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Posts Tagged ‘weeding’

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

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wind warning flag at the port today (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Despite blustery weather, I decided that we should tackle the second parking lot garden in Long Beach.  I just wanted it done.

berms

bottom of photo, the three “berms”

The three “berms” (actually not berms because they are not mounded) get absolutely no supplemental water in summer, so it is impressive how well they came through the drought of 2015.

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before, 11:20 AM

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before (Allan’s photo)

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before (Allan’s photo)

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before

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before

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the south end of the south berm

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Briza maxima (quaking grass)

I decided to leave the patch of quaking grass at the south end.  It is such a pretty thing.  We pulled almost all of the rest of that grass out of the north and south berm because when it reseeds, it looks weedy to passersby. We will leave it in the center berm which doesn’t have much else going on.

Boreas Inn Bill drove by and yelled “You rock!”  He asked if I was tired of hearing that yet.  No, not at all.  It is my favourite compliment, far preferable to honking horns.

The wind gusted up to 30 mph in the afternoon.  It was annoying, but at least it was not the cold north wind.

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Veterans Field flag pavilion shows the wind coming from the south east, much more pleasant than the dreaded north wind.

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2:30 PM: the first load of debris…easy to dump buckets…at city works yard

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before, Allan’s photo

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after (Allan’s photo)

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before (Allan’s photo)

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after (Allan’s photo)

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ladybug love (Allan’s photo)

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4:37, after

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after

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after

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after

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after

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after

 

Ed Strange and his helper drove by with his 18 month old springer spaniel, Jackson, and of course I had to stop for pets.

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Allan’s photo

 

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after

We considered weeding some of the big dandelions out of the extra boring center berm.

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center berm; we often just end up string trimming most of this one.

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center berm with lots of quaking grass

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center berm; still deciding how hard we are going to tackle it.

Because it was not yet 5 o’ clock, we made up our minds that we had time to trim the sickly rhododendron in the 3rd Street Park, especially since the good parking spot, rare to acquire, was available.

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before

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before

I do not know why over half of this rhodo got sick.  I do know that some of the friendly patrons of the bar behind the fence have been asking repeatedly for the rhodo to be cut down to the top of the fence, which I have refused to do because it has very little healthy growth lower down.  Now…half of it died back, very mysteriously.  If I were hanging out in the sitting area between the tavern’s back door and the fence, I would want WANT the privacy afforded by tall shrubs.  I do not understand at all why some patrons want the shrubs to be short, but looks like they may get what they want as we may cut the other, now lopsided, side of the rhodo down once it is done blooming.  It mystifies me always why passersby rejoice at seeing shrubs cut halfway down.  Why not let them grow to their natural height and provide beauty and privacy?

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during

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after; we shortened the one to the right, as well.

This was a big cutting job for Allan’s small rechargeable chainsaw, resulting in one of the batteries melting inside the casing.

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second debris load of the day (Allan’s photo)

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from the good parking spot: rain had arrived.

Just as we were entering the city works yard to dump the large load of debris, a bolt of lightning jolted down from the sky and hit the ground…

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…somewhere between the machine and the tall trees.

That made unloading the trailer a suspenseful procedure.

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after the thunder and lightning, much rain

at home

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down to one berm!  and I was glad the rhodo had made it to work board so that I had the pleasure of erasing it.

Beth, Anchorage Cottages manager, stopped by the berm project today to tell us that she had finished building the new window boxes for the cottages, so we will be collecting and planting them soon.

I had spent much of the day thinking concerned thoughts about a blogger who has gone to hospital after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and arrived home to a message about another garden blogger with aggressive breast cancer.  My thoughts are with both of them even though I only know them through the blogosphere.  Every day that I am able to weed, even in wind and rain, is a precious one.

On Facebook, I saw this darling update from a friend who had brought me some gardening books last week:

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That was cheering indeed.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

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from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

April 13:  Got my drivers license renewed for the second time so it’s been 8 years since I’ve been behind the wheel.  I don’t understand it!  [She learned to drive at age 62 but didn’t like doing it.  My dad did not encourage her to drive.]

1998 (age 73):

April 13:  Gray, cool, and rainy   So much for dedicating all this week to planting.  I had to go to the PO to mail my tax payment, etc.  Went to drug store and QFC.  But the time I got everything out away it was too late to work outside so I cleaned out the top shelf of kitchen pantry.  I moved all the canned fruit into that shelf.  I also found a case of 1993 canned tomatoes—two were spoiled, ugh.  [We found the same phenomenon when we cleaned out her home here in 2009; we think it is a food hoarding phenomenon from the depression area, that she could not resist cases of food items on sale.]

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Saturday 2 May 2015

Today was the opening day of the Ilwaco Saturday Market’s 2015 season.  Even though I was eager to get to the Rhododendron tour, I felt I should go take some photos first.  The 15 year birthday celebration for Time Enough Books also warranted a visit.

 Time Enough Books garden boat with Tulip 'Florette'

Time Enough Books garden boat with Tulip ‘Florette’

boat

birthday cake

birthday cake

I like to see sayings painted on walls.

I like to see sayings painted on walls.

Kathleen had joined us and made a purchase.

Kathleen had joined us and made a purchase.

I also rendezvoused with J9, who had been kind enough to bring us some bottles of the finest $3 plonk from Trader Joe’s.  As I found her to give her money for the wine, Queen La De Da snapped our photo.

J9 and I

J9 and I

Thanks, Jenna (aka Queen La De Da) in blue jacket.

Thanks, Jenna (aka Queen La De Da) in blue jacket.

Outisde Purly Shell, spinning and little dogs

Outisde Purly Shell, spinning and little dogs

Lots of dogs is one of the market draws for me.

Lots of dogs is one of the market draws for me.

I felt so rushed to get to the rhodie tour that I did not buy a Pink Poppy Bakery treat today.

I felt so keen to get to the rhodie tour that I did not buy a Pink Poppy Bakery treat today.

Yet I did get a photo of her for the

Yet I did get a photo of Maddie for the “Flower Bucket Challenge” page on Facebook. She sells fresh flowers from Pink Poppy Farm.

a plant booth

a plant booth

someone sitting by our port office garden

someone sitting by our port office garden

one of our curbside gardens on Howerton Avenue

one of our curbside gardens on Howerton Avenue, looking east

looking west

looking west

Later in the day, the annual children’s parade would pass by here.  For the first time since 2010, I wouldn’t be attending, because we were finally off to the Rhodie Tour.

On the way out of town, I took a preliminary garden photo on Spruce Street.

On the way out of town, I took a preliminary garden photo on Spruce Street.

The rest of the day was spent touring six gardens, as you know from the previous six posts on this blog.  We had hoped to have a campfire with Kathleen afterwards out by our bogsy woods.  A cold wind put the kibosh on that plan, so we got take out burritos from Streetside Taco in Long Beach, and took them to her Midway cottage for a relaxing evening.

Streetside Tacos

Streetside Tacos

choosing our toppings including fresh avocado

choosing our toppings including fresh avocado

and the added pleasure of meeting an 8 week old pug puppy right outside.

and the added pleasure of meeting an 8 week old pug puppy right outside.

Kathleen would be at the beach for an entire vacation week.  We hoped the 20 mph winds would let up for at least one evening so we could have our campfire dinner.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Instead of going to the big parade in Long Beach, I took the day to recover from prepping all the gardens for the two city parades and one of our gardens (Klipsan Beach Cottages) for the Rhodie Tour.  Of course, my mission was to weed at home.  I did not get as far along as I wanted to just because of being tired.

The day livened up when Nora’s granddaughter Alycia came down to check on the house she now owns.  Friends with two children accompanied her and an impromptu garden tour led to these photos by Allan:

garden touring

garden touring

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discovering the fairy doors

discovering the fairy doors

Alycia (center)

Alycia (center)

admiring an elephant garlic from the compost pile

admiring an elephant garlic from the compost pile

We liked Alycia’s friends very much and hope they visit again.

