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Archive for February, 2012

I’m eager to get into some flashbacks for 2008 and 2009, but meanwhile, even though it breaks the narrative flow, I want to share the wee project we did today.  Our friend Jenna Nisbett’s new gallery, Queen La De Da’s will open at the Port of Ilwaco tomorrow.  We are  thrilled for her and along with other friends helped get ready for the opening.  Allan did some skilled odd jobs and I did some vacuuming, dusting, and organizing, and we threw together some quick planters for the gallery entryways. In big urn shaped pots were ornamental grasses planted rather deep, so nothing could be permanently added.  We cut back the messy grasses, shoved in some pussy willow branches and some nice primroses from The Basket Case Greenhouse.

On the east side near the back entry door

We tucked some moss and creeping sedums that we peeled off of a garden bed to hide the fact that the primroses are just tucked in with their plastic pots.  After the opening, we can take the primroses and plant them in Long Beach and let the ornamental grass grow back.

Pussywillow and Primroses on the port side of Queen La De Da’s

The planter on the port side has a healthy looking daylily already leafing out but again, planted rather low.  Must remember to get these primroses out soon so the daylily can breathe!

planter by aquarium window

I adore the aquarium window that Jenna created with cardboard sea grass.   The previous night at 11 PM I was helping Jenna paint them and then sparkle them up with glitter while the radio played great 80s songs.

planter with Arundo Donax and twigs

Oops!  I ran out of primroses and we had tapped out our source of pussy willow plantings so for the fourth planter I echoed the sea grass in the window with some stalks of Arundo donax (a giant ornamental grass) and some twiggy bits that had blown off one of the port trees!  With a bit of moss, it doesn’t look bad.

The grand opening and invitational art show at Queen La De Da’s is February 18th, 2012, 5 PM, so if you read this in time, come on down to 139 Howerton at the west end of the port.  Featured artists include: Dulcye Taylor, Deborah Starr, Leslie Lipe, Tres Denizac, Wendy Murry & Don Nisbett and, as the invitation says,  “AVAST! We’ll have a real live mermaid & the Beard’s Hollow pirate crew will also be about!”   We know that Don and Jenna  know how to throw a great party.

Be sure to “like” the gallery’s Facebook page.  See you there!

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After a six week staycation, one of our first jobs of 2012 was to wake up the 5th Street Park in Long Beach today.  We were tired of the winter structure of the Sedum autumn joy and so eager to make room to display oncoming spring bulbs.

park before

park before

After, so satisfying, with a few early crocus beginning to bloom:

park after

park after

I wish I had never planted the weedy Allium…one with thready foliage and tiny ball flowers that looks diconcertingly like grass when not flowering.

Here’s what the park looked like last year in July:

park in July

park in July

and in October:

park in October

park in October

The plant palette:  A backdrop of ‘Dorothy Perkins’ rose.  I did not plant it.  It mildews terribly.  In the park across the street to the south is ‘Super Dorothy’ which I DID plant and which is mildew resistant and much more floriferous.  In the foreground:  Nepeta (catmint), probably ‘Walker’s Low’ and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’  (green broccoli type flowers changing to pink and, by October, russet) and Salvia viridis (painted sage).  In the middle, a Phlomis fruticosa,  (Jerusalem sage), a Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’ that I dearly wish would size up, and lots and lots of cosmos…and some Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ and a very dark leaved Phygelius whose name I forget.  Also, along the fence lattice where the unfortunate Dorothy Perkins does not grow (because a huge phormium used to be there), sweet peas; they’ve cause much delight for park visitors.

sweet peas

glorious sweet peas

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Oct 11, 2011

Oct 11, 2011

16 October, 2011, and so it begins. Allan started building down the east side of the garden. Progress was slow because we were still working most of the time. But he’s the sort of person who comes home from work and does more work at home.

8 Nov:  Allan built a sort of clamp thing out of a couple of boards to roll the wire with and make it really tight.

Nov 8, 2011

Nov 8, 2011

He started on the east side of the property working from north to south.  By the end of November he had made it all the way down to the gear shed…all of this accomplished a few hours at a time during breaks from fall clean up and bulb planting.

east side fence, Nov 2011

east side fence, Nov 2011

In mid December,  progress was much faster now because we were on staycation. The fence  turned the corner at the southeast and headed west across the woods. Tree roots dictated where to dig the posts. The property goes out past this to the “meander line” along the port parking lots.

24 December 2011

24 December 2011

27 December

27 December

Dec 27th

27 December 2011: You can see the fence at the far end and coming up the west side.

We chose to do the entire fence with a clear metal mesh so that we would not lose any of our view of the port, especially in the winter when the leaves fall off the salmonberries and we can see all the way from the Ilwaco Pavilion to Jessie’s Fish Co.  We had an accident when we bought some mesh at Home Depot; it turned out to be too short, so it went in the woodsiest section where the deer would find it harder to jump.  (That will teach us to not shop local.) All the rest of the mesh came from Dennis Company in Long Beach and the wood came from Oman Builders Supply.  It’s a heavy duty mesh, not flimsy and wobbly like chicken wire and Allan did a wonderful job stretching it.  The effect is almost invisible.

The fence has nine gates, incorporating six old doors.  One allows our neighbours to the east access to maintain the back side of a cottage which is built almost on our property line.  To avoid building the fence so close that they could not get in to paint, we swung the gate over to attach next to the corner of the cottage.  We have a door at the south east and south west ends of the fence to make it possible to take a shortcut to the Saturday market, and one gate bars a wide space that can be used for hauling debris out of the southernmost bogsy woods.

gates

11 January, building the arbour

11 January, building the arbour

Near the house, we angled the fence in to meet the corner instead of running right up along our neighbour’s driveway.  We left some lawn outside the fence instead of imperiously claiming every inch with a run all the way up the side of the yard. We like our neighbour, and when her granddaughter visits, we don’t want her to have to struggle to maneuver in the parking area.

building the arbour, 11-13 January, 2012

building the arbour, 11-13 January, 2012

arbour, 14 January

arbour, 14 January

I worked on making new or expanded garden beds all along the fence where desired because it was easier to do when I could step back and forth through the fence, before the wire went up.

On January 15th, weather brought a one day stop to the project.  Snow revealed that deer walked all the way around the south and west sides of the gated fence and found the openings in the arbour.

15 January 2012

15 January 2012

But two days later Allan went on with the project, even working after dark.  For the tall openings in the arbour section of the fence we used deer mesh because it comes in a wider roll and is even more invisible than the wire mesh.

17 January 2012

17 January 2012

building gates,  January 2012

building gates, January 2012

Allan hand built a gate for one of the large openings in the arbour, and the other is made of two matching old doors.  Because he did most of the carpentry work outside, a big storm on the 19-20 of January had him painting gates in the garage.

arbour gates

arbour gates, 21 January

finishing touches

finishing touches

At first I had thought maybe we would not need a gate on the northeast side of the house but it would have been so frustrating to have deer walk around and enter after all that work that we went ahead with one last section of fence.  The narrowest spot was from the sunporch over to the old wooden fence on the east side.

installing the front gate

installing the front gate

front gate

front gate

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At last we were completely enclosed.  We found the perfect home over the front gate for a wooden arch that I had had kicking around for years.  And the old Tangly Cottage sign went up again at last.  I made an order from Heirloom Roses now that I finally had a safe place to grow them.

Allan built the central gate on the south side to look like a continuation of the fence and over it he put an arbour top in the shape of a silhouette of a Chinook canoe.

The mid portion of the month of January was tough as both of us had bad colds and yet were slogging on, especially Allan.  I hurt my knee, as well, and was barely able to hobble toward the end of the month.

arbour gates by night

arbour gates by night

arbour and sky

arbour and sky

arbour and fence

arbour and fence

deer

deer

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the form, the functionality, the painted gates, the wire mesh to grow vines on and the sight of deer outside unable to come in.

The very last part of the fence project was the building of a bridge over the swale in the bogsy wood to reach the central gate.  As the end of staycation rapidly approached, Allan made quick work of it.

Picture 18As you can see, we made the low south side of the fence more deer proof by mounting the heads of the many garden tools that we break in the course of our gardening years.

tool head fence toppers

tool head fence toppers

4 February window view

4 February window view

The numbers:  62 posts, 410 feet of fence, 8 gates (one double). Three gates made by Allan and the rest made of old doors.

At last, the time came to go back to work after a not at all restful staycation.  Above, the view from our south window with the fence and a nice little farewell to staycation campfire in our fire pit.

(For a day by day description of the fence building, with more details, see the album on our Facebook page.

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