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Posts Tagged ‘horses’

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Today was our day for all the jobs other than Long Beach and Ilwaco.  At this time of year, about an hour and a half of deadheading and weeding is all we need to do at the bigger ones.

Calvin says he would like me to stay home.

Calvin says he would like me to stay home.

Post office garden looks bare where we removed some grasses along the edge. I do not like to see so much soil.

Post office garden looks bare where we removed some grasses along the edge. I do not like to see so much soil.

in the post office window

in the post office window

The Depot Restaurant

Dierama at the Depot

Dierama at the Depot

"angel's fishing rod"

“angel’s fishing rod”

camera now known as Spot

camera now known as Spot

Persicaria was abuzz with bees.

Persicaria was abuzz with bees.

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garden north of dining deck

I trimmed the pollen out of the flowers that might brush someone's shoulders.

I trimmed the pollen out of the flowers that might brush someone’s shoulders.

The Red Barn Arena

our little Red Barn garden

our little Red Barn garden

I carry with me some organic mint horse treats for occasions such as these.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

garden supervisor

garden supervisor

a noble profile

a noble profile

"Horses make a landscape more beautiful." -Alice Walker (Allan's photo)

“Horses make a landscape more beautiful.” -Alice Walker (Allan’s photo)

barn cat

barn cat

Diane’s Garden

along the road

along the road

Lavatera 'Barnsley'

Lavatera ‘Barnsley’

blue veronica

blue veronica

back yard containers

back yard containers

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The Planter Box

We stopped to get me a couple more bags of potting soil.

front patio display

front patio display

Calendula 'Strawberry Blonde'

Calendula ‘Strawberry Blonde’

roses

roses

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Marilyn’s Garden

from the street

from the street

looking south

looking south

Scooter

Scooter

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Moments communing with animal friends are the best part of my day.  It was HOT, thus the hat.

looking west from the deck, giant Miscanthus hiding the garage next door

looking west from the deck, giant Miscanthus hiding the garage next door

looking north

looking north

my good friend Scooter

my good friend Scooter

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telephoto

telephoto

I asked Allan to prune some shrubs away from the house in the native hedge by the narrow east side path.

before

before

after

after

Klipsan Beach Cottages

When we arrived and parked, the warm sweet piney smell reminded me of childhood camping near Lake Wenatchee.

blue sky, sweet smells, looking up by where we park

blue sky, sweet smells, looking up by where we park

Melissa texted this photo from The Oysterville Garden, where she and Dave were working today.  She wrote “[The garden owner] wanted you to see the allée.”  If I had gotten this text while we were still way further north at Marilyn’s, we would have driven over to Oysterville.

Hydrangea 'Incrediball' in Oysterville

Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ in Oysterville

At Klipsan Beach Cottages:

sit spot with Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant'

sit spot with Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

Bella

Bella

Sarah

Sarah

birdbath view, for the weekly record, spots or not

birdbath view, for the weekly record, spots or not

The Anchorage Cottages

my good friend Mitzu

greeted by my good friend Mitzu

Escallonia iveyi at The Anchorage

Escallonia iveyi at The Anchorage

An old yucca that had sat not doing much for years decided to bloom this year.

An old yucca that had sat not doing much for years decided to bloom this year.

center courtyard

center courtyard

in the center courtyard

in the center courtyard

Kindly note how the purplish inside of the Allium tones perfectly with the purplish part of the Agastache.

compare

This was completely intentional, as always.  😉

Allan made a bench in the Zen Courtyard sittable again.

before

during.  Allan says the bench was buried when he started.

after

after

Long Beach

We added some nice Soil Energy mulch to two of the Long Beach street trees.  We are planning to do this to several of the trees where soil shows.  Soon we will be out of our mulch pile, and the city crew is so busy we may not get another pile till fall.

all fluffy

all fluffy

Ilwaco

evening light on our apple tree

evening light on our apple tree

On the way home, I got a text from Jodi across the street asking if we could take on the garden of their little beach house.  I like it, it is small, and the commute is short, so I said yes.  Later in the evening, we went over to look at the project and sat around their fire circle with glasses of fine wine.

...along with my new friend, Daphne.

…along with my new friend, Daphne.

We’ll be starting the project after the upcoming garden tour weekend of July 16th.  It will give you something new to look at on this blog.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

I had not intended to have a two day work week.  Today was supposed to be the watering day for Long Beach and Ilwaco.  Pouring rain made it a Garden Tour Blogging day.  The rain barrels filled up and I was happy and content.

Because of the rain, Allan and I went to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum (3.5 blocks west) to see a photography exhibit.  A modern photographer has photographed the landscapes described in a book that Allan recently read:

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swan

While we were there, the museum director, Betsy Millard, offered us four panels of some old fencing.  It is marvelous stuff that would make our garden look like something from The Addams Family.  I looked at it and tried to lift an end of one section and felt my leg sort of give way and sorrowfully said we just couldn’t do it.

I used to be much stronger.

With Betsy.  I used to be much stronger.

The fence  has been replaced by local welder Jacob Moore (also of Pink Poppy Bakery) with a fence that echoes the railroad theme of the museum courtyard, where an old train car from the Clamshell Railroad is on display.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

new fence by Jacob's Hammer (Allan's photo)

new fence by Jacob’s Hammer (Allan’s photo)

the old train car "Nahcotta" (Allan's photo)

the old train car “Nahcotta” (Allan’s photo, taken yesterday)

I went home and brooded and fretted and realized I have an almost impossible time asking people for favours.  I posted about this issue on Facebook along with the realization that I could actually pay someone to deliver those excellent gothic fence pieces (not that I know exactly what to do with them yet).  I am used to being the one paid or asked to do things for people, not the other way around. Within an hour, I had offers of help and an arrangement to get them delivered on some later day by Jacob himself.

Meanwhile, Allan fetched the one small piece that would fit in our trailer.

sliding it under the new fence

sliding it under the new fence

at home. You can see how the wide pieces would overpower our tiny little wooden trailer.

at home. You can see how the wide pieces would overpower our tiny little wooden trailer.

 In the evening, we had our meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang at…

The Cove Restaurant

We were joined by Todd this time, always a treat.

same old story...going on about finger blight or some such thing. Allan, please feature someone else talking next time. It does happen!

same old story…going on about finger blight (plant theft) or some such thing. Allan, please feature someone else talking next time. It does happen!

strawberry and feta salad

strawberry and feta salad

spicy Thai prawns

spicy Thai prawns

vegetable noodle bowl (Allan's photo)

vegetable noodle bowl (Allan’s photo)

We stayed till after closing, as always, and were given sweet little desserts by the delightful Lynn, our server.

Thank you!

Thank you!

We always know it is time to go when she gets the vacuum cleaner out.

Sondra's Cove Restaurant garden at dusk. (Allan's photo)

Sondra’s Cove Restaurant garden at dusk. (Allan’s photo)

There would be no lingering and talking in the parking lot today because of sideways wind and rain.

I’ve already written about July 8th in the “plant tag” post of a couple of days ago so next will be the July 9th weekend.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries 

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

July 7: cool and cloudy  Picked raspberries—froze 2 pkgs.  Worked from 3:00 to 5:00 “pruning” rows 1 and 2 of strawberries.  Called in Bluestone Perennial order.

1998 (age 74):

July 6: HOT  Today I worked in the shade planting seedlings into several bowls.  There are several plants (annuals) too tall for bowls.  I think I’ll plant these in some big peat pots and some in the peat trays so I can plant them directly into the flower bed when they are big enough to fend for themselves.

July 7: Another morning headache so I took this day off.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

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morning

The first thing I heard upon awakening an hour and a half too early was the damnable wind battering the south wall of the house.  Curses!  I had wanted to finish the curbside gardens at the port.  The wind inspired me to change to at least one non-windy job.

The Red Barn Arena

First we did our wake up call to the Red Barn garden, and I knew it would be annoyingly windy there.

Red Barn

The wind came from the sea today.

The narrow garden was quite weedy with chickweed, shotweed, sorrel, and pesky little grasses.  Lots of California poppy seedlings, too.

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Allan’s photos, before

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and after

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nearby, a horse in training (Allan’s photo)

One horse, Jess, was particularly kicking up her heels today.  Round and round her pasture she went, first trotting, then galloping, then up with the heels, then stopping at the gate to make sure we noticed, then around again.

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Jess (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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ditch dug deeper because pasture has been flooded

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Jess

Diane’s garden

Next, we went next door to Diane and Larry’s pleasantly sheltered garden, mostly out of the wind.  What a relief.  Jess was pastured in the area where we usually park, so we had to walk down the highway a block….

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looking back: a difficult walk for me with my bad knee.

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Allan getting started on the Stipa gigantea

I clipped the hydrangea which is the one that was haunting me when I was afraid doctor visits this week might prevent spring clean up.  (Happily, the doctor visit yesterday did not morph into any kind of emergency as I had feared.)

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before

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after, so glad to get it done!

Seeing my good friend Misty for the first time this year was such a pleasure.

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I got kisses.

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Misty

I poked down into the pot that looks empty, looking for Stargazer lilies bulbs, and felt nothing.

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I do hope the lilies, which Diane especially requested, did not rot in all our rain.

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Diane’s crocuses

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front garden, weeded and clipped

I used the broom as a walking stick to get back along the road to the Red Barn parking lot.

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tulips at the Red Barn entry

Long Beach

We finished the work day back in the wind, weeding and clipping sword ferns around the pond at the corner of Bolstad and Pacific.

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Allan’s photos: before

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after

I walked over to City Hall to pick up our check and missed this:

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Allan’s photo

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At City Hall: Leucojum, grape hyacinth, pulmonaria

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hellebore

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the ramp to City Hall

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narcissi

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Geranium macrorrhizum

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Ibiris (evergreen candytuft) and Hyacinth

I walked a half block worth of planters just to admire the narcissi (and pull some weeds).

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tree garden

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I love the reflexed petals.

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The Cottage Bakery called to me, and I acquired a couple of tiger paws to celebrate having that good glucose test result.

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Cottage Bakery

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tiger paws

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pies

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Cottage Bakery cakes

Back outside…Across the street is the tree garden where I took some of the above narcissi photos.

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crocuses

Back at the pond:  Allan had gone out on the center waterfall section and clipped ferns without falling in.  Our work at the pond garden is in view of the Heron Cam.

At my request, he took the big pick and attacked a section of salal.  How I loathe the way the salal has run through everything in this garden that we only have time to thoroughly weed about three times a year.

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salal all up in the santolina’s business

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After some exhausting picking and root clipping and trimming santolina

The maddening thing is that the salal will return soon and mock me.  A pox on salal anywhere but in the woods.

I weeded all along the edges.

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before

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after

Park Manager Mike stopped by to let us know that there’s now a pile of mulch for us at the city works yard, and that the planters from Bolstad all the way down to the police station (four in all) are still due to be dug up for electrical repair.  I can only be philosophical about it.

Because tomorrow is supposed to be nice weather, I hope to finish Howerton Way curbside gardens and Mayor Mike’s garden in Ilwaco, and weed the little popouts on Ocean Beach Boulevard in Long Beach, and fill some buckets of mulch and apply them to Fifth Street Park.  I live in hope.

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one more batch of narcissi in front of NIVA green

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries, two decades ago

1995 (age 70)

Feb 23: Weeded asparagus bed.  Cut centers off the broccoli to make plants branch out.  Saved best pieces although a lot were mushy—probably from hard freeze last week.  Started sieving compost.  All containers were full so when 1/4 of new box was empty I started sieving compost into that end of box.

1998 (age 73)

Feb 23:  1:00-4:30  It seems I only do one or two days of good work each week.  Today I started sawing up the pile of branches that was along the shop.  I was so tired I felt sick but I got that pile cut up and about half of it into the shed.  Next is the branches that Skyler dragged over to the “raspberry” path.  Then the branches next to garage and in the driveway (from the mountain ash tree).  Then I need to start bringing in the two cords of firewood from the upper driveway.

 

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

We have a few dregs of bulbs to plant here and there, and one more order coming by UPS.  And mine to plant at home.  Without that order, we can’t plant at Golden Sands, so we decided to achieve some erasures on the fall clean up work board.

at home, before work

In the back garden: I may never have had Geranium 'Rozanne' blooming this late.

In the back garden: I may never have had Geranium ‘Rozanne’ blooming this late.

looking east in the front garden

looking east in the front garden

Melianthus major and Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'

Melianthus major and Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

The newly wired enclosure to the garden is protecting my Joseph's Coat rose from deer.

The newly wired enclosure to the garden is protecting my Joseph’s Coat rose from deer.

Hymenanthera, still with berries

Hymenanthera, still with berries

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant'

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

Tetrapanax flower buds...Could it possibly stay mild enough for them to actually burst into white flowers??

Tetrapanax flower buds…Could it possibly stay mild enough for them to actually burst into white flowers??

Mike’s Garden

Just down the block, we did some pruning, shaping, cutting back of perennials, and weeding at Mayor Mike’s garden.

Allan shaped the Lonicera 'Baggeson's Gold' because Mike likes a formal look.

Allan shaped the Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ because Mike likes a formal look.

looking south

looking south

Mike's front garden

Mike’s front garden

Did not prune the escallonia because I feel it provides nice privacy for the new outdoor covered deck.

Did not prune the escallonia because I feel it provides nice privacy for the new outdoor covered deck.

Allan's photo: a bed of the dreaded Geranium 'A T Johnson' (planted by the garden designer years ago)

Allan’s photos: a bed of the dreaded Geranium ‘A T Johnson’ (planted by the garden designer years ago)

after (It's still there, but won't look mushy after a frost)

after (It’s still there, but won’t look mushy after a frost)

Mike’s garden is now done for the season except for a post-frost check (for anything made blackened or turned to mush if we have a hard frost).

The Red Barn

The fields were flooded at the Red Barn.

The fields were flooded at the Red Barn.

Amy bringing a horse in

Amy bringing a horse in past the little garden

Barn co-owner Amy said she had never seen so much water in the fields, and that it had been worse the day before.

Barn co-owner Amy said she had never seen so much water in the fields, and that it had been worse the day before.

I got to pet my good friend Disney.

I got to pet my good friend Disney.

Amy in the wet fields

Amy in the wet paddock

Just for kicks, here are more photos of the funny faces a horse made for me last time we were there:

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Today, we could not park in the field next to neighbour Diane’s property because two horses were enjoying the dry conditions there.

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So we walked the wheelbarrow along the highway to get to Diane’s garden.  We usually cut through by the white horse trailer.

on the way to Diane's

on the way to Diane’s

Diane’s garden

Along the roadside, we clipped perennials and pulled cosmos.

roadside garden, after some tidying

roadside garden, after some tidying

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; this whole bed may come out this winter for a septic project.

The back yard planters will need a post frost clean up...

The back yard planters will need a post frost clean up…

...because the annuals just are not done yet.

…because the annuals just are not done yet.

Other than the possible post frost visit, Diane’s is now done for the season.

water along the roadway; we heard it was much higher along Sandridge yesterday.

water along the roadway; we heard it was much higher along Sandridge yesterday.

Next door, in Amy’s garden:

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schlepping back along the road (Allan's photo...obviously)

schlepping back along the road (Allan’s photo…obviously)

Long Beach

It will take several sessions (at least three days worth) to get Long Beach erased from the work list.  Today, I decided to trim back a tall ornamental grass in Fifth Street Park.  The Christmas sea serpent will be installed atop this fence.  I like the idea of him swimming along above grasses, like in a marsh, but this one is so tall it will block part of the serpent’s body.

This is during....

This is during….partway thinned.

after. I won't be surprised if the crew cuts it down all the way.

after. I won’t be surprised if the crew cuts it down all the way.

It is so weird that narcissi (probably 'February Gold') are blooming.

It is so weird that narcissi (probably ‘February Gold’) are blooming.

I decided to clip the flower border in the frying pan park while Allan did some trimming by the restroom sign.  I planted some stray tulips (‘Night Rider’) and species crocus, as well.

Allan's project, before

Allan’s project, before

park corner

park corner

after

after

before

my project, before

When it started to rain, Allan (in yellow), the van, and my raincoat, were so far away.

When it started to rain, Allan (in yellow), the van, and my raincoat, were so far away.

Fortunately, the hard rain was a brief one.

after

after

I had decided to cut down the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in the Frying Pan park just because people do like a tidy garden.  The gaura had still been blooming.  I am debating whether or not to just leave them up in the semi circle garden at Veterans Field, where they also are still blooming:

Vet Field semi circle: to tidy or not to tidy.

Vet Field semi circle: to tidy or not to tidy?

As I finished my project, Allan had dumped a big load of debris at city works.

As I finished my project, Allan had dumped a big load of debris at city works, including the still blooming gaura clippings.

a visit to Jo’s

We stopped by Jo's, plant a cyclamen, and got to see our good friend Coco.

We stopped by Jo’s, plant a cyclamen, and got to see our good friend Coco.

and, as we were leaving, we saw this fella.

and, as we were leaving, we saw this fella.

Ilwaco

Coming into town in the dusk revealed that the city crew had been busy putting up holiday lights.

At First and Lake, with a lighted crab pot at the base and a crab light at the top.

At First and Lake, with a lighted crab pot at the base and a crab light at the top.

By the boatyard, First and Eagle

By the boatyard, First and Eagle

At the west end of Howerton Avenue, the crab pot tree is under construction and is going to be huge this year!

an extra large base, built around a pole

an extra large base, built around a pole

Surely this will outdo any other crab pot town!

Surely this will outdo any other crab pot town!

tree

from a previous year

photo from a previous year, featuring the World’s Shortest Fireworks Display

At the other end of town, the lights and crabs are up on Elizabeth Avenue

At the other end of town, the lights and crabs are up on Elizabeth Avenue

The Depot Restaurant

We moved our North Beach Garden Gang weekly meeting to burger night at the Depot, because the Cove, where we usually go to fish taco night (and eat fancier food than the featured fish tacos)  is closed for dinners for a couple of weeks.  Melissa and Dave had been wanting to try out burger night.  They were impressed.

Pelligrino orange for Allan and Melissa.

Pelligrino orange for Allan and Melissa. (Allan’s photo)

a beer from North Jetty Brewing with a touch of Starvation Alley Farm cranberry juice

a beer from North Jetty Brewing with a touch of Starvation Alley Farm cranberry juice

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: burger night at the Depot with fried egg, bacon, pickles and lettuce visible among a long list of tasty fillings.

Melissa's first burger night, with Allan

Melissa’s first burger night, with Allan

We were regaled with stories of Dave, Melissa, Todd, and the owner of that lovely Oysterville garden all working together in the wind and rain on Saturday and Monday (and maybe Sunday, too), including the moment when both Melissa and Dave took a tumble while transplanting and “went down like bowling pins”.  I look forward to driving by and seeing what they’ve been up when we go on the annual art studio tour after Thanksgiving.  Even though I suggested Mel and Dave for the job, I’m kind of jealous of them all working together…and yet I don’t feel I would have been up to it.

Even though rain is bucketing outside while I write this, I’m hoping the forecast of dry weather for several days will be true.  We just might get the fall clean up done, the rest of the bulbs in, and be on staycation by Thanksgiving.

the dwindling work list; I hope to have three more jobs erased by this time tomorrow.

the dwindling work list; I hope to have three more jobs erased by this time tomorrow.

 

 

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Friday, 20 February 2015

We’ve only had one day off since we started back to work on February 10th.  I’d like to think the cats miss me.

Smokey and his mom, Mary

Smokey and his mom, Mary

They seem perfectly content just to have my chair.  (It was naughty Calvin who clawed on the chair arm, not these two angels.)

They seem perfectly content just to have my chair. (It was naughty Calvin who clawed on the chair arm, not these two angels.)

I wanted the satisfaction of crossing two jobs off of the work list.  And we go to private gardens only on weekdays, so today we did The Red Barn and the private garden next door to it.

On the way, we fluffed up a couple of the Ilwaco planters with a bit of new potting soil and then made a side trip to the Depot Restaurant garden to dig up some hops roots for Chef Michael.  He wants to grow some in containers on his deck at home.  It took the big loppers to cut the roots.

Cascade Hops roots, thick and fibrous; gave him some with nice sprouts on them

Cascade Hops roots, thick and fibrous; gave him some with nice sprouts on them

The Red Barn Arena

At the barn, Red, a horsewoman’s handsome and friendly dog, came to greet me.

Red, a little camera shy

Red, a little camera shy

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

All we had to do was weed along the fence.  This was one of our last jobs last November, and I had looked at all the grassy weeds and thought “I’ll just wait till February”, so here we are.

before

before

after

after

Our parking space, on the lawn next to the hedge behind which was our next job, had turned into part of a completely fenced pasture.

pasture

Barn owner Amy told us the horse is hers, a brood mare who will be having a baby in about 40 days.

We look forward to seeing the foal in the springtime.

We look forward to seeing the foal in the springtime.

Diane’s garden

My solution was for Allan to unhook the trailer and just drive the van into Diane and Larry’s parking area, which is hard to turn around in.

Diane's front garden, before

Diane’s front garden, before, looking north

almost after, with Allan pulling a last weed or two

almost after, with Allan pulling a last weed or two

looking south, before...

looking south, before…

and after, including the planting of some pink and white California poppies ('Dusky Rose' and 'White Linen' seeds)

and after, including the planting of some pink and white California poppies (‘Dusky Rose’ and ‘White Linen’ seeds)

I will probably put a crisp edge on the lawn side of the garden next time.

west side of house, before

 side of house, before

and after

and after  (we did not make the house tilt….)

Iris reticulata in Diane's garden

Iris reticulata in Diane’s garden

We both Mapped Our Walk today:

mine

mine

Allan's

Allan’s working walk

Red Barn

Red Barn

Diane's: mine in red, Allan in blue

Diane’s garden: mine in red, Allan in blue

Allan tucked in to a few areas thoroughly while I was all over the place.  His milage for both jobs was 2.31 and mine was 3.15 miles, which just amazes me because the areas we worked in were rather small.  The map tends to put some odd loops out to the sides that I swear did not happen, so … I am assuming the GPS milage is somewhat accurate, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

Long Beach

We had a couple of hours of daylight left.  The temperature had dropped, a cold breeze had kicked up, and my original idea of finishing the day at the Port of Ilwaco no longer appealed.  We had a check to collect in Long Beach so we finished the day out there (still breezy and cold but with tasks that seemed less daunting than the entire Ilwaco boatyard garden).

Long Beach City Hall had a head start on St Patrick’s Day (which happens to be my birthday):

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We decided to check on the few main street planters that hadn’t had a once over yet.

The northernmost planter on the west side of Pacific Way (looking south)

The northernmost planter on the west side of Pacific Way (looking south) had some chickweed, as always

Back in volunteer days, some of the planters had lots of chickweed, and to this day, now that we are in charge, those three or four planters STILL have chickweed trying to come back.

under a street tree

under a street tree

Dennis Company’s garden department had pansies and violas on sale for a dollar.  I could not resist getting some of the orange and purple violas for planters in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

violas

violas

We next weeded and clipped trees and planters on the southernmost block of downtown planters:

looking south

looking south

I remember, when we first were caring for the planters, being asked to add primroses to brighten them up for spring break in March.  Now, with all the assorted spring bulbs that we’ve added over the years, they brighten up in a succession of flowers without having to add extra plants till annuals time in May.

I’ll close with a word of advice.  In all of our gardens, the Schizostylis (river lily) that bloomed so prettily in the fall now looks beat up and tired.

old schizostylis leaves)

old schizostylis leaves in a planter

I just grab the leaves and pull; chunks of old plant come out but enough little sprouts are left to size up for next fall’s flowers.  If the plant won’t pull out easily, I cut it back as far as I can.

Schizostylis and a little bun of a Dianthus at Wiegardts

Schizostylis flowers in autumn

We were cold and moderately miserable by the end of the day.  I was surprised that we did manage to work till five.  At home, I was able to remove two jobs from the work board and amend the task “planters” to just the ones on the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach, as all the others have had their first wake up call.

winnowing down the February work list

winnowing down the February work list

Tomorrow, if the weather permits, we might be able to erase Ilwaco and Port of Ilwaco from the list.

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Friday, 7 March 2014

A sunny day put an end to reading pleasure.  On the way to go to work, I was happy to see that my Azara microphylla in the front garden, new from The Basket Case last year, is blooming!

Azara microphylla, vanilla-ish scented flowers

Azara microphylla, vanilla-ish scented flowers

Impressed it flowered so soon!

Impressed it flowered so soon!

An aside: That got me thinking, as I write this several days later, about my lost and lamented Azara lanceolata that mysteriously died at my old house.  And then…uh-oh…that led me to the Forest Farm catalog, and there I found Azara serrata, which looks like it has the much bigger powderpuff flowers like lanceoata did.  About 20 minutes later…oh dear, an expensive digression.

Forest Farm order

Forest Farm order

Hey, I’ve been missing my wonderful Descaisnea (Chinese blue bean shrub), too big to move from my old garden.  And if one buys a gallon plant, the shipping is the same for one gallon or four, so it behooves one to fill the box.  (I hope they will fit in the little tube sized double flowered Salmonberry, another I used to have at my old garden.) I could not resist a Hydrangea named after Ryan Gainey, as he sort of saved my life (or sanity) once upon a time. (I was actually looking for a plant on my list of plants to acquire, Hydrangea ‘City Line Rio’).

Now, back to the blog about March 7th!

Before leaving for work, I fretted for a moment about a new problem.  I had planted my new Edgeworthia ‘rubra’ under the pink flowering plum.  They clash horribly!

a jarring combination

a jarring combination

I had realized as I looked out the window on the recent rainy days that I must find time to switch the red one with the new white one by the lamp post.

Edgeworthia papyrifera

Edgeworthia papyrifera

The pink flowering currant in the back garden would have looked good under that tree...

The pink flowering currant in the back garden would have looked good under that tree…

Mary thought today would be a good time to garden at home.

mary

But work called.  We started at the Port, two blocks away.  By the time I took the photo below, Allan had done some weeding and I had cut that California wax myrtle down by half to make a good sightline from the parking lot to the street.

I would not have planted such a tall shrub here!

I would not have planted such a tall shrub here!

I prefer to prune in a loose, natural looking manner rather than uniformly and stubby with a chain saw.  However, the chainsaw came into play in the next garden down in which the wax myrtle had become much too tall with big trunks.

extreme before and after

extreme before and after

Wrong shrub, wrong place.  We took it to the ground, and it may resprout.  If it does, I can keep it low.  If it doesn’t, more room for perennials.  (The mugo pine at the west end can stay…for now…although it does not thrill me in the least.)

We made a quick stop at home, where I briefly admired the cascading pinkness of that ornamental plum tree.  It’s one of the few original plants in the garden and looks at its best right now.

wishing I could stay home!

wishing I could stay home!

We had garnered so much debris from the port that we had to make a detour to the Peninsula Sanitation clean green pile, and then we weeded at the Red Barn Arena.  I felt truly glad to have a work day.  Barrel racing on the Barn’s weekend schedule made me want to get the garden cleaned up beforehand.

before, at The Red Barn

before, at The Red Barn

definitely needed tidying

definitely needed tidying

Some new containers will be provided this year.

Some new containers will be provided this year.

quite a production for such a small garden...

quite a production for such a small garden…

after

after

 

The barrel on the wind-sheltered north side always looks best.

The barrel on the wind-sheltered north side always looks best.

One of the pleasures of working at the barn is getting to say hello to the horses; several had been brought in for their dinner.

horse

horse

With a little daylight left, we tidied up the front corner of Coulter Park (just north of Dennis Company hardware store).

Coulter Park

Coulter Park

edge

I was inspired to put an edge on it.

We dumped the sod down at the port…a fair exchange as a bit of port debris sometimes ends up in the Long Beach pile.  The sky’s promise of a good sunset was not enough to keep me outside as I wanted to get home and do one belated blog entry as I’d been neglecting the blog in favour of reading books.  I hoped for more reading weather on the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allan had actually worked while I toured with garden club on August 7, watering, weeding and trimming the Long Beach street tree gardens and the beach approach planters.  He also….bought a van from the owners of The Basket Case!   Now we will be able to buy lots more plants…but it would be a couple of weeks before we would have it ready for work with a trailer hitch installed.  While leaving the car insurance office in Long Beach he overhead the call of “Hey! Ho!  Let’s go!” and followed the sound to Veterans Field where a very youthful band was performing Ramones songs.

These young men had excellent taste in music.

These young men had excellent taste in music.

August 8

On August 8th, we had a normal work day, beginning with a stop at Olde Towne Café to switch the compost pail.  (We take the coffee grounds and fruit and veg trimmings home to enhance our compost production.)

at Olde Towne

at Olde Towne

We stopped at The Planter Box on a small errand, to get some barley to keep our square water boxes clear.

At The Planter Box, a shy little sunflower

At The Planter Box, a shy little sunflower

Then, work.  I felt like I had been slacking, but it was only going to get worse with the edible tour coming up.  We began up north at Klipsan Beach Cottages.  Last year’s dahlia had finally bloomed after just sulking the previous summer.

grown in a very big pot to help protect it from snails

grown in a very big pot to help protect it from snails

at KBC: berries of Billardia longiflora

at KBC: berries of Billardia longiflora

lilies

lilies

the blues:  Agapanthus and Strobilanthes

the blues: Agapanthus and Strobilanthes

I have always found it difficult to get a good photo of the hardy Strobilanthes atropurpureus and it is also hard for me to remember the name of both of these plants.  I now remember Agapanthus as “a mystery…Agatha Christie…Agapanthus” and “bright blue and white…strobe light…Strobilanthes.”

Strobilanthes backed with Agapanthus with a blue globe thistle to the side.

Strobilanthes backed with Agapanthus with a blue globe thistle to the side.

strobilanthes atropurpureus...Hardy Persian Shield from the Himalayas in Northern India

strobilanthes atropurpureus…Hardy Persian Shield from the Himalayas in Northern India

The Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’ has so not lived up to its name at KBC.  This year it is finally putting on some height.

not very steroidal nor giant

not very steroidal nor giant

Some of the Alliums have broken or fallen over so I stuck the stems firmly into an ornamental grass.

a good way to display

a good way to display old Alliums (better yet, spray paint them!)

another lily

another lily

inside the fenced garden

inside the fenced garden

and outside, with sweet pea success

and outside, with sweet pea success

After KBC, we spent an hour watering at Golden Sands because…surprise (not!), the oscillating sprinklers for which I long had not been installed yet.

At Golden Sands, a dahlia

At Golden Sands, a dahlia

one of the pretty, twirly, expensive but fairly useless sprinklers

one of the pretty, twirly, expensive but fairly useless sprinklers

We still, due to hand watering needs, had no time to weed or cut back….’

messy

messy

An Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ surprised me by putting out a new flower (pale blue than its earlier ones).

a nice surprise

a nice surprise

The maintenance man had been moving the pretty twirly sprinklers around to help them reach more areas.  Unfortunately, he is not a plants person.

oops

oops

After Golden Sands, Andersen’s RV Park got some time weeding and deadheading.

west side poppy garden

west side poppy garden

And then, Long Beach, for watering the main street planters.

evening light on a planter

evening light on a planter

Geranium 'Rozanne', Coreopsis 'Jive', ornamental oregano 'Hopley's Purple'

Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Coreopsis ‘Jive’, ornamental oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

The bench is still gone in that planter (northernmost one on west side).

wondering if the curry plant in that planter will ever brown off so I can cut it back!

wondering if the curry plant and lavender in that planter will ever brown off so I can cut it back!

horses heading for the beach past Long Beach's main street

horses heading for the beach past Long Beach’s main street

We watered Gene’s garden because he had gone out of town for a few days on a trip which was later written about in our local paper.

from an article in The Chinook Observer

from an article in The Chinook Observer

And then home in time to put the barley into the water by our patio.

the barley solution to still, murky water

the barley solution to still, murky water

August 9

Friday was my big day planned to get the garden perfect for Sunday’s edible garden tour.  I did accomplish a lot….perfect weeding in the bogsy wood, deadheading and more weeding all around….and was so busy the only photos that I took were of Smokey being irresistibly cute on the patio.

Smokey and his rock pillows

Smokey and his rock pillows

Smokey

Smokey

He is wearing his BirdsBeSafe collar.

There may have been a bit of sitting and visiting with Judy during the day, which just may be when I noticed Smokey’s cute pose.  Allan did a superb job of mowing the lawn but we decided the edges did not need another go-round with the strimmer.

I had planned to have Saturday off to prepare, as well, but it had transpired that part of the day would be taken up with an edible garden pre-tour.  I decided to relax and go with it as I had heard that at least one of the other gardeners was not aspiring to perfection.  However I still thought that since I would probably have the fewest “edibles” I had darn well better have a perfect garden.

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Today we went to Steve’s garden, perhaps for the last time as the official gardeners. A friend went with us to learn the garden so she could, if Steve agrees, take over the job. She is an able and avid gardener who has room for just a few hours of work a week, so unfortunately is not someone who has time to help out the many people who ask me for a good gardener to hire!

At the entrance to the long road that leads to the home and garden is this lovely tidal stream that runs to the bottom of Willapa Bay.

to the lower Willapa

to lower Willapa Bay

Upon arrival at the site, we could hardly tell there was a garden because Annuals Planting Hell has kept us away from there for over a month. Allan immediately started to weedeat along the front bed.

a wilderness

a wilderness

the raspberry patch, before

the raspberry patch, before

path and stream, before

path and stream, before

gazebo steps, before

gazebo steps, before

Help is on the way in the person of our capable gardening friend!

Help is on the way in the person of our capable gardening friend!

I have cared for this garden for a long time. Originally our client was Steve’s wife, Joanne, at a different home and garden of theirs further up the bay. (That place, when sold, was bought by Laurie, who later became a client of ours and whose garden, originally Joanne’s, was on the garden tour in 2009.)

After they moved, Joanne hired me to help her make a new garden around a pond that she and Steve had created, and we worked on the garden ideas together until she died of cancer (after a long fight during which she kept horse riding and gardening) in November 2005. So this garden always makes me remember her. Thus it is a sentimental one for me to give up.

Steve’s garden is one we would choose to never work at on a warm day. It is the hottest microclimate of any of our gardens except maybe Casa Pacifica, where I have also sweltered. Today the sun shone ominously, but we had to go because it was the only day our gardening friend was available, so we just got on with the job despite being uncomfortable. It may have gotten to all of 70 degrees! Much too hot for coastal people.

The pond and stream makes a warm day more bearable, but the recirculating pump was off today so no waterfall or running water. I would love to have turned it on but was afraid there might be a good electrical reason for it to be off so I left it alone.

The pond is artificial as is the stream; the stream runs down to a fairly good sized private lake. The upper pond was full of tadpoles today….we think of the bad native-frog-eating bull frog because I have seen some monster frogs in this pond during the summer.

big tadpoles

big tadpoles

sunning themselves under the water

sunning themselves under the water

frog

frog

not as sizeable as some; not camera shy

not as sizeable as some; not camera shy

These frogs make a high pitched little squeak just before they jump out of the way. The really huge ones make a loud plop into the water that can be startling. In contrast, our tiny green tree frogs make a much bigger noise than their size would lead you to expect.

I’ll miss the frogs and the horsey view:

horses

horse posing

heading down to the lower pasture

heading down to the lower pasture

Thank goodness the goats were not around today!

Over the course of the day, our friend weeded and edged the bed at the front of the pond and mulched it with horse manure (ready and available next to the barn). I revealed the Japanese iris along the stream, where I used to have a more refined streamside garden going when Joanne was alive. Nowadays I use a weedeater to make the irises show and to make sure whoever mows the lawn realize they are there! I weeded the raspberry patch and the blueberry patch that is behind the waterfall hill, and Allan weeded the backside of the pond and the path.

after

after

before and after together

before and after together

excellent work in front of pond

excellent work in front of pond

front bed

front bed

after

beautiful!

beautiful!

reflective

raspberries

raspberries

gazebo

gazebo

path and stream

path and stream

With this job done most satisfyingly, and knowing I am leaving it in good hands if Steve agrees to pass it on to my recommended gardener, our friend went home and Allan and I went to water Long Beach planters.

On the way out, the tidal stream looked like this.

On the way out, the tidal stream looked like this.

First we made a quick stop at Boreas Inn to plant a few cosmos and check on the garden. I was reminded by the sight of a pile of old (non garden) debris that we had said we would haul it off this week as it is bringing down the tone of the garden. Oops. Mentally rescheduled the week.)

Boreas west side gardens...still filling in

Boreas west side gardens…still filling in after a re-do in the spring

Then we watered Long Beach and after being hot at Steve’s garden, we were cold and windblown and, in my case anyway, kind of miserable from 6 to 8 PM.

Rugosa roses blooming in the beach approach garden.

Rugosa roses blooming in the beach approach garden.

We fertilized the planters as well, and what with carrying a weed bucket, the quick connect metal thing, a hose, and the hose end sprayer, I could not juggle my camera, as well. The sun was at that low angle that made it hard to see and the wind blew….so I got to complain about weather from hot to cold today.

the last planter

the last planter

Cerinthe major purpurascens and golden marjoram

Cerinthe major purpurascens and golden marjoram

wonderful Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

wonderful Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Fabulous news after last night’s distressing watering of the Ilwaco planters: Every sanvitalia in the Long Beach planters, even the ones on the beach approach, looked fine and cute and sunny and blooming.

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We got up early (for us) to be ready for the cash mob at the Basket Case Greenhouse.  The car was already loaded with plants for work later in the day, and the very heavy trailer, loaded from debris from Marilyn’s the day before, had to be hooked up.  On the way, we stopped at Diane’s garden next door to the Red Barn to drop off several flats of ingredients (plants) for her pots, in order to make room to buy more.  I counted space in the pots to see how many trailies and uppies I would need to get.  Then Allan dropped me off at Basket Case and went up the road to Peninsula Landscape Supply to dump the debris in their back field.

The chipper was hard at work turning debris into mulch.

The chipper was hard at work turning debris into mulch.

great potential for reflection photos in our car's sunroof!

great potential for reflection photos in our car’s sunroof!

Meanwhile, at Cash Mob:

Basket Case

Basket Case

A cash mob is when community members come together at a prearranged time at a certain business with a commitment to spend a small amount of money, between $3.00 and $20.00.   Of course, plantspeople do get carried away with the amount they spend.

Fred and Nancy

Fred and Nancy

Our clients Bob and Jo came, and Jo got a flat of godetia and some snap dragons and some perennials that we will plant in her garden on Wednesday.

Bob Fitzsimmons

Bob Fitzsimmons

Allan returned around the same time that our friend Sarah Sloane appeared (creator of  bird topiaries and author of The Marble Game and its soon to be published sequel).  I believe the book is available at Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco.

Sarah and Allan

Sarah and Allan

Sarah choosing

Sarah choosing

Tom and Judy arrived, my beloved gardening almost neighbours (four doors down).

Judy putting plants on the counter

Judy putting plants on the counter

Despite having a tiny garden, Judy and Tom seem able to fit more plants into their exquisite scheme all the time.  And none of the plants touch.  How do they do it?

Tom relinquishes the credit card.

Tom relinquishes the credit card.

Judy and Tom

Judy and Tom

I got Judy and Jo into the perennials greenhouse to buy some choice ones.  Most people were just shopping for annuals.  I wish the perennials at the Basket Case got more attention because the collection is choice!!  I know if my friend Sheila were here she would be buying some of each.

There was a free viola with each purchase, and specials on some annuals, and Nancy had made delicious brownies and punch.

cash mob

During the hour or so that we spent there, it was a jolly event indeed.

buyers

mob

mob

I needed to focus on work for part of the time so I went shopping in the back greenhouse where the stock is kept.

way in the back

way in the back

Lesley Ferguson took this photo of me and Allan:

work related clipboard in hand

in the back greenhouse, work related clipboard in hand

Despite feeling mentally scattered, I managed to select plants for Diane’s garden,  more for the Boreas, and I HOPE all the plants we will need to do twelve whiskey barrels and some other containers at Casa Pacifica (Dan and Leanne’s garden) tomorrow.

Even more amazingly, we managed to stuff them all in the car and trailer and off we went to Diane’s garden.

the ingredients we had dropped off before cash mob

the ingredients we had dropped off before cash mob

right over the fence

right over the fence

It was easy to sort out the Diane plants from the Casa Pacifica plants.  Diane likes pastels, and Leanne likes bright colours.

My friend Misty was there.

My friend Misty was there.

While I cleaned up the containers and consolidated the plants from some worn old plastic pots into new galvanized tubs, Allan planted Cosmos and painted sage and some perennials in the new roadside garden on the other side of the house.  We are trying a new Cosmos called ‘Happy Ring’ that is supposed to be shorter, and with a larger, showy flower.

roadside, after planting

roadside, after planting

newly planted containers by back porch

newly planted containers by back porch

more

by house

While Allan packed the car back up with the plants that had been riding in the trailer (and my lap) for lack of room, I walked over to the Red Barn with two yellow sedums to go in a couple of cowboy boots planters…only to find a little disaster.  No one had watered the whiskey barrel furthest from the barn.  I found my Red Barn lia1son (Diane’s sister) and pointed out the problem.  Then I had a little brainstorm and told her (in a jolly way, I do hope) that I am so overbooked that everyone is on probation this year, and whoever fails to water will be the first to go.  She promised to do better and got out the hose.

You can tell which barrel is furthest from the hose:

totally wilted

totally wilted Butterfly agyranthemum

The middle one:

beginning to show some stress

beginning to show some stress

and closest to the barn and people’s water buckets:

gets buckets of stall washing water!

gets buckets of water!

If these plants crisp up and die, well…..I have done my best to get the idea of daily watering across.

Once upon a time, I would have been grabbing a hose and watering and delaying moving on, but I have gotten tougher.  No more jobs where the client does not water!  (Unless they live out of town or are incapable.)  I would not take on a new job unless there were arrangements in place for someone else to water, and water well.  In fact, that is probably the main reason that we just quit the Sea Nest job; we were sick of having to go there to water.

We went home and spent about an hour of turnaround time unloading the car of tomorrow’s plants, watering them, watering all the plants in waiting on the patio, reloading  with a batch for Boreas and a batch for the Anchorage and then at six we took off again.  First, the Anchorage, where we finished the windowboxes and a couple of containers and can now cross it off our annuals planting hell list!

This time, i used bigger plants in the window boxes.  Much more instant than the tiny ones from the last session.

This time, i used bigger plants in the window boxes. Much more instant than the tiny ones from the last session.

added Salvia 'Victoria Blue' to the back.

added Salvia ‘Victoria Blue’ in back of those tiny plants.

center courtyard

center courtyard…with tulips still hanging on

The arbutus is browning off on the top.  It has done this before.  No time to deal with it today!

Arbutus problems

Arbutus problems

must get back to fix this...

must get back to fix this…

I hope the guests just look at the pretty things.

courtyard container

courtyard container

Next we stopped at the Boreas Inn and planted those perennials that got left behind at home a couple of days ago.

Boreas:  Is it filling in yet?

Boreas: Is it filling in yet?

Added:  six santolinas, a Gaura ‘So White’, a Catananche (Cupid’s Dart) and  a ‘Lacy Blue’ Russian Sage.

Finally, we planted at Long Beach city hall six plants donated by The Planter Box; Teresa wants to test them for weather in Long Beach and the Ilwaco boatyard.  I think three are strawflowers and three are fried egg plant, which I used to grow and have lost somewhere along the way so I am glad to have them again.

city hall west side; I love the low wall drapers

city hall west side; I love the low wall drapers

The baskets from The Basket Case were recently hung.

The baskets from The Basket Case were recently hung.

They are filling in well.

They are filling in well.

The city crew waters all the Long Beach baskets DAILY.  Our twice weekly watering of the Long Beach planters and the Ilwaco street planters is about all we can stand!

Finally, we did some light weeding of Peggy’s Park by the door to City Hall.

Peggy's Park

And we were home by eight.

I am tired.

Tomorrow’s plan for just doing Casa Pacifica (a big garden) and maybe some planting at the boatyard sounds like an easy day.

I have lost track of how many days in a row we have worked.  My own garden needs me, but we have to get to the end of annuals planting hell first.  The sound of rain outside is making me so happy and relieved to not have to worry yet about the plants we have recently put in the ground.

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We began today at The Red Barn, our second visit of the year to that little garden of four whiskey barrels and a narrow strip along the fence. I was pleased to see horsewoman Amy, who had earlier in the year asked us if we could do a spring clean up on her own garden. I had foolishly said yes, and then had to back pedal, and found it a big relief today to learn that she had done the weeding herself and wasn’t upset with us for never getting there.

She told us she was not sure whether or not to mow a plant that had spilled out of the garden by the barn. It is a plant that I know to be a weed, but it is so pretty that I would buy it if it were not so rampant.

a gorgeous weed

a gorgeous weed

one of the barrels

one of the barrels

The barrels no longer get red tulips because a cold wind blows across the pasture on them most of the spring and the tulips got all beaten up. We just pulled weeds out today and will plant annuals after Mother’s Day.

