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Posts Tagged ‘ornamental grasses’

Wednesday, September 18

I was so sure that autumnal weather had arrived that we took with us three Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’, thinking we would have nice cool weather in which to plant them.  Pounding rain on the roof and outside the window last night had been a soothing prelude to sleep.  In the morning, Allan heard rain and turned his alarm off, thinking we could sleep in.  Then the bright sun came in the windows.

By the time we got to Klipsan Beach Cottages to start working, the weather was back to a hot summer day, so the Ilex just went for a ride and came back home again.

They got taken for a ride.

They got taken for a ride.

The sky was so blue.  At KBC, behind one particular tree, I often notice the sky looking bluer than anywhere else.

the bluest spot

the bluest spot

This reminds me of being a child, in a hammock, in a garden belonging to a friend of my grandmother’s, looking up at the sky and thinking I was right under the center of it.  Surrounded by a garden, that was one of the moments when I fell in love with gardening and wanted to create such a paradise for myself.

looking up at the blue spot

looking up at the blue spot

The rest of the sky was cloudless but just not as blue!

Hydrangea 'Izu No Hana'...speaking of blue...

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’…speaking of blue…

Denny’s high school reunion group is coming this weekend, a tradition started a few years ago when they surprised him with Mary’s help.  He attended a small high school and had not been able to attend their reunions because of his work managing KBC, so now they come to him.

We looked for ways to make the garden look extra good at this time of year and I hit upon putting a sharp edge on Mary’s border, the one we made her for a birthday present several years back.

before

before

after

after

Garden writer Anne Wareham wrote in The Bad Tempered Gardener about how much she dislikes crisp edges between grass and a garden bed.  I don’t think she would like any of my gardens much, but I do like hers.

Schizostylis at KBC

Schizostylis at KBC

Mary's favourite rose, Jude the Obscure, against the blue, blue sky

Mary’s favourite rose, Jude the Obscure, against the blue, blue sky

another excellent rose, whose name I wish I knew...

another excellent rose, whose name I wish I knew…

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ is blooming up high over the greenhouse.  Every year it amuses me all to bits with its little coreopsis flowers so high up in the air.

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower' way up there

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ way up there

Last week, apparently I did a lousy job of trimming the Strobilanthes atropurpureus and left little stubs.

If I did this, for shame...

If I did this, for shame…

better...

better…

We checked on the garden at Oman Builders Supply and trimmed a few deadheads off the Eryisimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and I failed to photograph the gaps that still bothers me where someone stole the Eryngium plants  in full bloom earlier this year.

At Wiegardt Gallery, I was struck as usual by how good the ornamental grasses look in the lawn.

This miscanthus has such a nice flowing shape.

This miscanthus has such a nice flowing shape.

the gallery from the street through Stipa gigantea

the gallery from the street through Stipa gigantea

and over the top of Miscanthus

and over the top of Miscanthus

looking west to the gallery sign

looking west to the gallery sign

Also am very fond of this Sanguisorba.

Also am very fond of this Sanguisorba.

Even though it was hard to photograph in the bright and rather uncomfortably hot sun, the bad aster that escaped my pulling now looks nice with the Schizostylis in bloom.

late bloomers

late bloomers

As soon as the aster is done, I’ll be trying to pull it all out again but will for sure miss a few pink roots.

Three hours at Andersen’s RV Park ended the work day.  My mind boggles with the endless deadheading of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’.  A little jingle runs through my head as I cut about 25 deadheads each off of 20 large plants:  I’m so very very very very tired of it all, so very very tired of it all.  Where this ditty came from I have no idea, but I find myself humming it every autumn in that awkward couple of weeks before real fall project season revives my interest.

The RV park was full with lots of happy people walking cute dogs.  That helped get me through the two hours of deadheading (cosmos and sweet peas, too); the hour of weeding was not so bad.  We were pleased to see longtime staffers Ruth and Bob back for a couple of weeks.  (Hi, Ruth!!)

andersen's

Andersen’s west side, now devoid of poppy flowers

Again, the asters that I failed to eradicate now look wonderful.   By pulling as many as I can in the spring and early summer, we seem to end up with the perfect amount in the fall.

wild blue aster

wild blue aster looking like deliberate bouquets

I bet if I planted a nice clumping aster like ‘Harrington’s Pink’, the roving deer would eat it.

Andersen’s owner Lorna says the Schizostylis makes her very happy in the fall.

Schizostylis

Schizostylis at Andersen’s

I heard a tip once in a seminar by Dan Hinkley:  That this plant will not run all over the place if it is in a damp spot.  He said that if it is running rampant, it’s looking for water.  This nice clump is well watered and is behaving itself.  In South Africa, it grows on river banks.  Wikipedia informs me it is called Hesperantha now.  When did that happen??

Because the days are shorter, we were home before seven.  I find that to be absolute bliss.  I still had time to pick a bowl of tasty small tomatoes from the greenhouse, and Allan mowed the lawn.  It seemed to me he was mowing in the dark, but he said he could follow the mower’s tire tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, August 31

The idea of regularly taking weekends off is a new development, and perhaps one that we will regret come the winter if the money gets low.  It’s part of my “life is too short” philosophy and the desire to spend more time in my own home and garden.

I had Saturday to myself because Allan had gone to Olympia for the day for a family obligation.

I’m still working on getting a good photo of the “Butterfly Gladiolus”.

gladiolus papilio

gladiolus papilio

called "Butterfly Glad" because of the markings inside the flower

called “Butterfly Glad” because of the markings inside the flower

On the way to Olde Towne for coffee, I stopped at Larry’s Antique Gallery Too! shop just for fun and to catch up on town gossip  news.

Antique Gallery

Antique Gallery

There is always a shop dog to pet.  Of three of the Larry and Robert dogs, this is usually the one:

Sophie

Sophie

The shop is lush with beautiful objects…

shop

After my midmorning coffee and a treat at Olde Towne Café, I headed for the Saturday Market via the Antique Gallery, Robert’s branch of the family business.

cute kitchen towels at Robert's antique shop

cute kitchen towels at Robert’s antique shop

The two Antique Galleries and Olde Towne Trading Post are a big draw for antiquers and I always think of my grandma going “antiquing” on Greenwood Avenue in Seattle when I see the happy browsers in the shops.

I walked past the Ilwaco boatyard….

Picotee cosmos at the boatyard

Picotee cosmos at the boatyard

My friend and basketmaker from Seattle, Pat Reese, gave me this grass long ago.  It has beautiful soft plumes and is a runner but not too annoyingly so.  Can anyone ID it for me?  It is a nice alternative for pampas grass because it stays much smaller and its blades are not as sharp and harsh…if it is not considered noxious because of its spreading habit.

a lovely grass at the south end of the boatyard garden

a lovely grass at the south end of the boatyard garden

I did my usual stint photographing the Saturday Market for Discover Ilwaco.  For the blog, some garden related photos:

succulents

succulents

salsa in a bag from De Asis Farm

salsa in a bag from De Asis Farm

flowers and herbs from Pink Poppy Farm (at the Pink Poppy Bakery booth)

flowers and herbs from Pink Poppy Farm (at the Pink Poppy Bakery booth)

I saw, taking photos (of dogs, she said) my good new friend Donna, someone I am fortunate to have met through Facebook.

Donna sighting on a booth dog

Donna sighting on a booth dog

The local Facebook connections have been an amazing boon to my sense of being connected to other like minded folks on the Peninsula.

Donna's dog Chloe:  15 years old

Donna’s dog Chloe: 15 years old

good advice

good advice

Another friend connection:  Our friend Kelly’s booth of screen printed apparel:

Blue Crab Graphics

Blue Crab Graphics; her sign is made from an old screen printing frame

As I walked the two blocks home, for once not going in through the field and my back gate, I saw that water was rising at the meander line that divides the parking lots from our residences.

The grove of trees marks the Bogsy Wood.

The grove of trees marks the Bogsy Wood.

Other than social and photographic wanderings, I did my first mowing with our new gas mower.  It definitely goes faster than the rechargeable electric one.  I would have stuck with the electric for ecological reasons but for its battery getting old and a replacement would have been ridiculously expensive…and its mowing path was quite narrow.

My big new idea is to mow this fall and leave unmowed all the edge areas that do not flow easily into the mowing pattern and then cut those bits of sod out with a half moon edger.  Mowing without having to back up and fiddle around with awkward areas is my goal.

Sunday, September 1

Here’s another grass in my garden for which I crave an identification.  Pam and Cathie from Back Alley Gardens had an idea when they visited, but I forgot the name Pam suggested.

It is delicate and reddish and I got it at a Hardy Plant weekend or maybe Cistus nursery.

It is delicate and reddish and I got it at a Hardy Plant weekend or maybe Cistus nursery.

I need to divide a bit off of this and put some down at the boatyard!

New idea:  Plant peas and beans in containers like this along the fence; they won’t have to fight with tree and shrub roots of the mixed border hedges I am trying to grow.

not elegant but works well

not elegant but works well

Looking back on my attempt to grow “edibles” for the edible tour, I think it worked out pretty well.  I still have lots of tomatoes…more than I can use so I share with Judy and Devery.

greenhouse tomatoes

greenhouse tomatoes

tomatoes

I had more cucumbers than I could eat and shared with Devery, Judy and Mary N!

I have some peppers coming along in the greenhouse as well.

peppers

banana peppers

The crop of cilantro is substantial although I and Mary N’s husband seem to be the only ones who like it.

slow bolting cilantro

slow bolting cilantro

The hops are ornamental as far as I am concerned because I don’t make beer.  However, Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery told me that dried hops are good in sleepytime tea so I am going to give that a try for my chronic insomnia.  (I can sleep, but not till two AM!)

hops on the old clotheline

hops on the old clotheline

Red Runner beans look gorgeous against the back wall of Allan’s shed…but don’t seem to be all that tasty so I just grow them to look good.

red runner beans

red runner beans

and a showy dark purple bean

and a showy dark purple bean

Before the edible tour, in order to keep the lettuce from bolting, I was dedicated to harvesting the young leaves and making salads.  I must admit I have not done so since tour day.  Now it has gone old and bitter and I should compost it and plant a fall crop (if it is not too late….maybe in the greenhouse)…

lettuce bowl, given to me by Nancy Allen

lettuce bowl, given to me by Nancy Allen

My favourites are the ornamental flowers and if I were still making salads, I’d be putting begonia flowers in them.

