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Friday, 17 November 201

At the post office, I got another meaningful and tender card about my Smoky cat, from our friend Jan Bono (author of the excellent local Sylvia Avery mystery series).

My main goal today was to get to Klipsan Beach Cottages, because I had promised Mary that we’d be there on the next workable day.  I couldn’t resist working on some Long Beach planters on the way.  I had made a list of block by block work on my iPhone notes that I would take pleasure in erasing as each task was done.

Long Beach

We finished the “Shelly block”, as I had called the southernmost block that we had not completed in yesterday’s storm.

I found two very worn rocks hidden in one of the planters.

Moving on, I cleaned up the planter by the Herb N’ Legend Smoke Shop, cutting back the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ even though it still had flowers.  I want the work to be done rather than going back and dealing with mushy, icy cold plants later on.  If the winter is mild, Rozanne might even throw out some more foliage and flowers.  However, forecasters are predicting a cold and even snowy winter.

before

after; I do feel bad about cutting perennials that are still flowering.

navigating puddles

I wanted to do two more planter intersections.  Fortunately, I realized that if we did, we would run out of time up at KBC.

I still have not been sleeping well, averaging six hours a night.  I needed coffee, and we found our favourite Great Escape barista on duty.

Great Escape espresso drive through

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We vigorously attacked the fall clean up.

honeysuckle arbor at 2:15

Before cutting the honeysuckle and rose way way back so that Denny can repair the fence panels, Allan chopped two big patches of shasta daisies.

before

after (Allan’s photos)

I think of a passage I read about Christopher Lloyd in which that great gardener would criticize any worker who left stubs on a plant like daisies, stubs that would be sharp and painful the next year when one weeded among the new growth.  Christo would approve of Allan’s work.

I also remember reading that leaving stubs of woody hollow stemmed plants, like Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed), encourages beneficial little pollinators to nest.

Allan then turned his attention to the arbor.

before

He also tidied up a bit out by the road sign, an area that we don’t often work on.

before

after (Allan’s photos, and he thinks the vacancy sign should be raised up higher).

At three o clock, I became deeply worried that we should not have done any Long Beach work today, and that we were going to run out of daylight before the job was done.  Fortunately, by working at a maniacal pace for three hours and a bit, we got ‘er done by the time the twinkling garden lights came on at dusk.

clipping perennials (a mushy agapanthus)

An hour before dusk, the sky darkened and it felt like we were going to get squalled on.  All we had was a rainbow without rain.

rainbow over Mary and Denny’s house (Allan’s photo)

5:24 PM

I took some final garden photos for the album on the KBC Facebook page. (I may get more in December when we deliver holiday gifts.)

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ flower buds

Frost or nights too cold will probably come before the white tetrapanax flowers come out.   I have never seen them fully open here.  Here is a photo of what the flowers would look like.

black currant

autumn colour on blueberries (right)

Iris foetidissima

birdbath view

Mary had come out to work with us and had laid down a couple of bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner mulch.

looking in the east gate

east gate

pink snowberry

south of the fenced garden

the pond

the fenced garden

Mary showed us a photo she had taken while walking her dog, Bella, to the beach.  This is a bear print, next to the paw of a very large Great Pyrenees dog.

bear paw print and Great Pyrenees paw, photo by Mary Caldwell

Mary had to answer an important phone call in the house just as we were finishing up, so we did not get to put out the winter garden signs.  (We don’t know where she keeps them.)  Here they are from a previous year.

Earlier in the day, while dumping debris at Long Beach City Works, one of the crew had told us they would be turning on the holiday lights in town tonight to test that all are working.  As we drove home, we saw that almost all are (except for a few of the lamp post garland lights that did not go on).

Long Beach town; I love the banner over the street.

At home, I was able to erase just one thing off the work board.

Tomorrow, good weather should continue and I hope to erase several things.

We have been binge watching This Is Us all week, after Allan suggested we get season one from the library.  I had thought I would find it schlocky and unlikeable.  How wrong I was.  Tonight, we streamed five episodes and are now caught up to the present in season two.  And I finished The Grapes of Wrath and embarked upon Cannery Row.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

 

sun on dogwood leaves outside our kitchen window

Ilwaco

We started by pulling the rest of the now wind-battered sweet peas off of the fence at the Ilwaco boatyard and trimmed some more Stipa gigantea.

The boatyard garden is all greens and silvers now.

Long Beach

We continued to whittle down the fall clean up of the Long Beach planters, starting with taking down the last of the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ at the welcome sign.

windblown geraniums

There’s no after photo.  Just imagine it pretty much empty.

In town, we could tell the weather was about to be variable.

I had decided to clip back Geranium ‘Rozanne’ even if it still had some blue flowers.  My memory was strong of how miserable it is to do an extensive post-frost clean up in cold weather with cold hands.

before

planter in front of the Coastal Inn and Suites

Allan cleaned up under two trees just to the north of my project.

before (with Pacicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and some badasters

Panicum “Heavy Metal’ is a kind of greyish green grass in summer.

after

It is better to wait to prune down ornamental grasses in late winter.  However, sometimes I just realize that passersby do not GET this grass and probably think it looks weedy in the winter (or anytime).

The first big rain squall came.  I got into the van.  Allan was stuck under an awning (in yellow vest by the white pillars).

I had found a couple of rocks in the planter.

I am now finding painted rocks that have been hidden in the planters all summer, not very effective because they were so lost that some of their designs have worn off.  Mr. Tootlepedal asked about the painted rocks.  It’s a hobby that has caught on around here, and towns all over Washington State and Oregon, too, have groups of folks who paint and hide pretty rocks.  When you find one, you can keep it or re-hide it.  You can join the Facebook group associated with whatever group logo is (usually) painted onto the back of the rock and post a photo of it.

From one of the local groups, Ocean Park and Long Beach Rocks:

We paint rocks and hide them all over town for others to find. On the back of the rocks write Ocean Park/Long Beach Rocks and a Facebook symbol. If you find a rock, you can keep it or re-hide it for others to enjoy. You can also post pictures here of the rocks you hide, as well as the rocks you find.

This is a family friendly activity, so please don’t decorate rocks with profanity or obscenities. Always remember that this activity is about community and spreading joy, happiness and love.

They do bring me a lot of enjoyment as I find them and can brighten up a hard work day.

After the squall, finishing up the planter by Coastal Inn:

We moved on to another intersection, skipping a couple of blocks to get to the planters that I felt needed tidying the most.  The one in front of Hungry Harbor Grille, with its tired California poppies, had been on my mind.

before, with the planter by the carousel in foreground

I left this one for Allan.

Allan clipped the catmint in the near one, and I tackled the diagonal one.

before

creating a big mess

I needed the wheelbarrow!

after

after

The Hungry Harbor was getting its doors painted for Christmas. She got one door outlined in the time it took to clean the planter.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan also cleaned up the planter in front of Sweet Phees snack and pizza shop.

before cutting back the golden marjoram

after

Cutting the perennials now prevents the cutting of bulb foliage of those that come up early, and lets the flowers of the small spring bulbs show off better.  The grape hyacinths foliage is already up, which is normal.

Another tree garden cleaned up by Allan:

before, near Castaways Bar and Grille.

We had once tried to make this tree garden special, with some hardy fuchsias and fewer badaster and hesperantha.  But people park their dogs in it, and bikes, too, I suppose, and the good new plants got smashed so it went back to badaster and hesperantha.

after (Allan’s photos)

At 4:30, 45 minutes before dusk, the rain came back in earnest so we went home.

I’m spending some of my evening time reading The Grapes of Wrath, which continues to be both stressful and satisfying.  Satisfying because I so agree with John Steinbeck.

About a rich man with a vast acreage who is “mean, lonely, old, disappointed, and scared of dying.”:

How times have not changed:

The desperately hungry, who cannot find work despite daily questing for work, dream of just a small piece of land where they could grow food to eat:

Is a different time coming?

