Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for Oct, 2016

A guest photo from the bayside garden, from after the windstorm last weekend:

fall color maple, photo by Steve McCormick

fall color maple, photo by Steve McCormick

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Many bulbs arrived, as expected.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

My plan to sort bulbs until dinner time was thwarted by weather so sunny and warm that we simply had to go to work.  The Ilwaco boatyard needed tidying after the recent 60 mph wind storm.

wind blasted foliage (Allan's photo)

wind blasted foliage (Allan’s photo)

Winter clean up reveals candy from the May Children's Parade (maybe)...Allan's photo

Fall clean up reveals candy from the May Children’s Parade (maybe)…Allan’s photo

Two of the anti-flower-theft signs have gone blank. (Allan's photo)

Two of the anti-flower-theft signs have gone blank. (Allan’s photo)

an unseasonal poppy (Allan's photo)

an unseasonal poppy (Allan’s photo)

I trimmed back a few more of the santolinas and a couple of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’.  The santolinas are in several different stages now:

flopping open and about to be trimmed

flopping open and about to be trimmed

freshly trimmed today (could have been cut even harder)

freshly trimmed today (could have been cut even harder)

trimmed a few weeks ago and already silvering up again

trimmed a few weeks ago and already silvering up again

This one has leafed out beautifully from being cut back hard in early autumn.

This one has leafed out beautifully from being cut back hard in early autumn.

I might leave a few semi-floppy ones like this to cut back early next spring.

I might leave a few semi-floppy ones like this to cut back early next spring.

Santolina 'Lemon Fizz' starting to revert to green, as it always does within a year or less.

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ starting to revert to green, as it always does within a year or less.

This Artemisia 'Powis Castle' looks handsome enough to leave alone today.

This Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ looks handsome enough to leave alone today.

This one had gotten leggy so I cut it way back.

This one had gotten leggy with dead flower foliage so I cut it way back.

I know that to some, perhaps many, passersby, the warm brown stems (below) look like they should be cut back also.  I love the way they look and prefer to leave them up till spring time.  Because they look “wrong” to so many people, I probably will cut them before the end of the autumn.

I like this look, do you?

I like this look, do you?

I also left up one sweet pea whose damp, bedraggled pink flowers amused me.

I also left up one sweet pea whose damp, bedraggled pink flowers amused me.

a much tidier garden (Allan's photo)

a much tidier garden (Allan’s photo)

We trimmed the lavenders on the south side of the port office.

Allan's photo: a before but no after

Allan’s photo: a before but no after

Two cute dogs came by (with their people)...Allan's photo

Two cute dogs came by (with their people)…Allan’s photo

We had time for some removal of tatty nasturtiums and more from a couple of blocks worth of Ilwaco planters.

Allan's photos: planter before

Allan’s photos: planter before

and after

and after

We got home in time for me to sort out the bulbs that Todd and Dave and Melissa had ordered so that I could deliver them at dinner.  While I did that, Allan worked on an outdoor painting project.

the back garden arbour, before...

the back garden arbour, before…

and after

and after

I had not even thought of painting those posts black.  Brilliant move, Allan, as it sets off the iron fence perfectly.

The debris pile somewhat brings down the elegant tone.

The debris pile somewhat brings down the elegant tone.

The Cove Restaurant

As Melissa and Dave arrive, a little dogs runs over to exchange words with their dog. (Allan's photo)

As Melissa and Dave arrive, a little Jack Russell Terror runs over to exchange words with their dog. (Allan’s photo)

Tonight Todd joined us for the weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang.

Tonight Todd joined us for the weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang.

delicious salads for all

delicious salads for all

rich, lemony prawn scampi

rich, lemony prawn scampi

Lynn's peanut butter chocolate pie!

Lynn’s peanut butter chocolate pie!

Tomorrow, no matter what the weather, some serious bulb sorting must commence.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Oct 20: Spent 3+ hours in strawberry patch.   In 2 days I’ve finished only 3 rows of strawberry.  When I get all the rows cleaned up, I’ll mulch the rows with mushroom compost and straw.

1997 (age 73):

Oct 20:  12:30-5:00  Last night weather forecast was for night temp in low 30s so I took the baskets down except for two I couldn’t reach.   I put them on floor in shop.  Then I planted 100+ tulips in the patio bed and tam area [former juniper tam, now flower bed by the road].  I did a lot of deadheading in tam area and cleaned up the driveway.  I have to get the upright begonias in tomorrow as forecast for tonight is for frost.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 20:  FIRST FROST  Another beautiful day!  I again went out to start planting my perennials (from seed) when I saw the dahlias in the “Salad Bowl” had been nipped by frost.  I dug them and also the ones in the tam area and containers.  Then my Dutch Gardens bulbs arrived—1628 of them!  I spent from 5:00 to 8:00 checking the order in and separating them by size.  Now I’ll need 3 or 4 days like today to plant them.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

We said goodbye to Jo’s garden today after doing the last fall clean up there before new owners take over.

The depth of my sadness when we were about to leave surprised me.  Jo and Bob are my most longtime steady clients on the Peninsula.  In 1993, I started gardening three hours a week for Jo’s mother, Maxine, and in 1994 Robert and I helped Jo turn her garden from a monoculture of rhododendrons to a perennial garden designed by Dale Browse (who at the time lived in the Seaview home that our friend Patti has now).  Jo was then about two years younger than I am now.

By the end of 1994, we had become Jo’s regular helpers.  She did most of the gardening herself.  We came in about once a month in spring and summer, usually before the festivals when her family and friends would come to stay.

After they had both retired, Jo and Bob (whose main home is near Tacoma)  spent almost all May through early September here.

In 2005, Allan became my co-gardener and has put in 11 years of helping out at Jo’s.

So today, we did the last fall clean up.  Jo likes the perennials clipped back to the ground every autumn.  With a sad feeling in my heart, I said goodbye.  (All these photos are from today unless otherwise indicated.)

Jo's garden

Jo’s garden via Google Earth

Goodbye to the house and guest cottage, built in 1892.

Goodbye to the house and guest cottage, built in 1892. (guest cottage east wall)

Goodbye, raised bed rhododendrons in the driveway. Building this bed and transplanting these shrubs from the future flower garden was our first job at Jo's garden in 1994.

Goodbye, raised bed rhododendrons in the driveway. Building this bed and transplanting these shrubs from the future flower garden was our first job at Jo’s garden in 1994.

Goodbye to the entry garden where we planted pink and red geraniums every May.

Goodbye to the entry garden where we planted pink and red geraniums every May.

Jo spent a goodly amount at the Basket Case Greenhouse every spring for geraniums and other annuals for her window boxes and baskets and containers.

after planting the geraniums in May 2016

after planting the geraniums in May 2016

Jo on garden tour day 2013

Jo on garden tour day 2013

Goodbye to the guest cottage.

Goodbye to the guest cottage.

an ensuite one bedroom haven for friends and family

an ensuite one bedroom haven for friends and family

Goodbye to the historic house and its spacious back deck.

Goodbye to the historic house and its spacious back deck.

Goodbye to the sheltered nook by the back door, great for taking shelter in a rain squall.

Goodbye to the sheltered nook by the back door, great for taking shelter in a rain squall.

Goodbye to the rounded bench on the deck.

Goodbye to the rounded bench on the deck.

comfiest wooden bench ever

comfiest wooden bench ever

on garden tour day, July 2013

on garden tour day, July 2013

snow on the deck, December 2013 (Allan's photo)

snow on the deck, December 2013 (Allan’s photo)

Jo left lots of garden art for the lucky new owners.

Jo left lots of garden art for the lucky new owners.

Jo once told me that she was not a good garden designer.  She was just wrong about that.  The whole garden was full of charming decorations.  I said to her at the time that the inside of the house, rich with quilts and embroidered samplers and family pictures, showed her good sense of design. (Over the years, she has given us three of her quilts.)

Goodbye to the center courtyard.

Goodbye to the center courtyard.

Goodbye to the center courtyard door, from which Jo often emerged to chat with us.

Goodbye to the center courtyard door, from which Jo often emerged to chat with us. Her sewing machine (she’s an avid quilter) was right inside.

goodbye to the clever courtyard drainage, created a couple of summers ago by one of Jo's daughters or granddaughters.

goodbye to the clever courtyard drainage, created a couple of summers ago by one of Jo’s daughters or granddaughters.

Goodbye to the bird feeders, now holding only pine needles.

Goodbye to the bird feeders, now holding only pine needles.

I hope the new owners will feed the birds.

I hope the new owners will feed the birds.

Goodbye to the white rambling rose, a start from a rose in Maxine's garden.

Goodbye to the central courtyard white rambling rose, a start from a rose in Maxine’s garden.

Goodbye, stone garden cat.

Goodbye, stone garden cat.

Center courtyard, July 2013. We will miss Coco, too.

Center courtyard, July 2013. We will miss Coco, too.

center courtyard, July 2016

center courtyard, July 2016

the northwest garden, July 2016 (just west of the central courtyard)

the northwest garden, July 2016 (just west of the center courtyard)

Goodbye to the sun porch that wrapped all the way around the west side of the house.

Goodbye to the sun porch that wrapped all the way around the west side of the house.

Goodbye to the huge second lot, which I would have turned into more garden if only I could have bought this place.

Goodbye to the huge second lot, which I would have turned into more garden if only I could have bought this place.

Goodbye to the honeysuckle and clematis arbor just east of the central courtyard.

Goodbye to the honeysuckle and clematis arbor just east of the central courtyard.

Goodbye to the entry garden with its heart gate and narrow brick path.

Goodbye to the northeast garden with its heart gate and narrow brick path.

By the metal gate. I wish this for the new owners.

By the metal gate. I wish this for the new owners.

Goodbye, tiny little pieces of the sprinkler system that were so easy to cut by accident.

Goodbye, tiny little spigots of the sprinkler system that were so easy to cut by accident.

Goodbye, little entry garden.

Goodbye, little northeast garden bench.

northeast garden path, July 2013

northeast garden path, July 2013

the last sweeping of leaves out of the gate. Goodbye, little white gate.

the last sweeping of leaves out of the gate. Goodbye, little white gate.

Goodbye to the steep driveway that always caught our trailer hitch!

Goodbye to the steep driveway that always caught our trailer hitch!

Goodbye, Jo’s garden.  Jo tells me she and Bob hope to buy a little cottage closer to Tacoma for a getaway.  I hope they find the perfect one and that their time there is as sweet as the summers in Long Beach.  I wouldn’t want to continue working this garden for anyone but Jo.  I’m so used to doing it Jo’s way.  I’ve recommended Sea Star Gardening for any help the new owners might need.

Two favourite posts from the past about Jo’s garden:

on the garden tour in 2013 with photos of the entire garden at its summer best

the first post I ever wrote about Jo’s garden (2007)

The Josie's Garden sign is still there.

The Josie’s Garden sign is still there.  I feel the same mix of happy memories and tears writing this as the sun and raindrops on this sign.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

I had suggested to Allan that putting double stick tape on his desk might keep Skooter off of it.  Skooter started to eat the tape when it stuck to his face.  Next, I suggested that cats don’t like foil.

Skooter sleeping on foil (Allan's photo)

Skooter sleeping on foil (Allan’s photo)

I don’t do much fall clean up in my own garden because I ascribe to the Ann Lovejoy school of thought of leaving most of the clean up for late winter and early spring.  I will clip bit by bit over the winter to reveal views and make space for the crocuses and snow drops to show.

That’s not what our clients like and understand, though.  We tidy up public gardens well because most passersby won’t feel comfortable with the wild and tangly brown and tan winter look.  We occupied ourselves with some fall clean up today as we wait for the rest of the bulbs to arrive later this week.

Nursery errands

On the way north, we picked up some bags of bulb food at The Planter Box.  Teresa told us that the greenhouse covers had held up well to the storm until one big gust suddenly ripped the plastic off two big greenhouses.

photo by The Planter Box

photo by The Planter Box

bulb food. We are ready. (Allan's photo)

bulb food. We are ready. (Allan’s photo)

Corn stalks for decorating.

Corn stalks for decorating.

gnarly pumpkins

gnarly pumpkins

Next, we drove over to Sandridge Road to pick up just six violas from the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Darrell, one of the new Basket Case owners (Allan's photo)

Darrell, one of the new Basket Case owners (Allan’s photo)

They still have loads of chrysanthemums at a very good price.  I think their official autumn hours are on Thursday through Sunday.

They did not get that gust of bad greenhouse-ripping wind.

Basket Case photo

Basket Case photo

We drove up Sandridge Road and across Joe Johns.  When I saw a strikingly colourful house, we simply had to go around the block….which meant about a mile around…to get a photo of it.

eye catching colour

eye catching colour

img_7125

telephoto

telephoto

img_7128

Allan pointed out that the license plate sign reads "GroDamit Nursery"!

Allan pointed out that the license plate sign reads “Gro-Damit Nursery”!

I am intrigued.

I am intrigued.

(I asked on Facebook and learned this really is a nursery so will have to check it out next spring.)

Marilyn’s garden

The only client’s garden we have regularly left almost wild all winter was Marilyn’s.  I am sure the deer have appreciated plenty of soft, secret places to sleep.  This year, we are doing more clipping than usual because new owners are taking possession soon.  Just in case they are not gardeners,  and in case they don’t clip anything back in later winter, I want them to be able see their nice collection of narcissi next spring.  It feels strange that we won’t be planting more narcissi here this fall.

looking southwest from the street

looking southwest from the street

An old dead tree had come down in the storm, not very big.  I had grown akebia on it so there was quite a tangle.  I sicced Allan on it.

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photos)

after

after; the akebia can smother the salmonberry on the property line.

looking south into autumn sunshine

looking south into autumn sunshine

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking north

looking north

looking west from the back porch

looking west from the back porch

I hope the new folks will know that all those plants can be cut down in spring.

The neighbour's sweet tabby likes the garden (of course) Allan's photo

The neighbour’s sweet tabby likes the garden (of course) Allan’s photo

I think there might be one more visit, but this could have been our last trip to Marilyn’s…depending on when the sale closes.  Because I did not know, I did not get all verklempt about it.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Allan cutting down the towering Thalictrum 'Elin'. We want the stems for Halloween decorations.

Allan cutting down the towering Thalictrum ‘Elin’. We want the stems for Halloween decorations.

autumn red blueberry leaves and Agapanthus seed heads

autumn red blueberry leaves and Agapanthus seed heads

Thalictrum gone

Thalictrum gone

backlit clematis

backlit clematis

cutting floppy Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

cutting floppy Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

That sedum had been in heavy shade cast by the bay tree and roses that got cut back last week.

Allan tackled the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ that was behind the garden bench.

before (Allan's photos)

before (Allan’s photos)

during

during

after

after

Garden writer Christopher Lloyd would have appreciated Allan’s technique.  I recall reading of Christo criticizing a gardener who left sharp stem stubs that would stab a person’s fingers when buried in next year’s new growth.

On the other hand, it is supposed to be good for a certain kind of beneficial bee to leave hollow stem stubs for nesting places.

after more clipping

after more clipping

birdbath view

birdbath view

sign of all the rain we had: sandbags by the basement entrance

sign of all the rain we had: sandbags by the basement entrance

Helper Luis was burning the last of the pile of debris.

KBC helper Luis was burning the last of the pile of debris.

The Anchorage Cottages

When I looked at the weather forecast of rain tomorrow, I became anxious to get some of the fall clean up done at Jo’s.  It must be done by the end of this month.  So we did not stay long at The Anchorage.

center courtyard

center courtyard

A new deck in progress made me feel ok to leave the garden not quite perfect.

in the office courtyard

in the office courtyard

bee on a tattered dahlia (Allan's photo)

bee on a tattered dahlia (Allan’s photo)

Jo’s garden

We had two hours left to spend at Jo’s and we got a good start on the most severe fall clean up that we do anywhere.  Jo likes the garden cut completely to the ground and wants this done for the new owners.  I wondered if maybe they, like me, prefer more plants left standing in winter.  They can have their way next year.

looking in the gate.

looking in the gate.

entry garden, still not as clipped as I would do for Jo herself.

entry garden, still not as clipped as I would do for Jo herself.

Shasta daisies before (Allan's photo)

Shasta daisies before (Allan’s photo)

and after

and after

northwest bed. Jo would like this. I could not bear to pull the blooming impatiens.

northwest bed. Jo would like this. I could not bear to pull the blooming impatiens.

west bed before (Allan's photo)

west bed before (Allan’s photo)

and after today's efforts

and after today’s efforts

Allan got partway down the west side.

Allan got partway down the west side, clipping daisies and asters and helianthus back hard.

We will be back; we did not get the center courtyard done.

We will be back; we did not get the center courtyard done.

I hope the new owners know that the plants are still in there and did not get taken away!  I swear all I took was a small start of the clumping purple aster.

Long Beach and Ilwaco

planting the violas in the Stormin' Norman planter (the one we recently did over by removing scads of wire vine)

planting the violas in the Stormin’ Norman planter (the one we recently did over by removing scads of wire vine).  We chose violas of dark red and blue, the Stormin’ Norman colors.

that planter one month ago

that planter one month ago

We cleaned up the planters at Ilwaco city hall and hope to do more Ilwaco clean up later this week (and also hope to get Jo’s done before Bulb Time begins).

pulling tatty nasturtiums and cosmos at Ilwaco City Hall

pulling tatty nasturtiums and cosmos at Ilwaco City Hall

Someone had made a nice potted flower display.

Someone had made an autumnal potted flower display.

Tomorrow calls for rain and wind.  I hope it is another wrong weather forecast so that we can get back to Jo’s.

I am so excited that tonight we have a DVD of an adaptation of the Blandings books by PG Wodehouse.  I love the Blandings books even more than Jeeves and Wooster.

thrill

(Update:  It’s not nearly as good as the Jeeves and Wooster show with Fry and Laurie.)

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Skooter has taken over Allan's computer desk. A pile of boxes barricades him from going behind the monitor.

Skooter has taken over Allan’s computer desk. A pile of boxes barricades him from going behind the monitor.

equal time for Frosty

equal time for Frosty

Even though rain was predicted, we went back to finish Jo’s fall clean up so that it will be done before tomorrow, when bulb sorting time begins.

Just down the street, work is being done on the old historic fire station building.

Just down the street, work is being done on the old historic fire station building.

On the way, we saw county commissioner candidate Fred Hill putting up a campaign sign.  We circled the block to see if he had smaller signs for people’s yards.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I did score a sign and we spoke of two issues that cemented my vote for him.

I did score a sign and we spoke of two issues that cemented my vote for him.

On Allan and I went to Jo’s to finish what we began yesterday.

Jo’s garden

Allan’s photos:

before

before

after

after

I hope the new owners don’t come in and say “Hey, someone took all our plants.”  The plants are still there and will return in spring.

west garden bed

west garden bed today

img_7194

About to leave. It rained on us the whole time.

About to leave. It rained on us the whole time.

I have much more to say about this last time at Jo’s.  That will be tomorrow’s post.

Ilwaco

We picked up chicken salad sandwiches at Roots Java, Juice and Salad Bar

at Roots

at Roots

Melissa, Roots owner

Melissa, Roots owner

progress at the old fire station

progress at the old fire station

Like us, these fellows had been working in the rain.

At home, I put up our new political sign.

img_7244

dsc08434

I gathered up plastic milk crates from the greenhouse so they can dry in the garage to receive sorted bulbs.

The patio is still a post-storm obstacle course.

The patio is still a post-storm obstacle course.

Roots chicken salad on flatbread (you can also get it on a croissant)

Roots chicken salad on flatbread (you can also get it on a croissant)

Tomorrow: a farewell to Jo’s garden.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Oct 18: Got my flu shot today.  Frost nipped the squash plants back by the apple tree.  I didn’t see any other frost damage.

Oct 19:  Spent 3+ hours in strawberry patch.  Made a new row of daughter plants.  Cleaned up the rows, trimming the plants and moving small plants into the rows.

1997 (age 73):

Oct 18:  I tried to put up the gadget to use to lower the baskets (in the house) but I don’t understand the directions so I’ll have to wait for Robert.  [Robert, my spouse at the time, and I were about to arrive for our yearly 4 day visit to help out with all sorts of chores and cleaning.]

1998 (age 74):

Oct 19:  What a waste.  A beautiful sunny warm day and I spent the day (again) peeling apples and tomatoes—3 dehydrator trays each plus some more applesauce.  It was cold during the night so I’ll put another blanket on the bed.  I pulled some apples down from the tree using my new rock rake.

Read Full Post »

Monday, 17 October 2016

Long Beach

Another inaccurate weather forecast had called for a day of 30 mph wind and a half an inch of rain.  Instead, we got a glorious warm day and were able to do post-storm clean up of the Long Beach planters.  I had been looking forward to that.  Even though the storm had not brought the predicted 90 mph, over 50 mph wind in Long Beach had made the planters look rather battered.

After dropping books off at the Ilwaco library and adding some Geranium sanguineum starts to that garden, we began clean up at the Long Beach welcome sign.

before

before

after

after

both sides. The geraniums 'Rozanne' and 'Orion' on the back side were still blooming.

both sides. The geraniums ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Orion’ on the back side were still blooming.

We hoped to have time to return to the sign later in the day.

In town, we tidied up the beat up plants.

 Geranium 'Rozanne' about to be cut back

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ about to be cut back (Allan’s photo)

further tidying

after, further tidying

It was so hot that for awhile I thought I had a flu-ish fever.  (Ok, it was 61 degrees.)

Todd stopped by with some bulbs from a shared order Brent and Becky’s.

I'm showing him a santolina that died.

I’m showing him a santolina that died.

The smoke shop owner told me that the sign she had made to protect the flowers has been stolen…before the wind storm.

dsc06420

If you see this stolen sign (how ironic), it belongs to the Herb ‘N Legend Smoke Shop.

Allan trimmed this lavender.

Allan trimmed this lavender.

We had made the right decision last week to leave the blooming, top heavy ‘Super Dorothy’ roses in Fifth Street Park.  The wind was not enough to topple the fence or to remove the flowers.

Super Dorothy Rose (an improved Dorothy Perkins, from Heirloom Roses) Allan's photo

Super Dorothy Rose (an improved Dorothy Perkins, from Heirloom Roses) Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo.  I am so glad we did not cut these.

This catmint is about to be cut to the base.

This catmint is about to be cut to the base.

after, with lots of California poppies pulled from the kitty corner planter

after, with lots of California poppies pulled from the kitty corner planter

This is far from the final clean up.  Another go round will be on bulb planting day and then a last go round will come after a hard frost.  I trimmed the green santolinas after Allan took the photo above.

excellent chrysanthemum, several years old (Allan's photo)

excellent chrysanthemum, several years old (Allan’s photo)

from the other side (Allan's photo)

from the other side (Allan’s photo)

We did have time to get back to the welcome sign.  After dumping our debris at the city works yard, we scraped up the last of the old, tarped, soggy pile of Soil Energy mulch into five buckets.  Now we are officially out of mulch.

parking lot gardens fall colour

parking lot gardens fall colour, euonymous (burning bush)

Aronia

Aronia

At the sign, we planted 200 tulips bulbs, red and yellow for the front of the sign, and purple and pastels for the sunset colors of the back of the sign.

the sprinkling of bulbs food

the sprinkling of bulb food

My favourite garden guru Ann Lovejoy has written that bulbs come with all the food inside of them that they need for the first year.  Here, the bulb food will nurture older bulbs, like the grape hyacinths already coming up along the front.

dsc08377

This year we planted the tulips more toward the front edges in hopes any tall narcissi will bloom behind them.  Last spring we tried to shift the tall narcissi to the back.  I know we missed some.

a nice ledge to sit on while planting

a nice ledge to sit on while planting

after

after

after. I hope the city crew has time to get us another yard of mulch.

after. I hope the city crew has time to get us another yard of mulch.

At home, I sorted the packages of Todd bulbs into the appropriate areas of Bulb Central.  I am now awaiting the arrival of another batch via UPS and then bulb time will resume.

I planted the questionable Costco bulbs, the ones I had not unpacked soon enough.  The totally soft ones went into the debris pile.  I hope the just slightly soft ones might still have some life in them.


ginger

1998 (age 74):

Oct 17: I peeled apples and tomatoes from about 11:00 to 6:00.  That’s a lot of time to get 5 pts applesauce and 2 pts tomatoes.  (It would have been 6 pts applesauce but I ate the other one.  Delicious even without sugar.)

Next week:

  • Plant hydrangeas in bulkhead
  • Plant primroses in tam area
  • Plant all the perennials from behind house
  • Throw out the annuals
  • Pick up apples daily

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 16 October 2016

I woke at five AM to the beeping of the computer battery back up, signifying a power outage.  I immediately grabbed my phone and looked on local Facebook groups to see who else had lost power.  Odd, no one was reporting in.  Perhaps no one else had been woken up.  I then heard a humming noise that sounded like the Jessie’s fish processing plant and opened the curtain, to see that all the lights were on a block away along the port.  A look out other windows showed the house to the north and the one to the east had lights.  Uh oh.

Both Allan and I went outside with flashlights.  He wisely went out the front door.  I foolishly went out the back garage door under the power lines on the wet grass.  I blame this on having only had 2.5 hours of sleep.  I was looking for a fire or a downed power line, and it is a darned good thing I did not find the latter (or the former).  Late that very evening, I saw this video about how a power line can charge the ground all around it with deadly electricity.  I remembered then having seen a suspense show about a damp lawn completely charged by a fallen power line.

Fortunately, my foolishness was not rewarded with death because I found no downed line, and we ascertained that Alycia’s house next door also had no power.  I felt a bit less lonely.  I left a message on the local utility company’s emergency line.

Our community is a close knit one.  When I posted my woe on Facebook, Butch and Terri from the CoHo Motel two blocks away offered us a room with hot water and television, and Salt Pub offered us a Sunday brunch.  (When I had pictured making dinner on the wee camp stove, I had remembered that if we were the only ones without power, we could go out to dinner at the pub.)

I was able to go back to sleep and when I woke three trucks full of linemen had arrived and were already up at the top of the power pole.

img_7072

They brought the transformer down to test it.  The foreman said it might have been hit by lightning in the early hours (another storm I slept through).  He told us we are the only ones on the block with underground power line to our house.  (All the other houses are historic and have overhead lines; we have a manufactured home installed in 1979).  It could be, he said, that something was wrong with just our own line underground.  If the problem wasn’t the power pole, he said, he would have to disconnect us and he advised us to wait till Monday to seek help in order to avoid overtime charges.

That was suspenseful.  It would have been embarrassing because a total of four houses were powerless.  I did not want it to be our line’s fault.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I am so happy to report that the problem was in the transformer and it was quickly replaced and we were returned to the civilized life of the grid without having to run a long cord from Mary and Jeff’s two doors to the west to power our freezer.  The entire Peninsula had been prepared to lose power in the big storm, and I think the four houses on our block were the only ones to do so, a day later.

Allan's photo of the peaceful street with the trucks gone made me realize the white buckets need to be put away.

Allan’s photo of the peaceful street with the trucks gone made me realize the white buckets need to be put away.

The rain continued on and off all day, an almost perfect reading day.  The only flaw was when the sun came out briefly and I would feel like I should do some gardening.  I read a humor book, Housebroken by Laurie Notaro.  (I’ve read all of her memoirs).  I especially liked her takedown of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  “I want no part of it.  Or your magically tidy house, which, by the way, I find lifeless, a shell, a corpse of something probably once vibrant and bursting with things to make, read, touch, feel, smell, and explore.”   Laurie’s heartfelt letter from her fifty year old self to her twenty-five year old punk rock self also spoke to me.  (I would advise myself to spend even more time reading books.)

Allan did leave the house today and returned with photos of the outside world.

In the garden:

standing water (Don't check for downed power lines in this!)

standing water in the back garden (Don’t check for downed power lines in this!)

bogsy wood swale

bogsy wood swale

a seasonal lake between us and the campfire wood pile

a seasonal lake between us and the campfire wood pile

pretty much the full extent of our storm damage

pretty much the full extent of our storm damage

lawn path underwater

east-west lawn path under water

bogsy wood bridge

bogsy wood bridge

This hummingbird must be so glad the wind has gone.

This hummingbird must be so glad the wind has gone.

Allan discovered one other possible storm damage: a sinking fence post by the southwest gate, throwing the door latch off, possibly as a result of saturated soil.

dsc08339

a quick fix

a quick fix, and not for the first time has this lock been shifted.

from Alycia's yard

from Alycia’s yard

crab pots by the west garage wall

crab pots by the west garage wall (with hops)

In the garage, I finally got the bulb sorting area ready.  Do not do as I did and buy bulbs at Costco and then get too lazy and in denial to inspect them.  I lost ten tulip bulbs and fifteen of one of my favourite narcissi (‘Actea’) to rot.  If I had inspected the bulbs right away and removed any bad’uns, that would not have happened.  Somehow, a month had slipped by during which it had just seemed too early to be dealing with bulbs.

Now all packages are open, each bulb touched to check that it is solid, and areas set up for tulips, narcissi, alliums, and mixed bulbs.

Allan's photo, bulb central

Allan’s photo, bulb central

I expect the rest of the bulbs to arrive by the end of the week and then Bulb Hell, I mean Bulb Time, will officially commence.

To make room, Allan hung up all the empty kitty litter jugs that can be used to store water in summer.

We might be hoarding.

We might be hoarding.

fortifying cuppa Builder's Tea and chili, provided by Allan.

fortifying cuppa Builder’s Tea and chili, provided by Allan.

On a trip to the grocery store, Allan did a bit of garden clean up at the Depot Restaurant.

I knew those tall cosmos were going to blow over.

I knew those tall cosmos were going to blow over.

I'm pleased to see the ornamental grasses still upright.

I’m pleased to see the ornamental grasses still upright.

He found a bit more storm damage in downtown Ilwaco.

a tavern sign missing

a missing tavern sign (which was reinstalled the next day)

The neon had stopped functioning at the Portside Café

The neon had stopped functioning at the Portside Café

In the late evening, I enjoyed a picture book about 97 Orchard Street.

orchard

I would like very much to visit the Tenement Museum in New York.

I’ll be following up with this:

97 Orchard


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Oct 16: Mariners lost—the end of their magic season.  Bought more pansies and some perennials at Gordons.

1997 (age 73):

Oct 16:  1:00-5:00  70+ degrees   I trimmed back the ivy around the tree so I could plant bulbs there.  I planted about 200 tulips and narcissus in that area and in the patio area.  I was quite warm.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 16: Noon-4:30  I finished taking the begonias into the shop.  Most of the time was spent on the upright ones.  Last week I went through them and marked all I could by color.  I took down the baskets from back porch that were pretty much ignored this year.  Also 3 beautiful red baskets from front porch.  There is one basket left that I couldn’t reach.

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The storm arrived in the early afternoon and was mild compared to the anxiety of yesterday’s tornado warnings (a rare warning for us sand dwellers to get).  Today’s 60 mph winds at the port comprised a normal autumn storm.  Unlike the gale of 2007 which battered us for three whole days, during which it was unsafe to go out because of flying debris, today’s blow even enabled Allan to dash out into the garden to rescue a small banner that had been overlooked.

braving the storm for a little banner that Our Susie G gave us

braving the storm for a little banner that Our Susie G gave us

All the cats spent most of the day indoors.

img_7016

Skooter and Allan got a lot of reading done.

Skooter and Allan got a lot of reading done.

img_7028

view from Allan's desk

view from Allan’s desk

torrents of rain

torrents of rain

I made a brief excursion to bring in a few more garden ornaments.

I made a brief excursion to bring in a few more garden ornaments.

stormy colours

stormy colours

Neither the poles nor any trees came down.

Neither the poles nor any trees came down.

much too windy to do more than telephoto the bogsy woods water

much too windy to do more than telephoto the bogsy woods water

Out the north east window: The variegated Azara is in a sheltered nook and yet was whipping sideways in the wind.

Out the north east window: The variegated Azara is in a sheltered nook and yet was whipping sideways in the wind.

I put a video of the windy view from that window here.

img_7054

We were very fortunate that the storm stayed mostly offshore.

Later in the evening, it battered British Columbia with considerably more force.

The Heron Cam showed how very dark Long Beach was in the rain…although we also had some surreal bright sun breaks during the worst wind.

img_7055

 

bucketing rain on our south window

bucketing rain on our south window

local wind

local wind

When the storm had blown over and daylight remained, Allan went out to explore.

our bogsy woods

our bogsy woods

dsc06611

We got 2.16 inches of rain and 8.65 inches of storm rain. I don’t know the difference.

Allan walked down to the port…

dsc06612

An impressive video was shared of the storm surge a couple of hours earlier.

at the port: Ilwaco Freedom Market boarded up

at the port: Ilwaco Freedom Market boarded up

Our friend Don Nisbett had also boarded up his art gallery windows.

Allan walked on past the boatyard.

at the boatyard

at the boatyard

battered 4 o 'clocks in our port garden

battered 4 o ‘clocks in our port garden

Just the other day, a regular local passerby told me again how much he loves the 4 o’clocks because they remind him of his mother’s garden.

the cosmos are done

the cosmos are done

I look forward to a big clean up in this garden.

I look forward to a big post storm clean up in this (and every) garden.  Time to pull the sweet peas.

the little inlet at the south end of the boatyard

the little inlet at the south end of the boatyard

img_7065

Allan went round behind the boatyard to Second SW, the street we used to live on.

by the Cove RV Park, next to our former house: Allan says those are not real ducks.

by the Cove RV Park, next to our former house: Allan says those are not real ducks.

at Second and Spring, our old road. We think the fellow who bought our house put up the peace sign.

at Second and Spring, our old road. We think the fellow who bought our house put up the peace sign.

Allan walked up and overlooked our cute little former home.

Allan walked up and overlooked our cute little green former home.

I finished my book.

img_7059

Written by the author of Jambusters (reissued as Home Fires) and Stranger in the House: Women’s Stories of Men Returning from the Second World War, Julie Summer’s When the Children Came Home was simply perfect, full of fascinating stories.  While there were some sad and painful experiences, many of the stories shared were happy.

My favourite was about a mother and two daughters who were billeted with a bachelor named Harry.  I think that all the world could learn from their story (much condensed here):  “He had never encountered a Jewish family at close quarters and they had never been guests of a non Jewish household for such a long period of time. … ‘He had never come across our customs and traditions before and it took time to get used to them. But Uncle Harry was the kindest person you could ever imagine.  He took us into his house and without a moment’s hesitation shared everything with us……   In the spring of that first year, my mother explained to Uncle Harry that we were coming up to Passover and that there were certain customs that we had to observe.  Uncle Harry was fantastic.  He…said…’I always thought Jewish people must be good but now I know for sure’. And with that my mother could relax and share all the Jewish festivals.  She always invited Uncle Harry to join us and he always took part.  It worked the other way around, too.  [At his sister Nell’s for Christmas] we ate plum pudding for the first time, we pulled Christmas crackers and saw the lovely decorated Christmas tree. …..We became family, he became our beloved uncle, and we were proud of the way a single gentile man and a traditional Jewish east end family learned to live together…”  He enjoyed their traditional food and pronounced it delicious and “even fasted with us for twenty five hours on Yom Kippur because he thought it would be unfair for him to eat when we were not permitted.”

Sweet; I simply love that Uncle Harry fasted with them on Yom Kippur.  This happy story goes on for several more more pages, including this:

img_7081

Let us all follow this example, shall we?

You will also find stories of how children fell in love with the countryside, including young Jimmy who had an unhappy time with the family who took him in:

img_7083

Finally grown, with a home of his own, he “planted snowdrops everywhere.”

Stories such as these had me in tears throughout the book, as has happened with the other two Julie Summers books.

Having just read Nella Last’s War about a Women’s Voluntary Service Red Cross shop (which raised money for POWs), I was moved by this story of a grown woman who remembered lavish boxes from The American Red Cross as a child evacuee:  “...in 2001…she had the opportunity to show her appreciation for the gifts and food that the Americans had sent during the war.  When the 9-11 tragedy struck ‘I went out with a big begging bowl and raised £2000 which I sent to the American Embassy in London’.”

I’ve ordered more books recommended by Julie Summers to continue my reading theme of civilian life in Britain in WWII.

Later in the evening, there was a fair amount of kvetching on Facebook about all the preparation local folks had done for a storm that sort of fizzled.  Plenty of us defended the respected meteorologists who warned us of an event that would have been much worse had the wind not stayed at sea.

And for some locals, it was a most unpleasant storm.  The Planter Box garden center will have some time consuming repairs to their greenhouses:

Planter Box photo

Planter Box photo

Planter Box photo

Planter Box photo

Planter Box photo. Teresa wrote "It was there and then it was gone."

Planter Box photo. Teresa wrote “It was there and then it was gone.”

(The Planter Box has some excellent Christmas presents to buy, bird houses, pots, garden decor, and this would be a good time to shop there.)

In the midnight hour, Sean Crough wrote to me from Gearhart, just down the Oregon Coast:

I did all the things he wanted. I waited. I told everybody about him, all the horrible things he was going to do. And it was all just a big game to him. We’re done, Storm 2016. You made me take out all my candles, my woolly socks, my bottled water, fill my gas tank. You made me afraid to go out and get any good mixer so I had to drink Capri Sun.  All I wanted to do is make a couple corn dogs on the grill and roast a couple marshmallows in my fireplace. You left me hangin’.   I can’t believe I fell for you. Even washed my hair two days in a row in fear that I wouldn’t have hot water to have regular hair. And I washed all my laundry and my dishes.. thinking the power could be out for days and I wouldn’t have any dishes or towels. Oh and don’t even get me started about the charging all my devices. I was so freaked out earlier that I only had 61%, dashing to my last hit of electricity. You really pushed me over the limit Storm 2016. . I just really feel like a big sucker. Just makes me want to fight.”  He concluded by letting me know that “I was reading all your posts about Stormageddon and you were my messiah”.  

Sorry, Sean! I also did laundry and was sort of looking forward to watching Allan make coffee on our new little camp stove.


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Oct 15 (Sunday): I actually skipped my [crossword] puzzle and went outside.  Spent about 4 hours planting the Bluestone perennials out in “corn patch” until spring.  I will mulch them with straw and mushroom compost.

1997 (age 74):

Oct 15: 12:00-5:00   Finished digging Hostas and found confusion between them and Polemonium and maybe Skyler can tell the difference.  After I got those potted up I finally started planting bulbs in the patio—all the Hyacinths, 25 narcissus and about 25 red tulips.  Rec’d my 100 hardy glad bulbs from Jackson and Perkins.  Later: It turned out those weren’t Hostas.  They were Primroses.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 15:  11:15-5:00  I put all the hoses away.  I took the tomato cages into garage.  Then I dug out the begonia bulbs from baskets and put them in shop.  I rinsed out the baskets and put them in greenhouse temporarily.  I had moved the strawberry trays out of the greenhouse.  I finished washed a lot of pots.  No sign of Froggie today.  It is supposed to be in mid 30s tonight.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Allan took some photos in the garden.

3.14 inches of rain fell today. (Allan's photo, rain gutter by the shed)

3.14 inches of rain fell today.  (rain gutter by the shed)

in the water box

in the water boxes

our campfire ring

our campfire ring

The bosgy wood swale is filling up earlier than usual.

The bosgy wood swale is filling up earlier than usual.

water under the bogsy wood bridge

water under the bogsy wood bridge

Calvin using the new shelf.

Calvin using the new shelf.

The Cove Restaurant

We did get to have our weekly meeting with Dave and Melissa!  The North Beach Garden Gang had a delicious meal at the Cove.  With daylight being shorter (and a rainy day off for all of us), we started dinner earlier than usual.

standing water on the golf course (Allan's photo)

standing water on the golf course (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

apple and bacon salad

apple and bacon salad

ahi tuna

ahi tuna

fish and chips and Dave's gardening hands

fish and chips and Dave’s gardening hands

Mayan pork conchinita

Mayan pork conchinita

after dinner

after dinner

Sondra's allium bouquet in the foyer (Allan's photo)

Sondra’s allium bouquet in the foyer (Allan’s photo)

The wind kicked up to around 40 mph as we drove home.  Our power stayed on and we watched a DVD of Housewife, 49, a British tv show based on Nella Last’s War. Loosely based, as it turned out. Nella’s life story, her relationship with her son, Cliff, and even her personality were so altered that I was sorely disappointed.  

Friday, 14 October 2016

We had 10 tornado warnings today.  That is simply unheard of.  (I do remember one such warning, several years ago.) A tornado hit Manzanita, a ways down the coast.  Not far enough from us!  Our flimsy manufactured home would be toast.

datarfcsdfnz0lfprhsm0ublxdzhdrdfhtmhhn1u-gmtlfgzsctsfdlfqe-vwgolapoa5rabwxuah5nu_6ilwuaqfsv8ogkkpu_fnqg_wbfhiyffyb3ejvofcxuipwm6hn-v21lwxq8ofmarzb0pdcmp-ximifqtgwvwtq2sj-xktxtivkeaknnzca5zodrz40ja

I slept through a severe thunder and lightning storm that did wake Allan, and read later that our area had 160 lightning strikes.  This is also unusual and disconcerting.

I remained obsessed with the presidential election news.

Allan had an uneventful trip to the post office and took some photos:

the bogsy woods with seasonal water much earlier than usual.

the bogsy woods with seasonal water much earlier than usual.

We won't be having another camp fire soon.

We won’t be having another camp fire soon.

Our rain gauges are broken now. (Too full to register how much more rain!)

Our rain gauges are broken now. (Too full to register how much more rain!)

high tide at the port

high tide at the port

dsc08307-copy-2

storm flag is up

storm flag is up

flags

full gale warning

full gale warning

with the Time Enough Books lions

with the Time Enough Books lions

dsc08314

windblown gardens

windblown gardens

Cats snoozed all over the house.

Skooter

Skooter

Calvin making himself completely round.

Calvin making himself completely round.

Just before dusk, I decided I had better go outside and do another patrol for loose pots and other blow-able lightweight items.

The storm warning still stands at 90 mph despite one alarmist disreputable faux forecaster calling for a 150 mph apocalypse!


ginger

1997 (age 73):

Oct 13: I started digging up the Hostas in the patio bed and divided.  I potted them and will give as many to Robert as he will take and then plant them in the PRFB-E.  [Patio Right Flower Bed East??   Robert was my spouse at the time.]  Don came out to get the Dutch Gardens bulbs.  I started cutting out the ivy on the fence so I can plant my tall Hollyhocks along the fence.  I was almost sick from exhaustion.

Oct 14: Store and Errand day.  I finished pulling ivy and it took 5 wheelbarrow loads to the pile.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 13:  Ditto. [from yesterday, dried tomatoes and made applesauce] I was very surprised at how few dried tomatoes I got from three trays.  The smallest ziploc bag is only 1/2 full!  I peeled 2 pails of apples—all in slices and got 6 Sealameal bags.  I crammed them into the refrig freezers and I think the freezers are full unless I can throw some out of the chest freezer. [She had two refrigerators, one in kitchen and one in shop.]

Oct 14:  FLU SHOT 143# BLOOD PRESSURE HIGH   Dr E switched medicine for blood pressure (right after I had filled 300 proprandalol).  I only need to take the Atenalol once a day so I’ll be sure to remember that.  I have to go back in 2 weeks to recheck my blood pressure.  I set most of the begonia baskets down on the porch.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »