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Posts Tagged ‘Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’’

Sunday, 1 June 2014

my day

Sunday, upon waking (after still not quite enough sleep), felt to me like a promising, good, very productive gardening day.

the view from my window

the view from my window

I frittered away very little time on breakfast, Facebook, and email before getting back to my weeding.

the back garden with weeds scattered around

the back garden with weeds scattered around

By two PM, I had a Senecio greyi, a couple of Agastaches, a Geum ‘Pumpkin’ and a six pack of cosmos planted where the bad phlox came out yesterday. And then, suddenly, the sun came out and it was HOT. I went inside and when I looked at the temperature, I thought that 65 could not be right. It felt more like 80 to me.

I did have to bill Long Beach town for the last half of May, so I booted up the computer, an unusual action for a non rainy afternoon. Then I decided I should make my Saturday Market blog entry…and then the entry for Friday (as I am running behind.) The weather still looked hot, and I thought if I just did some more billing, I could go out around 5 PM and garden for two more hours in the coolness.

Billing for annuals planting time is complicated and time consuming and hurts my brain…so many plants. Fortunately, I had made the plant lists during a rainy spell the previous weekend. 5 PM became 6 PM…7 PM…8 PM as I made spreadsheets with frustration and felt a nice cool breeze through my window. And yet, if I could just get all the billing done, I would not have to suffer over it after work during the week. Thus I prevailed until after 8, and it was done!

Allan’s day

Meanwhile, Allan did the inaugural water trailer watering of the Ilwaco planters. It did not go smoothly. The new inflatable hose burst; electric tape worked to fix it. The battery for the trailer ran out of charge, so we probably do need a new one, and the battery on the van also died from all the stopping and starting required to park near enough to each planter to hose water. (It was probably low because Allan had been doing some minor tinkering on the van’s air conditioning the day before with some stopping and starting.) With all that slowdown, and having to move the van a couple of times because parking to water the planters seems to vex other drivers (I think we need an official flashing yellow light), it took yonks more time than bucket watering. I still think the city would find in the long run that it would save money to give us hose spigots. However, we are stuck into the job for this year so will keep on with the water truck. Maybe next year someone else can do the watering.

dropping the truck off in the city works yard

dropping the trailer off in the city works yard…at least it’s out of our yard now.

under the green tarp...

under the green tarp…

If the crew fills the trailer every time we drop it off, ten minutes per watering session will be saved, maybe fifteen including the parking at the boatyard to get water. However, will it then be too heavy for Allan to hook it up to the van?

Our evening

At last, I got back out into the garden at dusk, and Allan had built a campfire.

fireplace

I took a dusk walk around the garden and managed to not get too frustrated at all I did not get done outside today.

Maxine's white rose

Maxine’s white rose

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

a rose from Heirloom Roses in Oregon.

a rose from Heirloom Roses in Oregon.

One flower on my young Rosa moyesii

One flower on my young Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’

Rosa moyesii 'Geranium';  Reader, I bought one.

I was inspired to get mine by this Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’at Joy Creek Nursery two years ago. Mine has a ways to go to be this gorgeous.

Sambucus nigra laciniata (cutleaf elderberry)

Sambucus nigra laciniata (cutleaf elderberry)

I love this little tree...not so little when I saw a handsome specimen at Joy Creek Nursery years ago (which is where I got mine).

I love this little tree…not so little when I saw a handsome specimen at Joy Creek Nursery years ago (which is where I got mine).

I’m thinking of a fence enhancement that will block that shiny tarp next door.

a beloved feathery sanguisorba (again, I know I showed it recently, maybe yesterday!)

a beloved feathery sanguisorba (again, I know I showed it recently, maybe yesterday!). I collect these after seeing some in a slideshow by Piet Oudolf, years ago at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show..

I must mark these alliums well in order to move them in the fall.  Rozanne is swallowing them.  (I did move some but could not find them all.)

I must mark these alliums well in order to move them in the fall. Rozanne is swallowing them. (I did move some but could not find them all.)

Those alliums…I thought they would look like glass fishing balls floating above the river of Rozanne. Rozanne turned out to be more vigorous than I had dreamed of.

Paul's Himalayan Musk rose, with Nora's house

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose, with Nora’s house

The peachy coloured rose to the right is NOT Gloire de Dijon, as I found the real Gloire de Dijon further along the fence and much much smaller.

I did not achieve my goal of getting this edge weeded...

I did not achieve my goal of getting this edge weeded…

or this one...

or this one…

Nor did I get the wild impatiens or the dreaded bindweed (creeping in from next door) out of this bogsy woods corner.

Nor did I get the wild impatiens or the dreaded bindweed (creeping in from next door) out of this bogsy woods corner.

Smokey and Frosty (in their Birds Be Safe collars) were excited to have a campfire.  They enjoy having us at home on weekends.

Smokey and Frosty (in their Birds Be Safe collars) were excited to have a campfire. They enjoy having us at home on weekends.

There’s always next weekend, if we can get all the work done before then…

Allan toasts a hot dog bun..

Allan toasts a hot dog bun..

and enjoyed a Starvation Alley cranberry beer from North Jetty Brewing.

and enjoyed a Starvation Alley cranberry beer from North Jetty Brewing.

Later, Allan went on a quest to find one of the elusive frogs, so loudly croaking each night and then falling quiet any time we come near. In the water boxes by the patio, he tracked one down.

hiding

hiding

just one of many

just one of many

P.S. a book

It takes me much longer to read a book these days, just a bit at the end of each day. All this past week I have been completely smitten by Joe Queenan’s One for the Books. I’ve enjoyed all of the Queenan books of essays that I’ve read. He is a cynic and a curmudgeon. I quite like curmudgeons and a certain kind of funny cynic. Give me a book like that any day over something all sweetness and light like Eat, Pray, Love. (To be fair, the title of the latter puts me off so much that I haven’t ever read it.)

bookmarks for all the pages with book recommendations or wonderful passages

bookmarks for all the pages with book recommendations or wonderful passages

I do love a reason to feel better about not driving.

I do love a reason to feel better about not driving. I read many many books while taking buses in Seattle.

on libraries being miracles

on libraries being miracles

One line that makes a book memorable.

One line that makes a book memorable.

Several of Queenan’s stories throughout One for the Books speak of the serendipity that comes into our lives by carrying books around. (You can tell a lot by the book someone is reading.) And by going to bookstores and libraries…something about seeing a book a friend had recommended, and then encountering the same friend upon leaving the book store. My bookmarks failed me and I could find only one of those passages again to photograph. Each ended with a similar observation: “I don’t think you can have this sort of experience with a Kindle”.

queenan

High on my list now is Queenan’s Closing Time, a memoir that I did not know existed.

 

 

 

 

 

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With two weeks to go before the edible garden tour, I took the day off to weed at home while Allan worked up on Discovery Heights.  He took some photos….

nicely weeded in the middle garden

nicely weeded in the middle garden

weeded but blah section in lower garden

weeded but blah section in lower garden

sprinkler fail

the uphill side is too dry while the lower side is happy

The fact that the sprinkler system has problems and the garden is too dry, coupled with the climbing on rocks to do the job AND the lack of a bathroom (!) are among the reasons I am letting this job go.  But Allan is finding it hard to let go….because it is a garden we installed when he first moved here in January 2005.

Meanwhile, I was happily weeding at home.  The trick with a garden tour is do not wait and do heavy weeding the week before, because the garden will look beat up.  Do the big weeding (if you have been busy and neglectful) at least two weeks ahead of time and a then keep it nice until tour day.

I took no befores (not that the befores were too terribly bad) but lots of afters, in the evening.

looking south, back garden

looking south, back garden

I fretted:  Would any lilies still be in bloom on tour day, August 11th?

lilies

lilies

Would they last?

Would they last?

lilies

Lilies with Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Lilies with Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

lilies

shade garden by bogsy wood

shade garden by bogsy wood

path into bogsy wood widened due to injudicious location of Gunnera!

path into bogsy wood widened due to injudicious location of Gunnera!

I continued to fret mildly over my lack of edibles.

potatoes growing on debris pile

potatoes growing on debris pile

all of four corn plants squeezed in with ornamentals.

all of four corn plants squeezed in with ornamentals.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune'; hyssop counts as an herb!

Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’; hyssop counts as an herb!

'Black' Scabiosa...how I love it

‘Black’ Scabiosa…how I love it in every stage of bloom

Geranium 'Rozanne' river from the side

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river from the side

Smokey and Frosty in their new collars

Smokey and Frosty in their new collars

My two voracious hunters are now adorned with BirdsBeSafe collars and joy! They are no longer (to my knowledge, and before it was all too apparent) catching birds!

Finally, a photo with one blurry pink sweet pea.  It is in a place (the south side of the garden boat) that I cannot walk in to get a close photo due to the strawberry patch.  But that pink sweet pea is special to me because this year, with my pitiful sweet pea crop, I at least got one of this one:  It’s Alan Titchmarsh sweet pea acquired for me by my friend Sheila!  Mr. Titchmarsh is beloved to me because of the telly show Ground Force.

very special indeed

that pink blur is very special indeed

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We enjoyed our well earned day off by, of course, working in the garden.  (In the evening, Allan rewarded himself further with a brief motorcycle ride while I had to endure two tedious hours of billing…thus avoiding a complete day off of work.)

My main mission at home was to get all my plants and seeds in the ground, and Allan’s was to mow the lawn and do some weeding in his garden beds.

I’m not very good at growing things from seed, but I tried these:

beans and sunflowers

beans and sunflowers

I like beans with gorgeous colours as I rarely get around to harvesting and eating them.  Also planted some Nigella ‘Chocolate Sundae’.  It looks lovely but I think I should have planted it earlier.  I misplaced the packet.  I also lost and found a packet of Cosmos…and have lost it again.  Same for some Nasturtium…but I certainly do not need any more nasturtium here.  It has reseeded far too freely and I am pulling some out in the mixed borders as last year it got too smothery.

I ran out of fence to plant beans on, and have some lovely long bamboo poles.  Despite my laying them out, and hinting, all Allan did was TELL me how to make a bean teepee, instead of making one for me.

He did switch all the smelly compost from one compost bin to another so that he could move the old one and set up a new rotating bin that we got for free.

Before planting anything, I did two enjoyable weeding and editing projects.  I wonder how well the difference shows:

before, front garden (east side)

before, front garden (east side)

after

after

Well, that is not at all clear, is it?  I had to switch angles for the after photo or my shadow would have been all over it.  This section is much more impressive:

before

before

after

after removing loads of wild impatiens

Also removed one stepping stone to fit in a variegated Jacob’s Ladder.

I had two visitors:

Gracie from across the stree

Gracie from across the street

Gracie is a good old girl who sometimes gets in trouble here for chasing cats through a garden bed.  She responds obediently to “Go home!” when need be.

Phoenix and Gracie

Phoenix and Gracie

Phoenix from next door is more of a rascal….a tailwagger who won’t let me near him.

the elusive Phoenix

the elusive Phoenix

Phoenix’s own yard is across the fence to the east.  He hightailed it to the back of the garden and suddenly was on his side.  I KNEW he had found a place to sneak under.  Today we were able to find it, as there was a pile of green debris and he had dragged some of it under with him, so we blocked the spot with a board.  It looked too small;  he must be able to make himself very flat.

I got my plants into the ground and now the only plants left (till I buy more) are the three artichokes for Leanne!  and an Erysimum ‘Fragrant Star’ that I am adding to an Ilwaco planter, switching it for ‘Apricot Twist’, whose tag reveals it may stop blooming in June.  Fragrant star is supposed to be an all summer bloomer.

just three!

just three!

We even had time to put out some decorative touches:

little birdhouses behind Fragrant Star

little birdhouses behind Fragrant Star

wall of china

wall of china

We think it is safe to hang the plates in the wind tunnel between the house and the shop…but I have one nail that has no plate.  I wonder where I put that plate…

Allan's mom's pot with water

Allan’s mom’s pot with water

at last I put my flock of chickens out!

at last I put my flock of chickens out!

An early evening walk through the garden revealed these good things:

Hebe 'Quicksilver'

Hebe ‘Quicksilver’

shows actual size

shows actual size

Phyteuma

a planted table

a planted table

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

another iris

another iris

Allium albopilosum

Allium albopilosum

Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

Sambucus laciniata

Sambucus laciniata

looking south

looking south

It would have been the perfect gardening day had I not needed to go inside before dark to work on billing.

I am hoping that starting next weekend we can get two days a week off.  This would be quite extravagant, and perhaps financially unwise, but if I have twenty or fewer years left as an active gardener (I would hope for more but am basing my estimate on my mother’s life), I need to spend more of it in my own garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Despite there being much to do at work, I took one day off to weed my own garden.  Allan’s little garden looks perfect:

Allan's garden with Maddy

Allan’s garden with Maddy

Disporum 'Night Heron'

Disporum ‘Night Heron’

Impatiens omieana

Impatiens omieana

I love the new foliage on this mahonia.

I love the new foliage on this mahonia.

crabapple blossom

apple blossom

After that pleasant interlude admiring Allan’s tidy garden, I moved on to the three big weedy beds in the backyard.  I want to see if a before and after set of photos even shows the results of six hours of almost-steady weeding.

east bed, before

east bed, before

east bed after a couple of wheelbarrow of weeds went away

east bed after a couple of wheelbarrow of weeds went away

middle garden, before

middle garden, before

My reward for getting middle garden weeded, I decided when I began, would be to put out my birthday present from Judy.

middle garden, after

middle garden, after

with Ross the pig

with Ross the pig

west garden, before

west garden, before

west garden, after

west garden, after

I completely filled our large wheelie bin with weeds, with one bucket and one wheelbarrow left over, and dumped at least another wheelbarrow full of compostable items (that is, thinned perennials rather than invasive weeds) onto the debris pile.  I wish I had tomorrow off as well; without any rain, we have to check on watering at several places and we have plants to plant.  I did not get time to plant any in my own garden, but I think I would rather wait for some rain.  (The soil is moisty underneath here at home, I am glad to say.)   My friend Kathleen S stopped by to visit but my dedication to weeding trumped my true desire to just sit down with her on the patio.

Some good things I saw along the way:

my good friends Frosty and Smokey

my good friends Frosty and Smokey

white verbascum

white verbascum

Tulip 'Cummins'

Tulip ‘Cummins’

bogsy woods plant table

bogsy woods plant table

a new rose

a new rose

shade bed has a few big weeds, but not bad.

shade bed has a few big weeds, but not bad.

shade bed

shade bed

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

scilla outside the deer fence

scilla outside the deer fence

the outer bogsy woods

the outer bogsy woods

Some not so good things:

The pond between us and the port parking lot is drying up but there are still little tadpoles in it.

will tadpoles survive?

will tadpoles survive?

I am losing my tunnel through the salmonberries:

disappearing path

disappearing path

One side of the middle bed has lots of reseeded California poppies.  The other side has none!

unbalanced

unbalanced

If we ever get rain again, I’ll transplant some to the empty side.

Santolina 'Lemon Fizz' wants to revert to green.

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ wants to revert to green.

I need to find time to trim him, AND to chop the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by half so it won’t flop open.

The Bright Lights chard that bolted to taller than me is sadly representative of how I rarely get around to harvesting and eating any edible thing that I grow.

a giant

a giant

The patio still needs weeding:

patio

patio

My Rosa pteracantha is still dead.

I thought I saw a new shoot, but apparently not.

I thought I saw a new shoot, but apparently not.

And the real heartbreaker:  There are hardly any sweet peas along here.  I think it might be because I got too busy to regularly apply Sluggo, so maybe they got eaten.

where ARE they???

where ARE they???

Next year, instead of planting all of them at once, I will make two plantings, one on the outside and one on the inside, a week apart.  And I will not go on a trip in April.  And I will put out Sluggo every day.

I will have to find an alternative, perhaps an annual vine that I can acquire in pots…or maybe the few remaining sweet peas will surprise me.

Meanwhile, Allan worked up at Discovery Heights, deadheading hundreds of narcissi:

pre-deadheading

pre-deadheading

and saw a coyote, but it moved fast so he just got a blurry photo:

coyote on the move

coyote on the move

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