Archive for the ‘finger blight’ Category

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

at home, an allium about to doff its cap

J’s garden

We weeded and watered.

Allan used his new blower to remove the rhododendron leaves from river rock, something otherwise difficult to do.

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco Fire Station

We checked up on our three month old volunteer garden.  I wish it would fill in faster.

Mike’s garden

More weeding.

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Alan worked on the woodsy back garden area, which we have neglected due to lack of time.  His photos:


Long Beach

We collected another bucket brigade of Soil Energy mulch from our pile at City Works and mulched one of the 13 sections out on the beach approach.

rugosa roses


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

single rugosa rose…

and doubles (Allan’s photos)

After coveting (again) the stone troughs of the Oysterville garden, I had cast my eye covetously on these old concrete thingies at city works that were removed when the water meter system in town was changed to something more modern.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Today we had time to give the garden some thorough attention.  I have realized while working here that it is the only place where I get the same sense of peace, kind of a floaty feeling, that I get in my own garden.  Not quite as much peace, because I cannot check on it every day, but almost as much.

a Shelburne frog (Allan’s photo)

A blog reader named Tina came up to me and introduced herself.  I always find that surprising and pleasing.

looking south from the north end

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’, beloved of bees

Allan’s photo

callas with fallen rhododendron flowers (Allan’s photo)

the old rhododendron (Allan’s photo)

looking north from the entryway

In back, the totem pole garden

front garden, from the sidewalk as one approaches from the south

Port of Ilwaco

Because we did not have to water, we were able to work along a good long stretch of the curbside gardens just weeding.

east end of Howerton Ave

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

CoHo Charters

Allan weeded the Coho lava rocks.

passersby (Allan’s photos)


They were on their way to the store about ten blocks away.

Ilwaco Pavilion

The cry of outrage disturbing the evening peace of Ilwaco was me upon seeing that someone had stolen all the flowering stems off of one of the eryngiums in the newly planted area.

finger blight

Those plants were moved from the south side garden of the port office, which now looks like this:

Time Enough Books is doing a good job with their little planters this year.

More curbside Eryngium photos by Allan:

It was a ten hour day.

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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Today we will have used up all of our green jugs of rain water and now are completely dry.


Allan pulled the last three from under the dryer vent.

These are kitty litter jugs and so useful!

We began work today with watering at the ….

Depot Restaurant

…where I fretted over the escallonia ugliness.

If it were mine, I would take the sides back to the new green growth inside.

But that might look even more ugly for a public place.

Allan found frogs on the hose reel.

I have to get sorted whether this message on the sprinkler system means it only runs once every seven days…

north of the dining deck

white camassia

SE corner of dining deck

Long Beach

welcome sign

The welcome sign is still blah.  Why are the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ so slow to bloom this year?  Our work does not involve the sort of bedding out for every season that some city gardeners do.  We have to wait for the summer show instead of making an extra late spring show.

We checked on Fifth Street Park….

Fifth Street Park’s four quadrants

NW Fifth Street Park

I saw that the Dorothy Perkins rose was in a terrible mildewy state.

disgusting; was chosen by a landscape architect

Meanwhile, just across the street to the south, Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ is doing wonderfully as always.

Super Dorothy, chosen by me and Parks Manager Mike on a trip we took to Heirloom Roses

Allan took another section of poor old Dorothy, and I trimmed the one by Captain Bob’s Chowder.  I seriously think it should just be removed.  Because of rose replant disease, it might be hard to put Super Dorothy there, plus she is so strong she would soon hide the restaurant from view.

We watered the downtown planters.

I got asked several times about the identity of the Allium christophii.  One passerby who asked said that they were beautiful “but one is broken a block further up.”  It certainly was.

finger blight!!

I took the flower home, and as I write this a week later, it still looks good.  I would rather it was looking good in its planter than in a vase at home.

LBT’s pots (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

My next goal today was to mulch another section of the beach approach garden.  However, with an ominous feeling, I looked at Facebook to see if the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market was opening soon.  My plan changed when I saw it opens tomorrow (Friday afternoons, starting June 8th), so we had to tidy up the Veterans Field gardens.  They don’t even show much because booths block them during market hours, but I still must have them looking good.

I have gone off planting Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.  Despite such pretty blue flowers, her foliage is floppy all over the place before bloom.  Most of the Vet Field time was spent pulling the foliage off, which is surely not advisable yet never seems to affect her coming back just as messy the next year.

Allan’s photo from a previous year: Brodiaea at the Ilwaco community building, showing the messy foliage

Look at the caption on this old photo.  I followed through, to my regret today.

Note: Plant Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ in Vet Field garden. Great blue for early summer.

In the corner garden of Vet Field, I found an agastache that I had failed to pull (probably buried with brodiaea foliage).  Having had the opportunity to grow out of its diseased foliage, it did not, and the foliage still looks awful.  I am not going to name and shame the non-peninsula nursery that refused to give a credit on all these bad plants, but shame, shame, shame on them.


When I realized that the roses by the police station were encroaching on the sidewalk, I felt overburdened with responsibilities.  I sheared back the worst offenders, feeling grumpy.

After Long Beach, Allan watered the Ilwaco planters.  I was hoping for rain tomorrow so did not water the boatyard.  If no rain, will have to water it Saturday.  I wanted to get the Shelburne watered today, rain or no rain, but I could not find the energy to spend two hours working there while Allan did Ilwaco.  (Don’t ask me where he gets his energy; I am amazed.  He is famous for it among those who know him.)  We had dinner plans for eight with our garden gang.

Instead, I went home while Allan watered Ilwaco and rather surprised myself by spending the time vigorously shifting some heavy pots and tables around on our patio.

Allan got done with the planters in jig time and we were able to water the Shelburne after all.

Shelburne Hotel

back west garden

back south garden

Front garden, Nicotiana langsdorfii

Front garden, phlomis (Jerusalem sage)

front garden: success with evening scented stock from seed

We saw Thandi of the Sou’wester Lodge with her darling daughter, who had somehow managed to turn from a baby into a little girl.

Dave and Melissa joined us for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner meeting.

Dave’s French onion soup

Allan’s drink, an Arnold Palmer

tired working gardeners

Melissa and I comparing the effect of hard work on our hands

At home after dinner, I just happened to notice on the counter that one of the seed packets in my gift of a Gardeners’ World magazine is one of the plants that is high on my must have list after seeing it on the show.

I must sow them in July in a prepared seed bed and keep them moist.  Wish me luck.

We have two rewards for today.  By working a 9 hour day (Allan did, anyway), we now can take three days off.  If the rain comes, we might even get four days off.  One day includes the Astoria Pride parade, which I feel duty bound to attend even though, as always of late, all I want is to be home in my own garden.


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 Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Looking out my window (over the storage/water trailer/garbage area), I saw that the driveway was wet, oh joy!  Such a relief to know the gardens got some water.

Ilwaco Fire Station

I planted some assorted sunflower seeds at the fire station.

Ilwaco Post Office

I wanted to quickly plant 12 cosmos in our volunteer garden at the post office.  Quickly was not the word because of how weedy it had gotten.

It took an hour to make space and get the plants in.

While we were gardening there, someone from the port office came to get mail and told us that yesterday evening, she had seen a man and a boy picking an armload of flowers from the boatyard garden.  When she asked him not to, he was argumentative and said “No one is going to take care of them and I’m keeping them from dying.”  (“No one is going to take care of them”!!!!!!) She and I had a good conversation that I fervently hope will result, and soon, with some official “Do not pick” signage from the port.  Our polite little “Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy” signs are not working.

I thought of a few more things to say so I went to the port office while Allan planted cosmos in the office garden (south side).  The baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse had been hung.

Couldn’t get a long shot because the port truck was there.

curbside gardens on the south side of the port office

I did not want to look at the boatyard so we went on to add more to the planters in

Long Beach.

I am tired of planting.

I asked Allan to make room for a blue felicia daisy by the blue painted Benson’s restaurant.



The golden variegated vinca in that planter is beautiful but much too aggressive for my taste.

Allan was entertained while planting by motorcycle tourists.

taking pictures of their bikes

They asked a Long Beach crew member to take their photo with the frying pan.

The south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park:

Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Later, Allan photographed a hole where a trailing plant had gotten stolen.

I am upset. And tired of this.

We added a few cosmos to the west side of city hall.

Shelburne Hotel and Pub

Today was Melissa’s birthday.  Allan and I worked on the Shelburne garden for 45 minutes until the birthday dinner at the pub began.

the back edible and shady totem pole garden

front garden looking north

and south

In the pub:

avocado toast

chopped salad

pub burger

cranberry curd tart

Melissa declared her chocolate pot du creme the best ever.

Allan took an amusing group photo.

We stayed till well past closing time (with permission from bartender Juan).

On the way to our van, after Dave and Mel had left, we went into the back garden to see if the tiny daisy flowers of the Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) were scenting the courtyard.  They were, intoxicatingly.

the lawn by night (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, pub deck

At home, I was able to make the work list shorter by erasing Long Beach parks and planters.

*Annuals Planting Time AKA Annuals Planting Hell

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Long Beach

I wanted to get one more intersection of Long Beach planters done today, mainly because they needed watering from the last round of planting.  All I had to do was add Cosmos ‘Sonata’ to one street planter and to the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.

In just two planters on that intersection, we found:

an allium broken and ruined before it ever bloomed (Allan’s photo)

a santolina pulled up and left with its roots gasping in the air.

a planter with alliums on one side still fine…

but the matching set on the other side completely gone, bulbs and all

and a Dutch iris pulled out and left lying on top of other plants, still in bud.

I fumed and muttered about quitting public gardening.  And yet I feel it is my mission, and I don’t want to work for wealthy people’s private gardens that only they and their friends or paying garden tour guests see. I feel public gardens give joy to people of all incomes.  And yet…I can hardly stand the vandalism.  (My headache was not going away.)

Dutch Iris and Allium christophii that have escaped being destroyed, so far (Allan’s photo)

the two planters I worked on

Cerinthe major purpurascens (Allan’s photo)

Allan watering

We still had more planters to finish, but today was the day to to planting at…

The Red Barn

which just got four red diascias added to the barrels.

Allan photographed Amy and horses….

And a little bird.

Diane’s garden

We planted all Diane’s containers, and added a few plants along the road and in the septic box garden. Of course, it took an hour longer than I had hoped.

Allan’s photos:

Along the road…


The bench is to protect plants from exuberant new puppy, Holly. Our good old friend Misty is on the porch.

The puppy in question:

I told Diane at least the raised septic box was safe from puppy Holly; she replied that Holly had jumped up and run across it a couple of times.

my photos; the septic garden still needs more.

On the way home, we did a watering session at

The Shelburne Hotel….

Allan watered by the new courtyard in the back.

Looks like a bocce ball or a  dog tangled with the borage patch.

After watering the Shelburne, I went home to struggle with my headachy brain over the mid month billing. Allan watered the Ilwaco planters with the water trailer for the first time this year and found this Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ interesting.

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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Before work, Allan helped me dig up a start of Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ to take to the Shelburne.  I have it planted in a big old garbage can planter, not easy to divide from.  The one I got from Todd for my birthday is Eupatorium fortunei ‘Capri’, which is shorter and whose foliage is a brighter pink.

We had an audience.


We then planted sweet peas along the fence at the

Ilwaco boatyard garden.

I still don’t know the extent of the possible digging.  The construction crew for the new boat washing thingie cannot dig the sweet peas all up, can they?  I figure there is no way they would dig all along the base of the fence, although they may have to go under it a time or two…

Allan’s photos:

With that done, we returned to

Long Beach

We first deadheaded the welcome sign.  Just in time for spring break, it’s in an awkward pause between narcissi and tulips.


anemone blanda (Allan’s photo)


We then returned with enthusiasm to the final section of the Bolstad beach approach garden.

I had offered up free rugosa roses (with plenty of warning about how they run) on a Facebook group for Peninsula Gardeners.   I recall that about four group members said they would come get some, so I asked Allan to start by pulling the roses right along the edge (where we try to keep them back from sidewalk and street).

We have this much left to do.  The buoy has been our goal all along.

As it turned out, only one couple showed up for roses.  I saved two buckets of cuttings for a friend who is out of town.

befores (Allan’s photos):

I found a painted rock from “Long Beach school” hidden deep under lupines.  A lot of these rocks get put in places where plants grow over them and only the gardeners will find them.  I put it on better display.

I did not complain about picked narcissi yesterday, deciding to give the finger blight rants a one day rest.  Today, I found several narcissi clumps whose flowers were plucked and one big hole where something got stolen, probably a nice clump of narcissi.

We had a delightful visit from our friend Mitzu, former staff member at a place where we recently quit working.  She and her people were going for a walk.

Our good friend Mitzu.

At 3:30, we made it to the end!

“Ocian in view!”, as Lewis or Clark wrote.

We had come all this way.

And the vehicle traffic had not been nearly as bad (for weeding on the street side) as we had expected on this sunny spring break Saturday.  A woman walking by said, “Your town is so pretty! I love coming here!”

afters (Allan’s photos):

We will add some mulch when a new pile is delivered to city works.

A bit of deadheading by the hotel/townhouse/arch end of the beach approach, and we were done.

We had an audience from a hotel window. (Allan’s photo)

Allan and I separated, he to dump debris and then to deadhead the south blocks of planters and street tree gardens and me to deadhead city hall and the north blocks.

trilliums at city hall

The wider part of the west bed needs more narcissi planted next fall.


I had wanted to take a March photo record of all of the planters and street tree gardens.  Due to bright sun and deep shadows and to my camera battery dying, this mission failed. My iPhone camera couldn’t handle the light contrast. We did get some pretty photos, and enough of a record that I can use to make a list of which planters are low on narcissi.

Here are some of the end of March flowers of Long Beach.

my photos:

planter by NIVA green

variegated tulip foliage (battered by rain)

Dennis Company tree

under tree across from Dennis Co.

one early tulip…

and finger blight!!

Dennis Co planter

a flock of ducks at the Heron Pond

tree by Long Beach Pharmacy

Fish Alley

an Easter rock (from “Vancouver Rocks” group, SWWashington)

Third Street

Lewis and Clark Square, Tulip ‘Formosa’ which usually blooms in late April

Tulips ‘West Point’ and ‘Tom Pouce’

Third Street gazebo

Tulipa sylvestris

If this is Cool Crystal, it is awfully early.

Tulip acuminata buds

Allan’s photos:

shrubby planter left over from volunteer days (that hebe!)

If I could get up the energy, I would like that to be the next planter we clear out as it looks rather dull most of the time.

Fifth Street Park

by Abbracci Coffee Bar

This old planting of azaleas and a rhododendron (not by us) is only interesting right now.

With all of Long Beach town deadheaded, we repaired to the Shelburne Hotel to plant one Eupatorium ‘Pink Frost’ and to reward ourselves for our completed days and days of weeding the beach approach.

Shelburne Pub

epimedium flowers outside (Allan’s photo)

The hotel lobby now includes spillover pub seating. (Allan’s photo)

in the pub: Cosmo with Adrift Distillers cranberry liqueur

I had black garlic fried rice and am still remembering its goodness as I write this a day later.

black garlic fried rice and a salad

Allan’s pub burger and salad

well deserved treats


delicious beeramisu

At home, I woke two sleeping cats.

The only let down to the happy end of the beach approach project was that Calvin’s cough has come back.  It was so bad in the late evening that I thought of the emergency vet.  Some soothing medicine I had left over from Smoky helped him, so that he can wait till Monday to go in for an asthma shot.

The re-written work board:

I have every intention, some time in the next two weeks, of working on a new volunteer garden project at the Ilwaco Fire Station.




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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

a calendula by our driveway (Allan’s photo)

Fritillaria meleagris (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

I had a few plant starts ( cyclamens from MaryBeth and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ from Klipsan Beach Cottages) to plant in the Shelburne front garden.  It had been on my mind to get back there and see how the garden is doing.  I wish it would “do” faster.  I miss having lots of spring bulbs in it.  Next year!  I took some narcissi from my garden  and left them by the kitchen sink, hoping someone could find it useful.

Outside, the only especially maddening weed I found was the dratted Aegopodium, which is thick at the south end and, unfortunately, popping up elsewhere as well.

a horde horrendous little aegepodium leaves at the south end (among the scilla)

in the center of the garden….nooooo!

looking north

looking south

I was most pleased when one of my most admired local gardeners came round the corner for lunch in the pub and said that the garden HAD gone to weeds but was now looking much better.  He had brought two little friends with him.

One had hopped into the garden and was gently removed.

I am feeling so eager for the plants to start to show.


and March 11. Some progress.

I planted my baby Sansuisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ with Allan’s protective teepee.  I found that mine at home is finally leafing out so I could put my new one in here.

Long Beach, Bolstad Beach Approach

We returned to the all consuming task of weeding the beach approach, after doing a small bit of deadheading downtown.

in a downtown planter (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Before driving to the approach, we dumped Sunday’s debris and gathered some mulch.

our low tech method

on the approach garden (Allan’s photo)

mulch added to a couple of sections

We began weeding where we had left off.  The red buoy is at the end of the gardens.

six sections to go

Befores and afters (mostly Allan’s photos):

We finished one section in two and a half hours and started the next.

second section, before

I enjoy the parade of delightful dogs all day.

Our neighbour Jared strolled by with his good dogs:

Rudder and Yarrow

Below, see those holes in the weeds? That is where I had planted some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have plenty, to try to fill in with something free.  Every one has been stolen and I am so exasperated.  And furious. This is why, other than shrubs and roses, the gardens look so empty.  This is why we can’t have nice things.

I also find much evidence of the theft by digging of narcissi bulbs.  Below, evidence that was discarded on the ground after some fool took the bulb and no foliage, apparently.  Or someone just pulled the plant apart for fun.  Deer do not do this to narcissi.

I placed it on the post for your examination.

I am just going to encourage more wild beach lupine.  I can’t have anything fancier here.

Sometimes I think about writing a letter to the editor or speaking at Long Beach city council.  Then I think that would just alert people to where to find good plants for free.

willows, by where we dump weeds

When I got this far in the second section, I did not think I would make it to the planter.  Allan put a cookie on the rock to keep me going.  I was not amused, so he placed it where I could reach it. Three ibuprofens later, I did make it to the end.

The afters, (all by Allan), section one:

section two:

Now we have this far to go to the buoy:

at home

In picking narcissi for the Shelburne this morning, I had noticed that a depressing number were tattered by snails, so I had to find enough evening energy to totter around the garden tossing out some Sluggo pellets.

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’, cat memorial garden

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’

center bed (with loads of shotweed)

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’!

gunnera and rain puddles

I must divide this Japanese iris soon!

bogsy wood after rain

Oh dear, I may have coppiced my golden leycesterias and my smokebush too hard and too soon:

looks ominous

akebia by the driveway

Four beach approach sections to go and then I MUST get the rest of the sweet peas planted.

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Monday, 12 March 2018

The first gardening event of the day was checking on a garden (which I will not name and shame) and being told by the maintenance guy that he had sprayed “some weeds” that turned out to be poppies in the gravel.  I was not happy.  I only blew a very small gasket as I tenderly held the still damp poppy seedlings in a gloved hand.  I said that dead little plants from Round Up look worse than little green plants, even if they had been little weeds.

After that sad event, we checked on the Shelburne Hotel garden because I feared I had left a small tool in the garden.  (I had not; turned out Allan had picked it up.)  Because of the hot weather, we found two new plants all droopy and gave them emergency bucket watering.

All but two of the photos today are by Allan.

sad hellebore

sadder primula

Long Beach

We went on to finish the parking lot berms.

weeding with the ho-mi

Stipa gigantea before

and after

lightweight summer clothes and a hat to keep off the sun

north berm, after

rugosa roses in the south berm

I must admit that there were just a couple of areas of quack grass in rugosa roses that we did not successfully weed.  We usually do a good weeding of this garden later, around the end of April.  I was pleased to get as much done as we did.  We left the quaking grass (Briza medea) standing because, even though it looks like a weed to most passersby, it has charming seedheads later which we will leave for awhile before pulling.  It pulls easily.

part of the south berm, after

While on the way to dump our big load of debris in the late afteroon, I looked at my phone.  I had had the strangest feeling earlier this week that, because of my book blogging obsession of late, I could have missed something terribly important in someone’s life on my Facebook newsfeed.  As we entered the city works yard, I saw the post that a local gardener I had known had just died, an assisted death because of aggressive brain cancer, which I soon learned had been just one month from diagnosis to unsuccessful surgery and then to her passing.  I was in shock but couldn’t feel much because we still had one more job to do at

The Shelburne Hotel

I had bucketed some mulch out of the garbage can of Soil Energy that I keep at home for garden emergencies, because I had decided yesterday that an end piece of little shade bed at the Shelburne desperately needed fluffing up.


Allan, with a couple of flat rocks that I had found, made the path a little wider.  I had brought some little lavender double primroses to put in.

A not quite the same angle before from a couple of days ago:

The flowers that had been sad this morning had perked up.  They all got another bucket of water.

at home

I finally had some time to think.  The gardener who had died must have been so scared.  We had been just becoming closer friends when the election of November 2016 revealed a world-view schism that gently ended our communication by mutual and melancholy agreement.  I had sort of thought that eventually we would drift back into an pleasant gardening acquaintanceship or friendship.  A different person than me would have tried harder. Now I could only hope in an afterlife where she could be reunited with her beloved and wonderful dog, who had died a year and a half before and was deeply mourned and missed.  The same kind of aggressive brain cancer took another dear gardening friend of mine after blindness and a harsh three year battle.

At my desk, I opened my Facebook messaging and found this from Nancy, co-owner of the Depot Restaurant:

“A [elderly] diner and her hubby left and went outside while their kids finished their wine. Pretty soon she comes back with a bouquet of daffodils…..saying look what she found outside growing wild…..[She was told] they are not wild, we pay good money to have our garden…. People never cease to amaze me.” I wrote back asking if the old woman had climbed OVER the tall horizontal log barrier to get to the garden (which I find hard to climb over) and Nancy said yes, she had climbed right over it.  Now that’s spry!  (I was given permission to say where this happened!)

The work board shows that only the Ilwaco boatyard garden remains on the spring clean up list.

I found it harder than usual to sleep and finally did while picturing my late gardening friend and her beautiful big golden brown smiling dog in a misty field of grass and flowers.  Please let it be so.

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