Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘bogsy wood’

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Much as I longed to go the weekly political postcard party, I did not want any of our friends to get our colds.  By now, Allan’s was worse than mine as it got passed down the chain.

With the first really nice day all week, I decided to explore the potential compost bin area by our greenhouse.

IMG_0883

yesterday

It used to be a raspberry patch that had not done at all well.  Last year, it became an axiliary frog home with a free pond (the sort meant to be dug into the ground) that we had gotten from a friend.

I had started poking at the weeds when Allan emerged and asked if I wanted the pond emptied out.  Why…yes!  (I had carefully checked for frog spawn and found none.)

DSC01545.jpg

We set the waterlogged pots of water loving plants to one side to drain out; they are too heavy to lift into the water boxes right now.

DSC01565.jpg

waiting

One of the water boxes has a leak toward the top.  Having the big pot of water hyacinth in there will hide that problem.

DSC01572.jpg

sadly one inch low water box

Many snails had found a home on the bottom of the plastic pond form.

DSC01546.jpg

Allan’s photo

Not long after they were deposited into a bucket, the snails embarked upon a daring escape.

DSC01551.jpg

Allan took them to the big field out back.

DSC01552.jpg

on the way, standing water in the swale (Allan’s photo)

Devery popped over from next door, and when I mentioned that I was going to give away the preform pond, she happily took it to make a planter.  From looking through my grandmother’s old scrap books, I have realized that if I do have a pond sunk into the ground, I would like it to be a simple shape, like these photos that she had cut out from magazines long ago.

Back to the preparation for the compost bins: I was cursing the thick, ropy, hard-to-cut hops roots that coursed throughout the old raspberry patch from the hops and honeysuckle poles at each end.  It was not an easy weeding job.  Allan helped by hacking clumps with the big pick.

Every time I have assembled pallet compost bins before, I’ve tied them together with rope and let them sit there all wonky.  Allan had a different idea.

DSC01553.jpg

his tools (and the pick handle)

DSC01554.jpg

a trench dug to make the pallets level

DSC01556.jpg

proper assembly

With the first bin done, I began to fill it up…an exciting prospect.

DSC01560.jpg

newspaper base will help keep roots from coming up

DSC01562.jpg

The new bin inspired some clipping

I was startled to learn that we only had four pallets, not the five needed to make two bins.  Allan had dismantled the fifth one to repair the other four’s missing slats.

DSC01566.jpg

The project at a momentary standstill

On his errand to pick up the mail, Allan decided to quest for three more pallets.

He saw this down at the Port:

DSC01564.jpg

Soon, Allan triumphantly returned to the garden, carrying a pallet, and began to finish the second bin.

DSC01574.jpg

In order to continue to use one of the clotheslines for blanket drying, we had to place the bins so that there is only a narrow space between the back and the greenhouse.  I am hoping to reach in with a hoe from each end to get weeds and am aware that it might be a future problem.

The second clothesline will now only work for smalls.

Skooter had emerged to inspect the project and to monitor the frogs in the water boxes.

DSC01570.jpg

DSC01571.jpg

I had clipped more plant matter in the greenhouse and on the patio to add to my first bin when me legs suddenly seized up, and I had to hobble into the house and have a sit down.  Little did I know that Allan had actually acquired three pallets.  As he stayed out to finish the project, I felt guilty but incapable.  I did not realize he was able to complete the third bin till he showed me the photos.

DSC01575.jpg

done 

Eventually, there will be big horizontal boards that slip in along the front to hold the debris in place.

DSC01576.jpg

I was well chuffed to have three compost bins, like Mr Tootlepedal.  Later in the evening, I caught up reading the last week of the Tootlepedal blog and was reminded that he has four bins: A, B, C, D.  It has been his compost turning and sifting exploits over the last few years that reminded me how much I do like having proper compost bins.  It’s so satisfying and makes faster compost, something that will be beneficial as we work less and can afford to buy less readymade mulch.

I will be shifting the debris pile from next to Devery’s driveway into the new bins.

img_0931

the old debris pile, soon to be some sort of garden

It would be fun to have a shared kitchen garden there, but it is outside the deer fence.  Perhaps herbs and flowers.

I look forward to the future filling of the bins and shifting piles from one to the other and then the sifting of the finished product through a screen placed over a wheelbarrow.

mom

My mother sifting compost in 2008, age 83

At my house in Seattle, which was once my grandma’s house, I had two compost areas separated by a narrow concrete path, and  I still remember the pleasure of tossing the partially decomposed clippings from one pile to the other and then sifting finished compost.  As a small child, I dreamt one night that I was one of the wriggling red worms in Gram’s compost pile.  That sounds like a nightmare.  It was not.

At 3 AM, I could not fall asleep because my mind was so busy imagining the collecting and layering of compostable material into my new compost bins.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Monday, 13 March 2017

As I write the first part of this in the mid afternoon, the rain is not as fierce as it was this morning.  In my youth…maybe five years ago…I would have leapt out to do some work.  Now, I feel less like working in the drizzle.  I added last week’s one day of work to the time sheet and was shocked to see we’ve eight rain and windy bitter cold and even snow days off.  Meanwhile, I’m embarrassed to report that Dave and Melissa bundled up in rain gear and worked through almost ALL the weather.

My excuse today: The soil is boggy and the plants are all drenched.  What a wimp!

I did take a walk in the soft rain throughout the garden.

DSC07135.JPG

Skooter looked startled that I opened the front door.


DSC07136.JPG

hyacinth basket


DSC07137.JPG

looking south


DSC07138.JPG

soggy footing


DSC07139.JPG

lots of crocuses


DSC07141.JPG

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (contorted filbert)


DSC07142.JPG

way too much fried egg plant reseeded in the bogsy wood


DSC07143.JPG

narcissi, and monster shotweed


DSC07144.JPG

Slippery ground prevented the shotweed pulling and fern clipping from starting up.

DSC07145.JPG

DSC07146.JPG

pulmonaria (spotted dog)


DSC07147.JPG

hard to even imagine when we’ll be able to have a campfire


DSC07148.JPG

The swale path is a pond.


DSC07150

Looking north.  Water on the center path is over the top of my boots.


DSC07151.JPG

south gate

The top of the south gate represents a Chinook tribal canoe, the sort that used to ply the river when this very spot was river front, before the port parking lots and building sites were built on fill, in the early 1950s.

DSC07149.JPG

I do wish this water stood all year long.

DSC07152.JPG

DSC07156.JPG

coming round the west side


DSC07154.JPG

more pulmonaria


DSC07155.JPG

corydalis foliage


DSC07124

crocuses

As you can see, the chop and drop method looks pretty messy.  I look forward to the future three compost bins which will be made as soon as we get six more free pallets…from somewhere.  I have decided the bins will tuck in nicely next to the greenhouse.

DSC07159.JPG

They will replace the wonky tadpole pond set up…


DSC07160.JPG

I love my new stop the eye fence.


DSC07161.JPG

Euonymus ‘Wolong Ghost’ is seriously climbing the front of the house, which is vinyl clad.

As I had walked all around the garden, I had collected one flower from every hellebore.  I’m sorry to report that many had minuscule snails hiding inside, putting paid to the idea that a cold winter would mean fewer snails.

Here is the full collection of hellebore blossoms.

DSC07163.JPG

DSC07164.jpg

Skooter appeared.

DSC07165.JPG

DSC07166.JPG

The center one is last year’s birthday present from Our Kathleen.

DSC07167.JPG

DSC07168.JPG

DSC07169.JPG

Because my camera has been finding it hard to capture the glory of the corylopsis in bloom, I asked Allan to photograph it.

DSC07157.JPG

Corylopsis and crocus, my photo

He returned with these:

DSC01685.jpg

DSC01686.jpg

Corylopsis pauciflora

DSC01687.jpg

DSC01690.jpg

DSC01691.jpg

DSC01694.jpg

with some fill in flash

Smokey snoozed through all of it.

DSC07170.JPG

I’d like to read for the rest of the day in this most wonderful book:

family.jpg

I can already tell you I am going to be rating this book at 20 stars.  As a former housecleaner for 18 years, I find deep familiarity in the stories of doing housework for richer folk.  And as the protagonist, Mildred, talks with her best friend about race, I keep marveling in a furious way that 70 years after it was written, how very much about racism is still the same.  Read it; it is wonderful and it’s funny despite its serious topics.  Read about it here.

My reading hours are curtailed because tonight is the local Democrats meeting.  I know Mildred would want me to go.  Here are her thoughts on a meeting:

Read Full Post »

Sunday, 6 December 2015

much rain!

Brilliant book, read it cover to cover in one sitting.

Brilliant book, read it cover to cover in one sitting.

the shocking state of Henrietta's descendants, and so many others, not having health insurance.

the shocking state of Henrietta’s descendants, and so many others, not having health insurance.

While I learned so much, Smokey enjoyed the reading day in his own way.

While I learned so much, Smokey enjoyed the reading day in his own way.

Meanwhile, Allan did his own reading and puttering and recorded his day:

garden propellers in the wind

garden propellers in the wind

DSC00663

65 mph gusts at the Port of Ilwaco, somewhat less in our garden.

Terry has her trees up across the street.

Terry has her trees up across the street.

DSC00668

Despite the rain, Allan managed to add blue lights to the new arbour.

Despite the rain, Allan managed to add blue lights to the new arbour.

DSC00672

Monday, 7 December 2015

I started reading a book that I had begun last week and had put down to address some more pressing books that were almost overdue….

Love her show, Girls, and loved this book.

Love her show, Girls, and her film, Tiny Furniture, and loved this book.

Some takeaways from Lena:

“College was a wonderful gig, thousand of hours to tend to yourself like a garden.”  (Not an experience I was privileged to have.)

The entire chapter called Is This Even Real: Thoughts on Death and Dying

and the four page chapter of her Top Ten Health Concerns.

The last order of end-of-season sale bulbs arrived in the mid afternoon.  At least half of them were for Dave and Melissa and Todd.

Here they are...Staycation goes on hold.

Here they are…Staycation goes on hold.

I sorted bulbs.

Meanwhile, Allan went out to weed at his own job at the Ilwaco Timberland Library/Community Building garden., and in the last rainy hour of the day planted the bulbs there that I had sorted out.

Allan's photo: sodden soil

Allan’s photo: sodden soil while weeding

still windy

still windy at home

back to the community building to plant  bulb and some plants

back to the community building to plant bulb and some plants

As you can see, the soil under the new sign desperately needs mulch.  As for the plants, I had pointed him to some starts of variegated euonymous (wintercreeper) from my garden but it looks to me (above) like he got saxifrage instead.

You can see he did not have pleasant weather for the little job.

You can see he did not have pleasant weather for the little job.

traffic jam!

traffic jam!

on his way home, a detour to see the prettiest house in Ilwaco

on his way home, a detour to see the prettiest house in Ilwaco, with a small Santa glowing upstairs

and then more work on Christmas lights

and then more work on Christmas lights

By 3:30, I had all the bulbs sorted and had gone out into the rain to plant white narcissi, some crocus tommasianus, some lilies and some iris reticulata in my own garden, getting drenched at the same time that Allan was planting bulbs in the rain at the community center.  Finally, at dark-thirty, I was able to finish the Lena Dunham book and read another.  I almost wanted to never read the final Ruth Rendell novel because there will be no more.

my day: the last book by one of my top three favourite authors

the end of my day: the last book by one of my top three favourite authors

I hoped for good weather the next day in order to plant the rest of the bulbs.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The wind roared, the rain swept sideways, and during a lull in the gale, I took an early afternoon excursion out to the bogsy woods.

an unusual amount of water

an unusual amount of water

This sort of thing went on all day.

This sort of thing went on all day.

I think it is a first to have water this high.

I think it is a first to have standing water this high.

DSC02827

next door

next door

The garden boat is almost afloat.

Our garden boat is almost afloat.

DSC02831

scene of summer campfires

scene of summer campfires

DSC02834

I've never seen the fence swale this high.

I’ve never seen the fence swale this high.

 

Nothing bigger than this branch had come down in the wind.

Nothing bigger than this branch had come down in the wind.

miniature rapids by the tree stump

miniature rapids by the tree stump

view to the south outside the fence

view to the south outside the fence

the outer bogsy woods, deeper than I have ever seen water here.

the outer bogsy woods, deeper than I have ever seen water here.

the middle swale in the bogsy wood

the middle swale in the bogsy wood

looking north

looking north

along the east side of the bogsy woods

along the east side of the bogsy woods

After that exciting splashy walk, I read, and read some more.

DSC02850

The novel You’re Not You is SO much better than the movie adaptation that we recently saw.  I’ve just ordered all of Michelle Wildgen’s other books.  She excels at writing about food and I see with pleasure that that is a theme in her other works.  You’re Not You is laced with descriptions of the farmers market:

DSC02851

DSC02852

and

DSC02853

DSC02854

and in the very early spring

DSC02855

and in the summertime:

DSC02856

DSC02857

Allan went out to the post office and the library and brought me back five books by Elinor Lipman; I will read them in order by copyright date, starting with the one I began tonight:

DSC02859

In the background, above, is the work board.  I hope that tomorrow will be a nice enough day to make that board almost empty by the evening.

For me, the weather had been delightful reading time.  For other local towns, it was a nightmare.

down the Oregon coast

down the Oregon coast

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 8.34.31 PM

"Check out the view from our Executive Petty Officer's front door!!! How bout a Survival Swim Chief??"

“Check out the view from our Executive Petty Officer’s front door!!! How bout a Survival Swim Chief??”  Tillamook Bay Coast Guard Station

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

We were most decidedly rained out of work; on both day I took photos of the gratifying amount of water in the bogsy woods.

Friday, 13 November 2015

DSC01659

We could get fancier chairs but these are honestly the most comfortable (when upright).  We’d had some wind.

I see through the east gate that the crab pots next door have been moved and are elsewhere now in readiness for the crab season.

I see through the east gate that the crab pots next door have been moved and are elsewhere now in readiness for the crab season.

The garden would look wilder if we brought the hoses in.

The garden would look wilder if we brought the hoses in.

DSC01661

turning to look back (north) up the west side path

turning to look back (north) up the west side path

DSC01662

south fence

splishy splashy walk

splishy splashy walk

I find this most pleasing.

I find this most pleasing.

outside the south fence

outside the south fence (looking due south)

looking north from the south gate

looking north from the south gate

DSC01670

looking east

looking west

looking west

I like the look of the extra river rock that we put into the (sometimes dry) creekbed.

I like the look of the extra river rock that we put into the (sometimes dry) creek bed.

hardy fuchsias still blooming

hardy fuchsias still blooming

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

Fuchsia magellanica and some late roses (Radway Sunrise)

one of our water features

one of our water features

and another

and another

DSC01682

I meant to read after my walk round the property, but having the place all to myself inspired me to putter at tidying the garage (since I could make all the decisions about where to put things).  I noticed Allan had had the clever idea of inserting a couple of bulb sorting milk crates into the shelves, and I expanded on the idea and got all our garden supplies sorted by type.

DSC01683

The blue tin can to the left has all the COOL tags.

A few days back I had sorted out a big bucket of plant tags, throwing out all the duplicates and winnowing the last couple of years of tags down to two containers.  Today, I refined them into having one blue can containing all the most special tags from Cistus and Xera and Joy Creek.  Like these:

DSC01687

The bottom tag tells me that I HAD bought a Heptacodium before Debbie Teashon brought me one this fall, but clearly it had died in its youth, as I have none in the garden other than the one she brought.

These were all from when Pam Fleming had the glorious and much missed Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.

These were all from when Pam Fleming had the glorious and much missed Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart.  Oh, except for the Hymenanthera, which I got at 7 Dees Seaside (and had lost that tag for four years!)

I spent several years not knowing what the cool shrub in my front garden was.

I spent several years not knowing what the cool shrub in my front garden was.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries.

Hymenanthera with white and grey berries, last month

ID for the lovely sedum I can see from my blogging window.

ID for the lovely sedum I can see from my blogging window.

and this Snowberry that is next to Allan's garden.

and this Snowberry that is next to Allan’s garden.

DSC01695

In the last hour of daylight, the rain stopped. I had gotten my onw bulbs sorted into three boxes (front garden, back garden, and garden boat) and thought I might plant some…till I realized that Allan had taken all the bulb food away with him in the van!

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

three boxes of bulbs to plant here.

So I had no choice but to finally finishing my book; thanks to a mention in the Susan Conant Dog Lover’s Mystery series, I had learned that a particular favourite author has two books I had not read:

DSC01697

Just some bits I liked:

DSC01698

DSC01699

And this amused me because I spend a great deal of time peering into my iPhone:

DSC01700

DSC01701

and then this, as I am entering the third act:

DSC01702

When I came emerged from the end of the book, I had a text from a friend telling me about the latest horrors in the real world, and when Allan arrived home he said he had been listening to the NPR newscast during all his driving time.  It cast much somberness over the evening as I contemplated the many such tragedies that take place around this world.

Allan’s day

a trip to Astoria and Warrenton for an oil change and shopping...

a trip to Astoria and Warrenton for an oil change and shopping…here on the Washington side along the Columbia River

waves splashing up over the breakwater

waves splashing up over the breakwater by a Lewis and Clark interpretive sign

an adorable Tillamook cheese van is a cheerful note to end on

an adorable Tillamook cheese van is a more cheerful note to end on

Saturday, 14 November 2014

  As for the day time, I took another walk in the late afternoon back to the bogsy wood to see how deep the water was (deeper than Friday), tried to read a book, could not concentrate, read a lot of news reports.

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

takes a lot of rain to have standing water here

splashier than yesterday

splashier than yesterday

DSC01705

DSC01706

Allan wonders when he will be able to mow.

Allan wonders when he will be able to mow and how far will the mower spray water if he did it now.

I'm glad I got these areas pretty much weeded.

I’m glad I got these areas pretty much weeded.

Today I wore boots so I could walk through here; the water came up to the tops of calf-height rain boots.

Today I wore boots so I could walk through here; the water came up to the tops of calf-height rain boots.

The big event of the evening will be another post on our other blog, which I will re-blog over to here by tomorrow morning.

Read Full Post »

Friday, 16 October 2015

Although I felt a distinct lack of energy on the first day off, I did apply myself to removing some salmonberry roots from the bogsy woods.  You probably won’t even be able to tell the difference between before and after unless you look quite carefully.

before

before

after

after

Some of the salmonberry removal is just the cheating of cutting it to ground level as it is so wrapped around the roots of the alder trees.

Allan went out to Roots to acquire a salad for our evening meal.

at Roots Juice, Salad and Java Bar in downtown Ilwaco

at Roots Juice, Salad and Java Bar in downtown Ilwaco

After more mostly ineffectual garden puttering, evening arrived and we had a campfire.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Gazing into the fire can mesmerize us for an evening.

Gazing into the fire can mesmerize us for an evening.

I just love poking the fire with a stick.

I just love poking the fire with a stick.

Smokey sitting on his own chair. (Allan's photo)

Smokey sitting on his own chair. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

After sausages cooked on campfire forks comes the ritual roasting of buttered, salted corn wrapped in foil.

After sausages cooked on campfire forks comes the ritual roasting of buttered, salted corn wrapped in foil.

the lights of the port buildings, foggy lights from boats, and to the far right the bright windows of Salt Hotel

the lights of the port buildings, foggy glow from boats’ lights, and to the far right the bright windows of Salt Hotel

Then Allan kindly did the paperwork for me for the sale of a photo to Rodale Press.  An author found said photo on this very blog.  I said to Allan I would give him half the money if he would just sort out the paperwork for me, and he brought it to me all ready to sign, even marked with a sticky note and an arrow in the signature place, and he walked to the post office so it would go out in tomorrow morning’s mail.

With our 11 PM viewing of The Amazing Race on telly, we had our salad from Roots.  The generous portion filled two dinner plates.

Peaches, apples, pears, feta, and slivered almonds on spring and Romaine lettuce with pear gorgonzola dressing

Peaches, apples, pears, feta, and slivered almonds on spring and Romaine lettuce with pear gorgonzola dressing

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday turned out to be a social day, a good excuse for not doing much weeding.  Our Kathleen arrived first for a visit.  Allan brought in a salamander to show us.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

A bit later, Steve of the Bayside Garden arrived to collect some of the alstroemeria that I had dug up last week.  (Kathleen and I both warned him of its aggressive nature.  He has room for such a thug.)  Of course, we all took a garden tour.

Kathleen, Steve, and me

Kathleen, Steve, and me

Smokey kept close to us. (Allan's photo)

Smokey kept close to us. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Onyx came to visit from the Starvation Alley house next door. (Allan's photo)

Onyx came to visit from the Starvation Alley house next door. (Allan’s photo)

I demonstrated that the berries of Leycesteria formosa taste like burnt caramel. Steve agreed.

I demonstrated that the berries of Leycesteria formosa taste like burnt caramel. Steve agreed.

I told him how hard it is to edit salmonberries out of the bogsy woods.  He said he and John prevailed in his garden by going well down into the ground with a pick.  I’m just not sure I can find the energy so I always use the excuse that I like to leave part of the garden wild (even though I would really love to cultivate every last inch).

sorting out some alstromeria roots for Steve

sorting out some alstroemeria roots for Steve

I asked the usual question of our guests on whether or not I should turn the paths outside the fence to gravel instead of lawn.  Steve likes the lawn.  The dilemma continues.  I may dither well through winter, or even for years.

Allan had his own project for the late afternoon:

Allan's photo: He was working on a trellis project but ran out of purple paint.

Allan’s photo: He was working on a trellis project but ran out of purple paint. It will be sawed out of this broken fence piece we were given by Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages.

We decided it was time to start lighting our Halloween lights.

We decided it was time to start lighting our Halloween lights. (Allan’s photo)

In the evening, we left the property (!!) to go to a concert at the Sou’wester Lodge.  There may be more of this with the shorter days of autumn and winter.  I feel that having had a couple of almost completely successful, long, not-leaving-the-property weekends, I am more open now to short excursions.

On the way, we photographed the Halloween display at Griffin Gallery.

downtown Ilwaco

downtown Ilwaco

At The Sou’wester

vintage rental trailers at the Sou'wester

vintage rental trailers at the Sou’wester

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: The trailer on the left is the one I lived in from late December ’92 to April ’93

south side of the lodge and one of the trailers

south side of the lodge and one of the trailers

in the living room: LPs and a display rack showing which one is playing

in the living room: LPs and a display rack showing which one is playing

chatting with owner Thandi Rosenbaum (Allan's photo)

chatting with owner Thandi Rosenbaum (Allan’s photo)

trailer photos on the wall (Allan's photo)

trailer photos on the wall (Allan’s photo)

the quiet, introspective music of Vikesh Kapoor (Allan's photo)

the quiet, introspective music of Vikesh Kapoor (Allan’s photo)

Vivek’s music was extra quiet and sad that night; he said he usually stands to play and is not perhaps quite as somber.  At one point he asked, “Are you ok with this kind of mood?” and an audience member responded, “Yeah, go darker!”

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Allan went shopping across the river.  I embarked on the project of shifting the debris pile outside the deer fence.  It’s not the most necessary project.  Yesterday, I could only explain to Steve and Kathleen that the big messy pile is a throwback to my grandmother’s compost pile; she composted all plant material and the humusy smell of her compost pile was a pleasure to me as a child.  I end up with lots more debris and am selective, avoiding most weeds and any diseased foliage.

the work area of the garden, next to Nora's driveway

the work area of the garden, next to Nora’s driveway

While Nora was alive, I made this a flower area for her to enjoy.  Now there is no one to see it most of the time but me and Allan.  This is the area where I keep dithering about whether or not to turn the paths to gravel.  Guests and readers mostly vote for lawn (even though it is brown and dormant in summer in this spot).

before

before

after, with two wheelbarrows of good soil moved to the inner garden.

after, the pile shifted to one end, with two wheelbarrows of good soil moved to the inner garden.

I disturbed several frogs.

I disturbed several frogs.

Growing potatoes in the debris pile proved to be successful, with more left to harvest from the bottom layer.

today's harvest

today’s harvest: red fingerling and Yukon Gold

I had way too many potatoes for us but over the following few days, gave some to our neighbour to the east, Jessika, and our neighbour across the street, Terry, and will be delivering some to Garden Tour Nancy and to Melissa and Dave. While giving away potatoes to the neighbors we heard that there had been a mother bear and her two cubs next door in their tree. A porcupine had also been sighted on the lawn across the street.

Allan returned with purple paint (and a necessary cord for a computer problem he’d been having) and finished his trellis project.

Allan's photo: He completed filling in the empty space on the west garage wall.

Allan’s photo: He completed filling in the empty space on the west garage wall.

Monday, 19 October 2015

I had so been hoping for the predicted rainy reading day, as I wished to simply sit and read Anne Hillerman’s Rock with Wings, a Navajo mystery in the style of her father, Tony Hillerman.  That was not to be.  The weather was misty, dampish, but gardenable.

The garden looked autumnal again, even though Allan had mowed on Friday.

The garden looked autumnal again, even though Allan had mowed on Friday.

Today’s project, after some light weeding here and there: Move much of the strawberry bed to enable an extension of the scree garden all around the boat.

before

before: 1:50 PM.

I discarded the center strawberries with big thick roots...

I discarded the center strawberries with big thick roots…

and transplanted the offshoots into containers behind the garage and along an edge of the newly cleared debris pile

and transplanted the offshoots into containers behind the garage and along an edge of the newly cleared debris pile

I also made a planter of strawberry plants for neighbour Jessika (of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm) to plant in her garden, even heeling them into the long narrow plastic container with some soil.  That’s significantly nicer than giving away plants because I am something of a soil hoarder.

3:30 PM

3:30 PM

This segued into cleaning out the tomato and pepper plants from the greenhouse and dumping the old potting soil into the future scree bed.

5:20 PM

5:20 PM

the last of the tomatoes and peppers

the last of the tomatoes and peppers

THAT segued into moving some potted tender plants into the greenhouse: scented geraniums, a Salvia laciniatum, a couple of agaves, and more.  Allan helped me shift the biggest ones.  With the mild winter predicted, quite possibly they all could have stayed outdoors.

a possibly unnecessary move into the greenhouse

a possibly unnecessary move into the greenhouse

Several passion flowers still bloom on the arbour near the greenhouse.

Several passion flowers still bloom on the arbour near the greenhouse.

the very last sweet pea pickings

the very last sweet pea pickings

The drizzly day had not even required the putting on of a rain jacket.  At the end, I walked back to the bogsy woods.

lots of good shade garden colour for late October

lots of good shade garden colour for late October (pulmonaria and hardy fuchsias)

a hardy fuchsia with delicate flowers

a hardy fuchsia with delicate flowers

creeping buttercup creeping back on the edge of the swale!

creeping buttercup creeping back on the edge of the swale!

ten minutes later

ten minutes later

a welcome sight: some water in the meander line ditch

a welcome sight: some water in the meander line ditch

In the last two hours before dark, Allan went to the Ilwaco Community Building to plant some hellebore and cyclamen starts given us by Our Kathleen.  They were slated for Golden Sands but I decided to divide them among our two jobs where we have little budget for plants.

little babies going into the ground

little babies going into the ground

and some more Sedum 'Autumn Joy' added

and some more Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ added

and then he made cookies! (Allan's photos)

and then he made cookies! (Allan’s photos)

Tomorrow: back to work, because we are taking Wednesday off for a garden lecture (me) and boating (Allan).

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 25 October 2014

We had 47 mph winds and Allan saw the excitement of a big branch coming down in the bogsy woods, on the gear shed side, and breaking as it hit another branch on the way down.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer's campfire wood.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer’s campfire wood. (Allan’s photo)

IMG_1831

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

The wind in the bogsy wood was so dramatic that it was hard to stand up to take this (safely far away) photo:

rain

Later, while I worked on adding more photos to my page about Gram’s garden, Allan prepared the framework for the upcoming Halloween Avenue of Spooky Plants, through which brave trick or treaters will arrive to the porch.

We left the posts up since last year.

We left the posts up since last year. (Allan’s photo)

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo.

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo. (Allan’s photo)

I’ll wait till closer to Halloween before attaching the plants, as they could blow every whichway in the wind.

I had good company while blogging.

cats

Later, I finished a book, Mean Girls Grown Up. While I did like some passages, I debated whether the subject was good for this blog, and decided to save the topic of friendship for sometime this winter, perhaps. Now and then this summer, I’ve written a paragraph on the subject and then deleted it before publishing because I hesitated to be so revealing. (As Ann Lamott so amusingly wrote, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”)

I then began a new to me Margaret Drabble book, Seven Sisters. Immediately I fell in love with the (sort of) chapter titles being set off to the right side of the text. (Below, what is not clear is that she is not HIGH, she’s in an upper floor flat.)

drabble

drabble2

Ms. Drabble, how I love thee.

suffolk

I was surprised to see Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers invoked in the same sentence:

heyer

That’s nothing against Georgette Heyer; my significant other of the 80s, Bryan, loved her books and during those years I read every one of them and loved them, too. He also got me to read Jane Austen for the first time, and A.A. Milne and P.G. Wodehouse. For a punk rock club manager and soundman, he had the gentlest of reading taste.

Surely on Sunday, I would get another rainy day to finish my Drabble book and probably read another book, as well.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Our rainy day off was not to be. We woke to rain, then sunshine and a rainbow over School Hill.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

Another heavy rain squall passed right after I took the rainbow photo and I thought we had a reprieve from work. I yearned to get back to my Drabble novel! And then….out came the sun.

I decided to take a look in the back garden to see how many tree branches had come down in the storm. I am utterly fascinated with every little change in our garden: what’s blooming, how deep the puddles are, and how many branches and twigs have fallen in a storm.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

The rain had filled the water barrels.

The rain had filled the water barrels.

water

...except for this one, which has a leak.

…except for this one, which has a leak.

I hadn't battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

I hadn’t battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

a branch halfway up the garden

a branch halfway up the garden

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don't go into the back garden in a wind storm.

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don’t go into the back garden in a wind storm.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

BIG branches

BIG branches

I stared up at my alder trees for a little while, trying to figure out which tree the really big branches had come from. I couldn’t see any break that explained the large amount of alder on the ground. Then I looked to my right.

trunk

tree

It took me a couple of minutes to realize that the small-of-girth dead alder in Nora’s back yard had snapped halfway up and fallen mostly on our side.

trunks

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

An old tricycle had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

An old tricycle (now a planter) had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

I went to fetch Allan to share in my marveling at all our campfire wood and wondered if I should try to find a friend with a big chainsaw. He walked down Nora’s yard and took some photos from that angle.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo showing the broken trunk

Allan’s photo showing the broken trunk

Allan's photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Allan’s photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Unbeknownst to me, he also took some photos of me checking out the water level in the bogsy woods.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

IMG_1127

I had found that the swales had an attractively pleasing amount of water.

the meander line swale

the meander line swale

the bridge swale

the bridge swale

chairs blown around the fire circle

chairs and tables blown around the fire circle

I went into the house for a few minutes and was amazed, when I returned to the scene, to find that Allan had already managed to cut the trunk off of the fence.

allan

Even more amazing, he had cut it with our corona hand saw:

Allan's photo showing little red saw

Allan’s photo showing little red saw

He cut the weight off the Nora side first and then braced the long piece with a thingie from his workshop:

IMG_1139

Allan's photos of bracing thingie.

Allan’s photos of bracing thingie.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: It’s a “table saw outfeed stand”, used upside down.

We couldn’t linger to do more clean up as we had decided to work, mostly a drive around day checking for storm damage and fallen over plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

On the way out of our driveway, our own personal Lake Street puddle was much bigger than usual.

work

I’ve had so much to say about wind that I’ll make a separate post for today’s and tomorrow’s fall clean up work.

When we got home from work, we spent some enjoyable time until dark picking up sticks and rolling trunks in the back garden. The weather remained so pleasant and windless, and some of the fallen tree wood was so dry, that I wished we had some sausages so that we could have a campfire. (I find the roasting of sausages to be essential to campfire enjoyment.) The next morning, I took photos of our progress:

27 October:  LOTS of campfire wood

27 October: LOTS of campfire wood

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them...or they may be for burning next summer.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them…or they may be for burning next summer.

 

20141028-181651.jpg

Read Full Post »

Monday, 6 October 2014

my project

After lazing around all weekend, I finally got to my project at the south end of our property.  The ditch out there is called the “meander line” that divides our property from Port of Ilwaco property (and is also the line between the port and the town itself).

While it felt very productive, even while I was doing the project I questioned the urge that I have to alter nature.  Why was the idea so strong in mind to cut the salmonberries (when they will just grow back) and alter the view of the willows in an area that I rarely visit?  It is as though I need to exert control over nature on every inch of the property.  I’m going to have to put a bench out there to make the project make more sense.  It would be pleasant to sit and look at the meander line ditch fill with water during the rainy season, and perhaps next summer I will be able to watch tadpoles there.

the bridge over our ditch to the south gate

the bridge over our ditch to the south gate

to my left, the swale path through the bogsy wood that fills with water when there is much rain.

to my left, the swale path through the bogsy wood and salmonberry groves that fills with water when there is much rain.

Smokey chose to accompany me on my mission.

Smokey chose to accompany me on my mission.

outside the fence, looking left

outside the fence, looking left

salmonberry blurring willow

looking right (west) to the willows that hang over the meander line ditch (and my camera is being annoying)

I chopped away at the salmonberry that was blurring the willow lines, above.  Even though I was in shade, I kept thinking “I’m too hot and am not having any fun.”  The day must have been all of 75, too hot for my comfort although some folks thrive on sunny days like that.  I was saved by the arrival of our friend J9; we sat around the fire circle for awhile visiting, till we had solved enough of the world’s problems for her to get a bowl of cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse and go on her way.  First, she picked up the wonderful memorial that Allan had made for her cat; more on this later.

Near the fire circle, I was pleased to see that my new Fuchsia 'Windcliff Flurry' has leafed out again; I had let it become distressed by not watering it enough earlier this summer.

Near the fire circle, I was pleased to see that my new Fuchsia ‘Windcliff Flurry’ has leafed out again; I had let it become distressed by not watering it enough earlier this summer.  It’s the plant with the tag and happy little leaves.

I let myself be distracted by picking my Cox's Orange Pippin apples.

I let myself be distracted by picking my Cox’s Orange Pippin apples.

I ate one that had fallen, after cutting the bad part out.  (There was an earwig inside, horrors.)  It was tasty but a bit mealy and I wondered if I had waited too long to pick the apples.  I had definitely waited too long to pick the one Pink Lady apple that I had noticed awhile back.  When I looked for it, this is all I found:

Pink Lady, all et up

Pink Lady, all et up

Pink Lady is really ‘Cripps Pink’ apple, renamed for the American market, apparently.   Or maybe it’s an improved Cripps Pink.   But no!  According to Earl’s Organic Produce:

“To clear up any confusion, Cripps Pink apples and Pink Lady apples are the exact same apple with the same pink color and quality. The only difference is that Pink Lady® is a registered trademark of the Pink Lady Apple Association.  Pink Lady® was one of the first apples to be marketed under a specific brand name rather than by its variety name.

The Cripps Pink apple and Pink Lady apple are a cross between a Golden Delicious apple and a Lady Williams apple.  John Cripps from Australia crossed the two varieties in 1973 and that is why they are called Cripps Pink apple and/or Pink Lady apple.  When you are out shopping, keep in mind that they are the same apple variety.”

I learned about the trademark name controversy in this excellent article by Tony Avent.

But I digress, just as I digressed into apple picking to avoid the hot, hard work of salmonberry chopping.  By the time I returned to the meander line, the weather had cooled somewhat.

I had already made a pile of clippings, and now I added to it.

I had already made a pile of clippings inside the fence, and now I added to it.

And the willow are revealed in all their sinuous form!

And the willow are revealed in all their sinuous form!

I pulled lots of long grass from the flat area outside the gate, and I then tore a whole lot of grass out of the middle of the meander line ditch so that I would be able to see the water in winter season.  Little frogs hopped away in dismay as I altered their home.

the meander line ditch

the meander line ditch

I felt the strong desire to clear grass all the way along the ditch under the swoopy willow to the left of the above photo…and told myself how unhappy the frogs would be if more of their habitat was disturbed.  But don’t they have enough grass on the portside bank of the ditch?  Before I could succumb to more desire to change nature, I cut my finger on a blade of grass and went indoors to deal with the quantity of blood (like a deep paper cut).

I lost my momentum then.  Allan went out to the area and was inspired to clear with the strimmer the area where I had worked and made it look ever so neat.  For my own entertainment, here are before and after photos:

beforeafter

beforeafter

outside the gate

outside the gate

See how we have laid claim to this non garden area and made it all “civilized” and ready for a bench?  If we ignore it for a month, it will quickly go back to the wild.

after strimming

after strimming

Looking east toward the neighbouring gear shed; I was pleased to see Allan had strimmed there, too.

Looking east toward the neighbouring gear shed; I was pleased to see Allan had strimmed there, too.

And he strimmed all along the old log by one side of the big ditch.

And he strimmed all along the old log by one side of the big ditch.

Larger view:  Why is it so tempting to go in there and pull ALL the long grass.

Why do I want to mess with the frog's home so very badly?

Why do I want to mess with the frog’s home so very badly and make the ditch all clear?

Aren’t the willows just glorious with their swoopy arching branches?

Allan’s weekend project (when not boating)

Before we have our evening fire, let me back track to where J9 picked up the cat memorial that Allan made for her recently and suddenly deceased pal, Buddy (only five years old, sudden kidney failure):

J9 found her favourite image of Buddy and took it to the Picture Attic where they added a title and made her a print.

He then sandwiched it, edging it with clear marine seal, and trimmed it:

an outdoor plaque for Buddy's grave

Christl from Wiegardt Gallery had given him some scraps of clear, non yellowing acryclic and some weatherproof tape.

Christl from Wiegardt Gallery had given him some scraps of clear, non yellowing acryclic.

Then to be sure, the edges were super glued and covered with Christl’s weatherproof tape.

A repurposed piece of book shelf was chosen to frame it. A decision was made to not cut it in the shape of a heart or use a tail base to hide a small stake. Buddy’ ears for a patterned for the top seemed right.

IMG_1069

More weather protection was provided by insetting the picture with a router.

IMG_1075

It was then cut and sanded and an angled block was added behind.

P1110887

Stain and two coats of fiberglass resin left over from a boat project to further protect it were added.

 evening campfire

And then, the fire of the evening.

fire

 

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

 

Allan's photo of where the little bats fly around in the dusk.

Allan’s photo of where the little bats fly around in the dusk.

moonrise over the gearshed

moonrise over the gearshed

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Poking at the fire is so relaxing.  (Allan's photo)

Poking at the fire is so relaxing. (Allan’s photo)

 

coals

Fog drifted in and we could see it floating across the moon, while foghorns sounded from the Columbia River shipping channel.

foggy moon to the east

foggy moon to the east

and to the southwest, the lights of Jessie's almost non stop fish processing plant

and to the southwest, the lights of Jessie’s almost non stop fish processing plant

We figured this would be the last campfire of the season, as rain was due on Friday and we now had to get back to work for the rest of the week.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »