Posts Tagged ‘pruning roses’

Friday, 1 March 2019

With midmorning weather a bit warmer than predicted, we headed out for a big rose pruning job in Long Beach.

On the way, I requested a sudden parking stop so I could pull a lopsided woody old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ from an Ilwaco planter.

In Fifth Street Park, Allan pruned the good, healthy, floriferous Super Dorothy climbing rose in the SW quadrant while I pruned the pitiful, mildew-prune Dorothy Perkins in the NW quadrant.




Allan kindly wheeled the trailer over as if it were a wheelbarrow and picked up my pile of rose canes while I went on to pull loads of hesperantha (new name for schizostylis), a roving perennial that I loathe in spring and love when it blooms well into autumn.

After pulling loads of hesperantha, a tiresome task

Allan’s photos from his pruning:

Before dumping our full load of thorny debris, we took a break for delicious crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder, conveniently located right behind the park.

At City Works, Allan bucketed up some river rocks to finish off the edge of the Heron Pond.

On the way home, we parked at Ilwaco’s First and Main intersection, where Allan yanked out four more old Erysimum.

Ilwaco planter clean up is on the work list. I am waiting to trim back the small perennials because we are supposed to have nights down to 28 degrees through early next week.

My great big plan is to replace the Erysimums with plants so drought tolerant that Allan will only have to water them once a week instead of every three days. Because of a limited budget, I am thinking of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and ‘Strawberries and Cream’, which I can get for free out of my own garden. I am a bit concerned that the deer will graze on them and that they will look bad for a little while after I give them their Chelsea Chop. A bonus is that they won’t need deadheading.

Perhaps some citizens will be grumpy that the planters might be less interesting than they were with purple-spiked Erysimum. I am reminded of the time when a local group (of ladies) informed me they would like to take on the Ilwaco planters so that all would match with the same plants (tricky when plants get stolen. Or chomped by deer). I responded sincerely that I would be thrilled to pass the planters on to them, and that they would need to take on watering them as well, with thirty five gallon buckets of water every three days. (This was before we had the water trailer.) I never heard another word about that volunteer plan.

I myself was grumpy (again) earlier this week when I heard that someone who had offered to “volunteer” on the Long Beach planters had been overheard to say that the planters did not “look nice.” To be honest, it hurts me feelers.

He was probably referring to the beach approach planters. We have already had a quick look at them in February (a drive by) during which I saw some empty holes where we had planted sea thrifts last autumn.

I look forward to three years from now seeing what someone else (whoever replaces us when we semi-retire) does with those planters. Meanwhile, I have little patience for the complainers because we are doing our absolute best with the situation. It is not my place to organize the bureaucratic rigamarole involved with allowing volunteer work, but it would be interesting even now to see how long a volunteer would take to become disheartened out on the beach approach.

When we got home, I was able to erase two items from the work board.

I opened a package that had come in the mail from old Seattle friends Maggie and Susan and found a lovely edition of a book, which I happily perused over my cup of Builders Tea. They had been thinning out their books and had thought of me.

We look forward to taking the weekend off. I hope that by next week the nights warm up to above freezing; as soon as that happens, the private gardens that need clipping back will each get a visit.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

At the post office, on our way to work, Allan found a note in our box asking him to talk to the postmaster.  A postal patron had urgently needed to know the identification of a plant “that looks like a coleus”.


Here it is: a greigii tulip.


The foliage is as great as the flower to come.


I realized it was time to apply some sluggo.


Ilwaco City Hall ready for St Patrick’s Day

Long Beach

We hoped to accomplish two tasks on the project list today.  The first was pruning and weeding the five roses in the back of Coulter Park.  They are exceedingly difficult because of weeds, including salmonberry, coming under the fence.  The neighbouring house has but a tiny strip between house and fence that would be almost impossible for the homeowner to maintain, and in that strip dwell salmonberries, blackberries, and birds-foot trefoil that long to join up with the roses.


the dreaded rose bed, before


south side of park with pieris


Pieris and Ribes (flowering currant)



There was another ribes in that gap that turned up its toes a few years ago, as ribes are wont to do.

Allan trimmed up in the garden next to the old train depot.




after trimming sword fern


rose bed; line cut with half moon edger (Allan’s photo)


I was inspired to do two lines of half moon edging.




a pretty patch of primroses


One dead rhododendron (azalea) has thrown this old threesome off balance.


one of the two good rhodos (Allan’s photo)

We had two cold and windy squalls of heavy rain pass through; we sat them out in the van to avoid getting drenched and miserable.  (During the second one, we went to the Great Escape espresso drive through for invigorating sustenance.)

To add to our load of debris, we decided to do a bit of pruning on an escallonia at city hall.


city hall, west side


before (Allan’s photos)


and after


city hall hellebore


telephoto through the arch (Allan’s photo)

We dumped our debris at city works and filled up all our buckets with Soil Energy mulch.  (The crew had got us a pile from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)


a pile of riches


first load 

On the Bolstad approach, we filled up the lower spots in the planters.






looking east


not a good day for a picnic

And we added some mulch to city hall west side garden.


city hall after pruning, lily bulb planting, weeding, mulching

The last five buckets went into Fifth Street Park.  Yesterday, drenched from rain, we had left behind a messy patch of sorrel:







A lily bulb had worked its way to the top of the soil.  This is just one third of how big it was, after I divided it:


Allan’s photo

We followed our first load of mulching with a break for delicious crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder.


Captain Bob’s crab rolls

Back we went to city works to get another load of mulch.  Jackpot! I saw two good pallets on the pile.


Thank you, Allan.

Now I need just two more for my triple compost bin.


A red wing blackbird serenaded us.  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Full load of mulch buckets (Allan’s photo)

This load went to the big welcome sign garden.  It had gotten low after pulling out last year’s annuals and absorbs a large amount of soil.




We found loads of shotweed to pull.


mulching carefully around bulbs




back side



I am sorry to report that deer are eating the tulips along the east end of the front side.  I hope they don’t eat them all.  One of these years, we may have to give up on tulips here.


well chomped


So glad deer do not eat narcissi, my favourite flower

On the way home, we stopped briefly at the Depot Restaurant to pour some water on the two sheltered window boxes, and there we discovered a sad situation.


a flattie!

The spare is weirdly located under the front seats.  Everything there had to be moved and the t-bar thingie assembled to loosen a bolt in the floor that holds the spare tire in place.






the culprit


Fortunately, Allan had all the tools (even two jacks for extra safety).

Despite having to look at the instruction book, Allan got the tire changed in 40 minutes and we were back on our way home.  But tomorrow will be devoted to getting a the good (fairly new, now punctured) tire repaired.


one more big  task on the workboard

When the boatyard spring clean up is done (I hope by Sunday evening), the board will be gloriously blank for a moment and will then fill up with the beach approach clean up and more.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Two nights of poor sleep from assorted aches and pains did not dissuade me from willingness to work in a light drizzle.  I couldn’t stand not having the Fifth Street Park roses pruned. My usual goal is to have roses all pruned between Presidents Day and March 1.  This year, the weather has not been conducive.

Fifth Street Park


tree garden nearby with primroses


I pruned by the restroom entrance, with fish bicycle rack…before


working from the Wiegel Cottage side. The restroom building also looks cottagey.

This fence has a double line of fence boards, making for a dead zone of rose canes inside.  Un-gettatable.


The drizzle stopped soon into the job and we had pleasant weather until increasingly hard rain in the last half hour.


after….the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’

Meanwhile, Allan removed a messy patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis).  They will come back, no doubt.






before and after

He then pruned the Super Dorothy roses on the south fence.





That white fence was erected by the hotel next door.  I predict it is going to get weedy between tall white fence and low concrete wall and that neither the hotel staff nor us will be able to get at said weeds.

I had turned my attention to weeding in the northwest quadrant of the park, where wildly invasive alliums are a problem.  For last year’s first clean up, in early 2016, Melissa and Dave had helped us.  She had gone after those alliums with much more determination to get every bulb.  I had been curious if her effort would pay off.  No, there were just as many as always.


northwest quadrant, before


damnable thread like alliums have fairly inconsequential flowers in summer.

Full disclosure: I may have planted a few clumps many years ago.  Sorry now, if so.



a nice clump of ‘Ice Follies’ or some such


after (but not done)

My former spouse had come by on his bike while I was weeding.  We’d had a good time commiserating about politics.


I had gotten my hopes up about having time to also tidy the roses in Coulter Park…till the rain came.


We were fairly well drenched.

While dumping debris at city works (where Allan did all the hard work), I was thrilled to see that the city now has a pile of mulch for us.  Perhaps if we have good weather tomorrow, we will do some mulching in Long Beach.



On the way home, we scouted for pallets at a spot that sometimes has free ones.  We scored two.  Allan did all the heavy lifting.  The scavenging spot also had an unusual offering: a pile of driftwood, maybe cleaned off the shore bank at the marina.


Got some good decorative pieces.


We did not try for the wood in two big bins.

A block from home:


Ocean Thunder and Ocean Lightning parked on Lake Street


home with a good haul.  Have enough pallets now for the first bin. Need four more to make three bins.

I had planted a few lilies in Fifth Street Park and planted more at home.  The weather had gotten fine again.


lily time


planted with a bit of bulb food


It has been windy.


bogsy wood (Allan’s photo)


work board tonight with just three pressing things

It won’t take long to re-fill the board when those last three spring clean up tasks are done.


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