Posts Tagged ‘finger blight’

Thursday, 3 August 2017


Ilwaco Post Office garden

I realized that the tall lilies are getting pulled down by a rather pretty and pretty annoying perennial sweet pea vine that volunteered in this garden.  I waited too long to try to eliminate it and now am stuck with this look.  I’d break the lilies if I fought with the vine now.


Rudbeckias donated by Our Kathleen


I’d like to have balls of silver santolina running all across the front.  But I have no budget, and no one has good ones for sale at the moment.  I will stick in more cuttings this fall.

Long Beach

We weeded Veterans Field gardens.  The Jake the Alligator Man birthday party event will be there this weekend, with lots of bands and some “Bride of Jake” contestants.  I won’t be going because, great though the event is, for me it can’t compete with a day off at home.


Just before heading to the main street to water…


Today, we decided the trees needed watering again because of the heat.  That meant I again watered most of the planters.  The trees, while fewer, are harder to water because the faucet connector is underground in each one.  Watering was a good job for this 80°F day.


SO HOT.  Yet 81 felt so much better than yesterday’s 95.

Photos from my walkabout:


Bees loving Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’




I wanted to take a photo of this round ball of lavender, but it was missing some lavender colour….


Because someone had picked themselves a bunch, coming armed with clippers, and leaving stubs.


The other side! I thought….only to find…


…another batch had been picked.

An accountant from Powell Seillor had something to show me.


She had found a beautiful sunflower painted rock!


bonus art on the back




more tigridia


and more


My “Ann Lovejoy” plant, pink oenothera, has reseeded at the curb.


Gladiolus papilio


Gladiolus papilio inside


worth a close look


For a refreshing scent on a hot day, smell the santolina foliage.  Lemony!


I love the white catananche

Because Jake the Alligator Man resides in Marsh’s museum, I gave some attention to that corner of Fifth Street Park.  I planted some new lilies last fall.  Apparently, I did not read the description well, because they are ridiculously short.  I like lilies to be at least four feet tall.


Ridiculously short!  Will move them to a planter somewhere.


huge flowers and one foot tall = just silly


Love Helenium!


the carousel


We get lots of compliments on the flowers (and the Basket Case hanging baskets; I always say where they are from).  Sometimes when I am elsewhere, I think about how people are enjoying the flowers right at that moment.

I noticed a huge blackberry in the back of Third Street Park and was unable to pull it down and clip it.



gazebo in Third Street Park


At the Bolstad intersection, I spotted an ugly plant problem kitty corner from where I was watering.


brown flowers on lady’s mantle


only had time to clip some of it



I adore agastaches.

Allan’s walkabout photos:


sidewalk traffic jam


I noticed this cutie, too, and remembered my friend Coco who moved away.


NIVA green


Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ by Wind World Kites


a cool bike



I sent Allan after the big blackberry.  His photos:




also a fireweed (rosebay willowherb)

I had noticed we were losing the sidewalk to rugosa roses on the south wall of the police station, so we finished downtown Long Beach by trimming them to make room for all the Jake brides to sashay by.


Allan’s photos:



Allan tidied the corner garden in Veterans Field while I worried over my foot, replacing the bandage on my sad little toe and removing the Superfeet insert to make the toe feel better, even though that makes the heel feel so much worse.


a sad moment

We hauled water out to just one planter on the dry Bolstad approach…


the Lisa Bonney memorial planter

And we checked up on the city hall garden.  The office staff was sad that someone had stolen the “Horton Hears a Who” flower, the elephant garlic,  I told them I will plant dozens here in autumn.


Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and clipped elephant garlic (Allan’s photo)


Allan watered the street trees and planters while I weeded at the boatyard garden.



I weeded from the north end to here…


and as far as the gate.

Tomorrow morning we will finish the southern section.  Our…


…is that there will be an art walk at the port Friday evening, with a few downtown businesses joining in.


Cosmos ‘Seashells’

I suddenly realized I was no longer hot and miserable.  The sun had dropped enough to make the temperature enjoyable.


More of those ridiculous new short lilies, almost hidden.


a helianthus that I acquired from Andersen’s RV Park…quite a runner.


street tree poppies (Allan’s photo)


poppies resseded at the curb near a planter (Allan’s photo)


Helenium (but which one?) at the boatyard (Allan’s photo)


desperately trying to get the horsetail by the gate


the gate

We stopped at seven.  One more hour and I could have had it all weeded to the south end.  However, we were having our North Beach Garden Gang dinner a day early this week because Melissa was going to Portland Friday to visit her mum.

We did not have far to go because our destination was Salt Hotel at the port. (It was busy and we got a seat toward the middle, thus no window views for your entertainment.  We could see the view with diners that might not appreciate being photographed.)


delicious smoked tuna melt with salad subbed for fried


Melissa’s burger


crab mac (Allan’s photo)


nachos for Dave (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow, we will finish weeding the boatyard.  I also noticed, before dinner, that the Time Enough Books curbside garden needs watering for art night.  I would like to make three art night bouquets for my favourite businesses, and we need to get to the Klipsan Beach Cottages garden, which got postponed due to heat, and we need new plants for the empty Ilwaco planter which now DOES have a hole drilled by the city crew.

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Thursday, 27 July 2017

My sore heel had felt so much better yesterday with my new shoes and Superfeet inserts that I started today with high hopes.

Before we left home, I saw a woman looking over our fence and heard Allan chatting with her while he hooked up the trailer.  I went outside and invited her and her cute dog to tour the back garden.  My foot felt pretty good walking around on the soft grass.


tour guest Lacy (Allan’s photo)


Cleo and Lacy (Allan’s photo)



by the bogsy woods; I was saying how this used to be river bank.

After that pleasant beginning to the day, we were off to water Long Beach and Ilwaco, with an extra planting job thrown in.

We visited the Freedom Market marijuana shop to find out if the manager knew why all our perennials were gone from the garden.  She had not told anyone to work out there at all!  I told her I will try planting again in the fall, and this time will watch the plants closely.  Any theft, if I can pinpoint the day it happens, can be checked on the security cameras.  It would be awesome to find out whodunnit.

Long Beach

We usually do not water the welcome sign because it has a soaker hose that is always slightly on in dry weather.  (That’s not perfect for avoiding root rot and mildew.)  We give it a weekly grooming and deadheading before the weekend.


welcome sign, front

Before watering the planters, we weeded and groomed the Veterans Field gardens.


flag pavilion and arc garden

The flag pavilion garden was admired by someone last week while Allan was weeding it. He pointed out how it is red, white and blue without having red geraniums.  I think some people would prefer red geraniums and a tidier look.  That’s just not in me.


red Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and red geum and ‘Crimson Pygmy barberries, white Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and California poppies, blue assorted Eryngiums and Salvia patens and Salvia ‘May Night’.  I wished when I saw this photo that I had cut back the gaura that is flopping onto the lawn.

Then came the planter watering, with Allan walking south and me walking north.


Allan added a spare cosmos and a penstemon to the Abbracci tree garden…


…and picked up a bucket of coffee grounds for our compost.


tigridias (Allan’s photos)


My first planter was the big one in Lewis and Clark Square, where I enjoyed the different colours of agastaches.








pink and blue

The planter in front of the police station continues to be vandalized.



Looking across at the Stormin’ Norman planter.


Salvia viridis (painted sage) is finally looking showy.

My heel felt pretty great with the Superfeet insoles, until, after watering for just one block, my little toe on that foot started to scream.  I looked at it and saw a bright red sad toe with a blister about to form.  (Why do I tell you this? Because it’s part of a tale of being a jobbing gardener.)  I bought some vaseline at the pharmacy to soothe it, and then I had to remove the Superfeet insert to make my foot ride lower in the New Balance shoe.  This made me so sad, because my heel immediately hurt like fury although my toe was immediately content again (stopped screaming, just ached mildly).  I did the rest of the watering shuffling with my heel slightly raised.  It was depressing and confounding and had me flummoxed about what to do next.

Our friend Ed Strange stopped by regarding our project of planting up six pots at the kite museum.  He had offered to place the pots and the pavers they will sit on and wanted me to accompany him to decide on where the pots should go.  I looked at his tall truck and said “I can’t get into that!” so sent him to get Allan to help instead.

I’d had a plant casualty by clipping an eryngium and two catananche stems by accident in Veterans Field.  I briefly popped into NIVA green to give them to Heather.

This cat on a bag looks exactly like our Calvin, who has food anxiety because of his first seven years of not being regularly fed.



northernmost planter intersection


Coulter Park


golden oregano needs its sunburnt tips trimmed off….not today.


Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Origanum laevigatum ‘Hopley′s Purple’

A happy thing: Many columbines were easy to pull today out of a planter infested with them.


bucket full of ugly columbines.  Had to be hauled for a block to a garbage can.

Meanwhile, Allan was at the kite museum with Ed:


getting into Ed’s truck with Jackson





Ed also enlisted ideas from some of the museum volunteers.


Ed and Allan went to museum staffer Patty’s house to fetch the heavy pots.

Unfortunately for us, Ed had other jobs to do so did not have time to help dig in the pavers to the river rock hardscape he had installed.  Allan got back to watering.  We met up in Fifth Street Park.


Allan’s photo


sanguisorba and Dorothy Perkins rose (Allan’s photo)

We discussed whether we had time to have lunch at Captain Bob’s Chowder.  It was irresistible.


delicious crab rolls


Allan’s photo

We then checked the planters on the Bolstad beach approach.  They are so dry! A city crew member waters them with the water truck once a week but it is not enough.  I have said as of a year ago that Allan and I are no longer able to haul and apply over 800 pounds of water out there in buckets.  We are in our 60s, after all, and plagued with assorted gardener related physical problems.

I was furious to find plants stolen yet again out of the Lisa Bonney planter.


You would think this sign would discourage thieves.


But again, plants have been stolen from the corner.

I watered three of the planters on the Sid Snyder approach and then joined Allan, who was placing the pavers into the river rock.  The day was slipping away fast considering we still had Ilwaco watering to do.


They had to be dug in or the pots would be all cattywampus. (Allan’s photo)


job in progress (Allan’s photo)


burbling the plants


a stem that broke off one of the pretty Origanum ‘Amethyst Falls’ (Allan’s photo)


watering and washing down the pavement


The plants I used are not necessarily ones I would choose long term for this windy and semi shady spot.  Basically, I chose what I could find that still looks good for purchase in late July!  Next year, I will probably use brighter colors.

We finished watering the last four planters on the Sid Snyder approach (which runs to the beach past the kite museum) and then still had Ilwaco to water.


There was lots of Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ deadheading to do in the planters, so I walked very slowly with no right heel touching for four blocks to do so.  It’s time consuming and Allan does not have time for thorough tidying while watering.


a small but noisy sidewalk convention.


I love fun little alliums in the planters.  Unfortunately, all but about three through the whole array had been picked.

I found three Erysimums that are so sad they need replacing.  Note to self: Do not get sentimental when they look sort of ok in May.  Put in new ones! Old ones will not last the summer!  Fortunately, I had three little new ones on my ladies in waiting table at home just for this eventuality.

It takes Allan an hour and half minimum to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters.  My plan was to finish out my time weeding and deadheading at the boatyard.  But oh, my foot hurt so bad.  I had tried putting the comfy insert back in and found it made my little toe start screeching within a minute.  I wanted badly to have Allan just drive me home.  What kept me there was the fact that he had unhooked and parked the work trailer for my weeds and I did not want him to have wasted his time.  So I persisted.


looking south from the end of the boatyard with the trailer in the distance


daisies and lilies


daises and sweet peas.  When the center of this form of Shasta daisy starts to get brownish, it is time to deadhead it.


more sweet pea success


intensely fragrant lily

I will plant more lilies here for next year.  They are not all getting picked, nor are the deer eating them!


using verbascum as a cane to step down into the garden


more sweet pea success

I worried over how dry the boatyard garden is even though Allan watered it Monday.  Later, he said he would water it again this weekend.

I was so glad when he arrived at the boatyard at nine PM.  It had been a nine and a half hour day.  When we got home, I took my sock off and looked at my bright red toe and burst into tears (alone; Allan was unhooking the trailer).  “My toe hurts and I hate feet!” I wailed.  (I have a thing: I hate having my feet touched. And I find that toes look kind of strange at the best of times.). I embarrassed myself. It’s not cancer, ALS, or other dreaded diseases that take people away. It’s just a dang toe.

Now I have three days off.  I do not intend to spend the whole weekend nursing my foot.  My garden needs some serious attention.  Its soft grass and soil will be nicer to work on than the hard pavements of all of our jobs.

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Our plan to finish the port on Friday suddenly got changed when I saw an ad in the paper last night that Ilwaco Freedom Market was holding a BBQ in their parking lot on Friday.  Their strip of bark/would-be garden would have to be done Thursday, along with the curbside garden in front of their store.  I wondered if this would change up our schedule so much that we’d have to work on Saturday…

Port of Ilwaco

In this infrequently watered garden, the recent hot day and the wind had crisped up some of the dog daisies.







Some daisies were good enough to stay through the holiday weekend.

The curbside garden got a good watering, as did the garden next door at Salt.



Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Allan had the terribly boring part of the job (his photos follow): Running the string trimmer along the sidewalk to the marina:


and the tedium of weeds in a barkscape with tatty landscape fabric (which we are slowly removing; obviously it does not prevent weeds).



I hope that we can create more joy in this bed by next year.

On the way out of town, even though we were feeling time pressure, we circled round the block to deal with this in a tree garden (Allan’s photos):



Fortunately, the sign-putter did not get mad about being told it just could not be in the tree bed, no matter how gently placed.


It’s not even a great patch of garden….However, the sign sets a bad precedent for future damage.

Long Beach

We checked on and did not feel the need for any work at the welcome sign.



The Fun Rides have now moved into a parking lot area near the center parking lot berm.  We felt the need to at least string trim said berm.  Allan dropped me off at Veterans Field to weed and took time for a bit of strimming there.

Before: a rough edge had been left.


meadowy look around the anchor

flag pavilion garden: am thrilled Salvia patens came back

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and Salvia patens

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

I think Sapphire Blue reseeded itself into plain old eryngium, left  ??maybe

Meanwhile, Allan faced the tedium of the boring and never watered center berm:

a string trimmer job, with some dandelion pulling

He found a dirty diaper as well as weeds. Unfortunately, used diapers are not an unusual find in the parking lot area.

I started the watering round earlier than Allan did so was able to do four blocks of planters to his two.  My walkaround:

I realized that the theme of most of my planters IS the meadow look.

cosmos and California poppies

Today, I had the hard task of carrying bucket water to the four Fish Alley planters…a long walk to the back end. I sometimes think this is the hill I will die on.

It was windy…again.

Basket Case basket

I am very disappointed in the Salvia viridis, painted sage, this year.  They are supposed to look like this:

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

But this year and last year they have been disappointing.  Everywhere I’ve planted them this year, they are just putting out one small disappointing bract on the top:

The bract (colored leaf) is the showy part and should be all down the stem! Why is this happening?


If these plants don’t shape up, I am going to go off them and not use them next year.  For so many years they have been the most asked about plant (many times per each summer watering session) in the planters.  Last year, when they were also dull, no one asked about them at all.

Allan’s watering walk around:

????? What have we here?

nice round lavender

a crab shell deposited in a planter

Cosmos and California poppies

So he saw this woman with a hat clearly decorated with planter flowers (Cosmos and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and California poppy).  She told him her two year old had picked them, and she was perfectly happy to have her photo taken.

In other unrelated news, a local realtor told Allan that she had seen a woman picking a bouquet from under the trees.  When the realtor suggested the woman not do that, the woman (not the woman in the hat) kept picking, saying she “had permission”, which the realtor doubted.  Allan assured her that permission had not been given by us.

In better news, he saw someone taking photos of the flowers, as it should be.

We finished Long Beach by weeding in Fifth Street Park.  It is taking a long time to get interesting.

slow to be colorful; we are not allowed to let much of the garden be taller than the fence.

I cut off the spent stalks of Camassias.

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ and cerinthe (Allan’s photo)

Port of Ilwaco again

More watering of the Howerton curbside gardens was essential.  Allan started east of the Pavilion while I watered and weeded by the Nisbett Gallery, port office, Time Enough Books…

Coast Guard helicopter overhead (Allan’s photo)

Someone had braided a grass by Loading Dock Village. Allan thought a clever student from the driving school did it while waiting.  (Allan’s photo)

Eryngium and santolina (Allan’s photo)

Eryngium and yarrow (Allan’s photo)

Port office south side…which the office staff waters.

the marina

In the curbside gardens, I have found eremerus (foxtail lily) to be a big disappointment.  They just mostly dry up like this one:

in the center, all dried up and no flower

And only one looks like it should, so I may have to give up on planting them:

beautiful tall spikes of the one happy Eremurus

port office curbside

Artist Don Nisbett told me he’d given this little bed 11 gallons of water on the recent 90 degree day.  Thank you, friend!

I spent a lot of time grooming the dead flowers off of the sea thrift.

example: before


Allan caught up to me and dropped off the trailer at the boatyard, went home and hooked up the water trailer, and came back to help me finish watering at Time Enough.

veronica at Time Enough

Time Enough garden boat

Purly Shell yarn shop shares the Time Enough building.

I felt a strong desire to have a nice dinner at Salt Pub.  Not tonight.

Allan still had to water the Ilwaco trees and planters.  At 7:30, he dropped me off at the boatyard to weed.

I walked down to the north end to begin.  There, the weeds were the worst with lots of tall velvet grass.

taken while Allan watered planters at the boatyard intersection

a trio on a walk (Allan’s photo shows two out of three dogs)

8:15 PM

I was thrilled to find some sweet peas, planted from seed, prevailing against the horsetail.

tree garden watering where the sign had been (Allan’s photo). I do not like that wild sweet pea in there. He does.


boatyard: I had got this far by 8:50 PM.

I was getting close to the stretch that had been partly weeded earlier this week.

I have planted a few lilies in the boatyard to test if deer will eat them. I think a human picked some of the flowers off this one.

I love heleniums.

8:55 PM

I started to wonder when Allan would show up, as the song lyrics “Gettin’ dark, too dark to see…” ran through my mind.  I pictured slowly pushing my wheelbarrow home in the dark.  The odd thing was I still had loads of energy and could have weeded for another two hours (by headlamp?), thanks in part to my Unloader knee brace.

At last Allan drove up to the trailer at the other end of the boatyard.

what I got done

The whole stretch has to be weeded reasonably well by Saturday.

It was 9:30 at home before the trailer was unhitched and parked.  Allan saw this disturbing sight on the roof next door:

Not good news. Raccoons severely damaged the shake roof on my old house…

They are bold and unafraid.

I didn’t know I still had it in me to do a ten hour day and was well chuffed.




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Thursday, 4 May 2017

By the time we went to work, the anti-health care vote had happened, and I felt furious and disgusted on behalf of the old and the poor, reading on the way to work about the projected cuts to health care for disabled school children, the proposed sharp rise in premiums for folks in their fifties and early sixties,  and more.  I pondered again just exactly how we are supposed to work harder in order to pay higher premiums.

Some might think I could give up my workdays in my own garden and use that time to take on more clients.  Many a year at my old garden I just had to think sadly, “It’s another lost year for my garden,” as I spent seven days a week working for other people. I just don’t have it in me physically any more to pushpushpush at for 20 work days in a row as I used to do.


“Push Push Push, all the way, all the time, right on down the line.”  (Twilight Zone, A Stop at Willoughby)

My former partner and I used to quote that Twilight Zone boss’s slogan to each other as we worked and worked and worked.

Today was a workday, as Allan and I were still pushing to get the Long Beach and Ilwaco gardens looking good for McCarthy Day-I-mean-Loyalty-Day weekend.  You can read some history about L Day here.  “In 1955 Congress passed a resolution designating May 1 of that year as Loyalty Day. It was the height of McCarthyism and an anti-Communist red scare in America.”  That was my birth year, in fact.  I have read that there are very few town that still have Loyalty Day celebrations.  Long Beach’s parade is a mostly cute and surprisingly long one, with lots of baton twirlers, marching bands, some llamas and horses and basset hounds.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

The dredge was getting pressure washed right next to where we needed to weed.  That did not stop us.



Allan’s photo; I started where I had quit from exhaustion yesterday evening.


I hope this one Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ reseeds like mad (dark foliage behind the tulip).  (Allan’s photo)

Yesterday, the weather was almost 70 F and some cool misty overspray would have been welcome.  We got the boatyard weeding done at last.


looking back; we had come a long way, from the north end far in the distance.

Home again for a moment, Allan took a photo from the kitchen window of the rampant wild cucumber vine.  He says he has been training it.




We weeded and deadheaded at city hall in Long Beach, intending to follow that task with a good weeding of Coulter Park.  Almost as soon as we began city hall, we heard loud thunder and decided it would be a good time to deliver the plant cheque to…

The Basket Case Greenhouse.

By the time we got there, serious rain had begun.


heading for refuge from the rain; Darrell told me how his grandma had been struck by lightning more than once!


Allan’s photo.  I like this, because my liberal heart was bleeding today.




There are still a few callistemon left.  I’m getting them all if they are still there next time I go!


Check out time.  (Pink petunias were not mine.)  Had stayed out of the rain as long and productively as possible.

Long Beach

At Coulter Park, we worked in a storm of wind, thunder, rain, and pink petals.


The back end of this park continues to be a challenge where the roses are, because of salmonberry and bindweed coming under the fence.


Salmonberry running UNDER the roses and then popping up.  Everything is thorny and difficult.


the horror of a grass infested rose

That particular grass WAS the variegated bulbous oat grass that I used to like so much, till I found out how quickly it reverts to green, and how its bulbous roots like to migrate.


Allan won that battle.


There’s a dead columnar conifer along the fence, too, and two other conifers toward the front seem to be dying.


The south back side, away from the fence of invasives, is doing just fine.


Allan’s photo


just about to leave the park to dump debris

I checked Dark Sky.  It was discouraging.  “Heavy rain stopping in 30 minutes, starting again 11 minutes later.”


I thought we could stand to do one more thing in the rain, so I scooped up six buckets of mulch at city works…


…and we returned to the front corner of Coulter Park, where lots of people will line up for the parade on Sunday.


Last week:



a quick fix

I looked at Dark Sky again.  Stopping in 30 minutes and then overcast?


We decided to go to Abbracci Coffee Bar.  On the quest for parking, we passed the little popout and stopped there for another quick fix.  I said it would take two minutes.




12 cold, wet, and windy minutes later

And then: Abbracci


Allan’s photo.  Abbracci is just south of the Fun Rides.


shelter from the storm




more treats available than on our first visit!


and they have Pink Poppy Bakery treats now!


the wonderful owners Bernardo and Anthony  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo




We like the floral art.


The other customers were a knitter, two chess players, and a woman reading a book in the other window seat.


waiting out the rain

Even better, we acquired a bucket of coffee grounds for my compost pile!

With the rain stopped, I headed out to deadhead a block worth of planters while Allan went to weed and deadhead at Veterans Field (main stage for the festivities following Sunday’s parade).


tree garden outside of Abbracci: still lots of narcissi for parade day


and bright tulips

Guess what, there should be TEN tulips in each of those planters.  Broken off stems showed that five had been stolen.


only five left, dang blang it.

Does someone think I won’t notice or care?  I DO notice.  Plus, these were special tulips from Brent and Becky’s bulbs.

Allan came over to help me finish the little park behind Lewis and Park Square, where the city crew had dug a trench at the lawn’s edge, surprising me with an unexpected clean up job.  He pulled bindweed from the rugosa roses on the south side of the police station, where many will walk by to go to Vet Field on Sunday, and then we went over the two Vet Field beds again for more tiny weeds.



Note to self: Monarda is swallowing this Jade Frost Eryngium; maybe next time, I can move it.


Someone had carefully filled a tulip with some grape hyacinth foliage, making a fanciful flower.  (Allan’s photo)

We finished the Vet Field gardens as this returned:


But in driving from Abbracci to Vet Field, Allan had found an emergency by one of the parking lot berms.



A tourist information trailer had been parked next to the weedy south berm.  All we usually know is the date of each festival, but the intricacies of what the city crew does is left for us to discover on our own.  I decided we simply had to do some weeding.


Allan’s photo


the biggest weed of all (Allan’s photo)


6:20 PM


7:11 PM

One more debris dump trip ended the work day.


At home, I could have erased one berm from the work board.  We have the north one about fifteen minutes from being done, and the south one is over halfway done.  That surely counts as one done…but I did not feel like finagling on the board.  I did finally get to erase the boatyard!


Everywhere Skooter sits for awhile lately ends up looking like an explosion of cat fur.


front porch from today


And yet here he is, still whole and fluffy!


and Frosty

I could hardly believe my last check on the weather for tomorrow, showing heavy rain all day with 30 mph winds.  No!  This means we would have to do the planter deadheading in Long Beach on late Saturday afternoon among throngs of visitors.  Oh please.  Just give us a few hours of workable weather tomorrow so we can finish the two berms and the deadheading, and please spare the tulips from 30 mph winds that would blow them all apart.

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Long Beach

Despite forecast of a rainy and windy day, the weather looked workable so we went back to the Bolstad beach approach garden.



I like to do the beds in consecutive order.  It gives me a sense of progress.  Today, though, we skipped over the ones that had puddles at the curb.


looking west; we skipped ahead.


On the other side, deep water picnicking



before (Allan’s photo)

Allan cut down a volunteer wax myrtle that was encroaching on an escallonia.





I found a new infuriating thing: All along the two sections in which we worked today, someone has been digging up narcissi and crocus bulbs, leaving holes and broken foliage as evidence.  I suspect the same person who is thieving from the planters.


Holes and broken foliage tell the tale.


my enraged finger pointing at theft evidence

Allan dug up rugosa roses along the edges.



Our friend Cat rode by and showed off her bicycled bins made of cat litter buckets.


Allan removed most of the hard to weed patch of tatty kinnikinnick.






after (Allan’s photo)

I planted some of that Bee seed mix.


The strong wind brought two big rain squalls over us, during which we took shelter in the van.  The squalls passed quickly, so that we were able to get our target section done and move on to a second one.


second section, before (Allan’s photo)


rain and lots of it! (Allan’s photo)

Before we got very far with the dream of getting two sections done, a serious squall appeared with no bright sky behind it, so we gave up for the day.  So much for being as tough as the crab fishers on Deadliest Catch!





not much got done in the second section


Allan’s photo


heavy rain


puddles forming quickly


We got drenched just packing up.

In the works yard, we found a green bucket that we had feared lost!


found and rescued!

Maddeningly, as we got to city works to dump our debris, we could see blue sky….


…and by the time we drove out of the city works yard, the squall had passed.


We had gotten too wet and cold to go back to the approach garden.  Instead, we went home and I turned most of a compost bin.


compost bliss


Allan’s photo

Allan worked in his garden…


floppy hellebore, before



I got to erase just one section of beach approach from the work board…


Our goal is to get the beach approach and the two parking lot berms weeded by the Clam Festival on April 29th…

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Today, after eleven days inside, Skooter could go back out.  He was befuddled by the cat door, just like when he first moved in with us.  The sequence, as it happened:



The green jug of water helps keep the door secure at night.


He growled at the door, perhaps remembering his bad experience when a little dog chased and bit him at 1 AM, 11 days ago.








Erythronium (dog tooth violet) at home.  I won’t tell Skooter it’s called dog tooth.

Long Beach

We had good enough weather to start the first beach approach weeding of the year.  Of course, I had big dreams that maybe we could get three of thirteen sections done, or at least two, even though past experience does not support that dream.  We started at the west end this year.


before, looking east


before, looking west


Allan using the pick to hack out rugosa roses along the edge.


It is hard work.  (Allan’s photo)

I did post on Facebook that anyone who wanted could come get some of the rugosa rose starts.  Our only taker was a random passerby (and I did warn her how thuggish they are).


the occasional poppy seeding from last year!

Dave and Melissa dropped by so that I could share some poppy seeds for a former job of ours, Erin’s garden.



Dave and Allan


southwest of us, still lots of standing water in the dunes



As I weeded, I thought about how long I’ve been doing this garden and remembered years ago, talking with my then partner Robert about the latest plot developments in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (my all time favourite show).  Just then a family walked by and a boy, about ten, said to his parents, “Into every generation a slayer is born.”  I exclaimed, “I was just thinking about Buffy!” and the mother said that the dad had recently introduced their son to the show.

Another family walked by and the young children complimented our work.  The mother said “They know it’s hard work because they weed our own garden.”  When Allan commented that he had not been able to get his daughter to weed, the mom said “Well, they want to eat!”

Four hours later:


One section done!


Allan’s photo


I love this prostrate juniper…

“Juniperus conferta is a species of juniper, native to Japan, where it grows on sand dunes.”  When I read that years ago, I decided to try it out, and it does love to grow on sand.

I did figure out one thing that amazed me for not having realized it before.  Allan paced off this westernmost section and said it is 70 feet long.  The next section is 45 feet, and the ones east of that are 55 feet long.  No wonder the first section takes awhile!

I was way too sore from the repetitive posture of working here to go on with another section.  While Allan swept up, I walked to the westernmost planters to sow some poppy seeds.


For once, the Lisa Bonney memorial planter had NOT had plants stolen out of it.


Discovery Trail entrance, on the way to the westernmost planter

The planters at the west end had had all the new Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, along with a very nice variagated sea thrift from last year, stolen, leaving blatant holes.


maddening theft holes


more maddening theft holes and the remaining sea thrift (Ameria martima ‘Nifty Thrifty’, not an easily replaceable plant).


where once was a matching sea thrift

I fumed while planting poppy seeds.  I cannot put any more plants in these planters because they will just get stolen, so poppy seeds are my only hope.  There is nowhere to mount a security camera that would prevent the camera itself from being stolen (plus the city budget doesn’t run to security cams on the beach approaches).  These planters would look much better if I could actually plant successfully in them without forays by the thievin’ varmint who apparently just waits for new plants to appear.

It cheered me when our client Diane walked by with a friend of hers.




At City Hall, the red rhododendron had opened its flowers.


Long Beach City Hall


narcissi and aruncus (goats beard)


more narcissi, and I spy finger blight


Someone’s been pickin’.

.We weeded the tiny popout bed north of city hall; it was so weedy with quack grass that it took almost an hour.








I planted these seeds.


sad little mugo pine should probably be cut to the ground….

We finished by deadheading planters in the two north blocks.


heavy double narcissi (planted by a volunteer years ago) (Allan’s photo)


fringed tulip in bud despite deer having chomped the leaves


another fringed tulip


Tulip ‘Green Star’, across the street from NIVA green


On the way to dump debris” Minnie Culbertson Park


Rain arrived while we dumped.


We did the tiniest bit of deadheading and weeding at the Ilwaco Community Building on our way home, just because we saw deadheads when dropping off some library books.


tiered garden at Ilwaco Community Building




above the bus stop


tulips and heather


Allan’s photo: my cheesy little camera


Narcissus ‘Thalia’, one of my favourites


one beach approach section erased from the work board

I was concerned after we arrived at home and Skooter did not show up when I called him.  Later, I saw him from my window, sitting by the water boxes.  Allan fetched him in.  The new rule is the cats must stay in after dark.  Skooter did NOT want to come inside.  (Allan’s photos:)




herding a cat



Tomorrow, we expect yet another storm.

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Thursday, 6 April 2017


Smokey waiting for morning rain to stop

We were surprised when the weather cleared up midmorning.  Rain, wind, or sunshine, we had been planning to tidy the Ilwaco planters and street trees.  Doing so in pleasant weather was a treat.


First, we did a bucket’s worth of weeding at our volunteer post office garden.


Post office garden has little offseason structure, leaving room for an explosion of summer flowers.


Fritillaria meleagris, and me weeding


Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’


southernmost planter: finger blight evidence shows why it looks so drab.


Allan’s photo

Even though they are still blooming, we will soon be replacing the woody old Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’.


They have gotten too tatty looking at their bases.


The tree gardens need some mulch.


amazed this windblown tree has not fallen yet.


wish I had not let the bad aster take over a couple of the tree gardens…


Col Pacific Motel’s mini garden


Allan’s photo


“yellow hoop petticoats” (Allan’s photo)


Narcissus bulbocodium (Allan’s photo)


downtown Ilwaco (Allan’s photo)

The weather got so warm that we went back home for summer shirts.


Look who I found snoozing together!


secret buddies Frosty and Calvin

I also noticed a joyous sight: a special trillium from Dancing Oaks Nursery, that had been ever so tiny and that I thought had died, had popped up after all.


We did a bit more weeding at the community building.


Ilwaco Community Building

Long Beach


Deer have left us the tulips at the welcome sign.



They are even prettier inside.



The back of the sign should have pastel tulips soon.


I met a very nice labradoodle named Curly.


checked up on the city hall garden, one of our best….




trillium, which I rescued years ago from the road next to my old house when the road was being widened.


Allan’s photo



Pure white resists being photographed.




Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’


Peggy’s Park, sprawling old hebe…


cut back

Peggy’s Park, on the east side of city hall, was planted by Gene and Peggy Miles and remained in memory of Peggy, who died of ovarian cancer far too young and is still much missed.


Brunner ‘Looking Glass’, a perennial forget me not planted soon after she died.


I think this is hosta’s best moment.

Just inside city hall, this sign made me think:


Even when I am at my crabbiest and most anti social, it is highly probable that one of our gardens makes someone smile every day.

Next, Allan weeded and groomed Coulter Park because there will be an art show at the old train depot building over the weekend.


Allan’s photo; wind had the narcissi all facing backwards.

I deadheaded the two north blocks of planters and had a quick visit with Heather at our favourite shop, NIVA green (and refreshed my stash of photos for the shop’s Facebook page.)


just north of NIVA


That corner has also become a deer crossing so will not get new tulips next year.


outside NIVA green (New, Inspired, Vintage, Artful)




Walking back north to meet Allan, I saw more evidence that 2nd North is now a deer intersection.



I felt a sprinkle and looked south, to see rain heading our way from Ilwaco.


By the time I rejoined Allan, the rain was coming down in earnest.  He had the bright idea of cheating and knocking down the last of a weedy bit with the string trimmer.  It worked a treat.


By then, I was in the van, watching.

I thought we would have to skip my idea of getting some mulch for Fifth Street Park.  But by the time we had dumped our debris at city works, the sun was back and so we filled just four buckets with mulch.  A sight there made me decide to save the rest of the mulch.  I knew exactly where these plants came from: the southernmost planter on the east side of Pacific.  I would need the rest of the pile to eventually fill it back in.


distinctive plants from a particular planter

I’m glad that planter got dug out.  It was too shrubby, going back to volunteer days.


The pile is getting small.

While Allan weeded in Veterans Field, I did two more blocks of trees and planters.


muscari in Vet Field (Allan’s photo)


muscari (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


anemone (Allan’s photo)


red white and blue (Allan’s photo)


Tulip acuminata


more Tulip acuminata (a favourite of mine)


Delicate species tulips look best after our extra rainy month of march.



The more showy tulips, like this four year old ‘Gavota’, get smaller flowers every year.


This year the double and parrot tulips look just miserable so far.  Maybe no more next year…even though I love them so.


note to self: dig out most of this horrible ivy soon


It was challenging getting through the spring break crowds with my weed bucket.


lots of narcissi under the trees


and in the planters


I thought my new “cushion bush” had made it through the winter.  No…all dried up.


Zoltar offered to tell my fortune.

On my way back to meet Allan at Vet Field, I encountered a woman and little girl with a big bouquet of narcissi and grape hyacinths.  I said, “Oh, gee, I hope those did not come from the city planters.”  “No, she picked them on the beach!” said the mom.  “You must mean the beach approach garden,” I said, and she replied “No, they were on the beach.”

“On the beach, my arse,” I thought but did not say as I walked away.  I knew darn well they were from the beach approach garden because I recognized them as ones I had planted…and they do not grow on the beach.  Allan said he might have asked, “You mean the ‘beach’ area right past the Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy sign?”.  I’m trying not to make a tourist’s day miserable so I wouldn’t go that far but…sheesh.

We drove out to check on the Bolstad beach approach planters.

If people would just not pick the flowers, there would be dozens more to brighten everyone’s day.


These were exactly the kind in the girl’s “beach” bouquet.

Allan dropped me off at the southernmost planters and we had a look at the empty one.  It must be going to be fixed or replaced because last year a car drove into it.



We have never seen a planter empty before with all the works showing.


of great interest to us

Allan went to Fifth Street Park to weed while I did the last two block of main street planters.


My experiment in February of cutting back a big woody santolina seems to have worked.


happy and multiplying species tulips


narcissi and euphorbia

You might notice from these photos how much less pedestrian traffic we have on the south blocks of downtown.


Fifth Street Park, NE side


lily flowering tulips do well in rain


Allan’s photo


note to self: divide these lovely primroses to grow under some other trees, as well.


note to self: weed southwest corner of Fifth Street Park at least once before tall plants hide it.

Allan had remembered to weed out the bad aster corner in Fifth Street Park.







Finally, we deadheaded the planters on Sid Snyder Drive…



Allan’s photo: That soil depression is the sure sign of another stolen plant.  That was after he brushed soil back into the hole.

…and last, the little garden at the World Kite Museum.



new concrete pads


I hope they are going to dig out this row of tatty hebes, too (hint, hint!)

The very last thing we had to do was deadhead narcissi in the window boxes at the Depot Restaurant, and we decided to eat there if they had room for us at the counter.  They did.


Depot Restaurant and Sou’wester RV Park (Allan’s photo)


counter view

We wanted to have delicious things that will not be on the summer menu.


wilted spinach salad


cinghiale with gnocchi


French onion soup

At home: The check up list is done.  Of course, all the gardens need regular check ups from now on.  The recent check up list was because of missing almost a month at some jobs due to incessant rain.


I’m glad we got caught up. Tomorrow’s predicted storm will most likely lay the narcissi and tulips on their sides.


This is what’s coming. We are the blue bubble about haflway up the coast.

(As I write this on Friday, we are halfway through the storm and have lost and then regained power.  It is noisy; the tarp has blown off the stacked crab pots next door, and one of two highways leading to the Peninsula has been closed because of downed trees.  I think the worst is over, so do not worry.)


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