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Posts Tagged ‘pruning rhododendrons’

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Before leaving Ilwaco, we planted two tiny lavender starts in the Time Enough Books garden, where we think they will enjoy the scree-like environment.  The weather was ideal: comfortable, not too hot, very little wind.

The Time Enough Books garden

The Time Enough Books garden

Then we were off toward some north end jobs, beginning with a check up on the planters at

The Red Barn Arena

I finally managed to get two photos of the baby, born earlier this spring.

foal

foal2

one of the barrels

one of the barrels

We couldn’t cut across a pasture to the garden next door as a horse grazed in that pasture today, so we walked along the highway.

Diane’s garden

This Stipa gigantea puts on a good show for those driving by.

This Stipa gigantea puts on a good show for those driving by.


Stipa gigantea

Stipa gigantea


back garden planters

back garden planters

On the road again, I remembered that Garden Tour Nancy had asked me if we would check out a potential tour garden for her.  Located in Tides West, it was on our way to our next job.

a garden tour sneak peek

I do believe this one will be on the tour, so I can’t show too much.  I was so impressed; the owner has built all these features herself in just one year.

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I was immediately impressed.

I was immediately impressed.


I wish I had such skills!

I wish I had such skills!


Just one year old

Just one year old


one of two cute dogs

one of two cute dogs

I was inspired to turn two photos into Waterlogues:

Painted in Waterlogue

Painted in Waterlogue

The gardener told us that Ed Strange had recommended that she contact Garden Tour Nancy, and that he calls her garden “Neverland”.  She thought he meant it was like a magical fairyland until she learned he actually meant he thought she would never be finished with projects.  It is just around the corner from our friend J9’s and I am surprised I had not noticed it before, until I realized that  I first visited J9’s new abode and walked around that block over a year ago, and this garden had not even begun then.

Back to the world of work…

Golden Sands Assisted Living

Next, Golden Sands, where Allan strimmed the center lawn (because its easier to bring a string trimmer than a lawn mower down the hallways to the central courtyard).

outside the dining room

outside the dining room (NW quadrant)


SE quadrant

SE quadrant

I had had a plan for quite some time that I finally got around to.  I wanted to prune the rhododendrons behind the SW quadrant to be closer to the height of the ones in the upper right above, that were severely pruned two years ago (not by me).

SW quadrant

SW quadrant: Behind the maple tree are the rhodies I have had my eye on.

The best time to prune them is shortly after they bloom, so last month would have been better.

before: the view out the back hallway window

before: the view out the back hallway window


Here they are pruned...

Here they are pruned… and not looking all bare and stubby.


Well done, if I do say so...and now someone in the corner has a view of the garden.

Well done, if I do say so…and now someone in the corner has a view of the garden.


And there is a garden view from the back hallways window.

And there is a garden view from the back hallways window.

It might seem like a bad plan to have large shrubs blocking the view.  However, before we got our hands on them, the four quadrants were just scrubby sections of lawn.

Allan hauled four wheelbarrowloads of branches down the halls and out to the debris pile.

With a great sense of accomplishment, we went about ten blocks up the road to

Klipsan Beach Cottages

looking in the east deer fence gate

looking in the east deer fence gate


a little frog in a nest of ivy (not planted by us, and not the dreaded English ivy)

a little frog in a nest of ivy (not planted by us, and a more delicate choice than the dreaded English ivy)


the birdbath view

the birdbath view


sit spot in the fenced garden, with Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant'

sit spot in the fenced garden, with Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’


Alliums and roses

Alliums and roses


bright orange lilies, bright sunshine

bright orange lilies, bright sunshine


River of Geranium 'Rozanne' in the shade along the road to the cottages

River of Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the shade along the road to the cottages


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


I'm pleased that some Fuchsia magellanica that I brought from my garden are sizing up.

in the A Frame garden: I’m pleased that some Fuchsia magellanica that I brought from my garden are sizing up.


