Posts Tagged ‘Pennisetum macrourum’

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

After a rainy Tuesday of working on my blog posts about reading, I had woken up today thinking about the Shelburne garden and how much better recent photos of it would look if it had spring flowering bulbs, especially my favourite kinds of narcissi.  Next year!  I thought about digging some up from my own garden to put there.  But I am too selfish with my own flowers for that.  I can barely pick bouquets sometimes.

I hope that next spring, the Shelburne garden will look more like mine (and the gardens of our other clients) does right now (by which I mean my flowers, not my weeds):

When we got our mail, I briefly pondered weeding the wild garlic out of the post office garden so that it would look better for people attending this weekend’s quilt show at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum across the street. No, not yet; I decided that we might finish the boatyard garden and return to the post office at the end of the day.  Allan was rightly skeptical.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

looking south from the north end

We still do not know if some of this garden is going to be dug up for a water project.  It needed cleaning up either way.  We carefully did not disturb the orange and red spray paint marks, already almost washed away by rain.

Allan’s photo, Pennisetum macrourum, before

and after removing it

Pennisetum macrourum is described on some garden sites as being slowly spreading, and that is the impression I had for years, until suddenly a couple of years ago it decided to run.  I no longer wanted any of it at the north end of the boatyard garden, where I had transplanted a clump before it showed its true nature.  I used to think it might be a grass I had brought down with me from my Seattle friend Pat’s garden.  If that were true, I would have had it in all my other gardens over the years, because it is quite beautiful.  Now I think it was introduced to the boatyard during the years between when I started it as a volunteer and then it got torn up for an electrical project, and when I came back to work on it as a paid job.  During that time, a nice old man provided the port with some pampas grass, which they planted along the narrow strip and which eventually covered half the sidewalk.  The pennisetum may have also been donated at that time.  It is misbehaving now.

Here is what it looks like in bloom:

Pennisetum macrourum, (which as you can see is going a bit too strong), Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Pennisetum macrourum at the boatyard

We were not very far along today before this happened.


With the rain pelting down and a 20 mile an hour wind kicking up, we drove home to put the pennisetum roots in our garbage can and, I assumed, to give up on work for the day.  Even Allan’s mentioning The Deadliest Catch TV show…

…did not inspire me to want to work in the rain and wind.

In the rain, we (well, Allan) did one more thing on the way home, deadheading these narcissi in front of Azure Salon.

Allan’s photo

Ten minutes later, we had this:

looking west from our driveway

…so we went back to work.

trimming well behaved grasses (Allan’s photos)

We also sheared many santolinas (Allan’s photos)

Sheared santolinas will stay rounded instead of falling open.

We crossed over the boatyard gate, meaning we were more than halfway done in distance.  Allan trimmed another pennisetum that can stay because we don’t want to be digging around the light pole:

He trimmed another….and I decided the tatty old lavender had to go.


later, before he hoiked the lavender out

I then decided that whole darn pennisetum had to go, a job for tomorrow.  I do not want this many of them!

Pennisetum nightmare


This was more than we would be able to deal with today.

It did not rain again until 4 PM:

And even then it did not last and we were able to keep weeding, trimming, and digging until the temperature dropped to discomfort in the early evening.

Allan’s photo

At home, I was thrilled to finally finish my last blog post about thirty five years of reading, from 1982 to 2016!

Even though I was not able to erase any gardening tasks from the work board, I did erase from the at home rainy day tasks “Goodreads”, which was the reading blog project.

All the indoor jobs were supposed to be done in winter, till shingles put an end to my staycation energy.


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Thursday, 5 October 2017

While divesting ourselves of the Ilwaco street tree branches that we had pruned yesterday evening, we  admired of the east end of the marina.

I found out later that the floating enclosure is a pen…

…for young salmon, used in a recent study of some sort.

Butch, the owner of Coho Charters (the red building) is my go to person for fishing questions.

We headed north, with a brief stop at the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Allan’s photo, getting rady for Halloween

a selection of new plants at the Basket Case

including nice Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’

Next stop: picking up a yard of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply. We were worried because the Soil Energy pile had been way low last time, and might be all gone.  When we arrived, we saw a truck and trailer ahead of us.  Who were these people competing with us for the last of the pile, I thought anxiously….until I saw they were our good friends Judy and Larry.

Allan’s photo

Larry, Judy, me: friends with similar goals

We were glad there was enough in the Soil Energy bin for two loads.

We parked off to the side and the mulch came to us. (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages  

Our first actual job of the day was a tidying and some cutting back at KBC.

Allan dug out a daylily, the same kind that he dug out for me in my own garden recently.

It is prone to daylily leaf streak. (Allan’s photo).  The flowers are hardy fuchsia.

before cutting back Thalictrum ‘Elin’

and after

The thalictrum will come home with us for Halloween decor.

Allan cut down one part of the rugosa rose.  The whole shrub is going to come down later.

After. Now you can see through to the lower fenced garden.

As you can see, the day was (too) warm and bright.

view in the east gate

the birdbath view

the inner bench circle

a huge bud on the Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’

fall colour on hamamelis

Allan captured the moment when Mary noticed the leaf colour.

We didn’t see Denny today.  He had had a knee replacement (his second) on Tuesday and was at home napping.

                           Long Beach

On the way south, we checked up on the beach approach gardens and the Long Beach city hall garden.  This weekend’s two days of clamming will generate a lot of passersby.

the foyer at city hall (Allan’s photo)

MaryBeth stopped by when she saw us at City Hall.  She gave us a present that she had been carrying with her for the next time our paths crossed.

After checking on the Sid Snyder approach planters…

the westernmost Sid Snyder planter (Allan’s photo)

…we made sure the World Kite Museum garden looked good, because their annual One Sky One World event is this weekend.  The philosophy of One Sky, One World is needed more than ever now.

Pleased with the new containers at the kite museum.


The south third of the Ilwaco boatyard garden was our destination for the yard of Soil Energy that we’d been hauling with us.

looking south from the gate, before

soil applied by bucket

cutting back Pennisetum macrourum from the sidewalk

and after….I had suddenly realized the garden should start where the paved sidewalk starts.

The dredge has been at work lately, clearing mud from the channel which is so necessary for the marina to thrive.

scooping up mud

and depositing it on a barge.


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We still have sweet peas blooming on the fence.

sweet peas all the way to the top

bright red sweet peas

We had run out of Soil Energy about twenty feet from the end of the garden, so another load will be necessary.  The end needs such a small amount that I sort of cheated and erased boatyard mulching from the work list, changing it to mulching at the port and Time Enough Books.

The summer is long gone and I still have not accomplished one thorough, end to end good weeding at home.

At home: The garden gift from MaryBeth.


El Compadre Mexican Restaurant

We had this week’s North Beach Garden Gang dinner with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) at El Compadre.

hard to get a good photo of the inlaid tables that I admire so much.

Allan’s photo

tiled window frames

As often happens, we were the last to leave.

Now for an extra long weekend, during the quiet time before fall clean up and bulbs.  My goal is to not leave my property for four days while I accomplish some gardening.  Allan has some boating goals.







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Thursday, 24 August 2017

We skipped deadheading the welcome sign (south of town), firmly reminding ourselves to remember it on the way home.  I was eager to get out to the kite festival again.  Today’s events featured an exhibition of handmade kites.

Washington State International Kite Festival

this year’s festival poster

The judging was still ongoing when we got to the beach, and because we had much watering still to do, we didn’t actually see many of the handmade kites.  However, here are a couple of old photos of kites from the 1993 festival that still are strong in my memory.

flying colours kites by George Peters

Aztec Calendar by Michael Alverez


booths along the Bolstad beach approach road

a big sand shovel being carried to the beach (Allan’s photo)

A “rescue” Great Dane (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

“Beach Books” booth

one of several booths featuring fair food (Allan’s photo)

wind chimes

banners for sale, made by Above it All Kites

at the South Pacific County Humane Society booth

In the World Kite Museum tent, an eclipse flag was being raffled.

volunteer fire fighter at the ready (Allan’s photo)

koi banner out on the beach

giant kites

Not enough wind to get the giant rings and large animals flying.

rings and creatures on a previous year and windier day

Kite fliers and teams set up their “territories” on the beach.

Allan’s photo

stunt kites waiting to fly

a man….

…and his kite

kite flyer (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

On this same day, a talented local photographer shared this stunning kite:

photo by Janelle Hux

Walking back to town along the approach garden, I was so pleased to see roses still blooming.  This garden gets no supplemental water.

Rosa rugosa alba

Back in town….

Long Beach City Hall

fuchsias overhanging the fence in Coulter Park, where we park for kite festival.

Allan and I shook off the holiday Kite Festival feeling and parted ways to water, with Allan doing the planters on the south end of downtown and me doing the north ones.

still my favourite planter

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

trolley passing by shuttling folks to Kite Festival (art by Don Nisbett)

the first chrysanthemum blooms by NIVA green

As I watered, a woman approached and asked “Do you do the gardens at KBC?”  She stays at Klipsan Beach Cottages once a year, where Mary had given us credit for our gardening work there.  She works at Swansons, my favourite Seattle nursery of yore, and specializes in trees and shrubs and loves conifers.  We had a good long talk.  I recommended that she look up the posts here about the Bayside Garden, the home of a “conifer man” (John).  “I’m a conifer woman!” she said.

Here’s a link to a tour of Steve and John’s garden that showcases conifers, rhododendrons, and more.

I wish my planters had more cutting edge collectors plants.  I mostly make do with what I can get around here.

Both Allan and I found the evidence of someone flower-picking their way through town without a responsible adult saying no.

These flowers came from more than one planter and from under one of the trees.

Allan’s photo

Despite that bit of flower scattering, the workday was a pleasant one.  Kite Festival always seems to draw the happiest crowd of any Long Beach event.

a kite painted rock

Allan’s photo

Gladiolus papilio (Allan’s photo)

Gladiolus papilio (Allan’s photo)

We met up in Fifth Street Park and did some garden tidying (Allan more than me because he got there first).

NW quadrant

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Chelone (pink turtlehead)

Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ before deadheading (Allan’s photo)

We felt that we were making good time and so rewarded ourselves with crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder, which is temptingly located behind the park.

at Captain Bob’s

Sid Snyder planters needed watering next.

The trail ride horses were being gathered up to go home.

Westernmost Sid Snyder Drive planter (Allan’s photos)

The water is still turned off in this one.


Feel quite accomplished to be done with Long Beach before five o clock, we headed south to water in…


Allan left me at the boatyard to water while he got the water trailer and did the street trees and planters.

Allan’s photo

At the boatyard, this pretty salmon colored four o clock reminds me of Lorna and Andersen’s RV Park.  When we gardened for her there, we acquired salmon, apricot and peach coloured flowers for her.  This was from  a seed packet, most of which got planted at Andersens.  Lorna lives in Seattle now.  She might bring her grandchildren to see our garden this weekend.

Mirabilis jalapa ‘Salmon Sunset’

Pennisetum macrourum from behind the fence

Miscanthus and Stipa gigantea

Joy! Hoses were again available to water the north end of the garden from the inside.

I had time to weed and deadhead almost the entire north stretch of the garden.

looking north, about 1/3 of the garden

blue skies, not too warm, almost windless

Unfortunately, half way through my weeding, I suddenly remembered: WELCOME SIGN.

Allan’s photo: the fire station planter

When we reunited, we drove home to leave the trailer behind.

our neighbour Jeff from two doors down was taking his boat for an outing.

Long Beach (again)

We did find many a deadhead when we returned to Long Beach’s welcome sign.

As a consolation for driving north again, we treated ourselves to dinner at

The Depot Restaurant.

I had three of my favourites from the summer menu:

Asian salad



We shared Carne asada.

clam chowder for Allan

We sat at the end of the bar.

It wasn’t till later that I realized we had treated ourselves twice today, once to reward ourselves for allegedly getting done with Long Beach early, and once to comfort ourselves because we had forgotten an important work task.

I took this photo in the dark as we left, to show the colour echo of green on Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso” and the chartreuse sweet potato vine in a container planted by Basket Case Roxanne.  For some reason, I like its blurriness.  YMMV.

Now…three days off.  I thought it would be four, but with 70 degree weather all weekend, we can’t leave the next watering day till Tuesday.





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