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Archive for the ‘public gardens’ Category

By which I mean the last spring clean up job of 2017; I hope not the last of our career, as we plan to keep working at least part time for several more years.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

We were pleased to have a good weather day for weeding and clipping the boatyard garden.

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before, looking south

Allan cleaned up the small bed just around the corner:

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before (Allan’s photos)


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after


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weeds and self seeded poppies


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and lots of escholtzia (California poppy) seedlings


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Allan’s photo


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north end of garden, before (Allan’s photos)


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and after

Some of the very old woody lavenders needed to go away.  Allan did the digging:

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before


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after


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before


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after.  We also trimmed a lot of santolinas.


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The last big clumps of Miscanthus inside the fence.


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after

I have forgotten which one this is.  I have learned so many plant names in the last two years that I thought I would remember and don’t.  I need to make a list as I learn them, because my memory does not grab on like it used to.

Edited to add: I found the name.  Not a miscanthus. Pennisetum macrourum. 

The garden still had a few crocuses…

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But I had expected there to be daffodils, especially since I had planted about 100 of the same one as is blooming right now in the Long Beach welcome sign.  As I began working in the garden, I realized Every Single Damn One had been PICKED.  Not by deer (which would be unusual because narcissi are poisonous) but by humans.  Each stem was cut down low.  The foliage was not nipped at all like a deer would do.

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stolen, every single one!


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empty stems

A boat guy said that he had seen “a couple messing around in the garden” earlier that morning.  Or the thievery could have happened over the weekend or late last week.  It must have taken awhile to pick every single flower. So much for creating a great big beautiful show.

It was not a gardener thief, and I know that because I found a number of bulbs pulled out and just left lying on top.  A gardener thief would have considered the bulbs to be extra bounty.

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bulb pulled out and left behind

I persisted at the job.  It would have been enjoyable to work among flowers instead of in a garden with only a few crocuses.  About a third of the way along, I thought we would never get it finished today.  By the time we passed the gate and only had about one third left, I thought we would get done after all.  And we did.

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looking south from the gate

The new owners of Marilyn’s garden stopped their vehicle to say hello.  They are happy with Dave and Melissa’s spring clean up work at their new home.  I am so glad the garden is in the hands of people who appreciate it.

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Passersby did not have much to admire.  I enjoyed when a small family passed, and the dad was reading aloud as he walked.  I thought he said, “When she wanted to have her morning coffee there, she simply lifted him down into the garden.”  I wondered from which story that comes.  Google let me find it!  Pippi Longstocking:

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south end, weeded (Allan’s photo)

I took my after photos from the van because I was too sore to walk.

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It would look a lot more interesting with 100 narcissi.

We had not put up our polite “do not pick” signs yet.  Allan dropped me off at home and went to dump debris, and on the way back he put up the two signs that were still in good enough condition.  The words “horse” and “barn door” come to mind.  We have caught people picking flowers right smack dab under these signs before.  I do think signage might deter some.

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Wouldn’t it look nice if there actually were some flowers to leave?

At home, I was pleased to erase the last spring clean up job from the work board.

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Tomorrow, I had been hoping for good weather.  Now the forecast calls for rain.  We need to check up on the Anchorage Cottages garden, and I want to photograph all the narcissi in Long Beach, while they are still there.

 

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Two nights of poor sleep from assorted aches and pains did not dissuade me from willingness to work in a light drizzle.  I couldn’t stand not having the Fifth Street Park roses pruned. My usual goal is to have roses all pruned between Presidents Day and March 1.  This year, the weather has not been conducive.

Fifth Street Park

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tree garden nearby with primroses

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I pruned by the restroom entrance, with fish bicycle rack…before

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working from the Wiegel Cottage side. The restroom building also looks cottagey.

This fence has a double line of fence boards, making for a dead zone of rose canes inside.  Un-gettatable.

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The drizzle stopped soon into the job and we had pleasant weather until increasingly hard rain in the last half hour.

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after….the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’

Meanwhile, Allan removed a messy patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis).  They will come back, no doubt.

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before

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after

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before and after

He then pruned the Super Dorothy roses on the south fence.

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before

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after

That white fence was erected by the hotel next door.  I predict it is going to get weedy between tall white fence and low concrete wall and that neither the hotel staff nor us will be able to get at said weeds.

I had turned my attention to weeding in the northwest quadrant of the park, where wildly invasive alliums are a problem.  For last year’s first clean up, in early 2016, Melissa and Dave had helped us.  She had gone after those alliums with much more determination to get every bulb.  I had been curious if her effort would pay off.  No, there were just as many as always.

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northwest quadrant, before

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damnable thread like alliums have fairly inconsequential flowers in summer.

Full disclosure: I may have planted a few clumps many years ago.  Sorry now, if so.

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a nice clump of ‘Ice Follies’ or some such

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after (but not done)

My former spouse had come by on his bike while I was weeding.  We’d had a good time commiserating about politics.

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I had gotten my hopes up about having time to also tidy the roses in Coulter Park…till the rain came.

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We were fairly well drenched.

While dumping debris at city works (where Allan did all the hard work), I was thrilled to see that the city now has a pile of mulch for us.  Perhaps if we have good weather tomorrow, we will do some mulching in Long Beach.

 

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On the way home, we scouted for pallets at a spot that sometimes has free ones.  We scored two.  Allan did all the heavy lifting.  The scavenging spot also had an unusual offering: a pile of driftwood, maybe cleaned off the shore bank at the marina.

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Got some good decorative pieces.

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We did not try for the wood in two big bins.

A block from home:

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Ocean Thunder and Ocean Lightning parked on Lake Street

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home with a good haul.  Have enough pallets now for the first bin. Need four more to make three bins.

I had planted a few lilies in Fifth Street Park and planted more at home.  The weather had gotten fine again.

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lily time

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planted with a bit of bulb food

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It has been windy.

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bogsy wood (Allan’s photo)

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work board tonight with just three pressing things

It won’t take long to re-fill the board when those last three spring clean up tasks are done.

 

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Saturday, 11 March 2017

I can tell you the library joke now, shared by Maggie Stuckey at her talk two days ago.  I found a version online:

A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and says: “book, bok, bok, boook”. The librarian hands the chicken a book. The chicken tucks it under her wing and runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: “book, bok, bok, bok, boook”. Again the librarian hands over a book, and the chicken runs out. The librarian shakes her head. Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts all over again: “boook, book, bok bok boook”. The librarian gives her yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door, the librarian follows. The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: “Book, bok, bok, boook”. The frog blinks, and croaks: “read-it, read-it, read-it”.

Bad weather made me happy today because we had an afternoon meeting: an ACLU training session focused on supporting undocumented immigrants.

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The Long Beach welcome sign today

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both sides

On the way, we ran a couple of errands in Long Beach.  I was started to see that the planter just north of Dennis Company has been completely browsed by deer.

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The planter looked raggedy.

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every tulip nipped by deer

I am beginning to wonder if any place in Long Beach is safe for tulips.  I just hope they don’t take a liking to the tulips in the welcome sign garden.

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container outside the Adrift meeting room (Allan’s photo)

People Power ACLU meeting

Today’s ACLU  meeting was one of 2000 simultaneous watching parties across the country, with 200,000 people signed up to attend a broadcast of the actual live meeting in Florida.  We had 22 in attendance, one all the way from Westport.  We all appreciate Adrift Hotel providing the meeting room for free.

Since the election, membership in the ACLU has swelled from 400,000 to 1.2 million members (including me).

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sign in and cookies

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Resistance Training on the big screen

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discussion time afterward (A few folks had departed.)

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It saddened me to hear, again, that there have been immigration raids on at least five local families, with fathers taken away.  These are men who are known to be hardworking good folk, certainly not the stereotypical “criminal”. It is difficult and can take years to become documented, especially for folks from Mexico and Central America; it is not a matter of laziness or wanting to be “illegal”. (By the way, it is considered much kinder to refer to someone as “undocumented” rather than “illegal”.)  Many folks in the room had grandparents who were immigrants, in one case, by illegally stowing away on a ship.  Mine on my mother’s side were immigrants (and invaders)…of the Mayflower type.
If you would like to watch the presentation that we saw today, it is said to soon be available for viewing right here.

“Even when we lose we must not despair, for there is dignity in entering this battle”, said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero.

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“As DT is going about his amendments of hate, we need to live our love”, said Faiz Shakir, ACLU political director.

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Allan’s photo

We heard three other speakers as well, Louise Melling (deputy legal director), Andre Segura (an ACLU attorney), and Padma Lakshmi, a star of Top Chef,whose mother was an immigrant and who said “I want my daughter to live in a country of compassion, not fear.”

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I fell in love with audience member Daisy. (Allan’s photo)

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so soft

This is all going to lead to a whole ‘nother set of meetings, all with a productive and well informed agenda.

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the beachy view from our meeting room

at home

By the time we got home, we had an hour and a half of daylight and a cessation of rain and wind.  Some front garden clean up was suddenly possible.

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before

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Skooter inspects, 20 minutes later.

That was a favourite sit spot for Skooter.  He may have liked it better before.

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before

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after, much weeding still to do. I look forward to it.

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hellebore

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Clematis ‘Freckles’ has been blooming on west garage wall all winter.

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narcissi

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Skooter’s way in (where a bottom piece is missing)

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front path looking east

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hellebores

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the floppiest hellebore

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double white hellebore

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“black” hellebore…with mulch of last autumn’s apples

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Pieris finally sizing up and blooming (left)

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Iris histroides ‘Frank Elder’

Because it was at the same time as the ACLU training, we missed today’s postcard party.  Here are a couple of photos (by Michele) of the latest efforts.  You can stop reading now if you don’t like the postcard efforts, because they comprise the end of today’s post:

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ingredients

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Bannon is the most terrifying of all…

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Dang! I wish I’d been there.

Tomorrow (Sunday): an Indivisible meeting which we are planning to combine with a brief and, we hope, photogenic side trip to Skamokawa.

 

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Friday, 10 March 2017

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Skooter thinks the morning light is just too bright.

We had a break from the rain.  The predicted wind did not arrive, making it even better. Work ensued.

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at home: Tulip kaufmanniana ‘The First’

While it looks like that tulip is growing in straw, it is actually in the old growth from Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

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Allan noticed and photographed the same tulips.

We went down to the port, just a block south, to finish the garden beds along Howerton Avenue.  Of course, I had high hopes, thinking we could finish there, AND the boatyard, and maybe even prune roses in Long Beach.  Not bloody likely, as it turned out; my ambitions are usually greater than reality.

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Curbside gardens run from east to west all along Howerton, on the landward side of the buildings.

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Howerton and Elizabeth, looking west, before

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after, 1.5 hours later

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Partway through that first garden bed, three ibuprofen were required.

I’m kind of old and my arthritic legs ache like fury sometime when I am working.

Allan’s photos of the east end bed, before and after:

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before

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after

He also yanked a dead lavender out of the CoHo Charters garden bed because I felt it was bringing down the tone.

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It was really most sincerely dead.

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space for something new

 

Next, I made an executive decision that we simply had to get the sword and deer ferns cut back in a pocket garden in front of the former Shorebank building.  Otherwise, they will bother me all summer long…and they do show very much from the sidewalk.

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before

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clipping

 

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A sweet 7 month old dog had jumped out a truck and came running up to me.  I held on to her till her daddy got her back.  Reminded me of my escape artist black lab, Bertie Woofter.

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Oh, how she wanted to keep running.

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The deer fern looked especially unsightly

 

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20 minutes later.  I felt so much better at this being done.

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Allan’s photo

We had done all the gardens in between the east and west end last week, so we skipped right ahead to the garden by Salt Hotel.  Allan did most of the clipping of santolinas in the river rock bed; I find that difficult to walk on nowadays.

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before

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half an hour later, almost after

Allan had dug out one tatty old blue fescue and, to fill the hole it left, he got a piece of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ from the garden to the west.  Someone called out from the upstairs window of the adjacent building, which now houses the marijuana store, “Why are you taking plants?”  We were thrilled that the folks there are watching out for the garden.  Allan thanked them for their vigilance.

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Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, about to be divided

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and in its new home

I had clipped all the sword ferns in the Salt’s containers along the sidewalk…because I could not stand not to do so.  The pub readerboard said “beef on weck”; I had to google it and found it was a roast beef dip sandwich.  Good thing I did not google it till I got home or I might have found a lunch break irresistible, and we still had much to do.

Next came the two beds at the west end.  These took much longer than I had expected.

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before, looking west

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an hour and a half later

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We saw our former next door neighbour, Killer.  It had been interesting to move in and learn our neighbour was called Killer.  It means “fish killer”.

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I divided and put some sedums and some golden oregano into the pot shop’s garden bed.

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narcissi (Allan’s photo)

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another dog on the run

In the parking lot across the street, forklifts buzzed around loading crab pots onto trucks.

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Last night, when I looked out my south window, I could see the lights from the Ilwaco Pavilion building (a view that disappears when leaves come on the salmonberries and willows at the south end of our property).  This morning, the view had changed to stacks of crab pots.

We drove to the Ilwaco Community Building just to stick some starts of santolina in a sunny bed.  It is an easy plant to start right in the ground just by poking in a short hardwood cutting.

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Ilwaco Community Building and its garden beds

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sticking cuttings

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view of shade garden from inside the building’s corridor.

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crocuses at the library entrance (Allan’s photo)

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Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno’ double snowdrop (Allan’s photo)

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narcissi (Allan’s photo)

 

We ended the day down at the boatyard, which of course we did not get near to done.

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The long, narrow garden runs along the fence by 1st Ave South.

 

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boatyard, looking south, before

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an hour later

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Euphorbia in bloom and a disheartening number of weeds and pleasing number of poppy seedlings

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so weedy

We ran into one big problem: We had created so much debris that we had to break in order to dump.  I went home at that point because it was but an hour till dark.  If I had realized that Allan had the energy to go till dark, I could have stayed at the boatyard and done more clipping while he disposed of the first load of debris.  My brain is not fully work functional yet and I did not even think of that solution, one we have used many times in the past.

I long for a good weather full work day at the boatyard.  The weeds came out like butter (smooth and easy) and it would be a pleasure to spend a day perfecting this long narrow garden.  There is still so much to do here.

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boatyard garden, looking south from the gate

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and looking north from the gate

The boatyard had a line of boats in every spot along the fence.

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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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The only item of collateral damage today

The cats were happy I came home early.

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Skooter and Calvin

Allan returned to the boatyard and worked till dark.

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before

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after

Rain and wind are again predicted for the weekend, which is just as well because we have political meetings during both days.  At this point, I am feeling behind on work and it would be frustrating to miss a good weather day with indoor events.

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workboard tonight, still did not get to erase first clean up

 

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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Our good plan for another torrentially rainy and exceedingly windy day was to attend a gardening lecture at the Ocean Park Timberland Library.

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Ocean Park Timberland Library

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I have had in my possession since it was first published a copy of Maggie’s useful book, The Bountiful Container.  I fill my garden up with so many ornamentals that I leave not much room for a kitchen garden, so my plan is always to grow more veg in containers.  Despite the best of intentions, I don’t follow through well with this.  I’m hoping to do better…one of these years.

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Maggie introducing her lecture

She told such a good joke to begin with that I simply must repeat it for my frog loving friends.  But I must wait to avoid giving a spoiler to anyone who might attend her Saturday lecture at Ilwaco Timberland Library.

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container ingredients

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audience questions (Allan’s photo)

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beginning to plant a small container

 

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demonstrating how to break up the roots

We had all put our names in a bowl, and one winner got to take the planter home.

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one lucky winner

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Maggie’s three books, some rosemary from her garden, and some handmade bookmarks for us to take

 

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Todd was there, too. It had been a standing room only crowd.

On the way home, we stocked up on one of our favourite garden tools at Dennis Company.  I can lose quite a few now without being bereft.

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Goldies: $1 each!

A stop at Long Beach City Hall to get our check inspired Allan to take some photos of the  garden.

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And a stop on the way home at the Ilwaco Timberland Library got a hellebore photo from Allan…

A and netted me a new batch of reading material.

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new books for me

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Saint Patrick’s Day reading at Ilwaco Timberland Library

Between then and dinner, I concentrated on finishing Deep South by Paul Theroux.  After a rough start, I had fallen in love with the book.

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Smokey and Calvin: unusual snuggling!

Dinner and our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang followed at Salt Pub.

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reflection in a rain and wind swept window

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Allan’s photo, heavy rain and wind obscuring the marina view

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delicious pho, and crab hush puppies in the background

Friday, we are expecting good enough weather to go to work.

PSA: An interesting birding event is coming soon at the Port of Ilwaco marina.

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Saturday, 4 March 2017

In the early afternoon, we crossed the Astoria Megler Bridge and joined a roomful of like minded folk for an Indivisible North Coast Oregon meeting.

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a darling small house by where we parked (Allan’s photo).  A sunny garden in front would have no privacy, though.


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Allan’s photo, on the way

Astoria was parked up because of a winter brewery festival. We walked two blocks in the rain, passing one of my favourite little gardens on the way to the Fort George Brewery meeting room.

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Allan’s photo

This ornately fenced garden is built by piling soil (now mulched with washed dairy manure) on top of pavement.

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Allan’s photo


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Allan’s photo: tulip foliage, and pigeon pecking in the manure

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a goodly crowd


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Allan’s photo


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Allan’s photo


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a neat driftwood thing

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Some thoughts from the meeting:

Indivisible is opposed to the ABC of authoritarianism, bigotry, corruption.

A speaker advised that we send postcards to politicians…”even a picture postcard works because I think they stand out,” she said.  This made me smile because of our recent art postcard parties.

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an example from one of our postcard parties

A woman from Germany spoke, saying “who would have thought a little painter from Austria could have killed millions” and she asked, “How could my people not see this coming, how could they look away?”  She said “My life is a series of attempts to make up for the crimes of my ancestors”.  When she goes to a protest, her thought when seeing a photographer is: Is he from the newspaper or from Homeland Security?  She believes she sees the early signs of fascism.  Right here is her recommended reading on the subject.

The following speaker quoted this: “What you would be doing in 1930s Germany is what you are doing now.”

Action item: A member of KMUN radio asks that we write to or call members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations asking that public radio continue to be funded.  Small rural stations like Astoria’s KMUN depend on federal funding far more than city stations do.

Afterwards, we were encouraged to sign up if we had interest in particular topics (education, environment, immigration, health care, equal rights).DSC06882.JPG).

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Allan took the opportunity to buy a women’s march copy of the Daily Astorian.

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Afterwards, we walked by the Fort George Brewery’s lower garden, also freshly mulched.  The ornamental grasses have been cut back since last time we went to the Blue Scorcher Café next door.

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Fort George garden

We walked by the temptations of the Blue Scorcher because we wanted to try out a new restaurant in Seaside, Oregon.

In Seaside, it was too wet and miserably windy to walk around and look at Pam Fleming’s city gardens.

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drive by photo

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Allan’s photo


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a new restaurant (Allan’s photo)


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Allan’s photo

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a warm and simple place


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Allan’s photo


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something so sweet on the menu


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many choices

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I had to try the cauliflower appetizer, hoping that it would be similar to the zahra from Seattle’s Mediterranean Kitchen…and it was.

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Allan’s chicken sandwich

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The tasty baba ganoush had pickled on it; I just put them to one side because I’m not used to that.  All food is made fresh so I bet I could ask for no pickles next time, and there will be a next time.

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the turnaround at the end of Broadway


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Pam’s garden on the turnaround (Allan’s photos)

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We shopped at Costco.  Wouldn’t this elaborate plastic apple container make an interesting little seedling greenhouse?

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stormy crossing of the Columbia on the way home: freighters at anchor, waiting


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light snow and fog on the hills on the Washington side of the bridge


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in the dusk, golden daffodils that someone once planted on the hillside

According to the weather forecast, we are due for several days of bad weather, possibly even light snow.  I will not mind reprising staycation.

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Thursday, 2 March 2017

With the rainy windy day that had been predicted, we did not get the port spring clean up done.  I must confess that maybe if we worked between 8 and 11 AM we might have accomplished some of it

The rain increased considerably after 11 AM.  Allan went to pick up books at the library and took this photos of the early crocuses and irises at the community building in which the library is housed.  You can click on the photos in this mosaic to view them individually.

I had finished the excellent book The Shock Doctrine and was pleased at the prospect of a new batch of library books.  While I waited, I photographed a pile of old postcards (from the collection of our friend Joe Chasse) for my Grandma’s Scrapbook blog.  They will begin to appear there later this year.

A sneak peak:

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My books arrived.  What excitement opening the book bag! This new assortment contains some fiction, for a change.

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I settled right in with one of them.

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It is poetically written and its only flaw is a plot twist that I did not much like.  The parts about Scrabble, I liked very much.  (A boodle is what I call a bingo.)

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Even though I only play online now, I remember this sound:

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I finished the book.  It was a much easier read than the non fiction I’ve been perusing lately.

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Skooter had been helping Allan read.

 

Our garden club weekly dinner was postponed because of members being under the weather.

For the next two days, the actually weather won’t matter much because we have indoor political activities to attend.

 

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