Archive for Mar, 2016

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I had the strongest urge to get another beach approach section done.  However, the boatyard garden was the plan for the day and I decided to stick to that.  Both are jobs that are hellish in rain or wind.  We planted some seeds at the Community Building garden first, after Allan cut back an ailing shrub hard.


Allan’s photo, before, with salal in front.  


after.  I can’t get in there, too much climbing, or I would have said “Ah, just cut it to the ground.”

boatyard garden


looking south along the two block long garden, 11:49 AM


boat coming in

We overheard some boat guys talking, while two sat and watched one work.  “How old is Steve?”  “Oh, he’s 60 or 61.”  “Still young then!”


weeding like mad

As we were finishing the long section north of the gate, I saw a woman bent over at the far end.  I had been just about to sit in the van, eat my sandwich and rest my knee.  Allan went to see what she was doing and I followed as fast as I could hobble.  This middle aged woman, also hobbling, was digging up poppy plants and bulbs out of the boat yard garden and she also had flowering bulbs she had dug up out of the Howerton Avenue gardens around the corner! By the time I limped up, Allan had told her to replant the poppies.  I pointed to the flowers in her bag and she said “Those are mine.”  That was a complete crock because I knew they were the flowers of Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’, which is growing around the corner, mail ordered and planted by us. When she lied to my face I was simply speechless and let her walk away.

I so understand plant lust.  I also remember years of poverty in my 20s, and again one year of paying off medical bills in my late 40s, when my plant budget for the entire year was $20.00.  Yes, $20.00.  And did I go swiping plants out of public gardens?  I did NOT.  The worse things I ever did was take a cutting off of a rosemary plant growing in someone’s parking strip, when I was 25!  Sometimes I get the argument “But it’s a public garden!”  And how does that translate into stealing plants for one’s own PRIVATE garden?  I have a feeling this person is local and may be a continuing problem this year, as other individuals who have moved on have been plant thief problems in past years.

I volunteered a lot of time to create the boatyard garden years ago, before it became a paid job, and nowadays we volunteer our time and expenses at the post office garden.  Public gardens are not there as a supply source for people’s owns gardens, as most of us know.


That is OUR Muscari and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in her bag, and a firework,  of all things!


Allan googled the firework because he thought it was a shovel handle for more efficient plant thievery.

Ironically, she had been filching plants in the area right by this sign.


I found more muscari bulbs dug up and ready to snitch in the area where her depredations had been interrupted, and that entire stretch of garden was pretty much denuded of small seedlings, so this may not have been her first foray into improving her garden.  I fear she will dig up not just poppies but something precious of which I may only have one.  I also wonder every year why, when I plant dozens of narcissi bulbs along here, I get so few flowers.  Hmmm.  Sometimes I feel sorry for people when they get busted by us, but not when they lie.

We continued weeding till we reached the south end.



Nora J coming in


looking south, after, 3:06 PM, as I began to plant sweet peas.

Our weeding job was pretty good but not perfect.  The big horsetail are sprouting up so it will need another go-over soon.  Last year, I planted a few sweet peas just as a lark when I had leftover seeds.  To my surprise, some did well, so I planted more this year, mostly Streamers mix.


boatyard sweet peas last year

While Allan dumped debris, I sat at home for ten minutes.  My mission was to make some fertilizer mix for planting.  My knee had plagued me so much at the end of the boatyard stint that I had to use my scarf to drag it into the van, like an old dead thing, so Allan had to make the fertilizer mix when he returned.

Next, we replaced some of the old tatty Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in five of the planters, and counted how many more Erysimums we needed.


“yellow hoop petticoat” narcissi in a planter.

We had time to drive north to plant sweet peas at the Anchorage, passing the Long Beach welcome sign on the way.


welcome sign, front, with tulips just coming on


both sides


welcome sign, back

Flowers made me forget the Finger Blight incident until Allan brought it up later.

The Anchorage Cottages


Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)


near the office


Allan’s photo: He pruned the viburnum so it won’t hide the window box






Fritillaria meleagris (Guinea Hen flower)



Tulup sylvestris still going strong, and miniature narcissus


Tulip ‘Green Star’


Tulip ‘Green Star’


Tulip ‘Virichic’


Tulip viridiflora, not sure which one!


maybe older Virichic come back from last year?


a fringed tulip from a few years back


fringed tulip


Tulip ‘Gavota’


Tulip ‘Strong Gold’


flowering currant

On the way back to Ilwaco, we paused at a planter so Allan could take a couple of photos for me.


Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ spread into a large patch


Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’


The sign goes back to volunteer days.

The four planters I did as a volunteer almost 20 years ago caught the attention of then-city manager Nabiel Shawa (“Magnificent!” he said), who suggested we be hired as city gardeners.

Allan and I decided to have dinner out, again…and along Howerton Ave, I photographed my special Muscari that had been getting filched from earlier today.


Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’


If several passersby each decided to dig up a bulb, there’d be none left.  Fortunately, most don’t.

We soothed our nerves at

Salt Hotel Pub.




our view


more view


evening light, Saddle Mountain way across the Columbia River


Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


delicious tuna melt

One fun thing about the Salt sandwiches is that you get three “halves”.

The work board is getting back to focusing on the beach approach.


One of these days we have to get to the back corner of Coulter Park.

There are no entries from my mom’s old garden diaries to correspond with today.

The thought that tonight is the premiere of the new Deadliest Catch season kept me going through some painful moments today, and now it is time to watch!


from a Deadliest Catch ad by Peter Jaworowski: makes our job look easy

Read Full Post »

Monday, 28 March 2016

I awoke early (for me) and could not go back to sleep till I had called the neurologist’s office in Aberdeen.  His office person put him on the phone within thirty seconds; my timing had been perfect, and he had wonderful news: The MRI and ultrasound showed no tumor, no strokes, nothing at all bad in the old brain, and my carotid arteries are in perfect tune.  My happiness was not even slightly tempered by my chronic “dizziness” (lightheadedness, not the spinning of vertigo)  being still a mystery.  I still have the occasional very weird feeling of my right side head and right side foot BOTH feeling whirly inside at the same time.  I thought I’d mention that in case a reader says “Oh, I have that, too, and it’s _____”.

Next week brings another scary medical test (I fear not the test itself but the potential for bad results) but for now, I am free this week to get lots of work done without having to make another trip to the wise and highly rated doc two hours away in Aberdeen.

My plan today had been to weed the Ilwaco boatyard garden.  Perhaps my burst of happy energy changed my mind and sent us to the beach approach garden instead.  My conscious thought was that it is better to do beach approach day, boatyard day, then back to beach approach because the approach garden is SO tedious that it’s better to not do it two days in a row.

At the post office, we got a great big box from Heirloom Old Garden Roses, too big to haul around all day so we went back home to unpack it.



Allan’s photo: boxes inside boxes


Allan’s photo: Jude the Obscure, Westmoreland, Mme Alfred Carriere

Inside were three excellent roses, including Jude the Obscure which I’ve long admired at Klipsan Beach Cottages…but not Mary Rose, the one I had especially meant to order for Kitty Mary’s grave.  I think I got distracted by climbers and forgot to tick the correct box.  Good thing I know nothing is wrong in my brain or I would wonder.  I called them up and ordered Mary Rose to come all on her own.  Heirloom Roses used to sell the tiniest of roses, all of which grew and did well for me. Over the years, something has changed and now they offer gallon size, as you can see.  They sell ONLY own root roses, about which they say:

Heirloom Roses does no budding or grafting at our nursery.  Unlike the majority of rose growers in the US. we sell only own-root, virus-free roses. Our roses are first-year cuttings that are grown from a leaf cutting taken from a “mother” or “stock” plant. Own-root roses may be smaller when purchased, but quickly catch up to grafted roses (which are usually sold as two-year-old plants).

  • Own-root roses are hardier than grafted roses because their crown has not been weakened.  The bud union of a grafted rose is vulnerable to cold and can be easily damaged during a hard winter.
  • Own-root roses come back true to variety if frozen to the ground, because they have their own root system. Winter kill is less likely.
  • Own-root roses are shaplier because they send up shoots from their own roots. This creates a fuller plant over time, which adds to increased vigor, bloom, and life expectancy.
  • Own-root roses have no rootstock suckers, meaning more energy is sent to the main plant.

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

I look forward to having Jude the Obscure in my own garden and, by next week, Mary Rose. I was, in fact, with Mary Caldwell of Klipsan Beach the day she bought her Jude the Obscure in person at Heirloom Roses.


Onyx watching the unpacking of roses


Onyx’s eyes are similar in hue to Acanthus Hollard’s Gold.

Long Beach

We picked up one of my grandma’s scrapbooks which had been on loan to our friend Wendy at Beach Dog.


Beach Dog’s impressive pair of gunneras.

Then, to work, first with some deadheading at City Hall….


city hall north side


Just west of city hall: Starvation Alley organic cranberry juice tasting room

…and then  out to the Bolstad beach approach garden to weed one more of the thirteen sections..


the long narrow Bolstad garden


before: 12:15 PM


before (Allan’s photo)


before (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Someone had left these, perhaps in excitement at approaching the beach. (Allan’s photo)


almost done, with a big mess to clean up (Allan’s photo)


a difficult and thorny job (Allan’s photo)


cleaning up (Allan’s photo)


after, 5:45 PM, weeds out, roses beaten back from the edges


sweeping up

Today the job still took ages, 5.5 hours (11 total) and yet felt less daunting, perhaps because of the good news I had had in the morning.



After dumping the debris at city works, we planted three plants at Fifth Street Park, and a start of a white geranium macrorrhizum at the mortuary garden.


Fifth Street: One variegated symphytum, welcome to run all around this corner (Allan’s photo)


lavenders into planters


Lavender ‘Madrid Blue’ which I pray does not get stolen (with Viola ‘Etain’, Allan’s photo

The air had become chilly, changing my mind about planting some seeds at the Ilwaco Community Building.

The Depot Restaurant

was an appealing place to warm up with a good meal.


Tulip ‘Gavota’ looks good against brick and against red paint.


Depot garden (Allan’s photo)


Depot garden (Allan’s photo)


in the Depot, at the end of the bar


Depot Restaurant wilted spinach salads



halibut on sausage gumbo with basmati rice


sunsetting at the end of the Seaview approach road, past the Sou’wester (left)


Allan deadheaded a window box on his way out.


We paused in the big port parking lot to admire the southeastern sky over the port buildings.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

  A guest photo:  

Our friend Michelle drove across the four mile long Astoria-Megler Bridge today and posted this photo of how the clouds were so low that vehicles were above the clouds on the Columbia River.  Re the bridge, she writes: “I’ve grown used to it. 8 years ago, I held my breath all the way over.”


photo by Michelle Zinkevicz

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

March 28:  Planted all begonias in pots and in trays etc.  I have to figure out a new way to label bulbs in color etc.  The ones I marked last fall are all mixed up.  Next job will be to check over dahlia bulbs to see which ones made it through the winter.

1998 (age 73):

March 28:  2:00-5:00  It was cold today so I stayed in until 2:00.  Then the sun came out.  I went out planning to weed in front but worked in strawberries instead.  Last week I decided it will be easier just to dig the berry plants because most need to be divided so I dug plants out of one row.  I can’t decide if I should leave area empty until Ron comes to till or whether to replant berry rows as soon as I can.


Read Full Post »

Sunday, 27 March 2016

I slept till all hours, getting a good nine hours.  If I lived alone, I think it would have been more like 11 but it’s embarrassing to sleep well into the afternoon.  A medium strong gusty wind and rain would have prevented work till after noon anyway.  Allan suggested he go to his own particular gardening job and I thought I might weed in my own garden.

Ilwaco Community Building

Although I advise and sometimes help out, Allan has taken on this garden for the past year as his own project.




before: His target was the reseeding wild lupins (the boring pale blue kind) and the kinnikinnick


closeup: After removing large ones last fall, new seedlings are rampant.


Bindweed is also pernicious in these beds.




room for some poppies, perhaps


an early allium emerging


caught in a squall




Meanwhile, at home:


Smokey was not eager to go outside.

I  went out, intending to weed in the front garden out of the wind, only to find the cold wind was everywhere.

I had opened a late birthday present from dear absent friend Sharon, and I placed something from it out in the garden.  I can’t show you a photo yet because I want to see if Allan notices it.

That was about all I accomplished except for a few photos before the wind and a rain squall sent me back indoors.


one of Allan’s ferns


a “black” hellebore


I do not tire of Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’


My unrealized goal had been to get the “stinkweed”, a rampant, smelly mint relative (native, wild) out of this northeast front corner.


Pieris, bright new leaves but no flowers


Another area I WOULD have weeded…


an unplanned colour echo


I should remember to plant more orange and gold tulips near that Japanese maple.


from outside the fence, in the rain

If I walked by, I would stop and stare into this garden…and often from the window, I see people doing just that.


Tulip sylvestris


an excellent bergenia

I walked just as far as the back patio, no further near the trees because of the wind.


Smokey did follow me outside.

I took a panorama, although it looks a little tilted in the middle.  I’ll do better next time:


With the rain and the lure of two almost overdue library books, I was happy to go back indoors.  Even when the rain stopped again, and the sun was out, the sound of the gusty wind soothed my non-weeding guilt.  I had some deep, intellectual reading to do:



Somehow Calvin briefly replaced Smokey on my lap.

Calvin is always noticeable as a lap sitter because he makes himself heavier than the other cats and his feet are hard and pokey unlike the soft paws of other kitties.

After the quick read of the Star Wars prequel (not bad at all!), I considered every photo in Bystander, a book about street photography that was heavy with text that did not much appeal to me.  Now both can go back to the library before becoming overdue.

I turned next to a book that I had recently purchased, having been reminded of it by someone quoting one of my favourite passages about gardening: “People go through five stages of gardening. They begin by liking flowers, progress to flowering shrubs, then autumn foliage and berries; next they go for leaves, and then the undersides of leaves.”

Here is the entire passage:



That reminds me of a cherished tiny bun of a dianthus that grows in the Wiegardt Gallery garden:


the slowly growing Dianthus mat that I hoped to snick a piece of for my scree garden

It has the tiniest, drabbest little flowers but oh how I loved it.  I tried to move a little piece to my garden; it did not take.

Getting enough sleep (for a change) and reading three books (well…two…because just looking at the pictures in Bystander did not count) made for an excellent day.  Knowing some work got done (not by me) made it even better.

I’ve added a new scrapbook post over on my Grandma blog.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

March 27: Planted new Stark Bros strawberries.  They really looked good from being put in straight mushroom compost.

1997 (age 72):

March 27:  Planted seeds—cabbages, leeks, more peppers in 50 cell tray.  Tomatoes in one of the APS trays are big enough to transplant into pots.  I’ll wait till its warm enough to do it outside.  Ditto with sprouted begonias.

1998 (age 73):

March 27:  I have been waking up with morning headaches lately but today it was a migraine.  I stayed in bed most of the day.  By late afternoon I felt ok.  [She had suffered terribly from migraines 2-3 times a month till she was over 60 years old, when they became just occasional.]

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 26 March 2016

We got up early (for us) in order to go to the high school and caucus for Bernie Sanders.  At this caucus for the democrats, Bernie was the most popular candidate by far, leading to a larger number of Bernie delegates being sent to the state convention.


Outside the high school. We live in a fishing town.

If you wish to know  how it works, you can read more about the event here:

“PACIFIC COUNTY — During Saturday’s Democratic caucuses, Pacific County voters showed an overwhelming preference for Bernie Sanders, the Vermont democratic socialist who has galvanized young voters with his populist platform.

Just over 81 percent of the county’s caucus participants supported Sanders, and just under 19 percent supported Clinton — a 62 percent margin, according to the Washington State Democrats website. That means Pacific County will send 77 Sanders delegates, and 18 Clinton delegates to the next step in the process, the 19th Legislative District convention.”

I am pleased to live in such a progressive area.


at the caucus


Tiffany Turner of Adrift Hotel opens the proceedings.

Above: To the right in red is Karen Brownlee, the potter who organized the recent Empty Bowls event.


Del Murry, Long Beach city councilman and, like me, a Ramones fan.


My friend Annie and I picked different candidates but were getting along fine. (Allan’s photo)

I did not like it one little bit when the reporter from the local paper stuck her camera right up in our faces without asking.  Allan managed to take the above photo without my even knowing he was doing so.


The counting of the paper ballots.  (Photo taken unobstrusively from the other end of the table!)

Our table adjourned into another building to hear some citizen speeches about why each of the two candidates was supported (Bernie, except for three speakers).



I find it hard to stand for a long stretch of time because of knee pain and lightheadedness, so we left before the speeches ended, having already done the important part of making our choice.  And our minds were not going to be changed; that was the purpose of the speechifying (some of it most eloquent, especially when I was in agreement); at the end, attendees would be given the opportunity to change their choice.  Oh, how sad it makes me to not choose the female candidate.  It would be a wonder to see a liberal woman president in my lifetime.  As a feminist since age 12, it is disappointing, but I just find Ms. Clinton too hawkish and too much of the moneyed class.  I’ll vote for her if she wins the national nomination, which I do think she will because…money wins.  However, we live in hope.

On the way out of the parking lot, we drove by the two excellent flowers displays that someone has planted along School Road.



Allan’s photo


Depot Restaurant

We had a brief mission at the Depot: deadheading.



Allan’s photo



Long Beach

More deadheading ensued in Long Beach along with the planting of two of my birthday Asphodeline lutea ‘Italian Gold’.


Allan was asked what these are: Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’, a naturalizing little tulip which has formed a good clump among the rugosa roses by the police station.


Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’


Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’


Tulip acuminata


I am smitten with these weird thin tulips.


Tulip acuminata



Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’


Allan’s photo: The most boring planter for the rest of the year is in its brief moment of glory.


Allan’s photo: our nemesis in a tulip

I see that Allan also noticed my new-this-year Tulip acuminata.

tulip acuminata.jpg

Tulip acuminata (Allan’s photo)


Tulip acuminata (Allan’s photo)

“The rare Fire Flame or Turkish Tulip dates back to at least the early 1800s. This rare heirloom has a wild form with uniquely narrow yellow flower petals edged and prominently tipped scarlet.”  (Van Engelen)  They are $2 apiece!

Basket Case Greenhouse

Last time we’d been to the Basket Case, I had been in too much leg pain to shop properly, so today we made up for it with another purchase and some more photos for the Basket Case Facebook page..


greenhouse kitty (Allan’s photo)

I asked Allan to go to the way back yard to get a photo of skunk cabbage.


Fred told him that a British man had asked if the nursery had them for sale, and said that in the UK, they are sold as “swamp lanterns”.  I was so pleased, as I was going to say again in the blog that I had read that they are called swamp lanterns in the UK.  I had been afraid to Google and find out it was not true, because I like the story so much.  Much joy that it is confirmed by Fred’s customer.


Swamp Lanterns is such a good name.


Allan’s photo: The hanging baskets, still young, will be completely covered with flowers later on.


Fred and I discussed more possible plants to order.


I got my birthday violas…forgot last time.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

I had some seeds to plant (bachelor buttons and sweet peas), along with some gladiolus bulbs donated by our client Jo.


at last some colour in the Golden Sands garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Deadheading narcissi, a bit of weeding, and planting of sweet peas took place at KBC, along with a discussion of knee replacement by friend and KBC manager Denny, who has had one knee done and may have the second about the same time that I have my first.  Denny is very happy with his new knee.  He said that the one thing I must NOT do is push the knee out sideways and “pop it out”.  I worried over this for quite some time while working, as this is how I work, and is how I have gardened for forty years.


I think I am going to be in trouble.

My “bad” leg (right) is always straight and my good leg (left) bent.  If I forget to bend my knee now and then on the bad one, it locks straight and is hell to bend.  How am I going to relearn how to work in a way that does not push my leg sideways? I  pivot on that leg pretty much all workday long.  I have 7-10 months to try to figure out a solution to this.  It is making me rethink the whole thing a bit.  I wonder if I could get a brace to wear instead of a new knee.  (I am not kidding, nor am I making light of polio, which my former partner had as a child.)


(Edited the next day to add:  My friend Sheila told me about knee braces that tennis players can wear after knee surgery.  I especially like the look of one like this:


And another friend who has had both knees replaced tells me it is only until the knee gets strong again that you must worry about it going sideways.  So my concerns have been laid to rest.)


People think my back must hurt but it is generally powerful and cooperative.


clam cleaning shed patio (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo, clam shed patio


clothes drying on the deck of one of the cottages (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Euphorbia (Allan’s photo)


Callistemon (Allan’s photo)

The reminds me, why why why do I still not have an Embothrium in my collection?


sword fern unfurling (Allan’s photo)


in the fenced garden


Erythronium (from my mom’s garden)


gorgeous new foliage of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ (will get eight feet tall)


buds on Peony ‘Molly the Witch’

Real name is mlokosewitschii.


Tulip ‘Orange Princess’


one of the little narcissi

I had wanted to deadhead and the Anchorage Cottages and then plant three plants in Long Beach on the way home.  A long rain storm passed over us all the way south so we just went straight to the…

Port of Ilwaco.


looking west from the east end port garden (Allan’s photo)

Editorializing: Nearby, grass by the parking lot was Round-up-ed.  Does it look better this way or green?


Now it does not have to be mowed or strimmed.  But…


narcissi to deadhead (Allan’s photo)


prowling for deadheads (Allan’s photo)


Tulip turkestanica closed up for the evening (Allan’s photo)


garden boat at Time Enough Books.  (Owner Karla named it, not me.)

I had picked some rosemary for Salt Hotel’s kitchen and, after delivering it and having a pleasant chat with Julez and Laila, we returned home, after making a spontaneous stop to pop three plants into one of the Ilwaco planters (Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, a variegated oregano and a golden thyme).

More knee thoughts:  From my seat in the van, upon leaving and arriving home, I see this cluster of grassy weeds on the edge of the garden.


little weeds

I find it extremely difficult to believe that I am supposed to not pull these for THREE months after the operation.  I know the first month will hurt, but come on!  There is no way I am going to be able to resist pulling weeds like this, especially if I am not going to work.  Some long handled tools are in order; I am used to bending right down and grabbing out any weed I see.


a grand bit of front garden


Tulip ‘Green Star’


front garden


Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’


Erythronium (dogtooth violet)


Fritillaria meleagris


Tulip ‘Gavota’, three years old and getting smaller in flower

Guest photo:


bouquet and photo by Todd Wiegardt for a memorial service

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 72):

March 26:  Don came to help chipping of pile behind garage but the chipper cord was stuck too tight to start machine.  I left message for Bill [her “handyman”] to see if he can get it going.

1998 (age 73):

March 26: 1:00-4:30  Cool—rainy and sunshine.  I started a big job today.  How come I like to work in my strawberries best?  I started cleaning the rows.  The first one was easy—mostly new plants from Gordons.  But by the time I started the second row, I realized most plants needed to be divided and it’s easier to dig all the plants and divide them at the work table so I tried that but got rained on.  I divided them in the greenhouse.  I hope to continue this work tomorrow but it will take several days.


Read Full Post »

Friday, 25 March 2016

I honestly thought it was going to be a stormy day, rainy and 45 degrees.  That’s what Siri told me last night at 1 AM.  She was mistaken.

We intended to begin the day by deadheading the Ilwaco planters, but it was Food Bank day and the streets were all parked up.


Allan managed to find parking to deadhead one planter.

 We spent the rest of the work day in Long Beach, thinking to do the Ilwaco planters on the way home.


street tree after deadheading.  some snail damage.


another street tree



Narcissi are my favourite flower.




Allan pulled some hardy geranium, not sure which one but similar to macrorrhizum in having a tidy habit, and we popped it into the garden at Penttila’s.  I found still more masses of damnable quack grass roots, of course.


Geraniums about to come out, to allow for more variety in this planter. (Allan’s photo)


Mission accomplished (Allan’s photo); room for some annuals.


“Skyler giveth and Skyler taketh away.” I do move plants around a lot.


Penttila’s mortuary, two days ago




in a garden on our way to the next project..

Our mission for the rest of the day: To get one more section of the Bolstad beach approach garden weeded.


the long narrow Bolstad garden (right next to the name)


before (Allan’s photo)


1:20 PM


By 3:20 we were only halfway done with the section (one of 13); worrisome

Our neighbours, Jared and Jessika, operate the Starvation Alley organic cranberry juice tasting room by the Long Beach arch.  Jessika ran by with her two dogs.


Rudder and Yarrow

One of the (few) pleasures of this job is all the cute dogs that walk by.

By six o clock, I did not think we were going to make it to the end of the section (the next planter).  My knee hurt like the dickens and Allan was moaning and groaning a bit, too.  Not only were we weeding but also clipping back, attacking with the pick, and trying to pull out rugosa roses right along the edge.  By 6:30, I was sure we were going to have to leave the last two square feet undone and was debating whether or not I could honestly erase the section from the work board.  Then, with a last burst of desperate energy and with the low evening sun in my eyes, we did it!

The final five minutes had some excitement when the extremely heavy pick fell of the planter and landed an inch from my toes.  That would have hurt.


really scary, must be much more careful in future and not get punchy and careless


7:02 PM

It is normal for one section of this beach approach garden to take six hours for two people.  That makes the entire job about 156 hours of work.  That is rather appalling!  We used to sometimes get assorted friends to help.  No matter who helped us (and we have had at least five different people give it a go), it never cut the time by one third so it’s faster to just do it ourselves.  Allan just reminded me that our helpers all liked to take a break, too…We just soldier on with complete focus and forget to take a ten minute break somewhere along the way (other than perhaps a necessary trip to the restroom).


after: state of collapse on the planter bench (Allan’s photo)


after, into the setting sun


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


rose debris to be dumped at city works


was able to legitimately erase one section of the beach approach

Work board lower right: Postcards is a future project for the Grandma Scrapbooks blog (sharing her old ones from 100 years ago).

I don’t think I can stand doing the beach approach day after day till done as in past years.  It requires so much standing still in one place, murder on my “collapsing” knee.  Tomorrow, we’ll do some deadheading rounds and then on the next work day, try to polish off a berm section which at least has more variety than the approach garden.  Tomorrow’s should begin with deadheading the Ilwaco planters and port gardens as we were too tired and sore to do it on the way home tonight.  But first, if only we can get up in time, we are going to caucus for Bernie Sanders.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 72):

March 25: Worked only 2 hours to exhaustion.  Yesterday Don said he would come out to help chip so I cleaned up the patio and in front of the wood box and piled it high on the pile.  He’s going to be shocked at the size of the pile.  I can’t find the chipper instructions.  My Dutch Garden new begonias are starting to grow.

1998 (age 73):

March 25:   1:00 to 4:45.  Today I moved all the pots of perennials from the greenhouse to tables etc outside where they’ll get rained on.  Then I washed all the white begonia baskets.  That was a big job!  Also cleaned Tabby’s “sand box”.  Tomato seeds planted on 3/20 and 3/21 are coming up!

Read Full Post »

I expected another stormy day off and instead woke to sunshine.  Hoping for nothing worse than a few showers, we decided to finish the mortuary garden (Penttila’s Chapel).


our Ilwaco Post Office garden


at the post office


On the way, we stopped in at our accountant’s office to sign our tax return.


Jennifer’s office: tulips


and accounting mascot, Helen

At Pentilla’s, I did a bit more detwigging of the dead bits on the coral bark maple.





I felt lightheaded enough while pruning to finally get the nerve to call the neurologist’s office for my test results…only to find, through a series of phone calls to his office and the hospital, that he had not been sent the results.  NOW he has them but his office is closed tomorrow, so perhaps I will hear on Monday.Oh, good, three more days that I can indulge in Ostrich Syndrome. If the results are good, he’ll tell me on the phone.  If bad, we have to go to Aberdeen again.  (During the worst of the lightheadedness, which did pass, I thought, well, I’m already at the mortuary, that’s convenient!)

Our main focus today was the north side of the front garden.


Allan’s photo, during a rain squall


kinnikinnick full of quack grass and creeping buttercup

The kinnikinnick is a horrible ground cover as its stems are loose and sprawling, giving plenty of room for weeds to come through, and its humped up centers are treacherous foot catchers.  There are ground covers that I think do the job much better: Geranium macrrorhizum and epimediums come to mind, and since we yanked a bunch of kinnikinick today, I think I will bring starts of something better to add to this garden.

Why the kinnikinick is so bad:


matts of white quack grass roots all tangled up with the kinnikinnick roots; horrible!


Allan’s photos: before



I got out huge mats of the white grass roots; this involved a lot of standing in one place and eventually my knee hurt like blazes.


After.  I threw in some poppy seeds.


lots of heavy and horrible weed roots

With some time left in the day, we deadheaded at Long Beach City Hall…


City Hall Garden


poeticus narcissi


trilliums and hellebore


after more deadheading at Culbertson Park

We got rained on hard thrice during the day, including when we went to city works to get some buckets of mulch for one of the parks.


Lightness around the edges always gives us hope.


more park mulching accomplished


Allan’s photo: Camassia


Allan’s photo: tulip


Allan’s photo: under a street tree


Allan’s photo with the Long Beach chop sticks; good one!!


Allan’s photo


Tulip ‘Portland’ (Allan’s photo)


primroses still going strong

While working with pain, I tried not to think of the doctor’s word “collapsing” about my knee.  As the upcoming total knee replacement, and how it affects gardening, weighed on my mind, I remembered the ridicule of a (former) friend toward a former neighbour (also a gardener by trade) who sought Facebook sympathy for his hip replacement.   I thought to myself weakly at the time that anyone, no matter how unlikeable, might validly seek sympathy for such an event, but did not speak up.  However…My narrative flow here is not about getting sympathy; it is about the interesting (to some) chronicle of the progression of age on the full time gardener.  So I might go on about my knee on occasion, and that is just the way it will be.

I am reading a good book called Being Mortal by Atul Gawande in which he quotes Philip Roth:  “Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.”  For my grandma, knee pain was chronic from her mid 50s on.  The massacre of extreme debilitation came at about age 78; for my father, at 79 and for my mother, at 85.  Both mum and grandma had a son or daughter or granddaughter to help them live pretty well from 75 on when they began to weaken.  Childless, I wonder how that will go for me.  Many of my friends are childless; if we were together, we could help each other, perhaps.

Upon our arrival back home, the beauty of the garden was cheering, as was my greeting from Smokey:



Fritillaria meleagris alba


Tulip ‘Green Star’


another kind of frit, I think?


Tulip ‘Portland’


Dutch iris and Ribes speciosum


Tulip sylvestris


Arisarum proboscideum are blooming under its leaves.


common name, Mouseplant, with flowers like little mice diving into the ground


Allan’s photo


gold foliage in Allan’s garden

In the back garden, I picked a bouquet to take to Salt Pub.


back garden




Tulips, with Smokey and Onyx


I must find time to weed the horsetail.


by the bogsy woods



Pulmonaria, corydalis, and Smokey




our neighbour Onyx


debating whether to cut that golden Hypericum to new growth at base


The Ann Lovejoy





Fuchsia magellanica is already blooming!

Then we were off to Salt Hotel to meet Dave and Melissa for our weekly garden club meeting.


a bouquet for Laila


a nerve-soothing Gibson


our view

I had a Black Forest Ham melt in honor of having been working on a blog about my grandma’s recipes; she loved a ham dinner.


I almost forgot to take a photo of Melissa’s crab cakes.


Mel backs off from her dinner so I can take a photo.


Just in time!


We do enjoy our meetings! (Allan’s photo)

With Penttila’s erased from the workboard, nothing but bad weather and deadheading and doctors can keep us from the beach approach and berms.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 72):

March 24:  Don brought another check which makes more than 12 grand [for selling toy trains that had belonged to her husband, who had died in 1995].  He followed me over to the Texaco station down the road and I discovered they don’t have that thing on the hose that makes it so hard to put gas in the car so I should be able to pump my own gas!  Got gas for chipper, too.

1998 (age 73):

March 24:  Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower seeds are up in 3 days!


Read Full Post »

A bonus scrapbook post, reblogged because I like my grandma’s scrapbooking to be noticed 😉

The Grandma Scrapbooks

My grandmother, Gladys Corinne Walker, was born in Michigan in 1897.  During her childhood on a farm in Argyle, Michigan, she created scrapbooks in old repurposed catalogs. She must have been in her late teens and early 20s when assembling this album, based on a 1914 seed packet in the first set of photos, and the WWI images that begin to appear in the second set.  She moved to Seattle in 1915 or 16 and  continued the scrapbook there into the mid 1920s.

 Let’s leaf through them page by page together, taking a closer look at especially interesting pictures.

There are many striking black and white drawings in this scrapbook.  I’ll be sorting the photos by that and other themes after they are all posted.DSC04528
































That is the end of this large scrapbook.

Three more scrapbooks to go…

View original post

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »