Archive for Jun, 2017

Monday, 26 June 2017


Our post office garden

We headed to Long Beach to begin with some weeding and mulching of the Bolstad beach approach.  We’d already gotten a late start (because of the Monday doldrums) and had done a bit of a garden driving tour in Seaview, waiting till the magic moment of noon when registration would open for a Willapa Bay barge trip for members of the Willapa friends group.  We parked in the Long Beach big parking lot so Allan could register with “Eventbrite” on his phone.  That did NOT work so we drove all the way home so he could do it via computer.  Therefore, we did not even start work till 1 PM!

First, we gathered Soil Energy at the works yard (and saw the killdeer family hustling about too fast for photos).  The mother only played “broken wing” for a moment so she might be starting to trust us.


Allan’s photo

I had walked from the yard half a block to the office to ask for another heap of mulch to be acquired.  (After the Fourth of July, I was told; they crew is very busy right now.)  On that short walk, I realized I had completely forgotten to wear my knee brace after a weekend of intermittent gardening at home.  I would regret that as the day progressed.


beach approach garden




rose hips and a painted rock (Allan’s photo)

We are already getting asked by passersby what the rose hips are.


rugosa rose and beach strawberry (Allan’s photo)

I said to Allan that if we just did the “end cap” section by the arch, we would be halfway done with the beach approach garden (because I had done the other short “end cap” section last week).  When I saw how many roses were poking out into the street, we ended up trimming the end cap and the first section, so now, HALLELUJAH!, we are more than halfway done with the 13 sections of this rather half-arsed, rushed weeding job.


shearing roses by the arch



We then started the watering of the Long Beach planters AND trees.  Because of so much rain, this is the first time the street tree pocket gardens have needed watering this year.  Allan did the 18 trees and 5 planters and the Fish Alley barrels while I did the rest of the 37 main street planters.  (There are fewer trees than planters, but the trees are much harder to water because the quick-connect dealie is down in a hole, and the first time, the hole is often filled with mud.)

Allan’s photos (brace yourself for something yucky in the second one and a later one):


the quest for the faucet, which is in a slightly different spot in each tree.


EWWWWWWWW baby slugs.  (I find this in the planter faucet caps, too.)


poor li’l slugs


faucet hooked up (then hose gets attached)


another search for the hook up


found it (just for fun, they are not always on the same side of the tree)


EWWWWWWWW I don’t even want to see this!  I don’t even like seeing the picture on slug bait boxes.  But this is the true life of gardeners.


faucet is often filled up with dirt


found the hook up


tree garden by Abbraccio coffee bar is all smashed up by some recent roofing next door (we think)

I’d like the Abbraccio tree to be the best because I like the new coffee bar so much.  Unfortunately, it is one of the most boring tree gardens.  Next year will be better.


not easy to water the corners


hookup right under a bumper


another one full of dirt


Dirt has to be pried out so that the quick connect bayonet can go in.

My watering round photos were few because I was really missing my knee brace:


City crew member at work.

I noticed big blackberries emerging from a rhododendron at the back of this park, way up high.  I didn’t have time or equipment to deal with it today.  Must remember later.


Someone yanked a gladiolus right out of the ground, for no good reason, and left it there.  I did not plant big glads in the planters but I leave the ones planted by volunteers years ago.  I replanted this one.  It will now not bloom this year because it was distressed, and so was I.


looking across the street at a planter by the Elks drab wall.


Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ making up for its annoyingly messy foliage


I saw where the corner of a tree garden was dry because of car bumper problems.


Hungry Harbor Grille


Glad I planted the tough and pretty Knautia macedonica under some of the trees.  (It’s not a noxious weed here, yet.)

Speaking of noxious weeds….I had been unable to get one of the planter’s water to turn on (one where the faucet is really low in the planter) so we finished by moving the van to that one, so that Allan (with more manual dexterity than me by far) could hook up the hose for me.  Then he removed a problem that has been bugging me: a fennel under one of the trees.  It is definitely on the noxious list…


And reseeded itself from here:


And has been setting a bad example under that tree.  He couldn’t get the root out because it went under the concrete.

I completely forgot my idea that we should check and water the planters in Long Beach on Sid Snyder drive.  Now that will have to wait till Wednesday.  We would not have had time, anyway.  Allan worked till dark.

My big plan had been to water the Ilwaco boatyard while Allan watered the Ilwaco planters.  I simply could not; my leg hurt and the boatyard watering takes a lot of stepping over and around obstacles.  It can wait till tomorrow, which will be one of my favourite kind of work days: an all Ilwaco day.  In fact, we will have two all Ilwaco days while we try to get the public gardens perfect for this Saturday’s fireworks show at the port.


Allan’s photo while watering an Ilwaco planter




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24-25 June: two days off

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Now it is just three weeks exactly till the garden tour I am so looking forward to:


It was hot.  And it felt like 100 degrees.



Calvin in the heat


Allan’s photo

By the way, that is not the most pernicious English ivy.  It’s a golden leaf ornamental kind.

I started a book by a favourite author of mine…juliaglass.jpg

until I realized that a day this hot would be quite perfect for repainting the bamboo poles. They would dry quickly between coats.


in the garage (Allan’s photo)


Allan went across the street to water the J’s new hydrangeas.


They were drooping again despite being watered the night before.


He checked again later and they had stood up again.

Allan, while watering his garden and some pots, found a coleus that had been pushed out of the soil in a container by a hardy ginger that I had given up on.


a very determined and powerful Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’

In the evening, Allan watered over at the Norwood garden…



Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

…and I weeded the swale after the weather cooled off a bit.


before: Allan had string trimmed along the edge (and an overgrown iris was a casualty but will come back).








before, looking west from the bridge



I had two helpers.  One was just an entertainer:



The other was Allan, who cleaned up my debris mess when I limped away from two overflowing wheelbarrows and a long pile of pulled buttercups.


