoes? Persimmons? Edible? And then we talk about rose hip tea and rose hip jelly.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

During the approach weeding, I had a revelation that we needed to quit one more job, and that we COULD because Dave and Melissa, Sea Star Landscape Maintenance, are so good that I can turn over any garden to them and they can dive right into it with no coaching; they know ALL the plants.  Over the following couple of days, we arranged to pass on the Boreas Inn garden to them, one that we never have enough time for.  They now have several pretty big former jobs of ours,  with happy and satisfied clients.  I am hoping this translates next year into getting the first complete beach approach weeding done by April or May instead of August.

I felt so inspired that we went back to the beach approach section that I had given up and just string-trimmed earlier this summer and actually weeded it properly.

weeding with the pick (Allan's photo)

weeding with the pick (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photo)

almost done (Allan's photo)

almost done (Allan’s photo)

We have prevailed! (Allan's photo)

We have prevailed! (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo, as we checked on the garden at city hall

Allan’s photo, as we checked on the garden at city hall

The Port of Ilwaco

The watering of the Port of Ilwaco went more smoothly than last week.  It is still frustrating having to wrestle with 300 feet of hose when there are spigots so much nearer the gardens.  However, this fall I will be moving all but the most drought tolerant plants out of the westernmost section that is hardest to water.  It won’t hurt if some sections of the gardens are better than others.  Salt Hotel, Time Enough Books, The Port Office, Don Nisbett Gallery, the Ilwaco Pavilion and Peterson Gallery will have the show-off garden beds.

Port Office curbside garden with Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Port Office curbside garden with Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (I don’t know what that white triangle is, some sort of oops!)

Lavender and Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies, port office curbside

Lavender and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies, port office curbside

looking east over the port office curbside garden

looking east over the port office curbside garden

The Port Office garden, south wall

The Port Office garden, south wall

looking south from the port office garden

looking southwest from the port office garden

looking southeast

looking southeast

The east end garden can now have hose watering because Allan has enough hose to drag across the parking lot from a dockside spigot.  This is not annoying like the other long drag, as there is no business owner’s spigot next to that garden.  I do, wish, though, that years ago, under a previous port administration, some thought had been given to exactly how the gardens were going to be watered. Why was irrigation not installed during the time that the street was torn up to make these beds?  I asked a local pro gardener ‘Why???” and she said wisely “Because people always think, ‘You don’t need to water around here because it rains!'”  She is so right, and people are so wrong, because even in a normal year we have dry weather for at least two months in summer.

Allan's photo: Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' at the east end

Allan’s photo: Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the east end

Allan's photo: Catananche (Cupid's Dart)

Allan’s photo: Catananche (Cupid’s Dart)

Allan's photo: a happy dog at the port

Allan’s photo: a happy dog at the port

Allan worked east to west, just for variety. West end: Salt Hotel is open for business, and we highly recommend them.

Allan worked east to west, just for variety. West end: Salt Hotel is open for business, and we highly recommend them.

I got done earlier than Allan and walked home.  At the Lost Garden on the corner, I had a look at the pond and found it completely dry.  I’ve never seen it this dry even at the end of August.

That is disturbing. (The pallets are from a children's fort that blew apart in a storm.)

That is disturbing. (The pallets are from a children’s fort that blew apart in a storm.)

at home

in my garden: Billardia longiflora in evening light.

in my front garden: Billardia longiflora in evening light.

Further sign of drought: Some of the salmonberry shrubs in the bogsy woods have dried up.  A friend who has lived here for 40 years says she has never seen this happen til autumn, if then.

It's a spooky sight.

It’s a spooky sight.

The work board finally had beach approach weeding, all 13 sections, erased!  I immediately replaced it with the Long Beach parking lot (not really) berms…three sections that have been sadly neglected due to lack of time.

Job Satisfaction!

Job Satisfaction!

 

 

 

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Before we begin, let me remind you of an event happening on Saturday April 11, of particular interest to vegetable gardeners:

poster***************************

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

We had a plan to start weeding the so-called berms—the parking lot gardens in Long Beach.  Several other things had to come first, most especially a trip to ….

The Basket Case Greenhouse

….as they had just gotten in their first big perennial order of the season from Blooming Nursery.  Let me recommend a few of the most awesome plants now available (although since I am publishing six days late, some might be sold out, especially if I have gotten back there again!)

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'; the foliage tends to revert to green so I plant it anew every year.  The flowers are gorgeous whatever the foliage colour is.

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’; the foliage tends to revert to green so I plant it anew every year. The flowers are gorgeous whatever the foliage colour is.

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ in early summer

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ after it has coloured up into blue

Erysimum, three kinds.  This is 'Apricot Twist'.  In front is 'Winter Orchid' which is stunning right now in my garden from one I planted last year.

Erysimum, three kinds. This is ‘Apricot Twist’. In front is ‘Winter Orchid’ which is stunning right now in my garden from one I planted last year.

On the east wall:  Erysimum 'Winter Orchid'

On the east wall of the Red Barn last year: Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’

I bought two of  the golden "Lemon Fizz' santolina after taking this photo.  A great perennial for the beach.

I bought two of the golden “Lemon Fizz’ santolina after taking this photo. A great perennial for the beach.

two kinds of pineapple sage: to the right is "Golden Delicious'

two kinds of pineapple sage: to the right is “Golden Delicious’

My good friends Shadow and Walter

My good friends Shadow and Walter

Allan's photo: Shadow

Allan’s photo: Shadow

Allan's photo: the greeters

Allan’s photo: the greeters

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

There is also a good selection of assorted Agastaches (hyssops), one of my favourite perennials.

Agastache 'Summer Glow'

Agastache ‘Summer Glow’

an Agastache.  I like spikes.

an Agastache. I like spikes.

[Edited to add that by 7-9-15 I had bought all the Cotton Candy and Summer Glow Agastaches (hyssop) but some other colours remain.]

Enough rhapsodizing about Basket Case plants!  We next had a small planting mission at

The Anchorage Cottages

where I had recently noticed an empty-ish large planter.

Chamaecyparis trees by the road at The Anchorage

Chamaecyparis trees by the road at The Anchorage

I bet those trees were chosen by Dan Hinkley, because his sister in law used to own the Anchorage, and he and his spouse, Robert Jones, designed and planted part or all of the Anchorage garden, or so I was told years ago.

This container with Tulip 'Angelique' got some 'Bowles Black' violas from the Basket Case.

This container with Tulip ‘Angelique’ got some ‘Bowles Black’ violas from the Basket Case.

And this big container got a pink Agastache.

And this big container got a pink Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’.

Camassia in the entry garden near the office

Camassia in the entry garden near the office

There were lots of little children running around, and I wondered if that explained the small tragedy by the center courtyard:

bearded iris broken before it could bloom

bearded iris broken before it could bloom

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

[Edited to add:  I later learned that a company, who shall be unnamed, who came to perform a task, dragged some of their gear through here and whacked off those irises.  The childrens’ reputation was redeemed.]

Leaving the Anchorage, we headed to Long Beach town…but when I checked my phone, I saw that I had a voicemail from Fred at The Basket Case.  I knew immediately what had happened…some plants had surely been left behind.  Remember that photo above of me with the greeting committee? When  Allan took it, he was standing right over the flat of plants in question, and that is all I will say about that.  So back we went…

Basket Case, again

I took a photo of the arbour of glorious pink Clematis montana...another plant that they carry for sale.

I took a photo of the arbour of glorious pink Clematis montana…another plant that they carry for sale.

clematis2

The plants that had been left behind had been placed on this ladder.  (Allan's photo)

The plants that had been left behind had been placed on this ladder. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This leaving behind sort of thing happens at least once a year, and it might be a good thing it happened on the first big day.  I am reminded to keep my mind sharp while I am there.

Long Beach

We began by planting in the Veterans Field garden three each of white Gauras ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and ‘So White’, another plant that is excellent and available at the Basket Case.  [Edited to add:  It was, till I bought them all, but surely Fred will order more.  Some of the pink foliage variety of Gaura is available at The Planter Box.] Two Phygelius ‘Cherry Red’ replaced the two tatty blue oat grasses that I hoiked out of the curved Vet field bed a few weeks ago.

Gaura in summer

Gaura last summer; Allan planted three in the new garden on the other side of Veterans Field and three more in the curved bed by the flag pavilion.

The weather had become so miserably cold, with a whipping icy wind, and the sky to the west was so dark that I said that, as soon as the plants were in, we would abort our work day and go home till dinnertime.

Allan's photo of the flag pavilion

Allan’s photo of the flag pavilion…BRRRR!

While Allan did the planting, I walked over to deadhead some spent narcissi that I’d noticed in a planter on the main street and used the opportunity to check on the four barrels in Fish Alley.

I was glad I checked Fish Alley because I found a huge dandelion in one of the barrels.

I was glad I checked Fish Alley because I found a huge dandelion in one of the barrels.

and the center plants had died...

and the center plants had died…

and some edge plants were gone and the soil was low.

and some edge plants were gone and the soil was low.

I am quite sure that people help themselves to the “hens and chickens” that we have planted in these barrels. It would be thoughtful if they did not take them ALL!!!   We want to go as drought tolerant as possible here because we have to bucket water these barrels and it is a longish slog.

It is a long walk with two buckets of water to get to the westernmost barrels.

It is a long walk with two buckets of water to get to the westernmost barrels.

I deadheaded and weeded the planter by Campiche Gallery at the stoplight…

Tulips in that planter...

Tulip ‘Formosa’ in that planter…

And then walked back to join Allan.  Still thinking we would go home soon, I decided to pop a pink-leaved Gaura (from The Planter Box) into the planter across from the police station; one of two had died over the winter, and I like a matched set.  Some pleasant tourists were admiring and photographing all the tulips.

They especially liked these, and so do I.

They especially liked these Tulip ‘Akebono’, and so do I.

We still thought the weather miserable enough to go home.  We had one indoor errand to run first.  Heather Ramsay of NIVA green had a book to lend to Allan:  River Horse by William Least Heat Moon.  I took the opportunity to top up my stash of photos for the NIVA green Facebook page.

NIVA green

NIVA green

a cool whirly light

a cool whirly light

beachy tea towels

beachy tea towels embroidered by local artisan Shellie Thomas

beach in a box

beach in a box

and a chance to buy a sympathy card for Susie and Bill, whose beloved cat Spanky had died a couple of days ago.

and a chance to buy a sympathy card for Susie and Bill, whose beloved cat Spanky had died a couple of days ago.

As we walked back to Veterans Field, we noticed that the wind had died down and the sky had turned blue to the west.  So we set up to weed the north parking lot garden, our main mission of the day.  The city crew and we call them “berms” even though, because they are level, they are not berms.  I will now regale you with our befores and afters.

before

before

before

before

after

after

before

before

after

after

Allan's before

Allan’s before

and after

and after

I added some seeds of red poppies to the sunnier bare areas.

after

after

every bucket filled

many buckets filled

We did not get the whole north berm done and hoped to have good enough weather to return on the next day.

After dumping our debris, we met Kathleen at the new Thai restaurant.  Dinner at 5:30 meant that we stopped work earlier than we might have otherwise.  The town was so full of tourists that we wanted to beat a potential dinner rush, and a rapidly dropping air temperature meant we were happy enough to quit early.

in the restaurant:  Allan's photo

in the restaurant: Allan’s photo

The fresh rolls were tasty and beautiful.

The fresh rolls were crispy, tasty and beautiful.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a salmon salad delicate and light...

a salmon salad delicate and light…

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

yellow curry for Allan

yellow curry for Allan

Pad Thai for Kathleen was not quite as al dente as we all prefer.

Pad Thai for Kathleen was not quite as al dente as we all prefer.

The food tasted just fine and yet it lacked the intense spice and the four flavours that I associate with Thai food.  In the words of wikipedia:  “Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.”   The names of menu items at the new restaurant’s menu were mostly Americanized and we felt that the spiciness had been toned down to appeal to everyone.  For people who usually find Thai food too spicy, these preparations would be ideal.

Our discussion beyond Thai spices was of books, and Kathleen recommended several that are now on my to-read list:

Lies my Teacher Taught Me

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

The White Cascade

Product Details

The Care and Management of Lies

The Language of Houses

My book list is laughably long.  I need more reading days.

Since The Care and Management of Lies is about WWI in the UK, I recommended the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker, and in fact Kathleen picked it up from me to borrow the very next day on her way back to her workaday world up north.

home

At home, I remembered to photograph my Akebia that is right by where we park, in full fragrant chocolatey bloom.

akebia1

Akebia quinata

Akebia quinata

akebia3

front garden path

front garden path

Tulips and Anthriscus 'Ravenswing'

Tulips and Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’

I spent the evening blogging about my lovely reading yesterday, which I am so glad I took, as tomorrow we hope to finish weeding the “berms”.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Almost always my workday in other people’s gardens begins with some thoughts about our own.  Today, the view from the kitchen sink window…

sink view

sink view

…inspired me to get a photo of a beautifully silvery corner of Allan’s ferny shade garden.

fern collection edged with ajuga

fern collection edged with ajuga

During a brief stop at Olde Towne to switch compost buckets, I added some Alliums to a dried bouquet I had started there earlier in the week.  It seemed to me that the Alliums that blow down in the boatyard garden will get a bigger audience in a vase on the Olde Towne counter.

at Olde Towne Café

at Olde Towne Café

We did not linger because we needed to start at our furthest north garden, Marilyn’s.

Marilyn's garden, the usual view

Marilyn’s garden, the usual view

Eventually I hope to do a reprise post of how this view changed over the year.

Next, the Wiegardt Gallery:

Wiegardt Gallery garden

Wiegardt Gallery garden

Japanese anemone, north side Wiegardt garden

Japanese anemone, north side Wiegardt garden

I would not let loose the Japanese anemone in a flower border but it seems to behave all right back here in the shade among the ferns.

Then came the weekly deadheading at the increasingly drought tolerant Oman Builders Supply garden in Ocean Park.  Today was not a day with extra time to stop for a snack at Jack’s Country Store.

OBS garden

OBS garden

Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' and some late poppies at OBS

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and some late poppies at OBS

At Klipsan Beach Cottages we try to spend at least an hour a week grooming the garden.

KBC, looking into the fenced garden

KBC, looking into the fenced garden

some annual colour that Mary added by the pond

some annual colour that Mary added by the pond

Hydrangea 'Izu No Hana'

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

Look how tall that Eucryphia is!

Look how tall that Eucryphia is!

I needed to talk with Mary about something so went up to the cottage she was cleaning.  The place was unusually empty at mid week and the ocean view decks looked so peaceful.

west facing cottage decks at KBC

west facing cottage decks at KBC

At our next stop, Andersen’s, we weeded the box by the road because car-watchers would for sure be sitting out there during Rod Run, a classic car event that would take over the Peninsula on the upcoming weekend.  The cars cruise all around the Peninsula and car lovers sit and watch.

Pacific Highway and 138th

Pacific Highway and 138th, with staffer Al in the background mowing by the road

My energy was low and I helped myself along with a handful of wake up beans (coffee beans covered in dark chocolate).

The Andersen's poppy field is pretty much poppyless now.

The Andersen’s poppy field is pretty much poppyless now.

At Andersen’s, two great big car-hauling trailers were already parked in which guests had transported  their rods.  (“Trailer Queens”, these cars are called, the ones that are not driven in.)  And a couple of rods rumbled into the park.  (These are classic American cars made prior to a certain year, sometimes souped up for more speed.   I personally prefer a nice British or Italian car but never mind.)

We got back down to Ilwaco and to our weeding at the boatyard.   It’s a long strip and to finish it in time for Slow Drag at the Port, we had to fit it in around other jobs.

Ilwaco boatyard

Ilwaco boatyard

The least attractive part of the garden is a section that the port crew did not entirely clear so I reclaimed it by adding some soil and doing some weeding…oh, a couple of years ago.  It never got a fresh new set of cool plants so once the poppies are done has very little structure.

before and after

before and after…adding good plants will be another improvement project for fall

We worked till dusk again…but remember, we don’t start early in the morning.

sky over the boatyard

sky over the boatyard (with Stipa gigantea)

looking north past the oil tanks

looking north past the oil tanks

and south over Jessie's

and south over Jessie’s

Thursday, September 6, 2013

Morning home garden thought:  I love the big puddle that forms in the Lake Street depression outside our driveway when it rains.  Allan always hopes the city will fill it in.  (I’ve told him to just ask them to, and I think they will.)  But I like the way it gives me a raindrop weather report and its reflective quality for photos of the house!

raindrops in our puddle

raindrops in our puddle from our front window

Thursday:  the big push to make the Port of Ilwaco gardens perfect for the Slow Drag.  By Friday morning we figured (correctly) that flagged ropes would be run down the side of Howerton Street making garden access difficult for weeding.

The Phormiums and the pampas grass that I so wanted to get the port crew to remove from the street garden by Marie Powell’s Gallery looked…okay today.  I might lose my incentive to get this done and be stuck with them for another year!

Looking east from Powell Gallery

Looking east from Powell Gallery

The spot by the Ilwaco pavilion (restrooms) that we decided to take on before Blues and Seafood showed the effect of having had dandelions gone to seed there for years…  I forgot the after photo so took one on Slow Drag evening (the next day)

before and a belated after

before and a belated after

As soon as the weather is reliably moist, I’ll put some starts of small grasses and santolina in here.  Oh, maybe that gorgeous reddish unidentified grass (might by pink muhly grass) from my garden! What’s in there now is Pacific Reed Grass which I find a bit dull (though native and all).

At the west end of the port we just had to do a small amount of weeding at the garden by Queen La De Da’s.

down by Queen La De Da's

down by Queen La De Da’s

There was a restaurant sign that kept falling down at this end so there is nothing planted there.  It’s fixed now (bolted to a post) so I could fill this area in.

an Agastache 'Acapulco Salmon and Pink' still blooming

an Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’ still blooming

Even though the poppies are gone, there is still enough going on here to make it interesting.  (And the big test?  During Slow Drag, this garden did not get walked on (much) even though it was by the starting line of the race…so it looked enough like a garden to keep people off… More on this during the Slow Drag blog entry!)

At the Time Enough Books garden, I cut back the Ceanothus that was overhanging the street in order to make plenty of room for pedestrians.

It was out as far as where the sidewalk is damp.

It was out as far as where the sidewalk is damp.

This did NOT look enough like a garden, apparently, because during Slow Drag some people put their chairs right in it!  (Yes, there will be a photo of that!)

With the Port gardens put to rights we headed north, first deadheading the cosmos at the Depot Restaurant.

The Depot, same old view!

The Depot, same old view!

and more admiration for Solidago 'Fireworks'

and more admiration for Solidago ‘Fireworks’

When we drove through downtown Long Beach, we could tell Rod Run was imminent.

long beach

North of town we weeded and deadheaded at the Anchorage and I did a limbing up of Viburnum by cottage 6.  Here is the “before” from last week:

What was I thinking?

two weeks ago

And the after.  I think the two long curvy branches on the sides of the one to the right should go, but Allan disagreed.

after

after

I also have a problem with the squatty short trunk on the left side.  It has to be low to let the number of the cottage show….But if I cut it to the ground, the left hand shrub will look lopsided.  What do you think?

nearby, a favourite of mine:  Fuchsia 'Hawkhead'

nearby, a favourite of mine: Fuchsia ‘Hawkhead’

The pots were windblown.  I hope they have a certain weather-sculpted charm.

Picotee petunia with a chunk missing

Picotee petunia with a chunk missing

While I was deadheading sweet peas in the office patio I heard a deep rumbling.  Sure enough, a guest with a hot rod had arrived.

at The Anchorage

at The Anchorage

As I put my tools in our van, Allan chatted with the owner about…cars.

car talk

car talk

Thanks to a good rain, the Long Beach planters did not need watering but we did check most of them for deadheading.  The Rod Run audience was already setting up chairs in the street to see the cars come in.   The most avid fans start their vigil on Thursday and watch cars till they drive away on Sunday or Monday.

car watchers

car watchers

I appreciate the ones who bring chairs.  I can guarantee there will be much planter sitting over the weekend.

At least the hanging baskets will be unscathed...I hope.

At least the hanging baskets will be unscathed…I hope.

Oh dear, how will the city crew get through the throngs of people to water the baskets?  Probably at 7 AM!

We went back just north of downtown to the Boreas.  I do like to do jobs in order from north to south or vice versa but earlier our friend Ed Strange had been parked in “our” spot while mowing the lawn!

after deadheading at the Boreas

after deadheading at the Boreas

As we drove south through Long Beach again, I saw that the planter sitting had begun.  There were two men parked on this one, but one of them is behind the two women.

planter sitters

planter sitters

A nice Veronica is under that one man’s butt  (That’s a flowering plant, not a person!).  This does not bother me as much as you might think.  Over the years, I have gotten inured to what Rod Run audiences do to the planters.  I just observe in amazement, really.

They may not know that, at least at one time, there was a fine for sitting on the planters (except for the benches, of course, which are on the sidewalk side).  Or so I was told by then city administrator Nabiel Shawa, who may have been just humouring me.  And if it existed, it was never enforced.  (Long Beach town could get rich on that fine during Rod Run weekend.)

We finished the day doing more weeding at the boatyard garden.  Lots of people would be driving and walking by there the next evening for the Slow Drag at the Port.

a beautiful reseeded four o clock at the boatyard

a beautiful reseeded four o clock at the boatyard

Gallardia continues to dazzle.

Gallardia continues to dazzle.

I adore Oregano 'Hopley's Purple'

I adore Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

Cosmos, Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies', Artemisia 'Powis Castle'

Cosmos, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

For some reason I have thought the white Gaura looks great in a garden but the pink Gaura only looks good in containers.  This pink one might make me change my mind.

I think it's 'Passionate Rainbow'.

I think it’s ‘Passionate Rainbow’.

Rain threatened after forecasts of thunder and lightning.   The Kaisha Lanae had her lights on out in the water.

a dark evening

a dark evening

The rain held off long enough so that we had time to weed the garden at the very east end of Howerton…one that has not had any supplemental water for a couple of months.

Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west

Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west

Stipa tenuissima in the wind

Stipa tenuissima in the wind

What a good sense of accomplishment.   We had gotten all the port gardens done and finally freed up a day to for weeding Ann’s garden.  With Rod Run traffic, a Friday job just  a few blocks from home would be perfect.

Friday, September 6, 2013:  before Slow Drag

At home garden thought:  Can anyone tell me what this cool plant is in my front garden?  It’s right by when I get into our vehicle in the morning.

probably from a Hardy Pant Study Weekend plant sale!

probably from a Hardy Pant Study Weekend plant sale!

I had been quite pleased with the accomplishment of getting all the Port gardens done, till I realized I had forgotten the one on the south side of the Port Office.

Allan weeding at the port office

Allan weeding at the port office

The morning was one of those still ones with the water like a mirror.

rumrunner

After that, we got back to Ann’s at last,  We had left last time to go to the Pacific County Fair, thinking we would be back the following week, and then got rained out.   In bad weather it is all we can do to get our city and resort gardens done.

The neighbour cat came over and said hello while I was weeding.

a pretty and friendly cat with a big fluffy tail

a pretty and friendly cat with a big fluffy tail

S/he may or may not have been welcome in Ann’s garden but got quite comfy on the back porch.

right at home

right at home

Allan was working on the side of the house so the wheelbarrow was far from me.  I carried my bucket down to the dump area at the bottom of the sloping lot.

admiring some 'Bright Lights' chard on the way

admiring some ‘Bright Lights’ chard on the way

And got a different view from the house.  It reminds me of a farm in the city.

at the bottom of the hill below the fenced veg and berry gardens

at the bottom of the hill below the fenced veg and berry gardens

I divided up some golden marjoram and spread it around the flower garden.  This might add some cohesiveness.

imagine a nice repeating gold along the edge

imagine a nice repeating gold along the edge

I put in a start of shasta daisy, some toadflax, some Phygelius.  (The deer might nibble the latter but they let it bloom at Marilyn’s garden.)   Now I know it also needs some Solidago ‘Fireworks’.

some new garden art by a friend of Ann's

some new garden art by a friend of Ann’s

I’m pleased to report that we got around the entire garden and were able to leave by a quarter to four to go to Slow Drag.  Last year we had also chosen Ann’s as the best place to work on Rod Run Friday and had gotten so absorbed in weeding (it was a new job then and we had a lot to do there) that we missed the first hour of the drag and some of the best photo opportunities of cars going round and round and round and round.

Walking down to the Port I paused to contemplate the pruning going on, quite visible from the street, in the “lost garden” that I think I will soon have to call the formerly lost garden.

oh dear...

oh dear…

The Hawaiian shaved ice booth was just arriving….

cone

Next, some Slow Drag photos.  It sort of relates to gardening because, well, our gardens are there.

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As the garden tour approaches, life gets more pressured.  I have friends visiting my garden also even though it is not on the tour and I want it to look good but our time is limited.  Tonight had two “notes” to put together for the Facebook page (garden descriptions and music schedule) and now I have six or was it seven gardens from the Astoria garden tour to write about.  I am fairly obsessed, though, with trying to follow the quotidian working year, so here we go about last Friday.

July 12:

weekly deadheading and horsetail control of welcome sign

weekly deadheading and horsetail control of welcome sign

Yellow is said to stop the eye for a second (which fact I learned from Lucy Hardiman) so is good for a commercial roadside garden.

Then while Allan turned on the Sid Snyder beach approach planters I began to water the Long Beach main street planters, hoping to get at least halfway done before a garden tour event intervened.

yellow and yellow

yellow and yellow

painted sage, California poppy, Agyranthemum 'Butterfly'

painted sage, California poppy, Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’

Crazy about Geranium 'Rozanne' in the planters, thus will get more so almost every planter has some.

Crazy about Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the planters, thus will get more so almost every planter has some.

Salvia viridis (painted sage) in front of Home at the Beach

Salvia viridis (painted sage) in front of Home at the Beach

tourist bikes by the Long Beach fifth street restroom

tourist bikes by the Long Beach fifth street restroom

The basket, above, is by Nancy Aust of Basket Case Greenhouse; the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’ from Heirloom Roses.  She does not get powdery mildew like ‘Dorothy Perkins’ rose.

Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

I worked my way as far north as Marsh’ Free Museum by which time Allan had caught up to me just watering the street tree pocket gardens.  He then had to take over all the watering while I walked down to Nancy’s house to meet her for a trip to Astoria.

approaching Nancy's garden

approaching Nancy’s garden

Nancy has a very good idea regarding local real estate:  That gardeners should be able to find out from the realtor which lots are best for gardening.  A realtor could specialize in this.  Upon moving to this lot just south of downtown, she found it to be much windier than she expected and harder to grow veg in.  Bayside gardens are much milder for gardening.  Nevertheless, I think she is doing a remarkable job.

Nancy's veg

Nancy’s veg, looking south

looking north-ish

looking north-ish

Her sweet peas are much better than mine....envy!

Her sweet peas are much better than mine….envy!

My sweet peas at home were a fail this year.  I got a few, but the vines are not growing very tall.  The slugs got a lot of them…I was too busy to monitor them.

Nancy's garlic will be ready at the right time because (unlike me) she planted it on time.

Nancy’s garlic will be ready at the right time because (unlike me) she planted it on time.

The flower border is coming along slowly...

The flower border is coming along slowly…(foreground:  Sanguisorba)

And then, Nancy and I headed to Astoria to talk about the Music in the Gardens tour on KMUN radio.  One can never tell how long the bridge trip will take because of ongoing road work, so we got there early enough to stop at the Astoria food co op.

food coop garden

food co op garden

And then….KMUN.  Despite having a friend, Jeannine Grey, who had a jazz show on this community station, I had never looked closely at the building and had no idea it is so lovely.

KMUN

KMUN

inside was plush

inside was plush

fireside

fireside

The view from the KMUN house is spectacular; no wonder Jeannine liked going there so much.

the view of the Columbia River

the view of the Columbia River

Our little talk went well.   Many years ago I had an FCC license to work on a radio show (“Surviving in the Patriarchy”) on KRAB community radio in Seattle.  Still, just before our interview today I thought I would freeze up, but we managed to remain coherent as we spoke about the Music in the Gardens tour.

There was no time for lollygagging in Astoria so back to the Peninsula we went.  Nancy’s car is a little higher off the ground than Allan’s, so my bridge phobia was not as bad as usual.

In Long Beach, we did a walk through of the Columbia Pacific Farmer’s Market on Veteran’s Field.  For me, that did count as lollygagging, because Allan was still working on the Long Beach watering.

tomato plants at the market

tomato plants at the market

jello mold of sedums

jello mold of sedums

spuds

This market, every Friday in the late afternoon to early evening, is growing larger.  What a nice place for people coming into town to buy some fresh food for their beach cabins.

strawberries

strawberries

flowers

flowers

farms

Two of the Starvation Alley folks are our next door neighbours.

Two of the Starvation Alley folks are our next door neighbours.

Starvation Alley’s goal is to grow organic cranberries, which is more unusual than you might think.

Hrm, clearly I should have harvested my kale when younger....

Hrm, clearly I should have harvested my kale when younger….

chicken

I read on Facebook that the chicken had to do with “Chicken Poop Bingo”.  That’s all I know about that.

vegie

shoppers with flowers

shoppers with flowers

choc

I wish I had tried some of that chocolate.  Sometimes I am so busy taking photos I don’t stop to actually participate.

I did buy a cupcake for me and one for Allan at this booth:

Wholesome Hearth Bakery

Wholesome Hearth Bakery

I wish I had tried these as well!

I wish I had tried these as well!

Of course for me, a lot of my thoughts go to our gardens as they relate to various events.

flowers with music

flowers with music

Veterans Field garden and market

Veterans Field garden and market

OleBob's booth (from the Port of Ilwaco)

OleBob’s booth (from the Port of Ilwaco)

Enough dillydallying at the market…I joined Allan and we went to the Bolstadt approach to bucket water the planters.  I had asked if the city crew could do this with their new water truck, but we had to check…and the planters were dry.

Allan bucket watering

Allan bucket watering

In the garden, the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ has begun to bloom:

This plant always gets comments and questions.

This plant always gets comments and questions.

Bolstadt approach garden, looking east

Bolstadt approach garden, looking east

work intermission:  Allan later shared with me a little lollygagging of his own, as I had asked him to take some photos of City Sandsations’ progress on their sculptures by Veterans Field.  Here they are along with his photos of the market.  Our work life is deeply affected by the round of festivals that begins in the spring and continues most weekends till mid-September, so we might as well enjoy and share what we see.

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After our watering and light weeding session on the beach approach, we watered the curbside gardens along Howerton at the Port of Ilwaco.

Gaura at the port

Gaura at the port

I weeded the port office garden.

I weeded the port office garden.

Eryngium and Lavender on Howerton

Eryngium and Lavender on Howerton

And then…home to water in the last light of day.

home at last

home at last

poppies

poppies at home

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