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Posts Tagged ‘Muscari paradoxum’

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

I got very little sleep because of worrying that we were both going to get sick.  With the clam festival coming up, we had much to do in Long Beach town.  There is no back up plan if we can’t do it; all of our other working gardener friends are even busier than we are.

Little dramas loom large when one is self employed.

Allan felt poorly in the morning with sniffles and a cough, and yet with the good weather, we did go to work.  It is maddening; we were so good about disinfecting our hands every time we went somewhere public, and yet…the germs got him.

If only we could have followed Skooter’s example:

Skooter

(Skooter has a chin condition, a problem common with orange cats, says the vet.  My orange cat of years ago, Valene, had the same thing.)

On the way, we dropped off a book at the library (housed in the Ilwaco Community Building).

at the Ilwaco Community Building

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ at the community building

The community building garden needs a bit of weeding…(not shown in the photos above).

In case I end up having to go to work on the bus later this week, we went to the two least-accessible-by-bus jobs first.

The Red Barn

Because I am thinking of using a different plant for the centerpiece of the Ilwaco planters, Allan pointed out how good the Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ looks at the Red Barn.  They get less wind here.

My very good friend Rosie was at the barn.

Diane’s garden

My very good old friend Misty greeted us next door at Diane’s garden.

snoozing

till the camera clicked

The septic box bulb display pleased me; we had missed some of it, of course.  After deadheading:

Muscari ‘Bling Bling’

Muscari paradoxum

I was pleased to find sweet peas just emerging along the picket fence.

The corner driveway garden needs mulching; soon, I hope. I asked Allan to take this photo, and did not get what I wanted, which is the fact that the Stipa gigantea grass is already showing flower spikes.  Oops, I should have specified.

Long Beach

Long Beach had been on the schedule for all day this coming Thursday, to get the parks and planters perfect for the Razor Clam Festival.  I was fretting about what would happen if we both got sick and could not work then.  So we did a lot of it today, which led to more fretting on my part that I was going to make Allan sicker by having him work.  I brooded about how I recently delayed one day taking Calvin to the vet, prioritizing work instead because he seemed not especially sick, and then…we know how that turned out.

We went down the six downtown blocks of street trees and planters, deadheading.  I felt reassured each time I saw Allan taking a photo, figuring it must mean he did not feel too terrible.  (He said, “It’s easier than working!”)

Allan’s planter and tree garden photos:

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ and Tulip ‘Silverstream’ and Tulip sylvestris

Geum ‘Mango Lassi’ and muscari

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in street tree garden (with tulip)

Tulip ‘China Town’ and Fritillaria meleagris

Tulip ‘Princess Irene’

AKA ‘Prinses Irene’

Tulip ‘Silverstream’

Van Engelen catalog says: A magical sport of Jewel of Spring, fragrant Silverstream ranges from creamy-yellow to deep yellow with red feathering, to red with every combination in between. But the surprise garden party doesn’t stop there: it has showy, attractive foliage with silver-white margins. (Did you know that the phenomena of marginated foliage occurs due to a lack of or insufficient pigmentation and chlorophyll in the plant cells on the outer petal edges?)

I did not think to smell the tulips nor did I notice white margins on the foliage.

street tree garden

Tulips ‘Green Wave’ and ‘Formosa’

Tulip ‘Formosa’

lower left: a tulip ‘Sensual Touch’ that went mushy with rain

My planter and tree garden photos:

Tulips that had been broken, and not by the wind.

Tulip ‘Silverstream’

As you can tell by now, I planted a big run of Silverstream through town.  I think they are too tall to choose again.  And the color variation is nice but it does not thrill me.

one of the viridiflora (green) tulips…too tired to look it up

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’ in one of the windiest planters. Short and strong.

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’…would that all tulips were this tough

more Silverstream

Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’ and Tulip acuminata

Tulips ‘Sensual Touch’ and ‘Black Hero’

Tulips ‘Green Star’, sylvestris, acuminata

Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’

Tulips ‘Prinses Irene’, ‘Sensual Touch’, ‘Black Hero’

We also weeded in Fifth Street Park because…Razor Clam Festival!  Fifth Street Park needs so much more attention, and I hope we can do more later this week.  So much horsetail, so much wild garlic.  (No photos there.)

We went on to Veterans Field, which will be the central place for the clam festival.  It is not ideal to deadhead and weed four days before the festival, but needs must.

Veterans Field flag pavilion garden

The last time we were in Long Beach, Allan asked where the blue was in that arc garden.  I said the grape hyacinth along the edge.  Well, now look at what a string trimmer did:

Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’ as was

And right before the festival, when we were trying to make it perfect despite feeling poorly.  I wanted to lie down on the lawn and blub, but it would be too hard to get back up again.  Some white narcissi were also casualties along the edge.  Then I thought…Ok, maybe this is a sign that I do not have to struggle so hard and fret so darn much about making it perfect.  Maybe I can stop worrying about whether we will be able to get back to deadhead on Thursday.

Still….dang blang it!

On the way south, we deadheaded the welcome sign.

And finally, we paused at the

Shelburne Hotel

where I planted 9 more violas and two Agastache ‘Apricot Sunrise’.  I would like to have weeded more, but we had already worked four hours longer than I had originally planned and Allan was not feeling any better.  The question is, was it wiser to work today so that we can take a day off? Or did it make everything worse?  It would have been so bad if we had stayed home today and then both got sick and couldn’t do a thing before the weekend.  It would be even worse if we got even sicker.  Such woes of self employment have plagued me for the last 42 years.

three by the fig tree, the rest in front

If the gardens in Long Beach are not perfect when you attend clam festival, you now know why.  We forgot to stop at First Place Mall on the way south and deadhead the one dead narcissus that I noticed in the planter there.  I will try not to lose sleep over it.

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Monday, 9 April 2018

Oh, fer-cryin-out-loud!:

in our back garden

The work board as it is now:

Muscari paradoxum at the post office

As we were about to leave Ilwaco, we were flagged down by local antique shop owner and artist Wendi (Wendi’s Attic) who gave me these two kitties “for the two you’ve lost,” she said.

Thank you, Wendi.

The cats are especially perfect because Calvin loved to play with his “pinball” toy.

On Saturday, I had gotten a sympathy card from our beloved vet, Dr. Raela, that helped me to know I made the right choice for Calvin, which is something the vet cannot say while you are trying to make The Decision.

We began work with a brief visit to

The Shelburne Hotel

to scope out the spot where we are planning to put a fig tree.

I took a small bouquet for the hotel; the background is Sid’s grocery store.

I leave the flowers by this sink for the innkeepers to find.

poking around in the front garden

looking north

golden Lamprocampnos

Late last night, I started to re-read The Bad Tempered Gardener by Anne Wareham.  It is so delightful and funny and cantankerous.  She likes ground covers and planted “vareigated ground elder” on purpose.  Meanwhile, I am fretting as it pops up at the Shelburne:

along with other weedy pests

Later, I emailed back and forth with hotel owner Tiffany and arranged that we will be the ones to dig up the west side of the back garden in order to turn it into a herb and flower garden:

next Shelburne project (soon!)

in the mysterious shady corner which we will also fix up soon

Long Beach

We planted two starts of Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ from home into the parking lot “berms”.  It does not matter here that they are infested with the Bad Aster.

The rest of the work day was getting buckets of mulch from  city works and getting a little over halfway through mulching the 18 street trees and weeding and topping up any planters that need care.

Soil Energy mulch

We will just have enough mulch in the pile to finish out this task, so I have asked the city crew for another pile, when they have time.

Deer did not eat the tulips planted by the Coastal Inn:

Tree and planter photos of the day:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Camassia, Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

FINALLY out with a boring fern that has been bugging me for years (Allan’s photo)

somewhat battered

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

wheelbarrow hitch hiker

The planter below is going to be the one for a re-do this spring, as soon as the golden veronica blooms.  It is a once bloomer and has filled up way too much space.  This year I will be smart and hold some plants back for a new look along the curved edge later on.

The temperature was a muggy 65 degrees, a bit too hot for my comfort.

Resident killdeer at city works when we went for our second load of mulch:

Abbracci Coffee Bar tree

Here is a lovely instagram photo from Abbracci.

instagram from Abbracci

I planted 100 of a tulip called Silverstream which comes in various tones of pink to orange, with feathering.

by Hungry Harbor Grille

An employee of the Carnival Gift Shop told Allan he loves this planter (below, a shrubby one left over from volunteer days):

Even though it was hard to stop with an hour and a half of daylight left, we did our civic duty to be informed, by attending the city council meeting.  Two council members were absent on a trip with the high school band.

Allan’s photo

From the corridor of the Ilwaco Community Building:

and from the entryway as we departed

 

 

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Anyone who read yesterday’s post script knows that today turned out to be a sad day with the loss of our thirteen year old cat, Calvin.

This morning, Calvin seemed fine.  I made an appointment for him to get his asthma shot in the mid afternoon just to prevent him having an attack over the weekend. I felt I was being a good cat mom to get it taken care of today instead of later in the week.

Meanwhile, Allan noted this view from our garden:

crab pots being stacked next door

The work side of the day:

I had been thinking for a few years about imperializing adopting a spot at the corner of the fire house and turning it into a little garden instead of weedy mini-lawn.  Once upon a time, it had been a garden, evidenced by the remains of a Siberian iris.  Various things got in my way: First, the onset of having a bad knee, and then having just too much work to find time, and then the news that someone else was going to adopt it (but that did not come to fruition due to busy life of the other potential volunteer).  Finally, this was the time to bring the idea into being.  Our town, like the towns of Long Beach and Ocean Park, have volunteer fire fighters.  A wee garden bed with an orange and red and yellow theme seemed like a good way to give something back.

11:30 AM

The garden bed is L shaped but we only did the square, not the narrow bed.  It might be where people step if they park where we parked today.  I might decide to dig it up the L and plant something there later on.  It is a troublesome mess of sod and dandelions right now.  (I know, dandelions are so good for bees, but these are string trimmed to the ground.)

First, the half moon edger.


Next, the ho-mi and the double tool. (Allan’s photo)

The mayor, also a volunteer firefighter, stopped by.  We learned from him that the old sprinkler system does not work any longer and is turned off (too many leaks) but that the firefighters do sometimes water the garden areas.

12:30 PM

At this point in the project, all our buckets were full of weeds and sod and so Allan went to dump them while I went home (two blocks away) to dig a few plants for the new garden.

the first gathering of sod and dandelions

Before going inside, I admired a few flowers.

Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’

I forgot to smell that yellow muscari to see if it lives up to its name.

Muscari latifolium ‘Grape Ice’


window box with Tulipa sylvestris

In the house, I found Calvin in a sudden and shocking state of respiratory distress (he had seemed fine just one hour before), and we rushed him to the vet as soon as Allan returned.

While he was taken into the inner sanctum for treatment, we were advised to check back in a couple of hours. We went back to work, because that’s what we do, with the phone close at hand.

An hour later, after a phone call from the vet, we were back to the clinic because Calvin was failing fast, and, as I wrote yesterday, we made the decision to let him go because he was suffering so.  We will have him cremated, and so we just had an empty crate to bring home.

We then went back to work….because that is what we do.  The first thing I did was walk next door from the vet clinic to the Depot Restaurant and deadhead a few narcissi.

Tulip at the Depot

We went home for a short while so that I could dig up some plants for the fire station project….

the empty cat box 😦 (Allan’s photo)

…and then returned to the station to plant them.

4:30 PM


Allan’s photo


Ilwaco fire station and new garden

What I planted, quickly gleaned at home: Miscanthus variegatus, Helianthus ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’, and some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (one place where they will be quite perfect!), Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ (just because I had a clump ready to go, might not leave it here because the color will sort of clash, don’t you think?), lambs ears, Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, an eryngium (plain old blue), some bachelor button seeds, some red annual poppy transplants, some Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, some stuck-in cuttings of santolina that will probably “take”.

The whole time I was thinking if only I had taken Cal to the emergency vet when he was coughing on Saturday–or taken him yesterday even though it seemed he was better–he might still be alive. I felt I had been too focused on work (because that is what I do).

While Allan dumped the second load of weeds, I moved to our other volunteer garden at the post office.  There, we encountered the boatyard manager who was able to assure us that the digging for the boatyard project will likely cross the garden at some point but will not require much more in-garden digging than that.

The post office garden has been looking messy with the annoyance of wild garlic and some low weedy grass and some shot weed.  As I was contemplating the disapproval of tidy gardeners, a postal patron said “Your flowers are so wonderful; I have lots of photos of this garden.”

before

after


Ipheion uniflorum


Bellevalia pycnantha (Muscari paradoxum); the bells are olive green inside.


muscari (Allan’s photo)


a painted rock in the post office planter (Allan’s photos)

At home, I picked a bouquet to take tomorrow morning over to the J’s for a guest who is there.  Here it is in a not very elegant kitchen sink photo.

It had been a sad day, so not much joy was taken at erasing two more projects from the work board.

We are expecting several rainy days. Usually, I’d be relishing the prospect of reading days. But now I think it would be preferable to have the distraction of work. On the other hand, the joy of work is sapped right now because it had removed my focus from where it should have been, on Calvin’s every breath.

I have gotten reassurance from many friends who’ve had similar experiences. We all wish our cats had been able to tell us exactly how they felt. “I’m still feeling a bit under the weather even though I played with my toys and ate my dinner.” “Ok, let’s get you to the vet right away.”

Frosty was a comfort while I wrote yesterday’s postscript about Calvin.

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