Posts Tagged ‘Stachyurus praecox’

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Before work, Allan helped me plant my new stachyurus.

front garden, east side, before

To the right is a Dan Hinkley selection of a different stachyurus, a willow leafed form, whose flowers do not show off as well.

I moved a young Descaisnea fargessii into a sunnier back garden spot to make room.  If it plotzes, it will not be too terribly hard to find a mail order replacement, and it has not liked this spot.

Here is my gorgeous Descaisnea from my old garden:

Decaisnea fargessii

It had blue beans, thus its common name. the blue bean shrub. From this blog years ago, the photos below also show another shrub that I want to regain in my now not to new garden.

In our own garden, the powdery blue edible beans of the Chinese blue bean tree, Deicasnea fargessii…also known, I recently learned, as Dead Man’s Fingers! And a truly astonishing colour combinaton from a Euonymous shrub.


Frosty wanted me to stay home.

And I wanted to stay home with him.

On the way to work, we toured the annual Peninsula Quilt Guild Show at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum just three and a bit blocks east.  That will be our next post, which may or may not be tomorrow morning…or the next day.

We stopped off for a book exchange at the library, where we admired the garden (a project that is mostly Allan’s). I reflected that our Stihl electric shears would finally make it possible to trim the heathers, the main feature of the garden (which we did not design; we have just managed to squeeze some other plants in amongst the heather and salal).

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo (the blue is Anemone blanda)

entry garden

We added the hellebores…(Allan’s photo)

…and the pulmonarias and more.

The entry garden from the corridor windows:


The Master Gardeners were setting up for a seminar in the community room.

Allan’s photo

It looked like a plant giveaway was part of the event, but work called on this pleasantly warm spring-like day.

stocking the plant table

Allan’s photo

Long Beach

the welcome sign

When we arrived at the north parking lot berm, I suddenly felt so incredibly sore that I had to take the magic combo of advil and tylenol.

The berms are at the bottom of this satellite view.

I felt that The Toy (we each have one to wield) considerably speeding up the first clean up and trimming of the north parking lot “berm”.  (The three so called berms are barely raised, thus not really berms, but they have had that name since they were installed by the city almost two decades ago).


Someone had dropped a treasure trove for my compost bins:

a veg assortment

Allan found an egg:

Allan took one side of the berm and I took the other.

Allan’s photo

This is not a job where we have time to strive for complete perfection.

Not one but two big trucks came and parked on our debris.  The first one’s driver heard my muttering even though I was yards away and cheerfully moved the truck back when I said that it was preventing us from cleaning up.  She laughed (in a friendly way) when I said, “Don’t write about the crazy gardener on TripAdvisor!”  The second huge raised big tire truck drove onto some debris while I was raking it off the pavement.  I held up my hand and walked forward, making it back up, while the young driver looked like he just did not understand why.

My mind boggled.  I also must be careful of my muttering during tourist season. Next time, we will set up a cone or a line of buckets to define our work area.

After, trimmed but not yet completely picked up:

Between the two truck incidents, I got a message from a friend that teenagers were picking daffodils in Fifth Street Park.  (They got yelled at to stop by said friend.) Also that day, a friend’s own planter by her business suffered from a child picking the flowers while a mother indulgently observed and said, “Thank you”.  Friend’s mind also boggled.

The Toy made easier work of trimming small branches back from over the pavement.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tomorrow, Saint Patrick’s Day (Sunday), is my birthday.  My wish was to get one section of the beach approach weeded; that dreaded job (that takes at least ten days) is hanging over my head like the axe of doom. However, I’ve decided the other berms would be wiser because, with such nice weather, a Sunday on the beach approach might have a great deal of vehicular traffic.  My nerves are being worked hard by the picking of flowers and parking on debris so I had better work somewhere other than by a busy road tomorrow.  Maybe getting older is making me more crotchety.  As a rule, when my gardens are not being damaged, I LOVE tourists; I remember being one.






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Stachyurus praecox, January 2005

Stachyurus praecox, January 2005

one of my contorted filberts, with teacups, early spring 2005

one of my contorted filberts, with teacups, early spring 2005

shovel heads

shovel heads


Allan helped me put up these old shovel heads as pseudo-battlements along the privacy fence. I always felt poignant when looking at the three panels Robert had painted after his heart attack and the building of the fence. He said they meant health, long life, and happiness. I had hope for him finally acquiring those things as around this time he moved out of Andy’s trailer and into the beautiful home of a new significant other, a mutual friend of ours. Her house was actually one of my dream houses and had once belonged to Dale, the garden designer who had long since departed but who had created some of the gardens I still worked in.

Dumbles in the garden

Dumbles in the garden

By May we were having to make a huge decision regarding a new roof. In April we had helped plant some street trees in Ilwaco in a big rainstorm, and upon coming home found water pouring through the bathroom ceiling. The leak soon worked its way over to the living room as well. I would have had to live with buckets, but Allan had enough money from the share he had taken from his Tacoma house equity to arrange for a new metal roof to be installed.  The reason for the leak?  raccoons tearing into the cedar shakes!

So we did very little gardening around the house itself because we knew that roofers would be coming before winter.

Clerodendron in my garden, the best bloom I ever had from it.

Clerodendron in my garden, the best bloom I ever had from it.

Over the course of the summer, Allan had painted the house during whatever scraps of time he could find: dark green, with blue, turquoise and purple trim…You can see the raccoon-compromised roof to the right of the dormer.  How he found the energy to do this on top of work is beyond me, but he did.


newly painted house

newly painted house

Below:  Lovely photo by Allan taken after he had finished painting the house. The set of prayer flags of all different religions were given to me by my dear friend Sharon.

after painting

after painting

Finally in autumn, we got our new roof, just in time to not live with buckets and sagging ceilings all winter.  The new metal roof resounded beautifully in the rain.

the only wedding photo....

the only wedding photo….

In late November, 2005, Allan and I got married at a house in Skamakawa. The friend who officiated was one of my cyberfriends (we call each other imaginary friends) from my Seattle email list, which seemed just right as they had been so helpful to me over the years.  Beth officiated with guests Stacey and Jeannine, music by her spouse on guitar; then Jeannine and Stacey and Allan and I had lunch in Astoria. This is only PARTIAL surviving photo which only halfway loaded during the last computer back up from my PC in 2006. Beth’s living room has luscious red walls.

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