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Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The day began with so much rain that, when Dark Sky said the rain would go on for a half hour, I took the opportunity to watch an episode of Gardeners’ World before work.

I want this pond:

It reminds me of the dream ponds that my Grandma put in her scrap book, and never realized in real life.  You can see her dreams, here.

I would like to make that dream come true in my own garden.

When the rain stopped, I would rather have stayed home with Skooter.

But off to work we did go. We had had this much rain since late yesterday afternoon:

When Allan went to fetch the wheelbarrow and retrieve tools I had left out, he discovered the mess I had left behind yesterday:

Allan’s photo

And also, what I had accomplished:

newly planted nicotianas (Allan’s photo)

As always, we stopped at the post office for our mail.

Ilwaco post office

We deposited some checks at Bank of the Pacific, where Allan noticed this plant life in the front entry:

Long Beach

We began the planting of agastaches, reddish ones (‘Sangria’ and ‘Mexican Giant’) in the Veterans Field gardens.

I was quite annoyed that during the parade events last weekend, a path had been made through the garden, flattening one area of plants.  This was after Allan fluffed it up:

Two plants (an overwintered agastache and a phygelius) had been smashed to such oblivion that only I knew they were there, flattened.

Allan found an apropos rock as I grumped about quitting public gardening.

Also we planted three Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ in the corner garden.

It was tremendously, uncomfortably windy.

Allan’s photo

We began planting assorted agastaches as the centerpiece in the planters.

Allium christophii survived Sunday’s parade!

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ still going strong

tourists and Lewis and Clark

Amazingly, we got every planter agastached except for the L&C Square planter.

a tattered Tulip ‘Cummins’ (Allan’s photo)

Tulip ‘Formosa’ (Allan’s photo)

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’ still blooming (Allan’s photo)

the pond by Pacific Realty (Allan’s photo)

more Tulip ‘Strong Gold’ (Allan’s photo)

a chat with Heather of our favourite shop, NIVA green

We also got six Nicotianas planted in the NE bed of Fifth Street Park.

Allan’s photo, cerinthe and Dutch iris

a gladiolus and Cerinthe major purpurascens (Allan’s photo)

On the way home, we stopped by

The Shelburne Hotel

just to look over the fence and see what weeds awaited us there tomorrow.

not too bad!

A guest or diner emerging from the front door walked by and said to her companion, “Oh, I just love this, it’s like an English garden.”

Success.

At home, I realized that the flowers of my Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’ ARE white this year.  They started out small and greenish, and have elongated and turned very white, but are mostly hidden by the leaves.

So far, since I uncaged it, the deer have not nibbled it at all even though they have browsed plants around it.  (It is outside the deer fence.)

inside the fence, Tulip ‘Night Rider’, the last tulips of all

I only got one more episode of Gardeners’ World at the end of the day.

Some recent notes from watching GW:

The famous Sissinghurst garden had changed over the years to accommodate the many visitors, with roses no longer overhanging the paths.  It is now being revamped to be more like its original, wilder vision.

A guest presenter, in talking of the many gardening projects that can be done in autumn, said “Some think that autumn is time to cut the plants down, get inside by the fire and put the crumpets on.”

Must have plant: Althaea cannabina.

In 2016, Monty Don said “This is the first time I’ve needed glasses to prune my raspberries.”  He was 62 at the time.

I was relieved in the late evening to hear rain; I had been fretting that maybe we had not watered the new agastaches well enough.

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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Allan’s day

This was the last of our recuperation days off.  Allan felt well enough to go boating.  He now has his own boating blog, so here is a sneak peak.  When he gets the full post written, we will share it over here.

At the post office on the way out of town:

Stipa gigantea all aglow against the newly painted wall

In South Bend, he had a treat at Elixir Coffee.

at Elixir Coffee

outside the coffee shop, a doorstop had a bright accent. 

On the way to boating adventure:

A sneak peek of the paddle trip:

Rain in the afternoon…fortunately, AFTER he got out of the water.

Rudder from next door greeted Allan in the driveway when he arrived home…

and wondering if there might be something tasty in our van.

Meanwhile, at home…

I started my day with just two half hour episodes of Gardeners’ World.  The cats also got a slow start:

Frosty

Skooter

I then got down to planting a selection of Agastaches (my current favourite perennial) in my garden, along with 20 each of Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ and langsdorfii.  It is good to have some sort of continuing theme in a garden that is mostly onesies.

When I went in to get some potting soil in order to start my two window box liners, I found myself sitting down and watching just one episode of Gardeners’ World.  I simply had not been able to walk past my comfy chair and out into the garage to get the soil≥

After planting about 50 plants (and planting, you might recall, is my least favourite gardening thing), I did a project.  Here is a “during” photo:

Where the red lopper handles are, I cut down and, with great difficulty DUG OUT, a good, dark magenta Fuchsia magellanica and moved it to a new area of the Bogsy Wood garden.  It had been planted when the Bogsy Wood edge garden was quite narrow, and now it blocked the view of smaller plants further back.

after, because I did not clean up the mess.

The fuchsia went in here.

A light but drenching rain had began.

window box beginnings

The bulb window boxes will be switched out with the summer planting.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ still going

rainy tulips

I weeded one more garden area of long velvet grass (which had swallowed a small fuchsia, almost irretrievably) in order to plant just one more nicotiana, and left another mess of weeds on the lawn because I had hit the wall of exhaustion and wetness.  I then found the energy to tidy up several pots.

Look how big this tulip is.

A last walk back to the Bogsy Wood…

…still did not inspire me to pick up any debris that I had left behind.

Trowel and Error

My reading has been slowed by watching Gardeners’ World.  When I went indoors, I decided I must finish Alan Titchmarsh’s memoir, Trowel and Error, before returning to GW.

I had last read this book in 2003.

I am always reassured that other gardeners remember plant names better than people names.

On one of his early gardening jobs, Titchmarsh was taught, by a senior gardener named Harry Hollings, how to plant a tree:

Alan writes, “My very first gardening book was Percy Thrower’s Encyclopedia of Gardening.”  Later, Mr. Thrower was the host of Gardeners’ World.  Somewhere in my book collection is this book, that I brought home along with other old gardening books from my trip to England in 1989:

That trip to England was in December and January, so I would not have been treated to any episodes of Gardeners’ World on the telly.

Many years later, Alan Titchmarsh became host of Gardeners’ World, and his cats took the role that Monty Don’s dogs now have.

Alan T. became the presenter when his good friend, GW presenter Geoff Hamilton suddenly died, less than a year before he had planned to retire from the show.

Thrust into the role of host with no gentle easing into it….

I was fascinated to read the inside story of how Gardeners’ World was filmed.

My favourite gardening show (maybe up till discovering GW) was Ground Force, starting Titchmarsh, Charlie Dimmock, and Tommy. Imagine if it had been like this initial concept:

It was much much better when they had Alan and crew actually making the gardens as a surprise for the owners.  Trowel and Error has a whole chapter on this show AND a chapter on creating the Ground Force garden for Nelson Mandela.

I like this bit about his garden helper:

I also take snails (or ask Allan to take them) for a long walk, and I always wondered if the mice than Allan used to trap and release at our old house were the same ones who perhaps reappeared to be trapped and released just days later. (See Allan’s video, Six Mice to Freedom.)

Alan T. has the same gentle side:

Every chapter of the book begins with a quotation, like this:

I kept meaning to look up all the different books later.  In the afterward, my illusions were shattered.

I was completely fooled.

I then watched another couple of episodes of Gardeners’ World with Monty Don.  I do wish I could find some of the old Titchmarsh shows to watch online.

watching Monty with Frosty

Nigel’s feline friend

the bins!

Monty expounds on the glorious compost bins.

At bedtime, I began the next Alan Titchmarsh memoir, Knave of Spades.  

Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow, more planting.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Instead of me finishing my cutting garden book, we took advantage of a break in the rain to put in a couple of hours at the Shelburne on two things that had been bothering me.

But first, I picked a bouquet to take with us.

window box

and another window box

Muscari botyroides ‘Superstar’

some tulips hoping to open

The rain has been hard on the tulips; it is a challenge to find nice ones to pick that are not rain-spotted.  The peony flowering tulips are in the worst state, of course.  Even the single flowers are battered.  This is one of those years when I resolve to never again grow anything but single tulips.

sad mushy double tulips

the rain gauges (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

flowers on the way

The Shelburne Hotel

My project was to get some ferns removed from the roots of a rose in the front garden, and Allan’s was to prune a climbing rose in the back garden that may not have been pruned for years.  It had much dead whippy growth.

Allan’s photos:

before

before

Pruning canes with leaves does remove some of this year’s flowers.  However, the canes were so all over the place that it had to be done.  I would have had it done sooner but was unclear whether or not this arbor will be preserved.  It is more likely to be so if it does not look like a mess!

after

I am flummoxed by the formerly espaliered Asian pear trees on the west fence.  What to do?

(right) The pear has shot straight up in the past nine years.  The center tree is a limbed up hawthorn.

I got the center Asian pear tree looking a little better after I took this photo; it seems this one was not allowed to shoot straight up.

The third one has also been allowed to grow straight up. Its top growth does provide a screen from a window of a nearby house, so….might be valuable like this.

In the front garden:

looking south

base of the second rose today, where before it was all mucked up with a trashy fern.  It was almost buried in soft fern fronds.  And MINT.

Long Beach

We drove through town, stopping to deadhead under one tree, and then decided that the weather, which had just become miserably wet and windy, required the rest of the deadheading to wait.

Allan’s photos

Basket Case Greenhouse

A rainy day is a good time to check on the latest new plants at local nurseries.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We acquired some violas, at the request of Sous Chef Casey of the Shelburne, who wants them for edible flower garnishes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I cannot resist agastaches.

On the way home, we decided to not plant all the violas in the rain; four went into pots by the front door where they will be handy for garnishing.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Looking out the front window, I noticed that the goldy-bronze Japanese maple, which I planted for eventual privacy, tones well with the cottage across the street.

Allan picked up some books from the library and did some deadheading there:

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

In the early evening, Allan went on a splashabout in the back garden.

I wish that white bucket was not sitting there. Fire water bucket. I keep forgetting to move it.

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

In the evening, we watched the documentary Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul.  It was glorious.  You can watch it right here.

Skooter, lower right

To protect our telly, we had to put Skooter into the laundry room.  The soundtrack of meowing cats had him all in a tizzy. He never gets worked up by the meowing on the show My Cat From Hell.

After the film, I studied the first couple of chapters of this book, a gift from Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, a longtime past job of ours..

I have looked at all the lovely photos before, but this time I am seriously studying it as I am not all that successful at intensive cutting gardens.  I am wanting a small one around the edges of the back garden of the Shelburne Hotel and would like to do better with cutting flowers at home because I am taking bouquets there on a regular basis.

A sweet story of how the author got started:

I don’t often pick bouquets for myself but I do like to make them for other people. I learned useful items already, such as succession seeding for annual flowers up till July 15th.  And planting them extra close together for cutting flowers.

After midnight, I looked to see how much rain had fallen on Saturday: 4.36 inches! And 8.55 since this storm began.

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Saturday, 7 April 2018

for the readers

The wind storm was late but the pouring rain was right on time, so we had a reading (me) and project (Allan) weekend.

a snoozy day for Skooter

Odd Lots  by Thomas C Cooper

I read Odd Lots years ago and rated it so highly that I decided to read it again.  It is one of those books that takes you through the months of the year in a collection of gardening columns.  Like Dan Pearson’s book of magazine essays, Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden, there is some repetitiveness as certain themes tend to recur every January or June.  That bothers me not at all.

Here are just some of my favourite bits.

Written in 1995, Cooper’s take on garden photography is so very different from today’s pocket cams and Instagram.

You WILL hear tales of my compost pile:

Mail order plants:

Yes!  I have such a strong memory of the first mail order plant box I ever received.  It must have been in 1990, from Herb Senft of Skyline Nursery.  His catalog was just a list of botanical names.  On the top of my order, wrapped in newspaper, was a blooming Pacific Coast iris.  I was so thrilled to get a bonus plant.  As for the newspapers, I enjoy my bulb order from Colorblends each fall, stuffed with newspaper from the Netherlands.

Funny:

Puttering, also known as “something shiny syndrome”:

Narcissi (daffodils) are my favourite of all flowers:

I have read all of these authors except for Thalassa Cruso:

The joy of gardeners:

I found my day with Thomas Cooper a delight.  He does not seem to have written any other books, although he edited The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden, which I acquired in 2014 at Timber Press during the Garden Bloggers Fling and still have not read.  I am moving it closer to the top of the pile.

The rain and the cat snoozing continued into the evening.

feets

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The belated storm stayed offshore and did not create much fuss here.

Skip ahead to the third book for more about gardening!

Nonie

I am probably the only one here who has a deep nostalgic love for Lenora Mattingly Weber’s Beany Malone series.  When writing up my 35 years of reading series, I was pleased to find out about this biography of her (partly an autobiography, as she did begin to write one before she died) written and self-published by her son.  I found it online for a price that I usually would not pay to own a book.

On using her friends or neighbors as characters in her stories:

She wrote a series of depression era short stories which were gathered into a (possibly children’s) book called Mr. Gold and Her Neighborhood House.  I cannot find a copy of that one online for less than $135.00

I would love to read all of Nonie’s diaries.

The beginning of the Beany Malone series (especially for Beany fans who might have wandered in here):


……..

later:

I wish I could find photos of the house and grounds that Nonie and her family lived in for awhile.  (Her husband, Al, was ill much of the time and so her writing supported the family, and this grand house proved to be too much for them in the long run.)

She felt that the house scoffed at the comparatively humble furnishings that the Webers moved into it.

I think I did find the duplex for which her son provided the address, the house that Nonie lived in while Al was so ill, and after he died, and which provided an open door for her grown children, extended family, and friends.  She rented one side of it to make ends meet.

Her adult life took place in Denver.  I love the name of her writing group, Nuts of the Round Table:

Nonie and her best friend:

Insight into short stories, with which Nonie mostly made her living before the Beany series:

I wish they would.

Later:

I used to go to library books sales in Seattle and I would buy a Weber book whenever I saw one.

Maybe it is embarrassing to tell you that I have read the entire series (14 books, plus another series in which Beany is a minor character) three times, and might read it all again before I die.

I did go outside between rain storms today, with the idea of just moving three plants that I had planted on Friday in not quite the right place.

the rain gauge since Saturday A.M.

I shifted two roses and a climbing aconitum and  planted one more plant:

Much to my surprise, I weeded a red wheelbarrow full of shotweed and creeping buttercup, only stopping when I lost my digging tool and then was driven from the search by more windy rain.

Tulips survived the storm.

Before starting the next book, I caught up on the Tootlepedal blog.  I had missed a couple of weeks during that time when we were working so hard on the Shelburne Hotel garden.  Do read this charming story of the opening ceremony for the rebuilt bridge behind their cottage.

A Full Life in a Small Place

I had time to read one more short book on Sunday, another re-read that I read and loved in the mid 1990s.

I feel very much this way about my compost:

On the compelling subject of age:

We…

and…..

Below, the height refers to the the height of one’s lifetime achievements, and I adore her for admitting to her regrets (too similar to mine):

She let me know it is okay to be a homebody:

……

That is just a glimpse into this informative and transformative book.  It is easily ordered online.  Like Thomas C Cooper, she seems to have written only the one brilliant gardening book, although she does have a couple of others about nature.

During my reading weekend, Allan installed two vents for his shed, which has been becoming too humid inside:

DSC08389

The high vent. A low one is in front, both with heat controlled shutters.

Monday is supposed to be the ONLY nice day this coming week.  Definitely a work day.

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Friday, 30 March 2018

With more good weather predicted, I had high hopes for finishing the beach approach today.  And yet, drizzle greeted us as we left home.  My assorted weather apps denied the rain and suggested the day would stay cloudy but clear, with little wind.

We began with a little bit of deadheading at The Depot Restaurant garden:

Depot deadheading

Depot lilies emerging

We then planted some monarda and some Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’ at the Shelburne Hotel, where I grieved mightily over this sight:

The dreaded aegepodium popping up in the sidewalk garden, where it did not used to be nine years ago when the garden was consistently under my command.

an unfurling fern at the Shelburne

Long Beach

We drove out to the beach approach and contemplated this weather…

…and I decided it would be best to finish mulching Fifth Street Park and hope that the drizzle stopped.  It was ironic that the most weatherbeaten garden of any that we do, the west end of the beach approach, was our goal for today.

soil scooping

mulching in Fifth Street Park

Allan’s photo

I cut down the tattered Melianthus major on the other side of the park.  The beds still need weeding but at least there are some narcissi:

Finally, despite a continued light drizzle and some wind gusts that almost made me decide to go home and read (till Allan said the gusts might blow the rain away), we returned to the beach approach.

Two sections to go till the red buoy.

Allan’s befores of the twelfth of thirteen sections:

I got to meet and pet a darling pug.

and this sweet wiggly girl.

We found a rock:

By 3:30, we had section twelve almost done but for the clean up of rose cuttings and sand along the road and sidewalk edges.

Allan’s afters of section twelve:

The drizzle had ended partway through that section and  I did so hope that we could do the last section by 7 PM.  Section thirteen is the longest one of all.

starting section thirteen, 3:45 PM

And then, when we had barely got started on it….

We tried for a bit to keep going but it got too cold and muddy and messy.

There are many roses right along the edge to pull out with the pick.  At least tomorrow the weather is supposed to be good, and we will start with higher energy.

We are SO CLOSE.

This much remains.

after we gave up. (Allan’s photo)

Dark Sky, which is usually accurate, had been wrong for much of the day.

Just one section to go!

Tonight, I finally felt that I had the energy to follow through with offering some rugosa starts to some local gardeners who wanted them.  We had saved some rooted pieces today, and tomorrow  we will be stripping more from along the edge, so I put out the word that the gardeners could come get some tomorrow afternoon.  I also have issued dire warnings about what eager colonizers these roses are and to not plant them where they will escape into the dunes.

I was relieved the person from yesterday did not return. I had some good advice from friends: To write down answers to the person’s repeated questions and give the person a list of answers on paper was one of my favourites.  And to do what I should have done yesterday, to leave for ten minutes and then come back.  Will do if it happens again.

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Saturday, 24 March 2018

Astoria, Oregon

Indivisible North Coast Oregon partnered with area students and their families in a Rally for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, noon to 1:30 pm at 8th and Commercial in Astoria. We took to streets to demand that student lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools now. 

Allan’s photos:

Some photos from Indivisible:

 

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

 

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

photo by Laurie Caplan

my photos, till my hands got so cold from 38 degree weather that I had to stop!:

Our good friend MaryBeth!

Just look at that weather.

The rally got many and many honks of approval from passing vehicles, more than I have ever heard here.

From each corner, ralliers stood all the way down the block.

As the crowd began to dissipate after an hour because of the weather, I thought of a recent video that I saw about whether protests work. This article explains how weather can affect a protest and subsequent votes by Tea Party (right wing) sympathizers.  “We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance. We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policy making was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above 1. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences.”

The weather aspect is especially interesting to me today.  Imagine, if we had at least 250 folks turn out in Astoria in pelting rain and 38F temperature, how many would we have had on a clear and slightly warmer March afternoon?  I admire everyone who stayed to the end; on this occasion, we departed half an hour early when my cold hands could no longer click the camera button..  I believe that those who endured bad weather to march and rally today were especially effective in their display of fortitude, and I have so much hope in the young generation as it reaches voting age.

 

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