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Posts Tagged ‘phlomis fruticosa’

Wednesday, 22 October, 2013

Pretty soon all the days will be this short or shorter.  (I am looking forward to that although by March I will be craving the longer days again.)  Today we had a dinner engagement “overseas” so we worked on the south end of the ‘Ninsula in order to be ready.

First, the usual compost bucket switch at Olde Towne.

Luanne's pumpkin decor

Luanne’s pumpkin decor

I poked the bigger Ilwaco city planter outside and found it disconcertingly dry.  I revised my plan of doing Long Beach and then Andersen’s RV Park.  The planters needed water today!   To get a head start, we borrowed Chester’s watering can and watered five of the planters nearest to Olde Towne.  Then,  on to Long Beach….parking would be easier in Ilwaco later in the day.

At my request, Allan tackled the montbretia removal in Fifth Street Park where it had snuck in around a daylily.   Just a clean piece of the daylily (a good maroon one) went back in.

Allan's first project, before and after

Allan’s first project, before and after

The pineapple sage is finally blooming!

The pineapple sage is finally blooming!

ornamental grass

On the south side of the park, the ornamental grasses have redeemed themselves from the day after the windstorm of a couple of weeks ago.  They looked so bent over then, I almost chopped them.

Almost cut these grasses, happened just the other day.  They were getting kinda long, could have said they were in my way.  But I didn’t…and I am so glad!

I walked around and checked each planter, fretting over how dry some of them are.  Mysteriously, some are damp and some quite dry.  The water has been turned off so there is nothing I can do but wish for a rainy day.

Asphodel about to bloom...wish I had more of these.

Asphodel about to bloom…wish I had more of these.

 I remind myself once again to remember to cut back, in mid spring, ALL of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  The few that I missed look terrible now.
the bad and the good

the bad and the good

the usual self reminder to plant more dahlias next year

the usual self reminder to plant more dahlias next year

still a vibrant and rather messy mix by Home at the Beach shop!

still a vibrant and rather messy mix by Home at the Beach shop!

Several of the planters have chrysanthemums, all several years old and all but one still vigorous.

mum

across from Dennis Company

by the Elks building

by the Elks building

The one one that is peaked and disappointing is by NIVA green.

not up to much!

not up to much!

I wish my favourite shop had a better chrysanthemum show!

I wish my favourite shop had a better chrysanthemum show!

When I got back to Fifth Street, Allan had been working on and removed four wheelbarrow loads of weeds and cut back lady’s mantle from this difficult garden bed.

a tough little bed, rooty and damp

a tough little bed, rooty and damp

It had looked pretty good early this month with a show of Schizostylis.

We needed more projects in order to time our watering of Ilwaco correctly.  I had the brainstorm to cut back the so-called dwarf mugo pine at the edge of the park.  It had grown into the walk space on both directions.  Mike Kitzman, parks manager, had been amenable to cutting it down, but that had not happened and I did not want to be that bold.  I forgot to take a before photo.

during and after

during and after…all the sideways, sidewalk blocking branches gone…and it’s lower

On our last look at the park, I noticed the Jerusalem sage is having a second yellow flowering.  I find that unusual.

Phlomis fruticosa

Phlomis fruticosa

Also unusual: an Eryngium 'Jade Frost' NOT reverting to green

Also unusual: an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ NOT reverting to green

We still needed one more thing to do to make the time come out right, so we cut back an Escallonia up by Scoopers market; I thought it was blocking the traffic sightline.  We did not plant it; it dates back to volunter planter days.

In the late winter, I am cutting these all the way down.

In the late winter, I am cutting these all the way down.

After dumping in the Long Beach works yard, we went to the Ilwaco boatyard to fill up buckets for watering….a job we thought was over after that big rain that now seems long ago.  No rain is forecast till a week from now…

in the boatyard

in the boatyard

I picked up some trash from the boatyard garden and admired the ongoing cosmos show.

cos

south end of boatyard garden

second flowering on blue globe thistle

second flowering on blue globe thistle

Cosmos, north end

Cosmos, north end

Cosmos picotee

Cosmos picotee

looking south from Eagle Street

looking south from Eagle Street

Allan bucket watering

Allan bucket watering

I had gotten into a pruning mood, and one of the street trees particularly bothered me.  These are all columnar pears, and they sure are not very columnar in nature.  The one by the Col Pacific Motel keeps wanting to grow toward the sign.  Last year, its lopsidedness had gotten so big it blocked the view of the sign.

Better?  Hmmm.

Better? Hmmm.  Now I want to take just one branch off the other side…

Allan found some nasty sluggy things in some of the leaves, and I think they were pear slugs!  Yuck.

They are so…sideways for columnar trees.    I did not have time to tackle more of them (maybe just as well) but we did take off a couple of lower branches on the one across the street.  A six foot tall person would have had to move over on the sidewalk to pass this tree:

after a slight lifting of the under-branches

after a slight lifting of the under-branches

If it were more columnar, the Portside Café sign would show better.  I see just where to cut….

However, it was time to meet Tom and Judy for our ride across the river.  I madly chopped up tree branches into our garbage wheelie bin for the last twenty minutes of the work day, so that the pear slugs…or whatever…go away in  the trash pick up tomorrow.

After an exciting ride across the Astoria bridge in Tom’s sporty red VW Golf R, we met Larry and Robert for a happy, hilarious, and delightful dinner gathering of six at La Cabana de Raya.  The only bad thing about today’s nice cool grey weather was that we did not get much of a river view, and no sunset.

The only bad thing about today's nice cool grey weather was that we did not get much of a river view.

two out of three amazing appetizers:  Fresh guacamole and Ceviche

two out of three amazing appetizers: Fresh guacamole and Ceviche

The sixth of us didn’t solve all the world’s problems over dinner…..Just Ilwaco’s, and had much laughter in the process.

Like the ending of My Dinner with André, we talked and talked until we looked around and saw that the restaurant was empty and the staff was cleaning up.

we closed it down....

we closed it down….at our table in the back

When I got home and turned on my computer to blog, I received a message from Mary, two doors down, to come get some of the salmon her husband had caught, and in the process I got to hold their little two-and-a-bit pound Yorkie!   It is a fortunate life to be blessed with such good neighbours…two doors down, four doors down (Tom and Judy) and five doors down (Larry and Robert).  (Three doors down is empty and being worked on.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rain blessed us today.  I thought we were somehow going to have to manage to water the Long Beach planters tomorrow, the day of Nora’s funeral, either before or after the service.  But as we left for work a heavy mist fell and became progressively more of a drizzle.

I changed up the plans in Long Beach when I realized we would not have to water the planters after all.  Instead of just weeding two park areas, Allan weeded parks while I walked around town and checked on the weeding and deadheading of the planters (much quicker without hoses involved).

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Baptisia backed with Phlomis fruticosa, Fifth Street Park

Baptisia backed with Phlomis fruticosa, Fifth Street Park

After that park, Allan moved up to Coulter Park.  I nipped into a local hardware store because I had heard they had a few Eryngiums for an amazingly low price in their plant section.  Oh my, those poor sea hollies were stressed.  This is why I prefer to buy my plants from a nursery like The Basket Case where the plants are in good condition.  This Eryngium was too sad for me even to consider buying it as a rescue:

poor baby

poor baby

With Coulter Park weeded and the planters checked, we went on to The Anchorage Cottages.  The first thing I noticed was that the beautiful Hydrangea petiolaris was pulling its driftwood trellis over!

trouble brewing

trouble brewing

Mitzu helped us check out the situation

Mitzu helped us check out the situation

Mitzu!

Mitzu!

While the manager, Beth, her dog Mitzu, and Allan figured out what to do about the trellis, I dealt with nasty scilla foliage in the middle courtyard garden.  When I took on this job, Calla lilies and Scilla had taken over the garden there.  I have beaten back the Callas in order to add more interesting plants, but the Scilla returns every year.

courtyard corner, before and after

courtyard corner, before and after

Allan fixed the hydrangea by driving a fence post into the ground behind the trellis and tying the trellis to the post.

all better

all better

One little thing bugged me:  ONE center cosmos died out mysteriously in a window box, throwing off the matched set.  If both had died, or if I removed the other center one, I could claim I had left the center empty so people could see out!

mismatched

mismatched

As we left for our next job, I was so very happy to see the rain continuing to fall because if we could get through enough jobs, we could have Saturday and Sunday off with the assurance that no watering was needed.  I wondered if perhaps the rain was falling all the way up the Peninsula.  Allan suggested I call Steve and Great Day Café in Surfside.  Great idea!  Steve said it was misty there, then changed his assessment to drizzle.  Joy!  This meant we would not have to go all the way up there to water Marilyn’s!

blissful drizzle

blissful drizzle

Next, at Andersen’s RV Park, we had planned to only spend half an hour to an hour doing the most necessary tasks.  But I could not stand to see the six whiskey barrels still looking paltry.  The unseasonal winds had been hard on them.  Allan nipped over to Basket Case to get more Sanvitalia and I added three to each barrel.  I do hope they settle in with no transplant shock as I won’t be back till early next week.

fluffed up

fluffed up

Andersen’s is a very dog friendly park, just not on the two green lawns where people sit and kids play.

Allan got the narcissi foliage out of the area we cleaned up and planted earlier this week.    The rain had stopped.  I was wishing it would continue.

better

better

I feel fairly pleased with the Payson Hall planters.  I did not plant them as thickly this year so that the plants get better air circulation but they still look moderately lush.

