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Posts Tagged ‘volunteer gardens’

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Anyone who read yesterday’s post script knows that today turned out to be a sad day with the loss of our thirteen year old cat, Calvin.

This morning, Calvin seemed fine.  I made an appointment for him to get his asthma shot in the mid afternoon just to prevent him having an attack over the weekend. I felt I was being a good cat mom to get it taken care of today instead of later in the week.

Meanwhile, Allan noted this view from our garden:

crab pots being stacked next door

The work side of the day:

I had been thinking for a few years about imperializing adopting a spot at the corner of the fire house and turning it into a little garden instead of weedy mini-lawn.  Once upon a time, it had been a garden, evidenced by the remains of a Siberian iris.  Various things got in my way: First, the onset of having a bad knee, and then having just too much work to find time, and then the news that someone else was going to adopt it (but that did not come to fruition due to busy life of the other potential volunteer).  Finally, this was the time to bring the idea into being.  Our town, like the towns of Long Beach and Ocean Park, have volunteer fire fighters.  A wee garden bed with an orange and red and yellow theme seemed like a good way to give something back.

11:30 AM

The garden bed is L shaped but we only did the square, not the narrow bed.  It might be where people step if they park where we parked today.  I might decide to dig it up the L and plant something there later on.  It is a troublesome mess of sod and dandelions right now.  (I know, dandelions are so good for bees, but these are string trimmed to the ground.)

First, the half moon edger.


Next, the ho-mi and the double tool. (Allan’s photo)

The mayor, also a volunteer firefighter, stopped by.  We learned from him that the old sprinkler system does not work any longer and is turned off (too many leaks) but that the firefighters do sometimes water the garden areas.

12:30 PM

At this point in the project, all our buckets were full of weeds and sod and so Allan went to dump them while I went home (two blocks away) to dig a few plants for the new garden.

the first gathering of sod and dandelions

Before going inside, I admired a few flowers.

Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’

I forgot to smell that yellow muscari to see if it lives up to its name.

Muscari latifolium ‘Grape Ice’


window box with Tulipa sylvestris

In the house, I found Calvin in a sudden and shocking state of respiratory distress (he had seemed fine just one hour before), and we rushed him to the vet as soon as Allan returned.

While he was taken into the inner sanctum for treatment, we were advised to check back in a couple of hours. We went back to work, because that’s what we do, with the phone close at hand.

An hour later, after a phone call from the vet, we were back to the clinic because Calvin was failing fast, and, as I wrote yesterday, we made the decision to let him go because he was suffering so.  We will have him cremated, and so we just had an empty crate to bring home.

We then went back to work….because that is what we do.  The first thing I did was walk next door from the vet clinic to the Depot Restaurant and deadhead a few narcissi.

Tulip at the Depot

We went home for a short while so that I could dig up some plants for the fire station project….

the empty cat box 😩 (Allan’s photo)

…and then returned to the station to plant them.

4:30 PM


Allan’s photo


Ilwaco fire station and new garden

What I planted, quickly gleaned at home: Miscanthus variegatus, Helianthus ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’, and some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (one place where they will be quite perfect!), Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ (just because I had a clump ready to go, might not leave it here because the color will sort of clash, don’t you think?), lambs ears, Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, an eryngium (plain old blue), some bachelor button seeds, some red annual poppy transplants, some Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, some stuck-in cuttings of santolina that will probably “take”.

The whole time I was thinking if only I had taken Cal to the emergency vet when he was coughing on Saturday–or taken him yesterday even though it seemed he was better–he might still be alive. I felt I had been too focused on work (because that is what I do).

While Allan dumped the second load of weeds, I moved to our other volunteer garden at the post office.  There, we encountered the boatyard manager who was able to assure us that the digging for the boatyard project will likely cross the garden at some point but will not require much more in-garden digging than that.

The post office garden has been looking messy with the annoyance of wild garlic and some low weedy grass and some shot weed.  As I was contemplating the disapproval of tidy gardeners, a postal patron said “Your flowers are so wonderful; I have lots of photos of this garden.”

before

after


Ipheion uniflorum


Bellevalia pycnantha (Muscari paradoxum); the bells are olive green inside.


muscari (Allan’s photo)


a painted rock in the post office planter (Allan’s photos)

At home, I picked a bouquet to take tomorrow morning over to the J’s for a guest who is there.  Here it is in a not very elegant kitchen sink photo.

It had been a sad day, so not much joy was taken at erasing two more projects from the work board.

We are expecting several rainy days. Usually, I’d be relishing the prospect of reading days. But now I think it would be preferable to have the distraction of work. On the other hand, the joy of work is sapped right now because it had removed my focus from where it should have been, on Calvin’s every breath.

I have gotten reassurance from many friends who’ve had similar experiences. We all wish our cats had been able to tell us exactly how they felt. “I’m still feeling a bit under the weather even though I played with my toys and ate my dinner.” “Ok, let’s get you to the vet right away.”

Frosty was a comfort while I wrote yesterday’s postscript about Calvin.

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