Archive for Mar, 2018

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

a calendula by our driveway (Allan’s photo)

Fritillaria meleagris (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

I had a few plant starts ( cyclamens from MaryBeth and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ from Klipsan Beach Cottages) to plant in the Shelburne front garden.  It had been on my mind to get back there and see how the garden is doing.  I wish it would “do” faster.  I miss having lots of spring bulbs in it.  Next year!  I took some narcissi from my garden  and left them by the kitchen sink, hoping someone could find it useful.

Outside, the only especially maddening weed I found was the dratted Aegopodium, which is thick at the south end and, unfortunately, popping up elsewhere as well.

a horde horrendous little aegepodium leaves at the south end (among the scilla)

in the center of the garden….nooooo!

looking north

looking south

I was most pleased when one of my most admired local gardeners came round the corner for lunch in the pub and said that the garden HAD gone to weeds but was now looking much better.  He had brought two little friends with him.

One had hopped into the garden and was gently removed.

I am feeling so eager for the plants to start to show.


and March 11. Some progress.

I planted my baby Sansuisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ with Allan’s protective teepee.  I found that mine at home is finally leafing out so I could put my new one in here.

Long Beach, Bolstad Beach Approach

We returned to the all consuming task of weeding the beach approach, after doing a small bit of deadheading downtown.

in a downtown planter (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Before driving to the approach, we dumped Sunday’s debris and gathered some mulch.

our low tech method

on the approach garden (Allan’s photo)

mulch added to a couple of sections

We began weeding where we had left off.  The red buoy is at the end of the gardens.

six sections to go

Befores and afters (mostly Allan’s photos):

We finished one section in two and a half hours and started the next.

second section, before

I enjoy the parade of delightful dogs all day.

Our neighbour Jared strolled by with his good dogs:

Rudder and Yarrow

Below, see those holes in the weeds? That is where I had planted some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have plenty, to try to fill in with something free.  Every one has been stolen and I am so exasperated.  And furious. This is why, other than shrubs and roses, the gardens look so empty.  This is why we can’t have nice things.

I also find much evidence of the theft by digging of narcissi bulbs.  Below, evidence that was discarded on the ground after some fool took the bulb and no foliage, apparently.  Or someone just pulled the plant apart for fun.  Deer do not do this to narcissi.

I placed it on the post for your examination.

I am just going to encourage more wild beach lupine.  I can’t have anything fancier here.

Sometimes I think about writing a letter to the editor or speaking at Long Beach city council.  Then I think that would just alert people to where to find good plants for free.

willows, by where we dump weeds

When I got this far in the second section, I did not think I would make it to the planter.  Allan put a cookie on the rock to keep me going.  I was not amused, so he placed it where I could reach it. Three ibuprofens later, I did make it to the end.

The afters, (all by Allan), section one:

section two:

Now we have this far to go to the buoy:

at home

In picking narcissi for the Shelburne this morning, I had noticed that a depressing number were tattered by snails, so I had to find enough evening energy to totter around the garden tossing out some Sluggo pellets.

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’, cat memorial garden

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’

center bed (with loads of shotweed)

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’!

gunnera and rain puddles

I must divide this Japanese iris soon!

bogsy wood after rain

Oh dear, I may have coppiced my golden leycesterias and my smokebush too hard and too soon:

looks ominous

akebia by the driveway

Four beach approach sections to go and then I MUST get the rest of the sweet peas planted.

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Monday, 26 March 2018

Much as I had wanted to finish the beach approach this week, I can’t complain about guilt-free reading days.

I had read Peter Loewer’s The Evening Garden years ago.  I reread it with the semi-enclosed Shelburne garden in mind.  I share the author’s thoughts about the artificial light of civilization.

Loewer’s illustrations of pretty much every plant mentioned make the book a joy to peruse.

Evening scented stock is a seed I have already sown at the Shelburne, and I will sow more in case I was too early.

There is a whole chapter on the various night blooming cereus.

I think this is the one I have:


Here is a possibility for some night owl gardening:

Another book I must read:

Next, I read a memoir/book of essays (0ften humorous).  I know in the past I have read at least one other book by Merrill Markoe, on the recommendation of my friend J9.

If you love dogs, please do get it and read the chapter called Why I Love Dogs.  It will make you happy.

I Googled who might be person behind the “Bobby” of whom she writes in a chapter about a past relationship: David Letterman.

In the evening, we attended the City Council meeting at the Ilwaco Community Building.

view of the entry garden from inside

Two candidates were interviewed for the vacant position and a decision was made, making for a most interesting meeting.

To the left is our new city council woman during her interview with the council and mayor.

an attentive audience (Allan’s photos)

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The heavy rain continued, giving me another day to read two short books.

I love Laurie Notaro.  I found that I had already read the book.  I read it again.

I especially like what she has to say about that dang blang Tidy book.  My favourite little snippets:



Notaro reached the breaking point with Tidy at the same time that I did, with the suggestion about…

It made me just as happy to read Housebroken for the second time as it did for the first.

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Meanwhile, Allan installed my birthday present mason bee house on the south wall:

I have a tube of bees from The Planter Box (as was the house) but we think it is too early to install them.

I then re-read another book that I had found on my 1984 book list, with many stars.

an interlibrary loan that arrived from the public library of Kemp, Texas.

It is a charming story set in 1910 Sussex, featuring a cottage and a woman with a terribly scarred face and a tragedy in her past.






at a social gathering:


Gossip, in the tradition of all small towns:

And that is just the first part of the story.  Some reviewers on Good Reads have mentioned that the book is hard to find, but I did locate a couple of paperbacks online for a reasonable price, good to know for those who don’t have access to interlibrary loans.  I immediately recognized that this is the cover of the book I had read over thirty years ago.  The hardback cover fits the story better because in it, Miss East has her face turned away, and in the background you can see a small boy and her cat.

I began one more book at bedtime, A Man Called Ove.  I can already tell that I am going to love it.  I would wish for another rainy reading day….and yet I do want to get the beach approach weeding done.

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Sunday, 25 March 2018

I am sometimes amazed at how wildly weather can differ from day to day.  After yesterday’s cold rain almost made me weep, today ignored the weather forecast and became a lovely spring day.  Instead of reading as planned, we went out to continue with the beach approach weeding.

before, looking west. The red buoy is our goal.

The rest of the photos are Allan’s today.


Occasionally, we find narcissi and crocuses in the long grass where we dump weeds.  (All rose clippings go to city works).

Mary and Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages  delivered birthday presents for me and our cheque.

Mary and me

A gentleman came by and as we talked gardening, I learned that he is the one who does the garden at the Astoria Senior Center, a job that requires being tied in on a rope.  I was ever so pleased to meet him.  He’s a gardening hero of mine.

Here, from last summer, are a couple of photos of his senior center garden.

hero worship

He is 12 years older than me.  I should perhaps stop complaining about how hard it is to weed the beach approach.

In grumpy news of the day, I was annoyed that so many narcissi had been picked.

fuming over picked stems

Someone mentioned trying to visualize the flowerjacker really enjoying and needing a stolen bouquet.  That does not work for me.  I want the flowers there for everyone, and I feel that EVERYONE who walks by there deserves to see ALL of them.  (Not to mention that bulb planting in November is not the easiest of gardening tasks.)


To think that I resolved that this year, I would not let finger blight annoy me so much.

Afters of our first section of today:

We went on to the next section; the first one today had only taken two and a half hours instead of three.  We had now come to one of the worst sections.  The eastern half of it is full of swampy rush and sedge.  I can only think it was a boggy spot originally.  There is no getting rid of the rush, whose long ropy roots are all entwined with the roses.


in battle


We made it all the way to the next planter and thus got two sections done today.

Now we have this far to go to the buoy.

Six sections left to go!  I was so excited that I made a list of the week’s work, each day having a small project to begin with and then a section of the beach approach.  We could get it done by April 1st, I thought, and then I will be free to do work that I enjoy more.  And then….I looked at the weather.

NOOO!  Last I’d looked, the whole week was supposed to be nice.  Oh, how very much I wanted to get this project done by the end of March.

Six sections left to go!

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Saturday, 24 March 2018

Astoria, Oregon

Indivisible North Coast Oregon partnered with area students and their families in a Rally for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, noon to 1:30 pm at 8th and Commercial in Astoria. We took to streets to demand that student lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools now. 

Allan’s photos:

Some photos from Indivisible:


photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan


photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

my photos, till my hands got so cold from 38 degree weather that I had to stop!:

Our good friend MaryBeth!

Just look at that weather.

The rally got many and many honks of approval from passing vehicles, more than I have ever heard here.

From each corner, ralliers stood all the way down the block.

As the crowd began to dissipate after an hour because of the weather, I thought of a recent video that I saw about whether protests work. This article explains how weather can affect a protest and subsequent votes by Tea Party (right wing) sympathizers.  “We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance. We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policy making was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above 1. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences.”

The weather aspect is especially interesting to me today.  Imagine, if we had at least 250 folks turn out in Astoria in pelting rain and 38F temperature, how many would we have had on a clear and slightly warmer March afternoon?  I admire everyone who stayed to the end; on this occasion, we departed half an hour early when my cold hands could no longer click the camera button..  I believe that those who endured bad weather to march and rally today were especially effective in their display of fortitude, and I have so much hope in the young generation as it reaches voting age.


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Friday, 23 March 2018

I got almost eight hours of sleep, which is so healthily reviving and almost unheard of for me.

Allan had gone shopping across the river, a pastime much more enjoyable for him when I am not agitating to get it done quickly.

at the post office garden this morning (Allan’s photos)

Meanwhile, at home:

Skooter snoozing

I had a good book with which to start my day, When the Wind Blows, a speculative fiction nuclear war apocalyptic graphic novel by the author of the great Ethel and Ernest.  It should be widely read and not hidden away in the library’s service center.

It is a must read.

You know how this sort of thing gets me in the throat:

Nuclear war survival (unlikely) is going to take a lot more than an Anderson shelter.

After some time to recover, I read Turn, Magic Wheel, by Dawn Powell, whose copious diaries I had read and loved not long ago.  I enjoyed the novel but like the diaries much better.

I had learned about Powell’s diaries in the sentence diagram book, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog.  So, appropriately, I next read Kitty Burn Florey’s history of handwriting:


Regarding Platt Rogers Spencer, the “father of American handwriting”:

Regarding the amazing invention called the LongPen, allowing writers, among them Margaret Atwood, to sign their books from afar:

Here, Kitty Florey introduces me to another writer; I have already made an interlibrary loan request:

A sobering thought:

My favourite chapter was the one about diaries, with this passage that reminded me of my mother’s garden notebooks, which I have shared in this blog:

….And a diary found in a second hand store:

Because we all have a story.

I had to Google this Mohammed story:

And I found this:

I learned that Portland, Oregon, especially Reed College, is a center for the appreciation and learning of Italic script, along with the interesting idea that children could be taught cursive straightaway without having to learn printing first.

I immediately moved on to Miss Manners Minds Your Business (written with her son)…

…and realized it actually is about manners in the business world.  It made me so glad to not be a part of that world.  I love Miss Manners even when her subject is not pertinent to my life (like her books on raising children and fancy weddings).

She offered a perfect line for leaving a job:

Also, I can now plan ahead for Allan’s 85th birthday:

Even though two books of the day were short, I could not get through all of the Miss Manners by bedtime.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Despite my best efforts, I only got five hours of sleep and felt rather dazed as we set off for the Rally for Our Lives student and student-supporters event in Astoria.

The Willapa Hills had snow.

Sleet splattered the Astoria Megler Bridge as we crossed.


near where we parked (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

The weather was this bad and the rally was two blocks away.  (Allan’s photo)

The rally will be tomorrow’s post so that I do not besmirch it with my whinging on about the weather.  We arrived half an hour late and only lasted half an hour out of an hour and a half long event because my hands got so cold I could not even click the camera after awhile nor could I stand one more minute of cold and sleet. (I will not be going crab fishing on the Bering Sea.)  I felt nauseated and I was too cold to even stay for a nice lunch in Astoria; all I wanted was to be home with dry clothes on and slippers instead of shoes sloshing with chilly water.  I cannot remember a time when my hands hurt so much.

on the way home along the Columbia River

I felt a bit guilty for bailing before the event was over, but not too much.  In the past, I have been in many the bad weather march or rally, even when there were just four of us, and stuck it out through all weather.  Not this time.  I am filled with hope that Generation Z (the youth) will carry on.

At home, I spent the rest of the day finishing Miss Manners and enjoying being warm and cozy.

Meanwhile, in sunny Seattle, Terri of Markham Farm and friends attended the March for Our Lives.

I strongly identify with the sign on the right!

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

We did not do much work today.  We’d have done none, had we not had an appointment with our excellent new accountant who lives at the north end of the Peninsula about forty minutes away.  Since we were driving north, we also resolved to do a bit of work up that way.

First, we stopped in at the Port of Ilwaco office to try to find out more about the boatyard garden (will it be dug up for an important water project, and if so, how much?).  I could not connect with the port manager today to find out. We did deadhead the narcissi on the south side of the office in the full-on cold wind. A shopper from the Don Nisbett Art Gallery next door got caught in my photo because I was too eager to escape the wind to let him walk out of the way before snapping the shot.

On the way north, we bought some potting soil and two more packets of sweet pea seeds at

The Planter Box.

(I have resolved to plant sweet peas along the boatyard fence as I always do.  Surely the diggers, if diggers they be, would not dig by the fence all the way along.)

at The Planter Box


After our accounting appointment, we briefly worked at

Klipsan Beach Cottages

where Allan trimmed a big sword fern and I planted a few sweet pea and poppy seeds.

looking in the east gate of the fenced garden

I recently came across a photo that compares the yews when Robert and Denny laid the pavers and the yews were first planted in 2003:

and now:

The garden, while still somewhat bare, has plenty to show of interest:

early tulips

blooming rosemary


new foliage of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ which will tower overhead.

summer in the fenced garden with Thalictrum ‘Elin’ at middle right

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Euphorbia (dulcis ‘Chameleon, probably)

Euphorbia myrsinites (donkeytail spurge)

daphne (several years old despite a miffy reputation)


double hellebore




camellia (Allan’s photo)

And inside, out of the bitter cold and wind that was blustering even in that sheltered garden:

our good friend Bella, sensibly indoors

Ed’s garden

On the way south, we visited our friends Ed and Jackson Strange to drop off some plant starts (libertia and Lonicera fragrantissima and some rugosa roses; he can pot up and sell the latter at his big plant sale on Memorial Day weekend).

Jackson was most excited to see us.

We humans toured Ed’s exquisite small garden.

a WELL mulched gunnera

the deck

Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’

In the back garden, I scored a presale on the sort of garden bench I have wanted for a long time.

Ed helped Allan load it into our trailer, where it still sits, because I can’t help unload it.  We need help to get it into the back yard; the top piece is SOOOO heavy.

Long Beach

The sun had come out again as we drove further south.  Even though the wind was cold and fierce, we decided we could just about stand getting some buckets of mulch for Fifth Street Park.

Allan’s photo


after (Allan’s photos)

While Allan applied the mulch, I deadheaded narcissi in front of the Hungry Harbor, and then we rewarded ourselves for our work in truly miserable wind, with crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder.

Captain Bob’s is behind the NW quadrant of the park.

Captain Bob’s cookies

Refreshed and warm again, we soon got cold by deadheading a few narcissi at city hall and then a rough deadheading of the narcissi at the welcome sign.


I took my after photo from inside the van….

….while Allan finished up the back of the sign, somewhat out of the wind and in a rain squall.

The rain stopped again.  We had had enough.  The local weather shows why we could not take anymore today, with 34.5 mph wind that felt like 35 degrees:


I had some cyclamens from MaryBeth to plant at the Shelburne. Next time!

At the library, we picked up a book and Allan took these photos:

Fritillaria meleagris


and a quilt

At home, I delivered some narcissi clippings to the compost bins and ever so briefly enjoyed my garden.

Corylopsis pauciflora

a good crop of shotweed in this bed

window box

Frosty came with.

Allan’s photo

None of us stayed outside for long.

All I could erase today was one sweet pea task; Fifth Street still needs more mulch.

I am determined to take tomorrow off in order to avoid more cold wind.



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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Because of getting home early due to weather, I had time after blogging to finish a wonderful book.

Some impressive accolades:

I loved it all, especially the parts about Elliott’s own experiences.  Here are some of my favourite bits:

Because I have been an Anglophile since I first saw The Avengers at about age 12:

I wish there were a word for Anglophilia that included Wales and Scotland and Ireland.

I had thought that English ivy was not considered a noxious weed across the pond as it is here in the Pacific Northwest, but…

I have waffled about whether my alder grove is to be properly called The Bogsy Woods or Wood (a name suggested by my good friend Sheila (Harley Lady).  My question is now answered: Wood, for sure:

My favourite chapter is called Garden Touring.  I was interested to read about the organizers making sure the gardens were “up to snuff” and that a garden must provide forty minutes worth of interest.

I am a fast garden tour-er and it is the rare garden that keeps me for forty minutes on a tour day (when I am always anxious to see every one of the six or so gardens on offer).  Some that can keep me that long, even on a tour day, with ease are The Bayside Garden (which I must visit again soon….as soon as our beach approach job is done!) and the Markham Farm garden and Floramagoria.  I don’t think even my own garden could keep me busy for forty minutes if I were to tour it as a stranger.  By the way, I hear tell that the Markham Farm garden is going to be on the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County garden tour this July.  I am excited to see it again.

On an ordinary day, even a smaller garden could keep me fascinated for forty minutes as long as it has interesting plants.


I can’t find that garden online anymore, but another one mentioned, Garnons, is still there.

The Booby Trapped Carrot is a chapter about what I call Finger Blight.

Objects would be easier to trace than plants:

£50,000 in lost plants!:

I always picture my plant thief in Long Beach as being an older woman with a bag and a trowel:

And I always hope that she does not read this blog….

…and of course, thieves and tramplers are why our beach approach garden is now almost all rugosa roses instead of prettier and more delicate and choice plants.

This makes me want to cry:

In modern times with real life bomb scares, even in little Long Beach, we dare not even joke about these methods of deterrence:

I like this quotation by William Cobbett (from a book published in 1821, A Year’s Residence in the United States of America):

Elliot recommends three books by E.A. Bowles (for whom assorted plants are named) which I hope to read: My Garden in Spring, My Garden in Summer, and My Garden in Autumn and Winter.

I did not know this about contorted filbert (hazel):

This finally (sort of) explains to me what a laid hedge is:

If you are lucky enough to have access to the Timberland Regional Library, Elliot’s book is in their collection.  I am going to put all of his books of gardening essays on my reading list.

Two days later: Like the best books, this one kept me thinking about which gardens I have toured that would easily keep me engrossed for forty minutes.  Here are more that stick in my mind (and not all of them were huge; it is not all about distance and some smaller and intricate ones require walking around more than once).  You can click to embiggen the photos in the older posts:

Taming a Hillside in Aberdeen

For the Birds in Aberdeen

Froggy Bottom in Dupont

Fairbrook Garden in Olympia

Deerly Missed in Salem

A garden near Eugene

Danger Garden in Portland

Rhone Street Garden in Portland

I do not think my own garden could take 40 minutes unless I get it together to paint up a lot of signs with good gardening quotations.  I had them in place but the lettering faded off.

Charles Elliot suggests drolly that tea (tea and biscuits) or more elaborate “teas” (with finger sandwiches) keep guest lingering longer.  None of the above gardens had refreshments on offer and did not need them to keep me there.

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The worst insomnia kept me awake till 5 AM, partly from a cat fight outside, partly being cold but too sleepy to put on another blanket.  It would not matter, I thought, because the forecast of rain would let me sleep till afternoon if I needed to do so for at least six hours of sleep.

From seven to eleven, I had dreams that it was raining, and every time I felt such joy and relief, mixed with other dreams that the day was sunny and clear, but I’d realize I was dreaming and would be so relieved that the sun was just a dream, until finally I woke after five hours of fitful sleep and found that there really was no rain.  My dream of another two-book day flew away.  All my weather apps insisted that we could go to work, so we did, an hour later than usual.  (Allan was disappointed, as well, because he’d wanted to go shopping across the river.)

at home, near the driveway

The second best thing to a reading day would be an at home weeding day.  I had had many long thoughts last Saturday about what it would be like to be retired and just read and putter in the garden.  Putting aside the question of money, it would be easier to imagine a contented retirement if I knew someone better would be taking over all our public gardens.  I can’t bear to think of the gardens going to ruin, but where is our successor?

Long Beach, Bolstad beach approach 

I figured we could beat the 5 PM rain easily, as each section of the beach approach takes about three hours mininum.  Today’s section, with fewer roses but a solid blanket of winter weeds, took three and a half long, painful, tedious, slogging hours (not counting debris dumping afterward).

before, looking east

and looking west (yesterday’s photo when we left off)


The sheet of weeds peeled off fairly easily.

Trimming a big old santolina, Allan found a birds nest.

I found a fasciated rugosa rose stem.

Round about the time I found that curly rose stem, I looked ahead and had the crazy thought that we could get part of the next section done, as well.  I often have overly optimistic thoughts like that. Didn’t happen.

Partway through the day, the manager of the Akari Bungalows (a half block east of the arch) walked up and gave us a tip, by which I mean cash (phrased kindly as “I want to buy you dinner”), not advice.  After a long friendly argument with a would-be tipper last year, who finally stuck his $20 into a rose bush and walked away, I decided to not say no.  This job is sort of beyond the call of duty, especially remembering the year when I told the city we were too old and could not do the beach approach clean up anymore…and ended up doing it in June because there was no one else who would tackle this.  (We’ve occasionally tried hiring helpers for this task, but they don’t last more than a few hours and don’t do a good enough job.)



Rain began as we were finishing the last three feet.  Two folks paused their vehicles to chat; I kept my head down, desperately weeding, trying to be pleasant and also trying to beat the pouring rain that I could feel was about to begin.


Now we have this far to go before the buoy:

We do work with a cone out in the road for protection.  We find that the bigger the truck, the less likely it is to slow down.

We beat the hard rain (except for dumping debris).

If the rain had held off for just half an hour, we’d have gathered buckets to mulch yesterday’s and today’s battered, sandy sections of approach garden.

pussy willows by our parking spot

On the way to and from work, I saw narcissi needing deadheading at the welcome sign, a couple of planters, and city hall.  No time for that now.  Nor have I found the energy to pick a bouquet of pussy willows from my own willow trees.  Now the buds have opened up. Too late again.

Allan went into the grocery store across from Sid’s for milk and tea.  I had planned to check on the Shelburne garden during that time.  Not today.

Shelburne in cold rain.

Tomorrow, although it might be rainy, is a day to visit our accountant rather than a reading day. Because of needing to make the hour round trip north, we also hope to plant some sweet peas at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

eight more sections

Eight more sections means 24+ hours of work before we can fully get back to work that we enjoy.  I wish that meant just three days; I can’t manage a full day on this hard task anymore without seizing up, so it probably means eight more partial days mixed in with other tasks.

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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Before work, I dug up an Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ and a sanguisorbia to take to our first job.  I gazed mournfully upon my Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’.  I fear I may have killed it by moving it one too many times last autumn; it does not look happy.

I hope it perks up.

The post office garden desperately needs wild garlic pulled.  However, the narcissi and tulips might distract people’s eyes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, Narcissus ‘Professor Einsten’

Diane’s garden

We continued the sweet pea rounds by planting seeds along Diane’s new roadside fence (along with a few more perennials: Eryngium ‘Jade frost’, Agastache ‘Blue Boa’, silver santolinas, a green santolina rooted from a cutting, and one libertia).

back garden:

Allan’s photo

the septic box garden (with the Red Barn way in the background)

violas that came through the winter

front garden (Allan’s photos):

I sure do hope the sweet peas work out!  Sometimes I don’t do very well with seeds…although I have had good luck at the Ilwaco boatyard and at the Anchorage Cottages in years past.  And we had sweet peas every year at Andersen’s RV Park, especially one year, when the ground was fresh because the picket fence had been redone and the sweet peas were mind blogglingly good, the best I have ever grown.

sweet peas way back when at Andersen’s RV Park

Today, we arrived earlier than yesterday to

The Bolstad Beach Approach garden

and to our goal of getting another section done.  I had thought we might escape the misery of thick roses by doing the extra long section at the west end (where the roses get more windy weather and so are smaller).  However, the wind had again proved much stronger and colder than the forecast, so we kept working east to west.  The garden is several blocks long, and the weather is harsher at the west end even on a sunny weeding day.

There is some satisfaction in working in an orderly way from one end to the other.  This year, our goal is the west end’s red buoy; some years, it is the east end Long Beach arch.  Last year, we jumped around and our progress was less satisfying.

1 PM: our goal, the red buoy in the distance

We are working away from the arch.

Allan’s photos





When the roses were cut, we dumped them at city works before finishing the weeding in order to get some mulch for the section we weeded yesterday.  I knew if we waited till the end, I would be completely out of energy.

dumping debris

gathering mulch (windy!)

mulching yesterday’s section so it doesn’t look battered

today’s section, clipped


after; Allan removed the roses that were right at the walkway end

We don’t always clip the roses right down, just every few years in the thickest sections.  We do try to keep them pushed back from the edge.

5 PM: closer to the buoy, and the next section is not as thick with roses.

We had saved four buckets of mulch for Fifth Street Park and for the big planter in Lewis and Clark Square, where I planted a few sweet peas by the metal tower.

Allan digging out annoying Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (which I regret planting here years ago).

prepping for sweet peas

in a nearby planter

police station planter, where I like to plant in shades of blue.

Even though they are pretty and low maintenance, I regret having planted white rugosa roses (‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ starts from Andersen’s RV Park!) on the south side of the police station.  It had been fun back when I could plant a “thin blue line” of blue flowers there.

white rugosa roses, having been pruned to the ground as we always do here

At least they are better than the yellowed and sun scorched rhododendrons that grew along there when I first took on the Long Beach job.

In Fifth Street Park, I planted sweet peas in the cold and windy and miserable shade, in an area where I don’t have luck with them (snail depredation, I think) and yet I try every year because ONE year long ago, I had good sweet peas there.

sweet peas

glorious sweet peas in 2012, Fifth Street Park

I dumped the last of the mulch in a couple of low areas where it just looked silly among the horrid swathes of as yet unweeded wild garlic.

This garden looks great in summer but is so slow in the early spring despite all my efforts. It is wettish and narcissi seem to just rot away.

We tagged the huge miscanthus that the city crew is going to remove for us.

It gets huge and blocks the path and lawn—part of the original landscaping designed by a landscape architect (as are the chronically mildewed Dorothy Perkins roses).

Allan mulched this little bed across the street:

Finally, we found the oomph to plant one more little batch of sweet peas in the planter by the Paws by the Sea pet store, where I also decided we must prune a variegated euonymus.  This is one of the three planters with would-be huge shrubs left over from volunteer days.

Allan thought it should be left to be a backdrop for the narcissi….

but by the time he said that, it was mostly gone.

At home, I was able to erase two sweet pea jobs and one beach approach section, getting the beach approach down to single digits.

I had better add “mulch Fifth Street Park” so that the garden will look better there.

I think it will be a week, at the least, before we get back to the beach approach.  Rain is due starting tomorrow and it is our WORST job in even mildly bad weather.


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Monday, 19 March 2018

Shelburne Hotel

We began at the Shelburne because I wanted to plant sweet peas along the front picket fence, inside and out (which I did, especially back breaking and kind of annoying with all the traffic going by, to be bent way over on the sidewalk side!)  I had asked Allan to prune the outside of the boxwood square around the sign.  When I saw some creeping buttercup popping up in the main garden, I asked him to go ahead and prune all the sides of the boxwood so that I could have time to weed.  I also had some cyclamen, donated by Our Kathleen, to plant.

The garden will be much more interesting next March, because we will have planted a variety of narcissi!

Below, the menace of Aegopodium is appearing under the rhododendron at the south end.  Oh, woe!  I used to have it beaten back to the rhododendron area (never got it gone because the roots go into all the shrubs there); today, I found some popping up at the south end of the garden.  I have a bad feeling that sometime in the last nine years, it got moved around because someone found it pretty.  I will prevail and beat it back to the south end….I WILL!  (For the area where it prevails, as it will, I must remember to tell the chef that the leaves are edible and can be used as a garnish; they taste of cilantro.)

in amongst the scilla lurks trouble

When planting sweet peas, I ran across a scary clump of Lysmachia punctata’s pretty pink roots way under the soil, and it took the pointy shovel to get them out…and probably not all of them.  It is also all over the garden.  I don’t want a wave of mustard yellow that lasts for two weeks and then is gone, so I am trying to beat THAT plant back to just a clump or two.  It is a typical cottage garden plant that many people like but is so very pushy.  Next time, I will take a photo of how pretty the roots are.  If only the flowers were as lovely in colour as the roots.

Allan’s photos:



The boxwood hedge used to be so low I could step over it…sort of like mounting a pony, but still….

Now it is so tall that a “door” has been cut into the back of it.  To shear it back to the proper size would make for an ugly bald look for awhile, so Allan just sheared into the green.  I had not thought ahead to have him bring the electric shears, so this was all with hand-power hedge shears.





I still had so much to do that I had asked him to shear the pathway side, as well.



Allan found this photo that shows how big the boxwood hedge was in 2007!  Back then, the shrubs were considered sacred; I remember finally getting to cut down the forsythia so that the sign showed better.

far left, under the sign!!!

Now we had such a large tarp full of boxwood cuttings that we decided to take them home to a compost bin.  And, due to a communication breakdown, all the starts of Libertia dug up on Saturday had ended up in the trailer.  They would be in the way, and so, after disposing of the boxwood cuttings, we planted almost all of them at

The Port of Ilwaco.

calm water today at the marina

low tide

planting libertia

We could hear a cacophony of cawing from our Bogsy Wood, across the big parking lot.

telephoto, showing maybe one third of the crows.

three nice libertia added to the Freedom Market (pot shop) garden. (Allan’s photo, before he planted them)

Finally, in the mid afternoon, we got to our goal garden of the day:

Long Beach, Bolstad Beach Approach

before (all Allan’s photos)


before (rugosa roses)

An extreme telephoto shot shows a gentleman who had a wheeled platform and a garbage can and was picking up garbage.


a nightmareish painful job

thorns and weeds toughly rooted in

I had picked this as a good beach approach day because the wind was supposed to be around 10 mph.  Instead, it blew at a cold and annoying 20 mph.

Three hours later:




I had almost bailed with five feet yet to go because my hands hurt so much (and my toes!) but we kept at it till the section was done.  There are thirteen sections—now ten to go.  Each takes at least three hours, except for one that has so much swamp grass from below that we hardly even bother with it except to trim the roses and pull the biggest of softer weeds.


At home, I was able to erase one sweet pea job and one beach approach section.

We had been offered the opportunity to meet tomorrow at the boatyard with the Port Manager and the engineers-or-whomever who are going to be doing the wash-water project, to see if it will impact the garden.  But the meeting will be at 8:30 AM.  Knowing that aching arms from beach approach work would likely give me extra insomnia and that tomorrow is another hard beach approach day, I would never make an 8:30 AM meeting no matter how concerned I am about the garden.  I decided it is just as well to wait for a secondhand report; otherwise I would be interrupting the important port business with questions about whether my (not yet planted) sweet peas will be disturbed.

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