Archive for the ‘public gardens’ Category

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

at home before work

The pink rose that overhangs the east corner path was one of the few plants that was here when we moved in.  It is a once bloomer; then I will cut it back to avoid the snagging that is happening now.

Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’

Salvia ‘Caradonna’

We’d had more wonderful rain.

Skooter wanted me to stay home.

Geranium ‘Orion’

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

rambling roses

Clivia indoors, admired while breakfasting

When we went to the Bank of the Pacific before work, I was smitten with the foliage in their landscape:

After the briefest of checks on The Red Barn garden, we went to….

Diane’s garden

….to weed and tidy and to fertilize the containers.

the raised septic box garden

Brodiaea ‘Pink Diamond’

Allium christophii, Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

our good friend Misty

I weeded an obscure and neglected corner that I should probably take more seriously.

The roadside garden needs more plants:

The Planter Box

We stopped to pick up a few more six packs of painted sage.  I found a Sambucus ‘Lemony Lace’ that I could not resist (but did not photograph it).

zinnias…I love them but don’t use them much. Should try again.

I could not resist buying some flame-like celosia, for the fire station. (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

A deer had gotten into the fenced garden and nibbled the roses.

buttercups in the lawn

We groomed the garden for an hour and took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.

Knockout Roses (Allan’s photo)

Geranium sanguineum (Allan’s photo)

the east gate

the birdbath view

Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’


Long Beach 

We did some tidying of the city hall garden…

a welcome snake in the garden (Allan’s photo)

…and got another buckets-load of mulch to apply to the beach approach garden.

Allan’s photo

We got to pet some adorable pomeranians, a family of four.

Allan’s photo

With hope for a better looking display, I added some painted sage to the welcome sign.

Shelburne Hotel

We had time to work on weeding the paths at the Shelburne.

I had an odd encounter while working there today.  A woman said she admired the garden and asked what the variegated figwort was.  I said the common name and then added that its name is “scrophularia’, kind of an unappealing sounding name and that, like many of the plants in the garden, it was a division from my own garden.  She told me that plants people would think scrophularia  was a fine name and that she had a degree in “plant science” and added, “You probably don’t get many compliments, but it is probably just work to you.”  I had no words to respond to that.  It is actually everything to me.

Ilwaco Fire Station

There was no room in the planter for the silly little celosias; they had to go into the garden, where they are too few.

wish this garden would hurry up

Oh, I do have a photo of the Sambucus ‘Lemony Lace’ after all, and my new “stone troughs” that Allan gleaned for me from the city works yard (with permission).

Allan’s photo

I was hoping to get more port curbside gardens weeded this evening.  We ran out of time after a nine and a half hour day and will have to start there tomorrow.


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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

at home, an allium about to doff its cap

J’s garden

We weeded and watered.

Allan used his new blower to remove the rhododendron leaves from river rock, something otherwise difficult to do.

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco Fire Station

We checked up on our three month old volunteer garden.  I wish it would fill in faster.

Mike’s garden

More weeding.

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Alan worked on the woodsy back garden area, which we have neglected due to lack of time.  His photos:


Long Beach

We collected another bucket brigade of Soil Energy mulch from our pile at City Works and mulched one of the 13 sections out on the beach approach.

rugosa roses


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

single rugosa rose…

and doubles (Allan’s photos)

After coveting (again) the stone troughs of the Oysterville garden, I had cast my eye covetously on these old concrete thingies at city works that were removed when the water meter system in town was changed to something more modern.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Today we had time to give the garden some thorough attention.  I have realized while working here that it is the only place where I get the same sense of peace, kind of a floaty feeling, that I get in my own garden.  Not quite as much peace, because I cannot check on it every day, but almost as much.

a Shelburne frog (Allan’s photo)

A blog reader named Tina came up to me and introduced herself.  I always find that surprising and pleasing.

looking south from the north end

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’, beloved of bees

Allan’s photo

callas with fallen rhododendron flowers (Allan’s photo)

the old rhododendron (Allan’s photo)

looking north from the entryway

In back, the totem pole garden

front garden, from the sidewalk as one approaches from the south

Port of Ilwaco

Because we did not have to water, we were able to work along a good long stretch of the curbside gardens just weeding.

east end of Howerton Ave

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

CoHo Charters

Allan weeded the Coho lava rocks.

passersby (Allan’s photos)


They were on their way to the store about ten blocks away.

Ilwaco Pavilion

The cry of outrage disturbing the evening peace of Ilwaco was me upon seeing that someone had stolen all the flowering stems off of one of the eryngiums in the newly planted area.

finger blight

Those plants were moved from the south side garden of the port office, which now looks like this:

Time Enough Books is doing a good job with their little planters this year.

More curbside Eryngium photos by Allan:

It was a ten hour day.

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4 June 2018

To make this somewhat entertaining for the reader, I will start with some photos that show the Long Beach town scenery, and then get down to the nitty gritty.

Wind World Kites storefront was recently repaired. We hope it gets painted bright blue again.

Third Street Park gazebo

Lewis and Clark Square


Hungry Harbor

Sweet Phee’s

Fifth Street Park NW (We will redo this planter in fall, I hope)

Fifth Street Park SW

Fifth Street Park NE

Fifth Street Park SE

Now for the aforementioned nitty gritty.

Long Beach planter reference post

This is a record I am trying to do once a month while watering the planters.  About half of the planters are photographed from across the street before they get groomed and watered, to avoid the stressful and slightly dangerous crossing back and forth.  The others are lucky enough to get photographed after being watered and tidied.

I took the photos walking north to south on June 4, 2018.

block one, west side:

Dennis Company north

Dennis Co south

Block one, east side:

law office before removing bulb foliage

Dennis Co storage lot

Block two, west side:

Scoopers north with would be huge escallonia cut back hard

Scoopers south, leggy erysimums will need replacing

block two, east:


by NIVA green

block three, west side:

stoplight corner

Wind World Kites (he likes the Crocosmia!)

Stormin’ Norman’s

Third Street Park gazebo

block three, east side:


Cottage Bakery


Police Station

Block four, west side:

Third Street Park.

Hungry Harbor Grille

Sweet Phee’s…pretty much swamped with golden oregano

Fifth Street Park. I WILL redo this one in fall!

Block four, east side:

Lewis and Clark Square

Carnival Gifts, all spring flowering shrubs (blah now except for geraniums)


frying pan, shrubby, dominated by hebe

Block five, west side:

Fifth Street restroom; the plan is redo this one in fall because the veronica blooms too briefly.

Smoke Shop

Block five, east side:

Fifth Street pond

north of tattoo shop

As I write this and get to block five, I just found out that Allan hadn’t remembered to take his set of photos for the last block and a bit.  So the rest of the photos were completed by him on June 14, 2018.  

My idea has been to show how the planters read from the street.  He took a different approach, which makes them look more interesting but is not really what passersby see (since they don’t stand out in the street with a camera held up high).  I like these and am debating whether to switch to this angle in the future.  If you have made it this far, what do you think?

Block five, continued:

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop (west side)

Streetside Taco (west side)

Coastal Inn (east side)

Block six, west side:

Credit Union

bus stop

First Place Mall

Block six, east side:

empty lot

Paws by the Sea Pet Supplies (has big old escallonias that are clipped low in spring)

Powell and Seillor accounting (redone last year after a vehicle smashed the planter)





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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Today we will have used up all of our green jugs of rain water and now are completely dry.


Allan pulled the last three from under the dryer vent.

These are kitty litter jugs and so useful!

We began work today with watering at the ….

Depot Restaurant

…where I fretted over the escallonia ugliness.

If it were mine, I would take the sides back to the new green growth inside.

But that might look even more ugly for a public place.

Allan found frogs on the hose reel.

I have to get sorted whether this message on the sprinkler system means it only runs once every seven days…

north of the dining deck

white camassia

SE corner of dining deck

Long Beach

welcome sign

The welcome sign is still blah.  Why are the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ so slow to bloom this year?  Our work does not involve the sort of bedding out for every season that some city gardeners do.  We have to wait for the summer show instead of making an extra late spring show.

We checked on Fifth Street Park….

Fifth Street Park’s four quadrants

NW Fifth Street Park

I saw that the Dorothy Perkins rose was in a terrible mildewy state.

disgusting; was chosen by a landscape architect

Meanwhile, just across the street to the south, Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ is doing wonderfully as always.

Super Dorothy, chosen by me and Parks Manager Mike on a trip we took to Heirloom Roses

Allan took another section of poor old Dorothy, and I trimmed the one by Captain Bob’s Chowder.  I seriously think it should just be removed.  Because of rose replant disease, it might be hard to put Super Dorothy there, plus she is so strong she would soon hide the restaurant from view.

We watered the downtown planters.

I got asked several times about the identity of the Allium christophii.  One passerby who asked said that they were beautiful “but one is broken a block further up.”  It certainly was.

finger blight!!

I took the flower home, and as I write this a week later, it still looks good.  I would rather it was looking good in its planter than in a vase at home.

LBT’s pots (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

My next goal today was to mulch another section of the beach approach garden.  However, with an ominous feeling, I looked at Facebook to see if the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market was opening soon.  My plan changed when I saw it opens tomorrow (Friday afternoons, starting June 8th), so we had to tidy up the Veterans Field gardens.  They don’t even show much because booths block them during market hours, but I still must have them looking good.

I have gone off planting Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.  Despite such pretty blue flowers, her foliage is floppy all over the place before bloom.  Most of the Vet Field time was spent pulling the foliage off, which is surely not advisable yet never seems to affect her coming back just as messy the next year.

Allan’s photo from a previous year: Brodiaea at the Ilwaco community building, showing the messy foliage

Look at the caption on this old photo.  I followed through, to my regret today.

Note: Plant Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ in Vet Field garden. Great blue for early summer.

In the corner garden of Vet Field, I found an agastache that I had failed to pull (probably buried with brodiaea foliage).  Having had the opportunity to grow out of its diseased foliage, it did not, and the foliage still looks awful.  I am not going to name and shame the non-peninsula nursery that refused to give a credit on all these bad plants, but shame, shame, shame on them.


When I realized that the roses by the police station were encroaching on the sidewalk, I felt overburdened with responsibilities.  I sheared back the worst offenders, feeling grumpy.

After Long Beach, Allan watered the Ilwaco planters.  I was hoping for rain tomorrow so did not water the boatyard.  If no rain, will have to water it Saturday.  I wanted to get the Shelburne watered today, rain or no rain, but I could not find the energy to spend two hours working there while Allan did Ilwaco.  (Don’t ask me where he gets his energy; I am amazed.  He is famous for it among those who know him.)  We had dinner plans for eight with our garden gang.

Instead, I went home while Allan watered Ilwaco and rather surprised myself by spending the time vigorously shifting some heavy pots and tables around on our patio.

Allan got done with the planters in jig time and we were able to water the Shelburne after all.

Shelburne Hotel

back west garden

back south garden

Front garden, Nicotiana langsdorfii

Front garden, phlomis (Jerusalem sage)

front garden: success with evening scented stock from seed

We saw Thandi of the Sou’wester Lodge with her darling daughter, who had somehow managed to turn from a baby into a little girl.

Dave and Melissa joined us for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner meeting.

Dave’s French onion soup

Allan’s drink, an Arnold Palmer

tired working gardeners

Melissa and I comparing the effect of hard work on our hands

At home after dinner, I just happened to notice on the counter that one of the seed packets in my gift of a Gardeners’ World magazine is one of the plants that is high on my must have list after seeing it on the show.

I must sow them in July in a prepared seed bed and keep them moist.  Wish me luck.

We have two rewards for today.  By working a 9 hour day (Allan did, anyway), we now can take three days off.  If the rain comes, we might even get four days off.  One day includes the Astoria Pride parade, which I feel duty bound to attend even though, as always of late, all I want is to be home in my own garden.


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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

We had an easy day planned, with a garden tour and a garden visit after work.

The Red Barn Arena

bees on California poppies (Allan’s photo)

I dug out some more wilted Helianthus, determined to grow only plants here that will look good without much watering.

This little patch of helianthus might get enough spill over water from the barrel, which gets watered more often than the garden does.

doesn’t make me happy to dig these out

in the barn (Allan’s photo)

horses going to pasture

Two coreopsis in a barrel also came out.  They have been wilted the last two times so they cannot live here anymore.

out they came

I need plants here that will thrive only on our once a week watering.  It is a windy area, which makes it even harder.

By the front gate, drought tolerance is even more necessary as water has to be schlepped out there.

Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ (not invasive here)

Diane’s garden

We weeded and did not need to water.

allium going to seed (Allan’s photo)

our good friend Misty (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s roadside garden

The Planter Box

I found a few succulents for the planter we had taken the coreopsis out of.

dazzling pelargoniums at the Planter Box (did not buy these for the barrel)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We weeded and tidied for an hour, and took photos for the KBC Facebook page.

a bud on Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’, an improvement on ‘Black and Blue’

This will be our last summer in this garden because managers/owners Denny and Mary are retiring.  It feels odd.  Can’t do planting for the future here.

Thalictrum ‘Elin’ and rugosa rose


fern by the clam shed (Allan’s photo)

the pond (Allan’s photo)


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

Now that KBC is the only job we have north of Long Beach, we try to sometimes add a fun north end garden tour or some such thing to make the round trip (about forty minutes driving) worthwhile.  (Next year, not having KBC will probably give us an extra day off on some of the summer weeks.) This time, we visited the Oysterville garden (which will be tomorrow’s post).

This was at the Oysterville Church afterward.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

behind the church

If you are ever taking a walking tour of Oysterville (a map is available inside the church), it is useful to know that there is a sani-can behind the church.

On the way back south, we stopped briefly in Ocean Park at

Mark and Brian’s garden.

You may remember our tour of their garden last summer.  Today, we were just picking up some Japanese anemone that they had potted up for us (to go in the bogsy wood).  Of course, we did have a good walk around the garden.

calendulas and marigolds

the front garden

The air immediately becomes cooler and fresher when one enters the back garden with its two waterfall pond.

Allan’s photo

a garden expansion in front of the pond

rock dragonfly

fancy pelargonium

succulent pot

hellebore foliage

Rhododendron ‘Pink Walloper’

Rhododendron ‘Pink Walloper’

Brian with maples from seedlings found in a parking lot planting

the deckside garden (The deck has an enviable view of the pond.)

a gift of Japanese anemones. I gave them a six pack of Cosmos ‘Cupcake’.

a bit more work

On the way home, we swung by the Red Barn again and bunged some succulents and gaillardia into the barrel.  I also put in a small, perhaps too small, sign that says “Water me!”  The poor erysimum got awfully dried up, but I left it in there for now because it is blooming so well.  The bulb foliage (in an awkward place) is tigridia.

Allan’s photos

After we got home, Allan watered at the J’s….

and the Norwoods….

The forecast still calls for rain on the weekend.  We hope so…as long as it does not fall on the Pride parade in Astoria.



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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

We are starting with an almost blank work list, as we transition to the maintenance season.

The at home list remains as long as ever, including indoor tasks that never got done last winter because I was so poorly with shingles.


We checked on the fire station volunteer garden…

sunflowers have germinated!

healthy looking cosmos at the Ilwaco post office

Last year someone left a miniature rose at the post office, so we had planted it in the planter there.  Unfortunately, the deer have discovered it.

chomped rose

Long Beach

We tidied the small Culbertson field garden.

A darling dog named Mr. Happy came by on a walk from the nearby South Pacific County Humane Society.

He had an adorable personality, not captured in this photo.

There seems to be no sprinkler getting water into this little garden, so we gave it the two jugs of water that we had with us.

We collected buckets of Soil Energy mulch from the city works yard and mulched one smallish area of the beach approach.

Both the electrical workers and the city crew were out there at the same time.

We checked a memorial planter that some family member had added plants to and not watered….and the plants are still not watered and are dying.  The only ones doing ok are the ones we planted during rainy seasons so that they could get established.

sad drying up lavender, right, one of several

I posted about it again on Facebook, saying that if the new plants are totally let die, we will have to pull them.  Quite sad.  We don’t haul bucket water out here.

Finally, we tidied the city hall garden.

This trillium looked unappealing and got cut back. (Allan’s photo)

All the rest of the photos are Allan’s today.  I felt so tired, for whatever reason, that I lacked energy to reach for my camera.

The Shelburne Hotel

We added some Eupatorium ‘Elegant Feather’ for texture in the totem pole garden (shady).

A crow visited the bird bath from its nest in the big laurel.

I happened to look up to the top of a flight of stairs that goes to a small deck and saw a dry and unattended rose.  We have now added watering it to our agenda there.

I don’t think anyone has been watering this rose. That is the laurel where the crows are nesting.

I was pleased to have time to weed part of the front path.

Allan got a drift of creeping sorrel out of the north end of the garden.



looking north

looking south

Port of Ilwaco

We finally, after years of difficulties, have every business on board along the curbside gardens with letting us use their water, so we weeded the last area that we had not done.  It had been so dry with soil like concrete that I just plain would not weed it without being able to water it.  We had time to weed and water four other adjacent garden beds, as well.  This week, we are gambling on the rain that is predicted for the weekend and we are not going to water the beds at the east or west end.

a special eryngium (not the usual ‘Sapphire Blue’)

watering happy plants

lavender and California poppies

We then had time to water another two garden beds: the port pavilion and Jensen architecture office.

watering the new plants that were transplanted from port office garden last week

If it does not rain on Friday, we will have to water the rest of the port gardens after the Astoria Pride parade on Saturday.


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Thursday, 31 May 2018

I was so hoping to get a full afternoon at the Shelburne Hotel garden today, to give it a thorough weeding and de-bad-astering (the removal of annoying running asters).

We began in Ilwaco at

Mike’s garden

a path needing raking

better (Allan’s photos)

Port of Ilwaco

We then watered more of the curbside gardens on Howerton.

deer are eating the columbines (Allan’s photo)

I’ve managed to get a few things to grow along with the roses in the Freedom Market parking lot garden.

Libertia (Allan’s photo)

Ilwaco boatyard

We had to do a weeding session all along the boatyard garden because on Friday night, there would be an art walk featuring businesses and galleries from downtown to the port.

I made a friend through the fence.

Allan did some string trimming and some digging by the fence along the inside.


Folks were working on their boats.

Allan’s photo

In the garden:

Allan’s photos:

Allium christophii and lavender

baby cosmos

poppies and lupines

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

my photos:

I stuck a lot of artemisia cuttings, many of which took, so will have way more of the silver texture when the little ones start growing.

reseeded nigella (love in a mist)

Boatyard foreman Mark told me that he had caught a woman (who had a red Ford pick up truck) with a milk crate full of flowers AND an arm load of flowers.  She was picking early in the morning when he arrived. She was told to STOP PICKING and she then claimed she had gotten them all from inside of the fence…not possible! And still off limits.  I want every flower to be there for everyone who passes by.

I have spent a lot of time at the boatyard lately thinking of The Little Red Hen, a story my grandma loved.  The little red hen asked for help planting wheat, watering it, harvesting it, processing it, and baking bread.  She got no help at all until the delicious aroma of the bread got her lazy “friends” to say they would help eat it.  But no, they did not get to “help” at that point; she and her chicks ate all the bread themselves.

I’ve noticed that all these flower pickers never offer to help weed or water.  They just feel entitled to the results.

I also thought of a friend of Rhone Street Gardens who had commented on a Facebook post that he felt that horsetail was another “textural element” in a garden.  I hope so, because we left quite a lot of it behind.

A brief stop at home revealed Skooter in the garden.

Allan’s photo

I was anxious to get to the Shelburne, but before we could get out of Ilwaco, I got a call from the port.  The port manager had emailed me two days before and I had not seen it.  (Text me!)  The garden on the south side of the port office had to be undone because the south wall is going to be rebuilt.

We hared over there, and were able to salvage quite a few plants. I did not even try to save the big old lavenders that would not transplant well at any time of year.

I cut the allium flowers for a bouquet which may or may not last, and saved the bulbs to go back in.

2:45 PM

3:28 PM

Some of the plants went into pots that we had brought from home, on the deck of the business next door.

Allan’s photo

The rest went to the curbside garden by the Port Pavilion.

before; the area where a mugo pine had come out still needed plants.

after; it was all rather fortuitous (Allan’s photos)

4:14 PM: Jenna stops by to admire the plants

We had another brief stop at home, during which we had a quick chat with our new neighbour.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Finally, we got to the Shelburne, not for a lovely long afternoon but only a short time of hurried weeding.  I asked Allan to reveal the Melianthus major by the pub deck.



If I had known I would not be able to find an Antenow’s Blue melianthus, this one would have gone in the front garden (where I now have a little baby one from my own garden).

callas with a rhododendron flower

A woman was crouched taking a photo of this Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’.

That is the kind of plant appreciation that I like to see.

Ilwaco again

I went home to start the tedious task of the the monthly billing.  Three hours later, I was still at it.  Meanwhile, Allan had watered the easternmost curbside garden at the port, completing the whole stretch of beds that we have watered over the course of the week.  If we don’t get some rain, it will be the same next week.

the CoHo Charters lava landscape got watered, too.

I’m slowly infiltrating it with some new plants.

watering till dusk….

An eight hour day for me, followed by three hours of spread sheets, and a ten hour day for Allan, followed by making dinner.  If he did not make dinner every night, there would be no blog writing time for me.




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