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Posts Tagged ‘pumpkins’

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Long Beach City Hall garden, where we picked up our check.

Long Beach City Hall garden, where we picked up our check.

Pink Poppy Bakery is closed for a bit for good reason.

Pink Poppy Bakery is closed for a bit for good reason.

The Planter Box

Our first mission of the day was to get a few plants for KBC Mary’s birthday.  The Planter Box was right on our way, although I forgot to get some lavenders for the port gardens.

fall colour at the planter box

fall colour at The Planter Box

gloriosa daisies

more fall colour

The Planter Box is pumpkin central....

The Planter Box is pumpkin central….

and also has lots of adorable little gourds.

and also has lots of adorable little gourds.

Teresa's favourite pumpkin

Teresa’s favourite pumpkin

They may have a "guess the weight" contest for this giant pumpkin.

They may have a “guess the weight” contest for this giant pumpkin.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

One of the Golden Sands residents had asked if we could bring back my mother’s three tiered lighted plant growing rack.  So we did, but what a trial it turned out to be.

Allan re-assembling it in the parking lot

Allan re-assembling it in the parking lot

It took time at home to break it down to ride in the van, and then 40 minutes at Golden Sands to reassemble it.  The parking lot was not a wise choice for an assembly site, or perhaps the unwise choice was trying to save time by leaving the fluorescent light tubes in…because we lost one in a great crash, and much time had to be spent sweeping up the pieces.

Not one tiny piece could be left behind in case a dog was walked along that area.

Not one tiny piece could be left behind in case a dog was walked along that area.

It was a bad and time-sucking start to the workday.

In the courtyard garden, I went after the usual problems while Allan strimmed the center lawn.  (We find it quicker to weedeat it than to take time to bring a mower and have to wheel it in and out via the long carpeted hallway.)

from the south end of the courtyard

from the south end of the courtyard

I am trying to control the rampantly reseeded aquilegia (columbine) and the spreading white achillea (yarrow) and the beach strawberry.

columbine, yarrow, and beach strawberry...pesky.

columbine, yarrow, and beach strawberry…pesky.

The SW quadrant is particularly full of columbine.

The SW quadrant is particularly full of columbine.

We had no time to pull the annoying pink hardy geranium from the SE quadrant.

We had no time to pull the annoying pink hardy geranium from the SE quadrant.

One wheelbarrow load of assorted thugs was all we had time to pull today.  Allan took some detail photos:

A rose planted by a volunteer.

A rose planted by a volunteer….

...outside of the quadrant gardens.

…outside of the quadrant gardens.

My mom's Joseph Coat rose

My mom’s Joseph Coat rose

mom's copper coloured rose

mom’s copper coloured rose

Klipsan Beach Cottages

from the east gate of the fenced garden, with part of Mary's gift at lower right.

from the east gate of the fenced garden, with part of Mary’s gift at lower right.

We brought her three Rudbeckia 'Irish Eyes'.

We brought her three Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’.

and three ornamental cabbages (in the lower pot)

and three ornamental cabbages (in the lower pot) to add to the display she had already made.

a well behaved aster in the fenced garden

a well behaved aster in the fenced garden

aster with Agapanthus seedheads

aster with Agapanthus seedheads

the little hebes that Mary planted last week

Hebe ‘McKeanii’, the little hebes that Mary planted last week; tag claims the foliage is chartreuse, probably in springtime.

one of the hardy fuchsias

one of the hardy fuchsias

Golden Sands needs hardy fuchsias!

Golden Sands needs hardy fuchsias!

Eupatorium 'Chocolate' blooms late with white flowers

Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’ blooms late with white flowers

Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' is going strong.

Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’ is going strong.

Schizostylis will bloom for weeks longer.

Schizostylis will bloom for weeks longer.

Some of the bad aster has prevailed and looks pretty now.

Some of the bad aster has prevailed and looks pretty now.

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower' has been wonderful this year.

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ has been wonderful this year.

Melianthus major close up

Melianthus major close up

black currants and tetrapanax

black currants and tetrapanax

Fuchsia 'Debron's Black Cherry' with a small rhodo throwing some late blooms

Fuchsia ‘Debron’s Black Cherry’ with a small rhodo throwing some late blooms

Wiegardt Gallery

A bit further north, we found havoc being wreaked along Bay Avenue: the utility company and the highway department were cutting lots of big trees along the edge of the road, a very radical form of keeping tree limbs off the power lines.  Citizens were wielding chain saws to collect firewood so the atmosphere was far from peaceful.  It was a startling change and I read later on Facebook that some locals were displeased.

looking south with chainsaw wielders in the background and tall trees gone from the skyline

looking south with chainsaw wielders in the background and tall trees gone from the skyline

lots of noise and ruckus

lots of noise and ruckus

Cosmos still blooming in the front garden of the gallery

Cosmos still blooming in the front garden of the gallery

Gallery manager Christl came out to chat and to show us that she had been to The Planter Box and purchased our favourite gardening tool, the Ho Mi (Korean Hand Plow, Zen Digger, EZ Digger):

christl

While we chatted over the sound of chainsaws, I admired the light on the berries of the  cotoneaster that grows on the front lawn.

Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster

not sure which cotoneaster, but it is taller than me.

not sure which cotoneaster, but it is taller than me.

with the stems of Stipa gigantea

with the stems of Stipa gigantea

Andersen’s RV Park

We then headed south to halfway down the Peninsula and Andersen’s.  I deadhead the many, many, many Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, a non stop annual bloomer.

looking west

looking west

busy

The park was busy midweek because of clam digging days.  The clam tides are set to certain days in fall, winter, and very early spring, and a license is required to dig a limited amount.

Allan had deadheaded and tidied the Payson Hall clubhouse planters.

Allan had deadheaded and tidied the Payson Hall clubhouse planters.

I had intended to start pulling asters and weeding the west side garden.  I could not get motivated.  All I could think of was how much I wanted to go home and have just one more fire.  So I told myself the asters still had a bit of blue and should not be pulled yet.

Don't you see the haze of blue?

Don’t you see the haze of blue?

goldenrod in the west garden, far from ready to cut back

goldenrod in the west garden, far from ready to cut back

My work ethic is not what is once was.  Off we skived to have a fire and roast some sausages, using the fairly good excuse that rain was due in two days, and then more rain for a week, and Allan needed to get the lawn mowed before it became too long and wet.

home

On the way home, it looked like fog was blanketing the south end of the Peninsula.

On the way home, it looked like fog was blanketing the south end of the Peninsula.

When we got to Ilwaco's Black Lake, the sky became blue again.

When we got to Ilwaco’s Black Lake, the sky became blue again; the fog had just been over Seaview.

In the back garden, I took some flower photos and then had much enjoyment snapping dry salmonberry stems for kindling.

Fuchsia 'Grayrigg'

Fuchsia ‘Grayrigg’

another hardy Fuchsia

another hardy Fuchsia

another very flouncy Fuchsia

another very flouncy hardy Fuchsia

One of my newer acquisiton which has lost its tag.

One of my newer acquisiton which has lost its tag.

After the so satisfying session of snapping dry salmonberry branches, and with the lawn successfully mowed, we settled in to burn up all the rest of last year’s fallen alder branches.  I felt a strong urge to not have any left, to start afresh and see if enough dry branches fall this winter to provide all of next summer’s fires.

view from my fireside chair

view from my fireside chair

Allan said he saw something spooky over the port, and at first he could not figure out what it was…then he realized it was local resident Dave’s kite high up in the fog.

fog

The building in the background used to house our beloved Pelicano restaur

He went to get a closer look.  Every evening, Dave takes his dog and his kite for a walk along the port.

PA080023

Allan was not thrilled with my fire building technique.

Allan was not thrilled with my fire building technique.

sausage roasting

sausage roasting

less elegantly known as a hot dog with cheese and chipotle filling

less elegantly known as a hot dog with cheese and chipotle filling

and the wood burns down

and the wood burns down

the ceremonial burning of this year's fire poking branch

the ceremonial burning of this year’s fire poking branch

and naught left but coals

and naught left but coals

The fog had rolled in, the fog horns were sounding on the river, and the lights of boats in the marina were reflected in the luminous night sky.

marina lights south of the bogsy woods

marina lights south of the bogsy woods

peaceful night view

peaceful night view

to the southwest, the much brighter lights of Jessie's Fish Company

to the southwest, the much brighter lights of Jessie’s Fish Company where workers were bustling with forklifts

the very end of campfire season?

the very end of campfire season?

I’m already sad that all the wood is burned up and might get enough dry firewood from J9 for maybe just one more fire if we have another clear autumn evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, October 7, 2013

I overslept…again. Allan said it was raining so he did not wake me. The weather looked fine when I finally opened my eyes. Then rain returned and we thought we would take the defective lawnmower to the repair shop in Astoria, until the sun came out moments later and I assessed the sky as being light all around the edges. So we went to weed at Golden Sands.

I could not find my grub hoe (AKA vineyard hoe). For the difficult and dense strawberry removal at Golden Sands, I wanted it. The last time I could remember using it was a year ago at Nancy Allen’s garden! So I resolved to buy a new one at The Planter Box. They had a reassuringly large new pile of dairy manure and lots of interesting pumpkins and squash.

cow fiber

cow fiber

colour coordinated pumpkin and rooster

colour coordinated pumpkin and rooster

Teresa is having a contest with a prize for whoever can guess the weight of this pumpkin.

It's a whopper.

It’s a whopper.

white and orange, large and small

white and orange, large and small

pumpkins

One thing The Planter Box did not have was a grub hoe. Teresa had recently sold the last one. She suggested I could borrow her dad’s if we could find it, so we walked over to his kitchen garden.

kitchen garden with pruned raspberries in front

kitchen garden with pruned raspberries in front

Teresa let the chooks out!

