Archive for Jul, 2018

Saturday, 21 July 2018

2018 Spade and Wade Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Master Gardener Association

After garden four, we realized that we had about a half hour drive to the next two gardens, so we had better put lunch at Hidden Acres Greenhouse next on our agenda.

from the tour program

I had been to Hidden Acres before, on a visit to the Sylvia Beach Hotel and looked forward to revisiting.  It was only two minutes from the previous garden.

Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Café, Tillamook


Now that is a cordyline I could love.

Oh! (Not complaining when I think it must take several hours to make.)

Allan’s photo

in the restroom

Allan’s photo

noisy nest in the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

out back

hanging basket greenhouse

good signage (Allan’s photo)

perennial house (Allan’s photo)

Small herbs were just $3.95.

Allan’s photo

In the café, where we had our lunch:

The ingredient in hummingbird cake is bananas, just so you know.

I remember loving this café and shop, and I still do.

I want this chandelier, but without the bed springs, which would get too dusty.

Allan’s photo

Allan found a cute pop up book with which I amused myself till lunch arrived, which was soon.

Allan went to get me my specs so I could find a certain rabbit, but then our tasty lunch came and we forgot.

tuna melt and French onion soup and Mediterranean pasta salad

my plant haul

We then were off on a drive to Cape Meares.

The drive looks lovely.  I found it nerve-wracking because of my recurring nightmare of going off a road into water.

It is curvier than it looks, and I was so glad to get onto the cape.  (Going back, on the inside, was not too bad.)  Allan noted that the water was too shallow for kayaking.

Garden Five: A Walk in the Woods, Cape Meares

Allan’s photo

unusually handsome phormiums in front

front porch

around to the side

Crinodendron seed pods

Higher, one crinodendron flower remains. (Allan’s photo)

I used to have a crinodendron at my old garden, from Clarke Nursery, wish I still had it.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Coprosma, maybe hardy here?? (Not where I live)

Pacific wax myrtle

at the back of the house

And now into the woods we go. I passed the garden owner sitting with tour guests at a table talking about wild critters, including elk who come into the back garden.

chatting around the table (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

a most clever idea for a garden tour with rough ground

The tree below had been cut decades before and other trees had grown around the stump.

Allan’s photo

I turned back from a steep path and Allan later went down it.

nurse log (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, docent with tour goers

Back in the garden, there really were artichokes with the aprons.

and paintings by Jenny Stanley

Allan’s photo

the ocean side of the house

the family dog comes home from the beach (Allan’s photo)

I regret I was not in that part of the garden at that moment to meet that dog!

Barbara had put many of her favourite gardening books out.

on the back porch

On the front porch:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Just a few blocks down the street is the ocean.

We now drove a block over and a couple of gravel blocks uphill to a garden that I could hardly bear to leave at closing time.  It is glorious, and will be tomorrow morning’s post.

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Saturday, 21 July 2018

2018 Spade and Wade Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Master Gardener Association

Garden three: Garden by The River, Tillamook

I would love to have Fawcett Creek running at the bottom of my garden.

right: the bridge onto the property

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the sound of stones rolling and clunking underwater

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking uphill toward the greenhouse

herb and kitchen garden

in the greenhouse (Allan’s photo)


This long-necked insect rode on Allan’s shirt for awhile. It was reluctant to get flicked off.  That is not a stinger; it’s an ovipositor. (Allan’s photo)

below the deck

purses for sale (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

behind the house

behind the house

sit spot

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We left the Fawcett Creek garden and crossed the quiet highway for a two block drive to the next garden, passing some front yard cattle along the way.

Garden four: Jardin Chalet, Tillamook

along the driveway

driveway circle

the animal compound

Because of the warm weather, I only saw one hen.

and one goat inside the shelter

Allan noticed the kayak. I did not.

Allan’s photo

“Jardin Chateau”

Allan’s photo

well protected berries

productive kitchen garden

Allan’s photo

Each garden had some treats and cool drinks on offer. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

one of the docents (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I yelped with joy when I saw the name badge while writing this, because this is the same gardener who is having a Hardy Plant Society garden open in Manzanita that we hope to go to later this summer.

I would love to have Simmons Creek running at the edge of my garden.

The garden owner told Allan that he enjoyed the sound of the creek in the winter when it is running higher.  I would spend a lot of time sitting by it.

I bought four beautiful cards from Jane Wanell.

Jane Wanell and her cards

I asked where she was from when I heard her accent.  Born in Leeds!  Of course, I told her I had been married to a Leedsman and recommended Chris’s historical mysteries set in Leeds.

I asked her why her own garden, pictured in her cards, was not included in the tour, and she explained that it is in Manzanita.  That’s where the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon garden open is later this summer, and I hope when we go that I can finagle a visit to her garden, as well.

Jane’s cards

The card, upper right, is made up of photos of her garden and makes me long to visit it.  I also found, in an article about her art, that she is friends with June Kroft, a gardener in south Cannon Beach who I much admire.


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Saturday, 21 July 2018

2018 Spade and Wade Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Master Gardener Association

garden two: Vegetables and Glorious Trees, Tillamook

garden greeters under one of two enormous liriodendron (tulip) trees

the pair of liriodendrons

liriodendron leaf

Allan’s photo

Allan said, “It was a hot day, and trees are good.  It was the only garden where I laid down on the lawn and looked up at the trees and was just happy.”

Allan’s photo

Every tree has a story.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

pump house and hypericum

next to the barn “nestled in the foothills east of Tillamook”

“Stone sculptors from the Bay City Arts Center will be demonstrating the art of stone sculpting.”

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

stone carving

Allan’s photo

By the barn, in a pen, a bunny was getting much attention.

Allan’s photo of Harry, the bunny

Allan’s photo

Harry liked Allan. (Allan’s photo)

“The house is over 85 years old and surrounded by large fir trees to keep the property private.”

Allan’s photo

“Ruth’s specialty is bonsai.”

Allan’s photo

local bonsai club (here is a ten year old article about them)

Garden owner Don’s pièce de résistance is his vegetable garden, with a view of the foothills.

the always interesting compost pile

“He believes in simplicity, using tools from his grandfather to hoe and weed the grounds because they still work!”

“….neat, wide rows of beans, peas, potatoes, corn, squash, lettuces, cabbages. blueberries, and more…”

stone fence toppers

Don said that he grew everything from seed except for tomatoes and peppers and that he hand waters the vegetable rows only, which is why there are few weeds between the rows.  He made a hose guide so that the hose stays in place.

A cut piece of jug of some sort keeps the hose from sliding back.

The back yard:

back yard (Allan’s photo)

As we departed for two nearby gardens, we admired some cows right across the highway.


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Saturday, 21 July 2018


On the two hour drive down to Tillamook (harrowing when a vehicle suddenly stopped in front of us due to the driver’s sudden decision to go to the beach!), we did a quick driving tour of Pam’s Seaside gardens, which we will include in a post-tour visit to her own garden.

We stopped ever so briefly at Seaside 7 Dees garden center.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

And, in Tillamook, at Five Rivers Coffee Roasters for a comfort stop before touring.  I like their garden, with tables, at the back of their coffee shop.

from the tour booklet

The five rivers are the Tillamook, the Trask, the Wilson, the Kilchis, and the Miami.

planted garden benches

Allan’s photo


It’s on 101, so don’t miss this charming place if you are driving the coast road.

Guess which comment on their chalk board is mine.

I expected the tour to be farm and food garden oriented because it is in a dairy cow and corn farmland area, famous for its Tillamook brand cheese and ice cream.

We passed many fields of corn on the way.

The smell of cow manure floated in the air throughout the Tillamook area, an odor that is enticing to me because I wished I could take some buckets of cow poo back to my garden.

2018 Spade and Wade Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Tillamook County Master Gardener Association

For our ten dollar ticket fee, we got a 24 page keepsake program with information about the local area, local attractions from Tillamook to Cape Meares, maps, and garden descriptions with color photos.

The Master Gardeners club did indeed have a hearty crew of parking assistants at each garden, which was much appreciated.  I also appreciated the welcoming encouragement to take photos and ask questions.  I also deeply appreciate that one of the missions of this tour and the one in Grays Harbor is to have gardens that are created entirely by their owners.  That makes them much more meaningful to me than gardens whose owners hire others to do the design (and work). It also tends to make the gardens less hardscaped, perhaps humbler, and more soulful and personal. (Side note about other tours: When gardeners are hired to design, plant, and weed, they should get credit for the work in garden tour programs.)

This tour takes place every other year.  Last time it conflicted with the Aberdeen tour, so I was especially pleased that it was on a different weekend this year.

Note: In garden descriptions, I touch out the last names for the owners’ privacy.

I theorize that the tour is called Spade and Wade because the Tillamook area tends to flood in the winter, but perhaps it is because of the “five rivers”.

Garden one: A Haven for Birds, Tillamook

from the program:

Each garden had one of these pavers.

It made me happy to see such a bright front garden.

a garden all abuzz with bees


Barbara, garden owner, at work on a bonsai

Allan’s photo captures the joy of garden touring as they discuss what to trim.

An honest description of an area in progress as we tour the front garden:

an asclepias (milkweed), which I am trying to get going in my garden.

fuchsia and hydrangea

This hydrangea was popular with bees.

Shade garden by front porch:

Oh! I used to have this tiny flowered fuchsia!

