Archive for Sep, 2017

Email subscribers may have gotten two posts today. Allan accidentally hit the publish button (all too easy to do) on an incomplete post that was supposed to publish Oct 8.  We are all about the narrative flow, so I immediately unpublished it; however, I think it went out to email subscribers in its unproofread and half finished form. Try to forget all about it!   You’ll see it again on October 8. 

Here are a few photos to make this more interesting. 

A cat from across the street: 

A garden area I made twenty years ago for a place in Nahcotta:

I called it the Magic Circle. 

That reminds me of another garden that I made in Seaview in 1995 or so for Maxine, our first gardening client. I called that one the Silver Circle, although it was really just a semi circle. 

Planters on the deck of a realtor, about fifteen years ago:

A Long Beach fast food enterprise, before new management decided they wanted their landscaping to be a barkscape instead:

A local credit union, before new manager  decided that he did not want flowers or plants that touched each other:

Laurie’s Jurassic Garden, as she called it:

That was a wonderful job. She moved to California, and we miss her still. 

You’ll see that accidentally published post again in a finished form in about ten days. Thanks for reading. 

Read Full Post »

Friday, 15 September 2017

A substantial amount of rain is predicted beginning Sunday.  However, we can’t count on it and so we watered containers anyway.

Long Beach

welcome sign front

deadheading welcome sign cosmos

front and back

In town, Allan went south and I went north to water the planters.

outside the Wooden Horse gift shop


at the Wooden Horse gift shop

Allan’s walkabout photos:

cosmos and gaura

my walkabout photos:

Salvia viridis (painted sage); This year the white ones have done the best, with the blue ones being the smallest. Mystifying.

hardy fuchsia and white cosmos

my favourite planter (again)


Amy from the Red Barn passing by

Heather of NIVA green (my favourite shop) had something for me: Her assistant wanted me to have these three books:

I was thrilled to have Green Thoughts again, and I know just who needs the Lovejoys (which I already have, or course).

I took the time to get some more photos for the Niva green Facebook page.

in NIVA green

After watering, we rendezvoused at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  (Allan had done the deadheading in Fifth Street Park.)  Bernardo had asked for some gunnera leaves from the big specimen in the park, so that he can make a leaf casting.  I was happy to provide some that were  pushing up against the windows of Benson’s Restaurant.

Allan’s photo

When we went into the coffee shop, we were delighted to find Our Kathleen.  She had been here for a week’s vacation and while we had planned to see her this evening, we were glad to have some extra visiting time in a quiet atmosphere.

We got her to move from the two top window table.  (Allan’s photo)

delicious cake from Pink Poppy Bakery

Fortunately, we had time for a 45 minute break.

getting ready to depart

I was especially fascinated to learn that Tony grew up in Castle Rock, before it was a mecca of flowers.  He went back for a high school reunion and was impressed with the transformation.  I recommended the Castle Rock Blooms Facebook page.

We checked the gardens out on the beach approach…

Flowers had been left at the Lisa Bonney memorial planter on the anniversary of her death in 2009.

Someone has planted a new rosemary plant (left, below), which is perfect.  “Rosemary for remembrance.”  I wish I could make this planter better.  Rosemary is a good idea.  It is not too showy so it might not get stolen.  I will add another on the right side.

Here is an odd thing: Someone had painted up one of the old volunteer signs, after apparently removing it, and then sticking it back onto the planter with messy ugly glue.  I blurred out the name.

The glue looked horrible.

We went to city hall and asked.  The people’s names were not on the roster of utility customers.  We decided the best thing to do would be pry off the plaque, take it in to city hall, and if the people come and ask, find out if they really intend to maintain the planter (which seemed to have had no improvements related to this sign being painted).  Then Parks Manager Mike could have it glued on nicely.  The volunteer planter program is actually over because so very few planters… maybe five planters out of fifty or so…actually got maintained back in the day.  The plaque is now in the charge of the city hall staff.

I have a feeling this was just some sort of joke that was played over Labor Day weekend.

We did a bit of trimming of plants at city hall.

Allan’s photo: He cut back the catmint hard.

Allan’s photo: That orange montbretia is not supposed to be there. I am showing mercy for now.

Allan’s photo, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Allan’s photo


I did just a half an hour of deadheading and weeding at the boatyard garden and then went home.  I am counting on the rain to water it.  Because the Ilwaco containers are thirstier, Allan went on to water them.

sweet peas and cosmos

Sweet peas made it to the fence top, by the leaky faucet.  They smelled so good.

looking south

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

Aster, very likely ‘Harrington’s Pink’

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, downtown

In the evening, we met with at The Cove with Our Kathleen and Dave and Melissa for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner.  The food was good, yet we missed our beloved Lynn, our favourite server who is no longer there. Without her presence, we are questing for a new weekly dinner spot.

We hadn’t had our dinners for two weeks because of holiday weekends, and the dinner before that had been too noisy to hear each other, so there was much to catch up on.

We now have either three or four days off, depending on the rain’s arrival.  I cannot spend it all at home because tomorrow we must rally in Astoria.






Read Full Post »

Thursday, 14 Sept 2017

We started at a garden just a few blocks east of us.

Mayor Mike’s garden

….with tidying, clipping some errant rose canes and some spent perennials.

Mayor Mike’s front garden

Just as we were finishing there, a parade of many old Dodge vehicles drove by down Lake Street.

Our next mission was chop the myrtles at ….

The Port of Ilwaco


cutting flush to the ground with our rechargeable saw

after. We will make this garden interesting again with divisions from other plants, after some rain comes.

The myrtles will grow back, and I will keep them small.

The sightline in late summer:

22 August: before pruning the myrtles

and today

While Allan pruned, I watered three garden beds.

my favourite port garden

the driveover garden

 Having decided on a midday cultural work break, we parked at the post office.

The deer have discovered the miniature rose in the post office planter.

We walked across the street to the

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

to peruse the Derby Days exhibit. You still have time to see it.

“Join the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum as we explore the history of “Derbyville” and the early years of salmon derbies, recreational fishing, and the emergence of the charter-boat fishing industry on the Long Beach Peninsula. This exhibit will be on view August 4 – October 7, 2017.”

The old Dodges were parked in the museum lot and across the street.

In the museum, we were fascinated with the old photos of the marina…

…and especially by photos showing the shoreline back when our lot was riverfront property.

The river bank is now the meander line, a ditch between us and the port parking lots.

We spent considerable time peering at the photo above, and the one below, trying to pinpoint our lot and the house that used to sit on it.

An old postcard touts the climate that was one of the reasons I moved here:

The water is no longer cheap and the summers are hotter than they used to be.

Allan enjoyed this old photo of Black Lake boating.

The salmon derby camps were along the banks of the Columbia, east of Chinook.

One of my favourite parts of the musuem is their replica street of shops.  It is being changed up with some new finds.

New school room display includes a typewriter like the one I typed a very bad novel on in high school.

tailoring shop

Allan likes the Chinook canoe:

Work called.  In case the rain did not arrive on Sunday, I wanted to get four more of my most favourite curbside gardens watered, and Allan had some hedge trimming to do.

 Port of Ilwaco

port office garden

the marina

I weeded and watered three pocket gardens…

…and the Time Enough Book garden….

…and visited my good friend Scout in the book store.

as always, good books.

I had no intention of buying a book, yet I did purchase this one.

As I walked home, I noted that the meander line ditch is completely dry.  It will soon become a stream again when the rains arrive.

by the community college annex, showing the size the California wax myrtles like to attain.

Meanwhile, Allan had pruned two escallonias down at Coho Charters.

one of them, before

and after


frog in a water barrel (Allan’s photo)

Allan set to his new project, removing old shakes from the shed, which, in WWII years, was an electrical repair shop for small appliances.

Apparently, the shakes were just a decorative overlay. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I rearranged some plants on the patio, accidentally pulling a santolina out of a planted chimney pot.  While transplanting it by Devery’s driveway, I saw that Frosty had gone next door to visit his new bestie, Royal.  Devery was taking photos from her porch while I was taking photos from the driveway.

 Devery and I are both delighted by this sweet friendship, initiated by Frosty.




Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The work board has sprouted a list for fall.

The top “later” project at Diane’s, restoring the roadside garden, has to wait for a new fence.

While I struggled to get going, Allan hauled my clipped salmonberries from the bogsy woods and loaded them into the trailer.

It’s about a 200 foot drag. (Allan’s photo)

J’s garden

We began across the street. While painters are working on the house and garage, we had let the blackberries come through from the yard next door.  How did that happen so fast?


Allan’s photo


This load went to the dump.

The Depot Restaurant

The soil was damp enough so that we did not have to water.

north side of dining deck

autumnal Solidago ‘Fireworks’

Agastache ‘Mexican Giant’

Basket Case window box and planter

and another Basket Case window box and planter

We had time to do a good clipping of the escallonia that always wants to block the railway history sign.  (No photos of that project.  I was having a very hard time getting myself in gear for today.)

The Red Barn

While Allan got started on weeding and watering, I had a look at a horse.

tail brushing

“One Last Cruise”, nickname Cruise, named because he was the last foal of his breeder.

That was Mr. Amy with Cruise, and here comes Amy her ownself.

Allan’s photo

Diane’s garden

I then walked across the field to Diane’s garden.

My good friend Misty awaits her belly rub.

Oh, look, fence posts!  Looks like the fence is going to go up sooner than I thought.  I hope we can remove the strip of sod that will be outside the fence; that would be very hard to maintain.  Of course, it will be harder to remove the sod edge once the fence is in.

Holly peeking out from the porch. Soon she will have a big place to play.

Basket Case Greenhouse

I was on a quest for Lavender ‘Hidcote Blue’, but I had bought them all last time.  I will check at The Planter Box next week.  It was still pleasant to visit with Darrell and Roxanne..

Basket Case

The Dodge truck display that Basket Case put together for Rod Run.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

schmoozing with owner Darrel

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We did a lot of deadheading and cutting back of rose canes.  I made it so this hydrangea shows again:

A before and after would have been dramatic. Rugosa rose with a rambling red rose threaded through it.

Allan pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ to make a better view through the deer fence.



I’m going to ask if I can do a severe pruning of that big rugosa rose later on.  (Mary was away for the week, and I did not have time today, anyway.)

the east gate

gate detail; the glass ball was my idea!

It is sad that my former partner, Robert, got post polio syndrome and could no longer do heavy work like welding.  He was so talented at it.

east gate

He called this one the Fish Gate.

south gate

sit spot with Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’…and a sprout, in the foreground.

seeds of tree peony

The leaves of the peony always get crispy and ugly in the late summer, so I pick more off every week.

ugly tree peony leaves (Allan’s photo); I wonder if this is normal or if they are diseased?

Allan found that the fairy door had gone missing!

home regained

Billardia longiflora

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’ (Allan’s photo)

cottages on the ridge

Long Beach

We decided that we had time to get a head start on Long Beach tasks by tidying Veterans Field.  On the way, we saw a new garden at a cottage that I always admire.

“Kite Flyers Only” Cottage

The Long Beach Peninsula could have an amazing cottage tour of its own if enough people could be found to open their cottages to strangers.

Veterans Field flag pavilion garden

Vet Field corner garden, cosmos (Allan’s photos)

cosmos and eryngium


While Allan mowed the tiny lawn in the J’s back garden, I somehow got a burst of energy after watering the tomatoes in the greenhouse and decided to rescue a container of bamboo from being overrun with hops and honeysuckle.

Allan’s shed repair photo from two days ago shows the before.

tonight: rescued bamboo

this much debris! J9 wants some hops for decorating.





Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

This morning, Allan found Skooter sleeping in the bathroom sink.

Anchorage Cottages

We began the work day with our weekly visit to Anchorage Cottages.

greeted by my good friend Mitzu.

Allan gave the viburnum in the center courtyard a flat top.

Allan’s photo

center courtyard

SorryNotSorry, daisy snobs; I decided to put in two clumps of shasta daisies on either side of Crocosmia in this messy little bed.  To be done later this fall.

window boxes from inside (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I think the verticality is important, and yet we hear that the Salvia is making the windows harder to open and close.

Office courtyard with Beth on the phone taking care of business.

office courtyard sweet peas

Long Beach

While driving the main street on the way to the Anchorage, we had been pleased to see the planters had not been sat upon too terribly much during Rod Run.  This was especially good because we read later that the drivers downtown had gotten rather rowdy at times.  Excerpts from an article in the Chinook Observer:

The event resulted in one police chase and one rollover wreck, and some police officers said the atmosphere seemed a bit rowdier this year. But aside from those incidents, the Rod Run was safe and successful, authorities said.

And: “As they pulled through the intersection of Pacific and Bolstad at sunset, one Jeep-driver peeled out, and jerked backwards, slamming on his brakes just as he was about to hit his buddy’s Jeep. On each pass through downtown, they revved their engines, surging forward and screeching to a stop again and again. Some observers cheered, others looked seriously annoyed.

And “Early in the evening, a visiting officer from Castle Rock noticed a man in a black truck talking on his cell phone as he drove through downtown. When he signaled the man to pull over, “The guy dropped the cell phone, turned and took off. He went to Ocean Beach Boulevard,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brad Moon said. “The driver was headed north, accelerating to the point where he lost control of the vehicle.” Near Bolstad Avenue, the man crashed into a white SUV and jumped the curb, nearly hitting a woman in a wheelchair.

Officers from several agencies arrested him at gunpoint. Tests later revealed the man had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, well over the legal limit of 0.08, Moon said.”

Memories of when the event used to be on Labor Day Weekend: “Fifteen years ago…. State Patrol would send as many as 40 troopers to help out, and they’d arrest 40 to 60 drunks over the weekend. For the last few years, they’ve arrested four to six people drunk drivers each year. This year, there were three DUIs….”

chairs left over from Rod Run (Allan’s photo)

Our new method of discouraging sitting by leaving as much foliage as possible, tatty or not, hanging over the edge, seems to have worked.  Today, it was satisfying to tidy the planters up.

lots of candy wrappers from candy tossed from cars (Allan’s photo)

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop, before

and after

I took the wheelbarrow all through town and filled it to the brim twice.  With tourist season officially over, I had room on the sidewalk to maneuver my wheelbarrow through town. Allan watered the trees and  three blocks worth of planters, more than usual for him on Tree Watering Day, because all my clipping slowed me down.

The classic Long Beach frying pan photo

Fifth Street Park and Captain Bob’s Chowder

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was abuzz with insects. Some looked sort of unfriendly.

Our friends Captain Bob and Cathy had left their café to go on a celebratory vacation.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was the plant that created the most wheelbarrow debris.

Third Street Park planter, before

and after (not exactly gorgeous. I know.)

I thought Allan had gotten way ahead of me and was pleased to see him still behind me, under the Elks sign, working on the two north blocks.

looking north at Bolstad and Pacific; Allan in yellow vest under the Elks sign.

He caught up and passed me, going south, within a block, which is when I asked him to also water the planters on the southernmost block.

by Cottage Bakery, somewhat sat upon but not bad at all

My lovely Othonna cheirifolia was unscathed.

While watering a street tree, Allan found part of a cigar, which he put into his debris bucket, of course.

A man emerged from a restaurant and mournfully said, “You got my cigar wet!”  Allan fished it out of the bucket and said, “It isn’t clean,” and the man took it and and walked off with it in his mouth.

a tree garden that did get very much stood upon (Allan’s photo).  This is also the one that needs to be bucket watered because the faucet does not work.

Allan’s photo

more candy wrappers (Allan’s photo)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and bidens (Allan’s photo)

in the Heron Pond (Allan’s photo)

While I was watering and clipping the carousel planter, a man stopped close to me and asked, “If I give you my address, will you come do my garden?”  We hear this a lot; I gave my usual jolly reply of, “After I do MY garden!”  Then he said he would pay $35 an hour, and I said, “That is tempting; we don’t make that here. Where do you live?”  “Longview,” he replied, “and my gardener makes $35 an hour, and sometimes $42 depending on what sort of gardening she is doing.”  I said that the big city does pay better.  He then asked, “What are you having for dinner?”  “I don’t know,” said I, “I don’t do the cooking.”  At that point, he tried to hand me $20, saying, “This is to get yourself something good for dinner.”  I demurred and told him he should to give it to someone who truly needed it.  He insisted, I refused, he graciously accepted my refusal and walked on.  As he walked away, I called out “You are a very nice guy!”

I later thought that I could have said I would take it to add to my contribution for the October rent for one of the families whose wage earner has been taken away by ICE (immigration enforcement, which is targeting hardworking undocumented long time community members here).  That probably would have involved more words than I could have managed to muster while watering.  See the end of this blog post for some facts about undocumented immigrants.

I continued walking south till Allan and I met up on the last block.

one of the better street tree pocket gardens, watered once a week

I had forgotten to put a bandaid on my little toe, which began to scream two blocks before I was done, leading to my removing my special shoe insert, followed by a sigh of relief from my little toe and a screech of protest from my sore heel.


When we got home, Allan went back out to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters, while I sat and read the news.  He had made me a fine cup of Builder’s Tea.


That gave me the strength to rise again and empty the work trailer of the two wheelbarrow loads of good non weedy clippings, a good addition to my compost bins.  I did not muster the energy to hobble back to the bogsy woods and haul out yesterday’s pile of cut salmonberry trunks and branches.

Thus ends today’s blog post.  Read on, if you like, for some information about immigrants, a subject that is much on my mind because of the way that beloved local people are being taken by ICE.

Here, from the Stories from this week’s installment of the Stories from the Heart series by Sydney Stevens, are some facts about immigration.  How does it connect with us? A bit of our gardening income right now is going to help these local families deal with the sudden crackdown instigated by the new national administration.

A Fact-Checker Speaks (by Sydney Stevens)

Falsehood # 1: They don’t pay taxes

Undocumented immigrants do, indeed, pay taxes. Like everyone else in the United States, they pay sales taxes. They also pay property taxes — even if they rent. As a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) points out, “the best evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households currently file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), and many who do not file income tax returns still have taxes deducted from their paychecks.”

Currently, in Washington State, undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $316,624,000 in state and local taxes.

Falsehood #2: They don’t pay into Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), unauthorized immigrants — who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits — have paid an eye-popping $100 billion into the fund over the past decade.

“They are paying an estimated $15 billion a year into Social Security with no intention of ever collecting benefits,” according to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the SSA. “Without the estimated 3.1 million undocumented immigrants paying into the system, Social Security would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover payouts starting in 2009,” he said. “As the baby boom generation ages and retires, immigrant workers are key to shoring up Social Security and counteracting the effects of the decline in U.S.-born workers paying into the system.” (An article in the Atlantic explains more about this, including “We estimate that earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security financial status generally, and that this effect contributed roughly $12 billion to the cash flow of the program for 2010″.)

Falsehood #3: They drain the system.

Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.

A Congressional Budget Office report on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 concluded that a path to legalization for immigrants would increase federal revenues by $48 billion. Such a plan would see $23 billion in increased costs from the use of public services, but ultimately, it would produce a surplus of $25 billion for government coffers, CBO said

Falsehood #4: They take American jobs.

Removing the approximately 8 million unauthorized workers in the United States would not automatically create 8 million job openings for unemployed Americans, said Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies, in his 2011 testimony before the House Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

The reason, is two-fold. For one, removing millions of undocumented workers from the economy would also remove millions of entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers. The economy would actually lose jobs. Second, native-born workers and immigrant workers tend to possess different skills that often complement one another.

According to Griswold, immigrants, regardless of status, fill the growing gap between expanding low-skilled jobs and the shrinking pool of native-born Americans who are willing to take such jobs. By facilitating the growth of such sectors as retail, agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels, low-skilled immigrants have enabled those sectors to expand, attract investment, and create middle-class jobs in management, design and engineering, bookkeeping, marketing and other areas that employ U.S. citizens.

Falsehood #5: It’s just a matter of following the law.

Under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating. According to the State Department, that imaginary “immigration line” is already 4.4 million people long and depending on the type of visa sought and the country of origin, the wait can be years to decades long. In some countries, such as the Philippines and Mexico, people have been waiting over 20 years for approval of a family-sponsored visa.

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

You may have read our September 9 posts about the cottage tour.  I have two more things to say, the first being that I bought some bulbs for my garden at Costco on the way to Cannon Beach.  And as usual, their bulb arrangement caused me much angst because of the inaccessibility of many of the bulb bags.

The first section was neatly sorted, with each row being all the same bulb pack.  This was a much appreciated new phenomenon.

Organized bulbs! Well done, Costco!

Then I came to the same problem as every year.

I cannot get to the ones in the back to see what’s there!!

Usually, we haul the whole set of racks out into the aisle, determined to see everything.  Today, we did not have time because we had cottages to visit.

At the cottage tour, one of the most intriguing things I saw was in the cottage whose residents had turned all their books around.

I would be proud to have people browse my book titles (if I had dusted the books first).  I found it interesting that such private people were willing to open their home.  I am not saying which cottage it was.

I was ever so glad to be home after the tour.

at the post office to pick up our mail before going home

I rejoiced that I would not have to go anywhere for weeks, except to work and to dinner with Melissa and Dave.

That lasted for about 24 glorious hours until I saw that there is a rally, in Astoria, to support DACA (the Dreamers) next Saturday (16 Sept).   All I want to do is stay home in my garden.  However, there are most assuredly dreamers and their parents who would LOSE their gardens by being deported, so we must show up for that event.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

At 75+ degrees, the day was too hot to garden. After a day of blogging (for both of us, since Allan had many cottage photos to process), we had a campfire to celebrate the end of tourist season.  Our back garden was damp enough because of yesterday’s rain to make it safe.

alder wood and kindling

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ at dusk

a dinner of sausages and foil roasted (with butter, salt, and pepper) corn on the cob

The sky was clear, with many stars on view…if one turned one’s eyes from the annoying glaring white street light to our north.

NOT the moon. I miss the amber-reddish light that used to be there, and yes, I have kvetched to the powers that be, to no response whatsoever.

We then watched the excellent film, Bridge of Spies.

Monday, 11 September 2017

tooo hot for me!

Despite the heat, Allan embarked upon a project in the afternoon.  He is prying the shakes off of his shed, in preparation for new siding.  Underneath, he is finding old tongue and groove that just might be good enough to not have to cover.

prying off shakes around an old window (with Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ in the foreground)

Allan’s photos of his shed project:

south side, a jungle of hops, honeysuckle, and raspberry runners

before (foreground, a special buddleia from Todd)


None of the four windows in the shed open.  It gets hot and stuffy inside.  He wants to replace the four windows with vinyl ones that open.  (Won’t be as cute…or paintable…maybe.)

old wood revealed

He thinks maybe putty and sanding can save the old siding.


It is typical here at the beach for old buildings to be this weathered on the south and west sides.

I finally decided, after more blogging about cottages, that I simply had to do something in the garden.  By late afternoon, an annoying 21 mph wind had arrived, cooling the temperature but making it dangerous to work under the bogsy wood trees.  Nevertheless, that is what I did, cutting down a salmonberry to reveal a new area.  (Have I gotten all the established areas weeded? No, I have not. Never mind.)

early evening sun shining through the salmonberry tunnel on the west side of bogsy wood.

before: My goal was to open up the hidden southeast corner

after: And there it is! You can see the tarp of the stacked gear shed crab pots next door.

Now…what to do with this area?

The corner has a big patch of orange montbretia to eliminate.

Lots of weeding to do.

I once had Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ starts planted along the fence in this corner; they died from neglect.  I could try them again, or could maybe put up two outdoor plywood sheets in the corner and paint them blue!  Or…could plant something deciduous for privacy in summer and seeing through to the port in winter.

Today I ran out of energy and daylight before I did any weeding.  Allan will help me dig out the stump and haul the chopped salmonberry to the work trailer.

When he saw me emerge from this project, he said it was hard to take me seriously because I was wearing my slippers.

What if I got rid of THESE salmonberries and planted hydrangeas or Cornus elegantissima instead, hmmmm?  I just might.

At almost sunset, we chatted with Devery while she took my good friend Royal for his evening walk.

I then collapsed in my chair to do some evening reading with Smokey and Calvin.

Because I love diaries, I am loving this book, and yet I also find it disturbing.  In his youth, Sedaris worked construction jobs in Raleigh, North Carolina (later the home of Plant Delights Nursery and our friend Todd).  He keeps quoting the horribly racist things his white co workers would say.  It exposes the truth, and yet…I don’t think I could enjoy the book if I were Black, because the repeated use of racial slurs would be so hurtful and jarring that I might throw the book across the room.  (And this huge large print volume would do some damage.)  I don’t know what to think about whether Sedaris is right or not to quote the racists.  At least, he wrote (in his youth) about how he would object to what they said.  And we all need to be reminded that people and language like that still exist and need to be … battled.  I am at a loss for words about this.

Despite all that, I am truly a sucker for diaries, and I would like to read the unexpurgated originals and not just the excerpts he chose.

How very much I relate to the following; my mom would give my groceries sometimes when I was poor, at just about the age Sedaris is in this entry:

With a huge book full of treasure like this….

…..I wish that I had two rainy days to sit and read it from cover to cover.

Tomorrow: back to work



Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

For the second year, the wording of the cottage tour description included “dream homes”.

I gleaned that there were a couple of reasons for this.  In recent years, some larger homes have been featured.  It had become more difficult to find historic small cottages, as many have been remodeled and enlarged.  (I find that heart rending but I am probably in the minority. I’m an avid watcher of tiny house shows on HGTV and I appreciate the small and humble.)  I admire the tour organizers for changing the description to reflect the new reality of the tour, and I appreciate their efforts in finding as many small cottages as possible.

So far today, we been touring in the low lying neighbourhood north of the Ecola Creek estuary.

satellite view

We were about to go uphill to the ocean view ridge.  A docent at the last cottage we had viewed noticed my decrepitude and suggested we drive to the last two homes because of a steep hill.  While I have never in the past, no matter how hobbled, resorted to driving on this tour, I am glad we took his advice.

Our route took us up this hill.  Walking tour-goers took the stairs.

I saw I had a raindrop on my lens!

Then we went down a steep, gravelly street to the lowland again.

Mindy’s Cottage

You can read Mindy’s blog here.

Allan’s photo

I somehow missed noticing the garden to the north, and did not peer over the fence.

Oh, but look! Allan noticed and got a photo!

inside: Classic white, blue, and yellow beachy decor (Allan’s photo)

I met Mindy’s delightful cat.

sweet tucked in feet

a lovely sit spot

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo. I missed seeing kitty emerge onto the porch.

Allan’s photo

I wish I had gone out there and looked back.

Allan’s photo

Driving around the block took us to the wealthiest homes on the ridge.

ocean view home

beside the driveway

The east side has a cottage look.

From steps down to the dune path, north side, you can see why the house is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.


Allan’s photo


artful gate

The gate pivots vertically though the outer edges taper outwards. Allan admired that the offset upper hinge is the solution.

Allan’s photo


looking out the west window; Chapman Point and Bird Rocks to the right

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

A fireplace door handle (Allan’s photo)

Allan went to the lower level:


on a closed door

green on green

west side patio


We walked half a block to a view point.

house next door for sale, by Sotheby’s, of course.

I sometimes wish we had put a circular drive in our front garden, so that we would not have to unhook the work trailer at night.

I peeked in.

houses continue up the hill to the north (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo nearby


Allan’s photo of another house nearby

public beach path half a block north

Although there be many mansions, the beaches in Oregon are public.  You can read the history, here.

Chapman Beach

We drove back through the flatlands.

a house that I would like to live in and surround with a garden

We wanted to look at Pam Fleming’s downtown Seaside gardens.  Unfortunately for us, the street was blocked off for a car show and we were out of energy to find a parking spot nearby.

a brief drive through Seaside

Pam’s diligent watering of the Seaside hanging baskets has paid off beautifully.  She stands and counts (to one minute, I think) as she waters each one daily.

The Astoria-Megler bridge seemed to disappear before reaching Washington State.

Thus ends one of the most anticipated events of our summer, and with it comes the end of tourist season.  I am already looking forward to next year’s cottage tour.




Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

1972 Cottage

from the program:  This house was built in 1972.  There have been a few changes to the house, including remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, new floors, windows, the deck and the skylight.  And interesting feature is that the deck is built around the tree.  The homeowner’s kids have enjoyed walking to the beach and playing in the sand; the pictures in the home tell many stories.  The owner was the vice principal and principal of Seaside School for many years.

Allan’s photo

over the inside of the front door

high school theatre productions by the cottage owner

bunk bed book nook


The house just to the south of our next destination had a beachy garden.

the house next door

We overheard one of the docents say that this part of north Cannon Beach was hit hard in the 1964 tsunami.  You can read more about that here.  We could see that the estuary was just a couple of blocks to the south.  It was disconcerting to imagine a tsunami flowing up the street. Allan found a map that shows, in orange, the low lying area where these cottages sit.

1924 Cottage

darling dining nook with view of that beachy next door garden

reminds me of our friends Don and Jenna

kitchen tiles

on a bedroom dresser

bedside reading

I have read this book.

Must read this one.

I was smitten with this cottage and its books.  Of all the cottages today, it was my favourite.

And it has a clawfoot tub (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

back garden

outdoor shower (Allan’s photo)

by the door to the garage loft

Allan went up to the garage loft, not me.

nautical things table in the loft

west garden

Allan’s photo

We walked half a block north to look for the farmhouse and barn.

We think this is the farmhouse.

And this has to be the remodeled barn.


across the street

I would like this. It is probably only $300K or so.

Next: the last two homes of the tour.


Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

Inga’s Cottage

Just up the street from Salmon Trout House is Inga’s Cottage.  It had been on the tour in a previous year, an anniversary tour which had so many cottages that we ran out of time before seeing this one at the north end of town.  I was glad to get the chance to see it today.

It is a vacation rental and is also the part time home of the owner.



Inga’s Cottage

from the cottage’s Facebook page


We all leave our shoes off when touring.


beachy turquoise front door




view of neighbouring garden



a guest book!

As longtime readers of this blog know, I am obsessed with guest books.

Fortunately, it was not a very full guest book or we would have been delayed.


courtyard view bedroom



Allan went to the upstairs, which I find difficult (coming down, not going up) these days.  Allan says only one side of the duplex was viewable.

bathroom floor tiles

beautiful lamp


We now walked  a block west to a street where two more cottages were featured.  Along the way,  small cottages appealed to me:

I want two bay windows like this on my double wide, in the front.

a double wide! a rare sight in Cannon Beach

nicely framed greenhouse window

such a sweet blue cottage

porch with hammock


“And they lived happily ever after.” (per the life ring)


I could happily live in any of these.

Clerodendron trichotomum

Clerodendron flowers (Allan’s photo) will be followed by stunning berries.

Clerodendron in my old garden, the best bloom and berries I ever had from it.  Adding to my must have list to reacquire.

tiny, with a big remodel of a small cottage going on next door

“Tree House” 

When I entered this home, I immediately noticed how it felt surrounded by greenery. I commented to the owner, who was there, and she said that to her it feels like a tree house.

front porch (Allan’s photo)

north side of front porch


north window

west window view with wetland below full of skunk cabbage (aka swamp lanterns)

south window

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

bird watching deck (Allan’s photo)

bird watching deck (Allan’s photo)

I went out to the patio on the south side.

south side patio

at the edge of the wetland

succulents window box

south side fence with cutouts

blurry, but shows clever way to hide the works of the electrical box (Allan’s photo)


At the end of the street sat a house that looked so very private.

a true hideaway

On our walk to the next home, a substantial drizzle had begun.  I was pleased and also cold and damp.  I admired this cottage along the way:

Next: two delightfully small cottages





Read Full Post »

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour

a benefit for the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

Lannie’s Cottage

closing in on the cottage

front garden

For some reason, neither Allan nor I got a photo of the front of the cottage.  Possibly it was crowded with tour guests and we thought we’d do so on the way out, and did not.

The entry is up stairs.

back deck has view of ocean (Allan’s photo)

the travel tiles

(Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

garden shed

love the sinuous wood

the iconic Haystack Rock

The Daily Astorian featured this article about Lannie and her cottage.

“On the outside, the house looked terrible, [prosepective buyer Kelly] Giampa recalled. “We almost didn’t want to go in,” she said. “But when we walked in, Lannie greeted us in the kitchen, which was unusual because usually the seller isn’t there.”

They immediately connected and soon bonded over their shared love of Broadway, music and shared roots in Portland.

In the transition, Hurst quickly became family to the Giampas. “We told her to keep a key to the house,” Giampa said. “It was our house.”

 “…… to Giampa, what makes her home special is the friendship that formed there before Hurst’s death in 2010. That’s what she hopes to share with more than 500 people who signed up for this year’s tour.

“To me, this house is a person. That’s how it’s always been. Every time I’ve walked in here the past 15 years, it feels like I’m getting a hug,” she said. “It feels like Lannie.”

Lannie herself

You can read a bit more about Lannie here.

“Even after Hurst moved back to Portland full time in 2002, she would get calls from Hurst asking if she could pop in. Hurst would come over to have dinner with Giampa’s family, and in Portland the two made a habit of going to the theater together. When they were in bloom, Giampa would make sure to bring Hurst a bouquet of the cow lilies that grew in their shared yard.”


We walked back through the grounds of the Ecola Creek Lodge, and encountered a group of Peninsulites, including Karyn and Kathy, who own Home at the Beach.

Home at the Beach Kathy, left

As Allan and I walked back to Les Shirley Park, we noticed that the estuary was just past a field to our left.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo; not exactly a path to the estuary

plaque by a grove of trees (Allan’s photo)

a cottage near our next destination

interesting car decal along the way

a license plate our friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) should have

Salmon Trout House

Salmon Trout House

limbed up myrtles in front

The stairs up were easy.

front corner of steps

window sill

in the kitchen

kitchen counter corner

window seat

Allan’s photo of a cute clock

Allan’s photo

upstairs (Allan’s photo)

curved windows (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

idyllic reading nook (Allan’s photo)

shower outside the back door for washing off beach sand

on the back deck

back patio with a natural water feature just beyond

a shed placed well for privacy

I think this is the John Klein house next door referred to in the description.

stairs down

back garden

A creek runs right next to the fire patio.

I thought, “I’d make that water show more.”

Allan overheard that the neighbourhood is built around a wetland, thus some of the houses are on stilts, or built up high, and I imagine that the stream is much higher in winter.

I walked along the north side of the house.

the house next door to the north

North side path, looking back. Creek is on the left.

Allan’s photo


I walked up the street a bit because I was interested in how the creek related to the homes.

That peak-roofed entry arbour is a classic Cannon Beach style.

a simple small cottage (which in Cannon Beach is probably worth a quarter of a million or more).

house accessed by bridge, with enticing landscape

another bridge access

by a driveway, with salal

Next: a cottage just up the street and another two blocks west












Read Full Post »

Older Posts »