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Friday we were rushing about to get the Ilwaco gardens (planters and trees on First Ave, Ilwaco boatyard garden and Howerton Street gardens) to the peak of perfection that I like to see before the children’s parade on the first Saturday in May.

Boatyard has a long, long garden.

Boatyard has a long, long garden.  With a recurring horsetail problem.

in the boatyard:  calendula

in the boatyard: calendula

a very early bachelor's button

a very early bachelor’s button

last of the narcissi

last of the narcissi

I knew my friends Patt and Judy were meeting for a coffee klatsch at Olde Towne.  Patt had moved away but still has a part time job here so is usually here once a week.  I told Allan while we were weeding that we could probably only stay at the coffee klatsch for fifteen minutes because we still had so much to do.

When we got to Olde Towne, I did not even notice the odd sight of paper shamrocks on the door and only slowly did it dawn on me that there was something peculiar about seeing shamrock decorations on the table.  Oh!!!  It turned out that an event was going on:  a belated birthday party for me!  Olde Towne had been in transition to their new location during my St Patrick’s Day birthday but all this time they had been planning to organize a late party.

the shamrocks clued me in

the shamrocks clued me in

As you can see below, I got a garden snail who will be just perfect in the bogsy wood…and Luanne’s son Michael is making me a bogsy wood sign!  You can also see in the montage above a lovely purple and green scarf made by Rosemary  and a cunning little round box from Heather at NIVA green, who knows how much I love little boxes.  Also some jam from Patricia…a beautiful vase…cards….I have never before had two birthdays in one year.

new critter for the bogsy wood

new critter for the bogsy wood

Chester

Chester

Part of me still had that anxious feeling about work, but when Chester of Olde Towne presented me with some photos of the original house that stood on the site of our double wide, I became completely absorbed and considerable time went by!  I had been so wanting to see what the house looked like.  The previous owner of our land had had it burned down because she wanted a double wide!

the original

the original

from the back

from the back

Nove 2011

Nov 2011

As a lover of vintage houses, I could wish the old house was still here.  But if a restored vintage house had still sat here in 2010, I probably would not have been able to afford this big piece of land.  (And we do still have the original workshed.)

photo by Queen La De Da

photo by Queen La De Da

I had to tear myself away from Olde Towne so that Allan and I could get back to work.  The new little garden at Veterans Field absolutely had to be watered as the dedication ceremony was the next morning.  So off to Long Beach we went.  The first thing I realized was that the city crew had put the two round planters right in front of the big new stage.  I did not think they were going to move them until the stage was actually finished, so I did not put any new plants in them.  Oh, dear!   Fortunately, Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ will carry them through the weekend without too much embarrassment.

not really ready for prime time

not really ready for prime time

The red white and blue confetti garden is still settling in nicely though.

The garden is a semicircle around this little plaza.

The garden is a semicircle around this little plaza.

It looks pretty red white and blue

It looks pretty red white and blue

Not being a nationalist, this is the first red, white and blue garden I have ever done.

After watering it, we hurried back to the Port of Ilwaco where we hoped to finish the gardens along Howerton.  (The east end we had got done before the surprise party;  we still had Time Enough Books, the Port office and Nisbett Gallery, the Powell gallery and the east end parking lot gardens to do!)  It was not to be:  Our excellent social time had cut the afternoon short, but we did get done all the way to where the parade will turn.  The garden at the east end of Howerton is past the parade route and by a parking lot and so people may or may not notice it still has some horsetail in it.  We would have worked till 8 and finished but we had another social engagement at 7:30!  Allan dropped the trailer off at home two blocks away while I stayed and weeded till the last possible second and am pleased that I got the largest weeds out.  And then we were off to the Depot Restaurant with only a couple of minutes to spare.

It only took minutes after being seated at the table for me to stop fretting that the port garden weeding had been done in a rather rushed way and without complete perfection.  Our friend and client Lisa from Crank’s Roost was treating us to the special wine dinner along with our fellow landscaper and friend Ed Strange and our dear longtime friend Patti from Seaview.  I credit the company and not the wine with being able to just let go and be and recognize that the my career will not end if a few weeds remain along a parade route.

I had completely forgotten that the dinner was in part a belated birthday treat, which certainly tied in with the afternoon.  In fact, I was starting to feel I had been born in May.

Depot owner Nancy Gorshe pours.

Depot owner Nancy Gorshe pours.

And the food:

the salmon

the salmon

the steak, with Ed's fork in motion

the steak, with Ed’s fork in motion

From the Depot newsletter:

MARYHILL RESERVE

WINEMAKER DINNERJoin winemakers and owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold for a fun evening of tasting great wines from the Columbia River Gorge!

WELCOME WINE

Maryhill 2010 

Winemakers White or Red

FIRST COURSE

Spicy Mango, Toasted Macadamia Nuts and House Greens tossed with

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Maryhill 2011 Riesling

SECOND COURSE

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup topped with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil

Maryhill 2011 Viognier

ENTREES

Pan Seared Bacon wrapped King Salmon on Horseradish Smashed Potatoes topped with Porcini Mushroom Cream Sauce

Maryhill 2010 Mouvedre

 OR

Sliced Wagyu Flat Iron Steak on Cipollini Onion and Celery Root Puree topped with Arugula and Charred Green Onion Salad and Crumbled Blue Cheese

Maryhill 2010 Les Collines Cabernet

DESSERT

Apple Crumble Tart topped with Whip Cream and  House made Caramel Sauce

Maryhill 2007 Port

And here is my conclusion after a day of choosing between work and friends.  I have been driven, self-driven, as a self employed person since age 20.  I am an exacting boss of myself.  Maybe that is why I have managed to keep my cleaning business going for 18 years in Seattle and a gardening business for almost twenty years down here.  But the world will not end if we sometimes choose time with our lovely, kind and generous friends over getting the work done to standards that only we have created for ourselves.  (I do think that gardening allows more leeway than cleaning did, though…I could not have left a house partly clean before an event!)  I also feel fortunate that on Friday, nothing particularly needed watering.   That is a garden task that could not have been postponed for anything.

And here is the proof that the parade went on smoothly even despite a few weeds, weeds which I doubt were even noticed at all:

the parade begins

the parade begins

Tulips and Children's Parade

Tulips and Children’s Parade

tulips

passing the boatyard

passing the boatyard

impressive hairdo

impressive hairdo

Time Enough Books garden

Time Enough Books garden
garden by Port office

garden by Port office

Following the parade, we took photos at the first day of the 2013 Saturday Market, a weekly task we have set for ourselves in order to enhance the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

At 11:30 AM, on my way to down Lake Street to the parade, I had had to stop for an emergency watering at Larry and Robert’s  garden.  A couple of new plants were lying sideways with their tongues hanging out from thirst.  The temperature was an unseasonable high seventies.

So this evening we had to go to Long Beach to water the planters because I want them to look fresh and happy for tomorrow’s big parade.  There, the heavy wind was back.

the last windblown tulips

the last windblown tulips

I decided to leave even partly shattered ones just to get a little more colour.  I wish there were some May flowering tulips with shorter stems.

You can see Allan in his orange vest watering across the street.

the last hurrah

the last hurrah

Town was crowded with happy tourists.  Maneuvering was a bit difficult in places.  We got it done and I can rest easy…but I know that my own garden and Larry and Robert’s simply must get water tomorrow as more of this strange hot weather is expected to continue.

Long Beach town

Long Beach town

 

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Fulfilling our agreement to give our friend Patti a few hours each month, we went to her lovely Seaview garden today with no idea of what gardening tasks she would want done.

Patti's front garden

Patti’s front garden

closer

closer

front garden

front garden before weeding

shady corner

shady corner

Her new dog, Stella, about six (seven?) months old proved to be so friendly and happy that I have several photos that only show part of a dog.

Stella

Stella

Stella

Stella

Stella

Stella

Patti and Stella

Patti and Stella

Patti had her own project in the back garden and wanted advice for what to plant on the curved edge of that bed.  I am now thinking Dianthus would be a good idea.

Turns out Patti had been to the Basket Case Greenhouse and bought three Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, one Verbascum ‘Clementine’. two Agastache rupestris (smells like licorice!) and an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.   Allan agreed to plant them in the front garden, a project requiring the removal of a lot of rampant creeping Jenny along the edge of the bed.

Agastache and Eryngium

Agastache and Eryngium

Patti had the great idea that the colour of her new Agastache (Hyssop) would tone very well with the leaves of the Eryngium.

Meanwhile, she asked me to work on the Rose Cottage garden.  The large lot is a mini-compound with two adorable cottages as well as the main house.

Rugosa roses, before

Rugosa roses, before

after

after

Patti wanted the rose hedge lower, so there it is!

Rose Cottage weedy bed before and after

Rose Cottage weedy bed before and after

the adorable Rose Cottage

the adorable Rose Cottage

As I finished up my project, Allan was just planting the last new plant in the front garden.

planting the last plant

planting the last plant

The new plants went into this border.

The new plants went into this border.

My relationship with this garden goes back to 1993 when I met and (in 1994) briefly worked for the woman who then owned the house and who had a gardening business.  I am so pleased that a few years later, the new owner turned out to be a gardener who remade the garden into her own particular paradise, and even more pleased when Patti and I became friends.

Today Patti offered me a baseball cap with the slogan “Official Weed Puller”.  I declined saying that I don’t wear them.  In fact, I have always felt they look silly, even though two women gardeners that I know wear them every gardening day.  She convinced me to try it on so I thought I would wear it for a little while.  Well!!   I have rarely had such a comfortable time working with the sun not in my eyes and….suddenly I am completely sold on baseball caps and am looking online for one that says ‘Plant Manager”, preferably without a marijuana leaf because my specialty is more along the line of ornamental gardening.

one of Patti's maples

one of Patti’s maples

We took the debris from Patti’s roses up to Peninsula Landscape Supply and picked up a yard of Soil Energy to finish yesterday’s  garden bed expansion at the Boreas Inn.  I had the sad feeling that I was not going to have time to get to Andersen’s RV Park to do a bit of weeding that I very much wanted to accomplish.  (Our day had begun with the stress of forgetting something important and having to go back home, and since then everything seemed to take a little longer than I wanted it to.)

one yard of Soil Energy

one yard of Soil Energy

Even though I was right and we ran out of time without ever getting to Andersen’s RV Park, I am pleased enough with the results at the Boreas to call it a satisfactory day.

Boreas innkeeper Susie’s inspiration for this project was that she wanted her garden to look more like mine with really big beds in the lawn.  These two beds are much smaller than mine even now, but I just don’t have time to make huge beds.   Getting the horrid landscape fabric out earlier this spring was a great start and now they can be expanded bit by bit.   I think they are large enough now to be effective.  One of these angles will make for a good before picture after more perennials and some cosmos are added to the beds:

Boreas

Yesterday I dug out sod to make both beds longer. The righthand one used to end at the Buddha.

This bed is at least a foot wider.

This bed is at least a foot wider now.

looking west...I would still like to de-wonkify those two little beds by the arbour!

looking west…I would still like to de-wonkify those two little beds by the arbour!

I added several different Agastaches (my latest fad!), an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ (would have done three but am short on them) and just three Nicotiana langsdorfii because I am not sure how they will hold up to the wind.

On the way home we planted three Echinacea ‘Green Envy’ at Larry and Robert’s garden to tone with their pale green house, but I took no more photos as I am preoccupied with my upcoming two night trip.  Allan will be staying home, attending to the deadheading of the Long Beach planters prior to the arrival of Friday guests to the revived Clam Festival.  (If I had known last winter that a big new festival would be in Long Beach this weekend, I probably would not have scheduled my little trip!)  Allan also also fully intends, I am sure, to enjoy having time to himself at home.

I am very anxious about leaving for three days when I have not even gotten as far as putting magnesium sulfate on the roses at Andersen’s, Klipsan Beach Cottages, or my own garden.  I will do my best to put work out of my mind.  (My traveling companion is a dear NGF…non gardening friend….so I won’t be able to stuff the car with plants from nurseries on the way and then schlep them from one room in the hotel to another like I would if I were traveling with a plant nut like Sheila!)

I will also do my best to upload the daily blog, probably briefly, from my phone while I am gone…

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We began today at The Red Barn, our second visit of the year to that little garden of four whiskey barrels and a narrow strip along the fence. I was pleased to see horsewoman Amy, who had earlier in the year asked us if we could do a spring clean up on her own garden. I had foolishly said yes, and then had to back pedal, and found it a big relief today to learn that she had done the weeding herself and wasn’t upset with us for never getting there.

She told us she was not sure whether or not to mow a plant that had spilled out of the garden by the barn. It is a plant that I know to be a weed, but it is so pretty that I would buy it if it were not so rampant.

a gorgeous weed

a gorgeous weed

one of the barrels

one of the barrels

The barrels no longer get red tulips because a cold wind blows across the pasture on them most of the spring and the tulips got all beaten up. We just pulled weeds out today and will plant annuals after Mother’s Day.

The one barrel that is on the sheltered side of the big barn does much better because it is completely sheltered from wind.

the happiest barrel

the happiest barrel

Red Barn still life

Red Barn still life

Crab pots are ubiquitous on this fishing Peninsula and here they are stacked at the Red Barn’s newish outbuilding.

crab pots

crab pots

I like the horsey view all around this job.

looking north

looking north

Next door to the Red Barn fields we checked on Diane’s garden. The new long bed along the road will fill in more later….I could have sworn I had planted pastel poppies in there but there is not a sign of them! Phooey.

new, still rather empty bed

new, still rather empty bed

Thug of the day: Along the edge of the older, corner bed grows this strawberry thingie. I did not plant it. I swear. But I once planted a potentilla to the side of the bed. Is this some kind of sport of that? There is an ornamental strawberry that is a cross between Potentilla and Fragaria…I think.

vigorous edger

vigorous edger

The leaf texture is gorgeous and the white flowers are nice.

the first of many white flowers

the first of many white flowers

However, it does want to run all through the bed. Every year I think we will get it all removed, and we never have time. So why did I bring some starts home and plant in my bogsy woods? I am sure I will regret it….

Mistake of the day: Diane likes pastel colours, and yet…these tulips in one of her pots turned out so bright. I am pretty sure these are ‘Blushing Lady’, the one that started out with a beautiful swirled pointed bud of gentle colour. And now…much too bright!

not very gently blushing

not very gently blushing

'Cummins', a favourite tulip, got wrecked by rain...

‘Cummins’, a favourite tulip, got wrecked by rain…

but 'Cool Crystal' looks good.

but ‘Cool Crystal’ looks good.

I hope Diane’s earlier tulips were successful because the later ones are a disappointment!

The narcissi are allowed to be bright.

The narcissi are allowed to be bright.

Next door to Diane’s are more horses to admire.

The goat and donkey were out of sight today.

The goat and donkey were out of sight today.

I was a horse crazy city girl. My horses were made of china and plastic, but I loved them and books by Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry.

Before we moved on to our next job, we found it advantageous to be at one of those great locations where we can dispose of debris rather than hauling it away.

the joy of dumping debris on the edge of a field

the joy of dumping debris on the edge of a field

Next, Allan planted some Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ at Veterans Field in Long Beach while I deadheaded some planters on the main drag.

on Pacific Way...more brazen Blushing Ladies

on Pacific Way…more brazen Blushing Ladies

Fish Alley with Erysiumum 'Bowles Mauve'

Fish Alley with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

I returned to Veterans Field with a treat from Sweet Celebrations: Chocolate Ganache cupcakes.

more elegant than the usual Tiger Paws!

more elegant than the usual Tiger Paws!

We then checked the raised planters on the Bolstadt approach but (joy!) did no ground level weeding except the occasional dandelions. Our weeding job of a few weeks ago had held up reasonably well. I do wish the city crew had time to mulch this long stretch of garden…

beach approach garden, looking east from the end

beach approach garden, looking east from the end

After deadheading at city hall, we tried to drive nonstop through town but had to stop to deadhead unsightly narcissi.

this cannot stand!

this cannot stand!

a fringed tulip basks in the sun

a fringed tulip basks in the sun

Two pink Gauras went into a planter that too-tall sanguisorbas came out of last week…

Allan planting:  I weaseled out of planting by "making a plant list"...

Allan planting: I weaseled out of planting by “making a plant list”…

And then: The Boreas. We had a mission to widen one of the narrow lawn beds because it just has always looked too small.

before

before

end of day

end of day

I had the brainstorm that the two westernmost beds need to be longer as well as wider. Tomorrow we will bring a yard of soil. I had something completely different (some weeding at Andersen’s RV Park) planned for tomorrow afternoon, but this needs to be finished.

Various aches and pains had me hitting the wall at work well before sunset, but at home I did manage to plant nine more Nicotiana langsdorfii and one Verbascum. While planting, I tried not to let myself fret about going out of town while two of the beds still have unweeded horsetail areas.

I should stay home and pull horsetail!

I should stay home and pull horsetail!

While planting down the west side of the garden, I had a thrill. I could see plants of Eremurus (foxtail lily) coming up in a large healthy way. I could never grow them in my old shady garden, and when I planted some in fall of 2011 the results were disappointing. Maybe 2013 will be their year. My friend Sheila grows amazing tall ones in her sunny Oregon garden.

great excitement!

great excitement!

I could see several in the two big beds, east and west. Joy!

By the front steps, the Dicentra scandens vine is getting longer!

yes!

yes!

In other at home garden news:

Epimidium

Epimidium

rhubarb

rhubarb

Persicaria bistorta superba

Persicaria bistorta superba

shade bed...weeded but not trimmed up

partial shade bed…weeded but not trimmed up

new bed next to the bogsy woods

new bed next to the bogsy woods

foreground: my young Salix magnifica

foreground: my young Salix magnifica

ornamental rhubarb

ornamental rhubarb

golden cutleaf elderberry

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’: golden cutleaf elderberry

And finally, one of the hostas that my friend Mary F. gave me when she moved away:

thoughts of a much missed gardening friend...

thoughts of a much missed gardening friend…

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Due to my rashly planned mini-trip this week, I have so much to do that I could not take the day off today.  We did begin with a worthwhile errand:  acquiring yet another free composter, this time from Cheri’s garden.  It may have to be roped back together, but it will work:

The price is right!

The price is right!

The compost pile was not broken down enough to put it on the garden, so we set it to one side.  Two snazzy new rotating composters will be installed here side by side.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

This not quite rotted pile can be reinstalled in one of the new composters.

Cheri's lovely Dutch iris

Cheri’s lovely Dutch iris

I had a bit of anxiety that some of the special plants at The Basket Case Greenhouse would sell out while I am away on my three day trip, so we detoured from our Ilwaco gardening plans to go up and snag some more Sanguisorbas and Agastaches.  Fred and I discussed what we could put in the Veterans Field garden for the red colour needed for the dedication ceremony on May 5th.  He really wants me to plant red geraniums but I have annoyingly strong opinions that certain plants (geraniums and petunias!) belong in containers rather than in the ground so I am hoping to find something else that is red and blooming.  But if not…I know where to buy some very fine dark red geraniums.

at the Basket Case

at the Basket Case

Later for the (first ever for me because I am not a nationalist) red white and blue theme I will have more interesting plants:  Salvia patens, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Cosmos ‘Purity’, Salvia ‘Lipstick’ (or is it Hot Lips? anyway, a nicely shaped red one), Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’, Sapphire blue oat grass and Lobelia tupa.

A friend last year was searching hard for the Aquilegia called ‘Clementine’. and this year The Basket Case has it.

Aquilegia 'Clementine'

Aquilegia ‘Clementine’, a double white

Speaking of red, white and blue, when we stopped back at home I noticed that my Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’ is in bloom.

Pulsatilla 'Red Clock'

Pulsatilla ‘Red Clock’

The very cool contorted English Hawthorn that I got at Joy Creek two years ago seems to be doing well after struggling for a couple of years.  (Picture Allan and I having an argy bargy about how to best face it up* while planting the large root ball and then hearing an ominous crack in the lower trunk.)

a happy Hawthorne

a happy Hawthorne (between the red tulips)

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden...but not today...

How very much I wanted to stay home and weed my own garden…but not today…

We began our post-shopping workday at the topmost garden on Discovery Heights, where we found my favourite ornamental grasses, Stipa gigantea, looking surprisingly tatty.

not very nice

not very nice

Allan combed them out while I weeded.  I found a mysterious sight: another grass sitting sideways out of the ground.  And not a small grass.  What happened here, I wonder?

??!!??

??!!??

You can see that the garden is full of Montbretia.  The rampant orange one came in on the soil that was used (not by us) to build the garden bed.  The owners actually like the montbretia so I just try to keep it from swamping everything and making a monoculture out of the garden.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

Pesky montbretia would love to take over.

The stipa looked much better after Allan had attended to them.  I wonder if they will flower?

improved

improved

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

top garden: weeded, combed, six santolinas added

On the way down the hill, we stopped to photograph a stunning display of native plants below a curve in the road.  I believe this might mean this is a moist spot.  (My botanist friend Kathleen Sayce will tell me what it is and I will add the name.)

a curving sweep of white flowers

a curving sweep of white flowers:  Petasites, sweet coltsfoot (thanks, Kathleen!); ‘

Kathleen says:  “Sweet coltsfoot, loves wet seeps, and flowers relatively early, tho’ it’s late this year.”

We skipped the T Junction garden (three quarters of the way up the hill) and went to the middle garden by the gate.  I walked down partway, pruning some sword ferns by a couple of the light bollards, and Allan deadheaded middle garden narcissi.  A scrim of maddening horsetail is appearing but the narcissi should provide a distraction and let us postpone a thorough weeding for another week.

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

white narcissi and white cresting waves in the distance

That bit of ocean is at Beard’s Hollow where we cleaned the beach yesterday.

I had a revelation that I could use Ceanothus as a green backdrop in Marilyn’s deer-chomped garden because the deer do not eat it here.

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

Ceanothus (California lilac) backdrop

I credit my friend Terran with the idea to plant all white Narcissi.  The narcissi “All White” mix from Van Engelen has lasted so well in this middle garden although it has petered out a lot in the lower and T Junction gardens.

middle garden band of white

middle garden band of white

white mix aglow

white mix aglow

A Hellebore feotidus has reseeded itself below the rocks in middle garden.

Hellebore and child

Hellebore and child (to the right by the road is the child)

This hellebore has amazed me by coming through year after year in these harsh windy and not very shady conditions.

a toughie

a toughie

We also skipped lower garden because we needed to do some weeding and planting at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, especially one long section that I knew had lots of horsetail.

horsetail haven

horsetail haven

horsetail in sidewalk crack

horsetail in sidewalk crack

My guru Ann Lovejoy says you must cut rather than pull horsetail or you will make it worse:

“Chemical warfare only takes out this season’s stalks, while mowing is more effective and less environmentally damaging. That’s because the best way to get rid of horsetail is to cut, not pull.

Pulling horsetail actually stimulates new growth. Pull one stalk and three or four will take its place. Cut it at ground level and you will slowly deplete the roots.”  (Ann Lovejoy)

We don’t cut it but we do break it off pretty close to the ground.  Even in places where we have greatly improved the soil (like my own garden) it comes back but it does weaken in time.  We did a quick job today because a thorough job will need to be done before the day of the children’s parade (May 4th).

boatyard before...

boatyard before…

after

after

A lot of the green is from California poppy seedlings.

This Stipa gigantea at the boatyard is putting out flower stalks, as it should, unlike the battered ones up on Discovery Heights.

healthy Stipa gigantea

healthy Stipa gigantea

At the southern end of the garden, the horsetail had not sprouted back with such force, but many mushrooms had appeared.  I am no mycologist so I can’t ID them.

with blue oat grass

with blue oat grass

mushrooms

They do come in sometimes, but not always, on the Soil Energy mix….

boatyard

boatyard

I photographed some boats in the yard for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page and we then moved on to the Marie Powell Gallery garden on Howerton.  (More boat photos from earlier years here.)

While weeding the Powell Gallery garden I pondered on how I think the plants in it are too tall.  I am hoping to convince the powers that be to remove that pampas grass with a large machine.

We did not get this one cut back in time!

We did not get this one cut back in time!

I prefer the shorter plant schemes in our newly redone garden beds on this street.

looking west with telephoto

looking west with telephoto

The pampas even hides Marie’s print making shop from street view.

too big!

too big!

I also pondered how much I dislike weeding among river rock.  I wish it were confined only to a faux stream bed!

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks...

It is a pain to weed among the round rocks…

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

but they are attractive as a stream bed.

The river rock does set the plants off nicely so I should stop whinging, I suppose.

By six forty five, I had tired of an increasingly cold evening wind.  We went home…just a block away! and I tried to plant 18 or so small Nicotiana langsdorfii in my own garden.  I hit the wall after only three.  Why did 51 degrees seem so very chilly?  Could it be that working on the blog seemed more amusing than being outdoors?

.

*Facing a plant up is when you put its best side to your most important view of said plant.

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Today we went to one of the thrice yearly volunteer beach clean up events organized by the Grassroots Garbage Gang. We decided that instead of going to our usual spot on the Seaview approach or our second usual choice, Benson Beach, we would start at Beard’s Hollow. It’s the very south end of the beach that runs for (I think) 18 miles north and is a bit of a walk from the parking lot so is not as frequently cleaned. It used to be my beach walking destination when I lived in Seaview in 1993.

near the parking lot

near the parking lot

The trail used to be underwater until well into spring, causing me a lot of frustration after I moved to Ilwaco. I then found a trail up and over the big hill between me and the beach, crossing over where Discovery Heights is now, only to find that after about half an hour, when I got as far as Beard’s Hollow I could get no further without hip waders.

Since then, the Discovery Trail has been built and provides access to walkers and bicyclists year round.

Discovery Trail

Discovery Trail

beside the trail

beside the trail

licorice fern in tree

licorice fern in tree

Salmonberry

Salmonberry

still pool reflections

still pool reflections

skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage

I have read that in the UK, our native skunk cabbage is sold at a pretty price as an ornamental plant and is called “swamp lantern”. I don’t want to Google and find out it is not true. It is a gorgeous bog plant, but difficult to tranplant.

swamp lantern

swamp lantern

sword fern

sword fern (unpruned!)

When one gets to the really big rock, one is almost at the beach. The trees have grown considerably since I used to walk here.

the big rock

the big rock

Here is what the trail used to be like in winter; this is one of the roads through the dunes.

road around the rock

road around the rock

the rock

the rock

native stonecrop and blackberries

native stonecrop and blackberries

the rock

a small part of the rock

nature's moss garden

nature’s moss garden

At last, the beach…

to the beach

to the beach

The Coast Guard helicopter flew by.

Beard's Hollow fishing rocks

Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks

Someone had lost a bouquet, or tossed it overboard in a memorial service perhaps.

mystery flowers

mystery flowers

flowers

 

flowers and fishing rocks

flowers and fishing rocks

The Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks have witnessed many dramatic scenes. When the tide comes in, human explorers are taken by surprise on the outer rocks and many have been rescued over the years.

rock full of birds

rock full of birds

rockscape

rockscape

clues that the tide does come in

clues that the tide does come in

rocks

We found enough garbage in the next hour and a quarter to fill three large bags. People who drive down the beach to have a campfire…(and the beach is a legal highway, and in my opinion that is very regrettable) don’t even have to pack their garbage out on foot, so why do they leave it behind like this? Just throw it in the truck bed, folks!

campfire debris

campfire debris

They did at least put it all back in the packaging.

the south end of the long beach

the south end of the long beach

While it is satisfying to fill a bag with larger items, the tiny little bits of coloured plastic are especially bad for birds. They think it is food and fill themselves up and then starve.

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

I become obsessed with picking up each one but I know that many more are tumbled under the sand.

Far in the distance with the telephoto I could see folks in groups cleaning to the north.

cleaning crew

cleaning crew

People enter at each of the major beach approaches or walk out from their own streets. Most start at 9:30 AM but we usually manage to roll in at about 10:15. Today about 325 signed in.

We walked down as far as this shallow seasonal stream.

stream

stream

The one time I do like to see vehicles on the beach “highway” is when the volunteers come along to take our bags.

loaded with debris

loaded with debris

And then, back through the green along the beautiful trail.

a side trail around the big rock

a side trail around the big rock

bicyclists

passing the big rock

passing the big rock

more licorice ferns

licorice fern, a tree dweller

licorice fern, a tree dweller

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

elderberry grove

elderberry grove

moss and mushrooms

moss and mushrooms

The trail is a draw for bicyclists as it goes all the way from Ilwaco to north of Long Beach.

discovering the trail

discovering the trail

Discovery trail map

Discovery Trail map

We were just down at the Beard’s Hollow section. Click here for a larger view.

Next on our agenda: the volunteer soup feed reward halfway up the Peninsula at the Senior Center. Because we start late, and go late, we have been known to arrive for the very last bowls of soup, but today we arrived in time to have two choices, and we both chose clam chowder made by Steve of The Great Day Café.

soup reward for volunteers

soup reward for volunteers

The Senior Center is right next door to Golden Sands Assisted Living so we found it handy to check on all the new plants starts we planted yesterday, and I am happy to report they are all standing up tall…no wilting. Allan found this very nice monthly newsletter that shows how much they appreciate the courtyard garden.

from Golden Sands newsletter

from Golden Sands newsletter

Thus we segued into the work day and after going north past Nahcotta on the bay to pick up a free plastic pond (more on this later), we checked on Marilyn’s garden. My intention was to do nothing but deadhead the narcissi and move on, but oh dear…horsetail was on the march and had to be dealt with…and then my eye fell on a problem that had been bothering me for some time.

This giant Miscanthus had ended up in the foreground of the garden where it blocks the view of the Helianthus behind it. It bothers me every year.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

I worried at it with the pick for a short while. Its roots are like iron. Allan decided to have a go so I went back to the horsetail, and returned to this satisfying result.

what an accomplishment

what an accomplishment!

It’s a challenge to find anything evergreen and tall to block the view of the neighbours’ driveway and garage because deer practically live in this garden…so I rely on tall deciduous plants.

Marilyn's today, looking north from back porch

Marilyn’s today, looking north from back porch

There is much to do here, especially since the plan is for this garden to be on the Peninsula garden tour in July of this year…but we had to move on to have time to check three more gardens.

At the Wiegardt Gallery, the lilac is close to bloom:

Wiegardt lilac

Wiegardt lilac

Tulip 'Lilac Wonder' opens wide in the faint sunshine.

Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ opens wide in the faint sunshine.

The narcissi are still looking fine, but how did scilla get into the garden? I most certainly did not plant it.

narcissi...and scilla

narcissi…and scilla

This thug will be bad news. I wonder if someone else planted some bulbs to be nice? Because they are so pretty.

the dreaded scilla invasion

the dreaded scilla invasion

I have three other thugs in this garden: sweet woodruff and the bad aster that came from who knows where, and geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that I once thought a very fine plant indeed.

Eric’s brother sometimes plants a very choice treasure, and I am hoping that these Eremurus that he put in two years ago might flower this year.

Here's hoping for some foxtail lilies

Here’s hoping for some foxtail lilies…

We still have lots more to do at Wiegardt’s (sounds so familiar) but we had to get on to Klipsan Beach Cottages. On the way, we did a quick check up at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.

There is the exciting new ‘Green Star’ tulip. Have I been calling it ‘Green Ice’?

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

It's a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

It’s a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

There were three but someone swiped one, and the finger blight evidence of twisted stem shows the person did not even have clippers but just worried the stem till the stolen tulip was theirs.

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence...

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence…

At Klipsan Beach Cottages, we had delegated a rhododendron removal job to another landscape business, and had not expected the end result to be a bed all askew and us with no time to fix it. My fantasy was that we would find the job all done. Silly. Realistically I probably should not have hoped that a backhoe would be brought in, huge rhododendrons pulled, and then the edging put back all nicey nice (by whom?) All we could do today was deadhead the narcissi and check for weeds. Next weekend we can deal with the other problem, maybe.

narcissi in cottage windowbox

narcissi in cottage windowbox

Tulip clusiana 'Lady Jane'

Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’

in the garden

in the garden

In a pot I had six Tulip ‘Green Star’ and in this safe haven, no one had picked any.

Green Stars

Green Stars

Green Star

Green Star

The first year I saw this in the Van Engelen catalog, I waited too long to order and they had sold out. So it was a year and a half before I had it in bloom, and I am a little obsessed with it this month.

Green Star

Green Star

in the garden...

in the garden…

two matching pots

two matching pots

and some Blushing Ladies

and some Blushing Ladies

I wonder if this year at long last the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal [not very] Giant’ will get the size I have seen it elsewhere. It has been sulking for three years.

still only as tall as a daylily

still only as tall as a daylily

sword fern...I like our pruned ones better than mother nature's messy ones!

sword fern…I like our pruned ones better than mother nature’s messy ones!

Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

at KBC: Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

A rain squall decided our stop time at KBC but by the time we got home, the sky had cleared again. I thought I was too cold, and extra tired from getting up “early” for beach clean up, and that all I had the oomph to do was look out the window.

back garden window view

back garden window view

Then I remembered the pond form and had to go think about where it might go.

It probably won't look very real...

It probably won’t look very real…

pondering

pondering

We decided to install it next to the boat. Because of my upcoming mini-vacation (why???) we won’t have time for awhile.

While I uploaded photos to the Grassroots Garbage Gang Facebook page, Allan mowed the lawn. He reports that it takes an hour and a quarter. Less than it did last year because of my winter expansion of the garden beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The rain fell with force till about noon today, and I tried (and failed) to catch up on my sleep.  By catch up I mean just get a solid eight hours for once.  That would be so very healing.

After a shockingly late breakfast, I suggested we go to Cheri’s garden and dig up some plants where Charlie is going to build an outdoor cat room.  Cheri (who was our realtor for selling our old house and buying our new one) has kindly agreed that I could take as many starts as I wanted to the courtyard garden at Golden Sands.  I figured we would dig them in the rain, bucket them, and wait till tomorrow to plant them.

future outdoor cat paradise

future outdoor cat paradise will go about as far over as the end of the window

To our surprise, the edges of the sky quickly lightened and by one PM the rain had ceased and we had raided a goodly pile of astilbe, phlox, and alstromeria.  Some went into other areas of Cheri’s garden and the rest came with us to Golden Sands.  I had also raided my own garden a bit AND had found the Lost Perennial Sunflower.  After being missing for three days, it turned up in a bucket in the garage, where both Allan and I could swear we had looked before.

the cat corner after the plant raid

the cat corner after the plant raid

On the way north, we did a quick narcissi deadheading at Long Beach City Hall.

city hall

city hall

Already I needed a boost, so I had to have a double mocha to go at The Great Escape coffee drive through.

cuteness at The Great Escape

cuteness at The Great Escape

coffee...coming up

coffee…coming up

At Golden Sands, Allan wheeled two barrows down the longest hallway.  We use the long red corridor on which my mother had a room.  The other corridor is green; that helps new residents who might have a little memory loss find the right room.

Either route is a long indoor run for a wheelbarrow.

Either route is a long indoor run for a wheelbarrow.

new plants ready for the courtyard gardens

new plants ready for the courtyard gardens

Phlox starts went to the back of the four quadrants, with the pesky beach strawberry dug out to make room.

expanding to the back

expanding to the back

I dug lots of strawberry and rose campion out of the northwest quadrant.  (I like rose campion but there is just too, too much.)   With phlox and astilbe and Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ starts added, it is already looking better than two days ago when we ran out of mulch for this section.

much improved

much improved

The windows straight back are to the dining room and a meeting room where I hope residents enjoy the garden view.

mulitflowering Tulip 'Red Bouquet' looking good against the new mulch

mulitflowering Tulip ‘Red Bouquet’ looking good against the new mulch

I am stressed that outside the quadrants, much weeding also needs to be done, but we have for sure used up the money/time budget for this month.

weedy areas

haze of tiny weeds

I had such plans to do a volunteer day during January removing every beach strawberry from the quadrant garden beds, and as with my big plan to do the mulching in January, my staycation won out.

By the time we were done with our weeding and planting, the drizzle returned and I simply felt too, too tired to go on and weed and deadhead Wiegardt Gallery and Klipsan Beach Cottages.  We will be up the same way tomorrow for the soup feed that follows the Grassroots Garbage Gang volunteer beach clean up, so we can do the rest of the north end public gardens then.

Beach clean up is an early morning for us so it will be another night with not enough sleep.  Sleep is the prize that is always just out of reach.

On the way home we stopped at Ann’s garden and planted some perennial sunflower (Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’) starts.  I think the deer will leave it alone.

admiring Ann's fine new birdbath

admiring Ann’s fine new birdbath

But what is this, in Ann’s front garden?  Those horrid lily of the valley are popping back up again.   Someone once told me that an old tale claims that if you transplant lily of the valley, you will die within the year.  Making up that tale was probably a way of expert gardeners trying to discourage people from sharing this hugely invasive pretty plant.

They're baaaack....

They’re baaaack….

Home at last, I knew I needed to visit my elderly beloved neighbour and yet I felt so tired I wanted to just plop down in this chair.  Out of the distant memory of Sunday school, a voice said “When I was sick, ye visited me” so I picked a bouquet of rain-spangled flowers and brought it to her.

a casual bouquet of back yard tulips

a casual bouquet of back yard tulips

I must plant more tulips in the back yard.  I can rarely stand to pick a flower from the front yard and decrease the showy (show-offy) display.

Nora had company so I did not stay long.  I’d noticed when photographing the tulips out of the rain that the greenhouse plants needed watering, and while gathering the water I brooded briefly over the weedy state of the patio, something I had noticed from my window this morning.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

When will I get to THAT?   I’m fretting a lot about how this coming week, I will be taking three days off for an annual getaway with my friend Carol.  It’s the best time for her, but not a good time for me to leave the garden (mine or others) for even a day.  Last year I brooded so much I was sure I would not enjoy a minute of it and then I had a grand time, so this year I remind myself that three days gone will not destroy anyone’s garden.  (And yet…there is a Clam Festival in Long Beach next weekend and I won’t be here to deadhead at the end of the week!)  Allan will continue to do some weeding and deadheading but he will also enjoy his time alone, a pleasant thing now and then when one lives AND works with one’s partner.

I still have not weeded the horsetail out of this bed in my back garden:

You can see the gear shed neighbours have now covered their crab pot stack with a silver tarp.

You can see the gear shed neighbours have now covered their crab pot stack with a silver tarp.

I won’t get a day off this weekend so here are three more garden photos from today’s evening garden time at home:

buds on variegated honeysuckle

buds on variegated honeysuckle

Not horsetail: Restio

Not horsetail: Restio

baby Bartlett pear tree

baby Bartlett pear tree

The young pear tree will grow and provide shade for Allan’s garden, which did not turn out as shady as we thought it would be (due to how very low the roofline of an old manufactured home is).   I have been waiting for the flowers and indeed one sniff took me back to my grandmother’s big Bartlett pear, in spring, in my Seattle garden.

pear tree from my back roof, Seattle 1989

pear tree from my back roof, Seattle 1989

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If the weather had been nicer I would have felt guilty about the amount of time we spent socializing today, but the intense chill in the air gave us a good excuse to goof off.

We did take the work trailer with us just in case (and also because I knew we had a couple of large plants to pick up at The Basket Case). Our initial mission, however, was social and community minded. With new local friend Michelle Z, I started a “Peninsula Cash Mob” over the winter. Every three weeks or so we promote, on Facebook, a local shop with the idea that people will gather there on a certain mid morning to shop, spending between $5 and $20 (or even just being there) and then some will also have lunch at a local restaurant. Today our focus shop was Stylin’: A Unique Consignment Shop in Long Beach. Because of it being a women’s clothing and accessory store, we did not get our usual mixed gender crowd but still had a good turn out.

Stylin'

Stylin’ just north of downtown Long Beach

While we were there the wind and rain battered away outside so I felt no worries about hanging around for an hour taking photos. I even bought a sweater with a lovely gold dragon on it. But I had no idea, not being much of a femme dresser, what the initials L-RL stood for below the dragon. Someone told me…something to do with Ralph Lauren? But who is the first L? I remain mystified.

If I carried purses, I might go for these flowery ones:

indoor flowers of the day

indoor flowers of the day

And while I could not even imagine getting my toes into these shoes, I had to admire their intricate look and could imagine them as part of a steampunk ensemble:

shoes

In continued icy rain and a harsh wintery wind, we drove to the day’s cash mob lunch spot, The Lightship Restaurant, where we had the pleasure of sitting with Michelle and with Robbie, local animal rescuer and critter sitter.

me and Robbie

me and Robbie

Robbie is an expert orchid enthusiast who will be teaching a class on the subject at our local college. As with many local friends, most of our getting to know each other has been on Facebook and I think this is the first time we had actually spent time together at a social event, but we already knew each well. (She also commented that Allan is very, very funny.)

We solved a number of local problems during out lunch chat.

We solved a number of local problems during our lunch chat.

our delicious food items.  (My burrito will be a late snack as well!)

our delicious food items. (My burrito will be a late snack as well!)

After lunch, I got to meet Nugget, Michelle’s supposed foster dog and now Michelle’s actual permanent dog, a clever little escapee who ran away the minute he arrived on the Peninsula and spent 12 worrisome days scampering around the Long Beach Golf Course, afraid of all humans. Robbie was a part of the team of rescuers who tracked and fed him for days till he came home. He’s now a lovely little pampered companion dog.

with local celebrity Nugget

with local celebrity Nugget

And then the sun came out so off went Allan and I to some deadheading and pruning at The Anchorage Cottages. Here are the best tulips of the day:

tulipstulips

tulips

I do feel that Tulip ‘Gavota’ and whatever that other one is look excellent with brick. No sign yet of sweet pea sprouts along the chimney base, but they were planted about a week later that the ones at Andersen’s RV Park (that are breaking ground now).

Just as we were dealing with the last of the small weeds a sudden mixed rain and hailstorm drenched us and pinged painfully off our heads while we loaded ourselves into the car. This was a good time to make another buying trip to The Basket Case. I needed to make sure I got my mitts on enough Jade Frost Eryngium (even though in my experience the leaves do like to revert to green), and I’m thrilled to be able to buy many reasonably priced and healthy plants of Lobelia tupa, a plant that used to be very hard to find around here.

Lobelia tupa

Lobelia tupa

I kindly left behind just a few of those and of Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ for other customers.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', my favourite perennial

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, my favourite perennial

With the car fully packed, we drove in another spot of clear weather to check on a container planting request at the office of longtime client Cheri’s Discovery Coast Real Estate. The containers turned out to be quite a bit smaller than I had imagined, but one had the very nasty Aegepodium weed…a MUST not plant that some nurseries still sell, so the soil from that one will go in our garbage can.

I should have taken a photo to warn you all off that horrible, horrible groundcover…but at the end of the little project, this happened:

cold rain

cold rain

We could definitely see that the sky was light around the edges but with the wind blowing at 20 mph it seemed that any light spot would blow over us quickly and bring more rain. The temperature of about 45 degrees F felt much colder to me, and my weather wimpiness led to this:

Olde Towne

Olde Towne

a few customers lingering at closing time

a few customers lingering at closing time

During the less than an hour that we indulged in another break, rain and sun, rain and sun passed in quick succession. And now, at home, while Allan determinedly runs the weedeater around the garden bed edges, I am firmly settled into my computer chair where I will upload the day’s cash mob photos to Facebook and then…a relaxing joy!…reenter the world of Mr. and Mrs. Tootlepedal in 2011.

If I could have managed it, or if I had been braver, I might have moved to Scotland years ago, but I can inhabit the beautiful border countryside in my imagination through the Tootlepedal blog…just as I have mentally lived through many gardening years in New Zealand through Moosey’s Country Garden. I am now glad that I did not go because I do believe that my right livelihood is right exactly where I live today.

 

 

 

 

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I think that unless I get a weekday off, I will start saving the week’s photos (before and after work) of our garden for a Sunday update.  That may change if I start taking a different (or no) day off.

3 April

I found, on a real estate site, a photo of our house when it was for sale in 2010.  (I was checking comparable values and oddly, even though it is manufactured and thus depreciates, our house is holding more value than some historic houses on the street!)

early summer 2010

early summer 2010

I want to use this as the basis of a series of photos of the garden progress, but already had forgotten the photo angle to use when I took this:

3 April 2013

3 April 2013

front garden

front garden

front garden

front garden

tulips and cardoon

tulips and cardoon

a stunning yellow tulip

a stunning yellow tulip

6 April

First, a bunch of photos from right by where we park our car when we go to and from work.

the first Dutch iris

the first Dutch iris

Narcissi 'Merlin'

Narcissi ‘Merlin’

I love the very small cupped narcissi.  I also have realized this week that I love the apricot coloured cups on the ones that Nancy and Lorna picked out for their gardens.  I did not think I would.  Some of them are the ones that are supposed to be pink.  Next year I am going to order lots of them.

an Erysimum

an Erysimum

This Erythronium is precious to me because it came from my mother’s garden.

Erythronium (dogtooth violet)

Erythronium (dogtooth violet)

Fritillaria meleagris (checkered lily, guinea hen flower)

Fritillaria meleagris (checkered lily, guinea hen flower)

I am going to give a clump of the fritillaries to Judy.

In the back garden, the boat is coming on with tulips.  I put up a sweet pea tee pee around which I planted the ‘Alan Titchmarsh’ sweet peas that my friend Sheila kindly shared with me.  The wind has blown it over, but more wind is predicted for tonight so I will put it upright later.  I remember the optimistic moment when I put it in place earlier this week and thought “I don’t need to lash this to the boat because the big winds are over.”  No.

garden boat

garden boat

Later, that view would have included the two red gale warning flags flying over the Port Office.

My favourite ornamental grass, Stipa gigantea, is already putting out some fronds.  I have more than nine of them in the back garden.

Stipa gigantea backed with clean debris heap and crab pots

Stipa gigantea backed with clean debris heap and crab pots

Today

The day began with rain, so I started reading Mr. Tootlepedal’s Blog (April 2011).  Then out came the sun and I began to feel guilty, so after finishing the month of April in the borders (UK), I went outside with the intention of pulling one bucket of weeds, just one.  I soon came back in and started reading May, because my hands got so cold.  The sun peeked out again, and guilt drove me back outside, and then the rain came and I came back in to my reading.  Here’s what I saw in our garden today:

view from front porch while I pondered weather

view from front porch while I pondered weather

Hmm, Allan had a measuring tape next to his garden bed.

What is he up to?

What is he up to?

He is planning to make a new grid on which to record his plants (on paper) and has driven in screws a foot apart for future reference.

Allan's tidy garden

Allan’s tidy garden

I found a tragedy in my front garden bed:  a very precious and expensive Allium bud rotted off (and the one on the right looks iffy, like it might be rotting):

allium disaster

allium disaster

I love the emerging spears of Baptisia australis:

Baptisia (false indigo)

Baptisia (false indigo)

and white bleeding heart:

Dicentra spectabilis alba

Dicentra spectabilis alba

And the new leaves on Pieris:

Pieris  (My grandmother called it Andromeda)

Pieris (My grandmother called it Andromeda)

One of my favourite tulips, ‘Leo’, is coming back and a good thing too because I did not get any more of it.

left:  Tulip sylvestris on the way out, Tulip 'Leo' on the way in

two favourites:  (left) Tulip sylvestris on the way out, (right) Tulip ‘Leo’ on the way in

I like all the different cultivars of Muscari and try to add new ones every year.

Muscari latifolium

Muscari latifolium

But I was horrifed to see Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ making its way into the garden…and this photo is after I yanked half of it out.  I used to love it, but its extreme vigor has worn out its welcome.

that pesky hardy geranium

that pesky hardy geranium

But the rains came so I got back to my reading.  My achievement:  only 7/8 of a five gallon bucket of weeds pulled.

Speaking of wearing out one’s welcome, which I felt I was doing by stopping daily by Olde Towne café to photograph their progress in reopening in a new location, I am pleased to say that the news is that they are opening on Tuesday.  So the heart of Ilwaco is almost back.

Postscript:  Food

Reading the Tootlepedal blog often makes me crave tea and biscuits, and Mr. T. often writes of his friend Dropscone, a former baker who makes a delicacy called Drop Scones.  (Oddly enough.)   I forwarded the recipe to Allan (via email to the next room in the house) and he did try to make them.  They are similar to pancakes and did not look quite like Dropscone’s results but were tasty anyway.

first attempt at dropscones, served with Rose's lime marmalade

first attempt at dropscones, served with Rose’s lime marmalade

The next night, he made scones which turned out looking better, and tasted good, but the drop scones were just delicious.

Allan's scones

Allan’s scones

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We could not go back to the beach approach project today, even though the weather would have been perfect for it, because there is too much traffic on the beach approach road on spring break/Easter weekend, and part of the job entails standing on the road to reach the outside edge of the garden.

What I most desired to do today was spend the entire time at Marilyn’s garden, doing all the mid spring things that will make it better for its moment on the garden tour in July. But with so many resort gardens in our care, we had to check on several on the way up the Peninsula, mainly to make sure that the narcissi were deadheaded.

But first, the daily check on progress at Olde Towne Coffee!

still coming along!

still coming along!

Then a stop at the Anchorage Cottages just north of Long Beach to deadhead narcissi and pull a few weeds. As we passed through downtown Long Beach, I rejoiced that I had taken time to deadhead there yesterday, because the town swarmed with tourists.

We spent considerable time at The Anchorage earlier this year so it’s holding up well. Oh, and I remembered to put Sluggo where I had planted sweet peas.

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

Anchorage Cottages trillium

Anchorage Cottages trillium

We probably should have driven into the park at Andersen’s RV Park to check on deadheading the narcissi there, but I felt we did not have time, so we just worked on the road box.

The deadheaded road box from inside our car just before we drove away.

The deadheaded road box from inside our car just before we drove away.

We then stopped at Klipsan Beach Cottages, again on narcissi patrol. There, I was thrilled to see employee Luis working on the huge pile of dairy manure (non stinky!). Because we would not have time to address the problem of mulching there for at least another week, I felt great relief that he is on the job.

Luis has already made a dent in the nine yard pile.

Luis has already made a dent in the nine yard pile.

beautifully mulched

beautifully mulched

Mary has a shrub that neither of us can identify for sure, although we think it is a Viburnum. Her brother gave it to her, and it is deliciously fragrant.

smelling the wonderful flower

smelling the wonderful flower

Then on to check the little garden by Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park, pull a few horsetail sprouts and deadhead a few narcissi.

Oman Builder's Supply garden

Oman Builder’s Supply garden

And then a narcissi and weed session at Wiegardt Gallery, where we could easily have spent more time but we knew that we had debris to haul from Marilyn’s so we had to make haste.

Fritillaria meleagris at Wiegardt Gallery

Fritillaria meleagris at Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

Finally, at last, we made it to Marilyn’s garden in Surfside. Lacking proximity to sugar treats, and not having had time to stop at Jack’s Country Store for an invigorating snack, I popped a handful of wake up beans (chocolate covered coffee beans).

wake up beans

wake up beans

I lose a fair amount of sleep at this time of year counter-productively fretting about how we are going to get all the work done.

At Marilyn’s, we each had a task. Allan’s job was near the street, to find some way to make this area (that I started on last time) look good.

Allan's project, 2 PM

Allan’s project, 2 PM. blurred with debris and native blackberry vines

Allan's project, 3:25 PM

Allan’s project, 3:25 PM

He got done ahead of time and came to help me with my project, the swale garden behind the house, which started out like this:

swale garden, 2 PM

swale garden, 2 PM

And ended up like this:

swale garden, 4 PM

swale garden, 4 PM

There is still some grass to be pulled from along the house, and the whole thing would have been a much easier job if only we had had time earlier to cut back the foliage of the Siberian iris before the new spears began to grow. But it will do. It’s not a very exciting part of the garden, consisting merely of Siberian iris, daylilies, a variegated running grass, and some Persicaria ‘Firetail”….plants that speak to me of a streamside garden. No one else walks back here except to turn on the hose faucet.

Dare I complain that it was hot today, after complaining of the cold yesterday? It was 72 F!! That is too hot! I would prefer 60 degrees with no wind, thankyou very much.

Marilyn’s narcissi display is excellent this year:

at Marilyn's

at Marilyn’s

and her sword ferns are unfurling:

new fronds

new fronds

This gives me an anxious feeling about not having even been to the garden called Casa Pacifica yet, where there are many ferns to trim. But there is nothing to be done about it; the beach approach has to be finished before we can move on to the four still untouched (by us) private gardens.

We dumped our load of debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply and I took some photos for their Facebook page.

'Thundercloud' flowering plum

‘Thundercloud’ flowering plum

We knocked off a bit early today due to tiredness and the desire to go to a housewarming party in Chinook, and as I walked through my garden picking a housewarming bouquet, I realized how much I must do, and immediately:

1. plant edible peas (they are LATE to be planted and may comprise my only early edible crop due to lack of time….so much for this year’s great edible plans)

2. plant poppy seeds (also LATE but I have had success in the past planting them this late

3. put out sluggo! the slugs are eating the narcissi flowers

4. trim the Penstemon! it is all raggedy

5. weed buckets more jewelweed and shotweed out of the front garden!

No matter how direly behind on work we are, I am taking tomorrow off. Allan may be noble and go do some paid work up at Discovery Heights. I also must do the monthly billing tomorrow evening if we are to avoid financial disaster. How very much I wish we could take two days off…but that time will come either by getting caught up or by finally admitting we may have too many jobs.

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First on our daily agenda: The check up on the progress at Olde Towne Coffee. It is surprising how much I miss it being open even though these days I would not even have time to go!

They're still moving in!

They’re still moving in!

And then….we finally got the tree pocket gardens and the planters on First Avenue in Ilwaco clipped and weeded.

Narcissi in the boatyard garden

Narcissi in the boatyard garden

I love the way this golden marjoram looks right now.

I love the way this golden marjoram looks right now.

As always, yellow to match the Portside Café

As always, yellow to match the Portside Café

And then….to Long Beach, but before we got back to the beach approach, other tasks beckoned, in particular, tidying up the parking lot berms one block to the east of the main street.

before and after (Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass)

before and after (Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass)

All we had time for was trimming the worst messes; weeds at ground level are dire but remain a task for another day.

more weeding

The temperature had dropped, a chill wind had come up, and we had to put our jackets on. Allan went out to get back to the beach approach weeding, but I needed to walk around town and deadhead spent and unpleasant looking narcissi from the planters and parks.

There was some evidence of finger blight (theft of flowers):

please don't pick the tulips!

please don’t pick the tulips!

more picking and a bulb pulled out

more picking and a bulb pulled out

I think people try to pull a flower, or break and take the stem, and the bulb comes out.

Excuses I have heard for finger blight:

“I have to pick a flower when I see a pretty girl that needs one.” (NOT referring to me!)

“I just had my wedding on the beach and had to pick a bouquet.” (This young woman had her arms full of every tulip in bloom from the beach approach garden on that day, back before the deer discovered those species tulips.)

The same woman, who was the daughter of a local (now out of business) restaurateur, also told me, “I’m making work for you because the city will hire you to plant more!”

“It’s just a few”, to which of course the answer is if everyone picked a few, there would be none for the rest of the passersby to enjoy.

Anyway….Aside from finger blight, I worrited over the rain spotted and pitiful appearance of the tulip foliage in the downtown planters.

ghastly leaves

ghastly leaves

They get terribly beat up by the weather, but when they start to bloom, the later tulips fill in the gap between narcissi and annuals and provide colour for the parade that is always the first Sunday in May.

so glorious in bloom

so glorious in bloom

tulips

tulips

tulips

tulips

I did have a brainstorm today though…I am going to make sure to follow through carefully on my half-baked method of planting the big tulips to the inside and species tulips to the outside of the planter array….so that I can yank ALL the big ones every year, because they are never as good the second year anyway (whereas the species tulips can multiply).

I like the new primrose in bloom that Allan brought back from Seattle’s Emerald City Gardens:

dark leaved primrose

dark leaved primrose

Along with the tulip foliage problem, I also pondered how some of the planters still have too much, perhaps, of the original plantings done back in the days of different volunteers doing each planter. I get tired of thinning the vigorous white Achillea in one of them; over the winter, it again took over the whole planter:

Yarrow

Yarrow

And the planter in front of one of the arcades still has shrubs, planted by a volunteer, that look exciting right now but are dull green blobs during the height of tourist season…and are intermingled with mint!

spring azalea planter

spring azalea planter

I’ve been redoing some of the older planters, but just cannot decide about the one above.

We recently mulched under all the trees and the pocket gardens look refreshed.

tree garden

tree garden

another tree garden

another tree garden

After checking on all the trees, planters, and parks, I joined Allan on the beach approach garden, where he had tackled the horrible section infested with rush. We only managed to get that one section done, and so we do not feel much closer to the arch than we did yesterday…

so near yet so far.

where we were at the end of yesterday…

and how far we got today

and how far we got today (pitiful!!!)

I did practice saying “no” to something when the parks manager asked us today if when we get the whole thing weeded, would we like to mulch it…or something like that…and I said while I would love to have it mulched, the city crew would have to do it because we still have four private gardens we have not even been to yet this year and we just do not have time…

The only thing that got me through that last hour or two of weeding on the beach approach was a special treat from the Cottage Bakery. They were out of tiger paws, but the nice man made us custom tiger paws out of Persians with chocolate and maple frosting! “We like to take care of our locals,” he said.

custom made fuel for hard, cold work

custom made fuel for hard, cold work

I have almost forgotten to whine about how cold it was on the approach. Cold, windy, miserably chilly….just the sort of weather I try to avoid out there, and I never would have made it through a whole day; would have gone somewhere less windy instead.

On the way home, we trimmed up most of the planters on Sid Snyder Drive, the other beach approach, and oh my, was it cold…But crocosmia and grasses desperately needed to be cut back in all those planters, also once done by volunteers and still with an odd assortment of plants. I was so glad to be done, at 7:15…

In reminiscing about the dreadful cold wind, I almost forgot to add that Allan took these charming photos yesterday of narcissi blooming on the edge of the approach lawn, where we dump weeds from the garden.

gone wild

gone wild

gone wild

gone wild

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