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Posts Tagged ‘campfire’

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Just after the library closed yesterday, I saw in an email that volume three of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicle had arrived.  I suppose it was a good thing that I did not pick it up, because if I had I would have used Sunday’s heat as an excuse to stay in reading all day.

During the previous week, I had finished Love All by EJH, with a heartrending subplot of a garden designer having to leave the garden she created over many years:

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That breaks my heart.

It was hot today, somewhere around 80, so my big gardening-all-day plans were thwarted by my weather wimpiness.  In and out of the house I kept going, to rest from the heat.

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bright and hot out

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Frosty also thought it was too darn hot to be outdoors.

Finally at 3:30, the wind that had been keeping me from working in the shade of the trees died down and so I embarked on some weeding along the west side of the bogsy woods.

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hardy fuchsia in cool shade

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southwest corner of garden, before

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two hours later

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pursuing errant salmoberry (Allan’s photo)

The bogsy wood is thick with salmonberry, and it always wants to come forward into the gardens I’ve established along its north edge.  Because the salmonberry roots are entwined with the alder tree roots, humans would not win at removing it.  At least not this human.

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I do make tunnels and clearings in the salmonberry groves, just for fun.

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salmonberries that had crept into the preferred shrubs

I then set upon the dead salmonberry patch on the east side.  Of all of the groves of salmonberry in the bogsy woods, this one is on the most raised up hump of ground and I think its roots could not get into the water table last summer.

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before

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2/3 gone; the rest will need sawing at the base

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a much nicer view into the woods without a big dead thing among the trees

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dry branches to chop down into small kindling for a campfire

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A lot of chopping made the wood small enough for our tiny fire.

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We had some sausages ready for a campfire night and had a most pleasant time except for a new phenomenon: a cloud of mosquitos.  It must be going to be a bad mosquito year as they usually have not been especially bothersome in our garden.

 

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near the campfire…Oh how the snails love that hosta.  They leave the impatiens omeiana alone.

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Aquilegia ‘Clementine White’

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Camassia leichtlinii Alba

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and the still so very unweeded east side beds

Monday, 2 May 2016

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next door, Nora’s roses

Less heat, and no wind so that I could work back in the shade again, made for a productive day.

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“new” broken pots from The Anchorage ready for planting

Allan went out to do errands and to water the Ilwaco planters, and bought me two round pavers for under those pots so that the horsetail will not creep through the hole and into the potting soil.  He also got wood for building an arbour at the front of the garage.

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I’m excited that he decided to start on the arbour!

I did feel bad for Allan that the Ilwaco planters needed watering.  We have not had rain for over a week and no appreciable amount is forecast.  It is a one person job (or would cost the city too much money if a second person was along but not always busy).

Allan’s workday:

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The Post Office garden needed some watering….Allan noted that the California poppies matched the Oregonian box.

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…but he couldn’t find the key to the faucet so only some of it got watered.

The watering season always starts out with a bit of a struggle to find various important little hose and faucet parts.

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post office garden, columbines

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Allan picked up the water trailer for its work season.

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While it filled at the boatyard, he ran the string trimmer behind the fence.

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the long stretch of hose to water a street tree

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Wisteria at the house by the boatyard

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The owner of that house is watering the nearby planter, bless her! Allan could tell by the water coming out the base.

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giving a planter and its escapees a good soaking

meanwhile at home:

I sawed away at the salmonberry trunks left from yesterday, with plans for another campfire with the dry chopped up wood.

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The dead clump is all gone and the middle of the grove weeded.

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I look forward to weeding in here.  I think an elderberry sprout is poised to grow on that little knoll.

As I was cleaning up my piles of weeds, and Allan was building the fire, we heard the voice of our friend Devery calling to us.  She’d heard our little battery chain saw toiling away and came to see what we were up to.  When invited to join our campfire, she revealed that she had never toasted a hot dog or marshmallow over a fire before.  Growing up on St Kits Island, she was so close to nature that “going camping” was not a thing; “We just went outside!” she said.

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campfire time

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campfire stories

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We recommended toasting the bun first. (Allan’s photo)

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all the fixings

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My Smokey likes a campfire evening.

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I was happy when he got in his own chair.

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Smokey (Allan’s photo)

For those who like my Grandma’s scrapbooks, I published another post on that blog.

Tomorrow, we must get back to work.

ginger

1998 (age 74):

May 1: Store day because I had to go to Tim’s to pick up a prescription.  So I went on errands to hardware store, telephone to pay bill, to Gordon’s to get some more fuchsias amd I bought a 6 pack of tomato plants!  Also to QFC.  I received a back ordered box from Parks and my order from Bluestone Perennials.  I did accomplish paying bills and the laundry.

May 2:  9:30-10:00  Finished planting tall dahlias in tam and UDFB.  It was cool and cloudy.  12:30-3:00 Watched Sonics win the first round against the Timberwolves.  They now must play the Lakers.  3:00 to 6:00 Weeded the tam “ditch” next to the road that was loaded with dandelions.  I came in and fed Tabby, took a shower and had a bowl of Frosted Flakes for my dinner.

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Saturday, 16 April 2016

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My Smokey

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looking debonair in his BirdsBeSafe collar

At last, a fine day at home to weed.  I spent hours on the center back yard bed, the most boring one to weed because it is all rather samey with its river of Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

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2 PM

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7 PM

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got a bit done on this bed, too…before…

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after

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Allan made delicious tuna fish toasties for lunch.

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a spectacular parrot tulip

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more tulips that have come back for the second or third year (or, the “black” ones, maybe five years)

While I weeded, Allan did me a large favour by digging out the big, dying pink flowering currant.

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Allan’s photos: before

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during

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I thought the roots would be rotting, based on the dying of the shrub, and that it would be easy to rock the stump out.  Not so.

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Human wins!

I want an evergreen shrub in this spot to “stop the eye”at the edge of the garden.

Allan mowed Nora’s (Alicia’s) lawn.

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many dandelions poked out and then ground up with the mower

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the back meadow wildlife refuge, with mown path to the port

Sunday, 17 April 2016

While Allan went grocery shopping across the river, I tackled the east side back garden bed.

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11:20  AM

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3:30 PM

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11:20 AM

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3:30 PM

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11:20 AM

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3:30 PM

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The back side did not get weeded along the edge.  I was still well pleased.

I had to stop at 3:30 and this is why; the weather was scorching hot:

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feels like 86! So very much too hot.

I had had a very big idea and had asked Allan to look for some bamboo screening that will “stop the eye” where the flowering currant came out.

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There is a gap in my plant screening now, and I like a cave like atmosphere.

We almost started to put up the screen.  With only half an hour before a social engagement, I had a feeling we did not have time.  The next day proved me right as it was quite difficult to install.

Our evening out involved touring two favourite gardens and that will be a separate post (or maybe even two).

Monday, 18 April 2016

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in the front garden, Tulip ‘Leo’ in bloom and bud

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Tulip ‘Leo’

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Smokey loves when I stay home.

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contentment

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Calvin

My mission was to get the west side back garden bed weeded, and to do my least favourite garden project: planting new plants.

Allan rassled two of the three new fifteen foot long bamboo screens into place.  (Fortunately for me and the garden, the tide was not good for boating this weekend.)

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before

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how he attached it (Allan’s photo); it was heavy and the slats wanted to slip down.

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Allan’s photo: It wasn’t easy.  He attached it on the Nora’s (Alicia’s) side.

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Allan’s photo; I wanted it high, and also wanted to be able to weed easily underneath.

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after….ahhhh….It should last a couple of years, at least.

In the great garden design book, The Inward Garden, Julie Moir Messervy writes about how we can look back to childhood to figure out what archetype of garden appeals to most.  Some people like a promontory, with an expansive view, and tend to clip down their shrubs in a way that I find utterly shocking.  I like a cave, an enclosed and private and secret space, and it bothers me a great deal when I can see out of the sides of the garden.  I do like to keep the view open at the south end of the garden in winter, to see the port buildings, so I don’t plant anything evergreen at that end.  It’s tricky to rely on shrubs to give me the sense of enclosure that I crave, because living things die.  I recall that Ann Lovejoy said something like the best privacy hedge is…a fence!

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Allan’s photo: I got some weeding done before I had to start PLANTING.

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Having to PLANT THINGS kept me from getting this area weeded.

I did get over half of my ladies in waiting planted.  What a relief.  Roses ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ (what a shame her own name is buried), ‘Westerland’, and ‘Jude the Obscure’, many Nicotiana langsdorfii (to have sort of a theme among the onesies), two more Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ and a ‘Cardinal’ red twig dogwood and one of the two Stipa barbata and more…  I would rather have kept weeding, but the planting simply had to be done.

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stopped planting at 7 PM

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evening garden with moon

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a precious little iris

We were able to have a campfire for the first time this year.

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Allan’s photo

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view from the fire

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The second awesome section of bamboo that Allan had installed, and then he had mowed, too.

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pulmonaria and camassia (and weeds)

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I’d been looking forward to this dinner for a long time.

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Allan’s photo, second course

Oh how I wished for another day off to finish weeding the west bed.  Or a week off to get ALL the weeding done.  However, work calls tomorrow.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

gdiaries

from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

My mother’s birthday was April 16th.

1995 (age 71):

April 17:  Bruce still sick and I have a cold, the first one since I started getting flu shots years ago.  Rec’d Foster Farms order all in excellent condition.  Only one broken.

April 18:  Drs appt (Bruce) and glucose test (me).

1998 (age 74):

April 16:  12:30-4:30  Worked 4 hours again on the strawberries and only got 3 rows.  It seems like I’m poking the plants in fast but it takes quite a while to plant these wide rows.  Al [her brother] called tonight and we chatted quite awhile  Skyler called, too. [It was mom’s 74th birthday.]

April 17:  11:30 to 4:30  5 hours today and still not finished.  I have 10 rows done and probably can finish tomorrow.  The berry plants in the two square trays are huge.  I think they are the first ones I dug from the rows by the asparagus.

April 18:  I worked on the strawberries 2 hours and got rained in.

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Friday, 16 October 2015

Although I felt a distinct lack of energy on the first day off, I did apply myself to removing some salmonberry roots from the bogsy woods.  You probably won’t even be able to tell the difference between before and after unless you look quite carefully.

before

before

after

after

Some of the salmonberry removal is just the cheating of cutting it to ground level as it is so wrapped around the roots of the alder trees.

Allan went out to Roots to acquire a salad for our evening meal.

at Roots Juice, Salad and Java Bar in downtown Ilwaco

at Roots Juice, Salad and Java Bar in downtown Ilwaco

After more mostly ineffectual garden puttering, evening arrived and we had a campfire.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Gazing into the fire can mesmerize us for an evening.

Gazing into the fire can mesmerize us for an evening.

I just love poking the fire with a stick.

I just love poking the fire with a stick.

Smokey sitting on his own chair. (Allan's photo)

Smokey sitting on his own chair. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

After sausages cooked on campfire forks comes the ritual roasting of buttered, salted corn wrapped in foil.

After sausages cooked on campfire forks comes the ritual roasting of buttered, salted corn wrapped in foil.

the lights of the port buildings, foggy lights from boats, and to the far right the bright windows of Salt Hotel

the lights of the port buildings, foggy glow from boats’ lights, and to the far right the bright windows of Salt Hotel

Then Allan kindly did the paperwork for me for the sale of a photo to Rodale Press.  An author found said photo on this very blog.  I said to Allan I would give him half the money if he would just sort out the paperwork for me, and he brought it to me all ready to sign, even marked with a sticky note and an arrow in the signature place, and he walked to the post office so it would go out in tomorrow morning’s mail.

With our 11 PM viewing of The Amazing Race on telly, we had our salad from Roots.  The generous portion filled two dinner plates.

Peaches, apples, pears, feta, and slivered almonds on spring and Romaine lettuce with pear gorgonzola dressing

Peaches, apples, pears, feta, and slivered almonds on spring and Romaine lettuce with pear gorgonzola dressing

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday turned out to be a social day, a good excuse for not doing much weeding.  Our Kathleen arrived first for a visit.  Allan brought in a salamander to show us.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

A bit later, Steve of the Bayside Garden arrived to collect some of the alstroemeria that I had dug up last week.  (Kathleen and I both warned him of its aggressive nature.  He has room for such a thug.)  Of course, we all took a garden tour.

Kathleen, Steve, and me

Kathleen, Steve, and me

Smokey kept close to us. (Allan's photo)

Smokey kept close to us. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Onyx came to visit from the Starvation Alley house next door. (Allan's photo)

Onyx came to visit from the Starvation Alley house next door. (Allan’s photo)

I demonstrated that the berries of Leycesteria formosa taste like burnt caramel. Steve agreed.

I demonstrated that the berries of Leycesteria formosa taste like burnt caramel. Steve agreed.

I told him how hard it is to edit salmonberries out of the bogsy woods.  He said he and John prevailed in his garden by going well down into the ground with a pick.  I’m just not sure I can find the energy so I always use the excuse that I like to leave part of the garden wild (even though I would really love to cultivate every last inch).

sorting out some alstromeria roots for Steve

sorting out some alstroemeria roots for Steve

I asked the usual question of our guests on whether or not I should turn the paths outside the fence to gravel instead of lawn.  Steve likes the lawn.  The dilemma continues.  I may dither well through winter, or even for years.

Allan had his own project for the late afternoon:

Allan's photo: He was working on a trellis project but ran out of purple paint.

Allan’s photo: He was working on a trellis project but ran out of purple paint. It will be sawed out of this broken fence piece we were given by Denny of Klipsan Beach Cottages.

We decided it was time to start lighting our Halloween lights.

We decided it was time to start lighting our Halloween lights. (Allan’s photo)

In the evening, we left the property (!!) to go to a concert at the Sou’wester Lodge.  There may be more of this with the shorter days of autumn and winter.  I feel that having had a couple of almost completely successful, long, not-leaving-the-property weekends, I am more open now to short excursions.

On the way, we photographed the Halloween display at Griffin Gallery.

downtown Ilwaco

downtown Ilwaco

At The Sou’wester

vintage rental trailers at the Sou'wester

vintage rental trailers at the Sou’wester

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: The trailer on the left is the one I lived in from late December ’92 to April ’93

south side of the lodge and one of the trailers

south side of the lodge and one of the trailers

in the living room: LPs and a display rack showing which one is playing

in the living room: LPs and a display rack showing which one is playing

chatting with owner Thandi Rosenbaum (Allan's photo)

chatting with owner Thandi Rosenbaum (Allan’s photo)

trailer photos on the wall (Allan's photo)

trailer photos on the wall (Allan’s photo)

the quiet, introspective music of Vikesh Kapoor (Allan's photo)

the quiet, introspective music of Vikesh Kapoor (Allan’s photo)

Vivek’s music was extra quiet and sad that night; he said he usually stands to play and is not perhaps quite as somber.  At one point he asked, “Are you ok with this kind of mood?” and an audience member responded, “Yeah, go darker!”

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Allan went shopping across the river.  I embarked on the project of shifting the debris pile outside the deer fence.  It’s not the most necessary project.  Yesterday, I could only explain to Steve and Kathleen that the big messy pile is a throwback to my grandmother’s compost pile; she composted all plant material and the humusy smell of her compost pile was a pleasure to me as a child.  I end up with lots more debris and am selective, avoiding most weeds and any diseased foliage.

the work area of the garden, next to Nora's driveway

the work area of the garden, next to Nora’s driveway

While Nora was alive, I made this a flower area for her to enjoy.  Now there is no one to see it most of the time but me and Allan.  This is the area where I keep dithering about whether or not to turn the paths to gravel.  Guests and readers mostly vote for lawn (even though it is brown and dormant in summer in this spot).

before

before

after, with two wheelbarrows of good soil moved to the inner garden.

after, the pile shifted to one end, with two wheelbarrows of good soil moved to the inner garden.

I disturbed several frogs.

I disturbed several frogs.

Growing potatoes in the debris pile proved to be successful, with more left to harvest from the bottom layer.

today's harvest

today’s harvest: red fingerling and Yukon Gold

I had way too many potatoes for us but over the following few days, gave some to our neighbour to the east, Jessika, and our neighbour across the street, Terry, and will be delivering some to Garden Tour Nancy and to Melissa and Dave. While giving away potatoes to the neighbors we heard that there had been a mother bear and her two cubs next door in their tree. A porcupine had also been sighted on the lawn across the street.

Allan returned with purple paint (and a necessary cord for a computer problem he’d been having) and finished his trellis project.

Allan's photo: He completed filling in the empty space on the west garage wall.

Allan’s photo: He completed filling in the empty space on the west garage wall.

Monday, 19 October 2015

I had so been hoping for the predicted rainy reading day, as I wished to simply sit and read Anne Hillerman’s Rock with Wings, a Navajo mystery in the style of her father, Tony Hillerman.  That was not to be.  The weather was misty, dampish, but gardenable.

The garden looked autumnal again, even though Allan had mowed on Friday.

The garden looked autumnal again, even though Allan had mowed on Friday.

Today’s project, after some light weeding here and there: Move much of the strawberry bed to enable an extension of the scree garden all around the boat.

before

before: 1:50 PM.

I discarded the center strawberries with big thick roots...

I discarded the center strawberries with big thick roots…

and transplanted the offshoots into containers behind the garage and along an edge of the newly cleared debris pile

and transplanted the offshoots into containers behind the garage and along an edge of the newly cleared debris pile

I also made a planter of strawberry plants for neighbour Jessika (of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm) to plant in her garden, even heeling them into the long narrow plastic container with some soil.  That’s significantly nicer than giving away plants because I am something of a soil hoarder.

3:30 PM

3:30 PM

This segued into cleaning out the tomato and pepper plants from the greenhouse and dumping the old potting soil into the future scree bed.

5:20 PM

5:20 PM

the last of the tomatoes and peppers

the last of the tomatoes and peppers

THAT segued into moving some potted tender plants into the greenhouse: scented geraniums, a Salvia laciniatum, a couple of agaves, and more.  Allan helped me shift the biggest ones.  With the mild winter predicted, quite possibly they all could have stayed outdoors.

a possibly unnecessary move into the greenhouse

a possibly unnecessary move into the greenhouse

Several passion flowers still bloom on the arbour near the greenhouse.

Several passion flowers still bloom on the arbour near the greenhouse.

the very last sweet pea pickings

the very last sweet pea pickings

The drizzly day had not even required the putting on of a rain jacket.  At the end, I walked back to the bogsy woods.

lots of good shade garden colour for late October

lots of good shade garden colour for late October (pulmonaria and hardy fuchsias)

a hardy fuchsia with delicate flowers

a hardy fuchsia with delicate flowers

creeping buttercup creeping back on the edge of the swale!

creeping buttercup creeping back on the edge of the swale!

ten minutes later

ten minutes later

a welcome sight: some water in the meander line ditch

a welcome sight: some water in the meander line ditch

In the last two hours before dark, Allan went to the Ilwaco Community Building to plant some hellebore and cyclamen starts given us by Our Kathleen.  They were slated for Golden Sands but I decided to divide them among our two jobs where we have little budget for plants.

little babies going into the ground

little babies going into the ground

and some more Sedum 'Autumn Joy' added

and some more Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ added

and then he made cookies! (Allan's photos)

and then he made cookies! (Allan’s photos)

Tomorrow: back to work, because we are taking Wednesday off for a garden lecture (me) and boating (Allan).

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 2 October 2015

I had the most wonderful long sleep with no artificial sleep aid, most unusual and most welcome….even though I did feel I had lost half the day.  When I finally went outside, thinking to putter and weed a bit, I suddenly remembered two projects that had come to mind this past week.

Yesterday morning, I had had a revelation that the bed running next to the garage could be made more of an ornamental grass Piet Oudolfy type of garden.

Here it was yesterday morning.

Here it was yesterday morning.

So first I transplanted two big Miscanthus into the middle bed of those three.  The far in the distance bed is a debris pile at present.

the west side garden where tall ornamental grasses will grow next year...

the west side garden where tall ornamental grasses will grow next year…

I am still trying to decide whether or not to turn the shabby grass paths to gravel.  I do love a gravel garden and yet the grass, even dormant, feels so soft underfoot.

And then I suddenly remembered that I had decided the four long low containers by the south wall must be moved.  I think they would be wonderful containers on the edge of a deck.  But I do not have a deck, or even the prospect of a deck.  I always thought I could successfully grown beans or peas up the side of the house on bamboo stakes.  After five years of failure at that plan, I was sick to death of the same-iness of those long planters.

before

before, 3:30 PM

Much digging of potting soil into buckets ensued, along with the digging out of two whiskey barrels that were outside the deer fence.  Allan helped me move the empty barrels into place.

Devery stopped by partway through the frenzy.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photos; I want to expand the scree garden all around the boat by moving the strawberries that are on the other side.

I was telling Devery all about the strawberry plan (because we share them with her)

I was telling Devery all about the strawberry plan (because we share them with her)

I gave her some lavender.

I gave her some lavender.

Then I got back to finishing the big exhausting project.

after, 6 PM

after, 6 PM

I’m happy with having a variety of heights against the house instead of the long low stretch of four identical planters.

If I can find a place for these, I can grow strawberries in them, thus freeing up the strawberry bed for a scree garden expansion. (Allan's photo)

If I can find a place for these, I can grow strawberries in them.  (Allan’s photo)

Another frenzy followed of moving a plant table from behind the garage onto the patio, by which time it was too dark to take a photo.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

After a day of pleasant garden puttering, and some small worries about wind, the wind did die down at dusk and we were able to have a campfire with Our Kathleen, Dave, and Melissa.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the shade garden looking fine at dusk

the shade garden looking fine at dusk

a simply perfect autumn campfire evening

a simply perfect autumn campfire evening

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I wish to relive the idyllic time from all angles.

I wish to relive the idyllic time from all angles.

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We had three kinds of sausages, buttered corn foil-roasted in the fire, beer, cider, or root beer, Allan’s homemade pumpkin pie, Melissa’s brownies; what a feast.  Smokey joined us; the other cats are not campfire aficionados.

To make the evening even more perfect, I looked at my phone and saw that garden writer Ann Lovejoy, who I had just realized this day was on Facebook, had accepted my friend request.  This meant the world to me as her gardening talk over 25 years ago had changed my life.

"Plant Vessel" Ann Lovejoy

my garden boat, the “Plant Vessel” Ann Lovejoy!

Afterward, as Kathleen was leaving, I saw that the J’s house across the street had all its Halloween lights up.  As I took my camera one house down to take a photo, I suddenly exclaimed:  “Damn, I left my property!”  Kathleen said something like, “All of Lake Street is yours,” and I said, “Some would beg to differ.”  So much for not setting foot off my property for five days.  (I realized than that, because there is still compostable debris in our trailer,  I would at some point have had to set foot out on the sidewalk to unload it.)

My photo did not even turn out well, but Allan’s did:

The J's house across the street.

The J’s house across the street. (Allan’s photo)

next: three more luxurious days off

 

 

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

While I puttered in the garden at home, Allan did about three hours of weeding at the Ilwaco Community Building garden.

entry garden, before and after

entry garden, before and after (minus a haze of tiny weeds)

cyclamen in the entry garden

cyclamen in the entry garden

Afterward, he picked up some alpine strawberries for Our Kathleen, from a garden where we used to weed on School Hill.  We had given it up when it became difficult for me to work on the steep slope.  Now it is in the care of Flowering Hedge Design with occasional help from Sea Star Gardening (our dear friends Melissa and Dave).  Allan knew I would be pleased to see Ann’s garden (in photographs) so well mulched and weeded.

The neighbour cats were at play.

The neighbour cats were at play.

a well cared for garden

a well cared for garden

three bags of alpine strawberries, one for Kathleen.

three bags of alpine strawberries, one for Kathleen.

Meanwhile, I’d been weeding and transplanting astilbes from dry areas to damper areas, and removing a large bronze fennel.

The spiders are enjoying the new arbour.

The spiders are enjoying the new arbour.

Here's the view WITH the fennel on Sept. 7th.

Here’s the view WITH the fennel on Sept. 7th.

and today with it gone.

and today with it gone.

Maybe I have opened up the view in a way that will make walking down the west side path more enticing.

I spent most of the afternoon fretting about the weather, checking various wind forecasts.  We had plans for an evening campfire with Dave and Melissa and yet the wind was gusting at 20 mph.  When Allan got home, he agreed it was too windy and we canceled the campfire dinner.

Imagine the trees whipping back and forth.

Imagine the trees whipping back and forth.

I went indoors to read, continuing my plan to not boot up the computer till the end of the long weekend…except for the irresistable peeks onto Facebook from my phone.  I already felt disgruntled when the wind died completely at dusk, and to make matters worse when I did go online from my phone, I found that there had been a “supermoon eclipse”.  My newsfeed was full of photos of a big red moon.  What a maddening result of (mostly) staying off the internet for a couple of days.  I had been quite in the dark about the big event (and Allan had an inkling, but forgot).  Now wouldn’t it have been nice to have had that campfire and been surprised by a big red moon (even though we would not have seen the eclipse from our tree-surrounded fire circle)?  I finished my book and ended the day in a grumpy mood with a viewing of an episode of the never-cheering Fear the Walking Dead.

Monday, 28 September 2015

I simply had to shake off the “I missed the eclipse!” malaise.  Allan had plans for a boating excursion.  Beforehand, we went to NIVA green to acquire a couple of birthday presents for two friends.  (This meant I have to leave my property not once but twice on the long weekend!)

Heather’s shop, our favourite, had a collection of old postcards, some with writing on the back, and I got one for myself that I found especially touching.

the postcard

the postcard

and the back of the postcard, with the story of a dream

and the back of the postcard, with the story of a dream

She writes to her mother and sisters: “I dreamed about all of you last night.  Thought I was there and you and I had arranged about a table you found in the attic.  I didn’t want you to put it there (ha ha).” I wish I could decipher the part where she writes “…I don’t have anything from you..”  Something about the postcard made me feel all verklempt, not in a bad way, just in the way of savoring human contact in the same way that I feel when I read room journals at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

I bought myself another little present, too...

I bought myself another little present, too…I won’t wear these spider earrings around Melissa!

After driving me back home, Allan went off boating (next post) and I gardened.  I was outraged to find that the deer had been inside the new arbour eating my new Joseph’s Coat rose.

much nibbled foliage!

much nibbled foliage!

I knew they COULD easily jump the front fence…and yet had hoped they would be creatures of habit (the habit of walking through the area where the new arbour now blocks them) and not go to that extreme.  Now more deer proofing would be necessary.  I have enough deer in my gardens at work; I want to keep them out at home.

We can run wires between these two posts.

We can run wires between this post and the new arbour to the west..

We can put a post in the corner and run more wires.

We can put a post in the east corner and run more wires.

But what can we do about the short gate??

But what can we do about the short gate??

While pondering that, I took some photos of a shrub that I cannot identify.  Nor could Todd.

an angular evergreen shrub

an angular evergreen shrub

It has white and grey berries.

It has white and grey berries.  (That’s a melianthus leaf intruding.)

I am going to post this on the Plant Idents group.

I am going to post this on the Plant Idents group.

A mere ten minutes later, Ian Barclay writes:  “Hymenanthera angustifolia, aka Melicytus angustifolius”.  Thank you!

In the afternoon, Debbie and her dog Ralph came over to get some divisions of plants for the Master Gardener fall plant sale.  I gave her some large Fuchsia magellanica pieces from one that keeps coming back in the wrong place in my garden (a bed that went from shade to sun when we cut down a big old rhododendron to get a view of Cape Disappointment’s hills).

Debbie and Ralph wheeling the fuchsia.

Debbie and Ralph wheeling the fuchsia.

I did not have my camera at hand till the end of the visit, so you will have to take my word that Ralph greatly enjoyed the garden.

my good friend Ralph

my good friend Ralph

After loading up the fuchsia, some sanguisorbas, some pink turtlehead, some astilbes, and plenty of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Debbie and I had a good visit leaning up against the front fence.

Later, I even sat down for awhile on the patio.

Later, I even sat down for awhile on the patio.

Ironically, after the cancellation of yesterday’s campfire due to the wind that maddeningly died down at dusk, today gave us perfect weather.  When Allan returned from boating we decided to go ahead and have a fire on our own and have another one next weekend with Dave, Melissa and Our Kathleen (weather permitting).

sunset sky

sunset sky to the west

and to the southwest over the port

and to the southwest over the port and Cape Disappointment

a nice fire

a nice fire

gathering kindling (Allan's photo)

gathering kindling (Allan’s photo)

Smokey got his own chair.

Smokey got his own chair.

We got our full moonrise over the east side of the garden.

We got our full moonrise over the east side of the garden.

Allan's photo: The moon at the end of Lake Street had a pink hue.

Allan’s photo: The moon at the end of Lake Street had a pink hue.  “Pink, pink, pink, pink moon.”

Allan's photo, one block east.

Allan’s photo, one block east.

Allan's photo, Lake Street moon

Allan’s photo, Lake Street moon

Allan's photo: moon over the work trailer!

Allan’s photo: moon over the work trailer!

and roasted our ears of corn in foil with butter, salt and pepper.

We roasted our ears of corn in foil with butter, salt and pepper.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Just for fun, I had posted some fire photos on Facebook and tagged Ilwaco artist Don Nisbett who had commented a few weeks ago that he’d like to smoke a cigar by our camp fire.  To our delight, he arrived as the fire was dying down, and proceeded to puff a fragrant cigar (and I do mean that it smelled good).  We had plenty of wood and built the fire up again.

Don by the fire

Don by the fire

Don and Allan

Don and Allan

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

moon over the gearshed

moon over the gearshed

campfire and moon

campfire and moon

We sat around talking for almost three hours and it more than made up for having missed the moon and fire the previous evening.

Before leaving, Don showed Allan the details in the Nisbett tiles that we have in our kitchen, depicting the Port of Ilwaco.

Before leaving, Don showed Allan the details in the Nisbett tiles that we have in our kitchen, depicting the Port of Ilwaco.

Next:  Allan’s Monday paddle of the Surfside canals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 8 May 2015

Today we had a big annuals project that consumed much of the day.

The Depot Restaurant

We checked on the Depot Restaurant garden first.

looks like the lattice is painted....

looks like the lattice is painted….

Emergency bucket watering was needed by the front entry.

Emergency bucket watering was needed by the front entry.

I see we need to keep an eye on the garden as the sprinklers are not yet on due to the restaurant being painted.

assessed from the van that tulips in the barrel will hold it for a few more days...and drove on.

assessed from the van that tulips in the barrel will hold it for a few more days…and drove on.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

Our mission was to pick up loads of Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, yellow calibrachoas, and white bacopa for planting at Andersen’s RV Park.

lots of beautiful hanging baskets

lots of beautiful hanging baskets

Nancy's basket creations

Nancy’s basket creations

IMG_9255

Calibrachoa 'Vampire'

Calibrachoa ‘Vampire’

me and Nancy picking out some yellow Eckinbeckias for Long Beach

me and Nancy picking out some yellow Echinbeckias for Long Beach

some are yellow, some our orange

some are yellow, some our orange (indicated in small letters on back of tag)

I’m trying the new echinbeckias, a cross between echinacea and rudbeckia, for the first time this year.

Andersen’s RV Park

The Andersen’s planting job, which involved Allan transferring soil from two old barrels to two new ones, and setting up the three painted planters (six actually, as they are stacked one on one for three displays), and both of us planting all the annuals, plumb wore me out so only two rather nondescript after photos were taken. Allan had left his camera at home.

the six barrels, planted

the six barrels, planted (showing five, with the west RV parking in background)

three colourful planters in the poppy field, which needs weeding but we have no time

three colourful planters in the poppy field, which needs weeding but we have no time.

Long Beach

On the way home from our dinner yesterday, I’d noticed under streetlights that the planters near NIVA green needed to have old bulb foliage removed, so we stopped to do that…

and noticed these California poppies in a nearby planter

and noticed these California poppies and Tulip ‘Formosa’ in a nearby planter.

Then, at the welcome sign, we pulled out loads of dead bulb foliage and planted the echinbeckias, some Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, and some yellow bidens (in front) and white bacopa (in back).  I did not use as many Butterfly as last year deadheading them was such a chore.  I do hope the echinbeckias are as showy and easier maintenance.

front side, no flowers as yet

front side, no flowers as yet

back side, with the bacopa planted...still need to get taller plants in there.

back side, with the bacopa planted…still need to get taller plants in there.

That’s all we had time for as we had a social plan:  The weather was at last good enough to allow a campfire evening with our Kathleen.

at home

evening sunshine from the fire circle

evening sunshine from the fire circle (with Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’)

Mary observing

Mary observing

dinner prep (sausages and whole wheat buns)

dinner prep (sausages and whole wheat buns)

ah...at last the campfire we'd been hoping for, on the last evening of Kathleen's vacation week.

ah…at last the campfire we’d been hoping for, on the last evening of Kathleen’s vacation week.

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I relished almost a week of rainy weather during the second half of January.  On the nicer days, I had to go out and garden.  I just can’t sit in and read all day on a nice day, much as I would like it.  In my 20s and early 30s, I was quite capable of staying in no matter what the weather…until the fateful year, round about 1988, when I became obsessed with gardening.

Friday, 16 January 2015

The big gardening excitement today was that MaryBeth came over with some sizeable peony starts.

peonies from Debbie

peonies from Debbie

Peonies are terribly expensive to purchase, so I was pleased indeed.

We had a good visit and then walked around the garden so that I could pickaxe out some starts of Darmera peltata for her.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo; Smokey is walking behind me and so is MaryBeth.

handing off the Darmera to MaryBeth

handing off the Darmera to MaryBeth

DSC00445

Saturday, 17 January 2015

The weather cooperated for reading, as these photos from inside the house show.

view to the south

view to the south

patio water gardens (and the last of the paperwhites, done)

patio water gardens (and the last of the paperwhites, done)

just the weather I wanted to see

just the weather I wanted to see

bogsy woods telephoto

bogsy woods telephoto

Monday, 19 January 2015

All of these gardening days are actually half days, as we are still firmly on night owl staycation time.  Weather forced me out on the 19th to weed here and there in a scattered way.  And I got the peony starts planted.

hellebore in the front garden

hellebore in the front garden

west side, some curly teucrium piled to give to Debbie for plant sale

west side, some curly teucrium piled to give to Debbie for plant sale

west side, some crocuses in bloom

west side, some crocuses in bloom

spot of sunshine (and I like the way the soil looks)

spot of sunshine (and I like the way the soil looks so rich and crumbly)

Clematis 'Freckles' has been blooming for week after winter week.

Clematis ‘Freckles’ has been blooming for week after winter week.

I should order one of those Clematis for Klipsan Beach Cottages and for the Anchorage for some midwinter joy.  I am pretty sure I got it from Bluestone Perennials, but a search shows they don’t carry it, so maybe I got it at Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, Oregon.  They do, indeed, list assorted Clematis cirrhosa in their catalog (and I would like to acquire more cultivars for the winter blooms).

buttery ranunculus

buttery ranunculus

Often while I am gardening at home, I see the Life Flight helicopter go by, and it gives a moment of sadness as I know that it is a scary emergency for someone.

It is going from the hospital in Ilwaco to a larger city hospital inland.

It is going from the hospital in Ilwaco to a larger city hospital inland.

My young Garrya has winter tassels.  I’d be thrilled were it not for the sad fact that the leaves are all spotted and ugly. I wonder if I should pick them off?

sad looking leaves

sad looking leaves

I have too many weeds to pull to fuss with picking leaves off of the garrya.

I have too many weeds to pull to fuss with picking leaves off of the garrya.

I had piled some fairly dry wood into the fire pit and had a strong urge to have the first campfire of the season…

It looked enticing....

It looked enticing….

until I realized there was standing water in the lawn all around it.

until I realized there was standing water in the lawn all around it.

still too wet

still too wet

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I went out with no firm project in mind and then suddenly decided that I would dig an edge outside our west fence all down the Nora side, to make weeding easier.

beginning the afternoon project

beginning the afternoon project, with Smokey in attendance

a half-mooned edge

a half-mooned edge

This is only about one third of the wood that I picked from Nora’s back lawn and brought in for our campfire stash.

storm fall of alder branches

storm fall of alder branches

Meanwhile, on an outing to town, Allan found that some tiny crocus are blooming in the Ilwaco planters.

Allan's photo: By the Ilwaco Pharmacy

Allan’s photo: By the Ilwaco Pharmacy

Allan's photo; we hope passersby are noticing and enjoying.

Allan’s photo; we hope passersby are noticing and enjoying.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I had an audience of noisy crows while I weeded.

I had an audience of noisy crows while I weeded.

I tried out the panorama feature in my new-ish iPhone.

I tried out the panorama feature in my new-ish iPhone.

As I worked in the shady southeast corner of the garden, by the gate that goes to the gear shed next door, I found that the sword ferns are already started to unfurl.  This seems early to me.

There will be a lot of sword fern trimming when we go back to work.

Early unfurling. There will be a lot of sword fern trimming when we go back to work.

Allan gave the lawn its first mowing of the year.

Allan gave the lawn its first mowing of the year.

Hellebore buds in foreground

Hellebore buds in foreground

freshly mowed

freshly mowed, and a barrow of weeds

fragrant winter Lonicera (honeysuckle) in bloom...The hummingbirds were feasting from this.

fragrant winter Lonicera (honeysuckle) in bloom…The hummingbirds were feasting from this.

As dusk came, we were able to get a campfire starts and had our first hot dog roast of the season with the help of some of the dryer wood that I had stashed in the dry storage behind the garage.  The evening felt balmy and the chorus of frogs was loud beyond the bogsy woods.

fire

Thursday, 22 January 2015

I continued weeding along the east fence and next to the bogsy wood.

moss in the bogsy wood

moss in the bogsy wood, and some shells that Sheila once brought me from Mexico.

This area was the focus of my attention.

This area was the focus of my attention.

Onyx from next door kept me company for awhile.

Onyx from next door kept me company for awhile.

Onyx

Onyx

contorted filbert at the end of the center bed

contorted filbert at the end of the center bed

Sunday, 25 January 2015

a sunny day

a sunny day

a rare sighting of Calvin in the garden

a rare sighting of Calvin in the garden

I have found a spot for the two heavy blue wooden chairs, where they will not have to be moved when the lawn gets mowed.  We will use all light, inelegant plastic chairs back by the fire circle (and I won’t have to worry about them getting smashed by falling branches during windstorms).

a most satisfactory idea

a most satisfactory idea

Mary in the garden

Mary in the garden

Calvin and Smokey

Calvin and Smokey

cal

I’m pleased to see Calvin getting braver.

Calvin and the brothers, Smokey and Frosty, are ten, and mother Mary is possibly as old as thirteen.

Sunday was actually hot, in the low 60s.  I turned out a compost bin and further tidied up the debris pile next to Nora’s driveway.

compost

compost bin, before. It is supposed to spin, but doesn’t.

Now that we are no longer collecting compost from the local coffee shop, I have extra bins so I also dragged two of the plastic bins up and placed them right behind the house for composting yard waste (thus decreasing the size of the debris pile).

The job of digging out that non-rototing deep bin plumb wore me out.  Allan came home from his outing and helped me finish, thank goodness (thank Allan, actually).

Aftereward, I went back to the bogsy wood to cool off by looking at water.

still water in the bogsy woods

still water in the bogsy woods

inside the south fence, from the bridge

inside the south fence, from the bridge

I had been wanting since autumn of 2010 to have a bench outside the south fence, by the meander line.  Finally, I had one to spare: the bench that used to provide a sit spot where the blue chairs are now.

mission accomplished at long last!

mission accomplished at long last!

I sat out here very content while the sun went down and because I was quiet, the frogs started chirping…although not in the big pool right in front of me.

the seasonal pool at the meander line

the seasonal pool at the meander line

 

If i hadn't pulled some grass last fall, that pool would be like this area to my left.

If i hadn’t pulled some grass last fall, that pool would be like this area to my left.  (Better for frogs to have some wild areas.)

Mary joined me.

Mary joined me.

She approved of the new bench.

She approved of the new sit spot.

m

 

mary

evening willows and water

evening willows and water

looking west

looking west

looking east

looking east

I could just see, beyond the green gear shed, the roof of the community college annex where I had planned to sign up for a water colour class.  I think it was starting tomorrow and I had simply not mustered up the energy to take it.  I treasure my evenings so much that I did not want to give any up, and I did not feel up to the conversational aspects of taking a class.  I have to admit that the Waterlogue phone app has satisfied some of my need to see how scenes would look as a watercolour.

"painted" with one click.  I know it is cheating!

“painted” with one click. I know it is cheating!

Looking straight south...

Looking straight south…telephoto

I feel I am sitting a bit below the street by the port buildings.  Where I sit used to be waterfront; everything to the south was built on fill in the 1950s.

setting sun over Cape Disappointment from my new sit spot

setting sun over Cape Disappointment from my new sit spot

It would have been the perfect evening for a fire, but we had a party to attend at the Sou’wester Lodge instead (see tomorrow’s post for that).

Monday, 26 January 2015

Still working in the back corner.  This used to be Mount Sod, where the grass dug up from the front garden ended up.  When we began the garden in November 2010, we dug up the front lawn so that I could plant bulbs right away.  The back beds I made with soil piled on newspaper right over the sod.  I planted potatoes in pockets of soil in Mount Sod and they worked very well at cleaning the pile and turning it into good dirt.  But now I want it completely de-spudified so I can plant shrubs and trees.  It turns out to be quite hard to get rid of every last potato.

questing for potatoes

questing for potatoes

I am moving some of the spuds to the debris pile behind the garage, and I’m trying something I read about: planting some of them in cardboard boxes.

Allan gave me some boxes from his shed.

Allan gave me some boxes from his shed.

Planted with Yukon Gold and red fingerling potatoes

Planted with Yukon Gold and red fingerling potatoes

The boxes, with soil in them,  will get buried by debris, and maybe they will make it easier to harvest potatoes at the end of the season.  I might try the same thing with some squash plants, and the foliage can cover the debris pile for the summer.  My eventual plan is to put a cute little garden shed here to provide privacy between the two houses.

a hellebore to enjoy while digging for spuds

a hellebore to enjoy while digging for spuds

On the 26th, I had some reading weather (at last!).  On the 28th, I swanned about with Nancy, and on the 29th we worked.  When we got home from the workday, I heard an ominous dripping sound from under my bathroom floor.  Worse yet, I remembered I had heard it in the wee hours of the night before and thought it was merely the sound of drizzle.  Allan crawled under the house and found this:

29 January: a sad sight indeed

29 January: a sad sight indeed

It was hot water, too.  We had early baths and then turned the water off till the next morning.  The next day, we got a notice from the city that they thought we had a leak somewhere.  That was kind of them, and is also an ominous hint that our bill may be high.  (I hope they  had JUST read our meter!)

Friday, 30 January 2015

To the rescue!

To the rescue!

The plumbing situation had us up very early.  (Allan got a call-back from Taft at 7 AM).  Neither of us had a whole lot of energy as a result.  The air felt rather chilly till I actually got going on a task.

I puttered around with weeding

I puttered around with weeding.

I set myself some small tasks that would give satisfaction.

the weedy base of a rose

the weedy base of a rose

That is a very mean rose, and yet is sentimental to me as it’s a white rambler that I started from a cutting from Maxine’s garden.  Maxine, Jo’s mom, was my first gardening client on the peninsula.

I trimmed the lower branches in order to access the weedy grass.

very satisfying

very satisfying

Allan tied down some branches from the Paul's Himalayan Musk rambling rose.

Allan tied down some branches from the Paul’s Himalayan Musk rambling rose.

Mary enjoyed the sun.

Mary enjoyed the sun.

the contorted filbert

looking north through the contorted filbert

hellebore admiration

hellebore admiration

Smokey and Frosty get a visit from Onyx

Smokey and Frosty get a visit from Onyx

We decided to have a fire.  It took the bellows to get it going.

bellows

I had just been reading an enjoyable psychology book called The Upside of Your Dark Side.  One thing it said was that sometimes we want something more than we actually like it when we get it.  Tonight’s fire was sort of like that, as the temperature had dropped and it was not entirely pleasant to sit out.

campfire

fire

We did enjoy toasting and eating spicey cajun sausages.

dogs

I have Googled what we can toast on a fork that is healthier for summer campfires as we cannot live on a diet of roasted hot dogs.  (Bell peppers and apple slices are one suggestion.)

Moon over the gear shed.

Moon over the gear shed.

I liked the glow in the window of the gate-door.

I liked the glow in the window of the gate-door.

We did not linger outside after our campfire dinner.  I was hoping for rain on Saturday as a large stack of books had been accumulating during all this gardening weather.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Still no rain!  I worked on a blog entry about January outings for awhile but could not stay indoors.  I did not have a big plan so just started some weeding in the front garden.

before

before

The carex (Ice Dancer?) all along the edge looks tatty, so I chopped it hard with hedge shears.

The carex (Ice Dancer?) all along the edge looks tatty, so I chopped it hard with hedge shears.

Early crocuses have nicely clumped up.  I have gotten NO snowdrops so far in my own garden, and I find that disturbing.

Early crocuses have nicely clumped up. I have gotten NO snowdrops so far in my own garden, and I find that disturbing.

I was inspired to radically thin my clump of Rubus lineatus.   I’d planted it with a casual feeling that it would die in winters anyway, as it had died in winter every time I planted it in my former garden.  However, it has thrived and it is spreading vigorously.

That tall...um..Rubus something?? that I wanted for a long time and now have might be a bit vigourous.

From summertime: “That tall…um..Rubus something?? that I wanted for a long time and now have might be a bit vigourous.”

Rubus linneatus...amazing leaves.  Also had it, and it died, and I just bought it again....a familiar theme.

In my former garden: “Rubus linneatus…amazing leaves. Also had it, and it died, and I just bought it again….a familiar theme.”

The new leaves have a pretty little white feathery effect, provided by silvery-white undersides, when they start to emerge.  I don’t have a good photo of that.  Wikipedia commons does:

800px-Rubus_lineatus

So in the winter, I could see how it was spreading into other things, including my very special new tree (protected by bamboo).

The bamboo protects my variegated Davidia.

The bamboo to the right protects my variegated Davidia.

All the stems of the Rubus came up with a good yank except for this one, on the edge of a hellebore, that needed some hard shoveling.

All the stems of the Rubus came up with a good yank except for this one, on the edge of a hellebore, that needed some hard shoveling.

The Rubus is now strictly editing.  (In the foreground is a bamboo pole for a lily support).

The Rubus is now strictly editing. (In the foreground is a bamboo pole for a lily support).

Got lots of rooted clumps with sprouts at the base.  Planted some in the bogsy woods...to regret later?  and saved some for Debbie to collect for the plant sale, if she wants them.

Got lots of rooted clumps with sprouts at the base. Planted some in the bogsy woods…to regret later? and saved some for Debbie to collect for the plant sale, if she wants them.

end of day; Allan had kindly dug out some running clumps of the carex (also saved for Debbie).

end of day; Allan had kindly dug out some running clumps of the carex (also saved for Debbie).

a young witchhazel just coming into bloom by the front gate

a young witchhazel just coming into bloom by the front gate

My BIG plan for January had been to get a load of maybe five yards of mulch delivered to build up the edges of some of the garden beds.  I delayed too long, and now rain (reading time!) is predicted.  (Surely on Sunday!)  A load of soil blocked our garage access and needs to be moves as quickly as possible.  I think I will just get one yard at time at the end of work days since my BIG plan did not come to fruition.

To close the month, we went to a musical performance at the Sou’wester.  (See tomorrow’s post.)  I have extended staycation for at least one more week.

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