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Posts Tagged ‘tulips’

Thursday, 4 May 2017

By the time we went to work, the anti-health care vote had happened, and I felt furious and disgusted on behalf of the old and the poor, reading on the way to work about the projected cuts to health care for disabled school children, the proposed sharp rise in premiums for folks in their fifties and early sixties,  and more.  I pondered again just exactly how we are supposed to work harder in order to pay higher premiums.

Some might think I could give up my workdays in my own garden and use that time to take on more clients.  Many a year at my old garden I just had to think sadly, “It’s another lost year for my garden,” as I spent seven days a week working for other people. I just don’t have it in me physically any more to pushpushpush at for 20 work days in a row as I used to do.

push

“Push Push Push, all the way, all the time, right on down the line.”  (Twilight Zone, A Stop at Willoughby)

My former partner and I used to quote that Twilight Zone boss’s slogan to each other as we worked and worked and worked.

Today was a workday, as Allan and I were still pushing to get the Long Beach and Ilwaco gardens looking good for McCarthy Day-I-mean-Loyalty-Day weekend.  You can read some history about L Day here.  “In 1955 Congress passed a resolution designating May 1 of that year as Loyalty Day. It was the height of McCarthyism and an anti-Communist red scare in America.”  That was my birth year, in fact.  I have read that there are very few town that still have Loyalty Day celebrations.  Long Beach’s parade is a mostly cute and surprisingly long one, with lots of baton twirlers, marching bands, some llamas and horses and basset hounds.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

The dredge was getting pressure washed right next to where we needed to weed.  That did not stop us.

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Allan’s photo; I started where I had quit from exhaustion yesterday evening.

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I hope this one Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ reseeds like mad (dark foliage behind the tulip).  (Allan’s photo)

Yesterday, the weather was almost 70 F and some cool misty overspray would have been welcome.  We got the boatyard weeding done at last.

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looking back; we had come a long way, from the north end far in the distance.

Home again for a moment, Allan took a photo from the kitchen window of the rampant wild cucumber vine.  He says he has been training it.

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outside

We weeded and deadheaded at city hall in Long Beach, intending to follow that task with a good weeding of Coulter Park.  Almost as soon as we began city hall, we heard loud thunder and decided it would be a good time to deliver the plant cheque to…

The Basket Case Greenhouse.

By the time we got there, serious rain had begun.

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heading for refuge from the rain; Darrell told me how his grandma had been struck by lightning more than once!

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Allan’s photo.  I like this, because my liberal heart was bleeding today.

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and….crabby…

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There are still a few callistemon left.  I’m getting them all if they are still there next time I go!

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Check out time.  (Pink petunias were not mine.)  Had stayed out of the rain as long and productively as possible.

Long Beach

At Coulter Park, we worked in a storm of wind, thunder, rain, and pink petals.

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The back end of this park continues to be a challenge where the roses are, because of salmonberry and bindweed coming under the fence.

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Salmonberry running UNDER the roses and then popping up.  Everything is thorny and difficult.

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the horror of a grass infested rose

That particular grass WAS the variegated bulbous oat grass that I used to like so much, till I found out how quickly it reverts to green, and how its bulbous roots like to migrate.

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Allan won that battle.

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There’s a dead columnar conifer along the fence, too, and two other conifers toward the front seem to be dying.

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The south back side, away from the fence of invasives, is doing just fine.

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Allan’s photo

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just about to leave the park to dump debris

I checked Dark Sky.  It was discouraging.  “Heavy rain stopping in 30 minutes, starting again 11 minutes later.”

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I thought we could stand to do one more thing in the rain, so I scooped up six buckets of mulch at city works…

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…and we returned to the front corner of Coulter Park, where lots of people will line up for the parade on Sunday.

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Last week:

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a quick fix

I looked at Dark Sky again.  Stopping in 30 minutes and then overcast?

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We decided to go to Abbracci Coffee Bar.  On the quest for parking, we passed the little popout and stopped there for another quick fix.  I said it would take two minutes.

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before

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12 cold, wet, and windy minutes later

And then: Abbracci

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Allan’s photo.  Abbracci is just south of the Fun Rides.

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shelter from the storm

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treats

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more treats available than on our first visit!

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and they have Pink Poppy Bakery treats now!

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the wonderful owners Bernardo and Anthony  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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drenched

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We like the floral art.

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The other customers were a knitter, two chess players, and a woman reading a book in the other window seat.

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waiting out the rain

Even better, we acquired a bucket of coffee grounds for my compost pile!

With the rain stopped, I headed out to deadhead a block worth of planters while Allan went to weed and deadhead at Veterans Field (main stage for the festivities following Sunday’s parade).

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tree garden outside of Abbracci: still lots of narcissi for parade day

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and bright tulips

Guess what, there should be TEN tulips in each of those planters.  Broken off stems showed that five had been stolen.

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only five left, dang blang it.

Does someone think I won’t notice or care?  I DO notice.  Plus, these were special tulips from Brent and Becky’s bulbs.

Allan came over to help me finish the little park behind Lewis and Park Square, where the city crew had dug a trench at the lawn’s edge, surprising me with an unexpected clean up job.  He pulled bindweed from the rugosa roses on the south side of the police station, where many will walk by to go to Vet Field on Sunday, and then we went over the two Vet Field beds again for more tiny weeds.

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Note to self: Monarda is swallowing this Jade Frost Eryngium; maybe next time, I can move it.

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Someone had carefully filled a tulip with some grape hyacinth foliage, making a fanciful flower.  (Allan’s photo)

We finished the Vet Field gardens as this returned:

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But in driving from Abbracci to Vet Field, Allan had found an emergency by one of the parking lot berms.

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Whhhaaaat???

A tourist information trailer had been parked next to the weedy south berm.  All we usually know is the date of each festival, but the intricacies of what the city crew does is left for us to discover on our own.  I decided we simply had to do some weeding.

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Allan’s photo

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the biggest weed of all (Allan’s photo)

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6:20 PM

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7:11 PM

One more debris dump trip ended the work day.

home

At home, I could have erased one berm from the work board.  We have the north one about fifteen minutes from being done, and the south one is over halfway done.  That surely counts as one done…but I did not feel like finagling on the board.  I did finally get to erase the boatyard!

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Everywhere Skooter sits for awhile lately ends up looking like an explosion of cat fur.

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front porch from today

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And yet here he is, still whole and fluffy!

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and Frosty

I could hardly believe my last check on the weather for tomorrow, showing heavy rain all day with 30 mph winds.  No!  This means we would have to do the planter deadheading in Long Beach on late Saturday afternoon among throngs of visitors.  Oh please.  Just give us a few hours of workable weather tomorrow so we can finish the two berms and the deadheading, and please spare the tulips from 30 mph winds that would blow them all apart.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

We’ve been so focused on Long Beach that we had not done our north end jobs lately.

Red Barn Arena

I remembered that we had some edging blocks to install at the Red Barn.  When we got there, the edge had not been cleared yet (by Amy and her trusty tractor) so we will do the edging later.  We also found that the backside of the garden had been hit with roundup, always a risk when spraying grass next to a garden.

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zone of death: Round Up drift had killed the California poppies at the back…

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and caused yellowing foliage on the Helianthus

I got a promise that from now on, we will run our own string trimmer back there and that Round Up will not be applied again.

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Allan string trimming along the front

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an attractive new bench

Diane’s garden

Next door, we weeded at deadheaded at Diane and Larry’s.

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the roadside garden

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one narcissus

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the back patio planters

A heavy rain began while we were weeding along the road and got us both uncomfortably drenched and chilled.  Fortunately, I had a dry sweatshirt and jacket to change into. Allan’s jacket had kept him drier.

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brrrrr

Basket Case Greenhouse

Basket Case was a good place to warm up a bit.  We have begun planting some perennials, and needed more ingredients.  We are holding off on planting annuals till around Mother’s Day.

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the annuals greenhouse

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I got myself an Orange Rocket barberry and a Cardinal red twig dogwood.

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and the orange picotee Lewisia for my scree garden.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

I was ever so pleased to see the bright show of tulips in the Golden Sands courtyard garden.

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with blue camassia

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view from one of the red chairs

I asked Allan to apply the Sluggo to each quadrant while I sat because my knee was acting up.

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The bird bath and plaque are from my mom’s old garden.

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Tulip viridiflora (green tulips), always my favourites.  ‘Green Wave’ is on the right.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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dog daises already (Allan’s photo)

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Pacific tree frog on moss and beach strawberries (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

While weeding, Allan commented that this little wild euphorbia reminds him of Shrek.

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a spurge, one of the cuter weeds (Allan’s photo)

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It reminds Allan of Shrek’s ears.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

After considerable weeding and narcissi deadheading, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page of the garden looking very fine.

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from south gate

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tulips and overwintered Helichrysum ‘Limelight’

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multiflowering Tulip ‘Antoinette’

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Tulip ‘Orange Princess’

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Tulip ‘Green Star’

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This tulip has come back year after year.

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a real do-er

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fringed tulip, rose, elephant garlic

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from northeast gate

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Euphorbia characias wulfenii

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Pieris and clematis

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narcissi and pieris

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the pond island bed

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unfurling ferns

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pond island bed

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sword ferns

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The podophyllum was blooming.  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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beautiful Bella (Allan’s photo)

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inside the fenced garden, ocean view cottages on the ridge

Allan climbed over the pond to trim the last of the sword ferns:

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before

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after

 

Marilyn’s Garden

We had just an hour and a half to go north to Marilyn’s garden before our dinner.

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view from back porch; garage next door will disappear soonish behind foliage

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looking north

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from the road

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looking south

The Cove Restaurant

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flowers in the foyer (Allan’s photo)

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and on the table (Allan’s photo)

We had, as always, been looking forward to the weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang.

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Todd brought flowers….

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Allan’s photo

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and a podophyllum for Melissa and Dave.

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Allan’s photo.  I was honestly not complaining about a thing as it had been a very good day.

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delicious ahi tuna

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strawberry salad (Allan’s photo)

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lava cake with fresh pears

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lemon bar (Allan’s photo)

Except for one little rain squall and a bit of the old knee playing up, it had been a perfect day.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

April 15: Went through Floralight [three tiered light table] to try to find room for tomatoes.  Moved 8 or 10 trailing violets into terracotta planter and put it on top.  Planted Gloxinia bulbs into pots as houseplants.

1998 (age 73):

April 15:  Sunny, warm . I decided I  had to get the strawberries planted if I hope to have some in June.  I worked from noon to 4:00 to plant 3 rows using 6 or 7 trays of plants—and I have 29 trays of plants!  The soil is loose from the tilling so it’s easy to plant them.  I’m planting the rows close together because I have so many plants.

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

I was so determined to finish the beach approach today that I scheduled nothing else beforehand. We went straight out to the Bolstad beach approach garden except for one brief stop to get photos of the welcome sign garden (in case something bad happened to the tulips before the next day, like a browsing deer or a human standing in there to get a photo taken.)

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Tulip ‘Torch Song’ mix from Colorblends, with some Tulip ‘Formosa’ added

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Tulip “Torch Song’ mix

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front and back

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Tulip ‘Much Niceness’ mix from Colorblends

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“Much Niceness” mix

.  I knew from the start that the unusual heat…82.9!…would make it challenging out on the beach approach.  Just this once, I hoped for some wind (not too much).

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where we left off yesterday

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11:17 AM: From where we left off yesterday, my goal was to make it to the buoy.  That would be most of this section, to the planter…

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…and this section from the planter to the end.

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before (Allan’s photo)

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before (Allan’s photo)

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a couple of cute dogs that I got to pet.  They whined like crazy when their “mom” walked to the restroom.

It was SOO hot that I thought I was gonna plotz.  I put a cold bandanna around my neck, a cold bandanna peasant style over my head, and a cold bandanna on each wrist (soaked in cold water).

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Then I poured cold water over my head from a jug every now and then.

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me and my neighbour’s dog Yarrow

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Our neighbour Jessika of Starvation Alley organic cranberry farm walked by with her dogs. (Allan’s photo)

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Yarrow (Allan’s photo)

Jessika grew up in Tennessee and thinks we are very dramatic about “hot” weather here.  When she walked back, there I was dramatically pouring cold water over my head again.

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debris clean up in progress on the first section (Allan’s photo)

The passersby were frequent today because of spring break, with the oft repeated comment “You can come to my garden next”.  One fellow offered us $20 an hour to drive all the way to Chehalis to weed his garden, not realizing that the going rate for private garden work here is $25 per person and up.

The “my garden next” comment is so common that I ran across it in a book about the Lost Garden of Heligan in Cornwall:  “[Garden visitors] stand and stare and comment on our dedication to the job, how our backs must be aching and how we can help in their garden when we’re finished with our own.” from Heligan: A Portrait of the Lost Garden.

Today, I got a good compliment; a fellow said that the gardens make his visits to Long Beach “intriguing and enjoyable”.  That is exactly what I wish to achieve.

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starting the second section at two thirty (Allan’s photo)

At four thirty, I could not bear weeding in the section of plain roses anymore.  I was in despair over the quick passage of time so asked Allan to finish that area while I went on to the end, where some Juniper conferta, some wild lupins and some armeria (sea thrift) gave some variety to the weeding.

By then, I was in a panic about getting done; I just wanted so much to finish today.

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weeding and chatting with a Long Beach resident who used to be a landscaper (Allan’s photo)

It was also pleasant to visit with blog reader MaryBeth although I barely looked up.

I deliberately left some shaped sections of clover for the bees.  When it is done blooming, we may remove it.

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Allan got the boring area done all on his own, by 6:30.

From 6:30 to 7:00, I was wielding the pick in a frenzy and yelling at the last section of weeds, “You will not defeat me! I WILL FINISH YOU!”  I was willing to be late to dinner to get done.  I had been thinking for two hours about calling the Cove and texting Melissa to delay dinner from 7 PM till 7:30, yet the idea of stopping to deal with calling and texting was just too exhausting.  Allan was raking and sweeping the sidewalk and roadside while I did the very last weeding.

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cleaned up (Allan’s photo)

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after…7:10, late for dinner!

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Allan doing the last of the sweeping.

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Days ago, we started way way back at the arch.

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the final section, done

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THE END!

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a huge accomplishment

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all the way to the end!

As Melissa says, HUMANS WIN!  At least temporarily.  Next week, we’ll plant some poppy seeds in the occasional area where no roses grow.

The Cove Restaurant

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tulips outside the Cove (Allan’s photo)

We arrived at our weekly dinner and meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang 20 minutes late.  Melissa and Dave (Sea Star Gardening) totally understood.

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the joy of having the beach approach done (Allan’s photo)

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strawberry salad

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Dave’s fish and chips

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fish tacos

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Chef Jason sent us some prawns in butter sauce…out of this world.

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the work board…beach approach erased…at long long long last.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago 

1997 (age 72):

April 7: Took Tabby to vets for booster shots.  I got the Advantage flea killer stuff—supposed to kill fleas in 24 hours and last for a month.  $8.00+.

I cleaned out a lot of branches and cones from patio bed so now I have another pile.  There’s still a lot to clean up in driveway and front flower beds.

1998 (age 73):

April 7:  1:00-3:00  It was cold enough to wear a jacket but warm enough to sweat.    I only worked two hours when I felt sick probably still tired from yesterday and only 4 hours sleep.  I managed to weed some in patio and moved most of the pots of perennials up to the picnic table  I gave up and came in and went to bed from 3:00 to 6:00.

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Before we get back to the beach approach garden, here, at the special request of Our Kathleen, are some cropped and blurred (to disguise the business) photos of the planter that was dissed in the story at the end of yesterday’s post. This planter was, I was told, “a little bit better in 2015″  but before that was “terrible”, and was still “not very good”…

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July 2014 (accidentally photographed with “Vibrant Color” setting)

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August 2014

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August 2014

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October (!!) 2014

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November 2014

Thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post, both on the blog and on Facebook.  I especially felt moved by the comment from Pam, Seaside’s city gardener, about how “public and vulnerable” it is to do our job.  In fact, that brought a tear to me eye.  (“Are you CRYING now?”)  I was simply shocked to hear that Ann Lovejoy, to me a garden goddess above all, hears criticism of her volunteer maintained public gardens.  Reminds me of when a passerby last year lit into me about the beach approach being weedy, when we had quite simply had NO time to get out there to weed.  Speaking of the beach approach, now that we have passed on several of our private gardens to Sea Star Gardening and also no longer do Andersen’s RV Park (because it sold last year), we have had the time to get the beach approach weeded early-ish this year…or rather, we are TRYING to get it done.

Friday, 1 April 2016

at home

The UPS truck arrived with my Mary Rose rose, from Heirloom Roses, for kitty Mary’s grave.  I was so happy to see it but did not have time to plant it yet.

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shipped much earlier than expected!

Before work, I simply had to take some photos of our own garden.  I wish I had time to explore all of it.  I only get quick looks nowadays and am sure I’m missing something wonderful off in a corner.

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Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’

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center bed back garden

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center bed, looking southwest

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tulips

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tulips and muscari

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Tulips and Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

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I have to time to deal with the horsetail!

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garden boat ‘Ann Lovejoy’

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east side front garden

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front garden, Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ and Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’

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front path looking east

I said to Allan that I felt like picking a bouquet of tulips and taking them to yesterday’s insulting Shopkeeper for shopkeeper’s sick relative.  Allan said “Don’t!”, just like City Hall folks had said when I commented that I felt like doing that.  What happened to kill ’em with kindess?  I picked tulips anyway but instead took them to a local business where we are always treated well.

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a bouquet for Salt’s weekend

While I delivered the flowers, Allan popped one perennial into the Time Enough Books garden.

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Geum ‘Mai Tai’ (Allan’s photo)

We planted a few plants in the Ilwaco planters and then back to…

Long Beach

The Bolstad beach approach garden

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before, with a head start from yesterday (Allan’s photo)

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Bolstad beach approach today, before, 12:15 AM

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before: our goal is that planter with the light pole and banner

All of the “during” photos are Allan’s today.

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before (Allan’s photo)

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It has not been weeded since July, but most of the weeds came in the fall and winter.

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Allan’s photo

Our neighbour Jared walked by with a friend from Ohio and with the two dogs, Rudder and Yarrow.  As he often does, Rudder ignored me…

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…but he did let me pet him on the way back and even gently wagged his tail.

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in the thick of it

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Allan’s photo

I apologize for no photos of Allan swinging the pick to get the roses out from the streetside edge.  My ever so comfy clothes (free, passed on from a friend, my favourite clothing price) have no good camera pocket so I only take photos of before and after out here.  Why, why, why are pants made without pocketses?  So just picture him swinging the heavy yellow handled pick all day long, kind of like this guy, with pick instead of hammer:

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John Henry

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Allan’s photo

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planter goal achieved! (Allan’s photo)

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4 PM: beginning the next section!!

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A distraction: a sirening police car went tearing out to the beach, a gazillion miles per hour it seemed, and later this procession came back.

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a bad day for someone being escorted off the beach

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an Anemone blanda saved from the weeds by Allan

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Allan’s tools (minus the giant pick)

Because we had gotten one fourth of the section done yesterday,  and because the next section did not have as many roses, we got to the end of the next section also, all in seven hours today!  A section that takes 3.5 instead of 5-6 hours is a joy.

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end of today’s second section.

How I cursed the kinnikinnick around thatrock as I whacked at it with the pick and clipped with the loppers.  It is ugly after this winter, or maybe from last summer’s drought, when, by the way, this whole stretch got NO water.  It does not cover the ground well enough to blanket our weeds and therefore does not deserve to be called a ground cover.  Many bad words were said to it.

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Bad words cease when people walk by (unless I know them well).

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Three deer went by; this poor critter looks mangy.

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‘Twas a sad day for us when the deer discovered our species tulips in this garden.

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Dogs to pet are a big treat for me at this job.

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Me, the pick, and an enraged attack on kinnikinnick.

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As Melissa says: “Humans win!” (briefly)

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I have poppy seeds; my energy was gone so they did not get planted today.

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after, 7:30 PM

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today’s progress

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finishing at sunset

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telephoto of the buoy which is our goal

We were too exhausted to dump the debris, which is lightweight (roses pulled from along the edges), so we just took it home with us.

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We are this far.

at home

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dusk: Tulips close their petals

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Erythronium

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The work board: only five of 12.5 sections left!

To those with an eye for detail:  I’ve started calling the approach 12.5 sections instead of 13 because one area is shorter.

Tomorrow: more of the same, but guess who comes to help us?

guest photo: J9’s cat has found the catnip!

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photo by Jeannine Grey

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 73)

April 1:  Cool and gray but dry.  I planned to work on strawberries but the front beds are choked with two persistent weeds so I worked all afternoon in the tam area.  [former juniper tam bed turned to flower bed]  I weeded about a five foot wide area along the front and into the ditch in about four hours bending over and using my stool. MaryAnn came over to visit about half an hour and Darryl stopped by to talk.

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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Ilwaco

Helen, waiting to greet clients at our accountant's office.  Jennifer does her own lovely planters.

Helen, waiting to greet clients at our accountant’s office. Jennifer does her own lovely planters.

Allan's photos: We put Erysimums in two Ilwaco planters.

Allan’s photos: We put Erysimums in two Ilwaco planters.

Red Barn Arena

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We had not been to the Red Barn at all in March.

barn

Our garden project there is small…just a bed along a fence by the upper right corner of building, and seven big containers.

one of two pots at the entrance to the grounds

one of two pots at the entrance to the grounds

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the little fence garden, before

the little fence garden, before

and after

and after

Allan's photo: lots of little California poppy seeds coming up

Allan’s photo: lots of little California poppy seeds coming up

south wall of barn

south wall of barn

calibrachoa survived winter and is blooming!

calibrachoa survived winter and is blooming!

detail: Tulip batalinii "Bright Gem'

detail: Tulip batalinii “Bright Gem’

hugo

Hugo:  Allan's photo

Hugo: Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Diane’s garden

Just next door is Diane’s garden, which we also had skipped for all of March.

before weeding the roadside bed today

before weeding the roadside bed today

after

after

Allan's photo: We had an audience from the window.

Allan’s photo: We had an audience from the window: Jacks!

Allan's photo: an old dead shrub under the window came right out.

Allan’s photo: an old dead shrub under the window came right out.

Allan's photo: Jacks (Jax?)

Allan’s photo: Jacks (Jax?)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's before on the roadside, other direction

Allan’s before on the roadside, other direction

Allan's after

Allan’s after

My good friend Misty got a belly rub.

In the back yard: My good friend Misty got a belly rub.

OOPS.  No violas, and that orangey tulip was supposed to be some sort of pastel shade.

OOPS. No violas, and that orangey tulip was supposed to be some sort of pastel shade.

I had not planted any violas yet, and they are one of Diane’s favourites.  This called for a trip to The Basket Case Greenhouse, just five minutes up Sandridge Road.

Basket Case Greenhouse

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Allan's photo: Nancy and me

Allan’s photo: Nancy and me

Allan's photo: more Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

Allan’s photo: more Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Back to Diane’s…

all in gentle shades, as she likes soft colours.

a flat of violas all in gentle shades, as she likes soft colours.

That's better!

That’s better!

The Anchorage Cottages

Our friend Mitzu the Shih Tzu was there!  (Allan's photo)

Our friend Mitzu the Shih Tzu was there! (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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The pesky scilla are having their moment of glorious blue in the courtyard (even though we pull out scads of the bulbs every year).

The pesky scilla are having their moment of glorious blue in the center courtyard (even though we pull out scads of the bulbs every year).

We had two big new containers to fill.  We had brought two big bags of potting soil, but I had forgotten how large the containers were.  This called for a trip five minutes up Pacific Highway to…

The Planter Box

The Planter Box garden center

The Planter Box garden center

We had needed to buy some fertilizer anyway.  Dr. Earth is my favourite brand.

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Limonium; owner Teresa says this statice will likely be perennial.

I love this new Limonium; owner Teresa says this statice will likely be perennial.

I believe it is Limonium suworowii (Russian Statice),

also a precious viola

also a precious viola

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Before returning to the Anchorage, we checked on the gardens at…

Andersen’s RV Park

We had not been there for over a week.  I was pleased that our extensive weeding had held up well enough so we can leave this job alone now till next week.

an empty space to the right, where a guest drove into one of the six whiskey barrels

an empty space to the right, where a guest drove into one of the six whiskey barrels

If I had remembered to replant narcissi in the barrels, they would have been full of yellow and shown up better.

This RV Park guest had been shopping earlier at Mostly Hats in Long Beach.

This RV Park guest had been shopping earlier at Mostly Hats in Long Beach.  (Allan’s photo)

We deadheaded narcissi all around the park.  It is said that deadheading is good for the bulb, as instead of using energy to form seeds in the pod, the energy returns to the bulb.

a pretty little poppy from The Basket Case, about to bloom (Allan's photo)

a pretty little poppy from The Basket Case, about to bloom (Allan’s photo)

Undeaded narcissi look tatty.  (Allan's photo)

Also, undeaded narcissi look tatty. (Allan’s photo)

deadheading and weeding Payson Hall (Allan's photo)

deadheading and weeding Payson Hall (Allan’s photo)

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n2

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No sign of sweet peas, but it was only been 11 days....

No sign of sweet peas, but it has only been 11 days….

container tulips by the office

container tulips by the office

Tulip 'Artist' has returned for three years.

Tulip ‘Artist’ has returned for three years.

Back to The Anchorage

Tulip 'Green Star' by the office

Tulip ‘Green Star’ by the office

It's one of my favourites.

It’s one of my favourites.

But this one got so twisty it never opened up.

But this one got so twisty it never opened up.

Tulip 'Angelique'

Tulip ‘Angelique’

Tulip 'Gavota' almost over.

Tulip ‘Gavota’ almost over.

windowboxes with species tulips and narcissi

windowboxes with species tulips and narcissi

box

windowbox

That little narcissi that has been blooming everywhere had flummoxed me, and I had thought it might be Narcissus jonquilla simplex.  But NO!  I suddenly realized it is Baby Moon, the one I plant by the hundreds because I can count on it blooming in late April and being in full bloom for the two city parades, Ilwaco and Long Beach, on the first weekend in May.  This year all the Baby Moons are blooming in late March to early April.  I choose to be pleased that they are blooming during spring break, and I wonder just what will be in bloom for the parade weekend?!

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Baby Moon

Baby Moon, a month early

accidental perfect combo with tulip and primrose

accidental perfect combo with tulip and primrose

Narcissi in courtyard

Narcissi in courtyard

some of that new pink statice

some of that new pink statice

white narcissi

white narcissi

mor courtyard narcissi

more courtyard narcissi; you can just see the edge of one of the big new planters, to the left

We used this new product, and it was a bit stronger smelling than plain old potting soil.

This is the new kind of potting soil we got to finish off the big pots.  It smelled more manure-y than regular potting soil, just faintly.

This is the new kind of potting soil we got to finish off the big pots. It smelled more manure-y than regular potting soil, just faintly.

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I found a big fat snail on one of the flowerpots.  I cannot bear to squish them, so he got carried off to the dune grass and beach pines to the west of the lawn.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I felt so tired and sleepy today (two different things) that I reminded myself that soon The Deadliest Catch telly show will start up again and I’ll be reminded that it could be a lot worse if I were crab fishing on the Bering Sea instead of merely gardening after a few nights of insomnia.

However, I was unable to resist the idea of our Thursday tradition at the Cove Restaurant, even though we had just been there last night.  The Thursday habit is hard to break especially when one feels tired and deserving of a treat.

The Cove Restaurant

The Restaurant is on the golf course.

The Restaurant is on the golf course.

Parking Lot Cat waits to greet customers.

Parking Lot Cat waits to greet customers.

again the table with the white chrysanthemum

again the table with the white chrysanthemum

bunny

Allan said the bunny wanted some of my strawberry salad.

Allan said the bunny wanted some of my strawberry salad.

my dinner; Allan had fish tacos

my dinner; Allan had fish tacos

menu

home

Two books have arrived in the last week from Australia that I so wish I had some rainy days off to read…(along with the daunting stack of good library books).

kate

I now have THREE unread books by my favourite Kate.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

It is not an April Fool’s joke to say that the first living thing I saw when I woke up this morning, after about an hour too little sleep, was a slug crawling across my ceiling.

very small, thank goodness; probably rode in on a cat

very small, thank goodness; probably rode in on a cat

Why the ceiling?? Why?

Then a good hard rain pelted down on the roof and I thought “At last, a reading day!”

The cats thought for sure it should be a day off.

The cats thought for sure it should be a day off.

 Sure that we would have the whole day off, I was soon settled in my comfy chair with a book I’d been reading for several evenings at bedtime, by one of my favourite authors:

book

During last night’s reading, I had come across three passages that I especially liked.

In the first two passages, a character speaks of time and memory as one grows older:

time

life

And then this, from a scene at a funeral, where the pastor says:

Our memories of our loved ones might not be the point.  Maybe the point is their memories—all that they take away with them.  What if heaven is just a vast consciousness that the dead return to?  And their assignment is to report on the experiences that they collected during their time on earth.The hardware store that their father owned with the cat asleep on the grass seed, and the friend they used to laugh with till tears streamed down their cheeks… The spring mornings that they woke up to a million birds singing their hearts out, and the summer afternoon with the swim towels hung over the porch rail, and the October air that smelled like wood smoke and apple cider, and the warm yellow windows of home when they came in on a snowy night.  ‘That’s what my experience has been,’ they say, and it gets folded in with the others—one more report on what living felt like.  What it was like to be alive.”

“I don’t understand,” [says a member of the family].  “Where did he say she went?”

“To a vast unconsciousness,” [replies his friend].

“Well, that does sound like something she might do,” he said.  “But I don’t know.  I was hoping for someplace more concrete.”

Happily thinking I had all day to read the second half of the novel, I read another chapter and then…out came the sun.  Allan and I consulted all of our weather applications and all called for some showers.  So had yesterday’s forecast, and it had been a fine enough day.  So off we went to work, on a mission to at least finish mulching the Long Beach street trees.

Long Beach

At the city works yard, we collected all the rest of our mulch pile and talked to a city crew member who assured us that they would set us up with more.

every bucket filled

every bucket filled

tulips in the raised planter by Cottage Bakery

tulips coming and going  in the raised planter by Cottage Bakery

We got two trees mulched (in front of Cottage Bakery and Beach Duds) and started on two more on that block.  I could see ominously black sky to the west, which was, unfortunately, the direction the wind was coming from.  The next two trees were done in weather just like this; the saving grace being that miserable though it was, the wind died down:

quite quite miserable

quite quite miserable

We preservered although we did not groom those next two tree gardens as well as the others; they were lucky to get the soil shoved in rather evenly.

This much rain fell in the wheelbarrow in just a few minutes.

This much rain fell in the wheelbarrow in just a few minutes.

I thought a lot about my book and my cats, and how surely I would be back to my reading day soon…after we did four more trees, because we were not about to go home with the heavy buckets of mulch and have to unload them and then reload tomorrow.

And then the downpour turned into an occasional very light drizzle and I realized it would continue to be a work day instead of a reading day.

primroses under the tree by the new Thai restaurant

primroses under the tree by the new Thai restaurant, with mulch

weeding planters, too: Allan's photo.  I'm pulling out some Bad Aster.

weeding planters, too: Allan’s photo. I’m pulling out some Bad Aster.

After mulching three of the last four trees, we began a serious weeding project on the last of our trees, one that has been plaguing me with an infestation of creeping sorrel, the bad aster, some creeping Jenny, and some dull cranesbill geraniums.

tree before

tree before

It was a muddy mess working on it, and hard to even see the weed roots.  We got several buckets of weeds and plants out and I will keep a stern eye on it to make sure nothing unwelcome comes back.  The job was made harder by the painful noise of a pressure washer in the parking lot next to us.  We were both getting shouty and irritable.  When the noise finally stopped, our moods immediately lightened. A boat and a truck were the beneficiaries of the noisy machine. I’m sure it was necessary to clean the boat. Of the truck, Allan, usually not the one to complain about loud noise, said, “He would have done a better job with a soft sponge” and added that pressure washing a vehicle leaves a thin layer of grime. The relative silence of just the usual traffic was utterly blissful.

after

after, with some ‘Copper Pot’ California poppy seeds planted

the tools for the job

the tools for the job

Before I had gotten in too deep and completely muddy in that last little garden, our friend Bill Clearman had come into view across the street.  The traffic kept him waiting as the town is bustling for Spring Break.

Bill waiting for a traffic break

Bill waiting for a traffic break

He made it across for a brief visit; he’s working on one of his masterful carpentry jobs on that side of the street.

Notice how the yellow primroses match the trim on that building!  Completely accidental.

Speaking of colour coordination, Allan and I noticed while weeding a nearby planter that Red Dog Tattoo has relocated into the small red house on that block.

Now one of two tattoo shops on the same block.

Now one of two tattoo shops on the same block.

I kept thinking about the new Thai place.  The food had smelled so good when we mulched the tree right in front of it.  Perhaps the rain would continue and we could have lunch there as soon as we had finished the last tree.  And then…the latest batch of drizzle stopped, and we could see that we would have some more workable weather.

sky to the south

sky to the south

and north

and north

We had four buckets of Soil Energy mulch left so we headed to city hall where I knew there were some low spots in the garden.

little monument at city hall

little monument at city hall

We weeded all along the west side of City Hall, added the rest of the mulch, and I planted the last of my California poppy seeds (Dusky Rose and Copper Pot).  Although I usually wear lightweight non-latex gloves, I had been in a big hurry and did not put them on.  Our friend, gardener and lawn mower Ed Strange, drove by and paused his work truck to chat about our workdays.  Both he and Allan seemed amused at the hand with which I waved to him.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the narrow city hall bed

the narrow city hall bed had many little weeds and got most of the mulch and the poppies

and the wider part

and the wider part would benefit greatly from some of the next batch of mulch.

These tulips have returned for several years in a row; I planted no new ones in this area last fall.

These tulips have returned for several years in a row; I planted no new ones in this area last fall.

a tapestry on the low wall by the sidewalk: creeping thyme, sedum, armeria (sea thrift)

a tapestry on the low wall by the sidewalk: creeping thyme, sedum, armeria (sea thrift)

I looked over a stand of white Dutch Iris and wondered why it was not as big and impressive a patch as I had planned.

white Dutch Iris

white Dutch Iris

Then I saw that a clump had been picked by someone for their own personal bouquet.  Infuriating.  Do they think I don’t notice?  It’s like making a painting and someone scribbling on it and wrecking the plan.

FINGER BLIGHT!!

FINGER BLIGHT!!

After dumping a half dozen heavy buckets of debris back in city works again, we remembered that tonight is the new “noodle night” at the Cove Restaurant.  We will try the Thai place some other night soon.   I wanted a reward for such a tough day.

The Cove Restaurant

The garden at the Cove is all weeded now.

The garden at the Cove is all weeded now, pretty sure by restaurateur Sondra herself

shadows and sun on the golf course

shadows and sun on the golf course

evening sun on one of Sondra's heucheras

evening sun on one of Sondra’s heucheras

in the hallway: Allan's photo

in the hallway: Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

noodle

noodle2

The usual yummy appetizers were also on offer.

welcome and refreshing hard cider

welcome and refreshing hard cider

a lovely sight

those little bubbles: a lovely sight

north window view from our table

north window view from our table

Allan's telephoto

Allan’s telephoto caught a ‘bird’ shot for Mr. Tootlepedal out the same window

flower

fried artichokes

fried artichokes

Hikkado stir fry with prawns

Hikkado stir fry with prawns

beef stir fry

beef stir fry

It was all delicious; we continue to be so pleased by the flavours provided by Chef Jason Lancaster.

in the garden

in Sondra’s garden, after dinner

Parking Lot Cat popped up out of the bed of a truck as we were leaving.

plc

my good friend PLC

my good friend PLC

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

As we departed, Susie and Bill of the Boreas Inn just arrived; Susie had seen me check in on Facebook but we were already driving out of the lot and just stopped to chat briefly.  We shall see if our financial willpower will keep us from going to our usually Thursday night Cove dinner.

And then home at last after an exhausting and yet satisfyingly accomplished day.  I hadn’t even put the street tree mulching on the work board so I did not get the pleasure of erasing it.

It seems the weather forecast is good for tomorrow so I still won’t have that reading day.

In the last light of day, Jared and Jessika next door were wheelbarrowing a big load of soil from a truck in their driveway to a new raised planting box in their back yard. I called out “I’ll move that soil for you!”  Jared looked surprised and then I said “April fools!”

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Ah, it looked like a good rainy, windy day to be inside and work on my Sylvia Beach Hotel full immersion blog.  BUT I got the message that there was a new availability list to peruse at the Basket Case Greenhouse.  The order needed to go out by Tuesday, so we went to have a look at what we might like the nursery to carry.

Basket Case Greenhouse

Basket Case Greenhouse

perusing the list (Allan's photo); picked out some agastaches, penstemons, and much more.

perusing the list (Allan’s photo); picked out some agastaches, penstemons, and much more.

our good friends Shadow and Walter (Allan's photo)

our good friends Shadow and Walter (Allan’s photo)

Nancy came forward to visit from the back greenhouse, where she was planting the hanging baskets for which she is famous.  She couldn’t visit long, and called for the dogs to return with her.

Walter is moving very slowly as he'd like to stay and visit for longer.

Walter is moving very slowly as he’d like to stay and visit for longer.

Fred and Allan in the greenhouse

Fred and Allan in the greenhouse

Fred shows off a new deep red annual geranium.

Fred shows off a new deep red annual geranium.  He’s teasing me because I don’t use them much.  I like the deep clear colour of that one.

the perennials house (Allan's photo)

the perennials house (Allan’s photo)

santolinas in three colours, one of my favourite perennials

santolinas in three colours, one of my favourite perennials

Fred showed me the tag for a new plant.  Our friend Ed Strange had it last year and said it bloomed prolifically and long.

plant

a cross between Echinacea and Rudbeckia; the plants are small and not available for sale yet.

A monsoon begins.  I make it into the van; Allan is stuck in a greenhouse.

A monsoon begins. I make it into the van; Allan is stuck in a greenhouse. 

Allan's photo of me escaping the torrent in the van.

Allan’s photo of me escaping the torrent in the van.

Fred has plenty to do in the shelter of the greenhouses.  (Allan's photo)

Fred has plenty to do in the shelter of the greenhouses. (Allan’s photo)

Ah, the rest of the day was spent at home catching up on this blog by writing about one of my favourite topics, the Sylvia Beach Hotel room journals!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Sunshine called us out to a mission to plant sweet peas in Long Beach, and maybe Anchorage and Boreas, too.

Long Beach

Long Beach city works has a nice pile of Soil Energy for us to use on areas that need fluffing.

tarped to keep weeds out

tarped to keep weeds out

buckets for fluffing up Fifth Street Park

buckets for fluffing up Fifth Street Park

I weeded and applied mulch and Dr Earth fertilizer all along where I planted the sweet peas in Fifth Street Park, and applied much sluggo at the end in hopes of better results than last year.  Allan took photos:

before

before

mulched garden

mulched garden (after)

after

after planting sweet peas and mulching

While I worked on the sweet pea project, he weeded here (before)

While I worked on the sweet pea project, he weeded here (before)

after

after

At my request, he did some pruning (before)

At my request, he did some pruning (before)

after

after (As far as I am concerned, that whole mugo pine should disappear.)

What the heck am I doing here? Oh yeah, pruning some cotoneaster in the little park by Lewis and Clark square.

What the heck am I doing here? Oh yeah, pruning some cotoneaster in the little park by Lewis and Clark square to reveal some lost astilbes and primroses.

Anchorage Cottages

We had time to plant sweet peas and do some weeding and deadheading at The Anchorage Cottages.

shady bed with trilliums and pulmonaria

shady bed with trilliums and pulmonaria

sweet tiny narcissi in a windowbox.  This new Olympus pocket camera does not seem to focus well on flowers.

sweet tiny narcissi in a windowbox. This new Olympus pocket camera does not seem to focus well on flowers.

the center courtyard

the center courtyard; there’s a new pelican statue 2/3 of the way down the garden

courtyard planter

courtyard planter

more courtyard narcissi.  A innkeeper from years ago planted that heather...not me!

more courtyard narcissi. A innkeeper from years ago planted that heather…not me!

more courtyard narcissi

more courtyard narcissi; narcissi are my favourite flower

tulips by the office

tulips by the office

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

The parrot tulips that usually bloom into early May are awfully early this year.

The parrot tulips that usually bloom into early May are awfully early this year.

planted sweet peas by the chimney, where Tulip 'Gavota' still looks fine except for the focus problem.

planted sweet peas by the chimney, where Tulip ‘Gavota’ still looks fine except for the focus problem.

Manager Beth tells me that Dennis Co again had the little lemon cypress trees like this one that she got.  (When we go, right after work, they are all out again!)

Manager Beth tells me that Dennis Co again had the little lemon cypress trees like this one that she got. (When we go, right after work, they are all out again!)

After the Anchorage, we were too low in energy to start planting sweet peas at the Boreas Inn, so we dumped a few more buckets of mulch in Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park and went home before dusk.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Even though we had a fine rainy day, we had to leave the house to meet with our nice accountant.

Her office has two lovely tulip bouquets.

Her office has two lovely tulip bouquets.

a red one

a red one

and a yellow one

and a yellow one

Her sweet dog Helen lay under the desk while we concentrate on our tax numbers.  The meeting went well and we left all the figures in her capable hands and took a drive past the boatyard and along the portside gardens just to reconnoiter on the way home.  I was pleased that all the big horsetail had not sprouted yet in the boatyard garden.  Allan fixed a “Please don’t pick the flowers” sign, and we discussed (him) making new ones. I noticed a lot of narcissi deadheads along Howerton Way to be dealt with tomorrow if the weather allows.

rain and a drooping sign at the boatyard

rain and a drooping sign at the boatyard

And then…home to blog like fury, so that I will be finally caught up and can spend the next day of computer time catching up on Mr. Tootlepedal and that new puppy on the Miserable Gardener blog.

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