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Posts Tagged ‘Astoria Megler bridge’

Mr. Tootlepedal used the words “photo diary” to describe his own blog (one of my favourites.  I read each daily entry and intend to catch up on an entire past year of it this winter).  This is also a perfect description of mine.  I would not even remember much what happened except that now I try to take photos of each stage of the day.

Thursday, 10 October, 2013

Today we tidied up the Ilwaco Post Office garden (a volunteer project).  Woe betide the day that I let a scrap of Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’ work its way in here hiding inside the roots of a good plant from my mother’s garden.  I pulled lots of it today and there is still some left.

Ilwaco post office

Ilwaco post office

Next door to the post office:  an early sign of the Halloween extravaganza soon to come to Lake and Spruce Streets

Next door to the post office: an early sign of the Halloween extravaganza soon to come to Lake and Spruce Streets

We remembered to add to Larry and Robert’s back entry the buckets of pea gravel and river rock that we dropped off there yesterday.  (Last week it took us three days to get back and apply two buckets of gravel.)

Larry and Robert garden

walk to back porch

Judy stopped by and joined us in marveling at the velvet texture of the tall volunteer variegated mallows.

I would pull out the biggest one (on the right) because it is so not supposed to be there, but Judy and Allan both objected.

at Larry and Robert's, before

at Larry and Robert’s, before (last session)

after (today)

after (today)

This is the first time I have graveled without using fabric.  Hope I don’t regret leaving it out.

I walked home for a brief rest stop, admiring Tom and Judy’s garden vignettes along the way.

chocolate cosmos still looking great

chocolate cosmos still looking great

Osteospermum and Penstemon

Osteospermum and Penstemon

I became inspired to photograph some of the Sanguisorbas in my own front garden, as they are one of the plants I collect.

a sanguisorba (burnet)

a sanguisorba (burnet) fallen across the path

with Melianthus major

with Melianthus major

and with backdrop of neighbouring (Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm) house

and with backdrop of neighbouring (Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm) house

Ann Lovejoy wrote that charcoal grey is the best house colour against which to show off plants, and if the neighbouring house had not already been painted that colour, I would have considered it.  But two charcoal grey houses next door would make the street too somber.

I think she is onto something.

I think she is onto something.

At the Port, we dug out an old blue oat grass and replaced it with a better one and took another extra low ornamental bronze Carex down to the Queen La De Da garden.

Blue oat grass gets tatty after a couple of years.

Blue oat grass gets tatty after a couple of years.

On the way, I stopped at Time Enough Books and had a brief visit with owner Karla and her dog Scout.

Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird)

Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird)

She was glad to see me (I think they both were, as Karla had a gardening memoir for me to read).  Scout had settled down after petting.

by Queen La De Da's shop

by Queen La De Da’s shop and gallery

Because I took no photos along First Street today, I almost forgot that we tidied up the street planters.  This weekend will draw tourists and locals to town for the annual Cranberrian Fair at the museum.

Meanwhile, the lawn mower repair shop had called.  The weather being rather chilly with better days forecast, we decided to go pick it up and see if by some remote chance the falafel lunch truck, now located near the Astoria coop, would still be open at three.  I had intensely fond memories of the shwarma I ate there the day we went to Astoria Sunday Market.

Astoria Megler bridge work has begun again.

Astoria Megler bridge work has begun again.

We found a closed falafel lunch truck and went on to get the mower.  My second motivation for accompanying Allan on the errand was that I have fallen in love with one of the repair shop personnel.

Truman!

Truman!

Is the feeling mutual?

Is the feeling mutual?

Just west of Clatsop Power Equipment is the shell of a nursery that came and went with much promise.

abandoned? nursery

abandoned? nursery

It started out strong with lots of good plants and then just dwindled with plants unwatered and fallen over, and it closed for good after just a couple of years, leaving behind an expensive, huge, fancy greenhouse….such a shame.

For some comfort after not having had falafels and shwarma, we stopped to eat at La Cabana D Raya.

just west of the old Young's Bay Bridge

just west of the old Young’s Bay Bridge

inside

inside

looking out east windows to the bridge

looking out east windows to the bridge

what a view from the dining room to the south and west!

what a view from the dining room to the south and west!

Allan’s  chicken mole (a spicy tomato and chocolate sauce) was outstanding.  I liked the enchiladas but prefer the ones at Thursday Mexican Night at the Hungry Harbor in Long Beach…and that’s a good thing because Long Beach is much handier.

on the way back...a bridge construction stop with view of Astoria hill

on the way back…a bridge construction stop with view of Astoria hill

Astoria Megler bridge, looking north

Astoria Megler bridge, looking north

I still don’t like the curve at the south end and hate it when people pass, but my bridge phobia has greatly decreased in our new, taller vehicle.

At home, I finished picking up the debris so Allan could find out for sure that the mower was fixed.  It had been but a clogged air filter, repaired for $25.00.  I went inside to avoid the brisk chill in the air, then realized I needed a photo of Allan mowing!  Back out again…

It works!

It works!

Be sure to tilt your mower straight back for cleaning, and not to the (wrong) side.

Evening in the garden:

Nicotiana langsdorfii still in full bloom even though it has fizzled in other gardens by now

Nicotiana langsdorfii still in full bloom even though it has fizzled in other gardens by now

Fuchsia 'Delta's Parade'

Fuchsia ‘Delta’s Parade’

Penstemon 'Dark Towers'

Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’

a hardy Fuchsia

a hardy Fuchsia

If only I had left the tags stuck in on all the fuchsias!

golds and browns (astilbe seedheads) in the shade garden

golds and browns (astilbe seedheads) in the shade garden

Physocarpus (Diablo or ?)

Physocarpus (Diablo or ?)

Mary

Mary

east bed, back garden

east bed, back garden, with red drawer of kale

The following three photos are details of the above garden…to the right of the cat statue.

Penstemon and Euphorbia

Penstemon and Euphorbia

a slightly darker Penstemon

a slightly darker Penstemon

a handsome daylily

a handsome daylily

Walking to the front garden….

by Allan's shed

by Allan’s shed

a gently fading agryathemum

a gently fading agryathemum

by the front porch

by the front porch

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  -Iris Murdoch

front garden: Dichroa febrifuga

front garden: Dichroa febrifuga

I crossed the street to take a photo of the J’s garden for a photo record of the town’s Halloween decorations for this year.

Jay and Jody's garden

Jay and Jody’s garden

I saw that during the time I had gone indoors, I had missed a wonderful sunset.

dregs of colour at the end of Lake Street

dregs of colour at the end of Lake Street

So here’s a concluding splash of colour from peppers that I picked today from the greenhouse.

peppers

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Friday, September 20, 2013, part one

I was disappointed to be woken at the usual time because I had expected a rainy day off.  And then I heard the gurgling of water in the rain barrel outside my window and looked out to an increasing drizzle.   So at last, it turned out to be the day to go get new shoes.  We were off “overseas” to Astoria.

As often seems to be true, the sky over Astoria and points east was lighter and we were out of the rain as soon as we got through the Chinook tunnel.

bright sky over Astoria

bright sky over Astoria; Columbia River to our right

Because a 55 mph wind is predicted for Sunday, the workers on the bridge were folding up the enormous tarps that cover the highest part.  Last year, they got caught out by the first storm and had to close the bridge because of the dangerous flapping!

Screen shot of news story, in case it eventually goes away as old news:

last year!

last year!

A shoe shopping expedition is not a treat for me.  I find it very hard, and always have done, to acquire comfy shoes.  Last year, in the local Reach Out Thrift Store, I happened upon a pair for $2 that felt soft as butter.  (I had been looking for a work shirt, not shoes, but checked the shoes in a desperate attempt to avoid actual shoe shopping!)  It turned out that they were SAS, an expensive brand, but one that would be worth any amount of money to me.  Since the ones I bought that day were already worn and now have holes by the little toe, today we went across the river to the store that carries them: Gimre’s.  I had the most pleasant shoe shopping experience of my life there and bought two pair, and that is enough about shoes!

Ok, for my friends who do love shoes, here they are:

left: new slip ons, middlle: new laceups, right: thrift store pair

left: new slip ons, middlle: new laceups, right: thrift store pair

I commend SAS for making such great shoes.  I will even try to keep the slip on pair out of the dirt…(We’ll see how long that lasts.)

Back to (mostly) garden theme, with this digression for one of the best hotel advertising slogans ever:

hotel elliot

hotel elliot

I continue to be an ardent admirer of the Astoria planters on Commercial Street and some side streets:

chocolate cosmos on Commercial

chocolate cosmos on Commercial

planter with Fuchsia

planter with Fuchsia

Periscaria

Periscaria

Euphorbia and Verbena

Euphorbia and Verbena

(I hesitate to use Euphorbia in planters because if someone broke off a piece, hurting their eye with the toxic sap would be a high price to pay for finger blight.)

I adore the planters with wire sides and plants spilling out all the way to the ground:

planters

planter

planter

closer

closer

The rain caught up with us in Astoria, so we went to lunch, passing this cute storefront on the way.

store

We also passed a curbside garden on Marine Drive with a name I recognized:

Jessica's garden

Jessica’s garden

I met Jessica some years ago and loved the slogan that she used for her gardening business, which I think was called Wyndlesham Gardening:  “Hand Tool Gardening”, and am pleased to have found this interview with her on that subject.

Chocolate cosmos in Jessica's garden

Chocolate cosmos in Jessica’s garden

Jessica's garden

Jessica’s garden

We dined on the lunch buffet at the wonderful Himani Indian Cuisine.  Guess which plate is mine and which is Allan’s.

messy vs. tidy

messy vs. tidy

I went back for a bowl of raita.  I could eat a mixing bowl of the stuff!  (Yogurt with cucumber.)

On the way back to the van, we peeked into the interior of a building that I remembered from when a tea shop used to be in its basement.

as I remembered:  cool architecture indoors

as I remembered: cool architecture indoors

Our parking spot was very close to the wide Columbia River.

the great Columbia

the great Columbia

and the scent of water and pilings

and the scent of water and pilings

Crossing the bridge again, we found the big tarps completely bundled off to the sides and decided we had better take the coming storm seriously.

Just a few hatches truly needed battening at home.  Allan took the blue bottle hanger (from Back Alley Gardens) out of the danger tree.

rainy day garden

rainy day garden

blue bottles coming down

blue bottles coming down

and time to take down the great wall of china...

and time to take down the great wall of china…

and the beautiful hanger made by Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery)

and the beautiful hanger made by Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery)

Poor spider had to move so we could get Sheila’s pottery down.

The space between the house and shed is a fierce wind tunnel in a storm from the south.

cats underfoot, as pretty much always in the garden

cats underfoot, as often happens in the garden

It seems awfully early for a storm to come and batter the garden.  Before the storm:

before the storm: Dicentra scandens climbing into a hanging basket

Dicentra scandens climbing into a hanging basket

a perfect clump of Dianthus

a perfect clump of Dianthus

boat (The Anne Lovejoy) with cosmos

boat (The Anne Lovejoy) with cosmos

The Solidago ‘Fireworks’ has fizzled out:

browned off now

browned off now

But Lemon Queen is going strong.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

queen

dahlia

dahlia

I took a walk around because the flowers might be bowed and battered soon.

for Ann who wants more photos of garden signs

for Ann who wants more photos of garden signs

Nicotiana langsdorfii

Nicotiana langsdorfii

some Fuchsias for Mr. Tootlepedal

some Fuchsias for Mr. Tootlepedal

fuchsias

fuchsias against a darmera peltata leaf

fuchsias against a darmera peltata leaf

Fuchsias fronted with Persicaria 'Firetail'

Fuchsias fronted with Persicaria ‘Firetail’

I checked out the bogsy wood because in a high wind it will be too dangerous to go back here.  I tucked the Bogsy Wood sign more safely against a tree.

bogsy wood

bogsy wood

autumn leaves in a salmonberry tunnel

autumn leaves in a salmonberry tunnel

When all the salmonberry leaves fall, we will have our winter view of the port buildings.

The swale under the bridge will fill with water...

The swale under the bridge will fill with water…

Under the danger tree (a big dead alder, died last year) is a shade bed that will disrupted if the tree falls before we have it cut.

shade bed in danger

shade bed in danger

Allan wheeled a blue pot from the base of the tree to a safe spot.

heavy!

heavy!

We left the lady to fend for herself, and may regret it.

she lost her feet so was inexpensive....

she lost her feet so was inexpensive….but heavy!

blue pot safely tucked by the boat

blue pot safely tucked by the boat

Mary and Frosty take cover from the rain.

Mary and Frosty take cover from the rain.

Mary is not a bird hunter so does not have to wear a BirdsBeSafe collar.

Throughout the garden we could hear frogs.  We had an appointment to keep, so I only found this one.

pacific tree frog

Pacific tree frog

The frog sees me!

The frog sees me!

For a non working day, this has gone on for much too long and we still had two garden visits to make before dark…

to be continued…

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After the Cannon Beach Cottage Tour, we stopped on our way home at Back Alley Gardens and The Natural Nook.  Although it was past closing time, we got to peruse the new plant purchases and autumn displays in this delightful collectors nursery located in Gearhart, Oregon.

It must be (almost) autumn!

It must be (almost) autumn!

plant tables

plant tables

pretty little faces of autumn

pretty little faces of autumn

more cool plants from Xera

more cool plants from Xera

It definitely saved me money that the cash register was closed out because…just look at that little hot pink flower!   They also had some Salvia clevelandii ‘Aromas’…at least that is what I called it back when I had a late blooming sage with intensely fragrant leaves.

a planted potbelly stove

a planted potbelly stove

love the way these have decided to grow on the edge of the plant display table

love the way these have decided to grow on the edge of the plant display table

garden art

garden art

We had a pleasant visit and some good plant talk and stories of public gardening and then Allan and I were on our way.  Crossing the Astoria Megler bridge, a construction stop let us get a great view of the ships.

looking east from the bridge

looking east from the bridge

ship and Astoria

ship and Astoria

stairs at the highest part of the bridge!

stairs at the highest part of the bridge!

Looking northwest, we saw the Peninsula had become almost invisible because of a heavy bank of fog and clouds.  I hoped for a rainy Sunday so I could spend the day blogging about the cottage tour.

toward home

toward home

north on the four mile bridge

north on the four mile bridge

And the rainy day that I wanted is exactly what I got!

I took exactly one photo on Sunday the 15th of the rain out my south window.  I was able to write all day and avoid falling days behind again while posting about the cottage tour.

Sunday rain

Sunday rain; love the big pink cosmos in the garden boat

If I am lucky, Monday will be rainy as well and instead of blogging I just might catch up on paperwork.

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birdhousesJuly 13: Before going to Astoria, I had to take my usual Discover Ilwaco photos at the Saturday market.  Somehow this involved a certain amount of delay and dithering, like buying a birdhouse from The Wood Elf out of sympathy because his truck had broken down and he was unable to bring his larger goods.  He has excellent garden furniture when he can get it here, and I had fallen in love with the crooked roofed birdhouse anyway.

Then…the bridge to Astoria, Oregon.  I was feeling that we were running a bit late so it followed that we got stuck in the longest traffic delay I had experienced.  I became rather anxious…even though I prefer crossing the bridge when traffic is slowed by bridge work delays.

waiting

waiting

The tide was low…

looking west toward the ocean

looking west toward the ocean

and birds were waiting, too.

birds

view from the bridge (telephoto)

We finally got to the ticket sales tent at 11:45.   As always happens in Astoria, beautiful houses caught my eye before I even had a ticket in hand.

by where we parked

by where we parked

and next door

and next door

And here is the comforting sight of the ticket tent with tickets still for sale…

ticket sales

ticket sales

always next to this beautiful house on the hill.

always next to this beautiful house on the hill

with a view of the Columbia River down the hill

with a view of the Columbia River down the hill

sweet peas on the ticket table

sweet peas on the ticket table

We drove to the east end of Astoria and up another hill to find the first garden.  (I remember what a struggle that was before we got our Garmin.)  Across the street from the first garden stood a stunning home for sale…plenty of room for a garden there.

tower house

tower house

And now…let’s start to tour!

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All that means around here is we crossed the bridge over the Columbia River to Astoria, Gearhart, and Seaside. We began our Saturday with a stop at Larry’s Antique Gallery Too! shop which involved much chatting and dog petting.

shop dog

shop dog

Then a stop at Olde Towne Café to trade compost buckets…More schmoozing ensued.

Captain Phil

Captain Phil

Then, of course, we had to take a walk through the Ilwaco Saturday Market to take photos for Discover Ilwaco.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Had a gander at a garden we used to do. Well, now that we live just a block from there, we have offered to return. It’s looking pretty bad! But for some strange reason they don’t want us back. The mind boggles. Since I offered, and was turned down (hearing that only from a third party after we submitted a bid), it has gotten so much worse I don’t even want it anymore. So there! (The person who cares for it is an excellent gardener but is overbooked and lives much further than one block away.)

big blackberry vines

big blackberry vines

Uh oh, somehow it got to be 2 PM and we were still in Ilwaco, so off we went toward Astoria. The previous week, we had had excellent garden company in our garden: Debbie H and Helen W. on Saturday and Laura D. on Sunday. Helen had invited us to come back and see her Astoria garden in June; we had previously seen it in July and in winter.

We also wanted to check out nurseries, and Allan wanted to go grocery shopping (how tedious!).

By 2:37, we were crossing the Astoria Megler bridge, to my usual terror.

the beginning

the beginning

the view to the west

the view to the west

too close for comfort

too close for comfort

cargo ship

cargo ship

construction guy

construction guy; I wish I were that brave!

down the curve

down the curve

I like it when the bridge is being worked on because it slows down the traffic and there is less passing on the bridge.

We survived and turned left to go into Astoria.

We survived and turned left to go into Astoria.

Somehow, though, we went by the Mill Pond Village and ended up on the road going east out of town, so we turned left into the Alderbrook neighbourhood to turn around. It’s a hidden gem just east of town; I only discovered it because a friend lived there for awhile. Two blocks wide, it’s next to the Columbia River and seems to have a lot of gardeners.

Alderbrook

Alderbrook

Alderbrook

pig weathervane

pig weathervane

and right next door, another!

and right next door, another!

Alderbrook

Alderbrook

seems like an artistic neighbourhood

seems like an artistic neighbourhood

vintage trailer in Alderbrook

vintage trailer in Alderbrook

by the river

by the river

Alderbrook riverside

Alderbrook riverside

interesting garden

interesting garden

There was an art gallery there, but this cannot really be a grocery store, despite the sign. Or can it?

former store?

former store?

an idyllic enclave

an idyllic enclave

Alderbrook does feel quite separate from the rest of the town. I was getting anxious about whether or not we would arrive at the Gearhart nursery before it closed, so I did not photograph any houses on the way out, and I now wish I had taken a photo of my friend’s former tiny house and garden; it still looked good from the street.

as one emerges from Alderbook and turns right, back into town...

as one emerges from Alderbook and turns right, back into town…

We did find the Mill Pond Village but will save Helen’s garden for its own entry, next, because it is so lovely.

We got to Back Alley Gardens with 45 minutes to spare (if they close at five).

Back Alley Gardens

Back Alley Gardens

I got some cool Salpiglossis ‘Chocolate’, another Hebe ‘Quicksilver’, a pretty purple and yellow annual, and some variegated thymes but was sad that they did not have a big shipment of unusual plants from Xera like they did last year at this time.

Salpiglossis 'Chocolate'

Salpiglossis ‘Chocolate’

Catalina grape

Catalina grape

As always, we admired a lot of the indoor garden themed art in the adjoining Natural Nook.

Informative tea towels with hummingbirds and dragonflies

Informative tea towels with hummingbirds and dragonflies

birdhouses

birdhouses

sculpture

sculpture

The Natural Nook

The Natural Nook

Then on we went to Seven Dees in Seaside without a feeling of time pressure because they are now open till seven in summer.

I usually don't go for cutesy critters, but there is something about this hippo...

I usually don’t go for cutesy critters, but there is something about this hippo…

Seaside 7 Dees

Seaside 7 Dees

a mossy 7

a mossy 7

catnip protected from...

catnip protected from…

one of the shop cats

one of the shop cats

I do love a moggie.

I do love a moggie. And they know it. Probably from the baby talk.

Our two carts of lovely purchases.

Our two carts of lovely purchases.

Catchy names seemed to abound.

Geum 'Alabama Slammer'

Geum ‘Alabama Slammer’

Astrantia 'Vanilla Gorilla'

Astrantia ‘Vanilla Gorilla’ (next day, in my garden)

Vanilla Gorilla may have been a Back Alley purchase. On his recent visit to our garden, Ciscoe Morris told us that a study in the UK showed that Astrantia REPELS SLUGS. I already love the plant and now have more reason to collect them.

And an exciting new Eryngium which stays small so might be great in containers:

Eryngium 'Blue Hobbit'

Eryngium ‘Blue Hobbit’

As we left 7 Dees at 5:45, I suddenly got an ominous feeling: Didn’t Costco close early on Saturdays? We had wanted to go there last to get some frozen food, but we had made a terrible error because when we pulled into their parking lot at 6:05, they had closed five minutes before. This is so hard to remember as it seems so early for a grocery store of any sort to close on a Saturday; it probably goes with their reputation of being very good to their employees.

Oh dear. We stopped at Fred Meyer and while Allan did some minor grocery shopping I checked the plant department and found more salpiglossis. It used to be an unusual annual to find but has obviously caught on.

common name:  Beardtongue

common name: Beardtongue

I also was surprised to see very inexpensive Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ there.

Golden Lanterns

Golden Lanterns

A very peachy coreopsis spoke to me of Lorna (Andersen’s RV Park) but it was too leggy so I passed it by.

Lorna's colour palette...

Lorna’s colour palette…

I got myself some more heirloom tomatoes and peppers for the edible garden tour; I still wonder if my garden will look ridiculously under-edible.

Hint of the day:

To my horror, both 7 Dees and Fred Meyer were selling the horrid Aegopodium (Bishops Weed). Do not fall for this dreadful thug.

at 7 Dees:  Do not fall for this.

at 7 Dees: Do not fall for this.

At Fred Meyer

At Fred Meyer

Don't do it!

Don’t do it!

Do not buy this plant, don’t take starts from anybody, or you will so regret it. This amusing article will tell you more, but I have to disagree with the author’s assertion that Bishops Weed does not seem to grow into lawn turf…because it does. It also looks terrible after it blooms and does need to be sheared at that time.

Back we went across the river…

approaching the dreaded four mile long bridge

approaching the dreaded four mile long bridge

glad to slow down for a flagger at the top

glad to slow down for a flagger at the top

the descent

the descent

the view upriver

the view upriver

Allan says the bridge does not bother him although he did find it startling the first time he saw how high the span goes. He does wish that people could not pass on the bridge. We obviously survived another crossing because I am here to tell this story.

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