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Posts Tagged ‘Bolstadt beach approach garden’

Thursday, 16 March 2017

At the post office, on our way to work, Allan found a note in our box asking him to talk to the postmaster.  A postal patron had urgently needed to know the identification of a plant “that looks like a coleus”.

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Here it is: a greigii tulip.

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The foliage is as great as the flower to come.

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I realized it was time to apply some sluggo.

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Ilwaco City Hall ready for St Patrick’s Day

Long Beach

We hoped to accomplish two tasks on the project list today.  The first was pruning and weeding the five roses in the back of Coulter Park.  They are exceedingly difficult because of weeds, including salmonberry, coming under the fence.  The neighbouring house has but a tiny strip between house and fence that would be almost impossible for the homeowner to maintain, and in that strip dwell salmonberries, blackberries, and birds-foot trefoil that long to join up with the roses.

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the dreaded rose bed, before

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south side of park with pieris

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Pieris and Ribes (flowering currant)

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There was another ribes in that gap that turned up its toes a few years ago, as ribes are wont to do.

Allan trimmed up in the garden next to the old train depot.

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before

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after trimming sword fern

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rose bed; line cut with half moon edger (Allan’s photo)

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I was inspired to do two lines of half moon edging.

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after

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a pretty patch of primroses

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One dead rhododendron (azalea) has thrown this old threesome off balance.

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one of the two good rhodos (Allan’s photo)

We had two cold and windy squalls of heavy rain pass through; we sat them out in the van to avoid getting drenched and miserable.  (During the second one, we went to the Great Escape espresso drive through for invigorating sustenance.)

To add to our load of debris, we decided to do a bit of pruning on an escallonia at city hall.

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city hall, west side

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before (Allan’s photos)

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and after

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city hall hellebore

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telephoto through the arch (Allan’s photo)

We dumped our debris at city works and filled up all our buckets with Soil Energy mulch.  (The crew had got us a pile from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)

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a pile of riches

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first load 

On the Bolstad approach, we filled up the lower spots in the planters.

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before

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after

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looking east

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not a good day for a picnic

And we added some mulch to city hall west side garden.

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city hall after pruning, lily bulb planting, weeding, mulching

The last five buckets went into Fifth Street Park.  Yesterday, drenched from rain, we had left behind a messy patch of sorrel:

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yesterday

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today

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mulched

A lily bulb had worked its way to the top of the soil.  This is just one third of how big it was, after I divided it:

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Allan’s photo

We followed our first load of mulching with a break for delicious crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder.

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Captain Bob’s crab rolls

Back we went to city works to get another load of mulch.  Jackpot! I saw two good pallets on the pile.

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Thank you, Allan.

Now I need just two more for my triple compost bin.

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A red wing blackbird serenaded us.  (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo

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Full load of mulch buckets (Allan’s photo)

This load went to the big welcome sign garden.  It had gotten low after pulling out last year’s annuals and absorbs a large amount of soil.

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before

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We found loads of shotweed to pull.

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mulching carefully around bulbs

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after

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back side

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after

I am sorry to report that deer are eating the tulips along the east end of the front side.  I hope they don’t eat them all.  One of these years, we may have to give up on tulips here.

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well chomped

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So glad deer do not eat narcissi, my favourite flower

On the way home, we stopped briefly at the Depot Restaurant to pour some water on the two sheltered window boxes, and there we discovered a sad situation.

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a flattie!

The spare is weirdly located under the front seats.  Everything there had to be moved and the t-bar thingie assembled to loosen a bolt in the floor that holds the spare tire in place.

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complicated!

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underneath

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the culprit

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Fortunately, Allan had all the tools (even two jacks for extra safety).

Despite having to look at the instruction book, Allan got the tire changed in 40 minutes and we were back on our way home.  But tomorrow will be devoted to getting a the good (fairly new, now punctured) tire repaired.

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one more big  task on the workboard

When the boatyard spring clean up is done (I hope by Sunday evening), the board will be gloriously blank for a moment and will then fill up with the beach approach clean up and more.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

at home

Rain and wind provided a blissful day off.

snoozy Mary

snoozy Mary

Smokey waited for me to settle down to read.  (Calvin, not Smokey, is the one who claws this chair.)

Smokey waited for me to settle down to read. (Calvin, not Smokey, is the one who claws this chair.)

I read a gripping mystery from cover to cover.

I read a gripping mystery from cover to cover.

I did not do the things I had instructed myself to do: pack for my trip and wrap Montana Mary’s birthday presents to mail on Friday.

Allan, inspired the the orange beef that Steve recently served us for lunch, made a tasty orange chicken dish.

Allan, inspired by the orange beef recently served at lunch by Steve and John, made a tasty orange chicken dish.

At the end of the day, Mary and Frosty were again snoozing together.  A new trend.

At the end of the day, Mary and Frosty were again snoozing together. A new trend.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The work list is growing.

The work list is growing, and the beach approach weeding has not even made the list yet.

After a night of inexplicable insomnia (no particular worries, just could NOT sleep well), my big plan was to get some cow fiber mulch, shop a bit at the Basket Case, mulch Mayor Mike’s garden back here in Ilwaco and then do some mulching at the port and plant poppy seeds there.  I was hoping for two easy days to close out the week.

As we were leaving Ilwaco I checked my phone messages and found I had missed one from Monday.  Yikes.  It was from Parks Manager Mike in Long Beach and the beach approach garden needed to be pruned of some branches sticking out a bit too far, not into the traffic lane, but just hanging a bit over the curb to where someone who had to swerve to the side might run into them.  The whole day’s plan got upended; we postponed the mulch pick up and headed straight to the Bolstadt beach approach.  Allan took the photos:

I got right down to pruning and Allan came behind picking up and hauling and clipping anything I missed..

I got right down to pruning and Allan came behind picking up and hauling and clipping anything I missed..  You can see behind me not that much was sticking way out.

Fortunately, mugo pine wood is soft and easy to lop.

Fortunately, mugo pine wood is soft and easy to lop.

looking west at the neatened edge

looking west at the neatened edge

Maddeningly, this job had not even made it to the work list yet, at which time, when we actually schedule it, we will remove some of the rugosa roses from along the edge.  That will last for a year or so before they creep back.

trying to do as neat a job as possible while in a frenzy.

trying to do as neat a job as possible while in a frenzy.

lots for Allan to pick up

lots for Allan to pick up

getting closer to the arch

getting closer to the arch

a trailer load of prunings

a trailer load of prunings

looking west from the arch

looking west from the arch

I was in a state of “We have way too many jobs for two people” semi-misery.  Finally, we were done; I walked to city hall, a block east, to check on the garden there while Allan picked up the last pile.

Who should I see but my neighbour, Rudder!  (His people, of Starvation Alley Farms, have their business HQ by the arch.)

Who should I see but my neighbour, Rudder! (His people, of Starvation Alley Farms, have their business HQ by the arch.)

Allan's photo of Rudder

Allan’s photo of Rudder

City Hall, north side

City Hall, north side

narcissi

Narcissi and weeping love grass

Narcissi and weeping love grass

The hellebore is darkening as it ages.

The hellebore is darkening as it ages.

and a hellebore, which caused a sensation with some passersby.  "What is that plant?!"

same hellebore on Feb 14

I do love small cupped narcissi.

I do love small cupped narcissi.

Leaving the city works yard, after dumping debris, we were finally back on track for my original plan.  Near the works yard, I saw a flying bird for Mr. Tootlepedal.

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 The Planter Box

a cute driver outside the Planter Box garden center

a cute driver outside the Planter Box garden center

a lovely flowering quince

a lovely flowering quince

Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)

Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart)

Raymond ready to scoop

Raymond ready to scoop

I told him there is nothing handsomer than a man with a scoop of cow manure.

I told him there is nothing handsomer than a man with a scoop of cow manure.

in the store: assorted abodes for bees

in the store: assorted abodes for bees

and some pertinent information

and some pertinent information

The Basket Case

We swung up and over Cranberry Road to get to the Basket Case, in order to pick up a few more violas for the Ilwaco and Long Beach planters and some more santolina and lavender for the port gardens.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

a shipment of clematis, passion flower, and climbing hydrangea; I got myself a Clematis viticella 'Polish Spirit'.

a shipment of clematis, passion flower, and climbing hydrangea; I got myself a Clematis viticella ‘Polish Spirit’.

Fred waits for me to make up my mind about how many more plants to buy.

Fred waits for me to make up my mind about how many more plants to buy.  Foreground: the fragrant Viola ‘Etain’  (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s Garden

We returned to Ilwaco in a big hurry to get mulch onto Mayor Mike’s garden and the port.

mulching at Mike's: Allan's photo

mulching at Mike’s: Allan’s photo

When we had weeded there a couple of weeks ago, I thought that the soil look hard and tired.

mulch being added

mulch being added

all nice now

all nice now

We had to scoop around the edges of the trailer to get mulch that was cool to the touch, and Allan hosed it down to cool it all the way.  You can’t pile hot mulch on plants without making them very unhappy.  Speaking of hot, the weather had turned warm and I was kinda miserable but did not have time to think about it much.  I knew it would be cooler when we got to the port gardens.

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

Narcissi 'Thalia', one of my favourites

Narcissi ‘Thalia’, one of my favourites.  Bulb foliage has speared an old leaf.

Mike's garden; the little table is to put a sprinkler on in summer.

Mike’s garden; the little table is to put a sprinkler on in summer.

a red pieris

a red pieris

Port of Ilwaco

By a little after four, we made it to the east end of Howerton Way at the port, a block east and a block south of Mike’s garden.

The east end bed has never gotten a nice mulching and I think it will be happier now and hold water better.  Allan took the photos of this project.

before, looking northwest

before, looking northwest

after

 

before

before

after, with me planting California poppy seeds (mixed colours) and Legion of Honour poppies down the center

after, with me planting California poppy seeds (mixed colours) and Legion of Honour poppies down the center

My dream had been to get poppy seeds planted in some of the gardens the whole length of Howerton.  I ran out of steam after planting some at the next bed that had room.  (Allan planted six santolinas and two lavenders.)

oppies

the next bed to get poppies (and last one for today): Dusky Rose, Tropical Sunset, Buttercream, Copperpot.

the next bed to get poppies (and last one for today): Dusky Rose, Tropical Sunset, Buttercream, Copperpot.

The bed is by the Loading Dock Village.

The bed is by the Loading Dock Village building

flowering pear street tree in that same bed

flowering pear street tree in that same bed

We had collected some river rock from the east end bed and now we dumped them into the rock bed by the old hotel at the west end.

more rocks to help hide the landscape fabric

more rocks to help hide the landscape fabric

Other public gardeners will recognize how dogs like to leave a deposit right on top of a plant.

Other public gardeners will recognize how dogs like to leave a deposit right on top of a plant.  (Second grass clump)

We added Viola ‘Etain’ and some more variegated lemon thyme to a few more of the city planters.  We found a cute surprise in the one by the Portside Café.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

By 6:45, we were done and even though we were tired after a difficult day, the appeal of some delicious ahi tuna at the Cove Restaurant was too hard to resist.

Cove Restaurant

the garden outside (Allan's photo)

the garden outside (Allan’s photo)

behind the counter (Allan's photo)

behind the counter (Allan’s photo)

menu

the ceremonial photography of the food (Allan's photo)

the ceremonial photography of the food (Allan’s photo)

We had dived into a caesar salad with anchovies before remembering to take a photo…

ahi

ahi tuna

bronzed scallops with lemon butter

bronzed scallops with lemon butter

I got to erase two thing: mulch Mike and mulch Port...

I got to erase two thing: mulch Mike and mulch Port…(Marylin for poppies should be Marilyn)

Tomorrow….I so hope for an easy day, but it will have to start with packaging Montana Mary’s presents (I’m a lousy wrapper; my friends are used to sloppy packaging but I do struggle each time to do better) and then finishing the poppy planting at the port….and then some tidying in Long Beach and (I hope) finishing the big popout, and then packing for a trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 13 February 2015

On the way out of Ilwaco, Allan took two photos of our planter at the post office:

Last fall we re-did this planter, taking out a big old woody lavender.

Last fall we re-did this planter, taking out a big old woody lavender.

Long Beach

I left Allan in charge of the so enjoyable job of chopping down the roses (Rugosa rose, ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’) at the police station.

south wall police station

south wall police station

While he chopped away, I walked a long block north to another project and checked a block’s worth of planters on the way.

narcissi, backed with Stormin' Norman's kite shop

narcissi, backed with Stormin’ Norman’s kite shop

The previous owner of Stormin’ Norman’s was known by that nickname long before a certain military leader rose to fame.

Cerinthe showing blue-purple colour already.

Cerinthe showing blue-purple colour already.

Diascia came through the winter and is already sizing up.

Diascia came through the winter and is already sizing up.

weeded under a street tree and admired the crocuses

weeded under a street tree and admired the crocuses

My main project was to clip and weed around the pond on the NE corner of Bolstadt and Pacific.

before

before, looking north

This is the pond that you can view on the heroncam.  Which means I was slightly aware of being on camera as I worked along the street side of the water.

before

before

Geoff, one of the Pacific Realty staff members, came to see me while I weeded.

Mr. Geoff himself

Mr. Geoff himself

snapdragons blooming in February in Pacific Realty's big south-facing windowbox

snapdragons blooming in February in Pacific Realty’s big south-facing windowbox

I filled the wheelbarrow and two buckets and started piling weeds, waiting for Allan to come with the trailer, which he did, after he had finished the police station job:

after, rugosa roses cut to the ground so they will (mostly) not hang over the sidewalk this year

police station, after, rugosa roses cut to the ground so they will (mostly) not hang over the sidewalk this year

police station garden, all tidied up (with some old, tatty blue oat grass removed as well)

police station garden, all tidied up (with some old, tatty blue oat grass removed as well)

Allan brought the lunch box and more buckets.  I dived right in to the lunch box and took three ibuprofen, as the climbing up and down on rocks to clip sword ferns was causing me considerable leg pain.  Allan joined me to do the most agile part of the pond job: going out to the waterfall area to clip sword ferns.

It would make a big splash for camera viewers if he fell in.

It would make a big splash for camera viewers if he fell in.

While he was balancing out there, our friend Charlene walked up and gave us a bag with treats!

Thanks, Charlene: instant energy!

Thanks, Charlene: instant energy! And they remind me pleasantly of Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.

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I popped into NIVA green for a few minutes, two doors up the block, to get some photos for their Facebook page.

treasures inside NIVA green

treasures inside NIVA green

Then back to sweeping and taking after photos.

after

after

I had stripped a mat of beach strawberries off the front edge to expose the original rockwork.

I had stripped a mat of beach strawberries off the front edge to expose the original rockwork, which had been covered to the edge of the sidewalk..

The pond is a thing of beauty…except for where its underwear shows.

a strip of liner shows going to the water fall

a strip of liner shows going to the water fall

and along the back edge

and along the back edge

If it were mine, I’d be trying to cover all the places where the liner shows.

Most people just enjoy it without kibitzing.

Most people just enjoy it without kvetching about the liner.

Allan had had to park a block north, so we tidied up the planters on the way.

Iris chrysographes in the planter by NIVA green

Iris chrysographes in the planter by NIVA green

I got Heather to leave her shop to admire the iris.  She had invited us to join her and two friends for dinner, and we had accepted.

green Iris, NIVA green (New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful)

green Iris, NIVA green (New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful)

our planter by the Long Beach Elks

our planter by the Long Beach Elks

by the Elks Lodge

by the Elks Lodge

Heuchera, Daphne, Narcissi

Heuchera, Daphne, Narcissi

We had a full load of debris to dump at the city works yard, where we saw two killdeer.  Friend Sheila told me they will lay eggs right in the gravel, which is rather worrisome as this is a heavily trafficked lot.

killdeer

killdeer

With the debris dumped, we still were not done.   A series of clamming days would start on Sunday, so we drove out to the Bolstadt approach to tidy the planters (me) and to cut down ornamental grasses in the long narrow garden (Allan).

looking west from the last planter, showing the end of the Long Beach boardwalk

looking west from the last planter, showing the end of the Long Beach boardwalk (and Goldie, my indispensable $1.29 garden tool)

looking east from the last beach approach planter

looking east from the last beach approach planter

In the planters, I trimmed back the santolinas...

In the planters, I trimmed back the santolinas…

like this

like this

a larger santolina, before

a larger santolina, before

and after

and after

crocus and lavender

crocus and lavender

Looking east from the end of the beach approach, I felt deeply disheartened at the thought of having to weed it sometime this spring, a job that takes us 7-8 days.

a horrible prospect

blocks and blocks of this: a horrible prospect

the stuff of nightmares

the stuff of nightmares

Here's a santolina that got all woody from not being clipped back last year.

Here’s a santolina that got all woody from not being clipped back last year.

seasonal standing water on the beach approach lawn

seasonal standing water on the beach approach lawn

We’ll wait till the garden soil is not so wet and heavy before tackling the long and painful weeding job.  Last year, we did not get to it till shockingly late in the spring season.

I recorded the day on Map My Walk:

The spur to the north was actually driving to dump at city works...so the walking was more like four miles.

The spur to the north was actually driving to dump at city works…so the walking was more like four miles.  You can see the circling round and round the pond.

satellite view

satellite view

At the end of the afternoon, we swung by Coulter Park to have a browse of the NW Artist’s Guild show.

in the old train depot building

in the old train depot building

Allan (right) picking out some cards to buy (by local artist Jean Nitzel).

Allan (right) picking out some cards to buy (by local artist Jean Nitzel).

We had happened to arrive at the opening reception...

We had happened to arrive at the opening reception…

with punch and cookies on offer.

with punch and cookies on offer.

Outside in Coulter Park, the Pieris are coming into bloom.

Outside in Coulter Park, the Pieris are coming into bloom.

Lightship Restaurant

We had but an hour’s turnaround time at home before dinner, during which I managed to compose one of the quickest blog posts ever.  We then joined NIVA green’s Heather, with her entertaining and funny Seattle friends David and Allison, at the Lightship in north Long Beach.

in the Lightship Restaurant

in the Lightship Restaurant

Allison dips the onion rings.

Allison dips the onion rings.

We lingered, talking, until only the Columbia Bar (at the other end of the building) still had customers.

Next: we wake up some north end gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 30 June 2014

We got a slightly late start for a pleasant reason. As I ate breakfast, I heard familiar voices outside. Sonya, from up on school hill, was looking over the fence with her partner and with her daughter, who was visiting for one day from California. I put on my shoes and invited them into the garden.

over the fence

over the fence

and in the garden

and in the garden

We were determined to get a few more sections done on the Bolstadt beach approach garden.

Two horses made it extra scenic when we arrived.

Two horses made it extra scenic when we arrived.

The areas we had already done looked sort of okay, certainly not wonderful.

The areas we had already done looked sort of okay, certainly not wonderful.

looking east, what remains to be done

looking east, what remains to be done, before

before, with a haze of yellow birds foot trefoil

before, with a haze of yellow birds foot trefoil

tall white field clover ( may have come in on a wildflower mix)

tall white field clover ( may have come in on a wildflower mix years ago)

Before

Before

after

after

Allan found a bird nest in the roses.

Allan found a bird nest in the roses.

I wore a cold wet bandanna on my head because the weather was hot.

I wore a cold wet bandanna on my head because the weather was hot.

That's about as far east as the weeding got.

That’s about as far east as the weeding got. I think four sections remain undone.

after

after

after

after

after

after

after

after

a lucky shot

a lucky shot

after.  The santolina, which I usually trim back in early sring, did not get trimmed this year.

after. The santolina, which I usually trim back in early sring to keep it round, did not get trimmed this year.

looking good in the evening sun

looking good in the evening sun

thinned and cut lower but did not have time to dig out the tall white clover

thinned and cut lower but did not have time to dig out the tall white clover; at least it won’t flop sideways over the street now.

I also clipped a lot of rugosa rose by the arch so that drivers coming out of the hotel and townhouse parking lots will be able to see around them. We are not going to have time to get back to this garden this week at all.

The best part of the day was when reader MaryBeth, whose frequent Facebook comments about blog entries I so much appreciate, walked by on her afternoon constitutional and stopped for a chat…the first time we had met face to face.

Later she commented on Facebook that she noticed I was limping. Here’s some foreshadowing of a a near-future event (since I am writing this about a week behind due to all the garden tour blogging): I have been having trouble with my left calf for a long time. Being somewhat doctor-phobic (somewhat?!?), I am used to just powering through pain, and I would not even have described it as pain, just chronic mid-to-end-of-day stiffness that makes it hard to lift and move that leg. I call it “draggin’ leg” or “the zombie walk”. My friend J9, whose field is occupational therapy, has commented on the problems I have walking or climbing stairs at the end of the day. It may seem strange to have not seen a doctor about it; I always figure when I go and start describing all my problems, something terrible and life-ending will be found so I would rather live in ignorant if painful bliss. (I know this is illogical.) I also have residual fear of bills from years of living close to poverty, and the habit of thinking that if I were told to ease off from work, I wouldn’t make enough money to pay my medical insurance. Times are better now…

wildlife on the beach approach as we were leaving

wildlife on the beach approach as we were leaving

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At the very end of the day, we planted a few plants at the Boreas Inn. (Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’…lucky Susie!…and some achillea and…something else good.

The gardens are looking full and interesting, although this photo does not get that across.

The gardens are looking full and interesting, although this photo does not get that across. I will blame the lawn being a bit long.

Eryngium 'Blue Glitter' at the Boreas....not too exciting now, but next year...

Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ at the Boreas….not too exciting now, but next year…

At home, I sat down to blog and felt a strange double SPROING behind my left knee. Ouch and double ouch! And then put it out of my mind.

In the still very warm dusk, I was blogging about garden touring (reliving a visit to one of my favourites on the Hardy Plant Study Weekend tour), when a motion on top of my rolltop desk started me. Could it be…was it, yes! a frog! How the heck did it get there?

It's leg, stretched fully out, looked strange and startling.

Its leg, stretched fully out, looked strange and startling.

Allan caught it in a jar...

Allan caught it in a jar…

and released it into one of the water boxes,

and released it into one of the water boxes,

where it found a hidey hole.

where it found a hidey spot.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

back garden, freshly mowed

back garden, freshly mowed

Fritillaria by our driveway.  A day at home was not to be.

Fritillaria by our driveway. A day at home was not to be.

Yes, the weather was perfect all day.  Not too warm, not too cold.  54 degrees F with only the lightest of winds, and a slight haze over the sun so no glare.  We started by planting some sweet pea seeds in the northwest quadrant of Fifth Street Park in Long Beach; while I did that, Allan put magnesium sulfate around the roses to encourage basal breaks.  I believe in certain of these early spring fertilizing rituals even if it might be magical thinking.

one corner of Fifth Street Park

one corner of Fifth Street Park

Two and three years ago, the sweet peas in this park were glorious.  Last year, they did bupkis.  Cold, wet, or slugs got them.

sweet peas

I am hoping for this again:  glorious sweet peas in 2012

this year's selection

this year’s selection

Streamers mix, Saltwater Taffy Swirls, Zinfandel, Pastel Sunset, Strawberry Fields, Watermelon, Old Spice Blend, Lipstick, Spencer Ruffled Mix, Cupani’s Original, Painted Lady, In the Pink mix

Signs of spring:  The town was full of visitors, with one group after another posing by the frying pan.

spring

The manager of the carousel was just putting on the finishing touches, as it was fully assembled again with children already waiting in line.

Long Beach Carousel

Long Beach Carousel

Next to the carousel, a brand new gazebo to replace a weather beaten one.  I hope the interesting old photos are returned.

Next to the carousel, a brand new kiosk to replace a weather beaten one. I hope the interesting old photos of beach treasures are returned.

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Narcissi in the frying pan park

Narcissi in the frying pan park

We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob's Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park...but had to move on.

We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob’s Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park…but had to move on.

Having gotten worried about the Gunnera in the southeast quadrant of the park, I gave it a good look.  There are two little leaves coming up…but it sure looks nothing like the good growth on the one we saw in our friend Ed’s garden yesterday.

Gunnera, is there hope?

Gunnera, is there hope?  It would be a bugger to dig out the old one.

The progress of Ed's Gunnera made me suddenly very worried about mine.

The progress of Ed’s Gunnera has made me very worried.

I had decided to plant annual poppy seeds (mostly California poppy) in the big pop out instead of a delightful selection of rock garden plants.  I know that the roots of Rugosa rose and couch grass lurk in wait; it will be easier to maintain if we can clean it all out once or twice a year.

One Stop Poppy Shop seeds

One Stop Poppy Shoppe seeds

I have poppy seeds from Renee’s Garden and from the One Stop Poppy Shoppe.  You can see, above, how small the packets of the sweet One Stop shoppe are; one feels they are home packaged with love and care.  Her selection is the best I’ve seen anywhere.

the world's tiniest zip lock bags

the world’s tiniest zip lock bags are inside each packet

I find my hands are too clumsy to open those little bags, so I cut them with scissors and then put the unused portions back in the larger packet.

getting ready to plant in the big pop out

getting ready to plant in the big pop out

California Poppy seeds are easy to broadcast.  Some of the finer Papaver seeds, like Flanders Field Poppy, are so tiny that I use another method.  First, I put the seeds in my palm.

seeds1

Then I blow, like blowing out a birthday candle.  This broadcasts the seeds over a good arc (provided nature’s wind is not competing with me).

whoosh!

whoosh!

Then we very lightly rake or sometimes even use a broom to even out the soil and get the seeds in good contact without covering them.  I’ve heard of mixing the seeds with granules of this and that to make them show up better, but I haven’t the patience.

I think I spilled part of a packet by holding it upside down over the sidewalk.  Will I never learn?  One of many reasons I don’t especially enjoy seed planting.  (Another reason is that I do not have deep faith that they will come up.  California poppies are almost foolproof.)

I had a few plants for the westernmost planter of the Bolstadt Beach approach.  Each got two Armeria (sea thrift) and two Santolina (lavender cotton).

near the boardwalk

near the boardwalk

Narcissi against beach grass

Narcissi against beach grass

Even this close to the shore, we had no appreciable wind today.  Happy tourists used different methods to get around.

bikes and horses

bikes and horses

While I checked on all the planters, Allan cut down the few ornamental grasses along the beach approach garden.  We still have to get out here and weed this monster.

grass cutting befores and afters

grass cutting befores and afters

We did a little more work downtown, planting sweet peas in the planter that has a tuteur in it (displaying signs for shops that are off the main street).  Allan weeded the Veterans Field garden, I chopped some Fuchsias back behind Lewis and Clark Square and then checked Dennis Company’s selection of flower seeds.

Out side Dennis Co:  We'll re-do this planter after bulb time; I'm sick of the vinca.

Outside Dennis Co: We’ll re-do this planter after bulb time; I’m sick of the vinca.

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

Across the street from Dennis:  That's not a conifer, it's Hebe 'Boughton's Dome', several years old.

Across the street from Dennis: That’s not a conifer on the right, it’s Hebe ‘Boughton Dome’, several years old.

In a planter one block south, we had cut the Escallonia to the ground.  A volunteer had once planted these shrubs in two of the planters.  They would like to be over ten feet tall.  I am determined this time to keep them well pruned to preserve the traffic sightlines.  Would that I could remove them; I fear we would hit the electrical line for the lamp post if we dug that deep.

Escallonia coming back

Escallonia coming back

A stop at the Cottage Bakery for tiger paws figured into our schedule.  They pastries were eaten in haste on the way to do two short but effective projects at the Anchorage Cottages.

courtyard sweet pea trellis

Anchorage courtyard sweet pea trellis

flowersAllan built the string and bamboo sweet pea trellis in the office courtyard.  While he did that, I tackled some pruning.  Manager Beth had spoken of perhaps having a tree removed from the southeast corner of the resort.  I had pointed out that without the tree, the lawn area and cottages would lose a sense of enclosure and we would be able to see right through to cars passing on the main street, a block away.  She agreed (because she is agreeable) to just let me limb it up.

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

done with these quiet tools (rechargable electric Makita chain saw, very quiet)

done with these quiet tools (rechargable electric Makita chain saw, very quiet)

It all went well except when the chainsaw got stuck and I needed some help getting it out of a pinching branch. (I had gotten cocky and not cut the branch further out to take the weight off.)

Anchorage: some hosta spears saying "Spring!"

Anchorage: some hosta spears saying “Spring!”

We had to leave the pile of tree boughs behind because our trailer had a large item in it to deliver to our friend J9’s new home.  On the way, we put in a couple of hours of work at Andersen’s RV Park:  planting more sweet peas and weeding couch grass out of a bed so I could plant California poppies.

now weeded and planted with California poppies

now weeded and planted with California poppies

looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)

looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)

Andersen's: Muscari latifolium

Andersen’s: Muscari latifolium

At last, we made our delivery to J9: a rebuilt and strengthened two tiered platform for her cat Buddy to climb to the cat door.  I briefly walked around and further admired her darling new place.

all moved in!

all moved in!

on the back porch

on the back porch

garden relics

garden relics

J9 and Buddy

J9 and Buddy

We took a different road out of her Tides West neighbourhood.  I made Allan back up after we had driven past a compound (two houses) so cute that I had to have a photo.  He took it from the driver’s seat so it does not show very well the detail of the staggered shakes decorating the top part of the houses.  I will be watching this promising place to see what the garden looks like in summer.

so very cute!

so very cute!

The evening chill had come on at home and I was draggin’ leg so did not plant any more sweet peas.  Maybe tomorrow.

This is about all I saw of my garden at home.  Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi

This is about all I saw of my garden at home. Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi, backed with Nora’s house

That cardamine is a delight.  It’s in the same family as shotweed but so much nicer.  You’ll also see much of the irksome shotweed in our garden.

I had one big plan for the evening, if only we had gotten home sooner.  For my birthday, J9 gave me a vintage mirror that she thought I would put in the garden.  I decided it had to go in the house.  It will reflect the dining room table, so if only I could clear all the papers and other detritus and put a nice bouquet of flowers there (and keep it that way!), I’d have a wonderful picture.  Didn’t happen, so here’s a smaller view.

thanks, J9!

thanks, J9!

In the mail a few days ago, I got another birthday present from my old friend Shaz, who well knows my fondness for Mary Engelbreit and for little boxes.  A former Peninsulite and garden client, Shaz talks of visiting here from her Oregon home this year, and I think of her so often….I hope we don’t let life go by without a visit in either direction.

a little box from Shaz

a little box from a much loved friend

Speaking of birthdays, we want to wish a very happy one to Garden Tour Nancy’s husband Phil, an architect and a food-gatherer extraordinaire.  Nancy texted me this photo of him getting oysters on the shores of Willapa Bay during that cold windy day we had last Friday.

Happy birthday, Phil!

Happy birthday, Phil!

Tomorrow I think we will finally get to that one private garden that has not yet seen a glimpse of us this year.

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Friday, 28 February 2014

The days are supposed to seem shorter as we age.  That seems to only apply to staycation days, while lately workdays have seemed very long.  This has been a good thing when I marvel at how much work we get done in a few hours, but today it was tedious when I hit the wall in late afternoon.

The day started well enough.  Here’s a not good photo of the line of crocuses that meanders through our front garden from west to east.  I don’t have many more days to manage to get the successful photo that I envision!

crocus display, purple, white, yellow and lavender

crocus display, purple, white, yellow and lavender

Our first task: to drive to the Long Beach transfer station and divest ourselves of yesterday’s debris.

Our little trailer was full indeed.

Our little trailer, by the yard waste pile, was full indeed.

blue sky over the metal pile

blue sky over the metal pile

On the way to Andersen’s RV Park to work, we stopped at The Basket Case Nursery for a visit.  Although they are not officially open yet (maybe next week!), we bought some violas for Long Beach and The Anchorage.

violas coming along...

violas coming along…

At Andersen’s, Narcissi were showing colour by Payson Hall (due to the reflected heat from the warm south wall, I suppose, as in the rest of the garden they are still just in bud).  Violas would be so nice here, if only the deer would not eat them.

Payson Hall

Payson Hall

Narcissi and California poppy volunteer seedlings

Narcissi and California poppy volunteer seedlings

Lorna loves the big showy narcissi.

Lorna loves the big showy narcissi.

The weather felt so hot (65 degrees!) that I had to put on a cotton summer shirt and was so glad I had brought it with me.

While I weeded here and there in a scattered manner focusing on where RVing guests were most likely to be on a clamming weekend …by the clam cleaning shed and along the garden on the way to the clam cleaning shed…Allan tackled the corner of the garden shed garden that we had not gotten done last November.

before and after

before and after

He removed some weed infested Siberian Iris and Bergenia that date back to before I took on the Andersen’s job (pre 2007 at least).  I had divided them once or twice along the way but have lately come to the conclusion that they don’t bloom long enough for a tourism-related garden.  I do still have some by the Fifth Street Park pond in Long Beach (and in private gardens).

Andersen’s has a new staff puppy!!   Maisie is 8 weeks old, a Schnauzer-mini-poodle mix, will get to be about 12 lbs, and is a real squirmer so that it was a challenge to get a photo.

maisie

 

I told her (in baby talk of course) that she is going to be my friend and she will see me every week.

In midafternoon, we headed south and stopped at The Anchorage to do a bit of weeding, plant thirteen violas, and rejoice that the staff had cut back the pampas grass.  We are thrilled to not have to do it, and the task provided some extra income for the cleaning crew.

by the entry...chopped!!

by the entry…chopped!!

and on the lawn...chopped!

and on the lawn…chopped!

by the office...yellow ranunculus (celandine)

by the office…yellow ranunculus (celandine)

Next, on to Long Beach, where we cut down an ugly resprouted tree on the big pop out garden and then did a check up on the Bolstadt Beach approach planters.

The deer had chomped the crocuses in this one.

The deer had chomped the crocuses and grape hyacinth in this one.

The very next planter had excellent crocuses.

The very next planter had excellent crocuses.

Of two planters with bright white crocus displays, this one is the memorial planter for Lisa Bonney, a beloved local woman who was killed by her estranged boyfriend out here on the beach approach in front of many witnesses.

plaque on Lisa's memorial planter

plaque on Lisa’s memorial planter

I thought at the time that I’d never be able to work the beach approach gardens again without brooding about her and about domestic violence in general.  I still think of her every time, but the flowers in the planter give comfort to me and I hope to her friends and family.

white

Lisa’s crocuses

The community has organized an annual beach run in her memory.

Moving on down the thirteen garden sections of the long narrow garden, I gazed with resignation and gloom upon the matts of weeds.

beach approach garden

beach approach garden

Soon I know we will have to spend a whole week of days bent over weeding this stretch…and as with every year, I will complain of my misery.

The crocuses are nice, though.  The bulbs along this whole garden have dwindled and I should plant more come fall.

crocus

beach approach crocuses

Four of the downtown planters got violas, including some blue and white ones by Home at the Beach gift shop and some purple and yellow ones in one of the planters we had almost completely cleared of vinca last fall.

a planter that is almost a blank slate...

a planter that is almost a blank slate…across from The Hungry Harbor Grille

Around the time of planting those violas, the afternoon went pear shaped for me.  A car with two friends pulled up next to me and they said hi, and I was so contorted and focused on the job I could barely turn my head to look.  My left big toe had started to hurt, and then my right calf, and then I started checking my watch to see how much more must I endure.  Another hour at least…

I admired the tulip foliage, glaucous....

I admired the tulip foliage, glaucous….

and with a pink stripe

and with a pink stripe

The planters which were redone and planted with crocus several years ago now have excellent displays.

crocuses in abundance

crocuses in abundance

crocus

We worked our way down the last two blocks, weeding, cutting back some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Santolinas that I’d skipped last time we worked through town, cutting back some Rusgosa roses that have maddeningly appeared under a street tree, and so on.  I kept “hitting the wall” but seeing more weeds, leading to much reneging on the statement of “That’s it, we are DONE.”  I was momentarily cheered when Allan showed me an intriguing note he had found in a parking spot.

note

high intrigue

Finally at dusk we gave in and drove home, detouring to look at the boatyard and Howerton Street gardens to see if many narcisis were in bloom yet (not).  At the south end of the boatyard, I saw a very low tide, inspiring a stop to take some photos.

looking south from the end of the boatyard

looking south from the end of the boatyard

mud beach

mud beach

water below the ladders

water below the ladders

Allan boldly went down a steep slope to the slippery rock beach and got some photo angles we’ve never seen before.

Allan’s photos:

 

At high tide these rocks would be covered.

At high tide these rocks would be covered.

Ilwaco Landing, a fish company

Ilwaco Landing, a fish company

south end of boatyard from below

south end of boatyard from below

ladders

rungs

Our drive home via the Howerton Way gardens revealed a few more ornamental grasses that need to be cut back.  However, we have decided to take a couple of days off (I almost wrote weeks, such wishful thinking!).  I have a feeling the knowledge of those grasses still being tall is going to bother me.

I got my shoe off to soothe my (gouty??) toe and then had to go back outside to look at a sunset that suddenly glowed with a lovely pinkness to the south.

at the end of the next door yard

at the end of the next door yard

The spring peepers frog chorus was deafening.  I took a little video with my phone and if you don’t mind going to Facebook, you might be able to watch it here.  When I get to the edge of the ditch that is called the meander line, between the bogsy wood and the port parking lots to our south, the frogs closest to me stop croaking while the ones further away keep at it.  I could see them swimming around in the almost dark puddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

I awoke to white frost on the back lawn, as predicted.  All the tender plants in pots were safely in the greenhouse.  The ones that I want to save, anyway:  scented geraniums, tender salvias…

frost

frosty morning

Great, thought I, the annuals will perhaps be done in Long Beach.  I have wearied of their tired looking appearance; they have still been looking too colourful to pull as it might make shopkeepers and passersby said if I dispose of them them prematurely.

But NO!  They still look mostly wonderful.

painted sage, Agyr. 'Butterfly', nasturtium

painted sage, Agyr. ‘Butterfly’, nasturtium

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Allan cut back the Panicum ‘Heavy Metal‘ ornamental grass back in the one street tree under which it grows.  I like the name of the grass and its metallic sheen.  However, I think that to most people it probably looks weedy.

Heavy Metal grass

Heavy Metal grass

This particular tree has no working water and has to be bucket watered from a nearby planter.

The park by Marsh’s Free Museum and one of our favourite little cafés, Captain Bob’s Chowder, still looks fine.

obelisk tiles by Renee O'Connor

obelisk tiles by Renee O’Connor

The work in the frying pan park is coming along….By spring, that clam statue will spout every hour on the hour again.

park

Allan took a break from Long Beach city work and pulled Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ from the Summer House  garden while I checked the rest of the planters.  I swear I did not plant the darn hardy geranium at Summer House.  It probably had one little seedling inside another plant.

Below:  Allan stands where a rose trellis should go IF Erin (who owns this vacation rental) wants to keep the rampant climbing rose in there:

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

Then he dropped me off to tidy up the Veterans Field garden while he dumped debris.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

still very faintly red white and blue

still very faintly red white and blue

We had an appointment at NW Financial and Insurance regarding the Affordable Care Act (which I believe will be very beneficial to us).  The main website was down again, even though it had been working all day.

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

The best thing I have read about this is:  “War is a crisis.  Poverty is a crisis.”  And then something about the computer problem being an inconvenience.  We will go back next week.  If anyone local (Southwest Washington or Northwest Oregon) needs help figuring out the Affordable Care Act paperwork, Shelly Pollock is a wonderful helper and her services are free.

We concluded our work day by pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage clumps and a doing a bit of weeding on the Bolstadt beach approach.

Bolstadt approach buoy

Bolstadt approach buoy

two birds

two birds

another two birds

another two birds

bird

Bolstadt beach approach garden, looking toward town

This walk is so popular with townfolk and tourists alike.  One can walk up Sid Snyder Boulevard ten blocks south, then along the boardwalk with its view of the beach and back down this street….or vice versa.

rugosa rose autumn colour

rugosa rose autumn colour

with dwarf mugo pine

with dwarf mugo pine

Something amazing happened when I pulled a weed from the easternmost Bolstadt planter….

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

The mint started to peel up just like taking up a carpet!   I was thrilled!!

before and after

before and after

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

While Allan tidied that up, I cut back a few lily stalks on the south side of city hall and observed with dismay that a purple ajuga had gone aggressively running through the whole bed.

Anyone want some purple ajuga??

Anyone want some purple ajuga??  will fix this later

Just west of city hall, reflections of sunlight fell on the sign for the upcoming new coffee shop.  I was excited to see that Pink Poppy Bakery’s logo had been added to the sign.  My ultimate loyalty still likes with Ilwaco’s Olde Towne coffee café but I will love being able to get Pink Poppy treats while working in Long Beach.

Akari Space

Akari Space

Although I could tell a great sunset was brewing, the dumping of debris had to take priority.

looking west from city hall

looking west from city hall

While at the city works yard, we could see the sunset developing.

over the water treatment plant

over the water treatment plant

With work done, we went back to Bolstadt.

Another sunset watching group had gathered on the big picnic shelter.

crows

closeup

The sunset started as a moody grey and pink one, and I thought it would continue that way.

Allan’s photos:

bird

grey

grey

grass

west of the boardwalk

buoy

my photos:

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

pink

boardwalk

boardwalk

band of colour

band of colour

Thinking it was fading, we turned to go back to town and saw the tail lights of the cars of other sunset watchers driving away….

Long Beach from the boardwalk

Long Beach from the boardwalk

One glance back and we turned to the west again as the colour suddenly intensified.

colour

bright

And then it did fade.

last

At home, I took a quick walk along Spruce and Lake Streets to check out progress in the Ilwaco flatlands Halloween preparations.

the J's house across the street

the J’s house across the street from ours

on Spruce

on Spruce

Soon would come the yearly Halloween extravaganza.

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