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Posts Tagged ‘Marie Powell Gallery’

Friday, October 4, 2013

South end days have more work time because of less of a commute..  We started with Mayor Mike’s house just a few blocks to our east.

Mike's house

Mike’s house

I like it that the mayor lives in a “double wide” just like we do.

mike

Our first job would have been even closer if I had remembered that we had dropped off, the evening before, two half buckets of gravel for a tiny project at Larry and Robert’s garden less than a block to our west.  But I did not remember till dusk.

When we stopped off at home to put some of the compostable debris from Mike’s into our clippings piles, I saw the blooming Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince’ near the driveway.

a Very Good Aster

a Very Good Aster

I realized that what with the rain, I had been spending very little time in my own garden.

dahlia

A dahlia near the debris pile caught my eye…and next to it a stunning clematis that has been blooming on and off all summer.

Clematis

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Nearby, I found a baby artichoke.  I wonder if there will be time for it to get large enough to eat.

The plant is young, so this bodes well for next year.

The plant is young, so this bodes well for next year.

Smokey wished I would stay home (and so did I).

smokey

Smokey in his BirdsBeSafe collar.

But we had things to do in Long Beach town.

west side of Long Beach City Hall

west side of Long Beach City Hall

The west side of city hall has two escallonias (one Pink Princess, one white Iveyi) that have gotten too big (my fault).  I don’t want them scraping at the building during wind storms.

before

before

They were pushing out too far on the sidewalk side, as well.  I had already trimmed them back a bit just awhile ago.  Now, if they had been in my garden, I would just have cut them almost to the ground and let them come back.  (Not quite true:  In my garden, they are planted where they can get to full size…proof this planting was far from my wisest choice.  Live and learn.)  But I thought that would be too shocking to passersby.  So I pruned the one at the north end of the bed into a more tree like, cleaned up form, and figured that later, when light that now can get to the inside gets more foliage to break out, I would cut it down.  It came out looking all right, but unfortunately the one at the south side proved to have such an ugly trunk shape that we DID have to cut it most of the way down.

after:  Once you cut it, you can't put it back.

after: Once you cut it, you can’t put it back.

Drat.  Now my plan is to chop down the one on the north end as soon as the weather gets bleaker.  Phooey.

While we were pruning, an acquaintance from the past, the daughter of the late Don Woodcock who once lived in Seaview, stopped by to visit and said she reads my blog.  How in the world did she find it, I asked, and she said something like “I’m nosy”.  I laughed, because I have been known to Google people.  I was pleased to learn that Don’s grand old Seaview house, The Sandcastle, is now a lived in family home again.  It and the Collie House are my favourite two Seaview houses.  I promised her I would stop by and take a new photo of the house.  I had noticed on driving by that the yard is looking cared for and pruned and all spruced up lately.

Across the street, our next door neighbours from Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm have some great new signage on their new coffee/juice shop.

Akari Space signs

Akari Space signs

closer...I love "mission control"

closer…I love “mission control”

I wonder if Jared and Jessika (who live right next door to our house) would notice if I stole “mission control” for one of our Tangly Cottage signs.

While I’m writing about admiration of artistry, here is one of the many mosaic tiles by Renee O’Connor that are set into the sidewalk along Beach Boulevard Street and the Bolstadt Beach Approach.

signs

This one reminded me that it is a clam digging weekend and that we should check the condition of the planters along the beach approach roads, so we did that next.

rose hips in the beach approach garden

rose hips in the beach approach garden

the last of the rugosa rose blossoms

the last of the rugosa rose blossoms

late blooms on Rosa Rugosa

late blooms on Rosa Rugosa

We did some clean up of wind toppled Cosmos at the Boreas Inn and some impatient deadheading of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ at the Long Beach welcome sign.

looking very tired now

looking very tired now

We had just one more plant (a blue oat grass) to pop into the newly cleared (formerly Pampas Grass) area in front of Marie Powell’s studio in Ilwaco.

fresh plants, fresh river rock

fresh plants, fresh river rock

When we got home, I decided I must make a twilight tour of the garden because I was behind on my plant appreciation.

a cheerful yellow...Rudbeckia? or ?? in front garden

a cheerful yellow…Rudbeckia? or ?? in front garden

monkshood and fuchsia

monkshood and fuchsia

Echinacea 'Green Envy'

Echinacea ‘Green Envy’

late blooming red Salvia something or other

late blooming red Salvia something or other

Geranium 'Rozanne' river is tired but still somewhat blue

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river is tired but still somewhat blue

Cardoon against the sunset sky

Cardoon against the sunset sky

In the last of daylight, I picked some more tomatoes and peppers from the greenhouse and some Cox’s Orange Pippin apples from our young apple tree.  How I love that I HAVE the very British Cox’s Orange Pippin apple…  It is susceptible to disease but oh how delicious.  I read somewhere that the Pacific Northwest is the only place where it will grow as well (or almost as well) as it does in England.  We got the tree at Brim’s Farm and Garden in Astoria.  I may be picking these apples a bit too early, but I am afraid they will fall off the tree as it is heavily laden for its small size…and supposedly they will ripen more indoors.

peppers green, chocolate (not really) and hot...several kinds of tomatoes...orange pippin apples

peppers green, chocolate (not really), banana and hot…several kinds of tomatoes…orange pippin apples

I am very impressed with the bell peppers grown in the greenhouse!

We have to work on Saturday but I do hope for Sunday off to spend some time in our own garden.

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I skipped two days of blogging because of an unusually social week.

Monday, September 30, 2013

  Allan’s aunt Dorothy and Uncle Hal were here from California after a months-long motorhome trip all around the United States.  They would arrive late Monday afternoon, so we got some storm clean up done during the day between squalls.

At the Port, I had noticed on a weekend re-con mission that the big ornamental grass just outside the residential door of the Powell Gallery building had splayed open.

grass

It had looked so good last week that I had refused to cut it, had told Randy Powell it just looked too splendid.  Now he would have his way.  In fact, he emerged while we were there and was awfully pleased we were chopping it.

before and after, in foul working weather

before and after, in foul working weather

In Long Beach, I cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and pulled Agyranthemums and Cosmos and annoying reseeded Lady’s Mantle out of the Lewis and Clark Square planter.

before and after

before and after

I am still unhappy with this planter but the problem is that whenever I try to dig everything i don’t like out of it, I break the sprinkler system and that makes Mike, the Parks Manager, unhappy.

Allan pulled a lot of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out of the tiny park behind the Lewis and Clark Square wall.

before and after

before and after

When we went to the Fifth Street park to cut back the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and pull some cosmos that had blown sideways, we saw the results of the storm on the carousel canopy.

Long Beach carousel

Long Beach carousel

The carousel horses have all been put away for the winter.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

after some chopping

after some chopping

I am sad that the big healthy pineapple sage looks so burnt by the wind and am thinking it may not even bloom.

poor thing

poor thing

On Monday, I felt that the Miscanthus on the south side of the park should be cut down because it looked so windblown.

grass

On Tuesday, it was standing up better and got a reprieve, for now, because the plumes looked wonderful backlit by the sun.

We quit work about an hour early to have a delicious dinner with Hal and Dorothy at the 42nd Street Café.  They had already checked into a space at Cape Disappointment State Park.  42nd Street is well known for their comfort food.  Owner Blaine was most attentive and Hal and Dorothy enjoyed the classic fried chicken and pot roast offerings from the menu.  Allan told me later it meant a great deal to him to spend time with family who had known him since he was a child.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

We simply had to work because resorts in the full wind needed their gardens tidied, especially Andersen’s RV Park.  A clamming weekend meant that many guests would arrive for the weekend.

Payson Hall at Andersen's

Payson Hall at Andersen’s

I was surprised by how well Andersen’s gardens had come through, but Payson Hall planters were hit so hard that by the time I was done with them, it looked like full autumn had come early.  Usually they last better till mid to late October.

after clean up

after clean up

The rest of the garden did not look as battered as I expected it to, so we focused more on weeding…especially by the clam cleaning room as the first big clamming weekend of the season is coming.

Then, back to Fifth Street Park in Long Beach.  Just one big cosmos escaped the yank.

one good looking cosmos left

one good looking cosmos left…just under the word “antiques”

The Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and the pale pink Schizostylis keeps the park looking attractive through this month and often later.

In order to go to dinner again we needed to go home and drop off the trailer (and, in Allan’s case, because he crawls around while working, change jeans!), so we took the opportunity to check out the progress on large plant removal along Howerton at the port.   WOW!!  The port crew had removed the pampas grass and two big Phormiums from the curbside garden by Powell Gallery!

just a glimpse shows of the restaurant sign

last week

Tuesday!

Tuesday!

Look how well the restaurant sign shows now!

Powell Gallery and Pelicano

Powell Gallery and Pelicano

Randy came out and said he would miss his “toi toi” (pampas) grass; he and Marie winter in New Zealand and have enjoyed having New Zealand natives in the parking strip.  But he agreed it does look good to be able to see the business signs better.

hole where Phormium came out...waiting for something smaller at Powell's

hole where Phormium came out…waiting for something smaller at Powell’s

By the way, the waterfront gallery there is for rent now;  Marie and Randy are downscaling to just the street side studio/gallery.

Then Allan and I did a quick turn around at home and joined Hal and Dorothy for a delicious dinner at The Depot Restaurant.  On this and the previous night, we were all so busy chatting that I forgot to take any photos at all.

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

We had planned to take the day off to spend most of it with Hal and Dorothy.  The weather turned out to be so dismal that we would have had most of the day off anyway.  We went down to the state park and spend almost three hours visiting in their motor home, where I got to meet their darling dog, Yoshi.

Those big ears are so silky.

Those big ears are so silky.

Yoshi's spot at the front of the motorhome

Yoshi’s spot at the front of the motorhome

Yoshi and I having a lovefest.

Yoshi and I having a lovefest.

We had to depart just before two because of an appointment….to get signed up for “Obamacare”…that is to say, affordable health care.

driving out of beautiful Cape D State Park

driving out of beautiful Cape D State Park

The brand new Washington affordable health care website was not functioning well (although we were told Oregon’s was!).  However, we were able to get some calculations that we will likely save $500 a month or more on medical insurance.  I almost wept with joy.  (Maybe not just almost.)

Due to the shorter than expected (and now rescheduled) appointment, we had some time before Hal and Dorothy were due to visit our garden, and the weather had turned lovely so we stopped at The English Nursery in Seaview on a quest for some Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, a good mid sized grass to go into the Powell Gallery garden.  There was none to be had but we did acquire a low growing Ceanothus and a ‘Sapphire’ blue oat grass.

entry to The English Nursery

entry to The English Nursery

Still with time to spare, we went back to the port where Allan planted the Ceanothus and I checked on the port office gardens.  When  I went into the port office to express my happiness with their plant removal, I found the office decorated with the beautiful pampas plumes brought in by one of the port guys.  That was thoughtful.

A bright yellow boat motored in for a photo opportunity.

port

The OpporTunaTy

The port office south side garden still looked almost perfect, much to my surprise.

evidence of much rain next door by  Nisbett Gallery

evidence of much rain next door by Nisbett Gallery

Ceanothus in place in the garden

Ceanothus and some new lavenders in place in the Howerton Street garden

Then we hurried home in time to show Hal and Dorothy around our garden.

Allan, Hal and Dorothy

Allan, Hal and Dorothy

Hal and Allan had a good sit down….

Hal and Allan

Hal and Allan

While Dorothy went all the way back into the very wet bogsy wood.

Dorothy photographing a fairy door

Dorothy photographing a fairy door

We were accompanied by cats.

our neighbour, Onyx

our neighbour, Onyx

Onyx and Smokey on the bridge

Onyx and Smokey on the bridge

After some sitting around in our house, we were off to Pelicano Restaurant, two blocks away by the marina.  This was the best dinner yet.  The food was exquisite and as we had all spent so much time together, we were relaxed and the conversation got deep.

I had arranged for a table with a good view of the marina and kept an eye on the sky…When I saw the sunset had reached a glorious moment, Dorothy and I went outside to take some photos.

sunset

sunset, looking west

I was pleased the port put on a good show for her.

boats

looking south from right outside Pelicano

paradise is here...looking east

paradise is here…looking east

Dorothy said she was reminded of the California coastal town in which they lived for years (except it was warmer and had the ocean rather than the river bay).  One similar quality was the way that locals know and greet each other from restaurant to restaurant.

sunset

looking northwest, showing one window of Pelicano

looking northwest, showing one window of Pelicano

Waterfront Way

Waterfront Way

In the restaurant as we awaited dessert, owner Shelly (spouse of the chef) took our photo.

family

family

We lingered till the last two other diners had left and the restaurant was probably well past closing time, having sat there for at least two and half hours.

The next day, Hal and Dorothy and silky eared Yoshi would depart for the end of their long road trip, heading down the Oregon Coast to California.   It felt strange and sad to not dine with them on Thursday!

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We began the day picking a bouquet in the rain for the Queen La De Da’s hospitality room that Jenna had set up to welcome the crew of the tall ships.  The Hawaiian Chieftan and The Lady Washington had arrived in the wet, rainy dawn to dock in Ilwaco through the weekend.

tall ship in the rain

tall ship in the rain

I didn’t remember to take a photo of the bouquet on the day;  I thought it was rather a good one with Alstrolemaria, Nigella (love in a mist), roses, and Knautia macedonica.

I got a photo on Saturday.

I got a photo on Saturday.

Because of the rain, we lingered for awhile at Olde Towne Café.  It was bustling with other like minded folk.

a busy day for Olde Towne!

a busy day for Olde Towne!

The rain was not letting up for us so we had to go on to work.  By the time we arrived at Diane’s garden next to The Red Barn we were pleasantly surprised by better weather.

next door to Diane's

next door to Diane’s, her sister Amy’s horse

Last time we worked at Diane’s I thought to myself that we had better put an edge on the new streetside before Larry got busy with the Roundup.  That day we were in a hurry, and then it slipped my mind.  Oops!  Larry had already sprayed by the time we came back.  It was a skilled spraying that did no damage to the garden, but I still think a line of dead grass looks worse than a line of live grass, even if it was going in to the garden.  (Left and middle, below).  But we fixed it.  (Nicely edged, right, below.)

streetside garden

streetside garden

We also added twenty Dianthis ‘Diana’, appropriately named and useful for filling in a new garden, especially for a client who likes pinks and pastels.

The Anchorage Cottages was next, where we found bees still all over the Ceanothus.

California lilac

California lilac

center courtyard

center courtyard

lily and Melianthus major in center courtyard

lily and Melianthus major in center courtyard

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

popular with bees

popular with bees

I had a flashback to childhood while deadheading the window boxes behind the viburnums near the office.

Viburnum and windowbox

Viburnum and windowbox

I smelled the same bitter foliage smell that I used to smell as a child, walking down the hill one half block from John B. Allen elementary school to my grandma’s house.  While weeding near another Viburnum at The Anchorage, I smelled it again.

more viburnum

more viburnum

And I smelled it again on the corner of the same garden….bitter, sour, and emanating from a leatherleaf viburnum.

leatherlead viburnum

leatherlead viburnum

I suddenly realized that the childhood smell had always come, after rain, from a “snowball bush” by the sidewalk…another kind of Viburnum.  Mystery solved:  Viburnums, especially when recently pruned or when the leaves have dropped, whether deciduous (like the snowball bush) or evergreen, stink when it rains!  I had always thought that smell was just damp rotting foliage in general.  I later googled the terms Viburnum and stink, and sure enough, I found a lot to back up the solving of a lifelong mystery.

After the Anchorage, we added some more red Dianthus to the Veterans Field garden.

Vet Field

Vet Field

In the Fifth Street Park, I may finally succeed this year in having three striped Cannas in the damp area in the southwest corner!

If they grow bigger:  success!

If they grow bigger: success!

You can see it was another grey, darkish day but at least it was not as windy as earlier in the week.  And I was loving the rain.  Not having to water gave us time to finish other work tasks. Lately we have been too busy to dine out at all.  I would love to have time to try the fish and chips or have a delicious crab roll at Captain Bob’s Chowder, now located behind the northwest corner of the Fifth Street Park.

Captain Bob's Chowder

Captain Bob’s Chowder and a daylily that I like

It’s been hard for the city crew to keep the lawns short with all the rain.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

I tried growing sweet peas (annual) along the trellis at the back of the park and the slugs got them.  Then I planted some perennials ones, and the guy (not a city crew guy) who pruned the hedge walked back there.  Sigh.

where once sweet peas grew

where once sweet peas grew

Note:  It would be great to have blue and white Nigella (Love in a Mist) in the Veterans Field garden next year!

Note: It would be great to have blue and white Nigella (Love in a Mist) in the Veterans Field garden next year!  (Here it is in Fifth Street Park.)

Fifth Street Park, north west side

Fifth Street Park, north west side

Just south of the park by one of the street trees, you can see how much it had been raining.

much rain

much rain

Leaving Long Beach, we went to the Ilwaco Boatyard garden just to remove some poppies completely blown over by the wind.

I had no doubt the windstorms have stopped for the season.

I had no doubt the windstorms have stopped for the season.

boatyard

boatyard

The boatyard garden needs some serious horsetail control…

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

But we had other fish to fry.  We will time it for early next week so the garden looks perfect(ish) for the big fireworks day at the Port, July 6th.  The garden looks grand even now, especially if you squint.

boatyard

looking south

looking north

looking north

windblown

boatyard

I had realized in our midmorning stop at the port that the Marie Powell Gallery garden needed to have its sea thrift deadheaded.

not very attractive

not very attractive

Allan’s method was to give it a complete haircut.

a smooth pate

a smooth pate

I wanted to leave a few pink flowers, even though this is harder to achieve, for the many tourists who might come to see the Tall Ships this weekend.

more time consuming effect

more time consuming effect

Overall, both effects are pleasant.

Overall, both effects are pleasant.

The two year old Eryngium in the parking strip has thrown up lots of flowering stems.  I am thinking the harsher the environment, the more it flowers?

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I took a peek at the port, just at the other side of the gallery.  The Port Office still had its Basket Case hanging baskets down; they had stashed them on the north side of the building to protect them from wind.  Don Nisbett had his hanging back up again.

baskets

The weather warning flag showed that the wind had finally stopped.

calm at last

calm at last

calm water and a tall ship

calm water and a tall ship

One more job:  We wanted to pull out the huge dandelions from the garden by the public restroom and Ilwaco pavilion.  We have never been assigned to do this garden, but it bothers me.  We used to take care of it when we worked for Shorebank, before the bank changed names and before its resident botanist (who designed the garden) was laid off.

At least we got the dandelions out.

At least we got the dandelions out.

Sometimes it bothers me that the bank garden we used to care for, and quit due to being overbooked, has gone to such weediness.  Other times, like on this particular evening, I look at it and realize it is so far gone now I am just glad I am not the one who has to bring it back.

SEP: Someone Else's Problem

SEP: Someone Else’s Problem

One last look at the Port and a tall ship, and we were done for the day.

tall ship

the condor statue and a tall mast

the condor statue and a tall mast

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Our day started promisingly with a quick walk through our back garden to pick a bouquet for Queen La De Da’s Art Night event. I took a little time to admire some of the flowers.

I'm pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

I’m pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

California poppies

This tiny jewel of a Pacific tree frog on a rose made my morning happy.

tiny perfection

tiny perfection

(As I write this, I can hear the evening chorus of frogs that tells me many more are out there.)

"Maxine's rose" rambling

“Maxine’s rose” rambling

I even have a very few Eremurus (foxtail lilies) that, while not a patch on my friend Sheila’s, are the best I’ve ever managed to grow. (A thought: They would look excellent in the front garden where I like tall plants, so I must plant some there this fall.)

Eremurus

Eremurus

And Mary was looking cute and silly. (She came to us with that name.)

my Mary

my Mary

Next we checked the Ilwaco boatyard garden and saw some beautiful flowers and interesting boats.

a pleasant name

a pleasant name

Condor II

Condor II

Janice Ann

Janice Ann from Newport

boatyard garden

boatyard garden, looking north

toadflax

toadflax

looking south

looking south

reseeded California poppies

reseeded California poppies

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

We then weeded and removed dead bulb foliage from the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and Don Nisbett Art Gallery and the Port office to make sure they looked good for the art night scheduled for that evening.

looking west on Howerton

looking west on Howerton

Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' at the Port office

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ at the Port office

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', of course.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, of course.

I pondered why two out of three of the Eryngiums from last year bloomed beautifully while one just sat there.

a non flowering year

a non flowering year

That was the only annoying bit of a pleasant morning, but the day would soon turn difficult.

At 12:30, we went up to Discovery Heights with the intention of spending seven hours on the gardens there, and so we did. But what a horrible mess they were. We simply have too many clients and this job, being one we do not drive by on our regular route, tends to get neglected during planting season. It consists of two very large and three medium sized planting areas, all of which require getting up onto a rock wall either high or low.

middle garden

middle garden

west end of middle garden

west end of middle garden

We both weeded along the front of the middle garden for awhile and then Allan went down to the lower garden while I tried to at least finish the front of the middle one. I took a before photo but did not have the heart to take an after.

before

before

The gardens are basically gorgeous, if I do say so, having planted them in late 2004 and then with Allan when he first moved here in 2005. The selections are deer resistant and have grown well together. The weeds in middle garden have always been a problem because bad soil was brought in (not my choice) containing much horsetail and rush. We were laid off for eight months or so in 2009 and during that year the weeds moved in fiercely. By the time we took the job back, the large time slot it had had was lost to other jobs, and we have never really managed to find time get the garden the way we like it to be. But that is not the main issue. I just am finding the job terribly hard as I get older, and I finally had a revelation that was right up there with the Great Revelation of 2007: to only do jobs that bring joy. I may only have another twenty years of active gardening IF I am as lucky in health as my mother. (She was able to retire at age 55, and that may have contributed to her being able to work in her garden till age 82.)

But it is hard to give up a garden that one has planted. I walked down to join Allan at the lower garden and sat for a moment in the car to eat a snack, gazing up into the garden where the sight of still more thick weeds met my eyes.

grass obscuring the garden

grass obscuring the garden

Did I weep? If I did, it would be unusual. Did we go up into this garden and weed for an hour? We most certainly did. Did I make a final decision? Yes. Before we even got back into the zone of cell phone coverage, I was composing a email of gradual resignation on my phone. I’ve tried to back off from this job before but have always been talked out of it by the owners. They deserve better, someone who has the time to weed thoroughly. I explained that the cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco and the Port of Ilwaco gardens have gotten more expansive every year and that those public gardens are my priority, but I think that one particular point that I made finally got the owners to agree to ask another local gardening business to begin to take over the weeding. I wrote that “the city jobs, to be quite frank, are MUCH more comfortable to do being on level ground and with, well, bathrooms! Climbing down off the rock wall and trekking off into the woods is no fun for a middle aged lady, let me tell you!” Ha! I should have used that VERY accurate reason for resigning before. Later when I told my friend Judy that I need jobs with three amenities: some shade, a chair or bench to sit on at lunchtime, and a bathroom, she said “No chair, no shade, no bathrooms, no Skyler!”

When we got home, I had to recover from all the emotion before going out again, so we did not get to Art Night till the last hour and missed the crowd of over sixty people who had attended. I was thrilled that the event had done so well and regret that I only got photos after the biggest crowd had gone.

Marie Powell's gallery

Marie Powell’s gallery

floral monotype in Marie's gallery

floral monotype in Marie’s gallery

Don Nisbett's gallery

Don Nisbett’s gallery

 

a Basket Case basket from inside Don's gallery

a Basket Case basket from inside Don’s gallery

outside Queen La De Da's

outside Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

evening music

art night guests outside the Port office

art night guests outside the Port office

From inside Queen La De Da’s, this piece of art spoke to me about the big decision of the day:

follow your heart

My heart says to only do jobs that bring us joy and to NOT do so many jobs that we have no time to spend in our own garden during spring through autumn. My perfectionism says that fewer jobs done well are better for our own satisfaction and that of the clients. My social conscience tells me that the most important jobs to me are the ones that benefit the most people: resorts, city gardens, art gallery gardens. The very most important jobs are the ones whose gardens benefit passersby of all classes and economic status, i.e. the city gardens. The very good sleep that I got that night told me that I had made the right decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Due to my rashly planned mini-trip this week, I have so much to do that I could not take the day off today.  We did begin with a worthwhile errand:  acquiring yet another free composter, this time from Cheri’s garden.  It may have to be roped back together, but it will work:

The price is right!

The price is right!

The compost pile was not broken down enough to put it on the garden, so we set it to one side.  Two snazzy new rotating composters will be installed here side by side.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

Cheri's lovely Dutch iris

Cheri’s lovely Dutch iris

I had a bit of anxiety that some of the special plants at The Basket Case Greenhouse would sell out while I am away on my three day trip, so we detoured from our Ilwaco gardening plans to go up and snag some more Sanguisorbas and Agastaches.  Fred and I discussed what we could put in the Veterans Field garden for the red colour needed for the dedication ceremony on May 5th.  He really wants me to plant red geraniums but I have annoyingly strong opinions that certain plants (geraniums and petunias!) belong in containers rather than in the ground so I am hoping to find something else that is red and blooming.  But if not…I know where to buy some very fine dark red geraniums.

at the Basket Case

at the Basket Case

Later for the (first ever for me because I am not a nationalist) red white and blue theme I will have more interesting plants:  Salvia patens, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Cosmos ‘Purity’, Salvia ‘Lipstick’ (or is it Hot Lips? anyway, a nicely shaped red one), Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’, Sapphire blue oat grass and Lobelia tupa.

A friend last year was searching hard for the Aquilegia called ‘Clementine’. and this year The Basket Case has it.

Aquilegia 'Clementine'

Aquilegia ‘Clementine’, a double white

Speaking of red, white and blue, when we stopped back at home I noticed that my Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’ is in bloom.

Pulsatilla 'Red Clock'

Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’

The very cool contorted English Hawthorn that I got at Joy Creek two years ago seems to be doing well after struggling for a couple of years.  (Picture Allan and I having an argy bargy about how to best face it up* while planting the large root ball and then hearing an ominous crack in the lower trunk.)

a happy Hawthorne

a happy Hawthorne (between the red tulips)

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden...but not today...

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden…but not today…

We began our post-shopping workday at the topmost garden on Discovery Heights, where we found my favourite ornamental grasses, Stipa gigantea, looking surprisingly tatty.

not very nice

not very nice

Allan combed them out while I weeded.  I found a mysterious sight: another grass sitting sideways out of the ground.  And not a small grass.  What happened here, I wonder?

??!!??

??!!??

You can see that the garden is full of Montbretia.  The rampant orange one came in on the soil that was used (not by us) to build the garden bed.  The owners actually like the montbretia so I just try to keep it from swamping everything and making a monoculture out of the garden.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

The stipa looked much better after Allan had attended to them.  I wonder if they will flower?

improved

improved

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

On the way down the hill, we stopped to photograph a stunning display of native plants below a curve in the road.  I believe this might mean this is a moist spot.  (My botanist friend Kathleen Sayce will tell me what it is and I will add the name.)

a curving sweep of white flowers

a curving sweep of white flowers:  Petasites, sweet coltsfoot (thanks, Kathleen!); ‘

Kathleen says:  “Sweet coltsfoot, loves wet seeps, and flowers relatively early, tho’ it’s late this year.”

We skipped the T Junction garden (three quarters of the way up the hill) and went to the middle garden by the gate.  I walked down partway, pruning some sword ferns by a couple of the light bollards, and Allan deadheaded middle garden narcissi.  A scrim of maddening horsetail is appearing but the narcissi should provide a distraction and let us postpone a thorough weeding for another week.

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

That bit of ocean is at Beard’s Hollow where we cleaned the beach yesterday.

I had a revelation that I could use Ceanothus as a green backdrop in Marilyn’s deer-chomped garden because the deer do not eat it here.

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

I credit my friend Terran with the idea to plant all white Narcissi.  The narcissi “All White” mix from Van Engelen has lasted so well in this middle garden although it has petered out a lot in the lower and T Junction gardens.

middle garden band of white

middle garden band of white

white mix aglow

white mix aglow

A Hellebore feotidus has reseeded itself below the rocks in middle garden.

Hellebore and child

Hellebore and child (to the right by the road is the child)

This hellebore has amazed me by coming through year after year in these harsh windy and not very shady conditions.

a toughie

a toughie

We also skipped lower garden because we needed to do some weeding and planting at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, especially one long section that I knew had lots of horsetail.

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

horsetail in sidewalk crack

horsetail in sidewalk crack

My guru Ann Lovejoy says you must cut rather than pull horsetail or you will make it worse:

“Chemical warfare only takes out this season’s stalks, while mowing is more effective and less environmentally damaging. That’s because the best way to get rid of horsetail is to cut, not pull.

Pulling horsetail actually stimulates new growth. Pull one stalk and three or four will take its place. Cut it at ground level and you will slowly deplete the roots.”  (Ann Lovejoy)

We don’t cut it but we do break it off pretty close to the ground.  Even in places where we have greatly improved the soil (like my own garden) it comes back but it does weaken in time.  We did a quick job today because a thorough job will need to be done before the day of the children’s parade (May 4th).

boatyard before...

boatyard before…

after

after

A lot of the green is from California poppy seedlings.

This Stipa gigantea at the boatyard is putting out flower stalks, as it should, unlike the battered ones up on Discovery Heights.

healthy Stipa gigantea

healthy Stipa gigantea

At the southern end of the garden, the horsetail had not sprouted back with such force, but many mushrooms had appeared.  I am no mycologist so I can’t ID them.

with blue oat grass

with blue oat grass

mushrooms

They do come in sometimes, but not always, on the Soil Energy mix….

boatyard

boatyard

I photographed some boats in the yard for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page and we then moved on to the Marie Powell Gallery garden on Howerton.  (More boat photos from earlier years here.)

While weeding the Powell Gallery garden I pondered on how I think the plants in it are too tall.  I am hoping to convince the powers that be to remove that pampas grass with a large machine.

We did not get this one cut back in time!

We did not get this one cut back in time!

I prefer the shorter plant schemes in our newly redone garden beds on this street.

looking west with telephoto

looking west with telephoto

The pampas even hides Marie’s print making shop from street view.

too big!

too big!

I also pondered how much I dislike weeding among river rock.  I wish it were confined only to a faux stream bed!

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks...

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks…

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

The river rock does set the plants off nicely so I should stop whinging, I suppose.

By six forty five, I had tired of an increasingly cold evening wind.  We went home…just a block away! and I tried to plant 18 or so small Nicotiana langsdorfii in my own garden.  I hit the wall after only three.  Why did 51 degrees seem so very chilly?  Could it be that working on the blog seemed more amusing than being outdoors?

.

*Facing a plant up is when you put its best side to your most important view of said plant.

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Our plan had been to return to work on Feb 10th.   That seemed like a good time, being right after a Saturday Peninsula Cash Mob event.  Starting the Cash Mob having been one of my staycation projects.  BUT February 9th dawned bright and beautiful.  By midmorning that fact registered with us.  (We are not morning people.)  And we decided we had to work.  I could not think of one more staycation garden project to keep us at home.

Our first job as always was the Long Beach parks and planters.  A go round of all the planters kept me plenty busy for the first day while Allan worked on the Fifth Street Park.  The early crocus rewarded us, but I did not see the snowdrops I had expected.  I wonder if they came and went while we were at home!

in the Long Beach planters

in the Long Beach planters

The day almost ended inauspiciously with a dead battery caused by leaving the lights on, but Allan got a jump from a nearby Active Enterprises truck  (Thanks!!) and we had time to plant two clumps of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ in Nancy’s garden on our way home.

Nancy's new garden bed

Nancy’s new garden bed

February 10th brought another day in Long Beach and the downtown parks got groomed to our satisfaction, still leaving Coulter Park just north of downtown and the dreaded beach approach weeding job for later.  Public gardening can be a joy when friendly happy tourists want to talk about plants, but it has its downside.  Day one in Long Beach had two boozy fellows wanting me to hire them.

cig butts in the park...after I had picked most of them up

cig butts in the park…after I had picked most of them up

Day two in Long Beach had a barmaid from a tavern getting quite shirty with me because I dumped a pile of ten cigarette butts from the adjoining park next to but not into their butt bucket, as I often do.  As always, I would walk around the fence later and deposit them with other butts.  (Usually I have my own bucket, but that day I had a wheelbarrow for hydrangea prunings.)  When I tried to exercise diplomacy by saying my name and that I do the Long Beach parks and planters, she called me a “lying bitch” and informed me that she knows the planters are all done by volunteers because “signs on the planters say so”.  I remained  calm and diplomatic so as not to disturb the nearby tourists. Finally, possibly frustrated by my refusal to engage in a heated argument, she stormed back inside, leaving me pondering whether or not it was be nicer to toddle into old age doing only private gardens.  It’s an idle thought because I’d find the Long Beach planters very hard to abandon.  Nevertheless, it was surely the worst start to a work year that I’ve ever had.

On February 12th, we turned our attention to the Port of Ilwaco.  (Plenty of rain days make for a choppy schedule at this time of year.)

Allan cutting ornamental grass down at the Powell Gallery.

Allan cutting ornamental grass down at the Powell Gallery.

In  the Marie Powell Gallery garden and on either side of the nearby Time Enough Books entrance are some of the few remaining Phormiums in any of the gardens we care for.  How I have gone off them!  Their tatty old side blades need to be trimmed off, but we will deal with that later.

messy Phormiums

messy Phormiums

At Time Enough’s garden I averted my eyes from the Phormiums and enjoyed the crocuses while pulling dandelions and little weedy grasses.

Time Enough Books garden

Time Enough Books garden

On February 13th we tackled the big ornamental grasses at the Depot Restaurant.  Our luscious coating of washed dairy manure on the new section of the ornamental border had promising spears of bulbs coming through.

north side of deck at Depot

north side of deck at Depot

chopping the Depot grasses....Allan found a tiny tree frog.

chopping the Depot grasses….Allan found a tiny tree frog.

next up on the south side of the Depot deck

next up on the south side of the Depot deck

As soon as we make the wake up call to all the other gardens, I want to get back to the Depot and dig out all the weed grass and Crocosmia bulbs from this area and turn it into a proper herb garden for chef Michael.  We didn’t plant the Crocosmia and it has quite taken over and seems like a useless plant for outside a kitchen door.

I picture a lot more rosemary, chives and oregano.  It will be wonderful and fragrant and so much more attractive than a plant which, nice though it is, blooms for only two weeks out of the year.

Another mission I had that day in Seaview was taking some photos for a local real estate page.

Just around the corner from the Depot, the local florist’s building is a garden in itself.

Artistic Bouquets

Artistic Bouquets

Near the Seaview beach approach, Allan photographed a quintessentially beach garden boat.

washed into a garden

washed into a garden

We got some photos for the Long Beach real estate page as well, including this garden-y one with rose hips.

in south Long Beach

in south Long Beach

Oh, the garden I would have around that old house!

Next:   We head up North to wake up some more gardens.

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