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Posts Tagged ‘santolinas’

Monday, 2 March 2015

Just when I’d been rejoicing to have three fewer jobs (one of which I had just finalized quitting over the weekend!), I got a call from a former client, Dan from Penttila’s mortuary.  He asked if we could do a clean up on the garden.  How could I resist?  We had helped install it in 2010, coincidentally at the same time my mother died.  Dan had been so helpful and thoughtful with all the arrangements, so I told him that even though my new policy is to (try to) say no to all extra work, we would make an exception for him.  Besides, we are fond of him and his partner Wayne, and used to garden for them when they owned Anthony’s Home Court, a resort just north of Long Beach.

We had planned to spend the day pruning the Long Beach berms and perhaps clipping ferns over at the Yett Cottage.  I added Penttila’s to the work list, just to have the pleasure of erasing it later.

the work list of first spring clean-ups

the work list of first spring clean-ups

in our front garden

in our front garden

at the Ilwaco post office

at the Ilwaco post office

variegated tulip foliage at the post office

variegated tulip foliage at the post office

We had an errand to run on our way to work, by choice:  We had decided to give a framed boat photograph to the new owners of the Portside Café, because we so admire how they are improving the little breakfast and lunch spot.  We chatted with new owners Laurie and Debbie who told us how they are providing delicious fresh food, for example, replacing processed frozen hash browns with real baby red potatoes.

They are going to add to their decorating theme by redoing the plain table tops with some nautical charts.

inside the Portside before the table transformation

inside the Portside before the table transformation

Portside Café

Portside Café

a dining counter with terrarium and view

a dining counter with terrarium and view

schmoozing at the Portside (Allan's photo)

schmoozing at the Portside (Allan’s photo)

On the way out, I was amused to see some narcissi blooming on the edge of the vacant lot to the south, because I know that happened when a planter was vandalized and dumped out last summer.  That annoying event resulted in this pretty vignette.

"wild" daffodils

“wild” daffodils

a glimpse of the boatyard garden, one block south, then on to work

a glimpse of the boatyard garden, one block south, then on to work

Penttila’s Chapel by the Sea

before

before

I had one other reason for taking on the Penttila’s clean up:  Every time we drove by there, which is almost every work day, I itched to cut back the four sword ferns which had not been done for two years.

sword fern, before

sword fern, before

before

before

before: two more sword ferns that had been making me twitchy.

before: two more sword ferns that had been making me twitchy.

The Santolina 'Lemon Fizz' had half reverted to green.

The Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ had half reverted to green.

All the santolinas needed cutting back.

All the santolinas needed cutting back.

I did not completely realize how much creeping sorrel and little weed grasses were in the garden till we got right down to it after doing all the clipping.  The weeding needed to be carefully done around many California poppy seedlings.

weeds

weeds

I got panicky partway through, thinking about Jo’s garden and Casa Pacifica that still need their first clean up, and worrying, and thinking fond thoughts of partial retirement, and disliking not being caught up.  I know that we did not get every little weed because we just plain ran out of time.  It did look pretty spiffing afterwards.

after

after

after

after

after...I added some 'Dusky Rose', 'Buttercream' and other mixed colour California poppy seeds.

after…I added some ‘Dusky Rose’, ‘Buttercream’ and other mixed colour California poppy seeds.

after

after

after

after

the dry stream

the dry stream

I wish the dry stream was edged with blue Geranium ‘Rozanne’ instead of the loathed (by me) lithodora, which is just starting to bloom so I couldn’t cut its tatty self back.  It does have the benefit of covering the plastic liner which otherwise would show along the edge of the rocks.

after

after

It was just after three, the garden looked pretty good, and my anxiety was mounting when we departed for the Long Beach parking lot berms.

Long Beach

At Penttila’s, the weather had been such that it was a jacket on, off, and then on again sort of day.  When we got out of the van at the south berm garden, I was horrified to feel an icy cold and misery-producing strong wind had kicked up.

Stipa gigantea waiting to be cut back.

Stipa gigantea waiting to be cut back.

rugosa roses needing pruning

rugosa roses needing pruning

santolina awaiting the clippers

santolina awaiting the clippers

tatty spirea ready for the chop

tatty spirea ready for the chop

The soil was so cold that it would have been unpleasant to weed, and we did not have time.  The weeds felt like they would have come out easily.  I hope to get back to them before the soil turns dry and rock hard, as last year’s mid-June weeding was a misery.  Speaking of misery, the cutting wind went right through four layers of shirts and jacket.

23 mph and so cold

23 mph and so cold

my piles of debris

my piles of debris

Allan's berm project, before (Allan's photo)

Allan’s berm project, before (Allan’s photos)

and after trimming a Phormium

and after trimming a Phormium

On the way home, even though the sun was in my eyes as we passed Penttila’s Chapel.  I reflected how pleasant it was to see the ferns cut back.

Penttila's garden will no longer bug me on a drive by!

Penttila’s garden will no longer bug me on a drive by!

I was ever so glad to be home and indoors.

view to the north from my nice warm living room

view to the north from my nice warm living room

The first clean up list is short now!

The first clean up list is short now!

But the Projects list is growing.

But the Projects list is growing.

As I closed the curtains, I reflected on how much I already miss the early darkness of winter and the cozy feeling of night closing in with nothing to do but read or watch a favourite show or a movie.  Another Kate Llewellyn book arrived today from Australia…

not enough reading time these days

not enough reading time these days

Next: a slide show of Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park

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