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Posts Tagged ‘Narcissi ‘Baby Moon’’

Sunday, 17 November, 2013

The weather surprised us by being quite workable after some morning rain. While hooking up the trailer, Allan found a large Melianthus major flower thrown on the sidewalk, clearly by a finger blight suspect who just wanted to damage and not take. I had wanted to take a photo of ALL the flowers that have come out on the plant.

now missing one

now missing one

I saw an elephant garlic blossom also thrown upon the sidewalk.

When we arrived at our first job, Larry and Robert’s just five doors down (across Pearl Avenue), we saw that across the street from them, lots of hydrangea flowers were on the ground. We assume the same finger blighter hit that yard, as well, and yanked flowers off the hydrangeas by the fence. Whoever it was would have had to be tall enough to reach my Melianthus flower. I ask you, why?

evidence

evidence

color echo

color echo with the fire station in the garden scross from Larry and Robert’s

We are having an influx of new neighbours on the street, including (soon) at the house across from Larry and Robert’s, and we are happy to welcome them. We’ve already met one on our block, named Judy, three doors down!. I’m calling her “New Judy” for now (in my mind) and when speaking of Judy four doors down, I don’t call my dear friend “Old Judy”, but instead “Our Judy”, a phrasing I learned from Coronation Street and from my previous marriage to a Leedsman. Or I could call them Judy Four Doors Down and Judy Three Doors Down. I used to know so many Kathleens that we just called them all by their last names (till two of them moved away and now I just have two Kathleens in my life, one of whom we still call “Sayce” from olden days). I’ve never before known multiple Judys!

Whoever moves in across from Larry and Robert’s, if they are gardeners, will find some nice boxwood and hydrangeas. Most of the yard is incomplete and will be an interesting blank palate for someone to play with. The blueberry and other shrubs that tones so well with the police station dates back to when architect Anthony and writer Victoria Stoppiello had a wonderful, mysterious, half wild garden there. The very first thing I would do is cut down that badly pruned rhododendron that is so gangly….but it is no secret that I am not a fan of plain old rhodos, ill pruned and in the wrong place. Now, some nice species rhodos with fabulous indumentum like at a certain bay side garden are another thing altogether.

New Judy loves to garden and has a completely blank slate of lawn. I wonder if she knows about the newspaper method of garden bed creation. Perhaps she would like some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

There is even a possibility that some people who bought a nearby house to “flip” it have fallen in love with Ilwaco and might keep it as a second home. Ilwaco can have that effect!

Meanwhile, at Larry and Robert’s, I had laid out the bulbs and we planted and weeded small weeds along the front of the garden beds.

looking from Larry and Robert's east, with Judy and Tom's in the background

looking from Larry and Robert’s east, with Judy and Tom’s in the background

a lovely photo but I left my bulb bucket by the boat!

a lovely photo but I left my bulb bucket by the boat!

Here we mostly plant Narcissi with some Alliums and minor bulbs. I dared some Tulip ‘Princess Irene’ in the boat as it is short and strong for the wind and perhaps the deer will ignore it.

Larry and Robert's old hydrangea

Larry and Robert’s old hydrangea

pineapple sage

pineapple sage

and an even bigger pineapple sage.  (blooms late, leaves smell like pineapple)

and an even bigger pineapple sage. (blooms late, leaves smell like pineapple)

Both the pineapple sages came back from last year and are thriving on the east wall with protection from southwest wind.

Then…down to the Port to finish the project we left yesterday to go to the Wizard of Oz play.

Allan weeded a green lawn of short grass out from this bed...what a job!

Allan weeded a green lawn of short grass out from this bed…what a job!

Two boys were skateboarding on the picnic table by the restrooms and then they started to sing an offkey version of Over the Rainbow, so they must have seen the play, as well.

finished what I started yesterday

finished what I started yesterday

I put two plant starts from my friend Sheila into the bed above: a hebe and Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’. We planted short narcissi in both beds, especially ‘Baby Moon’. We went on to add Baby Moon, Itzim, Peeping Tom, Baby Boomer, and Sun Disc narcissi at the Shoalwater Cove and Pelicano curbside garden, and Time Enough Books, and Queen La De Da’s. The Baby Moons should still be blooming prolifically for the annual children’s parade at the beginning of May.

Last year, we planted scads of crocuses and Iris reticulata as well. Crows and seagulls were watching and dug up and pecked at almost all of them.

colour echo with grasses and crab pots by Queen La De Da's Art Castle

faint colour echo with grasses and crab pots by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

Signs of crabbing are everywhere now, as crabbers get poised for when the season begins.

a truckload of floats

a truckload of floats

The frames are a shout out to my favourite blogger, Mr. Tootlepedal.

I had a big idea of getting my own bulbs planted in the last hour of daylight. A drizzle arriving just as we parked at home put an end to that. Our Judy walked down with some Dave’s Killer Bread loaves (essential to the digestion) that she and Tom had picked up for us across the river, and we had a visit in the misty rain. At least I got my bulbs out on a shelf to stay nice and airy, and if it rains on Monday, I will organize them by garden area so they go in quickly when the time comes. A storm is due; I would love time in the morning to plant the Veterans Field bulbs in Long Beach before it arrives, as we certainly did not get there today.

Meanwhile, as with Saturday evening, I spend hours making bulb spreadsheets for each friend who went in on my big order. I do enjoy a nice alphabetical spreadsheet and it is a huge relief when the money comes out right, as I juggle a lot when sorting to make sure this person gets $30 of bulbs and that one exactly $100, and that one $50, and a more impoverished friend maybe just $10 worth. People with a deer problem get no tulips; those with fenced areas or protected containers can grow tulips. I charge no mark up; the profit (other than in the labor of the ones I plant) is in seeing the beauty in the spring.

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The week before the Loyalty Day parade is always a busy one for us in the Long Beach gardens and planters, and this week proved especially so because we were planting up the new garden at the Veterans Field Flag Plaza. Fortunately, I looked in the paper and saw the dedication of the new plaza is at 10 AM Saturday; I had been aiming to do a last deadheading and fluffing of the plants on Saturday afternoon, thinking that the dedication was on the Sunday, same day as the Long Beach parade. That was almost a great big OOPS.

Tuesday, 4-30

The sprinkler system has not been turned on yet. It can’t be because the new stage is still being built and there are supplies and tools around. After adding many more plants on Tuesday, we have had to hose water all week.

Allan hose watering the new garden

Allan hose watering the new garden

Allan practices his Deadliest Catch style hose coiling.

Allan practices his Deadliest Catch style hose coiling.

We added some blue nemesia, more red dianthus, some white cosmos ‘Sonata’ (so early, poor things!), some white agyranthemum, some red nicotiana, and still have avoided red geraniums. The effect is, I hope, like red white and blue confetti.

brand new garden

brand new garden

ready for its close up

ready for its close up

Wednesday, 5-1

International Workers Day! So of course, we worked…. on some of the Long Beach parks.

People might not realize that the back end of L-shaped Coulter Park, just north of Dennis Company, is a cool green oasis. In the summer one can usually find two picnic tables back here.

the secret ell of Coulter Park

the secret ell of Coulter Park

There used to be a row of roses (something tough like Knock Out) along the fence to the right, by the limeygreen house. Now deer have discovered those roses and while the roses are still there, they are thoroughly munched. I imagine an early riser could find deer in the park at dawn.

Usually I am not much for barking a garden. Coulter is pretty much just shrubby around the edges so once we got it well weeded earlier in the spring, I did ask Mike Kitzman if the crew could bark it, and so they did.

A new ramp has been added to the historic train depot and the garden along it is less accessible for weeding now.

tricky

tricky

I did not prune that conifer! It was pruned by the construction fellas. Anyway, I used to regret having planted vigorous Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in there, but now that the garden is so hard to access I will be glad of its thuggish ways.

In the two little park by the Gazebo, one of the big rhododendrons has gone out of bloom. Once upon a time, I was obsessed enough with park perfection to have deadheaded every last bloom on every rhodo.

not deadheading this

not deadheading this

Now that we do the planters as well, I just don’t have time, and I am pretty sure it does not make a difference to anyone but me. I still do deadhead a few of the rhodos that have bigger and messier blossom leavings.

My mission when I first took on the Long Beach job (I think around 1999) was to get rid of a lot of the rhodos in town. They bloom BEFORE the main tourism season and after that are just boring. Once upon a time rhodos lined the south wall of the police station and the west wall of city hall and those two sets of rhodos were so unhappy baking in the sun and battered by the west wind. I replaced the police station ones with some pretty plants like Cosmos and Dutch iris and eventually went tougher with Rosa Rugosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ (which is nicely controlled there by the sidewalk, although we do have to trim it back often to the sidewalk edge). The west side of City Hall is a good mixed border now. It caused a bit of a ruction when I removed the rhodos from there; one of the councilmen at the time was appalled (and rescued a couple of the sad yellowed wind-battered rhodos) but the new garden won him over in time.

The only rhododenron in the whole town that I like is the one in front of Aloha Charlie’s Café, and that is because it has the beautiful undersides of the leaves.

rhodo with indumentum

rhodo with indumentum

“People go through five stages of gardening. They begin by liking flowers, progress to flowering shrubs, then autumn foliage and berries; next they go for leaves, and then the undersides of leaves.” -The Duchess of Devonshire

We weeded the gazebo parks, the small garden behind Lewis and Clark Square, and the west side of the Fifth Street quadrant of parks, and while I planted four Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in two street planters (to replace four too-tall Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ that we moved to Fifth Street park awhile back), Allan watered the flag plaza garden again.

I worrited and fretted over the new little strip of a garden as the day had been miserably, windy cold. Poor little plants, out too soon. They are toughing it out well!

another check up

another check up

We finished the day weeding and deadheading at city hall. The hostas in Peggy’s Park are emerging.

Peggy's Park, east side of city hall

Peggy’s Park, east side of city hall

This pretty little garden was a volunteer project by Peggy and her spouse, the city administrator. I am so sad that it is now her memorial garden as she recently was stolen away from this world by cancer. I had just been getting to know her via Facebook as I realized that we had much in common (gardening and liberal politics; that’s good enough for me!). Next week we are going to help out a bit in her home garden and I look forward in a poignant way to seeing what she planted there.

They say that a garden is the only art form that dies with the artist, but we are not going to let that happen to Peggy’s creation.

Thursday, May 2

While weeding the Fifth Street park in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder on Wednesday, I had become sunk in gloom because I want it to look like my front garden, and it simply did not. It had compacted miserable soil since the original planted of a horrible huge Phormium (the size of a Volkswagon bus, it was) and while I had added mulch since then, it needed more.

I awoke at 6 AM on Thursday obsessed with the idea of getting some cow fiber mulch onto the garden, so acquiring a load of same at The Planter Box was my first mission of the day. While we hung around for awhile waiting for the trailer to be loaded, I took some photos of the statuary for your amusement. I am not sure everyone local knows that Planter Box has these for sale:

I would love one of these benches.

I would love one of these benches.

stone lions

stone lions

Stone lions always remind me of the sad heroine of The Haunting of Hill House.

all sorts of little pagodas

all sorts of little pagodas

Usually little critter statues are of cats or dogs, but here we have little elephants. I can’t imagine how I could use them, but they are cute as can be.

little elephants

little elephants

stepping stones

stepping stones; I think I want these, too!

(below) I would like some of these fish for my stream. I used ones just like them in a memorial garden for a man who loved to fish. In the background is the same mermaid statue that graced the entrance to Shakti Cove Cottages in Ocean Park when I lived there briefly in 1994.

fish and mermaid

fish and mermaid

I really like the two fish on one rock...

I really like the two fish on one rock…

But this doggie is way way too sad for me:

Life is already sad enough.

Life is already sad enough.

Oh, here’s Raymond to load the cow fiber; now we’re in business.

five scoops with the Bobcat

five scoops with the Bobcat

Here’s the park that was causing me a sleepless early morning of fretting and planning:

before

before, looking west

before, looking north

before, looking north

and here it is after….Ahhhhhh.

a nice thick layer...

a nice thick layer…

of de-scrumptious Cow Fiber!

of de-scrumptious Cow Fiber!

While Allan worked on the two quadrants on the east side of the street, I walked around town and weeded each tree and planter. That’s eighteen trees and thirty six planters. A truly horrid 25 mph bitterly cold wind had come up…strong enough to blow an empty five gallon bucket away. The next four hours were misery.

The annual Long Beach parade day is always the first Sunday in May and falls a bit late this year. Between that and the wind, there will not be many May flowering tulips left.

windblown

windblown

I’m glad I planted lots of Baby Moon narcissi; I knew from experience that it would bloom late.

bless you for your late bloom, Baby Moon!

bless you for your late bloom, Baby Moon!

I noticed that I will need to plant more each year; the more established clumps have already bloomed and finished!

I walked by my favourite shop, NIVA green…momentarily cheered by the topiaries created by local author Sarah Sloane.

Sarah's topiaries at NIVA green

Sarah’s topiaries at NIVA green

A brief peek into the shop rewarded me with the sight of this cute garden sign made by shop owner and artist Heather Ramsay (who gave me a ponytail holder to help me deal with the wind!).

Heather's sign

Heather’s sign

The planters were a mess (to my eyes). That’s what I get for skipping a week and larking off to the Sylvia Beach Hotel. I wonder if other people are as appalled as I am by the site of a low carpet of dwarf fireweed starts in a planter.

the horror!

the horror!

Back when the planters were done by volunteers, certain ones were neglected and those particular ones still have problems with dwarf fireweed or chickweed that had been allowed to run rampant. But would people, even gardeners, take their eyes off the parade to gaze with horrified disgust upon the little carpet of weeds? I don’t know. But it had to be fixed.

better!

better!

I love the way this curry plant got all up in the business of the two lavenders. I could not make that happen.

a perfect meld

a perfect meld

In cold windblown misery, I dealt with planter after planter and tree garden after tree garden. Fortunately not all are infested with weeds. I can still tell the difference when a dedicated volunteer of yesteryear had kept a planter well weeded.

I had a t shirt, flannel shirt, sweat shirt, and warm jacket and warm pants but the wind was so mean…like a big bully pushing me around all day. My thoughts would dwell on how unhappy I felt, then I’d remind myself , “Could be worse, could be crab fishing on the Bering Sea.” (I sometimes think I watch Deadliest Catch just to see people working hard in bad weather.) I would then feel like quite the wimp to be so miserable when I did not even have a rolling deck and the dangerous sea to contend with. Then my mind would circle back around to being unhappy…and I’d remind myself of the Deadliest Catch deck crews again…and so the thoughts went round and round.

Thirty six planters, eighteen trees later I reunited with Allan who was watering the flag plaza garden again. He had also weeded the horsetail infested garden at Summerhouse, a rental cottage just by the Fifth Street parks.

summerhouse

summerhouse

We finished the day by pulling four buckets of horsetail out of the Long Beach welcome sign planter. The tulips are goners there, which is a darn shame because it won’t look at all flowery for folks driving into town tomorrow.

After we got home, I was so very happy to get inside and write this whine about the wind…while Allan mowed the lawn. He is indefatigable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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