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Archive for Nov, 2018

 

Friday, 23 November 2018

We began by delivering a bouquet to the Don Nisbett Art Gallery, whose big event is tomorrow’s Shop Small Saturday.

My original plan for the studio tour was just to visit Joe Chasse’s home, which was on the official tour for the first time.  However, we went to most of the locations that were in private home studios, partly because several of the artists had purchased Allan’s boating book and he wanted to exchange the older copies with ones with the spiffing new cover.

 Jim Unwin’s Hobbit Shop

up a woodsy one lane drive

Allan’s photo

wild rose hips

The Hobbit Shop

Jim told us that he had started carving a piece of wood and found a bird inside.

I love this crow piece.

To the north of the shop lies several acres of woods that we helped save from logging by donating to a fund to buy the property for preservation.

Joe Chasse’s Dangerous Toys Studio

Joe’s place

gate into the back yard, but we are not going there today

front porch

front porch

a man after my own heart

Joe is known for his steampunkish “toys” and his caravans built from license plates.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

This was the first year Joe had been officially on the tour.  (Last year, he just put out his own sign.)  By the time we ended our visit, a crowd had gathered, more than we saw at any of the other studios.

interlude

Just a coffee break in Ocean Park while Allan scopes out places that might carry his book.  He had sold one already today to an enthusiastic kayaker at Joe’s place who had seen the book on Joe’s table!…

Adelaide’s in Ocean Park

inside Adelaide’s

A cute cottage in Ocean Park:

just my size

Bette Lu Krause Gallery

in Ocean Park

Bette Lu’s garden view

Bette Lu had bought Allan’s book early on and was pleased to trade for the new colour cover.

Oysterville

We went up a long one lane road to Harmony Soapworks, where we were greeted by Erin.  I threw her ball several times before entering  the soap making studio.

darling Erin

Soapmaker Diane is a woman after my own heart.

The Oysterville Store had featured artists…

…but I got distracted by chatting inside and then by store owner Greg’s house next door.

I love the purple.

That stick was a bit large to throw.

…no matter how strong the plea… (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan took a quick walk out to the shoreline of Willapa Bay.

Carol Couch Studio

I do like visiting Carol’s Ocean Park home, which she had designed for ease of older living.

She always offers the best snacks on the tour.

the large deck

a laser light ceiling effect which I quite liked.

desert rose

darling Ginger!

the deck from outside

I had heard some talk about kayaking while I had my delicious snack of stromboli and tea cakes and learned that Allan had traded a book for one of Carol’s paintings, appropriately featuring a red kayak.

Eric Wiegardt Gallery

We visited Eric’s gallery.  I enjoyed looking at my former garden there, now cared for by Eric’s brother Todd.  It was a treat to see gallery manager Kristl, who said she was happy with the original cover of Allan’s book and did not need to trade.

Eric’s gallery, north side

west side

Todd has achieved the goal for the west side which eluded me, some height, by adding some grasses between the two windows.  I planted all the other ornamental grasses there back in the day, so why did I not think of that?

south side

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

view from inside looking south

one of the rooms of glorious art

Karen Brownlee Pottery

Karen has chickens now!

beautiful and friendly

Karen was happy to get a new copy of Allan’s book with the colour cover. I was happy to get some Christmas shopping done.

in the studio

pretty new cranberry bowls

vases

and birdbaths

And then we were home again where I hope to stay for several days, days that I hope will be rainy reading time. This could mean that this blog will begin its winter habit of intermittent rather than daily posts. If not now, soon….

 

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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

I finished my last Marion Cran book, one of her first, A Woman in Canada, a travel book published in 1909.  I don’t think I would have loved her so much had I not read her gardening books first.  This is the only passage I was inspired to keep:

I then settled in for a two day mystery read:

Skooter helped me proofread the next day’s blog post.

He decided to be a lap cat for an hour…

…but refused to return when I finally had to move.

