Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Soil Energy’

Monday, 2 April 2018

I woke to the realization that the day had workable weather and that we should mulch the port.  But wait, my next thought was that the zillion pound concrete bench was still in the trailer; it has been riding with us for a week now while I wait for a chance to pounce on someone strong for a favour (helping Allan move it).  I had the brilliant idea then that he could back the trailer up to the soft grass outside the back garden and just push the bench off and leave it there.  It worked!  (We will still need some help to actually set the bench up, eventually.)

Allan did not seem best pleased to have a work day suddenly sprung on him.  I was eager to mulch because the weather forecast looks dire later in the week.  Calvin was so much better—purring and playful— that I decided to wait to take him for an asthma shot.  It is not good for his heart or liver, and it had only been about six weeks since the last shot.

Cal, perky and playful

His previous human, who had him from kittenhood to age seven, had not fed him regularly.  He was obsessed with food and after moving in with us, he soon looked like he had swallowed a beach ball.

All the day’s pieces fell into place with a couple of phone calls and messages.  I had a taker on the rugosa roses, who came to pick them up before we left.

The veterinary clinic can see Cal tomorrow, or this afternoon if he got to feeling poorly again, and just enough of the mulch we need was in stock at Peninsula Landscape Supply.

Gravel was being loaded while we were there.

Soil Energy mulch (Allan’s photo)

Back to the Port of Ilwaco we drove with a yard of Soil Energy, which we applied to the curbside garden at the east end of Howerton Avenue; it had been looking battered and low since we removed drifts of tired old Nassela tenuissima grass.

before:

sad and beaten down

after: I hope the poppies I planted not long ago won’t be buried too deep.

Before:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

An irksome cold wind blew right across the parking lot from the marina.

Brrrr.

Our work was high pressure and aerobic so that we would have time to get a second load of mulch before P.L.S. closes at three o clock.

after:

Allan’s photo

 

Allan’s photo

That bed only took half an hour to mulch, and we had enough left to begin on the curbside bed at the west end of Howerton.

Allan’s photo

We got this far at the west end. (Allan’s photo)

Back to Peninsula Landscape Supply for a second load:

Allan’s photo

On the way south again, we made a social visit to the Basket Case Greenhouse.

with Roxanne

daphnes and hydrangeas

violas

and more violas

We returned to the west end of Howerton at the Port and mulched two sections.

before

before

Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’

two kinds of muscari and some sea thrift

I must confess that we buried some weeds: grass and creeping sorrel.  Out of sight, out of mind for a couple more weeks.

before, with dog daisies (Allan’s photo)

While I raked, Allan ran the strimmer down the sidewalk that goes to the marina.

looking west

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking east

Some more mulch went on the beds by the Ilwaco pavilion.

Allan’s photo, as we began to mulch

an interesting boat nearby (Allan’s photo)

Then we had some deadheading to do along the port.  As I suspected, the most deadheads were on the south side of the port office where we don’t see them on a drive by.

Along the curbside beds, I was annoyed to find that a lot of narcissi picking had been happening….and this, by the ArtPort Gallery:

picking AND pulling out (Allan’s photo)

We planted so very many narcissi over the last few years that we should have a much better show, if flower-jackers would just leave them alone.

species tulips (Allan’s photo)

In the Time Enough Books curbside garden, I was thrilled to see a new-to-me bulb that I planted last fall.

Bellevalia paradoxa is a bulb forming plant in the genus Bellevalia of the Asparagaceae family, formerly classified in the Muscari genus, under which name it is commonly sold as Muscari paradoxum.

Bellevalia paradoxa and muscari

Bellevalia paradoxa and muscari

Bellevalia paradoxa

Bellevalia paradoxa

Bellevalia paradoxa (Allan’s photo)

I am very taken with it!

We finished the work day with a tidy up at the J’s cottage.

Bug’s Eye view of the pocket lawn before mowing (Allan’s photo)

And at home, I got my own sweet peas (and some poppies) planted at last while Allan mowed the lawn.

Frosty greeting us (Allan’s photo)

The work board got some satisfying erasures.

Next up, two volunteer gardens, the fire station (a new project from scratch and the post office (just a tidy).

In the evening, Calvin seemed well, played with his most vigorous toy, a set of three balls in slots that go round and round and make a lot of noise, usually during the most serious part of the evening’s telly watching.  He tossed his catnip Kitty Karrot into the air and seemed like his old self.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Tomorrow, I’ll share the Tuesday work day.  But I do not want to spin out the hope that Calvin is better.  Tuesday morning, he again seemed just fine, purring, the usual morning greeting and pets.  I decided that despite his seeming recovery, he had better have his shot today, to avoid a relapse over the weekend.  I made an appointment for 2:15 and we went to work on a project near home.  At 12:15, we came home for a bit to close the cat doors and confine him to a room so that he’d be easier to wrangle into his box later.  (That is never an easy thing.  He hates the box and wails and cries.  He is so afraid of people that I think that Our Kathleen is the only friend who ever managed to briefly get near him.)

In the house today, he walked up to me panting.  This is an emergency sign with cats so within minutes we had him at the veterinary clinic.  His condition had worsened so suddenly that he was whisked into the back to be given oxygen.  We were asked to leave him for a couple of hours for treatment. I still thought he would be ok, like the last time he had a sudden panting attack a couple of months ago.  Not this time, though.  Within an hour, we had a call that he was failing fast and we left wheelbarrow and all behind and rushed back in.  We had to make the hard decision.  Based on what happened with Smoky and how last minute efforts for a very sick cat just prolonged his misery, we decided it was Time for Calvin to go.  I will spare you the details about how hard he was breathing and…. just…it was time.  I think it was time.  Was it time?  Animal guardians never know for certain, do we?  Nor will I ever know if I made a terrible decision to wait for the shot instead of taking him in yesterday.  Would he be with us tonight if I had?  It might have bought some more time, or not.  I had no idea how fast respiratory distress to that degree can come on in a cat.  I could maunder on about this for paragraphs.  Instead, I will just leave you with this dear photo of Calvin and his bestie, Smoky, last autumn.

 

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Allan found a critter before we left for work:

We had a meeting scheduled for 1 PM and somehow got a late start. I wanted a yard of Soil Energy so we took the risk that 45 minutes was enough time to get to Peninsula Landcape Supply and back.

We were thrilled to see a great big new pile of mulch had arrived.

plenty for all

loading up

On the way south, we made a three minute stop at the Planter Box, looking for orange violas that I had seen the last week.  Someone else had snapped them up, as I should have done.

Allan’s photo

Pumpkins were in. (Allan’s photo)

We got to our appointment with Shelly Pollock at NW Insurance and Financial in Long Beach with five minutes to spare.

in Shelly’s waiting room; to the right is the enjoyable local mystery series by Jan Bono.

It looks like Allan has a new business partner. That’s Shelly’s dog, Bella.

Shelly guided through Medicare choices.  Allan will be elevated to the safety of good health care on January 1st.  We were sadly surprised with how much Medicare costs (cheap compared to full price insurance, of course, and with no dreaded deductible that keeps even insured people from going to the doctor).  Nor does him being on Medicare cut my solo insurance cost in half.  Phooey.  I asked what would happen to someone who, with minimal social security, ends up too poor to pay the Medicare fees.  When does one then qualify for Medicaid, I wondered.  Apparently only if one makes under $12,000 a year Social Security…so if one is living on a not luxurious 14K a year, Medicare would take a painful slice out of that.  The image of sitting at the curb in a cardboard box came to mind.  It does not look like retirement will be in the cards for us, after all.  Good thing we like what we do; I hope we can keep doing it.

I was awash with relief that this fall, Shelly will be able to help me sort my way through the complicated and rather scary application for individual insurance.  The affordable ACA plan with which I have been blessed is in jeopardy right now because of the whims of the Trump administration; I just hope to be able to afford insurance for two and a half more years.

After the appointment, we checked on the planters on Sid Snyder Drive…

Too many wild beach strawberries in this one, we agreed.

…and spent the rest of the day mulching, first finishing up the end of the Ilwaco Boatyard garden.

Allan’s photo

All the way to the end of the boatyard garden with mulch!

sweeping up

Next, we mulched four of the garden beds (two large, two small) on Howerton Avenue, with an interruption that took us by surprise.

a heavy squall

Allan’s photo

Port Office gardens tidied and mulched

I clipped several santolinas.  An art event will take place on the weekend, so I wanted the gardens to look refreshed.

Time Enough Books/Purly Shell garden clipped and mulched

Looking north across the port parking lot, we could see Melissa finishing up the Norwood hedge.

in the boat storage yard by the parking lots

We had divided the cost of mulch so as to keep some for our own garden.  At home, we finished unloading and wheelbarrowed the soil back to the newly cleared bogsy woods area.

First, I got to see my good friend Royal setting out with Devery for his evening walk.

This much rain in the wheelbarrow from today.

before

after

after

Mulching the port got erased from the work board.

I have a month and a half to get a good weeding done at home before year’s end! It has been on the board since late spring.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 29 September 2017

Allan was sad to see the painting of the shed gutter had not worked.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo: Paint had fallen into a spider web.

This spider, who had likely entered the van on some plant debris, had made a web inside my van door.  I did not let her come to work with us.

These garden spiders don’t scare me.

We stopped at Dennis Co on the way to work to get some paint for the window trim (which you have seen in yesterday’s post).  Allan was also able to repaint the gutter successfully.

