Posts Tagged ‘finger blight’

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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By which I mean the last spring clean up job of 2017; I hope not the last of our career, as we plan to keep working at least part time for several more years.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

We were pleased to have a good weather day for weeding and clipping the boatyard garden.


before, looking south

Allan cleaned up the small bed just around the corner:


before (Allan’s photos)




weeds and self seeded poppies


and lots of escholtzia (California poppy) seedlings


Allan’s photo


north end of garden, before (Allan’s photos)


and after

Some of the very old woody lavenders needed to go away.  Allan did the digging:








after.  We also trimmed a lot of santolinas.


The last big clumps of Miscanthus inside the fence.



I have forgotten which one this is.  I have learned so many plant names in the last two years that I thought I would remember and don’t.  I need to make a list as I learn them, because my memory does not grab on like it used to.

Edited to add: I found the name.  Not a miscanthus. Pennisetum macrourum. 

The garden still had a few crocuses…


But I had expected there to be daffodils, especially since I had planted about 100 of the same one as is blooming right now in the Long Beach welcome sign.  As I began working in the garden, I realized Every Single Damn One had been PICKED.  Not by deer (which would be unusual because narcissi are poisonous) but by humans.  Each stem was cut down low.  The foliage was not nipped at all like a deer would do.


stolen, every single one!


empty stems

A boat guy said that he had seen “a couple messing around in the garden” earlier that morning.  Or the thievery could have happened over the weekend or late last week.  It must have taken awhile to pick every single flower. So much for creating a great big beautiful show.

It was not a gardener thief, and I know that because I found a number of bulbs pulled out and just left lying on top.  A gardener thief would have considered the bulbs to be extra bounty.


bulb pulled out and left behind

I persisted at the job.  It would have been enjoyable to work among flowers instead of in a garden with only a few crocuses.  About a third of the way along, I thought we would never get it finished today.  By the time we passed the gate and only had about one third left, I thought we would get done after all.  And we did.


looking south from the gate

The new owners of Marilyn’s garden stopped their vehicle to say hello.  They are happy with Dave and Melissa’s spring clean up work at their new home.  I am so glad the garden is in the hands of people who appreciate it.


Passersby did not have much to admire.  I enjoyed when a small family passed, and the dad was reading aloud as he walked.  I thought he said, “When she wanted to have her morning coffee there, she simply lifted him down into the garden.”  I wondered from which story that comes.  Google let me find it!  Pippi Longstocking:



south end, weeded (Allan’s photo)

I took my after photos from the van because I was too sore to walk.



It would look a lot more interesting with 100 narcissi.

We had not put up our polite “do not pick” signs yet.  Allan dropped me off at home and went to dump debris, and on the way back he put up the two signs that were still in good enough condition.  The words “horse” and “barn door” come to mind.  We have caught people picking flowers right smack dab under these signs before.  I do think signage might deter some.




Wouldn’t it look nice if there actually were some flowers to leave?

At home, I was pleased to erase the last spring clean up job from the work board.


Tomorrow, I had been hoping for good weather.  Now the forecast calls for rain.  We need to check up on the Anchorage Cottages garden, and I want to photograph all the narcissi in Long Beach, while they are still there.


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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

As usual lately, workable weather gave me the big idea that I could cross four things off of the work list.


Iris reticulata at the Ilwaco post office (Allan’s photo)

After a brief post office weeding, we headed to Long Beach and began with the planters on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

Sid Snyder Drive


looking west on Sid Snyder


santolina and narcissi


clipping santolina (Allan’s photo)



I find it regrettable that this resort replaced drought tolerant lavenders and ornamental grasses with lawn.


planter, before (Allan’s photos)


and after


more narcissi.  I should have paused to break off those echinops stubs.


west end of Sid Snyder, south end of boardwalk, last planter


a short scenic break, from the boardwalk, because life is short.


interpretive signs on the boardwalk



whale sculptures


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



Discovery Trail (Allan’s photo)

Allan noticed two socks abandoned by a tourist excited to see the ocean.


World Kite Museum

Also on Sid Snyder is the Kite Museum. While we began a little touch up clipping on the small entry garden, museum store manager Patty emerged and I was able to ask what the plans were for a newly cleared entry area.


Kite Museum entry; our little garden is out of frame to the right.

The answer is that the museum will have a new bike rack and picnic table spot and some big flower pots.  Patty and I agreed that the row of tatty old hebes to the right should be pulled out, as the ones on the left side had been removed.  I like that idea even more if someone other than us does the digging.  Then our little garden will show better.


before, with shabby hebes to the left that will be gone



Allan did all the work while Patty and I discussed big ideas.  She knew we were coming soon because she watches the work board on this blog.

Bolstad beach approach


west end of Bolstad

I had brought some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ starts from home to fill in these planters; last year we had a startling amount of theft of good plants along this approach.


an interesting display showing local volcanos (Washington and Oregon)





I myself have found pumice stone on this beach, probably from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St Helens.

In the second planter to the east, I found the first finger blight of the year.


two recently stolen armeria (sea thrift) plants

Our thief is at it again.  I wish I could catch her.  I could tell her that sea thrift does not transplant well.  I put Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in its place.  She may like that, too.

Allan had gone to the beach approach garden to clip ornamental grasses.  He brought the van back to me so that we could sit out a heavy rain squall.


looking east

Fortunately, it was but a squall and we were able to get back to work without misery.


lots of standing water in the dunes


beach approach garden, looking east

Today we were only clipping.  The big weeding of the beach approach garden still awaits us.  I do not think it will be as tough a job as usual; the weeds are not a thick carpet this year.


not too bad!


some poppy seedlings; I scattered lots of seedpods last fall.


looking west, rugosa roses

One of the things we will be doing along with the weeding is pulling out as many rugosa roses from right along the edge as we can.  So if any of you locals want some, let me know and I’ll tell you when that is about to happen.


What have we here? Deer or thieving human? I think someone was trying to steal bulbs that are planted deep.


Not very weedy.  I wish there were more poppy seedlings.  Maybe later.


Looking east.  A volunteer wax myrtle is fighting it out with an escallonia.


definitely deer eaten tulips

Parks Manager Mike drove by and agreed to get us a pile of Soil Energy mulch.  I am thrilled we do not have to drive up peninsula to get it ourselves.  We will bucket it from a pile in the works yard.


rugosa rose stems sticking out too far into the sidewalk area


a temporary fix by clipping

While I weeded and clipped in the planters, Allan had clipped tall grasses all along this garden.  It’s a tedious task.


before and after


before and after


before and after


before and after


It’s especially unpleasant to pull old crocosmia leaves from inside prickly roses.


This leads to thorns in the fingers.


planter work

Parking Lot “Berms”

We tidied up several Stipa gigantea and a few perennials on the north and south parking lot gardens, east of downtown.


Allan’s photos: Stipa gigantea before


and after


the north berm


last Stipa, south berm, before trimming


end of south berm


While pulling crocosmia, I found an old bird next.

I had had a dream today of getting the rambling roses pruned in Fifth Street Park. Since the temperature was dropping, a wind kicking up, and not enough time left, we did one more small project that had never even made it to the work board.

Minnie Culbertson Park




after, with a vigorous trimming of the lithodora


The first clean up column is almost done!

While we might be able to polish off the Port of Ilwaco spring clean up in one day or two, the weather forecast is dire so I cannot count on it happening tomorrow.

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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Ilwaco Post Office with Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' still in bloom.

Ilwaco Post Office with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ still in bloom.

The Ilwaco post office garden got a tidy because this weekend the Cranberrian Fair will be in session at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum across the street.

Long Beach

The first thing I saw when we got to the city hall garden was a hole in the ground where there used to be a beautiful amber-leaved Heuchera.

This theft made me mad.

This theft made me mad.

Later, I was checking on planters on the two southernmost blocks of downtown.  I was cheered by this sign that the Herb ‘N Legend Smoke Shop owner had made, so much so that I went in and gave her a hug.


Herb 'N Legend. Do you get the pun?

Herb ‘N Legend. Do you get the pun?

a great show of schizostylis in Fifth Street Park

a great show of schizostylis in Fifth Street Park

Allan’s project was to dig a not-showy-enough baptisia out of Fifth Street Park.

By the time I had checked on two blocks worth of planters and Allan had dug the baptisia, a drizzle had begun.  I still had a couple of small projects I wanted to accomplish:  pulling the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from in front of Wind World Kites and digging out the ugly-on-one-side big old lavender in front of the Cottage Bakery.

Allan tackled the lavender.

Allan tackled the lavender.  I pulled the Crocosmia.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photos, before



Crocosmia and Lavender both gone now.

Crocosmia and Lavender both gone now.

Don’t be surprised if you see Wadworth Electric company digging in the planters next week.   Something wrong must be fixed with the electrical line that runs the lamp posts between the stoplight and the police station, but first they have to find it by digging.

We remembered to drag the far back containers in Fish Alley out to where they will get rain.

We remembered to drag the far back containers in Fish Alley out from under the eaves to where they will get rain.

Allan sweeping up. The hanging baskets have been taken down by the city crew.

Allan sweeping up. The hanging baskets have been taken down by the city crew.

By now, the rain had become fierce and we were soaked through and envied folks who were indoors.  I had been in denial and had not put on my raincoat.

It would be cozy to be indoors having a drink!

It would be cozy to be indoors having a drink!

At City Works, the street sweeper was dumping at the same time that we were.

cute l'il sweeper

cute l’il sweeper

on the ground along the edge: all of the hanging baskets from the Basket Case Greenhouse

on the ground along the edge: all of the hanging baskets from the Basket Case Greenhouse

I suggested that Allan retrieve a white tree trunk that has been catching my eye every time we dump debris for the past two weeks.

Good sport Allan goes to climb the pile for the trunk.

Good sport Allan goes to climb the pile for the trunk.  I think it would make a showy railing for some future project.

On the way home, I looked at the weather and was surprised to see a storm with 50 mph winds was predicted for the evening and overnight.

A quick stop at the library netted me some books I had been eagerly awaiting.

crocus at the library (Allan's photo)

crocus at the library (Allan’s photo)

in the library

in the library

Two books came in that I was ever so eager to read.


Nella Last won, and I so wished I had nothing to do but read for the next four days.

Nella Last won, and I so wished I had nothing to do but read for the next four days.

We later drove back out into the wind to meet Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) for our weekly dinner at…

The Cove Restaurant

We got the coziest table by the fire.

We got the coziest table by the fire.


Chef Jason Lancaster sent us a scrumptious appetizer plate.

Chef Jason Lancaster sent us a scrumptious appetizer plate.

an autumnal salad with cranberries

an autumnal salad with cranberries

house salad (Allan's photo)

house salad (Allan’s photo)

noodle bowl (Allan's photo)

noodle bowl (Allan’s photo)

Thai Street Prawns (Allan's photo)

Thai Street Prawns (Allan’s photo)

When I reminisced about last autumn’s menu dish of Cajun Chicken Alfredo, darling Chef Jason made me a dish of Cajun Prawns Alfredo.

dinner AND the next day's lunch

dinner AND the next day’s lunch

Over dinner, we talked about our work weeks.  Melissa and Dave had cut back the hydrangea allée in THE Oysterville Garden the day before.

photo by Melissa Van Domelen, the hydrangea allée cut to one foot tall

photo by Melissa Van Domelen, the hydrangea allée cut to one foot tall

the allée

the allée a couple of weeks ago

Friday, 7 October 2016

Storm damage: One plate had blown down. (Allan's photo)

Storm damage: One plate had blown down. (Allan’s photo)

unbroken (Allan's photo)

unbroken (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

more storm damage across the street in the J's garden: a blown over ghost in their Halloween display (Allan's photo when he went to fix it)

more storm damage across the street in the J’s garden: a blown over ghost in their Halloween display (Allan’s photo when he went to fix it)

Allan worked outdoors on the fence panel project.

Allan's photo of the wires and netting that will have to come down.

Allan’s photo of the wires and netting that will have to come down.

I had had every intention of Friday being a day off.  After the wind storm had blown through, though, and Friday had turned out to be a pleasant weather day, I became anxious about the Long Beach planters.  I had only checked half of them yesterday before getting rained out.  I had two home visits scheduled for the day: The “knee brace” woman was coming by to do a quick fitting, and Bill and Carol were coming over so that Bill could show us the beautiful plans he had drawn for our bathtub replacement project.  After that enjoyable visit, Allan and I headed out to do just a couple of hours of Long Beach tidying.

Allan had already tidied the Ilwaco post office planter when he went to pick up the mail.

after tidying (Allan's photo)

after tidying (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a bucket of debris removed from the post office planter

Long Beach

sign in the shop window (Allan's photo)

sign in the shop window (Allan’s photo)

The city crew was taking the flags down from the lamp posts.

The city crew was taking the flags down from the lamp posts.

a late bee on Geranium 'Rozanne'

a late bee on Geranium ‘Rozanne’

After tidying two blocks of planters and one bed of Fifth Street Park, we decided to check on…

Jo’s Garden

…for sideways cosmos and such.  At last there was a “sale pending” added to the For Sale sign so we knew that the wheels of bureaucracy were successfully turning.  I was glad we visited because a big rose branch had come down at the inside of the entry arbor.

the wee guest house

the wee guest house

I did pull some tall leaning cosmos from the back of this entry bed...

I did pull some tall leaning cosmos from the back of this entry bed…

...and from this area just before the center courtyard.

…and from this area just before the center courtyard.

I must admit I got myself a side piece of this well behaved tall aster.

I must admit I got myself a side piece of this well behaved tall aster.

center courtyard with cosmos and Salvia 'Hot Lips' still blooming

center courtyard with cosmos and Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ still blooming

center courtyard sit spot

center courtyard sit spot

northwest garden

northwest garden


Because of the weather and impending dusk, we decided not to bother with the Ilwaco planters.  We will save the city some money by just letting them go into a mild decline for another week or so.   I did want to have a look at the port gardens and fix anything blown over or trash blown in by the storm, so we did a drive by.  We found nothing amiss enough to warrant more work.

Ilwaco boatyard

Ilwaco boatyard

pink sweet peas with a boat that came in recently

pink sweet peas with a boat that came in recently

Sweet peas survived the storm.

Sweet peas survived the storm.

cosmos still blooming

cosmos still blooming

The Dream, a boat name that I particularly like.

The Dream, a boat name that I particularly like.

Around the corner on Howerton Avenue, a new shop has opened with a green theme.  It was an ice cream shop, thus the pink theme.  I’d repaint the trim with green if I were the Ilwaco Freedom Market.

changing times in Washington State

changing times in Washington State

Now we would have three days off, two of which I hoped to spend just reading, IF I can concentrate instead of obsessively reading the news about the increasingly infuriating Republican candidate.


1997 (age 73):

Oct 6:  SUNNY—WARM  I spent a couple hours pulling the blighted tomato plants, throwing them into the garbage can.  It was in the 40s last night so I must get started planting the plants from the shop and the Bluestone perennials.

Oct 7: Received Dutch Gardens bulbs and spent time in the evening checking them against my list.   All ok.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 6:  I picked all the tomatoes that were ripening—got 4 Sealameal pkgs from the ripe ones.  I also picked up apples and some from tree and got 4 Sealameal pkgs.

Oct 7:  It stopped raining in the afternoon so I went out and labeled the upright begonias and did some watering (by hand).  I set up the hose to water in PRFB in the morning if I get up early enough.  Note: It rained all night and during day so I didn’t water in morning.









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