Archive for Feb, 2014

With Allan in Seattle, I enjoyed almost complete solitude for two days and evenings. My friends who enjoy that sort of thing will understand. However, I also missed two good weather work days. At least I made it five doors down for some spring clean up on Larry and Robert’s garden.


In order to blog with no Internet, I took photos with my phone rather than my camera.

The hydrangea and a few perennials needed clipping.

Iris ‘Katharine Hodgekin’
I walked to the post office for two irresistible reasons: to keep our Netflix queue moving and to get the weekly paper. There I found, in our volunteer garden, the first tulip of the year.

I hope patrons are noticing the tiny bulbs.



On the walk back home, a photo of Larry and Robert’s garden boat.


I thought I’d get the afternoon indoors. Good weather kept me out.

Below: tiny narcissi in a Basket Case gift basket that keeps on giving.


I checked out the water level in the bogsy wood.






Lots of medium to small branches came down with the wind.


A spontaneous decision resulted in a lot of edging in the front garden. If the wind returned, sod would keep the wheelie bin from blowing over.




I’d get rid of that grassy point if it did not help with the visual flow into the next green path.




Another beautiful day! No reading allowed except during lunch and breakfast.

The poor wind beaten rosemary plants needed clipping. One was totally dead.


I saw the first nose of a lily poking up so sluggo had to be administered throughout the garden beds.


Standing water in the bogsy wood got in the way of pruning one hydrangea. The gear shed neighbors had given me a crab pot sculpture backdrop.



I may have lost my lovely variegated pittosporum. What a shame. I will hope it revives.

I took a little sit down break to make this entry. It goes faster on the phone because the options are fewer. Tonight: Dinner out with Kathleen. Allan will return with delicious provisions from Trader Joe’s. If i am very lucky, he will have found me a Stachyurus praecox from a Seattle nursery. Tomorrow we will probably get our internet problem sorted. (Division of labour: i write the blog, he makes the tech calls.) Now: back outside for more weeding. I should walk to the east end of the port gardens and work there but the idea of doing so with a bucket and no work trailer is too tiring.

I’ll add a photo of dinner later on as I am sure it will be a happy memory.

Dinner at the Forty Second Street was wonderful.



Soup of cranberry, apples and champagne !!!


Kathleen’s salmon:


And my jambalaya.


Best of all, we may soon be celebrating Kathleen acquiring a cottage which will allow her to visit here more often.


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With Allan on a brief trip to Seattle till tomorrow, how can I blog with our household Internet mysteriously down? I turn to the phone app.

Yesterday, Garden Tour Nancy and I had lunch at The Cove Restaurant to discuss the lineup of gardens for the. 2014 Music in the Gardens Tour. She already has a selection of local gardens in mind for July 19th tour day.

But how to add the photos from my camera? I know, I’ll use my phone to take photos of the camera display.


The view during a brief break in the storm:


The tasty items we consumed:


amaryllis by the restaurant entrance:



At home, I returned to reading after a brief walk into the garden to see just how bogsy was the bogsy wood.

Pretty bogsy.



In the evening I watched Sunshine Superman, a three hour documentary about Donovan. I expected to be bored and jaded. Instead I was reminded of all the reasons I had been infatuated with this flowery soul. In fact, I had a few misty eyed moments and remembered what it felt like to believe that the love of flowers could change the world. I remember my broken 15 year old heart when Donovan married Linda; he was supposed to wait for me.

In my 20s I converted to punk rock but still retained the love of flowers. The part of me that isn’t cynical is still moved and inspired:


“There’s only one thing in the end, and that’s singing truth in a pleasant way.” -Donovan

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Monday, 17 February 2014

A typical weather-affected workday ensued when the day ended up, at noon-ish, being more pleasant than we expected. So much for finishing my book and starting another. We headed up to the police station in Long Beach to cut down the white rugosa roses on the south side, hoping for four hours of working weather.

police station, before

police station, before

A light drizzle had begun by the time we got there, and within ten minutes of rose cutting, wind and rain made the job so miserable that we aborted and grocery shopped at the store in Seaview on the way home.

