Thursday, 19 November 2020

Allan had to dump the grey rain gauge so we could take it to work.

On the way to work, we had a look at our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Department to see how it held up to the wind. Pretty good.

We paused in Seaview to water the window boxes at The Depot Restaurant. They are under a wide eave on the north side so don’t get rain water.

Then, on to Long Beach to plant the last of the city tulips. The Hungry Harbor Grille got ten Gavota, which tones so well with the trim.

Here is Gavota in that planter in 2015.

I squeezed ten of another red and yellow tulip in around the lamp post in front of the carousel, where a metal access plate takes up much room on one side of the planter and reduces planting area.

We trimmed that planter back harder than in a normal year, including cutting back the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, whose dried flower heads I would normally leave up all winter. Allan trimmed it, and took ALL the photos today. I think upon viewing this photo that the sedum is old and tired and should just come out.

We moved north a block. Allan finally pulled the crocosmia out of the planter in front of Wind World Kites. I had cut it back halfway in late summer, not a method I would usually have used but it had to be done in haste because of so many unmasked people.

We did not plant the horror of vinca in that planter. The proprietor of Wind World loves the crocosmia, which has kept us from digging it out because he’s a really nice fellow.

Meanwhile, I planted red and white or red and yellow bulbs in the other three planters in that quadrant. The whole time we were working on that block, we were passed closely by about a dozen people in all without masks on. True, it was outside. True, that makes it safer. But it still seems rude to me to not be more cautious around city workers.

I question why town was so busy when the state advisory, due to our state being red hot with Covid growth, is to avoid recreational travel.

Sign in window of the Funland arcade dates back to July. It has been closed since then.

Meanwhile, for the first time in weeks, Allan was able to get at the tree garden in front of Castaways Bar, which is closed due to the month-long ban on indoor dining. Since we had last weeded it, the tree itself had been cut down to the ground. It had been a dark-leaved and quite sad looking ornamental plum which had been pruned terribly hard for some reason.

We are never in the loop about these things, so we don’t know if a new tree will be planted.

Earlier, when we had parked in the lot next to the police station, I had said to Allan that we could clean up the Veterans Field flag pavilion garden. The city Christmas tree had been put in place next to it. But when we had finished our planter work, the city crew had arrived to hang lights on the tree!

We bided our time by cutting back plants in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter till they left for their two-thirty break. Then we worked as fast as ever we could to get the area near the tree trimmed (mostly Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and some eryngiums and Salvia ‘Hot Lips’) before the crew came back….if they did…which they did not. We were also racing the clock because we had an errand to run before dark.

I have often left these perennials standing till February. This year, we want to leave a cleaner slate for the new gardener. And they were pretty well blown around by last week’s storm.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ well whirled by wind

The large barberry was labeled as and planted the same day as the two ‘Crimson Pygmy’, part of my interpretation of a red white and blue garden.

The job had been Push Push Push! throughout, like in a favourite Twilight Zone episode, A Stop at Willoughby. See https://youtu.be/cwGFiT7Xgh4

We dumped our full load of debris at city works.

With 45 minutes of daylight remaining, we successfully ran our errand to the Basket Case Greenhouse to pick up some bagged mulch for tomorrow’s job.

At home, Allan was temporarily thwarted by weather from unhooking and parking the work trailer.

Skooter, who has been naughty lately (more on this later) had apparently not come in at all last night, nor did he come in when we got home. Even though we are somewhat annoyed with his behavior, we were glad to see him when he came in an hour later. I suspect he may have a human friend to visit in another household. Where perhaps his behavior is better than at home. His naughtiness did not start with the kittens; in fact, he sometimes plays with them, so I hope eventually they make him a more contented cat.

I was able to erase from the work list the LB planter bulbs, leaving only one more batch to plant at Diane’s, I hope tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

at home

On another rainy day off, I “attended” the biweekly zoom meeting by the Pacific County Public Health Department. Our county now has 55 new Covid cases to join the 26 from yesterday and the 28 from the end of last week. A medical expert who was their guest speaker invoked Halloween as a possible cause. I felt relieved that I had chosen not to participate; a startling number of the new cases are children “0-10 years old”. (Within two days, 94 more new cases would be added, so many that ages were not even listed.) A post-meeting walk in our garden soothed my nerves.

the tree dahlia that didn’t get to bloom…not unusual and it was still interesting
white echinops half seedhead.
in the middle I see a columnar conifer….Seaside gardener Pam’s suggestion…that has had a growth spurt
I do want to cut back that sodden Siberian Iris soon.
columnar yew has also grown, also inspired by Pam Fleming
hips on Rosa glauca….hips on Rosa moyesii have all been eaten by birds.
I have to pick up this top heavy bamboo after every storm.
My one and only beloved Nicotiana langsdorfii. In a normal year I have many.
looking out the South Gate
On the east side, only one layer of stacked crab pots remains. Fork lifts have been running daily.
cotoneaster berries

I checked out the possibility of a salad. Not quite yet.

Sugar Sprint peas for pea sprouts, could have planted them much much thicker.
for stir fry, but are these unsprouted Brussels sprouts or are they collard greens? Better labeling next year, I swear!
also in the greenhouse: Albucus spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’

The sun came out briefly but then came pouring rain. Good. I wanted to read but churned out four blog posts first, ending with this one. There is a creative urge that made me choose blogging over reading today….Also, we were flat out of scheduled posts. I’ll be glad when we can get our work done and just stay home for the winter.

Now to start reading Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter.

at home

Sunday, 15 November 2020

I had quite a pile of library books waiting.

I read one book from the previous batch which had been recommended to me by an online friend who writes a blog that I like very much, called The Miserable Gardener.

It is a wise book and one that gave me much to think about.
Here is why I want signs that, instead of saying “Please don’t pick the flowers,” say instead “Please leave the flowers for all to enjoy.”

I am going to read the author’s other book about peaceful communication, in which he describes his work helping to resolve conflicts between individuals and even members of warring nations.
In gardening news, we had the last beets for dinner. I’ve never grown them before this year. They are my new favorite veg.

Monday and Tuesday, 16 and 17 November 2020

I spent two days absorbed in the new book by the author of the great book The Warmth of Other Suns.

A few takeaways out of this must read book.

Why the south even had successful farms at all:

The comparisons of the treatment of African-Americans in this country is powerfully compared to the Dalits (once known as Untouchables) in India and to the victims of the Nazi regime, where Hitler and his men studied the American south to learn how best to commit genocide.

Think about that.

The following passage explains why I know that it is because of white, or caste, privilege, that I was able to buy a house at age 25: because my uncle and father benefited from the GI Bill in ways that Black soldiers did not, and that advantage was passed down to me even in my working class family.

If you are a citizen of this country who is a member of the dominant caste, no matter how humble your life might be otherwise, this is a must read book.

On Tuesday, the second day of reading Caste, I read by a battery book light, thinking about finding my warm fingerless gloves, because a big storm took us by surprise. Cape Disappointment near us had 80 mile an hour wind, and our power was out for ten hours. Allan almost had to fire up our new generator to protect our frozen food. He did make some hot tea and chili with the camp stove as the house cooled down. He also moved the wireless greenhouse thermometer from the greenhouse to the freezer. That way, without opening the door again, we could monitor the freezer. Fortunately, the power came back before the thaw. With everything turned off he wasn’t aware that the power had come back on until the freezer started getting colder.

Allan took some post-storm photos in the garden.

Bogsy Wood swale
Hardy fuchsia

When the cattens weren’t chasing madly around the house, they slept in a comfy bundle.

The last of the tulip bulbs finally arrived. I’m eager now to get back to work; however, the weather promises at least one more reading day.

Our county now has 26 new Covid cases reported to join the 28 from the end of last week.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

at home

We had such a windy and rainy day that I set not one foot outside.

I read another short and powerful book by the author of Our Malady (which I read yesterday).

The author’s mission is to understand….

Every page is a takeaway. It would take you only two or three hours to read it all. Just two examples.

I then turned to some lighter reading and lots of photos of bouquets.

The author grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where our natural world eventually inspired her floral designs.

Perfect description of our beautiful Pacific Northwest

After a career in government, she turned to designing bouquets out of her basement workshop and became the floral designer for the Obama White House.

Her book is a love letter to flowers and the Obamas. She and her spouse were in France on election night in 2008.

Michelle Obama’s mission was to use sustainable practices in White House floral displays.

I doubt that has been a priority for the current administration. I bet it will be for the next one. To read more about the environmental impact of the cut flower industry, check out the fascinating book, Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart.

I was enthralled with the idea of bouquets with vases made of leaves or fruit. While this book did not explain how it was done, I think another of the author’s books might go into more detail. As it was, I studied the photos with fascination. Of all the bouquets pictured, my favourite one was this Olympic torch.

I will seek out another, more how-to style book by this author, perhaps through interlibrary loan.

I was pleased to learn more about Dr. Jill Biden.

Ah, that makes me so happy. I’d love to know if the author will return to the White House in 2021.

In the evening, while we watched telly, I wondered why Allan had ALL the cattens.

Friday, 13 November 2020

At home

After last night’s storm, I was sleepy all day. Our power stayed on but the great big heavy mirror which we installed just underneath the window next to where my head rests at night banged loudly against the wall till dawn. I thought about going outside in the dark, in torrential rain and wind, to wedge a tarp behind it, but somehow that seemed like a dangerous plan. Today I went out and looked it, wondering what genius way Allan would figure out for fixing it.

This is what he did.

The cats in the Catio like to get pets as we walk by.

Allan’s photo: The wire is what makes this Grey’s face look lumpy.

We had had some rain.

I read a short book….

….which is both a memoir about the author’s experience of nearly dying from sepsis…

…..and about our health care system in the USA.

“We would like to think we have health care that incidentally involves some wealth transfer; what we actually have is wealth transfer that incidentally involves some health care.”

I recommend reading it. Because it is a quick book to read, I had time for another.

This memoir of the life of a British Pakistani young man from childhood to young adulthood was the basis of the enjoyable film that we recently watched called Blinded by the Light. As in the film, his love for the music of Bruce Springsteen is a theme throughout the story, but the book delves much deeper…and has one garden paragraph that fits well here.

Pretty sure that’s supposed to read “At Bury Park”.

A delivery arrived from Chewy.com. They have kept us well supplied with cat food and litter and some toys at a reasonable price.

We continue to avoid shopping in person. Our small town and lightly populated county is seeing a surge of cases, with a new batch of 28 just reported.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

at home

With a great deal of rain falling and in the forecast, we would be home for a few days.

Allan had the wise thought that it was time to take down the Great Wall of China….

…..and so we did.

We had some small beets for dinner, and I felt like quite the homesteader for having grown them and for pickling some beet stems for a snack item.

It is easy with vinegar, a bit of sugar, a bit of salt and some pepper boiled on the stove and poured over the stems. The results were delicious earlier in the autumn, but this time the stems were too tough to chew up and swallow, probably being too late in the season.

A recipe for happiness: We have found that after a liberal sprinkling of dried catnip on the rug, the cats commune in a blissed out, stoned fashion.

The floor is carpeted with packing paper and boxes and bags for cat amusement.

Our Universal Yums box came today, featuring the snacks of Italy. Last month’s box had proved that Russians make excellent snacks. Italy’s also look promising.


I have neglected to write about three books that I recently read. First…

I am happy that I purchased this book.

It is a beautiful thing to behold.

Among much that was of interest, I learned that Irish gardener Helen Dillon has made a television show called Garden Heaven on Irish channel RTA. I will be searching video sites for it this winter. [I had no luck in finding anything about it online.] If I were so blessed as to live in Ireland, I would be signing up for this:

That would be a piece of garden heaven.

If you do read the first edition, you will find an error at the end of page 126, where a sentence is incomplete. I messaged the publisher and got the end!

….of daring to be different.

I will look differently from now on at our native plant, meianthemum, which I have considered a bit of a scourge in my Bogsy Wood garden.

Jimi likes it!

Allan had discovered that Ciscoe Morris has a new book and had ordered it from the library.

It’s funny, of course, and informative. Among many things, I learned that thinning fruit from a tree is ineffective unless done when the fruit is smaller than a nickel.

This passage about hornets….

…..reminded me of the day at work when I almost stood up under this nest.

As I bent over weeding, a hornet repeatedly bumped me in the head. Something told me to stay bent over as I moved away and I did not see the nest until I stood up several yards away and looked back. I am grateful to that hornet for warning me.

We also coexist with some house spiders. The ones that are not huge and don’t jump.

Of course, reading the books added to my must have plant list.

Per Jimi:

Aralia echinocaulis 

Eryngium eburneum

Epimedium ‘Wildside Ruby’, fargesii ‘Pink Constellations’, ‘Windfire’ 

Aralia Californica moist shady woods 

Schefflera kornasii, macrophylla, rhododendrifolia.  Easy to prop from cuttings. 

Allium ‘Purple Rain’ cross between purple sensation and christophii 

Baptisia ‘ Dutch Chocolate’

Canna musifolia and ‘Bird of Paradise’

Cosmos peucedanifolius  perennial pink 

Daucus carota ‘Purple Kisses’

Eryngium guatemalense

Eryngium pandanifolium ‘Physic Purple’. Tall, moist soil 

Lophosoria quadripinnata 10 ft tall fern chile 

Lychnis coronaria ‘Gardeners’ World’

Sinopodophyllum hexandrum var emodi ‘majus’. Woodland plant 

Actaea cordipholia ‘Blackfing’ (“Christopher Lloyd always said you can’t have too many spikes in the garden.”)

Per Ciscoe


Autumn charm


Postmans pride

Black jack 

Today, I finished the second memoir by Margaret Roach. Or the third, if you count A Way to Garden as partly a memoir.

I liked it very much. Some takeaways….

I like this because I have a bad case of imposter syndrome:

This reminds me of my mother’s shovel, a short-handled thing with a blade so rounded and blunt that it seemed useless to us, but she loved it.

When mom’s shovel broke, Allan fixed it for her and it lasted her lifetime. I am not sure if I still have it as a fence topper. I hope so.

We are not morning people, but on the rare occasion that we are up early, we don’t start any noisy project till at least ten.

It is just like this around here when we all prepare for a storm:

I am impressed with the author for staying at home. I’d pictured her as someone who traveled back and forth to a pied a terre in New York and who traveled to give talks or visit gardens.

I was pleased that she has azolla in her pond (and doesn’t seem worried about it) and thrilled to find her recipe for her freezer stock made from assorted vegetable bits, not to mention some more tips about growing veg that will prove quite useful. I learned that the real name of Tiger Eyes sumac is ‘Bailtiger’ and that she loves golden foliage and tries to control the direction that garden visitors go touring so that they will see her garden in the right way. I was envious again that she is friends with Glenn Withey and Charles Price and of her acreage, but not her winter snow.

Although about a week of work remains to be done this year, I’m looking forward to a few more days of reading weather. I have only this one blog

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Boreas Inn

We did a two and a half hour fall clean up, clipping and weeding around assorted garden beds.

Allan accomplished great things in several small areas.

Allan likes the grass cutting blades on The Toy for cutting Iris leaves.

This stack of fungi were a treat to see as I came around the narrow secret path on the north side of the inn to do a bit of tidying in the entry garden.

English ivy, a noxious weed, lingers around the edges of the front garden.
Innkeeper Bill demonstrating good masking and social distancing

After checking the north entry garden and pulling a bit of montbretia and tidying planters on the southwest deck, I clipped and weeded in the lawn beds, where Allan eventually joined in.

Clean debris to take home for the compost bin

Due to being declared non-essential in the early to mid spring, some plants in gardens we care for did not get their proper early clipping. This Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, shown in this recent photo by innkeeper Susie, should have had a hard cut back in early April at the latest.

When we were able to return to work in mid May, I didn’t want to cut it because it wasn’t a good time for it look denuded. Now I wish I had. Today I gave it this chop…

….and was very unhappy with it so gave it this further chop….

…and departed feeling even unhappier. If it were my garden, I’d have dug it up and popped it one of the baby new ones I’ve propagated from cuttings. We just left it thus because we were out of time.

Looking east from the end of the beach path

Long Beach

We drove past Fifth Street Park but did not stop because someone was sitting on a bench near where we needed to work. On we went to the Big Pop Out, which was quite a mess. I regret planting rugosa roses here. Like the beach approach, I planted the tough roses when I got tired of small, choice plants being stolen. I didn’t choose the pampas grass!

We may work further into December in Long Beach than we usually do, since we won’t be back for a midwinter clean up in early February. I am thinking we might cut the Big Pop Out roses back hard and try to get some of the weed grass out that got so rampant this year.

We just got a bit weeded along the front today after removing a sad old lavender and a sad old santolina.

We did create quite a lot of debris to take to city works, where we refilled our buckets with mulch. The wee garden bed at Minnie Culbertson Park became our first mulching goal.


With about an hour till dark, we found Fifth Street Park’s northwest quadrant empty of people so that we could set up our Do Not Enter cones and start work on the garden bed.

I did some cutting back of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Solidago ‘Fireworks’ of the sort that I wouldn’t do at home. As I keep saying, it’s better for bugs to leave plants standing.


I had asked Allan to dig out a messy patch of hesperantha mixed with the BadAster. The weeds (and plants that I think of as weedy) had gotten a firm hold in the spring. I also pulled a great deal of hesperantha, which runs like crazy in these garden beds and will come back next year to bloom beautifully in autumn.

As we were loading our debris, I looked across the street in the twilight and saw that frost had hit the remaining leaves of the gunnera by the waterfall pond. I set off with the loppers to cut them back while Allan brought the van and trailer around the block.

Almost dark
Allan’s better camera
I tucked some of the leaves into the plant to protect it from a hard midwinter freeze.

We got home in the full dark so left the trailer unloaded till tomorrow. The work board tonight:

It is less daunting than it looks; some of the jobs will be short ones. I keep forgetting to put The Red Barn next to Carter.

With rain predicted for tomorrow and a storm (hope not too big!)* for the weekend, we might get some reading weather. The rest of the bulbs should arrive Friday. I’ll be glad to get the bulbing done next week, if we get one nice day.

When that’s done, we will have to dare to shop for some perishable and freezable groceries in person for the first time since March. We need too much to ask a friend to pick up a few things. Covid cases have suddenly increased here at a rapid pace with over thirty in the past two weeks, including two close friends who got it (probably on a weekend trip) and had a miserable week but are now recovered except for continued diminishment of taste and smell.

Being done with work and well stocked with supplies, having successfully avoided getting sick, would be a blessing.

Update from the next day. Whew.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

It is nice to have a cat who likes to have a bit of cereal milk at breakfast, like Smoky used to do.

The weather report I rely on most for advance planning is a local one called 642weather.com, 642 being the Long Beach area code. For hour to hour weather, I pay close attention to the Dark Sky app. Today, 642 had changed since yesterday’s forecast to show some light rain instead of heavier rain all day. Dark Sky warned of some light rain in the afternoon. We decided to go to work anyway (even though I would have loved a real rainy reading day).

The Depot Restaurant

As I have said many times, I do not believe in the kind of garden clean up that I do for most clients, especially public gardens. I suppose the Depot is one place where the owners, Nancy and Michael, wouldn’t mind if I put up an interpretive sign explaining that gardens left standing are good for bugs and critters. But…it’s easier to just get the job done in one swoop.


We both worked on clipping the hops that climb the dining deck lattice, Allan doing the hardest part because he was inside on the deck to remove vines from the top of the lattice walkway, while I was just clipping to halfway up on the outside of the lattice. Halfway through that job, torrential rain began. I wondered if we would have to just get the hops done and return tomorrow for the rest. I’d already cut some tall perennials down so it would look sort of half-arsed if we left it.

The dining deck entry from the restaurant, before
Allan’s view from inside of me clipping hops in the downpour
My view from the garden while getting thoroughly drenched
Lattice cleared of hops
It is not easy cleaning a sopping wet area…
….but Allan prevailed.
A sodden creature

As the rain slowed slightly, I decided to keep cutting the perennials down, using The Toy (our Stihl battery shearing tool) and hand clippers (secateurs). I still thought we would have to return to weed.

Wet and cold

The rain had come on so suddenly that there had been no time to get to the van and my raincoat without getting even wetter while trying to get into it.

With the hops done, Allan joined me by trimming a fern and some dierama (angel’s fishing rod).

View from where he was working

The sun came out so I kept on with the weeding, mostly prunella and some creeping buttercups and a smattering of bindweed. Allan weeded along the parking lot side of the logs and loaded up debris.

We had had this much rain in the squall that was less than half an hour long.

Sous chef Jamie came out to chat with us after putting on some meat to roast.

The smell of the food had been amazing and maddening while we worked. I so very much miss dining at the Depot, our favourite restaurant, and if it comes true that we can get a Covid vaccine in the springtime, our very first treat will be a Depot dinner. We might treat ourselves to a take out dinner this autumn to celebrate the start of staycation. We have not had takeout food because my Covid protocols are fierce, but I know that the utmost food prep precautions are taken here (and also at our favourite lunch spot, Captain Bob’s Chowder).


At home

We had a large amount of debris to process. Some bamboo needed trimming, and the trimmed bamboo bits and all the hops needed to be stuffed into bags in our wheelie bin. Covid protocols require that all garbage, even yard waste, must be bagged. (There is no recycling or yard waste pick up where we live.) Hops vines won’t break down well in the compost.

Allan dealt with the hops and bamboo whilst I chopped and loaded both the Depot debris and yesterday’s debris from Mike’s garden into bin two, which had been halfway full. Chopping it up makes it compost faster.

We got done in a brisk wind an hour before dark. Even with dry clothes, it took a long time to get warm afterwards.

I have some anxiety about a storm that might or might not arrive Friday night. The potential is being compared to The Monster of 2007 …an experience I do not want to repeat, especially in a double wide manufactured home; at least I know our metal box of a house came through the 2007 storm ok.

Our local paper has this to say:

“It’s been almost 13 years since the Great Gale of 2007 ravaged the coastal Pacific Northwest with strong winds, punishing rainfall, and left some residents in the dark for days. Uncertainty remains, but the region is currently in the bullseye for a similarly strong wind storm later this week.

The approaching weather system is associated with severe tropical storm Atsani that hammered part of the northern Philippines on Nov. 6.

Current forecast models have the storm arriving late in the evening on Nov. 13, bringing strong winds, large coastal waves and heavy rainfall. It is expected to have a low pressure between 968 and 973 millibars, nearing the 952 millibars reading from 2007.”

The article goes on to say that we could have 70 mph wind and, with Wednesday being a holiday, it would be a good day to prepare. It will not be a holiday for us, but we are more prepared than ever before. We now have not only a good little camp stove but a generator so that we won’t lose our frozen pandemic food stores! Apparently we are not sure if it will run both a space heater and the freezer and refrigerator. I hope we do not have to find out. The path of the storm could change or it may fizzle, as most storms here since 2007 have. The joys of anticipating some exciting storm watching ended for me after the 2007 experience.

Worrying about a storm can occupy the part of my mind that is not worrying about a trumpian coup. By the time this post goes to press, the national news will have changed. Today, I’ve been reading some dire thoughts by Heather Cox Richardson and Dan Rather.

In cat news, I think adding the kittens has had the effect on Skooter that I’d hoped for. He no longer sits and yowls pitifully for hours. I interpreted his yowls as complaints about being the only cat. Even though he growls and hisses at the kittens, he also occasionally has a brief moment of play with them.

He lounges in the living room, seeming content, and spends more time indoors. The paper is for cat amusement.
The cattens are endlessly entertaining.

The work board tonight; some jobs now get shifted into a final clean up column for one more check up in December….or after a big storm. [Edited to add a spoiler: the storm split into two and so was weaker than in 2007.]

Monday, 9 November 2020

But first, a special treat for fungi lovers. Our friend Wendy Murry has been taking photos on her woodsy local walks. These were taken in Cape Disappointment State Park. You can enlarge them from this gallery.

I had thought we would have the day off because of rain. The rain delayed and so we did some work nearby.

First, yesterday’s compostables from Long Beach had to be offloaded into a pile to be dealt with later.

Mike’s garden

My plan was to pull cosmos and mulch, which we did.

But when I saw that the annoying shiny geranium had seedlings coming up, we did a much bigger weeding and tidying.

Not quite after pulling lots of spent hesperantha from beside the paths

Ilwaco boatyard

We dumped Mike’s debris at our place and then went on to the boatyard to see what might need doing in the garden there. The weather darkened so fast and the wind got so cold on the short drive there that all we did is remove “do not pick” signs for the winter and tidy up ever so slightly along a couple of sidewalk edge spots.

The new Marine Travelift and sign removal

In my garden, I pondered a question that is very hard to photograph, especially on a dark day. Are my two dark leaved physocarpus on either side of the Rozanne loop paths too somber, culminating in a dark leafed contorted filbert at the end of the Roxanne and roses center bed?

A panorama maybe not taken with a steady enough hand

I decided it is good because the dark flowers of Salvia ‘Amistad’ (still blooming!) pick up the dark leaves of the shrubs and make them seem purposeful. Which they are. But I do sometimes wonder what the garden would look like with less somber foliage.

The gloomy weather wind and beginning or rain drove me indoors to do more vote counting….Would really love Arizona and Georgia to come through! Georgia looks more likely every day and Arizona less likely…and to churn out four, count ‘em four blog posts.

The work board this afternoon:

When that work board is polished off, it will be time for our blog to go into winter semi-hiatus as gardening season turns to reading season.

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Fairy stayed home in the warm sunshine from a south window.

We had ice in our rain gauges. Allan emptied the grey one that goes to work with us.

On the way to Long Beach city hall, we stopped to tidy the welcome sign .

Whoever takes on the job next year will find that the blue geraniums, Rozanne and Orion, don’t do as well as they used because they have been discovered by deer. Perhaps this one.

Casually sauntering by as if not thinking of the geraniums at all…
We will leave the rudbeckias for awhile longer.

We then accomplished our goal for the day, to tidy the remainder of city hall’s west side while the east side parking lot is available to us.

The variegated miscanthus needed trimming, even though it really should wait for spring. If I had had any available to buy locally, I’d have replaced this miscanthus with ‘Cosmopolitan’, which is variegated but not so flopsy.

Our friend Jan M. drove by. We rejoiced about the election results.
Debris destined for our compost bins gets dragged by the north side that we cleaned up last Sunday.

We dumped the weeds at the city works yard, bucketed up some mulch, and returned to city hall.

I was also inspired to clean up along the city hall entry ramp, even though I think the office may still be closed to the public because of the pandemic.

I wouldn’t make it so tidy for me, but that’s what people like. They also like to not have wet plants brush their sides in the winter.

On the way home, we stopped at the Ilwaco fire station to collect some leaves…

…and when we got home, I piled the leaves, unchopped, into both catios for the amusement of the cattens.

The work board tonight:

When I feel verklempt about retiring from the Long Beach job after doing it for almost a quarter century (and still being full of ideas for how to make the gardens better), I remind myself of the recent news that a Dollar General store is going to be built kitty corner from city hall and just half a block from the iconic Long Beach arch. This got through the planning commission and then was approved by a majority of one at a city council meeting which I attended via zoom. I and a few others spoke against it, based on the point of view that a chain store right at the entry to our beach approach is not an appealing idea. While apparently (according to some) the city had no recourse to refuse what the property owner does with that property, I can guarantee you would not see a Dollar General store in the historic core of Cannon Beach, Manzanita, or Gearhart, Oregon. And I have been told it was refused in Astoria, Oregon. Perhaps those wealthier communities are not even approached by dollar stores. It’s a shame it could not have been proposed for somewhere outside historic downtown Long Beach, perhaps near the McDonalds. I have lived here long enough to remember when we had no chain establishments at all.

The Dollar General will be in that chain link fence area, in a photo that I took the day after the city council meeting.

It will look pretty much like this.

Here are a couple of articles about the problems with Dollar General:

Dollar Generals are everywhere …a problem for poor America And from The Guardian, why Dollar General store are a sign that a town is failing and How Dollar Stores prey on the poor …. Some local residents say they welcome being able to buy the store’s cheap goods, a point of view I sympathize with, but at least, for the sake of all that is beachy, I wish it were not going to mar the ambience of the Long Beach arch.

The prospect of having it there will make it easier to no longer be the Long Beach gardener, because I don’t want to see it!