A Frame garden: hydrangea and Allium albopilosum

A Frame garden: hydrangea and Allium albopilosum (Allan’s photo)

On the way further north, we stopped at Jack’s for some snacks and a hose fitting.

Jack's Country Store, Ocean Park

Jack’s Country Store, Ocean Park


I noticed someone working on a nice curbside garden at Anita's Coastal Café.

I noticed someone working on a nice curbside garden at Anita’s Coastal Café.

Marilyn’s garden

At our northernmost garden, I had at long last remembered to bring 13 little painted sage plants, and when they were in the ground, Annuals Planting Time was finally truly done!

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' at Marilyn's

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ at Marilyn’s


one of the cosmos that reseeded from last year

one of the cosmos that reseeded from last year

Just as I thought we were done with our weeding session, I saw an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ that needed deadheading.

before

before


after

after


path, looking south; we did a fair amount of gravel weeding today

path, looking south; we did a fair amount of gravel weeding today


the buds of Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

the buds of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’


more Crocosmia 'Lucifer' buds

more Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ buds


Cosmos

Cosmos


the back deck

the back porch


looking north from the back porch

looking north from the back porch

I had pulled out a big clump of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, behind the montbretia to the right, because I felt it blocked Marilyn’s view of the garden.  Her assistant told me a mother deer and two baby fawns are frequenting the garden and Marilyn loves to observe them.  There is still plenty of ‘Lucifer’ on the other side of the path.

  I wish there were not so much orange montbretia.  It was the only plant in the landscape when we began, just a bit here and there.  That clump got huge before I realized it.

Tall Miscanthus now blocks the view of the garage to the west.

Tall Miscanthus now blocks the view of the garage to the west.


north view with catmint  sprawling on the path

north view with catmint sprawling on the path


Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum


Agastaches and poppies by the driveway

Agastaches and poppies by the driveway

I had hoped we would be done in time to do Andersen’s RV Park today.  It was not to be, so that will have to wait for tomorrow.

We finished with a tiny pruning job at the south side of the port office, where once again we were in the cold north wind.  A volunteer elderberry needed some branches trimmed.  The wind discouraged photos of the process.

Allan's photo: the port wind warning flag was up, as it has been often this month.

Allan’s photo: the port wind warning flag was up, as it has been often this month.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Long Beach

I’d planned that we would go to Andersen’s but then decided it would be so satisfying to get the rest of the Long Beach rhododendrons trimmed.  On the way into town, we paused to photograph the welcome sign.

sign

lots of narcissi

lots of narcissi

And none of them need deadheading yet.

And none of them need deadheading yet.

We started work on the two “little pop outs” on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

one little pop out, before

one little pop out, before

While Allan clipped the grasses, I walked with the wheelbarrow one block east to Pacific Way to deal with a planter and a tree garden.  The main street was busy with vehicles because of a three day weekend combined with series of clamming days that started today.

planter at Pacific and 7th south

planter at Pacific and 7th south

after pruning the santolinas

after pruning the santolinas

There was a mystery on the street side of that planter:

bulbs on the street

bulbs on the street

Had it been vandalized?  Closer examination reveals that deer did it.

tulip foliage in the planter...bitten off!

tulip foliage in the planter…bitten off!

I checked the planter to the south, across the street.  Same evidence of deer.

to the south....This planter also had nipped tulips.

to the south….This planter also had nipped tulips.

nice crocuses though....

nice crocuses though….

7th Street must be a deer highway as the four planters at that intersection get particularly nibbled.  If I remember, I won’t bother planting tulips in them next fall.

Next, cutting back the ornamental grass under a street tree.

Panicum 'Heavy Metal' under a street tree

Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ under a street tree

clipped down

clipped down

Why in the world do broken bottles end up in tree gardens and planters?

Why in the world do broken bottles end up in tree gardens and planters?

Map My Walk shows a whole lot of walking around to get those two tasks done.  (Top right corner is another task, later, on another street tree garden.)

IMG_8360

With a precariously heaped wheelbarrow, I made my way back to the popout and helped Allan finish weeding around the edge.

all done

all done

We next went to Fifth Street Park to prune a big hydrangea.  Allan did that job:

Allan's job

Allan’s job

Allan was entertained by the arrival of a fleet of shiny motorcycles.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, I went across the street and did some more rose pruning (Rose ‘Super Dorothy’) and some weeding in the park in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder.

chowder

This little bird was scratching about under the fence.

This little bird was scratching about under the fence.

Melianthus major already coming on strong in the garden.  Early.

Melianthus major already coming on strong in the garden. Early.

I got more creeping sorrel out from the tree bed where it thrives.

I got more creeping sorrel out from the tree bed where it thrives.  Much better now.

Weeding and raking leaves around the pond revealed that the Gunnera has healthy new leaves.

Weeding and raking leaves around the pond revealed that the Gunnera has healthy new leaves.

With that park all tidied up, we turned to the rhododendrons along the side of Gazebo park on 3rd Avenue, across from the police station.

starting to prune behind  where new benches are going in

starting to prune behind where new benches are going in

finishing touches

finishing touches to the small rhododendron (and my shadow)

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I am resisting cutting the tallest rhodos down to fence height but have agreed to prune them back for easier lawn mowing.

before

before

during2

during

after

after

We were ever so fortunate because, after having to park a block away, just as Allan went to bring the van to pick up the pile of branches, someone drove off from the perfect spot.  I slammed our traffic cone into place, just saving the spot from eager tourists, and we were able to load without having to drag the branches down the street.

fully loaded in a spot right by the park

fully loaded in a spot right by the park

I was able to cross the rhodos off of the work list.  Remembering to add Casa Pacifica at the end made it just as long, though.

I'm starting to add the private gardens to the list as well as public ones.

I’m starting to add the private gardens to the list as well as public ones.

I used Map My Walk to track how far I walked over the course of three blocks of work.  The map also shows a vehicular rectangle as we drove around looking for a parking place (futile, so we ended up parked behind the police station (3rd Street SE), just as I expected).    Minus the drive around town, we must each have walked at least three and a half miles.  The green dot is the starting point at the little pop out.  We drove as far south as 9th to be able to negotiate the busy traffic.

IMG_8362

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

I decided we should go back to Long Beach and do some pruning that parks manager Mike Kitzman had requested.  On the way, we chopped the ornamental grasses at

The Depot Restaurant

before

before, grasses on east side of dining deck

after

after

Allan did the grass chopping while I weeded in the other beds.

Rosemary and chives bed before tidying

Rosemary and chives bed before tidying

and after

and after

The rosemary looks so much happier since I fertilized them with Dr Earth all purpose fertilizer last year.  Will do so again in springtime.

north flower bed

north flower bed

Long Beach

First on the agenda: Long Beach city hall

west side of city hall, before

west side of city hall, before

and after cutting down Sedumn 'Autumn Joy' and variegated miscanthus

and after cutting down Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and weeding

I’d cut the tall ornamental Miscanthus variegatus late last fall to keep it from flopping forward onto the sidewalk.  That certainly made “spring” clean up easier.

north side city hall: Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant' is blooming mighty early

north side city hall: Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ is blooming mighty early

city hall pulmonaria in bloom

city hall pulmonaria (spotted dog, lungwort) in bloom

and a hellebore, which caused a sensation with some passersby.  "What is that plant?!"

and a hellebore, which caused a sensation with some passersby. “What is that plant?!”

Allan chopped the last three big Miscanthus in Fifth Street Park.

before

before

after

after

I did some weeding under the nearby street trees and had a bad moment while tackling a little-ish street tree bed that was horribly over run with creeping sorrel.  There was so much of it.  And as I pulled and pulled I suddenly thought of all the weeds waiting for us at Andersen’s RV Park and thought “Argh, I just can’t do this anymore.”  My legs hurt and at all seemed like too much work still looming in the future.  The moment passed.

We decided to not prune the big hydrangea in the Fifth Street Park yet but to instead do the ones by the Long Beach Tavern a block north.  They are more visible and look uglier right now.  Also, the crew was about to install some new benches.

Park by LBT, before pruning

Park by LBT, before pruning

and after

and after

I picked up about 30 cigarette butts that tavern patrons drop over the fence even though they have BUCKETS on THEIR side of the fence along with SIGNS saying not to litter.  Also straws, a beer bottle, and other litter.

I’d ask Allan to limb up a big rhododendron that was overhanging the lawn.  Parks manager Mike wants the rhododendrons lowered; I had asked him to let us wait till after the May 2 Peninsula Rhododendron tour and he had agreed.  Limbing up lost some flowers but will keep the crew happy as they will be able to mow.

A rhodo too wide for its spot

A rhodo too wide for its spot

Allan did an excellent job.

Allan did an excellent job.

(My solution would have been to widen the bed and let the rhodo do what it wants to do.  Less lawn is almost always a good thing, in my opinion.)

I do not WANT to lower the rhododendrons.  They WANT to be tall.

rhodos

This one is the tallest and it has not much middle layer of growth so is just going to look bad when cut:

rhodo1

These, in the corner, look just fine the way they are.

These, in the corner, look just fine the way they are.

It makes me CRABBY to have to prune them.  I think they look fine the way they are and I do not want to make them fence height.

feeling very crabby indeed about the prospect of downsizing the rhododendrons

feeling very crabby indeed about the prospect of downsizing the rhododendrons

One of the tavern regulars said he thought it would look so great to have the big rhodos cut to fence height.  Why?  Why would that be an improvement? I asked him.  It would look so neat, he said, as in tidy.

This is why when some rhodos died, I successfully campaigned to replace them with the hydrangeas, which bloom lengthily in summer (when more tourists are here) and which can be easily kept to “fence height”.

Then we were off to City Works with a second load of debris.

Then we were off to City Works with a second load of debris.

Soon we will limb of the rhododendrons on the gazebo side of the park.

Soon we will limb of the rhododendrons on the gazebo side of the park.

Later we are supposed to make those short, as well.  Agh.

Bill’s Birthday at the Cove

We just had time to go home, drop the trailer off, change clothes and head back out again for a birthday dinner at the Cove Restaurant.  This marked our return to Thursday nights at the Cove, our favourite meal of the week.  (They were closed for dinner in January.)

Bill and Susie are good friends of ours and also gardening clients; they own the Boreas Inn (whose spring garden clean up we have not yet begun).

Allan's photo of part of the gathering

Allan’s photo of part of the gathering

IMG_5135

There was much excitement and discussion when the delicious food came.  For one thing, we are all eagerly anticipating when Chi and Jim (left) open their new sandwich café in Ilwaco; they already operate the very fine Serious Pizza at Ilwaco’s Cape Disappointment State Park.

Although I usually cannot resist the seared ahi tuna, I had the Thai Beef Vegetable Coconut Red Curry Soup.

IMG_5131

my delicious soup

my delicious soup

The diner across from me had the ahi tuna....looking as delectable as always.

The diner across from me had the ahi tuna….looking as delectable as always.

Allan had the Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich.

Allan had the Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich.

We had just a taste of the tiramisu dessert as we had eaten a plentiful dinner.

IMG_5145

In fact, I took home some of my soup and had it much later while watching a Ruth Rendell mystery on DVD.

I think back to a quotation that I found in The Year of Reading Dangerously:

I sometimes feel like Nietzche in Ecce Homo, feeling it appropriate to give an account of his dietary habits…convinced that nothing that concerns him could be entirely without interest“.  Michel Houllebecq, Public Enemies.

Next: more Long Beach on Friday.

 

 

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