The one barrel that is on the sheltered side of the big barn does much better because it is completely sheltered from wind.

the happiest barrel

the happiest barrel

Red Barn still life

Red Barn still life

Crab pots are ubiquitous on this fishing Peninsula and here they are stacked at the Red Barn’s newish outbuilding.

crab pots

crab pots

I like the horsey view all around this job.

looking north

looking north

Next door to the Red Barn fields we checked on Diane’s garden. The new long bed along the road will fill in more later….I could have sworn I had planted pastel poppies in there but there is not a sign of them! Phooey.

new, still rather empty bed

new, still rather empty bed

Thug of the day: Along the edge of the older, corner bed grows this strawberry thingie. I did not plant it. I swear. But I once planted a potentilla to the side of the bed. Is this some kind of sport of that? There is an ornamental strawberry that is a cross between Potentilla and Fragaria…I think.

vigorous edger

vigorous edger

The leaf texture is gorgeous and the white flowers are nice.

the first of many white flowers

the first of many white flowers

However, it does want to run all through the bed. Every year I think we will get it all removed, and we never have time. So why did I bring some starts home and plant in my bogsy woods? I am sure I will regret it….

Mistake of the day: Diane likes pastel colours, and yet…these tulips in one of her pots turned out so bright. I am pretty sure these are ‘Blushing Lady’, the one that started out with a beautiful swirled pointed bud of gentle colour. And now…much too bright!

not very gently blushing

not very gently blushing

'Cummins', a favourite tulip, got wrecked by rain...

‘Cummins’, a favourite tulip, got wrecked by rain…

but 'Cool Crystal' looks good.

but ‘Cool Crystal’ looks good.

I hope Diane’s earlier tulips were successful because the later ones are a disappointment!

The narcissi are allowed to be bright.

The narcissi are allowed to be bright.

Next door to Diane’s are more horses to admire.

The goat and donkey were out of sight today.

The goat and donkey were out of sight today.

I was a horse crazy city girl. My horses were made of china and plastic, but I loved them and books by Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry.

Before we moved on to our next job, we found it advantageous to be at one of those great locations where we can dispose of debris rather than hauling it away.

the joy of dumping debris on the edge of a field

the joy of dumping debris on the edge of a field

Next, Allan planted some Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ at Veterans Field in Long Beach while I deadheaded some planters on the main drag.

on Pacific Way...more brazen Blushing Ladies

on Pacific Way…more brazen Blushing Ladies

Fish Alley with Erysiumum 'Bowles Mauve'

Fish Alley with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

I returned to Veterans Field with a treat from Sweet Celebrations: Chocolate Ganache cupcakes.

more elegant than the usual Tiger Paws!

more elegant than the usual Tiger Paws!

We then checked the raised planters on the Bolstadt approach but (joy!) did no ground level weeding except the occasional dandelions. Our weeding job of a few weeks ago had held up reasonably well. I do wish the city crew had time to mulch this long stretch of garden…

beach approach garden, looking east from the end

beach approach garden, looking east from the end

After deadheading at city hall, we tried to drive nonstop through town but had to stop to deadhead unsightly narcissi.

this cannot stand!

this cannot stand!

a fringed tulip basks in the sun

a fringed tulip basks in the sun

Two pink Gauras went into a planter that too-tall sanguisorbas came out of last week…

Allan planting:  I weaseled out of planting by "making a plant list"...

Allan planting: I weaseled out of planting by “making a plant list”…

And then: The Boreas. We had a mission to widen one of the narrow lawn beds because it just has always looked too small.

before

before

end of day

end of day

I had the brainstorm that the two westernmost beds need to be longer as well as wider. Tomorrow we will bring a yard of soil. I had something completely different (some weeding at Andersen’s RV Park) planned for tomorrow afternoon, but this needs to be finished.

Various aches and pains had me hitting the wall at work well before sunset, but at home I did manage to plant nine more Nicotiana langsdorfii and one Verbascum. While planting, I tried not to let myself fret about going out of town while two of the beds still have unweeded horsetail areas.

I should stay home and pull horsetail!

I should stay home and pull horsetail!

While planting down the west side of the garden, I had a thrill. I could see plants of Eremurus (foxtail lily) coming up in a large healthy way. I could never grow them in my old shady garden, and when I planted some in fall of 2011 the results were disappointing. Maybe 2013 will be their year. My friend Sheila grows amazing tall ones in her sunny Oregon garden.

great excitement!

great excitement!

I could see several in the two big beds, east and west. Joy!

By the front steps, the Dicentra scandens vine is getting longer!

yes!

yes!

In other at home garden news:

Epimidium

Epimidium

rhubarb

rhubarb

Persicaria bistorta superba

Persicaria bistorta superba

shade bed...weeded but not trimmed up

partial shade bed…weeded but not trimmed up

new bed next to the bogsy woods

new bed next to the bogsy woods

foreground: my young Salix magnifica

foreground: my young Salix magnifica

ornamental rhubarb

ornamental rhubarb

golden cutleaf elderberry

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’: golden cutleaf elderberry

And finally, one of the hostas that my friend Mary F. gave me when she moved away:

thoughts of a much missed gardening friend...

thoughts of a much missed gardening friend…

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Helianthus and Cape Fuchsia

The beauty continued, post-garden tour, in Laurie’s garden on the bay.

How I love Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ in the fall:  The pale yellow little sunflowers, and the dramatic height….which of course in Laurie’s Jurassic Garden grew even a little taller than anywhere else (thanks to a sprinkler system and manure from her five horses).

Tasteful pale yellow and green makes an excellent backdrop for any other plant.  ‘Lemon Queen’ blooms for at least two weeks if not longer.  Not long enough….but worth the wait, and lingering in memory.

Phormium, Barberry ‘Rosy Glow’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Hebe backed with Phormium, Barberry, Helianthus

I had great luck with Hebes in Laurie’s garden.  They came through every winter and bloomed profusely from summer on into the winter.  All Laurie’s Hebes came in small pots from Joy Creek Nursery and burgeoned into dramatic structural plants with powderpuff pink or white flowers.

Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)

Never have I seen Joe Pye Weed get as huge as at Laurie’s.  It spoiled me; I always expect it to get this big in other gardens and it never, ever does because the magic isn’t there.  They say “the best fertilizer is the gardener’s own shadow” and I know that Laurie loved and talked to her plants.  The only problem was that eventually Joe Pye would fall right over, and he was far too monstrous to be staked.

Joe Pye taking a bow

The latest of lilies bloomed into the end of September.  Our lily source was mostly the Van Engelen catalog with a few from B&D Lilies.

towering lily, 23 September

If one ever tired of gazing upon the garden (or in winter when only tawny foliage structure and ornamental grasses remained), the view of the bay was always just beyond..


and nearby there were always horses…

Moony and Dewey

We had this job for one more summer after 2009, until Laurie and Mike moved away.  Usually when a job ends I am glad to let it go, even when I think I won’t be, because we are always overbooked.  But Laurie’s garden is the one that I will always miss, and it would not be Laurie’s garden without Laurie and Mike….and the equine cast of Dewey, Mooney, Pinta, Elé, Katchina…

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