Archive for the ‘public gardens’ Category

Monday, 13 August 2018

guest photos!

Mary of Klipsan Beach Cottages sent me two photos last night:

Bella in the KBC garden

and a snake in the shrubbery (good for eating slugs and snails)

before work today:

We duck under these apple-laden branches to leave the front porch.

carrying one of three clumps of daylilies to plant at the Shelburne later

In the front garden, a late poppy must be Mother of Pearl or Angel’s Choir.

Our volunteer garden at the post office, where we stop every day but Sunday because there is no home delivery of mail where we live:

A few days ago, the Ilwaco Timberland Library posted this nice thing on Facebook:

Long Beach

We weeded four more sections of the beach approach, just leaving three and an end cap to go.  I hope to finish it tomorrow, as well as trimming back the rugosa roses by the police station.  Kite Festival starts next Monday so we want the approach to look as good as possible, considering that it survives with no supplemental water (an impressive feat by the rugosa roses).

Allan’s photo; coreopsis does surprisingly well with no watering

I got to pet this darling dog, a schnauzer-dachshund:

Monty by name

Monty’s person and two other people asked about the rugosa rose hips.

We have this far to go…

and we have come this far

We then watered the downtown trees and planters.

A couple admiring blue eryngiums (Allan’s photo)

I took photos for the August planter reference post.  Here is a sneak preview of some, uncropped, that show the Long Beach scenery.

Lewis and Clark Square

We STILL have not tried the new Mexican restaurant behind L&C Square.  Our style is to work straight through, eating a sandwich while working or in the van between jobs.

L&C Square from across the street, police station and Vet Field to the left

Fifth Street Park, NE quadrant,  with frying pan and Allan watering

Above, to the left, a child is putting a quarter in a slot to make the Razor Clam sculpture squirt water.

Fifth Street Park, SE quadrant

I found a painted rock!

When I posted the rock on a local rock-painters group, I was told that a friend hid that one especially for me to find.  Well done!

one cottage in a courtyard of cute little cottages

looking across at west side of Fifth Street Park

In a Fifth Street Park bed, NE side, I admired this heather, even though it does not show up well.

I like heathers that are spikier, like this one.  Maybe it is a heath.  I have to read up.

rudbeckia and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Once upon a time, I did not like orange flowers so did not grow California poppies or rudbeckia.  I have evolved.

Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ is so wonderful. It goes and goes and goes.

Third Street Park

Stormin’ Norman’s and Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

The flag shows that the wind was pushing us around today. Fortunately, it did not kick up till we were done with the beach approach.  I read later in a book by Monty Don (The Prickotty Bush) that a “lazy wind” goes right through you instead of around you.

A woman came up to me, seeing me using the hose, and said, “Now I understand.  I kept seeing you carrying a bucket and I thought, She’s sure getting a lot of water out of that bucket!” I showed her how it works:

bayonet and hose

lift the cap…

match up the notch, plug it in, twist, and Robert’s your father’s brother.

The Shelburne Hotel

Chef Casey Venus was picking some nasturtiums to garnish a cucumber soup.  I said sounded yummy and he brought us a bowl of it to share!

cold cucumber soup with crab…incredibly delicious

I was glad we had brought three clumps of daylilies from my garden to plant for his edible flower collection.

We watered and deadheaded.

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

the shady side of the front garden

It is a good thing cosmos has beautiful foliage, because most of the Sensation cosmos are just green feathery things with not a flower bud showing.


While Allan watered the street trees and planters, I watered the boatyard.  At the south end, this view made me remember taking my black lab, Bertie Woofter, to swim on the west side of the boatyard.  Robert and I had a key to the back gate.

low tide

Straight across used to be all wild but is now part of the boatyard.

memories of Bertie Woofter swimming in that very spot

My note tied onto the blue globe thistle seems to be keeping people from picking it…

…even though eight out of ten elephant garlics have been picked under one of the official “please leave the flowers” signs.

The really big boat with a lot of clutter around it is gone (with its clutter) and all the hoses were in place, so watering went smoothly and easily.

I walked home, looking for the feral main street cats.

one orange one

and a black one

Further on the way home, a block east of our house, beautiful hydrangeas in an old garden:


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23 July 2018: 

I photographed 17 of the 18 downtown Long Beach street tree gardens for my reference. I often feel that these are miserable little gardens.  They get walked on, kids and dogs rootle through them, bicycles get parked on them, and they only get watered once a week. Many of the plants are free divisions that I scrounged up back before there was much of a plant budget.  I always tell myself I will make these tree gardens better.  It is a struggle because of the difficulties just described and because cool new plants will get stolen.  The cooler they are, the sooner they’ll be swiped. (Thorny plants do not prevent theft.) Annual seeds don’t seem to take well in these little beds.  I’ve tried assorted California poppies with little success.  Sometimes I manage to get a Cerinthe to grow, but by this time of summer they are done.

They all have good bulb displays in springtime.

The first four blocks going south to north have four trees each, and then a block is skipped, and the sixth block (by Dennis Company) has two trees.  The trees themselves are a columnar pear and an ornamental purple leaved plum.  We don’t prune them or deal with them other than watering or maybe pruning a lower branch.

The photos were taken while I watered planters and Allan watered trees.  I photographed some of them before he got to them to tidy them up while watering.

From south to north:

Block one:

west side, First Place Mall

I often regret planting variegated vinca in the tree garden by First Place Mall.  It is aggressive and has taken over, battled by Hesperantha, which I also somewhat regret. At least the vinca is variegated and thus rather pretty.  It’s low maintenance except for persistent big grass weeds and cutting the vinca back hard once a year.

East side, below Paws by the Sea
East side, below Paws by the Sea

Rugosa rose self seeded into this bed and I let it, thinking it was charming at first.  Now it is totally taking over, and if we shear it back and pull some once a year, it is prettier than a lot of the other tree beds.  It is smothering two Lonicera that I intend to remove this fall (and put in a park, probably).  One end seems to consistently get walked upon and is therefore bare.

east side, north tree
east side, north tree

An untrampled tree garden with lavenders, santolina, Knautia macedonica, and some blue scabiosa, Eragrostis curvula (grass).  There are no busy tourist businesses nearby so this one fares pretty well.

west side, Credit Union

Only slightly trampled, has santolina, some sad hesperantha, some well behaved (so far) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, some Knautia macedonica, some low sedums. I wish it looked more interesting.

Block two:

east side, Anchor Realty

A vigorous Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ reigns here, with the edges having golden oregano and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that get walked on just a bit.

West side, bike rental place

Golden oregano with Pennisetum ‘Heavy Metal’, which I am sure looks like a weed to most passersby.  Some badasters crept into this one, and some actual weed grass. If only people understood how cool ‘Heavy Metal’ is, this would be a success, especially since this tree has no working plumbing so has to survive on Allan’s bucket watering.

east side, Benson’s restaurant
east side, Benson’s restaurant

I suppose that huge and rather tatty lavender could go, but it would be hard to get a new one established, so it stays.  This bed has a big creeping sorrel weed problem.  Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a white catananche, some oregano, some lady’s mantle that snuck in here.  This tree garden seems to hold its own.

west side, Malai Thai restaurant

Has Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, beach strawberry that I do not want because it gets in everyone’s business, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ behaving itself on one side, looks good in spring because it has a good yellow primula. Verbascum and yellow evening primrose which I have gone soft on pulling this year.  Despite how full it looks, people have parked their dogs and their large baby carriages right in this garden.

Block three:

west side, Marsh’s Free Museum
west side, Marsh’s Free Museum

Too much hesperantha.  A catmint, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a Hebe ‘Boughton’s Dome’, an invasive running blue “ornamental” grass that was given to me by a nurseryman with “try this”—regret quickly ensued.  Hesperantha looks pretty good when it blooms, but in the summer it is so thirsty and looks yellowish. For some reason the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ has not run rampant in this one.  Some golden oregano, too.  Allan came along watering after this photo was taken and cut back a lot of the Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ (I hope).

east side, Mostly Hats
east side, Mostly Hats

It was mostly Geranium ‘AT Johnson’, which goes through such a sad stage when the flowers are done.  I pulled loads of it out a couple of years ago, with big ideas of adding some hardy fuchsias.  This tree gets so trampled by kids and dogs that I have not been able to get anything new going.  The fuchsias were quickly broken off and destroyed. It is frustrating.  We recently mulched it to at least make it look fluffy.  All the tree beds were mulched well in spring (or maybe it was last fall), but some are so scuffed up you can’t even tell.

Uh oh, I missed the west side tree.  I hope I remember to photograph it before this publishes.  Here it is, taken on July 30th.:

west, Long Beach Tavern

Has mint, which I tried to get rid of and now let be there because it is a survivor and is certainly well contained.  Two little variegated boxleaf euonymous which I love.  Two hardy fuchsias which amazingly survive.

As I took the photo, I saw something in my viewfinder, across the street.

child running in garden
child number two running in garden (had just jumped in and out)
While dad gets something out of trunk, two children repeatedly run back and forth through the little garden bed.

Unless I planted full sized sub shrubs there and managed to get them established well over the winter, nothing will hold up to this.  I think, no matter what I may have written elsewhere in this post a couple of days ago, that I just plain old give up on the trees on this particular block that get so thoroughly walked on.  Shrubs tend to get broken off (yes, even dwarf barberries got kicked to pieces in the Veterans Field garden).  I’m just tired now. I don’t want valuable money wasted on things that are destroyed, so it might just be a last ditch attempt at Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Lysimachia punctata.  Back to the tour as written up not long ago:

Block four:

west side, Castaway’s Bar and Grille

One of the most frustrating tree gardens.  Just golden lemon balm, hesperantha, and a self seeded aster.  Two years ago we cleaned it all out and planted some lovely hardy fuchsias.  Within a week, we found a bike and later a large dog parked here, and the fuchsias were completely decimated.  So we gave up and let the horrible aster come back.  Pointless.

east side by Funland

This Lysimachia punctata is under this tree only, and it blooms for such a long time that I am thinking of adding it at least to the tree across the street.  I wouldn’t plant it in anyone’s garden.  There’s quite a lot of it at the Shelburne Hotel garden, and I am trying to eliminate most of it there.  It certainly stands up to all damage caused by pedestrians, dogs, and bikes.

Here it is from across the street:

west side, clothing shops

The plumbing is broken on this tree garden so it only gets an occasional bucket of water hauled from another tree’s faucet.  A low hardy geranium, one hardy Fuchsia magellanica (the other one got smashed to bits), and Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’, which is drying up by now, and Japanese anemone and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  It will look quite sad by mid August due to drought.  It was planted when the plumbing still worked.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to redo it with succulents? But they would be swiped.  Here it is from across the street, showing how dry it is already:

east side by Pharmacy and Home at the Beach
east side by Pharmacy and Home at the Beach

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ has absorbed most of this tree garden, with some reseeded rose campion.  I don’t like Lucifer’s pushy ways, usually, and yet I am considering adding to a couple of the tree gardens that are terribly walked upon.  It also has Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson and a very prickly eryngium.

Block six:

west side, Dennis Company

Has some tough little sedums, self seeded alyssum, a variegated iris on one side (the other one got destroyed somehow), a helianthemum that does well but has such a short bloom time.  Major chickweed problem and one end gets constantly trampled, I suppose by people walking around the front of their parked vehicles, so is bare.

east side: Hebe ‘Boughton’s Dome’, catmint, sneaky badaster, santolina, dog daisy. Doesn’t get walked on much so does well in its own rather dull way.

One of the things I would enjoy most about retiring from Long Beach is seeing someone else figure out some better plantings for these tree gardens.

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Monday, 23 July 2018

Long Beach

We watered, deadheaded, and otherwise tidied the street trees gardens and planters. The wind was annoying but not terribly cold…yet.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


Variegated bulbous oat grass, which to some looks like a weed.

But look! It’s variegated! (At least unless it reverts to green blades and then out it goes.)

Allan’s photo: Funny hats are a common sight in Long Beach.

new lilies in Fifth Street Park

For those familiar with Long Beach, you will know where I mean when I say the two garden beds just south of Funland are not ours to care for.  Funland just mulched them with these pine needles; both Allan and I found that interesting when we walked by it at different times.

my photo

Allan’s photo

Allan got done before me and pulled horsetail from the corner bed at Veterans Field, where he found a sign of the Friday Farmers Market:

among the Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ (Allan’s photo)

I recently read that Brodiaea likes dry conditions and so am going to try it out at the port curbside gardens.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the Vet Field flag pavilion

I wonder if after we finally retire from LB someday, will someone put in a more traditional red, white and blue garden?

I took photos of 17 of the 18 street tree gardens and am going to publish a reference post (just once, not every month) tomorrow morning. (There is a long, non-bloggable story of why just 17.)

Shelburne Hotel

We watered, including Allan checking on the upstairs balcony and deck pots.

room 4 deck

The rose that got moved to the room 4 deck is going to flower. I hope it is a good one and not some old root stock.  It is happy here.

I love working at the Shelburne.  The garden makes me happy.  Today was an intense session of thinning and editing, including pulling a sheaf of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ had appeared to have gladiolus rust and needed to depart the garden post haste, bagged.  There is way too much Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ spread all around anyway, although I did not feel as much that way when it was in full bloom.

Along the railing (right) is where I pulled suspect crocosmia.

I debated in early spring about whether to prune or remove that ‘Helmond Pillar’ Barberry. Glad I pruned the pitiful branches and let it revive itself.

The garden got some breathing room by the pulling of running aster, mostly.

I keep cutting back the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ so it won’t block the pub sign from the street view.


When we left the sheltered Shelburne garden, we realized that a strong cold wind of at least 20 mph had kicked up.  It was blasting fiercely along the boatyard garden, where I had to water.  I felt tremendously sorry for myself, wearing a winter scarf in late July and so very cold.

not enjoyable at all

my audience

I wondered if the birds were cold, too.

The larger boats gave me some temporary shelter from the cold north wind.

I had no will to weed in the icy gale.

horrible horsetail

After watering and deadheading a few sweet peas, I just walked by the garden and on home.

Someone had picked more blue globe thistle right under one of the signs…

“Please leave flowers for everyone to enjoy.”

…and had pulled some out by the roots and just left it there.

Perhaps a passerby interrupted the thievery or perhaps the thief decided the stem was too stickery.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ is looking brown instead of silver.

too much wind? not enough water?

?? why?

santolina with pesky self sown orange montbretia

I’d like to pull swathes of floppy California poppies, but not today.

My walk home:

mystery paths in the field across the street

First Avenue

Behind the museum is the Discovery Garden, which is now maintained by the Pacific County Master Gardeners.

Interpretive sign from the original park installation.

This was formerly a recirculating stream.

formerly upper pool of little stream

Our friend Bill Clearman helped to construct this memorial wall.  I feel that these big planters distract from viewing its beauty.

This was the unobstructed wall years ago.

The tiles are by Renee O’Connor.

As for the plans that the MGs have for this garden, you can read about their project here.  I am not a Master Gardener so am not involved in this volunteer project.  I admit to a prejudice against “native plant gardens”. It is a rare artificially created native landscape that doesn’t look just scruffy, in my opinion.  It can be done, by the brilliant Leslie Buck, for one.

I hoped to see some of the feral cat colony (featuring many orange cats with quizzical faces) further down the block.  They were all sheltered somewhere out of the wind.

On Main Street (which is not very “main”, being only two and a half blocks long).

Meanwhile, Allan had watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters with the water trailer, also not enjoyable I am sure (but at least it is a little bit in and out of the van and thus with breaks from the wind).

for those interested in the mechanics of watering the Ilwaco planters

We did not plant gladiolas in any of the planters.  Someone persists in planting them in the planters, and someone (else, I am sure) persists in picking them pretty much every year when they are at their best.

finger blight

I told Allan later to just pull out the foliage and corm when that happens.

I texted him when I got home; he had just started hose watering our volunteer gardens at the fire station and the post office.  A nine hour day for me and longer for him.


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Long Beach, downtown

Photos for my reference, taken July 10th and July 12th.  I used Allan’s idea of a sidewalk angle as well as the street view angle.  They almost all have some diascia and some bidens, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and a couple of santolinas (some newly added this year so still small). Also added Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple to almost all of them this spring.

Going north to south:

Block one, east side:

Lawyer’s office

lawyer office

Lawyer office, just golden oregano and two Geranium ‘Rozanne’, with a Sanguisora ‘Pink Elephant’ that is determined to stay even though I thought I moved it all to Fifth Street Park (because it is so tall).

Dennis Co storage lot

Dennis storage lot

Shrubby, two Crimson Pygmy Barberry that stay small, two gold euonymus that want to get huge, a chrysanthemum, left over from volunteer days

Block one, west side:

Dennis Co north

Dennis Co north

Dennis Co north, by parking lot, Rozanne and golden oregano plus Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ that reverted to green foliage and some wonderful Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (the original; most of the planters have it now).

Dennis Co south

Dennis Co south

My favourite planter. Agastache, golden fuchsia, heuchera, cosmos and painted sage, diascia, Rozanne,  and more…and tigridia, which a lot of them have

Block two, east side:



Narrow sidewalk passageway on this block.  Heucheras, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, cosmos and painted sage, a stray lady’s mantle or two, aquilegias that I keep pulling out

NIVA green

NIVA green

Lilies and Iberis left over from volunteer days, lambs ears, chrysanths, heuchera, a dwarf rhododendron from volunteer days. Originally someone thought would be a good idea to have a dwarf rhodie at the post in each planter.  Not me! Only two survive out of many (I did not remove them; they died from sun and wind).

Block two, west side:

Scoopers north

Scoopers north

Maybe the windiest planter, two wanna be huge escallonias from volunteer days, two lavender, sedums, green santolina, lots of annoying little red clover

Scoopers south

Scoopers south

Boring groundcover that blooms in spring, tatty old Erysimum that is coming out in fall, chrysanths, the other dwarf rhodo, all but the Erys. from volunteer days.  Used to be the most vandalized planter.  Now it seems to be left alone, i should re do the ground cover with something better, at least.  Two old daylilies, boring, used to regularly get their foliage torn off.  Theory: the vandal grew up and moved away.

Block three, east side:



I let mint (volunteer days leftover) take hold this year.  I shouldn’t have but this planter is so windy and it just smells good when I water.  I will be sorry in the fall when I try to pull it all out.  Used to be all mint from a volunteer!  Now thyme, some badaster that snuck in, santolina…Oh, almost all of them have a couple of santolinas, which I have been forgetting to mention. Lambs ears, cosmos, Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’, a tall armeria

Cottage Bakery

Cottage Bakery

CB has that variegated Knautia that reverted to green, pink gaura, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Calif poppies, cosmos and so forth


Funland (most sat upon planter)

flat creeping sedums, S Autumn Joy, cosmos, pink Gaura, painted sage, Rozanne

police station

police station

Blue agastache, Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola, Rozanne, Allium christophii, lambs ears; wanted it to be all blue but I don’t pull the orange Calif poppies just because I don’t.

Block three: west side:

corner building for rent

corner building (has boring climbing rose by pole that needs to go!)

That annoying rose, fuchsias, Autumn Joy, chrysanths, daisies left over from volunteer days, Rozanne

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

a couple of fuchsias and lavenders swamped by Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that nice shop keeper loves, and some white fruited strawberries

Stormin’ Norman’s

Stormin’ Norman’s

redone in autumn 2015, the damnable wire plant is coming back, so it has to be dug out again.  Pink gaura, cosmos, santolina, Rozanne, lavenders, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (like most of the planters now)

park by Gazebo

park by gazebo

Recently redone (last fall), Allium christophii, bkue agastache, santolinas, Rozanne, and diascia and boring old Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ trying to come back but I won’t let it.

Block four: east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Lewis and Clark Square

Rozanne, Autumn Joy, agastache, way too many calif poppies, Allium c! and othonna of some sort, which I love and am trying to spread around.

Carnival Gifts (shrubs left over from volunteer days)

Carnival Gift shop

Carnival Gifts has most boring planter except for a week in spring. Easy care! Also left from volunteer: mint all through the shrubs. Smells nice.



Catmint, golden oregano, agastache, cosmos, creeping sedums, Rozanne, tigridia (which many of the planters have), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer trying to come back, green santolina

Fifth Street Park (NE)

Fifth Street Park (NE) (Frying Pan Park)

Left over from volunteer days, a running once blooming rose, tatty lavenders, a spiraea (why??) and a huge hebe (also why???)  Quite nice when the roses are briefly in bloom.

Block four, west side:

park by Long Beach Tavern

by LBT

all the usual suspects: Rozanne, agastache, Autumn Joy, lavender, Calif poppies

Hungry Harbor Grille

Hungry Harbor Grille

Golden oregano, too many calif poppies, a dark leaved Phygelius whose name I have forgotten

Sweet Phees (too much golden oregano!)

Sweet Phees (probably the shadiest planter because of roof overhang)

Too much golden oreg. for sure, with an astilbe and two heucheras

Fifth Street Park (NW)

Fifth Street Park (NW)

Lavender, a running curly teucrium, badaster, Lucifer! Due for a big redo this fall.

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street Park (SE)

Fifth Street Park (SE)

Rozanne, golden vinca that i wish was not there, cosmos and Calif poppies (too many) and the usual annuals (cosmos, diascia) plus Allium C.

RV park

RV Park

Sort of redid this one to get rid of Lucifer, which is trying to come back.  Big old lavenders, creeping sedums, blue agastache, red diascia (red tattoo shop is just south of here)

Coastal Inn

Coastal Inn

Golden oregano, santolina, variegated bulbous oat grass, which I have been told “looks like a weed”, Calif poppies, Salvia patens, a Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ that snuck in!. Used to be swamped by nasturtiums, did not let that happen this year.

Block five, west side:

public restroom

public restroom

Due for a redo, at least of the edge where a pretty veronica blooms much too briefly.  Teucrium, which I regret, must go, too.  Rozanne. Big ol’ lavender.

smoke shop

smoke shop

blue agastaches, lots of Calif poppies, aster that I try to eradicate, Rozanne, of course. Maybe the messiest most meadowy planter.

Streetside Tacos

Streetside Tacos

Agastaches, which are not showing much (but many of the planters have two by the post), the best silver santolinas, old and big, Geranium macrorrhizum.  Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  The former city manager loved this planter so much when i did it as a volunteer that I think it is why I got the city job.

Block six, east side:

empty lot

empty lot

Rozanne, santolina, blue agastache, pink oenothera which always makes me think of Ann Lovejoy, Gladiolus papilio which I am beginning to regret because it is so aggressive, the usual annuals (diascia, cosmos, which most of the planters have)

pet shop (two sheared wanna be full size escallonias)

pet shop

volunteer left over escallonia and euonymous and big old lavender; did not succeed in getting sweet peas growing on the pole thingie this year.  Sad.

Powell and Seiller accounting

Powell and Seiller accounting

Re did this one a year ago, pink Calif poppies,, a couple of yellow glads left over from volunteer along with two left over miniature roses and a silene, added agastache, sedums, Rozanne, diascias, cosmos, painted sage.

Block six, west side:

credit union

credit union

lots of different coloured Calif poppies, Rozanne, blue agastaches, two pink dahlias that do so well I always swear I will add more dahlias to planters and then I forget. Plus it takes awhile to win against the snails.

bus stop

bus stop (mostly a hardy geranium that blooms early)

The hardy geranium, boring now, swamping lavender and Autumn Joy and a big old armeria on the street side.  Easy care!

First Place Mall

First Place Mall

Rozanne, lavender, armeria, cosmos and diascia and so forth and …parsley! Which is so fun I should use it more in other planters.

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Wednesday, 11 july 2018

Red Barn Arena

The garden had been watered! (Yay!) So we only had a bit of deadheading to do.

Our good friend Misty was there (with her human, Diane).

and our good friend Rosie

the first tigridia of the year in one of the barrels

Diane’s Garden

Next door to the barn, we added a few perennials to Diane’s garden.  We are going to just call the septic box garden the raised box garden from now on.  Sounds so much nicer.

Allan deadheading

Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

also Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

also Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’!

It is quite variable.

drumstick alliums

Basket Case Greenhouse

We stopped for a few Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’.  I could not resist some echeverrias, as well.

still lots of healthy annuals and baskets for sale.

green fireworks display

and a really big healthy blue agastache

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour tidying and then I took photos for the Facebook page.  We skipped KBC last week because of the holiday and company.  Mary says she could get by with us just every other week, which would be great, but she says “Not yet, though!”  This is now our only north end job, and it is a long drive for one hour of work.  The cottage cleaning staff also like to weed the paths and beds, so we can be somewhat dispensible, for which I am grateful.  It is an odd feeling to work there knowing this longtime job ends in the late autumn, when Denny and Mary retire.

Allan had stood on a bucket and deadheaded the roses over the arbors.

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ with sanguisorba, probably ‘Pink Elephant’

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Timmy (Timothea)

All these years I thought Timmy, Sarah’s sibling, was a boy!  Mary and I talked about how I might take ten year old Timmy and Sarah if Mary and Denny move to Arizona.  I would love to have them.

more Timmy

I want to take her home right now!

Shelburne Hotel

I had had a wee brainstorm.  In the back garden, we took the variegated mint out of a low pot and put it into the pot that does not drain well.

Then we made a succulent pot out of the low pot for the one deck that had no plant container.

I laughed when I found myself thinking, “I wish there were some river rock to decorate these pots with.”  Of course, the front garden has river rock all along the edge of the path!

no shortage!

lavender and thyme pot in back garden

front garden

71 degrees on the way home at the early hour of 5 PM.

I did no evening gardening at home other than watering all my pots and running one sprinkler because the north wind was a ridiculously strong and miserable thirty something miles an hour.



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Monday, 9 July 2018

Shelburne Hotel

We began our work today with a project: cleaning out some old dead pots of plants up on the hotel’s second floor decks and balconies.  I had not been up there for a decade.  I must say that I no longer prance easily up the stairs.

Before we went in, I took photos outside because the grey cloudy light made the garden look quite fine.

The stained glass panels above the peaked roof with arched window form the edge of one of the decks.

sweet peas all along the picket fence by the sidewalk

Yes, I am obsessed with this garden.

Ok, enough of that!  Up the stairs we went with a couple of buckets of potting soil. Allan did almost all the schlepping of soil and eventually plants today.

In the deck off room 4, we found two pots to redo and one that was salvageable.  We could tell they had mostly been filled with perennials from the garden.  I had not realized till recently that there were still pots up on these decks.

room four from its private deck

This deck used to be shared with room 10 ( think)  but it is now all 4’s.

the view to the west over the roofs of the kitchen and bakery

This pot, emptied, went to the back garden when we realized it had no drainage hole.

still alive, with fennel and lemon balm


To replace the pot with no hole, Allan brought in the potted rose from the porch above the pub deck.  Now we won’t have to worry about watering it and having waterfalls cascading onto the diners.

With two big pots empty and the dry soil and plants in garbage bags, we emptied and refilled the small pots on the three south balconies.

view from the western room down to the totem pole shade garden

and the totem pole

The three south balconies and the room 4 deck can only be accessed when no one has rented those rooms.  So the three south balconies would get succulents that don’t need much water.

We turned to the front deck, which is accessed by two rooms and also from the hallway.  There is a water faucet there that must be got working again so the plants can be watered. (The next morning I happened to see our friend Don Anderson the plumber, who cares for the Shelburne, and he will make that happen.)  Otherwise we have to find an empty room, fill a small bucket at the bathroom sink, and clean up any mess we make, or haul water up the stairs.  I look forward to having that faucet back.

center deck

Nandina with old English ivy growing on a bamboo pole and an old branch! Odd, and it is a noxious weed here.

I fought the English ivy out of the pot and Allan cleaned the other pot of dead plants.  I decided a nandina, to match, would be best for now.  It is actually a bit too sunny for them here, but later they can go in the garden.  It will be a battle (maybe impossible!) to get the one out of the pot with the small opening.  I would rather do that battle this fall.

the other pot before emptying it

Big garbage bags of dead plants and dry rooty soil were hauled downstairs by Allan, along with multiple buckets.  I was worried when he came back upstairs looking quite spent.

I had to go into my favourite room, the one above the pub that has the second story porch that used to have a potted rose.

inside the most beautiful room of all

window and door to private porch with stairs down to dining deck and garden

This room has its own sitting room behind stained glass windows.

With a writing desk.

Back to deck four with the rose, and a pot with fresh soil.

and the hallway deck

I had to go down the stairs backwards; fortunately, I know of a set of stairs that does not go to the lobby.

More garden admiration on the way out:

I thought maybe the English Nursery, just a few blocks south, might have a nandina.  It did not, but I did get three good succulents and a pretty scabiosa there.

Allan’s photo; yes, the owners, Dirk and Jane, are English. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

English Nursery daylilies

Hostas are their specialty.

We returned to the Shelburne and went upstairs just to put three Sedum ‘October Daphne’ in the three balcony pots.  Well….Allan went upstairs.

the three balconies

I put some water in the pot with no hole to see if it would drain at all.

And then off we went, supposedly to water in Long Beach.  A light misty rain began.  I was suddenly so exhausted I could not face watering the Long Beach planters.  The half hour of mist made it possible to put the watering off till tomorrow (we decided after a drive through town to make sure).

I felt so deeply tired that I could have laid down in the dirt and slept..and I am not a napper at all.  Yet I gave the Planter Box a call and learned that they had a nice nandina….and we were off!

at the Planter Box, many reasonably priced plants

I had planned to finish the Shelburne pots  Wednesday…but I couldn’t wait.  We would have gone to the Basket Case, too, had they not been closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Garden hint of the week: When we got back to the Shelburne, I was fussing with the nandina to get a dandelion out of the root ball.  Allan had a genius idea and pulled the root out with pliers.

It worked a treat.

All the plants got schlepped up to the second floor by Allan.  (We had left some potting soil up there.)

the stairs going up (Shelburne photo)

The center balcony got a (sort of) matching nandina.

Allan’s photo

A crock in the corner got a little lemon cypress, heathers, sedums, all for texture.

New pots are going to be acquired by next year.  The planting in the crock is temporary and not ideal because that crock has no hole.  It won’t get too much water this summer.  I hope.

center deck all cleaned and swept and nice; the skylight is over the dining room.

Cypress looks like a beacon from the hallway.

The replanted pot on the number four deck has a rescued dahlia with one stem and an almost invisible dahlia in the middle that I took pity on.  I now think I should have put the tiny dahlia in the garden and put something better in the middle.

Little dahlia has one week to hurry up and fill in or else.

We added to the south balcony pots.

pots on the three little balconies

Here are some views from those three balconies:

The water was slowly draining out of that pot.

And some interiors of those three rooms:

Down the stairs again, one trip for me, several for Allan, who had a second wind.

My back stairs way, that goes down into the dining room that is only open for dinner Friday and Saturday.

I fixed up one more dead pot on a downstairs deck.

shady end of the front garden

After all that, we still had to water…


Allan got the water trailer and watered the street trees and planters while I watered the boatyard.

A touch of finger blight:

pulled out elephant garlic

Someone picked poppy seeds and left a mess…so rude.

I weeded four buckets of weeds and then did the watering.

Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’

santolina flowers

daisy…from Jo’s garden originally.

elephant garlic and a please don’t pick flowers sign

Angels’ Choir poppies

Several of the boat owners were most complimentary about the garden today, including one from Westport who recognized the names of Terri and Bill, whose garden is on the July 14th tour.

his boat

watering obstacle course

I had to go around the big boats twice to get to the hoses.

After finishing the boatyard watering, I truly could hardly walk.

8:30 PM

Allan took me home and then went back out to water the post office and fire station (our volunteer gardens).

post office at dusk (Allan’s photo)

I am anxiously counting the days until the July 14th tour.








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Thursday, 5 July 2018

at the post office

our post office garden

matchy matchy Asiatic lily (probably ‘Landini’) and a sanguisorba

Depot Restaurant

weeding and watering…

Dierama (Angels’ Fishing Rod) is blooming.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Agastache (‘Blue Boa’, maybe) and Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’

Long Beach

Allan string trimming around the welcome sign

back side

We watered the Long Beach planters downtown.

busy tourist town (Allan’s photo)

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’

We will crisscross the street to do the other three planters in a group of four while waiting for a large crowd to move on.  Still, we do end up having to ask people to move so we can water.

Only once years ago did someone get angry and ask me to come back later; I said gently that we were on our way to water all the Ilwaco planters after Long Beach so no, we could not come back later—and she did move.

Sometimes, even though Long Beach is fun, I get tired of the noise and traffic in summer and end up counting off how many planters I have to do before I am done watering.

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ persists in a planter even after I decided it was too tall and moved it to Fifth Street Park.

One of the shop workers arrives to work on this. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Fifth Street Park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

We tidied up the gardens in Veterans Field for the Friday farmers market.

Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’…and a white one.

Due to sprinkler problems, the monarda looks stressed. I think I don’t want it in this bed anymore. (Sprinkler probably blocked by too many plants—typical of our gardens.)

Port of Ilwaco

We watered some, but not all, of the curbside gardens.

my one pitiful eremerus (Allan’s photo)

by Ilwaco pavilion

A pleasant fellow stopped to ask about santolinas; he liked them.

My favourite bed is still marred by finger blight.

The lavenders may not heal up. Certainly not by the big fireworks show on July 7th.

The santolina will heal…eventually.

Don Nisbett’s signs have been installed!

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ gets the most comments and queries nowadays.

We were tidying because of fireworks show crowds on Saturday and Art Walk on Friday.

This is what a properly pruned santolina looks like.  It will flower later.

This is the only one I forgot to clip!

We got the watering done from David Jensen’s architecture office all the way to Time Enough Books; then I did a walkabout of the Ilwaco planters while Allan watered them.

downtown window

before chickweed removal

after…it lurks beneath though

Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ (top) is my favourite. I was worried people would not find it bright enough.


Good citizen Ethel was string trimming and then raking along the sidewalk for art walk night.

Ethel’s efforts to beautify the town were a perfect example of action instead of big talk and complaints.

While Allan continued watering the planters, which takes an hour and a half minimum, I watered the boatyard garden.  It used to take us half an hour or forty five minutes to water the planters back when we bucket watered them, before the water trailer.  But we are just no longer up to hauling what was literally 800 pounds of water twice a week.

view from behind the boatyard fence; the shadow is of a boat prow that was above me

While watering, I pulled some horsetail and grass away from the back of the fence.

I was daunted by huge slugs hiding down there.  I had not brought to the far end of the fence my slug disposal tools or a pair of gloves.  I was just pulling with bare hands.  I do hate touching a slug.

Afterwards, I looked at my particularly arthritic finger and for a creepy few moments I felt like it was just going to break right off at the joint.

horrific, depressing old age

I walked down to the other far end of the boatyard and the hose was not there.  (I use a series of hoses that lay around by the faucets…usually.)  I simply could not hobble all the way back to the middle of the other stretch of fence and drag a hose back.  Fortunately, Allan, who has no arthritis that we know of, showed up in the nick of time and watered the south end of the garden while I sat in the van in a state of collapse.  So glad to be home at dusk.




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