Archive for Aug, 2018

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The wildfire smoke persisted, but happily for me, the temperature had returned to a cool 60-ish degrees.

The Depot Restaurant

I did the watering and deadheading this time, while Allan cleared some blackberry from the wheelie bin enclosure.

east side of dining deck

Allan’s project before


Long Beach

We added one extra task to the usual routine, a clean up of the NW quadrant of Fifth Street Park in Long Beach: clipping back spent sanguisorbas, cutting the canes of the mildewed Dorothy Perkins rose.

Fifth Street Park sweet peas success

We pruned a mugo pine that was encroaching on the sidewalk.



Allan found a rock.

A club of Edwardian Ladies were strolling through town.

Allan’s photo

Allan found another rock, a poignant one.

The park after some tidying:

Allan’s photo

I have a new plan for this corner…next year.  The Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (catmint) has almost completely fizzled out all along here.  I guess it has gotten old, as we all do.

With the smoky haze came no wind, so big kites were not evident in the sky for kite festival.

Allan’s photo

The Red Barn

The smoky haze was heavier here.  I could see it drifting through the woods behind the pasture.

Cosmo the barn cat (Allan’s photos)

I want to take him home.

gaillardia (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s garden

Allan tidied the raised bed garden while I worked along the roadside garden, deadheading the sweet peas and doing as much as I could from inside the picket fence (reaching over) before going on the rather scary outside.

Cupcakes cosmos

sweet pea success, thanks to Diane’s diligent watering

I had to go out there to pull the toadflax!

In the back garden, I got to pet my good friend Misty.

Puppy Holly doesn’t hold still long enough to pet or photograph.

the raised box garden

Allan’s photo



a good looking white painted sage, for a change (they are usually puny of late)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We got to KBC quite late in the afternoon because of the Fifth Street Park project.

I questioned why the Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’ there is so much bigger than mine, when mine is older!

For comparison, here is mine, taken a couple of days later at home.

The KBC fenced garden is a warm and sheltered place.  My garden is more exposed with a lot of cold wind from the north.


checking with Mary to see if the figs are ripe

at KBC

Deer had accessed the fenced garden. The roses told the story.


another sanguisorba

birdbath view

It is about an hour round trip to do this one job up north…but I sure will miss this lovely garden when the job comes to an end, due to Mary and Denny retiring, at the end of this year.  KBC as a cottage resort will continue with new owners.  However, we look forward to our jobs being at the south end only for next year.

Long Beach again

We stopped to pull some bindweed in Coulter Park and ended up doing more than I had planned.

Allan had noticed this bindweed as we drove north to KBC.

passersby (Allan’s photo)

so much blackberry and salmonberry coming from next door to the park

the salmonberry that invades the rose patch

somewhat better

bindweed being eaten by something…leaf cutter bees? (Allan’s photo)

We finally had an evening without watering and so we went for a dinner reward at

The Shelburne Pub

those darn non blooming cosmos!

in the pub

cranberry cosmo

chopped salad (Allan’s photo)

pub burger and potato salad

After dinner, in the dusk, I remembered to go to the back garden and look inside the Sunset scarlet runner beans.


Allan noticed that the Evening Magazine van (out of Seattle) was parked there…for dinner, maybe, or staying at the hotel while covering Kite Festival, perhaps.




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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

I picked a bouquet to take to a friend’s house after work. I had thought the pickings would be slim.  I found a good supply of flowers, after all.

Our original plan had been to work on a couple of the Long Beach parks. When we stepped outside, we were met with a blast of heat and of wildfire smoky haze.  Working in a hot park seemed unbearable so I decided we would water the Port of Ilwaco gardens instead, even though they had been on the schedule for tomorrow evening.


I do like an all Ilwaco work day.  We started at the Norwood garden, two doors down, planting two Hydrangea paniculata ‘Firelight’ to replace an old lilac and a pieris that had been removed.

Allan’s photos

mulched with Acid Planting Mix

Jeff brought tiny Missy outside for a bit.

She weighs 2.6 pounds!

Now we need one more Endless Summer hydrangea to balance out the front garden bed.

There is a gap on the left side.

At the port, the smoky haze drifted along the hills of Cape Disappointment.  Like yesterday, it felt like one could not get a good breath of air.

Although it looks like a cool foggy day, the sweltering heat continued, near or at 80 F. (Some Peninsula sources reported 90 F.)

Allan’s photo

I got permission from Butch (CoHo Charters) to ask the port to remove the big boxy escallonia that is sort of a sightline blocker unless we constantly clip it—which I am tired of doing.

The low, meadowy look that I like works best at the port because so many driveways go in and out past the curbside gardens.

east end, which only gets watered twice a month

Allan dragging my hose from the pavilion garden to the port office garden

Ilwaco pavilion garden, backed with the Bogsy Wood beyond the parking lot.

Someone drove over the little bed by the Don Nisbett Gallery, something I haven’t seen evidence of before.

smashed up the eryngium and catmint

That may have something to do with all the trucks that are coming and going while the Port Office building has been under repair.  It has its new windows and is getting painted.

Port Office garden

The fragrance of lavender was strong in the heat.

I had been so confident in the new Eryngium giganteums having settled in that we did not water them at the end of last week.  All of them looked great, except for one at Time Enough Books.  I hope it revives after I cut off all the crispy leaves.

in the center, all sad

Why is the Time Enough Books garden the hardest of all to make look nice, when it is the one I have lavished the most attention on for years?  Even the toughest plants struggle.  I thought I was supposed to not give tough plants a soft life, but I am going to mulch this again in the fall.

We went home to change to cool, fresh clothes.  Frosty wished we would stay….

…but we were off for an early dinner party at…

Tony and Scott’s beach house.

Their home is part of a block of twelve one story duplexes.  Each has a daylight courtyard entryway.  You can see, to the right, that Tony and Scott have nice gardening neighbours.

greeted at the door by Rudy and Bailey

flowers and Tony (Allan’s photo)

After greeting the dogs, and Tony and Scott, and mutual friends Judy and Larry, we went right through the townhouse to see the garden.  It was created by Mary Ann, who sold the place to her good neighbours Tony and Scott, who used to live in the duplex to the northwest.

The living room door and a kitchen door open onto the long deck. Only a google view can explain it:

The shed to the right is on the neighbours’ property.  The garden faces onto a beach grass area that affords a soothing backdrop.  The corner of the townhouse makes the garden feel like two interestingly shaped triangles and gives a completely different view of the garden from living room and kitchen doors.

the south end, with the neighbour’s shed in the background.

a dock going out into the garden from the deck; this is outside the kitchen door

The only weed I saw was a big creeping buttercup.

It came out in one piece.

a path going back to a point, and at the end is a monkey puzzle tree

outside the living room

on the fence (almost 80 degrees at 5 PM)

the woodsy view over the fence

walking north along the deck to the outside of the living room doors


the north end of the garden

north end, other corner

And then there is this, on the north side of the house, with light from the west!  (The house viewed over the fence to the right is where Scott and Tony used to live.)

I’d be in heaven making this into another sit spot with potted plants and a green house.

I did not think to take a photo of how the big living room doorway opens onto the garden!

Here is just a hint of how the living room opens onto the deck, with Bailey

dreamy covered deck

on the covered part of the deck

view from the living room

view from the main bedroom

view of the north end of the garden from the guest room

I love the floor plan of both this home and the one next door where Tony and Scott used to live; the main bedroom and second bedroom are separated by a hallway and laundry room nook, provided so much privacy.

view out the kitchen doors

in the living room

Living room is open to the kitchen.

After a scrumptious feast of assorted tempura-like vegetables, potato salad, deviled eggs, and more, we had a homemade fruit cobbler for dessert.

Scott and Tony are perfect hosts and love to cook and bake.

MaryAnn, you created such a perfect garden for this place.  I know you must miss it.  You couldn’t have found anyone who will love this home and garden more than Scott and Tony.



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Monday, 20 August 2018

All day, smoke from wildfires hung in the air, although not nearly as bad as in Seattle or Portland.  It did make me feel like I could not get a good breath.  There was only the smallest bit of wind.  For once, I wanted a big wind, from the right direction to blow it away.  West, from the sea, would have done it.  I appreciated that the windless temperature was cool, around 60 degrees, my favourite for working.

On our way to work, we visited Sara’s cottage in Seaview, where she is just beginning a new garden.  I have noticed this cute little cottage before.

Above: To the right is the first area to become a garden.

from the front, with creeping thyme

from the side

The small back yard is a almost blank slate.  I look forward to seeing what happens there.  The little cottage is just perfect inside.

The neighbours have a most interesting rain water tank.  It would hold much more that our assorted trash cans do.

fascinating; must explore this idea further.

We did not have time for a long visit because today is the triple watering day: Long Beach, Shelburne, Ilwaco planters and boatyard garden.

Long Beach

We split up to water the trees (Allan) and planters (mostly me on Mondays; Allan does 18 trees and 11 of the planters, along with the Fish Alley barrels, and I do 26 of the 37 planters.

The week of Kite Festival had begun.  I felt bad for them with the smoke and no wind to speak of.

Allan’s photo shows a good turnout anyway.

The pink gaura got questions and praise from two passersby.  I intend to use more of it next year, since the Agastache catastrophe left me without a source for reliably disease free big showy ones for the centers of the planters.

Pink Gaura makes a good centerpiece. Needs very little deadheading.

I could also use Gaura ‘So White’, I think, because I recall it not getting as tall as ‘Whirling Butterflies’.

In the planter where I cut back a trailing veronica, it is blooming again (amongst the annoying foliage of columbine).

Maybe I do not have to remove the veronica from this planter after all, if it is going to rebloom by Kite Festival time after a shearing back.

Of such little things are my exciting days made.

This lavender by the bus stop must go this fall.  It is too old and woody to come back from a trimming.

As soon as Rod Run is over, I will clean up things like overgrown California poppies:

These pink Calif. poppies are looking tired and floppy.

For Rod Run (Sept 7-9), I need as much plant life as possible in the planters to help keep people from sitting and standing on them to view the vehicles.

Allan noticed these beautiful dogs.

And he saw our friend Tony with Rudy and Bailey.

That must be Scott walking along behind.

After watering, while Allan went to Dennis Co for a bag of mulch, I amused myself just sitting in the van and admiring this cute little dog.

The Shelburne Hotel

As we parked, a dog was watching for its person who was shopping at the grocery store across the street.

Allan’s photo

Of all our jobs, I feel happiest when working at the Shelburne.  Allan mulched the area where we had planted several daylilies that we had ousted from our own garden, and then we watered and tidied the entire garden.

before (Allan’s photos)


He went upstairs to water the deck and balcony planters and could only see the Room Four cosmos through the hallway’s stained glass window.  We can’t get to it if the room is occupied so must plant something next year that needs less deadheading.

through a rose coloured window (Allan’s photo)

I cut down one annoyingly non-blooming Cosmos ‘Sensation’ so that other plants would show better.


It had put energy into layering roots on horizontal stems—but no flowers buds at all.

after, much better

watering and weeding

We are starting to pull much of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ as the foliage is no longer fresh looking and it is flopping over.

south end of path with Joe Pye weed (Allan’s photo)

looking north, much cosmos frustration!

The cosmos aren’t all duds, thank goodness.

sweet peas and Japanese anemones

In the back garden, Sunset runner beans

Sunset runner beans

When I posted the above photo on Instagram to alert Chef Casey Venus to all the beans, Roxanne (who grew the seeds) from the Basket Case Greenhouse told me that the beans inside are “radiant”.  I must have a look next time I am there.

At the end of our work session, I pulled the mulch forward to include one daylily that was hanging out on the edge.

before, no after.

That area looks much more like part of the garden now.


Allan watered the street trees and planters while I watered the boatyard garden.

so smoky I could barely see a boat coming in

boatyard garden

‘Salmon Sunset’ four o clocks

I walked home by the route that takes me by the feral cat area on Main Street (a three block long not main street).  No cats.  Just a lot of junk that with the smoke, looked like something from a dystopian film.





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Allan’s August 19th Sunday trip to Skamokawa is the first story in this blog post.

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

 August 19, 2018, I launched the 9.25′ Emotion Charger (the ‘MaryBeth boat) and headed up Skamokawa Creek to the shallows. (blog post #1) 

 August 27, 2017, I launched the Hobie sailboat and headed up the Columbia River outside of Price Island. I entered the first slough, circled the first island, and sailed back. (blog post #2) 

April 12, 2014, I took a lesson from Columbia River Kayaking and paddled three miles around Price Island for an hour. The rental boat was a single seat, sit inside (under a skirt), 14-foot Necky Oksa. (blog post #3) 

19 August 2018: A Paddle up the Skamokawa Creek

Up the Columbia River from Ilwaco lies Skamokawa, which is also a Chinook term for smoke or fog on the water. Today had its share of wildfire smoke, casting its haze on the water.

DSC08751.JPG The Columbia River was thick with boats fishing for salmon as I…

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Sunday, 19 August 2018

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Allan went boating, a trip which will be shared here for tomorrow morning.

I finally took the time, before going outside, to watch an episode of Gardener’s World, from July 2017.






and the lovely Monty Don

I was thrilled when Monty went to Dublin to visit Helen Dillon, whose garden used to be this one:


And now she has moved to a smaller place, although she does not like the word “downsizing.”

I love her.  When I went to the 2008 Hardy Plant Study Weekend in Eugene, she was the keynote speaker and after that, I read her books.


She said, regarding her move, “It’s not fun just maintaining.  I’ve got rid of old memories, bad memories, plants I’ve gone off.  I’ve managed to throw all my problems out the window and chuck ’em.”  She doesn’t like plants she’s gone off “cluttering up the place. One has got to be tough and bossy over plants. Make yourself really look.”

Monty said, “It must be hard for you to be tough and bossy.”

Helen replied, “I think there is a slight edgy, edgy air to that comment.”

Her advice, “Instead of saying farewell with a heavy heart say fare forward.  Instead of mourning the past, build on it.”

Plants to acquire: Canna musifolia, Furcraea parmentieri; plant to reacquire: Astrantia ‘Shaggy’ and Fuchsia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’ (used to have them in my old garden).

Other things I learned from this jam-packed episode:

In a segment about native meadows, birds foot trefoil is great for pollinators, and aphids are beneficial for feeding other insects.  There were aphids all over a patch of nettle.

Monty, in his garden, said that picking ALL the sweet peas every ten days stimulates a massive re-flowering.

Grow potatoes in a bag, tip the bag out into a wheelbarrow and harvest the potatoes in mid July.

In potting plants, he uses potting soil and grit in equal volume. Grit on the surface of a pot prevents “capping”, which is when the top of the soil dries out and the water just bounces off.


In a segment on dahlias, featuring David Brown, whose father, John, had a dahlia nursery, I learned that in 1966 only 700 dahlias were registered, but by 1982, through the efforts of David, “the man who rescued dahlias”, 4000 were.  He went around the country seeking out the old varieties.


David Brown and his dahlias. Which are pronounced DAYlias there, so of course I will say it that way.

A do it yourself project featured an enclosure for the wheelie bin—with a green roof on top! Very clever and doable way to incorporate a green roof…but you’d have to pull the wheelie bin out to lift the lid and add trash to it.


I was pleased when the show then visited a garden in Dungeness, made around some converted industrial buildings.


I was not pleased that no one mentioned Derek Jarman, whose book Derek Jarman’s Garden is one of my favourite coastal gardening books.  With objects found on the beach turned into garden art, the modern gardeners had certainly been influenced by him.


This is very Derek Jarman.


a must read for coastal gardeners

Plant to acquire: blue amsonia.

And then I went outside to my own garden.  I had been meaning all weekend to get to weeding the front garden.  Its state of unkemptness is rather an embarrassment.

First, I got thoroughly distracted by the bogsy wood.


a wheelbarrow full of weeding later

The Bogsy Wood is the wildest part of the garden and my favourite.  It reminds me of camping by Nason Creek when I was a child.  It is too bad that one grove of salmonberry died out in a drought a few years ago, because I have now made the area more cultivated and lost some of that riverside feeling.  This WAS riverbank years ago before the port was built out on fill.

I do enjoy the new shade beds, and I still have the wild area outside the fence.


I have not sat on this comfy bench once since I made this sit spot last autumn.


looking through the fence…


the wild willow grove

Looking back to the main garden, I thought of the path I keep planning to make and of how an arch between the trees would look wonderful, even if it were just a long branch going across and securely fastened to two of the trunks.



from the other side, I really do intend to put a winding path through here that goes back to that bench…

I so wanted to weed this little bed…



At least I weeded around this cyclamen from Our Kathleen.

I forced myself to go toward the front garden.

By the back patio, Skooter had exhausted himself “helping” me with the Bogsy Wood weeding.



I wondered if the wildfire haze was making the cats lethargic.

Still in the back garden, I got distracted by smoothing out the newly cleared (of daylilies and irises) Willows Loop East path.


much better


Last weekend, it looked like this.

Finally I made it to the front garden for two and a half hours of evening weeding.


got the east bed somewhat weeded


front path, before







While weeding, I realized to my shock that the oscillating sprinkler was completely missing the area that has seemed so slow to fill in.  WHY did it take me so long to figure this out?


powder dry area….oops.


The water hits and runs down this post instead of crossing the path.

Allan returned as I was hose watering the sad area.

I am longing for rainy days so that I can read this huge array of books that I have actually purchased or had lent to me, especially the Marion Cran series.  I have ordered one more book, Hagar’s Garden, to complete her memoirs, and when it arrives I will start with The Garden of Ignorance.



Turns out The Squabbling Garden is about raising birds, not so much a memoir.


books lent to us by Judy and Larry


and a whole ‘nother stack of non gardening books from various friends

Not to mention that I have about twenty books on suspended hold at the library.

It will be a happy day for me when I close the window curtains on the dark at four thirty in the afternoon, with rain during the day and nothing to do but read.


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Of course, not leaving the property only applies to me (by choice), as Allan goes out and about at will.

Friday, 17 August 2018

I got the usual terribly slow start on the first day off after a hard work week. Jenna (Queen La De Da) dropped by to leave a Caturday gift on my porch, not realizing I would be home.  We sat and visited on the two porch chairs for a long while. I promised not to open the gift till Caturday.

I have probably never shown photos of my sun porch before.  It is tiny.

The sign is from Jo of Jo’s garden.

The second chair is from Lorna, formerly of Andersen’s RV Park.

I was pleased that I got to the bottom of compost bin two.

more newspaper to keep the horsetail from coming through

Bin two only gave me one yellow wheelbarrow of sifted soil.

I used it to fluff up an area where a big Siberian iris came out last week.

I got photos of my new neighbours, through our door to their yard.

Kota and Webster, some clipped hops that I did not notice, and Matt and Jared in the background.



Allan put up a little more wire mesh in the open window frame of the door between the yards.  My cat Frosty likes dogs; he grew up with two nice dogs named Annie and Jasmine.  Even though these two pooches have been fine with the neighbor cat Onyx, and Kota was a very good boy when he got into my garden, I do not want Frosty going over to visit them and take them by surprise.  Jumping through the gate would be quite a surprise.

Skooter has no interest in dogs.

I emptied bin three and got just a partial barrowful.  Just enough to slightly fluff where another Siberian iris came out.  I intend to get at least six yards of Soil Energy delivered and applied in October, instead of waiting till winter and the lure of reading instead.

the small amount from the recently turned bin three

I found a big metal spike where Allan had been digging.  Because of using the newspaper method to create the back garden beds, I may have buried many a treasure.

I am hoping to put bin four on top of bins one and two, mixed with green clippings, so that I will have two empty bins for the upcoming autumn deluge of clean debris.

On my fig tree, which grows in a big barrel, I noticed two figs that had gotten so ripe that they were goners, and realized that I had two perfectly ripe ones.

I have never had a delicious fresh fig like this before.  It was ecstasy.  I gave the second one to Allan.

By the greenhouse, the beautiful long-flowered Buddleia something or other that Todd gave me a little start of:

Through the Facebook “Plant Idents” group, I learned that the pink running plant that is so prevalent in the west back yard bed is Saponaria officinalis ‘Flore Pleno’—double soapwort.  It is so vigorous that I have tried and failed to get rid of it.  And now it is so delightful. Plant Lust seems to like it.  Forest Farm is quoted as saying it is charming in the border and undemanding.  I would beware of its tendency to take over.  I originally got it from Jo’s garden, moved a piece to Marilyn’s garden, where it proved to be deer proof and behaved more politely than it does in my garden, where a piece must have come in with a division of something else from Marilyn’s garden.

Saponaria officinalis ‘Flore Pleno’

I recently was reminded in one of the Morville garden books by Katherine Swift that officinalis in a plant name means that it was considered medicinal.

still out in the garden at 7;30 PM; went in at 8:00.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

I could not find the oomph to leave my property, not even to take Saturday Market photos (just two blocks away!) for Montana Mary.

I opened my Caturday present.

I had a hard time getting going on the garden, and then I puttered here and there.  Not till the end of the day did I get well stuck into a project, suddenly decided to pull all the Lysimachia ‘Firecracker’ out of the garden bed by the compost bins.  Even though Monty Don likes it.  It was looking tired, and I know by seeming to pull it ALL, I will still have plenty next year.  You would be impressed, if only I had a before photo.

a blank slate but with lurking lysimachia

The next batch of sifted compost can go right in here around the blueberries.

The only ornamental corn plant that I managed to grow here at home.

Allan had mowed the lawn, bought supplies to fix the Ilwaco water trailer, and fixed it:

His view while working on it, before

and after

…and in the early evening he watered the Ilwaco Community Building garden.

at the ICB (Allan’s photo)

Wildfire smoke from afar got thicker and more odiferous as the afternoon went on.

Not fog!

We had a small and careful campfire cookout in our green and damp way back garden.

by the campfire circle

some rosemary branches for fragrance (Allan’s photo)
































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Long Beach, downtown photos for my reference, taken August 13th and 16th, 2018.

Going north to south:

Block one, east side:

law office, just Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden oregano

law office

Dennis Co supply lot

Dennis Co supply lot, pretty much same as when the original volunteer planted it, Barberry is ‘Crimson Pygmy’ so stays just that size.

Block one, west side:

Dennis Co parking lot

Dennis Co parking lot

Dennis Co south, my favourite planter

Dennis Co south

Block two, east side:

Elks Lodge

Elks Lodge

NIVA green

NIVA green

Block two, west side:

Scoopers North

Scoopers north

Scoopers south

Scoopers south: Erysimum is coming out after Rod Run

Block three, east side:



Cottage Bakery

Cottage Bakery



police station (I wanted it to be all blue, but those darn California poppies!)

police station

Block three, west side:

corner building (for rent)

corner building

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites (owner loves the crocosmia)

Stormin’ Norman’s

Stormin’ Norman’s

Gazebo park

Gazebo park

Block four, east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Lewis and Clark Square

Carnival Gifts

Carnival Gifts (shrubby leftovers incl. azaleas and blue star juniper)..with mint!



Fifth Street Park NE, volunteer left over, shrubby

Fifth Street Park NE, with one giant hebe

Block four, west side:

Third Street Park

Third Street Park

Hungry Harbor Grille

Hungry Harbor Grille

Sweet Phees (too much golden oregano)

Sweet Phees

Fifth Street Park NW

Fifth Street Park NW, crocosmia WILL come out this fall.

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street Park SE

Fifth Street Park SE

Oceanic RV Park

Oceanic RV Park

Coastal Inn

Coastal Inn; I keep trying to get that ivy to match on the other end

Block five, west side:

Fifth Street Park SW

Fifth Street Park SW

Herb N Legend smoke shop

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop

Streetside Tacos

Streetside Tacos

Block six, east side:

empty lot

empty lot (I may regret the Gladiolus papilio before long)

Paws by the Sea

Paws by the Sea pet shop, escallonias left over from volunteer

Powell and Seillor accounting (glads left over from volunteer days)

Powell and Seillor

Block six, west side:

credit union

credit union

bus stop

bus stop

First Place Mall, love the parsley

First Place Mall





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Thursday, 16 August

Before work, I picked and delivered a bouquet to Queen La De Da for a bridal shower that she was hosting.  Allan photographed it for me.

Queen La De Da’s gallery and event center

At the post office, I asked him to photograph the planter; the deer are finally leaving the little rose alone.

Still before work, we visited the South Pacific County Humane Society to make a contribution in honor of our friend Larry, spouse of Diane whose garden we care for.  Allan photographed some cats.  I do long for a satisfactory lap cat.

The shelter had a large crop of kittens.

Long Beach

Sometimes toward the end of the day at this time of year, I find myself saying a little chant, especially while dragging hoses, in a high pitched monotone: “Help me helpme helpme helpme heeeelp me.” Today, it started at the beginning of watering Long Beach and that is when I knew that summer burn out had hit hard.  While I still do love my job, certain factors are wearing by now: hose-rassling, navigating around crowds, dragging heavy hoses (not in Long Beach, fortunately), and loud cars booming music with misogynist lyrics (in Long Beach, unfortunately).

While watering, I finished the August planter reference post, and that will appear tomorrow, mostly for my interest.

I noticed a chrysanthemum blooming in the planter by NIVA green and thought it was way too early and that I should have given it the Chelsea chop.

When I headed down the other side of the street, I saw that Dennis Company is already selling chrysanthemum plants—so I guess it is just right.

chrysanthemums for sale already

I still love Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ so much. What a doer!

Origanum ‘Hopley’s Purple’

The planter in front of Stormin’ Norman’s needs a dig out.  That darn wire plant, that I thought was a house plant when I planted it and then it took over, is trying to take over again.  We should have dug out ALL the soil instead of hoping we could control the starts from bits of root left behind in our clean out two years ago.

It is creeping everywhere.

I only had to ask one person to move off a bench for watering today.  I was glad I had already done the Funland planter before a large crowd appeared.

We watered the Sid Snyder planters. I should do a reference post for the beach approach planters.  Allan parked by Adrift distillery, owned by the Adrift Hotel, whose owners are our clients now at the Shelburne.

planters at the distillery (Allan’s photo)

World Kite Museum

We checked up on the kite museum garden because kite festival starts next Monday.

Allan’s photo

The Shelburne Hotel

We planted one more daylily from my garden, making room for it by moving a sad rodgersia to a spot where I hope it will be happier.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo: must get a bag of compost to make this daylily patch look better.

We weeded, deadheaded, and watered thoroughly, hoping it will last well till Monday.

The garden looks different now because I cut back all the Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ to new growth halfway down. They were tired and had no no blooms to offer up high.

looking south, no more cloud of white

looking north, the tall non blooming cosmos is most irksome!

not one flower bud on most of the Cosmos ‘Sensation’

Cutting seed pods off of the many sweet peas takes a long time now.

I am happy in this garden and never sing the help me song here….not even when I see the horrors of houttuynia in this back yard shady bed, waiting a fall clean out.


I wish I had time to work on this bed more during the summer.

We remembered to clip a dead blackberry cane from the  next door yard off of the totem’s beak.

so glad this bed does not have the houttuynia

Brown Turkey fig tree has figs!

I got to pet a good rescued dog named Buster Brown.

Allan’s photo

When his person began to have dinner, Buster was all attention.

I wanted so very much to stay for dinner, too, but we had another couple of hours of our watering ritual.


Allan watered the trees and planters, while I watered the boatyard garden.

The Pennisetum macrourum is coming back strong and will need another big pull out this fall.

I saw a boat name that spoke to me.  This is my dream, too:

Autumn Dream

Autumn, when we can stop watering and when the Pacific Breeze blows all the wildfire smoke away.

I walked home and saw just one of the Main Street cats.

I went out of the way to deadhead our volunteer garden at the fire station.  Allan would water it last.

ornamental corn—will it make an ear?

I am so looking forward to our three day weekend—but first (tomorrow), the Planter Reference Post.





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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

I picked some flowers because we would be going to a friend’s house for dinner.

Allan’s photos

There had been enough drizzle overnight to wet the leaves in the garden.

Allan’s photo

As we were leaving for work, a doe and two spotted fawns came trotting up the driveway from the meadow behind the Nora house next door.  They went into the J’s driveway, were blocked by a big gate, and re-emerged to go west down the street.

our volunteer garden at the post office

I saw an instagram that another resident took almost this same photo!

I am so pleased to see work going on at the old Doupé Building downtown.


The Depot Restaurant

east and south side of the dining deck

I went onto the deck to check the hops, hoping they did not have sooty mold like I’ve been seeing recently.  They did, but just a bit, so I picked off just a few bad leaves….

….in here, in the shade

The feeling of green enclosure on the deck is lovely.  Wish we had time to dine here!

looking north to the green wall of hops

looking south east

Miscanthus ‘Zebrinus’

north of the dining deck

We found a rock from the Astoria Rocks group.

A woman who had dined there the night before drove by and stopped to ask for some plant identification.  I enjoyed the conversation and meeting her darling dogs.

Allan’s photo

The Red Barn

Cosmos the barn cat


Our very small garden at the Red Barn.

The sky is grey because of wildfire smoke from elsewhere, enough to make one’s eyes sting.

Diane’s garden

the raised box garden


Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Cocktail’

Allan’s photo

The back yard containers:

I just remembered I can now move the lily pot to somewhere it does not show. (Behind, with cut stems.)


begonia, bacopa, fuchsia

The roadside garden:


Long Beach

We went back over to Long Beach city hall to do some tidying, because it will be impossible to find parking near there next week during Kite Festival.

Allan’s first project, before

and after

west side, Crocosmia had flopped forward over the lower tier

tatty, but better….someone had messed about with the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ on the left…I should have cut it all the way back, I now have decided…too late.

Much to my surprise, on the east side, the hostas cleaned up nicely from being sun scorched and snail-bitten.



Allan’s photo

The Planter Box

We picked up three bags of Acid Planting Mix for a planting project next week and admired some newly arrived eucryphias.

blooms in summer

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Sarah greeted us.

In the fenced garden:

looking in the east gate

after picking yellow lower leaves off of the Thalictrum ‘Elin’


the lawn borders

deadheading shasta daisies (Allan’s photo)

With work done by 5:30, we went for dinner at a friend’s house nearby.

Sarah’s cottage

sharing some Bells of Ireland from The Planter Box, and some fuchsia starts and some Siberian iris

Sarah’s house, which was built last year.

I asked how it was that a lot on the ridge with a sunset view had not been built on before.  Sarah said it was because the lot is small, without room for the sort of big houses with double garages that are popular.

a new cover for the south porch

mini kitchen garden

one of Sarah’s topiaries

I was gobsmacked by the pond that Sarah, a retired garden designer, had built.

Allan’s photo

Sarah’s cat Wally has a coat as soft as my Smoky’s was.  There must be a strain of grey cats with extra soft coats.

Wally was a kitten when I met him last winter!


Come on in!

Sarah and Mabelline

For a little while, Mabelline went missing.  We found her in our van!

Allan’s photo

in the cottage

We had such a good talk over a dinner of a large organic salad with nuts and egg and then ice cream with pecans for dessert.  We’d been invited for several months and have been too busy with planting, watering, garden touring, restaurant dinners, and weekends of “not leaving my property”.  I resolved to not be so busy with work from now on. Next year will be different, I hope.





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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Tuesdays are either an All Ilwaco day or a day to get extra work things done.

We started at

Mike’s garden, 

tidying and watering.

Today, we planted two more daylilies at the

Shelburne Hotel

up to five now, will be six in all when we can move that rodgersia….

This patch of persicaria around a rhododendron at the south end of the property has been blooming non stop for months.

…and then we finished weeding the beach approach in

Long Beach.

The first thing we noticed is folks intently watching the bird house in the third planter from the west end.  Allan took this sequence:

There seemed to be a family of four!

a quiet respectful audience

I wonder if someone found squirrels had moved into a birdhouse in their yard and moved them out here?  Do squirrels naturally live out in the dunes?

The onlookers gave fresh water.

Someone had already put the cat food can there.

There is very little water in the dunes now.

(Since writing this I have learned they should be living in the trees, and people should not be feeding them, and two different friends wish we could bring the birdhouse and squirrels to their big woodsy yards–but we do not have time to wrangle squirrels.  I put it out there on Facebook but the end result was people feeding them pancakes so…they are definitely going to be people oriented squirrels.)

We noticed that whoever planted up the Lisa Bonney memorial planter is keeping it watered and cared for.  It puts all the other parched planters out here to shame. The most amazing thing is that, this time, no one is stealing plants from this planter.

We finished weeding and clipping some errant poking-out roses in the last three sections.

We have come this far in the last week or so:

And with ease, we got to the east end by the arch.

We were, of course, asked several times about the rose hips.

And we went on to clip the roses back from the sidewalk at the police station.



I found that some of the roses had sooty mold.  Now I have seen it this year on hops, rugosa roses, and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in three different locations.

Shaded leaves have it. (Allan’s photo)

We even had time to pull Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ by the picnic tables of the new Mexican restaurant that we long to have time to try.



I am still wondering if, in this park, tall Lucifer and the shorter orange crocosmia (montbretia) crossed to make a short, bright red crocosmia:

That little lawn and garden is behind Lewis and Clark square, which has a plaque for each stop on the Lewis and Clark journey. History buffs walk along and read them all.

behind the wall

And we had time to finish the second little pop out north of city hall.


after (tidy but sad at this time of year with no water) Allan’s photo

In the late afternoon, I had my teeth cleaned at Dr Tynkala’s office…where I pulled a monster dandelion, and then hoped it had not been anyone’s pet.

Cute little house across the street:

And then we went south to water into the evening at

Port of Ilwaco.

seagulls in a dumpster with paper plates on top–a picnic! (Allan’s photo)

by Ilwaco pavilion

agastaches that used to live in the port office garden

I have got to figure out a way to keep people off of this garden during Slow Drag, in three weeks.

The drive-over garden has not been driven on for awhile.

The remodeled port office will be painted soon.

And this autumn, we will reinstate the garden, which was hidden behind a plywood wall during construction.

When we got to the port office curbside garden, we found that the Don Nisbett “Please don’t pick the flowers sign” had been stolen…the sign part.

He will make us a new one.  He joked (?) that it must also say “Please don’t steal the art.”

All over the marina was a haze from wildfire smoke (blown in from far away).

I got to pet three little elderly pugs, making it a good evening.

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’, bogsy wood in the distance

west end garden beds

orange evening sky with smoke haze

When we got back home, I found a dog in the back garden! Turns out he is a new dog belonging to a summer guest next door and had slipped through the gate from the Starvation Alley back yard.  He was utterly darling, one year old, named Kota, and has a friend, a Portuguese Water Dog, named Bentley.  I hope to have photos later.

(Here they are, from several days later, a preview:)




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