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Posts Tagged ‘spring bulbs’

Thursday, 2 March 2017

With the rainy windy day that had been predicted, we did not get the port spring clean up done.  I must confess that maybe if we worked between 8 and 11 AM we might have accomplished some of it

The rain increased considerably after 11 AM.  Allan went to pick up books at the library and took this photos of the early crocuses and irises at the community building in which the library is housed.  You can click on the photos in this mosaic to view them individually.

I had finished the excellent book The Shock Doctrine and was pleased at the prospect of a new batch of library books.  While I waited, I photographed a pile of old postcards (from the collection of our friend Joe Chasse) for my Grandma’s Scrapbook blog.  They will begin to appear there later this year.

A sneak peak:

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My books arrived.  What excitement opening the book bag! This new assortment contains some fiction, for a change.

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I settled right in with one of them.

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It is poetically written and its only flaw is a plot twist that I did not much like.  The parts about Scrabble, I liked very much.  (A boodle is what I call a bingo.)

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Even though I only play online now, I remember this sound:

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I finished the book.  It was a much easier read than the non fiction I’ve been perusing lately.

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Skooter had been helping Allan read.

 

Our garden club weekly dinner was postponed because of members being under the weather.

For the next two days, the actually weather won’t matter much because we have indoor political activities to attend.

 

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Friday, 20 February 2015

We’ve only had one day off since we started back to work on February 10th.  I’d like to think the cats miss me.

Smokey and his mom, Mary

Smokey and his mom, Mary

They seem perfectly content just to have my chair.  (It was naughty Calvin who clawed on the chair arm, not these two angels.)

They seem perfectly content just to have my chair. (It was naughty Calvin who clawed on the chair arm, not these two angels.)

I wanted the satisfaction of crossing two jobs off of the work list.  And we go to private gardens only on weekdays, so today we did The Red Barn and the private garden next door to it.

On the way, we fluffed up a couple of the Ilwaco planters with a bit of new potting soil and then made a side trip to the Depot Restaurant garden to dig up some hops roots for Chef Michael.  He wants to grow some in containers on his deck at home.  It took the big loppers to cut the roots.

Cascade Hops roots, thick and fibrous; gave him some with nice sprouts on them

Cascade Hops roots, thick and fibrous; gave him some with nice sprouts on them

The Red Barn Arena

At the barn, Red, a horsewoman’s handsome and friendly dog, came to greet me.

Red, a little camera shy

Red, a little camera shy

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

All we had to do was weed along the fence.  This was one of our last jobs last November, and I had looked at all the grassy weeds and thought “I’ll just wait till February”, so here we are.

before

before

after

after

Our parking space, on the lawn next to the hedge behind which was our next job, had turned into part of a completely fenced pasture.

pasture

Barn owner Amy told us the horse is hers, a brood mare who will be having a baby in about 40 days.

We look forward to seeing the foal in the springtime.

We look forward to seeing the foal in the springtime.

Diane’s garden

My solution was for Allan to unhook the trailer and just drive the van into Diane and Larry’s parking area, which is hard to turn around in.

Diane's front garden, before

Diane’s front garden, before, looking north

almost after, with Allan pulling a last weed or two

almost after, with Allan pulling a last weed or two

looking south, before...

looking south, before…

and after, including the planting of some pink and white California poppies ('Dusky Rose' and 'White Linen' seeds)

and after, including the planting of some pink and white California poppies (‘Dusky Rose’ and ‘White Linen’ seeds)

I will probably put a crisp edge on the lawn side of the garden next time.

west side of house, before

 side of house, before

and after

and after  (we did not make the house tilt….)

Iris reticulata in Diane's garden

Iris reticulata in Diane’s garden

We both Mapped Our Walk today:

mine

mine

Allan's

Allan’s working walk

Red Barn

Red Barn

Diane's: mine in red, Allan in blue

Diane’s garden: mine in red, Allan in blue

Allan tucked in to a few areas thoroughly while I was all over the place.  His milage for both jobs was 2.31 and mine was 3.15 miles, which just amazes me because the areas we worked in were rather small.  The map tends to put some odd loops out to the sides that I swear did not happen, so … I am assuming the GPS milage is somewhat accurate, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

Long Beach

We had a couple of hours of daylight left.  The temperature had dropped, a cold breeze had kicked up, and my original idea of finishing the day at the Port of Ilwaco no longer appealed.  We had a check to collect in Long Beach so we finished the day out there (still breezy and cold but with tasks that seemed less daunting than the entire Ilwaco boatyard garden).

Long Beach City Hall had a head start on St Patrick’s Day (which happens to be my birthday):

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We decided to check on the few main street planters that hadn’t had a once over yet.

The northernmost planter on the west side of Pacific Way (looking south)

The northernmost planter on the west side of Pacific Way (looking south) had some chickweed, as always

Back in volunteer days, some of the planters had lots of chickweed, and to this day, now that we are in charge, those three or four planters STILL have chickweed trying to come back.

under a street tree

under a street tree

Dennis Company’s garden department had pansies and violas on sale for a dollar.  I could not resist getting some of the orange and purple violas for planters in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

violas

violas

We next weeded and clipped trees and planters on the southernmost block of downtown planters:

looking south

looking south

I remember, when we first were caring for the planters, being asked to add primroses to brighten them up for spring break in March.  Now, with all the assorted spring bulbs that we’ve added over the years, they brighten up in a succession of flowers without having to add extra plants till annuals time in May.

I’ll close with a word of advice.  In all of our gardens, the Schizostylis (river lily) that bloomed so prettily in the fall now looks beat up and tired.

old schizostylis leaves)

old schizostylis leaves in a planter

I just grab the leaves and pull; chunks of old plant come out but enough little sprouts are left to size up for next fall’s flowers.  If the plant won’t pull out easily, I cut it back as far as I can.

Schizostylis and a little bun of a Dianthus at Wiegardts

Schizostylis flowers in autumn

We were cold and moderately miserable by the end of the day.  I was surprised that we did manage to work till five.  At home, I was able to remove two jobs from the work board and amend the task “planters” to just the ones on the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach, as all the others have had their first wake up call.

winnowing down the February work list

winnowing down the February work list

Tomorrow, if the weather permits, we might be able to erase Ilwaco and Port of Ilwaco from the list.

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My funny stylish friend Hilary at the Northwest Flower and Garden show

My funny stylish friend Hilary at the Northwest Flower and Garden show

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This might have been the first time I went to the show, certainly the first time I attended seminars.  It took place shortly after C. and I split up.   I had my reasons, and a couple of them were very bad ones.  He made every effort at the end to work things out, and I did not.  But I remember feeling an enormous sense of relief and freedom that month when I was waiting to catch the bus to one of my jobs, even though I had lost the luxury of a ride to work. I don’t recall the divorce being terribly bitter, but there must have been strong feelings as he is the only ex of mine whose photos were almost completely removed, by me, from my photo albums. (The captions left behind are intriguing: C at Lowell’s in the Market, C at Bop Street records, C and Xan.)   I know that I gave the photos to him and did not destroy them.

1990 poster

1990 poster

Garden show week saw a freak snowstorm.  I waited and waited for a bus on Phinney Ridge and finally got to the show when the room for a Rosemary Verey lecture had filled.  Desperate to see her, I practically begged to stand at the back.  It was only the second year of the show, not as strict about seating as it became later, and they let me.  Hearing Rosemary speak, breathing the same air as that famous British gardener, was heaven for me.  I must have taken eighteen seminars, and I think three of them were by Ann Lovejoy, my garden inspiration who used to be a regular speaker at the show.   I still have the poster from that show on my wall.

house rugs
house rug

house rug

My idea came from this rug made by my grandmother.

My idea came from this rug made by my grandmother.

Part of the break up with Chris involved my getting back the hooked rug I had taken to his parents for Christmas in 1988.  It depicted our Seattle house and garden, and I’m not sure why I thought they would like it.  I think I had just been very excited to join a British family, but it had turned out that they did not particular like me (definitely one of the cracks that broke my relationship with their son.)   They certainly would not want to keep a gift that depicted a house he used to live in, but I felt so guilty getting it back that I made a new one for them with their names, the name of the road they lived on, and a hooked scene of a park near their flat in Chapel Allerton.  Mailing it off to England (looking back, why would they have even wanted it?) took a burden off my mind.  Both my grandmother’s and my house rug hang on my wall today, and until I started this entry and found the photo in my album I had forgotten my rug went all the way to Leeds and back again.

the garden

But…that was another (perhaps ill advised!) digression.    Here is my front garden in February and March 1990:

tiny flowers of winter

tiny flowers of winter

species tulips

species tulips

parking strip March 1990

parking strip March 1990

the view from Wilum's window

the view from Wilum’s window

My wonderful housemate Wilum still lived upstairs in my attic, washing dishes at the Bon Marché and writing horror fiction.  How I wish I could find an interview that was printed at the time in which he intoned “I like to watch the flowers die.”

rockery with species tulips and Narcissi in March

rockery with species tulips and Narcissi in March

tulips, April 1990

tulips, April 1990

A friend (with whom I had visited Arizona in ’87) bought an old gay bar and turned it into a dance club, and he gave me these old mirrors that had been behind the bar. I had sat at that bar and looked into these mirrors! They went on the back fence.mirrors

Sparks mirrors and roses

Sparks mirrors and roses

The morning after these mirrors were installed, I went onto the back porch and for just a second thought my fence had fallen down because it seemed I was seeing through it.

fence mirrors

fence mirrors

In April, Allan brought his daughter to visit…here with my cat Valene…and built me a rose trellis on the northwest corner of the house for one of the old fashioned climbers that I had mail ordered from Roses of Yesterday and Today (now just Roses of Yesterday).

Allan's daughter and Valene

Allan’s daughter and Valene

my funny little cat Valene

my funny little cat Valene

In the late spring my old friend Carol moved in with me and Wilum, to the great pleasure of Valene who spent much time after that sitting on Carol’s lap.

window box tulips

window box tulips

Tulips in my windowbox, looking from living room to downhill neighbour’s house. My house had narrow side yards with the neighbours very close.

Clematis montana growing on a rake trellis on the east side of the house

Clematis montana growing on a rake trellis on the east side of the house

I grew Clematis montana on both east and west sides of the house in the narrow passageways between houses.

west side clematis

west side clematis

The parking strip was getting awesome in spring 1990.  Look at that Fritillaria persica. I was getting all sophisticated in my plant choices.   No more huge marigolds and gladiolus.

parking strip

parking strip

rockery, spring

rockery, spring

Below: from the front porch, spring 1990. Chris had moved by now; he had kindly built this arbour the year before, because I wanted rakes on top…He was a writer and musician, not a carpenter, and neither was I, so it was not holding up very well…gone a bit wonky.

porch view

porch view

The Oriental poppies had held over from my grandmother’s garden and reseeded prolifically.  I loved them and yet they left such a hole when they finished blooming.

summer, front garden

summer, front garden

I seem to have discovered ornamental grasses by now, because here Orson found some to lie in.

grasses

grasses

In summer my friend Barbara visited from Eugene.  Here she is lost in the garden.

Barbara in her garden

Barbara in the garden

 I should have lent her a book with a prettier title for the photo...like an Anne Lovejoy book..

I should have lent her a book with a prettier title for the photo…like an Anne Lovejoy book.

She took this photo of me on the garden on the same day.

She took this photo of me on the garden on the same day.

livingrom windowbox in summer

livingrom windowbox in summer

The parking strip in summer looked good, and the plant selection was more sophisticated, but I think it looked more spectacular in its first year with annuals.

front garden in August

front garden in August

front porch in August

front porch in August

Wilum's windowbox

Wilum’s windowbox

Wilum would be up there reading, writing, or listening to Barbara Streisand.

front garden in summer

front garden in summer

a photo in the back garden mirror, autumn 1990

a photo in the back garden mirror, autumn 1990

A massive snow storm resulted in me walking home all the way from Capitol Hill housecleaning job with snow over my shoes.  My feeling of survival was somewhat deflated when I spoke to my seventy year old friend, Pat, retired teacher and basketmaker who lived nearby, and she told me matter-of-factly that she too had walked home from Northwest Harvest on Capitol Hill during the same storm.

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ice

I’d never known cold like this.

patio chair in snow

patio chair

grambeads

On the back gate, beads spelled out my grandma’s name, Gladys Corinne Walker.

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I don’t think I have much of a record of Donna’s garden in Long Beach.  In going through his old photos in 2013, Allan found these three of her tulip show.  Her daughter, Diane, still our client, likes pastels, and Diane’s sweet mom, Donna liked bright colours so their gardens were quite different!

Donna's tulips

Donna’s tulips

We planted all bright coloured tulips for her.  The red and white of her house was just like my grandma’s “Little Red House” in Seattle.

Donna's tulipsDonna's tulipsWe used to do a set of containers on her back porch as well, also all bright colours, but have no photo record of them.  She was a lovely client, and I always admired the closeness of the mother-daughter relationship between Donna and Diane.

 

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