Archive for May, 2017

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Allan went off on a boating trip and nature hike (tomorrow and the next day’s posts) while I stayed home in the garden.  I pondered going to the Saturday Market.  Not only might there be some tomato plants there, but it would be good blog fodder.  However, when I pictured myself walking through the holiday throng, it just seemed like too much peopling.


yellow buttercup road not taken to the Saturday market

I had to plant the seeds that had gotten wet in the van, had been soaking under a wet paper towel for two days, and had possibly had dried out again (not good).  This involved weeding along the fence to make room for scarlet runner beans.



Wish I had a photo of how very weedy the back of the boat garden was when I started.


The weeds on the lawn tell the tale…


The lattice is to keep the cats from scratching where I planted dahlias.




Other weeding goal: the north end of the long west border

Along with those weeding projects (boat and north end of the west border), my other goal for three days off was to plant all my cosmos, painted sage, and assorted other plants at home.

I felt insecure about planting seeds so late, including some sunflowers and cosmos, so I asked on the Rainyside Facebook group if I was wasting my time, and immediately got answers from two seed experts whom I had not wanted to pester.

Planting the vegetable seeds (the ones whose packets had gotten damp) was a comedy of errors.


I set them on the garbage can lid, where the packets disintegrated and the peas rolled off onto the ground.

The sugar snap peas should have been planted much earlier.  And were not.


I learned appreciation for the seed packets whose seeds were in tiny sealed bags. Black Ball bachelor buttons did not get damp.

Then I dumped a bucket of what I thought was potting soil into a planter box.


The fragrance told me it was a bucket of coffee grounds from Abbraccio Coffee Bar!


I did get the veg seeds planted, and then kept on weeding instead of planting anything else.


annuals waiting to be planted, and waiting, and waiting

Devery’s indoor cat would like to meet Skooter.





boat garden, after


If you can call it after when I had not disposed of the pulled weeds yet.

My scree garden experiment is being taken over by strawberries, with berries on them, so I am not going to edit them out now.



I did not get very far on the north end of west border.


I did get this area done pretty well. Except for picking up my mess.

I saw much pruning that I would love to have time to address and that led to thoughts of the great garden memoir I recently read….


…and this passage that I very much liked (even though I never feel lonely in a garden).


A brief walkabout at the end of the day:


Dutch iris and Bowles Golden Grass.


a darker Siberian iris


Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’



I do think these violas wintered over. I especially love the one in the middle.


Like my grandma, I especially like pansies and violas with little faces.

I wanted another long weekend and started to tweak the work calendar, even writing “Off?” on the square for next Thursday.  Then I remembered….argh, Ilwaco art walk.  Good and Bad:  Bad, we have to make Ilwaco look good for the art walk on Friday.  Good and bad: Lots of people will be walking by the boatyard garden and the west Howerton gardens.  Good: This give us another chance to seek garden perfection.

The art walk is just way too peopley for the way I feel these days; you will enjoy it if you go.  It runs from 5-7 PM, although with this many places to see, I think it should run till 8, or better yet, 6-9 PM would make me more inclined to go.

artwalk.jpg Surely with two more days off this weekend, I’d get my rather modest garden goals met.

But first, you will get to read a two part post about an Allan excursion.



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Friday, 26 May 2017


Smokey looking forward to a relaxing day


while picking up a book at the Ilwaco Timberland Library, tried to capture the garden looking flowery.


rhododendron at the library (Allan’s photo)

The book, a graphic novel recommended to me by a friend who had seen a movie based on it, looks so wonderful that I am going to have to wait to have time enough to read it straight through.


Watch this trailer and you will see why I am eager for the movie to become available.  My friend saw it at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Long Beach

Today was the day to get as much as possible of Long Beach looking good for the big holiday weekend.


easternmost planter on the Sid Snyder approach…but I had meant Bolstad beach approach so we went there instead.


westernmost planter on Bolstad, looking empty because the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ I had filled in with have all been stolen.


It is bloom time for the beautiful wild beach pea.


Allan’s photo.


looking east toward town over a not yet weeded Armeria (sea thrift)

Whoever the chronic thief is of beach approach plants, the culprit is fairly new.  As you can see, older plants did get established, and are left alone mostly because they are hard to remove.  In the last couple of years, almost all of the newer plants added to fill in or replace old ones are repeatedly taken.  The plants already have a tough time because they get no water unless the city crew waters with the water truck; I have stopped being willing to haul bucket water out here.


looking east from the end of the beach approach garden



rugosa roses starting to bloom


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


more lupine


Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’


walking back half a block to get my clippers (see them sitting on the edge?). The planters closer to town have fewer plants taken out of them.


When the city gets a new pile of mulch, I intend for us to mulch this garden bit by bit over the summer. It has become grey sand.


a rather nice planter close to town


single pink rugosa rose

I wish we had time to weed the beach approach garden.  We did not.  At least the planters were attended to.  Next we groomed the city hall garden.

On the north side of city hall, my Aruncus (goats beard) had flopped forward way early this year.  (We even have eye hooks in the building for always having to tie it back midsummer!)


before: Usually it waits to flop till it has bloomed!

I cut it back, including cutting off flowers.  I wonder if it will now flower lower down?   I am sick of this problem and decided something I should have done years ago: I am going to move this plant to a park in the fall…or to my own garden. I originally dug it up from the woods by my house, when the road was going to be widened, and brought it to city hall.


After cutting back. As you can see, this garden is always in shade.


more of the north side garden

The west side has an edge that I love at this time of year while the armeria and creeping thymes are blooming.


All 37 of the downtown planters needed watering.  We did the north two blocks together.


Allan’s photo


Cosmos look happy (Allan’s photo)

Allan found a good and bad thing.  The northernmost planter had its plumbing fixed.  Good.  Bad:  One of its two mature Geranium ‘Rozanne’ had been dug up and left to sit and dry out.


NO! And no one here has any of this plant left for sale.  However, I think it will revive.


cut back, replanted

It needed more soil, so we went to city works and got a bucket to add at the end of the day.

I had been obsessing about having forgotten on Wednesday to get trailies for the Vet Field planters.  I thought we just had time to zip up to the Planter Box to get some, so we did.  I also picked up some painted sage for me.


my painted sage and cosmos (Allan’s photo)


trailies; probably supposed to be red white and blue, but not.  Also, tomato and cukes for me!


Planter Box pretties, Allan’s photo. I missed seeing these!

Back in Long Beach, Allan focused on an excellent weeding of Fifth Street Park while I watered the other four blocks of planters.  While he weeded in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder, Cathy came out and gave him two cupcakes.



Fifth Street Park SW quadrant


camassia (Allan’s photo)

My watering round:


First Place Mall, new lavender planted last week has been thoroughly squashed, how and why?

I found an unusual number of painted rocks today.  Often I leave them; today I kept two.


I kept this little cutie.


Note the yellow bulb foliage in above rock photo.  I had intended to remove all yellowing foliage today.  By the time I was partway through, I knew I would not have time to address every leaf.

I reflected grimly on how the rugosa roses that had volunteered under one tree, and that we had tried to edit severely this spring, have jumped all over this tree pocket garden. Then I saw a little rock.




and another on the next planter


It’s officially ok to keep a rock.


Many of the rocks today were from Marysville.

I do not “rehide” them, though; I put them on the edge so folks are not ruching around through the planters to find them.


You might think this is the second one I kept; it was not.

I found a shocking thing in one of the planters:


Three packs of unplanted Cosmos ‘Sonata’!

There had clearly been a breakdown in communication regarding which of us was supposed to plant them.  Happily, they were still alive (and got an immediate drink); unhappily, the Agastache which had also been sitting in the planter to be planted was long gone, being more visible.  I will replace it with one of my own.


THIS was the other rock I kept today.


I had permission.


If I had had some string, I would have tied up my asphodel. It has been blooming for weeks unscathed.


one remaining Night Rider tulip


I lugged bucket water to the barrels at the back of Fish Alley.  I have often thought I will just drop dead doing that.  Joking.  Sort of.  While there, I contemplated what to do when the bulb foliage dies down.


I’ve added an Erysimum to the center awhile back. Everything I planted last year around the edges, mostly herbs and sedums to avoid having to water too often, has been taken since last fall.


The two barrels by the street are not decimated…


But they no longer match because one is missing its Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’.



Allan and I met up.  It had taken me two hours and fifteen minutes to water the planters, and I had simply not been able to get the water to the one by the pharmacy to turn on.  We moved the van to Vet Field and I got some plants ready for the stage planters while Allan walked to the pharmacy planter and watered it.

We had time to check the Sid Snyder approach planters…


One had a nice sea thrift mixed with lithodora one one side…


…and its other side emptied by a thieving varmint.

There is one planter out of the ten or so on this approach that was still done by a volunteer from a business.  We noted that nothing had been done to it this year so we went to talk to them.  Two years ago, we had planted drought tolerant plants in it that had been pulled out and tossed into the dunes when the business, under a change of owners, decided to do the planter after all.  (I think they could not tell our plants from weeds.) I did not want that to happen again.  Figuring Allan was the “nice one”, I had him do the asking, and a good thing, too, because the owner said s/he was no longer going to do the planter because last year we had “taken the plants and used them  downtown”!  When Allan returned to the van and told me this, I just about had a head explosion.  HE returned to tell the person that there was no way that had happened.  He tactfully said, “We use a different palette”, which I hope the person understood.  In other words, we do NOT use red geraniums and pink petunias in the Long Beach planters. Partly because petunias need more frequent watering than we can provide. (The city crew waters the hanging baskets daily; we water the planters twice a week.)

My concern is that the planter that needs replanting is a vulnerable one and that everything we put into it will be stolen.  I said to Allan that we will plant it once, with drought tolerant plants that can hold up to just a weekly watering, and if those plants are stolen…I give up and will make it just beach strawberry.

Our last task was to put the bucket of soil into the northernmost planter with the sad Geranium ‘Rozanne.’  Allan did it.  I sat and looked kitty corner at the round bed in Coulter Park.


over there where the flag is

It bothered me to know it is weedy and has yellow bulb foliage and here comes a holiday weekend.  A cold foggy wind had arrived and there was lots of hasty holiday traffic and I simply could not face hobbling across the street to weed and fluff.  Perfection was not attained.

The Cove Restaurant


We look forward all week to our North Beach Garden Gang dinner.


Cove entry garden (Allan’s photo)


in the foyer (Allan’s photo)


house salad (Allan’s photo)


Caesar salad


stir fry bowl (Allan’s photo)


Cove burger for Dave


halibut with lemony risotto


tired and a bit sunburned (we all forgot to use sunscreen on this first really sunny day)


a dessert for us all to share of lemon cake and rhubarb cake. The latter was especially good.

I have to admit that after all that, the cupcakes from Captain Bob’s Chowder went down a treat at midnight.







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Thursday, 25 May 2017

With the big tourist crowds of Memorial Day weekend and the local extravaganza of “The World’s Longest Garage Sale” (from Chinook to Oysterville), we had to get the port looking fine.

This involved some planting as well as weeding.


post office garden


me talking with Betsy, director of the museum, taken from behind the Stipa gigantea


I could not find the sunflower seeds I wanted to plant at the back.  Added more cosmos.

Then we drove a couple of blocks to the port to start weeding and adding a few plants to the curbside gardens.


Looking east. We would do the east end if we had time later in the day.


looking west


The marina is across the parking lot. (Allan’s photo)


I got to pet this doggie. (Allan’s photo)


a good butt scritching


Pleased to see most of the Eryngiums are budding this year. (Some years, some of them don’t.)


my favourite bed. Thinking I should get a yellow helianthemum to balance the orange one.


Helianthemum’s only flaw is a short season of bloom.


Drive over garden still rather flattened. Lucky the alliums did not get driven over. Would look better with more soil, as the soil is compressed by tires.


north of the port office

We found time to pull most of the noxious weed, Geranium robertianum (Stinking Bob) from the south side of Purly Shell Fiber Arts; shop owner Heather emerged and helped, which I appreciated so much.


Stinking Bob would take over the whole port. It went in the garbage can. The pelican is from Basket Case Greenhouse.


at Time Enough Books, looking west


Bookseller Karla says the ceanothus is causing a sensation.


Allan’s photo  OleBob’s café is named for two friends, Ole and Bob.

Karla had recently given  me the wonderful book, Cutting Back. I told her about the author’s encounter with Joan Baez while pruning an old ceanothus.


perfect book

Leslie was pruning at a retreat when Joan Baez emerged.



Karla will order the book for you if you want to read more.  Meanwhile, the UPS truck  delivered a new t shirt with Ilwaco’s longitude and latitude on display.



on the left: a must read for me; I am not very good at growing cutting flowers.


figuring out where to plant


weeding the bookstore landscape (Allan’s photos)



Karen Boardman from Ocean Park stops to give us words of admiration for all our gardens.

After the planting of the garden boat and some curbside plants at Time Enough, Allan went to string trim and weed a bit down by Ilwaco Freedom Market while I backtracked to weed the curbside at Powell Gallery.


With my knee brace on, I was able to walk on this river rock bed that I have lately had to delegate to Allan.


velvet grass in a California poppy at Salt (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s string trimming

It seemed we now had time to loop around to the east end curbside beds.  But driving down Lake Street, I realized we hadn’t checked Mike’s garden for a couple of weeks.  We hoped to find nothing to do there. Of course, there was some weeding, deadheading, and path raking.


path caked with cherry blossoms (Allan’s photo)


Mike’s raked path

Then on to weed some of the beds from Elizabeth Avenue to the Ilwaco Pavilion.


Looking west from Elizabeth


just across the parking lot (Allan’s photo)

I must confess that we skipped over three xeriscape (lava rock, river rock, and bark) gardens that we do not plant up.  We still had the whole boatyard to do and only today for Ilwaco.

After weeding at the old Shorebank building, we stopped at Salt to check on a santolina that Allan thought was not worth saving.  He was right.


by Ilwaco Freedom Market


We skipped weeding the last two beds. I hope the dog daises will dazzle people (those who don’t know it’s sort of a noxious weed) and distract from weedy grasses.


The curbs had been painted all along the port. (Allan’s photo)


columbine reseeded into the Salt river rock bed, which has soil covered with landscape fabric under the rock (not our doing!) (Allan’s photo)


Salt had a new and attractive smoker.  Wish I had gotten the whole sign…was tired.


making brisket, smelled delicious


Allan’s photo

Next, the boatyard.


Our friend, former LB city manager Gene Miles stopped by to talk about bonsai.

Allan left me at the boatyard with wheelbarrow and cosmos and went off to hook up the water trailer and water the street trees and planters.  I was mighty tired.  While getting plants out of the van, I found a bag of seeds that had gotten soaking wet…My fault. My proposed kitchen garden of red runner beans and some greens. I would have to plant them as soon as I got home.


Allan’s photo. He had been cultivating a garden of poppies under the red sign. Someone had string trimmed it flat.

Allan’s photos in town:


more digging in the corners of the tree beds. What is up with this??? This one has a perennial sweet pea.


one of the Ilwaco city hall planters; we can plant more delicate plants there because the office staff waters.

Parts of the boatyard garden were so hard and gravelly I could not hammer any cosmos into them.  We simply MUST mulch this whole garden next fall.  I had not realized it had gotten so low in spots.


7 PM….I had come this far…


and had this far to go including the long strip beyond the gate.

Being on hour nine of work was just about beyond me.


The garden had a haze of horsetail again.


so much to do

I skipped that center section as Allan arrived; it takes him an hour and three quarters to water the Ilwaco planters.  He set to weeding the section above and I went on with cosmos to the end.  My mood was dire as I had to accept that the boatyard would be far from perfect for the holidays.  The only comfort is it looks fairly good driving by, not so good to critical walkers-by.


weeds and plants in the boatyard garden (Allan’s photo)


cosmos seedling, watered with a dipper, and sluggo (Allan’s photo). My thought: poor little things.


Allan’s photo

I have been trying to be chipper and say Annuals Planting “Time” instead of “Hell”, but today was most definitely planting hell.  The last minutes were cheered  by two passing young fishermen, one of whom commented that they enjoy the gardens and that “Gardening is hard work!” I said, “Not as hard as The Deadliest Catch!” And he said, “That’s not so hard; it’s all done by hydraulics!”

Sometimes I wish there could be some signage explaining that all the public flower gardens (not the lawns) in Long Beach and Ilwaco are done by just two people, so have mercy with the imperfection.


geese seen while dumping weeds (Allan’s photos)


Erasing quite  a bit off the work board was not as cheering as usual.  I really had so much wanted to achieve perfection.  Once upon a time, when I was up to working seven days a week, ten hours a day at this time of year, we could achieve perfection before the holiday weekends.  Maybe we could have if we were not combining weeding with planting.

Of course, I had no oomph left to plant the veg seeds that had gotten wet.  I put them on a plate with a wet paper towel to keep them damp till our Saturday off.


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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Depot Restaurant

I had noticed how low the east garden bed was and remembered (amazing!) to bring some soil for it.




Allan’s photo


Basket Case Roxanne had done the north side planting!

I texted Chef Michael to be sure to start the sprinkler system, a very sophisticated system of spouters that relies on his turning it on and off manually at the faucet.  It doesn’t reach the expanded north side garden so we have to hose water that at least once a week from now on.

World Kite Museum

We returned to where I’d wimped out from the cold wind yesterday evening.


Patty came out to discuss some plant for the garden area.  (Allan’s photo)




planted up the pocket garden


That bit of front lawn and those hebes are going to be hoiked out soon, and river rock put in (not by us),  with a stepping stone for accessing the pocket garden.  

We put in one Geranium ‘Rozanne’ at the Long Beach welcome sign and then drove north to…

The Basket Case Greenhouse

I needed a very few small plants for the Red Barn and Long Beach.  We still had a van load of cosmos that we had to get planted today in order to have an empty van to hold more cosmos from The Planter Box, later in the day.  We were already running late by an hour in my desired schedule.


my new friend Penny


Guess who got a very hurried but really thorough belly rub?


darling Penny (Allan’s photo)

If Penny were my dog, I wouldn’t be blogging right now, I’d be communing with her.


a lovely new (to me) heuchera, ‘Sweet Tea’

I collect heucheras, and it is a mark of how tired I was that I did not even look at the tag and snag this one.  Running late with so much to do (because it always takes longer to plant than I hope it will) was stressful.  I was trying to hold onto my new philosophy of don’t panic, just keep doggedly and calmly plugging along.


In the parking lot, someone (not likely to be a blog reader) wanted to pull me aside to have a conversation, despite my saying rather desperately, “It will have to be brief, we are running late!” I was lured by the thought that it must be something about gardening, which might be helpful or educational or even a job I could pass on to Sea Star Gardening.

Conversations about gardening happen daily with passersby and are part of our public relations, especially with tourists.  But this conversation blindsided me by being a personal matter, and not an easy one to solve in a couple of minutes.   No!  Please, thought I, please don’t expect a deep conversation during Annuals Planting Hell! I did my best to communicate under pressure, and my best was far from adequate to the other person’s needs.  I was left baffled and unsuccessful socially, as per usual. This cast a pall over the next half hour but I soon met up with a canine cure.

(The other result was that later in the day I realized I had been so distracted that I did NOT get the trailies I needed for the Veterans Field planters; they will remain bare of trailies till after Memorial Day.  A small matter that no one but me will notice and that bothers my sense of perfection.)


some stuff for me, some for LB, but not all that I had meant to choose…with Roxanne

The Red Barn

I planted and weeded under a cloud from the recent fraught encounter.


horsey hood ornament


The tough, gravelly small garden got some red Phygelius from my garden (where I regret planting it because it is so vigorous). And some coreopsis to complete the barrels.

Diane’s garden

Here comes the canine cure! Diane’s new puppy, Holly,  had come to her new home  this week.  She was out for a little walkabout when we arrived. (Allan’s photos till we get to KBC)



assuring Misty she is still my favourite


Diane picks up Holly…


All time and plant worried were forgotten.


new friend


That was wonderful. As for the time delay, meeting the family members of clients is always important. And we got Diane’s cosmos planted, along with a Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ to scent the enclosed back patio.


cos ready to go in



also an Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’

Long Beach

We managed to get the cosmos into four areas: Fifth Street Park NW quadrant, NE quadrant, Veterans Field corner bed and flag pavilion bed.


NE Fifth Street Park, where I hope a couple of Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ will scent the evening air.

Allan got us a takeaway Pink Poppy treat and coffee from Abbracci Coffee Bar just two doors east of the park.


much needed


Pink Poppy Bakery rhubarb cake went down a treat.


Vet Field flag pavilion (with camera strap)


planting vet field corner garden

The Planter Box

By now an hour and a half later than planned, we picked up our cosmos and painted sage. Neither Allan nor I took one photo as we rushed through this plant pick up; Teresa had kindly remembered to set the white escallonia I wanted out for me or I would have forgotten it.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

I had hoped to be at KBC by 3 PM; we got there at 4:45 and planted and mulched and weeded.


outer lawn (Allan’s photo)


other side of semicircle of rhododendrons


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



putting Gardener and Bloome Soil Conditioner, from a heavy muddy bag, onto the lawn bed (Allan’s photos)





I got the KBC painted sage planted.  The rest for other gardens will have to wait for next week.  When we were done, I took some garden photos, all in the fenced garden,DSC09412.JPG for the KBC Facebook page.




right: Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’


sit spot


Dutch Iris


It had been drizzling lightly at times, making for good planting weather, except for a 20 mph maddening wind.





Allium ‘Mt Everest’


Did not quite get Allium bulgaricum in focus.


Allium schubertii starting to bloom

We had been going to prune the uppies and outies on the honeysuckle but we ran out of time.


It would make Denny happy to have this pruned and tidied.

On the way home, we stopped yet again at the Long Beach welcome sign to add a couple of yellow bidens to the east end, where we’d built up the soil.


It looks fantastic to reach to the very end.


We did not get home till 7:30 and had to unload all the painted sage and new cosmos and water everything, including pots on back patio.  The evening light was beautiful.






New panels on east fence are keeping the clematis on my side!


Where there are no fence panels, my clematis bloom on my nice neighbors’ side.


I pulled one through to admire.


Also love my new last year Fremontodendron.

The tag said Fremontodendron californicum likes no water in summer.  I need to get more of these for droughty areas in Long Beach and Ilwaco.


some erasures from the work board

We now have two days to try to achieve perfection in the Port of Ilwaco gardens (plus more cosmos planting), Long Beach parks and planters, before Memorial Day very big tourist weekend.






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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My back hurt something fierce from schlepping my plants around yesterday evening.  It felt on the verge of going into a spasm.  What is this?  My back used to be the strongest part…well, with an occasional but infrequent blow out every few years.

In fact, what is the deal with how long it takes to stand up from a chair after sitting for awhile in the evening?  I was wondering that just last night.


I would like to have stayed home today with Smokey and a book.

I’m not quite done with Hope in the Dark.  Even a short book goes slowly at planting time.  And now I have this heavy tome from the library:


This morning, early, a strong buffeting wind had woken me up.  The wind still prevailed.  I had struggled mightily to get my knee brace on; it took two tries and Allan’s help to get it right. Despite my back, my hope for today was to get cosmos and more planted at The Depot, Long Beach welcome sign, two Long Beach Parks, the Anchorage, and the Kite Museum.


Ilwaco Post Office garden will soon get some cosmos.


lilies and Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass, at the post office.

As we made a welfare check on the new nicotiana in the garden boat at Time Enough Books, I felt so very cold that we went back home (two blocks away) so I could change into warm winter pants and shirt.  I left the knee brace at home; it does not work with heavier clothes.


my mother’s clivia in flower, glowing in the front window


A patch of strangely late blooming Tulip ‘Akebono’


Another clivia blossom had fallen.


Smokey’s nap disturbed

The Depot Restaurant


cosmos going in


Allan’s photo, Allium heads and my head


cosmos in (Allan’s photo)


delicate variegated saxifrage (Allan’s photos)




north side of dining deck

Despite my check of two weather forecasts, both of which promised cool windy weather all day, the sun suddenly came out.  So hot!  I said to Allan that I had to go home (two miles south) and change clothes again.  Every year, there is a day about this time when I have to learn all over again the necessity of having summer and winter clothes with us at all times.

I struggled again with the knee brace.  Some days it just is not easy.  When it is on, it helps me enormously.


Smokey still snoozing.


Frosty wanting a belly rub. He never bites or scratches, so he does get many.


Calvin’s nap disturbed.

Skooter has things to do during the day and is rarely found at home napping.

Long Beach

We started to set up the Long Beach welcome sign planting and I realized the front of the sign’s soil was too low.  Why hadn’t I added enough soil earlier on?  (Later, I decided it was because tulips had been in the way.) This necessitated an emergency trip to get soil from city works.  We took the chance of leaving unplanted gallons of Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ just sitting in the garden.  (Because one of Todd’s new public plantings in Ocean Park got completely dug up and stolen in the night last week, I’m feeling extra concern this week.)

When we got to city works, we saw this shocking sight:


Noooo! The city crew had used most of the heaping pile of Soil Energy!


We managed to scrape up just enough. (Allan’s photo)


in the process of adding soil and pulling the damnable horsetail along the back of the welcome sign bed (Allan’s photo)


low and miserable looking soil


battling it out with horsteail and ripening bulb foliage, trying to not block the lights that shine on the sign.


much better (Allan’s photo)



welcome sign, after

I have always planted yellow Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ in this planter.  Because it takes so much deadheading, I’m trying the Summer Glow agastache in hope of an easier maintenance yellow effect.  (Garden designer Lucy Hardiman says “Yellow stops the eye” in drive by public plantings.)


Agastache ‘Summer Glow’


undeadheaded Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’


added Cosmos ‘Sensation’ in the back, and Cosmos ‘Sonata’ (shorter, so as not to overshadow the agastaches) in front.

I decided to skip the Long Beach parks for now and go to the Anchorage…but on the way we saw a perfect and rare parking spot right next one of the two planters we had not added to yesterday.  We had to take that opportunity.  Usually, I end up carrying plants for half a block to this planter and the one across the street.


I do not think we have ever before gotten this prime spot.

Getting the Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and two Agastache ‘Mexican Giant’ into those two planters completes phase two of three of the Long beach planter planting.

The Anchorage Cottages

We had to get to the Anchorage by four o clock because of a Situation I’d learned about in an email late last night, after the plants for the Anchorage were already loaded: The parking lots were being resurfaced and so we could not park by the gardens today or tomorrow.  With a big three day holiday weekend coming up, and being determined to get the cosmos and some other plants added to the garden this week, and with today being the only day it would fit well into our schedule, I spent some time last night plotting alternative routes into the garden.  This required getting there while Manager Beth was still working in order to access the office courtyard via the office.


Our good friend Mitzu in the office. (Allan’s photo)

The center courtyard and the south courtyard can be accessed from the west and south lawns by walking around the cottages, without setting one foot on the parking lots, whose stripes were being painted as we gardened.


We had to slither along spaces like this, a secret path between the office and center courtyards that had appeared with the recent painting.

While I planted, I set Allan to clearing out the old scilla flowers and foliage; it is rampant in the center courtyard garden.


before; last week it was a hazy of blue.


why I never ever plant scilla in a garden bed


after. I thought it looked too bare so gave Allan two “Bells of Ireland” and a campanula to add to it.





looking back just before slithering around the side of the office building to depart.

By where we parked, on the grassy road north of the cottages, lives a Fish and Wildlife officer who has a bear trap at the ready.


Allan’s photo

Sometimes, our  local “fish cops’ are featured on a telly show:



from Rugged Justice: Releasing a bear into the wild if said bear has made itself at home scavenging in town.

But I digress.  By now, I knew we would not get cosmos planted in the Long Beach parks today.  I hoped that we might find the oomph to plant up the pocket garden at the Kite Museum.

We drove there.  We looked at it from inside the car.


Imagine the cold whipping of the wind, now 23 mph.

I couldn’t do it, so we went home at 6:30.  Tonight, I will watch Deadliest Catch and be embarrassed that I wimped out.  It was better for the plants to wait till tomorrow…yes, that is it.


working on The Deadliest Catch…puts my wimpiness to shame

At home, I got to make a couple of erasures from the work board, albeit not as many as I had hoped.


Tomorrow: planting time continues.




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Monday, 22 May 2017

I couldn’t stay at home with my friends, because we had many plants to plant.






always in the mood for a belly rub


Skooter on the front porch…


blocking the door with his hind legs. “I couldn’t go to work today; my cat wouldn’t let me out.”

We did go to work, starting with picking up some more cosmos at

The Planter Box


I could not resist this gorgeous clematis.


a hot bright day

The temperature was already soaring, and would soon be up to 85 degrees F.

More clematis, that I did resist, so they might still be there for you:




baby birds (Allan’s photo)


little bitty poultry (Allan’s photo)

Erin’s garden

Melissa and Dave were working at our former job, Erin’s garden, and had some Agastaches and boxwoods for me among other Blooming treasures.  We stopped to load up the plants.  I was thrilled to see my old friend Felix:


I’ve missed this guy!

Allan went up the stairs to look at our old garden.  I would not be surprised if those are our original santolinas from the creation of this garden several years ago.  It pleases me to see it looking so good.


Long Beach

For the rest of the day, Allan took all but three of the photos.  My lack of enjoyment in the task of planting translates into not thinking about taking pictures.


No plants stolen out of the most recently completely re-done planter.


City crew member repairing the cracks from when it was driven into by an errant vehicle. They had been repaired, but needed to be mudded with a consistent color.

You can see from the lamp post flag, above, how very windy it had become.  For once, I did not mind the wind so much because it cooled the air.  However, at 20 mph, it was a little hard on the new plants we were planting.


As we went around, I pruned Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ so that it will not be top heavy. Now the flowers will be smaller and the plants won’t splay open.


I almost removed this stray elephant garlic just for looking like a silly onesie. It was saved by being hard to pull.

Because of the heat and wind, we had to water every planter into which we plopped cosmos starts, and each plant had to be pinched for bushier growth.


one of our two watering apparatus


We’re using agastaches from Blooming, via the Basket Case, for uppies by each pole.

I sent Allan to deal with the above planter.  I couldn’t face hacking into the running, aggressive Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, left over from volunteer days.  (I think that often the volunteers just used to put in free starts from their own gardens.  Which is fine, except that free starts tend to be pushy plants.)


The spot Allan battered out for the new plants probably won’t last for long before being encroached on again.

I swear we will redo that planter this fall, with a total dig out and new soil!


The Agastache ‘Mexican Giant’ had better get giant quickly.


Third Street Park. I wanted to go across and met that dog, The Mighty Quinn, but was too busy planting.  By the time I got over there with some cosmos, he was walking away.



utter chaos in the vehicle by the end of the day

We unloaded all the new plants onto the driveway so I could sort and water them.  Allan went off to water the Ilwaco planters with the first 2017 excursion of the water trailer.


This is the second time this street tree pocket has looked like this. I think someone is helping themselves to golden marjoram starts.  Or lady’s mantle.  Speaking of invasive free plants, the trees were pretty much planted up with what we could find for free, back before there was a plant budget.


Allan lent a hose to the local window washing crew, who had come up short from the nearest faucet.


His loaner hose was not the best.



the one shady planter….with some free hardy begonia transplants struggling a bit.


last task: watering the post office garden

I had taken about the same out of time to sort and water all my new plants, then schlepping them to the ladies in waiting area.  My back hurt like the dickens.  Tomorrow: Planting Time continues.




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Sunday, 21 May 2017


The refuge office is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, but not today.  There is a free walk with sculptures, a labyrinth and the usual woods goodies on a well-maintained path that I should be helping to maintain this coming year.


A low tide had most of the bay in mud but the boat launch and old ferry dock are deep enough to avoid getting stuck in the mud. Here’s the ferry.


Here’s the same ferry taking some members of The Friends of the Willapa on a day trip to Long Island last year.



Today it was just a couple in an oar-boat.


Option ‘B’ for a walk was to find the trail head to the Teal Slough.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 7.47.44 PM

Teal Slough climbs up and behind the Refuge headquarters. Others have told me where it was with directions such as, “It is just north of the headquarters on the side of the road.” In twelve years I have never noticed it.


Here’s the sign that gave me the clue and had me turning around. There is a safe turn around at the bridge.

This parking spot is across from a squiggle sign. It is, just north of the headquarters on the side of the road.


Wide enough to drive on when necessary for maintenance.



A side trail to a couple of large old cedars the loggers left behind.


If it took 700 years to grow one of these trees, how long would it take to grow two?


There’s more trees…



There’s moss



There are roots and burls




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Saturday, 20 May 2017

I planted in my garden: agastaches, echinaceas, dahlias in the garden boat, a few of those “black and white” gladiolus mix that I mostly gave away, three delphiniums which should make a nice snail snack, and cosmos, cosmos, cosmos and cosmos.

I do not enjoy planting (odd but true) so not one photo was taken by me.

A heavy application of sluggo went everywhere I planted.

Meanwhile, Allan got ambitious over at Mary N’s place.


before: the barberry stumps


the heavy pick


weeding in progress




We need to find three ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas for here.

At home, Allan weeded his own garden bed and planted the one plant that he had in waiting: a Mahonia gracilipes from Todd.




after. The centerpiece is Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’.

I looked forward to tomorrow when I have nothing to plant and much to weed.

Nancy Gorshe (co owner of The Depot Restaurant, who is running for another term as hospital commissioner, posted this photo of her campaign sign in my garden in 2011. Must have been late summer because it was the 2011 Hardy Plant Study Weekend that inspired the building of the arbour.


Here’s the same garden area today (with poles that need repainting).  It was awfully pretty back when it was just annuals!



Sunday, 21 May 2017

Despite some plaguing sciatica or some such pain, I decided to take on a hard project rather than small areas here and there.  I needed the satisfaction.

I had been disheartened while planting yesterday about what an all-fired mess my garden is this year.  Then I had the comforting memory of the year 2008.  Friends from Minneapolis visited on Memorial Day weekend, and even though I needed to be gardening, I took the day off to go to Cannon Beach with them.  Before we left for the day, I showed them my garden.  It was a worse mess of weeds than what I have today; back then, we worked seven days a week in May.  I told my friends that we were going to be on the garden tour in just one month.  Even as non gardeners, they looked skeptical.


friends from afar at Cannon Beach, memorial day weekend 2008

Not only did Robert and I get the garden tour-worthy (by neglecting paid work),  we also fit in the Hardy Plant Study weekend before tour day!  You can see the garden on tour day here. (And if you backtrack from that post, you will see some glorious gardens in Eugene, Oregon.)

So there is hope that I will get the awfully weedy garden done before summer.  After all, I’m getting started on the worst part before Memorial Day.


Here’s an area that is always the last to be weeded. South end of east fence border.  


in that bed: a cool Dan Hinkley plant whose name I forget. Has little berries right on the leaves.

Here is the area I went for today, the new-last-year bogsy wood mounds.  It was a matter of urgency to get the velvet grass out before it flowered (because then it gives me sneezing fits).


I could make life easier by making a debris dump in that one undeveloped corner between two old salmonberries (below):


…And yet I persist in wanting the debris taken outside the fence.  If Allan did not show up now and then to dump wheelbarrows for me, I think that corner would be a debris dump for sure.  It’s my last frontier, though, and I don’t want to fill it up with a weed pile.


2:30 PM


I like my golden boxleaf honeysuckle and variegated elderberry along the bogsy wood east fence.

I moved to the other side of the bogsy wood mounds.


Here’s how it looked on May 13th.

In the center, the velvet grass had gotten as tall as a human toddler and defeated my hand tools.


Just then, rescue arrived.


Allan with the big yellow pick.


followed closely by a supervisor



me contemplating the giant velvet grass


Allan went after the child sized clumps of velvet grass.


huge clumps that would have been much easier to pull a month ago


velvet grass OUT

With that accomplishment, Allan departed to go for a short hike to some tall trees (which will be tomorrow’s post).


5:10 PM, looking east


looking west

That is certainly not the quality of unraked work that I’d leave behind at a job.  Nevertheless, I was satisfied for today.  The progress had been made despite a 20 mph wind so annoying that it usually would have kept me out from under the trees.

I wanted next to tackle this area where grass and buttercups were hiding a fairy door.  Maybe the fairies like the privacy.


While I did not get an after photo, this one from Allan, after his return, shows that area, along with the results of his raking.


fairy door is on tree to the left

On the lawn side of that area, I have this mess:


I did wade into it from the other side.  I did not deliberately plant the Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant).  Every year, it begins to irritate me as it hides other plants and provides a damp home for slugs.  The meianthemum (false lily of the valley) is also rampant in here.


But of course the meianthemum worked its way up into this stump planter of pulmonaria.


This fuchsia’s old stems looked kind of tatty.


So I pruned it to the base. Now everything shows.


I’d like to move it, but it is too risky now; it’s an extra pretty one.


I had an audience the whole time.


The salmonberry tunnel needs shaping.

Last minute inspiration: I pruned salmon and elderberry to reveal my bogsy wood plant table.






something about to happen


something happening



Smokey might have felt mildly annoyed.

Allan dumped at least six, maybe nine heaping wheelbarrows for me today.


looking back….6:30 PM and I was out of steam.

I wish I had a week of weeding days at home.  Tomorrow Annuals Planting Hell I mean Time starts up again in Long Beach.

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Friday, 19 May 2017


I had had a bright idea several days ago of some shrub rearrangement at the J’s across the street.  Of three dwarf hydrangeas, one looked fairly good, one quite sad but with a few leaves, and one looks dead but has green underneath the bark when I scrape a stem.  Putting the good one in the middle would at least make the picture balanced.  And if the good one turns up its toes, we can replace it with three matching ones.  If not, we can maybe replace the outer ones with a matched set of two, so it won’t be off balance.


before (Allan’s photos); the good hydrangea is off to the left.

Underneath the soil, Allan found landscape fabric.  That explains why so many of the shrubs were planted on mounds (by the previous owner, not the J’s).


landscape fabric underneath! No wonder the shrubs could not get their roots down; no wonder they were tipped over sideway.


replanted with the best one in the middle and with all three given some Dr Earth evergreen fertilizer.


a tidy garden at the J’s

I got to pet a sweet dog at the post office.


Allan’s photo

Further down the street, we saw our friend Ed Strange (Strange Landscaping) and his buddy, Jackson.


Jackson! (Allan’s photo)

On the way out of our town, we had one plant to put in at the main intersection and four at the Ilwaco city hall planters.


PPR means Peninsula Poverty Response.  I should probably replace this leggy Erysimum, right?

Long Beach


City Hall: The Basket Case baskets are hung up all over town now.

While Allan weeded and groomed Fifth Street Park, I checked on a couple of blocks worth of planters.


Sparaxis in a planter. I need to plant this in every planter. It seems not that common in bulb catalogs.


Sparaxis and Cerinthe major purpurascens


a gorgeous tail wagger in a parked vehicle (taken from a distance so as not to get him too excited).


NOOOOOO.  One of my special new orange bidens pulled right out of the soil in a planter.


I had planted a matched pair to tone with this building.

The abused plant still looked alive at the base.  Remembering a live faucet on the outer wall of the Hungry Harbor across the street,  I filled my bucket partway, dunked the plant, lugged plant and water bucket back across, and trimmed and replanted the bidens with water in the hole, then clipped its partner plant to match in size.


dogs big and little outside the Hungry Harbor

Last fall, I had had a big mystery while bulb planting.  A set of three special Camassia ‘Sacajawea’ bulbs had gone astray while I was planting Fifth Street Park.  I looked for them so hard.  Today, I saw the three of them about to bloom under one of the street trees (along with a noxious weed Iris pseudocorus that I had tried to get rid of).  How could this be?



The camassia has variegated leaves.

I figured it out.  I was sorting bulbs and handing Allan sets of narcissi to plant under each street tree, and must have handed him the camassia by mistake.  I thought it would do well in the park where the soil is damp; I will try to transplant it later.  That tree, with its mess of vigorous hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) is not the best place to show off something special.


Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

You might agree with me that a trio of something tall and columnar would look great in that park.  I’m not supposed to plant anything taller than the fence!


that big dog again


I transplanted some red monarda, divided out from Vet Field garden last night, into this damp bed in the SW quadrant.


Darmera peltata and gunnera in Fifth Street Park (SE quadrant)

Some of that red monarda would do well in the damp bed behind the gunnera, etc.  But will I remember for long enough to get some moved from Vet Field?

We took time to go to Abbraccio Coffee Bar.


crossed dogs outside of Abbracci (I got to pet one). (Allan’s photo)


A delightful Abbraccio break (with no checkers played)….I used to love to play checkers but honestly do not remember how.  Allan challenges his computer to chess on most nights.

I rushed out of the coffee car to meet a tiny Boston terrier…Lily, age 4 months…who was causing quite a sensation.


Before leaving Long Beach, we dumped a small load of debris, mainly so I could ask the city crew to get the water turned on for the welcome sign garden (where we had pulled dead tulips at the beginning of our Long Beach time today).


When we went to city works to dump debris, Allan found this marble in the pile.

The Planter Box

We picked up some cosmos for Long Beach and elsewhere.


The big front greenhouse showed signs of a rush on annuals. (Allan’s photo)


healthy Seashells mix cosmos (Allan’s photo)


with Teresa, some desk-leaning rest

The Basket Case

The gardening grapevine (AKA Melissa) had told me that a Blooming Nursery truck had been seen on its way to Basket Case this morning.  We had to see what was new.


plants overflowing in abundance


Hot Toddy: cute name for a daylily. (I don’t collect daylilies, though.)


I could not resist a new to me red salvia named ‘Free Speech’.


per Blooming Nursery


couldn’t resist some agastaches and echinaceas…

Another new feature: Penny, the grandparents’ dog, who is being dogsat this week.


Allan’s photo


my sweet, soft, adorable, and quietly talkative new friend Penny





got me some penstemons and agastaches and lemon grass and more

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We drove north to KBC to plant some cosmos and to weed and tidy the garden.


our good friend Bella (Allan’s photo)


Clematis montana in evergreen huckleberry (Allan’s photo)


horrifying bindweed pretending to belong (Allan’s photo), in the debris area behind the garage


creeping buttercup removal featuring the ho mi tool (Allan’s photo)


Mary, garden owner, edged outside the fenced garden. (Allan’s photo)


Mary’s edging tools


nicely edged


belly rub time


Bella will put her foot on your foot or arm to ask for more belly rubbing.


fenced garden weeded and with cosmos planted


bird bath view


sit spot


Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’


the pond (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Although I was tired, we found the energy to plant some agastaches in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.  While I delegated the planting (which I so do not enjoy), I checked on the intersection of planters.


This planter has the weedy, running, short season of bloom blue geranium (‘Johnson’s Blue’?), not nice, long blooming, well behaved Rozanne. I thought about re-doing it this spring. Did not get to it. Maybe in fall.  Originally planted by a volunteer.

We also found the energy to finish planting the two planters at Ilwaco City Hall.  We had meant to plant cosmos in the Kite Museum pocket garden and completely forgot to stop there.

at home

Allan amazed me by finding even MORE energy to mow (while I sat in my chair and read the scintillating news of the day).  Way out in the bogsy woods, he found that our bridge railing had just rotted away and fallen over.  The water in the swale had been up to the base of the railing for most of the winter.




Later: Skooter wants to come in Allan’s window!



We now have two days off, except for maybe having to water all the newly planted Ilwaco planters on Sunday.  (Edited to add: Some drizzle on Friday night saved us from watering Sunday.  I hope we don’t regret waiting till Monday.)

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Thursday, 18 May 2017


Captain of the good ship Ann Lovejoy



our post office garden (Allan’s photo)


creamy California poppies (Allan’s photo)


picking a peck of snails


They went into the garbage with some weeds to snack on. (Allan’s photo)


added some of my perennial begonias to the planter at Round 2 in Ilwaco

We planted up one flat of red trailies in two planters by the Cottage Bakery in Long Beach, and some blue trailies in the police station planter, and then went to…

Diane’s garden


I miss my long streetside garden! It will return eventually.


lots of pots to fill


Allan’s photo


It’s quite a production to plant many small containers.


Diane’s azalea (Allan’s photo)


Misty and Diane

Basket Case Greenhouse


at the Basket Case (Allan’s photo)

I quested for more plants to complete the Ilwaco planters.


small Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ are my favourite size to plant; making sure the base is well foliated.


Ooooh, for me, I found some old fashioned cup and saucer campanulas.


The ever patient proprietor, Darrell, listens to my plant thoughts.


Red Barn Arena

We added some gazanias to the barrels.


Allan had an audience.

Long Beach

The two planters by the Cottage Bakery had looked empty.  I don’t have my main agastaches for center plants yet, so we added some Cosmos ‘Sonata’ to just four planters (which was all the cosmos we had till next week).


Tulip ‘Formosa’ still blooming


Ooops, a car had driven into a garden, and left part of its mirror casing, too.


Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ still blooming.  Bulb foliage mess makes it hard to have these planters look good right now.  I try to plant narcissi with more delicate foliage; some big strappy ones are left over from volunteer days.

After planting (Allan) and checking on a block and a half of planters (me), we weeded Veterans Field, and I remembered that a special Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ was getting swamped by monarda.  Allan fixed that:






Although I was mighty tired, we needed to do two little jobs when we returned to our street.


mowing the back (wet) lawn two doors down


took two passes by Allan



rhododendron behind the house to the west (used to be Nora’s parents’ house)

I weeded in the front garden of the J’s until I could weed no more; I had to give it up to finish tomorrow morning.  Seems it is pretty impossible for me to go for a nine hour work day now.  Eight is the limit.


Before, a gazillion little dwarf fireweeds. Too tired to take an after.

Allan mowed the pocket lawn in the back, and we both admired the roses.


Allan’s photos



At home, I reorganized the work board, and I cheated by erasing Ilwaco planters even though we have four more plants to put in tomorrow morning.


planting round 2, cosmos, coming up

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