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I tried to take a photo of the garden on the north side of the deck throughout the year, more or less from the same two angles.  Even though it’s on the north side, it seems to get enough sun to grow cosmos.  The backdrop, growing on the lattice, is Cascade hops. One of the cosmos cultivars turned out to be late blooming and therefore not much good.  I am going to have to try to figure out which one that was and avoid it this year.

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Larry and Robert’s Garden

Just five doors down is where we began the hot dry day by watering, weeding and deadheading. We maintain this garden so regularly that the weeding is minimal.

What I feel would make it just perfect is if it had a fence across the property on the west side, with an entry arbour; it already has a wisteria in place to grow on it.

From corner of house to west side of garden, fence with gate would be perfect.  It could be tall with the wisteria growing on it.

From corner of house to west side of garden, fence with gate would be perfect. It could be tall with the wisteria growing on it. I have no idea why wisteria in lower right corner is there with nothing to grow on.

Such a fence would prevent the deer from browsing this newly cleaned up bed.

Such a fence would prevent the deer from browsing this newly cleaned up bed.

Deer have been walking in from the front of the house and eating the Fuchsias...

Deer have been walking in from the front of the house and nibbling the Fuchsias…

..and the roses.

..and the roses.

Right where Allan is standing is where the fence could go...

Right where Allan is standing is where the fence could go…

The east side of the house, planted with deer resistant plants.

The east side of the house, planted with deer resistant plants.

the corner that gets way more sun that I thought it would...

the corner that gets way more sun that I thought it would…

I am going to move a few plants from here over to the shadier beds this fall.

The Verbena bonariensis in the boat amuses me by being tall and vertical where a sail mast would be, even if no one else notices.

The Verbena bonariensis in the boat amuses me by being tall and vertical where a sail mast would be, even if no one else notices.

Long Beach

By watering the Long Beach planters today, we hope that they will last till next Wednesday. If they can wait for watering till then, Allan won’t have to water them from Thursday to Sunday when I have gone with a dear friend on a four day trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

planter in front of the smokeshop with 'Star Cluster' Coreopsis.

planter in front of the smoke shop with Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’.

one of my favourite planters...and across from it, one that we plan to redo this fall.

one of my favourite planters…and across from it, one that we plan to redo this fall.

another angle

another angle

note to self: more patio dahlias next year

note to self: more patio dahlias in the planters next year

Basket Case Greenhouse baskets on the Long Beach gazebo

Basket Case Greenhouse baskets on the Long Beach gazebo

I noticed for the first time that Mexigo has corn planted in their half barrel.

I noticed for the first time that Mexigo has corn planted in their half barrel.

Just north of Mexigo and Scoopers Ice Cream is another problem planter; not only is it windswept, for some reason it is one of our most vandalized planters. It’s planted with two full sized escallonias and is infested with red clover amid the creeping succulents that are the only thing that thrives here.

little sempervivums all infested with clover...what a pain.

little sempervivums all infested with clover…what a pain.

I’ve managed this year to get a lavender and a santolina to grow here without being yanked out by someone, so perhaps whoever used to bother this planter so much has moved on.

The planters at the west end of the Bolstadt beach approach that we redid last fall look good even with very little water. Once a week, we are told, the city crew mists them with their water pump trailer.

not too bad for almost total neglect

not too bad for almost total neglect

Ilwaco

We were hustling because we had an early dinner engagement. Ilwaco would neatly fill up the rest of our workday. While Allan watered the planters, I checked on them closely for the first time in a couple of months. He has been doing a fantastic job on his own and I found very few, tiny weeds.

This planter in almost full shade on Spruce Street is doing remarkably well.

This planter in almost full shade on Spruce Street is doing remarkably well.

bright sun made the nasturtiums glow at First and Main.

bright sun made the nasturtiums glow at First and Main. The lotus vine is less rampant in the sun than in the shade, perhaps because the shady planter stays more moist.

same planter, backdrop of Don's Portside Café

same planter, backdrop of Don’s Portside Café

kitty corner: yellows and oranges to tone with the café

kitty corner: yellows and oranges to tone with the café

Because the planter by the Portside Café has a clogged drainage hole, it stays moist. We will have to dig it out this fall if we want to have any bulbs in it. For the summer, I took advantage of the problem by planting mimulus there.

mimulus

mimulus

more mimulus; it was a mixed batch so we could not make it all yellow.

more mimulus; it was a mixed batch so we could not make it all yellow.

Down on First and Eagle, the planter that got all its plants torn out (and then we discovered it in enough time to replant them) has sort of recovered.

The nasturtium grew again but not floriferously.

The nasturtium grew again but not floriferously.

Sunflowers grow on the south wall of the house next to that planter.

Sunflowers grow on the south wall of the house next to that planter.

Just across the street from that house is the boatyard's north fence.

Just across the street from that house is the boatyard’s north fence.

Steve was up working on his mast.  He told me he often forgets to take some tool or other up with him.

Steve was up working on his mast. He told me he often forgets to take some tool or other up with him.

I weeded the garden along the east fence of the boatyard and still had time to water it again, which I felt it sorely needed due to the heat.

boatyard garden; we water from inside of the fence.

boatyard garden; we water from inside of the fence.

Because Allan needs an hour and forty five minutes to water the Ilwaco planters with the pump trailer, I had plenty of time. I realized I could even do some weeding along the inside by pulling weeds away from the fence.

pulling grass clumps and horsetail and bindweed away from the inside

pulling grass clumps and horsetail and bindweed away from the inside

I met a new boatyard dog who condescended to be briefly petted.

I met a new boatyard dog who condescended to be briefly petted.

A mast was being raised by a crane.

A mast was being raised by a crane.

And I chatted with a woman who has two boat cats on her boat.

And I chatted with a woman who has two boat cats on her boat.

We actually ended up with fifteen minutes of turn around time at home before doing to dinner. Usually we have a later dinner; tonight, we were dining at the unusual hour of 5:30 PM at the Depot Restaurant.

Depot Restaurant

By picking an earlier hour, we had gotten the Chef’s Table at the Depot for Kathleen’s two-weeks-early birthday dinner. Chef Michael, from the open kitchen window, served us a special plate of bread and an upscale bleu cheese.

cheese

Then began the birthday feasting:

Carne Asada appetizer

Carne Asada Negro: Sautéed tender chunks of marinated, grass fed, hormone free Rib Eye on Cumin Scented Black Beans topped with mild Mama Lil’s Goat Horn Peppers and Cilantro with Fried Tortilla Chips

Thai calamari appetizer

Thai Calamari: Fried wild sustainable Calamari tossed in Thai Peanut Cilantro Sauce on fresh Spinach and Napa Cabbage mix topped with Crispy Won Tons

for Kathleen: Southern Comfort Pork with enough for tomorrow's dinner, as well

for Kathleen: Southern Comfort Pork: Braised Pork Shoulder in Southern Comfort Bar BQ Sauce on Yam Mashers seasoned with Brown Sugar surrounded by Jalapeño Creamed Corn topped with Green Onion, Maple and Bacon Salsa (enough to provide tomorrow’s dinner, as well)

for me: spicy prawns

for me: Bangkok Prawns: Sweet Lime Chile Glazed Fried Prawns on Rice Noodle Sesame Seaweed Salad topped with Crispy Fried Chinese Noodles

for Allan: Parmesan Artichoke Risotto: Vegetarian Risotto with Artichoke Flowerets, Imported Parmesan Cheese and topped with Micro Greek Salad

for Allan: Parmesan Artichoke Risotto: Vegetarian Risotto with Artichoke Flowerets, Imported
Parmesan Cheese and topped with Micro Greek Salad

lemon bundt cake with blackberry puree backed with flourless chocolate cake

lemon bundt cake with blackberry puree backed with flourless chocolate torte

sorbet

sorbet

After such a scrumptious feast, we still had more talking to do so we moved to a table on the deck for another hour or more. It was an unusual angle to me to see the hops vines from the inside of the deck; I decided it was truly a stroke of genius to have planted them against the lattice.

The other side is the garden we deadhead and water.

The other side is the garden we deadhead and water.

They look quite wonderful draping overhead.

They look quite wonderful draping overhead…

and dangling down

and dangling down

and they looked even more romantic when darkness fell.

and they looked even more romantic when darkness fell.

It seems we lead a life of luxury with constant dining out; tomorrow would be another such dinner. We’ll make up for it this winter by being frugal (I hope!)

 

 

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Monday, 21 October 2013

We did it!  Got a difficult job out of the way.  But not without difficulty.  At least on my part.

But first: a cute kitty next door to the Ilwaco Post Office (where we pick up our mail six days a week as this little town has no mail delivery).

an Ilwaco cat

an Ilwaco cat

Followed by a cute cat at The Planter Box

Planter Box cat

Planter Box cat

…where we went to get a load of “cow fiber” for the Golden Sands Assisted Living courtyard garden.

Raymond loads us up.

Raymond loads us up.

There is still a “guess the weight” contest going on for the giant pumpkin.

Allan and I both guessed wrong.

Allan and I both guessed wrong.

And lots of small pumpkins and other gourds for sale…

in colourful array

a colourful array

And some ornamental grasses, which will be handy because we need some for Andersen’s RV Park:

just what I need, soon

just what I need, soon

The Planter Box has two kinds of chocolate cosmos in excellent condition.  Oddly, the new one has a tag that says “annual”, and the classic old Cosmos atrosanguineus has a tag that says “perennial”.

two kinds...and they do smell like chocolate.

two kinds…and they do smell like chocolate.

At Golden Sands, we parked by the back fire door and I shuffled through a long line of fallen leaves to the front entry, to get someone official to open the locked fire door for us.  It reminded me so much of olden days in Seattle.  I miss long crunchy drifts of fallen leaves.   Around here we mostly have conifers.

so autumnal

so autumnal

typical treeline of the peninsula

typical tree line of the peninsula, to the north of Golden Sands

And so we begin the job…

with the fire door open

with the fire door open

and the long, rather surreal trek down the carpeted hallway to the courtyard door...

and the long, rather surreal trek down the carpeted hallway to the courtyard door…

A dry day like today is perfect for the job because any dampness in the soil leads to a track of mud.  Something about having to wheelbarrow down that hallway makes any mulching at this job daunting to me and something to worry about and dread.  Maybe because of having read this excellent young adult suspense novel a couple of times?

hall

In the courtyard, I’m pleased to report that after our pruning talk, the maintenance man did a much nicer job on the rhododendrons.

an improvement in pruning technique

an improvement in pruning technique

He spoke last time of removing the two big conifers outside the dining room doors.  If he would not be allowed to remove them, he will limb them up.  I agree they are too heavy and ponderous and severely block a view that might inspire residents to actually go out into the courtyard.

These trees are too ponderous.

These trees are too ponderous.

I was thrilled to get the NW quadrant mulched at last and applied a thick and luscious layer of manure.  It was fresher than usual and smelled rather strong in the building till I propped the courtyard door open to get a cross breeze in the hallway!  If any of the residents grew up on a farm, the smell would bring back memories.

NW quadrant, happy at last

NW quadrant, happy at last

What a difference from the sunken, rubbly look of two weeks ago.

today!

two weeks ago

That quadrant consumed quite a lot of our three big scoops of cow poo, and soon I was pondering what to do about the frustration of, as usual, not having enough to finish.  The budget probably did not include two loads of mulch, and yet I just could not bear to think , “Oh well, we will finish it next spring.”

I wanted enough to mulch the back edges of the southern two quadrants and to fluff up the northeast one (although it started with the best soil because my mother spent some money on soil amendments when she lived in a room overlooking that area).

two areas hungry for mulch

two areas hungry for mulch

Forget waiting.  I decided I could divide the bill between October and November and sent Allan back to The Planter Box for another load.  Meanwhile, I weeded out more beach strawberry.  By now, the weather had me feeling truly miserable.

too hot!!

too hot!! inside the courtyard

It really was too hot…74 degrees outside, and who knows how hot in the heat-holding courtyard.  I reflected I might be the only person on the Long Beach Peninsula who was hating the “lovely” weather.

When Allan returned, I tried switching with him for awhile and getting the manure from the trailer.  It was in partial shade….

just a bit shady

just a bit shady

An aside: just south of where we park is something interesting:  a long grass runway which is kept mowed, and must be kept that way (we have been told) for airplanes.  Why, I do not know!  Perhaps it is there for emergency landing needs of small aircraft.

the runway of mystery

the runway of mystery

I did not do well on wheelbarrowing…still seem to be recovering from the hydrangea job, so we switched tasks again.   Finally, we had all the quadrants deeply mulched.

Southeast and Southwest

Southeast and Southwest

Just because I am so darned pleased, let me reprise that before and after, but bigger:

southeast before

southeast before

southeast after

southeast after

It is luscious.   We could have used even more on mom’s old quadrant, but a third load would have truly done us (and the budget) in.

me mum's former garden

me mum’s former garden

This project all started in 2009 when my mother moved in to the room behind the righthand window, above.  Each quadrant was just scrubby grass (formerly lawn) and weeds and a few California poppies of the plain orange variety.  She wanted a garden and the director at the time, Linda, said we could dig up the quadrant outside her window and make one for her.  Over time, this segued into remaking all four quadrants of lawn.

As we left, so glad to get out of the heat, Allan saw some mushrooms at the west side of the building and stopped to photograph them.

I have no idea what kind...

I have no idea what kind…

shrooms

I can tell he was pleased with the mulching job.  He went back into the courtyard to get something, and when I downloaded my photos tonight, I found these:

mulch

mulch

mulch...so beautiful...gardeners will know what I mean...

mulch…so fragrantly beautiful…gardeners will know what I mean…

Driving south, I saw a lovely fog ahead as we approached Long Beach…but it stayed just ahead of us.

beautifully grey in the distance

beautifully grey in the distance

I had an ominous feeling that the Long Beach planters might have their water turned off “for the winter” and indeed they do.  We tested them.  Fortunately, the soil feels slightly damp, I suppose from evening dew…as there is no respite in sight from this weather.

makes everyone ecstatic but me!

makes everyone ecstatic but me!

We did some fall clean up around Long Beach city hall (the only place I could think of to work for an hour in the shade!) and bought some H blocks for a project.  By the time we got to Ilwaco, the mist had eluded us.

home in time to do a little project

home in time to do a little project

I needed to retrieve milk crates that were holding up plant shelves by the greenhouse.  I’ll need the crates soon for sorting bulbs.

little project before

little project before

and after

and after

I will be so glad to get the plants into the ground at Golden Sands.  Some were donated by Sheila and some by Kathleen Shaw and have been waiting since July for the sprinkler system to be fixed, and for the mulch to be applied, and now for the rain to return.  (I must remember to try not to complain too much when eventually we may have to work in rain and wind again.)

I did a little bit of at home gardening till dark and enjoyed my own personal sunset (from the garden, and the street, not with a fancy port/boats/water backdrop).

hops in evening light

hops in evening light

from the garden

from the garden, looking west

looking south to the port from our back garden

looking southwest to the port from Nora’s back yard

How I love seeing the western sky; our old house backed onto a hill and we never saw a sunset from there.

sunset sky over the Tom/Judy and Larry/Robert houses just down the block

sunset sky over the Tom/Judy and Larry/Robert houses just down the block

birds and clouds

birds and clouds over Nora’s roof

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street

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We have done a small flower bed at Seaview’s Depot Restaurant (our favourite!) for several years.  Here is how the north side garden bed looked in the mid 90s:

Depot garden before

Depot garden before

Sometime around maybe 2007 we started to garden there.  (This is the sort of moment when I really miss iPhoto and its dates in my defunct computer.  I could reload it year by year from discs but am hoping to find an expert who can extract it into my new computer in one fell swoop.)

And here is is during the first year after we made a flower garden there.

And here is is during the first year after we made a flower garden there.

I had been wanting to get rid of that strip of lawn for several years, especially since restaurant owner Nancy wanted more colour that could be seen from the street.  In 2012, we were given the go ahead and …

8 May 2012, 11:16 AM

8 May 2012, 11:16 AM

8 May 1:39 PM

8 May 1:39 PM

8 May 5:54 PM

8 May 5:54 PM

We waited til the next day to plant because the Soil Energy mulch was hot.

22 June, the garden coming on

22 June, the garden coming on

22 June, under the northeast window

22 June, under the northeast window

Above, my favourite perennials, Ergyngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Cistus, and Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’.

22 June, early summer rain

22 June, early summer rain

28 June

28 June

The new part of the garden is planted mostly with Savlia viridis (painted sage) and assorted tall Cosmos grown at The Planter Box.

28 June

28 June

Cosmos

Cosmos

3 July

3 July

3 July

3 July

The lattice is behind the garden covered with hops.

22 July, Dierama (angel's fishing rod) on east wall

22 July, Dierama (angel’s fishing rod) on east wall

23 July

23 July

23 July

23 July

The shrub to the left is Leycesteria formosa (Himalyan honeysuckle), a particular favourite of Chef Michael’s.

12 September

12 September

12 September, exactly the way I wanted it to turn out!

12 September, exactly the way I wanted it to turn out!

12 September, cosmos and Solidago (goldenrod) 'Fireworks'

12 September, cosmos and Solidago (goldenrod) ‘Fireworks’

21 September, Salvia viridis (painted sage) overhung with Leycesteria formosa

21 September, Salvia viridis (painted sage) overhung with Leycesteria formosa

21 September

21 September

21 Sept; the hops went crazy with improved soil.

21 Sept; the hops went crazy with improved soil.

21 September

21 September

21 Sept from the NE corner of the restaurant.

21 Sept from the NE corner of the restaurant.

foreground: Schizostylis (pink, blooms late), Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ (yellow), Acidanthera (white)

On October 30th:  Here’s a first: the hops we grow at The DEPOT Restaurant were included in an ale made by Astoria’s Fort George Brewery.

30 Oct, Co-Hoperative Ale

30 Oct, Co-Hoperative Ale

drawing a glass

drawing a glass

and very delicious it was.

and very delicious it was.

Not only that, but the Fort George harvesters did an impressive job of picking the hops without trampling the garden.  Thank you!

On December 5th, the Cistus and Ageranthymum were still blooming (both from The Basket Case Greenhouse).

5 Dec, Cistus

5 Dec, Cistus

5 Dec, blooming Schizostylis

5 Dec, blooming Schizostylis

The cosmos had gone over and we pulled them, and mulched the new garden with a yard of scrumptious washed dairy manure from The Planter Box.  (Photos to be inserted, perhaps, if/when I get my iPhoto revived…if I took any that day.)

At Chef Michael’s request, we stuck some greens and some bits of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ dried flowerheads into the windowboxes to replace dead annuals.

windowboxes

windowbox

windowbox

windowbox with holly sprigs, evergreen huckleberry, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, red and yellow twig dogwood

(Preview:  I am pleased to tell you these still looked passably good on February 10th 2013!)

Nancy had wanted colour that showed from the street to draw attention to the restaurant, and at the end of the season, she told us that with the new garden bed expansion, “You knocked it out the park!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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