Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My back hurt something fierce from schlepping my plants around yesterday evening.  It felt on the verge of going into a spasm.  What is this?  My back used to be the strongest part…well, with an occasional but infrequent blow out every few years.

In fact, what is the deal with how long it takes to stand up from a chair after sitting for awhile in the evening?  I was wondering that just last night.


I would like to have stayed home today with Smokey and a book.

I’m not quite done with Hope in the Dark.  Even a short book goes slowly at planting time.  And now I have this heavy tome from the library:


This morning, early, a strong buffeting wind had woken me up.  The wind still prevailed.  I had struggled mightily to get my knee brace on; it took two tries and Allan’s help to get it right. Despite my back, my hope for today was to get cosmos and more planted at The Depot, Long Beach welcome sign, two Long Beach Parks, the Anchorage, and the Kite Museum.


Ilwaco Post Office garden will soon get some cosmos.


lilies and Stipa gigantea, my favourite ornamental grass, at the post office.

As we made a welfare check on the new nicotiana in the garden boat at Time Enough Books, I felt so very cold that we went back home (two blocks away) so I could change into warm winter pants and shirt.  I left the knee brace at home; it does not work with heavier clothes.


my mother’s clivia in flower, glowing in the front window


A patch of strangely late blooming Tulip ‘Akebono’


Another clivia blossom had fallen.


Smokey’s nap disturbed

The Depot Restaurant


cosmos going in


Allan’s photo, Allium heads and my head


cosmos in (Allan’s photo)


delicate variegated saxifrage (Allan’s photos)




north side of dining deck

Despite my check of two weather forecasts, both of which promised cool windy weather all day, the sun suddenly came out.  So hot!  I said to Allan that I had to go home (two miles south) and change clothes again.  Every year, there is a day about this time when I have to learn all over again the necessity of having summer and winter clothes with us at all times.

I struggled again with the knee brace.  Some days it just is not easy.  When it is on, it helps me enormously.


Smokey still snoozing.


Frosty wanting a belly rub. He never bites or scratches, so he does get many.


Calvin’s nap disturbed.

Skooter has things to do during the day and is rarely found at home napping.

Long Beach

We started to set up the Long Beach welcome sign planting and I realized the front of the sign’s soil was too low.  Why hadn’t I added enough soil earlier on?  (Later, I decided it was because tulips had been in the way.) This necessitated an emergency trip to get soil from city works.  We took the chance of leaving unplanted gallons of Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ just sitting in the garden.  (Because one of Todd’s new public plantings in Ocean Park got completely dug up and stolen in the night last week, I’m feeling extra concern this week.)

When we got to city works, we saw this shocking sight:


Noooo! The city crew had used most of the heaping pile of Soil Energy!


We managed to scrape up just enough. (Allan’s photo)


in the process of adding soil and pulling the damnable horsetail along the back of the welcome sign bed (Allan’s photo)


low and miserable looking soil


battling it out with horsteail and ripening bulb foliage, trying to not block the lights that shine on the sign.


much better (Allan’s photo)



welcome sign, after

I have always planted yellow Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ in this planter.  Because it takes so much deadheading, I’m trying the Summer Glow agastache in hope of an easier maintenance yellow effect.  (Garden designer Lucy Hardiman says “Yellow stops the eye” in drive by public plantings.)


Agastache ‘Summer Glow’


undeadheaded Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’


added Cosmos ‘Sensation’ in the back, and Cosmos ‘Sonata’ (shorter, so as not to overshadow the agastaches) in front.

I decided to skip the Long Beach parks for now and go to the Anchorage…but on the way we saw a perfect and rare parking spot right next one of the two planters we had not added to yesterday.  We had to take that opportunity.  Usually, I end up carrying plants for half a block to this planter and the one across the street.


I do not think we have ever before gotten this prime spot.

Getting the Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and two Agastache ‘Mexican Giant’ into those two planters completes phase two of three of the Long beach planter planting.

The Anchorage Cottages

We had to get to the Anchorage by four o clock because of a Situation I’d learned about in an email late last night, after the plants for the Anchorage were already loaded: The parking lots were being resurfaced and so we could not park by the gardens today or tomorrow.  With a big three day holiday weekend coming up, and being determined to get the cosmos and some other plants added to the garden this week, and with today being the only day it would fit well into our schedule, I spent some time last night plotting alternative routes into the garden.  This required getting there while Manager Beth was still working in order to access the office courtyard via the office.


Our good friend Mitzu in the office. (Allan’s photo)

The center courtyard and the south courtyard can be accessed from the west and south lawns by walking around the cottages, without setting one foot on the parking lots, whose stripes were being painted as we gardened.


We had to slither along spaces like this, a secret path between the office and center courtyards that had appeared with the recent painting.

While I planted, I set Allan to clearing out the old scilla flowers and foliage; it is rampant in the center courtyard garden.


before; last week it was a hazy of blue.


why I never ever plant scilla in a garden bed


after. I thought it looked too bare so gave Allan two “Bells of Ireland” and a campanula to add to it.





looking back just before slithering around the side of the office building to depart.

By where we parked, on the grassy road north of the cottages, lives a Fish and Wildlife officer who has a bear trap at the ready.


Allan’s photo

Sometimes, our  local “fish cops’ are featured on a telly show:



from Rugged Justice: Releasing a bear into the wild if said bear has made itself at home scavenging in town.

But I digress.  By now, I knew we would not get cosmos planted in the Long Beach parks today.  I hoped that we might find the oomph to plant up the pocket garden at the Kite Museum.

We drove there.  We looked at it from inside the car.


Imagine the cold whipping of the wind, now 23 mph.

I couldn’t do it, so we went home at 6:30.  Tonight, I will watch Deadliest Catch and be embarrassed that I wimped out.  It was better for the plants to wait till tomorrow…yes, that is it.


working on The Deadliest Catch…puts my wimpiness to shame

At home, I got to make a couple of erasures from the work board, albeit not as many as I had hoped.


Tomorrow: planting time continues.




Read Full Post »

Saturday, 20 May 2017

I planted in my garden: agastaches, echinaceas, dahlias in the garden boat, a few of those “black and white” gladiolus mix that I mostly gave away, three delphiniums which should make a nice snail snack, and cosmos, cosmos, cosmos and cosmos.

I do not enjoy planting (odd but true) so not one photo was taken by me.

A heavy application of sluggo went everywhere I planted.

Meanwhile, Allan got ambitious over at Mary N’s place.


before: the barberry stumps


the heavy pick


weeding in progress




We need to find three ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas for here.

At home, Allan weeded his own garden bed and planted the one plant that he had in waiting: a Mahonia gracilipes from Todd.




after. The centerpiece is Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’.

I looked forward to tomorrow when I have nothing to plant and much to weed.

Nancy Gorshe (co owner of The Depot Restaurant, who is running for another term as hospital commissioner, posted this photo of her campaign sign in my garden in 2011. Must have been late summer because it was the 2011 Hardy Plant Study Weekend that inspired the building of the arbour.


Here’s the same garden area today (with poles that need repainting).  It was awfully pretty back when it was just annuals!



Sunday, 21 May 2017

Despite some plaguing sciatica or some such pain, I decided to take on a hard project rather than small areas here and there.  I needed the satisfaction.

I had been disheartened while planting yesterday about what an all-fired mess my garden is this year.  Then I had the comforting memory of the year 2008.  Friends from Minneapolis visited on Memorial Day weekend, and even though I needed to be gardening, I took the day off to go to Cannon Beach with them.  Before we left for the day, I showed them my garden.  It was a worse mess of weeds than what I have today; back then, we worked seven days a week in May.  I told my friends that we were going to be on the garden tour in just one month.  Even as non gardeners, they looked skeptical.


friends from afar at Cannon Beach, memorial day weekend 2008

Not only did Robert and I get the garden tour-worthy (by neglecting paid work),  we also fit in the Hardy Plant Study weekend before tour day!  You can see the garden on tour day here. (And if you backtrack from that post, you will see some glorious gardens in Eugene, Oregon.)

So there is hope that I will get the awfully weedy garden done before summer.  After all, I’m getting started on the worst part before Memorial Day.


Here’s an area that is always the last to be weeded. South end of east fence border.  


in that bed: a cool Dan Hinkley plant whose name I forget. Has little berries right on the leaves.

Here is the area I went for today, the new-last-year bogsy wood mounds.  It was a matter of urgency to get the velvet grass out before it flowered (because then it gives me sneezing fits).


I could make life easier by making a debris dump in that one undeveloped corner between two old salmonberries (below):


…And yet I persist in wanting the debris taken outside the fence.  If Allan did not show up now and then to dump wheelbarrows for me, I think that corner would be a debris dump for sure.  It’s my last frontier, though, and I don’t want to fill it up with a weed pile.


2:30 PM


I like my golden boxleaf honeysuckle and variegated elderberry along the bogsy wood east fence.

I moved to the other side of the bogsy wood mounds.


Here’s how it looked on May 13th.

In the center, the velvet grass had gotten as tall as a human toddler and defeated my hand tools.


Just then, rescue arrived.


Allan with the big yellow pick.


followed closely by a supervisor



me contemplating the giant velvet grass


Allan went after the child sized clumps of velvet grass.


huge clumps that would have been much easier to pull a month ago


velvet grass OUT

With that accomplishment, Allan departed to go for a short hike to some tall trees (which will be tomorrow’s post).


5:10 PM, looking east


looking west

That is certainly not the quality of unraked work that I’d leave behind at a job.  Nevertheless, I was satisfied for today.  The progress had been made despite a 20 mph wind so annoying that it usually would have kept me out from under the trees.

I wanted next to tackle this area where grass and buttercups were hiding a fairy door.  Maybe the fairies like the privacy.


While I did not get an after photo, this one from Allan, after his return, shows that area, along with the results of his raking.


fairy door is on tree to the left

On the lawn side of that area, I have this mess:


I did wade into it from the other side.  I did not deliberately plant the Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant).  Every year, it begins to irritate me as it hides other plants and provides a damp home for slugs.  The meianthemum (false lily of the valley) is also rampant in here.


But of course the meianthemum worked its way up into this stump planter of pulmonaria.


This fuchsia’s old stems looked kind of tatty.


So I pruned it to the base. Now everything shows.


I’d like to move it, but it is too risky now; it’s an extra pretty one.


I had an audience the whole time.


The salmonberry tunnel needs shaping.

Last minute inspiration: I pruned salmon and elderberry to reveal my bogsy wood plant table.






something about to happen


something happening



Smokey might have felt mildly annoyed.

Allan dumped at least six, maybe nine heaping wheelbarrows for me today.


looking back….6:30 PM and I was out of steam.

I wish I had a week of weeding days at home.  Tomorrow Annuals Planting Hell I mean Time starts up again in Long Beach.

Read Full Post »

Friday, 19 May 2017


I had had a bright idea several days ago of some shrub rearrangement at the J’s across the street.  Of three dwarf hydrangeas, one looked fairly good, one quite sad but with a few leaves, and one looks dead but has green underneath the bark when I scrape a stem.  Putting the good one in the middle would at least make the picture balanced.  And if the good one turns up its toes, we can replace it with three matching ones.  If not, we can maybe replace the outer ones with a matched set of two, so it won’t be off balance.


before (Allan’s photos); the good hydrangea is off to the left.

Underneath the soil, Allan found landscape fabric.  That explains why so many of the shrubs were planted on mounds (by the previous owner, not the J’s).


landscape fabric underneath! No wonder the shrubs could not get their roots down; no wonder they were tipped over sideway.


replanted with the best one in the middle and with all three given some Dr Earth evergreen fertilizer.


a tidy garden at the J’s

I got to pet a sweet dog at the post office.


Allan’s photo

Further down the street, we saw our friend Ed Strange (Strange Landscaping) and his buddy, Jackson.


Jackson! (Allan’s photo)

On the way out of our town, we had one plant to put in at the main intersection and four at the Ilwaco city hall planters.


PPR means Peninsula Poverty Response.  I should probably replace this leggy Erysimum, right?

Long Beach


City Hall: The Basket Case baskets are hung up all over town now.

While Allan weeded and groomed Fifth Street Park, I checked on a couple of blocks worth of planters.


Sparaxis in a planter. I need to plant this in every planter. It seems not that common in bulb catalogs.


Sparaxis and Cerinthe major purpurascens


a gorgeous tail wagger in a parked vehicle (taken from a distance so as not to get him too excited).


NOOOOOO.  One of my special new orange bidens pulled right out of the soil in a planter.


I had planted a matched pair to tone with this building.

The abused plant still looked alive at the base.  Remembering a live faucet on the outer wall of the Hungry Harbor across the street,  I filled my bucket partway, dunked the plant, lugged plant and water bucket back across, and trimmed and replanted the bidens with water in the hole, then clipped its partner plant to match in size.


dogs big and little outside the Hungry Harbor

Last fall, I had had a big mystery while bulb planting.  A set of three special Camassia ‘Sacajawea’ bulbs had gone astray while I was planting Fifth Street Park.  I looked for them so hard.  Today, I saw the three of them about to bloom under one of the street trees (along with a noxious weed Iris pseudocorus that I had tried to get rid of).  How could this be?



The camassia has variegated leaves.

I figured it out.  I was sorting bulbs and handing Allan sets of narcissi to plant under each street tree, and must have handed him the camassia by mistake.  I thought it would do well in the park where the soil is damp; I will try to transplant it later.  That tree, with its mess of vigorous hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) is not the best place to show off something special.


Fifth Street Park, NW quadrant

You might agree with me that a trio of something tall and columnar would look great in that park.  I’m not supposed to plant anything taller than the fence!


that big dog again


I transplanted some red monarda, divided out from Vet Field garden last night, into this damp bed in the SW quadrant.


Darmera peltata and gunnera in Fifth Street Park (SE quadrant)

Some of that red monarda would do well in the damp bed behind the gunnera, etc.  But will I remember for long enough to get some moved from Vet Field?

We took time to go to Abbraccio Coffee Bar.


crossed dogs outside of Abbracci (I got to pet one). (Allan’s photo)


A delightful Abbraccio break (with no checkers played)….I used to love to play checkers but honestly do not remember how.  Allan challenges his computer to chess on most nights.

I rushed out of the coffee car to meet a tiny Boston terrier…Lily, age 4 months…who was causing quite a sensation.


Before leaving Long Beach, we dumped a small load of debris, mainly so I could ask the city crew to get the water turned on for the welcome sign garden (where we had pulled dead tulips at the beginning of our Long Beach time today).


When we went to city works to dump debris, Allan found this marble in the pile.

The Planter Box

We picked up some cosmos for Long Beach and elsewhere.


The big front greenhouse showed signs of a rush on annuals. (Allan’s photo)


healthy Seashells mix cosmos (Allan’s photo)


with Teresa, some desk-leaning rest

The Basket Case

The gardening grapevine (AKA Melissa) had told me that a Blooming Nursery truck had been seen on its way to Basket Case this morning.  We had to see what was new.


plants overflowing in abundance


Hot Toddy: cute name for a daylily. (I don’t collect daylilies, though.)


I could not resist a new to me red salvia named ‘Free Speech’.


per Blooming Nursery


couldn’t resist some agastaches and echinaceas…

Another new feature: Penny, the grandparents’ dog, who is being dogsat this week.


Allan’s photo


my sweet, soft, adorable, and quietly talkative new friend Penny





got me some penstemons and agastaches and lemon grass and more

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We drove north to KBC to plant some cosmos and to weed and tidy the garden.


our good friend Bella (Allan’s photo)


Clematis montana in evergreen huckleberry (Allan’s photo)


horrifying bindweed pretending to belong (Allan’s photo), in the debris area behind the garage


creeping buttercup removal featuring the ho mi tool (Allan’s photo)


Mary, garden owner, edged outside the fenced garden. (Allan’s photo)


Mary’s edging tools


nicely edged


belly rub time


Bella will put her foot on your foot or arm to ask for more belly rubbing.


fenced garden weeded and with cosmos planted


bird bath view


sit spot


Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’


the pond (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Although I was tired, we found the energy to plant some agastaches in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter.  While I delegated the planting (which I so do not enjoy), I checked on the intersection of planters.


This planter has the weedy, running, short season of bloom blue geranium (‘Johnson’s Blue’?), not nice, long blooming, well behaved Rozanne. I thought about re-doing it this spring. Did not get to it. Maybe in fall.  Originally planted by a volunteer.

We also found the energy to finish planting the two planters at Ilwaco City Hall.  We had meant to plant cosmos in the Kite Museum pocket garden and completely forgot to stop there.

at home

Allan amazed me by finding even MORE energy to mow (while I sat in my chair and read the scintillating news of the day).  Way out in the bogsy woods, he found that our bridge railing had just rotted away and fallen over.  The water in the swale had been up to the base of the railing for most of the winter.




Later: Skooter wants to come in Allan’s window!



We now have two days off, except for maybe having to water all the newly planted Ilwaco planters on Sunday.  (Edited to add: Some drizzle on Friday night saved us from watering Sunday.  I hope we don’t regret waiting till Monday.)

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

After a morning of rain and wind, as predicted, we had a brief break in the weather.  Allan decided to mow the thin, tall lawn over at Mary N’s house.  Even though we aren’t really a mowing business, we have taken on a couple of such jobs on our own block.

Meanwhile, the light on our garden suddenly became gorgeous.


Allan’s garden, from the front porch


My hardy begonia (from Windcliff) has spread thoroughly in this box.


the back garden


I love the splash of white Miscanthus.


We’d had this much rain since yesterday.

Suddenly, the sky darkened and hail pelted down.


Skooter was taken aback.




I felt bad for Allan, mowing two doors down.

Allan’s photos at his mowing job nearby:


We had just taken this on.  It won’t be allowed to get this long again.




It took two passes, at a high and then medium setting.


the storm! from undercover



Those barberries are for the chop sooner than you might think.

Meanwhile, I had decided to be practical and propose that we pick up some plants today instead of immersing myself in a good book from the library…


Allan agreed with my productive plan, so off we went to

The Planter Box.


a hardy begonia which I think I must acquire



You may recall that a couple of days ago, I was touting the great gardening tool called the Zen Digger, Ho Mi, Korean Hand Plow, and E-Z Digger.  Planter Box has it.


Allan’s photo


Teresa totals up (Allan’s photo)

On the way home, after buying a pin for his boat rudder at Dennis Company, Allan took a photo of a beautiful scene in Coulter Park.  The loss of that pin on our recent Black Lake rally day had turned his sailing afternoon into a rowing afternoon.


the old Clamshell Railroad depot at Coulter Park


We drove by the Ilwaco boatyard garden.  I was thrilled to see that the horsetail had not made a big comeback, so weeding was not urgent.


boatyard visual check up (without getting out of the van)



At home, I sorted plants in the garage.


Allan was inspired to go back to Mary’s garden to begin the removal of three mean barberries.


Barberries make weeding the quackgrass in this bed just miserable.


welding gloves



Now just the stumps remain to be dealt with.  Hydrangeas are the goal.

One of the main inspirations for this big chop is that this week, we had room in our wheelie bin for the debris.


wheelbie bin full of mean stuff

[pickled fish] restaurant

In the evening, we joined Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) for a special weekly garden meeting to celebrate Melissa’s birthday.

I was impressed and kind of jealous of the planters as we entered the Adrift Hotel.  They are stuffed full of cool plants, some of which are hard to find for purchase around here.


Adrift Hotel (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


This one made me especially jealous; I think that is Ribes brocklebankii.


good use of a Phormium.  Phormiums don’t make me jealous, though.


more common, still interesting

They have the budget to switch out their planters frequently.  Our local nurseries are good, and yet there is not the audience for cool collectors’ plants to support that sort of plant availability here.  I’ve noticed when ultra cool plants appear at our local shops, they often just sit until I buy them.


drinks menu at the [pickled fish]; I had the starvation alley ginger cosmo.


Melissa and Dave arrive (Allan’s photo)


birthday girl (Allan’s photo)


cranberry lemonade (Allan’s photo)


ginger cosmo (Allan’s photo)


The memory of this scrumptuous Moroccan chick pea stew makes my mouth water.


Allan’s clam chowder


Melissa’s starter salad


a place for tasty pizzas: margherita


fennel sausage pizza


the view


skillet cookie dessert

For Melissa’s birthday:


a birthday card by Don Nisbett

And a t shirt made from Don’s Crabby Gardener design:


The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett (T shirt was personalized with an M on the seed packet)

And this excellent gardening book:


I think we may be the only gardeners on the peninsula who actually do genuine hellstrip, curbside gardens (at the Port, and the beach approach).  However, the book is excellent in suggesting ideas and plants for droughty areas, and the photos are a treat.

We are now due for several days of dry weather.  Let the planting begin, while the soil is still damp!

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

patio watering: Skooter comes running when the hose water goes on.  (Allan’s photo)

Every morning, the annuals that I have in waiting have to come out of the greenhouse, and at night be put back in.

I thought I had a nice bag of potting soil in the garage to take to Diane’s garden; she had just let me know that she had acquired a couple of brazelberries to put in containers.  But no, it turned out the bag was a mix for “outdoor garden bed planting”.  It was a new style bag and I had not read the fine print.  This threw the day’s plan into a different order.  To further complicate matters, we still had debris left from the day before that had to be dumped in Long Beach in order to give us an empty trailer.  To make the trip more worthwhile, I gathered some snails to re-home by the old catchment pond in Long Beach, where it is several blocks’ journey for them to find any ornamental plants.

rehoming in progresss

Because I was sleepy, my first thought upon arriving in Long Beach was to stop here for a takeaway coffee:

I had forgotten they were closed on Tuesdays.  We decided to go to the Great Escape drive through coffee stand, just about three blocks north and one block east…and yet by the time we got to the stoplight, we both forgot our coffee goal and did not remember it for several hours.

Basket Case Greenhouse

Look at this pretty peacock.

(mostly) annuals house

garden sign that is more embellished than the one we bought last year

We had with us the four windowboxes for today’s project, so that I could think about what to put in them with the actual size of them right in front of me.

planning (Allan’s photo)

With the plants picked out and potting soil acquired, we drove to

The Anchorage Cottages

Our good friend Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

Mitzu, keeping us company (Allan’s photo)

Now, May 9th is actually too early to plant annuals, in my opinion.  I was hoping they would be ok in boxes right up against a building, if the nights don’t get too cold and all works out perfectly.  The spring bulbs window boxes were completely done blooming and we did want the place to look pretty for Mother’s Day weekend.

working in the trailer (Allan’s photo); used the red bag potting soil, one for each box.

At The Anchorage: planting up the boxes in the back of the trailer.

The orangey-amber colours will enhance the old Anchorage sign.  But the cottages are being painted so those two boxes are just sitting by the office now, which cancels out my plan that the building wall would keep them warmer.  Drat.

future window box site

The garden areas where the painters had already worked had not been treated kindly.

Allan’s photo

Allan put the blue and pink flowered boxes up by the vintage blue sign.

He also had done a project while I planted:


after (will get a half moon edging next time)

Diane’s garden

my good friend Misty

Allan had brought a drill to make holes in the new pots.  The planting product is a new one we are trying out in big pots.

He emptied some old pots (not ones we had been involved with) that were planted without holes.  The soggy smelly soil went into a garden bed.



Brazelberries (misspelled above but I’m editing on my phone) are a small thornless raspberry. Quite delicious. 

Today, I was not snubbed by the Red Barn whippet!

With some time left in the day, I thought about going back to Long Beach to plant some Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Agastache (two kinds) in Lewis and Clark Square.  (It’s not too early for perennials).  Oh, but I was tired.  I remembered I’d be watching Deadliest Catch later in the evening and decided I had better dig deep and find a bit more energy.

Long Beach

It proved to be fortuitous that we went to L&C Square, because there, passersby introduced themselves as the daughter and spouse of Shirley, the woman from whose estate we bought our house in 2010. We had an interesting talk about some Ilwaco history; I wish it could have been longer.

tulip ‘Night Rider’ and another blooming by the police station.

On the other side of the light pole, the tulips had all been picked, throwing off my symmetry.

Last thing, speaking of symmetry: A beach approach planter lacked a matching Dianthus (stolen last year).  We had acquired a two gallon sized one and planted it, and I hope the size will make it look more established so that the chronic Bolstad plant thief won’t take it.

Allan planting in a beach approach planter.

At home, my Clematis montana ‘Rubens’ is blooming on the new-last-year garage trellis.

Anchorage window boxes erased; planting list expanded

Read Full Post »

I was so tired while writing that I called yesterday’s post “Friday” instead of Thursday. In real time, here is a PSA:



Friday, 5 May 2017

The predicted rain storm and thirty mile an hour winds did not arrive!

I was so hoping we could accomplish a whole lot of garden tidying pre-Sunday’s parade so that we would not have to go back to Long Beach on a crowded Saturday afternoon.  (We will be attending the Saturday parade in Ilwaco, but not the Sunday one in Long Beach.)

Others in our household had no particular worries:

on the porch

Smokey and Skooter

Skooter is not to be walked on.

Peace was soon restored.



Before leaving our block, we did two tiny garden tasks: mowing at the J’s and weeding round the Norwood garden.

We spent a little while weeding our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office.  The garden is still looking rather dull.  While we weeded, an old man said “Why don’t you plant something I like so that I’ll have something good to look at?”  While I chuckled weakly, here is a hint: Gardeners  prefer to not be teased while they are working.

dullsville garden at the moment

Depot Restaurant

Just some quick deadheading…

north side of deck

Tulips ‘Night Rider’ (left) and ‘Virichic’ (right)

Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’

Tulip ‘Green Wave’

Long Beach

When we got to the welcome sign and I opened the back of the van, I was momentarily appalled to see a flat of bidens sitting there, that had not been unloaded last night.  I then decided to just plant the darn things, since the welcome sign was their destination.  I would usually wait for annuals planting till the magic date of Mother’s Day (which is next Sunday).

low yellow bidens along the front edge

The tulips on the back side had gone over, every one.

all moldy and unattractive

too much rain! (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Too bad that boring moment between spring bulbs and annuals happened this weekend.

Here’s how the whole welcome sign would look if we didn’t control the horsetail:

the east end, around the faucet….

cheatin’ weedin’ with string trimmer (Allan’s photos)

The Red Barn 

Part of the weekend’s events will include a “cowboy breakfast” at the Peninsula Saddle Club.  Figuring that the patrons might spill over to the Red Barn Arena next door, we detoured to make sure the little garden there looked ok.

after some weeding (Allan’s photo)

Diane’s garden

I was eager to talk to Diane about garden plans, while deadheading her narcissi.

Misty, as you can tell, is getting older. Diane and I discuss….

The roadside garden will return as soon as a fence is built. (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

Allan and I finished the north parking lot berm at last.

North “berm”

 I had high hopes that the second one would also be done today.  I even had a fantasy that Allan would have time to do the string trimming that is the way we handle the less planted middle berm.  I left Allan to it….

south berm

Allan’s photos:

cleaning up along the edge

…while I went to groom four blocks of tree garden and planters.

lots of Baby Moon narcissi still blooming for parade day

‘New Baby’ is white and yellow.  (really)

fringed tulips still blooming

escallonias that would like to be eight feet tall (left over from someone’s volunteer planting)

crocus foliage

I used to tidy up foliage like that before parade day.  Now I leave it, on the theory that it is good for the bulbs…and that the fuller the planter is, the less likely to be sat or stood upon.

Primulas have been blooming for weeks.

thrilled that Fifth Street Park, west side, did not need weeding

Fury: Out of 20 of these late blooming tulips in two adjacent planters, all but 7 had been stolen.

I called Allan to see how he was doing…and due to the plethora of weeds, the south berm was still not done.  We had to abort that mission so that he could de-horsetail by the Heron Pond while I tidied the north two blocks of trees and planters.

more late blooming narcissi on the northernmost block

These tulips might hang on for Sunday.

As I weeded the tree garden outside Dennis Company, a friend and business owner stopped by to tell me of her anger at a politician who had just said that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”  (Really? It took me less than one minute to remember two people I knew who had died of exactly that.)

As I deadheaded tulips in a planter five minutes later, a friend and valued community member walked by and told me how she and her family are seriously exploring a move to Canada.  I felt sad to hear it but I certainly understand.

Meanwhile, Allan’s project:


Someone had deposited painted rocks at the edge of the waterfall (without falling in).

“love” rock and some leftover easter egg decor


sidewalk edge, before


We still had the east side of Fifth Street Park to check up on with some light weeding.


Darmera peltata leaves…


and flowers (Allan’s photos)

7 PM shadows

Just last year, I would have been able to push till 8:00 PM to try to finish the berms.  Now, I find that I just cannot.  We drove by to look…and found a stack of lost buckets!  Allan said he thought he was running inexplicably short on buckets.  This is a sign of how tired we both are.

He had been too tired to remember where the buckets had gone to…. They had been just sitting by the north berm.

Nobody’s parade day is going to get ruined by some weeds in the parking lot beds and so…we are not going to finish the berms till next week.

workboard tonight

Planting Time is starting to show up on the work board.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Even though I had high hopes of being able  to erase the boatyard from the work list by this evening, I found it hard to get started in the morning.


Before work, Allan caught our neighbour munching in Allan’s garden.



Howerton Avenue at the Port

We began, not at the boatyard, but at the east end of the curbside gardens and worked our way west.  Howerton will be busy on Saturday because of the children’s parade and the opening of Saturday Market.


Narrow curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.  You can see the line of green just below the words Howerton Ave.



chasing down the horsetail and sorrel


looking west

That garden bed is the only Howerton Avenue garden with a horsetail problem, which makes it time consuming to weed.

At my request, Allan dug up three clumps of tatty old kinnikinnick.


before, when I thought clipping might be sufficient.


Then out came the pick because I am tired of this plant.




Next door at CoHo Charters


further west, the rocky garden by the old Port Bistro with a California poppy seeded in.  (Allan’s photo)

Allan has to do all the river rock beds nowadays because they kill my knee.

I had had big plans for extensive pruning of the Shorebank shrubs.  We had lost too much time this week to rain so now that won’t happen till autumn.  At least we had time for Allan to trim off the wind damaged parts.




arbutus before (Allan’s photos)




California wax myrtle, before


and after


Look at the difference between one of three columnar pears (left) that were in full wind, and the ones (right) protected by the tall Shorebank building.


I added some free clumps of chives to several of the beds.


my favourite Howerton garden

Allan took all the rest of the photos today.


the marina


cushion bush that did not make it through the winter (When I saw this photo, I realized I did not tell Allan to pull it out.)


Lots of little grasses were in the river rock by the Powell Gallery.


long telephoto: We were regaled all afternoon by the school band practicing for the weekend’s parades.


some ladybug love


the last chive goes in at the west end garden

By the time we were weeding down by Ilwaco Freedom Market, we had been at these gardens for five hours.  I let my longing for complete perfection go because we had to get on to the boatyard.


west end, where I hope all the volunteer dog daisies will hide some leftover weeds.


I just think this captured how worn out I was by this moment…pre-boatyard.

Boatyard Garden


The Long Beach trolley went by as we approached the boatyard.


Asked Allan to remove this yarrow, with too much clover in it to bother weeding




This boatyard dog had rejected me the other day.  Now I know his name is Spencer, and I got to pet him today.




Lady Allison was past the halfway point and I got my hopes up that we would finish to the south end of the garden by 7 PM.


All of a sudden right here I hit the wall.  I could not take another step (except to get into the van and hobble into our house).  It was 6:45 and it had become clear that we had at least half an hour more weeding to do.



We’d come a long ways in 2 1/2 hours.

Allan dropped me at home and went to dump.


view to the east of the marina

When he returned, he had to shift annuals back into the greenhouse.  I was spent. I deserved a nice cuppa Builders Tea but was too tired to make one. 

Allan noticed a big snail halfway up one the of the very tall bamboo poles in the front garden.



And a snail drinking from rain barrel  water.


rather precious, really

By then, I had read the news that the Affordable Care Act might be repealed tomorrow, and that the new “Trumpcare” plan would, along with other bad things, greatly raise insurance rates for older people.  I am physically not capable of working any harder to make more money to pay higher premiums than what we have through the ACA, so we might soon be in the pickle of being unable to have medical insurance.  When younger, in our 50s, we paid about 1/3 of our annual income for our medical insurance.  Now that we are older, and I, at least, cannot work seven ten hour days in a row all gardening season long, our annual income does not even cover what our premiums would be without the ACA.  I will be in suspense about this vote, even though it will not be the final blow and there will still be hope for a later defeat. I’ve made phone calls, written letters to our Republican representative, and last time I spoke with her office I was told she plans to vote against it…but she is just one of many.

And to add to that gloom, I still did not get to erase “weed boatyard” from the work board because I had just plain pooped out.

One bright note: During our workday, Nancy from the port office and one of the boat dwellers had given us some fresh asparagus, picked yesterday.  In a few minutes, I’ll be sat in my comfy chair watching telly and dining on fresh buttery asparagus.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »