Posts Tagged ‘finger blight’

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

How I love an all Ilwaco day.

We started at the volunteer garden that Allan did not have time to water yesterday evening:

Ilwaco Fire Station

Out of all the ammi majus seeds I planted, I got these.

the ornamental corn, all two of them

Mike’s garden

after we watered

We finally pruned all the dead branches off the conifer in the front…

It is part of a matched set; the other one is also very slowly dying back.

I would like to see them both gone, but neither Allan’s wonky ankle or my wonky knee inspire us to try to dig them out.  I’m hoping Mike will find a strong person to do this.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We weeded thoroughly all along from the north end to the gate.  South of the gate does not get as much horsetail.

(I did not download photos for a week, so it took me that long to realize I had a spot on my lens.)

my usual audience

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Chickadee, Doreen, Stipa gigantea

a boat on its way to the water

Allan’s audience

Port of Ilwaco

We accomplished our long weekly watering of almost all the curbside gardens.  (We skip just one that is just escallonias, landscape fabric that shows, and a thin coat of bark mulch.)

In my favourite bed by the Ilwaco pavilion, the three plants vandalized earlier this year are trying to heal themselves but are still bringing down the tone.

Santolina had the best chance of healing itself.

One lavender is trying….

…and the other one is not succeeding much at all in getting better.

Eryngium and achillea (Allan’s photo)

by the port office

lavender abuzz with bees

weeding while watering

On one of my recent days off for Lily Time, a young woman and man came walking by the front garden and the woman called out, “I love your lilies!”  Quite out of character for a recluse, I brought the two of them into the back garden to see the really tall lilies.  Today, the woman (who works at the port) brought me her new puppy to hold.  (At least, I hope it was her, because of my face blindness.)

Annabelle, 8 weeks old, best moment of my day

I admired the Salt Hotel courtyard.

Then I went home because it was the night of the dreaded monthly billing.  I had two big clients and some small ones that I had not even billed for June yet.  It was difficult and took four hours.  Allan went on to water the east end garden bed (the hardest one) and, as always, to make our dinner.




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Monday, 23 July 2018

Long Beach

We watered, deadheaded, and otherwise tidied the street trees gardens and planters. The wind was annoying but not terribly cold…yet.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


Variegated bulbous oat grass, which to some looks like a weed.

But look! It’s variegated! (At least unless it reverts to green blades and then out it goes.)

Allan’s photo: Funny hats are a common sight in Long Beach.

new lilies in Fifth Street Park

For those familiar with Long Beach, you will know where I mean when I say the two garden beds just south of Funland are not ours to care for.  Funland just mulched them with these pine needles; both Allan and I found that interesting when we walked by it at different times.

my photo

Allan’s photo

Allan got done before me and pulled horsetail from the corner bed at Veterans Field, where he found a sign of the Friday Farmers Market:

among the Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ (Allan’s photo)

I recently read that Brodiaea likes dry conditions and so am going to try it out at the port curbside gardens.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the Vet Field flag pavilion

I wonder if after we finally retire from LB someday, will someone put in a more traditional red, white and blue garden?

I took photos of 17 of the 18 street tree gardens and am going to publish a reference post (just once, not every month) tomorrow morning. (There is a long, non-bloggable story of why just 17.)

Shelburne Hotel

We watered, including Allan checking on the upstairs balcony and deck pots.

room 4 deck

The rose that got moved to the room 4 deck is going to flower. I hope it is a good one and not some old root stock.  It is happy here.

I love working at the Shelburne.  The garden makes me happy.  Today was an intense session of thinning and editing, including pulling a sheaf of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ had appeared to have gladiolus rust and needed to depart the garden post haste, bagged.  There is way too much Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ spread all around anyway, although I did not feel as much that way when it was in full bloom.

Along the railing (right) is where I pulled suspect crocosmia.

I debated in early spring about whether to prune or remove that ‘Helmond Pillar’ Barberry. Glad I pruned the pitiful branches and let it revive itself.

The garden got some breathing room by the pulling of running aster, mostly.

I keep cutting back the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ so it won’t block the pub sign from the street view.


When we left the sheltered Shelburne garden, we realized that a strong cold wind of at least 20 mph had kicked up.  It was blasting fiercely along the boatyard garden, where I had to water.  I felt tremendously sorry for myself, wearing a winter scarf in late July and so very cold.

not enjoyable at all

my audience

I wondered if the birds were cold, too.

The larger boats gave me some temporary shelter from the cold north wind.

I had no will to weed in the icy gale.

horrible horsetail

After watering and deadheading a few sweet peas, I just walked by the garden and on home.

Someone had picked more blue globe thistle right under one of the signs…

“Please leave flowers for everyone to enjoy.”

…and had pulled some out by the roots and just left it there.

Perhaps a passerby interrupted the thievery or perhaps the thief decided the stem was too stickery.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ is looking brown instead of silver.

too much wind? not enough water?

?? why?

santolina with pesky self sown orange montbretia

I’d like to pull swathes of floppy California poppies, but not today.

My walk home:

mystery paths in the field across the street

First Avenue

Behind the museum is the Discovery Garden, which is now maintained by the Pacific County Master Gardeners.

Interpretive sign from the original park installation.

This was formerly a recirculating stream.

formerly upper pool of little stream

Our friend Bill Clearman helped to construct this memorial wall.  I feel that these big planters distract from viewing its beauty.

This was the unobstructed wall years ago.

The tiles are by Renee O’Connor.

As for the plans that the MGs have for this garden, you can read about their project here.  I am not a Master Gardener so am not involved in this volunteer project.  I admit to a prejudice against “native plant gardens”. It is a rare artificially created native landscape that doesn’t look just scruffy, in my opinion.  It can be done, by the brilliant Leslie Buck, for one.

I hoped to see some of the feral cat colony (featuring many orange cats with quizzical faces) further down the block.  They were all sheltered somewhere out of the wind.

On Main Street (which is not very “main”, being only two and a half blocks long).

Meanwhile, Allan had watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters with the water trailer, also not enjoyable I am sure (but at least it is a little bit in and out of the van and thus with breaks from the wind).

for those interested in the mechanics of watering the Ilwaco planters

We did not plant gladiolas in any of the planters.  Someone persists in planting them in the planters, and someone (else, I am sure) persists in picking them pretty much every year when they are at their best.

finger blight

I told Allan later to just pull out the foliage and corm when that happens.

I texted him when I got home; he had just started hose watering our volunteer gardens at the fire station and the post office.  A nine hour day for me and longer for him.


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 Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Looking out my window (over the storage/water trailer/garbage area), I saw that the driveway was wet, oh joy!  Such a relief to know the gardens got some water.

Ilwaco Fire Station

I planted some assorted sunflower seeds at the fire station.

Ilwaco Post Office

I wanted to quickly plant 12 cosmos in our volunteer garden at the post office.  Quickly was not the word because of how weedy it had gotten.

It took an hour to make space and get the plants in.

While we were gardening there, someone from the port office came to get mail and told us that yesterday evening, she had seen a man and a boy picking an armload of flowers from the boatyard garden.  When she asked him not to, he was argumentative and said “No one is going to take care of them and I’m keeping them from dying.”  (“No one is going to take care of them”!!!!!!) She and I had a good conversation that I fervently hope will result, and soon, with some official “Do not pick” signage from the port.  Our polite little “Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy” signs are not working.

I thought of a few more things to say so I went to the port office while Allan planted cosmos in the office garden (south side).  The baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse had been hung.

Couldn’t get a long shot because the port truck was there.

curbside gardens on the south side of the port office

I did not want to look at the boatyard so we went on to add more to the planters in

Long Beach.

I am tired of planting.

I asked Allan to make room for a blue felicia daisy by the blue painted Benson’s restaurant.



The golden variegated vinca in that planter is beautiful but much too aggressive for my taste.

Allan was entertained while planting by motorcycle tourists.

taking pictures of their bikes

They asked a Long Beach crew member to take their photo with the frying pan.

The south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park:

Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Later, Allan photographed a hole where a trailing plant had gotten stolen.

I am upset. And tired of this.

We added a few cosmos to the west side of city hall.

Shelburne Hotel and Pub

Today was Melissa’s birthday.  Allan and I worked on the Shelburne garden for 45 minutes until the birthday dinner at the pub began.

the back edible and shady totem pole garden

front garden looking north

and south

In the pub:

avocado toast

chopped salad

pub burger

cranberry curd tart

Melissa declared her chocolate pot du creme the best ever.

Allan took an amusing group photo.

We stayed till well past closing time (with permission from bartender Juan).

On the way to our van, after Dave and Mel had left, we went into the back garden to see if the tiny daisy flowers of the Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) were scenting the courtyard.  They were, intoxicatingly.

the lawn by night (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, pub deck

At home, I was able to make the work list shorter by erasing Long Beach parks and planters.

*Annuals Planting Time AKA Annuals Planting Hell

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Long Beach

I wanted to get one more intersection of Long Beach planters done today, mainly because they needed watering from the last round of planting.  All I had to do was add Cosmos ‘Sonata’ to one street planter and to the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.

In just two planters on that intersection, we found:

an allium broken and ruined before it ever bloomed (Allan’s photo)

a santolina pulled up and left with its roots gasping in the air.

a planter with alliums on one side still fine…

but the matching set on the other side completely gone, bulbs and all

and a Dutch iris pulled out and left lying on top of other plants, still in bud.

I fumed and muttered about quitting public gardening.  And yet I feel it is my mission, and I don’t want to work for wealthy people’s private gardens that only they and their friends or paying garden tour guests see. I feel public gardens give joy to people of all incomes.  And yet…I can hardly stand the vandalism.  (My headache was not going away.)

Dutch Iris and Allium christophii that have escaped being destroyed, so far (Allan’s photo)

the two planters I worked on

Cerinthe major purpurascens (Allan’s photo)

Allan watering

We still had more planters to finish, but today was the day to to planting at…

The Red Barn

which just got four red diascias added to the barrels.

Allan photographed Amy and horses….

And a little bird.

Diane’s garden

We planted all Diane’s containers, and added a few plants along the road and in the septic box garden. Of course, it took an hour longer than I had hoped.

Allan’s photos:

Along the road…


The bench is to protect plants from exuberant new puppy, Holly. Our good old friend Misty is on the porch.

The puppy in question:

I told Diane at least the raised septic box was safe from puppy Holly; she replied that Holly had jumped up and run across it a couple of times.

my photos; the septic garden still needs more.

On the way home, we did a watering session at

The Shelburne Hotel….

Allan watered by the new courtyard in the back.

Looks like a bocce ball or a  dog tangled with the borage patch.

After watering the Shelburne, I went home to struggle with my headachy brain over the mid month billing. Allan watered the Ilwaco planters with the water trailer for the first time this year and found this Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ interesting.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

a calendula by our driveway (Allan’s photo)

Fritillaria meleagris (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

I had a few plant starts ( cyclamens from MaryBeth and Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ from Klipsan Beach Cottages) to plant in the Shelburne front garden.  It had been on my mind to get back there and see how the garden is doing.  I wish it would “do” faster.  I miss having lots of spring bulbs in it.  Next year!  I took some narcissi from my garden  and left them by the kitchen sink, hoping someone could find it useful.

Outside, the only especially maddening weed I found was the dratted Aegopodium, which is thick at the south end and, unfortunately, popping up elsewhere as well.

a horde horrendous little aegepodium leaves at the south end (among the scilla)

in the center of the garden….nooooo!

looking north

looking south

I was most pleased when one of my most admired local gardeners came round the corner for lunch in the pub and said that the garden HAD gone to weeds but was now looking much better.  He had brought two little friends with him.

One had hopped into the garden and was gently removed.

I am feeling so eager for the plants to start to show.


and March 11. Some progress.

I planted my baby Sansuisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ with Allan’s protective teepee.  I found that mine at home is finally leafing out so I could put my new one in here.

Long Beach, Bolstad Beach Approach

We returned to the all consuming task of weeding the beach approach, after doing a small bit of deadheading downtown.

in a downtown planter (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Before driving to the approach, we dumped Sunday’s debris and gathered some mulch.

our low tech method

on the approach garden (Allan’s photo)

mulch added to a couple of sections

We began weeding where we had left off.  The red buoy is at the end of the gardens.

six sections to go

Befores and afters (mostly Allan’s photos):

We finished one section in two and a half hours and started the next.

second section, before

I enjoy the parade of delightful dogs all day.

Our neighbour Jared strolled by with his good dogs:

Rudder and Yarrow

Below, see those holes in the weeds? That is where I had planted some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have plenty, to try to fill in with something free.  Every one has been stolen and I am so exasperated.  And furious. This is why, other than shrubs and roses, the gardens look so empty.  This is why we can’t have nice things.

I also find much evidence of the theft by digging of narcissi bulbs.  Below, evidence that was discarded on the ground after some fool took the bulb and no foliage, apparently.  Or someone just pulled the plant apart for fun.  Deer do not do this to narcissi.

I placed it on the post for your examination.

I am just going to encourage more wild beach lupine.  I can’t have anything fancier here.

