Posts Tagged ‘bogsy woods’

Thursday, 16 November 2017, part two

When we returned from work, we just had time before dark to do a garden walkabout.  We had not been into the garden since the recent two days of rain and wind.

standing water where it usually does not collect

three days worth of rain in the big yellow rain gauge

lots of little twigs down

Frosty wanted to follow. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

the center path of the Bogsy Woods Loop

Allan’s photo

east Bogsy Woods Loop

from the center: the new sit spot

overflowing swale

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking east from the west side

hardy fuchsia

Allan’s photo

future firewood

forlorn hope for a winter campfire

In the house, Allan’s gloves after washing and drying:

We had time for an hour of sitting down (me reading The Grapes of Wrath) before going out to  meet Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) for dinner at Salt Pub at the port, followed by a Salty Talk.

Allan’s photo

Melissa showed us a photo of one of a couple of trees that had fallen at Sea Star Acres.

photo courtesy Sea Star Gardening

For dinner, Allan and I had “chicken pot pie poutine”, a deconstructed chicken pot pie with fries, gravy, and fried cheese curd.  It was amazing comfort food.

chicken pot pie poutine

and a salad for something healthy

Betsy Millard, director of Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. introduces the season’s first Salty Talk.

Park Ranger Dane Osis and a cauliflower mushroom (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo: the deadly amanita on the left

amanita (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo of some mushrooms brought in by an audience member.

My lecture notes follow.  Although I have no intention of collecting mushrooms or of eating wild mushrooms that anyone but the most expert person has harvested (and even then I would think twice), I am interested in all plant life.

Salty Talk about wild mushrooms, what I learned:

Mycelium mushrooms are like the apples on an apple tree.  You cannot hurt the main organism by picking them.

Saprophytic mushrooms can be mass produced.  So-called “Wild oyster mushrooms” are most likely produced on a farm.

Mycorrhizal fungi are symbiotic with plants and will transfer moisture from one part of a forest to another.

Knowing your trees will help you to identify mushrooms (based on where the mushrooms like to grow).

The “chicken of the woods” fungi used to rot the hulls of wooden ships.

Ranger Osis says there are fancy mushroom collecting knives with a brush on one end, for brushing off the mushroom to get a closer ID.  He made one by duct taping a brush to a knife.

His favourite mushroom book is All That the Rain Promises and More.  The one with the trombone on the cover.

Cauliflower mushrooms look like a pile of egg noodles.  The one he showed in the lecture, he picked on Monday while elk hunting.  His pick up bed filled with rain water, and yet the mushroom is still good, whereas a chanterelle would have rotted.  He has found one that was 24 pounds.  Another elk hunter found a 55 pound one and thought it was a bedded down elk at first.  If you pick this mushroom, it will grow back the following year.

This strange mushroom can get up to 50 lbs and is delicious, Dane Osis said.

There are more common names for a king bolete than there are languages.  Porcini is just one name.  They are beloved of deer and elk…and can have maggots, as a friend of ours discovered when she brought some home and left them in a bag for a short while.

Jack of Lantern mushrooms, which glow in the dark and can be mistaken for chanterelles, will make you violently ill.

Survivors say the death cap mushroom is the most delicious mushroom they ever ate.  Liver failure will follow in 48 hours.  The deadly death cap is changing hosts from oak to spruce and Douglas fir and can now be more commonly found in the Pacific Northwest (unfortunately).

The effects of amanita mushrooms, which are more toxic here than in Europe, are associated with berserker Vikings, Santa Claus (flying, maybe?), and Lewis Carroll supposedly tripped on amanita before writing Alice in Wonderland.  (Don’t try this.)

Candy cap mushrooms taste like maple syrup and are used in desserts, and will even make your sweat smell like maple syrup.  There is a toxic mushroom that tends to grow with the rare candy cap and looks almost exactly like it.

Since I knew almost nothing of mushrooms before the lecture, I feel that it was successfully jam packed with information.  I look forward to the once a month Salty Talk season which will continue once a month through the winter and into early spring.

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

After attending the Cranberrian Fair, I got straight to my gardening mission.  Well.  Maybe I sat and read the news and Facebook for half an hour first.

Because Devery next door had told me she’d found frost on her vehicle this morning, I decided it was high time to get the tomatoes out of the greenhouse and put the tender plants in.

Before: Even though the tomatoes look sad, they are still producing.

There are still tadpoles in a tray by the greenhouse where I stacked the empty pots.  I swear the tadpoles motto is “I’ll never grow up, not me!”

Why won’t they become frogs?

A greenhouse review:

The lemon cucumbers were yummy but too hard to peel. Won’t grow them again.

Black Krim tomato: Only got two and did not much like them. Too mild and mealy.

Chocolate Cherry was my favourite.

Pineapple was tasty and prolific, unusual here for a larger tomato. Will grow this one again.

Better Boy gave me just a few red ones.

I also liked the usual Sweet 100 and a small yellow pear tomato, cherry sized.

I kept ruining a big spider’s day.

Frosty stayed near me while I worked.

after…and oh! my back hurt by the time this was done.  I had Allan move the last two pots for me; I simply could not.

The spider went up onto the door frame in despair.

I was glad I noticed and gently moved it out before shutting the door tight for the night!

Todd had visited to pick up some pieces of aruncus (goatsbeard) and brought two more of his dad’s special zucchinis.  He and his father, Dobby, have now given away 2050 zukes.  I normally do not like zukes, but these are a special variety with no peel and have a much better flavour.

While cleaning up around the front of the greenhouse, I found some rocks that had been displaced by the compost bins.  I loaded them up for tomorrow’s project.

last harvest, including one of the thin skinned zukes from Todd

In the evening, we went out to the Sou’wester for an event that irresistibly intrigued me.

Vintage trailers at the Sou’wester

vintage trailers with windows aglow

Allan’s photo

the Sou’wester sunporch shop (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

in the lodge living room. The picture on the wall is always out of focus, and I do not understand it.

The host, Libby Werbel of Portland Museum Of Modern Art, introduced the event with a good speech about how we were all sad these days. “This is a sad time; we encourage you to be sad with us.”  A fellow named Michael Hurley who had inspired the event was unable to be there. The DJ, Eric Isaacson of Mississippi Records, played the first of the five sad songs: Is That All There Is? by Peggy Lee.  He said he had listened to it over and over when he was ten.

The first singer was skilled and mellifluous.

Allan’s photo

Even though her music was good, I did not find most of the songs to be as sad as I had expected.  Mostly the theme was lost love, whereas I think my sadness is much more wide ranging as I have become older.

One song memorably stood out, about driving the Oregon coast highway and imagining going over the steep side into the ocean.

The second recorded song played by Eric Isaacson,  Reaping What I Sow,  did live up to what I thought a sad song should be.  I can’t find it now because I can’t remember who performed it.

His third choice of sad song, This Bitter Earth, was from a film called Killer of Sheep. You can see it in the film right here.

A man read a story, which he accurately said was scary rather than sad.  Its title, French Exit, refers to leaving a party without saying goodbye.

Allan’s photo

After the story,  I succumbed to feeling old (usually the crowd is mixed in age; tonight, I swear I was the old old lady) and so tired, and uncomfortable because I was sitting alone in a crowd, and yet not sad enough, except for being sad about being old and tired. I longed to be home.  Allan (who had been standing at the back) agreed to leave, so unfortunately, I don’t know what the last two saddest songs were.  We made a French exit. Somehow I had expected MORE cathartic sadness and did not get what I was seeking, which is no fault of the event.

At home, we had a dinner including our own harvest.  I love what Allan did with the pineapple tomato and the cherry tomato.  The cucumber (a straight cucumber, not the lemon cucumber) was too bitter to eat.  Google tells me that the plant may not have gotten watered often enough, or might have been too hot (perhaps from growing it in the greenhouse instead of outside).

We are watching the final season of Girls, a show that I love for a number of reasons, and I’m sad to have it end.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

I had spent the earlier part of the afternoon reinforcing the undersides of the fence all the way round so that my neighbor dog, Royal, can play zoomies along the garden paths.  He is an escape artist, nicknamed Houdini at the animal shelter from which he came.

places where he could slip under the fence patched with rubble

more escape routes patched with bricks, rocks and pottery

I had been wishing for a park bench for my new clearing in the bogsy woods.  Perhaps, thought I, I might buy one, and yet normal park benches are too long for the new space.  When I had looked out my window this (late) morning, I had seen this:

morning view

little park bench!

I had walked by that little bench on West Willows Loop so many times.  Someone had given it to us, broken and full sized, and Allan had refurbished it into a short park bench.

I dragged it inch by inch back to the bogsy woods spot.

Two days ago, when we had laid some sod bits on the lawn to raise a low area, Allan had tried out our old rusty roller and found out it no longer works.  He had the brilliant notion to cut the handles off and turn it upright for a plant stand.

Friday night: Allan grinds off the old handles.

new area, to be refined more tomorrow

I went back to patching the fence.  The most difficult part was the east side between us and the gear shed, where access is difficult. I shoved in some boards from our side and, where the shrubbery was too thick, rocks and cement chunks from the gear shed side.

Allan had spent his afternoon putting up our Halloween lights, a mission complicated by the usual problems of finding strings that did not work.  Lights that were marked purple on the package disappointingly turned out to be red.  My only way to cope with that was to remember that blooooooood red is a colour for Halloween.  (Halloween gore is the part I don’t like.) And red will also work for Christmas.

lights with the berries of Billardia longiflora (Allan’s photo)

The billardia berries, in full shade, are amazing this year.

As Allan finished, I got his help for the last ten feet of fence patching with cement chunks.  The sun was setting and I was beat.

With the great fence accomplishment done, I craved our last package of spicy sausages and built a fire.  This may be the year’s final dinner campfire.  We have enough wood saved for one more fire on Halloween eve, if the weather permits.  Tony and Scott are inviting people to our house for the Ilwaco trick or treat extravaganza and Tony thinks they would enjoy a fire.

campfire dinner

Monday, 16 October 2017

In the afternoon, Allan decided to go out on a quick boating trip (tomorrow’s post).  When he moved the van out of the garage, he found two zucchinis that Todd had put on the windshield on Saturday.  I had forgotten to fetch them in.  This means that those zukes rode ten blocks last night to and from the local market for milk without Allan noticing them.  I found that hilarious.

Today’s mission was to clear out the third compost bin and acquire some rough mulch for the bogsy woods, to back up some of the under fence rubble patches.


I would have to pile the first and second bin high.

40 minutes later

one wheelbarrow load rough mulch

bins piled high, wish we had placed them further to the side and fit in four!

rubble edge in SE corner of garden

Future mulch will make it harder for escape artist Royal to move the rubble.

added more driftwood to west end of bogsy swale

Planting of some new ladies in waiting followed.

Barberry ‘Pow Wow’

transplanted some shady plants (hardy begonias, something lost-taggii from Todd, and a painted fern) into the new sit spot area.

I love this bench and the old roller as a table!

Should I paint the bench, and if so, purple, or blue, or ??  Or every slat a different colour, or??

That might have to wait till spring.  It was hellish hard to move so can’t get it back to a dry space for painting.

Arum italicum in Allan’s garden, will move some to woods

Other plants I can divide out for woods: epimidiums and pulmonarias.  I want to take some of those to a shade bed in neighbour Mary’s garden, too.

I ended my gardening day with a frenzy of weeding (finally!), totally filling up the big wheelie bin.  The weeding is still far from being the “good weeding” that has been on my home work list since early summer.

looking southeast into the autumnal garden

Kniphofia ‘Earliest of All’ is over; I somehow missed its pre-final stages.

How very much I love Sanguisorba ‘Korean Snow’.

I found a Halloween spot, for dead flower bouquets, for MaryBeth’s twin black urns.

Allan, back from his boat trip, hung some more Halloween lights in the last of daylight.

evening sentinal Skooter (Allan’s photo)

These two lazy old men had spent the day indoors.

The only sad thing today was Devery and I did not have a chance to test Royal out playing zoomies inside the fence.  We were afraid to try it in the evening because if he found a way out, chasing him in the dusk would be hard.

our front porch (Allan’s photo)

spider lights over the gate (Allan’s photo)

purple and the red that was supposed to be purple (Allan’s photo)

The J’s were down for the weekend and got their lights up, too.

One punkin is burned out.

Tomorrow is predicted to bring rain, and Wednesday more rain.  Not sure when we will be able to work.  The plan for tomorrow is to get the garage all set up for bulbs which are incoming this very week.







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Friday, 6 October 2017

I began a weekend of sleeping long and then gardening with great energy.  My goal was to not leave my property for four days.

Friday, I accomplished some shrub pruning that had been neglected all summer.

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ before removing deadwood

and after

Decided this whole area needs to be redone from boring sedums and dull lysimachia to….???  Much soft debris from here is already in the compost.

Have you ever planted too much of something not very exciting when starting a big new garden?  It seemed seven years ago that I had so much space, that I would never run out, so some of the beds have a lot of filler.

I spent quite some time pruning old twisty wood out of the honeysuckle next to the compost.  I filled up the wheelie bin with it.

After big pruning of old wood on honeysuckle next to the compost bins.

Frosty and Royal hanging out next door. (I was using a new camera and having trouble turning the flash off.)

I don’t count going next door to Devery’s back yard to pet Royal as leaving the property.

I started doing some more salmonberry pruning, creating a lot of dry kindling twigs that called for a campfire.

campfire dinner

Smokey was my neck warmer.  I was actually quite happy.  I have a sad “resting face”, I’ve been told, and can’t help it. My own experience has been valuable in that I’ve learned to not judge someone’s mood by their expression. It’s hard not to.  But I try. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

We’d had this much rain. (My last task yesterday was to pull montbretia corms from the new bogsy woods clearing.)

I slipped up slightly on my not leaving the property goal by going next door to pet Rudder.  I did not even realize that I had left my own place until I downloaded this photo four days later.

Rudder’s ears show the camera did not please him.

Skooter welcoming me back home.

I contemplated removing a dead branch on the scraggly ornamental plum, then decided it looked good for Halloween.

kinda spooky

I found a spot for our present from MaryBeth, at the entrance to last weekend’s newly cleared area.

I was pleased to find that my middle bin of compost had enough rough compost to do some mulching in the bogsy wood clearing.

middle compost bin

roughly sifted compost

By today, I realized that I was creating so much debris that a dump run would be necessary at the end of the long weekend.

In the bogsy woods, I looked long and hard at the grove of salmonberries with two broken, planted chairs in them.  This area had reminded me of riverside camping as a child, and yet part of me wanted a new look.

The area as it looked on September 12th.

I thought today that red or gold twig dogwoods would look good there.

The gold twig dogwood in the swale, by the bridge railing, was started by sticking cuttings into the ground.

Maybe I could move this one, that has gotten too big in the main garden bed on Willows Loops West.

With those ideas brewing, I started chopping, and ended up with this:

I would need Allan’s help to get the stumps out.  Now I had created a huge pile of debris.

I will still have one big salmonberry grove, in which is the fabulous salmonberry tunnel.

salmonberry tunnel in evening light

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Allan went sailing on Black Lake with MaryBeth.  That will be tomorrow’s post.

I spent much of the day (after another long sleep) toting debris 200 feet to the work trailer.  Going out onto the sidewalk to load debris does not count as leaving the property.

We had had this much rain overnight.

rain gauge

Rain at night and fine days make perfect gardening weather and also assured me that I did not have to fret over any of the city planters.

We’d had enough rain to fill even the slowest filling rain barrel.

Skooter by the water boxes.

After hauling debris, I set upon the project of digging out several shrubs of Lonicera fragrantissima (winter blooming honeysuckle) that had started themselves by layering off of the main shrub.  I did not want a large grove of them in an ornamental garden bed.

My before photos were thwarted by the new camera I was trying, which took several blurry photos of the ground and my feet.  Below, you can see how a branch, touching the ground, layers itself into a whole new rooted shrub.

the layered look

I needed help with that hefty stump, and Allan arrived home before dark and got it out for me.  (I’m not weak; however, foot and knee problems make it hard to drive a shovel in as hard as need be for something big.)

MaryBeth returned with Allan and we had a garden tour.

Me showing off my newly cleared area and describing how I’d need Allan’s help with those stumps, too.

I was not the best host, as with an hour or so of daylight left I was obsessed with getting back to clearing and weeding this area.  MaryBeth understood what it is like to be on a mission.

So did Allan; he swung the pick and removed the five salmonberry stumps before darkness.

welcome assistance

end of day

Monday, 9 October 2017

Allan had gone on an adventurous boating quest; that will be Tuesday’s post.

Frosty and Royal goofing around next door.

Dave and Melissa were trimming a hedge two doors down, so I crossed Devery’s front lawn to chat with them over the fence, and to give them a nice big start of Lonicera fragrantissima, but I still did not count that as leaving the property.

As I started digging out one more of the Lonicera shrubs, I heard a friendly and familiar voice and tracked it to a visitor seeking me in the garden: Our dear friend Tony.  He had brought a gift of delicious home made baba ganoush, a treat that I adore and which I cannot find around here. Tony said woefully, “It was so beautiful…until Rudy stepped on it!”  Rudy, the larger of their two pomeranians, had stepped on it (outside of the plastic wrap) in the back seat of the car.  By then, Tony’s husband Scott had joined us, with the two dogs.  I said the footprint was like a design stamped on top of a latte, or a crust decoration on a fancy pie.  “Not everyone gets a Rudy footprint,” said Scott.

Scott, Bailey, and Rudy

Frosty loves dogs.

Rudy and Frosty

After giving Tony a big flowerpot full of greenhouse tomatoes, I finally did leave the property to walk with them down the block (my idea!) so that Dave and Melissa could meet the poms.

Melissa, Scott, and Rudy.

Before they departed, I introduced Scott and Tony to the peanut butter plant, Melianthus major.

They both agreed that the leaves smell just like peanut butter.

Both Tony and Scott could smell peanut butter; some people can’t.

Soon after they left, I dived in (with chips) to the perfect baba ganoush.

You can see where Rudy disturbed the composition. This was the best baba ganoush I have ever eaten.

I managed to save Allan just a bit.

Fortified, I returned to digging the Lonicera out, and then to weeding and compost-mulching the new bogsy woods area.  By end of day, the entire center bin of compost was empty again.

miniature bulrushes on the patio

Lonicera fragrantissima down to one shrub again.

I planted five small starts of the lonicera around the edges of the back garden, hoping at least one will take.  I put the rest in water buckets for Todd to take.

When I looked at my new, weeded, cleared area, I realized I want to be able to sit there, rather than having two broken chairs.

I had an old bench outside the fence, where I always planned to sit and look toward the port.

view of the port buildings across the port parking lot

I have sat out there twice in two years.

I moved the old bench.  If you come garden touring, don’t sit on it because it is rather wobbly.

I’ll get something better.

I am excited to see how the autumn rainwater will lie in this area, and how much will be plantable (wet in winter, dry in summer).

The two chairs now mark the entrance to the salmonberry tunnel.  I will divide the Japanese iris in two, one on each side.

tunnel entrance

looking from the fire circle lawn through to the enticing new sit spot

end of day: greenhouse tomatoes

Allan returned from his adventure at dusk.  Tuesday’s blog will tell the tale.


I finished another David Sedaris book, with two particularly enjoyable chapters.

I recommend especially the chapter called Rubbish, in which Sedaris described his mission to clean up the roadsides around his English countryside home.  (I was hoping to take daily staycation trash-picking walks around Ilwaco till my knee problems intervened.)

Sedaris was inspired by a local citizen.

I love Sedaris for his rubbish mission, even though it may be exaggerated for comic effect:


If you want to join a local group that regularly picks up trash, Friends of Willapa Refuge have regular cleaning sessions.  Unfortunately for us, even though it would be fun to go (Todd does!), they meet at 8 AM.

Our Todd is on the left, the tall one.

I also recommend Sedaris’s chapter in which he described his longterm devotion to keeping a diary, and I especially liked what he had to say when his computer was stolen and he lost a couple of months worth of entries.

David Sedaris: “….the terrible power of a diary: it not only calls forth the person you used to be, but rubs your nose in him, reminding you that not all change is evolutionary.  More often than not, you didn’t learn from your mistakes.  You didn’t get wiser but simply older…”

Next, two days of boating posts by Allan.



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Monday, 8 June 2015

I woke to the roaring of wind and went on strike.  There was no way we were going to weed a section of the beach approach in 25 mph miserable cold icy north wind.  Ok, not icy.  But a local outdoorsy fellow commented that he voted Monday “the coldest day of the year so far”.  I did not set one foot out the door until a dinner engagement, and spent the day catching up on writing this blog.  Every time I thought of going outside, another blast of wind would batter the house.  It felt more like a winter than a late spring storm; I wish it had at least brought some rain.

Allan, however, did go on an errand to the port, and photographed the sideways motion in one of the gardens there.



On the way back,  he did a tadpole rescue mission and brought back a colander of tadpoles from the meander line ditch, which is rapidly drying up in places.  He said one pool had had a tractor tire tracks at the edge and oil on the water.

lots of grass mown into the pond

lots of grass mown next the pond

the last pool of water getting crowded

the last pool of water getting crowded

an almost frog in the last pond

an almost frog in the last pond

rescue underway

rescue underway

a colander of tadpoles

a colander of tadpoles

some with legs!

some with legs!

They went into our water boxes.

with twigs to provide escape if desired later

with twigs to provide escape if desired later

At 6, with the wind still roaring, we took J9 out to the Depot for a belated birthday dinner.

I tried a new dish of polenta cake, hummus and chickpea salad.  Tasty!

I tried a new dish of polenta cake, hummus and chickpea salad. Tasty!

J9's brownie dessert

J9’s brownie dessert

strawberry cobbler

strawberry cobbler

happy trio

happy trio

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

I woke up later than usual and when I asked Allan why he’d let me sleep so late, he said because the wind had kept on roaring.  By the time we were ready to go, the sun had warmed the air and the wind did not seem as bad as it has the last five days, and especially not as bad as yesterday.

With all the bluster that’s been going on, I knew both the Long Beach and Ilwaco planters would need watering.

Smokey and Mary had no intention of going out.

Smokey and Mary had no intention of going out.

Long Beach



I replaced the Agastache that had been stolen last week and made note of a few other gaps that need filling in that particular planter.  I suspect more theft as I am sure I planted more trailies along the edge.  I hope whoever took the trailies and agastache was just passing through.  The hanging baskets looked undaunted by all the wind.

reseeded California poppies

reseeded California poppies

Just south of Streetside Taco I found an odd thing: a cosmos pulled up and resting in the water faucet cover which was upturned.

What the heck???

What the heck???

Maybe someone found it pulled up and tried to give it a drink of water?  Just as I had replanted it and was back to watering with the sprayer of Blue Stuff (fertilizer), I heard a voice chiding me for using such a non organic product.  There was Todd, who of course had read of my struggles trying to go to organic fertilizer in the LB planters.

Allan's photo:  Busted using The Blue Stuff!

Allan’s photo: Busted using The Blue Stuff!

I pointed out the sad cosmos and Todd said “Oh, I try to make sure to take all the ones I pull up to replant in the Wiegardt Gallery garden.”  I replied that these were short ones that would be a total disappointment to Eric!  This is an old joke about how Todd’s brother, artist Eric Wiegardt, always used to reminisce about a summer when the cosmos at the gallery were so tall…an effect I had never been able to recreate.  Cheered up by the joshing around (even after Allan joined us carrying another cosmos he had found pulled out in a planter just to the north), I noticed that the intensity of wind had died down.

Todd went on his way and we got back to watering.

I love this white diascia; too bad I only found about four of them for sale this year.

I love this white diascia; too bad I only found about four of them for sale this year.


Allan’s photo: Fifth Street Park

Allan's photo:  roses in Fifth Street Park

Allan’s photo: roses in planter

Allan's photo: dog water and people water in Fifth Street Park

Allan’s photo: dog water and people water in Fifth Street Park

Allan's photo: Hot Lips Salvia

Allan’s photo: Hot Lips Salvia and a perennial veronica

Allan saw someone from Benson’s By The Beach Restaurant beautifying their deck…

unloading some plants

unloading some plants

deck all planted up

deck all planted up

Gulls by outdoor seating between two cafés, hoping for a snack.

Gulls by outdoor seating between two cafés, hoping for a snack.

I am pleased with the big pop out.

I am pleased with the big pop out poppies.

Long Beach watering had proved to be a snap with only minor annoyances, decreasing wind, and a bit of fun banter, and we had plenty of time left to do the Ilwaco watering.


We began by weeding a couple of sections midway along the port.

Allan's photo: much vetch to weed out of the river rock bed on the curbside by the old Portside Café

Allan’s photo: much vetch to weed out of the river rock bed on the curbside by the old Portside Café

Vetch is actually beautiful and if it weren’t so rampant, I am sure we would all grow it as an ornamental.

looking west across my favourite section

looking west across my favourite section by Ilwaco pavilion

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' and santolina and a ladybug

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and santolina and a ladybug


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

While we were weeding, a friend came out of a business after work.  I won’t say who as he may not want to be quoted.  We were talking about how excited we all are about the renovation of the Salt Hotel (formerly the Harbor Lights) and I said, “Ilwaco is going to become a hipster town!”  He scoffed and I said,”No, really, my Portland friends say THEY’RE COMING; they are already in Astoria, and they’re already coming here to the Sou’wester and Adrift.  The Salt is going to be a hipster hotel, you watch!”  He replied, “Hipsters are gonna come to Ilwaco when purple monkeys fly out of my butt.”  We’ll see who’s right; I still predict (and welcome) an influx of Portland area hipsters.  Any of them who are gardeners will be, I think, impressed with our selection of cool plants along the port.

Allan departed to water the street trees and planters with the water trailer while I kept weeding.

Allan's photo on the way to get the water trailer

Allan’s photo on the way to get the water trailer

Allan's photo: in the boatyard

Allan’s photo: in the boatyard

before, with lots of single stemmed weed grasses

before, with lots of single stemmed weed grasses





Because one of the merchants all of a sudden did not want us to use their water, I had to call Allan to refill the water truck to bring to water one of the port gardens, and since he had to do that, he did the east end (which is by a parking lot with no hose pipe) as well.  This surprising and I hope temporary development added half an hour to our day so we did not get done til near sunset.  I think what a lot of folks might not understand is that right now time is more valuable to us than money, so it does not make us happy to add extra work to the day.  It is a fortunate (and I hope not temporary) state of affairs to have the luxury to seek more free time and is only possible after years of frugality.  I do not welcome the job taking longer because of having to haul more water.

Allan's photo: east end garden

Allan’s photo: east end garden

Allan's photo: lavender

Allan’s photo: lavender

Allan's photo, bachelor buttons at the east end

Allan’s photo, bachelor buttons at the east end

Allan's photo: Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Allan’s photo: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Allan's photo: Stipa tenuissima

Allan’s photo: Stipa tenuissima shaped by the wind

At home, I had a bit of container watering to do.

Paul's Himalayan Musk rose in evening light

Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose in evening light

The wind had almost completey stopped and I was able to safely walk back into the bosgy woods for the first time in days.

found another big branch down

found another big branch down

where I left off during the wind

where I left off spreading new soil during the wind

bogsy wood bridge

bogsy wood bridge

looking north

looking north

salmonberry tunnel needs re-cutting

salmonberry tunnel needs re-cutting

lemony combination

lemony combination

Allan went on another tadpole rescue mission and returned with tadpoles and these photos:

Calla lilies at the end of Nora's back yard

Calla lilies at the end of Nora’s back yard

a goopy oily pool at the meander line

a goopy oily pool at the meander line, with no living tadpoles.  Who messed with this pool??

tadpoles in the last healthy pool

tadpoles in the last healthy pool

and lots of them

and lots of them

With no rain in sight to refresh the water in the rapidly drying pool, Allan rescued another batch.


We have two water tubs (one an old bathtub) on the patio, so he put some in each tub.  The ones that went into the water boxes a day ago seem to be thriving.


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Here is a mystery:  Why does this post get several hits a day?  Do comment and tell me why, if you know.  P.S.  I have figured it out; it’s traffic stemming from a fairy door pin on pinterest.

July 21, 2012

outside the south gate

outside the south gate

We’ve walked through the front garden and the back garden on Peninsula garden tour day  Now we have worked our way to the very back of our large double city lot: the bogsy woods that back up on to the Port of Ilwaco meander line and parking lots.  Here was the site of a cathartic clean up in September of 2011.  Much grooming and decorating had followed.

The southernmost fence had a couple of would-be tour guests outside on tour day morning.

I have deliberately left groves of salmonberry in the bogsy wood but cut paths through and between and cut some halfway down to make sightlines through, and in the center cleared a view corridor that lets us see out to the port year round.  The tour guests seemed to greatly enjoy walking through the paths and over the bridge to the area outside the fence where a big seasonal water ditch separates us from the parking lots.

Even though I have never been a lawn fan, I left a large lawn space between the flower beds and the woods with the idea that comfortable gathering spaces are necessary for a garden party.

our fire circle with bogsy wood behind

our fire circle with bogsy wood behind



On the east fence along the woods I had more quotations painted on old boards, an ephemeral and last minute idea.  “A massive dose of inspiration should result in drastic action.  Be bold and never question inspiration-driven ideas.  Timidity results in inactivity and a stagnant or non-existent garden.”  (Thomas Hobbs)

and “Some people spend their time dreaming of a paradise in heaven.  I would rather create it here on earth.” (Jenny Ferguson)

Next comes one of my favourite gardening quotations, by Helen Dillon:  ” are always told that the first thing we must do on getting a garden is to make a plan…But, in fact, the last thing I ever want to do is make a plan–I feel weak just thinking about it. My idea of heaven was (and still is) to indulge in a lavish buying spree. And the consequences? Too bad. Bugger plans!”  It is something I always want to tell a potential client who asks me to drawn a plan.  Because I just can’t.  (Or, er, won’t.  Or am really simply artistically incapable of it.)


At the end of the east side grass path one turns left to a path leading by the bogsy wood swale than in winter is full of water.  Past the bridge the swale jogs over a bit to the north and curves around to the west fence….all full of water in winter.



blue door (in spring)

blue door (in spring)

In the center we had a big plant table of moss and ferns, inspired by George Schenk, that Allan had built for me from an old door.  We had fairy doors that Allan had found at Home and Garden Art (that shop on 85th in Seattle) and embellished with stairs (although a friend of ours pointed out the fairies don’t need stairs because they can fly.  So we say the stairs are for their pet frogs.)

When garden writer Jolly Butler came through on tour day (exciting!) she told me I simply must watch this video of the song “There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden.”

fairy door with stairs

fairy door with stairs

paths in the bogsy wood

paths in the bogsy wood

A plant table inspired by George Schenk sits to the right of the center path to bridge.

plant table with moss and ferns

plant table with moss and ferns

Down the center clearing, the view corridor to the port, one comes to the bridge to the southern gate.

the bridge

the bridge

And then, if one turns and looks back to the garden, one might be drawn back to the three large sunny borders.

looking north from the bogsy wood

looking north from the bogsy wood

On your way back, look to the right of the fire circle, back against the salmonberry, for another of my favourite garden quotations (and my big excuse for the rather huge amount of money I have spent on this garden).

the cost of pure joy

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