I had low energy all day and only managed to get one small area weeded despite much grander plans.  I’d been feeling glum because our oldest cat, Mary, had disappeared for a day and night.  When she made an appearance in the late afternoon, I was overjoyed.

Mary's return

Mary’s return

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her son Frosty keeping me company while I weed

Monday, 4 May 2015

With annuals planting hell….er, I mean TIME looming (positive attitude is key, although apparently some people are amused by my kvetching), I took one more day off to try to get some weeding done at home.  My ambition was high; my energy was low.

I would rather have followed Frosty's example (with a book in hand).

I would rather have followed Frosty’s example (with a book in hand).

I wished that my garden areas were as well weeded as Allan's.

I wished that my garden areas were as well weeded as Allan’s.

by the front door:  Dicentra scandens (bleeding heart vine) showing much vigor.

by the front door: Dicentra scandens (bleeding heart vine) showing much vigor.

front garden needs weeding again...

The front garden needs weeding again…

although Smokey likes is just as much weeded or not.

although Smokey likes it just as much weeded or not.

Allium bulgaricum

Allium bulgaricum

The middle of the front garden got some weeding attention.

The middle of the front garden got some weeding attention.

The Ladies in Waiting plants for here and for work have expanded to the bench beside the greenhouse (which badly needs tidying).

The Ladies in Waiting plants for here and for work have expanded to the bench beside the greenhouse (which badly needs tidying).

Back garden: The north end of the west bed had been my small weeding accomplishment yesterday.

Back garden: The north end of the west bed had been my small weeding accomplishment yesterday.

The east bed weeding from much earlier is holding up fairly well.

The east bed weeding from much earlier is holding up fairly well.

one lingering tulip

one lingering tulip and Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

migrating raspberries need pulling! birdbath needs cleaning!

migrating raspberries need pulling! birdbath needs cleaning!

I needed some emergency wake up beans.  (Chocolate covered coffee beans)

I needed some emergency wake up beans. (Chocolate covered coffee beans)

middle of west bed: a sheet of dwarf fireweed

middle of west bed: a sheet of dwarf fireweed

The area above was once shaded by a large rhododendron around which I had planted hardy fuchsias.  I cut down the rhodo a couple of years ago because it blocked my view of Cape Disappointment and moved the hardy fuchsias back to the bogsy wood gardens (although some stubbornly came back from a root left behind).  I am still waiting for some special tall plants to plant here; it’s good to have somewhere that is not already full.  In the meanwhile, I use this spot for planting cosmos (soon)…if I can get it weeded.  The weather did not cooperate.

rain coming in from Cape D

rain coming in from Cape D

“Something Shiny Syndrome” also interfered with my plan; on the way to dump some debris, I got distracted by a stand of tall Impatiens (jewelweed) and cleared up a different area of the garden.

Looks great but was not the most urgent project.

Looks great with jewelweed gone but was not the most urgent project.

later...sky looking less threatening...

later…sky looking less threatening…

I ripped out all the pretty valerian.

I ripped out all the pretty valerian.

I will admire that beautiful and rampant perennial next door at Nora’s.  I remember how it took over my mother’s garden and how hard established clumps were to remove.  Perhaps I will plant some against the garage instead of in the garden.

before

before

just a little progress

just a little progress

I plumb ran out of steam and felt relieved when drizzle began and I could stop weeding.  This would not be a campfire evening because of rain and wind.  Before going inside to the pleasurable pastime of blogging about the rhodie tour, I took a quick look at a few choice planting areas.

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' and Impatiens omieana.  And some weeds.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ and Impatiens omieana. And some weeds.

An area like the one above would be a lot more fun to weed than a solid sheet of tiny fireweeds…

I scouted for small plants from Todd that I’d planted last autumn.

Here's one...

Here’s one…

and another

and another

A torrent of rain had arrived.

A torrent of rain had arrived.

Allan's garden agleam in the rain.  (Right: Fatsia 'Spider's Web')

Allan’s garden agleam in the rain. (Right: Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’)

Allan had been out on errands and had brought home crab rolls from Captain Bob’s Chowder…a wonderful snack to end a not very productive weeding session.

Captain Bob's crab roll

Captain Bob’s crab roll

Just before turning to the blog, I noticed the cover of the latest Bluestone Perennials and was pleased, as I had already decided to try Agastaches as tall plants in some of the Long Beach planters this year.

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“great in…containers”…goodie!

Bonus book recommendation:

Over the last week, I had read a gardening book, not in the immersive winter way with cats on lap but a bit at a time before sleep.

Digging Deep by Fran Sorin

Digging Deep by Fran Sorin

Full of inspirational garden design ideas and creative exercises, Digging Deep will encourage you to make an individualistic garden.  I especially liked the passages that spoke of the creative powers of solitude:

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By now, I was completely smitten with Fran Sorin, and the following passage sealed my undying admiration.

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I am reminded of how I sometimes feel in my own garden…especially in my more secret one when I lived over behind the boatyard.  When walking through it, I felt that it was so much part of me that I sometimes experienced it as an extension of my person.

I thank Fran Sorin for this wonderful quotation:  “My belief is that a garden, when it is well done, is your autobiography.  It is the way you write upon the earth.” -Robert Dash

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

After my concern that someone mean would look over the fence and sneer at my weeds, I opened the curtains this morning to see a stranger gazing over the low front fence into the garden with a most appreciative expression. I ducked so she would not be embarrassed.

I wish I could start with a burst of energy on days off.  Instead, I tend to fritter and put off the beginning of the gardening day.

Smokey encouraged me to get started.

Smokey encouraged me to get started.

I got a surprising amount done considering that I did not begin till noon, including transplanting four roses into the back (fenced) garden, as I am tired of deer eating them.  (But now what will they eat when they jump the low front garden fence?)  The rose transplanting should have been done in March or earlier.  I got several Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ planted along the fence, to fill in between the ones already there, because I like them so much.

before filling in

before filling in

 After that, I tackled the weedy corner of the front bed, below.

before, looking west

before, looking west

I soon realized that I wanted to remove ALL the variegated carex along the front border.  The more I examined it, the more concerned I got by how far it has run into the center of the garden.  This required much swinging of the pick.  When Allan returned from his motorcycle excursion, he helped me with one large and stubborn clump; the pick simply bounced off unless swung with extreme force.

My energy got flowing full force at around 4:30 PM.  We had dinner plans so I couldn’t take advantage of that and work till dusk.

5:50 PM

5:50 PM

When we began this garden in fall of 2010, I thought it was such a good idea to use the carex as an edger along the front.  Having to trim its tatty blades back hard in early spring this year made me go off of it, and its running habit was the death knell.

after

after, with gallon sized Sky Pencils planted along the fence.

The weather looks pleasant in the photos.  It was not.  All day a strong, cold, irksome wind buffeted the garden.

At six, we met Kathleen for dinner at Long Beach Thai.  The first thing I asked her when we all sat down is if, during the months of long daylight, could she possibly manage to wait till 7 to eat?  (She is on a much more morning-person schedule than we are.  At home, we dine at nine or ten o’ clock.)  She agreed, so I won’t be having to stop gardening this soon again.

The food was delicious, spicy and with all of the flavours that Thai food is supposed to have.

fresh rolls

fresh rolls

larb gai

larb gai

Allan's cashew curry stir fry

Allan’s tofu cashew stir fry

We lingered until sunset.  Because of wildfires in Siberia, the sun here is setting in a huge red ball.

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After dinner, I sat down at home and read Straw Bale Gardens; the pressure was on as it was two days overdue.  The author’s gently droll sense of humour made it entertaining as well as informative.

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Example:

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I won’t have time to try out his methods this year.  Maybe someday, in retirement.

As for now, I planned to take two more days off to plant and weed.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Smokey and Mary waiting for me to get started

Smokey and Mary waiting for me to get started

After the usual difficulty in getting started, I went back to weeding and planting Sky Pencils in the front garden.  I found one more deer-nibbled rose to move to the back garden.

Allan helped me by getting out two difficult clumps of carex.

Allan's photo: before

Allan’s photos: before

and after

and after

carex pile just from that one spot

carex pile just from that one spot

By pre-arrangement, Debbie and Dave came by to pick up a pile of the Carex, some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a few sanguisorbas and a few other divisions for the fall plant sale.

Debbie will divide and pot them all up.

Debbie will divide and pot them all up.

After the carex removal and a construction type chat with Dave (who is an expert builder and in fact built the house in which he and Debbie live), Allan went down to the port to see his pal Chris sailing his trimaran.

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Chris pulling up the main sail as his friend holds the pontoon

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lot’s of hand paddling after Allan pushed them off the dock

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boat

it looks like they’re up on the hydrofoils in this long shot as the Ginger returns to port

While I complained all day (mostly quietly in my mind) about the horrible cold maddening wind, Chris drove by after his outing and said it had been wonderful and he had “never before gone so fast”.

Meanwhile, Allan had nobly gone to work for a little while and strimmed behind the fence at the boatyard.  We hope this keeps the boatyard crew from even thinking about breaking out the Round Up.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before

after.

after.

Last year I found time to actually dig out a strip of grass along the fence.  This year, time for that has eluded me.

Allan had to move assorted gear in order to do a good job.

before

before

after

after

and a boat

and a boat

My big project of the day was to weed all the “stink mint” out of the north east corner of the garden and plant some more Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ along the fence.  Here is before photo from last week:

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I found a darling little plant that had been completely hidden by a cluster of suckers from the big tree.  I’m pretty sure that I got it at Joy Creek Nusrsery.

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While perfection was not achieved, the results were certainly an improvement, and I had gotten all of my Sky Pencils planted.

at stopping time

at stopping time

I was happy to stop at 6:30, as we had plans for another dinner out.  We treated Todd to dinner at the Depot in thanks for all the great plants he has sent us and in celebration of having a true CPN (Certified Plant Nut) back on the peninsula.  When he arrived, my 60th birthday celebration that seems to never end continued with two cool plants, a pardacanda (candy lily) and a Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, surely the last of the endless birthday

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I forgot to photograph the three scrumptious scallops that we had for a starter; they were so beautiful, and so good, that I dived right in.

Here they are, courtesy The Depot website

Here they are, courtesy The Depot website

the special:  Rockfish, with parsley pesto, on beans, with clams.

the special: Rockfish, with parsley pesto, on beans, with clams.

Allan's rockfish with a mushroom sauce

Allan’s rockfish with a mushroom sauce

At my request, we got to hear the story of how Todd became the curator of the display garden at Plant Delights, and reminiscences of learning to love plants as a child while exploring the woods and bayside of the Peninsula. He told us that his first memory was of admiring a container of pansies at his parents’ house and thinking “Those are cool!”, and said that someone told us we often follow a path in life inspired by our first memory.  I think my first memory is listening to my Grandma’s cuckoo clock.  Hmmm.

We lingered till after closing time, while the staff put the chairs put up on the other tables.  Chef Michael kept telling us we did not have to leave yet.  When we did, the restaurant looked like the final scene in My Dinner with Andre, the film in which two friends talk and the end shows them suddenly realizing that the restaurant is closed and the floor is being swept.  (This seems to be a common occurence when we go out to dinner with friends.)

Chef Michael Lalewicz

Chef Michael Lalewicz

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Just before bedtime, I finished a book that I would give ten stars instead of five on Goodreads, if I could.  I recommend it highly and I hope to find time to write about it a little bit more, some rainy day.

I am smitten with author Dee Williams and wish that we were friends.

I am smitten with author Dee Williams and wish that we were friends.

I intend to take one more day off and get as many of my “ladies in waiting” (plants in waiting) into the ground as possible.

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

After a wonderful rainy and windy reading Monday (finished The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer), I thought we might get a second rainy, windy day off.  By 11:30, the sky showed signs of clearing.  We have much to do at work before the clam festival on Saturday, not the least of which is to get all the Long Beach parks and planters looking as perfect as possible.  Because the rain was continuing as we drove north, we did a rainy- time errand and picked up a bag of Dr. Earth rhododendron and evergreen fertilizer at The Planter Box.

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entry display at The Planter Box

That saw us through to clearer skies.  On the way south to Long Beach, we paused at the Boreas Inn long enough to do a bit of weeding and to fertilize one area that did not get done last week.  (Someone had been reading a book on the porch of the Garden Suite and I had not wanted to invade her private reverIe.)

Boreas Inn

Boreas Inn

back yard view to the west, with trail to the beach

back yard view to the west, with trail to the beach

dogtooth violets at the Boreas, originally transplanted from my mother's garden

Erythronium (dogtooth violets) at the Boreas, originally transplanted from my mother’s garden

Long Beach

Back on our main mission in Long Beach, we tackled the four quadrants of Fifth Street Park.  We are sure people will want to see the squirting clam sculpture during clam fest weekend.

Allan took on the SW garden, including weeding under the fence; you can see to the left of the photo below that the soil extends to a cement wall belonging to the hotel next door.  It’s a dank and damp bed, perhaps due to water run off from the roof.

before

before

after (Allan's photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan's photo.  I would like to get even more schizostylis out of here.  It does love the damp soil and does look good in autumn.

after (Allan’s photo. I would like to get even more schizostylis out of here. It does love the damp soil and does look good in autumn.  I just resent its thuggish ways.

When that was done, he did a difficult bed under three trees in the SE quadrant of the park…difficult because the roots of the trees and the sprinkler system and damp soil make weeding mighty hard.

before

before (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan's photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photo) with swamp hedge having made its way into the garden

after (Allan's photo); the blades left behind are of schizostylis

after (Allan’s photo); the blades left behind are of schizostylis

While Allan was weeding, parks manager Mike Kitzman stopped by and we all decided this nasty little bed has to go.  Mike and crew will eliminate the plants and replace it with river rock on landscape fabric, to match the other side of the park.  I’ll be awfully happy to see all the lady’s mantle go.  It is not a plant I love at all.  It just accidentally took over this bed and was allowed to because not much else thrived there.

During that time, I did the NW garden, and a long project it was with lots of shotweed, a bit of horsetail, and the maddening wild garlic popping up through other plants.

a small area before

a small area before

and after

and after

There just might be a tiny green thread of sweet pea coming up along the fence in back.

after two and a half hours of steady weeding (including two more smaller areas not pictured)

after two and a half hours of steady weeding (including two more smaller areas not pictured)

I wanted to accomplish more.  I had had my eyes on a black cloud approaching from the west, driven toward us by a cold wind, and it finally got to us.

much rain

much rain

We made a trip to dump debris at the city works yard.  As we turned the corner to swing west and north to the stoplight, I saw bright sky coming from the west.

a hopeful sign

a hopeful sign

One of the best things that has happened in our Long Beach job is when we got our own key to the works yard.  Before, every Long Beach day was full of the pressure to get debris dumped before the gate closes at 4 PM, and we often had to take debris home overnight.  The crew starts at 7 AM, long before we do.

Now we can dump anytime we want.

Now we can dump anytime we want.

view to the east from the dump area...light all around the edges

view to the east from the dump area…light all around the edges

Sure enough, the rain disappeared and we were able to get back to work.  There would be a Mermaid Lagoon, hosted by our friend Queen La De Da, at the Coulter Park historic train depot.  We made the corner bed, by which many people will pass, look much better.

coulterbefore

before

after

half an hour later

after

coulter

the old train depot

the old train depot

We still had time to weed and to plant three Nicotiana langsdorfii in the narrow bed by the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park.

You can see clam statue and the famous Long Beach frying pan.

You can see clam statue (at the end of the benches, kind of washed out in this photo) and the famous Long Beach frying pan.

Dutch Iris 'Eye of the Tiger'

Dutch Iris ‘Eye of the Tiger’

detail

detail

In all the planters, Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is in full bloom instead of blooming in May as it usually does.  I have decided to just be glad that it is blooming for the Clam Festival weekend and not be bothered about what will be in bloom for the May 3 parade.  Maybe Baby Moon will last that long.

Narcissus 'Baby Moon'

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

In the foreground, above, is Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  We will cut each one back by half during our next planter session after the May 3 parade.  That way they will not splay open by midsummer.  By the lamp post, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, which was purged from this planter, is trying to come back.  After the photo was taken, I yanked all the hopeful little starts right out.

Tomorrow, clam fest preparation will continue with lots of weeding and fertilizing at the Port of Ilwaco.  Thursday we will try to do Klipsan Beach Cottages and Golden Sands and Andersen’s, and Friday will be the pre-festival walk around of all the Long Beach parks and planters.  I learned to my shock that Allan is going motorcycling on Saturday so KBC can’t be done that day as I had thought.  While that trip makes me anxious (because I saw the dire results of motorcycle accidents on his dad and his brother), it should lead to some good photos….

Big telly excitement tonight: The season premiere of The Deadliest Catch.  The bad weather work of the crabbers always helps me to feel that my job is easy.

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12 April 2015

my day

We had a long sleep and then I had a difficult time getting me arse in gear to weed.  When I finally got myself out the door at 1:30, I decided to focus on the back garden again in hope of getting some fertilizer applied post-weeding.

I would love to have started with this area....

I would love to have started with this area….

but duty called me to try and completely finish the middle bed.  Here: before

but duty called me to try and completely finish the middle bed. Here: before; I had done some weeding a week ago.

Last time, I had not gotten to the south end of the middle bed.

Last time, I had not gotten to the south end of the middle bed.

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At least this part got finished today.

I tried an experiment of putting buckets of the pulled jewelweed (touch-me-not, policeman’s helmet) into the kitchen compost bin in hopes it will break down, along with the soil clinging to its roots.  I tried the same with some of the sheets of dwarf fireweed blanketing this bed.  It’s not like I will be introducing it as a new thing if I bring some back in with the compost.

 

Mary was my audience.

Mary was my audience.

While dumping a wheelbarrow of weeds in the wayback, I saw some interesting and distracting things.

It would be so much easier to weed this bed!

It would be so much easier to weed this bed!

Some Darmera peltata has "taken" on the debris pile.  Yay!

Some Darmera peltata has “taken” on the debris pile. Yay!

The first salmonberry flowers are out.

The first salmonberry flowers are out.  Good for hummingbirds.

to the south outside the deer fence.  I need to weedeat a path to my bench, if not the whole area.

to the south outside the deer fence. I need to weedeat a path to my bench, if not the whole area.

the seasonal pond

the seasonal pond

Still no tadpoles, even though I hear frogs here every evening.

Still no tadpoles, even though I hear frogs here every evening.

On the third wheelbarrow trip, I saw a chilling sight: a plant, new to me last year, that I had planted as a supposedly well-behaved lookalike for the dreaded aegepodium, had started to run like fury.  I had to stop the weeding project, get a shovel, and dig it out.  I wish I could remember its name and where I acquired it, with its reassuring descriptive tag.

looks dangerous

looks dangerous

It had already run under the rock edge and, in the other direction, halfway to the back of the bed.

It had already run under the rock edge and, in the other direction, halfway to the back of the bed.

in the wheelbarrow: you can see the deadly roots.

in the wheelbarrow: you can see the deadly roots.

I considered putting the plant in a pot.  Instead, it went straight into the garbage can because it looked like big trouble to me.  I swear, it looks like aegepodium but the tag, from a reputable nursery (can’t recall which, not local), said it was a lookalike that would behave itself.

six hours later

six hours later

I was disappointed in myself that I still did not get this bed perfectly weeded.  The outdoor distractions could not have taken more than half an hour.  Yes, there was an indoor distraction of a half of email conversation with Garden Tour Nancy and and a bit of Facebooking.  Still, I expected more productivity.  The bed had been a daunting sheet of tiny knautia and dwarf fireweed seedlings.

later

It is better!

a bit of comforting admiration of yesterday's weeded area

a bit of comforting admiration of yesterday’s weeded area in the east bed (which is still only 1/2 done)

The west bed is also a sheet of dwarf fireweed seedlings in places.  It will be more interesting to weed as it has more of a variety of plants rather than a long stretch of mostly one thing (Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the middle bed).

west bed: a plague of tiny dwarf fireweed

west bed: a plague of tiny dwarf fireweed

a veritable sheet of the stuff

a veritable sheet of the stuff

I was able to fertilize the ten or so back garden roses and that is all.  It seems the areas that I mulched in early spring don’t have all the fireweed, so mulch might smother its germination.  Something to remember for next spring.

Allan’s day

Meanwhile, Allan went grocery shopping across the river and while there, he visited Fort Clatsop for the first time.

map

Fort Clatsop sign at visitor center

Fort Clatsop sign at visitor center

replica of the stockade of explorers Lewis and Clark

replica of the stockade of explorers Lewis and Clark

their quarters

their quarters

the back door to the fort

the back door to the fort

their description of a deer fern

their description of a deer fern

the trail to the river

the trail to the river

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The trail went by a dugout canoe.

The trail went by an old dugout canoe. In Idaho the party chopped and burned out five canoes in ten days. 

view upstream

view upstream

view downstream

view downstream

Another use for the pilings we still see was to anchor the rafts as they put them together.

Another use for the pilings we still see in the rivers was to anchor the rafts as they put them together.

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Interpretive signs along the trail. The word ‘arborvitae’ describing an attractive red cedar caught my eye as that name is also used for a common columnar tree used to edge yards.  

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I watched a half hour movie…

I watched a movie for half an hour.

…with ghost images moving amongst the modern exhibits.

from a series of photos in the hallway

This is from a series of photos in the hallway. I had made a short video of a pair of these at North River March 18 and this confirmed the ID of the spikey feathers on the female.

boat launch

I drove upstream to a kayak launch for the Lewis & Clark river.

I drove upstream to a kayak launch for the Lewis & Clark river . It was at + .8 feet (low but usable) and very steep.

 It was at + .8 feet (low but usable) and very steep.

This looks like a potential boating day.

This looks like a potential boating day.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

I had two goals this weekend: to not leave my property and to get a great deal of weeding done.

Allan spent one of the weekend afternoons weeding his garden area and part of ours, and the other on a non-boating excursion (tomorrow’s post).

Allan’s photos of his garden:

left: Thalictrum ‘Illuminator’

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Hart's tongue fern before weeding

Hart’s tongue fern before trimming

and after

and after

Asplenium scolopendrium 'Laceratum Kaye'. Kaye's Lacerated Harts Tongue Fern.   Pam Fleming ID'ed this; Allan had been calling it spinach fern.

Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Laceratum Kaye’. Kaye’s Lacerated Harts Tongue Fern. Pam Fleming ID’ed this; Allan had been calling it spinach fern.

after trimming

after trimming

Alaska fern before

Alaska fern before

after

after

my reading day

admiring Allan's garden from the front porch

admiring Allan’s garden from the front porch

Rain squalls prevented starting till early afternoon.

Rain squalls prevented starting till early afternoon.

kitchen window view

kitchen window view

I had hope because the sky was light around the edges.

I had hope because the sky was light around the edges.

book

I started to read a new library book and was immediately smitten with the story, a memoir by Amanda Palmer, the singer-songwriter of the Dresden Dolls.  I am in the dark about the last 20 years worth of alternative music, which used to be my lifeline. My ignorance is not from getting old; it’s because I lived with someone who increasingly used music as a method of sleep deprivation; when he was angry and drinking, he would play loud music all night (and then sleep in while I went to work). I learned to crave and love silence so very much that I have since then not wanted to have music on in the house. The 3 AM loud music chap and I parted ways over ten years ago. It’s sad, really, to lose the desire to listen to music. Allan listens in his workshop or on headphones. I often think if I became an invalid, I would use the time to catch up. Anyway, I watched three Dresden Dolls videos (Mechanical Boy and Anachronistic Girl and another one by just Amandaand read a bunch of her lyrics in the book and now I’m a fan, although probably a fan who can’t just sit and listen. I would go see her in concert for sure, if I lived in a city. Wish she would perform at The Sou’wester.

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She named her band after one of the most memorably harrowing and agonizing scenes I have ever read in a novel, one that made me cry buckets and that I don’t want to think about because it makes me too sad.

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Being that memorable is the power of good writing; I believe it was in high school or soon after that I Slaughterhouse Five.

This is what music used to do for me:

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And when I listened to songs by Amanda today, I knew that it still could.

Having been married to a Leedsman for a couple of years (1987-1990) for a number of reasons, one perhaps being his accent, I enjoyed this about her courtship with author Neil Gaiman:

accent

my weeding day

Much as Smokey and I would love to have continued to read, the sun came out so by 1:40 I was outside.  My first thought was to weed in the front garden.  It’s embarrassing that people can see weeds when they look over the fence.  I remember a friend and I making fun (between ourselves) of a professional gardener whose garden was all weedy.  He was kind of a mean fellow, so we had our reasons to make fun, but looking back on it, we were just being mean ourselves.  It amused her, and she was going through a terrible time, and I would have done much to amuse her.  I would have put on a clown nose and danced a jig…or participated in a private mean-fest about the guy’s garden…just to make her laugh for a minute.  (Usually I feel sympathy when I see someone’s weeds.)

It is, we all know, much better to refrain from meanness, even in self-defense.  Now it would be karmic justice if someone looked over my fence and make fun of this pro gardener with a zillion weeds.

  With good intention, I took some before photos:

northeast corner with much "stinkmint"

northeast corner with much “stinkmint”

slightly weedy east bed

slightly weedy east bed

an area of bad grass.  And I want to move that heather.  Try though I might, I just cannot like heather in a garden bed.

an area of bad grass. And I want to move that heather into a pot. Try though I might, I just cannot like heather in a garden bed.

weedy path to the water meter

weedy path to the water meter

Two things changed my mind and sent me to weed in the back garden instead.  One:  It was a busy Saturday on the street with lots of people (which is perfectly reasonable), and I felt a need for quiet gardening.  Two:  I remembered that I still need to fertilize the back garden and that I can’t until I get some carpets of weeds out.

This called for a whole new set of before photos.

On the way: a pause for epimidium appreciation

On the way: a pause for epimidium appreciation

Actinidia polygama on the shed

Actinidia polygama on the shed

before, east bed

before, east bed

the scrimmy little horsetail is popping up, along with new lilies

the scrimmy little horsetail is popping up, along with new lilies

from inside the weedy east bed, with Allan mowing the lawn

from inside the weedy east bed, with Allan mowing the lawn

I started with the area above because it is a hellish spot.  Once upon a time, in a budgetary crunch (because I was trying to put all extra money to getting our new house paid off…and I succeeded), I added some free horse manure to this area.  It began as a “clean” debris pile of autumn clean up garden clippings on top of newspaper, and I swore I would not let the bad aster or Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ get in there.  Now I have an area with a very nasty grass from the manure AND with Bad Aster and Lucifer!

four hours later

four hours later

Allan had weeded the raspberry row under the clothesline.

Allan had weeded the raspberry row under the clothesline.

Oh! And another thing I did:  See the purple leaved honeysuckle climbing the clothesline poles at both ends?  I had suddenly had a brainstorm when looking out my bedroom window in the morning that it is a great view blocker, so I dug up some rooted pieces and planted them along the east and west side fence where I want to block less than stellar views.

After weeding, I had a look round the bogsy wood garden for plants from Todd and found some that are emerging.

a pulsatilla

a pulsatilla

another "Todd Plant"

another “Todd Plant”

todd3

The wind had tilted the Bogsy Wood sign.

The wind, not Smokey, had tilted the Bogsy Wood sign.

As you can see, some areas are not as thick with weeds as others (thank goodness).

looking north from the bogsy wood garden

looking north from the bogsy wood garden

evening light on the garden boat

evening light on the garden boat

the best plant table

the best plant table

looking southwest: looks great if you can't see the weeds close up

looking southwest: looks great if you can’t see the weeds close up

Allan had put out his mother's ornamental pot, that we use as a water feature.

In Allan’s garden: Allan had put out his mother’s ornamental pot, that we use as a water feature.

6:15 PM (Allan's photo)

6:15 PM (Allan’s photo)

The weather called for one more good day on Sunday (good for weeding, not reading) and then a storm on Monday (please! so I can finish that excellent book!).

my blogging companions

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

While having breakfast lately, I have noticed that a glance into the kitchen from my dining nook chair shows a perfect little scene in the Karen Brownlee pottery mirror on the wall.  I tried to capture it with telephoto:

a red bird that hangs in the kitchen window, and outside, the dogwood just starting to flower

a red bird that hangs in the kitchen window, and outside, the dogwood just starting to flower

Allan got a photo of a real bird while getting the utility trailer ready for work:

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We wish our robins were as cute and round as the Scottish robins on Mr. Tootlepedal’s blog.

 At my request, Allan also got some photos of the rhododendron by his shed.  It is one of the few shrubs already here when we moved in.

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Our mission today was to return to the Long Beach parking lot garden where we left off yesterday.  First, we had a much smaller mission in Ilwaco: to redo one street planter in front of the soon-to-open Buoy 10 Café.

before: The Narcissi were too big, and need to go.  I will replant them under street trees or in the boatyard garden.

before: The Narcissi were too big, and need to go. I will replant them under street trees or in the boatyard garden.

after, with lemon thyme, viola 'Etain', and Diascia 'Blackthorn Apricot'.

after, with lemon thyme, viola ‘Etain’, and Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’.  The centerpiece, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, is rather leggy.

Long Beach

Below: the parking lot “berms”, three of them.  (They are psuedo-berms because they are not raised.) And to the right side, Veterans field with flag pavilion page.  Middle top, you can see part of the Long Beach carousel’s red and white roof.

berms

We took up on the north berm where we left it unfinished yesterday.

north berm, before

north berm, before

after

after

before

Quaking Oat Grass and Birds Foot Trefoil; Lots of quaking oat grass, which is cute and easy to pull. This year, I don't want to let it reseed.

Quaking Oat Grass and Birds Foot Trefoil

Both of the above are sometimes found in wild flower mixes.  I have read that birds foot trefoil is sometimes a sought after plant in the UK.  Here. I pull it because otherwise the garden will be a haze of yellow in summer, in a way that looks weedy to most people.

The first time I saw this trefoil flowering and climbing a beach pine in the dunes, in 1993, I was smitten with its beauty.

birds-foot trefoil....a beautiful weed

Lotus corniculatus (birds-foot trefoil.)…a beautiful weed

before:  Allan had weeded this area earlier this year to hack out some Himalayan blackberry.

before: Allan had weeded this area earlier this year to hack out some Himalayan blackberry.

Lots of action at Veterans Field just to our north drew me to see what was going on.  Today was Easter Sunday, with an Easter Egg hunt about to begin!

a crowd gathering

a crowd gathering

field

Children ready to "hunt" in the field strewn with plastic eggs.

Children ready to “hunt” in the field strewn with plastic eggs.

I was glad to see ropes defining the garden as OUTSIDE the hunt.

I was glad to see ropes defining the gardens as OUTSIDE the hunt.

and GO!

and GO!

The eggs were not difficult to find, and I fear the fastest children prevailed.

The eggs were not difficult to find, and I fear the fastest children prevailed.

It was over in a matter of moments and I went back to work.  Later, I heard a mother say to her child, getting into their car in the parking lot, “Well, you have to be FAST!”

After awhile, Allan made an expedition and returned with Tiger Paws from The Cottage Bakery.  I told him it would probably have a line out the door, but all he found was:

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One Tiger Paw can keep me going for hours; I do not have a downturn in energy after eating sugar.  I have not indulged in this treat more than a few times in the past year, because as I get older they tend to give me heartburn.  Today, it was worth it as the treat elevated my mood and increased the enjoyment that I was already feeling.  Yes, this sort of weeding is a job that I very much enjoy on a pleasant, not too hot, not too windy day.

after2

after

after, with Allan stepping down the debris in the trailer to make more room

after, with Allan stepping down the debris in the trailer to make more room

Knophofia (red hot poker)

Knophofia (red hot poker)

All the red hot pokers are from my mom’s former garden.  There had been a bed of them when she bought the place, and when she wanted space in that area for more variety, we took them all to the parking lot gardens.

By two-thirty, we were done with the north berm and on the way to the south berm.  Below is the middle berm, which we would skip for now.  It has few interesting plants under the trees and I am 80% of a mind to just strim it (weed-eat) after the quaking grass is done, and 20% of a mind to do more extensive weeding and plant some cool perennials (free ones!) in there.  All three of these long narrow gardens have to be drought tolerant because they get no supplemental water at any time of the year and they must usually endure two months of dry summer.  People who call our climate “The Pacific NorthWET” forget that we almost always have a long spell without summer rain, even here at the coast.

the middle berm, which we may or may not get around to actually weeding.

the middle berm, looking south, which we may or may not get around to actually weeding.  It has some daylilies, montbretia, rugosa roses, and Crocosmia and lots of quaking oat grass.

(Since the day of that photo, I have made a decision: We will just strim the center berm, and dig out whatever areas necessary if we find some free plants to add.)

I really had been enjoying the weeding of the north berm.  The soil was damp, the weeds came out easily, and there were no maddeningly problematic sorts of weeds.  I felt optimistic that we would get the south berm all done today.  I knew the minute I looked at it more closely that that was not to be; it was weedier than I had remembered when we had done the clipping and pruning of plants a few weeks ago.

before

before

after (this whole area done by Allan)

after (this whole area done by Allan)

The reason that the north end of this garden is thick with rugosa roses is because the alternative high school used to be one block away.  Absolutely nothing other than roses held up the the students’ determination to walk on the garden as they loaded into their vehicles.  Now that the school is no more,  we are left with a tough rose patch.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

before

before

after

after

I started the south berm still in a good mood about the whole project; the weeds continued to come out pretty easily, although not as easily as the north bed.  I took out a set of three pavers in an area where the roses were growing between them and decided to clear out a different grassy patch and move the pavers into it.  My enjoyment of the job departed completely when I lost control of my ho mi while pulling a tough clump of grass (even after loosening the grass with the heavy pick) and slammed the point of the tool into the boniest part of my shin.  I had to sit down in the van and do some deep breathing.

Ho Mi digger: a fierce weapon in careless hands.

Ho Mi digger: a fierce weapon in careless hands.

before

This is the area with three square cement pavers making a path that is lost in roses.

before, the lost path

before, the lost path

after

after

Below: Jumping ahead, here is the area where I weeded enough grass out to add the pavers at a new spot.

before

after

after

We worked till five and then could not go on, so all the rest would have to wait till tomorrow.  Hoo boy; here is what we left undone.

before

before

before

before

before

me mum's handsome Kniphofia

me mum’s handsome Kniphofia

After dumping the debris, this time with every bucket full, I recalled that we had two plants in the van to go in Fifth Street park: an Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ and a ‘Sahin’s Early Blooming’ Helenium,  We mustered up enough energy to plant them.

Fifth Street Park, chilly evening by now

Fifth Street Park, chilly evening by now

I also remembered a lavender was riding around with us to go in the southernmost street planter, and we got that planted, too.

First Place Mall planter

First Place Mall planter

I have no idea who planted white scilla in that planter.  I would not have, as it is so invasive.  Was it a gift?  We completely re did this planter a couple of years ago so it is not from days of old.

It looks pretty now, but I sense trouble brewing.

It looks pretty now, but I sense trouble brewing.  Solution! I will remove it later and plant it on that center berm!

Finally, we stopped to pull a volunteer dog daisy out of one of the two planters by Ilwaco city hall; it was throwing the composition off balance.  I discovered that deer have been enjoying those two round planters.

Ilwaco city hall tulips...chomped!

Ilwaco city hall tulips…chomped!  They will not get any tulips next year.

hall

In the evening, we watched three episodes of the latest season of Doctor Who, as it is about to be overdue at the library.  (Usually we don’t take time for that much telly.)  Here is quotation that spoke to me:

“Human beings have incredibly short life spans.  Frankly, you should all be in a permanent state of panic.  Tick-tock, tick-tock.”  —The Doctor

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Before we begin, let me remind you of an event happening on Saturday April 11, of particular interest to vegetable gardeners:

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

We had a plan to start weeding the so-called berms—the parking lot gardens in Long Beach.  Several other things had to come first, most especially a trip to ….

The Basket Case Greenhouse

….as they had just gotten in their first big perennial order of the season from Blooming Nursery.  Let me recommend a few of the most awesome plants now available (although since I am publishing six days late, some might be sold out, especially if I have gotten back there again!)

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'; the foliage tends to revert to green so I plant it anew every year.  The flowers are gorgeous whatever the foliage colour is.

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’; the foliage tends to revert to green so I plant it anew every year. The flowers are gorgeous whatever the foliage colour is.

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ in early summer

Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ after it has coloured up into blue

Erysimum, three kinds.  This is 'Apricot Twist'.  In front is 'Winter Orchid' which is stunning right now in my garden from one I planted last year.

Erysimum, three kinds. This is ‘Apricot Twist’. In front is ‘Winter Orchid’ which is stunning right now in my garden from one I planted last year.

On the east wall:  Erysimum 'Winter Orchid'

On the east wall of the Red Barn last year: Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’

I bought two of  the golden "Lemon Fizz' santolina after taking this photo.  A great perennial for the beach.

I bought two of the golden “Lemon Fizz’ santolina after taking this photo. A great perennial for the beach.

two kinds of pineapple sage: to the right is "Golden Delicious'

two kinds of pineapple sage: to the right is “Golden Delicious’

My good friends Shadow and Walter

My good friends Shadow and Walter

Allan's photo: Shadow

Allan’s photo: Shadow

Allan's photo: the greeters

Allan’s photo: the greeters

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

There is also a good selection of assorted Agastaches (hyssops), one of my favourite perennials.

Agastache 'Summer Glow'

Agastache ‘Summer Glow’

an Agastache.  I like spikes.

an Agastache. I like spikes.

[Edited to add that by 7-9-15 I had bought all the Cotton Candy and Summer Glow Agastaches (hyssop) but some other colours remain.]

Enough rhapsodizing about Basket Case plants!  We next had a small planting mission at

The Anchorage Cottages

where I had recently noticed an empty-ish large planter.

Chamaecyparis trees by the road at The Anchorage

Chamaecyparis trees by the road at The Anchorage

I bet those trees were chosen by Dan Hinkley, because his sister in law used to own the Anchorage, and he and his spouse, Robert Jones, designed and planted part or all of the Anchorage garden, or so I was told years ago.

This container with Tulip 'Angelique' got some 'Bowles Black' violas from the Basket Case.

This container with Tulip ‘Angelique’ got some ‘Bowles Black’ violas from the Basket Case.

And this big container got a pink Agastache.

And this big container got a pink Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’.

Camassia in the entry garden near the office

Camassia in the entry garden near the office

There were lots of little children running around, and I wondered if that explained the small tragedy by the center courtyard:

bearded iris broken before it could bloom

bearded iris broken before it could bloom

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

[Edited to add:  I later learned that a company, who shall be unnamed, who came to perform a task, dragged some of their gear through here and whacked off those irises.  The childrens’ reputation was redeemed.]

Leaving the Anchorage, we headed to Long Beach town…but when I checked my phone, I saw that I had a voicemail from Fred at The Basket Case.  I knew immediately what had happened…some plants had surely been left behind.  Remember that photo above of me with the greeting committee? When  Allan took it, he was standing right over the flat of plants in question, and that is all I will say about that.  So back we went…

Basket Case, again

I took a photo of the arbour of glorious pink Clematis montana...another plant that they carry for sale.

I took a photo of the arbour of glorious pink Clematis montana…another plant that they carry for sale.

clematis2

The plants that had been left behind had been placed on this ladder.  (Allan's photo)

The plants that had been left behind had been placed on this ladder. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This leaving behind sort of thing happens at least once a year, and it might be a good thing it happened on the first big day.  I am reminded to keep my mind sharp while I am there.

Long Beach

We began by planting in the Veterans Field garden three each of white Gauras ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and ‘So White’, another plant that is excellent and available at the Basket Case.  [Edited to add:  It was, till I bought them all, but surely Fred will order more.  Some of the pink foliage variety of Gaura is available at The Planter Box.] Two Phygelius ‘Cherry Red’ replaced the two tatty blue oat grasses that I hoiked out of the curved Vet field bed a few weeks ago.

Gaura in summer

Gaura last summer; Allan planted three in the new garden on the other side of Veterans Field and three more in the curved bed by the flag pavilion.

The weather had become so miserably cold, with a whipping icy wind, and the sky to the west was so dark that I said that, as soon as the plants were in, we would abort our work day and go home till dinnertime.

Allan's photo of the flag pavilion

Allan’s photo of the flag pavilion…BRRRR!

While Allan did the planting, I walked over to deadhead some spent narcissi that I’d noticed in a planter on the main street and used the opportunity to check on the four barrels in Fish Alley.

I was glad I checked Fish Alley because I found a huge dandelion in one of the barrels.

I was glad I checked Fish Alley because I found a huge dandelion in one of the barrels.

and the center plants had died...

and the center plants had died…

and some edge plants were gone and the soil was low.

and some edge plants were gone and the soil was low.

I am quite sure that people help themselves to the “hens and chickens” that we have planted in these barrels. It would be thoughtful if they did not take them ALL!!!   We want to go as drought tolerant as possible here because we have to bucket water these barrels and it is a longish slog.

It is a long walk with two buckets of water to get to the westernmost barrels.

It is a long walk with two buckets of water to get to the westernmost barrels.

I deadheaded and weeded the planter by Campiche Gallery at the stoplight…

Tulips in that planter...

Tulip ‘Formosa’ in that planter…

And then walked back to join Allan.  Still thinking we would go home soon, I decided to pop a pink-leaved Gaura (from The Planter Box) into the planter across from the police station; one of two had died over the winter, and I like a matched set.  Some pleasant tourists were admiring and photographing all the tulips.

They especially liked these, and so do I.

They especially liked these Tulip ‘Akebono’, and so do I.

We still thought the weather miserable enough to go home.  We had one indoor errand to run first.  Heather Ramsay of NIVA green had a book to lend to Allan:  River Horse by William Least Heat Moon.  I took the opportunity to top up my stash of photos for the NIVA green Facebook page.

NIVA green

NIVA green

a cool whirly light

a cool whirly light

beachy tea towels

beachy tea towels embroidered by local artisan Shellie Thomas

beach in a box

beach in a box

and a chance to buy a sympathy card for Susie and Bill, whose beloved cat Spanky had died a couple of days ago.

and a chance to buy a sympathy card for Susie and Bill, whose beloved cat Spanky had died a couple of days ago.

As we walked back to Veterans Field, we noticed that the wind had died down and the sky had turned blue to the west.  So we set up to weed the north parking lot garden, our main mission of the day.  The city crew and we call them “berms” even though, because they are level, they are not berms.  I will now regale you with our befores and afters.

before

before

before

before

after

after

before

before

after

after

Allan's before

Allan’s before

and after

and after

I added some seeds of red poppies to the sunnier bare areas.

after

after

every bucket filled

many buckets filled

We did not get the whole north berm done and hoped to have good enough weather to return on the next day.

After dumping our debris, we met Kathleen at the new Thai restaurant.  Dinner at 5:30 meant that we stopped work earlier than we might have otherwise.  The town was so full of tourists that we wanted to beat a potential dinner rush, and a rapidly dropping air temperature meant we were happy enough to quit early.

in the restaurant:  Allan's photo

in the restaurant: Allan’s photo

The fresh rolls were tasty and beautiful.

The fresh rolls were crispy, tasty and beautiful.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a salmon salad delicate and light...

a salmon salad delicate and light…

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

yellow curry for Allan

yellow curry for Allan

Pad Thai for Kathleen was not quite as al dente as we all prefer.

Pad Thai for Kathleen was not quite as al dente as we all prefer.

The food tasted just fine and yet it lacked the intense spice and the four flavours that I associate with Thai food.  In the words of wikipedia:  “Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.”   The names of menu items at the new restaurant’s menu were mostly Americanized and we felt that the spiciness had been toned down to appeal to everyone.  For people who usually find Thai food too spicy, these preparations would be ideal.

Our discussion beyond Thai spices was of books, and Kathleen recommended several that are now on my to-read list:

Lies my Teacher Taught Me

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

The White Cascade

Product Details

The Care and Management of Lies

The Language of Houses

My book list is laughably long.  I need more reading days.

Since The Care and Management of Lies is about WWI in the UK, I recommended the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker, and in fact Kathleen picked it up from me to borrow the very next day on her way back to her workaday world up north.

home

At home, I remembered to photograph my Akebia that is right by where we park, in full fragrant chocolatey bloom.

akebia1

Akebia quinata

Akebia quinata

akebia3

front garden path

front garden path

Tulips and Anthriscus 'Ravenswing'

Tulips and Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’

I spent the evening blogging about my lovely reading yesterday, which I am so glad I took, as tomorrow we hope to finish weeding the “berms”.

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Monday, 30 June 2014

We got a slightly late start for a pleasant reason. As I ate breakfast, I heard familiar voices outside. Sonya, from up on school hill, was looking over the fence with her partner and with her daughter, who was visiting for one day from California. I put on my shoes and invited them into the garden.

over the fence

over the fence

and in the garden

and in the garden

We were determined to get a few more sections done on the Bolstadt beach approach garden.

Two horses made it extra scenic when we arrived.

Two horses made it extra scenic when we arrived.

The areas we had already done looked sort of okay, certainly not wonderful.

The areas we had already done looked sort of okay, certainly not wonderful.

looking east, what remains to be done

looking east, what remains to be done, before

before, with a haze of yellow birds foot trefoil

before, with a haze of yellow birds foot trefoil

tall white field clover ( may have come in on a wildflower mix)

tall white field clover ( may have come in on a wildflower mix years ago)

Before

Before

after

after

Allan found a bird nest in the roses.

Allan found a bird nest in the roses.

I wore a cold wet bandanna on my head because the weather was hot.

I wore a cold wet bandanna on my head because the weather was hot.

That's about as far east as the weeding got.

That’s about as far east as the weeding got. I think four sections remain undone.

after

after

after

after

after

after

after

after

a lucky shot

a lucky shot

after.  The santolina, which I usually trim back in early sring, did not get trimmed this year.

after. The santolina, which I usually trim back in early sring to keep it round, did not get trimmed this year.

looking good in the evening sun

looking good in the evening sun

thinned and cut lower but did not have time to dig out the tall white clover

thinned and cut lower but did not have time to dig out the tall white clover; at least it won’t flop sideways over the street now.

I also clipped a lot of rugosa rose by the arch so that drivers coming out of the hotel and townhouse parking lots will be able to see around them. We are not going to have time to get back to this garden this week at all.

The best part of the day was when reader MaryBeth, whose frequent Facebook comments about blog entries I so much appreciate, walked by on her afternoon constitutional and stopped for a chat…the first time we had met face to face.

Later she commented on Facebook that she noticed I was limping. Here’s some foreshadowing of a a near-future event (since I am writing this about a week behind due to all the garden tour blogging): I have been having trouble with my left calf for a long time. Being somewhat doctor-phobic (somewhat?!?), I am used to just powering through pain, and I would not even have described it as pain, just chronic mid-to-end-of-day stiffness that makes it hard to lift and move that leg. I call it “draggin’ leg” or “the zombie walk”. My friend J9, whose field is occupational therapy, has commented on the problems I have walking or climbing stairs at the end of the day. It may seem strange to have not seen a doctor about it; I always figure when I go and start describing all my problems, something terrible and life-ending will be found so I would rather live in ignorant if painful bliss. (I know this is illogical.) I also have residual fear of bills from years of living close to poverty, and the habit of thinking that if I were told to ease off from work, I wouldn’t make enough money to pay my medical insurance. Times are better now…

wildlife on the beach approach as we were leaving

wildlife on the beach approach as we were leaving

IMG_1583

At the very end of the day, we planted a few plants at the Boreas Inn. (Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’…lucky Susie!…and some achillea and…something else good.

The gardens are looking full and interesting, although this photo does not get that across.

The gardens are looking full and interesting, although this photo does not get that across. I will blame the lawn being a bit long.

Eryngium 'Blue Glitter' at the Boreas....not too exciting now, but next year...

Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ at the Boreas….not too exciting now, but next year…

At home, I sat down to blog and felt a strange double SPROING behind my left knee. Ouch and double ouch! And then put it out of my mind.

In the still very warm dusk, I was blogging about garden touring (reliving a visit to one of my favourites on the Hardy Plant Study Weekend tour), when a motion on top of my rolltop desk started me. Could it be…was it, yes! a frog! How the heck did it get there?

It's leg, stretched fully out, looked strange and startling.

Its leg, stretched fully out, looked strange and startling.

Allan caught it in a jar...

Allan caught it in a jar…

and released it into one of the water boxes,

and released it into one of the water boxes,

where it found a hidey hole.

where it found a hidey spot.

 

 

 

 

 

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I procrastinated all morning, but there were reasons: catching up on the blog, and bad (ish) weather. Maybe I was sick of planting plants, but I had many to plant here and needed to get started. Finally I got myself outside with the memory that I had very much been looking forward to another go-round of pulling Impatiens (jewelweed, touch me not) out of the front border.

2:38 PM, front garden

2:38 PM, front garden

after editing

after editing

I need to learn to mark the spot where I take my before photo to make the results more clear!

I was amazed at how big this cardoon has gotten since last time I noticed:

humungous

humungous

Another task that I had been longing to do in the back garden was to use the hedge shears to lop back the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. It gets so lush that it flops open. Last year for the garden tour I had to use all sorts of short bits of rebar to hold it up and make it halfway decent looking. By chopping it at this time of year, the plant stays more compact and still flowers, but with smaller, not so heavy flowers so it does not fall open. I recently did the same to all the ‘Autumn Joy’ in the Long Beach planters.

before

before

Unfortunately, when I tried to use the hedge shears my right arm protested mightily. It has been plaguing me for two days….”planter’s arm”, apparently. Allan stepped in and did the job.

after (but not picked up yet)

after (but not picked up yet)

The creeping sorrel in the raspberry patch had suddenly leaped to almost as tall as the berry canes.

Yikes!  When did that happen?

Yikes! When did that happen?

After running some errands of his own, Allan stepped in here also and did a wonderful job.

Thank you, Allan!

Thank you, Allan!

By then, I was heavily into planting annuals and perennials. I told myself I would get at least thirty plants planted before I let myself get back to the enjoyable task of weeding, and I am sure I surpassed that number. While planting on the west side of the house, I kept catching myself thinking “Nora and Devery will like these.” (Devery was Nora’s wonderful caregiver.) Then I would remember with a huge pang that Nora was gone. I had made sure over the last two years that the west side garden that she can, I mean could, see from her front window was vibrant with bright colour.

Tomorrow planting hell will surely conclude, because all I have left to plant are these:

holding area on east side of house

holding area on east side of house

(Not as bad as it looks, because some of those are in permanent pots. Probably about ten plants there that need planting.)

And this line up on the path to Allan’s shop:

mostly cosmos and painted sage, and some of the cosmos will go to Ann's on Tuesday.

mostly cosmos and painted sage, and some of the cosmos will go to Ann’s on Tuesday.

Then there are some tomatoes in the greenhouse, and I could have done them during the blustery morning inside the greenhouse, had I remembered them!

tomatoes

tomatoes

Oh, drat, and these also, which I almost forgot were waiting next to the greenhouse.

more cosmos.  I like them.

more cosmos. I like them.

So tomorrow will be the planting of the six packs of cosmos all over this garden.

The relatively small amount of cosmos that will be left for Ann, along with two Penstemon ‘Burgundy Brew’ for two wine connoisseur clients, two Rosemary for Chef Michael at the Depot, and …oh….I should get some blue and white painted sage for the mayor’s garden….Those plants that are left are not enough to constitute a hellish amount of planting. So I am fervently hoping that by eight PM tomorrow I can declare annuals planting hell over for 2013.

My right arm will be grateful.

At almost dusk, I took a walk around the garden to photograph plants that had caught my eye during an afternoon of planting. (Like most gardeners do, I walk round and round with a perennial pot in hand trying to figure out where it could go.)

Clematis on east fence...most blooming on my neighbours' side!

Clematis on east fence…most blooming on my neighbours’ side!

another east fence clematis

another east fence clematis

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

Smokey toured with me.

Smokey toured with me.

shade bed

shade bed

I so look forward to a satisfying weeding of that shade bed. It was too windy to weed this close to the bogsy wood today, especially since the alder right over the shade bed has died! It is a great snag for birds but I fear a big branch breaking off in wind so I stay out from under on days like today, with gusts of 26 mph!

ominous

ominous

I wonder why this one alder died. I did not pile soil deeply around its base or anything bad… I skittered back to safety away from the tree.

west border

west border (Hi, Mary’s red boat shed!)

a new rose by the west gate

a new rose by the west gate

another new rose

another new rose (and…horsetail)

The new roses are from Heirloom roses, and I am going to sort out their names later this year!

I do NOT remember planting these iris.  I think they are too big to be from the ones Kathleen Sayce gave to me and Ann....

I do NOT remember planting these iris. I think they are too big to be from the ones Kathleen Sayce gave to me and Ann….

view down west path to the bogsy wood edge

view down west path to the bogsy wood edge

In the front garden, some truly accidental colour matching pleased my eye.

Imagine this astrantia...

Imagine this astrantia…

when this clematis that is behind it gets big enough to show above the astrantia.

when this clematis that is behind it gets big enough to show above the astrantia.

And the Allium bulgaricum also matches!

And the Allium bulgaricum also matches!

In closing, Allan’s excellent garden in the dusk…

perfectly weeded

perfectly weeded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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