Archive for Oct, 2020

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Nickel and Fairy in the morning

As soon as the humane society opened, I called and learned that we had been approved to adopt Margo. We arranged to pick her up in the early afternoon. She had not been returned for any behavioral problems. The best I could figure out was that her adoption had been approved, but the adopter never followed through, and somehow Margo had been at the shelter all this time without my knowing about it till Our Kathleen saw her photo on Saturday.

On the way to the shelter, we admire a volunteer garden behind the Long Beach Elks. Allan photographed it and its sign; he says the folded under part asks people to stop taking the hens and chickens.

I envy their success with sunflowers.

When I saw this photo, I asked him if he’d noticed any hens and chickens there, and he said he had not.

Arriving at the shelter, I exchanged $100 for some paperwork.

All the cats come spayed or neutered and with all their kitten shots, so it is a good price. When they are a little older, the kitten price drops to $75, and senior cats or pet of the week are even more of a bargain.

While we waited for Margo to be ready, we were first able to view her through the window in her cage. During the adoption process both on the phone and in person, I’d been asked if I minded having a cat who was reserved, maybe even a little standoffish. No, I don’t mind at all. I have Fairy and Nickel who are very affectionate, Fairy more so than Nickel.

While I filled out the form, Allan photographed some of the other animals.

The brown dog belongs to one of the workers, we think.

Here came Margo. We sat for the photo that celebrates every adoption.
Smiles must be imagined this year.

Wanting a name that would go with Nickel, something metallic and silver, I had first thought of calling her Silver. Nick and Sil for nicknames had the plus of sounding pretty punk rock. But it was not perfect. When I asked among my Facebook friends, Karla of Time Enough Books suggested Metallica. I loved that, but wanted an actual metal. Allan’s cousin Melinda suggested Zinc, and that was perfect. I read that a nickel is made of nickel and zinc. And that solved the problem of silver being a more valuable metal, which might have given Nickel an inferiority complex.

At home, we let her out in the introduction room (the back bathroom).

Zinc went into a box.

Nickel and Fairy went into her cat carrier.

Brother and sister reunited. I was teary-eyed.

They are hard to tell apart. Allan noticed Zinc has a striped tail, but then we realized so does Nickel

Maybe tabby crossed with Russian Blue?

Fairy seemed delighted to have another adoptive sibling.

It did not take long for Nickel and Zinc to relax into the quiet pose that I had observed is Nickel’s favorite.

He’s a little bigger, his face is a little broader, and he growls fiercely and possessively over the feather toy.

In the evening when I sat with them for awhile, Zinc got right up under my chin to snuggle and purr. I even managed, with some difficulty, to write a blog post with the help of kittens.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Included in the price of kittens from the South Pacific County Humane Society is a free introductory visit to our vet. Ours was set for four o clock today, which gave us time to introduce Zinc to the joys of the south Catio.

Fairy saying “But I’m cuter!”

Skooter also had to go to the vet because two nights ago I found a worrisome lump under his left front leg. I was proud of myself for not panicking about it till late this afternoon, when I started to imagine vet bills, surgery, Skooter in a cone that would make him too wide to get out onto the Catio.

He was just mad that he was confined to porch and North Catio for an hour before the appointment.

We put them all in separate carriers.

I hope Zinc would not think she was being sent back. But Nickel is the one who meowed pitifully all the way there and back.

At the Oceanside Animal Clinic, the humans line up outside, all but one or two with masks….

Then one goes to the window to check in and, later, to pay.

No longer can the human go in with the animal, which was sad, because it would have been fun to see the kittens being admired. I realized that I should have put all three new cats in the big carrier, to make it faster for the vet assistant who has to carry them in and out.

I am happy to say that Skooter’s lump was just a reaction to the allergy shot he had a couple of weeks ago. And they did not charge for his exam. He was just happy to get home.

The paint had dried on Allan’s boat; he hoisted it up to get it out of the way of other projects.

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Monday, 19 October 2020

Fairy in the morning
And Nickel

Tomorrow we find out if we can have Nickel’s sister.

a spider web seen from the kitchen window (Allan’s photo)
The grey rain gauge
Salvia discolor bloomed at long last.
Golden pineapple sage
Buds on the tree dahlia….but will they open in time?
Viburnum opulus
one of my favourite hardy fuchsias whose name I’ll track down eventually.
In the Bogsy Wood
Great news…a new Impatiens omeiana, broken by the hose, has revived.
Another Impatiens omeiana

I shifted some plants around in the garden while Skooter helped. I did not mean to take a rude photo of his hind end, but there it is.

Divisions of pulmonaria for the fire circle beds
I dug up several ferns…
…to go under the big plant table.

I broke up a loud argument between Skooter and Onyx.

Hoping for a quick-growing very tall plant to fill in a gap along the fence, I moved my new crinodendron (poor thing)…

Moved from here to closer to the Bogsy Wood. Hope it survives.

….and replaced it with an olearia, one of several I made from cuttings….

I hope it catches up with this one:

Allan got a start on turning one of thr free windows we’d found at the free wood pile….

….into another cold frame. I’d planned to order delivery of some H blocks to set the window on to make a quick cold frame; he wants to make a proper wooden base.

Nickel and Fairy seem happy in the south Catio, although Skooter still spurns their overtures and Fairy dreams of escape.

In a normal year, I’d be already planning what plants I could cut for our Halloween decorations known as the Corridor of Spooky Plants. Although some locals are participating in trick or treating despite the Pacific County Public Health Department categorizing it as high risk and suggesting safer activities like a scavenger hunt at home, we and at least four other households will not be participating. As the narrative flow of this daily blog continues, you’ll hear further news and thoughts on this, post-Halloween because our blog posts are running more than a week behind real time.

I harvested beets for dinner from the first fish tote. We have beets the first night and beet greens the second night.

I realize my post endings can be rather abrupt, as I tend to reach the end just as Allan calls out that dinner is ready. If he were not the chef, this blog would probably not exist.

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18 October: seeds at home

Sunday, 18 October 2020

I spent the afternoon planting hopeful seeds in the greenhouse for sweet peas next year, something I haven’t tried before.

I was fortunate to have some leftover seeds. Of course ‘twas Monty Don who inspired me to try this method of planting the seeds now, and in theory they will sprout, then sort of rest this winter, then can be planted out in early spring.

I’ve been hauling plants into the greenhouse, quite exhausting but not as much as it is for people who haul in banana plants in huge pots.

These little pots were easy.

I’ve potted on into larger pots various plants I’ve propagated, took more cuttings of some penstemons and other whatnots….

and planted some winter salad greens, although probably too late. Perhaps they will be successful in the lean to greenhouse.

I do think the seeds I planted of winter cress and mache were put in too late, but I live in hope.

As we try to avoid shopping, at least we have beets and beet greens and chard for now.

Meanwhile, Allan worked in a light drizzle on reinforcing the south Catio roof by bending the wire mesh further inward.

While he worked on it, Fairy plotted.

She seems to want to be friends with Skooter. He will have none of it.

He retreats to the cat bench, perhaps thinking dark thoughts…

…or retreats even further to Alicia’s back porch.

In the evening, I sat in my room with kittens and started an excellent book….

I wish I had a rainy day in which I could read the whole thing. Jimi and his sister June were speakers at the Hardy Plant Study Weekend three years ago. I’ve been eagerly awaiting his book.

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Saturday, 17 October 2020

at home

I wrote yesterday of being inspired by Dan Hinkley’s new book to plant more outside the south gate on which Allan did a repair today.

Fairy dreamed of escaping to the big world outside the South Catio, making us wonder if the Catio top was secure enough for this little scamp. I did not know about her valiant effort till Allan showed me his photos.

See Nickel being a good boy.

I shifted compost from bin two to bin three. Allan helped by jumping on it to compact it.

And I did a bit of work on the driveway bed.

Because our friend Seaview Sara had kindly picked us up some sausages and buns during a shopping trip over the river, we were able to have a campfire.

