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Posts Tagged ‘bogsy wood’

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.

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

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

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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.

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Spam of the day:

“I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of
your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot
of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?”

Hahaha!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

I immediately defeated my goal of two days off without leaving the property by deciding to go to Olde Towne Café for breakfast at ten AM. I did not feel like bugging Allan to do the Saturday Market photos instead of me, so I would have to leave the house anyway. And I had another small mission: to get a photo of John and Cheri’s lovely garden over by Spruce Street.

I told Smokey and Mary that I wasn't going to work and would soon be spending the rest of the weekend with them.

I told Smokey and Mary that I wasn’t going to work and would soon be spending the rest of the weekend with them.

I set out, with my cane although I did not feel especially gimpy today.

mission one accomplished:  John and Cheri's garden

mission one accomplished: John and Cheri’s back garden

Strolling along Spruce, I admired Jenna's plantings at Queen La De Da's new location.

Strolling along Spruce, I admired Jenna’s plantings at Queen La De Da’s new location.

At Olde Towne, I had a latte and oatmeal and was lucky to arrive at a quiet time so that Luanne was able to sit and visit for awhile.

a good table for two

a good table for two

(I forgot to take her a bouquet of flowers for the weekend; later in the day, Allan took one over for me.)

Next, a walk down First Avenue to the Market. A stop at Robert’s Antique Gallery gleaned some more photos for the Facebook page with which I help Larry and Robert by providing photos.

I especially liked these duck dishes.

I especially liked these duck dishes.

On I walked, past the boatyard garden where I averted my eyes from the occasional horsetail and dandelion.

south end of boatyard garden, with Clamshell Railroad historic sign

south end of boatyard garden, with Clamshell Railroad historic sign

On my walk to the market, Kathleen Shaw had pulled her car to the side for a confab; she was on her way home to her cottage after going to the market herself. She told me about a husky puppy named Aragon at Nate’s ice cream shop so I made sure to walk by there.

Aragon: so cute

Aragon: so cute

and cuter

and cuter (and sweet and friendly, too)

The market was bustling and my knee had started to hurt a bit so I only covered about two blocks.

market

Of course, I got a treat at Pink Poppy Bakery: two chocolate chip cookies and two scones to share with Allan.

Of course, I got a treat at Pink Poppy Bakery: two chocolate chip cookies and two scones to share with Allan.

Bonnie, an Olde Towne regular, had just bought a potted lily.

Bonnie, an Olde Towne regular, had just bought a potted lily.

plants from The English Nursery

plants from The English Nursery

To get home, I cut through the gear shed property (shhhh) to the east back gate and was met with a terrible shock. I knew some bindweed lurked back there and my weekend project was to pull it out of the southeast corner of the bogsy woods. I did not expect to see this horror from the outside of the fence!

a wall of bindweed from the gearshed side

a wall of bindweed from the gearshed side

I went inside and sat for awhile to gather strength. Then:

later....

later….

I also tackled the back corner of the bogsy wood and made some progress. Hauling the debris out will be the most tiresome part.

before

before

after: a space for a hydrangea aspera

after: a space for a hydrangea aspera

I think I’ll load it all into the trailer to go to the dump on Monday, since we can’t have a three day weekend because Long Beach planters will need watering.

A strong wind had made it a little anxious to work under the trees in the bogsy woods. The gusts were at least 20 mph. As the sun began to descend, I was glad to go inside.

Smokey flopped down in front of me, creating a moving obstacle course all the way to the front door.

Smokey flopped down in front of me, creating a moving obstacle course all the way to the front door.

Meanwhile, Allan had begun installing our new Pink Poppy Farm inspired sprinkler set up.

more details on this later

more details on this later

He then went sailing on Black Lake to reward himself:

“Almost a 30 degree tilt and good speed but rowed back after not making much headway north past the dock. Was getting stuck as the vegetation made the lake only about half the width it appears. Fog came in, last two pics from Sandridge Road”

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P8160025

P8160027

P8160028

Earlier in the day, Allan had photographed a spider outside the back door. I didn’t post it at the beginning as did not want to scare off any arachnophobes.

a big one!  size of a quarter, Allan said.

a big one! size of a quarter, Allan said.

IMG_0663



Sunday, 17 August 2014

For some reason, I woke up with the notion that today would be a good day to cut down salmonberry at the front side of the bogsy wood. What came over me, I do not know; I was filled with happy energy.

Here's the first area, before.

Here’s the first area, before.

and after

and after

I thought above removing the clump to the right, then realized it would just reveal too much of the green metal wall of the next door gear shed. Now there is a sense of mystery…you can glimpse the blue hydrangea and might want to walk back for a closer look.

The second part of the project was to move the pile of campfire wood to make a new planting area along the front.

Firewood (fallen alder) had been piled all along the front.

Firewood (fallen alder) had been piled all along the front.

I had an absolute stroke of genius and used two old chairs (not safe for sitting, given to use by our client Jo) to stack the firewood on.

two chairs plus an oyster basket of bark and kindling

two chairs plus an oyster basket of bark and kindling

Allan seemed unimpressed with this, but I still hold that it is genius, as it will keep the wood up off of the always damp ground back here.

The stubby stumps of salmonberry are still in the area I cleared. Later, Allan will go in with his little chainsaw and cut them flush with the ground; then we will just clip or even use the weedeater to keep any sprouts down.

That’s what we did with another area that was pure salmonberry:

the salmonberry tunnel

the salmonberry tunnel

The entire bogsy wood was a rough mess when we began the garden.

what our woods looked like in Oct. 2010 when we bought the place

in October 2010

If we don’t keep up with clipping any sprouts, the salmonberry will creep back in, like it did in the area below:

My third project of the day, before

My third project of the day, before

It took only about one hour to bring that area back to this.

It took only about one hour to bring that area back to this.

I’ll never get all the salmonberry out of the bogsy wood, so I just like to make paths and tunnels in it. It is the first flower for the hummingbirds (so I have read) and, later, berries for all the berry eating birds. That’s my excuse, and it’s a good one.

Between today’s and yesterday’s clearing, I have a view now of the blue hydrangea back in the woods.

clearing

Don’t you just want to walk back there?

I can even see the blue of the hydrangea all the way from my bedroom window.

and maybe the hydrangea looks back; this is what it would see,

and maybe the hydrangea looks back; this is what it would see,

Looking south over the river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’, the edge of the bogsy woods looks more clearly defined.

view2

My eye is drawn to how much better the fuchsia shows up.

My eye is drawn to how much better the fuchsia shows up.

Now i need a yard of Soil Energy to build up the former wood pile area so that I can plant some of my other new fuchsias there.

Speaking of unplanted plants, here’s the sad story of one of my ladies in waiting. I had two ‘Orange Pillar’ barberries when garden touring on Whidbey Island in June. I have decided they will go in the front garden after I have moved two big thirsty sanguisorbas to the back garden. That can’t be done till fall, so the barberries wait in pots. One was hidden at the back of the ladies in waiting benches and got missed:

the good

Here’s the happy one that was toward the front…

and the terribly sad one; it got well soaked yesterday and I hope it puts out new leaves.

and the terribly sad one; it got well soaked yesterday and I hope it puts out new leaves.

At the end of the day, I especially admired a few things (and judged one thing):

admired white lilies in the back garden

admired white lilies in the back garden

and...Lily 'Anastasia' still blooming, towering over Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns'

and…Lily ‘Anastasia’ still blooming, towering over Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’

and another pink lily has joined Anastasia; they must be eight or more feet tall.

and another pink lily has joined Anastasia; they must be eight or more feet tall.

and the gorgeous berries of Billardia longifloria on the front garden arbour

and the gorgeous berries of Billardia longifloria on the front garden arbour

at northeast corner of house

at northeast corner of house

The judgement: I think I may have way too much Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and this daylily has got to go:

I think it will find a new home at Andersen's RV Park.

I think it will find a new home at Andersen’s RV Park.

Allan took a photo of how the “dead” camellia trunks in the back garden, painted purple two years ago, are sprouting new leaves!

While I don't really want the camellia to come back, I am impressed.

While I don’t really want the camellia to come back, I am impressed.

Life would be just perfect if we had a three day weekend; unfortunately, the Long Beach planters simply must be watered tomorrow. Allan had to water the Ilwaco planters today, so he did not even get a two day weekend.

 

 

 

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I wish I could say that all the gardening took place in my own very weedy garden, but no.

Saturday, 19 April 2014, evening

After getting home from the beach clean up and the clam festival, I was so worn out I just sat down to work on the blog; entries about garden tours or local events are always the most time consuming to write.  Out of the corner of my right eye, I caught a glimpse of the late evening sun on the rhododendron in Nora’s garden next door and was drawn outside to take some photos.

Nora got to see her rhododendron bloom last spring, before she died.

Nora got to see her rhododendron bloom last spring, before she died.  I miss her.

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

the rhubarb that was in a whiskey barrel here when we moved in.

the rhubarb that was in a whiskey barrel here when we moved in.

lots of verdant growth

lots of verdant growth…

and lots of horsetail that I have lacked time or energy to pull...

and lots of horsetail that I have lacked time or energy to pull…

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold' (golden cutleaf elderberry)

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’ (golden cutleaf elderberry)

Persicaria bistorta superba...I should put some in the damp garden in Fifth Street Park.

Persicaria bistorta superba…I should put some in the damp garden in Fifth Street Park.

ornamental rhubarb

ornamental rhubarb

just north of the bogsy wood

just north of the bogsy wood

tulips, two or three years old

tulips, two or three years old

from both sides now

from both sides now

strong lily foliage

strong lily foliage

apple 'Cox's Orange Pippin'

apple ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Oh, and look, Allan weeded the raspberry patch!

Oh, and look, Allan weeded the raspberry patch!

Sunday 20 April 2014

We had to work and did so close to home.  I had thought of finally getting the 42nd Street Café weeded and then realized that working there during Easter Sunday brunch might not be a good idea.  Instead, we did some weeding and deadheading at Larry and Robert’s garden half a block down the street.

All those bluebells were dormant under the lawn two years ago before we made this garden bed.

All those bluebells were dormant under the lawn two years ago before we made this garden bed.

poeticus narcissi

poeticus narcissi

narcissi and pulmonaria

narcissi and pulmonaria

Heucheras have done well in this garden.

Heucheras have done well in this garden.

heuchera and hellebore

heuchera and hellebore

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

the front garden

the front garden

the garden boat, looking east toward Tom and Judy's garden

the garden boat (with Tulip ‘Princess Irene’), looking east toward Tom and Judy’s garden

bright white tulips in Tom and Judy's garden

bright white tulips in Tom and Judy’s garden

Allan reminded me that we were only halfway through weeding a bed on the west side of Larry and Robert’s house.  I decided we had better get to the real mission of the day, and I’m glad I did as it took the rest of the afternoon.  Perhaps later this week, we’ll get back to Larry and Robert’s between rain showers.

My main mission was the garden at One Pacific Bank on Howerton Way at the port.  This used to be Shorebank and was one of our regular jobs.  We were paid a monthly amount which was actually not enough to do all the weeding up to my standards, and eventually we passed the job on to a friend when I realized that we were working extra hours (for free) over budget to keep the garden as well weeded as I wanted it to be.  My other consideration at the time was that it was planted as a native landscape, and I do get bored when I have to garden totally by someone else’s plan without much creativity allowed.

The port has now asked us to make all the curbside gardens along Howerton Way look good, and I was happy to get this one weeded again today.  Our replacement gardener is sterner than we are at not working overtime so there were plenty of grasses and shotweed and dandelions to pull.

12:39 PM, before

12:39 PM, before

before: The garden is carpeted with srawberries and kinnikinnick, which would stay.

before: The garden is carpeted with srawberries and kinnikinnick, which would stay.

It had been originally planted with arbutus and red twig dogwood.  The arbutus is beautiful and yet gets much too tall for the traffic sight lines so had been pruned drastically and repeatedly.  The dogwoods had been cut to about waist high but not coppiced since we left the job several years ago.

The gardens inside the sidewalk are not our problem.

I used to keep that corner perfectly weeded, pretty much for free...

I used to keep that corner and edge perfectly weeded, pretty much for free…

and this corner as well...

and this corner as well…

When we did our perfect weeding job, we did NOT do an excellent job, as our replacement does, of keeping the parking lot (pavers with spaces in between) perfectly groomed and strimmed.  I was too preoccupied with garden bed weeding.

Here are the dogwood with lots of old growth left inside.  If one coppices in spring, cutting old stems to the ground, one gets bright new red or gold twigs.  Coppicing means cutting all the stems to the ground but I prefer to do it in sections in a public garden like this and leave the new growth.

before coppicing

before coppicing

crowded with old growth

crowded with old growth

All the thick grey stems could be removed.

All the thick grey stems could be removed.

after, 3 PM...still a green carpet but not weedy

after, 3 PM…still a green carpet but not weedy  (the tufts are crocus foliage)

after

after

Allan did a beautiful job on the dogwoods.

Allan did a beautiful job on the dogwoods, leaving just the thin new stems.

so much better!

so much better!

We weeded two other sections of the Howerton Way curbside gardens that have now officially fallen under our care, dumped at the debris area and then went home.  I was inspired to do a little bit of guerilla gardening at the J’s house across the street.  I’d noticed the sword ferns had not been trimmed for a couple of years and I snuck in to the garden and did it.

ferns before

ferns before

I hope they like it.

and after; I hope the J’s  like it.

I took a walk around our garden after accomplishing just two tiny things…planting a pitiful rescued Euphorbia that may revive and a start of Super Dorothy rose that I got out of Fifth Street Park.  (Well, it had popped up a runner by the sidewalk, and I know it’s an own root rose because it came from Heirloom Roses.)

Without the prospect of the three days off in a row that I need to get my own weeding done, I took a stroll all the way back to the bogsy woods trying to just enjoy the good things as my energy to weed on into the evening was nonexistent.

bogsy wood bridge to south gate

bogsy wood bridge to south gate

bluebell woods outside the fence...created with bulbs everyone wants to get rid of.

bluebell woods outside the fence…created with bulbs everyone wants to get rid of.

Our lot ends at the mysterious meander line between residential lots and the port parking lot.  The line is about halfway into a little seasonal pond where tadpoles frolic.  My dream is always to have an area next to the pond clear so I can see it, and yet nature has completely taken the edge back with willows and salmonberry and sedge.

south edge of our property

south edge of our property

looking back in the gate

looking back in the gate (with Smokey looking out)

and back toward the house

and back toward the house

I pulled a very few weeds.  Perhaps if I promise myself one five gallon bucket a day on pleasant evenings when we get home before dusk…

Tomorrow, between predicted rain showers, I hope we can weed at the 42nd Street Café and then we have an excited soirée to attend: a rhododendron bloom celebration at a gorgeous private garden on the bay.  It seems whenever we go to Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, we find that avid plant collectors Stephen and John have just been there.  I’m eager to see what plants they’ve added since I saw the garden last September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Was I thrilled that the rain had returned?  Absolutely.  Another day of guilt-free reading.  I made it through the fascinating In the Plex and concluded that Google’s founders try to live up to their motto of “Don’t Be Evil.”

in-the-plex-home

Outside, a storm raged with winds at the beach (a mile away) of 60 mph.

We are close to storm action from ocean and bay.

Ilwaco:  We are close to storm action from ocean and bay.

photo

wet west view

wet west view

east window, wonderful rain, and 50 mph wind

east window, wonderful rain and wind

(Just to the left of the lamp post, under the pink tree, is that small red Edgeworthia that simply cannot stay there due to the colour clash.)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

more lovely rain

more lovely rain

The day started with equal promise of rain and I started a new book, The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.  I had some hesitation as the story took place in a carny atmosphere.  I am not drawn to books about circuses or carnivals (have never managed to even want to read that water for elephants book even though everyone loves it).  I gave it a try because I do adore Alice Hoffman and was immediately enraptured.

And then…woe!…the rain stopped and I had to go outside and garden at home; I feel stifled and breathless if I stay in on a workable day when there are tasks to do.  The chilly air might have been an excuse to skive off, but I had that Edgeworthia project.  The pink ornamental plum and the red Edgeworthia could not be so closely associated.

It could not be borne.

It could not be borne.

I dug up the white one and the red one, both two gallon size, and Allan helped me re-situate the white one when it fell over and started losing some blossoms.

The white Edgeworthia was here.

The white Edgeworthia was here.

and now it is here...

and now it is here…

and Edgeworthia 'Rubra' is here...

and Edgeworthia ‘Rubra’ is here…

where its reddish flowers pop against the bright green house.

where its reddish flowers pop against the bright green house.

That done, I felt I had to do some weeding.  I did not especially want to but told myself I would get two bushel baskets of weeds or debris out of the front garden before returning to my book.

lots of annoying weeds...here, the one we call "stinkmint".

lots of annoying weeds…here, the foul smelling one we call “stinkmint”.

The very cool Barberry that I got from Cistus some years ago is spreading (too much, perhaps) and blooming with its tiny fuchsia like flowers.

That berberis from Cistus Nursery...whose name I forget.

That berberis from Cistus Nursery…whose name I forget.

wish I could remember the name!

wish I could remember the name!

Close to the ground, one of my favourite spring flowers bloomed, the checkered lily, the guinea hen flower.

Fritillaria mileagris

precisely patterned Fritillaria mileagris

My joy abounded to see that my Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ survived the cold harsh winter.

Why is it "papyrifer" and the Edgerworthia is "papyrifera"?  Why?

Why is it “papyrifer” and the Edgerworthia is “papyrifera”? Why?

I could see one tiny new sprout at the base of the Melianthus major.

There's hope.  Now if only I could find a Melianthus 'Antenow's Blue'.

There’s hope. Now if only I could find a Melianthus ‘Antenow’s Blue’.

After I did indeed weed two orange oyster baskets full, I went for a damp stroll into the back garden.

The crocus display had been beaten down...

The crocus display had been beaten down…

fat lily buds!

fat lily buds!

Back by the bogsy woods, water stood over the lawn.

looking north from the southeast part of the garden

looking north from the southeast part of the garden

bogsy indeed

bogsy indeed, southeast corner

bridge to south gate

bridge to south gate

I do wish the water stayed like this all year.  I miss the fresh smell of the natural pond and miniature waterfall (dribble) in my old garden.

outside the south gate; our property goes to somewhere in this big ditch.

outside the south gate; our property goes to somewhere in this big ditch.

arch

the willow wood

the willow arch

looking north

looking north

back inside the gate, in the midst of the bogsy wood

back inside the gate, in the midst of the bogsy wood

the big plant table

the big plant table (Thank you, George Schenck)

looking north

looking north

By now my shoes and socks were wet and I felt fully justified in returning to my book.  While I read, Allan took his little boat down to Black Lake and in the hour and a half before dark he paddled around.  (Unlike Saturday’s gale, the still air of Sunday provided absolutely nothing for trying out the sail.)  Getting it there (he had to dismantle the back posts of our work trailer) took as long as the boating, I think.  We love daylight saving time.  Not being morning people makes us feel an hour of daylight has been added to our lives.

Allan's boat on Black Lake

Allan’s boat on Black Lake

We watched adventuresome telly in the evening (The Coast Guard: Cape Disappointment show and The Amazing Race) and I stayed up late to finish the Alice Hoffman book because I knew that several days of nice weather would call for a return of dedication to working and blogging.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

gale warning

gale warning

In the late morning, I wanted to get a telephoto of how the two flags at the port office (signifying a gale warning, 39-54 mph winds) had slipped halfway down the flagpole.  It came out rather blurry, but there it is.  The wind, while strong (I later learned it had been 61 mph at Cape Disappointment, the backside of which I can see from my window) was not a cold wind.  So during a lull in the rain, I went out to take a video of the windy bogsy wood with my phone.  You may be able to view it here.

I became thoroughly occupied with a new Facebook page that will be a repository for my non-Ilwaco photos of the Long Beach Peninsula.  I had no intention of going to Olde Towne in the bad weather…until I get a message from Luanne who sounded kind of lonely!  So we went, and I was glad we did as our friend Kelly was there and, with no other customers except for her niece, Luanne was able to sit and visit with us.

almost empty on a stormy day

almost empty on a stormy day

I was also glad that I had not walked there as the rain was absolutely sheeting down beyond any amount I have seen so far this year.  (I later learned that Astoria had something like three inches of rain.)

In case of a power outage, Olde Towne has a good stock of oil lamps for sale.

In case of a power outage, Olde Towne has a good stock of oil lamps for sale.

Amazingly the rain stopped for awhile after we returned home.  The Danger Tree was still standing and had not lost a limb.

stubborn old thing

stubborn old thing

In a lull with no wind, I took a walk through the bogsy wood.  It had been completely devoid of any standing water the evening before.

The bogsy wood is bogsy now.

The bogsy wood is bogsy now.

Path next to the Danger Tree:  The water came almost over my shoes.

Path next to the Danger Tree: The water came almost over my shoes.

It’s rare to see the water standing this deep on the lawn to the north of the bogsy wood.

between danger tree and bogsy wood

between danger tree and bogsy wood

the swale by the bridge

The swale under the bridge was overflowing.

deep

I’ve never seen the bridge swale this deep this early in the year.

I would love it if this were full of water all year.

I would love it if this were full of water all year.

more standing water beyond the deer fence

from the bridge:  more standing water beyond the deer fence

next to the bridge

next to the bridge

the big swale in the middle of the bogsy wood

the big swale in the middle of the bogsy wood

looking north to the house

looking north to the house

Sad though it is, I think I must admit that the cosmos in the garden boat are goners.  Some years they bloom into bulb planting time.

maybe if I cut them halfway back....

maybe if I cut them halfway back….

I’m not much for going out in the evening (except for dinner) anymore.  Something certainly changed in me along the way because in my twenties and thirties I was out clubbing two or more nights a week.  (Some of those evenings turned out so boring that I would have been better off staying  in and reading a book, although many excellent bands were seen back in the day.)  However, after our recent daytime visit to The Sou’wester, where I lived for a year in 1993, I resolved to go out to more of their musical events…for old times’ sake.  It was an effort to leave home comforts to go out the door at almost 8 PM to hear a concert opening their Artist Residency program!

Once we were there, the living room felt so familiar.

At the Sou'wester

At the Sou’wester

We talked with a teacher and mechanic couple who were visiting from Portland.  She had fallen in love with the Sou’wester much as I had in 1991.  I warned her how I had come on vacation in fall of ’92, a vacation that got longer and longer until I suddenly upped stakes and moved here.  She loves her job in Portland, but don’t underestimate the lure of Seaview.  While we talked, I absorbed the familiar details of the room.

the glow of light on the beamed ceiling

the glow of light on the beamed ceiling

The sound of guests in the four upstairs suites going up and down the stairs took me back twenty years.

before the performance...looking to the south windows of the lodge

before the performance…looking to the south windows of the lodge living room

Many an hour I had spent in the office just to the left in the above photo.

New owner Thandi has a staff of friends to help her run the place.  Back in our time, Robert and I were the only staff to do all the cleaning, repairs, office work, lawn mowing to help the previous owners who were in their mid 60s at the time.  With the staff who were there that evening, and a few guests who attended the performance, listening to songwriter Nick Jaina was a quiet and personal experience.

Allan took this photo just as the show started.

Nick Jaina at the Sou'wester

Nick Jaina at the Sou’wester

I wanted to get a photo that captured how I felt being surrounded by Sou’westerness again and listening to the songs at the same time.

I think I got it.

I think I got it.

He told us the story of having stayed in one of the vintage trailers to write twenty songs in one day.  In his article about that experience is a photo of the exact trailer (I think) that Robert and I lived in for several months in ’93 (unless the resort has acquired another Spartan RV with curved front windows like that).

I remembered so many things while sitting in the living room listening to Nick’s excellent songs.  How I knew that the previous owners had bought the Sou’wester (in a state of great disrepair) when they were fifty.  I moved there when I was thirty seven, and ever since I have thought that age 50 was the benchmark for starting a big new thing and after age 50 it would be too late.  Now I am 58 and that is a disturbing thought.

Then I thought about age for quite a few minutes.  A lot of the people at the Sou’wester now look to be in their 20s and 30s.  I thought, Do they realize we are pretty much the same?  I know I did not realize that about “older people” until I became an older person.

Nick closed with the most amazing song…something like “I’m in the middle of a story that is breaking my heart; I won’t be with you when our plans finally come apart.”  It certainly brought back memories of assorted heartbreaks.  As I said, I have not been to a concert of this sort for a very very long time.  I bought Nick’s CD.  The song is called  “I’ll Become Everything.”   Give it a listen for some angsty memories.

Upon departing, the sight of the lodge with its windows aglow reminded me of evenings walking back from the beach at dusk and seeing these lights, and then the light in the window of the old Spartan Manor trailer that I stayed in.

Sou'wester by night from K Place

Sou’wester by night from K Place

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rain.  Wind.  Blogging.  Did not set one toe outside.  Deleted over 2000 extra photos from iPhoto and got the “Our Long Beach Peninsula’ page well stocked with photos.  I want to leave some history behind, but it is all based on the hope that WordPress and Facebook will linger on long after me.

Allan pointed out that our dinner was 75% food from the garden:  three different kinds of peppers and garlic sauteed with baby red potatoes, and tomatoes, and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples all next to some fish.

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August 18th, 2013

 Maybe I should just change the name of the blog to “Life on the Peninsula”, what with all the non gardening events I have covered over this weekend.

I used to work seven days a week almost every week.  That wasn’t good for my own garden and there were many summers of the sixteen that I lived in my other Ilwaco cottage that I thought to myself, “It’s another lost year for the garden.”  I had to work to survive but now times are a little easier, especially during the lull time of August when we have very few plants to put in the ground.  Thus, the goofing off.

My dear departed neighbour Nora‘s granddaughter was next door when we got up on this Sunday.  We always enjoy seeing her.  She and her friends from Portland took a quick garden tour and one of the friends, clearly a city girl, was smitten with the cuteness of a snail.  Devery, formerly Nora’s caregiver, held it for me but insisted on not being in the picture.  She’s gorgeous, but I obeyed.

Devery and the snail

Devery and the snail

The “city gals” were gaga over the way it put out its little face.  Alicia photographed it with her phone.

phone photo with Alicia's friend reflected...

phone photo with Alicia’s friend reflected…

curiosity

curiosity

I do wish Alicia could make this her summer home as I dote on her and she always brings such nice friends….   I think daily about my hope of having nice neighbours as the next door driveway is RIGHT by our back door….  Dear reader, I will be sure to announce here when and if the house goes up for sale because I want pleasant gardening neighbours!

We had been given complimentary tickets to Jazz and Oysters in exchange for my doing the Music in the Gardens Facebook page.  (Both events are connected with the annual Water Music Festival.)   For this occasion, I took my first ride in our new van, stopping first at Olde Towne Trading Post to exchange the compost bucket.  Luanne had the sign ready for me that her son Michael had made me for a belated birthday present.

Luanne and the Bogsy Wood sign!

Luanne and the Bogsy Wood sign!

The van was duly admired before we set off for Jazz and Oysters (via dropping the compost bucket off at home or there might have been a stench after parking in the sun).

We had had the van for a week or so but it had been being fitted up with a trailer hitch for our utility trailer.  My plan up until now had been that on non-plant-hauling days, we should probably keep working with Allan’s compact Saturn and the trailer, because that is so much more ecologically correct due to the Saturn’s good gas mileage.  Just a few miles into my first van ride, I knew that was not going to happen.  It would be all van from here on.  I have sold out for comfort and for a much better view from a higher seat.  My traffic phobia immediately dissipated to almost nothing because I no longer felt that I would be squashed like a bug by all the larger vehicles.

Speaking of vehicles, while parking at the Jazz and Oysters field we saw our friend Joe’s truck for sale.  (He was volunteering at the ticket table.)

I love this art truck but it was a little too small for us.

I love this art truck but it was a little too small for us.

In case it is still for sale, here is the info.

In case it is still for sale, here is the info.  (One of two phone numbers shows.)

Allan’s attention was immediately drawn to another vehicle.

car

I usually don’t talk about cars much at all, and yet within minutes I had asked a stranger at the event if I could photograph his t shirt, because it captured the essence of Robert’s and my old VW van, “Beaky”.

The Beaky look of an old VW van.

The Beaky look of an old VW van.  Our did not have the split windshield.

It took some time to figure out how to find our food…The desserts were way over in another building.  We were too late (arriving two hours late) to get a mango lime dessert from the Bridgewater Bistro, more’s the pity…but I got a delicious pear tart cleverly and appropriately baked in an oyster shell.

pear

pear

The oyster grill was far from the desserts, but we found it as well…

food

Allan, to left, collecting delicious food items

And at the grill, to the right in beige baseball cap, is the fellow who bought our old Tangly Cottage in early 2011.   He invited us to come sometime soon and see what he has been doing with the place.  He’s an expert and brilliantly creative carpenter so I am quite excited to visit.

Jon at the grill

Jon at the grill, right

Allan took a good series of photos at the oyster grill:

sausages

sausages; in the background, right, Pam activities director from Golden Sands and me

Jon on the right

Jon on the right

shuckers

shuckers

an oyster shuckers' ritual

an oyster shuckers’ ritual
Huzzah!

Huzzah!

food grunt

We found a picnic table, the last one of the few that were on site.

hat

It was so darned hot I had to wear my floppy lavender hat; it had seemed like a good purchase and yet is not exactly the garden hat I had in mind after all.

The stage was far in the distance and the music was excellent.  To my surprise the second band was not very “jazzy”.  Instead, they played old disco numbers that I adore like “Mighty Real” by Sylvester and “Best of My Love” by The Emotions.

If I ever go to this event again, I will bring a parasol.

If I ever go to this event again, I will bring a parasol.

If it had not been for the heat, would I have joined the dancers in front of the stage?  We’ll never know because about that time, our old friend J9 found us.  (That’s her name, folks, perhaps not legally….Think “Jeannine”.)  Twenty years I have known her since she stayed at the Sou’wester the year I lived and worked there.  She moved here, lived here for years, moved away and now very much wants to move back.

J9 and I

J9 and I

In solving various problems, we inadvertently mimicked each others’ gestures.  That is supposed to show we were in full agreement.  J9’s voice would sound familiar to listeners of our local public radio station.  She used to host the jazz show on KMUN.

The sunny heat was too too much so we left while the band still played on and before I even got into my own garden, I wandered down to Tom and Judy’s and sat in the shade of their back patio with them and the dogs.

Towbeh

Towbeh

Stymie

Stymie

the courtyard bubbler

the courtyard bubbler

We had stopped at The Basket Case Greenhouse on the way home (even though they are closed for the season) to buy some hardy fuchsias.  I plan to put more of them under the Long Beach street trees.  I rejoiced at how easy they were to put in and take out of our new vehicle.

just wow wow wow

Just wow!!.  For those who want to know such things, it is a Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 2005

The weather had cooled a bit, so I could do some deadheading in my still pretty near perfect garden.

early evening lilies

early evening lilies

and the new sign in the bogsy wood

and the new sign in the bogsy wood

sign

And next…back to some serious gardening work and lots of it.

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Despite there being much to do at work, I took one day off to weed my own garden.  Allan’s little garden looks perfect:

Allan's garden with Maddy

Allan’s garden with Maddy

Disporum 'Night Heron'

Disporum ‘Night Heron’

Impatiens omieana

Impatiens omieana

I love the new foliage on this mahonia.

I love the new foliage on this mahonia.

crabapple blossom

apple blossom

After that pleasant interlude admiring Allan’s tidy garden, I moved on to the three big weedy beds in the backyard.  I want to see if a before and after set of photos even shows the results of six hours of almost-steady weeding.

east bed, before

east bed, before

east bed after a couple of wheelbarrow of weeds went away

east bed after a couple of wheelbarrow of weeds went away

middle garden, before

middle garden, before

My reward for getting middle garden weeded, I decided when I began, would be to put out my birthday present from Judy.

middle garden, after

middle garden, after

with Ross the pig

with Ross the pig

west garden, before

west garden, before

west garden, after

west garden, after

I completely filled our large wheelie bin with weeds, with one bucket and one wheelbarrow left over, and dumped at least another wheelbarrow full of compostable items (that is, thinned perennials rather than invasive weeds) onto the debris pile.  I wish I had tomorrow off as well; without any rain, we have to check on watering at several places and we have plants to plant.  I did not get time to plant any in my own garden, but I think I would rather wait for some rain.  (The soil is moisty underneath here at home, I am glad to say.)   My friend Kathleen S stopped by to visit but my dedication to weeding trumped my true desire to just sit down with her on the patio.

Some good things I saw along the way:

my good friends Frosty and Smokey

my good friends Frosty and Smokey

white verbascum

white verbascum

Tulip 'Cummins'

Tulip ‘Cummins’

bogsy woods plant table

bogsy woods plant table

a new rose

a new rose

shade bed has a few big weeds, but not bad.

shade bed has a few big weeds, but not bad.

shade bed

shade bed

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold'

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’

scilla outside the deer fence

scilla outside the deer fence

the outer bogsy woods

the outer bogsy woods

Some not so good things:

The pond between us and the port parking lot is drying up but there are still little tadpoles in it.

will tadpoles survive?

will tadpoles survive?

I am losing my tunnel through the salmonberries:

disappearing path

disappearing path

One side of the middle bed has lots of reseeded California poppies.  The other side has none!

unbalanced

unbalanced

If we ever get rain again, I’ll transplant some to the empty side.

Santolina 'Lemon Fizz' wants to revert to green.

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ wants to revert to green.

I need to find time to trim him, AND to chop the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by half so it won’t flop open.

The Bright Lights chard that bolted to taller than me is sadly representative of how I rarely get around to harvesting and eating any edible thing that I grow.

a giant

a giant

The patio still needs weeding:

patio

patio

My Rosa pteracantha is still dead.

I thought I saw a new shoot, but apparently not.

I thought I saw a new shoot, but apparently not.

And the real heartbreaker:  There are hardly any sweet peas along here.  I think it might be because I got too busy to regularly apply Sluggo, so maybe they got eaten.

where ARE they???

where ARE they???

Next year, instead of planting all of them at once, I will make two plantings, one on the outside and one on the inside, a week apart.  And I will not go on a trip in April.  And I will put out Sluggo every day.

I will have to find an alternative, perhaps an annual vine that I can acquire in pots…or maybe the few remaining sweet peas will surprise me.

Meanwhile, Allan worked up at Discovery Heights, deadheading hundreds of narcissi:

pre-deadheading

pre-deadheading

and saw a coyote, but it moved fast so he just got a blurry photo:

coyote on the move

coyote on the move

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