Payson Hall

Payson Hall

Staffer Al had hung up the cutest RV birdhouse by the office.

RV birdhouse

RV birdhouse

Al and Chewie

Al and Chewie

Chewie

Chewie

The staff use golf carts to get around the park; when I first started working there, they all used mopeds!  It was probably more exciting but much less practical.

There are still three serious weeding projects at Andersen’s, but…when?

corner behind office needs weeding....

corner behind office needs weeding….

garden heading to clam shed needs weeding and mulching!

garden heading to clam shed needs weeding and mulching!

and the east side of house garden needs weeding and mulching!

and the east side of house garden needs weeding and mulching!

I despair of catching up, and by the time we do, the picket fence garden will need a thorough weeding, although I have kept up on it a bit each week.

picket fence garden

picket fence garden

There’s an RV Club called Sisters on the Fly coming on the 19th and I am determined to have all these projects done by then.  Can perfection be attained just once, please?

Meanwhile, we had to check on gardens further north, starting with Klipsan Beach Cottages.  There, we have not only Mary, part-owner and manager, to help but also some gardening by Luis and Josephina, so no areas are in dire need.  We just go through and tidy and fluff and make the gardens better, and never have to leave feeling a sense of pressure of things undone.

As we pulled into our usual parking spot, Allan saw the battery symbol was showing on the dashboard.  I worried for a minute but then focused on the garden.

Klipsan Beach Cottages fenced garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages fenced garden

cottages viewed from garden

cottages viewed from garden

After three or four years of being distressingly small, it looks like the Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’ might finally grow tall this year!  The leaf size is giving me hope that it might decide to leap up.

KBC's Tetranpanax

KBC’s Tetrapanax

lily and hardy fuchsia

lily and hardy fuchsia

Having totally forgotten, an hour later, that the battery symbol had popped up on the car’s dashboard display, and having poked at the ground at KBC and wondered if it had not rained as much on the north end of the Peninsula as on the south, I decided we needed to water Marilyn’s after all.  If we did not get back till Monday and the new plants were distressed, I would be so sorry.

It turned out the plants were still fine, but watering surely benefited them and since they are going to be on the garden tour they need to be at their best.

the path at Marilyn's

the path at Marilyn’s

By now it was about 6:30 PM and we did not have time for much weeding.  I planted two Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and Allan did a little bit of edging.  We must get back here next week for a very thorough weeding of the middle and back of the garden.

We skipped our other two north end jobs, Wiegardt Gallery and Oman Builders Supply gardens, because both got done well last Saturday, and we had two more things to do on the way home.  I would rather have time for everything…but there is not enough time.

Back in Long Beach, we cut and pulled more spent bulb foliage and pulled horsetail out of the welcome sign garden.

welcome sign

welcome sign

It has such a horrible horsetail problem that if we did not constantly groom it, it would look like this end down by the faucet:

hideous horsetail

hideous horsetail

Even if we dug out all the soil and put down the strongest landscape fabric, the horsetail would pierce through and return from ground level, so it is a dilemma how to deal with this problem.

We left the sign at 7:40 and I was well pleased that we still had time to weed the garden down by the Ilwaco Port Office so it looked good for Saturday Market.  And then….by Black Lake, coming in to Ilwaco, the speedometer and probably other dashboard indicators on our car completely died.  Allan said something about how we were running just on battery.  I wondered if we would make it ten more blocks home, and to my great relief we did.  But the car was inoperable.  

Allan hopefully put the battery on the charger while I kept up work momentum by taking a bucket and hand tools and walking to the port to doggedly finish out the day.   The port office garden just had micro weeds, but as I worked there and on one of the Howerton Street curbside gardens I pondered that we have quite a lot of work in walking distance of our house!  While sorting out the car problem (and even buying a used new-to-us one is a problem in a small town), we could take the bus to Andersen’s for a day…but it would be so tiresome to do.  (The buses do not run frequently here.)

I headed home at 8:20, a beautiful hour for the Howerton gardens.

on Howerton

on Howerton

During my two block walk home a friend and client called on a gardening matter and offered us use of one of his cars for the time being, but I declined the kind offer because that seems like a huge responsibility.  From the symptoms I described, he said it was likely to be the alternator.  I got home and pretended I had been thinking about the car and diagnosed the problem as the alternator.  Allan had come to the same conclusion, but did not fall for my story and said “You’ve been talking to someone.”

I picked a bouquet of flowers and left them on the back porch of Nora’s house for her grand daughter to find.

We will rent a cargo van on Monday to get us through the days, just a few I hope, till the part can be shipped and the car fixed.  If only it had waited till after Nora’s funeral tomorrow….or till we had time to actually find and buy a used van…but it would have been far far worse had it happened during annuals planting hell or garden tour last minute prep week.

And that’s why it was just an almost successful day.

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