late February, 2023

I continued with the next of the Minack Chronicles, reentering the Cornish cliffside world of Minack Cottage, with its flower farm, cats, donkeys, and wildlife. If you would like to see an old television show that was made about Derek and Jeannie’s world, broadcast in 1971 around the time when these books took place, here is a video that I was thrilled to find.

I own all of Beveley Nichols’ books and must reread them to see if he ever mentions his visits to Derek and Jeannie Tangye. (Note the praise under the title, above.)

Meanwhile, I was googling and google-earthing place names and found out about the Friends of Minack and that they were having their final annual get together on the very weekend when I was reading about Minack, the end of February, in Penzance. If I had discovered the books last autumn, I truly might have finally gotten my passport renewed and Allan and I just might have taken the risk and gone. I like to think so anyway. [Later, I think I might have read this last gathering would be at the end of March. But I still do not have a current passport.)

I wonder if some of the early daffodils would have been out on the cliffs. In A Cornish Summer, written in 1968-9, Derek wrote of the ones they were harvesting, starting with ‘Magnificence’.

As I read through the series, I noted down the daffodils which they grew. I put a star next to the ones that I have in my gardens.

California aka Pentewan

Obvallaris *

Joseph McLeod (their favorite)

Magnificence first to bloom 

King Alfred *





Carbineer (It may be that Jane grew these in her own garden; she won a flower show prize with them, one of Derek’s favourite and oft repeated stories)

Golden Harvest

Whites :

Early Bride


Barrett Browning *

White Lion*


Ones that didn’t sell, now in hedgerows, joining ones that were thrown into hedgerows in WWII when the cliff meadow gardens were turned to vegetables: 







Coverack Glory 

Scilly Whites


Soleil d’Or (this one perhaps only grown on the Isles of Scilly; here, we grow them on a windowsill as they are tender)

Another called Sunrise grew byDerek’s writing hut.

Of course, I want to have all of them and will be on a quest.

Derek’s problems with worrying are ones I strongly share.

These philosophizings are a recurrent theme throughout the more than thirty years of the chronicles. I have to say (a phrase which pops up in a lot of the British gardening shows I watch…Do I “have to say”? Maybe not but I will) that I share a lot of his feelings even though I am not sure they are correct; many people thrive in social groups. We will get to more of Derek’s thoughts on this topic in later books, including the feeling that I share about thinking later that one has talked in a group too much, too loudly, too downright ridiculously. At this point, he seemed to be writing from the point of view of feeling that loners were better than more social people.

I am a terrible failure at group dynamics, whether it be a coffee klatsch or work group. I’ve given up trying but I do not feel superior about being a loner.

Here is when I first got a strong glimpse that Derek and I would have had political disagreements.

Oh, dear. I was surprised, because many of his friends from the city were Labour politicians. When I was in feminist political groups in the mid 70s, there was much discussion about whether those who moved to the country were escaping their political responsibilities. (I didn’t think so, even though at the time I liked city life just fine.). Before long, as talk of feminism entered the media, Derek’s writings in future books revealed he didn’t like feminists, either. Oh dear, oh dear. I think Jeannie would have liked me, but I am not sure he would have.

I was further surprised when I read in the next book about his admiration for his grandfather’s labor relations with his employees. Below: From Cottage On a Cliff, and Derek often repeats this story in later books. Yet he also repeats his disapproval of strikers who were surely striking to have working conditions of the kind his grandfather provided. I could not understand but figured out some of why later on, when he wrote about how there would often be a train strike at the time when he delivered their precious daffodils to the “flower train” and the daffodils, undelivered, could mean a season of no income.

Did Derek’s possible conservative streak, if that’s what it was, stop my Minack obsession in its tracks? Most decidedly not. The cliffs, the flower farm, the reading, the thinking, the walks with the donkeys and the cats, the love of nature and books, and the passion for the preservation of nature, still held me there in my heart. As did the delightful relationship between Derek and Jeannie. (She was also a writer, of Meet Me at the Savoy, a memoir of her employment at the Savoy Hotel, followed by a trilogy of novels about a hotel, all of which I have not yet tracked down to buy. But I will. When she worked at the Savoy, guests were smitten, including Danny Kaye.)

Both Derek and Jeannie were staunch environmentalists.

By now, they had electricity and running water and a chicken coop turned guest room, but Derek did not have a telephone till the very last years of his life.

I identify with their work struggles, similar to what I went through as a gardener. We would just get ahead when another crisis would take us back to poverty (a vehicle breakdown, a broken sewer line, and worst of all, Robert’s heart attack in 2002).

Some who have commented on the books have said that Derek and Jeannie were privileged to have moved to the coast. They were well aware that they were lucky to have moved at a time when it was affordable to get a longterm lease (they never actually owned the Minack Cottage property!).

I found a photo of them in their small cottage, about the same size as the fishing shack that I lived in from 1994-2010.

I am sure that their books, before they were gifted a room dehydrator, had the same slightly damp smell that mine collected during my tiny house years.

Meanwhile, in Penzance, on the very weekend I was reading this book, the annual meeting of the Friends of Minack was in session. The group was ending its annual convention because most of the members had gotten quite old and they couldn’t find younger folks to run the group. I found some photos of a previous convention. I would have loved to be there.

Ohhh…,they were looking through the Minack archives. How I yearned to join them. Now, surely there is a group I could have fitted in with…I like to think so.

When one reads quite old books, it can be hard to even find someone to talk with about them.

The flowers on Shelagh’s grave (she died of a heart attack at age 20) brought tears. (Photos from the Friends of Minack Society Facebook page)

And I must share the photo of this cake (I hope the friends wouldn’t mind; they do ask that readers share their love of the books so that the series might be revived and reissued, as most of it has been out of print for years).

Jeannie died at my age, 67 (maybe 68), a tragic event which I am already dreading in the memoir series. She loved her life so much.

After my envious perusing of past Minack gatherings, I returned to the book, where I found this passage rings true of the coastal tourist area where I and many retirees live.

By this time, Jane had moved away and they had a new helper, Geoffrey. Six books had been published over the course of 12 years and folks were showing up at the door to meet Derek and Jeannie and the cats and donkeys. This was years before Google Earth, and these fans had found their way through the countryside and down an unmarked lane, or along the cliffs before the Coast Path was opened.

I love Derek and Jeannie for being kind and welcoming and deeply interested in their guests even when they were busy.

Later, Derek wrote several times about how when he needed help, the kindness would be reciprocated when a plumber, a carpenter, or a lawyer who loved the books showed up and offered help at the perfect moment.

I immediately turned to the next book.

More about living in a tourism economy…so familiar to me.

I spent more time with Google Earth looking up various landmarks mentioned in the book and trying to figure out just where Jane’s cottage had been.

A much later book revealed that Derek’s friend John Le Carrè had purchased those three cottages and made them into one. As “The John le Carré house”, it shows up very readily on Google Earth.

As for the Merry Maidens, I had been there in 1975, not knowing about the chronicles, and I figured out I had been only a little over a mile walk down “the winding lane” to Minack Cottage, where I could have joined other pilgrims who visited there. My heart yearns… Perhaps it’s time to say that for some reason, I spent a lot of time weeping sentimentally while reading this series.

The circle at upper left is the Merry Maidens, where I stood in 1975, the blue line follows the winding lane to Minack Cottage, and the arrow points to its view of the Carn Barges rocks, and Janie’s cottage, later the John le Carré house, is to the lower left.

Friends and relations visiting were a different story from the comparatively quick visits of polite pilgrims.

Let me just say, houseguests of a working gardener in summer (not a problem for us because we no longer have to work as hard as we used to….and we don’t have a guest room!), must let their hosts get on with their work.

This amused me about taking walks…

I have quite a few elderberries of varying sorts in the back garden. Now I think I will put one in the front of the house.

Now I had finished Cottage on a Cliff and was in a terrible state because the next book in the series had not arrived, and was not due to arrive for several days. I was loathe to break the spell but would have to read something else, as reading weather continued.

late February 2023

I continued immediately with the next book in the Minack Chronicles, A Donkey in the Meadow, and then Lama, in which a darling little black cat joins the household.

I was learning that Derek Tangye told the same stories at the beginning of each book. He will remind us of how he and Jeannie left their high powered London life in 1950 for a cottage and daffodil and potato farm on the Cornish coast, about how Jane and Shelagh worked for them and how the delightful Shelagh had tragically died young, about how Monty the cat converted Derek from being a cat hater, and there would be lots of passages about how miserable and unfulfilled city dwellers were. All city dwellers, it seemed. I was realising that much as I loved him, I could not agree with him about everything. I do know some city dwellers who are fulfilled, artistic, environmentally aware and would not trade for the sort of life Derek (or I) lead. It was a good lesson in how you can love someone without agreeing with all that they say or believe.

This may be why he tells the same stories over again at the start of each book:

The repetition of the earlier part of the story in each book might irk some readers. I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me, it was wonderfully soothing, like a good bedtime story. I learned later that Derek did not like having any editor (other than Jeannie’s suggestions when she read the final manuscript).

Each memoir reminds me of things in my life; there were more ways that Derek and I would agree than disagree. (We will get to the two main disagreements in later books.)

For example, this brings back memories…

… and the gift giving through the animals is adorable. I was reminded of how my dear grandma used to write poems, corny but well rhymed, to go with her Christmas presents to every friend.

I also remembered when Robert and I bought our little shack behind the boatyard, where I lived for 16 years, as small as Minack cottage, and sleeping the first night not a floor of earth but a floor of damp linoleum from the leaking refrigerator.

We also had “a grim fight to earn a living”, having embarked upon the seasonal career of being gardeners, so that we went into credit card debt every winter and spent most of the summer paying it off, a cycle that continued for years.

As Derek remembered their beloved former cat, Monty, I thought of our Skooter.

A this point in the series, I was slowed in reading by looking up every landmark as I tried to use Google Earth to find out exactly where Minack was…and to look at every home or place that Derek and Jeannie had lived in or visited. What I did not realise till later is that the Carn Barges are the vital clue.

Here is one of the places where Derek lived as a young man. I took some time to “walk” down the street and look at all the terraced houses.

After the delight of Lama, which is set mostly at Minack Cottage with some reminiscing of earlier life, the next book is almost all about Derek’s life as a young traveler and journalist and, later, member of MI5.

It is my least favourite of the series. I missed Cornwall! But it must be read in the proper order and does explain a great deal about his character, and Jeannie’s life before Minack. It covers the years of World War II in London, a time that affects me to read about so strongly that, if I believed in reincarnation, I would think I had lived through the Blitz.

Derek, being in MI5, heard an early direct report from a Polish refugee about what was really happening in the Holocaust. He told Jeannie, who wept. The authorities reacted just as the refugee predicted they would react.

Yet even then “only a few believed what was happening. The rest waited for evidence of their eyes.”

Meanwhile, the Blitz continued and then the unpredictable and horrible little V1 bombs.

Frustratingly, I now had to wait one day for the next Minack book to arrive in the mail; they were coming from all over, so I read a different book for a day. I must keep schtum about what it was because someone is getting it for her birthday; I had to make sure it was good!

Here is the Minack series in order; I was still in early days and so much hoping for reading weather to continue.

1961: A Gull on the Roof

1962: A Cat in the Window. (American ed. has title: Monty: biography of a marmalade cat.)

1963: A Drake at the Door

1965: A Donkey in the Meadow

1966: Lama

1968: The Way to Minack.

1970: A Cornish Summer

1972: Cottage on a Cliff

1974: A Cat Affair

1976: Sun on the Lintel

1978: The Winding Lane

1980: When the Winds Blow

1982: The Ambrose Rock

1984: A Quiet Year

1987: The Cherry Tree

1988: Jeannie: a love story

1990: The Evening Gull

1993: Monty’s Leap

1996: The Confusion Room

late February 2023

I have owned this book since a trip to the UK in 1990, where I bought three of them but had never read them. I had realized they were a series and am always determined to read a series in order. They were hard to find here before internet buying and so had languished on a shelf. Now, reminded of the series while reading the Cornish setting of The Salt Path, I had read the first two books, A Gull on the Roof and A Cat in the Window and could finally read this one that I had owned for decades, one of the most beloved of the series that delves deep into the workings of Derek and Jeannie’s daffodil farm and off-the-grid life in 1950s coastal Cornwall. They had left a high society life in the city for country seclusion, without even a road to their cottage. Jeannie had been a publicity director at the very fine Savoy Hotel; Derek had been a journalist and a member of MI5. In the books, he always give her credit for giving him the courage to keep working their rural flower farm even when it seemed that it might not succeed.

Derek’s wife, Jeannie, and their helper, a teenager named Jane, were tadpole rescuers.

This was twenty years before the Coast Path walked by Raynor and Moth Winn and Mark Wallington. (When the path did appear, Derek and Jeannie were supporters of the idea, as long as cliff farmers were asked which route would be best to pass their cultivated fields.)

Thoughts of Monty, their beloved orange cat who had turned Derek into a cat lover (although at that time, he thought he would never have another, that Monty was the pinnacle of catdom and none other would do.)

Meanwhile, Skooter and the Greys snoozed away the reading day on a comfy chair.

Derek’s thoughts about animals were exemplary, something that increased in him after he moved to Minack (and had learned to like cats as well as dogs). Boris is the drake of the title.

The passage below reminded me of the infuriating moment when a drone flew over my head while I was turning my compost.

I liked the idea that Jane had of how to deal with such problems (in this case, Dutch bulb sellers who had sold them daffodils that were not good sellers in the flower markets).

(…an imaginary bow and arrow). That might be the only violent (imaginary) scene in the entire series, other than some real life memories of World War II.

I appreciate the candor with which Derek ponders his flaws. This was a continuing theme throughout the series, as was, in the early books, the financial difficulty of depending on flowers and veg to make their living, while at the mercy of coastal storms. They never regretted having left their glittering city life even during the early years when, as he revealed in later books, they didn’t even have money for enough petrol to go anywhere else.

Imagine picking daffodils for market while bent over in a gale..

It makes my job look easy.

Having now read three Minack books, I was entranced and eager to begin the next one. I couldn’t stop then to make a blog post about how much I loved the latest book because I couldn’t leave the feeling of being at Minack while reading. Even though I did stop for some telly with dinner in the evenings, the rest of the time was reading. Because each book is about 180 pages, I could sometimes read two a day, and as I read, I could hear the coast wind and imagine how it would feel to be picking the daffodils.

Friday, 24 February 2023

at home

It had been so cold at night (mid 20s) that we were bringing two trays of ladies in waiting into the kitchen at night.

Even though I was deep into reading, I thought I should take one walk out into the garden to see what I could see.

I found Skooter basking on the patio next door.

The ponds had thick ice, too thick to break with an experimental poke with a bamboo pole.

I had been concerned about all my newly planted little plants and assorted transplanted trees. All seemed well.

Crinodendron which I transplanted in milder weather
Both of my two or three year old astelias looked just fine.

I hope all my new little trees don’t mind the cold…

I have high hopes for this mimosa.

My new perennials all seemed fine. What a relief.

Something had broken the ice in the deep path, a raccoon perhaps.

My cryptomeria, planted last fall, looked happy despite wind and cold…

..as did my beloved hemlock.

The moss is bright on the rhododendron path.

The deep swale had thawed in the middle.

Rubus lineatus had survived the cold.

The frog bog, being quite deep, had perhaps not frozen at all.

By the water boxes, the sarracenia had proven again to be hardier than its exotic appearance would suggest.

And all was well in the cluttered greenhouses.

All very good news.

I had more Derek Tangye memoirs lined up to read, with perfect rainy and cold reading weather predicted and more of his books on the way.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

at home

We had a trace of snow.

The porch door slides shut which protects plants in the cold nights. I can’t plant my new ones in this weather.

On his way to get mail, Allan had a look at our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Department.

Skooter did not stay outdoors for long.

By afternoon, the snow was gone and Allan took a photo walk around the garden.

Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’

Allan’s mother made that lantern.

one of our robins, looking almost as cute and round as a British robin
crocus and hellebore
fragrant flowers of Azara microphylla

The snow was gone but ice lingered with a forecast of another week of freezing nights.

more reading

Raynor Winn’s third memoir had arrived. I have been buying books that I simply cannot wait for the library to find for me. This perfect reading weather has made me choosy. I was waiting for the mail order arrival of some of the Minack Chronicles and more books by Mark Wallington; the latter two authors are mostly out of print.

How very much I love the writings of Raynor Winn.

I advise reading her memoirs in order: The Salt Path, The Wild Silence, Land Lines.

Another tale of what a glut of vacation houses does to a community, as is happening where we live:

The next day I read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. When all my friends were reading it back in the late 70s, I didn’t like memoirs. Now memoirs are my favourite genre. And look at this, years before modern social media:

Like me, Annie liked to stay on her home ground.

I liked but did not love Tinker Creek. Too many words, too much purple prose. (I cannot excuse or explain why I accepted and loved the similarly wordy prose of Derek Tangye and Beverley Nichols and Marion Can…Maybe in much older books, it’s a different shade of purple.)

Next, I read a new book which I had requested that the library buy:

The preface gave me a sense of kinship with the author.

To my surprise, the book turned out to be as much about plant cooperation as about animals. I liked the several pages about mixed woodlands, again reassuring me about planting conifers in my alder grove.

There is a much to learn from Sweet in Tooth and Claw.

Several Derek Tangye books had arrived in the mail and I could now embark upon three more in the series…

Allan took a quick look at some beauties of Cape Disappointment while delivering books to the Lewis and Clark gift shop there.

Cape Disappointment lighthouse
alders with lichen

Meanwhile, I was reading a book I had learned about from Raynor Winn’s memoir, The Salt Path.

This is a glorious tale of a different sort of walk around the coast of Devon and Cornwall from the one decades later in The Salt Path. Mark Wallington camped in some rough weather but stayed in inexpensive B&Bs when the wind and rain were too dire and had the money to have a Cornish pasty in a pub or teatime in a cafe.

His tale is mostly hilarious with some poignant, heartfelt moments. From a night at a B&B, he learned of a lifeboat disaster that reminded me of tragic tales around Cape Disappointment, near me, where the Columbia River bar is known as the Graveyard of the Pacific.:

His walk must have taken him along the cliff in front of Dorminack Cottage, home of Derek and Jeannie Tangye of the 19 volume memoir series, The Minack Chronicles, which was just about to consume my life for almost a month and put a stopper in any desire to blog instead of read. (That’s where I’ve been, in my imagination.) Derek Tangye wrote of the same tragedy when it happened and several times afterward.

From 500 Mile Walkies, some scenes very near to Dorminack:

Below, I always love to read stories about what the locals think of tourists. I was a tourist in this same part of Cornwall in 1975. Now that I’ve been a local in seaside towns for a quarter of a century, I think I would be uncomfortable returning to the tourist role.

500 Mile Walkies is now one of my favourite books of all time, and up in the top ten of the funniest, and I intend to read all of Wallington’s books. I think it’s been out of print. I hope it being mentioned in The Salt Path will give it a huge boost. Two of the sequels feature Boogie, an adorable scamp of a dog (who in real life is bigger than I imagined from Mark’s description; I googled up some photos of the two of them).

Friday, 17 February 2023

at home

Quite maddenly, we still did not have reading weather. I had to go out and garden in the afternoon or I would have felt guilty. Way back when in Seattle, I could read in good weather while (somewhat) ignoring guilt about my garden. I remember that I’d feel bad but keep reading anyway, and go out for a pressured hour in the late afternoon. I’ve lost that ability to read in dry weather and need to regain it because there are many books to read before I die. One idea is to spray paint a white chaise longue green and out it out in the shady garden this summer. Maybe I’d feel ok about reading if I were out there.

The cats had no problem staying indoors on the rather chilly day.

Outdoors, I played with river rocks by the swales and then could not resist digging some more in the deep path. I soon was no longer cold.

I left the garden in the late afternoon light…

Acer griseum (paperbark maple) has beautiful backlit peeling bark that will get more showy the older it gets.

…and went indoors to churn out six blog posts in two hours, which I can do now because of the speed and ease of my new MacBook. Now I am fervently hoping for a week of true reading weather.

[I did get the reading weather, some of it worrisomely cold outdoors, thus there will be another blog break.]

Thursday, 16 February 2023

at home

Faerie started the day with extra cuteness.

I had been hoping for reading weather, but it was not to be. So I chopped up a big pile of debris from Long Beach (that had been sitting next to the bins) for compost bin two.

Allan trampled it down…

…and, amazingly, all of Long Beach’s take home debris fit in bin two, with bin three heaped with old compost and new from my garden, and bins one and three empty.

Allan sorted through other debris and shows here the tops of the Third Street Park fence that someone (I hope a member of the city crew!) cut off. The drawings were on the side facing the Long Beach Tavern. I have some ideas about using these for decoration.

I got two shipments of exciting plants, one from Cistus and one from Far Reaches Farm.

Although they will not get planted till after next week’s cold snap. the Cistus plants come bare root so I potted them all up for the duration of cold winter. Dealing with the plants took quite some time.

Two plants in bloom (primula and hacquetia) in the Far Reaches Farm box:

From Far Reaches Farm:

P1729Ajuga incisa ‘Bikun’
P0159Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Queen Esta’
P9271Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense – ex Black Stem
P1008Disporum longistylum ‘Green Giant’
P1507Erythronium dens-canis ‘Purple King’
P9703Primula polyneura
P3201Primula poissonii CDHM 14537
P2346Omphalodes verna ‘Grandiflora’
P4242Primula secundiflora
P0040Sophora microphylla
P4353Veratrum cf. schindleri
P3228Pteris wallichiana
P3995Ajuga incisa ‘Blue Enigma’
P4674Myrceugenia ovata var. nannophylla
P4684Primula denticulata – mixed colors
P0915Hacquetia epipactis
P6137Coptis omeiensis
P9094Hepatica nobilis var. japonica – blue / purple shades
P2821Melica uniflora f. albida
P2465Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Dark Beauty’
P2817Primula florindae Keilor Hybrids
P2030Uvularia sessilifolia ‘Albomarginata’
P0644Salix cinerea ‘Variegata’

The only plant I put in the ground was this one…


Allan helped by digging salmonberry out of patch of the willow grove where I am going to plant a giant and, I hope, clumping bamboo.

He fixed the taillights on the trailer, which had been dim.

In the course of planting the one plant and then looking at the garden….

a beautiful deep red chaenomeles that I got from Cistus two decades ago

I succumbed to the lure of digging in the deep path.

I do wonder how deep I can go. And the thought crossed my mind to wonder what it would be like if I dug the metal path deeper, as well!

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

We got an early start (due to morning insomnia while thinking about work) despite icy conditions at home.

Long Beach

We trimmed off the rudbeckia stems in the front of the welcome sign. We are still hoping the city crew will dig out and replace the horsetail infested soil in the back side.

Downtown, we trimmed and weeded all the planters and street trees. If you can wait till a bit later to do so with your plants, that would be better for them in cold weather. Or maybe I am overprotective; the santolinas that we trimmed last November look fine.

They look much prettier before trimming, but if we don’t do it, they will get leggy and woody and lose that nice dome shape.

One tree has annoying volunteer rugosa roses dating back to when I thought one little volunteer sprout was cute. Allan’s new mini chainsaw worked well.

There are 18 street trees and thirty six street planters plus some barrels and one big planter in Lewis and Clark Square.

a haze of weeds removed

It’s a shame an errant driver wrecked the perfect round shape of this Hebe ‘Boughton Dome’. I still love its unusual topknot.

Cutting back some Phygelius ‘Moonraker’ reveals crocuses and snowdrops.

A quick tidy in the little corner garden in Coulter Park…

…was followed by the clipping back of ferns by the Bolstad and Pacific pond (without falling in!)…

Friends who know what we like will know we did not plant the salal that has completely taken over that landscape.

Our mission was accomplished: The end of the complete pre-holiday tidying of all our Long Beach planters and parks. Sometimes we amaze even ourselves.

During this whole work week, we’ve had lovely conversations with appreciative and interested tourists and locals. Makes the job worthwhile.

The work board tonight:

We haven’t heard a peep about the one larger job we thought we were going to take back so…maybe not. We have no need to chase after more work. So we will take some time off now to recuperate and return to our small jobs after the (one hopes) last cold spell of the winter.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Long Beach

The day being dry and almost windless sent us back to Long Beach. We started by trimming up the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach, mostly cutting back santolinas and lavender. We cut the santolinas back to the new growth deep down in the centre. Lavenders just get a gentle trim. Although it is not ideal to be trimming them before one more cold spell predicted for next week, we will chance it because otherwise we might fall behind. The feeling of relief at having so much done before the three day Presidents Day weekend is irresistible.

We then moved north to the Bolstad beach approach and trimmed the planters north of the long narrow garden.

satellite view of beach approach roads, Bolstad, top, and Sid Snyder, bottom

The Bolstad approach has several planters west of its long, narrow garden beds.

On this Valentine’s Day, someone had left a bouquet of flowers at the Lisa Bonney memorial planter. Her murder almost on this spot was a textbook case (click only if you can bear to read about it) of an ex, a former policeman, stalking relentlessly despite a restraining order. He talked her into meeting with him. DON’T DO IT! is my PSA of the day. I would probably have done what she did, chosen a public place, thinking it would be safe.Since then, an annual run/walk against domestic violence has taken place along this approach. It makes me so sad every time I take care of this planter, and I find it particularly bothersome horticulturally that we can’t make it extra beautiful for her because, despite the plaque, people persist in stealing any special plants that are planted here.

We worked our way east to the long narrow garden and the rest of the planters. Our goal today was not the big weeding (which every year I say we are too old to do, and then end up doing it anyway). All we intended to accomplish at ground level was pulling Crocosmia ‘Lucifer” leaves and cutting back ornamental grasses. We ended up trimming a lot of rugosa rose stems that were leaning into the sidewalk area. (The street side was well trimmed by us last autumn.) The planters got a good weeding, as well.

We had time to trim and tidy the small garden bed at Minnie Culbertson park, which is on the way to dump debris. No photo; we were tired.

As we took our very full load of debris to the city works yard, the temperature continued to drop.

Every time we unlock the gate at city works to dump debris after hours, I feel a sense of satisfaction and specialness that we have our own key. That feeling is one of the reasons I find it hard to retire from the job.

Our debris dump from the last few days is a large one (all of the foreground piles).

And that does not include tarps (folded like burritos) to keep separate from thorns and weeds) full of clean and non thorny clippings that I take home to my compost bins. (We could have taken more if I’d had the energy to sort it better.)

The work board tonight: