Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2013

Aug 22, 2013

On our compost-bucket-switch stop at Olde Towne, we walked right in, noticed the nice sign for lentil stew, switched buckets and were leaving when Luanne asked if we had seen the new sign.

inside

inside

outside

outside

I hadn’t looked up! (If you look to the right above, you will see our new van next to Chester and Allan.)

by local signpainter Chris Jacobsen

by local signpainter Chris Jacobsen

And then….Andersen’s, since we had not gotten there yesterday.

Payson Hall at Andersen's

Payson Hall at Andersen’s

still some poppies

still some poppies

Staffer Al was giving Chewie a bath in nice warm water from the outdoor shower hose.

Chewie

Chewie

such a face!

such a face!

Next, back down to north Long Beach to the Anchorage Cottages garden. I re-thought a thought that I had had the previous week there. For some reason I had got it into my head that we would cut down the Virburnums under the window of cottage 8 . Had I been mad? I had not liked it when the rhodo was cut down by the cottage window to the left, and have said it must be allowed to grow up and make a green dappled light inside that room again. Surely the guests prefer to look our their window and see green Virbunum instead of the car park!

What was I thinking?

What was I thinking?

I still like my new idea I had of putting ferns on the right side of the walk where there is a mishmash of plants. The problem of overwork means we often just weed and prune and water without having time to really think about the less important areas of various gardens. I’m having a little more time to think now that it is the slightly slower time of August.

I think limbing up the viburnums is a better idea than taking them down and letting them grow back thicker and short!

I would much rather be behind rhododendron foliage than have a view out  one of these windows...(unless it were a window facing toward the sea.)

I would much rather be behind rhododendron foliage than have a view out one of these windows…(unless it were a window facing toward the sea. Which is not the case here.)

green is better...

green is better…although the number 8 has gotten hidden again!

Anchorage window boxes

Anchorage window boxes

Next, we watered some of the Long Beach planters…

a clear yellow Tigridia (Mexican Shell Flower)

a clear yellow Tigridia (Mexican Shell Flower)

and walked briefly out to the kite festival booths. By the time we got there, the kites were all down from the sky so we didn’t go all the way to the beach. I was hoping to find the vendor from last year who had very inexpensive reading spectacles. Did not find her but did find total confirmation that the Rugosa rose takeover of the Bolstadt beach approach garden is indeed about the only thing that would hold up to kite festival foot traffic.

looking west

looking west

space

a newly worn path

a newly worn path

This wasn't bare last week.

This wasn’t bare last week.

That's what happens.

That’s what happens.

What happened here?

What happened here?

Rugosa roses standing up for themselves.

Rugosa roses standing up for themselves.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies'

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’

When we work on the beach approach garden in late summer, we often get asked if the rose hips are tomatoes. One of the common names for Rugosa rose is the Tomato Rose.

good for rose hip tea, rich in Vitamin C

good for rose hip tea, rich in Vitamin C

just a very few flowers left

just a very few flowers left…The leaves are rugose (wrinkled, corrugated)

While walking through the vendor area, not only did I meet our friend Donna M, but I also got a thrilling phone call from Golden Sands, informing me that the courtyard garden sprinkler system had been repaired: Raymond Millner from The Planter Box had found and fixed the leak!

To the east of the arch, I admired the signs for the new coffee shop which will feature treats by the delectable Pink Poppy Bakery.

It just occurred to me to Google the meaning of Akari:  "light" or "glimmer"

It just occurred to me to Google the meaning of Akari: “light” or “glimmer”

The Starvation Alley folks live next door to us and produce organic cranberry juice from their cranberry bog (which is not next door to us!). Pink Poppy Bakery is associated with the gorgoeus Pink Poppy Farm. The new place will be a pleasant stop on Long Beach workdays if I follow my resolve to actually take breaks.

Back downtown, I returned to watering. I admired one of the four Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ planted in two planters near the Cottage Bakery and Funland. Four Knautia in all, two on the outer edge of each planter….

Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning'

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’

But wait!! Where one of the four should be, there is nought but a creeping succulent…

NOOOOOO!

NOOOOOO!

Finger blight has struck and I did not even notice the theft till the sedum had filled back in. (I have to plant low things on the inner edge of this particular planter because, being next to Funland, it gets seriously sat upon.) I cannot even find more of the Knautia to plant a replacement this fall, and that makes me mad.

One of the remaining Knautias mingling nicely with a California poppy.

One of the remaining Knautias mingling nicely with a California poppy.

After watering, home….

I tried to get a good photo of the mysterious looking hardy gladiolus papilio…

looking up from underneath

looking up from underneath in the garden boat

further back by the bogsy wood...pink turtlehead

further back by the bogsy wood…pink turtlehead

My Nicotiana langsdorfii is still going strong!

My Nicotiana langsdorfii is still going strong!

At almost all my jobs, the Nicotiana is dried and not blooming much….I credit my high water table, great soil, and lots of supplemental water because of being on a garden tour…

August 23, 2013

First thing the next morning: Because I thought Larry and Robert’s garden had gotten a bit too dry earlier, Allan went down the block to water it while I tried to get me arse in gear for work. I followed him down there after awhile and had the pleasure of walking past Tom and Judy’s garden.

¯

Hornbuckle garden, looking west along the fence

Hornbuckle garden, looking west along the fence

and further west

and further west

Judy's poppies

Judy’s poppies

When I joined Allan, I told him something had happened to my resolve about work. The previous day I had noticed on Facebook that Jane and Dirk of the English Nursery were off to the county fair…

Hmmm...

Hmmm…

And then this morning, our client Ann had posted “Heading out to the Pacific County Fair and just found out it is Senior Citizen Day!! I get in FREE!!” Huh. Could we be missing something? The fair was an annual event in the town of Menlo about 26 miles away. We had a nice new van for a comfortable drive. I had never been to it and started to think we should go, and Allan agreed. But we would have to hustle to get some work done first.

At the Depot Restaurant garden, I finally got around to planting the rosemaries and garlic chives in the herb garden behind the kitchen. Allan went down the block to give Crank’s Roost garden another splash of water to hold it till its (soon to be former) owner returned home.

The Depot flower garden

The Depot flower garden

Depot:  Cosmos backed with hops

Depot: Cosmos backed with hops

The garden idea is to attract people’s attention from the main highway half a block west to the Depot…

More bright dahlias would be good at the Depot.

More bright dahlias would be good at the Depot.

Solidago (goldenrod) "Fireworks' is just starting to explode behind the Cosmos.

Solidago (goldenrod) “Fireworks’ is just starting to explode behind the Cosmos.

We deadheaded the Long Beach welcome sign and then went back to Ilwaco to weed Ann’s garden. I had planned for us to spend several hours there, but instead we spent an hour and a half.

Butch's nice new entry arbour dressed up with bamboo

Butch’s nice new entry arbour dressed up with bamboo

As I entered the back garden, a hustle and bustle of swiftly moving animals skittered from Ann’s garden into the yard of the neighbours to the west.

next door

next door

baby

next door

Before I pulled the bindweed, I just had to photograph more wildlife:

tiny baby Pacific tree frogs

two tiny baby Pacific tree frogs

small

so very small

looking over Ann's veg garden, deer proof

looking over Ann’s veg garden, deer proof

sunflowers

sunflowers

While the veg and raspberries are protected from deer, we must choose deer resistant plants for the open flower beds. I intend to bring some starts of Shasta daisies to add to the bed below, and run the golden marjoram all along the edge.

bed

The clay soil has been vastly improved with Soil Energy mulch and dairy manure but needs another application of a couple more inches of mulch to help new plants along.

After removing three wheelbarrows of weeds from Ann’s front and back flower beds, I left her a note on her porch saying that, sadly, SOMEONE had influenced us to go to the fair. I added that we would be back next week (little knowing that stormy weather would intervene)…. and in the midafternoon, we skived off work and headed north to Menlo.

Next: evening at The Pacific County Fair!

Read Full Post »

August 21, 2013

We began work at our northernmost job, Marilyn’s garden…

Marilyn's, looking south

Marilyn’s, looking south

Nancy was there and I told her if anyone questions her about the Buddliea growing in the garden, especially since our local paper just had a little story about them being invasive, to say that is it “one of the new sterile hybrids”, which is absolutely true.

Buddliea 'Blueberry Cobbler'

Buddliea ‘Blueberry Cobbler’

From inside the house, I could see that my pruning of the fig tree had re-opened the view of the garden.

living room view

living room view

Next, moving south….the Wiegardt Gallery….

Wiegardt Gallery front entrance walk

Wiegardt Gallery front entrance walk

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', short from lack of water!

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, short from lack of water!

Soaker hoses are just not satisfactory but it would be hard, in this narrow bed by the house, to set up anything that sprays water.

Next: Jack’s Country Store for snacks.   I was pleased to find my favourite Greek salad.

a pleasant breaktime

a pleasant breaktime

And then, Oman Builders’ Supply garden….

OBS, looking south

OBS, looking south, another garden with pitiful soaker hoses

I plant only the most drought tolerant plants here now….no more cosmos.

Then, Klipsan Beach Cottages where I can totally count on the garden being well watered.

KBC, looking west in the fenced garden

KBC, looking west in the fenced garden

Veronicastrum still looking fine

Veronicastrum still looking fine

At KBC:  Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' at its proper size when well watered

At KBC: Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ at its proper size when well watered

lilies and Melianthus major

lilies and Melianthus major

I had some new rosemaries and garlic chives for the Depot…We are still sorting out the organization of our van, but look at all that room!

plant vehicle!

plant vehicle!

But before we went to the Depot, we stopped at Golden Sands…to water.  I looked forward to the sprinkler system being fixed there.  I heard the repair was imminent!

Golden Sands, NE courtyard quadrant

Golden Sands, NE courtyard quadrant

My big idea of the day for Golden Sands was to move the bench that sits in front of the NW quadrant.

bench

It is blocking the view of the garden.  This is the quadrant where we ran out of dairy manure mulch, so I am not in a huge hurry to reveal it…not till we have time to fix it up.

bench2

But when we do get the mulch, maybe in mid September, the bench can go here instead:

three

It will be wonderful to have working sprinklers and, instead of hose watering, spend our time here turning this courtyard into a paradise.  My dream is for it to be good enough to be on the garden tour.  Because it is completely enclosed, I have no deer problems there at all!

Oh dear, we ran out of day before we got to the Depot to plant the rosemaries…They would have to wait until tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

August 20, 2013

Our day began….with a frog on a daisy.  I was watering a few containers in the the back garden when I saw it, and it stayed put till I went into the house and returned with my camera.

daisy

Pacific tree frog

Pacific tree frog

froggie

My first stop was the Depot Restaurant.  Here is a different view from the usual:

the outdoor dining deck

the outdoor dining deck

and the usual garden view

and the usual garden view

and an update on the herb garden (rosemary, oregano, chives and some thyme in the foreground)

and an update on the herb garden (rosemary, oregano, chives and some thyme in the foreground)

Then I walked to meet Allan who was watering at Crank’s Roost.

I love this house sign between the Depot and Crank's.

I love this house sign between the Depot and Crank’s.

I had said goodbye to Crank’s a few posts ago, so I asked Allan if he would take a photo essay of what was most evocative to him of the essence of Crank’s Roost, and here it is:

Allan’s Crank’s Roost photos:

crank

crank

door

door

crank

lighthouse bird

blue

crank

shed

crank

fern

crank

crank

 

You can see that Crank’s Roost is a wonderful place to think a green thought in a green shade.

Jo’s garden and the Boreas Inn

We then worked on the gardens on 6th North in Long Beach:  Jo’s on the south side of the road and the Boreas on the north side.

At Jo's: a large patch of daisies to deadhead

At Jo’s: a large patch of daisies to deadhead

Jo and Bob's bird sanctuary

Jo and Bob’s bird sanctuary

agapanthus

agapanthus

snapdragons

snapdragons

Uh oh, Coco chewed through another sprinkler head!  Fortunately, Allan carried parts to replace it because occasionally we snip one when it is entwined with plant stems.

Oh, Coco!

Oh, Coco!

Poor Coco looked sad after being shown the sprinkler head by Jo and told not to do it again.  It has been rather chronic…

Coco

Coco:  Who, me?

coco

I confess.

Then: The Boreas Inn garden.

looking east toward the Boreas Inn

looking east toward the Boreas Inn

The newly redone beds have been gorgeous this year.

beds

I acquired a few flats of Lobelia tupa this year and planted it in pretty much every garden I could get my hands on….and the one at the Boreas is the only one that has bloomed!

Lobelia tupa, why so temperamental?

Lobelia tupa, why so temperamental?

stunning Lobelia tupa

stunning Lobelia tupa

Only Susie of the Boreas is going to believe me about what a gorgeous plant this is!

cosmos at the Boreas

cosmos at the Boreas…at least I can count on them everywhere

We stopped work a bit early to go the the retirement party for Jim Neva, Port of Ilwaco manager.  He has been such a great friend of landscaping at the port…and has been instrumental in supporting our work in the boatyard garden and Howerton street gardens.

to the right: Jim Neva

to the right: Jim Neva

The party was the the museum and the theme was Hawaiian because Jim is retiring partly to spend more time with his wife Jet’s family in Hawaii.  The food was delicious!

a feast

a feast

food

The new port manager, Guy Glenn Jr, says he is going to be just as much a friend of the gardens as Jim was.  We are very happy about that.

left: Mark, who oversees the boatyard; Guy, our new friend of gardens, and Allan

left: Mark, who oversees the boatyard; Guy, our new friend of gardens, and Allan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

August 19, 2013

This post waxes political for a bit, so for pure gardening, move on to August 20!

We began our back to work day with the usual walk to the back garden to check on the greenhouse.  There was little time to goof off; after the hot weather of Sunday, much watering needed to be done at work.

Mary would have preferred I stay home.

Mary would have preferred I stay home.

front garden by the driveway, looking east, Sanguisorba

front garden by the driveway, looking east, Sanguisorba

looking east on the other side of grass path, front garden

looking east on the other side of grass path, front garden

Just down the block and across Pearl, we watered and deadheaded at Larry and Robert's.

Just down the block and across Pearl, we watered and deadheaded at Larry and Robert’s.

porch

porch

Echinacea 'Green Envy' by the Larry Robert porch

Echinacea ‘Green Envy’ by the Larry Robert porch

We need more rocks for their back garden but have been...goofing off!

We need more rocks for their back garden but have been…goofing off!

It’s handy working so close to home because we can stop by the house before heading out again.  As I was getting back into the van, I saw Tom and Judy waving from down the street.  Here they are, as I always say, just four doors down!

Tom and Judy

Tom and Judy

There is a little house between the Hornbuckle garden and Mary’s big hedge, and then there are the two shrubs at Nora’s house.

Tom and Judy started walking our way to go “cucumber farming”; our edible garden is so successful in the cuke department that we have plenty to share.

nice!

nice!

We departed for the watering of Long Beach.   In the parking lot there, I noticed another delight in our new van: a handy place for our water bottles.  This will be hidden by a plant shelf during annuals planting season.  (It might not be such a hellish season anymore with a large vehicle to work with.)

Then I saw an all too common sight

not nice!

not nice!

in Long Beach, by which I mean we see this a couple of times a month on our twice weekly parking in the big lots east of the main street: dropped diapers.  Yes, people change their babies, just drop the diapers on the parking lot and drive off.  The mind boggles.  The Long Beach city crew is the best around for keeping the town clean and picking up trash.  I am sure they see this all too often.

So we began the watering round of the 37 planters and 6 whiskey barrels and two stage planters.  We could not take any water out to the planters on Bolstadt because the beach approach was full of kite festival booths and closed to traffic.

The painted sage is starting to brown off, so one planter can take a good long time to deadhead.  One cuts down to the lower buds so that smaller flowers will appear later to keep the show going.

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

no longer at its best

no longer at its best

half an hour later

half an hour later

In the same planter, a cute little resident hopped out of the plants.

Pacific tree frog hiding by the bench

Pacific tree frog hiding by the bench

From this very planter, I had a view while working of something that repeatedly annoys and upsets me in Long Beach:  the confederate flag flying at a motel gift shop:

It hurts my eyes.

It hurts my eyes and my heart because I dislike the message it gives to the many people who drive into our pretty little tourist town.  To me it is a symbol of racism, a reaction that is, I believe, shared by many.  “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 500 extremist groups use the Southern Cross as one of their symbols.” [Read more: Confederate Flag Controversy | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/confederate1.html#ixzz2dQLwX2bo]

When I first noticed this flag I talked to the young man who owns the motel, to no avail.  (A satisfactory conclusion to me would have been that he stopped flying it, or at least hung it instead on the front door of his motel which is set back half a block from the main street.)   I wanted to know why he would fly a flag that would be distressing to some tourists, especially when he knows full well that other shopkeepers and at least one city official have objected to its effect on the happy welcoming nature of our town.  It’s not like putting up a poster for, say, a political candidate about whom a passing tourist might disagree.   It’s a symbol with a long and upsetting history.  The conversation went in circles.  When I posted about it on my Facebook profile, I got the response from all but one friend (including some who grew up in the south) that it is a symbol of hatred and is disturbing, “chilling”, even “sickening” to see it in Long Beach.  One person felt it was harmless and a symbol of rebellion.

Months later, it still flies.  Some people may think it is not a confederate flag because it has a motorcycle on it.  (Might I add that my friend who goes by the internet moniker “Harley Lady” does not like this flag, Harley-fied as she may be!)  On this work Monday, I noticed something new:  small confederate flags also for sale outside his shop.

Where is the motorcycle on this one, buster?

Where is the motorcycle on this one?

I had to do some deep breathing to calm down and go back to gardening.  I plan my route on days when the motel shop is open so that I do not walk on that side of the street.  I don’t want that flag to brush above my head.

shop

Just know that there are some of who live, work or shop in Long Beach who don’t want a flag with racist and segregationist connotations to be part of the town we love. I know of another Long Beach shop that got some little confederate flags in a shipment of many little flags and would not display them.  (Thank you.)

So, having reached the south end of town, I headed back up, crossing the street to avoid the flagged gift shop.  Another time, I could feel my blood pressure surging as I walked by the shop; it was the day I was informed it was not really a confederate flag because of the motorcycle.  Fortunately, on that day I encountered an acquaintance who felt the same way as I about the flag, and who also had walking with him his daughter and her very cute new baby who cheered me up almost as much as a puppy would have!

Back to thoughts of gardening:

I still regret the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that I did not get around to cutting back by half in early June.

unpruned, it splays open

unpruned, it splays open

Pruned at the right time, it stays compact with smaller, later flowers.

Pruned at the right time, it stays compact with smaller, later flowers.

chrysanthemums; I love their sharp scent.

chrysanthemums; I love their sharp scent.

a classic and joyous Long Beach sight: tourists doing the frying pan photo

a classic and joyous Long Beach sight: tourists doing the frying pan photo

We finished our day watering the street trees and planters in Ilwaco.  Alongside an old abandoned building at the main intersection, I eyed the great big huge dandelions and…then realized I could be the one to pull them even though it is “not my job.”

I pulled, after this photo, but the roots are still under the building...

I pulled, after this photo, but the roots are still under the building…

Around the other corner of the building (which used to be occupied but needs some work to be safe to use), some blackberries defeated me because I was not gloved up to handle them.

SEP=Someone's Else's Problem

SEP=Someone’s Else’s Problem

Greenery is not as much of an eyesore for me as that danged flag…

Oh no, we were a day late watering Ilwaco planters and the Sanvitalia had wilted!

I knew from experience it would perk right up.

I knew from experience it would perk right up.

I have to admit that the tedium of bucket watering after filling 20 five gallon buckets does inspire us to try to time the watering to do it only every third day.  In hot weather, that is not enough.

Allan called me from two blocks away to let me know there was a puppy coming my way.  These nice people let me pet their pup, but I forgot to take a photo except for this one as they walked back to their boat (probably) from the grocery store.

pup!

pup! with the boatyard garden in the background

I am more determined every time I weed the street tree gardens to get rid of the brick edging, fill in with soil, and just keep the plants clipped back.  It is a bugger to weed around these bricks, and they are sunken and uneven.  (Not my job!)

They are horrible, labour intensive, and have got to go.

They are horrible, labour intensive, and have got to go.

Since then, I have sent to a message to a member of the parks commission to see if they can re-use the bricks in a park project.  (Waiting for a reply.)

In the boatyard garden, the wild, white, tall clover thingie has popped up here and there…with roots like iron.

It has a gorgeous bloom but would take over if I let it.

It has a gorgeous bloom but would take over if I let it.

boatyard garden, not very colourful today, looking south

boatyard garden, not very colourful today, looking south

looking north, loving the 'Hopley's Purple' oregano

looking north, loving the ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano

new flowers on just one of the Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'!

new flowers on just one of the Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’!

But uh oh!!  Someone mowed the field of long grass where we traditionally dump wheelbarrows of debris from the boatyard garden.  (Shhhh….)

Now what?

Now what?

It was mowed once a few years ago and grew back….

We watered at Time Enough Books as well and admired a brand new sign.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

The shop is named after the haunting Twilight Zone episode, Time Enough at Last.

At home, I got excited about the idea of a brand new project.  Ever since seeing the scree garden at the Vernon garden on the recent CASA garden tour,  I have wanted to find a spot for my very own scree garden. (Four “gardens” in one sentence!)   So how about ripping many of the plants out of this front section that looks great till about July and then peters out:

bored now

bored now

And what if I dug out all of the sod and replaced it with gravel in this entire section AND further back around the beds by Nora’s driveway AND the grass path running west to east in the front garden?  In other words, gravel all the paths outside the deer fence!

All this awful lawn could be gravel instead!

All this awful lawn could be gravel instead!

With great enthusiasm, I grabbed the half moon edger and cut a strip.  It was so hard!  Allan helped, but….

one measly strip cut

one measly strip cut

my big idea to cut enough each week to fill the garbage can, thus getting rid of the lawn by staycation time, came to a halt.  I think it needs to wait till the ground softens in rainy weather.  And I also had better remember that gravel might take more maintenance than just mowing the dried up lawn.  (But would look so great.)

Just after I had given up on filling the wheelie bin, Mary from three doors down and her friend Carrie came to tour the garden.  Carrie was so very enthusiastic and appreciative that it made a wonderful end to a long and varied day.

Mary and Carrie in the garden at dusk.

Mary and Carrie in the garden at dusk.

Read Full Post »

August 18th, 2013

 Maybe I should just change the name of the blog to “Life on the Peninsula”, what with all the non gardening events I have covered over this weekend.

I used to work seven days a week almost every week.  That wasn’t good for my own garden and there were many summers of the sixteen that I lived in my other Ilwaco cottage that I thought to myself, “It’s another lost year for the garden.”  I had to work to survive but now times are a little easier, especially during the lull time of August when we have very few plants to put in the ground.  Thus, the goofing off.

My dear departed neighbour Nora‘s granddaughter was next door when we got up on this Sunday.  We always enjoy seeing her.  She and her friends from Portland took a quick garden tour and one of the friends, clearly a city girl, was smitten with the cuteness of a snail.  Devery, formerly Nora’s caregiver, held it for me but insisted on not being in the picture.  She’s gorgeous, but I obeyed.

Devery and the snail

Devery and the snail

The “city gals” were gaga over the way it put out its little face.  Alicia photographed it with her phone.

phone photo with Alicia's friend reflected...

phone photo with Alicia’s friend reflected…

curiosity

curiosity

I do wish Alicia could make this her summer home as I dote on her and she always brings such nice friends….   I think daily about my hope of having nice neighbours as the next door driveway is RIGHT by our back door….  Dear reader, I will be sure to announce here when and if the house goes up for sale because I want pleasant gardening neighbours!

We had been given complimentary tickets to Jazz and Oysters in exchange for my doing the Music in the Gardens Facebook page.  (Both events are connected with the annual Water Music Festival.)   For this occasion, I took my first ride in our new van, stopping first at Olde Towne Trading Post to exchange the compost bucket.  Luanne had the sign ready for me that her son Michael had made me for a belated birthday present.

Luanne and the Bogsy Wood sign!

Luanne and the Bogsy Wood sign!

The van was duly admired before we set off for Jazz and Oysters (via dropping the compost bucket off at home or there might have been a stench after parking in the sun).

We had had the van for a week or so but it had been being fitted up with a trailer hitch for our utility trailer.  My plan up until now had been that on non-plant-hauling days, we should probably keep working with Allan’s compact Saturn and the trailer, because that is so much more ecologically correct due to the Saturn’s good gas mileage.  Just a few miles into my first van ride, I knew that was not going to happen.  It would be all van from here on.  I have sold out for comfort and for a much better view from a higher seat.  My traffic phobia immediately dissipated to almost nothing because I no longer felt that I would be squashed like a bug by all the larger vehicles.

Speaking of vehicles, while parking at the Jazz and Oysters field we saw our friend Joe’s truck for sale.  (He was volunteering at the ticket table.)

I love this art truck but it was a little too small for us.

I love this art truck but it was a little too small for us.

In case it is still for sale, here is the info.

In case it is still for sale, here is the info.  (One of two phone numbers shows.)

Allan’s attention was immediately drawn to another vehicle.

car

I usually don’t talk about cars much at all, and yet within minutes I had asked a stranger at the event if I could photograph his t shirt, because it captured the essence of Robert’s and my old VW van, “Beaky”.

The Beaky look of an old VW van.

The Beaky look of an old VW van.  Our did not have the split windshield.

