Posts Tagged ‘Depot Restaurant garden’

Monday, 12 November 2019

Skooter wakes up.

After our days of skiving off work for Halloween (but not resting), we buckled down to the fall clean up tasks.

Here is a mystery cat, a photo taken by Allan…somewhere along the way to work.  Unfortunately for me, I missed seeing it.

The Depot Restaurant

It was high time to clip the hops off of the dining deck lattice.  In fact, sous chef Jamie told us that they had just taken in the outdoor seating and had wondered when the hops would be removed.  I do like to stay one step ahead so that no one has to ask us to do things, thus we were just in time.

I trimmed from the outside, while Allan trimmed from the inside.


north side of dining deck


I like to leave some perennials standing.

Allan’s photos:

We cleaned up along the east wall of the restaurant and put some river rock in a low spot where the edging logs got shifted..

Now we wait for a hard frost to take down the window box annuals, and we try to remember to put some water on the window boxes once a week.

north side

still blooming, planted by Roxanne from Basket Case Greenhouse

Long Beach

I started a clean up of the NW quadrant garden, putting in about an hour of work.


Because birds are still enjoying the seeds, I left some tall perennials in place even though I think some passersby will find it messy.

seeds on Solidago ‘Fireworks” and sanguisorba



an hour later



The pale pink hesperantha, either Mrs. Hegarty or Viscountess Byng, is such a runner that we pulled much of it last spring.  A large amount that evaded us has been blooming beautifully in the autumn.  I find that if we pull a massive amount, then about the perfect quantity of blooms remain.

Meanwhile, Allan string trimmed an impossible-to-weed bed (dank, wet, rooty) in the SE quadrant across the street.


There is talk of removing this bed, trees and all.  The trees themselves are not healthy because of the wet soil.

With all that work done, I took this photo, below, and then ate my lunch whilst Allan ran the blower on the pavement.

We drove to Ilwaco and checked on the south garden by the Port of Ilwaco office—still with the cosmos that will not die.

just before sunset

It was not till we got home that Allan realized, while unloading debris, that the string trimmer and rake had been left behind on the bench in Fifth Street Park.  He hared back there.  Before he had arrived, I got a message from Cathy of Captain Bob’s chowder that a Long Beach local had noticed the tools and had alerted Cathy, who was holding them for us in the restaurant.  Whew.  We know other public gardeners who lost some power equipment by leaving it behind and having it gone by the time they returned and looked for it. The next time we saw our rescuer, Allan gave him a tip for saving us some stress and money.

Being home by five meant I had a nice relaxed evening for writing up the Halloween blogs at last.


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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The mini-birdbath that Debbie W. gave me on garden tour day looks cute filled with rain.

Boreas Inn

We got fifteen bags of Gardner and Bloome Harvest Supreme to mulch the west beds at the Boreas…first ten, and then Allan went to get five more.  We made them go further by mixing in the last of the spring mulch pile, a bulk delivery than had been extra sandy and grey looking.  The beds had looked discouragingly grey all summer.  We should have just added the bagged mulch last spring but…we hadn’t.  I am too budget minded and have an ongoing problem with spending other people’s money, even when I should.

Allan took all the photos of the project.

The bulk mulch had been kept on and under tarps.
I kept telling Allan “Don’t make it too grey!”

I was able to erase “mulch Boreas” from the work board, although I noticed later in the week that I had written “pull phormiums” rather than crocosmia.  Thank goodness our target will be the much easier crocosmia.  I have eliminated almost all phormiums from gardens that we care for.

In the evening, we treated Our Kathleen to an early birthday dinner at

The Depot Restaurant.

summer salad
Duck Shanghai for Kathleen, with orange blackberry sauce and ginger and five spice sticky rice
Prawns Bangkok for Allan
I could eat a soup bowl full of the Steak Killian’s scallion sauce.
a birthday brownie
and blackberry trifle

We had a leisurely two hour feast.  For once, we were not the last table to leave because all the mulching work suddenly caught up with me and so we were the second to last.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Allan put on a trailer side because we had mulching plans today.

Before work, we checked on a house out of our usual routine, to make sure that there were no big pruning issues (like leaning trees).  It had a lovely secret garden feel.

The Depot Restaurant

Chef Michael had asked us to prune along the edge of the side yard of the house that serves as the restaurant office.

after (Allan’s photos)

While Allan loaded the last of the debris, I checked on the Depot garden.

We had intended to take the debris home for chipping, but there was so much, and some was thorny salmonberry, so we took it to the dump.

There I saw a stumpery.

On the way out, we scored a great little dustbin for a planter, for only $5.00

Diane’s Garden

We did such a quick check of the Red Barn garden that I did not count it as work, and spent an hour at Diane’s tidying her garden.  Some of the sweet peas are still floriferous enough to leave for one more week.  All Allan’s photos here.

The roadside garden:

The septic vault garden:


It was 70 degrees, rather hot for us, and time for wee break.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

I had to see what was new and found a Panicum ‘Blood Brothers’ that was irresistible.  We encountered Todd there and had an amusing chat, all fun and leisurely and off the clock of any job.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

We got a yard of the new kind of mulch…

Allan’s photo

…and took it to

The Port of Ilwaco

…to fluff up some of the beds that had been walked and sat upon during Slow Drag.


I have made a place for some new plants, when the steady autumn rains come.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo, nicely fluffed formerly trampled area

I checked on the south port office garden while Allan put the last of the mulch on nearby curbside beds.

Cosmos ‘Cupcake’

The temperature had mercifully dropped to make for a beautiful evening.

All out of mulch, we checked on the curbside bed at At the Helm Hotel, where Allan noticed the dogwood berries.

My favourite bed by the Ilwaco pavilion:

On the way home, we saw that of the two Sunflowers of Mystery in the Ilwaco planters, one had been cut (not broken) off.  I was again mildly disappointed in human behavior…and reflected that the planters will soon be Not Our Problem.

A day later, two friends informed me that they had each (separately) seen a woman picking herself a big bouquet of flowers at the boatyard. One of them pointed out to her the several do not pick signs. The woman’s response: “I ain’t hurtin’ nothin’.”

I have toyed with the idea of making a public cutting garden somewhere else in town for people who need a bouquet so badly and who have no money for flowers and nowhere to grow them. I just think it would end in tears, probably mine.

The workboard got a little shorter.



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Thursday, 1 August 2019

We took Don Nisbett a birthday card and gift certificate to Ilwaco Bakery.

by the port office
in Don’s art gallery

When we stopped back at home for a few minutes, Frosty did not want us to go to work.

We photographed the new paint job on one of Ilwaco’s handsomest houses.

Depot Restaurant

We did our spot watering and deadheading.

Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Nasturtium ‘Moonlight’ has arranged itself prettily on the lonicera and on the escallonia.

Lower left corner, above, a Nicotiana langsdorfii that reseeded.  I find that exciting.  I later read a Facebook post by Ann Amato that said that nicotianas reseed a lot.  That pleases me.

I liked this lily partly hidden with bamboo.  When I looked again, Allan had trimmed the bamboo so that the lily showed better.

Long Beach

We deadheaded at the welcome sign.

Allan’s photo

We each watered half the planters. I was happy that no one yelled at us that it was going to rain.  Rain was in the forecast, but only for 1/4 inch, not enough to skip watering planters.  Their foliage is too thick for any but the heaviest rain to penetrate.

I tidied the front circle garden of Coulter Park, and a good thing, too.  The memorial plaque was almost lost to a hebe.

I took the hebe branches home to make cuttings.

There really is a plaque in there:

In the northernmost planter, I have a favourite oregano, ‘Hopley’s Purple’.  I have divided it and it is now in almost all of the planters.

I found a note in that planter: Mom dus [does] love me.

“Mom dus love me.” This gave me at least a block worth of poignant thoughts.  As a child, I was never sure my mother did love me.  One of her favorite things to say to me was, “I always said I wanted six boys and if I had a girl, I’d drown her.” Her favorite thing to say to others was, “We liked her until she turned two and learned to say no.” Words like that really make a child wonder. Fortunately for me, I knew my grandmother did love me and, because she was my daily caregiver, I have many happy childhood memories.

Now that my mother has gone, I have figured out that she did love me, in her way. As is so often true, I wish I had figured it out while she was still alive.  She told me in the last years of her life that she was “not a nurturing person”.  Even her plants felt this; if she wanted to plant a shade plant in the sun, she would, and “it could take its chances.”  She confessed that if there had not been societal pressure to be a mother, she would probably have chosen to be childless.  This did not bother me, as an adult, because it made sense of so much. She had recently diagnosed herself with social anxiety disorder and felt that it explained a lot about her life and loneliness.

If only we’d had another year or two, I think we would have had a communication breakthrough. I had tried hard for the breakthrough and then given up. My words to her as I stood in a hospital room with her body, after her second heart attack, were “I’m sorry I didn’t try harder.”

I do wonder what the story is behind the child’s note that I found. Is it as poignant as it seemed to me?

Gardening, especially weeding and watering, is more conducive to pondering and reminiscing than careers that take more mental attention.

Allan’s photos while watering:

miniature rose
Doogers Restaurant is now the Drop Anchor.
Basket Case Greenhouse makes the baskets for the town.
The Fifth Street Park pond had been cleaned.

Allan pulled bindweed from the shady back corner of Fifth Street Park’s SE quadrant while I weeded other areas.

ivy on the Benson’s Restaurant side

Even though English Ivy is a noxious weed here, it is not our place to remove it from the fence on the edge of this park.

rudbeckia in the sunny NE quadrant (Allan’s photos)


I had been going to skip watering the boatyard garden because of the rain forecast.  However, I had kept checking the weather and found the amount was being changed from 1/4 inch to 1/10 inch and then just to occasional showers.  Better to water anyway than have to come back out on a weekend day off.

One of the boat owners agreed with me that the chance of rain looked slim and that “we might just get a bit of mist.”

The job was not unproductive.  I managed to pull a lot of grass back and out from the inside of the fence while wielding the hose.

Meanwhile, Allan watered the street trees and planters and lent his tire jack to two women from Azure Salon who had a flat tire.

in a planter (Allan’s photo)

We did dare to skip watering the volunteer gardens at the post office and fire station, hoping for rain.  Otherwise, we would be back out with a hose on the weekend.

at home

Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ and lilies
Echinops and lilies

I was thrilled to see my Angelica gigas in bloom.

It certainly did not feel like rain.

Now for three days off.  Tomorrow, the door to my room will open and Jazmin will simply have to deal with the world of the rest of the house and the two other cats.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

We began by buying more bulb food at Dennis Company and then planting bulbs at the…

Depot Restaurant

‘Twas this hot as we arrived there.

We battled our way through the still tall and blooming garden to plant the bulbs.

Allan’s photo, before trimming down the solidago to just get in there.

I wanted an after, showing much more space, but we both forgot to take one.  The goldenrod was all flopped open so had to be trimmed to make room for bulbs.


The weather was uncomfortably hot.  Fortunately, our next job was in a garden that has a feeling of coolness.

The Shelburne Hotel

sweet peas still blooming (Allan’s photo)

up on the room 4 deck (Allan’s photo)

I sent Allan up to the decks with an assortment of species tulips and narcissi, little ones, to go in three of the large planters.

room 4 deck (Allan’s photo)

a frog on Allan’s tool belt

I don’t know the story behind that! (Later: frog lives in a planter on the center deck and jumped onto the tool belt. After posing for a picture it hopped back to its planter, sticking to the side.)

Soon it hopped down and hid while Allan finished planting its planter.

While I finished planting the last of a rather huge number of bulbs, Allan watered the entire garden.  Watering in mid October … Is that the new trend from now on?  Rain is not expected for another week so it had to be done.

totem garden in early evening (Allan’s photo)

the mini bog garden (Allan’s photo)

Got done just at sunset…6:20 PM, front garden, looking north

sweet pea longevity

and south, with cozy lights in the pub windows

I got some of pretty much all my favourite bulbs for the Shelburne, just wait and see!

I would love to have had a meal at the pub.  Instead, I had to sort bulbs for tomorrow till about ten PM.  Allan kept me going with a cheesy melt and a fine cuppa.

Sorting involves more standing than sitting and makes me tireder than actually planting the bulbs.

I only have time to read one chapter a night of Marion Cran’s final memoir, Hagar’s Garden.  Reading a chapter at a time is diluting the emotional impact, which means less weeping over it on my part.  And it is delaying the moment when I come to the end of her story.

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Thursday, 27 September 2018

We admired a sunflower cottage in Seaview on our way to work.  This is a garden I toured a couple of years ago, but I cannot for the life of me dredge up that old post.

The Depot Restaurant

With no watering necessary thanks to rain, we just weeded and deadheaded.  Chef Michael expressed his satisfaction with our rhododendron pruning job from last week.

Sanguisorba ‘Dali Marble’

I found a rock.

from Nevada!

A mole had made three hills back by the rhododendron.  I snagged the nice sifted soil to even out a patch of lawn at home by the bogsy woods.

On our way to our next task, we had confirmation that the weather was much too hot.

Long Beach

We checked the welcome sign, deadheading the four agyranthemum, and I wondered why I continue to live in hope that these cosmos will flower this year.  It is time for them to go, but not on such a miserably hot day.

We tidied the corner garden at Veterans Field.  I want to make it shrubbier.  More shrubby, less fussy.  Cistus, maybe.

Diane’s garden

I got to pet my very good old friend Misty.

a patch of shade

Allan’s photo

Deadheading took an hour!

raised box garden

Allan’s photo

a mole in the raised bed?? (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo of a reseeded pansy in the gravel

roadside garden

We deadheaded the barrels next door at The Red Barn and once again did not see that darling orange barn cat, Cosmo.  I think it has been three weeks now.

driving north

The Basket Case Greenhouse

We stopped in at The Basket Case for a browse and to say hello.  The family cat had a litter of kittens 12 weeks ago.  (Like me with a cat long ago, the humans had not known how early one must get a cat spayed.)  The homes for these little darlings had fallen through.  By the time you read this, they will be up for adoption at the South Pacific County Humane Society.

I was sorely tempted and probably was only saved by having had another vet bill for Skooter yesterday.

tiny mama kitty


Allan’s photo

I resisted.  If I had been on staycation, I probably would have taken two.

Back in the greenhouses, I petted both Penny and Buddy.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

My buddy, Buddy

Darrell (Allan’s photo)

Darrell and Roxanne (and some Geranium ‘Rozanne’ for the LB planter we re-did last week)  (Allan’s photo)

tin goats

Ocean Park interlude

We had a gardening themed t shirt to drop off at our friend Terran’s house.  She has just started her own gardening business, BeeKissed Gardening, and we recommend her highly.

Terran’s front door window (Allan’s photo)

Terran’s work trailer, on the same base as our trailer.

Because of the Timberland Library meeting last night, we wanted to take a look at the Meeting Tree by the Ocean Park branch.

Ocean Park Library


The Meeting Tree goes back to when Ocean Park first came into being as a church camp.

a community meeting spot since 1883

Allan’s photo

This property south of the library is for sale.  Last night at the meeting a woman said it used to belong to her family and she intends to buy it back, build her house at the other end and preserve this historic tree.

There I met a friendly dog named Daisy Duke.

bumper sticker on Daisy’s vehicle

I like the spiky summer blooming heather in the library garden much better than the plain white flat winter blooming heather at the Ilwaco branch.

compost bin behind the library!

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour and a half tidying the garden and doing another stage of fall clean up.


the pond island

the pond island

Allan’s photo

fall colour on hamamelis

south gate to the fenced garden

the birdbath view

driveway garden with Tiger Eye sumac

a visit with Donna and doggies

On the way home, we visited our friend Donna and met her new puppy.

a beachy, cottage-y townhouse

Donna’s older dog, Blue, took a shine to Allan.

And to me.

new puppy Savannah

puppy bliss

Blue (Allan’s photo)

Blue and Savannah (Allan’s photos)

sleepy after play

Ilwaco Halloween….And so it begins…

When we got home at dusk, we found Jody across the street had won the imaginary prize for being the first to start on Halloween.

We had better start thinking about putting our Halloween lights out.


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Wednesday, 12 Sept 2018

Fall clean up actually started at KBC yesterday.

For a brief and tempting breakfast time this mid-morning, I thought we might have the day off.  Dark Sky app suggested rain through the afternoon—reading time! joy!—and then it changed to no rain after noon.  So by noon, we were off to work.

Passersby kept telling me it was going to rain any minute.  It did not.  We have a pretty good feeling for weather, especially if the sky is light around the edges.

The Depot Restaurant

Deadheading only! No watering! I hope this trend continues.

We drove over to the east side of the highway in Seaview to drop off a good Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ at Sarah’s cottage.  (We have two Sarah friends now; I will start saying Seaview Sarah for this one.)  On the way, I photographed a Seaview garden that I like very much.

tantalizing entryway

from my passenger window

Long Beach

Now that darkness comes at 7:30, I removed the cosmos that were blocking the lights at the welcome sign.  As I am sure you know by now, the darn plants were not blooming anyway.  When we planted them, the lights had been stolen and were capped off and I did not think they were going to be replaced.

We then parked downtown and, while Allan focused intensively in the area by Fifth Street Park, I walked four and a half blocks of planters, clipping back many plants that I had left past their prime to help protect the planters from Rod Run planter sitters.

Allan getting started at my request that he pull all the beach strawberries out of a tree garden; they were smothering other plants.

Allan’s tree and park project photos:



cutting back lady’s mantle before


I think the alchemilla should have been cut back that hard during the shearing after the flowers went brown.

Allan also dug several big clumps of columbine out of a planter for me.

horrible aquilegia foliage (Allan’s photo)

I did not plant the columbines.  They have been in three of the planters since volunteer days. After making the mistake of getting soft on removing them, I cut the foliage back hard after the flowers bloom. It comes back fresh and clean and then gets columbine leaf miner again.  (“Insecticides are of little help in controlling columbine leafminers and may do more harm than good by eliminating existing natural enemies. The practical control is to ignore them…”) I cut the ugly foliage again, it comes back nice…and back comes the leaf miner.  No more columbines in the planters!  (I’ve said this before.  I mean it this time!)

One of the most tatty looking batches of California poppies was at the Fifth Street intersection.



Although there was a fair amount of this sort of smashing in the corners of the planters…

….I think my thick foliage strategy had paid off, just as it did last year.

Where California poppies still look fresh and happy, like in this planter….

…I will leave them for awhile longer.

I am also leaving the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ trailing, even if it looks sort of tired, as long as there is some blue.

In the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park, the BadAster reigns right now.  Nature wins.

Aster douglasii and lots of it

The BadAster in my garden, too, in one area.  And at the Shelburne.  (I had pulled a lot of it there and was hoping for a better aster.  It is the same old BadAster, unfortunately.)

Fifth Street Park, NW, where Allan did a lot of good weeding:

more BadAster

The high up light post baskets have been taken down. The lower ones by the restroom, gazebo, and police station are still up and blooming.

While I trimmed up planters in the two south blocks (where only three needed attention), Allan took Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out from under a tree, as I had done with two trees at the north end.  Usually I leave it a month longer just for some interest.  This year, the leaves looked rusty.



We had a large load of debris to dump at City Works, where I scored all the rest of the hanging baskets! (Not the baskets themselves; those go back to the Basket Case.)  Last year, I only got half of them before the rest got buried.

Got ’em ALL for my compost this year.

This is clean compost makings, no weeds or disease.  It is not organic compost makings because these were fertilized all summer with Miracle Gro.  So if I had a certified organic farm, I could not use this stuff to make mulch.

The pond behind city works is almost completely dry because of drought.

When I read the local paper, I was glad that we had not been in Long Beach for the Rod Run event.  (Slow Drag is a different and happy story.)

The Shelburne Hotel and Pub

I had generously brought a half bucket of my own soil to fill up a hole where Allan had dug a clump of rampant Spirea douglassi out yesterday.  Gardeners will know it is the utmost generosity to give up precious soil.

looking north

Violas are putting on a second show.

We decided to have a work reward dinner at the pub, and we each had the chopped salad topped with their delicious fried chicken.

The pub was almost full, I was glad to see.  It seemed many locals had reemerged now that tourist season is over.  (The wisest tourists come in late September and into October, a beautiful and quiet time here.) We had a corner table behind the bar.

view of the enclosed bar space

The food was so satisfying that we decided to put off dessert till a late lunchtime tomorrow, after we do some more Shelburne garden tidying.  Allan must try that cream cheese tart with blackberries.

Must decide tomorrow whether or not to give up on more cosmos.

By dark, we managed to get all the hanging basket stuff unloaded and dumped back by the compost pile to be processed on my next day off.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Depot Restaurant

weeding, deadheading, watering…

Fuchsia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’

Solidago ‘Fireworks’ and Persicaria ‘Firetail’

Last week, I was finally able to cut down all the twiggy stems on the escallonia.

It has more or less died out in the middle.

Long Beach

We did a quick weeding of horsetail in Fifth Street Park.  With the days getting shorter, we no longer have time to fit a project into the middle of a Long Beach-Shelburne-Ilwaco watering day.

Skookum Surf was returning from the beach….

to their new shop in First Place Mall.

The Red Barn

We did not have to water.  Amy said, “If those plants are telling you they are thirsty, they are lying.”  (The plants had told us that they were quite satisfied.)  So only some light deadheading and weeding was necessary.

our tiny Red Barn garden

crab pots and thistles by the Red Barn

Cosmo the barn cat (Allan’s photo)

I want to take Cosmo home. Maybe he wants to come home with us.

Allan’s photo

Diane’s garden

Diane herself doing some deadheading by the road.

By the way, Diane is a champion barrel racer. I found this photo (not by us) from four years ago.

Diane and Bunny

I told Diane today how impressed I am with her skills.

We had a good talk about the various plants in the raised box garden.

I had my new version of lunch: a deconstructed cheese, pickle, and onion sandwich, because I don’t especially like bready sandwiches.

deconstructed sandwich

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We did the usual hour long tidy. Deer had got into the garden again.

leaves stripped off the roses

birdbath view

Strobilanthus atropurpurea

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

looking in the east gate

Perovskia (Russian sage)

in the fenced garden


Timmie (Timothea)

Mary and I are starting to talk about labeling a lot of plants by the end of the year for the new owners, and about which plants Mary will want to take starts of to their new home.

We were finishing work early today so that we could tour a friend’s garden near KBC.

Gail’s garden

Going down a road we had never been down before, and jogging over to another road, we found a woodland garden tucked away at the end of a long gravel driveway.  Gail has lived here for a couple of year.  Local gardeners Mark and Joe have helped her to create a garden in a woodland frequented by deer, raccoons, and bears.

The property abounds in old rhododendrons because the previous owners used to work at Clarke Nursery, the local specialists in rhododendrons, which was located where Steve and John’s Bayside garden is now.  Steve Clarke’s family nursery had a big influence here on the peninsula and you will find their plants in many gardens (including mine).

We were greeted by Gail and Bob the Dog.

Bob the Dog

lots of big old rhododendrons

Allan’s photo

a late lily and a rhodie with huge leaves

a “fairy garden” around an old stump

Bob the Dog on the back porch

The east edge of the property is marshland, with Spirea douglasii on an island in the middle.

The spirea is a haze of pink spires earlier in the year.

The raccoons and bears go in under the tree to the right, above, and cross over to the solid ground island.

farther along the edge of the marsh

I felt a little presence at my feet, and looked down to see Collar.  That was my clue that Mark and Joe had arrived to join our tour.

Joe and Collar. Let me see your ears!

Let me see your ears, Collar!

There we go!

a sit spot

Jack the Cat appeared.

a plush and friendly cat

Green Man on a tree

More sun along the entry drive allowed room for a flower garden on either side.

Gail took us back into the shade to see the last few blooms on the Crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean lantern tree).  Clarke Nursery used to sell this little tree; I do not see it often.

Gail sent me some photos later of the garden in springtime.

three rhodies by the woodshed (Gail’s photo)

a support built for the start of a new “Princess Rose”; it has covered the poles now. (Gail’s photo)

Crinodendron hookerianum (Gail’s photo) Best one I have ever seen.

Chilean Lantern Tree (Gail’s photo)

She also sent a photo of the bashful resident we did not get to meet:

“My assistants” (Gail’s photo) Freya the Beautiful and Jack the Cat

Gail says, “Bob the Dog, who is 14 ½, and Jack the Cat, 10?, both rescued me several years apart and were very happy with their original “guys at the pub” names so we kept them. Freya (formerly Rumbly!) was renamed by me to give her confidence and ranking.”

We departed after a good hour in this hidden woodsy paradise.  I love discovering a special garden like this down a secret road.

On the longish drive home, we decided to have a dinner work reward at the

 42nd Street Café.

We had a gift certificate from Allan’s January birthday from our friends Susie and Bill of the Boreas Inn.

42nd Street Café

Dinner there always begins with their good bread with corn relish or marionberry preserves.

brussels sprouts appetizers

delicious carne asada style steak

Butternut squash ravioli

My favourite dessert on the peninsula is their tiny chocolate mint sorbet served with a tiny spoon.

Allan had the tiramisu, which came as a cake, not layered in a glass.

better this way, I decided.

a new mural painted by Susan Spence

Why, I thought, don’t we eat here more often?  I tend to frequent restaurants associated with gardening jobs. The ambience here is friendly and cozy and the food is so tasty that I felt especially happy throughout the meal.

sunset over the trees in Seaview on our way home








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Thursday, 26 July 2018

The Depot Restaurant

weeding, deadheading, watering….

a vignette at the Depot

Amazingly, the dierama wands have not been broken by parking cars.

Long Beach

We started by tidying the garden at city hall.

elephant garlic before…

and after (Allan’s photo)

One of the clothing shops has been painted a deep red, the color of my grandma’s little red house (and with white trim, too).

We watered the planters, and these two are the only other photos I took on the main drag.

I love all the healthy agastaches, here with Calif. poppies and the great ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano.

a meadow effect with golden oregano

Allan’s photos:

Fifth Street Park

We ran out of downtown time before trimming the Alchemilla mollis.

After downtown, we watered the eight planters on Sid Snyder Drive.

It was dinner time at one of the horse ride corrals.

I’d been hoping to see a pony in the little corral.

We next checked on the welcome sign, where the cosmos are refusing to bloom, and gave them some bloom fertilizer.

lush and feathery with no flowers


a couple of flowers on the back side

I have had all sorts of cosmos problems this year.  At the Shelburne, some are fine (especially the new one called Cupcake) but others are tall with no flowers.  At Diane’s garden and the Depot and Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, some that should be tall Sensation mix are short (but not short enough to be a mislabeled Sonata mix).  I did not fertilize each little plant while planting this year, having read that fertilizer can make them shoot up tall with no flowers.

I have always had cosmos in the welcome sign, and have had this problem before but not this badly.  I think perhaps I need to give up there and try a different plant—something with enough height to stand up to the Geranium ‘Rozanne’, something that will take our cool climate (no zinnias, for example), and an annual so that it can come out for the spring bulbs (and for horsetail clean up).

Shelburne Hotel

This is where I had been longing to be. We watered, weeded, deadheaded.

a good healthy agastache

in the back courtyard

‘Sunset’ runner beans grown by Roxanne of Basket Case Greenhouse

Front garden, looking south, with white phlox and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Nasturtium ‘Phoenix’

Front garden, looking north (I noticed the pub sign had not been hung up for the day.)

lily, with billows of unblooming cosmos

looking south from the north end

I resolved that we must mulch the frustratingly sparse looking north end.

The most northern, outside the fence bed was apparently a repository for all sorts of extra perennials, and all we have done to it is weed it.  I’d like to make it more interesting next year.

rather dull with lots of asters and orange montbretia, which have got to go.

I don’t know why I didn’t already make it better; we started this job in late February, as I recall.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Euphorbia characias wulfenii can stay.

We also learned that one more upstairs room had a balcony with a miserable little pot of half dead plants.

Allan’s photo of the private deck of room 11

He schlepped it out of the room and down the stairs.

We will replant it with something next week.

I looked at the garden from various sidewalk aspects.

This patch of Crocosmia is slowly succumbing to rust, due to too much shade and not enough air circulation.  I later came up with an idea for next year.

I longed to finish the day with a meal in the pub, but we had to leave so that we could water…


I gave the boatyard an hour of weeding and a half hour of watering while Allan watered the street trees and planters.

boatyard garden

the west side of the boatyard

Across the street from the smaller boats to the left is my old garden. The fellow who bought it from me, an accomplished and creative carpenter, has it almost paid off.  I would love to see the remodeling he has done.  I dream sometimes about going there and finidng it all changed.

My “please don’t pick me” sign on the Echinops appears to be working.

watering from behind the fence

I’m going to divide this vigorous helianthus into several more clumps.

same audience every time I water here

One of the two chickadees posed as a figurehead.

I am pleased the deer don’t eat the lilies.

Meanwhile, Allan had pulled the flower-jacked gladiolus corms.


I still do not know who sticks glads in the planters.  It is not working out well as the flowers get so frequently stolen.

I went with Allan to weed while he watered the fire station garden when he’d finished the planters (at 8 PM).

our volunteer garden at Ilwaco Fire Dept.

my two terribly slow ornamental corn plants from seed

When we got home at twilight, I was pleased to see that the Norwood house had been painted a pretty pale blue by Precision Coast Painting, which had accomplished this excellent job quickly and quietly without a noisy paint sprayer.

A pretty addition of colour to our street



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Friday, 1 June 2018

My own front garden needs weeding again, especially along the edges.

I might not even get the poles repainted till July, if then.

The Depot Restaurant

We went to check on the watering at the Depot.  It felt dry.  While I watered, Allan trimmed the escallonia (that wants to be ten feet high) so it won’t block the Clamshell Railroad history sign.  I shrieked when I saw how far he had cut..into old wood, which will break new growth, but still…right before tourist season.  Chef Michael came out to talk about the sprinklers and said, “Oh Jeez…” and went back inside.  I think this wouldn’t have been cut so low had it not been for now having an electric hedge shearer.

We have had to trim the escallonia weekly to keep it green on top with the sign showing.  Chef Michael feels it protects the corner of the building from bad drivers (not customers! passersby!).  This will certainly hold off the need to trim for awhile.

Allan’s photos show why it had to be done.  We had not had time for the weekly trimming.


Darling Katie came by.

I learned from Chef Michael that the sprinklers may finally get re-done this fall so that they hit the part of the garden that is just inside the logs.

We replaced a strip of lawn with garden years ago but the sprinkler pattern remained the same, only hitting the back two thirds of the garden.

The back of the garden does get automatically watered.

Roxanne’s window boxes did get sad…

…but not as bad as it looked like last night at dinnertime.  I cut back the sad plants.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We zoomed up to the Basket Case because they had some new agastaches: Kudo’s Coral and Purple Haze.  I had to have them.

At the Basket Case

Long Beach

We watered the planters, taking half each.  I did not have a happy time because my hose was spewing water.

I got drenched.  Not quite like this:

on Deadliest Catch

But it was still darned annoying, especially since I was using the hose end fertilizer sprayer and sometimes did not have enough pressure to make it work.

I bought myself one delicious little Korean banh mi taco to help me get through the trauma.

from Streetside Taco

my view while eating

Allan bucket watered the Fish Alley barrels.

Allan’s photo

He said two days later that carrying water buckets is why his right shoulder is so sore.

We still have alliums in planters! (Allan’s photo)

In Fifth Street Park, when Allan and I reunited and the miserable watering was done, I fretted that this bit of garden seems to not be getting water.

I do not like the red bark that got applied here.

I do like this bright pink California poppies.  Even though Tony thinks they should just be the traditional orange. 😉

View from in the vehicle before we moved to another parking spot:

I liked the way the planter in front of us looked.  Orange Calif. poppies.

Last time we worked in LB, some nice tourists asked me, “What are those shrubs?” pointing to the pink rhododendrons:

First time I have been asked to ID rhodies.  The tourists were from Salt Lake City.  They were pleased when I recommended a few of my favourite places for food and touring: Captain Bob’s Chowder, Salt Pub, Shelburne Pub, Depot Restaurant, Oysterville walking tour, the lighthouses at Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco Saturday Market.

We continued hose watering out on the Sid Snyder approach.  Allan took the bad hose.

a Sid Snyder Drive planter

For anyone who wonders who Sid was, here you go.  He was a well loved citizen.

Sid Snyder Drive, also known here as the Sid Snyder beach approach, as it ends at the beach.

thirsty Geranium on the Sid approach (Allan’s photo)

Someone plucked a sea thrift, and I do not think it was a deer. (Allan’s photo)

On the way south, we checked on the welcome sign planter.  It is still dull.  Cosmos and agyranthemum are not blooming yet, nor is Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

Shelburne Hotel

We watered.  The art walk in Ilwaco was going on during this time.

wisteria by the pub deck

We will be pruning this after it blooms.  By which I mean Allan will.


Art walk was over when we got to Ilwaco. We watered the plants transplanted from the port office.

Allan’s photo

lavender was unhappy, had to be sheared (Allan’s photo)

The shaved ice truck arrived for tomorrow’s Saturday Market.

Allan’s photos

I watered the boatyard from behind the fence.

ceanothus from behind

the wild and the relatively tame

in the boatyard

Halmiocistus wintonensis

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Usually, I would weed after watering till Allan came back to get me.  This evening, I lacked all energy for that, and it still looked pretty good after the last weeding.  So I walked home along the meander line.

looking north from the boatyard gate

and south

crossing the parking lot of fish hauling trucks

a look back

I angled over to the meander line road.

looking west; it ends at the boatyard


looking east, a block of assorted items….

crab pots

looking west behind me

I want this so much, on a raised foundation, as a garden shed!

emerging to the old boat storage yard

looking south; the green building is the Freedom Market, where our Howerton Way gardens begin.

boats by a repair shop of some kind

poor old Warrior of the Seas; how did you end up here?

other side of road

past the boat storage yard, looking east to Grays Harbor College (brown building)

old Kola boat buildings, being refurbished

I thought I would walk up Myrtle to Lake.

Maybe not.

We don’t know each other. (telephoto)

So I walked around to the field alongside the meander line, toward the bogsy wood.

The path from the field to the woods was gone.  I pushed through…

The meander line bog is all dried up.  Poor frogs.

And the path through the Nora House meadow was also almost gone.  Allan has not had time to mow it.

home at last!

in my own little paradise

by the front driveway

I went indoors with an explosive attack of hay fever sneezing from the long grass and completely changed clothes to get away from the pollen.