American author Elizabeth George is honest about having to take advice about British slang. I enjoy the way she writes the thoughts of her recurring character, detective Barbara Havers.

I learned that baked potatoes are called “jacket potatoes”, at least by Barbara Havers.

A passage that particularly pleased me:

I managed, with a number of distractions, mostly of my own making, to get halfway through the novel by bedtime.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

We happily ignored Thanksgiving, having turned down two kind invitations in order to just stay peacefully at home.

The dark weather had inspired the bright white security lights across the street to turn on, a guaranteed migraine trigger for me.  I finally thought of a way to be able to walk around the living room without being able to look out the north windows.

just at the proper height to block the lights when I am standing; the big plant blocks them when I set at my desk.

Why had I not had this genius thought before?

During an afternoon break in the storm, I took a garden walkabout to pick a bouquet for the Don Nisbett Art Gallery’s “Small Business Saturday” festivities.  I would not have time to pick it on Friday morning and hoped to not be up early enough on Saturday.

We had had considerable, welcome, much needed rain.

This rain gauge had been emptied yesterday.

into the bogsy wood

pulmonaria

where Willows Loop West segues into the Bogsy Loop

in the bogsy wood

I see that English ivy (a noxious weed here) is trying to make a comeback.

South of our fence, the meander line ditch is filling up.

I never sit on that bench.  I did think I would when I put it there.

looking north from outside the fence

Frosty had followed me.

plant table

I found Allan tossing leaves out of the gutters.

After that, he returned to his greenhouse project while I returned to my book, meeting my goal of finishing it before a dinner of delicious chicken, stove top stuffing and canned cranberry sauce followed by a piece of Allan’s home made pumpkin pie.

At bedtime, I began a new book, My Ex-Life, by one of my favourite authors, Stephen McCauley.  I could only stay awake for one chapter, with an ever so amusing line on the first page.

He knew he was best appreciated in small doses and at great distances, a fact that bothered him less than he suspected it should.” (Me, too.)

I would have to take a break for reading tomorrow because of art appreciation.

 

 

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Port of Ilwaco

We had to rise “early” to be to the port by ten so that Allan could help with the crab pot tree.

While he and others got started, I did some planting in the boatyard garden of plants I had dug in a path widening project yesterday: Egyptian walking onions, sanguisorba, some Persicaria ‘Firetail’ and some phlomis.

still interesting

cosmos, pink yarrow, California poppies (and santolina)

rosemary and ceanothus both sporting some blue flowers

lavender

California poppies

penstemons

cosmos

A the end of the boatyard, the CoHo King came in for its off season paint job.

CoHo Charters Captain Butch Smith in yellow

me and Butch making sure all goes well

Just past the boatyard stands the crab pot tree, where more floats were added and lights secured with zip ties.

A float for Kevin Soule, who died in a crabbing accident on Willapa Bay this past year.

the volunteers, organized by Our Jenna (Queen La De Da)

The star had been left in a storage unit in north Long Beach.  While it was fetched, I took a walk along the marina with Della and her corgis.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Howerton Avenue (telephoto)

Both Jim and Della are in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, so I got her to tell me about some of what they do, including safety instruction and even escorting boats upriver.

Salt Pub is being remodeled to include the lower floor.

a new bar top being stained in beautifully warm weather

Laila of Salt meets a corgi

high tide

the condor

Back at the crab pot tree, the star had arrived.

Allan and Jim on the tree

Jim at the top

Della hands up some ties.

They all said it was easier to climb up than to get down.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Coast Guard floats

Allan’s photo

Jim installing the star (Allan’s photo)

As a finishing touch, CoHo Butch brought some fishermen’s boots for the crab pot snowman.

I learned that Evertuff boots are the favourite brand.

I was then very proud of us for going to the pharmacy and getting flu jabs, which we have never done before.  I had a terrible fear of side effects interfering with work so had waited till the good weather was done.  As I write this three days later, neither of us had any side effects at all.

home

The crab pot time had given me only about an hour to do some weeding.

Skooter helped.

I moved this last bit of firewood under cover behind the garage.

That was the end of last winter’s windfalls.

A horrid sight by the wood pile: the golden foliage threaded through the eucalyptus is bindweed that has crept in from the gear shed yard.

ominous

Allan added a third birdhouse to where I had noticed a lack with only two.

I went with Allan while he grocery shopped at Sid’s supermarket, right across the street from the Shelburne Hotel, and in the hotel garden I planted a goodly start of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ from our last day at Klipsan Beach Cottages, and some Egyptian walking onions, and put some decorative branches in containers:

We watered the Depot Restaurant window boxes and went home again, where Allan managed some more work on his greenhouse lean-to project before night fell.

Much later in the evening as we watched some telly, we heard the rain finally begin.

 

 

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Sunday, 18 November 2018

Last night I was so sore from gardening for 13 (?) days in a row that I could barely walk by bath time.  I said to Allan that I simply must rest and read on Sunday no matter how beautiful the weather.

Today the weather was again beautiful and again I simply had to garden even though I awoke with aching arms and legs.

The old apple tree was aswarm with crows.  I managed to photograph just the remnants after they saw me and flapped away, complaining loudly.

Frosty shared some thoughts about my having chosen to garden rather than read.

I collected enough oyster baskets of leaves from the Norwood driveway to fill my new leaf container.  While I was in their driveway, I contemplated what I would do with the Nora House back yard if it were mine.

It has a great view of the port buildings.

From Norwoods:The Nora House yard is narrower than ours.

In our garden: leaf container almost full

Allan’s photo

I decided to add more old Geranium ‘Rozanne’ foliage to the compost bins.

before

after

My compost bounty overfloweth.

Rudder visited from next door (east) and got a treat of cheese.

Frosty was so excited to have a dog’s visit that he walked up and butted under Rudder’s chin with the top of his head.  Rudder, age 16, was not especially interested in a new friend.

Frosty is 13.  I sometimes contemplate getting him a nice dog for his dotage…He must be lonely with his mother and brother and his friend Calvin gone.

Allan chipped up the escallonia from Mike’s garden…

before

after, the messy work area (Allan’s photos)

I have the idea of having a long narrow shed where the debris dump/potato patch has been.  It would fit Allan’s boat.  With the required property setback, it would have to be long and narrow and would hide the unattractive work area from anyone next door.

possible space for long narrow shed, with a pole marking the setback line

Below, my beautiful wall of compost, the spring bulb window boxes waiting to be installed, a rain gauge from last week’s rain storm, and some optimistic cuttings of Mike’s Escallonia iveyi.

I am pretty sure that Mike’s white escallonia came from me to begin with.  I used to get cuttings from the escallonia at the Anchorage Cottages, which was the white E. iveyi planted by Heronswood’s Dan Hinkley back when his sister owned the Anchorage (before my time here).  A gardening business called The Elves Did It sometimes worked with me then, and got cuttings, too, and later installed Mike’s garden.

I spent the rest of the afternoon back in the bogsy woods, snapping off dead salmonberry in the salmonberry tunnel.  I enjoy the sound it makes. With a windless, clear afternoon, I wanted kindling for a campfire.

gunnera with alder leaves

fuchsia and mahonia

Behind the gear shed next door, the last stack of crab pots was moved out by forklift at dusk.

campfire with rising moon

A moonlit campfire dinner was had.

As the leaves fall from the willow grove, we can see more of the lights along the port.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Again, despite being tired, I simply had to garden because of perfect weather about to to end.  I set myself upon a project of widening a path enough so that Allan could bring his boat back, via our property rather than the Nora House driveway, to a potential new shed.  We could also use the wider path to take our wheelie bin out to the street.  I am trying to think ahead to a time when we might no longer be able to swan about the Nora House yard as if it is our own!

before

The garden bed between our house and the neighbouring driveway came about mainly because of a big old forsythia that I was unable to dig out.  Nora liked the long driveway bordering garden very much.

four hours later (the maple turning colour in the background is across the street)

comfortably wide now

The garden bed along the angled fence will have to be made narrower if a shed must be accommodated.  It is a perniciously weedy spot anyway.  I dug out a quantity of Egyptian Walking Onions to put elsewhere.

bed to be made narrow, left. Bed to be made into a shed, right.

The design of the garden, with the angled fence which used to just have deer mesh between the center posts, was so that Nora could see into our garden from her back porch.  She once told a friend that she saw Jesus walking there.

With my project done, I went back to the salmonberry tunnel again for forty five minutes of satisfying dead stem snapping for another campfire.  Again, the evening had no wind at all.

Skooter on the plant table backed with thinned out salmonberry

on the way back to the house to get campfire dinner fixings

I was pleased that I got the fire all started up by myself.  Usually former boy scout Allan does the fire making, but he was off getting a haircut.

We only had this much cut firewood left from last winter’s windfalls:

Behind our fence is what remains of the blue wall of tarp that, covering stacked crab pots, made the backdrop for our rear garden all summer.

I like to burn up all last year’s firewood by late autumn in order to start a brand new windfall pile.  One small half-wheelbarrow load of that wood was too wet or big to burn this evening.  The next afternoon, I would wheel it to the back of the garage and put it under cover to dry so that maybe we can have a winter solstice or very early spring campfire with it later.

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’, still in bloom, does not provide any scent on chilly evenings.

Allan returned to a pleasantly roaring fire and a campfire dinner.

the moon almost full

Rain was due by 4 PM the next day.  Although I longed for reading time, we had volunteer plans for tomorrow.

 

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

first day of staycation

I woke much too early with the memory that we had a big shrub from Klipsan Beach Cottages to plant.

This rain gauge must have recorded the rain we had on the dark day last week, perhaps in the night; we did our 12 days in a row of fall clean up with nary a sprinkle during work time.

Yesterday during our final clean up at KBC, Mary had given us a large callistemon that had been in a big pot all this time.  Her plant collector brother had given it to her some years ago. Denny doesn’t like weird plants much; this one has greenery-yallery  flowers.

the callistemon at Klipsan Beach Cottages

Callistemon, now ours

quite a prize! might be ‘Shamrock’

I dug a Big Hole and Allan brought the trailer right next to the destination and helped me plant.

callistemon in the ground

I may eventually have to move the two ornamental grasses on either side of it.

In the course of making room, I dug up some Geranium macrorrhizum and took some starts over to the Norwood garden, two doors down.  I appreciate being able to cut through the Nora House back garden and its connecting gate.  The Norwood garden also got a couple of starts of Dierama from KBC, perhaps not well rooted enough to “take”.

Geranium went into the corner of this north bed.

I thought I was going to have to rearrange the hydrangeas for spacing, but they look ok to me now.

Very young hydrangeas…The one on the far right got cut off from the photo….

I snagged myself an oyster basket of fallen leaves from the driveway.

Because I was so tired from work, I set myself a simple mission, to clear out compost bin three in preparation for adding the huge pile that waited outside the west gate.

before

before: bin three looks promising

I sifted just this much compost out of it by the time it was completely emptied.

I could not resist starting on the hauling of debris.

the pile, before

It was a relief when the tarp appeared from under the huge pile that consisted of Fifth Street Park debris and all of Diane’s garden.

Meanwhile, Allan was using the Pencil Sharpener to chip two piles of woody debris from work.

Frosty found it amusing to have us out by the driveway, where he enjoys sunbathing.

Somehow I found the energy to wheelbarrow the whole big pile from the driveway “garden” (potatoes and weeds and debris dumped from work) and got it clipped and layered in into the compost bins, filling bin three and heaping up on top of the other three bins.  I must admit the last couple of loads just got stuffed on top with no chopping.

after

As I worked, I fantasized about us driving to the free wood pile at the port and finding five more pallets and making two more bins on the other side of the aisle.  I reminded myself that if we semi-retire in a couple of years, we will no longer be bringing home such large amounts of compostable material.  It is tempting, though, to expand…  I will have to wait for these piles to settle before I can start sifting again.

A new addition today is a leaf bin, made from a round of wire and a couple of rebar stakes.  Marion Cran had written eloquently of leaf mold in her books, and with my two plastic bins now full of leaves and chippings, I needed more space.  Allan set it up.

the wire clipped together

newspapers at the bottom to keep weedy grass out (Allan’s photos)

I wanted more leaves from the Norwood driveway but simply did not have the strength to hobble over there again.

the garden at dusk

When I received Allan’s photos of the day, I learned that he had also done a little project I had forgotten about: freeing the welcome frog from the jail that had happened with last minute Halloween decorating.

before

after; a gift from Mary of KBC

Allan noticed the Joseph’s Coat rose is still blooming.

My compost accomplishment called for the last bag of Builders Tea, because this garden was not built on chamomile.

Indoors, Skooter spent the evening, typically, in his favourite spot, where he gets petted every time someone walks by this intersection of hallway and kitchen.

He is still not much of a lap cat.

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

I woke early, with not enough sleep, because of my many thoughts of what to do today.

There is much autumn beauty in the garden to greet me on the first day of staycation.

DSC01817

Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’

Hardy fuchsias:

passionflower

canna

hebe

Salvia ‘Amistad’ and pineapple sage

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

pineapple sage

DSC01685

My mom’s copper and red velvet roses

hips of rosa rubrifolia

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Acer griseum

a subtle fuchsia

my gunnera

Salvia leucantha

Rosa rubrifolia (R. glauca) from the other side

beautyberry

delicate corylopsis buds

Tomorrow, I will post about what we actually accomplished on this day.

Art Alert

On Thanksgiving weekend, you can meet our good friend Joe Chasse, whose home art studio is officially on the annual studio tour for the first time, not far from Klipsan Beach Cottages.

IMG_0728.JPG

We also especially recommend that you take this opportunity to visit the home studios of Bette Lu Krause, Carol Couch, Jim Unwin and Karen Brownlee, which are not regularly open to the public.

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Friday, 16 November 2018

Klipsan Beach Cottages

the gardens and Mary and Denny’s soon to be former house, where the new manager will live

I have been the gardener at Klipsan Beach Cottages for over 22 years, first with Robert, and since 2005 with Allan, and have often written of it being my favourite job.  I posted a series about the garden through the year in 2012, starting here.

When we first began, the garden looked like this:

KBC garden 1998. simple railroad tie beds with herbs, and no deer fence

Robert and I helped with the big project that turned the above area into a fenced garden and enabled Mary to grow her favourite roses safe from the deer.

We have known all this year (and for the couple of years before) that longtime owners/managers Denny and Mary would be retiring at the end of 2018, and we had decided to retire with them from this one beloved job.  It had become our only north end job, which makes little sense because of the longish drive there and back.  And I just cannot imagine working there without Mary’s involvement in the garden and Denny coming outside to josh with us at “beer-thirty” at the end of the afternoon.

Mary and Denny will be living in Naselle, only ten minutes further of a drive for a social visit than the drive to go to work at KBC.

I will miss seeing them and my good friend Bella every week.

My sentimentality began with the view from where we park on the north side of the fenced garden.

the next door property with wild evergreen huckleberry

Sometimes on warm summer days, a rich piney smell would greet us when we arrived, reminiscent of childhood camping trips.

We worked hard for almost five hours.  I had poignant feelings mixed with some relief that certain issues, like a BadAster invasion, too much Japanese anemone, and a running rugosa rose were no longer my problem.

Too much pink Japanese anemone (done flowering now)

We had gotten this bed partly done last time.

after

before

after

Poignancy was soon overshadowed by some anxiety on my part about whether or not we would get done with the fall clean up today.  We did.  Mary worked with us for most of the time.

I dug some of the lilies, originally from my mother’s garden, and potted them for Mary to take to her new garden.

some huge lily bulbs (Allan’s photo)

assorted sizes (Allan’s photo)

Allan potted them up. (Allan’s photo)

Todd stopped by partway through the day with some snowdrop bulbs for me.  I had forgotten to order any.

Todd, Bella, Mary (Allan’s photo); I had given him a piece of a special phlomis that is shorter than the usual one.

In the garage, Allan photographed the usual squeeze between the truck and the golf cart that is used to ferry cleaning supplies and laundry to the cottages.

I feel quite verklempt about about the rebar gates that Robert built being left behind, but it is not as if Mary and Denny could take them to Naselle and leave the garden gateless.

the east gate of the fenced garden

Robert called this design the “fish gate”.

the south gate

Each gate has Robert’s hinge design.

In 2003, Robert built these steps for access to the pond pump.

I suggested to Mary that they take Robert’s free standing garden tuteur to their new garden.  She had not thought of it and liked the idea.  Allan helped pull it out of the ground.

the rebar tuteur

When we were done, at almost dusk, I walked the garden taking photos and thinking of the many years of gardening here.

The birdbath view

The center yews when we planted them, probably 2002 or 2003

Fuchsia ‘Debron’s Black Cherry’

cottages on the ridge

north side of garden

straight path for easy wheelbarrowing

sit spot

the greenhouse Denny built beside the garage

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ trying to flower

west end of the flower garden (further west is a fenced lawn with fruit trees and roses)

upper left, one of the eight cottages on the ridge

looking back to Mary and Denny’s house

Mary had put out the winter sign.

It will wake up to new owners and new gardeners.

Closing the gate for the last time today gave me a heart pang.

outside the fenced garden

the pond (Allan’s photo)

Upstairs on the house deck, I took some overviews of the grounds.

We lingered after work for awhile in Mary and Denny’s dining room, reminiscing about our many years of working together on the garden.

This table was the setting for many lunches together back when our schedules were more leisurely and we would all take a break to dine and chat partway though the day.

I will miss Sarah and Timmie. (Allan’s photo)

After dark, as we returned to our van parked outside the north fence, I took a last look.

It is not as if I will never be at KBC again.  When Seattle Carol visits, we like to stay there.  This winter, I hope to do a few posts about the room diaries that I read the last time I stayed with Carol at KBC, on November 1st, 2017.  Because our visit was the day after my best cat Smoky died, I never did find time last winter to share the best of those journals.

I know I will be glad to not have the long weekly drive to that one job and to have more time for other gardens.  Still, it is hard to let go.  I will recommend that if the new owners and managers need gardening help, they call Willapa Gardening (Todd) or BeeKissed Gardening (Terran), both of whom live closer than we do.

The Shelburne Hotel

On the way home, we stopped at the Shelburne to plant the ten snowdrops.

This time we succumbed to the golden glow of the pub windows and had a meal to celebrate the beginning of staycation.  It has come early this year because of all the good weather.  We just worked twelve days in a row.

celebratory pear cider

a nice piece of fish with capers

Allan’s salad topped with chicken

the work board

Over staycation time, we do intend to keep checking on the Shelburne garden (now my favourite job) and occasionally on the port and Long Beach gardens.

postscript: Christmas past at KBC

I spent a few hours on the following Tuesday evening tidying up the photo albums on the KBC Facebook page, which I have been administrating and taking all the photos for since 2009. I will be turning the page over to the new owners and managers in 2019.  Because Facebook used to allow only 200 photos per photo album, some of the older garden years were split into two albums and, for the sake of decluttering, I consolidated those albums.  I ran across these sentimental photos from Christmas gatherings in Mary and Denny’s home which are no longer quite right for the page.  Here they are:

the beautiful cabinet which a local artisan made

in the living room

Sarah and Denny and MaryMom (Mary’s darling mother who lived with them till her passing a couple of years ago)

Bella

Spring, summer, autumn, winter at KBC are all good memories to treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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