Archive for the ‘journal’ Category

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Long Beach

We returned to Fifth Street Park and worked in the NE and SE quadrants. I took up where I left off yesterday in the narrow bed on the northeast side of the park.


I dug out a lot of badaster.  It is easy to see the roots because they are pinky-purple.

But the seeds blew all over the garden so there is no getting rid of this small blue running aster.

The Slayer shovel was invaluable.





The mayor, who was going to the barbershop at the end of the walkway, told us how much he appreciated our work and that the city gets lots of compliments about the flowers.  Having just been re-elected to a new term, he said he thought we could manage to delay semi-retirement for four more years.  How I laughed!

We tidied up the planters on Sid Snyder Drive.

before trimming some catmint

after, not especially gorgeous

The World Kite Museum garden got a thorough cut back.

While trimming back a couple of downtown city planters, I noticed that the street trees are not just turning colour but also looking sort of wilty.  It has been terribly dry for the last ten days.

I was reminded of something I read about city trees in Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees.


…..and perhaps you will be inspired to read the book.

I had intended to get to the Boreas garden today.  Instead, we worked on the Bolstad beach approach planters because tomorrow is predicted to be windy, which would make that very exposed site most unpleasant.  It was much more enjoyable to do it in today’s balmy, almost windless weather.

As I walked from planter to planter, I pondered whether or not we should pull the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ now or wait till late winter.  Allan said it looked beautiful in the sunset.  I should re-read my own blog to remember what we usually do.


Leave it or not?

Allan did pull some crocosmia out of a planter.



In another planter, the autumn color of Geranium sanguineum glows.

Allan’s photo

We just barely got it done in time for a teeth cleaning appointment for me at Dr. Tynkila’s office, where I enjoyed the fish tank…

…and the art….

by Eric Wiegardt

…and the excellent pain-free care.

At home, more leaves got dumped on the lawn…

…and Fifth Street Park got shifted into the column for a post-frost check-up.

We had got a boxed set of a season of the Great British Bake Off from the library.  Over here, it is called The Great British Baking Show because Pillsbury has trademarked the term “bake off”.  I find that outrageous.  The first episode was delightfully soothing, and I look forward to many more.

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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

The Planter Box

We started by picking up some horticultural lime and some bagged mulch at The Planter Box garden center.

The hens were almost irresistible:

I was amused by the names of some of the treats for real hens.

If only I had friends with hens, these would make a good holiday gift.

Long Beach

We returned to Fifth Street Park for more clean up.

SW quadrant was my first project:


I did not cut back much.  These tall plants in the winter hide a mess of weedy old pampas grass behind the building (pampas grass not planted by us! something the original landscape architect chose).

Allan worked further on the SE quadrant….

…and then helped me in the garden in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder and Marsh’s Museum, an extension of the work we did two days ago.

I decided to cut back more tall perennials there, dropping the seedheads into the garden for the birds.



We pulled hesperantha from the walkway that goes to Captain Bob’s Chowder so that it will not interfere with the narcissi in early spring.


Allan had battled a recurring patch of the badaster.

I applied lime to this section of the park, which seems too wet and kind of sour (an unscientific assessment).  Originally, I had hoped that lime would discourage the horsetail, but I found a blog post that makes me believe apparently not.

But a light application in a bed with no acid loving plants cannot hurt.

The weather was warm like summer.  We ran a brief errand to the Boreas Inn where sunlight lit up their maple tree.

Back at Fifth Street Park, I started weeding the narrow bed in the NE quadrant while Allan pulled bindweed in the southeast.


after pulling some BadAster

I did not get far before we had to go.  Allan had got me some leaves from his area of the park.

Mike’s garden

We returned to Ilwaco to apply the bagged mulch to Mike’s garden so that Allan would not have to schlep the heavy bags into and later out of our garage.



We dumped our leaves on our lawn to dry out…

and headed off for dinner at five at…

The Depot Restaurant.

At last, we had managed to coordinate a burger night dinner with our beloved friends and former gardening clients Mary and Denny, former owners at Klipsan Beach Cottages.  I had gardened for them, first with co gardener Robert and then with Allan, for at least twenty years till they retired last fall and moved to the nearby town of Naselle.

Denny and Mary

The only sadness to the visit was learning that our good friend, their dog Bella, a ten year old Great Pyrenees, is finding it harder to walk.  We resolved to visit Bella when fall clean up is done.

At home, I had time to sit and finish an excellent book that has been bedtime reading for the past couple of weeks.

More on this book in a couple of days when I have a shorter post to which to attach my takeaways from it.


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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Mike’s garden

We started several blocks to our east at Mike’s, just looking for what we could cut down and tidy up for autumn.  Allan worked on the back (actually east) shade garden.


half an hour later

I noted that the front corner bed looks rather sunken down and resolved to do something about that soon.

While tidying in the front, I remembered that Mike would like the rambling rose pulled out of his beach pine before winter.  I did not think of taking a before photo.

The rose is a not especially thorny one so fairly easy to work with.

Next, I remembered to clip the old lily stalks out of the Ilwaco post office garden…

…where they were no longer needed for Halloween spookiness.

Ilwaco boatyard

We spent a short time at the Ilwaco boatyard.  Allan pulled some orange montbretia, a plant that was the only perennial at the boatyard when I started the garden from a scrubby mown grass area over 20 years ago.



It is an annoying plant and one I would rather not have at all.

I dug up three Euphorbia ‘Portuguese Velvet’  that had seeded themselves too close to the edge of the sidewalk.

The garden still looked good enough that I decided to leave it alone for awhile longer.

While Allan ran a personal errand having to do with his book, I replanted the euphorbias at home.  I had hoped to put them in one of the Howerton gardens but got so little root with my digging that I do not think they will survive.

Long Beach

On the way to city hall to pick up our check, I decided we would make Parks Manager Mike happy by trimming the white rugosa roses for traffic sight lines by the Big PopOut.




I do regret planting the rose and having it take over the whole bed.

After dumping our debris, we had time to make the 4:15 PM showing of the new Terminator movie at the Neptune Theatre, and even time to trim two lavenders first in a planter nearby.

Neptune Theatre in the background

I am a big fan of the first two Terminator movies and was well chuffed to see not only Linda Hamilton at age 60-ish reprising Sarah Connor, but also two other powerful women’s roles.  It could not be more timely to have the character of a strong Mexican woman and the story of a border crossing.  It was right up there with the brilliant Terminator 2, to which it is a direct sequel (ignoring the other sequels in the franchise).

At home, I shifted Mike’s garden to a new column on the work board, listing gardens that have their basic clean up done but will need further work after a hard frost.

(Skooter to vet just means he needs his shots updated.)

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Monday, 12 November 2019

Skooter wakes up.

After our days of skiving off work for Halloween (but not resting), we buckled down to the fall clean up tasks.

Here is a mystery cat, a photo taken by Allan…somewhere along the way to work.  Unfortunately for me, I missed seeing it.

The Depot Restaurant

It was high time to clip the hops off of the dining deck lattice.  In fact, sous chef Jamie told us that they had just taken in the outdoor seating and had wondered when the hops would be removed.  I do like to stay one step ahead so that no one has to ask us to do things, thus we were just in time.

I trimmed from the outside, while Allan trimmed from the inside.


north side of dining deck


I like to leave some perennials standing.

Allan’s photos:

We cleaned up along the east wall of the restaurant and put some river rock in a low spot where the edging logs got shifted..

Now we wait for a hard frost to take down the window box annuals, and we try to remember to put some water on the window boxes once a week.

north side

still blooming, planted by Roxanne from Basket Case Greenhouse

Long Beach

I started a clean up of the NW quadrant garden, putting in about an hour of work.


Because birds are still enjoying the seeds, I left some tall perennials in place even though I think some passersby will find it messy.

seeds on Solidago ‘Fireworks” and sanguisorba



an hour later



The pale pink hesperantha, either Mrs. Hegarty or Viscountess Byng, is such a runner that we pulled much of it last spring.  A large amount that evaded us has been blooming beautifully in the autumn.  I find that if we pull a massive amount, then about the perfect quantity of blooms remain.

Meanwhile, Allan string trimmed an impossible-to-weed bed (dank, wet, rooty) in the SE quadrant across the street.


There is talk of removing this bed, trees and all.  The trees themselves are not healthy because of the wet soil.

With all that work done, I took this photo, below, and then ate my lunch whilst Allan ran the blower on the pavement.

We drove to Ilwaco and checked on the south garden by the Port of Ilwaco office—still with the cosmos that will not die.

just before sunset

It was not till we got home that Allan realized, while unloading debris, that the string trimmer and rake had been left behind on the bench in Fifth Street Park.  He hared back there.  Before he had arrived, I got a message from Cathy of Captain Bob’s chowder that a Long Beach local had noticed the tools and had alerted Cathy, who was holding them for us in the restaurant.  Whew.  We know other public gardeners who lost some power equipment by leaving it behind and having it gone by the time they returned and looked for it. The next time we saw our rescuer, Allan gave him a tip for saving us some stress and money.

Being home by five meant I had a nice relaxed evening for writing up the Halloween blogs at last.


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Sunday, 3 November 2019

at home

Skooter still sleeping after our breakfast time

We had had just a wee bit of unexpected rain.

I had quite a list of garden projects for today.

First, drag and chop the soft material from the Corridor of Spooky Plants from this pile into the compost bins.

Second, retrieve and crumble up for the compost bins some wood from the old stump next door.

Third, weed and mulch (with some of the root balls from Long Beach hanging baskets) the front driveway bed.

My results:

The soft pile is pretty much dealt with.

The stump is somewhat chopped away.

The bigger chunks went into a pile for little critters.

driveway bed is improved

I have one little stunner of a fall crocus in that bed, with no memory of where I acquired it.

Bob Nold tells me it is the saffron crocus, C. sativus, and adds, “Ever smelled fresh saffron? Give the styles a gentle tug, they’ll come off.”   I will, if they are still there tomorrow (because I am writing this five days later).

Meanwhile, Allan’s project was to run all the woody debris through the Mighty Mac.

the woody pile from the Corridor of Spooky Plants

The Mighty Mac (Allan’s photo0

After awhile, I smelled and saw a cloud of smoke.  Silence reigned as Allan turned the Mighty Mac off and poked about underneath.

Another lesson in how to run the thing: you should clear out underneath now and then.  A belt had broken.  The pile of willow in the background won’t get chopped today.

Allan’s photo

Allan turned to the electric Pencil Sharpener which takes one slim branch at a time.

Allan’s photo

This much of the woody Halloween pile still remained.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I took all the woody lily and helianthus stalks from his pile and hand chopped them into the compost bins.

There is Halloween in two bins:

The shreddings and chippings…

…went back to the bogsy wood as mulch.  The Pencil Sharpener makes finer debris but takes longer.

The Halloween woody debris pile is gone.

At the very end of tidying up, I had an unfortunate encounter with my Mermaid rose….

…adding one more owie to my right hand. I had on a glove, but only a thin exam glove. (Looks worse than it is,  but it sure did hurt.)

Now Allan’s task of sorting and storing the light strings is all that is left of Halloween.

Tomorrow we must seriously apply ourselves to a week of work, so that task will wait.

Standard time has come upon us with the end of Daylight Saving Time.  It felt glorious to close the curtains at 5 PM and look forward to long, dark evenings with more time to read.

After dark, Allan helped Jenna move one last thing, a heavy tool cabinet, to her Mermaid Sandcastle….

with the help of Don and Jim.

…and then ran all her extra cardboard boxes to the recycling bins at the port.

Tomorrow: back to work with another week of clear weather in the forecast.



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6×6 Art Auction 2019

Our Ilwaco


The 6×6 Art Auction is one of our favourite annuals events. It began years ago with all art pieces that were six by six inches, although now a few of them are a square foot in size. Some local treats other than art are now included in the auction, which benefits the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. All close ups of the art in this post are courtesy of Wendi Peterson.


As you can see from the sign on the door, the auction sold out (several days in advance). Better put it on your calendar for next November!

foyer in the foyer of the museum


Your $20 ticket includes a buffet dinner and two drinks from the wine and beer bar.

“Two Monkeys Catering” provides food for all the museum events. They keep the platters well filled.

2 monkeys.jpgmonkey.jpg

maddy Local chef and baker Madeline Moore partakes.

depotred a nice glass of Depot Red wine

crabcakes crab…

View original post 475 more words

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Saturday, 2 November 2019

Allan had gone off to sell his book at day two of a holiday bazaar.

Frosty watched me eat breakfast…

…and Jazmin enjoyed the sunshine of another summery day.

stewartia’s fine autumn colour

I spent a couple of hours reorganizing plant sale plants so that I could find room for   the 23 gallon pots of alliums I’d planted last night.  My brainstorm was to lay potting soil bags (to keep weeds down) in the aisle between greenhouses and compost bins and put pots of shade plants there….

….thus freeing up more room on the tables and benches.

pots of allium christophii, a plant sale experiment

Look how well that old rose has come back after being cut almost to the ground in late summer.  It had been taller than me.

I managed to get all of the big pots of potting soil (from the Corridor of Spooky Plants along the front driveway) moved to the back garden and (mostly) tipped into the bin of plant sale soil just in time to change into clean clothes for the art auction.  Allan returned promptly from the holiday bazaar.  It not been a great success for the assorted vendors, probably because fine weather kept people outside.  I think it was too early for people to be thinking of Christmas shopping.  Nevertheless, he had had a good time and enjoyed the social aspect of it.

The full (and less personal) story of the evening’s 6×6 art auction at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum will be our next post.

We sat in front at the four-top Discover Ilwaco table with Marlene and Our Kathleen.

Todd Wiegardt did security for one of the silent auction tables and also provided two big bouquets featuring Panicum ‘Northwind’.

I was well chuffed that I had used the same ornamental grass as the centerpiece for my bouquet.

outside Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum yesterday

The live auction is funny and exciting but hundreds of dollars too rich for my pocket book. I felt a bit addled and out of it at the event because it had come so close after all the thrills and exhaustion of Halloween.  Somehow I missed seeing or even bidding on this piece in the silent auction.

I would have loved to have this painting, showing the flowers of the Depot Restaurant, but it was in the live auction so went for hundreds.

It is not really that flowery; the left side is more green in real life because of an escallonia.  I like the fantasy that it is all flowers.

Here’s a spoiler: I managed to get two of the items I bid on.  They were in the silent auction and so I was not outbid.

To the left is my new tile by Renee O’Connor.  I acquired the other two at previous 6×6 auctions.

I was especially chuffed to get this fused glass piece called Hollyhocks and Afternoon Sun by Christine Kende.  (As you can see, the size of auction submissions has been stretched to include 12×12).

lower right

a book: Dream Hoarders

I finished an adequately interesting book earlier in the week (and have started a much better one since!)  It was a bedtime book, a chapter a day, as I have not had a proper reading day for awhile.

The author’s conceit is that he is speaking directly to other members of the upper middle class, as if working class people would not read his book. I was interested in his idea that it’s inaccurate to blame just the top one percent for huge economic inequality.

The book is mostly about how the practices of the upper middles create a “glass floor” under the feet of their children, who are more likely to go to a top college and be set up for life because of legacy entitlement (their parents went to said top college and have made large contributions), unpaid internships, and access to better pre-college education, partly because of real estate zoning that keeps certain neighbourhoods exclusively wealthy.

Working class and lower middle class young people cannot afford to live on unpaid internships that seem to be the doorway to lucrative careers.

He hopes the upper middle class will give up some of their privileges in favour of more equal opportunities.


I have little hope of that.

The British author feels that the class divide is more rigid in the USA now than in Great Britain.


I have never felt the class divide as strongly as in my years here, after leaving Seattle and moving to the beach.  In Seattle, the sheer size of the city meant that I had more privacy and was not in a smaller society that accentuates class differences.  I could write a whole blog post about it, but have not ….yet.  Someday, perhaps.

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