Archive for May, 2020

27 May: plant sale prep

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

We took today off for plant sale preparation, which for me meant spending all day making plant tags. As I finished each flat, I started to set up some more of the deer resistant plants on the big parking pad next door. I had set some up already on a drizzly day off earlier this week….but today was so hot that I put a chair in the shade to write plant tags.

Since it’s an invitation only sale, I will probably not make any kind of hourly profit, but at least my plants will be sorted, the failures thrown out (that pot in a flat with soil but no plant, and the smallest ones set aside to grow on). And when they are all moved off my haphazard and makeshift benches and tables, I can redo the holding areas and make it all better. The worlds longest yard sale (not really the longest; here is the longest) will maybe be held on Sept 19th this year (instead of Memorial Day weekend, which was last weekend). If so, I may have another plant sale, depending on what the Covid news is.

Allan helped by getting the shade plants out from a narrow spot between greenhouse and compost bins. Poor things, they had no attention but watering since last fall. I am relieved that they looked pretty good.

I had put potting soil bags underneath to keep the horsetail out of the pots.

I have an exciting new plan for my compost area. I won’t have time to share it till after our sale, though.

Allan took a nature photo.

The sorting and tagging made me feel kind of overwhelmed, when I realized it was not even going to get done today.

There was comfort in Allan’s first and very successful attempt at making Russian tea cake cookies.

I think today was the day that Mark and JoJo Beans stopped by so that I could buy one of JoJo’s delightful glass frogs. (Link goes to his online shop.) Or maybe it was Thursday. Time is a blur during plant sale prep. Here is a photo by JoJo of, I believe, the frog that is now mine, held in his hand to show the size.

We were also very fortunate to get a couple of dozen eggs from their hens.

I forgot to include this photo to our recent work session at the Ilwaco Community Building, showing the closed doors of the library. The library cannot reopen till our county is in phase three of the safe restart.

How I miss it. I miss having a line up of books on order, even though I have plenty to read and home and it has not been reading season.

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26 May: mostly Boreas

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

We’d had some welcome rain, as shown in the red rain gauge.

We took two wheelbarrows in our trailer so as not to have to touch the one that we usually borrow at the job.

On our way to work, we stopped at Patti’s Seaview cottage to talk about making a flower garden in the front yard.

I have to pet Stella, as she would not understand otherwise.

And then disinfected my hand, but not Stella.

Patti and I kept a proper distance.

The bed will be U shaped. Patti’s right hand man will dig out the sod and we will mulch and plant.

On the shady side of the garden, Patti has some well trimmed sword ferns. She thought she would stick to restful green and gold foliage but has found that she misses having flowers.

I meant for us to check the Depot garden after that, but I forgot. They are re-opening for sit down dining on Thursday with half the seating, due to Covid safety rules.

We went on to our job of the day, at

The Boreas Inn

We saw deer as soon as we were parked southwest of the garden.

A path leads through long grass to the west lawn beds.

I had a social distance chat with Susie.

The beds needed edging, our main project for today. The deer were not at all daunted by our presence.

It was disappointing that after all our work making the garden look spiffing, some folks who were looking to buy the inn decided that they did not want to stay in Washington state and canceled their inspection. Susie and Bill would love to retire. The price is good for an innkeeper’s house and a five suite inn with a path to the beach! Have a look, here.

On the way home, we drove by the boatyard to see if the cosmos looked good. They did, but my sidalcea was partly broken. What a shame. Could be deer or wind. It had to be tidied.

We then went home for some Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ and annual asters and painted sage for our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Station.

We made another trip home because I forgot my sunflower seeds, and then I could not find them. Maybe I planted them all at home.

Brodiaea ‘Firecracker’ is in the foreground below.

Some attractive sedums and golden oregano in the narrow east side bed:

With the fire station garden tidied, we did one last actual job, a bulb foliage tidy-up at

The Ilwaco Community Building.

The tiered garden is always Allan’s project because of the changes of level being hard on my knees.

I like seeing the bright yellow Allium moly ‘Jeannine’.

Now we are taking the rest of the week off so I can get ready for my small invitational plant sale and do some weeding so that the garden is not an embarrassment when people walk through.

All photos but two today were by Allan.

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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Today was a weeding frenzy, starting with the bean pole area. I weeded, added a bag of Farmyard Manure, and planted some mixed filet bean seeds. The packet said not to water them in once planted, which I found rather surprising.

Allan took his boat next door to finish sanding for three hours because I have all of the outdoor area by his shop filled with plant tables. This is why we must have our plant sale! He also wanted to reflect the noise away from the neighbors who were quietly murmuring on their patio. Also the shop had became terribly dusty the day before.

This was followed by a further weeding frenzy during which I got the center bed, most of the west bed and a bit of the east bed weeded. Allan offered to do some weeding, too, in view of our plant sale also being a garden open. He did the terribly horsetail-y driveway bed.

I hope next year to make that bed into a proper fenced veg garden, but the horsetail will be a major problem. I may have to use containers raised off the ground. I only have weeded that bed once or twice a year and so the horsetail has never had enough of a set back.

In the evening, Allan tried to show Skooter that the new shelves and walkways in the Catio are fun and that he even could employ a planter for nap time.

He remained unimpressed.

Monday, 25 May 2020

I took an after of the bean pole area.

Rain all last night and today has bowed down my fig tree. I hope it rights itself.

That sunny south wall of the house will have a Catio by the end of June, I hope. I had a wonderful dream that our eccentric and beloved Jazmin came home. When I found two cats underfoot, I realized she was back and rejoiced…but it was just a dream. Waking up made me so sad. She has been gone for a month. I think we must seek another cat at the end of June, because Skooter does not seem to like being the only cat. He is increasingly vocal about it.

I am pleased with the dianthus they I grew from tiny little cuttings. They fill the garden with fragrance on a sunny day.

Today would have been a great rainy reading day but I felt I must get started on my plant sale prep by setting up tables and some of the plants that I hope deer won’t eat.

It was tiring, and by the end of the day I just left a great big mess….

…and spent another hour indoors writing plant tags.

I have made a private Facebook event for the sale and also invited the members of the Peninsula Gardeners Facebook group. As you may know from a post before this one, it ended up scheduled for Sunday, not Saturday, because of a windy weather forecast.

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Due to this weather forecast for Saturday…

“Northwest wind 13 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible”…

…we are changing our plant sale to Sunday. I just hope that the storm does not delay till Sunday, as weather is sometimes wont to do.

It will be Sunday, rain or shine! Social distancing will be a must. Masks are welcome here.

Here is a partial plant list. I stuck with common names because that’s what most people here are accustomed to.

Here’s a list of most of what I have. It’s not as exciting as I had planned. I pretty much stopped propagating plants when the lockdown happened as I didn’t even know if I would be able to have any kind of plant sale this year.

Not in alphabetical order cuz too tired to boot up and make a proper spreadsheet. Small means in small pots. I don’t always say small, even it the plant is, just mainly to avoid disappointment if it is a someday to be large plant but it is in a small pot now. Asterisk means it has been deer resistant for me.

*Valerian (that pinky red plant that you see outside Doc Martin’s Office :-))

*Shasta daisy


Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle)

*Euonymus ‘Green Spire’ $10

Kerria japonica (with single pale yellow flower in early spring) $10

One Japanese maple, no idea which one, larger pot so $10

2 roses in large pots, no idea which ones, from Nora Saunder’s garden, with a bit of black spot so only $5

*Solidago ‘Fireworks’ (a polite clumping goldenrod)

Escallonia, probably Iveyi with white flowers (small)


‘sweetie’ tomatoes (small)

Linaria purpurea (toadflax)

*Yellow alstroemerias which I wish I had never planted but some people love them

Darmera peltata. Pink flowers in spring, big leaves, great in a bog

Siberian iris tall and short

Day lilies. Big double orange and a nice single yellow one


Hesperantha. Blooms in fall, pink or red, people love it in Long Beach


*Golden oregano

*Some kinda mint

*Egyptian walking onions

*Buddliea lindleyana. Not on the invasive list. Spreads by runners, Long purple flowers

One jade plant

Iris ‘Black Gamecock’

One iris that am pretty sure is a Pacific Coast Iris (you’d think I’d be organized with all the time off, but no.)

Variegated iris

*Assorted ornamental grasses including Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and ‘Northwind’ and Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’

A couple of gold twig dogwoods

One Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ (if I can find it)

Saxifrage ‘Maroon Beauty’

Variegated shrub euonymus maybe ‘Silver King’ (small)

Persicaria bistorta superba. Pink spikes, damp soil. I’ll have more kinds of Persicaria next year

*Anthemis ‘Sauce hollandaise’. Really good plant, looks a little sad cuz of snails.

*Quaking grass, annual, good in bouquets, potted some up on a whim.

*Lambs ears

Lysimachia ciliata ‘Firecracker’. Monty Don loves it. It runs. Purple-ish leaves. Deer eat it.

*Santolina …little baby starts. One of my faves for dry beach gardens.

Assorted unlabeled sanguisorbas (probably Pink Elephant and Tania)

*Geranium macrorrhizum. Good in shade, leaves smell wonderful

several other hardy geraniums

*Libertia grandiflora White spikes, drought tolerant, deer resistant, looks awesome at port of Ilwaco right now

Knautia or scabiosa. I can’t tell which is which till they bloom.

Rosa rugosa

*Allium christophii

*Penstemon, two kinds

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

*Variegated tree mallow cuz so many people wanted it last year

*Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage)

*Calla lilies (small)



*A nice hebe whose name I have forgotten (small, from cuttings)

Rose rubrifolia (just have one) $10

Veronicastrum. Really good tall perennial with spike flowers

Macleaya cordata (plume poppy). Very tall perennial, runs but easy to pull.

Olearia traversii , a wonderful tall shrub that I love, doesn’t like wet feet, good for the coast. Small.

Gold variegated saxifrage

…and a few more….

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

I acquired a bad headache during breakfast so wore a cold wet headband and my sun protection cap all day, which did not sit comfortably as a combo on top of my head.

The headache was gone when two visitors came, by pre-arrangement, blog readers who I had not met before and who had a craving for a couple of alliums!

(That driveway bed, below, has so much horsetail…)

Sally and Jerry toured the garden and did not seem to notice the many weeds. Sally kindly compared it favourably to a beautiful garden she had seen at Blarney Castle in Ireland. I was well chuffed.

New friends

I felt refreshed after that excellent interlude and applied myself to weeding and to some of the seemingly endless potting up, till I made my middle back hurt by shifting bags of potting soil into the wheelbarrow. I then sat indoors for half an hour with an attack of hypochondria till I made myself get outside and plant some more cosmos and some annual aster (“China asters”) that I’d grown from a free seed packet.

Once again, I took no photos but was greatly pleased to get cosmos planted in front and in back. I am saving some for a garden bed we may soon plant up for Patti.

Pacific County was approved for phase two of Washington’s Safe Start plan so I did make the final decision to have our plant sale next Saturday (May 30th, from 11-7). I will spray paint in and out arrows on the gates and set up the tables well distanced on the big parking pad next door. So nice to have such good and kind neighbors!

I heard that Long Beach was packed with three day weekend crowds. Hotels will be able to open for partial occupancy …now, I guess. The local scuttlebutt was that people were not social distancing downtown but were polite and cooperative when getting take out food.

Skooter had a good day in the garden.

Allan was sanding half his boat today. Here’s a before being filled and after its sanded.

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 8.36.26 PM

 He went to the post office after midnight and found a large weed in the planter there.

I just may be able to keep the blog churning along daily through the plant sale day after all.

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

After the usual slow start to a day off, Allan mowed while I potted up some tomato starts and cuttings of this and that. The garden is rather a mess of weeds again. How did that happen? I seem to make very little progress and had a revelation about this: If I don’t have my garden weeded, I can tell myself I have too much to do at home to miss doing our Long Beach job.

I dipped some azolla (a pretty but invasive carpeting water plant) out of the ponds, keeping in mind that Monty Don always says to put pond cleanings on the edge to let any critters go back in. Sure enough, there was a critter in the first netful of azolla.

A newt.

My good canine friends and former neighbors visited next door.

I was too busy to take any photos during my not especially productive afternoon of unfocused garden puttering.

Friday, 22 May 2020

I continued to do gardening things to not much effect. Allan worked on sanding his boat.

He also built some shelves to keep Skooter more amused in the Catio.

Meanwhile, I hung and planted up some planters on the outside of the Catio and meant to take a photo of how cute it looks, but did not. Soon!

So far, Skooter has shown no interest in the new shelves. He seems more frustrated by the Catio, based on his level of meowing volume. I think he will be more content at night when the second one is done, but there is no time for that till after my plant sale, which I have decided will probably be on May 30th, now that the word came down today that the county is asking to move to phase 2 of the safe start coronavirus plan. I missed out on three hours of valuable weeding time while “attending” a zoom meeting hosted by the county commissioners.

All photos in this post by Allan. I am feeling overwhelmed by plant sale prep and weediness. It seemed like we had all the time in the world until we went back to work and were hit with the second big spring clean up!

We have a guest photo today, a clever planting set up by Our Lezlie.

Update: If all goes according to plan, we will have our plant sale on May 30th.

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20 May: boatyard cosmos

Oops, I set the date wrong and missed posting this morning. Thanks to Our Kathleen for letting me know. But this is a good time to say that I have decided to have our plant sale next Saturday from 11-7 so it is such a busy week coming up that I may not post every day. This post will count as tomorrow morning’s post!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Port of Ilwaco

We weeded along the boatyard garden and I planted six 6 packs of Cosmos ‘Seashells’.

Most photos by Allan today.

This euphorbia was old and tired and had to go away.

This one is still good (with columbine).

Stipa gigantea is a main feature.

Pink cistus is showy right now.

Our audience:

40B99903-4C16-4349-905C-2B2E281791FFI grew these from seed!

I am well chuffed about that.
Below, Halmiocistus wintonensis.

And a fasciated euphorbia.

A boat departed while we were working.
96E6BEFA-00C1-4CFD-94EC-ADB4AD58F78E8DE6B3DF-42BE-429C-B5F3-ABEB693FB71A6A45A003-4195-46E7-91B9-65B07C35E09F0D59C40B-C6DC-4BC0-A027-2A68729DCF7COther than two people who were just ever so slightly argumentative about coming through our sawhorse and traffic cone social distancing barriers, with whom I prevailed by being chipper but determined, the only annoyance was that someone has stolen all of Allan’s homemade “please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy” signs, leaving the zip ties behind!

There are still maybe three of Don Nisbett’s “please don’t pick the flowers” signs, and maybe that will be enough. But probably not, and I do like to have two different kinds of signs because the variation seems more interesting, so I think Allan might print out a couple more. Which means finding pieces of wood, and affixing the paper, and covering it with plastic, and drilling holes, and it is all most irksome.

We continued on to re-weed some of the port gardens that we had done a couple of weeks ago. Indeed, plenty of weeds were back but not a daunting amount like yesterday’s work. I planted just a few Happy Ring cosmos at the port office garden and was pleased to see the cosmos planted last week had weathered the wind just fine.

My favourite bed, by the Ilwaco Pavilion:

As Karla and Scout left Time Enough Books, Karla told us she hopes to reopen soon with masks for customers, hand sanitizer and I think she said even a plexiglass shield at the counter.

Scout does not understand why I can’t pet her.

As you can see, the rain poured as we were finishing up and we were well soaked. We managed to do one more thing, planting some little baby ferns at the fire station.

Now we intend to take four days off. We may have a project coming up, making a perennial bed for Our Patti, but for now the work board is blissfully almost blank.


In pandemic news, Seaview Sara sent me this fascinating article about modern times in rural Washington State.

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19 May: the port at last

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

We noticed a bird going in and out of the gourd, so we may have a nest over the driveway soon.

(But the next day, we saw two bees or wasps of some sort going in and out of the birdhouse on the right. Allan blocked that hole in a big hurry as soon as they flew out again. We were on our way to work and could not handle the situation with finesse or take time to identify what kind of bee or wasp it was.)

Mike’s garden

Before the port, we went a few blocks East to rake the paths (Allan) and to weed and plant some more cosmos.

Allium schubertii

Port of Ilwaco

I started weeding the easternmost bed, which was a terrible awful blur of weeds. It had not been weeded since we were declared non essential in mid March!


Smothering vetches, and not even the pretty kind.

The annoying Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’ had enjoyed our absence.


Those lovely lavenders have reseeded a lot.

While I worked on the weeding, Allan sheared an escallonia hedge on the south side of CoHo Charters Motel…

….and then joined me in weeding. We went on to weed four more curbside beds …

…with an audience…

and caught up to our previous port work. Finally the second spring clean up is done. It was much harder than it had been in February.

On the way home, we noticed a wonderful thing. The lamp posts have banners for all the high school graduates. There must be more at the other end of town. It brought tears to my eyes, even though I was so alienated while in a very large city high school myself that I did not go to my own graduation. (Nor did my parents especially notice, which now that I look back, is very odd and explains a great deal.) But in a small tight knit community like this, the graduation ceremony being canceled due to the pandemic is a sad thing for all, and this is such a wonderful tribute to the students.

Most photos were by Allan today, as is usual lately.

The work board list of second spring clean ups is finally done.

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18 May: cosmos jobs

Monday, 18 May 2020

Weeding the east end of the port was our plan for today, but due to strong winds that would make that the most miserable place to work, we reversed the polarity of the neutron flow, did a slingshot around the sun, and did Tuesday’s cosmos planting instead.

The Depot Restaurant

I planted some more cosmos, ‘Happy Ring’, in the barrel by the East window. Usually, I would plant some Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ there for an arresting blast of yellow, but this year, pickin’s are slim. I had forgotten last week to actually plant the bidens that were still in their pots. Oops.

The north garden (all photos by Allan today):

The Boreas Inn

I wish the beds looked fuller. What is taking so long??

Allan cleaned two wheelbarrows full of dead stuff out of a pampas grass.

The Red Barn Arena

We finally took time to give the little garden a good weeding. I experimentally planted some cosmos to see if they will do ok without much watering. Cosmo the barn cat helped.

Diane’s garden

I thinned out the California poppies on the septic vault to make room for some Happy Ring cosmos.

The roadside looks a bit sparse still, giving me hope that the Boreas will fill in.

The sweet peas are just sitting there…

I am getting impatient.

Tomorrow should be less windy so I hope to finally get to the east end of the port, after skiving off on it last week to build the Catio instead.

In the evening, we watched a BBC special about the canceled Chelsea Flower Show 2020, with clips from previous years. We found it on YouTube as BritBox Tv had not picked it up yet. A channel called “Tiger Tiger” seems to be uploading them in a timely manner, along with new episodes of Alan Tichmarsh’s Love Your Garden! All week long these specials will air; I do wish we had garden television here of the excellent quality offered by the U.K.

In Love Your Garden, Alan T went garden touring for inspiration. I would love a garden shed like this one.

I love seeing the team working hard and wish I could get my mitts on the kit that they used to make the series of moon arches.

It does seem like I’m about to go down the rabbit hole of garden telly watching for a week.

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17 May: potting up

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The best comes first today, with some guest photos from Steve and John’s bayside garden. We have been invited to visit for a social distancing tour, and we hope to go next week.



I spent the day potting up six tomato plants and a pepper. And I really do mean I spent the day, or at least a long afternoon and early evening, accomplishing nothing much but that.

I need to make a list of all my plant sale plants. Here are some…

In the background, Euonymus ‘Green Spire’ propagated from cuttings:

…and some alliums which I so hopefully potted up from purchased bulbs last fall, when the sale was supposed to be this weekend, since last year folks were so smitten with the alliums in my garden.

The alliums are backed with Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’.

I must make a list.

Skooter found that a plastic flat made a perfect nap spot.

The garden in the evening…

Allan had mowed both the Norwood lawn and the Nora House lawn next door, including a path.

That back lawn is still too wet to mow without the mower sinking in! In Nora’s garden (Allan’s photos):

At seven PM, we planted cosmos in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office. Sundays are the best people avoiding time there.

Allan’s photo:

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