Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2016

Sunday 24 January 2016

Another afternoon for gardening rather than reading.

DSC03766.JPG

I decided to cut back the rest of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ despite its winter charms.

DSC03776.JPG

after

DSC03768.JPG

Stipa gigantea already trying to bloom

DSC03770.JPG

Mary by the bogsy woods

DSC03771.JPG

weeded but did not pick up sticks

DSC03772.JPG

still fairly bogsy

DSC03773.JPG

Smokey in the chopped and dropped garden

westgate1-24.JPG

view from the west gate

Monday, 25 January 2016

Looking out the front window, I was thrilled to see that the Iris unguicularis that Todd gave me was in bloom.  Just yesterday I was thinking I had planted it in too much shade.

IMG_2563

Iris unguicularis

IMG_2559.JPG

Iris unguicularis

IMG_2564.jpg

Iris unguicularis

IMG_2565.JPG

crocuses in sunshine

DSC03774.JPG

west bed before today’s efforts

IMG_2567.JPG

Allan helped me remove way too many shasta daisies in this area that is infested with weed grass.

Because of the weed grass, I also dug and divided Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early’ and put some here and there in the garden.

IMG_2573.JPG

After: I transplanted the Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ whose semi hidden location had bothered me a view days ago.  Now I can see it from the south window.

helenium

Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ is a wonderful, long blooming plant.

I was pleased to find some rough compost in a bin in which I’d put some yard debris a year ago and just let sit.

IMG_2568.JPG

This filled in the area where Allan had dug out those daisies.

IMG_2590.JPG

I do love the look of the natural richness of rough compost and chopped and dropped mulch.  At most jobs, I would have to rake all the debris away to make the client happy.

IMG_2569.JPG

Inside the composter.  They all got a trip to field far away.

IMG_2578.JPG

I finished out daylight by picking away at (but not raking) the weeds on the patio.

IMG_2476.jpg

Smokey  by the water boxes (Allan’s photo)

Meanwhile, Allan did some weeding of his own.

IMG_2580.JPG

Allan’s photos:

DSC01895

that messy area, before

DSC01896.jpg

after (It’s a privacy screen for us and our neighbour in the little black cottage to the east, so not much pruning will occur.)

DSC01892.jpg

between greenhouse and shed, before

DSC01893.jpg

after.  He’s clearing because of plans to re-side the shed.

Before weeding and before thinking about what kind of siding, Allan went out to the post office and library and returned with some photos of crocuses…

IMG_2463.jpg

Ilwaco community building

Planters on First Avenue:

IMG_2470.jpg

IMG_2472.jpg

and our good friend Helen at our accountant’s office

Because I wrote up the recently flurry of blog posts, not much reading got done the past two evenings.

Read Full Post »

Friday, 23 January 2016

Another nice day pulled me away from reading.

Before I started gardening, Laila from Salt Hotel dropped by to see if I had any fresh rosemary for a recipe for roasted nuts.  I did.  Allan saw the harvest from the window.

DSC01680.jpg

DSC01681 - Version 2.jpg

Laila with her harvest

DSC03722.jpg

my first snowdrop

DSC03723.JPG

crocuses awaiting some sunshine

DSC03725.jpg

At last, the first Hamamelis to bloom

DSC03726.JPG

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’

DSC03727.JPG

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’

DSC03735.JPG

weeding accomplished between the front driveway

I trimmed and weeded here and there and was glad when a rainstorm sent me back into the house before dark, as I did want to read.

DSC03728.JPG

view from north window

DSC03729.JPG

view from north window

DSC03730.JPG

east window view

DSC03732.JPG

A rainbow drew me back out for a moment.

DSC03733.JPG

I had time to read the entire M Train by Patti Smith (whose album Horses changed my life when I checked it out of the library in 1979 because I liked the title).

DSC03737.JPG

In the background, the work board is still blissfully empty.

Patti, how I adore you.

DSC03738.JPG

Two moving things for me in this passage about books that belonged to her mother:

DSC03742.JPG

DSC03743.JPG

One:  I was not close to my mother, yet I miss her more than I ever thought would be possible.  Two:  My grandmother owned few books; one of them was Girl of the Limberlost, and I read that and The Harvester over and over.  I have been meaning to read The Harvester, by Gene Stratton-Porter, again.  I still have my grandma’s copy.

harvester.jpg

harvester2.jpg

Frontispiece.  I gave Montana Mary a second copy that had this in full colour.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I kept the copy with my grandmother’s name.

I see again that the book was a gift from Hugh, her fiancé who did not marry her after she moved to Seattle at age 18 to meet him.  (He lived in California and sent a box of oranges and a ring but never came for her.)  “To be given to Ginger”, in my beloved Grandma’s handwriting, refers to my mother.

But I digress.  Back to Patti:

DSC03744.JPG

I have never heard of wiping furniture down with tea and am fascinated.

I became deeply thrilled when she fell in love with a rundown tiny cottage in Rockaway Beach (New York).

DSC03745.JPG

DSC03746.JPG

Later:

DSC03747.JPG

DSC03748.JPG

In two books in a row, I have found out about someone who does not drive…Patti Smith and Gloria Steinem.

She writes that she has “an old and recurring desire…to live by the sea with a ragged garden of my own.

DSC03751.JPG

I am so moved that her dreams are as simple and small as mine.  “An uninhabitable house on a withered lot, steps away from the train to the right and the sea to the left.”  “Small rooms rusted sink vaulted ceiling century-old smells mingling with musty animal smells.  …Mold and a prevailing dampness ignited my cough but did not dampen my enthusiasm.

How hard will she have to work to raise the money. and what happens to the bungalow in Hurricane Sandy? I will leave you to get M Train to read the rest of story of the bungalow.  I wish she would write a whole illustrated book just about that.

I found the following, about memory, comforting.  Sometimes I cannot remember a book that I recently read and enjoyed:

DSC03757.JPG

DSC03758.JPG

I was shocked to read of her turning 66 years old.  Wait.  Patti Smith is 66?  That makes me old, too.  “Sixty six.  What the hell.” she writes, and later: “How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-coloured hair.”  How indeed.  I am equally mystified.

Tomorrow: Still more gardening.

After you read M Train, you might want to read this follow up about the bungalow.

patti.jpg

Read Full Post »

What I really wanted to do was read for five more days and then start midwinter garden clean up.  The good weather required gardening, and of course, once I got outside, I completely enjoyed the experience.

Friday, 22 January 2015

DSC03697.JPG

In Allan’s garden: This hellebore’s floppiness is annoying every year!

DSC03698.JPG

The west bed

DSC03699.JPG

a pleasant vignette

DSC03702.JPG

looking toward the east bed

DSC03703.jpg

Smokey joined my tour.

DSC01677.jpg

Allan’s photo: I began clipping in the east bed.

DSC03704.JPG

Then I settled in to some clipping in the west bed. Before…

DSC03705.JPG

…and after

DSC03715.JPG

After pondering the fact that my Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ is half hidden behind the cat bench…

DSC03713.JPG

I put some cuttings of it back by the bogsy woods where they will show better.  Should be easy to start with a twig shoved into the soil.

DSC03706.JPG

This sign needs moving to somewhere where it shows up!  I do love to see a shrub growing rapidly along the edges of the garden where I seek enclosure.

DSC03707.JPG

Pernettya berries in the west privacy hedge

DSC03708.JPG

Yesterday all the lawn that you can see here was under water.

DSC03709.JPG

The sight of this untrimmed hellebore must have made my hands tremble.

DSC03710.JPG

hellebore trimmed

DSC03711.JPG

hellebore in bud

DSC03716.JPG

view from the NW gate

Meanwhile, Allan had done considerable weeding in his garden and had recorded his accomplishment:

DSC01678.jpg

before

DSC01679.jpg

after (The gold leaved plant is Acanthus mollis ‘Hollard’s Gold’)

DSC03717.JPG

After dark: Smokey and Mary wait for reading time.

I do love when the days are short and it is time to draw the curtains with many reading hours still left in the day.

My book tonight: a memoir of feminism in the 60s and 70s.

DSC03721.JPG

My book report is mostly positive.  However, I had a problem with how Brownmiller would describe the personality flaws of other activists, like this:  “Most of the group was relieved when Roxanne left” and “[the three women] possessed inventive…minds and poorly developed egos.”  And more of that nature.  If I were one of those woman and read the book, I’d be annoyed and embarrassed.  I learned to think of the writing as more of a personal memoir, thus full of Brownmiller’s personal opinions.

Otherwise, I loved the book.  I thought I knew more about feminism in the 60s than I actually did.   I was especially interested in actions taken while I was still in high school. I defined myself as a feminist since first reading a book (maybe The Feminine Mystique) at about age 14.  But I had no idea that as late as 1970 “unescorted” (by men) women were not allowed into establishments like the Russian Tea Room…not even a mother and daughter going out for a birthday treat. “The humiliating policy was enforced by bartenders with uncommon zeal” till a women’s sit in brought this particular form of discrimination to an end.

The stories of painful schisms in the movement brought back memories. Human nature seems to lead to conflict in all sorts of groups whether entertainment oriented or politically based. Thus it is even more remarkable how much the second wave of feminism accomplished.  Like many woman who were activists back in those days, I feel that many of “the young women of today” sort of take for granted the results our intense efforts, and at the same time, I am both filled with joy at their opportunities and frustrated at how much social justice remains to be won.

Tomorrow: more gardening.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 21 January 2016

How lucky my visitors and I had been yesterday to tour gardens in a brisk wind and no rain.  On Thursday, the Long Beach Peninsula had one of the rainiest days ever.  I put on my boots and took a garden walk.

IMG_2488.JPG

IMG_2491.JPG

an exceptional amount of standing water

IMG_2502.JPG

looking east

 

IMG_2492.JPG

IMG_2493.JPG

west side path

IMG_2494.JPG

fire circle

IMG_2495.JPG

bogsy woods lawn

IMG_2506.JPG

Jared and Jessika’s back yard to our east

IMG_2507.JPG

on my way back inside

IMG_2509.JPG

Fortunately, a Piet Oudolf book had arrived for me from the library.

DSC03639.JPG

DSC03640.JPG

DSC03641.JPG

inspiration

DSC03643.JPG

The thoughts on public gardens are so useful to me.

DSC03645.JPG

one or two gardeners! 😉

DSC03652.JPG

perfect winter days

Ah, “You can just sit…reading gardening books…next to your cat…”

DSC03654.JPG

I appreciate the non-murderous philosophy here.

DSC03655.JPG

food and kindness toward all

DSC03670.JPG

DSC03672.JPG

Piet Oudolf…my favourite gardener

And just after midnight, here were the rain totals for today.

IMG_2520.PNG

The next day, Ilwaco City Hall looked like this:

DSC01669.jpg

Allan’s photo

And there was standing water on roads all around the Peninsula.  The rain did stop after another quarter inch overnight, and we had a few days to dry out.

Over the course of garden book reading in the last couple of weeks, I added this many plants to my list (typed with one finger on my phone notes while holding a big book). Some I’ve wanted for a long time (Helianthus salicifolius) and others are of interest for one reason or another:

Piet Oudolf:

Selinum wallichianum

Isatis tinctoria.  (woad)

Helianthus salicifolius

Kirengeshomo palmata

Lindefolia anchusoides

Persicaria polymorpha

Persicaria amplexicaulis alba

Origanum ‘Rossenkupel’

Thalictrum ‘Hewitt’s  Double’ (used to have this)

Solidago ‘Golden Rain’

Veronicastrum

Salvia glutinosa (shade)

Molina caerulea ‘Poul Peterson’

Vernonia ‘Iron Butterfly’

Helenium ‘Rubinswerg’

Solidago ‘Golden Rain’

Agastache nepetoides. Must have.

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Apollo’

Salvia ‘Madeline’

Sanguisorba menziessi ‘Wake Up’

Actaea ‘Queen of Sheba’

Pennisetum  viridescens

From The New Shade Garden by Ken Druse:

Stilophorum diphyllum. Yellow wood poppy

Dicentra spectabilis is now lamprocapnos (must remember this)

Cornus kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’. Small tree

Bux us microphylla ‘Wanford Page’. It is Chartreuse.

Blue cohosh. Caulophyllum thalictroides

From The Art Of Gardening (Chanticleer)

Helianthus ‘Capenoch Star’

H ‘Gold Lace’

H ‘Santa Fe’

Angelica gigas

Rudbeckia ‘Henry Ellers’

Begonia grandis evansiana

Dahlia ‘Verrone’s Obsidian’

Rose ‘Westerland’.  Orange climber.

Cirsium rivulare atropurpureum

Symphytum ‘Axminster gold’

Thuja ‘Green Giant’

Salix sachalinensis ‘Golden Sunshine’

Disanthus cercidifolius

Euonymous Europeas or Americanus

Read Full Post »

20 January: winter gardens

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

I was lured out of the house by Ann and Kate, visiting friends from Portland whom I could not resist.  Because our weekly North Beach Garden Gang was also scheduled for this day, having to break my seclusion was not as traumatic as it otherwise would have been.

DSC01651.jpg

Kate, Ann and I in my garden

We began at noon with a visit to Salt Hotel.  Usually, Ann and friends stay at Ann’s father’s house in Naselle, but it is good to know about alternatives in case he has said house filled up with a fishing expedition.

DSC03542.JPG

I hung out with dogs Omar and Taco in the downstairs lounge while Julez took Ann and Kate on a hotel tour.

DSC03545.JPG

Omar and I admired the view.  (He is small enough to carry around.)  Taco was too fast for a photo.

DSC03543.JPG

first floor view

DSC03547.JPG

DSC03546.JPG

Kate and Ann had a favourable impression of Salt (and from our pub lunch there with Ann earlier this month, she knows the food is tasty).  The pub is closed on Wednesday and Thursday (winter hours).  Julez kindly offered us tea.  We decided to move on with our day.

Kate, being peckish, asked if there were a place she could get a snack.  So on our way north, she got a street taco in Seaview.

DSC03551.JPG

Streetside Taco in Seaview

So what do gardeners do on a day out in winter?  Go garden touring, of course.  Kate is a working gardener so, like us, she does not have much free time in the spring.  I guided her and Ann to four of my favourite gardens, choosing ones with good structure and winter interest.  Due to lots of enjoyable chatting and laughter, I did not take as many photos as usual, which might be a good thing, as I can combine all of the gardens into this one post.

Patti’s Garden

DSC03554.JPG

Patti’s garden in Seaview is a favourite of mine.  I explained that our good friend Patti is the one who began the Music in the Gardens tour ten years ago.  (She has now passed the tour into the able hands of Garden Tour Nancy.)

DSC03556.JPG

Ann and Kate on the patio

DSC03555.JPG

Patti’s driftwood bench from the mudflats of Willapa Bay

DSC03557.JPG

entrance to the kitchen garden

DSC03558.JPG

Patti’s back deck

DSC03559.JPG

DSC03560.JPG

As we leave, Ann and Kate taking photos…

DSC03561.JPG

…like this one.

We had an intermission in touring as we drove a few blocks to visit Dave and Melissa, who were working nearby.  Part of the garden that they maintain is a lot that actually used to belong to Patti herself, and that was landscaped years ago by a former peninsula business, A&J Landscaping.  The lot was purchased by its north side neighbour and is a great extra addition to her yard.

DSC03565.JPG

dry creekbed

DSC03566.JPG

DSC03562.JPG

I’d like to have seen this swale after the big rain that arrived the very next day.

I took the opportunity to get a photo of Dave and Melissa and their very big truck to use as a cover photo on their Facebook page.  Give the page a like, if you would be so kind.

DSC03569.JPG

DSC03568.JPG

Steve and John’s Bayside Garden

Leaving Melissa and Dave to their work, Kate and Ann and I headed to the bay side to visit Steve and John’s garden, one that has been on both the Music in the Gardens and last spring’s Rhododendron Tour.

DSC03585.JPG

house by the bay

DSC03584.JPG

looking north

DSC03571.JPG

The pump house green roof has appreciated our mild winter.

DSC03572.JPG

Kate photographing a camellia that was aswarm with hummingbirds.

camellia.jpg

Kate’s photo: We’d love to have an ID on this old camellia that dates back to when this property was part of Clarke Nursery.

DSC03573.JPG

Ann by Willapa Bay

DSC03575.JPG

The glade of clipped evergreen huckleberries met with strong approval.

DSC03586.jpg

Hello to my favourite Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’

DSC03578.JPG

into the cryptomeria grove where Ann made a beeline to look at some plant labels

DSC03579.JPG

Steve says, “We refer to this rhododendron as ‘Firetail’, although not officially identified as such.”

DSC03581.JPG

Kate photographing.  I love the pruning on that rhododendron.

DSC03583.JPG

a big old cotoneaster with aucuba around the base

Oysterville 

We drove north to Oysterville and took a turn around the town before going to our destination garden.  Ann’s car stopped by the Stream House when Kate saw a restia in the front garden.

DSC03589.JPG

Good gardening things are happening here…

DSC03588.JPG

Although I failed to get a photo of the restia…Kate knows the name of that silvery strappy plant.  (She knows all the names.)

DSC03587.JPG

Connections: The Stream House was rebuilt last year by the Mack Brothers construction, one of whom is married to our friend Christl who manages the Eric Wiegardt Gallery, a former job of ours that Eric’s brother Todd now cares for.

Kate and Ann were pleased to get to go inside the historic Oysterville Church, which is almost always open for viewing.

DSC03590.JPG

Kate at the Oysterville Church

DSC03592.JPG

The view from inside the church to our next garden.

Next, we walked all around the wonderful Oysterville garden that I visited three times last fall.

DSC03613.JPG

DSC03607.JPG

I told Kate and Ann how the first time I looked over the fence was in winter, and I knew by the pear in the tree and the hellebore collection that the garden was special.

DSC03606.JPG

newly planted beach hedge

DSC03594.JPG

Kate looking at the potted plants.

DSC03595.JPG

Kate and Ann seemed to share my feeling of being smitten by the terrace.

 

 

DSC03596

the allée in winter

DSC03597

at the end of the allée

DSC03598.JPG

Intense fragrance from Hamamelis and Sarcococca hung in the air.

DSC03599.JPG

Hamamelis (winter blooming witch hazel)

DSC03601.JPG

Sarcococca (sweet box), Hamamelis, and one of the potted tree ferns

DSC03603.JPG

Rhododendron, Sarcococca, and lots of trimmed ferns

Dave and Melissa and Todd and this garden’s owner have been working hard on trimming and mulching in this huge garden for the past couple of months.

DSC03604.JPG

DSC03605.JPG

north side lawn

Leaving this garden, we walked on a green road down to the shore of Willapa Bay.

DSC03609.JPG

looking north, mown path along the bay

DSC03610.JPG

looking east: There was once another row of bayside houses, before a flood at the beginning of the last century

DSC03612.JPG

Ann by the bay

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We had time for a quick visit to one more garden so we drove to the ocean side and strolled around Klipsan Beach Cottages.  Because the resort was having a winter breaktime, we were able to go onto all the cottage decks, as well.

DSC03614.JPG

Kate and Ann at KBC

DSC03615.JPG

on the cottage 8 deck

DSC03618.JPG

south gate to the fenced garden

DSC03620.JPG

In the pond garden bed, many ferns wait for Allan and I to start work again.

Cottage Bakery

We now needed somewhere to spend an hour before our dinner reservation.  I suggested the Cottage Bakery and learned that it was new to both Kate and Ann, so south to Long Beach we drove.

DSC03622.JPG

at the Cottage Bakery in Long Beach

DSC03623.JPG

just a small portion of the vast assortment

The Cove Restaurant

The Cove had been closed for dinners during January except for this special event, Sushi night.

DSC03625.JPG

Ann enters The Cove, after being greeted by Parking Lot Cat.

DSC03627.JPG

the sushi night menu (one of two pages)

DSC03631.JPG

DSC03632.JPG

Kate and Ann agreed the sushi was exceptionally good.  (Allan’s photo)

DSC03634.JPG

expanded North Beach Garden Gang (l-r) Allan, Kate, Dave, Melissa (noticing I am taking a photo) and Ann

Little did we know this would be our last garden gang dinner at the Cove, as owner and friend Sondra announced a few days later that the restaurant will now only open for Chef Sondra’s delicious lunch time, maybe opening for dinner again next summer.  Meanwhile, we are a garden gang on the lam and looking for a new place to have a relatively inexpensive weekly dinner with a nice selection of microbrews on tap.  It will be ever so hard to find a place that fits that criteria (especially the inexpensive) and that makes us feel as special as Chef Jason and Sondra and Carmen and Lynn make us feel at the Cove.  Chef Jason cooks exactly the kind of food I like.   We think the Salt Pub might fit the bill…if only they were open on Thursdays.  (We’ll have to change our dinner night.)

DSC01662.jpg

memories…Carmen, Dave and Melissa, after our sushi feast (Allan’s photo)

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 17 January 2016

jaina.png

the event

Again, I reluctantly broke the seclusion of reading time.  Earlier in the week I had thoroughly enjoyed the memoir Get it While You Can by Nick Jaina.  We’ve seen him perform twice before at the Sou’wester so I knew the show would be worthwhile.  I took an old copy of Hardware Wars as a gift to the Sou’wester video library.  (They still have an old VHS machine in play.)

DSC01649.jpg

Allan took most of the photos this evening.

To my delight, Nick not only sang but read from his book.

DSC01566.jpg

DSC01563.jpg

Nick Jaina

IMG_2403.JPG

musical accompaniment to reading

IMG_2400.JPG

IMG_2406.JPG

DSC01583.jpg

Nick and the band

DSC01571.jpg

DSC01591.jpg

DSC01588.jpg

Stelth Ulvang

DSC01592.jpg

DSC01600.jpg

After alternating singing and reading, Nick closed with my favourite song of his.  You can listen to it here.

DSC01615

chatting with Nick after his set

Stelth then took the lead singer role with Nick playing guitar along with the rest of the band.

DSC01638

During the intermission, I’d asked Nick if he minded if I used excerpts from his book in a blog post and he assured me it would be fine.  I said on Goodreads that I’d rate Get it While You Can 25 on their scale of 1 to 5.  He asked me to describe to him what the book is about.  I said the life of a traveling musician, science, philosophy, writing, being lovelorn.

static1.squarespace.png

Here are some of my favourite bits:

DSC03527.JPG

DSC03528.JPG

I’d like to be able to tell you who Nick is quoting, above, but I’ve lent my copy of the book to J9 so I cannot (yet).

DSC03529.JPG

This speaks to me of where I live, as well. We call ourselves end-of-the-roaders here.

DSC03530.JPG

from a chapter about different kinds of sadness—Melancholy:

DSC03531.JPG

DSC03532.JPG

melancholy

DSC03533.JPG

DSC03534.JPG

One of my favourites, from a chapter about looking for words for certain things:

DSC03536.JPG

Because I had a dream like that:

Allan and I had just moved into a grey house on a small knoll to the west of an industrial neighborhood in north Seattle.  A two lane road in front seemed like it should be busy but was not.  The simple old house was one story with a front porch and an attic window.  Inside one entered the living room, with the kitchen in back and bathroom and bedroom off to the side. We had just moved in so the living room had just a couch and chair, and the kitchen a table and two chairs.

 

The house looked sort of like this.


or more simple, like this, with an attic window

 

My parents came to the front door with my old labrador dog (Bertie Woofter).  Unlike in his real life, he was well behaved, and unlike in my real life, my parents and I were close. I was in my early 40s in the dream, maybe younger, so my parents were still healthy and vigorous.

We walked around to look at the back yard, a large rough lawn inside a rickety old fence.  It verged onto a meadow which I hoped was also part of the property.  It was a completely blank slate to start a garden.

The view to the south from the front porch was over a couple of blocks of old houses on streets that sloped down to a slow-flowing slough.  I could see a café with a brick exterior on the next block downhill so we all walked there to have a meal.  The charming interior with lots of art and big windows welcomed us and I knew we would go there often.  It was a little bit upscale with nice tablecloths and white dishes.

Someone had told us that the neighbourhood was pretty quiet except when once every two weeks trains arrived at a nearby train yard and made lots of noise coupling and uncoupling cars.  I knew I would not mind.

I LOVE that dream from over a year ago and I think about it often when I need something to soothe my insomnia.  So what IS the word for that?

Moving on:

What Nick wrote about New York sort of reminded me of how I try to describe daily life in this blog:

DSC03537.JPG

Is this feeling possible in Ilwaco?

Below, Nick captures the Columbian Café in Astoria.

DSC03538.JPG

DSC03539.JPG

Sorry the end trails off there…and my friend J9 has the book!

DSC03540.JPG

I love this quote by Steinbeck

DSC03541.JPG

coincidences

I used to keep a list of weird coincidences in my life, often things from books.  Here are some I listed in a notebook:

8-28-97 In the morning I read about adders in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker. In the evening, I read about adders in a reference to Precious Bane by Mary Webb.

1-17-98 reference to a poet named Herrick in both a novel and a gardening book (I Capture the Castle and Remembered Gardens) on the same day.

earlier: The poem Troubling a Star is part of a book title.  In the next book I read, by Beverly Nichols, has the poem on its preface page.

2008:  Two books in a row mention Paul Auster (someone previously unknown to me).

2003:  Watching the art documentary series by Sister Wendy.  She shows a painting of Marat killed by Corday.  Had never heard of this before.  Next day “Corday’s victim” is a crossword clue.  Same thing happened when she mentioned Caves of Lescaux.  Next day it was a clue.  We were watching her series on video, not on live tv.

And this very month: Two novels set in the Isthmus neighborhood of Madison, Wisconsin and a third, a memoir, by someone who taught college there. (The memoir doesn’t feature Madison itself.) I’ve never given a thought to that city before. Now it seems so appealing. 

I have a feeling Nick is talking about coincidences more real life than literary; maybe I spend too much time at home to have real life ones.

  I hope you are inspired to read his book.  What attracted me to it was the promised chapter in which he asked women he’d written love songs to just how those songs had affected them.  I was curious to know how they answered. The whole book was entrancing beyond my expectations.

Next post: we get back to a gardening theme.

Read Full Post »

Monday – Thursday, 11-15 January

The reading blends together from day to day…

catbooklipman.JPG

Calvin and Elinor

I had resorted to interlibrary loan to get Isabel’s Bed.  Its setting, Cape Cod in winter,  added to my enjoyment.  I’ve now read all Lipman’s novels and will have to do another interlibrary loan for a book of essays.

IMG_2344.jpg

Frosty on a garden bookshelf

Now that true, quiet, non social staycation had come, I settled in to read the garden books I had purchased this year.

IMG_2181.JPG

about Chanticleer; we had taken a lecture by a Chanticleer gardener, Jonathan Wright, at the 2016 Study Weekend.


stipa.png

Note to self: Stipa tenuissuma has a new name.

Maybe I can remember this new name by thinking of the nearby town of Naselle.

IMG_2186.JPG

An AIR-SPADE might be helpful for planting in the bogsy woods.


IMG_2192.JPG

It struck me that it is good for the bulbs that our soil stays dry underneath during out summer droughts, well into autumn.


IMG_2203.JPG

The Art of Gardening: a glorious book


catbooksny

Next, a book lent to me by Steve of the Bayside Garden.

IMG_2217.JPG

I liked the essays very much (and the cartoons, of course), and some of the short stories.  As I recalled during more of my winter reading, short stories, if good, make me want them to be longer.  One essay suggested we call ourselves “guardians” rather than “owners” of cats.  That is a word I had been seeking and will adopt.

IMG_2222.JPG

Fortunately, Allan never pesters me like this while I am reading.


IMG_2227.jpg

This is exactly the weather we had on the day I read the cat book.


DSC03504.JPG

Next up: a book I purchased this past summer.


IMG_2236.JPG

the original version from years ago

Druse’s previous shade book had been a great inspiration to me over the years.  I had even almost copied one of the photos for a garden at the Sou’wester Lodge when I lived there in ’93.  The new version was an equal pleasure to peruse.

I read all through another rainy, windy day and felt so inspired that I became gripped by the urge to go out by flashlight and transplant some epimediums into the bogsy woods (but did not follow through).

DSC03525.JPG

Mary and I devoted a day to a book about Piet Oudolf, the gardener who most inspires me.


IMG_2251.JPG

Smokey approved.


IMG_2253.JPG

With Frosty. It was a three cat book.


IMG_2256.JPG

I will admire my Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ with a deeper appreciation after reading about his resistance work.  Bless him!


IMG_2257.JPG

a sinister native plant policy

IMG_2258.JPG

IMG_2259.PNG

Enter a caption


IMG_2261.JPG

fascinating biographies interspersed among the garden lore


IMG_2270.JPG

backstory about the new appreciation of garden decay


IMG_2271.JPG

I love this passage about squabbling over a plant that still gets lots of compliments and questions in my public gardens.


IMG_2272.JPG

My garden thoughts were transformed by a Piet Oudolf lecture at the NW Flower and Garden show in the early 90s…and I had visited Gil Schieber’s city garden back when I lived in Seattle.


IMG_2277.PNG

A photo from my visit to Gil’s garden in Seattle (Ballard neighbourhood), about 1990.


IMG_2279.JPG

I so identify with the difficulty of charging a friend for work.


IMG_2280.JPG

The beauty of Piet’s vision can have me in tears, also.


IMG_2281.JPG

I well remember falling in love with Sanguisorbas during Piet’s lecture.


IMG_2282.JPG

Oh my, I wonder whose Portland garden this was?


IMG_2285.JPG

(A detail of a large photo) In the Oudolf-designed Lurie Garden in Chicago: Such a familiar scene to me, with the passersby talking to the gardeners.


IMG_2287.JPG

Wow, even Piet Oudolf started out with the hard time of getting through the winter financially.


IMG_2291.jpg

another familiar scenario


IMG_2292.JPG

and another.


IMG_2297.JPG

and another…being supplied with bad soil has happened in several gardens I’ve worked in over the years.


IMG_2296.JPG

three of my four feline companions almost shoving my book away

Meanwhile, Allan went out on errands most days.

IMG_2263.JPG

narcissi at the Ilwaco boatyard, 1-12-16


IMG_2264

He pruned old wood out of the red twig dogwood at the Ilwaco Community Building.


DSC01880.jpg

He did a good rebuilt job on an old bench that we’d been given by Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages.

 

Friday, 15 January 2016

I resolved to go out as little as possible during January as I continued to seek the life of a recluse.  However, two events drew me into social life on Friday.

lunch with Jenna

My dear friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) and I are both so busy during tourist and garden season that we were long overdue for a luncheon.  We dined at El Compadre and had a good long talk.  I thought you might enjoy seeing what a charming interior the restaurant has (quiet on a winter weekday).

IMG_2308.JPG

looking toward our booth from the front


IMG_2306.JPG

our view from our booth in the back corner

IMG_2307.JPG

IMG_2309.JPG

delightfully decorated

Dave’s Birthday Dinner

Celebrating the birth of one of our favourite people (not on his exact birthday) was well worth going out for, especially when it featured dinner at the fine Depot Restaurant.

DSC01549.jpg

Nancy Gorshe took this photo.  Me, Melissa, Dave, Allan.


DSC01550.jpg

clam chowder, the best anywhere


DSC01551.jpg

in the midst of our feasting


DSC01552.jpg

Allan had the sturgeon special.


IMG_2332.JPG

French onion soup (goes by a fancier name here)


IMG_2335.JPG

Melissa’s lamb shank


IMG_2336.JPG

wild boar Cinghiale with gnocchi

Saturday, 16 January 2016

My book of the day was the second I’d recently read set in Madison, Wisconsin.

IMG_2350.JPG

Enter a caption

Earlier during this staycation, I’d found the Madison setting entrancing in But Not For Long by Michelle Wildgen.  Both novels feature the Isthmus neighbourhood.

IMG_2347.PNG

the isthmus, and a botanical garden

IMG_2346.jpg

Maybe one year, the Garden Bloggers Fling will be in Madison, and if so, I would like to go there.

I spent the rest of the weekend engrossed in a detailed and informative book on a topic which has become an obsession again:

images.jpg

IMG_2414.JPG

an interlibrary loan from Texas A&M University

During the week of staycation perfection, I’d also read a book by Nick Jaina, and on Sunday the 17th, I’d be leaving my reading lair to see him perform at the Sou’wester.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »