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

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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.


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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.]

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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.


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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!

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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!


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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…

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

After attending the Quilt Show, I spent the day sorting through my photos from 2012-13 for the first memorial post for Mary Cat. It took a very long time as I deleted many the photo from my computer.  I certainly do not need every before and after photo of jobs we no longer do.


evening: my Todd birthday bouquet still looked fabulous.


Monday, 21 March 2016

I spent the day doing the same project of deleting photos and making the Mary memorial with photos from 2014-16.  It was cathartic, with the gratifying side effect of deleting about 4000 photos in all.

Allan helped out by unpacking my birthday plants for me….


Lovely Asphodeline.

and running errands…


Cow Wow! mulch in the rain at Jo’s, when he went to pick up mulch money.


deadheading at Long Beach City Hall


zombie bouquet and Renee O’Connor sidewalk tile

Smokey sat right next to me watching me make the blog post.



He sort of fell asleep.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Today was my appointment with a knee doctor in Astoria.



beautiful clouds on our way across the Astoria Megler bridge


Allan’s photo; he said I looked “small entering the big building.”


knee doctor exam room art

The kindly doctor said my right knee has severe degenerative arthritis and is collapsing, that it is genetic and not unusual to have one knee much worse than the other (the left one is pretty fine still).  There is no temporary fix so I need a complete knee replacement.  I was not surprised.  He said that he has replaced many the knee for women in their 50s.  I told him that friends advise me to go to Rebound in Portland (because the basket ball team gets treated there) and that I DO NOT WANT to because going to the city 2.5 hours a way would just add to my stress and anxiety.  (And I don’t care about basketball although I am sure the players get great medical care.) He said he is an excellent surgeon with much experience and the very best of knees on offer, so I will be glad to be able to have it done in Astoria.  I am hoping to wait till November, though, somehow hobbling through another gardening year, as I cannot afford to lose three months of income.  Yes, he says the recovery time will be THREE MONTHS of not gardening. (My mind reels.)  THREE.  Maybe because he will also be straightening my leg. When he said something about “soft tissue”, I tuned out.  I also will probably not look at the knee replacement youtube video he told me about.

Late November through late February would just be doable for NOT GARDENING.  I like to think that the doc was impressed with my pain tolerance.  At least he did not pressure me, but he did advise me to give them two months notice for when I decide, and to call him if I can’t take the pain anymore.  He seemed amused when I told him I have such a bad case of ostrich syndrome that I have not pursued the results of last week’s MRI, since “each day of ignorant bliss is precious.”  (Surely I’d have gotten a phone call if at death’s door?)

I am reassured because I know Mr. Tootlepedal got through a knee replacement and says he has a fine new knee and is bicycling many many miles (although all I want to do is walk a couple of miles again).  My first memories of my grandma include her being in knee pain daily (affected by cold weather, which mine is not) with her knees wrapped in ace bandages daily.  She would have been just about my present age.  Would that this technology of knee replacement had been available to her in the 1960s.

I would have liked for Allan and I to stay in Astoria for a nice lunch with a view on the riverfront.  Ideally followed by a long and vigorous walk on the River Walk (next year?).  With the weather too fine and the following three days having rain and wind predicted, I felt the pressure of work so back to the peninsula we went.


view from the bridge going back

Penttila’s Chapel

I had recently added Penttila’s Chapel (a mortuary, not a church) garden to the spring clean up list.  I’d been thinking of passing the job on to Sea Star Gardening (Dave and Melissa) until I realized the job still has sentiment for me.  Allan and I helped install the garden with Dan’s partner, Wayne (his choice of plants, mostly), while my mother’s body was in the mortuary.  Although that sounds macabre, if you knew my mother, you’d know she’d have gotten a kick out that.  However, when mortician Dan drove up, I did give him Dave and Mel’s card for his own personal garden clean up.




3.25 hours later



I think it very strange to have McDonald’s across the street from a mortuary/crematorium.  (When I moved here, there was no national chain restaurant on the peninsula, and McD’s is still the only one.)



Allan’s befores and afters:




lots of sorrel in amongst the beach strawberries

I would love to clip back that lithodora after it flowers.  I loathe that stuff!  However, cutting it back after it blooms would expose some plastic liner that Wayne installed and I forgot to ask Dan if I could remove the upper part of the liner.





I added some Flanders Field poppy seeds because they seem appropriate for remembrance; I hope they take.



I cannot erase this off the work board yet as we still need to weed on the right of the front garden.


After (ish): At least I got the sword ferns cut.


finishing touches


lots of annoying little weeds, mostly sorrel, to haul off.

MaryBeth had stopped by while we were weeding and given me some garden decorations.  When told of the knee results, she commented that she had seen my right leg go out more and more sideways (the result of “collapsing”) in “the past two years”.  That’s what I had told the doc, and he had expressed surprise it could happen in just two years….apparently so.  Before that, I think limping around was the only evidence.  (“Are you limping?” I was often asked, as was my former partner Robert who had had polio as a child.)


lovely new tree baubles from MaryBeth

Allan found a beetle hanging out on the fence post, “with a spider and some tater bugs” and brought me this photo.  He said it was lady bug size (and then added, “No, a foot long.” I could not ID it, but, with help from a Facebook friend, I now know it is Calligrapha multipunctata – Common Willow Calligrapha (wonderful name).


Calligrapha multipunctata – Common Willow Calligrapha


Smokey and Frosty in the same chair

Wednesday, 23 March, 2016

I woke early, all anxious about perhaps having to cross the bridge during winter storms for 2X a week physical therapy after knee surgery in late November.  I called the doc’s office and was reassured I will be able to do the physical therapy at the PT place in Ilwaco.  So happy!

When I emerged into the living room, I found Smokey and Frosty cuddled up, and that made me even happier.


I woke them up.

A kind card came with a thoughtful and reassuring message from the vet who treated their mother, Mary, last week.



with Smokey sitting on the card.

Writing about the quilt show absorbed the stormy day, because I wanted to type out each of my favourite quilters’ description of their quilts.


Frosty and Smokey, making me happy


another day from the birthday bouquet

And now…to catch up on the Tootlepedal blog.  Here is an appropriate photo from the recent quilt show:


For those who are interested, I’ve published another set of old scrapbook pictures over on Grandma’s Scrapbooks.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 72):

March 20:  Took all the branches that were on the wood box off but couldn’t lift it.  I pulled it partway off.  There is a lot of small (kindling) branches on top of some old wood.  I’ll keep burning wood in shed as its easier to get to and it burns good.

March 21:  Worked 2 1/2 hours weeding strawberry rows.  That plant that spews its hard seeds is in bloom so I’d better get them pulled before they go to seed.  [She must mean shotweed.]

March 22:  5 hours.  Finished weeding regular strawberry bed.  I now need to cut off the runners and move the daughter plants back into the rows—then plant the new Raintree plants (100).  The berries over by the asparagus bed aren’t as weedy as the main bed.

March 23:  I’m surprised that I’m not stiff and sore from over 5 hours sitting on my stool while weeding berries.

1998 (age 73):

March 20:  Beautiful day!  Well I started planting tomatoes with card table set up and planted about 8 hours mostly tomatoes.  I have 8 1/2 flats full.  I used the 9 part square pots mostly new pots.  I’m hoping that planting in the 9 section pot will enable me to get the seedlings out without root damage when I repot them.  Tomorrow I have to figure out where to put all these trays.

March 21: It was raining all day so I continued planting veggie seeds, then I saw the “SEED” sign on a metal box in the closet and found more veggie seeds.  Most are old old seeds.  I’ll plant some but I think I’ll just throw them out in the fall as a cover crop.

March 23:  It rained hard until late afternoon.  I moved some of the begonia trays so I could put some tomato trays under lights.  I also have them in bathroom fluorescent and on kitchen card table (with two heat pads under them).  I haven’t planted any flower seeds yet because I don’t know where to put them.




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Sunday, 20 March 2016

We made it to the quilt show!  at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.  It was not a long trip as the museum is about three blocks from our house.


Here are our favourite quilts, with an excerpt about the quilt following each one.  Each of the 130 quilts had its own beauty.  This selection is influenced by my love of garden and beach themes, jewel tones of purple-blue-green, and an appreciation for abstract patterns.  You can look at every one of the quilts in this Peninsula Quilt Guild’s Facebook page album.  If your favourite colours are earth tones, you’ll find many more quilts to admire.


garden themes


The Hawaiian Pineapple by Becky Olson Evans

Becky Olson Evans:  “Pi’o Ana Keanuenue Ma Luna O Luna’I” is the Hawaiian name for this quilt by Pacific Rim Company.  The busier the applique the more fun I have…

The Hawaiian pineapple quilt had a crowd around it admiring the stitching.  Someone said the quilter used the width of her finger as a guide.

Below: I do love a green and purple colour theme.


Purple Garden by Marge Herrell



Autumn Breeze by Joanie Chapel

Joanie Chapel:  “The leaves were made with one of a kind hand dyed batiks.  It was fun making the leaves as beautiful and striking as possible.


Autumn Breeze detail 


Winter Friends by Deborah Berkely

Deborah Berkely: “I wanted a new challenge, so 45 degree angles was it.  I sewed, ripped out, cussed (under my breath), and sewed again.  After numerous attempts, it all came together but surprise—it was the total opposite of the pattern.



Empress Garden by Teri Keizur

Teri Keizur: “I started this quilt in late 2009. one of the first quilting classes I took.  The hexagons went together quickly, but the quilt was up on the design wall two or three times before the layout was finalized.


Below, the quilt that got my vote for the best medium quilt.  Again, I was swayed by childhood memories of my grandmother’s autumn canning.  I also may have been swayed by fondness for the creator of the quilt, a former gardening client (whose garden I gave up because it was steep and plagued my knees).


Aunt Dorothy’s Pantry by Ann Saari

Ann Saari:  “I found some canning jar patterns in a box of fabric I got at a sale and they reminded me of the pantry (actually cellar) at my Aunt Dorothy’s farm out east of Spokane.  Each summer I stayed there helping with gardening and canning.”


Aunt Dorothy’s Pantry detail


Aunt Dorothy’s Pantry detail

I was overwhelmed by sweet memories of helping my grandmother can pears, peaches, applesauce, green beans, tomato sauce, bread and butter pickles, Virginia sweet chunk pickles, beets, apple butter…

The medium quilt that would otherwise had gotten my “people’s choice” vote also featured fruit…uncanned, on the tree.


Simply Delicious by Sue Grennan and Beth Riesen


Simply Delicious detail


Butterflies by Kathy M Dean

Kathy M Dean: “This 60s era quilt top was purchased at an antique store in Aurora, Oregon.  I added the borders and had it hand quilted by a wonderful group of women.  Fun fabrics, including the red telephone fabric.”


Butterflies detail


Chick Jubilee by Beth Olson-Evans

Becky Olson Evans:  “Several years ago I completed 3 of these blocks and then lost interest and tried to sell the kit.  Nobody bought it, so since I had so much work already done, I gritted my teeth and finished it!  So glad I did not sell it as it is a favorite of mine!”


Chick Jubilee detail


Crazy in the Garden by Jan Darcher

Jan Darcher:  “Original design, inspired by my garden.  Hand embroidery on “fancy” fabric.”

My favourite large garden themed quilt:


Hollyhocks by Maureen Bittner

I couldn’t even get far enough back to get this whole large quilt in the photo.   Maureen Bittner:  “…from a pattern found in the Mar 2001 Quilters’ Newsletter Magazine.  I fell in love with the quilt and decided to make it a scrap quilt instead of using batiks.  After finishing the quilt thought the border too blah so I appliqued butterflied to it, which was not part of the pattern.”

Hollyhocks almost got my vote for best large quilt because I loved the butterflies around the edge so much.  Here are some detail shots:





memory quilts

There was one quilt that just aced out Hollyhocks for my Large Quilt People’s Choice vote,  because it reminded me of my childhood when I used to go camping with my mom and my dad, an avid lake and river fisherman.  The name of the quilt is perfect:


Childhood Memories by Earline Nichols

Earline Nichols  “I found this pattern in a quilt shop last summer in Caldwell, ID.  It reminded me of the many fishing trips I went on with my father in various parts of Idaho and Yellowstone Park.  It was quite a task to get all embroidery finished so I could enter it in the show.




This is the first time a non garden-themed quilt got my vote for best of its category (large).

More quilts that evoke memories:


Postcards from the Past by Earline Nichols






Mother’s Dresses by Marge Herrell (photo borrowed from Quilt Guild page)

Marge Herrell:  “After my Mother passed away, I used her fabric scraps to make memory quilts.  I made 8 small quilts for family members.”   The dresses were beautiful; I wish this quilt had caught my eye so I could have gotten a crisper photo.  I think it was in a busy, bustling room of small quilts.


Papa Quilt #6 by Janet Darcher

Janet Darcher:  “Following my father’s passing in Feb 2005, I made six Papa Quilts for my mother and sisters (4) from his favorite “stuff”.  He was a fireman, carpenter, gardener, and grew up in the “dust bowl” and served in the Navy during WWII.”


Dresden Plate Tablerunner by Joe Ann Riedesel

Joe Ann Riedesel:  “My mother had started the blocks using a pattern from Fons and Porter Magazine.  When she passed away I inherited the project.  I finally decided to finish the blocks and set them together.  A “sunny” way to remember my mother.”

I read the following description of a quilt that I did not photograph. I now wish I could see it, as this touches me so deeply:

Remembering Grandmother by Audrey Johnson:  “My grandmother made a quilt with this pattern sometime before 1967.  My sister has that quilt.  I drafted a pattern and used 30s reproductions of fabric like she had put in her quilt.  All the “Y” seems make it a bit harder than a smple nine patch.  I often wished for Grandmother to be at my elbow to explain how to best construct this block.”

A memory quilt for someone I knew:


Nethel by Carol Osterholm

Carol Osterholm:  “Two very dear friends, Ethel and Nellie.  For the life of me I could not keep their names straight so called them both Nethel! They both loved blue and yellow so this quilt is dedicated to them both.”

memorial for quilter Nellie Beasley

Long time Peninsula resident, expert quilter, and occasional gardening client of ours Nellie Beasley died earlier this year.  The Quilt Guild memorialized her with a display of photos and her quilts.




Red Hats

Nellie Beasley’s Red Hats quilt


geometric and abstact quilts

Along with my love of gardening quilts, I also go in a big way for bright and exciting patterns in jewel tones and for the traditional quilt patterns in my favourite colours.


Bargello Wave by Doris Schalka

Doris Schalka:  “I’ve always said “Wow” at any Bargello quilt I’ve seen.  I found a pattern that simplified the construction but found that the hard part was getting the colors to flow to make the wave effect.”


Happy by Gail Messick

Gail Messick:  “Took a class from Janet King.  This pattern was way out of my comfort zone, but I was able to complete it and I’m happy with it.  Just like the bright colors.  Seems to make the pattern stand out.


Happy detail

Below: Again, I do love a green and purple colour theme.


New Beginnings by Billie Warrick

 Billie Warrick:  “I originally started this quilt for a guest room my eldest daughter usually stays in.  Purple is her favourite color.  She recently bought a home for her and our precious granddaughter.  What better housewarming present than a quilt for her new beginnings.

oriental ovals

Oriental Ovals by Maureen Bittner

Maureen Bittner:  “I made this quilt in a class taught by Lee Fowler using her pattern Encapsulated.  It was a fun quilt to make and great for using up scraps.


Oriental Ovals detail


Batik Brawl #5 by Karen Snyder

Karen Snyder:  “Random and wonky were the goals for this quilt—a part of my effort to use up my batik fabrics.  This quilt nearly depleted my batiks.  Yeah!”

mariners delight

Mariner’s Delight by Gretchen Mobley


Gretchen Mobley: “This quilt is a Block-of-the-Month project.  It was my first paper-piecing quilt.  It was quite a challenge and I discovered while doing it that I enjoy paper-piecing.  It won’t be my last paper-piecing quilt.”


Under the Big Top by Joane Chapel


Joanie Chapel:  “I always wanted to be in a circus.  Never happened so I made a circus quilt.  All 7 Dresden Plates were appliqued with the wildest fabric in my stash.  It took months to free motion quilt every inch of this quilt.  I am slow.


Scraps Add Up! by Kathy Vale

Kathy Vale:  “The strips for this scrap quilt were pieced on adding machine tape I found at a thrift shop.  Many small scraps were used, the strips were then made into blocks and viola…a paper pieced scrap quilt.  It was lots of fun to make, but it didn’t make a dent in my scrap accumulation!


Scraps Add Up! detail


Follow Me by Lynda Newell

Lynda Newell: “A Jacqueline DeJong pattern that really got my brain ticking.  These look pretty intimidating but really when done step by step in her directions they aren’t too bad.  They do take a considerable amount of time to complete.  Jacqueline is from The Netherlands. The translations sometimes require standing on your head to understand.



Catch Me If You Can by Lynda Newell

Lynda Newell: “Complicated looking geometric designs really get my brain ticking.  Jacqueline DeJong, through her company, Be Colourful, is one of my favourite designers.  She lives in The Netherlands.  Her early patterns were all in metrics but she is now printing them in inches, which is much easier to figure out.  Her translation to English is still sometimes challenging.”


Trip Around the World by Joanie Chapel

Joanie Chapel: “This is a color splash quilt.  I love to select colors from light to dark and blend them together.


Dinner at the Canton Grill by Kathy Vale

This quilt won me over despite being in brown tones.  I love the description:  “Using Asian fabrics, I made this wall hanging and I used a technique from Freddy Moran, called “sticks”.  When it was completed, I was reminded of the dinner table after a Chinese meal at the Canton Grill in Portland, OR, I restaurant our family frequented many times when I was growing up.  Chopsticks everywhere, and tip money left on the table.”  Now I have a strong desire to dine at a Chinese restaurant.


Space by Marian Martzall

Marian Martzall:  “This quilt was inspired by the hand-dyed fabric I bought (the most I’ve ever paid for a yard of fabric) and I didn’t want to cut it up.


Pop! by Renee Newstrum

Renee Newstrum: “Pop! is what happens when bright prints are highlighted on a low volume background.  This Drunkard Path pattern was inspired by a photo of a wall hanging of the big medallion centerpiece.”


Glacier Star by Lynda Newell



1st Wife by Janet Darcher




Quilts at the Beach

One wall of quilts all featured a beach theme.

Beach Challenge:  “Each year the Northwest Quilt Guild Exposition is held in Portland, Oregon.  This year, the organizers challenged the Peninsula Quilt Guild to make and display quilts depicting our vision of “life at the beach”.  The quilts needed to be fairly small and originals by guild members.  The results are as varied as the artists who created them.”

These were my favourites:


School’s Out by Joanie Chapel

Clearly, Joanie Chapel’s were my favourite quilts of the show.  School’s Out got my vote for best small quilt.  Joanie Chapel:  “I love applique, embellishment and landscaping in my quilts.  I combined all three when I made this quilt.  The fish were fun to make.”  Little sparkly “jewels” embellish this quilt.


School’s Out detail


School’s Out detail; I love the ocean floor.


Pacific Sunset by Karen Snyder

Karen Snyder: “When our guild was asked to participate in a challenge called Quilts at the Beach, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and do a non-traditional quilt.  It was my first time beading and I really enjoyed it.


Pacific Sunset detail


Beach Challenge by Ann Saari

Ann Saari:  “I used several paper pieced designs from Cheryl Peck’s book “Seascapes” and put them together.  I need a class to make this really work.”  I think it works well, Ann.


Night Clamming by Renee Newstrum

Renee Newstrum:  “My improvisational quilt depicts the magic that is clamming at night.  The remnants of sunset, the stars in the darkening sky, and all the lanterns carried by people are all parts of what makes this such a favorite experience.”


Megan’s World by Marian Martzall

Marian Martzall:  “I saw this pattern while visiting my granddaughter, Megan in Newport OR, while she was going to school to become an Aquarist.  Hence, I got to try a new method/pattern and use my Batik in the border that I bought in Ghana, Africa.”


Megan’s World detail


Wind and Waves by Gloria Park

Gloria Park: “Living at the beach brings us lots of wind.  The wind brings the kite enthusiasts with their bright, beautiful, and all around delightful kites.  Blue ocean waves and soaring kites make for outstanding days.”


Hanging Buoys by Terri Seifried

Terri Seifried:  “I made this quilt to hang in my sewing room.  The pattern and fabrics make me happy.”


Life at the Beach by Billie Warrick

Billie Warrick:  “A celebration of our life here at the beach.  Despite the ever looming threat of a tsunami, life goes on.


Life at the Beach detail


Surfside Sea Watch by Rena Andrews

Rena Andrews: “This quilt was inspired by where I live just two blocks from the beach on the Long Beach Peninsula.  It was designed by using a composite of photos taken by my daughter and myself.”


Dawn by Beth Riesen

Beth Riesen:  “This quilt is based on a photo that I took on my first morning clam tide.  I turned around just in time to catch the sunrise.  As I looked at the photo later, I realized the sunrise was reflected in the sand.  The photo and many of the fabrics were pinned to the design wall for months.  This was my first attempt at a landscape quilt.”


Sunsets and Bonfires by Lynda Newell

Lynda Newell: “Sunsets and Bonfires popped into my head immediately with fond memories of childhood growing up in Seaside where I live today and still enjoy those magical times on the beach.


Lighthouse Landscape by Maureen Bittner


Lighthouse Landscape detail


Clam On by Joe Ann Riedesel

Joe Ann Riedesel: “I love to dig clams.  I had my husband draw the pattern for the Lady Clammer.


Oysterville Then and Now by Terri Seifried

Terri Seifried:  “This quilt is a loose interpretation from an aerial map of Oysterville, WA designed by Rickie Seifried.  She was inspired by a workshop she took with Victoria Goodwin.  Photos were incorporated to give a sense of time between the present and the past.”

When I first lived here, that barn was still standing, but fragile; it blew down in a wind storm.


Dancing Kites by Kelly O’Brien

Kelly O’Brien: “I took a class on woven quilts a couple of years ago.  The theme of the beach challenge was anything to do with the beach and I love kites.

The quilt below was larger and not in the beach theme display, even though it is definitely beachy.


Summer Flip Flops by Joanie Chapel


a few more quilts


Spools by Terri Seifried

Terri Seifried: “I made this quilt to hang in my sewing room.  The pattern and fabrics make me happy.”


Seven Cats Make One Weak by Janet Darcher



Janet Darcher:  “Redwork (hand embroidery).  Made for my daughter when she was 13.”




Dr. Who by Beth Riesen

Beth Riesen: “My son-in-law is a huge Dr. Who fan.  I have been looking for the perfect pattern for a Dr. Who quilt.  I saw the quilt made up at Fabric Depot.  My quilt will be going to him right after the show and will be going on deployment in May.”  Our very best wishes for her son-in-law’s safe return.  We are Dr Who fans also.


Dr Who’s Tardis by Kathy Vale

Kathy Vale:  “My grown son, Sean, loves anything Dr. Who! So I made this little scrap quilt for him.  There was no pattern, only a picture on Pinterest, so I graphed it out and collected some yellow frabric and started. It was fun and another scrappy quilt for me to make.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed my favourites of the 130 quilts that were on display in the show.







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Saturday, 19 March 2016

I would rather have stayed home and sorted photos of Mary the cat.  (In fact, as our regular readers know, I did do the sorting and posting over the next couple of days.) However good weather, a charitable event, and work called.

Empty Bowls


Local potter Karen Brownlee devoted weeks of energy to this event, organizing, helping with the making of the bowls, and publicizing.


We got there at 10:45 to get a good chance at the bowls I’d seen on Facebook!

(Don’t anyone tell the little ones, but I always go for a bowl by a grown up potter!)


There was a plug for the quilt show in the window…we still hadn’t made it to the quilts.  (Allan’s photo)


crowds gather around the bowls


Our Kathleen arrived shortly after us.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s first choice was the large tan bowl on the left. Our Kathleen also had an eye for its functional beauty and nabbed it later. He went for an octopus design.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


our friend Robbie and her bowls

Robbie had been holding her bowls right in front, but moved them when I said they looked like a reverse coconut bra.


live entertainment


an assortment of soups on offer


Allan’s photo

My very favourite soup, smokey tomato and bleu cheese from the 42nd Street Café, was one of the options.


Robbie’s bowls


Allan’s and my bowls (later at home)


Allan’s photo


Robbie’s photo: me and Our Kathleen.  (You eat out of plain bowls, not the ones you buy.)

Then, without lingering quite as long as we would have liked, Allan and I left for the Planter Box to get some mulch for Jo’s garden.

On the way north, we stopped for photos when we saw that the Long Beach carousel  being assembled for the season.


Allan’s photo


Installing the fabric roof in the wind


in a planter across the street (Allan’s photo)

The Planter Box

Our goal was the dairy manure mulch, now known by a zippy new name:


Cow WOW!


Raymond loads our little trailer

While Allan reloaded the buckets and wheelbarrow, I took some plant photos for the Planter Box Facebook page.






double primroses pink…


…and white


an early blooming white clematis that I acquired for myself a coulpe of years ago

Jo’s garden


trailer load, one yard of Cow WOW

At Jo’s, the mulch has to be bucketed into the garden because of a few steps at the east end and just one step at the west end.


ahead: the steps


entry bed, mulched


and the shade bed


and the bed by the east deck

back to the Planter Box

Last year, we scraped the bottom of the cow mulch pile and were only able to apply one yard.  This year, the lavish pile allowed us to return to get a second yard to make the garden extra fluffy.


Planter Box: The Next Generation


Allan’s photo


second load


white bleeding heart




some poppy plants for Jo (Allan’s photo)

back to Jo’s

This time we parked at the end of the west lawn and Allan wheelbarrowed the buckets up three at a time.


It’s a long way.

I did the dumping and spreading of mulch.  I am thankful to report that the Really Bad leg pain of a few days ago went back to just the ordinary amount…thank goodness.


the west end entry step

One could put a ramp on that little step.  However, the brick paths are narrow and the garden full of plants, making it actually easier to bucket.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


center courtyard mulched


Allan’s photos: Jo’s sword fern yesterday…


and today


northwest bed mulched


NW corner


west bed, where we ran out last year, nicely mulched


On the way home, we drove by the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and I remembered I had wanted to pull the chickweed from one of their planters before the quilt show, which had started yesterday.  Kitty Mary’s death had changed our plan to attend the quilt show on Friday and I had forgotten the weed.  We don’t take care of those two planters; the chickweed just bugs me.


museum planter, before



While weeding here, I had a brainstorm.  The small amount of mulch we had left would be just perfect to mulch our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office, so with a slight sense of reluctance I decided to donate it to that good cause instead of applying it to a few needy plants at home.


leftover mulch (Allan’s photo)




In taking the after photo, I had another brainstorm: Those two grasses have seen their last good days and have to go!  So out they came.  You can see to the far left that they have made some nice new starts.


the new after

Maddeningly, I thought of removing the grasses after using up all the mulch so had none to nicely fill in the empty spot.


post office looking more colorful


at home: akebia blooming

We had time to rest for a short while and then turned around to meet Our Kathleen for dinner at Salt Pub on the waterfront.


‘Twas a belated birthday occasion as Kathleen was in her workaday world on my birthday.  (Allan’s photo)

She gave me a fabulous plant, knowing I love green flowers:


Hellebore ‘Jade Dragon’..or is it ‘Jade Tiger’?  It’s outside in the dark as I write this.


I had a much needed Gibson


Todd’s birthday flowers from Thursday are still looking fine


flowers, Laila, and Annika


the work board with all the spring clean up done except for Long Beach!


which did not last long, because Penttila’s chapel (misspelled on the board) emailed back that they would love a spring garden cleanup.

Guest photos:


Nancy Gorshe sent me this photo of my friend Scooter in Marilyn’s (her mom’s) garden


from Todd Wiegardt:  Ipheion ‘Albert Costillo’

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 73):

March 19th:  Beautiful day.  I took Tabby to the vet to get her booster shot and nail clipping.  I didn’t get outside but got started on seed planting.  I got the ones planted that had to be put in the shop refrig.  I got labels to make for tomatoes but if it’s as nice outside I’ll work in the garden tomorrow.

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