Archive for May, 2020

6 May: boatyard and more

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Again, my early morning worries kept my sleep to an insufficient five hours. We took up work at the boatyard garden where we left off yesterday.

Port of Ilwaco

The north end of the boatyard along Eagle Street had a boat whose name I especially like, the Dream.

Across Eagle, Wisteria blooms on Ethel’s porch.

I walked along where we had weeded yesterday and found room for a phlomis (Jerusalem sage).

The garden looks all green now but is about to bloom profusely.

We had no pedestrians at all today while we weeded the last stretch of boatyard garden. However, a boat did pass by on its way out of the yard.

We finished up the boatyard weeding…

Egyptian walking onions

…and transplanted some tiny California poppy seedlings into some of the semi-empty downtown Ilwaco planters, with time left to weed four big curbside beds on the west end of Howerton Avenue.

Allan weeded the Salt Hotel curbside garden, a river rockscape on heavy landscape fabric and thus a bugger to weed.

He finished with a weedy patch of yarrow further to the west.

Meanwhile, I had weeded in the two westernmost beds while wishing people going to the pot shop would stop walking past my barriers within less than six feet of me. I seriously need to make some signs with words.

It had been very weedy work. Yesterday, Allan was surprised when I said we would be back to the boatyard garden soon, and to these beds. The things is, all the gardens are such a huge mess all at once that we have to work through them quickly and imperfectly and then go through in a more refined way in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday, we both agreed that we don’t actually want to take on more jobs in order to replace Long Beach. I miss being at home, having gotten a taste for springtime in my own garden. Perhaps we will feel more ambitious once we get caught up.

We were especially hurried at the end because we had an appointment for some plant shopping at

The Basket Case Greenhouse.

I so much appreciate The Basket Case trying to just allow shopping by appointment. Not all customers understand and some have complained about it. That makes me mad. Why should Roxanne and Darrel risk the health of their parents and children to accommodate a rush of shoppers crammed into the smallish greenhouses? All they want to do is space people out over the course of the day. Not too much to ask, and it makes shopping there a more relaxed and personal experience.

We were there mostly to get some plants for Diane’s garden and some tomatoes for me. Upon our arrival, we got a wonderful surprise. Debbie and Alan from up north, and Debbie’s sisters Dana and Dawn, had bought a gift certificate for us in honor of our years of work for the town of Long Beach. You may remember them from delicious dinners shared at the At the Helm pub and from the Mighty Mac chipper that they gave us.

Allan’s photos:

We used part of our gift for tomatoes and to buy a bag of brown bark mulch for the shade garden at the fire station. I wanted to see if I liked the way it looked in that context, and I do.

So we will get another next time we go up there to finish off the bed, as we still have more gift to spend when we are not rushing to get done by closing time. Roxanne does deliveries now, too, and had a two or three hour after work delivery route to drive this evening. Needs must when the virus changes life so much.

At home, we had a social distance visit with Don and Jenna as they walked by.

I picked a salad for dinner and have now used up all available leaves and must wait for more to grow. Allan is making an omelette with chard from the garden. I feel guilty that we did not quest for Jazmin but it has been nine days and we have searched and searched…If only she could just come home.

We will be digressing from Ilwaco weeding to plant up Diane’s container garden tomorrow. The work board tonight shows that Annuals Planting Time is not very extensive this year.

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5 May: Ilwaco boatyard

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

I decided we should start weeding the boatyard garden rather than continue the curbside gardens. It is a bit more lush and probably weedier and has a big horsetail problem.

It did not help that I had woken at 7:30 after maybe five hours of sleep, started thinking about Jazmin and was kept awake by grief and anxiety. So on the way to work, Allan put his camera down under two more abandoned houses, in spaces not big enough for a human to go, and took flash photos. It’s a secret world, but no cats.

By the fire station, one of the volunteer firefighters was doing some lot clearing. We liked his useful t shirt.

Ilwaco boatyard

It was even weedier and worse than I thought it would be. Solid green of weed grasses, creeping buttercup, bindweed, sorrel and horsetail. My dream of getting it all done in one day was futile, but at least we made it past the gate. Maybe we could have gotten done if we had worked til eight. I couldn’t make it past five because I was so darn tired.

Mostly Allan’s photos:

A few feet of before…

…and after.

What a mess. I wonder if Long Beach gardens are as bad. There is a meme that sometimes gets posted online after a particularly egregious and ignorant comment about how all of the USA should open up again despite the virus and that it doesn’t matter if it kills older people and it’s no worse than the flu…

I thought about our six weeks of being nonessential and having to ignore the public gardens and thought…bindweed and horsetail liked that…

We set up two sawhorses and cones and, eventually, buckets to block off the area where we were working.

One man came walking toward us with an attitude that I knew would want to ignore the barrier. He stopped when I ever so politely asked and gestured for him to go out into the very quiet street and around our van. He did not look pleased. Soon a young middle aged couple tried to barge through. And then a young couple with a child. I had to ask them to go around because “we are not permitted to work unless we can social distance”, which is a fact. Apparently I am going to have to start using caution tape or make signs with words. I would think that if the sidewalk is blocked so much that you would have to squeeeeze through a barrier that you would not have to be told to go around! Especially in these times.

Fortunately, there were not many passersby. When we get this huge clean up done, we will be able to work in the evenings when it is quite quiet around town even in summer. Today made me realize how utterly impossible it would have been to avoid close contact with people in Long Beach.

Allan read that Ile Flottanteis is a French desert more commonly known as a floating island.

Trimming up and de-clovering a Penstemon

We got this far past the gate before running out of steam:

Didn’t get to erase anything from the work board today.

Did not accomplish much of anything at home because…tired. Did not go on a Jazmin quest because…discouraged. And tired. At least we looked under two houses this morning.

Despite being tired and full of angst, I am so glad to be back to work. When faced with a mess like the boatyard garden, pretty all I think about is the next weed and, nowadays, about defending our barricades.

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4 May: port gardens

Monday, 3 May 2020

I had made a new work board, dividing the Howerton Avenue curbside beds into three remaining sections. We have also gotten the go ahead from the city to return to maintaining the Ilwaco Community Building garden. I hadn’t been sure their pandemic affected budget would allow for that.

We accomplished weeding and planting (some of the plants I have propagated) in the curbside garden by the Marie Powell Gallery. We added a bale of Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner and used the broom and blower to work it into the river rocks.

Allan weeded the strip of rock by the Captain’s Quarters…

…while I attended to the garden on the south side of the port office…

…where the wind blew fierce and cold under a wind warning flag.

We both worked on the three curbside beds on the north side of the building, more out of the wind.

After a brief stop at home–one of the good things about working in Ilwaco is access to our own safe bathroom–we went back out with the intention of weeding at least one long bed at the east end of Howerton. The cold strong wind there put paid to that idea and so, after dumping debris, we went home earlier than planned.

I added a few touches to the Bogsy Wood plant table…

…and Allan did more planing of his boat project.

He mowed the Nora House lawn…

….and then searched for Jazmin in the back garden of a house for sale down the next block and initiated a smart new idea of using the flash in his camera to photograph under porches and houses to see, by looking at the photo, if a cat is there.

For those who wondered about the little hole Jazmin was seen looking at a week ago, next door…


….here is what it looks like inside.

We miss her. We are losing sleep over it.

In better news, my greens had grown enough after our last salad that I was able to make two more.

Tonight, I have some disturbing local Covid news. There is an outbreak in a seafood plant in Astoria, Oregon, that has resulted in 13 confirmed cases, three of which are people who live in our county. You can read about it here.

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3 May: projects at home

Sunday, 3 May 2020

At home

We had had more rain.

A friend had shared with me a video of a cat call, thinking it might help find Jazmin. Skooter was intrigued by it in the house, so I tried it out around the Norwood and Nora house and our back yards. It attracted some attention.

With plans to try it more in the evening, I continued edging.

Skooter helped.

Allan worked on his boat project.

I decided that the beds by the main Bogsy Wood path should be made wider and curvier so that they show from afar and make a person want to explore.

Allan helped by taking breaks from his boat and emptying the wheelbarrows of sod.

Meanwhile, I realized that the big plant table, which has gotten so hidden at the edge of the salmonberry tunnel…

…. could be repositioned. Allan helped a great deal with this after I took all the plants and soil off the table that he constructed for me years ago. It needed repairs and a new top in a couple of places and took two people to shift it.

The photo below from yesterday shows a Pontiac Red potato successfully chitted on the windowsill, before I cut it up into pieces with eyes. The pieces had now been sitting for 24 hours.

I managed to just find time to pop them into the potato bed before we went out to weed at the Ilwaco post office. Sunday evening are a good quiet time to check on our volunteer garden there.

We then went all around the long grass and willows areas by the port parking lots, the feral cat colony behind the museum, and the park at the east end of town playing the cat call to no avail. No cats appeared, and we found no Jazmin.

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2 May: visitors

Saturday, 2 May 2020

At home

We’d had quite a bit of rain.

Not long ago, two different people posted photos on a local Facebook group, Peninsula Gardeners, of the Cerinthe major purpurascens in downtown Long Beach, asking for identification.

Photo by Milli Oman

In the course of identifying the plant, I had connected with Kim, a woman from the north end of our peninsula who came today to pick up some seedlings of cerinthe. It turned out, to my delight, that she and her husband, Rune, are simpatico with us in more ways than just gardening.

I invited them to tour the garden, with the most proper social distancing, of course. I went back to see them from afar after they’d been most of the way through the garden. Kim said it almost made her cry. I loved that, because that’s how I feel when I truly am smitten by a garden.

Allan’s photos:

Later in the day, Kim shared the photos that she had taken. I was well chuffed that she had noticed some of my favorite things.

Photos by Kim Hazzard:

Thank you, Kim, for permission to share these!

Rune makes garden structures of some kind, and when I get some photos of those, I will share.

After that delightful visit, I got down to edging.

Looking north

Looking south

I made a more attractive rounded edge on another bed by the Bogsy Wood.

In the evening , we did more searching and calling for Jazmin in the long grass and willows on the meander line at the east end of the port parking lots.

Again, it is good news that we found nothing bad or sad, but it is bad news that she did not come running out. We have also scouted around looking for other places she could be hiding. We are both feeling shattered by this.

Skooter has been emotionally needy since Jazmin’s disappearance. I wish he were like Lassie and could lead us to her.

We have been watching an excellent telly show, After Life by Ricky Gervais, about the grief of a widower. I loved it so very much, and one helpful thing is that I could cry through parts of it, even though some of the crying is about Jazmin. Lest the description of the show scare you off, it is also quite funny in parts (not the parts about grief). There’s too much making fun of fat people (in a weirdly affectionate way), but the making fun is shown up by the patient and resigned reactions of the fat people who are friends with the Ricky Gervais character and who are letting him act out in his rageful and painful grief. That made it interesting.

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Friday, 1 May 2020

Because Allan had forgotten a tarp at Patti’s garden, we needed to go north and fetch it. We took the opportunity to return some supplies and our faucet fixtures (for watering) and our precious key to the city works gate back to the Long Beach city works building.

Look at the unconscious body language mimicking below. That is supposed to mean that we were feeling simpatico. Gosh, I will miss seeing the city crew. I could hardly maintain my composure when I said that I knew they are still out there in public but we just can’t because we don’t have pensions and sick leave…

…but I still feel horrible for resigning, like I am abandoning the crew, and I cried a bucket on the way to Patti’s.

Last night I cried at least a five gallon bucket over these mails that I got from the mayor….

…and from the city manager.

Then I cried again just placing the messages in this post. I am a wreck.

When she learned I had resigned, our friend Wendy Murry sent me photos of our flowers in Long Beach this week.

Dutch Iris

Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’

Cerinthe major purpurascens

We drove back home and had just time to go to the fire station and put a couple more shade plants (saxifrage and epimedium) in our new north side garden…

….before joining a group of volunteers in downtown Ilwaco.

A group of co-workers from the Realty One Group in Long Beach, gathered together by Suzanne and Doug Knutzen, had asked if they could help with some volunteer gardening. After finding out for sure that no one has taken on the Ilwaco planter job after we resigned last fall, we said we would come help them if they wanted to weed through downtown Ilwaco. (At first they had suggested volunteering in Long Beach, before I had decided to resign, and I had still felt quite possessive about the Long Beach planters.)

We met at 1 PM in downtown Ilwaco, setting a good example by wearing masks. The wind was so cold and miserable that I might otherwise have spent the day indoors!

Doug and Suzanne demonstrated for me how long six feet is, after my usual anxiety attack that Allan and Doug were not six feet apart.

No wonder I don’t think six feet feels far enough apart. I said I was going to measure a bamboo pole and tie a red bandana at the eight foot mark and tell people it is six feet.

Science sort of backs me up on this. Depending on what source of information you find.

Anyway. Those folks all work together so Allan and I were the ones who kept our distance.

The energetic group swarmed on every weed, not only in the street tree beds and planters but also along the sidewalk and in a business’s neglected garden.

A planter inundated with chick weed.

This white brick planter belonging to a business was full of blackberry vines and big grasses and has never looked so good.

I came along after everyone with my wheelbarrow because I was planting a baby santolina in the center of each planter.

They were ones I had made from cuttings. If the distressed city budget can stand it, and since they cannot hire anyone new right now because of the Covid situation, Allan and I have offered to take on the planters again for one more summer, but if we do, I want the planters to be so drought tolerant that they can take watering just once a week. In the past, people have actually complained that drought tolerant planters in Long Beach on the beach approach are not showy enough. (They could be if the best plants were not stolen, but that is another story.) This year, I don’t think anyone will care if the Ilwaco planters are not lush, and the planters are almost empty now so they need something!

We found a rock. (And you can see how small the santolinas are.)

When we got to the end of the several blocks of planters, I had a look at the boatyard garden.

After almost two months of neglect, the horsetail and other weeds are rampant.

But never fear, we will be at it as soon as we have decent weather again.

I wonder what is going on with these columbines…

…and rejoiced to see some sweet peas.

An afternoon search

You might want to look away now from the ongoing worry of Jazmin having gone missing. On this day, she had been gone for almost four full days.

When we got home at three, we went right back out and spent two hours searching for her.

We looked all around The Lost Garden two doors east, calling her name and rattling a treat bag.

We searched several local gear sheds and stacks of crab pots, calling her name, and waded into the long grasses by the port parking lots and into the back of the Bogsy Wood.

I went all the way down to the storage boatyard three blocks west…

…and called around all the fences along that stretch of the road that marks the meander line.

The wind was so strong and cold that it made walking difficult. I did a loop to the north and called along people’s front yards and came home to find Allan searching carefully along the edges of our garden, as he has been doing every day since Monday.

In the house, her favourite sleep spot, where we hope each time we come home to find her, was still empty.

I took the opportunity while Allan was still outside to let go and wail all around the house in another flood of tears.

Then, because I had found the sword fern in a pot that I had been unable to find yesterday, we went to the fire station and bunged it in to the shade garden.

At least now I feel that we have searched extra hard, and I suppose it is good news and bad news that we found nothing. I think I have to stop writing about our searching and sorrow or no one is going to be able to bear to read our blog. I am still hoping to be able to share good news of her coming home, as cats sometimes do. I have an extra amount of fondness for her because of her quirkiness and her funny raucous voice and the difficulty we went through introducing her to the household, after which she turned out to be quite wonderful company.

Just let me express this once how much grief I have felt for the past three years of losing our older generation of beloved cat friends, Smoky, Calvin, and Frosty, and before that the mother cat, Mary, and how I had been thinking that now we had two healthy younger cats who would I hoped would be with us for a good many years. At our age, they could even have been our last cats. Losing one more is just too much. I hope she comes home.

Now we have two days off and a comforting hour long episode of Gardeners’ World to watch.

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Thursday, 30 April 2020

After a rainy Wednesday, we began Thursday with our first foray into taking on new private gardening jobs to replace Long Beach.

We don’t go into the post office till after midnight these days, only because we have to go there to get our mail, but we did admire our volunteer garden on the way to work.

Patti’s garden

You may recall our dear friend Patti’s beautiful large garden in Seaview. She has since downsized to a small cottage and small garden where the theme is simple, without perennial borders. Hearing that we had been thinking of giving up Long Beach, she had asked us to come over and prune her laurel hedge to fence height.

I brought Patti a hanging basket of lettuce starts from my container veg garden. She said it was like getting a May Day basket one day early.

After our greeting from Patti, we were greeted by our good friend Stella. I have been trying to avoid petting dogs because of the virus maybe being on their fur (yes, I am a constant germophobe now), but what could I do?

I tried to just do a gloved pet on the head, but..

…and then it was not till I saw the photo the next day that I realized I haven’t washed the blue flannel shirt. Oops.

When we saw the laurel hedge, I thought it should not be pruned to fence height.

Instead, I advised pruning to just above to new growth at the base. Otherwise it will look all stubby and ugly and misshapen. Fresh new growth from below is the best idea. I realized we did not have the equipment to do the as quickly as Kirk, Patti’s friend and handyman, with his big gas chain saw. It did not seem fair to spend three times as long with our little rechargeable chain saw and so we declined the job. I knew Patti had just come up with it to give us some work.

Thus our first foray into new private gardening was inauspicious but honest.

Allan’s photos in Patti’s back yard sanctuary:

We went on to a job where we know we are effective.

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot garden was definitely approaching “spoliation of greenery” because of bindweed and weed grasses in the beds that has not been tended for about six weeks, and it also needed some shrub shearing.

Allan’s photos tell the tale of weeds.

The yellow flag iris that we are trying to eliminate as it is a noxious weed here.

The Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ was on its way to hiding the restaurant sign.

Because of Covid, this most delicious and cozy five star restaurant is take out only.

Even when restaurants reopen, they will have to have fewer tables for probably a year. My heart ached for them as I talked with Chef Michael.

With all the weeds gone and some sluggo applied…

…we drove back to Ilwaco. After a lunch break, we turned our attention to

The Port of Ilwaco

This time, there were no people sitting on the lawn by the Pavilion so we were able to do the curbside beds by the Pavilion (restroom building) and At the Helm Hotel.

There was definitely spoliation by weeds going on, as Allan’s photos show.

I was pleased to see my chives and oregano and edible flowers that we planted in honor of the garden being next to a pub.

Chives and way too many beach strawberries

white borage


Sadly, Covid has closed the pub and hotel for now, less than a year after it opened. I remember happy meals there with friends.

I do not like the dark edge, below, caused by trimming the kinnikinnick back from the edge of the curb.

I might even be the one that did it. I wished I had time to cut the whole patch down to the ground but it’s a bit late in the year for that. It would have been done if we’d been able to work last month. Now we will wait for new green growth to drape over and hide it. Reason one why I don’t like kinnikinnick and lithodora.

Despite a strong cold wind, we made it as far as the drive over garden. The BadAster is up into everybody’s business there…

…after six weeks of neglect allowed it grow with rampant glee, but at least I got a huge batch of it out of the middle of the bed.

I took some photos of my favorite beds by the pavilion.

Then we went on to a volunteer project that I had had in mind for some time.

Ilwaco Fire Department

I had been wanting to take over the north bed of the fire station, where some extra sod that had been planted by one of the firefighters had not done well.

John, who had planted the sod (extra from his lawn) came by…

…and convinced me to step back and have a rest while he had a go.

He brought over a paver from his garden with an appropriate design for a fire station.

The green sprouts are bulb foliage from narcissi that Mayor Gary planted a few years ago. I added some baby sword ferns and saxifrage.

Allan took the debris to where we dump in Ilwaco and on the way back, he put up a missing Jazmin sign at the port office.

She is still gone and we still long for her to just be sleeping on the bed or sitting in the garden when we come home.

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Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Skooter sat on me and looked into my face intently before I got up, as if he had something important to convey.

Just before we went to work, as I was gathering some plants to take, Allan told me that Jazmin had not come in last night! Her habit is to go outside at about midnight, when the telly goes off, and return to Allan’s room an hour or so later, and stay safe indoors the rest of the night and into the next morning.

I walked back to the crab pot area behind the next door gear shed and called for her to make sure she was not stuck in there. I can’t even see into the center of the pot stack. Then we had to go to work with worry nagging at us.

The Basket Case Greenhouse was our first stop just to pick up some bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner, by appointment and with social distancing. We then began work at

Dianes garden.

Holly was pleased to see us. She got her biscuit before being put out into her dog yard.

Allan weeded the septic vault…

…where I now realize there are way too many California poppies (possibly still a creamy white one). We will thin them next time.

I planted a few pansies and diascia…

…and weeded along the road, eventually joined by Allan. It is always an exciting job. I was thrilled that the sweet peas had come up along the fence, all on their own without me having hovered over them since planting.

The Red Barn

Just as we had been reminded of yesterday at the J Crew Cottage, it takes a long time to tidy up a garden that has been let go for five weeks in springtime. The same thing had been true at Diane’s so we rushed through the Red Barn’s little garden and will do better when we return.

Cosmo the barn cat kept us company.

On our way to our next job, we drove through Long Beach and saw tulips in bloom and narcissi needing deadheading.

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’

Boreas Inn

I planted a bunch of would be plant sale plants in the lawn beds, especially where we had dug out some sad daisies much earlier this year, while Allan mulched around a shrub bed that Susie had limbed up. I was pleased to see that the sweet peas had come up near the inn.

Allan’s photos:

I found out later that Susie would prefer it she could have dug this shrub out. Maybe we can manage to do it for her. Then we would move the shade plants I planted (the sad irises were already there) to another spot.

We went on after that to do two more mulching tasks.

Ilwaco Fire Department

Almost as soon as we arrived at one of our two volunteer gardens, we fell into a socially distanced conversation with two nearby neighbors, Annie and John.

I got to meet Annie’s new dog, Amber, who helps with recycling and is friends with a senior canine Ilwacoan, Ernie.

It was interesting to talk with John, a fisherman, about how the Alaska fisheries will work during this pandemic year. Cannery workers will be brought to town and sequestered for 14 days and then not be able to leave the processing factories. Fishing crews will have to take similar measures.

We mulched! Our imaginary (online, never met in person) friend Kate had donated money from afar for us to buy mulch. So the fire station got two bales.

Mike’s garden

Flashback: The first thing we had done this morning, in great haste, was plant three hardy fuchsias in the area where the escallonia used to be before a sewer repair.

Yesterday, before weeding:

This morning, planting:

Tonight, after mulching:

At home

My Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’ is blooming.

It was so disappointing to not find Jazmin waiting for us. We searched for her to no avail. Allan even looked inside the rain collecting barrels. Thank goodness no kitty there. He called her name outside nearby garages and gear sheds. No reply. I made a post about her being missing and put it up in various Facebook groups and pages and the Next Door website.

The next morning I realized that it was unlikely she had gotten trapped in a building, since sheds and garages are not open overnight during the time she went missing. It was a relief not to think of her trapped and hungry.

A good thing: We had a nice surprise when Jay dropped off some masks for us. When we eventually must go grocery shopping, we will need them. Jodie sent us this photo.

Still depressed and anxious about Jazmin, I settled down to enact a decision we had made today.

Since the beginning of April, the question about what to do about our Long Beach job has consumed much of my mind most of the time. Could we do it while social distancing? How would that be possible on the narrow sidewalks, especially while watering the planters? Would the city even have the money to want to hire us back? Could we find private jobs to replace the loss of half of our income? Am I too cantankerous and self directed now, after almost a quarter century of doing what I please on the town gardens, to even do new private jobs? Allan thought we should resign for our safety’s sake. I resisted because my identity as a person of worth is so wrapped up in that job.

Today, I had finally agreed to resign after a pep talk from a friend about how relieved I would feel. I wrote an email to the city powers that be, cried when I read it to Allan and then felt a huge sense of relief when I sent it. Although we had been planning to retire from Long Beach at the end of 2021, it was far from easy to let go at the beginning of the gardening season. But our anxiety about being in scrum of people would be too high. What if I insisted we keep the job and then Allan got sick? Unthinkable.

The work board, which will stay pretty small without Long Beach, tonight:

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Monday, 27 April 2020

I had made a new work board.

(We had already delivered the alliums to Tony.)

Jazmin was interested in a little door at the Nora House where a small critter might go in and out. The little hole does not go far.

We started easy, with jobs on our own street. I must say it was difficult to get in gear, after a three month staycation and just a few weeks back to work before being unemployed for five more weeks.

Allan watered under the wide eaves at the Norwood garden…

….and then joined me at…

J Crew Cottage

From almost directly across the street from us, Jodie had sent us a photo late last week of insects on her roses. Definitely spoliation! We waited till today when the assorted Js would be on an outing. Yes, all their names start with J and it is adorable. They call themselves the J Crew.

The weeds were rampant after having been neglected since mid March. You may recall that Washington State gardeners had not been allowed to work since March 18th unless “to avoid spoliation of greenery”. It was high time to declare that spoliation was imminent.

Befores and afters:

Allan’s photos:

The roses had thrips, not aphids, so I did considerable cutting back. One of the three older roses had a bad case of rose mosaic. In previous years, I had removed every bad leaf and kept it at bay, but with five weeks unattended the disease had gotten rampant.

I cut it way back, sprayed with an “organic” fungicide, and will hope it recovers and doesn’t spread to the other roses.

Mike’s garden

The spoliation problem we were expecting and found at Mike’s was an annoying little noxious weed, shiny leaved geranium.

You can see how an amateur gardener might confuse it with the leaves of the anemone.

It had taken full advantage of our long absence. Back in March, we had left Mike’s garden unattended while weeding the beach approach and it had been next on the agenda when we were declared non essential.

We carefully weeded the little Geranium lucidum. It got dumped into old potting soil bags and then into our wheelie bin. One of its distinguishing features is its bright red stem. You can read more about it here.

This article calls it the most diabolical weed!

Befores and afters:

Allan’s photos:

A fringed Tulip ‘Cummins’ gently aged under a table in the garden.

It reminded Allan of the old camp song verse: …Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

I was sad that we had missed the whole show of white narcissi in the front corner.

We had not driven by, even though allowed, because it made me twitchy to see “my” gardens and not be able to work on them. We appreciated the flowers that had waited for us.

Port of Ilwaco

Although we had intended to weed by the At the Helm Hotel and Ilwaco pavilion, we changed our plan when we saw people and a dog …and laundry laid out to dry on the lawn next to the pavilion. They were within a sidewalk width from the garden and it was not conducive to social distancing….and I don’t enjoy an audience. So we went on down to the Time Enough Books and Salt Hotel gardens. Both businesses have closed during the shutdown, but you can still order books and Salt Pub offers take out food.

Allan’s photos:

Although I did have to stop one person from walking up to close to me by holding up my hand and saying “Step BACK! Give me six feet!” even though I was weeding on the street side, we found that evening was a quiet and safe time to weed at the port. It always has been, even before the pandemic.

We had our first salad from the seeds I had planted.

Allan made us peach cobbler for dessert.

The Pinot was a gift from Marlene and a nice glass of it went down a treat during dinner.

This was the first day in a long time that I did not devote two (plus) hours to reading the news. It felt good to be working instead.

The work board tonight:

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26 April: some edging

Sunday, 26 April 2020

We had had some rain.

I planted half my spuds and left the others on the windowsill, supposedly chitting, and then, late in the afternoon, decided that I really should get to some lawn edging. My goal was to edge the two paths that run down the sides of the center bed to the new arches. I call those paths Rozanne Loop because it goes around the bed of Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

Skooter helped.

The wind came up and the air got cold and I finished only one side. I am not longer trying for a straight look, as you can see. The new arbors at the end of the paths make them seem shorter. I think some slight curves will help slow the eye. And when we have time and paint the tops of the arbors blue instead of purple, that will add a sense of distance. Blue makes things look further away, supposedly.

Allan had helped by dumping the three barrows full of sod.

Meanwhile, he had worked on his boat project…


….. and had mounted a broken garden tool on the fence, taking care that it was safe for any giant deer or perhaps a bear who might stand on its hind legs.

That’s all I’ve got for today! Good thing we are going to work tomorrow and acquire some new blog fodder.


In pandemic news…

A psychological analysis of lockdown protestors


…a scintillating article that has been circulating Facebook, from The Irish Times. I am sharing a link from, of all things, a sports website, because the Irish Times article is subscriber only. Here is where you can read it.

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