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Archive for April, 2015

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Black Lake, Ilwaco

We had to get up EARLY for us, and even then we were twenty minutes late for the Grassroots Garbage Gang beach clean up.  We might have made it on time, for once, had we not been distracted by the end of the Black Lake Fishing Derby.  We had to stop and take a few photos of the last of the boaters at this annual event for children; it had started at 7 AM.  The lake had been stocked with nice big fish the previous week.

Black Lake

Black Lake

fishing from shore

fishing from shore

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Beach Clean Up

cleanup

We started our clean up from the Seaview beach approach, as my knee had been hurting a lot the evening before and even though a wilder area would be more fun, I did not want to have to walk in on a half mile long trail.

check in point on the Seaview approach

check in point on the Seaview approach

looking northeast from the beach

looking northeast from the beach

Looking north, we could see lots of trash-pickers up toward Long Beach, so we turned south.

Looking north, we could see lots of trash-pickers up toward Long Beach, so we turned south.

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We like to see beach cleaners starting young.

Despite the dramatic light and clouds, we were spared any rain or wind.

Despite the dramatic light and clouds, we were spared any rain or wind.

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looking south toward North Head

looking south toward North Head

The beach was strewn with piles of little dead jellyfish, the blue sailed velella velella which had arrived in droves recently.  As they die off, they can create quite a stench.  Fortunately, that part was over.  They were still slippery and squelchy, though.  A book in my collection, Beachcombing the Pacific, says that when velella wash ashore, debris from Japan is not far behind.  Nowadays, debris is likely to be from the tsunami and thus associated with sadness rather than the romanticism of finding a glass fishing float.

drifts of velella

drifts of velella (Allan’s photo)

from Wikepedia.  They are stunningly beautiful when they wash ashore.

from Wikepedia. They are stunningly beautiful when they wash ashore.

From a local Facebook page

From a local Facebook page

drifts of dessicated velella

drifts of dessicated velella

The gulls seemed to find them quite tasty.

The gulls seemed to find them quite tasty.

DSC00189

Allan’s photo

Allan walked along the edge of the dunes seeking (and finding) debris that had washed up that far in last Thursday’s storm.  We did not find as much debris as usual, however.  Later, the clean up organizer, Shelly Pollock, told us that this length of beach has been adopted by some regular volunteers who have been reliably collecting all the big stuff.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

wild beach peas, Allan's photo

wild beach peas, Allan’s photo

Horse riders are a common sight on our beach.

Horse riders are a common sight on our beach.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

horses

The beach was covered with tire tracks; perhaps there had been clamming earlier in the day.  I do not like driving on the beach for ANY reason other than to pick up trash.  One of the big arguments for beach driving is that seniors and disabled cannot get out there on foot, so perhaps there could be a section of beach open for vehicles with “handicapped parking” stickers.  That is as far as I can concede on that topic.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo:  These are the sort of tracks I do like to see on the beach.

photo by Rose Power: deer tracks

photo by Rose Power: deer tracks

Eight city blocks south of the Seaview approach, Holman Creek flows into the ocean.

creek

looking up Holman Creek

When I lived in Seaview in 1993, this was my favourite place to walk.

When I lived in Seaview in 1993, this was my favourite place to walk.

It is shallow enough at low tide to wade across, with one's shoes off.

It is shallow enough at low tide to wade across, with one’s shoes off.

This time, we did not wade it but instead turned upstream to trash pick along the edge.  Again, we found not much trash compared to previous beach clean ups.

a little further upstream

a little further upstream

Note the car to the right. probably on a valuable mission to pick up the trash bags left by volunteers.

Note the car to the right. probably on a valuable mission to pick up the trash bags left by volunteers.  Any other day, I would feel that having a car there wrecked the photo.

looking south

looking south

gulls having a bath

gulls having a bath

gulls

gulls2

gulls3

a flock of noisy birds flew overhead

a flock of noisy birds flew overhead

Their swirling flight pattern made me think they were something like sandpipers.

Their swirling flight pattern made me think they were something like sandpipers.

Allan was still up at the edge of the dunes.

taking a photo of the flying birds

trying to get a photo of the flying birds (didn’t turn out; he says it was just blue sky)

He did get this photo of a woolly bear in the dune grass.

He did get this photo of a woolly bear in the dune grass.

He says he hoped his flying bird landing would be as clear as Mr Tootlepedal's photos.    No...

Later: He says he hoped his flying bird landing would be as clear as Mr Tootlepedal’s photos. No…

Allan

Allan, back to trash picking

grass

beach grass trying to colonize a new dune

Again, we did not find as much trash as usual, even though we did not see the back-and-forthing footprints of any beach cleaner who might have walked ahead of us.  Finally, along the grassy edge of the dunes, I found a treasure trove of small plastic bits.

lots of little bits of plastic in these grasses

lots of little bits of plastic in these grasses

Just walking on that bit of rough ground got me knee in an uproar.  Fortunately, Allan found me a perfect piece of driftwood to use as a cane (and I used it all the way back!).  A little bird kept us company from the top of a nearby beach pine.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo:  This little bird regaled us with song while we picked up little plastic bits.

Allan’s photo: This little bird regaled us with song while we picked up little plastic bits.

Warning, sad bird carcass photo below, posted to illustrate why we pick up the little bits of plastic. Birds eat them and dead birds have been found with a gut full of plastic bits.  Because they cannot digest the plastic, a bird can starve from eating it.

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little bits of plastic, Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

Nearby, we saw a woolly bear on the sand.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the bear in question

the bear in question

Just as I was about to pick up the woolly bear and take him to the dune grass, a hummer drove up with a volunteer who took a full garbage bag from us.

guy

guy2

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Allan’s photo

A lot of erosion took place on the dunes along the creek estuary over the winter.

A lot of erosion took place on the dunes along the creek estuary over the winter.

On the way back, more gulls eating velella.

On the way back, more gulls eating velella.

Some more volunteers were just arriving.

Some more volunteers

These folks speculated that the reason for the lack of trash was that Thursday’s windstorm had buried it, so they walked along poking mounds of sand with their pick-up sticks.

people2

people3

We met a little dog named Ellie or Alfie.

Of course, I was smitten.

Of course, I was smitten.

The dog was tied to a tonka truck which “slowed him down”, according to his people.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo (omitting the car that was parked right next to this scene)

Just about then, I recalled that I had forgotten to rescue the woolly bear from the sand.  By now, it was seven blocks back, so that mission was abandoned.

Leaving the beach, we drove north to the Peninsula Senior Center for the soup lunch provided for volunteers.

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inside the center

inside the center

volunteer soup servers (Allan's photo)

volunteer soup servers (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

dessert.  Someone made fudge, and I do dearly love iced animal cookies.

dessert. Someone made fudge, and I do dearly love iced animal cookies. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Rose Power is in blue.

