Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Leaving home…the front garden looked ever so enticing.
I would love to spend the day weeding here, but work calls instead.
Last year, we did not fertilize any of the gardens, except for the fertilizer that we add to each and every new plant while planting. I had fallen for the idea that if one mulches, one does not need to fertilize. (This month, well after making the decision to fertilize more, I read a theory that gardens need more fertilizer if one mulches!) By the end of last summer, I felt that most of the gardens were not quite as good as they could have been had we applied Dr. Earth in spring. So today we began the fertilizing round of almost all the clients. Casa Pacifica won’t get fertilized because I believe it would inspire the dogs to dig in the garden, and I’ll have to have a serious talk with my good friend Coco the spaniel at Jo’s garden.
.Speaking of dogs, our first errand today was a stop at our accountant’s office where we had the pleasure of visiting Helen.
I have become quite irritated with my new (fortunately inexpensive) Olympus pocketcam, and have asked Allan to find me a camera like Spot, the Canon Powershot whose lens got scratched. By the end of the day, every photo taken by the Olympus had to be fixed, and all the indoor photos are a lot or a little out of focus. It is often tempting to acquire a really nice SLR camera, a digital version of the sort of camera I used to use in the days of film. However, for work I really need a plain old reliable pocket cam. My favourite of all the ones I have used was the Lumix and yet it was so delicate that three of them in a row had mechanical failures (System Error Zoom) so I need one that is tough enough to handle the gardening life.
Before we could begin the fertilizing, we needed to stop at
The Basket Case Greenhouse
to refresh our supply of Agastache (hyssops), one of my favourite perennials, and to pick up quantities of my beloved Nicotiana langsdorfii.
Marilyn’s garden in Surfside
We decided to start at our northernmost garden and work our way south. My first thought was just to fertilize, plant some hyssops, and hightail it on to the next job. Then I recalled that we had an almost empty wheelie bin which goes out Thursday morning. I would not have time to fill it with my own weeds, so why not Marilyn’s? So we spent an hour or more weeding, as well.
Meanwhile, Allan weeded and hacked out salal around the rhododendrons on the east side of the driveway.
We are big fans of Dr Earth and consider it the very best fertilizer to use.
Oman Builders Supply Garden
Next we fertilized and added two Agastaches (‘Cotton Candy’ and ‘Summer Glow’ hyssops) to the little entry garden at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.
Next in the order of gardens going north to south would have been Klipsan Beach Cottages. We skipped ahead to Golden Sands because it was almost 3 PM by now and we did not want to be rushed at either job. I am trying to be calm about how much we get done in a day instead of working in anxiety.
Golden Sands Assisted Living
The four courtyard quadrants, after mulching, and after today adding Dr Earth, should be taking off pretty soon. So far, they still look a tad bit dull. They each got a Nicotiana and an Agastache. We fertilized and also applied magnesium sulfate to the roses. The experts at Heirloom Roses say:
- Magnesium (Mg): Crucial nutrient that promotes dark green leaves, intensified flower color, increased flower production, and can also help flush harmful salts through the soil. That’s why Epsom Salts (a form of Magnesium Sulfate) is a time-honored secret for rose gardeners. Apply at the rate of 1/3 to 1/2 cup per plant at the beginning of the growing season.
We were thrilled today that a volunteer had done an elegant pruning job of the two trees at the north end of the courtyard.
Whoever did the pruning, thank you so much, because it is exactly what I wanted done. The other solution would have been to remove the trees altogether. I have felt for years that the residents need to catch a glimpse of colour in the garden to convince them to spend more time walking the courtyard path.
The garden is still so dull compared to mine, mainly because I try to keep the budget low and so I don’t buy quantities of tulips. I have some Hellebore starts to plant soon, donated by Kathleen Shaw, and those should help by early next spring.
Since there is still not much going on outside, I photographed some of the darling sit spots on the inside of the building. You may recall how the building completely enclosed the garden.
The south end of the building has a seating area with a view of the garden.
The aunt of Phil, Garden Tour Nancy’s spouse, used to host a cocktail hour here once a week. Her name was Betty Robert, née Beal. Her nickname was Betty Boop. I wonder if that tradition goes on now that she has passed.
The two long corridors have residential rooms on both sides, with an indentation halfway along for a nice cozy nook.
I was pleased that Fox (Faux) News was NOT the news on the telly screen, and that as I took this photo a newscaster was saying in a positive tone that an anti discrimination act would “protect the rights of LGBT people”. Yes! My heart was warmed, as I never thought in my youth that I would live to see such glorious times.
On the north corridor is a library room which very faintly reminds me of the jigsaw puzzle room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.
I’ve often thought I’d be happy here if I ever needed to go into assisted living.
We did not have time for any more big jobs, so I proposed that we plant a few plants in three different areas in Long Beach. When we unloaded six plants at Veterans Field, I revised the plan to wait till tomorrow for the other spots. A chilly wind made the work a touch unpleasant.
The final, small, bearable task was to add a few more plants to the planters at Ilwaco city hall.
Decided to put a ‘Blueberry Ruffles’ lavender as the centerpiece instead of last year’s choice of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’. The lavenders will be more drought tolerant and will not need deadheading. I will probably start to miss the ‘Butterfly’ by midsummer.
Just as I settled in to work on this post, Allan said “There is a really bright rainbow!” He went out to take photos. I went to the porch and was thoroughly gobsmacked by the beauty and thought of how neither of my cameras is satisfactory. Then I remembered the iPhone! So here are our photos, Allan’s with his Sony pocketcam and me with the iPhone 6.
I should have thought of taking a panorama with the iPhone but I forgot about that possiblity. The rainbows were huge.
After all that excitement, and getting thoroughly drenched, and finishing this blog post, we will now return to our binge watching of the latest season of Doctor Who (which I am liking very much). It is looking promising to get it back to the library before it becomes overdue.