Sunday, 21 August 2016
This morning, Allan took the cover off the south cat door (which had been blocked while the bathroom behind it was Skooter’s New Cat Sanctuary Room). I opened the flap and guided Skooter out, then walked around the house to talk him down the ramp, a new way for him to go in and out.
I had painted some more bamboo poles to install in the front garden. More is more, right?
With that done, I went to weed by Nora/Alicia’s driveway. After awhile, I heard a voice saying hello and looked up to see a woman I did not know come round the corner of the house onto the patio. I figured I was having the usual attack of face blindness and SHOULD know who she was, until she introduced herself as Allan’s high school buddy Julie. She had emailed that she might be in the area, then that she wasn’t going to be able to make it. Now here she was. I found Allan, and then convinced Julie that it was absolutely fine to bring her daughter, Liz, and grandchildren into the garden. It is rare for us to have small children visit, and I am always interested to see how they relate to this landscape.
The family stayed for a couple of hours. I liked them very much. I took to Mia, the granddaughter who loves reading.
Cora, age four, kept saying “Flowers! Flowers! Flowers!”
We showed Cora the fairy doors, and she delivered some mail to the fairies, completely of her own accord.
The toothed leaves of Melianthus major smell like peanut butter to some and like dirty socks to others. These four friends were evenly divided. Cora smelled peanut butter, Mia smelled dirty socks.
Because her trip was almost canceled, Julie had not had our address. She had found our house by the Tangly Cottage sign over the garage door. I was so glad she did and I do hope they all return.
After their departure, I tried to imagine what was it like to see this garden as a small child. Will Cora have memories of this day? I think so. I have garden memories from age 4 that strongly influenced my path in life. One especially strong one is visiting a garden of a friend of my grandma’s, lying in a hammock in a flowery back garden with a blue sky overhead and being sure that the sky above my head was at the center of the world.
Cora loved the fuchsias, especially when I showed her how the fat buds made a “pop” when you squeeze them. My grandma did not like me to pop the fuchsias; she said that they then would not open. Cora and I popped a lot of buds, so we’ll see if Gram was right or not.
The fairy doors are an enchantment for all ages. (They were purchased at Home and Garden Art in Seattle, a store that is now closed.)
A friend’s middle aged son said that the fairy doors do not need stairs because the fairies can fly. We informed him that the stairs are for the fairies’ pet frogs.
An especially shy fairy who likes to read without being bothered lives behind this fern:
I think the painted bamboo poles must also be amusing to a child. (They certainly amuse me.)
After I saw the above photo, I painted the tops and just inside the tops.
A cat’s eye view is also interesting.
I did accomplish some planting in the evening.
I have wanted Mahonia gracilipes every since Dan Hinkley showed a slide of it at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show years ago. I’ve acquired and killed a tiny one, and acquired a tall one that did not have the whitey-blue leaf undersides. I think the third time will be the charm.
Despite being in the bogsy woods, this new planting area will be well drained because it is mounded up.
In the front garden, I had planned to plant my six new boxwoods along the curve by the porch….but the wire plant is so daunting. I thought it was a tender houseplant when I planted it in the big pot.
So I think the new boxwoods will have to go along here, on the right side, after moving the variegated figwort away from the edge:
We closed an excellent day with a campfire back in the damp lawn area by the bogsy woods.
The next day, we saw the No Outdoor Burning sign in the Ilwaco post office. Ooops. It is stricter than the information on the Pacific County Emergency Management page which said that campfires in approved back yard fire pits were allowed. I wonder how long before we will be able to have another campfire? Bring on some more good rain.
1995 (age 71):
August 21: Picked strawberries enough for me and one for the freezer. I planted quite a few of the chrysanthemums in the patio bed and a few in upper driveway flower bed. There are quite a few that didn’t survive. I will reorder them probably next spring.
1997 (age 73):
August 21: Watered begonias both basket and pots. Cleaned up some of mess behind house. I put the old metal pots in greenhouse on top shelf. Emptied all the stuff from the green table—first time in months.
1998 (age 74):
August 21: Noon-3:00 I went out intending to do some work in the shade. Instead, I worked on the compost box moving stuff from the old to the “new” box. I used the piece of corrugated plastic as the front of the box. I secured it with two spading forks. There are a lot of twigs and cones in the stuff but I won’t worry about that until next year. Now I have a huge amount to be sieved again but not now. I don’t know where I’ll put it.