Archive for the ‘journal’ Category

8-10 Sept: days off, with visitors

Sorry for another long post; we’re trying to catch up.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

at home

I slept long and thoroughly, exhausted from a stressful week and from Slow Drag.  Last night, we had gotten only about half of our Slow Drag photos processed and posted to Discover Ilwaco before getting too punchy to continue.

I was not going to give up a gardening at home day to processing more photos, though. They got done (and yesterday’s blog post written) after gardening.

Skooter also slept in:

I woke quite late to hear happy voices in the garden.  Julez from Salt Hotel, and his son Flynn, and Jessika from next door, along with Scott, also from next door, were picking apples for cider pressing.  I love that they take our apples, which would otherwise mostly go to waste.

In the back of their truck were the apples they had picked earlier in the day in Chinook.

So they would not have room for all of ours!

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Flynn and Julez

Jessika and Matt

a clever apple picking device

a good harvest

Flynn and his friend Skooter

I made them all walk back to the bogsy wood to see my new path.

It is thrilling, really. (Allan’s photo)

a truck bed full (Allan’s photo)

I was pleased to see that we had had a good rain overnight….

rain barrels full

The harvesters did not even get to the Cripp’s Pink:

(also known as Pink Lady because it is more salable)

They know they are all welcome to come to get eating apples any time.

After they departed, Jenna arrived, at my invitation, so we could debrief about Slow Drag. I was pleased to delay a garden project that I had almost begun.  Some coffee and cookies and a good long conversation gave me energy.

After Jenna left, I did my project, one of those that had suddenly occurred to me even though it was not at all on my mental list.

The elagrostis (weeping love grass) along our little driveway had gotten tatty looking.  And they were too big and tended to tangle our feet as we unload the work trailer.

looking out from the garage



after regaining six inches of the driveway on each side

Allan does most of the trailer unloading.  This will make his life easier.  He helped me to remove the most difficult grass (the last one, when I was out of steam).

I kept weeding in the front garden till dusk and accomplished much. As I watered toward sunset, the fragrance of brugmansia by the greenhouse was intense.

This would normally have been the day that we went to the Cannon Beach Cottage Tour.  I was glad to stay home and felt no regret.  I had thought that Allan would go to the Rod Run up in Ocean Park.  He also was content to stay home and work on his book about local kayaking or canoeing sites.

Allan’s photo, self publishing

Sunday, 9 September 2018

at home

Skooter had another lazy morning.

I had hoped for a rainy reading day (and for a good rain so that we would not have to water much this week). The predicted quarter inch of rain did not materialize, so I went out to putter aimlessly in the garden.

Devery stopped by and we had a long visit, sitting on the patio.  I was offered three more cats, age ten, all Siamese. Their person is not well. However, Siamese cats and I are not especially compatible.  Blue-eyed Frosty is part Siamese and has their talkative nature and inability to just settle down on my lap.

Of course, I made Devery walk back and look at my new path.  “I’d walk on that!” she said gratifyingly.

I then weeded and did some pruning and clipping and layered green and brown clippings (never weeds) in my compost bin. Not a single photo was taken.

In the late evening, we watched an episode of the new season of My Cat From Hell. Despite my longing for a lovey dovey lap cat, it made me anxious about adding anyone new to our current cat quota of two.  I fear that Skooter might act out by spraying in the house.  And yet, while I don’t get lonely for people, I am lonely for a special cat who dotes on me.

I finally found out who left me the great bouquet of Liatris.  It was Steve and John from The Bayside Garden.

still looking fresh today

Monday, 10 September 2018

Again, we did not get the predicted quarter inch of rain.  A light rain in the night had left a few small puddles in the street.

Our Kathleen is here at her beach cottage for a week’s vacation.  We went out to the Shelburne Pub for lunch, while poor Allan was on the phone still trying to sort out his Medicare fiasco.

Kathleen noticed a tiny Pacific Tree Frog on the post that holds the pub sign.

A rock for Ilwaco High School had been placed by the entryway.

I had the chopped salad with fried chicken added:

And Kathleen tried the black garlic fried rice, which she declared as wonderful as I had been saying it was.

chopped salad with fried chicken

A new dessert, cream cheese tart with blackberries, proved to be perfection.

We sat down in the pub at about 12:20 and we talked through lunch, dessert, and long after.  I do believe we spent a good three and a half hours there catching up, as we had not seen each other for several weeks.

At home again, I passed on to her a red leaved weeping Japanese maple that I had in a large pot.  I did not find it exciting enough to keep (although I have four other Japanese maples that do please me).  It will be happier in the ground at Kathleen’s cottage.

She admired my white passiflora along the front fence and gave it an encouraging talking to while she trained its tiny tendrils to grasp the deer-proofing wire.

After she left, I spent some time working on the messaging aspect of arranging a peninsula garden touring day with Ketzel Levine and Beth Holland.  Wrangling three garden hosts and maybe up to four touring gardeners taxed my social director abilities, which are low.  I think I managed to set a date that works for all about two weeks hence, and I very much hope Ann Amato will be able to join us from Portland.

With the hour and a half left of the day, I watered all the containers and a few new plantings with rainwater that we had saved in the green jugs.  This is virtuous, good exercise and much more time consuming than using the hose.

Allan, meanwhile, had watered the Ilwaco Community Building Garden (after getting not very far with the Medicare dilemma) and the Ilwaco planters.

His photos:

maple leaves in the ICB garden

autumn blooming crocus

a new boat in the Ilwaco boatyard

Max buzzing by on his motorized bike. Allan did not have his camera out to catch when Max doffed his top hat in greeting.

In closing, here are a few photos of our garden at the end of the day.

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ soaring overhead in the front garden

While touring in Manzanita, Ketzel had said a gardener was brave to have planted passionflower.  I wondered why.

my passiflora

This is why; it is starting to pop up all around:

Uh oh


white sanguisorba

Cripps Pink apples

Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ (which starts early and goes on and on) and Solidago ‘Fireworks’

I could start trimming santolinas if I wanted to.

I do want to trim santolinas, even though I once lost some in a cold winter after trimming them in the fall.

My window boxes have gone all tatty.  I won’t bother replacing the plants this late; I will be switching them out with the bulb inserts next month.

Susie’s window boxes at the Boreas Inn put mine to shame.  She posted this photo today:

photo by Boreas guest Sascha Jennifer Gordon

Next year will be better.




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Friday, 7 September 2018

Every year we photograph the Slow Drag for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  We posted 360 photos in this year’s Slow Drag album, because everyone who had a vehicle entered would surely be pleased to see a photo of it in the race.  Here I am just sharing our favourites, some with glimpses of the curbside gardens along Howerton Avenue.

Rule one is driver must be 18 or older. Rule 2 is brake lights must be in working order.  This is checked at each heat.

We walked down separately from home.  Allan got to pet a beautiful dog.

Allan’s photos

Allan’s photo

My favourite, Travis driving the Who Bus. He has won twice before, but not this time.

This driver is a friend of Travis and each year he is such a cheerful presence.

santolinas and, oh yes, vehicles

roped off agastaches (Allan’s photo)

We roped off our best garden.

The debut of the Joy Train from Astoria. Love it!

The Glam Tram, also from Astoria, a former mini bus from the Los Angeles Zoo

ready to race (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

bubble machine (Allan’s photo)

petunia basket from Basket Case Greenhouse

Our Jenna, right, the event organizer, and her friend Susan.

The Church Ladies

pink bug, won the prize for most fun entry

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

vehicle with 2 dogs (black one is lying down)

Char, our favourite realtor, was one of the sponsors.

Allan’s photo

One of my annual favourites, little bug with luggage rack and a bubble machine

Glam Tram (Allan’s photo)

Sad to see the Glam Tram go; its battery died. (Allan’s photo)

Church Ladies lining up to race

finish line

Crocosmia, parsley, and santolina in our droughtiest curbside garden (and a vehicle)

lining up behind Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and santolina

Travis and son

winner of the “So Ugly It’s Cute” award

that bug again


and Allan’s artsy photo

cute doggies (Allan’s photo)

This lavender sacrificed its shapeliness to the sound equipment. (Allan’s photo)  It did revive.

Salt Hotel ready to drag

our neighbour Jessika rides along

Between heats, the vehicles drive down Waterfront Way (usually pedestrian only).

half a bug

By Time Enough Books

Allan’s photo

The direction of the race was reversed this year, with the result that the vehicles were not traveling slowly down Waterfront Way, because they could now line up two by two on Howerton and they drove much faster down the waterfront to get there.  So it was harder to get my customary photo of a red vehicle and the red Jessie’s building.

as close as I got to my usual photo

Allan managed to get this photo of rust with rust.

Waterfront Way (Allan’s photo)

Awww, the pink bug is out. (Allan’s photo)

Howerton Ave, the race source (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

respectful feet (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Well, mostly respectful (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

This little red MG was in the race to honor the driver’s father, Chuck, who had died unexpectedly in the November after the 2015 race.  He would have been proud of his family; the MG came in third.

winning an early heat

one of my favourites, and last year’s winner, at the finish line

The finish line is a fire hose filled with sand.


the classic door flapping method of trying to slow down

Salt Pub driver gets a meal at the finish line.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ seedheads and a silver car

winning another heat

“rat rod” hood decor (Allan’s photo)

A light rain began.

Church Ladies (Allan’s photo)

hoping to get over the hump

checking out the competition

after the rain, here comes the little red MG

rainbow and amazing evening sunshine

Rusty bug is finally out.

Can’t get the rear tires over.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo; the Who Bus, my favourite, got eliminated.

Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, on the race course:

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and lavender (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

And back to the race, which is coming to its final rounds.

one of the final heats (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Chevy van wins a heat, so big it reflects the entire Salt Hotel. “I LOVE this van,” says the driver.

The agony of defeat…but they got third place.

bravely onward, don’t look back

the final heat

and the van is declared the winner

Second place with their basket of prizes.

Artist Don Nisbett at his t shirt booth, with helpers (Allan’s photo)

Rusty bug got “so ugly its cute” award. (Allan’s photo)

Pink bug got “Most fun”. (Allan’s photo)

Third place

third, second and first (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Third place winner, in honor of his dad, Chuck Schussman..

Here is his dad’s last Slow Drag in 2015. Chuck is on the left, I believe.

Our Jenna, in sunglasses, and some of her helpers (Allan’s photo)

After the vehicles and crowd left, we took down our plant protecting poles and tape and then admired the sunset at the marina.

sunset over the bogsy woods



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Thursday, 6 September 2018

This post is long because I don’t want to fall more than ten days behind.  (Seven would be ideal.)

Port of Ilwaco

We put the marking tape on the garden by Ilwaco Pavilion.

before, a garden to protect

We met a woman who boats with her spouse down rivers in a motor boat called “PG Rated” (not a name she gave it) and posts about it on Facebook, here.


Long Beach

We deadheaded and string trimmed at the welcome sign.  There would be a lot more deadheading to do if the cosmos had bloomed.  Someone said to me that non gardeners probably think the cosmos are some kind of evergreen that is supposed to be that way.

a few flowers in the back and one in the front

ONE so far.

A frog came hopping along to get into the welcome sign planter.

Allan’s photo

Froggie did not want any help.  When I tried to give it a boost, it hid in here.

Allan’s photo

Here is a random cat we saw while driving to Oman’s hardware store to buy more marking tape.

Allan’s photo (while waiting for the cat to move)

With the Rod Runners already descending upon the Peninsula, we watered today instead of tomorrow (which would be more normal timing after watering on Tuesday).  By tomorrow, folks will be lined up all along the street in their lawn chairs, and probably seated on the planters, too.  I might accidentally water someone on such a crowded day.

In Veterans Field, the flags told the tale of hardly any wind.

pink gaura in a planter

one of the so called “rat rods”

one of the shiny cars

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

a truck bed that someone had set up as a viewing platform (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan deadheaded the sweet peas in Fifth Street Park. I was watering north of there so did not see it today.

I got to see my very good friend Mitzu, and her person, Beth.

I have only seen Mitzu once this summer…or, twice, once was as she passed by as a vehicle passenger.  I have missed her.  When she and Beth left the Anchorage Cottages as manager and sidekick, I also quit.  Without Mitzu and Beth there, I had no desire to do the garden anymore.  It was wonderful to see them both; they walked with me so Beth and I could chat through the watering of two blocks worth of planters.

Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and a handsome building for rent

I told this man he was the earliest bird (sitting and watching for Rod Run vehicles).  He said that others were already set up at the south end of downtown (where Allan was watering today).

The man who rides a motorcycle that shoots flame stopped by me in a car. Of course, I did not recognize him out of context.  He had also visited Allan and he gave each of us a coffee drink to boost our energy!

Later, I saw him riding past the boatyard and he made his bike shoot out a blast of flame in greeting.

Here was a big group of early birds at the south end:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco again

We weeded the east end gardens.  The weeds don’t grow much here because these beds only get watered twice a month.  It is somewhat of a test of drought tolerance.

I set up some bamboo poles and Allan put caution tape on them to protect a few special plants at Time Enough Books (especially my Eryngium giganteum and my Crambe maritima there).

The finish line will be just south of here, so this garden is likely to get stood upon—although Jenna hopes to have traffic control volunteers who will try to keep people off the gardens.

Allan’s photo

I went into the bookstore to buy a novel which will conclude the story of the Home Fires telly show. It ended on a cliff hanger and was not renewed.

Bookstore owner Karla had recommended the show to me, and it had led to a winter of reading.  First Jambusters, the history book that the fictionalized show was based on, and then the other WWII books by that author, and then Nella Last’s diaries, several books about WWII in Great Britain, and the so excellent David Kynaston history series about England, Tales of a New Jerusalem.  What a great and memorable winter of reading.  Thank you, Karla.

I got to pet this darling dog, who then sat in the hallway by the shop door waiting for her person.

She sees him.

By the way, I think I mentioned hearing about a Newfoundland dog who needs a home.  Karla pointed out that Newfies are great working dogs and that he would enjoy pulling a garden cart for us.

Jenna was doing further set up for Slow Drag.

Allan’s photo

After a final, nitpicky weeding of the west end gardens (which Allan had already weeded well while watering), we spent some time weeding the boatyard garden.

Sometime this autumn, we will have to take the pick and shovel, again, to the Pennesitum macrourum which is returning vigorously after our removal effort this past spring.

Am starting to wonder if humans will win this battle after all.

I love this freaky euphorbia flower:

fasciated euphorbia

Allan went off to water the Ilwaco trees and planters while I watered the boatyard garden.

Allan photographed this nice dog noticing a puppy:

Later, while watering behind the fence, I got to pet the soft and adorable 16 week old puppy.

We both were smitten.  She cried out her sadness when I had to go. And then fell asleep all curled up.

She belonged to this boat.

on my way home

I am glad I divided some Solidago ‘Fireworks’ to make more clumps along the boatyard.

I am still worrying over my two ceanothus.  The one that had the crisped up backside on Tuesday looks like this at the front:

close up of inside leaves

The other one looks like this:

As you can see, both have tired and crispy leaves inside so maybe they will continue to be a matched set.

looking back from across the street

I walked home by the feral cat colony and only saw one, asleep in a chainlink fenced lot.

telephoto cat loaf or loafing cat

across the street from the post office

Allan had suggested I deadhead there on my home. It has the best of my ever so few ‘Seashells’ cosmos plants this year.

My favourite cosmos was in short supply this year.

I deadheaded the fire station garden.

Fire Station planter with Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

west side bed with lots of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (because it is free)

our SW corner garden

I have left those dead poppies in front because a neighbor wanted the seeds.

Meanwhile, Allan watered all the planters and the downtown ten street trees.

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ at city hall

He noticed the corn at the fire station.

When I got home, I found these near our front porch.

Liatris bouquet, from whom?

A colchicum that Todd gave me is blooming.

I have loads of apples on my Cox’s Orange Pippen.  They are not ready yet.

Google says they are not ready till the last week of September.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Before work, I walked around with Jessika and baby Willa from next door to see which apples are ready for tomorrow’s harvest.

at the post office (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Our only job today was to tidy and water the garden at the

Shelburne Hotel.

I am glad I kept this barberry.

I keep thinking about what to plant against that white railing (eastern exposure) once we dig out the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  Debating between hydrangeas and fuchsias, either of which I can transplant from other areas of this garden.

still deadheading sweet peas to keep them going

tall cosmos finally showing some flowers

a sneaky bindweed growing up the inside of the post!

Rod Run weekend, no vacancy at the hotel

looking south

looking north

on Room 4 deck (Allan’s photo)

The totem assisted Allan in clipping blackberries from next door. (Allan’s photo)

shade border in back garden

After our work, we had a tasty lunch at the pub to give us strength for four hours of Slow Drag photography in the evening—our next post.

potato salad, garden sandwiches, non alcoholic cranberry lemonade so we can stay sharp









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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The day began stressfully with a letter from the Social Security administration saying that Allan had been dumped off Medicare.  Two hours on the phone ensued.  There had been a misunderstanding (his) re how the full amount gets paid—too complicated to explain how it happened.  The money got sent as soon as the phone calls were done and meanwhile we are waiting in hope that he is reinstated without having to reapply.  I am glad that I did not know that he was only partially ensured when he drove to Ocean Shores and back on September 1st.  (Update, ten days and many lengthy phone calls and emails later, he has still not managed to get reinstated and they will not cash the darn check.  My teeth hurt from grinding them in my sleep.  Like many women I know, I fear becoming destitute because of medical bills  I am worried about this situation on the daily.  It is the unwritten undercurrent in the next ten days of blog posts, since the blog is running ten days behind.)

A friend who works with the elderly said she sees piles of Medicare related paperwork in their homes.  She used to wonder why they did not just get it sorted out, until she became Medicare age herself and found out how complicated it is.

So I worked today in an intensely worried frame of mind, and we got started over two hours late.

Long Beach

Watering the street trees and planters…

We are deadheading as usual but leaving tatty looking plant foliage just to keep the planters full through Rod Run, in hopes that full planters will discourage sitters.

I look forward to trimming them up next week.

Why is one Geranium ‘Rozanne’ across the street red leaved and dry looking?

I went back across the street and watered it a second time.  The leaves did not look diseased on close examination.

I hope.

Hesperantha starting to bloom, a sign of fall (Allan’s photo)

New paint job on Carnival Gifts.  I like a blue building.

I found a rock from Yakima Valley Rocks.

Although the sky was as blue as the rock, the cold wind made it a challenging three hours of watering.  The east side of the street was much colder than the west side, and fortunately I did the east side first and was pleasantly surprised by the west side being less miserable.

You might recall my sadness while working on my cat memorial garden last weekend ago and my missing Smoky so much.  And my revelation that it’s because a really affectionate and bonded-with-me cat had not come along, not to replace him, but to be a comfort.  As I was close to the end of watering, an acquaintance came up to me and said she had 16 cats to rehome, from a cat collector who had recently died.  I asked if any of them were lovey dovey lap cats and she said “Mittens!”  I said “Text me after Rod Run and we will come have a look at them.”  If one of those cats is the special cat I need to help me stop grieving daily for Smoky, I might stop being a cynic about all things “woo woo” and might think something cosmic has happened.

There is also a Newfoundland dog…my favourite breed….a non drooler!  And he is used to being left home during the day.  But no.  No, I mustn’t.  I like my sleep too well to be getting up in the night or early morning to let a dog out.  Surely.  (Update ten days later—I have not been contacted about the cats. Maybe it is just as well; I would rather adopt a new cat during staycation.)

We got done at four. (Allan’s photo)

We did not have time to water the Shelburne.  I was ever so glad we had done so on Sunday after Cella’s party, or we’d have been in even worse trouble today.  (I don’t mean trouble with the Shelburne owners, just trouble with how to fit in all the watering after starting late.)


I put on my sweatshirt and winter scarf to weed and water at the boatyard, while Allan watered the downtown trees and planters.

Why must I find pulled up elephant garlic every time?

I break up the cloves and replant them.  Often, the puller-upper does not even take the flower.

After an hour of weeding, I watered from behind the fence.  I was concerned because one of the ceanothus looked all brown on the back side.  I hoped it was not because someone had sprayed any weedkiller or random boat chemical.

The second ceanothus looked fine.

I trimmed the burnt looking foliage off the first one.



On further thought, no one would spray roundup that high up.  So the mystery remains.

I hope nothing bad spreads to the middle and front of the ceanothus.  I have a matched set and if one dies, the symmetry will be thrown off in a way that would be most distressing to me. (Update ten days later; they both look fine so far.)

There are two ceanothus and a cistus, and one rosemary (because one died, and I have not managed to replace it).

Stipa gigantea

Allan picked up me and the trailer of weeds and took us both home, where I watered containers while he went back out to water our volunteer gardens at the post office and fire station.  Yesterday, at Cella’s party, he pointed out to someone that I come up with these volunteer gardens and then he is the one who has to water them.  True.




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Sunday, 2 September 2018

We were honored to be invited to the 2nd birthday of Celestine, daughter of Thandi, who owns the Sou’wester Lodge.  The celebration took place at the home of Cella’s grandma, Sahar, in Ocean Park.  I must admit that I also wanted to see how the garden looks there; a long time ago, it was planted and maintained by my friend Terran so I had been there once before…I think I even spent a day weeding there.

It was terribly windy in our garden while I picked a big bouquet to take.  On the private driveway to the Ocean Park house, the almost still trees showed how much more protected (and warmer) other neighbourhoods are.

Most of the old garden is gone now.  A new kitchen garden is being made near the house.

And there are chickens.

the old part of the house

The party included a feast of Mediterranean food and at least three cakes, all made by Thandi’s mom, along with meat on the grill cooked by Cella’s dad.

The Mediterranean feast included these interesting nuts? that were like lychee nuts with spikes.

cakes, all delicious, and the pear cake was exquisite.

Our Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm next door neighbours, Jared and Jessika, were there, with our new-ish neighbour, their daughter Willa.  Partly hidden is Q, daughter of Pink Poppy Bakery.

Willa and Jared

Allan, Willa, and Willa’s grandma

Willa and Quincy (Allan’s photo)

our bouquet

Cella agreed that her second birthday party was the best one she had ever had.

Cella and Thandi (Allan’s photo)

The invitation said no gifts were necessary but if someone felt they must bring one, gifts should be hand made or gently used.  I gave Cella a card, with my photo of the life changing That Bouquet, and a lifetime pass to our garden¸—after 11 AM in the morning, of course, and including a guest since she is not quite up to visiting by herself yet.

That Bouquet

After cake, I decided to take a walk down the beach trail.

to the beach

looking back


wax myrtle

fireweed (rosebay willowherb)

evergreen huckleberry

looking back

narrowing path

salal in its rightful place

The native beach grass has wide blue blades, and is pushed out by European beach grass, which was introduced to stabilize the dunes.

The native elymus is so much more beautiful.

Attempt are underway to restore the dunes for the sake of wildlife.  You can read a bit about it here.


up the foredune

looking back

pearly everlasting

the beach

I was sorry, as always, that the beach is a highway.  Let’s pretend the vehicles are not there.

But they are there.

That’s why I like the dunes better than the beach here on the Long Beach Peninsula.

something for fungi fans

Back at the house, I was greeted (for the second time) by dear Edie, a member of the Sou’wester staff.

Edie’s person had noticed that we had stopped going to concerts at the Sou’wester.  It was nice to have our absence noticed.  I explained I was just too tired, and did not go out much and that next year will be different (so I keep saying).

As the party continued, Allan and I departed to go to work.

The Shelburne Hotel

We watered so that we could stay home on the Monday holiday tomorrow.

I spent a long time deadheading sweet peas to try to keep them going through this month.

There are finally some buds on the dangity blang non blooming cosmos.

Lonicera henryi has berries:

I hope there is nothing wrong with the foliage.

We continued on to water the Ilwaco fire station garden and the post office garden.

corn on the fancy plants at the fire station!

and my only sunflower success

I have already written about our Monday off, so next up is back to work on Tuesday.




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Ocean Shores (Fresh Waterways)

Bonus post of Allan’s boating trip!

Southwest Washington Paddle Trips

1 September 2018: Paddle The Shores at Ocean Shores

Today the Oyhut Bay Seaside Village and the volunteer group Ocean Shores Fresh Waterways Corporation  hosted an all-day series of events celebrating paddling in the canals at Ocean Shores. I appreciate the work and generosity to put on such an event and I make a point to attend to learn, make friends, and have fun. I thought I knew a launch nearby, but I learned today it had become a dead end trail into a thicket of salal.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 8.40.31 PM.jpg A long trip for me but many traveled even further from the Seattle area.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 9.01.45 PM.png Entering OceanShores from the north, I spotted some of their signs on the main boulevard.

DSC04824.JPG With only a half hour before the start of the 6-mile race, it looked lightly attended. More would show up later.

We had the Ocean Shores Pirates with their ship The Black Rose.

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Saturday, 1 September 2018

at home

Allan went boating all the way up in Ocean Shores, which will be a bonus post this evening.

Last night, I had noticed that all but one of my greenhouse tomato plants had powdery mildew.  So without too much regret, I put the plants in the garbage and (after googling whether reusing the soil was ok) got all plant debris out of the soil and put the used soil back in a bogsy wood spot.



I salvaged the ripe tomatoes, and later read that the mildew would not have affected the rest of the ripening fruit.  I am still glad I got rid of the plants.

I know exactly what I did wrong.  This year, I never clipped the honeysuckle behind the greenhouse to get the back door open, so I had bad air circulation. And when we went to hardy plant weekend, I put trays under the plants to hold water—and then never removed the trays, because it was difficult and I was tired.  So even though there was no standing water, the bottom soil in the pots was saturated.  Next year will be better.

used the soil to fluff that spot, hope it does not cause any problem

Various expert gardening sites said the powdery mildew is specific to its host plant, and is carried in plant debris, not soil, so fingers crossed.  I would have been truly sad to throw out a barrow load of soil!

planted this…

On the way back there, I found a weird hole in the lawn.  I did not want to poke at it.


I dragged a fern bench (wood, with a fern growing right on it) to sit beside my new path, to make it worthwhile to go there.

something to see there

And I took the tops to the water meter boxes that I’d made planting troughs from awhile back, along with a leaf paver that Allan found somewhere, to expand my path through the slippery swale.

The lids as pavers was inspired by Mark’s garden in Manzanita.

I did some more branch clipping.  Here is a before from last week:


and today:

looking into the bogsy wood from the fire circle lawn, feels like there is a there now.

And I got this little bed weeded, a rampant repeating mess of sorrel weed and dandelions:

Frosty chillaxin’

evening light

Monday, 3 September 2018

Sunday we went to a party (which will be tomorrow’s post). And worked afterwards. Unusual, I know (both the party attendance and working on a Sunday.

Monday, being a holiday, would be too busy for public gardening, so we shifted the work week forward.

Allan string trimmed and mowed and I accomplished a bit in the garden.

I made some progress on the future cat memorial garden, where I want to have silver plants and a Scabiosa ‘Black Cat’.  I planted three curry plants in it today, after removing some strawberries and putting them in planters, after cleaning out said planters, after removing some useless white loose netting that I have been meaning to undo for over a year.  I am going to use proper, closely woven bird netting this time to keep the birds AND deer out.  The deer just stuck their noses through the loose white rope netting and ate the berries.

My garden is so focused on ornamentals INSIDE the deer fence that I have no room for strawberries!

The cat memorial garden got a bit of cat decor, as well.

I do not know how I am going to bear putting Smoky and Calvin’s ashes in here.  I want them to be with Smoky and Frosty’s mom, Mary, who is buried here behind the driftwood poles, by the good ship Ann Lovejoy.  My goal is to have the garden all weeded and perfect by Halloween, and to put the ashes here on that one year anniversary of Smoky’s death.  I cried some while weeding.  I miss Mary, too.  She was a very good cat indeed.  I got the family of three, Mary, Smoky and Frosty, in early 2012, when Mary was 13 and her sons were 7.  Frosty is still alive and well. (Don’t tell him, but Mary and especially Smoky were my favourites.)  I don’t quite know how I am going to handle interring those ashes, but it must be done, because I don’t want Mary to be alone, and because Smoky loved being in the garden and loved his mom, and Calvin loved Smoky.  I wish I believed in an afterlife where I could see them again.

Later in the evening, I figured out that one reason I am still grieving so much is that no “heart cat” has come into my life since Smoky died.  Before, the most special cats in my life sort of overlapped.  Interesting as Frosty and Skooter are as individuals, neither of them dote on me like Pudge-bear did, or Orson, or Dumbles, or Mary and Smoky.  I miss that.

Here is Frosty; his coat is bleached out by a summer of basking in the sun.

I managed to get some of the grass weeds out of the back of a difficult area, guarded by a mean rose.

I had a rather genius idea of a trap door in the fence so I could reach the weeds from the back, because I sure cannot get them all from the front.

from the Nora house side. I am daunted.

I finished the day with running four sprinklers.  My new special ornamental kiwi got missed last time and I am worried about it now.

Curses! I gave it gallons of water and good wishes.

The north wind probably blew the sprinkler water away from this corner.

Three hardy fuchsias in pots are getting sick looking leaves.  Will cut them back and plant out in the garden on their own somewhere and see if they get better.

So the two days off at home began with a tomato crisis and ended with a fuchsia and akebia crisis, with lots of garden accomplishments in between.

Allan made the Nora house meadow more civilized:


after, with our walking path restored

He also painted the end of a line of kitchen cabinets white, after I realized it was a good spot to display the poster for my favourite garden tour, featuring my favourite garden.

And he went to work in the evening for long enough to water at the Ilwaco Community Building.

Sanguisorba flowers at the ICB

Sunday AND Monday night we had delicious salmon dinner, prepared by Allan, of course, with salmon from our fishing neighbour, Jeff Norwood.

yummy (Allan’s photo)






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