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Posts Tagged ‘private gardens’

Saturday, 11 February 2017

I got these in the mail from a friend:

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On my last full day of uninterrupted staycation reading, I finished the huge history of WWII and then felt restless because of the sudden emergence of sunshine.

No winter gardening had taken place because of unusually cold weather.  Books (and a sore back, now all better) had won out over my plan to mulch with 6-8 yards of topsoil.  Now the first crocuses are out and can’t be buried with mulch.  I emerged from the house to see them.

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the first crocuses

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at the base of tetrapanax

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more clumps, and shotweed

The apricot scent of Hamamelis (witch hazel) wafted all over the front garden.

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raggedy yellow flowers with the most powerful scent

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a bronze Hamamelis

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not as fragrant as the yellow

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another pale one

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I added several new ones last summer.

I found myself gardening and got some more hellebores clipped back.

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before

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after

Soon, though, one more book called me back inside.  It had been recommended by a friend, had 450 small print pages and was due back at the library in four days.  I had intended to have it all read by now and instead was just beginning.

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By the end of the day, I can tell you that this is a shocking must read for citizens of the USA who were not taught by life or by school about the enormous number of small towns (many in the north and in the west!) which through violence and discrimination remained almost totally white even into the 1990s (and beyond?).

Meanwhile, in Oysterville, Dave and Mel were helping to dig up and move an enormous rhododendron several blocks down the road to THE Oysterville garden.

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Melissa’s photo

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Good weather would have had us starting work today had not two events intervened.  The first was a two hour long meeting of a local Indivisible group.  The town of Naselle, a half an hour away, had been chosen for the meeting because that location allowed an easier drive for folks from north county.  We had a group of thirty concerned citizens, sprung out of a larger Indivisible group from north coast Oregon.  Indivisible groups are forming all over the nation by those of us who are deeply concerned at the dark and ominous and non egalitarian turn our country is taking.

It was a joy to attend a gathering of like minded folk from as far north as Aberdeen, as well as the Peninsula and South Bend and Rosburg.

Next door to the meeting place was a most glorious private garden which we admired from the parking lot.

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a large Naselle garden

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Allan’s photo

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next door: the Naselle Library garden

Back in Ilwaco, we went straight (and late for the party) to Salt Pub, pausing only to look at work waiting for us in a curbside garden at the port.

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pondering work

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soon….

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Allan’s photo

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5 PM view from Salt Pub

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a private party at Salt

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Allan’s photo

The occasion was the birthday of Boreas Inn Bill, who said he did not even know he had that many friends on the peninsula!  Dave and Mel joined us because they now care for the Boreas Inn garden.  It has been good for us to have their great gardening business, Sea Star Gardening, to recommend as we cut back to a manageable amount of work.

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Pink Poppy Bakery cakes

In  the evening, I got through another 75 pages of Sundown Towns.

The cats are going to miss staycation reading days, as will I.

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lapcats Frosty and Smokey

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Frosty at bedtime

Sundown Towns is going to be a couple of days overdue by the time I’m done with it. On Monday, work season begins (with more rainy reading days sure to come before too long).

 

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 Tuesday, 5 July 2016

apples at home (Allan's photo)

apples at home (Allan’s photo) and one scabby pear

Mike’s Garden

A few blocks east is the mayor’s garden, which we tidy up every couple of weeks.  Today:

from across the street

from across the street

from the corner

from the corner

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Mike's Escallonia iveyi

Mike’s Escallonia iveyi

I am pretty sure that this escallonia is grown from a cutting of the Escallonia iveyi at the Anchorage Cottages (originally from Heronswood Nursery, because the Anchorage was owned at one time by Dan Hinkley’s husband’s sister).  In 2003, Carol Jones of The Elves Did It Gardening worked with me there and took some cuttings. Later, she designed and installed Mayor Mike’s beautiful garden.  The ironic thing is that my own garden lacks this stunning pure white escallonia.  I tried cuttings last year; maybe some are out there and not big enough to bloom yet.

the fruit of the native wild cucumber vine

the fruit of the native wild cucumber vine in Mike’s shaded back garden.

Long Beach

We watered and groomed all the main street planters and the street tree pocket gardens.

by Lewis and Clark Square. The man with a red shirt (left) is reading his way along plaques that describe Lewis and Clark's journey.

by Lewis and Clark Square. The man with a red shirt (left) is reading his way along plaques that describe Lewis and Clark’s journey.

Big planter in L&C Square. That is Cotoneaster 'Coral Beauty' on the edge, planted 16 years ago or more. It got sort of made fun of in the lecture at Hardy Plant weekend, about new and much improved cotoneasters. I still rather like this one.

Big planter in L&C Square. That is Cotoneaster ‘Coral Beauty’ on the edge, planted 16 years ago or more. It got sort of made fun of in the lecture about new and improved cotoneasters at Hardy Plant weekend. I still rather like this one although I do regret planting something so big…I just wanted to keep people from sitting on the planter.

Public gardening: I had my bucket on this bench, and a jacket someone had left, and was just hooking up the hose when a woman came and shoved the bucket and jacket aside and lit up a cigarette. I did, softly and kindly (really!), get her to move to the planter nearby that I had already watered. (!!!)

Public gardening: I had my bucket on this bench, and a jacket someone had left, and was just hooking up the hose when a woman came and shoved the bucket and jacket aside and plopped down and lit up a cigarette. I did, softly and kindly (really!), get her to move to the planter nearby that I had already watered. (!!!) It was not her jacket.

One of my painted sage (late to bloom this year) was pulled totally out of the soil. It had happened so recently that it had not wilted at all and I think i saved it. Note to self: Geranium 'Rozanne' here next year.

One of my painted sage (late to bloom this year) was pulled totally out of the soil. It had happened so recently that it had not wilted at all and I think I saved it. Note to self: Geranium ‘Rozanne’ here next year.

Town was still busy.

Town was still busy.

On the busiest weekends, the stoplights are turned off to avoid traffic jams, so pedestrians cross every which way.

On the busiest weekends, the stoplights are turned off to avoid traffic jams, so pedestrians cross every which way.

lambs ears, and the new little round silver plant whose name I have forgotten, and santolina

three silvers: lambs ears, and the new little round silver plant whose name I have forgotten, and santolina

I encountered a young man with a guitar lounging supine on the bench and using a clump of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ as a pillow while smoking a cigarette.  I asked him to get up.  He did not.  I told him to move.  He did not.  I threatened to water him.  No motion.  I said I might call the police as he was smoking illegally close to a shop doorway.  Finally he moved.  By then it was funny and we both laughed.  I told him that public gardening can be rewarding but sometimes works my last nerve.  He said “Sorry in advance for my language, but I am sorry for being such a dick.”

sedums used as pillow

sedums used as pillow; plaque goes back to long gone planter volunteer days

Later the same guy told Allan “You’re using a LOT of water!” while Allan was watering the tree.  Allan felt it was in a reproving tone.

Just the Eryngium (Allan's photo)

 Eryngium in street tree garden (Allan’s photo)

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' in Fifth Street Park

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in Fifth Street Park

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Bees love it.

Busy town: Fifth Street Park (Allan's photo)

Busy town: Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Full sidewalks make navigating tricky with hose and bucket. (Allan's photo)

Full sidewalks make navigating tricky with hose and bucket. (Allan’s photo)

When open, these lilies colour coordinate with the Benson's sign.

When open, these lilies colour coordinate with the Benson’s sign.

Carousel

Carousel

deadheading and watering...under the very big hanging basket

deadheading and watering…under the very big hanging basket

lavender that looks good on just one side. (The back is bare and woody). Allan's photo

lavender that looks good on just one side. (The back is bare and woody). Allan’s photo

Eryngium variifolium under a street tree (Allan's photo)

Eryngium variifolium under a street tree.  I love them all. (Allan’s photo)

two dogs. (Allan's photo)

two dogs. (Allan’s photo)

Hardy fuchsia and agastache in my favourite planter by Dennis Co. (Allan's photo)

Hardy fuchsia and Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’ in my favourite planter by Dennis Co. (Allan’s photo)

This pleases my fannish heart (and shows how crowded the sidewalks were). (Allan's photo)

This pleases my fannish heart (and shows how crowded the sidewalks were). (Allan’s photo)

Fish Alley (Allan's photo)

Fish Alley (Allan’s photo)

Later, Fifth Street Park was quieter. (Allan's photo)

Later, Fifth Street Park was quieter. (Allan’s photo)

We worked on the center berm. Eventually we will be able to cross it off the work list! It is the only project on the list right now.

We worked on the center berm. Eventually we will be able to cross it off the work list! It is the only project on the list right now.

Cries of WHEEEE from the little fish rides nearby.

Cries of WHEEEE from the little fish rides nearby.

A local businessman who owns several well run local businesses has bought the rides and they will soon be refurbished, we hear.

Center berm is SO boring and may end up just getting string trimmer treatment.

Center berm is SO boring and may end up just getting string trimmer treatment.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before (most of this was the rather pretty annual Briza media (quaking grass) that has now gone dry.

after: quick strimmer solution

after: quick strimmer solution for hardpacked miserable area

I should give up and plant more rugosas in the bare areas. Giving up because i did not want a monoculture of roses.

I should give up and plant more rugosas in the bare areas. Giving up because i did not want a monoculture of roses.  This is one place I will leave salal.

Stipa gigantea on a prettier berm (Allan's photo)

Stipa gigantea on a prettier berm (Allan’s photo)

Ilwaco

I had every intention of weeding at the Ilwaco boatyard garden while Allan watered the Ilwaco planters.  And then I simply could not.  I felt guilty till I realized that Allan would be done working quicker if he did not have to drop off the debris trailer at the boatyard, then pick up the water trailer, then take the water trailer home and come retrieve the debris trailer.  So I went home and worked on the garden tour blog posts and Allan took all the rest of these photos:

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taken while filling the water tank at the boatyard

taken while filling the water tank at the boatyard

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sweet peas on boatyard fence

sweet peas on boatyard fence

another break in the hose

another break in the hose

calendula flowers and seeds

calendula flowers and seeds

This nasturtium grows outside of our dear friend Jenna's Queen La De Da studio so gets extra water from her.

This nasturtium grows outside of our dear friend Jenna’s Queen La De Da studio so gets extra water from her.

 

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On the way to work Monday, we touched up the Ilwaco Post Office garden.

not really work, a volunteer project

not really work, a volunteer project

lily and Eryngium

lily and Eryngium

Then I went off garden touring with Nancy while Allan undertook a Long Beach project on his own: the pond at the corner of Pacific and Bolstadt; it had become a haze of horsetail since our spring cleanup there.

before and after

before and after with weed buckets

He had just finished when I rejoined him and we accomplished the replanting of the Fish Alley planters. The Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ had gotten leggy and tired from fighting the wind.

before...and afters

before…and afters

I am determined to have to water these less, as they are a bucket watering chore, so am going with Sedums, Sempervivums, Thymes.

With that accomplished, we did more weeding at Jo’s garden. A weekly visit between now and the July 20th garden tour will keep it in tip top shape.

Jo's east garden

Jo’s east garden

Jo's, looking west

Jo’s, looking west

one of Jo's feeders

one of Jo’s feeders

adorable youngster

adorable youngster

east side patio

north side patio

Not only did we weed but also did a bit of planting; Jo had gotten some lovely plants to fill in the hole where we removed a daylily last time.

newly planted spot

newly planted spot

We closed Monday out with some planting at Gene’s garden. I wanted the streetside garden to be full and had felt it needed more along the edges. Gene had bought some Dianthus and some Alyssum from the Basket Case and we had a few more plants to add.

Gene has been working hard on new areas.

Gene has been working hard on new areas.

I now feel the garden looks full.

I now feel the garden looks full.

ready for the tour! with a month to fill in

ready for the tour! with a month to fill in

Tuesday, we finally made it back to Casa Pacifica. Increasing rain did not stop us from getting the garden looking satisfactory again. We had intended to put in the day on the Long Beach Bolstadt beach approach garden, to get it spiffing for Doggie Olympic Games on the beach the coming Saturday, but an intense wind changed our garden choice to this sheltered somewhat inland one.

no before picture, but this area had been no longer recognizable as garden!

no before picture, but this area had been no longer recognizable as garden!

before and...improved

before and…improved

lawn island, before and after

lawn island, before and after

Dusty kept a close eye on my work.

Dusty kept a close eye on my work.

Spook continued to be shy.

Spook continued to be shy.

the back garden, south side

the back garden, south side

the back garden, north side

the back garden, north side

rose campion and lavender

rose campion and lavender

Halmiocistus wintonensis draping the rock wall

Halmiocistus wintonensis draping the rock wall

and its flowers

and its flowers

 

groundcover wall

groundcover wall

I would so love to see this garden mulched with yards and yards of dairy manure, and I would so like to avoid being the one to heft yards and yards of it up over those rocks. I must suggest that perhaps this garden owner could find a young person who wants to make a day’s wages shifting lovely non smelly Cow Fiber.

After almost five hours we left. Unusually for us we ended the work day early. There was simply nowhere else close enough by to finish the day out of the blustery wind (although it did die down enough so that we were able to enjoy our own garden!) First we ran an errand to the Basket Case Greenhouse, where their plants told the tale of how windy it had been.

toppled and strewn about!

toppled and strewn about!

We chose a hanging basket to go by our garage. It was a tough choice. Would it be this one?

callibrachoa dark red

calibrachoa dark red

Or this one?

double callies

double callies

Or this one?

blue and pink

blue and pink

Allan picked this one, liking the way that the yellow matched some of the trim on our house:

new basket at home

new basket at home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our mission today was to get a lot done at Jo’s, a head start on getting her little paradise ready for the garden tour.  As usual, on the way to a special “all-day” job we often have to stop and check on a couple of other gardens, so June 18th began at the Depot where we staked the Eryngiums.

The Depot garden

The Depot garden

We had some dianthus for Jo and also some red ones for Veterans Field in Long Beach.  Rather than schlep them back and forth we went straight to the field to plant them.  The wind was fierce, and I blame that and one other thing for the Vet Field garden no longer being up to my standards.  The other thing is that it was planted too early to be ready for the beginning of May dedication, and the annuals have suffered, as I predicted.  So now we are filling in with more plants to spiff it up.  But:

a pretty big rain!

a pretty big rain!

Allan kept planting, saying it was not raining.  I call this rain, and sideways rain at that, so I waited it out in the car, not wanting to be cold and wet for the rest of the day at Jo’s.  The edge of the sky was bright to the south, from whence came the wind, so the storm blew over fairly quickly.

Veterans Field garden; the perennials look best.

Veterans Field garden; the perennials look best.

We did not put in all the little plastic-y flags and frankly, I am not thrilled about it.  It’s not the Fourth of July, Veterans Day or…Flag Day, so…why?  I wouldn’t say it bothers me; my reaction is not that intense, but I would prefer the garden be just red white and blue on its own!

I swear it looks better in the photo than in real life.

I swear it looks better in the photo than in real life.

Finally: to Jo’s!  where we were greeted by Jo, Bob, and by darling Coco.

Coco

Coco

the cutest girl!

the cutest girl!

Not only did we have a friendly pup to amuse us but also young birds.  They were capable of flying, but were not afraid of us at all.

on the feeder

on the feeder

bird

poised to fly

poised to fly

It flew over to the water feature.

It flew over to the water feature.

and got good and wet when the bucket splashed!

and got good and wet when the bucket splashed!

Then two little birds sat on a railing to dry off.

all fluffed up

all fluffed up

birds

You can see Allan in the background, above, taking photos with his iPhone.  They show how close the birds let me get to take pictures.

photo session

photo session

bird

Oh…work did get done.  Here is a before photo of the newest area:

before

before

We decided a great big boring daylily should come out, and Jo said, “Should it come out today?”  Why…yes!

Jo and Allan

Jo and Allan

after, with the new plants showing better.

after, with the new plants showing better.

Jo is excited about getting a new plant for the new empty spot when she goes to Back Alley Gardens (on our recommendation) later this week.

As always, her garden is so pretty it is a great pleasure to work in and will be a big hit on the tour.

entry

entry

looking west

looking west

Beyond this garden, Jo and Bob also own a big grassy lot.  Since she had said after last year’s tour that she wanted her garden to look just like mine, and we had therefore added more perennials in the area out of which we took that daylily today, I told her I had figured out how her garden could REALLY be like mine:  Make three very large mixed beds out on that great big lawn!  Hmmm….

Some more details of her garden:

roses

"Maxine's white rambler", from a cutting from Jo's mom's garden.

“Maxine’s white rambler”, from a cutting from Jo’s mom’s garden.

Cosmos 'Double Click'

Cosmos

bee deep into the rhododendron flowers

bee deep into the rhododendron flowers

roses

roses, catmint, daylilies

geraniums, catmint, daylilies

We left our pleasant afternoon at Jo’s at around six and then spent two hours working on the Fifth Street Park in Long Beach (Allan) and weeding and deadheading all the trees and planters (me).  I did not take many photos because I was simply tired.

Allan absorbed in weeding

Allan absorbed in weeding

across from Home at the Beach

across from Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Home at the Beach

Thanks be for the good rain which meant that we did not have to water the planters!  (The rain came soon after watering; when the planters are dry, no amount of rain will get through the foliage to wet the soil which is why people sometimes marvel to see us out there watering in a drizzle.)

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We are coming to the end of annuals planting hell.  The dregs of it will drag  into next week with the planting of a few six packs of cosmos here and there but today we finished a couple of jobs that can be crossed off the annuals list now.

First: two six packs of Cosmos, one of painted sage, and a Gaura ‘So White’ went into our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office.

post office

cosmos installed

cosmos installed

Ilwaco

Two partial buckets of weeds came out.  Reminder:  do not plant the charming Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’.  The bits that came in with plants from my mom’s garden, even though I had tried to eliminate every root, had marched halfway back into the post office garden.

beware

beware; nurseries still sell this bad guy

Next we planted Cosmos, painted sage, a Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’, Phygelius ‘Snow White’ and a new Echinacea (coneflower) called ‘Green Jewel’ in Larry and Robert’s garden.  Green Jewel is supposed to keep its colour without fading the way Green Envy does.

We took the Heucheras and primroses out of the garden boat and planted them under the triangle of trees and put Cosmos ‘Cutesy’ and ‘Happy Ring’ into the boat for summer, along with one Salvia patens.

the boat garden

the boat garden

all cosmosed up

all cosmosed up

front porch

front porch

The tulip viridis is STILL in bloom.   I love the green tulips more than any others and yet this is the first year I have realized that they are also the latest to bloom.

Tulip Chinatown

Tulip Chinatown and Green Wave

watering aprés planting

watering aprés planting

I’m liking the new gold tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’).

Here’s how Larry and Robert’s garden relates  to that of our good friends Tom and Judy:

Lake Street sidewalk

Lake Street sidewalk

looking east:  Hornbuckle garden is across Pearl Avenue.

looking east: Hornbuckle garden is across Pearl Avenue.

The Hornbuckles were home and showed me the new improved water feature in their courtyard.  I snuck back to get a photo.  With a wider basin and more rocks around it, bathing birds won’t splash all the water out.

a better bubbler

a better bubbler

Tom and Judy also redid their “back forty” to replace some junipers (I think? nice ones, not hideous “tams”) that passing dogs had sprinkled on.  Lavenders have taken their place.

the back forty

the back forty

Next, we replanted the Ilwaco planter that we had emptied of soil due to bad drainage.  I had emailed city hall to remind them to have a hole drilled in the base.  Turns out the hole HAD been drilled.  It was just so small we did not see it.  I forgot to photograph it from inside before Allan put the soil in, so I stuck my camera under the edge of the planter.  The hole is on the side and so small that Allan could not put his little finger in it.  Hmmm.

I couldn't see where I was aiming the camera under there.

I couldn’t see where I was aiming the camera under there.

newly planted and hoping for adequate drainage

newly planted and hoping for adequate drainage

It now has an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’center, three painted sage, three Diascia, a Calibrachoa, two Sanvitalia and a trailing rosemary.

Next we went to Nancy’s home in Long Beach to deliver some Cosmos and painted sage to the new flower border we helped install last October.  She organizes the Music in the Gardens tour and we think next year her garden will be ready to be on it.

I am very impressed with her vegetable garden:

Nancy's potager

Nancy’s potager

potager

potager

potager

lilac in bloom

lilac in bloom

looking from the veg garden to the new flower border

looking from the veg garden to the new flower border

Viridiflora tulips still hanging on

Viridiflora tulips still hanging on

Design hint I learned from Ann Lovejoy:  always figure out the flow of your garden.  It was clear a path would be needed to the neighbour’s garden so we left two passages unplanted, one for garden access and one for neighbourliness.

path toward the neighbour

flower garden coming on

flower garden coming on

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I had been so smitten with Nancy’s veg patch that I forgot to take a long photo of the whole flower border.

Next we went through downtown heading for Jo’s.  As I do every time we drive through town, I eyeballed the planters all the way looking for any problems.   I would be wealthy if paid for the amount of time I spend thinking about work!  The weather did this:

passing through Long Beach

passing through Long Beach

But not for long.  It was fairly pleasant working at Jo’s.  I did the planting while Allan weeded.  In went 18 godetias, 6 or more six packs of snapdragons, a few perennials.  It is a beautiful environment in which to work.

the best use of annual geraniums ever

the best use of annual geraniums ever

While planting in the newly revamped colourful entry area, I had a sudden brainstorm.  I was so excited I forgot to take a before photo, so dredged up this one from earlier this year:

before

before

I suddenly realized that one of the two red flowering azaleas had to go.  We had thought of this earlier but had decided to wait.  Now I was convinced.  Jo and Bob returned from an outing just then and agreed, and by then I already had my loppers and saw and just cut it to the ground.  A big fern came out as well.  It made a wonderful improvement as the focus is now on the new perennials and annuals.  The root mass can come out later or perhaps be kept as a very low shrub.  (I would definitely get rid of the oxalis too; it is very invasive.)

enormously better

enormously better (The blue pot is where the azalea was.)

When we were done…Well, not quite done, as we have more weeding to do that must wait till next week….I walked through and took some photos.

entryway

entryway, container by Basket Case Greenhouse

guest house windowbox

guest house windowbox

middle courtyard

middle courtyard

middle

to west garden

to west garden

wiggly Coco

wiggly Coco

and some birds for you know who:

feeder

bird

With that, we decided to quit work early (seven!) and have dinner at the Depot Restaurant.  On the way we did stop to bung seven plants into a couple of Long Beach planters, and after our delicious dinner (slightly work-related when we realized we must go back tomorrow to deadhead the last of the Depot tulips!!), we loaded the car at home with all the assorted plants we will need to finish the Long Beach planters tomorrow.

Annuals jobs finished today:  Jo, Ilwaco planters, Larry and Robert garden, Ilwaco post office!

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I woke in the night to the sound of rain. On and on. This was good. All the plants we have been planting will get watered.

It was not so good at ten AM when a seemingly ceaseless torrent was falling. We had in the garage five flats of plants for today’s job and I just wanted them out of here. I did not want to be carrying them out to the patio to get light, and then into the car tomorrow instead of today. Annuals hell must end, as weeding jobs are urgently calling to us. As is my own garden.

Mary sets a tempting example

Mary sets a tempting example

But wait…Was there some lightness in the sky to the south? The sky was definitely light around the edges to the south and to the west. I said we should just go to the job. I cited the example of Deadliest Catch, an inspirational tv show about hardworking crabbers on the Bering Sea. Allan looked skeptical about the weather, especially since the forecasts all called for it to worsen hourly all day long. But the rain suddenly stopped. We loaded, and as we did the rain came lashing sideways again. I did not care (much). Surely we could endure and plant twelve whiskey barrels even in a torrent. And yet…if I stayed home I could read a couple more months of the Tootlepedal Blog archives.

But we went to Casa Pacifica, Dan and Leanne’s garden near Wallicut Farms. It is our only job off the Peninsula (unless one is a stickler for the fact that technically Ilwaco is part of the mainland).

When we got there, the sun came out intermittently. And rain came back for a while but not for long.

after a squall

after a squall

Soon raincoats came off and stayed off and all twelve barrels and several smaller containers were cleaned up and planted.

The barrels have Narcissi so we cut the foliage back by two thirds. It must be done in order to plant. My guru Ann Lovejoy would not approve; in this recent article she writes of the importance of letting the foliage mature. And yet once NW garden celebrity Ed Hume (who was as well known as Ciscoe in his day) said in a lecture that narcissi foliage can be cut three weeks after the flower has bloomed.

before

before; unplantable.

before:  last year's boringly overgrown Helichrysum

before: last year’s boringly overgrown Helichrysum

after

after, Helichrysum cut back VERY hard

Planted: An Agyranthemum in the center (“Butterfly’, ‘Spring Bouquet’, or the white one) and around the edges mixed (80!! total) calibrachoas of various colours and sanvitalias and, in the planters closer to the house, some blue felicia as well. In the mid-center of each, three painted sage triangulated around the Agyr. Some have Diascia that came back from last year.

Dusty lives in hope that I will stop to play fetch. It will not happen as then he will not stop pestering. But most of the time he walks with me all around the job with his head just where I can reach down and pet him. I love that and lavish him with smooches.

Dusty

Note Spook in the background.

Dusty

Dusty

Spook continues to be very shy, but it is progress that she stays out from under the deck while we are here.

Spook

Spook

We did not have time to weed, but I did walk along the bottom of the garden casting Sluggo up into it, with camera in hand. (Allan deadheaded narcissi while I talked to Dan and Leanne at the end of the work session.)

the shady end of the long border

the shady end of the long border

I don’t add many new perennials to this garden because it has water troubles in the summer; the well is just not enough for home and garden, too. It might be fixed for this year. It has therefore been a garden that peaks in mid springtime.

Another problem is that I would like to lavish the garden with cow fiber mulch but the lawn where a truck would have to drive to deliver the load close to the garden is also the septic field. And it would have to be wheelbarrowed up at the end of the wall. And if the pile were dumped in the driveway it would be far from the end of the wall. And I am tired just thinking about it. Maybe this fall we will manage to do it. As I have said to myself every year since taking on this job.

long curved border goes from shade to sun

long curved border goes from shade to sun

guardian of the garden

guardian of the garden

geranium and hosta

geranium and hosta

Silene

Silene

hardy geranium

Geranium macrorrhizum

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Around the north side of the house, in a spot that is usually wet from roof runoff, I found a small blue flower which I think is a kind of Camassia that I planted last fall. I would have rain barrels at every gutter catching water for summer in this garden.

camassia

I surprised Spook in her nap on the hot tub cover and got as close to her as I ever have!

snoozing

she was snoozing

With this, the last of the big batches of annuals is planted, and I can see the light at the end of Annuals Planting Hell. There are still a few days of filling in here and there. The concrete planter in Ilwaco that needs a hole drilled is still undrilled. Andersen’s needs more cosmos and some Salvia patens. Some gaps in the Long Beach planters need filling, and because I had made a careful list of exactly what plant was needed where, we went to The Basket Case to get some more annuals.

My list would have been incomprehensible to another: two uppies here, four trailies there, five herbie flatties there. But I knew what I wanted.

We also got some plants for a big shady planter against the house at Andersen’s RV Park; it only gets morning sun.

I'm trying a big new impatiens there.

I’m trying a big new impatiens there.

and assorted types of begonias

and assorted types of begonias

These might like more sun but they do ok in the east facing planter. The tuberous begonias excel and are the same thing that Andersen’s owner Lorna’s dad used to plant there.

At The Planter Box I stocked up on Cosmos for planting at the Ilwaco boatyard, Larry and Robert’s garden and….soon I hope! my garden. Uh oh, I still need more for my friend Nancy! And more for a few last clumps of Cosmos at Andersen’s, in an area it was too late to weed tonight. I got one flat of the very good Salvia patens plants that Planter Box grew this year.

At The Planter Box

At The Planter Box

Teresa and I talked a bit about when would be a good date for a midsummer madness Cash Mob at the Planter Box, probably in early July.

Planter Box

Planter Box

I saw salpiglossis starts and wanted some for gardens of ours that might be on the tour this year, but we were full up with plants by then.

Salpiglossis has a gorgeous flower.

Salpiglossis has a gorgeous flower.

I also saw just two of this cute little plant I had once found for sale somewhere and planted in an Ilwaco planter. It looked adorable all summer long. Apparently, it is a house plant. I don’t know why it is not sold in quantity for summer containers.

so cute!

so cute!

Then…Andersen’s after six. The wind had come up with a biting chill and the rain returned, but the east facing planter was not at all bad to work in with the house between us and the ocean. I was so tired I did not put on gloves, then regretted it, then could not get them on over wet hands. I just remembered that one of the crew gave me some Hershey’s kisses, as he often kindly does, and I was so busy I put them in my pocket and did not eat a one. (I think that shirt is still in the car….tempting….). I decided to hold off on planting some Salvia patens in the Payson Hall planters, as it is supposed to get down to 44 degrees tonight. I think they will be happier if they wait till we go to Andersen’s (and all other north end resorts) on Friday to fluff it up for the three day holiday weekend.

The last task was to plant 12 tiny little not very promising white petunias in the two west side whiskey barrels that lacked them. They were in little six packs so small that one could hardly tell each held six plants. The wind and rain blew straight from the sea just over the foredune and I thought very hard about Deadliest Catch while planting the little plugs.

I often think in bad weather, "Could be worse, could be crabbing on the Bering Sea!"

I often think in bad weather, “Could be worse, could be crabbing on the Bering Sea!”

It’s on tonight and I look forward to sitting in my chair eating warm food and drinking wine and feeling inspired by the crabbers’ hard work in almost all weather. I have put on hand lotion five times and my hands still feel dry from the wet cold soil. I could never be a crabber…too wimpy.

Home by seven PM! I had had it with the outdoors, but Allan went out and mowed and weed-ate our lawn…in the drizzle. The grass was long and so wet it is amazing A) that he did it and B) that our little rechargeable electric mower got through it at all.

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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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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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I woke at six AM to heavy rain and strong winds outside the south facing window and lay awake for two useless hours, too tired to move but fretting about work delayed.  (And yet a part of me thought “Hrm, day off, I can read more of the back entries of Tootlepedal’s blog!”) Finally I fell back asleep, and a good thing too as I would not have been much good with only four hours of sleep.  Little did we expect, when we left our house at a still chilly but dry noontime, that the afternoon would be warm enough for a summer shirt…and yet it was.  It’s a good thing I pack clothes for all temperatures!

Today we did another first wake up call.  Late last summer, we began to help Ann with her garden.  I had had my eye on it for years because from the street, everything about it appealed to me: the little paths, the veg and berry patch in the sloping back yard, and especially the liberal political signs that go up in election season.

autumn 2012

autumn 2012

peering over the fence behind the signs, autumn 2012

peering over the fence behind the signs, autumn 2012

autumn 2012

front garden, autumn 2012

Today we did the beginning of the much belated spring weeding while enjoying the hellebores and Ann’s new garden decorations.

mosaic sticks

mosaic sticks made by Doug from Spokane

That’s all I know about this Doug fellow, but if he has these for sale anywhere, I bet they sell like the proverbial hotcakes.

sticks

Our main focus today was the weeding out of lily of the valley and what I think is wild garlic, a weed that “persists in cultivated crops” and perhaps came into the garden on another plant and has spread like mad.  I was too distracted by the mosaic sticks to get before photos of the weedy sections.  I bet the lily of the valley was already there or perhaps was a gift.

How I rue the day that I took some home from a weeding job and planted it in what I thought would be a small, out of the way, not bothersome shady section of my old garden.  Of course eventually I wanted to get rid of it and found it deeply persistent.  Beware of passalong plants because anything a gardener is eager to get rid of just might be a terrible pest…(Japanese anemone, sweet woodruff, and, er, Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that I once liked and shared!)

On the other hand, last fall Ann’s friend Kathleen gave her some very choice starts of Pacific Coast Iris, and today I was able to track down every one in good shape except for “tall purple”; he seems to have disappeared.

I could not resist putting our half moon edger to work outside the front fence.

before and after

before and after

Even before being nicely weeded, the front garden had much beauty to offer.

new peony foliage

new peony foliage

Hellebore

Hellebore

As the weeding goes along, we will continue to remove as much as possible of the Scilla (bluebells), and any bulbs of it that we save can go to Andersen’s RV Park where owner Lorna longs for the bluebell bouquets of her youth.  But it will go where the lawn meets the woodsy trees, NOT in the garden beds.

The Japanese maple in front of the house, grown by Ann from seed perhaps 15 years ago, had a delicate gold and red haze from the new leaves.

maple and narcissi

maple and narcissi

springtime maple

springtime maple

And here is its much heavier and more imposing form last autumn:

autumn maple

autumn maple

We could very much tell the difference today in the sections of the garden that we had been mulched last fall with washed dairy manure.  In those parts that had mulch the wild garlic pulled out with a tug, and in the unmulched heavy clay in the southwest front corner much battering away with hand tools was required.

Allan hauled “maybe twelve” wheelbarrows way down the hill to dump in the woods at the bottom of the property…a job requiring good balance because the garden drops levels with stairs and a lawn that is slippery at this time of year.  We got the front garden pretty well divested of lily of the valley (still some sprouts left and it will come back….), shotweed, wild garlic, and creeping buttercup.  Allan cut back some of the ferns in the more slippery side and back yard sections of the garden, and one big ornamental grass.

Is that not the quintessential cottage garden path?

After:  Is that not the quintessential cottage garden path?

Next time, we will go around the corner and down to the flower beds in the back yard where much more weeding awaits us.  Ann and Butch take care of the impressive enclosed veg and fruit gardens down the backyard slope.

around the corner we will go...

around the corner we will go…

I look forward to returning, but tomorrow we must do two smallish nearby gardens because I am going to an afternoon coffee klatsch with Patt and Judy at Olde Towne.  The checking up on Long Beach and resort gardens looms over us for the end of the week, and we still have one (just one now!) client we have not been to yet, and my own garden is a disaster of weeds, so I should not be taking any coffee time off, and yet….I will.  At almost sixty, I increasingly think of the shortness of life and realize that even with work one loves, there is more to life than work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At last Olde Towne Trading Post Café and Antiques is open again.  The morning was so chilly even at 11 today that when we stopped for the happy event of coffee at the new location (108 First Ave N, Ilwaco!), we lingered for almost an hour.

Olde Towne with one of our street planters.

Olde Towne with one of our street planters.

We were soon joined by other local friends including our gardening client, Cheri Diehl of Discovery Coast Real Estate, Kelly Frech from Blue Crab Graphics, and local author Birdie Etchison.  Owner Luanne herself even found time to sit with us while her son, Michael, took over the barista station.  (It occurs to me I should probably write more about the new Olde Towne over on my Our Ilwaco blog.)

Cheri

Just one more photo of the very attractive new setup:

Olde Towne's new kitchen

Olde Towne’s new kitchen

Okay, one more….the adorable book nook:

used books display

used books display

So after an hour of procrastination at an increasingly populated café table, Allan and I went for a spring wake up call to Casa Pacifica.  As I suspected, the air was not as chill just that little bit inland, as this job is about in line with the town of Chinook (but on the highway further north).

As we drove in, the first project we did was for me to tidy up six whiskey barrel planters by the garage/guest house, while Allan weeded some dandelions and grasses off the steep bank by the driveway.

a difficult spot

a difficult spot

The little ground covers we planted last year are still about the same size in the clay soil.  Perhaps they will have some substantial growth this year.

Narcissi on the bank

Narcissi on the bank

Along the upper parking area more whiskey barrels glowed with bright narcissi.

barrels of narcissi

barrels of narcissi

I tidied up the barrels and some other containers while Allan started spring clean up on the island bed beyond.

before

before

after, with Dusty

after, with Dusty

Probably next time we’ll put an edge on the grass, after the lawn is mowed.

before, view from downhill

before, view from downhill

after

after

another before

another before

and another after

and another after

Pampas grass and Buddliea: cut back.  Hydrangea: deadheaded.  Some weeding done.  Lawn edging to come.

Dusty acted more interested in a crew of workmen by the chimney than in me this time.

Dusty

Dusty

Spook acted shy as usual, but I can report some progress:  she did not hide under the deck!

Spooky Spook

Spooky Spook

But where were Guerra and Howie?  When Leanne and Dan returned home a couple of hours after we started work, I was so sad to learn that both had passed away during the winter.  Sweet Guerra got salmon poisoning (a malady dogs can get from raw salmon, possibly dropped by a bird or thrown out by a fisherman in the nearby woods) and was no longer around to protect black cat Howie from predators.  I will miss them both.

Guerra and Howie

Guerra and Howie

Two beautiful new orange indoor cats looked at me from the window but I did not have my camera handy.   And a new dog, Darcy,  has been adopted, but is still shy; I will have to win her over just like I did Guerra and Dusty (and maybe someday Spook as well).

the wary Ms. Darcy

the wary Ms. Darcy

A small piece of cheese will go a long way toward making friends, I think.

With the island bed done, we tackled the garden on the other side of the house.  The house windows look up to this curved amphitheatre of a long bed.

before

before

before

before

after

after

Ornamental grasses and ferns: cut back.  Hydrangeas and Narcissi: deadheaded.  Weeding of little weeds: done.  Lily sprouts:  not stepped on.  Not many big weeds had appeared in this summer-dry and challenging garden.  We do a lot of “chopping and dropping” of clean debris in this garden to create some onsite compost, a method recommended by both Anne Lovejoy and Anne Wareham.

This is only about one half of the long border that runs from sun to shade.  Last summer found it very dry as the property’s well provided only enough for the house by midsummer.  I’m pleased to report the plants survived and still seem happy.  I should plant only drought tolerant things as in Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden, but of five new plants we added today, two were Sanguisorbas, my   feathery flowered favourites, and only later did I read that they like moist conditions.  Oops!!   At least we used Quench in the planting (and last year’s Sanguisorbas came through the Casa Pacifica drought just fine and have gotten bigger).  The two Agastaches (‘Cotton Candy’ and ‘Navajo Sunset’) should do better.  And I had to add one of the new ‘Thunder and Lightning’ variegated leaf Knautias.

And now some details:

Buddha

fern fronds uncurling after dead foliage was carefully removed today

on the rocks

on the rocks

tulips and narcissi

tulips and narcissi

fresh hosta

fresh hosta

in the woods

in the woods

…and my friend Dusty!  (I did throw the ball for awhile after work was done.)

my good friend Dusty

my good friend Dusty

Getting just this one job done was a short day for us, but Allan pulled some sort of lower side/back muscle yesterday weeding the path in Steve’s garden and felt glad of a short day.   As was I because when we got back to our beach town, the chill air surrounded us again.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we might get to another of the now only TWO remaining clients whose gardens we have not been to yet.

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