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Posts Tagged ‘Steve’s garden’

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

We might have quit TOO many jobs, as it seems that all of a sudden we just did not have any work to do today.  That did not seem like a bad thing.  We had intended to stay home, but when I got a text from Melissa that she and Dave (Sea Star Landscape Maintenance) were working at an old job of ours, we could not resist going to have a look.

Steve’s Garden

Melissa had asked if we could come tell them where the garden beds used to end, what plants might be missing after two years of the garden going back to weeds, and so on.

The pond was low because of drought.

The pond was low because of drought.


The recirculating waterfall has been turned off for now.

The recirculating waterfall has been turned off for now.

That waterfall had become completely overgrown with weeds when Mel and Dave took over the job a couple of months back.

The dry creekbed that recirculates water from the stream has also almost dried up, something I never saw in years of working there.

This had also been covered with weeds!

This had also been covered with weeds!

The dryness has given our friends the opportunity to really get in there and clear the area.  On the right side, we were able to find salvageable Japanese and Siberian Iris that they can dig and relocate to more manageable areas.

Primula vialii and Iris sibirica along the stream

Primula vialii and Iris sibirica along the stream, way back in 2007

Below: a screen shot from my 2007 blog, showing the stream and path as it was.  Joanne was Steve’s wife, who had died of cancer the previous year and who had worked with us to create this garden.

picture-180

Today: Melissa and Dave's great progress on the streambed

Today: Melissa and Dave’s great progress on the streambed


Allan's photo of a weeding session along the stream in 2013, possibly the last day we worked there.

Allan’s photo of a weeding session along the stream in 2013, possibly the last day we worked there.  It had gotten to be too much for us as the Long Beach and Ilwaco jobs got bigger and bigger.


looking for lost iris (Allan's photo)

looking for lost iris (Allan’s photo); They’ve been mowed (not by any of us) but we found them.


a big job well done

a big job well done

The reason the recirculating system is turned off is because the lake that provides the water has gotten too low for the pump.

I've never seen the lake this low.

I’ve never seen the lake this low.


the garden as it was in 2009 (from the house deck)

the garden as it was in 2009 (from the house deck)

On the way out via the long driveway, we stopped to say hi to the horses.  We used to bring them treats, but it has been so long that they do not remember us.  Or maybe it is a new set of boarded horses.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

horses

horse

horses2

Our day off fell by the wayside when we decided to do our work at two jobs that were on our way home, thus making the rest of the week easier.

The Red Barn and Diane’s Garden

At The Red Barn

At The Red Barn, strong winds had been hard on the barrel planters.


Diane's roadside garden

Diane’s roadside garden


containers in back yard

containers in back yard


more containers

more containers


My good friend Misty gets a belly rub.

My good friend Misty gets a belly rub.

misty2

misty3

Just look at that dear face.

Ilwaco

With that little bit of work done, we drove back to Ilwaco and visited Todd at a garden where he is currently clearing out lots of brush and beautifying the landscape by tidying up sword ferns and shrubs.

beautifully pruned sword fern (Allan's photo)

beautifully pruned sword fern at Todd’s job (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo: I'm pretty happy with all the time off we've been having.

Allan’s photo: I’m pretty happy with all the time off we’ve been having.

When we left there, deer were wandering the high school parking lot.

deer

And they wandered to right outside the garden where Todd was working.  Later, he told us that they had joined him for tea.

deer3

 

At home, as I passed time puttering, I heard the shop vac outside.  When I looked, I thought Allan was vacuuming his garden.  No, he was blowing rhododendron leaves off the ground at the back of his garden.

allan

clever clean up method


Allan's photo: leaves smothering some delicate plants

Allan’s photo: leaves smothering some delicate plants


Allan's photo: leaves blown out onto the grass path.

Allan’s photo: leaves blown out onto the grass path.

The Depot Restaurant

For weeks, I have been anticipating my old friend Carol’s arrival for a three day visit to the beach.  She drove down from her hotel in Long Beach to pick me up and I treated her to a scumptious dinner at the Depot.

scallop appetizer

scallop appetizer


house salad

house salad


Steak Killian (mine); love those potatoes. Carol had Mediterranean Prawns, and my photo of that dish was a fail.

Steak Killian (mine); love those potatoes. Carol had Mediterranean Prawns, and my photo of that dish was a fail.

Although Allan and I do have to work tomorrow, I will see Carol again for dinner Wednesday and then all day on Thursday.

While Carol and I enjoyed ourselves at dinner, Allan watered the Ilwaco planters, because it had to be done. His photos from the watering session:

seen while filling the water tank at the boatyard

Other folks at work, seen while filling the water tank at the boatyard

After watering, he took a tour around the town.

Black Lake.

low water level at Black Lake


at the curb

at the curb


low tide at the port

low tide at the port


a fishing pun

a fishing pun


the marina

the marina


the south parking lot hoist

the south parking lot hoist

DSC04373

DSC04375

south parking lot boat ramp with Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station across the water


south parking lot

south parking lot


sunset

sunset

 

 

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Today we went to Steve’s garden, perhaps for the last time as the official gardeners. A friend went with us to learn the garden so she could, if Steve agrees, take over the job. She is an able and avid gardener who has room for just a few hours of work a week, so unfortunately is not someone who has time to help out the many people who ask me for a good gardener to hire!

At the entrance to the long road that leads to the home and garden is this lovely tidal stream that runs to the bottom of Willapa Bay.

to the lower Willapa

to lower Willapa Bay

Upon arrival at the site, we could hardly tell there was a garden because Annuals Planting Hell has kept us away from there for over a month. Allan immediately started to weedeat along the front bed.

a wilderness

a wilderness

the raspberry patch, before

the raspberry patch, before

path and stream, before

path and stream, before

gazebo steps, before

gazebo steps, before

Help is on the way in the person of our capable gardening friend!

Help is on the way in the person of our capable gardening friend!

I have cared for this garden for a long time. Originally our client was Steve’s wife, Joanne, at a different home and garden of theirs further up the bay. (That place, when sold, was bought by Laurie, who later became a client of ours and whose garden, originally Joanne’s, was on the garden tour in 2009.)

After they moved, Joanne hired me to help her make a new garden around a pond that she and Steve had created, and we worked on the garden ideas together until she died of cancer (after a long fight during which she kept horse riding and gardening) in November 2005. So this garden always makes me remember her. Thus it is a sentimental one for me to give up.

Steve’s garden is one we would choose to never work at on a warm day. It is the hottest microclimate of any of our gardens except maybe Casa Pacifica, where I have also sweltered. Today the sun shone ominously, but we had to go because it was the only day our gardening friend was available, so we just got on with the job despite being uncomfortable. It may have gotten to all of 70 degrees! Much too hot for coastal people.

The pond and stream makes a warm day more bearable, but the recirculating pump was off today so no waterfall or running water. I would love to have turned it on but was afraid there might be a good electrical reason for it to be off so I left it alone.

The pond is artificial as is the stream; the stream runs down to a fairly good sized private lake. The upper pond was full of tadpoles today….we think of the bad native-frog-eating bull frog because I have seen some monster frogs in this pond during the summer.

big tadpoles

big tadpoles

sunning themselves under the water

sunning themselves under the water

frog

frog

not as sizeable as some; not camera shy

not as sizeable as some; not camera shy

These frogs make a high pitched little squeak just before they jump out of the way. The really huge ones make a loud plop into the water that can be startling. In contrast, our tiny green tree frogs make a much bigger noise than their size would lead you to expect.

I’ll miss the frogs and the horsey view:

horses

horse posing

heading down to the lower pasture

heading down to the lower pasture

Thank goodness the goats were not around today!

Over the course of the day, our friend weeded and edged the bed at the front of the pond and mulched it with horse manure (ready and available next to the barn). I revealed the Japanese iris along the stream, where I used to have a more refined streamside garden going when Joanne was alive. Nowadays I use a weedeater to make the irises show and to make sure whoever mows the lawn realize they are there! I weeded the raspberry patch and the blueberry patch that is behind the waterfall hill, and Allan weeded the backside of the pond and the path.

after

after

before and after together

before and after together

excellent work in front of pond

excellent work in front of pond

front bed

front bed

after

beautiful!

beautiful!

reflective

raspberries

raspberries

gazebo

gazebo

path and stream

path and stream

With this job done most satisfyingly, and knowing I am leaving it in good hands if Steve agrees to pass it on to my recommended gardener, our friend went home and Allan and I went to water Long Beach planters.

On the way out, the tidal stream looked like this.

On the way out, the tidal stream looked like this.

First we made a quick stop at Boreas Inn to plant a few cosmos and check on the garden. I was reminded by the sight of a pile of old (non garden) debris that we had said we would haul it off this week as it is bringing down the tone of the garden. Oops. Mentally rescheduled the week.)

Boreas west side gardens...still filling in

Boreas west side gardens…still filling in after a re-do in the spring

Then we watered Long Beach and after being hot at Steve’s garden, we were cold and windblown and, in my case anyway, kind of miserable from 6 to 8 PM.

Rugosa roses blooming in the beach approach garden.

Rugosa roses blooming in the beach approach garden.

We fertilized the planters as well, and what with carrying a weed bucket, the quick connect metal thing, a hose, and the hose end sprayer, I could not juggle my camera, as well. The sun was at that low angle that made it hard to see and the wind blew….so I got to complain about weather from hot to cold today.

the last planter

the last planter

Cerinthe major purpurascens and golden marjoram

Cerinthe major purpurascens and golden marjoram

wonderful Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

wonderful Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Fabulous news after last night’s distressing watering of the Ilwaco planters: Every sanvitalia in the Long Beach planters, even the ones on the beach approach, looked fine and cute and sunny and blooming.

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The day began with a stop at the Basket Case to check out the new availability list. We pored over it page by page, although I do skip certain plants entirely. (Phormiums and Agaves. I know there is probably still an Agave fad but they do not call to me.)

perusing the list

perusing the list

Whatever shall we do when Fred and Nancy retire?

Nancy was planting the last of the baskets…

Nancy

and had rigged up a board to keep the three poodles from leaving the back greenhouse.

Walter

Walter

We bought some Sanguisorbas, of which I never have enough. And some more grasses for Andersen’s Rv Park. There will be some excellent plants of all sorts (including another new-to-us Sanguisorba) arriving Friday.

And then, at last, we went to one of those four clients whose gardens we had not yet set foot in this year. At Steve’s garden, we got an unexpected greeting.

Last time I saw them they were babies!

Last time I saw them they were babies!

They had gotten quite large.

They had gotten quite large.

I thought of the time my friend Sheila had been knocked down by a sheep…

QUITE large.

QUITE large.

I was actually fascinated because I like animals, but I did wonder how they would behave because when they were younger, they would jump up on Steve when he fed them.

I have been doing Steve’s garden for a long time, going way back to when he owned the house that later became Laurie’s, and way back then two little goats used to nudge and butt me while I gardened. These two large goats would pack quite a wallop if they were in a nudging mood.

They were interested in everything. Allan later realized that they had peeled all the reflective tape off the back of the trailer.

trailer

wheelbarrow

shovel handle

I felt sheer delight when they let me pet them. The only truly disconcerting moment was when I opened the car door to get some plants. I had decided earlier that Steve’s garden should have some (deer candy) Sanguisorbas because his garden is never bothered by deer. I did not even have the plants all the way out when there were two goats next to me, standing on their hind legs with their front feet on top of the car, leaning on me and chewing the leaves off the plants. Ok, no Sanguisorbas then. Perhaps Steve could only have a Cistus. The deer on Discovery Heights do not bother assorted Cistus at all.

The goats followed us to the garden.

Down the slope by the garden I was thrilled to see someone else had weeded the raspberry patch and the blueberry patch! There are advantages to being late to the garden job.

fenced blueberry patch

fenced blueberry patch..usually thick with creeping sorrel

raspberry patch

raspberry patch

The goats followed us to the garden and showed a great interest in the raspberry canes…and our lunchbox.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

Allan planted the Cistus and we got down to weeding (befores and afters coming up, of course). Meanwhile, the goats wandered through the garden chowing down…on daylilies, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a Buddliea…

goats

goats

They stood on hind legs, broke long branches off the variegated Buddleia (time to prune it anyway!), ate a few leaves from each, and moved on…soon discovering the new Cistus. Allan barely rescued it as they greedily began to consume it, so back in the car it went. It can live at Discovery Heights or Marilyn’s among the deer. I am not sure what we can plant to fill in empty spaces in Steve’s garden, because the only thing that seemed to be goat-proof were narcissi and (boring) rhododendron.

At lunchtime, Steve came home and put the goats away in their indoor-outdoor pen. (I told him I would have put them away myself if they had had sharp horns.) Allan pointed out to me later that (aside from my joy in petting them!), it was a good thing they were out, or we would have planted a bunch of nice new plants with no idea that they would soon be eaten.

And now, some garden photos. I have been doing this particular garden since creating it for Joanne. While I will always think of her there, and miss her gardening presence, I have finally segued into calling it Steve’s garden instead of Joanne’s garden.

Due to our late-season arrival the garden had gone all blurry with weeds.

before

before, looking south

before, looking west

before, looking west

before, looking north

before, looking north

before, the path by the stream

before, the path by the stream

This garden has a wonderful layout with an upper pond with waterfall, created by Steve and Joanne and a backhoe, and then a long stream that runs under a bridge down to a small natural lake.

the streamside path after Allan's weeding

the streamside path after Allan’s weeding

On the other side from the path we have Siberian and Japanese irises in a planting inspired by a lovely photo in a book called The Stream Garden.

iris bed is on other side...very hard to keep the pasture grass out

iris bed is on other side…very hard to keep the swamp grass out!

looking upstream

looking upstream

weeded pond bed

weeded pond bed at head of stream

pond bed

The front bed was made by leveling the mound of soil left from digging out the pond.

pond

Five and a half hours later…

across the pond

across the pond; driftwood marks the waterfall

reflected iris

reflected iris

I wonder if there will be any flowers at all this year with those goats?

We still need to get back, do some edging, and weed the backside of the garden….and am not sure when that will be.

While I sorted out the billing, Allan took some photos of the lake from points that I never take time to walk to while working.

by the gazebo, looking south

by the gazebo, looking south

the stream bridge

the stream bridge

When Joanne was alive, she had taught horse riding and had developed a bridle trail all around the large acreage.

from the trail, looking northeast

from the trail, looking northeast

Every now and then something jumps in the lake but we have never seen what it is!

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

The garden looks very small compared to the vastness of the property, but feels very large while we are weeding it. I am going to wait and see what happens with the goats before I worry about how the garden will survive their interest.

Tomorrow I hope to make the wake up call to another private garden. Or, should it rain, I will happily read back entries in Tootlepedal’s Blog. I had time today only for the most recent entry (excellent as always).

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