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Posts Tagged ‘pruning santolina’

Sunday, 23 February 2014

We expected rain, so slept and slept…and slept through a pretty nice mid morning. These two probably kept sleeping all day:

Mary and Smokey

Mary and Smokey

With decent, if a bit chilly, weather, we decided we had to go to work at the Port, but first we saw Olde Towne Luanne and her friend Shelly who stopped by on their way to go shopping. I went out to greet them and saw them taking camera phone photos over the fence…of what, I wondered…the crocuses? Their cameras were aimed too high for that. It turned out to be some other garden visitors, so I snuck around the back of the garage to surprise them.

Can you see them?

Can you see them? There are three…

The mother was already slipping over to Nora’s lawn. The two young ones were bolder.

deer

one scoots, one keeps eating

one scoots, one keeps eating

no telephoto here!

no telephoto here!

Over on the next door lawn...

Over on the next door lawn…

Two of the three amble away.

Two of the three amble away.

And thus we have the tall deer fence around most of our garden!

Then we were off to work, starting at the boatyard garden where the crocuses are looking lovely and got praise from several passersby.

in the boatyard garden

in the boatyard garden

Our main mission was to trim the santolinas. I cut them back hard so they do not splay open.

Santolina (lavender cotton) half done.

Santolina (lavender cotton) half done.

Cut down to that new growth in the center.

Cut to that new growth way down in the center.

You can take hard little cuttings, like the one below, and stick them in the ground and most of the time you will get a new plant. Santolinas come with silver (grey), green, or gold foliage. The gold one (‘Lemon Fizz’) always wants to revert to green.

green santolina

green santolina cutting

I also cut back the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ plants.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle'

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

One that I cut back earlier this month is already showing new growth at the base (along with one of the many shotweeds we pulled out).

This will make a prettier plant than if left unpruned.

This will make a prettier plant than if left unpruned.

As always, there were boats to admire, including this one from Newport, Oregon (home of my most favourite retreat, the Sylvia Beach Hotel).

Pacific Roamer

Pacific Roamer

From a busy area of the boatyard, a beagle type dog came out barking and wagging and I learned her name was Brandy.

boats

For the rest of our work session, I thought about what a fine girl she is. Her person told me Brandy has been a boat dog for only the last three of her 14 years and she does not like it much, as the seas can be rough. I assume his life, his love and his lady is the sea and the faithful dog puts up with it to be with her guy.

santolina and lavender prunings

santolina and lavender prunings

Allan used hedge shears to tidy up the lavenders, as they do not like to be cut back hard like santolinas and artemisias but must just be gently shaped.

Two of the Gauras looked so bad that I just pulled them out. They might have come back, but I was tired of looking at them and would rather just get new ones.

Gaura: a lost cause?

Gaura: a lost cause?

I can already see the horsetail starting to poke its unpleasant nose through the soil.

the plague of horrible horsetail begins...so soon.

the plague of horrible horsetail begins…so soon.

Drizzle had begun as we finished the boatyard project. We decided to just cut back two big messy gauras in the garden at the east end of Howerton.

at Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west, before

at Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west, before

looking east toward Beacon RV Park

looking east toward Beacon RV Park

iris reticulata in the garden

iris reticulata in the garden

The weather suddenly cleared so we did much more cutting back than we thought we would. Trying to weed to little blanketing weeds did not work out because the garden was so wet that we were losing too much soil with each weed patch, so we just went after the bigger weeds and some of the Bad Aster.

after

after

The rain and wind returned vigorously, further inspiring our decision to finish the weeding later.

the big field where we dump debris....

the big field where we dump debris….

time to go home!

time to go home!

I think we will toddle down to Pelicano Restaurant for an early dinner during their “happy hour” and publish this later with, of course, the addition of a few dinner photos.

Later: Finishing off with some phone blogging from my comfy chair, complicated by this:

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The view from our table at Pelicano:

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Cocktails: Ginger Snap and Aloha Kentucky (Maker’s Mark, pineapple juice, lemon juice, honey simple syrup).

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Lentil and Sausage Soup with Spanish Smoked Paprika and Feta
And
Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Avocado and Jalapeño-Cilantro Dressing

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The salad was so good, I could have eaten a casserole dish of it. Allan had the deservedly renowned Caesar Salad.

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Reflections and boat lights glowed as night fell.

Allan’s beautifully presented Petrale Sole with Potatoes, Tuscan Kale, Shiitake Mushrooms and Lemon Butter:

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As the tide rose, the tall lights of fishing boats moved into the harbour, echoed by candlelight reflections.

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What pleasure to have such a place two blocks from home.

As we left, Denny, Mary, Mary-mom (Mary’s mom, also Mary) and friends from Klipsan Beach Cottages were just embarking on their own delicious Pelicano feast.

Looking in the window at the KBC party:

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The wind and rain as we left made us glad we hadn’t walked down. Tomorrow’s chance of rain is 100% so just perhaps I’ll get a day of reading.

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Here it comes again, but later than usual:  The yearly first weeding of the Long Beach Bolstadt beach approach garden, which we usually have done by spring break.

First though, a check up on my favourite coffee shop, Olde Towne, which is making progress toward re-opening after their move to 108 First Ave in Ilwaco.

still coming along...

still coming along…

I am finding it surprisingly disturbing to be without my coffee shop, even though in work season we did not stop there every day!  But just knowing it’s there is important to me.

Then, on to Long Beach where we went to the outermost western end of the beach approach garden.  Thirteen sections long (two small end pieces are counted by me as one section), each section taking an hour or more for two people….What a chore.  It is a tedious job, and one that is truly miserable in wind or bad weather which is why we jumped on it when we saw the mild, warmish day today.

from the west end, looking east

from the west end, looking east

Far in the distance is the Long Beach arch claiming (incorrectly but with admirable chutzpah) that this is “the world’s longest beach”.   First, I spent an hour walking and weeding the raised planters while Allan got started on ground level weeding.

a sea thrift blooming at the west end

a sea thrift blooming at the west end

Here’s a practical demonstration.  All along the beach approach and in the planters, I have planted Santolina (lavender cotton), both the silver and the grey.

Take your Santolina at this time of year when it looks like this:

Santolina, before

Santolina, before

And trim it to the tight new growth so that it looks like this:

Santolina, after

Santolina, after

That will keep it in an attractive ball shape and keep it from getting too woody and leggy.

Santolina virens (the green one), before

Santolina virens (the green one), before

Santolina virens, halfway trimmed

Santolina virens, halfway trimmed

Santolina virens, done

Santolina virens, done

This could even be cut a little closer and more tidily, but I have many to do and am in a big hurry.  But not to big of a hurry to show you that out of the trimmings, you can take little hardwood pieces that look like this:

a small trimmed piece

a small trimmed piece

and just stick it in the soil like this:

little hardwood cutting, stuck firmly in the soil

little hardwood cutting, stuck firmly in the soil

…and you will almost always get a new plant.  I love this plant so much I always mean to make trays of cuttings at home but I just don’t find the time.

Now, a little tour of the beach approach garden today while I check on the planters:

in a planter:  Hermodactylus iris tuberosus

in a planter: Hermodactylus iris tuberosus

at ground level: species Narcissi and Anemone blanda

at ground level: species Narcissi and Anemone blanda

Anemone blanda blue shades

Anemone blanda blue shades

Narcissi bulbocodium 'Golden Bells'

Narcissi bulbocodium ‘Golden Bells’ (yellow hoop petticoats)

more small Narcissi

more small Narcissi

I used to plant lots of species tulips out here as well, but the deer discovered this garden about four years ago and now decimate them.  I don’t know why it took the deer several years to start eating the tulips.  There are still some that survive to bloom but nothing like the show I used to have.

For those who haven’t been to Long Beach, here’s how close we are to the beach at the western end of the garden:

west end of approach

west end of approach garden

After about ten hours of weeding, we are now this close to the arch:

nine and a bit sections to go.

nine and a bit sections to go.

One of the things that makes this long job more enjoyable is we get to see lots of cute dogs walk by.

dog and friend

dog and friend

On the way south toward home, we planted thirty six blue and white violas in the new Veterans Field garden.  I hope they last well till the dedication ceremony in early May.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

I like the mostly white narcissi, which will not last till May…

white narcissi

pale yellow and white narcissi

Tomorrow, if the weather is as pleasant as today’s, perhaps we can make more progress toward the arch out on the beach approach.  I so much want to get back to the private gardens that still need their first visit, but must take advantage of pleasant weather days for the beach job.

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