Rose Power is in blue and is, quite thrillingly for Anglophile me, originally from England.

We sat at a table with local artist Rose Power and shared our best finds.  Ours were both paper.  We had been amused to find, on the beach, a grocery store receipt that spoke of a beach trip.

Note the three pails and shovels and sandwich making food!  And Doritos, of course.

Note the three pails and shovels and sandwich making food! And Doritos, of course.

Allan found a paper brochure for hospice care in Hawaii; it can’t have washed all the way from there!  He also wishes to know what that white piece of plastic is for:

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Allan’s photo

Rose Power found the coolest item: a bottle with a message in it.

Rose Power found the coolest item: a bottle with a message in it.

Rose had gone out to the Klipsan beach and had found much more debris than we had.

Rose picked up all this.

Rose picked up all this.

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beach

Three hundred and twenty five people had signed in at the check points to clean the beach, and we are sure that others had walked out from their beach houses and resorts without signing in.  That is an impressive turnout.

Because the Senior Center is conveniently located right next to Golden Sands Assisted Living, we went to work right after lunch…but that, and a large number of photos of Ed’s new puppy, will be the next post.

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Friday, 24 April 2015

You might not be able to see the pouring rain in the photo below unless you look quite closely.

from our front porch

from our front porch

Ribes speciosum

The Ribes speciosum is STILL blooming. What a great do-er. Must take starts to gardens of various clients.

The Dicentra scandens (bleeding heart vine) against the porch wall is climbing tall.

The Dicentra scandens (bleeding heart vine) against the porch wall is climbing tall.

The rain stopped and I began to gather some plants to plant today.  I envied the neighbour cat, who clearly planned to spend the day in our garden.

The orange cat from across the street is furtive and shy, unlike Onyx from next door who is a good friend of mine.

The orange cat from across the street is furtive and shy, unlike Onyx from next door who is a good friend of mine.

I wish I could spend the day in my garden, too.

I wish I could spend the day in my garden, too.

Ilwaco

Ilwaco post office garden

Ilwaco post office garden

I think that the reason I have a hard time growing sweet peas against the picket fence in our volunteer garden at the post office is that that strip is in a mysterious rain shadow.  It is dry while the rest of the garden is damp.  Well, phooey.  I don’t think I feel inspired to specially water it every day.

We went over to First Avenue to add some diascias to some of the planters and while we did, I made a list of what we will need to finish planting them up for the season.  Except for nasturtiums (from seeds), I am trying to do all plants that will not wilt when dry, as we can only water these every third day.

planter at First and Eagle with Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' and diascia

planter at First and Eagle with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and diascia

a boat with me mum's name

a boat with me mum’s name

I checked on the condition of the boatyard garden.  We will weed it mid-next week in hopes of attaining top quality for the May 2nd parade.  This year, for the first time since 2010, I won’t be taking photos for the Discover Ilwaco page as the parade conflicts with the Rhodie tour….or vice versa, as the parade has been going on for years and the rhodie tour is new.  Gardening touring trumps a parade in my life.  (Three days later:  I may have figured out a way to do both; we’ll see.)

a reminder

a reminder

horsetail is popping up in the boatyard again.  We will deal with it NEXT week.

horsetail is popping up in the boatyard again. We will deal with it NEXT week.

Stipa gigantea in full bloom already

Stipa gigantea in full bloom already

at the south end of the boatyard

at the south end of the boatyard

Back to the planter work:

by the Portside Café

by the Portside Café

Allan's photo of the Portside with customers at each window table.

Allan’s photo of the Portside with customers at each window table.

The Depot Restaurant

When we dined at the Depot earlier this week, Chef Michael informed us that the building will be painted soon.  Oh dearie me.  Today we made a short stop there to put bamboo stake tripods over the most vulnerable little plants, like the newly planted Nicotiana langsdorfii and the alliums.  We already lost two alliums during the recent roofing of the building. Even though Michael said the painters will be careful…better safe…

little bamboo stakes tied into tripods.  I won't tidy up the back of the bed till the painting is done.

little bamboo stakes tied into tripods. I won’t tidy up the back of the bed till the painting is done.

staking the lilies in the long garden

protective staking of the lilies in the long garden

A rain squall came up just as we were leaving, perfect timing for a drive to the Basket Case.

driving north in a light rain

driving north on Sandridge in a light rain

The Basket Case Greenhouse

While I did not get any yet, I am excited to try the new cross between rudbeckia and echinacia: echibeckia.  Ed Strange said it was a great do-er for him last summer.

While I did not get any yet, I am excited to try the new cross between rudbeckia and echinacia: echibeckia. Ed Strange said it was a great do-er for him last summer.

There are still trays and trays of exquisite and economically priced violas left.

There are still trays and trays of exquisite and economically priced violas left.

perusing my purchase (Allan's photo)

perusing my purchase (Allan’s photo) (with another subtle Rhodie Tour reminder)

Fred can be very funny.  (Allan's photo)

Fred can be very funny. (Allan’s photo)

Next, back down the road to

The Red Barn Arena and Diane’s Garden

Allan had a project at the Red Barn: to replace two worn out wooden barrels with new plastic ones.

The little garden at the Red Barn

The little garden at the Red Barn

his cordless rechargable drill for making drainage holes

his cordless rechargable drill for making drainage holes.  He drilled out all four so that barn owner Amy can have two extras ready for use.

Allan's photo: digging out the old soil and bulbs

Allan’s photo: digging out the old soil and bulbs; some of the narcissi got replanted in the ground level garden

Allan's photo: the whiskey barrels were pretty well done.

Allan’s photo: the whiskey barrels were pretty well done.

There is always some horsey activity going on.  (Allan's photo)

There is always some horsey activity going on. (Allan’s photo)

bulbs replanted into new container (Allan's photo)

bulbs replanted into new container with Erysimum and red diascia added (Allan’s photo)

I used to use bright yellow, tall Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ in these barrels.  I got tired of seeing them not thrive from not being watered enough, so am going with the much less thirsty Erysimum this year.

Meanwhile, I planted the lone planter by the south door of the barn.

otherplanter

The red calibrachoa 'Vampire' has come through the winter with many blooms already.

The red calibrachoa ‘Vampire’ has come through the winter with many blooms already.

Hugo observed my work.

Hugo observed my work.

I feel bad for Hugo who seems always to be in his stall.  He is missing one eye and the other one seems cloudy, so I wonder if he is blind.  I hope he gets to go out sometimes in the evenings.

While Allan finished his project, I walked over to Diane’s garden next door, with some pink diascia and blue bacopa to plant.

Tulip 'Angelique' in one of her pots

Tulip ‘Angelique’ in one of her pots

I noticed that the planter closest to the garage is so dry that the tulips withered.  I sent Diane a photo-illustrated email.  I often find that people don’t realize that the eaves of a building keep a certain pot or garden area completely dry.

happy rainwatered planters...and one dry one

happy rainwatered planters…and one dry one

In the front garden, Stipa gigantea in full bloom

In the front garden, Stipa gigantea in full bloom

Long Beach

We had a bit of deadheading to do in Long Beach, left over from yesterday’s mostly rained out day.  The red tulips and late white narcissi in Veterans Field are going to be all done by the parade day (May 3rd) due to blooming early this year.  However, the early bloom for red Geum and blue Salvia ‘May Night’ will make up for that.

the last of the narcissi and tulips

the last of the narcissi and tulips

Geum and Salvia coming on

Geum and Salvia coming on

Long Beach City Hall also needed deadheading attention and we planted a golden Physocarpus in a dull area of the garden.

Physocarpus 'Dart's Gold' should liven up the north garden bed....

Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ should liven up the north garden bed….

which has taller plants at its other end

which has taller plants at its other end

the west wall of city hall

the west wall of city hall; the dianthus on the corner got blasted by Thursday’s wind

across the street, the HQ for our neighbours' cranberry farm

across the street, the HQ for our neighbours’ cranberry farm

Long Beach City Hall

Long Beach City Hall

west2

tiles by local artist Renee O'Connor are set into the sidewalk

tiles by local artist Renee O’Connor are set into the sidewalk

The Anchorage Cottages

We had one more garden to check, and at The Anchorage we were greeted by my good friend Mitzu.

Mitzu

Mitzu

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

center courtyard

center courtyard

The center courtyard garden is full of scilla that is just going over.  Next time, we will have to pull all of it and the garden will be transformed.  Today, I could not resist pulling some but really did not have time for all of it.

Scilla, which I wish was not in this garden at all.

Scilla, which I wish was not in this garden at all.

Every year, we pull out foliage and many bulbs.  It always comes back.

Every year, we pull out foliage and many bulbs. It always comes back.

The top of the ceanothus at one end of the courtyard is pitiful.  Even though it won't be pretty, we will cut it back to good new foliage next time.

The top of the ceanothus at one end of the courtyard is pitiful. Even though it won’t be pretty for awhile, we will cut it back to good new foliage next time.

shade garden:  Note to self, prune the rhodo gently back from the siding next time.

shade garden: Note to self, prune the rhodo gently back from the siding next time.

the "Zen Courtyard"  Note to self: Beth wants a Japanese maple here.  I need to find one that is extra special; the hardest part is finding time to shop for it.

the “Zen Courtyard” Note to self: Beth wants a Japanese maple here. I need to find one that is extra special; the hardest part is finding time to shop for it.

Clearly, we need a good long session at the Anchorage to get everything done that needs doing right now.  I think we need to go “overseas” (to 7 Dees in Seaside perhaps) to find a special little Japanese maple.  (But WHEN?)  I don’t want a plain old red-leaved one, thank you very much.

Darker and darker clouds inspired us to hurry at the end of the job, and as we got into the van, down by the Chameacyparis trees, the rain came.

rain2

Tomorrow: We have to get up dreadfully early (for us!!) because it is beach clean up day, and a work day, and a puppy visiting day.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Last weekend, while gardening at home, I realized that I have suddenly shifted into gardening mode and no longer even think with longing of a reading day off (because I’d rather get my garden weeded).  Today, suddenly it seemed a reading day had arrived.

wind graph on WindAlert, with driving sideways rain

wind graph on WindAlert, with driving sideways rain

The local airport forecast showed the wind dropping in the afternoon, and the several other weather apps that we check said that the sun would appear at 4 PM.

Ilwaco airport wind forecast

Ilwaco airport wind forecast

So I settled down to read, but restlessly, with an eye on the weather.

Tony Hillerman's daughter is doing a good job at carrying on his mystery series.

Tony Hillerman’s daughter is doing a good job at carrying on his mystery series.

The rain did stop, as predicted, at just before 4 PM, and we were off.  Allan took the opportunity to get another photo of the dogwood outside our kitchen window, with the flower of the wild cucumber vine.

Marah

Allan’s photo: Marah, wild cucumber vine, in dogwood.

I suppose we should get the cucumber vine out of there, as it has a massive root, leading to its also being known as “manroot” and “man underground”.

Ilwaco

Our very first project was to re-do the Ilwaco street planter that finally got moved back to the fire station.  It had been tucked up against a café where it did not show.  The fire station planter had been moved instead of the café one, after I’d promised the fire chief it would NOT be moved, so some musical planters was played by the city crew.

Allan's photo: before.

Allan’s photo: before: too many bulbs, and has catmint, which we are removing from the planters because it looks bad for awhile after its first flowering.

planter after

Allan’s photo: after, with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and diascia and violas and one little piece of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

 

I broke up the rest of the Autumn Joy and ran it down the west side of the fire station in a narrow bed that had lots of empty (weedy) spaces.

after.  (We did not forget that extra bag of potting soil.)

after. (We did not forget that extra bag of potting soil.)

Since we were working just across the street from Nellie’s house, I wondered if I would catch her attention.  Sure enough, her husband came over and I went in to speak with her and she does indeed want us to do a spring clean up on her garden.  We will be happy to, although I had to tell her it might not be for over a week as we have a lot of prep to do before the May 2 and 3 city parades AND the Rhodie tour.  (Klipsan Beach Cottages is one of the tour gardens.)

Nelie's historic house

Nelie’s historic house

In case you’ve forgotten that the Rhodie tour tour is coming up soon:

rhodietour

Long Beach

Next, we had to deadhead all the planters and street tree gardens along the main highway in Long Beach.  I was mighty glad for the good evening weather, as I had noticed lots of dead narcissi flowers when driving home the previous evening.  I took some photos while we worked.  I did not need the green wheelie cart this time as we parked several times and worked fairly close to the van instead of walking the whole route.

lavender already in full bloom

lavender already in full bloom  (This is one of the few planters where we’ve allowed Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ to stay)

The first Geranium 'Rozanne' flower this year...very early

The first Geranium ‘Rozanne’ flower this year…very early

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Tulip 'Florette' is a real do-er this year.

Tulip ‘Florette’ is a real do-er this year.

Asphodeline by Fifth Street Park

Asphodeline by Fifth Street Park

Gunnera in Fifth Street Park, already with a huge seedpod

Gunnera in Fifth Street Park, already with huge flowers

Darmera peltata and Gunnera.  Note to self: remember that Gunnera likes fertilizer.  Dan Hinkley said

Darmera peltata and Gunnera. Note to self: remember that Gunnera likes fertilizer. Dan Hinkley said “Feed the brute!”

Dutch iris in Fifth Street Park (north side)

Dutch iris in Fifth Street Park (north side)

another note to self:  Get this Carex OUT of the planter by the carousel!!!

another note to self: Get this Carex OUT of the planter by the carousel!!!

across from NIVA green: Tulip 'Green Wave'

across from NIVA green: Tulip ‘Green Wave’

on the NIVA green side: more Tulip 'Green Wave'

on the NIVA green side: more Tulip ‘Green Wave’

by the Elks lodge: a columbine left over from volunteer days

by the Elks lodge: a columbine left over from volunteer days

It was on this block, across the street, that a man walking his dog said, “Now that’s a good looking planter” about the boring one with two escallonias and creeping sedums (also leftover from volunteer days).  Then he said, “The planters on the beach approach are FULL of grass.”  I said, “That’s impossible; we weeded them last Friday.”  He said “Nope, they are FULL of grass and it looks terrible” and walked on.  He’d gotten about ten feet when my last nerve snapped and I said, “REALLY?”  He turned and I repeated that they were weeded last week, then said, “Do you mean the raised planters or do you mean the garden at ground level?”  “The ground,” said he. “The roses looked so good last year but now it is all grassy and the roses look beat up and need to be trimmed.”  I looked at him all goggle-eyed and said (in a calm enough tone that Allan, just up the block, though we were having a jolly chat), “I have no idea what to do about that.  We do the whole town of Long beach, and Ilwaco, and about ten resorts [that’s easier to say quickly than enumerating private gardens, resorts, and businesses] and we do not have TIME to weed the beach approach till later in the year so I really have no idea what can be done about it unless the city finds more weeders.”  “I wasn’t complaining,” said the man, walking on a faster clip.  I refrained from another “REALLY????”  As he departed, I remembered that I had seen his dog tied up for awhile in front of the Long Beach Tavern and wondered if beer had anything to do with his desire to inform me that the beach approach is not up to his standards.  (I could also have pointed out that those roses do not bloom till at least May AND that last year we did not get the darn garden, which takes about SIX DAYS to weed, done until sometime in July!!!

Fortunately, by this time we were almost done and I was able to go soothe my shattered nerves at…

The Cove Restaurant

in the foyer of The Cove

in the foyer of The Cove

We sat at the bar at about 7:30 PM and I was so lucky to get one of the last two servings of ahi tuna.  With no hard cider on tap, I had a Vortex beer from Astoria’s Fort George Brewery and Allan had a Guinness.

Strawberry salad...and Carmen at work

Strawberry salad…and Carmen at work

delicious food at the pass

delicious food at the pass

ahi tuna

ahi tuna

The tiny peppers to the left, above, were sweet and smoky and Chef Jason Lancaster told us they are Peruvian peppers.

Allan tried a new sandwich.  I had a bite (two!) of the pineapple slaw.  Delicious.

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DSC00930

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Finally, at home, I had to take a dusk photo of the cutest little tiny cup narcissi on the garage wall.

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We began our day by zooming up Sandridge Road to Klipsan Beach Cottages.  I needed to meet Garden Tour Nancy there to do a walkaround of the gardens and work on the description for the Rhodie Tour tickets.   So it seemed like a good idea to make it a workday there and get one big weeding project done.

It was a bright day, not the best for photos.

Nancy arrived right on time and we began our walking and talking (while she took notes).

sword fern foliage unfurling

sword fern foliage unfurling

Mary has already planted diascia and calibrachoa in the clam shed picnic area.

Mary has already planted diascia and calibrachoa in the clam shed picnic area.

I've been watching them to see if they are doing well despite cold nights...and they are.

I’ve been watching them to see if they are doing well despite cold nights…and they are.

We walked by Mary, Bella, and Allan.  She was pointed at the handsome leaf of a podphyllum.

We walked by Mary, Bella, and Allan. She was pointed at the handsome leaf of a podophyllum.

The pond garden has several rhododendrons large and small.

The pond garden has several rhododendrons large and small.

A deer slowly eluded us at the A Frame garden.

A deer slowly eluded us at the A Frame garden.

With my mind more on descriptive words than photos, Nancy and I walked all around the gardens, and to the next door garden (Joanie’s cottage), and out to the dunes and then back to the KBC cottages on the beach trail.

looking east from the dunes

looking east from the dunes

Then we sat on a bench and talked some more.  Somehow, exactly one hour went by.  (And she gave us some eggs from her chickens!)

Timmy joined our conversation for while.

Timmy joined our conversation for while.

Nancy and I, as I skive off work

Nancy and I, as I skive off work

DSC00101

Nancy departed and I got to work.  Allan had already started our main project of the day: to weed massive amounts of wild violet and other reseeded plants from the lawn border, to give it a neater look.

today's project, before

today’s project, before

The podophyllum that was being admired is to the left in that photo…big leaf.  They come in all kinds of exotic patterns, as you can see if you google podophyllum images.

after

after

before, Allan's photo

before, Allan’s photo

after, Allan's photo

after, Allan’s photo

before and after (Allan's photos)

before and after (Allan’s photos)

The pieris at the end of that border has been blooming for weeks.

The pieris at the end of that border has been blooming for weeks.

I’m not deluding myself that the violets won’t come back.  I hope we can find time to keep them controlled.  I’ve planted hellebores all along here, and by next spring when they have filled out (this was their first year) they should be spectacular.

Euphorbia characias wulfenii outside the deer fence

Euphorbia characias wulfenii outside the deer fence

Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy)

Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh poppy)

darling rosebud of...April

darling rosebud of…April

Geum 'Mango Lassi'

Geum ‘Mango Lassi’

The sweet peas came up by the garage so Allan made a string trellis.

The sweet peas came up by the garage so Allan made a string trellis.

He also picked a bouquet fit for a zombie bride (by deadheading narcissi all over the gardens)

He also picked a bouquet fit for a zombie bride (by deadheading narcissi all over the gardens)

Narcissi in the A Frame garden

Narcissi in the A Frame garden (Allan’s photo)

view of the week

view of the week

Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'

Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

Tulip 'Formosa'

Tulip ‘Formosa’

center plant with purplish foliage: Thalictrum 'Elin', which will get over 6 feet tall.

center plant with purplish foliage: Thalictrum ‘Elin’, which will get over 6 feet tall.

Mary's beachscape in the old (leaky, so now dry) fountain

Mary’s beachscape in the old (leaky, so now dry) fountain

Tiger Eyes sumac

Tiger Eyes sumac and red rhododendron

Last week, Allan had noticed some bare-rooted boxwoods languishing in the debris pile and asked me about them.  I said snag them next time, so he did. While I am not sure where I will put them, I am happy to try to rescue them.  They want to live!  There are a couple of deer -chewed arbovitae, too, which don’t thrill me but I can think of a place to use them.

rescue mission

rescue mission

Basket Case Greenhouse

We went to our next job via the Basket Case Greenhouse to pick up a blueberry for Andersen’s, some soil for the Jo’s new roses, and some diascia for the Ilwaco planters.

a wealth of violas

a wealth of violas

Geums red and orange; I got myself one of the orange, 'Starker's Magnificum'.

