Archive for the ‘our garden’ Category

Friday, 15 July 2017

I had done something unpleasant to my right heel toward the end of yesterday’s work day; it even kept me awake for awhile during the night.  Why??? Just before a weekend of touring gardens!  However, on Friday I wanted to do some more weeding because some informal touring of our garden was sure to take place.

Before I began, we hosted the first garden tour of our three day weekend; Dan from the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum came by.


Like most people, he had assumed the front garden was all there was, and had no idea the lot goes over 200 feet back to the meander line.

After walking all round the garden and talking about the history of how it used to be waterfront before the port expanded by filling and building two blocks south, I embarked upon my plan of thorough weeding.


weeded the new-ish bogsy wood hillock garden, in the area that was once riverfront beach.


then managed to snake enough hose to get a sprinkler set up out there

I forgot after awhile to try to take it easy and instead succumbed to the sudden impulse of a rather intense project: Digging huge flopsy clumps of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ out of what used to be a debris pile, to make room for more variety.


after: lots fewer sedums, lots more room for what is there to grow and breathe.

All afternoon I worked on this, forgetting to wear my knee brace because all I had intended to do was the easy task of pulling dwarf fireweed.  This was not the wisest lead up to a garden tour weekend.

I planted four ladies in waiting, including Chelone obliqua ‘Tiny Tortuga’ and Tricyrtis formosana ‘Samurai’, all acquired at the Basket Case Greenhouse.


Tricyrtis formosana ‘Samurai’

In the late afternoon, Devery came from next door to pick some strawberries.  I had finished my projects and was able to sit with her on the patio for a spell.


Devery on the good ship Ann Lovejoy, sailing into Strawberry Land.


a good harvest


on the patio: succulents in an old hibachi (Allan’s photo)

At 7, Allan and I joined seven friends for a gardener’s dinner at the Cove Restaurant: Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening), Todd Wiegardt (Willapa Gardening), Debbie Teashon (rainyside.com and author of Gardening for the Homebrewer), Jeanne (Portland gardener), Ann Amato-Zorich (Spiffy Seeds and the Amateur Bot-ann-ist), and Evan Bean (former co worker with Todd at Plant Delights, now with plantlust.com).  Much plant talk ensued.


in the foyer (Allan’s photo)


Ann appreciating (Allan’s photo)


Ann, looking droll, and Evan (Allan’s photo)


Ann’s fish and no chips


Todd, me, Debbie (photographing Allan), Melissa (hidden), Dave, Jeanne, Ann, Evan


plant thoughts with Evan and Todd


The kitchen produced a special dessert of 9 small portions of strawberry rhubarb cake.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

We were up oh so early for us, although not as early as we would have if Patti J had come with us as we had all sort of planned.  (She was having company and could not take such a long day away after all.)  By 9:15, Allan and I were on the road to Menlo, Washington, to attend the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County garden tour.  It moves around each year.  Last year’s tour in Aberdeen was one of the best I’d seen, and I had been counting the weeks and days till this one.  Knee brace, cane, and the fluffiest of fluffy socks for my sore heel would get me through the day of walking.  A bandaid on my right trigger finger would (mostly) keep me from going ouch each time I took a photo (because a thin rugosa rose thorn was sitting in my finger just in the spot where I click on the camera).

Because we left 15 minutes later than I had hoped, we took the dreaded (just by me) Willapa Curves rather than the less harrowing (to me) longer route through Naselle.




Low tide, scenic view, and ultra squiggly narrow road


Possibly to most people, it does not seem extra narrow.


At least going north, we are on the inside!


So many curves

After ten minutes of that, I was relieved to be on the straight, long road through woods to South Bend and Raymond and on to the much anticipated garden tour.

Join us for the next batch of posts for the Menlo tour, followed by a bonus tour of a South Bend secret garden, and then a Sunday of touring six gardens with friends on the Long Beach Peninsula.

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Saturday, 1 July 2017


Frosty, with Calvin far below.


Calvin enters at stage right.

Just for Skooter fans:  He loves to get in the bathtub and lick drips from the faucet.

I was happy that it’s now only two weeks until the garden tour that I’m so looking forward to.


After an early afternoon walk through the Saturday Market, and a revitalizing slice of chocolate marble cake from Pink Poppy Bakery, I tackled the stink-mint corner.  By which I mean the north east corner of the front garden, in which an annoyingly scented mint-like weed, with square stems and small pink flowers, whose name I learned and then forgot, is rampant.





I also planted the dahlias that Todd had dropped off, mostly in the garden boat.


The smallest one is shaggy pink Park Princess, which I had years ago in Seattle and loved.


in the back garden, after watering.  Louisiana iris…


in the bogsy woods: Has that alder always leaned so much?


found some old photos.  Yes…maybe. (January 2012)

A stick of a very expensive (for me anyway) tree, which has sat bare since a hot day last summer when every leaf fell of its brand newness in my garden, has new foliage emerging!  Good for me about procrastinating for a year on pulling it out.


Albizia ‘Summer Chocolate’ might revive.


In the evening, I had to leave the fragrance of Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ to attend the fireworks display at the port.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

my day

Midmorning was grey with a strong, cold wind whipping through the garden.  I took the opportunity to finish my book.


a favourite author of mine

This passage, about Nick, a British actor, being asked to win over a stage actor, amused me because I was once married to a Leedsman.  He could put on a posh BBC accent that worked wonders when dealing with any problem over the phone.


Actor Nick is going to play the film role of a beloved children’s book author and illustrator who recently died.  I liked this description of the author/artist’s home:


This is the second time in recent weeks that I have read a reference to the “stranger comes to town” classic plotline.


I finished the book.  I am in trouble because many books arrived from the library and reading time is scarce in summer.  (It would be less scarce if I stopped blogging.  But I love blogging.)


to read

The weather had warmed up and the garden called.


Leaves brought down by wind made it look like autumn instead of July.


Cats were waiting.


into the back garden


My Smokey loves a gardening day.  Or a reading day.


His fur is exceptionally plush and soft.

Without any warning to myself, I suddenly decided it was time to start edging the garden.





Allan’s day

Allan watered at the Ilwaco Community Building for the first time this year.






poppies that had dried up….


after a tad bit of editing

Black Lake

Allan’s reward for working on Sunday was a sail around Black Lake with his “yacht club” boat..


at the Black Lake yacht club




lots of other boaters

A very rude man yelled at Allan to “delete that photo” when his family’s boat was included in a scenic shot.  Allan had been pleased to see that the boat was a Hobie, like his own that he takes on fancier boating trips.  The man was so aggressive that Allan went along with it.  I wouldn’t have; I’d have paddled or sailed away top speed because I am tremendously opposed to being told what to do.  (Thus: a lifetime of self employment.)  The rather entertaining part of the exchange was that Allan told the rude and awful man that he takes photos of the lake scenes for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  “Where’s Ilwaco?” said Mr. Threats and Bluster.  “You’re in it,” said Allan, but Mr. Rudeness seemed unable to understand even that much.

By the way, Mr. Horrible Man from Kennewick, it is perfectly legal to take photos of you in your boat when you have plopped yourself into the middle of a public park.



dock picnic


fog rolling in



The wind had been tremendously noisy and irksome back home in the garden, so it was good that a sailor got some use from it.  When he returned home, he kindly dumped my three wheelbarrows of sod.


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Friday, 16 June 2017

Finally, the four days I had so been looking forward to had arrived.  Unfortunately, Friday was not entirely a day off, although the work tasks were small ones.  (Most of Allan’s rather different weekend will follow in tomorrow’s post.)

Longtime readers may notice we are not going to Hardy Plant Study Weekend this year.  That’s because it is in Canada.  Too far to go in gardening season. I do miss the touring of many gardens. 


I was hoping to get at least two done of the home goals on the work board.


This is the rather amazing amount of rain we’d had.


J’s house reflected.

At the J’s, I placed two Pistachio hydrangeas, dug up the two pitiful ones, and left the planting for Allan.


The less sad of the two pitifuls can try out life behind the birdbath.


Allan’s photo


more stupid landscape fabric removed (Allan’s photo)


hydrangeas spaced out for more room


a snail hoping for a ride

Allan also kindly did some weeding next door at Devery’s; some grasses were daunting her.





He took a tired old hebe out of his own garden:



and replaced it with a new one.

I had gotten inspired by a photo on the Tootlepedal blog to want a lattice piece to make a vine go over the front porch entry.  Allan found some wire that did just the trick. The vine in question dies back in fall so this wire may come in handy for Halloween decor.


Allan’s photo.  Vine is Lamprocapnos scandens (yellow bleeding heart vine)

While running errands, he also added two Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ to our barrel planter at The Depot Restaurant (easier in afternoon than in the evening when the parking lot is full). There he found a monster bindweed that we had missed.



At home, I applied some blood meal to certain plants, just to give them a boost.  This attracted attention from next door.



our handsome neighbour, Rudder

The storm had rearranged the old rose by the back garden entrance. Much clipping ensued.


Later, Devery next door got the roses.

You may recall that the Ladies in Waiting area was pretty full again this week. I seriously applied myself to planting in the afternoon and early evening, with a big anxious push to get done at the very end.


all planted! every last one!


I put my tradescantia, called Sweet Kate, not Blue and Gold, in a hanging basket to see how long it takes snails to find it.  


Alliums and Geum (Allan’s photo)

At the very last bit of time at home, I got the Great Wall of China reinstalled, with Allan’s help on the highest plate.


The last minute planting rush was because we needed to leave early for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner in order to plant a few things at the port on the way.


Allan plants an asclepias in the drive-over garden by the port.


We felt super special to drive down Waterfront Way (not a driving road except for port workers).


We filled in some of the storm gaps with cosmos at the port office garden, and added stakes to protect them, I hope, when the baskets get re-hung.


south of the port office (Allan’s photo)

On the way to dinner, I was pleased to see that the baskets in Long Beach, after their storm pummeling, are already looking better.  So I no longer have to worry about 35 mph storms and hanging baskets.


taken on the move


a lovely sight which I messaged to Basket Case Roxanne

The Cove Restaurant

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) had actually worked through the storm in The Oysterville Garden.  Their fortitude amazes me.


plant talk


our weekly reward (Allan’s photo)


Caesar salad




fish and chips




the view

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Allan and the van were gone when I got up; I had no idea where.  Boating?  Tomorrow’s post will tell.

With low energy, my curse of the beginning of every weekend, I got some but not all weeding done in the front garden.  It had been the first to get weeded last time so was the weediest now.


Smokey taking refreshment

Three of the cats spent most of the afternoon indoors.






Calvin caught just about to yawn


front garden before




Skooter and Rosa ‘Jude the Obscure’


Jude the Obscure


part of the driveway garden, before


Skooter supervising

Our Kathleen dropped by so I could give her money to maybe get Allan and I tickets at Elixir Coffee in South Bend for the upcoming garden tour.  On Saturday, it was exactly four weeks away; I am counting the days.  When there is something I want very much to see, I always fear something going wrong.  Having tickets in advance would help my anxiety. Kathleen and I had a good long natter because I planned to weed till 8 PM.  It felt good to sit and talk.


the tour that I am eagerly anticipating

I had begun to weed again when rain came…just as predicted.  I had not taken the forecast seriously.


driveway garden, after


more driveway garden, weeded


Drenched, I got this far and stopped.




Skooter amusing himself with a water drip.

I did not mind at all changing into dry clothes and reading some chapters of this excellent (and long) novel for awhile.


It is about a young woman whose friend is shot by the police, unfortunately a current subject in the news here in the USA….always.

Sunday, 18 June 2017


rain gauge


another rain gauge


Calvin.  The board across the cat door is to make it smaller in order to keep raccoons out.


While weeding the front garden, I woke someone from a nap.

With the front garden mostly done, I got started on the back.  Except for the ever rampant dwarf fireweed, it was not as weedy.  The day had turned into fine weather (perhaps a bit too warm!) and I was glad for evening cloud cover. We were finally able to have the first campfire of 2017.


Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’


Mom’s “red velvet” rose and a tail


Allium albopilosum under threat of being swallowed by Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Three cats lead the way to get the picnic basket from the kitchen.


Allan at the woodpile


fog over the port, beyond the garden


Allan’s photo


bellows to get wet wood started (Allan’s photo)







roasting corn (Allan’s photo)


It came out perfect!


A defunct garden bench cooks the first campfire dinner of the year.

In the dark, we could hear foghorns on the river.  It was idyllic, but for one thing: The city has made the street light on the other side of our house a bright white one.


It used to be a subtle reddish amber.  Drat.  I will have to sit with my back to it for campfires because it GLARES.  If only I could plant an instant tall tree!

Monday, 19 June 2017

We continued the rare luxury of a four day weekend.  This might not occur again till late July, if then.  Allan went boating while I continued weeding the back garden.


a box of hardy begonias


I wanted to switch tasks to weeding the swale, but it was too windy to work under the trees.


Pulling swale buttercups would make a big difference quickly.


Stipa gigantea


Skooter using my hat as a pillow


He slept here all day.


a pretty rose


There are still areas of small dwarf fireweed.


Let’s look at this instead.


This formerly fireweed swathe is much better now.


Pleased to see my Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ coming back from the dead.


rambling roses on the arbor (Maxine’s rose, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Mermaid)


from Friday: Maxine’s rose is a hit with bees.  (Allan’s photo)

I certainly did not weed as well as I would have for a client.  However, I declare the second weeding done.  The next go round will be a GOOD weeding.  I kind of cheated by making the front garden’s difficult northeast corner a separate project.  I call it the Stink Mint corner because of a smelly-foliaged weed. And the work list got longer because of a phone call today.



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Thursday, 15 June 2017

The storm did not veer away or fizzle out.  It appeared as predicted with 47 mph wind gusts at the port and 1.36 inches of rain (with three hours of rain left to go in the day as I write this).


Skooter had no desire to go outside.



I finished my book.  (We’ll get to some garden photos after this reading time.)


This is the same author whose reading we attended at Time Enough Books last week.


author Kathleen Alcalá at Time Enough Books

The entire book is wonderful…except for one brief passage when the slim and beautiful author expresses her distaste for seeing overweight people buying pallets of food at Costco. (The day I read that paragraph, I in fact went shopping at Costco!)  At her reading, I mentioned to her that passage and gently suggested she read Body of Truth by Harriet Brown, and I hope she does.  I wrote it down for her.

Nevertheless, every other paragraph in the book gets my top rating.

Here are a few of my favourite parts.

About Michele Obama’s White House garden, and her book American Grown, in better days:



I loved that The Deepest Roots mentions Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens, a book written by a Bainbridge Islander.  I used to own a copy and just loved it even though I don’t have chickens.  (I need to get that book for Melissa!)

Description of the author’s garden:


I appreciate the mention of Jamaica Kinkaid.



Kinkaid’s book is excellent.

In my teens and twenties, I used to frequently take the ferry to the town of Winslow on Bainbridge Island for a fun day out.  I doubt I would recognize Winslow now.


I like the woman who just calmly read:


for readers who are fungus fans:



Think about this:


I love the quiet in the garden, when no one in the neighborhood is mowing or string trimming!


Sharing food garden at Town and Country Market:


People have suggested that we have a food forest growing in Long Beach and Ilwaco.  The problem is that our windy weather is not very conducive to fruit trees on the ocean side of the Peninsula.  I was excited to Google and read about the town of “Incredible, edible Todmorden” in England.


I want to grow these:


It is useful to know that white camassia is poisonous to eat!


She imagines a post apocalyptic world:


I looked to my right and was pleased to see a wall of books.



And those are just novels and memoirs; the gardening and nature books are on another wall.


This is a beautiful book and I can think of several people who would love it as much as I do (and I have already bought a copy for one of them).

I looked back in my own archives and found these photos, from sometime between 1970 and 1973, of some trips that my friend Montana Mary and I took to Bainbridge Island.

on the ferry, with Seattle as the backdrop

We would go to the grocery store and buy apple beer, which was a non alcoholic drink that amused us.

Winslow, Eagle Harbor

Winslow by the ferry dock

I believe this is all built up by now.

We used always to walk down to this beach near the ferry dock.

We walked along a county road all the way to Fay Bainbridge State Park and back. It is now a busy road.

Mary on the quiet road.

That was quite a walk from Eagle Harbor. Mary and I often took long all day walks; back then I could live up to my last name of Walker.

Coming back to the present stormy afternoon, I checked the Heroncam.  Dark and rainy in Long Beach.


I followed the book with a thorough catch up on reading my favourite blog, by Mr Tootlepedal.  If I read it a couple of weeks late, I can also enjoy the witty and informative comment section.

At 6 Pm, the wind had finally slowed.  We went out to check for storm damage and to assess whether or not we could enjoy the four day weekend I had so been hoping for.


My rambling rose flowers had not blown off.


Eryngium ‘Big Blue’

Port of Ilwaco

The gardens were not as damaged as I had feared.

The boatyard garden:



Stipa gigantea had suffered.








still have red poppies


On Howerton Avenue, the worse damage was to these sea thrift on the north side of the bookstore!

Long Beach


welcome sign

The baskets did not look as bad as I had feared.  The leaves did not get turned to blackened mush like during the strong freak summer storm of late August 2015.

That storm has wind of 56 mph and more.  Long Beach probably had 35-40 mph this time and the damage was not severe.



still looks good in what is probably the windiest planter


The bigger Geranium ‘Rozanne’ were the most windblown of the planter plants.


Had to deadhead these Dutch iris…

The south side of the police station was the biggest crisis.




We fixed it so we could have tomorrow off.


earlier this week




I did cut off the asphodel flower.


Fifth Street Park not too bad.


Allan’s photo


protected baskets on north side

Port of Ilwaco Office

We saved this for last because I knew there would be some work there and I did not want to start out wet and cold.  I was thrilled to see the port staff had put up hooks to protect the hanging baskets by putting them on the north side of the building.


a beautiful sight


gale warning storm flags (Allan’s photo)


south side


after some staking and clipping and waterfalls falling on us from the deck above



rain gauge plus water buckets I filled before the storm so the barrels could refill; rose flopped across the path


Snails on my new tradescantia.  NOT cute.  I was not nice to them.





Otherwise, very little damage.






Recently transplanted paperbark maple is still happy.

Now we can have the four days off that I have been wanting, and I’m hoping for good enough weather to get a lot of weeding and planting done. Allan’s plans may be more adventurous.






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Sunday, 4 June 2017

I got outside by 11:30, so gold star for me!

First on the agenda, the scary decision to move a paperbark maple that was lost next to the viburnum in Danger Tree bed.


after transplanting and weeding (even though the maple does not show well in this one)

The maple is the centerpiece now.  Allan helped me shift it.  I will water it every day.

I got after this woodsy bed, as well.


after (the old bench is for the campfire someday soon)

This robin hopped around a few yards away all day.

Allan’s photo: He dumped my barrows for me as they got full, or overfull.

Allan was using a new camera called Fujifilm XP 90.  More on this later.

He also removed this grass for me. His photos, before…

and after. I was tired of its tattiness and it had weed grass all worked into it.

Allan took on a few projects (his photos).  He installed the blue bottle holder.

The robin kept him company, too.

Allan’s photo

His next project was to make a new bridge railing.

Some plants I was happy to see:


Thalictrum ‘Elin’, having been transplanted into two new spots last fall.


Geranium ‘Orion’


Stipa gigantea with Corylus avellana ‘Red Magestic’

At five, I tackled a horrible area along the east fence.


It had bindweed running up last year’s dead stalks of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.


got part of the front curved bed weeded after tackling the bindweed area


but suddenly hit the wall and had to walk away from the mess of pulled weeds till tomorrow.


I appreciated this iris whose name I have forgotten again. Next time, I will write it on my new plants to not forget list.


Pacific coast iris blooming among weeds.


Tomorrow, I want to finish the east side. Here’s the south end of it.

I dredged up the last bit of energy and finished the west side’s north end…



And now the whole west side border is done.


And one of the peonies from Mary Beth has a bud about to open.



Still too windy for a campfire.

Sunday, 5 June 2017

Years ago, I used to always choose Fuji film over Kodak, because I thought that Fuji had more of a rich palette of green and blue and that Kodak was more orangey yellow.  From a quick glance at Allan’s photos yesterday it seemed to me that the new Fujifilm camera had the same rich tones, so I borrowed it to use today.  Well, I don’t like it.  All the photos are dark, had to be tweaked, shadows are overwhelming.  Allan felt the same way, it turns out; he is going to work with the settings and see if he can improve it.

The garden is a dark green paradise today.


First thing: Water the paperbark maple. It did not wilt! And in this spot, its bark, when it peels, will be backlit by evening sun.

Paperbark maple, from an old blog post about a garden tour:


paperbark maple and pruned up contorted filbert


Next, clean up yesterday’s mess and finish weeding the east side curved bed.




taken two days later

There is an open view through the fence where some helianthus has died so I moved my new little white escallonia into the space, far in the background of the photo.  I hope it does well.

I had won a raffle rhododendron donated by Steve Clarke at a long ago Astoria garden tour (a tour which no longer happens, darn it!).  I had planted it in an obscure spot because I was not very fond of rhododendrons.  Now my eyes are opened by Steve and John’s garden and I realize this is quite a lovely one.


white tomentosum on new leaves!

I thought about moving it to somewhere showier but could not think of the perfect spot and was afraid of hurting it.  The new camera does not reveal how well I managed to reveal it by weeding and pruning.


stupid new camera. I will find a good spot for this little guy and move him in the fall.


taken two days later (with my iPhone)


It is a special one!

Next, the south end of the east border. Allan helped by pulling some bindweed.


Allan’s photo


before; apparently I forgot an after.   It was better!


after, taken two days later


further along before



good enough for now!


Oriental poppies (and weeds that are coming back in the center bed) Allan’s photo


another accomplishment of Allan’s today


Rosa ‘Radway Sunrise’ made me happy all day.


Look how it was blowing around in 24 mph winds!

The wind had been annoying all weekend but this evening it got so bad that when I went round the whole garden fertilizing assorted conifers and hydrangeas with Dr Earth rhododendron and evergreen fertilizer, I was afraid to go into the alder grove to fertilize the hydrangeas there (but I did it).


At the very end of the day, I so wanted to finish the east side.  Allan helped (in response to moaning and whinging) by doing a difficult spot.


And now the east side is done, too.

Disappointingly for both us and Devery, it was much too windy for a campfire.


Now all sorts of pleasures await on days off: half moon edging all the paths, weeding in the front garden where the weeds have returned, ornamental pruning….I am not kidding, I love all those tasks.  Next weekend will not have as much gardening time because Sunday is the Pride March in Astoria.  And tomorrow, back to work.

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

With Allan gone on his trail clean up (a longstanding committment), I did not go to the Rally for Truth in Astoria.  I don’t like asking for a ride and I don’t like inflicting my bridge phobia on anyone but Allan.  I saw later that the rally had attracted a good crowd (I heard there were about fifty people).  A couple of photos from the local Indivisible group:

What interests me especially about the above sign is that I had sort of gleaned that we were just supposed to have signs on the topic of truth.  I did not think my “Love our Planet” sign would be acceptable for the theme of the rally and did not have time to think about making a new one.  Turns out it would have been fine; had I known that, I might have tried for a ride.  In a big vehicle, though; it’s a big sign.

I’d like to say I was there in spirit.  Actually, I was so exhausted I slept till a shockingly late hour, and then I read the news for awhile.

The cats were no more energetic than me.

I looked at the path over Devery’s meadow and thought about going to the Saturday Market.

The market is just on the other side of those buildings two blocks away.

But I did not go.  I mustered up enthusiasm for putting my Pink Marshmallow fuchsias into prettier hanging baskets.

I don’t much like the faux terracotta look (right).

I looked around the garden a bit, seeking some energy.

pretty daylily

before: The west side garden was my goal for the day.

before, further along

and further along

south end, west side

Danger Tree garden, also a mess

north end of the west side garden, where I left off unfinished last week.

a beautiful Siberian iris

Sibirian iris take up a huge space for a short period of bloom.

Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’ with half nice new foliage and half old tatty foliage.

a grass which I will ask Allan to dig for me.

Good and bad: Distressed and dying little conifer, and a big bud on one of the peonies given me by Mary Beth

My legs hurt just walking around.  Three ibuprofen later, I was back out with my garden tools, at the disgracefully late start time of 4 PM.

realized willow needed pruning back


Through the fence, the buttercups glowed like sunshine in the meadow.

On my side, the buttercups were huge.

Three and a half hours later (I’ll repeat some befores):





Getting the buttercups out of this corner was a real pleasure.

I even got into Danger Tree bed but at 7 PM I walked away from a great big mess of weeds, having hit the wall.

Fortunately, we have a three day weekend.

I had a revelation that the center of Danger Tree bed is open.  Something small with gold leaves died, I think.  I need to move the paperbark maple into that spot so its bark shows.  I remembered Todd telling me that at Plant Delights, they moved large plants in the middle of summer heat and the plants survived with plenty of water for days after.  I decided to risk it tomorrow.

Skooter wanted a campfire. There was too much wind.

Salvia africana-lutea with brown flowers that smell like root beer.

evening light on the front garden

I hoped that on Sunday and Monday, I would manage to get outside before late afternoon.


I finished the autobiography of Lee Smith, a writer of Southern novels that I especially like.  Years ago, I did not think I wanted to read novels about the South.  One evening in 1988 when I was in Cincinnati with my then spouse, visiting his friend who was having a play (something about moonshine and coal black nights) produced by the city theatre, I picked up a Lee Smith novel on Tom Atkinson’s recommendation, to be polite, because we were his guests.  It was probably Cakewalk.  I then read all of her books in short order and have continued to read each new one.

I always pay attention to what writers say about death.  I looked up the lyrics to this song:

I love the line below, “These ladies were a way I’d never be.”

This passage about writing started me thinking about what it was like to move to Ilwaco (“a stranger comes to town”):

Lee Smith recommends the writer Lou Crabtree.  I especially liked what Lou had to say about being a night owl:

Lou Crabtree

Ms. Crabtree had some comforting thoughts about death:

After Lou’s death:

What Lee Smith thinks about age and wisdom:

Dimestore is short, delightful, moving.  I am following it with The Deepest Roots, a book which I expected to be a breezy memoir about country life on Bainbridge Island.  It turned out be densely packed with information about community, history, Native American and Filipino food, the history of local tribes and the food they ate, farming on Bainbridge and the internment of Japanese farmers in WWII, how pollution has affected being able to live off of local seafood…and that is just chapter one.  It is beautifully written and will be a slow read for summertime. On the day that this post publishes (June 10), the author will be speaking at Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco between 5:30 and 7:00.



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Monday, 29 May 2017

Just as I was having my, um, breakfast (more like a very late brunch), I found a text from J9 asking if she could bring a friend to see the garden, someone who would not need “a tour”.  Because I had two friends coming at four, I said we would have to be mowing (Allan) and planting (me) during said visit because I still did not have my three days of modest garden goals completed.  Thus, there is not photo to record J9 and her friend walking through the garden.  Neither Allan nor I had organized having a camera in a pocket till after the lawn was mowed and the last of the at home annuals…the painted sage…were in the ground.

Allan tore off to water the Ilwaco planters in order to be home before Yudy and John arrived.


watering the Ilwaco post office garden


What is that weed? (lower right)..plus my Eryngium x Zabelli ‘Neptune’s Gold’

4 PM:  Yudy and John arrived as planned.  We had met when their small, artistic garden was on the Edible Garden tour and then recently reconnected through Indivisible and the political postcard parties.

I showed them some plants I had dug up to share with a local new gardener.



John was taken with the soft, tall, native fern and we gave him this one that had volunteered under the water boxes bench.


I think Allan took this photo to show the nicely mown lawn and the weeded boat garden.

I love the way the elephant garlic looks like tall grasses next to the boat.


Yudy noticed the bright thorns on Rosa ptercantha (which also has its small white roses now).


Smokey keeping just in front of Yudy.


John heads into the bogsy woods.


Skooter on the bridge.


buttercups looking rather charming


Maybe there is nothing wrong with a haze of yellow buttercups in the right place.


This viburnum got everyone’s attention.


Smokey keeping tabs on us.


John and Yudy’s dog, Lily, had to wait; she would have chased the cats.  (Allan’s photo)

After an excellent walkabout and plans for a campfire later in the summer (with a promise of Yudy’s ukelele!), I got back to my garden tasks.


I was disappointed in myself that I had not finished weeding this smallish area….


even though it did look better than on Saturday.

I went on with the planting of sunflower and some assorted mustard seeds.

While planting sunflower seeds in the middle of the west bed, I found a tragedy.  My Ghislane de Feligonde rose is dying.


one big stem all wilty and the other all dried up: WHYYYY?


the big old trunk…It was an own-root rose. Maybe there is still a piece in my old garden that I could take cuttings from.

I love this rose, and have had it for years, after the man who ran an antique rose nursery near Snohomish said to me “Buy this one.”  I moved it from Seattle to the Sou’wester to Shakti Cove to my house behind the boatyard to hear and it was doing well.  It had gotten pushed around by a vigorous Fuchsia magellanica and I had removed the fuchsia to give it more space.  It looked fine last time I saw it.  (And later, googling proved that this rose seems to be not for sale anywhere in this country that I could find.)

As the mustard seeds went into the  garden between us and Devery’s driveway, a car pulled up in front of her house and someone called out, “Your garden is amazing!”  Because the woman looked so friendly and had opened her car door partway, I replied, “You’re welcome to come on a tour!”  Four people tumbled out of the car and what ensued was one of the most delightful walkabouts I have ever experienced.


meeting Frosty


All they saw was the good and they noticed pretty much everything special to me, all on their own.  Except for one hidden fairy door; I pulled aside fern fronds to reveal it.



The view looking north to the house was commented on with enthusiasm, as was the fire circle.


Frosty, and later Smokey and Skooter, all got pets. (Allan’s photo)

One of the women stopped and read aloud the writing on the house walls.  It is so rare for someone to do that, I can only remember one other time.


As I gaze upon the garden, my heart grows peaceful, still. From its colour comes my being, from its spirit comes my will. -Ryan Gainey


The garden flew round with the angel,
The angel flew round with the clouds,
And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round
And the clouds flew round with the clouds.

…That things go round and again go round has rather a magical sound.  -Wallace Stevens


The old lamp with shells in it got noticed.

They even admired my bamboo poles that have lost so much of their colorful paint over the winter.

As they departed, and because I had found out that one couple at least comes to the peninsula often, I asked them to re-introduce themselves if they see us working in Long Beach, because both Allan and I have face blindness.  One of the women said she totally understood that and will talk to someone thinking, “I know I like you, but who are you?” and I said, “Yes, I have such a warm feeling about you even though I cannot remember who you are!”

It was just grand.


my cool heather from Pam Fleming (Allan’s photo)


Chickadee-dee-dee (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow: Back to work.

PSA: The darling house three doors down from us is for sale.  It has a small yard, which might be good for someone who wants a small garden, and a partial view of the port.


For those who like book reports, I read a book (and this short one took me over a week because it is planting time):








Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, 1994:




Ursula Le Guin:



Rebecca Solnit.  I love her, and she must be a gardener.






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