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Posts Tagged ‘tulips’

Saturday, 21 March 2015 

It was Montana Mary’s 60th birthday, four days after mine.  When I turned 50, she sent me a card in which she wrote something like”When we were younger, it was very important that you were four days older than me, but now it’s important that I’m five days younger than you.”

 

I made her a Harry Potter birthday picture from the JK Rowling room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

I made her a Harry Potter birthday picture from the JK Rowling room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

at home

First, I took a quick look around the front garden to see what had come into bloom.

The white tulips are new.

The white tulips are new.

white bleeding heart

white bleeding heart

tulips and cardoon

tulips and cardoon

white Dutch iris...so early!... and a serious amount of the weed I call "stinkmint"

white Dutch iris…so early!… and a serious amount of the weed I call “stinkmint”

foreground: Tulip sylvestris just going over

foreground: Tulip sylvestris just going over

fern in Allan's garden and the lantern his mother made

fern in Allan’s garden and the lantern his mother made

Peninsula Quilt Guild Show

Our workday began with glorious weather and a visit to the annual quilt show at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.  Here are just a few of the more gardeny quilts:

Poppies by Beth Riesen

Poppies by Beth Riesen

Detail with beading

Detail with beading

Foxes for Lucy by Beth Riesen

Foxes for Lucy by Beth Riesen

Still Life II: Flowers and Lemons by Wendy Romaggi

Still Life II: Flowers and Lemons by Wendy Romaggi

Still Life: Flowers and Cherries by Wendi Romaggi

Still Life: Flowers and Cherries by Wendi Romaggi

Looking Through the Window by Wendy Romaggi

Looking Through the Window by Wendy Romaggi

Manzanita by Joanie Chapel

Manzanita by Joanie Chapel

This Red Hens quilt by  Merri Johnson reminds me of Garden Tour Nancy's flock.

This Red Hens quilt by Merri Johnson reminds me of Garden Tour Nancy’s flock.

Harvest Pumpkins by Joanie Chapel

Harvest Pumpkins by Joanie Chapel

Charlie Brown's Pumpkin Patch by Becky Olson-Evans

Charlie Brown’s Pumpkin Patch by Becky Olson-Evans

Palette Explosion

Palette Explosion

None the Same by Nellie Beasley

None the Same by Nellie Beasley

You can see more photos of the quilts on my Ilwaco blog, here.  I should have rousted out to see it during the previous day’s rainy weather.  Had not been able to tear myself away from processing photos of my trip.

On our way out of town, we saw a change at the stoplight corner.  We’d have to get a proper photo later as we were in a rush to get working.

something has changed

something has changed

Long Beach

After the quilt show, we finally headed to Long Beach to deadhead narcissi in the planters and street tree gardens and parks.  I suppose there had been some dead flowers during the week.  I had not even thought about work during my time at the hotel (which means I had not figured out any solution to our overwork problem).  I’d decided that it was not going to ruin anyone’s beach vacation to see some weeds or dead flowers.  If the vacationer was not a gardener, they would not notice.  If they were a gardener, they could feel sympathetic and/or happy with themselves for being a superior gardener.

in Long Beach: Tulip 'Lilac Wonder' by the police station

in Long Beach: Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ by the police station

Allan and I split up and I walked the southern blocks while Allan did the northern.  My head was still not in work mode after seven glorious days off.  Before my trip, I had been in high spring clean up gear and all systems were go, go, go.  I needed to rev myself back up somehow.  Some things in Long Beach would have to wait because we needed to do another job today, as well.

The carousel is now in operation for the tourist season.

The carousel is now in operation for the tourist season.

the tulip bed in Fifth Street Park needed deadheading and I ignored it!

the tulip bed in Fifth Street Park needed deadheading and I ignored it!

I noticed that the new Thai place was open.

I noticed that the new Thai place was open.

a parrot tulip bud

a parrot tulip bud

the sort of horrible deadheads that people had had to look at while I was one

the sort of horrible deadheads that people had had to look at while I was one

stunning red tulip still going strong outside the smoke shop

stunning red tulip still going strong outside the smoke shop

back up the other side of street, the primroses by the new Malai Thai

back up the other side of street, the primroses by the new Malai Thai

backlit tulips

backlit tulips

asphodel...got it at Joy Creek some years ago, would love to get more; it's a great doer!

asphodel…got it at Joy Creek some years ago, would love to get more; it’s a great doer!

If I ever see it for sale, I will buy lots and lots and lots.

If I ever see it for sale, I will buy lots and lots and lots.

Allan's photo: narcissi and heuchera by the Elks Lodge

Allan’s photo: narcissi and heuchera by the Elks Lodge

Allan's photo: dwarf rhododendron by Funland

Allan’s photo: dwarf rhododendron by Funland

Andersen’s RV Park

After our quick one hour walk around in Long Beach, we went to Andersen’s on the mission of planting sweet peas along the picket fence.  I sorted a few out from each of the many colours that I have this year.

sweetpeas

sweet peas sorted for Andersen’s, some of each

The sweet pea names:  Princess El1zabeth, Beaujolais, Blue Streamers, Beaujalais, Painted Lady, Saltwater Taffy Swirls, Chocolate Streamers, Velvet Elegance, Black Knight, Janet Scott, Watermelon, Countess Cadogan, Lipstick, Lord Nelson, Old Spice Mix, Zinfandel, Miss Willmott, Flora Norton, Jewels of Albion, Queen of Hearts, Pastel Sunset, America, Early Multiflora Blend, Chiffon Elegance, Blue Reflection Mix, High Scent Mix.

Last year, I had bad results with sweet peas.  This year, we did an extensive clearing of all other plants along the picket fence, added dairy manure, and applied liberal amounts of sluggo after planting, plus I have enough seeds to do a full replanting if necessary.

Allan's photo: he helped weed along the fence (before)

Allan’s photo: he helped weed along the fence (before)

after (and I did not give him enough time to weed the very end, which had been his original project for today.)

after (and I did not give him enough time to weed the very end, which had been his original project for today.)

sweet peas in, inside and outside the fence

sweet peas in, inside and outside the fence

Allan cleaned up an area to the north of the house so I could plant sweet peas around a bamboo teepee.

Allan's photo: before

Allan’s photo: before

Allan's photo: after

Allan’s photo: after

Lorna likes the big showy narcissi.

Lorna likes the big showy narcissi.

These tulips were getting raves.  They had petered out in one of the big pots because the drainage was clogged.

These tulips were getting raves. They had petered out in one of the big pots because the drainage was clogged.

Lorna had bought some knee high sweet peas which I planted in the back of the Payson Hall planters.  We'll see if that works out.

Lorna had bought some knee high sweet peas which I planted in the back of the Payson Hall planters. We’ll see if that works out.

I had a revelation while looking past Payson Hall at the six whiskey barrels on the lawn. I feel so stupid!  I could not figure out why the narcissi had not come up this spring.  I suddenly remembered our big job last May, digging out all the narcissi and replanting them into the garden, as they had become overcrowded and I wanted the planting of annuals to be easier.  I meant to plant NEW narcissi in the fall and not only did I FORGET but I also forgot WHY I had no flowers this spring.  (The ones in the garden look great, though!)  I hope this is not a sign of increasing addlement.

the west side garden

The west side garden has some of the narcissi from the barrels.

Ilwaco 

On the way out of town this morning we had noticed that the murals were up, as promised, at the old Oddfellows building on the corner.  It has recently been purchased and is being fixed up.  We would have participated but the main part of the project happened while I was gone.  I had made a picture of the volunteer group’s publicity release and an old photo I had.

project

ilwaco

close

a long shot taken the next day

a long shot taken the next day

Tackle renovation of this very old building is an impressive project..

Next: rain was predicted for Sunday and I still had not managed to kick myself back into mental gear for catching up at work.  At least it felt great to cross Andersen’s off of the sweet pea planting list.

 

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Monday, 16 March 2015

On March 16th, the day after Allan got home from the Sylvia Beach Hotel, the crabbers at the gear shed next door were tarping down their pots for the season.

DSC01211

DSC01212

During the time I was gone to the Sylvia Beach Hotel, Allan had (bless him!) done some of the gardening work. On March 16th, he finished the Big Pop Out in Long Beach, a task completion that had been eluding us.

March 16: before

March 16: before

after

after, rugosa roses controlled (for now) all along the fence and a weed infested kinnickinick removed

before and after...impressive!

before and after…impressive!

his load of debris

his load of debris

species tulips in the big pop out

species tulips in the big pop out

Thursday, 19th March 2015

(You can read about Allan’s March 18th boating trip in yesterday’s post.)

On March 19th, he tackled the dreaded weeding of the Bolstadt Beach Approach blocks-long garden and felt discouraged by how long it took him to accomplish this much; it’s a horribly hard job:

P3190002

before

Three hours later.  I personally think that is pretty fast and efficient.

Three hours later. I personally think that is pretty fast and efficient.

I arrived back from the Sylvia Beach Hotel in the early evening and I have to admit that after my five quiet bookish days, we watched a two hour episode of Survivor in the evening.  The cats were ever so pleased to see me…when they woke up.

Smokey and Mary

Smokey and Mary

I opened my birthday package from Montana Mary; she had given me SIXTY presents, or tried to (she wrote that she may have lost count) including each individual piece chocolate from two fine chocolatiers (one from Wyoming and one from Bozeman, Montana).

presents from Montana Mary

presents from Montana Mary

Mary says “both are owned by charming people who produce marvelous confections!”  (A couple of days later, I got another little package from her, some “chocolate” seeds from Chocolate flower farms: chocolate colored nasturtiums and chocolate cherry tomatoes.)

Allan made delicious muffins from the flour.

IMG_1904

Before I’d gone on my trip, Allan had given me a set of books relating to my Green Lake neighbourhood Seattle childhood.  Of course, I had been too immersed in the Sylvia Beach Hotel room journals to read them.  They still awaited my perusal.

IMG_6828

My old friend Shaz, now an Oregonian but who once lived by the bay where years ago I had made a garden for her, sent art supplies:

inspirational

inspirational

Friday, 20 March 2015

view from our north windows

view from our north windows

On my first full day back, I was ever so pleased at torrents of rain because it gave me the opportunity to download and start processing all the photos from my stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.  The cats had been so glad to see me last night and sat right by me.

Smokey and Mary

Smokey and Mary

In the evening, we were joined at the Cove Restaurant by Carol and J9 and Kathleen for a belated celebration of my 60th birthday, since I had spent my birthday itself with Carol at the Sylvia Beach Hotel. Bill and Susie of the Boreas Inn stopped by but could not stay as they were checking in some guests that evening.  I took my new camera to dinner; not a good choice, as the old camera known as Spot, which takes bad outdoor photos, is the one that takes good indoor ones.  As we drove north in the rainy dark through Long Beach, I could see deadheads (dead flowers, not lounging hippies) in the planters and felt some small urgency about work.

Allan's photo: We had a table right by the fire.

Allan’s photo: We had a table right by the fire.

Carol and Kathleen at dinner

Carol and Kathleen at dinner

an appetizer of five "prawns solo", the perfect number for our group

an appetizer of five “prawns solo”, the perfect number for our group

Carol's bahn mi sandwich, my steak salad

Carol’s bahn mi sandwich, my steak salad

presents!

presents!

From J9: Catnip Murders art print by an Astoria artist; from Kathleen: Harper Lee in large print and my favourite tea (Earl Grey) and some Nestle’s Crunch and peanut butter cups.  The candy is a shoutout to our fun time at Halloween, when she helped us give out candy and learned my favourites from the Halloween mixed chocolates bag.  From Susie: a pretty little purse with some fancy lip balm inside and a date to take us out to lunch on Sunday!

from Allan, a Hello Kitty gardening set!

from Allan, a Hello Kitty gardening set! for one of my plant tables

It had been an extravagant birthday week (and was not quite over, with the lunch date with Susie and Bill coming up).  However, the weather was due to change and I seriously had to get back to work.

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I was not to have a block of time to get all the bulbs sorted at once, as the weather on Tuesday turned out to be glorious planting weather. It proved satisfying to knock a few bulb planting jobs off the list this soon.

Ilwaco

We began with our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office, just pulling out the toppled cosmos. I did not yet have the bulbs sorted for this little garden.

before

before

after

after..no time to weed

We pulled cosmos out of the boat at the Time Enough Books and Purly Shell garden and planted yellow tulips: Texas Gold, West Point, Akebono, Christmas Orange, and Florette, with a front edge of Christmas Orange and some Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’.

at the port

at the port

tulip photos from vanengelen.com

West Point, Florette, Texas Gold, Christmas Orange, Akebono: tulip photos from vanengelen.com

The Depot Restaurant

Seagulls lined up on the roof to see if they could snag any tasty looking bulbs before we buried them.

the Depot roof

the Depot roof

Debbie H. tracked us down with plenty of help from my end and the last of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that we’ve been lugging around since removing them from Jo’s garden. The plants will end up next spring at the Master Gardener’s spring seminar plant sale. I was so distracted by meeting Debbie’s sweet dog that I didn’t take photos of anyone but him.

Ralph...begging for pets, not defending the vehicle

Ralph…begging for pets, not defending the vehicle

no garden photos, just Ralph!

no garden photos, just Ralph!

Depot bulbs spread sheet; my spellchecker objects to much about bulb names!:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 7.37.43 PM

 

Long Beach

We pulled another couple of cosmos from Fifth Street Park and even though I like to leave ornamental grasses up all winter, Allan chopped two down that will interfere with the city crew’s ease of putting up the lighted Christmas sea serpent later this month.

grass

chopping down the second grass

Meanwhile, the city crew was digging holes in the garden, something to do with the pipes. Glad it did not happen in midsummer!

a few of the crew

a few of the crew

We moved a block east to plant some bulbs in Erin’s Summerhouse vacation rental garden…yellow ones, like the selection that we used at Time Enough Books.

plantng and a bit of weeding at Summerhouse

plantng and a bit of weeding at Summerhouse

Summerhouse, available in all seasons.

Summerhouse, available in all seasons.

Across the parking lot, fall colour glowed in the parking lot garden.

telephot; house behind is not that close.

telephot; house behind is not that close.

A block north at Veterans Field, I laid out all the bulbs in the new Senator Sid Snyder memorial garden bed. A flock of gulls immediately gathered and Allan and I had a bit of a time trying to keep them from stealing bulbs before we got them planted. Allan’s photos:

bird

birds

2birds

3birds

flying

trying to look casual

trying to look casual

This bed got red, white, and blue bulbs. A partial list:

Narcissus ‘Thalia’, ‘Toto’, ‘Sailboat’, ‘Ice Follies’, ‘Dreamlight’. Tulip ‘White Parrot’, ‘Rococo’, ‘The First’, ‘Peppermint Stick’. Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’, ‘Superstar’, ‘Mount Hood’. Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’. Crocus ‘Twilight’ and ‘Spring Beauty’. Fritillaria meleagris alba.

Over in the Veterans Field flag pavilion garden, where we weeded and planted some of the Brodiaea, a reblooming Eryngium is a sign of our mild weather.

I have never seen Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' rebloom in fall.

I have never seen Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ rebloom in fall.

We dumped our load of debris and then headed to the Anchorage for the last hour before early dark.

The Anchorage Cottages

While Allan planted tulips and narcissi in assorted pots, I planted little, early blooming bulbs in the windowboxes. We can’t plant tulips in the pots in the center courtyard anymore now that the deer have started coming in. We could tell by some nipped viburnums that deer are poking around next to the office, too, but we hope that some tulips in the pots by the office window might escape unscathed next spring.

My cunning plan is to do the windowboxes by the method we used at Klipsan Beach Cottages. We will inset plastic inserts with bulbs for the spring, then take out the inserts and replace with new inserts of annuals for the summer. However, when manager Beth bought the liners (plastic windowboxes), the store was out of enough matching ones, so two are of a different size. The other dilemma is that they are not big enough for the length of the four windowboxes, so all eight will be needed just to do the bulbs.

I planted them up in the bed of the trailer.

I planted them up in the bed of the trailer.

It made my brain hurt so much to work with the different lengths and with a seam being at the center (where two inserts will meet in the middle) that I lost my ability to do a symmetrical planting and it all ended up terribly random.

the little bulbs

the little bulbs

There’s some sort of pattern but nothing like what I planned. I hope we can get four longer inserts that are evenly matched by next fall, and I might redo the bulbs in a couple of years. There is a bit of a pattern left in the planting and I am sure it will look lovely. The little bulbs I used were:

Tulips ‘Peppermint Stick’, ‘Ice Stick’, sylvestris, batalinii ‘Bright Gem’ and bakeri ‘Lilac Beauty’. Crocus ‘Spring Beauty’ and ‘Twilight’. Iris reticulata ‘Cantab. Iris histriodes ‘Katharine Hodgkin’. Fritillaria meleagris (guinea hen flower). Narcissus ‘Pipit’, ‘Baby Moon’, ‘Itzim’.

There are many little bulbs to choose from; I just chose from the batch I got this year. I’m regretting not having ordered any snowdrops as they would have been perfect for these windowboxes.

Lilac Wonder is my favourite of the little species tulips; here's a grand photo of it from Van Engelen bulbs.

Lilac Wonder is my favourite of the little species tulips; here’s a grand photo of it from Van Engelen bulbs.

We got home by 5 PM and by 5:30 I was back to sorting bulbs. I did not think there was any chance I would get them all done. I seemed to hit some sort of stride after awhile (thanks to a nice snack plate and 2 cups of tea from Allan), and kept going non stop till 10:30 PM and miraculously managed to sort down to the very last bulb, 4,307 in all! I barely had the strength for a light dinner and an episode of True Blood.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Today was the day of the bulb spreadsheets for each job, thanks to glorious rain. I applied myself with few interruptions. I do enjoy making a good, aphabetized, and tidy spreadsheet and making sure that all the money adds up right. Our clients and friends pool in whatever they want to spend on bulbs, from $20 on up, and it’s my task to make sure that I sort out the right amount for each person. I’m happy to report that my scribbled notes while sorting all translated into batches that came within a dollar of what each person wanted to spend.

Meanwhile, Allan ran a few errands including picking up some bulbs from Erin so that we can mix them in with the batch we sorted for her. He took a few photos at her garden:

back porch garden

back porch garden

Her back porch garden looks so nice and tidy, and will make a great spot for the sort of bulb you want to view up close.

the garden boat on the west lawn

the garden boat on the west lawn; garden clean up awaits us.

The garden bed west of the boat will get lots of small narcissi. No tulips will go out there because:

the deer live here!

the deer live here!

photo 5

Tomorrow may be another rainy day. It does not promise to be a bookish one as we have various social plans…

 

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Before we left for work, Allan helped New Judy (three doors down) measure for a new screen door.  Her new home is coming right along with her latest project, painting the picket fence.

newjudy

New Judy's Bella

New Judy’s Bella

Then we were off, first with what was planned to be a quick stop at The Anchorage Cottages just to plant the windowboxes.

our route for the day

our route for the day; we started and ended at “G”

Anchorage window box refreshed with violas

Anchorage window box refreshed with violas

two

While Allan planted, I weeded and deadheaded.  (If possible, I always connive to get out of planting.)

Anchorage courtyard tulips

Anchorage courtyard tulips

A sad tulip container blighted by rain...

A sad tulip container blighted by rain…

happy parrot tulips by the Anchorage office

happy parrot tulips by the Anchorage office

I note that parrot tulips tolerate rain better than peony flowering tulips...

I note that parrot tulips tolerate rain better than peony flowering tulips…

Just as we were about to leave, I saw a catastrophe: lots of dead on one of the Ceanothus.

This is after we cut down one big dead trunk.

This is after we cut down one big dead trunk.

I don't like making cuts like these...but had no choice.

I don’t like making cuts like these…but had no choice.

I’d cut the whole shrub to near the ground and let it regrow, were it not for the fact that it balances out another tall ceanothus on the other end of this bed.

after removing some more small dead branches and running out of time...

after removing some more small dead branches and running out of time…

Our second job was at Golden Sands Assisted Living: weeding in the courtyard.

one of four quadrants: not much excitement yet

one of four quadrants: not much excitement yet

I was so, so right about the bad pruning of the rhododendrons last fall.  Thank goodness we showed up that day and stopped it so only three got The Treatment.  Next time we work here, we will cut out the dead trunks.

We didn't do it, and the person who did is not going to do it this way again...

We didn’t do it, and the person who did is not going to do it this way again…

I planted some wildflower seeds in an area outside the quadrant gardens.  They are from a cute roll of seed coins that Garden Tour Nancy gave me last year.  I had to bury the coins just slightly, because they look so real I was afraid someone would be trying to pick them up off the ground.

seed money

seed money

We made a quick weed and deadheading stop at Oman Builders Supply’s little entry garden.

Oman Builders Supply

Oman Builders Supply

detail: OBS

detail: OBS

And then, we weeded and deadheaded at Wiegardt Gallery in Ocean Park.  I had just received the check for March’s work there, enclosed with a beautiful card of one of Eric’s paintings.

poppies by Eric Wiegardt

poppies by Eric Wiegardt

This inspired me to plant some more poppy seeds in the garden:  California “poppies” mostly:  Coppery Pot, Dusky Rose, Tequila Sunrise, Buttercream….and some Shirley poppies ‘Angel’s Choir ‘ and ‘Falling in Love’.  There were only a few seeds left of the latter two, so my hopes for them are not high.

Just as we were about to leave, we learned that Eric’s brother, a landscaper, is going to move here and will be taking over the garden sometime this summer.  You might think I would be sad, but I’m afraid my reaction was “YES!”, almost with a jig and a fist pump.    I had to explain:  We are overbooked, and yet it is so hard to quit jobs because I feel attached to every garden.  I did manage to quit three last year, with great difficulty, only by telling myself that in ten years, I’ll be almost 70, and surely by then will not be gardening full time, so since the jobs won’t be mine in ten years, I might as well quit them now.  But even with dropping those three last year, we still don’t have time to keep up, especially not if we want to spend any time in our own garden (me), or boating (Allan).  In fact, as I was preparing ground for poppy seeds today, I had been worrying over the fact that we have not had time to even start weeding the Long Beach beach approach garden.  Thus, my glee at knowing we’ll soon be down one job.

The new gardener will inherit the badaster challenge by the front entry!

The new gardener will inherit the badaster challenge by the front entry!

While in the past, I’ve been laid off to hire cheaper labour, and then usually hired back after two years of people pulling the wrong plants, this time I KNOW the garden will be in good hands, because the new gardener has the amazing pedigree of having worked for the very famous Plant Delights Nursery…   Now we just have to keep the garden going till he completes his move to the Peninsula.  (Another great thing:  if he is starting a gardening biz, we’ll have someone else to whom to refer extra jobs.  We’ve been sending them to Ed Strange and he’s in the same time pickle as we are!)

Can I point out the coincidence that the song I am obsessed with right now (Luckiest Man Alive) is set in Asheville, North Carolina, and Plant Delights is in Raleigh, North Carolina?  How cosmic is that?

North Carolina

North Carolina

The only thing I would not have done today if I had found out about the job change ten minutes sooner was I’d have saved for myself all the seeds in this packet that friend J9 brought back from Scotland:

Oh well, what a nice farewell present to the garden!

Oh well, what a nice advance-farewell present to the Wiegardt garden!

By the way, all the poppies should have been planted sooner; that’s the problem with being short on time.

After Wiegardt’s, we went north to check on Marilyn’s garden.  I felt we would only have time to deadhead her narcissi.  Of course, we found weeds to pull as well and we really need several hours to spend there.

It's hard to believe that by midsummer, the garage to the right will be almost hidden.

It’s hard to believe that by midsummer, the neighbours’ garage to the right will be almost hidden.

in Marilyn's garden

in Marilyn’s garden

and another

and another

We ended the workday deadheading and weeding at Andersen’s RV Park.

the road box after deadheading

the road box after deadheading

Andersen's tulips

Andersen’s tulips

and more

and more

We need a full day here to weed the west side garden.  At least we got most of the couch grass out of the garden by the clam cleaning room.

by the clam cleaning shed and restroom buildings

by the clam cleaning room and restroom building

We stopped when the angle of the sun got so low that we could not see well what plants we were pulling.

looking north from the clam cleaning shed toward Payson Hall clubhouse

looking north from the clam cleaning room toward Payson Hall clubhouse

Andersen's:  in the picket fence garden

Andersen’s: in the picket fence garden

and more

and more

and another

and another

I forgot to whinge in  today’s entry about the hardn and cold north wind that blew all day long.  It was most annoying at every job except for Marilyn’s, so I was ever so glad to be home and looking out the south window at Allan’s mowing job from yesterday evening.

home

When I took another photo to the southeast, I saw, on the round table, a potted plant blown over and had absolutely no desire to go back out in the wind to right it.  Tomorrow is another day.

southeast

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

new growth on Pieris at Bank of the Pacific

new growth on Pieris at Bank of the Pacific

After a stop at The Bank of the Pacific (and some admiration of their patch of Pieris) and at Olde Towne Café to switch compost buckets, we headed on up the Peninsula to get a yard of Soil Energy for Nellie’s Ilwaco garden.

Near the bank, someone had placed a ball as a fence finial.

Near the bank, someone had placed a ball as a fence finial.

In order to make the trip be more productive, we worked at Klipsan Beach Cottages first. We usually try to include a north end job when picking up Soil Energy so that the recipient does not have to pay for our time on the whole trip there and back.

fenced garden at Klipsan Beach Cottages

fenced garden at Klipsan Beach Cottages

Denny, manager and one of the owners at KBC, has been having endless trouble with the lady fountain leaking. Allan helped him dismantle it and replace it with new one. Meanwhile, I weeded out a large amount of dead aster and did some further pruning of damaged tips on hydrangeas and roses. This made me think that the 250 or so hydrangeas at the bayside hydrangea job probably need tip pruning also, after the winter’s hard frosts. The thought did not make me at all inclined do go do so (for lack of time), but I hoped maybe someone else would.

new fountain....Only a few narcissi were casualties.

new fountain….Only a few narcissi were casualties.

The lady fountain is now by the driveway and will become a planter.

The lady fountain is now by the driveway and will become a planter.

Mary of KBC asked what she could do about that electrical box below the deck lattice; I suggested painting it the same grey as the wall. Genius (and simple).

KBC: viridflora tulips

KBC: viridflora tulips

sunny day tulip

sunny day tulip

more tulips

more tulips

These tulips have returned for at least five years.

These tulips have returned for at least five years.

I think the Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' is finally going to do something this year.

I think the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ is finally going to do something this year.

sword ferns unfurling

sword ferns unfurling

sword fern and deer fern

sword fern and deer fern

I love the slow reward for all the fern pruning we did earlier this year.

The A Frame garden and the wooded garden surrounded it are showing the reward for the planting of hundreds of narcissi last fall.

A frame garden

A frame garden

narcissi

pink cupped narcissus

pink cupped narcissus

bright orange cup

bright orange cup

Almost all of the narcissi are from the Van Engelen catalog. I deadheaded the ones that were done, and only got one large zombie bride bouquet of dead flowers, as most of them are at their peak of beauty or just coming on.

entry road woods

entry road woods with cottages in background

A Frame woods

A Frame woods

After two PM, we went over to Sandridge Road and Peninsula Landscape Supply and got our yard of Soil Energy mulch.

At Peninsula Landscape Supply

At Peninsula Landscape Supply

One of the former workers for Long Beach, now retired, was there to get a yard of mulch for his garden. We chatted a bit about the job, retirement, and our dilemma that we could afford to cut back on work but can’t bear to let go of any of our beloved gardens (and clients). I overheard him say to Allan, in a kind way, “She’s going to wear herself out.” It feels like a possibility some days.

As we were leaving for Ilwaco, I checked my email on my phone. If any of you were as moved by Bill Dale’s song, “Happiest Man Alive”, about which I wrote on Saturday, you may like to know that I wrote him a fan letter and entered an email correspondence in which I learned that the man in the song is, indeed, Bill’s father. Bill wrote,

“Yes, as you suspected, the song is about my own father with some poetic license thrown in. He never worked for the railroad but was the parts manager at a Pontiac/Cadillac in Asheville for almost fifty years. He died in 1999 but not before hearing “Luckiest Man Alive”. I think he was quietly proud. The song has been kicking about for a while now, and about once a year I hear from a bluegrass band who wants permission to put it on a cd. A North Carolina friend told me last Memorial Weekend he had heard on a radio program playing songs on the theme of vets.” I was all choked up and almost weeping all the way south. (I added that, and a better transcript of the lyrics, and a bit more from Bill Dale to my original blog post.)

I had tried to express why the song affects me so much. I am still trying to figure that out.

from an email to Bill Dale: I know one factor is the verse where you wrote “he did a lot of overtime” (and graveyard shift) and then says he’s lucky. I love that.

I also love the way you subtly make clear what a great dad he is. The fact that his son, returning from Vietnam, holds a sign with his dad’s saying gets that across perfectly.

Maybe it gets to me because I wish I had a dad like that. Or because he values happiness without riches. Or because I wish my friends who got PTSD from Vietnam had been so happy. Or because I believe a study that says we are all born with a certain level of happiness that we return to no matter what and some of us just have a higher level of being able to appreciate life. Anyway, I keep thinking about the song while I am working.

Yesterday we gardened for a man in his late 80s, and I thought he’d be the right age for the protagonist of that song.

That is one thing that gets to me: that WWII generation is almost gone.

Who knew a song could be so thought provoking?

You can listen to the song here.

But I digress (again) from gardening.

I got all weepy and just managed to get unweepy enough to make a dignified stop at The Basket Case Greenhouse to get some violas for the Anchorage Cottages windowboxes (to be planted tomorrow).

in the annuals house

in the annuals house

Then, back to Ilwaco and Nellie’s garden. I did some last minute detailed weeding while Allan scooped the mulch into buckets and the wheelbarrow and then we fluffed up the whole garden.

mulched

main garden mulched

with a bit left over for the west side of the house

with a bit left over for the west side of the house

some of Nellie's tulips

some of Nellie’s tulips

A chilly wind had come up. I found just enough energy to get us down to the port to add five santolinas to the Howerton Street gardens by the port office, to replace five that died by too-early clipping. The little garden on the west side of the office had some narcissi deadheads and some bright tulips.

port office garden

port office garden

Some had scattered birdseed for the crows. I think it was Don Nisbett as it was outside his gallery.

happy crows at the marina

happy crows at the marina

Back at home, I was almost out of steam. I managed to cut back the old, dead growth from some scented geraniums in the greenhouse. Seems like only one survived. I know where I can get more: The Basket Case.

in the garden:  I'd forgotten this bergenia would colour up so nicely

in the garden: I’d forgotten this bergenia would colour up so nicely

I disturbed a Pacific Tree Frog

I disturbed a Pacific Tree Frog

Allan found much more energy than I did, or perhaps had more determination. He mowed the entire lawn.

before...and it will look great for an "after" tomorrow

before…and it will look great for an “after” tomorrow

on my way back indoors: the old rhodo in Allan's garden

on my way back indoors: the old rhodo in Allan’s garden

and from my window...just before I plop down into my desk chair...

and from my window…just before I plop down into my desk chair…

My rhubarb plant, one of the few plants original to this yard (it was in a whiskey barrel) has put on massive growth in the past two weeks. Does anyone want to make a rhubarb pie?

We closed our day considerably later with a lovely tasty piece of fish from our neighbour, Jeff, two doors down.

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Friday, 4 April 2014

While I was listening for rain, trying to figure out the weather but too sleepy to look out the window, I got a cat weather report: Mary-cat jumped into bed with wet fur, so I could sleep a little longer. Meanwhile, Allan took a few photos.

Frosty, from Allan's study window.

Frosty, from Allan’s study window.

Allan tapped on the window.  Frosty has his BirdsBeSafe collar on.

Allan tapped on the window. Frosty has his BirdsBeSafe collar on.

The first flower on the old rhodendron by Allan's shop

The first flower on the old rhodendron by Allan’s shop

And then the sun was out.

looking into our back garden as I loaded up some plants...

looking into our back garden as I loaded up some plants…

the good ship 'Ann Lovejoy'

the good ship ‘Ann Lovejoy’

I’ve been thinning out of the middle garden bed because Geranium ‘Rozanne’ takes up much more room than I thought she would. The first thing I noticed when I looked south was a haze of green: the salmonberries have suddenly leafed out and our wintertime port view is gone, and privacy from the parking lots is in place for the summer.

middle garden

middle garden bed

We went a few blocks down Lake Street to start work at Mayor Mike’s garden. It is strongly white and blue this month.

with pesky blue scilla and lovely pulmonaria

with pesky blue scilla and lovely pulmonaria

street corner of Mike's garden

street corner of Mike’s garden

When we took on this job in early spring of 2013, I realized the garden had no narcissi whatsoever. Last fall, we planted several different white ones, and some muscari, and some white lilies for later on.

Kitty corner across the street is Cheri’s garden of hot colours and two boxer dogs. She and Charlie have come up with an excellent raised bed design in which I assume they are going to grow salad greens and such above the heads of Porsche and Beamer, the dogs.

brilliant!

brilliant!

By the time we got to Cheri’s, rain had been falling on us for awhile. We had much to do today in public gardens today and so we only concentrated on the front garden bed.

I removed the dead Erysimum and Lavender in this bed.  Put in a small new Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve.'

I removed the dead Erysimum and Lavender in this bed. Put in a small new Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve.’

before...a twinberry had seeded into the front bed

before…a twinberry had seeded into the front bed

After Allan tackled it, it is gone.

After Allan tackled it, it is gone.

Feeling fairly miserable with the rain, we took a break at Olde Towne Café. While we were there, Heather of NIVA green (our favorite shop) brought a gift to Luanne from Jenna (Queen La De Da). It was wrapped in the charming NIVA style. (New-Inspired-Vintage-Artful and green.)

Luanne's present from Jenna

Luanne’s present from Jenna

birch trunk shower curtains!  Now I must have some as well as soon as Heather gets more!  So lovely!

birch trunk shower curtains! Now I must have some as well as soon as Heather gets more! So lovely!

olde book decor at Olde Towne Coffee Café

olde book decor at Olde Towne Coffee Café

After our visit with Luanne and Heather, and just as the rain stopped (for awhile), a crowd of lunchers arrived, making it easier to tear ourselves away as Luanne had to get back to work also.

We had a mission in Long Beach: to deadhead narcissi throughout the town.

This planter has tulips mostly just on one side, as the deer stroll down the east-west street next to it and eat the ones on the curb side! They don’t stroll the north-south street (Pacific), so only the tulips next to certain quiet intersections get chomped.

tulips

Long Beach: tulip buds full of promise

Long Beach: tulip buds full of promise

tulip bud, primroses, muscari

tulip bud, primroses, muscari

frilly parrot tulip buds

frilly parrot tulip buds

tulips

Tulip ‘New Design’ (with white edged leaves)

After weeding and deadheading the south two blocks downtown, we dumped our buckets of debris in the city works yard. The rain continued, but the Dark Sky app on my phone gave me some hope:

darksky

and...light rain in the city works yard

and…light rain in the city works yard

Driving on to Andersen’s RV Park gave us time to wait out part of the 30 minutes predicted by Dark Sky. Rain or not, I knew that the road box would need deadheading and I could not bear to leave it messy over the weekend.

andersen's

Andersen's RV Park

Andersen’s RV Park (or, in the UK, Caravan Park)

Below, we have the big west side garden, the long boxes along the clubhouse, the picket fence garden to the east of the house, the garden on south side of the garden shed (upper right), and the rugosa rose border along the street.

our various gardens at Andersen's

our various gardens at Andersen’s

the road box before

the road box before

Hallelujah: The nasturtiums reseeded!

Hallelujah: The nasturtiums reseeded!

after

after

The rain did stop, and Dark Sky told us, quite accurately, that we had 40 minutes before its return.

Narcissi by Payson Hall (the clubhouse)

Narcissi by Payson Hall (the clubhouse)

Payson Hall planters

Payson Hall planters

Last year, Lorna did not think the narcissi in front of Payson were bright enough, so we moved the pale ones that were there, and replaced them last fall with ones that sounded very bright to me. However, looks like we have troubles, as the cup is the bright part and so they probably still won’t be bright enough! Next year, ALL YELLOW here to make Lorna happy!

These are probably bright enough!

These are probably bright enough!

Meanwhile, the west garden has the big bag of King Alfreds that Lorna ordered.

Meanwhile, the west garden has the big bag of King Alfreds that Lorna ordered.

looking west by one of six whiskey barrels

looking west by one of six whiskey barrels

The west garden has two especially annoying weeds, the BadAster (blue running aster) and couch grass; the photo shows one of the areas where that darn grass came back after last month’s weeding.

Argh.  Next time...

Argh. Next time…

Today, we had no time to address the entire west garden weed problem. That would take a whole day, and we will give it a whole day soon. Today, we had to check on the picket fence garden….

tulip buds by the office

tulip buds by the office

and by the picket fence

and by the picket fence

picket fence garden....no sweet peas up yet.

picket fence garden….no sweet peas up yet.

As one drives up, one gets a fresh impression of spring by all the narcissi along the picket fence. I found it impossible to capture in a photograph.

picket garden; you can see the overhang of one of the staff fifth-wheels.

picket garden; you can see the overhang of one of the staff fifth-wheels.

picket fence and office

picket fence and office

narcissi

Nature put a ring on it.

inside the fenced garden

We weeded and then planted two Phygelius in the garden shed garden: ‘Winchester Fanfare’ and ‘Lemon Spritzer’. The bed needs a good edge put on the front but that will have to wait.

garden shed garden

garden shed garden

On our way to our next destination, we ambled our van down sweet, narrow N Alley that runs parallel to the highway for a few blocks just south of Andersen’s.

N Alley, just west of Pacific Highway

N Alley, just west of Pacific Highway

Several charming houses and gardens along the one lane road need to be checked on now and again.

Kudos to this terraced garden.

Kudos to this terraced garden.

and next to it, one of the three? remaining train cars of the Clamshell Railway, converted to a rustic cabin.

and next to it, one of the three? remaining train cars of the Clamshell Railway, converted to a rustic cabin. How I long to get in there. I should have looked when it was for sale!

a bit further south, a bowling ball display

a bit further south, a bowling ball display

and then a Berberis darwinii and a contorted filbert (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick)

and then a Berberis darwinii and a contorted filbert (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick)

Almost at the south end of N Alley is one of the gardens that was on last year’s Music in the Gardens tour, now with a new owner. I suppose I should have/could have looked over the fence, but I I felt that would be too conspicuous of us.

After our brief N Alley excursion, we stopped at The Anchorage Cottages for a brief deadheading and weeding session.

At The Anchorage: small cupped narcissi are my favourites.

At The Anchorage: small cupped poeticus narcissi are my favourites.

trilllums fading to pink

trilllums fading to pink

brick planter in the office courtyard

brick planter in the office courtyard (no sweet pea sprouts as yet)

Tulip 'Gavota' in its third year

Tulip ‘Gavota’ in its third year

a pot of fresh new tulips

a pot of fresh new tulips with perfect foliage (unusual after so much rain)

more spectacularly frilly parrot tulip buds

more spectacularly frilly parrot tulip buds

Finally, we returned to Long Beach. On the way north, I had seen two dead narcissi flowers RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE MERRY GO ROUND! They could not be left to shock tourists all weekend long.

sodden and dead!

sodden and dead!

To make the trip worthwhile, we did some more deadheading along that block.

one of the tree gardens and a view of the Hungry Harbor Grille

one of the tree gardens and a view of the Hungry Harbor Grille

With work over, we had a quick visit with Linda at The Wooden Horse (another favourite gift shop of ours).

in The Wooden Horse

in The Wooden Horse

a new collection of frogs

a new collection of frogs

I know someone who should have this.

I know someone who should have this.

And Allan saw this sign, perfect for a subject I think of often.

happy

Speaking of happiness, there is more rain predicted and if tomorrow should be rainy, we could take the day off instead of working in it.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

No, not that kind of high.

I was expecting rain all weekend and was so looking forward to reading. At 6 AM Saturday morning, thunder and a startlingly torrential downpour promised a great day. When I awoke again midmorning on Saturday, the weather still looked ideal.

south window view

south window view

north window view...bliss

north window view…bliss

indoor flowers

indoor flowers

begonia flower

begonia flower

Yes, it looked like I could have one ideal day of rain and not even leave the house. I just craved ONE more day like that before buckling down to work for the next eight months. And yet, before I had even finished my coffee, out came the sun. I would have to weed instead, preceded by taking some photos of lovely backlit flowers. First, the gardens in front of the house and the workshop:

tulips in the front garden

tulips in the front garden

pulmonaria

Pulmonaria in Allan’s garden

Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant) in Allan's garden

Arisarum proboscideum (mouseplant) in Allan’s garden

Can you see how much the flowers look like little mice diving into the ground?

Can you see how much the flowers look like little mice diving into the ground?

"black" hellebore

“black” hellebore

Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII'

Ribes sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’

That barberry that I got from Cistus Nursery

That barberry that I got from Cistus Nursery

If only I could remember the name.

If only I could remember the name.

Edited to add: Not a barberry! Alison of the Bonney Lassie blog has enlightened me that it is Ribes speciosum. Googling informs me that Ribes speciosum is a gooseberry with small fruits. I will have to watch for then.

Tulips and Dicentra spectabilis

Tulips and Dicentra spectabilis

My so fragrant gift Hebe from Charlene

My so fragrant gift Daphne from Charlene

more tulips in front garden

more tulips in front garden

tulips

Then, into the back garden:

the center bed with Geranium 'Rozanne'

the center bed with Geranium ‘Rozanne’

sweet peas in containers protected from sitting cats

sweet peas in containers protected from sitting cats

the garden boat...with less sunshine!

the garden boat…with less sunshine!

south end of garden under a darkening sky!

south end of garden under a darkening sky

Oh joy, the sun had gone, the wind had kicked up, and I could go back in and read!

In my comfy chair, all ready to read High and Dry at last!

In my comfy chair, all ready to read High and Dry at last!

I had recently acquired this out of print book about gardening in Colorado. It’s by the author of one of my two favourite blogs, The Miserable Gardener. (The other is, of course, the Tootlepedal blog.) I had been waiting for over a week for a rainy day at home to read High and Dry from cover to cover. I delved with a feeling of great satisfaction into the introduction by Panayoti Kelaidis.

introduction

from the introduction

As he suggests, I was sure I would get some new ideas for planting the summer dry gardens along the Howerton Way at the Port of Ilwaco (a block south of our house). However, the biggest reason I had sought out the book was because Robert Nold’s sense of humour has often made me chortle as I read his blog.

Smokey decided that he simply must join me as I read.

slowing me down

slowing me down

After we had negotiated that he could not sit right on the book, I began the first chapter and was most pleased to read that my expectation of pleasant reading were sure to be fulfilled:

nold

dream

I was lost in pure delight….And then….I saw a horrible sight from the corner of my left eye. Sunshine outside the windows.

Noooooo!!!!

Noooooo!!!!

Thoroughly disheartened, I had to put the book down and go outside.

Three dutiful hours and several bushel baskets of weeds later, the cold south wind finally picked up and at three thirty I permitted myself to return to the house and the book day that I had planned. I’ll share with you some of my very favourite parts, and urge you to find the book for yourself. The paperback cost me $30; I wish I had known that in it, the illustrations and photos by Cindy Nold-Nelson are black and white. Bob Nold tells me that they are in colour in the hardcover version, which seems more difficult to find (and of course more expensive). She was such a good photographer and illustrator that even in black and white, the art is interesting and informative.

illo

would be more magnificent in colour

would be more magnificent in colour

front and back cover in colour

front and back cover in colour

Robert Nold’s writing was my main reason for seeking out the book, though, so I was well satisfied. Here, he says what I also feel about designing gardens.

on designing gardens

on designing gardens

 

Just the other day at the Boreas Inn, a friend of the owner asked me if I could help her design her front garden and I had to say no. I am out of ideas for gardens other than my own, and I think of ideas for my own garden almost only while I am actively working in it. As Nold says above, “I start digging and see what happens.”

This made me chortle.

This made me chortle.

I was pleased to read his thoughts about trees:

trees

I wanted only a very few favourite trees in my new garden and then succumbed to two apples (Cox’s Orange Pippen and Pink Lady) and one pear tree (in memory of my grandma’s garden, and now I may need a second pear for pollenation) and am already worried that I will lose too much light.

a book recommendation

a book recommendation

Now I must get the shade book by George Schenk, an author whose book Gardening on Pavement, Tables and Hard Surfaces gave me all sorts of good ideas.

I got two spectacularly exciting tips from High and Dry, both of which made me exclaim “Why didn’t I think of that??!” First, Nold writes about raised beds, and how they always sink:

raised beds

Brilliant!! If only I had thought to make a “spine” (as he recently described the concept in his blog) of rubble and junk under raised beds I’ve created.

I was even more excited about a new to me method of planting.

remove the soilless mix!!!

remove the soilless mix!!!

planting

Of course! We always “burble” plants in a bucket of water before planting but have always done so with the pot on. What an amazing idea to do it with the pot already removed. I tried it the very next day, in fact, and the roots sighed with relief. So many plants that we’ve planted end up looking like this after awhile:

a hebe in my garden with its "shoulders" showing above the ground

a hebe in my garden with its “shoulders” showing above the ground

I think I finally can stop this from happening, thanks to High and Dry.

The other suggestion that thrilled me was in a passage about how the latest most favoured method of planting pots is to not fill the bottoms with crocking or gravel. His simple suggestion to place a paper towel over the drainage hole flabbergasted me with its elegant simplicity.

perfection!

perfection!

(I don’t paint the wounds on pruned tree branches, though.)

His passage on botanical names was useful, succinct, and informative:

botanical

And I thought, What?? He does not recommend Agastaches, one of my favourite plants? Which brings us to the plant chapters. (Turns out Agastaches need more water than provided in his almost completely unsupplemented gardens.)

I have to admit I lightly skimmed the chapters on Cacti and Agaves and Yuccas as they would just look silly in my lush gardens. Reading about all the other plants rewarded me with the sort of drollery that is my favourite sort of humour.

helianthus

rhamnus

salvia

I don’t know about you, but the dry humour in the descriptions above made me almost want to laugh out loud.

When I read a comment on Nold’s blog that someone had read High and Dry because he could not resist a gardening book with the word “despair” in the index, I knew I simply had to own it.

despair

And here is the paragraph to which “despair” refers:

the definition of despair

the definition of despair

Even here in the Pacific Northwest, we can learn from the plant descriptions in High and Dry what plants might work well on our hell strips (parking strip garden beds). I hope I’ve inspired you to seek out this book. I can’t imagine why such a helpful resource has gone out of print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

I planned that this would be the last big bulb planting day for clients. We started with Casa Pacifica, just east of Wallicut Farm and actually off of the Long Beach Peninsula, with a batch of 186 bulbs.

I was wishing that the cold weather had taken down the annuals in the twelve whisky barrels. No joy there, meaning that I can’t put them to bed for the winter. They will have to put themselves to bed because this is the last visit here till after staycation.

TOO much Helichrysum

TOO much Helichrysum by the guest house/garage

I started tossing out bags of bulbs and Allan started planting in the cliff-like hill across from the garage/shop/guesthouse. He ran across some narcissi from previous years while planting, as often happens in “our” gardens.

hillside

hillside

I staged clumps of narcissi all up and down the long entry drive.

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

Much of the ground is heavy clay, requiring about 20 whacks with the red mattock (Thanks, Kathleen, for the proper word for the tool!) that we got at Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, Oregon.

my new favourite tool for hard ground

my new favourite tool for hard ground

in heavy clay at China Beach

narcissi in heavy clay at China Beach

These seem like daunting conditions for narcissi to grow in. I know from experience that they can come back for years in conditions like these. The ground at one of my former jobs, China Beach Retreat, was equally clay-like. I hacked holes into the lawn with a pick and planted Narcissi that returned year after year. They may have dwindled since I quit the job in 2009, but the Narcissi in even heavier clay up on Discovery Heights continued to come back for ten years (and may still do so; that’s one of three jobs we let go of this year due to being overbooked).

April, Discovery Heights

April, Discovery Heights, faithfully returning white Narcissi mix in heavy clay

When we finished planting along the road (Narcissi ‘Pheasant’s Eye’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Actaea’, Long Trumpet Mix, ‘Avalanche’, ‘Sweet Love’, and Spring Loaded Mix), we drove up to plant around the house. Leanne put my friend Dusty in the garage, saying that he would be a pest.

Leanne and Dusty

Leanne and Dusty

She’s right, as he thinks the larger Narcissus bulbs are some sort of ball to play with. The shy dogs, Spook and Darcy, went into the garage, too, because they follow Leanne everywhere.

Spook

Spook contemplates how to get past me to join Leanne and Dusty

Right around the deck of the house, I planted some small narcissi: ‘Sun Disc’ and ‘Peeping Tom’. Over on the lawn island, I planted ‘Rapture’, ‘Mt Hood’, and ‘Stainless’. Up atop the stone wall of the curved back garden, we both planted the showy and perhaps gaudy Narcissi that I chose this year: ‘Tropical Sunset’, ‘Altruist’, ‘High Society’ ‘Fragrant Rose’, ‘Flower Record’ and ‘Fortissimo’. This garden (and any of “my” gardens) have never seen the like. We also added some Alliums, a Triumph tulips mix and some other bright tulips ‘(Apricot Parrot’, ‘Strong Gold’, ‘Formosa’); Leanne likes yellow.

Most of our jobs cannot have tulips unless the gardens are fenced. Even in Long Beach town, deer wander through and eat some of the tulips in the street planters. Here at Dan and Leanne’s “Casa Pacifica’, the three dogs keep all the deer away.

I kind of don’t like BIG tulips in the ground. I am sure they are wonderful at a bulb farm or en masse in Holland, but in groups around a landscape they bother me more and more. So most of the tulips went into a big pot on the porch (‘Texas Gold’ and ‘Golden Artist’) and 45 parrot tulips in the five whiskey barrels and another big pot along the upper driveway.

After that, we left with no time to socialize with Dan and Leanne and returned to The Depot Restaurant, site of yesterday’s mulching, to add 15 parrot tulips. Hmm, I won’t mind them in the ground in this small bed. Okay, if a garden bed is small, I find tulips in the ground to be just dandy.

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Species tulips are always good in the ground; they look more appropriate to me. This is the first year I have not ordered assorted small and early blooming tulips. I just need the big, late blooming, showy ones for Long Beach and that uses up my tulip budget. When the deer started eating my kaufmanniana and Greiggi tulips out on the beach approach gardens, I lost out on my main place to plant them. I miss getting them; maybe next year, I will add more to the Long Beach planters. Yes, definitely.

After planting at the Depot Restaurant, we went to the Fifth Street park in Long Beach and planted along the newly cleared strip by the soon to be squirting clam. Two of the city crew guys came by and told us that the clam, which used to squirt on the hour years ago, may be functional again by the end of the year. This will make my old friend Mary very happy.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

(I’ve shared her letter before, but I never tire of it.)

Even better, where the white circle is in the photos below, a coin operated device will make it possible for folks to put in a quarter and make the clam squirt, for folks who want a photo opportunity and don’t want to wait till the top of the hour. Genius!

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The Long Beach crew is so beloved that they have their own fan club.

two of the crew

two of the crew

Finally, we went up to Golden Sands Assisted Living to plant 80 tulips (40 Triumph, 40 Parrot mix) and some Narcissi in the newly mulched four quadrants of the courtyard. No deer can get in here because it is completely enclosed by the building. We did some cutting back of perennials and, like Casa Pacifica, we are now done with this job till after staycation.

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room (and two resident’s rooms)

NE quadrant by my mom's old room, dining room, and kitchen

NE quadrant by my mom’s old room, dining room, and kitchen

SW quadrant

SW quadrant

SE quadrant

SE quadrant

By the time we finished, the sun was minutes from setting. Blissfully, cloud cover had kept the sun from glaring on us all day long and made for much better working conditions, visually, than during the previous week.

My latest thought at Golden Sands is that these two trees have to go.

looking west from the dining room doors

looking south from the dining room doors

In a garden made for younger people, a sense of mystery is important. One might well want the two trees there to entice a stroll of discovery to see what is beyond them. But here, many of the residents are frail, and I think they are more likely to be enticed out into the under-utilized courtyard if they can see what is beyond. I would like the trees cut to the ground and two large pots …or rocks!… put there instead. (There is too much wiring in the ground for the fountain, I’d think, to allow the trees to be dug up.)

looking north from the south end of the courtyard at the trees

looking north from the south end of the courtyard at the trees

I talked to Pam, the activities director, about this and she agreed, and is going to run it by the director. I know the maintenance man agrees with me completely as he and I have discussed it before.

At home, the list of last visits of each garden has decreased by two with Golden Sands and Casa Pacifica (Sass) being officially put to bed.

done

Some of the jobs that are left have very little to do, and others, like Long Beach and Jo, will take at least a day each.

More significantly, the bulbs for jobs are ALL PLANTED…almost. I have a few crocuses and lilies coming on December 2 that will go in at Long Beach and the Depot. It is almost the end of Bulb Time.

Tomorrow we hope to mulch at Boreas Inn and be able to add that to gardens put to bed for the winter. It depends on the weather and being able to connect with Raymond at the Planter Box to get our cow fiber loaded.

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We are coming to the end of annuals planting hell.  The dregs of it will drag  into next week with the planting of a few six packs of cosmos here and there but today we finished a couple of jobs that can be crossed off the annuals list now.

First: two six packs of Cosmos, one of painted sage, and a Gaura ‘So White’ went into our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office.

post office

cosmos installed

cosmos installed

Ilwaco

Two partial buckets of weeds came out.  Reminder:  do not plant the charming Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’.  The bits that came in with plants from my mom’s garden, even though I had tried to eliminate every root, had marched halfway back into the post office garden.

beware

beware; nurseries still sell this bad guy

Next we planted Cosmos, painted sage, a Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’, Phygelius ‘Snow White’ and a new Echinacea (coneflower) called ‘Green Jewel’ in Larry and Robert’s garden.  Green Jewel is supposed to keep its colour without fading the way Green Envy does.

We took the Heucheras and primroses out of the garden boat and planted them under the triangle of trees and put Cosmos ‘Cutesy’ and ‘Happy Ring’ into the boat for summer, along with one Salvia patens.

the boat garden

the boat garden

all cosmosed up

all cosmosed up

front porch

front porch

The tulip viridis is STILL in bloom.   I love the green tulips more than any others and yet this is the first year I have realized that they are also the latest to bloom.

Tulip Chinatown

Tulip Chinatown and Green Wave

watering aprés planting

watering aprés planting

I’m liking the new gold tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’).

Here’s how Larry and Robert’s garden relates  to that of our good friends Tom and Judy:

Lake Street sidewalk

Lake Street sidewalk

looking east:  Hornbuckle garden is across Pearl Avenue.

looking east: Hornbuckle garden is across Pearl Avenue.

The Hornbuckles were home and showed me the new improved water feature in their courtyard.  I snuck back to get a photo.  With a wider basin and more rocks around it, bathing birds won’t splash all the water out.

a better bubbler

a better bubbler

Tom and Judy also redid their “back forty” to replace some junipers (I think? nice ones, not hideous “tams”) that passing dogs had sprinkled on.  Lavenders have taken their place.

the back forty

the back forty

Next, we replanted the Ilwaco planter that we had emptied of soil due to bad drainage.  I had emailed city hall to remind them to have a hole drilled in the base.  Turns out the hole HAD been drilled.  It was just so small we did not see it.  I forgot to photograph it from inside before Allan put the soil in, so I stuck my camera under the edge of the planter.  The hole is on the side and so small that Allan could not put his little finger in it.  Hmmm.

I couldn't see where I was aiming the camera under there.

I couldn’t see where I was aiming the camera under there.

newly planted and hoping for adequate drainage

newly planted and hoping for adequate drainage

It now has an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’center, three painted sage, three Diascia, a Calibrachoa, two Sanvitalia and a trailing rosemary.

Next we went to Nancy’s home in Long Beach to deliver some Cosmos and painted sage to the new flower border we helped install last October.  She organizes the Music in the Gardens tour and we think next year her garden will be ready to be on it.

I am very impressed with her vegetable garden:

Nancy's potager

Nancy’s potager

potager

potager

potager

lilac in bloom

lilac in bloom

looking from the veg garden to the new flower border

looking from the veg garden to the new flower border

Viridiflora tulips still hanging on

Viridiflora tulips still hanging on

Design hint I learned from Ann Lovejoy:  always figure out the flow of your garden.  It was clear a path would be needed to the neighbour’s garden so we left two passages unplanted, one for garden access and one for neighbourliness.

path toward the neighbour

flower garden coming on

flower garden coming on

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I had been so smitten with Nancy’s veg patch that I forgot to take a long photo of the whole flower border.

Next we went through downtown heading for Jo’s.  As I do every time we drive through town, I eyeballed the planters all the way looking for any problems.   I would be wealthy if paid for the amount of time I spend thinking about work!  The weather did this:

passing through Long Beach

passing through Long Beach

But not for long.  It was fairly pleasant working at Jo’s.  I did the planting while Allan weeded.  In went 18 godetias, 6 or more six packs of snapdragons, a few perennials.  It is a beautiful environment in which to work.

the best use of annual geraniums ever

the best use of annual geraniums ever

While planting in the newly revamped colourful entry area, I had a sudden brainstorm.  I was so excited I forgot to take a before photo, so dredged up this one from earlier this year:

before

before

I suddenly realized that one of the two red flowering azaleas had to go.  We had thought of this earlier but had decided to wait.  Now I was convinced.  Jo and Bob returned from an outing just then and agreed, and by then I already had my loppers and saw and just cut it to the ground.  A big fern came out as well.  It made a wonderful improvement as the focus is now on the new perennials and annuals.  The root mass can come out later or perhaps be kept as a very low shrub.  (I would definitely get rid of the oxalis too; it is very invasive.)

enormously better

enormously better (The blue pot is where the azalea was.)

When we were done…Well, not quite done, as we have more weeding to do that must wait till next week….I walked through and took some photos.

entryway

entryway, container by Basket Case Greenhouse

guest house windowbox

guest house windowbox

middle courtyard

middle courtyard

middle

to west garden

to west garden

wiggly Coco

wiggly Coco

and some birds for you know who:

feeder

bird

With that, we decided to quit work early (seven!) and have dinner at the Depot Restaurant.  On the way we did stop to bung seven plants into a couple of Long Beach planters, and after our delicious dinner (slightly work-related when we realized we must go back tomorrow to deadhead the last of the Depot tulips!!), we loaded the car at home with all the assorted plants we will need to finish the Long Beach planters tomorrow.

Annuals jobs finished today:  Jo, Ilwaco planters, Larry and Robert garden, Ilwaco post office!

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Not much got done today to progress toward the end of the planting of the annuals.  There are certain obligations that I have placed upon myself, one of which is taking photos every Saturday from May through September of the Port of Ilwaco Saturday Market.  Allan filled in once when I was at the Hardy Plant weekend, so the only day we have both missed since 2010 was last year when our garden was on the Peninsula garden tour.

Today I made it to the market almost at opening time (ten AM, early for me) because I had another place to be at 11.

On the way out our front gate, I noticed this stunning tulip had just come out in my garden.

Texas Gold?

Texas Gold?

Just around the corner, a mown path led enticingly into the neighbourhood’s lost garden.

garden of an empty house

garden of an empty house

At the market, the De Asis produce stand had asparagus.

fresh spears

fresh spears

I try each week to get dog as well as people and products photos. These same two brown Boston Terriers had walked by us in Long Beach yesterday while we worked on the planter outside Home at the Beach.

parade of dogs

parade of dogs

To stick with a gardening theme, here is a bouquet at the Niceland booth:

Niceland

Niceland

Some bright wooden flowers at a booth that sells wooden toys:

flowers

Gnome doors from The Wood Elf:

Wood Elf

Quite a good price on a Wiegela:

Wiegela

Plants from The English Nursery (located in Seaview):

and a bear

stone vases:

stone

Colour coordination with the next door t shirt booth:

colour

One of the regular booths had added a line of bright and clever planter boxes:

planters

Another regular has gnomes:

too big for the gnome doors

too big for the gnome doors

…and decorative globes with sayings on them; I like these very much and should get some for my garden.

love much

Pink Poppy Bakery always has flowers as well as treats:

Pink Poppy calla lilies

Pink Poppy calla lilies

This week I was in time to get a like bundt cake.  It looked like they were soon to sell out; no wonder I did not get one when I ambled in at 2 PM last week.

lime cake

lime cake

I pulled a few small shotweeds out of our new garden by the port office but did not have time for a thorough weeding.

port office garden

port office garden

I need to get some painted sage into there.

Hurrying home, I saw that the California poppies are just starting to bloom in the Howerton Street gardens.

along Howerton

along Howerton

Then we were off to the Peninsula Cash Mob event at the Home at the Beach shop in Long Beach.  As an organizer of the mobs (where shoppers boost a business with small purchases on a prearranged day), I feel the need to be there to take photos.  Yesterday, we had redone the planters in front and they looked fresh and pretty.

in front of Home at the Beach

in front of Home at the Beach

making a purchase

making a purchase

I won’t say what I bought because it is a future gift for Montana Mary, who might read this!

Our friend Kathleen S. joined us.  She just may have found a house to buy in Surfside, thus possibly becoming a step closer to being a full time Peninsulite!   In fact, she would be more of a Peninsulite than we are because technically Ilwaco is not part of the Long Beach Peninsula.

We ate at Benson’s By The Beach Restaurant, as there is almost always a café associated with the cash mob event.  I got a very different view of the Fifth Street Park gardens we often work in.

window seat

Kathleen and Allan at our window seat table

Years ago, Montana Mary herself wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper based on her experience sitting in the park.

letter

window seat

window seat view

our gunnera

our gunnera

We had a great view of tourists taking pictures of each other by the giant frying pan.

frying pan

At one o clock we simply had to roust ourselves out of all this fun and go to work, back to the planting of some annuals at The Anchorage Cottages (from whence Kathleen had just checked out to return to her city home up north).

Anchorage planting

Anchorage planting

That poor Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in the small pot is rather bringing down the tone and will probably have go be ousted in the next round of planting.

tulips still blooming

“Greenland’ tulips still blooming

Tulip 'Green Star' has had a long bloom time.

Tulip ‘Green Star’ has had a long bloom time.

Agyranthemum 'Madeira Deep Pink'

Agyranthemum ‘Madeira Deep Pink’

After the Anchorage, we continued north, gathering up more Cosmos and painted sage at The Planter Box.   I was hoping to get as far as Klipsan Beach Cottages today but it was not to be.

We wanted to make sure the tulips at Golden Sands Assisted Living were deadheaded for Mother’s Day guests and were saddened to find that no one, no one at all, had done any watering there during the dry spell.    I thought we had had that all clear by last fall, that dry weather meant watering simply must begin.  I should have known better.

One of the elderly residents commented to Allan, “The plants need water!”  Our mission there is to create a beautiful garden for people who have had to leave their own gardens behind.  Some of the  plants we had transplanted from Cheri’s garden last time had survived except for the phlox.  It will probably come back but looks terrible:

wilty phlox

wilty phlox (with annoying beach strawberry)

I was, however, quite pleased that our plantings of mostly free and simple plants had held up well.

The cow fiber mulch helped.

The cow fiber mulch helped.

But all three birdbaths were bone dry, and no one even had the key to turn on the second faucet.  Fortunately, we had enough hose for Allan to hose water the whole garden from one spigot.  That left only one of us to weed.  I removed a wheelbarrow load of creeping sorrel and that infuriating wild strawberry.

An attendent walked by and cheerfully told me she had eaten the flowers of all the chives.  I went from being the nice gardener who had provided said chives to the mean (but trying to say it very nicely) gardener who asked that the chives in the ornamental garden be allowed to have pretty purple flowers without being eaten.  I felt bad about the whole thing but I want those flowers in there!

chive flowers all gone

chive flowers all gone

I pointed out that the chives outside the ornamental quadrants were up for grabs but then realized how puny they are compared to the luscious ones that have been fed and manured.

pitiful chives

pitiful chives outside the flower areas

This brings me to the problem of all the areas outside our four quadrants….a mess of weeds among some free daylilies we bunged in there last year.

just horrid!

just horrid!

I’m not sure the work budget even allows for the expenditure of time to get this all cleaned up, even though we charge considerably less here out of memory to my mom, for whom we started the courtyard flower gardens during the year she lived here.

My vision of a river of blue Geranium ‘Rozanne’ down the center of the drainage area was just ridiculous; they will never get enough water to grow well.

a futile plan

a futile plan

I tend to feel pretty discouraged by the lack of watering here.  The maintenance fellow, we are told, will set up the sprinklers on Monday, and we hope they will have better coverage than the cute and twirly but ineffective sprinklers of last year.

We had brought a few annuals to plant but took them away with us; we’ll wait till some rain (we hope!!) gets the soil damp deeper than on the surface (please!) before we inflict this environment on new plant babies.

Can this enclosed, deer-safe and wind-safe and every so promising garden ever become the paradise that I imagine it could be?  I refuse to give up on it.  It is better this year than last year so maybe there is hope that the dream can be achieved.

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