Geums red and orange; I got myself one of the orange, ‘Starker’s Magnificum’.

I could not resist getting a couple of Physocarpus 'Dart's Gold' at a very reasonable price of about $10 each!

I could not resist getting a couple of Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ at a very reasonable price of about $10 each!

Physocarpus 'Dart's Gold'

Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’

on my cart!  (Allan's photo)

on my cart! (Allan’s photo)

the annuals house.  Fred agrees it is too cold at night to plant tender ones yet.

the annuals house. Fred agrees it is too cold at night to plant tender ones yet.

Jo’s garden

Early in the day, I’d gotten a message from Basket Case Nancy asking us to join them at the Depot for burger night.  When they could not get a reservation till 6:30 PM, I thought, “Great, we’ll have plenty of time to plant Jo’s roses and some perennials and do some weeding and…easy peasy.”  It did not turn out that way and was the usual somewhat stressful rush at the end.

entering the garden

entering the garden

Jo's garden from her deck

Jo’s garden from her deck

Yesterday, Allan had dug some old roses out of these driveway beds.

Yesterday, Allan had dug some old roses out of these driveway beds.

Today, he planted some new bare root 'Flower Carpet' roses, which she hopes will be more vigorous.

Today, he planted some new bare root ‘Flower Carpet’ roses, which she hopes will be more vigorous.

He added plenty of new bagged soil to try to avoid the dreaded “rose replant disease’.

Jo gave me a bonus rose that came with the order.  I planted it as soon as I got home, and immediately misplaced the tag somewhere in the house so I can’t look up what colour it is!  (Update:  I found the tag; it’s a luscious deep red one called Always and Forever.)

the center courtyard

the center courtyard

the west garden

the west garden

What threw the day into a tizzy was when I discovered that a lot of the phlox, if not all of it, in the west bed, has some kind of nasty disease and had to be hoiked out.  I have run across this with phlox before.  Allan hacked a lot of it out while I weeded and planted some Agastaches and Nicotiana langsdorfii in the east garden.

yucky phlox

yucky phlox

yucky phlox, before (Allan's photo)

yucky phlox, before (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan's photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

On closer look, these phlox also look yucky at the base, and may have to be removed next time.  I have no patience for chronically diseased plants.

On closer look, these phlox (against the fence) also look yucky at the base, and may have to be removed next time. I have no patience for chronically diseased plants.

I got this area weeded and somewhat planted.  Cosmos and more will come later.

I got this area weeded and somewhat planted. Cosmos and more will come later.

Depot Restaurant

We left Jo’s two minutes before our dinner date; fortunately, the Depot is only a five minute drive.

Nancy and Fred, ready for burger night

Nancy and Fred, ready for burger night

We had a jolly old time talking about plants, work, overwork, dreams of retirement, dogs, and more, and ended with delectable desserts:

vanilla bean flan

vanilla bean flan

sorbet duo

sorbet duo

chocolate pot du creme

chocolate pot du creme

Tomorrow: adding some diascia to Ilwaco planters, and deadheading Long Beach town as I noticed an awful lot of “done” tulips and narcissi when driving through town this evening.

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April reading:

The Big Tiny by Dee Williams

When I saw Dee Williams interviewed in Tiny, a documentary about building a tiny house, I was instantly smitten.

It's an excellent documentary.

It’s an excellent documentary.

She won my heart when she spoke of having a life where she can be “Dee, from the time I wake up to the time I goe to bed.  People with regular jobs don’t get that.”  I realized how lucky I am to have a life that does permit me to be myself, however cantankerous, and not have to put on an act, while still doing some good in the world.

Regarding being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, she said, “You have to get comfortable with who you are because who you are may be all you’ll ever be.”  And when she revealed that she had marathon watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my favourite telly show ever, I wanted to be her new best friend.

We could discuss all the nuances of the show.

We could discuss all the nuances of the show.

I was thrilled to learn that she has a memoir about building her tiny house and devoured it over a few late evenings (because it is rare to get an all day reading day nowadays).  Here are some thoughts and takeaways:

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I particularly liked her description of living in a small house without heat.  Hers is only 84 square feet; mine was a great big 400 square feet.  In both cases, we had the heat off at night because we were afraid our propane stove would explode.  I love her for sharing that!

She made me think hard about clothespins, an item that we use to dry laundry outside, feeling all virtuous and electricity saving.  Dee writes “I could see birch trees growing in a forest...”  “cut down and rolled through a mill...” and iron ore being mined to make the little metal clips, and “there were any number of human workers…being paid pennies a day” to manufacture the clothespins.   She gives great consideration to the minutiae of daily life, and I appreciate it.

When she describes downsizing to 84 square feet, I remembered that my BOOKS were the main reason (other than being cold) why it was hard for me to live in my 400 square foot house.  I had to give up many boxes of books when I moved there (from an 800 foot craftsman bungalow with one room devoted to my library) into the little house.  I couldn’t go any smaller, and was glad to move into our current 1000 sq foot double wide where again I have room for bookshelves.  I still miss some of the books that I let go in 1992.

bookshelves

My books were crammed into the tiny house, getting damp and musty because of the cold, and leaving little room for art. Most of my art was postcard sized.

bookshelves in the new house...Gardening books have another area.

bookshelves in the new house…Gardening books have another area.

Dee Williams describes the process and pain of culling her books:

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DSC00785

I’m also intensely connected to things that used to belong to my grandma.

some of thse were my grandma's...

some of these were my grandma’s…The words on the cabinet say “I instinctively like to acquire and store up what promises to outlast me.” -Colette”

According to Dee, the average size of a house in the UK is 815 square feet, just the size of my bungalow in Seattle, while here in the USA the average size is now 2,349.  That is appalling.

Dee writes in several passages about how she feels different from the rest of the world.  I strongly identified with this:  “I used to try harder to fit in with my friends who liked to discuss their OKCupid dating experience, or how a good pedicure can save your life.  I’d lean in and tilt my head with determined interest, and then compliment her on the color of her tonails and ask for the name of her pedicurist, or I’d fuss over the way my friend just poached an egg… But the truth is, I’m a complete ding-dong when it comes to many normal activities.”

This past year, I have completely stopped hanging out in any sort of group where clothes and haircuts and shoes and such are a regular topic of conversation, because I have nothing at all to contribute and my silence is better put to use at home, weeding or reading.

Dee writes about how only a small portion of her possessions are “normal lady things“.  I think it would be nice if possessions weren’t divided into lady things and man things so that women who don’t “fit in” to the traditional idea of womanhood could be more comfortable in this world.

How very much I like Dee’s appreciation of darkness:

In my estimation, there are far too many lights in the world; street lights, car lights, tiny lights in the glove box, front and back porch lights.”  (I might add security lights to her list.)  “I wondered if all that light was somehow causing us to forget things, blinding us to the truth that a little darkness can be a good thing.”

There is a goodly amount of thinking about mortality, because of her heart diagnosis and because of a friend dying, and since that is a subject that is often on my mind, I appreciate her writing about it most of all. “…..We appreciate everything that is predictable and safe.  Everything is clear and you can navigate around the things that bother you and steer toward the things you love.  And then someone dies and fucks the whole thing up.”  Not every book that delves into such topics makes me cry.  Dee’s did.

When she wrote about a couple of personal moments of grief, she said “I’ll tell you about them if you swear…that you’ll never asking me about them even if we become best friends who talk about everything.

Ok, I swear, because I would I would be awfully happy to be Dee’s friend.  If she ever needs a new place to park her house, maybe our back garden would do.  The sounds at night would be pretty much the same as the ones she described at her current location in Olympia:  “…the tree frogs.  And the port downtown was stewing away with any number of generators and forklifts and hustle and bustle, and whatever the hell else they do that sounds like a distant avalanche.”   She’d also hear the wind in our garden, and fishing boats going out in the morning, and she would be welcome to come in and use the shower without asking.

I hate that Ilwaco has rules preventing a tiny off grid house in the back yard.  I think you are only allowed to live in a trailer parked behind a house for two weeks at a time.  This should change, since alternative ways of living lightly should be encouraged.

If you like thoughtful yet humorous memoirs, dogs, tiny houses, and community, don’t miss out on this book.

“Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs, and sound bites, on must-see movies, must-do experiences, must-have gadgets, when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart, reaching up for the connection with whoever might be in the room or leaning into our mattress as we draw our last breath.  I hate to put it in such dramatic terms, but it’s kinda true.”  -Dee Williams

links: Dee Williams at Portland Alternative Dwellings

Dee Williams TED talk

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Monday, 20 April 2015

I continued to work on my rather overwhelming garden, while Allan went to weed the terribly weedy garden at the community building, a project that I foolishly agreed to last week.  I so appreciated him deciding to get that started rather than taking a day off.  Here’s the problem:  I need time off more than I need money at the moment, and so does he.  We can’t afford to retire for several years, but we can afford to cut back…and yet, how can we with so many jobs?  Then I think…we should keep working like mad in case we have medical bills before medicare age (as in insurance co-pays and deductibles, something you UK readers don’t have to worry about).  And THEN I think, as Allan has pointed out, NOW is the time to have more time off while we are healthy enough to still enjoy it.  I remind myself that my mother was able to garden till age 82…but that was with me helping her.  She could garden on her own till about age 77…I hope I am as fortunate.  She retired at age 55, and that may have contributed to her years of healthiness.

my day at home

Before he left for work, Allan caught this bird checking out one of the birdhouses.

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The first thing I heard when I finally got outside at noon-ish was a great roar out beyond the bogsy wood, and I saw that the south gate was mysteriously wide open.  I don’t know how long it had been that way.  On the way out, I checked for a herd of deer in the garden.  None could be found, and the roses did not appear to be eaten.

Smokey followed me all the way out.

Smokey followed me all the way out.

The sound was from a big mower beyond the trees, and some sort of tree-mauler that was cutting down some of the willow that had sprouted up on the edge of the lawn between the port parking lots and us.

The view at noon.  I still have strimmed to the bench by the seasonal pond.

The view at noon. I still have strimmed to the bench by the seasonal pond.

The noise got louder and all the willows started to shake.  I hoped that all the little frogs could hop fast.  It must have been a bad time for them.

at 1:05

at 1:05

at 1:05 outside the gate, with the big machine tearing at the big willows

at 1:05 outside the gate, with the big machine tearing at the big willows

Fortunately, the trunks of the two big willows are on our property, which runs roughly to the middle of the ditch.

Fortunately, the trunks of the two big willows are on our property, which runs roughly to the middle of the ditch.

the view to the south at 1:30

the view to the south at 1:30

Well.  We will certainly have a better view of what is going on down at the port now.  Poor little frogs, though.  (Update: For the next several nights, I could hear the frogs peeping from the other ends of the ditch, but not from the middle part that had been mown and chopped.)

The seasonal pond all covered with floating wood chips.

The seasonal pond all covered with floating wood chips.

I'm glad I left a long grass frog haven on my side.

I’m glad I left a long grass frog haven on my side.

I had asked Allan to move two planted chairs all the way from a corner of the front garden to somewhere that they did not have to be shifted for weeding.  I like where he put them, in the salmonberry groves:

chairs

While all the tree-ripping was going on, I got much planting done: two trays of Nicotiana langsdorfii and several assorted Agastaches (‘Apricot Sunsrise’, ‘Summer Glow’, ‘Tutti Frutii’, ‘Cotton Candy’, ‘Sangria’, and ‘Mexican Giant’).

Later, I got my new Hellebores in and my two birthday plants.

I found that this new area was really pretty much full, if I am to leave proper room between plants.

I found that this new area was really pretty much full, if I am to leave proper room between plants.

my new little bloodroot right at the edge of the new garden bed

my new little bloodroot right at the edge of the new garden bed

a cool pulsatilla about to bloom

a cool pulsatilla about to bloom

in another bed, two little noses coming up...very big event for a CPN

in another bed, two little noses coming up…very big event for a CPN

My new candy lily seemed right for the mini-scree bed.

My new candy lily seemed right for the mini-scree bed.

Yesterday, when Debbie came to pick up plants for the Master Gardener plant sale (I’m not in the MGs, although I did take the course years ago), she gave me a flower sculpture by Sue Raymond of Bay Avenue Gallery

.  I installed it today, placing it where I could tie the stake to a post.

I love this exotic flower.

I love this exotic flower.

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

in the boat:  Tulip 'Green Wave'

in the boat: Tulip ‘Green Wave’

Tulip 'Angelique'  (pretty sure, although that green flame confuses me)

Tulip ‘Angelique’ (pretty sure, although that green flame confuses me)

Tulip 'Akebono' and 'Green Wave' in bud

Tulip ‘Akebono’ and ‘Green Wave’ in bud

More 'Green Wave' because it is my favourite this week.

More ‘Green Wave’ because it is my favourite this week.

