Posts Tagged ‘Boreas Inn’

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Today I was grateful to leave my property for a day out with Our Kathleen. Far away on a remote Canadian Island, today was the memorial for my old friend Bryan. I needed to get out and about and not mope around at home.

Kathleen picked me up at one in the afternoon. Our first stop was the weekend Christmas market at the Salt Hotel.

Samples of local day boat tuna

Joe Nisbett manning the Don Nisbett art display

On the way north to Long Beach, we stopped at another Christmas bazaar, this time featuring all handmade gifts at the Sou’wester Lodge.

Part of the bazaar was in the pavilion…

….where I bought a lovely wooden vase, for dried flowers and twigs, for a friend.

The teahouse trailer nearby

The rest of the the handmade bazaar was set up in the lodge, and there we checked in on Allan’s kayak book table.

He did very well over the one day of the bazaar. And he got to listen to some good music from the table next to him.

As Kathleen and I returned to her car, we saw two good friends of mine.

Cotah and Bentley

In north Long Beach, Kathleen and I visited the one of the establishments that was open today for a Bed and Breakfast (and small lodgings) holiday open house. I was curious about the Mermaid Inn because, even though it is not on the ocean side of the highway, it gets consistently rave reviews on travel sites.

The mermaid statue, which used to be in a downtown Long Beach park, has a history of controversy and inspired irate letters to the editor to the local paper even after some extra locks of hair were carved to cover her bosom. She has also been described as ugly, to which I strongly object. Women come in all sorts of appearances and it is cruel to ridicule people for how they look.

Even without the many flowers and hanging baskets which adorn the inn in summertime, it’s a charming place.

Inn owner Karla Martin

Finally, we reached our main destination of our day, the holiday open house at the Boreas Inn, the most beautiful lodging on the Long Beach Peninsula, owned by our friends Susie and Bill.

Susie and Bill are famous for the inn’s lavish breakfasts and always put on a nice spread for the annual open house.

Their annual tradition, a weekend of decorating by regular guests of the inn in early December, had excellent results.

Their “Hanukkah Bush” got its name because they used to find a beach pine from their western property. It is quite tree-like this year.

Nearby is a cozy fireplace nook.

And on the north side of that comfy spot is my favourite guest room, the Garden Suite.

We joined Susie and Bill and some of their favourite inn guests in the west facing sun room.

To our delight, Lezlie Greco soon joined us.

Mist rolled in over the garden at dusk.

Allan joined us after his Sou’wester event and we stayed past the event’s closing time till well after dark. The overnight guests and those of us visiting for the open house all turned out to be politically aligned, making for absorbing and comforting conversation.

The open house was a benefit for the local food bank, with attendees asked to contribute a can of food. The Boreas had taken in a generous amount.

For anyone who dreams of owning a bed and breakfast and who has the dosh, the inn and the three bedroom owners’ quarters are for sale.

Upon returning home, I felt that the next day was the true beginning of my stay at home staycation. I had high hopes of not leaving my property for nine days, not till the Depot Restaurant’s Dickens dinner on Christmas Eve.


Here, for a bit more holiday cheer, are the window displays in downtown Ilwaco, created by Wendi Peterson. (Photos taken by Allan a week later.)


Tuesday, 24 December

Skipping ahead to Christmas Eve day…Allan and I went to see the new Star Wars film at the Neptune Theatre in Long Beach. They’d gone all out with lobby decorations….

Allan’s photos

…and a pun in the loo. (That is the plural of Han.)

I found the film completely satisfactory.

As soon as we got home, we turned around again for an early Christmas Eve dinner at the Depot Restaurant, picking up Marlene on the way.

Allan’s photos

Allan and Marlene had the salmon while I had the full traditional Dickens Dinner with Yorkshire pud. It is enormous; I saved some of the meat and the great big bone for my large canine friends, Cotah and Bentley.

Home again, after dropping Marlene off, I said to Allan, “Let’s do our presents now and then Christmas can be over and tomorrow can be a normal day at home.” He agreed with an excellent plan.

I had been intrigued to open a mystery gift that had appeared on the porch with a card saying “From your Secret Santa, glad you enjoyed the wind chime.” That message slightly narrows the field of mystery benefactors to someone who is either a Facebook friend or blog reader or both–someone who has read that I loved the Hello Kitty wind chimes that appeared in a gift bag on my porch earlier this year. The delightful theme repeated at Christmas.

I do like a big mug with a solid base, perfect for cats to not knock over. Plus a cutie orange for each of us. The mystery goes on. Will someone ever confess?

Not to be all “Look what I got for Christmas!” but I will mention a few things. Montana Mary, along with some culinary delights, sent a bead made by her landlady, designed in memory of my heart cat, Smoky. Don’t think I did not notice the thematic cleverness of including two mysteries about a bead maker who lives in my home town, Seattle.

I like the artist’s business card.

You can see more of her beads here.

A tea ball from Our Kathleen (accompanied by some Earl Grey and some Christmas tea and my favorite crispy rice chocolate), depicts the TARDIS.

I hope you can see, with my rather inferior phone camera, that it even says “Police Box.”

Along with the practical gift of a small food processor for making low salt hummus, something I did want (even though it may surprise some to hear that I’d want anything to do with cooking), Allan found a perfect book and a selection of real British chocolates.

And he found me quite the perfect t shirt design.

He did well in receiving, with a movie book from Kathleen and some boating books from me (and one fern for his garden, by the name of “Green Ribbons”).

Happy holidays to you of whatever sort you prefer and thank you for reading…and special blessings to our commenters, who warm the cockles of our hearts.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Long Beach

The main tourist season ends when the hundreds of visiting Rod Runners leave.  The day when we tidy Long Beach planters after the Rod Run feels like our annual end of the tourist season.  Town was still busy today with an older and quieter sort of tourist, now that most children over four are back in school.  

When Rod Run used to coincide with Labor Day weekend and had an official parade of cars that closed the road in Long Beach, the planters would get turned to mush by planter sitters and standers.  I think the year 1999 might have been the last year before the event was moved to the weekend after to cut down on the dangerous traffic gridlock which made aid cars and fire trucks unable to get through.  The parade was shortened so it just goes around Ocean Park area.  The vehicles show off through Long Beach, though, but the planter damage is minimal in comparison to days of yore.

We started with the welcome sign.

Because watering the planters would freshen them up, we did so.

Someone stood in this one hard enough to break off the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

This planter at the Bolstad light got sat upon so hard that Rozanne was smashed and the santolina was disarranged.

I decided to go ahead and trim the santolina.

If I cut back Rozanne hard, it would revive and rebloom, but the planter would look barren for too long while there are still tourists in town.

On the other side of the street, the roses had mostly protected the fuchsia…

…but I still want the rose dug out because it never does anything pretty.

Looking across the street at the planter I had just trimmed, today…

My theory that people would not sit on Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that was trailing well over the edge was proven wrong.

I pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ stems out from the tree by the bakery.  Most of them were lying sideways from being stood in.

It is time anyway.  Two more parks, two planters, another tree, city hall, the beach approach have them still.

I had The Toy™ with me because I knew I faced a lot of trimming.  When I used the loo next to the police station, I hoped no one would steal it.

I saw myself reporting such a theft by walking into the police station saying, “Someone stole my toy!”

The police station planter had Geranium ‘Rozanne’ trailing down on both ends last week. I had to trim it today because of the sitting and smashing. One of the center agastaches was also a casualty.

A particular smashed up planter at the SW corner of Third, by a park with plenty of seating:

Across the street, Rozanne was still trailing beautifully.

Delightfully, my favourite planter this year was just fine.

Allan’s photos while watering and tidying the southern blocks of planters:


We have been seeing isolated infestations of black aphids on cosmos, just a stem here and there.

We pulled two of the three batches of sweet peas out of Fifth Street Park. The one in front of Captain Bob’s got to stay.

horsetail patrol
Allan’s photo, with hesperantha coming on

I reflected upon how different the parks look from the more manicured ones in Castle Rock.  Mine are more like amateur home gardens, with mingling plants and a lot of experimentation.  I think many will welcome if a more standard park look happens after we semi retire.

We had left the northern two blocks for last so that Allan could pull the tatty old erysimums while I did the watering. His photos:

Boreas Inn

Susie had been so thrilled with her mulch that she had asked us to mulch some more by the west side of the inn.

Upon arriving, we saw the deer next door.

That tarp is covering a future garden bed next door.

I was this close.

They jumped the neighbors’ fence to eat apples.

Honestly, is that maybe even more attractive than having a deer proof fenced garden?

Bill came out to have a chat with them.

Allan’s photo

The west lawn beds have been deciminated by the deer this year, even plants that should be resistant.  More lavender next year!

I have known deer to eat rue and eucalyptus and other plants that thoroughly surprised me.

After our mulching, during which Allan continued for fifteen minutes longer than me, while I went off the clock to sit on the deck and chat with Susie and longtime friends who were staying at the inn, we went home and then joined them all at

Salt Pub.

I had my favorite, the delicious tuna melt.

We don’t get out to dinner as much as we used to, partly because we are trying to be more frugal. Twice in one week was a treat, especially for Chef Allan.

Skooter, lounging next door, had something to say when we returned home.

a book: Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl

I have read all of Reichl’s memoirs, and tonight I finished the most recent one.  My favourite bits.

She describes how years before she became the Editor in Chief at Gourmet magazine, she had Thai food for the first time.

This took me back to my first Thai meal at a Seattle restaurant (1982?) with my significant other, Bryan, and our group of friends.  I felt the same, such a thrill, at the food I had been looking for my whole life.

It was news to me that Gourmet had once published such great writers:

Oh, look, we have some phobias in common!

I did not know that lambs quarters are edible.

These few takeaways may imply that the book did not offer me much.  Not so, I loved every minute of it and it made me want to reread her other memoirs, especially Garlic and Sapphires, about her years as a food critic. Oh, how I long for reading season, which will begin in mid November, after bulb time.



Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Red Barn

I was pleased to be greeted by my good friend, Dog.

We watered as well as weeded because the container plants were dry.

Very dry.

pineapple sage just giving up

Two different people apologized (without me even kvetching) and said they would do better.  The rodeo last weekend had consumed their attention.

Allan saw Cosmo, but I had gone to the planter on the other side of the barn by then.

Diane’s garden

Along the roadside garden fence, we have great sweet pea success.

Allan’s photo

cosmos (Allan’s photo)
lily (Allan’s photo)

The septic vault garden has much to offer.

violas reseeded in front
nasturtiums and drumstick alliums
Allium sphaerocephalon

aka Mexican shell flower
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We tidied up Veterans Field and Fifth Street Park in advance of the summer weekend events (in this case, the Jake the Alligatorman birthday party).

Vet Field flag pavilion garden with lots of Gauria lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’
I got to pet this corgi (Allan’s photo)
the rather sad corner garden

Brainstorm: If I could get some more handsome gallon sized Jackman’s Blue rue I could fill in the saddest side of the garden, where the sprinkler doesn’t hit.

two more blue rue would be perfect

But…I checked around and no big handsome gallon ones are available here.  I took some cuttings, looking ahead to next year.

a good rhododendron in the Lewis and Clark Square garden (Allan’s photo)

Fifth Street Park needed a big clipping of the horribly mildewed Dorothy Perkins rose.  I always feel compelled to say that this rose was not chosen by me, but instead by a landscape architect.

pitifully diseased Dorothy P

Cathy of Captain Bob’s Chowder gave us some welcomingly cooling bottled sodas on this rather hot day.


Now the park is ready for Jake’s event.  Jake lives inside Marsh’s Free Museum.  A parade will go from Marsh’s to Veterans Field on Saturday.

On the other side of the park, Super Dorothy rose is in the pink of health.  That one was chosen by me and the parks manager, on the recommendation of Heirloom Roses.

sanguisorba and Super Dorothy

Today, we had the time to finally weed two tiny sidewalk gardens (if you can call them that) a block north of city hall.  I was not thrilled when gravel was dumped on one of them.  It does not make the weeding easier.

before; I did not plant this maple.

We had a visit from a local dog, Georgia.

Allan’s photo
after (Allan’s photo)

After dumping quantities of debris at city works, we returned with a couple of buckets of mulch.

still pretty sad (Allan’s photo)

Boreas Inn

 we made a quick and efficient tidying tour of the Boreas Inn garden.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo (What kind of butterfly?)
Allan’s photo, some sort of moth
Artmisia ‘Powis Castle’ and Eryngium (Allan’s photo)
Liatris (Allan’s photo)

garden suite garden
Allan’s photo
front porch (all Susie’s container design)

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ (my only front porch contribution)

The west garden leads to a path to the beach.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Our company arrived from Canada: Kilyn and Peter.  They came bearing gifts of books, a box of Builders Tea, some British throat lozenges for winter ills, some pastries from the local bakery and some British biscuits.

You may know Kilyn as the reader who comments as Steveston Gardener.  Her spouse, Peter, is a delightfully droll Australian.

We had our own garden as ready for touring as time and energy allowed—pretty good, if I dare say so, and the unweeded parts can be called “rewilded”.

Our Garden

We’d had this much rain in the past two days, giving us the gift of this day off.

In the back garden, I immediately realized the Cripps Pink apple tree was half its former height.  Rain, wind, and the weight of too many apples had snapped off the top.  Peter demonstrates how heavy with apples the snapped trunks are.  What a shame.

When Kilyn took a photo of the little pond, I saw that raccoons, or perhaps Skooter, had knocked several blue pottery pieces into the depths. Allan fixed it.  We were all excited to see the one fish. I had assumed it had been eaten weeks ago.

Those are the sort of things that would be a disaster on a garden tour day but are just fine with good friends.

By going garden touring in Ocean Shores this weekend, I will miss three days of lily-opening time.

That timing proves the wisdom of anyone setting a garden tour date for this weekend as peak lily time reliably begins now.

After touring into every corner and path of the garden…

followed by some sitting in the shade…

Peter (Allan’s photo)

…we needed to pass another hour or so before the main feature of the day and so we repaired to

The Boreas Inn.

After touring the entry garden and the west lawn beds…

…we had a tour of the inn…

(My favourite is the garden suite.)

…and a visit with Susie in the west-facing sunroom.

We then were off…

…for an afternoon at

The Bayside Garden.

Upon arrival, Peter said he almost cried on the way up the driveway “because it is so beautiful, and,” he added, “I’m not a gardener.”

Kilyn is the impassioned gardener and garden blog reader.  She faithfully reads (among others) my two favourites, The Tootlepedal blog and The Miserable Gardener.

We both best like blogs that show imperfections rather than, as she puts it, carefully curated photos.

Kilyn, Peter, and John with his garden notebook

A trio of Rhododendron pachysanthum was first to be thoroughly admired.

We viewed every part of the garden.

Kilyn’s photo

Kilyn’s photo

Kilyn’s photo

red stems of drimys picking up the color of Orange Rocket Barberry.

We all expected Orange Rocket to be columnar.  It is not.

Thuja ‘Forever Goldie’

Kilyn’s photo

“mosquito grass” (Allan’s photo)

Rhododendron ‘Sinogrande’

Allan’s photo

Steve, Kilyn, ‘Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

in the Cryptomeria grove

blue-silver Rhododendron lepidostylum

Rhododendron edgeworthii

deer ferns on the move

Kilyn’s photo

Rhododendron quinquefolium

Rhododendron sinofalconeri

Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

We visited my most special favourite pet of a rhododendron:

Rhododendron degronianum subsp. yakushimanum x R. pachysanthum

Hydrangea ‘Lemon Daddy’

Rhododendron makinoi

Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

How to hide an ugly electric box:

Steve says he’d now choose something other than laurel, and the vine to the right is fatshedera.

