Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Sunday, 17 March 2019

I had a tiny bit of birthday in the morning when I opened two cards from two friends I’ve known since we were all age 12.

from Montana Mary and Roberta

Whenever I see that garden and library quotation, my literal mind says, “But we need food and drink, also.”  Mary’s card and gift addressed this:

A cozy cat mystery is something of a tradition….as long as the cats don’t talk!

Then there was no getting around going to work, because of nice weather and because of having missed a couple of days to the Shingrix vaccine.

Long Beach

The weather forecast called for big wind on Monday and Tuesday.  We drove out to the beach approach to see if it would be too busy and crowded to work there today; it is the worst place in the wind.  The whole stretch was bustling with cars and pedestrians so we returned to the parking lot berms on the east side of downtown.

I had thought it would be moderately easy to do the south berm, based on the north berm going quite swimmingly yesterday.  It turned out to be much thornier and more hard-packed with weeds than the north berm and was a fairly miserable work session in weather that felt uncomfortably warm.

We found all sorts of trash in the beds.

Getting the crocosmia out from the rugosa roses was most unpleasant.

Allan’s photo

Years ago, an alternative school had its student parking in this lot, and there was so much backing and forthing across the beds than anything delicate got crushed, leading to the decision to plant rugosa roses.  The school has moved but the thorns are still there.

using The Toy to trim the edges


after (Allan’s photo)

clamshells in the garden (Allan’s photo) from a parking lot feast, perhaps by a gull? or humans.

tight quarters

a fasciated stem of…something (Allan’s photo)

We acquired a full trailer load of thorny and otherwise debris (Allan’s photo)


We have not had any mulch left over for the berms for years, so not only is this not a raised berm, it is sunken down to pavement level and extremely hard to weed.  I finally decided we would just string trim the open areas and they can darn well just be lawn. These three beds get no supplemental water so in late spring and summer, the short grasses will stop growing anyway.


another walk through after the strimmer


When we left to dump our debris after four unpleasant hours, our van thermometer said the temperature was 76 degrees.  It felt like 76 to me.  No wonder I was so miserable.  I then looked at the weather apps and saw it was actually 62.

After a short turn around time at home, we drove back to

The Depot Restaurant

where we were joined by J9 and Our Kathleen for a birthday feast.

wilted spinach salad

Allan’s halibut special

the famous crab mac for J9

Cinghiale for me

birthday flan

I have now entered my 65th year (turning 64).

chocolate espresso pot de creme for Kathleen

salted caramel brownie

At home, I opened the rest of my presents.  I got a haul of wonderful gardening books from Allan, all ones I especially wanted, along with a book about punk rock in Eastern Germany from Kathleen and the cat mystery from Montana Mary, and an insulated lunch bag from Mary and Denny.  (They had found us in Long Beach on Friday and their other present, chocolate dipped shortbread cookies made by Mary, was already consumed!)

Allan might enjoy Alys Fowler’s book as it is about boating as well as her own life.

The Christine Walkden book has me burning for a rainy day.  Just opening it, I could see it is a wonderful diary of JUST the sort that I adore.  Fortunately, we are due for some rain by Friday…I hope.

Allan also found for me a proper English watering can (I had told him that the metal one was too expensive) and soil sifter for topping off seed flats. The can has a push on rose rather than screw on and a place to store the rose on the can. The flat end of the rose snaps off for cleaning. It is perfect. I’ve lost all the roses on my cheap watering cans years ago by removing them in annoyance when they get clogged.

Another special birthday treat was that so many of my friends on Facebook donated to my birthday fundraiser for Pacific County Immigrant Support that by today, the amount was $251 for this important local cause.










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I woke very early (for me), worried about our old cat Mary’s health.  She’s lost weight rapidly in the last week, and is no longer a round ball of kitty, and has lost interest in food. I would have had her in to the vet sooner had it not been for my own medical tests.  So I called Oceanside Animal Clinic and was fortunate to get an appointment in the afternoon.  Into the second bathroom I put Mary with food (with hopeful wishes she might eat) water and litter so that we could easily find her later, and we went to work for three hours.


This Irish cheese was on my breakfast patty, for St Patrick’s Day

The Depot Restaurant

We had a bit more mulching to do and four lily bulbs and a rosemary to plant at the Depot.


Depot north side window box


not much going on yet at the Depot flower garden; lots of lily sprouts at ground level though.

My theory about lilies at the Depot is that they fill the air with fragrance when diners get out of their cars in the evening.


Allan mulched the south side rosemary and ornamental grass bed with Gardner and Bloome.

Diane’s garden

I had a couple of violas and an Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’ for Diane’s pink and pastel garden.


the roadside garden




more narcissi


Thalia, one of my favourite Narcissus


the container garden


right next door

soft wrinkly nose

And on the way to the Anchorage, a dog who often sits on a play structure had a wrinkly brow and his feet arranged just so.


Anchorage Cottages

I had an Agastache and a Symphytum variegata and some violas for the Anchorage garden.



Tulip sylvestris at The Anchorage

Long Beach

We had one hour left before kitty time, and used it to fill our buckets with soil energy at city works…


…and take it to do some mulching at Veterans Field.


Allan’s photos, before



And then…

Kitty intermission


Allan’s photos: Mary on her way to the vet


At the vet with one of the office cats



My friend Bette was there with her kitty (and note the very good dog, also)


and I got to meet a wiggly waggly puppy.


Dr Kelly (perfect name for St Patrick’s Day) checks Mary’s gums

Mary is probably 16.  Maybe a bit younger.  She needed to stay for blood tests and rehydrating and some vitamins and so forth so we left her there with a sense of deep foreboding as with a cat her age we feared kidney failure.

Long Beach again


We deadheaded the Long Beach welcome sign.

I’d been weepy to myself at bedtime last night (2 AM) about waiting for my own tests and about Mary being poorly.  Now I focused on getting more mulch onto Veterans Field garden beds and a small area of Fifth Street Park.


vet field corner garden, mulched


and more on the curved bed


leftover five buckets went to Fifth Street: Allan’s photos, before




Allan sheared some tatty schizostylus (before)



I planted two leftover lily bulbs and (in a planter) two Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’.


Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’


Greigii tulip foliage


more short early tulips


impressed that these primroses are still in full bloom


Fifth Street Park, still too much darned weedy little alliums


These four kinds of lilies are now all planted here and there.

I felt potentially weepy about Mary.  At almost five, I called Dr. Kelly as she had requested and she expressed amazement that all Mary’s blood work came back perfect!  No kidney failure, good electrolytes, good liver function….so now Mary stays overnight for more hydration and maybe an X Ray tomorrow.  Her blood work was exceptional for an old kitty.  I felt much better, although she is “still a very sick kitty”.

We drove to city hall to do a bit of deadheading there.

On the way, in the little popout, we were pleased to see the tulips had NOT been eaten by deer after all.


Allan’s photo


City Hall garden


tulip (Allan’s photo)

Then, home, because we had an event to attend in the evening.  The event happened to be my 61st birthday.  We both changed into St Patrick’s Day green shirts and headed to the

Salt Hotel Pub

where our usual North Beach Garden Gang meeting included the full roster:  Allan and me and Melissa and Dave and Todd and Ed Strange.  It’s hard to get Ed out to one of our meetings so we were pleased he could attend.  I’m shy about inviting people to my birthday, so had stuck with just the usual Thursday line up.  Allan had asked if he should invite lots of people.  With all that has been going on lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and wanted to keep it small.  Maybe at 65 I’ll have a big big party!


Todd arrived with a crate full of the flower arrangements for which he is renowned.  Since we all looked at each one with great attention and pleasure, I’ll share lots of the details with you.  All are from his garden and woods.






Melissa, Todd, Allan




The trailing accent that looks like an evergreen branch is actually Elk Horn Moss that only grows in old growth cedar (I think he said) woods around here, and there is some like that where he lives on Willapa Bay.




The yellow puffs are Kerria Japonica







Todd, Allan, Dave




Podophylum ‘Spotty Dotty” (Allan’s photo)


Our Ed arrives!  (Allan’s photo)


our view, other than flowers


garden talk!  (Allan’s photo)


more garden talk (Allan’s photo)

We talked about plants and looked at plant pictures on our phones.


for example, from Todd’s phone: Corydalis ‘Blue Heron’


food arrives


food and flowers (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery (our favourite baker) was in Ireland for a vacation, so Allan had turned to the Cottage Bakery to make a garden themed cake.  They did a wonderful job. Allan had coordinated with Dave and Melissa for them to pick the cake up today, thus making it a complete surprise.


Julez brings the cake!



birthday song

It was an extra boon that Heather from Niva Green (in dark shirt, with a halo behind her) had come to Salt that evening and was able to join our party.   It was extra cool that one of my presents was a gift certificate to NIVA green, my favourite shop ever.  And another was, all the way from Plant Delights Nursery via Dave and Melissa, five (FIVE!) Asphodeline lutea, a plant which I have been lusting after for quite some time.  I have just ONE in Long Beach and have longed for more.  Todd says this one is a cultivar with an extra good yellow flower.



sweet 61, not really 16


garden theme cake



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


our Melissa (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s arty floaty photo

We left three of the little bouquets for Salt’s Laila and Julez to enjoy and sent one home with Dave and Mel.  (Ed had already left to walk his dog, Jackson.)  I went downstairs to ask Julez to just save the flower containers for Todd and then I waited outside among the greenery in the courtyard.


out of the wind, amongst the greenery, sitting on a bench, looking at the half moon way above

It’s been a long day, and I have a few more presents to open, from Klipsan Beach Cottages and Allan and my dear far away Montana Mary, so I will leave you now.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 73):

March 17: Happy Birthday to Skyler.  Today I puttered around with paperwork and didn’t get out till almost 1:30.  I worked again digging out the strawberry plants.  When I got over to the asparagus bed those berry plants were nicer—probably nicer soil there.  As I dug the plants I also weeded the asparagus area which was overgrown with dandelions, etc.


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