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25-27 Oct: windy

Saturday, 25 October 2014

We had 47 mph winds and Allan saw the excitement of a big branch coming down in the bogsy woods, on the gear shed side, and breaking as it hit another branch on the way down.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer's campfire wood.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer’s campfire wood. (Allan’s photo)

IMG_1831

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

The wind in the bogsy wood was so dramatic that it was hard to stand up to take this (safely far away) photo:

rain

Later, while I worked on adding more photos to my page about Gram’s garden, Allan prepared the framework for the upcoming Halloween Avenue of Spooky Plants, through which brave trick or treaters will arrive to the porch.

We left the posts up since last year.

We left the posts up since last year. (Allan’s photo)

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo.

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo. (Allan’s photo)

I’ll wait till closer to Halloween before attaching the plants, as they could blow every whichway in the wind.

I had good company while blogging.

cats

Later, I finished a book, Mean Girls Grown Up. While I did like some passages, I debated whether the subject was good for this blog, and decided to save the topic of friendship for sometime this winter, perhaps. Now and then this summer, I’ve written a paragraph on the subject and then deleted it before publishing because I hesitated to be so revealing. (As Ann Lamott so amusingly wrote, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”)

I then began a new to me Margaret Drabble book, Seven Sisters. Immediately I fell in love with the (sort of) chapter titles being set off to the right side of the text. (Below, what is not clear is that she is not HIGH, she’s in an upper floor flat.)

drabble

drabble2

Ms. Drabble, how I love thee.

suffolk

I was surprised to see Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers invoked in the same sentence:

heyer

That’s nothing against Georgette Heyer; my significant other of the 80s, Bryan, loved her books and during those years I read every one of them and loved them, too. He also got me to read Jane Austen for the first time, and A.A. Milne and P.G. Wodehouse. For a punk rock club manager and soundman, he had the gentlest of reading taste.

Surely on Sunday, I would get another rainy day to finish my Drabble book and probably read another book, as well.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Our rainy day off was not to be. We woke to rain, then sunshine and a rainbow over School Hill.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

Another heavy rain squall passed right after I took the rainbow photo and I thought we had a reprieve from work. I yearned to get back to my Drabble novel! And then….out came the sun.

I decided to take a look in the back garden to see how many tree branches had come down in the storm. I am utterly fascinated with every little change in our garden: what’s blooming, how deep the puddles are, and how many branches and twigs have fallen in a storm.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

The rain had filled the water barrels.

The rain had filled the water barrels.

water

...except for this one, which has a leak.

…except for this one, which has a leak.

I hadn't battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

I hadn’t battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

a branch halfway up the garden

a branch halfway up the garden

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don't go into the back garden in a wind storm.

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don’t go into the back garden in a wind storm.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

BIG branches

BIG branches

I stared up at my alder trees for a little while, trying to figure out which tree the really big branches had come from. I couldn’t see any break that explained the large amount of alder on the ground. Then I looked to my right.

trunk

tree

It took me a couple of minutes to realize that the small-of-girth dead alder in Nora’s back yard had snapped halfway up and fallen mostly on our side.

trunks

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

An old tricycle had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

An old tricycle (now a planter) had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

I went to fetch Allan to share in my marveling at all our campfire wood and wondered if I should try to find a friend with a big chainsaw. He walked down Nora’s yard and took some photos from that angle.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo showing the broken trunk

Allan’s photo showing the broken trunk

Allan's photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Allan’s photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Unbeknownst to me, he also took some photos of me checking out the water level in the bogsy woods.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

IMG_1127

I had found that the swales had an attractively pleasing amount of water.

the meander line swale

the meander line swale

the bridge swale

the bridge swale

chairs blown around the fire circle

chairs and tables blown around the fire circle

I went into the house for a few minutes and was amazed, when I returned to the scene, to find that Allan had already managed to cut the trunk off of the fence.

allan

Even more amazing, he had cut it with our corona hand saw:

Allan's photo showing little red saw

Allan’s photo showing little red saw

He cut the weight off the Nora side first and then braced the long piece with a thingie from his workshop:

IMG_1139

Allan's photos of bracing thingie.

Allan’s photos of bracing thingie.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: It’s a “table saw outfeed stand”, used upside down.

We couldn’t linger to do more clean up as we had decided to work, mostly a drive around day checking for storm damage and fallen over plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

On the way out of our driveway, our own personal Lake Street puddle was much bigger than usual.

work

I’ve had so much to say about wind that I’ll make a separate post for today’s and tomorrow’s fall clean up work.

When we got home from work, we spent some enjoyable time until dark picking up sticks and rolling trunks in the back garden. The weather remained so pleasant and windless, and some of the fallen tree wood was so dry, that I wished we had some sausages so that we could have a campfire. (I find the roasting of sausages to be essential to campfire enjoyment.) The next morning, I took photos of our progress:

27 October:  LOTS of campfire wood

27 October: LOTS of campfire wood

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them...or they may be for burning next summer.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them…or they may be for burning next summer.

 

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Friday, 24 October 2014

The storm I had been expecting had been postponed till the weekend. I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to do, although I had a vague idea of doing the picket fence garden clean up at Andersen’s RV Park. First thing, I decided, would be to check for fallen cosmos at the Depot Restaurant garden in Seaview. On the way, we picked up some books at the library. (Three Junes by Julia Glass is still not here, and I am so eagerly waiting to reread it.)

in the library garden, fall crocus and heather

in the library garden, fall crocus and heather

fall colour in the library garden (Hamamelis, witch hazel)

fall colour in the library garden (Hamamelis, witch hazel)

I did get a book that I’d ordered through interlibrary loan: The Sisters of Hardscrabble Bay. All I know about it is its irresistible title.

Depot Restaurant

Once there, so many cosmos were tipped over by wind that I began to pull most of them, and then decided we should clip the hop vines on the lattice, as well.

before

before

after

after

before2

before

after

after

I remain impressed with the Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ this year. I liked it before because of the amusement of having smallish coreopsis flowers way up high. This year, maybe because all the ones I’ve planted are well established three year old plants, they’ve all bloomed well and profusely and for a long time.

Flower Tower

Flower Tower

I’d given up on the maddening cosmos that had not even flowered yet. I’m sure it was not ‘Sensation’ and pretty sure it wasn’t ‘Psyche’ that was so late coming on. The foliage was pretty, but no flowers yet. I left just one, to see if it ever blooms before frost (or before it falls right over from wind).

depot

the tardy non blooming cosmos

the tardy non blooming cosmos

Long Beach

We pulled the cosmos and some of the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ out of the welcome sign garden (and forgot to take a photo) and pulled more cosmos and cut down a rugosa rose in Fifth Street Park.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The rose is chopped down.  The Melianthus major has fallen sideways since we cut down the Helianthus that was holding it up.

The rose is chopped down. Part of the Melianthus major has fallen sideways since we cut down the Helianthus that was holding it up.

Allan's photo: after

Allan’s photo: after

after

after

We left this section mostly untouched because it's still so pretty.

We left this section mostly untouched because it’s still so pretty.

Lots of debris in our little cart and lots more to come after the next storm.

Lots of debris in our little cart and lots more to come after the next storm.

a digression: In Defense of Chrysanthemums

Not long ago I read an article on Garden Rant excoriating chrysanthemums. It’s not the first anti-chrysanthemum article; here’s another. One of the criticisms is that chrysanthemums brown off in just about a week.

I disagree.

The chrysanthemums in the Long Beach planters have been there for years, from when the Basket Case Greenhouse used to sell them in the fall. They have perennialized beautifully, have lovely natural shapes and bloom for weeks.

Here are a couple of photos from October 3rd:

pink ones

pink ones

pale pink ones by NIVA green

pale pink ones by NIVA green

And here are some photos from two days ago:

October 3rd

yellow ones by Campiche Gallery

yellow ones by Campiche Gallery (have been blooming for weeks)

pink ones still blooming

pink ones still blooming

and more

and more

photo 4

just north of NIVA green

just north of NIVA green

mum3

 

And here are the dark pink chrysanthemums still going strong on October 27 after heavy wind and rain:

Monday, 27 October

Monday, 27 October

AND the scent of the foliage reminds me of my grandmother’s garden. She loved chrysanthemums, and that’s good enough for me. (My page about her garden is newly updated and expanded, by the way.)

I'm pretty sure those are chrysanthemums in a vase in my grandma's living room.

I’m pretty sure those are chrysanthemums in a vase in my grandma’s living room.

Now…back to work.

Jo’s Garden

After our work in Fifth Street Park and the dumping of debris, it seemed too late to go all the way to Andersen’s. Instead, we decided to start on the fall cleanup of Jo’s garden. In previous years, we have left it till after bulb planting and it’s been the last hard, cold job of the season. With fewer jobs this year, we might be able to get it done earlier, Wouldn’t that be nice?

jobefore

We did not make much of a dent in the job before we got rained out just after four PM.

after

after

beforejo

after

after

Jo likes the garden flattened for winter, so we have a long, long way to go.

Allan pulled the crocosmia at the west end.

Allan pulled the crocosmia at the west end.

She wants to get rid of all her Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.  Who wants some?

She wants to get rid of all her Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. Who wants some?

Allan's before and after of pulling the crocosmia

Allan’s before and after of pulling the crocosmia; still many more plants to take down

hydrangea blooming in the driveway

hydrangea blooming in the driveway

Captain Bob’s Chowder

Earlier, while working in Fifth Street Park, we’d decided to have crab rolls at the end of our work day, and so we did.

chowder

crab rolls and chowder

crab rolls and chowder

It was a good meal and a good talk with restaurateur Cathy.

the end of our workday

the end of our workday

After blogging (which takes a couple of hours), we have a later dinner (thanks to Allan) and watch some telly. In the last month we’ve been watching the most recently released seasons of some series: The Americans, Bletchley Park, Homeland, Doctor Who, and tonight we saw a charming film called The Perks of Being a Wallflower. My only complaint: From my own experience, I don’t think high school misfits would be so pretty.
 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

We expected a storm to arrive Friday so decided we should make an appearance at several of our public garden jobs. But before we went public, we attended to Cheri’s garden a few blocks east. You may recall the Margaret Drabble short story I had read recently in which a vacationer’s idyll with nature is interrupted by several days’ work by a gardener.

gardener

Not wanting to cause such disruption is what had kept us away from Cheri’s while she and Charlie had housesitters there. Now that Cheri and Charlie are back from vacation, we did some more fall cleanup.

Cheri’s Garden

before

before

after

after

before

before

after

after (after not cutting down the foreground plants (Anthemis ‘Sauce Hollandaise’) due to lack of time)

Penstemon 'Burgundy Brew' still blooming

Penstemon ‘Burgundy Brew’ still blooming

before

before

after

after

Long Beach

I wished to accomplish one thing in Long Beach: cutting back a tatty Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that had been plaguing me each time we drove through town.

rozannebefore

before

after

after, with the concrete damp in the area where old foliage was removed

Next, we drove all the way north to Ocean Park (although NOT all the way to Marilyn’s in Surfside).

Wiegardt Gallery

I tackled the task of clearing out some of the Bad Aster and Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that has had its way with the garden this summer.

before

before (or, rather, during)

after

after

Look who I found!

Look who I found! (So glad I did not hurt it.)

Meanwhile, Allan chopped Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ down in the north garden bed. It didn’t look bad yet, but this year we are on a mission to get most fall clean up done before bulb time, instead of during or after bulb time.

back

north bed, minus Helianthis, with Miscanthus variegatus

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We drove south a short ways to Klipsan Beach Cottages. As we got out of the van, I said a squall was on its way, and at that moment Denny came out the back door of the garage and said we probably had fifteen minutes before the rain came. That was about right. I only wanted to get a little bit done, mainly to cut down the tall stalks of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ and move one lily.

east gate of fenced garden

east gate of fenced garden

kbc2

fall colour on blueberries

fall colour on blueberries

before

before

after

after (at home, I won’t cut the Thalictrum till much later because I love its stem colour)

a late rose

a late rose

with a little spider

with a little spider

My friend comes to say hello.

My friend comes to say hello.

cat2

Look at the size of that lily bulb!!  It's one that I have been planning to move as it is quite tall and too close to the front of the bed.

Look at the size of that lily bulb!! It’s one that I have been planning to move as it is quite tall and too close to the front of the bed.

Miscanthus 'Gold Bar' in a pot in the center of the garden

Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’ in a pot in the center of the garden

pineapple sage in the rain

pineapple sage in the rain

I yanked some spent cosmos and some aster. Then the rain came just as we thought. I could see that it was only a squall as the sky was light to the south, so we left to drive to the next job 90 blocks to the south.

Andersen’s RV Park

looking southwest

looking southwest

nice shapes and colours behind the office

nice shapes and colours behind the office

All we did was a bit of deadheading; we still have one big project to do here, the picket fence garden clean up, but we did not have time today. I wanted to make sure we accomplished some work at The Anchorage before the next squall hit.

Anchorage Cottages

There were several more things I might have gotten done at the Anchorage had the skies not opened with a dramatic hailstorm and thunder and lightning.

This golden hardy fuchsia is trying to revert to green and needs to have the green stems removed.

This golden hardy fuchsia is trying to revert to green and needs to have the green stems removed.

gardens by south wing of cottages

gardens by south wing of cottages

on the roof

on the roof

I groomed the remaining annuals in pots while Allan did a hard cutback of some lady’s mantle near the office. I was able to take shelter in the office while the hail pelted down. Poor Allan was stuck hunkering against a wall near the garbage bin behind the building, while trying to dump some debris.

north cottages and office

north cottages and office

stormy colours down on the edge of the lawn

stormy colours down on the east edge of the lawn

We had managed to work till almost dusk, and then went for our traditional Thursday dinner.

The Cove Restaurant

The Cove

The Cove

There was no ahi tuna on the revolving “Chef’s Mercy” menu this week, so I had the prawns solo and Allan had the fish tacos ($2 each!), with an apple ginger salad for each of us and the hard apple cider that I find so refreshing on Thursday evening.

food

Friday, 17 October 2014

You can skip the bookishness, scroll to the end, and be rewarded with some photos of the Port of Ilwaco.

Serious rain meant a true day off with no guilt.

view from front window

view from front window (As you can see, the river rocks have been taken away from across the street.)

east window

east window

and kitchen window

and kitchen window, with wind and rain

closer

My book of the day was Closer to the Ground about life on Bainbridge Island near Seattle. Recently we had seen the Bushwick Book Club musical performance about this book. While I expected to enjoy the book, I found it even more enjoyable than I had expected, and educational.

Don’t think the whole book is doom and gloom just because I’m about to share some of what I learned, starting with salmon:

salmon

salmon2

salmon3

What?? BRAKE PAD DUST? I had no idea. Allan says he thinks that it is possible to choose a less toxic kind of brake pad. Maybe ceramic. We are going to look into this.

I had no idea that geoducks are commercially harvested in an environmentally damaging way.

geoducks

geoducks2

geoducks3

The place names in the book are familiar to me from my teenage and 20s years, when I would often take a ferry to Bainbridge Island just to walk around; Mary and I walked all the way along what was then a quiet road from Winslow to Fay Bainbridge park. Last time I was there garden touring in 2007 or so, that quiet country road had become a busy highway.

From the book, I learned a new excuse to not battle very hard against the salmonberry groves that fill our bogsy wood, even though I sometimes dream of replacing them with more variety.

berries

berries2

I learned that rat poison is a big threat to owls, and thought about all the rat poison traps I see around the Peninsula. I doubt most people know that such poison endangers predatory birds.

owl

owl2

I had never considered the truth that living in the city might actually cause less impact on the environment:

right

right2

The book is not all environmental education. It inspired me to think about growing more veg.

veg

veg2

veg

Poetic descriptions of nature abound in Closer to the Ground.

geese

The images of night clamming are familiar to me from watching clam diggers here on the Peninsula.

clamming

night

One of my favourite themes is how the author thinks about childhood memories and tries to create good ones for his children.

memory

memory2

memory3

Trust me, these passages are just a hint of the richness in Closer to the Ground. I hope that the author continues to write memoirs about island life. I feel inspired to re-read one of my other favourites on that theme, Onions in the Stew by Betty McDonald about life on Vashon Island back when it was undeveloped.

I had time to read a second book because it was a bookish day with no booting up of the computer.

empathy-exams

I almost quit it when I came upon an essay in the second person. I can’t abide reading “You, you, you.” I’m glad I stuck with the book (which was not as much about empathy as I’d expected) because I came upon some gems, including a fascinating chapter about the West Memphis Three, in which I learned that there is a third Paradise Lost documentary. I immediately ordered it from the library (and a week later watched footage of the three innocents finally getting released from prison).

Here’s my favourite part of the book and exactly how I have come to feel about people who are said to be crying out for attention:

attention

attention2

open

Sunday, 19 October 2014

After a work day, we had another storm day. I felt a little guilty when I saw the sunshine from the front door, which I had open while I read.

sun

But one step onto the porch validated our decision to stay home. Despite the sunshine, the wind was strong with gusts up to 30 mph, so strong that it even rang the heavy bell on the porch.

ringing in the wind

ringing in the wind

Allan made cookies…the most special and yummy Russian Tea Cakes from his mother’s recipe.

cookies

I read The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble, one of my favourite authors. Set partly in a seaside town on the North Sea of England, it is simply beautiful and has inspired some evocative cover art.

9780786296354

 

sea

Drabble_7.indd

Margaret, Margaret, Margaret, I love every book you write. I think I might have to reread all of them this winter. Those would be some good bookish days.

sea

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

thegame

After some more work, I was able to enjoy another bookish day. I dutifully finished reading The Game by AS Byatt. I had wanted to read it because it is said to be the catalyst of a life long non-speaking feud between Byatt and her sister, Margaret Drabble. However much I love Margaret Drabble (which is lots), I found Byatt’s book to be a hard slog. I couldn’t quite see how it started the feud, and neither of the sisters seem much like the real life sisters. The younger one is so foolish that she could not possibly be based on Margaret; if she were, then the feud does make sense.

From an article in Slate:

from an article in Slate

While I found The Game tedious, I did find two quotations that I liked. First, this one, that speaks to me of what it feels like to be the subject of malicious gossip:

reflections

And I liked this bit as I am deeply opposed to judging people by their appearance:

appearance

I was glad to finish reading The Game and to get on with my enjoyable book of the day….by Margaret Drabble herself.

life

The very first story starts strong.

party

Later, a story called The Merry Widow amused me greatly. The protagonist, recently widowed from a mean and critical man, rents a lovely country cottage for a week. The setting is idyllic.

wall

drabble

gin

It is all so perfect, peaceful and solitary.

flowers

And then, The Gardener arrives, with a scythe to mow the meadow.

gardener

Many times, I have thought that I am spoiling the idyll of vacationers by gardening around them at various resorts. That is why this past two weeks we have not gone to finish the fall clean up at Cheri’s garden; while she was out of town, I did not want to disturb the peace of her housesitters.

In a later story, a lichen expert reminded me of the many moss and lichen photos that I enjoyed in Mr Tootlepedal’s blog last winter.

lichen

I did manage to get myself out of the house during a time when the wind died down enough to go check out the bogsy woods without danger.

the gutter "water feature"

the gutter “water feature”

We'd already had this much rain.

We’d already had this much rain.

I've been hoping the new, slightly raised garden bed would not get too bogsy.  So far so good.

I’ve been hoping the new, slightly raised garden bed would not get too bogsy. So far so good.

The bogsy swale already had some water (and I usually get the leaves raked first).

The bogsy swale already had some water (and I usually get the leaves raked off the path first).

from the bridge to the south gate, more bogsy swale water.  I love it!

from the bridge to the south gate, more bogsy swale water. I love it!

The meander line pool is fuller now...

Outside the south gate, the meander line pool is fuller now…

and the water is gleaming under the willow trunks...

and the water is gleaming under the willow trunks…

and in the long grasses.

and in the long grasses.

looking north to the house

looking north to the house

We’d had wind up to 40 mph and I expected more branches to be down…but there were only a few.

insignificant

insignificant

slightly bigger...

slightly bigger…

and some more bark had stripped off the former danger tree.

and some more bark had stripped off the former danger tree.

barkfall

Smokey came to find me in the rain, complaining all the way.

Smokey came to find me in the rain, complaining all the way.

Meanwhile, Allan went to the Port to deliver some digital photos (on a flash drive) to the Pink Poppy Farms dad, the photos we took of the glorious Pink Poppy wedding. While there, he took some photos…

the dredge

the dredge

the dredge at work

the dredge at work

E Dock

E Dock

PA220015

PA220012

And Allan also made us a treat at which he excels…

pie, pumpkin pie!

pie, pumpkin pie!

Alternating with some stormy bookish days (more on these later), we settled into a routine of going to Andersen’s RV Park. Other than Long Beach, it’s our biggest fall clean up job. I don’t do this sort of clean up at home. I would rather leave most old plants tall until springtime. At resorts, the guests expect tidiness. Even in my own garden, I do some clean up earlier in the late winter than I would if I were retired, just because garden jobs will keep me too busy in the spring.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

On the way to work (yes, on a Saturday, as one must do fall clean up whenever the weather allows, no matter how much one skived off work in the month of September), we popped into The Planter Box to get a lavender plant for one of the Ilwaco planters. I was reminded of how much I like this perennial chrysanthemum that they carry.

Planter Box plant display

Planter Box plant display

Our work mission was to continue the attack on the Bad Aster at Andersen’s RV Park. We had, as usual, let it invade the west garden way too much after the annual poppies. It had redeemed itself with a show of pale blue flowers through the mid-autumn, but now it has to be removed or it will completely take over and there will be no room for poppies next year.

before

before

Allan tackled the middle section while I went through the area to the left, that he had cleared two days ago, using the pick to get out masses of roots.

It's a hard slog to get the roots out.  (Allan's photo)

It’s a hard slog to get the roots out. (Allan’s photo)

Often the Stipa tenuissima plumes in the wind catch my eye and make me think for a second that there's a golden dog wagging its tail next to me.

Often the Stipa tenuissima plumes in the wind catch my eye and make me think for a second that there’s a golden dog wagging its tail next to me.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the roots are horrendous

the roots are horrendous

I got out several wheelbarrows full.

I got out several wheelbarrows full.

after

after

after

after

before and after, Allan's photos

before and after, Allan’s photos

The dratted aster will re-emerge from any piece of root left behind, as will the accursed quack grass, so this will have to be gone over again in late winter before planting poppy seeds. By then, we will probably find that the red Flanders Field poppies will have reseeded themselves, but we will add more seeds of assorted poppies to be sure to have a good display.

after

On our next day here, we will clear the south side of the garden, below.

Next!

Next!

I gave a bit of attention to the Payson Hall planters. All of the sanvitalia (short and yellow) reseeded from last year. The end is bare where a Salvia patens got cut back due to looking utterly tatty.

payson

To my surprise, a late Tigridia bloomed:

Tigridia (Mexican Shell Flower)

Tigridia (Mexican Shell Flower)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Allan found a frog under the trailer while hooking up for work.

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As you can see, there had been much rain the day and night before.

After a stormy bookish Sunday, we went back to work at Andersen’s, clearing the south side of the west garden of (some) goldenrod, a lot of asters, and assorted weeds.

before

before

I was going to take all the goldenrod out. However, the main clump got spared for now by still looking interesting. We’ll take down the rest next week so we can use the stalks in our Halloween corridor of spooky plants. At that time, we’ll get out as many roots as we can, knowing that some goldenrod WILL come back next year. It’s the tough old running kind, not the very polite and clumping Solidago ‘Fireworks’ that I favour now.

before

before

We would also try to finish the end of the center bed where we left off on Saturday.

before

before

after

after weeding among assorted good plants

after

after

after

after

after

after

after....I guess you can tell I am well chuffed with our job.

after….I guess you can tell I am well chuffed with our job.

Allan's before and after

Allan’s before and after

We worked till almost sunset.

We worked till almost sunset.

We treated two old friends of mine from my mid 20s, Xan and Marla, to dinner at The Depot Restaurant. I had not seen either of them for well over 25 years. I realized as they filled me in on many former acquaintances of my punk rock years, that the only ones I had truly cared what happened to were my former housemate, Wilum Pugmire, and the two of them, so it was perfect that they were our dinner companions. My mind sort of reeled at all the names that were invoked and thus no photos were taken of the occasion.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Despite a threatening weather forecast, we managed to get just a bit of work done.

First, I did some weeding at our volunteer Ilwaco Post Office garden while Allan dug a large and very tatty old lavender out of the city planter there. The lavender was originally donated and planted by Painted Lady Lavender Farm, so we planted a new lavender in its place.

I am picking away at the post office garden columbine seedlings...far too many.

I am picking away at the post office garden columbine seedlings…far too many.

One little lavender gives room for planting bulbs in the post office planter.

One little lavender gives room for planting bulbs in the post office planter.

Way back when, someone (not us) had put some bottles or something like that in this planter to take up some room, then put in soil and a lavender plant. The soil had then sunk ridiculously low, so we were very glad to get it filled up with potting soil again.

Back at Andersen’s RV Park, we continued the fall cleanup at the garden shed garden.

before

before

As we were getting toward the end of the project, I felt an ominous darkening of the sky and advised Allan to get at least one of the two wheelbarrows of debris dumped. As he did, a pelting fierce rain began, the kind that drenches one to the skin almost immediately. I had to keep picking up debris and then got into the van, thinking I would not even be able to get a proper after photo.

rain

from in the van

Then the squall had passed. Had I known it was only a squall, I would have hopped into the van earlier. We were able to do a bit more weeding till more rain came, and with a dark sky all the way to the south and clothing sodden from rain, we decided work was over for the day.

In the second rain squall, the "after" photo of the day

In the second rain squall, the “after” photo of the day

On the way home, we saw the city crew out making a new garden bed in Veterans Field. It will soon be ready for us to plant up (with more red white and blue-ish plants).

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The little monument is a tribute to former senator and local groceryman Sid Snyder; we all agreed that it is a lettering about Sid (lower part) is a little hard to read and might need some touch up with black.

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We decided to have a look at the weather on the port. The wind was whipping at about 28 mph. Allan’s the one who walked out to get the photos while I sheltered in the van.

The two flag warning was up.

The two flag warning was up.

warning flags flown at the port office

warning flags flown at the port office

The Mystique, whose progress in the boat yard we have been following all summer, is now in the marina.

Mystique

Mystique

Mystique's owner plans to sail off to Mexico with his dog.

Mystique’s owner plans to sail off to Mexico with his dog.

The Discovery, which we saw being brought into the boatyard a few days ago, is in the water again.

quick turnaround on the Discovery

quick turnaround on the Discovery

We found it poignant to see the for rent sign on the space formerly occupied by the late lamented Pelicano Restaurant.

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the restaurant, now being marketed as a turnkey establishment

the restaurant, now being marketed as a turnkey establishment

At home, I wrote out the work board, just from memory, so it probably does not even include all the jobs we have to do before staycation. (I forgot to list The Boreas Inn garden, for example.) There are two fall clean ups: The one we are doing now, cutting plants back, and the post-frost clean up at jobs that have annuals. We are awaiting the bulb arrival for bulb time to begin.

After a month or more of being blank, the work board returns to action.

After a month or more of being blank, the work board returns to action.

The forecast for the next day or two is dire and I predict at least one bookish day off before returning to do the Andersen’s picket fence garden fall clean up.

forecast

The wall of china on the shed had already begun to rattle in the wind, so for the second and final time this autumn, down they come till springtime.

battening down the hatches

battening down the hatches

The wind was already too fierce to go back into the bogsy woods to rescue a couple of decorative items from there.

wind

danger of falling branches from the alder grove

It’s so much better at our current residence than back at the old Tangly Cottage which was so scarily overhung by tall trees that each storm was an ordeal.

Finally, Allan’s photos of a late rose blooming in Nora’s garden next door:

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

We did the rounds of most of our public garden jobs because rain was predicted for Friday and we wanted to make sure they got done. Wiegardt Gallery, Oman Builder’s Supply and Marilyn’s garden, the three most north jobs, and Golden Sands got neglected this week.

Before work, I took a quick spin around the garden.

out the front door, Stewartia fall colour

out the front door, Stewartia fall colour

coleus by the shed

coleus by the shed

Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' by the greenhouse

Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ by the greenhouse

Soon it will be time to take my few tender succulents into the greenhouse.

Soon it will be time to take my few tender succulents into the greenhouse.

I picked up more fallen branches, so our campfire wood pile grows.

I had picked up more fallen branches yesterday, so our campfire wood pile grows. Allan had added some branch pieces from the ornamental plum pruning.

autumnal astilbes

autumnal astilbes

fuchsia magellanica

fuchsia magellanica

and another hardy fuchsia

and another hardy fuchsia

In the greenhouse, the appalling-looking tomato plants are still producing.

tomatoes

I picked some tomatoes, and then had to get to work.

I picked some tomatoes, and then had to get to work.

Ilwaco Post Office garden

We simply had to do a little bit of weeding in our volunteer garden.

post

And I planted the best of the rudbeckia divisions given us by Kathleen Shaw.

And I planted the best of the rudbeckia divisions given us by Kathleen Shaw.

The Depot Restaurant in Seaview

We are no longer trying to completely deadhead the cosmos...

We are no longer trying to completely deadhead the cosmos…

I did deadhead the Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' by the window, behind that maddenly late blooming cosmos.

I did deadhead the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ by the window, behind that maddenly late blooming cosmos, some of which had broken off.

depot

Long Beach

We paused to clip Lysimachia under one Long Beach street tree.

carrying an armload of debris to the trailer

carrying an armload of debris to the trailer

On the way north out of town, I was maddened to see a very unattractive stalk of spent Schizostylis (a late blooming perennial) in the planter just north of the pharmacy. I had noticed it last week, too; something would have to be done later.

Anchorage Cottages

At the Anchorage, I was inspired to do a good fall clean up of one end of the courtyard garden, getting rid of two tatty old lavenders and a cluster of Bad Aster.

after

after

The area above got a piece of Kathleen’s rudbeckia; she used to stay at the Anchorage while visiting, before she bought her little cottage halfway up the Peninsula.

The annuals in the courtyard planters are still looking pleasant enough...although not for much longer.

The annuals in the courtyard planters are still looking pleasant enough…although not for much longer.

Lotus vine has been a big success in the four windowboxes...

Lotus vine has been a big success in the four windowboxes…

and is blooming now.

and is blooming now.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Bella was out on the lawn when we got to KBC.

She's a little camera shy.

She’s a little camera shy.

There she is!

There she is!

Mary was raking leaves.

Mary was raking leaves.

A critter of some kind had gotten into the fenced garden. I think it was a bear, over the fence! Or maybe a deer, standing on its hind legs to get the apples off the top of the young apple tree. Whoever it was, the top of the tree was broken off, and the apples were gone.

Luis pruning the broken parts off the tree, deciding what would be the new leader.

Luis pruning the broken parts off the tree, deciding what would be the new leader.

I clipped a plethora of perennials back in this corner by the greenhouse.

I clipped a plethora of perennials back in this corner by the greenhouse.

a good aster that has bloomed for weeks

a good aster that has bloomed for weeks

hardy fuchsias

hardy fuchsias

a late rose

a late rose

and a spider web on rose 'Jude the Obscure'

and a spider web on rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

Andersen’s RV Park

and

While I deadheaded the ubiqitous Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, Allan began the fall clean up of the west beds, pulling of the Bad Aster along the westernmost edge of the beds.

the aster project begins

the aster project begins

As usual, I berate myself for letting the aster take over so thoroughly after the poppies are done, when its cloud of pale blue seems welcome. Worse yet, we let it go to seed.

before

Allan’s photo: before

after

Allan’s photo: after

root length of the bad aster, Allan's photo

root length of the bad aster, Allan’s photo

I went in after him and got more roots out, as the aster roots are pernicious and have given shelter to swathes of quack grass. We would return soon for more aster mayhem.

While we were working, park owner Lorna came out to visit and told me that she now reads the Tootlepedal blog every day. I was so pleased. Now there are at least three Tootlepedal fans on the LB Peninsula. We worked till the sun was low in the sky, and then indulged in our Thursday tradition.

The Cove Restaurant

the cats of the Cove

the cats of the Cove

This Thursday's menu

This Thursday’s menu

J9, Jill and their friend Judy McP. were also there (finishing their early dinner), as I knew they would be, and, as secretly planned, J9 presented Allan with a bag of sweet goodies from a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, to thank him for the plaque he made in memory for her cat, Buddy.

Allan's treats

Allan’s treats

I had been counting the hours till I could have a glass of crisp and frosty hardy apple cider.

I had been counting the hours till I could have a glass of crisp and frosty hardy apple cider.

fried artichokes with creole mayo

fried artichokes with creole mayo

apple ginger salad with craisins

apple ginger salad with craisins and feta cheese

I had the ahi tuna; Allan had fish tacos.

I had the ahi tuna; Allan had fish tacos.

Allan had chocolate cake; I had this bread pudding with cranberries, so rich I took half home for tomorrow.

Allan had chocolate cake; I had this bread pudding with cranberries, so rich I took half home for tomorrow.

Long Beach again

That is not a finger blighter…That’s Allan, pulling the ugly schizostylis stalk that I noticed much earlier in the day. I remembered!

Now it will stop haunting my dreams.

Now it will stop haunting my dreams.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Nature had had her revenge:  When I had pulled wild grasses along the meander line a week before, I had cut my finger.   I thought it had healed well, but today it was sore and looked inflamed.  As a hypochondriac, I was quite worried; fortunately, rain let me stay in and read a book, because the sore spot was right where it would hurt to pull weeds.

much fierce rain

much fierce rain

rain2

rain3

  I became completely absorbed in the book  (with some guilt, as the weather improved considerably in the afternoon).  I should have got me arse in gear and hied us down to Cheri’s and Mike’s garden, both close to us, on the pleasant hours of the afternoon.  But I did not.

Allan was more ambitious.  I had pointed out, last time I weeded in the front garden, a limb that might be removed from the ornamental plum tree.  He had been thinking about it, and today he cut it.

before

before

after

after: more light for the shrubs underneath.  I do not especially like that tree.

He also hung up all our Halloween lights for the upcoming Halloween trick or treating extravaganza.

front porch

front porch

gate

spiders

 

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purple lights on the front arbour

purple lights on the front arbour

..and he hung two new pots (given us by our client Jo, I think) by the garage door.

..and he hung two new pots (given us by our client Jo, I think) by the garage door.

I went out to admire his handiwork, and noticed one plant blooming nicely in the front garden.

some sort of rudbeckia?

some sort of rudbeckia?

the front gate, ready for Halloween

the front gate, ready for Halloween

Now we just have to erect our spooky corridor of dead plants for the trick or treaters.  That will have to wait until later as windstorms would tear it apart.

Here is the book that had me so absorbed:

book

A couple of bits that spoke to me follow.  The first reminded me of stories I have heard about the end of life, including Jo’s dear mother who said something like “I don’t mind going but I’m not enjoying the trip”, as she died in her late 90s.

death

death2

Why must death be so hard?  It is a mystery that plagues me; the concept of it being a passage, like birth, even though hard, is comforting, and I do hope it is toward something more than just the dark.

The following passage reminded me of my questioning about whether or not it was right for me to try to control nature in the far reaches of our property (and the revenge of nature that had my finger looking worrisomely weird and making me think of going to urgent care, although I can tell you, as I am writing this days later, I did not go and it turned out ok).

nature

bats

It’s a great book, and I recommend it so highly that on a scale of one to five I would want to give it a ten or a twenty.  I finished it by evening and was in mourning when it ended.  Sometimes Julia Glass has revisited characters in her novels (Three Junes, and then The Whole World Over, and now her new book And the Dark Sacred Night revisits the same characters).  I do hope she revisits the characters from The Widower’s Tale in a future novel.  I did not want to let them go.  Meanwhile, I am impatiently waiting for Three Junes to come from the library so I can reread the first two books of her trilogy before I read the third one.

 

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