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Posts Tagged ‘Long Beach city planters’

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Depot Restaurant

We began by watering and planting one plant (a Chelone ‘Hot Lips’, excellent fall bloomer) at the Depot.

Allan watering

Allan watering


plantings by Nancy of Basket Case Greenhouse

plantings by Nancy of Basket Case Greenhouse

This cat entertained me:

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This well fed cat liked to be petted, so am fairly sure it is a neighbourhood resident and not a stray.

Long Beach

When we arrived in Fifth Street Park, we found Debbie Teashon there adding to her collection of Peninsula garden photos.

Rainyside Debbie

Our Debbie of Rainyside.com


Debbie and I deadheading a lavender prior to a photo

Debbie and I deadheading a lavender prior to a photo

After a brief visit and a farewell as she left to take more photos at city hall and then drive a few hours north to her home, Allan and I buckled down to watering and grooming the Long Beach planters.

Watering was preceded by some grooming in Fifth Street Park. Here, the northeast side with Brodiaea 'Queen Fabiola'.

Watering was preceded by some grooming in Fifth Street Park. Here, the northeast side with Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.


Allan watering and deadheading

Allan watering and deadheading


by Herb 'N' Legend Smoke Shop

by Herb ‘N’ Legend Smoke Shop

The planters are all of a sudden well filled in and looking fine.

Allan's photo: pink California poppy and Geranium 'Rozanne'

Allan’s photo: pink California poppy and Geranium ‘Rozanne’


California poppies, Allan's photo

California poppies, Allan’s photo


a small hardy gladiolus (Allan's photo)

a small hardy gladiolus (Allan’s photo)


planting a few new plants

planting a few new plants

To water, we use a bayonet fitting to hook up the hose.  We often find snails, baby slugs, or loads of earwigs under the plastic cap.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I kill the slugs, relocate the snails, but tend to give the earwigs a pass just because there are so MANY and I don’t want to use poisons.

Allan bucket watered the Fish Alley barrels, where I am replacing stolen edging plants with free Sedum 'Autumn Joy' divisions.

Allan bucket watered the Fish Alley barrels, where I am replacing stolen edging plants with free Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ divisions.


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!&*#$@###!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Crabby Gardener

an occasion feature when public gardening goes bad

The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett

The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett

Allan noticed a big hole when watering the northernmost planter by Dennis Company.  I went to have a look.

furious photography

furious photography

Someone had pulled out a full sized Agastache ‘Fragrant Delight’, left the hole, and had broken off at the base a Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ (probably while trying to steal it, too).  The knautia was left behind, dead.  Neither of these plants are available on the Peninsula at this time and so I cannot fix this properly.

broken dead knautia and missing agastache

broken dead knautia and missing agastache


Here is the side that did not get vandalized and stolen.

Here is the side that did not get vandalized and stolen.


Here is the side that is empty now, by one of the busiest parking lots in town.

Here is the side that is empty now, by one of the busiest parking lots in town.

It is so important to me to have symmetry in the planters that I almost wish people would just damn well steal BOTH sides so I could start over with new matching plants.  Why does symmetry matter to me when our business name is “Tangly”?  Because a little symmetry tames the wildness, just like the boxwoods in the Oysterville garden add a frame to an exuberant garden.  I spent the time while watering six more planters and weeding a park fretting over how I was going to fix that space when there are no Agastaches of that colour, and certainly not an exact match, available here.  I texted Melissa in my despair and she replied that she had a pink Agastache, so I planned to acquire it from her.  I have to keep trying even though the Finger Blighter strikes so frequently.  Debbie had even wondered earlier if it could be someone who reads this blog, and knows where the good plants are.  I assured her that because I like to have the blog running at least five days behind (takes the pressure off writing it), and the thefts often happen the day after a new plant goes in (although not in the case of this incident), I am pretty sure there is no connection.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!$#@*&^%#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Cheeringly, when Allan and I reunited after watering, he gave me a present from the Kite Guy at Wind World Kites.

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites


This purple whirly flower!

This purple whirly flower!  Thanks, Wind World Kite Guy!

We moved on after our watering to weed the Veterans Field garden beds because the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market is due to open on Friday afternoons there starting this week.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


corner bed, Veterans Field

corner bed, Veterans Field

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I asked Allan to take some photos of the narrow, arced garden that goes halfway around the flag pavilion, my version of a red white and blue theme:

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Salvias ‘May Night’ and ‘Hot Lips’ and Phygelius ‘Cherry Ripe’


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Salvia ‘May Night’ and ‘Crimson Pygmy’ barberry with Eryngiums


Salvia patens (sometimes tender) has come back strong (center, next to red flowers)

Salvia patens (sometimes tender) has come back strong (center, below red Phygelius flowers)


Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Nearby, a silver, white, and pink streetside garden is one I often admire and is now at its peak.

rose campion, sea thrift, pink roses

rose campion, sea thrift, pink roses


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streetside garden, Long Beach

On the way south, we watered the edge plants at the Long Beach welcome sign.  The soaker hoses don’t help them enough till their roots are well established.  Allan feels the sign is getting battered by people standing in it, especially the back side.

welcome sign front

welcome sign front


back

back


Allan pulling the persistent horsetail.

Allan pulling the four horsetail of the apocalypse.

I had read somewhere that Geranium ‘Orion’ is even better than Geranium ‘Rozanne’, that its flower size is bigger and a deeper blue.  Based on growing both of them in the welcome sign bed, ‘Rozanne’ remains the strong winner.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Geranium 'Orion'

Geranium ‘Orion’


Rozanne (right) is still the champ.

Rozanne (right) is still the champ.

Ilwaco

We planted a few new curbside plants in this bed that is now back in the fold of watering.  If you water it, the gardeners will come.  This garden might even get more watering than it needs, since we are not the ones watering, and we are the ones who know which plants are utterly drought tolerant and which are not.  (Most drought tolerant plants do need good watering until they get established.)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Then Allan went off to water the Ilwaco planters and street trees.

Ilwaco planter (Allan's photo)

Ilwaco planter (Allan’s photo)


traffic jam in town (Allan's photo)

traffic jam in town (Allan’s photo)

Meanwhile, I planted a few more plants and then started watering near the west end.  As I began, a couple of staff members at Salt said how much they appreciate the flowers and to use their hose anytime.  It was the first time this year that I had gotten out the Salt Hotel hose for their curbside garden.  It’s a long thin hose with a big leak patched with electric tape that spews water from the middle.

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I struggled to get it undone enough to get to the further west garden bed and I was eventually  in despair, thinking it would be embarrassing to go home and watch Deadliest Catch tonight after giving up in a hose.  I kept trying.  But I was stumped.  I have no sense of how to untangle knots, chains, and hoses.

I needed to get all the way down to that tree, by a building that is for sale and has no water, whose garden was parched and miserably dry.

I needed to get all the way down to that tree and black light post, by a building that is for sale and has no water, whose garden was parched and miserably dry.

A kind middle aged man, a guest at Salt Hotel, quickly assessed the situation and in a trice had the hose untangled.  Otherwise, I might still be there.

The whole time I was struggling with hoses, I was aware on a level beyond exhaustion and frustration of how much I love these gardens.  Curbside gardens, parking strips, also known as “hellstrips“, are one of my favourite challenges and I think that these at the port are the only ones on the entire Peninsula, which is not known for parking strips along the streets.  My life is given meaning by these beds along the port and that is why I will work so hard at getting them watered.

After watering as far west as I could with the Salt hose, I switched to the one at the new Ilwaco Freedom Market.  The Port had permission to use it from the owner of the building.  The business whose manager would not permit us to water last year has gone!  The hose, though high quality, was still a struggle for me.

blargh!

blargh!

Between the two hoses, Salt’s and Freedom Market, there is still a section in the middle of that stretch of gardens that cannot be reached, whose plants remained dry and will be that way until the adjacent building that has sat vacant for two years (former home of Queen La De Da’s gallery) is in use again.  My plan is to just pull the most stressed plants out on Thursday.

Of course, I had to coil both hoses up again all nicey nice, not my favourite task.  The Salt one got stuck under a planter and I almost fell over tugging it out.  Some ladies of a clique of which I was formerly a member had gone up to the pub (without a word, of course…it’s a dangerous social choice to leave a clique).  I thought great, I’ll be all fallen over tangled in this hose and stuck when they come out.  Fortunately, I made my escape unscathed.

I then walked up to the port office gardens and hooked up our long hose, also an untangling nightmare.

It is to weep.

It is to weep.


I did it!

I did it!

I doubled up the hose and dragged it past four or five buildings to get to the next water hook up at the Ilwaco pavilion.

hose drag number one

hose drag number one, Ilwaco Pavilion has the blue roof


From there, I can even reach the tiny "drive over" garden between two big driveways.

From there, I can even reach the tiny “drive over” garden between two big driveways.


looking east

looking east


my favourite bed by the Pavilion

my favourite bed by the Pavilion


The wax myrtle we cut to the ground is coming back, as planned.

The wax myrtle we cut to the ground is coming back, as planned.


The Tall Ships were still in port.

The Tall Ships were still in port.


reaching as far west as I could in the Craft 3 bank garden bed (red and brown building)

reaching as far east as possible in the Craft 3 bank garden bed (red and brown building)

I watered as far east as I could reach in the Craft 3 bank beds.  They don’t thrill me because they are mostly kinnickinnick ground cover, pretty boring to me.  If there is no rain soon, I’ll try harder to get some water onto them.

old plantings in Craft 3 beds, from way back when it was Shorebank

old plantings in Craft 3 beds, from way back when it was Shorebank

I could see Allan way way down at the easternmost garden, watering with three hoses stretched from the docks.

Allan's photo at the east end. Butch of CoHo Charters says we could use his faucet, but I guess Allan thinks this is easier or quicker.

Allan’s photo at the east end. Butch of CoHo Charters (red building to the left) says we could use his faucet, but I guess Allan thinks this is easier or quicker.


Allan's photo: laying down a lot of water; this bed has not been hose watered for a couple of weeks or more.

Allan’s photo: laying down a lot of water; this bed has not been hose watered for a couple of weeks or more.


Allan's photo: a successfully pretty much drought tolerant bed still needs water to look tip top

Allan’s photo: This successfully pretty much drought tolerant bed still needs water to look tip top.

Meanwhile, I doubled up the hose again and did another drag with high hopes that the water at the old Wade Gallery, now owned by Fort George Brewery, would be turned on by now.  (Fort George has given us permission to water.)

hose drag number 2

hose drag number 2


nice view while testing the faucet at the Fort George building

nice view while testing the faucet at the Fort George building

I was tired and the water was not on at Fort George building and the garden was dry and Allan did not hear my four phone calls asking him to bring buckets and he didn’t have the work trailer anyway, as it turned out, and I sat on a utility box and felt exhausted and decided that TOMORROW we would bucket water that little garden.  By now it was 8:30 PM, we had been working for 9.5 hours, and I couldn’t face waiting for the trailer, driving to the boatyard, filling buckets, and coming back to dump them.

"Help! We are so thirsty!" "I just can't!!!"

“Help! We are so thirsty!”
“I just can’t!!!”

At home, I watered my own containers.

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back garden, 8:40 PM


Smokey glad I am home

Smokey glad I am home

Later, watching the hard and dangerous work on Deadliest Catch, I was glad I hadn’t given up on the tangled hoses.

Deadliest Catch: keeping ropes untangled is critical

Deadliest Catch: keeping ropes untangled is critical

Tomorrow: the north end rounds of gardeners where the garden owners do the watering…thank heavens.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s gardening diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

June 7:  Two years have gone by since Bruce died.

I picked the weeds I pulled using the garden cart from Don.  Then I weeded in front of compost box, next to raspberry row (both sides) and picked strawberries.  The Ft Laramie plants have huge berries like the ones from California but they are hollow in the inside.  I went to bed at 10:00.

1998 (age 74):

June 7: Al’s birthday [her older brother who lived in Seattle] and 3 years since Bruce died.  I still miss him so much.

The Jazz were getting blown out when Mary Anne came over.  She put on Tabby’s halter and we went out on the porch by the shop.  However, Erik and a friend came over and Tabby bolted.  I figured she was under the shop.  Mary Anne and I kept calling and she came out from under the shed.  I think she was glad to see us.  Mary Anne said I should get another halter with a wider strap.  I called Al to wish him happy birthday.


On the 21st anniversary of my dad’s death, mom and dad camping in the early 1950s:

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and at home in the 1950s:

bruceginger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday 23 May 2014

I think this was about work day number 15 in a row.

The day began with the sound of heavy rain and some wind; we decided breakfast at Olde Towne would delay the moment of facing the weather.  We couldn’t take the day off because Long Beach and the Port of Ilwaco were far from ready for the holiday weekend.  After biscuits and gravy and a breakfast panini, we were off….into this.

leaving Olde Towne

leaving Olde Towne

onward

onward

We had two errands related to the Ilwaco planters job:  picking up a key to the Ilwaco city works yard for storing the water trailer, and picking up a receipt for the trailer tabs.  The latter was probably not urgent because with weather like this, we would not have to water the planters before the actual tabs arrive.   We also did not have to water the Long Beach planters but since every one had to be carefully groomed anyway, that did not save us much time.

Before Long Beach, we did a little deadleafing (removing dying leaves from the base of the alliums) at the Depot, and I made a string warning around them in hopes of protecting them from damage when the new Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour sign is installed.

The sign, like the one in the Ilwaco boatyard, is going to go somewhere near this window.

The sign, like the one in the Ilwaco boatyard, is going to go somewhere near this window.

I moved three cosmos and three painted sage out of that area, and will plant something else once the sign is in.

I moved three cosmos and three painted sage out of that area, and will plant something else once the sign is in.

an Allium barricade from a fretful gardener

an Allium barricade from a fretful gardener

While we were there, I kind of annoyed the chef by asking a question about the sign during food prep for the big weekend.  I decided to make it up to him by FINALLY cutting down, or rather having Allan cut down, the ornamental grass in the yard of the adjacent house (the Depot office).  If we put it off much longer, the new growth would be so high it would be impossible to trim.  Should have been done in early spring but at that time it was not on our list.

before and after

before and after

The sign on the neighbours’ garage reads “Hobbit Haven, March-Wiggles Welcome”.  While Allan chopped, I checked out the window boxes and two barrels that Basket Case Nancy had recently planted up in front of the restaurant.

Nancy's artistry

Nancy’s artistry

I also got a closer look at a vintage trailer which had recently arrived at the Sou’wester Lodge, just west of the Depot.

trailer

the new one, and next to it, an old Spartan

the new one, and next to it, an old Spartan

I was informed by its owner that the style of RV with windows along the top is called a trolley top.

Back to the job:  Chef Michael also wants the rhododendron pruned.  This we won’t do till after it has bloomed.

I like to let plants reach their full size.  People always seem to want them made smaller.

I like to let plants reach their full size. People always seem to want them made smaller.

The rain had stopped briefly, lifting my spirits, but by the time we went to Long Beach town it had returned along with a nasty little wind.  The worst part of the job came first: planting some annual statice in the westernmost Bolstadt beach approach planters.

hunkering down

hunkering down

And then we did the town.  I carried my iPhone with me for photos, not wanting to get my nice camera all muddy.

My task was to walk four blocks worth of planters and street tree gardens, mostly grooming out the old bulb foliage.

before and after, still looking unlovely because I had cut back the Sedum 'Autumn Joy' recently.

before and after, still looking unlovely because I had cut back the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ recently.

Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave' in a planter; this cultivar is hard to find in these parts.  One of the best, I think.

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’ in a planter; this cultivar is hard to find in these parts. One of the best, I think.

The matching Dianthus on the other side of that planter had died out, from wind I suppose.  I knew I had a pink  dianthus in the van which I could use later to replace it.

Right by gazebo park is a planter with a blue hardy geranium, probably Johnson’s Blue.  Its presence there goes back to volunteer days.  It has already almost stopped blooming and is setting seeds.  The next planter south has wonderful Geranium ‘Rozanne’ which has started blooming and will not stop till frost, with no deadheading necessary.  The older variety is a maddening runner, too, and while we keep trying to get it out of that planter, we will succeed only if we dig out all of the soil.

Rozanne, on the right, is so much better.

Rozanne, on the right, is so much better.

Each planter that had room got some nasturtium seeds tucked in.  When I ran across one with an area missing a trailing plant where I wished there was one, I scrounged in a wet and muddy search through my raincoat pocket and found three more stray nasturtium seeds to put there.

By the time I had gotten halfway through town, the rain became a light intermittent mist and finally lifted completely.  The traffic, however, increased, as I expected on a holiday weekend that also included the “world’s longest garage sale” all up and down the Peninsula, including a sale on an empty lot in the middle of town.

mobile garage sale

mobile garage sale with some very cool junk that I did not have time to peruse

Allan did a wonderful job on the Fifth Street Parks.  They had gotten to be a mess of small weeds…again.  When he was done, the blur had become high definition.

Fifth Street Park, west side

Fifth Street Park, west side

photo 2

photo 3

photo 5

Together, we weeded city hall and the two block of planters and two tree gardens north of the Bolstadt (and I popped a dianthus into that planter just south of the light).  I had hoped fervently that we would be down at the Port by six at the latest; we did not get there till 6:30.

by the Port office, one of the Saturday market tents.

by the Port office, one of the Saturday market tents.

port office garden with hanging baskets from The Basket Case

port office garden with hanging baskets from The Basket Case

basket including 'Pretty Much Picasso' petunia

basket including ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ petunia

and another

and another

a blue basket at the Don Nisbett Gallery

a blue basket at the Don Nisbett Gallery

We mostly worked along Howerton Way, starting at Time Enough Books and working our way east.  We skipped the westernmost curbside bed, hoping that its lush poppy display would distract from weeds.

a small curbside bed

a small curbside bed

looking east from the port office along Howerton

looking east from the port office along Howerton

We got as far east as the restroom building until it got too dark to see whether we were pulling dandelions or poppies.  I wished we could have gotten all the way to the end.  The time this week that we had slated to do the port gardens had gotten partly consumed by taking on the planting of the Ilwaco planters at last.

