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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nelly’s garden

I was shocked to awake this morning to nice-ish weather.  The plan had been to do the Nelly bulbs project on a rainy day as it was a garden shed job.  I wanted to get the Port and the Boreas done instead!  I thought, however, that Nelly might have some outdoor projects in mind as well, and when we arrived at her house just two blocks down the street, I was right.  The dahlias had gone down from frost and they and some other perennials needed clipping.

Allan gets started on clipping.

Allan gets started on clipping and on a mission to get rid of the Bad Aster..

Nelly told me that someone had given her a start of the running blue aster years ago and she has been trying to get rid of it ever since.

after; the tall plant to the left is a hardy fuchsia

after

Allan would also be the one to dig the flowerpots of bulbs back into the ground.

center garden before adding pots

center garden before adding pots

Nelly came out to the shed to show me her bulbing method, and also told us there had been a misunderstanding last time, one that is of a type so familiar to me.  She asked her spouse, Don, to come out and tell us to cut down “the pink flowers”.  He did so, and pointed to Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, in the center of the square bed, above.  I said “Are you sure?  Some poeple like to look at the dried flower heads all winter.”  He was sure.  Turns out what Nelly meant was to cut to the ground the two escallonia shrubs along the back that Don had partly pruned.  Escallonias have pink flowers, too!

To the right, by the fence: two stubby escallonias

To the right, by the fence: two stubby escallonias

I’m tempted to find some flowerheads in my garden of the sedum and stick them in with the clipped plants in that center bed so that Nelly can see them from her kitchen window.  It would be easy to do and a fun surprise.  At first, I thought of adding whole plants, and then realized just the strong-stemmed flat flower heads would do.

warm tones of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' dead flowers...before the chop.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’: I grow it in most of my gardens, and the dried flowers are  sturdy enough to stick in the ground and hold up till next spring.  The ones in this photo are at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

I started the bulb project.  Nelly showed me that she dumped out each pot of tulips or narcissi or hyacinth in a round plastic dish, removed the bulbs, then placed them back in the pot on top of some of the old soil mixed with bone meal, and filled in with new potting soil from a bag.

garden shed work area with plastic sorting bowl and bucket of new potting soil

garden shed work area with plastic sorting bowl and bucket of new potting soil

It did not take me long before the work area looked like this:

The plastic bowl was not enough sorting space for me!

The plastic bowl was not enough sorting space for me!

Nelly has good luck getting tulips to rebloom this way.  The pots get pulled out of the ground after blooming, sit by the side of the garage on a plank all summer, and get put into the garden shed before fall rains come, ready to be resorted and placed back out in the garden again.  They had been labeled “kitchen” (under kitchen window), “garage” (a narrow bed beside the garage) and “garden’; over the summer, a helper had pulled the labels out so there’s no telling what the colour mix will be.

tulips bulbs

tulips bulbs

some sort of small narcissi

some sort of small narcissi

Fortunately, I can at least tell tulips, narcissi and hyacinth bulbs apart.

I had enough spare narcissi bulbs (due to the way they multiply) to put some little ones along the narrow wooden planter by the back steps.

planter

There’s also a pot sunk into the tiny garden bed to the left.

In the summer, perennials and dahlias blowse out and cover the spots where the bulb pots go in the fall through spring.

I had a client back in Seattle who did the same thing but replaced the pots of spring bulbs with pots of annuals in the summer.

I set out the pots each time I finished two, for Allan to plant.

I set out the pots each time I finished two, for Allan to plant.

ready to go in

Allan’s photos: ready to go in

IMG_1791

 

pots in the ground

pots in the ground

IMG_1794

Allan’s tidy nature made him perfect for getting the pots in all nicey nice.

Meanwhile, he had cut back the escallonia level with the ground.  I think Don will just mow over it and turn it into a lawn path; the shrubs were placed where it would be more natural to have a walk- through.

Allan's photos:  before

Allan’s photos: before

hand pruner and rechargable chain saw

hand pruner and rechargable chain saw

leveled out

leveled out

after

after

I know from having done the same thing to two big escallonias at the Wiegardt Gallery that if they are cut level and then any new sprouts taken off, the shrubs will disappear.  If left alone and not mowed over, they might resprout and grow again.

When I went in to say the job was done, Nelly was pleased at how quickly we had accomplished it.  She showed me her latest quilt in progress.

Mail Attachment

I especially like the way slanted yellow lines makes the pattern intriguingly asyemmtrical.

I especially like the way slanted yellow lines makes the pattern intriguingly asyemmtrical.

little houses

little houses

and flowers

and flowers

Nelly has been a member of the Peninsula Quilt Guild for over 20 years.

I admired their wood stove.  Although it is not an antique, it was built from an Amish design.  I thought it would keep the kitchen warm when the power goes out in storms; Nelly said unfortunately, strong winds make the chimney backdraft so it’s not helpful in a windstorm power outage.

It sure is pretty, though.

It sure is pretty, though.

Port of Ilwaco

We still had some hours of daylight left and the predicted rain had not arrived, so we went down to finish the port gardens.

before, Howerton Way garden north of the Port Office

before, Howerton Way garden north of the Port Office

After Allan trimmed the lavenders and cut back the Gaura 'Whirling Butterfly'

after Allan trimmed the lavenders and cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’

Allan's before....

Allan’s before….

and after photos.  Most of the low feathery foliage is of California poppies.

and after photos. Most of the low feathery foliage is of California poppies.

Meanwhile, I clipped a few plants in the garden bed on the south side of the port office.

before

before

after creating two buckets of debris

after creating two buckets of debris

my view, looking south

my view, looking south

my audience

my audience

In the photo below, you can see a black crane (not the bird) in the far distance, behind the boats.

crane

That’s the US Army Corps of Engineers dredge, which is working on keeping the port channel deep enough for boats.  Nancy Beesley, who works at the Port Office and co-administrates the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page with me, took some photos of the dredge yesterday, which I think you will like to see.    You can read more about it in this recent article.

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

I think this is the port's own, smaller dredge.  photo by Nancy Beesley

I think this is the port’s own, smaller dredge. photo by Nancy Beesley

dredge repairs, photo by Nancy Beesley

dredge repairs, photo by Nancy Beesley

local Port of Ilwaco dredge crew, photo by Nancy Beesley

local Port of Ilwaco dredge crew, photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

our little harbour

our little harbour

Back to today:  Don Nisbett was at his art gallery next door to the Port Office, so I got a chance to deliver Jenna’s two bags of biochar soil right to his truck.

behind the gallery

behind the gallery

Ok, back to work.  We drove east down Howerton to the garden by the Ilwaco Pavilion where I knew a gaura waited to be cut down.

center: Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies', crisped by frost.

center: Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, crisped by frost.

I cut it back that hard,

I cut it back that hard,

This particular bed is one of my favourite port gardens this year.

This particular bed is one of my favourite port gardens this year.

While Allan went to the field east of the marina to dump debris, I did some weeding of maddening little grasses in the easternmost bed.  There is still a little scrim of tiny green grass here and here.  It can wait now till February; Allan commented that to him, it just looks like moss.

Looking west down Howerton and calling this job done for the year.

Looking west down Howerton and calling this job done for the year.

Looking southwest across the parking lot, I could see a nice photo to be had...

Looking southwest across the parking lot, I could see a nice photo to be had…

We were running out of daylight so I resisted scenic photo opportunities in order to try to get one more job done.

Boreas Inn

We had an hour and a half-ish till dark to drive up to Long Beach and do some clipping back and weeding at the Boreas Inn garden.

The nasturtiums by the front walk way were most definitely done.

The nasturtiums by the front walk way were most definitely done.

Boreas Inn, east side

Boreas Inn, east side

We worked like mad and managed to get the job done enough to say that the garden is put to bed for the winter.

Boreas, looking east from beach path

Boreas, looking east from beach path

We finished at dusk.

We finished at dusk.

path to the beach, looking west

path to the beach, looking west

I was so focused on finishing that I did not realize until we got into the van that it had been raining lightly.

rain

Cove Restaurant

Of course, we had to reward ourselves with our traditonal Thursday dinner at the Cove.  I texted fellow gardener Ed Strange (Strange Landscape Services) who joined us.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Coziness at the Cove

Coziness at the Cove

Chef Jason was back from a brief surfing vacation with his Thursday Chef's Mercy menu.

Chef Jason was back from a brief surfing vacation with his Thursday Chef’s Mercy menu.

2

roasted beet salad

roasted beet salad

Ed got Prawns Solo...

Ed got Prawns Solo…

and a yakisoba bowl.

and a yakisoba bowl.

Allan and I both got the Thai Beef Curry.  It smelled so good that we both tucked in before I took a photo.

Allan's, with rice added

Allan’s, with rice added

Because of living in a small town area, we saw Lisa of the Hydrangea House, Seaview Patti, and Basket Case Fred also out for dinner.

home

At home, I had the sheer delight of erasing almost all jobs from the work board:

photo

We now can declare staycation can commence.  We are due for some rainy days which may delay the final check up of Marilyn’s garden for a few days.  The Depot window box clean up is contingent on the annuals finally dying.  The planting of the memorial garden and the mulching of Golden Sands are projects for 2015, and the post office is volunteer, and here is home, so theose mulching projects don’t count as work.

Time to put our feet up and watch telly.  We’d like to finish the Bill Nighy show (Page Eight) that we’ve been too tired to finish for the last two nights, and then there’s Hell’s Kitchen, a truly silly show and yet I will watch pretty much anything by Gordon Ramsay.

I see a problem, though.  I’m not sure there is room in my chair.

cats

 

 

 

 

19 Nov: bulb finale

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

We started work an hour and a half earlier than usual, a must (and an unusual decision for us) because of my feeling of urgency to get lots of work done before rain comes.  The previous night, I was in bed before 1 AM, which is practically unheard of as both Allan and I are night owls and are usually awake till two.

The cats were still snoozing.  There's nothing unusual about that at any hour.

The cats were still snoozing. There’s nothing unusual about that at any hour.

I had a huge list of tasks to accomplish.  The first were two jobs that had not even been on the list that I cooked up last night.  We’d gotten such an early start that I thought we could add them.

The Red Barn

The four whiskey barrel planters were finally done and ready for the annuals to be pulled.

The four whiskey barrel planters were finally done and ready for the annuals to be pulled.

I always say hello to this fine fellow.

I always say hello to this fine, one-eyed fellow.

the sign on his stall

the sign on his stall

Disney said hello.

Disney said hello.

I thought this bit of green in one of the barrels was a leaf.  Allan showed me it was a sleeping frog.

I thought this bit of green in one of the barrels was a leaf. Allan showed me it was a sleeping frog.

Frog had lost his plant cover, so I tucked him in under these sedums and he snuggled down all comfy.

Frog had lost his plant cover, so I tucked him in under these sedums and he snuggled down all comfy.

No time to weed any more at ground level.  It can wait till next February.

No time to weed any more at ground level. It can wait till next February.

Crabbing preparation was going on at the barn.

Crabbing preparation was going on at the barn.

Diane’s garden

Next door to the Red Barn property, we did frost clean up on Diane’s pots of annuals.

The pots are stuffed with bulbs for next spring.

The pots are stuffed with bulbs for next spring.

Next door, Amy's horse.

Next door, Amy’s horse.

Allan clipped back perennials along the road.

Allan clipped back perennials along the road.

We said goodbye to the Diane and Larry garden and the Red Barn garden for this year and went on to my list of Long Beach tasks.

Long Beach

First, we checked the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach road and found two that needed a bit of attention.

I couldn't bear to totally cut down the blue globe thistle as it still looks fine, so Allan just clipped a few dead stalks.

In one of the  westernmost planters, I couldn’t bear to totally cut down the blue globe thistle as it still looks fine, so Allan just clipped a few dead stalks.

the view from our parking spot

the view from our parking spot

This one needed just a bit of tidying.

This one needed just a bit of tidying.

That's better.

That’s better.

Allan had started tidying the Kite Museum garden; I walked across the lawn to join him

Allan had started tidying the Kite Museum garden; I walked across the lawn to join him

our little kite garden

our little kite garden

put to bed for the winter

put to bed for the winter

Next, we clipped and weeded the bed in the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park.

before

before

after

after, with some Gladiolus papilio corms added

Next, we pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and some weeds and trash from the garden bed behind Lewis and Clark Square.  It’s behind the L&C wall of plaques and we had forgotten to deal with it earlier.

Lewis and Clark Square

Lewis and Clark Square

The wall curves around two sides of the square.

The wall curves around two sides of the square, with plaques about L&C’s explorations.

the garden behind the wall a couple of springtimes ago

the garden behind the wall a couple of springtimes ago

today, before clean up

today, before clean up

no time to cut the lady's mantle.  Hydrangea was hit hard by frost, will look better when leaves fall off, as they will.

no time to cut the lady’s mantle. Hydrangea was hit hard by frost, will look better when leaves fall off, as they will.

As we drove toward this project, I had noticed some wilt on an Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in a planter half a block back.  I walked back to check on it.

No wonder it was wilted; it was loosened out of the ground and I had to pull it.

No wonder it was wilted; it was loosened out of the ground and I had to pull it.

Now the planter is lopsided, which bugs me.

Now the planter is lopsided, which bugs me.

It was actually fortuitous that I was inspired to walk back, as I found that whoever had been supposed to plant the bulbs in this planter (me or Allan!) had missed some and the little bulbs were still placed along the edge!

a startling sight for me to find.

a startling sight for me to find.

If only I had planted some little crocuses in this particular planter yesterday, I would have seen those stray bulbs then.

On the way back to the Lewis and Clark garden, I saw an apropos sign....

On the way back to the Lewis and Clark garden, I saw an apropos sign….

because I was anxiously watching the clock.

because I was anxiously watching the clock.

The little park almost done, or at least as done as we had time for.

The little park almost done, or at least as done as we had time for.

Next, we drove out the Bolstadt beach approach road and tidied up its planters.  The 25 mph wind gusts were not cold and therefore only mildly irksome; the remainder of our jobs would be more sheltered.

The city crew had added garlands and lights out there.

The city crew had added garlands and lights to the lamp posts.

Our next task was to finish cleaning up the garden on the west side of city hall.

before

before, Geranium ‘Rozanne’

after.  We left the Solidago 'Fireworks' standing because I think it looks more interesting than nothingness.

after. We left the Solidago ‘Fireworks’ standing because I think it looks more interesting than nothingness.

I was so pleased with how much we had done by now that we took time to go through the Great Escape espresso drive through for some much needed coffee.

at the Great Escape window

at the Great Escape window

Our last little thing in Long Beach was to finish the little memorial garden on the SE corner of Coulter Park.

before

before

after pulling the tattered schizostylis leaves

after pulling the tattered schizostylis leaves

There was no time to pull this patch of Crocosmia.  I will call it decorative and leave it till late winter (late February 2015).

There was no time to pull this patch of Crocosmia. I will call it decorative and leave it till late winter (late February 2015).

In less than two hours, we had made a big load of debris to dump at the city works yard.

In less than two hours, we had made a big load of debris to dump at the city works yard.

We now say goodbye to Long Beach parks and planters for 2014, except for some small thing I might see to do when driving through town (such as when the yellow chrysanthemums eventually turn black).  It happened to be the crew’s lunch break so I bid them adieu for the year. One of the things I appreciate most about the Long Beach job is how we are allowed to just decide what needs doing when, with very little instruction.

Now we headed up north to get back to some bulb planting.  On the way, we just had time to run an errand for a friend.

The Planter Box

Jenna (Queen La De Da) had asked me if we could pick up two bags of the new biochar soil mix, made by the local Biocharm Farm, the next time we were by the Planter Box garden center.  So we did.  I saw that they had lots of small packages of bulbs for sale.

I resisted...except for one!

I resisted…except for one!

Allan commented that recently, a passerby in Long Beach had asked him where to buy hummingbird feeders, and noted that Planter Box has the best selection.

Just some of the feeders on offer.

Just some of the feeders on offer.

Along with one packet of bulbs, I also bought myself five paperwhites to grow indoors.

Along with one packet of bulbs, I also bought myself five paperwhites to grow indoors.

two bags for Jenna

two bags for Jenna

Klipsan Beach Cottages

I had some bulbs to plant in the window boxes for the A Frame vacation house; this involved removing the annuals and going through a couple of old windowbox liners from behind the garage.  In them, I found a few more early spring bulbs to supplement my small collection for this last minute request.

Allan fetched me the plastic window box inserts from the A Frame while I started clipping some perennials down inside the fenced garden.  He began to spread three bales of Gardner and Bloome mulch.  We had been planning to bring a yard of washed dairy manure at some point and had been awfully glad when owner Mary bought this bagged stuff…saved us a lot of work (even though it did not cover the whole garden).

images

in the fenced garden, before

in the fenced garden, before

after

after

greenhouse corner, before

greenhouse corner, before

after clipping back Coreopsis 'Flower Tower', Melianthus major, etc etc

after clipping back Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’, Melianthus major, etc etc

Bella in the basement; she got a quick bellyrub

Bella in the basement; she got a quick bellyrub

from east gate of fenced garden

from east gate of fenced garden

boxwood and blueberries, backed with bay tree

boxwood and blueberries, backed with bay tree

Knock out roses may be sneered at by some, but they are still blooming.

Knock out roses may be sneered at by some, but they are still blooming.

In a perfect world, we would have taken time to clip the uppies off the New Dawn rose.

In a perfect world, we would have taken time to clip the uppies off the New Dawn rose.  We did not.

Hydrangea and hardy fuchsias hit hard by the frost.  Both will be fine.

Hydrangea and hardy fuchsias hit hard by the frost. Both will be fine.

I turned my attention to the windowbox project, while Allan did some clipping and raking in the woodsy swale by the clam cleaning shed.

at work in the swale clipping daylily and iris foliage

at work in the swale clipping crocosmia, daylily and iris foliage

One of two A Frame windowbox liners planted with bulbs and back in place.

One of two A Frame windowbox liners planted with bulbs and back in place.

I provided Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’, species crocus mix, Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’, and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’.

Bright Gem and Lilac Wonder

Bright Gem and Lilac Wonder

A frame deck

A frame deck

We bid farewell to the Klipsan Beach Cottages gardens for 2014. We will revisit before the end of the year, but for social rather than work reasons.  I hope to read the guest books in the cottages sometime this winter.

Oman Builders Supply garden

A bit further north, in Ocean Park, I planted ten white mix narcissi in the entry garden at Oman and Son Builders Supply (the last of the bulbs!!!), and we did some clipping of lavender, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, and lily stalks.

OBS garden

OBS garden

photo 3

grasses, lavender, erysimum, hebes

I debated cutting back the lavender at the south end of the garden, as it is woody and yet looks like it has a good new center growth.  I decided to wait.

It could use a revival...

It could use a renewal, even though I usually do not cut back lavender that hard…

However, I think it will help keep people from continuing to drive their cars into the wall this winter!

However, I think the old growth will help keep people from continuing to drive their cars into the wall this winter!

The cottage stone wall keeps getting shoved back, apparently by people’s car bumpers, even though one parks parallel next to this garden…supposedly.

Wiegardt Gallery

Amazingly, we had time to go a few block northeast and put the Wiegardt Gallery garden to bed.  Most of it was done on earlier visits.  We did some clipping along the west wall and in the back garden bed.

before

before

after

after (in the darkening dusk)

The grasses will stay up all winter.

The grasses will stay up all winter.

a last look at the Wiegardt garden for 2014.

a last look at the Wiegardt garden for 2014.

Lately, we have been dining out an awful lot.   Well….we are tired, and we feel like rewarding ourselves for continuing to plug along with work at the exhausting end of the season.  (For many years, I did not take hardly any break and kept going year round with odd jobs…painting, cleaning, winter garden work; I am grateful to be financially secure enough now to take the midwinter off).  So, for another reward (this time for finishing Long Beach for the year):

The Depot Restaurant

Wednesday’s offseason Burger Night special sounded so warm and cozy, we could not resist.

Burger night:  You choose your desired ingredients.

Burger night: You choose your desired ingredients.

Yes, I am greedy.  We get the egg and the pineapple and then deconstruct the burger to have the egg as an appetizer (Allan calls it “breakfast”) and the pineapple as a dessert.

with sweet potato fries, a Mac and Jack for me and a Guinness for Allan.

with sweet potato fries, a Mac and Jack for me and a Guinness for Allan.

We were offered the very last piece of chocolate Guinness cake....

We were offered the very last piece of chocolate Guinness cake to share….and did not say no.

Speaking of chocolate, while we were ordering our dinner, Depot server (and garden lover) Laura showed us a couple of photos she had recently taken at Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas.  Here are her photos, for my cacti loving friends.

chocolate cacti, photos by Depot Laura

chocolate cacti, photos by Depot Laura

home

At home, I planted, in a big pot that has some tulips already in it, the ten bulbs that I had bought at the Planter Box:

I don't think I have grown Muscari 'Dark Eyes' before.

I don’t think I have grown Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’ before.

I then had the delight of completely removing the fall clean up list from the work board, as we had finished its last item, the Long Beach parks.  Now, we just have a few last garden check ups to do.  VERY few.  Less than two days of work, all told.  The Depot task is only to pull the last few annuals out of the window boxes if they ever decide to die back.  The Nelly bulb project is on for tomorrow.

photo 4

I would like enough good weather for the opportunity to polish off that list so that I can make the big satisfying announcement that Staycation has officially begun.  (The rest of the projects are either for here, thus not really work, or for 2015.)

I planted the paperwhites in marbles and water on the kitchen windowsill.

I planted the paperwhites in marbles and water on the kitchen windowsill.

As I finished writing this, I heard the rain begin outside.  It is sorely needed; the ground has felt awfully dry while I’ve been bulb planting.  A few rainy reading days would be most welcome.  Now, time to put me feet up and watch Survivor, and to finish the show we started watching last night at ten and then got to sleepy to finish:  Page Eight starring the delightfully droll Bill Nighy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Nov: more bulbs

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I was fervently hoping that the last batch of a mere 400 bulbs would arrive today so we could get them all planted before rain returns.  When we left home, the bulbs were not yet here.  I thought perhaps we would do some weeding at the boatyard and then go back home to check.  Fortunately, Allan saw, from the post office, the UPS truck driving east past our house so we zoomed back and there was the precious box!

bulbs

Port of Ilwaco

We began at the boatyard, where I had about 70 mixed white narcissi to plant and another 50 or so short ‘Baby Moon’ narcissi to go along the edge.  Baby Moon reliably blooms in early May so I am counting on it to put on a good show during the children’s parade on May 2015′s first Saturday.

I started planting while Allan pulled dead cosmos and some weeds.

boatyard garden, north end, before

boatyard garden, north end, before

We leave up some of the old foliage to look “architectural” in the winter.  Birds will enjoy the seeds.

For example, the pink achillea flowers, dried on the stem, still look interesting to me.

For example, the pink achillea flowers, dried on the stem, still look interesting to me.

The cosmos have gone to mush.

The cosmos have gone to mush and all got pulled.

Echinops (blue globe thistle) has put out another set of flowers.

Echinops (blue globe thistle) has put out another set of flowers.

A couple of nights ago, we had driven past the boatyard after dark to look at the Christmas lights at Time Enough Books.  I had noticed some large pieces of trash in the garden and was far too tired and sore to do anything about it.  Then I forgot.  Two days later, the trash was still there.  I simply do not understand why citizens strolling by do not pick up something so large and unsightly.

trash small and large in the boatyard garden

trash small and large in the boatyard garden

This is no reflection on the boatyard work crew who have plenty to do hauling boats in and out.  I am more resolved to do “trash walks” this winter, as it builds up when we are not gardening around town regularly.

While weeding and clipping, Allan picked up this much trash:

It's rather shocking.

In a five gallon bucket: It’s rather shocking.

North end of boatyard after tidying and bulb planting.

North end of boatyard after tidying and bulb planting.

As you can see, my own personal choice is not to flatten gardens for the winter.  Only mushy and blackened plants get pulled (annuals) or clipped down (perennials) at this time.  The rest will come down in February.  Ann Lovejoy points out that by waiting till late winter, the stems break off much more easily.  I just like the way the garden looks with some of the attractively coloured stems left standing.

Allan tried taking some photos but his camera went all wonky.

Allan tried taking some photos but his camera went all wonky.

Narcissi bulbs are fun to look at because they come in such different shapes, shades of brown and tan, and sizes.  Baby Moon always arrives with new sprouts sticking out, even though it is the very latest of the narcissi to bloom.

left: Baby Moon.  right: mixed tall white narcissi

left: Baby Moon. right: mixed tall white narcissi

bless you for your late bloom, Baby Moon!

last May:  bless you for your late bloom, Baby Moon!

The boatyard always provides a busy and fascinating backdrop.

linda

ankeny

pressure

The pressure washer made for a noisy job along the south end of the garden.  I’ve grown so used to boatyard noises that it barely registered with me till I walked right by it (on the other side of the fence) placing bulbs.

The boatyard project took much longer than I expected.  I was hoping for an hour, and it was more like two and a half before we were done and drove down to plant some more Baby Moons and some species crocus by Time Enough Books and the old Harbor Lights Motel.

Allan cut back the Geranium 'Rozanne' that had made a wave of blue around the garden boat.

Allan cut back the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that had made a wave of blue at the bow of the garden boat.

The Time Enough curbside garden.

The Time Enough curbside garden, now with more Baby Moons underneath.

We still have some tidying to do in the three small pocket gardens to the east…but no time today.

Allan also took on the challenging task of planting some Baby Moons in the motel landscape of big river rock.  He wielded the pick to make spots in the landscape fabric for a few groupings of bulbs.

not an easy landscape to plant anything in

(three summers ago, just after this was installed): not an easy landscape to plant anything in

Across the parking lot to the north: crab pots stacked by the boat storage yard.

Across the parking lot to the north: crab pots stacked by the boat storage yard.

Finally we were almost done with Ilwaco and ready to move on.  On the way out of town, I planted five species crocus each in the Ilwaco city hall planters.

I hope the crows did not notice me doing so.

I hope the crows did not notice me doing so.

Long Beach

Allan set to work clipping catmint and pulling dead flower stalks off of schizostylis in Fifth Street Park.  He would also cut back the Melianthus major.  Unlike mine at home, the Long Beach one got floppy and leggy.  Meanwhile, the city crew was putting up the Christmas lights above the planters.

That's Mike Kitzman, parks manager, at ground level.

That’s Mike Kitzman, parks manager, at ground level.

Allan's photos of his Fifth Street Park project, before...

Allan’s photos of his Fifth Street Park project, before…

after cutting back catmint, Melianthus major, schizostylis, and some weeding

after cutting back catmint, Melianthus major, schizostylis, and some weeding

(Above) I could not resist leaving up the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, even though it will be the first thing to call us back to work in early February 2015.

after cutting down the frosted Gunnera leaves, and laying some leaves to protect the crown of the plant over winter.

after cutting down the frosted Gunnera leaves, and laying some leaves to protect the crown of the plant over winter.

the seasonal sea serpent in the park

the seasonal sea serpent in the park

one of the snowflake lights hung by the city crew

one of the snowflake lights hung by the city crew

I walked around all the planters one more time to add species crocus and 100 more Baby Moons.  (I want a really good show during the big parade the first weekend in May when Saturday is Ilwaco’s parade and Sunday is Long Beach’s parade.)

I found a pretty little chrysanthemum just  now starting to bloom.

I found a pretty little chrysanthemum just now starting to bloom.

When done with the planters, I added 30 white narcissi and some more Baby Moons to the west side of city hall; I got a start on cutting back the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that had finally gone crispy.  Allan met me there to load it into the trailer.  We will have to return to get to more, as dusk had arrived.

The city hall lights came on as we drove away.

The city hall lights came on as we drove away (east side of building).

In the city works yard:  almost too dark to dump.

In the city works yard: almost too dark to dump.

At home, after a day during which I felt a lot of frustration at not being further along, I was able to cross off the last of the bulbing.  Under projects, “Nelly bulbs” will be completed Thursday and involves putting some bulbs in pots for an occasional client; they are bulbs that she already has so did not make it onto my master bulbing list.

It’s a slight white lie that bulbing is done.  I still have 24 species tulips, crocus, and narcissi to pop into two windowboxes up at Klipsan Beach Cottages…a last minute request from the A Frame owners, for which I saved some bulbs out.  And I have ten white narcissi to go into the Oman Builders Supply entry garden on the same trip.  I had not planned to add any there, then changed my mind when I ordered from the end of season sale, so it did not make the list.

board

work stream of consciousness:

It was disappointing to not get to cross off Long Beach parks from fall clean up and eliminate that column as well.  I realized today that we have somehow forgotten to pull the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from behind Lewis and Clark Square; the pocket garden there is hidden from the street by a wall.  We did not quite get Fifth Street Park or city hall done.  On the way home, I had blithely announced to Allan that we would finish Long Beach tomorrow before the rains come, and then Wednesday we could do the last clean up and bulbing at KBC and Omans and Wiegardt Gallery.  Allan pointed out that tomorrow IS Wednesday.  I was horrified.  I thought today was Monday.  Drat!

So tomorrow, we are going to try to finish the three small areas left in the LB parks clean up, and maybe find time to check the Bolstadt beach approach planters, and then hare up to KBC and plant bulbs, clip back the swale garden and spread four bags of mulch, and plant those ten bulbs and clip back plants at OBS, and then maybe have time for a last check of the Wiegardt garden.  Am I crazy to think we can manage that?  Perhaps.  All too likely.  My dream of an unusually early staycation starting any day now is thwarted because there will still be a few small things left on the list that will probably have to wait till after a rainy spell.  Fortunately, “Nelly bulbs” is the only item under projects that has to be accomplished during work season 2014, so staycation is NOT contingent on getting all those items done.

On my table: some chrysanthemums of course, some that had broken off in a Long beach planter

On my table: some chrysanthemums of course, some that had broken off in a Long beach planter

I had a phone conversation with friends Bill and Carol tonight before writing this, and afterwards, for the first time ever, I had to use the LIFT function on my mother’s old electric lift chair.  I need staycation to commence!  Now:  Time for us to put our feet up and watch an episode of The Americans over the dinner that is beginning to smell most enticing.

 

 

 

 

Monday, 17 November 2014

We now have a brief lull till the last, mercifully small, shipment of bulbs come.  We decided to see how far we could get on the post-frost garden cleanups.  On the way to our first job, I thought to pull over and check the backside of the Long Beach welcome sign.  Indeed, the white bacopa I had taken pity on last week had turned to blackened mush and needed pulling.

the back of the welcome sign, really done for the season (foliage is of grape hyacinth for next spring)

the back of the welcome sign, really done for the season (foliage is of grape hyacinth for next spring)

My first plan had been to cut back the roses in Fifth Street Park BEFORE the city crew started to erect the Christmas sea serpent lighted sculpture on top of the fence.  When we got to that intersection, I saw the serpent already in place and all aswarm with busy city crew members.  One of them had cut the rose already.  It had not been part of my job decription; I’d just thought it would be a nice gesture.  And I was thrilled we did not have to do it and could just drive on to another job.

Here's a photo from last year.

Here’s a photo from last year.

cecil3

 

We headed north, stopping on the way at The Planter Box to replenish our bags of Gardner and Bloome potting soil.  The Planter Box owners showed us a new product, from the local Biocharm Farm: a soil mix containing “10% biochar, balanced minerals, microbiology compost, and sea crop”.

We were told it is going by the name "Sexy Soil".

We were told it is going by the name “Sexy Soil”.

Andersen’s RV Park

Our first task was to clean up all the annuals at Andersen’s RV Park, starting with the big box down by the highway.

the road box, before, with nasturtiums turned to mush

the road box, before, with nasturtiums turned to mush

My back is usually relatively pain free.  Today, I had started with a terrible back ache, probably due to the awkward angles of leaning over the Long Beach planters bulbing for two days.  A couple of Doan’s back pills were helping just a little bit.

As we were working, a car honked madly as it drove by.  As usual, I did not look because that happens so often.  The driver turned and came back and it was our good friend J9, who had just taken her new kittens to the vet for a check up.

Jake (orange) and Louie!

Jake (orange) and Louie!

J9 with Jake...

J9 with Jake…

and Louie

and Louie

2

Back to work after a brief kitten interlude:

the road box, after

the road box, after

In the park, we began on the west side at Payson Hall clubhouse.

Payson Hall, before and after

Payson Hall, before and after

I was relieved to see that ALL the annuals were crispy, including the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ in the whiskey barrels, so we could put the job to bed for 2014.

Six barrels, three on each side

Six barrels, three on each side

crispy at last!

crispy at last!

looking west, after.  The barrels have narcissi which I hope will rebloom well in 2015.

looking west, after. The barrels have narcissi which I hope will rebloom well in 2015.

After a bit of weeding and further cutting back, I bade farewell to the west garden of Andersen’s for 2014.

Payson Hall has blue roof

Payson Hall has blue roof

looking southeast from Payson Hall

looking southeast from Payson Hall

looking east

looking east toward the house

east2

goodbye to this garden till 2015!

behind the office.  The weather was so warm and windless that we shed our jackets and scarves.

behind the office. The weather was so warm and windless that we shed our jackets and scarves.

We pulled the annuals from pots ar0und the east side of the office.

The hydrangeas on the east wall of the house had been well frozen.

The hydrangeas on the east wall of the house had been well frozen.

the east wall brick planter cleaned up

the east wall brick planter cleaned up

goodbye to the picket fence garden till 2015!!

goodbye to the picket fence garden till 2015!!

I was so focused on getting done that I did not even think to say goodbye to the staff for the year.  All that was on my mind was how many jobs I could cross off the work board by the end of the day.  That oversight calls for a phone call later this week.

Anchorage Cottages

Next, we went to Anchorage Cottages and I was happy to see the annuals in the pots and windowboxes were done.  While I pulled plants from the pots, Allan emptied the windowboxes completely.

boxes

Early this morning, I had remembered and then forgotten a certain fact.  Allan had done two windowboxes standing on buckets when he remembered the same thing:  The boxes lift off their brackets!  So he was able to carry the last two to our trailer and just upend them to empty them.  The soil was dry, making them light.  I noticed today that the soil in many of the containers is very dry.  We need rain (although I hope it holds off for three more days).

With the windowboxes empty, we put in the liner insets that are planted with early spring bulbs.

inserts

Goodbye to the courtyard garden till 2015!!!

Goodbye to the courtyard garden till 2015!!!

I suppose it is possible that a big windstorm or a spell of extreme cold will get us out for one more midwinter check of the gardens…

We dumped our debris from yesterday at the Long Beach city works dump.  Yesterday’s dead van battery had resulted in us working till it was too dark to dump.  Then we went to…

Jo’s garden

…for the last annuals clean up.  I pulled, out of the windowboxes, the geraniums  that I had not had the heart to pull before.

jo

I might have still relented till Allan asked me if I wanted to be pulling them later on a rainy or icy day.  No.

Jo's nasturtiums, all mush now

Jo’s nasturtiums, all mush now

all cleaned up

all cleaned up

the last sweep of 2014

the last sweep of 2014

Long Beach

At the city works yard we had collected a few buckets of leftover mulch to add to the semi circle garden at Veterans Field and we managed to get that done and some perennials cut back as the sun went down.

Veterans Field at dusk

in Veterans Field at dusk

Allan's photo, looking west.  Note blissful lack of wind.

Allan’s photo, looking west. Note blissful lack of wind.

I thought we could do one last little mission at….

The Depot Restaurant

My idea was to finally pull the annuals from  the two windowboxes on the north side of the building.  And yet…they have refused to die so far.  I had even picked up a few pinecones from Jo’s driveway to decorate the empty boxes.  I stashed them in a planter there for later.

the annuals that will not die

the annuals that will not die

Food at the Depot had been on my mind as we almost had a visit yesterday from our friend Marla of Seattle, a visit that would likely have included a Depot dinner.  She had not been able to make the drive.  Today, I had seen THIS on Facebook, and the temptation was great.

depot

We could not resist, and I was delighted that the Cioppino special was still available.

Chef Michael writes "chocolate Guiness cake" on the dessert board

Chef Michael writes “chocolate Guiness cake” on the dessert board

views from our table

views from our table

dview

French onion gratinee

French onion gratinee

It is a joyous moment when one’s spoon pushes down on the cheese of a French onion soup.

cioppino and steak Killian

cioppino and steak Killian, Pinot Noir and Guiness

and chocolate Guiness cake

and chocolate Guiness cake

At home, I had the joy of removing Andersen’s, Anchorage, and Jo from frost clean ups, along with the task of mulching at Veterans Field.

a workboard getting sparser by the day

a workboard getting sparser by the day

We are in the midst of watching season 2 of The Americans in the late evening.  Tomorrow, I urgently desire that the last of the bulbs arrive on schedule so that we can get them planted before rain returns.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

We continued to take advantage of every day of workable weather.

On the way to continue the bulbing of the Long Beach planters, I cried “Pull over!” next to Ilwaco city hall as I could see the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ was done at last and ready to be pulled.

It takes some strength to pull these out.

It takes some strength to pull these out.

That made me think that we should check the Butterflies at the Depot Restaurant, and indeed, they, too, were done.

They are now yanked.

They are now yanked.

The annuals in the windowboxes are still refusing to die.

The annuals in the windowboxes are still refusing to die.

Long Beach

The rest of the day was spent planting bulbs in the last three and a half blocks of planters in Long Beach. We made better time than yesterday because we did not stop to completely re-do any of the planters.

an attractive display outside of The Wooden Horse gift shop.

an attractive display outside of The Wooden Horse gift shop.

Further comeback to the chrysanthemum-haters: The ones in the planters have been blooming beautifully for about a month now.

a dark pink spoon-petaled one

a dark pink spoon-petaled one

a yellow one by Campiche Gallery

a yellow one by Campiche Gallery (with all the other plants gone down with frost)

and a yellow one north of NIVA green.

and a yellow one north of NIVA green.

I set up bulbs around the rim of each planter and moved on to clean up the next while Allan planted, and when I would get far enough ahead, I would plant, as well.

bulbs at the ready: tall tulips on either side of the lamp post, species tulips and narcissi, and assorted other small bulbs

bulbs at the ready before cleaning out a planter: tall tulips on either side of the lamp post, species tulips and narcissi, and assorted other small bulbs

There were some tense moments as crows eyed the small bulbs I had placed.

A crow watches from the roof of Stormin' Norman's kite shop.

A crow watches from the roof of Stormin’ Norman’s kite shop.

Momentously, while working I got a text from Garden Tour Nancy with a photo of the first egg from her flock of young hens. It was produced by a hen names Spot who seemed to find the whole process quite a shock, as one can imagine.

IMG_1136

Nancy’s photo

 

Although I had been suffering from aches and pains at the last part of every bulb planting day, I was still thinking of this year as “bulb time” instead of “bulb hell”. In order to get through the last two blocks, we bought maple bars from the Cottage Bakery. I’ve been trying to avoid pastries because of a hyphondriac imaginary gall bladder attack. Today, I had a severe need to have a huge sugar rush to do two more blocks of planting. And then, when I got into the van so we could drive up to the last two blocks…the rattly empty sound of a dead battery.

I almost wept. Called Garden Tour Nancy for a jump but Phil was across the river. Called Ed Strange but he was mowing somewhere and did not answer. Had heard horror stories about how long triple A takes around here. Feeling like I was about to do the impossible, I took the wheelbarrow and the rest of the bulbs and headed on up the street, leaving Allan to figure something out.

We were paying for procrastination. Our van battery had been weak for awhile and we were planning to do something about it once staycation began. Allan had often been putting it on the charger overnight to give it a boost. He hadn’t last night, and all the stopping and starting in Long Beach had exacted a price.

While I slogged away with the wheelbarrow, Allan made some calls and cleverly took our local cab service to NAPA auto parts, got a new battery, and was back at work within an hour.

Allan's photo: spiffing new battery

Allan’s photo: spiffing new battery

Only within the last few years has there been a reliable cab service on the Peninsula and back and forth to Astoria. This is the first time we have used them, and they came quickly and charged a reasonable fee.

Bless you, Royal Cab!

Bless you, Royal Cab!

I was so glad to see Allan pull the van up next to me as I finished planter number four of eight, with the sun threatening to set.

Below, planter six of the eight we’d had left to do: I loathe this planting by Dennis Company: almost pure vinca. This planter (below) is now top of my list to re-do. It has a low evergreen candytuft on either side of the post that looks grand in the spring and then dull all summer. So I will give it one more springtime and hope to dig it all out before mid-May annuals planting in 2015.

the loathed vinca planter

the loathed vinca planter (has a little bit of Phygelius ‘Yellow Trumpet’)

Allan's photo: sunset, with two planters left to do

Allan’s photo: sunset, with two planters left to do

Allan went the half block to Bolstadt to see the sky to the west.

Allan went the half block to Bolstadt to see the sky to the west.

Allan's photo: planter 7 of 8, one of the planters with would-be huge escallonia

Allan’s photo: planter 7 of 8, one of the planters with would-be huge escallonia

Finally, we had the last planter planted. I crossed back to the planter by NIVA green to add one last handful of narcissi. Five o clock is our little traffic rush hour and I had to wait for a nice big gap in traffic to hobble back to the van.

left and right

look right, left, right, and GO!

Allan wants you to know that he went out in the street with his safety vest on to make sure I could hobble across unscathed.

Ilwaco

After work as we drove home with our energetic new battery, Allan noticed a house at the west end of Lake Street already lit up for Christmas. We drove around the block to get some photos. This house has new occupants who clearly are going to be an asset to the town.

a handsome half-timber style home

a handsome half-timber style home

I suggested we also go to the port and get a photo of the lights at Time Enough Books, as the previous evening I had been able to see them from my south window. On the way, we observed that the crab pot Christmas tree is already under construction. This year’s tree lighting will be on December 6th.

tree

crab pot tree partway done

Allan's photo:  Time Enough Books

Allan’s photo: Time Enough Books

Allan's photo:  Time Enough Books garden boat

Allan’s photo: Time Enough Books garden boat

 

At home, it gave me great satisfaction to take the LB planters off the work board under “bulbs” AND the “frost clean up” list.

work

In fact, I have only two clumps of camassia to plant in Fifth Street Park and all the bulbs from our first batch will be in. A second batch of 400 end of season sale bulbs will arrive Tuesday, I hope. If all goes well, with no major glitches, bulb time should be done by Thursday.

 

 

 

15 Nov: bulbs and art

Saturday, 15 November 2014

I was pleased to be finally ready to plant bulbs in the Long Beach planters. It’s the biggest job, and often done in bad weather. The day did start out rather cold…

chilly south window view

chilly south window view

our front garden

our front garden

Rubus linneatus took a blast of frost.

Rubus linneatus took a blast of frost.

Tetrapanax looks a little droopy.

Tetrapanax looks a little droopy.

I felt great satisfaction with the view from my seat in the van, just before we pulled out of our driveway.

looking west

looking west

After last evening’s efforts, Nora’s lawn is nicely mowed, and there is no garbage in view on the street. (The caged tree is my Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’; I’m not sure the deer would eat it but I don’t want to take a chance.)

Long Beach

The frost had been well timed for us, as for once we have the opportunity to do the last clean up of the city planters while we plant the bulbs. In recent years, I recall trying to squeeze the bulbs under annuals that were not gone yet.

While I clipped and tidied the six planters in the southernmost block, Allan dug the white yarrow out of a planter that had been annoying me for years.

He forgot to take a before, so here is a during.

He forgot to take a before, so here is a during.

The yarrow is terribly rooty and pesky and allowed for little variety in this planter.

The yarrow is terribly rooty and pesky and allowed for little variety in this planter.

after

after

I decided that this year, I would not leave Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ standing in the planters. Otherwise, every time we drive through town this winter I’ll be worrying over old flower heads that may start out architectural but will become increasingly battered.

I bid a possible premature goodbye to these and other sedum stands and cut them back hard.

I bid a possible premature goodbye to these and other sedum stands and cut them back hard.

The planter below, by the bus stop, is one that was planted by a volunteer with a rampant hardy geranium. We might redo it some year; this year, I just pulled out enough to plant bulbs.

too much of a reasonably good thing

too much of a reasonably good thing

Across the street from it is the planter in which another volunteer planted Escallonia that wants to be eight feet tall. She used to maintain her three volunteer planters impeccably, and they do look good although they require much clipping. (I clipped lots of old flowers off the lavender, as well.) The contrast between the would-be tall shrubs and the flattish geraniums across the street is extreme and it bothers me.

One of three planters with escallonias.

One of three planters with escallonias….hard to fit bulbs into this one.

Every street tree bed got a clump of Dutch Iris rainbow mix. I noticed last year that the Dutch iris was blooming during the May parade. I hope that it does so in 2015.

5 more iris under each tree....and I decided to let the sedums under the trees stay up for the winter.

5 more iris under each tree….and I decided to let the sedums under the trees stay up for the winter.

The frost had knocked back all the dahlias and agyranthemums.

frosted planter before

frosted planter before

and after

and after

the planter in front of Home at the Beach gift shop

the planter in front of Home at the Beach gift shop

Its nasturtiums had gone to mush.

Its nasturtiums had gone to mush.

Here it is all cleaned up.

Here it is all cleaned up.

Allan's photo of me taking the after photo of the Home at the Beach planter.

Allan’s photo of me taking the after photo of the Home at the Beach planter.

