Archive for Jun, 2022

Monday, 20 June 2022

Because it was the Juneteenth holiday, I had such an easy day planned, just some City of Ilwaco gardens. But over the weekend, we’d gotten a call from Patti. After she moved to Portland, the sale of her house fell through, so would we mow the lawn and weed? We are not a mowing business, and it’s a pain to load to mower into our little trailer. Only for Patti!

Susie’s garden

On the way, we stopped at Susie’s Seaview garden to add a few plants along the top of the wall, including a little catmint and some woolly thyme.

Patti’s garden

I had expected the garden to be weedy, and it was. We were shocked to see the lawn. It took three hours to mow front and back (Allan) and three hours to weed the masses of weeds in the three garden beds (me)! Fortunately, there was a dumpster in which to put the many buckets of debris.

Please buy Patti’s darling cottage so we can stop mowing it.

Ilwaco Fire Station

I planted another silver santolina in our volunteer garden where something had been poured on the third full sized one, killing it. It would look even better with five but I am out of starts (maybe).

Where did I get this white cranesbill geranium?!?

Ilwaco Post Office and more

I added a couple of penstemon to our volunteer garden, because the cosmos are just sitting there not growing.

Next door, Hattie had added some plants to the handsome big concrete planters next to the Shipwreckords and Moore shop. The red plant in front is the noxious weed Herb Robert or Stinking Bob. I’d forgotten to tell Hattie that it is sorta verboten.

Ilwaco street trees

Our attempted revival of the ten street tree gardens continues, after unskilled volunteers had removed the good perennials from six of the ten tree beds last autumn. It is quite frustrating. The few tree beds that were not messed with are still somewhat full looking but the others are just languishing and feel sparse and scratchy to work in; maybe it is the weather. Like the cosmos, the plants are just not growing.

Time Enough Books

Karla and Scout were just leaving.

We weeded and edited out some tatty old plants and made the so-called dwarf Stipa gigantea more see-through.

Erigeron ‘Wayne Roderick’
Our audience had much to say.

Ilwaco Community Building

This is Allan’s job but I came along just to make it worse by complaining about how much I hate pulling weed grass out of heathers.

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Sunday, 19 June 2022

At home

While Allan went boating (which was yesterday’s post), I puttered in the garden, starting with limbing up a corylopsis, whose foliage l love.

I noticed my new laburnum has had all its leaves stripped, I do not know by what. Most annoying.

A rose I transplanted in spring is not very happy, so I pruned the saddest branches.

From another angle, the bare ground reflects a maddened pulling of the very annoying Saponaria ‘Flore Pleno’, whose roots make a solid mass. I never planted it here on purpose. It hitched a ride in.

Now what? Anything else I plant there won’t thrive because of the accursed (but pretty and pink in late summer) saponaria. Later, I thought of a few plants like some of my Persicaria that might be strong enough to hold it at bay. Meanwhile, I made a new arrangement to distract from the bare ground.

That enabled me to move a couple of planted boxes so that one can see into the water boxes better.

I worked my way down Willows Loop West pruning the escallonia before the path is completely lost.

Toward the south end of the loop, my Crinodendron hookerianum has its first flowers.

Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’
Parahebe ‘Waterfall Mist’

Finally, I remembered I had two gold hakanechloa to plant. If I put one at the very far end of the view corridor path, would it visually shorten the distance or would it make it look more interesting out there?

The south lawn is still very goopy.

The deep path had dried out. So had the bridged swale but it wouldn’t be a good idea to do a project in slippery mud while Allan is out of town.

Deep path
Bridged swale

I planted the grasses.

Some long grasses in the willow grove are getting over exuberant.

Part of it will go back to the wild if I don’t do some weeding. I’ll wait for a hot summer day (coming soon, I hear) when I need to be in the shade.

The frog bog is still holding much water.

I was thrilled to see that my new little Rhododendron ‘Golfer’ is putting on a great foliage show, just what I had wanted from it.

The hakanechloa did make a difference and catches the eye from a distance. I feel it looks less like the garden ends in darkness there.

A splash of gold at the very end

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Allan’s latest adventure

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

19 June 2022

Today’s tide would be very low but rising all afternoon. A wind from 10 mph, gusting to 15 mph, was also predicted. The same forecast applied up the Columbia River, too, but I had more exploring I wanted to enjoy on the Nehalem Bay. Today I could use the sail, there would be plenty of room to tack, and the tide would be sweeping me inland.


On April 17, 2022, I paddled from Nehalem up the Nehalem River and turned right when the river branched. I have wondered since how far north I could have paddled. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both…” as the poet said.

I drove looking for Aldervale’ boat ramp, as I figured that would be the shallows if I could paddle north that far. Maybe today I might launch and paddle…

View original post 853 more words

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18 June: in the garden

Saturday, 18 June 2022

At home

I had a hard time getting going. Susie came over because she wanted to sit in the garden for awhile; at least that got me out the door.

The rocking recliner used to be at her former business, The Boreas Inn.

She took these photos from her sit spot. The huge dock got dug out while she was still there!

Photo by Susie Goldsmith
Photo by Susie Goldsmith
Photo by Susie Goldsmith

As we sat, it began to rain! Rain had not even been in the forecast for daytime. Susie departed.

Some of the rain was light enough so that I could finish potting up my tomatoes (Rosella and Matt’s Black Cherry) without getting soaked. Three of the cukes I bought got cucumber mosaic and had to be discarded. I grew six from seed and the snails got them as babies, with one maybe surviving. I planted four outside which look ok. It’s been frustrating. Last summer, I had a fresh cucumber every day!

I fertilized all the patio pots with some liquid kelp I’d ordered online. They needed it badly! It came out of the jug black, like Monty Don’s “seaweed feed” but, diluted per instructions in the watering can, it became clear and didn’t look like Monty’s at all.

A tree frog in a water barrel!

Just as the rain got serious, Hattie from down the block came by to get some plants to put in big concrete planters outside her gift shop (Bearing Goods) and the record shop (Shipwreckords and More) across from the museum. I will photograph how they look next time we go by there.

By then, I was rather soaked. It was too wet to weed. I walked around the back garden before going indoors to churn out four blog posts.

Variegated honeysuckle
Paul’s Himalayan Musk coming into bloom
Digitalis ‘Honey Trumpet’ from Xera Plants
Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’
Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’
Rose ??
My mom’s “red velvet rose”
Lily buds
Geranium palmatum
Stipa gigantea and contorted filbert
Sambucus ‘Black Lace’
Fire circle with pulmonaria

Allan put his boat atop the van while it rained. The weather will clear and the tide will be incoming throughout the afternoon tomorrow, perfect for a tidal river boating excursion.

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Friday, 17 June 2022

At home

I started weeding by the front driveway, mostly long grasses. A tag alerted me to a precious new Grevillea rivularis, buried under a burgeoning Geranium ‘Rozanne’, still small enough to move successfully.

So buried I had to search for it.

I figured when I got the weeding done, I’d take more photos. Just as I was on the last clump of grass, Patty, who lives two blocks away, came by with her compost for our kitchen waste bin. As we chatted, rain began…again! So we took shelter in my outdoor office….Alicia’s covered back porch.

Allan noticed other residents in Alicia’s back garden.

The rain simply did not let up. I reminded myself it means we don’t have to water Long Beach planters on Monday. It’s a three day holiday weekend for Juneteenth and watering on a holiday Monday is difficult.

I still felt frustrated. I’d had big plans to weed in the back garden, as well.

I suddenly remembered that rain meant I could read a garden memoir manuscript by “Hairy Toe Gardener” who often comments on this blog. She’d mailed it to me. And it was excellent. I loved it all to bits and hope it gets published so that you can read it, too. She gardens in Texas, a different world and a climate even more difficult than I had imagined, and she likes upcycling, loathes bright white security lights, and we have various other things in common. We have so much in common that I wish she lived on my block.

Allan noticed Skooter pouting over the rain. When it stopped, he found a place to lie where Alicia had run the strimmer through some montbretia. It made a nice nest. Even with the rain turned to mist, I kept reading the memoir all afternoon.

Faerie curled up indoors…

…and also read with me for awhile.

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Thursday, 16 June 2022

Long Beach

We needed to check all the planters, but…hallelujah!…not to water them. We started near the south end, skipping three because of lack of parking, and a bench sitter.

the ugly hebe got some clipping inside, was still pretty ugly
Bloom on Geranium ’Rozanne’, Allium cristophii

The veronica is already going over in the planter by Fifth Street Park. Its flowers don’t last long and again I’m wishing I’d dug out this planter.

The adjacent park looks great where we weeded Monday.

Broken in a park …and blurry with my tears (not really)
Lavender ’Sat-upon’

Third Street Park has more dead rhododendron mingled with salmonberry. It’s the kind of thing I might once have tackled, but now I just send photos to the city crew.

Dying shrub, salmonberry

With two blocks and three skipped planters left to go, we went out to weed some more on the beach approach, getting another section done and mulched and the end cap of the next section weeded. We are not pulling every grass and clover, just editing. Today’s section has thicker roses, was thornier and more frustrating. Allan called it a “brutal” job. I’m still…somewhat..enthusiastic.

We saw the cutest and tiniest tree frog we’ve ever seen, resting on a rose. The bees and such were into the rugosa roses, not the clover.

I contemplated a section for the next work day: How much meadowy look to leave. I researched later. The tiny yellow clover has the adorable name of Trifolium dubium and is from Europe. The upright yellow plant is Parentucelia viscosa and is on the invasive weed list for Humboldt County, Oregon. So I could clear those out for sure. The clover will be a brown dead mat soon, would be already were it not for all the rain. Of course, I like plants from around the world, so I don’t judge worth on the basis of origin unless a plant is on the invasive list.

Speaking of which, Iris pseudacorus, on the noxious weed list here, is trying to establish itself in a vernal bog by the road.

After weeding and mulching, we deadheaded at City Hall….

…then returned to the planter checkups (and the wee bed at Coulter Park) and finished them, ending our Long Beach day.


We checked up our two volunteer gardens, the post office…

…and the fire station.

I’ve added the beach approach to the work board. I used to call it thirteen sections. But when we last weeded it two years ago in early spring, I figured out that dividing it into 26 sections (since each section is divided by a rock or piece of big driftwood) makes the work board more satisfying.

This morning:


I’m pretty obsessed with the beach approach job at the moment. For a short while I thought that it or the parking lot berms could be my new hellstrip gardens. Hellstrip, AKA droughty, xeric curbside or parking strip gardens between street and sidewalk, are my favorite thing, and the ONLY place on the peninsula that has them is the Port of Ilwaco, which is one reason I stuck with that job through some difficult times, till our breaking point on Monday. Our streets just do not have parking strips. But those Long Beach areas do not have any access to water, and that is too hellstrippy even for me.

My obsession (which has taken me by surprise) could lead me to work on the approach every day till it’s done. Allan is not onboard for that, so we are taking three days off.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Long Beach

I felt exhilarated to start weeding the several blocks long Bolstad beach approach garden, which has not been done for over two years.

I was just going to go for some of the worst areas, but Allan wanted to work from the west end to the east, so we did.

The food carts are new. The mini donuts fellow brought us a bag of donuts!

I am trying to strike a balance of leaving some weedy grass for critters while still making it look more garden-y. It didn’t help that we got caught in an unexpected rain and broke off the weeding to go to the dry mulch barn to load buckets with mulch.

We returned, mulched, and weeded some more in a break in the rain. The westernmost section is the longest one by far, so we didn’t get quite done with it. Every block is divided in two by a planter.

Susie’s garden

For a year, Susie and Bill have been waiting for their retaining wall to be done. Finally, they went with a second contractor who finished it and spread the parking area gravel in one day. So at long last, we were able to plant the plants I’d been saving for the very edge: some helianthemum, Lobelia laxiflora, aubretia, lavender, epilobium (California fuchsia) and more. This we did in the pouring but not very cold rain, getting drenched.

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14 June: Long Beach

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

I may never before have shown the calendar that hangs underneath the work board with its work list. This morning, I redid the whole rest of the month.

I had already asked the powers that be in Long Beach if they would like us to work bit by bit on the long-neglected Bolstad beach approach garden now that quitting the port gives us extra time. It has been bugging me how bad it looks. Yes, they would welcome that.

Long Beach

We weeded the ten or so planters on the beach approach blocks of Sid Snyder Drive.

I love santolina!

Allan tackled the horsetail in the corner garden of Veterans Field while I tidied the flag pavilion garden.

Freed from the time-consuming weeding of the Port of Ilwaco gardens, we had time to weed the parking lot berms on the east side of town.

Monster weeds and blackberries

We had an audience while we dumped our debris.

At home and next door

We did a very short day because we had plans with Alicia and Brian, our dear neighbors next door.

First, a different friend came for a sit-down in my back garden, where we were joined by another friend, Sue, who had brought me a much longed-for Chocolate Cherry tomato. She said it was the only one in Washington state. On a trip to Eastern Washington, she had looked in several nurseries before finding just the one. It’s my favorite. I gave her a Sungold and a Rosella or Matt’s Wild Cherry (I did not label well, as usual) which I had grown from seed.

Alicia did some weedeating in her yard while Allan poked dandelions out of her lawn, and then she made us a delicious taco dinner which we ate while sitting around on her patio as the sun set.

These are just some of the treats and gifts that Alicia brought us.

Tomorrow: The always thrilling and thorny beach approach!

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Monday 13 June 2022

Long Beach

We did a short day in Long Beach, first trying an experiment on the shady SW quadrant of Fifth Street Park of transplanting some epimediums that I think will outdo the aggressively seeding dwarf fireweed.

Allan weeded.


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I posted about quitting the port job on my business page, personal page and my Ilwaco page, Our Ilwaco. Why? Because I want people to know, for the sake of our business reputation, that the quickly burgeoning weeds, plants hanging over the sidewalk and eventually the need for water, sight line pruning and deadheading is no longer our responsibility. If it also adds to our reputation of being people who will quit if we don’t feel apppreciated and respected….yeah, that’s also true.

I want to say again that the port commissioners and the the front port office staff have always been good to us.

I was moved by the many comments on the posts, so much so that I am sharing some of them here. I’m not using names because not everyone would want their name used in a blog.


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