Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2019

Yesterday, I had a blog post ready to go but had set it wrong so it would have not published till 9 PM.  I noticed the mistake during the day and published. So unless someone had early afternoon coffee, it was not a blog and coffee post after all.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

I was up before seven getting ready for day two.  This time I had had six hours of sleep, a big improvement over three.  Allan went out in the morning to make sure our signs were still up.  The annual “World’s Longest Garage Sale” had dozens if not hundreds of sales from Chinook to Oysterville.

Signs were pointing in all directions at the Ilwaco stoplight intersection.  Allan has agreed with me that his original signs were too small.  (You can barely see one on the wooden pole.)  They will be larger next year.  He likes someone’s bucket system of sign display; no one can get mad because the sign is not illegally nailed to a pole.

Only one of our signs had been torn down.

Allan was running a small garage sale, too, which had to actually be in the garage because of rain.  I hoped to sell my little pink swivel chair for $10.00.

I wondered who would come out to the garden in the difficult weather.

a cold and drizzly morning

Skooter sampling the merchandise (an ornamental grass)

Allan returned home as I finished more plant tagging and shoppers began to arrive at our sale and the sale at Alicia’s next door.  Because we are good friends with her, we were able to have people come down her driveway.  It would be more complicated an entry otherwise.

As I managed to scarf down a bowl of cold cereal, Christl (middle, former manager of our former job at the Wiegardt gallery) and her sister Andrea arrived.

My garden quotation signs were still not attracting anyone’s attention.

Despite many squalls of rain and unpleasantly cold wind, we had a steady stream of garden tour-ers all day! I reminded myself to be glad of the rain.  It meant we did not have to worry about watering the Long Beach and Ilwaco planters and that we could go back to work on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.

The plants were selling at a rate I had not dreamed of.  It would have helped had I gotten it together to have photos printed of the plants.  Next year.  Not only was I short on time toward the end, but I did not have confidence anyone would show up and did not want to waste printer ink.

A couple of people asked about my Impatiens omeiana, which I had not thought to propagate.  I dug up pieces for them with the caveat that it was the wrong time of year, but if they babied them they might just do.

After digging out some impatiens, my Spotty Dotty shows better.

Skooter stayed just out of reach of the customers.

Allan’s photo

You may wonder at seeing a line of golden phormiums, a plant I have gone off of.  The Planter Box had sent some plants down to the sale, and the phormiums, which many people do like, were theirs.

Betty came down a few times from her excellent and very choice annual estate sale on the corner of Advent and Lake, two houses east of us.  (She does not live in that historic old house but uses it for the sale.)  She brought samples of the rhododendrons that grow in the garden there, the one I call The Lost Garden.  She thinks maybe we can propagate them.  I think that probably takes a special skill but I do know we could do so by layering.

photographing one of the rhodies

The plant in the foreground is a peony that our friend Devery gave me because the deer were eating it.  They got all the blooms this year.

I had so many conversations with so many wonderful guests.  I tried to remember to tell them that if we meet again, please give me cues and clues to remember them because of my face blindness.

Allan’s photo

I should have dusted my bowls sculpture thingie (right).

Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’ was one of the most asked about plants.

Some friends who I know well enough to always recognize came by during the various days of the sale, and often the press of people was so intense that I did not have time to visit with them, and later I would look and they had departed with their purchases.

Occasionally, I was organized enough to carry a clipboard.  I was trying to note which plants people especially wanted.  I had not planned the sale more than three months in advance.  Now I have plenty of time to propagate all sorts.

Most of my notes were stuffed into assorted pockets.  Above, I was making notes on sun or shade conditions for a plant purchase.

We continued to enjoy meeting nice dogs.

Allan’s photo

Rain continued all day.

Allan’s photo

By the time the sale ended, I had soaked through every hoodie and my big sweater.  I tried to dry them all in the dryer only to run into a problem that prevented Allan from relaxing and recuperating from his cashier duties. He had tried to wash a Beanie Baby walrus in order to put it in his garage sale and it had disintegrated with little pellets all over the dryer. Despite having vacuumed it out earlier (unbeknownst to me), as soon as the dryer began to spin, a kazillion pellets reappeared, rattling and smelling of burning.  He had to pull the dryer out and vacuum the back vents and all around inside instead of putting his feet up for two hours.

Our next door neighbours and fellow garage-salers Alicia and Brian made dinner for us again at the Nora House.  We are all night owls so were suffering with our change in schedule.  Tonight the feast was pasta with a yummy tomato sauce and a salad.

After dinner and conversation, I finished the last few minutes of an episode the of Chelsea Flower Show that I had begun before dinner (while Allan vacuumed the dryer.

 

I would have liked to watch the next episode but I was too tired.  I found that I deeply missed the quiet hour of midnight to one AM when I usually watch a gardening show online.  I simply could not stay awake.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Friday, 24 May 2019

Although I had tried to be asleep by midnight, I had only fallen asleep by two thirty with the aid of a benadryl.  At five thirty, I woke with a brain storm about plant labels.  With no sleep possible after that, I got up and implemented by an idea by cutting up thin bamboo poles with clippers into short lengths, and then taping my large notecard with plant descriptions onto each piece, and then slipping a perfect sized plastic zip lock baggie over each sign.  Genius!  I installed as many plant labels as I had time for.  The weather was rainy and a bit windy.  My slippers got soaked through because I was not smart enough to start out with shoes.  The one thing I did not do was have breakfast or tea.

Allan’s photo

Allan had put up signage around town the night before and he was doing his own preparations; he did not get up at five thirty!

At nine AM, the official start time of the “World’s Longest Garage Sale”, Alicia and Brian next door and Allan and I were ready.  And at first, no one came.  Was it because the newspaper had failed to run our ad? I had been promoting the sale on local social media more than I otherwise would have.  But without the ad….

At about nine thirty, folks began to arrive.  They seemed undaunted by the wind and rain as they walked around the garden and gathered plants. (Next door, they were able to browse Alicia’s sale undercover because the Nora House has a nice big covered back patio.)

I was relieved that people were finding us.

Jenna had brought us one of the official signs and Allan had put it up on our trailer.

We had a sign up to advertise two other good plant sales, and I know that Mark and Joseph had a similar sign up to promote ours.

We had a visit from Betty, who runs a big sale down the block every year during this weekend, well known for choice antiques, and realized that she was sending lots of customers our way.  Their ad had gotten in the paper and their sale is well known, so they probably saved us from the bad results of our missing ad.  We greatly appreciate their support.

As happens when anyone visits, people were astonished to discover a huge back garden.  The view from the street gives no clue that the back yard is so spacious.

MaryBeth arrived…

..and helped by gathering an unwelcome guest.

Willa from next door visited and demonstrated her gardening skills. No one coached her to do this:

I finally found time to eat a bowl of cold cereal while walking around.

We invited folks to bring their nice dogs into the garden.

The question being asked below was no doubt the identity of the blue potato vine, Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’, that scrambles over the back corner of the house all the way to the roof.

Another question often asked was the identity of Cerinthe major purpurascens.  Next year I will be sure to have some for sale.

Allan’s photo

 

I had put out, for the $20 I paid for it, my incredibly mean Opuntia fragilis cactus that I had mail ordered with the mistaken notion that it was a reasonably nice paddle shaped one.  I did not expect to sell it (had set it back a bit on its own chair so no one would touch it) and was thrilled when a cactus aficionado was delighted to buy it.

Pieces of it break off easily.  I had barely brushed against it accidentally it the first day I had it and spent the afternoon picking spines out my palm with tweezers.  A piece from it broke off as it was being purchased and, amazingly, another cactus fan wanted it so the buyer kindly gave it to her.  She balanced it carefully in another potted plant that she was about to buy.  When she was leaving, she realized that the little thorny piece had gone missing.  Look who found it later on while rearranging sale plants.

Allan had to take a break from cashiering to tweezer out the painful spines. He later found another piece on the driveway.  I am so relieved he found them and not a guest, human or canine.

Alicia made us lunch this day and every day of the sale and sent it to us via her partner, Brian.

At the end of the sale, I was astonished at how well we had done.  Despite the weather, everyone seemed to enjoy walking all around the garden.  The only disappointment was that not one person was attracted to my garden quotation signs and they had therefore begun to look tacky to me.

Allan’s photo

$25 was maybe too high but that was what it was worth to me to not have to repaint them for my own garden.

I had a break in my comfy chair to catch up on just a bit of news, national and local.  Susie of the Boreas Inn posted this photo of visitors to her garden, right up by the living room windows.

That reminds me that I have been meaning to share photos taken on May 4th by an Ilwaco resident who lives across the street from the fire station, two blocks from us.

photos by Annie Fletcher

After eight, we went next door to have dinner with Alicia, Brian, and Marilyn (Alicia’s grandma).

I had not realized how gorgeous our west side driveway garden looks from the Nora House dining room.  (The wheelie bin is usually in a different place.)

The shrub to the left is Fremontodendron Californicum, or flannel bush, which had caused a sensation among all who walked down the driveway to our sales. On the right is Allan’s hand, carrying back a jar of snails that he had just disposed of in the long grass of the meander line.

I am sure they were hurrying back to the garden as quickly as they could.

Allan had taken this photo of the Fremontodendron earlier in the day:

Fremontodendron californicum

I did manage to get to sleep shortly after midnight after having had a long and exciting day on three hours of sleep.  Three more plant sale days to go! Maybe I would be on a morning person’s schedule by the end of it.

Read Full Post »

23 May: preparing

This particular little post is for the much appreciated regular readers who miss this blog when it is not there for their morning coffee.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

I spent ten hours preparing for the plant sale, and after setting up tables and benches (with some help from Allan) and schlepping all the flats of plants back and forth, back and forth (mostly me because Allan was preparing his own garage sale items), I was so tired and sore that I thought I might have to call for medical rescue by the fire department because I could not move.

During set up, I briefly met a pleasant new Ilwacoan from several blocks away who stopped by to introduce herself.  She likes gardening, too.  And has Japanese Chin dogs which I look forward to meeting.

I thought that I would get all the plants set up and labeled and have time to weed the front garden.  How very amusing is it to look back on that fantasy. I had no time for any weeding at all, nor were all the labels made at day’s end.

The patio had weed grasses a foot high where all the plants had been sitting around on all the chairs and tables and some plywood temporary tables.  I blocked it off with plant sale displays and also blocked off the east side of house and front gardens with a strategically placed red wheelbarrow. The east side had pots and tools and trays thrown all over the lawn path, and the front was atrociously weedy.

setting up next to the Nora House driveway

I was not sure how I felt about people being in the garden; I wanted them to be somewhere that I could see them.  I had toyed with the idea of having the sale all outside the garden, using Alicia’s huge back driveway (the Nora House) to stage my plants in the area she was not using for her own yard sale.  I had pondered maybe doing a garden tour fundraiser, perhaps with three jars so people could donate a dollar to one of three local charities (Pacific County Immigrant Support, the food bank, or South Pacific County Humane Society).  Was the garden worth it, though? As I had begun to set up, I had decided that the back garden would simply be open for touring as part of the sale.

outside the garden on the east wall of the house

coming in the back gate

plants set up by middle garden

I wished the garden looked perfect, and I wished we could find the Bogsy Wood sign which to me is a very important part of the garden decor, especially since Michael Hanes, who made it for me, has sadly passed away.  It is missing, somewhere in greenhouse, garage, or shed.  At least the garden had recovered from looking battered from last week’s weeding.  It certainly was not up to an official garden open day but I thought it would do for a plant sale weekend tour.

After dark, I made labels till midnight, including larger notecards with descriptions of some of my favourite plants, which I thought I would somehow set up on the edge of the flats of those plants.  With rain and wind forecast, I had not quite figured out a way for that to work.

Allan went out after dark and put up the signs he had made.

I tried and failed to go to sleep early… We would have to be morning people for the next four days.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Before work, I finished weeding the south driveway beds while Allan mowed the path in the Nora back garden.

Not Skooter! A mystery cat, said Allan.

On the way to Long Beach, I looked at the weekly local paper and found that they had not printed the sale ad for us and the Nora House sale.  We went to the newspaper office and got a refund.  They had run it last week, not in the special “World’s Longest Garage Sale” section this week, after a discussion, when I placed it, about how it would be in the “Ilwaco” subsection of that special ad section. Now local social media is going to be put to the test.  They did give us an extra free ad on Saturday in the Astoria newspaper (a sister publication).

We weeded and tidied and planted a few Nicotiana (langsdorfii and ‘Fragrant Cloud’) and Salvia ‘Caradonna’ in the parks, Vet Field, Fifth Street, City Hall garden.  Allan pruned back the roses at the police station….

…and pulled bindweed at the Lewis and Clark Square garden.

fig and rhododendron (Allan’s photo)

We planted that fig tree for the delicious Middle Eastern restaurant that used to be there.  Now a deliciopus Mexican restaurant is there and we wished we had time for lunch.

In Third Street Park, Allan dealt with a half dead rhododendron.

As we went from park to park, we also tidied every street tree garden and planter.  They are damp from rain.  I hope they will hold up without watering till next Tuesday.  Otherwise, we will be watering on an evening after a long day of our sale.

I have little cosmos (Sonata) to plant in many of the planters.  I am waiting till next week because I don’t want to plant them when I won’t be checking on them for several days.  This is extending Annuals Planting Time to an excessive length.

white Dutch iris (Allan’s photo)
blue Dutch iris (Allan’s photo)

asphodel (Allan’s photo)
Brodiaea ‘Firecracker’
Brodiaea ‘Firecracker’

It is time for the Chelsea Chop of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (because it is Chelsea Flower Show week) but I don’t have time till next week.

The show has been streaming live on Britbox TV but I don’t have time to watch it.

Just a few Baby Moon narcissi are still blooming.

Basket Case hanging baskets made it through the windstorms ok.

variegated silene in a planter

 

A Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ that came back from last year.

I got to see Cathy and Bob’s (Captain Bob’s Chowder) dogs again. Trooper (the fireplug one) and Chester.

my new very good friends (Allan’s photo)
Fifth Street pond, Siberian iris (Allan’s photo)

In the planters on Bolstadt beach approach, we were happy to find some wildflower mix seedlings.

And there are some seedlings at ground level in the long garden out there.

Unfortunately, there are footprints through many of the clear areas.

beach approach planter
columbine and armeria in a planter (Allan’s photo)
beach pea by a beach planter

The roses are blooming in the beach approach garden, in white…

single pink…

…and double pink.

We finished Long Beach by pulling yellowing bulb foliage at the welcome sign.

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ (Allan’s photo)

And that is as good as Long Beach is going to get because I have my own big weekend to prepare for (something I have not allowed myself at this time of year before).

We planted some Nicotiana at the Boreas Inn garden (before the welcome sign)….

…and promised Susie we will half moon edge the beds in early June.  (I normally would have done it…nowish.)

We were home by seven, laid some plans with Alycia and Brian next door for our neighborly garage/plant sale, and from seven thirty to eight thirty I weeded the back garden center bed.  I thought I couldn’t do it, and then I did do it.

Maybe I will find time to plant some annual seeds (too late?) on plant sale evenings.

A froggy chorus was my background from the two ponds.

One croaks from the blue pots to the far right, while another seems to be living in the driftwood logs next to the boat.

The work board tonight:

waiting on a new sprinkler system before planting cosmos at the Depot

There may be a brief blog break depending on how much time is consumed by plant sale weekend!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

I was determined to get all of the port gardens weeded in preparation for the three day Memorial Day weekend.  My goal was to get Thursday off to prepare for our plant and garage sale.  (The amount of work involved has been mind boggling.  At this point, I expect to make negative twenty dollars an hour for my time).

I was thankful that we had had this much rain overnight…

…meaning that I only had to water in the greenhouse.

We started with weeding the Norwood garden, two doors down.

north side

The shade garden is maturing.

Then on we went to the boatyard garden, where we weeded from one end to the other, mostly pulling big horsetail in the north stretch of the garden and little scrimmy horsetail in the south end, and bindweed and creeping buttercup and sorrel along the whole length.  I managed to find room for five six packs of cosmos.

Cistus
a simple yellow daylily

We took a half hour break to go home during a rain and wind squall, even though tonight we would be watching crab fishermen working on deck in a winter storm in Deadliest Catch.

Allan’s boatyard photos:

Boats were coming and going during the three hours of weeding.

before
after
Egyptian Walking Onions that I planted there last fall.
a fun plant with little onions on the top

With the boatyard garden good enough to pass most people’s inspection, we worked our way along the Howerton Avenue gardens (not in perfect order).

I love this orange helianthemum, just wish it bloomed for longer.

I wonder if it would rebloom if I cut it back after its first big flush?

I think it is ‘Ben Nevis’.

The California poppies have not all gone to orange.

Penstemon ‘Electric Blue’

The cosmos I planted last week are doing fine.

balls of santolina and wax myrtle
At the Helm Hotel, due to open in about ten days.

(We only care for the gardens on the street side of the sidewalk…except for Time Enough Books and CoHo Charters…and the Freedom Market, sort of.)

east end, looking west

I planted an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ (in the CoHo Charters lava rock) that is already reverting to green.

Allan did the lava rock weeding….

Not our landscape, as you can tell, although I keep encouraging California poppies to encroach…

I don’t think dead weeds hit with weed killer look better than live weeds.

With new mulch and removal of some river rock, I finally have poppies blooming in the Time Enough Books garden!

What is this mystery plant?

I do not remember planting this.  Looks promising.
At Salt Hotel curbside garden
Allan’s photo

We have not eaten at the pub for ages.  It is usually closed on the midweek days we want to go out to eat.  And we are going out to eat much less often because we are trying to economize toward retirement.

looking west

The gardens were not quite as perfect, especially at the west end, as they would be if I were not more focused on my own time needs this week.

At home, I wanted to get the west side driveway beds all weeded.  I have befores but no afters because I worked till dusk and still did not get done.

It’s gotten so weedy again, seems like so recently I had it looking good.

by the Nora House driveway

Trust me, those beds look good again, but I did not make it through the last big bed.

And I must finish it before yard sale set up begins on Thursday at both our place and Nora’s, so I’ll do it tomorrow before work!

plant sale plants

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Monday, 20 May 2019

at home

Skooter’s new favourite spot:

Clematis on east fence:

My friends next door:

Today, because I expect garden tourers during our plant sale, I wanted to finish weeding the east and west big beds and the two beds down the sides of the garden.  The middle bed needs weeding again; I am hoping to do so after work sometime this week.

Mainly, the middle bed still needs a detailed operation on a couple of grass infested plants.

No befores today.  I went around after, at eight PM, to photograph some of the results of the weekend.

East bed where I weeded two days ago:

My plant table got some lovely hens and chickens and echeverias that I had planned to use in containers at That Job We Quit.

The sdeums on the chair are for the plant sale–mustn’t forget about them!

West bed:

I haven’t even shown the ponds lately or shared the good news that as of three days ago, we have heard two frogs in the larger of the in-ground ponds!  Maybe one living at the edge of the pond and one in the garden boat (not the water filled boat, the plant filled boat).

west bed

East Willows Loop:

Before from earlier this weekend:

I did not get all the way to the fence in my east side weeding, I did make room to plant some new persicarias from Digging Dog, Persicaria ‘Fat Domino’ and ‘Blackfield’.

East Willows Loop, looking north:

I had pruned a big fuchsia to make it a more open path.

Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’ and Enkianthus:

Enkianthus

Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’

I have had no time to sift compost for weeks now.  However, it is decomposing on its own and the piles are lower.

Some of the Allium cristophii in the center bed still need moving out from the Geranium ‘Rozanne’, which will swamp them.  When I planted it, I had no idea how big it got.

South end of east bed:

Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’

You can see that Allan mowed the lawn, picking up all the bits of debris along the edges with the mower.

Stipa gigantea backed with Corylus ‘Red Magestic’

I even got the cat memorial/pond garden weeded, although no photos were taken as I was so tired out by then.  I did not get the outside of that fence weeded, though….so must be done somehow later this week (and the front garden and the center bed operations!)

The patio is still a mess.  That is forgivable because it has been crammed with sale plants and cosmos for work.

I will be so glad when the sale is over and we can have our side yard back! And the west area outside the fence, where I have put some of the deer resistant sale plants….and which still needs weeding.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Real time alert, plant sale starts today:

Our plant sale might go through Monday, if the plants hold out.  It ends when (if) the plants are gone.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

at home

spider babies:

I sternly applied myself to weeding for 8, maybe 9 hours with nary a break.

west bed (south end) before:

I realized that the variegated iris needs to be cut back all the way in spring, at least when we have a winter as cold as the January was.  My weeding project slowed drastically while I removed most of the crappy looking leaves.  I was happy to find two tiny shrubs, planted last year, still alive among the weeds.

After:

Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’

Danger tree bed, before:

I found a possible catastrophe on the other side.  It had nesting material in it, I hope from last year.

from the latest windstorm

After (different angle):

The two kinds of Impatiens omieana are too much of a good thing….and why did I not propagate some? It was dormant while I was in my plant sale potting frenzy.

The bogsy wood edge, before:

After:

It is good to weed such a big project a week before garden company so that it doesn’t look so battered.

Salmonberry tunnel, before:

 Plant table before:

and after:

Bogsy wood garden before:

and after:

..which is unfortunately as far as I am going to get in that area this time.

East fire circle bed, before:

and after:

Corydalis at dusk:

Allan’s workday

Ilwaco Community Building

Sunday is the best day to work there, as the library and the alternative high school are closed.

The address revealed again:

California poppies

Some weeding, before and after:

the ubiquitous horsetail

CoHo Charters

charter boat backing in

Mooch is the son of Butch, who is a third generation fisherman with his family business, CoHo Charters.

Allan has taken on the job of pruning the escallonias a few times a year.

in front of one of the motel’s guest rooms

Another escallonia on the street side, trimmed nice and symmetrical just like Butch likes.

The Nora House

mowing

Allan got home in the evening to find me in a bit of a pickle, having filled all the wheelbarrows (which get dumped on some rough ground, so he usually does the dumping).

He helped me clean up, and we were both thoroughly exhausted by the time the sun set.

I am still not even halfway through my weeding project, with one day left to go before I return to work.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »