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Posts Tagged ‘kites’

This past week was the yearly week-long Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach, an event which used to bring me joy, and in the more recent past, has brought me much angst.  Since the installation of the Bolstadt Beach Approach garden several years ago, I have fretted during every kite festival about the condition of the garden.  We strive to make it perfect for the event, but what happens when booths featuring fair food, kites, and attractive trinkets are placed on either side of a long narrow garden? Indeed, much trampling ensues.

The first few years the garden featured mostly annuals such as poppies, godetia, cosmos, and bachelor buttons, and had no chance of standing up to trompling feet.  I had a file in my photos called the “Walk of Shame” featuring groups of tourists mashing down the plants.  Other than the problem of not knowing which disk or semi-defunct old PC those photos may be stored on, it might be kinder to not cling to the past and instead to rejoice that finally the beach approach garden has grown tough enough to mostly withstand the event, making it possible for me to enjoy the kite festival again…or I would, if only we had had time to take a day off work.

Now the beach approach garden is filled with rugosa roses, perhaps too many rugosa roses as they have crowded out some of the more delicate items and are competing by underground runners with some of my favourite perennials.   The ephemeral beauty of years past may be gone, but at least the garden stands a chance to look good till the end of the year.

Above) The beach approach garden before…and now…..Not as pretty but it will still have something going on for Labour Day weekend instead of being flat as the proverbial pancake from the feet of festival-goers..

This week: Brand new “paths” boldly trodden where no path was before. Plants turn to mush or simply, completely, disappear into dust! There are sidewalk breaks in the garden and stepping stone paths at regular intervals, so these new paths are unnecessary.

Even now, given the sight of food booths on the other side of the garden, festival goers still beat  trails that  turn plants to pulp.  In past years even a two foot high rugosa rose youngster was turned to blackened broken stems.  Now their thorny mature selves are up to the challenge.

Enough complaining about the garden.  Below are some photos of the kite festival in years past when I had no gardening issues to decrease my enjoyment of the beauty of the kites and the beach.

Revolution kite…………………………………..and a kite club’s encampment

Amazing kite creations: Left, by George Peters; Center, “Aztec Calendar” by Michael Alvarez

………………………..launching a kite train

left: kite face by Steve Brockett; right: flying on a kite string

left: my favourite banner, “Celebrate Diversity” by Lavender Winds kite club….Right, an enormous ring

[2012 note: The Rugosa Roses have filled in so thickly that Kite Festival no longer causes us any trauma.  Weeding does, though, because of the tiny hairy fierce thorns.  We still are frequently asked “Are those tomatoes?”]

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