8:20 PM, I was done…


seemed like a long walk back to the house…

However, I did find the energy to reinstall most of the bamboo poles, after all three sprinkler areas were run on the front garden.  I had to save four to install tomorrow; it was too dark to find the rebar stakes that I stick them onto.

Allan’s photos of the swale, after he tidied it up:



You might recall that in winter, it is often like this:


taken in February 2012, shortly after the fence was built. I had forgotten how clear it was then.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

I was utterly thrilled that the day was grey and cool, but not windy, with nary a speck of sunshine.  Perfect weather!

I got a late start on gardening, and we had plans for the evening.  On days off, my best weeding time is usually in the evening.  Having a social life interferes with that!


I got some help weeding in the bogsy woods.

Allan went shopping for our campfire evening and saw a rather shocking sign at the local grocery:


Where in the world have people been putting cherry pits?


corn being prepared for campfire roasting

I did manage to get one more thing accomplished in the last hour: a pretty good weeding and tidying of the patio:



much decreased at home work list


poles freshly painted for the summer



I took a video of a walk through the garden, which you can view here if you so desire. As I approach the campfire, I believe that Allan is talking about how I write the blog while he cooks dinner.  Without that arrangement (and he does like to cook), this blog would probably occur much less frequently.


rose petal strewn bench


J9, Allan, Devery


Melissa and Dave, too


A sensation caused by Dranunculus vulgaris in stinky bloom…(Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


We had a feast of fork-toasted hot dogs, corn on the cob roasted in foil, and S’mores for those who like marshmallows or deconstructed S’mores (chocolate bar with graham cracker, no cooking involved) for those (me) who don’t like marshmallows.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



Devery and Smokey

Frosty, Smokey, and especially Skooter adore Devery and visit her next door frequently.

We all agreed we were sorry that Monday was a work day.



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23 June: not a day off

Friday, 23 June 2017

Allan’s day

Allan returned to the playground volunteer assembly project at Ilwaco Park.  This is something he excels at.  For years, he worked full time at assembling items from bicycles to barbecues to furniture to big toys to exercise equipment.

His photos and captions:


When I arrived the volunteers were enjoying a breakfast including Jenna’s homemade burritos and pastries. Lots of drinks were ready for it was going to be a hot day.


The Port of Ilwaco had set up a crane to assist raising the tallest mast.


Ready to go when the volunteers get the platform together to support the mast.

10:40 AM


The deck is ready.

11:00 AM


That’s my hand (as if I could make a difference).


Everyone moved back, just in case. Nick was right in there and rotated it so it matched the front mast.


Down the hole it goes.


Checking alignment.


A good hat for a hot day. It was in the 80’s.

And Nick stayed up supervising and keeping the mast aligned.



The cap for the shorter mast isn’t ready yet so it has a rain bonnet.



Clamps are being tightened.


11:15:    It’s vertical and clamped. Now Nick can come down.


LUNCH! with pulled pork, buns to make a sandwich, slaw, beans, pastries trimmings and more. Plenty of drinks.


Jenna at the galley for the ship’s crew.


Beans in tortilla cups. Good finger food.

One project was to raise the bottom of the slide and move it over.


A slide for two.

1:00 PM


Moving a hole sideways.

The crane is still holding the mast while a multitude of platforms, handrails and fun bits are being assembled.


My view from the swing set. I’m drilling holes for rivets that prevent the clamps from shifting.

1:45 PM


The platform and mast are ready to be set in concrete.

Heavy work.



The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department arrived to unhook the crane.


A ladder’s view as I stood on the deck ready to hold, but not climb the ladder.



I stepped in a hole filled with concrete, once. It rinses off.


The concrete work is done, climbing walls are going up.




Someone turns the fastener inside, someone also turns outside.


The climbing wall has an easy and a harder route.


My little project…the ship’s wheel is installed with help.


It works.

4:45 PM

The site is cleaned up and we’re leaving. Now to fill with wood chips, install the swings, and other details before it’s ready for the kids to sail.


Skyler’s day


Skooter and Smokey on the porch

After sleeping considerably later than Allan did, and the usual astonished breakfast reading of the morning’s dire news, I checked the patio plants for watering needs.  I saw my Stipa barbata is about to bloom.  This pleased me greatly.


You might not see what my excitement is about.


I fell in love with it at Floramagoria garden in Portland.


must have, I thought! and found it via Annie’s Annuals

The day was hot, although not as hot as the 90 degrees predicted for tomorrow.


Skooter in his favourite lair.

The bamboo poles, which are on the agenda for repainting, were also inspired by Floramagoria.


a lily just coming out


clematis by the garage

My commute to work was easy: Across the street to J’s.  Jody wanted some of the Nasella tenuissima (formerly Stipa tenuissima) pulled out.  I had found an old photo of the garden just after it was installed by the previous owner:


probably 2013




Oh no! The new hydrangeas were drooping; we should not have skipped watering yesterday.

Much hauling of bucket water from the back yard faucet ensued.  (WHY are houses so often made with just one outdoor faucet?)




before (and the after looked almost identical)


after: about fifty minutes later and the hydrangeas are already feeling refreshed.



I checked the hydrangeas again later, and they looked happier. We gave them more water after dinner to set them up for tomorrow’s hot day.


west side of our back garden

I checked up on the new Norwood hydrangeas as well and this time I cut off the big flower heads that were weighing them down.  Better they put their energy into new growth.


Their growth had been forced for mother’s day.


much better

I went way back into the bogsy woods at home to check on some newer plants.


As I feared, my Hydrangea ‘Shooting Star’ looked like this!


Buckets of water were hauled from far away rain barrel.


Hydrangeas planted last fall are doing fine.


As is little Hydrangea ‘Vanilla Sky’ planted earlier this year.

No photo to show that my new Berberis ‘Orange Rocket’ had gotten crispy.  If it does not make it, it will be my fourth fail with that shrub.  (Water buckets were hauled; not all the hoses are hooked up yet.  They will be tomorrow.)

Walked across after an hour with more water for the J’s Pistachio hydrangeas.  They were looking still better.


It was too hot to work in the sun at home, and a 25 mph wind (AGAIN) made it unsafe to weed in the cooler bogsy wood.  I caught up on blogging instead.

The Cove Restaurant

At 7 PM, we joined Dave and Melissa for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner. (Allan’s photos)





our view; This little dog had jumped up into his guy’s arms and gotten a hoist to his shoulder.


Tomorrow and Sunday: two days off.



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Thursday, 22 June 2017

I’ll get my initial 25 mph wind complaint out of the way right here at the beginning, and get back to more fervent complaining at the end.

First, a watering of all the container plants at home.  I still don’t have the patio area tidied and arranged and it is almost July!


As we drove off to work, we saw that Dave and Melissa were working on a former garden we had created several years ago.  We quit because of…reasons.  I wouldn’t say it bothered me to see that garden fill with weeds; however, for the sake of the remaining good plants, I was glad to see them working on it.


Sea Star Gardening doing a great job releasing plants from weedy smothering.

Long Beach

We weeded and tidied at the welcome sign and made sure the water was on, because the temperature for this weekend is predicted to be 90 degrees.  (I’m going to complain about that for sure.)


Welcome sign…seems lacking without the high maintenance Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ that I decided to forgo this year. Also, no one had echibeckia available. Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ is not making a good background show at all.


I hope the cosmos get taller soon.  Must remind self many plants have been slowed this year by cold weather.

Despite the wind, our next project was to start a methodical end to end weeding of the beach approach.  We’ve been jumping around to the sections that need mulch the most.  Today, I did not think we had time to get mulch from the works yard, so weeding took priority. (All Allan’s photos:)


starting at the west end



sand and clover


These big flat yellow clovers are satisfying to pull because they come out easily on one main stems and clear a big area when gone.  (Allan’s photo)


After: We got two out of 12.5  sections done, with probably another whole section or more done earlier this week in mulched areas further on.  Only took 1 1/2 of hours for two sections, compared to about 3 hours (meaning 6 with two people) per section on the initial spring weeding. (Allan’s photo)

My goal is to get through the whole garden by July 4th and then to do the complete mulching of all low and/or open areas by mid July’s Sandsations event.  The garden will be a little wild but will, I hope, not have tall weed grasses or vetch all through the roses.






We usually eat lunch by holding a peanut butter sandwich with one hand and taking bites while weeding with another hand.  Often I forget to eat lunch at all. Today we rewarded ourselves for our good work with a Pink Poppy Bakery treat and coffee at Abbracci Coffee Bar by Fifth Street Park (east side).


In the words of Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery: “It may look plain but don’t judge a bundt by it’s cover! Pecan brown sugar pound cake will remind you of Grandma’s kitchen.”


In Abbracci Coffee Bar

Next, we weeded in Fifth Street Park.


I had petted this friendly little doggie named Woo Woo.


Allan weeded an annoying scrim of horsetail.


Allan used the string trimmer to clear this area that goes behind the restroom.

Someone years ago planted “dwarf” pampas grass on the L shaped “behind the restroom” area.  It is infested with weeds. I made it clear a few years back that it was no longer our problem.  In my opinion, it needs to be totally removed…by someone younger and stronger.


Woo Woo and her guy having lunch from Captain Bob’s Chowder. (Allan’s photo)


Northwest corner before weeding horsetail and trimming stems that had gone cattywampus in the wind. Forgot to take an after.

With the park pretty thoroughly weeded, we set out on our watering walkabout.  I went north and Allan went south on Pacific Way (the main street).

Allan’s photos:



starting at the carousel

I’m amazed that allium has not been bothered.  If they would remain unbothered, I would plant a lot more of them in the planters.  In previous years, they did not last more than a few days before being plucked.





yellow bidens


the recently re-done southernmost planter



ending across the street from the carousel

my photos:


In Fifth Street park, east side: Eryngium and starry Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.  The latter is starting to make up for its rampant, floppy foliage.

A young woman tourist stood by this Basket Case Greenhouse basket….


and said “This is just what my baskets look like at home…” and then laughed and added, “Not so much!”  I could have said “You can get one just like that at the Basket Case on Sandridge for $29.99!”


Looking across the street, I thought the Stormin’ Norman planter looked great…..


…with lots of red to tone with the building.

When I got there at the end of my rounds, I found it full of chickweed and fireweed and the dangnable ornamental wire plant that we have tried to eliminate.


Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’


Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’


Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Because I was all out of photos for the NIVA green Facebook page, I stopped in there to take some.


NIVA green


I peeked into the plant section at Dennis Company and saw this list of deer resistant plants.


I have found they do eat Astilbe and Gaura, and I am sorry, but this needs a spell check.


I walked around all the planters and street tree gardens and groomed them (especially the deadheading of the older and larger Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, most of which are rocking back and forth a bit after the recent windstorm).  The wind was horrible…so cold, and so strong it was like a bully almost knocking me over at times.


a business’s planter on First Avenue


First Avenue window



Allan watered and fertilized all the planters with the water trailer.

