Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

remembering Rudder

Early in January, we heard from our neighbours, Jared and Jessika, that good old Rudder had died at age 16.

“We wanted to let you know because you shared in the life of our special flower ūüĆĻūüėá, whether as a puppy in Alaska, a mischievous coyot in the Desolation Wilderness, or a relentless about-towner on the beaches and bogs of the Peninsula. Thank you for all the love you gave Rudder and our family — we sure miss his ornery, fuzzy butt.”  

I wept over him.  He was a dog of great dignity, at least when I knew him in his later years starting in 2014 when he became our neighbour. In his younger days, he was the inspiration for one of the dogs in this logo for the Cranberrian Fair.

Photo courtesy Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Ilwaco

This month, I read Faithful by Alice Hoffman and found this passage that reminded me of Rudder.

Current Google street view, taken in 2013, Rudder at home

I asked Allan to find photos of Rudder.  (I have photos, too, but mine are not as organized as Allan’s.)  The photos told the story of my quest to get Rudder to be my buddy.

beach approach, 2015
2016 on the beach approach

(Rudder’s people had a shop at the start of the approach road for their Starvation Alley cranberry juice products.)

2017 outside our front gate

Rudder was slowing down and could no longer go running with Jared, who told me that he would sometimes run around the block instead of a distance so that he could say hi to Rudder again.

2018, beach approach with Yarrow

I would give him treats, so he started to come over to see us sometimes.


2018, looking for more cheese

He had gotten stiff and would think for a long time before lying down.


I found a few photos that had been published here:

Rudder playing hard to get. 2014
Rudder, 2014
Rudder snoozing in his front garden, July 2018
Rudder in our garden, 2018
Rudder 2018, visiting
Rudder’s last visit for a treat, November 2018

I doted on that good boy and will miss him.

As always when a good dog dies, I reread this poem, which was first shared to me by our friend J9:

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

We will be raising a toast to him tonight at 7 PM.


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Thursday, 10 August 201

Before we left for work, Devery brought us some of a big organic cabbage grown by a friend and told us that she had adopted a little Chihuahua pug dog, which I could meet at the end of the day.


our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office…needs more santolina in the front. ¬†Next year!

Long Beach

We had had a trace of rain overnight, not enough to save us from the watering of the Long Beach planters. ¬†Today, the job went faster because it wasn’t street tree watering day.

First we deadheaded at the welcome sign.  Allan ran the string trimmer around it.


Allan’s photo



I wish I had taken a photo before trimming the corner plant of Geranium ‘Orion’. ¬†I want to show how much better Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is.


after trimming deadheads off of Orion


Rozanne does not need deadheading and does not have a plain green center to the plant.


Rozanne is bigger and bluer.

Rozanne, I let myself be tempted by someone else.  I wish I had nothing but you for the blue in the Long Beach welcome sign garden.  I regret that I strayed.


back of sign with Rozanne at the ends and Orion in the middle.

In the fall, Orion is coming out of that planter and will be replaced with all Rozanne.

We split up to water the downtown planters.  Allan went north and I went south.

One of my first planters was by the carousel.


The last two times I have watered the four planters within sound of the carousel, the music has been 80s‚ÄĒGirls Just Wanna Have Fun, You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive), leading to almost painful nostalgia. ¬†Today, the song was Karma Chameleon by Culture Club, reminding me intensely of the ten years that horror writer Wilum Pugmire lived in my attic. ¬†We drifted apart after I moved (for a long time he did not even have email). ¬†By leaving Seattle, I terribly disrupted his living situation (although it did turn out well in the end).

He adored Boy George and his attire evoked both Boy George and his other beloved icon, Barbra Streisand.


me and Wilum almost exactly thirty years ago (1987) and Wilum in his full regalia

Sometimes the memories evoked by the carousel music are almost too much for me.

Moving on to the next set of planters, I was immensely cheered by these four fierce chihuahas.


first three.


Then a fourth one appeared.

As I watered the nearby planter, I saw many passersby amused by this quartet.  (The day was cool, almost cold, and the window was cracked open.)

I started thinking happily about my new neighbour, Devery’s chi-pug dog, whom I would soon meet. ¬†I suddenly realized that he was the very same dog, Roy, that I’d noticed in the local humane society’s availability update. ¬†He had appealed to me because I so like the Basket Case Greenhouse chi-pug, Buddy. ¬†And now Roy would be my dog-neighbour! (Devery is calling him “Royal”.)


I looked Roy’s picture up on the humane society Facebook page.

A little further on, I admired the latest tigridia blooms and noticed their crown-like center.


Today’s tigridia



At the south end of downtown, a sign amused me. ¬†I’ve looked at it every week and never noticed the missing letter till now.


I admired the excellent window boxes at Dooger’s Restaurant:


from across the street


and closer

And also the window box at Lighthouse Realty.


Moving along…


Gladiolus papilio


the wildflower meadow look


Lily ‘Black Beauty’ in Fifth Street Park


Lilium ‘Black Beauty’; note the green furrows


Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ and catmint

Photos from Allan’s watering walkabout:


traffic jam


Agastaches in Lewis and Clark Square planter


Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Coulter Park: two fallen cosmos on the lawn


Cosmos and Berberis ‘Helmond Pillar’


snapdragons and agastache


Geranium ‘Rozanne’




Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and santolina


Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

With the planters all watered in good time, we took a break at Abbracci Coffee Bar.



Allan’s photo; we leave our gear on the tree bench


Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery had just delivered a brown sugar cake.


flowers in Abbracci


all gone (Allan’s photo)

We finished up Long Beach with some clipping in Fifth Street Park.


I don’t think this garden is as good as usual this year.


The problem is the cosmos, which should be tall, are short.  It seemed to me earlier this summer that the beds were not getting as much water as usual.


In fall, I am going to divide and spread around the heleniums…


…even though they clash with the backdrop of insipid, mildewy pink Dorothy Perkins rose.

Allan sent this man to me for a plant ID.  It was, of course, for the tigridia (Mexican shell flowers).


Allan trimmed back this lady’s mantle…


Alchemilla mollis

…and noticed the interesting seedheads (or spent flowers):



I thinned this batch a bit.  It still has enough yellow to stay till next week.

We were done with plenty of time for our Ilwaco work tasks.


We drove past our house to have a gander at the progress of the playground at the end of town. ¬†Or so we planned, till I looked down Devery’s driveway and saw her with her new dog. ¬†“Back up!” I cried, eager to meet a new friend. ¬†Never mind the playground for today.


my new friend, Royal


He’s so soft and sleek.

Royal was rescued from a kill shelter in California and brought to our local no-kill shelter, where he was lucky enough to be found by Devery.

Allan went to water the Ilwaco planters, while I weeded at the Norwood and the J’s gardens.


our own front garden


the second of four beds that are outside the deer fence on the west side of the house


elephant garlic next to Devery’s driveway

I got back to work:


The J’s roses

I am pleased that the new hydrangeas in the Norwood garden are putting out new flowers (after I had to cut off the too-floppy flowers they came with).


Endless Summer hydrangea coming back into bud


Norwood garden Agapanthus and lavender

Just as I was leaving Norwoods, I saw Jay himself arrive…with a puppy, making the sixth darling small dog of the day.


eight week old Julius

At home, buddies Smokey and Calvin were snoozing together.



My last garden event of the day: harvesting cukes out of the greenhouse.


Meanwhile, Allan watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters and got the photos I wanted that show how the planters enhance the town, even though they are small and mostly located in a difficult wind tunnel straight up from the river.







The city hall planters are fancier because the staff gives them supplemental watering beyond our two times a week.


This one half died for some reason.  Has been recently replanted.  Allan thinks the trailing rosemary looks like a waterfall under the fish mural.


Our Jenna gives this one by her studio supplemental water.  Something is chomping the nasturtium leaves.


Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Now we have three days off and a garden tour to anticipate.

Friday, 11 August 2017

I mostly just finished a mystery I was reading, except for a pleasant interlude when good  friend Judy S. and her spouse Larry came to see our lilies and to examine our deer fence.  I did only a minimum of gardening (fertilized containers) and took no photos.


Judy appreciating the Stipa gigantea


and the Melianthus major’s peanut butter scent.

The J’s sent over some freshly cleaned and cooked crab that Jay himself had caught that day on his boat. ¬†I so appreciate not being given a live crab!


before they were cleaned and cooked and turned into crab legs and shared

Allan, a much better householder than me, decided it was high time to defrost the refrigerator.  (It is old and frosts up quickly.)


The mystery was Double Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Series #1) by Ali Brandon.  I liked it well enough to order the sequel, even though I much prefer when cats do not help solve mysteries.  At least this one was not a talking cat.

We had our weekly garden club dinner at the Cove with Dave and Melissa.


in the entry foyer at the Cove


rhubarb cake

Tomorrow: The Astoria garden tour, at last!





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Saturday, 14 January 2017


On another cold and icy day, we headed out. with a stop at the post office three blocks east.


I decided the gaura MUST be trimmed.  We just had time.


Our destination was mid-Peninsula to one of my favourite gardens.

Of course, I took a self guided garden tour as soon as we arrived.


a netting of old nasturtiums


a side view of the Imperial Chicken Palace


around the other side of the house





some of the girls



The round table was one made for the glorious Pink Poppy wedding in summer 2014.




for fungus lovers



old swingset beanpole



viewing platform


The painting party was taking place in the garage.


Young Luna had been booted out for getting in the way.

And so I joined the painting party, where Allan was already at work.





sad this is blurry…you get the idea. Stoopid camera.

DSC00333.JPG DSC00334.JPG





Allan’s photo




The mom of a rabble rousing millennial


and a millennial’s dad (Allan’s photo)



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo







mine…but I can only carry one  

Still trying to decide on a slogan for the other side of the above…”Tax The Rich, We Don’t Want to Have to Eat Them” or the more placid “Bridges Not Walls.”

Allan’s (both sides)


my favourite sign of all

On the way home, we took some photos at NIVA green for the shop’s Facebook page.


proprietor Heather Ramsay


one of Heather’s lamps


a piece by our good friend Joe Chasse!


by Joe Chasse.  The mouth moves and the plaque says “I just came in for a sandwich.”

Now…two days of reading can ensue before a busy six days begins.


I started this last night.  It was oft referred to in Modernity Britain by David Kynaston.

Reminder about Wednesday’s lecture, at 6:30 PM (get there early!). It is sure to be good‚ÄĒDebbie has been a speaker on the main stage at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.


“There’s no feeling quite like cooking with home-grown carrots or grabbing a fresh handful of cilantro from your own yard. Well, unless you’re growing fruits, vegetables, or grains for brewing that is. Debbie Teashon is a freelance garden writer, author, and award-winning photographer from Kitsap Peninsula, WA. Articles and photographs of Teashon‚Äôs work have appeared in magazines such as Fine Gardening, West Sound Home and Garden, Master Gardeners, and The Oregonian among others. She has gardened most of her adult life and written about it for over two decades.

Join Teashon as she discusses her latest book, Gardening for the Homebrewer, as it brings an introduction to the wide variety of plants that you can use for fermentations or infusions. In her experience as a gardener, she writes to help explain if your yard is a perfect site for barley or whether it’s better suited to a fragrant collection of herbs. Teashon spends her time gardening, taking classes or researching plants for articles and the online plant database she maintains on Rainy Side Gardeners (www.rainyside.com), a website to help gardeners in the Pacific Northwest.”

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Thursday, 19 May 2016

I woke after five hours of sleep with the feeling of a broken heart.  Of course, my first thought was about the lost (to me) garden at Golden Sands, and the astilbes and lilies that were about to bloom.

I had not yet written the post about it, the one you may have read yesterday.  I would not have time for that catharsis for at least three days (as this blog tends to run four days or more behind).

When I did publish yesterday’s story, I appreciated your many comments, both here and on Facebook. I especially liked this, written by Carol Sheaffer, who perfectly and poetically expressed my vision for that garden:

Your plantings and dedication were given to/for the seniors to experience a peace filled vision of beauty to help with their own memories and day dreams.”

Exactly.  The words of comfort, inspiration about letting go, and appreciation that poured in both here and on Facebook were a great help to me…but that was in the future on this particular Thursday.

I had recently read an article about how helpful gardens are to people with dementia.  “Doctors should prescribe gardening for patients more often”, in The Guardian.  A friend with severe chronic pain pointed out correctly that gardening is not a tonic for that, nor, in the experience of friends of mine, is it a reliable cure for deep depression.  What spoke to me in this article was this:

“Outdoor spaces including gardens can reduce social isolation among older people as well as help patients recover and manage conditions such as dementia, according to the influential King‚Äôs Fund health thinktank.  ….

Dementia patients can benefit from being near a garden and one study cited in the report found a 19% reduction in violence in patients staying in garden sites and a sevenfold increase in violence in the non-garden sites during a year. Many studies suggest that a garden changes how residents, staff and visitors interact in the long term and can help people reconnect with their past interests.”  This could have been an argument (among many!) successfully presented to the powers that be that pulled the plug on the Golden Sands garden.  It is one of the many reasons that it would be a shame to have that garden decline.  I still hope some knowledgeable volunteers step up to care for it, and that they (these imaginary volunteers) are allowed to keep it as a flower garden that evokes memories of gardens past.

However, it is done.  Once I got up and went out to check on my mother’s three transplanted shrubs (two roses and a rhodie), I felt fine again except for sleep deprivation.  

Mom's "Red Velvet" rose in the window this morning (her name for it, don't know the actual name).

Mom’s “red velvet” rose flowers in the window this morning (her name for it, don’t know the actual name).

Mom's rhodie looks fine, with no wilt at all.

Mom’s rhodie looks fine, with no wilt at all.

the "red velvet" rose this morning

the “red velvet” rose this morning in the garden

Her melianthus major also looks fine even though a big piece of the root broke off in transplanting.

Her Melianthus major also looks fine even though a big piece of the root broke off in transplanting.

the middle garden with Allium albopilosum

the middle garden with Allium albopilosum

Last night, I finished Lust and Wonder by Augusten Burroughs.  I liked it, although I felt sorry for his former significant other who got written about rather harshly.  And I don’t like the way he judges people by their appearance.  What I liked best were his passages about being a catastrophizer. My own tendency to catastrophize is why I had hoped that my fears that the garden would be lost to me were just another case of me imagining the worst.





I also enjoyed the following passage because of the many times that Allan and I are almost hit by bicycles tearing down the sidewalks (illegally) in Long Beach.  We much prefer skateboards because we can hear them coming.


Last night, I had forgotten to update the work board.  Here is what remained this morning:


We took with us lots of painted sage, the special cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’, and the tray of Cosmos ‘Sensation’ mix that had been intended for Golden Sands, with the intent of finding other homes for them.


We planted one of the extra cosmos six packs down at Mike’s garden.

The post office garden has no room for more.

The post office garden has no room for more.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


adding some more painted sage at the post office

Allan planting two Helenium at the boatyard garden.

Allan planting two Helenium at the boatyard garden.

at the boatyard (Allan's photo)

at the boatyard (Allan’s photo)

I had considered adding just a few painted sage at the boatyard.  However, next week we will be doing a thorough pre-Memorial Day weekend weeding of horsetail.  IF we have any sage left, that would be the time to add some.  Meanwhile, we went to Time Enough Books and added a few to the garden boat.

moving on in a light mist

moving on in a light mist

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot got its painted sage and Cosmos ‘Seashells’ and ‘Double Click’.  I also found a home there for one of the mown-down Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that I had rescued yesterday.

Allan's photo: It replaced part of an area of Schizostylis.

Allan’s photos: It replaced part of an area of Schizostylis.

a new home for one chopped back Rozanne.

a new home for one chopped back Rozanne.

pulling bindweed

pulling bindweed in the rain

north side of dining deck; one of the big logs has been pushed in by a nosy vehicle.

north side of dining deck; one of the big logs has been pushed in by a nosy vehicle.  No plants were harmed (yet, but I do catastrophize about what would happen if the log gets pushed further in).

Long Beach

The planting session in Long Beach, during which I hoped to get all the painted sage into the planters, started in a cold and gusty rain.

Cornus 'Hedgerows Gold' added to Fifth Street Park.  It will have to grow taller to show up well.

Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’ added to Fifth Street Park. It will have to grow taller to show up well. (Allan’s photo)

The rain lightened to a fine mist, easy to work in, and perfect planting weather.  Nothing needed to be watered in; the soil was damp way down, we did not have to hook up the hose to each planter, and it could not have been more wonderful to plant. We accomplished our mission of finishing every planter.  I even had ONE bidens with me to replace one that I found stolen.  If any more get stolen, I am out of luck as I have used every bidens available at local nurseries.

I noticed that the foliage on the occasional annual had turned purple, indicating it is still too cold for their comfort at night.  It was not endemic so I won’t worry.  If all were like this, I’d be in a right old state.

a purpled, pinched back cosmos

a purpled, pinched back cosmos

and an annual salvia gone purple leaved

and an annual salvia gone purple leaved

Reminder to self: shear these rugosa roses back from the sidewalk edge.  These were cut to ground level in March.

Reminder to self: shear these rugosa roses back from the sidewalk edge. These were cut to ground level in March.

Basket Case basket by the police station

Basket Case basket by the police station

Because the planting had gone so well, we had time to weed the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

a planter we dug out and replanted last fall

Allan photographing a planter we dug out and replanted last fall

variegated thyme (Allan's photo)

variegated thyme (Allan’s photo)

I love santolinas in a beach planter.  But why is there only one catmint?

I love santolinas in a beach planter. But why is there only one catmint?

Mature thymes are so gorgeous if they make it past the tiny, cute, and easily stolen stage.

Mature thymes are so gorgeous if they make it past the tiny, cute, and easily stolen stage.

thyme (Allan's photo)

thyme (Allan’s photo)

We had timed the day to finish it with cleaning up the entry garden and planting some cosmos and painted sage at the World Kite Museum.  Allan’s photos:





The soil in this small bed is intensely rooty, perhaps from the escallonia roots invading from the side.

The soil in this small bed is intensely rooty, perhaps from the escallonia roots invading from the side.  Despite all the rain, it was dry underneath, and not from lack of hose watering.

Snails love to hitch a ride on the bottom of the six packs of plants.

Snails love to hitch a ride on the bottom of the six packs of plants.



after.  I decided it badly needs mulch...tomorrow.

after. I decided it badly needs mulch…tomorrow.

Shrubs on either side are poking up with their roots.

Shrubs on either side are poking up with their roots.  They will enjoy the mulch, too.

after work: still misting

after work: still misting

We left the the Kite Museum with time to dump our load of debris at Long Beach city works yard.  On the way there, in the pocket garden at Culbertson Field, I saw some dead bulb foliage that necessitated an emergency weeding stop.  We ran out of time for our debris dump.

The Cove Restaurant

We arrived at our weekly dinner with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) only a few minutes late.  Outside, Lacey the golf course mascot loved getting a belly rub.





Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Sondra's garden at the restaurant entrance

Sondra’s garden at the restaurant entrance, nicely mulched

I had very much been looking forward to this cider.

I had very much been looking forward to this cider.

Annika was singing.

Annika was singing.

artichoke fries

artichoke fries

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Sondra making us laugh (Allan's photo)

Sondra making us laugh (Allan’s photo)

Melissa's elegantly presented dinner

Melissa’s elegantly presented dinner

after dinner (Allan's photo)

after dinner (Allan’s photo)

Because it was still just light when we left the restaurant at 9:00 o’ clock, we went to the works yard after all and had the satisfaction of getting rid of our debris.  (We have our own key, since our hours differ from that of the city crew.)

almost full moon over the works yard

almost full moon over the works yard

At home, the work board shows that Annuals Planting Time is almost over:


Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

May 19: Robert’s birthday‚ÄĒOmaha Steaks.  Drs appt and errands‚ÄĒdentist office, vets for Tabby’s Advantage, Tim’s for Rx and Gordon’s [Nursery].  [Robert was my spouse and co-gardener during those years.]

1998 (age 74):

May 19:  I decided to plant some of the petunia seeds concentrating on the basket petunias at about two and I got tired of sitting so I went out and started repotting tomatoes and pepper seedlings.  Alan [a neighbor] came over and was real interested and he planted some tomatoes and sieved the seed in the wheelbarrow.  He said he would hang my baskets next week.




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Friday, 25 March 2016

I honestly thought it was going to be a stormy day, rainy and 45 degrees. ¬†That’s what Siri told me last night at 1 AM. ¬†She was mistaken.

We intended to begin the day by deadheading the Ilwaco planters, but it was Food Bank day and the streets were all parked up.


Allan managed to find parking to deadhead one planter.

 We spent the rest of the work day in Long Beach, thinking to do the Ilwaco planters on the way home.


street tree after deadheading.  some snail damage.


another street tree



Narcissi are my favourite flower.




Allan pulled some hardy geranium, not sure which one but similar to macrorrhizum in having a tidy habit, and we popped it into the garden at Penttila’s. ¬†I found still more masses of damnable quack grass roots, of course.


Geraniums about to come out, to allow for more variety in this planter. (Allan’s photo)


Mission accomplished (Allan’s photo); room for some annuals.


“Skyler giveth and Skyler taketh away.” I do move plants around a lot.


Penttila’s mortuary, two days ago




in a garden on our way to the next project..

Our mission for the rest of the day: To get one more section of the Bolstad beach approach garden weeded.


the long narrow Bolstad garden (right next to the name)


before (Allan’s photo)


1:20 PM


By 3:20 we were only halfway done with the section (one of 13); worrisome

Our neighbours, Jared and Jessika, operate the Starvation Alley organic cranberry juice tasting room by the Long Beach arch.  Jessika ran by with her two dogs.


Rudder and Yarrow

One of the (few) pleasures of this job is all the cute dogs that walk by.

By six o clock, I did not think we were going to make it to the end of the section (the next planter).  My knee hurt like the dickens and Allan was moaning and groaning a bit, too.  Not only were we weeding but also clipping back, attacking with the pick, and trying to pull out rugosa roses right along the edge.  By 6:30, I was sure we were going to have to leave the last two square feet undone and was debating whether or not I could honestly erase the section from the work board.  Then, with a last burst of desperate energy and with the low evening sun in my eyes, we did it!

The final five minutes had some excitement when the extremely heavy pick fell of the planter and landed an inch from my toes.  That would have hurt.


really scary, must be much more careful in future and not get punchy and careless


7:02 PM

It is normal for one section of this beach approach garden to take six hours for two people. ¬†That makes the entire job about 156 hours of work. ¬†That is rather appalling! ¬†We used to sometimes get assorted friends to help. ¬†No matter who helped us (and we have had at least five different people give it a go), it never cut the time by one third so it’s faster to just do it ourselves. ¬†Allan just reminded me that our helpers all liked to take a break, too…We just soldier on with complete focus and forget to take a ten minute break somewhere along the way (other than perhaps a necessary trip to the restroom).


after: state of collapse on the planter bench (Allan’s photo)


after, into the setting sun


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


rose debris to be dumped at city works


was able to legitimately erase one section of the beach approach

Work board lower right: Postcards is a future project for the Grandma Scrapbooks blog (sharing her old ones from 100 years ago).

I don’t think I can stand doing the beach approach day after day till done as in past years. ¬†It requires so much standing still in one place, murder on my “collapsing” knee. ¬†Tomorrow, we’ll do some deadheading rounds and then on the next work day, try to polish off a berm section which at least has more variety than the approach garden. ¬†Tomorrow’s should begin with deadheading the Ilwaco planters and port gardens as we were too tired and sore to do it on the way home tonight. ¬†But first, if only we can get up in time, we are going to caucus for Bernie Sanders.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 72):

March 25: Worked only 2 hours to exhaustion. ¬†Yesterday Don said he would come out to help chip so I cleaned up the patio and in front of the wood box and piled it high on the pile. ¬†He’s going to be shocked at the size of the pile. ¬†I can’t find the chipper instructions. ¬†My Dutch Garden new begonias are starting to grow.

1998 (age 73):

March 25: ¬† 1:00 to 4:45. ¬†Today I moved all the pots of perennials from the greenhouse to tables etc outside where they’ll get rained on. ¬†Then I washed all the white begonia baskets. ¬†That was a big job! ¬†Also cleaned Tabby’s “sand box”. ¬†Tomato seeds planted on 3/20 and 3/21 are coming up!

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Saturday, 27 February 2016


Fortunately, we were awake and having breakfast when Todd arrived in the late morning to bring some plants from his recent plant acquisition trip to T&L Nursery.  He said that the weather while I was sleeping  had been misty and not work-conducive.


barely awake, checking out the plants


Never too many Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’, in my opinion.


Allan’s birthday present from Todd, ‘hairy lip fern’ doing well.


a quick look at what’s in bloom in the back garden


Smokey flopping around seeking some attention


Smokey still seeking some pets




“If the maple gets tall enough, it won’t be swallowed up by the baptisia.”

DSC04220 (1).jpg

(Todd had remembered that this young Japanese maple has a large baptisia next to it.)


Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ and Nepeta ‘Six Hills Gold’


Sambucus ‘Black Tower’ and the Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ trio


With the new plants in the ladies in waiting area, Allan and I headed for Long Beach with a stop on the way to pick up DVDs from the library.  I took the opportunity to review the Ilwaco community building garden.




more crocuses


still more crocuses



The heather flowers are already starting to brown off.  Oh, how I wish this garden were not so heavy with heather.


I suggested to Allan that, because the kinnikinnick looks so terrible, all of it should be sheared back hard.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick, bearberry) looks awful and is hard to weed.


Kinnikinnick infested with grass

I think large sections of the bearberry need to be rogued out and replaced with something more interesting and with less tendency toward shabbiness.  At the moment, areas of this garden need weeding but the time is not there to do it.


This area, well weeded within the last month, has held up well.

We got a wonderful haul of movie fare from the library: Party Girl (one of my all time favourite films that Allan has never seen), Jurassic World, Train Wreck and Interstellar…but we must finish watching the delightful latest season of Girls on DVD first.


a comedy about library science

Long Beach


the long narrow Bolstad garden

We returned to the first section of the beach approach garden to finish cutting back the rugosa roses and weeding.


today’s area, before, at 12:51 AM


after: 3:32 PM

Each section takes about five hours for the two of us to weed (above was a half section) and so the whole first weeding job of the year takes about 130 hours!  It is difficult to find that amount of time to carve out of the rest of our schedule.

I tell myself only three more years, including this one, till Allan has turned 66 and we may then insist they find someone else to do this part of the Long Beach job.  And yet, there is something terribly satisfying about it.  I hope that this year it will seem less deadly, since we have (by choice) several fewer other jobs than last year.


today, before (Allan’s photos)


during (picking roses out from along the edge)


almost done


3 days ago



Last year, we didn’t even get started on weeding these garden beds till June; this year, I hope to get the first weeding done in time to plant poppy seeds in the areas won back from weeds and roses. ¬†Some seeds did go in at the end of the garden above.

Of course, it would be lovely to mulch the whole long sandy garden. ¬†I just don’t want to add that many hours of labour.

With the first section done, we drove out to the “end cap” by the driveway to the big public parking lot.


3:49 PM


starting the end cap


I enjoy the parade of dogs walking by.


Doug stops to tell us about a “weeding” job he’s doing. ¬†(More on this later.)


Diane came by with my very good friend, Misty!


after (Allan’s photo)


the last of the ornamental grasses got chopped by Allan (before)




5:11 PM

All too many rose roots are still in there‚ÄĒtoo many to put poppies in that area. ¬†We did manage to peel some roses away from the edge. ¬†I often yearn for the past¬†when all this garden had a collection of pretty perennials and poppies. ¬†Unfortunately, the kite festival crowds trampled it year after year and the roses have been allowed to take over because they can hold their own against humans.


still rather damp for beach approach picnics

I’m eager to get back out there to weed another section. ¬†Tomorrow calls for 40 mph winds which will definitely be not conducive to work. ¬†And I made a problem for us¬†by buying lilies and violas, as we must now return to three gardens to plant them, gardens we could otherwise ignore for a couple of post-spring-cleanup weeks. ¬†Ooops.

On the way to the city works debris pile, I snapped a photo of the Culbertson Field flower garden:


…only to realize that old flowers of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ were obscuring the view.


a few minutes later.  Ignore the weeds to the the right, no time to pull them today

Above is another plant on my loathed plants list: Lithodora.  It has been there for years.  I will clip in back hard after it blooms to avoid the dead-inside look that it gets.  Like heather, it has such a short bloom time followed by a long tatty looking time unless clipped.


Now off to dump a scratchy load of roses

As we drove to the city works yard four blocks south, a woman tried to flag us down with a “YooHoo!” ¬†We simply had to keep driving in order to get the debris dumped while we still had daylight. ¬†Perhaps she wished to hire gardeners, in which case we would suggest our friends at Sea Star Gardening.

I remembered to sit a couple of times during the day to force myself to bend my right knee.  I think some of my problem is from working with a straight leg all day until it locks open, causing much pain trying to get into the van at end of day.  Today was better.

At dusk, we gave in to the impulse to dine at the Kabob Cottage. ¬†Restaurateur Behnoosh and landlord Doug were just completing the patio. ¬†You may recall that earlier today, Doug had driven by us on our beach approach project and said he was “weeding” another area. ¬†Below: His version of weeding is to fill in an ugly weedy patch of sorrel and horsetail with matching pavers.


It is a huge improvement.


So is the excellent spring clean up that Dave and Melissa did for us on this park a couple-three weeks ago.


Allan’s photo


delicious chicken kabobs


Kabob Cottage by night

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 27: ¬†It seems like I start all my notes with “Finally”. ¬†Well, today I finally got the leaves raked up in lower driveway and behind house. ¬†I used the trash bag frame with 33 gallon bags and it worked fine. ¬†I have five bags to be shredded “someday”.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 27: ¬†Didn’t get to sleep till after 4 AM‚ÄĒthen slept till almost noon. ¬†My Dutch Gardens order came today, 5 boxes, $806 worth. ¬†Now I really have my work cut out for me. ¬†I must get the begonias potted and pot up the various perennials roots etc and get them under lights.


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Wednesday, 23 February 2016

Before leaving for work, I received this lovely photo of the Wiegard Gallery garden. 


photo by Todd Wiegardt. crocus and old lavender

Meanwhile, at home: 


deliciously fragrant daphne right by where I get in the van in the morning


front garden tulips, crocus, Erysimum


Tulip Kaufmanniana ‘The First’

Mike’s garden

We began just a few blocks east at Mayor Mike’s garden.


It should be time to cut the buddleia, but I liked its shape so much that I did not.


Allan clipped the pampas grass


Allan’s photo, weeding, before


and after (north side)


a lovely red Pieris (that looks like it needs fertilizer‚ÄĒyellow leaves on top)


front path after tidying


The soil, well mulched 15 months ago, is battered by all the rain and needs more.


The back yard narcissi show is not as grand as I had hoped.  The ivy trees are on the adjacent lot.


Allan’s photo: Sally feeling shy on the back deck

Port of Ilwaco

The big plan for today was to do a few more curbside gardens along Howerton Way, finish there by 3 o clock, hightail it up to Long Beach and weed and clip the two “little popouts”, dump debris and then get some mulch moved to Fifth Street Park.  Har de har.  It was but a dream….


First gardens: the old Wade Gallery, and further east in front of the old Port Bistro Restaurant (much missed by me even years later; their Napoleon of Ahi Tuna was so good).




Allan’s before


and after

Gardeners know that some ornamental grasses get cut back and some just get combed out.  How do we know the difference?  We just do.


narcissi, with ceanothus about to bloom


Allan’s photo, by the old Port Bistro.  Weeding on these rocks kills my knee.  But my back is powerful!

I grumble to myself when I weed the garden by a cannery, because of the dang blang landscape fabric ineffectively covered with bark.  The cannery owners  chose and prune the escallonias.


The underwear is showing!

One of these days, me and a good pair of scissors might have to remove that fabric.  Mulching it with a thick coat of gravel would have worked better.


Allan pruning wax myrtle at Craft 3 Bank


Allan’s photos, before


and after


more would-be tall shrubs to prune (not planted by us!!) and coppiced red twig dogwood


Allan’s photos: before





and after

A drizzle began.  “WHAT??” said I, “It was supposed to not rain after 10 AM!”

I asked Allan to get a photo of the Top Cat.  (Another boat in the marina is named the Fat Cat and is famous for having been stolen by the Barefoot Bandit).


Top Cat


Here comes the Cutting Edge (owned by a fella with last name of Cutting).


crab pot gardening backdrop

By 3:15, after finishing three more curbside beds, I realized we were NOT going to get to Long Beach in time to accomplish the mulching of the park garden.  Instead, I decided we could finish the west end curbside beds and then we could at least cross the Howerton Way gardens off the work board.


The westernmost bed, before


and after

We dug out some Elagrostis curvula (“weeping love grass”) that was pitiful looking because of last summer’s drought.   This year, this particular bed will be my NO WATER test garden since it’s the one where the adjacent business will not allow us hose access.  We are tired of hooking up three hoses from the port dock to water this one, and so it will become an interesting Beth Chatto-esque drought test rather than asking the port crew to run a hose line for us here.  I wouldn’t want to go that way on all of the beds, because a drought garden does tend to look dusty and tired in a long dry spell, especially with our salty sea wind.  The many businesses who like having a more spectacular garden can have the more exciting plants.  In fact, I moved a couple of plants out of this garden down to the Time Enough Books garden today.

high and dry

another inspiration for no water gardening


the next bed to the east, before


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

Back when that particular building was occupied by our dear friend Queen La De Da’s art studio, I had planted some extra special plants in that garden.


Iris hermodactylus tuberosa (Allan’s photo)


Iris hermodactylus tuberosa (Allan’s photo), snakes head iris


after weeding and clipping till we could no longer see the little weeds very well


We barely finished by dark!

This old doggie was catching up to her guy, who had turned back to wait for her.


Then I got to pet her.  What a sweet heart.  Her name is Brandy, she is 16, and a fine girl indeed; her guy has had her since she was small enough to fit into his hand.


fishing boat lights


fog to the west


As we quit for the day: Just 24 hours till our weekly dinner at Salt Pub!

A day spent stepping back and forth over the curb into and out of the gardens had made my knee thoroughly seize up by dusk, and I had a time bending it enough to seat myself in the van.  For a few minutes of my leg being locked straight and refusing to bend, I wondered if I was going to make it home (because I doubt I could have walked it, either.)

I did manage to get into the van eventually, and at home was able to cross two things off the work board, and add one (mulching Mike’s).


Jo’s is the last of the single garden spring clean ups left!  Next week, I hope.

So tomorrow, supposedly a sunny day, I am determined to do the little pop out gardens and one section of beach approach garden in Long Beach (at least cutting back the roses) and mulch Fifth Street Park.  And yet we must get home in time to mow the lawn before rain returns.  Again I may be living just in hope.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries, two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 24: Continued sieving compost.  Now one half of compost box is sieved so I placed board in center and have 1/2 box filled 1/2 deep of lovely sieved compost.  Only have about 1/4 of box left to sieve.  There are hundreds of worms which I’ll toss back into box when its empty.  I am throwing the coarse stuff out into garden area to be tilled in when it’s dry enough to till.

1998 (age 73)

Feb 24: 12:30-4:30  Sunny and cool.  I finished sawing the branches next to shop and the ones Skyler pulled over to the “raspberry” path.  I got all the cut firewood into the shed and raked the area.  I also moved some of the pieces that Don [a neighbour] put into the wood box so I could close the lid.  Next chore will be to clean up the patio area and “under Bruce’s window” [her husband who died in 1995].  After that maybe later this week I’ll start bringing up the new wood.

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