The yellows taste like citrus and the reds taste like berries!

The yellows taste like citrus and the reds taste like berries!

The long stretch of lawn going back to the bogsy wood culminates in something new now:

looking south

looking south

a new debris pile built on newspaper

a new debris pile built on newspaper

I am hoping to take the old debris pile on the other side of the garden, clean it up, get all the spuds out and make it into a garden bed.

How can I have run out of space for new beds in such a large yard?

I continue to debate about whether or not to have the Danger Tree…quite dead…cut down or wait and see if it falls.  It shouldn’t hit the house unless it really flew, but might take out some fence.

shade

The bark is cracking in an ominous way.

bark

I hope I can have it cut just above the branches where the blue bottles hang and if a tree cutter could make it look kind of rough like it broke naturally, it would make a most convincing snag.

It's too dangerous to leave even though the birds love it.

It’s too dangerous to leave even though the birds love it.

An arbourist assured me it had just died of old age, not because I built a carefully shallow bed on one side of it.

shade bed

shade bed

an orchid? or lily? growing in the shade

an orchid? or lily? growing in the shade

(In my old garden and in my clients’ gardens, I know every plant but in my own I have lost track…from planting it up so quickly over just two years.)

As the day progressed, I had company expected and unexpected.

Garden Blogger Alison of Bonney Lassie arrived at three and we had a splendid talk and walk throughout the garden.

Alison taking photos...

Alison taking photos…

She is also someone I met through Facebook’s network of gardeners.

Gene Miles came by with a friend and I had another pleasant walk seeing it through others’ eyes.  His friend from Oregon proved to be knowledgeable about plants but was camera shy.

Gene is not the shy type.

Gene is not the shy type.

Pretty soon Judy came by with Beep, both on the way home from a walk.

The well trained Beep!

The well trained Beep!

Judy and I had been neighbours for over a year when we became Facebook friends and found out much more quickly than in the old fashioned way just how much we had in common.

Judy and The Beep

Judy and The Beep

We sat in the shade back by the fire circle because neither of us is fond of hot sun.

The gregarious cats Smokey, Mary and Frosty were thrilled to meet new people but as usual, Calvin made himself scarce and hid out indoors.

Smokey, people lover

Smokey, people lover (in his BirdsBeSafe collar)

Calvin the shy

Calvin the shy

Meanwhile, Allan was up to something…

a project

a project

allan

But I wasn’t sure what.

It turned out to be this:

a shelf for the van...

a shelf for the van…

that hold tools underneath

that hold tools underneath

If we have to eat rice and beans, forgo restaurants and have tea instead of fancy coffees at Olde Towne this coming January due to not having worked hard enough this summer, it will have been worth it for days like these.

evening peace in the garden

evening peace in the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 7, 2013

After visiting Pink Poppy Farm and Marilyns garden, we continued south to Dee Bristol’s garden in Butterfly Shores.

Bristol

Bristol

west side garden, created by local gardener Diana Canto

west side garden, created by local gardener Diana Canto

driftwood and Buddleia

driftwood and Buddleia

bristol

garden

gardener Diana Canto talks to guests

gardener Diana Canto talks to guests

Artemisia, Lavender, grasses

Artemisia, Lavender, grasses

hose

looking west

looking west

bubbler

a jet from behind enhances the bubbler

a jet from behind enhances the bubbler

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

I marveled at the gorgeousness of the Perovskia.  Diana said this is the best it has ever done.

Diana's dog Lucy adds a sense of scale.

Diana’s dog Lucy adds a sense of scale.

NW corner of house

NW corner of house

north side of house

north side of house

Going into the back yard at the southwest corner of the house, we pass this massive driftwood.

It's enormous.

It’s enormous.

Owner Dee says they call it their sea serpent.

serpent or sea monster indeed

serpent or sea monster indeed

In the back yard, the two little dogs came to greet us.

dogs

dogs

dogs

Dee (in yellow sweater) by the back yard veg boxes.

Dee (in yellow sweater) by the back yard veg boxes.

Next, we continued south and made a rest stop at Andersen’s RV Park where the poppy garden was much admired….then on down tiny little N Alley to Laura and Don Deemer’s garden.

garden club at Deemer house

garden club at Laura and Don’s  house

club

As I knew they would, the ladies took a strong interest in Laura’s decorative garden art.

birdhouse post

birdhouse post

post with shells

post with shells

And they were impressed with how Don and Laura had done everything themselves over the course of twenty years, from the pond to Don’s metal art.

pond

pond

enjoying the garden

enjoying the garden

Don's rebar pig

Don’s rebar pig

In what used to be a vegetable garden, before they planted trees and shrubs for shade and privacy, is a bench where Laura loves to read.

a bench in the cool shade

a bench in the cool shade

on the porch

on the porch

on the porch

on the porch

I noticed details I had not seen on my previous visits.

a snail in the shade garden

a snail in the shade garden

Laura's heart

Laura’s heart

garden shed in north side garden

garden shed in north side garden, a new display since the garden tour.  I like it!

north side garden, weeping tree

north side garden, weeping tree and dry creek

Next:  Jo’s, Gene’s, and my garden are visited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 20, 2013

from the program:  Instead of being “deer resistant”, this garden is wildlife friendly and proof that you can coexist with deer and still have plenty of flowers.  Nancy and Marilyn call this their healing garden because, while recovering from knee surgery and from cancer, they have been inspired and comforted by watching plentiful birds and a mother deer and fawns living in the garden.  It was designed and planted by Tangly Cottage Gardening to be viewed and enjoyed year round with structural perennials and ornamental grasses for winter interest. There will be a page at tanglycottage.wordpress/deer featuring deer resistant plants.

This garden on a small lot is one that Allan and I began from scratch in 2006.   I’ve written about it a lot since then, so will just do a walk through here from the day before tour day (when we did the final tidy up) and tour day itself.  I hope the tour guests understood that while small, the garden shows off how you can have lots of flowers even though the deer amble through daily.  If you can see a hose in the photo, it’s the day before tour day.

the view from the street

the view from the street

To the left of this photo (out of the picture) is the driveway, where the neighbour to the east and Marilyn and Nancy have planted shrubs for privacy…eventually.

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour's house

driveway and corner of garage and neighbour’s house

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

between the driveway and the lawn is a deep shade garden with Hellebores and ferns amid alders and one conifer.

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

shade garden the day before tour day, looking west from driveway

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking north at the shade garden, day before tour day

looking south

Above, looking south: We took up our nicest table and chairs, and Nancy thought it was so great to have a sit spot on the lawn that she says she is going to get a table and chairs for it!

Nancy ready for tour guests

Nancy ready for tour guests

She served cookies made by her spouse, Chef Michael of the Depot Restaurant.  There were 200, I believe, and my first hint that the tour was quite successful is when we arrived to find all the cookies gone.  I did not mind at all because I was so happy we had had that many people come through.

The deer, for some reason, focus on the area in front of the front porch, but they have left the lady’s mantle and geranium ‘Rozanne’ alone.

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate

Barbara Bate was the musician for this garden.  She does a great deal for the community.  She sang at my mother’s memorial service and knew the words to the song my father used to sing, “Because”.  (We made a garden for her in 2008, not the sort we go back and maintain.)  Barbara’s musical repertoire is vast and she was perfect for this venue.  Last year, she was the musician for the Hornbuckle garden, and later Tom and Judy told me people were dancing in their courtyard.

Barbara

side view of front porch (looking east) with Barbara

barbara

looking west

looking west from the lawn

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

Allan (left), Sheila (right) and I

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

NW garden at edge of lawn, photo by Kathleen Sayce

The only pre-existing plant in the flower borders was the orange monbretia that had run over the neighbour’s garden to the west.  I consider it a thug, but don’t fight it in the front corner by the street because it intermingles with salal (speaking of thugs!) and adds some colour.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

Sheila and Debbie take a break.

where the lawn meets the gravel path

Above, where, the lawn meets the gravel path:  Phygelius, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’, lady’s mantle, backed with Miscanthus.

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking southwest-ish the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

looking south the day before tour day

west of porch:  Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', Salvia viridis, and Lavender

west of porch: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Salvia viridis, and Lavender

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', photo by Kathleen Sayce

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, photo by Kathleen Sayce

against west wall of house:  Papaver 'Lauren's Grape' and Salvia viridis

against west wall of house: Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’ and Salvia viridis

looking south on tour day

looking south on tour day

looking south

figs

The fig tree grows larger and larger on the east side of the path against the house.  The deer do not eat the figs!

tour guests

tour guests

tour

guests

guests

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

Shasta daisies, blue glove thistle, bronze fennel, cosmos, painted sage, photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

photo by Kathleen Sayce

I brought my Deer Xing sign for the chair by the southwest corner of the house and a bowl to fill with water.  It had occurred to me that this bird and deer friendly garden had no water!  Nancy was so taken with this that she agreed a bird bath would be an excellent gift for her mother, Marilyn.

day before

day before

I decided to present the garden quite honestly and did not trim the stems where deer had eaten the white mallow and Crocosmia as they nibbled their way by.  It is impressive enough that there are enough flowers to share and enough things they do not eat.  A chaise lounge is kept across the back porch or the deer will climb right up there and eat flowers (although in my experience, they usually leave dahlias alone).

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

back porch, photo by Kathleen Sayce

To the south side of the house is a river rock dry pond which is good for drainage in the winter.  On its south side grow native shrubs and trees along the property line, and on the house side we have a path and a planting of Siberian iris, Persicaria ‘Firetail’, and double orange daylilies.

river rock swale

river rock swale

Hops grow up on the east side of porch railing (not shown).  I’ve tried to grow a honeysuckle on the south side but the area does not get watered and so that has not been a success.  If I remembered to water it whenever we check on the garden, it would do much better.

On tour day, we went in to visit Marilyn and saw the garden from a different perspective: from the inside out.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.

From this window, the view west has been blocked by the fig tree.  Oops.

I planted that tree between two windows and did not expect it to do this well!  Next time we visit the garden we will do some pruning.

another west window...that's better

another west window…that’s better

From this window, a deer has been observed birthing a fawn right in the garden.

another west window

another west window

from the kitchen window, looking south to the greenbelt

from the kitchen window, looking south to the native shrub and tree border

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

the walk to return to the front lawn (taken the day before)

As we drove away, we saw one of the garden residents just down the street.

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

waiting for the tour guests to get out of the garden!

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July 20, 2013

from the program:  This large meadow garden on the dunes of a Butterfly Shores estate showcases the many plants that thrive in full exposure to salt, wind and winter storms.  As you wander through the meadow, notice the garden art, collected driftwood planters and sculpture, pond and fountain.  The tall fence around the back gardens protects artful bird feeders from bears, raised-bed vegetables from deer and encloses a sheltered patio.  This remarkable garden design was planted and maintained  by local gardener Diana Canto.

A few years ago, the owner of this property asked me if we would create a garden for her.  We were simply too busy, so I referred her to local gardener Diana Canto, whose own garden I had admired.  Here is the wonderful landscape that Diana has created in front (west) of the house.

side

Bristol garden

Bristol garden

There is only one house and dune grass between this garden and the beach.

looking from the garden to the west on a pre-tour visit.

looking from the garden to the west on a pre-tour visit.

house

garden

Everything in this garden is exposed to salt wind, storms, and I am sure to deer.

beachy

beachy

daisies and ornamental grasses

daisies and ornamental grasses

detail, taken on a rainy pre-tour day in late June

detail, taken on a rainy pre-tour day in late June

also on pre-tour day

also on pre-tour day

in late June

in late June

on that rainy pre-tour day

on that rainy pre-tour day

 

in the west (front Garden), Deb sets up for a photo

in the west (front Garden), Deb sets up for a photo

It was such enormous fun touring with Debbie and Sheila.  Kathleen was touring from north to south so we did not connect with her till the end.

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

This is one of the prettiest Perovskias I have ever seen.

This is one of the prettiest Perovskias I have ever seen.

grasses

looking west

looking west

The house across the road is attractive indeed and is said to be built to be tsunami safe.

daisies

daisies, Allan’s photo

another daisy photo by Allan

another daisy photo by Allan

beds around the house

beds around the house

garden confab by the porch.  Left: Diana Canto, who designed the garden, and in the center, Phil, spouse of tour organizer Nancy.

garden confab by the porch. Left: Diana Canto, who designed the garden, and in the center, Phil, spouse of tour organizer Nancy and a stanch supporter of the garden tour.

a serious discussion

a serious discussion

plants by the foundation and porch steps

plants by the foundation and porch steps

lovely built in porch planters, taken late June

lovely built in porch planters, taken late June

on tour day

on tour day

garden next to porch

garden next to porch

from the porch looking west

from the porch looking west

To the north side of the front garden, a path leads into the fenced back garden.

to the back

to the back

garden near the arch path

garden near the arch path

Inside the back yard, a raised bed grows edibles.

veg

veg

back garden, taken in late June

back garden, taken in late June

on tour day

on tour day

Kathleen Shaw's photo of the north side of the back garden

Kathleen Shaw’s photo of the north side of the back garden

Our friend Kathleen Sayce's view of the back garden

Our friend Kathleen Sayce’s view of the back garden

On the porch, I greeted singer Randy Brown, the musician for this garden, who last year was the musician for our garden on the tour.  I was hoping we would be at the Bristol garden during one of his sets.

Randy Brown

Randy Brown

We reminisced for a little while; he said, “Your garden was industrial strength colour therapy!  Vietnam vets with PTSD should go there to heal.”  He would have loved Jo’s garden!

Allan's photo of Randy

Allan’s photo of Randy

Randy and his drummer.  He excels at making up songs about the moment.

Randy and his drummer. He excels at making up songs about the moment.

from the porch, looking west

from the porch, looking west

The garden tour confab had gotten bigger.  I joined it just before we left, and then Sheila and Debbie and Allan were waiting for me, after I had tried to keep them on schedule up til then!

on the back patio, a sheltered spot from wind

on the back patio, a sheltered spot from wind

The patio is on the east side of the house.

The patio is on the east side of the house.

delicious refreshments

delicious refreshments

yummy

yummy

fire circle

fire circle

patio

patio

Sheila taking a photo

Sheila taking a photo, Deb probably thinking about taking a photo

I am sure I would have snagged some Sheila photos for this blog, but she is having computer problems and has not been able to process hers yet.  Debbie’s photos will likely appear on her own Rainyside website.  In fact, it is on the Rainyside and other gardens forums that Sheila and I originally “met” even thought at the time, we both lived on the Long Beach Peninsula.

I should add that this house and property is for sale as of July 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I suspect that yesterday will have been the longest day of our work year, but maybe not, as garden tour month approaches and three of the gardens we have a hand in will be on the tour (on July 20th).

We had much to do yesterday, and our main goal was to get many jobs done and get to Andersen’s RV Park by five to do a lot more weeding before the Sisters on the Fly group starts to arrive this weekend.

Larry and Robert’s garden

We began just down the street at Larry and Robert’s garden with the continuation of changes to their back yard.  

before and after

before and after

We added an Azara microphylla (an excellent small tree with fragrant winter blooms) and some pea gravel and river rock and some edging from materials that were on the property.  I have in the past had an aversion to scalloped edging.  Now I cannot remember why, because I think it looks just grand here.  Now we need some more river rock for against the house and some sort of plant to fill in the narrow border there that is somewhat resistant to three small dogs (nothing too delicate).

Ilwaco intermission

We then planted an Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.

Ilwaco Post Office

Ilwaco Post Office

As we headed out of Ilwaco, the man who sells firewood on 2nd SW waved us down and gave us two hollow rounds of wood that could be used as planters, he said in appreciation of our volunteer work in town.  I told him we do get paid to care for the planters and the boatyard (although the latter did start out as a volunteer project years ago) and that the post office is our only volunteer garden now.  He still insisted we should have the planters.  (He has them for sale sometimes over at 2nd SW and Eagle.)

a garden gift

a garden gift

Might I add, those things are very heavy!

Diane’s garden

Next, we stopped at Diane’s garden and The Red Barn Arena (next door to each other): Allan fertilized the whiskey barrel planters at the barn and Diane’s containers while I deadheaded and weeded along the road.

at Diane's

at Diane’s

That roadside garden clearly needs more plants.  I’ll add some of the inexpensive Dianthus from the Basket Case next time we go there.

Anchorage Cottages

After Diane’s, we went to The Anchorage Cottages where we were requested to prune a branch off of the Ceanothus so that the parking sign for cottage one would show.  The shrub was thick with bees.

Ceanothus

Ceanothus (California Lilac)

Ceanothus (California Lilac)

Even though the bees were gentle, they got pretty agitated when I tried to lop a large branch, so I settled for quickly cutting one small piece and then scampering well back while they swarmed toward me…then…whew!!…resettled on the flowers.

The number one just barely showing.

The number one just barely showing.

Plant emergency of the morning:  thrips on a lily!  Doused it with a cup of mild dish soap well diluted with water.  Fingers crossed.

cured, I hope

cured, I hope

I was reminded of this New Yorker cartoon, long a favourite of mine.

 

george-booth-aphids-on-the-heliotrope-new-yorker-cartoon

Anchorage center courtyard

Anchorage center courtyard

New Dawn rose

New Dawn rose

We did not spend as long there as I would have liked because our mission remained to get to Andersen’s by five.  Our next stop was The Basket Case to pick up some plants for Andersen’s garden shed border which I felt had looked a little bare after the previous evening’s weeding there.  I also got two Lobelia tupa for Sheila as she and Harold are coming to visit us soon!

at the Basket Case, what a deal!

at the Basket Case, what a deal!

Wiegardt Studio Gallery

Next we went all the way up to Nahcotta/Ocean Park to the Wiegardt Gallery where again we went round the garden in haste but I hope effectively.

at Wiegardt Gallery with manager Christl

at Wiegardt Gallery with manager Christl

Allium schubertii

Allium schubertii and albopilosum

Wiegardt

Alliums white and purple

Alliums white and purple

Allium albopilosum and Allium moly 'Jeannine'

Allium albopilosum and Allium moly ‘Jeannine’

front walkway

front walkway

west side of gallery

west side of gallery

It occurs to me that next time we are there, I will take you inside!  Eric Wiegardt is a renowned artist and the gallery is beautiful.

Ocean Park intermission

We were doing well as it was only three o clock, so we had time to stop at Jack’s Country Store for what we call “Jack’s snacks”.   Of such tiny luxuries are happy moments made.

Bliss:  The Jack's Snacks Cooler and my potato salad in the car

Bliss: The Jack’s Snacks deli cooler and my potato salad in the car

I think this is the first time since the beginning of May that we have had time, when at the north end, to stop for a treat.

Next up:  the small entry garden at Oman Builders Supply.  But first, we did a U Turn to get a better look at a garden near Jack’s that is looking fine.  Garden tour next year?

an Ocean Park garden

an Ocean Park garden

driftwood and toadflax

driftwood and toadflax

lupines

lupines and foxgloves

a work in progress

a work in progress

Doing another U turn to get back to OBS, we saw that the poppy garden behind Jack’s is still there.  Jack himself started it, or his wife perhaps, and it is being carried on.

east wall of Jack's

east wall of Jack’s

Oman Builders Supply

After those distractions we got to Oman Builders Supply garden.

OBS garden

OBS garden

Mainly I wanted to make sure that the Eryngiums ‘Jade Frost’ and Lobelia tupa that we had planted last week had no transplant shock.  They were fine.  We could have spent quite awhile deadheading the Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ but more work called to us to keep moving.

The remaining deadheads can wait till next week.

The remaining deadheads can wait till next week.

hebe flowering at OBS

hebe flowering at OBS

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We pulled into our parking area at Klipsan Beach Cottages at a quarter to four.  Still on track for our day’s plan.  I knew the garden would be in good shape and that we could get it done in an hour.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Klipsan Beach Cottages fenced garden

Allium albopilosum (Star of Persia)

Allium albopilosum (Star of Persia)

Allium schubertii

Allium schubertii

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

The names of some of the roses are lost to us!

The names of some of the roses are lost to us!

rose

Last year this one did not open well but this year it looks fine.

Last year this one did not open well but this year it looks fine.

Last year Mary brought back some choice shrubs, and the one below is still in a pot because we have not found the perfect spot for it.  I think it is some kind of callistemon but if I am wrong, perhaps someone will enlighten me.

a recent acquisition

a recent acquisition

One of the two cats put on a charming show for me in the garden.

Sarah, who did get a belly rub

Sarah, who did get a belly rub

The foxgloves are restricting the view of one of the entry signs.

No one can bear to cut them down.

No one can bear to cut them down.

We would have left, as I had planned, by 4:45, but owner/manager Mary and I got into a conversation about Nora’s funeral, and life, and death, and afterlife or not, and walked up to the cottages and back, and so Allan and I did not leave till a little after five.

Corokia cotoneaster

Corokia cotoneaster in late afternoon light

Andersen’s RV Park

At last, we got to Andersen’s at five fifteen.  While Allan planted the new perennials in the garden shed garden, I weaseled out of my least favourite garden task (planting) to discuss with the staff what to do with one of those free planters we had been given in Ilwaco earlier in the day.  Jan came up with a good spot for it, and we waited for Al to return from walking his dog in order to suggest it, because it involved an area for which he had been seeking a design solution.

Al and Chewie return from the beach

Al and Chewie return from the beach

He liked the idea but since his shift was over, another staffer and Allan ended up doing it.   I hope Al was not disappointed the next morning to find it done, because he does like to have a project.  Jan’s idea was so good that it couldn’t wait till morning!

the round hollow wood

the round hollow wood

I snagged three gazania out of planters on the east side of the house where they closed up in the afternoon for lack of sun.

Till eight thirty, Allan and I weeded like mad in the beds behind the office, where the pernicious quack grass had returned; I walked the other beds and planters removing dead bulb foliage.  The results were satisfactory and now, on Monday, all we have to do is a light weeding from one end of the gardens to the other and all will be perfect…at the same time!  This is rare, because as you can probably tell, we have too many jobs to reach that state of glory very often on our larger garden jobs.

behind the office

behind the office

Having time to deadleaf as well as deadhead really makes a garden look perfect.

Buddliea 'Black Night' before...

Buddliea ‘Black Night’ before…

and after picking off yellowed leaves

and after picking off yellowed leaves

If an RVer who is also a gardener camps here, s/he must be pretty impressed with the beauty of the gardens at this time of year in evening light.  Tired though we were, we lingered to take some pictures in the late evening.

poppies and Payson Hall

poppies and Payson Hall

Baptisia (false indigo)

Baptisia (false indigo)

Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass

Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass

Stipa and Payson Hall

Stipa and Payson Hall

gold spangles

gold spangles

sunset light

sunset light

On the way out, we swung by the garden shed so I could see the new plants in.  It does look more filled out with the addition of a couple of Gaura ‘So White’, a Cistus, a Phygelius ‘African Queen’ and…something else…I forget what!

garden shed garden

garden shed garden

Al had, earlier in the day, made the gravel path at the very far end look spiffing but it does not show in this photo.

An emergency

Finally we could go home!  As we drove south through Long Beach, I checked my messages on Facebook to get an update from my gardening neighbour (four doors down), Judy.  As I read her fairly reassuring message about her visit to the cardiologist, another message popped up from a client at a commercial establishment.  There were caterpillars all over a shrub, having stripped the leaves, and looking horribly unsightly right next to a venue for an event on Saturday.  Could we come tomorrow (Saturday morning) and cut it down?  I won’t name the business because no one wants to think about horrid caterpillars.  It was on our way home, and Saturday morning was fully booked with events (Saturday market, visiting friends, cash mob) so we had to make an emergency detour with loppers and a chainsaw and cut the shrub (a Leycesteria formosa) to the ground at dusk-thirty.  I felt terrible because a hummingbird was feeding on the flowers; every leaf was gone, but the flowers remained.  One on the other side of the building (away from the next day’s event) was still leafed out, although a bit chewed, and I think the hummer could find it.

In my own garden I would have left the shrub alone to leaf out again, but at a business such ugliness cannot stand, especially if caterpillars are dropping onto customers!

We could not haul the debris.  Nay, would not.  No caterpillars allowed in our work trailer or at the site where we dump.  Fortunately there was a place we could stash the branches till the infestation is gone.

By then it was far too late to blog about such a long day so I made a placeholder entry via my iPhone on the way home…where we collapsed in front of the telly and had a comforting dinner quickly whipped up by Allan and watched Master Chef.  Just before that, as I did the evening spreadsheet on my computer, Allan came in to my office to show me this riding on his shirt.  If anyone knows caterpillars,  perhaps they can tell me what this horrid creature will become.  Nothing nice, I bet.  I shudder to think how many hitched a ride on our clothes.

a garden pest

a garden pest

I am hoping for no more days this long unless they are that long…in my own garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The day started with a sudden inspiration that instead of going to Andersen’s RV Park and weeding the east side as I planned, we should get the cow fiber to mulch the newly planted edges of the Marilyn garden.  Since we would be going by Oman Builders Supply on the way to M’s, we first went to Basket Case to get a couple of Eryngiums for that garden.

Basket Case cat

Basket Case cat

and a gorgeous basket

and a gorgeous basket

With Eryngiums in the car (and a few other irresistable plants to fill in along the repaired-after-weedkiller-damage edges at Marilyn’s) we went up and over and down a block to The Planter Box and got loaded up with two scoops of manure.  I picked out some more edging plants and one more six pack of Cosmos (for the Boreas Inn, if I can find time to get it planted there!).

my flat of plants being totaled at Planter Box

my flat of plants being totaled at Planter Box

With the addition of manure and more plants, Marilyn’s is beginning to look right again.

before and after

before and after

before and after

Mulch makes such a difference!

Mulch makes such a difference!

One of my gorgeous variegated Miscanthus there is reverted to green, really a shame and something I have not seen before with this grass:

half and half

half and half

Next week, we should have time to go down the middle of the garden and weed and then will just be in a holding pattern till tour day (July 20th).

the need to weed!

the need to weed!

If we had not had to spend so much time lately fixing the edges of the garden, the center would be well weeded by now.  I don’t dread the job, as I will find it so satisfying.  The hard part is we have to haul away all the debris.

The mulching and planting took less time than I thought it would;  I’d thought we might end up with extra cow fiber and my back up plan was to take it to Golden Sands.  But we had the perfect amount.  Since we had run into Andersen’s owner Lorna at the Planter Box, and she had there expressed a desire for some more small ornamental grasses, we figured our extra time could be spent fulfilling that request.

On the way we planted two Eryngiums and a Lobelia tupa at Oman Builders Supply, talked to them about the need to start watering regularly, and admired the size of the Alliums in the little garden.

Alliums schubertii and albopilosum

Alliums schubertii and albopilosum…very large

Then back we went to The Basket Case and got almost all their little grasses.  This is a boon for them because it is not a year round nursery, and when they sell out of plants, they will close for the rest of the summer and fall (probably in mid July)!

Here’s when the day got hard.  The area at Andersen’s where Lorna craved small ornamental grasses and some flowers was the barren end of the poppy bed, where poppy seedlings just do not “take” like they do at the other end.  This is not through lack of watering by the staff, and the bed has been mulched, but the other end is just moister.  We had not gotten round to weeding it and it was a mess of beach grass and couch grass, both with hugely running roots.  It was…just…hard work.  The kind of weeding job where you pull long long grass roots and know that only regular policing will keep the bad grass from coming back and swamping the desirable grass.  Worse yet, it has wild beach lupine whose roots are like iron.

before and after

before and after

A wheelbarrow full of plants went in.

little grasses and some flowers

little grasses and some flowers

Deer wander this garden so the non grass plants were Lobelia tupa (one, to try it out), Lavender, Catananche, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfiles’ and ‘So White’, and Coreopsis ‘Baby Sun’.

It doesn’t look that different, yet, but should fill in well.

potential

potential

You can see where after the patch we weeded, all of a sudden the poppies are spectacular.  Dare we say we think it has something to do with the septic field?

Unfortunately, we still have three unweeded areas and might not get to them till next week.  One is the shade bed east of the house (our original plan for today) and two are near the office back door.  Oh, when?

still just befores!

still just befores!

This is one reason I am going to try to quit a job tomorrow by passing it on to a competent gardening friend who may be willing to take it over.  We’ll see.  I cannot stand being so overbooked and always running behind.

Even though we were plenty tired after this, at 7 PM we went to our last job.  I knew we absolutely had to water the Ilwaco planters now that the rains have stopped.  As has happened before, we were perhaps one day too late and in several of the planters the little sanvitalias were drooping flat on the soil and shriveled up.  I could not bear to photograph this.

The Ilwaco planters are round cement and the soil in them just bakes.  We bucket water them, or rather Allan does.  We do have a water truck but it takes an hour longer to water with it.  An hour extra would be more strain on the city budget and at the end of the day we do not have that extra hour.

Some of the sanvitalias were fine.  The stressed ones, eight in all,  I cut back hard, hoping they would put out more roots as the tops grew back, and I resolved that I cannot use this choice and cute little plant in the Ilwaco planters next year.  I had forgotten that it is more sensitive to dryness than Diascia or even Calibrachoa.  And dryness is the curse of the Ilwaco street planters.

As we watered and groomed the Ilwaco planters (in a wind so cold I put on a winter scarf), I became obsessively worried that the Sanvitalia in the Long Beach planters had suffered the same fate.  So after watering, at 8-exhausted-15 PM we drove back up to LB and cruised the car up and down the main street.  Ah, thank heavens above, the Sanvitalias were fine, perky, and pretty.  The LB planters are much larger and do not get dry as quickly.  They should hold until Wednesday, the day we plan to begin their regular watering.  (With a quick connect hook up and a short hose for each planter, no buckets for the ones on the LB main street I am glad to say!)

Here is a happy Sanvitalia in my garden tonight;  I hope the LB ones stay this happy until Wednesday.  Gardening can be such a big worry.  Times like the last half of today are not the jolly side of this business.

Wish they were all this happy.

Wish they were all this happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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