This would likely be the last campfire of the year with skewers of home grown Jalapeños and tomatoes.

I very much like the way the silver pulmonaria looks around the fire circle and resolved to plant some more divisions of it.

When I sat at last and looked at my phone, I found a message from Our Kathleen telling me that Nickel’s sister, Margo, was available for adoption at the animal shelter! I looked at their website, and there she was!

How could this be!? We had originally tried to adopt her with Nickel, but she had already been spoken for, so when Nickel had to go into ringworm quarantine, we picked Fairy from photos of other ringworm kittens to be his surrogate sister. Rather to my surprise, Allan said tonight that we should try to get Margo, too, and so I anxiously filled out the application on my phone at the campfire, hoping to be the first. We won’t know until Tuesday when the shelter reopens.

Had she been there all this time? Why hadn’t I heard she was still there? Had she been adopted and then returned? I would have to try to put this out of my mind for two days or the suspense would be too much.

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Friday. 16 October 2020

At last, I had a day of rainy reading weather.

South window view into south Catio

I should mention that I recently read Rebecca Solnit’s excellent new memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence, loved it, but it brought up so many thoughts that, at this busy time of year, I can’t get up the steam to write about. I read it in chapters at bedtime. Today, I was delighted to be able to read the entirety of Dan Hinkley’s new book while sitting with kittens. They are not restful lap companions but eventually settled on the bed next to me. It’s called Windcliff, not While Sitting with Kittens, and is about the creation of his personal, post-Heronswood garden.

I was envious at Dan’s ability to write about his neighbors. I’d be afraid of making people mad (the ones I don’t know who aren’t very friendly).  In a glorious chapter about planting for privacy, he starts with, “Call me a misanthrope, but I do not like to garden under the curious gaze of the folks next door.  …..The need to interact with the outside world takes a nosedive for many people I know when ensconced in their own home and garden.” I immediately felt the warm glow of like-mindedness. 

When he described one young neighbor as “making pathetic sounds on her coronet” from a house that was right on the property line, and described the horrors of another house being built that overlooked over the Windcliff property on the other side, and then described in detail what he planted to get his privacy back, I was thrilled. The second large house and garage eventually became occupied by good gardening neighbors. I confirmed this by looking at Google earth, which showed a pleasant looking garden there.

So even though, other than some mention of security lights, I don’t say much about the neighbors I don’t know, I will share that one of them had a wireless network called “Be a good neighbor and stay over there.”  Not a difficult request to fulfill since, unless I garden for a neighbor, I’m pretty darned standoffish myself these days and will duck behind a large shrub (planted for that purpose and to block lights) to avoid having my gardening interrupted by random passersby. If you are reading this, you are not a random passerby and I don’t mean you. 

I was also startled by Dan’s frankness about going on garden tours in connection with his speaking engagements: “….the most exhausting part of the process is the much-invisaged tour of any region’s horticultural high spots before or after the lecture…” and he goes on to describe one such garden in an honest but eventually sympathetic way; a moment of realization that many gardeners love their humble gardens as much as the most renowned garden designer. (Not being a famous and brilliant plantsperson, I just damn with faint praise if I visit a garden I don’t like and, being a completist, blog about it along with gardens I love on a garden tour weekend. I try to find something to like and only occasionally fail, usually if the garden is installed by someone other than the gardener.)

Dan Hinkley’s words to live by while garden touring:

Windcliff is a great book and gave me a wonderful day. I have my own copy. If you are a local and you promise  to be very careful and read it and return it within a week, I will lend it to you. I now feel that I need more space for more plants and should expand beyond the south gate (even though at other times I feel that I should leave that area wild).

Not only did I get some help in how to plant for privacy and light-blocking in the two areas that have been challenging for me, but of course I ended up with a list of plants that I must have (some of which will be impossible to find without making a trip to the Windcliff non-mail-order nursery), as follows:

Kniphofia drepanophylla (blooms in nov) 

Grevillea Canterbury Gold

Escallonia illinita or viscosa (smells like curry)

Olearia x oleifolia ‘Waikariensis’ (smells like coconut) 

Indigofera pendula (small multistemmed tree)

Agapanthus ‘Graskop’ and ‘Quink Drops’

(Deciduous ones are hardier)

Maybe at the Port! 

Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’

Rhodocoma (restios)

Cannomois virgata. (Dry and close to house …rare …Dan writes, “I have it and you probably never will.”

Elegia capensis 

Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’ (blooms eight months)

Veratrum Californicum  (Saw this afternoon a garden tour, liked it…poisonous per google)

Thus my list of plants of desire, most of which I can’t find anywhere around here, grows even longer.

A few more delightful saves from the book…

I am comforted that even such a plantsman as Dan struggled with crocosmia.

I feel better now about my battles with Lucifer in Long Beach.

On hearing a lecture by British garden designer Dan Pearson (whose book Home Ground: Sanctuary in the City I love): “His garden and the plants he employs were described in a humble, quiet poetry I will never forget.” I wish I had been there. Perhaps I can find a lecture by Pearson online.

A warning: The sharp awns of Stipa tennuissima got stuck in the throats of Dan Hinkley’s dogs, resulting in vet visits. I’m glad I just dug a bunch of it out of the J Crew garden.

I think I have finally identified from a photo in the book (without having to search my blog post for the day I bought it) the plant that I bought from Dan’s booth at a Hardy Plant Study Weekend: Fascicularia pitcairnifolia. Pretty sure!

Finally, I again am flummoxed by garden grit. Monty Don and Carol Klein on Gardeners’ World are always going on about using grit while potting up or even planting in the ground, and now Dan also writes about having “honed the drainage further by adding pea gravel and grit…” and “a five inch stratum of amber-colored quartz…” What is this grit and where does one purchase it? I thought maybe pea gravel would do, but now I read it is definitely another thing. And then “top dress planters with fine grit.” The only thing I can find locally is turkey grit, a fine stone material that is white, and not all that attractive. Then he writes about mixing “#6 sandblasting grit” with potting soil. Google did not help me. All I could find available at online hardware sites was some kind of metal grit. Even though English garden writer Marion Cran went on about “basic slag”, which turned out to be a metal byproduct, that can’t be right for grit, can it? And then, pages later, “the best general sowing media, high in fine grit.” I remain frustrated and flummoxed. If I lived in a gardening Mecca like Seattle or Kingston, I would no longer by mystified, I suppose. Or if I lived in my true spirit home, the UK, where finding grit to buy is easy.

Perhaps washed quarter minus gravel would be proper grit. Even though it is a dull grey rather than the attractive amber grit I’ve seen Monty use. But I can’t buy washed gravel from any local source. Perhaps I have a fine enough screen to wash my own damn gravel. If that is even the right thing.

I found this in another online search.

And found a Swedish gardener equally flummoxed in this Gardeners’ World forum. As for the Reddit advice, I have it on good authority that play sand is the wrong thing to use.

Now, just as on my reading day, I have digressed from the delights of the book. Do get it. Meanwhile, this says it all about my annual plant sale, in its third year next spring, if I’m lucky, and on which I’m already spending a ridiculous amount of time:

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After a pleasant morning of safely socially distanced work, we spent the afternoon in Long Beach trimming up most of the planters in the four blocks from Tinkertown Mall to the Bolstad stoplight. Allan tackled just one of the 18 street tree gardens that had some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ to pull. His photos show how rough some of the street tree gardens have gotten during our difficult pandemic summer.

As I tidied four planters on one of the quieter intersections with Allan a quarter block down the street working on the tree garden, we had to dodge over twenty unmasked tourists. I don’t mind people not wearing a mask when no one is around, but since they have them to go into shops, why not just be polite enough to put them on when approaching city workers? Or maybe walk around us on these blocks with plenty of room to go sideways onto a lawn. Same old story from all summer long. This is not an area where we have the authority to block the sidewalk, so we can but hope it is true that it is unlikely to catch coronavirus outdoors. It’s still stressful.

He moved out of the way and waited while a group stopped among his tools and in a leisurely way admired a snail or bug.

After, finally

I had my own game of dodgem to play….

…including one encounter with a young woman whose beautiful model-like face was not hidden behind a mask and who repeatedly told me “I don’t care,” when I tried to negotiate a way to get my work gear out of her way while social distancing. I did not spare my Facebook friends a rant about the entire story but I will spare the readers here. It made me so terribly fed up with humans.

We went on to weed in Veterans Field.

While Allan finished up in Vet Field, I went into the thick of people near the Cottage Bakery to clean up three planters, avoiding people by working on the traffic side. One group of unmasked folks came to sit on the bench of a planter I was working on, and I am happy to say they were willing to move away without arguing when I said, from three feet away on the street side, “Would you please go to the next planter and give me space to work here.”

While dumping debris at City Works, I mourned over the too-heavy vaults that will soon be smashed.

In Fifth Street Park, I cut back more perennials than I normally would at this time of year. I want to be done.

We went on to tidy more planters till dark. For a planter trimming, when we tidied the four near and across the street from the Hungry Harbor Grille, I got a man to move away from the bench to a nearby picnic table by politely (and I do mean that) turning on The Toy and saying “I have to trim plants with this tool so I need room to maneuver.” Perhaps if I could approach all planters with The Toy (our Stihl rechargeable trimmer) gently buzzing…..but I don’t want to seem like a maniac.

I noted that the rhododendrons that got pruned before they bloomed (to make room for a fence replacement) have grown back nicely.

We thought we’d finished all the planters. When an errand took us through town the following week, I noticed two that we had missed, with browning off Geranium ‘Rozanne’ for all to see. And the street trees by Long Beach Tavern and Castaways Bar and Grille have been unweeded for weeks because there are always people around them.

We detoured on the way home to drop off our ballot by the courthouse off Sandridge Road. It is wonderful to live in an entirely vote by mail state.

I had hoped we could also drop off a bill at the Red Barn, but as we had expected, it was too busy by the box where bills and payments get left.

It can wait.

After today’s miserable afternoon, I decided to take the rest of the month off from Long Beach, too, and to try not to leave our property for two weeks. This resolve did not last long because the next day I got a notice that the bulbs will arrive on the 21st, so we won’t get a two week break after all. That’s fine. The sooner the bulbs are planted, the sooner fall clean up can be done and then….staycation.

The work board tonight. I keep forgetting to erase the Js’ grasses.

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Thursday, 15 October 2020

We have an amusing would-be new pet, a snail who has moved onto the kitchen ceiling.

We left Skooter in the sun on Alicia’s patio next door.

He is surely not as gloomy as he looks.

Before starting actual work, I planted two more sword ferns on the north side of the fire station.

Port of Ilwaco

We started at the curbside garden by At the Helm Hotel and Pub. I have planted herbs (chives, rosemary, oregano) there and edible flowers like calendula…

…..but I don’t love the strawberry groundcover we inherited, even though it fits with an edible theme.

We weeded my favorite beds by the pavilion. I love the santolinas.

My favorite bed in summer.

The deer are now letting me grow sanguisorbas, so I’ll put lots more at the port. Me and Piet Oudolf. I first saw sanguisorbas in his slideshow lecture at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show many years ago. It was transformative.

Next I weeded around the port office including the oft neglected north side.

The views from the south side:

Allan weeded the river rock by the Captain’s Quarters lodging, not the sort of job we’d take on on its own, but fine since it’s right by our port gardens.

My former co-gardener, Robert, would have called this a Zeroscape.

We drove on to our two Seaview gardens.

The Depot Restaurant

Our stop was so brief that the only photo was one showing my distaste for how people just drop their masks on the side of the parking lot. So rude. I will not touch them in a public place like the port, even though I should cut the loops so birds won’t get entangled. But the covid cooties! At the Depot, I will gingerly pick one up with my clippers and walk it to the wheelie bin.

Patti’s garden

Stella got her biscuit.

I dug up three tall plants that Patti did not like as a garden backdrop. They will come home with me and go to other gardens or my plant sale.

Removed: Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ and some annuals.

The garden is looking bare. I’ll be planting spring bulbs soon.

One good painted sage

Patti’s sign is back. It was either pulled and tossed or blown down by wind, not stolen.

Seaview is a liberal village where signs like this are safer than on Sandridge Road, for example, where several acquaintances of ours have had their Biden Harris signs stolen, even when trespassing was necessary to do so.


On the way to the remainder of our work day, we paused to admire named Seaview cottages. I wish I’d photographed some of the names that are long gone, like No See Sea, Paintin’ Place, and Cape Naudinof.

Two decades ago I used to occasionally prune shrubs for the old woman who owned the Bat Cave. The sign was put out in the summer when she and her friends would reside there for weeks. They used to sit on the porch for hours. A lawn lay between her house and Tootie’s, who lived in a tiny cottage to the south. (A big modern house has replaced the lawn and another big house has replaced Tootie’s darling cottage.) Across the street to the west from Tootie Erickson lived Helen Dunn. Tootie and Helen, retired schoolteachers in their late 80s, year round residents and good friends, played Spill and Spell in Helen’s kitchen every day at four while having a layered boozy drink they called Seaview Sunsets. Helen mixed the drinks. Tootie said that’s why Helen most often won the game. I sometimes joined them in 1993 when I lived and worked across the street to the south at the Sou’wester Lodge, and Tootie and Helen often sat on the front porch of the Bat Cave earlier in the afternoon. I gardened for both Tootie and Helen.

One morning, after I no longer lived in Seaview, Tootie went to check on Helen and found she had quietly died in her sleep. Tootie stayed on for another year or two but then moved inland to live near her son. I miss them both and those idyllic Seaview days.

The cottage naming tradition lives on with new residents.

Blueberry Cottage

Next: the rest of the workday in Long Beach.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

We’d had some rain.

J Crew Cottage

Allan started before me with a mowing of the tiny lawn at our job across the street.

Allan found my lost hat. I’d left it there last time! “Make America Green Again!”

We then joined forces to weed the narrow beds two doors down at

The Norwood garden.

Allan clipped a holly hidden in the hedge that poked him on his way in the gate.

Port of Ilwaco

I weeded the curbside bed by the Dave Jensen Architect office and went one step further by pruning Ceanothus back from the sidewalk. It is a semi prostrate Ceanothus, not sure which one. Shouldn’t be capitalized unless I add the cultivar name, but auto correct is sometimes determined.

Meanwhile, Allan weeded a bed by Sportmans Cannery that is just escallonias that they trim into a box shape. We had been neglecting it. Last year we pulled out horrible landscape fabric that showed. The bed had more of that gravel that got thrown in from the road project.

We moved on to the Salt Hotel curbside bed, which we hadn’t done in quite a while. It’s been a weird year and certain areas got neglected. Sorry, Salt.

We so miss going to the Salt Pub. October 15th will be our ten year anniversary of buying our Lake Street home, and in a normal year we’d be anticipating a celebratory dinner at Salt.

Today was not to be an all Ilwaco day. We wanted to do some work in Long Beach in the late afternoon, hoping it would be a quiet time. During our brief stop at home between jobs, we found Skooter snoozing over on Alicia’s patio again.

Long Beach

We worked on the planters on Sid Snyder Drive, playing dodgem with passersby.

Someone had dumped some sweet potatoes on the ground and one in a planter earlier this year. I left them there, because why not? and was amused today to see that the planter one was growing.

One planter got a thorough pulling of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, left over from volunteer days. I hope whoever takes on this gardening job makes the “leftover” planters more interesting. We’ve redone a couple of them every year up until this year.

We were waiting till after six to do the two north blocks. Trimming a big lavender by Tinkertown Mall filled in the time. The rest of the day would be masked as we had entered the downtown area with more people…not too many today.

With a lot of Crocosmia in the trailer, we dumped at city works in order to have a clear space for clean compostable planter debris. We found a treasure trove of vault tops in the debris pile. And some vaults that are sadly too heavy and not worth another wrist injury for Allan.

Finally it was six, which meant Dennis Company hardware and clothing was closed and we could do the two north blocks pretty much on our own. The Geranium ‘Rozanne’ urgently needed a good shearing, something I would have done weeks earlier in a normal year.

I trimmed these silly escallonias that want to be huge; Allan helped clean up.

We got the eight planters and two street trees done in the 45 minutes before dark with considerable stress and some squabbling due to misunderstandings with voices mask-muffled. We probably could have taken the masks off with the few passersby easy to see coming, but we want to set a good example downtown to people driving by. I finally did remove mine when it rode up and poked the edge of my eye one too many times. No other humans were nearby.

At home, I was able to erase “lavender – mall” and the numbers five and six from the blocks listed on the work board. Oh! I could have erased Grasses Js last week.

Fairy helped write this post.

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On September 29, I started reading A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach, having recently read and loved her memoir, And I Shall Find Some Peace There.

My first reading session was enjoyable but too short. My favorite bits from that day:

Oh, yes, my garden is full of regrets, but not as many regrets as the garden I left behind. In moving on, I escaped gooseneck loosestrife, lily of the valley, sweet woodruff (or so I thought) and many more. In a later chapter, she turns again to thoughts about pushy plants:

Again, I felt unbecomingly envious that she is friends with Withey and Price.

My life feels inferior.

I want to figure out how to make tomato junk and have more of a self sufficient kitchen.

And I just like and identify with this:

Then I set the book aside till a rainy day when I had no project to do. It was a wait of a couple of weeks. I wanted to immerse myself in the rest of the book without interruption.

Finally such a day came along on a October 11th. I like this about botanical Latin. Maybe I will stop worrying about how to pronounce Agastache.

Then suddenly the book became far more useful than I had imagined it would be with a wealth of charts and advice and information about vegetable growing, my new Pandemic-inspired thing. I saved pages and pages of it in my “Notes” app to reference next year. If kitchen gardens are your thing, I advise acquiring this book.

But then the sun came out and I had to go outside, and then I had to prepare many tomatoes for the dehydrator. I had to laugh when I asked Siri a question about my jalapeño pepper plant.

Finally, on October 13th, I had enough reading weather to finish this rather large book. Margaret’s description of her compost pile lets you know how huge her property is.

more envy…

I saved many more pages of information about how to grow and preserve veg and herbs. Even if I owned the book, I’d find it useful to photograph those pages and put them in Notes.

I’m obsessed with autumn leaves and learned more about their value.

The leaves that I chop, burning mower gas all the while, are not raked off garden beds but are the leaves that fall on lawns or parking lots or gutters.

On a similar topic, she writes in favor of snags, with surprising advise about how many tree snags are invaluable for a landscape.

She goes on to talk about various thankful critters.

My final thoughtful takeaway is about why to buy organic seed. I should have thought of this!

That has me convinced to spend the bit of extra money from now on for organic seed, when given a choice.

If you seek this book out, be sure to get the updated edition. I am now eagerly awaiting the arrival of her second memoir. And for more rainy days, because I will require time to read it from beginning to end with the only interruptions beings from tea-making, snacking, and cats.

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Allan had an adventure.

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

12 October 2020: Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (points north)

Willapa Bay’s Long Island is often mentioned when kayakers ask about where to find remote camping away from it all. I realized I had never actually seen Sawlog or Lewis Campgrounds on the east side though I had paddled near them. We once visited the Pinnacles Rock and Smokey Hollow Campgrounds on the lower west side and that post is here. Sawlog Campground on the Baldwin Slough is just two and a half miles measured straight from the Willapa National Wildlife’s launch ramp. Today I’d find it.

With Covid-19 still on the rise, this trip would be close to home.

A couple stopping to admire the view. Free parking across the street but facilities are closed.

Here is an overview of the island from the 2017 Long Island Unit Map. On this date six years ago I took this…

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