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Posts Tagged ‘painted sage’

Because life is more than just touring gardens, we had to get back to work.  We are indulging ourselves by only working four days a week.  We may financially regret this later. For now, it’s wonderful.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Long Beach

The first of two weekly waterings of the planters…and the once-weekly watering of the street trees.  Oh how I am thinking about Pam’s lushly irrigated Seaside gardens!  I wish our street tree gardens, small though they are, could be as lush.  The planters I don’t mind watering because I use the time for deadheading and other grooming tasks.  The street tree water hook ups are much harder to access and frustrate me so much that Allan waters them, and they only get done once a week.

Seventh and Pacific

Seventh and Pacific

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Geranium 'Rozanne and a blue Agastache

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and  Agastache ‘Estella Indigo’

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

pink dahlia, pale pink California poppy

pink dahlia, pale pink California poppy

finger blight on the lavender!!!

finger blight on the lavender!!!  someone picked a nice big bouquet….grr.

Basket Case Greenhouse basket

Basket Case Greenhouse basket

hangs right over the planter

hangs right over the planter

If, as the sign says, no bicycles are allowed on sidewalks, why are we a couple of times a week almost collided into by a sidewalking bike!? I’m all for bicycling as an ecological form of transport, but not on the busy sidewalk. One cannot hear them coming till the whooooosh is almost next to one.  Skateboards are banned in LB town, and yet they are more audible and I think actually safer to work around.

Stormin' Norman's Kites and clothing

Stormin’ Norman’s Kites and clothing

Geranium 'Rozanne', Allan's photo. Our planters are hugely attractive to bees.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Allan’s photo. Our planters are hugely attractive to bees.

Geranium 'Rozanne' and golden oregano

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden oregano (Allan’s photo)

Allan was watering the trees and the two north blocks of planters so he got to admire my favourite one.

by Dennis Company

by Dennis Company (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

When I still had more planters to water, Allan got the horsetail off the pond garden by the stoplight.

before

before

after

after, de-fuzzed

After watering, we went out to weed on the beach approach.

the long narrow Bolstad garden

the long narrow Bolstad garden, that thin strip along the street

Out at the west end of the beach approach

Out at the west end of the beach approach

I have become so re-inspired by the beach approach since Andersen’s RV Park sold and I realized my dread of the beach approach garden was mostly because it had been years since we had enough time for it.  I felt so inspired that I thought we might even hook up a hose to the underground spigot and pour some water on the garden while we weeded it.  Allan found the hatch, swept the sand off, pried it off…

sand

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

He dug the sand off of the buried faucet....

He dug the sand off of the buried faucet….

And then he turned on the faucet…and there was no water.  We called the parks manager and it will be turned on later this week.  We have not watered out here for two years, which certainly says something about the drought tolerance of rugosa roses.  I am, however, thinking of finding ALL the buried hatches so that we can put some water on the poor dry planters along this street.  We quite simply stopped hauling buckets out to them when we both got to be 60!  The city water trailer guy (who diligently waters the hanging baskets every day, thus earning much praise from me) has been spraying them sometimes…but it is not enough.

so sad and thirsty. Heathers and rosemary left over from a volunteer planting.

so sad and thirsty. Heathers and rosemary left over from a volunteer planting.

Something must be done about this watering situation.  It is time consuming to hook up long hoses to water these planters.  OH how I envy Pam’s irrigation.

The rugosa roses are so tough. And that gallardia gets a gold star for still being alive out here.

The rugosa roses are so tough. And that gallardia gets a gold star for still being alive out here.

today's weeding job, before

today’s weeding job, before

My friend Lady B came by.

My friend Lady B came by.

Allan at work

Allan at work

I did not manage to take an after photo; Allan took this little sequence:

before

before

after

after

We had high hopes that the next day, we would finally finish this year’s first complete weeding of the beach approach garden.

Tuesday: 28 July 2015

Ilwaco Post Office: one flower left on the ridiculously giant lily, and someone keeps stripping off the flowers. It's a mystery.

Ilwaco Post Office: Someone keeps stripping off the flowers of the ridiculously giant lily. It’s a mystery.

The Red Barn and Diane’s Garden

The Red Barn garden from across the parking lot (looking north)

The Red Barn garden from across the parking lot (looking north)

I always feel I must be looking west here.  The map shows otherwise because of a deceptive curve in Sandridge Road.

Red Barn

Red Barn Arena

Red Barn Arena

the most wind-protected of four barrels at the Red Barn

the most wind-protected of four barrels at the Red Barn

my camera shy friend Misty at Diane's garden

my camera shy friend Misty at Diane’s garden

Diane's garden along the highway, with Stipa gigantea

Diane’s garden along the highway, with Stipa gigantea and cosmos

Diane's alliums

Diane’s alliums

perovskia

perovskia

Diane and Larry do a good job of keeping this garden watered.

It's harder to water this end.

It’s harder to water this end.

Long Beach Bolstad Beach Approach

We have every intention of finishing the weeding of the beach approach garden today.

We have every intention of finishing the weeding of the beach approach garden today.

Allan's photo: This garden has not been watered all summer, and it has not rained appreciably for over two months.

Allan’s photo: This garden has not been watered all summer, and it has not rained appreciably for over two months.

Allan's photo: trimming the sidewalk side

Allan’s photo: trimming rugosa roses on the sidewalk side

Allan's photo: brave gaillardia

Allan’s photo: brave gaillardia and one last rose

The gardens seems dull to me, being almost all rugosa roses.  We used to have an assortment of gorgeous perennials until I realized this could never be because of the trampling it gets during kite festival.  Only rugosa roses and other small, tough shrubs can hold their own during that.

I do wonder though, if it had irrigation and could be as lush as Pam’s Seaside gardens, would it be so garden-y that people would not trample it?  I suppose I will never know.  We do get many compliments on the garden and many questions about the rose hips.  Are they tomatoes? Persimmons? Edible? And then we talk about rose hip tea and rose hip jelly.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

During the approach weeding, I had a revelation that we needed to quit one more job, and that we COULD because Dave and Melissa, Sea Star Landscape Maintenance, are so good that I can turn over any garden to them and they can dive right into it with no coaching; they know ALL the plants.  Over the following couple of days, we arranged to pass on the Boreas Inn garden to them, one that we never have enough time for.  They now have several pretty big former jobs of ours,  with happy and satisfied clients.  I am hoping this translates next year into getting the first complete beach approach weeding done by April or May instead of August.

I felt so inspired that we went back to the beach approach section that I had given up and just string-trimmed earlier this summer and actually weeded it properly.

weeding with the pick (Allan's photo)

weeding with the pick (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photo)

almost done (Allan's photo)

almost done (Allan’s photo)

We have prevailed! (Allan's photo)

We have prevailed! (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo, as we checked on the garden at city hall

Allan’s photo, as we checked on the garden at city hall

The Port of Ilwaco

The watering of the Port of Ilwaco went more smoothly than last week.  It is still frustrating having to wrestle with 300 feet of hose when there are spigots so much nearer the gardens.  However, this fall I will be moving all but the most drought tolerant plants out of the westernmost section that is hardest to water.  It won’t hurt if some sections of the gardens are better than others.  Salt Hotel, Time Enough Books, The Port Office, Don Nisbett Gallery, the Ilwaco Pavilion and Peterson Gallery will have the show-off garden beds.

Port Office curbside garden with Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Port Office curbside garden with Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (I don’t know what that white triangle is, some sort of oops!)

Lavender and Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies, port office curbside

Lavender and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies, port office curbside

looking east over the port office curbside garden

looking east over the port office curbside garden

The Port Office garden, south wall

The Port Office garden, south wall

looking south from the port office garden

looking southwest from the port office garden

looking southeast

looking southeast

The east end garden can now have hose watering because Allan has enough hose to drag across the parking lot from a dockside spigot.  This is not annoying like the other long drag, as there is no business owner’s spigot next to that garden.  I do, wish, though, that years ago, under a previous port administration, some thought had been given to exactly how the gardens were going to be watered. Why was irrigation not installed during the time that the street was torn up to make these beds?  I asked a local pro gardener ‘Why???” and she said wisely “Because people always think, ‘You don’t need to water around here because it rains!'”  She is so right, and people are so wrong, because even in a normal year we have dry weather for at least two months in summer.

Allan's photo: Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' at the east end

Allan’s photo: Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the east end

Allan's photo: Catananche (Cupid's Dart)

Allan’s photo: Catananche (Cupid’s Dart)

Allan's photo: a happy dog at the port

Allan’s photo: a happy dog at the port

Allan worked east to west, just for variety. West end: Salt Hotel is open for business, and we highly recommend them.

Allan worked east to west, just for variety. West end: Salt Hotel is open for business, and we highly recommend them.

I got done earlier than Allan and walked home.  At the Lost Garden on the corner, I had a look at the pond and found it completely dry.  I’ve never seen it this dry even at the end of August.

That is disturbing. (The pallets are from a children's fort that blew apart in a storm.)

That is disturbing. (The pallets are from a children’s fort that blew apart in a storm.)

at home

in my garden: Billardia longiflora in evening light.

in my front garden: Billardia longiflora in evening light.

Further sign of drought: Some of the salmonberry shrubs in the bogsy woods have dried up.  A friend who has lived here for 40 years says she has never seen this happen til autumn, if then.

It's a spooky sight.

It’s a spooky sight.

The work board finally had beach approach weeding, all 13 sections, erased!  I immediately replaced it with the Long Beach parking lot (not really) berms…three sections that have been sadly neglected due to lack of time.

Job Satisfaction!

Job Satisfaction!

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Olde Towne

Olde Towne

After the usual every-other-day stop at Olde Towne Café to switch compost buckets, we went to Long Beach to water all the main street planters.  I had a fairly good day physically and walked around town without much leg pain.

