Posts Tagged ‘Ismene’

Occasionally we take on a job so small that only a few photos result…..Or we permanently care for a little pocket of a garden that we fail to photograph very often…..or changes to a big job make it into a small job.

In 2009, a job which had been one of our bigger ones became smaller in that it only lasted half the year.  We had cared for the garden of an inn for perhaps ten years, and in 2009 had taken some photos to record the passage of spring time tulips in the garden.  I’d had an increasing feeling of doom about the job but my fondness for the garden itself and all the cool plants I’d added to it (plants that needed my care to protect them from winter cold and hungry slugs) kept me there.

22 April, the repaired border, Cool Crystal tulips

I enjoyed watching my favourite tulip, ‘Cool Crystal’, bloom in the garden which had been repaired in 2007 after a truck landed in it.

22 April

5 May: on the deck, in the front garden, in the back garden

tall ship sailing for Ilwaco

We also cared for a sister B&B to the inn, where usually I took many photos of the quantities of narcissi I’d planted over the years, but the only 2009 photo I have of the springtime there was this one taken by Allan of one of the Tall Ships sailing by on a day when we were working there.

You can just see a glimpse of the late spring garden in the lower left.

I had had that revelation, you see, in June of 2007, and these two gardens were probably the hardest to give up as a result of that revelation.  I had felt that the main inn garden needed me before I ever went to work there; it had called out to me and I had actively sought out the job, not been hired, then been hired after all a couple of years later.  I had always worked as an independent, not as an employee on the payroll.  On July 4th of 2009 when I stopped by to check on the watering (even though Allan and I had designated it as a day off, we could see the plants drooping as we drove past on our way home from the Ocean Park 4th of July parade), all the issues came to a head, words were exchanged, and I quit the job.  I thought I would suffer emotionally every time we passed the place, but to my surprise I have felt nothing but a calm observation of when the gardens looks good without me…and sometimes not so good.  No one is irreplaceable, and the garden survives although perhaps not with the plant lust that I brought to it.  And so…the big job became a smaller job…and then no job.

Another little tiny job we did that I thought turned out well was planting up a container arrangement on the deck of a Long Beach business.  We planted the front entrance with violas and lavenders.  I loved the lime green door.

entry planters, 5 July

We had fun choosing plants and pots for the deck to harmonize with the dark blue of the building.

5 July, harmony in blue

I learned from this job that I’ll be happier if I insist on building into the budget a certain amount for after care, because for the rest of the summer I fretted over these pots, watered them sometimes on my own time, and watched them dwindle away much earlier than they had to in the autumn.  New rule: no guaranteed after care, no planting.

We cared for the Red Barn, four whiskey barrels and a strip of garden along the pasture, always with an interesting view of horses.

Red Barn whiskey barrel, 24 July

Whiskey Barrel with Salvia patens, 24 July

Just past the Red Barn we’d been caring for a couple of years for a little pocket garden belonging to Diane and Larry, and for a group of plantings on their deck.

Larry’s tool sharpening sign

The corner garden is just north of the tool sharpening sign.  Here’s how it looked on 17 July 2009.

from the road….


…closeup, Cistus ‘Elma’

from the driveway

Gratifyingly, people have told us they notice this garden as they drive by and watch it change through the seasons.  The Cistus passed on and has been replaced with a hydrangea.  The ornamental grass in the background is Stipa gigantea, my favourite.

We get a kick out of livening up Diane and Larry’s deck with planters.  In 2009 we had the thrill of an Ismene actually blooming; it’s not hardy, and I often don’t remember to acquire the bulbs and sometimes don’t succeed in saving the newly emerging foliage from slugs, who seem to find it extra delectable.

deck planters with Ismene (Peruvian daffodil) 27 July

No job is too tiny for us as long as the owners will let me exercise my passion for plants….which can be realized in one container planting.

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