Posts Tagged ‘cats in the garden’

Thursday, 30 November 2017

I had been exhausted enough so that I slept late and missed most of a good gardening day.  Since I usually manage only five or six hours of sleep, I welcome an eight hour sleep even if it cuts into the day.

In the afternoon, I managed some gardening accomplishments.

I wanted to improve the south east view from my south window by cutting down a tatty looking Sanguisorba ‘Korean Snow’.


after, giving a bit more depth to the winterscape

In the center bed, one of the good things about Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is that the old foliage pulls right off without any clipping necessary.


after; now the crocuses will show better

Rozanne debris

Just pulling some old cosmos made another area look somewhat better.



The last thing I wanted to accomplish in my two hours of gardening time was to take down a big stand of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ so that I could see a smoke bush better.



I left that pile of debris lying where it fell because of my compost bin situation.

I started a pile across the path from the compost bins until I can get their contents lowered.

temporary pile

my compost bin problem, yesterday; it is even taller now.

The bins will make me a lot of free mulch.  Allan said we could shift them over, sometime when and if all three are empty, and add a fourth pallet bin.  However, I think the problem is that I put three to five big balls of basket soil and plants from Long Beach in them.  Next year, if I set those out separately to break down. I think I might have enough room for work debris and home debris.  Just in case I never have all three empty at the same time again!

I hope for a nice day tomorrow, to empty the third one off to the side, and start shifting and breaking down the piles.

I took a big rooted piece of Darmera peltata to the outer swale and tossed it at the edge of the seasonal pond, just to give it a chance.  The bridge to the outer garden would be deadly slick to walk on, were it not for the wire mesh that gives good footing. We must remember to re-staple the end at the gate though, as it has become a bent up foot-tripper.

I saw that the big pile of crab pots has been moved out from the corner by the gear shed next door.

My corner view is back, of a tarp and old board.  At night, I will be able to see more lights from the port.

I admired a selection of still-blooming hardy fuchsias.

Helianthus ‘Gold Lace’ is finally blooming.

Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ and smokebush

Skooter by the water boxes

All afternoon (all two hours of it), I wore these gloves of Allan’s, only because I found them in my pocket from when I took them and did not use them on Crab Pot Tree decorating day.  I love them.  I find them so much more comfortable than blue Atlas gloves.  Finally, a glove other than “non latex exam gloves” that I can stand to work in.  They let me feel what I was doing.

good brown “Wonder Grip” gloves

Here is a useful tip that I read in Fine Gardening magazine.  When your glove wears out a finger, cut a good finger out of another even more worn out glove and insert it into the finger space.  The reader tip said that even works if you put a glove finger into the thumb space.  I will try it.

Yesterday, an artist friend from Ocean Park, Carole B., dropped off a package for me because she is down sizing.  I waited till this evening to open it so that my appreciation would not be rushed.

It contained treasures.

Carole herself made this cloth beach cottage:

adorned with treasures from the beach

And she made these brightly coloured kitten mittens (shown with a plush kitty):

Allan says these will be “wall art”…the mittens, not the plush toy, which is now on the back of a chair.

The main feature of the box was “cottage books”.

I immediately sat down to read Woodland Style, for which she wrote a note saying it was “for Allan, because he builds things”.

It is full of natural projects, including this amazing bird feeder hat.  I think Mr Tootlepedal should have one, and set his camera on automatic and sit outside to have his photo taken.

You can read more about Erica Fielder’s bird feeder hats here and here.

I must do this on my round table that sits out in the bogsy woods:

The book is full of more whimsical headgear decorated with pine cones, bark, flowers, and moss, ideas for making furniture and art from roots and branches and natural embellishments, and even recipes for foraged foods..

I look forward to delving into the rest of the stack of cottage books.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Back to just six hours of sleep. I had hoped for a clear day to empty one compost bin and start chopping and shifting debris.  Cold wind daunted me at first, soon followed by rain.

Allan started working on the window box project outside, which he prefers so as to not spread sawdust around his workshop.

He was soon driven into the work shop by rain.

I finished my latest Steinbeck book.  Even though it was excellent, I did not enjoy it as much as the others, because I didn’t especially like most of the characters.  Steinbeck could write a good female character, but in this book the one young woman character is just a background prop for the story.

It is one of his farm workers trilogy, along with Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath.

It did share the detailed Steinbeckian descriptions of places:

Doc was the one main character that I did like.

My favourite passage in the book:

The book came with something I’d never seen in all my many interlibrary loans, a bookmark saying “Read Me First.”

I was glad to finish it. Tonight, we will watch the old movie of The Grapes of Wrath. I have a feeling I will like it much better than In Dubious Battle.

I have a growing stack of library books to read next.

The cozy cat mystery must be read soon because it is another interlibrary loan.

As soon as tomorrow’s busy Crab Pot Tree day is over, my hope is to have nothing especially social till Christmas eve, leaving lots of time for reading and compost-turning.

Before dinner and the Grapes of Wrath film, I succumbed to the Van Engelen 40% off end of season sale and will soon have 550 more bulbs of crocus and miniature narcissi to plant.

Read Full Post »

Friday, 16 June 2017

Finally, the four days I had so been looking forward to had arrived.  Unfortunately, Friday was not entirely a day off, although the work tasks were small ones.  (Most of Allan’s rather different weekend will follow in tomorrow’s post.)

Longtime readers may notice we are not going to Hardy Plant Study Weekend this year.  That’s because it is in Canada.  Too far to go in gardening season. I do miss the touring of many gardens. 


I was hoping to get at least two done of the home goals on the work board.


This is the rather amazing amount of rain we’d had.


J’s house reflected.

At the J’s, I placed two Pistachio hydrangeas, dug up the two pitiful ones, and left the planting for Allan.


The less sad of the two pitifuls can try out life behind the birdbath.


Allan’s photo


more stupid landscape fabric removed (Allan’s photo)


hydrangeas spaced out for more room


a snail hoping for a ride

Allan also kindly did some weeding next door at Devery’s; some grasses were daunting her.





He took a tired old hebe out of his own garden:



and replaced it with a new one.

I had gotten inspired by a photo on the Tootlepedal blog to want a lattice piece to make a vine go over the front porch entry.  Allan found some wire that did just the trick. The vine in question dies back in fall so this wire may come in handy for Halloween decor.


Allan’s photo.  Vine is Lamprocapnos scandens (yellow bleeding heart vine)

While running errands, he also added two Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ to our barrel planter at The Depot Restaurant (easier in afternoon than in the evening when the parking lot is full). There he found a monster bindweed that we had missed.



At home, I applied some blood meal to certain plants, just to give them a boost.  This attracted attention from next door.



our handsome neighbour, Rudder

The storm had rearranged the old rose by the back garden entrance. Much clipping ensued.


Later, Devery next door got the roses.

You may recall that the Ladies in Waiting area was pretty full again this week. I seriously applied myself to planting in the afternoon and early evening, with a big anxious push to get done at the very end.


all planted! every last one!


I put my tradescantia, called Sweet Kate, not Blue and Gold, in a hanging basket to see how long it takes snails to find it.  


Alliums and Geum (Allan’s photo)

At the very last bit of time at home, I got the Great Wall of China reinstalled, with Allan’s help on the highest plate.


The last minute planting rush was because we needed to leave early for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner in order to plant a few things at the port on the way.


Allan plants an asclepias in the drive-over garden by the port.


We felt super special to drive down Waterfront Way (not a driving road except for port workers).


We filled in some of the storm gaps with cosmos at the port office garden, and added stakes to protect them, I hope, when the baskets get re-hung.


south of the port office (Allan’s photo)

On the way to dinner, I was pleased to see that the baskets in Long Beach, after their storm pummeling, are already looking better.  So I no longer have to worry about 35 mph storms and hanging baskets.


taken on the move


a lovely sight which I messaged to Basket Case Roxanne

The Cove Restaurant

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) had actually worked through the storm in The Oysterville Garden.  Their fortitude amazes me.


plant talk


our weekly reward (Allan’s photo)


Caesar salad




fish and chips




the view

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Allan and the van were gone when I got up; I had no idea where.  Boating?  Tomorrow’s post will tell.

With low energy, my curse of the beginning of every weekend, I got some but not all weeding done in the front garden.  It had been the first to get weeded last time so was the weediest now.


Smokey taking refreshment

Three of the cats spent most of the afternoon indoors.






Calvin caught just about to yawn


front garden before




Skooter and Rosa ‘Jude the Obscure’


Jude the Obscure


part of the driveway garden, before


Skooter supervising

Our Kathleen dropped by so I could give her money to maybe get Allan and I tickets at Elixir Coffee in South Bend for the upcoming garden tour.  On Saturday, it was exactly four weeks away; I am counting the days.  When there is something I want very much to see, I always fear something going wrong.  Having tickets in advance would help my anxiety. Kathleen and I had a good long natter because I planned to weed till 8 PM.  It felt good to sit and talk.


the tour that I am eagerly anticipating

I had begun to weed again when rain came…just as predicted.  I had not taken the forecast seriously.


driveway garden, after


more driveway garden, weeded


Drenched, I got this far and stopped.




Skooter amusing himself with a water drip.

I did not mind at all changing into dry clothes and reading some chapters of this excellent (and long) novel for awhile.


It is about a young woman whose friend is shot by the police, unfortunately a current subject in the news here in the USA….always.

Sunday, 18 June 2017


rain gauge


another rain gauge


Calvin.  The board across the cat door is to make it smaller in order to keep raccoons out.


While weeding the front garden, I woke someone from a nap.

With the front garden mostly done, I got started on the back.  Except for the ever rampant dwarf fireweed, it was not as weedy.  The day had turned into fine weather (perhaps a bit too warm!) and I was glad for evening cloud cover. We were finally able to have the first campfire of 2017.


Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’


Mom’s “red velvet” rose and a tail


Allium albopilosum under threat of being swallowed by Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Three cats lead the way to get the picnic basket from the kitchen.


Allan at the woodpile


fog over the port, beyond the garden


Allan’s photo


bellows to get wet wood started (Allan’s photo)







roasting corn (Allan’s photo)


It came out perfect!


A defunct garden bench cooks the first campfire dinner of the year.

In the dark, we could hear foghorns on the river.  It was idyllic, but for one thing: The city has made the street light on the other side of our house a bright white one.


It used to be a subtle reddish amber.  Drat.  I will have to sit with my back to it for campfires because it GLARES.  If only I could plant an instant tall tree!

Monday, 19 June 2017

We continued the rare luxury of a four day weekend.  This might not occur again till late July, if then.  Allan went boating while I continued weeding the back garden.


a box of hardy begonias


I wanted to switch tasks to weeding the swale, but it was too windy to work under the trees.


Pulling swale buttercups would make a big difference quickly.


Stipa gigantea


Skooter using my hat as a pillow


He slept here all day.


a pretty rose


There are still areas of small dwarf fireweed.


Let’s look at this instead.


This formerly fireweed swathe is much better now.


Pleased to see my Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ coming back from the dead.


rambling roses on the arbor (Maxine’s rose, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Mermaid)


from Friday: Maxine’s rose is a hit with bees.  (Allan’s photo)

I certainly did not weed as well as I would have for a client.  However, I declare the second weeding done.  The next go round will be a GOOD weeding.  I kind of cheated by making the front garden’s difficult northeast corner a separate project.  I call it the Stink Mint corner because of a smelly-foliaged weed. And the work list got longer because of a phone call today.



Read Full Post »

Monday, 29 May 2017

Just as I was having my, um, breakfast (more like a very late brunch), I found a text from J9 asking if she could bring a friend to see the garden, someone who would not need “a tour”.  Because I had two friends coming at four, I said we would have to be mowing (Allan) and planting (me) during said visit because I still did not have my three days of modest garden goals completed.  Thus, there is not photo to record J9 and her friend walking through the garden.  Neither Allan nor I had organized having a camera in a pocket till after the lawn was mowed and the last of the at home annuals…the painted sage…were in the ground.

Allan tore off to water the Ilwaco planters in order to be home before Yudy and John arrived.


watering the Ilwaco post office garden


What is that weed? (lower right)..plus my Eryngium x Zabelli ‘Neptune’s Gold’

4 PM:  Yudy and John arrived as planned.  We had met when their small, artistic garden was on the Edible Garden tour and then recently reconnected through Indivisible and the political postcard parties.

I showed them some plants I had dug up to share with a local new gardener.



John was taken with the soft, tall, native fern and we gave him this one that had volunteered under the water boxes bench.


I think Allan took this photo to show the nicely mown lawn and the weeded boat garden.

I love the way the elephant garlic looks like tall grasses next to the boat.


Yudy noticed the bright thorns on Rosa ptercantha (which also has its small white roses now).


Smokey keeping just in front of Yudy.


John heads into the bogsy woods.


Skooter on the bridge.


buttercups looking rather charming


Maybe there is nothing wrong with a haze of yellow buttercups in the right place.


This viburnum got everyone’s attention.


Smokey keeping tabs on us.


John and Yudy’s dog, Lily, had to wait; she would have chased the cats.  (Allan’s photo)

After an excellent walkabout and plans for a campfire later in the summer (with a promise of Yudy’s ukelele!), I got back to my garden tasks.


I was disappointed in myself that I had not finished weeding this smallish area….


even though it did look better than on Saturday.

I went on with the planting of sunflower and some assorted mustard seeds.

While planting sunflower seeds in the middle of the west bed, I found a tragedy.  My Ghislane de Feligonde rose is dying.


one big stem all wilty and the other all dried up: WHYYYY?


the big old trunk…It was an own-root rose. Maybe there is still a piece in my old garden that I could take cuttings from.

I love this rose, and have had it for years, after the man who ran an antique rose nursery near Snohomish said to me “Buy this one.”  I moved it from Seattle to the Sou’wester to Shakti Cove to my house behind the boatyard to hear and it was doing well.  It had gotten pushed around by a vigorous Fuchsia magellanica and I had removed the fuchsia to give it more space.  It looked fine last time I saw it.  (And later, googling proved that this rose seems to be not for sale anywhere in this country that I could find.)

As the mustard seeds went into the  garden between us and Devery’s driveway, a car pulled up in front of her house and someone called out, “Your garden is amazing!”  Because the woman looked so friendly and had opened her car door partway, I replied, “You’re welcome to come on a tour!”  Four people tumbled out of the car and what ensued was one of the most delightful walkabouts I have ever experienced.


meeting Frosty


All they saw was the good and they noticed pretty much everything special to me, all on their own.  Except for one hidden fairy door; I pulled aside fern fronds to reveal it.



The view looking north to the house was commented on with enthusiasm, as was the fire circle.


Frosty, and later Smokey and Skooter, all got pets. (Allan’s photo)

One of the women stopped and read aloud the writing on the house walls.  It is so rare for someone to do that, I can only remember one other time.


As I gaze upon the garden, my heart grows peaceful, still. From its colour comes my being, from its spirit comes my will. -Ryan Gainey


The garden flew round with the angel,
The angel flew round with the clouds,
And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round
And the clouds flew round with the clouds.

…That things go round and again go round has rather a magical sound.  -Wallace Stevens


The old lamp with shells in it got noticed.

They even admired my bamboo poles that have lost so much of their colorful paint over the winter.

As they departed, and because I had found out that one couple at least comes to the peninsula often, I asked them to re-introduce themselves if they see us working in Long Beach, because both Allan and I have face blindness.  One of the women said she totally understood that and will talk to someone thinking, “I know I like you, but who are you?” and I said, “Yes, I have such a warm feeling about you even though I cannot remember who you are!”

It was just grand.


my cool heather from Pam Fleming (Allan’s photo)


Chickadee-dee-dee (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow: Back to work.

PSA: The darling house three doors down from us is for sale.  It has a small yard, which might be good for someone who wants a small garden, and a partial view of the port.


For those who like book reports, I read a book (and this short one took me over a week because it is planting time):








Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, 1994:




Ursula Le Guin:



Rebecca Solnit.  I love her, and she must be a gardener.






Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

We had sort of a storm, with lots of wind.  The rain stopped by mid morning, leading to a dilemma.  I had wanted to finish yesterday’s long blog post; an internet glitch had resulted in all the text and photo arrangement being lost, but the photos were in the media library ready to be inserted and captioned.  And then….the power went off.

Someone unfortunate had driven into a power pole two thirds of the way up the Peninsula.  Because we are on the same grid as the hospital, we got our power back within two hours.  (As I write this in the evening, Dave and Melissa, way up in Oysterville, are still without power.)

I used our battery back up’s last bit of oomph to catch up on the Tootlepedal blog.  And then I could find no good excuse to not try to weed.


Allan’s photo: Skooter blocks the other cats from exiting the cat door

Oh, how very much I did not want to weed, because of the wind!  I told myself that if I just filled one bucket with weeds, I could come back in.


We had had this much rain overnight.


Allan string trimming

As I pulled some of the easier weeds, I observed and concluded that my earlier idea of composting in place was just not working.  We just have too many snails and slugs that like to hide in the debris and eat lily buds.


next to one debris area, a chomped lily bud


another chomped lily!

Now that I have good compost bins, I carried many armloads of debris and binned them.


gathering debris


I told Allan that I now have so much debris that I need a door for Bin B.


I found another sad columnar evergreen.  Dang blang it!

I tried to focus on weeding the center bed so that I could erase it from the work board.


It had a wealth of shotweed and horsetail.

My audience all afternoon:





Allan’s photo



Devery came over and we had a good chat.


Debris in the west bed, which I will move on my next day in my own garden, had not stopped a giant ornamental rhubarb from showing off its size.


While I love my periscaria bistorta ‘Superba’, I think it is getting too vigorous.


West bed: Persicaria is just starting to show its pale pink spikes.


tulips in the garden boat (Allan’s photo)

The  wind increased to 30 mph, making the last part of the center bed miserable to weed. Because I wanted so much to erase one thing from the work board, I thought really hard about The Deadliest Catch.


Deadliest Catch puts my job into perspective.

I had got not just one bucket but four heaping wheelbarrow loads of weeds removed.



However, I think the garden beds need a nice crisp edge.  I had noted the crisp edge on the Tootlepedal’s glorious garden during my blog reading today.  You can see the garden photos in this entry.  Part of the excellence is the trimmed hedges and Mrs. T’s plantings, but I do think the crisp lawn edge is important.


some extra lambs ear and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to go to Long Beach or the port


Just as I finished, really big rain drops arrived.

Meanwhile, Allan had gone to get a new sheet of plywood, and on the way he went to the library and felt compelled to deadhead at the Ilwaco Community Building.


art in the library


a stray narcissus at the Community Building


deadheading, and library books (before the rain came)


community building garden

He drove home via the high school road to see if their tulip display was on for this year.

Camera is above the window.



It is indeed on.


AND it is well protected.


I wish all OUR gardens were as well protected.



Back home, Allan lined up the old trailer side on the new cut plywood in order to drill out the holes for bungee cord lashing.


The old side became a new front for the center compost bin.


By then, I had made myself a nice cuppa Builders Tea.



in my big Don Nisbett Slow Drag mug


and a bit of a treat left over from my birthday


one “home” bed erased from the work board

I have two guest photos to share, texted to me by Melissa, of her and Dave’s garden. The container has Tulip sylvestris. 

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Today was our day for all the jobs other than Long Beach and Ilwaco.  At this time of year, about an hour and a half of deadheading and weeding is all we need to do at the bigger ones.

Calvin says he would like me to stay home.

Calvin says he would like me to stay home.

Post office garden looks bare where we removed some grasses along the edge. I do not like to see so much soil.

Post office garden looks bare where we removed some grasses along the edge. I do not like to see so much soil.

in the post office window

in the post office window

The Depot Restaurant

Dierama at the Depot

Dierama at the Depot

"angel's fishing rod"

“angel’s fishing rod”

camera now known as Spot

camera now known as Spot

Persicaria was abuzz with bees.

Persicaria was abuzz with bees.



garden north of dining deck

I trimmed the pollen out of the flowers that might brush someone's shoulders.

I trimmed the pollen out of the flowers that might brush someone’s shoulders.

The Red Barn Arena

our little Red Barn garden

our little Red Barn garden

I carry with me some organic mint horse treats for occasions such as these.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

garden supervisor

garden supervisor

a noble profile

a noble profile

"Horses make a landscape more beautiful." -Alice Walker (Allan's photo)

“Horses make a landscape more beautiful.” -Alice Walker (Allan’s photo)

barn cat

barn cat

Diane’s Garden

along the road

along the road

Lavatera 'Barnsley'

Lavatera ‘Barnsley’

blue veronica

blue veronica

back yard containers

back yard containers


The Planter Box

We stopped to get me a couple more bags of potting soil.

front patio display

front patio display

Calendula 'Strawberry Blonde'

Calendula ‘Strawberry Blonde’



Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Marilyn’s Garden

from the street

from the street

looking south

looking south




Moments communing with animal friends are the best part of my day.  It was HOT, thus the hat.

looking west from the deck, giant Miscanthus hiding the garage next door

looking west from the deck, giant Miscanthus hiding the garage next door

looking north

looking north

my good friend Scooter

my good friend Scooter




I asked Allan to prune some shrubs away from the house in the native hedge by the narrow east side path.





Klipsan Beach Cottages

When we arrived and parked, the warm sweet piney smell reminded me of childhood camping near Lake Wenatchee.

blue sky, sweet smells, looking up by where we park

blue sky, sweet smells, looking up by where we park

Melissa texted this photo from The Oysterville Garden, where she and Dave were working today.  She wrote “[The garden owner] wanted you to see the allée.”  If I had gotten this text while we were still way further north at Marilyn’s, we would have driven over to Oysterville.

Hydrangea 'Incrediball' in Oysterville

Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ in Oysterville

At Klipsan Beach Cottages:

sit spot with Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant'

sit spot with Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’







birdbath view, for the weekly record, spots or not

birdbath view, for the weekly record, spots or not

The Anchorage Cottages

my good friend Mitzu

greeted by my good friend Mitzu

Escallonia iveyi at The Anchorage

Escallonia iveyi at The Anchorage

An old yucca that had sat not doing much for years decided to bloom this year.

An old yucca that had sat not doing much for years decided to bloom this year.

center courtyard

center courtyard

in the center courtyard

in the center courtyard

Kindly note how the purplish inside of the Allium tones perfectly with the purplish part of the Agastache.


This was completely intentional, as always.  😉

Allan made a bench in the Zen Courtyard sittable again.


during.  Allan says the bench was buried when he started.



Long Beach

We added some nice Soil Energy mulch to two of the Long Beach street trees.  We are planning to do this to several of the trees where soil shows.  Soon we will be out of our mulch pile, and the city crew is so busy we may not get another pile till fall.

all fluffy

all fluffy


evening light on our apple tree

evening light on our apple tree

On the way home, I got a text from Jodi across the street asking if we could take on the garden of their little beach house.  I like it, it is small, and the commute is short, so I said yes.  Later in the evening, we went over to look at the project and sat around their fire circle with glasses of fine wine.

...along with my new friend, Daphne.

…along with my new friend, Daphne.

We’ll be starting the project after the upcoming garden tour weekend of July 16th.  It will give you something new to look at on this blog.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

I had not intended to have a two day work week.  Today was supposed to be the watering day for Long Beach and Ilwaco.  Pouring rain made it a Garden Tour Blogging day.  The rain barrels filled up and I was happy and content.

Because of the rain, Allan and I went to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum (3.5 blocks west) to see a photography exhibit.  A modern photographer has photographed the landscapes described in a book that Allan recently read:



While we were there, the museum director, Betsy Millard, offered us four panels of some old fencing.  It is marvelous stuff that would make our garden look like something from The Addams Family.  I looked at it and tried to lift an end of one section and felt my leg sort of give way and sorrowfully said we just couldn’t do it.

I used to be much stronger.

With Betsy.  I used to be much stronger.

The fence  has been replaced by local welder Jacob Moore (also of Pink Poppy Bakery) with a fence that echoes the railroad theme of the museum courtyard, where an old train car from the Clamshell Railroad is on display.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

new fence by Jacob's Hammer (Allan's photo)

new fence by Jacob’s Hammer (Allan’s photo)

the old train car "Nahcotta" (Allan's photo)

the old train car “Nahcotta” (Allan’s photo, taken yesterday)

I went home and brooded and fretted and realized I have an almost impossible time asking people for favours.  I posted about this issue on Facebook along with the realization that I could actually pay someone to deliver those excellent gothic fence pieces (not that I know exactly what to do with them yet).  I am used to being the one paid or asked to do things for people, not the other way around. Within an hour, I had offers of help and an arrangement to get them delivered on some later day by Jacob himself.

Meanwhile, Allan fetched the one small piece that would fit in our trailer.

sliding it under the new fence

sliding it under the new fence

at home. You can see how the wide pieces would overpower our tiny little wooden trailer.

at home. You can see how the wide pieces would overpower our tiny little wooden trailer.

 In the evening, we had our meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang at…

The Cove Restaurant

We were joined by Todd this time, always a treat.

same old story...going on about finger blight or some such thing. Allan, please feature someone else talking next time. It does happen!

same old story…going on about finger blight (plant theft) or some such thing. Allan, please feature someone else talking next time. It does happen!

strawberry and feta salad

strawberry and feta salad

spicy Thai prawns

spicy Thai prawns

vegetable noodle bowl (Allan's photo)

vegetable noodle bowl (Allan’s photo)

We stayed till after closing, as always, and were given sweet little desserts by the delightful Lynn, our server.

Thank you!

Thank you!

We always know it is time to go when she gets the vacuum cleaner out.

Sondra's Cove Restaurant garden at dusk. (Allan's photo)

Sondra’s Cove Restaurant garden at dusk. (Allan’s photo)

There would be no lingering and talking in the parking lot today because of sideways wind and rain.

I’ve already written about July 8th in the “plant tag” post of a couple of days ago so next will be the July 9th weekend.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries 


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

July 7: cool and cloudy  Picked raspberries—froze 2 pkgs.  Worked from 3:00 to 5:00 “pruning” rows 1 and 2 of strawberries.  Called in Bluestone Perennial order.

1998 (age 74):

July 6: HOT  Today I worked in the shade planting seedlings into several bowls.  There are several plants (annuals) too tall for bowls.  I think I’ll plant these in some big peat pots and some in the peat trays so I can plant them directly into the flower bed when they are big enough to fend for themselves.

July 7: Another morning headache so I took this day off.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A drizzling rain began after Allan hooked up the work trailer.  We had a short workday planned so decided to wait.  The mist went on for several hours while we each worked on a blog post.

Last night I had learned that Debbie T. had been hit with the flu about halfway home from visiting here: fever, cough, aches and pains.  I felt terrible for her and also, of course, had a big attack of hypochondria.  Out came the thermometer.  I called Melissa and cancelled our dinner at the Cove, feeling we should stay home and have a restful evening.

Finally the misty rain stopped.  It had proved disappointing and had barely wet the sidewalk and had added virtually nothing to the rain barrels.

pretty much the same amount as before

pretty much the same amount as before

no rainwater in the wheelbarrows

no rainwater in the wheelbarrows, what a disappointment

We decided to accomplish just half of what we had planned for our workday.

A detour to the library to pick up a much desired book revealed some dead bulb foliage in the garden. Weeding and clipping ensued.





I saw another clump of yellowed bulb foliage by the sidewalk as we drove off.  We would return.

At the port, after some planting at the Powell Gallery curbside garden, we pulled some of the yellowed poppies at the west end and left some to reseed.  These two beds were distressed by lack of water during last summer’s drought.  I hope we can revive them this year now that we are able to use water from the Freedom Market hose (so far) to get the very west end.


earlier this week

after work today

after work today.  I need to start santolinas at this end from cuttings in the fall.

We dumped our bucket water into the center area which can’t be reached from either hose.  (Next time we water, we will hook our hose to the other hoses and get further.)

Back at the community building, we quickly pulled some more yellowed bulb foliage while the sky darkened and a cold wind whipped up.

As soon as we arrived home, more rain began, still of the misty kind.

I needed more than a drip of water.

I needed more than a drip of water to fill the barrels.

My book tempted me…

fifth and final volume of Cazalet Chronicle

fifth and final volume of Cazalet Chronicle

A British edition, through interlibrary loan, all the way from the New York Society Library in New York, New York!

A British edition, through interlibrary loan, all the way from the New York Society Library in New York, New York!

I decided I would rather read it in one or two sittings and went back to the blog, determined to be all caught up for a change.

A true, heavy, pelting, noisy rain began and went on long enough to make puddles in the street.  I rejoiced.

north window view, and puddles!

north window view, and puddles!

north window: rain in my mother'd birdbath

north window: rain in my mother’s birdbath

I looked on the Heroncam at the Bolstad light in Long Beach and saw lovely rain there, as well.

weather report via the Heroncam

weather report via the Heroncam

In rain clothes, Allan replaced the one recalcitrant oscillating sprinkler in the back garden.

greenhouse birdbath (Allan's photo)

greenhouse birdbath (Allan’s photo)

west shed rain barrel (Allan's photo)

west shed rain barrel (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

southeast corner rain barrel (Allan's photo)

southeast corner rain barrel (Allan’s photo)

Later came a rainbow.

I did not get my shoes on in time to catch the rainbow's brightness.

I did not get my shoes on in time to catch the rainbow’s brightness.

rain barrels full

rain barrels full

The only thing better would have been if I had filled buckets and watering cans before the barrels filled.

A bit later, from my blogging desk, a glorious evening light drew me back outside.

7:45 PM

7:45 PM


front path

front path


Calvin running after me.

Calvin running after me.

a white brodiaea, right

a white brodiaea, right


Melianthus major 'Antenow''s Blue'

Melianthus major ‘Antenow”s Blue’


As I wrote this on June 9th, I was actually blogging in real time for a change (although it will not publish till next week).  I continued to take my temperature and find it normal, to consider every slight twinge of chest congestion…hay fever or flu?…and to mildly fret over who would water Long Beach and Ilwaco if we were sick.  So far, I think we are ok.

Friday, June 10th 2016

The scheduled work day had been all watering in Long Beach and Ilwaco, now delightfully unnecessary.  We almost went to work weeding the beach approach and then more torrential rain began.  I was so happy to settle in with my book, all 573 pages of it.  I was not feeling tip top and a day of rest might ensure our being able to make it to Astoria tomorrow.


fifth and final volume of Cazalet Chronicle…finally!

The rain continued heavily all day.  Allan filled several large green former cat litter jugs with water from the rain barrels and I took one reading break to fill all the watering cans and a few buckets.  The barrels filled again.

rain water

rain water

a good rain

a good rain


Allan spent several hours replacing the kitchen faucet, including two trips to Dennis Company in Long Beach for parts.  On his second trip, I asked him to plant the new agastache in the empty planter space where one was stolen last week.  Thus this became a tiny little work day.

in Long Beach. Allan imparted the great news that the soil in the planter was saturated all the way down.

in Long Beach. Allan imparted the great news that the soil in the planter was saturated all the way down.

also filling in the spot where the Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' got destroyed in a theft attempt

also filling in the spot where the Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ got destroyed in a theft attempt

at home: Allan got the broken sprinkler replaced.

at home: Allan tested the new sprinkler.

Other than a break for two episodes of Luther, I continued to read until bedtime and finished the book in one day.  Here is a description of the garden of the Duchy, matriarch of the family.

from All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard

from All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard

At the end, the poignancy of it being EJH’s last novel before her death, when had she lived longer she could surely have written a sixth volume taking the family into the 60s, was overwhelming for a moment.  I recalled that when I had begun the first book, I felt grumpy because I had not expected a book set pre World War II.  Only it being by an admired author kept me going for the first couple of chapters.  Then the series became one of my favourites ever.

I dreamed that I was making a photo album on the Music in the Gardens Tour Facebook page of the Duchy’s gardens.


Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

June 9:  9:30-5:00  I used the garden cart for one load of split wood from Wilson’s yard.  The cart is a little awkward but will be ok I think.  Then Daryl had his truck over there loading the wood in and I asked my new neighbor, Frankie, if it is ok to back truck in her driveway which we did—all in one load.  Then I saw Walt cutting more wood so here we go again. In the eve I picked strawbs again.

June 10:  I got 8 pkgs of berries that  picked last night.  Spent from 11:00 to 5:00 planting perennials from Gordon’s (last fall) and petunias and fuchsias (in baskets). [My mom’s one misspelling, which I have corrected all along, is fuschia for fuchsia; I made the same error till around age 50!]  Then when I thought I had everything planted, I found another square tray of dianthus.  I lost quite a few of the fall plants because I didn’t get them planted before.

1998 (age 74):

June 9:  2:00-5:30 grey skies   I was late getting out tho I was awake at 7:30 and got up ar0und 8:00.  I goofed around in the house.  I took Tabby out on her leash—I think she likes it but I have to figure out a way to tire her so I can get something done.  I planted some plants in bowls, I put taller seedlings in pots till they get tall enough to set out.  I planted several begonias in tubs—the ones I don’t know if they are basket or upright.

June 10: I intended to take some trays to the shop but I set them out on the porch until it stopped raining.  So I started planting seeds.  Something seemed to pull me over the card table.  I planted seeds until 10 PM.  Then I had some ramen noodles for dinner and spent until 1:00 AM sorting the rest of my seeds.  I still have gobs left to plant.




Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

As our jobs get fewer, by our choice except for one, it has become possible to do a check up on almost all the small jobs in one day.  (By small, I mean that all of Ilwaco and all of Long Beach are the big jobs.)

a pink penstemon at the Ilwaco post office

a pink penstemon at the Ilwaco post office

applying Sluggo (Allan's photo)

applying Sluggo (Allan’s photo)

The Depot Restaurant

Because the Depot dining deck is open for the summer, I am pleased that the ornamental grasses are beginning to give it enclosure.


Allan weeding

Allan weeding

I remembered to prune the escallonia so that the railway history sign shows.  The restaurant is in a former train depot for the Clamshell Railroad.

Uh oh, the escallonia (wanting to be eight feet tall or more) is up over the sign again.

Last night



The escallonia does serve a purpose: protecting the corner of the building from bad drivers.


Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' backed with Lonicera 'Baggeson's Gold'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ backed with Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’

I got to pet two dogs, my friend Ella (Betty’s dog) and a cute little passerby dog named Jack.

The Red Barn Arena

The Red Barn boards horses and also PushMePullYous.

The Red Barn boards horses and also PushMePullYous.

our garden at the Red Barn

our garden at the Red Barn

Diane’s Garden

Next door at Diane and Larry’s, we did a lot of watering including the streetside garden.

from the driveway

from the driveway

along the road

along the road

Allium in Diane's garden (Allan's photo)

Allium in Diane’s garden (Allan’s photo)

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (catmint)   (Allan's photo)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (catmint) (Allan’s photo)

patio planters

patio planters

and more patio planters

and more patio planters

from the back gate:  We couldn't park in the field today.

from the back gate: We couldn’t park in the field today.

The Basket Case

Nancy, Shadow, and Fred (Allan's photo)

Nancy, Shadow, and Fred (Allan’s photo)

We had an errand next: to deliver the invoice from Basket Case to Long Beach. Of course, it cost me money because I could not resist buying some scented geraniums.


Shadow gets a head-scritching from Allan.

Shadow gets a head-scritching from Allan.

The Anchorage Cottages

Allan accomplished some viburnum pruning, clipping carefully around an empty birdnest in case it might still be precious.

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

from behind the hedge (Allan's photo)

from behind the hedge (Allan’s photo)

maintenance path reclaimed (Allan's photo)

maintenance path reclaimed (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan's photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

arbour with New Dawn rose

arbour with New Dawn rose

center courtyard

center courtyard

office planters filling out nicely

office planters filling out nicely

Lower right: Calibrachoa 'Lemon Slice', whose name makes my mouth water.

Lower right: Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’, whose name makes my mouth water.


Don't know the name of this verbena that someone gave Beth.  Love it.

Don’t know the name of this verbena that someone gave Beth. Love it. (Allan’s photo)



Allan did not quite capture the two dogs, a friend and Mitzu.

Allan did not at first quite capture the two dogs, a friend and Mitzu.

The little white dog was visiting while its people went camping; Beth said the dog did not like camping without a couch.

There they are! (Allan's photo)

There they are! (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Next, the long drive north to Klipsan, past the garden we recently lost. It can’t be seen from the road and is bothering me much less now that its loss is leading to being able to do ALL the  “small” jobs in one day!

in the fenced garden with Thalictrum 'Elin' on right

in the fenced garden: Thalictrum ‘Elin’ with tall glaucous foliage 

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

birdbath view

birdbath view

outside the fence

outside the fence

I am thrilled that the KBC crew are doing weeding around the edges so that we have less to do here.  I was, however, slightly crabby that the rocks, which used to be flat and walkable, are now all up and pointy.

Apparently I feel a little shaky about the rocks being all upended.

Apparently I feel a little shaky about the rocks being all upended.  They used to be set evenly in the soil with the flat side up.


Mary’s callistemon, a gift from her plantsman brother


I once thought this rose was ‘Nearly Wild’, so I bought Nearly Wild and it is not as lovely as this one.


Dianthus 'Charles Musgrave'

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’




peony, outside the deer fence; revelation that deer don't eat peonies?

peony, outside the deer fence; revelation that deer don’t eat peonies?


the pond island bed

the pond island bed

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Marilyn’s Garden

We spent some time weeding and trimming on this garden that we now share every other week with Melissa and Dave.

view from the street

view from the street

from the driveway

from the driveway

looking north

looking north

from the back steps

from the back steps

south end now with a good shrub screen

south end now with a good shrub screen

from where we park

from where we park

Allan found and clipped some more Himalayan blackberries.

Allan found and clipped some more Himalayan blackberries.

and he cleaned up along the south wall...before

and he cleaned up along the south wall…before

and after

and after

Recently, Marilyn’s daughter has posted on Facebook some charming photos of our dear friend Scooter (and friend) in the garden.

photo by Nancy Gorshe

photo by Nancy Gorshe


photo by Nancy Gorshe

photo by Nancy Gorshe

photo by Nancy Gorshe

back to Ilwaco

We left Marilyn’s at six and I had every intention that we would weed out on the beach approach till eight.  A welcome rain put the end to the plan and we just drove home.

Something interesting is going on in a long vacant historic building at the Ilwaco stoplight intersection.





at home: a welcome rain

at home: a welcome rain

By morning, all the rain barrels had filled again and we had a slight reprieve on our watering rounds, which called for a day off to go shopping and visit Pam’s Seaside gardens.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 74):

June 1: Noon to 5:00  Gray and comfortably cool to work   I spread two black tarps on the garden area.  I pulled some weeds from that area that look like cabbage but where did they come from?  I move around the tomato plants removing the dead ones and added more soil to each one.  Then I actually planted the old dahlias.  Now if I can remember to mark them (if they bloom).    I then weeded the area around the apple tree (which is loaded with apples). There were two snakes in that area.




Read Full Post »

Older Posts »