Posts Tagged ‘trimming ornamental grasses’

Friday, 9 February 2018

At home: My green hellebore, a gift last year from Our Kathleen.

and Clematis ‘Freckles’

The Depot Restaurant

We started with the spring clean up at the Depot in Seaview, mainly the cutting of the ornamental grasses on the south and east side of the dining deck.

south side, before (Allan’s photos)

and after



after; Allan is putting back the sprinkler line, which he pulled out to protect it from getting snipped.

The perennial and annuals border to be, on the north side of the deck

Allan chopped the one big grass at the house next door (Depot office space):

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

next door to the Depot (Allan’s photos)

We took our load of debris, including some branch-y clippings from coppicing shrubs at home, to the dump.  Because the usual clean green debris area was so muddy, we were instructed to put the compostables into a big dumpster.  It was a scary drop in my mind so I stayed well back from the edge.

way down far

Allan is brave.

In the evening, I finished a book.

Guess which orange one I love, and which one I loathe.

Long Beach

We returned to Fifth Street Park to do the two east side quadrants.

This narrow bed to the northeast desperately needs mulch.

One of these days, I will find Parks Manager Mike working in town and ask for a load to be placed for us at City Works.  I am glad he did not get any late last fall because I was all tired out and glad to go on staycation without mulching.

Rudbeckia blooming in February

While Allan pruned the big hydrangea in the SE corner, I checked on a few of the nearby trees and planters, cutting back old Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and pulling little weeds.

tree in front of Abbracci Coffee Bar

We did not have time for a coffee break.  We did get some banana bread slices to go for our post-work tea time.

primroses under a street tree by Malai Thai restaurant

Geum unseasonably blooming in February

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ blooming three months early (or four months late)

hydrangea before

and after (Allan’s photos)

I hope we did not sacrifice flowers by pruning so low.  But if the flowers are up higher, they are hidden by tree branches and interfere with the light on the pole.

Allan found a painted rock representing a fried egg, quite appropriate for the park next to Benson’s Restaurant, a breakfast establishment.

I was able to erase Fifth Street Park and Depot from the work board clean up list…and remembered to add Third Street park.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Long Beach

We started with the spring clean up of Long Beach City Hall; Saturday, when it is closed, is a good day for that because parking is easy.

Peggy’s Park, east side of city hall, before

Peggy’s Park was planted by Gene and Peggy Miles and is kept up by us in her memory.


Allan did the clean up on the west side.

City Hall, west side, before

narcissi and rosemary and rue

after (Allan’s photos)

With the city hall garden done, we dumped a load of debris at City Works and then went to Third Street.  Allan battled the roses on the south side of the police station:

before: Rosa rugosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’


welding gloves




And he cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in the Veterans Field flag pavilion garden.


memorial wreaths

making a mess

cleaned up

Meanwhile, I weeded and pruned hydrangeas in the little park by Lewis and Clark Square.

I am excited to tell you that the sign in the window says “Coming Soon: Taqueria el Jalepenos”!



I also pruned the hydrangeas in the southwest quadrant of Third Street park….



…and tidied up another block’s worth of planters.

more blooming Geranium ‘Rozanne’

and knautia blooming with the crocuses

That knautia was the variegated ‘Thunder and Lightning’ which unfortunately reverts to green leaves by the second year.

historic photos in the window of a business for sale (the building on the southwest corner of Bolstad and Pacific)

I hope passersby are appreciating the snowdrops in the planters.

We had another load of debris to dump.

evening sun in the city works yard

We drove out to the end of the Bolstad approach to view the sunset.

I was able to erase Vet Field, Third Street, and police station roses.

But then I remembered to add the parking lot berms.

For the bookish:  I’ve added 1985 in books, here.  I’m not sure if email subscribers will get a notice of these posts that I am publish retroactively, because I want to keep them all tidily together.



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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

We were able to start work today because Don of Peninsula Plumbing got our leak fixed in quick time.  It had been caused by the way the new washing machine had been hooked up. That was careless of the washing machine deliverers and hooker uppers.

As always, we began the work year in:

Long Beach, Fifth Street Park

The very minute that I got out of the van, my back went SPROING.  I took two Doan’s Back Pills and stood against the nearest building to straighten up fully; fortunately, I was not out for the count.

NW quadrant, before, with a guy eating lunch and the first cute dog of the work year.

I mostly did the SW section, although Allan cut the big grass and helped out toward the end.

4.5 hours later



I very much want to get the hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) kept to just one area instead of running all through the garden.  It has gone rampant because of our mild winter and was tedious and frustrating to (try to) eliminate from the main part of the border, which is also infested with wild garlic.  Will this be the year I finally get it under control again?

Deer have been visiting this garden.

deer poop on the garden cut-through sidewalk

A woman came and chatted as I worked about how she can now only garden in window boxes, after fifty years of gardening.  I suggested she get someone to bring her a picnic table and bench and then plant up a tabletop landscape.  I recommended this book:

She liked the idea.

She told me for awhile about how the healing power of the earth was coming up through the soil to fix my knee and how a certain pink stone which I could purchase right next door at Marsh’s Free Museum would solve my physical problems.  I finally expressed my skepticism.

Meanwhile, Allan was working on the SW quadrant.



after (Allan’s photos)

This small corner area in the SW quadrant is so damp that I do let the hesperantha reign freely there, except that I like to thin it hard in springtime.

before, Allan’s photo

The problem with so much hesperantha needing pulling and the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ needing clipping is that two precious clumps of camassia got clipped, too.

after, with me brooding over the camassias.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

With every intention of working, Allan hooked up the trailer.  I put the kibosh on work when I went outside and felt the cold and dreary drizzle.

As I sat reading, a knock at the door produced a member of the Ilwaco city crew.  He had come to tell us about his upcoming repair job on the ramp railing at the community building, and that he would have to move a clump of bulbs.  I wish all workers were as thoughtful!  As it happened, Allan and I were going there that day, Allan to the library and me to sort out my shingles hospital bill, so we told him we would move the clump of bulbs.

He had left a stake to show us where. (Allan’s photo)

iris reticulata and crocuses at the community building

I did get the bill sorted, in that the hospital will re-bill it with my insurance card, and I learned it had been over-billed, so it will now “only” cost me $200 (instead of $450) for a brusque 15 minute urgent care shingles visit and a lab test.

in the lobby of the hospital

With that done, I could enjoy an afternoon and evening of finishing a book, one which I had been reading in the late evenings for two nights before.

Not long ago, I read Kitty Burns Florey’s book about sentence diagramming and more, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog.  In it, I had learned of the diaries of Dawn Powell, a novelist of the 1930s-60s.

Today I immersed myself and finished to the end.

Here are just a few favourite bits of Dawn Powell from my happy return to the staycation mode.

About her nervousness and phobias:

This passage about the death of her darling cat had me in tears over my Smoky; her experience was so much like mine, except that we did not let Smoky die at home.

She did get another cat, because years later she writes while traveling of “a feeling of homesickness for my cat.

Here is a valuable thought, if you have ever wondered WHY in the world you had been friends with someone who turned out to be just mean:

“I wonder again how we could ever have been friends, although friends are like food—one’s palate and capacity and preference changes with education, travel, ulcers, and better opportunities for choosing.”

About censorship of books, which spoke to me because of my parents forbidding me, as a teenager, to be allowed to read books from the adult section of the LIBRARY (!!):

On solitude, in which she longs for five hours of it a day:

Decades later, she had upped it to eight to twelve hours a day.  I get the same craving.  Fortunately, Allan and I rub along pretty quietly together at home.  During staycation, I crave not just twelve hours but two weeks (dare I confess to wanting even more) of solitude from everyone but Allan.

I think one of my happiest winters was one of complete solitude, on my own in my cold little house behind the boatyard, reading in front of the single source of heat, a glowing space heater.

Dawn Powell wrote diary entries for many years about ideas for a book that never came to fruition, about a world where cats were in charge and humans were the pets:

Years later, still thinking about “Yow”:

She was ahead of her time for the second wave of feminism; this was written in 1952:

On aging:

She died in 1965, not even making to 70.  I felt bereft when I came to the end of the diaries.  I still have novels of hers, and a biography to read.

Having dipped back into one bookish day, I was told by the weather forecast that we would be back to work tomorrow.




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Friday, 17 February 2017

Skooter likes to turn on Allan’s computer, so Allan found something for him to watch.





Because Karla at Time Enough Books had a book to lend me, we started the workday at the port.  Allan did a bit of clipping:


before clipping one tatty old Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

I picked up the book and had a chat with Karla.  She’s noticed that I read a lot of non fiction on social justice topics.


the book in question, an advance reading copy

I will get to it as soon as I finish reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.


Bookstore staff member Scout looks more worried that she is.

Depot Restaurant

Our first big work mission was the clipping of ornamental grasses around the dining deck of the Depot.


before, south and east sides of deck


giant miscanthus (Allan’s photo)


before (Allan’s photos)





We also got the one miscanthus at the house next door (which is the office for the restaurant).


Allan’s photos: before



Just as we were about to leave, Todd showed up to work on the garden of the Hobbit Haven.


I love the Depot’s next door neighbours’ sign.

Long Beach

Allan and I devoted the rest of the day to Long Beach.

First, City Hall, before and after (all Allan’s photos):


west side, before






I decided this hebe needed clipping because the office staff likes to see out.


just starting…took it 2/3 of the way down.



Next came the southwest quadrant of Fifth Street Park.  Allan did all of that project for today.







I asked Allan to leave the hesperantha (used to be schizostylis; Todd reminded me of the name change when we saw him earlier in the day) for me to clean up, because I know there are some delicate sprouts of Camassia in there.  Last year they almost got clipped; Melissa was helping that day and is the one who saved them.  I’ll get to this area tomorrow.


after. We’ll prune the roses soon.

Meanwhile, I took the green wheelie bin around two blocks worth of planters.


Iris reticulata…’Eye Catcher’, I think


crocuses and a couple of iris


more crocuses


and more crocuses


an annoying amount of HESPERANTHA in a planter.  No time for pulling today.


same planter.  Poky nasty yucca?? thing? keeps coming up by the sitting bench.  Its roots go deep.  Will clip back later, need big loppers to get the trunk way down low.  Why??  Planted by original volunteer, as is all of this particular planter.


skipped this tree till tomorrow.  I have much regret for not yanking out the very first bit of rugosa rose that volunteered in here.


I was cutting back santolinas to the new growth at the base.  Had skipped the ones across the street so as not to overwhelm wheelie bin with debris.

For the same reason, I had skipped a tree near Fifth Street.  When I rejoined Allan, his park project was done.  He tidied under this tree while I addressed some dead gaura stems in the northeast quadrant of Fifth Street Park.


tree garden before.


after, with hesperantha still to tidy up

Hesperantha spreads like fury.  It’s best to just yank out a lot of it, and you’ll still have enough.


me, gaura debris, and the wheelie bin

Together, after moving the van and trailer, Allan and I tackled one more tree garden and the planter I had skipped because of debris hauling limitations.


Allan’s tree project, with Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’, before



In the planter, I was going to do patient santolina clipping to the new growth.


Then I saw a tuft way down at soil level.


That particular santolina might be 15 years old.  I decided to cut off all the big stems and see what happens!


did the same thing to one of three on the other side….


I might be sorry later.

On the way home, we drove past the Port of Ilwaco curbside gardens.  I reflected on the many grasses and sedums needing to be cut back.  Our last task, at sunset, was to pick up a piece of litter.


Allan’s photo, looking west down Howerton

At home: Still can’t cross off Fifth Street till the hesperantha and one big hydrangea are dealt with. Can’t cross off street trees and planters because we have more to do.  However, I had the pleasure of erasing City Hall and the Depot.


Goal for tomorrow, if weather allows: Finish Fifth Street and the street trees and planters and the pop outs and the pond.  Much glorious erasing could end a day like that.


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