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Posts Tagged ‘Mike’s garden’

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Again, the night had been just below freezing. The front garden still had a vestige of Friday’s snow.

DSC03596.JPG

Allan reset the sundial an hour ahead

We began next door but one (two doors down) at The Norwood Garden.

Before (Allan’s photo)

The north bed felt cold on working hands. At least the ground was not frozen and so we could accomplish our weeding.

I’m thinking that small hardy fuchsias would be good in here between the hydrangeas. Must wait till warmer weather before planting them.

On the east side:

Next, we went several blocks east to Mike’s garden.

Allen trimmed the pampas grass… I have only planted one pampas grass in all my years of gardening, in my first year on the peninsula. We have, however, had to care for many. They have now made it to the noxious weed list.

After (Allan’s photo)

The front garden’s variegated buddleia needed a trim (another noxious weed plant I do not plant, except for the new sterile cultivars on rare occasion, but I take care of some that are already established and make sure that they do not reseed).

The front garden then got a good tidy up and path raking.

Allan’s photo

The gorgeous red flowering pieris might win someone over to pieris who has so far resisted them.

The ground on the shady north side was frozen.

That was the last of the garden wake up calls for this spring.

We went on to Seaview, to weed and tidy at The Shelburne Hotel.

Allan went up to the second floor decks to check on the planters.

Old planting of fennel, not by us, before and after.

He tidied the little bog garden on the north side of the building. I wonder if the canna will come back; I doubt it.

I learned this winter on Gardeners’ World that one should remove old figs from a fig tree to get better new fruits. I had forgotten to do so.

It is done now.

I thought the hardy jasmine had plotzed…

…but a closer look gave me some hope of new buds. I just clipped off some of the dead leaves.

The front garden has lots of small bulbs blooming already, and more exciting bulb foliage coming on.

The rapidly dropping temperature in the late afternoon inspired Allan to ask if we were going into the pub after work. Yes. We enjoyed hot toddies….

…a special of fried calamari…

…comfort food of mac and cheese…

…and a smoked salmon Reuben.

At home, the wake up calls are now all erased from the work board.

I enjoyed the look of that for a moment before creating the new work list with the sometimes dreaded beach approach weeding.

I don’t feel the dread of it as much this year, perhaps because I feel well caught up with work so far.

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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

We had an errand before work that took us near a former job of ours, so we took ourselves on a brief tour of

Discovery Heights,

a series of entry gardens that we planted and maintained from 2005 through…I can’t quite recall when we stopped gardening there.  As these photos show, the job entails a lot of climbing up onto raised, boulder-edged beds, something that became difficult as my knee got worse.  The garden is now in the capable hands of Terran Bruinier of BeeKissed Gardening.

lower garden, south side

The middle garden:

All montbretia in the gardens were brought in with the soil (not my choice of soil, not sure where it came from).

Salal, to the right, most definitely not planted by us!

Some of “my” ceanothus still survive…

…including this large one.

When we first began this job, I asked if the community was going to be gated and was told no.  I have a preference of not working in gated neighbourhoods, but I was fully invested in the job when the gate went in.

Driving back down the hill to where the Discovery Heights entry road intersects with the 100 Loop road that goes to Cape Disappointment State Park:

lower garden, south side, am pleased at how the plants drape the rocks as planned (cotoneasters, and I think some prostrate ceanothus)

lower garden, north side, on heavy clay

Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’ pruned into balls (left)

I regretted having planted the escallonias at the front of the top tier.  Terran’s solution to their height works.

Salal…snuck in!

Rugosa roses (left) are finally outpacing the deer.

from the loop road

It is pleasing to see the garden full grown.  The first flat terrace was always a problem because of such heavy clay and a break in the irrigation line.  My camera failed to get a driveby of the back of the garden where some rhododendrons, once quite small from the Clarke Nursery going out of business one gallon sale, are now full sized.

We went on to work at

Mike’s garden.

Our task was the last of the fall tidying, along with pruning an Escallonia iveyi that was hanging out into the sidewalk area…or the area where a sidewalk would be if there were one.

My preference with escallonia is to have them thick and shrublike all the way to the ground, so that it looks like this (same escallonia, this past July).

Escallonia iveyi

However, it was now growing well over the property line and Mike wanted it pruned. Cutting it back to the line revealed a tree like rather than shrub like form.  I had to work with that, and also had to reduce the height, because that is what people generally want when they ask for a shrub to be pruned.  Given what we had to do, here are the befores and afters:

before

after

The lilac to the left is going to be completely removed…by someone else…because it is pestering a sewer line.

before

after

It is rather shocking how much had to be cut to get it back behind the railroad tie edge.  At least I managed to save a layer of foliage that will give privacy for the deck.

before

after

Poor thing!  It should fill out again quickly next year.  It is now possible to easily walk the path behind it, also, which was party blocked before the pruning.  If it had to be done, I would rather it be done by me that someone else who might have just leveled it off halfway down and left nothing but shrubs.

We left Mike’s and turned our attention to the

Ilwaco planters and street tree gardens.

I was not sure if we would get through them all.  Rain was predicted.  The sky was so dark for awhile that it felt more like dusk than midday.

The city crew (a much smaller crew than that of Long Beach) was installing the cords for the lighted crab pot holiday decorations.

Allan made quick work under the trees with The Toy (our new Stihl rechargeable trimmer).

before (the truly horrible perennial sweet pea)

after (Allan’s photos)

That darn invasive pea under one tree has swamped all the “winter interest” plants, as have the BadAsters in the other tree garden pictured above.

Here is a before with no after…

The blob of blue felicia daisy got cut way back because it looks silly.

I got distracted from taking an after photo by my thoughts about the post office garden. I’d been asked by the crew if a crab pot could go IN the garden and had said yes, if they would just avoid tramping around with their boots.  I suddenly decided we had better go to the post office and make some clear space.

before

after

We had pulled all the cosmos.  The Toy worked a treat trimming the Stipa gigantea (the tall airy grass in the center).

Back to the planters, I left a few of the healthier nasturtiums just out of curiosity about how long they will last.

We are said to be due for an extra mild “El Nino’ winter.

trailing rosemary in a planter (Allan’s photo)

That rosemary is in one of the two planters on Spruce Street, out of the First Avenue wind tunnel that damages the ones I have tried there.

With the planters done, Allan went to dump the debris while I used The Toy at the Norwood garden, two doors down from ours.

before; I scored some of those leaves (left), too.

after; Allan helps clean up in the dusk while I weeded the north bed.

before (twilight)

after

The Toy made what would have been tedious clipping into a less than five minute shear!

We just had time before dark to check up on and pull some montbretia out of the J’s back garden, leading to some happy erasure on the work board.

I am hoping for semi-staycation to begin in two days.  I am calling it semi this year because we cannot completely neglect the Shelburne and Long Beach for two and a half months.  Post frost clean up—if we get frost—will be necessary in a few locations.

I had a nice cuppa tea at home.  Only one Builders tea bag remains and I am saving it…

Allan’s photo

As we watched an amusing show on telly, I was astonished by a city street scene. I had to hit pause in amazement.

Look at that overhead tram, and all the traffic, and bridges.  I reflected on my 38 years of city life in Seattle and on how much quieter my last quarter century has been here at the beach.

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 8 November 2018

First, a postscript to Halloween and the 6×6 art auction.  Wendy Murry is the artist on whose 6×6 piece I always bid.  Some of her work from the past, that I am so glad to own:

and my favourite:

my favourite Wendy art of all

She told me that she would not be in the art auction this year because of being so busy but that she had made me a piece of art anyway.  On Halloween, she brought it to me, and this morning I remembered to photograph it for you.  It is a depiction of Dead Man’s Cove at Cape Disappointment.

Here is a real life view.

I am pleased and touched and grateful.

Ilwaco mulching

Today we began by loading all the buckets of mulch and applying more buckets-full to our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Department.

before, with mulching to the right hand side that was done last night.

The velvety verbascum that had placed itself right on the edge had to go.

after

and the long, narrow west side, too.

I think there might be a narrow bed on the east side that is just nothing; I should have a look and maybe put more Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have an endless supply, into it.