Anchorage Cottages

The weather was just too hot to do any of the pruning projects we had planned.

These viburnums can wait for another day.

arbutus and hydrangea in the center courtyard

On the way to our next job, I was appalled at the temperature.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We stayed only to do the most important deadheading and tidying.  The heat was just too much.

bird bath view

roses

the other bird bath with Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’

Japanese anemone

hardy fuchsia

autumnal hamamelis

Peninsula Landscape Supply

We picked up a yard of Soil Energy.

bird baths by the pond

We learned that starting next week, PLS will be going to their off season hours, open till three on Tuesday, Thursdays, Saturdays.  This will require us to be less spontaneous during mulching season. We will have to make proper plans and schedules.

signs available in the office

On the way back to Ilwaco, we decided we had to delay our boatyard mulching project till early evening’s cooler weather.

Ridiculous weather! What happened to our nice crisp autumn?

home

This is the handsome gate of our “Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm” neighbours to the east.

At the base of the ornamental plum in our front garden (a tree I did not plant) is a hamamelis glowing with autumn colour.

Look to the left side of the tree trunk.

 

Tiger Eyes sumac

another hamamelis

I retreated indoors from the heat and was joined for a bit by our neighbours to the west, Devery, and her dog Royal.

It was Royal’s first time in our house. He was excited.

Ilwaco boatyard

After five o clock, we mulched 1/3 of the boatyard.  I think my estimate that three yards will cover it all is pretty close.

before (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

Allan sweeps up

Aster ‘Harrington’s Pink’

leveling mulch with a broom

looking south from the north end

As we had begun our mulching, a Londoner on a bicycle had stopped to ask the location of Salt Pub.  I had to tell him the sad news that it is closed on Wednesdays.  Where could he eat, he asked, after returning from a two block jaunt to make sure Salt was closed.  I was sad to say that the only option was our little local market.  In an ideal world, we would have invited him to come to our house for a campfire, with sausages, and then driven him to his campsite at Cape Disappointment, but our conversation took place just as we got stuck in to an hour of unloading mulch.

After work, we went to the little market ourselves in search of some fancy sausages, and found him outside.  He had managed to find an apple for his dinner, with some cheese that he already had.  I was afraid that “Disappointment” might sum up his feelings, and I did so wish he had been here on a night when Salt was open.

the Londoner

I was able to guide him to having breakfast tomorrow morning at the Portside Café, where his quest for pancakes should be well satisfied.

We had a good chinwag about politics.  He said he almost bet £5000 on Brexit not passing, and woke up in shock that morning (and relief that he had not made the bet). He had experienced the same shock and dismay last November 9 at the result of our election.

I told him that I used to be married to a Leedsman.  “Oh, that must have been tough!” said he.

Allan and I did not succeed at the local in our quest for fancy sausages so drove on up to Sid’s Market in Seaview, where we met with success.  We also met again a nice RVing couple who had asked us at the boatyard where to shop for groceries.  They, too, had met with shopping success. We then went home to have a campfire on the one of the warmest evenings of the year.

Nicotiana by the campfire

the moon just caught in the trees

Allan’s photo

coals

When I looked at the temperature at 1 AM, it was still 72 degrees outside.  That is just unheard of here at the beach.

Friday, 29 September 2017

After taking Thursday off so Allan could finish painting the shed, we slept late.

Skooter slept late, too. He puts his feet over Allan’s head like earmuffs.

We had believed the forecast of a half inch of rain.  The rain came overnight rather than during the day, which turned out so fine that tourists would be looking at our public gardens.  While we did not have to water, we certainly had to tidy after all.

This much rain overnight!

By the post office, we saw the first sign of Ilwaco Halloween.

And so it begins.

The Depot Restaurant

just some quick deadheading

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ towering

Long Beach

the welcome sign

We tidied the gardens at Veterans Field while the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market was in session.

Allan’s photo

I found a home for a duplicate plant of mine in Fifth Street Park. I had bought in, then realized it was the same white sanguisorba I had acquired at a Hardy Plant sale from Dan Hinkley, back when it just had a number, not a name.

Allan planted it in here, toward the back.

Needing energy, we got coffee to go.

at Abbracci Coffee Bar

We did a walk around town just to deadhead the planters.

passing by the farmers market again

I stopped it at NIVA green to take a few photos for their Facebook page, and for some reason I had to buy this little stove.

It spoke to me somehow.  Now it is mine and I don’t quite know what to do with it.

Allan pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from under the street tree near the pharmacy.

before

after

Here is a sad thing: The old, peeling cranberry mural on the south end of Dennis Company is now almost covered.  $58,000 has been spent to try to restore it five different times, and it is now too far gone to save.

Goodbye to a Long Beach icon. (Allan’s photos)

The paint peeled badly after a restoration just a couple of years ago.

Here it is in better days.  I will miss it.

We then drove up to Peninsula Landscape Supply for another yard of Soil Energy.

The shaved ice booth was heading down to Ilwaco for Saturday Market.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We got another third of the garden mulched, all the way to the south side of the gate.

Unfortunately, we have to cover a multitude of poppy seeds.  In my own garden, I might dig and replant them.  No time for that here.

I’ve saved seeds and will re-sow.

To finish our relatively short day, we deadheaded the cosmos at the port office and Time Enough Books gardens.  I took some photos of the marina from near the port office.

someone else enjoying the view

an hour before sunset, along Howerton Avenue

home

Kniphofia ‘Earliest of All’ is changing shape.

Devery came to pick some Cripp’s Pink apples to make some applesauce.

She stood on a bucket to get some.

Canna in bloom in the water boxes

I made a sit spot in the new bogsy wood clearing.

on the table: broken china bits that I found in 2010 when making our garden

I had a sudden brainstorm which Allan helped me bring to fruition.

Skooter supervising

He helped me move this….

…out to the salmonberry cave….

…where I like it very much.

And it gave me room for a new little sit spot on the east wall of the house.

Next: another long weekend.  We are enjoying the short work weeks between tourist season and the soon to arrive fall clean up and bulb season.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The weather turned out as good as predicted.  I hoped to cross two mulching projects off of the work board by the end of the day.

The Depot Restaurant

Before we could acquire mulch, we had to do the rest of the fall clean up at the Depot garden, including taking the hops down from the dining deck lattice.

Chef Michael asked for an extra project, clearing a narrow area between deck and wall of bamboo so that a repairman could get in to fix the heater.

Fortunately, Allan could fit in the narrow passageway.  I am not sure I could have.  Well, I could have fit, but not worked easily.

Allan's photos: passage of chopped bamboo

Allan’s photos: passage of chopped bamboo, before


after

after

Allan did the inside passage to the dining deck.

before

before


me working on the outside

me working on the outside


inside, after

inside, after


outside, before

outside, before

All the bare, strangely textured stiff stems of hops have to be clipped and teased out through the lattice.

after

after

I had been hoping to be able to get, say, five bales of Gardner and Bloome compost from the Planter Box for this mulching project.  As soon as I was reviewed it, I realized I would need a full yard of Soil Energy from all the way up at Peninsula Landscape Supply.

Long Beach

We just had time to do some clean up of a lavatera and some perennials at Long Beach city hall on the way.

LB City Hall (west side) with more clean up done.

LB City Hall (west side) with more clean up done.


pulling some Crocosmia 'Lucifer' at Coulter Park

pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at Coulter Park


after

after

We divested ourselves of today’s debris and headed north to

Peninsula Landscape Supply

plenty of Soil Energy on hand.  (Allan's photo)

plenty of Soil Energy on hand. (Allan’s photo)

“This light, absorbent and nutrient rich manufactured soil provides an excellent medium to grow grass, bedding plants, shrubs, roses, and fruit trees. It is our lightest and most free draining soil with great fertility and growth characteristics. This works as well in your deck’s planter boxes as it does in your landscape beds. You can plant straight into it or use it as a soil amendment added to your existing soil to give it a boost and improve its drain-ability. Soil energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter)”

One of two scoops being loaded into our little trailer.

One of two scoops being loaded into our little trailer.


Lots of other hardscaping material for sale, including oyster shells.  (Allan's photo)

Lots of other hardscaping material for sale, including oyster shells. (Allan’s photo)


one yard, tarped and ready to hit the road (Allan's photo)

one yard, tarped and ready to hit the road (Allan’s photo)

back to The Depot Restaurant

a thick layer of mulch applied, bucket by bucket over the log

a thick layer of mulch, applied bucket by bucket over the log


luscious

luscious


Fuchsia 'Hawkshead' can now be seen.

Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’ can now be seen.


ornamental grasses on the east side of the dining deck

ornamental grasses on the east side of the dining deck

We had time to go the Dennis Company in Long Beach and buy two bales of Gardner and Bloome for the pocket garden at the kite musuem.

across the street from Dennis Company

across the street from Dennis Company

World Kite Museum

one of two tightly compressed bales

one of two tightly compressed bales


with mulch applied

with mulch applied

dsc07059

World Kite Museum

World Kite Museum

Rather to my surprise, we had time to tidy up the planters along Sid Snyder drive (just north of the kite museum).

Allan's photos:  The one with crocosmia, before...

Allan’s photos: The one with crocosmia, before…


and after.  Crocosmia was planted years before by a volunteer.

and after. Crocosmia was planted years before by a volunteer.

Our friends Steve and John of the Bayside Garden drove by while we were working but we didn’t see. Steve snapped this photo downtown showing a color match by one of the planters:

Photo by Steve McCormick, cropped close by me


On our way to a near dusk debris offload, we pulled a few more clumps of crocosmia from the parking lot berms.  
a large mushroom on the parking lot berm (Allan's photo)

a large mushroom on the parking lot berm (Allan’s photo)

I had time at home to write up one blog post before going to dinner at

The Cove Restaurant

where we were joined at our usual North Beach Garden Gang dinner meeting by Our Kathleen, down for a long weekend.  All we local gardeners are just getting over property tax and quarterly sales tax payments so salad followed by fish tacos ($3 each!) was the order of the night.

2 fish tacos, filling and economical

2 fish tacos, filling and economical

As usual, we closed the place down and lingered for a bit more chatting in the parking lot.

dsc09028

The work board lost four things today: two mulching projects and the fall clean up of city hall and the Depot.  Now the latter two get shifted into a new column: post frost clean up, whenever that might be.

dsc07062

Not all jobs get a special post frost clean up.  The Depot has window boxes that need to be cleaned out after a freeze.

Tomorrow, I hope Ilwaco and the port and the boatyard will drop off the fall clean up list.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Nov 3:  Finished digging dahlias.  Cut down lily stalks in UDFB [Upper Driveway Flower Bed] and PBB [Patio Back Bed??]  Drove around Yelm paying bills, bank, Payless, Stock Market, and Gordon’s.  Bought 16 more pansies and more perennials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 22 Sept 2015

Still sleeping only six hours, and getting punchy.  I’ve read that old folks have trouble sleeping.  Uh oh.

After a productive but somber long weekend, I was glad to get back to work as it gives me a feeling of being worthwhile and making a positive difference in the world. 

project one: at the Ilwaco boatyard

While I pulled some horsetail and bindweed, Allan dug up eight big rootballs of bronze fennel from along the fence.  Two clumps of that miscanthus that we dug up from Time Enough books last week got planted along with a nice big shrubby hypericum, some sort of good one from my garden, not the annoying ground cover one.  (The extra plant became available during the shuffling around of plants over the weekend.)

While I pulled some horsetail and bindweed, Allan dug up eight big rootballs of bronze fennel from along the fence.

boatyard garden, looking north


I'm pleased with the second blooming of the echinops (blue globe thistle).

I’m pleased with the second blooming of the echinops (blue globe thistle).


santolina ready to clip?

santolina ready to clip?

Some of the santolinas are flopping open and have good center growth.  Once, when I pruned them in late autumn and a hard winter followed, I lost several.  I should find time in the next couple of weeks to clip these while the weather is still mild, even though that will make the boatyard garden less showy.

pruning at The Anchorage Cottages

Because we were heading up to Peninsula Landscape Supply, where we can dump some debris, we did more pruning at The Anchorage today.

Look who came running to see me! My dear friend Mitzu.

Look who came running to see me! My dear friend Mitzu.


We must have a close-up!

We must have a close-up!


before (Allan's photo): the target was the flowering quince in the corner.

before (Allan’s photo): the target was the flowering quince in the corner.


Allan's photo, before

Allan’s photos, before


and after, with access for building maintenace, window washing, and air circulation

and after, with access for building maintenace, window washing, and air circulation


It is so hard to see, but there is a new Japanese maple in front of the second window from the left that will grow up and replace the privacy lost when we pruned the viburnum last week.

It is so hard to see, but there is a new Japanese maple in front of the second window from the left that will grow up and replace the privacy lost when we pruned the viburnum last week.

I pecked away at the shade border by cottage 8 in order to remove some plants that I dislike: sweet woodruff and lady’s mantle.

Here was that bed on September 1st.

Here was that bed on September 1st.


and after I got done with it today.

and after I got done with it today.


There's a chelone start in there now (pink turtlehead) that should be a delight next dall.

There’s a chelone start in there now (pink turtlehead) that should be a delight next fall.


lower lawn with Cryptomeria and pampas grass

lower lawn with Cryptomeria and pampas grass

We learned later in day that pampas grass, Cortaderia selloana, has just been added to the Washington State noxious weed list.

The Planter Box

To continue with last week’s project of re-doing two Long Beach planters, we shopped at The Planter Box for some lavender, sea thrift, and creeping thyme for the planters we dug out last week.

entry display at The Planter Box

entry display at The Planter Box


Allan's photo

marigolds and celosia (Allan’s photo)


Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spring'

Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spring’  (I was taking photos for the Planter Box Facebook page.)


Rose 'Joseph's Coat'

Rose ‘Joseph’s Coat’

I had been thinking of mail ordering Joseph’s Coat for the new front garden arbor, and here it was in a large pot and four feet tall.  So I bought it.  This was my mother’s favourite rose.  She had three of them in her garden, two of which were transplanted to Golden Sands Assisted Living when she moved there in 2009.  In her memory, I wanted one and now I have one.

plants for Long Beach. Friends will know the headband means I have a headache or am trying to keep one at bay. Today, it was raging all day long.

plants for Long Beach. Friends will know the cold wet headband means I have a headache or am trying to keep one at bay. Today, it was raging all day long.  Our Kathleen is the one friend who always recognizes what a headband means!


Teresa gave me a much appreciated 'Carnival Limeade' heuchera for my collection.

Teresa gave me a much appreciated ‘Carnival Limeade’ heuchera for my collection.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Colleen loaded us up with a yard of Soil Energy.

Colleen loaded us up with a yard of Soil Energy.


She observed that our little trailer has served us well.

She observed that our little trailer has served us well.

We talked about retirement.  She and Mike would love to sell the supply yard and garden center and retire.  Allan and I hope to further semi-retire when he turns 66 in 3.5 years.  (To stay ahead of poverty, we will probably still do some work.  Besides, should I live so long, I’ll need gardens to blog about.  We won’t be able to afford garden touring if we try to live on social security alone.)

mulching at Time Enough Books

It took 2/3 of a yard of mulch for the curbside garden at Time Enough.  The river rocks that are still in there got buried; they are sure to resurface over time as the garden gets weeded.

Before: the soil may look like nice scree, but it is hard packed grey sandy rubble, mostly.

Before: the soil may look like nice scree, but it is hard packed grey sandy rubble, almost like concrete.


My eryngiums struggle here while beach strawberry thrives.

My eryngiums struggle here while only beach strawberry thrives.


pulling beach strawberry, and buried quite a lot of it to deal with later.

pulled some beach strawberry, and buried quite a lot of it to deal with later.


after

after


after, with two new penstemons and an Eryngium 'Blue Glitter' added where we dug the grass out last week.

after, with two new penstemons and an Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ added where we dug the grass out last week.


after

after

more mulching at home

Four buckets of mulch goes back to Long Beach (because I borrowed some last week to mulch where the grass came out) and the rest went into my garden, in some areas where I have been expanding beds.  While I wheelbarrowed mulch, Allan kindly planted my new rose.

Allan's photo: I had put a rock to show him where the rose would go.

Allan’s photo: I had put a rock to show him where the rose would go.


Allan's photo: Joseph's Coat in place.

Allan’s photo: Joseph’s Coat in place.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


Allan's photo, expanded bed

Allan’s photo, expanded bed


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Here’s something exciting: The colchicum corm that Todd gave us is blooming; I really did not think it was going to take because I accidentally dug it up once during the course of the summer.

Colchicum 'Tenor'

Colchicum ‘Tenor’


Another Todd plant

Another Todd plant


and another that surprised me by coming up after I'd given up on it

and another that surprised me by coming up after I’d given up on it

It is a great friend who gives us plants that we have never even heard of before!  I had to read up on Chlorophytum bowkeri.

Later in the evening: The project list has been further shortened.  I moved the cutting back of beach approach roses to very early spring 2016 (thus already beginning next year’s list).

the work board tonight

the work board tonight

The routine fall clean up list is much shorter than it used to be since Dave and Melissa have Casa Pacifica and the Boreas Inn and Flowering Hedge Design (Shelly and Terran) have Erin’s garden and Ann’s garden and Discovery Heights…all former jobs of ours that we are glad to have passed into good hands.

Tomorrow: the north end rounds, AND we have been invited to see a garden I’ve wanted to see for a long time; I don’t know if I will be given permission to blog about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Ilwaco

The day began windy as we checked on the Howerton Street gardens by the port buildings.  I planted a few cosmos on the south side of the port office, where the weather was lovely and still.

Port Office and Don Nisbett Gallery with baskets from The Basket Case Greenhouse

Port Office and Don Nisbett Gallery with baskets from The Basket Case Greenhouse

 

the marina

the marina

 

Allan's photo, as he was weeding the Time Enough Books curbside garden

Allan’s photo, as he was weeding the Time Enough Books curbside garden: beach strawberry

As soon as I got back around to Howerton, on the north side of the buildings, I was again in the full force of a cold 23 mph wind.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' hunkered down below a lavender

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ hunkered down below a lavender

All the plants in the Howerton gardens that I’ve put in over the last couple of years are low, to avoid blocking traffic sightlines, and wind and drought resistant.  They do need some watering to look their best.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' and Nepeta 'Walker's Low'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’

The Depot Restaurant

We watered the garden as the wind is most drying, and the sprinkler system does not include the new area, and added a 6 pack of Cosmos ‘Antiquity’.

cos

The garden remains mostly green, so far.

The garden remains mostly green, so far.

I chopped back a misshapen rhododendron that, now that its five or so flowers are done, was adding nothing good to the picture.  The rhodo here used to be huge, and was cut back to allow space for summer colour that would show from a block away.

On the south side of the deck, the tall grasses are growing in a not-impressive speed.  I should put up a pole with markers on it, like a water level marking pole, to keep track of progress.

Grasses planted to enclose the dining deck.

More grasses were planted to enclose the dining deck.

Long Beach

First, we added some Cosmos ‘Rubenza’ to the new garden at Veterans Field.

Allan watered the stage planters.

Allan watered the stage planters.

We set out to water the Long Beach street trees and planters.  This would be the first time round for this year’s watering of the tree gardens.  It is always difficult at the beginning because a lot of the sunken hose connections will have filled in with dirt.

Under a tree: there actually is a hose connection that is buried.

Under a tree: there actually is a hose connection that is buried.

 

Allan had to clear out 18 of these, one under each tree, to get his quick connect faucet working.

Allan had to clear out 18 of these, one under each tree, to get his quick connect faucet working.

You might wonder why the hose pipes are not up above the ground.  This will make Long Beach sound like a rough and tough place, which it is not…but vandals will kick over and break hose pipes that are above the ground.  (That’s what happens to the electrical boxes that sit above ground for plugging in holiday lights.)

Allan's photo: me hauling hose and bucket past one of the tree gardens.  I am sure I was wishing that rugosa rose had been pulled out the first time it appeared in there.

Allan’s photo: me hauling hose and bucket past one of the tree gardens. I am sure I was wishing that rugosa rose had been pulled out the first time it appeared in there.  And yet, it will be pretty.

As I watered the planters, with a hose end sprayer applying the blue stuff (not organic fertilizer, I am sorry to say, as it proved to be too expensive and too time consuming for these planters), I admired some reseeded California poppies.

burnt orange California poppies

burnt orange California poppies, with one white one

In the same planter, my head just about exploded when I saw this:

HOLEY MOLEY!

HOLEY MOLEY!

The photo does not do justice to the sad fact that that is an actual hole in the soil where someone stole a blue agastache, and did not even fill in the spot, leaving ONE formerly matched blue agastache on the other side of the light pole, now throwing my scheme off balance and infuriating me.  I immediately called The Basket Case.  Fred had one left of that special blue one with dark leaves (Estella Indigo) and will save it for me.  Why do I never actually see these plant thieves in action?  Do they do their thieving in the early morning or dead of night?  Do they have any idea how upsetting it is to have a planting scheme ruined?  DO THEY THINK I DON’T NOTICE?  Sometimes I ponder deeply, WHY did we quit almost all our private jobs, where plants do NOT get stolen, to focus almost entirely on public gardens?

Allan happened to walk by just as I was calling Basket Case Fred.

Allan happened to walk by just as I was calling Basket Case Fred, with the sad hole of missing plant behind me.

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

In other public gardening news:  Just as I began my watering rounds, I saw a nice young couple plop their very large baby carriage right onto one of the tree gardens and enter a restaurant.  I followed them in and nicely (really!) said, “Could you please not park your carriage in the tree garden?”  The nice young man came right out and moved it, to the place right next to the bench where there was plenty of room, and I wondered…why?  About halfway through the round of watering, I saw a young man tie up his handsome boxer dog right in a tree garden, one that we had recently cleared of some too vigorous plants, so it possibly just looked bare to him.  It actually has plants trying to fill in, and some seeds. The dog was pacing and pulling, looking for his guy.

a very handsome fellow

a very handsome fellow

I followed the young man into a restaurant and said “Excuse me, could you please not tie your dog in the tree garden?”  “He’ll be all right!” said the young man.  “I’m sure he will, and he is a beautiful dog, but he can’t stay in the garden.”  The fellow came out and untied the dog; I showed him an alternative spot to tie the “very handsome” dog, on the side of the building, but instead they just walked on.

Allan's photo of an adorable little dog who was NOT in a tree garden.

Allan’s photo of an adorable little dog who was NOT in a tree garden.

Meanwhile, the wind whipped along with all its cold northern bluster so we felt like we were shoving back against a big bully all day.

Veterans Field, where the flag poles clanked in the wind and I weeded the little garden.

Veterans Field, where the flag poles clanked in the wind and I weeded the little garden.

 

I was thrilled to see that Salvia patens, a tender perennial, has returned in the flag plaza garden.

I was thrilled to see that Salvia patens, a tender perennial, has returned in the flag plaza garden.

 

31 July, Salvia patens in front of Funland

31 July 2012, Salvia patens in front of Funland

 

One last freaky narcissus bloomed by the carousel.

One last freaky narcissus bloomed in the planter by the carousel.

 

gunnera by the pond in Fifth Street Park

gunnera by the pond in Fifth Street Park

 

Fifth Street Park with memorial bench

Fifth Street Park with memorial bench

After all that, I realized toward the end that the colour in my sprayer of blue stuff had not altered enough.  It had BEGUN by bubbling properly inside, and then I had not monitered it well, so the hose end fertilizer sprayer (just a bit more of a struggle than plain watering) will have to be used again next time.  Drat.

With Long Beach watered, we went on to an evening visit to:

Anchorage Cottages

The Anchorage after hours

The Anchorage after hours

 

Allan's photo: He still can't finish pruning the viburnums at the Anchorage.

Allan’s photo: He still can’t finish pruning the viburnums at the Anchorage.

and then finally to our traditional Thursday evening dinner at…

The Cove Restaurant

I think that because we are switching to watering Ilwaco planters with the water trailer, we will soon be alternating between Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Cove.  Wednesdays is Noodle Night and should be fun and satisfactory although Fish Taco Thursday is still our favourite.  (Chef Jason makes an awesome noodle bowl.)

The Cove Restaurant entry garden

The Cove Restaurant entry garden, orange rose, orange California poppies

 

Owner Sondra is in the know that California poppies don't just come in orange.

Owner Sondra is in the know that California poppies don’t just come in orange.

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

Allan's photo: most welcome hard apple cider (and checking in on Facebook)

Allan’s photo: most welcome hard apple cider (and checking in on Facebook)

What a relief to get out of the wind! We had been hoping that Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Landscape Maintenance could join us but they were still well stuck into a pruning job and could not get away.

I decided on Lomo Saltado tonight.

I decided on Lomo Saltado tonight, and Allan chose the vegetable stir fry (with chicken).

 

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado

 

noodle bowl

noodle bowl

In the background of the noodle bowl, you can see Steve and John of the Bayside Garden, dining with Rainier and Darlene, who are also friends with Garden Tour Nancy.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

our view of the Peninsula Golf Course

our view of the Peninsula Golf Course

 

As we left, Parking Lot Cat was hoping to slither in and tour the dining room for pets.

As we left, Parking Lot Cat was hoping to slither in and tour the dining room for some petting.

 

Allan's photo: my good friend PLC

Allan’s photo: my good friend PLC

Friday, 5 July 2015

Ilwaco

We watered the post office garden....so dry from the wind (even though it is sheltered by the building).

We watered the post office garden….so dry from the wind (even though it is sheltered by the building).

Even though we had sworn off bucket watering the Ilwaco planters, we still did not have time for Allan to get out the water trailer, so we gathered bucket water to do two intersections of planters that had not been done for a few days.  In this wind, they could not wait.  Despite blue skies, the wind was miserably cold at about 25 per hour.

boatyard garden, from inside while filling the buckets

boatyard garden, from inside while filling 8 buckets

looking south from Eagle and First

looking south from Eagle and First

a First Avenue stray

a First Avenue stray

Long Beach

As we drove north to Long Beach, we saw the fog rolling in so now not only was the wind cold, but also the air itself.  We dumped yesterday’s debris at city works and filled up buckets from our pile of Soil Energy to mulch some areas at City Hall where the soil seemed thin and compacted.

Allan's photo: a killdeer at the city works yard

Allan’s photo: a killdeer at the city works yard

 

City Hall, west side

City Hall, west side, mulched

 

and north side, mulched

and north side, mulched

My mission, since expanding a garden bed at home on Monday, has been to find time to get myself a yard of Soil Energy to fill up the new area and plant the ladies in waiting.  The plan for today had been to spend three afternoon hours getting another section of the beach approach garden weeded and then get the mulch, perhaps even coming back to finish the beach approach section if need be.  We also had to pick up a replacement for the stolen agastache whose absence I discovered in a planter yesterday.  I could not bear the wind and cold and suggested to Allan that we give up our day off Monday in hope that the weather would be better for the beachy job then. He agreed, so we were off to the nurseries.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

Our stop at the Basket Case was brief and to the point.  The weather there was lovely, blue sky, nary a heavy breeze.  I pondered how over the years we have resigned from four bayside gardens in order to focus on public and resort gardens, which are all on the west side in the wind.

in the greenhouse, one of Nancy's planted pots

in the greenhouse, one of Nancy’s planted pots

Peninsula Landscape Supply…

….is the source of Soil Energy mulch.

and grasses and perennials

and grasses and perennials

As our trailer got its load of Soil Energy, the fog and wind arrived on the bayside as well.  We headed home, with the hope of getting the rest of the afternoon off; we would make up three hours of work time on Monday, I figured.  However, on the way south, I drove by one of our gardens and a plant in a roadside barrel screamed out to me that it was thirsty.  I called the business owner, who was out of town and could not water.  By then, we were about 20 blocks south of the plant, so we had to turn around and go back and water six containers.  I won’t say where because I don’t want to embarrass anyone. I am promised regular watering from now on….

The reddish dry leaves of this Erysimum had screamed out to me.  I am not sure it will revive; it may need to be replaced.

The reddish dry leaves of this Erysimum had screamed out to me. I am not sure it will revive; it may need to be replaced in order for this planter to look good for the rest of the summer.

This sucked up enough time that we were no longer getting done with work three hours early.

home

The yard of soil needed to go into the new beds out by the bogsy woods, and a very scary proposition it was with the wind.  I found that a large dead alder branch had already come down right where I needed to dump most of my wheelbarrows. The wind’s intensity felt like a winter storm.

As I loaded up one barrowful, I saw another big branch fall in Nora’s back yard.  I ended up just dumping and not spreading the mulch, and could not plant any of the ladies in waiting because it was just too dangerous.

I went out at dusk to take a few after photos:

looking south between east and middle bed

looking south between east and middle bed; the wind was roaring in the alder grove.

 

the newly expanded shade bed

the newly expanded shade bed

 

the big branch that had come down on that bed before I mulched

the big branch that had come down on that bed before I mulched.  No campfires in this weather!

 

Smokey followed me out and back in.

Smokey followed me out and back in.

When I returned to the front door, I saw a gift bag on the porch.  Inside was this:

The very pitcher that I had pictured in my blog, from the NIVA green shop in Long Beach!

The very pitcher that I had pictured in my blog, from the NIVA green shop in Long Beach!

 

It reminds me of these gold pieces; the teacups and the teapot were my grandma's.

It reminds me of these gold pieces; the teacups and the teapot were my grandma’s.

It took me two days of investigation to track down who had brought it to me; thank you again, Lisa!

I hoped for better weather on the weekend as I so very much wanted to get some ladies in waiting planted.  However, the forecast called for wind on Saturday and I’d already canceled a potential campfire with our Kathleen and turned it into a sit down restaurant dinner plan instead.  I was anticipating a visit from two garden bloggers from Portland in the afternoon and had just learned of a potential garden tour on Sunday. The poor ladies in waiting might have to wait some more.

about a mile southwest of us

wind graph about a mile southwest of us.  (I don’t know what the blue line is.)

Read Full Post »

Monday, 30 March 2015

March 30 was my Grandma’s birthday.  She was my caregiver, mentor, friend, inspiration, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.  I made a post about it on Facebook:

Gram

You can read about her garden (which later became mine), here.

So….today….I had thought that we might perhaps take the day off so that I could do more weeding at home.  However, the dreaded task of mulching the Golden Sands garden weighed heavily upon my mind, and Allan said he thought it was on the agenda for today so…we did it.

Tulips in our garden at the Ilwaco Post Office

Tulips in our garden at the Ilwaco Post Office

Tulip 'Virichic'

Tulip ‘Virichic’ and one other at the Ilwaco Post Office

Peninsula Landscape Supply

coming in for some Soil Energy (Allan's photo)

coming in for some Soil Energy (Allan’s photo)

getting a yard of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply

getting a yard of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply

It was a generous pour.

It was a generous pour.

The pile is new, and somewhat hot.  We watered it down when we used it at the Port of Ilwaco office garden.  Today, in a layer on the Golden Sands garden, it would not be too hot.  But don’t ever plant straight into pure hot mulch; let it cool for a day or two.  One of the other bulk items sold by Peninsula Landscape Supply is hemlock bark; if I were to apply any sort of bark it would be this, because it is brown rather than red.

IMG_7039

an appealing colour

I'm also a fan of their three sizes of river rock.

I’m also a fan of their three sizes of river rock.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

We drove slowly to Golden Sands as the yard of Soil Energy had been such a generous pour.  I wanted a photo to show how we park by the door at the SW corner of the assisted living center because it is a closer trip to the garden courtyard door.  Allan looks like he is saying something grumpy, but he isn’t.  Behind him is a mowed airplane runway which is rarely if ever used but is kept mowed apparently just in case an emergency landing is needed by a small plane.  We had already had some excitement on the job.  To access this particular door, I have to ask a staff member to open it from the inside, and this time the alarm sounded so there had been a lot of hustling about to get it turned off before anyone got anxious.

heading for the now unlocked fire door

heading for the now unlocked fire door

We had the small red wheelbarrow and the big grey one in play.  I would stay in the courtyard weeding and spreading the mulch while Allan brought it.  (Fortunately it was dry and thus very lightweight.)

“Soil energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter).”

To get to the courtyard, we must wheelbarrow down half a long carpeted hallway.  If we came in the front door, as we usually do, the hallway trip would be three times longer.

Allan's photo: I took in one wheelbarrow but couldn't open the courtyard door and also push the barrow through it.

Allan’s photo: I took in one wheelbarrow but couldn’t open the courtyard door and also push the barrow through it.

hall

Allan almost to the courtyard door.

I always think of this suspense book that is in my collection.

I always think of this young adult suspense book that is in my collection.

Backing out the door into the courtyard.  This door is heavy and won't prop open.

Backing out the door into the courtyard. This door is heavy and won’t prop open.

Google Earth of the building surrounding the courtyard.

Google Earth of the building surrounding the courtyard.

We started with the NW quadrant, the one where last time we brought mulch, we ran out partway through.

NW quadrant, just getting started.

NW quadrant, just getting started.

after, all nicey nice at last

after, all nicey nice at last

Next, my mom’s old garden.  This whole project of turning rough patches of weedy lawn into four garden beds began when she moved into assisted living in autumn of 2009.

"Mom's garden", the NE quadrant, before

“Mom’s garden”, the NE quadrant, before

After the mulch was all down, I planted seeds of California and Shirley and assorted other poppies.  I planted lots of ‘Copper Pot’ California poppies in mom’s quadrant, because she loved copper and collected decorative copper items.

NE quadrant, after...

NE quadrant, after…My mother lived in the room with the center window.

I felt a little verklempt while planting the seeds.

I felt a little verklempt while planting the seeds.

The beds at the south end of the courtyard did not need as much mulch.  There is never quite enough to fully cover all four beds, and they had gotten the most last time.

SE bed before

SE bed before

and after.

and after.

I had to lift and gently replant a peony from Mary Beth as you cannot put too much soil on a peony or it won’t bloom; I hope it doesn’t mind.

SW quadrant before

SW quadrant before

SW after

SW after

The beds have a lot of vigorous plants…too vigorous sometimes.  .  It started as a purely volunteer project so I was using whatever plants (within reason) that I could get for free (and then it turned into a paid job with “grandma rates”, i.e. we give a discount in honour of the elder residents).  Yellow Lysimachia punctata, some running yarrow,  and probably too many Sweet Williams are in the garden beds.  The bad aster is also in there, one plant that I most decidedly did not bring in.  Another that I would never have planted is the terribly invasive lily of the valley, and I found a few sprouts of it today and eliminated them post haste.  So with all those vigorous plants, it’s hard to find spots to add seeds.  I did my best.

It felt grand to have the job done at last.  I don’t quite know why I dread it so much, since Allan does the hallway wheelbarrowing.  I think it is because I like to come and go without any fuss, and having to go to the desk and ask to have the door unlocked, and then worrying about getting the carpet dirty are both things I fret about, just a bit.

We had time to do some work in Long Beach in the late afternoon.

Long Beach

We started by getting 13 buckets of mulch from our pile at city works.  I returned a fortuitously timed phone call from Todd, who was asking about some plants at the Wiegardt Gallery garden, which is now his job.  So Allan scooped all the soil into the buckets on his own while I mentally walked with Todd through the Wiegardt garden.  Thanks, Todd, that was a well timed conversation.

I had two red flowering plants, a Penstemon and a Monarda, to plant in the new Veterans Field bed.  There are enough plants in it now to cross “plant memorial bed” off the work list, although I will still be on the lookout for a few more red, white, or blue plants.  Right next to the new garden is some asphalt with horsetail coming through it, and I see a sprout or two in the garden so I fear it will become a weeding chore.

accursed horsetail right next to the garden

accursed horsetail right next to the garden

Tulip 'Rococo' in the garden

Tulip ‘Rococo’ in the garden

Tulip 'Peppermint Stick'

Tulip ‘Peppermint Stick’

inside 'Peppermint Stick

inside ‘Peppermint Stick

'Peppermint Stick' has cunningly wavy foliage.

‘Peppermint Stick’ has cunningly wavy foliage.

a small cupped narcissi

a small cupped narcissi

I love the small cupped kinds.

I love the small cupped kinds.

I can usually count on Tulip ‘Rococo’ to be in bloom for the city parade the first Sunday in May.  THIS year, it is blooming before the end of March.

'Rococo' and many other late flowering tulips are early this year.

‘Rococo’ and many other late flowering tulips are early this year.

I planted a few remaining seeds of California Poppy ‘Ivory Castle’.  Meanwhile, Allan was weeding the curved bed by the flag pavilion.  I joined him weeding, then mulching.

before

before

after

after

Here’s a funny thing: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ has reseeded itself with about five new very welcome plants.  But the foliage is different.

Sapphire Blue sea holly has serrated leaves (not brushed off yet)...

Sapphire Blue sea holly has serrated leaves (not brushed off yet)…

The seedling leaves a bigger and plainer. As long as they are Eryngiums, they are fine by me.

The seedling leaves a bigger and plainer. As long as they are Eryngiums, they are fine by me.

I planted a few more California Poppy 'Red Chief' and 'Carmine King'.

I planted a few more California Poppy ‘Red Chief’ and ‘Carmine King’.

all nicely mulched

all nicely mulched

Allan uses a broom to sweep dirt off leaves and level the mulch.

Allan uses a broom to sweep dirt off leaves and level the mulch.

We had one more project in Long Beach: to plant assorted California and Shirley poppies in the big pop out which Allan had finished weeding while I was at Sylvia Beach Hotel.

now full of seeds, and some lily and dutch iris bulbs

now full of seeds, and some lily and dutch iris bulbs

The job was slightly miserable as a 20 mph wind had come up.  Who will win, the rugusa rose roots still lurking or the poppy seeds and lilies?

Allan's photo trying to show the wind via flags.

Allan’s photo trying to show the wind via flags.

Ilwaco

We were done in Long Beach with enough light left to do a bit of gardening at home.  On the way, we did some light deadheading on one block of Ilwaco street trees and planters.

narcissi in a planter

narcissi in a planter

simplex2

Pretty sure the small cupped one is Narcissus jonquilla simplex. Love it, and it is fragrant.

More flowers bloom in the windows of art galleries on the block.  Penny Treat Gallery

More flowers bloom in the windows of art galleries on the block.  Penny Treat gallery (Allan’s photo)

DSC00041

Allan’s photo

 

 

 

And in the window of Azure salon, the poster for the rhodie tour:

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I was mighty tired by now.  And yet the huge shotweeds in my garden were on my mind, and I swore I would get at least one bucket of them weeded out of the middle bed.

admiring a dog tooth violet by our driveway

admiring a dog tooth violet by our driveway

a tulip almost blown

a tulip almost blown

an accidental colour combination

an accidental colour combination

middle bed before

middle bed before

The wind was chilly and unpleasant.  But despite that, reader, I got three buckets of shotweed out.  The other weeds are not so quick to throw seeds everywhere, and I got the shotweed before it reached the point of pinging me in the eyes with its small sharp seeds.  (That’s why one of its common names is Jumping Jesus.)

after...not done, but better

after…not done, but better

I even got some of the shotweed in the east bed and felt proud of myself for preservering.

This spot had been huge shotweeds taller than the lily bulbs.

This spot had been huge shotweeds taller than the lily bulbs.

Allan had done some strimming while I weeded and we both retreated to the house as the wind increased further.  We are surely due for a stormy day off tomorrow, perhaps time to read one of my stack of library books.

I was able to erase several things from the work board…and added the two big projects that are next in line (along with regular maintenance) and which must be done in April this year (I hope): weeding the parking lot berms and the Bolstadt beach approach.  I thought if I put down the numbers of the sections of each job, it would give me the pleasure of more frequent erasures.  Each of the 13 sections of the beach approach garden takes three or more hours.

revised work board

revised work board; I can still count backwards

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Empty Bowls event

Strangely, I found myself in bed and falling sleep by 1 AM instead of 2 last night so was awake at the bright hour of 9 AM!  This would have been a shock to Allan so I checked my email and Facebook for half an hour.  Thus, we were at the Empty Bowls event by 11 AM.  From the event page:

This annual event brings handmade bowls created by local artists and elementary students together with handmade soups and bread made by local restaurants to help fund local food service organizations. Each year bowls are made and at the event are sold for $10 each. With that donation you get a lunch of soup and bread. After the event you keep your bowl to remind you of all the empty bowls in the world. Open to the public.

This is part of a national outreach to educate and empower communities through art and understanding.

Empty Bowls is held at the Peninsula Church Center, which has a tidy garden outside.

Empty Bowls is held at the Peninsula Church Center, which has a tidy garden outside.

The rose garden must be lovely in summertime.

The rose garden must be lovely in summertime.

Inside, bowls were still being added to the display.  It was hard to choose!

Inside, bowls were still being added to the display. It was hard to choose!

Many of the bowls at this event are made by grade school children.  I asked local potter and event organizer Karen Brownlee if that is unusual, and she said yes, most of the similar events around the country have more “grown up” bowls (my words).  There are plenty of “grown up” bowls mixed in to the choices at our local event.  The children’s bowls add a great deal of charm and are a great way to introduce kids to this mix of art and community.

picking a bowl

picking a bowl

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Several different restaurants donated soup.

Several local restaurants donated soup.

Just last night on Facebook, I saw Karen put out a request for a donation of butter to make the bread better.  The butter arrived, and the bread was rustic and delicious.

bread and butter

bread and butter

Our bowls (you can buy more than one).

Our bowls (you can buy more than one).

In the background, above, Karen’s spouse is bringing our soup, as the event includes table service.  It was later pointed out to me that the two green and yellow bowls that I chose are in the colours of an Oregon sportsball team.  One even has the letter O in side!  The completely went over my head as I don’t follow sports.  I believe our good friend Susie is a fan of the team known as the Oregon Ducks (but I won’t part with my pretty green and blue bowl!)  Allan always likes to get one with a bird’s head.

Our soup arrives!

Our soup arrives!

Allan's egg drop soup and his bowls.  I wanted the red one so he got an extra as well as his usual bird selection.

Allan’s egg drop soup and his bowls. I wanted the red one so he got an extra as well as his usual bird selection.

We were graced by the presence of local artist Rose Power, who sat with us.  I had figured out (by asking around) that she was the woman at yesterday’s art event who had such nice things to say (in a delightful English accent) about our gardening.

We had to tear ourselves away from the good company in order to begin the workday. As we left, we met a most handsome dog who was just quietly lying outside.  He stood up and licked my hand when I sweet talked him, then wandered off so I guess he had just come to visit where a crowd of people gathered.

a handsome boy

a handsome boy

The Basket Case Greenhouse 

Our second pre-work stop was at the Basket Case Greenhouse, which was on our way to stops three and four.  I needed just one thing, a bag of potting soil for planting sweet peas at home, and also took the opportunity to snag some new photos for the Basket Case Facebook page.

Walter: Allan's photo

Walter: Allan’s photo

red Geum and Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

red Geum and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Papaver 'Wonderland Orange'

Papaver ‘Wonderland Orange’

Fred and me...somehow I ended up buying a few plants.

Fred and me…somehow I ended up buying a few plants.

I didn’t get much, just a red Monarda for Jo, and one for the red white and blue Veterans Field garden.

When we looked over at the van, we could see Shadow the poodle all the way inside, and Walter had been thinking about getting in.  This is not surprising for Shadow, as this used to be “his” van before we bought it from Fred and Nancy (thus VASTLY improving our lives) in autumn of 2013.

Shadow is in there.

Shadow is in there.

They've been called back to the greenhouse by Fred and Nancy.

They’ve been called back to the greenhouse by Fred and Nancy.

The Bayside Garden

Next, we went a bit further north, past our first actual work destination, to deliver a lovely spider azalea which we’d gotten at Monkey Business Nursery for Steve and John.

I got two of these spider azaleas, one for me, and one for Steve and John if they want one.

At Monkey Business 101: I got two of these spider azaleas, one for me, and one for Steve and John.

Here it is in bloom.

Here it is in bloom, and here’s an article about it.

near the front door to the bayside house

near the front door to the bayside house

the drainage swale between the wings of the house

the drainage swale between the wings of the house with Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ behind a Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Sunlight Lace’.

three rhododendrons

Rhododendron pachysanthum, in a bed of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

by the front door

by the front door

When Steve and John invited us in for coffee and a slice of a peanut butter and chocolate “Elvis” cake, we could not resist.  (They make an excellent and flavourful cup of coffee and John is an accomplished baker.)  We then had a brief tour of part of the garden.  You may notice some lines of dug up soil, as an irrigation system is being installed by renowned local landscaper and rhododendron expert Steve Clarke’s capable team.

garden

by the driveway

rhodo

Rhododendron campylogynum Myrtilloides.

detail

detail of Rhododendron campylogynum Myrtilloides.

rhodo3

Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’ (has a yellow tint that the camera ignored) 

a prostrate form of taxus backed with a Daphne, still blooming (as it was on our last visit)

a prostrate form of taxus backed with a Daphne, still blooming (as it was on our last visit three weeks ago)

garden 4

There’s that stunning white variegated Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ gathering the light.

Hostas just emerging.

Hostas just emerging.

Steve and John had recently visited The English Nursery in Seaview, whose owner, Dirk Sweringen, sells an impressive variety of hostas.

a garden of well defined shapes

a garden of well defined shapes

garden5

garden6

Waterlogued

Waterlogued

Pittosporum

Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’

moss2

the woodland, which Steve and John have painstakingly edited for beauty

moss

a natural cup of moss

a natural cup of moss

Have I told you that this garden is going to open for touring on May 2?

rhodietour

We had to get to work, and Steve and John were off to the art show in Long Beach.  Our first work destination was just a couple of blocks to the south, where we got a yard of Soil Energy mulch and headed to our first job.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply:  Mike bringing us a scoop

Peninsula Landscape Supply: Mike bringing us a scoop (Allan’s photo)

They have some handsome heucheras for sale.

They have some handsome heucheras for sale.

The Boreas Inn

I had one major goal for today, to get that yard of Soil Energy spread at the Boreas and then to plant two plants and some poppy seeds in Long Beach.  While Allan got the mulch moving, I delivered the red bee balm plant to Jo’s, had a brief visit with her and little dog Coco, and then hightailed it back to the Boreas to get to work at last.

It went swimmingly and by the time we were almost done, my ambition for the day had increased.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

and weeding

and weeding some of the horrid creeping Jenny out (it’s too invasive)

hard at it

hard at it.  Soon weather will permit the cushions will be brought out for guests to lounge.

IMG_1997 - Version 2

Boreas lawn beds

Boreas lawn beds yesterday

and today, raised up with muclh

and today, raised up with mulch

I always wish for these beds to be level with the lawn, if not raised a little higher.  We might finally have almost achieved that.

Mission accomplished.

Mission accomplished.

The garden suite garden also got mulched.

The garden suite garden also got mulched.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The lawn beds, finally level with the lawn (for now, at least)

The lawn beds, finally level with the lawn (for now, at least)

Buddha had snail earrings today.

Buddha had snail earrings today. (Allan’s photo)

and then….back to

Peninsula Landscape Supply (again)

Colleen scooping Soil Energy

Colleen scooping Soil Energy

and dumping it into our little trailer, which holds just a yard and a bit.

and dumping it into our little trailer, which holds just a yard and a bit.

Instead of planting two plants and some seeds in Long Beach, my goal had changed to mulching the Port office garden and an area in my garden and then finishing the little gravel project at the Port office garden.

Ilwaco

On the way to Ilwaco, I added to my goal the planting of sweet peas at our Ilwaco post office garden, as having some mulch to add would help them along.

post office garden, before

post office garden, before

after

after

I DO hope I have some luck with sweet peas in this spot.  The last two years I have tried and failed for various reasons: lousy soil, not enough water, snails.

Post office garden today

Post office garden today, after some work

with Tulip 'Green Star'

with Tulip ‘Green Star’

With that done, we drove to the port office and added soil to make the garden fluffy and happy.

Port Office before

Port Office before

after mulching

after mulching

just across the lawn from our mulching job

just across the lawn from our mulching job

Next, we applied the rest of the Soil Energy at home…

on a mulch mission at home

on a mulch mission at home

filling in an edge by the bogsy wood

raising an edge by the bogsy wood

raising an edge by the bogsy wood

every last scoop of precious mulch

every last scoop of precious mulch; Allan kept the wheelbarrows filled.

And then we went back to the port, got some gravel from their supply, and finished making the backsplash for the office garden.

view from near the gravel pile

view from near the gravel pile

gull

gravel and mulch both applied!

gravel and mulch both applied!

After all that, I declared tomorrow a day off.  I had been able to erase more from the work board than I had expected.  And perhaps while walking around my own garden, I had been so horrified by the amount of weeds that I just had to have a day off.  I just hope I get more done than just “piddlefarting around the garden.”

plants need to be planted

plants need to be planted

The shotweed is shocking!

The shotweed is shocking!

Horsetail is popping up all over!

Horsetail is popping up all over!

and I must pull the dangblang touch-me-not!

and I must pull the dangblang touch-me-not!

Pretty things soothe my anxiety about the garden:

a marmalade Heuchera

a marmalade Heuchera

epimidium

epimidium

Smokey walking with me and flopping down in front of me

Smokey walking with me and flopping down in front of me

fringed tulip 'Cummins'

fringed tulip ‘Cummins’

the garden boat

the garden boat

The Ann Lovejoy

The Ann Lovejoy

Waterlogued

Waterlogued

Oh!! A lost ho mi in the mini scree garden!

Oh!! A lost ho mi in the mini scree garden!

tulips and gold acanthus

tulips and gold acanthus

a sentimental hosta given to me by Mary Fluaitt before she moved away

a sentimental hosta given to me by Mary Fluaitt before she moved away

Where Allan found the energy to mow our lawn AND Nora’s tonight I just cannot imagine.

allan

But he did.  I went inside and caught up on the Tootlepedal and Miserable Gardener blogs.

Mission accomplished: a new red bowl for tea bags!

Mission accomplished: a new red bowl for tea bags!

and a much decreased work list.  Tomorrow if I do my own sweet peas, I can erase sweet peas altogether.

and a much decreased work list. Tomorrow if I do my own sweet peas, I can erase sweet peas altogether.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A beautiful warm sunny day began with my taking a photo of one of the spider azaleas that I got for Steve and John to make sure that they wanted it. (They might already have one in their vast collection.)

Smokey agreed it's a cool plant.

Smokey agreed it’s a cool plant.

As I understand it, all azaleas are really rhododendrons.

As I understand it, all azaleas are really rhododendrons.

By the time we got to our first project, getting some mulch from Peninsula Landscape Supply, I’d had an email back that they would love to have it, so I should have followed my instinct and carried it along with us.  We’ll be back up that way to get more mulch in two or three days, depending on weather.  Any excuse to see their fabulous garden!

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Colleen on her way to load our mulch

Colleen on her way to load our mulch (Allan’s photo)

the acquisition of a yard of soil energy

the acquisition of a yard of Soil Energy

Peninsula Landscape Supply pond

Peninsula Landscape Supply pond (Allan’s photo)

a pretty container by the pond

a pretty grouping in a container by the pond

I quite like this new line of mossy birdhouses and planters.

I quite like this new line of mossy birdhouses and planters.

I toyed with the idea of getting this lighted tree for evening when we have campfires!

I toyed with the idea of getting this lighted tree for evening when we have campfires!

I'm also thinking this might be our liquid fertilizer of choice this year for planters;  still pondering.

I’m also thinking this might be our liquid fertilizer of choice this year for planters; still pondering.  I want an organic one, and fish fertilizer does not work well in a sprayer. We hear this one was developed for pot farmers.

Marilyn’s Garden

My mission today was to get several things erased from the work list.  First, mulching Marilyn’s garden; second, planting poppy seeds there.  Note that it would probably be better that all poppies and sweet peas were already planted, but it hasn’t happened yet.  March 17th is supposed to be sweet pea planting day, which also happens to be my birthday and as you know, I skived off the the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  Renowned Cannon Beach gardener June Kroft says it is ok to plan sweet peas later at the coast.  But I digress.

Before: I found a massive influx of bad aster in one of Marilyn's garden beds...From where???

Before: I found a massive influx of bad aster in one of Marilyn’s garden beds…From where???

after, cleared, mulched, poppy seeds in

after, cleared, mulched, poppy seeds in (and aster roots still lurking in the clumps of other perennials)

before1

before

 

before, the main border

before, the main border

Goldie kept me company.

Goldie kept me company.

after:  Allan did almost all the mulching; I did weeding and seeding.

after: Allan did almost all the mulching; I did weeding and seeding.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before

almost done

almost done

after

after

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Next, I wished to get the sweet peas and a few poppy seeds planted at Klipsan Beach Cottages.  We checked on Oman Builders Supply garden on the way but I completely forgot to photograph it.  It felt odd not to have to check on the Wiegardt garden; Eric’s brother Todd has that garden now.  It felt odd…and GREAT because much as we love the Wiegardt Gallery, and we do, we are trying to cut back.  I am looking forward to seeing the changes Todd makes as he will have more time to devote to that one than we did.  I apologize for leaving behind the dratted Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ and the bad aster that had appeared from wherever the heck it appears from.  But again, I digress.

The bay tree was blooming above blueberry bushes in bloom at KBC.

The bay tree was blooming above blueberry bushes in bloom at KBC.

I worked in the fenced garden, weeding and de-bad-astering along the fence (where the heck does that damn aster come from everywhere?) and then planting sweet peas.  Allan ranged all over the grounds deadheading narcissi.

Allan's photo: rag tag narcissi deadheads (before)

Allan’s photo: rag tag narcissi deadheads (before)

after

after

Allan's photo: narcissi in the A Frame garden

Allan’s photo: narcissi in the A Frame garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Clematis on a deer fence gate

Clematis on a deer fence gate

Pieris in bloom

Pieris in bloom

Pieris with the clematis arbour in background

Pieris with the clematis arbour in background

the lawn border and fountain

the lawn border and fountain

hellebores in the lawn border

hellebores in the lawn border

double white hellebore

double white hellebore

hellebore

hellebore

Japanese maple and deer fern by the pond

Japanese maple and deer fern by the pond

new bench by the pond

new bench by the pond

pulmonaria next to the new bench

pulmonaria next to the new bench

The adorableness of Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant)

The adorableness of Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant)

You have to look under the leaves to see the cunning little mice.

You have to look under the leaves to see the cunning little mice.

exciting! Cardiocrinum giganteum

exciting! Cardiocrinum giganteum in the fenced garden

Also exciting: tree peony bud

Also exciting: tree peony bud

IMG_8841

driveway garden

driveway garden

IMG_8849

driveway garden, Tulip 'Lilac Wonder'

driveway garden, Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’

fullblown rose in March

fullblown rose in March

Timmy...or maybe Sarah

Timmy…or maybe Sarah

15view3-25

the fenced garden

 

kbcgatemar25

Since I administrate the Klipsan Beach Cottages Facebook page, among many many more, I was pleased to see a recent guest leave this excellent review.

IMG_8794

The Cove Restaurant

The Cove is at the Peninsula Golf Course.  Co Owner Jim was taking two dogs for a ride in a golf cart.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; he said the dog to the left wanted to shake hands.

The dog on the right is 16!!  Allan's photo

The dog on the right is 16!! Allan’s photo

Allan's photo...so cute!

Allan’s photo…so cute!

cove

Since we are both now OVER SIXTY years old, I thought it would be just fine to knock off early for our Thursday night meal at the Cove.    It was on my mind that narcissi need deadheading at the Port…but driving all the way down and back seemed more wasteful then letting those deadheads wait till tomorrow.  I clearly am still not back into high gear.

We rarely dine this early in the evening!

We rarely dine this early in the evening!

We saw Todd there, come to have dinner with some friends.  (Todd, you are now officially blog fodder!)   It was a treat to have a brief chat with him and we look forward to some good garden talk in the future.

IMG_8877

ahi tuna

ahi tuna

the most amazing Thai curry soup

the most amazing Tom Kha Gai

Allan had a Peruvian stir fry which was simply delectable.

Allan had Lomo Saltado, a Peruvian style stir fry which was simply delectable.

Susie of the Boreas saw me “check in” to the Cove on Facebook (a good way to promote local businesses as long as you don’t have “friends” who will break into your house while you are dining) and could not resist showing up to join us for some ahi tuna.  We had such a good time we ended up staying till after seven (which is about the time we usually used to arrive).

When we got home, I had the pleasure of reducing the work list; since returning from my trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel, I’ve been able to erase Andersen’s, Long Beach, and KBC from the sweet pea list, Marilyn and KBC from the poppy seed list, and mulching Marilyn’s from the projects list!

Next up: The Boreas Inn sweet peas and poppies

Next up: The Boreas Inn sweet peas and poppies

I thought my birthday celebration was completely over, but no!  Mary of KBC gave me a lovely purple scarf from the Deux Chapeaux gift shop.  My cat Mary (no relation) agreed to model it for you:

The cats are sticking close to my computer spot since I came back from a five night absence.

The cats are sticking close to my computer spot since I came back from a five night absence.

 I thought the sentiments of their card were exceptionally inspirational:

IMG_8893

IMG_8894

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 2 September, part two

I woke up at eight, early for me (way early), all excited about going to see Steve and John’s garden. Unable to fall back asleep, I decided to get up to make sure I had time to pick a really good bouquet for them. I took my camera out into the garden because I usually do not see it in morning light.

The mermaids were chatting.

The mermaids were chatting.

Roscoea purpurea 'Spice Island'

Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’ (a hardy ginger, came back this year)

view to the southwest

view to the southwest

the west bed, back garden

the west bed, back garden

I swear that since we cut a limb on Nora’s tree, we can now see the house on the hill better. I don’t want to see it from my garden. That’ll teach us to mess with someone else’s tree (although it was a limb hanging way over on our side and one that was crossing another and made the tree look lopsided).

Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns' from Joy Creek Nursery

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ from Joy Creek Nursery

Agastache 'Blue Boa' or maybe 'Blue Fortune' from The Basket Case

Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ or maybe ‘Blue Fortune’ from The Basket Case (via Blooming)

sedum flower, a variegated one

sedum flower, a variegated one

I have every intention of sorting through all my tags this winter and making a master list of plants like John has done for the bayside garden. I really mean it this time.

a golden heather Allan brought back from Seattle; he brought three so I ended up with two in my garden.  Excuse the dratted creeping sorrel mixed in, such a bad weed.

a golden heather Allan brought back from Seattle; he brought three so I ended up with two in my garden. Excuse the dratted creeping sorrel mixed in, such a bad weed (but edible and deliciously lemony)

Some chelone (pink turtlehead) ended up in the bouquet.

Some chelone (pink turtlehead) ended up in the bouquet.

The pink turtlehead was in the front garden, where it was too dry. I moved it to the back garden last fall, where the water table is high. Some popped back up in the front garden and will get moved to Golden Sands Assisted Living and to Jo’s garden.

Physocarpus (probably 'Dart's Gold') and an astilbe

Physocarpus (probably ‘Dart’s Gold’) and an astilbe

In the front garden, Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' with the great Allium 'Forelock'

In the front garden, Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ with the great Allium ‘Forelock’ (expensive, thus only two, getting more this year)

white lilies and Rubus lineatus

white lilies and Rubus lineatus

At the post office, I was excited to get a book in the mail. Allan had ordered me a copy of Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge, after I was reminded of her by seeing a book at Olde Towne Café. Oh, my! Was this a sequel to Linnets and Valerians?

The Runaways

The Runaways

Later in the day, I was sorry to learn that this book was Linnets and Valerians under a boring title. I guess the publishers thought Americans would not by a book with the original title, which is so so so much better. Now I am trying (or Allan is trying for me as he is better at online shopping) to find a copy with the proper title.

We headed north on Sandridge Road with perfect timing to be at Steve and John’s on the dot of 11:30…till we got to the highway 101 crossing and I realized I had forgotten the book I wanted to show them, my hand gardening tools for later in the day, and the two plants I wanted to give them. So back we went, circling around Black Lake; getting the two plants was the most important thing.

The plants were part of the swag from the Bloggers Fling banquet and we had an extra of each one and figured Steve and John would enjoy trying out these 2015 introductions:

wiegela

disporum

Then we had our visit and tour of Steve and John’s bayside garden (see yesterday’s post). As we left their garden, rain had begun in earnest. I was hoping for a break so we could dump the weekend’s load of yard debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply and pick up a yard of Soil Energy mulch for our garden; the original plan had been to work for a couple of hours at Andersen’s RV Park between the mulch acquisition and home. I had already decided that was not going to happen, but I did want my mulch. (If I had woken up to rain, with the prospect of it lasting all day and nowhere to go, I would have been thrilled to just read.)

The weather got worse every moment. Allan pointed out how miserably drenched we would be if we followed the debris dumping and mulch plan.

We drove on past Peninsula Landscape Supply toward home.

We drove on past Peninsula Landscape Supply toward home.

I imagined an afternoon of reading, with rain outside. My desire for mulch was so strong that I couldn’t let it go and I said to Allan (gently, really) that if it were just me, I would unload the debris and get the mulch and get drenched….for the sake of fulfilling that desire. He took that as a challenge, he said, and turned around at the Red Barn Arena.

entering Peninsula Landscape Supply

entering Peninsula Landscape Supply

debris unloaded, getting a yard of steaming mulch

debris unloaded, getting a yard of steaming mulch

As we were getting loaded up, I sensed that the sky was lightening to the west.

I could feel the rain was about to cease.

I could feel the rain was about to cease. Light around the edges!

looking south, definitely light around the edges

looking south, definitely light around the edges

By the time we got home about fifteen minutes later, the sky was breaking into blue all around us.

looking south from front garden

looking south from front garden

looking west

looking west

and north, beautiful blue

and north, beautiful blue

Allan did most of the wheelbarrowing to fill in the new woods bed.

Allan did most of the wheelbarrowing to fill in the new woods bed.

I filled in some holes and low areas in the front garden where I had dug up a boring daylily, a clump of lady’s mantle, and other undesirables. (And, sadly, an Edgeworthia chrysantha that had died after being purchased and planted in glorious bloom in early spring of this year.)

I carried about nine five gallon buckets of mulch into the garage to save for later transplanting projects. Only for the last two did I get organized enough to use the wheelbarrow to make it easier. Then I stuck a shovel in the ground around a big Joe Pye weed to see how hard to would be to dig out.

It would be difficult.

It would be difficult.

Joe Pye wants to be in a damper spot (as do all the sanguisorbas in the front garden). Allan saw me poking at it and said he would not mind digging it up for me. Joy!

after

after

Of course, I had to haul most of my buckets of mulch back out of the garage to fill this in. My plan is to plant my new Rosa pteracantha there, as I have noticed that the area gets backlit by the sun and so its huge translucent red thorns should show up well.

Rosa pteracantha still in its pot.

Rosa pteracantha still in its pot.

The planting will have to wait as the mulch is still too hot to plant anything in it.

Cautionary tale: Whoever originally planted the Shorebank garden on Howerton Avenue at the port (not me!) put down steaming hot soil and planted immediately. Within days, all the shrubs they planted were dead and had to be replaced at great expense to the landscaper (who went out of business and shall not be named and shamed).

Sadly, another plant that went away was the contorted hawthorne from Joy Creek Nursery. Another cautionary tale: There was much argy bargy when Allan and I were planting the tree. “Don’t hold it by the trunk!” was the cry of dismay, and then there was an ominous cracking sound right where the trunk meets the root ball. For three or four years, the little tree put out some leaves (never any flowers) in spring and then went completely bare all summer, and it never grew an inch. I finally gave up.

contorted Paul's Scarlet Hawthorne...a goner

contorted Paul’s Scarlet Hawthorne…a goner

It’s back behind the house waiting for me to think of something to do with the branches. The root ball is the same size as when it was planted.

when I bought the poor thing, in 2011 at Joy Creek

when I bought the poor thing, in 2011 at Joy Creek

Moral: Plant trees carefully; they are not as tough as they look.

It’s going to be a challenge to get all the work done before the crowds for Rod Run weekend arrive by Friday afternoon. Even so, someone besides myself and Allan was pleased about our unexpected day off.

Smokey likes me to be at home.

Smokey (in his Birds Be Safe collar) likes me to be at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »