Thursday, 19 November 2015
I woke at 7:30, after a mere five hours of sleep, with bulbs on my mind. When I simply could not go back to sleep, I went outside at about 8:15 (almost unheard of!) and planted a few of my bulbs-in-waiting in the front garden where the chilly shade almost made me give up. Instead, I moved to the back garden in the sunshine. By the time Allan had made a nice hot breakfast (which he does on all work days, bless his heart), I had all the back garden bulbs in the ground and I asked if he would help me plant the front garden ones so I could stop losing sleep over them. It will only take two of us about 40 minutes, said I, and it turned out to be just 45. Total number of bulbs planted at home this autumn: a mere 171 (more than last year’s 116). I’d like to plant more but I run out of steam and I worry about money. Memories of being poor are too strong to overcome the fact that I could buy more bulbs for me nowadays.
me being so happy to have help with the at-home bulbing
tossing out bags of bulbs in their proper planting place
Just as we were finishing the planting of the front garden bulbs, the final end of season order from Colorblends arrived, so we were able to plant up the garden boat (the Ann Lovejoy) as well with 20 tulips Big Ups mix.
I wondered why the Colorblends catalog often does not name the bulbs in their mixes; Todd suggested that perhaps this enables them to change the mix depending on which compatible bulbs they can get a good price on each year.
The arrival of the Big Ups tulips changed our plan for the day. Instead of doing fall clean up for Ilwaco port and town, we could possibly finish Bulb Time today!
Port of Ilwaco
I had pulled 20 narcissi from my own stash to fill in the empty spot along Howerton where some arbutus had been removed for the sake of traffic sightlines.
with my head in the game (planting narcissi); looking west on Howerton
Allan planted these clusters in the formerly shrubby area
On the way to our next job, we witnessed the Port of Ilwaco crew working on the Crab Pot Christmas Tree.
Allan’s photo: The tree has gotten much too big to build with just human power now.
Ilwaco Community Building
Allan had helped me plant my bulbs, so I helped him plant the last of the bulbs at the Ilwaco Community Building (his job). The difference is, I will get paid by his client. His reward is just me having a lower stress level.
the last of the leaves at the community building
As we planted narcissi, some tulips (in an area inaccessible to deer), some crocus and pushkinia and iris reticulata, a library patron said that the garden there looked so much better since we had taken it over. I gave all the credit to Allan.
Speaking of compliments, last week someone told me she had taken a guest to walk along the curbside gardens at the port (going to the shops and galleries) and he had commented on how tidy and well tended they are.
Allan’s photo: He, or we, may emerge from staycation to mulch the community building garden which badly needs it. (needs weeding, too; he’s been too busy bulbing)
Allan’s photo: the really horrible soil under the new sign
Long Beach City Hall
On the way north, I planted some hyacinths in the narrow raised bed along the city hall entryway. They will be at a good height for smelling. We both worked on finishing the fall clean up and clipping at city hall, thus being able to cross two things off of the work list (the dregs of the LB bulbs and the city hall cleanup).
city hall entry ramp garden (Allan’s photo)
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ still blooming, west side of city hall. Allan was shocked when I clipped it, but I knew the first frost will bring it down. (Allan’s photo)
hebe blooming (Allan’s photo)
Allan’s photos: city hall, south end of west wall, before
after Allan clipped the Rozanne
west side of city hall; I wish I had gotten the whole “Ocean Beach Boulevard” sign…was not trying to.
dumping debris at city works
After dumping our debris, we went on to the last of the 2015 bulb jobs at…
Golden Sands Assisted Living
Golden Sands: in the courtyard, four quadrants of flowers
Each of the four garden quadrants in the center courtyard got 20 Big Ups tulips and a few others. I have a tiny budget there. While I’d like to have way more tulips in this deer protected garden, at least next spring there should be a bigger show than usual.
view while bulbing in the courtyard
the last bulb job of 2015
So very tired of planting bulbs!
The newly cleared (of old siberian iris) triangle by the dining room door got some special bulbs: viridflora (green) tulips, some species tulips and narcissi, and a cluster of snowdrops.
dining room pocket garden
with Junco close up (there had been many in there eating fallen bird seed but most flew away when I raised the camera.)
cyclamen donated by Our Kathleen
We did as much fall clean up as we will do this year; thinning pesky plants can wait till next February.
Each of the four quadrants presents a different challenge.
The SW quadrant
SW quadrant problem: beach strawberry and creeping buttercup invading from the back
SE quadrant: the most problematical
SW: too much cranesbill geranium, and an infestation of big horsetail from the back corner of the courtyard…It is marching, marching, marching.
SE: invasion of weedy grass, beach strawberry, and creeping sorrel climbing over the edging board.
The outer areas of the courtyard landscape are in some areas sort of a wasteland that Allan hits with a string trimmer but that we don’t have time to maintain otherwise.
more SE quadrant mess: too much blue scabiosa and (sadly) too much Sweet William. The scabiosa MUST be thinned or eradicated.
A pink cranesbill geranium in one of the original pocket gardens would love to take over the SE quadrant completely.
The four quadrant gardens used to be scrubby, weedy lawn, and the only flower areas were the four little triangular pockets, two at each entry.
the NE quadrant
As I was trimming down the euonymus in front of the window of my mom’s old room, I saw it had been vacated.
the Euonymus in question (Allan’s photo)
(Note: Don’t plant shrubs that want to be huge in front of windows. Why this was done is beyond me, as the fire department wants the shrubs at sill height, and the residents would like to see out!) I inquired and was relieved to learn that the latest resident of my mom’s room had moved to Seattle to be closer to family.
Biggest problem with the NE quadrant: Getting rid of the damnable pesky running salal behind the garden, as it constantly wants to invade from the back.
NW quadrant has gone from worst of all to the most problem free.
I pruned the poor, oversized Ceanothus outside the quadrants some more, taking some off the top so the resident behind it can see the courtyard.
Don’t tell Plant Amnesty about my ugly pruning. Note the yellow rose blooming in the background. I will likely cut the ceanothus to the ground next spring.
leaving Golden Sands at dusk
We checked on the crab pot tree progress. It is all put together and ready to be decorated.
crab pot tree, real tree at 5 PM
Allan’s photos by the crab pot tree:
a moon tree topper
boat heading for the river
These housemates of ours had apparently not moved all day.
the rapidly thinning work board!
Bulb planting is completely gone from the work board, and from the fall clean up list I removed City Hall and Golden Sands. With 20 degree weather due on Thanksgiving, we may even get to do the post-frost checkups before the end of the month and then will officially be on staycation.
The 2015 bulb total of 3,374 is much less than 2014’s 5,121 bulbs planted, mostly because Flowering Hedge Design and Sea Star Gardening (Dave and Melissa) have two of our former big big big bulbing jobs, and Todd and Sea Star have a couple of our former medium sized bulbing jobs. Thank heavens above!
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