Archive for the ‘journal’ Category

loading the van

We started by planting cosmos at our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office and were pleased to have a visit from our good friend Mitzu.

She was shivering from the cold.  I had actually had to put on my raincoat.

Planting in the rain is so much easier than having to water everything in.

How we plant with the ho-mi:

Next, I planted cosmos at the fire station (another volunteer project) while Allan tackled this annoying weed along the west wall.

No, I don’t mean the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

Ilwaco Fire Station, SW corner

We returned home for more cosmos (having already used more than I had planned) and planted some, along with tidying up, at the J’s across the street.

Allan pulled all the dead crocus foliage.

We like the flowers at the curb and hope that no one kills them.

Allan’s photo

A few blocks east, we did some planting and weeding at Mike’s garden, where the cherry blossoms are anointing a parked car….

Allan’s photos

and filling up the front garden.

Tulip going over:

Allan’s photo

Allan took on the raking of the front path.

I am thrilled that the boxwoods are finally growing into a proper hedge, which we will shear in June.

The north side of the house seems to have an afterthought of a garden when all the rest of it was so formally designed by Carol Jones (“The Elves Did It”, a former Peninsula business).

I planted some rosemary, thinking that it might make a low hedge.  It should get enough light because the house is a double wide, like ours, low to the ground.

We went on to the Howerton Avenue curbside beds at the port, planting a few extra clumps of plain old eryngiums with root balls too big to pot them up for my sale.

Allan’s photo

At the port office garden, which still looks terribly young, I planted some cosmos, even though I am concerned about a 30 mph wind predicted for tomorrow.

Allan’s photos

I can’t keep waiting for perfect weather.

Here is what it looked like in November 2017.

Allan’s photo

As an experiment, because Don Nisbett and Jenna give this little bed supplemental watering, we planted some cosmos in the bed east of their gallery.

We redid it last autumn and it looks rather bare.

Looking west, the mature beds are burgeoning.

At home, I worked for awhile on my plant sale plants.

The sarrecenia by the pond is blooming.

Allan’s photos

Frosty found a bed in the bags in which Rita Nicely had brought us some pots.

Allan’s photo

I will be so glad when the plant sale is over.  The garden is a right old mess.

Allan’s photo, drizzly rain

I remembered to go to the back corner of the garden and look at the little white flowered rhododendron.

My Davidia flowers are now falling.

The work board tonight:

I asked on the Rainyside Gardeners group for the ID of a weed that I find in many of our gardens.

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

I was perfectly content to plant in the light misty rain for most of the day.  The plants enjoyed going into nice damp soil.  

Almost all of today’s photos are Allan’s.

World Kite Museum

I think it was two Augusts ago that we were asked to plant up six big blue pots at the museum.  The pickings were slim for plants at that time and we ended up with these big grey guys.  To be economical, we left the four that look ok, and only redid the two pots that had also been planted with (because of slim pickings) big purple penstemons, which had done surprisingly well for two years but now looked tatty.

new centerpiece, Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

It will start out with red flowers and by the end of the season they will be white.  I wish they would stay red.

I planted baby cosmos in the garden bed: Sea Shells, Cupcake, Double Click.  No Sensation cosmos for me this year after they have gone all to foliage for the last two years.

The front two planters each got a Salvia patens to grow up and hide the rather sad understory of the grey thingie.

one last spring flower, a tulip I suppose; I did not even notice it till this photo.

Fifth Street Park

I had cleared the front of the NW quadrant flower bed of old woody catmint and had decided to replace them with a row of silver santolina, grown by Roxanne of the Basket Case from some cuttings I had given to her.

First, I sheared them back to keep them nice and chubby.


I added some cosmos and some Salvia viridis.

I had better get a couple more santolinas.

Across the street:

Eye of the Tiger Dutch iris
Allium cristophii

We spent an hour pulling the accursed horsetail until stronger rain urged us on to the next project, planting some cosmos at city hall. The Basket Case Greenhouse baskets have been hung there and downtown.


We took a slight break to put our plant sale ad in the paper.  Every Memorial Day weekend, the peninsula has the World’s Longest Garage Sale.

in the Chinook Observer office

Nora’s granddaughter, Alycia, will be running a sale right next door, so we advertised together. (I blanked out the addresses because I rarely put my address on this blog.)

I have over sixty different plants potted up and am spending telly time in the evening writing tags.

By now, the rain was drenching.  I was determined to finish one more planting so I put Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ and some more salvia viridis in the Lewis and Clark Square planter.

I have new purple World Kite Museum jacket, a gift from Allan as of yesterday.  It is good, as it is meant to be, for a light rain but soaked through in this torrent.  I had been unable to get to my real raincoat because it was buried in plants.

Returning to the van, I had a tragedy and bumped the door with my flat of tiny plugs of salvia and cosmos that Roxanne had grown. It turned upside down and all the babies ended up in this puddle, floating away under the van.

What fun Allan had rescuing while I wailed and mourned.  Into a small bucket they went, no longer sorted into three different kinds.

We dropped off a Salvia patens, potted up, for Susie at the Boreas.

on the Boreas front porch

Done with work, we drove up to The Planter Box and picked up six flats of short cosmos ‘Sonata’ for Long Beach planters, round two of planting, probably not till next week because a strong wind is predicted. I well remember the year when we planted cosmos in the LB planters, only to have an unseasonable wind whip through the next day and turn them black and dead.

At the Planter Box, only one photo was taken because we were cold and sodden drowned rats.

Home again, we left all the plants in the van to deal with tomorrow morning.  I took my bucket of sad little babies to the greenhouse and spent the time to replant them (colors all mixed up now) into a flat.  The sight of my own garden and the prospect of time to weed this weekend cheered me up.

The work board tonight shows that the time of planting of annuals other than cosmos is done. The cosmos list is not quite correct. I forgot to erase Kite and have forgotten to add the Depot.



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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

I waited anxiously last night to hear the predicted rain begin.  Even at bedtime, the cat weather report (cat fur wet or dry when they come in from outdoors) said nothing of moisture.  But when we woke, the view out the windows was delightfully sodden and the weather report said we had already had half an inch of rain.

Looking out the front window (note that the amazing Caribbean Parrot tulip is still blooming):

All the rain barrels had been dry for days.  Now most of them were brimming.

Even the slowest to fill of the 9 barrels was almost full.

Each barrel has a topping of pine pollen washed off of the house and shed roof.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Next door lilacs:

Allan’s photo
snails enjoying the weather (Allan’s photo)
Allan’s photo

Much as I longed for a rainy reading day, having barely begun a new book called Cultivating ChaosHow to Enrich Landscapes with Self-Seeding Plants, the rain eased off in the late morning so we were off to do more planting.

My Davidia ‘Sonoma’ by the driveway is still blooming.

It is special and wonderful.  I wonder if any passersby notice it?

I love the oxeye daisies blooming at the curb across the street at the Js’ cottage.

The post office still has pesky bulb foliage.  No time for that today.

We stopped first at the World Kite Museum to assess what new plants were needed for the blue pots.

with our friend Patty, the business administrator and store manager

We hared off to get some plants, with a work stop along the way at

The Red Barn Arena

(where Allan took all the photos).  We got to see several good friends.



And Cosmo the barn cat.

The barrels got topped up with soil and had some new plants added, mostly hens and chickens and echeverias to reduce the need for watering.  One that is close to a faucet got a pineapple sage to grow and hide the tatty old erysimum.

an echeveria where even Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ gets too dry.

The Basket Case & Planter Box


Roxanne with some of her seedlings

I had to get myself an Acacia ‘Cousin Itt’.
And some mimulus.

a brugmansia for me

Susie and Bill of the Boreas showed up, so of course the shopping trip turned into a social occasion.

At The Planter Box, we quickly picked up as many flats of cosmos as we could fit in with our already sizeable haul.

At both nurseries, the predicted wind storm swept through with strong gusts and heavy squalls.  Because of it being a south wind, I had an idea of where we could do one more project with a building between us and the south.

We stopped off at home to pick up the fuchsias for Time Enough Books.

Skooter at the pond

Port of Ilwaco

Weeks ago, Karla of Time Enough Books had presented me with two gallon sized Firecracker fuchsias to go in her garden boat.  I had been caring for them at home till the tulips were done.  I could not wait any longer for the ‘Strong Gold’ tulips to be completely over.

While Allan rearranged the fuchsias that were already in the boat and fit in the two new ones, I weeded the curbside garden and planted some cosmos there.  Cosmos are supposed to be tough.  I tend to treat them more kindly than they need.  I am interested to see if they will work along the port.

poppy seedlings in the curbside garden




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Monday, 13 May 2019

On that very hot day last week, our wonderful plumber, Don Anderson, came over and installed a faucet on the west side of the house. It has become so much easier to water the sale plants I have set up on that side…and eventually, the west side garden. No more hose dragging across the plant-cluttered back patio, getting tangled and tipping things over and swearing. I am thrilled.

On the way to work, dead bulb foliage at our volunteer garden at the post office needed an intervention.

Foliage that dies while the bulb is still flowering is the failing of all alliums.

Ilwaco Community Building

While we were returning a video, the community building garden suddenly leaped onto the work schedule for the day because of the unsightly bulb foliage at the entry to the library.

Allan deadheaded and weeded by the sidewalk and in the tiered garden, where he found plenty of bindweed.

Allan’s photo
creamy California poppies (Allan’s photo)

We did not plant this garden.  The mugo pine wants to block the address to the building.  It is most annoying.  We had no time to prune it today.

Allan’s photo

We have squeezed in some of our favourite plants, like this allium and libertia.

Allan’s photo

I worked on the entry, using The Toy to trim the heathers.  I had been wanting to try that, and it worked a treat.

Before, with the blossoms browning off…

…and after.

Long Beach

We planted up the front of the welcome sign with Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ and yellow bidens and a few ‘Sea Shells’ cosmos.

While planting, I could feel the vole tunnels under the soil. Maybe the critter has moved out now that the soaker hose is on.

The back side got a row of white bacopa along the front.  Not sure yet what else to add in that shady bed.  Both sides have Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

The back still has the few pink tulips that the vole left behind.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Next, we planted up the big planter in Lewis and Clark Square with some diascias, agastaches, salvias, and ratibida.

Allan’s photo

I resolved to move the Dutch iris to one of the parks as soon as it is done blooming.

Its outer foliage gets ugly before it blooms, and it prevents us from controlling a patch of the BadAster.

I managed to squeeze some cosmos into the difficult corner garden of Veterans Field—difficult because of variable watering from the lawn sprinklers and because of rampant horsetail.

Feathery nigella (love in a mist) and cosmos foliage help hide the horsetail.  The center used to have Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ which I removed because it was not getting enough water.

We finished Long Beach with a determined attack on the same scrimmy little horsetail in the NW quadrant of Fifth Street Park.  Long Beach is built on a vast bed of horsetail, which sometimes pops up in sidewalk cracks.

camassia (Allan’s photo)
the accursed horsetail

The NE quadrant has some especially nice ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Dutch Iris.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo, blue scabiosa in bud, with catmint

Those projects took up the whole workday.

The work board tonight:



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Sunday, 12 May 2019

While I puttered with my plants on Sunday, Allan had to go out to water the Ilwaco planters and street trees and the east end curbside garden at the port.

On his way out, he noticed the calendula in our front garden:

Watering Ilwaco:

Now, I wonder why one side of the pot is empty.  That is not plant theft; I think there is a diascia there I am hoping will come back.

A gold star goes to Col Pacific Hotel downtown.  They were watering their garden and had watered the street tree and planter on their corner.

I wish they had a better street tree planting than the one taken over with aster.

Allan has been using the buckets to water and says he is holding up to the lifting so far. The water pump trailer needs some work.

I see that I forgot to cut back the new Gaura at city hall to make it chubbier.

I hope we remember to do so, soon.

The east end curbside garden (the one that requires dragging two or three hoses across the parking lot from a dock faucet):

low tide

Armeria (sea thrift)
weeding while watering

He finished by watering our volunteer gardens at the post office and fire station.

at the post office

At home, he started to work on some signage for our plant sale (and garage sale).

Tomorrow: back to annuals planting in Long Beach.  Rain is predicted for Tuesday, with showers following through the week.  That would be such a delight.

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Saturday, 11 May 2019

I spent eight hours organizing my plant sale plants (still far from actually labeling them).  This would not have been necessary had I started this past winter with an actual plan and some organization.  It had been a spontaneous frenzy of dividing and potting up, with plants ending up on tables, chairs, greenhouse benches, boards, garden benches, all willy nilly.  I can hardly count it as labor against profit because it was the result of bad planning that won’t happen next time.  I have been struggling with the twice daily watering in the heat, and so many of the plants got a good bucket dunking and burbling to make up for what they went through this past week.  I am rather chuffed that I only had a few casualties.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

I spent another eight hour day at home, still rassling around with my plant sale plants and finally getting just a few garden projects done (some planting and transplanting, and hardly any weeding).  My garden is a terrible mess of weeds due to the plant sale frenzy.  I still did not get direct sown seeds in the ground this weekend and hope that May 18, my next chance, won’t be too late for sunflowers, calendula and bachelor buttons.  (In the greenhouse, I have had germination of cosmos and some nicotiana and salvia viridis!)

I took a few photos at the end of the day of the sights that had caught my eye in the garden over the weekend.

My mum’s rhododendron (and look, to the right, that other little rhododendron that I won as a raffle prize years ago appears to be blooming for the first time…I did not even notice till I saw the photo).

If it were not dark as I write this, I would be back there having a look.

But oh, the weeds…

Skooter accompanied me on my tour.

I poked into the bogsy wood border to see if some choice plants I put in there last year are still alive.  Yes, they are, but I have no time yet to rescue them from weeds and rampant reseeding poached egg flower.

Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’ is starting to bloom.

View across the canoe:

I managed to get all but my heaviest three plants out of the greenhouse, with no time to trim them up.

plant sale plants, potting soil bin, and a table of greenhouse plants (mostly scented geraniums)

Stipa gigantea over some up and coming Joe Pye weed:

Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’:

In the front garden, this Holboellia ‘Cathedral Gem’, which Dan Hinkley gave away at a talk during the 2015 Hardy Plant weekend, is perhaps the most fragrant plant I have ever grown.


That Caribbean Parrot tulip is still going strong.

Just before dark, I counted the different kinds of plants we will have at our plant sale and was astonished to come up with over 60 different ones (although a few of them are onesies, twosies, or threesies). Allan’s day is next—a workday, not a fun boating day.  His fun days off will return in June.


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Friday, 10 May 2019

The weather was “only” in the mid 70s.  We needed to get the Long Beach annuals into the planters. Planting them in yesterday’s heat would not have worked well had they then been met with a hot day today. But planting them today meant they were well watered to make it through a weekend that promises somewhat cooler temperatures.

Allan took all but two of the photos today because it took all my brain power to figure out which plants to plant in each Long Beach planter.

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Tulip ‘Green Wave’

I had picked a birthday bouquet yesterday to deliver to Heather Ramsay at her NIVA green shop (New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful). The heat had kept us near home so the delivery was a day late.

Heather, who is about my age, agreed with me that we were born at the perfect time. We shared thoughts about it while I was planting and watering: We got to see the days when farmland was a short drive out of the city and when screen time was not our form of entertainment.  We got to see the 60s, although we were too young to participate much, and we saw the civil rights movement so we know how important it was.  We did not have to date boys who were addicted to internet porn, we lived through the exciting feminist and gay rights movements of the 70s…and then we lived long enough to enjoy the social internet, which I, in particular, have been enamored of, and we had the thrill of finally seeing marriage equality become legal.   Unfortunately, we are enduring an era where the world is slipping backwards.  I hope we survive to see the pendulum swing back to the progressive values that we hold dear.

Berries and Cream rose by Funland

One challenge of annuals planting in Long Beach is all the dying bulb foliage which must be worked around, or lightly trimmed, but cannot yet be removed.

under a street tree, where someone probably stood to watch last Sunday’s parade

Allan had to water the 18 street tree gardens as well as help with the planting (which meant I had to do somewhat more of the planting, not my favourite thing).  Because this was the first time for tree watering in 2019, he had to dig out a lot of mud.

Each tree has a cap…

..and under that a place to swivel and hook up our quick connect bayonet down inside a big vertical pipe.

One of the faucet …um…thingies, where he has to attach the quick connect, was full of gravel.  What? Why??  This, unlike mud, he was unable to remove, and we must remember to tell the city crew about it.


I am trying Osmocote time release fertilizer for the first time this year instead of the organic Dr. Earth.  It has been recommended by the greats (like Dan Hinkley once upon a time).  We also applied mycorrhizae fungi powder to the roots of each plant.  I hope the Osmocote does not cancel that out.

A passerby gave me the kind compliment that everywhere we work is beautiful and that love shows in what we do.

I met a reader of this blog who is moving here from Kansas. I thought later of telling her that Pam, the city gardener for Seaside, Oregon, is also from Kansas, as well as Gene Miles, former Long Beach city manager.

We took a break for a trip to the Basket Case Greenhouse to pick up a few more plants.  Nursery co-owner Darrell was watering the baskets for the second time today.

Our good friends Penny and Buddy stayed out of the heat.

Roxanne and some cosmos she grew from seed
lavender in the greenhouse

Back to Long Beach, where we had just slightly less than half the planters (and trees) still to do. We paused to bucket water (with a smaller scoop jar) the sweet peas in Fifth Street Park.

sweet pea success with ubiquitous horsetail

The tree gardens had had many Dutch iris for last weekend’s parade day.

At the very last downtown planter, we had a visit with our friends Beth and Mitzu, formerly from the Anchorage Cottages.  (We left the job when they did.)

We had applied Sluggo to each of the planters.  Allan found an interested snail.

You might think we would be celebrating having gotten all the annuals into all the downtown street planters.  However, despite exhaustion, the lack of rain required us to go to the Sid Snyder beach approach and water those planters, as well.  They are planted to be exceedingly drought tolerant.

sea thrift, santolinas, thyme, lavender
this hole brought to you by plant thievery

As the sun set, we finished our day, the first and probably not last ten hour day of the work year.



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