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Posts Tagged ‘garden boat’

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Gardens, Sea and Art tour

presented by the WSU Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

Ocean Shores

Garden 7: Beauty and the Bay

I had reasons to look forward to this garden.  Diane is the aunt of Terri of Markham Farm, and Terri would be co-hosting.  I am not playing favourites when I say I liked this garden best.

photo by Evan Bean

along the street

along the street

Allan’s photo

the other side of the front driveway

Kilyn’s photo on instagram…followed by her caption

(Each garden had a sign reminding us of the plant sale at the community garden.)

Note those cool rocks with holes in them.  I found some like that in 1991 on Kalaloch Beach.

into the back garden

just inside the gate

Allan’s photo

To our left was the memory garden with mementos including the hard hat and boots worn by Uncle Neil when he helped build the road to Paradise on Mount Rainer.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

On to the back garden.  I was already smitten.

To our right, a sunroom/greenhouse.

fire circle

sunroom

Allan’s photo

To our left, vegetables in barrels….

Roses and driftwood…

photo by Evan Bean

roses and agapanthus…

In the corner, a garden boat.

Then a mossy burbling rock…

.

..and a driftwood gate.

 

photo by Evan Bean

Outside the gate, a view of North Bay:

Looking back at the house:

fire circle

Allan’s photo

On the deck:

Allan’s photo

Leaving the deck…

…we explored the rest of the bayside garden, a separate-feeling area to the right of the driftwood gate.

path to a gate

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the bay side of the house

Twin frogs instead of lions flank the doorway.

another burbling rock

Allan’s photo

wheelbarrows and probably pots of spring bulbs beside the house

We still had not seen it all; we next found the enclosed garden at the front of the house.

a little pond

You might recognize this from the garden tour poster.

photo by Evan Bean

a beautiful front porch

a woman after my own heart in many ways

We had found Terri in the front garden courtyard and had a good chat.  Because her aunt was out touring other gardens, we did not get to meet her, but I know Terri will tell her how much we loved her garden.

Kilyn and Peter had arranged a tailgate teatime for four with homemade scones (Peter’s) and cookies and small sandwiches.  What a delight. We were joined by Evan and Ann.

Allan’s photo

We loaded up plants that Ann had brought for me to purchase from two nurseries she works for (propagating plants): Secret Garden Growers and Cistus Nursery.

While Kilyn and Peter went on ahead to the next (and last) garden, I just had to have one more walk through the Lemke garden because I loved it so much.  When we finally were about to tear ourselves away, Teresa from the Planter Box arrived, much to our surprise and pleasure.

She had manage to wrangle two days off from her garden center, so of course we all extended an invitation to her to come tour Markham Farm garden with us on Sunday.  We left her chatting with Terri and departed for the final tour garden.

 

 

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Sunday, 31 March 2019

Allan had gone boating.

My mission was to get enough compost to mulch the battered soil around the new water feature….which has leaked another half an inch or so.

I need to make some driftwood or other access points for frogs to get in there.

My hope for mulch lay in compost bin one.

compost critter

I got four red wheelbarrows of coarsely sifted compost.

Bin one empty:

Center bed is better now, but I still need more mulch.

When I have time, I can surely get more from bins two through four, especially the lower half of bin four, which has been sitting the longest.

While gardening today and yesterday, I thought at times about gardening partners, with some envy about couples I perceive as working hard together on their entire gardens.  The only couples who come to mind who I imagine doing this compatibly are the owners of The Bayside Garden and Mirabel Osler and her late husband, based on her book A Gentle Plea for Chaos.  (Even those two had a somewhat traditional division of labor, with him doing the mowing.)

In our garden, Allan now does the mowing (although at first I did, before the garden got big enough to needs lots of work).  He has his garden, on the east side of the house, small enough to be kept perfect, and I have the rest…not a half and half arrangement like Ciscoe and Mary Morris’ evenly divided and competitive garden.  Unlike that equally garden-obsessed pair, Allan does have other interests.  However, I can count on him to help whenever asked and to build cool things like my greenhouse lean to.  Longtime readers have seen much photo proof of his efforts.

In two previous relationships of mine, Bryan had no interest in gardening…until years after we broke up, when he developed a passion for collecting bamboo.  And he was a pot farmer, which I suppose counts as gardening but was not something I was involved in at all.

I was not obsessed with gardening during the five years when Bryan and I were together, although I did try to care for my garden that had once been my grandmother’s. Bryan and his friend Owen planted a parking strip tree for meyeads before I turned the parking strip into a garden.

Chris had no interest in the garden, to the point where I one day gave him an ultimatum, that I would no longer read any of his writing until he started to appreciate my art, the garden itself.  He did listen.  His next spouse was also a gardener.  Now, many years later, he has an allotment patch.  If he had been such a gardener in 1990, we would probably still be together!

(I must also point out the irony that both Bryan and Chris were completely opposed to having children while in their 20s and 30s, and both changed their minds in their mid 40s, very much to my disgruntlement at the time.)

After I became an obsessed gardener, Bryan built a wonderful fence for me at the back of my Seattle garden, just because he was a great friend.

And Bryan and his mum Louise helped prune my pear tree and pick the fruit each year.

Robert was my co-gardener both at work and in the garden.  Even though I did the plant collecting, I remember us gardening together at home and even have photos to prove it.

From our Seattle garden:

Robert watering
Robert building a twig arbour
Robert pruning the pear tree, early spring
Making our Ilwaco garden, 1995

However, I am content to garden large expanses of my current garden mostly on my own.  I get to make the decisions without a lot of argy bargy, have help to call for if something is to big for me to handle alone, and I am well aware that not all gardening partnerships are idyllic—especially with someone like Walter.

This evening, I finished reading We Made a Garden by Margery Fish, whose spouse was the worst example I have ever read of the kind of gardening partner that you do not want to have.

I did remove the label, and I put it back on.

I found a perfect essay about Margery and Walter right here on Slate, titled A Gardener’s Revenge, which is just what I was thinking while reading the book.

I remembered what Ann Lamott wrote: “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

All about Walter:

 

When she wanted to plant in amongst paving, “Walter would not have [that] at any price. I was allowed a few very small holes…. Time has improved things and a lot of the …cement has become loosened…helped…by a crowbar.”

He insisted on blue clematis and ridiculed the red ones she liked. “I was warned I was wasting my time.” He referred to them as “your red clematis” until they began to do well, and then they were “ours”.

He would not let her have a wisteria….  “Since Walter died, I have cut down the ampelopsis.  He could never be persuaded to have a wisteria because he said they would take too long to flower.  Now I have two, and they flowered two years after I planted them.”

He hovered and criticized.

I am reminded of how my mother, after my father died, even though she missed him dreadfully, soon confessed to me that “it’s kind of a relief to not get made fun of” for her gardening efforts.

Margery’s stonework “did not meet with approval.”  Walter liked to “gaze with horror” at what she had done the day before and make snide remarks.

He insisted on planting pole roses and gaudy dahlias in the area she had planned out, so that she had to work her planting around them.

“He never worried about treading on my plants, or smothering them with the great piles of earth that were thrown up, so I had to be careful not to plant anything” near the dahlias.

Margery wanted a year round garden but was “not allowed to plant many out of season plants” because all Walter wanted was a summer garden.

I found this the most telling paragraph of all:

(She was frightened of harming her little plants so dotted the manure around carefully.)

Oh, but wait, there’s more:

You might say that there must be another side to the story. I say what a horrible, dreadful man. After he died, and the pole roses and big showy dahlias went away, and cracks were made in the paving for Margery to plant as she liked, she became a famous garden writer and a great inspiration to cottage style gardeners of today.  It was in watching Carol Klein’s wonderful Life in a Cottage Garden series that I learned of Margery’s books.  I now intend to read all of them.

We Made a Garden is invaluable for its plant lists and descriptions and I must get myself a copy of my very own, maybe with this lovely cover:

Postscript: Two days later, in Tales from Titchmarsh, I found Alan T. expounding on the same topic:

…planted and where….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

We woke to a surprisingly nice day and were pleased to get started on the bulb planting, even though I would have liked to read.  I’ve been on the same excellent Stephen McCauley book (Insignicant Others) all week due to lack of time while sorting and planning the bulbing.

Just in case the weather changes, we began by working our way through Ilwaco bulbs.

We started at Allan’s job, the Ilwaco Community Building.  I had sorted out some small narcissi, some snowdrops, Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’, and some species tulips to enhance the landscape he cares for.

Allan's photo as I place the bulbs.

Allan’s photo as I place the bulbs.

A note about bulb placement:  When putting out a lot of bulbs, it is easier to find the unplanted ones if you set the paper or mesh bag down in the spot you want them planted in.  Bulbs themselves get lost in the glare of the autumnal sun or simply blend in with the colour of the earth.  I learned this through experience of finding lost unplanted bulbs the following spring.

an assortment of special bulbs by the entrance

an assortment of special bulbs by the entrance (Allan’s photo)

The soil in these gardens is so low.  We must find time to add three or more yards of mulch.  It is tricky to schedule because Peninsula Landscape Supply has short autumn hours, not including Sunday, which is the only day the library parking lot is not bustling.  And if we have them deliver mulch, it would have to be placed below the parking lot, requiring Allan to push every wheelbarrow load uphill.

Next, we planted up some of the Ilwaco planters.  This year, we just added bulbs to the ones along Spruce Street as they are newer, and the ones on First are packed with bulbs.

You can see from the photo below that we have a lot of rain.  You can also ponder the sign placement of a new business that has been closed for the season since early September.  The white sign, including the new vertical one, belongs to the older business, the Ilwaco Market.

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It was time to pull out the nasturtiums. (Allan's photo)

It was time to pull out the nasturtiums. (Allan’s photo)

nasturtium gone, bulbs in (Allan's photo)

nasturtium gone, bulbs in (Allan’s photo)

"Can you please trim back this viola?" (sez I while placing bulbs)

“Can you please trim back this viola?” (sez I while placing bulbs)

Stopped at home to avoid using a sanican…..The bogsy wood trees had many crows.

crows

crows

DSC01480

Next, we planted bulbs at our volunteer garden at the Post Office.

post office garden after planting

post office garden after planting

an adorable dog waiting for its mail

an adorable dog waiting for its mail

A fellow came up and asked if we had seen his lost cat.  If you see a black cat with a red collar, who answers to the name of George, please call Rocky.

IMG_0984

a note on the time card

Next came re-doing the garden boat at Time Enough Books.  Allan pulled out the cosmos and planted tulip bulbs ‘Strong Gold’ and ‘Formosa’; now the boat is ready for Karla to put up the bookstore’s Christmas decorations.

before and after (Allan's photos)

before and after (Allan’s photos)

Meanwhile, I planted bulbs in the curbside garden and scattered some saved poppy seeds as well.

Meanwhile, I planted bulbs and eremurus roots in the curbside garden and scattered some saved poppy seeds as well.

Erermurus roots and bulbs (Allan's photo)

Erermurus roots and bulbs (Allan’s photo)

plant with the yellow-gold buds up (Allan's photo)

plant with the yellow-gold buds up (Allan’s photo)

Check out how beautiful, if grown in just the right conditions:

photo from vanengelen.com

photo from vanengelen.com

I asked Allan to photograph the ceanothus and its late, profuse re-bloom.

ceanothus

ceanothus with admiring passersby

Ceanothus and Artemisa 'Powis Castle'

Ceanothus and Artemisa ‘Powis Castle’

I was so very pleased at our fast pace that I decided we should go plant the 200 bulbs that go in the Long Beach welcome sign planter, since I thought we might run out of Port of Ilwaco bulbs before dark.

The Echibeckia on the front side, and the annual bidens, still looks so good that I had to plant among them.

It's easier to plant an empty area.

It’s easier to plant an empty area.

Feeling for bulbs in amongst the foliage.

Feeling for bulbs in amongst the foliage.

It helped that I could sit.

It helped that I could sit.

The back side was much easier to plant.

The back side was much easier to plant.

These are the mixes, from Colorblends, that I chose this year.

Much Niceness, from Colorblends.

Much Niceness, from Colorblends, for the back of the sign.

Torch Song, for the front, from Colorblends.

Torch Song, for the front, from Colorblends.

This is a change from my choices for the past few years:

Red and Yellow Cubed, from Colorblends

Red and Yellow Cubed, from Colorblends

Short Wave from Colorblends

Short Wave from Colorblends

Long Beach Welcome Sign

Long Beach Welcome Sign in April 2013 with Red Yellow Cubed on the front and Short Wave on the back.

after planting

after planting

In my mind, as I plant bulbs, I see what the gardens are going to look like in full spring bloom.

Next, we went back to the Howerton Avenue gardens at the port, starting at the east end, working westward, adding narcissi and some eremurus.  It’s an experiment to see if the foxtail lilies will like the conditions there.  They like dry areas, but perhaps will get too much wind.

Just as we got to our last section of the day, north of the port office and Nisbett gallery, one hour before sunset, down came a torrent of rain.  I was frustrated because that meant I could not erase the port from the bulb list.  Maddening.  The rain came with such dark skies that even if I did not mind getting drenched, it would have been hard to see what we were doing.

We gave up and went home, just as Karla (ahead of us) was leaving from her day at Time Enough Books.

We gave up and went home, just as Karla (ahead of us) was leaving from her day at Time Enough Books.

Karla's Scout getting in the van (Allan's photo)

Karla’s Scout getting in the van (Allan’s photo)

at home (Allan's photo)

at home (Allan’s photo)

Before going inside, I sorted into bags and labeled the tulips that I had saved for Todd.

sorting again (Allan's photo)

sorting again (Allan’s photo)

Apparently, my hands were shaking with excitement when I photographed the before and after of the work board, showing today’s thrilling erasures.

before and after work board

 

Dave and Melissa came over at dark-thirty to pick up two boxes of assorted bulbs that I had sorted out for their enjoyment, and we had a good visit as always.

Tomorrow, the weather should be excellent allowing for much more bulb planting.  I debated all evening which jobs to choose based on which would enable the most erasures from the work board.

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Smokey and Mary in the morning

Smokey and Mary in the morning

Halloween is almost here, and I am fretting because the weather is supposed to be bad with lashing rain and 30 mph wind gusts.  I tell myself there is no point in feeling bad about this prospect, as there is not a thing I can do.  Local parents say that when they suggested to their children that perhaps they could just attend a party instead of trick or treating, the children expressed determination to go trick or treating.  One loving parent said her boys would be livid if they did not get to go.  So fingers crossed we get lots of trick or treaters, as we are expecting several friends to come join the fun.

in the post office window today

in the post office window today

the new ramp to city hall, where we dropped off our quarterly B&O tax forms

the new ramp to city hall, where we dropped off our quarterly B&O tax forms (Allan’s photo)

We headed on up Sandridge Road to start today’s round of jobs.

The Red Barn

Allan's photo, before cutting Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Allan’s photos, before cutting Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

and after. The Helianthus is much shorter than usual as it does not get much summer water here.

and after. The Helianthus is much shorter than usual as it does not get much summer water here.

Diane’s garden

Misty greets us, and Diane was home for lunch. (Allan's photo)

Misty greets us, and Diane was home for lunch. (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s garden next door got some deadheading, but not much.  At this time of year, I have started to pretty much let the cosmos go.  “Birds like the seeds” is a good excuse.  Gold finches are said to particular savour cosmos seeds.

It would take an hour to deadhead a patch of cosmos like this now. And they don't look half bad going to seed.

It would take an hour to deadhead a patch of cosmos like this now. And they don’t look half bad going to seed.

Allan dug up some seedlings of Stipa gigantea...

Allan dug up some seedlings of Stipa gigantea…

and planted one on the other side of driveway.

and planted one on the other side of driveway.

I got to pet my good (and camera shy) friend Misty.

I got to pet my good (and camera shy) friend Misty.

My Misty-Twisters.

My Misty-Twisters.

Todd stopped by while we were at Diane’s, and I am happy to report that his eye, which he poked hard with a stick from a debris pile about two weeks ago, is all better.  Gardeners have a high risk job when it comes to our eyes, and we have had many close calls.  We should all wear goggles, and we pretty much do not (although I am fierce about wearing goggled whilst using a string trimmer or mower).

As we left Diane’s, I had a brainstorm:  We could acquire some gravel for my scree garden project!

Peninsula Landscape Supply

We were lucky to get in.  I did not look at the sign to see that they are on autumn hours and now closing at one…but Mike had not remembered to close the gate and was kind enough to load our rocks anyway.

Peninsula Landscape Supply autumn hours

Peninsula Landscape Supply autumn hours (M-W-F-Sat, 9-1).

small to medium river rock

small to medium river rock

OOPS!  I had intended to get about half that much.  I delegated to Allan the task of raising a hand to stop the dumping, and had not been clear that enough rock to just cover the bottom of the trailer would be plenty.  Now we had to deal with the anxiety of hauling a too-heavy trailer.  As you can see, our rig in not exactly heavy duty.  Allan pulled over halfway to our next job to check the tires.  They were warm, so I fretted.  If they got hot, they could blow out.

Fortunately, the next job was fairly near Peninsula Landscape Supply and we were not going all the way to our garden job in Surfside today.  The big concern would be the drive home.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Denny, Mary, and Bella (Allan's photo)

Denny, Mary, and Bella (Allan’s photo)

view in the east gate of the fenced garden

view in the east gate of the fenced garden

the weekly view southwest over the bird bath

the weekly view southwest over the bird bath

an autumn rose

an autumn rose

Allan's photo: In the thick of fall clean up

Allan’s photo: In the thick of fall clean up, with colourful blueberry foliage

more pruning and clean up in the expanded sit spot

more pruning and clean up in the expanded sit spot

Denny had sawed out a big trunk of the bay tree at my request, and today I took about a third off of the blueberries.  Remember, in your own personal garden, leaving it wilder for the winter (less raking and less removal of perennial foliage) is better for the natural order of beneficial insects and li’l critters.

Allan's photo: At my request, he dug out some pesky Geranium 'A.T .Johnson'.

Allan’s photo: At my request, he dug out some pesky Geranium ‘A.T .Johnson’.

Iris foetidissima, one of my favourites for autumn berries.

Iris foetidissima, one of my favourites for autumn berries.

Denny, observing the sky, said that a big rain was about to dump on us.  He was right.  It began just as we were left.  Allan needed pumpkin (canned) for Halloween pie and so we went north to Jack’s Country Store.  I was relieved when he said that the rain would cool the trailer tires.  (I asked him if he was serious, and he said yes.)

the scene parked next to Jack's

the scene parked next to Jack’s

dramatically increasing rain

dramatically increasing rain

Dark Sky promises it will stop before the hour is over.

Dark Sky promises the downpour will stop before the hour is over.

Thus our work day ended.  Golden Sands garden had been on the list.  It can wait till next week and perhaps be given a whole afternoon of fall clean up.

Dark Sky told me the rain would stop in 50 minutes.  While that would be perfect for offloading the rock at home, it seemed unlikely with the sky dark all around.

at home

The rain stopped pouring just as we got home. (Allan's photo)

The rain stopped pouring just as we got home. (Allan’s photo)

The rain did stop at just the perfect time and we got all the rocks unloaded.  What excellent timing, as just when we parked in Nora’s driveway to offload, we got a call from her granddaughter who was coming to spend the night.  We were glad to not have to unload in the rain.  (Kind Alycia wouldn’t have made us move the trailer, but we would have felt we should anyway.)

Alycia arrived with a friend and the friend’s tiny dog, Jalapeno.

Alycia's spiffing shoes, and a shy Jalapeno.

Alycia’s spiffing shoes, and a shy Jalapeno.

offloading rock (Allan's photo)

offloading rock (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan found room for the extra back in the bogsy wood swale.

some rock in the swale

some rock in the swale

hardy fuchsia (Allan's photo)

hardy fuchsia (Allan’s photo)

Now my scree garden has been expanded and I need some more scree plants.

scree garden rocks put in place but not arranged

scree garden rocks put in place but not arranged; I will make the boat stern garden scree, too, when I have time.

Note to self: I must remember to divide this gorgeous variegated iris….

DSC01126

…and put some on this side to make some symmetry on the paths.

...and put some on this side to make some symmetry on the paths.

Something also to remember: I planted three little bulbs of cardiocrinum giganteum and must protect them from slugs and snails.

Cardiocrinum planted right where the soil is ruched up!

Cardiocrinum planted right where the soil is ruched up!

I had an excellent evening reading an entire book (interpersed with watching Survivor and then three episodes of Girls).

finished at 2:30 AM

finished at 2:30 AM

I recommend the Dog Lover’s Mystery series to all dog lovers.  The plots are good, the characters endearing, and the stories are full of dog treats in the form of educational information about dogs (especially malamutes).

DSC01130

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Tomorrow: more work, more rain.

 

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Ilwaco

at home by our driveway: a snail who has taken up residence in one of the tree cups (Allan's photo)

at home by our driveway: a snail who has taken up residence in one of the tree cups (Allan’s photo)

We began with a light weeding at the post office.

We began with a light weeding at the post office.

I planted still more sweet pea seeds to fill in among the ones that have germinated along the picket fence.  Not sure if there is any hope for late planting, but I do recall that Cannon Beach gardening icon June Kroft says she plants her sweet peas late in her beach garden.  I also have to commit to watering these daily and I have a feeling I will slip up on that.

We worked for hours day all the gardens down Howerton Avenue.  In two days (May 2), it will be part of the parade route for the annual children’s parade and will also see many passersby for opening day of the Saturday Market.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

east end of Howerton, looking west

east end of Howerton, looking west

California poppies

California poppies

I used to discount the beauty of California poppies until I read this passage in An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter.  (You can read the book online here.  In searching for the specific quotation, I came upon it in a garden blog new to me called Island Gardener 2014.)

“One blossom I take in a loving hand the more closely to examine it, and it breathes a glory of color into sense and spirit which is enough to kindle the dullest imagination…. Every cool gray-green leaf is tipped with a tiny line of red, every flower-bud wears a pale-green pointed cap like an elf, and in the early morning, when the bud is ready to blow, it pushes off the pretty cap and unfolds all its loveliness to the sun…. As I hold the flower in my hand and think of trying to describe it, I realize how poor a creature I am, how impotent are words in the presence of such perfection. It is held upright upon a straight and polished stem, its petals curving upward and outward into the cup of light, pure gold with a lustrous satin sheen; a rich orange is painted on the gold, drawn in infinitely fine lines to a point in the centre of the edge of each petal, so that the effect is that of a diamond of flame in a cup of gold. It is not enough that the powdery anthers are orange bordered with gold; they are whirled about the very heart of the flower like a revolving Catherine-wheel of fire. In the centre of the anthers is a shining point of warm sea-green, a last, consummate touch which makes the beauty of the blossom supreme…. Turning the flower and looking at it from the outside, it has no calyx, but the petals spring from a simple pale-green disk, which must needs be edged with sea-shell pink for the glory of God! The fresh splendor of this flower no tongue nor pen nor brush of mortal man can fitly represent.”

Now I know that California poppies come in many colours and I grow pink, rose, white, yellow, and red ones.  A good source for seeds is the One Stop Poppy Shoppe.

creamy white California poppies

creamy white California poppies

burnt orange California poppies

burnt orange California poppies

Ceanothus is still blooming in several of the Howerton gardens.

by the Loading Dock Village, a building that houses several small businesses.

by the Loading Dock Village, a building that houses several small businesses.

ceanothus

Below:  This particular bed by a cannery was planted years ago with Escallonia which will get too tall for the space.  I’m waiting to see if they prune it, so we don’t have to.

It is a barkscape on top of landscape fabric....

It is a barkscape on top of landscape fabric….

and the underwear shows all over the place.

and the underwear shows all over the place.  A little barberry struggles in a small hole in the fabric.

I’d love to see all the fabric and the escallonias ripped out and something smaller planted.

We had only lightly weeded at the Craft 3 (formerly Shorebank) building last time (a garden of too-tall shrubs that was planted years ago).  Today I had a mess of weeds to pull in one of the open areas.

before

before

Two five gallon buckets of weeds came from that small area.

Two five gallon buckets of weeds came from that small area.

after, with strawberry and kinnickinnick left behind.

after, with strawberry and kinnickinnick left behind.

Allan pruned some of the California wax myrtle shrubs between the bank and the Ilwaco Pavilion.

Allan pruned some of the California wax myrtle shrubs between the bank and the Ilwaco Pavilion.  (Allan’s photo showing the job halfway done)

by the Ilwaco Pavilion, my favourite curbside bed

by the Ilwaco Pavilion, my favourite curbside bed

next, the little one we call the drive-over garden

next, the little one we call the drive-over garden

by the Don Nisbett Gallery and the port office, three good gardens

by the Don Nisbett Gallery and the port office, three good gardens

The only garden on the waterfront side, other than assorted containers maintained by businesses, is at the Port Office.

Lots of alliums already blooming

Lots of alliums already blooming

Half of the Time Enough Books curbside bed, all gravelly and rocky, is crying out for more cool scree garden type plants.

looking east from Time Enough Books

looking east from Time Enough Books

Tulip 'Florette' still blooming in the garden boat

Tulip ‘Florette’ still blooming in the garden boat

The other half is mostly filled by a ceanothus that will need to be pruned lower once it blooms.

The other half of the curbside bed is mostly filled by a ceanothus.

Bees love it.

Bees love it.

It echoes the colour of OleBob's upstairs.

It echoes the colour of OleBob’s upstairs.

Bookstore owner Karla says the ceanothus will need pruning lower after it blooms, as it is almost blocking the view of her sign.  The ceanothus were all planted years ago and too tall and too wide for the space.

In front of the soon to reopen Harbor Lights Motel, the beds are big river rock on top of landscape fabric.

In front of the soon to reopen Harbor Lights Motel, the two beds are big river rock on top of landscape fabric.

I’ve shown all but three of the curbside beds.  Here are the last two at the western end:

looking west

looking west, before

after weeding

after weeding

the westernmost bed

the westernmost bed

The best part: My goal had been to finish Howerton Avenue by five o clock so we could move on to another job, and look:

in the van, ready to go: spot on!

in the van, ready to go: spot on!

On the way our of town, we stopped near the boatyard and Allan hoiked a big old trailing rosemary out of the foreground planter, below.  The rosemaries that had survived several winters had gotten big, woody, and battered looking and I had suddenly realized they just looked like big green unsightly blobs on the side of the planters, throwing off any symmetry.

a quick addition of some diascias to planters by the boatyard...

by the boatyard, rosemary replaced by a nice diascia, Baby Moon narcissi still blooming

in the boatyard: Remembrance

in the boatyard: Remembrance  (Allan’s photo)

and Fear Naught

and Fear Naught  (Allan’s photo)

The Anchorage Cottages

I had a particular mission at The Anchorage, while Allan checked other areas of the garden: to pull out scilla from the center courtyard garden.

before

before

Scilla has swamped this bed in springtime since before I took on the job.

Scilla has swamped this bed in springtime since before I took on the job.

It's pretty and blue for awhile and then it has to go.  I'd get every bulb out if I could.

It’s pretty and blue for awhile and then it has to go. I’d get every bulb out if I could.

I only got it pulled halfway back.

I only got it pulled halfway back.  This bed also used to be full of way too many calla lilies.

Next week, I hope to get the back part cleaned up.

Next week, I hope to get the back part cleaned up.

after, some definition regained

after, some definition regained

Another problem needs imminent attention: The virburnums in the middle have gotten way too big and need to be pruned back before they smother out good lilies and perennials growing in front of them.

The viburnum would like to march forward over the birdbath and all.

The viburnum would like to march forward over the birdbath and all.

I cut a little bit back to dark older leaves...more next week.

I cut a little bit back to dark older leaves…more next week.

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin', blue potato vine, in a corner of the courtyard

Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’, blue potato vine, in a corner of the courtyard

Dutch iris 'Eye of the Tiger'

Dutch iris ‘Eye of the Tiger’

more scilla to pull next week

more scilla to pull next week

It's almost time to redo the four window boxes with summer annuals.

It’s almost time to redo the four window boxes with summer annuals.

Allan made a watering well for the new Acer 'Butterfly'.

Allan made a watering well for the new Acer ‘Butterfly’.  It was dry because no one had noticed its arrival.

The Cove Restaurant

We made it to the Cove Restaurant, our Thursday tradition, by seven thirty.

Prawn solo appetizer, shared

Prawns Solo appetizer, shared

Chef Jason Lancaster presented us with a bonus dish to try.

Seared duck breast with Starvation Alley Farms cranberry and wild foraged huckleberry sauce with walnut wild rice

Seared duck breast with Starvation Alley Farms cranberry and wild foraged huckleberry sauce with walnut wild rice

The sauce’s deliciousness was enhanced by the fact that the owners of Starvation Alley Farms reside in the house just to our east.

Our tiredness had inspired both of us to order a heavier entree of comfort food than usual.  We ended up taking half ot home for a late night nosh.

cajun chicken alfredo

cajun chicken alfredo (with a spot of sauce from the Prawns Solo

We now had just one day left to get gardens along the Long Beach parade route looking perfect.

 

 

 

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Monday, 20 April 2015

I continued to work on my rather overwhelming garden, while Allan went to weed the terribly weedy garden at the community building, a project that I foolishly agreed to last week.  I so appreciated him deciding to get that started rather than taking a day off.  Here’s the problem:  I need time off more than I need money at the moment, and so does he.  We can’t afford to retire for several years, but we can afford to cut back…and yet, how can we with so many jobs?  Then I think…we should keep working like mad in case we have medical bills before medicare age (as in insurance co-pays and deductibles, something you UK readers don’t have to worry about).  And THEN I think, as Allan has pointed out, NOW is the time to have more time off while we are healthy enough to still enjoy it.  I remind myself that my mother was able to garden till age 82…but that was with me helping her.  She could garden on her own till about age 77…I hope I am as fortunate.  She retired at age 55, and that may have contributed to her years of healthiness.

my day at home

Before he left for work, Allan caught this bird checking out one of the birdhouses.

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The first thing I heard when I finally got outside at noon-ish was a great roar out beyond the bogsy wood, and I saw that the south gate was mysteriously wide open.  I don’t know how long it had been that way.  On the way out, I checked for a herd of deer in the garden.  None could be found, and the roses did not appear to be eaten.

Smokey followed me all the way out.

Smokey followed me all the way out.

The sound was from a big mower beyond the trees, and some sort of tree-mauler that was cutting down some of the willow that had sprouted up on the edge of the lawn between the port parking lots and us.

The view at noon.  I still have strimmed to the bench by the seasonal pond.

The view at noon. I still have strimmed to the bench by the seasonal pond.

The noise got louder and all the willows started to shake.  I hoped that all the little frogs could hop fast.  It must have been a bad time for them.

at 1:05

at 1:05

at 1:05 outside the gate, with the big machine tearing at the big willows

at 1:05 outside the gate, with the big machine tearing at the big willows

Fortunately, the trunks of the two big willows are on our property, which runs roughly to the middle of the ditch.

Fortunately, the trunks of the two big willows are on our property, which runs roughly to the middle of the ditch.

the view to the south at 1:30

the view to the south at 1:30

Well.  We will certainly have a better view of what is going on down at the port now.  Poor little frogs, though.  (Update: For the next several nights, I could hear the frogs peeping from the other ends of the ditch, but not from the middle part that had been mown and chopped.)

The seasonal pond all covered with floating wood chips.

The seasonal pond all covered with floating wood chips.

I'm glad I left a long grass frog haven on my side.

I’m glad I left a long grass frog haven on my side.

I had asked Allan to move two planted chairs all the way from a corner of the front garden to somewhere that they did not have to be shifted for weeding.  I like where he put them, in the salmonberry groves:

chairs

While all the tree-ripping was going on, I got much planting done: two trays of Nicotiana langsdorfii and several assorted Agastaches (‘Apricot Sunsrise’, ‘Summer Glow’, ‘Tutti Frutii’, ‘Cotton Candy’, ‘Sangria’, and ‘Mexican Giant’).

Later, I got my new Hellebores in and my two birthday plants.

I found that this new area was really pretty much full, if I am to leave proper room between plants.

I found that this new area was really pretty much full, if I am to leave proper room between plants.

my new little bloodroot right at the edge of the new garden bed

my new little bloodroot right at the edge of the new garden bed

a cool pulsatilla about to bloom

a cool pulsatilla about to bloom

in another bed, two little noses coming up...very big event for a CPN

in another bed, two little noses coming up…very big event for a CPN

My new candy lily seemed right for the mini-scree bed.

My new candy lily seemed right for the mini-scree bed.

Yesterday, when Debbie came to pick up plants for the Master Gardener plant sale (I’m not in the MGs, although I did take the course years ago), she gave me a flower sculpture by Sue Raymond of Bay Avenue Gallery

.  I installed it today, placing it where I could tie the stake to a post.

I love this exotic flower.

I love this exotic flower.

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

in the boat:  Tulip 'Green Wave'

in the boat: Tulip ‘Green Wave’

Tulip 'Angelique'  (pretty sure, although that green flame confuses me)

Tulip ‘Angelique’ (pretty sure, although that green flame confuses me)

Tulip 'Akebono' and 'Green Wave' in bud

Tulip ‘Akebono’ and ‘Green Wave’ in bud

More 'Green Wave' because it is my favourite this week.

More ‘Green Wave’ because it is my favourite this week.

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

After the work done by the port staff, our view corridor is back.  The garden was designed around this in the first place.

view

When we first moved here in October 2010, the bogsy woods was thick with junk and brambles and we cleared a path through and eventually build the fence and the south gate; outside the gate is only lightly gardened on occasion and is a haven for happy frogs. Below, the bottom photo shows the area which is the view corridor now.

what our woods looked like in Oct. 2010 when we bought the place

what our woods looked like in Oct. 2010 when we bought the place

To whoever it was who did one of those annoying blog posts about words and phrases that she or he never wanted to read in another gardening blog, and included “view corridor”:  Oh, well!

The east bed still has lots of small (for now!) weeds and will be my next big project.

The east bed still has lots of small (for now!) weeds and will be my next big project.

The west bed is pretty well weeded except for a strip all along the back side, and an area behind the blue chairs.

The west bed is pretty well weeded except for a strip all along the back side, and an area behind the blue chairs.

that tall heather from the front garden...I keep trying to appreciate it more.

that tall heather from the front garden…I keep trying to appreciate it more.  I think I like it best in a pot.

I had a feeling my brand new Hosta 'Stiletto' would be slug food.  Dang it.

I had a feeling my brand new narrow leaved Hosta ‘Stiletto’ would be slug food. Dang it.

Next to it, the hosta I got from Mary Fluaitt when she moved away is proving to be very strong, just like its former owner.

Next to it, the hosta I got from Mary Fluaitt when she moved away is proving to be very strong, just like its former owner.

I'm loving the bronzy top knot on this mahonia in Allan's garden.

I’m loving the bronzy top knot on this mahonia in Allan’s garden.

Another look at the results of the weekend's main project.

Another look at the results of the weekend’s main projects…the front border…

...and the northeast corner.

…and the northeast corner.

my double file viburnum on the west side of the garage

my double file viburnum on the west side of the garage (deer proof!)

my lovely silver name-us forgettii

my lovely silver nameus forgettii  (Help me remember?)

One fringed Tulip 'Aleppo' has returned from a planting a few years old.

One fringed Tulip ‘Aleppo’ has returned from a planting a few years old.

Tulip 'Aleppo'

Tulip ‘Aleppo’

I got my new outdoor sit spot almost back…for now.  It will fill again quickly when annuals planting time arrives in a couple of weeks.

weeding and planting at home await me.

my sit spot two days ago

and this evening

and this evening

Allan’s day on

Meanwhile, Allan had nobly gone to weed at the community center for seven and a half hours.  Perhaps because his area of our garden is small (by his choice, as he has boating and motorcycling as hobbies as well as gardening, unlike my one-track mind), he is more willing to give up a day off.

Ilwaco Community Building

Ilwaco Community Building

The gardens are all on the west side of the building, which houses our beloved Ilwaco Timberland Library, a low cost lunch room for seniors, Ilwaco City Council meetings and Toastmaster meetings.  We have declined this gardening job several times.  Now it seems there is just NO ONE else willing to take it on, and even though we feel a great need for free time, a love for Ilwaco has trumped all and we are going to try to do it.  By try, I mean we will see how long we can stand it.

Here are Allan’s photos:

He started at the driveway entrance with the theory that is best to do the areas first that are parked next to or walked past by Ilwaco Timberland Library patrons.  The first area gave him hope that the job might go quickly.  The kinnickinnick sprawls around and while I feel it is kind of boring looking, there were not many weeds.

before and after

before and after; maybe someone else had pulled bindweed out of here earlier.

When he moved on the the top of two tiers between the parking lot and the sidewalk, he knew this was more than a one day job.  (Last year, we saw someone weeding for a whole week in these beds.  We wish she was still doing it!)

top tier, before

top tier, before

DSC00058

before

after

after

after

after

I look upon this with despair as I can’t stand heather in a flat garden.  The other day a friend said that even though the boatyard garden is so very long, it helped to have interesting plants to weed among.  I am going to have to do something with this garden to make it more interesting to me if we are going to keep it in the long term.  Allan just quietly stated that he doesn’t like the heathers, either, nor does he like the fact that there is nothing flowering in the garden in the summer.  He also commented, and of course I agree, that it is a pain to have salal in the garden because it is popping up through everything, including the heather.  If we keep this job long term, the salal is going to be our mortal enemy.  (I think it is just lovely in the wild woods, by the way.)

behind the sign

behind the sign, before

after

after

strip along the sidewalk, before

strip along the sidewalk, before

before

before

after

after

another area along the sidewalk

another area along the sidewalk, before

after

after

How did we get into this?  It is one job I firmly did not want to take on because it has bindweed, horsetail, and, quite frankly, I am only interested in maintaining gardens we have created, with just a couple of exceptions. (Mayor Mike’s pretty little garden comes to mind because it was designed by a friend of mine who moved away, and I like it.)

I remember when the garden was being developed by a group of volunteers and I saw the big pile of dirt that they were planning to put back in.  I said “No!  No!  Don’t use that; it is FULL of BINDWEED!”  Bindweed was sprouting up all over it.  There was a chance that if that soil, dug out during the re-do of the parking lot, was just discarded, some of the bindweed would go away.  However, even a few little roots left down in the ground would easily create a menace within a year.  (I don’t know if that soil was re-used or not.)

The entrance garden: the outside was fine, as if someone has already weeded it.

The entrance garden: the outside was fine, as if someone has already weeded it.

Last time I saw the area above, it had dandelions.  We wonder if someone else is still doing part of the job and if there is going to be some mix up about us being hired.

DSC00076

the entrance garden behind the wall, which we quite like, before

before

before

after, with ferns trimmed

after, with ferns trimmed

The last area that remained is the hardest, a tiered garden covered with vetch, bindweed, and a haze of other weeds.

a before photo of an area he did not get to today.  What a mess of vetch obscuring all the good plants.

a before photo of an area he did not get to today. What a mess of vetch obscuring all the good plants.

YOIKS!

YOIKS!

This area is steeply tiered and would be hard on my knee.

After some weeding. This area is steeply tiered and would be hard on my knee.

I can already see in my mind some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Eryngium migrating from my garden over to the bare areas in the community building garden.  Free plants would fit in well with the budget, and would add some summer colour.  Some clumps of baby poppies could perhaps be moved up from the boatyard, as there are certainly MORE than enough poppies in that garden.   With that sort of change, I could get up more enthusiasm for this new job.

When Allan got home, I said he should have a look at the work the port crew had done at the south end of our property.  He went and took this photo from the outside, and said something about going in there and prettying it up with a better sawing job.  Otherwise, he agreed that it is a positive thing to have our view of the port returned.  You can even see our sitting bench now.

our property, south side, now

our property, south side, now

Tomorrow, we must get back to work if the weather allows.  The forecast is iffy.  There are new roses to plant and fertilizer to apply at Jo’s garden.

Postscript:   Tuesday’s weather, drizzly with 23 mile an hour winds, inspired me to take another day off.  Allan worked a tiny bit, digging up about a dozen drab roses at Jo’s garden in preparation for planting some new ones, and helping Ed Strange shift some pots of bamboo at the Boreas Inn.   I had time to write a paean of praise to The Big Tiny and have set it to be a bonus book post tonight.

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

I had two goals this weekend: to not leave my property and to get a great deal of weeding done.

Allan spent one of the weekend afternoons weeding his garden area and part of ours, and the other on a non-boating excursion (tomorrow’s post).

Allan’s photos of his garden:

left: Thalictrum ‘Illuminator’

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Hart's tongue fern before weeding

Hart’s tongue fern before trimming

and after

and after

Asplenium scolopendrium 'Laceratum Kaye'. Kaye's Lacerated Harts Tongue Fern.   Pam Fleming ID'ed this; Allan had been calling it spinach fern.

Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Laceratum Kaye’. Kaye’s Lacerated Harts Tongue Fern. Pam Fleming ID’ed this; Allan had been calling it spinach fern.

after trimming

after trimming

Alaska fern before

Alaska fern before

after

after

my reading day

admiring Allan's garden from the front porch

admiring Allan’s garden from the front porch

Rain squalls prevented starting till early afternoon.

Rain squalls prevented starting till early afternoon.

kitchen window view

kitchen window view

I had hope because the sky was light around the edges.

I had hope because the sky was light around the edges.

book

I started to read a new library book and was immediately smitten with the story, a memoir by Amanda Palmer, the singer-songwriter of the Dresden Dolls.  I am in the dark about the last 20 years worth of alternative music, which used to be my lifeline. My ignorance is not from getting old; it’s because I lived with someone who increasingly used music as a method of sleep deprivation; when he was angry and drinking, he would play loud music all night (and then sleep in while I went to work). I learned to crave and love silence so very much that I have since then not wanted to have music on in the house. The 3 AM loud music chap and I parted ways over ten years ago. It’s sad, really, to lose the desire to listen to music. Allan listens in his workshop or on headphones. I often think if I became an invalid, I would use the time to catch up. Anyway, I watched three Dresden Dolls videos (Mechanical Boy and Anachronistic Girl and another one by just Amandaand read a bunch of her lyrics in the book and now I’m a fan, although probably a fan who can’t just sit and listen. I would go see her in concert for sure, if I lived in a city. Wish she would perform at The Sou’wester.

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She named her band after one of the most memorably harrowing and agonizing scenes I have ever read in a novel, one that made me cry buckets and that I don’t want to think about because it makes me too sad.

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Being that memorable is the power of good writing; I believe it was in high school or soon after that I Slaughterhouse Five.

This is what music used to do for me:

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And when I listened to songs by Amanda today, I knew that it still could.

Having been married to a Leedsman for a couple of years (1987-1990) for a number of reasons, one perhaps being his accent, I enjoyed this about her courtship with author Neil Gaiman:

accent

my weeding day

Much as Smokey and I would love to have continued to read, the sun came out so by 1:40 I was outside.  My first thought was to weed in the front garden.  It’s embarrassing that people can see weeds when they look over the fence.  I remember a friend and I making fun (between ourselves) of a professional gardener whose garden was all weedy.  He was kind of a mean fellow, so we had our reasons to make fun, but looking back on it, we were just being mean ourselves.  It amused her, and she was going through a terrible time, and I would have done much to amuse her.  I would have put on a clown nose and danced a jig…or participated in a private mean-fest about the guy’s garden…just to make her laugh for a minute.  (Usually I feel sympathy when I see someone’s weeds.)

It is, we all know, much better to refrain from meanness, even in self-defense.  Now it would be karmic justice if someone looked over my fence and make fun of this pro gardener with a zillion weeds.

  With good intention, I took some before photos:

northeast corner with much "stinkmint"

northeast corner with much “stinkmint”

slightly weedy east bed

slightly weedy east bed

an area of bad grass.  And I want to move that heather.  Try though I might, I just cannot like heather in a garden bed.

an area of bad grass. And I want to move that heather into a pot. Try though I might, I just cannot like heather in a garden bed.

weedy path to the water meter

weedy path to the water meter

Two things changed my mind and sent me to weed in the back garden instead.  One:  It was a busy Saturday on the street with lots of people (which is perfectly reasonable), and I felt a need for quiet gardening.  Two:  I remembered that I still need to fertilize the back garden and that I can’t until I get some carpets of weeds out.

This called for a whole new set of before photos.

On the way: a pause for epimidium appreciation

On the way: a pause for epimidium appreciation

Actinidia polygama on the shed

Actinidia polygama on the shed

before, east bed

before, east bed

the scrimmy little horsetail is popping up, along with new lilies

the scrimmy little horsetail is popping up, along with new lilies

from inside the weedy east bed, with Allan mowing the lawn

from inside the weedy east bed, with Allan mowing the lawn

I started with the area above because it is a hellish spot.  Once upon a time, in a budgetary crunch (because I was trying to put all extra money to getting our new house paid off…and I succeeded), I added some free horse manure to this area.  It began as a “clean” debris pile of autumn clean up garden clippings on top of newspaper, and I swore I would not let the bad aster or Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ get in there.  Now I have an area with a very nasty grass from the manure AND with Bad Aster and Lucifer!

four hours later

four hours later

Allan had weeded the raspberry row under the clothesline.

Allan had weeded the raspberry row under the clothesline.

Oh! And another thing I did:  See the purple leaved honeysuckle climbing the clothesline poles at both ends?  I had suddenly had a brainstorm when looking out my bedroom window in the morning that it is a great view blocker, so I dug up some rooted pieces and planted them along the east and west side fence where I want to block less than stellar views.

After weeding, I had a look round the bogsy wood garden for plants from Todd and found some that are emerging.

a pulsatilla

a pulsatilla

another "Todd Plant"

another “Todd Plant”

todd3

The wind had tilted the Bogsy Wood sign.

The wind, not Smokey, had tilted the Bogsy Wood sign.

As you can see, some areas are not as thick with weeds as others (thank goodness).

looking north from the bogsy wood garden

looking north from the bogsy wood garden

evening light on the garden boat

evening light on the garden boat

the best plant table

the best plant table

looking southwest: looks great if you can't see the weeds close up

looking southwest: looks great if you can’t see the weeds close up

Allan had put out his mother's ornamental pot, that we use as a water feature.

In Allan’s garden: Allan had put out his mother’s ornamental pot, that we use as a water feature.

6:15 PM (Allan's photo)

6:15 PM (Allan’s photo)

The weather called for one more good day on Sunday (good for weeding, not reading) and then a storm on Monday (please! so I can finish that excellent book!).

my blogging companions

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Music in the Gardens Tour, Long Beach Peninsula

a benefit for the Water Music Festival

We continued to do the gardens out of order, having done the ocean side first instead of last.  Our GPS shows our route heading from Steven and John’s garden to Darla’s garden.

down one side and up the other goes the tour

down one side and up the other goes the tour; we were heading north along the bay to Darla’s garden.

Darla’s Garden

photo 5

My friend Debbie Teashon of Rainyside.com described this garden best, saying that Darla had let her inner child out ot play.  When Garden Tour Nancy and I met Darla on a pre-tour day in early June, she told us of her plans to improve the walking flow through her garden and add to certain theme areas.  This great grandmother had been working on the garden every day since then.  Because she has owned, or maybe still owns a couple of coastal antique stores, she has more ingredients to work with than most of us could ever dream of.

Out of the woods, she has carved rooms on various themes after retiring and moving to the beach about 17 years ago; before then, this large lot was the family’s summer getaway.  As soon as Nancy and I realized how happy we felt in the garden (and in my case, it reminded me of the way I felt as a child in my grandmother’s garden), we wanted it to be on the tour.

a woodsy, sandy lot

a woodsy, sandy lot

At the previous garden, I had advised our friend Carol Clearman to be sure to go to Darla’s garden as Carol’s young granddaughter would love it.  As we arrived, Carol was leaving with her daughter Amy and her granddaughter, and she told me the little girl had not stopped talking delightedly since entering Darla’s playful garden.

Carol coming around Darla's enormous gunnera

Carol coming around Darla’s enormous gunnera

Carol and family at Darla's (Allan's photo)

Carol and family at Darla’s (Allan’s photo)

in front of the garage

in front of the garage

by the garage: the fire circle

by the garage: the fire circle

south side of garage driveway: the gunnera and garden shed

south side of garage driveway: the gunnera and garden shed

shed

 

by the garage, the "Farmville" garden

by the garage, the “Farmville” garden

"Farmville" (Allan's photo)

“Farmville” (Allan’s photo)

a rustic path beckons

a rustic path beckons

camp

Since my last visit, Darla had widened and barked this path toward the house

Since my last visit, Darla had widened and barked this path toward the house

photo 2

clearpath2

 

display

 

photo 3

door

passing by the wooden bridge, we come to the south deck of the house.

passing by the wooden bridge, we come to the patio on the south side of the house.

Darla loves annuals in pots and gets many from the Basket Case Greenhouse; in fact, Basket Case Fred was the one who told us about her.

Darla loves annuals in pots and gets many from the Basket Case Greenhouse; in fact, Basket Case Fred was the one who told us about her.

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

to the north of the house, a garden boat

to the north of the house, a garden boat

This was the boat on June 4!

This was the boat on June 4!

and tiers of plants in containers

and tiers of plants in containers

She has over 60 birdhouses and over 60 birdbaths, I believe; she told us the exact number and I can’t find where I wrote it down!

on the patio

on the patio

Kathleen Shaw was there earlier than we were and got this photo of Shelley Loring playing the flute.

Kathleen Shaw was there earlier than we were and got this photo of Shelley Loring playing the flute.

photo by Kathleen Shaw

photo by Kathleen Shaw

birdhouses

on June 4 pre-tour

looking back toward the street

looking back toward the street

east of the house: the "Military Garden"

east of the house: the “Military Garden” in red white and blue

Darla giving a white buddleia cutting to a tour guest

Darla giving a white buddleia cutting to a tour guest

seating in the military garden

seating in the military garden

the military garden

the military garden

m3

My mother, a Marine in WWII, would have loved this.

4

further along the east side of the garden

further along the east side of the garden

another sit spot

another sit spot

Allan got this photo of Water Music Festival board member Rita Nicely with Darla.

Allan got this photo of Water Music Festival board member Rita Nicely with Darla.

cat

exploring to the northeast

exploring to the northeast

Darla found this sign discarded at the Port of Ilwaco and snagged it!

Darla found this sign discarded at the Port of Ilwaco and snagged it!

Allan’s camera battery had died (a repeating story on these tours!), so I gave him my camera and went on using my iPhone camera.

photo 5

along the east fence that borders busy Sandridge Road

Darla loves baby's tears (so did my Grandma) and grows them in many shady spots.

Darla loves baby’s tears (so did my Grandma) and grows them in many shady spots.

mossy log

mossy log

photo 1

more moss

more moss

more seating: Allan's photo

more seating: Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

nautical

photo 4

Darla’s love for all extends to respectful burials for roadkill animals. (The road she lives by is busy and notorious for that.)

One could get lost on all the winding paths.

sunny glades in the woods among sword fern and evergreen huckleberry

We emerge between a shed and the garage.

We follow a path to a space between a playhouse and the garage, to the east of the fire circle.

photo 5

playhouse porch

playhouse porch

photo 2

grandkid's playhouse

grandkid’s playhouse

photo 4

work area

work area

behind the fire circle

behind the fire circle

photo 3

over the garage doors

over the garage doors

photo 4

Emerging again by the road:

Allan's photo:  Rita and I are looking at Darla's memorial garden for her friend Shirley.

Allan’s photo: Rita and I are looking at Darla’s memorial garden for her friend Shirley.

When Nancy and I visited on June 4, Darla told us that within six months of each other, seventeen years ago, her husband, her sister, and her best friend died.  She has a memorial garden for her friend just to the north of the walkway up to her house.

Shirley's memorial garden

Shirley’s memorial garden

angel in a tux

angel in a tux

On June 4, Darla showed me a sign with her friend's name on it which she had, amazingly, found at a rummage sale .

On June 4, Darla showed me a sign with her friend’s name on it which she had, amazingly, found at a rummage sale.

birdhouses (Allan's photo)

Allan’s photo

photo 1

by the road (Allan's photo)

by the road (Allan’s photo)

I went back to say goodbye to Darla and tell her how much I love the way her soul is expressed throughout her garden.  She invited me to come back any time and I hope to take her up that that.

As we left, another group of tour guests were just entering Darla's garden of wonders.

As we left, another group of tour guests were just entering Darla’s garden of wonders.

I would have liked to go through again (I realize now I did not go around the south side of the house!) but we had one more garden to see, and the tour time was almost over.

 

 

 

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

I continued to expand on garden beds in the back yard….

shade bed, formerly debris pile

shade bed, formerly debris pile

But now I need some topsoil!

But now I need some topsoil!

south end of lawn by bogsy wood, before

south end of lawn by bogsy wood, before

and after

and after

Mary observes.

Mary observes.

looking south

looking south

I was thinking of cutting all the bogsy wood salmonberry down this winter, just to let it start over all fresh and nice, and maybe thin the groves.  THAT didn’t happen!

We celebrated the downing of Danger Tree with dinner at the Forty Second Street Café.

a delicious spinach salad

a delicious spinach salad

"Lemon Dainty" desset

“Lemon Dainty” dessert

Monday, 27 January 2014

Mary and Smokey sleep in

Mary and Smokey sleep in

I decided it would be an excellent day to rake up the debris messes on the lawn, as the soil was too cold to comfortably weed.

The east side bed still needs weeding!

The east side bed still needs weeding!

and the raspberries need pruning...and these "edible" containers removed...(was trying to be all veg-oriented for the edible garden tour!)

and the raspberries need pruning…and these “edible” containers removed…(was trying to be all veg-oriented for last August’s edible garden tour!)

the big east bed and lawn, tidied up

the big east bed and lawn, tidied up

The front garden is where I like to put most of my winter colour plants, so that I see them from the living room windows on a bad weather day.

white hellebore

double white hellebore

single "black" hellebore

single “black” hellebore

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

Hamamelis (winter witch hazel, smells like apricots!)

Hamamelis (winter witch hazel, smells like apricots!)

On my sunporch, from a three year old birthday present from The Basket Case Greenhouse, a fragrant hyacinth

On my sunporch, from a three year old birthday present from The Basket Case Greenhouse, a fragrant hyacinth

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ah, Olde Towne Café was open again.  I do get a lot more done on staycation Sundays and Mondays when they are closed!

Our friend Cat, an Olde Towne regular

Our friend Cat, an Olde Towne regular

I was thrilled to have bad weather so that I could spend the rest of the day indoors reading…other than noticing one yellow Iris danfordiae by the driveway.

Iris danfordiae, a tiny, early, rock garden iris

Iris danfordiae, a tiny, early, rock garden iris

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Other than an interlude at Olde Towne to attend a small writers group that meets there once a month…

writers group:  Jamie, Bette, Birdie, Robert

writers group: Jamie, Bette, Birdie, Robert…

….I got to spend another bad weather day reading.  Not on purpose, I read two spiritually oriented books in a row.  The first:

I Want to Be Left Behind

I Want to Be Left Behind by Brenda Peterson

Brenda Peterson’s memoir about growing up in a Christian fundamentalist family and finding more joy in the natural world than in religion resonated with me.  While the Christians I know personally do their best to care for THIS world’s flora and fauna and oceans and air, I enjoyed this excerpt that debunks the idea that the Bible says to just live for the next world:

Brenda Peterson excerpt

Brenda Peterson excerpt

What resonated about the book with me is particularly how much I love this world.  In the words of Malvina Reynolds:

This old world is mean and cruel,
But still I love it like a fool, this world,
This world, this world.

I’d rather go to the corner store
Than sing hosannah on that golden shore,
I’d rather live on Parker Street 
Than fly around where the angels meet.

 I then read another spiritual book with a clever title:

What Makes You NOT a Buddhist

What Makes You NOT a Buddhist by

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse’s short and enlightening book was a bit of a hard read for me because I’m not a very spiritual person (really!), so concentrating on some of the more dense passages was hard for me.  However, here are my favourite bits, for our mutual enlightenment!

pride

I recently read an excellent essay (but where?) saying that feel-good “pay it forwards” like buying the next person’s fancy coffee drink don’t do as much good in the world as buying someone necessities like food and water.  The above passage reminded me of that.  And I particularly like the last line of the paragraph below.

kiwi

Giving up kiwi fruit won’t change the world (will it?), but it is good to be mindful.

The passage below made me ponder whether I have perhaps attained true enlightenment because I am so content with my life that all I really want is more dairy manure for the garden and, well, about fifty cool plants that I have not yet acquired.

like

Another good book on the topic of contentment is A Full Life in a Small Place, by Janice Emily Bowers.  I read it years ago and I think I need to read it again and photograph the parts that spoke to me the most.

Ah, the joy of bad weather staycation days….sleeping, reading, Olde Towne, reading, some telly, more reading, sleeping.  As you may have noticed, I haven’t even been doing much blogging…

Thursday, 30 January 2014

I hoped for another reading day, as I had a new stack of nine books from the library.  However, a few steps into the outdoors reminded me of a few things I wanted to do in the garden.  The cats thought that going outdoors into the chilly air was quite unnecessary.

cats in my "paper sorting baskets".  Uh huh.

cats in my “paper sorting baskets”. Uh huh.

Out came a veriagated hebe, sadly killed by cold weather, fortunately an easily replaceable cultivar (and one that I knew was not reliably hardy).

Farewell, Hebe dear.

Farewell, Hebe dear.

Shockingly, I planted a heather in its place!  I got it at Back Alley Gardens, most assuredly the first heather I have ever purchased.

Erica arboria 'Estrella Gold'

Erica arboria ‘Estrella Gold’

It seduced me with its resemblance to a cool little spangly conifer!  “This tree heather has white flowers in profusion during late spring on lime green foliage tipped yellow in spring and early summer.”

I asked Allan for help on a difficult task (pulling him away from working on a little sailboat he recently acquired for free).  I simply could not get this cold-battered and ugly Muehlenbeckia axillaris (wire plant) out of its pot.  The December cold snap had been too much for it after it had made it through many winters with no problem.

Allen helps out.

Allen helps out.

Part of the problem was it had rooted into the ground.

Part of the problem was it had rooted into the ground.

When no amount of pulling could get it out without breaking the pot, Allan sawed the top off.  Now why didn’t I think of that?  I had been unable to remove the dead mesh of stems with clippers.

saw the stems off!

saw the stems off!

Maybe the plant will even come back now!

At three o clock, I walked down to Olde Towne Café for a sandwich, past a Narcissi (February Gold?) in my garden…

late January narcissi, the first in my garden

late January narcissi, the first in my garden

and past more crocuses blooming in Larry and Robert’s garden boat (five doors down):

Larry and Robert's boat

Larry and Robert’s boat

Allan’s new boat would be an excellent size for a garden boat, but he seems to want to actually put it in water.

Someone had brought Luanne of Olde Towne a lovely pot of Narcissi.  I would guess Jenna or Cheri as the gift givers.  I’ve been enjoying these flowers all week.

Olde Towne Café flowers

Olde Towne Café flowers

I did not know this for sure at the time, but I had just enjoyed the final day of pure staycation for the winter of ’13-’14.

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Tuesday, 12 November, 2013

I hope this blog does not descend into “planted bulbs…sorted bulbs…argh” before bulb time is over.

Today we started at Mayor Mike’s house and planted a comparatively small quantity of mostly blue and white bulbs to go with his garden colour theme.  Blue Muscari, white crocus, white narcissi, some Alliums (albopilosum, schubertii, and Purple Sensation and Mount Everest), some snow drops and some blue iris reticulata.

Still in bloom:  Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' and Fuchsia magellanica

Still in bloom: Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and Fuchsia magellanica

We then drove down Howerton heading west with the intention of planting bulbs in the Ilwaco street planters.  I saw a worrisome sight:  The cosmos had been cut to the ground in the Time Enough Books garden boat.  This must mean the owners are about to put out their Christmas decorations in the boat and then we would not be able to get the bulbs in.

an ominous sight!

an ominous sight!

We swung back around Lake Street and grabbed the box of Time Enough bulbs; good thing I had sorted them out the night before.    In went 20 Tulip ‘Strong Gold’ and 3 Tulip “Texas Gold’.  (Why only three?  There are certain tulips I am almost out of after sorting for other jobs.)

planted and ready for the winter snowman and his dog decorations to be installed.

planted and ready for the winter decorations to be installed.

From 2012: the snowman and his dog take up a lot of room!

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

We then got to the Ilwaco planters in a cold and foggy wind.  I was not pleased to discover some finger blight…

Planter by the boatyard with Erysimum stolen from the center

Planter by the boatyard with Erysimum stolen from the center

That planter by the boatyard fence corner at 1st and Eagle has the worst problem with plant theft than any other planter we do.

In the boatyard garden, despite recent windstorms, some of the painted sage still looks almost as good as midsummer.

Salvia viridis

Salvia viridis

tenacious boatyard cosmos

tenacious boatyard cosmos

autumn colour at First and Eagle Street

autumn colour at First and Eagle Street

We planted three tulips in each planter.  I am always surprised how the tulips hold up to spring storms especially since I choose May blooming ones that will still be flowering on the 1st Saturday of May for the children’s parade.  In the three planters that are new this year, we also planted some crocus, iris reticulata, and species (small) narcissi.  Sometimes it is awfully hard to jam three tulip bulbs down into the older, established planters.

By the time we got to the last planters by Olde Towne Trading Post I was so cold from the wind, and thought rain was on its way, and was ready to quit and go back to sorting bulbs at home.  Olde Towne was closed for the day or we would have been in there having a warming drink.

I had miscounted, so three extra 'Strong Gold' tulips got planted under one of the pumpkins.

I had miscounted, so three extra ‘Strong Gold’ tulips got planted under one of the pumpkins.

Allan encouraged me to keep on planting.  I had the tulips sorted for the Long Beach planters and he thought we could start there and be able to stop easily if rain came.  I got encouraged by some bright sky to go to Erin’s garden as I had a large batch sorted out for her.

On the way, we solved the mystery of why a sheriff’s car and an aid car had screeched around the corner at the Ilwaco stoplight and headed north.  Someone had jumped the curb going south (it is hard to imagine how…foot on the gas instead of the brake, perhaps) and taken out a corner of the Long Beach police station and part of one of the town restrooms!

Bathroom tiles flew across the floor into the stalls!

Bathroom tiles flew across the floor into the stalls!

The station’s office manager said she at first thought it was a bomb.  No one was hurt, amazingly, so the photo is not too ghoulish.  I am going to miss having this restroom available when we plant the Long Beach bulbs!  Fortunately, no one was in there when the accident happened.

On to Erin’s:  While the temperature felt much warmer…and much less windy…there, the sky got ominously dark just after I had laid bulbs out in the boat and given Allan a lot of white narcissi to  plant right along the porch.

an ominous sky

an ominous sky

Once the bulbs are laid out, they must be planted!

a boat full!

a boat full!

In the boat, assorted narcissi, crocus, iris reticulata (short and early), snowdrops, Alliums schubertii, albopilosum, Purple Sensation and Mount Everest, and 6 short Tulip ‘Princess Irene’ that I hope the deer will not browse.  It is so delightfully easy to plant in a new container, of any size, that is full of fresh, soft soil;  no tools required.

Felix appeared...

Felix appeared…

eager to help

eager to help

Erin's son took an interest in the bulb planting.

Erin’s son took an interest in the bulb planting.

I had a moment of panic…not unusual when planting bulbs..upon finding a second crate of bulbs in the vehicle.  But I had two crates out…and Erin’s had filled two crates.  So had I gotten mixed up and brought someone else’s crate and accidentally planted the wrong bulbs?  I felt sick…yet they had seemed like the right ones.  Then I remembered I had sorted, on the job, one big crate into two smaller ones…some for the boat and some for the cottage garden.  Whew.  I had wondered why I could not find many tulips for the cottage garden…and here they were in an untouched crate!  Into the garden they went while the rain continued to hold off.

My little brainstorm of the late afternoon:  We then zoomed up to The Planter Box and got some bird scare tape for the boat, to keep birds from pulling up and noshing on the crocus like they did in the Port of Ilwaco gardens last fall.  A new garden or container with soft soil is easy to plant AND easy to peck at.

"holographic' bird scare tape

“holographic’ bird scare tape

We did not intend to make a star…just used the holes already there on the sides of the boat.

Oh, how I look forward to getting back to creating the big garden bed here!

We went home in the dark after Allan went into Sid’s Supermarket to do a bit of shopping.

Sid's...dark at 5 PM

Sid’s…dark at 5 PM

Then back to sorting bulbs and again getting ahead far enough to be able to plant tomorrow.  There is no sign of a rainy day to get all the sorting done.  My thoughts, as they had been all day, were on a dear friend who is going through a terrible time.  Unlike last night, tonight I sorted without tears in the way.  Allan helped with a snack plate of cranberry-studded cheese, crackers, pickles, the last of the cherry tomatoes and some herring in sour cream.  I even moved on to the sorting for the NEXT day till the moment my back seized up and I decided the time had come to blog instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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