Teresa let the chooks out!

chooks2

fall colour on a blueberry

fall colour on a blueberry

The grub hoe was found over by the house so Allan and I were on our way (after I bought a pair of clippers to stand in till I find my three or more lost pairs).

grub hoe is on left

grub hoe is on left

When I had bemoaned how I could misplace a tool as large as the grub hoe, Teresa had told me that her dad has lost three out on the farm somewhere. “He leans them against a tree, and then the wind blows, and the grass grows…” I felt better.

At Golden Sands, my enthusiasm for getting the beds ready for mulching turned to despair when I stepped into the courtyard and saw this:

????????

????????

I knew the eunoymous was scheduled to be cut low below the windows, but what had happened to the rhododendrons?

??!!@#*@*#!!!!

??!!@#*@*#!!!!

The rhodos in that section had looked like these on the other side of the door, and were symmetrically arranged to match them.

not YET pruned

not YET pruned

I could understand taking a little off the top, but why the butchery?

The ones that had been planted (why, landscape architect, WHY!!!???) right in front of the windows did have to be pruned low per fire department rules.

but why so stubby?

but why so stubby?

But now the whole area looks like this…and to refresh your memory, here again is the way the OTHER side looks.

the good and the bad

the good and the bad

The state of the roses near the door made me almost weep.

and the ugly

and the ugly

A plump and promising rose bud was hacked and hanging on by a thread of bark. Last time, happily recovering because of sprinkler system repair, that rose looked so good with fresh new leaves and flowers. Two other roses in the same area had been treated the same way.

I went on the warpath and found no one to kvetch to till I tracked activities director Pam down in the gym. She listened and came out to the garden with me and looked and shared my distress. I said I would quite simply quit if the rest of the courtyard was pruned so severely, as there was no good reason to hack down every single shrub!

Then I grub hoed in a grim mood. After awhile, the maintenance man came out. He’s a nice guy, and he said he had only been doing what he was told. Then we had a pruning talk, and he listened with an open and receptive mind. I showed him how a rhodo could be lowered without leaving nought but stubs and asked why? why? why? about the rose and its lovely buds. He said while he was pruning the rhodos, a resident had come out and asked him to deadhead the rose. Not being a gardener, he just cut the whole top off. Personally, I would NOT deadhead a rose at this time of year because I think letting it make hips helps harden it off for winter. I implored him to just leave the roses to me, and I think he will.

Another problem looms: He does not like having to clean leaves out of the gutters, and says the tall maples drop leaves every week, pretty much.

the maples in question

the maples in question, northeast courtyard area

You can see how high they are over the gutters. I described how they could be carefully cut into an attractive lower Japanese-garden-looking sort of foliage cloud. That’s not gonna happen. He spoke of cutting the trunks to five feet tall. I said either cut them ALL the way down and let the tree be a shrub that is chopped low, or just get rid of them. (You can see a haze of suckers all around the base that would become shrublike.) A set of five foot stumps just sounds hideous to me. Again, why do landscape designers plant this way? A smaller tree would have been wiser. In the courtyard, there is a fire alarm strobe light that needs to be visible to the residents. Of course, the designer, whoever it was, fourteen years ago, planted a maple tree right in front of it.

At least the two small maples at the south end of the courtyard will be spared as they are much better placed and not up against the building.

smaller maples at south end (repeat photo)

smaller maples at south end (repeat photo)

I showed the patient maintenance man a large California Wax myrtle that was clearly a random seedling and said it could be cut all the way to the ground, as it is in a place it should not be and is blocking a rose and a hydrangea, and I described how he can cut an enormous ceanothus so that it won’t look butchered but will be half its present size. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, Allan tackled strawberries.

during and after, northwest quadrant

during and after, northwest quadrant

He wants you to know it was solid beach strawberry all the way to the wooden box when he began (but he forgot to take a before photo at the beginning).

more "afters" of northwest quadrant

more “afters” of northwest quadrant

Gah!

last time

today!

today!

Now we are ready to bring mulch. We also worked over the southeast quadrant, removing more strawberries and some pink blah cranesbill geranium.

better, way few strawberries and fewer cranesbill geraniums

better, way few strawberries and fewer cranesbill geraniums

The garden beds suffer from Free Syndrome. The budget was so small I brought free plants (NOT cranesbill geraniums though!) including a pale pink scabiosa that has reseeded far too prolifically.

Southwest quadrant...still too much pink scabiosa

Southwest quadrant…still too much pink scabiosa

I hope that the mulching can happen next week.

The maintenance man and I fervently wish the design had included a nearby access door for the garden courtyard that does not require bringing a wheelbarrow (or, in the past, lawnmower) all down the long carpeted hallway.

Just at closing time, we got the grub hoe returned to The Planter Box. We’d dodged a few brief squalls while working; while we were in the store a deluge passed over.

rain

rain

some fall colour including two kinds of chocolate cosmos and some calendula

some fall colour including two kinds of chocolate cosmos and some calendula

Home at dusk, I thought about hauling yesterday’s debris piles from off the lawn. But didn’t.

Halloween lights

Halloween lights

front porch, with Frosty

front porch, with Frosty

The emotional ups and downs of gardening, and the defense of plants against bad pruning, can be exhausting sometimes.

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