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Posts Tagged ‘fall clean up’

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

 

sun on dogwood leaves outside our kitchen window

Ilwaco

We started by pulling the rest of the now wind-battered sweet peas off of the fence at the Ilwaco boatyard and trimmed some more Stipa gigantea.

The boatyard garden is all greens and silvers now.

Long Beach

We continued to whittle down the fall clean up of the Long Beach planters, starting with taking down the last of the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ at the welcome sign.

windblown geraniums

There’s no after photo.  Just imagine it pretty much empty.

In town, we could tell the weather was about to be variable.

I had decided to clip back Geranium ‘Rozanne’ even if it still had some blue flowers.  My memory was strong of how miserable it is to do an extensive post-frost clean up in cold weather with cold hands.

before

planter in front of the Coastal Inn and Suites

Allan cleaned up under two trees just to the north of my project.

before (with Pacicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and some badasters

Panicum “Heavy Metal’ is a kind of greyish green grass in summer.

after

It is better to wait to prune down ornamental grasses in late winter.  However, sometimes I just realize that passersby do not GET this grass and probably think it looks weedy in the winter (or anytime).

The first big rain squall came.  I got into the van.  Allan was stuck under an awning (in yellow vest by the white pillars).

I had found a couple of rocks in the planter.

I am now finding painted rocks that have been hidden in the planters all summer, not very effective because they were so lost that some of their designs have worn off.  Mr. Tootlepedal asked about the painted rocks.  It’s a hobby that has caught on around here, and towns all over Washington State and Oregon, too, have groups of folks who paint and hide pretty rocks.  When you find one, you can keep it or re-hide it.  You can join the Facebook group associated with whatever group logo is (usually) painted onto the back of the rock and post a photo of it.

From one of the local groups, Ocean Park and Long Beach Rocks:

We paint rocks and hide them all over town for others to find. On the back of the rocks write Ocean Park/Long Beach Rocks and a Facebook symbol. If you find a rock, you can keep it or re-hide it for others to enjoy. You can also post pictures here of the rocks you hide, as well as the rocks you find.

This is a family friendly activity, so please don’t decorate rocks with profanity or obscenities. Always remember that this activity is about community and spreading joy, happiness and love.

They do bring me a lot of enjoyment as I find them and can brighten up a hard work day.

After the squall, finishing up the planter by Coastal Inn:

We moved on to another intersection, skipping a couple of blocks to get to the planters that I felt needed tidying the most.  The one in front of Hungry Harbor Grille, with its tired California poppies, had been on my mind.

before, with the planter by the carousel in foreground

I left this one for Allan.

Allan clipped the catmint in the near one, and I tackled the diagonal one.

before

creating a big mess

I needed the wheelbarrow!

after

after

The Hungry Harbor was getting its doors painted for Christmas. She got one door outlined in the time it took to clean the planter.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan also cleaned up the planter in front of Sweet Phees snack and pizza shop.

before cutting back the golden marjoram

after

Cutting the perennials now prevents the cutting of bulb foliage of those that come up early, and lets the flowers of the small spring bulbs show off better.  The grape hyacinths foliage is already up, which is normal.

Another tree garden cleaned up by Allan:

before, near Castaways Bar and Grille.

We had once tried to make this tree garden special, with some hardy fuchsias and fewer badaster and hesperantha.  But people park their dogs in it, and bikes, too, I suppose, and the good new plants got smashed so it went back to badaster and hesperantha.

after (Allan’s photos)

At 4:30, 45 minutes before dusk, the rain came back in earnest so we went home.

I’m spending some of my evening time reading The Grapes of Wrath, which continues to be both stressful and satisfying.  Satisfying because I so agree with John Steinbeck.

About a rich man with a vast acreage who is “mean, lonely, old, disappointed, and scared of dying.”:

How times have not changed:

The desperately hungry, who cannot find work despite daily questing for work, dream of just a small piece of land where they could grow food to eat:

Is a different time coming?

In his review of the film of The Grapes of Wrath, Roger Ebert wrote, “Of course Tom [Joad] didn’t know the end of the story, about how the Okies would go to work in war industries and their children would prosper more in California than they would have in Oklahoma, and their grandchildren would star in Beach Boys songs. It is easy to forget that for many, “The Grapes of Wrath” had a happy, unwritten, fourth act.”  Fortunately, I did not read the review till after I’d finished the book; it has a big spoiler about the book’s final scene.

Roger Ebert was not entirely optimistic about the fate of the workers:

 “The story, which seems to be about the resiliency and courage of “the people,” is built on a foundation of fear: Fear of losing jobs, land, self-respect. To those who had felt that fear, who had gone hungry or been homeless, it would never become dated. And its sense of injustice, I believe, is still relevant. The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids so huge and so chummy with the government that Enron, for example, had to tractor itself off its own land.”

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 10 November 2017

If we methodically work through the fall clean up list, we might get it done by the end of this month and then be on staycation.  I’d like to be done (except for post frost clean up) by Thanksgiving (Nov 23).  This is not looking likely because of a prediction of at least five days of bad weather.

Port of Ilwaco

On the way to the port, we saw the sure signs of approaching crab season.  The crab fishing fleet has to wait for the crab to size up properly before it can begin.  They always hope for the beginning of December but often have to wait.  While they wait, they prepare their pots.

crab pots by the old Kola boathouse

I began with the small garden on the south side of the Port Office building.

port office garden with lots of lavenders to clip and one last big cosmos pulled

after (Allan cleaned up with his new, pretty quiet rechargeable blower)

It was a big advance recently when we acquired a battery operated blower.  I had avoided them because of the noise.  Allan picked out a quiet-ish one, and it does make the job go faster than a broom.  Perhaps he will insert the make and model here, for those who like specs.  ( A Greenworks 80V blower  Same battery operates our heavy duty string trimmer and could operate a replacement chainsaw or a mower in the future.)

just across Waterfront Way from the little garden

I joined Allan to help finish up his project, the final clean up of the Time Enough Books garden.

Each business has the garden or courtyard (or in some cases, just a parking lot) on the south side of the sidewalk.  The north side is the curbside garden, maintained by the port (usually by us, with the exception of a fish processing business that clips their own escallonias).

Time Enough Books, east side before

and after (elderberry lowered behind the boat, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ clipped down in front of the boat), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ pulled by the entrance to Purly Shell Fiber Arts)

before (Allan’s photos)

after

Time Enough Books west side garden, before

west side, after, with elderberry and tall grasses and more cut all the way down for ease of Christmas decorating; that was one year of growth on that elderberry, which we chop down every November.

before (Allan’s photos)

after

after easy peasy blower clean up

The Depot Restaurant

Allan did the once yearly chopping of the bamboo in a very narrow space between the deck and the building.  I am not even sure I could fit in there.

His photos:

bamboo all up in the works

after

A portly repairperson would have a hard time getting to that equipment even without the bamboo

We like the bamboo for long stakes.  I realized Allan would have to run it home before we loaded up the debris that I was cutting from the garden to the north of the dining deck.

trailer with long bamboo

He made quick work of taking the bamboo home and returning with an empty trailer.

I chopped down almost everything in the north garden.

before

Sous chef Jamie emerged from the kitchen and I asked him if he would leave up the Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’, which I love for its tiny yellow flowers still showing way up high.

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

He could not see the appeal of the old, worn plant, and I figured his opinion would be shared by most passersby, so down it came.  I am extra glad now, because a great deal of wind is being forecast and it would have had to be chopped next week for sure.

Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Persicaria ‘Firetrail’, and old ferns were for the chop.

after

I did leave up the late blooming Sanguisorba.

Sanguisorba menziesii ‘Dali Marble‘, backed with a self sown cotoneaster and with Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’

There will be one more short session of clean up in this garden after the first heavy frost.

I had hoped to get a couple of Long Beach planters cleaned up.  The frost is not yet here, and yet I woke up in the morning realizing I am tired of California poppies and nasturtiums’ last few blooms.  We ran out of time, so that will have to wait.  I wanted to get home with some daylight left to pick a bouquet for a friend who is recovering from surgery.

at home:

Allan’s photo

an autumn bouquet about to be delivered to dear Ilwaco friend

I got such a touching card from my neighbors.  I love the way it recognizes the true friendship I shared with Smoky.  (It wasn’t lopsided; it just photographed that way.)

Thank you.

On the work board, as much was added as erased.  I realized the port office garden looks battered by rain and needs a bag of mulch.  And I see that I need to add the Depot to the “post frost clean up” section.

I really hope we can accomplish all the pre-frost clean up before the end of this month.  All we need is five workable days!  ….Or six, since things usually take longer than I hope.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

In the wee dark hours of the morning, blustery wind battering the south wall of the bedroom woke me repeatedly, and I did not look forward to the work day.

Allan saw a gorgeous sunrise outside the kitchen window.

Because we knew the next few days would bring substantial rain and stronger wind, we went out to work despite the cold weather.  I started out sore because of a bit of physical stress the previous evening.  Cats had knocked over a jade plant on a cute but wobbly table by my bathroom window.  I knew it was a potential problem when I set it up, and had done so anyway, so I blame no cat for the mess.  After repotting the unhappy plant, and in returning from our front porch with a better table, I had tripped sideways at the front door, yowling and windmilling into the living room.  I had saved myself from a fall but felt all twisted up.  I know all too well from the experiences of friends that one bad fall can change your life for months…or permanently.

Long Beach

I had had in mind today to trim a big lavender in the planter by First Place mall.  Allan did so while I tidied the planter across the street and then took refuge in the van while he finished up.  This particular task was set in a tunnel of east wind whipping down the cross street.  The east wind from the Columbia Gorge is the coldest wind that we get here.

before (Allan’s photo)

I wimped out.

after (Allan’s photo)

cold

We went on to Veterans Field, where I planted an arc of elephant garlic corms.  As with the city hall garden, someone this past summer had clipped off all of the flowers on the few that were in the vet field corner garden.  Next year there will be many more.

I met a darling dog named Snack.  His guy had also had a dog named Lunch.

Again, the US flag at the flag pavilion flew at half staff, again for a mass shooting.

We chose a somewhat sheltered Long Beach spot to continue, in the two eastern quadrants of Fifth Street Park.  I’d had the idea of using our strongest string trimmer on an annoyingly rooty and muddy bed of lady’s mantle and hesperantha.  Allan did it.  It worked a treat.

Allan’s photos: before

before

after

after

I tackled a messy long narrow bed on the north side.  It had been planted in haste before the re-dedication of the razor clam statue a few years back.  A couple of blue scabiosa had turned into way too many.  I started digging them out because I want a new look here, something not so prolific.

before

before

I got into a big mess of debris as I got every scabiosa  and a lot of the badaster out.  I had not intended to spend so long at it, because KBC was still on the schedule.

huge mess

Allan got done with his strimming project and helped me clean up.  I did not have time to dig through the soil to get out more of the telltale pinky purple BadAster roots, and there is still no pile of mulch for us to bring to this now battered looking bed.  (We are assured that a pile of mulch will soon appear for us at City Works.)

after (the juniper, foreground, goes way back to before we did this garden)

after (with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in white)

A tourist passerby from Woodinville, north of Seattle, had no idea what the razor clam statue represents.  Its signage is covered for winter while its plumbing (that lets it squirt on the hour) is turned off.  I will suggest to the powers that be that the clam needs a year round interpretive sign, perhaps just “Pacific Razor Clam” on its base.

In summer, you can also put in a quarter to make the clam squirt at any time during the day.

Of course, now is my opportunity to post again the droll letter my dear friend Montana Mary wrote to the local paper during the years when the clam did not squirt at all.  The statue was re-plumbed when the clam festival revived in 2014.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We had stopped at The Planter Box to acquire a belated birthday present for manager/part owner Mary of KBC.  In a big rush to have at least an hour to work at KBC, we took no photos at the garden store.

We did come up with a pretty flower pot, three plants, and three cute gourds to make a birthday present.

Allan’s photo

We had time for one hour of work, after texting garden friends that we were running fifteen minutes late for a late afternoon social engagement.

Allan cut down the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ behind the fenced garden sit spot.

Allan’s photos, before

after

I clipped and pulled in the other beds, without enough time to accomplish enough to finish off the fall clean up.  Still, three wheelbarrows of debris left the garden.  Even without our late afternoon plans, we would not have enough time.  I need to schedule a day of nothing but this garden in order to finish it up for the year.  It’s so sheltered that it’s a good place to choose for a windy day.

Before we left, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.

the sit spot

flower bud on Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

birdbath view

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

We left KBC at 3:15 for a Bayside Garden tour, which will be tomorrow’s post.

Later, at home…

The work board got two things erased, Fifth Street Park and planting of garlic in Vet Field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 6 November 2017

Frosty looking cute in the morning

Even though my neurotic cat Frosty (the late Smoky’s brother) still wants to sleep in the garage rather than have to spend the night indoors, I won’t let him.  It is cold out there.  He wakes me up at 6 AM yowling to go out, so I then open the south cat door for him.  So far the other two cats have not figured out this happens.  Frosty seems to go out and then come back in soon after, because I find him asleep in my room when I wake up again.

Long Beach

We happened to nab a parking spot right next to a street tree that needed its batch of Lysimachia punctata cut back for winter.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

We found a reversible rock.

not sure what it means

The Anchorage Cottages

We left Long Beach to work at the Anchorage first, mainly because I did not know how long we would be there, and the rest of the time could then be devoted to Long Beach.

Arbutus and Melianthus major in the center courtyard

arbutus flowers (to be followed by strawberry like fruit, thus the common name strawberry tree)

I love arbutus so much, why do I not have one in my yard?

I’ve been meaning for ages for us to dead-wood the arbutus. No time for that today.

I did a nice under-pruning and lowering from the top of the big Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ in the corner; wish I had a before picture.

just an after

Allan pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from the narrow bed under the blue sign, and on either side of it he planted some starts of shasta daisies.  I know folks who would turn up their noses at that.  I think the daisies will look spiffing with the white window trim.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

I put some redtwig dogwood twigs in the window boxes, just because it is something I like to do.

Long Beach

I planted a whole pot of cloves of elephant garlic on the west side of city hall.  The very few that were there this past summer were a hit with the city hall staff, who called it  “The Horton Hears a Who plant.”  It was so disappointing when someone picked off all the round flowers that I said I was going to plant so many that surely some flowers would be left next year.

planted them on the upper tier

after planting and clean up of the long narrow tiered beds that were planted originally by Gene and Peggy Miles, when Gene was city administrator (Allan’s photo)

lots of clean up accomplished on the north side, too

I do not clean up my gardens this way.  I leave a lot more plants standing into late winter.  In public gardens, most passersby would not understand that and would just see it as messy.

We turned next to pulling Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at the front of Coulter Park (Allan) and tidying up a planter across the street (me).

Coulter Park, before and after (Allan’s photo)

Allan also photographed the planter project.

before

After work, we returned a couple of forgotten Halloween party items to Scott and Tony’s townhouse in north Long Beach, along with a tall houseplant that needed a place with tall windows.

painted rocks that Scott and Tony’s friends leave in their little entry courtyard

Port of Ilwaco

We did a security check on the business of a friend who will be out of town for two more days post surgery and then had a look at the garden at the port office.  It needs some trimming.  We were almost out of daylight, so it will not get done today.

Allan’s photo

Almost sunset at the marina:

home

I feel sad when I come home to Calvin sleeping alone, in the chair where for the past couple of months he spent the day sleeping with his new best friend, Smoky.  I wish he would bond with Frosty.  He must miss Smoky as much as I do.

Calvin wakes up.

Two nights ago, when I was petting Calvin, I realized I had already lost the hand memory of how much softer Smoky was than any other cat.  Calvin feels soft to me now.  I clipped a tiny bit of Smoky’s fur, before his final visit to the vet.  It felt intrusive to clip very much. It is just enough soft fur, in a little wooden box, to touch with one fingertip.  I can’t bear to go there. But I don’t want to forget that softness.  My hand aches to pet him again.

Smoky and Calvin on October 7th

Calvin and Smoky on October 19th

October 26th

Frosty and Smoky, mid October.  Note the subtle patterns on Smoky’s oh so soft fur.

Smoky was nice to all cats, humans, and nice dogs.

Frosty and Calvin will share my lap, but without affection and with the occasional squabble.