Allan's photo: tents selling fireworks promised much noise and chaos on the weekend

Allan’s photo: tents selling fireworks promised much noise and chaos on the weekend

a charming display outside of the Wooden Horse gift shop

a charming display outside of the Wooden Horse gift shop

In a few planters and under a few trees, Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is looking all firework-y, in time for the fourth.

In a few planters and under a few trees, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is looking all firework-y, in time for the fourth.

I used to have more Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in town till I began to find it sort of a thug.  It is spectacular in its flowering, although its season is only a few weeks long, if that much.

The Salvia viridis is starting to bloom and will be the star of the planter show for a couple of months.

The Salvia viridis is starting to bloom and will be the star of the planter show for a couple of months.

Salvia viridis

Salvia viridis

cupid's dart and blue hardy geranium; this geranium, not long blooming like 'Rozanne', has come back after its first bloom because I cut it back hard when it started forming seedpods.

cupid’s dart and blue hardy geranium; this geranium, not long blooming like ‘Rozanne’, has come back after its first bloom because I cut it back hard when it started forming seedpods.

The Long Beach gazebo with baskets by Nancy of the Basket Case Greenhouse

The Long Beach gazebo with baskets by Nancy of the Basket Case Greenhouse

The planter closest to the Long Beach Tavern had been sat upon or otherwise somehow thrashed.

The planter closest to the Long Beach Tavern had been sat upon or otherwise somehow thrashed.

I took a whole bouquet of yellow Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' to the LBT crowd, as it had been broken right off.

I took a whole bouquet of yellow Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ to the LBT crowd, as it had been broken right off.

They told me they had seen a woman “messing with the planter for about fifteen minutes” not long before.  Wish I had caught her in the act!

This much painted sage was broken off, to my deep disgust.

This much painted sage was broken off, to my deep disgust.

Awhile later, to cheer myself up, I popped into my favourite shop, NIVA green, to have a quick natter with Heather.

Heather Ramsay, artist, makes many creations, including lamps made of tins.

Heather Ramsay, artist, makes many creations, including lamps made of tins.

another piece of Ramsay art

another piece of Ramsay art

I just barely resisted this teapot.

I just barely resisted this teapot.

With Long Beach all watered, we went on to the Anchorage Cottages north of town.

Anchorage, where we cut the stinky viburnum back earlier in the year,

Anchorage, where we cut the stinky viburnum back earlier in the year,

This resort was the favourite spot of our friend Kathleen Shaw before she bought her own cottage near the beach.

The Music in the Gardens tour poster, posted in the office window

The Music in the Gardens tour poster, posted in the office window

Peruvian daffodil by the office bench

Hyemnocallis festalis (Peruvian daffodil) by the office bench

and a floppy Allium albopilosum

and a floppy Allium albopilosum

Rose 'New Dawn' by the center courtyard

Rose ‘New Dawn’ by the center courtyard

Allan did some pruning on an Escallonia that had been badly hacked at on the south side of the cottages.

during....he'd already cut some floppy sideways branches

during….he’d already cut some floppy sideways branches

after: pruned to where the trunks are showing new foliage buds

after: pruned to where the trunks are showing new foliage buds

We also went out to the Sid Snyder beach approach road to turn on the soaker houses in those street planters.

In the westernmost planter, Back Alley Horse Rides is doing a good job of taking care of the petunias that they planted. (Allan's photos)

In the westernmost planter, Back Alley Horse Rides is doing a good job of taking care of the petunias that they planted. (Allan’s photos)

In the westernmost planter, Back Alley Horse Rides is doing a good job of taking care of the petunias that they planted.  (Allan's photo)

blue globe thistle in one of the planters, an excellent plant from back in volunteer planter days

blue globe thistle in one of the planters, an excellent plant from back in volunteer planter days

At home, back under the former danger tree, the Dranunculus vulgaris had bloomed for the first time.

two flowers

two flowers

dv

dv2

Although it is supposed to smell of rotten meat, I could detect no foul odor.

Although it is supposed to smell of rotten meat, I could detect no foul odor.

My lovely purple podded peas, from seeds given me by Garden Tour Nancy, had turned out to be purely decorative; I had not had time to pick and eat them.

My lovely purple podded peas, from seeds given me by Garden Tour Nancy, had turned out to be purely decorative; I had not had time to pick and eat them.

too old now...but I have enjoyed looking at them.

too old now…but I have enjoyed looking at them.

Calvin is getting bolder about coming out to take the air.  He even followed me partway into the garden.

Calvin is getting bolder about coming out to take the air. He even followed me partway into the garden.

In the evening, I continued to blog about our recent garden tours.  I finished writing about the very last (and one of my favourites) of over twenty gardens!

Meanwhile, Allan watered the Ilwaco planters.

While filling the water tank in the boatyard, he notcied a woman with a bird enjoying the Clamshell Railroad history sign.