By the time we took the groceries into our house, the sky had cleared so back to Long Beach we went. The backing and forthing can seem like such a frustrating waste of time.

before, again

before, again

and finally, after

and finally, after

While Allan did the sweeping up, I tidied the little park behind Lewis and Clark Square just to the south. We popped over then to the “big pop out” on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

the BIG pop out

the BIG pop out

Allan starts to chop the so-called dwarf pampas grass

Allan starts to chop the so-called dwarf pampas grass

I clipped rugosa roses from all along the edge and brooded about how rampantly the rose runs. Never again would I plant it. The wind kicked up, and the woman who owns nearby Banana Books walked by with her dog and offered us tea. So sweet! But I told her we would be leaving in twenty minutes and declined the kind offer so we could focus on the job. She promised us tea sometime in the future, saying how much she appreciated our work and adding that she loves the roses. I felt better hearing that.

after or...as far as we got.

after or…as far as we got.

The garden is still weedy, and I want us to take a pick all around the edges to get some of the rose roots out. We got them pushed to the back to the garden last year and yet they had come out to hang over the edge again. I wish we could take a big scoop and get them all out and start over with a nice collection of rock garden plants. Dianthus, armeria, and darling little buns and tufts would be such a delight. The roses, however, are bound to win.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the Peninsula in Marilyn’s garden (where we have not been yet this year), Marilyn’s daughter Nancy has been taking photos of certain goings on.

"Who's that in my garden?"

“Who’s that in my garden?”

"Who's that on the porch??"

“Who’s that on the porch??”

eyeing the back door

eyeing the back door

Another storm is predicted, and I am now one day ahead on the blog, so I hope to be back to reading on Tuesday.

I may have achieved a blog entry with only one exclamation point. In the book I’m reading, Eating the Dinosaur, in a chapter about tv shows with canned laughter, Chuck Klosterman writes:

“If you’ve spent any time trolling the blogosphere, you’ve probably noticed a peculiar literary trend: the pervasive habit of writers inexplicably placing exclamation points at the end of otherwise unremarkable sentences. Sort of like this! It’s supposed to suggest ironic detachment from the writing of an expository sentence! It’s supposed to signify that the writer is self-aware! And this is idiotic. It’s the saddest kind of failure. F. Scott Fitzgerald believed inserting exclamation points was the literary equivalent of an author laughing at his own jokes, but that’s not the case in the modern age; now the exclamation point signifies crative confusion …. It’s an attempt to insert humour where none exists, on the off chance that a potential reader will only be pleased if they suspect they are being entertained. Of course, the reader isn’t really sure, either. They just want to know when they’re supposed to pretend that they’re amused. All those extraneous exclamation points are like little splatters of canned laughter.”

Oh dear. Exclamation points in texting, Facebook chit chat, and other people’s blogs are fine with me. Here, my exclamation points had already been worrying me almost as much as overuse of the word “but”. I am guilty. Guilty, I say! And there’s one more.

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Sunday, 16 February 2014

I woke to disconcerting bright sun much much too early on Sunday and fretted for a couple of hours, in a sleepy daze, about whether or not it was a work day. By the time I could fully open my eyes, a drizzle began. Whew, I really had not been in the work mood.

During breakfast, I perused a new library book:

Gardening in Miniature

Gardening in Miniature

Oh, the word MINIATURE always brings back the pain of when I was the last of two contestants in the sixth grade spelling bee, and my opponent, a supercilious young fellow, became the winner when I spelled MINITURE.

But back to the book. It’s full of charming photos, of which these are but a small sampling:







I felt deeply inspired by the realization that a miniature landscape could be so nicely incorporated into a grouping of medium and large containers. The author has an online shop with all sorts of miniature gardening supplies and plants, and a Facebook page.

The sun showed itself again and I wondered if I had to go to work after all. A walk into my own garden would be a good test of the weather.

hellebore outside our front door

hellebore outside our front door

Fatsia 'Spider's Web' in Allan's garden

Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’ in Allan’s garden

Glumicalyx goseloides

Glumicalyx goseloides

I am so pleased that the Glumicalyx (nodding chocolate flower) that I got from Back Alley Gardens has proved to be so very hardy!

Saturday’s wind had brought down lots of small branches.

storm fall

storm fall

Ah, joy. The sky grew darker and the wind picked up considerably as I rounded the corner into the back yard, so no work today.

noisy crows gathered in the bogsy wood

Noisy crows gathered in the bogsy wood.
crocuses in the back garden

crocuses in the back garden

Watering in the green house, I was happily reminded that I have several small plants just waiting to be planted that would be excellent in a miniature landscape.



Later in the day, we were surprised to not lose power as the wind gusted up to 63 mph just southwest of us at Cape Disappointment. I failed to have a complete reading day as I had to boot up the computer to do the work spreadsheet and a mid-month email billing. I then chose to work on my blog (“before we lose power’), and the usual electronic addiction set in and I had to mess about with iPhoto, “work” on my Facebook pages, pin some images from my blog to Pinterest, recover from a maddening “kernel panic” crash of the computer, etc. After another six hour episode of time-frittering, I finally got back to my pop culture book (Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman)…just until Downtown Abbey.

(Just as Klosterman advised non football fans to not read the chapter about football, I advise that garden blog readers might want to stop here! When work season kicks in, the books reports will peter out.)

I enjoyed the chapter about time travel, skipped another sports chapter about baseball, or was it basketball? except for an interesting thought about the large amount of money made by sports players…and Britney Spears: “A person like Britney Spears surrenders her privacy and her integrity and the rights to her own person, and in exchange we give her huge sums of money. But she still doesn’t earn a fraction of what she warrants in a free-trade cultural economy. If Britney Spears were paid $1 for every time a self-loathing stranger used her as a surrogate for his own failure, she would outearn Warren Buffet in three months.” While I am sure we all feel that’s debatable, it reminded me of something I had recently read of and had not watched: Celebrities reading insulting tweets from fans. One of the first things I learned on the internet was how scary it can be, when in a seemingly innocuous garden group on Onelist (now Yahoogroups) I came under attack by name for saying (in a thread proposing that all women should use pink tools because women are incompetent at building things) that I wish girls had been allowed to take shop when I attended high school, and that I hoped younger generations of girls had learned the useful skills that were kept away from us. A string of vociferous “Feminazi” and worse insults in a new thread titled with MY OWN NAME persuaded me that it would be better to not use my real name online. On the blessedly rare occasions that I’ve been a target for online wrath, it helps when it’s under a pseudonym.

Back to Eating the Dinosaur. I recommend the chapter called ‘Through a Glass, Blindly’ with its references to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. And oh, how I love this: “Since the end of WWII, every generation of American children has been endlessly conditioned to believe that their lives are supposed to be great–a meaningful life is just not possible but required. …A compelling life is supposed to be spontaneous and unpredictable–any artistic depiction of someone who does the same thing every day portrays that character as tragically imprisoned (January Jones on Mad Men, Ron Livingston in Office Space, the lyrics to ‘Eleanor Rigby’… Well…here, here is the whole page.


On page 104, Klosterman refers to Rob (“Love is a Mix Tape”) Sheffield as “supernaturally brilliant”. This ties together the books I’ve read recently, and I like that. It makes life seem more meaningful.




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Valentine’s Day was an event we pretty much forgot about till the end of the day when I saw all the flutter about it on Facebook.  I got a text in the evening from our friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) asking if we had found the gift on our front porch.  We had come in the back door so had not!  We were touched to find two roses and some chocolates.


charming first bouquet of 2014

Saturday, 15 February 2014

That storm, the one we had been waiting for through three work days, finally arrived.  I did not set foot outdoors all day, although I did observe from the windows.

looking south

looking south

looking west

looking west from my room

Above, from the only west facing window in the house, you can see the top of the tarped water pump trailer that we don’t use because bucket watering the Ilwaco planters is twice as fast.  And you can see how close the house of my loved and now gone neighbour Nora is, and the security light which plagues my insomniac nights.  This view is a concern to me because I am so aware of the impact a future neighbour will have.  What if someone puts up a basketball hoop?  Or plays loud music in the garage?  (Classic rock would be the worst, or country!)  I would have to somehow redesign the whole house to sleep at the other end.

The best design solution I have come up with is to build a shed.  Its west wall would have to start about halfway back in the debris pile (which would not be there if I had a neighbour right now).  Perhaps it could be tall enough to block the light.  But what if we could buy the house, or a friend could buy it, then it might be fun to have a garden in between?  It’s a dilemma, and one I don’t think has to be resolved for at least another year.

The northwest window shows the deep puddle that forms on Lake Street right outside our little driveway.

"Lake" Street

“Lake” Street, as our utility trailer waits for brighter days

the northeast window....Only a few crocuses are showing colour yet.

the northeast window…I’ll cut that cardoon down soon!

the east living room window, a pretty picture with Hamamelis in bloom.

the east living room window, a pretty picture with Hamamelis in bloom. (yellow, center, with a raindrop!)

kitchen window with dogwood, one of the few original plants in our garden

kitchen window with dogwood, one of the few original plants in our garden

from Allan's window, looking east

from Allan’s window, looking east

Robins pecked around in the moss.

Robins pecked around in the moss.

We are promised several days now of wind followed by rain…perfect reading weather.


Saturday, I finished Imperfect Harmony by Stacy Horn.  Her memoir, Waiting for My Cats To Die: A Morbid Memoir is my favourite memoir ever.  I read it in 2008, I believe.  Perhaps my favourite theme is her realization that she is not likely to travel and have adventures away from home because she does not want to leave her cats!  I also love her memoir Cyberville: Clicks, Culter, and the Creation of an Online Town.  She created a social internet haven long before Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook, and dealt in microcosm with the same situations that we find in any online community.  I realize I must own both of these books so I just ordered them.

Ms. Horn is sort of obsessed with death.  I can relate.  In Imperfect Harmony, I found some comfort in her words.



I also love the way that even in this book about choral singing, she includes her own inner pain.


(Her two greatest pleasures are researching and writing books and singing.)

While I feel she is my angsty soul sister in “doubt, self-loathing, and fear”, I can’t put all my own similar angst into this blog.  I would feel too uncomfortable, working in Long Beach, to have passersby honking or calling hello while knowing they had read about some inner trauma from the day before.  ( My life usually potters along fairly placidly, but sometimes…not so much.)

The memoir reminded me of how much I used to love to sing.  I was in Glee Club in Junior High and a briefly little folk group in high school, and plagued my friend Mary by singing and singing when we spent time together.  Mary and I started a little duet of singing and guitar strumming.  I think we were ahead of our time with a couple of exuberantly shouted songs.  If the punk era had arrived by then, we might have been a hit!  One fateful day, though, my dad, who had been a nightclub crooner in his youth, overheard us and said “You are REALLY FLAT!”  Instantly I felt self conscious about singing and I think I gave it up shortly thereafter.  I’m not that easily discouraged, but he was right, and I couldn’t figure out how not to be flat.

After finishing Horn’s deeply beautiful and educational memoir, I turned to a new favourite author, Rob (Love is a Mix Tape) Sheffield.


This second of his three memoirs goes back to his teenage years and informed me that my taste was more “what boys liked” since I prefer the Clash to Duran Duran.


Hmm, who knew?

I enjoyed every chapter and I do hope he is working on a fourth memoir or a novel.

I then turned to another favourite author, Nick Hornby (who wrote the novel High Fidelity on which a great movie is based), and read the second-to-latest book in his series about what he has read.


Since I have resolved to do more reading and less talking, I especially liked the title.

I found in his review of Austerity Britain this excellent passage about the NHS in Britain:


and to further complicate finding enough reading time, I ended up with a list of many more books to read, all reviewed and recommended by Mr. Hornby.

to read...

to read…

I thought maybe Patti Smith had written a sequel to Just Kids, but apparently not.  I loved that Hornby bought (but did not review) one of my favourite novels of my 20s, The Waterfall by Margaret Drabble, and that he reviewed Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer, reminding me to check whether or not she has written anything I have not already read.  I have tried and failed to enjoy Muriel Spark’s writing and am inspired now to try again.  Dodie Smith wrote I Capture the Castle, one of my favourite novels of all time.  I have read it at least four times.  Please Kill Me is about punk rock.  I’ve had The Psychopath Test on another list of books to read for quite some time…and so on.  So I had better get back to my comfy chair and the book I started at bath time last night (Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman, recommended by Rob Sheffield).

