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Archive for Sep, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A beautiful day was the last sort of day I expected.  The forecast had called for rain, some wind, thunderstorms, and small hail.  I expected to sleep and then get caught up on the computer.  Instead, I found myself walking down to the Saturday Market at ten fifteen!

evidence of yesterday's rain

evidence of yesterday’s rain

Just as I took the above photo two houses east of ours, I saw Devery and Tuffy coming toward me on their way to the market, so we walked down together.

It was a social occasion for Tuffy.

It was a social occasion for Tuffy.

Mr. TuffMan

Mr. TuffMan

Devery bought some delicious produce from De Asis.  The sight of okra took her back to her childhood on Saint Kitt’s Island.

at De Asis Produce

at De Asis Produce

Then we parted ways as I went on through the length of the market to take more photos for the Discover Ilwaco page.

More produce from De Asis Farm:

peppers

peppers hot

and sweet

and sweet

The market had about half as many booths as usual.  I bought a hoodie from Blue Crab Graphics…a purple zippered one with Kelly’s design one of our lighthouses on it.  Kelly told me that she had set up in the rain and many vendors had not come.  They would be missing a beautiful day.

new hoodie!

new hoodie!

Further on, the English Nursery booth

Further on, the English Nursery booth

reflective pool by the Shoalwater Cove booth

“reflective pool” by the Shoalwater Cove booth

The pedestrian road called Waterfront Way, which is the market promenade on Saturdays, has a slope toward the middle which provides good reflections after rain.

another booth reflected

another booth reflected

The basket from The Basket Case Greenhouse still looks wonderful in front of the Don Nisbett Art Gallery.  Don waters it frequently and lavishly.

Don's basket

Don’s basket

The ones by the Port Office are good, too, although not as lavishly trailing without Don’s extra watering.

Port Office

Port Office

It’s just as well they don’t trail more or they would hide our garden underneath.  (Some of the garden plants also came from The Basket Case:  Eryngiums, Agastaches, Santolinas, Lavenders, Nepeta, and Cosmos and Salvia Viridis from The Planter Box.)

At the Pink Poppy Bakery booth, Madeline was selling some treats to Jim and Jet Neva.  Jim, great friend of port landscaping, may have retired but is still doing a lot for the port.  He was there to put up the second warning flag for tomorrow’s weather (two red triangle flags equal a gale with winds of 39-54 mph).

Jim and Jet at Pink Poppy Bakery

Jim and Jet at Pink Poppy Bakery

flowers from Pink Poppy Farm

flowers from Pink Poppy Farm

I got two Guinness chocolate cupcakes and some shortbread to share with Allan later, then  checked out the westernmost curbside garden on Howerton.

The business for sale is the Imperial Schooner Restaurant.

The business for sale is the Imperial Schooner Restaurant.

And walked past the boatyard…

boatyard

And on up First Avenue, checking the city planters along the way.

the colourful Portside Café

the colourful Portside Café

My destination was a late breakfast at Olde Towne.  Their window display foretells the imminent arrival of autumn.

at Olde Towne

at Olde Towne

In the way of small towns, I ended up having my meal with our client Ann and local masseuse and baker Diane.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Allan had woken up an hour later than me (lucky to get good sleep!) and gone to the market himself, where he met our friend Donna, her new puppy, Blue, and…some pirates.

Little Blue!

Little Blue!

Donna and the pirates.

Donna and the pirates.

This one looks familiar.

This one looks familiar.

I am sure Queen La De Da had something to do with all this because it was some sort of significant pirate day.  (Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’ll bet.)

While sitting at Olde Towne,  I got a text from Donna that she had Blue over at Judy and Tom’s house.  I had finished my breakfast panini, gulped my coffee, and excused myself in haste so I could hustle home and meet the little pup.

Donna, Blue, and Tom

Donna, Blue, and Tom

Tiny little Blue looked lost in the lawn, which Tom had been unable to mow as often as usual due to weather.

Baby Blue

Baby Blue

After a long visit, during which Allan ambled down to join us (having just returned from the market), I harvested a few things from the garden.  I knew the pole of purple beans in the garden boat would most likely tip over in the wind.

long purple beans

long purple beans

Inspired by the meal yesterday at Himani Indian Cuisine, Allan wanted to make raita.  Maybe because I had found and emailed him a recipe.  So cilantro and mint and a cucumber were harvested for that.  And tomatoes for me and Judy.

The garden looked unkempt but I took most of the afternoon trying to muster the energy to weed three small sections.

sunflowers by the east fence

sunflowers by the east fence

Allan pointed out that when I had sent him out to retrieve Sheila’s hanging vase from  the shed wall after dark the previous evening,  I had neglected to tell him that the photo that reminded me of the vase also showed a big spider.  He noticed the spider when reading the blog later that night!

and the beautiful hanger made by Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery)

vase from New Leaf Pottery…with spider

In the dark, he had gotten tangled up in the web.  Today, the spider was rebuilding.

determination

determination

I miss the vase but it cannot be up there during autumn winds.

A walk around the garden was in order just in case the predicted wind was terribly bad.

Aconitum in back garden

Aconitum in back garden

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

a very nice daylily

a very nice daylily

heavily flowering Fuchsias everywhere

profusely flowering Fuchsias everywhere

From the south end of the garden, I could see the two flags now flying over the port..

gale warning

gale warning

But we had only the slightest breeze and the evening was warm.

late afternoon light

late afternoon light, looking north from the bogsy wood

My usual garden companions had followed me all around.

Smokey

Smokey

(You can see how the back lawn is mostly creeping buttercup.)

Mary

Mary

She's Smokey's mom.

She’s Smokey’s mom.

Suddenly it seemed essential to have the first and possibly last campfire of the season!  I had checked last month with two VIFs (very important local firefighters) and learned that despite a county burn ban it was ok to have a small campfire in one’s own town garden.  Work, and blogging in the evening, had seemed to get in the way of having a fire until now.

At first the wood was steamy from yesterday’s rain.

steamy

steamy

But then it caught very nicely and we had hot dogs and smores for dinner.

a real campfire

a real campfire

Gunnera by the bogsy wood

Gunnera by the bogsy wood

Smokey thought the fire was a great idea.

my shoulder cat

my shoulder cat

During our fire time, not a breath of wind stirred the danger tree almost right overhead.  By next year’s campfire season, we will have dealt with this tree, if the storms don’t do it for us.  Then we won’t have to wait for completely windless nights, as they are rare here.

a quiet danger tree

a quiet danger tree

I collected some kindling from the bogsy wood.

I collected some kindling from the bogsy wood.

And we shared one tall beer featuring Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen on the bottle.

And we shared one tall beer featuring Deadliest Catch’s Sig Hansen on the bottle.

I had sent last minute messages to Kelly and to Jenna before our spontaneous campfire.  Jenna did not get the message til the next day, and Kelly had to do something else.  We knew Judy and Tom were in for the evening, so it was just me and Allan and the cats…for most of the evening.

no company!

no company!

Light fades behind the alder grove.

Light fades behind the alder grove.

I had left two of the gates open in case Jenna and Don or Kelly showed up.  When it was good and dark and we were letting the fire die down, I looked over Allan’s shoulder and within three feet behind him stood a deer.  I just said “Oh my god!” while I considered whether or not a photo would capture the event and decided that the flash would make everything look too harsh.  “What, WHAT?” Allan exclaimed; “Don’t just say “Oh my GOD! What is it!?”  He later asked me if I had seen any horror movies lately.  I finally told him what was RIGHT behind him and stood up, and the deer scurried away down one of the paths.  A keystone cops in the dark chase ensued with two humans, two flashlights, two open gates and a deer that kept going round and round the dark paths.  We finally got it herded out the side gate to Nora’s driveway, and Allan made a circuit of the yard to make sure the deer had not brought a buddy.

The whole experience, including the deer’s visit, was so enjoyable I wish that we had done it more often.  Now we can only hope for a nice October evening with no wind (because of Danger Tree) to have one more campfire with company.

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Friday, September 20, 2013, part two

On our way home from a shopping trip to Astoria, we stopped at Inspirations Stained Glass to finally pick up the two little fish and a bowl that we had made on cash mob day back in June.  That shows how busy our summer has been; any Saturday trip taking us through Chinook town has been rushes to get across the river for one garden tour or another!

Who did we find at the stained glass workshop but Rob from Andersen’s RV Park!  He’s making a stained glass window for his RV and knew what he was doing.

Rob making stained glass window

Rob making stained glass window

Inspirations: a good place to find glass "jewels" for garden decoration

Inspirations: a good place to find glass “jewels” for garden decoration

I do love this fish on a stream of glass jewels.

I do love this fish on a stream of glass jewels.

And then, after an interlude at home, we went to pick up the Long Beach check.  A sure sign of fall is the fact that all the baskets have been removed from downtown and from city hall.

a sad sight to see the baskets gone...

a sad sight to see the baskets gone…

another autumnal sign: Colchicum in the city hall entry garden

another autumnal sign: Colchicum in the city hall entry garden

We then checked out a new (old) job.  We’ve worked for Erin on and off at her Long Beach house and cottage.  This year, we didn’t have time in the summer to do the cottage garden but she had another able gardening friend who took care of it.  Now time is freeing up and we can consider doing some sort of gardening at the big house.

We were greeting first by a cute and friendly cat.

Felix

Felix

And then by Erin, who gave me a huge hug because she was so happy we had finally found time to talk about her garden.  We looked briefly at the cottage garden and offered to give it a good fall clean up (although it looks good).  Our attention turned to the big house.

In 1974 or 75, when I visited the beach with my old friend Mary, we took a walk and got lost in the dunes.   We ended up getting back to the road by coming onto private property and passing an old house that I photographed in awe.  It has a widow’s walk and is one of the grandest houses in Long Beach.

Glenn house

Glenn house

I had a copy of this photo tacked to my wall for the next 20 years to remind myself that I had formed a dream of living on the “North Beach Peninsula” as it was then known. The cosmic thing would have been if I had ended up owning this house, but it was still pretty cosmic that I met Erin and ended up making a garden around the big house in 2001.  Back then, we started by making a boat garden.

boat planted up with cosmos

boat planted up with cosmos, 2001

Today we saw the boat has been reclaimed by nature.

former garden boat, Sept 2013

former garden boat, Sept 2013

We also enhanced an area by the south side porch in 2001 with lots of flowers.

entry garden

entry garden

I was amused to see that that arc shaped garden is now the playground for Erin’s son.

a big sandbox!

a big sandbox!

I think that is ideal, and what a great way to be able to start with a blank slate someday when he and his friends have outgrown the sandbox.

Along the porch, Erin and her mom have planted lavender and grasses, an excellent choice.

porch garden

porch garden

Back then, the cottage to the east of the big house was lived in by Erin’s friend Paul.

Paul's cottage gate

Paul’s cottage gate

Later we took care of the cottage garden while Erin lived there and while it was a rental, but it never made it onto our roster of weekly or biweekly jobs.  The big house was empty for awhile, but now that it is occupied again the question is:  What to do with the garden?

The arc garden is a sandbox, and the porch gardens are just fine the way they are.  The wonderful old garden boat is no more.  So what to do?

looking northeast to porch and sandbox

looking northeast to porch and sandbox

Looking southwest from the stone steps next to the sandbox, we contemplated the vast stretch of lawn.

lawn, then dunes, then beach

lawn, then dunes, then beach

We are not looking for big new jobs, but I have a long interest in this house so I said to Erin that we could maybe do a couple of big flower beds like we have in our back garden.  They would be different from mine in that deer frequent this garden and it would be on sand rather than the dirt with a high water table that keeps our back garden so lush.  The slope of the lawn would allow the view over the dune grass to be still visible even with fairly tall plants.

I suggested Erin look for another garden boat that we could plant up for her.  She is already on that quest.  As for her desire for a wonderful fire circle, I suggested she call Bill Clearman who is a genius at carpentry, stonework, concrete, and hardscaping, none of which are our forté.

the simple fire circle now

the simple fire circle now

I may be mad, but I could imagine taking on some sort of big project here…especially since Erin has the gardening friend who could do a lot of the maintenance.  It will be interesting to think about this and perhaps, just perhaps, make a new garden bed for Erin this winter.

Meanwhile, we’ll tidy up the cottage garden and keep thinking.

After visiting Erin, we finally had time to stop by Nancy and Phil Allen’s to see how her new garden is doing.  Just like Erin’s garden might be a late fall project for 2013, helping Nancy with her new flowerbed was our 2012 fall project.

The mixed flower border is still not as good as I would like.

pretty enough but I want more!

pretty enough but I want more!

I haven’t checked on it enough or encouraged the adding of enough plants.  I’ll remedy this by bringing more plant starts this fall.

Nancy’s vegetable garden continues to impress with its productivity and attractiveness.

bean tower

bean tower and spuds

purple bush beans

purple bush beans

Why can’t I get a nice veg garden going like Nancy’s?  I just cannot seem to spare the room to make a tidy area like this:

a beautiful vegetable area

a beautiful vegetable and herb area

We sat inside because the rain had returned; Phil’s remodeling of their historic old home has come along to the wonderful moment of the kitchen having a gorgeous oak floor and the lighting and painting being almost done.

kitchen window

kitchen window

a charming old kitchen cupboard

a charming old kitchen cabinet

a perfect detail by the stairs

a perfect detail by the stairs

Nancy's harvest bowl

Nancy’s harvest bowl

We had to hightail it home before dark so that Allan could install a headlight to replace a burnt out one.  And I found our day off had been so eventful that it took me not one, but two evenings to blog about it.

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Friday, September 20, 2013, part one

I was disappointed to be woken at the usual time because I had expected a rainy day off.  And then I heard the gurgling of water in the rain barrel outside my window and looked out to an increasing drizzle.   So at last, it turned out to be the day to go get new shoes.  We were off “overseas” to Astoria.

As often seems to be true, the sky over Astoria and points east was lighter and we were out of the rain as soon as we got through the Chinook tunnel.

bright sky over Astoria

bright sky over Astoria; Columbia River to our right

Because a 55 mph wind is predicted for Sunday, the workers on the bridge were folding up the enormous tarps that cover the highest part.  Last year, they got caught out by the first storm and had to close the bridge because of the dangerous flapping!

Screen shot of news story, in case it eventually goes away as old news:

last year!

last year!

A shoe shopping expedition is not a treat for me.  I find it very hard, and always have done, to acquire comfy shoes.  Last year, in the local Reach Out Thrift Store, I happened upon a pair for $2 that felt soft as butter.  (I had been looking for a work shirt, not shoes, but checked the shoes in a desperate attempt to avoid actual shoe shopping!)  It turned out that they were SAS, an expensive brand, but one that would be worth any amount of money to me.  Since the ones I bought that day were already worn and now have holes by the little toe, today we went across the river to the store that carries them: Gimre’s.  I had the most pleasant shoe shopping experience of my life there and bought two pair, and that is enough about shoes!

Ok, for my friends who do love shoes, here they are:

left: new slip ons, middlle: new laceups, right: thrift store pair

left: new slip ons, middlle: new laceups, right: thrift store pair

I commend SAS for making such great shoes.  I will even try to keep the slip on pair out of the dirt…(We’ll see how long that lasts.)

Back to (mostly) garden theme, with this digression for one of the best hotel advertising slogans ever:

hotel elliot

hotel elliot

I continue to be an ardent admirer of the Astoria planters on Commercial Street and some side streets:

chocolate cosmos on Commercial

chocolate cosmos on Commercial

planter with Fuchsia

planter with Fuchsia

Periscaria

Periscaria

Euphorbia and Verbena

Euphorbia and Verbena

(I hesitate to use Euphorbia in planters because if someone broke off a piece, hurting their eye with the toxic sap would be a high price to pay for finger blight.)

I adore the planters with wire sides and plants spilling out all the way to the ground:

planters

planter

planter

closer

closer

The rain caught up with us in Astoria, so we went to lunch, passing this cute storefront on the way.

store

We also passed a curbside garden on Marine Drive with a name I recognized:

Jessica's garden

Jessica’s garden

I met Jessica some years ago and loved the slogan that she used for her gardening business, which I think was called Wyndlesham Gardening:  “Hand Tool Gardening”, and am pleased to have found this interview with her on that subject.

Chocolate cosmos in Jessica's garden

Chocolate cosmos in Jessica’s garden

Jessica's garden

Jessica’s garden

We dined on the lunch buffet at the wonderful Himani Indian Cuisine.  Guess which plate is mine and which is Allan’s.

messy vs. tidy

messy vs. tidy

I went back for a bowl of raita.  I could eat a mixing bowl of the stuff!  (Yogurt with cucumber.)

On the way back to the van, we peeked into the interior of a building that I remembered from when a tea shop used to be in its basement.

as I remembered:  cool architecture indoors

as I remembered: cool architecture indoors

Our parking spot was very close to the wide Columbia River.

the great Columbia

the great Columbia

and the scent of water and pilings

and the scent of water and pilings

Crossing the bridge again, we found the big tarps completely bundled off to the sides and decided we had better take the coming storm seriously.

Just a few hatches truly needed battening at home.  Allan took the blue bottle hanger (from Back Alley Gardens) out of the danger tree.

rainy day garden

rainy day garden

blue bottles coming down

blue bottles coming down

and time to take down the great wall of china...

and time to take down the great wall of china…

and the beautiful hanger made by Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery)

and the beautiful hanger made by Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery)

Poor spider had to move so we could get Sheila’s pottery down.

The space between the house and shed is a fierce wind tunnel in a storm from the south.

cats underfoot, as pretty much always in the garden

cats underfoot, as often happens in the garden

It seems awfully early for a storm to come and batter the garden.  Before the storm:

before the storm: Dicentra scandens climbing into a hanging basket

Dicentra scandens climbing into a hanging basket

a perfect clump of Dianthus

a perfect clump of Dianthus

boat (The Anne Lovejoy) with cosmos

boat (The Anne Lovejoy) with cosmos

The Solidago ‘Fireworks’ has fizzled out:

browned off now

browned off now

But Lemon Queen is going strong.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

queen

dahlia

dahlia

I took a walk around because the flowers might be bowed and battered soon.

for Ann who wants more photos of garden signs

for Ann who wants more photos of garden signs

Nicotiana langsdorfii

Nicotiana langsdorfii

some Fuchsias for Mr. Tootlepedal

some Fuchsias for Mr. Tootlepedal

fuchsias

fuchsias against a darmera peltata leaf

fuchsias against a darmera peltata leaf

Fuchsias fronted with Persicaria 'Firetail'

Fuchsias fronted with Persicaria ‘Firetail’

I checked out the bogsy wood because in a high wind it will be too dangerous to go back here.  I tucked the Bogsy Wood sign more safely against a tree.

bogsy wood

bogsy wood

autumn leaves in a salmonberry tunnel

autumn leaves in a salmonberry tunnel

When all the salmonberry leaves fall, we will have our winter view of the port buildings.

The swale under the bridge will fill with water...

The swale under the bridge will fill with water…

Under the danger tree (a big dead alder, died last year) is a shade bed that will disrupted if the tree falls before we have it cut.

shade bed in danger

shade bed in danger

Allan wheeled a blue pot from the base of the tree to a safe spot.

heavy!

heavy!

We left the lady to fend for herself, and may regret it.

she lost her feet so was inexpensive....

she lost her feet so was inexpensive….but heavy!

blue pot safely tucked by the boat

blue pot safely tucked by the boat

Mary and Frosty take cover from the rain.

Mary and Frosty take cover from the rain.

Mary is not a bird hunter so does not have to wear a BirdsBeSafe collar.

Throughout the garden we could hear frogs.  We had an appointment to keep, so I only found this one.

pacific tree frog

Pacific tree frog

The frog sees me!

The frog sees me!

For a non working day, this has gone on for much too long and we still had two garden visits to make before dark…

to be continued…

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September 19, 2012

Oh, I am so hard to please about the weather.  Today was too darn hot.  Tomorrow a big rain storm is supposed to come, and then a rain and wind storm on Sunday.  I resolved not to complain that I was sweltering today because a cold and windy summer day is far worse.  But…it was hot.  All of  74.8 degrees F.

As we got ready to go to work, I noticed a good example of Cosmos ‘Seashells’ in the garden.  I couldn’t get much of it (my favourite cosmos cultivar) this year so wanted some good photos.  A friend of mine decided he just had to be in the photo shoot.

Cosmos 'Seashells'

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

cos

cos cos

Smokey has on his BirdsBeSafe collar.  He usually does not look this sinister.

Cosmos 'Seashells'

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

We did our usual compost buckert switch stop at Olde Towne…where more out of town bicycle tourists were enjoying the great ambience.

Olde Towne Café

Olde Towne Café

And then went to Seaview to have a look at a couple of landscaping needs at the Sou’wester Lodge.  Oh what memories it brought back to be there because for my first year on the Peninsula, that is where I lived.

Sou'wester in snow, Dec. '92

Sou’wester in snow, Dec. ’92

Now under new ownership, The Sou’wester has a plants for sale area by the front door.

plants

To the north of the front door, the garden I planted years ago has turned to an area of large shrubs and trees.

part of my old garden

part of my old garden

In the almost twenty years since I left there, many of the garden beds around the cabins have turned back to plain lawn, as one would expect, but some plants remain including the rose Felicité et Perpetué.   I did not take as many pictures as I should have because of having an interesting time talking with new owner Thandi Rosenbaum.

I had not been back into the big historic lodge since President’s Day weekend of 1994. It was wonderful to be there again and brought back memories good and bad, but all worth having.

I had forgotten much, like what the fireplace looked like, even though I must have cleaned the hearth many times.

I had forgotten much, like what the fireplace looked like, even though I must have cleaned the hearth many times.

We looked at the four nightly rental apartments on the second floor of the lodge.  The “honeymoon suite” has a different lace curtain hanging over the sleeping nook but has the same magical feeling.

On the second floor.

Lacy sleeping area…On the second floor.

The Sou’wester is known for its vintage trailer accommodations and Thandi has  commissioned some trailer art.

trailer paintings in apartment three

trailer paintings in apartment three

I have always loved the way the light falls through the windows of the lodge.

probably in apartment two

probably in apartment two

I think two is the one with the lacy bed…one the one with a red rug…and three and four the two west facing ones.  It has been a long time!

This window of number four faces the second story porch.

This window of number four faces the second story porch.

I took this photo from the same window in 1992.

I took this photo from the same window in December 1992.

I love the postcards over the bed in one of the apartments.

postcard art

postcard art

The view from apartment four made me think about how now I would know better than to plant that beech under the power lines.  I NOW remember that I thought it was going to be a short, weeping tree.  I got it from Hall Gardens, a wonderful home nursery that existed near Nahcotta way back then (and later became the private home called Gypsy Pond).

view with a potentially too large tree

view with a potentially too large tree (planted by me in 1993)

Amy, the housekeeper who has worked there for many more years than I did and who also sells plants there, asked me if I could identify two shrubs out by J Place.  One we thought must be an Osmanthus.  The other…I can almost remember.  I got it from Heronswood mail order, probably.  Thandi stands next to it for size:

She's 5'2".

She’s 5’2″.

Here’s a close up of the leaves…not very good because it was such a hot sunny day.

mystery shrub

mystery shrub

leaves

leaves…what is???

We looked inside the amazing two story trailer called The African Queen, of which I had fond memories just because I liked it.  When Amy spoke of not loving to clean it, I do remember it was a challenge with all its nooks.  I also learned that in later years the previous owners of the lodge, cabins and trailers, for whom I had worked, had the staff (staff? before, it was just me!) just put sheets and bedding in the trailers and not make up the beds.  I had to make every bed, and..with eighteen or so apartments, cabins and trailers, there were…oh I don’t even want to remember.  The trailers were, of course, the hardest, being built in tightly.

While we looked at the interesting vintage RV, Thandi and her friend Alex pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, after we told them it could be pulled and not just cut back.

next to the African Queen

next to the African Queen

I used to have African Queen Oriental lilies and an African Queen Buddliea planted by The African Queen…I had forgotten the latter even existed till Amy reminded me.  (It is still there, planted long before Buddleias made the invasive list….)

I said the volunteer tree should be cut down so the trailer mural shows!

The mural on the Disoriented Express still shows up well.

The Disoriented Express

The Disoriented Express

I told Thandi, looking at the remains of my old garden and at the shrubs which would look so much better deadwooded, that I could imagine, if I lived in walking distance, coming over just for the fun of bringing some of it back.  She offered to have me chauffeured from Ilwaco.  Hmm.

one of my Sou'wester garden beds in 1993

one of my Sou’wester garden beds in 1993

Through making this garden I met Maxine…and her daughter Jo…and my gardening career started so it was worthwhile.

We passed this year’s possible landscaping job at Sou’wester on to our friend Ed Strange who has a young(er) helper who might feel more inclined that we do to tear out an overgrown garden bed.  Then we can help plant it with something better than Siberian iris and the blah running yellow kind of Hypericum.

After all this goofing off, we went up to Long Beach to deadhead.  With rain predicted, we skipped watering the planters.  The soil was damp, yet the plants looked a little thirsty….but a good rain will be effective because of the already wet soil in the planters.

painted sage still looking grand

painted sage still looking grand

It better HAD rain or we will have to go back and water!

painted sage and cosmos

painted sage and cosmos

Oh, big news….I know the names now of the three cultivars of painted sage (Salvia viridis, sometimes called horminum):  Marble Arch White, Blue, and Pink…looked at the seed packets at The Planters Box for a friend who needed the information.

Every year, when I see the dahlias in a couple of the planters, I think I simply must plant more “patio” dahlias.

fabulous dahlias

fabulous dahlias

Maybe in 2014 I will remember to do so.  They come back every year and bloom like crazy.

Speaking of crazy, check out the nasturtium…this one gets extra liquid fertilizer when the city crew waters the hanging basket overhead.

in front of Home at the Beach

in front of Home at the Beach

trailing into the street!

trailing into the street!

by the door of the Wooden Horse gift shop, very beachy

by the door of the Wooden Horse gift shop, very beachy

We next went to the Anchorage Cottages.  I intended to do nothing but quickly deadhead the containers, as we had done a lot of pruning there on Monday.  Somehow, more pruning ensued today.  Manager Beth asked if we could limb up a tree so she could get to the outside of the office window.

done, and looks great although I forgot before pics!

done, and looks great although I forgot before pics!

The volunteer hebe that was under a low limb is getting sun for the first time!

We also pruned the Ceanothus so that the number one shows really well at last.

Ceanothus, pruned

Ceanothus, pruned

During the course of getting tools in and out, I photographed our rake in the back of the van.

Yesterday, I told Allan this rake makes us look poor.

Yesterday, I told Allan this rake makes us look poor.

We like the style very much and cannot seem to find a new one like it.

After The Anchorage, we deadheaded cosmos and weeded at the Boreas Inn.

Boreas Inn, west garden, with the sun cooling off a bit at last.

Boreas Inn, west garden, with the sun cooling off a bit at last.

The only Lobelia tupa that bloomed for me this year still looks magnificent even as it goes to seed.

The Boreas tupa....

The Boreas tupa….

a garden doodad backed with Phormium

a garden doodad backed with Phormium

If the Lobelia tupa is blooming here because it is happy next to the Phormium, we have a problem…because I like to get rid of Phormiums now whenever I can!

Boreas, looking east

Boreas, looking east

Allan remembered that we had to deadhead the Long Beach welcome sign; I might have forgotten.

back side of welcome sign with Acidanthera

back side of welcome sign with Acidanthera

Six Agyranthemum Butterflies later, we departed to water again at Crank’s Roost.

Crank's, view from the back porch

Crank’s, view from the back porch

Finally, in the last hour of daylight, we filled water buckets at the boatyard and Allan watered the Ilwaco planters while I groomed them.

Ilwaco boatyard

Ilwaco boatyard

I happened to see Thandi and Alex from the Sou’wester again as I deadheaded near the Ilwaco Antique Gallery.  After another pleasant conversation they went off to walk along the port and watch the moonrise.  While I did the last few planters, I suddenly had this vision of living in an old trailer at the Sou’wester again and bringing back my old gardens.  In an alternative universe, that would be fantastic.  In this one, I guess I can’t go back!

Allan and I dropped off the trailer at home as the sun set….

looking west on Lake Street

looking west on Lake Street

We had a choice between making a fire in the back yard fire pit before the rains come and get our alder wood all wet…or going to see the harvest moon rise at the port.  It would be too hard to set up a campfire at the last minute in the twilight, so the port moonrise won.

harvest moon

harvest moon

moon

The sky seemed to get lighter as the big moon rose.

moon

 

moonlight path

moonlight path

Allan’s photos:

moon

Allan did the best job of getting the moon's face.  (We both have dinky cameras.)

Allan did the best job of getting the moon’s face. (We both have dinky cameras.)

higher

higher

and higher still

over the tidal flat

over the tidal flat

moonlight on the water

moonlight on the water between the port and Stringtown Road

And then, home….to pick some eggplants, as the edible harvest continues.

another little harvest

another little harvest

These are the first eggplants I have ever grown.  I hope they were picked at the right stage.  Allan has prepared them according to Joy of Cooking while I wrote this, and now it is time to eat them.!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, September 18

I was so sure that autumnal weather had arrived that we took with us three Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’, thinking we would have nice cool weather in which to plant them.  Pounding rain on the roof and outside the window last night had been a soothing prelude to sleep.  In the morning, Allan heard rain and turned his alarm off, thinking we could sleep in.  Then the bright sun came in the windows.

By the time we got to Klipsan Beach Cottages to start working, the weather was back to a hot summer day, so the Ilex just went for a ride and came back home again.

They got taken for a ride.

They got taken for a ride.

The sky was so blue.  At KBC, behind one particular tree, I often notice the sky looking bluer than anywhere else.

the bluest spot

the bluest spot

This reminds me of being a child, in a hammock, in a garden belonging to a friend of my grandmother’s, looking up at the sky and thinking I was right under the center of it.  Surrounded by a garden, that was one of the moments when I fell in love with gardening and wanted to create such a paradise for myself.

looking up at the blue spot

looking up at the blue spot

The rest of the sky was cloudless but just not as blue!

Hydrangea 'Izu No Hana'...speaking of blue...

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’…speaking of blue…

Denny’s high school reunion group is coming this weekend, a tradition started a few years ago when they surprised him with Mary’s help.  He attended a small high school and had not been able to attend their reunions because of his work managing KBC, so now they come to him.

We looked for ways to make the garden look extra good at this time of year and I hit upon putting a sharp edge on Mary’s border, the one we made her for a birthday present several years back.

before

before

after

after

Garden writer Anne Wareham wrote in The Bad Tempered Gardener about how much she dislikes crisp edges between grass and a garden bed.  I don’t think she would like any of my gardens much, but I do like hers.

Schizostylis at KBC

Schizostylis at KBC

Mary's favourite rose, Jude the Obscure, against the blue, blue sky

Mary’s favourite rose, Jude the Obscure, against the blue, blue sky

another excellent rose, whose name I wish I knew...

another excellent rose, whose name I wish I knew…

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ is blooming up high over the greenhouse.  Every year it amuses me all to bits with its little coreopsis flowers so high up in the air.

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower' way up there

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ way up there

Last week, apparently I did a lousy job of trimming the Strobilanthes atropurpureus and left little stubs.

If I did this, for shame...

If I did this, for shame…

better...

better…

We checked on the garden at Oman Builders Supply and trimmed a few deadheads off the Eryisimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and I failed to photograph the gaps that still bothers me where someone stole the Eryngium plants  in full bloom earlier this year.

At Wiegardt Gallery, I was struck as usual by how good the ornamental grasses look in the lawn.

This miscanthus has such a nice flowing shape.

This miscanthus has such a nice flowing shape.

the gallery from the street through Stipa gigantea

the gallery from the street through Stipa gigantea

and over the top of Miscanthus

and over the top of Miscanthus

looking west to the gallery sign

looking west to the gallery sign

Also am very fond of this Sanguisorba.

Also am very fond of this Sanguisorba.

Even though it was hard to photograph in the bright and rather uncomfortably hot sun, the bad aster that escaped my pulling now looks nice with the Schizostylis in bloom.

late bloomers

late bloomers

As soon as the aster is done, I’ll be trying to pull it all out again but will for sure miss a few pink roots.

Three hours at Andersen’s RV Park ended the work day.  My mind boggles with the endless deadheading of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’.  A little jingle runs through my head as I cut about 25 deadheads each off of 20 large plants:  I’m so very very very very tired of it all, so very very tired of it all.  Where this ditty came from I have no idea, but I find myself humming it every autumn in that awkward couple of weeks before real fall project season revives my interest.

The RV park was full with lots of happy people walking cute dogs.  That helped get me through the two hours of deadheading (cosmos and sweet peas, too); the hour of weeding was not so bad.  We were pleased to see longtime staffers Ruth and Bob back for a couple of weeks.  (Hi, Ruth!!)

andersen's

Andersen’s west side, now devoid of poppy flowers

Again, the asters that I failed to eradicate now look wonderful.   By pulling as many as I can in the spring and early summer, we seem to end up with the perfect amount in the fall.

wild blue aster

wild blue aster looking like deliberate bouquets

I bet if I planted a nice clumping aster like ‘Harrington’s Pink’, the roving deer would eat it.

Andersen’s owner Lorna says the Schizostylis makes her very happy in the fall.

Schizostylis

Schizostylis at Andersen’s

I heard a tip once in a seminar by Dan Hinkley:  That this plant will not run all over the place if it is in a damp spot.  He said that if it is running rampant, it’s looking for water.  This nice clump is well watered and is behaving itself.  In South Africa, it grows on river banks.  Wikipedia informs me it is called Hesperantha now.  When did that happen??

Because the days are shorter, we were home before seven.  I find that to be absolute bliss.  I still had time to pick a bowl of tasty small tomatoes from the greenhouse, and Allan mowed the lawn.  It seemed to me he was mowing in the dark, but he said he could follow the mower’s tire tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, September 16, 2013

I was so sure that we were going to get a rain day off that I was completely flummoxed when Monday was nice enough for working.  (We do work in rain, but if we don’t have to, we don’t!)   At first I could not even figure out where to go, but then I remembered a pruning project at The Anchorage Cottages.

I forgot to take a before...so here is a during.

I forgot to take a before…so here is a during.

I pruned the Viburnum in the center courtyard with a bit of pruning of the Ceanothus as well.  I actually picked up a handful of old leaves from under the Viburnum to see if the annoying odor that comes from the Viburnum when wet emanates from the old leaves.  NOPE.  Just from the plant in general, apparently!

after

after

Allan’s project was to tackle the sweet woodruff in a shady north wall border.

before and after

before and after

All summer long a broken paver in this area has bugged me.  A sudden tiny brainstorm occurred today:

install the paver as a half circle!  leaving off the broken piece.

install the paver as a half circle! leaving off the broken piece.

Allan put the river rock in there and it helps make it look nicer.

I am not against all groundcovers, just certain ones (sweet woodruff and the horrible aegepodium, to name two.)  On the other side the north wall garden, I quite like the big patches of Geranium macrorrhizum.

a good groundcover, in my opinion

a good groundcover, in my opinion

By the office, Allan removed several clumps of Stella D’Oro daylilies.  I’ve gone off them, too!  Poor plants…

will put in something much better

will put in something much better

Next project here will be to mulch with cow fiber, which must be done on a Monday just to be sure any stink is gone by the weekend.   I don’t think cow fiber has any bad odor but someone might be able to smell faint eau de poo.

We dropped the debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply.  Their U-Pick Dahlia garden has some lovely blooms.

dahlias and oyster shells

dahlias and oyster shells

To fill out the day, I remembered the beach strawberry removal project at the courtyard garden beds at Golden Sands Assisted Living.

Now that the sprinklers are working, we can really begin to address the weeding.  The strawberries can stay outside the landscape timbers.  Inside, they get up in the business of the other plants and have to go away.

progress in SW quadrant

progress in SW quadrant

horrible NW quadrant weeding must wait till next week as we ran out of daylight.

horrible NW quadrant weeding must wait till next week as we ran out of daylight.

Throughout the beds we have to rogue out all the tiny little scabiosa seedlings or they will take over.

haze of self sown seedlings

haze of self sown seedlings

One more session of weeding and maybe we will be ready for more mulch at Golden Sands!

I am pleased to report that outside the quadrants, the roses that were so dry and unhappy are leafing out and blooming thanks to the repaired sprinkler system (fixed by Raymond Millner from The Planter Box).

a much happier rose

a much happier rose

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We had another slow start due to weather but at least I knew where we were going.   The first job was Mayor Mike’s  weeding.

Schizostylis at Mike's garden

Schizostylis at Mike’s garden

Next, a compost bucket switch at Olde Towne Trading Post Café where an old birdhouse awaits the right buyer.

very nice

very nice

Some gardens down at the Port got weeded next.  I am very pleased with how well these are holding up and how relatively low maintenance they have proved to be.

Port office, south side

Port office, south side

Such a beautiful view we see when we turn from the garden and look at the water.

beautiful clouds over the marina

beautiful clouds over the marina

We deadheaded at The Depot Restaurant and then nipped round the corner and did a little work at Crank’s Roost.   I know, I said we had made our last visit there, and made a big dramatic goodbye post, and then another goodbye post, but it still needs the occasional deadheading!   When the new owners totally take over, we will be done.  (Nothing against them, but we are sentimental about liking the previous/current owner and we can’t imagine the job without her!)  It is very possible the new owners will do their own gardening.

Crank's Roost daisies, before..

Crank’s Roost daisies, before..

and after deadheading

and after deadheading

For some reason, this cute Crank’s Roost chair looks like a little fairy chair, but I am sure it is full sized!  Or is it?

a sit spot

a sit spot

After Crank’s we went to the Ilwaco boatyard to work till sunset.  The one long section, south of the gate, that we had not finished the other day looked good until one got close up and saw all the pesky creeping sorrel.

creeping sorrel

creeping sorrel at ground level…  the leaves taste like lemon!

While we were working, I saw a man walking up the block toward us stopping to photograph many plants.  He introduced himself as a visitor from a town near Purdy, here to go fishing, a gardener and former chef.  We had an enjoyable conversation about plants and I hope he will find this blog and send us a Facebook friend request.

boatyard garden, end of day

boatyard garden, end of day

Working late has its benefits as we got to see a moonrise and some glowing pre-sunset clouds.

moonrise over Jessie's Fish Co

moonrise over Jessie’s Fish Co

clouds over Baker Bay

clouds over Baker Bay

and more glowing clouds over the boatyard

and more glowing clouds over the boatyard

It promised to be quite a sunset, but we were tired so went home, went indoors, and I have to admit I forgot to even look out the window later to see the pinkest time of the sky!

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After the Cannon Beach Cottage Tour, we stopped on our way home at Back Alley Gardens and The Natural Nook.  Although it was past closing time, we got to peruse the new plant purchases and autumn displays in this delightful collectors nursery located in Gearhart, Oregon.

It must be (almost) autumn!

It must be (almost) autumn!

plant tables

plant tables

pretty little faces of autumn

pretty little faces of autumn

more cool plants from Xera

more cool plants from Xera

It definitely saved me money that the cash register was closed out because…just look at that little hot pink flower!   They also had some Salvia clevelandii ‘Aromas’…at least that is what I called it back when I had a late blooming sage with intensely fragrant leaves.

a planted potbelly stove

a planted potbelly stove

love the way these have decided to grow on the edge of the plant display table

love the way these have decided to grow on the edge of the plant display table

garden art

garden art

We had a pleasant visit and some good plant talk and stories of public gardening and then Allan and I were on our way.  Crossing the Astoria Megler bridge, a construction stop let us get a great view of the ships.

looking east from the bridge

looking east from the bridge

ship and Astoria

ship and Astoria

stairs at the highest part of the bridge!

stairs at the highest part of the bridge!

Looking northwest, we saw the Peninsula had become almost invisible because of a heavy bank of fog and clouds.  I hoped for a rainy Sunday so I could spend the day blogging about the cottage tour.

toward home

toward home

north on the four mile bridge

north on the four mile bridge

And the rainy day that I wanted is exactly what I got!

I took exactly one photo on Sunday the 15th of the rain out my south window.  I was able to write all day and avoid falling days behind again while posting about the cottage tour.

Sunday rain

Sunday rain; love the big pink cosmos in the garden boat

If I am lucky, Monday will be rainy as well and instead of blogging I just might catch up on paperwork.

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