Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Long Beach

In Fifth Street Park, Allan tackled the corner of bad asters with the slayer and the “double tool”, a two sided hand tool. We hadn’t weeded it last autumn because we thought it would be someone else’s problem this year, maybe someone who likes the short, running aster (Aster douglasii, I think). Of course, when we took the job back on for this year, it became our problem, and I think this aster is a bully.


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Monday, 7 March, 2022

The Red Barn

We made our first visit to cut back perennials and to weed. Disney was well pleased to get one biscuit, take it away and hide it, get another half…although just half was rather disappointing…but not as disappointing as not getting a third. We had to save some for other dogs!


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Sunday, 6 March 2022

Ilwaco Post Office

Our volunteer garden at the post office is one of two jobs we like to do on a Sunday when the building is closed.


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Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Port of Ilwaco

Ilwaco boatyard

We returned to the boatyard to finish up, including a bit more ceanothus pruning, considerable digging up of Pennisetum macrourum (beautiful but too much of a runner) and the shearing of the huge patch of P. macrourum at the south end (too too much for us old folks to dig up.)


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First notice: Folks who subscribe via email, I apologize for the inconvenience but we are going to start using the “read more” button because of…reasons. This means you can’t read the entire post in email anymore, and will have to click through to the site. I hope it won’t cause you any trouble or stop you from reading. It should still be readable on your smartphone through your web browser.Also, please, let me know if it works; is the content under the read more button hidden until you click?

Sunday, 13 February 2022

This morning, a blue wall appeared over the crab pots next door. Last summer, we had a back drop of uncovered crab pots with colorful floats inside. I like the blue tarp wall also. It speaks to me of living in a working class town instead of the kind of place where you see fancy blue painted stucco walls.


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Friday, 11 February 2022

Long Beach

We started on the SE quadrant of Fifth Street Park. I pulled some tatty hesperantha out of a planter next to the park…

…and weeded the street tree nearby, which has a continuing infestation of creeping sorrel that got worse with last year’s neglect. Before and after:

Allan string trimmed the bed in the park under three maples. It is a mess that I rebelled against weeding a few years back, and we had resorted to flattening it with the strimmer a couple of times a year. The bed is sodden with some kind of sprinkler or nearby pond leak, and the weed roots are all entwined with the tree roots. I have campaigned to have the entire bed removed, as even the trees are unhappy in the sodden muck.

After an entire year of not being weeded or trimmed
The sea turtle bench is by local chainsaw artist Joshua Blewett.

Meanwhile, I weeded the new-in-autumn-of-2019 bed that had had a year’s worth of weeds in it when we came back to it in autumn 2020. It will take some time for the effects of a year of reseeding and spreading weeds to be undone, which is one of the reasons we decided to take the job back on. The deer have, unfortunately, discovered the tulips in this bed. They looked pretty last May…among the weeds, which were taller than the tulips then. I remember how it felt to drive by, see the mess, and not be able to fix it.

Just as we were about to move on from this park, I remembered the hydrangea in the corner. If it is not pruned down, the flowers won’t even show because of the lower branches of the adjacent maple tree. And it had not been pruned since 2020.

We did not plant the ivy!

We then dumped a load of debris in order to make room for the next project.

Third Street Park was next because we managed to snag the one perfect, elusive parking spot for pruning the hydrangeas along the north side of the park.

A rhododendron that had been sickly and got cut down has put out a new poorly-placed sprout, and the stump has some interesting fungi.

Working in Long Beach often attracts an audience.

Although I could spend hours more thinning and perfecting each hydrangea, we don’t have hours more.

Our trailer was full again. We took another load of debris to city works, just about eight blocks away, and this time we saw our good friend Terran of BeeKissed Gardening, waiting to get a load of biosolids mulch.

For our last portion of the day, we parked by the old police station, which is now a visitors’ center and Long Beach Merchants building (with printing and other business services). I trimmed a hydrangea and did some weeding behind the Lewis and Clark Square wall, which has plaques for each future town they visited on their journey of exploration.

I weeded the two beds in nearby Veterans Field and planted some white phlox and some Shasta daisies.

Allan took on one of the most unpleasantly stabby jobs of the spring, cutting all the rugosa roses (‘Blanc Double de Colbert’) to the ground on the south side of the building. (Longtime readers may recall that weeding the beach approach was the worst spring job…but we’ve made it clear that we won’t do that extensive job…we are just too old and tired! We will trim back the ornamental grasses, though.)

The blue window trim is falling off into the garden.

Getting the thorny debris out of the trailer with thick welding gloves in our final offload of the day is no fun.

I was sure we were going to get the trailer stuck in deep mud. Allan was right; we got out just fine.

The work board tonight:

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Thursday, 9 February 2022

Long Beach

As we began the work year by picking up our key to the city works gate at City Hall, we spied nearby the city crew putting up the celebratory centennial banners.

I feel that it is good to be back doing our best to make the town gardens and planters look beautiful during a special year.

We began, as we almost always do, by tidying up the west side of Fifth Street Park. Allan tackled the miscanthus. It is a shame for the Malai Thai Restaurant that these grasses block their sign from midsummer to late winter. I didn’t choose them, and the restaurant was not there when the park was planted around the year 2000.

I trimmed the Leycesteria ‘Jealousy’. Allan cut back the grasses.

I weeded and planted some of my extra white phlox.

Mostly, though, I worked on the northwest quadrant of the park, where I took no before or during photos because I kept forgetting to put the camera in my pocket and the vehicle was closer to Allan. Allan took a few, including a chat with a passerby we know well, Beth who used to manage Anchorage Cottages, one of her former jobs. (We left the job when she did.)

I dug out some tired sanguisorbas and some of the dreaded orange montbretia that got a big foothold here during our absence last year.

After all our clipping and digging, we took a full load to dump.

How many deer do you see in the field by the biosolids mulch barn? The answer is below.

We collected some biosolids mulch to fill in the holes where I’d dug out the tired plants.

The number of deer:

We returned to the park and mulched.

In the planter by where we parked, the deer have chomped the tulips, but not the Iris reticulata.

The work board has a list of first visits to make. Although these visits do include weeding, we are not aiming for absolute perfection, just to get all the jobs looking good enough for now. A passerby expressed astonishment that we were gardening in February. I didn’t think to ask where he was from but told him we used to start the last week in January. I was more skint back then.

From the work board, I got to erase one letter today, the W for west side of Fifth Street Park. (Three work days later, I remembered to add the Depot Restaurant to the list. At the moment, my mind is just on Long Beach.)

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Sunday, 27 December 2020

At home

The weather started out badly. Faerie helped me write a couple of blog posts. Typing was a bit of a challenge.

It is slow going with her editorial assistance.

We then caught up on the Tootlepedal blog. I like to read it about a week behind because it always gets lots of interesting comments.

I then noticed that the sun had come out. This surprised me, as the day had begun stormy.

I had only an hour before a three o’clock scheduled zoom event in which to try to get something done outside.

The red rain gauge

My chosen mission was to move soil from the first fish tote that I had filled with soil in late summer. I could not remember if I had put pieces of wood in the bottom for hugelkultur. I would shift the soil to another tote to find out, but first I had to move potted plants that were stashed in both of them.

Skooter came to supervise.

I wonder how often he blocks light from my cold frame.

In an hour, I had the potted plants moved. The target bin already had some small logs topped with shredded hebe and other plant debris.

I added some of the wool mixed with leaves that I had gotten yesterday.

The arrival of the wool had been cosmically well-timed. Yesterday, in that waking up time when I half-dream about the garden, I’d thought about the wool that I’d gotten before from Purly Shell Fiber Arts and about how I wished I had more for the compost bins and totes. And then I had gotten the message that wool was at the fiber shop waiting for me.

I had barely started moving soil from the other bin when three o clock arrived. My zoom meeting was a book club organized by Ann Amato, and I had enjoyed the chosen book, The One Straw Revolution. So in I went, even though I find it hard to do anything indoors in good weather. And very good weather it was…warm like spring and with no wind and with birds chattering in the Bogsy Wood trees.

So I have to confess that I wasn’t too sad when, after three tries, I couldn’t get into the meeting despite careful copying of the meeting ID number. “Invalid meeting ID”, I was told by zoom. Later, I learned that the meeting did happen, but I had gone back out to the garden.

Between three thirty and dark (about four forty five now), I got all the soil shifted out of one bin to the other and, indeed, I had not put any wood for hugelkuktur into the bottom.

While I was getting the last of the soil out, Allan had taken time from his book project to attach a fence piece from our ingredients pile to the east side of the original bin. This will help keep the hops and rose from shading out the bin.

The target bin was nice and full (although it will sink down) and I had been able top up some other bins, as well.

I just had time before the cold dark to pick a mess of greens (collards, chard, mustard).

These two hadn’t even bothered to go out onto the catio.

We had received our monthly Universal Yums box, a cheering pandemic indulgence. We took it out of the garage quarantine into which mail and packages go for a couple of days. This month, it contained a plethora of treats “from everywhere” instead of from just one country. (Since we joined, we have gotten Britain, Columbia, Russia, and Italy. Russia and Italy were the best, although as a Brit-Ophile, that one made me the happiest.)

Turkey and stuffing crisps from the UK were our treat along with a nice cuppa Builders.

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Monday, 4 March 2019

I felt the need to work despite the morning being so chilly that we discussed taking the day off.

The water boxes were frozen…

As were the ponds.

…so frozen that tossed pebbles just sat on the ice.

Cota and Bentley next door enjoyed an icy apple each.

We mulched the rose beds at the J’s garden across the street. The first bed is empty and needs a new rose.

And it needs a trellis to match the one at the other end.

Fortunately, there is a trellis going spare behind the flowering quince on the west fence.

Now we have a tiny future project, to move a trellis (Allan) and find a red or pink climbing rose (me).

The J’s garden front garden has plenty of crocuses.

To further test out the weather, we tidied the Ilwaco planters and street tree pocket gardens. Fortunately, lack of wind made 45 degrees workable. All but two of the tatty old erysimums came out of the planters today. (The two least tatty ones get a reprieve for now.)

Allan’s photo

Tatty (Allan’s photo)

I will wait till the nights are above freezing to add some Sedums. It would be great to have some hens and chickens and even echeverias, but the cooler the plant is, the more likely it will be stolen, so I must stick with something as basic as Autumn Joy that I can replace without expense.

As the day felt a bit balmier, we went on to Long Beach, first to Fifth Street Park to finish a bit of trimming in the northeast quadrant.

Allan trimmed a rudbeckia and a lavender…

…and was asked by the owners of the new barbershop to trim a rhododendron. He referred that to me. It was full of buds so I did the barest of trimming so that it does not dare to actually touch the building. It was enough to make the new business happy and feel welcomed.

You probably can’t even see a difference. Most of the pruning was at the back. People like to be listened to, and they saw me carry off several branches. I’ll try to remember to continue to leave an inch of space between the shrub and the building.

Allan had a look inside the spiffing new barber shop.

In a planter by the park, Allan saw this sorry sight in an ash tray by a planter.

Other than the rhododendron, I further pruned a row of Super Dorothy roses that had looked too thick in Allan’s after photo from last week:

After, today:

We went on to the Bolstad beach approach to check the planters. A plant thief has indeed helped themselves to some of our new sea thrifts. I think it must have happened before someone added primroses to the Lisa Bonney memorial planter, or surely there would be two holes instead of one.

We worked our way all along the beach approach garden, trimming ornamental grasses and pulling crocosmia. The weeding will come later.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I was pleased to find that The Toy made quick work of most of the small stems of rugosa roses along the edge.

A hellebore at city Hall:

Allan’s photo

The planters on the Sud Snyder Drive beach approach got their late winter tidy.

The planter furthest east has become a smoking lounge.

I left the smokers a wee notice.

The next planter to the west is also a smoking lounge, but those smokers have thoughtfully put a bucket by the planter for their cigarette butts.

We had time to tidy up the World Kite Museum garden at four o clock, as the temperature began to fall quickly.

It’s a shame I had not put the beach approach trimming on the work board, as I did not get the pleasure of erasing it. At least I could erase three things, leaving a short list of late winter garden check ups still to do.

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

at home

I had let some friends know that our garden was at its peak lily time.  While Allan went grocery shopping over the river, I stayed home, gardened, and had some visitors (11, if you count the dogs).

front garden lilies, middle

front garden lilies, east side

back garden with Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’

pale yellow Lily ‘Conca D’Or’

center bed, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ river, full of bees

east bed

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Lily ‘Salmon Star’ (pretty sure)

Frosty and Skooter

I had decided to not worry about the garden being weedy (mostly the little scrimmy horsetail and the dwarf fireweed).

The lilies’ first visitors were Amy, April, and Tricia from the port office on their all too short half hour lunch break.  Like many visitors, they were surprised that the garden is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.

Everyone likes the passion flowers.

They loved the honeysuckle mixed with hops and roses.

After they left, I had little energy for actual garden work.  I did set myself a small goal of sifting the fourth compost bin.  Over the course of the day, it provided several wheelbarrows of good compost.

Tony and Scott arrived with Rudy and Bailey and did a thorough tour of the garden.

Scott, Rudy, Bailey

Before they left, I wanted a photo of them all by the copper (painted) heart.  They were such a cute bunch that I forgot to get the heart properly showing.

I went back to my compost sifting, ever so slowly.

found a compost resident

finally got the bottom of the bin

I shifted the next bin over.  It had no good stuff to sift out.

In the late afternoon, Mark and Joe, two local gardeners, came by with Joe’s daughter Bella.  (I have visited Mark’s garden twice and blogged about it here.)  Bella, 9 years old, was a treat to observe in the garden.  She noticed everything and would say “I’m going to try to get lost now!” and run off to the bogsy wood, or through the door to the meadow to the west, or around behind the shed.  We would hear her voice from afar calling, “I’m lost now!”  I wish I could experience my garden as a child would, between age 4 and 10.  I am sure it would be as memorable as a few gardens I visited with my grandma as a child.

Skooter let her pick him up and lug him around—twice! He won’t let us do that.

Allan came home before they departed and was amazed to see, out the back window, Skooter being carried:

Allan’s photo

Allan and I got to hold Joe and Bella’s tiny dog.

Later, thinking about Bella’s reaction to the garden, I had some childhood garden memories: Lying on a hammock in a flower filled garden while Gram visited with friends.  The sky a bright blue overheard; I was sure I was looking at the very center of the sky.

And going down a flight of steps next to a pond in a garden on Phinney Ridge, a garden belonging to Gram’s best friends, May Lancaster and Addie.  I would love to be able to find that garden again.

And getting “lost” in the big woodland driveway circle bed—probably small in reality—at my uncle’s house in Shoreline.  How big was it, really?  Here it is now; my cousin who inherited the house seems to have tidied and landscaped it.  Pretty big, really. Those big trees may the the same ones I played under.

via Google street view (with Puget sound in the background; house valued at $1,717,700. !

I wish I could find May and Addie’s old garden to look at online. Maybe the pond is still there.





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