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Archive for the ‘private gardens’ Category

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Because I believed the weather forecast (rain and wind) and the wind flag flying over the port office, I decided we had better do a project more sheltered than working at the port gardens.  They and the beach approach garden are the worst jobs in bad weather.

I called Peninsula Landscape Supply and learned they are back to their daily hours instead of limited winter hours.  So off we went to get a load of mulch.

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steaming hot soil energy

Note: When the mulch is hot, wait for it to cool before planting new plants in it.

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one cubic yard

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Elijah Blue fescue at Peninsula Landscape Supply

J’s garden

Our first mulching project used a little over half a yard, at the J’s garden across the street.  There, when previous owner had planted a pretty little garden, she planted many of the shrubs humped up on mounds.  Strange.  Too hard to dig a hole? By now, years later, their roots were exposed.  I have been looking forward to fixing this.

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Soil Energy (Allan’s photo)

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bucket application

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before

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after

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before (hydrangeas in the center, back, are so humped up they are falling sideways)

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after

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after

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before

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after

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fluffed up rose beds by back patio

Norwood garden

We had enough mulch left to do the Norwood garden beds, two doors down from us.

Allan’s photos:

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The soil in the narrow bed in the back had looked quite poor and grey when we weeded earlier this month.  Now the bed looks rich and happy.

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then

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now

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happy Euonymous

Port of Ilwaco

As we had worked on the two mulching projects, I realized the weather forecast had been quite wrong.  We could have pleasantly done the spring clean up all along the port.  With a few hours left in the day, we decided to get as much done there as we could.

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Allan clipping sword fern behind (north side) the port office building

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before and after

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south side port office, before

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after some clipping and two buckets of mulch added

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I especially love narcissi with strongly reflexed petals.

Just across a little lawn is the marina, and the tide was high.

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We decided to get as many of the Howerton Avenue curbside gardens done as possible, concentrating on the most walked-by ones, especially ones with the larger ornamental grasses.

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red twig dogwood at the old Shorebank building

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Shorebank: crocuses and kinnikinnick

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by Ilwaco pavilion, before

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and after

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“drive over garden” before

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and after trimming the santolinas (four different cultivars)

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Fort George Brewery (office), before

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and after (Allan’s photos)

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Art Port Gallery, before

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after

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by Art Port Gallery

We surprised ourselves by getting all of the garden beds done except for the west and east ends. While not enough to erase the job from the work board, we should be able to finish it in just a couple more hours.

Home after 5 PM: Skooter was waiting.

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Allan’s photo

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Skooter and Frosty

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Skooter, Frosty…and Calvin!  (Allan’s photo)

Somehow Allan found the energy to nip across the street and mow the J’s little lawn.

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before and after

Even though they are invasive, I cannot help loving the yellow ranunculus (lesser celandine) in the lawn.  It’s not the most evil creeping buttercup.  I asked Allan to mow around it.  It will go dormant in the summer.  Sometimes I am just weak about plants.  But it is a cutie.

I’d love another nice day tomorrow so we could finish the port and the boatyard gardens and have the first spring clean up done!

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work board tonight

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Sunday, 26 February 2017

I’m not sure why I decided we could take the day off, but we did.  The weather was pleasant enough to get outside in the afternoon and work on spring clean up in my own garden, at last.  Even though I have a separate at-home work board, I decided to add my own clean up to the main board.

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Because I haven’t been out there much, I was pleased to remember that I have a new eye-stopping bit of fencing:

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free fence wood courtesy Klipsan Beach Cottages

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east bed, before

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Skooter about to leap

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This was pretty much not a weeding day, just clipping.

This year, I am determined to not add to the debris pile next to Nora’s driveway, because I don’t want new neighbour Devery to have to look at that mess.  This strengthened my resolve to follow the Ann Lovejoy and Anne Wareham methods of dropping debris right into the garden.  Lovejoy calls it Chop and Drop.  Wareham wrote in her excellent book, The Bad Tempered Gardener, that it makes no sense to haul debris out of the garden, compost it, and haul it back in.

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after

I did not do a whole lot of chopping before dropping.  Because my two biggest back garden beds are so wide, I think if I make a spine of debris down the middle, it will be hidden as the garden grows.  Eventually, this should lift up the center of the beds as much as adding mulch would.

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The crocuses are all up, so I can tell where to not make piles of debris.

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crocus among naturally fallen Miscanthus

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This debris should disappear later.  Must do more stomping.

Now the trick is to not have an attack of tidiness.  This method is not one I can use on most jobs because the clients value tidiness, especially in public gardens.  Anne writes about dropping and stomping the debris into the border.  I did walk on it to press it down.

 

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center bed, Stipa gigantea, before

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after

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west bed, before

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This made me sad. Little chamaecyparis.  Unfixable, I think.

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after the rain came, stopping my work

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center bed, before

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after, as I got rained out

Rain and small hail resulted in my not getting any bed done enough to erase it from the work board.

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west bed

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pouring rain and hail

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another area to hide debris behind tall lilies that will come up in front

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east side of the bogsy woods

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I got soaked!

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Allan picked up the couple of piles of debris that was too tough to rot down, for which I was grateful.

Allan’s photos:

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the debris pile I’m trying to not add to

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a pile to pick up (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’)

Despite the gardening session ending two hours earlier than I would have liked, I felt that I accomplished much.

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I started a new book

Monday, 27 February 2017

Allan hooked up the work trailer.  Just as we were about to depart, rain came and the temperature dropped, and we turned around and went inside.

The cats did not want to go out, either.

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Frosty

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Skooter

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Calvin

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later

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how Smokey and I spent our day

I almost finished the book…less than 100 pages to go.  It did not make for a mentally restful day.  I feel that its lessons apply strongly to what is going on politically nowadays.

Speaking of the military, we’ve been binge watching a highly satisfying science fiction series called The Last Ship.  My last social media look of the night showed me one of those silly little quizzes, something like “You’ve been kidnapped and the only ones who can save you are the cast of the last show you watched.  Will you be saved?”  The Last Ship? Hell, yeah.  While it’s kind of gung ho militaristic, I find the show entertaining and I appreciate its diverse cast (even though the ships commander is one of those square jawed guys that looks kind of like a Lego man).

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Tomorrow…back to work, I hope, although the forecast looks iffy.  I long to erase stuff from the work board.

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

After peering over the fence on Thursday at a fascinating property that Our Kathleen had told me about, we got a comment on our blog from Charlene that made me feel compelled to see inside.

“I was on that property, for a gathering, and it’s more than incredible. I walked around for a couple hours and still didn’t see everything. You would come upon a garden item, and stand and look, to see what he had repurposed to make it. He would go to Boeing surplus and buy all these ordinary things and come back and make magician garden areas and displays. He is a pure inventor. I just did not want to leave! If you get a chance to visit it, go.”

So I called the realty company today and said I don’t want to buy it (even if I sort of do) but that I would love to blog about it…and the listing agent was happy to show us around. Here is the  Artist garden link and the description:

“This is so much more than 4 vacant land parcels. Enter the gates and you enter a private garden like no other. 100s of plants in containers, a grove of bamboo, mature trees and beautiful one-off gazebos and garden features. All of this is anchored by a grand pavilion made from steel and found materials in the grand style of The Rural Studio and Samuel Mockbee. The site features a private well, 2 RV cleanouts, 100 amp power, sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom, and 40′ steel storage container.”  The agent is Mark Magee at 503-860-5596.

Samuel Mockbee’s goal was providing “shelter for the soul.”  I feel that here on this property.

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On Thursday, the two big gates were closed.

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Today, one was open.

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the road in

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Meeting Mark’s dog, Ajax.

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sweet Ajax

The owner collected salvage and turned it into art. Mark told us that some viewers wonder what they would do with all that “junk”.  The sort of people I know would be thrilled to have it.

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Allan’s photo

 

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English ivy was the only horticultural problem that I saw.

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Allan’s photo

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and moles…  The construction to the left had fallen apart this past winter.

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now (Allan’s photo)

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Here it was in happier times.

At the center of the property is a large pavilion.

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south end of the pavilion

 

Here are three photos of the pavilion from the real estate listing:

two

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a party from the past

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This maybe went back to before the pavilion was covered.

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In the pavilion today. The glowing end walls are made of automative floor mats.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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north of the pavilion

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Allan’s photo

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the north end of the pavilion

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Allan’s photo

On the south back side of the property is the large storage container and all sorts of ingredients for more projects.  The entire property is fenced, tall enough to keep out deer.

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Allan’s photo

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storage unit and potential extra living space (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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lights (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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fence (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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east end of the property

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At the east end of the large property are two joined sheds.

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a breezeway in between the sheds

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center breezeway

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woodsy view, close to the back edge of the property

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One side has a working kitchen and bathroom.

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bathroom (Allan’s photo); also has a shower

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and a door to the outside

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The other could be the sleeping space.

If I were, say, 40, I would still have the energy to say I could so easily live in this space.  We could convert the 40 foot storage container into more housing, or bring in an RV to one of the two RV sites.  To add an actual house, manufactured or stick built, one would have to have a new septic system installed. Earlier in my life, I’d have found it easy to live with what’s there now.

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the view back out to the pavilion

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built on a grand and massive scale

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more ingredients by the sheds (Allan’s photo)

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You might have to make a few dump runs if you couldn’t figure out how to use every last thing.

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Clearly, many plans were unrealized here.

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Allan’s photo

I can easily imagine a delightful alternative life here.  I can’t leave my home and garden to take it on….but maybe you can?

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I asked realtor Mark Magee to please let me know if he has any more listings that are amazing secret soul nurturing hideaways like this. I would love to see them and blog about them.  After all, it was my blog posts about it that brought the perfect new owner to the original Tangly Cottage.

 

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Thursday, 23 February 2017

I had complete faith, when I saw the fairly decent weather, that we could complete three more spring clean ups today.

The Red Barn

Red Barn

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our good friend Rosie (Allan’s photo)

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at The Red Barn Arena

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the farrier and our client, Diane

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Rosie loves eating hoof trimmings

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Farrier’s truck (Allan’s photo)

We care for five containers and a narrow garden bed at the barn.

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Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ had not made it well through winter.

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removal project; now the narcissi will show up.

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sad Erysimum

We unhooked the trailer in order to go next door to Diane’s garden; her driveway was too full to turn around with our full rig.

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Ice on water nearby shows how cold the air still felt.

Diane’s garden

At the barn, we had learned from Diane that the new septic still has not been installed.  That means that re-doing her roadside garden won’t happen till perhaps the end of March.

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Stipa gigantea, driveway entry (Allan’s photos)

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after

The trees have been cut down along the roadside garden and the stumps will be removed.  The county mowing truck mowed down the heathers and rosemary, the only plants we left behind when we dismantled the garden last fall….probably because it no longer looked like a garden (and it is part of the roadside verge).

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hydrangea, before pruning

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after

Diane reminded me that I had spoken of pruning her old blueberries.  We removed 1/3 of the old growth, hoping to encourage better berrying.

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before

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after

Allan had a long walk, twice, back to the debris pile at the barn.

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My dear friend Mistie, aged 10, who is doing much better than she was last fall, got a good belly rub and hugging.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We made our second spring clean up trip to KBC to cut back the ferns.

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Denny, Mary, and Bella

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darling Bella

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view in fenced garden, east gate

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crocuses and Iris reticulata

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crocuses

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and more crocuses

 

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clean up of the driveway garden, before

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during

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and after talking to Mary about how she wants room to plant some dwarf conifers here.

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east end of pond island bed, before and after trimming ferns

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the pond, before

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Allan’s brave crossing

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before (Allan’s photo)

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after

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after (Allan’s photo)

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The pond island has many ferns, most of them awkward to reach.

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before

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after

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by cottage eight, before and after (Allan’s photos)

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near cottage one (Allan’s photos).  Those ferns probably got missed in last year’s pruning.

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Allan rescued St. Francis.

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the dog memorial garden for Misty, Debbie, and Raven

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the first narcissi in the A Frame garden

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Allan noticed them, too.

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Pieris

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rhododendrons

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primroses

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hamamelis (witch hazel) and the cottages on the ridge

I never did get to KBC over the winter to read more cottage journals.  I got too entrenched in my reading chair at home.  Maybe next winter.

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by the clam cleaning shed

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the last fern of the day

The temperature had dropped drastically.  We were glad to be done.

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The crocuses had closed up.  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

a dreamy garden

In the van, just before leaving, I checked my messages and saw that Our Kathleen had sent me a real estate link.  Although we are not house hunting, she knows we like to see interesting properties.

Here is the link.

“This is so much more than 4 vacant land parcels. Enter the gates and you enter a private garden like no other. 100s of plants in containers, a grove of bamboo, mature trees and beautiful one-off gazebos and garden features. All of this is anchored by a grand pavilion made from steel and found materials in the grand style of The Rural Studio and Samuel Mockbee. The site features a private well, 2 RV cleanouts, 100amp power, sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom, and 40′ steel storage container.”

I swiped these three photos, because I suppose at some time the real estate listing will go away.

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amazing pavilion

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a party from the past

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a paradise!

I had to see, so we drove about fifty blocks north, only to find another aspect of the property’s perfection:

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It has two big gated driveways and you cannot see in, at all—complete privacy.

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The other gate

Allan stood on a bucket and said no one was there. He took some photos over the gate…because I was desperate to see inside and I was too sore from work to stand on a bucket.

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It is glorious.

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Even though there is no house in there, the description included a sleeping area, kitchen, and bathroom.  Oh, if I were even five years younger…I feel too old to uproot my Ilwaco garden.

While fantasizing about living in the 40 foot storage container, I had to firmly remind myself of the advantages of living near a bookstore, post office, library, hospital, and Salt Pub.  And yet…this one will haunt me for awhile.  It had 4000 more square feet than our property does.  I did some online snooping and found the owners are just a bit more than a decade older than us.  That increased my feeling of being too old to move.

Maybe you can buy it and invite us over.

Salt Pub

Tonight, Our Kathleen was in town for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang meeting.  Sadly, Dave and Melissa were unable to attend.

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the view

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Our Kathleen (Allan’s photo)

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pub burger

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tacos

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smoked tuna melt

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vanilla creme brulee

We stayed till after closing time, as I figured we would, and that is why I skipped a blogging day.  I was so tired that I forgot to erase three more jobs from the workboard until the following morning.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

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out the kitchen window, moss in old dogwood

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Smokey admiring the garden from the front steps.

When we started work today, I got the big idea we might get FOUR jobs done: Norwood, Mayor Mike, Diane’s and Red Barn.  We got a late start because of a storm passing through at mid morning.  When we did begin, the air felt icy despite sunshine. The commute to our first job, just two doors down, was even shorter than yesterday’s commute to the J’s cottage across the street.

Norwood garden

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) take care of the biggest job here, the annual pruning of the hedge.  Today, we weeded and clipped in the narrow beds around the house.

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before, on the cold and shady side

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after

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Allan’s photos

I think those three barberries are planned for removal.  Not to pass the buck, but I do think Sea Star Dave would be just the fellow to do it!

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the easiest part,  in the sun…before

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and after (with weeds and montbretia leaves pulled)

This bed especially could benefit from some mulch.  I think with such narrow beds, the most economical method (for labor) would be bales of Gardner and Bloome rather than a trip to get a yard of mulch.  Shall we?

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before, lavender

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after.  The fuchsias may leaf out or may have to be cut all the way back.

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I wondered if this, with the black berries, was privet, and later got it confirmed to be so.  Maybe usually it is pruned so hard one doesn’t see the berries.  I want one.

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We got done just in time for rain.

We took a break at home to wait out the rain, then headed out to Mike’s garden a few blocks to the east.

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Frosty and Skooter

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our neighbour Yarrow (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s garden

Allan clipped part of the pampas grass.  We’ll leave the moderately good looking uprights for now.

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before and after

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forgot a before, so this is a during.

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Decided to prune the hardy fuchsia down this year.

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trying not to step on any tulip foliage

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before (Allan’s photos)

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after

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after

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after

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This time I pruned down the buddleia.

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Pieris in bloom

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front corner

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Iris siberica ‘Eye Catcher’

Because the temperature kept dropping, we almost bailed out on work at 3 PM.  I had remembered that Diane’s garden has a big hydrangea to prune (that in previous years has taken me by surprise), so I did not want to squeeze that and the Red Barn garden onto the end of the day.  Deluded by a bit of sunshine, we decided to go on to

Coulter Park.

Coulter Park is just north of Dennis Company in Long Beach

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back entrance from Ocean Beach Boulevard

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west side with hardy fuchsias, before

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after

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northwest corner, before (Allan’s photos).  Something oily had been dumped in the corner, maybe killing an old siberian iris.

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after.  What bad thing happened here?

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the north side rose bed, horribly infested with salmonberry from under the fence

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pruning out some big old canes

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later, slightly pruned.  Refining this area is now on the “projects” list.

I still would like to talk to Parks Manager Mike about removing these roses and replacing them with non-thorny single trunked shrubs, to make it easier to control the dratted salmonberry invaders.

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two pieris and a flowering currant against bright sunshine

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north side (behind the old train depot) with siberian iris, before

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after

By four thirty, my hands were too cold to feel what I was doing.

At home, I erased Coulter, Norwood, and Mike’s:

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While the spring clean up list dwindles, the project list grows.

Tomorrow may not allow any blogging time.

 

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Jay and Jodie’s

We had unexpectedly workable weather and began across the street at the J’s cottage.  I’d been itching to cut back the sword ferns.  We’d begun this job last year in mid summer and so had not been able to clip them thoroughly.

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before, looking west

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lots of little shotweeds coming up (lower right)

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gathering clipped fern fronds

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after

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before, looking east

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after

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really need to get some mulch for shrubs that were planted too high

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crocuses

In the back garden, Allan found pots needing drainage.

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After popping home for a drill, he fixed the problem.

Partway through the job, I took a 20 minute break to walk down to the nearby fire station with a local firefighter who is planning to beautify the landscape there.

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me and John

I said that with proper notice, I’d volunteer to help weed and also to help select plants. It was a volunteer project I’d been planning to do myself…someday…so am glad someone else has taken it in hand.

Long Beach

In the early afternoon, we tackled the Heron Pond, at the corner of Bolstad and Pacific.  You can look at it any time on the Heroncam.

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before

Oh, how I loathe the salal in this garden, obviously not planted by us.  Last year I pulled and pulled and clipped it along the front here.  Of course, the dastardly stuff is back.

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salal all up in the armeria (sea thrift) along the edge of the pond.

This is a case where the human does not win.  I didn’t even try to fight the damn stuff this year, just clipped some of it back.  That and aegepodium (variegated bishops weed) are my two most loathed plants.  Just don’t fall for them!

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after

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before

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after (silver santolina trimmed)

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fish hiding place (Allan’s photo)

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Another pale fish that has eluded the heron.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photos, before

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after.  Allan climbed out to the waterfall to trim the ferns.

We then weeded and sheared grasses in three little pop outs on Ocean Beach Boulevard.  We found to our surprise that the cold wind that we’d felt at the pond garden was much less annoying here at the first two pop outs. We had almost quit for the day after the pond; I was glad we had persisted.

Allan’s photos:

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before.  Second pop out is on the other side of the crosswalk.

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after

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before

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after

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from the back

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after

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Barbara from the Planter Box drove by and stopped to catch up.

The second little pop out was not especially photogenic before OR after.  For the last two years, someone has adopted it and planted annuals toward the front, so we simply weeded it and will wait to see what happens.

Half a block north, a citizen has been experimenting in his front yard with escallonia topiary.

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a chair

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a critter in progress

Someone has already cut back the dwarf pampas grass in the BIG pop out so we drove right by it to the third and fourth little ones, a block north of city hall.

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third little pop out, before

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after

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fourth, before (such a sad mugo pine, that had to be trimmed last year for traffic sightlines)

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after

The wind had gotten deathly cold and so every little weed did not get pulled today.

I think that mugo pine has to totally go away…sometime.  These tiny garden beds get no supplemental water and are probably browsed by deer so I’ll have to ponder on it.

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A citizen stopped for veg gardening advice.  I referred her to The Planter Box.

Brrr.

After dumping our debris, we were so glad to get home.  Before enjoying the warmth of the house, we had a little chat with our new neighbour, Devery, who was looking spiffing as always in, today in a checked jacket with a matching hat.  I’m so looking forward to sitting in the garden with her this summer when warm weather returns.  At present, it’s hard to picture summer because I have done almost no spring clean up on my own garden.

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I was able to erase three spring clean up jobs from the work board.

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Saturday, 11 February 2017

I got these in the mail from a friend:

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On my last full day of uninterrupted staycation reading, I finished the huge history of WWII and then felt restless because of the sudden emergence of sunshine.

No winter gardening had taken place because of unusually cold weather.  Books (and a sore back, now all better) had won out over my plan to mulch with 6-8 yards of topsoil.  Now the first crocuses are out and can’t be buried with mulch.  I emerged from the house to see them.

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the first crocuses

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at the base of tetrapanax

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more clumps, and shotweed

The apricot scent of Hamamelis (witch hazel) wafted all over the front garden.

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raggedy yellow flowers with the most powerful scent

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a bronze Hamamelis

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not as fragrant as the yellow

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another pale one

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I added several new ones last summer.

I found myself gardening and got some more hellebores clipped back.

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before

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after

Soon, though, one more book called me back inside.  It had been recommended by a friend, had 450 small print pages and was due back at the library in four days.  I had intended to have it all read by now and instead was just beginning.

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By the end of the day, I can tell you that this is a shocking must read for citizens of the USA who were not taught by life or by school about the enormous number of small towns (many in the north and in the west!) which through violence and discrimination remained almost totally white even into the 1990s (and beyond?).

Meanwhile, in Oysterville, Dave and Mel were helping to dig up and move an enormous rhododendron several blocks down the road to THE Oysterville garden.

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Melissa’s photo

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Good weather would have had us starting work today had not two events intervened.  The first was a two hour long meeting of a local Indivisible group.  The town of Naselle, a half an hour away, had been chosen for the meeting because that location allowed an easier drive for folks from north county.  We had a group of thirty concerned citizens, sprung out of a larger Indivisible group from north coast Oregon.  Indivisible groups are forming all over the nation by those of us who are deeply concerned at the dark and ominous and non egalitarian turn our country is taking.

It was a joy to attend a gathering of like minded folk from as far north as Aberdeen, as well as the Peninsula and South Bend and Rosburg.

Next door to the meeting place was a most glorious private garden which we admired from the parking lot.

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a large Naselle garden

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Allan’s photo

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next door: the Naselle Library garden

Back in Ilwaco, we went straight (and late for the party) to Salt Pub, pausing only to look at work waiting for us in a curbside garden at the port.

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pondering work

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soon….

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Allan’s photo

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5 PM view from Salt Pub

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a private party at Salt

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Allan’s photo

The occasion was the birthday of Boreas Inn Bill, who said he did not even know he had that many friends on the peninsula!  Dave and Mel joined us because they now care for the Boreas Inn garden.  It has been good for us to have their great gardening business, Sea Star Gardening, to recommend as we cut back to a manageable amount of work.

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Pink Poppy Bakery cakes

In  the evening, I got through another 75 pages of Sundown Towns.

The cats are going to miss staycation reading days, as will I.

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lapcats Frosty and Smokey

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Frosty at bedtime

Sundown Towns is going to be a couple of days overdue by the time I’m done with it. On Monday, work season begins (with more rainy reading days sure to come before too long).

 

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