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

After the work done by the port staff, our view corridor is back.  The garden was designed around this in the first place.

view

When we first moved here in October 2010, the bogsy woods was thick with junk and brambles and we cleared a path through and eventually build the fence and the south gate; outside the gate is only lightly gardened on occasion and is a haven for happy frogs. Below, the bottom photo shows the area which is the view corridor now.

what our woods looked like in Oct. 2010 when we bought the place

what our woods looked like in Oct. 2010 when we bought the place

To whoever it was who did one of those annoying blog posts about words and phrases that she or he never wanted to read in another gardening blog, and included “view corridor”:  Oh, well!

The east bed still has lots of small (for now!) weeds and will be my next big project.

The east bed still has lots of small (for now!) weeds and will be my next big project.

The west bed is pretty well weeded except for a strip all along the back side, and an area behind the blue chairs.

The west bed is pretty well weeded except for a strip all along the back side, and an area behind the blue chairs.

that tall heather from the front garden...I keep trying to appreciate it more.

that tall heather from the front garden…I keep trying to appreciate it more.  I think I like it best in a pot.

I had a feeling my brand new Hosta 'Stiletto' would be slug food.  Dang it.

I had a feeling my brand new narrow leaved Hosta ‘Stiletto’ would be slug food. Dang it.

Next to it, the hosta I got from Mary Fluaitt when she moved away is proving to be very strong, just like its former owner.

Next to it, the hosta I got from Mary Fluaitt when she moved away is proving to be very strong, just like its former owner.

I'm loving the bronzy top knot on this mahonia in Allan's garden.

I’m loving the bronzy top knot on this mahonia in Allan’s garden.

Another look at the results of the weekend's main project.

Another look at the results of the weekend’s main projects…the front border…

...and the northeast corner.

…and the northeast corner.

my double file viburnum on the west side of the garage

my double file viburnum on the west side of the garage (deer proof!)

my lovely silver name-us forgettii

my lovely silver nameus forgettii  (Help me remember?)

One fringed Tulip 'Aleppo' has returned from a planting a few years old.

One fringed Tulip ‘Aleppo’ has returned from a planting a few years old.

Tulip 'Aleppo'

Tulip ‘Aleppo’

I got my new outdoor sit spot almost back…for now.  It will fill again quickly when annuals planting time arrives in a couple of weeks.

weeding and planting at home await me.

my sit spot two days ago

and this evening

and this evening

Allan’s day on

Meanwhile, Allan had nobly gone to weed at the community center for seven and a half hours.  Perhaps because his area of our garden is small (by his choice, as he has boating and motorcycling as hobbies as well as gardening, unlike my one-track mind), he is more willing to give up a day off.

Ilwaco Community Building

Ilwaco Community Building

The gardens are all on the west side of the building, which houses our beloved Ilwaco Timberland Library, a low cost lunch room for seniors, Ilwaco City Council meetings and Toastmaster meetings.  We have declined this gardening job several times.  Now it seems there is just NO ONE else willing to take it on, and even though we feel a great need for free time, a love for Ilwaco has trumped all and we are going to try to do it.  By try, I mean we will see how long we can stand it.

Here are Allan’s photos:

He started at the driveway entrance with the theory that is best to do the areas first that are parked next to or walked past by Ilwaco Timberland Library patrons.  The first area gave him hope that the job might go quickly.  The kinnickinnick sprawls around and while I feel it is kind of boring looking, there were not many weeds.

before and after

before and after; maybe someone else had pulled bindweed out of here earlier.

When he moved on the the top of two tiers between the parking lot and the sidewalk, he knew this was more than a one day job.  (Last year, we saw someone weeding for a whole week in these beds.  We wish she was still doing it!)

top tier, before

top tier, before

DSC00058

before

after

after

after

after

I look upon this with despair as I can’t stand heather in a flat garden.  The other day a friend said that even though the boatyard garden is so very long, it helped to have interesting plants to weed among.  I am going to have to do something with this garden to make it more interesting to me if we are going to keep it in the long term.  Allan just quietly stated that he doesn’t like the heathers, either, nor does he like the fact that there is nothing flowering in the garden in the summer.  He also commented, and of course I agree, that it is a pain to have salal in the garden because it is popping up through everything, including the heather.  If we keep this job long term, the salal is going to be our mortal enemy.  (I think it is just lovely in the wild woods, by the way.)

behind the sign

behind the sign, before

after

after

strip along the sidewalk, before

strip along the sidewalk, before

before

before

after

after

another area along the sidewalk

another area along the sidewalk, before

after

after

How did we get into this?  It is one job I firmly did not want to take on because it has bindweed, horsetail, and, quite frankly, I am only interested in maintaining gardens we have created, with just a couple of exceptions. (Mayor Mike’s pretty little garden comes to mind because it was designed by a friend of mine who moved away, and I like it.)

I remember when the garden was being developed by a group of volunteers and I saw the big pile of dirt that they were planning to put back in.  I said “No!  No!  Don’t use that; it is FULL of BINDWEED!”  Bindweed was sprouting up all over it.  There was a chance that if that soil, dug out during the re-do of the parking lot, was just discarded, some of the bindweed would go away.  However, even a few little roots left down in the ground would easily create a menace within a year.  (I don’t know if that soil was re-used or not.)

The entrance garden: the outside was fine, as if someone has already weeded it.

The entrance garden: the outside was fine, as if someone has already weeded it.

Last time I saw the area above, it had dandelions.  We wonder if someone else is still doing part of the job and if there is going to be some mix up about us being hired.

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the entrance garden behind the wall, which we quite like, before

before

before

after, with ferns trimmed

after, with ferns trimmed

The last area that remained is the hardest, a tiered garden covered with vetch, bindweed, and a haze of other weeds.

a before photo of an area he did not get to today.  What a mess of vetch obscuring all the good plants.

a before photo of an area he did not get to today. What a mess of vetch obscuring all the good plants.

YOIKS!

YOIKS!

This area is steeply tiered and would be hard on my knee.

After some weeding. This area is steeply tiered and would be hard on my knee.

I can already see in my mind some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Eryngium migrating from my garden over to the bare areas in the community building garden.  Free plants would fit in well with the budget, and would add some summer colour.  Some clumps of baby poppies could perhaps be moved up from the boatyard, as there are certainly MORE than enough poppies in that garden.   With that sort of change, I could get up more enthusiasm for this new job.

When Allan got home, I said he should have a look at the work the port crew had done at the south end of our property.  He went and took this photo from the outside, and said something about going in there and prettying it up with a better sawing job.  Otherwise, he agreed that it is a positive thing to have our view of the port returned.  You can even see our sitting bench now.

our property, south side, now

our property, south side, now

Tomorrow, we must get back to work if the weather allows.  The forecast is iffy.  There are new roses to plant and fertilizer to apply at Jo’s garden.

Postscript:   Tuesday’s weather, drizzly with 23 mile an hour winds, inspired me to take another day off.  Allan worked a tiny bit, digging up about a dozen drab roses at Jo’s garden in preparation for planting some new ones, and helping Ed Strange shift some pots of bamboo at the Boreas Inn.   I had time to write a paean of praise to The Big Tiny and have set it to be a bonus book post tonight.

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

After my concern that someone mean would look over the fence and sneer at my weeds, I opened the curtains this morning to see a stranger gazing over the low front fence into the garden with a most appreciative expression. I ducked so she would not be embarrassed.

I wish I could start with a burst of energy on days off.  Instead, I tend to fritter and put off the beginning of the gardening day.

Smokey encouraged me to get started.

Smokey encouraged me to get started.

I got a surprising amount done considering that I did not begin till noon, including transplanting four roses into the back (fenced) garden, as I am tired of deer eating them.  (But now what will they eat when they jump the low front garden fence?)  The rose transplanting should have been done in March or earlier.  I got several Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ planted along the fence, to fill in between the ones already there, because I like them so much.

before filling in

before filling in

 After that, I tackled the weedy corner of the front bed, below.

before, looking west

before, looking west

I soon realized that I wanted to remove ALL the variegated carex along the front border.  The more I examined it, the more concerned I got by how far it has run into the center of the garden.  This required much swinging of the pick.  When Allan returned from his motorcycle excursion, he helped me with one large and stubborn clump; the pick simply bounced off unless swung with extreme force.

My energy got flowing full force at around 4:30 PM.  We had dinner plans so I couldn’t take advantage of that and work till dusk.

5:50 PM

5:50 PM

When we began this garden in fall of 2010, I thought it was such a good idea to use the carex as an edger along the front.  Having to trim its tatty blades back hard in early spring this year made me go off of it, and its running habit was the death knell.

after

after, with gallon sized Sky Pencils planted along the fence.

The weather looks pleasant in the photos.  It was not.  All day a strong, cold, irksome wind buffeted the garden.

At six, we met Kathleen for dinner at Long Beach Thai.  The first thing I asked her when we all sat down is if, during the months of long daylight, could she possibly manage to wait till 7 to eat?  (She is on a much more morning-person schedule than we are.  At home, we dine at nine or ten o’ clock.)  She agreed, so I won’t be having to stop gardening this soon again.

The food was delicious, spicy and with all of the flavours that Thai food is supposed to have.

fresh rolls

fresh rolls

larb gai

larb gai

Allan's cashew curry stir fry

Allan’s tofu cashew stir fry

We lingered until sunset.  Because of wildfires in Siberia, the sun here is setting in a huge red ball.

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After dinner, I sat down at home and read Straw Bale Gardens; the pressure was on as it was two days overdue.  The author’s gently droll sense of humour made it entertaining as well as informative.

straw

Example:

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I won’t have time to try out his methods this year.  Maybe someday, in retirement.

As for now, I planned to take two more days off to plant and weed.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Smokey and Mary waiting for me to get started

Smokey and Mary waiting for me to get started

After the usual difficulty in getting started, I went back to weeding and planting Sky Pencils in the front garden.  I found one more deer-nibbled rose to move to the back garden.

Allan helped me by getting out two difficult clumps of carex.

Allan's photo: before

Allan’s photos: before

and after

and after

carex pile just from that one spot

carex pile just from that one spot

By pre-arrangement, Debbie and Dave came by to pick up a pile of the Carex, some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a few sanguisorbas and a few other divisions for the fall plant sale.

Debbie will divide and pot them all up.

Debbie will divide and pot them all up.

After the carex removal and a construction type chat with Dave (who is an expert builder and in fact built the house in which he and Debbie live), Allan went down to the port to see his pal Chris sailing his trimaran.

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Chris pulling up the main sail as his friend holds the pontoon

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lot’s of hand paddling after Allan pushed them off the dock

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boat

it looks like they’re up on the hydrofoils in this long shot as the Ginger returns to port

While I complained all day (mostly quietly in my mind) about the horrible cold maddening wind, Chris drove by after his outing and said it had been wonderful and he had “never before gone so fast”.

Meanwhile, Allan had nobly gone to work for a little while and strimmed behind the fence at the boatyard.  We hope this keeps the boatyard crew from even thinking about breaking out the Round Up.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before

after.

after.

Last year I found time to actually dig out a strip of grass along the fence.  This year, time for that has eluded me.

Allan had to move assorted gear in order to do a good job.

before

before

after

after

and a boat

and a boat

My big project of the day was to weed all the “stink mint” out of the north east corner of the garden and plant some more Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ along the fence.  Here is before photo from last week:

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I found a darling little plant that had been completely hidden by a cluster of suckers from the big tree.  I’m pretty sure that I got it at Joy Creek Nusrsery.

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While perfection was not achieved, the results were certainly an improvement, and I had gotten all of my Sky Pencils planted.

at stopping time

at stopping time

I was happy to stop at 6:30, as we had plans for another dinner out.  We treated Todd to dinner at the Depot in thanks for all the great plants he has sent us and in celebration of having a true CPN (Certified Plant Nut) back on the peninsula.  When he arrived, my 60th birthday celebration that seems to never end continued with two cool plants, a pardacanda (candy lily) and a Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, surely the last of the endless birthday

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I forgot to photograph the three scrumptious scallops that we had for a starter; they were so beautiful, and so good, that I dived right in.

Here they are, courtesy The Depot website

Here they are, courtesy The Depot website

the special:  Rockfish, with parsley pesto, on beans, with clams.

the special: Rockfish, with parsley pesto, on beans, with clams.

Allan's rockfish with a mushroom sauce

Allan’s rockfish with a mushroom sauce

At my request, we got to hear the story of how Todd became the curator of the display garden at Plant Delights, and reminiscences of learning to love plants as a child while exploring the woods and bayside of the Peninsula. He told us that his first memory was of admiring a container of pansies at his parents’ house and thinking “Those are cool!”, and said that someone told us we often follow a path in life inspired by our first memory.  I think my first memory is listening to my Grandma’s cuckoo clock.  Hmmm.

We lingered till after closing time, while the staff put the chairs put up on the other tables.  Chef Michael kept telling us we did not have to leave yet.  When we did, the restaurant looked like the final scene in My Dinner with Andre, the film in which two friends talk and the end shows them suddenly realizing that the restaurant is closed and the floor is being swept.  (This seems to be a common occurence when we go out to dinner with friends.)

Chef Michael Lalewicz

Chef Michael Lalewicz

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Just before bedtime, I finished a book that I would give ten stars instead of five on Goodreads, if I could.  I recommend it highly and I hope to find time to write about it a little bit more, some rainy day.

I am smitten with author Dee Williams and wish that we were friends.

I am smitten with author Dee Williams and wish that we were friends.

I intend to take one more day off and get as many of my “ladies in waiting” (plants in waiting) into the ground as possible.

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