Allan’s photo

passion flower by the entryway

Now we’ll go into the back garden.

a little greenhouse

Allan’s photo


I would like a huge bin like that, maybe galvanized metal, maybe an old wooden hot tub, for an instant pond.

greenhouse window

herbs and edible flowers just past the greenhouse

strawberries in a bed by the greenhouse

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Farmland is the backdrop to the vegetable garden with its beds “raised to get their feet out of the water table“.

blueberries protected from birds

beyond the garden


“dahlias—wedding flowers for our son’s wedding in 2008”

an old gate just like my grandma’s old gate

purple peas




more compost

I do not know what those bins are made out of, but it looks like a better siding than our wooden pallets, because of better air circulation and ability to see what is going on in there. Maybe Allan can figure it out.

Regular readers will know I like compost bins. These three show the progress.

bin one

bin two

bin three

Jamie Rehak’s wind chimes

yucca flowers against the house

We had now perambulated the entire back garden and arrived at these folks selling their handmade canning jar solar lights.

I bought the blue one, upper right.

The gentleman in orange, below, is John, the garden owner.  I complimented him on his enviable kitchen gardening skills.

One more look at the delightful front garden on our way out:

Allan’s photo



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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Someone didn’t want us to go to work.

Long Beach

We watered the downtown planters.  I chatted, while watering, with Max of Carnival Gifts about his electric bike and told him my favourite blogger might be interested to see some photos.

From an article in Coast River Business Journal, written by Luke Whittaker.  I wish I could find it online to share:

the Dapper Mobile, photographed by Allan earlier this month

Allan’s photo

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Allan’s photo)

(I realized when proofreading that the rest of this Long Beach segment is just a lot of kvetching.  Sorry!)

I did four blocks worth of planters and Allan did two, so that he would have time to apply the string trimmer to a difficult. rooty, wet area of Fifth Street Park that is time consuming and unsuccessful to weed.


after, maybe a little better?  At least the weed sedges are topped off.

What a mess that bed is, with everything wrapped in the roots of the trees.

Meanwhile, while I was watering, a shopkeeper told me that the tree beds on her block get walked in by kids whose parents are sitting on the bench.  We mulched one of the small beds on Monday, and I am thinking about something tougher (but not thorny) to plant in fall.  A poppy which had reseeded in there from somewhere (one I had not planted) was being closely watched for seeds by the shopkeeper.  However, today I saw that someone had picked the green poppy seed heads. How disappointing.

You can see the bare stems against the tree.

Two of the trees on other blocks have no working water, so their little gardens will have a sparser look as the summer goes by.  They were planted back when they did have working water, back when I would stick in plants I could get for free.

That’s why this one looks kind of dead along the curb.

My favourite planter is off balance because a golden fuchsia dwindled on one side and an agastache plotzed on the other side.

still my favourite nevertheless

Below: Here is some painted sage that is looking not bad.  No one has asked what it is for the past two years. In olden times it was my most asked about plant.

Salvia viridis and Cosmos ‘Sonata’

My plan had been to tidy the Veterans Field gardens after Fifth Street Park and then head for the Shelburne, where I longed to be. I had neglected to pay attention to the events schedule.  When I saw the signs for Sandsations sand sculpture contest out at the beach, I realized with a sense of doom (to my planned time schedule) that the beach approaches would be in extra heavy use this weekend and therefore their planters needed to be checked.

Sandsations just starting up (Allan’s photo)

Fortunately, the Bolstad approach garden did not look too bad.

The planters, which have no plumbing for watering, are another story.  When we got into our sixties, we stopped watering them by schlepping buckets of water.  That would be about four hundred pounds of water a week, and we are too old for that.  They get a light spray now and then from the city crew and their pump truck.  No one has time to soak them the way they need. (They started out years ago being done by volunteers.)

popped off seed heads of sea thrift (Allan’s photo)

unhappy rosemary

even the beach strawberry is drying up…

Some of them could be watered by a hose, a time consuming task that involves dragging a long hose for blocks and hooking it up in holes in the ground (under metal hatches, where jumping spiders live).  Not only am I too busy for that now, but that water line has been turned off for the last few years.

The Bolstad planter which I had originally done as a volunteer has a kite stealing light pole.

Allan’s photo

So, what does okay in those planters? Santolina, so far, and some lavenders, although I don’t know if they will look like much after two more months of drought. Armeria does okay but gets stolen a lot.

clipping thirsty catmint, with a santolina in view

Santolina viridis

My plan: dig out that beach strawberry, add new soil, and stick in more cuttings of santolina.  I cannot put in new plants because they will be stolen.  Cuttings might survive.  I can’t use charming succulents because of thieving varmints.

At ground level, the drought tolerant common plants have their roots firmly down and are able to survive and still provide some beauty.

It was a pleasure to get over to the Sid Snyder Drive approach where each planter is plumbed with cold delicious water to which we hook up our short hoses.

My views while watering near the trail rides:

Inn at Discovery Coast (with ocean view) is owned by the same good folks who now own the Shelburne.

On the way back to town, we checked on the World Kite Museum which is being well cared for and watered by the staff.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

penstemon in one of the planters

Finally, we were able to go to

The Shelburne Hotel

whose garden I had been longing to be in all day.

I had made up a pot of corkscrew sedge to put in our new little shady bog garden. It is a plastic basin sunk in by where people walk into the restaurant dining room (open now on Friday and Saturday nights).  I don’t know when it was installed.  Perhaps it was intended to be a pond, but it is filled now with mud.

Monday it looked like this:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it.


The corkscrew sedge is not as exciting as I thought it would be.  Next week, we will put in some golden hued grass that likes wet feet.  I had to drag David, a staff member, over to see this project because I am really quite chuffed about it. He liked it, too.

We watered and did as much garden tidying and editing as two hours allowed.  Saturday, there will be a “garden chat” with a local political candidate, so we wanted the garden to look its best.  We soaked it extra well because we want Friday off and will be garden touring in Oregon on Saturday the 21st.

My garden appreciation tour when we were done:

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Shelburne painted sage looking great!

looking north from main entry

looking south

south side of the front garden

At the end of that south path is my nemesis, which was here already when I first worked in this garden twenty years ago.

the dreaded variegated aegepodium (ground elder)

To my right, in great quantity, aegepodium

In the back garden, I am still working on filling in a shade border that is partly choked with houttynia, an aggressive ground cover.

This part still is frustrating to me.  The houttynia part is behind me while I took this.

The totem garden is coming along nicely.

I then had to tear myself away from the Shelburne to weed in


at the boatyard garden while Allan watered the planters.  I knew I’d be stuck at the boatyard for over an hour and a half, with the wheelbarrow and trailer, while Allan watered the planters with the water trailer.  It seemed like an awfully long time when I started at seven, but I found plenty to do.

an evening of weeding

I found pulled and cut elephant garlic right by one of Don Nisbett’s new please don’t pick the flowers signs.

insert frowning emoji here

The Pennisetum macrourum we pulled huge clumps of this spring is determined to come back.  Humans will win this one.

looking south

a passerby

Allan’s watering photos:

Someone, not us, planted gladiolus in the Peninsula Sanitation planter.

deer are still eating the nasturtiums

bachelor buttons in our volunteer garden at the fire station

Tomorrow: a day off to recuperate and garden putter before the Tillamook garden tour. You might have noticed we have not had our Garden Gang weekly dinner or indeed any dinners out lately.  The watering needs are all consuming and have swallowed up our dining out time.

Friday, 20 July 2018

I puttered rather aimlessly in the garden, accomplishing little other than weeding one small difficult area and running six sprinklers in succession.  I find unless I have at least two days off in a row, with the first to recuperate from work, I don’t get much done.  I had no camera with me so no record of my meager gardening.

I certainly did enjoy being out there, though.  The garden, albeit somewhat weedy, was looking quite fine and I was surrounded by lily fragrance.

We had four visitors, a mother and daughter:

with Sara and Connie

a fun visit

Connie has moved close by so I look forward to visiting her soon and meeting her poodles, one young and large and one elderly and small.  Really avid blog readers might recall a walk home from the boatyard when I hesitated to walk up a local street because of a big black unfamiliar dog.  Turns out that was Sara’s dog, visiting Connie, and he is a nice friendly dog who I also want to meet soon.

Later, our neighbour Jessika of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm came to tour the garden with her six month old, Willa.  Allan was out and missed the fun of seeing Willa’s attentiveness and interest in assorted flowers.

Tomorrow: We will begin three days of double posting of the Tillamook/Cape Meares garden tour, with the final tour garden being quite phenomenal.











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Wednesday, 17 July 2018

I call the day we go to Klipsan Beach Cottages our “north end” day out of habit, because it used to include Marilyn’s garden up in Surfside.  KBC is north, but the peninsula goes on considerably further north.

You can see above Grayland, on the other side of the mouth of Willapa Bay, where we had such lovely garden touring on the weekend.

We started at

The Depot Restaurant

with the usual weeding and no watering.  Although the sprinkler system does not hit the whole garden, last night’s rain had it wet enough.

Direama (Angel’s Fishing Rod)

I deadheaded and checked on the watering of the plantings on the north side; the window boxes and barrels were planted up by Roxanne of the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Just west across the street is the Sou’wester Lodge and RV park, where cabins and vintage trailers are for rent.  All sorts of interesting artistic and musical events happen there.  For the last almost two years, I have been too tired to go to them; it’s not that I have lost interest. The energy to get out and about in the evening is not there, especially if it involves socializing with new people.  I get too tired to make words (although Allan might disagree about how many words I make).

I advise you to check The Sou’wester out, maybe stay there when you visit our area.

At the Depot, I keep picking away at the escallonia that wants to block the sign.  Yes, if it were mine, I would cut it all the way down.  But I can’t here, so I keep thinning it to try to get new growth all the way through, and then I can cut it way back.  It was not such a problem before that sign about the Clamshell Railway went in.

We stopped at Sid’s Market, across the street from the Shelburne, for some milk for a friend.  With no cars parked in front, I had a great view of the Shelburne Hotel.

The Red Barn

We did our usual weeding, watering and deadheading.  The deadheading of shasta daisies has begun.

our good friend Rosie and the garden

by the main barn door

It’s a small garden.

I like seeing the horses.

by the side barn door


Diane’s garden

When we arrived at Diane’s garden, I saw a big hanging basket with a card sitting on the back steps and immediately knew that Larry, who had been very ill, had passed away.  The garden today was cared for with sadness.  Every galvanized container, large and small, in my garden is from Larry, who used to collect them for us.  He had a saw sharpening business in the past and made a special little rig (my word) to sharpen the blades of Allan’s little rechargeable chain saw.

I had decided to plant one of my three Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’ from Markham Farm along the roadside garden, because it is a tough plant. A bee discovered it while it was waiting in the parking area.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

in its new home (Allan’s photo)

roadside garden

the raised box garden

Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Cocktail’

The Basket Case Greenhouse

Roxanne had grown me some Eryngium giganteum from a seed packet I bought.  I am terrible at growing from seed.  They look good.

I bought them all.  She also gave me some agastaches and other plants that she grew from seed as a gift to comfort me for the earlier Agastache Catastrophe of 2018. Please note that her nursery had nothing to do with said catastrophe; she was just sympathetic because I kvetched a lot to her about it.

Roxanne and a bouquet

Fortunately, Allan realized before we drove off that I had put the flat of eryngiums on the trailer hitch and forgotten to load them into the van. Otherwise we would perhaps have had an eryngium catastrophe today.

Joe’s Place

We had two things to deliver to our friend Joe, whose truck was broken down: a maritime history magazine from the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and a half gallon of milk.  I have written about Joe’s place before, here.

Joe, a veteran, is flying his flag as a distress signal because of his concern over the Trump-Putin connection.

Joe creates and sells “Dangerous Toys”.

driveway partly made of crushed china

fence; I share Joe’s liking for old Spartan trailers.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Just our usual summertime hour of tidying the fenced garden and surrounding areas.

outside the fenced garden

elephant garlic with little paper hat on



and lily

and lily

and lily



And what do I see in the photo above but a bunch of bindweed that I missed while I was there.

agapanthus, much deeper blue than the bright sunlight shows

Allan’s photo

our good friend Bella (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

We would be watering and tidying tomorrow.  Today, we just had a little project, putting a canna in the bog garden that Allan cleared of blackberries last time.  Even though it won’t get enough sun, I hope it will look ok for the rest of the summer.  My plan is to put some darmera peltata starts in there in the fall.

Last time:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it.


Allan’s photo

A big plastic tub is in the basis for this; maybe it was once supposed to be a pool.  It is by the ramp where one enters the north side of the restaurant dining room:

Or one can walk this way to the front door.

In the back yard, I found that the Sunset runner beans (grown from seed by Roxanne) have beans now.

front garden: sorry to see the goatsbeard flowers fading to brown

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Port of Ilwaco

We did the watering of the curbside gardens.

telephoto at midway

Allan had bought a new hose (because of the one that got its end driven on yesterday).  I am pleased that it is long enough to reach the drive-over garden…if I shoot the water at it from five feet away.

Allan dragged the heavy hose for me past the garden he was watering to the next one.

by ArtPort Gallery

I delegate most of the weeding of that one to Allan because I find it painful to walk on river rock.

my view while dumping some garbage in a port wheelie bin

A bit of our old garden is trying to survive the construction (new wall and windows) at the port office.

Hang in there, garden will be back soon.

pots at OleBob’s Café and fish market

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Eryngium (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I think that when Sapphire Blue reseeds itself, it turns itself into this basic, beautiful, smaller flowered eryngium.  Is that possible?

If we can polish off the rest of the week’s tasks tomorrow, we will have Friday off. I want to enjoy my own garden in the peak of my lily season.



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Long Beach, downtown

Photos for my reference, taken July 10th and July 12th.  I used Allan’s idea of a sidewalk angle as well as the street view angle.  They almost all have some diascia and some bidens, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and a couple of santolinas (some newly added this year so still small). Also added Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple to almost all of them this spring.

Going north to south:

Block one, east side:

Lawyer’s office

lawyer office

Lawyer office, just golden oregano and two Geranium ‘Rozanne’, with a Sanguisora ‘Pink Elephant’ that is determined to stay even though I thought I moved it all to Fifth Street Park (because it is so tall).

Dennis Co storage lot

Dennis storage lot

Shrubby, two Crimson Pygmy Barberry that stay small, two gold euonymus that want to get huge, a chrysanthemum, left over from volunteer days

Block one, west side:

Dennis Co north

Dennis Co north

Dennis Co north, by parking lot, Rozanne and golden oregano plus Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ that reverted to green foliage and some wonderful Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (the original; most of the planters have it now).

Dennis Co south

Dennis Co south

My favourite planter. Agastache, golden fuchsia, heuchera, cosmos and painted sage, diascia, Rozanne,  and more…and tigridia, which a lot of them have

Block two, east side:



Narrow sidewalk passageway on this block.  Heucheras, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, cosmos and painted sage, a stray lady’s mantle or two, aquilegias that I keep pulling out

NIVA green

NIVA green

Lilies and Iberis left over from volunteer days, lambs ears, chrysanths, heuchera, a dwarf rhododendron from volunteer days. Originally someone thought would be a good idea to have a dwarf rhodie at the post in each planter.  Not me! Only two survive out of many (I did not remove them; they died from sun and wind).

Block two, west side:

Scoopers north

Scoopers north

Maybe the windiest planter, two wanna be huge escallonias from volunteer days, two lavender, sedums, green santolina, lots of annoying little red clover

Scoopers south

Scoopers south

Boring groundcover that blooms in spring, tatty old Erysimum that is coming out in fall, chrysanths, the other dwarf rhodo, all but the Erys. from volunteer days.  Used to be the most vandalized planter.  Now it seems to be left alone, i should re do the ground cover with something better, at least.  Two old daylilies, boring, used to regularly get their foliage torn off.  Theory: the vandal grew up and moved away.

Block three, east side:



I let mint (volunteer days leftover) take hold this year.  I shouldn’t have but this planter is so windy and it just smells good when I water.  I will be sorry in the fall when I try to pull it all out.  Used to be all mint from a volunteer!  Now thyme, some badaster that snuck in, santolina…Oh, almost all of them have a couple of santolinas, which I have been forgetting to mention. Lambs ears, cosmos, Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’, a tall armeria

Cottage Bakery

Cottage Bakery

CB has that variegated Knautia that reverted to green, pink gaura, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Calif poppies, cosmos and so forth


Funland (most sat upon planter)

flat creeping sedums, S Autumn Joy, cosmos, pink Gaura, painted sage, Rozanne

police station

police station

Blue agastache, Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola, Rozanne, Allium christophii, lambs ears; wanted it to be all blue but I don’t pull the orange Calif poppies just because I don’t.

Block three: west side:

corner building for rent

corner building (has boring climbing rose by pole that needs to go!)

That annoying rose, fuchsias, Autumn Joy, chrysanths, daisies left over from volunteer days, Rozanne

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

a couple of fuchsias and lavenders swamped by Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that nice shop keeper loves, and some white fruited strawberries

Stormin’ Norman’s

Stormin’ Norman’s

redone in autumn 2015, the damnable wire plant is coming back, so it has to be dug out again.  Pink gaura, cosmos, santolina, Rozanne, lavenders, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (like most of the planters now)

park by Gazebo

park by gazebo

Recently redone (last fall), Allium christophii, bkue agastache, santolinas, Rozanne, and diascia and boring old Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ trying to come back but I won’t let it.

Block four: east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Lewis and Clark Square

Rozanne, Autumn Joy, agastache, way too many calif poppies, Allium c! and othonna of some sort, which I love and am trying to spread around.

Carnival Gifts (shrubs left over from volunteer days)

Carnival Gift shop

Carnival Gifts has most boring planter except for a week in spring. Easy care! Also left from volunteer: mint all through the shrubs. Smells nice.



Catmint, golden oregano, agastache, cosmos, creeping sedums, Rozanne, tigridia (which many of the planters have), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer trying to come back, green santolina

Fifth Street Park (NE)

Fifth Street Park (NE) (Frying Pan Park)

Left over from volunteer days, a running once blooming rose, tatty lavenders, a spiraea (why??) and a huge hebe (also why???)  Quite nice when the roses are briefly in bloom.

Block four, west side:

park by Long Beach Tavern

by LBT

all the usual suspects: Rozanne, agastache, Autumn Joy, lavender, Calif poppies

Hungry Harbor Grille

Hungry Harbor Grille

Golden oregano, too many calif poppies, a dark leaved Phygelius whose name I have forgotten

Sweet Phees (too much golden oregano!)

Sweet Phees (probably the shadiest planter because of roof overhang)

Too much golden oreg. for sure, with an astilbe and two heucheras

Fifth Street Park (NW)

Fifth Street Park (NW)

Lavender, a running curly teucrium, badaster, Lucifer! Due for a big redo this fall.

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street Park (SE)

Fifth Street Park (SE)

Rozanne, golden vinca that i wish was not there, cosmos and Calif poppies (too many) and the usual annuals (cosmos, diascia) plus Allium C.

RV park

RV Park

Sort of redid this one to get rid of Lucifer, which is trying to come back.  Big old lavenders, creeping sedums, blue agastache, red diascia (red tattoo shop is just south of here)

Coastal Inn

Coastal Inn

Golden oregano, santolina, variegated bulbous oat grass, which I have been told “looks like a weed”, Calif poppies, Salvia patens, a Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that snuck in!. Used to be swamped by nasturtiums, did not let that happen this year.

Block five, west side:

public restroom

public restroom

Due for a redo, at least of the edge where a pretty veronica blooms much too briefly.  Teucrium, which I regret, must go, too.  Rozanne. Big ol’ lavender.

smoke shop

smoke shop

blue agastaches, lots of Calif poppies, aster that I try to eradicate, Rozanne, of course. Maybe the messiest most meadowy planter.

Streetside Tacos

Streetside Tacos

Agastaches, which are not showing much (but many of the planters have two by the post), the best silver santolinas, old and big, Geranium macrorrhizum.  Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  The former city manager loved this planter so much when i did it as a volunteer that I think it is why I got the city job.

Block six, east side:

empty lot

empty lot

Rozanne, santolina, blue agastache, pink oenothera which always makes me think of Ann Lovejoy, Gladiolus papilio which I am beginning to regret because it is so aggressive, the usual annuals (diascia, cosmos, which most of the planters have)

pet shop (two sheared wanna be full size escallonias)

pet shop

volunteer left over escallonia and euonymous and big old lavender; did not succeed in getting sweet peas growing on the pole thingie this year.  Sad.

Powell and Seiller accounting

Powell and Seiller accounting

Re did this one a year ago, pink Calif poppies,, a couple of yellow glads left over from volunteer along with two left over miniature roses and a silene, added agastache, sedums, Rozanne, diascias, cosmos, painted sage.

Block six, west side:

credit union

credit union

lots of different coloured Calif poppies, Rozanne, blue agastaches, two pink dahlias that do so well I always swear I will add more dahlias to planters and then I forget. Plus it takes awhile to win against the snails.

bus stop

bus stop (mostly a hardy geranium that blooms early)

The hardy geranium, boring now, swamping lavender and Autumn Joy and a big old armeria on the street side.  Easy care!

First Place Mall

First Place Mall

Rozanne, lavender, armeria, cosmos and diascia and so forth and …parsley! Which is so fun I should use it more in other planters.

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Monday, 16 July 2018

After a windy Sunday spent mostly blogging out the Markham/Grayland tour, we got back to work.


Allan remembered that we needed to water some plants we had planted at the end of last week. Allan planted a Crambe maritima (sea kale) from the Master Gardeners sale in Grayland.

We are also trying out a Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’ from the Markham Farm garden.

Allan’s photo

The new rudbeckia clump was wilting.  I was so glad Allan had remembered to check it.  It got well soaked.

It was fine the next morning.

Long Beach

We pulled horsetail at the welcome sign and I wondered why, even though I did not fertilize them, in hopes they would not bolt up with no flowers till late in the summer, the cosmos are beautifully green…with only one flower so far.

At least the cosmos helps disguise the horsetail.


one cosmos flower so far, on the north side

the resident of the water timer box (Allan’s photo)

Before starting to water downtown, we called an emergency meeting with the powers that be about a matter that I am not going to write about.   I try not to bring gardening problems to the city and have succeeded, with two exceptions, for twenty years. (Twenty years of Long Beach gardening, maybe even longer…I can hardly remember when I began.) Having passed the problem on, I am now able to put the matter out of my mind, but I also felt quite firmly that I can no longer imagine tottering on till I’m 70 or 80 (should I be so lucky) with the city job (planters, parks, beach approaches, parking lot berms).  I have imagined for years that I could not give it up, and yet this week I feel mentally exhausted; I have hit a wall (one that maybe I will end up able to climb over after all).

I could give the city gardens up if only someone was coming along behind us eager to take the job on.  It’s not my business to choose the person(s), but I sure would hope it would be someone with the focus (in my case gimlet eyed autistic focus on every little plant picture in town) to keep everything as perfect as possible.  (We constantly fail at that.)  Maybe it would be someone who dared plant even cooler plants, taking the risk they would be stolen.  Maybe it would be someone who’d remove my personal favourite perennials and plant something with a tidier look.

I’ve promised the parks manager to keep going for two more years, if they can all stand me that long, and I keep my promises, usually.  Are you the one who would like to take it on after that?  (A week later: I may have just the person in mind, someone I have talked to who is a good ornamental and container gardener, and fit (because it’s a hard job) and who would actually want and love this job.  I have no control over the city will hire when the time comes, but at least I can strongly recommend…)

Imagine being partially retired…I could keep up on reading other people’s blogs! Letting Long Beach go would immediately result in being half retired.  That would be cool.  The plan right now is two more years till then.

And yet I still hope to keep tottering along on the Ilwaco and the Shelburne gardens forever.  Forever is a long time, and yet it is a word that people invoke so easily (example: “forever homes” for animals, when we all know that homes end when we die).  So why can’t I imagine forever gardens at the port and the Shelburne? Maybe I will haunt them.

But enough of that.  We watered the street trees and planters.

Someone decided to go barefoot.

dahlias in a planter

I like my mini-meadow look in each planter.  It would be weird to see someone else’s probably much tidier approach.  I will have to come to grips with that.

It’s tigridia time.

an agastache reseeded in the gutter!

Tigridia (held still because of wind); AKA Mexican Shell Flower

Allan’s photo

parsley, lavender, santolina, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’

I now have Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ in almost every planter.  I love its angular shape.

A fellow came to me while I was watering and said how much he loved the planters. He was visiting from elsewhere.  He insisted on shoving a tip into my hand, the hand that was holding the hose….paper money in a surprising amount.  I said I water as a paid job but he would not take it back, so….I split it with Allan!

It was Allan’s turn to bucket water the four Fish Alley barrels.  He found that someone had trashed one of them, stealing a clump of sedums and ripping up the santolina in the process (or maybe trying to steal the santolina itself?):

evidence: dropped sedum bits and soil

Color coordinated lilies (with Bensons sign) in Fifth Street Park

I finally got another clump of lilies on the other side of that little garden bed:

still in bud

in a planter: The new Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ compared in size with Cosmos ‘Sonata’

We checked on the parking lot berms.  I had thought they would desperately need weeding, but only a goodly amount of the really quite pretty birds-foot trefoil was bothersome, so we were able to just drive on to the…

Shelburne Hotel

…where I watered, while Allan hurriedly removed a dahlia and planted a new sedum in one of the planters on the number four deck, before the guests arrived to check in.

Allan’s photo

The dahlia got rehomed in the garden.

Sedum ‘Double Martini’, Cosmos ‘Xanthos’, “society garlic”, purple alyssum (Allan’s photo)…and one dahlia that is tall enough to stay here

The new nandina on the center deck is doing well. (Allan’s photo)

The faucet that would make watering easier is not working yet; Allan schlepped water up the stairs in a bucket and then watered part of the outdoor garden.

We love to see guests photographing the garden. (Allan’s photo)

lilies and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (Allan’s photo)

I cut the pollen off of the lilies that are next to the path and planted an astilbe and a fuchsia where we had taken a cordyline down last week.  Allan did a project at the north entrance to the restaurant:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it, often reaching out to where people walk.

In clearing it out, he found a plastic tub full of mud and water, and a broken pottery jar.

stinky old mud his foot would sink into

We will figure out a plant for in here.


Allan watered the planters and street trees with the water trailer while I watered the boatyard with a nice new long hose that had appeared there.  Only had to use three hoses instead of four!  I even had time to do some weeding after watering.

Out of the ceanothus came my usual audience, my little feathered friend.

coming closer

The bird repeatedly sharpens? its little beak on the metal fence.

I’m not sure what that means.

Allan found that deer had been enjoying some planter nasturtiums.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

I had big plans for this all Ilwaco day: weed and tidy at Mike’s garden, shear the shrubs at Coho Charters (Allan), water all the curbside gardens (mostly me) and weed at the boatyard (both of us).

Mike’s garden

Escallonia ‘Iveyi’

front garden needed more water

Allan tidied the path:



front garden, designed by “The Elves Did It” gardening business, years ago

I am trying to get the boxwood to be a solid hedge instead of little square clipped shapes.

Port of Ilwaco

At the port, I watered the east end curbside garden and did some weeding while Allan started shearing Coho’s escallonias.  Someone had accidentally driven over the end of our hose while Allan was attaching two hoses to reach the east curbside bed.  We now no longer had two hoses that would hook together today, so we took Captain Butch of Coho up on his offer to use his water instead.  The job was much easier by hooking our one hose up to his long hose, so I think the parking lot hose days are over for good.

As I was about to go on drag my hose to the other curbside gardens, a misty rain appeared and all of a sudden I just hit a wall and walked the two blocks home, putting everything else off till later in the week.  Allan kept shearing the three big escallonias.








one of the future Coho Charters captains


On my way home, I got to pet my neighbour, Rudder.

Good old Rudder snoozing in his front garden.

Puttering at home revitalized me.  I ran sprinklers and planted some of my new plants.

from The Pot Shed in Grayland

two more from the Pot Shed

a new sarracenia from the Master Gardener sale joins two others in a new container