While filling the water tank in the boatyard, he noticed a woman with a bird enjoying the Clamshell Railroad history sign.

The hose had popped again and he repaired another two feet of it with electrical tape.

The hose had popped again and he repaired another section of it with electrical tape.

 

 

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Tuesday, 5 November, 2013

We overslept yet again, fooled by rain and…just tired.  Thus we missed perhaps an hour of good working weather.   Our mission for today: to fill Erin’s new garden boat with soil.

 On our way out of Ilwaco, despite being late, we had to stop when we saw two hens on Williams Street.

Inn at Harbour Village hens taking a stroll

Inn at Harbour Village hens taking a stroll

a friendly and unskittish pair

a friendly and un-skittish pair

At Peninsula Landscape Supply, we got a yard of Soil Energy…

soil

load

Next, a stop at The Planter Box as they have the best and thickest landscape fabric.

Teresa rolls up a length of fabric for us.

Teresa rolls up a length of fabric for us.

I realized we still did not have good scissors with us!

Teresa revealed to us the true weight of the pumpkin in her “guess the weight” contest.

150 pounds of pumpkin

150 pounds of pumpkin

She said she had ordered 150 pounds of pumpkins, but someone had left the “s” off on the receiving end of the order….

And then we drove to Erin’s, and up the side yard of her neighbours’ house (who does not seem to mind the traffic across their lawn) and rather suspensefully, across Erin’s lawn to park near the boat.  I have heard horror stories about vehicles sinking into old septic fields at old houses, so we stuck to the path that Chester’s truck had tested out when he delivered the boat!

Allan drilled some strategically placed holes in the bottom and soon I was able to start filling it.  I soon realized that I did not need to have soil in the dark spot under the prow of the boat (if that is the right term for inside the front of the boat).

filling the boat

filling the boat   

I told Allan my brainstorm and he went to the ruins of the original garden boat for reusable lumber.  (That boat has disintegrated over the  more than a decade since Robert and I first turned it into a garden boat.)

 scavenging the old boat

With his rechargable chainsaw, Allan was able to cut old wood to fit at the end of the open area of the new boat and save us from wasting a considerable amount of soil.

a fix it job on the spot

a fix it job on the spot

Eventually, when it’s needed as the old wood rots, he can make something better.

When I went to scavenge for a few small pieces to jam into a couple of holes in the makeshift wooden barrier, Felix appeared.

Felix

my friend Felix

my friend Felix

He hung around and helped us for awhile.

Felix and the boat

Felix and the boat

We had gotten the landscape fabric tucked underneath before making the boat heavy with soil.  As soon as we can (I hope tomorrow) we’ll cover the fabric with gravel and then decorate with river rock to make it look (with a lot of imagination) like it has washed up on a rocky beach.

Then came the careful backing and turning to get out of the yard without hurting the sprinkler heads.

the van and trailer in the big yard

the van and trailer in the big yard

Felix kept a careful eye on the proceedings.

Felix escorting us...

Felix escorting us…

on the fence at the northwest corner...

on the fence at the northwest corner…

and saying goodbye for now.

and saying goodbye for now.

We had a longish discussion about where to get the remainder of the soil to fill the boat.  If we went back to Peninsula Landscape Supply for another load of soil energy, the cost of material would be smaller but the cost of time and labour would be higher.  To make the soil richer, we could go to the Planter Box and get a load of cow fiber, but then we would have way more than we needed.   We decided that bagged soil from The Planter Box would be so time saving that it would pay off the extra cost of bags vs. bulk, and we would could buy enough for two other projects at the same time.

the drawback:  Allan loads the heavy bags

the drawback: Allan loads the heavy bags

Below:  Here’s the boat holding one yard of Soil Energy, two big bags of Gardner and Bloome potting soil and two bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Building Compost.

ready to plant!

ready to plant!

Erin and I were discussing paint colours for the boat; she had said she liked white or green.  I realized today it should be white, with the red paint redone in the same green as the house’s shutters.

We had some daylight left and had only used two of seven bags of potting soil, so we went to The Anchorage Cottages where two containers awaited fresh soil.  While Allan filled them, I was suddenly inspired to tackle an annoying area of beach strawberry by some parking spots.  One of my goals in quitting some jobs this year is to at last be able to do some of the little things for which we just have not had time.   This was one:

before and 45 minutes later

before and 45 minutes later

The blue potato vine in this spot has a history of blowing over, and the courtyard garden has two others, so out it went.  I was sick of the schizostylis here, so it too was ousted.  When we have time to finish around the edges, the garden will be blank but for two Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and some lily bulbs.  Manager Beth saw the empty area and requested dahlias; I am not sure it will be enough sun (morning sun only) but we can give that a try…although I had had something more formal in mind.

I keep picturing small columnar evergreens.  Must be Pam Fleming’s influence.

We just had time then for a bit of Long Beach work.  Allan took potting soil to fill in the planter by the carousel (the one from which we had pulled vinca two days before).  I pulled Salvia viridis (painted sage) out of the planters in front of and across from the Home at the Beach shop.  I’d noticed driving past that they looked raggedy from Saturday’s wind.

Close up, a few of the blue ones did look quite bad, and one was still pretty.  And one of the pink ones looked almost as good as in midsummer…

In fact, the planter looked downright summery.

In fact, the planter looked downright summery.

Close up, you can see the pink one would need some deadheading to look perfect…

pink

And I was just tired of it, so out it came.  I almost immediately felt bad, and now feel worse looking at this photo…but it is NOVEMBER, for heaven’s sake, and these summer flowers are so last month!

I wonder how long it would have lasted had I left it alone?  I am tired of the nasturtiums, too, but I left them.  I figure that some visitors will be impressed that we have blooming nasturtiums this late and perhaps will not notice that they are rather tatty by now.  I suppose the same could have been said of the salvia…darn it.

I am hoping that tomorrow we can get gravel and river rock to make that faux beach at Erin’s house.  The idea of a garden on that huge lawn has me wanting to neglect other jobs in order to get it done…

Wednesday, 6 November, 2013

Back to the boat project!  We headed straight up to Peninsula Landscape Supply to get some pea gravel and river rock.  We cannot carry much of something that heavy in our little old trailer.

 a small scoop of river rock

a small scoop of river rock

The river rock went in the bottom of the trailer as it would be applied second.  The pea gravel went on top.  Allan set up some buckets so that some of the gravel would arrive ready to go.

topping off with a scoop of pea gravel

topping off with a scoop of pea gravel

Meanwhile, I handpicked two buckets of larger river rock.  Had I wanted to, I could have gone into the bin of rainbow rock and got an even larger one.

I like the pink one at lower right!

I like the pink one at lower right!

I fished some fairly big ones out of the bulk pile, though.

Then we delivered our rocks to the new garden boat at Erin’s.  Yesterday, we had tucked landscape fabric under the edges of the boat.  Today, I tucked some newspaper underneath as well, just to make extra sure of smothering the turf.

The hardest part of using the newspaper method of garden building is acquiring enough for a big project.  The second hardest thing is laying newspaper in wind.  (Today was calm, so no problem.)  The third is resisting the urge to read every article that looks interesting.  We had The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal today and because I have several friends who have had cancer recently, my eye was particularly caught by this article.

paper

boat with pea gravel

boat with fabric and newspaper, and pea gravel application in progress

For several years, whenever doing a dry creek bed or any sort of river rock effects, I would lay down landscape fabric, and then medium to small river rock, and then spend the rest of the lifespan of that garden tweaking the rocks so that the “underwear” (fabric) did not peek through.  FINALLY in 2007, when doing a  garden with a dry creek bed in memory of a man who loved to fish, I realized that small gravel would hide the fabric and added it after the fact, then had to shift and fuss with the rocks to get the larger pretty ones on top.  Now we always put down a layer of pea gravel, or even plain crushed gravel, first, to completely hide the fabric, and then dress it up with larger rocks.

first: a solid sheet of gravel.  second: river rock.

first: a solid sheet of gravel. second: river rock.

The part of the fabric and newspaper left showing is where more thick layers of newspaper will get laid down and soil put on top to meet the gravel “beach”.

Allan screwed it one bit of the boat that had come loose.

 

And I rejoiced that I had found the blue scissors that cut the fabric well.  We had struggled without them while cutting fabric for some Long Beach planters on Monday.  They had been in the van the whole time, hidden under some papers (not in the box they were supposed to be in).

triumph!

triumph!

over the picket fence, the dunes, and then the beach

over the picket fence, the dunes, and then the beach

Felix made an appearance but did not linger so no cute cat photo for Wednesday.

By now, what I wanted to do for the rest of the day was to get a yard of soil and start making a garden bed around the boat.  I had not brought enough newspaper for that as it was not in my original plan.  Perhaps, I thought, we could scavenge some from the recycling bin.  First, though, I should check the weather.  Oh dear, high wind and rain warning for tomorrow.  We had better go to one of our weekly jobs, Andersen’s RV Park, in case we were rained out tomorrow…And it does make more sense at this point in the Erin garden job to have a really big pile of soil delivered to just outside the picket fence. Unfortunately, now it will have to wait till after Bulb Time, and I am burning to do this garden…

Oh well, on to Andersen’s.  I had a project in mind for there:  removing lady’s mantle and three tired Stella D’Oro daylilies from the garden shed garden.

1:44 PM and 4:06 PM

1:44 PM and 4:06 PM

The rain came on a little after two PM.  Without wind, I found it sort of refreshing (for awhile).  This is the hottest spot to work in on a scorching (well, 65 degrees and up) sunny day.

While Allan cleared the long bed, I cleaned up a little area by the garden shed door.  Somehow this year it got full of beach strawberry, and there was way too much of  boring old Bergenia.  The Bergenia has been there since before I started caring for the Andersen’s gardens.

before and after

before and after

In between pecking away at the beach strawberry and bergenia, I worked over the areas Allan dug out to prep them for receiving wheelbarrows full of cow fiber, as with every trip he made to dump debris, he returned with a wheelbarrow full of mulch.

before with hideous Stella D'Oro

before with hideous Stella D’Oro

after

after

before:  I am SO over lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

before: I am SO over lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

after

after

We even got started on the eastern end of the garden.

one huge lady's mantle gone from the corner...

one huge lady’s mantle gone from the corner…

The rain had become harder and chilly, so we were not inspired to finish all the way to the end today.

Now, what to plant next year in the lovely blank slate?  Lorna loves bright flowers and is fond of cosmos (as am I).  I wonder how she feels about dahlias?  Something extra bright might get some attention drawn to the garden as people drive into the park.

At dusk, we went to our appointment at NW Financial and Insurance where our insurance broker, Shelly Pollock, was finally able to help us register for the Affordable Care Act.  Yes, the state website was working and we are now officially enrolled.  Even though we chose one of the mid range plans, we are still going to save (and this will not be a typo) $937 a month over what our cost for a similar plan would have been in 2014.  And our ACA plan will have a much lower deductible AND will help with prescriptions, which our old plan did not.  “Obamacare”, at least in states with a Health Exchange set up, will be so beneficial to the working class.  No more will we be paying 20 to 25% of our income for health insurance, and local friends who have never been able to afford insurance are now able to sign on.  We believe this will be an stimulus to the local economy.  I can guarantee Allan and I will have a dinner out to celebrate and raise a toast to Obamacare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

I awoke to white frost on the back lawn, as predicted.  All the tender plants in pots were safely in the greenhouse.  The ones that I want to save, anyway:  scented geraniums, tender salvias…

frost

frosty morning

Great, thought I, the annuals will perhaps be done in Long Beach.  I have wearied of their tired looking appearance; they have still been looking too colourful to pull as it might make shopkeepers and passersby said if I dispose of them them prematurely.

But NO!  They still look mostly wonderful.

painted sage, Agyr. 'Butterfly', nasturtium

painted sage, Agyr. ‘Butterfly’, nasturtium

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Allan cut back the Panicum ‘Heavy Metal‘ ornamental grass back in the one street tree under which it grows.  I like the name of the grass and its metallic sheen.  However, I think that to most people it probably looks weedy.

Heavy Metal grass

Heavy Metal grass

This particular tree has no working water and has to be bucket watered from a nearby planter.

The park by Marsh’s Free Museum and one of our favourite little cafés, Captain Bob’s Chowder, still looks fine.

obelisk tiles by Renee O'Connor

obelisk tiles by Renee O’Connor

The work in the frying pan park is coming along….By spring, that clam statue will spout every hour on the hour again.

park

Allan took a break from Long Beach city work and pulled Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ from the Summer House  garden while I checked the rest of the planters.  I swear I did not plant the darn hardy geranium at Summer House.  It probably had one little seedling inside another plant.

Below:  Allan stands where a rose trellis should go IF Erin (who owns this vacation rental) wants to keep the rampant climbing rose in there:

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

Then he dropped me off to tidy up the Veterans Field garden while he dumped debris.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

still very faintly red white and blue

still very faintly red white and blue

We had an appointment at NW Financial and Insurance regarding the Affordable Care Act (which I believe will be very beneficial to us).  The main website was down again, even though it had been working all day.

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

The best thing I have read about this is:  “War is a crisis.  Poverty is a crisis.”  And then something about the computer problem being an inconvenience.  We will go back next week.  If anyone local (Southwest Washington or Northwest Oregon) needs help figuring out the Affordable Care Act paperwork, Shelly Pollock is a wonderful helper and her services are free.

We concluded our work day by pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage clumps and a doing a bit of weeding on the Bolstadt beach approach.

Bolstadt approach buoy

Bolstadt approach buoy

two birds

two birds

another two birds

another two birds

bird

Bolstadt beach approach garden, looking toward town

This walk is so popular with townfolk and tourists alike.  One can walk up Sid Snyder Boulevard ten blocks south, then along the boardwalk with its view of the beach and back down this street….or vice versa.

rugosa rose autumn colour

rugosa rose autumn colour

with dwarf mugo pine

with dwarf mugo pine

Something amazing happened when I pulled a weed from the easternmost Bolstadt planter….

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

The mint started to peel up just like taking up a carpet!   I was thrilled!!

before and after

before and after

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

While Allan tidied that up, I cut back a few lily stalks on the south side of city hall and observed with dismay that a purple ajuga had gone aggressively running through the whole bed.

Anyone want some purple ajuga??

Anyone want some purple ajuga??  will fix this later

Just west of city hall, reflections of sunlight fell on the sign for the upcoming new coffee shop.  I was excited to see that Pink Poppy Bakery’s logo had been added to the sign.  My ultimate loyalty still likes with Ilwaco’s Olde Towne coffee café but I will love being able to get Pink Poppy treats while working in Long Beach.

Akari Space

Akari Space

Although I could tell a great sunset was brewing, the dumping of debris had to take priority.

looking west from city hall

looking west from city hall

While at the city works yard, we could see the sunset developing.

over the water treatment plant

over the water treatment plant

With work done, we went back to Bolstadt.

Another sunset watching group had gathered on the big picnic shelter.

crows

closeup

The sunset started as a moody grey and pink one, and I thought it would continue that way.

Allan’s photos:

bird

grey

grey

grass

west of the boardwalk

buoy

my photos:

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

pink

boardwalk

boardwalk

band of colour

band of colour

Thinking it was fading, we turned to go back to town and saw the tail lights of the cars of other sunset watchers driving away….

Long Beach from the boardwalk

Long Beach from the boardwalk

One glance back and we turned to the west again as the colour suddenly intensified.

colour

bright

And then it did fade.

last

At home, I took a quick walk along Spruce and Lake Streets to check out progress in the Ilwaco flatlands Halloween preparations.

the J's house across the street

the J’s house across the street from ours

on Spruce

on Spruce

Soon would come the yearly Halloween extravaganza.

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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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5 July:  I think Friday was the longest day…We had to get up early (for us) to get to the beach clean up, and yet we were half an hour late as we always are, rolling in to the sign in point at ten instead of nine thirty.

Beach Clean Up  10-11:30 AM

The Grass Roots Garbage Gang has three beach cleanups a year.  The biggest one, because of massive fireworks on the beach, is on July 5th every year.

signing people in at Seaview approach

signing people in at Seaview approach

 clean

dumpster

Seaview approach road

Seaview approach road

clean

beach clean

beach clean

clean

clean

 dangerous campfire remnants

dangerous campfire remnants

Allan and another volunteer compare their finds

Allan and another volunteer compare their finds

a bag already filled

a bag already filled

clean

supervisor

supervisor

Birds benefit from having a clean beach.

Birds benefit from having a clean beach.

amazing plants grow in the sand...

amazing plants grow in the sand…

P1020616

clean

clean

clean

dumpster

As well as picking up on foot, volunteers drive the beach to pick up the bags as they are filled.

clean

We usually stay at the clean up longer and then go to the soup feed, but on this day we had too much work to do so had to go to….

Long Beach: 11:40 til 4:00

The Long Beach planters could have waited for one more day to be watered, but doing so on Saturday would have been madness.  Allan turned on the water in the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach planters (which have soaker hose) while I started watering the planters downtown.  I was hoping the street tree gardens would not also need watering, but poking at the soil revealed that they were dry, so Allan started on that when he got to town.

I can certainly see the difference in the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that I forgot to cut back, and that has now fallen open, and the nice tidy ones that I cut back in mid May.

not cut back...and cut back

not cut back…and cut back

It is just coincidence when a burnt orange California poppy blooms with a yellow flower and a pink one with a pink flower….

happy coincidences

happy coincidences

I don’t think I have ever seen the town so full of people.

crowds everywhere

crowds everywhere

This meant we got our extra share of compliments…and also saw some extra planter sitting;  it does pain me to see someone sitting right on a plant.

o the pain!

o the pain!

The Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ bloomed just in time to look like fireworks for the big holiday weekend.  I have removed it from most of the planters, but the owner of Wind World Kites loves it in the planter in front of his shop and doesn’t mind being somewhat hidden behind it.

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

Cute Alert!  I was photographing a cute Yorkie for the blog (the one on the bottom step is Gilly, 4 1/2 pounds, age ten) and another puppy wanted to get in the picture.

for Judy

for Judy

The painted sage down by Home at the Beach was looking grand, as was, as always, their storefront display.

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Bees were buzzing all over the planters…

Salvia 'May Night' and golden oregano

Salvia ‘May Night’ and golden oregano (no visible bees but they were there!)

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

sedums

sedums

We have further lost the bench on the northernmost west side planter, but with bees all over the lavender and Helichrysum I am not about to cut it back yet.

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

A sad moment:  I found a big finger blight on the northernmost east side planter.  Someone had stolen the new Dianthus ‘Raspberry Ripple’ in its full beauty.  I happened to have with me three red Dianthus for Veterans Field which we had not planted because we could not find parking anywhere near there, so one of them went in as a replacement but it is not nearly as special.

finger blight! and repair

finger blight! and repair

We finished out Long Beach by turning off the soaker hoses on Sid Snyder.  All the planters used to have soaker hoses but they never got the soil uniformly wet, some plants struggled, and I prefer the quick connect hose watering method we use now on the main street.  It also enables us to wash salt wind and car dust off of the plants.

We parked at the Kite Museum where I deadheaded their garden and felt very disappointed in how it is looking.  I have not had time to check on it and it has not filled in well at all.  This is a difficult time of year to add plants, but we must…I know the staff will keep it watered.  I blame the wind…or the lack of the gardener’s shadow (said to be the best fertilizer…that is to say, we have not looked at it enough).

not satisfactory

not satisfactory

Then we were off to Ilwaco.

Ilwaco 4:00-8:30

Our first garden on Howerton was by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle.  Jenna has been keeping it watered for us.  I think the wind is the culprit for the state of some of the poppies, rather than finger blight.

unseasonable wind

unseasonable wind

We checked on and weeded all the Howerton gardens that we care for and the Port Office garden.  (You can tell which ones we do because almost all “ours” have Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’!)

at Howerton and Elizabeth

at Howerton and Elizabeth

After Howerton, I finally finished weeding the boatyard.  At last!  After pecking away on it all week, it did get done in time for Ilwaco’s big fireworks Saturday.  Allan had to bucket water the Ilwaco planters and then rejoined me and watered the boatyard garden.

looking good in the evening

looking good in the evening

santolina

santolina

Santolina is another way to recognize our gardens.

Santolina is another way to recognize our gardens.

pinky purple

pinky purple

looking south..the end in sight

looking south..the end in sight

Penstemon 'Burgundy Brew'

Penstemon ‘Burgundy Brew’

many weeds and spent California poppies

many weeds and spent California poppies

I clipped some of the California poppies that had flopped onto the sidewalk; they will flower again from the base.

orange and blue

orange and blue

Allan watering

Allan watering

And…the lovely view from the very end of the boatyard garden, looking south at dusk.

twilight

twilight

We just had time before dark to make a last stop at the Shoalwater Cove Gallery garden and deadhead the lupines.  We can see our house from there.   With just enough light left to water some pots and the containers in the greenhouse, we got home.  I think that July 5th now qualifies as this year’s longest work day…and the reward?  Two days off!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We continued to improve the sidewalk gardens along Howerton Avenue at the Port, especially trying to make the sight lines safe by using smaller plants than the original plantings (which were not done by us).

14 April along Howerton, looking east

14 April along Howerton, looking east

Above, in the garden beds north of the Port of Ilwaco office and the Don Nisbett Art Gallery:  Santolina (lavender cotton), California poppies, Carex (bronze sedge), Armeria (sea thrift), Lavender, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

species tulips, April 14th, sidewalk garden

species tulips, April 14th, sidewalk garden

2 May with sea thrift in bloom (little pink balls in foreground)

2 May with sea thrift in bloom (little pink balls in foreground)

Meanwhile, on the 5th of May, we saw that the Harbor Lights Motel (which was trying to reopen but is now for sale) had their formerly messy and weedy patch of sand garden redone by Mike from Peninsula Landscape Supply.  The xeriscape looks much better than the weeds did!

Harbor Lights Motel gardenby Peninsula Landscape Supply

Harbor Lights Motel garden
by Peninsula Landscape Supply

Harbor Lights Motel landscape by Peninsula Landscape Supply

Harbor Lights Motel landscape by Peninsula Landscape Supply

Back to our Howerton gardens:  Here they are in summer.

Time Enough books garden, looking east, Ceanothus in bloom

Time Enough books garden, looking east, Ceanothus in bloom

looking east

looking east, 26 July

15 September, looking east

15 September, looking east

Gaura during the annual Slow Drag at the Port!

Gaura during the annual Slow Drag at the Port!

Above, the white spiky flowers of Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ caused a sensation among passersby.  (Not as much of a sensation as The Slow Drag, though.)

Autumn light in the Time Enough Books garden

Autumn light in the Time Enough Books garden

In October, the Port of Ilwaco crew cleared two more overgrown sections at the west end of  Howerton and we planted them up with divisions of plants from the other sections.

19 October, looking east

19 October, looking east

These two sections are to the north of Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and The Imperial Schooner Restaurant.

19 October, looking west

19 October, looking west

We also continued to care for the garden right next to our favourite bookshop, Time Enough Books.  In spring the garden boat sported a show of bright yellow tulips, either ‘Big Smile’ or ‘Mrs John T. Scheepers’ (the single one) and a double yellow Peony tulip.  (I could tell you exactly which ones had it not been for my computer crash!)

2 May

2 May

2 May

2 May

2 May

2 May

I don’t recall why there are some red tulips in there.  I usually go for yellow, because I learned from a gardening lecture way back when that yellow “stops the eye” for a split second and is therefore a good colour to use when you want to draw attention to a garden.

I do love a garden boat, and the new one at Time Enough inspired me (because it’s a little smaller than the old one) to try a more layered planting scheme with Cosmos, Salvia viridis (painted sage) and some Agyranthemum ‘Spring Bouquet’.

27 July

27 July

I don’t think the Agyranthemum shows up well enough, so next year I might try the bright yellow one called ‘Butterfly’.  At ground level, I used Geranium ‘Rozanne’ to simulate water.

Next: some photos of more public and private gardens to close out the year.

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