A nine hour day for me, and longer for Allan.

in one of the Ilwaco planters, a dark sedum (Allan’s photo)

He got home at dusk after also watering our volunteer gardens at the fire station and the post office.









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Sunday, 13 May 2018

I thought it might be weird and difficult working at a hotel garden and in Long Beach on Mother’s Day, but needs must in Planting Hell, which was truly planting hell because I still had a headache.  Of course, the direst diagnoses were percolating in my mind, making me so worried about all the still unplanted plants and what would happen to them if I could not work.  One of my favourite authors, Patricia Highsmith, wrote a book of short stories called Little Tales of Misogyny.  I could call this blog Little Tales of Hypochondria if I shared every health related thought that daily weighs down my mind.

While I tried to get myself going in the morning, Allan watered two doors down at Norwoods…

and across the street at the J’s:

Finally, I had some plants gathered and was ready to start work, beginning with planting some cosmos at

The Shelburne Hotel

While I planted in the front garden, Allan watered the back garden.

West side fence garden, mustard transplanted from my garden is doing well (Allan’s photo)

The late morning weather was getting increasingly hot.

planting in the front garden

The soil was still slightly damp underneath, and every plant got water in the hole and then more water once in, dipped from buckets.

little cosmos from six pack (Allan’s photo)

This year, I am not fertilizing the tall cosmos ‘Sensation’.  I think putting fertilizer in each hole is what has caused Cosmos ‘Sensation’ to sometimes bolt to extra tall and not bloom till October…because my “pinch” of fertilizer can vary in size.  I’ve read recently that they like a lean soil.

Allan planted assorted thymes along the edges of the front garden: creeping thyme, woolly thyme, a variegated thyme called ‘Foxley’, ‘Silver Posie’ thyme and lemon thyme.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne front garden, looking north

and south

I heard a guest say “I love this garden, it has some of everything.”

Gardening was also going on at the gallery to the north of the Shelburne:

I love a garden boat.

Leaving the Shelburne, the temperature had just dropped from 80 when I took this photo:

We drove up to Long Beach, looked at the crowds of people, and I had the idea of finishing planting at the

Depot Restaurant.

But what if they have a Mother’s Day brunch? Allan surmised wisely.  I checked their Facebook page.  Fortunately for us, they did not open till five and so we were able to plant there.

bidens, and an Agastache ‘Summer Fiesta’ in the barrel under the east window. (Allan’s photos)

cosmos going into the garden

We can’t cross this job off the list till I get Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ for that barrel planter.  I had them all picked out at the Basket Case on Friday, but got distracted and left that tray uncollected mid-greenhouse.

Long Beach

By now, it was past mid afternoon, and we figured some of the Long Beach tourists had gone home.  We collected buckets of soil at city works, for planters that are low.

Soil Energy Mulch

Although we still did not get all the planters done, we made good progress.  The big stress was the heat, which fortunately had decreased to a pleasant evening of 65 ish degrees.  This meant some of the planters we had planted not long ago also had to be watered.  That is another factor of Planting Hell…we plant, and then the next day have another place to plant, but meanwhile the plants in the first place are screaming for water.

I haven’t been wearing my knee brace for the last three days.  I realized why: I am taking so many pain killers for this darn headache that it is making my knee feel better.

In the Dennis Company planter, I was surprised to see the blue bacopa had come through the winter and was blooming along the edges.  Most unusual.

blue bacopa and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

I was thinking a lot about bulbs today.  John (of the Bayside Garden) likes a tidy garden and finds bulb foliage messy.  It sure is.  Every planter is now plagued with dying bulb foliage that cannot be removed yet (because letting it die back strengthens the bulb).  Some planters, where big strappy narcissi are left over from volunteer days, are especially hard to work in now and they look unsightly.  I try to plant the tiny narcissi with delicate foliage (like ‘Baby Moon’).  Without the spring bulbs, I would have to plant all sorts of spring annuals, so I cannot give them up.  At least we can just yank the big tulips; they never do as well the second year.

Cosmos ‘Sonata’ is going toward the centers of every planter that has room.  

By evening, the terrible heat had gone away, and as we turned to drive down our street in Ilwaco, we could see a blissful cool fog at the end of the street.

Allan’s photo

My headache (day four) had actually stopped being horrendous and was feeling more like a heat related headache.  I did not get to erase anything from the work list. We have not finished any planting job.

Because I still could not find an hour at bedtime to watch a full episode of 2016’s Gardener’s World, I found another old episode featuring Geoff Hamilton.

You may recall that I was worriec in the other Hamilton episode I’d watched when he said that variegated ground elder stayed in its place.  Tonight, he revealed that “variegated ground elder has been on the market a little while and it is showing its true colours, and we have to get it out of here!”

Another Hamilton gem: “Herbacious perennials thrive on being moved, but shrubs like to get their feet under the table and keep them there.”

He likes weeding.  So do I.  I just wish I had time to weed, can hardly wait till the planting is all done so I can back to just caring for the plants.

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