Archive for the ‘journal’ Category

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Long Beach

We needed to check all the planters, but…hallelujah!…not to water them. We started near the south end, skipping three because of lack of parking, and a bench sitter.

the ugly hebe got some clipping inside, was still pretty ugly
Bloom on Geranium ’Rozanne’, Allium cristophii

The veronica is already going over in the planter by Fifth Street Park. Its flowers don’t last long and again I’m wishing I’d dug out this planter.

The adjacent park looks great where we weeded Monday.

Broken in a park …and blurry with my tears (not really)
Lavender ’Sat-upon’

Third Street Park has more dead rhododendron mingled with salmonberry. It’s the kind of thing I might once have tackled, but now I just send photos to the city crew.

Dying shrub, salmonberry

With two blocks and three skipped planters left to go, we went out to weed some more on the beach approach, getting another section done and mulched and the end cap of the next section weeded. We are not pulling every grass and clover, just editing. Today’s section has thicker roses, was thornier and more frustrating. Allan called it a “brutal” job. I’m still…somewhat..enthusiastic.

We saw the cutest and tiniest tree frog we’ve ever seen, resting on a rose. The bees and such were into the rugosa roses, not the clover.

I contemplated a section for the next work day: How much meadowy look to leave. I researched later. The tiny yellow clover has the adorable name of Trifolium dubium and is from Europe. The upright yellow plant is Parentucelia viscosa and is on the invasive weed list for Humboldt County, Oregon. So I could clear those out for sure. The clover will be a brown dead mat soon, would be already were it not for all the rain. Of course, I like plants from around the world, so I don’t judge worth on the basis of origin unless a plant is on the invasive list.

Speaking of which, Iris pseudacorus, on the noxious weed list here, is trying to establish itself in a vernal bog by the road.

After weeding and mulching, we deadheaded at City Hall….

…then returned to the planter checkups (and the wee bed at Coulter Park) and finished them, ending our Long Beach day.


We checked up our two volunteer gardens, the post office…

…and the fire station.

I’ve added the beach approach to the work board. I used to call it thirteen sections. But when we last weeded it two years ago in early spring, I figured out that dividing it into 26 sections (since each section is divided by a rock or piece of big driftwood) makes the work board more satisfying.

This morning:


I’m pretty obsessed with the beach approach job at the moment. For a short while I thought that it or the parking lot berms could be my new hellstrip gardens. Hellstrip, AKA droughty, xeric curbside or parking strip gardens between street and sidewalk, are my favorite thing, and the ONLY place on the peninsula that has them is the Port of Ilwaco, which is one reason I stuck with that job through some difficult times, till our breaking point on Monday. Our streets just do not have parking strips. But those Long Beach areas do not have any access to water, and that is too hellstrippy even for me.

My obsession (which has taken me by surprise) could lead me to work on the approach every day till it’s done. Allan is not onboard for that, so we are taking three days off.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Long Beach

I felt exhilarated to start weeding the several blocks long Bolstad beach approach garden, which has not been done for over two years.

I was just going to go for some of the worst areas, but Allan wanted to work from the west end to the east, so we did.

The food carts are new. The mini donuts fellow brought us a bag of donuts!

I am trying to strike a balance of leaving some weedy grass for critters while still making it look more garden-y. It didn’t help that we got caught in an unexpected rain and broke off the weeding to go to the dry mulch barn to load buckets with mulch.

We returned, mulched, and weeded some more in a break in the rain. The westernmost section is the longest one by far, so we didn’t get quite done with it. Every block is divided in two by a planter.

Susie’s garden

For a year, Susie and Bill have been waiting for their retaining wall to be done. Finally, they went with a second contractor who finished it and spread the parking area gravel in one day. So at long last, we were able to plant the plants I’d been saving for the very edge: some helianthemum, Lobelia laxiflora, aubretia, lavender, epilobium (California fuchsia) and more. This we did in the pouring but not very cold rain, getting drenched.

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14 June: Long Beach

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

I may never before have shown the calendar that hangs underneath the work board with its work list. This morning, I redid the whole rest of the month.

I had already asked the powers that be in Long Beach if they would like us to work bit by bit on the long-neglected Bolstad beach approach garden now that quitting the port gives us extra time. It has been bugging me how bad it looks. Yes, they would welcome that.

Long Beach

We weeded the ten or so planters on the beach approach blocks of Sid Snyder Drive.

I love santolina!

Allan tackled the horsetail in the corner garden of Veterans Field while I tidied the flag pavilion garden.

Freed from the time-consuming weeding of the Port of Ilwaco gardens, we had time to weed the parking lot berms on the east side of town.

Monster weeds and blackberries

We had an audience while we dumped our debris.

At home and next door

We did a very short day because we had plans with Alicia and Brian, our dear neighbors next door.

First, a different friend came for a sit-down in my back garden, where we were joined by another friend, Sue, who had brought me a much longed-for Chocolate Cherry tomato. She said it was the only one in Washington state. On a trip to Eastern Washington, she had looked in several nurseries before finding just the one. It’s my favorite. I gave her a Sungold and a Rosella or Matt’s Wild Cherry (I did not label well, as usual) which I had grown from seed.

Alicia did some weedeating in her yard while Allan poked dandelions out of her lawn, and then she made us a delicious taco dinner which we ate while sitting around on her patio as the sun set.

These are just some of the treats and gifts that Alicia brought us.

Tomorrow: The always thrilling and thorny beach approach!

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Monday 13 June 2022

Long Beach

We did a short day in Long Beach, first trying an experiment on the shady SW quadrant of Fifth Street Park of transplanting some epimediums that I think will outdo the aggressively seeding dwarf fireweed.

Allan weeded.


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I posted about quitting the port job on my business page, personal page and my Ilwaco page, Our Ilwaco. Why? Because I want people to know, for the sake of our business reputation, that the quickly burgeoning weeds, plants hanging over the sidewalk and eventually the need for water, sight line pruning and deadheading is no longer our responsibility. If it also adds to our reputation of being people who will quit if we don’t feel apppreciated and respected….yeah, that’s also true.

I want to say again that the port commissioners and the the front port office staff have always been good to us.

I was moved by the many comments on the posts, so much so that I am sharing some of them here. I’m not using names because not everyone would want their name used in a blog.


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Monday, 13 June 2021

Port of Ilwaco

Weeding the boatyard and the Powell gallery gardens at the port had been today’s work plan. Instead, we went to the boatyard to take down our please leave the flowers signs, which we made and can maybe use elsewhere. I made this garden as a volunteer in the mid 1990s. It became a paid job in the mid 2000s after having been torn out for a construction project. The port had missed it and hired us sometime around 2006 to replace it.


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12 June: a bird drama

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Mostly at home

Allan installed the new gate.

He heard lots of fussing from birds and looked in Alicia’s back yard to see a large fluffed up bird on the ground. We both took photos from a respectful distance. (These are all Allan’s.) I took my phone photos straight to local Facebook for advice. The bird was an osprey. I called the new Peninsula Wildlife Rescue up in Ocean Park. She was ever so helpful, telling me it is less likely that an osprey would have avian flu (recently a problem here) because they eat fish. She or a volunteer would have come to assess the bird, had it not been gone when I went back out. It had spent almost an hour here. I looked around for it because she told me (from the photo I texted) that it was fluffed up, which meant it might be not feeling well, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I didn’t think to ask if it could be fluffed up because it was annoyingly windy here today.

I puttered around the garden, got some plants planted and some pots amended with new soil, got the roses fertilized, didn’t take photos of the assorted little projects though. Just some of the usual garden photos.

Rose rubrifolia
Geranium palmatum
Allan saw this sweet pea on the front fence.
Not a pink Lewisia despite the tag.
I love the selaginella (spike moss, not really a moss) and hope it increases.
A hardy pomegranate that Ann Amato gave me. I thought it had died, glad I did not give up on it.

Oh, and my big accomplishment was to layer wool, the escallonia clippings from last week’s pruning at Coho Charters, and brown debris in bin one, finally getting three tarps of clippings emptied and giving myself some hope of getting the compost sifting started sometime soon. With five bins, there must be some good stuff in there.

Allan got our sodden lawn mowed, and also the J Crew Cottage lawn and their roses deadheaded.

It had suddenly poured rain.

Last night we discovered on the HD Clump website a new show by Carol Klein, Spring Gardening, wonderful as she always is. She told me to deadhead my pulmonarias, which I’d been meaning to do, so today I did. The new Springwatch has arrived on Britbox and we got an interlibrary loan of season 3 Survivor: Africa, so we suddenly have a wealth of shows to watch. Last week we watched the thrilling season 4 of Stranger Things. Ever since, I’ve had Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill in my head, where I’ve been enjoying it in a poignant way; it brings back verklempt-making memories of 1985 and life with Bryan and the sadness that he died in his mid 60s. I did so much love the music of the 80s.

HD Clump also now has the complete two seasons of Christine’s Garden. I adore it. It’s all mixed up with other shows in the general gardening shows folder.

I realize these posts often end abruptly. I don’t have time to think of clever endings!

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11 June: meeting Charlie

Saturday, 11 June 2022

At home

Mary and Denny, former clients (when they managed Klipsan Beach Cottages) and still beloved friends, came to visit with their five month old Havanese puppy, Charlie. What a thrill! I’d been longing to meet him. The Havanese breed is the National dog of Cuba, smart and bright and often were circus dogs! Charlie is simply adorable.

He got quite wet in the very wet garden, where the water is still standing deep in the swales. He wanted to explore everything and took an accidental partial dip in one of the ponds.

After they departed, Allan started to build a gate to replace an old door in the Bogsy Wood garden fence that had rotted away after ten years.

I puttered around the garden…

Lots of pink: peony, dianthus, Geranium palmatum
A mostly dry but dark day
First flower of Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’
Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’
Some sunshine on Bogsy Wood swales

…and managed to harvest what is possibly my only spring harvest of broad beans.

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10 June: rain report

Friday, 10 June 2022

At home

We had a rainstorm that dropped 1.08 inches of rain in one day. Allan went out this morning and photographed the water situation in the Bogsy Wood. Another day off with a cozy mystery (or two) to read.

Gunnera by the Deep Path
Standing water on lawn, unusual or unheard of in June
The metal path, east side from fire circle into the Bogsy Wood.
The metal path, spur to the wayback sit spot
The metal path
The Bridged Swale
New beds in the willow grove
The frog bog

Allan’s photos:

He built a shelf in the garage and I did a big re-org of garden supplies.
strimming in the Bogsy Wood

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9 June: some reading

Early June 2022

At home

I finally had a rainy reading day, and can catch you up on two other books I read recently.

While reading Patricia Highsmith’s diaries, I had learned about her last novel that I had missed. I think I own all of her other books. I loved it, her particular style of writing, the sympathetic characters and a beautiful capture of day to day life. It was my bedtime reading for two weeks, leaving me feeling immersed in that world for days, even though I prefer to read a novel in one or two sittings.

Last week, I read Adrian Bloom’s Gardening with Conifers over several days. I felt like I simply did not have enough room in my garden. The alder grove provides enough shade but not the privacy I now need, but makes the selection of conifers that I could add quite limited.

Today, we had another inch of rain so I was able to finish a book that was more pertinent to my garden. Years ago, I saw Adrian Bloom speak several times at the NW Flower and Garden show and was smitten with his river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

The detailed information on his favorite perennials and grasses, most of which I grow, had history about each plant, much of it new to me. His writing style has that droll British humor that always pleases me.

But my ‘Whirling Butterflies’ reseed, so maybe they are not the cultivar.

Rozanne is wonderful in the Long Beach planters, blooms from late spring through October with no deadheading.

I always thought that the name Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ meant it was “lower” than ‘Six Hills Giant’.

Never! I grow the catmint for my cats to enjoy. Unfortunately , they like it so much I can’t establish it in the catios.

Spencer in the catmint, Klipsan Beach Cottages 2009

The only displeasing thing is that some yobbo had carefully razor bladed out two pages which must have had beautiful photos. The library has three copies; we ordered another so I can see what was missing.

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