In his review of the film of The Grapes of Wrath, Roger Ebert wrote, “Of course Tom [Joad] didn’t know the end of the story, about how the Okies would go to work in war industries and their children would prosper more in California than they would have in Oklahoma, and their grandchildren would star in Beach Boys songs. It is easy to forget that for many, “The Grapes of Wrath” had a happy, unwritten, fourth act.”  Fortunately, I did not read the review till after I’d finished the book; it has a big spoiler about the book’s final scene.

Roger Ebert was not entirely optimistic about the fate of the workers:

 “The story, which seems to be about the resiliency and courage of “the people,” is built on a foundation of fear: Fear of losing jobs, land, self-respect. To those who had felt that fear, who had gone hungry or been homeless, it would never become dated. And its sense of injustice, I believe, is still relevant. The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids so huge and so chummy with the government that Enron, for example, had to tractor itself off its own land.”

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 10 November 2017

If we methodically work through the fall clean up list, we might get it done by the end of this month and then be on staycation.  I’d like to be done (except for post frost clean up) by Thanksgiving (Nov 23).  This is not looking likely because of a prediction of at least five days of bad weather.

Port of Ilwaco

On the way to the port, we saw the sure signs of approaching crab season.  The crab fishing fleet has to wait for the crab to size up properly before it can begin.  They always hope for the beginning of December but often have to wait.  While they wait, they prepare their pots.

crab pots by the old Kola boathouse

I began with the small garden on the south side of the Port Office building.

port office garden with lots of lavenders to clip and one last big cosmos pulled

after (Allan cleaned up with his new, pretty quiet rechargeable blower)

It was a big advance recently when we acquired a battery operated blower.  I had avoided them because of the noise.  Allan picked out a quiet-ish one, and it does make the job go faster than a broom.  Perhaps he will insert the make and model here, for those who like specs.  ( A Greenworks 80V blower  Same battery operates our heavy duty string trimmer and could operate a replacement chainsaw or a mower in the future.)

just across Waterfront Way from the little garden

I joined Allan to help finish up his project, the final clean up of the Time Enough Books garden.

Each business has the garden or courtyard (or in some cases, just a parking lot) on the south side of the sidewalk.  The north side is the curbside garden, maintained by the port (usually by us, with the exception of a fish processing business that clips their own escallonias).

Time Enough Books, east side before

and after (elderberry lowered behind the boat, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ clipped down in front of the boat), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ pulled by the entrance to Purly Shell Fiber Arts)

before (Allan’s photos)

after

Time Enough Books west side garden, before

west side, after, with elderberry and tall grasses and more cut all the way down for ease of Christmas decorating; that was one year of growth on that elderberry, which we chop down every November.

before (Allan’s photos)

after

after easy peasy blower clean up

The Depot Restaurant

Allan did the once yearly chopping of the bamboo in a very narrow space between the deck and the building.  I am not even sure I could fit in there.

His photos:

bamboo all up in the works

after

A portly repairperson would have a hard time getting to that equipment even without the bamboo

We like the bamboo for long stakes.  I realized Allan would have to run it home before we loaded up the debris that I was cutting from the garden to the north of the dining deck.

trailer with long bamboo

He made quick work of taking the bamboo home and returning with an empty trailer.

I chopped down almost everything in the north garden.

before

Sous chef Jamie emerged from the kitchen and I asked him if he would leave up the Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’, which I love for its tiny yellow flowers still showing way up high.

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

He could not see the appeal of the old, worn plant, and I figured his opinion would be shared by most passersby, so down it came.  I am extra glad now, because a great deal of wind is being forecast and it would have had to be chopped next week for sure.

Solidago ‘Fireworks’, Persicaria ‘Firetrail’, and old ferns were for the chop.

after

I did leave up the late blooming Sanguisorba.

Sanguisorba menziesii ‘Dali Marble‘, backed with a self sown cotoneaster and with Cornus ‘Hedgerows Gold’

There will be one more short session of clean up in this garden after the first heavy frost.

I had hoped to get a couple of Long Beach planters cleaned up.  The frost is not yet here, and yet I woke up in the morning realizing I am tired of California poppies and nasturtiums’ last few blooms.  We ran out of time, so that will have to wait.  I wanted to get home with some daylight left to pick a bouquet for a friend who is recovering from surgery.

at home:

Allan’s photo

an autumn bouquet about to be delivered to dear Ilwaco friend

I got such a touching card from my neighbors.  I love the way it recognizes the true friendship I shared with Smoky.  (It wasn’t lopsided; it just photographed that way.)

Thank you.

On the work board, as much was added as erased.  I realized the port office garden looks battered by rain and needs a bag of mulch.  And I see that I need to add the Depot to the “post frost clean up” section.

I really hope we can accomplish all the pre-frost clean up before the end of this month.  All we need is five workable days!  ….Or six, since things usually take longer than I hope.

 

 

 

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

I got eight hours of sleep for the first time since my cat Smoky got sick.  This meant a late start to the day.  I had barely settled in to what I thought would be a reading afternoon when the sun emerged from rain and we decided to go to work.  We picked the Ilwaco boatyard so we would not get drenched far from home if rain returned.

I left Frosty in his peculiar new favourite spot:

smack dab in the middle of the back bedroom floor

On the way to work, we clipped the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ at the back of our volunteer post office garden.

Allan’s photo; no before; the Helianthus had been in the back corner.

Ilwaco boatyard

I had decided to take down some of the annuals now instead of waiting for frost, because I remembered how hard they were to pull from frozen ground.

sweet peas all the way to the top of the fence

Turns out that while I did pull some of the sweet peas and the taller cosmos, I could not bear to pull them all.

Tall cosmos and the tallest sweet peas and the verbascums got pulled.

Allan’s photo; We did get caught in a couple of brief squalls

Allan’s photo: This re-seeded euphorbia had to go, as it was too close to the sidewalk

Allan’s photos: All but the two Stipa gigantea at the center of the garden got their long stems trimmed.

Allan’s photos: sweet peas that I left blooming.

In pulling the old foliage off of a big Geranium ‘Rozanne’, I found a pair of clippers that I had lost over the summer.

The clippers had been hiding inside a santolina whose dead flowers I had sheared a month or more ago.

We had time to do a pretty good weeding all along the boatyard garden, as well, and to sow a bucket of poppy seeds that I had saved from deadheading there in late summer.  I thought the poppies might not reseed naturally because we had added a lot of mulch at the end of summer, smothering seedlings.  But I found quite a few new little poppy seedlings despite that, so good.

The crab pot tree has been assembled.  Allan will help decorate it later this month.

bare bones of the crab pot tree (Allan’s photo)

event poster by Don Nisbett

A fishing boat was pulling in to the nearby processing company, Ilwaco Landing.

 

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We dumped a few buckets of weeds at our dump spot, and took all the cosmos, sweet peas and clean non weedy clippings home to my compost mountain.

view from the east end of the marina

debris haul to compost bins (Allan’s photo)

the rain gauge from last night (Allan’s photo)

A dear local friend of ours is having post surgery woes.  Allan ran her son to McDonalds to get a meal, and then he and I went to meet Dave and Melissa for dinner at

Salt Pub.

It’s now dark when we go to dinner. Salt courtyard, Allan’s photo

Dave’s eyes were on a televised football game at the other end of the room.

fish and chips and sliders

clam chowder

Tomorrow we do expect the weather to be good enough for working, followed by a rainy weekend that I hope to devote to reading.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We had run into Steve and John at the 6×6 art auction three days before and were invited to tour their latest garden expansion.  On this cold and windy late afternoon, we bundled up and examined the entire garden…except for the beds on the east side, by the bay, from whence the wind came.  The tour was so interesting that we hardly commented on the cold.

Our tour started as we drove up to the house.

the driveway in

two beautiful piles of mulch that had just been delivered

young gingko by the irrigation pond

Met by Steve and John by the house, we began our walking tour.

This bed to the south east of the house was salal just a few days ago.  It is a hard task to get all the roots of that vigorously running native out of the ground, especially under a tree.

John picks a non variegated leaf off of a new variegated hydrangea.

The whole south side has been cleared of scrubby trees, including holly.

The tidal stream marking the edge of the property is now revealed.

Allan’s photo

I teased Steve and John that they would now be stretching a plank across the stream to lie on and trim the sword ferns on the other side.

I would have thought for sure the new shrub, below, in a new bed, was a rhododendron.  It is not.

Rhododendron ‘Pinky Purple People Eater’

Looking back on the new area. The tall old species rhododendrons to the left will enjoy the increased light.

Here is how it looked (not from exactly the same spot) earlier this year:

16 July 2017

We continued our walk to the west.

Foreground: Rhododendron ‘Cherries and Merlot’

Arbor Care from Astoria had done the expert clearing and had also limbed up the remaining trees. Steve and John said that when Arbor Care is done, you can’t even tell they were there (other than the results), because all the debris is chipped and cleaned up.

The photo below from January 1st demonstrates the difference in how the trees look now.

1 January 2017

We crossed the driveway, where the garden beds are also expanding.

a sinuous new bed

a fairly recent bed in the northwest lawn

Allan took notice of this tree, Athrotaxis cupressoides (Pencil Pine)

the very newest lawn bed of all

Each new plant gets some attention and admiration.

Quercus alnifolia (golden oak)

Quercus alnifolia (golden underside of leaves)

Allan noticed wire laid to discourage deer.

An independent minded dawn redwood which lost its leader and turned into a shrub.

The redwood on the other side of the driveway had behaved like a regular tree. This one…not. (Allan’s photo)

At least one big tree has been removed from this view, looking east over the pond.

Compare to May 2 of 2015.

May 2, 2015, on the Rhodie Tour

We walked back up the driveway, admiring the pushing back of scrubby salal and undergrowth on the south side, giving the garden greater depth..

Allan admired a fern.

the cryptomeria grove

Even though the photo below, from May 2, 2015, is from a little further to the east, it shows the difference that the clearing and limbing up has made.

May 2, 2015

center: Cryptomeria ‘Black Dragon’

right: Rhododendron ‘Ever Red’

Rhododendron ‘Hill’s Bright Red’

another new area

We admired more plants in the mature beds, planted in late spring 2009, to the northwest of the house.

Acer ‘Bijou’ in gold

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ blowing in the wind.

Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ (Allan’s photo)

autumnal hosta

(background) Rhododendrons closing their leaves against the cold wind

Brrr. They will close their leaves even more against winter’s cold.

Allan’s photo

Rhododendron pachysanthum by the front door

in the courtyard, looking through the breezeway (Allan’s photo)

coral bark maples

the last of the dahlias and the green roofed pump house

falling leaves

a look to the west before retreating indoors

same view on July 16 ’17

From the kitchen, we looked across the lower level to the stormy bay.  At a high winter tide, the water will come up over the rough grass.

south east corner: The evergreen huckleberry glade and the outlet of the tidal stream

view to the north: To the rear is Sorbus ‘Pink Pagoda’

A friend had given John and Steve some quinces, from which John had made a special treat, Quince membrillo, served with Monchego cheese, a delicious cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep.  Served on crackers, it brought back memories of my grandmother’s quince jelly.

Quince membrillo

We admired a new piece of art that they had recently acquired from local woodcarver Jim Unwin.

by Jim Unwin

We visited till early evening, about gardening and politics, little knowing the glorious news of the blue wave of Democrat victories that awaited us in the evening news.

If you would like to virtually tour this garden in different seasons, here are some of our past posts about it:

26 September, 2013

21 April 2014

16 June 2014

19 July 2014 (garden tour)

2 September 2014

7 March 2015

2 May 2015 (Rhodie Tour)

23 June 2015

21 April 2016

24 July 2016

1 January 2017

11 May 2017

16 July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

In the wee dark hours of the morning, blustery wind battering the south wall of the bedroom woke me repeatedly, and I did not look forward to the work day.

Allan saw a gorgeous sunrise outside the kitchen window.

Because we knew the next few days would bring substantial rain and stronger wind, we went out to work despite the cold weather.  I started out sore because of a bit of physical stress the previous evening.  Cats had knocked over a jade plant on a cute but wobbly table by my bathroom window.  I knew it was a potential problem when I set it up, and had done so anyway, so I blame no cat for the mess.  After repotting the unhappy plant, and in returning from our front porch with a better table, I had tripped sideways at the front door, yowling and windmilling into the living room.  I had saved myself from a fall but felt all twisted up.  I know all too well from the experiences of friends that one bad fall can change your life for months…or permanently.

Long Beach

I had had in mind today to trim a big lavender in the planter by First Place mall.  Allan did so while I tidied the planter across the street and then took refuge in the van while he finished up.  This particular task was set in a tunnel of east wind whipping down the cross street.  The east wind from the Columbia Gorge is the coldest wind that we get here.

before (Allan’s photo)

I wimped out.

after (Allan’s photo)

cold

We went on to Veterans Field, where I planted an arc of elephant garlic corms.  As with the city hall garden, someone this past summer had clipped off all of the flowers on the few that were in the vet field corner garden.  Next year there will be many more.

I met a darling dog named Snack.  His guy had also had a dog named Lunch.

Again, the US flag at the flag pavilion flew at half staff, again for a mass shooting.

We chose a somewhat sheltered Long Beach spot to continue, in the two eastern quadrants of Fifth Street Park.  I’d had the idea of using our strongest string trimmer on an annoyingly rooty and muddy bed of lady’s mantle and hesperantha.  Allan did it.  It worked a treat.

Allan’s photos: before

before

after

after

I tackled a messy long narrow bed on the north side.  It had been planted in haste before the re-dedication of the razor clam statue a few years back.  A couple of blue scabiosa had turned into way too many.  I started digging them out because I want a new look here, something not so prolific.

before

before

I got into a big mess of debris as I got every scabiosa  and a lot of the badaster out.  I had not intended to spend so long at it, because KBC was still on the schedule.

huge mess

Allan got done with his strimming project and helped me clean up.  I did not have time to dig through the soil to get out more of the telltale pinky purple BadAster roots, and there is still no pile of mulch for us to bring to this now battered looking bed.  (We are assured that a pile of mulch will soon appear for us at City Works.)

after (the juniper, foreground, goes way back to before we did this garden)

after (with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in white)

A tourist passerby from Woodinville, north of Seattle, had no idea what the razor clam statue represents.  Its signage is covered for winter while its plumbing (that lets it squirt on the hour) is turned off.  I will suggest to the powers that be that the clam needs a year round interpretive sign, perhaps just “Pacific Razor Clam” on its base.

In summer, you can also put in a quarter to make the clam squirt at any time during the day.

Of course, now is my opportunity to post again the droll letter my dear friend Montana Mary wrote to the local paper during the years when the clam did not squirt at all.  The statue was re-plumbed when the clam festival revived in 2014.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We had stopped at The Planter Box to acquire a belated birthday present for manager/part owner Mary of KBC.  In a big rush to have at least an hour to work at KBC, we took no photos at the garden store.

We did come up with a pretty flower pot, three plants, and three cute gourds to make a birthday present.

Allan’s photo

We had time for one hour of work, after texting garden friends that we were running fifteen minutes late for a late afternoon social engagement.

Allan cut down the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ behind the fenced garden sit spot.

Allan’s photos, before

after

I clipped and pulled in the other beds, without enough time to accomplish enough to finish off the fall clean up.  Still, three wheelbarrows of debris left the garden.  Even without our late afternoon plans, we would not have enough time.  I need to schedule a day of nothing but this garden in order to finish it up for the year.  It’s so sheltered that it’s a good place to choose for a windy day.

Before we left, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.

the sit spot

flower bud on Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

birdbath view

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

We left KBC at 3:15 for a Bayside Garden tour, which will be tomorrow’s post.

Later, at home…

The work board got two things erased, Fifth Street Park and planting of garlic in Vet Field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 3 November 2017

We did not have a workday breakfast (heartier than cereal) because rain inspired us to sleep late. Calvin enjoyed a bit of my cereal milk.  It was nice to have someone to share with.

Calvin’s treat

When the sky cleared, Allan hooked up the trailer and we headed off to work, or so we thought.

A substantial hail storm drove us back home from the post office.

So much hail fell that it was slippery walking in to the house.

I settled in to read for awhile.  Our Kathleen dropped by on her way into town with a memorial present for my Smoky.

a choice Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ from Our Kathleen

As we visited, the weather began to clear.  Kathleen departed and at 1:45 PM we went out to do some work.

blue sky over the front garden

I thought at the very least, we could get some checks into the bank, for which we have to go to Long Beach.

fungi by our bank parking spot

Long Beach

I walked around and checked three blocks worth of planters, using the wheelie cart from Mary Beth while I cut back old foliage.

weeding the curbside

In a sad mood, I did not feel like taking photos.

I did find one rock, so worn from being hidden deep in a planter that I could barely tell what the painting depicted.  I first thought it was a bulb and almost shoved it deeper in.

a birthday cake, I think

I did see an odd thing when I cleaned up one small area of Fifth Street Park:

Fifth Street Park, NE quadrant.  Look next to the white post…

??what is??

Allan took photos of his clean up project in the NW quadrant of Fifth Street Park, in which he cut back some perennials and pulled some cosmos

.

before

after

before

before cutting back Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

after

before (I still think this huge grass needs to come out, a daunting task)

after retrieving the path

Allan cleaned up this planter; before

after

By the time we left, the sky was ominous.

dramatic sky

I loathe the discouragement of shopping for clothes, but while Allan dumped the debris at City Works, I went to Dennis Company and found a pair of warm, soft black pants that actually have pockets.   I have misplaced my one pair of winter pants that don’t have holes in them! How I got to be an XXL is beyond me, considering that I work hard.  I would have bought two pairs of those pants, because they fit and it would save me from future shopping for awhile, were it not for the sad fact that only one in that size was available.

Recommended reading on the subject of size:

On the way home, I needed more Ethos 2:1 tincture from Mr. Doobie’s.  It seems to have been preventing back spasms.  While I was in the shop, Allan looked  behind it at Tarlatt Slough, an old portage route.

 

View north as it flows under Hwy 101 by Sandridge.

 

Tarlatt Slough south towards Black Lake

 

at home

I remembered that I had a couple of Geranium ‘Orion’ divisions to plant in the bogsy woods so bunged them in along the back fence at dusk.

Skooter came with me…

…and Smoky’s brother, Frosty.

I like Frosty, even though he is part Siamese, yowly and neurotic.  (Lately he insists on sleeping in the cold garage, and I do not know why.)  I like Skooter, even though Skooter likes Allan best.

Skooter, age four and a half

Some tears fell because I miss my adored Smoky’s company.  He adored me, too.

Julez of Salt Hotel and Pub did such a kind thing by bringing us a dinner of smoked tuna sandwiches, a gift of comfort for the loss of our cat.

Delicious food from Salt Pub

I talked with a friend today about what it is like when you have more than one pet, and the very best one is the one that dies.  I found it comforting to share that feeling with someone.

I hoped that Allan and I could get in one more workday in Fifth Street Park on Saturday.  It would have to be a short day because of the always exciting annual 6×6 auction starting at 5 PM.

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