Frosty and Calvin a couple of nights ago

detente but no affection

I occupied my mind with a re-write the work board, dividing the fall clean up list into before and after the first heavy frost, for the purpose of giving me more tasks to erase.  Erasure gives me satisfaction at day’s end.

I then got to erase City Hall and Anchorage.

Below, at 2:45 AM (technically the next day):

Frosty, the odd kitty, has a new favourite place now that he is not sleeping in the garage: right in the middle of the open space in the bedroom.

Why not a comfy chair?

As I write this two days later, he is sleeping in that exact same peculiar spot.

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Saturday, 4 November 2017

On the way to work, I took a bouquet (reassembled from our Halloween bouquets) to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum for tonight’s event.

Long Beach

We went to Long Beach in a light, cold drizzle.  After a search for a parking spot on a busy Saturday, we repaired to Abbracci Coffee Bar to wait out the rain.  The Dark Sky app promised that it would stop in half an hour.

Tony and Bernardo of Abbracci

new autumnal art by Brad Carlson

Bernardo showed us photos of the successful cast leaves that he had made from gunnera I had provided from nearby Fifth Street Park.

success!

The rain did stop, as predicted, so we were able to start work after our coffee.

We had received in the mail a sympathy card from Dr. Raela at Oceanside Animal Clinic.  At first, I thought I had better wait to read it.  I couldn’t wait.

Dr. Raela’s message helped me a great deal with my feelings about having made the decision to have Smoky euthanized, which was so hard even though it was clear he was not going to get better and that he was so miserable and uncomfortable.  A veterinarian with this much insight and compassion is a treasure indeed.

It took me a while to join Allan at cleaning up the nearby park.

Fifth Street Park, west fence with Super Dorothy Rose.

Allan first did some fall clean up of the SW quadrant of the park.  We leave the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ standing through the winter here because it helps hide a not very attractive line of old pampas grass behind the restroom building.

(Allan’s photos) before

after

before

after

I began by cutting back the Darmera peltata in the SE quadrant by Benson’s Restaurant.  Even though I still like the way it looks before, I know the city crew will appreciate having the pond edge clear so they can do their fall clean up of fallen tree leaves in the water.

before

gunnera and darmera leaves obscuring the edge

a little darmera start in the waterfall

Allan came from his first project across the street and tidied up the little monument garden some more.

before

after shearing the lady’s mantle

Allan pried off a big piece of darmera that had attached itself to the side of a rock.

I showed him how the leaves having fallen off the maples had revealed a bindweed that had climbed from the hydrangeas in the back corner way up into the tree.

how embarrassing! (Allan’s photos)

He removed the bindweed with the pole pruners.

I had not intended to prune the big hydrangea, until I realized that it was so tall it was obscuring the lamp post in the corner of the park.  Much pruning ensued, including the ivy (from the lot next door, from whence the bindweed also comes) that was also interfering with the light.

This is just the hydrangea debris.

 Three tarp loads of darmera and gunnera debris got dragged by Allan half a block to our trailer to go home into our compost bins.

North, across the side street, the classic frying pan photo being taken (Allan’s photo)

Here is the before again:

before

And the after:

I think the city crew will be happy to see this on Monday.

I have an idea that a string trimmer might be the answer to cleaning up this difficult very muddy bed in the same park:

Next time!

We still had a lot of clean up to do.  Allan hauled the third tarp full of compostable debris to the trailer, which was parked up the street past Abbracci.

tarp load number three (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan noticed the three bikes parked in a tree garden. When he joined me back in the park, with the van and trailer moved to the side street in order to load up the hydrangea debris, he asked me to see if the bikes belonged to coffee shop customers and if so to request that they move them out of our garden.

All too typical.  Signs on the lamp posts, by the way, say no bicycle riding on the sidewalks, which is often ignored.

The coffee shop which was empty save for the owners and for a dad with two young daughters, who indeed owned the bikes.  I asked if they would please move the bikes out of “my garden”.  The dad said, “YOUR garden? I thought it was a public garden!”

“Yes, it is a public garden, and I’m the public gardener,” I replied, with every effort to be jolly and pleasant.  “I just tend to call it mine because I work on it, but the city would prefer if people not put their bikes on the plants.”

“Do you have a card to prove you’re the public gardener?” the dad asked.

I could not help but laugh, and said, “No, I’m not a card carrying public gardener.  I could send my husband here with an orange vest on, but we are too busy cleaning up the park.”  I just gave up and left.

I realized later that Allan had been dragging his tarp of debris past the big windows of the coffee shop and loading it into the trailer.  The dad must have seen!

Not long after that, the dad and two daughters went bicycling past us, heading down the main sidewalk (despite signs on almost every lamp post saying no bicycling on the sidewalks).  We were parked in full view, with a traffic cone behind us, a few feet up the side street, loading debris. I called out in my jolliest voice, with a smile, “Here’s my public gardener ‘card’, this trailer full of debris!  See how full it is? We just cleaned up this park!”  I added, “Girls, look!  Public gardeners!”  The girls looked but the dad gazed straight ahead and kept pedaling.  I was laughing because it was so ludicrous to have been asked for a card.  Why would I even care where people park their bikes if I were not responsible for the plants?

I went back into Abbracci for a moment to confirm that I had not sounded mean when I asked the guy to move the bikes.  Nope.  I observed that the soil under the tree was a bit compacted by the bikes, that more damage would have been done in the summer when the plants were fuller, and that there is plenty of room for bikes on the sidewalk next to the bench.  (To my eternal amazement, summer does not stop people from parking bikes, strollers, and dogs on top of the plants under the trees.)

We dumped the hydrangea debris at City Works and got home with less than an hour to spare before our evening event.  The offload of the compost debris would have to wait till Sunday.

6×6 Art Auction

Tomorrow’s post, shared from Our Ilwaco blog, will be all about the always entertaining annual 6×6 at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.  I just want to share the personal aspects of it here.

I was touched that the museum reserved a table for us.  They know we will share photos on Discover Ilwaco and in our blog, so we got a great view of Karla, the communications expert, and of Bruce, the auctioneer, as you will see in tomorrow’s post.

Allan’s photo

Our Steve and John of the Bayside Garden attended.

John and Steve (Allan’s photo)

They have mounted another attack on salal in their garden, and we hope to go see the results next week.

A friend said that she had a gift for me.  It was a rainbow bracelet in honor of Smoky (and the Rainbow Bridge).  My face blindness kicked in and I had to go up later and ask her who she was: Leslie, who paints the sock monkey painting each year, and who I know quite well online but not so much to recognize in person…yet.  If her little dog, the Bean, had been with her I would have known her identity right away.

Allan’s photo

Two artist friends, Heather of NIVA green (our favourite shop) and Joe Chasse, attended.

Heather and Joe (Allan’s photo)

We were pleased that Joe sat at our table, and I was particularly pleased that I won his art piece in the silent auction.

Joe’s 6×6 creation, at home with me

I also bid on and won Wendy Murry’s piece.  I’ve gotten hers all but one of the years that she has submitted art.  This year, because the theme was the sixties, the piece is very 60s in feel.  I had a bit of a battle to win it.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace.” -Jimi Hendrix

Our Kathleen got the other piece I bid on.  I had forgotten to increase my bid!  I will be able to visit it in her cottage.

1964 Long Beach by Leslie Price, won by Our Kathleen

The mosaic piece was right next to Wendy’s!

Allan’s photo

Usually the art in the live auction goes for a pretty penny, and my favourite live auction piece this year, by local artist Wendi Peterson (spouse of the auctioneer, Bruce) sold for $350.00  (I once bid almost that much for, and won, a piece by Wendy Murry in the live auction.  Not this year, with my recent vet bill.)  I am happy to admire the painting here:

Three Dog Night by Wendi Peterson

Later, at home, with Frosty:

 

 

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Friday, 3 November 2017

We did not have a workday breakfast (heartier than cereal) because rain inspired us to sleep late. Calvin enjoyed a bit of my cereal milk.  It was nice to have someone to share with.

Calvin’s treat

When the sky cleared, Allan hooked up the trailer and we headed off to work, or so we thought.

A substantial hail storm drove us back home from the post office.

So much hail fell that it was slippery walking in to the house.

I settled in to read for awhile.  Our Kathleen dropped by on her way into town with a memorial present for my Smoky.

a choice Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ from Our Kathleen

As we visited, the weather began to clear.  Kathleen departed and at 1:45 PM we went out to do some work.

blue sky over the front garden

I thought at the very least, we could get some checks into the bank, for which we have to go to Long Beach.

fungi by our bank parking spot

Long Beach

I walked around and checked three blocks worth of planters, using the wheelie cart from Mary Beth while I cut back old foliage.

weeding the curbside

In a sad mood, I did not feel like taking photos.

I did find one rock, so worn from being hidden deep in a planter that I could barely tell what the painting depicted.  I first thought it was a bulb and almost shoved it deeper in.

a birthday cake, I think

I did see an odd thing when I cleaned up one small area of Fifth Street Park:

Fifth Street Park, NE quadrant.  Look next to the white post…

??what is??

Allan took photos of his clean up project in the NW quadrant of Fifth Street Park, in which he cut back some perennials and pulled some cosmos

.

before

after

before

before cutting back Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

after

before (I still think this huge grass needs to come out, a daunting task)

after retrieving the path

Allan cleaned up this planter; before

after

By the time we left, the sky was ominous.

dramatic sky

I loathe the discouragement of shopping for clothes, but while Allan dumped the debris at City Works, I went to Dennis Company and found a pair of warm, soft black pants that actually have pockets.   I have misplaced my one pair of winter pants that don’t have holes in them! How I got to be an XXL is beyond me, considering that I work hard.  I would have bought two pairs of those pants, because they fit and it would save me from future shopping for awhile, were it not for the sad fact that only one in that size was available.

Recommended reading on the subject of size:

On the way home, I needed more Ethos 2:1 tincture from Mr. Doobie’s.  It seems to have been preventing back spasms.  While I was in the shop, Allan looked  behind it at Tarlatt Slough, an old portage route.

 

View north as it flows under Hwy 101 by Sandridge.

 

Tarlatt Slough south towards Black Lake

 

at home

I remembered that I had a couple of Geranium ‘Orion’ divisions to plant in the bogsy woods so bunged them in along the back fence at dusk.

Skooter came with me…

…and Smoky’s brother, Frosty.

I like Frosty, even though he is part Siamese, yowly and neurotic.  (Lately he insists on sleeping in the cold garage, and I do not know why.)  I like Skooter, even though Skooter likes Allan best.

Skooter, age four and a half

Some tears fell because I miss my adored Smoky’s company.  He adored me, too.

Julez of Salt Hotel and Pub did such a kind thing by bringing us a dinner of smoked tuna sandwiches, a gift of comfort for the loss of our cat.

Delicious food from Salt Pub

I talked with a friend today about what it is like when you have more than one pet, and the very best one is the one that dies.  I found it comforting to share that feeling with someone.

I hoped that Allan and I could get in one more workday in Fifth Street Park on Saturday.  It would have to be a short day because of the always exciting annual 6×6 auction starting at 5 PM.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

After hearing rain pelting and strong wind at night and this morning, I was surprised when the weather turned sunny.

I must remember now that on sunny days, the greenhouse door must get opened.

It would be too easy to go to work and leave the plants to bake.

Greenhouse spider had wisely made a web off to the side today.

this much rain overnight

My plan to get the garage ready today for bulbs changed.  Because of the sun emerging, I happily decided that I could re-do a garden corner by digging out Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and making a space for interesting new plants.  Then I looked at the weather and saw that 54 mph winds were predicted for tomorrow, along with 1-2 inches of rain.  The most telling point was when I looked at UPS tracking and saw my bulbs are now due to arrive on Thursday, not Wednesday, affecting my work plans for later in the week.

The work board is full of bulbing now. And some at home projects have appeared.

I asked Allan if he would mind going to work to do some pre-emptive storm clean up at two resorts.  He agreed so off we went.

In the driveway, I looked at my agastache and cosmos, hoping some flowers will survive the storm.  I’m planning to make bouquets on Friday to decorate for a charity auction that will benefit local Hispanic families affected by ICE (my way of contributing without actually having to people).  Both cosmos and some (not all) agastaches originate in Mexico so it would be special to add them to the arrangements.

left, Agastaches, right, cosmos, far upper left, Skooter

Because I am eager for compost, we made a quick detour to the city works yard and nabbed two of the hanging basket plants from the debris pile…

They are big loose basket shaped mounds. Not organic because of Miracle Gro use. Never mind that, I want them.

…and then went on to…

The Anchorage Cottages

Mitzu!

center courtyard

decided to leave these window boxes for one more week

Allan installed the spring bulb window boxes and I added yellow violas.

We pulled tall cosmos in the bed above.  This area gets lots of wind that would knock them over by the weekend.

We started the project of re-doing two out of three pots at the Anchorage.  One was just full of Lamium, probably ‘White Nancy’, leaving no room for other plants.

before, last week

Because we needed more soil and plants for the two pots, we went on to

The Planter Box.

autumn colour on trees for sale

autumn display

We got lavenders, violas, a lemon cypress, potting soil, pumpkins, bulb food, and some pavers for a project at home.

our three pumpkins

Then on to

Klipsan Beach Cottages

While Allan planted some aruncus (goatsbeard) starts in the woodsy swale by the clam cleaning shed and pulled crocosmia and iris leaves, I pulled tall cosmos out of the fenced garden.  Perhaps because of being over-fertilized, several of them shot up to great height without many flowers.

before

after.  The cosmos were just silly this year.

before

after

More prolific, shorter, flowering cosmos can stay for awhile.

late honeysuckle flowers

bright hamamelis foliage

blueberry fall colour

blueberry

blueberry and tetrapanax

tetrapanax flower buds

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’ had few flowers this year.

Iris foetidissima

Fuchsia ‘Debron’s Black Cherry’

Eupatorum rugosum ‘Chocolate’

Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’

looking in east gate

birdbath view

roses

Rose ‘Bow Bells’

I had been collecting cosmos and other clean clippings to take home for my empty compost bin.

I am 5’6″. Look how ridiculously tall the Cosmos ‘Sensation’ is.

We finished at KBC with some dumping of pots of annuals to make space for incoming bulbs.  (Must remember to buy potting soil.)

Anchorage Cottages again

We finished dealing with the two empty pots.  Allan’s photos:

Long Beach

We were pleased to get done in time to nip into Dennis Company during their last fifteen minutes to buy some more Halloween lights.  The clerk tested out two so-called purple lights that turned out to be reddish. Another spider lights string and a cool ghost-projector made up for that.

We did a bit of deadheading and weeding on the Dennis block.

Port of Ilwaco

I pulled some cosmos out of the south facing Port Office garden, first garden to be battered by wind.

I left the ones at the far end in case the storm does not come.

Allan took photos from the Port Office deck.

gale warning flags are up

 

Almost in the dark, with Allan’s help, I added today’s compost treasures to my third compost bin, layering the green material with brown from the second bin.  The third bin is already almost full.

Across the street, early morning wind had already knocked the J’s decor around.  Allan fixed it, for now.

The only change to the work board is that I remembered more bulb clients, and now we have only one pot to re-do at the Anchorage, this one:

Beth finds the fuchsia messy and I don’t like that it got infested with columbines.




reading

I found that popular book about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up more annoying that instructive or amusing, and yet the author intrigues me so I have just read the sequel.

This time, because of her honesty, I find her more endearing than annoying.

She admits to having “very few interests other than tidying.”

She shares how she got into trouble tidying her family’s possessions.

The same thing that made me reject her first book is repeated in this one.  Books do not belong in a closet!

Just no! No, no.

My library is one wall of the living room, and the gardening books take up another shorter wall.

And I still reject the belief that socks have feelings.

My socks have never once complained about being rolled into balls to keep pairs together.

Marie Kondo is awfully sweet, though, and while I would never let her loose on my stuff, I’ll agree that she has some good ideas.  I need inspiration, because there will be people coming for Halloween.  In fact, if you are a local liberal Halloween lover, you, too, are welcome to stop by.  I need to clean the house for company (which might include friends of Tony and Scott whom I do not know).  From the dust, you would never think I had been a professional self employed housecleaner in Seattle for 18 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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