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Posts Tagged ‘Howerton Street gardens’

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Ilwaco

We had to attend to a pruning job for the port, one that might be our friend Ed’s job technically but which he did not have time to do.  For the length of four garden beds along Howerton, associated with the former location of the now defunct Shorebank Ilwaco, we have a continuing problem with shrubs that are too tall and wide for the space.

The Shorebank building and Ilwaco Pavilion

The Shorebank building (tall) and Ilwaco Pavilion (pale blue roof)

We used to maintain the entire garden for Shorebank but gave it up to our friend Ed; last year, we started doing just the weeding of the curbside garden.  The shrubs, some of which have been pruned in the photo above (you can see Allan sweeping up) can block the sightline of people driving out of the Sportsmen’s Cannery carpark next door.

today: before

today: before

The Arbutus, which would have beautiful strawberry like fruit, can never be allowed to get big enough to bloom.  Our plan is to have the port crew completely pull them out in the fall and end this hopeless situation.  If the shrubs were pulled out now, the garden would look raw during the summer.

after

after


after: We also cut a wax myrtle completely to the ground and clipped back some red twig dogwood.

after: We also cut a wax myrtle completely to the ground and clipped back some red twig dogwood.

Beyond the end of that line of shrubs begins my long run of low plantings all the way to the west end, with the exception of one sprawling ceanothus that would love to be too tall.  It is the only large shrub or grass that I have spared along the rest of our Howerton Street gardens.  (There are a few escallonias left but those are pruned by individual business owners who planted them.)

This job had not even been on the schedule so our day was thrown into some disarray and we barely had time to take a look at the tall ship that had sailed into port before moving on to other jobs.

Ilwaco marina

Ilwaco marina (Allan’s photo)

tallship

the poster for the event

the poster for the event, by our friend Don Nisbett

We had other plans than to attend the weekend’s tall ship events.  If you’d like to see our album of previous visits of the tall ships, here it is.

Diane’s garden and The Red Barn

With the port garden all shipshape, we did the tiniest of jobs at Diane’s garden, planting up a tiny bicycle.  For such a tiny project, it took awhile because of cutting landscape fabric rounds to hold the soil.

tiny plant bike

tiny plant bike


all planted up with some sedums and diascias.

all planted up with some sedums and diascias and one wee Penstemon davidsonii


Allium schubertii in Diane's garden

Allium schubertii in Diane’s garden

We briefly checked on the planted barrels at the Red Barn next door and then moved on.

by the Red Barn

by the Red Barn

The Basket Case Greenhouse

Scabiosa in the greenhouse

Scabiosa in the greenhouse


a frilly dianthus

a frilly dianthus

I got a couple more Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ for the Long Beach planters as I had used the previous purchase at the Boreas Inn garden instead, and a bale of mulch for the Anchorage Cottages garden.

The Anchorage Cottages

Other than applying the mulch bale, we had time for only a brief grooming of the Anchorage gardens.

by the office

by the office


Agastache 'Acapulco Salmon and Pink'

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’


the last of the Dutch Iris

the last of the Dutch Iris


Since we had to cut back an ailing ceanothus, this rose is doing much better in the light.

Since we had to cut back an ailing ceanothus, this rose is doing much better in the light.


Allium bulgaricum

Allium bulgaricum backed with Melianthus major


manager Beth was diligently weeding the patio pavers.

manager Beth was diligently weeding the patio pavers.


She did an excellent job.

She did an excellent job.

Allan’s mulching project:

Gardner-Bloome-Soil-Building-Compost

before, where we had replaced a tatty leatherleaf viburnum

before, where we had replaced a tatty leatherleaf viburnum with some small sea thrift


after

after


with enough left over for this

with enough left over for this

Long Beach

Finally, we got to our big job of the day, the first official watering of all the Pacific Way Long Beach planters.  This is where the struggle came in (although the pruning had been a bit of a struggle and so had planting up the tiny bicycle): Of course, it turned out that some of the in-planter water was not turned on. We water by hooking up a short hose with a quick-connect to a faucet in each planter. Allan bucket watered one block of planters (consisting of just two of them) at the north end of town.  I called Parks Manager Mike in despair at the next block with no water, to find that the fixture that runs that whole block (with two trees and four planters) was broken and might not be fixed till next week.  The planters were DRY and needed water badly.  Bless his heart, he promised that the next day, the crew member who waters the hanging baskets would also water those planters so we did not have to haul heavy buckets across the street.

 The first watering is always stressful, finding out which hose connectors are clogged, and which ones are going to give us trouble of some sort of another, so I struggled through it without taking photos…except for a brief stop, at the very beginning, at NIVA green to collect some new photos for the shop’s Facebook page.  The fifteen photos I took will keep the page refreshed for another fifteen days.

NIVA green, my favourite shop

NIVA green, my favourite shop


outside NIVA green

outside NIVA green


inside, a new lamp by Heather Ramsay

inside, a new lamp by Heather Ramsay


I should have bought this; was too frazzled to think of how it matches some other little dishes that I have.

I should have bought this; was too frazzled to think of how it matches some other little dishes that I have.

We were trying to fertilize with Fox Farms Tiger Bloom instead of Miracle Gro.  That lasted for two blocks.  I realized that it was taking much much longer, as the fertilizer had to be mixed in a bucket because I’m not sure how to make it work in a hose end sprayer…and I also realized it would cost $100 each time we fertilize because the stuff is over $50 a jug.  That is ridiculous.  It only costs about $6 to water all the planters with the blue stuff.   And the jug was heavy, and and and….  This is impossible!!! With my mind simply exploding I said we are going back to Miracle Gro.  I’m sad, and wanted to go completely organic, but it is just too hard in Long Beach, and seems like a futile quest when the hanging baskets there are watered with Miracle Gro anyway.  The Fox Farms fert will be fine in planters at the Anchorage, Ilwaco, and my garden, where there aren’t so many and they aren’t such BIG planters.  So much for my principles, huh?

I must have recovered and had a burst of inspiration when we got to Fifth Street Park, as I managed a few photos there.

Sanguisorba in the park ('Pink Elephant', perhaps)

Sanguisorba in the park (‘Pink Elephant’, perhaps)


Allium bulgaricum in the park

Allium bulgaricum in the park


Geranium 'Rozanne' in one of the planters

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in one of the planters


I was closely observed.

I was closely observed.

As we went along watering, we added “uppies” to the planters that had been missed before.

Allan's photo: adding two uppies

Allan’s photo: adding two uppies (Salvia ‘Hot Lips’), one on each side of the pole

After the watering was done, with our shirt sleeves soaked by hose mishaps, we planted a couple of Agastaches to fluff up the garden at the World Kite Museum.

Allan's photo: placing two agastaches

Allan’s photo: placing two agastaches


I fretted over not having a matched set...but that's the way it worked out, with one 'Blue Blazer' and one 'Kudos Gold'.  The best laid plans....

I fretted over not having a matched set…but that’s the way it worked out, with one ‘Blue Blazer’ and one ‘Kudos Gold’. The best laid plans….


Allan planting at the kite museum entry garden

Allan planting at the kite museum entry garden

The Cove Restaurant

We did not get to the Cove till after seven for our traditional Thursday dinner.

Parking Lot Cat greeted us.

Parking Lot Cat greeted us.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


my good friend Parking Lot Cat

my good friend Parking Lot Cat

When we entered, we heard the singing of happy birthday, and knew it was for our friend J9 who was having one of several birthday dinners tonight, this one with her friend Judi.  Our celebration with her will be next week.

Their birthday dessert: cannoli

Their birthday dessert: cannoli

When we saw the cannoli, I immediately asked owner Sondra if there were any left, and she saved the last cannolo for us.

Allan's noodle bowl

Allan’s noodle bowl


Thursday evening rest and relaxation

Thursday evening rest and relaxation


my ahi tuna

my ahi tuna


so delicious

so delicious, with tiny Peruvian peppers


our cannolo

our cannolo


We shared nicely.

We shared nicely.


golf course wildflower garden

golf course wildflower garden

At home, just look at the work board; all the annuals are planted.

home

I might get some more cosmos and painted sage to plant here and there, but the official Annuals Planting Time is done.

 

 

 

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Monday, 10 February 2014

I had expected a day of wind and rain. By noon, I realized we actually had a window of working weather, so off we went, but not before a last minute kerfuffle. I happened to look at the Garden Bloggers Fling page on Facebook and saw a notice that only ten spaces remained for the event! We had been putting off deciding whether or not to go. I had hesitated because of an attack of the “shys” and we had both hesitated because of money, as we had already signed up for the Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend in Seattle, just two weeks before the fling. The idea of missing out was a quick decider and we registered. We’re still not sure if we are IN or on the waiting list.

With that taken care of, we made our usual post office stop and I suddenly decided to dig up the sad lavender on the front corner of our volunteer garden there and, just as suddenly, to put an edge on the small patch of lawn.

before

before

after, with room for something quite special on the corner...not sure what it will be

after, with room for something quite special on the corner…not sure what it will be

I think that little triangle of lawn needs to go and be replaced with packed gravel. It can’t be garden because post office patrons WILL cut across there.

Our work goal, to get something done down at the Howerton Way gardens at the port, was easily accomplished, and we were close to home in case the weather changed.

We started at the Powell Gallery.

We started at the Powell Gallery.

during...

during…

after

after

cutting back Sedum 'Autumn Joy' by the Port Office

cutting back Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by the Port Office

the south side of the Port Office

the south side of the Port Office

One red triangle flag flew on the flagpole, denoting a wind warning of 20 to 38 mph. The breeze kicked up while I weeded along the wall of the garden above, and the sky darkened enough to wash out my attempt to photograph a sweet patch of Iris ‘Katharine Hodgekin’.

Iris histroides 'Katherine Hodgekin'

Iris histroides ‘Katherine Hodgekin’

You can see a much better photo here.

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' for once (so far) not reverting to green.

Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ for once (so far) not reverting to green.

We moved on to the garden by Time Enough Books. Once upon a time, we moved (with difficulty) the two big Phormiums from the parking strip to either side of the shop door. Now, owner Karla as well as Allan and I have completely gone off them. She wants them GONE and I am hoping she can get the port crew to dig them out with equipment as we are too old to tackle plants of this size with our hand tools.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books with two unwanted Phormiums

time to cut back or comb out the ornamental grasses

time to cut back or comb out the ornamental grasses

I'm waiting to see if the semi-prostrate Ceanothus leafs out again...

I’m waiting to see if the semi-prostrate Ceanothus leafs out again…

In a drizzle that rapidly increased toward driving rain, we tidied up and weeded the gardens by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and then swung by the boatyard to chop the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ that, last week, I decided to leave standing till after the cold snap. One more plant in town had been plaguing me even though I had not even looked at it yet, so after we dumped our debris out in the field east of the marina, we stopped briefly at Mayor Mike’s garden. As I had known it would, the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in the front garden looked ghastly. With it clipped back, I took one last photo of the day of the newly restored to its formal garden look.

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

When we got home, just ahead of a big rain squall, I saw from my desk window that two flags now flew at the Port Office. Perhaps we’ll have more days off because of rain and wind. I’m awfully glad we got the Fifth Street Park in Long Beach done last week.

warning flags flown at the port office

warning flags flown at the port office

I am happy to report that after being laid almost flat by the recent cold, my Hellebores are standing up again! I was not sure they would, and am very pleased and relieved because I so enjoy the long show they put on in the late winter garden.

revived

revived

 

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Friday, 29 November, 2013

Just some rather dull befores and afters

I was sure I heard rain this morning and thought we might have a day off.  I wanted to work in order to cross one more thing off the list.  Later, Kathleen S. told me I had not heard rain at all.  There had been none.  Apparently I had heard the moisture from heavy fog burbling into the water barrel.  She was impressed that I could “hear fog”.

So we went to the Port and clipped back Lavender and Gaura ‘Whirling  Butterflies’ in the beds along Howerton near the Port Office.

before, looking east

before, looking east

after

after

summer flashback on Howerton

summer flashback on Howerton

At the Time Enough Books garden, we removed a big woody Lavender.  My idea to take it out, Allan’s work with the pick:

We will put something new here next spring.

We will put something new here next spring.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

books

Next we went to Fifth Street Park in Long Beach and weeded and cut back catmint in the quadrant in front of Marsh’s Free Museum and Captain Bob’s Chowder.

before

before

after

after

flashback to summer

flashback to summer

A light mist fell on us now and then and no glaring sun cast a blinding light on the job.  To me, today offered pleasant weather.

We circled round to the “little pop outs” on Boulevard and 7th SW to pull some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

crocosmia

We just ignored most of the low growing weeds because we had a mission to get to Andersen’s today.

I now consider Long Beach almost done.  After the upcoming predicted cold spell, we will walk the town one more time to cut back frost damaged plants and then consider it put to bed for the winter.  (Unless, when we are driving through town, I see something in a garden or planter that bothers me.)

Sadly, we could not dump our debris because the city works gate was locked and our key would not work.  (It has been acting sticky.)  So,  stuck with a trailerload, we just drove on and made it up to Andersen’s RV Park after two thirty.

Allan took on the arduous task of wheelbarrowing dairy manure mulch all the way from the pile on the southeast side of the house (under some trees) to the gardens on the west side.

I cleaned up the picket fence garden some more and still did not get it done.

before

before

after

after

before and after

before and after

still more to do...and bad weather coming.

still more to do…and bad weather coming.

flashback to summer

flashback to summer

Allan’s job looked lovely.

west bed

west bed

The bed in the foreground remains to be done and certainly shows the difference!

The bed in the foreground remains to be done and certainly shows the difference!

flashback to summer

flashback to summer

While we gardened, the Andersen’s staff cut down a shore pine and brought it in for a Christmas tree.

Andersen's office

Andersen’s office

We need just a few more hours here to declare this garden put to bed.

The work board is getting smaller.  I erased most of the jobs that are done.

board

I officially put Klipsan Beach Cottages and Wiegardt Gallery gardens to bed by deciding that they don’t need another visit and removing them from the list.  That was easy.  Marilyn’s could use another session of cutting back perennials (but not too many; we like to leave it wild for the winter).  Ilwaco and the Port need one more walk through.  I should put a big question mark after Erin’s as we may wait till February to make her new garden bed.   And I started a new work list called “After Frost” for those last removals of blackened plants.

The most recent work list is called 2014, and is the one to which I will shift everything that does not get done soon.

I am eager to start staycation as soon as possible because the relaxation of January is going to be impacted by my being called for jury duty.  Around here, that probably means that I will call in every weekend and find that the trial for the next week has been cancelled, but it COULD mean having to get up horribly early during my month off.

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Monday, 25 November, 2013

As the weather continues to be bright and warm, I am not envious of the sleeping cats when I leave the house for work.

Smokey and his mom Mary are awfully cute.

Smokey and his mom Mary are awfully cute.

I had looked hopefully on the porch for the delayed shipment of 200 tulips that had been supposed to arrive on Friday, and without which the three last bulb planting jobs and the happy end of bulb time was frustratingly delayed. No bulbs! My back up plan, to mulch instead, would depend on whether or not Raymond was available at the Planter Box to load us with cow manure. Yes, he was!

First we had to unload yesterday’s debris from the trailer. The clean debris went into one of the piles in the back garden, giving me a chance to check on it; I had not had much free daylight time lately.

back garden today

back garden today

The last glorious dahlia is done.

The last glorious dahlia is done.

All the hardy Fuchsias have their leaves crisped by frost. This makes me sad as they usually last much longer.

Fuchsias and Verbascum

Fuchsias and Verbascum

With an empty trailer, we went straight to The Planter Box. While getting ready to load the “Bovine Fiber Digest” (their official name for the processed dairy manure), Raymond told me that we are one of the two warmest spots in the country today: Florida at 70 something degrees and SW Washington Coast in the 60s. I had already changed to my summer shirt.

first load of cow fiber

11:30 AM: first load of cow fiber

Our first target: The Anchorage Cottages.

Anchorage, garden near office, before

Anchorage, garden near office, before

after

after

lovely cow poo

lovely cow poo

Courtyard garden, before, with more of the low glaring sun we are having daily.

Courtyard garden, before, with more of the low glaring sun we are having daily.

courtyard after

courtyard after

I kept the mulch a bit back from the edge so the little, well, turdlets, won’t roll out onto the nice clean courtyard. So the contrast between old sandy soil and the new rich look shows well here:

contrast

contrast

We had enough mulch to do part of the beds by the south end of the cottage complex, as well. Then, back to The Planter Box. I was determined to get as much mulching done as possible since Raymond was there all day long; when he is off on a landscaping job, there is no one to load the fiber.

12:44 PM:  second load

12:44 PM: second load

We had a problem when leaving the Planter Box: The speedometer, tachometer, and gas tank, er, thingie (how much gas is left) all went to zero. It was not the alternator, as the radio and the indicator that shows our miles per gallon still worked. It added considerable worry, in my mind at least. The day had been going so well and I hoped to get three loads of mulch distributed without mechanical problems bringing us to a halt. I especially dread a breakdown with a heavy trailer of mulch attached.

When we got to Long Beach, the second load (which I decided to not refer to as “load number two”) went here:

the newly redone bed in frying pan park, Fifth Street in Long Beach

the newly redone bed in frying pan park, Fifth Street in Long Beach

Hmm, I think that garbage can brings down the tone. It is a cute enough garbage can, but having the bag showing is not quite right. However, it is Not My Problem, and it will not show as much when a bench gets put back next to it. [Next day I learned that it is going to be removed.]

We also added a nice layer of cow poo to the small garden bed on the south side of Summer House, the yellow house you can see in the background of the above photo. And joy! When Allan turned the van back on, all the meters worked as they should. I had been hoping that turning if off and on again would do the trick.

Next we added a nice layer of Cow Fiber at the welcome sign. (Last week we had mulched all three of these areas with Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply.)

welcome sign with a double whammy of two kinds of mulch

welcome sign with a double whammy of two kinds of mulch

To my delight, the four scoops of cow fiber extended far enough to put a thick layer on the north and east side beds at the Depot Restaurant.

lusciousness at the Depot

lusciousness at the Depot (north side of deck)

east side of dining room

east side of dining room

Back to The Planter Box for load number three!

2:20 PM: Raymond tidies up the Cow Fiber pile after loading our trailer.

2:20 PM: Raymond tidies up the Cow Fiber pile after loading our trailer.

By the way, The Planter Box has a nice selection of bulbs for those who might still need some. It is not too late to plant; around here, you can plant bulbs well into December.

bulbs

bulbs

Just to keep the suspense strong about whether or not we would accomplish offloading three loads of mulch today, the engine light came on in the van. My heart sank when I came back outside from paying and saw Allan with his head under the hood. Whatever he did worked. The light went off and all was well as we drove to the Port of Ilwaco.

and at the Port of Ilwaco

at the Port of Ilwaco

We mulched the end of the bed where we had weeded and planted new plants last week.

bed, with empty wheelbarrow

bed, with empty wheelbarrow

And we mulched down at the Port Office on the new-this-past-year south side bed.

3:07 PM:  Oh, how I wanted the glaring blinding sun to go behind Cape Disappointment!

3:07 PM: Oh, how I wanted the glaring blinding sun to go behind Cape Disappointment!

Then we headed over to Mayor Mike’s garden at the south end of Lake Street. There, we used much less mulch than I had thought the garden would need. The beds are quite narrow. I forgot to take a picture, but I did take one of two of my canine friends walking by.

Dwight walking Larry and Big River.

Dwight walking Larry and Big River.

The dogs had had a great time at the riverside park on the east end of town.

With plenty of cow fiber left, we unexpectedly had enough to do more mulching down at the port along Howerton Street.

beds along Howerton north of the Port Office

beds along Howerton north of the Port Office

I do hope to find time Friday or even on Thanksgiving day to do some trimming of the plants here, as this weekend is the first day of the Saturday Christmas Market in a storefront just at the end of these beds (next to Time Enough Books, where the red Christmas Market sign is on the left).

More luscious mulch should help hold moisture next summer.

More luscious mulch should help hold moisture next summer.

We had just enough left to add a smattering of mulch by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and The Imperial Schooner restaurant at the west end of Howerton.

a Jade Frost Eryngium still blooming, albeit sideways

a Jade Frost Eryngium still blooming, albeit sideways

looking east

looking east

and north

and north

more jet trails

pots ready for crabbing

On the drive down to Ilwaco, I had seen a disconcerting sight in the Fifth Street park’s waterfall quadrant: The Gunnera was DOWN. We did not stop for fear we would not have gotten the manure offloaded before dark, but now we went back to Long Beach to deal with the problem.

unsightly frosted Gunnera

unsightly frosted Gunnera by Benson’s By The Beach Restaurant

I saw a Little Brown Bird dining on the Gunnera seeds!

very busy

very busy

Little Brown Bird

Little Brown Bird

bird

At the back of the park, the lacecap Hydrangea had also been hit hard by unseasonal frost. It is a darn shame because the frost was followed by such summery weather and warmer nights.

a limp hydrangea

a limp hydrangea

We cut back the dead leaves of the Gunnera and tucked some of them over the crown in hope of protecting it from future frost. The seeds are still there for the Little Brown Bird.

Gunnera tucked in for winter

Gunnera tucked in for winter

Here’s something ever so satisfying: The white board in the kitchen tonight.

Today's accomplishment! before and after

Today’s accomplishment! before and after

Also satisfying: the last bulbs came and are now sorted and ready to plant tomorrow. We have one large and one medium bulb batch to plant and two little afterthought batches of fifteen each. When that is done, and The Boreas Inn and Andersen’s RV Park are mulched, one side of the project board will be blank. I am going to shift mulching Jo’s over to the planned work for next February! Then we just have to deal with the list of last clean ups (weeding and cutting plants back) for each garden:

here they all are

here they all are

Jo’s is a big one, as is Long Beach.

And then staycation will begin! Unless….unless….we decide to put in a big garden bed at Erin’s place before our winter break.

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Sunday, 17 November, 2013

The weather surprised us by being quite workable after some morning rain. While hooking up the trailer, Allan found a large Melianthus major flower thrown on the sidewalk, clearly by a finger blight suspect who just wanted to damage and not take. I had wanted to take a photo of ALL the flowers that have come out on the plant.

now missing one

now missing one

I saw an elephant garlic blossom also thrown upon the sidewalk.

When we arrived at our first job, Larry and Robert’s just five doors down (across Pearl Avenue), we saw that across the street from them, lots of hydrangea flowers were on the ground. We assume the same finger blighter hit that yard, as well, and yanked flowers off the hydrangeas by the fence. Whoever it was would have had to be tall enough to reach my Melianthus flower. I ask you, why?

evidence

evidence

color echo

color echo with the fire station in the garden scross from Larry and Robert’s

We are having an influx of new neighbours on the street, including (soon) at the house across from Larry and Robert’s, and we are happy to welcome them. We’ve already met one on our block, named Judy, three doors down!. I’m calling her “New Judy” for now (in my mind) and when speaking of Judy four doors down, I don’t call my dear friend “Old Judy”, but instead “Our Judy”, a phrasing I learned from Coronation Street and from my previous marriage to a Leedsman. Or I could call them Judy Four Doors Down and Judy Three Doors Down. I used to know so many Kathleens that we just called them all by their last names (till two of them moved away and now I just have two Kathleens in my life, one of whom we still call “Sayce” from olden days). I’ve never before known multiple Judys!

Whoever moves in across from Larry and Robert’s, if they are gardeners, will find some nice boxwood and hydrangeas. Most of the yard is incomplete and will be an interesting blank palate for someone to play with. The blueberry and other shrubs that tones so well with the police station dates back to when architect Anthony and writer Victoria Stoppiello had a wonderful, mysterious, half wild garden there. The very first thing I would do is cut down that badly pruned rhododendron that is so gangly….but it is no secret that I am not a fan of plain old rhodos, ill pruned and in the wrong place. Now, some nice species rhodos with fabulous indumentum like at a certain bay side garden are another thing altogether.

New Judy loves to garden and has a completely blank slate of lawn. I wonder if she knows about the newspaper method of garden bed creation. Perhaps she would like some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

There is even a possibility that some people who bought a nearby house to “flip” it have fallen in love with Ilwaco and might keep it as a second home. Ilwaco can have that effect!

Meanwhile, at Larry and Robert’s, I had laid out the bulbs and we planted and weeded small weeds along the front of the garden beds.

looking from Larry and Robert's east, with Judy and Tom's in the background

looking from Larry and Robert’s east, with Judy and Tom’s in the background

a lovely photo but I left my bulb bucket by the boat!

a lovely photo but I left my bulb bucket by the boat!

Here we mostly plant Narcissi with some Alliums and minor bulbs. I dared some Tulip ‘Princess Irene’ in the boat as it is short and strong for the wind and perhaps the deer will ignore it.

Larry and Robert's old hydrangea

Larry and Robert’s old hydrangea

pineapple sage

pineapple sage

and an even bigger pineapple sage.  (blooms late, leaves smell like pineapple)

and an even bigger pineapple sage. (blooms late, leaves smell like pineapple)

Both the pineapple sages came back from last year and are thriving on the east wall with protection from southwest wind.

Then…down to the Port to finish the project we left yesterday to go to the Wizard of Oz play.

Allan weeded a green lawn of short grass out from this bed...what a job!

Allan weeded a green lawn of short grass out from this bed…what a job!

Two boys were skateboarding on the picnic table by the restrooms and then they started to sing an offkey version of Over the Rainbow, so they must have seen the play, as well.

finished what I started yesterday

finished what I started yesterday

I put two plant starts from my friend Sheila into the bed above: a hebe and Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’. We planted short narcissi in both beds, especially ‘Baby Moon’. We went on to add Baby Moon, Itzim, Peeping Tom, Baby Boomer, and Sun Disc narcissi at the Shoalwater Cove and Pelicano curbside garden, and Time Enough Books, and Queen La De Da’s. The Baby Moons should still be blooming prolifically for the annual children’s parade at the beginning of May.

Last year, we planted scads of crocuses and Iris reticulata as well. Crows and seagulls were watching and dug up and pecked at almost all of them.

colour echo with grasses and crab pots by Queen La De Da's Art Castle

faint colour echo with grasses and crab pots by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

Signs of crabbing are everywhere now, as crabbers get poised for when the season begins.

a truckload of floats

a truckload of floats

The frames are a shout out to my favourite blogger, Mr. Tootlepedal.

I had a big idea of getting my own bulbs planted in the last hour of daylight. A drizzle arriving just as we parked at home put an end to that. Our Judy walked down with some Dave’s Killer Bread loaves (essential to the digestion) that she and Tom had picked up for us across the river, and we had a visit in the misty rain. At least I got my bulbs out on a shelf to stay nice and airy, and if it rains on Monday, I will organize them by garden area so they go in quickly when the time comes. A storm is due; I would love time in the morning to plant the Veterans Field bulbs in Long Beach before it arrives, as we certainly did not get there today.

Meanwhile, as with Saturday evening, I spend hours making bulb spreadsheets for each friend who went in on my big order. I do enjoy a nice alphabetical spreadsheet and it is a huge relief when the money comes out right, as I juggle a lot when sorting to make sure this person gets $30 of bulbs and that one exactly $100, and that one $50, and a more impoverished friend maybe just $10 worth. People with a deer problem get no tulips; those with fenced areas or protected containers can grow tulips. I charge no mark up; the profit (other than in the labor of the ones I plant) is in seeing the beauty in the spring.

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Mr. Tootlepedal used the words “photo diary” to describe his own blog (one of my favourites.  I read each daily entry and intend to catch up on an entire past year of it this winter).  This is also a perfect description of mine.  I would not even remember much what happened except that now I try to take photos of each stage of the day.

Thursday, 10 October, 2013

Today we tidied up the Ilwaco Post Office garden (a volunteer project).  Woe betide the day that I let a scrap of Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’ work its way in here hiding inside the roots of a good plant from my mother’s garden.  I pulled lots of it today and there is still some left.

Ilwaco post office

Ilwaco post office

Next door to the post office:  an early sign of the Halloween extravaganza soon to come to Lake and Spruce Streets

Next door to the post office: an early sign of the Halloween extravaganza soon to come to Lake and Spruce Streets

We remembered to add to Larry and Robert’s back entry the buckets of pea gravel and river rock that we dropped off there yesterday.  (Last week it took us three days to get back and apply two buckets of gravel.)

Larry and Robert garden

walk to back porch

Judy stopped by and joined us in marveling at the velvet texture of the tall volunteer variegated mallows.

I would pull out the biggest one (on the right) because it is so not supposed to be there, but Judy and Allan both objected.

at Larry and Robert's, before

at Larry and Robert’s, before (last session)

after (today)

after (today)

This is the first time I have graveled without using fabric.  Hope I don’t regret leaving it out.

I walked home for a brief rest stop, admiring Tom and Judy’s garden vignettes along the way.

chocolate cosmos still looking great

chocolate cosmos still looking great

Osteospermum and Penstemon

Osteospermum and Penstemon

I became inspired to photograph some of the Sanguisorbas in my own front garden, as they are one of the plants I collect.

a sanguisorba (burnet)

a sanguisorba (burnet) fallen across the path

with Melianthus major

with Melianthus major

and with backdrop of neighbouring (Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm) house

and with backdrop of neighbouring (Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm) house

Ann Lovejoy wrote that charcoal grey is the best house colour against which to show off plants, and if the neighbouring house had not already been painted that colour, I would have considered it.  But two charcoal grey houses next door would make the street too somber.

I think she is onto something.

I think she is onto something.

At the Port, we dug out an old blue oat grass and replaced it with a better one and took another extra low ornamental bronze Carex down to the Queen La De Da garden.

Blue oat grass gets tatty after a couple of years.

Blue oat grass gets tatty after a couple of years.

On the way, I stopped at Time Enough Books and had a brief visit with owner Karla and her dog Scout.

Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird)

Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird)

She was glad to see me (I think they both were, as Karla had a gardening memoir for me to read).  Scout had settled down after petting.

by Queen La De Da's shop

by Queen La De Da’s shop and gallery

Because I took no photos along First Street today, I almost forgot that we tidied up the street planters.  This weekend will draw tourists and locals to town for the annual Cranberrian Fair at the museum.

Meanwhile, the lawn mower repair shop had called.  The weather being rather chilly with better days forecast, we decided to go pick it up and see if by some remote chance the falafel lunch truck, now located near the Astoria coop, would still be open at three.  I had intensely fond memories of the shwarma I ate there the day we went to Astoria Sunday Market.

Astoria Megler bridge work has begun again.

Astoria Megler bridge work has begun again.

We found a closed falafel lunch truck and went on to get the mower.  My second motivation for accompanying Allan on the errand was that I have fallen in love with one of the repair shop personnel.

Truman!

Truman!

Is the feeling mutual?

Is the feeling mutual?

Just west of Clatsop Power Equipment is the shell of a nursery that came and went with much promise.

abandoned? nursery

abandoned? nursery

It started out strong with lots of good plants and then just dwindled with plants unwatered and fallen over, and it closed for good after just a couple of years, leaving behind an expensive, huge, fancy greenhouse….such a shame.

For some comfort after not having had falafels and shwarma, we stopped to eat at La Cabana D Raya.

just west of the old Young's Bay Bridge

just west of the old Young’s Bay Bridge

inside

inside

looking out east windows to the bridge

looking out east windows to the bridge

what a view from the dining room to the south and west!

what a view from the dining room to the south and west!

Allan’s  chicken mole (a spicy tomato and chocolate sauce) was outstanding.  I liked the enchiladas but prefer the ones at Thursday Mexican Night at the Hungry Harbor in Long Beach…and that’s a good thing because Long Beach is much handier.

on the way back...a bridge construction stop with view of Astoria hill

on the way back…a bridge construction stop with view of Astoria hill

Astoria Megler bridge, looking north

Astoria Megler bridge, looking north

I still don’t like the curve at the south end and hate it when people pass, but my bridge phobia has greatly decreased in our new, taller vehicle.

At home, I finished picking up the debris so Allan could find out for sure that the mower was fixed.  It had been but a clogged air filter, repaired for $25.00.  I went inside to avoid the brisk chill in the air, then realized I needed a photo of Allan mowing!  Back out again…

It works!

It works!

Be sure to tilt your mower straight back for cleaning, and not to the (wrong) side.

Evening in the garden:

Nicotiana langsdorfii still in full bloom even though it has fizzled in other gardens by now

Nicotiana langsdorfii still in full bloom even though it has fizzled in other gardens by now

Fuchsia 'Delta's Parade'

Fuchsia ‘Delta’s Parade’

Penstemon 'Dark Towers'

Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’

a hardy Fuchsia

a hardy Fuchsia

If only I had left the tags stuck in on all the fuchsias!

golds and browns (astilbe seedheads) in the shade garden

golds and browns (astilbe seedheads) in the shade garden

Physocarpus (Diablo or ?)

Physocarpus (Diablo or ?)

Mary

Mary

east bed, back garden

east bed, back garden, with red drawer of kale

The following three photos are details of the above garden…to the right of the cat statue.

Penstemon and Euphorbia

Penstemon and Euphorbia

a slightly darker Penstemon

a slightly darker Penstemon

a handsome daylily

a handsome daylily

Walking to the front garden….

by Allan's shed

by Allan’s shed

a gently fading agryathemum

a gently fading agryathemum

by the front porch

by the front porch

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  -Iris Murdoch

front garden: Dichroa febrifuga

front garden: Dichroa febrifuga

I crossed the street to take a photo of the J’s garden for a photo record of the town’s Halloween decorations for this year.

Jay and Jody's garden

Jay and Jody’s garden

I saw that during the time I had gone indoors, I had missed a wonderful sunset.

dregs of colour at the end of Lake Street

dregs of colour at the end of Lake Street

So here’s a concluding splash of colour from peppers that I picked today from the greenhouse.

peppers

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Our Thursday began with a shock when the computer uninterrupted power supply boxes started beeping at 6:30 AM.  The power was out.  Why?  The weather was calm, and as the sun rose I checked my local Facebook newsfeed on my phone till I found out that the power was out to Raymond, Naselle, Chinook, and Ilwaco all the way to Oysterville…pretty much all of southwest coastal Washington.  Then I tried to go back to sleep.  Night owl that I am, I had been up till 2 AM and I could not function well at work on four and a bit hours of sleep.  But it was so cold!   The previous night had been the first truly nippy autumn night (as we had discovered when we were out looking for Stubby the neighbourhood cat by flashlight.)  I was unprepared and had to find more blankets and then huddle in layered extra socks and sweatshirt and sweatpants underneath them.  A long time passed before sleep was regained, and so we got a very late start on the work day.

Our plan had been for an Ilwaco day and a coffee klatsch with friends at Olde Towne Café.  The earliest projection that I had read for the power returning was “early afternoon”.  Knowing we could not count on the seven person coffee date happening, we decided to do the north end jobs and save our Ilwaco work for a rescheduled coffee day.  Also, I needed coffee without spending time setting up a propane grill, and I could not find the car charger for my phone, which had already gone down to 20%.  Beach Batteries shop was open and for a mere $10 and some change, saved the day for my internet communication.

Facebook’s local network had let me know that Great Escape drive through espresso stand in Long Beach was up and running with a generator.  Bless them!!

saved by the Great Escape!

saved from coffeelessness by the Great Escape!

Even though our work does not depend on electricity, we were fortunate to have gotten gas the evening before so that we could make it all the way up to Klipsan Beach Cottages.  There, I channeled my discombobulation with the day’s changed schedule and the uncertainty about power into redoing two garden areas.

during and after

during and after

Allan did the part above.  It does not look like much of a change, but under that soil had been a huge patch of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  It had been dormant when I planted a Rosa Mutabilis and I had forgotten how much there was.  It had then swamped the rose during the summer.  So it had to go.  Allan sifted the corms in a wheelbarrow and managed to save a lot of the soil, enough to make the area level again.  (We will add some good mulch later.)  I thought we were going to have to go get soil to fill in, but his careful work saved us that trip.

I dug up two big lilies that were too close to the front of the garden.  The lily bulbs had gotten enormous.

with Allan's size large glove for comparison

with Allan’s size large glove for comparison

Meanwhile, I removed lots of reseeded chive plants, lady’s mantle, and pink scabiosas from the bed below.

after

after

We were both miserable for awhile during this job because, unlike the morning when being TOO COLD had kept us both awake during the earliest morning part of the power outage, now the weather was TOO HOT, hot enough to make us dizzy and uncomfortable.  The  fenced garden seems to gather heat; the local weather station reported the afternoon temperature had only gotten to sixty degrees, but I find that hard to believe!

In other areas inside the deer fence, I got some cutting back done.  The second reseeded ornamental grass has to come out, but not till I have a good place to put it.

too much grass...swamping a hardy fuchsia

too much grass…swamping a hardy fuchsia in the background

I did remove a smaller one with a Port of Ilwaco destination in mind.

inside the deer fence...looking more autumnal

inside the deer fence…looking more autumnal

I think the driveway garden is the prettiest spot right now.

driveway garden, re-done this year by owners Mary and Denny

driveway garden, re-done this year by owners Mary and Denny

The Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ in the driveway garden was cut back in early summer because Mary did not want anything really tall in here other than the Tiger Eyes sumac.  So now the Lemon Queen is in full bloom, while the taller patches of it elsewhere in the garden are completely done!  The sumac is on the run but there are plans for every new sprout.

Oh the joy when the power came back on at about 1:30!  (I had been messaging our coffee klatsch friends all morning…Maybe we could have had our get together after all, but I was far away with other plans by now.)

Even though we did not have to get soil for KBC today, I did want to get some for the hole left by big plant removal at the port.  We left with just time to swing by Wiegardt Gallery for a quick check up to make sure it looked good for the weekend.

Wiegardt Gallery...haze of blue from all the Bad Aster that escaped the yank.

Wiegardt Gallery…haze of blue on left side from all the Bad Aster that escaped my pulling.

Schizostylis and badaster at Wiegardt Gallery

Schizostylis and badaster at Wiegardt Gallery

Fortunately for our schedule, the gallery garden just needed a little deadheading and we had plenty of time, despite our late start, to get to Peninsula Landscape Supply during business hours.

Peninsula Landscape Supply

Peninsula Landscape Supply

We just needed one scoop of soil.  While Allan dealt with that, I hand picked four buckets of attractive river rock to add to the roiled up landscaping at the Powell Gallery.

Allan then loaded the half filled rock buckets.

Allan then loaded the half filled rock buckets.

I really do not make them too heavy.

Mt St Helens river rock...I only picked the prettiest.

Mt St Helens river rock…I only picked the prettiest.

Back at the Port of Ilwaco, we filled in the hole by the Ilwaco Tuna Club where a big grass had been removed, and replaced it with the nice medium sized grass salvaged from a crowded garden bed at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

replanted

replanted

We dumped the river rock on the Powell Gallery garden and then took a few extra buckets of soil down to fluff up an area at the boatyard garden.  From there, I could see my old house and for the first time observed that the new owner has a wood stove!  We never did manage to get that house warm in the winter (and warned him so when we sold it).

our old Tangly Cottage...warm at last?

our old Tangly Cottage…warm at last?

almost sunset over the boatyard

almost sunset over the boatyard

I could tell from the sky that it might be another good sunset, so after dropping off our trailer at home, we went down to the south parking lot at the port by the boat launch.

There, the weather was at last JUST RIGHT, a comfortable, calm, windless and warmish evening.

My sunset photos:

looking toward the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station

looking toward the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station

pre-sunset light, low tide

pre-sunset light,  very low tide

a little boat comes in

a little boat comes in

sunset light

sunset light

a well placed gull

a well placed gull

Allan’s sunset photos:

gull on the move

gull on the move

low tide

low tide

mud flat

mud flat

Ilwaco Landing

Ilwaco Landing

more birds

more birds

flying birds

flying birds

bird, trees, water

trees and water

The sunset was not as spectacular as we had hoped, but we both appreciated the low tide and silvery light out at the entrance to the Ilwaco marina.

When we got home I felt bereft at the lack of Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Hal!  After having dinner with them for three evenings in a row, at three fine restaurants, it now seemed rather dull to just end up at home at dusk.  Nevertheless, I particular enjoyed electric lights, and a nice cup of tea, and getting to watch Big Bang Theory on telly, and the house being warm (from the sun! We still have not had to turn on the heat).  I love electricity.

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I skipped two days of blogging because of an unusually social week.

Monday, September 30, 2013

  Allan’s aunt Dorothy and Uncle Hal were here from California after a months-long motorhome trip all around the United States.  They would arrive late Monday afternoon, so we got some storm clean up done during the day between squalls.

At the Port, I had noticed on a weekend re-con mission that the big ornamental grass just outside the residential door of the Powell Gallery building had splayed open.

grass

It had looked so good last week that I had refused to cut it, had told Randy Powell it just looked too splendid.  Now he would have his way.  In fact, he emerged while we were there and was awfully pleased we were chopping it.

before and after, in foul working weather

before and after, in foul working weather

In Long Beach, I cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and pulled Agyranthemums and Cosmos and annoying reseeded Lady’s Mantle out of the Lewis and Clark Square planter.

before and after

before and after

I am still unhappy with this planter but the problem is that whenever I try to dig everything i don’t like out of it, I break the sprinkler system and that makes Mike, the Parks Manager, unhappy.

Allan pulled a lot of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out of the tiny park behind the Lewis and Clark Square wall.

before and after

before and after

When we went to the Fifth Street park to cut back the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and pull some cosmos that had blown sideways, we saw the results of the storm on the carousel canopy.

Long Beach carousel

Long Beach carousel

The carousel horses have all been put away for the winter.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

after some chopping

after some chopping

I am sad that the big healthy pineapple sage looks so burnt by the wind and am thinking it may not even bloom.

poor thing

poor thing

On Monday, I felt that the Miscanthus on the south side of the park should be cut down because it looked so windblown.

grass

On Tuesday, it was standing up better and got a reprieve, for now, because the plumes looked wonderful backlit by the sun.

We quit work about an hour early to have a delicious dinner with Hal and Dorothy at the 42nd Street Café.  They had already checked into a space at Cape Disappointment State Park.  42nd Street is well known for their comfort food.  Owner Blaine was most attentive and Hal and Dorothy enjoyed the classic fried chicken and pot roast offerings from the menu.  Allan told me later it meant a great deal to him to spend time with family who had known him since he was a child.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

We simply had to work because resorts in the full wind needed their gardens tidied, especially Andersen’s RV Park.  A clamming weekend meant that many guests would arrive for the weekend.

Payson Hall at Andersen's

Payson Hall at Andersen’s

I was surprised by how well Andersen’s gardens had come through, but Payson Hall planters were hit so hard that by the time I was done with them, it looked like full autumn had come early.  Usually they last better till mid to late October.

after clean up

after clean up

The rest of the garden did not look as battered as I expected it to, so we focused more on weeding…especially by the clam cleaning room as the first big clamming weekend of the season is coming.

Then, back to Fifth Street Park in Long Beach.  Just one big cosmos escaped the yank.

one good looking cosmos left

one good looking cosmos left…just under the word “antiques”

The Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and the pale pink Schizostylis keeps the park looking attractive through this month and often later.

In order to go to dinner again we needed to go home and drop off the trailer (and, in Allan’s case, because he crawls around while working, change jeans!), so we took the opportunity to check out the progress on large plant removal along Howerton at the port.   WOW!!  The port crew had removed the pampas grass and two big Phormiums from the curbside garden by Powell Gallery!

just a glimpse shows of the restaurant sign

last week

Tuesday!

Tuesday!

Look how well the restaurant sign shows now!

Powell Gallery and Pelicano

Powell Gallery and Pelicano

Randy came out and said he would miss his “toi toi” (pampas) grass; he and Marie winter in New Zealand and have enjoyed having New Zealand natives in the parking strip.  But he agreed it does look good to be able to see the business signs better.

hole where Phormium came out...waiting for something smaller at Powell's

hole where Phormium came out…waiting for something smaller at Powell’s

By the way, the waterfront gallery there is for rent now;  Marie and Randy are downscaling to just the street side studio/gallery.

Then Allan and I did a quick turn around at home and joined Hal and Dorothy for a delicious dinner at The Depot Restaurant.  On this and the previous night, we were all so busy chatting that I forgot to take any photos at all.

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

We had planned to take the day off to spend most of it with Hal and Dorothy.  The weather turned out to be so dismal that we would have had most of the day off anyway.  We went down to the state park and spend almost three hours visiting in their motor home, where I got to meet their darling dog, Yoshi.

Those big ears are so silky.

Those big ears are so silky.

Yoshi's spot at the front of the motorhome

Yoshi’s spot at the front of the motorhome

Yoshi and I having a lovefest.

Yoshi and I having a lovefest.

We had to depart just before two because of an appointment….to get signed up for “Obamacare”…that is to say, affordable health care.

driving out of beautiful Cape D State Park

driving out of beautiful Cape D State Park

The brand new Washington affordable health care website was not functioning well (although we were told Oregon’s was!).  However, we were able to get some calculations that we will likely save $500 a month or more on medical insurance.  I almost wept with joy.  (Maybe not just almost.)

Due to the shorter than expected (and now rescheduled) appointment, we had some time before Hal and Dorothy were due to visit our garden, and the weather had turned lovely so we stopped at The English Nursery in Seaview on a quest for some Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, a good mid sized grass to go into the Powell Gallery garden.  There was none to be had but we did acquire a low growing Ceanothus and a ‘Sapphire’ blue oat grass.

entry to The English Nursery

entry to The English Nursery

Still with time to spare, we went back to the port where Allan planted the Ceanothus and I checked on the port office gardens.  When  I went into the port office to express my happiness with their plant removal, I found the office decorated with the beautiful pampas plumes brought in by one of the port guys.  That was thoughtful.

A bright yellow boat motored in for a photo opportunity.

port

The OpporTunaTy

The port office south side garden still looked almost perfect, much to my surprise.

evidence of much rain next door by  Nisbett Gallery

evidence of much rain next door by Nisbett Gallery

Ceanothus in place in the garden

Ceanothus and some new lavenders in place in the Howerton Street garden

Then we hurried home in time to show Hal and Dorothy around our garden.

Allan, Hal and Dorothy

Allan, Hal and Dorothy

Hal and Allan had a good sit down….

Hal and Allan

Hal and Allan

While Dorothy went all the way back into the very wet bogsy wood.

Dorothy photographing a fairy door

Dorothy photographing a fairy door

We were accompanied by cats.

our neighbour, Onyx

our neighbour, Onyx

Onyx and Smokey on the bridge

Onyx and Smokey on the bridge

After some sitting around in our house, we were off to Pelicano Restaurant, two blocks away by the marina.  This was the best dinner yet.  The food was exquisite and as we had all spent so much time together, we were relaxed and the conversation got deep.

I had arranged for a table with a good view of the marina and kept an eye on the sky…When I saw the sunset had reached a glorious moment, Dorothy and I went outside to take some photos.

sunset

sunset, looking west

I was pleased the port put on a good show for her.

boats

looking south from right outside Pelicano

paradise is here...looking east

paradise is here…looking east

Dorothy said she was reminded of the California coastal town in which they lived for years (except it was warmer and had the ocean rather than the river bay).  One similar quality was the way that locals know and greet each other from restaurant to restaurant.

sunset

looking northwest, showing one window of Pelicano

looking northwest, showing one window of Pelicano

Waterfront Way

Waterfront Way

In the restaurant as we awaited dessert, owner Shelly (spouse of the chef) took our photo.

family

family

We lingered till the last two other diners had left and the restaurant was probably well past closing time, having sat there for at least two and half hours.

The next day, Hal and Dorothy and silky eared Yoshi would depart for the end of their long road trip, heading down the Oregon Coast to California.   It felt strange and sad to not dine with them on Thursday!

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