Kilyn and the evergreen huckleberry glade

Kilyn’s photo

kayaks passing by on a high tide

We closed our tour in the kitchen with coffee and homemade muffins and some garden talk.

from inside the house (Allan’s photo)

John’s garden book (Allan’s photo)

Later in the evening, we met again with Kilyn and Peter for dinner at

The Depot Restaurant.

steak Killian

Prawns Bangkok

After feasting, we walked west one block to tour

The Sou’wester Lodge and trailer court.

 I do believe that the next time they visit, Kilyn and Peter will be parking their caravan here.

We suggested the Peter “place a call” at the phone booth and could hear his laughter.

Kilyn tried it next.

vintage trailers for rent by the night (known as “Trailer Classics Hodgepodge”)

Jessica Schlief is doing a spectacular job on the Sou’wester gardens.

Tomorrow, the four of us leave to take two different routes to meet again at Saturday’s garden tour in Ocean Shores.

Read Full Post »

real time alert

My favourite garden tour is this weekend.  It is pretty far from where we live, but if you are anywhere near Ocean Shores, or even as close as Olympia, it will be well worth the drive.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The photo captions look weirdly placed in the WordPress editor.  I don’t have time to fuss with my blog during this busy time (it is all I can do to churn the posts out!), so I hope they look right when published.

Ilwaco post office garden

My verbascum serves as a pillar to keep people from cutting across the garden.  Someone said on Facebook that it is a weed.  I carefully perused the Washington State noxious weed list and did not see it there.

Boreas Inn

Innkeepers Susie and Bill were away at the Oregon Country Fair, an annual alternative extravaganza. Bill has been one of the staffers there for many years.

Susie and Bill at the fair! (Susie’s photo)

We checked on the garden at their inn.  I did not have faith in the arrival of rain.  The assistant innkeeper turned on the sprinklers.

a moderate sweet pea success

on the entry porch
the entry garden
back yard, looking west toward the beach path

Allan’s photo

Long Beach

As we drove the eight blocks from the Boreas to Veterans Field, a light rain arrived.

We had decided to weed and trim the north and south parking lot “berms”.

the parking lot berms (bottom of photo)
before, north berm
after (Allan’s photos)

The berms get little attention and no supplemental water.

Spiraea douglasii
Rosa glauca and Stipa gigantea

Allan pulled a tangle of birds foot trefoil.  I was going to leave it.

A few days later, on a Gardener’s World wildflower meadow special, I could swear they said that 160 different kinds of insects like to feed on it (in the UK).  It is rich in pollen.

As we finished the north berm, the rain got serious.

Allan’s photo

By the time we had trimmed the edges of the south berm, the rain was in earnest, and yet, despite some wind, not cold.

a substantial load of debris (Allan’s photo)

Oceanside Animal Clinic

Skooter, who had a late afternoon check up for a small owie on his foot, visited the clinic and got a claw manicure, as well.

Poor dog, who loves to run, had hurt her knee. I empathized.


On the way home, we had a look at the port gardens.

the boatyard

At home:

new leaf on Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’

rain barrels filling

I got a message from our friend Tony to look on the front porch.  There we found his husband Scott’s delectable lemon bars, which made a perfect accompaniment to our warming cups of tea.


Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

At home, here is my rose ‘Veilchenblau’, proving that Allan’s improvement of the front garden deer fortification is working.

Not a clear photo.  I almost missed this blue-violet rose this year.  It is from a cutting from my old Ilwaco house… from a cutting from my Seattle garden…made from a cutting from the rose belonging to Louise Runnings, mother of Bryan with whom I lived from January 1982 to August 1986. So many memories. That rose goes back many years.

J’s garden

Yesterday evening, I had not finished pruning back branches that were hanging over the fence.  We have a new tool for that, on the left, recommended to us by our neighbour, Scott.  (He’s Cotah and Bentley’s dog-dad.)

Allan’s photo, an improvement over our old pole pruner

after (Allan’s photos)

The new pruner is great.  It has clipper-type grips that you squeeze to get it to clip.

On the J’s path, thyme is in bloom.

The Red Barn

We weeded and watered.

barn swallow photobomb

gaillardia gasping for water

Diane’s garden

We weeded, deadheaded, and watered two areas.

two salvias, Black and Blue and patens

Holly, Whiskey, and Misty got biscuits.

I groomed the roadside garden, where the sweet peas are doing well.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’
Stipa gigantea

The septic vault garden:

Allium christophii, Brodiaea ‘Silver Queen’. ‘Jackman’s Blue’ rue

Long Beach

I tidied up Veterans Field gardens so we would not have to do it later in the busy Fourth of July week.  I am not happy with the corner garden.  I took some plants out because it was too dry.  Now parts of it are wet and the horsetail is too happy. After weeding, the garden looks beat up.

I am happier with the flag pavilion garden.

Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ and Salvia ‘May Night’

Meanwhile, Allan used our new pole pruners to get blackberry out of Third Street Park.

The new pruners worked a treat.

busy Third Street Park (Allan’s photo)

The Boreas Inn

We weeded and did not have to water because we can count on Susie, owner and innkeeper, to do it.

Despite improvements, the sandy soil is a challenge, making the poppies at the west end quite small.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
A veronica planted by Susie
deer prints (Allan’s photo)
Deer are not eating the lilies. (Allan’s photo)

During the two years when we gave this job away, some Eutrochium (Joe Pye weed), which likes moisture, got planted in this challengingly dry (despite watering) garden.  Here, it is knee height.  In my garden, it is as tall as me. It wants rich, moist soil.  In the fall, I will try to find a position for it closer to the inn instead of in the sandy lawn beds.

Salvia ‘Amistad’ (means “friendship”)

It can join Amistad in the Garden Suite bed, where Susie did go out and smell the night scented stock and agrees it is amazing.

Matthiola longipetala, night scented stock

You have to think carefully about what will grow this close to the beach.  One of these days, I am going to make an educational blog page about the plants that I like best for beachy gardens.

the path to the beach

Long Beach

We finished by doing a quick weeding of the little pop outs.


They never get supplemental water.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday’s post about gardening partners elicited such good comments that I was inspired to remember and add some photos of Bryan helping in the garden. I had forgotten about that. Go back one day and have a look if you were one of the readers who responded to that post. I think you will like them.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Long Beach

Before we began our project, we saw our friend Jan and her nice, soft-to-pet dog out by the beach approach.

Allan’s photo

We set out to weed one section of the Bolstad beach approach and to plant assorted California poppies (me) in the planters out there.  I know I said I had totally given up after the recent disheartening plant theft but….hope springs eternal.

While planting, I found more plant theft holes.

We found a santolina that had grown from cuttings tossed (by me) behind the planter; Allan dug it up and I put it in one planter to replace a big stolen one…for what it is worth.

Allan’s photo

I also dug a couple of starts of the native beach grass with its wide blue blades, where it was growing right by the road. It has mostly been pushed out by European beach grass.  Maybe it will be left alone to grow in the hardest hit planter…

…or maybe not. So much has been stolen that the grass might as well fill up the whole planter.

I got to see our very good friend Mitzu, who was on her way to a beach walk.

I thought that maybe the Lisa Bonney memorial planter (which is just a few feet from where she was killed) had been left untouched by thieves.  Loved ones of hers have planted new plants in it.

Then I looked closer:

one side still complete…
stolen well established sea thrift from the other side

I left about four of the planters unplanted with the poppies in a moment of panic when I thought I had lost my camera.  (It was in the van.) So that task did not get erased from the work list.

The beach approach garden, at the beginning, looking east:

Satellite view:

the long narrow Bolstad garden
Allan’s photo

I remember that moment from late last fall, on the last or almost the last workday, when I stood at this spot and felt an odd surge of enthusiasm for weeding this blocks long garden in the spring.  I wish I could feel it again.

Allan’s photo

While weeding the westernmost section of the approach, I had a brainstorm.  Instead of saying that the approach garden has thirteen sections (counting two end caps as one section), I will divide it further.  Each section has a clear halfway point, and so I am putting 26 sections on the work board.  That way, on a day like today when we have other places to be, at least I get to erase one number.  And my right hand is so arthritic now that combining the beach approach with other, less painfully repetitive tasks, is a good idea.

Allan’s photo, after today’s work

Boreas Inn

I planted a few plants, including a Verbascum ‘Cotswold King’ and ‘Southern Charm’ and a Salvia ‘Amistad’ in the west side gardens, along with more poppy seeds.

Allan’s photo

I have learned from Monty Don and Carol Klein that I should have more success with the sort of seeds that one covers only lightly if I press them down hard.

Allan wheelbarrowed some bucketed mulch to the east entry garden, followed by mulching and then pruning a hardy fuchsia (me) and trimming some ivy (Allan).

what’s left of the five yards of Soil Energy (Allan’s photo)
entry garden sit spot
Allan’s project, before

We would never plant English ivy.  It is considered a noxious weed now but is firmly entrenched in some places.

The work board tonight, with revised beach approach sections.




Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Last night at about two AM I saw that a houseplant that had been given me by a friend had flowered and was indeed a plant I had always wanted. I carried it to the porch to get a clearer photo this morning.

I asked Ann Amato, houseplant expert (and seedstress) what in the world I had. It is a Queen of Tears bromeliad, Billbergia nutans.

Despite cold weather, I had a list of smallish work projects to accomplish. I hoped that the strong wind gusting through our garden would not follow us to Seaview and Long Beach.

The Depot Restaurant

We had one more grass and a few perennials standing between me and erasing Depot from the spring clean up list.

Allan’s photos:

Because of the night temperatures still being around 30F this week, I then decided we should change my plan and prune the Dorothy Perkins and Super Dorothy roses in Long Beach rather than trim back perennials in Diane’s more exposed garden. As we drove up to the park, we saw traffic cones and then the dreaded pressure washer sitting on its own during lunch break. Our plan changed (although the ideal rose pruning time is said to be Presidents Day to March 1st, which is coming fast).

We paused in Long Beach to cut two little grasses in a tiny pop out.

I was pleased to see lots of poppy seedlings.

Boreas Inn

Allan trimmed the ferns by the Yett Cottage, a vacation rental next door to the Boreas.

I trimmed the sword ferns on the northwest corner and the east entry garden at the Boreas. In order to save oodles of time trimming ferns with The Toy, it has to be done now-ish before the tight knuckles of new fronds start to uncurl.

The Boreas is a former job of ours that we passed on to another gardening outfit which did not have time to care for it properly, and so, with a gap in our schedule that was left when we departed the Klipsan Beach Cottages garden, we are taking it back. We had intended to spend that extra time on ourselves…but the Boreas called out to me.

I saw that in the west gardens, we need mulch and to get a rampant ground cover (moneywort) back under control.

That is for another day. At the end of the lawn beds, a path goes all the way to the beach.

The Garden Suite ferns, before and after:

Of course, the before photo is much prettier, but left without trimming, the ferns would have many brown fronds by midsummer. Soon the beautiful sequence of unfurling fronds will be visible.

Allan helped clean up the entry garden.

I had also pruned some hardy fuchsias that were almost into the path.

The icy wind managed to get into the courtyard, making for a rather miserable time of it. I longed for home and tea but decided we should do one more thing, get some mulch and apply it to the Port Office garden.

Allan saw this bundled up dog while acquiring the mulch.

The weather forecast showed why our work day was rather miserable.

Felt more like 32 than 39, if you ask me.

Port of Ilwaco

I found the cold wind just about unbearable at the port. Fortunately, the job was quick.

At home…

The work board tonight:

A nice of Builders, a bit of dark chocolate, and my comfy chair soon put things to right.

I watched the last episode of Monty Don’s Around the World in 80 Gardens…with a slightly curtailed view.

Better yet, I discovered a new garden show….

…featuring Monty, Joe, and Carol from Gardeners’ World and Charlie Dimmock. Even better, someone has put all of Season One up on youtube so that I don’t have to go questing about for each episode. I have already watched one. It was pure heaven. My head (or brain) was so happy that I felt like it was floating around the room.

The first video set is almost ten hours long. It is a darn good thing the weather forecast looks like this…

The rose pruning can wait till Friday or Saturday. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching telly in my comfy chair.

Read Full Post »

Saturday, 12 December 2015

my day

Kabob Cottage

Our Kathleen and I had an afternoon out, beginning with lunch at the Kabob Cottage.  The wind was almost of blow-you-over intensity so I did not get an exterior photo.

photo from 11-2-15, now the Kabob Cottage

photo from 11-2-15.  The Kabob House is now called the Kabob Cottage


Chef Behnoosh’s Christmas tree

This was Kathleen's first meal here. She was impressed.

This was Kathleen’s first meal here. She was impressed.

Boreas Inn

Kathleen and I then attended the holiday open house at the Boreas Inn.  By attended, I mean we sat by one of the cozy fireplaces, ate some cookies, drank some hot cider, and relaxed.

Boreas Inn

Boreas Inn, with the private innkeeper’s house to the left

Susie's windowbox

Susie’s windowbox

on the porch

on the porch

tulip lights

tulip lights

from the foyer

from the foyer

B&B owners Susie and Bill in the kitchen

B&B owners Susie and Bill in the kitchen, with hot spiced cider

I did go from window to window to look out upon the gardens we used to care for.  This is one of the jobs I passed on to Dave and Melissa of Sea Star Gardening, and Susie praised them highly today for hard work, garden knowledge, honesty, and said they just give her a “good feeling” with their work.  (Dave and Mel couldn’t make it to the open house because this weekend they were committed to working on that Oysterville garden that I like so much.)

The Garden Suite

The Garden Suite at the Boreas Inn

looking out the window of the Garden Suite

looking out the window of the Garden Suite

The Garden Suite

The Garden Suite

The Dunes Suite

The Dunes Suite

the west living room

the west living room

a Christmas village

a Christmas village

looking due west

looking west

gardens and hot tub hut

gardens and hot tub hut


looking back

looking back

Kathleen had tucked herself in by the center fireplace in the room without a view, probably because it felt cozier than the west room with the big windows.

Bill and Kathleen

Bill and Kathleen

delectable mini-cupcakes

delectable mini-cupcakes

view from the couch

view from the couch

Susie's photo: "Our tree at Boreas has quirky decorations that mean something special to us."

Susie’s photo: “Our tree at Boreas has quirky decorations that mean something special to us.”

I was especially taken with some tiny teacup ornaments and should have photographed them for myself.


The B&B bustled with many guests.  Because of the storm, Susie had expected few and had thought she and Bill would spending the afternoon reading by the fire, so to have so many guests arrive was a welcome surprise.

The entry price to the event was a can of food for the food bank; by the time we left, the receptacle was overflowing.

The entry price to the event was a can of food for the food bank; by the time we left, the receptacle was overflowing.

If your dream happens to be owning a B&B at the beach with a big separate house of your own quarters, you might be interested to know that the Boreas Inn is for sale.


Kathleen expressed a desire to do a bit of Christmas shopping at the Don Nisbett Art Gallery.

on the way past the boatyard garden

on the way past the boatyard garden

 This necessitated a stop at the Saturday Christmas Market during its last five minutes of the day…

...to get a treat from Pink Poppy Bakery.

…to get a treat from Pink Poppy Bakery.

Walking by Salt Hotel

walking by Salt Hotel

Salt's south-facing doors

Salt’s south-facing doors

Kathleen at the Nisbett Gallery

Kathleen at the Nisbett Gallery

in Don's gallery

in Don’s gallery

just outside, a Christmas boat

just outside, a Christmas boat

At home, I reviewed yesterday’s gardening accomplishments that had been finished as darkness fell:

mulching the center bed

mulching the center bed

extending a shade bed that is presently ending in a big puddle

extending a shade bed by the wood pile (that is presently ending in a big puddle)

twigs blown all the way up to the patio

twigs blown all the way up to the patio

dramatic sky over the back garden

dramatic sky over the back garden

some last minute evening decorating occurred

some last minute evening decorating occurred

yesterday's mulching

yesterday’s mulching

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street


Back at the Boreas Inn, Susie took this sunset photo:


photo by Susie Goldsmith, looking west from Boreas Inn


Allan’s day

Allan was out and about taking photos of the high tide and the results of our recent storms.  You may recall that the Coast Guard closed all ocean entrances yesterday.  From the amount of debris at the Port of Ilwaco, you can see why.  So much flooding has taken place upstream that the Columbia River itself, we hear, has turned brown with sediment and is awash with debris.

storm warning flags at the port

storm warning flags at the port office

debris by the boatyard

debris by the boatyard

storm debris

storm debris

You can see from this satellite view how we relate to the mighty Columbia River, explaining why so much debris has washed into our little bay:


Even so, it is surprising considering the narrow entryway:


Allan walked out onto the docks this afternoon to get some more photos as boats continue to prepare for the delayed crab season.  The delay must be so frustrating for the crabbers as this season is a huge source of income for them.

ready and waiting

ready and waiting



on the docks

on the docks

high tide

high tide

Allan decided to drive to the beach, and on the way he passed our old house and stopped to get me a photo of the garden shed.

I was touched that the new owner has kept the purple colour; it has clearly been freshly painted.

I was touched that the new owner has kept the purple colour; it has clearly been freshly painted.

I thought, Oh, Jon painted over the quotation that I had on the front of the shed.  The next photo revealed that he had carefully saved that part of the building, during a repair, and moved it to the side of the shed.  I felt deeply moved that he liked it enough to save it.


street side of the purple shed

street side of the purple shed, back when it was mine

“This used to be among my prayers, a piece of land not so very large, which would contain a garden, and near the house a spring of ever flowing water, and beyond these a bit of woods.”  -Homer

Oh dearie me, I was hit with a great wave of missing the ever-flowing spring of water that fed a little pond on that piece of property.

Allan peeked at the old place from the street....

Allan peeked at the old place from the street….

Our old fence is still there.

Our old fence is still there.

Ok, as I write this…getting a grip on my emotions.. and returning to Allan’s day, as he next went to Waikiki Beach at Cape Disappointment.

The drama of the waves was nothing like yesterday.




Today, the scene was comparatively sedate:


A park ranger told Allan that during the height of the storm surge, rangers had to move photographers away from the viewpoint because logs were rolling in fast and dangerous.

storm tossed logs

storm tossed logs

debris tossed way past the beach up onto the lawn

debris tossed way past the beach up onto the lawn

storm watchers

storm watchers

a bird who is clearly used to having its picture taken

a bird who is clearly used to having its picture taken

While grocery shopping at the end of his excursion, Allan saw a beautiful sunset in Seaview.

sunset from Seaview

sunset from Seaview from Sid’s Supermarket

On the way home, he stopped at Ocean Beach Hospital to look at this year’s wreath auction.


This year's display includes gingerbread houses.

This year’s display includes gingerbread houses.

a clever idea

a clever idea

on the way home

on the way home, on Lake Street

Tomorrow, we have an author’s reading to attend at Time Enough Books; perhaps we can also mulch at the library? And perhaps, just perhaps, a few days of reading can commence on Monday before the next round of holiday treats.


Read Full Post »

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Mike’s garden

We began a few blocks east in Mayor Mike’s garden.

weeded the path, did some watering

weeded the path, did some watering

Mike's oriental poppy

Mike’s oriental poppy

lots of pizzazz

lots of pizzazz

boxwood and pulmonaria

boxwood and pulmonaria

Mike wondered if we had cut back the middle of the Echinops (blue globe thistle) below:

floppy globe thistle

floppy globe thistle

I told him that, like a lot of plants this year in my garden, it seems to have reached for the light during our many grey, unusually dark midspring days and then flopped open.

We did not have time today, but soon we must cut back this climbing rose so it does not smother the tree...soon enough so it will put out new growth for next year.

We did not have time today, but soon we must cut back this climbing rose so it does not smother the tree…soon enough so it will put out new growth for next year.

The Depot Restaurant

I still feel that the Depot garden is starting off slowly this year.

I still feel that the Depot garden is starting off slowly this year.

At last is has something to offer: an Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' in bloom.

At last is has something besides green to offer: an Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in bloom.

The main reason that the Depot is a slow starter is because almost all the feature plants are tall ones so that they show up behind the big log that marks the edge of the carpark.

Long Beach

We pulled the scrimmy horsetail out of the Long Beach welcome sign garden.  The cosmos are beginning to bloom.

yellow bidens along the front edge

yellow bidens along the front edge

white bacopa along the back edge

white bacopa along the back edge

both sides now

both sides now (with blue bacopa along the sidewalk)

Andersen’s RV Park

First, we weeded the road box.

First, we weeded the road box.

We had not managed to get to Andersen’s at the end of the day yesterday.  That was a good thing, as we had more energy for it today.  Allan weeded on the west side, and fertilized the barrels, and I groomed the picket fence garden and Payson Hall planters.

today's garden areas

today’s garden areas

Payson Hall clubhouse

Payson Hall clubhouse

barrels and RVS

barrels and RVs

the west bed

the west bed

The poppy field has popped.

The poppy field has popped.

looking east toward the house and office

looking east toward the house and office

looking west toward the ocean

looking west toward the ocean

some pink California poppies mixed in

some pink California poppies mixed in (with a big silvery verbascum)

one of Allan's projects, before

one of Allan’s projects, before







He extended the strimmed area so that the staff will know how far they can go without hurting the garden.

The picket fence garden

The picket fence garden

(Above) Raymond from The Planter Box has made the weed-killer burnt patch of lawn all nice and green again.

The sweet peas are looking happy and full of potential.

The sweet peas are looking happy and full of potential.

Asiatic lilies:  Landini or Blackout

Asiatic lilies: Landini or Blackout

On the way out, we did a bit of weeding by the garden shed.

On the way out, we did a bit of weeding by the garden shed.

the garden shed garden

the garden shed garden (with fig tree, and with Allan weeding)

The Anchorage Cottages

Anchorage, near the Cove Restaurant at the Golf Course

Anchorage, near the Cove Restaurant at the Golf Course

Our garden areas are the courtyards within the array of cottages.

Our garden areas are the courtyards within the array of cottages.

We made our usual rounds of the garden beds at the Anchorage, and I got the windowboxes and containers all fertilized…some with the blue stuff and some with nice organic Fox Farms Tiger Bloom; I can afford to use the latter at smaller jobs than Long Beach town.

shade garden on a north wall with astilbe, Fuchsia 'Sharpitor Aurea' and Geranium macrorrhizum

shade garden on a north wall with astilbe, Fuchsia ‘Sharpitor Aurea’ and Geranium macrorrhizum

The golden fuchsia is small in the photo above, and is the plant that inspired my first ever contact  with Our Kathleen.  She used to stay at The Anchorage before and had asked at the Planter Box what that fuchsia’s name might be, and Teresa called me up to ask the name.  I may even have talked to Kathleen on the phone; her sharp memory would supply the details.  Later, I met her in person in the Anchorage gardens.  Facebook made communication easier so that we could become real life friends.

Calla lilies on the north wall

Calla lilies on the north wall

The pink hydrangeas in the "Zen courtyard" are enjoying the new mulch and Beth's weeding job, and look much better than last year.

The pink hydrangeas in the “Zen courtyard” are enjoying the new mulch and Beth’s weeding job, and look much better than last year.

center courtyard

center courtyard

happy, fertilized plants in the center courtyard containers

happy, fertilized plants in the center courtyard containers

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' (blue potato vine)

Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ (blue potato vine)

I hope the fertilizer inspires the window box plants.

I hope the fertilizer inspires the window box plants.

office courtyard

office courtyard

Allan took on the project of weeding under the grapevines down by Ocean Beach Boulevard.



This involved bending and crawling.

This involved bending and crawling.



Boreas Inn

I was well chuffed that we found time to spend an hour at the Boreas Inn garden, just weeding.

Boreas Inn and its trail to the beach.

Boreas Inn and its trail to the beach.

island beds on the west lawn; round roof is hot tub hut

island beds on the west lawn look so small!; round roof at mid photo is hot tub hut

looking west to beach trail

looking west to beach trail

I was shocked to find the deer have been eating Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'

I was shocked to find the deer have been eating Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

and Eryngium 'Jade Frost'

and Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

but not all the Eryngiums, thank goodness.

but not all the Eryngiums, thank goodness.

Deer have never bothered my Gauras before.  Two days later, I found Gaura at the Ilwaco boatyard garden also severely browsed.  Darn it.

Verbascum 'Jackie in Yellow', back for a third year (albeit rather small)

Verbascum ‘Jackie in Yellow’, back for a third year (albeit rather small)

The Cove Restaurant

Thursday night means Fish Taco night at the Cove Restaurant.  We were joined by Dave and Melissa from Sea Star Landscape Maintenance, who had been to Portland and back today.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


I just realized that Thai soup with prawns is Tom kha goong, and with chicken is tom kha gai.  I think I am showing off a little by saying that.  I used to go out for Thai food probably once a week in Seattle. Never mind; Jason’s soup is spectacularly delicious.  He sent us out a scallop amuse bouche that had us all exclaiming with pleasure.

Jason's scallops

Jason’s scallops

with tiny Peruvian peppers

with tiny, sweet Peruvian peppers

Tom kha soup

tom kha soup

Patti J and Lisa and Buzz were there.  I had to name drop and tell Melissa that Buzz is the one who wrote the recent interview article with Caitlin Jenner that has been all the media rage.  A woman came over and said she reads my blog every day (hi! and thank you!) and I said “Even the whining?” and she said “That’s the best part!”.  That is reassuring, as I’ve been doing a lot of whining lately.

As we departed, Parking Lot Cat came to greet us, leading to this amusing set of photos by Allan as all the “cat people” fawned over him.






PLC is a star!

PLC is a star!





Read Full Post »

Older Posts »