Archive for Apr, 2022

25 April: planting…

…at home

Before I got started on my planting project, I had a pleasant visit from a friend, Janet, who wanted to look at shrubs. Her shrub bed is not ready yet but, I was able to offload two plants that she can put in her bog garden. It’s in a garden boat. I will go see it sometime this year! She admired the wild sedge in my pond, one of two planted in posts (because dragonflies are supposed to like climbing on them), so she got one of those and an extra cyperus that needed a home.

In the course of touring and then planting in the garden, I had a good look all around the back garden, with horsetail appearing in some places, and lots of other weeds. I very much look forward to some weeding days when the planting is done.

White phlox has surprised me by becoming a bully trying to take over an area.

Many of the plants were hardy fuchsias from the close out sale when Joy Creek Nursery closed. They are small and probably won’t put on much of a show this year. Others were shade plants from Digging Dog. My pocket cam did a lousy job of photographing the tags, so I am just sharing some, which is probably just as well when so many went into the ground today.

I am leaving the tags by the plants this time. I don’t care how it looks. My memory is not what it was. For example, as usual I cannot remember the name of this shrub that I love and about whose name I have some sort of mental block. It has creamy pink tinged small bell shaped flowers.

Remaining to plant are some bog plants from Far Reaches Farm. I want to plant them around the deep ditch which is still full of water and I still felt that I would fall in. Next week, a box or two of more mostly shade plants will arrive from Secret Garden Growers. I haven’t added this many plants in a long time. I am enjoying having so many new or expanded areas to fill.

Skooter helped, then meowed loudly from Alicia’s lawn so that I would notice how he had climbed an alder tree.

We didn’t even switch our two window boxes to show off the spring bulbs. Requires a ladder and effort. After our strenuous winter fence-building effort, it didn’t seem worth it to switch out the plastic liners. So there they sit.

Tomorrow, back to work, like it or not.

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Sunday, 24 April 2022

At home

I was not sure what I was going to do in the garden today. The morning started with a visitor and a good sit around the campfire circle (with no fire).

After my visitor left, I figured out what I was going to do, starting with trading out some orange colored rocks with some grey rocks along the driveway garden. I like the orange ones. There’s even one that I sometimes mistake for Skooter when we drive up.

Allan helped by taking the grey rocks back to the willow grove to edge a a garden bed. My camera was not helpful in capturing this.

I gathered up all the round river rocks that I had placed along the edge and that just got swamped with weeds. With them gone, Allan can just run the string trimmer up to the bigger rocks.

I had exciting ideas about mucking around sculpting and decorating and planting in the bridged swale, till I saw that the deep ditch is still almost full of water. It’s pretty deep, and I don’t want to fall in.

The river rocks must wait.

The willow grove today:

A rodgersia lifted up a piece of lichen.

And the east side of the garden between fire circle and greenhouse:

I weeded the driveway bed instead of playing in the muddy swale. It sure needed it, being full of velvet grass (AKA Yorkshire fog), to which I am terribly allergic when it blooms. It made me horribly itchy even when it wasn’t blooming. I think it was weeding velvet grass out of the Long Beach berms that made my ankles desperately itchy last week, which has been keeping me awake sometimes, only to be added to with more itching today. (Cold wet washcloth compresses help.) I seem to be allergic to gardening sometimes.

The weeding was a good accomplishment. Other than rhubarb (which I still haven’t gotten around to picking), the bed has a lot of potatoes. I was going to try to de-spudify it last autumn and got too busy. Now I’m kind of glad that we will have a good batch of spuds out of there.

The young cats had not been interested in the catios on this rather chilly day.

Tomorrow, another day off and a chance to get some planting done.

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23 April: all Ilwaco

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Working on Saturday was the result of three rainy days off this past week. It was a vertiginous day for me; thank goodness for the rollator that the owner of the Purly Shell Fiber Arts shop gave me, or some days I wouldn’t be able to garden at all.

Port of Ilwaco

We did some deadheading, getting more stuck into weeding the Powell Gallery curbside garden than I had intended. Our plan is a more thorough job at the port midweek, since Saturday is the Ilwaco children’s parade. (I’ll be spending that day in my garden!) Sunday is the Long Beach parade, also a garden day for me!

Bonus dandelion, left

I also weeded the port office south side garden, looked at a low tide, and noticed some lambs ears that had made a home behind a utility box of some sort against the east wall of the office.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

It is the time of horsetail and bindweed emerging. To get a head start, we went from one end of the boatyard garden to the other pulling both. (I took few photos today, just being tired and dizzy and having not gotten much sleep.)

Love the boat name!

Ilwaco post office garden

We did some weeding there. It looks quite nice. But the only photo is of some lilies.

So does the Ilwaco Fires Station look nice, which we also weeded, but completely forgot to take a photo. We will be back there later in the week to perfect the garden, because the station is having an open house this coming Saturday.

Got photos three days later:

Ilwaco community building

Allan says I’d spoken only of picking a few deadheads, and then we weeded for an hour and a half. These things happen, and there is still an area of vetch and bindweed left behind.

It is possible that if we now take Sunday and Monday off, we will not get Long Beach and Ilwaco utterly perfect for the annual parade weekend. We will dare to take that risk.

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Friday, 22 April 2022

After another two rainy days of me reading the diaries of the tormented Patricia Highsmith, we had a sunny day and were able to work. (This was the storm we had Wednesday while waiting for better weather.)

The Red Barn

Cosmo got treats, and so did Holly, who was at the barn instead of her home next door.

Tulips by the driveway

Diane’s garden

We saw Holly again. Today was just a basic weeding and deadheading and some planning for how many annuals I need for Diane’s container garden. The sweet peas are doing well out by the road despite the very cold weather.

Septic vault garden

Long Beach

We had taken an empty trailer with no wheelbarrow today because it was the annual free biosolids mulch giveaway.

With the trailer full, we did our work duty in Long Beach by deadheading narcissi and tulips in the downtown planters and the parks and City Hall gardens.

Susie’s garden

Susie and Bill had picked up some apples for us on a shopping trip yesterday. We deadheaded and will be back to weed sometime soonish.

At home

While I shoveled and wheelbarrowed the generous load of mulch around the garden, Allan painted six arbor posts in the willow grove, and then helped me with the last four of five wheelbarrows. How I laughed when I remembered how I thought we would weed the boatyard today, too. I vaguely recall that we missed three days of work this week to rain (it’s a blur how many). So I don’t mind the new plan of weeding the boatyard on Saturday.

That darling new white nose cat appeared again. Which we found out about because we heard Skooter picking a fight with him. Or her. Just a kitten, Skooter, stop being a bully!

When I posted the photo on Facebook for Caturday, a friend added the perfect caption:

The work board tonight:

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Tuesday, 20 April 2022

Long Beach

We were amazed that we had a day of no rain and little wind. We realized the dream of finishing the weeding of the south parking lot berm.


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At home

Monday, 19 April 2022

A storm kept us at home. With the week’s forecast being nothing but rain and wind, I feared we’d fall way behind on work again.

However, a reading day must be appreciated! I began with a last perusal of a book that I must return to the library, looking at the pages where I’d stuck in bookmarks.

This passage from an essay by spoke to me, although I cannot find the lyrics to this particular “filk song” (meaning a song based on some sort of science fiction or fantasy or other fan-beloved source).

From an essay by Erica Frank

Here comes some blathering on. Jump ahead to the photos because it’s probably pretty dull. Two friends have previewed this post and assured me that it does not sound whiny. I hope they are right.


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Sunday, 17 April 2022

At home

Allan had gone boating, at last. I began the day with a garden visitor and a good long talk around the fire circle.

The neighbors were having a huge back yard party. I have a high hedge (of course) so didn’t see it.

When I was saying goodbye to my visitor in the front garden, one of the partygoers walked down the sidewalk, so just to say something friendly, I said, “Whose birthday?” (Many birthdays are celebrated next door.) He replied, “Jesus….no, I guess that’s Christmas,” he said. I thought, what a strange reply, and kind of unfriendly! It wasn’t till I went in the house and looked at the news later in the afternoon that I saw something about Easter. And then I heard sounds of an egg hunt next door. When Allan returned from boating, he said there was a sign in the lawn next door that said “Welcome back Jesus.” I don’t know them well but I don’t think they are religious. Anyway, the sign would have tipped me off to the holiday if I had seen it!

I got stuck in to a long postponed project, digging out a big patch of lesser celandine in the east back bed, and more celandine strays in one of the Bogsy wood beds. Not only does celandine have a bazillion easily breakable root nodules underground, but it turns out they also have nodules on the stems, as this article describes. What a horror. And yet it’s such a pretty plant that if it were not such a bully, it would be welcome. I am sure I left many nodules behind. But this time, I am going to put many layers of mulched newspaper between the shrubs in this bed in hopes of smothering some of it.

[Actually, I didn’t, because there is bindweed creeping in from under the fence, and I remembered how it loves to slither between layers of newspaper.]

So it probably was not the best time to add two new shrubs, but I did…before reading the celandine article cited above. I had planted a helwingia, one of three given to me by Ann Amato, last year. Its leaves are green but the two still in large pots had gone all sad and yellow, so I popped them into the ground to make a trio.

Nodules of celandine

The unpleasant job (unpleasant because of the knowledge that I was not getting all the nodules) took hours.

When I had finished (sort of, it’s never done), I went next door to Alicia’s lawn (not the Easter lawn!) and harvested some wood chunks. from a fallen snag.

They went into the never planted under-bed by the east side of the metal path. Maybe I will build up that bed, limb up the shrubs (lonicera and a variegated elderberry) and plant some shade plants in here eventually. (Friday’s Gardeners’ World had a breathtaking segment on hepaticas, of which I have only two, and there are so many.)

On the other side of that bed is one of the mounds, on which yesterday I planted a small metasequoia that Tony Tomeo brought me. He said it would survive in the shade and I think he said it might grow fast to reach the light.

It is in there!

Afterwards, I did some pleasant regular weeding.

As I removed debris (all the celandine went into the wheelie bin!), I enjoyed the sun glowing on new astilbe growth…

…and remembered that I’d forgotten to try to move this maple, a seedling from Ann Saari’s garden. Oops. Every year I forget, and eventually it will get large and compete with my paperbark maple.

In Ann’s garden, it was this big a few years ago.

I had noticed some of my branch edges in the new willow grove beds were sprouting willow leaves. As you can see, they would root in the ground if I let them, so I removed the growing ones and will look for truly dead wood or, better yet, rocks for an edge. I replaced some sprouting back pieces at the back of a bed with some heavy pieces or rubble.

A stranger, and maybe a new friend, suddenly appeared. I couldn’t get close, though. Not yet.

The deep ditch was almost dry, but I had too much weeding to do so couldn’t play with contours and rocks.

I had had enough of weeding but had one more area that must be done.

(Look how interesting this rotted piece of white birch is, like a paper tube of sawdust.)

And then I was exhausted, but fortunately by then it was seven PM and I got to go indoors. Allan returned from the boating trip that was yesterdays post.

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Allan’s latest adventure

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

Tangly Cottageboating,kayaking,paddling8th May 20214 Minutes

17 April 2022: Nehalem River to the Shallows

It was a dark and stormy night. The forecast called for fair weather and good tides coming soon on Easter Sunday. The wind would be slight, the sun would be out, and the temperature would be in the mid fifties.

The rising tide from 9 AM to 2:30 PM would assist upriver and then until 8:45 would carry me back.

I wanted to visit the Nehalem River system again after more than three years absent. Almost due west of Portland, it is a beautiful place to stop on the way down the Oregon Coast. Here is that trip onto the bay and around Lazarus Island. This time there is a new easy kayak launch at the Wheeler dock. It was installed last month. I had only read about it and seen…

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Saturday, 16 April 2022

At home

I got out the door by ten AM and accomplished a great deal.

I broke apart my two big wet trays of sarracenias, trimmed the dead leaves off…just like Monty told me to in Gardeners’ World “jobs for the weekend”…and repotted them into three containers and trimmed back the cyperus in both the water boxes and the in ground pond.


Allan weeded the shotweed and more out of the good ship Ann Lovejoy, another job that requires agility and good balance.

He cut back the passionflower from atop the spider web arbor. I couldn’t because looking up makes me dizzy.

I am hesitant to plant all of my new Digging Dog plants as they hail from California and our weather is so cold. But I did plant two hardy souls. (Not shown, a Cephalaria gigantea.) I also planted the Osmanthus that I bought at The Planter Box. The Digging Dog flat of plants, which has been coming into the garage at night, will move outside now because I don’t think our nights will fall below 40. The plants will be fine once they get established.

I put gritty soil in the two new dustbin lid planters that Allan had assembled for me on old stool bases. The echeverias are fake ones from Patti. They looked realer on her porch than they do outside. These will get more plants when my real echeverias can leave the greenhouse.

Skooter is obsessed with the emerging foliage of a variegated actinidia by the front gate. I bought it because Dan Hinkley once described it as “kitty crack”. (Here is a mature Actinidia polygama by the greenhouse.)

Skooter likes to be right with me, in front of me, or actively helping…

…when he’s not lounging in the sun.

Faerie would love to be out in the garden. She amuses herself in the catios by pestering the Greys.

Allan had one more mowing job, two doors down in the Norwood garden.

In the late afternoon, I had an unexpected visitor…a woman I knew of in Seattle in the 1970s. We were in the same social and political circle then but may have never met, and have been in the same zoom political circle here! I recognized her name immediately and reached out to her in a message last winter, a message which she misplaced. Today she drove through Ilwaco looking for the garden which would be mine, and found it. We had a wonderful walk through the garden! (As always, I am using my dear neighbor’s driveway as if it were my own.)

I have a whole list of projects to do in the garden tomorrow, and the weather and tide look promising for a boating trip for Allan.

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Saturday, 16 April 2022

At home

Ah, a day off. The front garden looked amazing in the morning sunshine. I actually got out the door by ten AM!

I do love our puddle.
How did this Tetrapanax lose its stem? Did I do that? Or the wind?
Acer campestre ‘Carnival” glowing in sunshine
Driveway garden tulips
West bed in back garden
Back garden, Willows Loop West
Tulips and Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’
Looking east over the bed we revamped last winter
Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’ in east bed
Lilies and my European bladdernut tree that I got from Markham Farm. and the ever annoying meianthemum (false lily of the valley native woodland groundcover)
Willows Loop East
Kerria japonica
‘Spotty Dotty’ and pulmonaria and Hosta ‘Mouse Ears’ the shady danger tree bed
Two cultivars of Impatiens omeiana just emerging, foreground has green and bronze foliage and behind it is one with silver foliage.
Wild…violet? on Bogsy Wood plant table….
…and a primula

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