Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘our garden’ Category

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

after

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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.)

naptime

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

done!

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.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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

 

Read Full Post »

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

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.

 

Read Full Post »

A RealTime Alert

From the local Indivisible group:

Rally to Protest the Arrest of Rosas!

“We are planning to rally again this Friday from 3:00 to 4:15, this time in two locations,  the 4-way stop in Ocean Park again (meet on Jack’s corner) and in Long Beach at the light on Sid Snyder Drive (the light furthest south).

Bring signs if you can.  It is possible this could be our last rally until the end of the rainy season.

If you want to contribute to our fund for Hispanic families who have lost their breadwinner due to ICE arrests, we will have an envelope at the rally.

Thank you for caring.

https://www.gofundme.com/sw4ua-help-the-gutierrez-family ”

My own worried thought: We only had about fifteen people last week, so splitting into two groups concerns me. I hope there is some inside info that lots more people plan to show up. We will be at the LB location.

P.S. Allan and I have rallied in the rain many times.

I’m sorry that once again, this event is on a day and time that is hard for working people.

Now back to compost news.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

I wished I had had better sleep.  Back to insomnia and only five hours…not enough!

Skooter is also a late riser.

After a huge cup of tea and very little news reading, I got back out to the compost project and got the last of the material that had been in the old bin three (and was now on the loose) moved into the new bin three.

Allan assembling Bin Four!

Now I can access the bins from both front and back.

view from behind bin four

Skooter, age four and a half, loves to chase Frosty (age 13) and Calvin (age 12).

I recently read in Fine Gardening magazine’s reader tips that you can grow beautiful carrot umbels by sticking old carrots in the ground.  Looks like it would work!

So I planted this one.

At last, I found a place to display an old piece of picket fence that used to be at Andersen’s RV Park.

a work corridor behind the four bins

four bins!

FOUR!!!!

Allan’s photo

Ann Amato from Portland stopped by to see the bins and to introduce us to her cat, Felix, who enjoys traveling.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan had finished and installed the window boxes and put the plastic window box liners (already planted) inside of them.

Allan’s photo

sun setting over Cape Disappointment at 3:30 PM

The sun was an orb of fire in fog.

I now had room for more clippings and made some from the east bed.

When I went into the house at 4:20, Allan was finishing a pet project of his that he began this afternoon: installing some pavers in the arbor area where the grass gets worn down.

Also shows that the window box brackets got painted green.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Window boxes got erased from the work board.  (We also have to find a new accountant because our old one closed her office to spend more time with family.)

OleBob’s Café

We went to OleBob’s at the Port of Ilwaco for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner, joined by Ann and by Todd.

Allan’s photo

Todd, Ann, me, Dave and Melissa of Sea Star Gardening

Our favourite local restaurant server and good friend, Lynn, is now at OleBob’s, and we were following her, because we are loyal like that.

so nice to be in the expert care of Lynn again!

You might think that OleBob’s is named after an old man named Bob.  It is actually named after two friends, Ole (pronounced Oh-lee) and Bob.

Chef Laura has OleBob’s open for dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings now and has revamped the dinner menu with delicious specials, like…

crab empanada

Ann had sauceless crab cocktail, with just lemon because she’s allergic to pepper.

samples of oyster stew. Even those of us who don’t like oyster found it tasty.

We liked that a dinner salad was included with the entrees.

Ann’s oysters. I just can’t. She pronounced them delicious.

salmon with fresh chimichurri sauce

prawns on polenta

OleBob’s is also a seafood market, so the fish is ever so fresh.

lemon chiffon cake and double chocolate brownie

After closing, we got to see the live crabs in the tank…

emerging from the crab tank area

I think we may have found a new weekly dinner spot.

Sunday, 10 December 2017 (part one)

I had another night of not enough sleep, this time because of anxiety over Skooter.  Last night he seemed poorly. We wondered if he had had a fall or a fight while we were out to dinner.  I realized I would be embarrassed to have to take him to the vet! I have never been to the vet as many times as in the last six weeks.  Fortunately, when I awoke this mid-morning he seemed better. We are keeping a close eye on him.  He certainly has a knack for trouble. [Update a day later: He’s back to his usual self. I think he must have had a fall on one of his climbing adventures and gotten sore.]

Skooter feeling under the weather (Allan’s photo)

I only had a couple of hours in the garden due to a planned afternoon outing.  As I began, our friend Ed and Jackson Strange (Strange Landscaping) stopped by.

Jackson Strange

Jackson and Rudder were exchanging glances.

Our Edster

My mission was to cut down some more compost debris.

before

after

I now have three of the four bins filled.

Meanwhile, Allan pruned the big dead branch and three stubby stumps out of the ornamental plum tree.

before (big branch is cut but is still in there)

after

Even though I did not want to leave the garden at 2:30, we had an irresistible invitation.  To be continued…

But first, one more thing.  You might remember little dog Royal who lived next door and was good friends with Frosty.

Frosty and Royal goofing around next door.

He was not a happy little guy during the day.  He’d been adopted from a batch of small dogs sent up from California so we do not know his background.  It had turned out that he had terrible separation anxiety, coupled with a strong desire to run outside.  So he needed a home with someone who was home all the time and with a fenced yard.  And look! Within three days of the local shelter seeking a new home for him, he found the perfect place, as we learned in this week’s paper.  Those kids will keep him busy and give him all the running around that he craves.  We are all so relieved.  I just wish that Frosty could read.

Read Full Post »

Friday, 8 December 2017

at home

We stayed up till 2 AM finishing season one of Stranger Things, and since I did not get to sleep till four, my idea of getting back to the compost project early did not come to fruition.

DSC05790

Noon! Allan is on the job, with the two new pallets that he got last night.

DSC05792

1:15: The new Bin One. Getting it installed involved shifting a heap of compost.

It took me an hour to shift most of bin two into bin one.  Now that bin one is installed, the job entailed shifting compost sideways to make room for bin two.  I longed to get the project done, but since we had a rally to attend a half an hour away at three thirty, I figured we’d be lucky to get two bins done.

DSC05794

1:40 PM: Bin One is full

DSC05795

Allan helps.

When the space for Bin Two was close to the bottom, it was possible to skoot the compost around in order to install the back and second side.

DSC05796

Two PM, with Bin Two installed. A long throw from Bin Three.

We were also moving the bins forward so that they would now be accessible from behind.

3 PM: Three bins installed!

We now have a walkway between bins and greenhouse.

We had pushed hard to get that far before having to leave for the rally.  I wanted so much to stay home and finish the fourth bin!  I sternly told myself that there is no composting for people languishing in the detention center.

Ocean Park: Rally for “Rosas”

“Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech. Please join us!”

Background:

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

We arrived to find folks on both sides of the street by Okie’s Market, mostly on the other side of the street because we don’t want it to appear that we blame the local markets for the fact that ICE uses them to catch Hispanic people who are shopping for groceries.

Another group had settled in three blocks east on the main intersection.  Eventually, we walked down there to join them.  As we walked, a man came out of one of the shops and said “Thank you so much.  I would love to join, but I don’t want to be targeted.”

by the new medical clinic and pharmacy

on the right, newly elected Long Beach city councilman Isa Cline.

Allan’s sign:

I suggested he put something warm and fuzzy on the other side:

We had enough people to be on three of the four corners of the intersection.

by Doc’s Tavern

Someone who walked by the sign holders by Doc’s said something about people being illegal, and then went into Doc’s.  A few minutes later, she came out and said, “You are right!”  Something in there had changed her mind.

A woman paused her car to say she had just moved to Ocean Park and was pleased to see us, as she had no idea there were protests here.  I want to meet her.  None of us got her contact information.

I was heckled by a driver with a scowly face, something about “illegals” and “securing our borders” and “they should get legal.”  “It takes years and costs thousands of dollars,” I replied, but he had driven on.  That was the only heckling that I noticed.  Mostly, we got some honks and thumbs up.

Lee Hogan Knott, local teacher at Sea School Cooperative and yoga instructor at Earthlight Yoga, joined us with her children.

Lee’s photo

Lee’s photo

m

Some black and white photos by Stephanie:

Two counter protestors showed up after sunset, just as we were ten minutes away from departure.

The counter-protest duo paraded back and forth on the other side of the street with their yuge Trump banner.

The rally ended at dusk, when it was too dark to easily read signage.  Some ralliers went to a nearby pizza place.  Allan and I had other plans.  Since my goal is to not get out much during staycation, we combined the rally with our annual visit to the Hungry Harbor Grille to see their lovely holiday village.

Hungry Harbor Grille

Every year, Hungry Harbor sets up an ever larger and more elaborate village.

It is a coastal village with boats and lighthouses.

Allan’s photo

Jessie’s Fish Market is one of many buildings personalized for our area.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

second from left, back: I dream of living in the top floor flat with a roof garden.

It’s odd that the flat with roof garden is my dream instead of a house with towers and room for a garden….

…or a farm with animals.

You could spend hours looking at the details. Some people bring binoculars.

tree house and train tunnel (Allan’s photo)

Our burgers and onion rings were perfect comfort food.

Allan’s photo

the best dinner seating in the house

Tomorrow: Barring calamity, I WILL finish the compost project!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »