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Archive for the ‘public gardens’ Category

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

We were glad to being the day quite late in the morning.

Allan’s photo, too early!

By the time we started work, we had a calm, not windy, and not too cold day to begin the spring clean up of the Howerton Avenue curbside gardens and the port office garden.

across from the port office

the little dog who lives on the Rum Runner

Iris reticulata ‘Eye Catcher’ in the port office garden

Howerton by Port Office, before (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan hurt his ho-mi.

before

after trimming lavenders (Allan’s photo)

The “drive over garden”:

before

and after, with santolina trimmed

I got Allan to tackle this mugo pine, which is too big and I think will be removed this year.

before

before (Allan’s photos)

and after

Some new signage at the Ilwaco pavilion:

The bed by the pavilion, from which we had had some large shrubs removed last fall, had responded with lots of little weeds.  It’s tedious to weed big bare areas that don’t have cool plants filled in yet.

before

after

I am 99% percent sure that the two stumps of wax myrtle will revive and can then be kept low.

I got to meet the owner of this truck, which I’ve admired parked in Long Beach.  She says it has been officially tested to be sturdy and roadworthy.

We planted some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in the CoHo Charters lava rock bed.

Allan’s photo

I am going to get some white heathers, just three (or one!) to match up with the white heathers at the other end.  I had told CoHo Charters’ Captain Butch that I just could no longer stand the boredom of weeding plain lava rock.  So I have permission to make it more interesting.

Finally, we tidied up the bed by the old Wade Gallery, which is soon going to be occupied by David Jensen’s architecture firm.

before (Allan’s photos)

and after

Allan got some photos of a view in a city employees area at the east end of the port.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

We planted a few starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ at the boatyard garden.

Allan’s photo

We’ll be back to this garden before long to trim the santolinas.

Allan’s photo

The weather turned unpromising. Shortly after starting work on Howerton, we sat out a squall.

Soon, though, we were back at it.  Allan took all the rest of the gardening photos today.

I stood up fast and my back went so painfully SPROING that I had to go stand against a wall for awhile to straighten up.  I had run out of Ethos 2:1 tincture a couple of days ago.

weeding a curbside garden

before

after

We clipped grasses and santolinas and did considerable weeding down by the new Skywater art gallery and the Freedom (marijuana) Market.  I shopped, too, and bought myself some more Ethos 2:1 in hope of fending off more back pain.  I talked to the Freedom Market manager about how last year, little plant starts I put in their shop garden got stolen.  This year, they have better security cameras and so I have tried again.

In the curbside gardens:

unseasonal daisies

That reminds me of how I made a composite photo last year of nassella (the grass, above) mingling with my hair.

tidied up

narcissi

the sidewalk walk-through

after

A cold wind made the end of the workday uncomfortable.  We prevailed.  Allan weeded the Salt Hotel curbside garden and I noticed a project there for tomorrow.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Despite a cold wind, again, I was determined to finish Howerton today.  (Allan took all but two of today’s photos.)

We went back to Salt with some clumps of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, my go-to when I need some free plants to fill in.

Out came tatty old blue fescue, to be replaced with the sedums.

I could not help but clip some sword ferns in the Salt containers.

adding some sedums down by the Freedom Market

We did more weeding in the two westernmost beds (Freedom Market, Skywater), and I trimmed some more santolinas at Time Enough Books.

snow drops!

We had one half of the old Shorebank garden left to weed.  I had been gathering some of my good Eryngiums and salvias that were struggling last year in dry areas, and we put them into the Shorebank area that WE water.

Finally, all we had left was the easternmost garden bed.

I was too cold and busy to even walk across the parking lot and look at the marina.

view from the garden

before

before

after

after

I had suddenly decided that all the old nassella had to go, making this area a much bigger job than I had planned.

before

after

At home, Devery’s cat, Jazmine, watched Allan unhook the trailer.

Over the past three days, we have brought home so much compostable material that two compost bins have gotten filled to the brim.

North Beach Garden Gang meeting and dinner

We are getting back on schedule now with our regular meetings with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening).  It is satisfying and comforting to catch up with each other’s garden projects.

Tonight: [pickled fish] in Long Beach

hot and spicy brussell sprouts appetizer

cabbage and apple salad

pizzas

in the foyer

The [pickled fish] is in Adrift Hotel. The owners of Adrift, Inn at Discovery Coast, and Ashore Hotel in Seaside are taking on the Shelburne Hotel. We are meeting with them tomorrow about the Shelburne garden, which I cared for between about 1996? and 2009?

Next day:

The work board shows some exciting news. Unfortunately, we are due for light snow, wind, and 20 degree weather (at night) through Monday. I’ll focus on my book lists postings and then:

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Monday, 12 February 2018

Long Beach

We began with the “little pop outs” on Ocean Beach Boulevard.  The lot by one of them has been cleared of shore pines.

That suddenly made the sidewalk popout to the south side of Seventh Street more visible, especially if this lot is going to be developed.

south pop out, before, with Allan working on the north one.

After. The mugo pine was wobby and rotten at the base, so it is gone. It had had to be pruned so much for traffic sightlines that I was glad of it.

North pop out before:

after

 

north little pop out, after moving rocks out to show more

We happened to see Parks Manager Mike in town and I was able to briefly ask him to get us a pile of Soil Energy mulch.

waiting for my moment

I look forward to the mulch, which I am now confident will appear.

Anchorage Cottages

Today we made our first wake up call to the Anchorage garden.

I am sort of trying to save a tree there: the gold one by the office.

I feel it is needed for verticality.  I also wish the old locust on the right could be saved, because it gives privacy from a big house next door.  There has been talk for awhile of removing the gold cedar, and I had even recommended the best tree service (Arbor Care in Astoria), and then I found myself brooding about the drabness that would result in the tree being gone and realized I had better take the cutting down plan more seriously.  I suggested that Arbor Care would be skilled at going up inside the tree and pruning out all the ugly dead parts and ugly stubby pruning.  Now there may be a chance to save it (and the locust, too, if I had my way.)

Looking up from below, the tree is not at all attractive inside.

Our friend Mitzu the Shitzu was having a spa day so we did not get to see her.  We did meet a fine and friendly and very good dog named Maggie.

sweet Maggie

I am pleased with how a patch of virburnums has filled in so nicely, as I expected they eventually wood after I pruned them down for legginess.

I’d like to see them at least a third of the way up the lower windows.

 

one of the four window boxes

window box crocuses

hellebore and ranunculus

small cupped narcissus

Long Beach

We remembered to clean up one more small bed at Minnie Culbertson Park.

clipping Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and then pulling a few weeds

Ilwaco

At home, I was pleased to erase two clean ups from the work list.

We had time for a brief sit down before going out again to an Ilwaco city council meeting.

Our neighbour next door to the east, Jared, is now on the council, as is Missy, who lives in the next block.  Allan and I had no mission except to show quiet support for the mostly new council and the new mayor.

In the “comments from public” part of the evening, I was surprised to hear a citizen complain that Ilwaco was not lit up well enough for Christmas.  For a tiny town of under 1000 people (929 in 2016), I think we are doing well to have our crab pot lights on First Avenue, and our crab pot tree, lights on the lamp posts on both Howerton and Elizabeth, and beautiful wreath-and-candle lights at the fire station and library and city hall, not to mention the several private homes with lavish displays on Spruce Street.  I thought of how Jenna and Don and Allan and I had decorated and undecorated the crab pot tree and pondered later that volunteer opportunities must be publicized more.  That part of the  meeting inspired some pondering about how instead of criticizing, positivity has better results.  I was sadly reminded of when I was an incomer, new to town and full of ideas—the same ideas, often involving what people should do with their private property, that have been stated by incomers like me over and over again.  I had to go hide out in my little house behind the boatyard for awhile to live it down.  I figured out then that the best thing I could do to improve the town was to create some beauty, and that’s when I imperialized (with permission) a strip of weeds at the boatyard and created the boatyard garden, and later created the post office garden.  (The boatyard turned into a paid job after it was removed for an electrical line and had to be re-created; the post office is still volunteer.) I had thought of doing a low maintenance bed at the new playground, with ornamental grasses and tough perennials, but no one took me up on that one.  I had another big idea about walking around in winter staycations to pick up trash…and then my knee went wonky so that idea fizzled.  It would be a great volunteer community service for someone to take on.  I now have another little gardening idea in mind, one that has been brewing in my mind for a couple of years, but I am hoping to find some help with it.  More on this later, maybe.

My reading is going slowly because of working on my old book lists.  I have these lined up next:

Reading my old book lists makes me remember how I used to read almost exclusively for nothing but entertainment, decades ago.  For the bookish: I have been plugging away at my old book lists and have added several new posts, from 1986 on,  here.

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

We decided to work on the downtown Long Beach planters and street trees.  I had big ideas that we would also get to the Anchorage Cottages garden and then get rugosa roses cut down in the beach approach garden by the arch.

As I began with the southernmost planters, Robert (wasband and former co-gardener) bicycled up and we had an interesting chat, reminiscing about our friend Lily who died some years ago of ALS.

Robert

My mission was to trim back any Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still standing and to clip santolina hard so it will make a nice round ball instead of getting rangy.

before

after; this planter has too much of a boring little hardy geranium but is not one I plant to re-do.

crocuses in a planter

crocuses and an iris reticulata

santolinas, before

an after from across the street, because I forgot…

before

after

Would be huge escallonias that we cut back hard by the pet shop last fall are leafing out:

anemone

After clipping and tidying in eight planters and three trees, I re-joined Allan who had been working on a difficult tree garden that whole time.

before, with an unfortunate batch of rugosa roses

Those roses reseeded into there, and I thought, years ago, how cute, and let one or two stems bloom.  Oh, what a mistake…and yet it does look pretty when blooming in summer.

after; unfortunately, the roses will come back.

after; will this be the year we prevail?

I notice every time I come to a clump of narcissi and find flower stalks picked.  (Deer are not the culprits here, although they might be with tulips.)

Why not leave ALL the flowers for all the people to enjoy?

It was not a pleasant weather day, with wind that became increasingly strong and cold.

not feeling comfortable

Another street tree job by Allan:

before

after (the stems are a hardy fuchsia)

In another tree, we worked on eliminated all but two corners of Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’; I planted too much of it way back when I had a low budget, and it was free (for good reason).

before

after

sidewalk display at The Wooden Horse gift shop

In the last two blocks, the wind was much colder and stronger.  We were determined to finish.

We cut back these chrysanthemums, with foliage undamaged because of our mild winter.

Allan cut down the other two escallonias that are crowded into a planter.

before

after

I came along behind him and trimmed those green santolinas hard.

At home, I was able to erase the Long Beach downtown planters from the work board, and added the Pop Outs (little gardens on Ocean Beach Boulevard).

There may be a reader who is wondering when Kite Museum will appear on the work board.  It finally got added on Feb. 14th!

It took hours after work to finally feel warm again.

 

 

 

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Friday, 9 February 2018

At home: My green hellebore, a gift last year from Our Kathleen.

and Clematis ‘Freckles’

The Depot Restaurant

We started with the spring clean up at the Depot in Seaview, mainly the cutting of the ornamental grasses on the south and east side of the dining deck.

south side, before (Allan’s photos)

and after

 

before

after; Allan is putting back the sprinkler line, which he pulled out to protect it from getting snipped.

The perennial and annuals border to be, on the north side of the deck

Allan chopped the one big grass at the house next door (Depot office space):

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

next door to the Depot (Allan’s photos)

We took our load of debris, including some branch-y clippings from coppicing shrubs at home, to the dump.  Because the usual clean green debris area was so muddy, we were instructed to put the compostables into a big dumpster.  It was a scary drop in my mind so I stayed well back from the edge.

way down far

Allan is brave.

In the evening, I finished a book.

Guess which orange one I love, and which one I loathe.

Long Beach

We returned to Fifth Street Park to do the two east side quadrants.

This narrow bed to the northeast desperately needs mulch.

One of these days, I will find Parks Manager Mike working in town and ask for a load to be placed for us at City Works.  I am glad he did not get any late last fall because I was all tired out and glad to go on staycation without mulching.

Rudbeckia blooming in February

While Allan pruned the big hydrangea in the SE corner, I checked on a few of the nearby trees and planters, cutting back old Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and pulling little weeds.

tree in front of Abbracci Coffee Bar

We did not have time for a coffee break.  We did get some banana bread slices to go for our post-work tea time.

primroses under a street tree by Malai Thai restaurant

Geum unseasonably blooming in February

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ blooming three months early (or four months late)

hydrangea before

and after (Allan’s photos)

I hope we did not sacrifice flowers by pruning so low.  But if the flowers are up higher, they are hidden by tree branches and interfere with the light on the pole.

Allan found a painted rock representing a fried egg, quite appropriate for the park next to Benson’s Restaurant, a breakfast establishment.

I was able to erase Fifth Street Park and Depot from the work board clean up list…and remembered to add Third Street park.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Long Beach

We started with the spring clean up of Long Beach City Hall; Saturday, when it is closed, is a good day for that because parking is easy.

Peggy’s Park, east side of city hall, before

Peggy’s Park was planted by Gene and Peggy Miles and is kept up by us in her memory.

after

Allan did the clean up on the west side.

City Hall, west side, before

narcissi and rosemary and rue

after (Allan’s photos)

With the city hall garden done, we dumped a load of debris at City Works and then went to Third Street.  Allan battled the roses on the south side of the police station:

before: Rosa rugosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’

before

welding gloves

passersby

after

after

And he cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in the Veterans Field flag pavilion garden.

before

memorial wreaths

making a mess

cleaned up

Meanwhile, I weeded and pruned hydrangeas in the little park by Lewis and Clark Square.

I am excited to tell you that the sign in the window says “Coming Soon: Taqueria el Jalepenos”!

before

after

I also pruned the hydrangeas in the southwest quadrant of Third Street park….

before

after

…and tidied up another block’s worth of planters.

more blooming Geranium ‘Rozanne’

and knautia blooming with the crocuses

That knautia was the variegated ‘Thunder and Lightning’ which unfortunately reverts to green leaves by the second year.

historic photos in the window of a business for sale (the building on the southwest corner of Bolstad and Pacific)

I hope passersby are appreciating the snowdrops in the planters.

We had another load of debris to dump.

evening sun in the city works yard

We drove out to the end of the Bolstad approach to view the sunset.

I was able to erase Vet Field, Third Street, and police station roses.

But then I remembered to add the parking lot berms.

For the bookish:  I’ve added 1985 in books, here.  I’m not sure if email subscribers will get a notice of these posts that I am publish retroactively, because I want to keep them all tidily together.

 

 

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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

We were able to start work today because Don of Peninsula Plumbing got our leak fixed in quick time.  It had been caused by the way the new washing machine had been hooked up. That was careless of the washing machine deliverers and hooker uppers.

As always, we began the work year in:

Long Beach, Fifth Street Park

The very minute that I got out of the van, my back went SPROING.  I took two Doan’s Back Pills and stood against the nearest building to straighten up fully; fortunately, I was not out for the count.

NW quadrant, before, with a guy eating lunch and the first cute dog of the work year.

I mostly did the SW section, although Allan cut the big grass and helped out toward the end.

4.5 hours later

before

after

I very much want to get the hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) kept to just one area instead of running all through the garden.  It has gone rampant because of our mild winter and was tedious and frustrating to (try to) eliminate from the main part of the border, which is also infested with wild garlic.  Will this be the year I finally get it under control again?

Deer have been visiting this garden.

deer poop on the garden cut-through sidewalk

A woman came and chatted as I worked about how she can now only garden in window boxes, after fifty years of gardening.  I suggested she get someone to bring her a picnic table and bench and then plant up a tabletop landscape.  I recommended this book:

She liked the idea.

She told me for awhile about how the healing power of the earth was coming up through the soil to fix my knee and how a certain pink stone which I could purchase right next door at Marsh’s Free Museum would solve my physical problems.  I finally expressed my skepticism.

Meanwhile, Allan was working on the SW quadrant.

before

during

after (Allan’s photos)

This small corner area in the SW quadrant is so damp that I do let the hesperantha reign freely there, except that I like to thin it hard in springtime.

before, Allan’s photo

The problem with so much hesperantha needing pulling and the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ needing clipping is that two precious clumps of camassia got clipped, too.

after, with me brooding over the camassias.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

With every intention of working, Allan hooked up the trailer.  I put the kibosh on work when I went outside and felt the cold and dreary drizzle.

As I sat reading, a knock at the door produced a member of the Ilwaco city crew.  He had come to tell us about his upcoming repair job on the ramp railing at the community building, and that he would have to move a clump of bulbs.  I wish all workers were as thoughtful!  As it happened, Allan and I were going there that day, Allan to the library and me to sort out my shingles hospital bill, so we told him we would move the clump of bulbs.

He had left a stake to show us where. (Allan’s photo)

iris reticulata and crocuses at the community building

I did get the bill sorted, in that the hospital will re-bill it with my insurance card, and I learned it had been over-billed, so it will now “only” cost me $200 (instead of $450) for a brusque 15 minute urgent care shingles visit and a lab test.

in the lobby of the hospital

With that done, I could enjoy an afternoon and evening of finishing a book, one which I had been reading in the late evenings for two nights before.

Not long ago, I read Kitty Burns Florey’s book about sentence diagramming and more, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog.  In it, I had learned of the diaries of Dawn Powell, a novelist of the 1930s-60s.

Today I immersed myself and finished to the end.

Here are just a few favourite bits of Dawn Powell from my happy return to the staycation mode.

About her nervousness and phobias:

This passage about the death of her darling cat had me in tears over my Smoky; her experience was so much like mine, except that we did not let Smoky die at home.

She did get another cat, because years later she writes while traveling of “a feeling of homesickness for my cat.

Here is a valuable thought, if you have ever wondered WHY in the world you had been friends with someone who turned out to be just mean:

“I wonder again how we could ever have been friends, although friends are like food—one’s palate and capacity and preference changes with education, travel, ulcers, and better opportunities for choosing.”

About censorship of books, which spoke to me because of my parents forbidding me, as a teenager, to be allowed to read books from the adult section of the LIBRARY (!!):

On solitude, in which she longs for five hours of it a day:

Decades later, she had upped it to eight to twelve hours a day.  I get the same craving.  Fortunately, Allan and I rub along pretty quietly together at home.  During staycation, I crave not just twelve hours but two weeks (dare I confess to wanting even more) of solitude from everyone but Allan.

I think one of my happiest winters was one of complete solitude, on my own in my cold little house behind the boatyard, reading in front of the single source of heat, a glowing space heater.

Dawn Powell wrote diary entries for many years about ideas for a book that never came to fruition, about a world where cats were in charge and humans were the pets:

Years later, still thinking about “Yow”:

She was ahead of her time for the second wave of feminism; this was written in 1952:

On aging:

She died in 1965, not even making to 70.  I felt bereft when I came to the end of the diaries.  I still have novels of hers, and a biography to read.

Having dipped back into one bookish day, I was told by the weather forecast that we would be back to work tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Friday, 12 January 2018 

From my chair, written on my iPad, and inspired by Ian Whitcomb (see my previous post) to blather on a bit more than usual. 

I made it out to water in my greenhouse, the furthest I have gotten into the garden since picking bouquets for Allan’s party on January 2nd.  

The rain gauges showed the rainfall that has made staying indoors for the past week not too frustrating. 

Skooter accompanied me. 

Bulb foliage is emerging in the new window boxes. 

I hope I will be well enough to cut back the epimediums soon. Positive thinking: I will be. 

The fern that Todd gave Allan for his birthday:

I think back to that glorious January 2nd birthday and how wonderful it was to surprise Allan with a bigger party than he had expected. I remember how healthy and energetic I felt (little knowing I would be felled by shingles less than two days later) and how well chuffed I was to have managed, with the help of friends, to organize such a splendid shindig.

 I thought about how once a friend had sternly told me that no one should have a potluck party; it simply was not the thing to do, and no party should be held unless one could pull off a dinner worthy of Martha Stewart. She was not joking. I secretly thought, “Okay then, you won’t be invited to my 60th birthday.”  That conversation was the moment when I knew the friendship was doomed by a class difference too wide to cross. She was too rich for my blood. Something about the conversation disheartened me enough that I  later solved the 60th year party problem by decamping to the Sylvia Beach Hotel five days. 

Not only did I need to surprise Allan with potluck items for his big 65th (or he would have realized how big the party was going to be), but… working class people have potlucks and that is just the way it is. 

After Allan’s party, I kept thinking of people I wish I could have invited. My criteria was to invite people who have invited  us into their homes. I figured that then the invitation would be a pleasure and not a burden.  But I am sure I forgot some. I also forgot to give a shout out to J9’s party helper business, Have Tux, Will Travel.  As a guest, she slipped into party help mode, including washing up, and made everything easier. I also forgot to make a little fuss of celebration at the party that it was the 12th anniversary to the day of Allan moving here. 

My next big party plan is for July 2009, which will mark the 25th anniversary of when I moved to the town of Ilwaco.  That can be a garden party. 

Today, once I returned from my very brief foray outside, I settled in with an interlibrary loan. 

Here’s a clear shot of the cover. 


I had discovered this garden while on a walk home from a Capitol Hill housecleaning job to my home in Greenwood in the late 1980s.  I used to walk miles between work and home. Sometimes a two hour walk would be faster than taking three buses and would be a way to discover wonderful places. I nosed around the hillside garden, not sure if I were really allowed to be there, and visited it several times, without ever meeting the owners, before I left Seattle in December 1992. Recently, I saw that the garden was to be featured on a (very expensive) Pacific Horticulture garden tour weekend. Recognizing it by one photo, I learned its actual name and found its website, at streissguthgardens.com. (The website seems to be down as I write this so I can’t link to it yet.) 

You can read more about it here.  And here.

The beginning of the gardens is the perfect story of gardening neighbors:


I have sort of an obsession with gardening neighbors, especially after finding a chapter on that topic in the book Gardening from the Heart: Why Gardeners Garden. 


I have longed for the glory of a gardening neighbor and never quite got there. Once I thought I had, with someone nearby but not quite next door. I was wrong, and it was deeply disappointing. I have felt envious when touring garden neighbors’ adjoining paradises on garden tours in Portland and Aberdeen.

Back to the Streissguth gardens.  I enjoyed reading about gardening on a hillside of blue clay, as parts of my previous Ilwaco garden was like that.  I had had no idea of the battle to save the hillside from development.  The solution of donating their garden to the city was genius and so admirable. 


I appreciate their use of human powered tools. 

One of the principles of the Streissguth Gardens that strongly speaks to me : “a good garden and its house should be a gift to its neighbors.”

Those of you who live in or visit Seattle, do visit this garden and send me some photos, if you would be so kind. 

The last time I visited the garden, still not knowing its name, was with a friend in July of 2003. Not even sure if I could find it again, we drove Capitol Hill streets until we came upon it from above. 

Here are my photos from that afternoon. 

Looking down the hill to the garages at the bottom of the garden: That may have been one of the garden owners. We didn’t chat as she seemed very busy in the vegetable garden (and I was shy).


Looking to the north side into the private part of the garden, well described in the book. 




Down by the old garages at the base of the hill:


The damp areas by the pond that catches water run off:

The beauty of a hillside garden:

The friend I was with, lost now in the mists of time, was not a gardener and could not understand my rapture over the garden. I’m glad I took photos anyway (before digital camera) and wish I had taken more.

Back in 2018, I finished the day of a convalescent with a suspense novel. Quite good, and set in the wild forests of Oregon. 


While I’ve been immersed in books, our friends Scott and Tony visited Oysteville,  and Tony took this photo of THE Oysteville garden. 

Photo by Tony Hofer

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Thursday, 21 December 2017

The night had been just below freezing.  I woke early to a white frosty world, poked my camera out the south cat door for an unscreened photo of frost on the grass…

…and went back to sleep for three more hours.  When I awoke, I suggested that we go do the post-frost clean up, in hope that finally the frost had put the gardens to sleep.

We began a few blocks east at

Mike’s garden,

which we have referred to till now as Mayor Mike’s garden.  He is retiring as mayor at the end of 2017.

The sun was bright, the air cold, and the ground just lightly frozen.

Pieris promising spring

pale pink hesperantha blooming on the west side

salmon pink hesperantha blooming on the north side

pulling spent hesperantha along the front path

Allan raked.

Anchorage Cottages

Some days back, we drove in and right back out of the Anchorage parking lot because I could see the chrysanthemums by the office were still blooming.  And today they were STILL blooming.

Chrysanths that will not quit.

Today, I showed Jody, the housekeeper, who also does some gardening, how to just cut them to the ground when and if they ever brown off (which they will…).  We are not going to keep returning to check on two chrysanthemums.  I also showed her that she could cut the Melianthus if we have a hard enough freeze to make it ugly.

Melianthus major in the center courtyard

frozen birdbath (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo: In early spring, we will cut back this sprawling plant even if it does not get frozen, just to shape it up.

Long Beach

My mind had been on the one big Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that I had left untrimmed.  Surely it would be frozen by now? But no.

Allan’s photos

Frost could make the California poppies ugly, too. At least they are small.

It has been so mild that the Rozannes we cut back early this year have put out rosettes of new leaves.

It got cut back anyway, because we are not going to keep checking on it through January and I don’t want to think about a potential blackened heap of frozen leaves later on.

An anemone was already blooming in Veterans Field.

Allan’s photo

a wreath in Veterans Field (Allan’s photo)

We did some cutting back in Fifth Street Park, of a pineapple sage, some Verbena bonariensis, and a bit of the sprawling Melianthus.

pulling some spent hesperantha flowers

as tidy as its going to get till at least late January

Once upon a time, the scrim of unclipped catmint along the front, above, would have greatly bothered me.  For some reason, this year I think it looks interesting against the dry flower heads of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’…or maybe it was just that my hands were so cold.

Primroses (cowslips) were already blooming under a street tree.

I can feel exactly how it will feel to go back to work in late January or early February, and the prospect feels ok.  My only problem is that I have gotten pretty much nowhere on my indoor winter projects.

We celebrated the true end of the work year with coffee, warmth, and Pink Poppy Bakery treats at Abbracci Coffee Bar.

Abbracci co-owner Tony

We and another regular customer each got to take home one of the Christmas centerpieces.. very nice, since we never got around to putting up a tree, and later the flowers can go in my wonderful compost bins.

Abbracci tree and centerpieces

Ilwaco Timberland Library

We had some books to pick up.

at the library entrance

deep shade behind the wall

In the library

As expected, I got quite a pile of books, despite my original staycation plan for re-reading books on my own bookshelves.  Maybe that will wait till sometime when I am homebound for one reason or another.

a new batch, and the previous batch is not done yet

We had brought home a bucket of Abbracci coffee grounds and enough clean compost to add a wheelbarrow’s worth to my bins.  As I chopped it into small pieces and turned some from one bin to another at dusk, I did not mind the cold at all.

I have a compost obsession.

All the work got erased from the work side of the board, as did “Call Accountant”.  I had found an email address for the accountant we want, so I emailed her on the way home this afternoon.  I won’t have to call unless we don’t hear back in my preferred medium for anything business related (email, text, Facebook messaging, anything but a business phone call!).  (Carol, this does not mean you and Bill!)

a joyous sight

Salt Pub

After dark, we attended a Salty Talk at Salt Pub.

“Join Jim Sayce, historian and Executive Director of the Pacific County Economic Development Council, in a SALTY Talks presentation, “Reading the Land: Forensic Ecology” exploring the changes in the local landscape over time. Jim will show us how to recognize the subtle clues that can help find the original or historic landscape of a site within the bones of the built environment.”

Allan’s photo

delicious burger with salad subbed for fried (Allan’s photo)

window reflection

night marina

More boats than one used to decorate with lights.  The winter storms and wet weather caused too many electrical problems and so that pretty tradition ended just a few years back. We were happy to see one or two boats still carrying it on.

The Salt holiday tree

The lecture was well attended for one so close to the holidays.

Museum director Betsy Millard introduces the lecture (Allan’s photo)

Jim has a good collection of photos to illustrate how you can see the underlay of history.  For example, a line of trees representing old fence lines (where the trees grew up under the fence and the fence eventually disappeared):

He showed our changing views due to accretion of the beach (in some places half a mile wider than it used to be) and the growth of beach pines, which were not there a century ago.   Many beach trails were begun over 100 years ago and have simply been lengthened by trodding feet as the beach itself moved westward.

Allan captured some of the interesting old photos:

The “elephant rocks” used to be out in the surf, as an old photo showed, and are now well inland of Waikiki Beach.

rocks once out in the surf…

and now on land

An old highway has gone back to nature by the new highway 101.  Through a layer of grass and moss, the yellow line of the old highway occasionally shows through.

Jim Sayce

Jim’s laser pointer was not working.

The old and new photos pleased and fascinated us.

Jim’s blog, circa 2011 and before, is here.

It is now time for five weeks of true staycation.

 

 

 

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