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Posts Tagged ‘our garden’

Monday, 10 December 2018

We’d had this much rain since Saturday evening.

Before and after a visit, I spent my afternoon potting up shasta daisy starts for my plant sale.

Our dear friend Tony came to visit the garden with Maryann and Linda.

Maryann, Linda, Tony, and me

You might remember that MaryAnn is the former owner and the designer of the beautiful garden at Tony and Scott’s beach home.

Maryann, who visits family in England every year, gave me a Gardeners’ World book! I was thrilled!

Thank you, MaryAnn!

By the way, I do intend to get back to watching as many new-to-me episodes that I can find online of Gardeners’ World as soon as I can break away from my reading binge.

Poor Allan had to leave to have a wisdom tooth pulled.

The rest of the photos from today were all taken by Tony Hofer himself as we wandered the garden.

my one and only phormium

plant table in the bogsy wood

SW bogsy wood corner

bridge to the south gate

through the south gate: Linda just bought a house on the peninsula so I look forward to seeing her around.

outside the fence, at the meander line, the south property line that used to be riverbank.

I used to try to control nature out there, but now I let it go and I think the frogs are happier that way.

fortifications on the south fence

Back in the civilized garden again:

the cat bench that Allan made

at the edge of the patio

I gave Tony a great big clump of sarracenia.

the lean-to

lambs ears that I have been potting up

white rhododendron by Allan’s shed

old apple tree in front garden

treecups

east wall of house

front path

hellebore by front path

We all talked about how Allan and I could visit Tony and Scott’s Vancouver (Washington) home this spring, before they pack everything up to move to the beach.  MaryAnn would make dinner…I know it would be a wonderful trip and we could combine it with a visit to Cistus and Joy Creek Nurseries.

I love getting to see what someone else notices in our garden.  Thank you, Tony!

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Allan had jury duty.  He was able to get my book from the post office before having to arrive at court at 8:45 AM.  (He made it to the pick of 12 jurors but then was sent away after a few answers probably revealed him to be not as hard on crime as the prosecutor wanted.)

Good weather meant I had to work till late afternoon on my honeysuckle pruning project.

Skooter did not help.  I think the crisp cold air did not appeal to him.

Here is the glorious moment when the hat of tangled vines lifted off of its support:

The before from a couple of days ago:

before

and today:

This left an enormous mess by dusk.

I filled the trash bin and pondered how to get rid of the rest.  It would take an awfully long time to feed it into the trash week by week.  It is too tough and woody to compost.

I widened Willow Loop West by trimming escallonia, partly with The Toy, which was awfully fun.

another big mess

In the garden:

grey white berries on the hymenanthera

tiny rose hips of Paul’s Himalayan Musk

At dusk, I was ever so happy to settle in with my book, the fourth mystery by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling).

Friday, 7 December 2018

My book had to wait till dusk.  Allan and I decided that a dump run was in order.  It would take too long to process the vines through the wheelie bin and the branches through the Pencil Sharpener.

If felt very much like winter with a cold white band at the edge of the sky and a moderate but chilling wind.

It took till three o clock to get the debris loaded, included a large quantity of plain green holly from the willow wood outside the south fence.  The dump fee of $20 would be offset by saving us at least two more days of debris disposal at home.

Allan went off to dump …..

offloading a packed full trailer

…while I happily returned to my book and finished it by 1:30 AM (with a break for dinner and some telly).

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Not many photos today.  Caturday photos of Skooter and Frosty were required, of course, and since I had not downloaded my camera for a week, two phone photos would have to do.

woken from a nap

Allan built me a nice new bench for the greenhouse lean-to, almost all made of driftwood.

The lean-to will be especially useful because I had had a revelation: In 2019, I AM going to have a plant sale during the “World’s Longest [local] Garage Sale” at the end of May.  I had offered a multitude of double Shasta daisy starts to the Peninsula Gardeners group days before, had eight takers, and six days later four of the pots I had filled were still sitting waiting for the takers to pick them up.  No more of this—instead I would start planting starts to sell on that one weekend.  Our friends Ed and Mark have great success with their once a year plant sales. I spent the day potting up some Gladioulus papilio and a wealth of lambs ears that had worked their way into the center of a garden bed.

As for the evening reading, someone had recommended in a Ruth Rendell book group (online) that Belinda Bauer was a worthy successor to Ruth (sometimes my favourite author), so I began reading one of Belinda’s mysteries.  I can tell you that she is very good but that the writing is not as elegant as Ruth’s.

 

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Sunday, 18 November 2018

Last night I was so sore from gardening for 13 (?) days in a row that I could barely walk by bath time.  I said to Allan that I simply must rest and read on Sunday no matter how beautiful the weather.

Today the weather was again beautiful and again I simply had to garden even though I awoke with aching arms and legs.

The old apple tree was aswarm with crows.  I managed to photograph just the remnants after they saw me and flapped away, complaining loudly.

Frosty shared some thoughts about my having chosen to garden rather than read.

I collected enough oyster baskets of leaves from the Norwood driveway to fill my new leaf container.  While I was in their driveway, I contemplated what I would do with the Nora House back yard if it were mine.

It has a great view of the port buildings.

From Norwoods:The Nora House yard is narrower than ours.

In our garden: leaf container almost full

Allan’s photo

I decided to add more old Geranium ‘Rozanne’ foliage to the compost bins.

before

after

My compost bounty overfloweth.

Rudder visited from next door (east) and got a treat of cheese.

Frosty was so excited to have a dog’s visit that he walked up and butted under Rudder’s chin with the top of his head.  Rudder, age 16, was not especially interested in a new friend.

Frosty is 13.  I sometimes contemplate getting him a nice dog for his dotage…He must be lonely with his mother and brother and his friend Calvin gone.

Allan chipped up the escallonia from Mike’s garden…

before

after, the messy work area (Allan’s photos)

I have the idea of having a long narrow shed where the debris dump/potato patch has been.  It would fit Allan’s boat.  With the required property setback, it would have to be long and narrow and would hide the unattractive work area from anyone next door.

possible space for long narrow shed, with a pole marking the setback line

Below, my beautiful wall of compost, the spring bulb window boxes waiting to be installed, a rain gauge from last week’s rain storm, and some optimistic cuttings of Mike’s Escallonia iveyi.

I am pretty sure that Mike’s white escallonia came from me to begin with.  I used to get cuttings from the escallonia at the Anchorage Cottages, which was the white E. iveyi planted by Heronswood’s Dan Hinkley back when his sister owned the Anchorage (before my time here).  A gardening business called The Elves Did It sometimes worked with me then, and got cuttings, too, and later installed Mike’s garden.

I spent the rest of the afternoon back in the bogsy woods, snapping off dead salmonberry in the salmonberry tunnel.  I enjoy the sound it makes. With a windless, clear afternoon, I wanted kindling for a campfire.

gunnera with alder leaves

fuchsia and mahonia

Behind the gear shed next door, the last stack of crab pots was moved out by forklift at dusk.

campfire with rising moon

A moonlit campfire dinner was had.

As the leaves fall from the willow grove, we can see more of the lights along the port.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Again, despite being tired, I simply had to garden because of perfect weather about to to end.  I set myself upon a project of widening a path enough so that Allan could bring his boat back, via our property rather than the Nora House driveway, to a potential new shed.  We could also use the wider path to take our wheelie bin out to the street.  I am trying to think ahead to a time when we might no longer be able to swan about the Nora House yard as if it is our own!

before

The garden bed between our house and the neighbouring driveway came about mainly because of a big old forsythia that I was unable to dig out.  Nora liked the long driveway bordering garden very much.

four hours later (the maple turning colour in the background is across the street)

comfortably wide now

The garden bed along the angled fence will have to be made narrower if a shed must be accommodated.  It is a perniciously weedy spot anyway.  I dug out a quantity of Egyptian Walking Onions to put elsewhere.

bed to be made narrow, left. Bed to be made into a shed, right.

The design of the garden, with the angled fence which used to just have deer mesh between the center posts, was so that Nora could see into our garden from her back porch.  She once told a friend that she saw Jesus walking there.

With my project done, I went back to the salmonberry tunnel again for forty five minutes of satisfying dead stem snapping for another campfire.  Again, the evening had no wind at all.

Skooter on the plant table backed with thinned out salmonberry

on the way back to the house to get campfire dinner fixings

I was pleased that I got the fire all started up by myself.  Usually former boy scout Allan does the fire making, but he was off getting a haircut.

We only had this much cut firewood left from last winter’s windfalls:

Behind our fence is what remains of the blue wall of tarp that, covering stacked crab pots, made the backdrop for our rear garden all summer.

I like to burn up all last year’s firewood by late autumn in order to start a brand new windfall pile.  One small half-wheelbarrow load of that wood was too wet or big to burn this evening.  The next afternoon, I would wheel it to the back of the garage and put it under cover to dry so that maybe we can have a winter solstice or very early spring campfire with it later.

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’, still in bloom, does not provide any scent on chilly evenings.

Allan returned to a pleasantly roaring fire and a campfire dinner.

the moon almost full

Rain was due by 4 PM the next day.  Although I longed for reading time, we had volunteer plans for tomorrow.

 

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Just before showtime, Jodie and Doug from the J’s house across the street came so we could see their costumes.

a flapper and Burt Reynolds of Smoky and the Bandit (Allan’s photo)

And a hummingbird got a last sip from the fuchsia display.  I was hoping that humans would notice the many hardy fuchsia flowers I had added to the entryway and grotto.  The hummingbirds had been all over them since yesterday.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony arrives (Allan’s photo)

and Scott (Allan’s photo)

Scott bearing treats (Allan’s photo); Wendi came to say she would have to miss the trick or treating but she brought me the prettiest little china cat and a bag of candy for the kids.

 

tiki torches in the front fenced garden

the tuteur ghost

Scott, Tony, and the driveway spooky corridor

In the house, I had blocked off the entry to my private lair with a last minute brilliant idea.

physocarpus and fuchsia branches in the hallway and a strategically placed bookshelf

book: Beyond This Point Are Monsters by the brilliant psychological suspense writer Margaret Millar

Scott had made Halloween cookies.  The spider bodies are halved malted milk balls.

so clever

Tony made an assortment of exquisitely flavorful and varied roll ups, and later J9 arrived with hummus and chips, and Heather of Niva green brought good ham, cheese, and crackers, so we were able to keep our strength up for the onslaught.

Allan’s photo

Before more guests arrived, Skooter was snoozing on his favourite cupboard at the entrance to the kitchen.

He loves this space where he barely fits.

He stayed there all evening, getting pets and smooches from every cat lover in attendance.  Frosty had been in my room, and was still there at the end; I wondered later if he had been trapped behind the hallway shrubbery.  (He could still have gone out the south cat door.)

Rootin’ Tootin’ Rudy was also in attendance.

(Next time, I must find something to hide the milk crates; they are bringing down the tone, although I doubt anyone noticed but me.)

Allan and Rudy and Scott (Tony’s photo)

Someone thought Allan’s costume was that of a wizard.  No, a garden gnome.

Hallow-evening began with the first trick or treaters, not very many, arriving before five o clock.

the first to arrive (Tony’s photo)

A handler backing out the cow (Allan’s photo)

I realized later that the costumes this year were often so huge that they would not have fit down the usual route, the narrow front sidewalk entry.

A steady flow of trick or treaters arrived soon after the cow.

I went on a walkabout before dark, and Allan took a long walkabout, much further than mine, after dark.  (That will be our next post, shared from our Ilwaco blog.)

Todd and Karen Brownlee had arrived while I was gone and toured the garden.  I was sorry to have missed this tour.

Allan’s photo

When I returned, I was so sore from four days of plant-iferous decorating that I was happy to take a chair and just watch.  The new garage set up worked well.  At least twelve chairs, lined up on each side, were filled with grown ups who had a good view of the costumes.

Unicorn Teresa of The Planter Box arrives.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony’s photo

Tony, Scott, Del, Wendy (Tony’s photo)

Heather of NIVA green and our Tony (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony’s photo

Tony took videos, as well.  Here is one taken just as he and Scott arrived. Later, three videos show how crowded the trick or treat scene gets, here, here, and here.

 

Joe Chasse and friend arrive (Allan’s photo)

Cathy and Captain Bob come to check our our decor before they returned to greet the Long Beach trick or treaters (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Seaview Sara and Matt arrive (Allan’s photo)

 

Amy (left) from the Port Office (Tony’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Planter Box Teresa appears as a unicorn (Allan’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Allan’s photo

Lorilyn and her fella arrive; she had a box of sand dollars to hand out as extra treats (Tony’s photo)

Judy and Larry from Ocean Park came; sadly, Donna and Jan and Michele and Devery were missing, and missed, because of bad colds and a family obligation.

Erin of Cranguyma Farms came with her eleven year old son Diego, who passed out the treats for the rest of the evening.

Erin as La Catrina (Erin’s photo)

After this large dinosaur left, we got Diego to sit in the very first chair because having a dinosaur all the way into the mid-grotto made it too crowded. (Tony’s photo)

This critter barely fit under the garage door and would never have fit through our front entry arches and gate. (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Kelli, a local teacher and avid reader, came with her very good dog Gromit, here shown with Diego.

As darkness fell, it was kinda magical.

Jessika, Jared, and Willa from right next door

Our guests loved the feeling of being enclosed in a sparkling and slightly haunted woodland.  (They also liked our ready-to-go protest signs.)

I loved my two treasure chests complete with spooky books, and got rather bossy when the grownups moved forward and blocked them from view; I insisted everyone stay back so the kids could see the treasures on either side of the entrance.  Many of the small children stopped and looked very carefully at each object along the way.

Scott and Tony had carved five elaborate jack o lanterns.

Tony’s photo

a momentary lull

Ocean Park Sarah and Seaview Sara & Matt, with one of Sarah’s little dogs

When we first began handing out treats in 2010, we were surprised that people of all ages come around.  There is not much else to do in our small town on Halloween for anyone underage, and we welcome all.  The older ones have some of the best costumes.

I wish Allan had been back from his walkabout when Napoleon Dynamite showed up.

I said, “Oh, that’s my husband’s favourite movie!” and Napoleon said, “Finally, someone who gets it!”

When Allan returned, I learned he had had his photo taken with another garden gnome.

He had also allegedly had his photo taken with a lovely mermaid at Queen La De Da’s; I haven’t seen the evidence yet.

We loved having dogs at the party!

Scott, Sarah, and pups (Mabel now has Rudy’s hat.)

Here is a costume I would wear if I could find a basket big enough:

an inspired planter outfit

Our friend the unicorn (Teresa of The Planter Box), left, was keeping the tally for most of the evening.

We all told Wonder Woman that we are counting on her to save the world.

a steampunk gentleman

Dorothy and a fairy

Cute dog alert!

Thandi of the Sou’wester, little Celestine, and an intellectual friend

Tony’s photo

Cella and the tally sheet

Tony’s photo

Tony’s photo

close observation of details

checking everything out—I love this kid!

I like to think that children of memory-forming age will have memories of our Halloween display, maybe for a lifetime.

Allan’s photo

Diego (Allan’s photo)

Jules and Felix from Salt Hotel

Tony’s photo

Here they come to save the day.

Our Tweetybird

One young man sorrowfully said to us, “I have some bad news for you—your bird has died.”

treasure chest

Finally, there were no more trick or treaters and no laughter and screams in the distance to let us know more might come.  All but one of our guests left. J9 and I finally had time for a visit.

More!

tiki torches still aglow as Allan took down the cats and bats orange window film (Allan’s photo)

J9 stayed behind for a considerable time to help us bring in garden ornaments from the driveway, de-cobwebbify the entryway (cobwebs look so tawdry the next morning) and remove the treasure chests and enough decorative branches to be able to get the garage door shut.  (She has a party help business called Have Tux, Will Travel, and knows just how to efficiently and carefully dismantle decorations.)

Skooter had had a very good evening with everyone who came into the kitchen giving him love.

The tally was a little messy, especially the part where I was trying to keep count.  It added up to 601.  The Beards Hollow Pirates house, one block east, counted 589 so I think about 600 is a safe bet.

Things to remember for next year:

Hang the Halloween wreath on the garage doorway frame so it shows better. Don’t forget to remove the hook before the end of evening garage door closing.

Get some fabric with leaves (flat bed sheets with patterns?) for the back wall and other areas.  Or even just grey or green.Ross Dress for Less across the river has sheets at a reasonable price. Maybe camouflage the inside of the garage door where it forms the ceiling.  Maybe not because of some of the very tall costumes could get caught up in any fabric or cobwebs.  

If one of our guests brings a cardboard box of treats in, make them put their stuff in a basket so there is not a boring cardboard box in the photo later. (I am bossy.)  It is all in the details.

Cover the milk crates!   I also did not like that the outdoor buckets were not covered, but they did not show after dark.

Get a couple of pieces of cool driftwood to put on either side of the garage entrance once the door is opened on Halloween day.  Or some kind of faux wood curved entrance that doesn’t take up too much room.  More driftwood or branches entry effect could be added right outside the garage door, stuck through or tied to the arbor.  Not too big for giant costumes to enter through.

This is an event we look forward to all year.  Just 12 months till the next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had had a sort of plan to take a break next week, because the 15th of October is the 8 year anniversary of buying our house on Lake Street.  That year, we took two weeks off to paint the dark and gloomy inside of our double wide and then to move in and begin to unpack. No one seemed to miss us at work!

However, when I learned the bulbs were due to arrive on October 12th, that idea was kiboshed, because I want to get bulb time over with.  This might therefore be our last long weekend till November (unless we get a spate of rainy days).

Friday, 5 October 2018

Glorious rain meant that I could spend a guilt free day indoors reading Marion Cran. But first, we delivered a bouquet to Don and Jenna for art night.  I was glad I had picked it just before dark the night before.

pouring torrential rain and some wind (outside the garage door)

tried to capture the way rain drops were sharply cascading off the front arbor

the bouquet (Allan’s photo)

Don and Jenna at Don Nisbett Art Gallery (Allan’s photo)

At the gallery: new Harmony Soapworks soap, with art by Don, with the scent of S’mores!

view from Don Nisbett Art Gallery

At home, the cats were in for the day.

Skooter

Frosty

I settled into my chair, with no guilt when I glanced at the window.

I then turned to Marion Cran’s 1933 book, I Know a Garden:

The descriptions of birds at Marion’s bird feeder should delight my favourite blogger, Mr. Tootlepedal.

Later, at a friend’s house:

And later:

About weeds:

Allan was busy all day printing books for his book fair table tomorrow.  At 5;30, I briefly considered going to Art Night.  I did not relish walking in the rain and wind, and my book held me fast to my comfy chair.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

We’d had more rain than the rain gauge shows; it had been full of compostable debris during the storm.

after removing the debris

Allan was gone to the book fair by the time I woke up.  A beautiful day, as predicted, thwarted my desire to read another Marion Cran book.

I planted a few of the plants that Todd had brought me.

in a “stone trough”….

I had little ‘Quaint and Queer’ years ago and am happy to have it back.

Skooter helped, and you can see that the grass has turned green again in the dry areas where it had gone all brown and crispy in August.  I may have already mentioned that we’ve had the driest summer in about 60 years.

He wore himself out helping.

After a happy afternoon of layering compost in the bins, I decided to dig up and transplant some Conca D’Or lilies (tall and pale buttery yellow) to make a better view through a part of the west bed.

before

after

I think I will remove one more clump of three or four stalks and take them up to the Shelburne, later. One well cleaned bulb will go to the fire station garden. The ones I dug today got spread around three new areas of the east and west bed.  I have to be careful because some of the thicker clumps of bulbs cannot leave the west bed; they are infested with the Saponaria ‘Flore Pleno’.

Look, my new white persicaria from Digging Dog nursery is blooming!

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’

I was suddenly inspired to slightly reduce the width of the grass path on Roxanne Loop West.

before

after

Allan returned from the book fair just in time to dump two barrows full of sod for me.

Allan’s day

He thought the signage needed some help.

After his fix:

Book fair:

Librarians; we love them!

Our friend Jan Bono, whose cozy mystery series we heartily recommend.

Allan sold 7 books…and bought four books from local writers!  His book, Southwest Washington Paddle Trips, may be available at Time Enough Books at the port by the time you read this.  It is for sure available on October 13th in the gift shop of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, where you might be attending the Cranberrian Fair.

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In the effort to catch up in book reports, I will begin with the book I recently finished.  (This means I have skipped over the two Morville books by Katherine Swift; I hope to catch up on book reporting later this autumn.)

The Prickotty Bush by Montague Don

Those who have read Monty and Sarah Don’s The Jewel Garden know that they loved and lost a garden due to financial woes, long before Monty was the famous garden show presenter that he now is.

I read The Prickotty Bush, the story of that garden, slowly over a few weeks of this exhauting, rain-free summer, just a few pages before bedtime.

Its somber cover goes along with the somber subject of a garden under siege by the bank and an obsessed man trying to make a garden as quickly as possible.

Here are some of my favourite bits:

On the imposition of order by pruning:

Also known as Something Shiny Syndrome:

The bullying wind:

On doing it all oneself:

Interestingly, in one of the next books I read, Marion Cran wrote about the same thing.

Below, I identify with Montagu’s urgency.  I felt, at age 55, when I started the Lake Street garden, that I had to get it laid out the first winter during a two month staycation, no matter what the weather.

30 December 2010, gardening in ice-crusted soil

On time in the garden (shared because I love what he says about human aging):

On how to look at your garden:

On garden design:

On plant names:

Friday, 14 September 2018

Frosty rejoiced that I had the day at home.

He was vocal about it.

Rain gauges from last night:

Even the slowest filling rain barrel was almost full:

I think I might need to remove a hebe.  I set it in the spot below, in a wooden planter, and it has rooted into the ground, broken the planter apart, and is about to block our path.  It pulls debris out of the wheelbarrow when I pass by. And yet it is so grand.

From my window I had seen an exciting glow:

Kniphofia ‘Earliest of All’

I had tried in late winter to divide it and transplant some to the center bed.  So far, this is all the transplants have done after many months:

puny

My goal today was to deal with the basket plantings brought home from Long Beach.

In bin two, I had a pile of all green debris on top of brown.  I wanted to layer them, green and brown, into bin four.

Four hours later:

I got just this much compost from bin 2, which had not had much time to decompose since the last time I turned it.

Because I feel anxious about the financial aspect of retirement, I rejoice in any compost that I can make instead of buying mulch.  It’s good practice for more frugal years. Compost turning and sifting is an activity that relaxes and pleases me ever so much.

After a couple of rains, the rest of the basket root balls will be easier to break apart.

I wish I had a before photo of where Allan helped me dig out a big orangey grass that had seeded into the front of the east bed.  I needed some room for other plants, and have many others of this grass that I originally got from Pam Fleming’s former nursery.

left, some of the many that are left; right, a new empty space (not for long)

Salvia africana-lutea and an matching spider

Saturday, 15 September 2018

At last, I had a glorious rainy reading day, all Marion Cran.

First, I went through my book marks in her first book, which I finished two nights ago,  to photograph my favourite bits to share in a later post.

When I first opened my used English edition of The Garden of Ignorance, I found these inside:

All the way from Old Blighty, perhaps; there is nothing on the back of the picture.

Today I read all of The Garden of Experience and more than half of the third book of her autobiographical series, The Story of My Ruin.  She will get more than one of a series of blog posts when I have time to write more about the summer’s reading.

Here is just one excerpt that echoes Monty Don’s words about having to make one’s garden all by oneself.  In Cran’s world of the 1920s, that meant with the help of a gardener, but the garden owner also knew where every plant was and did much of the work herself.

I hope to offer you many more shared thoughts about Marion later this year.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed the endpiece to The Garden of Ignorance:

 

 

 

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Sunday, 26 August 2018

Due to a light rain overnight that was enough to fill all the rain barrels, I was suddenly inspired to plant a few ladies in waiting.  I tried to talk myself out of it, as surely I should wait for autumn and more regular rain.  Later, I read that some of my northwest gardening Facebook friends had succumbed to the same urge.

this much rain in the yellow rain gauge.

The cats were pleased to have me home.

It’s a darn shame I can’t dredge up a before photo of the area below, showing how a Leptospermum ‘Squiggly’ was all jammed in sideways next to the Cistus ‘Mickie’, reaching for the light.  I risked killing Squiggly by moving it.  It had to be done.

during

I pruned it to try to regain its upright habit.

new spot in the east bed, before…

and after pruning. Good luck, little one.

I planted a clematis from Windcliff, whose tag must be kicking around on the ladies in waiting table, and a Baeckia in a newly cleared area. (I saw a baeckia while garden touring near Seattle and was smitten.)

I decided that the West Willows Loop path was unnecessarily wide at the beginning.

before

after

Why do we edge with rocks and logs?  Well….if I had more soil to build up behind the rocks, there would be a good reason.

I took a break during the middle of the above project because Allan decided to cut a branch I had asked him to cut.  He went to the one branch on the purple ornamental rather ugly plum tree that I had mentioned two or three weeks ago, that hangs over parked cars on the front sidewalk.

before

after (Allan’s photos)

The branch was down before I told him I had changed my mind about that one, and that what I meant was the alder branch I had showed him last weekend.  (It would require some low climbing which is why I had not done it myself.)  I went back to the alder grove to find him in a completely different alder cutting a big dead branch.

That inspired me to think about how a few more branches gone from that tree would better reveal my garbage can phormium and my eucalyptus.

before

after

I helped chop and pile all the debris.

Finally, Allan cut the branch that I really wanted cut today.

before, that twisty one

With it gone, the fuchsias underneath will get more light. Take my word for it, because I forgot an after photo.

Oh wait, is this one? Well…sort of:

At the end of the day:

a beautiful rose.

This winter, I hope to find my rose receipts so that I can identify that one.

Saponaria ‘Flore Pleno’ redeeming itself for being such a runner.

looking southeast

Allan had also mowed the green back portion of the lawn, as well as pruning.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Because of some more drizzly rain, I decided we would dare to take Monday off from work watering.  The real reason was that I could not bear the thought of going to work.  I had not had enough time at home.

The rain barrels were full.

The weather was perfect, not windy, not too hot, with a crisp autumnal feeling in the air. I got the big yellow pick for a big project—finally.  Into the yellow rain gauge it went (with a new collection of rain; the yellow rain gauge got used and dumped yesterday).

I was at last inspired to make my bogsy wood stepping stone path.  It has been lingering for almost a year on the work board list of home garden projects, even after all of the weeding list got erased over the summer.

before: I had been piling some extra stepping stones there since last winter.

The reddish stones had come from former client Rita Nicely, back when we used to do her garden.  I had to quit that and two other private gardens when Allan and I lost a part time helper and decided to go it alone. Rita’s garden is now in the capable hands of Shelly and Terran of Flowering Hedge Design.

looking north from inside the area I was clearing, with Skooter by the fire circle.

Skooter got off the fire circle bench and came to help me.

“I halp.”

I could not pick all of the salmonberry out because of the alder roots, so some of it I clipped and will continue to clip.

before

I did wield the pick mightily where the path will go.

before

Skooter returned to the bench.

I disturbed a large frog while weeding (fortunately not while picking).

It hopped over and found a new home behind some pieces of metal that I had leaned against a trunk.

impromptu frog house

my helper again

Allan had asked earlier why I was making a path through this natural area.  Skooter understood and approved.  He sat on many of the rocks right after they were laid down.

I scavenged the front garden for a two more piles of the paver rocks I had been saving and commandeered Allan from his desk, where he was working on his self published boating book all day, to help fish some out rocks from the back of a raised bed on the north side of the house.

The rocks were wasted back there.

nice and mossy

Frosty felt no need to help.

I got the whole length of path done as I had hoped.  The problem in the future will be that the darned meianthemum (false lily of the valley) is thick in here and will obscure the stones if I don’t manage to weed or string trim it.  But for now, I am quite pleased.

At the inner end, the rocks will make it possible to walk in the swale when it is damp.  Otherwise, the hard packed mud is treacherously slick and slippery.

bogsy swale looking east

Then the path goes north between the two hillock shade beds.

As for the area below, it still has salmonberry roots and needs some soil added (which I do not have) in order to plant a few more things on the side of the hillock.  Let’s revisit that before:

before

and after:

Another revisited before:

before

after

before

after

Looking across the fire circle border, I can see the rocks (now, at least) and I feel well chuffed.  I will probably find a few more matching rocks to widen the path during winter garden clean up.

looking south

Now I need to find a way to make the area where salmonberry must be clipped, where the alder roots are too thick to plant, and where the shade is deep, more interesting, to make it worthwhile to take a walk on the path.

Skooter agreed it was a day’s work well done.

Allan’s only photo for Monday is of half of an overgrown cucumber and one of our many apples that garnished tonight’s dinner.

 

 

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