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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Just before showtime, Jodie and Doug from the J’s house across the street came so we could see their costumes.

a flapper and Burt Reynolds of Smoky and the Bandit (Allan’s photo)

And a hummingbird got a last sip from the fuchsia display.  I was hoping that humans would notice the many hardy fuchsia flowers I had added to the entryway and grotto.  The hummingbirds had been all over them since yesterday.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony arrives (Allan’s photo)

and Scott (Allan’s photo)

Scott bearing treats (Allan’s photo); Wendi came to say she would have to miss the trick or treating but she brought me the prettiest little china cat and a bag of candy for the kids.

 

tiki torches in the front fenced garden

the tuteur ghost

Scott, Tony, and the driveway spooky corridor

In the house, I had blocked off the entry to my private lair with a last minute brilliant idea.

physocarpus and fuchsia branches in the hallway and a strategically placed bookshelf

book: Beyond This Point Are Monsters by the brilliant psychological suspense writer Margaret Millar

Scott had made Halloween cookies.  The spider bodies are halved malted milk balls.

so clever

Tony made an assortment of exquisitely flavorful and varied roll ups, and later J9 arrived with hummus and chips, and Heather of Niva green brought good ham, cheese, and crackers, so we were able to keep our strength up for the onslaught.

Allan’s photo

Before more guests arrived, Skooter was snoozing on his favourite cupboard at the entrance to the kitchen.

He loves this space where he barely fits.

He stayed there all evening, getting pets and smooches from every cat lover in attendance.  Frosty had been in my room, and was still there at the end; I wondered later if he had been trapped behind the hallway shrubbery.  (He could still have gone out the south cat door.)

Rootin’ Tootin’ Rudy was also in attendance.

(Next time, I must find something to hide the milk crates; they are bringing down the tone, although I doubt anyone noticed but me.)

Allan and Rudy and Scott (Tony’s photo)

Someone thought Allan’s costume was that of a wizard.  No, a garden gnome.

Hallow-evening began with the first trick or treaters, not very many, arriving before five o clock.

the first to arrive (Tony’s photo)

A handler backing out the cow (Allan’s photo)

I realized later that the costumes this year were often so huge that they would not have fit down the usual route, the narrow front sidewalk entry.

A steady flow of trick or treaters arrived soon after the cow.

I went on a walkabout before dark, and Allan took a long walkabout, much further than mine, after dark.  (That will be our next post, shared from our Ilwaco blog.)

Todd and Karen Brownlee had arrived while I was gone and toured the garden.  I was sorry to have missed this tour.

Allan’s photo

When I returned, I was so sore from four days of plant-iferous decorating that I was happy to take a chair and just watch.  The new garage set up worked well.  At least twelve chairs, lined up on each side, were filled with grown ups who had a good view of the costumes.

Unicorn Teresa of The Planter Box arrives.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony’s photo

Tony, Scott, Del, Wendy (Tony’s photo)

Heather of NIVA green and our Tony (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tony’s photo

Tony took videos, as well.  Here is one taken just as he and Scott arrived. Later, three videos show how crowded the trick or treat scene gets, here, here, and here.

 

Joe Chasse and friend arrive (Allan’s photo)

Cathy and Captain Bob come to check our our decor before they returned to greet the Long Beach trick or treaters (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Seaview Sara and Matt arrive (Allan’s photo)

 

Amy (left) from the Port Office (Tony’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Planter Box Teresa appears as a unicorn (Allan’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Allan’s photo

Lorilyn and her fella arrive; she had a box of sand dollars to hand out as extra treats (Tony’s photo)

Judy and Larry from Ocean Park came; sadly, Donna and Jan and Michele and Devery were missing, and missed, because of bad colds and a family obligation.

Erin of Cranguyma Farms came with her eleven year old son Diego, who passed out the treats for the rest of the evening.

Erin as La Catrina (Erin’s photo)

After this large dinosaur left, we got Diego to sit in the very first chair because having a dinosaur all the way into the mid-grotto made it too crowded. (Tony’s photo)

This critter barely fit under the garage door and would never have fit through our front entry arches and gate. (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

Kelli, a local teacher and avid reader, came with her very good dog Gromit, here shown with Diego.

As darkness fell, it was kinda magical.

Jessika, Jared, and Willa from right next door

Our guests loved the feeling of being enclosed in a sparkling and slightly haunted woodland.  (They also liked our ready-to-go protest signs.)

I loved my two treasure chests complete with spooky books, and got rather bossy when the grownups moved forward and blocked them from view; I insisted everyone stay back so the kids could see the treasures on either side of the entrance.  Many of the small children stopped and looked very carefully at each object along the way.

Scott and Tony had carved five elaborate jack o lanterns.

Tony’s photo

a momentary lull

Ocean Park Sarah and Seaview Sara & Matt, with one of Sarah’s little dogs

When we first began handing out treats in 2010, we were surprised that people of all ages come around.  There is not much else to do in our small town on Halloween for anyone underage, and we welcome all.  The older ones have some of the best costumes.

I wish Allan had been back from his walkabout when Napoleon Dynamite showed up.

I said, “Oh, that’s my husband’s favourite movie!” and Napoleon said, “Finally, someone who gets it!”

When Allan returned, I learned he had had his photo taken with another garden gnome.

He had also allegedly had his photo taken with a lovely mermaid at Queen La De Da’s; I haven’t seen the evidence yet.

We loved having dogs at the party!

Scott, Sarah, and pups (Mabel now has Rudy’s hat.)

Here is a costume I would wear if I could find a basket big enough:

an inspired planter outfit

Our friend the unicorn (Teresa of The Planter Box), left, was keeping the tally for most of the evening.

We all told Wonder Woman that we are counting on her to save the world.

a steampunk gentleman

Dorothy and a fairy

Cute dog alert!

Thandi of the Sou’wester, little Celestine, and an intellectual friend

Tony’s photo

Cella and the tally sheet

Tony’s photo

Tony’s photo

close observation of details

checking everything out—I love this kid!

I like to think that children of memory-forming age will have memories of our Halloween display, maybe for a lifetime.

Allan’s photo

Diego (Allan’s photo)

Jules and Felix from Salt Hotel

Tony’s photo

Here they come to save the day.

Our Tweetybird

One young man sorrowfully said to us, “I have some bad news for you—your bird has died.”

treasure chest

Finally, there were no more trick or treaters and no laughter and screams in the distance to let us know more might come.  All but one of our guests left. J9 and I finally had time for a visit.

More!

tiki torches still aglow as Allan took down the cats and bats orange window film (Allan’s photo)

J9 stayed behind for a considerable time to help us bring in garden ornaments from the driveway, de-cobwebbify the entryway (cobwebs look so tawdry the next morning) and remove the treasure chests and enough decorative branches to be able to get the garage door shut.  (She has a party help business called Have Tux, Will Travel, and knows just how to efficiently and carefully dismantle decorations.)

Skooter had had a very good evening with everyone who came into the kitchen giving him love.

The tally was a little messy, especially the part where I was trying to keep count.  It added up to 601.  The Beards Hollow Pirates house, one block east, counted 589 so I think about 600 is a safe bet.

Things to remember for next year:

Hang the Halloween wreath on the garage doorway frame so it shows better. Don’t forget to remove the hook before the end of evening garage door closing.

Get some fabric with leaves (flat bed sheets with patterns?) for the back wall and other areas.  Or even just grey or green.Ross Dress for Less across the river has sheets at a reasonable price. Maybe camouflage the inside of the garage door where it forms the ceiling.  Maybe not because of some of the very tall costumes could get caught up in any fabric or cobwebs.  

If one of our guests brings a cardboard box of treats in, make them put their stuff in a basket so there is not a boring cardboard box in the photo later. (I am bossy.)  It is all in the details.

Cover the milk crates!   I also did not like that the outdoor buckets were not covered, but they did not show after dark.

Get a couple of pieces of cool driftwood to put on either side of the garage entrance once the door is opened on Halloween day.  Or some kind of faux wood curved entrance that doesn’t take up too much room.  More driftwood or branches entry effect could be added right outside the garage door, stuck through or tied to the arbor.  Not too big for giant costumes to enter through.

This is an event we look forward to all year.  Just 12 months till the next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 26 July 2015

After Pam’s Downtown Seaside Garden Tour, most of our informal garden club drove to south Seaside to a little café called Osprey for lunch.  (Nancy and Phil had to leave for a vespers musical event at the Oysterville Church.) I was not on task about taking photos by then, having become spacy from lack of sleep.  I swiped a couple of photos from the café’s Facebook page, so that you can find it next time you go to Seaside.

photo by Osprey Café: 2281 Beach Dr

photo by Osprey Café: 2281 Beach Drive

photo from Osprey Café: charming travel themed insets in the dining tables

photo from Osprey Café: charming travel themed insets in the dining tables

yummy menu

yummy menu

my delicous heuvos rancheros

my delicous heuvos rancheros

Our only problem was that they could not seat all eight of us at one table.  So three of us sat in a booth slightly above the table of five, and that did not lead to good conversation among the two groups.

Allan took this photo from the table below.  I was about to fall into dreamland.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo (l-r): Melissa, me, Todd, Pam, Dave

In my dream, I turned around and took a photo of the lower table with Steve, John, Dave, Melissa and Allan.  But it was just a dream, as the photo was not on my camera, just in my mind.

After a delicious lunch, some of us parted ways and Todd, Allan and I went to Seven Dees nursery in Seaside for some plant shopping.

near the Osprey Café: a house with a lean to sunroom

near the Osprey Café: a house with a lean to sunroom

Seaside Seven Dees

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

7 Dees

Ooo, more pilotus

Ooo, more pilotus

Cuphea 'Tiny Mice'...so cute, why don't I use it more?

Cuphea ‘Tiny Mice’…so cute, why don’t I use it more?

Celosia...I love their gaudy feathers but for some reason I guess I am too embarrassed to be so gaudy in garden containers.

Celosia…I love their gaudy feathers but for some reason I guess I am too embarrassed to be so gaudy in garden containers.

with a dangly Amaranth

with a dangly Amaranth (love lies bleeding)

I just read that Celosia is in the Amaranth family.

I just read that Celosia is in the Amaranth family.

(I do have a pink celosia, ‘Flamingo’ apparently, that I bought at the Astoria Sunday Market last week…so tasteful in comparison to the orange and yellow ones.)

I walked past these Agastaches and then forgot to look and see if there were any I did not have.

I walked past these Agastaches and then forgot to look and see if there were any I did not have.

I was on a mission to find a paperbark maple, and did, but it was too tall and thin….I wanted a smaller one (not because of the price, but because it seemed too spindly).

Kitty further distracted me on the way back.

Kitty further distracted me on the way back.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

kitty2

I did buy a Hydrangea aspera 'Plum Passion', as I've coveted the one in Steve and John's garden.

I did buy a Hydrangea aspera ‘Plum Passion’, as I’ve coveted the one in Steve and John’s garden.

Allan's photo: the decision is made

Allan’s photo: the decision is made

a hummingbird at the Salvia 'Hot Lips'

a hummingbird at the Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

As I was checking out with my purchases (also a Hydrangea Cityline ‘Rio’, which has been on my want list for a couple of years), Pam texted with an invitation to come by and see her garden.  Yes, thank you!

Pam’s Garden

As we arrived at Pam’s house, we were happy to be caught in a rain squall.  It did not last long.

Pam's back garden

Pam’s back garden

I like the three matching peaked structures along her back fence.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a raised, tiered kitchen garden

a raised, tiered kitchen garden

tiered planter

tiered planter with berries

Great way to keep the berries up off the ground.

Pam has recommended that I try a Seven Sons tree (Heptacodium) and hers was indeed attractive, so I will…when I find one.  (Debbie Teashon has also recommended this tree and as I write this, she has let me know she has one saved for me.)

not a good photo from underneath the appealing tree.

not a good photo from underneath the appealing tree.

Pam's very good dog.

Pam’s very good dog.

looking from the back of the garden toward the front

looking from the back of the garden toward the front

peaceful view looking from the back to the front of Pam's garden.

such a peaceful view

plant admiration

plant admiration

As you would expect from the garden of someone who used to co-own a collectors nursery, the small space is filled with choice plants.

hyrangea backed with lions head maple

hyrangea backed with lions head maple

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

the front gate

the front gate, and an area that is being re-done

gate

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

plants2

sorry for the lack of identifying captions!

sorry for the lack of identifying caption!  (Later: Todd thinks it is a variegated Cleyera.)  (Still later:  Pam tells me its a variegated Drimys, from the old Heronswood.)

front corner of the garden

front corner of the garden, Leptospermum ‘Squiggly’

Helenium

Helenium

golden Leycesteria and Helenium

golden Leycesteria and Helenium

some ladies in waiting

some ladies in waiting

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan was particularly eager to see Pam’s water truck:

for watering Seaside hanging baskets; she doesn't have to water the gardens because they are irrigated (ENVY!!)

for watering Seaside hanging baskets; she doesn’t have to water the gardens because they are irrigated (ENVY!!)

Thanks, Pam…Seeing your garden was a wonderful treat to cap off your tour, which was well worth getting up early for.

more plant shopping

On the way home, Allan and I stopped at Fred Meyer, just for a quick look at the plant section while Allan did some grocery shopping.

Cleome...tempting but I did not want to rassle the thorns.

Cleome…tempting but I did not want to rassle the thorns.

Uh oh... a cartful already

Uh oh… a cartful already

I picked out this penstemon, and then could not deal with its bright redness

I picked out this penstemon, and then could not deal with its bright redness

If there had been more than one of that bright red and white penstemon, it would have been good for Veterans Field.  I did not think of that at the time, though, and replaced it with one of slightly more subtle hue:

just a little darker

just a little darker

I’ll have to be on the lookout for the bright red and white one for Veterans Field next year.

Next: back to work for a couple of weeks until time for the Peninsula Edible Garden Tour (which by the time you read this, will already have taken place on August 9th).

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Sunday, 27 October, 2013

Ah, a day off at home…After breakfast I started the breakdown of a big debris pile.  It began as Mount Sod when we dug up the front  lawn upon moving in here in October of 2010.  Then it became a spud hill.  Potatoes are said to “clean the soil” and they certainly did seem to help the sod break down in jig time.  Because it is in a spot convenient for  debris disposal from my own garden, and only somewhat inconvenient for hauling in clean garden debris from jobs, it has been growing, and sinking with decomposition, and growing again over three years.  I am moving the un-decomposed material to a new pile on the other side of the yard.

the former Mount Sod

the former Mount Sod (with full wheelbarrow in the foreground)

I have a selection of evergreens that I bought from Back Alley Gardens. I have had the best of intentions of trying Pam Fleming’s advice that columnar evergreens would look great in the big flower beds.  And yet, I resist.  I worry that the ones I chose, especially a couple of Eucryphia, will not be columnar enough.  And I want to block this truly unoffensive view:

crab pots under silver tarp behind the next door gear shed

crab pots under silver tarp behind the next door gear shed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with crab pots under a tarp.  They are, of course, much more picturesque when first stacked there in late winter after crabbing season.

colourful crab pots in spring

colourful crab pots in spring

But they have to be covered to protect them through three seasons of weather.   I do think a nice evergreen backdrop along that edge of the garden will look better than the tarped pots.

near the debris pile, cosmos as high as the fence

near the debris pile, cosmos as high as the fence

Nearby, in my usual easy distracted way (“something shiny syndrome”!), I started to dig out a great big Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.  I do like Pam’s idea of replacing it with a columnar evergreen.  But…it was hard work.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

I imagined Allan might come help dig it, even though he was busy constructing the framework for our annual Halloween Avenue of Spooky Plants.  At least I got it all loosened up.  It had gotten, in just two years, much too big for the space, crowding a nearby Enkianthus.  In fact, it may be that when Lemon Queen comes out, I should just leave that space blank….

I took a break and checked on Allan’s project along the front walkway.

constructing Spooky Plant Avenue

constructing Spooky Plant Avenue

While in the front garden, I noticed my largest Melianthus major is blooming.  That is odd as when it does bloom, it is usually in very early spring.

mel

the odd flowers of Melianthus major (and the leaves smell like peanut butter)

the odd flowers of Melianthus major (and the leaves smell like peanut butter)

In early afternoon, Debbie Teashon of Rainyside.com came to photograph the autumn dishevelled garden.  We agree there is beauty to be found in late season dishabille.

Debbie at work...She has been a pro photographer for many years.

Debbie at work…She has been a pro photographer for many years.

Allan had finished the Avenue of Spooky Plants framework so I began to add the plants while Debbie wandered without me dogging her every step to see what she was finding good enough to photograph.  When she was done, we walked four doors down to Tom and Judy’s garden.

The Hornbuckle "kids", Towbeh, Stymie, and Beep

The Hornbuckle “kids”, Towbeh, Stymie, and Beep wanted to join us in the front garden

Judy's excellent patch of moss

Judy’s excellent patch of moss

two trees

two trees

The one in the background is right on the property line between two lots…

a hummingbird on Judy's porch

a hummingbird on Judy’s porch

I love Tom and Judy's porch sign

I love Tom and Judy’s porch sign.  Their garden is pure evidence of their industriousness.  In the typical way of small town talk, someone new to town who must have observed through the window that Tom and Judy sometimes watch telly put about that they were lazy people….and within less than a day the story had gotten right back to Judy!  One of the first lessons learned, often the hard way, upon moving here from a city is that remarks like that zoom quickly through the small town grapevine.

After a garden tour and visit with Judy, Debbie and I walked back to her vehicle for her drive back north to her home near Heronswood Nursery.  On the windshield, next to a little pot of Ajuga ‘Pink Silver‘ that I had given her a start of, we found the oddest note.

PiOnly the fact that it was on an index card, like we use for our daily time cards, tipped me off that it was from Allan.  I tracked him down weedeating in the back yard to tell him that we did not understand.  He said “It means if you don’t understand it, you don’t get any pie.”  Huh???   He had to give me a couple more hints before I got it…Pie on Porch!!  He had packaged some of his home made pumpkin pie in bite sized pieces for Debbie to snack on while driving.

(Judy’s review of Allan’s pumpkin pie:  “Allan’s pie is the best pumpkin pie I’ve had since my mom’s last which was probably 23 years ago. Excellent and more !”)

After Debbie’s departure, I moved a couple more wheelbarrows full of debris;  I had had no intention of finishing that project today.  It might get done on the next reasonably nice day off at home…or not until winter staycation time.

decreased pile

decreased pile

Now I can see the lower layer of good soil beginning to appear.

Now I can see the lower layer of good soil beginning to appear.

While collecting tall plants for the spooky avenue, I took some photos of the garden.

front garden rose

front garden rose

back garden, east bed

back garden, east bed

birdbath draped with fuchsia

birdbath draped with fuchsia

another hardy Fuchsia

another hardy Fuchsia

the spooky avenue, coming along nicely

the spooky avenue, coming along nicely

Before dusk, I took a four block walk to photograph some Halloween decorations on Lake, Spruce, and Willow Streets.

punkin

punkins

skulls

skulls

the scariest house

at the scariest house…I bet this thing will be in motion on Halloween night

Willows Street

Willows Street

I love this old house on Advent Avenue:

What stories it must have...

What stories it must have…

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

At dusk, I gathered the remaining Cox’s Orange Pippin apples from my little tree of that name.  The three orangey coloured ones were the ripest ones I had tried yet and oh MY!   I have never had an apple so good.  Allan agreed.  They have a citrusy overtone and put any other apple I have ever eaten to shame.

Cox's Orange Pippin

Cox’s Orange Pippin

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