Posts Tagged ‘bogsy wood’

Monday, 10 December 2018

We’d had this much rain since Saturday evening.

Before and after a visit, I spent my afternoon potting up shasta daisy starts for my plant sale.

Our dear friend Tony came to visit the garden with Maryann and Linda.

Maryann, Linda, Tony, and me

You might remember that MaryAnn is the former owner and the designer of the beautiful garden at Tony and Scott’s beach home.

Maryann, who visits family in England every year, gave me a Gardeners’ World book! I was thrilled!

Thank you, MaryAnn!

By the way, I do intend to get back to watching as many new-to-me episodes that I can find online of Gardeners’ World as soon as I can break away from my reading binge.

Poor Allan had to leave to have a wisdom tooth pulled.

The rest of the photos from today were all taken by Tony Hofer himself as we wandered the garden.

my one and only phormium

plant table in the bogsy wood

SW bogsy wood corner

bridge to the south gate

through the south gate: Linda just bought a house on the peninsula so I look forward to seeing her around.

outside the fence, at the meander line, the south property line that used to be riverbank.

I used to try to control nature out there, but now I let it go and I think the frogs are happier that way.

fortifications on the south fence

Back in the civilized garden again:

the cat bench that Allan made

at the edge of the patio

I gave Tony a great big clump of sarracenia.

the lean-to

lambs ears that I have been potting up

white rhododendron by Allan’s shed

old apple tree in front garden


east wall of house

front path

hellebore by front path

We all talked about how Allan and I could visit Tony and Scott’s Vancouver (Washington) home this spring, before they pack everything up to move to the beach.  MaryAnn would make dinner…I know it would be a wonderful trip and we could combine it with a visit to Cistus and Joy Creek Nurseries.

I love getting to see what someone else notices in our garden.  Thank you, Tony!





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Sunday, 26 August 2018

Due to a light rain overnight that was enough to fill all the rain barrels, I was suddenly inspired to plant a few ladies in waiting.  I tried to talk myself out of it, as surely I should wait for autumn and more regular rain.  Later, I read that some of my northwest gardening Facebook friends had succumbed to the same urge.

this much rain in the yellow rain gauge.

The cats were pleased to have me home.

It’s a darn shame I can’t dredge up a before photo of the area below, showing how a Leptospermum ‘Squiggly’ was all jammed in sideways next to the Cistus ‘Mickie’, reaching for the light.  I risked killing Squiggly by moving it.  It had to be done.


I pruned it to try to regain its upright habit.

new spot in the east bed, before…

and after pruning. Good luck, little one.

I planted a clematis from Windcliff, whose tag must be kicking around on the ladies in waiting table, and a Baeckia in a newly cleared area. (I saw a baeckia while garden touring near Seattle and was smitten.)

I decided that the West Willows Loop path was unnecessarily wide at the beginning.



Why do we edge with rocks and logs?  Well….if I had more soil to build up behind the rocks, there would be a good reason.

I took a break during the middle of the above project because Allan decided to cut a branch I had asked him to cut.  He went to the one branch on the purple ornamental rather ugly plum tree that I had mentioned two or three weeks ago, that hangs over parked cars on the front sidewalk.


after (Allan’s photos)

The branch was down before I told him I had changed my mind about that one, and that what I meant was the alder branch I had showed him last weekend.  (It would require some low climbing which is why I had not done it myself.)  I went back to the alder grove to find him in a completely different alder cutting a big dead branch.

That inspired me to think about how a few more branches gone from that tree would better reveal my garbage can phormium and my eucalyptus.



I helped chop and pile all the debris.

Finally, Allan cut the branch that I really wanted cut today.

before, that twisty one

With it gone, the fuchsias underneath will get more light. Take my word for it, because I forgot an after photo.

Oh wait, is this one? Well…sort of:

At the end of the day:

a beautiful rose.

This winter, I hope to find my rose receipts so that I can identify that one.

Saponaria ‘Flore Pleno’ redeeming itself for being such a runner.

looking southeast

Allan had also mowed the green back portion of the lawn, as well as pruning.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Because of some more drizzly rain, I decided we would dare to take Monday off from work watering.  The real reason was that I could not bear the thought of going to work.  I had not had enough time at home.

The rain barrels were full.

The weather was perfect, not windy, not too hot, with a crisp autumnal feeling in the air. I got the big yellow pick for a big project—finally.  Into the yellow rain gauge it went (with a new collection of rain; the yellow rain gauge got used and dumped yesterday).

I was at last inspired to make my bogsy wood stepping stone path.  It has been lingering for almost a year on the work board list of home garden projects, even after all of the weeding list got erased over the summer.

before: I had been piling some extra stepping stones there since last winter.

The reddish stones had come from former client Rita Nicely, back when we used to do her garden.  I had to quit that and two other private gardens when Allan and I lost a part time helper and decided to go it alone. Rita’s garden is now in the capable hands of Shelly and Terran of Flowering Hedge Design.

looking north from inside the area I was clearing, with Skooter by the fire circle.

Skooter got off the fire circle bench and came to help me.

“I halp.”

I could not pick all of the salmonberry out because of the alder roots, so some of it I clipped and will continue to clip.


I did wield the pick mightily where the path will go.


Skooter returned to the bench.

I disturbed a large frog while weeding (fortunately not while picking).

It hopped over and found a new home behind some pieces of metal that I had leaned against a trunk.

impromptu frog house

my helper again

Allan had asked earlier why I was making a path through this natural area.  Skooter understood and approved.  He sat on many of the rocks right after they were laid down.

I scavenged the front garden for a two more piles of the paver rocks I had been saving and commandeered Allan from his desk, where he was working on his self published boating book all day, to help fish some out rocks from the back of a raised bed on the north side of the house.

The rocks were wasted back there.

nice and mossy

Frosty felt no need to help.

I got the whole length of path done as I had hoped.  The problem in the future will be that the darned meianthemum (false lily of the valley) is thick in here and will obscure the stones if I don’t manage to weed or string trim it.  But for now, I am quite pleased.

At the inner end, the rocks will make it possible to walk in the swale when it is damp.  Otherwise, the hard packed mud is treacherously slick and slippery.

bogsy swale looking east

Then the path goes north between the two hillock shade beds.

As for the area below, it still has salmonberry roots and needs some soil added (which I do not have) in order to plant a few more things on the side of the hillock.  Let’s revisit that before:


and after:

Another revisited before:





Looking across the fire circle border, I can see the rocks (now, at least) and I feel well chuffed.  I will probably find a few more matching rocks to widen the path during winter garden clean up.

looking south

Now I need to find a way to make the area where salmonberry must be clipped, where the alder roots are too thick to plant, and where the shade is deep, more interesting, to make it worthwhile to take a walk on the path.

Skooter agreed it was a day’s work well done.

Allan’s only photo for Monday is of half of an overgrown cucumber and one of our many apples that garnished tonight’s dinner.



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Saturday, 5 March 2018

We attended the annual Ilwaco Children’s Parade (yesterday’s post).  Allan was at the beginning, downtown, and I was at the Port end of the parade.  Neither one of us made it to the boatyard to get photos with the boats as a backdrop.  A breakdown in communication.

I was pleased that Jenna (Queen La De Da, our good friend and the parade organizer) had put up signs protecting our street planters.

And yet…

Along Howerton Avenue, dog daisies had bloomed for the parade.

We have finally managed to get some perennials going in the Freedom Market garden.

Here comes the parade:

After the parade, we each went to the opening of the Ilwaco Saturday Market at the port, which will take place each Saturday between now and the end of September.

Allan’s photos:


my photos:

I popped into Time Enough Books.

I must read the Angry Chef book!

However, my obsession with watching Gardeners’ World online is greatly reducing my reading time.

What is missing in the photo below?

Nigel and Montagu Don, of course!

This is a must have book for a dog book collection.

Cats were well represented:

I hurried home because I had things to do in the garden.  And yet…I have a problem.  All I want to do is watch one episode after another of Gardeners’ World online.  I am finding them on youtube and another video site called dailymotion. Three new books came in the mail today and yet….except for bathtime, I watch Gardeners’ World instead of reading.

I hope I don’t start watching GW instead of blogging.

The cats stayed indoors for as long as I did.



Gardeners’ World

I felt guilty about not gardening.  Allan helped by saying, as he made some toasty sandwiches, “You are waiting for lunch, then you’ll be eating lunch, and then you’ll be letting it settle.”  Sounded like a good enough set of excuses.

relaxing AND informative

Nigel! My dog, Bertie Woofter, used to make just that face.

With GW presenter Carol Klein, I visited the Logan Botanic Garden in Scotland.  Amazing; you can view it here.

Today, I watched several episodes from 2015 (and one accidentally from 2016) before venturing out into the garden. Finally, in mid-afternoon, I did get stuck into one gardening job.  (Allan had gone shopping over the river.)

The big beds are weedy but still give a reasonably good impression.

I now have an elegant blue wall at the end of the garden, like the glorious one that was famously in the Linda Cochran garden on Bainbridge Island.

Ok, it is actually a blue tarp over a huge stack of crab pots next door.  I like it much better than last year’s brown tarp.

I had decided to do the weediest area first, which I left till the very last in 2017: the hillocks in the Bogsy Wood.

before: 3 PM

4 PM

4:05 PM

Our Kathleen came by just then to give me a start of rudbeckia for the Shelburne Hotel garden.  We visited outdoors for about fifteen minutes and then I got back to the project.

5:30 PM looking east

5:30 PM looking west

camassias on the edge of the Bogsy Wood

Skooter; both cats kept an eye on my project.

a nice start of rudbeckia for the Shelburne

I was glad to accomplish a goodly amount and rewarded myself with some more episodes of Gardeners’ World. I told Allan that if I lived alone, I would stop watching all of our usual favourite telly shows and watch nothing BUT GW till I have gotten through all such material available online.  “That’s crazy talk!” said Allan.

Be still, my heart—Monty, Nigel, and compost bins:

Have I shared this clip of a physically disabled woman’s garden?

This evening’s shows included an inspirational greening of a Liverpool neighbourhood, part of a campaign called Greening Grey Britain. (Sorry, cannot find a stand alone video clip. You will find it 18 minutes in to this episode.)

And I got to go on a tour of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, about which I have read at least two books.  I had forgotten that it was a hurricane knocking down trees that first revealed the lost garden there.

We have two more days off.  I am sure to be torn between watching gardening and actually gardening.



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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Looking out the front window, I noticed that the goldy-bronze Japanese maple, which I planted for eventual privacy, tones well with the cottage across the street.

Allan picked up some books from the library and did some deadheading there:

Ilwaco Community Building

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa (probably) ‘Peppermint Stick’

at home

In the early evening, Allan went on a splashabout in the back garden.

I wish that white bucket was not sitting there. Fire water bucket. I keep forgetting to move it.

in the bogsy wood

looking north from the Bogsy Wood

Bogsy Wood bridge

Bogsy Wood swale

the seasonal pond at the Meander Line

looking north

fairy door

at the north edge of the Bogsy Wood

lawn under water

In the evening, we watched the documentary Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul.  It was glorious.  You can watch it right here.

Skooter, lower right

To protect our telly, we had to put Skooter into the laundry room.  The soundtrack of meowing cats had him all in a tizzy. He never gets worked up by the meowing on the show My Cat From Hell.

After the film, I studied the first couple of chapters of this book, a gift from Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park, a longtime past job of ours..

I have looked at all the lovely photos before, but this time I am seriously studying it as I am not all that successful at intensive cutting gardens.  I am wanting a small one around the edges of the back garden of the Shelburne Hotel and would like to do better with cutting flowers at home because I am taking bouquets there on a regular basis.

A sweet story of how the author got started:

I don’t often pick bouquets for myself but I do like to make them for other people. I learned useful items already, such as succession seeding for annual flowers up till July 15th.  And planting them extra close together for cutting flowers.

After midnight, I looked to see how much rain had fallen on Saturday: 4.36 inches! And 8.55 since this storm began.

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Saturday, 20 May 2017

I planted in my garden: agastaches, echinaceas, dahlias in the garden boat, a few of those “black and white” gladiolus mix that I mostly gave away, three delphiniums which should make a nice snail snack, and cosmos, cosmos, cosmos and cosmos.

I do not enjoy planting (odd but true) so not one photo was taken by me.

A heavy application of sluggo went everywhere I planted.

Meanwhile, Allan got ambitious over at Mary N’s place.


before: the barberry stumps


the heavy pick


weeding in progress




We need to find three ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas for here.

At home, Allan weeded his own garden bed and planted the one plant that he had in waiting: a Mahonia gracilipes from Todd.




after. The centerpiece is Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’.

I looked forward to tomorrow when I have nothing to plant and much to weed.

Nancy Gorshe (co owner of The Depot Restaurant, who is running for another term as hospital commissioner, posted this photo of her campaign sign in my garden in 2011. Must have been late summer because it was the 2011 Hardy Plant Study Weekend that inspired the building of the arbour.


Here’s the same garden area today (with poles that need repainting).  It was awfully pretty back when it was just annuals!



Sunday, 21 May 2017

Despite some plaguing sciatica or some such pain, I decided to take on a hard project rather than small areas here and there.  I needed the satisfaction.

I had been disheartened while planting yesterday about what an all-fired mess my garden is this year.  Then I had the comforting memory of the year 2008.  Friends from Minneapolis visited on Memorial Day weekend, and even though I needed to be gardening, I took the day off to go to Cannon Beach with them.  Before we left for the day, I showed them my garden.  It was a worse mess of weeds than what I have today; back then, we worked seven days a week in May.  I told my friends that we were going to be on the garden tour in just one month.  Even as non gardeners, they looked skeptical.


friends from afar at Cannon Beach, memorial day weekend 2008

Not only did Robert and I get the garden tour-worthy (by neglecting paid work),  we also fit in the Hardy Plant Study weekend before tour day!  You can see the garden on tour day here. (And if you backtrack from that post, you will see some glorious gardens in Eugene, Oregon.)

So there is hope that I will get the awfully weedy garden done before summer.  After all, I’m getting started on the worst part before Memorial Day.


Here’s an area that is always the last to be weeded. South end of east fence border.  


in that bed: a cool Dan Hinkley plant whose name I forget. Has little berries right on the leaves.

Here is the area I went for today, the new-last-year bogsy wood mounds.  It was a matter of urgency to get the velvet grass out before it flowered (because then it gives me sneezing fits).


I could make life easier by making a debris dump in that one undeveloped corner between two old salmonberries (below):


…And yet I persist in wanting the debris taken outside the fence.  If Allan did not show up now and then to dump wheelbarrows for me, I think that corner would be a debris dump for sure.  It’s my last frontier, though, and I don’t want to fill it up with a weed pile.


2:30 PM


I like my golden boxleaf honeysuckle and variegated elderberry along the bogsy wood east fence.

I moved to the other side of the bogsy wood mounds.


Here’s how it looked on May 13th.

In the center, the velvet grass had gotten as tall as a human toddler and defeated my hand tools.


Just then, rescue arrived.


Allan with the big yellow pick.


followed closely by a supervisor



me contemplating the giant velvet grass


Allan went after the child sized clumps of velvet grass.


huge clumps that would have been much easier to pull a month ago


velvet grass OUT

With that accomplishment, Allan departed to go for a short hike to some tall trees (which will be tomorrow’s post).


5:10 PM, looking east


looking west

That is certainly not the quality of unraked work that I’d leave behind at a job.  Nevertheless, I was satisfied for today.  The progress had been made despite a 20 mph wind so annoying that it usually would have kept me out from under the trees.

I wanted next to tackle this area where grass and buttercups were hiding a fairy door.  Maybe the fairies like the privacy.


While I did not get an after photo, this one from Allan, after his return, shows that area, along with the results of his raking.


fairy door is on tree to the left

On the lawn side of that area, I have this mess:


I did wade into it from the other side.  I did not deliberately plant the Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant).  Every year, it begins to irritate me as it hides other plants and provides a damp home for slugs.  The meianthemum (false lily of the valley) is also rampant in here.


But of course the meianthemum worked its way up into this stump planter of pulmonaria.


This fuchsia’s old stems looked kind of tatty.


So I pruned it to the base. Now everything shows.


I’d like to move it, but it is too risky now; it’s an extra pretty one.


I had an audience the whole time.


The salmonberry tunnel needs shaping.

Last minute inspiration: I pruned salmon and elderberry to reveal my bogsy wood plant table.






something about to happen


something happening



Smokey might have felt mildly annoyed.

Allan dumped at least six, maybe nine heaping wheelbarrows for me today.


looking back….6:30 PM and I was out of steam.

I wish I had a week of weeding days at home.  Tomorrow Annuals Planting Hell I mean Time starts up again in Long Beach.

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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.



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.)


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.



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


sadly one inch low water box

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


Allan’s photo

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


Allan took them to the big field out back.


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.


his tools (and the pick handle)


a trench dug to make the pallets level


proper assembly

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


newspaper base will help keep roots from coming up


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.


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:


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


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.



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.



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


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.


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.


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.



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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.


Skooter looked startled that I opened the front door.


hyacinth basket


looking south


soggy footing


lots of crocuses


Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (contorted filbert)


way too much fried egg plant reseeded in the bogsy wood


narcissi, and monster shotweed


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



pulmonaria (spotted dog)


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


The swale path is a pond.


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


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.


I do wish this water stood all year long.



coming round the west side


more pulmonaria


corydalis foliage



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.


They will replace the wonky tadpole pond set up…


I love my new stop the eye fence.


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.



Skooter appeared.



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




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


Corylopsis and crocus, my photo

He returned with these:



Corylopsis pauciflora





with some fill in flash

Smokey snoozed through all of it.


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


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:

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