Posts Tagged ‘Norwood garden’

Sunday, 10 March 2019

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


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, 18 April 2018

Allan’s cold hit him hard today.  My grandma used to say, when ill, that she was “sickabed on two chairs with my feet on the woodpile.”  Google tells me that the original quotation was “sick abed AND two chairs”, apparently something to do with putting two chairs next to your bed so you don’t roll out.

I worried about work all day and as a result I could not focus on weeding my own garden, until about five o clock, when a cold wind drove me indoors soon after I began.  Before that, I assuaged work worries slightly by going to the Norwood and the J’s garden, both just yards away from home.

Skooter accompanied me to the Norwood garden.

the north side shade garden

Across the street, I weeded the J’s front garden.

But look, one of the three arborvitae at the end is dying from the base up. I have no idea why.

looks completely ominous

So I found this possibly useful post.

Someone might tell me “That is not an arborvitae, it’s a juniper.”  I have to admit I don’t pay much attention to the particulars of common columnar evergreens.

The cold wind that sent me indoors after working allowed me to finish reading a wonderful book by Monty Don.  I wish I could remember which recent book led me to this one.  I got it via interlibrary loan; it came from the Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, which appears to be a linked chain of libraries, similar to our Timberland Regional Library.

Frosty likes dogs.  He grew up with dogs with his previous person, Terry, who died after the dogs did and who passed his cat family on to us.

I was smitten with Monty Don’s writing style.  If I lived in the UK, he would be familiar to me as the host of Gardener’s World.  Oh, how I wish we had more gardening shows to watch on this side of the pond.  We used to, but Home and Garden Television (HGTV) turned into just Home television.  It looks like I may be able to watch Gardeners World online.

I now want to read all of Don’s books.

I was hooked by this paragraph at the beginning:

Because the book reminisces about all the dogs of Monty Don’s life, not just the famous Nigel (who appears with him on telly), there is the tragedy of losing one’s companion, which strikes me hard because of losing my feline friends Calvin and Smoky so recently.  I wept over this passage from The Sword in the Stone.

I liked this passage about having a seasonal pond, as we do out on the Meander Line.

Nigel likes peas.

Nigel also likes apples.

Below: More of the agony of losing a canine friend.  I hope I will feel this way about the place where I will put Smoky and Calvin’s ashes, where Smoky’s mother is already buried.

On changing the garden:

I appreciate that Monty Don is so open about having suffered from depression.  I have ordered The Jewel Garden, the story of how he and his spouse lost their jewelry design business and eventually ended up with a beautiful garden and a prime spot on Gardeners World.

I am pleased to report that after lying sickabed all day, Allan got up in the evening and enjoyed watching some telly (not Gardeners World, unfortunately, just Rachel Maddow and Survivor!).  His improvement, despite still having a cough and sniffles, was remarkable, but I said that we must still have tomorrow off so that he can continue to recuperate.

At bedtime, I began to reread Mirabel Osler’s gardening trilogy, beginning with A Gentle Plea for Chaos.

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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.



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.



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.


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.


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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Monday, 3 April 2017

We dropped some work papers off at the port and noted the intense blueness of the grape hyacinth and anemones. Photos did not capture it well. 

I resisted the temptation to weed at the Ilwaco post office.  We headed straight up north.

The Planter Box 


single and double cherry flowers in front of The Planter Box garden store

I refreshed my supply of sweet pea seeds with 2 more packs to make sure I had enough for the boatyard.  As every year, I optimistically bought some mixed greens and sugar snap pea seeds.  Why do I always think I’ll have a good kitchen garden?  It has not worked out that way since many many years ago in Seattle. In my garden there, I used to make salads from the garden.


garden dreams at the seed rack

I had more confidence in the artichoke that I bought, and another cardoon for the front garden.  It would be nice if the artichoke proved to be deer resistant.  I’m going to try it in the unfenced area by Devery’s driveway.



I was pleased to find Lamprocapnos ‘Valentine’ (bleeding heart).  I’d been wanting this one.


And I bought one of the species rather invasive ones for the bogsy woods.


Planter Box owner Teresa Millner (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

At KBC, I planted just a few sweet peas.  We weeded, did some belated rose pruning, and fertilized, with Mary’s help.


me and Mary



double hellebore and Fritillaria meleagris (Allan’s photo)


double primrose (Allan’s photo)


Erythronium (dog tooth violent) (Allan’s photo)


I found the tiniest of Pacific tree frogs.


Frog Admiration Society


Sarah (Allan’s photo)


in the fenced garden


tulips in the fenced garden (Allan’s photo)






and more narcissi


Euphorbia characias wulfenii


outside the fence: tremendously fragrant daphne


a deer in the landscape (Allan’s photo)


by the pond


sword fern

Long Beach

On the way through town going north, I had noticed two particularly dead-heady clumps of narcissi.  We stopped to deadhead them.


planter sitter damage (Allan’s photo)


It’s Spring Break (Allan’s photo)


by Stormin’ Norman’s kite and gift shop (Allan’s photo)


parrot tulip bud (Allan’s photo)


carousel and bike rack (Allan’s photo)


part of a future vintage Fun Ride (Allan’s photo)

Ilwaco boatyard garden

I planted sweet peas along the fence while Allan did some light weeding. We already need to schedule a serious all day weeding session here.  Last year, I planted sweet peas along the fence with no expectations because I had some left over.  They did surprisingly well.


weedy again; lots of poppy seeds



Allan’s photo, the north fence


big impressive Bambi (Allan’s photo)

on our block

We (Allan) needed to get two small lawns, next door and across the street from us, mowed before the rain returns tomorrow.  I figured I could get Norwood’s and J’s gardens weeded and erased from the work list.  But first…I decided that a tatty old helianthemum needed to be removed from our driveway garden.


It is weedy, grassy, and half dead.


Allan helped pull it.

But wait…just as I was thinking I’d have time to do an hour’s weeding at home AND the two little jobs, I remembered, at 4:45, that the Living Liberally meeting was tonight at 5:30 (way too early an hour for spring and summer).  The lawns had to be done.  Allan got started, while I went to weed and deadhead at the tiny Norwood garden.


Look who crossed Devery’s yard to help me.


Frosty, too, looking for the gate


Allan mows between us and Norwood’s as fast as ever he can.


I got most of the front garden weeded at J’s and Allan got the tiny pocket lawn mowed.


I have to get tough on removing the cute but invasive ranunculus.  Not tonight.

Living Liberally

We made it back to the Adrift Hotel by 6, in time for one hour of an interesting meeting.


bamboo corner at Adrift Hotel


campfire courtyard at Adrift

The [pickled fish] restaurant was simply too busy with spring breakers after the meeting.  At least coming straight home gave me time to write a blog post.

Sweet peas are off the work board.  I hope that tomorrow, the weather will permit us to finish J’s, Ilwaco planters, and the Ilwaco Community Building.



Loree of Danger Garden sent me this link about THE Oysterville garden.  It has only one garden photo (featuring the favourite spot, the south terrace) but many photos of the home’s interior.  I hope to get there to see the spring garden soon, while the narcissi and hellebores are still in bloom.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017


out the kitchen window, moss in old dogwood


Smokey admiring the garden from the front steps.

When we started work today, I got the big idea we might get FOUR jobs done: Norwood, Mayor Mike, Diane’s and Red Barn.  We got a late start because of a storm passing through at mid morning.  When we did begin, the air felt icy despite sunshine. The commute to our first job, just two doors down, was even shorter than yesterday’s commute to the J’s cottage across the street.

Norwood garden

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) take care of the biggest job here, the annual pruning of the hedge.  Today, we weeded and clipped in the narrow beds around the house.


before, on the cold and shady side




Allan’s photos

I think those three barberries are planned for removal.  Not to pass the buck, but I do think Sea Star Dave would be just the fellow to do it!


the easiest part,  in the sun…before


and after (with weeds and montbretia leaves pulled)

This bed especially could benefit from some mulch.  I think with such narrow beds, the most economical method (for labor) would be bales of Gardner and Bloome rather than a trip to get a yard of mulch.  Shall we?


before, lavender


after.  The fuchsias may leaf out or may have to be cut all the way back.


I wondered if this, with the black berries, was privet, and later got it confirmed to be so.  Maybe usually it is pruned so hard one doesn’t see the berries.  I want one.


We got done just in time for rain.

We took a break at home to wait out the rain, then headed out to Mike’s garden a few blocks to the east.


Frosty and Skooter


our neighbour Yarrow (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s garden

Allan clipped part of the pampas grass.  We’ll leave the moderately good looking uprights for now.


before and after


forgot a before, so this is a during.



Decided to prune the hardy fuchsia down this year.


trying not to step on any tulip foliage


before (Allan’s photos)








This time I pruned down the buddleia.


Pieris in bloom


front corner


Iris siberica ‘Eye Catcher’

Because the temperature kept dropping, we almost bailed out on work at 3 PM.  I had remembered that Diane’s garden has a big hydrangea to prune (that in previous years has taken me by surprise), so I did not want to squeeze that and the Red Barn garden onto the end of the day.  Deluded by a bit of sunshine, we decided to go on to

Coulter Park.

Coulter Park is just north of Dennis Company in Long Beach


back entrance from Ocean Beach Boulevard


west side with hardy fuchsias, before




northwest corner, before (Allan’s photos).  Something oily had been dumped in the corner, maybe killing an old siberian iris.


after.  What bad thing happened here?


the north side rose bed, horribly infested with salmonberry from under the fence


pruning out some big old canes


later, slightly pruned.  Refining this area is now on the “projects” list.

I still would like to talk to Parks Manager Mike about removing these roses and replacing them with non-thorny single trunked shrubs, to make it easier to control the dratted salmonberry invaders.


two pieris and a flowering currant against bright sunshine


north side (behind the old train depot) with siberian iris, before



By four thirty, my hands were too cold to feel what I was doing.

At home, I erased Coulter, Norwood, and Mike’s:


While the spring clean up list dwindles, the project list grows.

Tomorrow may not allow any blogging time.


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