Since the last thorough go-round, a lot of big weeds had appeared.


under one of the street trees! (Allan’s photo)


the orange lilies someone planted in one of our planters. (Allan’s photo)


one of my favourite tree beds blowing in the wind

A friend drove by on the way to birdwatch at the port and said “It’s late, you have to go home! I saw you can hardly walk across the street!”  I said, “I can’t; this has to be done!” And it did have to be done; we could not quit with only two thirds of the planters watered and cared for.


old Erysimum, before






boatyard garden (will get plenty of weeding next week)



picotee poppy at the end of the boatyard garden (Allan’s photo)

We finished by watering and some weeding at our post office garden, by which time we were both cold and wet and miserable and windblown and squabbling after a 9.5 hour day.

Tomorrow, I have some local weeding to do and Allan has some volunteering at the playground build project. That will make for a short work week.  We will be making up for that with many hours next week.



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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

From my breakfasting window, I noticed something that was striking in person but hard to photograph:


three echoes of blue, two levels of catmint and ceanothus in the background


one of my new (last year) roses, Westerland

We started with a visit to the port office to check on the hanging baskets, and that’s when we learned that there was another marine wind advisory, so the baskets continued to hang in a sheltered spot for one more day.


on the desk at the port office


wind warning (Allan’s photo)


port office curbside gardens


We drove by the boatyard garden for a second time just to record how it is looking.



ceanothus blooming in the boatyard garden


The scrim of horsetail will be addressed next week.


a boat coming in


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


We just learned from a gardener whose spouse owned the Aallotar for many years that “Aallotar is a character from the Finnish epic Kalevala. I think it means something like female wave spirit.”  I did indeed Google it and found “water nymph” and “lady of the waves”.  Fascinating!  I would love to hear many stories about this boat.


I do know that it was built many decades ago by the Kola brothers in this old boathouse, located on the meander line.


The old Kola boathouse.

We were pushed around by 25 mph wind gusts all day.  It is a good thing that I have The Deadliest Catch to which to compare our small potatoes wind misery.


Our work is not this hard.

The Depot Restaurant


north side of dining deck


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and Phygelius ‘Cherry Ripe’


Rodgersia flower (Allan’s photo)

I’d been watching every week for caterpillars on the Leycesteria on the south side of the deck.  Today, they had arrived, so we cut the whole thing down because that is just unappetizing to see when dining. For years, the shrub grew here with no problems, till the caterpillars discovered it a maybe four years ago.


Allan’s photo


ornamental grasses enclosing the deck (Allan’s photo)

The Red Barn Arena


Disney, with her son peeking through the garden


Amy and her barrel racing horse






This time, I was not snubbed by Disney’s son.



Red Barn garden (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


wind damage (Allan’s photo)

A crow was in the barn harassing a swallow’s nest and being harassed in return by terribly upset swallows.


Allan’s photo


Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ in a planter by the entrance (Allan’s photo)

We did a brief deadheading of the planters next door at Diane’s garden and then went to

Long Beach…

where we loaded up some buckets of Soil Energy mulch at the city works yard.

Again the killdeer mother was upset that we were near her babies and pretended to have a broken wing.


brave mama


Allan’s photo


I think after awhile she figures out we are ok.


mother and child (Allan’s photo)


decreasing mulch pile

Our mission was more weeding and mulching on the Bolstad beach approach.   Almost photos from here on are Allan’s:


in a beach approach planter


planter weeding


in the parking lot






The garden had not been mulched for years and much sand has blown in.



other folks working





at end of first trip, picked up our cheque at city hall

We weeded the little popouts at last.  Whoever had put a pot inside some rearranged rocks for the past two years and taken care of a cluster of annuals had abandoned the project…


So we re arranged the rocks more or less as they used to be.


I never was able to find out who had temporarily adopted this little pop out.


the next li’l popout


These do not get any supplemental water at all.  We used to hose water them from a faucet underground…and maybe should make more an effort with them again.


little popout number three, before weeding. with a tree trying to resprout (now a shrub of sorts)

I asked Allan to finally cut out the saddest little mugo pine in li’l popout number four.




so much better!

We weeded in Veterans Field where I fumed mightily because someone had clipped the tops off all but one of the elephant garlic.  I had planted them as a shout out to the Friday farmers market that takes place here.  Many bad words were said after looking around to make sure no one but Allan could hear.  For this public gardening frustration I quit many good, peaceful private garden jobs!




I fumed and thought about planting chives along the front of this problematic garden.  It was thrown together in haste when the triangular corner bed was made to house a memorial plaque; the plaque then was put somewhere else and the garden has remained a sort of thrown together bunch of plants.  It needs to be better planted with sturdier edging plants that can withstand abuse…and maybe with many more elephant garlic, of which I have an endless supply.  Maybe chives along the edge, for the farmers market feel.  Maybe some rosemary, too.


New Fun Rides have been added a block south.

We finished with a 7 PM collection of more buckets of mulch and more fluffing of the beach approach.


I made the mistake of giving one seagull just one corner of a cookie.


Within seconds, all of these gulls arrived.


At the works yard, we had also collected two buckets of plain old dirt from the debris pile and used it to fill in the trench where the bricks came out at the Norwood garden.  That got us done with a nine hour work day.






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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

We woke to one of those soaking misty rains that appeared to have been falling all night; I had heard the dripping into the rain barrel outside my window at 2 AM.  This led to a slow start on the day.

As I was carrying a change of clothes to the van, I saw three young women walking by saying “Oh, what a cute garden! Look, it says Tangly Cottage!”  Then the speaker saw me and said. “Oh, it’s YOUR garden, no wonder, you garden for the whole community!”  That was nice.

Allan took two photos while dumping a wheelbarrow for me in the back garden:


Primula vialii fallen over


Cobwebs on the sprinklers show we have not yet had to use them this year.

I’m sure the windblown Ilwaco post office garden needs attention.  I just looked at it because it was so wet.  It was a winter clothes day because of a strong wind and I did not want to start out with damp sleeves and pants.


I had a few lambs ear starts from cleaning up the port office garden’s sidewalk area after the storm.  The Freedom Market garden, which I have so far failed to make beautiful, seemed like a good spot for them.


The curbside garden is attractive.



Allan planting the lambs ears in the shop’s own garden, where they might not get stepped on when they resprout.


I found several big dandelions in the curbside garden.

All the port gardens are on schedule for a thorough weeding next week before the July 1st fireworks show.

We had debris left over from Thursday’s post-storm clean up in Long Beach.  Our first stop was to dump it at city works.

The killdeer parents got very upset when we arrived because they have two little babies.

The mother birds tried to guide us away from the babies by fluttering and making a lot of noise and pretending to have a broken wing.



Allan’s photo


the broken wind feint?

Eventually, she seems to have realized we were not much of a threat so she rejoined her babies.


Our plan today had been to do Long Beach and Ilwaco watering, but with the extra rain and with the strong, annoying wind, we decided to do two more sheltered gardens instead.

Klipsan Beach Cottages


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

At KBC, we could hear the wind roaring through the tops of the surrounding trees.  In the garden, all was more peaceful as we tidied up storm damage.  Mary and Denny had been on a trip for a dear friend’s birthday over the weekend, and the staff and other residents told them that the wind had been fierce and the place had been a mess of small fallen branches and leaves, all cleaned up by the time Mary and Denny returned home.

The main plant that I had expected to be affected by wind was the towering Thalictrum ‘Elin’.


And indeed it was.


had to cut some of it off


Mary watches the struggle.

It took me and Allan and some long black string to truss it up in a way that I hoped looked moderately natural.  Allan went under the rugosa roses to find a strong enough branch to fasten the string loop to.


It doesn’t look too unnatural.


This rose had many rain sodden flowers and few leaves; I ended up choosing to cut it way back and fertilize with Dr Earth.

After a long work session, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.


east gate


Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’


birdbath view


Allium nigrum



driveway garden


Right now is the beautiful time for lady’s mantle’s chartreuse flower sprays.

The Anchorage Cottages


Our good friend Mitzu greets us.  (Allan’s photo)

Another somewhat sheltered garden is the Anchorage.  The wind does whip across the parking lot, but some moments of shelter can be found in the garden.  As we entered the driveway, I saw some sightline pruning needed to be done on a large shore pine by the street.  That led to some more pruning of dead branches on the chaemacyparis trees  by the road and to the removal of a dead willow, the whippy thin-leaved kind.

Beth and Mitzu all got involved in the pruning and hauling, and then Allan fertilized all the planters and window boxes while I weeded (and planted some starts from my bucket of extra lambs ears).


two of four window boxes


the other two; I try to coordinate the flowers with the signs.


center courtyard


New Dawn rose, would be quite perfect except she gets blackspot.


north garden


north garden


Allan’s photo


I pruned the rhododendron before Beth started to express worry about it reaching up to the gutters again.  I like it to provide some window privacy for that cottage.

Long Beach

On the way home, we assessed what work needed doing in Fifth Street Park and admired the lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis); I usually am off this plant until the all to brief period when it blooms.


It is all chartreuse and frothy.



hideous horsetail edging in the damp southwest bed.


I asked Allan for a photo of the lady’s mantle on the east side of the park.


evidence of rain

When we got home, I suddenly felt inspired to remove the bricks from the edge of a former garden bed in the nearby Norwood lawn so I could cross it off my work list.  I did not take my camera.  The garden bed is now defunct and will become part of the lawn; it is right inside a hedge and is competing too much with roots and has been allowed to go back to grass.  I used most of the bricks to make a little path to the faucet.


one down on the work list

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  Monday, 19 June 2017

Allan goes boating on the Naselle River

It’s going to be the first day of summer tomorrow. Today is going to be the first kayak expedition since last November.

Back in October 2014 I thought I could launch at the Willapa Refuge, head all the way upriver to the town of Naselle and back in one day. In six and a half hours I made it just past the 101 bridge, up the Ellsworth Slough and back.  The bit of the river around the town of Naselle I paddled once in February 2015. There is no launch in between unless I pull off the road and drag the boat across a field, which is possible, but too athletic.

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Today it’s the lower route



The fog was still out hiding the bridge across the Columbia to Astoria


Same view later from on the way home

The tide was plus five foot but would be going down all afternoon. The Naselle River stays deep enough for a kayak all the way up to the town of Naselle even when the Willapa Bay is mostly mud. The plan was to launch from Naselle and go out with the tide. The current would be on my side but there would be a headwind with gusts to 20 mph. If I took a sail, I could sail back and maybe cover the almost 20-mile trip.

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The boat launch with enough concrete to walk on with a plus 5.1 tide.

When I returned after the trip, the launch was concrete deprived.

At the low tide of 2.2 feet, it’s muddy

It’s sticky, sucking off your shoes, covering your boat muddy.


Fortunately, it was easier to launch than it was to return and I set out.

I thought I’d snap a picture after just avoiding the overhanging trees

Watching for sunken trees and things that go bump.

A fallen tree had blocked three-quarters of the river. I think it used to be an island that is now being washed away.

The root ball and channel are off on the left.

Tree branch ribs

This helps show the tidal range. It’s plus 1.6 foot now.

A toy for a water fun


Someone had done a long climb to get that rope up.

A backhoe scoop had been installed the right, a modest garden is now on the top deck.

The rear deck and a doorway for someone else to explore. I did wonder if it opened.

Another old boat up on the shore

There was very little breeze through the woods. When I got out of the trees the wind picked up to to 15 to 20 mph

A furled sail makes upwind paddling easier

Before this boat, my usual experience was that I had to fold up the sail to get home. Tacking back and forth trying to work back upwind with my dad’s boat would usually just be back and forth but no upwind progress until I got the oars out. Small sailboats usually don’t come with oarlocks but I find them handy.

Around the bend, I partially unfurled the sail as it was gusty from 15 to 20 mph. Too much sail at once can be too exciting and actually slower.

Someone left these pilings in the way to zig zag through


Less than eight miles per hour but it seemed fast.

This is the bit of river I see when driving north of the curved 101 bridge over the Naselle River.

I ducked up into a calm Ellsworth slough to put on some warmer, dryer clothes and grab some lunch.

The 101 bridge, the goal.

Made it

Now the wind was at my back. The river isn’t straight, nor does the wind keep coming from the same direction as the terrain changes. This makes the sail sometimes flip from hanging off one side to hanging off the other side. The boom running along the bottom of the sail will whack the inattentive sailor as it flips to the other side giving notice that the boat will be instantly leaning the other way.

The internet suggested I could hold the sail out if I cut a notch in the paddle.

When the sail wanted to switch sides it would wrestle the paddle away.

Low-tech worked better.

It was an easy 6 mph glide back up to the woodsy part of the river. That beats 3.5 average paddling speed. That made the extra time setting up a sail worth it.

On the way back I saw this leftover relic from logging.

Someone has a nice garden with a river view which I’ve never noticed from the road.

I thought I saw a herd of deer scramble up from the shore. When I ‘developed the film’ I saw that someone is raising goats.

Into the woods and the wind was quiet

As the signboards used to say along the freeway, “If you lived here, you’d be home now.”

Or, more affordable, here.

I’d settle for this and a good tent.

Six ten and nearly home, the landing is just beyond this bridge in Naselle.

Something to look at, maybe salvage if it’s a sailboard.

It’s got tent poles. Here’s another use for a water proof camera…use it under water.

Perhaps it blew into the river during one of our windstorms. Perhaps it was trash tossed off the bridge

Now to do the responsible thing because creatures could drown in it. It won’t decompose.

dragging it back

Dragging stuff up the muddy landing

A tent ready for a leaf bag from the car.

So, two hours after spotting the tent, I was heading home to clean off the mud and to cook up a late dinner.



‘MapMyTracks’, a phone app.








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Saturday, 17 June

Allan did not go boating today after all; instead he went to volunteer on a building project at the playground several blocks east of us, arriving at 10:40.  The volunteer effort started at nine, which is rather too early for night owls.

as seen on Facebook

The park is at the east end of the flat part of town.

9:40 AM:

Swing set frame was up and concrete was being mixed, and poured at their base.

Holes for the sailing ship play structure were being dug.

Art for the occasion by Don Nisbett

Poles were laid out for the ship’s deck.

10:50 AM:

Parks and Rec member Nick was hauling a bag one at a time and mixing.

First thing I did was to move a small stack over to the mixer.

Another heavy load, a good use for a two tired wheelbarrow – we’ve found them difficult to maneuver around the gardens so have stuck with a single tire style.

11:00 AM:

Post hole digging and a depth measuring tool that I think is referenced to a laser on the tripod in the background.

Hard packed rocky soil, dense sand.

11:20 AM:

checking the depth of the hole

Note how our excellent Fiskars shovel has a good “ledge” for your foot to press on.

photo by Jarrod Karnofski

checking level on the swing sets as the concrete cured

Our friend Joe (Don and Jenna’s teenage son) on the digging crew.

an old plastic pipe that caused problems

12:10 PM:

device on tripod is a Self-Leveling Rotary Laser

The instructions to assemble the shorter mast

Jarrod drilling for a rivet that will keep the post from spinning.

The taller mast being assembled next to us with a crows nest on the right.

1:05 PM:

the ship’s bow and all its curves being sorted

A sample of the tools we got to borrow

Nick had all the bags ready to mix.

Rechecking the instructions

1:25 PM:

A bow view as the posts aren’t centered in their holes anymore as we make things fit.

1:40 PM:

The shorter mast going up.

photo by Vinessa or Jarrod Karnofski

I ended up at the hole carefully booting down the base so it would not flip up as the muscles worked it up past the balance point.

1:55 PM:

Its up, it’s balanced and it’s heavy. Nick holds it steady.

2:15 PM:

Using cinch straps as the deck goes in.

The trowel is a much borrowed tool as the holes need to be shifted.

5 PM:

The last project of moving the these holes is done. .

Another round of concrete is poured.

The bow is to the facing left with the anchor chain behind. The black gangway steps leading away at the right.

One of the volunteers admiring the project as cleanup continues.

Our Jenna (Queen La De Da) was there with refreshments. (photo by Vinessa Karnofski)

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Allan realized he had not gotten a photo showing all the playground accomplishment. He went back to the park Sunday morning for these photos:

Clearly, the dream of getting it done in one day had not come true.  Another volunteer work day is scheduled for Friday, June 16th.  We are arranging our work schedule so that Allan can participate.  Perhaps you, too, would like to show up and help, as this post conveniently will appear early on that same morning.  We hope the whole double masted “sailing ship” will be done by the end of that day.

At home on Sunday, Allan did a project that had been bugging him ever since a recent plumbing repair day, when the bamboo poles were falling over in the way of the under-house access and the electric meter.


after, with rebar pieces to keep the bamboo in place (one hopes).

With that accomplished, he went over the the Ilwaco Community Building to work on his own particular job of maintaining the garden there.



deadheaded rhododendrons along the sidewalk



Brodiaea laxa coccinea

little santolina started this spring by shoving a cutting into the ground

We’ve tried increasing the interest of this heather/salal garden with bulbs and poppies and starts of sedums.

The tiered garden was windblown.

poppies and mahonia

Allan certainly deserved a boating day after all this, and tomorrow he’ll get one.


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Friday, 16 June 2017

Finally, the four days I had so been looking forward to had arrived.  Unfortunately, Friday was not entirely a day off, although the work tasks were small ones.  (Most of Allan’s rather different weekend will follow in tomorrow’s post.)

Longtime readers may notice we are not going to Hardy Plant Study Weekend this year.  That’s because it is in Canada.  Too far to go in gardening season. I do miss the touring of many gardens. 


I was hoping to get at least two done of the home goals on the work board.


This is the rather amazing amount of rain we’d had.


J’s house reflected.

At the J’s, I placed two Pistachio hydrangeas, dug up the two pitiful ones, and left the planting for Allan.


The less sad of the two pitifuls can try out life behind the birdbath.


Allan’s photo


more stupid landscape fabric removed (Allan’s photo)


hydrangeas spaced out for more room


a snail hoping for a ride

Allan also kindly did some weeding next door at Devery’s; some grasses were daunting her.





He took a tired old hebe out of his own garden:



and replaced it with a new one.

I had gotten inspired by a photo on the Tootlepedal blog to want a lattice piece to make a vine go over the front porch entry.  Allan found some wire that did just the trick. The vine in question dies back in fall so this wire may come in handy for Halloween decor.


Allan’s photo.  Vine is Lamprocapnos scandens (yellow bleeding heart vine)

While running errands, he also added two Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ to our barrel planter at The Depot Restaurant (easier in afternoon than in the evening when the parking lot is full). There he found a monster bindweed that we had missed.



At home, I applied some blood meal to certain plants, just to give them a boost.  This attracted attention from next door.



our handsome neighbour, Rudder

The storm had rearranged the old rose by the back garden entrance. Much clipping ensued.


Later, Devery next door got the roses.

You may recall that the Ladies in Waiting area was pretty full again this week. I seriously applied myself to planting in the afternoon and early evening, with a big anxious push to get done at the very end.


all planted! every last one!


I put my tradescantia, called Sweet Kate, not Blue and Gold, in a hanging basket to see how long it takes snails to find it.  


Alliums and Geum (Allan’s photo)

At the very last bit of time at home, I got the Great Wall of China reinstalled, with Allan’s help on the highest plate.


The last minute planting rush was because we needed to leave early for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner in order to plant a few things at the port on the way.


Allan plants an asclepias in the drive-over garden by the port.


We felt super special to drive down Waterfront Way (not a driving road except for port workers).


We filled in some of the storm gaps with cosmos at the port office garden, and added stakes to protect them, I hope, when the baskets get re-hung.


south of the port office (Allan’s photo)

On the way to dinner, I was pleased to see that the baskets in Long Beach, after their storm pummeling, are already looking better.  So I no longer have to worry about 35 mph storms and hanging baskets.


taken on the move


a lovely sight which I messaged to Basket Case Roxanne

The Cove Restaurant

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) had actually worked through the storm in The Oysterville Garden.  Their fortitude amazes me.


plant talk


our weekly reward (Allan’s photo)


Caesar salad




fish and chips




the view

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Allan and the van were gone when I got up; I had no idea where.  Boating?  Tomorrow’s post will tell.

With low energy, my curse of the beginning of every weekend, I got some but not all weeding done in the front garden.  It had been the first to get weeded last time so was the weediest now.


Smokey taking refreshment

Three of the cats spent most of the afternoon indoors.






Calvin caught just about to yawn


front garden before




Skooter and Rosa ‘Jude the Obscure’


Jude the Obscure


part of the driveway garden, before


Skooter supervising

Our Kathleen dropped by so I could give her money to maybe get Allan and I tickets at Elixir Coffee in South Bend for the upcoming garden tour.  On Saturday, it was exactly four weeks away; I am counting the days.  When there is something I want very much to see, I always fear something going wrong.  Having tickets in advance would help my anxiety. Kathleen and I had a good long natter because I planned to weed till 8 PM.  It felt good to sit and talk.


the tour that I am eagerly anticipating

I had begun to weed again when rain came…just as predicted.  I had not taken the forecast seriously.


driveway garden, after


more driveway garden, weeded


Drenched, I got this far and stopped.




Skooter amusing himself with a water drip.

I did not mind at all changing into dry clothes and reading some chapters of this excellent (and long) novel for awhile.


It is about a young woman whose friend is shot by the police, unfortunately a current subject in the news here in the USA….always.

Sunday, 18 June 2017


rain gauge


another rain gauge


Calvin.  The board across the cat door is to make it smaller in order to keep raccoons out.


While weeding the front garden, I woke someone from a nap.

With the front garden mostly done, I got started on the back.  Except for the ever rampant dwarf fireweed, it was not as weedy.  The day had turned into fine weather (perhaps a bit too warm!) and I was glad for evening cloud cover. We were finally able to have the first campfire of 2017.


Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’


Mom’s “red velvet” rose and a tail


Allium albopilosum under threat of being swallowed by Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Three cats lead the way to get the picnic basket from the kitchen.


Allan at the woodpile


fog over the port, beyond the garden


Allan’s photo


bellows to get wet wood started (Allan’s photo)







roasting corn (Allan’s photo)


It came out perfect!


A defunct garden bench cooks the first campfire dinner of the year.

In the dark, we could hear foghorns on the river.  It was idyllic, but for one thing: The city has made the street light on the other side of our house a bright white one.


It used to be a subtle reddish amber.  Drat.  I will have to sit with my back to it for campfires because it GLARES.  If only I could plant an instant tall tree!

Monday, 19 June 2017

We continued the rare luxury of a four day weekend.  This might not occur again till late July, if then.  Allan went boating while I continued weeding the back garden.


a box of hardy begonias


I wanted to switch tasks to weeding the swale, but it was too windy to work under the trees.


Pulling swale buttercups would make a big difference quickly.


Stipa gigantea


Skooter using my hat as a pillow


He slept here all day.


a pretty rose


There are still areas of small dwarf fireweed.


Let’s look at this instead.


This formerly fireweed swathe is much better now.


Pleased to see my Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ coming back from the dead.


rambling roses on the arbor (Maxine’s rose, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Mermaid)


from Friday: Maxine’s rose is a hit with bees.  (Allan’s photo)

I certainly did not weed as well as I would have for a client.  However, I declare the second weeding done.  The next go round will be a GOOD weeding.  I kind of cheated by making the front garden’s difficult northeast corner a separate project.  I call it the Stink Mint corner because of a smelly-foliaged weed. And the work list got longer because of a phone call today.



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Thursday, 15 June 2017

The storm did not veer away or fizzle out.  It appeared as predicted with 47 mph wind gusts at the port and 1.36 inches of rain (with three hours of rain left to go in the day as I write this).


Skooter had no desire to go outside.



I finished my book.  (We’ll get to some garden photos after this reading time.)


This is the same author whose reading we attended at Time Enough Books last week.


author Kathleen Alcalá at Time Enough Books

The entire book is wonderful…except for one brief passage when the slim and beautiful author expresses her distaste for seeing overweight people buying pallets of food at Costco. (The day I read that paragraph, I in fact went shopping at Costco!)  At her reading, I mentioned to her that passage and gently suggested she read Body of Truth by Harriet Brown, and I hope she does.  I wrote it down for her.

Nevertheless, every other paragraph in the book gets my top rating.

Here are a few of my favourite parts.

About Michele Obama’s White House garden, and her book American Grown, in better days:



I loved that The Deepest Roots mentions Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens, a book written by a Bainbridge Islander.  I used to own a copy and just loved it even though I don’t have chickens.  (I need to get that book for Melissa!)

Description of the author’s garden:


I appreciate the mention of Jamaica Kinkaid.



Kinkaid’s book is excellent.

In my teens and twenties, I used to frequently take the ferry to the town of Winslow on Bainbridge Island for a fun day out.  I doubt I would recognize Winslow now.


I like the woman who just calmly read:


for readers who are fungus fans:



Think about this:


I love the quiet in the garden, when no one in the neighborhood is mowing or string trimming!


Sharing food garden at Town and Country Market:


People have suggested that we have a food forest growing in Long Beach and Ilwaco.  The problem is that our windy weather is not very conducive to fruit trees on the ocean side of the Peninsula.  I was excited to Google and read about the town of “Incredible, edible Todmorden” in England.


I want to grow these:


It is useful to know that white camassia is poisonous to eat!


She imagines a post apocalyptic world:


I looked to my right and was pleased to see a wall of books.



And those are just novels and memoirs; the gardening and nature books are on another wall.


This is a beautiful book and I can think of several people who would love it as much as I do (and I have already bought a copy for one of them).

I looked back in my own archives and found these photos, from sometime between 1970 and 1973, of some trips that my friend Montana Mary and I took to Bainbridge Island.

on the ferry, with Seattle as the backdrop

We would go to the grocery store and buy apple beer, which was a non alcoholic drink that amused us.

Winslow, Eagle Harbor

Winslow by the ferry dock

I believe this is all built up by now.

We used always to walk down to this beach near the ferry dock.

We walked along a county road all the way to Fay Bainbridge State Park and back. It is now a busy road.

Mary on the quiet road.

That was quite a walk from Eagle Harbor. Mary and I often took long all day walks; back then I could live up to my last name of Walker.

Coming back to the present stormy afternoon, I checked the Heroncam.  Dark and rainy in Long Beach.


I followed the book with a thorough catch up on reading my favourite blog, by Mr Tootlepedal.  If I read it a couple of weeks late, I can also enjoy the witty and informative comment section.

At 6 Pm, the wind had finally slowed.  We went out to check for storm damage and to assess whether or not we could enjoy the four day weekend I had so been hoping for.


My rambling rose flowers had not blown off.


Eryngium ‘Big Blue’

Port of Ilwaco

The gardens were not as damaged as I had feared.

The boatyard garden:



Stipa gigantea had suffered.








still have red poppies


On Howerton Avenue, the worse damage was to these sea thrift on the north side of the bookstore!

Long Beach


welcome sign

The baskets did not look as bad as I had feared.  The leaves did not get turned to blackened mush like during the strong freak summer storm of late August 2015.

That storm has wind of 56 mph and more.  Long Beach probably had 35-40 mph this time and the damage was not severe.



still looks good in what is probably the windiest planter


The bigger Geranium ‘Rozanne’ were the most windblown of the planter plants.


Had to deadhead these Dutch iris…

The south side of the police station was the biggest crisis.




We fixed it so we could have tomorrow off.


earlier this week




I did cut off the asphodel flower.


Fifth Street Park not too bad.


Allan’s photo


protected baskets on north side

Port of Ilwaco Office

We saved this for last because I knew there would be some work there and I did not want to start out wet and cold.  I was thrilled to see the port staff had put up hooks to protect the hanging baskets by putting them on the north side of the building.


a beautiful sight


gale warning storm flags (Allan’s photo)


south side


after some staking and clipping and waterfalls falling on us from the deck above



rain gauge plus water buckets I filled before the storm so the barrels could refill; rose flopped across the path


Snails on my new tradescantia.  NOT cute.  I was not nice to them.





Otherwise, very little damage.






Recently transplanted paperbark maple is still happy.

Now we can have the four days off that I have been wanting, and I’m hoping for good enough weather to get a lot of weeding and planting done. Allan’s plans may be more adventurous.






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