Archive for Aug, 2021

Monday, 23 August 2021

I sorted cerinthe seeds for three more hours. Must have that been long based on the number of episodes of A Way to Garden podcast that I listened to. I hope people will want to buy the seeds at my plant sale. A lot of people. I must have many hundreds now. They are large seeds but take awhile to sort from the stems and the chaff.

In the early evening, I managed to get down the two stairs, slowly with Allan’s help, because I am so dizzy, and watered my patio plants, sometimes clinging to the wire of the Catio for support when I felt terrifyingly teetery. It was scary and no fun. I took a few photos as I tottered around with my mom’s walker (zimmer frame) and the hose.

Roscoea ‘Spice Islands’
Canoe pond in center island hidden by Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Centerpiece of Canna ‘Stuttgart’ really showing its variegation now.
A rose against Physocarpus ‘Center Glow’
Floppy eryngiums and a Seashells cosmos
Eucomis ‘Burgundy Glow’ kind of hidden.

I started a lengthy novel by Jodi Picoult that someone had given me. I don’t think she’s a good writer, but she can spin a yarn that distracts me. It plodded along and sort of annoyed me but kept me reading and not thinking too much.

I was counting the hours till tomorrow’s appointment with my doctor. A follow up to the emergency room visit. Hoping she can find a way to fix me so I can do more in the garden but fearfully totter around.

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22 August: seeds

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Allan got a photo of how a fuchsia, probably megellanica ‘Riccartonii’, has climbed all the way up through the two story tall Azara microphylla that is against our east fence.

Allan brought in a large pile of stems of my pulled Cerinthe major purpurascens that has been drying in the garage so that I could harvest seeds while sitting in my chair.

I had helpers who contributed to making rather a mess.

I have never listened to a podcast before. I was saving such things for if I became an elderly invalid. I guess that time has come, I hope temporarily, so I tried the Cultivating Place podcast. It was a little rich for my blood, so I turned instead to Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden, which I loved. She often has guest Ken Druse, another favorite garden writer of mine. It somewhat soothed my frustration over not being outside, yet I still felt the frustration ever so strongly.

Allan mowed the J Crew Cottage lawn. I think the barren spot where grass died (in the heat dome?) is healing itself. Looks like he deadheaded the roses and threw the flowers on the lawn to get chopped.

In the evening, Allan went to water our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Station.

North side little shade garden
Narrow bed on east side with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and calendula
Elephant garlic and Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in bud

He also watered at the Ilwaco Community Building. I had noticed when we dropped off books that a witchhazel looked thirsty.

Shade garden behind the low wall
Door to the library

At home, he watered potted plants and in the greenhouse. A snail had its eyes on my veg behind the garage.

I’m awfully tired of sitting around. I hope tomorrow is better. At least I had an excellent gardening book to read after sorting seeds…by Paul Bonine of Xera Plants! I love the way he writes plant tags and I loved the way he wrote this book. (A good write up about it can be found here.)

I’m pleased to report that I have some of the plants already. But of course, I added to my list of Plants of Desire.

Agonis flexuosa ‘Jervis Bay Afterdark’ (new to me, must have)

Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’

Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’

Epipactis gigantea ‘Serpentine Night’ (moist, shady)

Geranium phaeum ‘Samobar’ (used to have it!)

Gynura bicolor. (Tall)

Hemerocallis ‘Night Wings’

Iris chrysographes ‘Black Form’

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Moudry’ (acquired a tiny one a couple of years ago but it didn’t survive)

Rhododendron ‘Ebony Pearl’

Sedum ‘Black Jack’ (used to have it, where did it go?)

Veratrum nigrum (snails like it, so might not work out here…have wanted it since saw it in a tour garden

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Friday, 21 August 2021

at home

Pretty much all I could do was sit. Part of my sitting was in the garden with Beverly, who came to visit. I even felt somewhat dizzy sitting in a lawn chair…like it or I was moving to one side…very similar to how I felt in autumn 2015 when I’d be afraid I’d have to go to the emergency room from a restaurant and spoil everyone’s dinner, when we had a regular weekly dinner with other gardeners. I survived that episode, so…there’s considerable hope.

I took some photos of what I could see just from the chair….


Beverly arrived and we had a good long talk.

The garden is still in good nick from my garden open weekend, so other than wanting to deadhead some lilies, I didn’t feel too bad about just sitting. (Allan mowed the lawn later in the day.)

In the evening, I finished a short book that I’d begun a couple of nights ago.

It is a must read. Some takeaways:

About his subjects, “Determined Independent Gardeners”:

“Many of these gardeners are non-joiners at heart—loners who sometimes have trouble finding suitable venues for sharing with one another, yet are uncomfortable in organizing settings. They are usually most relaxed just fooling around the yard by themselves or in the occasional company of a few likeminded friends or eager visitors. … Deep down, they might be unsocial because of a lack of need; some are downright cantankerous.”

On his list of gardening advice: “When practical, use quiet hand tools over noisy machines.”

The author is something of a celebrity because of his gardening radio show. I loved the photos of his garden and laughed at this: “A new neighbor said that one of her house’s selling point was, ‘It’s on Felder’s street, but not too close.’”

His radio show partner for several years was a fascinating and independent gardener who called himself Dirt or Dr. Dirt. Later, when Dr. Dirt died, Felder describes the fate of his garden.

Someone said that gardening is the only art form that dies with the artist. I’d been thinking of this on Thursday night where waiting for test results in the ER, especially the brain CT scan. I said to Allan, “Are you going to keep my garden if I die of a brain tumor?”, and he said, “It will be tidy, and I’m sure your friends would like to have some of the plants.” Which paints a clear picture for me of how long it would last as a really special garden.

When HGTV (Home and Garden Television, back when it had real gardening shows like Gardener’s Diary and Gardener’s Journal) began filming a segment about Dr. Dirt (née Leon Goldsberry), they liked him so much they did a whole show about him. I sure wish I could find it. I did find this shorter video about the radio show, with some film of Dr. Dirt’s garden. Felder said, “When people discover it, they come back because there’s something real there.” Dirt speaks of “old fashioned plants and art from things people throw away.” We had some similar ideas….

Dr. Dirt’s tree of cups

I identify with how he doesn’t drive: “I don’t drive a vehicle but I love plants and I’ll bribe somebody” (to take him to get some cuttings). He suffered from depression and decided to withdraw from public life and quit the radio show. He’s gone now. I wish I could have a long conversation with him. Felder’s posthumous tribute to him can be read here.

Felder introduced me to a neighborhood that intrigues me. I want to read more about it. “Soon after the Civil War [Fondren] was carved from destroyed plantation farmland by Isham Cade, an ex-slave… Now the village of about 2,500 peaceful residents is celebrated state-wide as eclectic welcoming and uniquely diverse…. Its gardens are a rich tapestry of styles….” And it has the worlds most glass bottle trees. I must read more. I already want to move there. Read more about it here. And see a short video here. I wish I could find something about a garden tour there.

One of the gardeners interviewed in Maverick Gardeners said of her garden, which is designed to be seen from the house rather than to show off to the street, “All sorts of things go into gardening that console us—vitalize us, help us find whatever we are looking for from life. So my garden is planted not like the others, but where I can see all of it from my house.” Felder finds this “typical of many cottage-style gardens, facing the house, not the street.”

About compost and how it will rot down on its own:

“I’ve made finished compost in as little as three weeks, but after working my butt off I realized that nobody cares.”

Don’t worry, it is not true. I care deeply about news from Mr Tootlepedal’s compost bins, and I am quite sure some readers care about mine.

Gardeners, do read this. Buy it if you can! Locals can get it from Timberland Regional Library, because I asked them to buy a copy, and then I got to be the first person to read that copy!

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19-20 August: frustration

Some email subscribers may have seen this post when I accidentally published it early…and then retracted it. Here’s the proofread version!

Thursday, 19 August 2021

I thought we’d get the port gardens all watered, get the west end beds trimmed up, and feel accomplished at the end of the day.

J Crew Cottage

After a high protein breakfast, we started across the street at the J Crew Cottage. I was disappointed to see that the plums on the tree there were going moldy.

How horrible. I started picking them off and then got so dizzy I had to cling to the picket fence to keep from falling. I went home to my chair while Allan finished weeding.

Allan went on to work alone. Sadly, the plum situation can’t be fixed. I don’t like plums fresh but I sure do like plum sauce and jelly. I wish I were up to picking off the bad ones at least on the lower branches.

Mike’s garden

Allan did some trimming. I’d have done a bit of watering in a couple of areas, too.

Port of Ilwaco

Allan started watering the curbside bed at the Powell Gallery.

I had to call him to come home before he had quite finished even that bed because I could not even get out of my chair. By the time he got home, I had slid to the floor to try to crawl and could neither crawl nor get back into the chair because I was so lightheaded and felt all twirly and spinning on one side. We discussed calling 911. I managed to get back into the chair and, when Allan brought me my mom’s old walker (Zimmer frame), was able to walk down the hall to my room to pack a little bag (in case they kept me captive!) while I waited for a call back from my doctor. Our clinic is small and you can’t just walk in for urgent care from your provider. (I did not even think of the urgent care clinic in Astoria, Oregon, about twenty minutes away.) After five, when the clinic closed, I got the message from my doctor’s nurse that I should go to the ER, so off we went. Waiting till I could slowly walk to the van was better than going out on a stretcher, or so I felt at the time. But don’t follow my example. I suggest other people call 911 right away in case it is a heart attack or stroke.

We were in the ER for six hours. It was not busy and unlike big city hospitals, not crowded with Covid patients. I had yet another EKG, a CAT scan of my head and chest with a dye inserted through IV that sends a hot flash through your body as it checks out your arteries for clots. None found. We had to wait for forty five minutes for the scan to be checked…much quicker than with a regular scan scheduled outside the ER. That was plenty of time for me to think of friends who had died of nefarious brain tumors. When the ER doctor came in, she had good news: no tumor, no blockages, and for safety’s sake she ran a blood test to make sure I had not had a heart attack. Nope. All my many tests from yesterday had been read and everything was in the normal range…every vitamin, salt, protein, and so on. Except for slightly high glucose, I looked on paper like someone who was in the pink of health. I had been able to pass all the stroke tests… push with my feet and hands, follow this finger, touch the nurse’s finger and then touch my nose. Even so, the ER doctor advised a brain MRI soon to check for any damage just to be sure there was no stroke even though they are almost sure there was not.

They told me if I had been brought in when I could not walk, I might have been life flighted to a bigger hospital for an MRI. The helicopter would have flown over my garden as it almost always does. I would have said, “That’s my garden down there. I wonder if I will ever see it again?”

The way my eyes jerked when following the nurse’s finger was indicative of vertigo. I’ve read about Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo before and, especially since it tends to feel twirly inside your head and makes you fall to one side, I think that is what it is. I’m hoping my self diagnosis is correct and that my doctor, who I will see next Tuesday, knows the magic head positioning trick to get the crystals in my ear back into kilter. It could explain an awful lot….

Except for the nausea, this describes my life since 2008 very well.

I always feel a mild sense of unsteadiness and at work, have often found I cannot prune over my head without getting too dizzy to go on. I’m taking a medicine for it now and hope to feel better tomorrow….I just want to be well enough to water my plants at home.

Skooter yawning in the Catio at night

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Allan, who has to do everything now including scooping the cat litter (which was my chore).

Friday, 20 August 2021

I wanted reading days and now I have them but all I am is frustrated. I spent the day reading about BVVP, catching up on blog writing to this point, and thinking about the plants I want to groom at the port. And how I want to pick some runner beans. As I write this, Allan is watering all my potted plants, after I twice put on my shoes, got a cane and my phone, and then thought….I just can’t do it. I hope I can dive into a stack of books in the next three days till I see my doctor and hope I can garden again soon. It’s my life and I already miss it.

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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

I saw my doctor at Ocean Beach Medical Clinic. She ordered a vast series of blood tests and an EKG because of my strange fall and continued twirling in my head. She suggested the possibility that we don’t eat enough protein: “You don’t consume enough fuel for the work that you do,” and as we reviewed what we eat, I agreed. I used to feel much better when my breakfast consisted of two turkey dogs with mustard!

Allan weeded at the Ilwaco Community Building while I had the tests done at the hospital next door.

It is mostly heather and more heather.

I had another twirly-in-the-head episode after lying down and getting up after the EKG and then walking to the van, so we went right home, where Allan cooked and we ate some delicious scrambled eggs and a breakfast patty, and then we went to work.

The Red Barn

Bentley got a biscuit.
Barn manager Amy and her barrel racing horse in training.

There really is a garden there that we weeded, deadheaded, and watered.

Diane’s garden

I tidied the planters and the outside edges of the septic vault garden….

…and the container garden….

Diane loves Stargazer lilies

…and trimmed some brown flowers and old leaves off of the alchemilla.

Allan did the roadside garden. That is off my list of things to do because of my fall on Saturday. If I fell with my head in the heavily trafficked road, it would be a likely gruesome death.

A friend of Diane’s gave her some dahlias, including a yellow cactus one.

Crambe maritima and pink yarrow

In weeding along the driveway’s chunky rock border, Allan found the home of some ants.

The Depot Restaurant

We did a quick touch up of the garden, mostly deadheading lilies.

Patti’s garden

We had hauled our rather heavy lawn mower with us to help Patti by mowing. I felt for Allan. Bending to help load or unload it wasn’t something I could manage to do without feeling terrified the intense twirlies would return. We are going to have to figure out a ramp…Fortunately, this lawn will not need frequent mowing. Maybe every other week, and for next year, a proper mowing service can take it on.

Susie’s garden

We stopped by Susie and Bill’s to pick up some groceries and to admire the building of the retaining wall.

We had got such a late start that we didn’t do any port watering at the end of the day. And I did feel like just sitting in my chair….after watering my potted plants, which I did manage to do while Allan watered our volunteer garden at the post office. I figured that Thursday would give us enough time to do Mike’s garden, J Crew Cottage, and water the rest of the port….The boatyard can be on an every other week watering schedule now.

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17 August: a hedge

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

One of the themes of this blog is gardening and aging. I made a post about that in 2013. So I am going to continue the saga of some struggles we are having.

We were supposed to help Our Kathleen with her final move into her cottage today, with Allan helping to carry a dresser and me carrying, well, some drawers or small things. Since that meant leaving the property later in the day, I decided to accompany Allan to work at the port, where he was going to trim a job he always does on his own, a simple escallonia hedge at Coho Charters that takes about an hour, and I could water the east beds. Maybe we could get even more done and then maybe we could get Thursday off!

Allan hooked up the three hose run for me while I did some weeding around the charter building, which involved repeated bending and standing up. As I was about to start to water, I bent over slightly at our trailer to get another weed bucket and suddenly had the twirlies inside my head so bad again that I said to Allan, “I’m gonna fall again,” but I grabbed on for dear life to the trailer and did not. I sat in the van and left a message for my doctor that things were not going well. The hoses being hooked up and tarps laid out for the hedge trim on the other side of the building, and sheer stubbornness, led me to say I was going to water the five east garden beds (two long, one medium, two short) no matter what, so I did, with a cane in one hand for balance and the hose in the other. Not the best look. I only bent over for the occasional weed or bit of trash. This was so frustrating because there were many small weeds I wanted to pull.

With the watering done, I turned my eye to the hedge by where we park and decided I must go on with my original plan, to trim it up just slightly, removing the uppies on the top.

Finally a photo!!

I climbed up on the little concrete wall, hung onto the hedge for support and started trimming with The Toy. Then I thought, I am behaving just like my dad. When he was in hospital with a mild heart attack and a good prognosis at age 78, he decided he must go to the bathroom by himself despite having been told not to. He fell and hit his head and died. I got off the little wall and got out the long handled pole clippers to finish the job! And then I had Allan take me home to sit in my chair.

Before we left, Allan had completed the south escallonia and will tighten up the north one later.

Coho has an excellent young helper.

“Salmon are so big in Ilwaco, it takes a tractor to take them down to Sportsmen’s Cannery!” Photo and caption by Coho Charters

The port was buzzing with fishing activity.

A still, blue weather day

At home, I heard from my doctor to come see her tomorrow, found out she had not seen the message I sent about falling on Saturday because I’d put it in the wrong place, and also heard from Kathleen that a neighbor had helped move the dresser. Allan went back out to water the west end beds.

They look quite tatty. I long to weed them. When I looked at the following photos, I burned to get down there and pull the spendthrift toadflax and trim the ugly brown santolina, which is the more delicate leaved kind that does not mature with any grace.

At least the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ looks good. A passerby admired them.

Some areas look better than others.

My hope is that when tourists walk by three less watered and thus less cared for west beds, that their shoddiness is forgotten when they reach the better beds starting with Time Enough Books (the fourth and fifth curbside beds as you walk west to east).

While he was out watering, Kathleen and the friend who had helped her move came over for a garden tour and then a pleasant sit down spell by the fire circle. Then I managed to water in the greenhouse and all the outdoor potted plants without any more twirliness. This renewed my optimism that I could get back to work tomorrow. And I did.

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Allan’s latest adventure

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

26 August 2021

On this trip, I hoped to accomplish a couple of things. The first was to launch at Jones Beach on the Columbia River. This would be all new, as I was following a tip that it was a public launchable site and somewhat sheltered by islands. It’s located about two miles upstream from where the Cathlamet ferry lands in Oregon.

The second was to visit this structure pictured below as spotted during this satellite reconnaissance of the lower Clatskanie River. The shadow to the structure’s left indicates it’s shorter than the surrounding trees but taller than the vehicles parked nearby. Scaled to the vehicles, it appears to be about a hundred feet in diameter. Not the Cuban Missile Crisis but I couldn’t find an online mention of whatever this is from the safety of home.

Starting at Jones Beach, the structure would be about a twelve mile…

View original post 894 more words

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At home

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Astilbe ‘Amber Moon’
Bogsy Wood plant table
Gladiolus papilio with hops and rainwater barrels and water jugs

Tony Tomeo’s blog has much better photos of Gladiolus papilio, showing the interesting inside of the flowers, in this Six on Saturday post. Have a look.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

I wanted to get a photo of a scene that Jessica Schlief of Astoria had admired when visiting last week. She had spoken of this plant combination and of how you see more lilies through the gap. But…what lilies?

I went to the west side of the bed to investigate. Like so many plants in the garden that usually stand tall but have flopped this year, they were down.

I was able to encourage them to stand up a bit, but the scene is just a hint of what it was last week.

The annoyingly aggressive double soapwort, Saponaria ‘Flore Plano’, which I pull out and pull out, is gorgeous now as it stands tall and interweaves. Really, if it did not make such an impenetrable mass of roots and run so far, I’d love it.

I love my new heleniums from Digging Dog Nursery. I remember that the yellow one is ‘Butterpat.’ I didn’t rootle around in the undergrowth to find the tag of the other one.

Panicum ‘Northwind’, Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’, Geranium ‘Roxanne’
My mom’s red velvet rose, white white phlox and….something I planted from seed but have forgotten the name of. Orlaya?

I thought I was going to remove all the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ from under my contorted filbert because it’s not a shade plant. However, it looks so good now that I might change my mind.

I had one would be garden visitor that I did not let in…

Monday, 16 August 2021

Allan went boating. I read a library book.

I loved it. It’s set around the world but has much about my home town, Seattle, and some about the coast where I live now. (For Seattleites: the author writes of dining at the Santa Fe Cafe, a favorite of mine, just a block from his house. He probably meant the one on Ravenna, and not the one on Phinney Ridge which was near my house.)

Here are some bits I found especially fascinating.

I envied his close relationship with his parents, a beautiful thing.

I also think it’s cool he was still driving that car years later.

More great stuff as the book progresses…

an ancient catastrophe of which I knew nothing…

You’ll have to read the book for the rest of that story.

The Chinook are the First People where I now live.

Another mention of Ilwaco

After he and his friends sent to sea the ashes of his dear friend and fellow oceanographer, Akira Okubo…

Three chapters at the end of the book deal with the garbage at sea, its effect on sea birds and animals and the effect of plastics in the ocean on human health.

At “Junk Beach” in Hawaii…

I found about this book through a local progressive group concerned about ocean trash and fireworks debris. I will send a recommendation that our Timberland Library gets its own copy so that northwestern beach dwellers don’t have to do an interlibrary loan to find it. Or buy yourself a copy. It’s a must read.

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Saturday, 14 August 2021

at home

Our new toy, a pole chainsaw, had arrived. This made today’s project the cutting of the two split willow trunks on Willows Loop East.

My part was to move seasoned firewood from behind an alder tree by the southeast gate, chop up all the willow branches that could be cut with big loppers (most of it, as it is a soft wood) and pile it behind the tree.

Skooter left a message for the neighbor. It made him feel proud.

He then fell in love with a willow log, first licking it and then using it as a pillow.

Our Kathleen arrived with some perishable groceries that she had picked up for us. I don’t like to take one-sided favors, but it was fair enough as we are planning to help her unload her last truckload of goods into her now full time residence on Tuesday. So I sat for awhile.

After she left, it was back to chopping, bending, picking up, piling, over and over. Allan was cutting a 2×4 for the new fence section.

I kept cutting, bending, lifting, piling, until I was getting the last of the branch pieces by the willow tree. I bent, picked one up, stood, and saw the nearby decorative old wooden table with sedums planted atop it go oddly swirly for a moment, yelled OH NO! And went down, whomp, on the lawn. I was able to stop myself with my arms for a soft landing.
My first thought was a stroke, a small one, till I realized I had not lost consciousness, could see perfectly well and could talk and move my legs, just had the breath knocked out and was shocked and not ready to move. Still, I had Allan get down closer to my level and make sure my face wasn’t droopy. When I sat up, I could raise both arms and I could say “The skies are blue in Cincinnati.” I have no idea where I read that that’s a good test for whether you’ve had a stroke. I asked Allan to bring me a lawn chair and used it to get up and was able to follow him to the fire circle for a sit down. I got him to fetch me the refrigerator card about strokes and to review the symptoms.

I then watched Allan replace a 2×4 along the top of the broken fence…..

…. and gazed upon the garden, hoping I wasn’t about to drop dead and leave it, and then asked him to walk with me to the house, where I settled in my comfy chair to consult Dr Google. Information about TIAs (non damaging little strokes that could lead to a big one “within 48 hours”) spooked me. But with a 600% and rising increase in covid cases, I didn’t want to go to the emergency room, so I called the advice number on my supplemental insurance card. (Medicare doesn’t cover everything so we in the USA must buy even more insurance.) The registered nurse was quickly available and spent fifteen minutes asking detailed questioned and was sure it was not a TIA. That was a relief. I’ve suffered from dizziness since 2008, have seen a neurologist, had a brain MRI and a carotid artery scan (all tickety boo!). But now I’m more obsessed with trying again to find out WHY.

Another complication that kept me from rushing to the nearby hospital had been that Allan had a kayaking fellow coming from out of town to pick up an expensive lost paddle that Allan had retrieved and held for him. After my talk with the nurse, the fellow arrived, and I could hear their happy boat talk from inside the house.

Meanwhile, I consulted a knowledgeable online social group of Seattleites for thoughts on my mishap, and came up with a most interesting possible diagnosis: orthostatic hypotension. [And, later, vertigo.] Someone also suggested I might have gone overboard on my almost no-salt food regimen. She asked what our usual meal was and I replied, “Veg and veg with a side of veg and some fruit, and some cookies” (the only processed food being cookies or crackers, usually). The advice nurse had said to let my doctor know what happened, so I wrote her a message in MyChart, finding it hard to fit the whole story into a limited number of words.

I felt old. And like I very much don’t want anything to get in the way of gardening.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Feeling disconcerted by yesterday’s event, I had at least got almost enough sleep and went out into the garden after breakfast. Allan had already started trimming up the twisted wire panel in the old fence and cutting up the willow trunks.

I had read about some tenchiques to maintain good blood flow when standing up, like clench the muscles in your legs and move them around a bit and flex your feet, so I dared to keep picking up debris with no more mishaps. I was moving more cautiously than usual, though.

I wasn’t about to give up on the little project I had in mind, which was to widen the low path that goes behind the gunnera. Before:


I made the entrance wider and lower, digging and moving over a wheelbarrow full of soil. Allan wondered why the path is so low. Well, it fills up with water in the winter rains, and I think it will look more interesting this way. It’s easier to enter it past the gunnera now. And I am following the advice of designer Julie Moir Messervy, who says to accentuate garden features….make a low area lower and build a high area higher.

I might have sat around more than usual today.

We were fortunate to have an almost whole piece of plywood, probably marine grade, that we had salvaged from the free woodpile that used to be across from the boatyard. The new owners of the property have discontinued the pile which, even thought it was messy sometimes, is a shame. We will miss salvaging pallets and dimensional lumber. Allan filled in the fence gap with the plywood. I dismantled a flimsy piece of plywood that had been a wonky plant table and used it to fill in the area below the good plywood.

By the time the flimsy lower piece disintegrates (not yet in place in this photo), plants will have filled back in.

Allan piled the willow logs, at my request, at the east end of the Willow Grove on top of the log pile that we have started there.

He wondered why I didn’t want to keep it low enough so he can step over it. Because I want it to be a solid wall to stop the eye, of course, and it needs to be even taller to hide a pile of old tires on the other side.

Our dear neighbor Alicia had given us some hamburger. I haven’t had red meat, except for hot dogs at our campfire dinners, since the pandemic began and we stopped going out to eat. Her diagnosis is that I may have an iron deficiency. I chopped tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, and shallots from the garden, which Allan used to make a spicy and meaty stir fry over rice, with garden cucumbers on the side. It was delicious.

[Real time update: It’s almost 100% sure that vertigo is my problem. It got worse before it got better, but I think it will be fixable, given a bit more time.]

Tomorrow: All the pretty garden pictures I took over the weekend, and a book.

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13 August: more working

Friday, 13 August 2021

Susie’s garden

We stopped by Susie’s on the way to work to give her a curly stick (contorted filbert). She’s been asking if we had any spare plant stakes. It was a big hit.

We further admired her Haitian art.
She buys them from Amazon, here; they are made by Haitian artists from recycled oil drums. I could not find another source for buying this art.

The Planter Box

We replenished our supply of potting soil and admired some plants for sale.

The Red Barn

I brought a few cat treats for Cosmo today, thinking he deserved treats as much as dogs deserve biscuits. He liked it.

The planter by the door from which most of the horses are led out to pasture looks great.

Yellow cosmos
Cosmos ‘Apricot Lemonade’

But by the door on the other corner where only a few horses live, the planter is still sad, so I left a hopeful plea.
[Update: the note worked.]

Diane’s garden

Holly again got her biscuit before I got out of the van.

The septic vault garden….

The container garden has never looked better.

The roadside garden had a traffic jam.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We watered and did an hour of weeding and tidying.

Ilwaco Post Office garden

We watered and weeded our volunteer garden.

Look what we rescued from the wheelie bin!

The house next door has a pretty blue paint job in progress.

As we parked at home, I saw a couple of old friends down the street and walked to give them some biscuits.

Now for three days off, an unusually short weekend for us. I long for autumn and finally achieving my desire to have five days in a row without having to leave my property.

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