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Posts Tagged ‘whiskey barrels’

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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Annuals hell is now getting to the point of disarray and arguments.  It is like when a person is moving, and plans that the move will be completely organized with everything going into labelled boxes, and then at the end the possessions are thrown into any old container willy nilly, and maybe one even moves a box of dirty dishes.  Not that I have ever done that.

Yesterday (Saturday) after the fascinating Coast Guard open house, we went at 2:30 P.M. to the Basket Case to check out the new shipment of perennials and to pick up the annuals for the Red Barn planters.

stunning variegated Diascia 'Katherine'.  I wanted them all but was kind enough to leave a few for other customers.

stunning variegated Diascia ‘Katherine’. I wanted them all but was kind enough to leave a few for other customers.

At the Red Barn, it was distressing to see how bad the four whiskey barrels looked with dead bulb foliage.  We had left it too long.  My friend Misty came over to say hello.  That was cheering.

Misty did not mind about the old bulb foliage.

Misty did not mind about the old bulb foliage.

By the time we left, the barrels were all  planted with red Calibrachroa, yellow Sanvitalia, and a centerpiece of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, and in some, Diascia ‘Denim Blue’ that had come through from last year.

Allan planting

Allan planting

I love santivalia

I love sanvitalia’s tiny bright yellow green centered flowers.

It is also cheering to say hi to the horses.

It is also cheering to say hi to the horses.

Next year I will not take a trip in April so that I have just three more days to keep on top of work and, one hopes, not have any jobs where dead bulb foliage is allowed to droop and offend the eye.

We then re did all 20? of the Ilwaco street planters (and the two at the library and one at Peninsula Sanitation office).   And planted a few things at the Ilwaco boatyard, where the Allium albopilosum is opening with its usual fabulosity and which I pray will not fall victim to finger blight.

boatyard garden

boatyard garden

please no finger blight here

please no finger blight here

The horsetail is coming back, but we just do not have time to deal with it right now.

on the sidewalk's edge:  horsetail, dock bindweed

on the sidewalk’s edge: horsetail, bindweed, dock

boatyard garden

boatyard garden

Across the street from the boatyard a porch is draped in wisteria.

Wisteria at First and Eagle

Wisteria at First and Eagle

At the same house, I long to see the holly hedge brought down to the lower level, and then let grow, which would give so much privacy to the garden and be low enough to let in sunlight.

Don't you agree?

Don’t you agree?

Most of the planters were a straightforward bulb cleanup and planting task.one of the tidied and planted planters

one of the tidied and planted planters

In the planters:  Sanvitalia, Diascias of assorted colours, an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in the center, maybe a painted sage.  A few have golden marjoram and Nepeta (catmint) and one or two have a trailing rosemary that survived; I tried it in all of them but it only hung on in a couple.

At First and Main, the Col Pacific Motel has a good display of bearded iris.  The owners have been working to make their strip of garden look good.

iris

iris

At the corner of First and Lake, one of the planters has become stagnant and goopy and had to be totally dug out.

It was stinky!

It was stinky!

We found the bottom had no hole, and have emailed city hall to get the crew to punch one through.  It is a mystery to me how some that have no hole have not filled up with mucky water before.

not right!

not right!

So I don’t have the satisfaction of checking Ilwaco planters off my list yet…

Back in 2008, the empty lot where Red’s Restaurant used to be was allowed to flower with wild beach pea.

2008 by Ilwaco Pharmacy

2008 by Ilwaco Pharmacy

Does it really look better sprayed with Round Up (not by the city, by the owner of the lot).  I THINK NOT!

not an improvement

not an improvement

By the end of the day we were working in a drenching rain.  It was surprising, when we got home at 8:30 PM, to see a pink sky in the west.

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street

Today (Sunday), I began by taking a bouquet to my neighbour, Nora.   She is now in a hospital bed, and can barely speak,  with family in attendance, and I wept (but not so she could see).

a bouquet for Nora

a bouquet for Nora

I said to her grand daughter how terrible I feel that this is the time of year when we work so much, but Elisha understood.  Nora has been the ideal neighbour; the only thing better would have been to have known her in younger days when she could still tend her pretty garden.

All this should put life into perspective, but…the day managed to be annoying despite better intentions.

We went to the Boreas Inn to plant a few perennials, only to find that one flat with santolinas and a wonderful Russian Sage called Lacy Blue had been left at home.  “Take the flat out behind your seat” (in the car), I had said.  Allan took out two flats.  One needed to be put back in.  “Bring the one with the Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ in it,” I said.   But two flats had that Knautia, so the wrong one rode with us all day, filled with that pretty variegated Diascia that we did not need at any of today’s jobs.

missing plants at the Boreas

missing plants at the Boreas

Then to the Anchorage to plant some more windowbox plants, and they did get one of those variegated Diascias that were not supposed to be with us today.  And then The Planter Box to pick up Cosmos and painted sage for Marilyn’s garden.

Planter Box has Eryngium 'Jade Frost, one of my favourites!

Planter Box has Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’, one of my favourites!

and herbs

and herbs

We picked up some lovely purple violas for Monday’s job.

pansies or violas?  Monday's client likes both.

pansies or violas? Monday’s client likes both.

We scooted over to The Basket Case to pick up a couple more perennials for Marilyn’s garden and two annuals that we needed for the two Ilwaco library planters (for symmetry:  a pink scabiosa had died, and we needed to balance it with another, and oddly an Agyranthemum had lived and also needed to be balanced!)

Then way up north to Marilyn’s garden.  I walked the path first to check on things and something was not right.  Not right at all.  It took me a little while to figure out the garden catastrophe:  Someone had round up-ed the path and had seriously oversprayed into the garden.  The results were dire.  Marilyn’s daughter Nancy was there and kindly listened to my cries of woe and walked the path with me to share my sorrow over the plants.  We could only figure that the person who does some maintenance of the lot must have taken it upon himself to round up the path with a lavish back and forth spraying motion.  It will not happen again, but that was little comfort for the dying plants.  Now, they might have revived and grown out of it if cut way back….but this garden is going to be on the garden tour just two months from tomorrow so it cannot have wrecked plants.  Once this happened at The Anchorage and it took the edge of the garden two years to look right again.

my favourite Eryngium, blighted.

my favourite Eryngium, blighted on the edges.

Round up on Oregano.

Round up on Oregano.

round up on catmint

round up on catmint; the front is yellowed and twisty

a sprayed artemisia

a sprayed artemisia

another sprayed catmint

another sprayed catmint (front half is yellow)

damaged scabiosa

damaged scabiosa

round up and Rosemary

round up and Rosemary

damaged rosemary

damaged rosemary

So what was this diligent sprayer after?  In the path, scabiosas and linaria that had reseeded and would actually have been transplantable to Golden Sands or the Boatyard or in some places would have looked cute and pretty where they were.

Do reseeded flowers really look better sprayed and dead than alive and green?  I ASK YOU!

Do reseeded flowers really look better sprayed and dead than alive and green? I ASK YOU!

I’ve noticed that people who apply round up seem to have no problem with the fact that the sprayed plants are the same size but dead and brown and still need to be removed.  This is so strange to both me and Allan.  How is this an improvement?

As if we needed all the extra work during annuals hell…. Our plan had been to weed enough to plant some six packs of sage and cosmos and a few perennials to get them established and well grown for the tour,  go back to the Anchorage and finish planting the windowboxes, and get home in time to do some needed spreadsheet work tonight.  As soon as annuals hell ended, we would have come back to Marilyn’s to do a full day of weeding.  Instead, we ended up having to remove with the heavy pick maybe twenty damaged edge plants, big ones (catmint, lavender, oregano, scabiosa, and more), smooth out the soil, and now we have a huge load of debris to dispose of tomorrow along with everything else we had in mind for that day.

However, all the kvetching aside, we did have lots of painted sage with us so we used it to fill in the edges and will get some Dianthus later.  (I think the person who sprayed should pay for some new lavenders, but…)   It looked rather nice when we were done.  I just pray that there is no residue in the soil that will mess up the new plants.   If there is, this garden will have to be pulled off the garden tour and I will be annoyed beyond, well, beyond anything annoying that has happened in any garden of “ours” in the last twenty years, including when the truck went into the Shelburne garden (because that was an accident!)

This is the only area NOT cleared because of round up.  It had too big a grass at the edge.

This is the only area NOT cleared because of round up. It had too big a grass at the edge.

the path

the path

The big Phygelius (right) also showed signs of spray damage.

The big Phygelius (right) also showed signs of spray damage.

Re-planted all along the edge

Re-planted all along the edge

Some Allium albopilosum near the edge are also twisty and messed up by the overspray.  I am so sad because I wanted LOTS of them for the tour day.

Before, the plants, especially catmint, were billowing and spilling over the edge.  Will this possibly look filled in and melded with the back of the garden in two months?  I am anxious.

from back deck; neibhbour's garage will soon almost disappear.

from back deck; neighbour’s garage will soon almost disappear.

looking north-ish.

looking north-ish.

The one advantage:   The round rock edge shows again.  My mind still boggles that someone had the chutzpah to walk that path with a round up sprayer and cause so much damage to the garden.  I am so glad we have the support of the owners to fix it, and hope that it looks healed by tour day.

We were well out of time by the end of all this and did not get the rest of the windowbox plants to the Anchorage so that job has now spilled over onto tomorrow….  We were sorting plants from the car and dealing with trying to get some of the round up plant debris into our garbage can (to make the trailer lighter weight) until dark and we are both just a little bit crabby.

*****************************************************************

P.S.  Tomorrow:  Cash mob at The Basket Case.

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