Sometimes I think about writing a letter to the editor or speaking at Long Beach city council.  Then I think that would just alert people to where to find good plants for free.

willows, by where we dump weeds

When I got this far in the second section, I did not think I would make it to the planter.  Allan put a cookie on the rock to keep me going.  I was not amused, so he placed it where I could reach it. Three ibuprofens later, I did make it to the end.

The afters, (all by Allan), section one:

section two:

Now we have this far to go to the buoy:

at home

In picking narcissi for the Shelburne this morning, I had noticed that a depressing number were tattered by snails, so I had to find enough evening energy to totter around the garden tossing out some Sluggo pellets.

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’, cat memorial garden

Narcissus ‘Frosty Snow’

center bed (with loads of shotweed)

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’!

gunnera and rain puddles

I must divide this Japanese iris soon!

bogsy wood after rain

Oh dear, I may have coppiced my golden leycesterias and my smokebush too hard and too soon:

looks ominous

akebia by the driveway

Four beach approach sections to go and then I MUST get the rest of the sweet peas planted.

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Monday, 12 March 2018

The first gardening event of the day was checking on a garden (which I will not name and shame) and being told by the maintenance guy that he had sprayed “some weeds” that turned out to be poppies in the gravel.  I was not happy.  I only blew a very small gasket as I tenderly held the still damp poppy seedlings in a gloved hand.  I said that dead little plants from Round Up look worse than little green plants, even if they had been little weeds.

After that sad event, we checked on the Shelburne Hotel garden because I feared I had left a small tool in the garden.  (I had not; turned out Allan had picked it up.)  Because of the hot weather, we found two new plants all droopy and gave them emergency bucket watering.

All but two of the photos today are by Allan.

sad hellebore

sadder primula

Long Beach

We went on to finish the parking lot berms.

weeding with the ho-mi

Stipa gigantea before

and after

lightweight summer clothes and a hat to keep off the sun

north berm, after

rugosa roses in the south berm

I must admit that there were just a couple of areas of quack grass in rugosa roses that we did not successfully weed.  We usually do a good weeding of this garden later, around the end of April.  I was pleased to get as much done as we did.  We left the quaking grass (Briza medea) standing because, even though it looks like a weed to most passersby, it has charming seedheads later which we will leave for awhile before pulling.  It pulls easily.

part of the south berm, after

While on the way to dump our big load of debris in the late afteroon, I looked at my phone.  I had had the strangest feeling earlier this week that, because of my book blogging obsession of late, I could have missed something terribly important in someone’s life on my Facebook newsfeed.  As we entered the city works yard, I saw the post that a local gardener I had known had just died, an assisted death because of aggressive brain cancer, which I soon learned had been just one month from diagnosis to unsuccessful surgery and then to her passing.  I was in shock but couldn’t feel much because we still had one more job to do at

The Shelburne Hotel

I had bucketed some mulch out of the garbage can of Soil Energy that I keep at home for garden emergencies, because I had decided yesterday that an end piece of little shade bed at the Shelburne desperately needed fluffing up.


Allan, with a couple of flat rocks that I had found, made the path a little wider.  I had brought some little lavender double primroses to put in.

A not quite the same angle before from a couple of days ago:

The flowers that had been sad this morning had perked up.  They all got another bucket of water.

at home

I finally had some time to think.  The gardener who had died must have been so scared.  We had been just becoming closer friends when the election of November 2016 revealed a world-view schism that gently ended our communication by mutual and melancholy agreement.  I had sort of thought that eventually we would drift back into an pleasant gardening acquaintanceship or friendship.  A different person than me would have tried harder. Now I could only hope in an afterlife where she could be reunited with her beloved and wonderful dog, who had died a year and a half before and was deeply mourned and missed.  The same kind of aggressive brain cancer took another dear gardening friend of mine after blindness and a harsh three year battle.

At my desk, I opened my Facebook messaging and found this from Nancy, co-owner of the Depot Restaurant:

“A [elderly] diner and her hubby left and went outside while their kids finished their wine. Pretty soon she comes back with a bouquet of daffodils…..saying look what she found outside growing wild…..[She was told] they are not wild, we pay good money to have our garden…. People never cease to amaze me.” I wrote back asking if the old woman had climbed OVER the tall horizontal log barrier to get to the garden (which I find hard to climb over) and Nancy said yes, she had climbed right over it.  Now that’s spry!  (I was given permission to say where this happened!)

The work board shows that only the Ilwaco boatyard garden remains on the spring clean up list.

I found it harder than usual to sleep and finally did while picturing my late gardening friend and her beautiful big golden brown smiling dog in a misty field of grass and flowers.  Please let it be so.

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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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