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Posts Tagged ‘The Basket Case Greenhouse’

Tuesday, 2 May 2017, part one

Even though more unfortunate rain had arrived, it was not such a cold and windy rain, so we decided that we could polish off two jobs and two errands and make a pilgrimage to a favourite local garden (which deserves a post of its own, tomorrow).

The Anchorage Cottages

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not an ideal work day


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Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)

I had brought four Nicotiana langsdorfii to plant.

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lots of narcissi deadheads  (Allan’s photo)


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sword fern unfurling (Allan’s photo)


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so much scilla in the center courtyard (was there when we first started this job years ago)


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center courtyard


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species tulips

Some of the larger tulips in the office courtyard had just gone all moldy from rain, leaving some pots empty till annuals planting time…which is fortunately coming up soon.

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just sad

I was going to put the little pot into the big pot, above, for some interest, but the sides of the little pot were also sadly moldy.  (Manager Beth said she will clean it and do the tiered pot arrangement.)

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My favourite Tulip ‘Green Wave’ still looked good.


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Spring bulb window boxes will be switched out for summer ones soon.

The Planter Box

We made a brief stop to buy some fertilizer and check on our cosmos seedlings.  I did not actually walk back to look at them, just got a good report from Teresa.

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potted narcissi for sale


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Soon we will be shopping in the big greenhouse.  Mother’s Day is my target date to start planting annuals.


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Allan’s photo

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Even though the rain and wind were increasing, we knew KBC would be more sheltered from wind and figured we could stand an hour of weeding and deadheading, and we did.

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Clematis in bloom


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clematis and evergreen huckleberry (Allan’s photo)


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ajuga at its best (Allan’s photo)


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Pieris


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Euphorbia characias wulfenii (deer proof, outside the fence


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driveway garden


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in the fenced garden


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fringed tulips (Allan’s photo)

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narcissus


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lilies and Thalictrum ‘Elin’


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Tulip ‘Green Star’

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Tulips ‘Green Wave’ and ‘Flaming Spring Green’


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tree peony buds


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more tulips

Mary had placed out some new dianthus to plant.  Allan planted them.

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Now we have more chives to plant in the port gardens!

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Mary and me

We visited the rain drenched garden in Oysterville (next post) and checked on the way home if some interesting new shrubs had arrived at

The Basket Case….

where we learned that said shrubs were being fetched today.

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at The Basket Case


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tomato in a bag


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Basket Case doggie

We were cold and wet and yet very pleased to have the Anchorage and KBC done for this week.  Now we can focus completely on parade garden prep during the next three days that are supposed to deliver nicer weather.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Sometimes we amaze even ourselves with what we can get done in one day.

We were driven by two things:  First, I planned to take Thursday off to spend with Carol.  Second, a storm was due on the weekend, with rain at last, and I needed to plan out the watering schedule around that nebulous forecast.  We began with our regular Wednesday round, the long version that includes going all the way to northern Surfside for Marilyn’s garden.

On the way north we stopped at The Planter Box to get a few plants for a needy Ilwaco planter.

at The Planter Box, some gorgeous gomphrena

at The Planter Box, some gorgeous gomphrena

and a dramatically dark Rudbeckia.

and a dramatically dark Rudbeckia.

I settled on some gazanias and a blue statice and a little curly allium for the planter, and we were off to our northern round.

Our work schedule now is pretty much the same every week and is usually only four days long, three of them about nine hours long and one just eight hours.  This week had included even more time off. The three day weekends are marvelous; I keep repeating my thought that we’ll do this as long as we can afford to.  The moment of truth will come with getting through the winter with less income from fewer fall cleanups and bulb plantings.  That’s what we’ll get for embracing time over money and quitting several jobs.  We’ve also embraced joy over money and kept a couple of the lower paying jobs while quitting higher paying ones, because we want the ones that bring the most joy to people, like…

Golden Sands Assisted Living

We did not add the usual supplemental water today, as I am counting on a big rain; we just filled the birdbaths and did some weeding and deadheading.

NE quadrant of Golden Sands courtyard with cosmos and monarda (bee balm)

NE quadrant of Golden Sands courtyard with cosmos and monarda (bee balm)

sweet peas by the courtyard entrance, climbing through roses, with white phlox

sweet peas by the courtyard entrance, climbing through roses, with white phlox

These four courtyard garden beds lack style, as they were thrown together with free “passalong” plants.  I’m trying to give them a little more structure and still have the cottage garden feeling, without having money to spend on, say, a boxwood edging.  So far, about all that I have succeeded at is making Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ be a repeater on the front of each quadrant.

NW quadrant

NW quadrant

NE quadrant

NE quadrant

I’m also pleased with the way the flowers are reseeding into the center lawn, that I would like to see turned to a wildflower meadow instead of grass (with as little work as possible!)

Knautia macedonica and blue scabiosa in the lawn

Knautia macedonica and blue scabiosa in the lawn

more scabiosa started up, and beach strawberries

more scabiosa started up, and beach strawberries

the hallway route to the outside

the hallway route to the outside 

I am always entertained, even though it’s  inconvenient for bringing in soil amendments, by wheelbarrowing through two lengthy hallways to get to the courtyard.  It is a clever design for an assisted living place to have an internal daylight courtyard for a garden.  It would be perfect for an Alzheimer’s facility (which this is not).

On the way to Marilyn’s, we shopped at Jack’s Country Store for some spray paint for my bathtub water feature.  It has a great selection of colours, more than any of the other local stores.

Their motto:  "Contrary to public opinion, we don't have everything."

Their motto: “Contrary to public opinion, we don’t have everything.”

Marilyn’s garden

At Marilyn's, I trimmed back along the path again, as the Phygelius were moving forward.

At Marilyn’s, I trimmed back along the path again, as the Phygelius were moving forward.

The north winds have knocked down some of the miscanthus.

The north winds have knocked down some of the miscanthus.

giant miscanthus and Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' from the back porch

giant miscanthus and Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ from the back porch

Looking north down the path.  That ever increasing volunteer patch of montbretia has got to go.

Looking north down the path. That ever increasing volunteer patch of montbretia (right) has got to go.

looking south: I trimmed the fig back more than the phygelius.

looking south: I trimmed the fig back more than the phygelius.

looking in from the street

looking in from the street

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We did our usual hour midsummer hour or so of deadheading and weeding.

the weekly view over the birdbath in the fenced garden

the weekly view over the birdbath in the fenced garden

view from east gate

view from east gate

southwest corner of the fenced garden

southwest corner of the fenced garden

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' in its prime. It was cut back by half in June to get smaller, less splayed flowers.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in its prime. It was cut back by half in June to get smaller, less splayed flowers.

the south gate to the fenced garden

the south gate to the fenced garden

a particularly nice daylily

a particularly nice daylily

Allan was sad that the podophyllum was down in the lawn border.

Allan was sad that the podophyllum was down in the lawn border.  (They go dormant in summer, or so Google tells me.)

roses behind the deer fence

roses behind the deer fence

a bed of hydrangeas and ferns

a bed of hydrangeas and ferns  (My favourite hydrangea, Izu No Hana, is in the background in glorious blue and white.)

The Anchorage Cottages

The Anchorage was so busy that we had to park down on the street.

The Anchorage was so busy that we had to park down on the street.

sweet peas in the north courtyard, climbing ever higher.

sweet peas in the north courtyard, climbing ever higher.

Agastaches continue to be excellent container plants.

Agastaches continue to be excellent container plants requiring minimal deadheading.

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' (blue potato vine) just keeps on blooming.

Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ (blue potato vine) just keeps on blooming.

the bed that needs much refining...but not today.

the bed that needs much refining…but not today.

I had a brainstorm that it was still early enough to water the Long Beach planters.  If it rains just a little bit on Friday, it might keep us from watering but it would not be enough.  If we could fertilize the planters today while they are still faintly damp from Monday, the fertilizer would “take” better, and if it does not rain, a watering today would hold them through till Monday.  (Our schedule is complicated this week because I am taking Thursday, our usual Long Beach day, off.)

But first, we had time to squeeze in the deadheading at

The Depot Restaurant

the north side of the dining deck

the north side of the dining deck

a sizeable agastache

a sizeable agastache and a cosmos that refuses to bloom

north wall planting by Nancy Aust of The Basket Case

north wall planting by Nancy Aust of The Basket Case Greenhouse

one of Nancy's fuchsias

one of Nancy’s fuchsias

Long Beach planters

We had a couple of hours before our dinner engagement, so we focused primarily on getting all the planters fertilized.

The dead-looking Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave' on the northernmost planter is reviving.

The dead-looking Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’ on the northernmost planter is reviving.

Oregano 'Hopley's Purple' and Geranium 'Rozanne' in the same planter

Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the same planter

my favourite planter, by the Dennis Company sign

my favourite planter, by the Dennis Company sign

a colour echo at Dennis Company, which I will pretend is on purpose.

a colour echo at Dennis Company, which I will pretend is on purpose.

Allan's photo: Third Street Park

Allan’s photo: Third Street Park

We even had time to weed and deadhead Veterans Field and Long Beach city hall gardens.

Veterans Field

Veterans Field

Basket Case Baskets at Veterans Field

Basket Case Baskets at Veterans Field

The Cove Restaurant

You might think that if we meet Dave and Melissa at the Cove, it must be Thursday.  This week, we switched our traditional meal to Noodle Night Wednesday because of my social plans for tomorrow.

Sondra's garden at The Cove

Sondra’s garden at The Cove

in the foyer

in the foyer

noodle night!  (Asian noodle bowls or Italian comfort food)

noodle night!  (Italian comfort food)

Cove noodle bowl

Cove noodle bowl

Look who joined us! Me and Seattle Carol

Look who joined us! Me and Seattle Carol

Everyone was duly impressed that Carol and I have been friends for 38 years.

After closing time, Lacy and Parking Lot Cat came to say hello.

After closing time, Lacy and Parking Lot Cat came to say hello.

Carol gives Lacy a good scritching.

Carol gives Lacy a good scritching.

In the foyer, Lacy gets a belly rub.

In the foyer, Lacy gets a belly rub.

Look at that silly face!

Look at that silly face!

Dave, Mel and me, leaving after dark

Dave, Mel and me, leaving after dark

Ilwaco

The workday was not quite done.  In the dark, we planted four plants in the Ilwaco planter where previously plants mysteriously died (an unsolved mystery; the soil still smells sweet and good).

planting in the dark

planting in the dark

Allan's photo: the statice might be too brittle.  It is a temporary centerpiece.

Allan’s photo: the statice might be too brittle. It is a temporary centerpiece.

The only Thursday task that we did not get done in advance was deadheading the Long Beach welcome sign, and it had looked pretty much ok on a driveby, so I am set for a fun day tomorrow with Carol.

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ilwaco

The day started badly when I saw a swathe of smashed plants down the middle of the post office garden.  Just as I was staring at it in shock and saying “What happened here? Did a big dog run through?”, a man emerged from the post office and said “It was me, and I’m sorry.”  “But…..how?” I asked.  He explained he had tripped over the curb getting out of his car, and it seems he staggered across the sidewalk and fell headlong into the garden.  I made sincerely sympathetic noises about the fall, while at the same time holding clumps of broken off lilies and then trying to prop up half broken Allium albopilosum and a laid flat blooming stem of Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.  The sight was so painful that I realized later I had not even taken a photo of anything but the broken off stems of Lily ‘Landini.’  This is a garden I spend my own money on for plants, mulch, and fertilizer, and I am all….planted out and don’t feel like buying new ones to fix it.  I staked the Eryngium with a bamboo tripod and as we left, started to worry someone ELSE would fall into the garden and poke themselves in the eye on a stake!  Being a skilled catastrophizer makes me good at making public gardens safer.  I resolved to return later with a rounded top hoop stake from home.

broken off plants

broken off plants

The Basket Case Greenhouse

It was not the postmistress’s day to be there, and I did not think the postmaster would be happy to have to find a vase, so I took the lilies to Basket Case Nancy.  (On the way, we checked the transplanted plants in the Fish Alley barrels in Long Beach.  They had survived well and would not need replacing.) We needed to go to The Basket Case to pick up the latest Long Beach plant bill anyway.  Nancy greeted the lily bouquet with much admiration and I felt the poor broken off flowers had been redeemed.

At the Basket Case: gunnera seedlings

At the Basket Case: gunnera seedlings

The perennial greenhouse with African basil (which is not really a perennial here, but never mind)

The perennial greenhouse with African basil (which is not really a perennial here, but never mind)

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’

Long Beach

As I hobbled up the ramp to drop off the bill at City Hall, one of the staff members said “Looks like you have a hitch in your getalong!”  Oh, how I loved that.  It cheered me right up to have such a charming new saying.

Long Beach City Hall, west side

Long Beach City Hall, west side

Allan's photo: he found a sizeable dwarf fireweed and dandelion at the south end.

Allan’s photo: he found a sizeable dwarf fireweed and dandelion at the south end.

City Hall

City Hall

As we had come round a corner to get to City Hall, I’d observed that the traffic sightline was somewhat blocked by two mugo pines planted years ago and supposedly “dwarf”.  Some pruning was in order

before

before

after

after

(I do look for problems like that and try to fix them whenever I see them.  That’s why the Port of Ilwaco gardens have gone from tall shrubs, pampas grass, and tall New Zealand flax to short, see-over perennials and subshrubs in most of the curbside gardens.)

We then began the watering of the Pacific Way planters in Long Beach, splitting up to each take half the town.

We parked near Veterans Field.

We parked near Veterans Field.

While the day was grey, the wind had finally somewhat died down, and the flags were not creating flapping chain-clanking sounds as they have been on recent Long Beach work days.

A comparitively gentle breeze was a welcome change.

A comparitively gentle breeze was a welcome change.

I bucket watered the four Fish Alley barrels and found that one already had its “hens and chickens” disrupted.

finger blight, perhaps interrupted as the plant is still there.

finger blight, perhaps interrupted as the plant is still there.

The rest of the watering went smoothly with no hung-up hoses and very little finger blight.

Planter by Campiche Gallery (and near Scoopers Ice Cream)

Planter by Campiche Gallery (and near Scoopers Ice Cream)

The only disconcerting event was that while I was waiting to cross at the Stoplight of Mystery (a long one), a man said to me I should have a trash picker upper stick because I needed to pick up more trash.  I have a hard time reading people and could not tell if he was serious or just someone with a “needler” sense of humour.  He seemed pretty serious when he told me that he had picked up two bags of trash today.  I asked where, in town or out by the beach?  He said he walked a circuit of town and the beach.  I commended him for trash picking and said the city crew do a great job of picking up trash in town.  (I also pick it up if I see a stray bit blowing around, but that is rare because of the good work of the crew.)  He said he was going to report me for not doing my job.  I think that was supposed to be funny, but as usual with that kind of humour, I was flummoxed.  Well…onward.  The light finally changed and I made my escape.

dennis2

I love our fresh new planting by Dennis Company.

I love our fresh new planting by Dennis Company.

Love the flowers on this hebe in Coulter Park.  I planted it because I love its foliage.

Love the flowers on this hebe in Coulter Park. I planted it because I love its foliage.

Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave' in a planter

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’ in a planter

the wonderful fragrant daphne by the Elks building

the wonderful fragrant daphne by the Elks building

Allan's photo, a bit of finger blight

Allan’s photo, a bit of finger blight

Allan's photo: 3rd Street Park

Allan’s photo: 3rd Street Park, with city crew member staining the statues.

Allan's photo: careful work with no spillage

Allan’s photo: careful work with no spillage

Allan's photo: planter by the Hungry Harbor Grille

Allan’s photo: planter by the Hungry Harbor Grille

Allan's photo: Fifth Street Park

Allan’s photo: Fifth Street Park

Outside the Mostly Hats shop, Allan found tomatoes stashed under the tree!  (They belonged to a Mostly Hats employee, who was keeping them out of her hot car.)

Outside the Mostly Hats shop, Allan found tomatoes stashed under the tree! (They belonged to a Mostly Hats employee, who was keeping them out of her hot car.)

Ilwaco again

With Long Beach done, we returned to Ilwaco to do some watering of planters and port gardens.  First, I did get a hooped stake from home (and Allan got the heavy battery for the water trailer), and I staked the Eryngium safely at the post office.

Perhaps you can tell that someone fell right through the middle of the garden.

Perhaps you can tell that someone fell right through the middle of the garden.  Wah.

Allan and I parted ways so he could water planters and street trees.

Allan's photo: seen while he was filling the water trailer tank at the boatyard

Allan’s photo: seen while he was filling the water trailer tank at the boatyard

Allan found a lovely bag of dog poo in one of the planters.  Kudos to the person who bagged the poo, and yet...

Allan found a lovely bag of dog poo in one of the planters. Kudos to the person who bagged the poo, and yet…

Meanwhile, at the Port,  I worked my way down the port gardens, watering with hoses.

I met an old blind cat named Pit Stop.

I met an old blind cat named Pitstop.

The marina: The weather had at last turned to blue skies.

The marina: The weather had at last turned to blue skies.

My favourite garden bed.

My favourite garden bed at the port

The air was not too warm, the wind was not too strong, and I was getting much weeding and watering done.  I walked by the one place that won’t allow use of their hose anymore and moved one of the plants, purchased by the port, to a happier location in a garden that where I can access water, and thought “I will deal with this water problem some other time.”  Other than that moment of annoyance, the work was happy work…..

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

All was well till I encountered a merchant (the second one this month) protesting the use of five minutes of hose water from zer building.  (I am deliberately using “ze/zer” pronouns to avoid pointing a specific finger.)  I said to zer that surely the garden enhances the business, that the plants were drought tolerant and did not need much water but in this dry weather they do need water once a week.  I was informed that, in zer opinion, the plantings do nothing to enhance zer business.  I gently (really!) informed the protestor that I was a regular promotor of local businesses on the official Facebook voice of town and port, Discover Ilwaco.  Zer had no interest whatsoever in hearing about that.  I understood the problem, especially that I had dared to splash some water on some dying plants on the garden NEXT DOOR to that business, one with no water, and why should one business owner pay to water another’s plants, and why indeed should someone who does not like a garden pay for a garden to be watered? And is it fair that some businesses don’t have curbside gardens at all?  No, it is not fair.  And yet the gardens must have water, and we don’t have time to haul water from elsewhere (and I could have added I can’t water it with my tears!)   I understood that Discover Ilwaco perhaps does not make an iota of difference in the success of a business and has possibly been a huge waste of my volunteer time for the last five years.  (It does have over 2,700 followers.) As a last resort, I tried jollying the complaining person along with a smiling “Hey, I’m 60, I’m too old to haul 40 pound buckets of water.”  The response was a hostile “So the port pays you, and now you want me to subsidize you for being old?” Um, wow.  Now I felt like my work was worth nothing, my volunteering for the Discover Ilwaco page was worth nothing, and I was old and worth nothing because I can’t haul buckets of water.   By now, Allan was with me at the garden.  He had no more success than I did in conversation with the water withholder. My moment of revelation was strong:  I will no longer be a water beggar: I’m a gardener, not a diplomat, and someone else is going to have to sort out this mess. I resolved to turn to the Powers that Be and went home and wrote a long email to them explaining the situation and to say that I will no longer be in the front line of dealing with the rare situation of someone having no fondness for the gardens.  With 98% support, I can’t see letting 2% of the gardens dry up because of water stinginess.  It is no longer my problem, however, as I did turn the problem over to the PTB, whom I hold in high esteem (and I believe the opposite is also true) and am awaiting results (which should come soon).

Mightily depressed at home, I finally realized the main problem in working for a stretch of public gardens:  Merchants come and go (unfortunately for the ones who go out of business) and we can have one who LOVES the garden, followed by one who holds it in disdain, but the plants are still thirsty, and everyone has to be on board so that the whole port looks beautiful,…especially with the exciting new Salt Hotel about to open (and by the way they do let us water). Years ago, some merchants paid us to do the curbside gardens and some didn’t.  So the gardens of the ones that did not pay were dried up weeds.  I thought it was huge progress when the port took over that paycheck and let us make the whole stretch beautiful; I never thought this watering situation would arise (and in fact, both places we are having trouble let us water last year, so the change of heart mystifies me and is not related to some huge hike in water prices.)  Even during the always fascinating Deadliest Catch telly show, which usually puts any gardening difficulties into perspective when compared to hard, dangerous crab fishing in freezing cold weather, my sadness persisted. In the wee hours, I finally fell asleep to get a miserable stressed out nightmarish six hours.

I’ll add a PS here, I hope, before this publishes, that the situation has been resolved.

Three days later:  The second merchant is now letting us water.  Turns out the main issue was a lot of people use zer hose illicitly.  The wonderful Salt Hotel is going to let us use their water to keep the garden of an empty (waterless) building alive.  I intend to reward them with bouquets.  We are down to just one merchant who won’t let us use the hose, and it will be a shame if the plants die.  However, our backs and our already long hours will not let us add the time and physical effort to haul water from elsewhere, so….poor plants.  It will bother me.  The merchant’s attitude toward the garden (and us) deeply hurts my feelings.

 It is tremendously important to me to have my town look beautiful, going way back to the mid 90s when I created the boatyard garden as what was then a volunteer project.  I want all citizens to be civic minded and work together to make the town a jewel.

 

 

 

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Ilwaco

We had to attend to a pruning job for the port, one that might be our friend Ed’s job technically but which he did not have time to do.  For the length of four garden beds along Howerton, associated with the former location of the now defunct Shorebank Ilwaco, we have a continuing problem with shrubs that are too tall and wide for the space.

The Shorebank building and Ilwaco Pavilion

The Shorebank building (tall) and Ilwaco Pavilion (pale blue roof)

We used to maintain the entire garden for Shorebank but gave it up to our friend Ed; last year, we started doing just the weeding of the curbside garden.  The shrubs, some of which have been pruned in the photo above (you can see Allan sweeping up) can block the sightline of people driving out of the Sportsmen’s Cannery carpark next door.

today: before

today: before

The Arbutus, which would have beautiful strawberry like fruit, can never be allowed to get big enough to bloom.  Our plan is to have the port crew completely pull them out in the fall and end this hopeless situation.  If the shrubs were pulled out now, the garden would look raw during the summer.

after

after


after: We also cut a wax myrtle completely to the ground and clipped back some red twig dogwood.

after: We also cut a wax myrtle completely to the ground and clipped back some red twig dogwood.

Beyond the end of that line of shrubs begins my long run of low plantings all the way to the west end, with the exception of one sprawling ceanothus that would love to be too tall.  It is the only large shrub or grass that I have spared along the rest of our Howerton Street gardens.  (There are a few escallonias left but those are pruned by individual business owners who planted them.)

This job had not even been on the schedule so our day was thrown into some disarray and we barely had time to take a look at the tall ship that had sailed into port before moving on to other jobs.

Ilwaco marina

Ilwaco marina (Allan’s photo)

tallship

the poster for the event

the poster for the event, by our friend Don Nisbett

We had other plans than to attend the weekend’s tall ship events.  If you’d like to see our album of previous visits of the tall ships, here it is.

Diane’s garden and The Red Barn

With the port garden all shipshape, we did the tiniest of jobs at Diane’s garden, planting up a tiny bicycle.  For such a tiny project, it took awhile because of cutting landscape fabric rounds to hold the soil.

tiny plant bike

tiny plant bike


all planted up with some sedums and diascias.

all planted up with some sedums and diascias and one wee Penstemon davidsonii


Allium schubertii in Diane's garden

Allium schubertii in Diane’s garden

We briefly checked on the planted barrels at the Red Barn next door and then moved on.

by the Red Barn

by the Red Barn

The Basket Case Greenhouse

Scabiosa in the greenhouse

Scabiosa in the greenhouse


a frilly dianthus

a frilly dianthus

I got a couple more Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ for the Long Beach planters as I had used the previous purchase at the Boreas Inn garden instead, and a bale of mulch for the Anchorage Cottages garden.

The Anchorage Cottages

Other than applying the mulch bale, we had time for only a brief grooming of the Anchorage gardens.

by the office

by the office


Agastache 'Acapulco Salmon and Pink'

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’


the last of the Dutch Iris

the last of the Dutch Iris


Since we had to cut back an ailing ceanothus, this rose is doing much better in the light.

Since we had to cut back an ailing ceanothus, this rose is doing much better in the light.


Allium bulgaricum

Allium bulgaricum backed with Melianthus major


manager Beth was diligently weeding the patio pavers.

manager Beth was diligently weeding the patio pavers.


She did an excellent job.

She did an excellent job.

Allan’s mulching project:

Gardner-Bloome-Soil-Building-Compost

before, where we had replaced a tatty leatherleaf viburnum

before, where we had replaced a tatty leatherleaf viburnum with some small sea thrift


after

after


with enough left over for this

with enough left over for this

Long Beach

Finally, we got to our big job of the day, the first official watering of all the Pacific Way Long Beach planters.  This is where the struggle came in (although the pruning had been a bit of a struggle and so had planting up the tiny bicycle): Of course, it turned out that some of the in-planter water was not turned on. We water by hooking up a short hose with a quick-connect to a faucet in each planter. Allan bucket watered one block of planters (consisting of just two of them) at the north end of town.  I called Parks Manager Mike in despair at the next block with no water, to find that the fixture that runs that whole block (with two trees and four planters) was broken and might not be fixed till next week.  The planters were DRY and needed water badly.  Bless his heart, he promised that the next day, the crew member who waters the hanging baskets would also water those planters so we did not have to haul heavy buckets across the street.

 The first watering is always stressful, finding out which hose connectors are clogged, and which ones are going to give us trouble of some sort of another, so I struggled through it without taking photos…except for a brief stop, at the very beginning, at NIVA green to collect some new photos for the shop’s Facebook page.  The fifteen photos I took will keep the page refreshed for another fifteen days.

NIVA green, my favourite shop

NIVA green, my favourite shop


outside NIVA green

outside NIVA green


inside, a new lamp by Heather Ramsay

inside, a new lamp by Heather Ramsay


I should have bought this; was too frazzled to think of how it matches some other little dishes that I have.

I should have bought this; was too frazzled to think of how it matches some other little dishes that I have.

We were trying to fertilize with Fox Farms Tiger Bloom instead of Miracle Gro.  That lasted for two blocks.  I realized that it was taking much much longer, as the fertilizer had to be mixed in a bucket because I’m not sure how to make it work in a hose end sprayer…and I also realized it would cost $100 each time we fertilize because the stuff is over $50 a jug.  That is ridiculous.  It only costs about $6 to water all the planters with the blue stuff.   And the jug was heavy, and and and….  This is impossible!!! With my mind simply exploding I said we are going back to Miracle Gro.  I’m sad, and wanted to go completely organic, but it is just too hard in Long Beach, and seems like a futile quest when the hanging baskets there are watered with Miracle Gro anyway.  The Fox Farms fert will be fine in planters at the Anchorage, Ilwaco, and my garden, where there aren’t so many and they aren’t such BIG planters.  So much for my principles, huh?

I must have recovered and had a burst of inspiration when we got to Fifth Street Park, as I managed a few photos there.

Sanguisorba in the park ('Pink Elephant', perhaps)

Sanguisorba in the park (‘Pink Elephant’, perhaps)


Allium bulgaricum in the park

Allium bulgaricum in the park


Geranium 'Rozanne' in one of the planters

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in one of the planters


I was closely observed.

I was closely observed.

As we went along watering, we added “uppies” to the planters that had been missed before.

Allan's photo: adding two uppies

Allan’s photo: adding two uppies (Salvia ‘Hot Lips’), one on each side of the pole

After the watering was done, with our shirt sleeves soaked by hose mishaps, we planted a couple of Agastaches to fluff up the garden at the World Kite Museum.

Allan's photo: placing two agastaches

Allan’s photo: placing two agastaches


I fretted over not having a matched set...but that's the way it worked out, with one 'Blue Blazer' and one 'Kudos Gold'.  The best laid plans....

I fretted over not having a matched set…but that’s the way it worked out, with one ‘Blue Blazer’ and one ‘Kudos Gold’. The best laid plans….


Allan planting at the kite museum entry garden

Allan planting at the kite museum entry garden

The Cove Restaurant

We did not get to the Cove till after seven for our traditional Thursday dinner.

Parking Lot Cat greeted us.

Parking Lot Cat greeted us.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


my good friend Parking Lot Cat

my good friend Parking Lot Cat

When we entered, we heard the singing of happy birthday, and knew it was for our friend J9 who was having one of several birthday dinners tonight, this one with her friend Judi.  Our celebration with her will be next week.

Their birthday dessert: cannoli

Their birthday dessert: cannoli

When we saw the cannoli, I immediately asked owner Sondra if there were any left, and she saved the last cannolo for us.

Allan's noodle bowl

Allan’s noodle bowl


Thursday evening rest and relaxation

Thursday evening rest and relaxation


my ahi tuna

my ahi tuna


so delicious

so delicious, with tiny Peruvian peppers


our cannolo

our cannolo


We shared nicely.

We shared nicely.


golf course wildflower garden

golf course wildflower garden

At home, just look at the work board; all the annuals are planted.

home

I might get some more cosmos and painted sage to plant here and there, but the official Annuals Planting Time is done.

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

We begin with our compost bucket switch at Olde Towne Café. I had a very quick sit down with Luanne and Bonnie.

It looks like I am actually having coffee; this sit down only lasted about three minutes!

It looks like I am actually having coffee; this sit down only lasted about three minutes!

Allan thought this spent Oriental poppy in one of Luanne's planters looked like a hat with a veil.

Allan thought this spent Oriental poppy in one of Luanne’s planters looked like a hat with a veil.

Long Beach

In Long Beach, we stopped to deadhead the cosmos in the Veteran’s Field garden….

vet

and Allan took some very nice pics of our red white and blue colour scheme (NOT red geraniums, blue lobelia, and white petunias!).

viola, alyssum, Salvia 'May Night', Geum

viola, alyssum, Salvia ‘May Night’, Geum, blue oat grass, Berberis ‘Crimson Pygmy’

violas and dianthus

violas and alyssum and dianthus

Vet Field planter with cosmos

Vet Field planter with cosmos, Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and viola

Anchorage Cottages

We did what I have been meaning to do for some time: cut down the stinky Viburnums near the office. There was no way to cut them nicely and prettily at this time of year, so we cut them RIGHT to the ground!

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages, blooming in March of 2013

today: a decisive move!

today: a decisive move!

This time I swear I will not let them get away from me and will keep them cut low. They had gotten to more than the height of the bottom of the windowboxes. In the rain, the viburnums stink terribly.

A few green sprouts soften the blow.

A few green sprouts soften the blow.

a decisive measure!

a decisive measure!

center courtyard; still did not have time to pull the scilla foliage

center courtyard; still did not have time to pull the scilla foliage

the other bed near the office with a Canadian Explorer rose, and Ceanothus and Barberry, with drifts of Geranium 'A T Johnson' allowed to take over underneath.

the other bed near the office with a Canadian Explorer rose, and Ceanothus and Barberry, with drifts of Geranium ‘A T Johnson’ allowed to take over underneath (and catmint on the edge)

Nurseries

We then had a round of shopping to get some plants for Jo.

some Cosmos and an Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' at the Planter Box

some Cosmos and an Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ at the Planter Box

a blue hyssop at The Basket Case

a blue hyssop at The Basket Case

I also bought some more trailies for the Anchorage window boxes. While I looked at a plant availability list for the next plant shipment, Allan took the viburnum debris to dump at Peninsula Landscape Supply just a few blocks up Sandridge Road.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply

When he returned to the Basket Case, we saw a bald eagle way up in a snag. That’s why the tiniest poodle is not allowed to run around the yard!

his eye on the poodle

his eye on the poodle

Klipsan Beach Cottages

On up the Peninsula we drove to Klipsan Beach Cottages.

the rhodo by where we park

the rhodo by where we park

rhodo2

 

a stunning variation on pinky-whites

a stunning variation on pinky-whites

The honeysuckle that Allan pruned last week looks very fine.

The honeysuckle that Allan pruned last week looks very fine.

Mary's special plant from Far Reaches Farm

Mary’s special plant from Far Reaches Farm

Callistemon. I am envious.  It likes this warm wall.

Callistemon. I am envious. It likes this warm wall.

rainy day rose

rainy day rose

The drizzly rain meant we would not have to water the Ilwaco planters till Saturday! We therefore did not mind it at all. It will have kept the Long Beach planters wet, as well. (The planters do need watering even after rain if they have dried out, but they have not had a chance to dry out since we last watered them.)

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

I wish I'd remember to buy myself this glorious rose.

I wish I’d remember to buy myself this glorious rose.

Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

close up, another plant I wish to re-acquire for myself.  Must remember to snag a little piece!

close up, another plant I wish to re-acquire for myself. Must remember to snag a little piece!

alliums

alliums

more roses

more roses

the first tall lilies

the first tall lilies

Asiatic lilies

Asiatic lilies

The cardiocrinum bud.  Snails have gotten all the leaves; I hope the flower blooms before the snails get it, too!

The cardiocrinum bud. Snails have gotten all the leaves; I hope the flower blooms before the snails get it, too!

view from the garden to the ocean view cottages

view from the garden to the ocean view cottages

about an hour's worth of debris

about an hour’s worth of debris

through one of the gates, as we are on our way out.

through one of the gates, as we are on our way out.

Wiegardt Studio and Gallery

I had a mission in mind at the Wiegardt Gallery: to just put an edge, with the half moon edger, on the curve of the entry garden.

before

before

I found it difficult to drive the edger through parts of the lawn edge and much bad language ensued.  Just after I finally got to the end of the cutting part of the job, Eric emerged! I had thought no one was there.  Fortunately, he had been in his upstairs north facing studio and had not heard my conversation with the edger.  (Allan had had to listen as he was working along behind me pulling up the strip of sod.)

Eric said that putting an edge on the garden was like putting a frame on a painting.

after

after

the handsome old house

the handsome old house

allium assortment

allium assortment

I got more ambitious than I had planned...

I got more ambitious than I had planned…

and edged the whole front garden.

and edged the whole front garden.

Allium schubertii:  Eric thinks they look like sputniks.

Allium schubertii: Eric thinks they look like sputniks.

I held up the water gauge to show the allium's enormous size.

I held up the water gauge to show the allium’s enormous size.

The west side wall garden (below) really needs help.  I added the Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ and it is still rather dull.  Years ago, there were two Lavatera ‘Barnsley’, back when the house was pink, and before Lavateras started to not do as well here on the Peninsula.  Then there was an Escallonia at each end; I seem to recall Eric thought they were too big, so we cut them down.  It needs some way to anchor the garden to the tall building.

west side, so blah, hope Todd can figure out a solution! ;-)

west side, so blah, hope Todd can figure out a solution! 😉

The west side does have a good feature right now:  lots of Allium bulgaricum, (syn. Nectroscordum siculum).  Allan noticed all the bees going into the tubular flowers and got some photos:

bees2

bees

bees3

bees4

bees5

I simply could not pick just one, as all the bees are so fat and adorable.

I simply could not pick just one, as all the bees are so fat and adorable.

Ilwaco

We ended our workday back south in Ilwaco, checking all the Ilwaco planters to make sure the new plants are doing ok and don’t yet need watering.  (They don’t because of considerable rain.)

just south of the planter blocks, the boatyard garden

just south of the planter blocks, the boatyard garden

We assessed the planter situation and decided several more of the old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ need to be replaced.  They get sad, old and woody after a couple years.  Oh goodie, another plant shopping session on Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

To begin with, I planted a Lobelia tupa at our post office garden. It’s a tough plant to grow here; last year I planted many and the only one that flowered was at the Boreas Inn.

our volunteer garden at the post office

our volunteer garden at the post office

plant shopping

Next, we shopped at The Basket Case for more plants for the Ilwaco planters. We were delighted to encounter Bob and Jo there.

Bob wheels a trailer of plants to their van.

Bob wheels a trailer of plants to their van.

one the shop cats

one the shop cats

There are tadpoles in a water barrel behind the greenhouse.

There are tadpoles in a water barrel behind the greenhouse.

I hope when I have a day off I can find some tadpoles in my water features, too.

Next, The Planter Box on Pacific Way.

Dutch Iris at The Planter Box

Dutch Iris at The Planter Box

The Planter Box still has some Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' for sale.

The Planter Box still has some Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ for sale.

my favourite perennial, sometimes not easy to find.

my favourite perennial, sometimes not easy to find.

As soon as that Eryngium starts blooming with intense blueness in many of our gardens, people will want it.

Here's the other side of the bouquet that I saw last time I shopped here.  Wish I could grow delphiniums (on the right) that well.

Here’s the other side of the bouquet that I saw last time I shopped here. Wish I could grow delphiniums (on the right) that well.

Then: Andersen’s RV Park.

In the Payson Hall planters, Sanvitalia has reseeded prettily.

In the Payson Hall planters, Sanvitalia has reseeded prettily.

Allan planted the blueberry. Lorna will assuredly wish it was bigger but…we think a small plant does better when planted at this time of year. And we did not feel like wrestling with a five gallon plant.

little Sunshine Blue

little Sunshine Blue

Allan photographed the path he so nicely weeded Wednesday.

Allan photographed the path he so nicely weeded Wednesday.

down by the garden shed garden, with alliums

down by the garden shed garden, with alliums

and a perennial combo of white siberian iris, cistus, and yarrow

and a perennial combo of white siberian iris, cistus, and yarrow

Golden Sands Assisted Living

We did not have long to spend at Golden Sands, as our mission was to get resorts and towns looking good for the holiday weekend. Allan simply had to weedeat the center lawn, so while he did so, I pulled two buckets of weeds and planted some tall sunflower seeds; I think the residents will like them, if they grow.

I remain thrilled and overjoyed at how the garden is finally looking good because of a working sprinkler system.

southwest quadrant

southwest quadrant

northwest quadrant

northwest quadrant

my mom's velvety red rose, finally thriving after being parched for years.

my mom’s velvety red rose, finally thriving after being parched for years.

northeast quadrant

northeast quadrant

another rose bush we moved here from my mom's garden...finally happy

another rose bush we moved here from my mom’s garden…finally happy

She did not know its name; it is a glorious coppery colour.

She did not know its name; it is a glorious coppery colour.

southwest quadrant

southeast quadrant

I wish my mother could see how well the garden finally looks: a dream fulfilled, and all because she lived here the last year of her life.

Here’s what does not look good:

that pesky horsetail-y area outside the quadrants that we rarely have had time to weed.

that pesky horsetail-y area outside the quadrants that we rarely have had time to weed.

I’m hoping that now that we no longer have to spend our time at Golden Sands hand watering, we can get the problem areas finally fixed.

I asked a couple of staff members to put their mind to a question that I consider each time: Would the view from the dining room be better without those trees?

Should they stay or should they go?

Should they stay or should they go?

I think the residents, especially those who don’t walk well, would enjoy a view of the whole courtyard.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Allan prunes the uppies off of the honeysuckle and rose arbour.

Allan prunes the uppies off of the honeysuckle and rose arbour.

After planting 6 six packs of cosmos and a penstemon and more, no time to prune the uppies on the honeysuckle

how it looked last week

so much better

so much better

Mary C poses for me to show the height of Thalictrum 'Elin'

Mary C poses for me to show the height of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ (left)

Allium bulgaricum

Allium bulgaricum

alliumb2

Last time I posted a photo of Allium bulgaricum (also known as Nectroscordum siculum), Garden Tour Nancy thought “Well! Why don’t I have that in MY garden?” and then she went outside and there it was, planted by us last fall.

Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant' by the bench.

Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’ by the bench.

I wish there were a place on the Peninsula to buy extra cool plants like that one.

While Allan pruned, I weeded with company.

While Allan pruned, I weeded with company.

Primula 'Green Lace' (I think)

Primula ‘Green Lace’ (I think)

Allium schubertii and a stem of elephant garlic

Allium schubertii and a stem of elephant garlic

Mary's roses

Mary’s roses

a GOOD hardy geranium and lavender

a GOOD hardy geranium and lavender

what a garden for a cat

what a garden for a cat

catgate2

one of Mary's awesome acquistions from Dragonfly Farms.  (One of her brothers lives near there.)

one of Mary’s awesome acquistions from Dragonfly Farms. (One of her brothers lives near there.)

a truss of roses so heavy that lays sideways in tree peony foliage

a truss of roses so heavy that lays sideways in tree peony foliage

I had gotten all excited when I saw, while deadheading Dutch Iris at the entry sign, how perfectly ‘Bronze Beauty’ matches the sign colours.

Only two don't show up well...

Only two don’t show up well…

but look!  Maybe lots of them would show up.

but look! Maybe lots of them would show up. Next fall…will plant…

The Anchorage Cottages

Back down the road to north Long Beach…

climbing hydrangea in full bloom

climbing hydrangea in full bloom

and calla lilies

and calla lilies

Allan weeded this area.

Allan weeded this area.

We finally had time for him to prune the dead twiggy bits that we saw on the background viburnum last week as we were driving away.

I weeded the courtyard but did NOT have time to pull the damnable scilla foliage.

I weeded the courtyard but did NOT have time to pull the damnable scilla foliage.

courtyard with Dutch Iris

courtyard with Dutch Iris

Geranium 'A.T. Johnson' reminds me why I once loved it.

Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ reminds me why I once loved it.

These reseeded themselves in the perfect spot, from a container or window box

These reseeded themselves in the perfect spot, from a container or window box

Boreas Inn

Allan planted one Miscanthus strictus, our only mission. I pulled a handful of horsetail. Bill asked us to ID a plant: it was Primula vialii. I forgot to take any photos.

Boreas...as we back out of our parking spot by the long grass...just alliums peeking over tall enough to see

Boreas…as we back out of our parking spot by the long grass…just alliums peeking over tall enough to see

Ilwaco

We finished planting up the Ilwaco street planters, which did involve some bucket watering as the water trailer is not up and running yet. Carving out soil spots to insert colourful diascia and lotus vine and a few golden thyme and tricolour sedums is an irritatingly difficult job. And…will the planting NEVER end? Just when I think it is over…

too tired to take more than this one photo.

too tired to take more than this one photo.

The Cove Restaurant

At eight o clock, we went back up to Long Beach to enjoy Taco Thursday at the Cove Restaurant. We appreciate being able to go to a fine restaurant that late.

the garden outside, with wonderful Alliums

the garden outside, with wonderful Alliums (and Parking Lot Cat, upper right)

view from our table; the Cove is right on the Peninsula Golf Course

view from our table; the Cove is right on the Peninsula Golf Course

Just out of sight was a table with Nancy from the Port of Ilwaco office and some friends!

Just out of sight was a table with Nancy from the Port of Ilwaco office and some friends!

I was so tired, and knew I would not be home till so late that I would not have time to blog…and blogging before dinner, even if we eat at 11, is easier than after. So I blogged right from the table on my phone. Here is a reprise of the delicious food by chef Jason Lancaster.

the fried artichoke appetizer with a creole dipping sauce

the fried artichoke appetizer with a creole dipping sauce

fish tacos, only $2 each on Thursday

fish tacos, only $2 each on Thursday

an amuse bouche from the chef!  The "fries" were thinly cut tortillas, according to what Allan learned.  This was exceptionally delicious.

an amuse bouche from the chef! The “fries” were thinly cut tortillas, according to what Allan learned. This was exceptionally delicious.

Fish taco Thursday is going to become a tradition; I hope that in the future we will be done with work in time to dine a bit earlier.

Owner Sondra leaves, with THREE parking lot cats.

Owner Sondra leaves, with THREE parking lot cats.

and....dessert!

and….we linger to have our dessert!

 

 

 

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Our day began with a poignant stop at Olde Towne Trading Post Café, my favourite hang out.  It will be in a new and better location just two blocks from where it is now, and their move starts Sunday.  I just wanted to spend a few minutes in the old space, as we might not have time tomorrow.  Although actually, we will be there again as we plan to help on Sunday for an hour to wrap some of the antique glass for transport.

exterior of Olde Towne as was

exterior of Olde Towne as was

We had too much to do to linger for long.  Our first stop was The Basket Case Greenhouse to check out their exciting first shipment of perennials.

new shipment

new shipment

a variegated Knautia!

a variegated Knautia!

Among other choice plants were two different Sanguisorbas, at my request, because I love all of them.

On we went to Klipsan Beach Cottages where we found that they had had time to redo their driveway garden.  It looks much nicer; it is a septic field area, and the original garden had been thrown together quickly with some railroad ties that were already there.  Mary wanted something more appealing…

Here it is last fall.

Here it is last fall.

and as we found it today.

and as we found it today.

 

driveway garden redesign

driveway garden redesign

My reason for visiting KBC today was to plant sweet peas along the fence, and as I did so, Allan did some weeding.  And of course, so did I, as I ran across weeds.  I am also always trying to eradicate Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’, the Bad-Aster, and Japanese anemone from the garden beds.  Mistakes of the past.

It is so much easier to weed a garden that we visit weekly in season….and our weekly visits will begin very soon.

the fence in question

sweet peas now planted along the inside of the fence

looking in to the fenced garden

looking in to the fenced garden

Then…back south to the Boreas Inn, with grand plans also to plant sweet peas at the Anchorage Cottages and Fifth Street Park in Long Beach.  The latter two jobs did not happen…   We stopped at The Planter Box for a load of cow fiber to top up the newly redone Boreas garden beds.

Cow fiber + washed dairy manure

Cow fiber = washed dairy manure

We got one yard, and Klipsan Beach Cottages meanwhile had ordered delivery of nine yards.  It is glorious stuff.

At Boreas, I finally made it as far as the east side entry garden where I found a big hydrangea that needed pruning.  Allan mulched bed after bed, and I finished weeding the beds around the inn before he brought the mulch up.

I expanded the tiniest of the westernmost little arbour beds.  Can’t make it the same shape as the other without blocking the lawn path…but it is better than it was yesterday.

two little beds

two little beds

still wonky

still wonky though!

lovely cow manure mulch

lovely cow manure mulch

This washed dairy manure comes from Tillamook cows, and Tillamook cows are hormone free.  It is well broken down and does not even smell manureish, which is good when we use it at a resort!

The two redone lawn beds do not even look little and silly to me today.  As Susie says, they are supposed to be “strips of colour”, but she does like the idea of widening them.

future strips of colour

future strips of colour

They must be planted with deer resistant colourful plants because the deer do visit them regularly.  I have plenty of ideas about what does well in unfenced deer country gardens.

Here’s the view from in front of the inn’s living room windows, which you would enjoy if you stayed there.

Boreas view

Boreas view

And then….my hands were cold, a chill wind kicked up, and a nice hot cuppa beckoned more strongly than the need to get sweet peas planted at The Anchorage Cottages and Long Beach.  This idea of pretty much sticking with a big job till it is done is working pretty well, although maybe not so well for the three clients and the Bolstadt beach approach garden that we have not even visited yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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