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Friday, 14 February 2014

Where is the storm? We have been expecting it for the past three days. I’m in the middle of a good book and looking forward to a couple of windy, rainy reading days, and yet here came another work day. The up side? I think we got ALL the public gardens checked on before the three day weekend! We started at Andersen’s RV Park, pruning hydrangeas and cutting back perennials. I tackled the garden on the east side of the house.

hydrangeas on east side of house, before

hydrangeas on east side of house, before



Inside the hydrangeas some clumps of moss adhered to the trunks.


and were more than just mysterious mossy growths:

precious bird nest!

precious bird nest!



The picket fence garden had held up well after its end of season weeding and mulching except for one messy section by the birdbath.

picket fence garden...Wait, what's wrong with the birdbath?

picket fence garden…Wait, what’s wrong with the birdbath?

The birdbath had cracked some years ago and I had planted sedums in it. Now it is truly a goner. We could put a big terra cotta saucer on the base, perhaps.

tidied up a bit

tidied up a bit

I was so pleased that owner Lorna’s one patch of Hellebore is about to bloom…

fat hellebore buds

fat hellebore buds (left and right)

Yesterday at Anchorage Cottages and the day before at Klipsan Beach Cottages I found Hellebores turned to mush by the freeze.

In the raised bed on the east wall, those tall…snowdroppy things are blooming. They are not Galanthus. Are they Leucojum?

Too tall to be Galanthus....

Too tall to be Galanthus….

If Leucojum blooms in February, why the heck is its common name “Summer Snowflake”??

Meanwhile, Allan worked on the west side garden, clipping Sedum ‘Autumn Joy. and ornamental grasses.

west side garden

west side garden

After seeing how quiet the park is and learning there is no big club due in until March, we decided not to do a deep weeding yet. The weeds would be back by mid March and we feel that would just waste our client’s money when few are there to see it. So a light tidying up was the order of the day.

after...still a bit weedy with the so accursed couch grass!

after…still a bit weedy with the so accursed couch grass!

One of the staff had been looking for a project and was happy to take on the cutting back of the rugosa roses!

Rob pitches in to the rose patch!

A helper pitches in to the rose patch!

He got a lot done while we were there, including digging some roses out from the sidewalk edge…and he learned how easy it is to crack an old shovel on those darn roses.

partway through.  Why must rugosa roses be such runners!!?

partway through. Why must rugosa roses be such runners!!?

There is little in bloom yet here, mainly because I can’t grow crocus well in this garden due to pesky voles. The Narcissi are impervious to voles and are coming on strong with a few about to bloom.

one freakishly early anemone in the Payson Hall planters...

one freakishly early anemone in the Payson Hall planters…

and many narcissi by Payson Hall

and narcissi getting started by Payson Hall

Astounded to get done at Andersen’s by mid afternoon, we decided to go do some clean up at Long Beach City Hall. First, I remembered two tatty looking escallonias to cut down in a planter by Scooper’s ice cream shop.

before and after

before and after

Back when the planters were done by volunteers, several of them were planted with full sized escallonia ‘Pink Princess’! (WHY?) They would like to be 18 feet tall and I am tired of the constant clipping, so am hoping by cutting them down HARD they will give me a year’s respite. I believe they will come back nice and low, even though ultimately they will still want to be huge.

Before we started on city hall, I was irresistably drawn to Pink Poppy Bakery, now located just across the street.


inside the bakery

inside the bakery

Then Allan tackled the west side of City Hall and I went to trim plants in a street planter and on the other side of City Hall.


before (one escallonia, to the right, was cut hard last fall)

I have no one but myself to blame for the two escallonias there that want to get too big. At least they will have space, after being cut down, to grow for about three years before they need cutting again! Both looked severely frost and wind blasted..and the ornamental grasses needed a trim.



Allan said that while he was working on the west side, someone introduced herself as a “secret admirer” and reader of this blog. She gave him a cookie from Pink Poppy Bakery asked for a plant ID! If you are reading this, I can tell you that the plant you asked about is Echinops (blue globe thistle).

On the north side of city hall bloomed two sets of flowers:

a Hellebore, looking almost artificial

a Hellebore, looking almost artificial…I wish there were three of these!

and a dusky pale rose double primrose

and a dusky pale rose double primrose

We also cleaned up “Peggy’s Park”, a small memorial garden on the east side of the building.

Peggy's Park

Peggy’s Park

Amazingly, we got our load of Long Beach debris dumped and still had more than an hour of daylight. What to do? I had to look at my list of jobs to refresh my memory. Ah…The Boreas Inn could use a cleanup, especially since I knew that the Inn was full for the three day weekend. It still looked quite good from last fall and just needed some frost-dead lavenders pulled (those Spanish lavenders are not very hardy) and of course the Autumn Joy cut.

Boreas, looking west from next to the hot tub hut.

Boreas, looking west from next to the hot tub hut.

Oh, that Phormium! It looks awful close up…

Every single blade looks awful!

Every single blade looks awful!



Have I ever mentioned how leathery and hard to cut each blade of Phormium is? The peninsula dump does not even want it mixed with yard waste because it binds up their giant chipper-shredder. I do hope this is the year I can convince Susie to get rid of this plant, and that she can find someone young and strong to pull it out.

Boreas Inn, looking east from the beach path

Boreas Inn, looking east from the beach path

Again, where is the storm? The Port flagpole has two storm flags flying, the forecast calls for strong wind, and has called for rain and wind for the past three days, and yet it has been pleasant and almost windless working weather.

gale warning...but when??

gale warning…but when??

I missed the sunset. Allan saw it while unhooking the utility trailer and took this photo looking west on Lake Street.

photo (3)_2

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

The predicted storm held off.   We were able to get three more public garden projects accomplished before the big Presidents Day weekend tourist crowd.

Before we left home, I admired a whole new set of crocus that had opened up in the front garden.


crocus in the shade

and nearby, in the sun!

and nearby, wide open in the sun!

We got to the Depot Restaurant and Allan plunged right in to cutting down ornamental grasses.





Although the bright sun washed out the photo, I am pleased to report that the rosemary in the kitchen garden has greened up over the winter.  Last fall, I was having trouble with them turning brown, and I treated them with lime, iron-safe and magnesium sulfate…so not sure which worked.

nice and green

nice and green

Meanwhile, I thinned the Leycesteria (Himalayan Honeysuckle) of thick old trunks with dead on the ends.

before and after

before and after, north side of deck

I kept on weeding and clipping while Allan dug out a Phormium that had gotten all rotten and easy to remove.  Yay, one more gone!  Years ago, someone had planted it by the walkway to the kitchen where its sharp blades poked passersby. We had shoved it into the corner of the north side garden.   Now it is gone for good.



after and good riddance!

after and good riddance!

I was sorry to see another large plant go.  The Cistus on the east dining room window was so battered by cold that we removed it.  The future benefit will be more room to plant cosmos (or something else that will bloom all summer under the window).  I am a broken record when it comes to using cosmos everywhere.  The advantage of having an annual there is that the window wall will be able to air out in the winter and spring!

one sad Cistus (to the left is Lonicera nitida 'Baggeson's Gold')

one sad Cistus (to the left is Lonicera nitida ‘Baggeson’s Gold’)

and it's gone....

and it’s gone….

I had to seriously chop the Dierama (Angel’s Fishing Rod) to the left of this area.  Sometimes it comes through the winter nice and green but not the cold snaps that we had this winter.

Dierama:  I hope it comes back.

Dierama: I hope it comes back.

While we were working, our friend and brilliant carpenter Bill Clearman stopped for a brief chat.  (Hello to his wife, Carol!)


We stashed the debris under a tree in the Depot office’s back yard for picking up later.  Just before we left, I thought of checking the window boxes by the entrance.  The willow twigs I stuck in there for winter interest are starting to flower!

pussy willows!

pussy willows! (with gold and redtwig dogwood and with bulb foliage)

Next, we tackled several spots in Long Beach town.

The hydrangeas needed pruning in the park kitty corner from the police station.  While Allan started on them, I walked a block south to avail myself of the Fifth Street restroom.  (I look forward to the public restroom next to the police station re-opening; it was driven into by a car last fall, fortunately with no one inside the stalls at the time!)  While at the Fifth Street park, I got some photos featuring Captain Bob’s Chowder.  It will be the featured restaurant on the next Peninsula Cash Mob (February 22nd).

Captain Bob's Chowder

Captain Bob’s Chowder

While I was taking the above photo, Charlene (a regular reader of this blog) drove up and we had a chat about gardening.  It astounds me the blog does not bore these regulars as it goes through the same rounds or work year after year!  Thanks, Charlene!  She noticed the crocuses.  I am so glad we got this park cleaned up of last year’s leftovers in order to show off these tiny flowers.

lots of crocuses in Fifth Street Park are enjoying the  sun.

lots of crocuses in Fifth Street Park are enjoying the sun.


There are also some nice little displays of crocuses in the street planters, but not as many snowdrops as I would like to see…just one here and there.  Have they come and gone while we were staycationing?

crocuses in a planter

crocuses in a planter

Back in the next park to the north, I helped Allan finish the hydrangeas.  The job was enlivened by a visit from an adorable, soft, and friendly springer spaniel (too wiggly and happy to photograph).  “She’s friendly,” said her person, as the dog leaned against me for a chest rub.

before and after

before and after

We cleaned up the narrow garden bed at Veterans Field.  I am expecting many red, white and blue bulbs to bloom here soon.  I do hope passing deer do not devour the tulips.

Veterans Field, almost dormant

Veterans Field, almost dormant

I optimistically cut back rather than pulled the Salvias from last year; I really do not think they will come back, except for ‘May Night’, which has good basal leaves.

My real mission for the day had been to cut ferns at the pond by Pacific Realty.  I was starting to wonder if we would even get there, as we also needed to check on The Anchorage Cottages.  On the way to dump our very full load of debris, I got further distracted by the pocket garden kitty corner from the Chinook Observer office at the east end of Bolstadt.  Oh, how I wanted to cut back the horrid Lithodora.  (I didn’t plant it; it dates back to before I started doing the Long Beach job.)







The lithodora is still in there and WILL come back…unfortunately. In the center is a tatty Iberis (evergreen candytuft) that is going to get sternly chopped after it blooms.

and after

and after

I pulled the santolinas from the center front; they had gotten so old and woody, despite being clipped each year, that they came right out.

a very old plant of one of my favourite perennials...yanked

a very old plant of one of my favourite perennials…yanked (mixed with Sedum deadheads)

While we were working on this bed, taxi driver Theresa stopped by to chat about plants.  She wants Scilla (the rampant bluebell) so she will be the recipient of Scilla bulbs we thin in gardens that are over run with them!

After divesting ourself of debris at the city works yard, we finally got to the pond.

The pond is just south of our favourite shop, NIVA green.

The pond is just south of our favourite shop, NIVA green.

While Allan chopped the ferns, I clipped some Autumn Joy in the planters to the north, and our friend J9 showed up and chatted with me while I worked.  If Allan had not remembered to take before and after photos of the pond project, I would have had none.





We are missing the photo I always take of Allan poised over the pond…so here is last year’s.

Heron Pond

Heron Pond

Every year it’s the same, and so far he has never fallen in.  He must have been feeling older this year, as he did bring a change of clothes, just in case!   If you timed it right, you could see all the excitement on the Heron Cam.

Amazingly, we had accomplished so much and still had time to do one more job.  We made another quick run to the city works dump spot and then made our first appearance of the year at Anchorage Cottages.  There was not much going on in early bloom.

a viola

a viola here and there



The first hint of Pulmonaria flowers (aka "spotted dog" or lungwort)

The first hint of Pulmonaria flowers (aka “spotted dog” or lungwort)

I expect more from spring, and then have to remind myself it is only February,  Clearly, I need to plant more crocuses here.  And where are the snow drops?

courtyard garden before

courtyard garden before

and after

and after

The Dianthus in the office courtyard garden looks beaten by the weather.  I could not figure out how hard to cut it back, so I left it alone for now.

what a sight!

what a sight!

When we got home from work just before dark, I could see there was some sort of wind warning flag up at the Port Office…without any wind to display its shape! (Triangular is medium wind, and square is ominously big wind.)  The wind and rain was due six hours ago as I finish writing this at 9:00 PM.  It would certainly be a surprise if tomorrow is nice, as well, and we could work at Andersen’s RV Park and thus get all our public gardens checked on before the three day weekend.



































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