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Posts Tagged ‘putting Gunnera to bed’

Monday, 25 November, 2013

As the weather continues to be bright and warm, I am not envious of the sleeping cats when I leave the house for work.

Smokey and his mom Mary are awfully cute.

Smokey and his mom Mary are awfully cute.

I had looked hopefully on the porch for the delayed shipment of 200 tulips that had been supposed to arrive on Friday, and without which the three last bulb planting jobs and the happy end of bulb time was frustratingly delayed. No bulbs! My back up plan, to mulch instead, would depend on whether or not Raymond was available at the Planter Box to load us with cow manure. Yes, he was!

First we had to unload yesterday’s debris from the trailer. The clean debris went into one of the piles in the back garden, giving me a chance to check on it; I had not had much free daylight time lately.

back garden today

back garden today

The last glorious dahlia is done.

The last glorious dahlia is done.

All the hardy Fuchsias have their leaves crisped by frost. This makes me sad as they usually last much longer.

Fuchsias and Verbascum

Fuchsias and Verbascum

With an empty trailer, we went straight to The Planter Box. While getting ready to load the “Bovine Fiber Digest” (their official name for the processed dairy manure), Raymond told me that we are one of the two warmest spots in the country today: Florida at 70 something degrees and SW Washington Coast in the 60s. I had already changed to my summer shirt.

first load of cow fiber

11:30 AM: first load of cow fiber

Our first target: The Anchorage Cottages.

Anchorage, garden near office, before

Anchorage, garden near office, before

after

after

lovely cow poo

lovely cow poo

Courtyard garden, before, with more of the low glaring sun we are having daily.

Courtyard garden, before, with more of the low glaring sun we are having daily.

courtyard after

courtyard after

I kept the mulch a bit back from the edge so the little, well, turdlets, won’t roll out onto the nice clean courtyard. So the contrast between old sandy soil and the new rich look shows well here:

contrast

contrast

We had enough mulch to do part of the beds by the south end of the cottage complex, as well. Then, back to The Planter Box. I was determined to get as much mulching done as possible since Raymond was there all day long; when he is off on a landscaping job, there is no one to load the fiber.

12:44 PM:  second load

12:44 PM: second load

We had a problem when leaving the Planter Box: The speedometer, tachometer, and gas tank, er, thingie (how much gas is left) all went to zero. It was not the alternator, as the radio and the indicator that shows our miles per gallon still worked. It added considerable worry, in my mind at least. The day had been going so well and I hoped to get three loads of mulch distributed without mechanical problems bringing us to a halt. I especially dread a breakdown with a heavy trailer of mulch attached.

When we got to Long Beach, the second load (which I decided to not refer to as “load number two”) went here:

the newly redone bed in frying pan park, Fifth Street in Long Beach

the newly redone bed in frying pan park, Fifth Street in Long Beach

Hmm, I think that garbage can brings down the tone. It is a cute enough garbage can, but having the bag showing is not quite right. However, it is Not My Problem, and it will not show as much when a bench gets put back next to it. [Next day I learned that it is going to be removed.]

We also added a nice layer of cow poo to the small garden bed on the south side of Summer House, the yellow house you can see in the background of the above photo. And joy! When Allan turned the van back on, all the meters worked as they should. I had been hoping that turning if off and on again would do the trick.

Next we added a nice layer of Cow Fiber at the welcome sign. (Last week we had mulched all three of these areas with Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)

welcome sign with a double whammy of two kinds of mulch

welcome sign with a double whammy of two kinds of mulch

To my delight, the four scoops of cow fiber extended far enough to put a thick layer on the north and east side beds at the Depot Restaurant.

lusciousness at the Depot

lusciousness at the Depot (north side of deck)

east side of dining room

east side of dining room

Back to The Planter Box for load number three!

2:20 PM: Raymond tidies up the Cow Fiber pile after loading our trailer.

2:20 PM: Raymond tidies up the Cow Fiber pile after loading our trailer.

By the way, The Planter Box has a nice selection of bulbs for those who might still need some. It is not too late to plant; around here, you can plant bulbs well into December.

bulbs

bulbs

Just to keep the suspense strong about whether or not we would accomplish offloading three loads of mulch today, the engine light came on in the van. My heart sank when I came back outside from paying and saw Allan with his head under the hood. Whatever he did worked. The light went off and all was well as we drove to the Port of Ilwaco.

and at the Port of Ilwaco

at the Port of Ilwaco

We mulched the end of the bed where we had weeded and planted new plants last week.

bed, with empty wheelbarrow

bed, with empty wheelbarrow

And we mulched down at the Port Office on the new-this-past-year south side bed.

3:07 PM:  Oh, how I wanted the glaring blinding sun to go behind Cape Disappointment!

3:07 PM: Oh, how I wanted the glaring blinding sun to go behind Cape Disappointment!

Then we headed over to Mayor Mike’s garden at the south end of Lake Street. There, we used much less mulch than I had thought the garden would need. The beds are quite narrow. I forgot to take a picture, but I did take one of two of my canine friends walking by.

Dwight walking Larry and Big River.

Dwight walking Larry and Big River.

The dogs had had a great time at the riverside park on the east end of town.

With plenty of cow fiber left, we unexpectedly had enough to do more mulching down at the port along Howerton Street.

beds along Howerton north of the Port Office

beds along Howerton north of the Port Office

I do hope to find time Friday or even on Thanksgiving day to do some trimming of the plants here, as this weekend is the first day of the Saturday Christmas Market in a storefront just at the end of these beds (next to Time Enough Books, where the red Christmas Market sign is on the left).

More luscious mulch should help hold moisture next summer.

More luscious mulch should help hold moisture next summer.

We had just enough left to add a smattering of mulch by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and The Imperial Schooner restaurant at the west end of Howerton.

a Jade Frost Eryngium still blooming, albeit sideways

a Jade Frost Eryngium still blooming, albeit sideways

looking east

looking east

and north

and north

more jet trails

pots ready for crabbing

On the drive down to Ilwaco, I had seen a disconcerting sight in the Fifth Street park’s waterfall quadrant: The Gunnera was DOWN. We did not stop for fear we would not have gotten the manure offloaded before dark, but now we went back to Long Beach to deal with the problem.

unsightly frosted Gunnera

unsightly frosted Gunnera by Benson’s By The Beach Restaurant

I saw a Little Brown Bird dining on the Gunnera seeds!

very busy

very busy

Little Brown Bird

Little Brown Bird

bird

At the back of the park, the lacecap Hydrangea had also been hit hard by unseasonal frost. It is a darn shame because the frost was followed by such summery weather and warmer nights.

a limp hydrangea

a limp hydrangea

We cut back the dead leaves of the Gunnera and tucked some of them over the crown in hope of protecting it from future frost. The seeds are still there for the Little Brown Bird.

Gunnera tucked in for winter

Gunnera tucked in for winter

Here’s something ever so satisfying: The white board in the kitchen tonight.

Today's accomplishment! before and after

Today’s accomplishment! before and after

Also satisfying: the last bulbs came and are now sorted and ready to plant tomorrow. We have one large and one medium bulb batch to plant and two little afterthought batches of fifteen each. When that is done, and The Boreas Inn and Andersen’s RV Park are mulched, one side of the project board will be blank. I am going to shift mulching Jo’s over to the planned work for next February! Then we just have to deal with the list of last clean ups (weeding and cutting plants back) for each garden:

here they all are

here they all are

Jo’s is a big one, as is Long Beach.

And then staycation will begin! Unless….unless….we decide to put in a big garden bed at Erin’s place before our winter break.

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