Archive for the ‘journal’ Category

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Good weather and fall clean up continued.  The days have been like the best of summer, sunny but not too warm.

Long Beach

My goal was to complete a few fall clean up areas and erase them from the work board.

We began with clipping catmint and pulling crocosmia and planting the Basket Case donation of sea thrift in the Sid Snyder Drive planters.



The ocean was bright blue and calm today.

the westernmost planter

gazania still blooming

The World Kite Museum garden, on the south side of Sid Snyder, got its fall clean up.

The museum dwarfs our pots and pocket garden.



The garden needs a lavender to match the one on the right side.

I like to leave a lot of seed heads standing, for birds, so did not cut back the oregano or lavender here.

We checked up on the Bolstad beach approach planters.  I did not mention last week that we planted some sea thrift out there.  I did not want to tempt the fate that has for the last several years made plants disappear by the day after I planted them.  It was worth testing it out with free plants from the Basket Case—and the plants are still there.  I am hoping that the thief has moved away.  Or reformed.  I am not hoping the person died, although I suppose that is a possibility.  I am also hoping said person does not read this blog.

Something strange happened.  I stood at the west end of the beach approach after pulling just a few weeds there and suddenly, I fervently wished it was February or March and that we were about to embark upon the ten to thirteen day annual first weeding of the beach approach garden.  I shocked myself with a feeling of joy at the prospect.  Peculiar.

looking east down many blocks of weeding

Apparently I still like this job.  That made me wonder how I am going to make the decision to retire from Long Beach!

We turned our attention to the fall clean up at City Hall (and the big popout nearby, where I clipped back some straying rugosa roses).

City Hall garden, north side

some late Welsh poppies

We next went to Coulter Park, where Allan pulled a vast number of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in a bed that became inaccessible after a ramp was built, unless you crawl through or climb over the railing.


after (Allan’s photo)

The ramp goes to the old train depot building which will house Shoeboxes of Joy between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Shoeboxes of Joy in the old train depot, 2013

We don’t have time to make a shoebox (for local seniors) so we just give a monetary donation by popping in with some cash on a day when the volunteers are working, after Thanksgiving day.

Cotoneaster berries in Coulter Park

While Allan yanked Crocosmia, I did the fall clean up on two blocks of planters.  The planters will need a go-round again after the first hard frost.

I found a rock.

The cosmos are coming out of all the planters now.

They have little left to offer.

a planter that still has much to offer

As I took photos, my Lumix—a refurbished one less than a year old—insisted several times that it be turned off and on again, and then came the dreaded message:

Looks like another Lumix bites the dust.  (The several new Lumixes I have bought have all done the same thing after a year or less.)  I am disappointed because I like its capabilities.

I switched to my phone camera.

Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’, before…

and after, again thwarted from being eight feet tall and wide.

Chrysanthemum and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

another chrysanth just now starting to bloom—how I love them!

I have read several blog articles on Garden Rant frothing over with chrysanthemum loathing.  Fie on that!  They are quite wonderful here, bloom for ages, and return reliably in the planters.  And I adore the scent of the foliage.

When I bought my grandmother’s house in 1980, I spent some time trying to find chrysanths that were like the ones she grew when I was a child, the tall ones, almost as tall as me.  Then I realized my memory was measuring them based on my height as a little girl.

The dusky pink one just north of NIVA green is slowly fading.

Across from Dennis Company, has been blooming for weeks.

I am not going to do any fiddly deadheading at this stage.  When the frost comes, or when we go to shop at Dennis hardware for some reason, I will take that whole plant down to the base at once.  Later.

My last individual task was to pull and clip the BadAster which has been moderately welcome to grow under a street tree.

The seeds blew down the block….

Allan and I reunited by pulling some cosmos at the front of Coulter Park.  A hebe had suddenly decided to hide the memorial.


After we dumped debris, we bought four bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Building Compost at Dennis Company.  The first three went to…

The Depot Restaurant

…where I had felt that mulch was needed after yesterday’s fall clean up.



The fourth bag went to…

The Shelburne Hotel

….to fluff up the area where we had dug out loads of Crocosmia corms to make a new fuchsia bed.  I am sure the soil had been thoroughly worn out by the vigor of crocosmia.

No wonder Allan is tired by end of the day.

That bale would be un-liftable had it been outside for awhile.  Dennis sells it from inside of a building, so it is dry.

very nice for the Hawkshead fuchsia I planted there yesterday…

While I did more tidying of the path and put river rock at the back of the fuchsia bed, Allan cleaned up a neglected area on the north side of the building.


after (Allan’s photos)

I noticed the canna is blooming in the full shade mini bog garden by the fine dining entrance:

The big dining room is open with its own menu on Friday and Saturday nights.

We did some more garden trimming until dusk….

Shelburne at sunset

the garden by lamplight )Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

…and then we were lured into the pub by the warm lights through the stained glass windows.

guests by the living room fireplace

I tried a Cranberry Shrub, delicious!

I told Brooke, the young bartender, that we were celebrating the end of Mulch Week.  She replied in her delightful manner, “I don’t know what that is, but yay!”…a reminder that not everyone knows our gardening terminology.

Caesar salad, delectable black garlic fried rice, fish and chips

my favourite dessert, the cream cheese blackberry tart

But oh, the dessert Allan had is new and so delicious, a rocky road semifreddo, like a frozen mousse.  It could almost divert me from the tart…This will be a difficult choice next time.

Allan’s photo

I reflected during dinner on how I feel that the Shelburne itself wants me to be its gardener, and how it missed me during the ten years when I left the garden (because of reasons).  I feel a connection with the place that I cannot explain.

At home, I was able to erase Coulter crocosmias, beach approaches, city hall, and kite museum from the work board.

I won’t say where, but today I saw the hidden stash of a homeless person hidden in a barberry patch…

I can only imagine the misery of making a camp in a grove of barberries because of the terrible thorns:

Tiny mean thorns all over the barberry grove.





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Saturday, 10 November 2018

Skooter still abed as we readied ourselves for work

We began working our way through the fall clean up list in amazingly nice weather.

Before leaving for work, I noted what a kind microclimate our garden has.  Our location has a disadvantage of being windy but an advantage of not getting an early plant-damaging frost.  This might be because we are two blocks from the water, or it might be from the shelter provided by the bogsy wood.

We still have….

Salvia ‘Amistad’

pineapple sage

Salvia leucantha

…whereas these same plants in other local gardens were turned limp by frost.

An update on the compost bins, where decomposition has the piles slowly sinking:

Skooter crossed the street and sat on the porch of the cottage belonging to a big house whose orange cat come over here and battles with him.  Skooter’s invasion of orange cat’s porch could explain some of their bad personal dynamic:

Skooter at the front door

However, Orange Cat had gotten along fine with all our other cats, as has black Onyx from next door.  It is Skooter who gets into scraps.

The Depot Restaurant

Our fall clean up mission included clipping and untwining the hops from lattice on the north side of the dining deck.  Because these hops had a touch of sooty mold, they had to be bagged up for the wheelie bin.

the dining deck, before (Allan’s photo)

before (Allan’s photo)

A small catastrophe occurred: Allan cut a wire going to the deck lighting.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.57.12 PM.png

cable and vines

Fortunately, it was not plugged in.

We were mortified. He made the second cut to get a sample for replacement. (Allan’s photo)

Chef Michael said not to worry, but I do worry.  We will give a credit back on the cost of today’s work.

after (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

Meanwhile, I had been clipping hops and perennials on the north side of the lattice.



giant miscanthus in raised bed on the south side of the deck

I was determined to plant the last of the bulbs in the barrel.  The pink gaura came out and got transplanted into the garden to make room.

before: Geranium ‘Rozanne;, pink gaura, Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ still blooming.

Shelburne Hotel

I was on a small mission to take away a red flowered Fuchsia magellanica, for reasons which will become clear.  The helianthus distracted me and I suddenly had both Allan and I chopping it down with timing that did not make sense.  That should have happened at the end so we could take it home to the compost bins.  I got over-excited.

The long-lasting sweet peas also got pulled, having reached an undeniably tatty stage.

before (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan’s photo)



The one stem of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ that placed itself against the stained glass east wall is still in full bloom.

front path, looking south from the north end. To the right, I snagged out one of several red fuchsias.

a good perennial chrysanthemum still blooming (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

We clipped some tall perennials in Fifth Street Park (Helianthus, Solidago ‘Fireworks’) and pulled some but not all the cosmos.  I had forgotten that on Saturdays, a self-styled preacher man plays loud music on speakers in the park, so loud the sound was distorted.  I did not mind so much when the songs were “We Are Family” and “Celebration”, disco anthems of the gay clubs where I used to go dancing in Seattle.  The ballads I could have done without.  Allan and I could not hear each other over the music so communication re what to do next was even more difficult than usual.

music man (Allan’s photo)

before (Allan’s photo)


Those rugosa roses against the wooden fence have run there without permission.  Will try to deal with them in the spring; they have infiltrated the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.

Even after our clipping session, the park still has flowers.

Verbena bonariensis, cosmos…

…and sweet peas.

We dumped our debris and completed our fuchsia mission.  In an obscure corner of an obscure park hidden by an azalea was a Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’ which I had planted, for free, from a cutting maybe fifteen years ago.  No one sees it in the quiet corner where I dug it out today, replacing it with a red one which will match another red one in the same shrubby border.

Shelburne Hotel again 

On the way home, near twilight, I planted the white and green tipped fuchsia at the Shelburne and hoped that it would withstand the shock of moving.

a favourite of mine: Fuchsia ‘Hawkhead’, in another location a few years back

Ironically, I no longer have one of this fuchsia.  I hope to remedy that with some cuttings from the one at the Depot.

While I planted, Allan tackled the bad aster in the north corner garden, one that we don’t pay a lot of attention to other than weeding it.


after (Allan’s photos)

I hope to make that corner better next year.  It has just been a repository for extra plants and has both the badaster and the annoying orange montbretia.


We offloaded compostable debris next to our driveway in the dusk.

Through the Nora house back yard, we can see the hills of Cape Disappointment.

On the work board, the Depot moved from the fall clean up list over to the post-frost check up list.  (The annuals in the Depot window boxes will be removed when the weather becomes cold enough to kill them.)

The last of the bulb bags are ready to be flattened and stored in the shed.

With the delight of early darkness, I was able to sit in my comfy chair and catch up on six weeks of daily posts of my favourite blog by Mr. Tootlepedal.

The advantage to reading it belatedly is that I can enjoy his droll replies to the comments from his many faithful readers.

Frosty and I read Mr. T.





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Friday, 9 November 2018

the very last of the eight yards of mulch

Allan filling buckets while I went to unload yesterday’s Shelburne garden debris from the trailer

mulch all gone!

We were able to fill almost the full array of buckets with the last of the mulch pile and spent the day doing the first complete end of season clean up at

Diane’s garden.

parked in the Red Barn pasture next door….with this many buckets. (Allan’s photo)

Holly got so excited she dragged the chair a little bit after getting petted.

Allan’s photo

Our first mission was the roadside garden, where I cleared while Allan brought mulch from the trailer in the pasture next door—a long haul that required using the wheelbarrow to transport the buckets.  There is not enough room by the road to maneuver dumping a wheelbarrow full of loose mulch.

Just as I started, my friend Terran of BeeKissed Gardening pulled up in her distinctive honey-yellow truck (during a lull in traffic).  I was pleased to see one of my three favourite chefs was spending the day with her, Chef Jason.  And, of course, I was even more thrilled to see two of her dogs.

Allan’s photo

Terran is my top recommendation for gardening jobs.

I will apprise you when Chef Jason opens his new food truck in Astoria.  That will get me across the bridge for sure.

roadside garden before (Allan’s photo)

I hated to cut down that sanguisorba, but I did, because it would have been silly and floppy on its own.

starting to pull the cosmos

Even though I had told Diane last week that we’d be at her garden early this week, I was glad we had waited till Friday.  A frost had damaged the cosmos last night and so we were able to clear them all out instead of getting sentimental about them still looking ok.

The bad foliage of one of the leftover plants of the Agastache catastrophe was revealed.

It never had gotten better.

More Agastache thoughts: I was pressured, by the person who had sourced these plants, to see if they would just grow out of their disease.  I left one here in the roadside bed, being an isolated garden, just to see.  No, it did not grow out of it.  I was also chastised at the time when I discarded all the other diseased plants that throwing them out was like “having a cat put down without knowing what was wrong with it”.  The plant-sourcing person knew I had had to do that with my poor darling suffering best beloved Smoky, so that remark did not go over well with me.  In fact, looking back now….. [Redacted…This is one of many times in the Agastache Castastrophe and later that I wrote about my full feelings about what happened and decided to delete it!]

I never did get the plants tested.  During the peak of gardening season, I simply could not allow such ugly looking foliage to stay on view in public gardens.  (Some of it was even worse, with black patches on each leaf.)  Expert nursery friends assessed the plants as being bad and dangerous enough to other plants to require wheelie bin disposal.  (“And then throw out your gloves”, said one, and “remove every fallen leaf!” said another, and a third said, after viewing the leaves, “Don’t get that plant anywhere near me!”.) Another gardener had the best advice, to just move on and not spend any more time than necessary fixing the painful problem, which was a personal as well as a monetary loss.

Yet agastache remains one of my favourite perennials, so I will try again next year.  I have read that the Kudos series is highly resistant to disease, and all of those that I used this year have done beautifully.  The catastrophic ones were Acapulco Salmon and Pink, Cotton Candy, Estella Indigo, Golden Jubilee, and Sangria….some of my very favourites, unfortunately.  Only one batch of the above cultivars was bad; the ones I had gotten earlier in the year were pristine.

Today ended the bad episode, with the very last of the bad agastaches going into the wheelie bin.  The bigger showy ones often behave as annuals around here anyway, not coming through the winter.  I am glad to be at the other end of the saddest plant experience of my life!

starting to apply soil after clearing and clipping

A little bed by the front porch deck is one we have neglected.  I am hoping we can finally improve it next year.  It is full of valerian, which is just fine, but also has an awful lot of creeping buttercup and terrible soil.  We ran out of mulch for it.  Allan got the plants cut back.


after, ready for some bagged mulch later on

The equipment shown in the photo is part of the septic system and includes the septic alarm box that sounds if something goes wrong.

We turned our attention to the raised box garden in the back yard.





after mulching (Allan’s photos)

The center had been mostly cosmos, and three of the Agastache ‘Salmon and Pink’ that I do not trust, whose leaves still looked suspect, so we treated them as annuals also and discarded them (no composting for them!).

We finished up the mulching of the roadside garden with four bags of a product that Diane had bought for it during the summer.

I am glad it was brown and not red bark!

not a big fan of bark, me…

Allan found a frog living behind the bark bags, along with a worm and a slug.

With the bark spread, it did look sort of reddish…

Allan’s photo

Most people see this garden at 20 miles per hour.


Almost all of Diane’s summer garden got loaded into our trailer to go home to our compost bins:

One more wheelbarrow load was added after this.

Diane’s garden now gets erased from the fall clean up list, and added to a new list on the workboard called “Post frost check-up”, which will be the final clean up of annuals either after a hard frost or in mid December, whichever comes first.

Helichrysum ‘Limelight’ climbing into a barberry, according to plan.

The Red Barn

We had an hour before dark to weed the narrow bed at the Red Barn.  It is not quite ready yet to erase from the fall clean up list.

Lots of sorrel weed appeared after we pulled the old California poppy foliage.

not quite done….but running out of daylight.

I don’t like using horse manure; it is too weedy.  However, I’ve decided we will add some to this gravelly garden bed when we return to finish the clean up job.  It needs something, and the Red Barn has a great big pile of horse manure always at the ready.

sunset over the Red Barn

At home, we unloaded the compressed trailer load of debris onto a tarp till I have time to enter it into the compost bin three.  Mulch week is over, with eight yards of soil moved in about 20 hours of very hard work.  The last two days, I was running on Doans Back Pills.  Yesterday, I frequently had to stand with my back against a wall to just straighten up.  The wall at the post office was especially good because it was warm from the sun.  I heard some pained noises from Allan, too, as the week wore on.

I hope to revive by staycation time and order eight yards of mulch for my own garden.

We now are entering serious fall clean up mode and hope to plug on through it without a day off until it is done or until rain comes, whichever is first.  Then: staycation preview till the first hard frost.


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Thursday, 8 November 2018

First, a postscript to Halloween and the 6×6 art auction.  Wendy Murry is the artist on whose 6×6 piece I always bid.  Some of her work from the past, that I am so glad to own:

and my favourite:

my favourite Wendy art of all

She told me that she would not be in the art auction this year because of being so busy but that she had made me a piece of art anyway.  On Halloween, she brought it to me, and this morning I remembered to photograph it for you.  It is a depiction of Dead Man’s Cove at Cape Disappointment.

Here is a real life view.

I am pleased and touched and grateful.

Ilwaco mulching

Today we began by loading all the buckets of mulch and applying more buckets-full to our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Department.

before, with mulching to the right hand side that was done last night.

The velvety verbascum that had placed itself right on the edge had to go.


and the long, narrow west side, too.

I think there might be a narrow bed on the east side that is just nothing; I should have a look and maybe put more Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have an endless supply, into it.

Next, we mulched our volunteer garden at the Post Office, where we used up the rest of the load of 25 five gallon buckets and 17 four gallon buckets.  That’s 193 gallons; 201 and a bit equals one cubic yard, according to my calculations.

I removed some under-performing Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ to make room for a bulb of my Lily Conca D’Or.  Look how big it is after several years in the ground!

It went in the back corner.

I have mixed feelings about all that grass in the front.  I asked the opinion of a passerby, who said she liked it.

clearing out plants while mulching

post office garden after mulching

back home, this much left (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s garden

Back at home, we reloaded all the buckets and applied them at Mike’s garden, a few blocks to the east.

ready for Mike’s garden (Allan’s photo)

autumn leaves

Mike’s front garden

mulching thickly at Mike’s, where the soil is clay and fill.

Someone else is going to remove this tatty old lilac:

And we will return soon to prune the Escallonia iveyi behind it.

Back home…

Now this much is left. (Allan’s photo)

I was in suspense whether filling all the buckets for the Shelburne would use the mulch up, or whether we would have enough left for Diane’s garden.  I was so happy that some was left over.

The Shelburne Hotel

We delivered another full complement of buckets to the Shelburne.

ready to mulch (Allan’s photo)

We usually leave the right-in-front parking spots for guests.  Not today, when we had such heavy work to do.

We not only mulched but also moved some hardy fuchsias and a hydrangea to more eye-catching locations.  I planted two of my Lily Conca D’Or, some violas, and some starts of a white veronicastrum.  Three big clumps of white astilbe that had appeared in full sun got moved to happier shady spots.

I removed a lot of badasters. and must remember to put some divisions of good asters in for autumnal beauty in 2019.

nice thick layer of Soil Energy

In case you are wondering what Soil Energy consists of: “Soil Energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter).”

We finished after sunset.

brushing footprints out of the mulch

sweeping the path

The windows of the pub (left, below) glowed so enticingly that we went in for a work reward.

Jambalaya (ordered with no oysters, please!) with a side salad, fried chicken sandwich and small chopped salad

At home, the work board reflects that Diane’s is the only mulching job left.



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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

I awoke at 7:30 fretting over Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and no more sleep could be found.  For me, this means I’d had very little precious sleep.

I gave up on the sleep quest and read the news from 8:30 to 9:00 (mildly comforting, hints of a run off vote maybe being possible for Georgia) and then got started on our day.

We had time to get the mulch bucket brigade set up and, with a little bit of garage clean up, added four more buckets with handles to our array.  As we were filling them, Bill came over (as planned) to talk about my bathtub replacement project.  (He is an artistic craftsman so however he wants to tile the area is fine with me; I suggested something leafy like a woodsy grotto, perhaps.  I have woodsy grottos on the brain after Halloween.)

Allan kept filling buckets and by the time Bill left, all were ready to go.

Soil Energy bucket brigade (Allan’s photos)

buckets of mulchy goodness

We applied load one to the port curbside gardens.  I planted some of the donated sea thrift from The Basket Case.

Allan’s photo

It pleases me to report that we got architect David Jensen’s curbside garden well mulched along with the entire east end garden.

east end before…

and after (Allan’s photos)

At home again, while Allan reloaded all the buckets, I wheeled 3×16 gallons of mulch (three trips) to the Norwood garden, two doors down.

16 gallons in the just my size red wheelbarrow

steam rising off the mulch pile (Allan’s photo)

When a pile of mulch is hot inside, don’t plant directly in that mulch until it cools down.  Once upon a time, a local gardening business (now gone) put hot mulch in the curbside bed at the old Shorebank building at the port, long before I was involved with those gardens.  I saw the deeply steaming new soil and saw the gardeners planting in it and thought, this is trouble.  Indeed it was.  A few days later, all the shrubs and young trees were crispy and had to be replaced.  It is ok to apply warm mulch in established beds around shrubs (nothing delicate) on a cool day.  I have been known to water the mulch down if its heat worries me.

Norwood back border before


I wonder if someone helped this golden euonymus become a bird shaped topiary?

ready to go again (Allan’s photo)

The boatyard was our destination for load two.



heading back home for load three…

load three back at the boatyard

This area and others where we have twice removed Pennisetum macrourum needed lots of filling in to raise it to sidewalk level:



Our view from the south end of the boatyard garden:

We had almost enough soil left to do all of the north stretch of the boatyard garden.

application with bucket and rake

I must confess that, due to time factors, I just covered the small weeds.  Hey, this was one of the first gardening books I ever owned:

“The unmulched garden looks to me like some naked thing which for one reason or another would be better off with a few clothes on.” –Ruth Stout

Home again, we filled just the four-gallon buckets (17 in all) and finished off the boatyard garden with six of them.  The rest were destined for the fire station.  We followed the boatyard mulching with the planting of two more sea thrifts by CoHo Charters, and then we noticed the sunset and drove to the south parking lot for a quick sunset view.

The dredge was splurting out mud in its autumnal quest to keep the boating channel deep enough.

At the fire station, by street lamp, we dumped and spread the contents of our 12 remaining buckets of the day.  Tomorrow, we will begin there with more mulch.

Mulch list is getting shorter.

Mulching is exhausting work, more so for Allan who hefts the buckets into and out of the trailer because my knee won’t take the weight.  It is a blessing that darkness comes early now and makes us not work on into the late evening like we do in summer.

“Why do people who like to get up early look with disdain on those who like to lie in bed late? And why do people who like to work feel superior to those who prefer to dream?”-Ruth Stout








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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Eight yards of mulch was due to arrive at 11-ish AM.  We were ready, with the sides of the driveway tarped off in case the pile fell widely onto the plants.

We waited.  At noon, I called.  The delivery fellow had just left.  A half hour passed.  The supply yard is but ten minutes away.  Was he lost?

We were so ready to start filling buckets.  Every bucket with a handle was in play, and I had done the math (with effort) to figure out how bucket gallons translate into cubic yards.

Frosty had helped.

still waiting to start filling these

I am not good at getting anything accomplished while waiting for someone to arrive or while waiting to go to an event (which is why an event can kibosh my whole day).

At one, just as I was about to call again,  the supply place  (although you can figure it out, I still love them so am not saying their name) called and said the delivery chappie had headed off to nearby Naselle with a load….not ours.  An hour of unpredicted pouring rain soothed my work anxiety; we would have taken that hour off, anyway.

Knowing it would be awhile, but being promised the load would come today even if someone else had to deliver it, I finally managed to do a few productive household things.

….like making some winter decor for the garage planters…

At  3 o clock, the load finally came.

such a welcome sight

Our delivery ticket had been at the bottom of the pile instead of second in line for the morning.  All was forgiven.  However, we had lost most of our workday.  At this time of year, work not done is just work deferred, not money lost…but work deferred also delays the beginning of staycation.

We got as much done as we could in two hours, filling all the buckets and putting one load down at the port curbside gardens…

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


after (Allan’s photos)

brushing off the edges

fading light at the port

With an hour of daylight left, and partly because we had a book and DVD awaiting us, we refilled all the buckets and mulched the Ilwaco Community Building in waning light.

tall buckets, short buckets, rectangular buckets, square buckets (Allan’s photo)

tiered garden, mulched

I rewarded myself for hard work with six heaping buckets of maple leaves from the parking lot.  (The garden beds are already full of leaves and do not need more.)

At home, the slightly diminished pile by street lamp.

A nice cup of Builders was another reward.  We settled in early in front of the telly to watch election night.  The suspense had been doing me head in for weeks if not months.  The results were better than I expected, because I have become a pessimist about the good prevailing in politics.  I felt relieved and yet my heart broke over Stacey Abrams probably(?) losing the Georgia vote; her loss seems to be in the realm of the number of votes that were suppressed by her unscrupulous opposition.  I am still hoping for some sort of upset.  I love her so.  Oh please…let there be a runoff vote.  It is still a possibility as I write this one day later.  (Such dreams of mine have never been realized in the past…)







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Monday, 5 November 2018

Once again, we worked instead of having the reading day that I had so fervently hoped for (based on the weather forecast—wrong again!).

We began at the boatyard, making some santolina clippings to take to the Basket Case Greenhouse.

The basic form of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree has been constructed past the south end of the boatyard.

an area with three kinds of santolina

Clip to here (might be better to do this in the late winter)


green santolina; we just clipped some along the edges.

looking south

looking north

As we drove to the Basket Case, we checked Diane’s roadside garden in passing.  We did not get there last week; it looks ok.

Basket Case Greenhouse

The greenhouse is offering a series of workshops for Christmas decor.

The little mama cat was most interested in our van.

Allan’s photos

Allan brought her back.

chrysanthemums for sale (Allan’s photo)

Roxanne kindly donated some end of season violas, sea thrift, catmint, and primroses to our public gardens.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

A short way to the north, we stopped in at Peninsula Landscape Supply to order a big pile of mulch.  I have decided it makes more sense to have it dumped in our driveway and then bucket it around Ilwaco rather than to drive back and forth eight times or more getting a yard at a time in our rickety trailer.

by the pond

PLS is having an end of season sale on plants and garden decor.

Long Beach

We had debris from our last LB work session.  We added to it with crocosmia from the little popouts.


almost after

In planting violas and sea thrift around town, we discovered I had left behind one flat of the violas.  Dadblast it!   Roxanne kindly said she would bring them to our house.

The city crew was busy hanging holiday decorations.

beautiful autumnal light on Bolstad

Fitz and Parks Manager Mike putting up Christmas decor

If you think it is too early for Christmas stuff, just remember how very much they have to get done before Thanksgiving weekend, which opens the December holiday festivities in Long Beach.

I got to meet two greyhounds.

And to pet the big dog to the left, nicknamed Velcro because she leans on a person while being petted.

bird feeders (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

on the Bolstad approach

We dumped our debris at almost sunset.

sunset over City Works

Shelburne Hotel

To give something back to Roxanne for the violas, in the twilight we dug a batch of ill-placed Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out of what I want to be a hardy fuchsia bed.  We then rewarded ourselves for a rushed and hard working day with a delicious dinner in the pub.


The Ilwaco Fire Department was holding down the bar.

my favourite, chopped salad topped with fried chicken

and that wonderful blackberry dessert.

Allan pronounced the Cubano sandwich special to be delicious.

tiramisu for Allan

fuchsias by lamplight as we departed

At home, I bagged up some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, some Gladiolus papilio and some elephant garlic for Roxanne, then worked my nerves with an hour of news followed by a soothing episode of the detective show, Vera, and bedtime reading by Marion Cran.


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