Archive for Jun, 2018

Sunday, 17 June 2018

at home

Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ and bright blue skies

Midmorning, I started sifting compost from bin two.  My goal was to mulch the edges of the center bed as far as possible.


at least a foot of good compost at the bottom of the bin

I did not get even one barrow full before I gave up and went inside.  It was too hot…in the low 80s.  I worked on billing and blog posts instead, waiting for the day to cool down.

I did not get back outside again till five.

my view while sifting compost

all the way to the bottom of bin two

Bin two was turned into bin one. Bin three will be turned into bin two.

I was able to mulch all down the east side and the front of the center bed.

my audience

And I got my small batch of ladies in waiting planted.

In the evening, because of the extra hot day and because Sunday is the quiet day there, Allan watered at the

Ilwaco Community Building.

fern at the entrance to the library

same fern after cutting off the last year’s fronds

another fern that Allan trimmed up today


Earlier this weekend, I finished the fourth in Virginia Ironside’s Marie Sharp series.  I do hope there will be a fifth one, seeing Marie into her 70s.

I knew exactly which documentary she refers to in this passage:

…The first of the Paradise Lost trilogy.  I have watched them all, the earlier ones twice, and it is a strange thing to find such a documentary enjoyable to watch.

When Marie goes to buy an iPhone:

I am a fan of Piet Oudolf, so i was terribly amused at this passage about a garden made by Marie’s friend James.

Marie follows David’s example and goes on to say, “It’s not like a normal garden, true…

I discovered Virginia Ironside by reading (three times in all) her book about pet loss, Goodbye Dear Friend.  So of course, the passage about Marie burying her cat is perfect.

You might not want to read it; it had me in tears.  It is at the end of this blog post so you won’t miss anything if you stop right here.

I still miss my heart cat Smoky and my good feline friend Calvin and can’t even bear to put their ashes in the ground yet.



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Saturday, 16 June 2018

at home

Dipplarhena moraea, still blooming by the bogsy wood

I finished the east fence garden (south end) that I had left to go to dinner last night and went on to weed the entire big east bed.  That felt wonderful.

I got the front garden weeded, even more wonderful.  You can see from last week’s photo how weedy it was along the edges.

much better now

Back garden, pretty well weeded:

east bed

west Rozanne Loop

I decided to put a nice crisp edge on the Rozanne loop (around the center bed of Geranium Rozanne).

before, 4:50 PM

7:21 PM

Skooter by the arbour beds I weeded yesterday

Meanwhile, in the late afternoon, Allan had gone to work weeding at the

Ilwaco Community Building.

small garden beds in front


rhododendrons to deadhead


bulb foliage before


Allium schubertii




at home

Allan had the idea of ending the day with a campfire dinner.  He set it all up and dumped most of my wheelbarrows of heavy sod edging and, just before campfire time, he helped me set into place my “stone troughs” (actually water meter thingies from Long Beach).

Skooter had “helped” lay the landscape fabric.

like a cat when you try to make the bed

in place

At 9 PM, I got the edging done just in time for sunset.

My edger-pushing leg got tired before doing the right side edge.

east side of campfire lawn

The heavy cement bench is still not installed….

But i finally figured out that I want it at the curved end of the Rozanne (center) bed below, and I made the edge wider to make room for it.

Now we need a strong friend to help Allan lift it into place.  I cannot even budge part of it, it is so heavy.  In fact, I told Allan a few days ago that I want to just give it away, that it was a mistake on my part to buy something so heavy and difficult…but he wants to keep it.

Bogsy Wood sky at night

Allan’s photo, campfire for roasting a sausage dinner


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Friday, 15 June 2018

at home

I had a newly refreshed but mercifully small batch of ladies in waiting.

The Angelica gigas from Digging Dog that had looked pitiful and then dead has put out a new leaf.  I was thrilled.

I have up-potted and I am holding it and two shrubs to plant when I have time to monitor and water them carefully.

Sadly, the variegated Azara seems to be going downhill.

I began my weeding day with enthusiasm, clearing two areas to the side of the arbour through which one enters the back garden.

No before photo, but that wheelbarrow of weeds and a half buried plant table came out of here:

The low plant table will now be useful, unless I fill it with more plants.

I was upset to find, when I went around to check on new plants, a new  baby ornamental grass pulled out of the ground and all dried up.

I am sure the culprit was a grass eating cat, probably orange, who happens to like sleeping in that part of the garden.  I threw the grass in a bucket of water, hoping for a miracle.  Now I just have to remember to get it back out of the bucket and plant it with a ground staple.

not so innocent prime suspect

Big excitement—I found this rose blooming, and I am pretty sure it is a start I made (in my usual haphazard stick a cutting in the ground way) from my mom’s copper rose, a cutting that I planted before i brought the actual “copper rose” bush to live here.

Doesn’t it look like the same rose as the on the bigger bush, below?:

Maybe not.

New lily is not the best colour combo with mom’s “red velvet rose”.

As I weeded, I saw something in the east bed that was almost buried by foliage (like the plant table had been).


after, an old leaky birdbath

After his nap, Skooter “helped” me all afternoon.

running after me

sitting on my feet

At 5:45, with only an hour to go before a dinner engagement, I began work on the east fence bed that usually gets the last of my attention.


weeding as fast as I can

one hour later

It was frustrating to stop.  Usually at this time of year, we have our North Beach Garden Gang dinner at eight.  Tonight, though, we wanted to go to OleBob’s Café at the port, which has just started their dinner hours for the summer.  And they close at eight.  Our favourite server, Lynn, works there.


named after two fishermen friends, Ole and Bob.

Todd and his son Dawson were there to meet us, and we were soon joined by Dave and Melissa.

Todd and I mostly talked about how he has, at my recommendation to the Anchorage Cottages owners, taken on that garden that Allan and I used to do.  I am glad it is in good hands because, even though we left it when our friend and manager did, we did not want it to go to weeds.

delicious crab pasta (Allan’s photo)

crab empanada dinner

I had let go of my urge to stay home and weed till dark.  I knew I had two more days off to accomplish my weekend goals.






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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Skooter was knocking books off Allan’s table, waking him up in the wee hours.

Skooter still snoozing (Allan’s photo)

As we drove off to work, I saw over the fence that my Veilchenblau rose is blooming.  It is sentimental to me because I got it from a cutting from Louise Runnings, the wonderful mother of an significant other of mine back in the 80s.  When I moved from Seattle, I took a cutting from it, and I took another cutting when we moved to this house.  It is easy to propagate!

Rose ‘Veilchenblau’

I added a few more painted sage to the Ilwaco Post Office garden.

post office California poppies (Allan’s photo)

Port of Ilwaco

We began with weeding the curbside gardens at the port that I had hoped and failed to get to last night.

By David Jensen architecture office

Jensen office (enter from the other side, on Waterfront Way).

West end gardens, looking east

still not much going on at the much walked on Freedom Market garden

by Salt Hotel

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I was glad the self seeded (noxious weed) oxeye/dog daisies were still going strong. Cutting them back is quite a chore.

The Depot Restaurant

We did our weekly check on the garden.

I made a note to move a division of this Cherry Red Phygelius to the fire station garden this fall.

Maybe even sooner!

Long Beach

We did another bucket run of Soil Energy mulch out to the beach approach.

I noticed that most of the pines that I had thought were dying for sure have greened up again.

some more than others

We weeded at Veterans Field, where a veterans’ event was in session.

Allan’s photo, Korean and WWII vets

We watered the Long Beach planters.  Thanks to last weekend’s glorious rain, we did not have to water the street tree gardens, so the job went quickly (two hours instead of three or four).

Allan’s photo

The window of Sweet Phee’s reminds us of how we once heard a little boy joyously announce in downtown Long Beach, “We’ll buy our elephant ears, and then we will take our elephant ears to the beach, and then we will eat our elephant ears!”

Many passersby asked me to identify the Allium christophii.

I am amazed that I have about eight alliums left of the 24 I planted at this one intersection.  I did not think even eight would last, because some people find them so irresistible to mess with.  Having even a few makes me happy.

This one is a little wacky.

I love Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’!

creamy California poppies

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan found a painted rock.

Allan’s photo

The owners of Abbracci Coffee Bar came out of their shop to give Allan a bucket of coffee grounds for compost.  We are sorry that Tony and Bernardo have sold their shop; they had the best coffee and we liked them so much.

the final bucket o’ grounds

Shelburne Hotel

We watered and did a touch of weeding.

Theoretically we are going to prune the wisteria, some now and some in winter.  Not sure if we will have time for a summer pruning.  You can hardly see the flowers for the leaves.

I dote on this garden.


I weeded the boatyard garden while Allan watered the planters and street trees.  It was wonderful to not have to water, so that I could focus on the weeding.  Horsetail and a few tall weed grasses were the only problems.

This bird let me know it has a nest in the ceanothus.

Some yobbo has already stolen some of the elephant garlic.

Why? They may have wanted the scapes (buds) for dinner.

a round cloud of lavender

santolina and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

looking south

rose campion

Echinops (blue globe thistle)

Allium christophii and lavender

a boat waiting till tomorrow to come in or depart

must take a piece of this penstemon to the fire station


Euphorbia surprising me with late bloom.

pale yellow yarrow

looking north from the south end

late evening lavender

Allan finished and picked me up.

He reported back to me with photos that the nasturtium seeds that I planted in the Ilwaco planters are coming up.

He saw someone way up high at the old Shorebank building, which is going to be a hotel called At the Helm with a pub called The Waterline.

He gave the fire station garden a good watering (and the post office garden).

I was glad to be done with a nine and a half hour day, with the reward of three days off starting tomorrow.




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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

at home before work

The pink rose that overhangs the east corner path was one of the few plants that was here when we moved in.  It is a once bloomer; then I will cut it back to avoid the snagging that is happening now.

Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’

Salvia ‘Caradonna’

We’d had more wonderful rain.

Skooter wanted me to stay home.

Geranium ‘Orion’

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

rambling roses

Clivia indoors, admired while breakfasting

When we went to the Bank of the Pacific before work, I was smitten with the foliage in their landscape:

After the briefest of checks on The Red Barn garden, we went to….

Diane’s garden

….to weed and tidy and to fertilize the containers.

the raised septic box garden

Brodiaea ‘Pink Diamond’

Allium christophii, Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

our good friend Misty

I weeded an obscure and neglected corner that I should probably take more seriously.

The roadside garden needs more plants:

The Planter Box

We stopped to pick up a few more six packs of painted sage.  I found a Sambucus ‘Lemony Lace’ that I could not resist (but did not photograph it).

zinnias…I love them but don’t use them much. Should try again.

I could not resist buying some flame-like celosia, for the fire station. (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

A deer had gotten into the fenced garden and nibbled the roses.

buttercups in the lawn

We groomed the garden for an hour and took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.

Knockout Roses (Allan’s photo)

Geranium sanguineum (Allan’s photo)

the east gate

the birdbath view

Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’


Long Beach 

We did some tidying of the city hall garden…

a welcome snake in the garden (Allan’s photo)

…and got another buckets-load of mulch to apply to the beach approach garden.

Allan’s photo

We got to pet some adorable pomeranians, a family of four.

Allan’s photo

With hope for a better looking display, I added some painted sage to the welcome sign.

Shelburne Hotel

We had time to work on weeding the paths at the Shelburne.

I had an odd encounter while working there today.  A woman said she admired the garden and asked what the variegated figwort was.  I said the common name and then added that its name is “scrophularia’, kind of an unappealing sounding name and that, like many of the plants in the garden, it was a division from my own garden.  She told me that plants people would think scrophularia  was a fine name and that she had a degree in “plant science” and added, “You probably don’t get many compliments, but it is probably just work to you.”  I had no words to respond to that.  It is actually everything to me.

Ilwaco Fire Station

There was no room in the planter for the silly little celosias; they had to go into the garden, where they are too few.

wish this garden would hurry up

Oh, I do have a photo of the Sambucus ‘Lemony Lace’ after all, and my new “stone troughs” that Allan gleaned for me from the city works yard (with permission).

Allan’s photo

I was hoping to get more port curbside gardens weeded this evening.  We ran out of time after a nine and a half hour day and will have to start there tomorrow.


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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

at home, an allium about to doff its cap

J’s garden

We weeded and watered.

Allan used his new blower to remove the rhododendron leaves from river rock, something otherwise difficult to do.

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco Fire Station

We checked up on our three month old volunteer garden.  I wish it would fill in faster.

Mike’s garden

More weeding.

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Alan worked on the woodsy back garden area, which we have neglected due to lack of time.  His photos:


Long Beach

We collected another bucket brigade of Soil Energy mulch from our pile at City Works and mulched one of the 13 sections out on the beach approach.

rugosa roses


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

single rugosa rose…

and doubles (Allan’s photos)

After coveting (again) the stone troughs of the Oysterville garden, I had cast my eye covetously on these old concrete thingies at city works that were removed when the water meter system in town was changed to something more modern.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Today we had time to give the garden some thorough attention.  I have realized while working here that it is the only place where I get the same sense of peace, kind of a floaty feeling, that I get in my own garden.  Not quite as much peace, because I cannot check on it every day, but almost as much.

a Shelburne frog (Allan’s photo)

A blog reader named Tina came up to me and introduced herself.  I always find that surprising and pleasing.

looking south from the north end

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’, beloved of bees

Allan’s photo

callas with fallen rhododendron flowers (Allan’s photo)

the old rhododendron (Allan’s photo)

looking north from the entryway

In back, the totem pole garden

front garden, from the sidewalk as one approaches from the south

Port of Ilwaco

Because we did not have to water, we were able to work along a good long stretch of the curbside gardens just weeding.

east end of Howerton Ave

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

CoHo Charters

Allan weeded the Coho lava rocks.

passersby (Allan’s photos)


They were on their way to the store about ten blocks away.

Ilwaco Pavilion

The cry of outrage disturbing the evening peace of Ilwaco was me upon seeing that someone had stolen all the flowering stems off of one of the eryngiums in the newly planted area.

finger blight

Those plants were moved from the south side garden of the port office, which now looks like this:

Time Enough Books is doing a good job with their little planters this year.

More curbside Eryngium photos by Allan:

It was a ten hour day.

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4 June 2018

To make this somewhat entertaining for the reader, I will start with some photos that show the Long Beach town scenery, and then get down to the nitty gritty.

Wind World Kites storefront was recently repaired. We hope it gets painted bright blue again.

Third Street Park gazebo

Lewis and Clark Square


Hungry Harbor

Sweet Phee’s

Fifth Street Park NW (We will redo this planter in fall, I hope)

Fifth Street Park SW

Fifth Street Park NE

Fifth Street Park SE

Now for the aforementioned nitty gritty.

Long Beach planter reference post

This is a record I am trying to do once a month while watering the planters.  About half of the planters are photographed from across the street before they get groomed and watered, to avoid the stressful and slightly dangerous crossing back and forth.  The others are lucky enough to get photographed after being watered and tidied.

I took the photos walking north to south on June 4, 2018.

block one, west side:

Dennis Company north

Dennis Co south

Block one, east side:

law office before removing bulb foliage

Dennis Co storage lot

Block two, west side:

Scoopers north with would be huge escallonia cut back hard

Scoopers south, leggy erysimums will need replacing

block two, east:


by NIVA green

block three, west side:

stoplight corner

Wind World Kites (he likes the Crocosmia!)

Stormin’ Norman’s

Third Street Park gazebo

block three, east side:


Cottage Bakery


Police Station

Block four, west side:

Third Street Park.

Hungry Harbor Grille

Sweet Phee’s…pretty much swamped with golden oregano

Fifth Street Park. I WILL redo this one in fall!

Block four, east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Carnival Gifts, all spring flowering shrubs (blah now except for geraniums)


frying pan, shrubby, dominated by hebe

Block five, west side:

Fifth Street restroom; the plan is redo this one in fall because the veronica blooms too briefly.

Smoke Shop

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street pond

north of tattoo shop

As I write this and get to block five, I just found out that Allan hadn’t remembered to take his set of photos for the last block and a bit.  So the rest of the photos were completed by him on June 14, 2018.  

My idea has been to show how the planters read from the street.  He took a different approach, which makes them look more interesting but is not really what passersby see (since they don’t stand out in the street with a camera held up high).  I like these and am debating whether to switch to this angle in the future.  If you have made it this far, what do you think?

Block five, continued:

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop (west side)

Streetside Taco (west side)

Coastal Inn (east side)

Block six, west side:

Credit Union

bus stop

First Place Mall

Block six, east side:

empty lot

Paws by the Sea Pet Supplies (has big old escallonias that are clipped low in spring)

Powell and Seillor accounting (redone last year after a vehicle smashed the planter)





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