Posts Tagged ‘Bolstad beach approach garden’

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Before work, I dug up an Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ and a sanguisorbia to take to our first job.  I gazed mournfully upon my Pittosporum ‘Tasman Ruffles’.  I fear I may have killed it by moving it one too many times last autumn; it does not look happy.

I hope it perks up.

The post office garden desperately needs wild garlic pulled.  However, the narcissi and tulips might distract people’s eyes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, Narcissus ‘Professor Einsten’

Diane’s garden

We continued the sweet pea rounds by planting seeds along Diane’s new roadside fence (along with a few more perennials: Eryngium ‘Jade frost’, Agastache ‘Blue Boa’, silver santolinas, a green santolina rooted from a cutting, and one libertia).

back garden:

Allan’s photo

the septic box garden (with the Red Barn way in the background)

violas that came through the winter

front garden (Allan’s photos):

I sure do hope the sweet peas work out!  Sometimes I don’t do very well with seeds…although I have had good luck at the Ilwaco boatyard and at the Anchorage Cottages in years past.  And we had sweet peas every year at Andersen’s RV Park, especially one year, when the ground was fresh because the picket fence had been redone and the sweet peas were mind blogglingly good, the best I have ever grown.

sweet peas way back when at Andersen’s RV Park

Today, we arrived earlier than yesterday to

The Bolstad Beach Approach garden

and to our goal of getting another section done.  I had thought we might escape the misery of thick roses by doing the extra long section at the west end (where the roses get more windy weather and so are smaller).  However, the wind had again proved much stronger and colder than the forecast, so we kept working east to west.  The garden is several blocks long, and the weather is harsher at the west end even on a sunny weeding day.

There is some satisfaction in working in an orderly way from one end to the other.  This year, our goal is the west end’s red buoy; some years, it is the east end Long Beach arch.  Last year, we jumped around and our progress was less satisfying.

1 PM: our goal, the red buoy in the distance

We are working away from the arch.

Allan’s photos





When the roses were cut, we dumped them at city works before finishing the weeding in order to get some mulch for the section we weeded yesterday.  I knew if we waited till the end, I would be completely out of energy.

dumping debris

gathering mulch (windy!)

mulching yesterday’s section so it doesn’t look battered

today’s section, clipped


after; Allan removed the roses that were right at the walkway end

We don’t always clip the roses right down, just every few years in the thickest sections.  We do try to keep them pushed back from the edge.

5 PM: closer to the buoy, and the next section is not as thick with roses.

We had saved four buckets of mulch for Fifth Street Park and for the big planter in Lewis and Clark Square, where I planted a few sweet peas by the metal tower.

Allan digging out annoying Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (which I regret planting here years ago).

prepping for sweet peas

in a nearby planter

police station planter, where I like to plant in shades of blue.

Even though they are pretty and low maintenance, I regret having planted white rugosa roses (‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ starts from Andersen’s RV Park!) on the south side of the police station.  It had been fun back when I could plant a “thin blue line” of blue flowers there.

white rugosa roses, having been pruned to the ground as we always do here

At least they are better than the yellowed and sun scorched rhododendrons that grew along there when I first took on the Long Beach job.

In Fifth Street Park, I planted sweet peas in the cold and windy and miserable shade, in an area where I don’t have luck with them (snail depredation, I think) and yet I try every year because ONE year long ago, I had good sweet peas there.

sweet peas

glorious sweet peas in 2012, Fifth Street Park

I dumped the last of the mulch in a couple of low areas where it just looked silly among the horrid swathes of as yet unweeded wild garlic.

This garden looks great in summer but is so slow in the early spring despite all my efforts. It is wettish and narcissi seem to just rot away.

We tagged the huge miscanthus that the city crew is going to remove for us.

It gets huge and blocks the path and lawn—part of the original landscaping designed by a landscape architect (as are the chronically mildewed Dorothy Perkins roses).

Allan mulched this little bed across the street:

Finally, we found the oomph to plant one more little batch of sweet peas in the planter by the Paws by the Sea pet store, where I also decided we must prune a variegated euonymus.  This is one of the three planters with would-be huge shrubs left over from volunteer days.

Allan thought it should be left to be a backdrop for the narcissi….

but by the time he said that, it was mostly gone.

At home, I was able to erase two sweet pea jobs and one beach approach section, getting the beach approach down to single digits.

I had better add “mulch Fifth Street Park” so that the garden will look better there.

I think it will be a week, at the least, before we get back to the beach approach.  Rain is due starting tomorrow and it is our WORST job in even mildly bad weather.


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Monday, 19 March 2018

Shelburne Hotel

We began at the Shelburne because I wanted to plant sweet peas along the front picket fence, inside and out (which I did, especially back breaking and kind of annoying with all the traffic going by, to be bent way over on the sidewalk side!)  I had asked Allan to prune the outside of the boxwood square around the sign.  When I saw some creeping buttercup popping up in the main garden, I asked him to go ahead and prune all the sides of the boxwood so that I could have time to weed.  I also had some cyclamen, donated by Our Kathleen, to plant.

The garden will be much more interesting next March, because we will have planted a variety of narcissi!

Below, the menace of Aegopodium is appearing under the rhododendron at the south end.  Oh, woe!  I used to have it beaten back to the rhododendron area (never got it gone because the roots go into all the shrubs there); today, I found some popping up at the south end of the garden.  I have a bad feeling that sometime in the last nine years, it got moved around because someone found it pretty.  I will prevail and beat it back to the south end….I WILL!  (For the area where it prevails, as it will, I must remember to tell the chef that the leaves are edible and can be used as a garnish; they taste of cilantro.)

in amongst the scilla lurks trouble

When planting sweet peas, I ran across a scary clump of Lysmachia punctata’s pretty pink roots way under the soil, and it took the pointy shovel to get them out…and probably not all of them.  It is also all over the garden.  I don’t want a wave of mustard yellow that lasts for two weeks and then is gone, so I am trying to beat THAT plant back to just a clump or two.  It is a typical cottage garden plant that many people like but is so very pushy.  Next time, I will take a photo of how pretty the roots are.  If only the flowers were as lovely in colour as the roots.

Allan’s photos:



The boxwood hedge used to be so low I could step over it…sort of like mounting a pony, but still….

Now it is so tall that a “door” has been cut into the back of it.  To shear it back to the proper size would make for an ugly bald look for awhile, so Allan just sheared into the green.  I had not thought ahead to have him bring the electric shears, so this was all with hand-power hedge shears.





I still had so much to do that I had asked him to shear the pathway side, as well.



Allan found this photo that shows how big the boxwood hedge was in 2007!  Back then, the shrubs were considered sacred; I remember finally getting to cut down the forsythia so that the sign showed better.

far left, under the sign!!!

Now we had such a large tarp full of boxwood cuttings that we decided to take them home to a compost bin.  And, due to a communication breakdown, all the starts of Libertia dug up on Saturday had ended up in the trailer.  They would be in the way, and so, after disposing of the boxwood cuttings, we planted almost all of them at

The Port of Ilwaco.

calm water today at the marina

low tide

planting libertia

We could hear a cacophony of cawing from our Bogsy Wood, across the big parking lot.

telephoto, showing maybe one third of the crows.

three nice libertia added to the Freedom Market (pot shop) garden. (Allan’s photo, before he planted them)

Finally, in the mid afternoon, we got to our goal garden of the day:

Long Beach, Bolstad Beach Approach

before (all Allan’s photos)


before (rugosa roses)

An extreme telephoto shot shows a gentleman who had a wheeled platform and a garbage can and was picking up garbage.


a nightmareish painful job

thorns and weeds toughly rooted in

I had picked this as a good beach approach day because the wind was supposed to be around 10 mph.  Instead, it blew at a cold and annoying 20 mph.

Three hours later:




I had almost bailed with five feet yet to go because my hands hurt so much (and my toes!) but we kept at it till the section was done.  There are thirteen sections—now ten to go.  Each takes at least three hours, except for one that has so much swamp grass from below that we hardly even bother with it except to trim the roses and pull the biggest of softer weeds.


At home, I was able to erase one sweet pea job and one beach approach section.

We had been offered the opportunity to meet tomorrow at the boatyard with the Port Manager and the engineers-or-whomever who are going to be doing the wash-water project, to see if it will impact the garden.  But the meeting will be at 8:30 AM.  Knowing that aching arms from beach approach work would likely give me extra insomnia and that tomorrow is another hard beach approach day, I would never make an 8:30 AM meeting no matter how concerned I am about the garden.  I decided it is just as well to wait for a secondhand report; otherwise I would be interrupting the important port business with questions about whether my (not yet planted) sweet peas will be disturbed.

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Monday, 5 March 2018

Shelburne Hotel

All we intended to do at the Shelburne was to pop in some lambs ears and a Chelone (pink turtlehead), plants from my garden.  We parked at the south end of the block and there, we were deeply bothered by the site of the sidewalk edge garden which looked ever so tatty.  We found ourselves tidying it up.

The rhododendron has tons of old montbretia around it, and someone has planted (sometime in the last ten years) persicaria, probably a division of the ‘Firetail’ I planted in the main garden years ago.

before (Allan’s photos)



and after



I admired the main garden, looking north.

Long Beach

As we headed toward our next intended job, we paused at the welcome sign to clip some annuals (yellow bidens) that still had signs of life.

Someone had the utter gall to clip and steal the spotlight from the front of the sign.

I saw this in the police report a few weeks back.

When I see that deer are eating the grape hyacinth on the sidewalk corner of this planter…

….I become very concerned about the fate of the tulips that are just emerging.

The Red Barn

We attended to the spring clean up at our littlest job.

One of the horse people’s nice dog, Junior, came for pets.

Allan’s photos, before




The Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ came through the winter surprisingly well.

Diane’s garden

I pushed the wheelbarrow across a pasture to the garden next door.

My dear old friend Misty!

lots of early flowers in the septic box garden

I planted lilies along the roadside fence and we weeded and clipped.

Allan’s photos fill out the rest of today’s blog.


after, with me planting lilies

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to clip

Long Beach

We went back to our project of tidying the Bolstad beach approach planters and shearing back ornamental grasses in the garden there (of which there are not many, for which I am grateful at this time of year).



Soon we will have to weed this whole darn garden, all the way out to that distant red buoy.  It has lots of lawn-like grass again and I dread the job, as always.  It looms as soon as we get the spring clean up list done.  Even before that, we must clip the roses in the first section to the ground, which we do every couple of years.

On the way home, I checked my messages and got some surprising news: At one of our resort-type jobs, the manager that we had worked with for the last several years is no longer working there.  I will let astute readers figure out which place, based on the fact that we resigned this very evening and it will therefore no longer appear in this blog, AND based on the clue that said manager is the person belonging to one of our favourite dogs.  No doggie friend, no point in going to that job!  (Lest anyone be worried, this is not, of course, Klipsan Beach Cottages, our most longtime job of 20 years.) This meant that at home, I had to write a resignation letter, in which I recommended three excellent gardening businesses which would be good to immediately replace us: Sea Star Gardening (Dave and Melissa), Willapa Gardening (Todd), and Flowering Hedge Design (Terran and Shelly).  I had already checked to be sure that one of the three has time for a new job, so I need not feel bad about leaving the garden.

This worked out well for us.  I had been hoping to drop a job since adding the Shelburne.  I have requested a play date sometime this summer with my doggie friend.

Tonight, I was able to erase two tasks off the work list.  We still have the Sid Snyder approach planters to do before erasing that task.

I continued to work on billing, and in the process made a list that may interest some, of all the free plants I have added to the Shelburne hotel garden in the last two weeks.


Allium ampeloprasum

elephant garlic


Allium cepa

Egyptian walking onions


Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’


Arisarum proboscideum

mouse plant


Artemisia ‘Ghuizo’


Chelone lyonii

pink turtlehead



sea holly



dog tooth violet


Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies


Geranium macrorrhizum


Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’


Iris foetidissima


Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum

golden oregano


Persicaria ‘Firetail’


Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’


Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba


Primula veris

cowslip primrose


Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’



Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’


Sanguisorba candadensis


Sanguisorba obtusa


Scrophularia auriculata ‘Variegata



Solidago ‘Fireworks’

(clumping) goldenrod


Stachys bizantina ‘Silver Carpet’

lambs ears


Stipa gigantea

feather grass


Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

rice paper plant




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Saturday, 3 March 2018

Frosty joins me for breakfast

As does Calvin.


After a rainy and windy Friday, we got back to work on Saturday.

The rain gauge had a goodly amount. (Allan’s photo)

Chopping and changing is English slang for constantly changing one’s mind.  That is the kind of workday we had, not at all what we had planned.


We had intended to begin with the spring clean up at the J’s and the Norwood gardens, both nearby neighbours of ours.  But when we saw smoke from the J’s chimney, we decided not to disturb their peaceful weekend.  I changed my mind and said we would go straight to the Ilwaco boatyard garden.  But when  we got there, we saw this ominous and frightening sight:

Orange marking paint all along the garden!!

Allan’s photo

aaaaaaahhhhhhhh! (anxious cry)

and red squares!

Last time this happened, the whole garden got torn out for a new electrical line and new fence.  Even though I knew it couldn’t be that serious, I decided we had to know what it meant before we worked on the garden.  (And when we do work on it, we will have to not disturb those marks.)

I emailed the port manager. We checked to see if the port office was open (which it sometimes is on summer Saturdays).  Nope.

a sunny day at the port (Allan’s photo)

We went on down to CoHo Charters to see if we could find out friend and port commissioner Butch to see if he had any info. No joy, but we did plant a white heather in his curbside garden, to match the ones at its other end.  I had told him I was awfully bored weeding plain red lava rock.  We also added some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ divisions recently.

Allan’s photo

I was having a mild anxiety attack about the boatyard garden.  It was frustrating to discover the marks on a Saturday with the port office closed.  Fortunately, I soon heard back from the alert port manager who said it is to do with revamping the washing station…where they wash the boats…to update the part that catches any paint flakes and other stuff that can’t go into the marina water.  So it should not be too bad of a digging in the garden. I hope.

Still, I was not comfortable working there till I knew for sure.  (You would have thought I’d have sought  more information on Monday, but by then I felt less worried and put off the quest for info in favour of going to another job.)

We went on to tidy up the Ilwaco street trees and planters, starting with the one at Peninsula Sanitation.

The trailing rosemary had gotten tired and yellow and way too big for the pot.

after (Allan’s photos). It needs to come out, but not today.  It is just silly, don’t you think?. I guess I’ll take off that piece to the left next time.

The first thing I saw on First Avenue was that one of the planters was gone!

But then I saw the drag marks on the sidewalk, and there it is, on the other side of a street tree, actually a much better spot.

I was still fretting about the boatyard garden.

street tree tidy, before

after (Allan’s photos)

Another crisis: The planter by the Portside Café has stopped draining and all the soil will have to be dug out.  I removed the sodden and sick plants, but we must let it dry out a bit before digging out the soupy soil.

Allan’s photo


a happy and floriferous planter

There is one missing street tree because someone drove over it last winter.


I was told (by someone who knew the drive-over person) that this would be taken care of with no worries to me.  I think it’s getting time to start asking what progress has been made.

Near Roots drive through juice and sandwich bar, we found a planter inundated with coffee grounds.

Allan’s photo

Allan scraped it off.  Although coffee grounds are ok in a compost bin or in moderation in the garden (some think they repel slugs), this is ridiculous and unhealthy.  Subsequent investigation proved that the grounds are not being applied by anyone from Roots nor by the owner of an adjacent building, but apparently by a short individual, unknown to us by name, who collects free grounds that are left for gardeners to take from Roots and who apparently think this is good for the plants (including the garden bed at Roots!)  We all want her stop.  I think we will put a sign in the planter asking to please not put grounds in it.

another planter with some early colour

The little metal planter is an odd one that just appeared a few years back.

City Hall planters; one center agastache made it through the winter, and one (front planter) did not.

On the way out of town, we paused at Black Lake.

WWII memorial at Black Lake

This used to be cared for by a garden club and back then it had some flowers.

I would love to know who was in that club.

Long Beach

Onward.  My next big plan was to get all the planters tidied, and some ornamental grasses in the garden cut back, on the Bolstad beach approach, and then to do the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach planters and the kite museum garden.  We started at the west end of Bolstad.

satellite view of both beach approach roads, Bolstad (top) and Sid Snyder (bottom)

santolinas to trim

santolinas and rosemary

The Bolstad planters get very little summer water as there is no plumbing out here.

The Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ I planted last year have gone missing again.

seasonal ponds in the dunes

a gentleman feeds the gulls

Allan’s photo (telephoto; the building is actually blocks away)

a bath after dinner

I decided that two big old grass-infested armeria (sea thrift) finally must go.  I have never thought of sea thrift as a dividable plant.  But if I replace it with new ones, they will probably be stolen.


I did end up with little rooted bits, so stuck them back in to see if they take.  They won’t, I hope, look as irresistible as fresh round new plants.

Wish them luck.

With five planters done, and many more to go, suddenly the sky darkened and a cold and heavy rain began.  Drat!

heading for home….

But then, I decided to stop at the Shelburne garden just to see how it looked, and to pop in a few bulbs that I had dug up at home to add there.

planting some little narcissi

But wait, we saw a definite problem.  In order to hang the new pub open sign, staff had to walk into the garden.

Oh dear.

Uh oh, a lily-bulb-protecting tipi!

Why hadn’t I thought about this before?  Oh…because I think in olden days, a permanent sign hung there, not one that was put up every day at opening time.

Allan found and moved the lily bulbs. Instead of whinging about it, we scr0unged around and found some materials to make a walking place for the sign hangeruppers.

Allan fixing the problem, after I moved dormant plants out of that area.

As people strolled into the pub, I remembered the first time Robert and I planted bulbs at the Shelburne, probably 20 years ago.  It was a pleasant Thanksgiving, early afternoon, when I tossed the bulbs all over the garden in patterns and clumps.  We would, I thought, get them planted before the Shoalwater Restaurant opened for its famous Thanksgiving dinner.  And then the skies suddenly opened and we were planting in the pouring rain, looking drenched, muddy and bedraggled…and people started arriving for dinner, because it started in early afternoon.  The diners had to walk by the most pitiful looking pair of gardeners.  It gave me much to ponder about the best ways to work in public places.

emergency fixing

The following day, I remembered where a few more bricks could be had, to add to this next time.

Allan found this photo from 2007 showing the permanent sign that hung there.

back in our heyday of caring for this garden, 2007 (Allan’s photo)

after our work today

I am still pondering the fate of the tatty old Helmond Pillar barberry.

not at its best

The entry signs have been beautifully redone by the new owners.  This hotel did not used to have king beds, and now it will.



I will trim that rosemary before the hotel itself reopens!

At home, as Allan unhooked the trailer, he saw a spectacular sunset down at the end of the street.

I was able to erase “Ilwaco trees and planters” from the work board.

The cats are thrilled with a new toy that Allan ordered for them.  The balls go round and round and round when swatted.



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Thursday, 23 November 2017

 I woke up to find that Allan had made a workday breakfast (more nutritious than cold cereal).  The weather showed signs of unexpectedly clearing, belying a forecast of constant rain.  So off we went to work.  I was willing to work in drizzle to get a couple more tasks erased from the work board.

First, even though we had no mail to pick up on this holiday, we did some clipping at the Ilwaco post office garden.

in the post office window (Allan’s photo)

Before: The Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ had been blown about by wind.


rain on the post office wall

big raindrops falling

Long Beach

I am weak on just pulling the annuals out once and for all.  At the welcome sign, we stopped to pull the yellow bidens.  We ended up leaving most of them, after all.

On the edge, bidens still showing a bit of yellow. (And some bulb foliage has emerged.)

In Long Beach, I had noticed when driving through on an errand that wind had battered the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the police station planter.  I steeled myself to cut it back so that I wouldn’t have to wonder every day at home whether or not it still looked good.

I find it hard to cut when the flowers are still so blue.

Allan’s photo

But we did it!

It looks like the wind took away the “orman” part of the Stormin’ Norman’s sign.

I also made a special stop to cut this knautia back hard:

another plant I am tired of thinking about

With very little wind and increasingly clear weather, we drove out to the Bolstad beach approach to tidy the planters and to pull the stands of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

Bolstad Avenue, also known as the beach approach, is named after a young Washington State patrolman who died trying to save two young swimmers in 1957.  I often think about his valor when I type the name of the avenue. You can read about him here.

The weather turned fine and almost summerlike as we began tidying the westernmost planters.

The crocosmia in the long garden bed has beauty still to offer.

We pull it now anyway because soon it will be all brown and tattered, and we’d rather not be out pulling it on a stormy winter day.

I tidy for the passersby who would not understand the beauty of a fall and winter garden with perennials left standing.  In my own garden, I leave plants up for the birds.  I wish I could assign a couple of books to anyone who doesn’t understand the splendor of a wilder garden.

And pretty much any book by Piet Oudolf shows fall and winter landscapes with plants left standing.

I’m sad to see how weedy the long garden has gotten with the autumn rains.  There will be much to do when work starts up again in February.  The city budget doesn’t run to a late fall/early winter seven day long weeding of this narrow but enormous garden.

looking west

It will be a carpet of grass by late winter.

looking east

crocosmia intertwined with thorny rugosa roses (Allan’s photo)


after (Allan’s photo)

The weather could not have been better for this job.

a glorious day

tourists taking the classic Long Beach arch photo

one last rose hip

I swear someone has been picking the rose hips to produce tea.  It is too suspicious that someone asked to pick them several weeks ago, and we said no, and yet a week afterwards there were very few rose hips left.  Perhaps I am being paranoid and suspicious.  Usually they would still be clinging to the roses all the way along the approach, although most would be brown by now.

shiny new buds

In the easternmost section, I decided that the roses had to be clipped from along the sidewalk.



In next year’s spring or late winter clean up, we must dig out the roses from along this inner edge.  Some members of the Peninsula Gardeners Facebook group want starts, so the diggings won’t go to waste.  I have warned them of the vigor of this rose.

As I tidied the easternmost planter, I suddenly felt like a hot wind was on my face.  I looked up, and it was the reflection of the sun in the hotel across the road.

reflecting on me like a heat lamp!

a coppery golden willow in the hotel landscape

At city hall, we’d had a request for the Lavatera outside the west office window to be trimmed back for a good view.  I had decided that we should remove the whole shrub.  When it came to doing so, I changed my mind…for now.  We just clipped it hard, and will think about it over the winter.  It probably should be replaced with something that will stay below the windowsill.

We did not plant it.  We used to have Lavatera ‘Barnsley’ in the city gardens, until one year they seemed to lose their vigor, and even newly planted ones seemed to get diseased and peter out all around town.  This one, in a place where it has to have its flowering stems trimmed, is vigorous and happy…of course.


after (Allan’s photos)

My nice variegated hellebore on the north side, that had gotten all lanky, had its stems broken off.


We clipped and weeded in the big pop out a block south of city hall.

after weeding a sheet of little grasses

dwarf pampas grass and rugosa rose

We pulled some tatty evening primrose (the tall scraggly yellow one) from the little popouts a block north of city hall.  When I walked up, a flock of little birds burst into the air.


Zooming in on my before photo, I can see the little birds were there, by the pole.

Allan said we took their dinner, and we sort of did.

We left a big stand of evening primrose on the other side of the sidewalk for them.

As soon as we were done, they returned to feasting.

We should have/could have weeded the grass better out of those two little beds. But we did not.

We took our substantial load of debris to City Works.

eating what I thought might be our last workday sandwich of 2017 at City Works

We then finished Long Beach by trimming a few planters out on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

still amazing weather at the west end of Sid Snyder Drive

the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

I was thrilled that we were going to reach my goal and have time to do the last thing on the pre-frost clean up work list:

Norwood garden

I’ve had on the list for weeks the moving some shade plants to the north side of Mary N’s garden, where earlier this year we replaced mean and thorny barberries with hydrangeas. Allan started weeding the north garden bed while I dug up some plants at home.

I think Allan had reset my red rain gauge and that this is last night’s rain:

Out of this bed, I got some Geranium macrorrhizum and some epimidium.

I looked for some of my best silvery foliaged pulmonarias in Allan’s garden area and could not find them.  I hope they are there, and just dormant.  I managed to find a not so silvery one in another part of the garden, and some hellebore seedlings.

at Mary N’s, a wheelbarrow of some plant starts.

Oh dear, the north bed had gotten so weedy.  I did not mean to neglect it so!

Allan’s before photos, mostly creeping sorrel weed


I took over the weeding while Allan trimmed lavenders in the side garden.

Allan gets credit for weeding the bricks.

lavender, before…




My after picture of the north bed was at dusk.

I am going to have to keep a closer eye on this to keep the sorrel from coming back.

At home, the work list is down to the post-frost clean up and my winter projects at home.

I had planned to declare the beginning pre-frost staycation.  Instead, I consulted with Depot Restaurant co owner Nancy Gorshe and decided that tomorrow, we will pull the old annuals out of the window boxes there, combined with a check up on the Anchorage Cottages garden, which has been on my mind and probably should not be left unattended till frost.  I hope we can accomplish this rain or shine, perhaps with the reward of a late lunch out.

The following morning, Allan got a daytime “after” shot at the Norwood garden.






















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Monday, 28 August 2017

Long Beach

With the terrible flooding in Houston going on, I’d feel like a wretch if I complained about the weather here.  So let me just share:

And let me add that calling this “warm” is nuts.  “Smoke” was also in the forecast for today and created a haze around the edges of the sky.  We think this time it is from wildfires in Oregon rather than in Canada.  Later, someone said we had had “100% humidity”.  It felt very different from any hot weather that I have experienced here.

Fortunately, most (but not enough) of our work day involved watering.

We began with two north blocks so that I could buy some spray paint on sale.  I need to repaint the tall bamboo poles in our garden before winter.

I briefly popped into the always fascinating NIVA green shop to add to my photo collection for the shop’s Facebook page.

in NIVA green

Today we watered the planters and the street trees.

My walkabout photos:

across the street in Fifth Street Park: the classic frying pan photo being taken

Those folks getting their photo taken do not know that they are supposed to fling their arms up like they are clams frying in a pan.  Not that clams have arms.  But that’s what people do.

A fellow walked by and, as often happens, complimented the planters.  Then he asked, “Do you take care of the big pansy buckets, too?”  I somehow knew he meant the big hanging baskets from the Basket Case Greenhouse, which the city crew waters every morning.

Herb ‘N Legend Smoke Shop

My friend Tam from the smoke shop showing off his whiskers.

California poppies

more California poppies

Agastache ‘Blue Boa’

the carousel

Eryngium and Agastache in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter

Why don’t I plant more eryngiums in the regular sized planters?  How odd that I do not.  Must fix that.

Allan and I met up halfway through and had a break at Abbracci Coffee Bar for refreshing iced coffees.

a black labrador to pet

in Abbracci

Allan’s walkabout photos:

Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Cosmos ‘Sonata’

The bees go round and round the center of the cosmos.

by Wind World Kites

With the trees and planters watered, we moved the van to park by Veterans Field, where I did some weeding while Allan pulled old Crocosmia ‘Lucifer from a corner of Third Street Park.

Veterans Field with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Crocosmia project, before (Allan’s photos); looked like a bear had sat in it.


We walked along the Bolstad beach approach garden, clipping any rugosa rose stem that had strayed into the street.

the Bolstad approach, looking east

The city crew was dismantling kite festival…(Allan’s photo)

We think this selfie was with the rugosa roses instead of with the arch! (Allan’s photo)

While I went into city hall to sort out some paperwork, Allan pulled some more Crocosmia.


after (The gold shrub is Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’


I had intended to walk the planter route, checking on them for chickweed and so forth.  However, my foot hurt too much so I went home, watered, and belatedly did our B&O quarterly tax forms.  Allan watered the Ilwaco trees and planters:

Pennisetum macrourum at the boatyard

poppies reseeded in the street at sunset

A kind local friend gave me the sort of foot brace you wear while sleeping in order to help cure plantar fasciitis.  I think it is helping…but it is slow going getting better.




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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Skooter in the morning, very much wanting to be let outside.  He has to stay in at least through Saturday, and it casts a pall on my mood as well as his.


Allan’s photo


Our volunteer garden at the post office

We actually had a work day that we could just use for weeding projects, with only a small amount of watering to do.

Long Beach

We started at the westernmost planters on Bolstad, tidied them, and I wished they got more water but we are not hauling buckets to all of them.  That said, a few of the ten or more did get the water we had with us.   They get a misting with the city water truck once a week, enough to stay alive.

The city crew was working nearby on preparatons for the Sandsations sand sculpting contest which will take place this weekend.  During the week, starting on Wednesday,  display sand sculptures will be constructed at the end of the beach approach.


Allan’s photo


In the Lisa Bonney Memorial Planter (Allan’s photo)

The ground level garden gets no supplemental water.  It has survived this way for over four years since we last had water out there to hook hoses up to.  It has been a good test of a droughty windy sandy place, to see what will grow.  Mainly rugosa roses, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, stressed looking coreopsis, and santolinas.  The escallonias are looking less distressed that the mugo pines.


broken barberry (Allan’s photo)


after Allan tidied it up

It took less than three hours to do an adequate weeding of all 13 parts of the beach approach garden.



Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ (Allan’s photo)


working our way east


Armeria (sea thrift) deadheading, before


and after (Allan’s photo)


Parks Manager Mike Kitzman driving by on the sand project

We got to meet Beachdog’sBeachdog’s new rescue Dane, Teacup.


Beachdog Keith and Teacup (Allan’s photo)



Teacup (Allan’s photo)

Lots of people stop to talk about the gardens.



finally at the very end

We took time to deadhead all the sea thrift at city hall.


City Hall west side


Allan’s photo


sea thrift before


and after (Allan’s photos)


Gladiolus nanus


and another Gladiolus nanus


I need to get more of these or spread them around.  (Allan’s photos)


astilbe on north side city hall (Allan’s photo)


I pruned more aruncus on the north side.  That’s the Strange Landscaping truck.  More on that later.

From city hall, I could see the heroncam pond and was reminded that its surrounding landscape needed weeding.


Allan out by the waterfall, scrimming off horsetail.

His photos:






It was high time we attended to this area.



Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ and santolina




The Anchorage Cottages

We had to park down below and schlep up the slope, which felt rather like Mount Everest.


Mitzu the Shihtzu was not at work today.


south end of parking lot (Allan’s photo)


First blooms on the sweet peas.


north (office) courtyard steps


by the office window


center courtyard


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (Allan’s photo)


Erygium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and lady’s mantle (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo

World Kite Museum

While working at city hall, we’d had a drive by chat with our friend Ed Strange, who told us he has started on the landscaping project at the kite museum.  We had time to have a look on our way south.


Yay, the tatty row of hebes is gone.


landscape fabric is down


river rock to cover the fabric


Allan’s photo


Our little garden will really show now, so we had better pay more attention to it.

Without the hebes crowding the garden, the soil inside might not get as rooty and compact as it has been.


schmoozing with Patty while Ed works

We quit pestering Ed and got back to work at the…

Port of Ilwaco

Our project was to water the east end curbside bed and the Loading Dock Village garden.


Easternmost curbside bed gets watered about every other week.


Crocosmia, quite possibly plucked by deer (Allan’s photo)

People often stop to chat with us while we are working. Usually, at the port, the conversations are as much about boats as about gardens.


This was Allan this evening.


This was me yesterday evening.


lavender in a nest of Nasella tenuissima


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’


Loading Dock Village garden


west of the Loading Dock Village


Allan’s photo

at home

While watering…




Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’


fluffy red poppy and yellow achillea


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