Tuesday, 9 February 2016

We again joined forces with Sea Star Gardening for the first clean up at the Port of Ilwaco boatyard.


before (Allan’s photo)


There’s Melissa, just getting started on the job.


Allan’s photo


The garden is three blocks long.


before (Allan’s photo)


Artemisias and Santolinas waiting to be clipped



santolina before clipping


Melissa likes to use hedge shears on the santolina.


a santolina after clipping

Clipping back (which can be done even more sternly than above) keeps the santolinas (silver ones and green ones)  beautifully rounded instead of splayed open.


The garden was carpeted with weeds mixed in with poppy seedlings.


Allan’s photo


A barrow fill of santolina and artemisia clippings Allan’s photo)


As we worked, Mr. Magoo entered the boatyard from the water.


Dave commented that he usually doesn’t find fish heads in a garden.


Weeds didn’t stand a chance.  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


rosemary in bloom


finishing up the long stretch to the north of the gate


Time to move to the other side of the gate


From the gate looking north, I felt pleased with our results.


a full load to take to the debris pile


Allan installed his new signs.  Note that is is positively worded instead of a “DON’T” message.

Between the sections, Allan dumped load one of debris at the debris pile with a view.


Allan’s photo


It was an 80 degree day in Long Beach.  Fortunately for us, Ilwaco was a tad bit cooler.  (Allan’s photo)


Allan returned to find us ready to start the south stretch of garden.  


south of the gate, before weeding and clipping


looking north from the historic railway sign


Allan’s photo


finishing up


a job well done

Too bad that I know that soon big horsetail will be sprouting all along this garden.  Also too bad we can’t work with Sea Star all the time as it was awfully fun and productive.  However, we will be lucky to get them for a couple more spring cleanups before they are well immersed into their own round of jobs.

The sun was setting as we finished the job.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

I am incorporating my mom’s garden journal from the 90’s into this 2016 journal.

February 9, 1998 (age 73)

[Robert, my spouse at the time, and I were visiting mom at her home near Olympia.]

Robert did a few minor jobs for me.  Then we all worked on bringing firewood up to the porch.  They emptied all the last year wood from the shed and brought up quite a lot from behind the shop.  Now that the shed is empty I will be able to put in there the cut up wood from all the branches (when I get them sawed up).



Monday, 8 February 2016

We accomplished a great deal today in the town of Long Beach with the help of Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Gardening.

Fifth Street Park


The four quadrants of Fifth Street Park


I helped Melissa weed while we figured out how to organize the job. (Allan’s photo)

We all plunged into different areas and finished the spring clean up of Fifth Street Park in weather that felt like summer.  (Pretty soon we were all complaining about being too hot as the temperature soared to 72 degrees.)  It’s rare for a day to be not too cold and wet, not too hot and dry, but just right.  This one did get to be just right in the hour before sunset.


Our Melissa (Allan’s photo)


Allan pruned these roses (old mildewy Dorothy Perkins)…before




Allan’s photos

Melissa continued the battle with wild alliums in the same quadrant.





In the southwest quadrant, I pruned the roses by the restroom entrance…


my project before (the far superior Super Dorothy Rose) but no after.

…and Melissa finished pruning and weeding along the south fence.


before, with Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ on the lattice

She pulled out a lot of schizostylis.  It will come back…which is a good thing and a bad thing.



I was so happy to have help from someone who knows her plants, because she recognized and did not destroy the camassia that was hidden amongst the schizostylis (and that I had forgotten about).

Dave delved into the rectangular rooty awful bed in the southeast quadrant.  I’ve discussed with parks manager Mike a complete re-do of this bed, but it won’t happen this year because the city crew is involved with a big new soccer field project.


before: rooty and with a sprinkler system in it


Dave raking out, after


Allan’s photo


editing Schizostylis (Allan’s photo)

I finished some planter tidying one block north where I got rained out last week, and then Allan and I pruned the hydrangea in the southeast corner of the park..


hydrangea before


and after

I uncovered the Gunnera by the pond and cut off its huge seedheads.


Threw these behind; they may reseed.

Allan had clipped and weeded under a tree I’d missed during last week’s rainstorm:


before and after (Allan’s photos): I think that tatty old lavender has to go next time.

Allan hauled a full trailer load to city works, and we all rendezvoused at the parks on Third Street.


dumping at city works (Allan’s photo)

 Third Street 


Third Street parks

Veterans Field, top right corner, has one more garden bed now than shows in this satellite view.  The Columbia Pacific Farmers Market takes place on that lawn on summer Fridays.

The Aloha Charlie’s Fish building now houses the delicious Kabob Cottage Restaurant.

Dave and Melissa did the pocket park by the Kabob Cottage, behind the curved wall of Lewis and Clark Square, weeding and then raking out old rhododendron leaves.  Allan pruned back the rugosa roses on the south wall of the police station so they’ll be easier to keep back from the sidewalk in summer.


Allan over halfway done with roses.


roses before and after (Allan’s photos)

After a quick clipping and weeding in the Veterans Field beds, I pruned the hydrangeas in the park north of Long Beach Tavern.


hydrangeas before



The hydrangea pruning was a rather hasty job as I was in a big rush to get the city hall garden done before dark, and I had a personal mission to accomplish as well.

I left Allan, Dave, and Melissa to their final sweeping up and went on by myself with my wheelie cart to do (I hoped) the last two blocks of planter clean up.


walking north


in a planter

And I fulfilled my mission of taking some photos for the Facebook page of…

NIVA green


outside NIVA green

Owner/artist Heather Ramsay has constructed a new collection of her repurposed lamps made of tins.



Ginger Snap tin lamp


After a quick spin around the shop with my camera, and I do mean quick, I had collected thirty or so more photos to keep the NIVA page updated.  I got all but the two northernmost planters clipped and weeded and was so sore by then that I skipped the last two for now and went to rejoin everyone at

City Hall


a hyacinth coming up at city hall (Allan’s photo)

I wasn’t there to take before photos of three large ornamental grasses that got clipped.


city hall west wall, after large Miscanthus were clipped


hellebore, north side



pulmonaria and leucojum, north side


and another north side Hellebore


The sun was setting to the west of City Hall.  To the left, the tasting room of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm.


after work (Allan’s photo)

With city hall garden done, our friends departed for their home near Oysterville and Allan and I went to dump one more full load at city works.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

This year, I am sharing day by day entries that my mom wrote in three garden diaries about 20 years ago.  I will gather each month into one entry with more detail at the end of each month of this 2016 blog.

February 8, 1998 (age 73)

Skyler and Robert got here about 6:30.  They had quite a hassle at the gate.  Even though I called the gate ahead of time, I guess they didn’t keep the message, and because I didn’t hear the phone, the three armed security people wouldn’t let them in. They finally relented.  I guess Skyler lit into them. [Ha!  I certainly do recall firmly suggesting to the guards that if they would not let us through, they had better escort me to my mom’s house because her not answering the phone could mean she had a medical problem.  I think that is what convinced them.]



Sunday, 7 February 2016

I had heard that Coffenbury lake was one of the best picnic sites around. Since it was work tomorrow, this lake should be checked out today.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 1.10.44 AM

It’s near the wreck of the Peter Iredale in Oregon and closer than Lake Cullaby.

On the way I crossed another river that has a large marina and other curiosities at its mouth.


Note for the future…be prepared to portage if I do the Skipanon.


A lake to play in and lots of grass for a picnic.


A grassy boat launch.

The perfect setting for…

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 1.37.11 AM


A young Chris Lang from nearby Astoria wrote a screenplay in 2011. Here is his 69 sec. trailer of his vision for a local horror pic. See the preview here and read his screenplay, if you dare.


A hood rack to carry long poles. New to me, but brilliant!


A dog and its pilot returning. The electric motor is silent and not disturbing the young man focused on the bobber.


The plan was to go counter clockwise, but as it turned out, there would be no return trip.


This eagle was waiting for me to move along as it had been on the shore with its meal.


The water was very reflective today.



Looking north from the southern end. It took about 30 min. to reach.


I was waiting quietly here for a critter to resurface. It got away.


The lake was overflowing over a foot path and it looked like there was another lake beyond.

I heard happy voices ahead. “I think I see a red canoe.” So I waited to see. Soon a dog, its escort, a woman and a boat all converged.


There’s a black dog splashing rightways in front of the canoe.


Up and over they came, with help. They soon invited me to join them as they headed back to Lake Leinweber.

An out of town guest from Everett was getting a guided boat tour from one of the locals.


Off we went.


Small waterways off the pond sometimes led to the next pond, sometimes not.


The app.’MapMyWalk’ must have amused a low flying satellite as we tried various routes.


The portages were grown over and hard to find. The kind local folks encouraged me on with their gracious offer to drive me back to my car.


This gap in the bank was the correct route, not the easy looking channel to the left.


Boats are wobbly when only supported by the ends.


The cold water is knee-high at the edge of the grass.


Civilization at Lake Leinweber.

After we landed I was listening to one of the residents talk about the Canadian geese. “Each one leaves eight ounces of shit per day all over my lawn. I spook them away by pointing a laser pointer in front of them.”

I had to look that one up. According to canadagoosemanagement.com she was off on her numbers. “An adult goose eats up to 4 lbs. of grass and drops 2 lbs. of fecal matter daily.”


Hey, is someone is talking about us?

Besides a borrowed canoe, the host had five (5) small restored sailboats around the garage and takes one out almost weekly. This was worth a short tour of admiration and an exchange of email addresses. But first I launched the couple from the canoe and a neighbor in my boat so they could try out the pedal drive. BTW, my jacket is finally staying dry behind the seat because of the dry bag Dave & Melissa gave me for my birthday.


One of many who had fun with the kayak.


I only got up to 6mph but the young neighbor looked like he was sprinting faster. I should have tucked in the GPS out of the way to measure it.

I accepted a ride back to the Lake Coffenbury parking lot. Fortunately I was gone before the movie’s horrors of the night and returned to the sailboat master’s place to pack up.


Sunset at the grocery store.


Sunday, 7 February 2016

I had one more day off before getting back to work for a bit, so I made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish in the garden: finish the end of the scree bed, weed two patches of creeping buttercup, prune the hydrangeas.  Allan was off boating, which will, I hope, be tomorrow’s post.

I felt terrible that on such a beautiful warm day, Smokey could not go outside.  He still has a wound on his foot that must be treated daily and “kept open” (ew) so it does not abscess again, and I can’t have him out getting soil in the wound.  A child I could perhaps tell, “You can go outside, but only play on the grass, not in the dirt.”  That would not work on even the smartest cat.


Smokey wanting out, with jugs of water reinforcing the cat door flap.  Because he will pry and pry at it.

Because I wished him to at least have a window view, I kept all the cats indoors for the day instead of shutting Smokey and Mary into the second bathroom.  Even with the run of the house, he sat by the front door and expressed his desire quite strongly.



“Open, please!”  With much meowing.


…Maybe THIS side will open?


tragic looks

It reminded me of this Fat Freddy’s Cat cartoon…except I felt bad for him so it was not funny.


a classic

I had too many projects in mind to stay indoors with Smokey. My first was to remove all the blue ceramic “waves” at the stern of the garden boat, lay down landscape fabric and river rock, and then replace the waves.




found dozens of hibernating snails

I put the snails inside two stacked plastic pots and rehoused them in a wild area at the end of the day.


the waves replaced

I will remember to put slug bait down inside this area, safe from cats and birds.  The “waves” came from broken pieces of blue tiles that we were given back when we pruned hydrangeas for the blue-roofed house on the bay, and from some broken pottery from the old Raven and Finch wine bar at the Port.

Next project…I thought I might weed shotweed out of the center bed.


The green haze of seedlings is not all good.

I took a panorama from the fire circle, looking north toward the house.


Then, postponing the center bed, I began to weed this bed (below) under a big alder tree.  A windless day is advantageous for weeding under these brittle trees.



I have a feeling that I will regret having planted the ranunculus ficaria from my mother’s old garden.


also known as Lesser Celandine


After being polite for five years, it has gone on the run.

An hour and quarter later, a gardening friend dropped in.  I had gotten quite a bit done.



My friend and I sat on the patio.  I gazed upon the fig tree that Allan had planted for me in the barrel yesterday.  Eventually, its branches will be in front of my view window and I will be filled with regret.


fig tree against lattice

All day long, I had missed having the cats with me out in the garden.  Beverly Nichol’s words are true for me:


by the south cat ramp

This cat ramp’s entrance is boarded up till Smokey can go out again…maybe five more days.

The center bed and the hydrangea pruning did not get done.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

I am incorporating three old garden diaries of my mother’s into this year’s blog.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

Feb 7, 1997 (age 72)

Only two hours!  It was a beautiful day!

Brought firewood up to porch.  First I had to move branches so I could get to the woodpile. I got the 100 new strawberry plants in trays under the lights in greenhouse.  I also planted five of the new raspberry plants but was too tired to plant the 10 left so I put them in soil in buckets.

Feb 7, 1998 (age 73)

I weeded and raked the upper driveway and also cleaned out some old plants, such as glads, so the area will look more presentable when Skyler and Robert arrive tomorrow.  She has been in Seattle this week to attend the Garden Show.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

While I had begun a good book the night before, today’s mild weather called for an afternoon in the garden instead of reading.

Allan has been making some signs for the Ilwaco boatyard garden:


I planted a Hamamelis ‘Diane’ and 3 ‘Graham Blandy Boxwoods.  Allan helped me to plant a fig tree in a whiskey barrel and to dismantle the collapsing plant table.


Allan’s photo: Wooden plant tables are ephemeral.


Allan’s photo: Once salvaged from the Long Beach City Works yard, this table is firewood now.


the ever increasing show of Crocus tommasianus


with Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’



crocus with Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgekin’


two Tommies


I was amazed to see my Eccremocarpus scaber from Annie’s Annuals (a gift last year from Garden Tour Nancy) has come through the winter so well.


Eccremoscarpus scaber


a four year old Hamamelis mollis

In the late afternoon, Pam, the gardener for the town of Seaside, Oregon, came by for a visit; she’s been visiting Steve and John’s garden on the bay earlier in the day.


our Pam arrives (Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Pam walks by some spearlike windfall from yesterday’s storm

After a walk all round the garden, we were off to Salt Hotel Pub, just three blocks away at the Port of Ilwaco.


the view from our window table at Salt Pub


oyster deviled eggs with Pink Poppy Farm microgreens


meatball sandwich


tuna melt and North Jetty Brewery IPA


kale and lettuce caesar salad


Pam at Salt



a bustling Saturday evening at Salt


This gathering place is so very much what Ilwaco has needed.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries, 1995, 1997, 1998

I am so pleased that when Allan was sorting out some papers, he found three of the garden journals that my mom kept when she lived near Olympia, Washington in the late 90s.  I had thought they were lost forever, that she had thrown them out in the last years of her life.


found!  Two are missing, but these are saved

Here are some of her entries for this week, 20 some years ago.

Ginger’s Garden Diary:

1995 (age 70):

Feb 1:  Rain. Spent most of the afternoon on plants in Floralight.  [African] violets have multiplied like rabbits.  They’ll have to be cut down some way.  And I know I can’t throw a plant away. AND I ordered more seeds.  Tsk tsk.

Feb 2: cool/dry.  Split wood for kindling and brought in quite a bit of wood—piled on porch.

Feb 3-4: Started organizing veggie and flower seeds, putting them in alphabetical order

1997 (age 72): 

Feb 1: Bill [hired odd job man who helped out after my dad died] fixed water leak in shop.  Repaired step on back porch plus other odd jobs.  It’s too nasty a day for him to crawl under the deck to see what repairs are needed.

Feb 3: Don brought more $ [from the sale of my dad’s toy train collection].  It’s dry but cold.  Too cold to work outside.

Feb 5:  Rec’d Park (catalog) flower seeds and the berry plants from Raintree.  Still too cold to work outside.

Feb 6:  Marked new Park seeds (with year, size, height, and when to plant) and filed them with other seeds.  I noticed that even with my 20 page inventory, I still ordered a few that I already have.  I’ll plant older seed and if they grow, I’ll save the ’97 seed for next year.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 2: I worked in back about two hours.  This seems to be my limit on hard jobs.  Finished spreading the mulch pile over the garden beds.

My Park seed order arrived so I started organizing them.  I got the year and the page # on them and arranged them in order by page #.  I think the Pinetree order should be here soon.

Feb 3:  Today is a beautiful sunny day and I accomplished nothing except making up my grocery list for tomorrow.

Feb 4:  I decided to wait to go to the store tomorrow.  I worked on the mulch pile again.  I tossed in a lot of leaves over on the garden area and dumped the 6 or 8 bags that I filled when Skyler and Robert were here, putting it on the garden area.  Then I filled 6 or 8 bags of clipped leaves for fall mulch.  THE PILE IS GONE.  Never again will I order a big pile of mulch.  I had to come in at 1:30, I was so shaky.  I ate 4 slices of toast and then went out again at 3:30.

Feb 6:  Store today—over $95.00!






Ginger’s Garden Diaries

Three  of five of my mother’s garden diaries from the 90s appeared in among some papers of Allan’s in mid February, 2016.   I am so deeply thrilled to have them.  The others got somehow lost when she moved from her home to Golden Sands Assisted Living in 2009.  She possibly did not think them worth saving.  I can guarantee she would like that they are being shared here.  I plan to incorporate her entries into my 2016 journal, as her days from 20 years ago correspond with mine, and then to gather all the entries together in some way.  I’m catching up on all of January since the idea became possible when the diaries were found in mid February 2016.

My mother and grandmother impressed me with how hard they worked on their gardens as they got older, and as I approach that age with startling rapidity (and with the hope of getting there), I’m even more impressed.  My mother’s main focus was her vegetable garden, although she did grow flowers.  My grandmother’s was mostly ornamental with a few tomatoes and green onions thrown into the mix.

My mother and father had retired in 1977 to a large lot near Yelm, Washington.  They had been weekend gardening there since about 1970, living in a small trailer.  After moving, they had a two bedroom manufactured home installed.


My dad, Bruce, in ’72 in their weekend garden

Bruce died in 1995; Mom moved to the beach to be near us in 1999 and stopped keeping a journal.  I find it touching to read her diaries of the years after he died.  (I wish I had the 1996 one.)  She was isolated, without friends except for one neighbour across the street, and had only lived alone for a couple of weeks in her entire life before he died.


mom in her greenhouse, sometime in the 1980s

Ginger’s Garden Diary, January

illustrations by Carol Inouye

1995, age 70

Jan 3 : Brought wood in.  We’ve used all of the 2nd delivery of firewood.

Jan 5: Immersed myself in seed catalogs to order seeds—veggies and flowers.

Jan 6-7 DITTO

Jan 9: Seed catalogs again

Jan 10:  Finally chipped all stuff that’s been in the truck for at least two months.  (Bruce is taking truck to have new gas tank sensor installed—then we’ll sell truck.)  We put the chipped stuff in old compost box.  We didn’t use screen in chipper so it’s pretty coarse.  I’ll put mushroom compost over it so it will rot by fall.

Jan 11:  Ditto from Monday.  Have mailed orders to Pinetree, Seeds of Change, and Harris Seeds so far.

Jan 12:  More of same.  Spent a fairly nice day inside adding up Parks order.

Jan 13: DITTO  Mailed Parks and Territorial and Burpees orders.

Jan 14:  Finished Dutch Gardens order.


Jan 23:  I didn’t feel like doing it but went out anyway.  Finished planting tulips.  This leaves many many alliums and a few odds and ends of small bulbs.

Jan 24:  Planted bulbs mostly alliums.  I think I can see the end of them—probably one more day of planting.  Then I will start cleaning up flower beds and yard which is a mess of leaves, cones, branches, etc. etc.

Jan 27:  Beautiful sunny day.  50+.  Finished planting fall bulbs.  The anemones, ranunculus, and ixiolirion will be planted in spring.  Tied up roses, morning glories, and spirea along back porch.  Started cleaning up juniper tam area, scratching up soil where I’ve been walking over past few weeks.  I left maple leaves as mulch for now.  [Note: a couple of years later she turned the “juniper tam” bed into a flower bed.  I seem to recall that Robert and I helped pull out the shrubs on a trip to visit there.]

Jan 28: rain

Jan 30: Sun/Showers   Only worked outside about an hour.  Raked upper driveway.  Dumped the leaves etc in garden until all leaves are picked up. Then I (we)’ll shred them.

1997 (age 72)

Jan 12: Don Rolstad has been coming out to work on Bruce’s train collection 4, 5, or 6 days a week.  [Both my dad and my mom’s brother collected valuable toy trains; a year after my dad died, my mother decided to sell his collection, in preparation for looking for a new home in Long Beach.]  Several times he has brought along a friend to help him.  He has also kept my firewood rack full.

Jan 18:  I brought up enough wood to fill the rack on the porch.  [It was a LARGE rack, as I remember filling it after mom moved to Long Beach.]  It took seven wheelbarrow loads.  I mail ordered for veggie seeds to Pinetree, prepared from their 1996-97 catalog.  At the same time as the order was picked up by the mailman, the 1997-98 catalog was delivered.  There are a lot of changes in price, etc, and some of the items are not even in the new catalog.

Jan 19:  Don and his son-in-law took all the remaining train stuff.  He said he hopes to get $12,000 for me.  That’s more than I thought the whole collection was worth.  He’ll take a lot of Bruce’s trains to the train meet in Seattle next Sunday.

Jan 20:  I finished the flower seed inventory—21 pages.  Then I went through the Pinetree new catalog and prepared that order.  I suggested to Pinetree that they return veggie seed order so I can rewrite it from their new catalog.

Jan 21:  Prepared a “Simply Tomatoes” order.  Their prices are 50% higher than Pinetree but I ordered some varieties that PT didn’t list.  I also prepared order from Raintree Nursery.

Jan 22:  Spent most of the day preparing Park Seed order.

Jan 23:  Most of day on paper work.  A revolting development—I figured I’ll owe $542 in income tax because I lose over $4200 of exemptions and deductions that we got when Bruce was alive.

Jan 24:  The pipe under shop [large outbuilding] sink is leaking badly.  I called Bill—he’ll come tomorrow to check.

Jan 25:  Bill turned off shop water and hot water tank.  He’ll come next Sat to fix it and do other jobs.


Jan 27: Watered house plants.

Jan 28:  Don brought more than $3000 in cash and many checks for trains.  Now the telephone isn’t working—it has a broken wire.  I brought the shop phone into the house.  Bought two new cords for the house phone so it will reach my bed.

Jan 29:  Worked about two hours cleaning up the wood and branches in front and was completely exhausted.  There is now a huge pile to be shredded plus more on patio. Maybe Bill will start the chipper for me on Saturday so I can do it while he does other jobs.

Jan 30:  Doctor appointment re arm.  He discharged me as his patient.  [She had fallen while pulling out old tomato plants in the previous autumn.  Robert was in the middle of putting a roof on a client’s house at the time so we were unable to go help her for two weeks.  I think this is one of the main incidents that had inspired her to begin to prepare to move to the beach, near us.]

January 31:  Mac’s Tree Service shortened a lot of branches in both fir trees and removed some big broken branches.  He had to climb the patio tree to reach them ($30 extra).  Also cut down the mountain ash tree.  He cut big chunks of wood in half for me.  I sure have a lot of branches etc to be chipped.

1998 (age 73)

Jan 1:  I spent most of the day watching football.  Washington State lost to Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Jan 2:  I finished listing my flower seeds so I will know what not to order when I get the Pinetree catalog.  I wait for it to order from first because the prices are the best, then I check through the Park Seed catalog.  However, I won’t need to order many.  I want to plant a lot of annuals in the plastic terra cotta bowls to have “color spots”.

Jan 5:  JC Penny Custom Decorating catalog came out.  I ordered $1800 worth of drapes for bedroom, drapes for Bruce’s room, and new sheers for the four front room windows.  I had to move all plants out of SE corner.

Jan 6:  Worked on moving plants back.  While I could get closer to the Floralight, I moved most of the small violets to the back end of the shelves.  [The three tiered Floralight plant stand now resides in a hallway at Golden Sands Assisted Living; the staff let my mom bring it with her when she moved in there in 2009.]

Jan 8: Store day [in Yelm, two miles away]: dentist, phone company, bank, Payless, QFC and NPCC.


Jan 11: First snow of the season.

Jan 12:  There is 7 inches of snow between front porch and shop.  It started snowing again at noon.  Worked on Dutch Gardens spring order.

Jan 13:  Still cold.  Lots of snow on the ground.  Rec’d Pinetree seed catalog.

Jan 14:  Rained most of day.  Mailed Dutch Gardens order.  Worked on Pinetree seed order.

Jan 25:  Mailed Pinetree seed order.

Jan 16:  I started going through the Thompson and Morgan seed catalog marking some that I’d like, but I probably won’t order seeds from them.  I sure don’t need them!  And they are expensive!


Jan 19:  Today I actually accomplished something.  After I got the recyclables ready, I took the stuff to be burned to the burn barrel. I also took the big box of juniper tam branches to the barrel and burned them.  I figured they were so “scratchy” it would hurt to use them in the wood stove.  While the stuff was burning I brought wood up to the porch.  Quite a few pieces were wet from rain even though the pile was covered by two tarps.

Jan 20: Store day.  Did some paperwork—paying bills, etc.  Rec’d the New York Times Crossword Puzzle Dictionary.  It’s really good—has huge listings, by country, of authors, painters, etc.

Jan 21:  I went to bed at 12:15 and woke up at 11:15.  I puttered around in the house—didn’t accomplish much.

Jan 23:  I removed from the box of flower seeds those that need to be refrigerated after planting and also picked out the seeds that can be planted anytime.  Hopefully I can start planting these seeds next week.

Jan 24:  After the Sonics beat the Lakers I celebrated by cleaning the refrigerator in the shop (where the soda cans exploded0. It was a mess.  I got the veggie tray and two shelves out.  I had to sit in it to reach the back.  It started ok.  Now I have to plant these seeds that must be refrigerated for 6-8 weeks.  I must soon get the begonia bulbs in moist peat moss.


Jan 26:  Sunny and fairly warm.  I had lots of things I should be doing.  Instead I puttered around inside until it was too late to go out.  [I am so like my mother in this way!]  I got part of the Park Seed order.  The packets of seeds should come soon. The order was over $500.

Jan 27:  I spent the afternoon watering houseplants.  [She had many.]  Also I potted up the rooted stems of plants that have been in water in the bathroom.  Also repotted the Aloe Vera into four pots.  It has more than doubled in size.

Jan 28:  I actually accomplished some work today which amazed me considering I went to bed at 3:00 AM and slept until 1:00 PM!  At about 3:00 I went out to see what I could do, thinking I’d saw some of the tree branches.  [Most of my staycation days end up with the same time pattern.] I ended up trimming the many hosta plants but then it was too late to replant them so I did some weeding on the strawberries, then brought wood into the house from the porch.

Jan 29:  I worked one hour spreading the pile of stuff that we couldn’t shred because it was too wet.  I picked out the big stuff and ivy from the pile and spread the rest over the veggie area. I don’t know if it will decompose enough to be tilled in March or April, otherwise I’ll have to move it again!

Jan 30: I worked two hours on the pile today and then came in and laid down two hours.  That’s hard work spreading that stuff.  Never again will I let stuff pile up like that.  If I can’t put stuff in compost box, I’ll burn it.


Jan 31:  It was over 50 degrees today.  Today was a beautiful day but I didn’t do anything!  [By “didn’t do anything’, she probably meant that she read and did crossword puzzles during the day.]


Wednesday, 6 February 2016

The weather did continue in a rainy mode and a reading day was welcome.

This glorious book consumed my next two and a half days:


Because I stopped every few pages and googled images of and more information about many of the places Bryson described, it was a deliciously slow read.  As I read, I was of course CONSUMED by the agony that I did not move to the UK when I had the chance (when I was married to a Leedsman.) I thought I could not because of being an only child, but in later years I could have brought my mum there as a dependent. (So Google told me on one of my side trips from the book.) O to be in England! I had the same reaction years ago whilst reading Bryson’s Notes From A Small Island.

“Nothing is more….


This book also gave me similar angst and longing when I read it years ago (and then followed it with everything else this author had written):


Smokey continued to recuperate in the convalescent room during the day, with his mother, Mary, to keep him company.


Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Road to Little Dribbling consumed my day except for a walk out into the wet garden to pick a bouquet for the evening.


west side, back garden


center bed with white crocuses


Lonicera fragrantissima (winter blooming honeysuckle)


rain puddle by the bogsy woods


Hellebore Losttagii


I had to wade in deep to get some Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ twigs


a bouquet for our evening outing


double hellebores


some silver painted twigs for the center

The evening occasion was a belated birthday dinner for Todd.  I found an old card of mine with a photo of Oysterville in springtime.  The twig frame came from Microsoft Photodraw, a simple program with the best frames I’ve ever found anywhere.  I’d love to find an app that has frames like this.  It also had a seashell frame and others that I loved.


Salt Pub


Allan’s photo


Allan and I arrived early for the set up of a long table with our bouquet.


Allan’s photo

We gathered at the Salt Hotel Pub.  Todd, who expected the usual garden gang of me, Allan, Dave, and Melissa,  was pleasantly surprised when Teresa from the Planter Box and Steve and John of the Bayside Garden arrived.


martini and lemon drop


Todd shares flower photos from a recent trip to Hawaii (Allan’s photo)


I had the 3 cheese mac with kale caesar salad…perfection!


oyster deviled eggs with microgreens from Pink Poppy Farm


new on the menu: clam chowder


John, Steve, Todd, Allan, Dave, Melissa, restaurateur Julez, Teresa


photo by Julez Orr


birthday present time with a man who knows how to enjoy a festive occasion


Steve and John look at one of the presents, The Art of Gardening (about Chanticleer) (Allan’s photo)

Teresa had kindly bought her grandma’s recipe spice cake and I had ordered a round of chocolate cupcakes from Pink Poppy Bakery.


Julez brings the birthday cupcakes


Todd will get his wishes


Allan’s photo


The evening was a delight for all….until Melissa saved her cupcake for later at home, where her dog, Coulee, ate it, paper and all, as I was informed in a sorrowful text!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Another rainy day saw a trip to Oceanside Animal Clinic for Frosty’s check up.


Allan’s photo: “Little Eddie”


Little Eddie, a member of the Oceanside Animal Clinic staff, checked up on Smokey (who is in the carrier).


Allan’s photo


a sign in the exam room reminded my of Coulee’s cupcake theft


Poor Smokey did not want to leave the carrier.  He made himself so very long. (Allan’s photo)


naptime in the vet’s office


Allan’s photo. Office work here requires some careful stepping.

Poor Smokey had to have his abscess lanced again, and again was praised for his good behavior.  Five more days of convalescing must follow, with ointment twice a day, and then perhaps he can get back to patrolling the garden.

I finished The Road to Little Dribbling, and a book of short stories of Lorrie Moore, and another book that was not good enough to even mention.  An intense windstorm in the afternoon made reading especially pleasant.  I took a video of the garden in the storm, which I posted on our Facebook page here.  I noticed while panning across the patio that one of my old wooden plant tables is on the verge of collapse.


table is a goner

That is a project for another day.


Calvin helped me read today.

Update: On Saturday, Todd and Melissa and Dave had a gardening job together, and Todd brought her one of the leftover cupcakes to make up for the one Coulee ate.  I was ever so glad to hear that because Pink Poppy makes a scrumptious cupcake.


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