Posts Tagged ‘Planter Box’

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

Basket Case cat

Basket Case cat

and a gorgeous basket

and a gorgeous basket

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

my flat of plants being totaled at Planter Box

my flat of plants being totaled at Planter Box

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

before and after

before and after

before and after

Mulch makes such a difference!

Mulch makes such a difference!

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

half and half

half and half

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

the need to weed!

the need to weed!

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

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

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

Alliums schubertii and albopilosum

Alliums schubertii and albopilosum…very large

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

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

before and after

before and after

A wheelbarrow full of plants went in.

little grasses and some flowers

little grasses and some flowers

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

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



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

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

still just befores!

still just befores!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wish they were all this happy.

Wish they were all this happy.















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Friday: With optimism, we headed out to the Red Barn Arena with the hope of planting violas and doing spring clean up in a garden next door.  I wouldn’t have minded weeding the little fence garden at the Red Barn as well.  Why did I think the drizzle might improve when the Port of Ilwaco had two red flags up (storm warning)?

Upon arriving at the Red Barn, we sat in the car for ten minutes of downpour, then went to Diane’s house to plant violas with sheer determination to not let her have another weekend of cheerless containers.  Allan started weeding the garden beds so I had to participate, of course.

Back to the Red Barn and more rain.  Drenched horses, most of them with blankets on.

at the Red Barn

Next stop, in a planned semi-repeat of the previous workday: The Basket Case for more violas for Long Beach planters.

Fred selling us some plants

The big plan was to make another stop at Peninsula Landscape Supply for another yard of soil energy and use part of it in the Long Beach planters and part to finish filling my two big new planters at home.  Sideways rain had Fred agreeing with us that the day’s mission simply had to be called off.

On the way home, we stopped at the Planter Box so I could buy a couple bags of soil amendments for those big new boxes at home.  This is the biggest garden centre on the peninsula with most of the bagged and boxed supplies you’d need for your garden, and is also the grower that provides me with Salvia viridis, my favourite annual, in quantity for all our assorted gardens.

Planter Box: pig watering can

A pig watering can is surely essential.

At the Planter Box: bulbs

at the Planter Box: seeds

Allan needed a quick stop at Dennis Co, the hardware store in Long Beach.  While he shopped, I pondered the weather and hoped he would remember to buy a chocolate bar.

weather view by Dennis co

He didn’t forget the chocolate bar.  He was on a mission to bleed the brakes on his motorcycle so dropped me off at Olde Towne where I soothed my work stress (as in, How in the heck are we ever going to catch up in this weather, and guilt re having taken such a long staycation) with soup and sandwich and the company of Luanne at my table for awhile because it was a very quiet afternoon…

rainy view from Olde Towne

The café had been quiet all day…As the rain finally let up, a few customers came in just as I was leaving.

Olde Towne afternoon

Work-related paperwork consumed the afternoon, followed by a surprise dinner at Pelicano (when a friend messaged me on Facebook to come over and join her).  The wind and rain lashed us on the way there, almost causing me to lose my scarf, but after dinner the temperature had risen, the wind was becalmed and the night skies were clearing.  (I love being easy walking distance from the Port!)

Saturday: We stopped at Olde Towne on the way to work to pick up the week’s coffee grounds for my compost.  Here the struggle was to have to go to work instead of hanging out with friends from Clatsop Weavers and Spinners Guild.

Cheri spinning at Olde Towne

You’ve read here about my ace realtor, Cheri Diehl, whose company (Discovery Coast Real Estate) found me the perfect buyer for my former home, and here she is spinning away at the monthly Olde Towne get together.

But staycation is over…and probably lasted too long…and I had to tear myself away so Allan and I could weed at Andersen’s Rv Park.


One relatively small bed was so solid with weeds that it took most of the day…with a little transplanting, weeding, and pruning accomplished in other parts of the garden.  The price was paid for having bailed out of work early last December to make the new house garden.  One last clean up of this bed would have made all the difference this spring.


Ah, well, at least it’s ready now for planting with assorted colours of California poppies.  I have to remind myself that even on staycationless years, trying to get all the spring cleanups done is a bit of a stressful panic.  And it couldn’t be helped that last week at this time all the gardens were under a blanket of snow.

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Since annual planting time began three days ago, I have continued to have a growing revelation: it is not good to be too busy.  I actually said no to a job: digging up some large shrubs for a valued client.  I suggested she find someone with more youthful vigor.  It’s not that we can’t work twenty days in a row if need be, but we have to pace ourselves, and if someone else can dig up shrubs, we choose to delegate.  I also called back a potential new client and left a message asking if he’s a plant nut, as only plant nuts could induce me to take on a new job at the moment.  It’s hard to say no, but we have enough creative things to do that I believe we can now focus on that sort of job: beautiful creativity with plants.

(left) The Basket Case Greenhouse  during annual season; (middle) getting a load of tat wonderful manure from the Planter Box…into our trailer with Raymond’s cute front loader; (left) flats and flats of Salvia viridis and Cosmos await us at The Planter Box.

And on we go with the planting of my three favourite annuals: assorted Cosmos, Salvia viridis (painted sage) and Godetia.  Along with the planting comes some more mulching of gardens….I hope we are almost caught up with the mulching routine..  Planting each little 6 pack of plants is painstaking: a little hole, a little bit of Quench to help hold the water, a bit of Dr Earth fertilizer mixed in with the Quench, water in each hole and then the plant.  Oh, and before each 6 pack gets divided out, we burble it in a bucket of water till it stops producing air bubbles. And of course, each garden must be groomed as we go along.

So busy are we with all of this that garden vignettes go by unremarked; I was in the KBC garden for half an hour before I noticed their new hummingbird feeder.  A few vignettes  stood out, though: Oliver of KBC with his ginormous tail and a luscious tree peony at Jo’s.

Meanwhile, all rain here has ceased and a cold dry wind blows, so I’m stressing about getting around to each job and checking on the watering….

And what will be the result of all this planting of the annuals? Here are photos featuring my favourite three:

left: Cosmos ‘Sensation’;  right: Salvia viridis (painted sage) and Godetia paired in Long Beach

Painted sage has the most lovely papery bracts which give it the deep blue, pink, or white colour…like bouganvillea in texture.

I also adore poppies galore and Cerinthe major purpurascens with a passion but they are best from seed as they resent transplanting.

We have bought every one of the tall cosmos available here on the Peninsula so soon must forage in the north coast Oregon nurseries for more.

(end of next day):

After a morning of planting under the street trees in Long Beach (Cosmos sonata and Salvia viridis), we drove to Raintree in Seaside and fit as many plants as possible into a two door Saturn:

Raintree had a glorious Meconopsis betonicifolia for $16; I resisted because would have little time to enjoy it.

Still to go: China Beach Retreat, The Shelburne (waiting for reconstruction of the garden area), Carol’s, Laurie’s, Wiegardt Gallery, Ted’s, Discovery Heights, Diane’s, The Red Barn, the 5-plex cottages, McD’s, Boreas, and Ilwaco street trees and planters.

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