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Posts Tagged ‘world’s largest frying pan’

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

At last we got to the Casa Pacific garden, our only job that is off the Peninsula.  (Technically, Ilwaco is not part of the Long Beach Peninsula, but never mind, we all pretend it is.)  Now I think there is only one garden we have not been to at all yet this year.

The first thing I attended to was cleaning up the whiskey barrel planters so that the narcissi showed without last year’s dead annual foliage.

before

before, by the shop building, old foilage of Helichrysum

after

after

I think I have gone off the Helichrysum petiolare as a container trailer.  I used to love it so much.  Lately I’ve been feeling clients would appreciate something more colourful.  I’ll still use ‘Limelight’, the chartreuse one.

Narcissi on the steep clay slope on the way up to the house

Narcissi on the steep clay slope on the way up to the house

Allan worked on pruning sword ferns next to the long uphill driveway.

before

before

after

after

Above:  As I started to walk up toward the house (after finishing the seven whiskey barrels by the workshop), my good friend Dusty came to greet me.

Dusty

Dusty

He had a ball in his mouth and was so happy his tail was going in circles.  I knew better than to start to play, though, as then he would get so excited he would pester me all day.  If I don’t throw anything, he settles down and walks right next to me while I work so that I can put one hand down and pet his head.  What a very good dog he is.

a lousy picture to show that the pink flowering currant we planted was in bloom

a lousy picture to show that the pink flowering currant we planted was in bloom

I started to weed alongside the living room windows and had an audience the whole time.

"Shredder"

“Shredder”

cat

cat

cat

Shredder would likely have been especially interested in this frog.

frog

As usual, Spook the shy Great Dane tried to ignore me and slunk under the deck when I got too close.

Spook, telephoto

Spook, telephoto

Dusty eventually tired of following me.

Dusty eventually tired of following me.

As I weeded the house beds, Allan cut back a big pampas grass and a hydrangea and the sword ferns on the lawn island bed.

during, since I forgot to take a picture before the pampas grass was cut

during, since I forgot to take a picture before the pampas grass was cut

after

after

I weeded the edges of the island bed while Allan went to the big raised bed on the other side of the house.

behind the garden...Last year we thought this was a nest but now I think it might be a mutation on the tree.

behind the garden…Last year we thought this was a nest but now I think it might be a mutation on the tree.

Tall grasses needed cutting, as did hydrangeas and some perennials.

Tall grasses needed cutting, as did hydrangeas and some perennials.

after

after

at the shadier end of the rock wall garden

at the shadier end of the rock wall garden

Narcissi and gold twig dogwood

Narcissi and gold twig dogwood

I especially like the narcissi with reflexed petals

I especially like the narcissi with reflexed petals.

I went along the front of the wall cutting ferns and perennials.  Unfortunately, when I tried to work where I had to walk up and down on the sloping ground, my leg cramped up so much that I had to find another project.  An unpleasant one beckoned.

truly hideous Phormium (New Zealand Flax( near the house

truly hideous Phormium (New Zealand Flax) near the house

I suggested to the owner, Dan, if that if there is ever a backhoe on the property for any reason, have them remove this monster.  He agreed.  Meanwhile, I cut it as far back as I could.

after

after

The blades, every one of which looked bad, are thick, fleshy and  hard to cut low.  I probably could have taken a couple more inches off, but is it worth it?  We have gotten rid of so many of these that I’ll be watching this one to see how it looks when it leafs out again, as there are not many left in any of our gardens.

We had worked so many hours that we were there later than usual in the afternoon.  I think this is first time I have ever gotten a photo of the entire rock garden border without part of it being in shade; the house windows face this as if it were a stage:

the long curved garden

the long curved garden from north end

With the job done for now, I played a little ball with Dusty.  He was ecstatic.  Then, to fill in the last hour of our workday, we went to check on the Fifth Street Park in Long Beach as I feared it might have lots of narcissi to deadhead.  It didn’t.  It is full of the foliage of an annoying small allium that spreads like a weed.  It IS a weed and I pull and pull to no avail.

it's back!

it’s back!

I wouldn’t mind except that I think non gardeners will assume it is a weed grass.

I despair of the Phlomis fruticosa that we cut to the ground because it looked so bad after hard frosts.

I hope it returns...

I hope it returns…

However, I was well chuffed to see lots of sprouts at the base of the Melianthus major.

encouraging signs of life on the Melianthus

encouraging signs of life on the Melianthus

From across the street, we saw the clam sculpture, recently re-plumbed, squirt on the hour to the amazement of some tourists who told us they thought they were being “punked”.

It now squirts again on the hour, or when you put a quarter into a nearby device.

clam sculpture and quarter device

clam sculpture and quarter device

Of course, this means I have to post Mary’s wonderful letter again.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

The day has come.  I was so delighted.

clam2

A visitor deposits a quarter.

A visitor deposits a quarter.

getting the classic "World's Largest Frying Pan" shot

getting the classic “World’s Largest Frying Pan” shot

Note the nice new garbage can.  The park got new benches, too.

park

Update:  I learned the next day that the clam was not supposed to be on till the official dedication in April, so the plumbing may be turned off now.

I’m concerned about the rhodos that are the back drop for the clam.  We did not prune these.  I’m thinking that if they don’t leaf out better by the time of the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival in mid April, I may ask if we can fix them up a bit.

too stubby

too stubby

After all the clam excitement, we went home with a stop at the Ilwaco Timberland Library.  Heather and Narcissi are blooming by the front door.

library garden

library garden

There were no books for us but Allan did succeed in getting some old newspapers for tomorrow’s garden bed creation job.  I couldn’t stand the way the thyme in our two volunteer planters looked so had to prune them.

before

before

after

after

I’m still doing catch up on the blog.  That consumed my evening while Allan did a wonderful job of mowing the still damp lawn.

evening mowing

evening mowing

Tomorrow:  a project begins!

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Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

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

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

TOO much Helichrysum

TOO much Helichrysum by the guest house/garage

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

hillside

hillside

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

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking up from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

looking down from the guesthouse/garage

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

my new favourite tool for hard ground

my new favourite tool for hard ground

in heavy clay at China Beach

narcissi in heavy clay at China Beach

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

April, Discovery Heights

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

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

Leanne and Dusty

Leanne and Dusty

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

Spook

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

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

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

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

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

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

Depot garden, packed with tulips and narcissi and alliums

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

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

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

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

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

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

The coins will be used for park maintenance.

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

two of the crew

two of the crew

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

NW quadrant by the dining room and activity room

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

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

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

SW quadrant

SW quadrant

SE quadrant

SE quadrant

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

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

looking west from the dining room doors

looking south from the dining room doors

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

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

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

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

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

done

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

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

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

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Early this year, I suggested on Facebook that the Long Beach Peninsula should have a cash mob, and within days Michelle Z from the Breakers resort and I had, at her suggestion, gotten together to create one.  The idea is that a group of shoppers meet at a little store and spend between $5 and $20 dollars and also, if they wish, follow up with lunch at a local café.

My very favourite local shop, NIVA green, was the settings for today’s cash mob, but before that, Allan and I went to the Empty Bowls of the Long Beach Peninsula charity event that benefits local feed the hungry programs.

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls

For $10, you get to choose a bowl from many created by locals from schoolchildren to professional potters, and you then get a bowl of soup.  Not in the bowl you choose, which was good because Allan chose a cute but tiny one.

bowl selection

bowl selection

Then we went up to NIVA green (New, Vintage, Inspired, Artful).   Our friend Sarah Sloane, who we met when she toured our garden last summer, had her beautiful topiaries for sale outside the door.

Sarah and her topiaries

Sarah and her topiaries

The juxtaposition of a charity event as the lunch spot with a shop as cash mob made for rather a scattered day.  Our lust for the best bowl selection meant we missed getting to photograph the first cash mob rush.  We did stay for awhile and saw the delight of people, some cash mob attendees and some tourists, who were visiting the shop for the first time.

NIVA owner/artist Heather Ramsay makes these wonderful lamps.

NIVA owner/artist Heather Ramsay makes these wonderful lamps.

at NIVA green

at NIVA green

at NIVA green

at NIVA green

at NIVA green

at NIVA green

Then we had to go do some work, so we chose to plant sweet peas seeds and viola plants at the Anchorage Cottages.

The ‘Apple Blossom’ flowering currant was a hummingbird magnet.  I put the kibosh, I fervently hope, at the thought of pruning it lower.

Ribes sanguineum 'Apple Blossom'

Ribes sanguineum ‘Apple Blossom’

I planted sweet peas along the chimney in a small courtyard, as last year, but we must go back and inset a bamboo trellis.

sweet pea spot

sweet pea spot

hyacinths by office window

hyacinths by office window

I like the small narcissi in the window boxes, and how precious they look coming up through moss.  But when they are done, I must replace the soil in all four boxes because it is not draining well, thus the picturesque moss.

mossy green

mossy green

One of the spring pleasures at the Anchorage is in the trilliums that pop up by one of the cottages.

well established trillium patch

well established trillium patch

Allan planted violas in the main courtyard pots and pruned two branches of the flowering currant away from the window in hopes of making it more acceptable.  It will not be cut down while I am around to defend it!

Then we went down to Veterans Field in Long Beach and planted a couple more red leaved little barberries, six ‘Sapphire’ blue oat grass (the cultivar with the bluest, widest blades), and I had a little brainstorm that I could plant blue and white violas there for the May 1st-ish dedication of the monument.  I”ll need to find some early seasonal bright red flower  also.  But the main colour will come, year round, from foliage, because I don’t like to be overly jingoistic in the planting scheme.

Back we went to check on how the cash mob was doing.  I could not tell who was cash mob and who not, but it was quite busy at NIVA green!

at NIVA green

at NIVA green

Multi talented Sarah Sloane made this marble board as an illustration of her children’s fantasy novel,The Marble Game.  The book is available locally at NIVA Green and Time Enough Books.

Sarah's Marble Game

Sarah’s Marble Game

treasures of NIVA green

treasures of NIVA green

NIVA green

Back again to work, but first, a trip to The Basket Case to buy the white and blue violas while those colours are still available.

at the Basket Case

at the Basket Case

Then back to Long Beach, where Allan weeded and I planted sweet peas along the fence in the Fifth Street Park’s northwest quadrant.

box of assorted sweet peas

box of assorted sweet peas

Now I have only two places left to plant sweet peas:  The Ilwaco Post Office and my own garden.

sweet pea planting and weeding: done

sweet pea planting and weeding: done

Leaving, we were amused by the usual sight of people taking pictures of each other in the giant frying pan.

the traditional frying pan photo

the traditional frying pan photo

But wait!  Upon arriving at the car, we found a phone message from the Basket Case…We had left the violas there, in the excitement of buying some other perennials, so a trip back was necessary.  Fortunately I had not planned to plant the violas today because it is supposed to get almost freezing tonight.  Better to wait till Monday.

I just had time at home to upload today’s Cash Mob photos before we went across the river with our friend Susie, owner of the Boreas Inn.  One of the best parts of our gardening business is, over the years, having become social friends with some of our clients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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