It took some time to figure out how to find our food…The desserts were way over in another building.  We were too late (arriving two hours late) to get a mango lime dessert from the Bridgewater Bistro, more’s the pity…but I got a delicious pear tart cleverly and appropriately baked in an oyster shell.

pear

pear

The oyster grill was far from the desserts, but we found it as well…

food

Allan, to left, collecting delicious food items

And at the grill, to the right in beige baseball cap, is the fellow who bought our old Tangly Cottage in early 2011.   He invited us to come sometime soon and see what he has been doing with the place.  He’s an expert and brilliantly creative carpenter so I am quite excited to visit.

Jon at the grill

Jon at the grill, right

Allan took a good series of photos at the oyster grill:

sausages

sausages; in the background, right, Pam activities director from Golden Sands and me

Jon on the right

Jon on the right

shuckers

shuckers

an oyster shuckers' ritual

an oyster shuckers’ ritual
Huzzah!

Huzzah!

food grunt

We found a picnic table, the last one of the few that were on site.

hat

It was so darned hot I had to wear my floppy lavender hat; it had seemed like a good purchase and yet is not exactly the garden hat I had in mind after all.

The stage was far in the distance and the music was excellent.  To my surprise the second band was not very “jazzy”.  Instead, they played old disco numbers that I adore like “Mighty Real” by Sylvester and “Best of My Love” by The Emotions.

If I ever go to this event again, I will bring a parasol.

If I ever go to this event again, I will bring a parasol.

If it had not been for the heat, would I have joined the dancers in front of the stage?  We’ll never know because about that time, our old friend J9 found us.  (That’s her name, folks, perhaps not legally….Think “Jeannine”.)  Twenty years I have known her since she stayed at the Sou’wester the year I lived and worked there.  She moved here, lived here for years, moved away and now very much wants to move back.

J9 and I

J9 and I

In solving various problems, we inadvertently mimicked each others’ gestures.  That is supposed to show we were in full agreement.  J9’s voice would sound familiar to listeners of our local public radio station.  She used to host the jazz show on KMUN.

The sunny heat was too too much so we left while the band still played on and before I even got into my own garden, I wandered down to Tom and Judy’s and sat in the shade of their back patio with them and the dogs.

Towbeh

Towbeh

Stymie

Stymie

the courtyard bubbler

the courtyard bubbler

We had stopped at The Basket Case Greenhouse on the way home (even though they are closed for the season) to buy some hardy fuchsias.  I plan to put more of them under the Long Beach street trees.  I rejoiced at how easy they were to put in and take out of our new vehicle.

just wow wow wow

Just wow!!.  For those who want to know such things, it is a Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 2005

The weather had cooled a bit, so I could do some deadheading in my still pretty near perfect garden.

early evening lilies

early evening lilies

and the new sign in the bogsy wood

and the new sign in the bogsy wood

sign

And next…back to some serious gardening work and lots of it.

Read Full Post »

August 17, 2013

I THOUGHT we had the day off and enjoyed a bit of time in our own garden….

BLACK Centaurea montana

BLACK Centaurea montana in front garden

..and then I realized…horrors!…we had forgotten to deadhead at the Kite Museum yesterday, and Kite Festival guests and vendors would be starting to arrive on Sunday.

So off we went to work.

Kite garden is tidy but unexciting...

Kite garden is tidy but unexciting…

Allan photographed a sculpture on the lawn that would be auctioned off at the kite festival banquet.

The horizontals made a wind noise...

The horizontals made a wind noise…

Since we had had to go out anyway, we stopped by the Basket Case to pick up some more old potting soil for our compost pile.

At The Basket Case

At The Basket Case

an annual coreopsis

an annual coreopsis (which was supposed to be pink!)

Back in Ilwaco, I walked down to the Saturday Market for the weekly Discover Ilwaco photo session. I must admit I had gotten burned out on the weekly session because I was so involved in garden tour prep and touring. Allan had filled in for me a couple of Saturdays and Tom Hornbuckle had saved the day with some photos on the week when both Allan and I were off touring Gearhart gardens.

On the way, I passed the lost garden half a block away. The big hydrangea by Advent Street was in full blooms.

garden1

And it looked like some serious pruning might be going on….and the lawn, over a foot long last time I had noticed it this summer, had been roughly mowed.

looking west from Advent

looking west from Advent

chopped branches

chopped branches

I hope it doesn’t get too cleared out and lose its mysterious magic!

Here are some garden related photos from the day’s Ilwaco Saturday Market:

greens

market

peaches

peaches

lilies

lilies

And with that, it’s time for Blues and Seafood‘s second day, this time started at 3:30 in the afternoon with a very bluesy band. I took photos and then went home till 5:15 when I returned for the amazing Strange Tones.

What the Strange Tones are doing at a blues festival, I don’t quite know. They are more rockabilly and have a backstory of being “sonic crime fighters” (thus they call their music Crime-a-billy). That is why you will see their two woman dance troupe, the Volcano Vixens, wielding spy glasses and toy guns. I simply adore this band.

Guitar Julie and Andy Strange

Guitar Julie and Andy Strange

Guitar Julie and The Volcano Vixens

Guitar Julie and The Volcano Vixens (Jenny Hauser and Susan Kane)

We posted all our photos to Discover Ilwaco and were well chuffed when the band members liked them. Julie Strange herself commented about the above photo, “It’s nice to be so well protected while playing guitar!”

The Volcano Vixens

The Volcano Vixens

Surburban Slim, Guitar Julie, Andy Strange

Surburban Slim, Guitar Julie, Andy Strange

julie2

julie

The dancers moved through the audience with magnifying glasses.

The dancers moved through the audience with magnifying glasses.

st

st

Surburban Slim and Julie

Surburban Slim and Julie

I like the number where they bring out parasols because it always makes for fun photos.

This song also involved amusing jungle noises.

This song also involved amusing jungle noises.

twirling parasols, photos by Allan

parasols, photos by Allan

vixens

vixens

parasol choreography

You can watch a video of this song, complete with parasols, here.

back to the Crimeabilly theme, photo by Allan

back to the Crime-a-billy theme, photo by Allan

strange tones

flamboyant dresses

flamboyant dresses

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan and I covering two angles.

Allan and I covering two angles.

Port of Ilwaco Manager Jim Neva, clearly a big fan.

Port of Ilwaco Manager Jim Neva, clearly a big fan.

Jim is also a big fan and supporter of landscaping and gardens at the Port.

What could equal the Strange Tones performance? None but The Norman Sylvester Band, also from Portland.

Norman Sylvester and Rob Shoemaker

Norman Sylvester and Rob Shoemaker

Norman hails from Lousiana but has been playing in Portland, Oregon, since the mid 80s.

audience

I loved it that LadyKat True Blue and Maggie Kitson, who had sung in The Heartbreakers the night before, were at the front of the audience enjoying the show.

very bluesy but in a way that I like

very bluesy but in a way that I like: rhythm and blues

a gorgeous voice

a gorgeous voice

I didn’t like the green tone that the lights cast sometimes, so changed some of those photos to sepia. It definitely suits the old fashioned Louisiana feel.

Norman

I think it especially suits the bassist who looks like he stepped out of another time.

bassist

"Don't let the devil ride, because if you let him ride, he's gonna want to drive."

“Don’t let the devil ride, because if you let him ride, he’s gonna want to drive.”

singers

Norman standing tall

Norman standing tall

Two years ago, Norman performed “People Get Ready” and I hope not to forget how it moved me. He has not played it here since and I wish he would. Even without it, I had a great time listening to all the other songs.

Ilwaco can dance

Ilwaco can dance

And then, an intermission.

moon over the port

moon over the food court

The next band was headed by Coco Montoya who I guess is a famous blues guy. I took band photos for the page and then went outside and sat with a local acquaintance. The music was pleasant in the background while we sat and solved the problems of the world for awhile, or at least of our local world.

moon over the port marina

moon over the port marina

I was fairly pleased with the photos taken by my somewhat new camera, and was home with Allan downloading and editing and uploading them to the Ilwaco page until almost three in the morning, because I don’t like to fall behind on such things (as I have done with this blog!)

Read Full Post »

August 16, 2013

Here’s the thing:  The Howerton Street curbside gardens at the port, right by the Ilwaco Pavilion where the Blues and Seafood tent would be set up, have never officially been given into our care.  But they ARE on Port property and they looked just dreadful for a big event, so we decided we had to do something about it!  The morning was hot, so hot I had to take little breaks out of the sun while Allan soldiered on.

one of the gardens, before

one of the gardens, before, looking east

after, looking east

after, looking east

the other garden before, looking west

the other garden before, looking west

after

after

Meanwhile, the Blues and Seafood tent was being erected.

tent going up between Ilwaco pavilion and the bank building

tent going up between Ilwaco pavilion and the bank building

Now, I am not going to name and shame the bank, which used to be a job of ours, but my gosh, this was just not very good for a garden right by a big event!

so weedy

so weedy

They had had their landscape maintenance person (who is a friend of mine, and is just doing what they want done) chop the shrubs, as usual.  The wrong shrubs were planted here originally, and they get too tall, but I certainly would not have them hacked right before an event for which one wants the town to look good.

I would, if I were in charge, just have those shrubs removed completely rather than have to prune them this harshly.

call Plant Amnesty!

call Plant Amnesty!

pruned

I quit the job because the budget was not big enough to do it the way it deserved to be done and still make a decent hourly wage, so that I had ended up working for free to get weeding done and nice pruning that took extra time.  The catalyst for actually quitting was a breaking point of having used all the hours for the month and then having to pick up dozens of styrofoam pellets out of the grassy bioswale next to the building.  Twice.

Last spring, I was so bothered by the way it looks now that I actually made a bid (and I generally do NOT bid) to get the job back when my friend was thinking of quitting it.  I never got a reply to the bid even after being asked to provide one, but the grapevine told me someone there thinks I am “difficult to work with.”  Well, I suppose I am because I won’t do a job the wrong way if I know better.  The only reason I wanted the job back was because it gives me the blues to see it looking so bad.  This is not sour grapes:  By now it has gotten so weedy that I would not want to be the one to try to bring it back to goodness, not on the most lavish budget.

That was it for our Ilwaco work of the day:  cleaning up by the Blues tent and brooding about the landscape next door.

After that, we deadheaded the welcome sign in Long Beach….

I like the way the Agyranthemum 'Butterfly' mimics the round yellow sun.

I like the way the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ mimics the round yellow sun.

We were under self imposed pressure to get the days work done in order to get back to the Blues event (by 6 PM) to take photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

deadheading in the Fifth Street Park

deadheading in the Fifth Street Park

lilies in the Fifth Street park

lilies in the Fifth Street park

I have NO idea how the much-hated-by-me orange montbretia got into the park.  I didn’t want to make a mess by pulling it, but it has got to go pretty soon!

a sneaky thug behind the Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

a sneaky thug behind the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

I remember in olden days when I could not bear to throw plants away, I would bring orange montbretia home and plant it alongside the road at my old house…and then spent years unsuccessfully trying to get rid of it to plant something better.

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' still has the blues!

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ still has the blues!

Despite our hurried feeling, we made a quick stop at the Humane Society.  Our oldest cat, Maddy, disappeared around the Fourth of July and we still hoped she might appear as a stray…

South Pacific County Humane Society

South Pacific County Humane Society

I told myself she may have found a happy home where she can be the only cat, She Who Hates All Other Cats.

Next, the Anchorage Cottages, where I was reminded again of why I don’t like to grow Lady’s Mantle even though I once found it so charming.

that awkward unladylike stage

that awkward unladylike stage

While I’m singing the blues about annoying plants, how about Stella D’Oro daylily?  It has got to go, and will be ousted in the fall.

Stella is mostly unattractive and I do not like her flowers, so there!

Stella is mostly unattractive and I do not like her flowers, so there!

After the Anchorage, we simply had to deadhead at Andersen’s RV Park.

Payson Hall takes over an hour to deadhead nowadays.

Payson Hall takes over an hour to deadhead nowadays and it is quite hot to work against the white building.

the lingering red poppies and a couple of Men

the lingering red poppies and a couple of Men

Getting home in time to water the greenhouse tomatoes was a big rush, but we made it.  The little yellow/orange tomatoes (I have several kinds that colour, and few little red ones) are cute and sweet…

matoes

but they are so many that they are splitting.  Are they still good to eat when they do this?

Is this safe to eat, I wonder?

Is this safe to eat, I wonder?

When I heard the first notes of music from the Blues tent, I walked on down….one of the advantages of living a block away.

On the way, I saw that the formerly pretty garden at Grays Harbour College’s Ilwaco campus has been whacked to the ground.  Apparently, it had gotten so weedy that no one wanted to tackle it.  Once upon a time it was quite nice with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and kinnickinnick.

whacked to the ground

whacked to the ground

You can see from the GHC website that it started out with gardening promise...

You can see in this photo from the GHC website that it started out with gardening promise…

On the other side of the street, the Hawaiian shaved ice booth was poised for the Saturday Market…

ice

I remember when this was set up permanently on a lot on downtown Long Beach and because of the “old town” zoning rules, it had its lower body covered with cedar shakes!

Now for the blues….

Robin Gibson Band...looking very bluesy.

Robin Gibson Band…looking very bluesy.

The problem is that I don’t like blues, not straight ahead, blues harp and guitar gonna take the train outta town cos my woman done me wrong type blues.  That is probably why I loved punk rock because it had little bluesiness in it.  At the same time, though, I adored rhythm and blues…the more melodic and (to me) soulful blues that would be personified later in the evening by the women singers of The Heartbreakers.  So I went home after taking a good set of photos of the first blues band and listened for the sound of a woman’s voice.  About two hours later, the unmistakable soul sound soared over the air and I hustled back down for the Heartbreakers.

Mary McPage

Mary McPage

Lady Kat True Blue

Lady Kat True Blue

LadyKat...she is amazing

LadyKat…she is amazing

Rae Gordon in blue

Rae Gordon in blue

rae

rae

What a voice, what a smile!

What a voice, what a smile!

Lucy Hammond

Lucy Hammond

Timmer Blakely, Lucy Hammond, Bonnie Lee Bluestone

Timmer Blakely, Lucy Hammond, Bonnie Lee Bluestone

Maggie Kitson

Maggie Kitson

LadyA

LadyA

LadyA

LadyA

LadyA

LadyA spoke of her involvement in United by Music, a program “designed for talented people with intellectual and physical disabilities to learn and play blues music live on stage with professional musicians for general audiences” and asked us to spread the word about it.

all together singing "Amazing Grace"

all together singing “Amazing Grace”

Meanwhile, there were connections to our gardening life all around the Blues and Seafood area.  The flowers for the food area were provided by River Rock Farm, whose owner, Kim, has the fabulous Greutter garden in Ocean Park.

Kim's dahlias

Kim’s dahlias

Kim in stripes, and in the background, our garden client Diane

Kim in stripes, and in the background, our garden client Diane

Diane of Diane's garden

Diane of Diane’s garden

Jet, wife of Jim (Port Manager) Niva, and Marie and Randy Powell of Shoalwater Cove Gallery

Jet, wife of Jim (Port Manager) Niva, and Marie and Randy Powell of Shoalwater Cove Gallery

center, in red: Karla of Time Enough Books

center, in red: Karla of Time Enough Books and her sister Kathy provide oysters

more dahlias

more dahlias

And outside, the view of the marina and the sound of the music.

boats

Tomorrow would be a day off with more of the same starting in the mid-afternoon.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »