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Sunday, 23 March 2014

back garden, freshly mowed

back garden, freshly mowed

Fritillaria by our driveway.  A day at home was not to be.

Fritillaria by our driveway. A day at home was not to be.

Yes, the weather was perfect all day.  Not too warm, not too cold.  54 degrees F with only the lightest of winds, and a slight haze over the sun so no glare.  We started by planting some sweet pea seeds in the northwest quadrant of Fifth Street Park in Long Beach; while I did that, Allan put magnesium sulfate around the roses to encourage basal breaks.  I believe in certain of these early spring fertilizing rituals even if it might be magical thinking.

one corner of Fifth Street Park

one corner of Fifth Street Park

Two and three years ago, the sweet peas in this park were glorious.  Last year, they did bupkis.  Cold, wet, or slugs got them.

sweet peas

I am hoping for this again:  glorious sweet peas in 2012

this year's selection

this year’s selection

Streamers mix, Saltwater Taffy Swirls, Zinfandel, Pastel Sunset, Strawberry Fields, Watermelon, Old Spice Blend, Lipstick, Spencer Ruffled Mix, Cupani’s Original, Painted Lady, In the Pink mix

Signs of spring:  The town was full of visitors, with one group after another posing by the frying pan.

spring

The manager of the carousel was just putting on the finishing touches, as it was fully assembled again with children already waiting in line.

Long Beach Carousel

Long Beach Carousel

Next to the carousel, a brand new gazebo to replace a weather beaten one.  I hope the interesting old photos are returned.

Next to the carousel, a brand new kiosk to replace a weather beaten one. I hope the interesting old photos of beach treasures are returned.

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Tulip sylvestris in one of the planters

Narcissi in the frying pan park

Narcissi in the frying pan park

We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob's Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park...but had to move on.

We would have liked lunch at Captain Bob’s Chowder, right behind Fifth Street Park…but had to move on.

Having gotten worried about the Gunnera in the southeast quadrant of the park, I gave it a good look.  There are two little leaves coming up…but it sure looks nothing like the good growth on the one we saw in our friend Ed’s garden yesterday.

Gunnera, is there hope?

Gunnera, is there hope?  It would be a bugger to dig out the old one.

The progress of Ed's Gunnera made me suddenly very worried about mine.

The progress of Ed’s Gunnera has made me very worried.

I had decided to plant annual poppy seeds (mostly California poppy) in the big pop out instead of a delightful selection of rock garden plants.  I know that the roots of Rugosa rose and couch grass lurk in wait; it will be easier to maintain if we can clean it all out once or twice a year.

One Stop Poppy Shop seeds

One Stop Poppy Shoppe seeds

I have poppy seeds from Renee’s Garden and from the One Stop Poppy Shoppe.  You can see, above, how small the packets of the sweet One Stop shoppe are; one feels they are home packaged with love and care.  Her selection is the best I’ve seen anywhere.

the world's tiniest zip lock bags

the world’s tiniest zip lock bags are inside each packet

I find my hands are too clumsy to open those little bags, so I cut them with scissors and then put the unused portions back in the larger packet.

getting ready to plant in the big pop out

getting ready to plant in the big pop out

California Poppy seeds are easy to broadcast.  Some of the finer Papaver seeds, like Flanders Field Poppy, are so tiny that I use another method.  First, I put the seeds in my palm.

seeds1

Then I blow, like blowing out a birthday candle.  This broadcasts the seeds over a good arc (provided nature’s wind is not competing with me).

whoosh!

whoosh!

Then we very lightly rake or sometimes even use a broom to even out the soil and get the seeds in good contact without covering them.  I’ve heard of mixing the seeds with granules of this and that to make them show up better, but I haven’t the patience.

I think I spilled part of a packet by holding it upside down over the sidewalk.  Will I never learn?  One of many reasons I don’t especially enjoy seed planting.  (Another reason is that I do not have deep faith that they will come up.  California poppies are almost foolproof.)

I had a few plants for the westernmost planter of the Bolstadt Beach approach.  Each got two Armeria (sea thrift) and two Santolina (lavender cotton).

near the boardwalk

near the boardwalk

Narcissi against beach grass

Narcissi against beach grass

Even this close to the shore, we had no appreciable wind today.  Happy tourists used different methods to get around.

bikes and horses

bikes and horses

While I checked on all the planters, Allan cut down the few ornamental grasses along the beach approach garden.  We still have to get out here and weed this monster.

grass cutting befores and afters

grass cutting befores and afters

We did a little more work downtown, planting sweet peas in the planter that has a tuteur in it (displaying signs for shops that are off the main street).  Allan weeded the Veterans Field garden, I chopped some Fuchsias back behind Lewis and Clark Square and then checked Dennis Company’s selection of flower seeds.

Out side Dennis Co:  We'll re-do this planter after bulb time; I'm sick of the vinca.

Outside Dennis Co: We’ll re-do this planter after bulb time; I’m sick of the vinca.

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

the tree planter outside Dennis Co

Across the street from Dennis:  That's not a conifer, it's Hebe 'Boughton's Dome', several years old.

Across the street from Dennis: That’s not a conifer on the right, it’s Hebe ‘Boughton Dome’, several years old.

In a planter one block south, we had cut the Escallonia to the ground.  A volunteer had once planted these shrubs in two of the planters.  They would like to be over ten feet tall.  I am determined this time to keep them well pruned to preserve the traffic sightlines.  Would that I could remove them; I fear we would hit the electrical line for the lamp post if we dug that deep.

Escallonia coming back

Escallonia coming back

A stop at the Cottage Bakery for tiger paws figured into our schedule.  They pastries were eaten in haste on the way to do two short but effective projects at the Anchorage Cottages.

courtyard sweet pea trellis

Anchorage courtyard sweet pea trellis

flowersAllan built the string and bamboo sweet pea trellis in the office courtyard.  While he did that, I tackled some pruning.  Manager Beth had spoken of perhaps having a tree removed from the southeast corner of the resort.  I had pointed out that without the tree, the lawn area and cottages would lose a sense of enclosure and we would be able to see right through to cars passing on the main street, a block away.  She agreed (because she is agreeable) to just let me limb it up.

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

tree before and after, with pile of branches behind

done with these quiet tools (rechargable electric Makita chain saw, very quiet)

done with these quiet tools (rechargable electric Makita chain saw, very quiet)

It all went well except when the chainsaw got stuck and I needed some help getting it out of a pinching branch. (I had gotten cocky and not cut the branch further out to take the weight off.)

Anchorage: some hosta spears saying "Spring!"

Anchorage: some hosta spears saying “Spring!”

We had to leave the pile of tree boughs behind because our trailer had a large item in it to deliver to our friend J9’s new home.  On the way, we put in a couple of hours of work at Andersen’s RV Park:  planting more sweet peas and weeding couch grass out of a bed so I could plant California poppies.

now weeded and planted with California poppies

now weeded and planted with California poppies

looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)

looking west to the RV sites (with the ocean just beyond)

Andersen's: Muscari latifolium

Andersen’s: Muscari latifolium

At last, we made our delivery to J9: a rebuilt and strengthened two tiered platform for her cat Buddy to climb to the cat door.  I briefly walked around and further admired her darling new place.

all moved in!

all moved in!

on the back porch

on the back porch

garden relics

garden relics

J9 and Buddy

J9 and Buddy

We took a different road out of her Tides West neighbourhood.  I made Allan back up after we had driven past a compound (two houses) so cute that I had to have a photo.  He took it from the driver’s seat so it does not show very well the detail of the staggered shakes decorating the top part of the houses.  I will be watching this promising place to see what the garden looks like in summer.

so very cute!

so very cute!

The evening chill had come on at home and I was draggin’ leg so did not plant any more sweet peas.  Maybe tomorrow.

This is about all I saw of my garden at home.  Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi

This is about all I saw of my garden at home. Cardamine (from the old Heronswood nursery) and Narcissi, backed with Nora’s house

That cardamine is a delight.  It’s in the same family as shotweed but so much nicer.  You’ll also see much of the irksome shotweed in our garden.

I had one big plan for the evening, if only we had gotten home sooner.  For my birthday, J9 gave me a vintage mirror that she thought I would put in the garden.  I decided it had to go in the house.  It will reflect the dining room table, so if only I could clear all the papers and other detritus and put a nice bouquet of flowers there (and keep it that way!), I’d have a wonderful picture.  Didn’t happen, so here’s a smaller view.

thanks, J9!

thanks, J9!

In the mail a few days ago, I got another birthday present from my old friend Shaz, who well knows my fondness for Mary Engelbreit and for little boxes.  A former Peninsulite and garden client, Shaz talks of visiting here from her Oregon home this year, and I think of her so often….I hope we don’t let life go by without a visit in either direction.

a little box from Shaz

a little box from a much loved friend

Speaking of birthdays, we want to wish a very happy one to Garden Tour Nancy’s husband Phil, an architect and a food-gatherer extraordinaire.  Nancy texted me this photo of him getting oysters on the shores of Willapa Bay during that cold windy day we had last Friday.

Happy birthday, Phil!

Happy birthday, Phil!

Tomorrow I think we will finally get to that one private garden that has not yet seen a glimpse of us this year.

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

bowls

This event benefits local soup kitchens.

We just made it to the line for Empty Bowls 2014 in time to hear the end of the drumming performance.

the line at 11 AM

the line at 11 AM

I must remember to go see this garden in summer sometime.

I must remember to go see this garden in summer sometime.

entering

 

inside: the room of bowls

inside: the room of bowls

Local potter Karen Brownlee spearheads this event, organizing the creation, firing and glazing. Professional and amateur adult potters and students from local schools make the bowls.

bowls

sign

Allan picked the duck bowl.

Allan picked the duck bowl.

star bowls

star bowls

picking a bowl

picking a bowl

picking

raffle table.  We tried to win the set of three but no luck!

raffle table. We tried to win the set of three but no luck!

Soup donated by local restaurants.

Soup donated by local restaurants. Egg flower was our favourite.

soup

soup

soup

 

volunteer servers

volunteer servers

Our bowls (I bought two).

Our bowls (I bought two). I like the grown up bowls because they fit well in the cupboard.

second from left:  Pam, activities director from Golden Sands Assisted Living

second from left: Pam, activities director from Golden Sands Assisted Living

comparing bowls

comparing bowls

diners

our gardening client Cheri of Discovery Coast Real Estate

our gardening client Cheri of Discovery Coast Real Estate

friend and local artist Joe Chasse

friend and local artist Joe Chasse

Jamie arrives!

Jamie arrives!

Jamie picking a bowl

Jamie picking a bowl

We would like to have sat with Jamie for awhile, but we had to go help J9 move into her new rental. She’s an old friend who left the beach for two years, could not bear to be away and recently returned. We met her at the storage unit next door to Larry’s antique store in Ilwaco, and I nipped into the shop for a moment to get some photos for the Antique Gallery Facebook page.

Antique Gallery Too! on Spruce; Larry and Robert's other shop is on Lake.

Antique Gallery Too! on Spruce; Larry and Robert’s other shop is on Lake.

in the antique shop

in the antique shop

I then joined Allan and J9 in loading. Here, we were almost ready for our first trip, and I’m happy to report that we made it halfway up the Peninsula to J9’s new digs without incident.

van

 

Between the first and second, smaller load, we stopped at home to pick up a large planter that J9 had left behind when she moved away. It struck me how perfectly springlike our front garden looked at that moment.

looking in from Lake Street

looking in from Lake Street

Disporum catoniense 'Night Heron' in our garden today

Disporum catoniense ‘Night Heron’ in our garden today

I tore myself away so we could finish with the moving project. J9’s new place is a single wide manufactured home less than half a block from Loomis Lake, in a neighbourhood called Tides West.

Tides West, ocean on one side, Loomis Lake on the other

Tides West, ocean on one side, Loomis Lake on the other

The long body of Loomis Lake runs up the mid-center of the Peninsula, as do smaller lakes and sloughs.

the wetland center of the 'Ninsula

the wetland center of the ‘Ninsula

Except for the wealthier houses right on the lake and on the ocean side, Tides West is an affordable neighbourhood including many single and double wide manufactured (modular) homes. I remember a local story in which someone asked a city person why in the world she had bought a manufactured home here. Then the questioner visited and said “I understand now,” seeing that in all but the historic districts of the local towns, manufactured homes are common here.

J9's new abode

J9’s new abode

J9’s place has a charming yard, not a garden, a simple green landscape with decks and one of my favourite yard accoutrements, rustic outbuildings.

view from east side porch with large evergreen huckleberry

view from east side porch with large evergreen huckleberry

covered west side deck

covered west side deck

view from west side porch

view from west side porch

garden shack

garden shack

"Welcome to our nook of the woods."

“Welcome to our nook of the woods.”

Someone loved, enjoyed, and decorated this place and I find it terribly poignant that they’ve had to leave it.

There's a fireplace and a fire circle.

There’s a fireplace and a fire circle.

wood for campfires

wood for campfires

porch, chairs, bottle tree, fire circle

porch, chairs, bottle tree, fire circle

Inside, the landlords won’t allow J9 to paint the panelling…

the hallway

the hallway

The kitchen is painted white and it makes such a huge difference. Painting the panelling was the first thing we did when we moved into our dark old manufactured house. J9 came up with a good solution: She gently affixed white trellises to the walls.

how to brighten up paneling if you can't paint it.

how to brighten up paneling if you can’t paint it.

While Allan installed the cat door he’d made and helped adjust some of the trellis pieces, I took a walk to the lake, less than a minute away. Just at the end of J9’s street sit some modern, boxy lakeside homes that didn’t thrill me as much as her humble single wide did.

Overwhelmingly garage-y

Overwhelmingly garage-y

a house more to my liking

a house much more to my liking

This house has a prime position next to the community park.

This house has a prime position next to the community park.

J9 can walk here in about one minute.

J9 can walk here in about one minute.

boats at the ready in the park

boats at the ready in the park

community park

community park

picnics

community park dock

community park dock

Loomis Lake looking south

Loomis Lake looking south

and north to private docks

and north to private docks

Magnolia tree on the way back to J9's

Magnolia tree on the way back to J9’s

When I got back to our friend’s house, I found Allan very pleased as the cat door he had built fit perfectly. (It’s a purchased cat door fitted into a clear wood framed panel to go into a sliding window space.)

cat door

success!

 

cat door

cat door

With the move done, we stopped by the home where J9 has been staying. It happens to be right across the street from our friend Ed Strange’s garden. We took ourselves on a tour (with his permission; he was out working.)

Ed's abode

Ed’s abode

Ed's front garden

Ed’s front garden

eds

The progress of Ed's Gunnera made me suddenly very worried about mine.

The progress of Ed’s Gunnera made me suddenly very worried about mine.

Buddy, J9's cat, walked with us and explored Ed's front porch.

Buddy, J9’s cat, walked with us and explored Ed’s front porch.

between house and garage

between house and garage

an excellent company

an excellent company

And then we went home, where I walked straight out to the edge of the bogsy wood to look at my own Gunnera.

Oh dear, I think I need a new one.

Oh dear, I think I need a new one.

I managed to prune the dead tips off of the Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ and then I felt quite done with gardening for the evening. As usual, Allan had more energy than I and he mowed the lawn.

a bed of gold

a bed of gold

Indoors, I examined an intriguing belated birthday present from Lisa and Buzz; Lisa (former client of Crank’s Roost garden, now of the bayside house of 300 hydrangeas) had dropped it off earlier in the day as we were on our way out. (It’s not her fault the present was belated; I was secretive about my birthday this year.)

a package

a package

beautifully wrapped

beautifully wrapped

card

with a delightful card. The inscription inside was so sweet and flattering that I would seem to be boasting if I shared it 😉

From the shape of the present (which was wrapped in lovely calendar pages), I thought it might be a nice bottle of wine, but LOOK! My very favourite tipple!

happy, and soon to be happier, me!

happy, and soon to be happier, me!

Tomorrow: back to the planting of sweet peas here and there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

With our friend J9 (Jeannine) in town, she and I attended the annual ritual of Tuba Christmas at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.

a standing room only crowd

a standing room only crowd

Tubas playing Christmas carols

Tubas playing Christmas carols

tubastubas

tree

and of course, treats for intermission!  They had JUST enough.

and of course, treats for intermission! They had JUST enough.

Here is a link to a youtube video of a performance by the Astoria Tuba Quartet.

Afterward, J9 came to our house for a little while.  She may be the only person who stops by to see our tree, so here it is.

tree

J9 moved away over a year ago and now wants so very much to find a place to move back here.  She may have found a trailer to rent while she seeks work and a better living space, and if she does, expect to hear more of her in the blog! 😉

We took her to dinner at the Depot Restaurant.

depot

The Depot Christmas tree, decorated with food themed ornaments

The Depot Christmas tree, decorated with food themed ornaments

Monday, 16 December 2013

My planned day of perhaps doing some housecleaning changed when I saw that the weather had turned out mild and conducive to a bit of gardening.  First I walked five doors down to Larry and Robert’s garden on the next block and cut back some  frost damaged foliage.  It did not count as WORK because I did not charge them for it.

the garden boat, devoid of annuals now

the garden boat, devoid of annuals now

some pineapple sage got chopped.

some pineapple sage got chopped.

The white house in the background, formerly the home of Nora Saunder’s mother, has been sold, had two dormers added, and is now a cheerful blue.

I remain envious of the beauty berry that I planted in this garden...

I remain envious of the beauty berry that I planted in this garden…

tidied up

tidied up

On my short walk home the bright glow of one of Judy and Tom’s Japanese maples caught my eye.

maple aglow

maple aglow

At home, our front garden had been hit hard by last week’s frost.  I plowed in to cut anything back that did not look archetectural.

front garden before

front garden before

and after

and after

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I get so much more done on staycation on the days when my favourite coffee shop is closed!   Of course, I spent awhile at Olde Towne on Tuesday and decided to acquire one of their vintage Santas as a companion for the one I got last year.

a Santa selection at Olde Towne

a Santa selection at Olde Towne

Christmas tins at Olde Towne

Christmas tins at Olde Towne

and fishing floats

and fishing floats

We took two of the lighted houses that Allan inherited from his mom’s collection down to add to the holiday decor.

little houses next to the Olde Towne tree

little houses next to the Olde Towne table  tree

On the way home, a photo of a pretty house, one of my favourites in town, a block south on Lake, with holiday greenery.

the twin dormer house

the twin dormer house

At home, my cute Santa couple represents to me how glad I am that gay marriage became legal in this state a year ago.

Mr. and Mr. Santa

Mr. and Mr. Santa

Wednesday, 18 December, 2013

The big event of the day was trying out the delicious new steak and blue cheese salad at Olde Towne….along with some good company.

scrumptious

scrumptious

Allan joined me as we had coffee with Jamie B. and New Judy, our new neighbour three doors down.  Jamie requested no photo of herself for a change, so feast your eyes on the salad instead.

At dusk, I took a puddle and sunset walk.   The puddles were the best part of the sunset, as the clouds that promised drama mostly just turned dark grey.

puddle

puddle2

puddle

sunset

pots

Next:  a visit to the Holiday Christmas Village at the Hungry Harbor Grille

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