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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Before we could leave for the Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend, we had some essential watering to do.  Allan went to work, watering the Ilwaco street trees and planters.

He saw these residents as he drove to the boatyard to get water.

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The squiggle road sign just before the road uphill marks the side road (going to the right) to our old house.

While filling up the water trailer tank, he saw a friend working on a prop for the Nauti-Lady.

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Allan learned that “The Nauti-Lady was changing its prop to one with less pitch that would allow the engine run a smoother & higher RPM to maintain the same speed.”

The Azure Salon has added some colour to our tree and planter combo.

DSC01741

Meanwhile, I watered as much as possible at home in the same amount of time and had the usual “I don’t want to leave my garden” feelings that I always get when I go away.

I didn't want to leave my tadpoles!

I didn’t want to leave my tadpoles!

I know they won't miss me, but the cats will.

I know they won’t miss me, but the cats will.

I was worried about my hanging baskets; we took one down, and J9 was coming over to water for us on Saturday.  I don’t trust our pipes after the most recent leak, so we turned the house water off and I left lots of watering cans and a barrel full of water for her to just water in the greenhouse and a few containers.  Garden Tour Nancy brought me some posters of this year’s tour in case I could distribute some in Portland.  I showed her the water turn on in case hot weather at the beach required some serious watering help.  Temperatures in Portland were predicted to reach 103, and when that happens, cooling fog usually appears where we live.  I hoped so for the sake of the planters in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

a reminder

a reminder

hanging basket down

hanging basket down

I left a jug of water on the porch next to this one...

I left a jug of water on the porch next to this one…

When Allan returned, we frittered away some more time filling cat bowls with food and water, making sure no cats were shut into a shed or cupboard, and finally we got on our way.  I’ll spare you (just this once) my nervous crossing of the Astoria bridge.

Here we are, heading east through downtown Astoria.

3:44 PM Here we are, heading east through downtown Astoria.

We had our GPS set to avoid freeways, so two and a half hours later we entered Portland through a quiet industrial area.  It is a much more interesting way in than the freeway, and kinder to my feeble nerves.

ortland1

portland2

crossing railroad tracks

crossing railroad tracks

I find this sort of scenery far more interesting than a freeway, don’t you?

It surprised me no one else was using this alternate route to avoid rush hour, which must be just petering out at 6:20 PM.

It surprised me no one else was using this alternate route to avoid rush hour, which must be just petering out at 6:20 PM.

not by a dock

not by a dock

ptland

By the way, it was about 90 degrees Farenheit.

By the way, it was about 90 degrees Farenheit.

milling

bridge

By 6:15 we approached downtown Portland.

By 6:15 we approached downtown Portland.

Portland abounds in street trees.

Portland, “the city of roses”,  abounds in street trees.

street2

The University Place hotel, central lodging for the study weekend (about 7 blocks from the university where seminars would be held)

The University Place hotel, central lodging for the study weekend (about 7 blocks from the university where seminars would be held)

view from our room of the hotel central courtyard (which I never found time to visit)

view from our room of the hotel central courtyard (which I never found time to visit)

Much as I longed to just collapse and rest, because for the next three days we would need to rise at 7 AM (three hours earlier than usual for me!), I had a single-minded mission for our only free evening: to visit the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House.  This required more driving, to the other side of the Willamette River.

!!!! 91 degrees at 7:30 PM.

91 degrees at 7:30 PM.

Rimsky Korsakoffeehouse

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

Allan's photo: me on a pilgrimage

Allan’s photo: me on a pilgrimage

This establishment is owned by Goody Cable, who also owns my most beloved place, the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon,  It opens at 7 PM and is a dessert and coffee place, so we would be eating dessert before dinner.  I had been there once before, with Montana Mary, in 2003.

The porch offered seating; I wanted to be inside to bask in the ambience.

The porch offered seating; I wanted to be inside to bask in the ambience.

Tonight we sat at a table that I knew would provide amusement (and we were the only ones there at this early-for-dessert hour).  I made the mistake of tipping Allan off to what was going to happen.  It would have been more fun if I had not told him.  I had assumed he’d remember my story of the last time I was there. (He had not.)

note the height of table and chair

note the height of table and chair

view from our table

view from our table

Over the mantel: a painting of the Sylvia Beach Hotel

Over the mantel: a painting of the Sylvia Beach Hotel

more of the interior

more of the interior

inside

One of the staff told us that they usually have themed items hanging from the ceiling (including “onions”, I could swear he said).   I have heard the Goody herself is sometimes there.  As has almost always happened at the hotel, while I was there, she was not.

I'll make the musical corner photo small, as it came out blurry.

I’ll make the musical corner photo small, as it came out blurry.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Another trick table...disappears into the wall by being pulled in from the kitchen side.  (Allan's photo)

Another trick table…disappears into the wall by being pulled in from the kitchen side. (Allan’s photo)

Another table slowly revolves so that, lost in conversation, you find your neighbour’s dessert in front of you instead of your own.

Allan brought me this painting of the writers who inspired rooms at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

Allan brought me this painting of the writers who inspired rooms at the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

I ordered a banana split and Allan a

I ordered a banana split and Allan a “Ship Goes to Pieces Against a Rock” ice cream sundae.

Allan taking photos.

Allan taking photos.

I asked Allan to go upstairs and get photos of the loo, which I remembered being entertaining. I was much more agile in 2003 and tonight I did not feel like climbing stairs.

Allan's photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking back down

looking back down

on the way upstairs

on the way upstairs

sign

the other upstairs doors

the other upstairs doors

in the loo

in the loo

the ceiling

the ceiling

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fishing line and float, and underside of a duck

fishing line and float, and underside of a duck

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banana split

banana split

iced chai and

iced chai and “Ship Goes to Pieces Against a Rock”

dessert

front window

front window

Now, remember the distance from the table to the chair when we sat down?

half an hour later

half an hour later

forty five minutes later

forty five minutes later

Oh, why did I blab to Allan?  Even though I knew that Rimsky has trick tables, I remember how surprised I was when I realized, with Mary, back in 2003, how it had imperceptibly and then obviously come up to under my chin.  I had had a moment of wondering why my chair was so low, and feeling the size of a child.

On the other hand, he had fun trying to figure out how it works.

Allan at the table

Allan at the table

desserts on high

desserts on high

As we departed, two newcomers eyed the table in amazement.

As we departed, two newcomers eyed the table in amazement.

Although Portland has so many great food options, we did not have the energy to seek them out at 9 PM, so we resorted to the diner style hotel café.

It was so easy....

It was so easy….

...with no attempt at ambience...

…with no attempt at ambience…

and some simple grub: a cheese quesadilla, which made lunch for the next day, as well.

and some simple grub: a cheese quesadilla, which made lunch for the next day, as well.

Allan did do some exploring of the hotel.

courtyard at night

courtyard at night

Of course, I was unable to sleep until my usual bedtime of 2 AM despite lying quietly in the dark by midnight.  The next day, we would rise at the relatively late study weekend hour of 7:30 AM and begin the day with garden touring and end it with a lecture by world famous gardener Dan Hinkley (an idol of mine).

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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Long Beach

With the van full of annuals, we headed to Long Beach hoping to make it through all the planters with Cosmos ‘Sonata’, painted sage, and assorted annuals that I call “uppies” and “trailies”.

This involves more thinking than usual for me, so I asked Allan to be the principal blog photographer for the day.

a full van

a full van

One reason why what used to be “Annuals Planting Hell” has become  “Annuals Planting Time” (mostly) for the past two years is that we are working out of a comfy sized van instead of a tiny two door Saturn.  I shudder with horror at the memory of eight years of bending and twisting to get plants in and out of the back seat of that car.

The trailer was also loaded with short plants (less likely to be damaged by wind while driving) and buckets of water for burbling.

The trailer was also loaded with short plants (less likely to be damaged by wind while driving) and buckets of water for burbling.


deer in the grassy lot next to the credit union (which is the same block in which they nip at the plants in the planters)

deer in the grassy lot next to the credit union (which is the same block in which they nip at the plants in the planters)

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one of the planters

one of the planters


Cosmos 'Sonata' and painted sage all burbled and set up for planting

Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and painted sage all burbled and set up for planting


the big Lewis and Clark Square planter ready for planting

the big Lewis and Clark Square planter ready for planting


L&C Square

L&C Square


all planted up with the lemon-pink Osteo and Cosmos 'Sonata'

all planted up with the lemon-pink Osteo and Cosmos ‘Sonata’

I wish I could get the lady’s mantle permanently gone from the right side of the planter, above.  We can’t get the darn roots out without damaging the sprinkler system, so some experiments with perennials (lady’s mantle, a variegated ivy, some trailing cotoneaster) along the edges have become permanent fixtures.

The street planter next to L&C Square has a wealth of reseeded violas.  We cleared it out of a dull perennials geranium last fall.

The street planter next to L&C Square has a wealth of reseeded violas. We cleared it out of a dull perennial geranium last fall.


Geranium 'Rozanne' has been a successful perennial experiment in some of the planters.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has been a successful perennial experiment in some of the planters.  I’d like to plant more; it’s surprisingly hard to come by.


planting

planting

Passersby often want to converse.  The fellow in the photo below is one of my favourites.  He used to be a landscaper, for thirty years.  I told him that I do not enjoy planting, and he said he did not enjoy weeding but had liked planting, so we agreed we would have made a good team.

garden talk

garden talk

As Allan and I went along, we sheared back the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  Although they will look regrettably sad for a couple of weeks, they will later bloom more profusely with smaller flowers and won’t fall open from the center.

sheared Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

halfway sheared Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’; it could have been done earlier before the set of flowers.


more planting

more planting


Allan got artistic with this one.

Allan got artistic with this one.


Occasionally, it was possible to sit and plant.

Occasionally, it was possible to sit and plant.

We ran out of blue painted sage just after the Police Station planter.  A second sowing from The Planter Box should be ready for us in a couple of weeks to finish up the blues in the last three blocks of planters.  We ran out of trailies by the Cottage Bakery, not unexpectedly.  Part of the plan is to be able to count how many more we will need to finish on a second planting day.  We also ran out of time by 7 PM and did not finish the cosmos in the last two blocks.  Allan asked if we had ever gotten it all done in one day, and I agreed probably not, but I live in hope.

almost 7:30 PM after dumping debris at City Works

almost 7:30 PM after dumping debris at City Works

The Cove Restaurant

We arrived for Thursday night at the Cove too late for ahi tuna.  Fortunately, Prawns Solo is a splendid second choice.

Prawns Solo

Prawns Solo


and a $2 fish taco

and a $2 fish taco


Allan had Lomo Soltado

Allan had Lomo Soltado. Left overs made for a splendid omelettte the following night

To make the evening perfect, Chef Jason sautéed us some freshly foraged fiddlehead ferns in butter.

fiddlehead ferns

fiddlehead ferns

Tomorrow: finishing Long Beach and more

bonus book report

Over the past week, in small portions, I enjoyed book about statistics gleaned from users of OK Cupid and Facebook and other social internet sites.  I gave it five stars.  It dealt only with people under 50, as the author felt older people did not use the social internet as much.  As a 60 year old, I certainly don’t find that to be true of folks my age, as plenty of us are social internet addicts.  I suppose not as many of us are looking for online dating success, though.

Some takeaways from the entertaining book:

dataclysm

About John Waters and fandom:

waters

John Waters said:  “Beauty is looks you never forget.  A face should jolt, not soothe,” inspiring Christian Rudder to reflect: “He’s completely correct, for as with music, as with movies, and as with a wide variety of human phenomena, a flaw is a powerful thing.  Even at the person-to-person level, to be universally liked is to be relatively ignored.  To be disliked by some is to be loved all the more by others.”  (I actually don’t think that’s true but it is a thought provoking statement and sort of comforting.)

indivuals

I found it sweet how he then added a photo of his own self at age fourteen.

the author

the author

some true thoughts about writing in the modern world:

writing

damgerl

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Monday, 23 February 2015

After nine hours of exhausted sleep, I still found it rather hard to get going on my day-off garden projects.  Allan headed off in the early afternoon to float his boat around somewhere.

What to do?  The back patio certainly could use a good weeding:

Ruching out the weedy grass and leaving just the poppies would be a good patio project.

Ruching out the weedy grass and leaving just the poppies would be a good patio project.

In the spirit of procrastination, I was propping up the front fence telling a passing friend, landscaper Steve Clarke, how I planned to pull many the shotweed out of the front garden today, when my neighbours Jared and Jessika (of Starvation Alley Farm organic cranberry fame) appeared.  I asked them if they would mind if I made a half moon edger line down their side of my east fence and they said it would be fine.  So there was my day’s project, even though I had originally meant to spend the time removing fiddly little weeds.  Because Jared and Jessika were bundling their dogs into their vehicle, it would be a good time for me to dig the edge on their side of the fence without making the dogs feel trespassed upon.

I had a walkabout while questing for the red wheelbarrow.

crocuses in the back garden

crocuses in the back garden

a bad sight: hardy fuchsia with annoying orange montbretia popping up at the base.

a bad sight: hardy fuchsia with annoying orange montbretia popping up at the base.

Allan is lucky he went boating or I would have asked him to totally remove that fuchsia/montbretia combo for me.  I found the red wheelbarrow (just the right size so I don’t overfill it) in the bogsy woods with some river rock that Allan had been gathering for the swale.

By the gate into the neighbouring yard, I saw another project that needs doing: In several areas of the garden, I need to remove the rampant seedlings of “touch me not”, AKA jewelweed, policeman’s helmet, or wild impatiens, before it smothers good things.

a field of touch me not

a mess of touch me not

The project began at 1:30.

before, the east side of our fence

before, the east side of our fence

an hour and a half later, after removing two strips of sod

an hour and a half later, after removing two strips of sod

Jared and Jessika plan to till out a bed here for planting beans to grow on the fence.  Digging out the strip along the edge will benefit them, and it also greatly benefits me as the grass grows under the fence and makes the narrow garden bed on my side very hard to weed.  I did the same sort of edging outside the west fence (Nora’s back yard) earlier this year.  I have hope that the edging will help the maintenance with or without a bean bed.  Last summer, I edged along the fence down by the gear shed and the line has held up well since then.

This was a mess  last midsummer.

This was a mess last midsummer.

When the edging was done, my big plans for the day went awry as I went into the house, sat down, and did not manage to get up again for an hour or more.  By then, the sun’s angle was blinding for seeing little weeds.  I did remove some shotweed from the front garden, since I’d said I would, and then tried to return to the mission of weeding my side of the east fence.  By then, I’d missed the warm and balmy afternoon and the soil was cold and I was mad at myself for losing so much time to sitting (not even reading, just goofing around looking at Facebook on my iPhone!)

I was reminded of this poem:

Timothy Took His Time

by Frieda Wolfe

Timothy took his time to school and plenty of time he took

but some he lost at the tadpole pool and more at the stickleback brook

ever so much at the linnet’s nest and more at the five bar gate.

Timothy took his time to school but he lost it all and was late.

Timothy has a lot to do, how can it all be done?

He didn’t get home ’til close on 2 when he might have been home by 1.

There’s sums & writing & spelling too and an apple tree to climb.

Timothy has a lot to do, how shall he find the time?

Timothy sought it high and low, he looked in the tadpole pool

To see if they’d taken the time to grow, that he’d lost on the way to school.

He found the nest and he found the tree and he found the gate he’d crossed

But Timothy never shall find (ah me!) the time that Timothy lost!

I dawdled a bit more by walking around admiring plants.

Lonicera standishii has been blooming for weeks.

Lonicera standishii has been blooming with small ultra fragrant white flowers for weeks.

Sedum 'Xenox'

Sedum ‘Xenox’

narcissi backed with hellebore

narcissi backed with hellebore

another hellebore

another hellebore

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem, given to me by Sheila.

Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem, given to me by Sheila.

It's supposed to be a runner, which is why it's back by the bogsy woods.  There it is, running, with a kazillion baby touch me nots.

It’s supposed to be a runner, which is why it’s back by the bogsy woods. There it is, running, with a kazillion baby touch me nots that need pulling.

I further procrastinated by looking for growth on the plants given us by Todd.

I further procrastinated by looking for growth on the plants given us by Todd.

I am embarrassed to say that when watering in the greenhouse, I found a dried up little Garnet Wiegela from Todd, in a little pot in which I had planted it to give it time to grow on, and which had gotten shoved behind another plant and dried up.  Sorry, Todd!  Very careless.

Hellebore 'Golden Sunrise', still a baby

Hellebore ‘Golden Sunrise’, still a baby

I pondered whether to cut the hardy fuchsia, below, all the way to the ground, or just trim the ends off since the branches are putting out new growth.  I like fuchsias to be tall. But the new basal growth looks lush. Such musings can use a lot of time.

hardy fuchsia

hardy fuchsia

The ribes (flowering currants) are starting to show some colour.

The ribes (flowering currants) are starting to show some colour.

I returned to crocus admiration, after noticing that the Corylopsis pauciflora is in bloom.

I returned to crocus admiration, after noticing that the pale yellow Corylopsis pauciflora is in bloom right above this patch.

crocus

You may note a lot of twiggy debris on the soil.  I’m influenced by two gardeners in that regard.  Ann Lovejoy recommended the “chop and drop” method of garden clean up.  And Anne Wareham’s book The Bad-Tempered Gardener firmly makes the point that it is senseless to haul debris to a compost heap, let it break down, and then haul it back into the garden.  Unfortunately, I cannot use this brilliant method of gardening at work because most of our gardens are public and people expect to see neat and tidy soil in winter.

To the obnoxious former neighbour who cried "Why PURPLE?" when we painted our house:  This is just one of many reasons.

To the obnoxious former neighbour who cried “Why PURPLE?” when we painted our house: This is just one of many reasons.

Pulmonaria in Allan's garden

Pulmonaria in Allan’s garden

Impatiens omeiana already popping up among the black mondo grass in Allan's garden

Impatiens omeiana already popping up among the black mondo grass in Allan’s garden

a handsome hellebore

a handsome hellebore

In the front garden, a potted, struggling daphne had put out some incredibly fragrant flowers.

In the front garden, a potted, lopsided, struggling daphne had put out some incredibly fragrant flowers.

It looked to me like deer have been putting their heads over the low front fence and tasting these tulips.

It looked to me like deer have been putting their heads over the low front fence and tasting these tulips.

I searched the garden for an old piece of birdcage to protect the tulips.

I searched the garden for an old piece of birdcage to protect the tulips.

a line of early species tulips coming up in the front garden

a line of early species tulips coming up in the front garden

Oh dear, one of TWO big clumps of epimidium that I have not cut back to let the flowers show.

Oh dear, one of TWO big clumps of epimidium in Allan’s garden that I have not cut back to let the flowers show.

Hamamelis mollis in front garden, smells like apricots

Hamamelis mollis in front garden, smells like apricots

haze of yellow Hamamelis mollis flowers

haze of yellow Hamamelis mollis flowers

Ribes speciosum in the front garden

Ribes speciosum in the front garden

grass path toward back garden, where I SHOULD be, weeding the east edge

grass path toward back garden, where I SHOULD be weeding the east edge

I ponder how I could get more garden space by narrowing the lawn, but there is something comfortable and expansive about the wide swathe of green.

By now, you can just imagine how much of the time that I took out into the garden today has been lost without much getting done.  At five o clock, I entered the fray of weeding the narrow east bed.

It was a mess.

It was a mess.

The first bit I tackled had that horrible grass, not couch or quack grass but another one with tiny, tightly meshed roots.  It is tightly matted around the base of an old lilac, and the soil feels tight, too.

It's a tight mess.

It’s a tight mess.

Adding some mulch would help loosen this soil so that the roots slip out easier.  Right now, it’s a misery to weed in cold, damp soil.

My beautiful Drymis winteri cheered me up.

My beautiful Drymis winteri cheered me up.

It's blooming!

It’s blooming!

Seems early for such fat buds on Clematis 'Crystal Fountain', whose tag says "blooms June through September".

Seems early for such fat buds on Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’, whose tag says “blooms June through September”.

By dusk, I had the narrow bed looking not perfect, but much better.

By dusk, I had the narrow bed looking not perfect, but much better.

Allan said last night that he wondered why gardeners back east, when reading Pacific Northwest gardening blogs, don’t all move here when they see how mild our winters are.

 Because I got so much less accomplished today than I had wished, I long for tomorrow off, as well.  It cannot be, because there are still gardens where we have not even begun spring clean up.  I swear that next year I will have more time to spend at home where I am happiest.  I swore that last year, too, and the year before.  Life is short and I simply must figure out how to make it happen.

 Next:  Allan’s day off on the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Long Beach

I’d planned that we would go to Andersen’s but then decided it would be so satisfying to get the rest of the Long Beach rhododendrons trimmed.  On the way into town, we paused to photograph the welcome sign.

sign

lots of narcissi

lots of narcissi

And none of them need deadheading yet.

And none of them need deadheading yet.

We started work on the two “little pop outs” on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

one little pop out, before

one little pop out, before

While Allan clipped the grasses, I walked with the wheelbarrow one block east to Pacific Way to deal with a planter and a tree garden.  The main street was busy with vehicles because of a three day weekend combined with series of clamming days that started today.

planter at Pacific and 7th south

planter at Pacific and 7th south

after pruning the santolinas

after pruning the santolinas

There was a mystery on the street side of that planter:

bulbs on the street

bulbs on the street

Had it been vandalized?  Closer examination reveals that deer did it.

tulip foliage in the planter...bitten off!

tulip foliage in the planter…bitten off!

I checked the planter to the south, across the street.  Same evidence of deer.

to the south....This planter also had nipped tulips.

to the south….This planter also had nipped tulips.

nice crocuses though....

nice crocuses though….

7th Street must be a deer highway as the four planters at that intersection get particularly nibbled.  If I remember, I won’t bother planting tulips in them next fall.

Next, cutting back the ornamental grass under a street tree.

Panicum 'Heavy Metal' under a street tree

Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ under a street tree

clipped down

clipped down

Why in the world do broken bottles end up in tree gardens and planters?

Why in the world do broken bottles end up in tree gardens and planters?

Map My Walk shows a whole lot of walking around to get those two tasks done.  (Top right corner is another task, later, on another street tree garden.)

IMG_8360

With a precariously heaped wheelbarrow, I made my way back to the popout and helped Allan finish weeding around the edge.

all done

all done

We next went to Fifth Street Park to prune a big hydrangea.  Allan did that job:

Allan's job

Allan’s job

Allan was entertained by the arrival of a fleet of shiny motorcycles.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, I went across the street and did some more rose pruning (Rose ‘Super Dorothy’) and some weeding in the park in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder.

chowder

This little bird was scratching about under the fence.

This little bird was scratching about under the fence.

Melianthus major already coming on strong in the garden.  Early.

Melianthus major already coming on strong in the garden. Early.

I got more creeping sorrel out from the tree bed where it thrives.

I got more creeping sorrel out from the tree bed where it thrives.  Much better now.

Weeding and raking leaves around the pond revealed that the Gunnera has healthy new leaves.

Weeding and raking leaves around the pond revealed that the Gunnera has healthy new leaves.

With that park all tidied up, we turned to the rhododendrons along the side of Gazebo park on 3rd Avenue, across from the police station.

starting to prune behind  where new benches are going in

starting to prune behind where new benches are going in

finishing touches

finishing touches to the small rhododendron (and my shadow)

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I am resisting cutting the tallest rhodos down to fence height but have agreed to prune them back for easier lawn mowing.

before

before

during2

during

after

after

We were ever so fortunate because, after having to park a block away, just as Allan went to bring the van to pick up the pile of branches, someone drove off from the perfect spot.  I slammed our traffic cone into place, just saving the spot from eager tourists, and we were able to load without having to drag the branches down the street.

fully loaded in a spot right by the park

fully loaded in a spot right by the park

I was able to cross the rhodos off of the work list.  Remembering to add Casa Pacifica at the end made it just as long, though.

I'm starting to add the private gardens to the list as well as public ones.

I’m starting to add the private gardens to the list as well as public ones.

I used Map My Walk to track how far I walked over the course of three blocks of work.  The map also shows a vehicular rectangle as we drove around looking for a parking place (futile, so we ended up parked behind the police station (3rd Street SE), just as I expected).    Minus the drive around town, we must each have walked at least three and a half miles.  The green dot is the starting point at the little pop out.  We drove as far south as 9th to be able to negotiate the busy traffic.

IMG_8362

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Garden Tour Nancy had suggested earlier in the week that we join her for an event at the Ocean Park Library. Our work day was scheduled to allow that, starting with a quick shopping stop at Dennis Company; while Allan bought whatever it was he wanted, I attended to two city planters.

northernmost planter on east side with Geranium 'Rozanne' going strong.

northernmost planter on east side with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ going strong.

northernmost planter on west side with Oregano 'Herrenhausen' and Geranium 'Rozanne'

northernmost planter on west side with Oregano ‘Herrenhausen’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, golden sage, white alyssum

then….Golden Sands Assisted Living

An hour of weeding and deadheading at Golden Sands fit perfectly into the slot before the library event. I assessed what has to be done next:

In the SE quadrant, I intend to remove all that rampant geranium. (It's one that is pinker than AT Johnson but just as pesky).

In the SE quadrant, I intend to remove all that rampant geranium. (It’s one that is pinker than AT Johnson but just as pesky).

In the NE quadrant, I'm making good progress on removing too many reseeded scabiosas.  Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is going into each quadrant for late summer colour.

In the NE quadrant, I’m making good progress on removing too many reseeded scabiosas. Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ is going into each quadrant for late summer colour.

In the NW quadrant, I'm thinning scabiosa and white running achillea.

In the NW quadrant, I’m thinning scabiosa and white running achillea.

In the SW quadrant, I have to keep the lysimachia from spreading too rampantly and must thin many scabiosas and columbines.

In the SW quadrant, I have to keep the lysimachia from spreading too rampantly and must thin many scabiosas and columbines.

Meanwhile, Allan strimmed the center lawn and removed a couple more tatty old carexes from outside the quadrants. We are both keeping the wild beach strawberry from jumping back into the flower gardens. You can see, above, how much it would like to do so.

Bushwick Book Club at the Timberland Regional Library, Ocean Park

We parked near a garden bed full of dahlias.

Time was tight so I telephotoed the photo; that's the elementary school in the background.

Time was tight so I telephotoed the photo; that’s the elementary school in the background.

front entrance of Ocean Park library

front entrance of Ocean Park library

inside

inside

the computer room

the computer room

I had a little time to browse the library and on a shelf display, I found that one of my favourite authors, Margaret Drabble, has a new book. I checked it and another book out. This branch of the library is larger than the Ilwaco branch and filled with natural light.

Nancy was waiting for us in the meeting room, where we settled in to hear a performance by Read and Destroy, a quartet of musicians from the Bushwick Book Club, Seattle. I’d not heard of the club before, and it made me wish for just a moment that I still lived in Seattle.

from the Bushwick Book Club website

from the Bushwick Book Club website

I thought perhaps the performance would be about an assortment of books. It turned out to be all songs inspired by one particular book, with an illustrative slideshow:

closer

 

Closer to the Ground is the deeply personal story of a father learning to share his love of nature with his children, not through the indoor lens of words or pictures, but directly, palpably, by exploring the natural world together as they forage, cook and eat from the woods and sea.”

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Read and Destroy

Read and Destroy.

Note the Farenheit 451 t shirt

Note the Farenheit 451 t shirt

One of the songs was based on the attempted suicide of a 16 year old friend of the author, who asked his friend, “Why did you do it? The birds are singing!” and his friend replied, “I can’t hear them anymore.”

The book includes brief sections about different birds. Below, the drummer is reading a passage about reincarnation: “Grandma is a crow now.”

We enjoyed excerpts of the book being read before the songs.

We enjoyed excerpts of the book being read before the songs.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Below, the songwriter to the left described how he had spent time along Willapa Bay in a retreat for artists in Oysterville, at the north end of our Long Beach Peninsula.

illustrated by a slide of the musician on Willapa Bay

illustrated by a slide of the musician on Willapa Bay

The slide below is of potatoes harvested from a Seattle apartment deck garden.

accompanied by a song about potatoes

accompanied by a song about potatoes

Some of the songs were upbeat; others were interesting instrumental interpretations of the nature of birds. The bird artwork, from the book illustrations, was cut from black paper with an exacto knife.

birds

a singalong at the very end

a singalong at the very end

T shirts and CDs were for sale.

T shirts and CDs were for sale.

I was grateful that I was not the audience member called up in front to be quizzed with some oyster and clam related questions in order to win a book. That would have filled me with horror, and as I anxiously waited to see if they were going to call one more person, I was hoping that if it were me, I could get Nancy to take my place. Didn’t happen, whew!

Other than that moment of terror, I found that the performance brought up all sorts of positive emotions about bookishness and the kindredship of reading. Afterwards, I was surprised to learn that the band had not heard of the Sylvia Beach Hotel. One of them wrote down the name, so I do hope they look into it.

part of the library garden

part of the library garden

Outside, Nancy and Allan and I chatted by a small garden bed stuffed with dahlias and petunias. I suggested we have coffee at Adelaide’s Coffee and bookshop nearby; unfortunately, it was closed so Allan and I just went on to work (and a good thing, too, as otherwise we would have had trouble finishing our day before the sun got to a low and glaring angle).

Weigardt Gallery

At the Wiegardt Gallery in Ocean Park, Allan clipped the lavenders in the entry garden while I began to remove some of the Geranium ‘A T Johnson’ that so plagues this garden. I still like the Geranium macrorrhizum because of its fragrant leaves and good behavior. And the deer don’t eat it, whereas they chomp the flowers off of A.T. Johnson, making it even more useless.

entry garden

entry garden

the handsome stand of variegated Miscanthus in the back garden

the handsome stand of variegated Miscanthus in the back garden

Marilyn’s Garden

Although we were pressed for time, we drove up north to Marilyn’s garden in Surfside just to do some quick weeding and clipping along the path.

a border of giant plants

a border of giant plants

path, before

path, before

after

after trimming the fig tree and some Phygelius

You can see that my Canon Powershot is annoying me with a problem, possibly caused by a small scratch in the built in lens, causing lots of sun spots. I suppose a new camera is in order…again…and it has to be a pocketcam size for taking photos at work.

Next time, i hope to do Marilyn’s BEFORE Golden Sands, so we can take some Phygelius down there that is trying to run out into Marilyn’s path.

At the south end of the garden, Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ is proving to be deer resistant and a good privacy screen. I need one more to stop the eye at the end, and I can divide a bit of this shrub easily to extend it along the open space.

Lonicera, left alone by deer.  The Ceanothus to the left is not growing well, probably in too much shade.

Lonicera, left alone by deer. The Ceanothus to the left is not growing well, probably in too much shade.

'Wilma Goldcrest' Cypress is also not bothered by the deer.

‘Wilma Goldcrest’ Cypress is also not bothered by the deer.

looking northwest-ish from the deck; the giant Miscanthus is totally blocking the view of the neighbours' garage

looking northwest-ish from the deck; the giant Miscanthus is totally blocking the view of the neighbours’ garage

This garden is a bird haven (and deer haven) so is allowed to go to seed and won’t get cut back til time to plant bulbs, and then only partially. The big cut back will happen in late winter.

Speaking of deer, they’ve decided to munch Geranium ‘Rozanne’ by Marilyn’s front porch

I won''t be planting a river of Rozanne in Erin's garden, after all.

I won”t be planting a river of Rozanne in Erin’s garden, after all. Phooey; the deer left Rozanne alone till now.

Oman Builders Supply

Back in Ocean Park, we paused to trim the Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ spent flowers at the Oman Builders Supply hardware store.

obs

Klipsan Beach Cottages

looking in the east gate of the fenced garden, where I don't have to battle the deer.

looking in the east gate of the fenced garden, where I don’t have to battle the deer.

Allan’s project for today was to cut down the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ from behind the bench.

before

before

after

after

Allan's before and after

Allan’s before and after

south side of the fenced garden

south side of the fenced garden

KBC owner Mary worked with us for awhile. She had bought some round hebes to make a little formal entry to the small pond inside the fenced garden, the area where Allan had cleared much Lysimachia last week.. I forgot to take a photo of them after she planted them. Next time!

dinner at The Cove

In the parking lot of the Cove Restaurant (our Thursday tradition as of this past summer) was parked a cute old truck with a winch. It must be local because of the Jake the Alligatorman sticker on the back.

cute ride

cute ride

Parking Lot Cat played hard to get tonight.

Parking Lot Cat played hard to get tonight.

golfers

golfers

sunflowers by the restaurant entrance

sunflowers by the restaurant entrance

It is a great comfort to have a weekly ritual of a good meal out in friendly surroundings, especially because, if we are feeling frugal, we can just have $2 fish tacos…what a deal! I have, however, become addicted to having a nice salad and ahi tuna.

the Thursday Chef's Mercy menu

the Thursday Chef’s Mercy menu

While I’m not big on French fries (chips), I wanted to try the spicy creme fraiche dip.

spicy and delicious

spicy and delicious

Allan decided to diverge from the usual and try the burger. As we have heard from others, it was exceptionally tasty. We did end up with fries in our lunch box the next day.

burger

chanterelle mushroom swiss burger

Roasted Beet and Apple Salad with Rogue River Blue Cheese

Roasted Beet and Apple Salad with Rogue River Blue Cheese, slivered almonds and molasses maple vinaigrette

my ahi tuna; I managed to take the photo before diving in this week.

my ahi tuna; I managed to take the photo before diving in this week.

our golf course view

our golf course view

As if our evening was not already so very pleasant, Chef Jason sent out a treat for us:

He wrote us a note to explain it...

He wrote us a note to explain it…

absolutely delectable...mushrooms from local forager Veronica, and carrots from local Farmer Fred

absolutely delectable…mushrooms from local forager Veronica, and carrots from local Farmer Fred

The dessert menu included an irresistible new addition: pie! With all the food shown above, that’s why we had to have apple and strawberry rhubarb pie (and fries) to go.

We were sort of greedy.  I always tell them it's because we had such a hard, hard day.

We were sort of greedy. I always tell them it’s because we had such a hard, hard day.

The sun was setting when we left, leaving a pink glow in the eastern sky….

sky

house

the golf course owners’ residence with sunset and moon

sunset over the Cove Restaurant

sunset over the Cove Restaurant

and to the west; the ocean is past those houses and trees.

and to the west; the ocean is past those houses and trees. (Allan’s photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A two day work week?  My goodness, we have gotten lazy.  We have more time off as we have quit jobs that were too hard on my knees (the up and down steep slopes jobs).  When I was very mildly fretting today about whether we should be trying to make more money, Allan pointed out that time off now, when we can enjoy it, might be more valuable than time later when we might be in wheelchairs, perhaps with money made now but with less mobility to get around the garden or the lake.  Our late and missed neighbour Nora often reminded us to do things and SEE things now while we still could walk and had good vision.  Perhaps she herself wished that she had worked less.  The day may come when we have to give up restaurant dining and garden tour trips; we will live on memories, online touring, and Allan’s good cooking.

We made the north end rounds today; next week, we will check on all the rest of the private gardens.

We went all the way to Marilyn's in Surfside today.

We went all the way to Marilyn’s in Surfside today.

The Depot Restaurant in Seaview (between Ilwaco and Long Beach)

the weekly photo from the east end of the flower garden

the weekly photo looking west from the east end of the flower garden

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower'

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

It looks like the Fort George Brewery Co-HOPerative folks may have come to pick the hop flowers for brewing a beer from several different local hops sources.

Basket Case Nancy, if you are reading this:  The windowboxes still look good for this time of year; I just forgot to take a photo!

Long Beach Welcome Sign

There are a lot of Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ to deadhead, an enjoyable enough task, and the twelve unenjoyable Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’, which it crossed my mind could be pulled out soonish.

The bidens along the front provides plenty of yellow to "stop the eye".

The bidens along the front provides plenty of yellow to “stop the eye”.

The back of the sign is edged with white bacopa.

The back of the sign is edged with white bacopa.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

The four quadrants of the courtyard garden aren’t looking too bad right now, thanks to Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, Solidago ‘Fireworks’, some sadly yellow-foliaged Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and not enough cosmos.

Google Earth of the building surrounding the courtyard.

Google Earth of the building surrounding the courtyard.

Southwest quadrant

SW quadrant

NW quadrant (the front a little bare where a bench used to sit).

NW quadrant (the front a little bare where a bench used to sit).

NE quadrant

NE quadrant

Southeast quadrant

SE quadrant

Every week Allan removes with the pick a couple more of the tatty old carexes that are behind the quadrants.  I think when they are gone, the snail problem will improve as I am sure they hide in those grasses.  That could make it easier to grow more dahlias next year.

I had three ideas later in the day of plants I can get for free to add to the very late summer show at Golden Sands.

Sometime this winter I want to get around to a blog post about how the residents decorate the entryways to their rooms. How would you decorate if this area was your statement to the world?  I thought I’d write it last winter and did not.  Perhaps a sneak peek will motivate me.

One of the residents clearly likes the Rod Run.

One of the residents clearly likes the Rod Run.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

the weekly look in the east gate

the weekly look in the east gate

Mary made a new container.

Mary made a new container planting.

'Streamer' sweet peas

‘Streamer’ sweet peas

and more 'Streamer' sweet peas

and more ‘Streamer’ sweet peas

boxwood and Sedum 'Autumn Joy' backed with Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'.

boxwood and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ backed with Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’.  A piece or two of that Persicaria will go to Golden Sands.

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower'; a piece of this could go to Golden Sands (and to Marilyn').

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’; a piece of this could go to Golden Sands (and to Marilyn’).

the garden bench backed with Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' and Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant'

the garden bench backed with Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

The Corokia cotoneaster has happily lived in the big blue pot for years.

The Corokia cotoneaster has happily lived in the big blue pot for years.

Sarah

Sarah (0r Timmy?)

Oman Builders Supply, Ocean Park

Some deadheading of the Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' was all this low maintenance success needed.

Some deadheading of the Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ was all this low maintenance success needed.

It could use a new plant here later, maybe another Gaura 'Whirling Butterfly'; something got swiped here, probably another Eryngium.

It could use a new plant here later, maybe another Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’; something got swiped here, probably another Eryngium.

Marilyn’s Garden, Surfside

We had a talkative audience from the next door roof.

We had a talkative audience from the next door roof.

Marilyn’s daughter, Nancy who is co owner of the Depot Restaurant, has been doing a marvelous job of keeping the garden well watered.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, taller than me (as it gets with enough water)

looking south

looking south

Phygelius can go to the Golden Sands garden!  I can get many pieces of it from here as it wants to go out into the gravel path.

Phygelius can go to the Golden Sands garden! I can get many pieces of it from here as it wants to go out into the gravel path.

Some of the cosmos are seedy and hard to reach.  That's ok because this is a bird garden and birds love cosmos seeds...especially goldfinches.

Some of the cosmos are seedy and hard to reach. That’s ok because this is a bird garden and birds love cosmos seeds…especially goldfinches.

We're keeping the cosmos along the path deadheaded.

We’re keeping the cosmos along the path deadheaded.  The Buddleia to the right is a sterile cultivar, ‘Blueberry Cobbler’.

the deck with pots planted by Basket Case Greenhouse Nancy.

the deck with pots planted by Basket Case Greenhouse Nancy.

The chaise lounge keeps the deer who live in this garden from browsing the annuals on the deck.

Looking northwest; A gust of wind  made the giant Miscanthus rustle enchantingly.

Looking northwest; A gust of wind made the giant Miscanthus rustle enchantingly.

Wiegardt Gallery, Ocean Park

Eric’s gallery was hopping with a painting class which had been brought by their instructor “to get inspiration”.  They had painted at Oysterville Sea Farms the day before, and today at the Oysterville church and school, and tomorrow they will paint at the Ilwaco boatyard.

front garden, cosmos underlaid with the very determined Bad Aster.

front garden, cosmos underlaid with the very determined Bad Aster.

fall crocus

fall crocus

the old kitchen door

the old kitchen door

picotee cosmos

picotee cosmos

a Miscanthus beginning to take its autumn bow.

a Miscanthus beginning to take its autumn bow.

The dratted deer ate the tops off of the Sedumn 'Autumn Joy'...

The dratted deer ate the tops off of the Sedumn ‘Autumn Joy’…

leaving the front garden looking rather empty.

leaving the front garden looking rather empty.

the north side of the gallery

the north side of the gallery

The predicted showers for today had not happened yet.  Rain is so much needed, I would have welcomed working in it.

Sword ferns are looking unusually distressed from hot dry weather.

Sword ferns are looking unusually distressed from hot dry weather.

Port of Ilwaco

When we got back to Ilwaco, we took a drive around the town to check on the Howerton Way gardens.

We saw three dandelions at the east end; Allan hopped out to get them.

We saw three dandelions at the east end; Allan hopped out to get them.

Then we decided to deadhead at the Port office and Time Enough Books.  In the garden north of the office, a Sedumn ‘Autumn Joy’ was pulled almost out of the ground.

Did someone get interrupted mid theft?

Did someone get interrupted mid theft?

South side of the Port Office

South side of the Port Office and Don Nisbett Art Gallery with baskets from The Basket Case

Don’s baskets are bigger from more watering and fertilizing.  He’s been asked to give his special attention to the port office baskets as well next year.

Seashells Cosmos

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

and the marina

and the marina

at home

I did just a bit of weeding and clipping in the front garden.  Tomorrow (September 18th), I’m leaving for the Sylvia Beach Hotel with Carol, a Seattle friend for 36 years.  Rain would be the perfect weather for staying indoors at the bookish hotel.  I was pleased when a drizzle finally began just before I came indoors to blog.  At dusk, the drizzle continued; may it continue for three days so that Allan does not have to do any watering work while I am gone.  (With just a break for the painting class to do their pleine air painting at the boatyard.)

delightfully drizzly window views:

north

north

north

north

photo 2

looking east

I hope that when I return and share whatever I wish to share from the trip that I can then somehow catch up to publishing this blog closer to real time.

 

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Larry and Robert’s Garden

Just five doors down is where we began the hot dry day by watering, weeding and deadheading. We maintain this garden so regularly that the weeding is minimal.

What I feel would make it just perfect is if it had a fence across the property on the west side, with an entry arbour; it already has a wisteria in place to grow on it.

From corner of house to west side of garden, fence with gate would be perfect.  It could be tall with the wisteria growing on it.

From corner of house to west side of garden, fence with gate would be perfect. It could be tall with the wisteria growing on it. I have no idea why wisteria in lower right corner is there with nothing to grow on.

Such a fence would prevent the deer from browsing this newly cleaned up bed.

Such a fence would prevent the deer from browsing this newly cleaned up bed.

Deer have been walking in from the front of the house and eating the Fuchsias...

Deer have been walking in from the front of the house and nibbling the Fuchsias…

..and the roses.

..and the roses.

Right where Allan is standing is where the fence could go...

Right where Allan is standing is where the fence could go…

The east side of the house, planted with deer resistant plants.

The east side of the house, planted with deer resistant plants.

the corner that gets way more sun that I thought it would...

the corner that gets way more sun that I thought it would…

I am going to move a few plants from here over to the shadier beds this fall.

The Verbena bonariensis in the boat amuses me by being tall and vertical where a sail mast would be, even if no one else notices.

The Verbena bonariensis in the boat amuses me by being tall and vertical where a sail mast would be, even if no one else notices.

Long Beach

By watering the Long Beach planters today, we hope that they will last till next Wednesday. If they can wait for watering till then, Allan won’t have to water them from Thursday to Sunday when I have gone with a dear friend on a four day trip to the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

planter in front of the smokeshop with 'Star Cluster' Coreopsis.

planter in front of the smoke shop with Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’.

one of my favourite planters...and across from it, one that we plan to redo this fall.

one of my favourite planters…and across from it, one that we plan to redo this fall.

another angle

another angle

note to self: more patio dahlias next year

note to self: more patio dahlias in the planters next year

Basket Case Greenhouse baskets on the Long Beach gazebo

Basket Case Greenhouse baskets on the Long Beach gazebo

I noticed for the first time that Mexigo has corn planted in their half barrel.

I noticed for the first time that Mexigo has corn planted in their half barrel.

Just north of Mexigo and Scoopers Ice Cream is another problem planter; not only is it windswept, for some reason it is one of our most vandalized planters. It’s planted with two full sized escallonias and is infested with red clover amid the creeping succulents that are the only thing that thrives here.

little sempervivums all infested with clover...what a pain.

little sempervivums all infested with clover…what a pain.

I’ve managed this year to get a lavender and a santolina to grow here without being yanked out by someone, so perhaps whoever used to bother this planter so much has moved on.

The planters at the west end of the Bolstadt beach approach that we redid last fall look good even with very little water. Once a week, we are told, the city crew mists them with their water pump trailer.

not too bad for almost total neglect

not too bad for almost total neglect

Ilwaco

We were hustling because we had an early dinner engagement. Ilwaco would neatly fill up the rest of our workday. While Allan watered the planters, I checked on them closely for the first time in a couple of months. He has been doing a fantastic job on his own and I found very few, tiny weeds.

This planter in almost full shade on Spruce Street is doing remarkably well.

This planter in almost full shade on Spruce Street is doing remarkably well.

bright sun made the nasturtiums glow at First and Main.

bright sun made the nasturtiums glow at First and Main. The lotus vine is less rampant in the sun than in the shade, perhaps because the shady planter stays more moist.

same planter, backdrop of Don's Portside Café

same planter, backdrop of Don’s Portside Café

kitty corner: yellows and oranges to tone with the café

kitty corner: yellows and oranges to tone with the café

Because the planter by the Portside Café has a clogged drainage hole, it stays moist. We will have to dig it out this fall if we want to have any bulbs in it. For the summer, I took advantage of the problem by planting mimulus there.

mimulus

mimulus

more mimulus; it was a mixed batch so we could not make it all yellow.

more mimulus; it was a mixed batch so we could not make it all yellow.

Down on First and Eagle, the planter that got all its plants torn out (and then we discovered it in enough time to replant them) has sort of recovered.

The nasturtium grew again but not floriferously.

The nasturtium grew again but not floriferously.

Sunflowers grow on the south wall of the house next to that planter.

Sunflowers grow on the south wall of the house next to that planter.

Just across the street from that house is the boatyard's north fence.

Just across the street from that house is the boatyard’s north fence.

Steve was up working on his mast.  He told me he often forgets to take some tool or other up with him.

Steve was up working on his mast. He told me he often forgets to take some tool or other up with him.

I weeded the garden along the east fence of the boatyard and still had time to water it again, which I felt it sorely needed due to the heat.

boatyard garden; we water from inside of the fence.

boatyard garden; we water from inside of the fence.

Because Allan needs an hour and forty five minutes to water the Ilwaco planters with the pump trailer, I had plenty of time. I realized I could even do some weeding along the inside by pulling weeds away from the fence.

pulling grass clumps and horsetail and bindweed away from the inside

pulling grass clumps and horsetail and bindweed away from the inside

I met a new boatyard dog who condescended to be briefly petted.

I met a new boatyard dog who condescended to be briefly petted.

A mast was being raised by a crane.

A mast was being raised by a crane.

And I chatted with a woman who has two boat cats on her boat.

And I chatted with a woman who has two boat cats on her boat.

We actually ended up with fifteen minutes of turn around time at home before doing to dinner. Usually we have a later dinner; tonight, we were dining at the unusual hour of 5:30 PM at the Depot Restaurant.

Depot Restaurant

By picking an earlier hour, we had gotten the Chef’s Table at the Depot for Kathleen’s two-weeks-early birthday dinner. Chef Michael, from the open kitchen window, served us a special plate of bread and an upscale bleu cheese.

cheese

Then began the birthday feasting:

Carne Asada appetizer

Carne Asada Negro: Sautéed tender chunks of marinated, grass fed, hormone free Rib Eye on Cumin Scented Black Beans topped with mild Mama Lil’s Goat Horn Peppers and Cilantro with Fried Tortilla Chips

Thai calamari appetizer

Thai Calamari: Fried wild sustainable Calamari tossed in Thai Peanut Cilantro Sauce on fresh Spinach and Napa Cabbage mix topped with Crispy Won Tons

for Kathleen: Southern Comfort Pork with enough for tomorrow's dinner, as well

for Kathleen: Southern Comfort Pork: Braised Pork Shoulder in Southern Comfort Bar BQ Sauce on Yam Mashers seasoned with Brown Sugar surrounded by Jalapeño Creamed Corn topped with Green Onion, Maple and Bacon Salsa (enough to provide tomorrow’s dinner, as well)

for me: spicy prawns

for me: Bangkok Prawns: Sweet Lime Chile Glazed Fried Prawns on Rice Noodle Sesame Seaweed Salad topped with Crispy Fried Chinese Noodles

for Allan: Parmesan Artichoke Risotto: Vegetarian Risotto with Artichoke Flowerets, Imported Parmesan Cheese and topped with Micro Greek Salad

for Allan: Parmesan Artichoke Risotto: Vegetarian Risotto with Artichoke Flowerets, Imported
Parmesan Cheese and topped with Micro Greek Salad

lemon bundt cake with blackberry puree backed with flourless chocolate cake

lemon bundt cake with blackberry puree backed with flourless chocolate torte

sorbet

sorbet

After such a scrumptious feast, we still had more talking to do so we moved to a table on the deck for another hour or more. It was an unusual angle to me to see the hops vines from the inside of the deck; I decided it was truly a stroke of genius to have planted them against the lattice.

The other side is the garden we deadhead and water.

The other side is the garden we deadhead and water.

They look quite wonderful draping overhead.

They look quite wonderful draping overhead…

and dangling down

and dangling down

and they looked even more romantic when darkness fell.

and they looked even more romantic when darkness fell.

It seems we lead a life of luxury with constant dining out; tomorrow would be another such dinner. We’ll make up for it this winter by being frugal (I hope!)

 

 

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