Posts Tagged ‘Fifth Street Park’

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)


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




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.



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


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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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.


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




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.


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.


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:


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 cutting back Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’


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

after retrieving the path

Allan cleaned up this planter; before


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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Thursday, 31 August 2017

We’d had some more drizzle, enough to make small puddles in the street.

While pleasing, it was not enough to saturate the soil in any of the gardens or planters.  Just enough for a little light refreshment.

Post Office garden, still dry

in the post office planter, “two bugs”  (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

strimmer touch up after deadheading (front)

In the back of the sign, you can see that Geranium ‘Orion’ is just a green mound, while Rozanne is still blooming determinedly.

Allan and I parted ways to water the 37 Pacific Way planters, with him going south and me going north.

still my favourite planter

another good one

Santolina, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, Geranium Rozanne’

I love the angularity of ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano.

It occurred to me that I can take starts of Hopley’s Purple in the fall and put it in some other planters, as well.  The only other place I have it is in the boatyard.

Allan has been keeping the monument circle just to the north in Coulter Park well weeded.  It does not get enough water to be lush toward the front.

Coulter Park

The Coulters. I should have pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, lower left!

As I walked and watering going south, I suddenly thought I should photograph all the planters, favourites and otherwise, from across the street, once a month, on one of the days when Allan waters trees and I water almost all the planters.  Next Monday is my last chance to do so before they get vigorously Sat Upon during Rod Run weekend.  But Monday will be Labor Day with lots of traffic between me and the other side of the street.  I will try.  Meanwhile, here are some from the north end of town today.

The one by the Elks

by Cottage Bakery

by Funland

Police Station, with city crew member on the endless garbage pick up detail

Lewis and Clark Square

It was my job today to water the four containers in Fish Alley.  Because I was tired, I decided to get water from a secret place at the back of the alley. (I’m allowed to).  But no!  A hose was going from it up into an apartment, above.


It is a long water bucket schlep from the front of the alley to the back.

Recently while I was thinking about the impermanence of life, the lyrics of a sixties song ran through my mind repeatedly: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.”  One reason impermanence was on my mind was because of reading Julie Goyder’s excellent blog, which I have followed for a few years, and in which she wrote about how her darling husband had just passed on from Parkinson’s disease.  (If you are experiencing the dementia of a loved one, go back and read the last two years of her blog.) A less serious reason for thinking about time was my usual pondering about the enticement of retirement dreams vs. my reluctance to ever give up doing the Long Beach planters.  Today, the spookiest thing happened.  A car drove by and from its windows came just one snatch of song: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.”

Cue Twilight Zone theme.  Later, I looked up all of the lyrics and found them good:

Feed the babies
Who don’t have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin’ in the street
Oh, oh, there’s a solution

I could forgive the Steve Miller Band for having created The Joker, perhaps my least favourite pop song of all time.

As soon as Slow Drag is over, I want to find time to redo this planter:

So tired of the boring Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, once planted by a volunteer.

I’ve tried weeding the geranium out, but it came back.  All the soil must be removed to make the re-do a success.  It is near the Long Beach gazebo and thus in a prime spot.  No point in doing it before the Sitting Upon of Rod Run.

Allan’s walkabout photos:

hesperantha starting to flower

I walked to meet up with Allan for weeding Veterans Field gardens.

corner garden, time to prune down the monarda

after; I hope it blooms some more.  Allan is finishing up.

Cosmos ‘Double Click’

another Cosmos ‘Double Click’

and a pinky white one

white cleome (Allan’s photo)  in Fifth Street Park

We finished downtown by deadheading and weeding in Fifth Street park where I pondered whether or not a large miscanthus just looks silly.

There used to be more than one till that walkway was put in.  It does echo the lovely line of Miscanthus on the other side of the park, shown below from a few weeks back:

How important is it to have that echo?

As I was deadheading, a friend hailed me and there was MaryBeth just finishing a cup of chowder from Captain Bob’s.  She said she was on her way to my garden to deliver some urns (and take herself on a tour).  I was bemoaning the shortness of the cosmos and wondering why: Are the sprinklers not working well? Did the garden need more fertilizer? Every sort of plant from pineapple sage to catmint to helianthus is shorter this year. MaryBeth made me feel better by saying that there was lots of interest in the garden bed.

short but “lots of interest”

I had been craving some of the tiny tacos from Streetside Taco and for once, our passing by there coincided with them being open.  (Why don’t I just stop for a taco while watering? I just don’t.  It has to be during a clear break between tasks.)

at Seventh and Pacific

view from the picnic table

Bahn Mi taco, spicy Korean taco, Hawaiian style taco

planter across the street

Revitalized, we went on to water the planters on Sid Snyder Drive.

Horses at West Coast Rides were having an afternoon snack.

Allan’s photo

westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

gazania in the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

We finished up Long Beach at the World Kite Museum.


I watered the boatyard and did a bit more weeding there.  Now it is pretty much spiffing for the Friday evening Art Walk.  Perhaps some folks will stroll by.  I did not get a sign done to say that “Gardening is the Slowest of the Performing Arts.”  Awhile back I told Jenna I thought my garden should be on a midsummer art walk and she said she could have some sort of art event in the garden.  I know what that means: Mermaids!  Maybe next year!

filling the water tank to water planters. Two hoses saved five minutes on the fill even though it’s off the same line. (Allan’s photo)

I did not have the delightful hose experience of the last two times, when hoses were readily accessible.  This time, the middle one went up into a boat…


And the end one went up into a boat.

And again, NOOOOOO.

This resulted in much dragging of hose along the chunky gravel that hurts my heel.  I was not done watering when Allan arrived so he helped me finish up.

Allan’s photo

sweet peas almost to the top of the fence (by where a hose faucet leaks when turned on)

Other than the during the hose dragging, I am pleased to report that my heel did not hurt much today. I credit the sleeping brace that a kind local person gave me.

I arrived home to find three urns from MaryBeth.

I tucked the glass one into a safe spot for now.

I will have to give some serious thought to a good spot for the two matching black ones.  They need to frame something.  I hope to figure it out sometime this weekend when I do plan to get some gardening done at home….followed (if the wildfire smoke is not too thick) by a day trip to tour an inland garden.

I was delighted that the drizzle had filled two water barrels.

even the hard to fill one

I was not delighted to spend the evening doing the monthly billing.  Always a sense of accomplishment when it is done.







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Sunday, 2 April 2017

After breakfast, I looked out the (not entirely clean) kitchen window and thought about how much I appreciate the dogwood buds just outside.  Because I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent deaths of friends, I wondered how many more springs I will have to see this sight.  If I live as long as my mother, 23 more.  My grandma…15 more. Not guaranteed by any means. I gave the buds close attention.


We finally had some warmth and sunshine.


Allan’s photo: The wind gauge is still!


Allan hoped to get home in time to mow the lawn.

Port of Ilwaco

We finished weeding and deadheading along Howerton Avenue at the Port.


Allan’s photo: Powell and Artport Galleries curbside garden


curbside garden by Don Nisbett Gallery

I dead headed many narcissi and pulled a few weeds on the south side of the port office.


Port Office, south side


Armeria (sea thrift)




low tide




north side of port office


lots of tulips in the Time Enough Books boat


Allan’s photo: Time Enough Books garden


species tulips (probably linifolia)


more species tulips


Allan’s photo: tulip buds and muscari


westernmost Howerton Ave gardens



looking east from the west end


muscari and armeria buds (Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’, right)

I had envisioned planting sweet peas at the boatyard next, then realized that I like to use up all the leftover sweet peas there.  Until we had the seeds planted at Klipsan Beach Cottages and the Anchorage and Long Beach and home, I don’t know how many will be left.  (Sort of like not knowing how many years are left.)

Long Beach


a pause to admire tulips at the welcome sign




We went straight to city works and filled up eight buckets with Soil Energy mulch.


the dwindling pile


plus two buckets of grass clipping for my compost bins

At Fifth Street Park, we weeded and mulched and planted sweet peas.  I have had no luck with sweet peas in this park for the last few years.  I blame snails.  Yet I live in hope of having a show like the one from several years ago.

Fifth Street Park (Obelisk Park)

Fifth Street Park, one of the years when the sweet peas were glorious.


dreaming of sweet peas

I said to Allan that next time we work in LB, I want to get more mulch for this park.



no time for delicious crab rolls today


Anchorage Cottages

DSC07696 (1).jpg

our good friend Mitzu

While I planted violas in the window boxes and sweet peas against the chimney on the office courtyard, Allan weeded all round the garden.


Allan’s photo


trillium and astible (Allan’s photo)


the ever annoying glut of scilla (Allan’s photo)


Someone from Oregon had left a painted rock. (Allan’s photo)


Manager Beth had done a wonderful job installing a new trellis for the climbing hydrangea.  (Allan’s photo)


squeezed in three violas to each spring bulb window box



At the very end of weeding, I noticed that a trunk of the ceanothus by the office had died back, as that shrub is wont to do.


Allan cutting the dead trunk off


after, opened up

As we were loading up to depart, I saw two buckets of Soil Energy still in the trailer.  Due to a complete breakdown in communication, they had not got used at Fifth Street Park, so back we went to Long Beach:


Fifth Street Park with two more buckets of mulch


Next time, we will weed this edge of volunteer Bad Aster.

I had big plans as we drove home.  We still had two hours of daylight; Allan could  mow at J’s and Devery’s and I could weed at J’s and Norwood and cross them off the check up list.  And then:


dag nab it

The sun did come out again and Allan got our lawn mowed but by then my energy had disappeared so the two small jobs will have to wait till tomorrow.


work board tonight

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Two nights of poor sleep from assorted aches and pains did not dissuade me from willingness to work in a light drizzle.  I couldn’t stand not having the Fifth Street Park roses pruned. My usual goal is to have roses all pruned between Presidents Day and March 1.  This year, the weather has not been conducive.

Fifth Street Park


tree garden nearby with primroses


I pruned by the restroom entrance, with fish bicycle rack…before


working from the Wiegel Cottage side. The restroom building also looks cottagey.

This fence has a double line of fence boards, making for a dead zone of rose canes inside.  Un-gettatable.


The drizzle stopped soon into the job and we had pleasant weather until increasingly hard rain in the last half hour.


after….the rose is ‘Super Dorothy’

Meanwhile, Allan removed a messy patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis).  They will come back, no doubt.






before and after

He then pruned the Super Dorothy roses on the south fence.





That white fence was erected by the hotel next door.  I predict it is going to get weedy between tall white fence and low concrete wall and that neither the hotel staff nor us will be able to get at said weeds.

I had turned my attention to weeding in the northwest quadrant of the park, where wildly invasive alliums are a problem.  For last year’s first clean up, in early 2016, Melissa and Dave had helped us.  She had gone after those alliums with much more determination to get every bulb.  I had been curious if her effort would pay off.  No, there were just as many as always.


northwest quadrant, before


damnable thread like alliums have fairly inconsequential flowers in summer.

Full disclosure: I may have planted a few clumps many years ago.  Sorry now, if so.



a nice clump of ‘Ice Follies’ or some such


after (but not done)

My former spouse had come by on his bike while I was weeding.  We’d had a good time commiserating about politics.


I had gotten my hopes up about having time to also tidy the roses in Coulter Park…till the rain came.


We were fairly well drenched.

While dumping debris at city works (where Allan did all the hard work), I was thrilled to see that the city now has a pile of mulch for us.  Perhaps if we have good weather tomorrow, we will do some mulching in Long Beach.



On the way home, we scouted for pallets at a spot that sometimes has free ones.  We scored two.  Allan did all the heavy lifting.  The scavenging spot also had an unusual offering: a pile of driftwood, maybe cleaned off the shore bank at the marina.


Got some good decorative pieces.


We did not try for the wood in two big bins.

A block from home:


Ocean Thunder and Ocean Lightning parked on Lake Street


home with a good haul.  Have enough pallets now for the first bin. Need four more to make three bins.

I had planted a few lilies in Fifth Street Park and planted more at home.  The weather had gotten fine again.


lily time


planted with a bit of bulb food


It has been windy.


bogsy wood (Allan’s photo)


work board tonight with just three pressing things

It won’t take long to re-fill the board when those last three spring clean up tasks are done.


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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Long Beach

I had big plans to get four things crossed off the work list.  We started with the tree that has pesky rugosa roses and with the planter nearest to it.


planter yesterday

After cutting out the poky thing by the bench, I felt inspired to remove as much hesperantha and tired old ornamental grass as possible.


Allan helping with the biggest grass





Meanwhile, Allan went after the annoying patch of volunteer rugosa roses, roots and all.  (Because they are pesky and the roots run like fury, we will have to watch for returning sprouts.)




a thuggish rose



Next, we wanted to polish off the first spring clean up of Fifth Street Park.

Allan started with the hydrangea in the southeast corner.




Allan’s photos: before



I wanted the right hand one a little more upright.  Easy to fix later.

It was a busy day because of a three day weekend.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

My first project was the patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) by the restroom.





By pulling a lot of the hesperantha, and getting its annoying self out of the other plants (like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, which Allan clipped after the above photo), we will still have plenty for next fall while having a tidier garden bed now.

I did the same to the nearby street tree garden:





In a nearby planter, I found…


a tiny painted rock


and emerging tulip foliage.

The northwest quadrant of the park also got a hesperantha going-over.






Here’s what it looks like on a good summer day. (This was in 2014.)

Allan had joined me before I finished.  We’d got caught in a torrent of rain but had an escape at hand.



inside Captain Bob’s  Chowder


looking out: clean up abandoned for half an hour


delicious fish tacos (before applying a yummy creamy tequila sauce)

As the rain intensity decreased, my Dark Sky app was accurate about it stopping in 15 minutes.  The prediction of drizzle for the following hour was, happily, inaccurate.


By the end of the rain squall, I knew we would only get two out of four planned projects done today.  The temperature had dropped and a chilly wind kicked up.  We went to the two northernmost blocks and finished the planters and street trees.


crocuses and iris reticulata (Allan’s photo)


Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’


Iris reticulata




more crocuses

In the last planter of the day, we cut back the escallonia. Why a volunteer, back in the day, planted Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’ in two of the planters is beyond me.  It would like to be at least 15 feet tall.  By chopping it hard now, I won’t have to be clipping it all summer long.


halfway done

and I did NOT see that piece of trash till I looked at this photo!  (Later: Allan says he saw it and disposed of it.)


done… The green santolina on each end also got clipped.

Before we dumped our full load of debris, I popped into NIVA green (my favourite shop).  Almost a month ago I had taken some photos for its Facebook page.  Every time I chose photos to post, I could not bear to post one of a copper clad “stump” because I wanted it for myself.  It was a bit pricey and yet it had haunted me. Would it still be there a month later?


in mid January

Yes! Twice,  people had put holds on it and then not come back to pick it up.


It is mine now!  (It’s hollow copper clad aluminium, I’m told, so probably not for outdoors.)

Just after we dumped our debris, as Allan was locking the gate of the city works yard, the rain returned.  Perfect timing.


At home, I got to erase two items but not the pond and popouts.  Maybe tomorrow, or maybe not with wind and rain predicted.


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