Thursday, 12 July 2018


At three thirty, Allan mowed the J’s lawn and did some blackberry cutting..

windblown leaves on a pocket sized lawn

the blackberry menace from next door


The only lawns we mow are four on our block, including ours.

We waited until four to start work together because of weather that was hot and extremely windy, gusting to over 25 mph.

wind warning flag at the port (Allan’s photo)

The late afternoon and evening were cool enough, but the wind was strong enough to knock over a five gallon bucket and to almost knock me over once.  Earlier this week when I was watering the boatyard, I overheard a fisherman say, “When the wind prediction says 30, I head for the nearest bar.”  It would have been nice to bail out and go to Salt Pub.

We watered along the curbside gardens at the port.  I checked my three vandalized plants in my favourite bed by the Ilwaco pavilion:

santolina might be recovering…

one lavender may be slowly putting out some new growth…

the other lavender

If they do fill in, they will not be healed this summer.

looking east

I planted three Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’, one heather down at Coho Charters, and two good clumps of Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ donated by Our Kathleen.  I will divide them up more in the fall.

Now we must remember to water the new plants often for the next few weeks.

ArtPort Gallery garden (Allan’s photo)

Purly Shell and Time Enough Books garden

so near and yet so far from home

I checked the new planting at OleBob’s Café.

We had to cancel our weekly Garden Gang dinner this week because we just don’t have time in the evenings what with all the watering.  Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) live over half an hour away in Oysterville; if we lived closer, we could find a place to meet at 9 PM but it’s too late for a long drive AND dinner.

We had split up, each with a long hose, to do the watering.  I had a knee glitch where I suddenly could not drag the hose a block to my next scheduled watering bed and had to call Allan for help.  That was disconcerting.

After I watered at Time Enough Books,  Allan (who had watered the west end beds) collected my hose, which he needs to water at the east end garden where he has to hook up two long hoses and run them all the way from the dock.

east end garden (Allan’s photo)

east end garden (Allan’s photo)

I turned my attention to a project I had agreed to take on, weeding at the Captain’s Quarters guest house at the port, next to the port office.



Between the two buildings was a daunting wind tunnel, fortunately not very weedy.

View while dumping weeds:

Allan went on to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters with the water trailer.

while filling the trailer at the boatyard, 7:30 PM

from Westport, near our garden tour destinations on July 14th.

in a planter that is made from an old wheel (abandoned planter, not the city’s, but we care for it)

At home, I ran three sprinklers in succession and proofread some blog posts.

I like my stand of elephant garlic in my old debris pile.


Wednesday, 11 july 2018

Red Barn Arena

The garden had been watered! (Yay!) So we only had a bit of deadheading to do.

Our good friend Misty was there (with her human, Diane).

and our good friend Rosie

the first tigridia of the year in one of the barrels

Diane’s Garden

Next door to the barn, we added a few perennials to Diane’s garden.  We are going to just call the septic box garden the raised box garden from now on.  Sounds so much nicer.

Allan deadheading

Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

also Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

also Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’!

It is quite variable.

drumstick alliums

Basket Case Greenhouse

We stopped for a few Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’.  I could not resist some echeverrias, as well.

still lots of healthy annuals and baskets for sale.

green fireworks display

and a really big healthy blue agastache

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour tidying and then I took photos for the Facebook page.  We skipped KBC last week because of the holiday and company.  Mary says she could get by with us just every other week, which would be great, but she says “Not yet, though!”  This is now our only north end job, and it is a long drive for one hour of work.  The cottage cleaning staff also like to weed the paths and beds, so we can be somewhat dispensible, for which I am grateful.  It is an odd feeling to work there knowing this longtime job ends in the late autumn, when Denny and Mary retire.

Allan had stood on a bucket and deadheaded the roses over the arbors.

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ with sanguisorba, probably ‘Pink Elephant’

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Timmy (Timothea)

All these years I thought Timmy, Sarah’s sibling, was a boy!  Mary and I talked about how I might take ten year old Timmy and Sarah if Mary and Denny move to Arizona.  I would love to have them.

more Timmy

I want to take her home right now!

Shelburne Hotel

I had had a wee brainstorm.  In the back garden, we took the variegated mint out of a low pot and put it into the pot that does not drain well.

Then we made a succulent pot out of the low pot for the one deck that had no plant container.

I laughed when I found myself thinking, “I wish there were some river rock to decorate these pots with.”  Of course, the front garden has river rock all along the edge of the path!

no shortage!

lavender and thyme pot in back garden

front garden

71 degrees on the way home at the early hour of 5 PM.

I did no evening gardening at home other than watering all my pots and running one sprinkler because the north wind was a ridiculously strong and miserable thirty something miles an hour.



Tuesday, 10 July 2018

At 4:30 AM I had awoken, after two hours of sleep, from a nightmare that Allan was too sick to go to the Grayland/Markham tour and that I was trying to find someone to take me.  Then I lay awake worrying from four thirty to six AM about it.  I made sure Allan was still breathing and cursed my lack of driving and felt useless in the world.  Working on about four hours of sleep was difficult.

Allan photographed Skooter on the roof before work.

At the post office, I tagged a shrub that I hope someone will remove.  It has been there a long time and grows well out over the sidewalk.  I want it gone but don’t want to do the work!

left, with feverfew growing in it

garden would look better without it

Long Beach

We watered the Long Beach street trees (Allan did, because I find the hose very difficult to hook up to the street tree quick connects) and the planters.

I have been so disappointed the last two years with the performance of the Salvia viridis (painted sage).  It no longer colours up well.

white painted sage with blue agastache

white and pink painted sage with cosmos

Here is what it used to look like:

pink dahlia, pink painted sage in the olden days

Salvia viridis (painted sage), once upon a time

I can’t figure out why only the very tips colour up now.   No one asks about this plant anymore, and I am about to go off it and stop using it.  It used to be my most asked about plant in the Long Beach planters.

Two snails, removed from a planter, trying for the Great Escape from my weed bucket; they were re-homed in a wild area with bindweed to eat.

I called out across the street to some young men who were messing about with a bent allium, “Please be careful, those are fragile!”  “You mean the broken one?” the fellow who had been bending it back and forth called back.  I said, “That’s how they get broken; I’m going to stake it when I get to that planter.”  Allan heard them muttering “The Plant Police.”  I think I need a badge and maybe a small portable siren.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in front of Wind World Kites

I have removed most of the crocosmia from planters because it is too tall and too aggressive.  The owner of Wind World Kites really likes it so it is still there.

Crocosmia looks good against blue.

I often hear people screaming in excitement over the behavior of their rented surreys.

astilbes and the carousel

my audience while watering

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, planter by NIVA green. Lilies have come back in this planter every year since volunteer days. I don’t plant lilies in the planters because they don’t die well. (I love lilies.)

We divide the job in half, and whoever gets back to the van first does some work in whatever park we manage to get a parking spot by.  This time, we finished at exactly the same time.

We watered the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.  They are sparse because of thievin’ varmints (human) and so drought tolerant that they had survived ok despite two weeks of neglect.  They could be full of all sorts of cool xeriscape plants, were it not for the thievery.

common crocosmia in one of the beach approach planters

Allan’s photo: Echinops (blue globe thistle) in a planter had been picked over.  Here he had pruned all but one of a half dozen picked stems.

the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

We watered.  I thinned two buckets full of weeds and running asters out of the front garden, which still needs much editing and will get much more editing this fall.

Spiraea douglassii, aka Steeplebush, a beautiful native shrub that would take over this garden if I let it. I did not plant it and because it is so aggressive, I wish it were not in the garden bed.

I thought this lily was going to be too harshly coloured, but I love it.

looking north

looking south

peeking into the back yard outdoor dining area

That was an unusually easy day, only seven hours long.  We were home by six thirty.  I admired my blue potato vine…

Solanum crispim ‘Glasnevin’ in my garden

I wish I could say I did some gardening at home, but I did not other than running a couple of sprinklers.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Shelburne Hotel

We began our work today with a project: cleaning out some old dead pots of plants up on the hotel’s second floor decks and balconies.  I had not been up there for a decade.  I must say that I no longer prance easily up the stairs.

Before we went in, I took photos outside because the grey cloudy light made the garden look quite fine.

The stained glass panels above the peaked roof with arched window form the edge of one of the decks.

sweet peas all along the picket fence by the sidewalk

Yes, I am obsessed with this garden.

Ok, enough of that!  Up the stairs we went with a couple of buckets of potting soil. Allan did almost all the schlepping of soil and eventually plants today.

In the deck off room 4, we found two pots to redo and one that was salvageable.  We could tell they had mostly been filled with perennials from the garden.  I had not realized till recently that there were still pots up on these decks.

room four from its private deck

This deck used to be shared with room 10 ( think)  but it is now all 4’s.

the view to the west over the roofs of the kitchen and bakery

This pot, emptied, went to the back garden when we realized it had no drainage hole.

still alive, with fennel and lemon balm


To replace the pot with no hole, Allan brought in the potted rose from the porch above the pub deck.  Now we won’t have to worry about watering it and having waterfalls cascading onto the diners.

With two big pots empty and the dry soil and plants in garbage bags, we emptied and refilled the small pots on the three south balconies.

view from the western room down to the totem pole shade garden

and the totem pole

The three south balconies and the room 4 deck can only be accessed when no one has rented those rooms.  So the three south balconies would get succulents that don’t need much water.

We turned to the front deck, which is accessed by two rooms and also from the hallway.  There is a water faucet there that must be got working again so the plants can be watered. (The next morning I happened to see our friend Don Anderson the plumber, who cares for the Shelburne, and he will make that happen.)  Otherwise we have to find an empty room, fill a small bucket at the bathroom sink, and clean up any mess we make, or haul water up the stairs.  I look forward to having that faucet back.

center deck

Nandina with old English ivy growing on a bamboo pole and an old branch! Odd, and it is a noxious weed here.

I fought the English ivy out of the pot and Allan cleaned the other pot of dead plants.  I decided a nandina, to match, would be best for now.  It is actually a bit too sunny for them here, but later they can go in the garden.  It will be a battle (maybe impossible!) to get the one out of the pot with the small opening.  I would rather do that battle this fall.

the other pot before emptying it

Big garbage bags of dead plants and dry rooty soil were hauled downstairs by Allan, along with multiple buckets.  I was worried when he came back upstairs looking quite spent.

I had to go into my favourite room, the one above the pub that has the second story porch that used to have a potted rose.

inside the most beautiful room of all

window and door to private porch with stairs down to dining deck and garden

This room has its own sitting room behind stained glass windows.

With a writing desk.

Back to deck four with the rose, and a pot with fresh soil.

and the hallway deck

I had to go down the stairs backwards; fortunately, I know of a set of stairs that does not go to the lobby.

More garden admiration on the way out:

I thought maybe the English Nursery, just a few blocks south, might have a nandina.  It did not, but I did get three good succulents and a pretty scabiosa there.

Allan’s photo; yes, the owners, Dirk and Jane, are English. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

English Nursery daylilies

Hostas are their specialty.

We returned to the Shelburne and went upstairs just to put three Sedum ‘October Daphne’ in the three balcony pots.  Well….Allan went upstairs.

the three balconies

I put some water in the pot with no hole to see if it would drain at all.

And then off we went, supposedly to water in Long Beach.  A light misty rain began.  I was suddenly so exhausted I could not face watering the Long Beach planters.  The half hour of mist made it possible to put the watering off till tomorrow (we decided after a drive through town to make sure).

I felt so deeply tired that I could have laid down in the dirt and slept..and I am not a napper at all.  Yet I gave the Planter Box a call and learned that they had a nice nandina….and we were off!

at the Planter Box, many reasonably priced plants

I had planned to finish the Shelburne pots  Wednesday…but I couldn’t wait.  We would have gone to the Basket Case, too, had they not been closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Garden hint of the week: When we got back to the Shelburne, I was fussing with the nandina to get a dandelion out of the root ball.  Allan had a genius idea and pulled the root out with pliers.

It worked a treat.

All the plants got schlepped up to the second floor by Allan.  (We had left some potting soil up there.)

the stairs going up (Shelburne photo)

The center balcony got a (sort of) matching nandina.

Allan’s photo

A crock in the corner got a little lemon cypress, heathers, sedums, all for texture.

New pots are going to be acquired by next year.  The planting in the crock is temporary and not ideal because that crock has no hole.  It won’t get too much water this summer.  I hope.

center deck all cleaned and swept and nice; the skylight is over the dining room.

Cypress looks like a beacon from the hallway.

The replanted pot on the number four deck has a rescued dahlia with one stem and an almost invisible dahlia in the middle that I took pity on.  I now think I should have put the tiny dahlia in the garden and put something better in the middle.

Little dahlia has one week to hurry up and fill in or else.

We added to the south balcony pots.

pots on the three little balconies

Here are some views from those three balconies:

The water was slowly draining out of that pot.

And some interiors of those three rooms:

Down the stairs again, one trip for me, several for Allan, who had a second wind.

My back stairs way, that goes down into the dining room that is only open for dinner Friday and Saturday.

I fixed up one more dead pot on a downstairs deck.

shady end of the front garden

After all that, we still had to water…


Allan got the water trailer and watered the street trees and planters while I watered the boatyard.

A touch of finger blight:

pulled out elephant garlic

Someone picked poppy seeds and left a mess…so rude.

I weeded four buckets of weeds and then did the watering.

Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’

santolina flowers

daisy…from Jo’s garden originally.

elephant garlic and a please don’t pick flowers sign

Angels’ Choir poppies

Several of the boat owners were most complimentary about the garden today, including one from Westport who recognized the names of Terri and Bill, whose garden is on the July 14th tour.

his boat

watering obstacle course

I had to go around the big boats twice to get to the hoses.

After finishing the boatyard watering, I truly could hardly walk.

8:30 PM

Allan took me home and then went back out to water the post office and fire station (our volunteer gardens).

post office at dusk (Allan’s photo)

I am anxiously counting the days until the July 14th tour.








Saturday, 7 July 2018

Other than having to go take photos of the Ilwaco fireworks (for a Facebook page that I administrate), I planned to spend the weekend at home, hoping to accomplish some weeding and compost sifting.

Saturday, I was on day three of feeling like I had an ear infection (which used to be chronic) and I did not garden much at all. I did try, but with 70 F weather, it was too hot for me to enjoy the outdoors.  I stayed in and finished my Hardy Plant Study Weekend blog series and had a good visit, in person, with Our Kathleen.

Of course, I was stressed that my little ear infection might turn big and make me miss the Grayland/Markham garden tour which is the garden touring high point of my year.

Frosty helped me blog.

At dusk, we went out to take the fireworks photos.

front garden sky (Allan’s photo)

A few favourites:


High tide made for good reflections.

While I staked out my favourite spot on the dock bridge with a good reflective view, Allan walked around on the docks in the dark.  Without falling in.

These guys were dancing to music up on their boat.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Allan went boating in Grayland, which you can read about on his blog.  He also succeeded, after quite a quest, into getting us tickets there for the Grayland/Markham garden tour!

Upon arising quite late and well rested (unusual!), I went out on the porch to rinse off my foot after stepping barefoot in a small pile of cat york.  On the way back in, I caught my little toe on the door frame, badly.  With my weird knee, sometimes I just do not know where my foot is anymore.

Never have I had a wee toe pain so extreme. The pain made me think for awhile I had broken it and made gardening impossible for the day, so….I worked on getting caught up on my blog, fretting that my toe would make it difficult to tour the Grayland/Markham gardens on July 14th. Finally, I consulted Dr Google and realized I should be icing my toe.  By the end of a day of icing, it was almost better.

So no gardening got done at all this weekend except for hobbling out on Sunday to turn on and off almost all of the sprinklers.

During my 6 PM sprinkler walk, I did take some photos.

Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

edge of the bogsy wood

Iris ensata in the bogsy wood

plant table in progress

Paul Bonine (Xera Plants) admired this fuchsia when he visited earlier this week.


more astilbes

Luma apiculata beginning to bloom

bench in waiting

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

I have not had time lately to write here about reading.  I have finished Mirabel Osler’s memoir about her life, not just about gardening.  I recommend it to anyone bereaved.  More on it some time later….and have begun an astonishingly good book by her friend Katherine Swift.  I only have time to read a chapter or part of a chapter a day during these long summer evenings.

Real time alert: The Wade and Spade Garden Tour in Tillamook is coming up July 21st.  You can read about it here.  This tour happens only every other year.

Friday, 6 July 2018


We started by weeding and watering our little volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Department.

finally filling in

An acquaintance was gardening across the street and came over to say, “Can I steal some poppies from this garden?”  I said “No.”  “From your garden then?”  I said “No.”  I thought she was serious but she was joking.  Sometimes I cannot tell.  The old man she was working for really wants some red poppies, but I can’t dig up full size ones for him.  I suggested she try the local nurseries as I know that both The Basket Case and The Planter Box have been selling poppies they have grown from seed.

My silly little variegated-leaf corn, of which two seeds germinated, is about as high as my shoe by a bit after the Fourth of July.  I did not expect corn but was hoping for more leaves.

Last night, I had picked a bouquet for Don Nisbett’s Gallery for art walk, and we delivered it next.

Don and the flowers

We spent an hour and a quarter weeding the boatyard garden (because of art walk; the route goes by there although I bet most people will drive rather than walk).

There have been some complaints about this field not being mowed.  I love it this way:

The boatyard garden:

Despite the sign, two flowers are picked, one broken off and one clipped:

Amy and April of the Port Office came by on their lunchtime walk and sympathized.

They also sympathized about us working in the horrible wind.  They thought it was probably gusting at 40 mph; it was about 35 for sure.  Miserable to work in.

O how lovely that someone had bagged their dog’s poop and left the bag tucked in the garden.

A group walked by and I heard a man say to the others, “These are just mostly just wildflowers you know.”  Oh, my head exploding quietly.

The Marine Travel Lift brings in a boat with a nice name.

We checked the east end Howerton Avenue curbside garden.  It is holding up pretty well without water.

The Ilwaco missile defense system (said Allan)

Red Barn Arena

We were so glad to get out of the portside wind while checking on the barn’s garden.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Diane’s Garden

I added two penstemons and fertilized the planters while Allan tied up sweet peas along the fence.

back yard planters

Hymenocallis festalis, Peruvian daffodil

septic box garden

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Weeding and watering…

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

The painted sage (bottom) is colouring up better here than in Long Beach.

lots of garden admirers (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I am still not happy about the foliage on the couple of agastaches that may be part of the agastache catastrophe.  Cannot bear to pull them while in full bloom but once the blooms peter out, they are gone.  Paul Bonine did not like the look of them either.

still disgusted did not get a refund on these suspect plants

In the dining room, the staff were getting ready for the soft opening of a Friday and Saturday dinner service. Grand opening will be on July 13th.  

We were assured the pub would not be too busy, so we decided to end our week with a good meal there.

delicious garden sandwich

and a burger for Allan

Before dinner, while having our drinks, we had a pleasant chat with some of the garden admirers, including a woman from Texas whose friends want her to move here.  When they left, they insisted on applying $10 to our dinner.  We hope our peninsula information was worthwhile and that she does move here.  They went off to enjoy the art walk in Ilwaco; I suggested they be sure to tell Jenna that one of them is a Texan, because she is from Texas, also.

Meanwhile, at art walk:

.Jenna and Don at the art walk

and an art walk visit from the new commander of the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station. She’s the one on the left.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

at the post office

our post office garden

matchy matchy Asiatic lily (probably ‘Landini’) and a sanguisorba

Depot Restaurant

weeding and watering…

Dierama (Angels’ Fishing Rod) is blooming.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Agastache (‘Blue Boa’, maybe) and Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’

Long Beach

Allan string trimming around the welcome sign

back side

We watered the Long Beach planters downtown.

busy tourist town (Allan’s photo)

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’

We will crisscross the street to do the other three planters in a group of four while waiting for a large crowd to move on.  Still, we do end up having to ask people to move so we can water.

Only once years ago did someone get angry and ask me to come back later; I said gently that we were on our way to water all the Ilwaco planters after Long Beach so no, we could not come back later—and she did move.

Sometimes, even though Long Beach is fun, I get tired of the noise and traffic in summer and end up counting off how many planters I have to do before I am done watering.

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ persists in a planter even after I decided it was too tall and moved it to Fifth Street Park.

One of the shop workers arrives to work on this. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

We tidied up the gardens in Veterans Field for the Friday farmers market.

Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’…and a white one.

Due to sprinkler problems, the monarda looks stressed. I think I don’t want it in this bed anymore. (Sprinkler probably blocked by too many plants—typical of our gardens.)

Port of Ilwaco

We watered some, but not all, of the curbside gardens.

my one pitiful eremerus (Allan’s photo)

by Ilwaco pavilion

A pleasant fellow stopped to ask about santolinas; he liked them.

My favourite bed is still marred by finger blight.

The lavenders may not heal up. Certainly not by the big fireworks show on July 7th.

The santolina will heal…eventually.

Don Nisbett’s signs have been installed!

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ gets the most comments and queries nowadays.

We were tidying because of fireworks show crowds on Saturday and Art Walk on Friday.

This is what a properly pruned santolina looks like.  It will flower later.

This is the only one I forgot to clip!

We got the watering done from David Jensen’s architecture office all the way to Time Enough Books; then I did a walkabout of the Ilwaco planters while Allan watered them.

downtown window

before chickweed removal

after…it lurks beneath though

Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ (top) is my favourite. I was worried people would not find it bright enough.


Good citizen Ethel was string trimming and then raking along the sidewalk for art walk night.

Ethel’s efforts to beautify the town were a perfect example of action instead of big talk and complaints.

While Allan continued watering the planters, which takes an hour and a half minimum, I watered the boatyard garden.  It used to take us half an hour or forty five minutes to water the planters back when we bucket watered them, before the water trailer.  But we are just no longer up to hauling what was literally 800 pounds of water twice a week.

view from behind the boatyard fence; the shadow is of a boat prow that was above me

While watering, I pulled some horsetail and grass away from the back of the fence.

I was daunted by huge slugs hiding down there.  I had not brought to the far end of the fence my slug disposal tools or a pair of gloves.  I was just pulling with bare hands.  I do hate touching a slug.

Afterwards, I looked at my particularly arthritic finger and for a creepy few moments I felt like it was just going to break right off at the joint.

horrific, depressing old age

I walked down to the other far end of the boatyard and the hose was not there.  (I use a series of hoses that lay around by the faucets…usually.)  I simply could not hobble all the way back to the middle of the other stretch of fence and drag a hose back.  Fortunately, Allan, who has no arthritis that we know of, showed up in the nick of time and watered the south end of the garden while I sat in the van in a state of collapse.  So glad to be home at dusk.