Next, we mulched our volunteer garden at the Post Office, where we used up the rest of the load of 25 five gallon buckets and 17 four gallon buckets.  That’s 193 gallons; 201 and a bit equals one cubic yard, according to my calculations.

I removed some under-performing Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ to make room for a bulb of my Lily Conca D’Or.  Look how big it is after several years in the ground!

It went in the back corner.

I have mixed feelings about all that grass in the front.  I asked the opinion of a passerby, who said she liked it.

clearing out plants while mulching

post office garden after mulching

back home, this much left (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s garden

Back at home, we reloaded all the buckets and applied them at Mike’s garden, a few blocks to the east.

ready for Mike’s garden (Allan’s photo)

autumn leaves

Mike’s front garden

mulching thickly at Mike’s, where the soil is clay and fill.

Someone else is going to remove this tatty old lilac:

And we will return soon to prune the Escallonia iveyi behind it.

Back home…

Now this much is left. (Allan’s photo)

I was in suspense whether filling all the buckets for the Shelburne would use the mulch up, or whether we would have enough left for Diane’s garden.  I was so happy that some was left over.

The Shelburne Hotel

We delivered another full complement of buckets to the Shelburne.

ready to mulch (Allan’s photo)

We usually leave the right-in-front parking spots for guests.  Not today, when we had such heavy work to do.

We not only mulched but also moved some hardy fuchsias and a hydrangea to more eye-catching locations.  I planted two of my Lily Conca D’Or, some violas, and some starts of a white veronicastrum.  Three big clumps of white astilbe that had appeared in full sun got moved to happier shady spots.

I removed a lot of badasters. and must remember to put some divisions of good asters in for autumnal beauty in 2019.

nice thick layer of Soil Energy

In case you are wondering what Soil Energy consists of: “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).”

We finished after sunset.

brushing footprints out of the mulch

sweeping the path

The windows of the pub (left, below) glowed so enticingly that we went in for a work reward.

Jambalaya (ordered with no oysters, please!) with a side salad, fried chicken sandwich and small chopped salad

At home, the work board reflects that Diane’s is the only mulching job left.

 

 

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Before work, dignified and self-possessed Rudder from next door strolled by and I got to pet him in passing.

At age 16, he was on a mission to go to his front lawn and slowly lie down for a nap.

Mike’s garden

At former-mayor Mike’s garden a few blocks east, we had a brief mission: to mulch two beaten down areas.

before, one of the two

after (with a conifer that is slowly dying)

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We spent about an hour, with me pulling many of the old poppies and putting them in the MaryBeth Wheelie Cart for seed collecting, while Allan weeded.

before pulling poppies

cosmos

santolina and pink yarrow

catmint, santolina, California poppies

Shelburne Hotel

We digressed from Ilwaco to Seaview to spend some time extra time at the Shelburne.  This gave Allan time to give the boxwood square a bit of a trim.

before

after

Meanwhile, I had in mind to dig out three boring old Stella D’Oro daylilies that were languishing in the shade.  Boring though they are, I thought I would find a spot for them in the back garden so that Chef Casey Venus would have more daylily flowers.  Boring though she is, Stella does reliably rebloom.

before: Stella way back against the fence, and lots of horrible aegepodium.

Maybe I just need to ditch Stella so I don’t move aegepodium into the back garden.  I will carefully separate out some daylily roots.  It was a moot point because I could not even get my shovel into the ground, so this project will wait for another day.  I did manage to get out several of the noxious-weed Iris pseudacorus.

before

after, not the most successful project!

A future project will be to have Allan get on a small ladder and try to get some of the green reversion branches out of the golden privet at the north end of the front garden.

It wants to go green.

Joe Pye Weed and white phlox before…

…and after I ran my hand over the phlox just to knock off the spent blossoms and leave an interesting green shape.

In the back garden, I noticed something on a table and realized it was a message.

I love this place.

I love it, too.  Working here is my happiest job this year.

the back courtyard

Sunset runner beans

bocce ball court

west side, back garden

south side semi shade garden next to the al fresco dining

We also watered the whole garden so that it won’t have to be done between Long Beach and Ilwaco tomorrow.  Allan wants to get home before dark on Friday to load up his boat for a Saturday trip.  This means we will have to water the Shelburne again on Sunday.

deadheads from watering the Room Four deck’s containers (Allan’s photos)

Remember when last week we spotted the KING 5 news van at the Shelburne after work?  We figured they were there covering the kite festival, and they were.  Here is the kite festival segment.  But they also did a segment on the Shelburne itself with LOTS of photos of the flowers.  It is short and sweet and right here.  Not only does it flatter the garden; it also gets across the improvements over the old, rather stuffy look inside the inn.  The historic feeling of the inn is still strong and now the rooms are spacious and airy in feel.

Port of Ilwaco

We went home for the second long hose. I got to pet Rudder again—twice in one day!

This time, a small piece of cheese might have been used as a lure.

Back to our not quite all Ilwaco day, we did our usual watering of the curbside gardens, except for the east end one which we only do every other week.  (It is our drought tolerance test, or else we just get tired.)

by the soon to be new At The Helm hotel, formerly Shorebank

By Ilwaco Pavilion

I fretted while watering about this garden possibly getting trampled during Slow Drag and thought, I MUST find out where the finish line will be this year.  I have implored that it not be by this garden.

a new and delicate area where once was a mugo pine

I managed to grow this coreopsis from seed and I want to see it bloom!

Other beds, like the drive-over garden, are much tougher.

The finish line used to be at this bed by the ArtPort Gallery.  I wish it still was.

As I worked my way along the gardens, I expressed my worries to a merchant friend, who said the rumor is that the race will run the other way and end at Salt Hotel.  That would be awesome; the Salt garden bed is sparse, with river rock chunkier even than the ArtPort bed, and would stand up better to trampling.  (I can reveal this rumour because, by the time you read this, Slow Drag will have happened days before.)

by Salt Hotel

also by Salt Hotel

The west end beds would get some trampling, too.  I don’t have anything precious and not easily replaceable in here:

I checked on our planters at OleBob’s.  Wish we had time for a lunch here!

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ climbing into a crab pot at Time Enough Books

We learned that a friend of ours had an encounter with an elk, on a foggy road. She’s ok, but does not know about the elk.

reflective high tide at the port

Before going home, I remembered one last thing.  We went back to the boatyard and Allan pried out this tatty old blue oat grass.

well past its prime

home

Skooter and Frosty were pleased to see us home by 6 PM.

I had collected enough green clippings this week at work to start layering green and brown compost into bin three.

green and brown plant material and some shredded paper

evening light on the garden

Allan and I moved a sign that had gotten hidden behind an escallonia branch.

I am now am waiting for a loooong time to have my Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’ grow up here.  I am tempted to move it again and plant something bigger.  But I won’t, poor thing has already been moved so many times, which is why it is now four inches tall instead of the four feet it had achieved before the second-to-last move severely set it back.

As for the sign, it applies to my life now but not to everyone’s.  “Why keep a garden account and reckon the cost of pure joy? Is it not cheap at any price?” (Mirabel Osler)  I choose my garden over travel and other luxuries (most home remodeling, for example).  Some people on an even more limited budget have to choose groceries over garden, as I did when trying to get out of debt; during one of those years, I bought one six pack of cosmos for my garden and that was all.  Even now, I cannot afford “any price“, yet that quotation still speaks to me.  Maybe it justifies what I do spend.

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 16 July 2018

After a windy Sunday spent mostly blogging out the Markham/Grayland tour, we got back to work.

Ilwaco

Allan remembered that we needed to water some plants we had planted at the end of last week. Allan planted a Crambe maritima (sea kale) from the Master Gardeners sale in Grayland.

We are also trying out a Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’ from the Markham Farm garden.

Allan’s photo

The new rudbeckia clump was wilting.  I was so glad Allan had remembered to check it.  It got well soaked.

It was fine the next morning.

Long Beach

We pulled horsetail at the welcome sign and I wondered why, even though I did not fertilize them, in hopes they would not bolt up with no flowers till late in the summer, the cosmos are beautifully green…with only one flower so far.

At least the cosmos helps disguise the horsetail.

 

one cosmos flower so far, on the north side

the resident of the water timer box (Allan’s photo)

Before starting to water downtown, we called an emergency meeting with the powers that be about a matter that I am not going to write about.   I try not to bring gardening problems to the city and have succeeded, with two exceptions, for twenty years. (Twenty years of Long Beach gardening, maybe even longer…I can hardly remember when I began.) Having passed the problem on, I am now able to put the matter out of my mind, but I also felt quite firmly that I can no longer imagine tottering on till I’m 70 or 80 (should I be so lucky) with the city job (planters, parks, beach approaches, parking lot berms).  I have imagined for years that I could not give it up, and yet this week I feel mentally exhausted; I have hit a wall (one that maybe I will end up able to climb over after all).

I could give the city gardens up if only someone was coming along behind us eager to take the job on.  It’s not my business to choose the person(s), but I sure would hope it would be someone with the focus (in my case gimlet eyed autistic focus on every little plant picture in town) to keep everything as perfect as possible.  (We constantly fail at that.)  Maybe it would be someone who dared plant even cooler plants, taking the risk they would be stolen.  Maybe it would be someone who’d remove my personal favourite perennials and plant something with a tidier look.

I’ve promised the parks manager to keep going for two more years, if they can all stand me that long, and I keep my promises, usually.  Are you the one who would like to take it on after that?  (A week later: I may have just the person in mind, someone I have talked to who is a good ornamental and container gardener, and fit (because it’s a hard job) and who would actually want and love this job.  I have no control over the city will hire when the time comes, but at least I can strongly recommend…)

Imagine being partially retired…I could keep up on reading other people’s blogs! Letting Long Beach go would immediately result in being half retired.  That would be cool.  The plan right now is two more years till then.

And yet I still hope to keep tottering along on the Ilwaco and the Shelburne gardens forever.  Forever is a long time, and yet it is a word that people invoke so easily (example: “forever homes” for animals, when we all know that homes end when we die).  So why can’t I imagine forever gardens at the port and the Shelburne? Maybe I will haunt them.

But enough of that.  We watered the street trees and planters.

Someone decided to go barefoot.

dahlias in a planter

I like my mini-meadow look in each planter.  It would be weird to see someone else’s probably much tidier approach.  I will have to come to grips with that.

It’s tigridia time.

an agastache reseeded in the gutter!

Tigridia (held still because of wind); AKA Mexican Shell Flower

Allan’s photo

parsley, lavender, santolina, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

I now have Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ in almost every planter.  I love its angular shape.

A fellow came to me while I was watering and said how much he loved the planters. He was visiting from elsewhere.  He insisted on shoving a tip into my hand, the hand that was holding the hose….paper money in a surprising amount.  I said I water as a paid job but he would not take it back, so….I split it with Allan!

It was Allan’s turn to bucket water the four Fish Alley barrels.  He found that someone had trashed one of them, stealing a clump of sedums and ripping up the santolina in the process (or maybe trying to steal the santolina itself?):

evidence: dropped sedum bits and soil

Color coordinated lilies (with Bensons sign) in Fifth Street Park

I finally got another clump of lilies on the other side of that little garden bed:

still in bud

in a planter: The new Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ compared in size with Cosmos ‘Sonata’

We checked on the parking lot berms.  I had thought they would desperately need weeding, but only a goodly amount of the really quite pretty birds-foot trefoil was bothersome, so we were able to just drive on to the…

Shelburne Hotel

…where I watered, while Allan hurriedly removed a dahlia and planted a new sedum in one of the planters on the number four deck, before the guests arrived to check in.

Allan’s photo

The dahlia got rehomed in the garden.

Sedum ‘Double Martini’, Cosmos ‘Xanthos’, “society garlic”, purple alyssum (Allan’s photo)…and one dahlia that is tall enough to stay here

The new nandina on the center deck is doing well. (Allan’s photo)

The faucet that would make watering easier is not working yet; Allan schlepped water up the stairs in a bucket and then watered part of the outdoor garden.

We love to see guests photographing the garden. (Allan’s photo)

lilies and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (Allan’s photo)

I cut the pollen off of the lilies that are next to the path and planted an astilbe and a fuchsia where we had taken a cordyline down last week.  Allan did a project at the north entrance to the restaurant:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it, often reaching out to where people walk.

In clearing it out, he found a plastic tub full of mud and water, and a broken pottery jar.

stinky old mud his foot would sink into

We will figure out a plant for in here.

Ilwaco

Allan watered the planters and street trees with the water trailer while I watered the boatyard with a nice new long hose that had appeared there.  Only had to use three hoses instead of four!  I even had time to do some weeding after watering.

Out of the ceanothus came my usual audience, my little feathered friend.

coming closer

The bird repeatedly sharpens? its little beak on the metal fence.

I’m not sure what that means.

Allan found that deer had been enjoying some planter nasturtiums.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

I had big plans for this all Ilwaco day: weed and tidy at Mike’s garden, shear the shrubs at Coho Charters (Allan), water all the curbside gardens (mostly me) and weed at the boatyard (both of us).

Mike’s garden

Escallonia ‘Iveyi’

front garden needed more water

Allan tidied the path:

before

after

front garden, designed by “The Elves Did It” gardening business, years ago

I am trying to get the boxwood to be a solid hedge instead of little square clipped shapes.

Port of Ilwaco

At the port, I watered the east end curbside garden and did some weeding while Allan started shearing Coho’s escallonias.  Someone had accidentally driven over the end of our hose while Allan was attaching two hoses to reach the east curbside bed.  We now no longer had two hoses that would hook together today, so we took Captain Butch of Coho up on his offer to use his water instead.  The job was much easier by hooking our one hose up to his long hose, so I think the parking lot hose days are over for good.

As I was about to go on drag my hose to the other curbside gardens, a misty rain appeared and all of a sudden I just hit a wall and walked the two blocks home, putting everything else off till later in the week.  Allan kept shearing the three big escallonias.

before

after

before

after

before

during

after

one of the future Coho Charters captains

home

On my way home, I got to pet my neighbour, Rudder.

Good old Rudder snoozing in his front garden.

Puttering at home revitalized me.  I ran sprinklers and planted some of my new plants.

from The Pot Shed in Grayland

two more from the Pot Shed

a new sarracenia from the Master Gardener sale joins two others in a new container

It is almost the peak of lily time, most definitely the best time in my garden.

right: Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

Even though the mist had ceased, overnight we had enough light rain to make a puddle in the street (but not enough to fill the rain barrels).

 

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Skooter waking up.

Todd and I had gone in on an order from Digging Dog nursery.  It arrived in the morning, and took an hour to unpack.  Allan’s photos:

I found it time consuming to unpack the shredded paper and to look at my list of which were for Todd and which for me.

Crambe cordifolia did not look happy.

I felt skeptical about this angelica gigas.

The rest of the plants looked promising.

just a few

more (and a hardy orchid birthday present which I have not figured out where to put yet)

While I sorted and listed, Allan went across the street to mow at J’s.  We have fallen far behind.

good thing it is a small lawn

rhodie from next door to J’s

Before we left, I picked some snails to take for a long ride to a place with wild plants.

on my alliums!

Mike’s garden

We finally got a start on getting Mike’s garden back into good order.  I decided to not plant any cosmos there so I don’t have to worry about watering them.  (All work photos today are Allan’s.)

Me and Mike discuss the prospect of getting rid of a suckering and not very floriferous lilac, at the same time that two slowly dying conifers get removed.

While I weeded, Allan’s project was to reshape two Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ to the round form that Mike likes.

before

after

before

after

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We did some weeding, and I planted cosmos.  Oh, what a difference the mulch made (applied last fall).  Last year I was hammering away at gravel to plant the cosmos.  This year, it was easy peasy.

euphorbia and columbine

This euphorbia came out. (There are plenty. It had reseeded too close to the sidewalk and was old and woody.)

We added two more of our signs.

As for the man who was caught picking flowers earlier this week and told a port office person that “no one is going to take care of them so I am saving them”, I fumed for awhile while planting.  Just exactly where did he think all these cool plants come from?  The garden was in pretty good shape; what did he think an uncared for garden looks like?  I got up a good head of steam.  I fervently hope the port comes up with some official no picking signs.

fresh cosmos

Stipa gigantea

Stipa is at its best right now.

Talking with the nice boatyard head honcho Mark about plant thievery.

stems from picking

It might seem inconsequential to pick poppies, but I have no way of knowing if someone who is picking is going to also pick the alliums and the eryngiums that only bloom once, ONE CHANCE for beauty.

For example, after the cosmos were all in, we went to the Ilwaco pavilion garden to water some new plants.  Here, the Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ are blooming.  If someone picks them, that is the last we will see of them because each puts out just ONE flower.

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

our garden

At home, I walked back to the Bogsy Wood to check on some newly transplanted fuchsias and took a few photos on my way there and back again.  I was terribly sad at how weedy my garden is and how I do not have time for it, and yet there is still much to admire.

Thrilled to see my severely coppiced cotinus finally putting out new red leaves. Whew! I did not kill it!

dreamy Ceanothus ‘Oregon Mist’

I picked up all the weed piles I left on the lawn last week, and Allan mowed.  It had gotten so long, Frosty had to pick his paws up high.

Skooter was staring intently….

…at his next door nemesis, Onyx.

viewed over the most unweeded part of the garden

My mom’s beloved rhododendron, originally from her garden, then moved to Golden Sands when she lived there, then to here:

Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’

The snails are enjoying my compost bins.  I long for time to turn the compost.

I even had time to sit down and finish this book by my favourite cartoonist, Roz Chast.  It is due back tomorrow.

She poses an interesting question, hearkening back to when her parents would spend a day in the city:

I remember taking many long walks as a youth and not carrying a water bottle.  How was that possible?  Now, I take water with me pretty much everywhere.

I was able to erase Mike’s garden and Ilwaco from the work board Annuals Planting Time list, leaving only Klipsan Beach Cottages and here.  This means the worst of the APT pressure is over.  No wonder my headache decreased today.

The one thing that I sadly have not had the time for the past two days is watching even a short episode of Gardener’s World.

 

 

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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

We finished two more spring clean up—little ones.  Today was the first day that felt spring-like, no hoodie required for the first part of the workday.

Norwood Garden

Just two doors down, this job consists of little beds all round the house and a couple of small lawns which we occasionally mow.  While we would not drive any distance for a tiny job, this one is perfect to walk to.

narcissi in one of the narrow beds

Allan’s photos:

north bed, before

Allan rescued a narcissus from the lawn.

during, with rescued narcissus to plant.  This bed has a creeping sorrel problem, and three young hydrangeas.



[caption id="attachment_136548" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The back lawn; Sea Star Gardening prunes the hedges.

I went home with a bucket and brought back some more shade plants for the north garden.  The small starts should finally make a show this year; some are still dormant.

after

after

Mike’s Garden

Mike has retired after two terms, so this is no longer “Mayor Mike’s garden”.

Allan pruned the old pampas grass.  Fortunately, it still is green so does not need the horrid job of cutting way back.

The good looking flowers can stay for now.  (Allan’s photos)

Allan also dug out a sad little tree.

before

after

This garden was originally planted by The Elves Did It, a gardening business which is now located inland.  I had been thinking the only disadvantage in having resigned from a job earlier this week was that I’d lost my source of white escallonia cuttings.  I later remembered that Mike’s garden has a big white escallonia (Escallonia iveyi) that I believe is from a cutting given by me to The Elves Did It folks!

One of the draping conifers in front (to the left) is dying, despite our efforts with Dr. Earth evergreen fertilizer.

sad

Mike says that later this summer, he will get someone to remove both of them for us at the same time he gets some old tatty (my word) trees next to the house cut down.  Then I will add another Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ to clip into a golden ball and bring back the symmetry, and we can plant flowers in the front.  Although…another Lonicera will block the view into the garden, and maybe the azalea off to the right provides enough symmetry.  I will have to ponder this.

The Lonicera is the ball shape off to the left.  The draping conifer to the right is also slowly losing branches to die back, not in a way that shows yet.

Oh dear, even though I was trying to avoid the digging, I might not be able to stand to wait on fixing that conifer problem, as it looks so sad in the above photo.

Mike’s garden, looking south

Port of Ilwaco & City of Ilwaco

We finally took the time to go to the port office and talk to Guy, the port manager, about what is going on with the orange and red spray painted survey marks in the boatyard garden.  He told us the date when he will be meeting with the contractors for the job, which is to modernize the wash water catch basins (for power-washing boats).  The line might NOT be dug through the garden, and yet it might.  Fortunately, the meeting is about ten days.  Unfortunately, the work won’t happen till May or later.  I hope to find that the digging will be either minimal or that it will be on the back side of the fence.  Meanwhile, we will still do the spring clean up of that garden soon.

Allan took some photos of the port office garden (south side):

Above, middle: someone cut the front of the armeria, leaving a brown edge.  Since that person did not trim anything else along the sidewalk, it looks like finger blight thievery to me.  I do not think that edge is going to get green again.

We planted some California poppy seeds, in the best colors (Apricot Chiffon, Roseblossom Chiffon, Tequila Sunrise, Copper Pot, Rose Chiffon) in some bare areas of the curbside gardens.

California poppy planting, and some bachelor buttons, too.

We were pleased to see our friend Pancho from OleBob’s Café….

…and his person, Chef Laura, who told us that the cafe will be open for weekend dinners again probably within a month.

We then went on to fix the soggy, non-draining planter container by the Portside Café.

gloop

The soil was so soupy that we used a lot of buckets, each a third full of the goopy mess.

Halfway down, we found the old mix of plain old dirt mixed with gravel…so we had never had to dig out this planter before.  That mix goes way back to when the planters were put in place, planted with …I can’t even remember what…and just left alone, with no one to weed and water them except perhaps a volunteer….and as happens, a couple of years later (about 12 years ago or more), we were asked to take them on (by which time whatever was in them was dead).

The original heavy soil and rocks

We were happy to find a clogged up hole at the bottom, so we did not have to call the city crew to get a new hole drilled.  (Allan was going to ask them to find or buy a bigger concrete drill bit that the small one that makes a pencil sized hole.)  Allan shoved a wooden stake in to try to unclog the hole, and the stake tip broke, now wedged firmly like a broken cork in a wine bottle.  He used a screw driver and a heavy garden tool (for a hammer) and drove the wood and the gunk out of the hole.

a small hole for a big pot. The bottom is very thick.

We were lucky to have two big bags of potting soil at home that we used to refill the planter.  I believe in the school of using all potting soil all the way to the bottom for good drainage.

An article that agrees with me,  from Washington State University (by Linda Chalker-Scott):

Nearly 100 years ago, soil scientists demonstrated that water does not move easily from layers of finer textured materials to layers of more coarse textured. Since then, similar studies have produced the same results. Additionally, one study found that more moisture was retained in the soil underlain by gravel than that underlain by sand. Therefore, the coarser the underlying material, the more difficult it is for water to move across the interface. Imagine what happens in a container lined with pot shards! Some of my previous columns have mentioned soil interfaces and their inhibition of water movement. We can see the same phenomenon occurring here: gravitational water will not move from a finely soil texture into a coarser material until the finer soil is saturated. Since the stated goal for using coarse material in the bottoms of containers is to “keep soil from getting water logged,” it is ironic that adding this material will induce the very state it is intended to prevent. The Bottom Line: • Planting containers must have drainage holes for root aeration. • “Drainage material” added to containers will only hinder water movement. • Use good topsoil throughout in perennial container plantings for optimal water conditions and soil structure.”  -Linda Chalker-Scott

This is still a controversial topic among gardeners, and I have seen long, vehement arguments about it on gardening forums.

I brought a chunk of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to be a place holder for the center and wondered, why don’t we use Autumn Joy for ALL the centers.  They are free, look good year round, and the only big disadvantage is that deer nibble these planters and sometimes deer like Autumn Joy.  Oh, but in a few Ilwaco planters, Autumn Joy has gotten mildewy.  And CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts) might find it boring. So never mind! We have been using Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ which does not always hold up well in the wind but has the advantage of purple flowers in winter.   I also snicked some golden and some variegated oregano from other planters for the edges and put back some bulbs rescued from the gloop.

I was pleased, at home, to be able to erase three things from the work board.

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