Allan dumps weeds at the east end of the marina...by a big pile of gravel for a road project.

Allan dumps weeds at the east end of the marina…by a big pile of gravel for a road project.

and we head for home after dark

and we head for home

Now, for three days off.  We are by no means caught up, and wished we could have gotten more done this week.  The time off is very much needed.  Allan will be using part of it to get the water trailer working again, so that’s not really time off.  I intend it to be a busman’s holiday and get my own garden weeded, or, if there’s a rainy day, get a head start on billing for May.

Some extra sleep would be awfully nice as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 21 November, 2013

Because the temperature got to at least as low as 30 F last night, I expected all my annuals to be down.  To my surprise, in the bright sunlight on the front porch, a hanging basket passed on to me by Mary N. (two doors down) still had some Calibrachoas in bloom.

in bright cold sunlight

in bright cold sunlight

In the shade of Allan’s garden, frost was still evident.

ajuga

ajuga

ice on the water feature (and Smokey following me as usual)

ice on the water feature (and Smokey following me as usual)

Geranium renardii in the front garden

Geranium renardii in the front garden

The frost in the shady areas at 11 AM reminded me that at our old house behind the boatyard, tucked right up against a hill to the west and south, frost lingered all day in winter when even our next door neighbour’s yard would thaw.  Allan and I would misjudge the weather and think it was too cold to work on days when the rest of the town was much warmer!  We would be pleasantly surprised when we got out into the sunnier world.

We did linger for ten minutes at Olde Towne this mid-morning waiting for the temperature to rise.  The annual Sanvitalia in the planter outside had gone to limp mush, so the Ilwaco planters need a check up.  Not today.

owner, chef, barista Luanne at Olde Towne

owner, chef, barista Luanne at Olde Towne

After our brief chat break with Luanne and Chester, we headed to Peninsula Landscape Supply for a load of Soil Energy.

Soil Energy coming up

Soil Energy coming up

“Soil energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter)”

Bob, the neighbour dog, came to visit.

looking extra cute

looking extra cute

Bob, the neighbour dog, came to visit!

my buddy Bob

Back south in Long Beach, Allan and I planted bulbs in a strip of ground that has been rewired with new lighting:  Narcissi ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Baby Moon’, Narcissus ‘Itzim’, and a mix of purple and white tulips.

The tulips will match purple signs on the side of the building.

before

The tulips came out of a bag of 100, the rest of which were slated for the Long Beach welcome sign.  They are a mix of purple and white and will match the purple signs on the edge of the building.

Then, while Allan added Soil Energy here and at the Summer House vacation rental next door, I walked around four blocks of planters, inserting the rest of the Baby Moons (six more per most planter) and pulling spent annuals.  OUT they came.  Almost all.

some Sanvitalia and California poppies still looking fine...with Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

some Sanvitalia and California poppies still looking fine…with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

The sun did that glare thing again all day long and made it hard to see my work, cars, the curb, and pretty much everything.

The frost did not take down this Cerinthe volunteer!

The frost did not take down this Cerinthe volunteer!

Geranium 'Rozanne' still blue

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ still blue

intense blue sky as city crew puts up decorations

intense blue sky as city crew puts up decorations

The city crew is careful not to stand in my planters.  Back when the planters were done by volunteers, I did four.  I used to bug the city crew to not stand in them.  Later, when Parks Manager Mike Kitzman and city administrator of the era, Nabiel Shawa, wanted to hire me I said to Mike, “Why?  I figured you just thought I was a pest, always bugging your guys to not stand in the planters!”  My then-partner and I would actually stop our car to complain if we saw any “planter standing”.  Mike said he wanted me to be hired because my concern for the planters showed that I would really care about the job.

When I returned to the Fifth Street quadrant of parks, Allan had finished mulching the strip by Scrappucino…

after

after

and had planted bulbs and mulched at Summerhouse.

the very small Summer House garden

the very small Summer House garden

We planted tulip ‘Akebono’ and assorted yellow Narcissi, including ‘Rjinveld’s Early Sensation’.  ‘Akebono’ was a last minute, additional purchase from Colorblends.

Tulip 'Akebono' from Colorblends.  Wish I had gotten 100 instead of just 25.

Tulip ‘Akebono’ from Colorblends. Wish I had gotten 100 instead of just 25.

A few plants in the park in front of Marsh’s Free Museum and Captain Bob’s Chowder had gotten frost-blasted.  After cutting down the pineapple sage and removing the last of the cosmos, it looked like this.

marsh

We still need to cut down the Nepeta (catmint) ‘Walker’s Low’ along the front. Today we ran out of time.  I’ll leave most of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ standing well into the winter.

Our last job, and one causing me some anxiety about whether or not we would have time to finish it, was the Long Beach welcome sign.  At last, we ripped out the annuals, revealing lots of the horrible, thready type of horsetail that infests this planting box.

before

before, back and front

How satisfying to rip out the annuals.  Even though I had stopped deadheading them, the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ on the south side had still looked moderately good up until yesterday.  The Brachychome and Bidens along the edges still bloomed in blue and gold.  But I had had it with them!  Out they came.

a refreshing change

a refreshing change

Some Muscari has already popped up along the edge.  (That is not unusual.)  Under the nice, fresh mulch, we planted two tulips mixes from Colorblends.  Along the front of the sign, with its yellow sun, I chose the mix called Triathlon.

Triathlon, photo from Colorblends

Triathlon, photo from Colorblends

In previous years, I have used Red and Yellow Cubed but wanted something slightly different.

Red and Yellow Cubed, photo from Colorblends

Red and Yellow Cubed, photo from Colorblends

For the cooler colours on the north side of the sign, I have been using Shortwave mix.

Shortwave, photo from Colorblends

Shortwave, photo from Colorblends

This year, just for a small difference, I chose the slightly taller Triple Play mix.

Triple Play from Colorblends

Triple Play, photo  from Colorblends

We treat the tulips as annuals here and rip out the old ones in May.  They rarely come back as good looking on the second year, and the sign must be showy.

After dumping the debris at the City Works yard just as the sun began to set, we were heading for NIVA green when we noticed the colour of the sky.  Allan drove straight out to the Bolstadt parking lot and even though the sky was fading already, I got a photo with the boardwalk as foregr0und:

sunset over the Long Beach boardwalk

sunset over the Long Beach boardwalk

The several strollers along the boardwalk must have felt that they were floating in that peachy sky colour.  Or so it looks to me.

Circling back around, we had a brief visit with Heather at NIVA green.  We’d found, in a trash can, a metal sign saying STONER WAY.  She cuts up license plates for art and we thought, correctly, that she could make use of the sign.

Heather told us she is discontinuing her manufacture of purses made from old record albums, so get them while you can!

old LP purses

old LP purses, very labour intensive to make

I thought that several friends of ours might be able to make use of the Dammit Dolls:

dolls

dolls

These would be very handy when you find that you need expensive repairs on your roof, or a new washing machine.

We stayed only briefly as I had one more outdoor project.  In the near dark, we dumped the last four buckets of Soil Energy into the planter near First Place Mall (a tiny “mall” of a few storefronts).  That planter had been annoyingly low.  Four more annuals came out, and the lavenders got a quick trim (with very cold hands clutching the clippers).

Having read somewhere that one’s tastebuds decline with age, I have been trying to go to the delicious Pelicano restaurant once a month to enjoy their ever changing monthly specials.  We missed last month, and most of the summer months.  Even though, as Allan pointed out, we would be out for dinner three nights in a row, I suggested we go tonight simply because we had the time.  It was not at all hard to talk him into it.

Pelicano Restaurant

Pelicano Restaurant

delicious squash soup

delicious squash soup

My drink was a strong potion featuring apple cider from Pink Poppy Farm.  Our server was the delightful Ms. Pink Poppy herself.  Our gardening client Eric Wiegardt’s art adorned the walls.  The lights of the boats glowed just outside the window.  The port crew have decorated the street lamps with white lights for the holidays.  There was only one other table occupied, as we were dining early, and the two other diners were having a most interesting conversation that we could almost overhear.  (They sounded like the sort of women I’d like to be friends with.)  We celebrated finishing the planting of the Long Beach bulbs, very much the biggest batch of Bulb Time.

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Friday, 15 November, 2013

Smokey and Mary definitely had the right idea about what to do for the day:

catsI would love to have followed their example and stayed home.  I would have been more productive than just napping and would have spent the day doing spreadsheets of bulb lists.  Instead, I decided we should go out in the rain and plant the eight remaining planters and two trees left to do north of the light on Pacific Avenue in Long Beach.  Allan was skeptical.

looking west from the driveway

looking west from the driveway

It hadn’t been raining this hard while I was putting my coat on!

into Long Beach....the rain had lessened

into Long Beach….the rain had lessened

The planters in question are in the two blocks north of the stoplight.

Just before I took this photo, we had seen three men in camo carrying rifle bags getting out of a truck.  Allan said “Maybe they are hunting donuts!” [at The Cottage Bakery].

We had a break in the weather and got the eight planters done, the first block with ‘Green Wave’ tulips as a shout out to my favourite shop, NIVA green, and then, with continued respite from strong wind and only a drizzle of rain, we did the three newly empty planters out on the beach approaches with minor bulbs (crocus, iris reticulata, muscari, etc) and species Narcissi.  These were the planters from which we removed sheets of Vinca and moneywort not long ago.

We have had a real problem with finger blight on the beach approaches in spring.  People cannot seem to resist picking ALL the narcissi out of the planters.  But we will try again.  Perhaps those who did so have moved on.

As we left the third planter, the rain and wind kicked up but sadly, I had realized we’d forgotten to plant the narcissi slated for the trees by Dennis Co. on the northernmost block.  We did so, in miserable weather indeed.  I was too wet during most of this to take any photos, but our client, Lisa, drove by and painted this word picture for me later:  “I drove past you and Allan today in Long Beach, in the pouring rain, very intently tending to a planter. You are heroes. …What the feck were you doing out in such shit weather??”   To which I replied, “We have bulbs to plant and we gotta plant ’ems.”

The rain had begun as we approached the final work project (the tree bulbs).

The rain had begun as we approached the final work project (the tree bulbs).

My dream when the weather did not seem as bad as expected had been to get the Veterans Field (red, white, and blue) bulbs planted as well.  It was not to be.  We had been offered coffee earlier by Heather of NIVA green (my favourite shop ever) so we went there; it is a block down from the last two trees.

There we found artist Joe Chasse also enjoying a cup of coffee.  You may remember his found object robots from last month’s  Cash Mob post.

Joe Chasse

Joe Chasse and his finds

an unusual eggbeater

an unusual eggbeater (and a plug for Chico’s Pizza)

Heather has a hint:  If you want a meat pizza, order the vegetarian pizza at Chico’s and then ask for the meat to be added.  That way you get more delicious veg, too.

I failed to get a good photo of my little friend, Tiny.

I failed to get a good photo of my little friend, Tiny.

Before leaving, we took a tour of Heather’s wonderful shop.

Heather Ramsay's latest lamps

Heather Ramsay’s latest lamps

Heather makes signs with words made from license plates.  (You can commission what you want; we have one for “Tangly Cottage”.)  Recently a couple came in from a town north of the Peninsula and the woman said that her partner made things from license plates, as well, and would Heather be interested in seeing them?  She most certainly was, and pointed out to me the careful detailing and joints of the man’s bird feeders.

an elegant license plate birdfeeder

an elegant license plate birdfeeder

details

and another

and another

and a license plate planter by the same man

and a license plate planter by the same man

Some socks with flowers and interesting slogans benefit Doctors Without Borders.  Although adorable, they are not for me because I only wear fluffy, not thin, socks.

"THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO DO IT BUT I SAY DO IT"

“THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO DO IT BUT I SAY DO IT”

"YOU'RE NOT OBSESSIVE, YOU'RE COMPULSIVELY AWESOME."

“YOU’RE NOT OBSESSIVE, YOU’RE COMPULSIVELY AWESOME.”

And then we had yet another break, at Olde Towne café.  It had been a rough day!

view from our table at Olde Towne

view from our table at Olde Towne

We each had delicious sandwiches and best of all, Luanne had time to sit with us and we had a good natter.

I bought the peacock...only $6.95.  Will look great on the wire fence next summer.

I bought the peacock…only $6.95. Will look great on the wire fence next summer.

So much for doing spreadsheets all day.  I did make some belated bulb sorting progress in the early evening at home by cleaning up the sorting area after micro-sorting the box of Port of Ilwaco bulbs into three categories:  Port office garden, Howerton Street gardens (short narcissi) and the boatyard garden (tall narcissi).  The Port gets very few tulips because of deer, and, because I was disheartened by bird depredations last year, only the port office will get Iris reticulata and crocuses.

Now we are in for several days of rain and wind and we may take a bulb planting break.  Here’s to some time indoors catching up on paperwork!  And on Saturday we have tickets for a play.

Note:  Debbie Teashon of Rainyside.com just published an excellent article about Salvia viridis (painted sage), featuring some photos taken in the Long Beach planters and other local gardens.

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Thursday, 14 November, 2013

Although we had a big bulbing day planned, we just had to make a brief stop at Olde Towne to see Luanne, who had been gone for 13 days to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grand daughters in Maine.

She's back!

She’s back!

We had the briefest of visits (she had time to sit at a table for maybe two minutes) and then we had to be on our way till a rainy day.  Soon we will be back for a proper sit down, I hope!

I had hoped that today would be the rainy day as I would have liked to have had time to sort, at home on the sorting table (with my sorting hat on?) the Long Beach bulbs into tidy batches with a bag ready for each planter.  That did not happen.  However, being able to set the boxes with easy access from the side doors of our new van made it possible to sort right on the job.  That is the main reason that this year, we are experiencing Bulb Time rather than Bulb Hell.  The new vehicle and the pleasant weather are collaborating to make it the easiest bulbs season in my experience.  Getting bulb crates into and out of Allan’s two door Saturn was not a happy time.

easy sorting

easy access

I had a little “office” set up on my passenger seat with clipboard and pen.  What luxury.

Down by the empty lot on Third Street, where the birds had view unimpeded by building of me setting tasty morsels of bulbs out on the edge of the planters, I garnered lots of attention.

These two...

These two…

and especially this one.

and especially this one.

The gull who staked out the bulbs actually did not get a single one, but it sure did want to.

gull

pacing and plotting

pacing and plotting

closer

closer

gull

acting cool near the bag of bulbs

acting cool near the bag of bulbs

Only my presence right there kept him thwarted.

Only my presence right there kept him thwarted.

Years ago, I learned not to lay out bulbs all down the length of the beach approach garden before planting them.

bulb planting on the beach approach in 2004

bulb planting on the beach approach in 2004

(Now that rugosa roses have pretty much taken over the beach approach garden and now that we have full care of the Long Beach planters, we don’t plant many new bulbs out there anymore.)

There are a few businesses with such a strong colour theme that I try to plant bulbs that sort of match.

Tulip 'White Parrot' in fron the blue and white Home at the Beach gift shop.

I planted Tulip ‘White Parrot’ in fron the blue and white Home at the Beach gift shop.

Red Parrot tulip 'Rococo' did very well last year so I planted more near this red cottage.

Red Parrot tulip ‘Rococo’ did very well last year so I planted more near this red cottage.

The lower tulip is 'Rococo', last spring.

The lower tulip is ‘Rococo’, last spring.

A couple of years ago I had the perfect colour match for the Hungry Harbour Grille:

Tulip 'Gavota' matched the paint trim perfectly.

Tulip ‘Gavota’ matched the paint trim perfectly.

The Cottage Bakery also called for red 'Rococo'.

This year, The Hungry Harbor and The Cottage Bakery both got Rococo.

Red tulips are my least favourite (except for the fabulous ‘Rococo’ with its green flames).  I always have plenty of “green” tulips as they are my favourites.  That makes it easy to plant green ones in front of Niva green.

Niva green, last spring

Niva green, last spring; this year it will get ‘Green Wave’

Maybe some year I will buy tulips in tiny (more expensive) quantities so that I can match every building!

I tried not to do any projects other than planting, but one that did need doing today was to dig out two big, old, woody Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ from a planter by the Fifth Street Park.

Allan used our cool new shovel from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

Allan used our cool new shovel from Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

old Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

old Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

woody center

woody center

I have many Autumn Joy sedums around and so I just went to the park and got two fresh new division for the planter, after Allan added some new potting soil.  I think every Autumn Joy in every park and garden that we do on the Peninsula is a division of the one I brought down from Seattle in autumn of 1992!

While on the same block, I enjoyed seeing two peace posters in the “Herb ‘N’ Legend” smoke shop windows.

peace

peace

While Schizostylis can fill up a planter too vigourously, it can also choose to bloom in a perfect late season floral arrangement.

Schizostylis by Fifth Street

Schizostylis by Fifth Street

I had a passerby ask me about it today, but she did so when I was not by a planter than had it, or I would have yanked some up and given it to her.  Later, when I was working by The Wooden Horse gift shop, manager Linda came out and saw a blooming piece of this very Schizostylis in our trailer (accidentally pulled while planting bulbs by the lamp post) so I gave the rooted piece to her;  I should dig her up a nice clump!

outside The Wooden Horse...I like the sign with clothespins for photos or postcards.

outside The Wooden Horse…I like the sign with clothespins for photos or postcards.

Today’s easiest planter was the one by the Carousel where we had dug out vinca recently and replaced it with nice fluffy dirt.  I was glad to see no birds watching this one as the bulbs would be easy picking with no plants to protect them.

The easiest planter to plant was the one by the carousel...recently dug out vinca and replaced with fluffy soil.

The easiest planter today.

I put in two little golden marjoram starts (dug from another planter) and two little Sedumn ‘Autumn Joy’ starts (snagged from a park).

Hungry Harbor Grille

Hungry Harbor Grille

When I got as far as The Hungry Harbor Grille, I remembered that tonight is Mexican night (every Thursday offseason) and that, because I had finished the big bulb sorting, we could go after work!

It had taken, as always, what seemed an incredible long time to get just that far.  Some rain began.  I examined the sky.  Was the blue just a sucker hole?

This is what a sucker hole looks like.

This is what a sucker hole looks like.

The blue came through for me and the rain stopped.

While Allan planted the last planters on the block south of the Bolstadt stop light, I put tiny bulbs in the four Fish Alley barrels.  The tapestry effect I was trying for is still working.

Fish Alley, one of four planters

Fish Alley, one of four planters

In went some species crocus, some Iris reticulata, some snowdrops and some Narcissi ‘Baby Moon’.  I plant Baby Moon every year and am adding 410 more to the planters this year because it reliably blooms during the annual first-Satuday-in-May parade.

Moon rise over Fish Alley

Moon rise over Fish Alley

From the alley, I could see the most amazing sky to the west:  wild shapes of clouds outline in pink.  I had bulbs all placed ready to plant and could not abandon them and a building was between me and any long distance photo of the sky.  We did get out to the beach.  While the clouds still looked impressive, the outline of pink had gone.

beyond the boardwalk

beyond the boardwalk

I will scour Facebook to see if any local caught the sunset on film!

I will scour Facebook to see if any local caught the sunset on film!

It was mildly frustrating to have run out of daylight with eight planters and two trees still to do on the main street.  It always takes me by surprise what a long job it is to plant the bulbs there.

We had our comforting Mexican dinner and came home, NOT to sort bulbs.  Instead, I finally added thirteen days of time card information to the work spread sheet.  Sometimes this blog is essential to remembering what we did on a certain day.

And the cats snoozed…

Smokey and Mary

Smokey and Mary

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Wednesday, 22 October, 2013

Pretty soon all the days will be this short or shorter.  (I am looking forward to that although by March I will be craving the longer days again.)  Today we had a dinner engagement “overseas” so we worked on the south end of the ‘Ninsula in order to be ready.

First, the usual compost bucket switch at Olde Towne.

Luanne's pumpkin decor

Luanne’s pumpkin decor

I poked the bigger Ilwaco city planter outside and found it disconcertingly dry.  I revised my plan of doing Long Beach and then Andersen’s RV Park.  The planters needed water today!   To get a head start, we borrowed Chester’s watering can and watered five of the planters nearest to Olde Towne.  Then,  on to Long Beach….parking would be easier in Ilwaco later in the day.

At my request, Allan tackled the montbretia removal in Fifth Street Park where it had snuck in around a daylily.   Just a clean piece of the daylily (a good maroon one) went back in.

Allan's first project, before and after

Allan’s first project, before and after

The pineapple sage is finally blooming!

The pineapple sage is finally blooming!

ornamental grass

On the south side of the park, the ornamental grasses have redeemed themselves from the day after the windstorm of a couple of weeks ago.  They looked so bent over then, I almost chopped them.

Almost cut these grasses, happened just the other day.  They were getting kinda long, could have said they were in my way.  But I didn’t…and I am so glad!

I walked around and checked each planter, fretting over how dry some of them are.  Mysteriously, some are damp and some quite dry.  The water has been turned off so there is nothing I can do but wish for a rainy day.

Asphodel about to bloom...wish I had more of these.

Asphodel about to bloom…wish I had more of these.

 I remind myself once again to remember to cut back, in mid spring, ALL of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  The few that I missed look terrible now.
the bad and the good

the bad and the good

the usual self reminder to plant more dahlias next year

the usual self reminder to plant more dahlias next year

still a vibrant and rather messy mix by Home at the Beach shop!

still a vibrant and rather messy mix by Home at the Beach shop!

Several of the planters have chrysanthemums, all several years old and all but one still vigorous.

mum

across from Dennis Company

by the Elks building

by the Elks building

The one one that is peaked and disappointing is by NIVA green.

not up to much!

not up to much!

I wish my favourite shop had a better chrysanthemum show!

I wish my favourite shop had a better chrysanthemum show!

When I got back to Fifth Street, Allan had been working on and removed four wheelbarrow loads of weeds and cut back lady’s mantle from this difficult garden bed.

a tough little bed, rooty and damp

a tough little bed, rooty and damp

It had looked pretty good early this month with a show of Schizostylis.

We needed more projects in order to time our watering of Ilwaco correctly.  I had the brainstorm to cut back the so-called dwarf mugo pine at the edge of the park.  It had grown into the walk space on both directions.  Mike Kitzman, parks manager, had been amenable to cutting it down, but that had not happened and I did not want to be that bold.  I forgot to take a before photo.

during and after

during and after…all the sideways, sidewalk blocking branches gone…and it’s lower

On our last look at the park, I noticed the Jerusalem sage is having a second yellow flowering.  I find that unusual.

Phlomis fruticosa

Phlomis fruticosa

Also unusual: an Eryngium 'Jade Frost' NOT reverting to green

Also unusual: an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ NOT reverting to green

We still needed one more thing to do to make the time come out right, so we cut back an Escallonia up by Scoopers market; I thought it was blocking the traffic sightline.  We did not plant it; it dates back to volunter planter days.

In the late winter, I am cutting these all the way down.

In the late winter, I am cutting these all the way down.

After dumping in the Long Beach works yard, we went to the Ilwaco boatyard to fill up buckets for watering….a job we thought was over after that big rain that now seems long ago.  No rain is forecast till a week from now…

in the boatyard

in the boatyard

I picked up some trash from the boatyard garden and admired the ongoing cosmos show.

cos

south end of boatyard garden

second flowering on blue globe thistle

second flowering on blue globe thistle

Cosmos, north end

Cosmos, north end

Cosmos picotee

Cosmos picotee

looking south from Eagle Street

looking south from Eagle Street

Allan bucket watering

Allan bucket watering

I had gotten into a pruning mood, and one of the street trees particularly bothered me.  These are all columnar pears, and they sure are not very columnar in nature.  The one by the Col Pacific Motel keeps wanting to grow toward the sign.  Last year, its lopsidedness had gotten so big it blocked the view of the sign.

Better?  Hmmm.

Better? Hmmm.  Now I want to take just one branch off the other side…

Allan found some nasty sluggy things in some of the leaves, and I think they were pear slugs!  Yuck.

They are so…sideways for columnar trees.    I did not have time to tackle more of them (maybe just as well) but we did take off a couple of lower branches on the one across the street.  A six foot tall person would have had to move over on the sidewalk to pass this tree:

after a slight lifting of the under-branches

after a slight lifting of the under-branches

If it were more columnar, the Portside Café sign would show better.  I see just where to cut….

However, it was time to meet Tom and Judy for our ride across the river.  I madly chopped up tree branches into our garbage wheelie bin for the last twenty minutes of the work day, so that the pear slugs…or whatever…go away in  the trash pick up tomorrow.

After an exciting ride across the Astoria bridge in Tom’s sporty red VW Golf R, we met Larry and Robert for a happy, hilarious, and delightful dinner gathering of six at La Cabana de Raya.  The only bad thing about today’s nice cool grey weather was that we did not get much of a river view, and no sunset.

The only bad thing about today's nice cool grey weather was that we did not get much of a river view.

two out of three amazing appetizers:  Fresh guacamole and Ceviche

two out of three amazing appetizers: Fresh guacamole and Ceviche

The sixth of us didn’t solve all the world’s problems over dinner…..Just Ilwaco’s, and had much laughter in the process.

Like the ending of My Dinner with André, we talked and talked until we looked around and saw that the restaurant was empty and the staff was cleaning up.

we closed it down....

we closed it down….at our table in the back

When I got home and turned on my computer to blog, I received a message from Mary, two doors down, to come get some of the salmon her husband had caught, and in the process I got to hold their little two-and-a-bit pound Yorkie!   It is a fortunate life to be blessed with such good neighbours…two doors down, four doors down (Tom and Judy) and five doors down (Larry and Robert).  (Three doors down is empty and being worked on.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Long Beach

By autumn of 1996, planters had been installed along the main street in Long Beach, and citizen volunteers adopted them. I had taken four near the Whale’s Tale Motel and the Old Salt Gallery. Below, the bulbs and plants start coming up in spring. That old house to the north is not there anymore.

planter by Whale's Tale; now it's by Home at the Beach, a wonderful shop!

planter by Whale’s Tale; now it’s by Home at the Beach, a wonderful shop!

planter by Whale's Tale bookshop in summer

planter by Whale’s Tale bookshop in summer

my planter across the street from the Whale's Tale

my planter across the street from the Whale’s Tale

Nabiel Shawa, city administrator at the time, said that my four planters were “Magnificent!” and within a year he had hired me to walk around downtown once a week and make sure that the other volunteer planters got watered.  (Each one had to have its faucet turned on and, later, off.)  Thus, in a very small way, began my City of Long Beach job.  By 1998, we were doing more garden work for the city of Long Beach, including planting up this new garden to the north of city hall.

city hall garden

city hall garden

By 2008, the city had decided that the volunteer planter program was not working.  The planters did not look wonderful.  So Allan and I now care for all of them as part of our city job.

Port of Ilwaco

In fall of 1997 I had gotten the idea to imperialize (with permission) a strip of land along the Ilwaco boatyard, one block east of my house, and make a long narrow volunteer flower garden.   Looking back, this seems crazy as I did not even have enough time for my own garden.   Perhaps I wanted a sunny border, or perhaps I just wanted to do good.  I might not have had I know it was infested with bindweed and horsetail, which weren’t visible till I started digging out the grass. Here it is in early spring 1998…

Ilwaco boatyard garden

Ilwaco boatyard garden

The Port provided a big pile of soil, and port worker Jaime helped me move some of it with her backhoe.  I provided all the plants, mostly from divisions from my own garden.

When I first started digging out the beds, assorted would be volunteers popped up, from the then-mayor’s wife to nearby residents.  I was thrilled and pictured a “Friday Tidy” sort of group like Ann Lovejoy had at the Bainbridge Island library.  It was not to be.  In several years of doing this volunteer garden, I had six hours of volunteer help, once from an Oysterville resident named Honor Seed who wheelbarrowed soil for me one day while he waited for a work shift at Jessie’s and once from my client and friend Sharon who helped me weed.

boatyard garden, early summer

boatyard garden, early summer

I spent perhaps two days a month weeding, and shorter times watering and grooming the garden.   It became a blessing when a neighbour went backhoe crazy up the hill from us, as it was a way to escape the incessant noise (trading it in for the more interesting noise of people working on boats).

boatyard flowers

boatyard flowers

The boatyard garden gave much gratification.  Folks walking to Jessie’s Fish Co told me how it brightened their day while they walked to their shifts.

Every Labour Day, the Peninsula hosted “Rod Run to the End of the World.” (Now it is the weekend after Labour Day). 1997, the end of the Rod Run parade of cars went by my boatyard garden.

fall '97, Rod Run
Labour Day ’97, Rod Run
September '97

Labour Day ’97

The boatyard garden continued as my volunteer project through 1992, although as my garden jobs (paid) increased, and as the backhoe frenzy died down near my house so that I enjoyed time at home more, it began to be something of an albatross around my neck.  In 2003, the garden was bulldozed to make room for a new electrical line and fence.  In 2011, we were hired by the Port of Ilwaco to bring the glory of the Boatyard Garden back, and we have done so, so although it took years and years to happen, this project did segue into being a job.

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