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Posts Tagged ‘when to cut bulb foliage’

I woke in the night to the sound of rain. On and on. This was good. All the plants we have been planting will get watered.

It was not so good at ten AM when a seemingly ceaseless torrent was falling. We had in the garage five flats of plants for today’s job and I just wanted them out of here. I did not want to be carrying them out to the patio to get light, and then into the car tomorrow instead of today. Annuals hell must end, as weeding jobs are urgently calling to us. As is my own garden.

Mary sets a tempting example

Mary sets a tempting example

But wait…Was there some lightness in the sky to the south? The sky was definitely light around the edges to the south and to the west. I said we should just go to the job. I cited the example of Deadliest Catch, an inspirational tv show about hardworking crabbers on the Bering Sea. Allan looked skeptical about the weather, especially since the forecasts all called for it to worsen hourly all day long. But the rain suddenly stopped. We loaded, and as we did the rain came lashing sideways again. I did not care (much). Surely we could endure and plant twelve whiskey barrels even in a torrent. And yet…if I stayed home I could read a couple more months of the Tootlepedal Blog archives.

But we went to Casa Pacifica, Dan and Leanne’s garden near Wallicut Farms. It is our only job off the Peninsula (unless one is a stickler for the fact that technically Ilwaco is part of the mainland).

When we got there, the sun came out intermittently. And rain came back for a while but not for long.

after a squall

after a squall

Soon raincoats came off and stayed off and all twelve barrels and several smaller containers were cleaned up and planted.

The barrels have Narcissi so we cut the foliage back by two thirds. It must be done in order to plant. My guru Ann Lovejoy would not approve; in this recent article she writes of the importance of letting the foliage mature. And yet once NW garden celebrity Ed Hume (who was as well known as Ciscoe in his day) said in a lecture that narcissi foliage can be cut three weeks after the flower has bloomed.

before

before; unplantable.

before:  last year's boringly overgrown Helichrysum

before: last year’s boringly overgrown Helichrysum

after

after, Helichrysum cut back VERY hard

Planted: An Agyranthemum in the center (“Butterfly’, ‘Spring Bouquet’, or the white one) and around the edges mixed (80!! total) calibrachoas of various colours and sanvitalias and, in the planters closer to the house, some blue felicia as well. In the mid-center of each, three painted sage triangulated around the Agyr. Some have Diascia that came back from last year.

Dusty lives in hope that I will stop to play fetch. It will not happen as then he will not stop pestering. But most of the time he walks with me all around the job with his head just where I can reach down and pet him. I love that and lavish him with smooches.

Dusty

Note Spook in the background.

Dusty

Dusty

Spook continues to be very shy, but it is progress that she stays out from under the deck while we are here.

Spook

Spook

We did not have time to weed, but I did walk along the bottom of the garden casting Sluggo up into it, with camera in hand. (Allan deadheaded narcissi while I talked to Dan and Leanne at the end of the work session.)

the shady end of the long border

the shady end of the long border

I don’t add many new perennials to this garden because it has water troubles in the summer; the well is just not enough for home and garden, too. It might be fixed for this year. It has therefore been a garden that peaks in mid springtime.

Another problem is that I would like to lavish the garden with cow fiber mulch but the lawn where a truck would have to drive to deliver the load close to the garden is also the septic field. And it would have to be wheelbarrowed up at the end of the wall. And if the pile were dumped in the driveway it would be far from the end of the wall. And I am tired just thinking about it. Maybe this fall we will manage to do it. As I have said to myself every year since taking on this job.

long curved border goes from shade to sun

long curved border goes from shade to sun

guardian of the garden

guardian of the garden

geranium and hosta

geranium and hosta

Silene

Silene

hardy geranium

Geranium macrorrhizum

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Around the north side of the house, in a spot that is usually wet from roof runoff, I found a small blue flower which I think is a kind of Camassia that I planted last fall. I would have rain barrels at every gutter catching water for summer in this garden.

camassia

I surprised Spook in her nap on the hot tub cover and got as close to her as I ever have!

snoozing

she was snoozing

With this, the last of the big batches of annuals is planted, and I can see the light at the end of Annuals Planting Hell. There are still a few days of filling in here and there. The concrete planter in Ilwaco that needs a hole drilled is still undrilled. Andersen’s needs more cosmos and some Salvia patens. Some gaps in the Long Beach planters need filling, and because I had made a careful list of exactly what plant was needed where, we went to The Basket Case to get some more annuals.

My list would have been incomprehensible to another: two uppies here, four trailies there, five herbie flatties there. But I knew what I wanted.

We also got some plants for a big shady planter against the house at Andersen’s RV Park; it only gets morning sun.

I'm trying a big new impatiens there.

I’m trying a big new impatiens there.

and assorted types of begonias

and assorted types of begonias

These might like more sun but they do ok in the east facing planter. The tuberous begonias excel and are the same thing that Andersen’s owner Lorna’s dad used to plant there.

At The Planter Box I stocked up on Cosmos for planting at the Ilwaco boatyard, Larry and Robert’s garden and….soon I hope! my garden. Uh oh, I still need more for my friend Nancy! And more for a few last clumps of Cosmos at Andersen’s, in an area it was too late to weed tonight. I got one flat of the very good Salvia patens plants that Planter Box grew this year.

At The Planter Box

At The Planter Box

Teresa and I talked a bit about when would be a good date for a midsummer madness Cash Mob at the Planter Box, probably in early July.

Planter Box

Planter Box

I saw salpiglossis starts and wanted some for gardens of ours that might be on the tour this year, but we were full up with plants by then.

Salpiglossis has a gorgeous flower.

Salpiglossis has a gorgeous flower.

I also saw just two of this cute little plant I had once found for sale somewhere and planted in an Ilwaco planter. It looked adorable all summer long. Apparently, it is a house plant. I don’t know why it is not sold in quantity for summer containers.

so cute!

so cute!

Then…Andersen’s after six. The wind had come up with a biting chill and the rain returned, but the east facing planter was not at all bad to work in with the house between us and the ocean. I was so tired I did not put on gloves, then regretted it, then could not get them on over wet hands. I just remembered that one of the crew gave me some Hershey’s kisses, as he often kindly does, and I was so busy I put them in my pocket and did not eat a one. (I think that shirt is still in the car….tempting….). I decided to hold off on planting some Salvia patens in the Payson Hall planters, as it is supposed to get down to 44 degrees tonight. I think they will be happier if they wait till we go to Andersen’s (and all other north end resorts) on Friday to fluff it up for the three day holiday weekend.

The last task was to plant 12 tiny little not very promising white petunias in the two west side whiskey barrels that lacked them. They were in little six packs so small that one could hardly tell each held six plants. The wind and rain blew straight from the sea just over the foredune and I thought very hard about Deadliest Catch while planting the little plugs.

I often think in bad weather, "Could be worse, could be crabbing on the Bering Sea!"

I often think in bad weather, “Could be worse, could be crabbing on the Bering Sea!”

It’s on tonight and I look forward to sitting in my chair eating warm food and drinking wine and feeling inspired by the crabbers’ hard work in almost all weather. I have put on hand lotion five times and my hands still feel dry from the wet cold soil. I could never be a crabber…too wimpy.

Home by seven PM! I had had it with the outdoors, but Allan went out and mowed and weed-ate our lawn…in the drizzle. The grass was long and so wet it is amazing A) that he did it and B) that our little rechargeable electric mower got through it at all.

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