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Posts Tagged ‘Siberian Iris’

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Skyler, at home

On a Sunday off, I began with great determination to get the back garden’s huge west bed weeded of its sheet of dwarf fireweed.

Arthur Lee Jacobsen has some choice words for this plant: “Dwarf Fireweed is like a cheap throwaway ink pen overshadowed by a fine fountain pen. This small version has none of the glamor, beauty and interest generated by the legion towering wands of deep rosy flowers its famous cousin sports. “But,” protests the dwarf, “my claim is ubiquity; unlike big Fireweed, I’m in every garden.” ….a despicable but not really harmful pest…. It can flower and seed in its first year, but lives as a perennial.”

west bed, before

west bed, before

before...with a carpet of fireweed which would love to grow to three feet tall or taller.

before…with a carpet of fireweed which would love to grow to three feet tall or taller.

I had ambitions to get the west bed done and move on to more fun weeding projects…

such as this bed under the trunk of the former Danger Tree

such as this bed under the trunk of the former Danger Tree

or this east side shade bed that I truly look forward to weeding again.

or this east side semi-shade bed that I truly look forward to weeding again.

or the wealth of jewelweed that remains to be pulled on the east side of the bogsy woods.

or the wealth of jewelweed that remains to be pulled on the east side of the bogsy woods.

or this satisfyingly small area that still needs weeding in the east bed...

or this satisfyingly small area that still needs weeding in the east bed…

I allowed myself very few distractions.  On a debris run (the worst part of a big weeding job is barrowing away wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow from the garden bed), I did see a busy female Stellar Jay whose behavior indicated she might have a nest nearby.

next door

next door

in Nora's rugosa rose patch

in Nora’s rugosa rose patch

jay2

keeping an eye on the situation from Nora's garage roof

keeping an eye on the situation from Nora’s garage roof

and from my debris pile

and from my debris pile…

while Mary and Smokey lounged on Nora's garage carpark.

while Mary and Smokey lounged on Nora’s garage carpark.

further south in the west bed, more fireweed

further south in the west bed, more fireweed

I have to peel it off with a short handled garden claw like rolling back a carpet.

I have to peel it off with a short handled garden claw like rolling back a carpet.

It's popping up all among the Persicaria bistorta (which has gotten a bit too rampant, I think).

It’s popping up all among the Persicaria bistorta (foreground, which has gotten a bit too rampant itself, I think).

an area well done and ready for cosmos

an area well done and ready for cosmos

I planted these seeds from Nancy; I'm not very good at growing plants from seeds...

I planted these seeds from Nancy; I’m not very good at growing plants from seeds…

siberian iris

siberian iris

some space without a blur of weeds

some space without a blur of weeds

I kept slogging away on the project till six.  I will admit I started at noon. A strong and annoying wind pestered me the whole time.  And at the very end, not only did I not get to the more fun weeding areas, but I did not even manage to pick up the last two wheelbarrows full of fireweed, pulled into a pile and left behind.  This is exactly what happened last year, which is how it reseeded all over the place, because tomorrow we are beginning annuals planting hel….er, TIME, and my at home weeding days will be curtailed till the plants are in the ground.

I had a bit of a walkabout with my remaining strength.

center bed with Stipa gigantea blooming

center bed with Stipa gigantea blooming

east bed, another iris

west bed, another iris

Camassia leitchlinii alba; apparently I was too tired to hold the camera straight

Camassia leitchlinii alba; apparently I was too tired to hold the camera straight

with cut leaf elderberry from Joy Creek nursery

with cut leaf elderberry from Joy Creek nursery and some white columbine…very tasteful

I need to chop all the big sedums partway down so they don’t splay open this summer…and SOON.  I must find time to do it even if I don’t find time to clean up the mess (which leads to more and more sedums as they root from fallen pieces).

Rose Zepherine Drouhin  by the patio; she's thornless.

Rose Zepherine Drouhin by the patio; she’s thornless.

another climber, so beautiful, so blackspotty.  It might have to go.

another climber, so beautiful, so blackspotty. It might have to go. (Gloire de Dijon)

outside the west gate: Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' as tall as the house.

outside the west gate: Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ as tall as the house. (Admittedly, the house is short.)

Meanwhile….

Allan, at work in Ilwaco

We were concerned that the Ilwaco planters might be getting dry, as they are small and densely planted and a drizzle of rain water does not penetrate well.  They dry out quickly and then the soil pulls away from the sides.  (We heard the powers that be are considering a search for better planters.)

Allan decided to do the inaugural run with the Ilwaco water trailer today, as tomorrow planting time resumes and we’ll be otherwise occupied.  The first run always takes longest as the water trailer has to be convinced to work perfectly again.

The water trailer, ready to emerge from its winter home at the Ilwaco City Works yard.

The water trailer, ready to emerge from its winter home at the Ilwaco City Works yard.

hooked up and ready to be filled....

hooked up and ready to be filled….

down at the Ilwaco boatyard

Having driven down to the Ilwaco boatyard…

Allan found this beam blocking access to the boat launch and to the faucet he usually uses to fill up.

Allan found this beam blocking access to the boat launch and to the faucet he usually uses to fill up.

There was no water anywhere, not in the big boat barn...

There was no water anywhere, not in the big boat barn…

only a quickly ending dribble at the faucet by the main gate...

only a quickly ending dribble at the faucet by the main gate…

He had to have a look at our old house (set way back to the left)

He had to have a look at our old house (set way back to the left, with green roof)

the southeast corner of the boatyard...No water for watering.

the southeast corner of the boatyard…No water for watering.  Pretty, though.

Giving up on the boatyard, Allan drove to the community building.  It is actually more fair to fill up there than at the port as it is city water rather than port water, I suppose.  However, it would not be possible to get close enough when the library is open or if a council meeting is in session, and the water pressure is lower so the filling took markedly longer.

Allan tried to do something productive during the filling, and thinks he could weed the community building garden during that time.  At the boatyard, the garden is on the other side of the long chain link fence while he’s filling the tank, so the weeds are inaccessible while he monitors the filling process. He sometimes occupies the boatyard faucet time by running his strimmer down the back of the fence.

filling up in the community building...parked in the handicap spot because the building was closed

filling up in the community building…parked in the handicap spot because the building was closed

Finally, all the planters got a good soaking; this now takes up the entire 100 gallon tank of water because three new planters have been added to the route.

round, dry little concrete planters

round, dry little concrete planters…with the hose run a long distance from the van

Allan uses one of those collapsible hoses because one of the more time consuming parts of the job would be recoiling a heavy hose at each move of the van.  The collapsible hose only explodes and needs to be repaired with tape perhaps once per watering session.  The job took much less time back when we could bucket water.  Hoisting twenty two five gallon buckets of water three times a week got to be too much for our backs and arms.

typical

typical

Allan must enjoy this job in some way because whenever I suggest we give it up because of the pain in the arseness of the watering, he wants to go on with it.

Allan at home

After all that, he strimmed down the outside of our fences at home.

down the west side (Nora's back yard)

down the west side (Nora’s back yard)

down the east side by the next door gear shed

down the east side by the next door gear shed, before

after

after.  I must get out there and pull bindweed and jewelweed.

and outside the south fence to the meander line

and outside the south fence to the meander line…

where he saw tadpoles in the water ditch

where he saw tadpoles in the water ditch

DSC00683

I suppose they will be baby frogs by the time we are done planting annuals...

I suppose they will be baby frogs by the time we are done planting annuals…

He was fascinated by a large boat which had appeared in the port parking lot behind our property.

new boat

Looks like someone got a new boat. It disappeared the next day but must be somewhere being finished.

 

boat on trailer

A ‘lowered’ trailer that couldn’t even climb a driveway until it’s raised.

 

I do hope some rain arrives to allow the planter watering to hold for a few days so that we can focus solely on planting time.

 

 

 

 

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Today will be mostly befores and afters, due to lack of writing time.  The days are long, and we are often out in the garden till dusk.

So:  At Larry and Robert’s, the beginnings of a project and a tidying of the garden.

Allan digs out an azalea that Larry wanted transplanted...

Allan digs out an azalea that Larry wanted transplanted…

new area to be planted by back porch

new area to be planted by back porch

azalea installed

azalea installed

Allan gets the call from Box K Auto repair and runs for the bus which leaves the port in five minutes!

Meanwhile, I do the tidying on the existing garden, especially the removal of annoying Scilla foliage:

before, east side garden

before, east side garden

after

after

the garden boat

the garden boat

next door, Tom and Judy's lupines highlighted against purple foliage

next door, Tom and Judy’s lupines highlighted against purple foliage

The lupines were past their peak, but what a great effect!

Walking home to meet Allan and the car, I saw:

over the fence:  Judy's Eryngium 'Sapphire' Blue'

over the fence: Judy’s Eryngium ‘Sapphire’ Blue’

This plant is known as “LB” because I had intended it for there, but Judy wanted it so much.  (We got more for Long Beach later.)

Judy's Dianthus

Judy’s Dianthus

My garden looks pretty bright when you walk toward it from the west.  I planted that corner in the brightest colours so Nora could see it easily from her window.  Walking by the window where Nora often sat and waved and smiled at me is now a poignant moment.

a spot of colour from one lot away

a spot of colour from one lot away

With the car retrieved, we went to Olde Towne to celebrate getting it back;  the Peninsula Quilt Guild was there as well, including Ann for whom we were about to go garden.

Quilt Guild

Quilt Guild

Then on to Ann’s.  More befores and afters:

before

before

after

after

before

before

after

after

before

before

after!

after!

Ann has some new garden art from her friend in Spokane.

art

art

And gorgeous plants as always:

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

hostas

hostas, oxalis, and ferns

another must-have poppy

another must-have poppy

a peek into an enchanted garden

a peek into an enchanted garden

We then went to the port to finish the weeding where I left off yesterday.

Howerton Street garden outside Marie Powell Gallery

Howerton Street garden outside Marie Powell Gallery

I have totally gone off New Zealand flax (above) anywhere near a sidewalk (for one thing, it is too poky), so this is the only garden along Howerton that still has them.  I would imagine that Marie and Randy Powell are fond of them because they (the Powells) go the New Zealand in the winter!  So we try to keep these trimmed back rather than proposing their removal.

Howerton Street garden by Port Office

Howerton Street garden by Port Office

The gardens we have totally replanted at the port are more like the above:  small plants, clear sightlines for traffic, and no river rock to roll around while weeding. The plant that gets the most comments is Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’.

Sapphire Blue sea holly

Sapphire Blue sea holly

sea holly

evening light

evening light

On the other side of the Port buildings:

a boat called Summer Rose

a boat called Summer Rose

(left) the Rumrunner

(left) the Rumrunner

part of the charter fleet

part of the charter fleet

That view is a good one to end the workday with, as well as this one where we dump weeds down at the east end of the port.

nature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had one major thing on my mind today, that I learned this morning that my best local friend and neighbour gardener, Judy from four doors down, had a small heart attack yesterday. Apparently not too bad because she is home again. We visited her at the hospital in our small town before we went to work and of course I thought of her all day long.

Work did get done because work must be done barring complete emergencies (like me or Allan having a heart attack! I have been through that when my former partner, Robert, had one in 2002, and he got well enough to work as a gardener again even though he did not take nearly as good care of himself as he could have. His was worse as they kept him for at least three days. Six weeks later he had a clean bill of health except for taking Lipitor. So take heart (sorry) if you are reading this, my dear friend Judy!)

So imagine through this whole day in the back of my mind I am just thinking about Judy.

We went to Ann’s garden after the hospital visit to pop in a few baby calendula from my garden, and I photographed the Siberian iris that I admired yesterday, and some peonies.

pink peony

pink peony

red peony

red peony

Siberian iris

Siberian iris

Just through oversight, I have ended up with no peonies in my new garden even though I had two in my old one. I must remedy this as I like their foliage and their flowers.

After the stop at Ann’s we went to Olde Towne for a brief coffee break. I needed some as had taken a sleeping pill the night before (worried about Judy!) and that always has a regrettable result the next day. Our friends there all had reassuring stories about people doing very well after mild heart attacks. Allan took this interesting photograph looking toward a mirror at the back of the café that was showing the front window.

at Olde Towne

at Olde Towne

We had a big project to do at the Boreas Inn: removing a big pile of junk. Famous NW gardener Ciscoe Morris will be staying there Sunday night after giving a talk to benefit the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club (see end of post for details) so we really could not have junk as the backdrop of the western garden beds.

looking toward garden from lower entry...

looking northwest from lower entry…

looking sout from garden; Allan getting ready to tackle the pile.

looking south from garden; Allan getting ready to tackle the pile.

before...

before…

The pile went deeper into a hollow than we thought it would, contained most of an old shed, and turned out to weigh 900 pounds!

pile offloaded at the dump

pile offloaded at the dump

I didn’t get a photo of it in our little trailer because a backhoe was running back and forth next to our car at the dump and I couldn’t get out for a bit.

It all fit in here with Allan's expert loading.

It all fit in here with Allan’s expert loading.

We then went to the Basket Case to get some plants to fill in along the edges at Boreas. That was my excuse for riding along to the dump. I think the real reason was I was fretting about Judy and did not want to stay behind at the Boreas weeding all alone.

At the Basket Case, their last (I think) Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ was starting to colour up:

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

(The Basket Case may soon be out of this plant, but the Planter Box also has some.)

We put a nice edge on three of the lawn beds at Boreas and filled in around the edges with some little Dianthus, some Portulaca, and added a Helianthemum ‘Dazzler’, a Helenium, and a Phygelius ‘African Queen’ to make the beds more full.

looking east

looking east

looking southwest...trash pile gone!

looking southwest…trash pile gone!

nice crisp edge

nice crisp edge

west, evening

west, evening

The ocean is at the end of that path through the dunes.

I took a quick walk to show you how pretty the inn is looking.

west side

west side

deck, southwest corner

deck, southwest corner

east side

east side

new sit spot, east side

new sit spot, east side

The new sit spot on the east side (main entrance to inn) was created when a big pine was removed. Our good friend, local gardener Ed Strange (who mows the Boreas lawn) facilitated the job and provided the lovely pots of bamboo that make such an excellent backdrop.

One last satisfying view as we left:

no trash pile!

no trash pile!

And so my outdoor workday ended. Allan did the tedious and back-straining round of bucket watering the Ilwaco planters while I worked on my belated May billings, interspersed with messages to and fro with Judy’s friends. Kathleen S, Patt, and I, Ann from up the hill, Luanne and Chester from Olde Towne, Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case, Jenna from Queen La De Da’s Art Castle, and Judy’s dear friend Liz from way down in Nevada (Judy’s former home) are all thinking of her.

**********************************************************

details re the Ciscoe talk:

  • Sunday, June 9th, Gardening with Ciscoe!
    • The Kiwanis Club of Long Beach is hosting, “Gardening with Ciscoe,” June 9th. All proceeds will go towards the Boys & Girls Club! We are so excited!
    • This special fundraiser will take place Sunday, June 9th, at the Long Beach Elks Lodge, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with activities, including book sales and signing, and photo opportunities, beginning at 12 p.m. We will have plants for sale that were planted, and being taken care of by the kids thanks to The Planter Box!
    • Tickets are $20 each and are for sale at Peninsula Pharmacies, Inc. (Long Beach), Adrift Hotel & Spa, and Coastal Eye Care – Long Beach Office

 

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