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Posts Tagged ‘hellstrips’

Monday, 21 May 2018

I had fantasized about taking today off. That was impossible because of lack of rain in the forecast; we had too much watering to do.  Allan began by watering the Norwood garden….

Mary N’s Dutch iris

the little north shade border

and he watered the J’s across the street:

roses in J’s back yard; I think those leaves have rose mosaic and should be picked off.

Meanwhile, I did some necessary watering at home of the ladies in waiting and the cosmos I had planted on Sunday.  In the back garden, I found one more agastache catastrophe, a Acapulco Yellow with really weird looking mottled leaves.  I pulled it and added it to the big bag of lost plants in the garbage can.  As I was closing the bag over its brave yellow flowers that wanted so much to keep blooming in my garden, I burst into tears and went blubbing to the driveway where Allan was hooking up the work trailer.  I could hardly bear the thought of all the plants expiring in the big garbage bag.  I still find it almost unbearable to think about, as if they have a fear of death.  In fact, I am all teared up while typing this five days later.  So that and this time were the only times I have wept over this very expensive and time consuming catastrophe.  I miss each and every one of those agastaches and the pictures I was trying to paint with them and the beauty that I had hoped for with such happy anticipation just a week ago.

At the post office, the Stipa gigantea was at its prettiest time, when the flowers are spangled with gold.

Long Beach

We then went to Long Beach to fill in some empty areas in planters, where agastaches had succumbed and where a lovely little diascia had been stolen.

Allan’s photo; will the planting never end?

And then, in midafternoon, back to

Port of Ilwaco

where we worked for the rest of the day.  I helped Allan get started on a big pruning job for Coho Charters and Motel by candling their curbside mugo pine.

I got bored and so tried to get into the spirit of author Leslie Buck and her great memoir about pruning, Cutting Back.

Allan sheared the pine by the building with the hedge shears instead of painstakingly hand clipping it (my suggestion).

before

Coho Charters owner Butch likes his shrubs squared off, not only the escallonias but the little variegated box in the curbside garden, which he likes flat topped like his grandfather’s haircut.

As you can tell, this curbside garden is not my design.  I have convinced Butch to let me add a few things (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ so far, and a heather, white, to match some other white heathers he has.  I feel that any other colour would look wrong with the lava rock.)

I will say lava rock is easier to walk on than the river rock that three of the curbside beds have.

On the south side, the escallonia outside one of the guest rooms:

While Allan worked on that job, I started, at 5 PM, dragging hoses westward along the port to water as far as I could get till he was done.  I did not even try to do the easternmost bed; it requires hooking up a series of hoses from down by the docks.  It can wait till Thursday.

eastern garden, looking east

eastern garden, looking west

I skipped what used to the the Port Bistro restaurant (and is going to be a bakery/coffee shop one of these days) because their water is probably not on, nor have I met the new owners.  My first watering was of the curbside garden north of David Jensen’s architecture office, newly moved from Long Beach to the port.  No longer do I have to rely on the good nature of the Tuna Club to provide water for the garden that is next door to them; I can now hook up to what is now the Jensen building. (All last year, it was empty with the water turned off.) The hose that used to be attached to the faucet and that made it easy was gone so I had to walk around the building three times to get our hose dragged under a locked gate and back to the faucet.  I think we have a ratty old hose we can leave there to make it easier next time.

Jensen curbside garden, looking east

big ceanothus in full bloom; this has a sort of prostrate instead of upright form.

Next, I dragged hose down to the Ilwaco pavilion, where I can reach half of the old Shorebank building (which is going to be a boutique hotel soon).  I skipped the most wind protected area; I think it will be fine till next week.

area where big shrubs came out last fall, looking east

The California wax myrtle that I asked the port crew to cut to the ground but not pull is finally leafing out.

I will be able to keep it pruned to a low, non-traffic-sightline-blocking mound.  The missing shrubs were would-be full sized arbutus.  I had finally rebelled at having to shear them so that they never flowered.  Ridiculous plant choice for the spot.

next bed, looking west, with sheared wax myrtles and santolina.  Hebe ‘Boughton Dome’ at lower middle-ish

pink California poppies

and creamy white ones

same bed, different view

Ilwaco pavilion, my favourite bed, looking west

looking east over the end that had a too-tall pine pulled not long ago, so glad to no longer have to butcher prune it

It is exhausting to drag this much hose on hour eight of work.

the drive-over garden

I was thrilled that my asclepia, after sulking in its first year, looked so good.

I took a bucket of mixed trash and weeds to dump in one of the big port wheelie bins.

looking west

looking east

Because I was weeding (for the first time in awhile) while watering, I dragged my hoses for quite some distance past the one garden whose adjacent building owner won’t let me use their water.  Which begs the question, how exactly did the powers that be think, when these gardens were installed in the late 90s, that they were going to be watered? WHYYYY was no faucet hook up installed in each one, like the Long Beach planters have?  Why does the gardener have to be at the mercy of changes of mind or changes of ownership of adjacent businesses?)  If I cannot water a garden, I find it soul crushing to weed among the thirsty plants…and I do not have time or strength to fill and haul buckets from another source. But I digress (inspired by annoyance).

Next, I hooked up to water at the port office.

port office and Don Nisbett curbside gardens, looking west

looking east

Purly Shell and Time Enough Books, looking west

OOPS, I forgot to trim this one big santolina. Maybe the only one, of many, that I missed.

the trimmed ones look round, like this, and will still flower

This Korean lilac by Time Enough Books was wafting delicious scent out to the sidewalk.

another big ceanothus, low both because it grows that way and also because I prune it after it flowers.

That is as far as I got, with the east end, Salt Hotel, Skywater Gallery, and Freedom Market gardens still to water later this week.  Allan came to get me at eight after finishing his big CoHo pruning job.

Time Enough Books from across the street

This was the first of a week of nine hour days.

Skooter greeting us at home:

Late last night, I was considerably perked up to see that Scott Weber of Rhone Street Gardens had posted this on Facebook.

Just what I needed to give me back some confidence after my agastache depression.

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Monday, 22 February 2016

Last night at 2 AM, I finished a novel that I’d been pecking away at for several bedtimes.

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I especially liked this description of what it feels like when rain comes after a long drought.

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That is very much how it was when rain finally came here after last summer’s drought.

Port of Ilwaco

We had time from midmorning till very early afternoon to weed a few more curbside beds at the port.

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Time Enough Books/Purly Shell curbside, before

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after clipping santolinas, grass combing, weeding

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Tulips and Narcissi foliage in the garden boat

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a big old santolina, before

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and after; could have been cut even harder

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Port Office garden, after some clipping and weeding

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Port Office, south side, before

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after clipping santolinas

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Narcissi, Lavender, and Lambs Ears

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across the lawn from the port office

Meanwhile, Allan weeded and clipped the Salt Hotel curbside garden.

Then off we went along the Columbia River and through the woods to see Dr Gwen at the Naselle Clinic.  I was pleased and surprised when all my blood tests came back good…good cholesterol, liver and kidney function, and no diabetes.  Perfect glucose.  I was surprised and pleased to learn that I don’t have to give up Pink Poppy Bakery cupcakes.  The astonishing thing was that I was quite low in Vitamin D.   How can this be for someone who is outside all day?  Our sunshine here is weak.  Dr Gwen says I will feel much better when I have boosted my D.

From the waiting room of the clinic, we saw this fellow getting into a vehicle:

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I am in love.  (Allan’s photo)

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All the good news was tempered with the unsolved mystery of problems not explained by perfect blood tests, thus the neurologist still looms in the near future.  As does a knee doctor, as the interpretation of my knee X rays says that my left knee has “mild degenerative changes” but my right knee has “severe degenerative changes…with complete loss of the normal joint space.”  Well, ow.  I share this not that the world should give a hoot about my knee, but because it is an interesting plot twist in a gardening blog.  By the way, I don’t kneel to garden…The way I bend over while working puts more weight on my left knee than my right, so it is mystifying to me that the right one went kaflooey first.

I used to run.  A lot.  For years. On concrete in the city.  I blame this for some of my knee problems, as the pain started back then and I “pushed through it”.  I think if I had not been obsessed with weightlifting, running, and aerobics for ten years, I would be a stronger gardener now.

running

me, 1987, age 32, running around Green Lake (about 3 miles), photo by Allan, who used to run with me on occasion. I was slow but determined.  Exercise addiction is not always good for the body, no matter how much praise one gets for the results.

To celebrate today’s good blood tests, we dined at…

The Depot Restaurant

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Depot Restaurant (Allan’s photo)

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wilted spinach salad and clam chowder (Allan’s photo)

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won the best chowder award at the 2015 Razor Clam Festival (Allan’s photo)

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char grilled Ling Cod with Tuscan bean and tomato stew and garlic parsley butter

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Allan’s photo

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chocolate espresso pot de creme to celebrate a good glucose test!

I am also celebrating that I have two weeks to catch up on all the spring clean up before more appointments.  I had been so afraid that something medical and scary and sudden would happen today that would interfere with the rest of the work week.  It was a nonsensical fear, but a strong one.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

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from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago:

1995 (age 70):

Feb 22:  Planted new Stark raspberries (10).  Heeled in new Stark strawberries (75) and put in greenhouse under lights.  Then I started sieving compost box.  I’m throwing all stuff not decomposed on garden area to be tilled in later.  A good day’s work!!

1997: age 72

Feb 22:  Worked about 1 1/2 hours bringing firewood up to porch.  Finished all wood from west side of shop.  I put the wet ones on pallet boards behind shop and covered them with the tarps.  Also covered were the huge pieces of that tree Mac sliced in half.

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a bonus post for friends who missed the weekend, including photos of Dancing Oak Nursery (location of next year’s study weekend garden party)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

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On the walk from the hotel to the college, Allan photographed this water trailer set up used in Portland.

On the walk from the hotel to the college, Allan photographed this water trailer set up used in Portland.

Allan says it was powered by a gas motor, not a battery like ours; the guy started it with a pull like a gas mower.

Allan says it was powered by a gas motor, not a battery like ours; the guy started it with a pull like a gas mower.

lecture notes

For friends who couldn’t attend, here are the particular takeaways from the three lectures we attended Sunday morning.  As with Saturday, we barely got there in time, but Our Todd had held seats for us.

Todd's VIP seat holding method

Todd’s VIP seat holding method

C. Coleston Burrell: Redefining Right Plant, Right Place

Cole Burrell at last night's garden party (Allan's photo)

Cole Burrell at last night’s garden party (Allan’s photo)

Burrell’s lecture was wonderfully vindicating for me.  Here are the fragments transcribed from my notebook, all quickly scrawled and only exact quotes if I enclose them in quotation marks.  His slides were exquisite, so do go a speech of his in person if you can.

He spoke of a tree planting group with the clever name of Neighborwoods.  Perhaps it was this one.

He recommended a book by Bebe Miles called Bluebells and Bittersweet: Gardening with Native American Plants as informative and also a good read.

He told us about the Biota of North American Program and showed us a slide of one of the maps that shows which plants are truly native to which area.  I think it would be useful for people who want to be very specific in using native plants that grow in their own particular spot.  (That’s not me, of course.)

He said that “Reginald Farrer was the first to give plants human characteristics…this plant prefers this…or that plant is miffy.”  Before Farrer’s writing, we did not anthropomorphize plants.  [I remember well enjoying the effusive prose of Reginald Farrer’s My Rock Garden.]

He spoke of the North America Rock Garden Society’s phrase “moving scree” and said you could achieve it by putting scree on top of an old fashioned motel bed with magic fingers.

Checks and balances like drought keep native plants from being invasive.  [I thought about salal in a few terribly dry gardens still infuriatingly poking its way into other plants.]

He recommended the book Noah’s Garden by Sarah Stein for information like this:  Robins eat the fruit of native dogwood, but Cornus kousa, the fancier cultivar, has fruit that is too big for them to eat.  I read that book years ago and am due for a re-read.

Friends of mine (who know I’m not in the native plant brigade) might wonder why I say a lecture about native plants was so vindicating.  Here comes the part I loved.  Burrell quoted from Joni Mitchell:

Back in 1957
We had to dance a foot apart
And they hawk-eyed us from the sidelines
Holding their rulers without a heart

and said that making sure plants don’t touch in a public landscape is typical, but “we need to let them touch,  bumping and grinding.  Health and vitality depends on plants being integrated horizontally.”

[Oh yes!  We quit one job, a local credit union, because the new director said he did not want any plants to “touch or come up through each other” in the landscape which we had created to be floriferous and Piet Oudolf-y.  He then fired a friend of ours who had taken on the job, because our friend (having removed many plants already to make the don’t touch guy happy) refused to cut down a Shasta daisy in full bloom.  That Shasta daisy was so old and well established that it pre-dated my work in the garden, and I praised my friend for refusing to butcher it.

that garden on June 29 2015

that garden on June 29 2015

The way it looked when we did it, in 2010

The way it looked when we did it, in 2010 (further back, which is now also changed to a barkscape with fewer plants).  This was an early photo that does not even show its later lushness.

We got “let go” from another commercial job whose garden, under our care, had won the company’s regional landscaping award.  A new manager had been hired and wanted the garden returned to plain, plant-less bark.

the way their fast food drive  through looks now

the way their fast food drive through looks now

July 29: bark and horsetail

July 29 2015: bark and horsetail against rhododendrons

the way it looked when we took care of it (

the way it looked when we took care of it: flowers in front of the rhododendrons

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entry to the drivethrough (garden now completely gone)

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Sometimes remarks have gotten back to me of sniffy uptight people in whose gardens the plants are separated from each other and who disapprove of our gardening style.  I appreciated Burrell’s full support of letting plants get up close and person with each other.]

Burrell recommended the book Sand County Almanac and shared this quotation:

one of Cole Burrell's slides

one of Cole Burrell’s slides

Evelyn Hadden:  Hellstrips to Havens:  Paradise at the Curb

As it happens, I own her book Hellstrip Gardening and was particularly looking forward to her lecture.  It lived up to my expectations with lots of information and great, inspiring photographs.

Smokey at home with the book.

Smokey at home with the book.

Hadden describes herself as an “avid pedestrian.”  She writes for the Garden Rant blog.  She credits Lauren Springer, author of The Undaunted Gardener, for coming up with the term “hellstrip” and referred to an 800 foot long hellstrip, or curbside planting, I think made by Springer (but not sure; you know how notes are).

She calls cut off areas “fragments” (little pockets of dirt in a concrete environment).

Lawnless blocks make her heart leap.

Hellstrips and fragments in public places provide

beauty….expansion…xeric zones….more space…emotional benefits…respite…

giving people a new experience….

transforming a public sidewalk into a path through your garden (by planting on both sides)

front yard gardening is contagious.  [I wish it were more so!; it was slow going when I first started curbside gardening at my house in Seattle, and when I left there were no others on my block, but when I go back now, curbside gardens are all over the city.]

Even a smallest pocket can make a landscape; otherwise there is no “place”.

The challenges of curbside gardening:

heat, roots, critters, flooding, litter, compacted soil, dog poop, access to cars, access—how to get across,  wind, foot traffic, Home Owners Associations, power lines.  [Oh yes, I know them all, except for HOAs.  I had my original boatyard garden torn up and destroyed by the necessity to put in a new power line and fence.)

She advises “don’t put your best stuff out there.”

She mentioned a “pervious paving” that lets water through to tree roots and said that service berry is a good public tree.

Sh advised using well adapted plants and using nitrogen fixers to improve your soil.  To my surprise, ceanothus is a nitrogen fixer (as are lupines).  She also proposed the idea of using one season taprooted plants to penetrate compacted soil, an interesting idea that she says is untried.  One plant she proposed trying was rutabega!

It is good to cover old soil with plants (and topsoil, I assumed at the curbside because it has years of lead contaminants.

Re watering…how to make it absorb…where the run off falls is where it is absorbed…  Curb cuts let water in from the street side gutters.

More ideas: incorporate ledge seating, have a green driveway.

She says some plants are ambassadors for winning public acceptance of hellstrip gardening: “Grandma plants” (that remind people of their childhood), big flowers, color, fuzzy texture, curiosities…to make people like the garden.

People are reassured if a group volunteers to maintain a public garden.

She suggests giving lavender bundles to neighbours.  Hey, I took a bundle of lavender to Salt Hotel because they are so supportive of watering at the port.

Hellstrips provide wildlife habitat…pollinators (early blooming crocus is good for pollinators), larval food, milk weed, plant diversity…

And [I love this]: Pest-free plants = no bugs = NO BIRDS.

Curbside gardens provide nest materials for birds.  Hummingbirds use hairy leaves and plants with threadlike foliage.  Leave the seed heads up, don’t tidy up.

Tree frogs drink from the drops of water on alchemilla (lady’s mantle).  [I guess I will start liking that plant again!]

More about good plants for hellstrips: Communities of self sowers….plants that heal themselves if broken off…

[At the port, we also have to consider traffic sightlines in our curbside gardens.]

On her trip to Portland, she had been able to see the Wright garden for herself, after having used photos of it in the book.

She spoke about an earlier book in which she wrote about “having to move because of the stares”.  It just might be this one, which I am going to acquire as soon as I get home.

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What a wonderful lecture.  It made me so glad that here on the peninsula where there are hardly any sidewalks with strips of curbside lawn, I am lucky to have the Port of Ilwaco curbside gardens to play with (and the beach approach in Long Beach, difficult though that is because of the way it used to get trampled before it became almost all rugosa roses…

I will re-read her book, and I advise you to get it if you have any sort of hot, dry, difficult gardening area, because the ideas can be translated into solving the problems of challenging home gardens.

I am fortunate to also own her other book, which I haven’t read yet but will in short order! (I got it as a free book at the Bloggers Fling and the only reason I haven’t read it is that replacing lawns is not something that comes up in my work.)

no mow

no mow

breaktime

The silent auction was finalized.

I took a last close look at the stage display.

I took a last close look at the stage display.

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 Allan took some photos.

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Jonathan Wright: Design by Detail

Jonathan Wright plants and maintains gardens at the famous Chanticleer public gardens, with 7 full time gardeners working for him.  He accompanied his speech with 237 exquisite slides.  I could have happily viewed twice that many.

The promotion of a new restroom building at Chanticleer, to fit into a Japanese style garden area:  “Come enjoy the flush of spring—the Asian pee house.”

The plant lists for Chanticleer are kept in beautiful boxes, instead of labels being stuck in all over the garden.

He said a garden like Kensington is meant to be seen from overhead—no details, no surprises.  At Chanticleer, things that need further inspection slow visitors down in the garden.

They would rather use willow hoops than signs to keep people out of an area.

using rivers of white anemone to trace the pattern made by tree roots

peony stakes from hammered in copper tubes interlaced with copper wire

If you can see mulch you don’t have enough plants. [Yay! Thank you!]

Sometimes the detail is in what you remove.

reusing old things, like an old chain…thingie…with pockets filled with little succulents.

(Every single one of his 237 slides was amazing.)

Plants that I coveted:

Schidoxys, like a red allium…phonetic spelling; must find

rye seed interplanted with bulbs to hide old foliage

Echinacea ‘Rocky Top’

Little bluestem ‘Ovation’ and ‘Blue Heaven’

Gladiolus ‘Atom’

Scadoxus multiflorus (looked like a red allium)

dwarf amber sorgham

Gladiolus calianthus

He plants summer plants into the spring plants (like pansies and alyssum) and then the spring plants turn into mulch.

He repeated that he hates seeing bare soil.

Put sod in a basket, cut holes in the sod and then plant in it…

“You don’t notice the details immediately, but you feel them.”  

His book The Art of Gardening is coming out in September, and I can’t wait!

my favourite quotations from the three lectures:

We need to let plants touch,  bumping and grinding.  Health and vitality depends on plants being integrated horizontally. -Cole Burrell

You don’t notice the details immediately, but you feel them. -Jonathan Wright

Even a smallest pocket can make a landscape; otherwise there is no “place”. -Evelyn Hadden

preview of the 2016 Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

After the lectures, a spokesman from the Salem, Oregon chapter of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon spoke to the crowd about next year’s study weekend.  It will be in Salem instead of Eugene because of some sort of Olympics trials being in Eugene that month.  The online registration will open early, on January 15th, and will be limited to 400 attendees. I have already set a reminder on my phone.  The spokesman told us some enticing information:  The seminars will be held in an old mill, and Sebright Nursery will be on the tour list, and the Saturday night soirée will be held at Dancing Oaks nursery.  Dancing Oaks is a plant nerd’s mecca, one that is so far from where I live that I have only visited it once, in 2008.  Garden Tour Nancy was there last month.  This is the perfect opportunity to share her photos.  I hope we will all be there for study weekend 2016.

Garden Tour Nancy’s visit to Dancing Oaks (late June, 2015)

the long road to the nursery

the long road to the nursery

 

 

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the welcoming gates

the welcoming gates

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gate detail

gate detail

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photo 3

photo 4

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Nancy's Phil, with "gorgeous, deep green bamboo".

Nancy’s Phil, with “gorgeous, deep green bamboo”.

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bamboo

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photo 3

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Fremontodendron

Fremontodendron

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photo 4

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double flowering Philadelphus (mock orange)

double flowering Philadelphus (mock orange)

Nancy brought some of these pitcher plants home. I was jealous!

Nancy brought some of these pitcher plants home. I was jealous!

Nancy says they have a large collection of hens and they sell the eggs.

Nancy says they have a large collection of hens and they sell the eggs.

So…we hope to see you at Hardy Plant Study weekend in Salem next year.  I’m already so looking forward to a garden party at Dancing Oaks (and a major garden spending spree).

Our next post will get you back to garden touring, with four gardens yet to go before our return home.

 

 

 

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Ilwaco

at home by our driveway: a snail who has taken up residence in one of the tree cups (Allan's photo)

at home by our driveway: a snail who has taken up residence in one of the tree cups (Allan’s photo)

We began with a light weeding at the post office.

We began with a light weeding at the post office.

I planted still more sweet pea seeds to fill in among the ones that have germinated along the picket fence.  Not sure if there is any hope for late planting, but I do recall that Cannon Beach gardening icon June Kroft says she plants her sweet peas late in her beach garden.  I also have to commit to watering these daily and I have a feeling I will slip up on that.

We worked for hours day all the gardens down Howerton Avenue.  In two days (May 2), it will be part of the parade route for the annual children’s parade and will also see many passersby for opening day of the Saturday Market.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

east end of Howerton, looking west

east end of Howerton, looking west

California poppies

California poppies

I used to discount the beauty of California poppies until I read this passage in An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter.  (You can read the book online here.  In searching for the specific quotation, I came upon it in a garden blog new to me called Island Gardener 2014.)

“One blossom I take in a loving hand the more closely to examine it, and it breathes a glory of color into sense and spirit which is enough to kindle the dullest imagination…. Every cool gray-green leaf is tipped with a tiny line of red, every flower-bud wears a pale-green pointed cap like an elf, and in the early morning, when the bud is ready to blow, it pushes off the pretty cap and unfolds all its loveliness to the sun…. As I hold the flower in my hand and think of trying to describe it, I realize how poor a creature I am, how impotent are words in the presence of such perfection. It is held upright upon a straight and polished stem, its petals curving upward and outward into the cup of light, pure gold with a lustrous satin sheen; a rich orange is painted on the gold, drawn in infinitely fine lines to a point in the centre of the edge of each petal, so that the effect is that of a diamond of flame in a cup of gold. It is not enough that the powdery anthers are orange bordered with gold; they are whirled about the very heart of the flower like a revolving Catherine-wheel of fire. In the centre of the anthers is a shining point of warm sea-green, a last, consummate touch which makes the beauty of the blossom supreme…. Turning the flower and looking at it from the outside, it has no calyx, but the petals spring from a simple pale-green disk, which must needs be edged with sea-shell pink for the glory of God! The fresh splendor of this flower no tongue nor pen nor brush of mortal man can fitly represent.”

Now I know that California poppies come in many colours and I grow pink, rose, white, yellow, and red ones.  A good source for seeds is the One Stop Poppy Shoppe.

creamy white California poppies

creamy white California poppies

burnt orange California poppies

burnt orange California poppies

Ceanothus is still blooming in several of the Howerton gardens.

by the Loading Dock Village, a building that houses several small businesses.

by the Loading Dock Village, a building that houses several small businesses.

ceanothus

Below:  This particular bed by a cannery was planted years ago with Escallonia which will get too tall for the space.  I’m waiting to see if they prune it, so we don’t have to.

It is a barkscape on top of landscape fabric....

It is a barkscape on top of landscape fabric….

and the underwear shows all over the place.

and the underwear shows all over the place.  A little barberry struggles in a small hole in the fabric.

I’d love to see all the fabric and the escallonias ripped out and something smaller planted.

We had only lightly weeded at the Craft 3 (formerly Shorebank) building last time (a garden of too-tall shrubs that was planted years ago).  Today I had a mess of weeds to pull in one of the open areas.

before

before

Two five gallon buckets of weeds came from that small area.

Two five gallon buckets of weeds came from that small area.

after, with strawberry and kinnickinnick left behind.

after, with strawberry and kinnickinnick left behind.

Allan pruned some of the California wax myrtle shrubs between the bank and the Ilwaco Pavilion.

Allan pruned some of the California wax myrtle shrubs between the bank and the Ilwaco Pavilion.  (Allan’s photo showing the job halfway done)

by the Ilwaco Pavilion, my favourite curbside bed

by the Ilwaco Pavilion, my favourite curbside bed

next, the little one we call the drive-over garden

next, the little one we call the drive-over garden

by the Don Nisbett Gallery and the port office, three good gardens

by the Don Nisbett Gallery and the port office, three good gardens

The only garden on the waterfront side, other than assorted containers maintained by businesses, is at the Port Office.

Lots of alliums already blooming

Lots of alliums already blooming

Half of the Time Enough Books curbside bed, all gravelly and rocky, is crying out for more cool scree garden type plants.

looking east from Time Enough Books

looking east from Time Enough Books

Tulip 'Florette' still blooming in the garden boat

Tulip ‘Florette’ still blooming in the garden boat

The other half is mostly filled by a ceanothus that will need to be pruned lower once it blooms.

The other half of the curbside bed is mostly filled by a ceanothus.

Bees love it.

Bees love it.

It echoes the colour of OleBob's upstairs.

It echoes the colour of OleBob’s upstairs.

Bookstore owner Karla says the ceanothus will need pruning lower after it blooms, as it is almost blocking the view of her sign.  The ceanothus were all planted years ago and too tall and too wide for the space.

In front of the soon to reopen Harbor Lights Motel, the beds are big river rock on top of landscape fabric.

In front of the soon to reopen Harbor Lights Motel, the two beds are big river rock on top of landscape fabric.

I’ve shown all but three of the curbside beds.  Here are the last two at the western end:

looking west

looking west, before

after weeding

after weeding

the westernmost bed

the westernmost bed

The best part: My goal had been to finish Howerton Avenue by five o clock so we could move on to another job, and look:

in the van, ready to go: spot on!

in the van, ready to go: spot on!

On the way our of town, we stopped near the boatyard and Allan hoiked a big old trailing rosemary out of the foreground planter, below.  The rosemaries that had survived several winters had gotten big, woody, and battered looking and I had suddenly realized they just looked like big green unsightly blobs on the side of the planters, throwing off any symmetry.

a quick addition of some diascias to planters by the boatyard...

by the boatyard, rosemary replaced by a nice diascia, Baby Moon narcissi still blooming

in the boatyard: Remembrance

in the boatyard: Remembrance  (Allan’s photo)

and Fear Naught

and Fear Naught  (Allan’s photo)

The Anchorage Cottages

I had a particular mission at The Anchorage, while Allan checked other areas of the garden: to pull out scilla from the center courtyard garden.

before

before

Scilla has swamped this bed in springtime since before I took on the job.

Scilla has swamped this bed in springtime since before I took on the job.

It's pretty and blue for awhile and then it has to go.  I'd get every bulb out if I could.

It’s pretty and blue for awhile and then it has to go. I’d get every bulb out if I could.

I only got it pulled halfway back.

I only got it pulled halfway back.  This bed also used to be full of way too many calla lilies.

Next week, I hope to get the back part cleaned up.

Next week, I hope to get the back part cleaned up.

after, some definition regained

after, some definition regained

Another problem needs imminent attention: The virburnums in the middle have gotten way too big and need to be pruned back before they smother out good lilies and perennials growing in front of them.

The viburnum would like to march forward over the birdbath and all.

The viburnum would like to march forward over the birdbath and all.

I cut a little bit back to dark older leaves...more next week.

I cut a little bit back to dark older leaves…more next week.

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin', blue potato vine, in a corner of the courtyard

Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’, blue potato vine, in a corner of the courtyard

Dutch iris 'Eye of the Tiger'

Dutch iris ‘Eye of the Tiger’

more scilla to pull next week

more scilla to pull next week

It's almost time to redo the four window boxes with summer annuals.

It’s almost time to redo the four window boxes with summer annuals.

Allan made a watering well for the new Acer 'Butterfly'.

Allan made a watering well for the new Acer ‘Butterfly’.  It was dry because no one had noticed its arrival.

The Cove Restaurant

We made it to the Cove Restaurant, our Thursday tradition, by seven thirty.

Prawn solo appetizer, shared

Prawns Solo appetizer, shared

Chef Jason Lancaster presented us with a bonus dish to try.

Seared duck breast with Starvation Alley Farms cranberry and wild foraged huckleberry sauce with walnut wild rice

Seared duck breast with Starvation Alley Farms cranberry and wild foraged huckleberry sauce with walnut wild rice

The sauce’s deliciousness was enhanced by the fact that the owners of Starvation Alley Farms reside in the house just to our east.

Our tiredness had inspired both of us to order a heavier entree of comfort food than usual.  We ended up taking half ot home for a late night nosh.

cajun chicken alfredo

cajun chicken alfredo (with a spot of sauce from the Prawns Solo

We now had just one day left to get gardens along the Long Beach parade route looking perfect.

 

 

 

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On the May trip, I visited with Carol in the north Seattle neighbourhood of Ballard, just over the hill from my old garden. Usually I was only there in February for the garden show so it was wonderful for me to see the gardens, including this one near her house, at their peak.

Bamboo grove

Bamboo grove

Years ago, I felt I had been one of the first Seattleites to have a parking strip garden.  Now they abounded, to my delight.

Ballard parking strip garden path

Ballard parking strip garden path

parking strip with poppies

parking strip with poppies

street circle garden

street circle garden

Below:  Down the street from Carol a gay Vietnam Vet had the best circle garden of all. Sign says “fairy crossing”:

fairy crossing

fairy crossing

the same street circle

the same street circle

He had used that thing I love:  broken dishes in the garden.

street circle detail

street circle detail

Here was the sidewalk along his apartment, which Carol said had been a dive before and was now all nice.

his sidewalk garden

his sidewalk garden

On Carol and I walked past more parking strip gardens in Ballard.

parking strip mosaic

parking strip mosaic

poppies

poppies

parking strip

parking strip

Ballard parking strip

Ballard parking strip

Now I faintly recall that the trip ended with Carol driving back to the beach with me and staying over (at a motel, since our house is so small) for her usual late spring visit, so I was able to buy a few plants at Fremont Gardens.

Fremont Gardens

Fremont Gardens

I believe that this garden shop is now the excellent Emerald City Gardens.

Fremont Gardens

Fremont Gardens

Fremont Gardens

Fremont Gardens way cool stuff

Fremont Gardens

Fremont Gardens

Stipa gigantea at Fremont Gardens

Stipa gigantea at Fremont Gardens

and poppies

and poppies

And then, back to the beach, until my next escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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