One day early:

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Ilwaco’s Annual Children’s Parade

Allan headed downtown (a few blocks west) to photograph the parade, while I walked to the port because I was not sure I could keep up with even the smallest children for the entire parade route.  I picked a big bouquet with some of the last tulips and some of the first Siberian iris and delivered it to Salt Hotel, and took a photo of it that did not work out because I accidentally had the camera on time delay.  Good thing I figured that out before the parade.

Allan’s photos:

Allan’s photos were the first in sequence of the parade.  It was fortunate that I did not see some of them till I got home later, as they made me fume:


A sign had been nailed BACK onto the tree.

Various butts on planters:


Note the ‘Baby Moon’ narcissi getting crushed by the human posterior.  I had been so happy that those narcissi were still blooming for the parade.






YOUNG woman with at least two big fancy cameras, right on top of new plants.

Below: Why did these wheels just have to be placed into the perfectly weeded pocket garden?  Allan did not see this one until he looked at the full photo later on.  I am being kind enough to conceal the full shots of the people.



More on this topic at the end of this post.

Some of Allan’s more pleasing photos:


Astoria Regatta float with model of the Astoria bridge and the beloved Waterfront Trolley.  Well done!


passing by the boatyard garden, with Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department trucks


by the boatyard garden


These folks were showing appreciation by photographing poppies.


I love these people!



cars following the parade on Howerton


crowds of people

my photos:

Because I knew nothing of the planter sitters, I had a pleasant time photographing the parade after it had turned the corner from First Avenue to Howerton.  People were respecting the curbside gardens and the only near plant casualty was when I stopped a large labradoodle from sitting on a just about to bloom penstemon.


Salt Hotel curbside garden


west end of Howerton Avenue


Peninsula Beginning Band


super power!


Having Salt Hotel and Pub has so enhanced the port this past year.


Ceanothus by Time Enough Books


The charming children’s parade has long gaps, and some paraders are simply parents walking with their little ones.


Clowns kind of scare me.



The Wishkah Loggers marching band from Wishkah, Washington


Fire Chief Tommy

You can see every parade photo here on the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

Saturday Market

Allan and I did not find each other till after we had each taken photos of the opening day of the Saturday Market for Discover Ilwaco.  Here are my favourites of the day:

my photos:




Northwest Naturals


Northwest Naturals


in his guardian’s shadow



Blue Collar Eats


plants for sale


I’d like a dog just like this one.


Jacob at Pink Poppy Bakery with sprouts; I got a lime bundt cake.


more plants


new plant vendor, will be mostly cut flowers later in the season

Allan’s photos




after the parade




Blackberry Bog Farm


That’s our Mayor (and garden client) Mike handing out parade awards.


South Pacific County Humane Society Raffle Booth




Blessing of the Fleet

Every first Saturday in May is the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony, offering free boat rides on the charter boat fleet.  I always think I might go…and never do.  I thought..maybe this year…till I saw how low the tide was and how steep the ramps to the docks.


I was hobbling with a cane today, and there was no way I could get down that grated metal ramp with any dignity or safety.

I also thought I would find it hard to get on and off the boats, and that would be embarrassing.  If only my hair would turn grey, I would feel less embarrassed about asking for help.

Allan went down to the docks and got some photos of the boats going out.  He did go out a few years ago.  All the boats proceed to the Columbia River bar, where the Coast Guard helicopter circles and drops a wreath and flowers are strewn on the water in memory of lost seafarers.


people watching from the condor statue



the market from the dock


boats departing




Our friend Butch piloting his boat, the CoHo King

Our friend Wendy did go out on one of the boats and took these excellent photos:


photo by Wendy Murry


photo by Wendy Murry


photo by Wendy Murry


photo by Wendy Murry; her daughter with a flower to throw onto the water


photo by Wendy Murry

planter thoughts

When I got home and saw Allan’s photos of people’s posteriors parked on the planters, I felt disheartened and lost my drive to go outside and weed.  (A cold wind was another good reason to stay in.)  So, of course, I posted about it on Facebook.  Among ideas about planting prickly pear cactus or putting sharp things in the planters came a gentler idea that perhaps there could be some sort of planter design or edging that would deter sitters without harming them.  The city probably has no budget to re-fit the planters, though.  I regret having put new plants in BEFORE the parade.  I know better than to do so in Long Beach before tomorrow’s much bigger parade.

My friend Beth Sheresh (she who officiated Allan’s and my wedding in 2005) shared this essay that she wrote.  I like it so much that I think I will eventually create a permanent blog page around it:

Public Plants Public Service Announcement  by Beth Sheresh

General PSA about flowers and other plants in public places.

Flowers planted along city streets sure are beautiful, aren’t they? Makes you want to pick one or two to take home. I mean, there are a bunch, who would notice?

Please don’t.

Those flowers represent a lot of time and money, much of which may be volunteered and.or donated.

Each planter or bed has to be planted, watered, pruned, weeded, watered, cleaned out (why do people throw trash in planters?), weeded, watered, deadheaded, replanted because it’s late July and the early plants are bloomed out. This cycle can happen several times a year, depending on the plantings. It’s essentially never-ending.

It’s also costly, and not just in terms of the time represented by the work I just talked about. Plants are expensive and have a high attrition rate, even without people swiping a bloom or two.

Then there are the people who ignore the work and smash plants. Planters are not benches, nor are they designed to hold your packages while you chat with a friend.

And while I have you here, trees don’t like nails, so please don’t use them as posts for hanging flyers.

Short version: Please be nice to public/city plants. Someone worked hard to make them pretty for you to enjoy *looking* at.

Thank you, Beth!  I particularly like that she understands the repetitiveness of weeding, watering, and deadheading.

You can read more by Beth Sheresh on her Kitchenmage blog.

Tomorrow, I’ll be publishing my mother’s garden diaries for April, illustrated, including her April 30th entry.  Meanwhile,  I hope to enjoy two peaceful and productive days at home.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

In the late afternoon, after completing the Ilwaco and Port gardens for the Saturday children’s parade, we turned to Long Beach to get all its gardens ready for the big Sunday parade.  Allan weeded all four quadrants of Fifth Street Park while I weeded and fluffed two blocks worth of planters and street tree gardens.  It was frustrating that it took me two and a half fours to do just two blocks.  It takes time to try to achieve perfection.


asphodeline blooming by Fifth Street Park


columbines and veronica by Fifth Street Park


Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Cerinthe major purpurascens by the Smoke Shop.


upcoming planter re-do: getting the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out of this one.  Way back when, a volunteer planted it on just one side and I have reached the end of my endurance for how it looks here.

There are 36 planters on the main drag (I think) and of those, there are still several I would like to re-do.


Tulips ‘Night Rider’, Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)


Gunnera, Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)


Darmera peltata (Allan’s photo)


Darmera peltata (Allan’s photo)

The Cove Restaurant

We stopped just before seven to join Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) and Teresa (The Planter Box) for dinner at The Cove.


Melissa, me, and Dave, all after a long workday


Allium schubertii and California poppy seedlings in the Cove garden (Allan’s photo)


Cove owner Sondra Eaton


Teresa brought these narcissi from the Planter Box.


We all spent time admiring them.


Mel tried the strawberry salad at last and pronounced it delicious.


my caesar salad with anchovies


and ahi tuna


Teresa had a Middle Eastern style chicken dish.

The talk was all of gardening.

Friday, 29 April 2016

If we could not get Long Beach done today, we’d have to spill the job over to Saturday afternoon after the Ilwaco parade.  The day started out rainy but we headed to work anyway.

Ilwaco Post Office

We got waylaid for a whole maddening hour by weeds in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.


after: better



Long Beach

Allan did a tiny bit of touch up in Fifth Street Park and went on to weed the Veterans Field gardens, the Lewis and Clark Square garden, and the Heron Pond garden while I groomed the last four blocks of planters and street trees.  After two days of ideal weather, we had an annoying amount of wind today but no rain after noon.  This is good and bad, as without rain, we are going to have to start watering planters pretty soon.


Fifth Street Park, northeast side


Tulip ‘Night Rider’…more of these next year I hope!


Allan’s photos: Veterans Field corner garden before.  There is loads of horsetail in the ground itself.




Allan’s photo: Veterans Field


Allan’s photo: Lewis and Clark Square


planter by Hungry Harbor Grille: sparaxis


one of the last narcissi


Narcissus ‘New Baby’


I have plants to go in empty spaces but I fear they will get sat or even stood on during the parade so, ironically, am waiting till after the big event to plant them.


Rose ‘Berries and Cream’ (I think)


I must get this rose for my own garden.

The street tree garden below, by a popular restaurant, has grown back in with aster and schizostylis.  We had it all cleared out last year with hardy fuchsias planted.  Someone parked their big dog, and someone else parked a bike, and so on, in this pocket garden and the fuchsia was destroyed, so we have let it go back to a mess of asters.


This time humans did not win.  Or, rather, the humans who smashed the more delicate and interesting plants won.

One of the Gaura ‘So White’ in Fish Alley was half broken off, messing up my planned “picture”.




I cut the unbroken one down to match.  Damnitallsomemore.


Allan’s photos: Heron Pond, before








Tulip ‘Green Wave’ and ‘Spring Green’ by our favourite shop, NIVA green.

Heather of NIVA green had noticed something was different in the planter by the Elks Lodge, where someone had dug out one of the two matched daphnes.  I had decided that the planter has to be redone.  The daphne was in the way of the traffic sightline anyway, so now was a good time to use vandalism as a reason to re-do the planter.


from across the street: lopsided




after; we will add more plants after parade day

Amazingly, we had time to dump our debris and scurry up to The Basket Case to check out their new shipment of perennials.

Basket Case Greenhouse


Allan’s photo



some new annuals just arriving


Fred receiving plants (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Shadow supervises (Nancy to the right): Allan’s photo


I hope there is some Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ left for me next week.


Ooooh, the delectable Irish Molly


Allan’s photo: We bought our van from Fred and Nancy, so their dog Shadow always thinks it is HIS van.


Allan’s photo of our good friend Shadow

I got me some agastaches for my collection (which would be extensive if they reliably made it through the winter) and we went…

back to Long Beach


on Pioneer Road, approaching the Cranberry Research Station on our way to Long Beach

We weeded and deadheaded and city hall and then went to the beach approach.


We groomed the raised planters along the Bolstadt beach approach.


The patches of clover I left in the garden are boring and should go away.


Rugosa roses are starting to bloom.


rose and beach lupine


not one sign of the poppy seeds I planted in the sand


beach approach planter (Allan’s photo) with Dutch iris from volunteer days

Finally, we got most of the weeds out of the little popouts and Coulter Park.


little popout before (Allan’s photos)




Coulter Park (Allan’s photo)


Coulter Park (Allan’s photo)


Amazingly, we finished the job by 7:30 and dropped our trailer off at home with the intent of dinner at Salt as a reward. On the way, I saw something so maddening in Ilwaco: a big plywood yard sale sign NAILED to one of the street trees and resting on and smashing plants in the well weeded pocket garden.  We took it down and took out the nail.  I did not want the yard sale people to be upset that no one could find their sale, so we went to twenty minutes of extra trouble, after leaving our trailer at home, of returning to drill holes in the sign and tie it to a light post so it would not blow over in the brisk wind.



tied to light post (Allan’s photo, with the address of the sale edited out) and this side of the garden all smashed up. It’s not a very beautiful little garden yet, but still!!


This sign was nailed to another tree and we tied it to a lightpost instead.

(I might as well tell you that tomorrow I will be complaining because someone nailed the sign BACK onto the tree.)


We then took a detour.  Without the trailer on, we could do an easy turn around at the dead end street by our old house behind the boatyard.  I wanted to spy on my former Davidia tree and see if it had finally bloomed.


deer in the next door yard to our old house (you can see the cottage to the right)

I had planned to spy from outside the garden, but Jon, who is buying the cottage from me and (from what we see when we drive by) doing amazing work fixing it up, invited us into the garden.


Allan’s photo…Oh, my old beloved garden in which I have not walked for five years.


looking at the pond with Jon.  Behind me: Jon’s fenced kitchen garden. I had forgotten that I planted that palm.


Jon: remodeler and fine carpenter and the perfect person for this place.  Someday he’ll take us on a tour of the remodeled cottage.  The Davidia tree is just past the kitchen garden fence.

There was the Davidia, so tall, and covered with pocket handkerchiefs that Jon had not noticed.  It was hard to get a photo in the evening light.


Can you see?  Dozen of flowers with white bracts…not as large as the ones on my very young Davidia ‘Sonoma’.



I was pleased and felt all poignant at the scent of the fresh water pond there.  I also was cured of some of the longing I get for that garden at times, because I had forgotten how narrow it is compared to the one I have now:  50 feet wide compared to 79 feet wide makes a big difference.


Across the street where once was wild, the boatyard has been expanded.

Salt Pub


downstairs lobby

We settled in by a view window at Salt Pub to celebrate having gotten both Long Beach and Ilwaco gardens ready for the parade weekend.


our view toward Cape Disappointment


and to the southeast


light reflections (not flying saucers)


tuna melt with tomato sauce and mojitos



Tomorrow, we must cover the parade and the Saturday Market for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page, and then we can be off work (and volunteer work) till Tuesday morning.


1998 (age 74):

April 29:  I slept late again.  It was hot by the time I got out.  I finished washing many many pots.  I had to pull the drain pipe completely off.  The pipe from the sink was plugged with vermiculite.  [I am sure she meant the big sink in the large “shop” building.]

I weeded in patio bed and cut back the tulips that were done flowering.  Also got the 30 lilies planted in PBB [Patio Bulb Bed], NDFB [North Driveway Flower Bed] and PRFB-W [This one still mystifies me..Patio Right Flower Bed West?].  Next is the dahlias.

We spent almost two work days getting Ilwaco, the Ilwaco boatyard, and the Port of Ilwaco ready for the children’s parade, which would take place on April 30th.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

We began with the Ilwaco boatyard garden, which we had minimally weeded a couple of weeks ago.  Today, we were seeking something closer to perfection.


horsetail interfering with poppies (Allan’s photo)


a froth of “fried egg plant” (Allan’s photo).  This garden would all be horsetail like shows inside the fence if we abandoned it for a month!


Allan’s photo, before


Stipa gigantea (Allan’s photo)

I got to meet, but not pet, a “grumpy” little Schipperke named Rebel, who lives on a boat called Bambi. I told Rebel’s human that I’ve won over some grumpy little biting Schipperkes before, two of them that no one else but their humans liked, and convinced them to like me.  I am hoping that if I see Rebel often enough, he will be my friend.


He was interested in and enjoyed one of the dog biscuits that we carry.


Rebel, Rebel, my future friend


Allan’s photo


horsetail inside the fence



on to the south section of the boatyard garden (Allan’s photo); less horsetail here, thank goodness




Geranium ‘Rozanne’ already starting to bloom.


I always appreciate the defined shadows on the sidewalk.


poppies and lupines

The last couple of years, I’ve found time to hack away at the other side of the fence with the heavy pick or a mattock, to get the grasses back from the fence.  This year, I haven’t, because of all the time we spent weeding the beach approach garden in Long Beach.


must get to this soon before anyone sticks a strimmer whip under the fence…




Old story:  One day in summer of maybe 2012, a woman came up to me while I was walking to a local café and said “You’ve gotta get down to the boatyard; all your plants are wilting!”  I aborted my café mission and hustled down to the boatyard only to realize that she had thought that the drooping buds of unopened poppies signified a watering crisis.



It’s normal for poppy buds to droop.

By three fifteen, we were done with the boatyard and got started on the east end of the Howerton Avenue gardens.  I doubted we would get as far as I had hoped for.  The weeds were thick in spots because, in order to keep the port budget balanced, we had been saving some of these gardens for a big pre-parade weeding.


Allan’s photo, before


east end garden looking west


east end garden looking east

The Armeria maritima (sea thrift) are glorious right now.  They will need a lot of deadheading later.  I find that if I get behind on clipping all the little pink or white balls, they politely reseed themselves around, so that’s a good excuse to not get it done immediately.


Here is a spot with a depression where someon came along and stole a sizeable plant.  I notice.

Just because they are north of the restroom pavilion, we also weeded the two Ilwaco pavilion beds next.


Helianthemum (Allan’s photo), Ilwaco Pavilion


Allan’s photo

We had then time (with a big push and some stress) to get the two westernmost curbside gardens done.  We have only the most difficult dragging-three-houses water access for the very westernmost bed, and this year I am probably going to test it out for complete drought tolerance.    You can already tell the difference from last year, when it got less water than other sections.


Allan’s photo, before weeding


Allan’s photo


big weeds and santolina (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


I believe that deer, rather than humans, are removing flowers from the columbines. (Allan’s photo)


I found this old toy gun under the soil (Allan’s photo)


This toy gun dates to the 1930s, Allan found.  Made of cast iron.  I find it weird it is called “Border Patrol”; I guess we were xenophobic even back then.


Allan’s photo

Below: These photos of Allan’s show the difference between the second to last bed, which we were able to water with the hose from the next door Salt Hotel…


just down from Salt Hotel


thick with flowers


the last bed, getting  sparser


furthest west and hardest to water bed


and the very west end, with less plant diversity because we can’t water from the adjacent business (so this year may let it be dry).

You may recall that last summer, we had a drought that went for months.  If this summer is wetter, that will make a difference.

For ideas on drought tolerant gardening, we recommend two books: Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden and the best dry garden book of all, High and Dry by Bob Nold.

With my knee getting painful by the end of the day, I found it terribly hard just to step in and out over the curb over and over and over again.  While working along the port, and because I am obviously either limping or dragging one leg like the walking dead, I’ve talked with a couple of fishermen who also need knee replacements but are trying to get through the fishing season first, as I am trying to get through the gardening season (till after bulb time in November).  By five o clock, I was having to hang onto a bucket for support each time, and finally holding onto to the curb to get in and out of the garden, and yowling in pain, and then almost fell over sideways (yelling for Allan but he was too far away, and so was my bucket).  Before then, I had been wishing we could work till eight because we still had so much to do.  I was glad to stop to have dinner at 6:30 with Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case Greenhouse.

The Depot Restaurant

Allan quickly deadheaded the Depot garden before dinner, and a good thing, too, as I forgot about it later in the week.


blackberry cheescake preceded by Burger Night burgers

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Although I was anxious about how much we had to do in Long Beach, I decided we should finish Ilwaco first because it would be the windiest garden tomorrow (when wind and rain was predicted).

Allan began with the simple bed by CoHo Charters.  Butch of CoHo prunes the escallonia.




after, lava rock on landscape fabric


Allan weeded this bed by a business for sale.  Hard for me to walk on these rocks. Landscape fabric makes it hard to add plants.




My project: The curbside bed at Craft 3 Bank with lots of little weeds where some too-tall shrubs came out last fall


better; I thinned and replanted some clumps of narcissi to spread them around

Fortunately, the parade turns before Craft 3 as it is a garden in flux right now.


Allan’s photo: ceanothus by Time Enough Books


darling little penstemon (Allan’s photo)


Time Enough Books garden (where we took out a big ornamental grass last fall): Allan’s photo


the blues (Allan’s photo)

I dug five excellent favourite plants (a penstemon, three eryngiums, and a lavender that was small enough to move) out of one of the two no-water garden beds and put them in the port office and Time Enough beds where they can be cared for properly.  Even most drought tolerant plants don’t look their best when they go months without a drink.


transplanted penstemon


transplanted eryngium (right)


garden boat; ‘Strong Gold’ tulips were done, Tulip ‘Formosa’ hanging on.  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo: port office curbside garden

We weeded the street tree gardens and planters at the last two Ilwaco intersections and then with the feeling that the town and port plantings were pretty near perfect, we went on to Long Beach at 4:15 PM, an hour and a quarter later than what I had been hoping for.


sidewalk chalk by Ilwaco’s Col Pacific Motel (Allan’s photo)

Next: a day and a bit getting Long Beach ready for parade day.


1995 (age 71):

April 27: 1:30-4:30  Cleaned up the tam flower bed [used to be juniper tams], weeded, deadheaded some, removed mulch and put it all in bags to be shredded someday.

1998 (age 74):

April 27:  11:00-5:30 WARM   I worked all afternoon planting begonias in boxes and baskets.  There is another day’s work to finish.  I took time to scrape the labels off about a dozen of the white baskets.  I didn’t do that last year because I was anxious to get baskets filled.  It is supposed to be hot all week.

April 28:  11:30-5:00.  Ditto from yesterday.  All the baskets are full.  I think I have 22.  I have 3 trays with 15 or so bulbs that I will put into the various tulip pots when the tulips are done.  Unfortunately some of these bulbs were not labeled so I won’t know if they are trailing or upright until they bloom.  I must label these begonias this summer.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Our mission today was to get three jobs done so that we could spend the rest of the week concentrating on Long Beach and Ilwaco.  This weekend will be the annual parades in each town.



at home: Tulip ‘Formosa’ proves again to be one of the latest of all.


at home, tulips and Allium bulgaricum


at home: Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ is threading its airy white flowers through the Melianthus major.


Ilwaco post office garden, lots of green waiting for flowers.


Post Office: Allan calls this “Dog Poop Corner’ because there is often a dog poop deposited there and not cleaned up.

Anchorage Cottages


Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)

We got the two remaining window boxes ready for them to put in place when the brackets are done (tomorrow).


flowers will be mostly orangey to go with the sign


honeysuckle, center courtyard


working on center courtyard (Allan’s photo)


Allan did lots of weeding and bluebell-pulling in the center courtyard garden.


Allan’s photo

Manager Beth told us that not all the cottages came from Fort Canby, as we mentioned the other day.  A couple of them came from the nearby golf course and a couple of them were built on the property.



Tulip ‘Greenland’


Tulip ‘Green Wave’, my weird and wonderful alltime favourite


Green Wave


our good friend Mitzu


Mitzu could go to a Prince memorial dance party in her purple coat.

I would go to a Prince memorial dance party if there was one nearby.


Last week’s window boxes installed with new brackets.  More annuals to come with warmer weather.

I had to change into warmer clothes at the Anchorage because of a brisk and chilly wind.


The rhodos are getting tall enough to provide some privacy again.


Three yellow rhodos in a courtyard that is difficult to make look good.

I am so not a fan of bark, at all….”Just say no to barkscapes” is our motto (one of them).  However, maybe some very fine very DARK bark (shredded, not horrid nuggets) would look better around those shrubs, although I would prefer a soil based mulch.


callas and climbing hydrangea

Golden Sands Assisted Living


Allan’s photo


from the hallway to the courtyard (Allan’s photo)

At last, I got the bag of dahlias planted, an assorted mix of pinks and maroons.  Each quadrant got some weeding.  There never seems to be time to achieve perfection.  The four flower gardens are in a green stage between spring bulbs and late spring flowers.  Quite dull:


Future mission: beat back the horrible salal that is jumping into the garden.

I would love to see salal completely out of this whole courtyard….I hope we can remove some every week between now and fall.  By we, I mean Allan.


a bit of colour with daylilies and mom’s Joseph’s Coat rose.

One of the residents told us that a new resident has enjoyed the tulips and been reminded of the tulips she had at her own home.

Klipsan Beach Cottages


driveway to “Joanie’s Cottage” next door, where we park when we work at KBC (Allan’s photo)


looking south from the driveway (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo

He pruned a sword fern that we had missed on the outer lawn:




after (much easier to clip when dormant!)


from our parking spot, we can see Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’ aglow.


Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’




Tulip ‘Marilyn’


Allan’s photo

We missed the elegant shape of that tulip before it opens, as shown below:



My favourite crazy Tulip ‘Green Wave’


Tulip ‘Spring Green’


I cannot remember what this blue flower is!


Tulip ‘Formosa’


Allan’s photo

When good plants go bad:  After years of being well behaved, Allium sphaerocephalon has turned into a grassy looking mess, just like another grassy allium in Fifth Street Park.


very annoying and messy


sword and deer ferns


sword fern and weigela


Camassia cusickii


looking into the fenced garden



looking south from the bench nook 


At the A frame garden, Allan tucked in a teucrium that I’d taken out of a pot at the Anchorage (in prep for something more interesting).


tucked in between tree roots


deadheaded narcissi at the A Frame


Allan produced lots of deadheads.


Hydrangea ‘Lemon Wave’ (probably) Allan’s photo


unfurling fern by the clam shed (Allan’s photo)

Ilwaco again

I had clipped back a rosemary at Golden Sands that had been mysteriously bent sideways.  (One of the residents agreed it was like a bear had lain on it, but no bears can get into the courtyard.)  We delivered the clippings to Salt Pub.


an armload of rosemary and “Don’t take my picture!” as I was feeling decrepit.

The curbside gardens need weeding before the weekend…at least, the ones that are not all river rock, because at this point I cannot even walk on river rock, much less stand on it to weed it.  Today I had some plants with me to add to the Ilwaco planters.  I was just too tired to do it.

When we arrived home, Dave and Melissa were about to leave their big pruning job two doors down.


We admired the spiffing job.  If you cut this too hard, it will not grow back from the brown centers.  (Allan’s photo)


Melissa pointed out two deer dossed down in Nora’s back meadow.

I told Nora’s grand daughter (now owner of the house) that it is good to have a wildlife refuge with mown paths back there.


Allan’s photo…and our deer fence

On the other side of the yard, a darling waggle tailed dog watched us.  Allan could read his name tag: Dickens.


Allan’s photo


We were smitten.


the hedge yesterday


today, a job well done.  (The brown cut on the end was already that way…had to be because of the gate.)

Now we have three days to get Ilwaco, the Port of Ilwaco, and Long Beach parks and gardens as perfect as possible before parade weekend.


1995 (age 71):

April 26:  Finished planting begonias in baskets and pots.  Was able to get them all in by moving Forest Farm plants outside.  Next big job is planting the dahlias.

1997 (age 73)

April 26:  11:00-4:00  warm and sunny  Planted the Tristar daughter plans in 3 rows except the small ones which I put into square tray.  That job took until 5:00.  Turned on garden faucets.  Watered strawberry rows.  Then started weeding the pathway until I quit when I was exhausted.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Allan’s day

Monday was sunny, windy, and had an incoming tide all afternoon. A good sailing day I opined. Skyler didn’t need anything that couldn’t wait, our friends at Sea Star Gardening were working hard pruning a hedge two doors down. I checked and they didn’t need to borrow a ladder or gas or oil, it’s a lazy 1 PM.  Off I went to:


only 15 minutes from Ilwaco


There is a trail and many things to see if you visit their FB page here

Daydreamily I unloaded the boat wrong, breaking off the rudder, but the manufacture anticipated this by including spare break-away pins. All I had to do was look friendly/busy while I repaired it in front of some tourists. We do these things to be the local color sometimes.


I piled everything in


Here is the 25 mph curve. There is one other rig with a boat trailer. It looks to be a quiet day on the bay.


fishermen at work


leaving their wake to splash through

The plan was to see how far I could go around the south end of Long Island, or maybe hug the coast and head south into the wind.

to baby island

The power or paddle boat route to Baby Island is about two miles.


The crooked sailboat route adds about a mile.


The wind was brisk so I stayed along the coast highway. Baby Island kept getting closer so I went for it.


The water is more calm around the spit on the left.

Here is an 8 second  YouTube video of the sound of the beach


landing on a deserted island



On the beach were plenty of  little sea beans. We’ve had them sometimes at the Cove and the Depot. They’re salty and lightly crunchy.


calm water and a rope, just to be sure. It’s only 4:20 and there is time to hike the whole  island.


a little bit of beach clean up


I think that is an old bird nest


silverleaf growing on the beach


a fungi about a foot across


the island’s interior is steep and heavily grown over

According to the book: ‘Coast Country: A History of Southwest Washington’, “…Baby Island is formerly the scene of Indian canoe burials…”



a trillium


a stormy life has shaped this cedar


After a casual ten minute walkaround, a reassuring sight to see.


Baby Island up close, receding


This trip I noticed an inlet into Long Island. It’s across from the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge,  just north of the concrete ramp on the island.


looking back from the interior of the island


There are still pilings from the days when this island was logged. I didn’t spot the campsite (it’s on another inlet), and I still haven’t landed on Long Island. I did spot an elk after wondering what or who was crashing about in the trees.


Here’s the boat landing. In the words of Chuck Yeager: “If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you can use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.”

Nobody let me use their airplane the next day.


That night we had fresh sea beans, Skyler’s favourite vegetable, with dinner


Almost eight miles an hour sometimes…pretty fun!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Fortunately, a three day weekend enabled me to make up for yesterday’s all-reading day by some weeding on the west side of the back garden.  I did allow myself to be distracted by Dave and Mel working on the hedge just two doors down.


two doors down: Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) are going to tackle this hedge.


Dave pruning (Allan’s photo)


Melissa weeding (Allan’s photo)


progress (Allan’s photo); the hedge goes all the way round the back of this lot, which is as long as ours.


west side front garden


west side back garden, my target area


more of the target area


admiring Allan’s fence work from yesterday, from the inside of the garden.


and the nicely mown lawn

I managed to get completely distracted from my goal and weeded down the west side bed instead:


I could not get further distracted into weeding the south end of the garden because a brisk wind was making the alder grove emit ominous cracking sounds on occasion.

Melissa asked what the golden Cistus was in the side bed above.  Fortunately, I was able to unearth the tag.


Cistus ‘Mickie’ from Terra Nova

She also admired another young shrub of mine.  It took me two hours to remember the name, which finally popped into my head.



In the early evening, Dave and Mel knocked off the pruning and weeding job of theirs and we went down to Salt for a late lunch…without Allan, who had, at my urging, gone sailing on the rather windy day.


our view from Salt Pub



a mojito, tart and limey and minty, maybe a new favourite drink


We each had the tuna melt.

After some pleasant lingering, Mel and Dave left for their home at the north end of the peninsula and I simply forced myself to weed for another hour.  The chilly wind was more conducive to going indoors.


Smokey kept me company.


back garden


These tulips have been blooming for weeks.


west bed


I had done fairly well in my target area.


less weedy for sure


evening glow


very late blooming tulips…Might be T. ‘Fantasy’


front garden thickening up


front garden


Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’


Tulips ‘Green Wave’, ‘Green Star’, ‘Formosa’

Next post:  Allan’s boating day.


preview from Allan’s boating day

Tomorrow, we begin four days of work begin to get the towns ready for next weekend’s annual parades.


1995 (age 71):

April 25:  Another wasted day except:  Moved planted pots of Forest Farm plants out of greenhouse to make room for begonias.  I’ll have to cover them with something as it’s supposed to get close to freezing tonight.

1997 (age 73):

April 25: 1:00-4:30  Planted the rest of the new strawberries.  Then I dug the plants between the 2 Tristar rows and trimmed them so now I have 4 trays of Tristars to plant.  I’m going to plant the small ones in one of my square trays.

1998 (age 74):

April 25:  I slept till 11:00.  I worked out about 2 1/2 hours.  I tried to put new bulbs in shop light but it fell out twice so I gave up.  I finished transplanting the tomato seedlings (at least I thought I did).  After I put everything away I saw another tray under the light near the freezer.  Some of the plants I potted were small but I have so many I potted them, too.  The next job is the begonias!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

I was thrilled to wake to the sound of the predicted rain, meaning a day of reading book two of the Cazelet Chronicle.  I set aside Love All because I simply could not wait to read Marking Time, both by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

It was hard to put down Love All as one of the characters is a garden designer of about my age.  From Love All:


[Gardeners] don’t come cheap, but if they’re good, they’ll make all the difference.”  !!

I had been so absorbed recently in the first of the Cazelet Chronicle that I simply had to start the second book.


But wait….shortly after I settled in with Marking Time the sun came out.  NOOO.


Brightness outside, interfering with reading bliss.

Although plagued with gardening guilt, I did stay in to read the entire book, after thinking about which I would rather have done, weeding or reading, if it were my last day on earth.


The three cats agreed and also stayed in.  Calvin is on the back of the chair and Frosty is by the cat door.

Just one sight from the kitchen window drew me briefly outside:


a welcome mat of fallen rhododendron flowers by Allan’s shed


Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’


mermaid birdbath


Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’ and hellebores almost over


in Allan’s thoroughly weeded garden

Within less than five minutes, I had returned to my book.


From Marking Time

Marking Time is set in the time of the London Blitz.  If I believed in reincarnation (my favourite afterlife possibility), I would be convinced that I had lived during the Blitz because everything about that time resonates with me when I read a novel or see a film set during that era.  I read up on it a bit more online whilst reading the novel and learned something new to me:  German planes drifted off course while intending to bomb a Royal Air Force site and accidentally bombed civilian London.  The next day, Churchill sent bombers to Berlin in retaliation.  Germany then focused its bombing runs on English cities.  In a perverse way, this actually helped the British war effort because it gave the Air Force time that it desperately needed to repair its severely damaged air fields and it took the brunt of Germany’s bombs away from what was left of English war planes.

“Beginning on September 7, 1940, and for a total of 57 consecutive nights, London was bombed. The decision to wage a massive bombing campaign against London and other English cities would prove to be one of the most fateful of the war. Up to that point, the Luftwaffe had targeted Royal Air Force airfields and support installations and had nearly destroyed the entire British air defense system. Switching to an all-out attack on British cities gave RAF Fighter Command a desperately needed break and the opportunity to rebuild damaged airfields, train new pilots and repair aircraft. “It was,” Churchill later wrote, “therefore with a sense of relief that Fighter Command felt the German attack turn on to London…””  (from The History Place)

For whatever reason, it particularly moves me to read about it.  I recommend the series The 1940s House to get a feeling of what it was like to live in England during those years.

While I had me nose in a book, Allan was absent from the house and I could hear the lawnmower chugging along.  Later, he showed me photos of the other big project he had accomplished:


progress from last week (viewed from Nora’s back yard)







He made cheese toasties to keep my strength up (fortified with some bacon jam given us yesterday by Our Kathleen).


We unpacked yesterday’s door prize of dog treats to give to Dave and Melissa, and gave our cats the two toys.


Frosty looks less than thrilled.

I finished Marking Time and have made an interlibrary loan request for the third book, Confusion. Our day closed with two more episodes of Love in a Cold Climate, keeping with the historical English theme as it is set in the 1930s.


1995 (age 71):

April 24:  Planted the 4 bags of red and yellow onion sets 4 rows east of path and the rest in rows in asparagus patch.  In the fall till the asparagus bed and next year plant veggies in that area.  Started planting the new begonia tubers in “window” boxes and pots.  [The quotations are because they were window boxes not actually installed under windows.]

1997 (age 73):

April 24:  From about 12:30-5:00.  Planted strawberries.  I thought I was done but just before I quit I found another tray so I guess I’ll plant them tomorrow.   I also planted the pots of Gordon’s perennials from last fall into trays.  Most of the dianthus were ok but some of the others didn’t make it though the winter.  I am exhausted.

1998 (age 74):

April 24:  cool—rain—hail  I was going to put tomatoes but it was too cold so I started planting seeds in the kitchen.  I mostly planted low annuals for my color bowls.  I planted from noon to 8:30 with time out to eat.  Tomorrow I should take the new trays to the greenhouse—there’s not room in shop until I pot up the begonias.




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