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Posts Tagged ‘Tulip ‘Peppermint Stick’’

Monday, 30 March 2015

March 30 was my Grandma’s birthday.  She was my caregiver, mentor, friend, inspiration, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.  I made a post about it on Facebook:

Gram

You can read about her garden (which later became mine), here.

So….today….I had thought that we might perhaps take the day off so that I could do more weeding at home.  However, the dreaded task of mulching the Golden Sands garden weighed heavily upon my mind, and Allan said he thought it was on the agenda for today so…we did it.

Tulips in our garden at the Ilwaco Post Office

Tulips in our garden at the Ilwaco Post Office

Tulip 'Virichic'

Tulip ‘Virichic’ and one other at the Ilwaco Post Office

Peninsula Landscape Supply

coming in for some Soil Energy (Allan's photo)

coming in for some Soil Energy (Allan’s photo)

getting a yard of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply

getting a yard of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply

It was a generous pour.

It was a generous pour.

The pile is new, and somewhat hot.  We watered it down when we used it at the Port of Ilwaco office garden.  Today, in a layer on the Golden Sands garden, it would not be too hot.  But don’t ever plant straight into pure hot mulch; let it cool for a day or two.  One of the other bulk items sold by Peninsula Landscape Supply is hemlock bark; if I were to apply any sort of bark it would be this, because it is brown rather than red.

IMG_7039

an appealing colour

I'm also a fan of their three sizes of river rock.

I’m also a fan of their three sizes of river rock.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

We drove slowly to Golden Sands as the yard of Soil Energy had been such a generous pour.  I wanted a photo to show how we park by the door at the SW corner of the assisted living center because it is a closer trip to the garden courtyard door.  Allan looks like he is saying something grumpy, but he isn’t.  Behind him is a mowed airplane runway which is rarely if ever used but is kept mowed apparently just in case an emergency landing is needed by a small plane.  We had already had some excitement on the job.  To access this particular door, I have to ask a staff member to open it from the inside, and this time the alarm sounded so there had been a lot of hustling about to get it turned off before anyone got anxious.

heading for the now unlocked fire door

heading for the now unlocked fire door

We had the small red wheelbarrow and the big grey one in play.  I would stay in the courtyard weeding and spreading the mulch while Allan brought it.  (Fortunately it was dry and thus very lightweight.)

“Soil energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter).”

To get to the courtyard, we must wheelbarrow down half a long carpeted hallway.  If we came in the front door, as we usually do, the hallway trip would be three times longer.

Allan's photo: I took in one wheelbarrow but couldn't open the courtyard door and also push the barrow through it.

Allan’s photo: I took in one wheelbarrow but couldn’t open the courtyard door and also push the barrow through it.

hall

Allan almost to the courtyard door.

I always think of this suspense book that is in my collection.

I always think of this young adult suspense book that is in my collection.

Backing out the door into the courtyard.  This door is heavy and won't prop open.

Backing out the door into the courtyard. This door is heavy and won’t prop open.

Google Earth of the building surrounding the courtyard.

Google Earth of the building surrounding the courtyard.

We started with the NW quadrant, the one where last time we brought mulch, we ran out partway through.

NW quadrant, just getting started.

NW quadrant, just getting started.

after, all nicey nice at last

after, all nicey nice at last

Next, my mom’s old garden.  This whole project of turning rough patches of weedy lawn into four garden beds began when she moved into assisted living in autumn of 2009.

"Mom's garden", the NE quadrant, before

“Mom’s garden”, the NE quadrant, before

After the mulch was all down, I planted seeds of California and Shirley and assorted other poppies.  I planted lots of ‘Copper Pot’ California poppies in mom’s quadrant, because she loved copper and collected decorative copper items.

NE quadrant, after...

NE quadrant, after…My mother lived in the room with the center window.

I felt a little verklempt while planting the seeds.

I felt a little verklempt while planting the seeds.

The beds at the south end of the courtyard did not need as much mulch.  There is never quite enough to fully cover all four beds, and they had gotten the most last time.

SE bed before

SE bed before

and after.

and after.

I had to lift and gently replant a peony from Mary Beth as you cannot put too much soil on a peony or it won’t bloom; I hope it doesn’t mind.

SW quadrant before

SW quadrant before

SW after

SW after

The beds have a lot of vigorous plants…too vigorous sometimes.  .  It started as a purely volunteer project so I was using whatever plants (within reason) that I could get for free (and then it turned into a paid job with “grandma rates”, i.e. we give a discount in honour of the elder residents).  Yellow Lysimachia punctata, some running yarrow,  and probably too many Sweet Williams are in the garden beds.  The bad aster is also in there, one plant that I most decidedly did not bring in.  Another that I would never have planted is the terribly invasive lily of the valley, and I found a few sprouts of it today and eliminated them post haste.  So with all those vigorous plants, it’s hard to find spots to add seeds.  I did my best.

It felt grand to have the job done at last.  I don’t quite know why I dread it so much, since Allan does the hallway wheelbarrowing.  I think it is because I like to come and go without any fuss, and having to go to the desk and ask to have the door unlocked, and then worrying about getting the carpet dirty are both things I fret about, just a bit.

We had time to do some work in Long Beach in the late afternoon.

Long Beach

We started by getting 13 buckets of mulch from our pile at city works.  I returned a fortuitously timed phone call from Todd, who was asking about some plants at the Wiegardt Gallery garden, which is now his job.  So Allan scooped all the soil into the buckets on his own while I mentally walked with Todd through the Wiegardt garden.  Thanks, Todd, that was a well timed conversation.

I had two red flowering plants, a Penstemon and a Monarda, to plant in the new Veterans Field bed.  There are enough plants in it now to cross “plant memorial bed” off the work list, although I will still be on the lookout for a few more red, white, or blue plants.  Right next to the new garden is some asphalt with horsetail coming through it, and I see a sprout or two in the garden so I fear it will become a weeding chore.

accursed horsetail right next to the garden

accursed horsetail right next to the garden

Tulip 'Rococo' in the garden

Tulip ‘Rococo’ in the garden

Tulip 'Peppermint Stick'

Tulip ‘Peppermint Stick’

inside 'Peppermint Stick

inside ‘Peppermint Stick

'Peppermint Stick' has cunningly wavy foliage.

‘Peppermint Stick’ has cunningly wavy foliage.

a small cupped narcissi

a small cupped narcissi

I love the small cupped kinds.

I love the small cupped kinds.

I can usually count on Tulip ‘Rococo’ to be in bloom for the city parade the first Sunday in May.  THIS year, it is blooming before the end of March.

'Rococo' and many other late flowering tulips are early this year.

‘Rococo’ and many other late flowering tulips are early this year.

I planted a few remaining seeds of California Poppy ‘Ivory Castle’.  Meanwhile, Allan was weeding the curved bed by the flag pavilion.  I joined him weeding, then mulching.

before

before

after

after

Here’s a funny thing: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ has reseeded itself with about five new very welcome plants.  But the foliage is different.

Sapphire Blue sea holly has serrated leaves (not brushed off yet)...

Sapphire Blue sea holly has serrated leaves (not brushed off yet)…

The seedling leaves a bigger and plainer. As long as they are Eryngiums, they are fine by me.

The seedling leaves a bigger and plainer. As long as they are Eryngiums, they are fine by me.

I planted a few more California Poppy 'Red Chief' and 'Carmine King'.

I planted a few more California Poppy ‘Red Chief’ and ‘Carmine King’.

all nicely mulched

all nicely mulched

Allan uses a broom to sweep dirt off leaves and level the mulch.

Allan uses a broom to sweep dirt off leaves and level the mulch.

We had one more project in Long Beach: to plant assorted California and Shirley poppies in the big pop out which Allan had finished weeding while I was at Sylvia Beach Hotel.

now full of seeds, and some lily and dutch iris bulbs

now full of seeds, and some lily and dutch iris bulbs

The job was slightly miserable as a 20 mph wind had come up.  Who will win, the rugusa rose roots still lurking or the poppy seeds and lilies?

Allan's photo trying to show the wind via flags.

Allan’s photo trying to show the wind via flags.

Ilwaco

We were done in Long Beach with enough light left to do a bit of gardening at home.  On the way, we did some light deadheading on one block of Ilwaco street trees and planters.

narcissi in a planter

narcissi in a planter

simplex2

Pretty sure the small cupped one is Narcissus jonquilla simplex. Love it, and it is fragrant.

More flowers bloom in the windows of art galleries on the block.  Penny Treat Gallery

More flowers bloom in the windows of art galleries on the block.  Penny Treat gallery (Allan’s photo)

DSC00041

Allan’s photo

 

 

 

And in the window of Azure salon, the poster for the rhodie tour:

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I was mighty tired by now.  And yet the huge shotweeds in my garden were on my mind, and I swore I would get at least one bucket of them weeded out of the middle bed.

admiring a dog tooth violet by our driveway

admiring a dog tooth violet by our driveway

a tulip almost blown

a tulip almost blown

an accidental colour combination

an accidental colour combination

middle bed before

middle bed before

The wind was chilly and unpleasant.  But despite that, reader, I got three buckets of shotweed out.  The other weeds are not so quick to throw seeds everywhere, and I got the shotweed before it reached the point of pinging me in the eyes with its small sharp seeds.  (That’s why one of its common names is Jumping Jesus.)

after...not done, but better

after…not done, but better

I even got some of the shotweed in the east bed and felt proud of myself for preservering.

This spot had been huge shotweeds taller than the lily bulbs.

This spot had been huge shotweeds taller than the lily bulbs.

Allan had done some strimming while I weeded and we both retreated to the house as the wind increased further.  We are surely due for a stormy day off tomorrow, perhaps time to read one of my stack of library books.

I was able to erase several things from the work board…and added the two big projects that are next in line (along with regular maintenance) and which must be done in April this year (I hope): weeding the parking lot berms and the Bolstadt beach approach.  I thought if I put down the numbers of the sections of each job, it would give me the pleasure of more frequent erasures.  Each of the 13 sections of the beach approach garden takes three or more hours.

revised work board

revised work board; I can still count backwards

 

 

 

 

 

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