Allan had finished the yarrow planter re-do and had got the Dutch iris planted under four of eighteen street trees.  By the second block he was able to join me in working on planters. I kept ahead of him, clipping perennials and pulling annuals, and then placing the bulbs, and he followed behind “bulbing” and tidying up each planter.

The weather was stunning…pleasantly warm when wearing a comfy jacket and with no wind.

outdoor picnicers at Streetside Taco

outdoor picnicers at Streetside Taco, with planter santolina in the foreground

We worked until 3:45 and got two blocks done, and were working on block three of six. I was just about to start clipping one more planter when I hit the wall and felt I could do nothing more. I stopped in mid-cutting of a plant.  Fortunately, when I looked at the time, I realized that we needed to dump our debris and go home because we had a five o clock engagement at an art auction.

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Every year the museum three blocks west of us has a 6X6 art auction in mid November. All the artwork must fit into a 6 by 6 inch format. This year, we were hoping to be joined by Garden Tour Nancy and her husband, Phil. Nancy was unable to attend and we did miss her so. Phil did join us and local architect David Jensen made the fourth person at our table.

IMG_1586

Allan's photo:  There is a silent auction with four tables of art.

Allan’s photo: There is a silent auction with four tables of art.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

and a live auction with these pieces

and a live auction with these pieces

live auction items

live auction items

I liked this booklet by Mark Tyler much,

I liked this booklet by Mark Tyler much,

A wooden bowl with some tops plays with the 6X6 format.

A wooden bowl with some tops plays with the 6X6 format.

a 6X6 quilt

a 6X6 quilt

All proceeds benefit the museum. This year, for the first time, some items other than art were auctioned, as well.

for example, this fine local tuna

for example, this fine local tuna

Depot Red wine in the silent auction

Depot Restaurant Red Wine in the silent auction

Two museum staffers cater the event under the name Two Monkey Catering.

IMG_1581

Allan’s photo

 

Wine and beer loosen the pocketbooks.

Wine and beer loosen the pocketbooks.

Schroeder Security guards the art while local photographer Bruce Peterson is the auctioneer.

Schroeder Security guards the art while local photographer Bruce Peterson is the auctioneer. (Allan’s photo)

the list of ways in which the event had been publicized

the list of ways in which the event had been publicized

Jacob and Maddy Moore of Pink Poppy Bakery were the white gloved art wranglers.

Jacob and Maddy Moore of Pink Poppy Bakery were the white gloved art wranglers. (Allan’s photo)

I am sure there is a better term for the folks who place the art on the easel. Maddy had contributed an item to the silent auction: six dozen cookies from her bakery. The bidding was heated on that one.

IMG_1608

Maddy places a piece on the easel. (Allan's photo)

Maddy places a piece on the easel. (Allan’s photo)

Allan bid on this piece of Chinook tribal art by Charles Funk; it went too high for his budget.  (Allan's photo)

“Goose”: Allan bid on this piece of Chinook tribal art by Charles Funk; it went too high for his budget. (Allan’s photo)

CharlieFunk1

a packed house and lively bidding

a packed house and lively bidding

Karla and Betsy

Karla and Betsy

Karla is on call at the telephone for bids from “international callers and ships at sea”…

karla2

karla3

Dinner and Golf for 6 at the Cove Restaurant

Dinner and Golf for 6 at the Cove Restaurant

Our friend Jean Nitzel of the Picture Attic art and framing shop won that bid. I asked her later if she golfed, and she said no, but she loves the Cove Restaurant and the deal she got was excellent just for the dinner part. The same thought had crossed my mind…not strongly enough.

support staff standing to the side

support staff standing to the side (Allan’s photo)

Bruce, Karla from Time Enough Books, and Betsy, the museum director (Allan's photo)

Bruce, Karla from Time Enough Books, and Betsy, the museum director (Allan’s photo)

Why the sock monkey, you may well ask. All will become clear…. (ish).

through the live auction display case (Allan's photo)

through the live auction display case (Allan’s photo)

Schroeder Security and auctioneer Bruce

Schroeder Security and auctioneer Bruce Peterson (Allan’s photo)

So about the sock monkeys….Karla and her sister have a thing about them and every year have a fierce bidding war for the sock monkey art piece. This year there were two pieces of…monkey art. Karla had paddle number 95.

IMG_1650

 

Either she or her sister won the first sock monkey piece, and then Karla came to sit at our table to bid on the second…this one:

LeslieHallLipe

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 9.34.28 PM

I believe Karla and her sock monkey friend won the Leslie Lipe painting at around $300. Phil had taken my camera to get a better angle so gets the credit for the above photos.

photographer Phil

photographer Phil

much hilarity over monkeying around (Allan's photo)

much hilarity over monkeying around (Allan’s photo)

I was lazy and mostly just sat at the table taking photos from one spot; Allan energetically walked around the room and got all sorts of angles.

Allan's photos

Allan’s photos of our table

Phil bid on this gorgeous piece by Tokeland artist Wally Man, and did not get it as the price soared.

WallyMann

Phil considers whether or not to up his bid.

Phil considers whether or not to up his bid. To the left, I am thinking about how the Wally Mann piece is my favourite of the paintings. (Allan’s photo)

I almost bid on this one (below), depicting the controlled burn of Red’s, an Ilwaco icon. That happened long after Red’s had stopped being the most popular restaurant on the Peninsula and had turned into a rundown antique store. Phil had memories of having dined there as a teenager. The burn happened around 2007.

Dirk's photograph went for a goodly sum.

Dirk’s photograph went for a goodly sum.

The spot where it stood is still a vacant lot downtown because the 2008 downturn in the economy put the kibosh on the building that was going to replace it (a proposed attractive and lovely structure of shops and townhouses).

I wanted the gingko box by Renee O’Connor and thought about writing in the full bid. Instead, I “let” David Jensen win it.

ReneeO'Connor1

David has designed some beautiful craftsman style homes around the Peninsula.. You can gaze upon them here.

David Jensen, left

David Jensen, left

Our friend Rita wins a bid.

Our friend Rita wins a bid.

At the end of the event, Sondra, owner of the wonderful Cove restaurant came to greet me.

Sondra and me

Sondra and me

Then she learned that we had been bidding against each other on a silent auction piece. As it happened, I was the winner (and had been expecting her to walk over to the auction table and up her bid!)

She said she had figured out just where she was going to hang the little piece of art.

She said she had figured out just where she was going to hang the little piece of art.

I felt bad, but not too terribly bad.

I felt bad, but not too terribly bad.

Here's what I got...3 dimensional.

Here’s what I got…3 dimensional.

I confess I had been so tired before the event that I had the urge to just sit at home with me feet up. Of course, it turned out to be an evening of such hilarity that I am most pleased that we went.  The benefit surely raised thousands of dollars for the museum.

Tomorrow: back to bulbing. The end is in sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of yesterday’s theme of memory, I forgot to put in these photos that Allan took while running errands yesterday.  I’ve added them to the post and here is a reprise, for those who have already read it.

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Friday, 14 November 2014

The weather looked ever so slightly ominous because my south window view showed a frozen water box this morning.

bright but cold

bright but cold south window view

frosty ground

frosty ground

frozen

icy water

frost from the NE window

frost from the NE window

I walked out to feel the air and was pleased to find it surprisingly warm.

I rescued a Fuchsia 'Pink Marshmallow' that had not gotten into the greenhouse yet.

I rescued a Fuchsia ‘Pink Marshmallow’ that had not gotten into the greenhouse yet.

The sun coleus is a goner now.

The sun coleus is a goner now.

I was excited to see the sun coleus had gone down, as I was hoping the annuals in the whiskey barrels at our job called Casa Pacifica would be done, as well.

Ominously, my annual lobelia still looked fine.

Ominously, my annual lobelia still looked fine.

Casa Pacifica

We had 197 bulbs to plant at Casa Pacifica, a private garden just to the east of the peninsula.  Upon entry we saw a reminder of why we don’t work in high wind.

tree down at Casa P.

tree down at Casa P.

Maddeningly, the whiskey barrel annuals still look perky.  The problem is that we wrap this garden up on bulb planting day and don’t come back till early spring.  The microclimate at Casa Pacifica must be milder than any of our other jobs. If there is a hard frost, that would leave the annuals look pretty awful all winter long.  Once we have started our staycation, we don’t want to emerge from it to pull annuals.

They have never yet been done by bulb planting day.

They have never yet been done by bulb planting day.

Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' refusing to die.

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ refusing to die.

As always when we arrive, my good friend Dusty hopefully grabbed a stick…

dusty

and ran around and around.

wishful thinking

wishful thinking

I know that if I start throwing a stick for him he will become a mad thing and I won’t be able to get any work done.  After awhile, he gives up on the stick idea and peaceably follows me all around while I work.  I can often rest my hand on his head as a I walk along the garden.

dusty3

dusty4

The shy dog, Darcy, made herself scarce today.

telephoto

telephoto

She stayed about this far away.  You can see more barrels of the Undead Annuals.

She stayed about this far away. You can see more barrels of the Undead Annuals.

Allan planted lots of narcissi, tulips, some alliums, and some free corms of my Gladiolus papilio atop the rock wall.

part of the rock wall garden

part of the rock wall garden

The hydrangeas had bloomed heavily this year.

The hydrangeas had bloomed heavily this year.

I like the look of the lawn island bed despite the sadly topped tree.

I like the look of the lawn island bed despite the sadly topped tree.

The rest of the narcissi we planted along the driveway in hope of a good show.

Oh, and Leanne got two peonies, because she likes them:  Raspberry Sundae and Coral Sunset.

Last time we worked here, perhaps because she is getting so slow, the Great Dane, Spook, finally let me pet her after years of wooing.  After work today, she was completely open to the idea of being petted, but it turned out the Dusty was just a bit jealous!

dustyspook

Every time Spook came close, Dusty shoved in front.

Every time Spook came close, Dusty shoved in front.

I gave Allan my camera and walked around to the other side of the deck.

shadowed

shadowed

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2

3

4

5

6

Finally, Dusty relented for a moment and let me have a few moments of alone time with Spook.

She leaned in for pets....

She leaned in for pets….

Dusty backs off for just a minute.

Dusty backs off for just a minute.

scritch scritch scritch!

scritch scritch scritch!

I was ecstatic, having tried to win this ancient Dane over ever since we started this job several years ago.

Allan took a few more photos with my camera:

rhodo in bloom

rhodo in bloom

Fuchsia magellanica (hardy)

Fuchsia magellanica (hardy)

And then off we went to plant bulbs in the Long Beach welcome sign.

Long Beach

The Long Beach welcome sign garden gets red and yellow tulips on the front side and pink and white tulips on the back.  First, we had to pull the annuals whether they were done or not!

front, before

front, before

and (almost) after

and (almost) after

I spent considerable time pulling horsetail roots out, much good it will do.  They come up from the ground underneath the open bottomed planting bed.  They are the little scrimmy airy kind of horsetail so get pretty well hidden when the annuals fill in, but will be a real pest during tulip time.

back of sign, before

back of sign, before

back, after; left the white bacopa along the edge for now, probably too lenient.

back, after; left the white bacopa along the edge for now, probably too lenient.

If it had not been for the need to get home before dark to mow the lawn while its dry, I would have strongly wished I’d brought bulbs to start planting the street planters.  We needed a project for another hour so we decided to dig out one of the two or three planters that we are re-doing this fall.

Certain planters, dating back to having been planted by volunteers, have annoying invasive plants that lead to a monoculture of boredom.  Allan tackled the one by Lewis and Clark square that is full of a once blooming rather dull cranesbill geranium. With a tidier looking leaf than the dreaded ‘A.T. Johnson’, it still has not got enough “bang for the buck” as our friend Jo would say.

before

before

Allan's before and after

Allan’s before and after

We know there are still some roots in there, and we will have to watch for geranium coming back; the other planter or two that we will redo have even fiercer plants and will need lots more soil taken out.

Meanwhile, I trimmed up the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.

Lewis and Clark planter before

Lewis and Clark planter before

and after, with lots of annual agyranthemum and osteos pulled

and after, with lots of annual agyranthemum and osteos pulled

I was thrilled to see in Long Beach that many annuals have turned to black, so tomorrow when we start bulbing the planters, we can mostly clean them out at the same time.

Ilwaco

Back in our little town, Allan dropped me off at the light and went home to mow the lawn while I checked the street planters for dead annuals.

Some annuals still are determined to stay for now, like this lotus vine.

Some annuals still are determined to stay for now, like this lotus vine.

mushy begonias about to come out

mushy begonias about to come out

The soil was starting to freeze, as was I, and as the sun went down over the hill I wished I had my jacket with me.

I saw lots of trash along the curb and decided that on my way home I would begin my new volunteer trash pickerupper plan.

I got a third of a bucket of trash just in two blocks of First Avenue.

I got a third of a bucket of trash just in two blocks of First Avenue.

First Avenue: window of the tailoring shop

First Avenue: window of the tailoring shop

At the boatyard, all the way from Pago Pago

At the boatyard, all the way from Pago Pago

I dumped the trash in a business’s wheelie bin and headed toward  home.  On the way, I started to fill my bucket with more garbage.

in the planter belonging to a business...where garbage collects all summer long.

in the planter belonging to a business…where garbage collects all summer long.

Why would a business not pick that stuff up?  The problem is that there are trash cans only at First and Spruce, and the other blocks have nowhere for people to divest themselves of debris.  (But why a shoe?)

Turning east on Main Street (a quiet three block long stretch, not Main at all), I passed the colony of feral cats.  Someone feeds them, and I think they were all waiting for dinner.

cats

cats2

cats3

In a two block walk between the post office and our house, I picked up more than half a bucket of garbage, including a nasty dirty nappie that had blown out of a garbage can and had been sitting near our house for two days.  I just do not get why no one had picked it up.  At first, I rebelled and thought “I am NOT picking up a dirty diaper.”  But one must say if not us, who, and if not now, when, so I carried it home held in the grasp of my garden clippers.

This much trash in our garbage can from a two block walk

This much trash in our garbage can from a four block walk, most of it from the two blocks nearest our house, only partly because of the wind storm on trash day.

I think this new volunteer plan is going to be productive and satisfying.

Allan was just finishing up a lovely mowing job, and then I took the mower and mowed Nora’s front lawn.  I thought afterwards that I would not be able to mow for a living anymore.  Whew, just a little lawn like that wore me out.

While I had been out and about in Ilwaco, J9 had come by to pick up some tulip bulbs, some garlic cloves, and to dig some potatoes.  She found one heck of a spud.

J9, Allan's photo

J9, Allan’s photo

quite a spud, Yukon gold, I believe

quite a spud, Yukon gold, I believe

Tonight, we have an episode of the always thrilling Grimm (created by one of the writers for Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my two favourite shows of all time).  And True Blood, the final episode of season 6.  No, I don’t fall for any old vampire stuff, as I am not into L’Estat or those glittery ones.

I decided awhile back to ‘fess up in this blog to telly watching, as it counters the silly idea that we lead some sort of ideal, glowing, and high minded lifestyle of gardening and literature.

Taking Casa Pacifica (the Sass garden) off the of the work board in BOTH fall clean up and bulbs leaves just Long Beach in those two categories.  MOST satisfying.  Then we will have a couple of projects and the post frost run around to check on all the other jobs and THEN it will be staycation time.

the work board tonight

the work board tonight

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