Archive for Aug, 2022

at home

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Two doors down at the Norwoods today:


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20 August: 3 projects

Saturday, 20 August 2022

at home

We had a bit of rain overnight!


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Friday, 19 August 2022

at home

By arrangement, Pat and Dave from Surfside came to see the garden. Pat runs the Peninsula Shutterbugs group on Facebook.


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Thursday, 18 August 2022

Long Beach

We started at the welcome sign and were distressed at droopy wilty plants. We deadheaded and gave it all the jug and bucket water we had with us…not much.


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Wednesday, 18 August 2022

The Red Barn

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, middle right, continues to be wilty. Must remove this autumn!

Diane’s garden

Basket Case Greenhouse

I needed plants for my new plant table!

Too hot! See top left!

Long Beach: Vet Field

Someone had done a lot of trampling, even behind the monument.

Fifth Street Park

The NW garden looked fabulous. An appreciative young woman asked for many plants’ names.

SW shady garden also good.

Patti’s garden

We just watered a bit as a favour to the plants. The house sale is pending.

Ilwaco Fire Station

The sunny corner of our volunteer garden looks tired, shade garden looks refreshing.

Ilwaco Freedom Market

This project got started too late for much planting near the building. We continue to peck away at weedy spots.

On my walk to Time Enough, of course I noticed the beds we no longer care for. Some of the plants I chose are excellent in drought. Other plants that were fine with water twice a month just cannot hack it.

Time Enough Books

Ilwaco Street Trees

Exhausting bucket and jug watering. Earlier this week I thought, oh it makes a difference and is only four hours of misery a month. But we are old and risking our backs. It has to go. I look around at the plants local businesses and even city hall are supposedly caring for and think why are we busting ass (pardon me) when others don’t water at all. These are two examples out of several we saw.

Ilwaco post office

We barely got our second volunteer garden done with time to do my watering at home before dark.

In the post office garden

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Tuesday, 16 August 2022

at home

I had a new project in mind, a revamp of a sunny succulents table. It has gotten tired looking and was way too low to the ground, but if it were raised, it would block too much of the garden behind it. This table was an old coffee table that we scavenged some years ago when it was put out with a free sign one block north.

The day was unpleasantly hot, not so perfect for a project in the sun.

I walked all around the property looking for a new sunny place for the table. There was no such space. It would have to become a shade table, and I found a good spot at the entrance to the way back sit spot. It should draw the eye to that area when one looks east along the metal path.

I dismantled the planting and now have four flats of succulents for some future project.

When I asked Allan for help with the handcart in moving the table top to his work area for some future time, he took an immediate interest in the project.

The old legs and long brace came off more or less in one piece. I used it as a garden edge plant propper upper, which won’t last long.

We moved a bench from the fire circle to the front of the newly cleared area, and I’ll plant some heleniums behind it. I think this whole project was inspired by having new heleniums in pots with no idea where to plant them.

I was pleased because with the bench gone, the fire circle garden shows up better. We have plenty of plastic chairs for seating (not elegant, but easily moved around).

Allan scavenged his salvage pile and found posts from the old fence, the one the bear knocked down, and used the posts for legs. He found painted green lumber from a rotted gate that was recently replaced, scrap packing boards from a lumber delivery, and used boards from the old fence to make a table base.

While he built, I needed to water. I found two cats in the shade of the Catio by the faucet. Almost didn’t see one.

After Allan set the table up in the woodsy area, I started bucketing potting soil, edging rocks, and decorative bits out there with the rollator. When I completely ran out of oomph and my back had about had it, Allan re-emerged and helped me hoist one last half bag of soil up there.

Now I need plants. New plants. I don’t want to use vigorous plants that will take over special things like with my previous fern table.

In fact, I might dismantle the planting of table one and use some of its precious plants that are now buried on the new table instead. Then I’ll have two fun new projects going at once.

My main inspiration for today and for a couple of decades of plant tables is the wonderful book by George Schenk.

I also looked at fern images online in the evening and found this excellent post by Danger Garden, which reminded me of how good it is to use old wood in such a project. I’d already been eying an excellent stash of rotting alder that I’d scavenged from a tree that fell in Alicia’s back yard and am further inspired to add some. It will help provide damp microclimates, I believe.

I was too tired to go on today. It’s something to look forward to for our three day weekend.

In other news, Zinc’s brother Nickel, who has been the most standoffish and petting avoidant cat I’ve ever had, suddenly came out of his shell and took up a place on Allan’s desk and reached out his paw for affection. I have thought that he was traumatized by the six weeks he spent as a kitten in a cage with daily baths for ringworm, before we got him. Faerie experienced the same treatment but has such a sunny personality that she got over it right away.

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Monday, 15 July 2022

Peninsula Sanitation (AKA “the dump”)

Before work, we took a detour to get rid of the large quantity of rose clippings that I had condensed into a manageable pile, along with other yard debris we had added to make a full load. Allan was able to drag the tarp off the trailer in one go.

Although the blue sky looks like a hot day, the sunny weather was pleasant with a marine fog layer hanging off the shoreline and a cool breeze.

Long Beach

The kite festival began today with booths of food and trinkets along the Bolstad approach and kites on the beach. We may or may not walk down there on Thursday. I kind of prefer not watching people trample the garden (reminding me of why we planted the rugosa roses there instead of more varied, smaller, prettier and more interesting plants), and since we still are avoiding take out food because of our insanely strict Covid protocols, and especially don’t want to stand in a crowded line, the allure of the food booths is lost on us.

We scored a parking spot at the merchants association building and realized that, with it closed on Mondays, we can continue to park there Mondays, giving us easy access to the busiest two blocks.

A Mitzu sighting near our parking place!

Allan hauled bucket water to the saddest tree garden. This one had a setback when someone put big moldy piles of coffee grounds on it, trying to helpful, I think. It never seemed to recover, which is rather strange and perhaps coincidental.

The little garden in Fifth Street Park east is looking unimpressive now that the California poppies are in decline.

Town is packed.
One gazania that made it through winter.

I used to wish the planter by the stoplight had a big fuchsia on both sides and had plans to install a second one. Now I have realized it would be a traffic sight line blocker at this busy intersection, so it’s just as well that the planter is off balance.

I forgot my big water and weed bucket (how strange, a first!), so used my little tool bucket for watering the Fish Alley barrels.

Having noticed that the white rugosa roses at the merchants center (the old police station) were encroaching on the sidewalk, we paused in our planter watering to shear them back and take a load of debris to city works.

Then back to watering the two south blocks.

Note the difference of these two planters across the street from each other. The Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that hangs protected from wind on the west side of the street is so much fuller than the one that gets wind and full afternoon baking sun on the east side.

I photographed the Edward Jones investments sand offering, left over from their Sandsations sand sculpture, and posted it on a local group. I heard that people descended upon the pile later that day.

Then came the two north blocks.

Phygelius ‘Moonraker’

Sometimes it is a challenge to get at a planter whose bench is busy with people. We usually will do three other planters while we wait and hope the people will move on. As in this case, I had to approach with hose and hand and say that sorry, but I have to get in there to hook up the water. People are almost always pleasantly cooperative.

My ear is still driving me bonkers. With some difficulty, I managed to get a prescription for antibiotics today. Ten days of prescription ear drops did not help at all, maybe because I did not buy the $300 ones? We picked up the blessed prescription and I did the half monthly billing while Allan did some more work at the…

…Ilwaco Community Building…

…whose garden looks pitiful because of too much orange montbretia, someone unhelpfully pulling plants out and leaving gaps, and blank area in the pretty shade garden where a fuchsia got trampled.

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North Nemah River

Allan’s latest adventure

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

14 August 2022

The North Nemah River is a difficult one to get a kayak into. There are highway barriers, no wide shoulder, steep clay river banks, and private land along its shores. For years, I concluded that the only access was from a small, probably private, grassy bank on the South Nemah River four miles away. My trip from the South Nemah was thwarted by the rough Willapa Bay where the rollers and the wind turned me back and up the Middle Nemah instead.

Here’s the view driving northbound on Highway 101 over the North Nemah from Google as this is not a safe place to be out of the car snapping pictures. Pilings from an earlier lumber era lead off to the left on a inviting river that’s over a hundred feet wide.

If I were coming from the north, an interesting route is to turn right onto…

View original post 1,064 more words

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at home

Saturday, 13 August 2022

I tried to undercut old canes from Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose with the long clippers.

It was not very successful. Allan joined me with the loppers, which would be what I was using but looking up makes me too dizzy. It’s frustrating. He complained a lot about how much he hates the rose, and what a pain it was at our old house where it once covered a little caravan and had to be cut completely back with many stab wounds. And how I had said I would not plant one here and then I did. I said most sincerely that if he could dig it out by the roots we could replace it with a wisteria. But then he got into the challenge of pruning (not digging out) and I could not get him to stop till it was nicely thinned out. He did point out that his plan for the day had been to make peanut butter cookies, which we would now go without.
A big job like this doesn’t need to be done every year. It’s actually sad to sacrifice all the pretty little sprays of rose hips from this year’s bloom. It had just gotten too much dead underneath, was too bulky and was hiding almost all of the cat memorial garden and garden boat.

I then spent hours chopping the thorny debris to fit into the trailer.

I strained some more comfrey feed…

….and used it, diluted, on many container plants, including the tomatoes, and did a great deal of hose watering all the way to the back garden.

We had a campfire dinner with hot dogs and fire roasted corn on the cob.

My moving the fire circle two feet east last winter had been successful. I now don’t have the glare of the horrible street light (150 feet away) glaring in the corner of my eye.

Now the contorted filbert blocks my view and I just see darkness to my left. Bliss.

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Allan went boating, another try at getting into the North Nemah River. I had thought about sifting compost and then made cuttings instead, inspired by having pruned the straggly Callistemon ‘Woodlander’s Red’ by the sidewalk. I had read how one can make it denser by cutting underneath this year’s bloom.

I set up a station in the open garage and took two flats of cuttings of that and also some pittosporums and olearia and put them in a shady place where I will water and mist them twice a day. Fingers crossed.

Sights in the garden:

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12 August: potting up day

Friday, 12 August 2022

on our block

Allan watered at the J Crew Cottage across the street and mowed both there and the vast parklike back yard next door.

at home

I spent the day with a wheelbarrow full of soil by the compost bins, up-potting flats of cuttings, including many lovely little Euonymus ‘Green Spire’ and Jackman’s Blue rue. It was so much fun that I scouted all through my plant starts for ones that might like to be in bigger pots. This is a continuation of last weekend’s project (or maybe it was Tuesday) of up-potting about a gazillion tiny seedlings of Eryngium giganteum. I wished that over the years I had not given away so many long narrow cross-bottom pots. They were ideal for the long roots. The eryngiums were originally planned for the port but can maybe go in Long Beach…all over the place…if they get big enough to not get lost. But they will take a couple of years to bloom and they had better do so before I turn 70 in two and a half years.

Skooter helped.

I get frustrated that at my little annual plant sale, folks don’t recognize that I have some awesome greenery on offer: azara, luma, lonicera, along with bog standard gunnera and other perennials.

Allan removed a spent variegated tree mallow from the Catio, checked out the potential fig harvest, and rescued the tree dahlia that was getting squashed by the net “ceiling”, giving it space to grow through.

Whenever I walk past the east side of the Catio, the cats rush over to get some fresh catnip from two hanging baskets there.

I’ve been hose watering the garden and have only turned on the assorted oscillating sprinklers twice (and not at all in the front garden where shrubs are now so tall they won’t work anyway). This is saving money, proven by the water bill. I can focus on plants that want water and let the tough ones tough it out. It’s easier to hose water with a rollator and its portable seat (although it does make hose dragging more awkward).

Some sights around the garden:

thirsty astilbes that I wish to move this autumn into the damp shady garden
A new helenium in a pot for which garden space must be found
Salvia ‘Amistad’
Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ in the evening

Dinner included produce from the garden:

Plus cucumber, store bought canned green beans, and green peppers from the greenhouse scrambled in eggs from our friend Mark’s chickens.

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