Archive for the ‘our garden’ Category

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Looking out the front window, I noticed that the goldy-bronze Japanese maple, which I planted for eventual privacy, tones well with the cottage across the street.

Allan picked up some books from the library and did some deadheading there:

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

In the early evening, Allan went on a splashabout in the back garden.

I wish that white bucket was not sitting there. Fire water bucket. I keep forgetting to move it.

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

In the evening, we watched the documentary Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul.  It was glorious.  You can watch it right here.

Skooter, lower right

To protect our telly, we had to put Skooter into the laundry room.  The soundtrack of meowing cats had him all in a tizzy. He never gets worked up by the meowing on the show My Cat From Hell.

After the film, I studied the first couple of chapters of this book, a gift from Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, a longtime past job of ours..

I have looked at all the lovely photos before, but this time I am seriously studying it as I am not all that successful at intensive cutting gardens.  I am wanting a small one around the edges of the back garden of the Shelburne Hotel and would like to do better with cutting flowers at home because I am taking bouquets there on a regular basis.

A sweet story of how the author got started:

I don’t often pick bouquets for myself but I do like to make them for other people. I learned useful items already, such as succession seeding for annual flowers up till July 15th.  And planting them extra close together for cutting flowers.

After midnight, I looked to see how much rain had fallen on Saturday: 4.36 inches! And 8.55 since this storm began.

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But first, here are some extra photos from Thursday that did not make it into the blog.

the unusual sight of a newt crossing the lawn (usually we find them in hidden places)

Some photos of the bouquet that Allan took to the Shelburne:

Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ provides the foliage.

inside the pink tulip

Friday, 6 April 2018

Frosty at the bedroom door (Allan’s photo)

Instead of rain ahead of the storm, we got a perfectly calm windless day.  Allan went on a non- boating outing (tomorrow’s post) while I stayed home and planted almost all of my ladies in waiting.

view from the front porch

When I emerged into the late morning sunshine, I found a most unusual guest low down in an old apple tree by the front porch.

Usually, the flock of doves hang out way up on the power lines.  (I’ve thought of them as pigeons till Montana Mary said this looks like a dove.) Not long after, I heard a distinctive cry and looked up to see one male and two female bald eagles circling overhead.  The pigeon, and some of its mates, had been hiding low down in the trees.  I started to worry about how Skooter goes up on our white, flat roof and took some time to research whether the eagles might snatch him.  Audubon says that would be most unlikely.  “No, no and Google it”, Audubon says to the question of whether an eagle would take an adult cat.  But when Googling, youtube videos say otherwise.  (I did not, could not watch.)  I talked to Allan about putting some loose wire mesh around the arbour posts that we know Skooter uses to access the roof, but he probably has another way.  One site pointed out, not too meanly, that for an eagle to take a cat would reverse the usual cat-bird situation.  I looked at Skooter and said, “You do eat birds.”  I wish I could warn him in words he could understand.  (If he is kept indoors, he sprays angrily on the door and elsewhere while glaring at us.)

I put that worry out of my mind (leaving it in Allan’s, perhaps) so that I could concentrate on planting.  Perhaps because planting is not my favourite gardening activity, I moved slowly and mopily through the day, thinking how much I miss seeing Calvin sitting on the cat door ledge watching the world go by.

I dumped the gauge of this week’s rain because I needed it.

a lily coming up inside an old stalk (winter clean up neglect)

I love the backdrop of stacked crab pots.  It will not last long, because surely the gear shed folks will tarp the pots to protect them from weather all summer long.

Skooter kept me company throughout the garden.  I will keep on missing my Smoky’s constant garden companionship and his enjoyment of campfire evenings.

I realized that if the wind stayed away, we could have a campfire tonight.

The tiny cupped narcissi are my favourites.

(By the way, Allan bought me a better camera from ebay, a pocket sized Lumix (yes, trying Lumix again despite many “system error zoom” fails in the past) with a Leica lens.  It arrived today but with a dead battery and no charger, so we can’t use it till a newly ordered charger arrives.)

What I planted:

My first mission was to plant four roses that have been languishing in small pots.  I had been thrilled to find Ghislaine de Feligonde there, and had ordered three other kinds of roses just because.

Ghislane de Feligonde and Rosa palustris in my old garden

Rose ‘Ghislaine de Feligonde’ in my old garden; my transplant of it here died last year.

The other three roses are Old Blush, which gives a at least one flower most every month, Golden Wings, because I like yellow roses, and Félicité et Perpétue, which I used to grow in Seattle and in my year at the Sou’wester Lodge.

Rose ‘Felicite and Perpetue’ by cabin 9, east side, at the Sou’wester

As I sit writing this the next day, I think I planted Felicite in the wrong place.  It had to get out of the pot.  I must ponder a better place for it to climb than just over a big fuchsia in the west back bed.  I will move it to the fence on the east side…as soon as the storm is over.

I played musical chairs, moving the sad and probably dying Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’ to the back garden (insane to have any hope, but at the last minute I could not bear to throw it out), replacing it with Pittosporum ‘Wrinkled Blue’, and trading around with a small epilobium and a small callistemon and a small Japanese maple whose name completely escapes me at the moment.

This one, at Westport Winery last August

The rest of the the plants:

Far Reaches Farm, east bed, south end

Now that I have found out that the height is six feet, I am rethinking this spot.

From Far Reaches Farm. Now at the south end of west bed.

Ajuga incisa ‘Bikun’

From Select Seeds, now in a pot in the greenhouse, Sempervivum ‘Gold Nugget’

Also planted, but not photogenic or rare, an Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ and a Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’.  I had already planted the ever so pink leaved Eupatorium ‘Capri’, a birthday present from Todd, which is supposed to be shorter than ‘Pink Frost’.  The only plant of mine that I did not plant was my other Todd present, because it needs a special place and I want to protect it from the battering storm.

I might try to talk Allan into adding this to his garden, where we can see it from the porch.  His garden is better maintained and plants don’t get lost in it.

With the plants in the ground (even though two may be moved again), I had a couple of hours for weeding, a task I enjoy so much more than planting.

center bed, yesterday

this evening

I wish I had four more nice days at home to weed.

Allan had returned in the early evening and set about making a fire.  I remembered one more plant, an Eryngium ‘Jade Frost, and I ended the planting session badly by slicing a lily bulb (of course, one I had recently planted only one of) right in half.

Eryngium in, lily collateral damage, stuck the damaged bulb back in anyway.  So much weeding to do!

I swear I will not buy a whole bunch more plants (except for cosmos and nicotiana) this year so that I can….oh…wait…I have another order coming from Digging Dog.

Near the fire circle, I had finally remembered to divide a Japanese iris today:

It takes two to make a thing go right.

It takes two to make it outta sight.

The area below used to be the campfire wood pile along the edge.  Allan and I had a bit of an argy bargy when I said I was going to move the wood pile in order to make this a garden.  I won that round.

It makes a good view from the campfire.

I do wish the ground was not thick with meianthemum (the heart shaped ground cover).

mahonia (Allan’s photo)

bogsy wood alder catkins

campfire supper

Allan’s photo

Post script:

At midnight, after an evening that had continued windless, the rain finally arrived.  The wind did not kick up till after 2 A.M. and I slept through the supposed storm, waking to learn that the wind had only reached a mere 44 mph.  But as I began to write this blog post on Saturday morning, I learned that the storm had gotten distracted along the way and is now due to arrive later on Saturday.

Update regarding the new LUMIX: a charger arrived. Upon testing, the refurbished camera immediately zoomed in and out and said “turn camera off and then on again” so back it goes.

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An article for fans of our new favourite show, Detectorists:

‘Roman haul’ turns out to be TV show Detectorists prop

A guest photo from Steve of The Bayside Garden, featuring a hellebore:

Hellebore ‘Snow Fever’, photo by Steve McCormick

And here, especially for Steve, is his favourite cat, Skooter.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

I looked out my window and saw a visitor back in the bogsy woods.  Allan got some photos.

a Big Bird

I had decided that tomorrow would be the first work day of 2018.  Today, good weather allowed me to get to the bottom of one of my compost bins, in preparation for bringing home more clean debris from work.  (By clean, I mean no invasive weeds and no diseased foliage.)

Skooter helped.

glorious sifted compost

I got to the bottom of bin three.

Allan’s photo

added fresh newspaper to keep weeds from coming through

I shifted enough debris from bin two to keep the newspaper layer in place.

Today’s other project was to coppice two golden Leycesteria (‘Golden Lanterns’ and ‘Jealousy’) and a smokebush.

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ before

and after

Behind the bench: Leycesteria ‘Jealousy’ and the cotinus, before the chop


I had not liked the twisty shape that the cotinus had.  Chopping it down will give it a new chance and should result in showier foliage. (Allan chopped that one for me, because I was getting tired.) I wanted all fresh green stems on the leycesteria.

I walked around admiring a few plants.

Hellebore ‘Appleblossom’, with a sneaky mollusk that I did not see till I looked at the photo.

Hamamelis (witch hazel) in the front garden

and a very red Hamamelis in the back garden (from Dave and Melissa, with a tag too faded to read)

Iris unguicularis ‘Mary Bernard’

Todd gave me that Iris, and has provided a guest photo all the way from Hawaii, where he has been visiting his twin sister.

photo by Todd Wiegardt

Meanwhile, Allan had run errands and had taken some photos of a certain garden that I have been asked to take on again.  Here is a hint:

The photos told me a lot of my cool plants are gone, and someone has planted calla lilies all over the place, to my horror (because they take over and are SO hard to remove).

It all depends on whether I will be given free rein and a plant budget…I KNOW that I like the person I’d be working for.

While picking up some library books, Allan got some photos of the Ilwaco Community Building garden.

the tiered garden

Crocus tommasinianus

tommies with Oregon grape

The ramp railing post has been broken out again.  Allan informed the city works crew.

I hope (and dread, and am excited by) that we will start work tomorrow.  Allan heard a drip under the house and we called our friend and plumber, Don Anderson, and for awhile wondered if we WOULD be able to work tomorrow, having given him such short notice of our new problem.  He called and will come at ten in the morning, so if all goes well, staycation is over.

I made out the spring clean up work list:

The right hand column is the at home list that did not get done because of shingles and weather.

Just for the most bookish:

I have been working on a new project, adding to my Goodreads (for posterity, I suppose) my lists of books read from my old notebook.  As I get each year done, I will add a bonus post, just for myself and for the avid readers among you.  My reading habits have changed drastically over the years.  So tonight will be the first of those posts, of books read in 1982.  I am going to be writing over twenty of these posts (!!) and am going to do sort of a strange thing, which is set them to publish all on the same day (eventually, as I write them), so that I can find them all together.  Just because I got three done already, there will be three tonight.






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In real time, we interrupt the narrative flow to wish those of you who celebrate Christmas a happy day.  The blog still running five days behind is keeping it from going on winter hiatus.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

I had a late start because of getting a solid eight hours of sleep for the first time in awhile.  By noon, the weather looked to be a windless 45 degrees and I decided I would do some weeding.

the rain gauge from last night

Skooter on the roof

Frosty was watching Skooter from below the arbour.

Frosty went up to the cat door platform and they exchanged looks.

This is part of Skooter’s route to and from the roof:

I clipped some catmint in the front garden.  That must have released some scent; all of a sudden both Skooter and Frosty converged upon it.

I thought to myself that I had made a mistake in leaving the much less sunny front yard for weeding now.  I’d be warmer if I had done the front garden during the milder days and saved the sunny south side for chilly days.

so much warmer back here where I already weeded

In Allan’s garden, a tall mahonia catches the sun.

In the front garden, east side, the big libertia is all of a sudden on the move.  I will dig up these smaller ones and take them to the droughty gardens at the port.  I might also remove the rather tatty large one and replace with a smaller one or replant somewhere in the back garden.

In different areas, I have four large swathes of epimedium that should be sheared back so the early flowers show.  Googling tells me I can and maybe should wait till February.

pieris backed with epimedium

OH, I see something that might interest Mr. Tootlepedal.

I don’t know much about such things, but that must be a lichen or a fungus…Maybe a lichen IS a fungus.  I am uninformed.  With a hardy fuchsia for good measure.

I was glad to be in the front garden when Seaside gardener Pam drove by, on her way to the port with her mom, Harriet. They stopped for a brief visit.

Pam and Harriet

After they left, I began weeding the shady part of the garden.  It wasn’t as hard as I had thought it would be.  My hands stopped hurting from the cold and I made great progress.

shady front garden, before

The bed to the right was a solid groundcover mass of baby dwarf fireweeds that peeled off in sheets.

Billardia longiflora

Billardia longiflora berries

As the sun set, I could feel the ground starting to freeze and the weeding became slightly more difficult.

after, with hands to cold to pick up the last of the debris

I went indoors at dusk. After hearing the sounds of raking, I looked out the front window. I do think that Allan had raked this path.

I was able to erase the front middle and east beds from the work list, especially since I downgraded the heading from “good weeding” to just weeding.  Now I can think about whether or not I am going to get a big pile of mulch.  (The problem with said big pile is that it will block the garage.)

Skooter had worn himself out with his roof escapades and/or a catmint high.  (Catmint, Nepeta, is not the same as catNIP.  It doesn’t make cats as high as catnip does for some, but they still enjoy it in a mild way.)


I got a most pleasing Christmas card from Jo and Bob, who you might remember as former clients of ours till they moved away last year.  I loved seeing their new house, on a lake.

Longtime blog followers may like to see this.

And I got teary-eyed over this photo of my good friend Coco.  I miss all three of them!

lovable Coco!

Tonight: The treat of the season finale of Survivor and some more Black Cat Bookshop mystery.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

My sleep has been poor again.  Last night was because I was so thrilled about the Alabama election and because I woke up early afraid something had gone wrong with the results.  (It has not.)

We began by mailing assorted holiday cards and packages at the Ilwaco Post Office.

Ilwaco Post Office

post office tree

A quick pop into the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum across the street netted more holiday photos.

in the museum gift shop

It does not feel very Christmasy at home because the weather has been so summery.

hardy fuchsias still in bloom

I finished weeding the east bed to the gentle strains of the Alabamian classic, Tuxedo Junction, the song that is still stuck in my head.  “Boop bop, boop bop, boop bop boop boop bop, way down south, in Birmingham, way down south, in Alabam’…we dance the night away.”

still weeding the east bed.


By two thirty, I had finished that big bed and started on the west one.  My goal was to get the most visible inner edge done so that I could plant bulbs.

along the west bed, before

45 minutes later

I got 100 miniature narcissi and a quantity of crocus planted, yet did not achieve my bulb planting mission because by dark, I had 275 crocus left to go in.

sunset over the port

Allan had gone over the river to shop for groceries.  I may have planted some crocus in HIS garden while he was out of the way.

I thought the mixed crocus were mixed in every bag, only to find, when I put my reading specs on, that I had planted ALL the ‘Pickwick’ crocus in one area.  Most annoying.  The varieties I planted are ‘Pickwick’, ‘Jeanne D’Arc’, ‘Vanguard’, ‘Golden Yellow’ and ‘Flower Record.’

This good weather is hampering my staycation reading.  I’ve been picking away at the same book for a week now.  I thought for sure I would finish it tonight, but did not.  With just fifty pages to go, we instead went outside at 1 AM to look for meteors. I was skeptical of seeing any (because I thought the bright street lights and assorted nearby blazing white security lights would fade out the stars) until I read on Facebook that an acquaintance in Long Beach had just seen 49.  If only we had gone out a little earlier!  It was a great thrill to see 15-20 meteors in the celestial show. THIS was the night when we should have had a campfire.

The stars were so clear that Allan even got a photo…unfortunately, with no meteors.

You can see Orion’s belt, where much of the meteor action was. They were also appearing on all sides.

Some thoughts on the book I have almost finished:

I already know that I will be giving it two of of five stars on Goodreads.   Most of the self-deprecating, droll memoir amused and pleased me greatly, but the book is sullied by Whitcomb’s casual and shocking racism toward the black residents of his neighbourhood, and to a lesser extent toward other races.  I sincerely hope that since the 1990s, he has become more enlightened.  What a shame, because otherwise I so much enjoyed his self-deprecating and witty style.

Why couldn’t it all be more like this?  (Beefy was his dog.)

Despite my disgruntlement at the book’s fatal flaw, I am immediately ordering its sequel, Letters from Lotusland, irresistibly described as “a roller coaster of self-pity, vaunting and failed ambition, jealousy, bathos and pathos, culminating in a Big Dream.” I hope to find that he is more enlightened by 2008.




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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

berries on a Fuchsia procumbens that Todd gave me

I finished removing grass from the patch of Louisiana iris at the end of the center bed, and started on the weeding of the big east bed.

Skooter helped.

almost but not quite tipping a birdbath

Allan affixed an old mailbox, that once served at my parents’ retirement home near Yelm, to the end of the compost bins.  I will use it to put small garden tools in instead of letting them lay around.  Or so I think.

I got distracted by rearranging my faux flint top wall so that I have a walk through all the way along the back of the compost.  Alison of the Bonney Lassie blog is absolutely right with her comment that the best thing about this compost re-do project was getting a work path beside the greenhouse.


I still have weeding to do along the east side of the east bed.  At least I got to erase the center bed from the work list.

Meanwhile, Allan had gone to the Azure Salon at the end of our street for a haircut.

Azure Salon Christmas tree

and an Azure staff member

Christmas stockings for the beauticians

On a short scenic drive after his appointment, Allan saw cranberry bog work north of Black Lake.

And checked up on the yacht club.

He wanted to get you a photo of the white swans who are now in residence on the lake.  They must have been on an outing of their own.

I applaud myself for getting my cards written this evening and my gifts for Montana Mary all packed and ready to mail.

Some cards by “The Card Lady”, Sandhi Burk

In between writing each card, I anxiously checked the Alabama special election.  My mood soared, and then crashed, and then soared again, culminating with tears of joy when the Democrat, Doug Jones, won, against what seemed to be steep odds. I later heard that the sister of one the young girls who were killed in the KKK church bombing in 1963, a crime which Doug Jones successfully prosecuted decades later, was able to vote for him. It gives me hope that there will be continued progress in undoing this country’s current racist, classist, embarrassing, and downright creepy regime.

All day and for  the next two days, this song was happily running through my mind:

“Way down south in Birmingham
I mean south in Alabam’
There’s an old place where people go
To dance the night away
They all drive or walk for miles
To get jive that southern style
It’s an old jive that makes you want
To dance till break of day
It’s a junction where the town folks meet
At each function in a tux they greet you
Come on down, forget your care
Come on down, you’ll find me there
So long town, I’m heading for
Tuxedo Junction now”

What a joyous day.  I am sure there was much dancing and rejoicing among the good folks of Alabam’.

Erskine Hawkins, composer of Tuxedo Junction


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Monday, 11 December 2017

When I realized that just having “good weeding” on the work board for at home staycation projects would not provide me with much erasure satisfaction, I rewrote the list.

itemized weeding list

Skooter and Calvin

As soon as  started weeding the center back garden bed, I realized I had forgotten to add the garden boat area to the list.

Garden boat area needs intense strawberry control.

center bed in progress

Allan worked on getting a string of white lights working along the back eaves of the roof.

wheelbarrow load…

after wheelbarrow load

and done

I was surprised at how long it took weeding this one bed, and the back of it still had an unweeded batch of iris so I couldn’t erase this task yet.

A box of 500 40% off bulbs arrived from Van Engelen: 400 crocuses (the big ones) and 100 mixed miniature narcissi.  I’m not far enough along with weeding to plant them yet.

Near dusk, Allan started to dig out a big Fuchsia magellanica.

Allan’s photos: before


digging all around it

A dogwood that had been too big along the edge is now in its place.

Fuchsia seeking new home

Before gathering food for a campfire, I offered the fuchsia up on the Peninsula Gardeners Facebook group.  By the time we had the campfire going, I was already getting responses, and arranged to give away the big clump to one person and two smaller pieces to another.

winter campfire dinner

arranging plant pick ups

I deeply missed Smoky, my campfire companion.

in the good old days with my campfire cat

I need rainy days and the right frame of mind to do a Smoky retrospective photo series.

Allan had gotten all our holiday lights working. (Allan’s photo)

I’m not in a very holiday sort of mood and have not gotten anywhere near deciding to put up a Christmas tree, nor have I written Christmas cards yet.  I must get the latter project done within days.

Meanwhile, Tony and Scott had visited the North Head Lighthouse today, just a mile or so west of us, and I offer up these guest photos:

North Head Lighthouse, photo by Tony Hofer

photo by Tony Hofer

clam tide photo by Tony Hofer

Tony has given me permission to share his photos whenever I like; this could help liven up the blog during stretches when it’s all weeding.


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