Monday, 4 September 2017

Labor Day

I had debated whether or not to water Long Beach today during the holiday crowds and had decided it would be better to water on Labor Day Monday than on Rod Run Friday, when people will already be sitting on the planters to see the cars drive in to town.  I figured if we went to work at around two o clock, some folks would already be heading home from the three day weekend, especially with school starting tomorrow.

The weather changed that plan.

Noonish: “Feels like 98” is considered “Warm”???

1 PM: Finally admitting it was HOT.

2: 41 PM: Feels like 106?????!!!!!  It definitely did.  I’d never felt anything like it.

I moved to the beach to avoid the 80 degree days we used to have in summer in Seattle.  Today’s weather was bizarre and yet, with the hot days we have had this summer, it is starting to feel like the new normal.

I decided we had to postpone work till 5 PM and then get as much watering done as we could in three hours.  Meanwhile, I worked on our blog about Evan’s garden and Castle Rock parks.

my assistant

sleeping on the job

The only way I could see to get both Ilwaco and Long Beach watered in the evening was for me to do all 37 of the Long Beach planters (and the four Fish Alley barrels), while Allan watered Ilwaco trees and planters and then came to LB to water as many street tree gardens  (18 in all) as he could.  He went to the boatyard in the afternoon to fill the water trailer; that would cut half an hour off the time later on.

He dropped me off at 5:15 in Long Beach.

While watering in Ilwaco, Allan saw:

The sun was orange because of smoke from a terrible fire way up the Columbia Gorge.

Meanwhile in Long Beach, I remembered that I wanted to get photos of all the planters before they get sat upon.  This plan did not entirely work out, as you will see.  It did turn out to be a pretty good tour of the town.

The photo project while watering started out ok.

This is one of several planters that were planted with ridiculously would-be huge shrubs back in the days when each planter was done by a volunteer.

Also from volunteer days, this one has a running cranesbill geranium that hogs the space.

a couple of the more interesting street tree gardens…they only get watered once a week.

As the sun went behind a haze of wildfire smoke, I realized that a lot of the flowers, especially California poppies, were closing up and were no longer photogenic.

hazy orange sun

The biggest cause of today’s smoke was a fire caused by kids playing with fireworks in the wilderness.

The flower colours were disappearing as some annuals hid their faces.

After years of careful pruning, I impatiently overpruned my right side santolina this past spring….oops.  Unbalanced planter now.

I would trim the heat-crisped Geranium ‘Rozanne’, except that I need as many plants as possible to discourage folks from plopping their behinds into the planters this coming weekend.

This is my only planter with nasturtiums (reseeding every year) because they tend to take over all other plants.

The watering marks are kind of distracting.  This was because I was criss crossing back and forth across the streets as I worked my way north.  The project would work better if I did the town in a loop so as to avoid photographing recently watered planters.

kind of boring now that the lavenders are done blooming

Herb ‘N Legend smoke shop

smoke shop staff member Tam coming to say hello

sun getting oranger

Fifth Street Park. Once blooming veronicas along the edge need replacing with something better.  Also trying to get all columbines out of this one.

The hanging baskets that are low (restroom, gazebo, police station, city hall) still look great. The high up ones are battered by wind and heat.

Fifth Street Park with California poppies closed. As the flag shows, it had become quite windy.

OOPS, focused on the foreground. That hebe (from volunteer days) is big and boring and this one also has annoying running once blooming roses.

another old one with azaleas, only pretty for a brief time in spring, and….mint!

a boring one, used to be all English ivy. Now too much golden oregano with no one to blame but myself.  And why do I never remember to dig out that boring fern?

Hungry Harbor with poppies closed. This has become more just a tour of the town.

Now instead of crisscrossing, I am walking the last three blocks up one side and down the other.

not trimming the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ till after Rod Run.

going to do a total dig out of this boring geranium planter after Rod Run.

police station baskets

I see lots of photos being taken by this basket.

Wind World Kites owner likes the Crocosmia to be left alone till after Rod Run so people do not smash the fuchsias and lavenders.

Stormin’ Norman’s

another focus problem

This one is dull because it used to be the most vandalized. Now it is not, I have recently realized, so could be made better.

This one has two would be eight feet tall escallonias, is infested with creeping red clover, and gets hit very hard by wind.

I cannot remove the monster shrubs because their roots go too deep into the works of the planter.

My favourite; a few years ago was almost solid volunteer-planted vinca.

northernmost one on west side, time for me to cross and head south again

I was getting worried about time, as the sun was setting, and I was not sure where Allan was with the tree watering by now.

northernmost east side

I found a painted rock!  And forgot to photograph the planter across the street.

Getting dark, poppies closed. I lightened the exposure.

I forgot to photograph the planter by NIVA green because I was getting stressed about time, and by the next one, it was clearly getting too dark:

Allan and I crossed paths; I wondered if we would get done in time for a dinner reservation that I had made for half an hour after dark. He headed north to water the two northernmost trees.  I watered a couple of trees while heading south to help him catch up.  They are much harder to do than the planters because you have to find the hose connection inside a hole in the ground.

He looked west while heading north. The sun had set.

Allan’s photo

tire track in a tree garden (Allan’s photo)

still watering…

We met up at Fifth Street Park while I watered my last planter.

My last one. It is that giant hebe with ugly old dead flowers. I wish I could dig it out but it is soooo big.  Pruning the flowers leaves ugly stubs.  Sigh.

getting dark, too dark to see….and we are done.

I was amazed.  I was sure we would not get done and would have to leave some trees or planters for tomorrow.

We repaired to the Depot Restaurant for their traditional Labor Day Ribs Special.

Asian salad

Allan’s clam chowder

ribs special, delicious but not especially photogenic

Allan prefers the delectable Steak Killian with green scallion sauce.

We were the last diners.  When we left, I thanked the staff for letting us sit while they finished their evening tasks.  I was touched and pleased when we were told, “You’re part of the crew!”  I consider that an honor.

Smokey orange moon over the Depot garden

At home, while putting away the water trailer, Allan saw two deer strolling right down the middle of the street in front of our house.

I have one more chance (Thursday) to photograph the planters before the weekend of the great Sitting Upon.









Sunday, 3 Sept 2017

As we passed through the town of Castle Rock on our way to Evan Bean’s garden, I remembered childhood camping trips for two weeks each summer at the Toutle River, a beautiful campground that got washed away when Mt St Helens erupted in 1980.

 After our garden visit, we returned to Castle Rock and stopped to admire the public gardens.  I was pleased to find a Facebook page for the volunteer (!!!) group that does these gardens.  And, oh, LOOK! They have an annual garden tour (which we have, tragically, missed).

 Next year!

The first garden runs along the parking lot and street of the Riverfront Trail.  Allan went up onto the trail and got photos of the river.

I think this might presage a boating trip.

One of them waved.

The bank below the trail is newly planted.

Allan’s photo

how it gets watered (Allan’s photo)

This looks like the work truck.

Gateway Park

It was 96 degrees as we walked through the garden.

We had driven up that curved road heading to Evan’s garden.

I noted that somebody does hose watering.

roses and hydrangeas

This park runs for several blocks along a one way street going into town from the north.

Feast your eyes on the hanging baskets!  The park shows to the left in this photo.

I realized that each pole has a round banner which appear to be made by locals.  Let’s look at the baskets along this street and then get back to the park.

The baskets have gold sweet potato vine and at the top, some pink gaura making a spray of flowers.

Many hands make light work.

Now for our walk through this most amazing park.  I think that despite what the map below says it is called Gateway Park.

It’s long and narrow, between Huntington Avenue and Front Street.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

around the base of a tree (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

One plant source is Tsugawa. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, looking down from the road

Is this really all hose watered by volunteers?! (Allan’s photo)

white gaura (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We’ve walked south, and now we are walking back north.

On the way through town earlier in the day, my first hint of the great garden spirit here was a glimpse of the city hall garden, so we went looking for it.  On the way, we came upon what seems to be the same commercial street and stopped to admire its planters and baskets.

Castle Rock Blooms banner

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

dangling sweet potato vine (I think that is what it is)

painted rock (Allan’s photo)


It was 4:30 PM and we were the only pedestrians.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

sidewalk garden beds

We found City Hall a couple of blocks away.  It had been a great benefit of my freeway avoidance that we had glimpsed its garden on our route earlier in the day.

Allan’s photo

pink gaura, also used in the baskets

Digital cameras are weird. And WOW, what a garden.

The only other person we saw was a man across the street waiting at a table and holding a bouquet. There is a story there.

waterfall rock

Water rill goes under the entry walk.

seems like they get a lot of donations…

Allan’s photo

I was well and truly astonished by Castle Rock.

Here are a few bonus photos from our drive while looking for city hall:

On the way home:

The part of highway 4 (Ocean Beach Highway) between Longview and Cathlamet scares me, but what’s new….I’m no fun on the driving part of a road trip.

The 99 degree temperature as we passed through Longview dropped to 79 as we got closer to the beach.

In Naselle, we paused for a look at the big garden by the library.

They were having a party.

and the garden across the street….

with its big rooster.

I’m kind of in love with Castle Rock now, and I fantasized about moving in retirement to join that group of volunteers….if only it were not so hot there!  Here’s an upcoming event that you might want to attend.




Sunday, 3 September 2017

We left on our day trip before 10 AM, along with a bowl of tabouli and some chocolate cupcakes for a potluck and open garden over two hours inland.

My next door neighbour, Royal, saw us off.

Our route: We had another 15 minutes still to go when we got to Castle Rock.

The first part of our drive, east of the Astoria bridge: The Columbia River abounded with little boats fishing.  (Taken while on the move; we were on too much a mission to stop for better pics)

As we passed through Castle Rock, I glimpsed some enticing public gardens.  We will visit those in tomorrow’s post.

Our destination was the garden of Evan Bean, who has worked at Longwood Garden, Plant Delights (with our friend Todd), Cistus, and now works for Plantlust.com.  His garden, at his family home about 15 minutes east of Castle Rock, was open for garden bloggers and friends.

When we arrived, met by heat in the high 90s, a few other guests had already arrived, including Sean, owner of the fabulous Cistus Nursery and Jane of the Mulch Maid blog.

Allan’s photo, as we approach the kitchen door

Needing to adjust to the heat, we indulged in the delicious potluck offerings before touring the garden.  In conversation with Evan’s mum, Nancy, we learned that the two headed calf in Marsh’s Free Museum (Long Beach, home of Jake the Alligator Man), belonged to her grandfather’s side show. Her father, “Pony Bill” Giberson, had pony rides where the Long Beach carousel now sits.  (I thought I had this right, but Evan has clarified that “my mother’s father, Leonard, donated the two-headed calf. Her grandfather, Bill, had the pony rides.”)  Nancy herself has had a career in forestry, and encouraged Evan as a child to appreciate nature.

Fortified and refreshed, we plunged into the heat and a full tour of Evan’s garden.

the impressively small ladies in waiting collection

Garden writer Amy Campion in the greenhouse, with Evan reflected in the door

The greenhouse has a mister for the plants that Evan is propagating.  I am pleased and hopeful that Allan took an interest in how it works.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

plant babies


Near the greenhouse, Nancy showed us a stump that had resisted digging out, so they burnt it to represent nearby Mount St Helens and planted a Mt St Helens azalea in it.

burnt stump

Jane photographing the circular front garden bed.

Allan’s photo

The round bed was Evan’s high school senior project, on which he spent much more time than most seniors did on theirs.  He has enhanced and improved it since then.  (He’s now in his almost-late 20s.) It had much plant interest to offer us.  We walked around it admiring everything.

Sesli gummiferum (Moon Carrot), which I very much wish I had.

Notice all the pleasing rocks in the garden.

Jane noticing the details

continuing around

two kinds of ornamental oregano

Allan’s photo

The garden bed seems round but is actually more complex.

Allan’s photo

Having made it all the way around, I turned my attention to the bed by the house.


some form of Melianthus next to the house (Later: Evan says it is Melianthus villosus.

easy access and I like the railings

The shade of the lower garden enticed me and others.  The rest of the garden that we will see is less than a year old, except, says Evan, “a section of the rhododendron border behind the hakonechloa bed, and a scattering of trees through the rest of the garden”.

the hakanechloa bed

By now, our friend Ann (the Amateur Bot-ann-ist) had arrived, with Paul Bonine, owner of the glorious Xera Plants, from whom I would buy one of every Xera plant if I lived in Portland.

Ann in the red checked shirt

The dry creek was installed to solve some drainage problems.

starry detail

sunny wall of house

In Evan’s words: “The annual wildflowers, and even some of the fast-growing perennials and subshrubs like Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’, and similar plants, were mostly put in place to fill in space and cover the ground to help reduce weeds while longer-lived plants grow. They were plants I could obtain cheaply and easily propagate more of. In some cases, I’m not even sure yet what the longer-lived plants should be, so they obviously haven’t even been planted. In most of the garden, the longer-lived plants will have to be ones that can adapt to dappled shade as the cork oaks and other trees grow. I picture layers of relatively drought-tolerant evergreen shrubs like Elaeagnus, Choisya, Mahonia repens and nervosa, mixed with a few tough, easy-care evergreen herbaceous plants like various carex for textural contrast, and here and there some deciduous perennials or ephemeral plants for added seasonal variation. Some of those plants are already in place. Some have yet to be selected and planted.”

the path back to the shady patio


As I knew it would be, this was the sort of garden where I could not identify a fair number of the plants.  Any mistakes are mine from when I was too shy to ask.

Tricyrtis ‘Blue Wonder’ (I asked Evan for IDs on some of these plants.)

Allan’s photo

heading into the sunshine

looking back from whence I came

The fence encloses about two acres and keeps the deer out. Evan’s mom, a forester, says that our west coast deer are lazy and that a six foot fence is enough. She also said they have a fear of breaking their legs.  Other species of deer WILL jump a six foot fence.

A group of gardeners clustered around this plant pronounced it some sort of gentian.  Evan later IDed it for us: Gentiana asclepiadea, the willow gentian.

a young castor bean

seed heads of Dranunculus vulgaris

Dranunculus vulgaris

Mimulus cardinalis

Calceolaria arachnoidea

I am smitten with this plant.

Evan recommends orange Calceolaria ‘Kentish Hero’.


castor bean with beautiful airy coreopsis

Brachyglottis greyi, or it might be Brachyglottis ‘Otari Cloud’, says Evan.

These beds which are full sun will eventually have a bit of shade.

Allan’s photo

more lovely free flowing coreopsis

Heptacodium miconioides, which I knew, because I have one, thanks to my friend Debbie Teashon of Rainyside Gardeners.

This little guy got lots of attention.

Evan says, “”The wildflower look is sort of nice, but really not my style. It’s a planned successional stage in the gardens development, filling in space while the real garden grows.””

I must have been mad during my phase of not liking rudbeckias.

This poppy got lots of attention.

Allan’s photo

new growth.  Later I got the ID from Evan: Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum

The shady patio is where we would soon be sitting again.


Allan’s photo

a hardy geranium of some sort

the path back to the shady patio

looking out from our shady chairs

Allan’s photo

patio corner

outside the kitchen window

When we walked down to our van to depart, Nancy walked with us and, because we showed interest, took us to the kitchen garden.  It is located below the garage because the rest of the property used to be so shady.



That was a fine day out, with more to come, as we will tour some Castle Rock gardens on the way home.











Friday, 1 September 2017

It was hot, at 79 degrees.  After much sleeping, which seems to be required to recover from the work week, I read news, then picked a bouquet for the Don Nisbett Gallery’s art walk evening.  This time, Our Don is the only one who got a bouquet.  Pickin’s are a little slim for flowers right now.  I urgently need to have a nice rainy day to read the book about cutting gardens that Lorna gave me and try to do better.

Today’s bouquet was orangey.

delivering the flowers (Allan’s photo)

Todd and his son Dawson made a surprise visit to introduce us to the new puppy, Ansel.  Many photos were taken in the cool of the garage.

Todd, Ansel, Dawson (Allan’s photo)

What an interesting tail.  (Allan’s photo)

I caught up on the Tootlepedal blog while waiting for the weather to cool a bit, and then went out in the evening to address the issue of bindweed coming in from the gear shed property next door.

I used to be able to walk home from the market using the south east gate.  The new owners, as is their right, now block the access by the way they stack their crab pots.  So I had not been over there to see how bad the blackberries and bindweed had become in the narrow corridor between the shed and our fence.

Pretty bad!

I am just glad I can work my way along the outside of my fence and clear a bindweed and blackberry free zone.  If I couldn’t get over there, we would be invaded by noxiousness.

working my way down the fence

Their side is invaded by pretty plants from our side.

almost to the end. That’s a stack of tarped crab pots.

turning the southeast corner to our wild bogsy woods outside the fence.

Outer bogsy woods was once solid blackberry. Will be again if I don’t clear it once a year.  That is a fall project usually.

Looking through the fence, I contemplated the lost south east corner of our fenced garden.  Do I want to make it part of the garden?  I’ve been sort of holding it for someday when I might not be able to haul and will need it for a debris area.  If I removed that salmonberry in the middle of the picture below, that area would become visible and workable.  Last year, I almost did so in late summer.  Then I heard buzzing and became afraid of possible wasp nests in the ground.

southeast corner from outside. I did not plant the orange montbretia!

looking back at the east fence line that I had hacked my way through.

the before and after

after, bigger

more bindweed, before pulling. The solid fence belongs to our neighbours of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm and is made of old cranberry boxes.

I was relieved that I had found the energy to address this bindweed problem before it gets worse.

Skooter in the gear shed yard.

Allan had mowed the lawn in the afternoon and then watered the Ilwaco Community Building.

Deer are repeatedly munching the redtwig dogwood.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Again, it was hot and windy.  A dire warning re wildfire smoke had not materialized and yet…the heat!  After a solid eight hours of sleep (which for me means sleeping till 11) and the usual morning news reading, I tried to finish my book, Maggie Bright, a novel about Dunkirk.  Not being able (or willing) to garden made it impossible to concentrate.

I do have a passage to share, of a soldier’s dream for the future while he is spending the night in an abandoned house while trying to get to Dunkirk.

Finally, at 3-ish, I went out and accomplished a few things.

Re-hung my MaryBeth heart after Allan had replaced a broken wire.

Frosty flips and flops in front of me, tangling himself in my feet.

Calvin in his favourite spot.

My main mission was to clip a front garden area where the wind had caused tall veronicastrum to flop.  Usually it stays handsomely upright.



Ann Lovejoy is so right that charcoal grey sets off plants beautifully.

hops on a charcoal grey pit of fence

I managed to pull more bindweed and clip down a big patch of daises, even though the heat did not make the tasks fun or even mildly pleasant.

Although I did not figure out where to put my two new matching black urns, I had three good ideas.  1: I WILL remove that big salmonberry, with Allan’s help, and open up the southeast corner to the garden.  2: Behind a big alder by the southeast gate would be an excellent spot for our firewood pile.  Right now there is a sad wild fuchsia there that never gets a drop from a sprinkler because of the tree’s huge trunk.  (Our state governor has declared a state of wildfire emergency for every county, so until we have some rain it feels irresponsible to have a campfire and burn our existing untidy wood pile.)  3.  I have new names for the garden paths!

Skooter would like a campfire.

tail backlit by sun

The east side of the garden has a big volunteer willow:

So does the west side.

So I’m going to call the path down the east and west side Willows Loop.  East Willows Loop and West Willows Loop.  Better than trying to remember more complicated names.  And then we have the Bogsy Woods Loop at the south end, and Rozanne Loop going around the center bed.  It’s downright loopy.

This satellite view from 2012, when the garden was a year and a half old, shows the loopy paths (and our ugly manufactured home roof).

My accomplishments were few compared to what I wanted to get done.

Over the course of two days off, I ran every possible sprinkler.

Allan’s photo

orange wildfire moon (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow, we drive into even more heat to visit a garden two hours inland.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

We’d had some more drizzle, enough to make small puddles in the street.

While pleasing, it was not enough to saturate the soil in any of the gardens or planters.  Just enough for a little light refreshment.

Post Office garden, still dry

in the post office planter, “two bugs”  (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

strimmer touch up after deadheading (front)

In the back of the sign, you can see that Geranium ‘Orion’ is just a green mound, while Rozanne is still blooming determinedly.

Allan and I parted ways to water the 37 Pacific Way planters, with him going south and me going north.

still my favourite planter

another good one

Santolina, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, Geranium Rozanne’

I love the angularity of ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano.

It occurred to me that I can take starts of Hopley’s Purple in the fall and put it in some other planters, as well.  The only other place I have it is in the boatyard.

Allan has been keeping the monument circle just to the north in Coulter Park well weeded.  It does not get enough water to be lush toward the front.

Coulter Park

The Coulters. I should have pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, lower left!

As I walked and watering going south, I suddenly thought I should photograph all the planters, favourites and otherwise, from across the street, once a month, on one of the days when Allan waters trees and I water almost all the planters.  Next Monday is my last chance to do so before they get vigorously Sat Upon during Rod Run weekend.  But Monday will be Labor Day with lots of traffic between me and the other side of the street.  I will try.  Meanwhile, here are some from the north end of town today.

The one by the Elks

by Cottage Bakery

by Funland

Police Station, with city crew member on the endless garbage pick up detail

Lewis and Clark Square

It was my job today to water the four containers in Fish Alley.  Because I was tired, I decided to get water from a secret place at the back of the alley. (I’m allowed to).  But no!  A hose was going from it up into an apartment, above.


It is a long water bucket schlep from the front of the alley to the back.

Recently while I was thinking about the impermanence of life, the lyrics of a sixties song ran through my mind repeatedly: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.”  One reason impermanence was on my mind was because of reading Julie Goyder’s excellent blog, which I have followed for a few years, and in which she wrote about how her darling husband had just passed on from Parkinson’s disease.  (If you are experiencing the dementia of a loved one, go back and read the last two years of her blog.) A less serious reason for thinking about time was my usual pondering about the enticement of retirement dreams vs. my reluctance to ever give up doing the Long Beach planters.  Today, the spookiest thing happened.  A car drove by and from its windows came just one snatch of song: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.”

Cue Twilight Zone theme.  Later, I looked up all of the lyrics and found them good:

Feed the babies
Who don’t have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin’ in the street
Oh, oh, there’s a solution

I could forgive the Steve Miller Band for having created The Joker, perhaps my least favourite pop song of all time.

As soon as Slow Drag is over, I want to find time to redo this planter:

So tired of the boring Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, once planted by a volunteer.

I’ve tried weeding the geranium out, but it came back.  All the soil must be removed to make the re-do a success.  It is near the Long Beach gazebo and thus in a prime spot.  No point in doing it before the Sitting Upon of Rod Run.

Allan’s walkabout photos:

hesperantha starting to flower

I walked to meet up with Allan for weeding Veterans Field gardens.

corner garden, time to prune down the monarda

after; I hope it blooms some more.  Allan is finishing up.

Cosmos ‘Double Click’

another Cosmos ‘Double Click’

and a pinky white one

white cleome (Allan’s photo)  in Fifth Street Park

We finished downtown by deadheading and weeding in Fifth Street park where I pondered whether or not a large miscanthus just looks silly.

There used to be more than one till that walkway was put in.  It does echo the lovely line of Miscanthus on the other side of the park, shown below from a few weeks back:

How important is it to have that echo?

As I was deadheading, a friend hailed me and there was MaryBeth just finishing a cup of chowder from Captain Bob’s.  She said she was on her way to my garden to deliver some urns (and take herself on a tour).  I was bemoaning the shortness of the cosmos and wondering why: Are the sprinklers not working well? Did the garden need more fertilizer? Every sort of plant from pineapple sage to catmint to helianthus is shorter this year. MaryBeth made me feel better by saying that there was lots of interest in the garden bed.

short but “lots of interest”

I had been craving some of the tiny tacos from Streetside Taco and for once, our passing by there coincided with them being open.  (Why don’t I just stop for a taco while watering? I just don’t.  It has to be during a clear break between tasks.)

at Seventh and Pacific

view from the picnic table

Bahn Mi taco, spicy Korean taco, Hawaiian style taco

planter across the street

Revitalized, we went on to water the planters on Sid Snyder Drive.

Horses at West Coast Rides were having an afternoon snack.

Allan’s photo

westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

gazania in the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

We finished up Long Beach at the World Kite Museum.


I watered the boatyard and did a bit more weeding there.  Now it is pretty much spiffing for the Friday evening Art Walk.  Perhaps some folks will stroll by.  I did not get a sign done to say that “Gardening is the Slowest of the Performing Arts.”  Awhile back I told Jenna I thought my garden should be on a midsummer art walk and she said she could have some sort of art event in the garden.  I know what that means: Mermaids!  Maybe next year!

filling the water tank to water planters. Two hoses saved five minutes on the fill even though it’s off the same line. (Allan’s photo)

I did not have the delightful hose experience of the last two times, when hoses were readily accessible.  This time, the middle one went up into a boat…


And the end one went up into a boat.

And again, NOOOOOO.

This resulted in much dragging of hose along the chunky gravel that hurts my heel.  I was not done watering when Allan arrived so he helped me finish up.

Allan’s photo

sweet peas almost to the top of the fence (by where a hose faucet leaks when turned on)

Other than the during the hose dragging, I am pleased to report that my heel did not hurt much today. I credit the sleeping brace that a kind local person gave me.

I arrived home to find three urns from MaryBeth.

I tucked the glass one into a safe spot for now.

I will have to give some serious thought to a good spot for the two matching black ones.  They need to frame something.  I hope to figure it out sometime this weekend when I do plan to get some gardening done at home….followed (if the wildfire smoke is not too thick) by a day trip to tour an inland garden.

I was delighted that the drizzle had filled two water barrels.

even the hard to fill one

I was not delighted to spend the evening doing the monthly billing.  Always a sense of accomplishment when it is done.







Wednesday, 30 August 2017

For all the fuss from the cats about the new policy of keeping them indoors at night, they don’t seem that eager to go out in the morning.

Skooter on Allan’s desk. The box is to discourage him from typing on the computer.


A sample of one of Skooter’s recent searches (‘c ‘for cats, ‘x’ for kisses?-his spelling isn’t so good)

Smokey in and Calvin not far out.

To my surprise, Frosty is the big fusspot about being kept in at night.

Frosty has decided he would rather sleep in the garage than in the house at night.  That seems reasonable, so he gets his way after a nightly concert of aggrieved yowling.

Last night, when Frosty came indoors at last, his wet fur had told me it was raining.  This morning, the rain barrels  had been partly topped up.


This one had only been one quarter full before.


This one had been one quarter full and is always the slowest to fill.

On the way to work, we watered our friend Jenna’s basket because she was out of town.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo (Queen LaDeDa Reserved Parking)

We began the work day with a plant quest at…

The Basket Case Greenhouse.

Hydrangea ‘Pinkie Winkie tempted me.

Allan noticed these.

My mission was to find chrysanthemums for Diane’s container garden, in white or pink or lavender.

White ones!

greenhouse kitty

I also got some lavenders to get a start on another project at Diane’s.

Before Diane’s, we watered and tidied the small garden at the

The Red Barn.

I was pleased to see lots of horses getting taken outside for the day.

They walk right past us while we work on the garden.

Next year, I am going to take a different approach to the four whiskey barrel planters.  They never get enough water.  The red diascias that were requested are tiny, wimpy little dry things.  Next year: red sedums and so forth, I swear.


Thirsty yellow coreopsis…will not have them next year.

Diane’s garden

I worked on the containers, making all nice for a birthday party that is planned here for tomorrow.  The chrysanths added to the patio display, not in the part that I show in this photo.

Meanwhile, Allan added soil amendments and planted on the raised septic tank.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

That’s about 1/4 of the whole thing mulched and partly planted.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent the usual hour to hour and a half weeding and deadheading and so forth.

looking in the east gate

It’s sad when the lilies are done and just have stems.

The bird bath view

Billardia longiflora

one of Mary’s roses

Gladiolus papilio

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

by the clam cleaning shed (Allan’s photo)

In the basement, Sarah rolled around on her viewing platform.

chit chat after work with Denny and a resort guest


We weeded for over an hour at the boatyard.


Allan thought it inelegant to use a photo showing the sanican.  However, if it were not for the sanican, it would not be possible to work at this job for hours at a time.

Someone’s been messing with the elephant garlic again (Allan’s photo)

At home, I looked into more rain barrels.

West side barrels were empty till last night’s drizzle.

Finally some passion flowers!

late summer garden

Eucomis ‘Tiki’, one of my new plants from Westport Winery

Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’






Tuesday, 29 August 2017

front path before leaving for work

This could have been an all Ilwaco day, had I not wanted to get a head start on tomorrow.  We have some planting to do at Diane’s garden, and I’m not sure how long it will take, so best to get ahead by getting other jobs done today.

On the way out of town, we noted to our sorrow that the street sweeper had knocked out the patch of volunteer poppies that Allan has been nurturing all summer.

poppies reseeded in the street, at sunset last night

today 😦

But wait.  If that was a mechanical street sweeper truck, why did it leave cigarette butts and all?

We delivered our B&O tax form belatedly to Ilwaco City Hall.  It is such an easy form to do; why do I put it off?

Allan noticed this showy nasturtium in a city hall planter.

The Depot Restaurant

after watering

‘Fireworks’ goldenrod hints of autumn.

I hope folks parking here in the evening have enjoyed the scent of Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’.

Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ and gold sweet potato vine, combined by Basket Case Greenhouse Roxanne.

spoon petaled African Daisy (osteospermum) in purple…

and white

Long Beach

I belatedly delivered our B&O tax to city hall.

Meanwhile, Allan did some clipping of lambs ears on the west side of city hall.

before and after

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’ does not have many blooms, which can be an advantage if all you want is the soft silver foliage.

City Hall west side

There is much crocosmia to pull in the narrow part of the garden (not planted by us! I have almost totally gone off planting Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’).

Meanwhile, I did some sightline pruning in the wee popout a block north of city hall, where a maple that was once planted, then cut down by the city crew for sightline reasons, is returning in a bushy way.



really after

That area gets no supplemental water so is pretty sparse.  I now think I should make that determined maple into a wee rounded shrub.

The Anchorage Cottages

Apparently I had sight lines on my mind.  When we had to park by the street below the Anchorage Cottages (due to a big truck in the parking lot), I got the urge to “lift” a tree to make for a better view of the road for folks leaving the resort.

before, looking toward the Anchorage exit


Mitzu comes to see what’s what (Allan’s photo)

Mitzu supervising

debris from two trees whose branches I clipped

I’m glad the soft foliage of chameacyparis is set well back from the street.

I then joined Allan in weeding and deadheading by the cottages.

center courtyard

Melianthus major

Note to self: The soil looks thin again, mulch it this fall.

Allan found a painted rock, from a “rocks” group in Pocatello, Idaho.

a late Tigridia (Allan’s photo)

north end of courtyard: Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and Hebe ‘Quicksilver’ looking grand.

south end of courtyard: same two plants, not so great

Soon the row of seeds from Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will look a lot like the rope in the painting.  I planned that (not).

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer” seedheads mimicking the rope in the sign in a previous year


We stopped at home to get the long hose for watering the east end curbside garden at the port.  I could see so much that needs doing in my own blown-about garden.  My foot hurt so I knew I would be doing none of it at the end of the day.

so much dead-leafing to do.

We watered at the port, Allan at the east end and me at the west.

east end garden (Allan’s photo)

I look forward to some rain and to not having to drag hose down the sidewalk.  Just when I was feeling quite tired and sore whilst watering in front of Time Enough Books, a woman came up to me and asked if I wanted any Shasta daisy seeds that she had in her car.  I said no, because they don’t do well in this dry gardens.  Seeing the cosmos in the boat planter, she told me that they were a favourite of her mothers. Then she kindly offered me a large paper cup of sweet tea that she had just bought at McDonalds in Long Beach.  I said no, because it would make me have to pee.  (Well, it would, which is a problem when busy gardening!)  She laughed and said she was prepared for me, though, and she reached into her bag and handed me this present!

So thank you, Christina from Nemah, who is clearly on a mission to spread joy wherever she goes.

looking east from Time Enough Books…

…and looking west

Minutes later, a fellow walked by with a black lab.  Of course, I wanted to pet the dog, and learned his name was Tai and that “he can spell!” said the man.  He then showed Tai a treat and spelled out “S-P-I-N” and Tai spun around.  Next came “S-I-T” and Tai sat.

Then “W-A-I-T” and Tai waited while his guy walked away.  Tai joined him by the green metal box (background in above photo) and the man spelled “J-U-M-P” and Tai jumped up onto the box.  All three of us were delighted.  Tai still had soft puppy-like fur.

Allan joined me at the west end by the Freedom Market, where I watered while he ran the string trimmer down the sidewalk edge.

before and after: Can you tell the difference?

Tai came by again

I still wanted to do a garden along the bark strip by Freedom Market, where in midsummer almost all the plant starts (which were not many) that I had put in there were stolen. Another problem is that people walk through the bark area.  Maybe, thought I, I could plant just around the two existing roses.

would look nice with some flowers

I think I have given up on this idea after this evening, when I saw two young male customers run right through between the roses, where one tiny yarrow start remains, and vault the log.

If that’s a path, too, I think I give up!

Or….maybe I’ll try planting Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and see what happens.

Our neighbour Devery arrived home at the same time we did.  Her dog, my little friend Royal, got very excited.

How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the beautiful tail!

As predicted to myself, my foot hurt so I got no evening gardening done except for watering essential potted plants.  I hope for lots of gardening energy when the weekend days off arrive.

Here’s a text that arrived today from Todd, showing his new puppy on the job.

Todd’s photo of baby Ansel! (black and white dog/Ansel Adams)

I have not yet met this pup and hope to remedy that soon.