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Sunday, 17 May 2015

We did not treat ourselves to a day off. The push to get the annuals planted continued.

Ilwaco

On the way to add a couple more annuals to the planter at the Peninsula Sanitation office, we noticed some plant growth in the Sea Warrior, an old boat in the storage yard.

The Sea Warrior looks permanently landbound now. (Allan's photo)

The Sea Warrior looks permanently landbound now. (Allan’s photo)

From Peninsula Sanitation:  The name of this boat spoke to me of Annuals Planting Time.

From Peninsula Sanitation: The name of this boat spoke to me of Annuals Planting Time.

We traded out some old, leggy Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ for some new ones in the planters by Eagle and Main Streets.  This one had, unusually, formed a nice tight new set of growth at the base so we will give it a chance to come back:

a hopeful Erysimum

a hopeful Erysimum

(As I write this a week later, I feel less kindly and as if we should move that plant to the boatyard garden and put in a new one with more chance of blooming soon.)

adding some trailies by the Portside Café

adding some trailies by the Portside Café

We made a detour back home to pick up a few more plants.

Helianthemum by our driveway

Helianthemum by our driveway (Wisley Primose, I think)

poppies!

poppies!

Allium and Dutch Iris

Allium albopilosum and Dutch Iris

We then finally checked closely on the Ilwaco street tree that I had noticed, a couple of days ago, had a mysteriously flat garden.  I had simply not wanted to deal with this problem because I knew it would be upsetting.

This was AFTER I pulled off most of the chopped and dropped foliage.

Today: This was AFTER I pulled off most of the chopped and dropped foliage.

What happened??  It looks like it was hit with a strimmer, although there are no string trimmer cuts into the bark of the tree.  Or hedge shears? This was human work, not a deer browsing; deer do not mow a garden down neatly to all one level like this.  Catmint, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, golden oregano and schizostylus, all leveled to the ground.  I said to myself I was going to remain calm, which lasted until, at the end of picking up all the broken pieces and adding one little sea thrift plant, I burst into tears and a big rant of WHY??????.

WHY??????

WHY??????

Was someone string trimming this lot, and just...jumped the sidewalk?

Was someone string trimming this lot, and just…jumped the sidewalk?

This is what the tree garden would have looked like had this not happened (more or less as they don’t all have the same plants):

across the street to the south

across the street to the south

across the street to the north in front of Azure Salon

across the street to the north in front of Azure Salon

The little red poppies were already struggling to grow back and I watered them with angry and sorrowful tears.  Times like this I think I am making a mistake by focusing almost entirely on public gardens.  Private gardens are so much safer.

I immediately posted about it, with photos, on Facebook (from my phone) and got some gratifying sympathy and outrage over the rest of the day.

The Depot Restaurant & The English Nursery

I had scheduled a job that would require some battering out of a lawn area, good for releasing some steam: expanding the end of the Depot Garden

before

before

about an hour later

about an hour later

Chef Michael emerged from the kitchen and asked us if we could plant tall grasses on the south side of the deck to add to the sense of enclosure that the ornamental grasses on the east side provide.  The rosemary plants are not doing the job; I had never realized that the original idea of the garden had been for grasses to enclose the whole deck.  I knew just where to get some: three blocks away at The English Nursery.

When we arrived there, owner Dirk was hard at work trying to control the horsetail in the streetside garden.  Way back when this garden was created by volunteers, as an entry corridor along the highway intersection, both Dirk and I had pleaded with them to find the funds from the Visitors Bureau to BUY and bring in clean soil.  But no, some diggings from who knows where were provided for “FREE” and of course the “soil” was full of horsetail and bindweed.  It had been a struggle ever since.  I was offered the job twice and both times turned it down.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo, Dirk vs. horsetail

a stunning iris in that garden

a stunning iris in that garden

He was possibly happy to take a break and help us buy plants.

He was possibly happy to take a break and help us buy plants.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

in the nursery

in the nursery

daylilies and lilies

daylilies and lilies

His specialty is hostas.

His specialty is hostas.

hostas

a vast array of hostas

a vast array of hostas

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Dirk shows me some recently potted but not ready giant Miscanthus

Dirk shows me some recently potted but not ready giant Miscanthus

We couldn’t get the tall Miscanthus, so we returned to the Depot with three Miscanthus ‘Karl Foerster’ that we hope will get five feet tall, and one each of two exceptionally tall perennials, Filipendula and Macleaya cordata (plume poppy).  Both perennials are aggressive runners; since this garden is going to become all tall things, that will be fine.  They can fight it out among themselves.  Later, Michael will figure out a different place to put some rosemary plants, perhaps in the next door yard that also belongs to the restaurant.

Allan planting

Allan planting

While he planted, I sheared the escallonia from hiding the railway history sign.  Talk about wrong plant for the place!  It’s been there since before I started this job, and Michael feels it helps prevent rain water from washing against the building corner.

This escallonia would love to get taller than me.

This escallonia would love to get taller than me.

Boreas Inn

Next, we planted cosmos at the Boreas Inn.

This called for some wake up beans!  (Chocolate covered coffee beans)

This called for some wake up beans! (Chocolate covered coffee beans)

The Boreas garden, looking west to the beach trail

The Boreas garden, looking west to the beach trail

I got the sudden urge to put an edge on the garden beds.  Oh, how I longed to do so.  I almost got out the half moon edger.  Good thing I resisted, as some guests emerged to take photos of each other, and some other guests emerged to use the hot tub room.  We would have been in the midst of a big project had I started edging.  As it was, we were able to quickly pick up our empty plant containers and supplies and exit, leaving the guests in peace.

It sure does need edging.  That has been on the work board for ages!

It sure does need edging. That has been on the work board for ages!

The Depot Restaurant & Seaview

With a little time left, we returned to finish the Depot garden instead of leaving it to the next day.

Depot garden with mulch, cosmos, and Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' added.

Depot garden with mulch, cosmos, and Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ added.

Why did I not make this garden larger two year ago?  So much better.

Why did I not make this garden larger two year ago? So much better.

Today's plans did not allow time to implement the idea.

Here’s the before from yesterday.

Since it was seven o clock, and since we were right there, we went into the Depot for a delicious dinner.

Asian salad from the new summer menu

Asian salad from the new summer menu

Mediterranean prawns

Mediterranean prawns

Allan's photo

clam chowder, Allan’s photo

Allan's Steak Killian

Allan’s Steak Killian

On the way home, we paused to take some photos of the Seaview garden that used to belong to Maxine, Jo’s mother.  Maxine loved her rhododendrons.  Her garden was my first gardening job on the Long Beach Peninsula.

Maxine's garden (Allan's photo)

Maxine’s garden (Allan’s photo)

Maxine's garden (Allan's photo)

Maxine’s garden (Allan’s photo)

Maxine's garden (Allan's photo)

Maxine’s garden (Allan’s photo); I used to pick off each and every yellow leaf.

just around the corner, at a house whose lawn I used to mow back in the late 90s

just around the corner, at a house whose lawn I used to mow back in the late 90s

home

arriving home:  Allan's photo—"cats on patrol" in Nora's driveway

arriving home: Allan’s photo—”cats on patrol” in Nora’s driveway

the work board...with the annuals list getting noticeably shorter

the work board…with the annuals list getting noticeably shorter

 

 

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

As I left four work, the cat family of mother and two brothers was hanging out by the south window.

Frosty, Smokey, and Mary

Frosty, Smokey, and Mary

Ilwaco planters

The Ilwaco boatyard garden was today’s target.  Allan got started on it straightaway.  I digressed to one block of planters and street trees that had not had their first check up of the year yet.  The planters looked good with narcissi blooming, and some chickweed and little grasses needing to be pulled.

trailing rosemary, as I look east down Main Street

trailing rosemary, as I look east down Main Street

looking southwest at the Portside Café

looking southwest at the Portside Café

Ornamental pear street tree in bloom

Ornamental pear street tree in bloom

The Portside Café recently acquired new new owners.  One of our neighbours was leaving there with two family members while I weeded under a street tree.  and told me that the food was so wonderful that she gave the chef himself an extra tip.  I’ve always loved the exterior; now I need to find time to give the food a try.

I put some of the pale orange and purple violas in the container closest to the café.

I put some of the pale orange and purple violas in the container closest to the café.

Map My Walk of working the First and Main intersection

Map My Walk of working the First and Main intersection

Closer to the boatyard, at First and Eagle, passing deer have nipped the tulips in the planter.  There are certain deer crossroads, like one intersection in Long Beach, where they eat more than they do elsewhere in town.

tulip neatly nipped off

tulip neatly nipped off

Here they reached underneath other plants and chomped away specifically on the yummy tulips.

Here they reached underneath other plants and chomped away specifically on the yummy tulips.

I won’t be planting tulips in those planters next fall.

At the corner of First and Eagle, I’ve been watching one street tree slowly lean.  There is nowhere to stake it, as it is in a small square surrounded by concrete (and is too big to stake anyway).

first

a sunken hole at the base of the trunk

a sunken hole at the base of the trunk

Allan pointed out that it is solidly in position and does not budge at all when pushed.

In the course of the one block of planters, I picked up this much trash in the grass next to the sidewalks:

trash

Does this mean no other walkers pick up trash on their journeys?  (My noble plan to do trash walks this past winter was thwarted by my overwhelming desire to just stay home.)

Finally, after an hour and a half, I was done with the six trees and eight planters that had been on my agenda and joined Allan at the boatyard garden.  As I got down to work, the Life Flight helicopter flew over the oil tanks kitty corner from the boatyard and I wished the best to whoever was having a scary awful day.

oil

Meanwhile, I was fortunate enough to be having a pleasant day at work next to a boatyard full of interesting sights.  A radio played country music, which I at least  find preferable to classic rock.

boat

Steel Breeze

Fear Naught

Fear Naught

Ankeny Street (named after a street in Portland, Oregon)

Ankeny Street (named after a street in Portland, Oregon)

Steve, who lives on a sailboat in the marina came by with his dog Aleutia (a certified search and rescue dog).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan had already made some progress.

before:  Allan's photo when he started

before: Allan’s photo when he started

boatyard

An hour and a half later, I join the boatyard weeding at 0ne PM.  

 

spot

I came along behind, clipping santolinas and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’:

half an hour later

half an hour later

Allan's photo, looking south, before

Allan’s photo, looking south, before

after

after, Allan’s photo

 

Santolina and Artemisa, before clipping

Santolina and Artemisa, before clipping

after: clipped so they will be roundish and not splay open in late summer

after: clipped so they will be roundish and not splay open in late summer

See that stem of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ on the ground toward the bottom of the photo?  If I clipped it short and stuck it in the ground, it would probably root and make a nice new plant.  Same with the clippings from the Santolina.  I get overwhelmed with armloads of clippings and don’t have time to make a santolina cutting nursery.  I have started a lot of them right in the ground, though, over time.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

What have we here?

What have we here?

We’d noticed earlier, on drive-bys, that the center (slightly wider) section of the garden had a smashed down rosemary and flattened Stipa gigantea.  I tried to imagine what had caused it.  I forgot to take an after photo, although this one, looking back, shows it looking tidier:

The center point is where the fence goes in to a gentle V.

The center point is where the fence goes in to a gentle V.

By now, it was 3 PM and I was concerned that we would not get to the end of the boatyard before dark.

4:35 PM:  Had finally crossed the gate to the south section of the garden.  Here, looking north.

3:35 PM: Had finally crossed the gate to the south section of the garden. Here, looking north.

I had many, many more santolinas to clip.  I lost count.  I have two different kinds of silver ones, and green ones, and “Lemon Fizz’, the gold one that loves to revert to green.

looking south: still lots of creeping sorrel and shotweed to remove

looking south: still lots of creeping sorrel and shotweed to remove (and, happily, lots of poppy seedlings): 3:30 PM, still at least two hours till dusk.

Moving right along at 4:30 PM

Moving right along at 4:30 PM.  That’s Euphorbia characias wulfenii in bloom

By now, Allan had already made one trip to dump a full cart of debris.  I had removed, with a pick, some goldenrod that someone had planted during the dark years when the garden was not mine.  (The other thing that got planted then was a long row of pampas grass, which soon blocked half the sidewalk!  It got removed, by backhoe, when I got the garden back.)  I’d left the goldenrod for years and it had stayed somewhat well behaved; now it is running and had to go. The goldenrod roots I bagged up to throw in the trash, because I don’t want it to get started elsewhere.  (I still use Solidago ‘Fireworks’ because it stays in a polite and well-behaved clump.)

Brief history of the boatyard garden:  I started it as a volunteer in 1997 when I had a shady garden behind the boatyard; I wanted to improve the town and also to have a place for sunloving plants.  In 2003, a new electrical line was laid, which required the digging up of the whole garden.  I had many gardening jobs by then and the garden had become a burden to me, so I did not mind letting it go.  Also, there was a scary man who had a boat in the yard at that time.  He was known to be…disturbed…and he would mutter, from  behind the fence,  the most horrible things to me like “They knew what to do with people like you in Nazi Germany.”  It made me not want to go there to work on the garden.  (The demented fellow is gone now…thank goodness.)  In 2011, the port hired me to bring it back the garden back thing of beauty, and here we are.

5 PM: the end is in sight.

5 PM: the end is in sight.  Allan is clipping the ornamental grass at the very end.

looking back

looking back

I am sure the weeding was less thorough as we rushed to get to the end before dark.  Allan made another run to the debris field while I did the last of the weeding.

5:45 PM: at last, the end!

5:45 PM: at last, the end!  The rest is lawn, running to the viewing bench.

done!

done!

Unfortunately, big old horsetail lurks under the garden and will start popping up soon and then we will have to deal with that.

the viewing bench at the south end of the boatyard

the viewing bench at the south end of the boatyard

As we finished up, boats were coming in and out of the harbour.

boat

rocky

The Rocky B going out

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo (compressed via telephoto)

I used Map My Walk again today and the app says I walked 3.83 miles on this job.  The visible route, as usual, does not quite line up with reality, as all of it took place outside the boatyard fence:

satellite view of the workday

satellite view of the workday

map2

See the trees in the lower left, above?  That’s where our old house is, the original Tangly Cottage Garden.

Around the curve of the road, where it turns into Howerton, just past the lower right corner, we have a curbside garden yet to weed.

 

At home, even though dusk was softening up the outlines, I took a photo of our pink tree to show its form.  Tomorrow, we are said to be due for 40 mph east wind and we may lose some blossoms.

home

I thought I was going to get the deep satisfaction of erasing Ilwaco from the February work list…till I remembered there are still two planters unchecked over on Spruce Street.  Drat!  And the Port of Ilwaco remains on the list till we get the last two garden sections cleaned up along Howerton Way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Larry and Robert’s Garden

Just five doors down is where we began the hot dry day by watering, weeding and deadheading. We maintain this garden so regularly that the weeding is minimal.

What I feel would make it just perfect is if it had a fence across the property on the west side, with an entry arbour; it already has a wisteria in place to grow on it.

From corner of house to west side of garden, fence with gate would be perfect.  It could be tall with the wisteria growing on it.

From corner of house to west side of garden, fence with gate would be perfect. It could be tall with the wisteria growing on it. I have no idea why wisteria in lower right corner is there with nothing to grow on.

Such a fence would prevent the deer from browsing this newly cleaned up bed.

Such a fence would prevent the deer from browsing this newly cleaned up bed.

Deer have been walking in from the front of the house and eating the Fuchsias...

Deer have been walking in from the front of the house and nibbling the Fuchsias…

..and the roses.

..and the roses.

Right where Allan is standing is where the fence could go...

Right where Allan is standing is where the fence could go…

The east side of the house, planted with deer resistant plants.

The east side of the house, planted with deer resistant plants.

the corner that gets way more sun that I thought it would...

the corner that gets way more sun that I thought it would…

I am going to move a few plants from here over to the shadier beds this fall.

The Verbena bonariensis in the boat amuses me by being tall and vertical where a sail mast would be, even if no one else notices.

The Verbena bonariensis in the boat amuses me by being tall and vertical where a sail mast would be, even if no one else notices.

Long Beach

By watering the Long Beach planters today, we hope that they will last till next Wednesday. If they can wait for watering till then, Allan won’t have to water them from Thursday to Sunday when I have gone with a dear friend on a four day trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

planter in front of the smokeshop with 'Star Cluster' Coreopsis.

planter in front of the smoke shop with Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’.

one of my favourite planters...and across from it, one that we plan to redo this fall.

one of my favourite planters…and across from it, one that we plan to redo this fall.

another angle

another angle

note to self: more patio dahlias next year

note to self: more patio dahlias in the planters next year

Basket Case Greenhouse baskets on the Long Beach gazebo

Basket Case Greenhouse baskets on the Long Beach gazebo

I noticed for the first time that Mexigo has corn planted in their half barrel.

I noticed for the first time that Mexigo has corn planted in their half barrel.

Just north of Mexigo and Scoopers Ice Cream is another problem planter; not only is it windswept, for some reason it is one of our most vandalized planters. It’s planted with two full sized escallonias and is infested with red clover amid the creeping succulents that are the only thing that thrives here.

little sempervivums all infested with clover...what a pain.

little sempervivums all infested with clover…what a pain.

I’ve managed this year to get a lavender and a santolina to grow here without being yanked out by someone, so perhaps whoever used to bother this planter so much has moved on.

The planters at the west end of the Bolstadt beach approach that we redid last fall look good even with very little water. Once a week, we are told, the city crew mists them with their water pump trailer.

not too bad for almost total neglect

not too bad for almost total neglect

Ilwaco

We were hustling because we had an early dinner engagement. Ilwaco would neatly fill up the rest of our workday. While Allan watered the planters, I checked on them closely for the first time in a couple of months. He has been doing a fantastic job on his own and I found very few, tiny weeds.

This planter in almost full shade on Spruce Street is doing remarkably well.

This planter in almost full shade on Spruce Street is doing remarkably well.

bright sun made the nasturtiums glow at First and Main.

bright sun made the nasturtiums glow at First and Main. The lotus vine is less rampant in the sun than in the shade, perhaps because the shady planter stays more moist.

same planter, backdrop of Don's Portside Café

same planter, backdrop of Don’s Portside Café

kitty corner: yellows and oranges to tone with the café

kitty corner: yellows and oranges to tone with the café

Because the planter by the Portside Café has a clogged drainage hole, it stays moist. We will have to dig it out this fall if we want to have any bulbs in it. For the summer, I took advantage of the problem by planting mimulus there.

mimulus

mimulus

more mimulus; it was a mixed batch so we could not make it all yellow.

more mimulus; it was a mixed batch so we could not make it all yellow.

Down on First and Eagle, the planter that got all its plants torn out (and then we discovered it in enough time to replant them) has sort of recovered.

The nasturtium grew again but not floriferously.

The nasturtium grew again but not floriferously.

Sunflowers grow on the south wall of the house next to that planter.

Sunflowers grow on the south wall of the house next to that planter.

Just across the street from that house is the boatyard's north fence.

Just across the street from that house is the boatyard’s north fence.

Steve was up working on his mast.  He told me he often forgets to take some tool or other up with him.

Steve was up working on his mast. He told me he often forgets to take some tool or other up with him.

I weeded the garden along the east fence of the boatyard and still had time to water it again, which I felt it sorely needed due to the heat.

boatyard garden; we water from inside of the fence.

boatyard garden; we water from inside of the fence.

Because Allan needs an hour and forty five minutes to water the Ilwaco planters with the pump trailer, I had plenty of time. I realized I could even do some weeding along the inside by pulling weeds away from the fence.

pulling grass clumps and horsetail and bindweed away from the inside

pulling grass clumps and horsetail and bindweed away from the inside

I met a new boatyard dog who condescended to be briefly petted.

I met a new boatyard dog who condescended to be briefly petted.

A mast was being raised by a crane.

A mast was being raised by a crane.

And I chatted with a woman who has two boat cats on her boat.

And I chatted with a woman who has two boat cats on her boat.

We actually ended up with fifteen minutes of turn around time at home before doing to dinner. Usually we have a later dinner; tonight, we were dining at the unusual hour of 5:30 PM at the Depot Restaurant.

Depot Restaurant

By picking an earlier hour, we had gotten the Chef’s Table at the Depot for Kathleen’s two-weeks-early birthday dinner. Chef Michael, from the open kitchen window, served us a special plate of bread and an upscale bleu cheese.

cheese

Then began the birthday feasting:

Carne Asada appetizer

Carne Asada Negro: Sautéed tender chunks of marinated, grass fed, hormone free Rib Eye on Cumin Scented Black Beans topped with mild Mama Lil’s Goat Horn Peppers and Cilantro with Fried Tortilla Chips

Thai calamari appetizer

Thai Calamari: Fried wild sustainable Calamari tossed in Thai Peanut Cilantro Sauce on fresh Spinach and Napa Cabbage mix topped with Crispy Won Tons

for Kathleen: Southern Comfort Pork with enough for tomorrow's dinner, as well

for Kathleen: Southern Comfort Pork: Braised Pork Shoulder in Southern Comfort Bar BQ Sauce on Yam Mashers seasoned with Brown Sugar surrounded by Jalapeño Creamed Corn topped with Green Onion, Maple and Bacon Salsa (enough to provide tomorrow’s dinner, as well)

for me: spicy prawns

for me: Bangkok Prawns: Sweet Lime Chile Glazed Fried Prawns on Rice Noodle Sesame Seaweed Salad topped with Crispy Fried Chinese Noodles

for Allan: Parmesan Artichoke Risotto: Vegetarian Risotto with Artichoke Flowerets, Imported Parmesan Cheese and topped with Micro Greek Salad

for Allan: Parmesan Artichoke Risotto: Vegetarian Risotto with Artichoke Flowerets, Imported
Parmesan Cheese and topped with Micro Greek Salad

lemon bundt cake with blackberry puree backed with flourless chocolate cake

lemon bundt cake with blackberry puree backed with flourless chocolate torte

sorbet

sorbet

After such a scrumptious feast, we still had more talking to do so we moved to a table on the deck for another hour or more. It was an unusual angle to me to see the hops vines from the inside of the deck; I decided it was truly a stroke of genius to have planted them against the lattice.

The other side is the garden we deadhead and water.

The other side is the garden we deadhead and water.

They look quite wonderful draping overhead.

They look quite wonderful draping overhead…

and dangling down

and dangling down

and they looked even more romantic when darkness fell.

and they looked even more romantic when darkness fell.

It seems we lead a life of luxury with constant dining out; tomorrow would be another such dinner. We’ll make up for it this winter by being frugal (I hope!)

 

 

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Friday, 18 July 2014

My knee hurt like blazes, or perhaps I just wanted to stay home and work on the Garden Bloggers Fling garden tour posts…or perhaps both.  So Allan cheerfully agreed to do the Port of Ilwaco gardens by himself.  Here is his day.

He saw all sorts of interesting action while weeding the Ilwaco boatyard garden, starting with the garbage truck accidently dropping the entire garbage can into the truck and the driver having to fish it out again:

Oops!

Oops!

Then the mast was lifted off of a sailboat whose owner always has nice things to say about the garden.

A crane truck pulls up next to the beautiful twin masted sailboat ‘Mystique’

A crane truck pulls up next to the beautiful twin masted sailboat ‘Mystique’

Steve, the owner / restorer buckles up.

Steve, the owner / restorer buckles up.

By pulling on two handles, he slowly winched himself up to where the crane’s hook waited

By pulling on two handles, he slowly winched himself up to where the crane’s hook waited.

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He fastened the crane’s hook to the mast and lowered himself down.

He fastened the crane’s hook to the mast and lowered himself down.

the mast being removed by the crane

the mast being removed by the crane

The orange at the base of the mast was below deck and indicates the lift required to raise the mast.

The orange at the base of the mast was below deck and indicates the lift required to raise the mast.

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the mast being lowered

the mast being lowered

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Allan moved away from his weeding buckets while the mast was being lowered.

Allan moved away from his weeding buckets while the mast was being lowered.

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mast laid across sawhorses

mast laid across sawhorses

the boatyard garden!

the boatyard garden!

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more action: a new boat comes in to the boatyard

more action: a new boat comes in to the boatyard

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Rain is predicted overnight so tarps are put up to protect a paint job.

Rain is predicted overnight so tarps are put up to protect a paint job.

a long weeding job...about three city blocks.

a long weeding job…about three city blocks.

a load of weeds to haul off

a load of weeds to haul off

Allan then went to work along Howerton Way (the street that runs east-west along the landward side of the port buildings.

He heard lots of excited seagulls:  the fish guts truck had arrived.

He heard lots of excited seagulls: the fish guts truck had arrived.

on the fish processing plant

on the fish processing plant

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squabbling gulls

squabbling gulls

He worked his way down some of the Howerton Way gardens:

and ended up with this large load of weeds to dump at the east end of the marina.

and ended up with this large load of weeds to dump at the east end of the marina.

In the evening light, the guy who walks flying a kite every evening strolled by.

In the evening light, the guy who walks flying a kite every evening strolled by.

The next day, Saturday July 19th, was the Music in the Gardens tour (about which I have already published an entry for each garden) and I hoped my day of rest would make it easier for me to walk around the gardens.

 

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Sunday, 2 February 2014

On winter days like these, we usually don’t start work till noon after waiting for the air to warm up.

front path still slightly frosty at noon-ish

front path still slightly frosty at noon-ish

We went back to the Ilwaco boatyard to finish weeding its garden. A cute Siamese cat who met us near the gate was not especially interested in being petted.

note cat at stern of small boat

note cat at stern of small boat

The small Ilwaco boat has a “free” sign on it. I wish I had a place to put it, or that the port would somehow use it for a landscape display!

I’d been looking forward to weeding the south end of the two blocks long strip of garden, especially where grass crept under the chainlink fence.

creeping in

creeping in

For that project, I went to the backside of the fence.

back

before

after weeding

after weeding

In my own garden, I would have made a perfect edge with the half moon edger, but here my mission was just to get the grass pulled back from the garden and unearth some of the buried river rock.

Next to the gate, I weeded a gravel edge that has some reseeded plants but it not officially part of the garden, and I suddenly thought “SCREE GARDEN!?” Could this be a great spot for little tufts and buns of rock garden plants? It’s tempting but I fear choice and probably pricey ones might be stolen or…walked on! Or pooped on by dogs, as we often find large deposits of dog poo in this garden.

gravel garden

gravel garden…hmmm….

Allan got most of the garden itself weeded; I did not cut any more of the plants back, even though I long to (especially the Artemisias and Santolinas) because of the upcoming bitterly cold snap we are expecting.

all weeded

all weeded

Euphorbia ready to bloom

Euphorbia ready to bloom

another Euphorbia showing effects of the cold

another Euphorbia showing effects of the cold

A couple of Lavenders were so cold blasted that I yanked them.

A couple of Lavenders were so cold blasted that I yanked them.

done for now!

done for now!

The clouds by the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co field were stunning, promising a good sunset.

clouds over working boats

clouds over working boats

Rocky B

Rocky B

Doesn't this look like an awesome sunset coming up?

Doesn’t this look like an awesome sunset coming up?

More fluffy clouds hung over the view toward Astoria from the field where we dump our debris at the east end of the marina.

clouds and birds on the Columbia River

clouds and birds on the Columbia River

The air temperature had dropped too much to work any more. We resolved to return to the port at sunset time.

Sunsets are so hard to predict! This one turned out to be pleasant but not spectacular at all.

subtle

subtle

birds

Allan walked out on the docks where he found a carrot floating in the water….

flotsam or jetsam?

flotsam or jetsam?

We weren't the only ones not interested in the ball game that was on telly at the time.

We weren’t the only ones not interested in the ball game that was on telly at the time.

Some boat pictures from Allan:

boat

boat

P1060626

boat

We drove out to the south end of the marina to look toward Cape Disappointment and the Coast Guard station.

at the south end of the marina, looking seaward

at the south end of the marina, looking seaward
a sea serpent cloud on the horizon

a sea serpent cloud on the horizon

Monday, 3 February 2014

I had thought that, the previous evening, Allan had low enthusiasm for working another day. Yet when I got up, the lunchbox was packed and ready to go. We had gotten stuck on Friday with a half load of Long Beach debris so it seemed like a good idea to make more Long Beach debris in order to make a dumping trip up to town financially worthwhile.

The key to the city works yard gate got changed and we don’t have our own copy yet. We work different hours from the crew and often have a load to dump well after they have gone home for the day, especially in the long days of summer.

I didn’t have a plan for what to actually accomplish in Long Beach. Allan suggested the parking lot berms, a great idea because they would create lots of debris.

north berm, before, with Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass

north berm, before, with Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass

after

after

south berm, with another dratted phormium

south berm, with another dratted phormium

Back when I couldn’t bear to throw away a plant, I’d move Phormiums from one place to another. Now I wish I had just ditched them all!

We acquired a whole trailer load of debris but delivered it to the dump site in two trips so that we could go at break time and try to get a key. No joy! but we’ve been promised one as soon as they make more copies. (Honest, it’s not because of us that they changed the lock!)

south berm.  That was supposed to be a dwarf mugo pine.

south berm. That was supposed to be a dwarf mugo pine.

We did very little weeding, just chopping and clipping and pulling tatty rose campions. The weeding will come another day.

early Narcissi on the south berm

early Narcissi on the south berm

and some species crocus

and some species crocus

On our second dump run, we found treasure in the brush pile! The crew had thrown out the old fence from the police station garden, the one that was run into by a car late last year. Allan can make it into a shorter fence. Score!

salvage!

salvage!

We still had daylight left; we’d had to get into the city works gate before it closes at four. So we went downtown to trim up a few planters near The Cottage Bakery. (This did lead to the acquisition of two delicious tiger paw pastries.)

I was so disappointed to see that the Phormiums in the garden south of Funland (the one that looks like it is a city garden but is not) had been cut back rather than removed. I had lobbied hard for their removal.

horrendous Phormium (the biggest)

horrendous Phormium (the biggest) a couple of weeks ago

today

today

I felt all disgruntled and wished if someone decided to just cut it back, could they not leave it stumpy like that? We did not prune that!

Oh well, on to the planters.

before

before

after

after

Allan worked across the street from me, including trimming plants in the whiskey barrel planters in Fish Alley. He called out, “There is a beautiful iris here; it’s three colours and looks like an insect’s wings.” I said, “Must be Katherine Hodgekin!” and indeed she was. Katharine Hodgekin is a rock garden iris cultivar that I haven’t grown before and I’ve been waiting for her to make an appearance. The Royal Horticultural Society calls her an iris reticulata but I bought her as Iris histrioides.

Iris 'Katharine Hodgekin'

Iris ‘Katharine Hodgekin’

from Allan's iPhone camera

from Allan’s iPhone camera

another, next to Sedum 'Cape Blanco'

another, next to Sedum ‘Cape Blanco’

Iris reticulata from a mix

Iris reticulata from a mix

One of the barrels had some lichen on the side.

barrel

a close up for Mr Tootlepedal, who has been photographing lots of lichens of late

a close up for Mr Tootlepedal, who has been photographing lots of lichens of late

Update: Mr Tootlepedal says it is a fungi.

more Iris reticulata in one of the street planters

more Iris reticulata in one of the street planters

How I love them! I do hope passersby are noticing them. Two people have commented about them to me at Olde Towne Café, so I know some people do see them.

Again, the clouds looked like a good sunset was brewing. I felt too tired to chase it down at the port so just went out to the back yard next door to see it.

I could tell by the line of light over the western hills that the sunset over the ocean was spectacular...

I could tell by the line of light over the western hills that the sunset over the ocean was spectacular…

I settled for reflective clouds over School Hill.

I settled for reflective clouds over School Hill…

and to the east over my garden.

and to the east over my garden.

I do fervently hope to have a few more staycation days starting on Tuesday… Surely it is not good for the plants to be cut back right before a cold snap so we can slack off for another week or so? I still have such a very large pile of library books to read. There is a sure sign that staycation is sort of over, though:

The work board is full again!

The work board is full again! (not in order of importance)

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

What is a holiday when one is on staycation?  Today Olde Towne Café was open so I had my usual sort of vacation midmorning brunch.  All the Christmas decorations had been boxed up and a new front window display was in progress.

decorating in progress

decorating in progress

And then, I actually mustered up some gardening energy and cleaned up the geranium ‘Rozanne’ bed in the back garden.

1:09 PM

1:09 PM

3:21 PM

3:21 PM

Hoping for a good sunset, I strolled down the the port where I found the view pleasant but not spectacular.  It is difficult to predict a really great sunset!

low tide and the final showing of the Jessie's star

low tide and the final showing of the Jessie’s star

Look who came flapping and croaking in right at sunset.

Look who came flapping and croaking in right at sunset.

heron

from the east end of the port by CoHo Charters

from the east end of the port by CoHo Charters

from the middling part of Waterfront Way

from the middling part of Waterfront Way

a good sit spot for sunset watching

a good sit spot for sunset watching

by the condor statue

by the condor statue

Thursday, 2 January 2014

For Allan’s 61st birthday (and he looks all of 35), we went overseas to Astoria for the afternoon.  He’d picked a well-known restaurant with charming ambience.

a popular restaurant

a popular restaurant

in the back dining room

in the back dining room

The food, sadly, was adequate (his panini) to poor (my “Thai” pasta, with flavour that had the subtlety and complexity of a cup of white sugar syrup dumped on a bowl of pasta).  However, I did like the decor and we appreciated the photo right inside the front door:

a good-hearted restaurant

a good-hearted restaurant

On the way back to our van, we enjoyed a block’s worth of planters.

planter

planter

by Fulio's (delicious Italian restaurant), planters with greenery tucked in

by Fulio’s (delicious Italian restaurant), planters with greenery tucked in

The trailing rosemaries have held up better than mine...

The trailing rosemaries have held up better than mine…

We drove to the east end of town so that Allan could have a birthday browse (for his sailboat project) in Englund Marine.

englund

inside Englund Marine

inside Englund Marine

In order to not be fidgeting, I took a walk around the nearby area and found much of interest.

Port of Astoria

Port of Astoria

a duck hangout

a duck hangout

ducks

a boatyard

a boatyard

boatyard

a retired pilot boat

a retired boat

more boats just across the road

more boats just across the road

marine

Shoofly

boat

The motel in the background has an interesting view of old boats and a lumber (shipping) yard.

The motel in the background has an interesting view of old boats and a lumber (shipping) yard.

detail

details

detail

detail

boat

boat

boat

the obligatory rust shot

the obligatory rust shot

After all that wandering around boats, I went back two blocks to Englund Marine to find Allan just finishing his shopping (and schmoozing). We headed back into town to seek some sort of birthday dessert.  (Both of us are very bad at actually getting birthday cakes for each other.)

At The Blue Scorcher Café in Astoria, a fellow with the iconic Astoria t shirt: The Goonies.

At The Blue Scorcher Café in Astoria, a fellow with the iconic Astoria t shirt: The Goonies.

The Blue Scorcher, whose motto is “Joyful Work, Delicious Food, and Strong Community” is like a step back to an idealistic time that still lives on.  It’s a worker’s collective and offers a “Gluten Free Friday”, surely welcome to many.

"chocolate fairy cake" at The Blue Scorcher

“chocolate fairy cake” at The Blue Scorcher

We returned to the area by Englund Marine and the industrial Port of Astoria to explore a bayside path that we had noticed earlier.

Path along Youngs Bay on the Columbia River

Path, looking north, along Youngs Bay on the Columbia River

looking east

looking east with Astoria Megler bridge in background

on the river

on the river

The paved path ends before the spot where the bay and the river meet, and on the pavement we saw this:

signs1sign2

sign3

We entered the small path between Scotch broom anyway…

path

..and returned safely after discovering that it did not go very far.  To our right was a big lumber shipping yard that neither of us photographed, that turned out to be significant later in the day.

the path, returning to our parking spot to the north

the path, returning to our parking spot to the north

Soon we would cross the Youngs Bay Bridge to do some shopping at Costco.

the Youngs Bay Bridge

the Youngs Bay Bridge

In the evening after a dinner at our local Thai Restaurant (still seeking an excellent birthday meal), we sat down at home to watch the final episode of Dexter.  (Spoilers follow.   Stop now if you intend to, and have not, seen it!)

Even had we not known that the end of the last episode was filmed in Astoria, we still might have recognized that the lumber yard shown in the last few minutes of the series was the exact same one we had walked next to earlier in the day by Youngs Bay!

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Whitby

Whitby

Chris and I continued our tour of north England with an overnight trip to Whitby.  He knew I would fall for it, and I fell hard.  The picturesque string of town names along that coast intrigued me (Ravenscar, Scarborough; I think I need to research what Scar meant along the North Sea.)  But Whitby absorbed all of my attention (and my daydreams for years to come).

the view toward Whitby Abbey

the view toward Whitby Abbey

the view from Whitby Abbey

the view from Whitby Abbey

As you can see, we climbed to the best viewpoints.  The abbey is above the bridge (below).  Whitby is at the mouth of the River Esk.

bridge to the abbey

bridge to the abbey

another view from the abbey

another view from the abbey

walking down from the abbey

walking down from the abbey

In many of my photos from our trip to north England, you will see the same back ahead of me. Chris walked on while I stopped for photos,  and  therefore added good human scale to the pictures.

down at the harbour

down at the harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

Again, these are all real perspective because I had no telephoto lens.

boats

boats

boat

boat

Helga Marie

Helga Marie

in the town

in the town

We stayed in a B&B just by the first car on this street:

our B&B

our B&B

We were lucky to get a room because it was Christmas week.

Whitby in the morning

Whitby in the morning

This building with balconies was neary our B&B:

balconies

balconies

Many buildings were built of stone that glowed in the winter sun.

little houses....I would love to have seen inside them.

little houses….I would love to have seen inside them.

In the window of one of the cottages, I photographed a bouquet of tulips. When we returned later, the wood frame had been painted white. This is my favourite photo of any I have ever taken in my life.

tulip window

the tulip window

Whitby Market Square

Whitby Market Square

a tiny alley near downtown

a tiny alley near downtown

that Whitby glow

that Whitby glow

another tiny alley

another tiny alley

the narrow streets

the narrow streets

yet another adorably tiny alley

yet another adorably tiny alley

Chris providing human scale

Chris providing human scale

Whitby Workingmen's Social Club

Whitby Workingmen’s Social Club

greengrocer

greengrocer

Hanover Books

Hanover Books

All through our travels, Chris and I went into bookstores.  The favourite author of one of the owners of Hanover Books (above) was Betty McDonald, of the Pacific Northwest (“The Egg & I”).  (My favourite book by her is Onions in the Stew about her life on Vashon Island.)  The shop had three stories of books.

window with ship

window with ship

another of my favourite photos ever.  LOVE those windows.

another of my favourite photos ever. LOVE those windows.

building

I could not walk more than a few feet before finding something else to photograph.  Chris was getting further and further ahead.  My slow pace must have been frustrating to someone who just wanted to stroll.   (One of the things that makes Allan and I compatible is that Allan would be taking photographs, too.)

walking

windows

walls and stairs

walls and stairs

looking back at the hill where our B&B was located.

looking back at the hill where our B&B was located.

Whitby abounds in passageways to fascinating courtyards.

The Folly

The Folly

peeking into a courtyard

peeking into a courtyard

Look at those steep steps to the right, and a little greenhouse to the left.

in another courtyard

in another courtyard

old glass

old glass

courtyard stairs

courtyard stairs

courtyard stairs

Can you imagine this in summer with all the plants climbing and blooming from those containers?

There was a cottage for sale in Arguments Yard.  Oh how I wanted to live there.  In the real Arguments Yard, not just in a situation of arguing.

Arguments Yard

Arguments Yard

Do not miss this virtual tour of the Arguments Yard street!  And this website tells us that “Unlike the name suggests, it’s not a place to meet for a quarrel!
It is named after Thomas Argument who built a cottage on Church Street
with its back garden running down to the harbourside
To raise some more income he built five more cottages in the garden area which he then rented out.”   Nowadays you could rent a vacation cottage in Arguments Yard.

peeking into Arguments Yard from the lower gate.

peeking into Arguments Yard from the lower gate.

The cottage on the right hand side was for sale…#6 Arguments Yard:

Number 6 Arguments Yard

Number 6 Arguments Yard

Look at how they have stuffed the little space with plants.  I bet they add even more in summer so that they might only have a narrow space to walk.

In a parallel universe I bought #6 Arguments Yard.

In a parallel universe I bought #6 Arguments Yard.

below Arguments Yard

below Arguments Yard

The Duke of York could have been our local.  That reminds me that on our evening in Whitby, we went into a pub.  Chris had gotten me watching the northern telly drama Coronation Street months before so that I could absorb the northern accent.  I had to ask him to translate for me at first, and then I learned to understand.  He could speak in a Northern accent, although his parents had insisted he speak in a more upper class one.  But in Whitby, even though the pub goers were speaking English, neither of us could understand a word.

The Seamen's Houses

The Seamen’s Houses

looking into the courtyard of the Seamen's Houses

looking into the courtyard of the Seamen’s Houses

and looking out from their courtyard to the seaman's private park

and looking out from their courtyard to the seaman’s private park

park

the private park for the Seamen’s Houses

Now I live in a town by the sea and by the mouth of a river with a little harbour surrounded by hills.  But the 100 year old historic houses of my beloved Ilwaco just do not compare with the beautiful stone buildings of Whitby.  The steeper hills of Astoria, Oregon, just across the Columbia River, bear more of a resemblance to Whitby, but it seems that Whitby and Astoria also share a big problem with landslides.

I hope that Whitby is still as quaint and walkable as it was 25 years ago.  While I  spent less than 48 hours there, it has lived on in my heart ever since.

a longing look back over the moors to Whitby

a longing look back over the moors toward Whitby

Years later, Chris wrote his own description of an autumn 2013 visit to Whitby.  You can read it here.

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