Posts Tagged ‘Crocus tommasianus’

Monday, 13 February 2017

Cold weather, a brief back problem, and an intense desire for hide out and read postponed our starting work this year.  I was using the excuse that the whole peninsula has been economically affected by the lack of clamming tourism this winter so no one would mind if we started up two weeks later than usual. (The clams have tested positive for a toxin, which happens sometimes, and so clam season has been delayed and delayed again.)

I’d written the first work board of the year several days ago.


Allan had loaded the tools into our van on Saturday.  As he loaded buckets into the trailer, I talked through the window to Jasmine, one of two new neighbours right next door.



introduced myself to Jasmine


in our garden (Allan’s photo)


We began close to home with the Ilwaco street trees and planters.



Allan’s photo


weeding at First and Eagle


The boatyard garden can wait for a couple of weeks.


Ilwaco boatyard, north side


crocuses in the planters



Allan’s photo


in front of Azure Salon, before

I had been looking forward to tidying the alyssum from under the tree and to pulling a dead erysimum from this planter.


Rosemary blooming in front of Azure


Nn front of City Hall, the plant offerings are not from me.

Anchorage Cottages

The Anchorage garden got some clipping and waking up because this coming weekend is a three day holiday (Presidents Day) which will surely attract guests.


tidied center courtyard in 60 degree sunny weather

Allan trimmed a buddliea at the entrance.





I hadn’t intended it to go that far back but I think it will be fine and probably quite refreshed. If not…well…buddlieas of the old fashioned seedy kind are considered noxious weeds now, anyway.


Allan pruned one large-ish ornamental grass….harbinger of many to do the same thing to soon.




spring bulb windowboxes


Iris reticulata


I was pleased to see there have been snowdrops.


In bright sunshine, a hamamelis scents the Zen Courtyard

Long Beach City Hall

We trimmed another grass (Allan) and a hydrangea (me) before heading back to Ilwaco.  Allan’s photos:











Ilwaco again

We finished with a tidying and clipping of sedums and ferns at the Ilwaco Community Building.


hamamelis, probably ‘Diane’





Allan’s photo



Iris reticulata (Allan’s photo)


by the entrance to the library

At home, I clipped back my Melianthus major, which, as Melissa had put it, was “not amused” by this winter’s heavy freeze.


That is one small area clipped. So much more to go in our own garden.

We are expecting two more good weather days and are going to focus intensely on Long Beach town next.


work board t0night



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Saturday, 11 February 2017

I got these in the mail from a friend:


On my last full day of uninterrupted staycation reading, I finished the huge history of WWII and then felt restless because of the sudden emergence of sunshine.

No winter gardening had taken place because of unusually cold weather.  Books (and a sore back, now all better) had won out over my plan to mulch with 6-8 yards of topsoil.  Now the first crocuses are out and can’t be buried with mulch.  I emerged from the house to see them.


the first crocuses


at the base of tetrapanax


more clumps, and shotweed

The apricot scent of Hamamelis (witch hazel) wafted all over the front garden.


raggedy yellow flowers with the most powerful scent


a bronze Hamamelis


not as fragrant as the yellow


another pale one


I added several new ones last summer.

I found myself gardening and got some more hellebores clipped back.





Soon, though, one more book called me back inside.  It had been recommended by a friend, had 450 small print pages and was due back at the library in four days.  I had intended to have it all read by now and instead was just beginning.


By the end of the day, I can tell you that this is a shocking must read for citizens of the USA who were not taught by life or by school about the enormous number of small towns (many in the north and in the west!) which through violence and discrimination remained almost totally white even into the 1990s (and beyond?).

Meanwhile, in Oysterville, Dave and Mel were helping to dig up and move an enormous rhododendron several blocks down the road to THE Oysterville garden.


Melissa’s photo

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Good weather would have had us starting work today had not two events intervened.  The first was a two hour long meeting of a local Indivisible group.  The town of Naselle, a half an hour away, had been chosen for the meeting because that location allowed an easier drive for folks from north county.  We had a group of thirty concerned citizens, sprung out of a larger Indivisible group from north coast Oregon.  Indivisible groups are forming all over the nation by those of us who are deeply concerned at the dark and ominous and non egalitarian turn our country is taking.

It was a joy to attend a gathering of like minded folk from as far north as Aberdeen, as well as the Peninsula and South Bend and Rosburg.

Next door to the meeting place was a most glorious private garden which we admired from the parking lot.


a large Naselle garden


Allan’s photo






next door: the Naselle Library garden

Back in Ilwaco, we went straight (and late for the party) to Salt Pub, pausing only to look at work waiting for us in a curbside garden at the port.


pondering work




Allan’s photo


5 PM view from Salt Pub


a private party at Salt


Allan’s photo

The occasion was the birthday of Boreas Inn Bill, who said he did not even know he had that many friends on the peninsula!  Dave and Mel joined us because they now care for the Boreas Inn garden.  It has been good for us to have their great gardening business, Sea Star Gardening, to recommend as we cut back to a manageable amount of work.


Pink Poppy Bakery cakes

In  the evening, I got through another 75 pages of Sundown Towns.

The cats are going to miss staycation reading days, as will I.


lapcats Frosty and Smokey


Frosty at bedtime

Sundown Towns is going to be a couple of days overdue by the time I’m done with it. On Monday, work season begins (with more rainy reading days sure to come before too long).


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From a sunnier day: I think I forgot to post this lovely crocus, the first of the large ones, back by the bogsy woods.


From February 6

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A hard rain followed by light drizzle gave us a day off. The forecast suggests five more days of rain will follow.  I looked at last year’s spreadsheet and saw that, except for one Long Beach day at the end of January, we did not begin work till February 10th, so we have not fallen behind yet.  And we had so very much more to do last year.   Sea Star Gardening has taken on our Boreas Inn and Casa Pacifica jobs and Andersen’s RV Park was a huge spring clean up job that we no longer have (since owner Lorna sold the place in July of 2015). We have one less private garden as well, and Todd now cares for his brother Eric’s Wiegardt Gallery, so we have eight fewer days of garden clean up to do in February and March.  That makes me happy.

Before enacting my plan of settling in with a book, I took a walk around the front garden.  (I wish Smokey could have joined me.  He is still having to stay inside while his paw heals.  He is not a happy cat.)


view from the porch


Geranium macrorrhizum is certainly blooming early…



Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’ continuing to brighten the scene.


Allan’s box of succulents



double hellebores


single white hellebore


“black” hellebore


way in the back of Allan’s garden, a hellebore that escaped having its tatty old leaves trimmed


Hamamelis (witch hazel)


moved these from the back patio to front garden last weekend…


front path, looking east


last year’s allium head blown into the garden


last year’s alliums


Many hellebores need to be turned up to see their greatest beauty.  They’d be best dangling over a wall.


Crocus tommies are in a decline…soon to be followed by larger crocus.


In the front garden, with the dark foliage of a “black” hellebore emerging at lower right


Scrophularia variegata (variegated figwort sounds prettier) and hellebore.



Japanese maple in a pot not looking very lively.


Not happy about this great hellebore  being hidden behind the big pot.


Love the bright new foliage of the lamprocapnos and the promise of flower bus

What, you might ask, is Lamprocapnos?  It is the new name for Dicentra, I am sorry to say.  You can read all about the change here, where I also learned its common names aside from Bleeding Heart, including “Venus’s Car, Lady’s Locket, Lyre Flower, Tearing Hearts, Our Lady in a Boat, Chinese Pants”


grape hyacinth and a fern that needs trimming, backed with Euonymous ‘Wolong Ghost’


Iris reticulata and some fine looking soil with good texture.  And a California poppu, lower right.


first narcissi in the front garden


Daphne buds backed with Azara microphylla variegata

For readers who’ve been enjoying the excerpts from my mother’s garden diaries of 20 some years ago, I’m sorry to say she did not make any entries for February 10th.

My plan for reading a book changed to reading and transcribing her diaries and scheduling them to appear, by month, at the end of each month of 2016.  I’ll continue to add pertinent posts to matching dates in my ongoing journal of the year.


Allan brought back this photo of one of the Ilwaco planters today.


“Look at the camera!” says Ed.  Ed and Jackson Strange came over for a minute but only Allan saw them; he was string trimming the lawn while I was indoors typing away.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

noon:  On this stormy day, I continued to be obsessed with transcribing my mother’s diaries, even though a gardening book arrived from the library that I am desperate to sit and read.  I am (surprisingly not frantically) concerned about being sent to a neurologist in March; as soon as my primary care RN invoked the words “possible brain tumor, benign or malignant”, I imagined going blind (as happened to a good friend and avid gardener, Mary F., who later died from her gioblastoma) and thought, “I must get these diaries set up NOW to publish once a month through 2016!”  Yesterday I completed transcibing them through May and hope to make much more progress today, while the gardening book by Dan Pearson taunts me from the other side of the room.  The monthly entry will include more illustrations and non-gardening posts than the daily share from her diary (which I am adding to my blog posts day by day).

I remember my mother getting many tests, including CAT scans, to try to get to the bottom of her dizziness (and migraines) and she never got a diagnosis that helped to cure her of the problem.  I find that mildly reassuring.  My primary care RNs other ideas were TIAs or “maybe just glucose” so…we shall see, as the results of assorted tests roll in.

Later: I got June, July and August and one year of September transcribed.  I am a fast (if not accurate) four finger typist.  Still, how do people sit at a desk all day?

Transcribing the month my father died was a poignant experience.

Here is my mom’s entry from 21 years ago today:


1995 (age 70):

Feb 11: Supposed to be below freezing by tomorrow so: Finally I spread mulch on as many flower beds as I could before I ran out of mulch and strength.  (I got very dizzy and nauseated.)  I used all 5 bags of shredded leaves from last fall and recent shredding.  The stuff in old burn barrel was all composted below 1/3 of pile.



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Saturday, 6 February 2016

While I had begun a good book the night before, today’s mild weather called for an afternoon in the garden instead of reading.

Allan has been making some signs for the Ilwaco boatyard garden:


I planted a Hamamelis ‘Diane’ and 3 ‘Graham Blandy Boxwoods.  Allan helped me to plant a fig tree in a whiskey barrel and to dismantle the collapsing plant table.


Allan’s photo: Wooden plant tables are ephemeral.


Allan’s photo: Once salvaged from the Long Beach City Works yard, this table is firewood now.


the ever increasing show of Crocus tommasianus


with Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’



crocus with Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgekin’


two Tommies


I was amazed to see my Eccremocarpus scaber from Annie’s Annuals (a gift last year from Garden Tour Nancy) has come through the winter so well.


Eccremoscarpus scaber


a four year old Hamamelis mollis

In the late afternoon, Pam, the gardener for the town of Seaside, Oregon, came by for a visit; she’s been visiting Steve and John’s garden on the bay earlier in the day.


our Pam arrives (Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Pam walks by some spearlike windfall from yesterday’s storm

After a walk all round the garden, we were off to Salt Hotel Pub, just three blocks away at the Port of Ilwaco.


the view from our window table at Salt Pub


oyster deviled eggs with Pink Poppy Farm microgreens


meatball sandwich


tuna melt and North Jetty Brewery IPA


kale and lettuce caesar salad


Pam at Salt



a bustling Saturday evening at Salt


This gathering place is so very much what Ilwaco has needed.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries, 1995, 1997, 1998

I am so pleased that when Allan was sorting out some papers, he found three of the garden journals that my mom kept when she lived near Olympia, Washington in the late 90s.  I had thought they were lost forever, that she had thrown them out in the last years of her life.


found!  Two are missing, but these are saved

Here are some of her entries for this week, 20 some years ago.

Ginger’s Garden Diary:

1995 (age 70):

Feb 1:  Rain. Spent most of the afternoon on plants in Floralight.  [African] violets have multiplied like rabbits.  They’ll have to be cut down some way.  And I know I can’t throw a plant away. AND I ordered more seeds.  Tsk tsk.

Feb 2: cool/dry.  Split wood for kindling and brought in quite a bit of wood—piled on porch.

Feb 3-4: Started organizing veggie and flower seeds, putting them in alphabetical order

1997 (age 72): 

Feb 1: Bill [hired odd job man who helped out after my dad died] fixed water leak in shop.  Repaired step on back porch plus other odd jobs.  It’s too nasty a day for him to crawl under the deck to see what repairs are needed.

Feb 3: Don brought more $ [from the sale of my dad’s toy train collection].  It’s dry but cold.  Too cold to work outside.

Feb 5:  Rec’d Park (catalog) flower seeds and the berry plants from Raintree.  Still too cold to work outside.

Feb 6:  Marked new Park seeds (with year, size, height, and when to plant) and filed them with other seeds.  I noticed that even with my 20 page inventory, I still ordered a few that I already have.  I’ll plant older seed and if they grow, I’ll save the ’97 seed for next year.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 2: I worked in back about two hours.  This seems to be my limit on hard jobs.  Finished spreading the mulch pile over the garden beds.

My Park seed order arrived so I started organizing them.  I got the year and the page # on them and arranged them in order by page #.  I think the Pinetree order should be here soon.

Feb 3:  Today is a beautiful sunny day and I accomplished nothing except making up my grocery list for tomorrow.

Feb 4:  I decided to wait to go to the store tomorrow.  I worked on the mulch pile again.  I tossed in a lot of leaves over on the garden area and dumped the 6 or 8 bags that I filled when Skyler and Robert were here, putting it on the garden area.  Then I filled 6 or 8 bags of clipped leaves for fall mulch.  THE PILE IS GONE.  Never again will I order a big pile of mulch.  I had to come in at 1:30, I was so shaky.  I ate 4 slices of toast and then went out again at 3:30.

Feb 6:  Store today—over $95.00!





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Friday, 29 January 2016

I’m still keeping Smokey in his convalescent room (the large bathroom); now I’m putting his mum, Mary, in there to keep him company during the day and they both seem content.  He has been a very good boy about letting me put ointment in his wound twice a day.  Just a slight meow of protest.  In the evening, we close the cat door and mother and son can emerge to join the household.


I paused while writing this as was sick to death of iPhoto crashing every time I click info on a photo.  In the Apple Support Community, I got help:


I had to Google again to find out how to GET to the resources, and then with much trepidation dragged the two Google things to my trash.  I still seem to be able to Google and to navigate the web, even though iPhoto now sternly informs me in the info box that my computer is “not connected to the internet”.  But it is.  And I can get info on the date a photo was taken without a complete iPhoto crash.  And I hope stays that way.  I figure if I save the instructions here, I’ll be able to find them if trouble brews later.

Back to January 29th!  The lovely afternoon enabled me to weed a large area of the front garden’s east bed and to enjoy brightly illuminated flowers.


two sorts of hellebore


a single hellebore


Melianthus major and Crocos tommasianus


Crocus tommasianus


crocuses lavender and yellow



Iris reticulata


Iris reticulata


more hellebores


front path looking east


Frosty in the garden

I missed having my best cat friend, Smokey, quietly following me around, and I am sure he misses going outside.  We hope the vet will give him the all clear after ten healing days have passed.

Meanwhile, Allan took a two mile walk around town, first onto the beginning to the Discover Trail that begins at the wast end of town:



and then down to the boatyard and port to pick some trash out of the gardens.

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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

There will be some garden photos further down as a reward for making it through the rest of this post.  Or just scroll till you see a crocus.

A Tuesday doctor visit, long avoided, turned out to be just over an hour of talking with a kind doc who makes me laugh. I had remembered that about her, so to see her especially, we went to the Naselle Clinic, half an hour away. Wednesday featured a different sort of clinic.  Poor Smokey had a nasty abscess on one of his paws (I will spare you the photo of THAT) and had to go to the vet.  We did have the pleasure there of seeing Devery with a darling dog friend of hers.  The vet said Smokey was a very good boy even when she was lancing the wound.   

Devery (Allan’s photo)


Devery’s friend


one of the office cats

 I then had my own appointment for several knee x rays at the local hospital (associated with the Naselle Clinic).  One knee does look awfully off kilter. I realized that, having cut jobs down to just the ones I love, I rarely have to do things I do not want to do.  How fortunate, or how spoiled.  The round of doctor appointments will change that, as my primary care wants me to see several, including a neurologist to track down the source of dizziness (for which some terrifying possibilities were suggested, along with some not so scary ones, all of which I am doing my best not to dwell on).


waiting room: I will have to become accustomed to more noise during this time with loud tvs and classic rock radios.

I was simply smitten with the delightful personality of the X Ray technician.  Anyone in the medical field who can make me laugh is so helpful.

The Ocean Beach Hospital is not as big and fancy as the one across the river, yet it has a huge advantage for me: not having to cross the bridge.


I appreciate their well cared for greenery…


and I find their lighthouse mural oddly comforting.

I resolve that this round of doctor visits will be educational and interesting.

At home, Allan helped me drag a comfy chair into the large bathroom so I could sit with Smokey most of the afternoon, reading the latest in the excellent Dog Lover’s Mystery Series by Susan Conant.


Sire and Damn…top rating!

I enjoyed this description of why protagonist Holly Winter has so many dog people as Facebook friends.  I feel the same way about my network of gardening friends.


Below: I might feel this way about guests sometimes, but of course never about you.


After an unpleasant incident damages a kitchen cupboard, Holly’s spouse, Steve, behaves much the way Allan would:


I agree with Holly’s assessment.

In the evening, we were invited to join our good friends Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case Greenhouse for burger night at the Depot Restaurant.


Depot entrance in the rain (Allan’s photo)


on the Depot Restaurant grille (Allan’s photo)

We’ve missed Fred and Nancy over the non gardening winter and had a good catch up.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

After my third clinic visit, this time to have a copious amount of blood drawn (which I am happy to say is NOT one of my many phobias, and also that I got another clinician who made me laugh and who understood my reference to Doc Martin’s blood phobia), our reward for skipping breakfast was brunch at the 42nd Street Café.  I now get to wait until late February for my next doctor visit; I have a feeling all the many tests are going to slowly continue on through early spring.


42nd Street Café in Seaview


42nd Street: We hit the quiet time between breakfast and lunch


My favourite Peninsula breakfast: the 42nd Street Russian scramble


Allan’s French toast


We departed as the luncheon folks began to trickle in.


An errand in Ilwaco gave me the chance to look at one of our planters.


The rosemary looks less silly from this angle.

A quick tour of our front garden revealed many signs of spring.


Crocus tommasianus at the base of tetrapanax 


hellebore, crocus, and Scrophularia variegata


Iris unguicularis almost done


Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine)


more crocus tommies and some tiny spears of narcissi


Crocus tommies in a brief ray of sunshine


I love the crocus, the texture of the soil, and the promising spears of bulbs


In Allan’s garden, hellebores and Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’


crocus tommies and Melianthus


I have only once before had Melianthus major come this far through winter so unscathed.

In the evening, we had our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang.  With the Cove Restaurant no longer serving dinner, we chose Salt Hotel Pub as our new place.


Allan’s photo, Salt Hotel


up the stairs to the pub

With a marina view table at the window and tasty sandwiches on offer, Salt Pub met with all of our approval.  We mentioned to its co-owner, Julez, that another regular party at the Cove was also on the loose.  Julez texted that fellow (a mutual friend) immediately saying “Hear you are looking for a Thursday night hangout” and within twenty minutes the former Cove regular and his spouse were seated at the next table.


Julez behind the bar


Allan’s ham melt


Melissa, Dave, and I had the smoked tuna melt.

At home, I was pleased to find Mary and Smokey cuddled up in his convalescent room. (I had bunged her in there to keep her son company.)


Mary and Smokey


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