Posts Tagged ‘Long Beach planters’

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Skooter had spent the night in Allan’s laundry hamper. (Allan’s photo)

We made a quick check on Mayor Mike’s garden and then tidied and deadheaded at…

The Depot Restaurant

The rain has been enough to make ground level watering unnecessary.

north side flowers by Basket Case Greenhouse

The Red Barn

We met an absolutely darling little dog named Delly or Deli…I think.

the most perfect little dog

And I found an appropriately painted rock for a horse barn.

And met another lovely dog, Junior.

Junior’s person had just been attending to a horse stall and said to his dog, “Ok, horse time is over, now it’s dog time!”

Junior and his guy’s truck with our small garden in the background

We then went next door to

Diane’s garden

where Misty got a belly rub.

Diane agreed that the small strip of lawn outside the new fence can be removed for easier maintenance.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Someday very soon, that will be our project along with replanting the roadside garden.

Long Beach

deadheading the welcome sign

Veterans Field

While watering the containers by the Vet Field stage, I noticed something new:

I admired the rhododendron leaves in the mini park behind Lewis and Clark Square, where Allan pulled some of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

Allan’s photos, before


Before watering the planters, we dumped our debris and then picked up our repaired lawn mower at Bailey’s Saw Shop, where I was amused by this sign (the basic labor rate is $70 per hour):

In downtown Long Beach, I went north, watering planters, while Allan went south.

City Crew member pressure washing in Fifth Street Park

I found a painted rock.

a sign for sale at The Wooden Horse gift shop

While watering outside Funland, I kept hearing a robotic voice saying “Space Invaders”.  For some reason, I was tempted to go in and play. (I did not.)


Funland planter

The planters were definitely thirsty, and just a few cosmos had gotten crispy.

Cosmos (Allan’s photo)

California poppies and hesperantha (Allan’s photo)

hesperantha and asters (Allan’s photo)

santolina before (Allan’s photos)

and after

Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan found a rock.

The week had been somber because of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, as attested to by the half mast flags.

We finished Long Beach with a tidying of Fifth Street Park.

butterfly on aster in Fifth Street Park


I walked around and checked most of the planters and street tree pocket gardens while Allan watered them.

Allan’s photos while filling the water tank at the boatyard:


…was low because my foot hurt, so I did not make it to all of the planters.

Acidanthera in a mostly shady planter

I was mightily annoyed to find, in a planter outside the pharmacy, that a special diascia had been stolen….again.  I don’t know when it happened because Allan is usually the one to care for these planters.

Just a hole left, with the protective label dropped into the hole.

a plea ignored by the plant thief

The water trailer (Allan’s photo)

A photo of the missing tree spot (victim of a bad driver) turned into a before and after when I decided to do some pruning on a tree a block away.


My foot was hurting a lot, so I asked Allan to take a break from watering and drive me home before I did the final intersection.  It can wait till tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I cut some lower limbs off one of the street trees.  These are supposed to be columnar pears, but I find them anything but columnar.

Allan helping with my spontaneous mess

after (a bit more of the Portside Café now shows in the distance)

On the way home, we had noted a handsome stand of corn on Second Avenue.

New homeowners have made a new garden.

At home, a harvest:




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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Ilwaco post office garden

I always think I do not like the yellow evening primrose. And yet look how pretty this accidental one is.

Long Beach

We began Long Beach at city hall with the plan of pulling a lot of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and then then clearing out the boring Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ planter by the gazebo, getting new soil in buckets from city works, and redoing the planter with the plants we had brought with us.

cars and flowers meet at the edge of the parking lot

There is a whole wall of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ on the south of the west side (not planted by us! I would have picked something else.)


I set out to clip back the Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ from the sidewalk.

I then noticed that one of the two escallonias had produced three feet of new growth and decided to clip it away from the building.  Look who I found while clipping:

Pacific tree frog and snail

I am so glad I got that photo just before froggie jumped off.

As I clipped the escallonia, Parks Manager Mike drove by and called out a request, that we clip back the roses on the big pop out, one block south, because of sight line issues.  That changed the day’s plan considerably.  Soon after, I decided to cut the escallonia down very low so that it would better match the much smaller one at the other end of the garden.  Meanwhile, I asked Allan to take the pick and remove the big armeria on the corner by the escallonia; it was a haven for creeping buttercup and was too far out over the wall.

Allan’s photos: before…

and after


While Allan finished, I clipped back the huge Aruncus (goats beard) on the north side.



The aruncus has gotten too big for that spot.  Later this fall, we plan to dig it out and put it somewhere in Fifth Street Park (with a division going to my garden; it originally came from my previous garden).

Very little Crocosmia got pulled. 

The one thing we went there to do hardly got done at all.

Before even going to the pop out, we had so much debris that we had to dump.  We need revitalizing, yet the coffee drive through had four cars waiting so Allan said “Let’s go to the two guys.”  I knew exactly what he meant: Abbracci Coffee Bar, owned by Tony and Bernardo.

a Pink Poppy Bakery shortbread

fifteen minutes of relaxation

and a dulcimer player

Allan’s photo

While we were by Fifth Street Park for our coffee break, we went ahead and deadheaded there.

fall crocus (Allan’s photo)

At two o clock, the post-tourist season town was so quiet.

SW quadrant looking grand with Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.


Next: the big pop out project.  As we parked, I thought that there was no way the sightline could be blocked by the rugosa roses.

before: You’d look left, and you’d look right when you were further out….

However, in recent years we have taken the pick and tried to push the roses back (to no avail, but at least they stayed shorter for the summer).  I did not mind cutting them.  I had told Mike I wished we could redo the whole thing, rebuilding the wall and putting in all new soil.  By we, I mean the city crew and big equipment.

after; we will prune the rest of the roses down hard later.

As we were working on this, a fellow on a motorcycle stopped and wanted to give us a $20 tip.  The same thing, with a different man, happened in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago, and that time I was able to kindly refuse.  Today’s gentleman would not take a refusal; he tucked the $20 in among the stems of the rugosa roses (and we did not leave it there).

A kitty came to visit.

Her roundness reminded me of my Mary.

With another full trailer, we made another run to city works, and this time we filled buckets with soil for the original project, redoing a city planter. 

While Allan got started digging the boring old geraniums out of the planter, I walked four blocks worth of planters to deadhead.

I saw a pug.

And the pug saw me.

On my walkabout, I collected some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, some creeping succulents, and some cut leaf saxifrage and then joined Allan at the planter project.  The sun had become hot, and the town had become busy with lots of onlookers, and we only had two hours to get the project done before a social event. The Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ roots are so pervasive that we had to dig a lot of soil out.  Even then, I thought maybe we had not dug enough.  I was afraid to put in the two Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that I brought.  Rozanne (blooming from late spring to first frost) is related to Johnson (which blooms for about a month, if that), and if Johnson got mixed up with Rozanne, then Johnson could use Rozanne as a base to try to take over the whole planter again.  I’ll wait to see how much JB sprouts back before I add Rozanne to this planter. Allan took all the photos here.



after; we salvaged two santolinas and two agastaches.


As the sun was setting, we checked on the kite museum garden.

kite museum (Allan’s photo)

During our planter re-do, I had gotten a text that changed our dinner plans.  We had been going to meet Dave and Melissa at El Compadre Mexican Restaurant for our weekly dinner.  Instead, we were all invited to the home of Lynn, who until recently was our beloved server at the Cove.

sun setting as we arrive (Allan’s photo)

Our destination was next door to Gene’s garden, which you may remember from the 2013 local garden tour.

Here was Gene’s garden in 2013:

And here it is now, with the changes that Gene made since then:

good job, Gene!

in 2013…

and now with a new west facing deck

Gene’s cottage

Next door, pretty porch lights welcomed us to Lynn’s cottage.

She had stocked the cooler with our favourite cider.

The cottage inside was every bit as perfectly beachy as the best Cannon Beach Cottage.

windowsill lights with shells

Bitty protecting her lair

Chloe was much friendlier than Bitty (who warmed up to us eventually).

my new friend

Chloe’s nook

We dined with seven friends on a pizza assortment and snacks. With Dave and Melissa, we stayed till late, sharing thoughts and stories.

At home, I found it satisfying to erase “planter re-do” from the work board.


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Friday, 15 September 2017

A substantial amount of rain is predicted beginning Sunday.  However, we can’t count on it and so we watered containers anyway.

Long Beach

welcome sign front

deadheading welcome sign cosmos

front and back

In town, Allan went south and I went north to water the planters.

outside the Wooden Horse gift shop


at the Wooden Horse gift shop

Allan’s walkabout photos:

cosmos and gaura

my walkabout photos:

Salvia viridis (painted sage); This year the white ones have done the best, with the blue ones being the smallest. Mystifying.

hardy fuchsia and white cosmos

my favourite planter (again)


Amy from the Red Barn passing by

Heather of NIVA green (my favourite shop) had something for me: Her assistant wanted me to have these three books:

I was thrilled to have Green Thoughts again, and I know just who needs the Lovejoys (which I already have, or course).

I took the time to get some more photos for the Niva green Facebook page.

in NIVA green

After watering, we rendezvoused at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  (Allan had done the deadheading in Fifth Street Park.)  Bernardo had asked for some gunnera leaves from the big specimen in the park, so that he can make a leaf casting.  I was happy to provide some that were  pushing up against the windows of Benson’s Restaurant.

Allan’s photo

When we went into the coffee shop, we were delighted to find Our Kathleen.  She had been here for a week’s vacation and while we had planned to see her this evening, we were glad to have some extra visiting time in a quiet atmosphere.

We got her to move from the two top window table.  (Allan’s photo)

delicious cake from Pink Poppy Bakery

Fortunately, we had time for a 45 minute break.

getting ready to depart

I was especially fascinated to learn that Tony grew up in Castle Rock, before it was a mecca of flowers.  He went back for a high school reunion and was impressed with the transformation.  I recommended the Castle Rock Blooms Facebook page.

We checked the gardens out on the beach approach…

Flowers had been left at the Lisa Bonney memorial planter on the anniversary of her death in 2009.

Someone has planted a new rosemary plant (left, below), which is perfect.  “Rosemary for remembrance.”  I wish I could make this planter better.  Rosemary is a good idea.  It is not too showy so it might not get stolen.  I will add another on the right side.

Here is an odd thing: Someone had painted up one of the old volunteer signs, after apparently removing it, and then sticking it back onto the planter with messy ugly glue.  I blurred out the name.

The glue looked horrible.

We went to city hall and asked.  The people’s names were not on the roster of utility customers.  We decided the best thing to do would be pry off the plaque, take it in to city hall, and if the people come and ask, find out if they really intend to maintain the planter (which seemed to have had no improvements related to this sign being painted).  Then Parks Manager Mike could have it glued on nicely.  The volunteer planter program is actually over because so very few planters… maybe five planters out of fifty or so…actually got maintained back in the day.  The plaque is now in the charge of the city hall staff.

I have a feeling this was just some sort of joke that was played over Labor Day weekend.

We did a bit of trimming of plants at city hall.

Allan’s photo: He cut back the catmint hard.

Allan’s photo: That orange montbretia is not supposed to be there. I am showing mercy for now.

Allan’s photo, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Allan’s photo


I did just a half an hour of deadheading and weeding at the boatyard garden and then went home.  I am counting on the rain to water it.  Because the Ilwaco containers are thirstier, Allan went on to water them.

sweet peas and cosmos

Sweet peas made it to the fence top, by the leaky faucet.  They smelled so good.

looking south

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

Cosmos ‘Seashells’

Aster, very likely ‘Harrington’s Pink’

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo, downtown

In the evening, we met with at The Cove with Our Kathleen and Dave and Melissa for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner.  The food was good, yet we missed our beloved Lynn, our favourite server who is no longer there. Without her presence, we are questing for a new weekly dinner spot.

We hadn’t had our dinners for two weeks because of holiday weekends, and the dinner before that had been too noisy to hear each other, so there was much to catch up on.

We now have either three or four days off, depending on the rain’s arrival.  I cannot spend it all at home because tomorrow we must rally in Astoria.






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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

This morning, Allan found Skooter sleeping in the bathroom sink.

Anchorage Cottages

We began the work day with our weekly visit to Anchorage Cottages.

greeted by my good friend Mitzu.

Allan gave the viburnum in the center courtyard a flat top.

Allan’s photo

center courtyard

SorryNotSorry, daisy snobs; I decided to put in two clumps of shasta daisies on either side of Crocosmia in this messy little bed.  To be done later this fall.

window boxes from inside (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I think the verticality is important, and yet we hear that the Salvia is making the windows harder to open and close.

Office courtyard with Beth on the phone taking care of business.

office courtyard sweet peas

Long Beach

While driving the main street on the way to the Anchorage, we had been pleased to see the planters had not been sat upon too terribly much during Rod Run.  This was especially good because we read later that the drivers downtown had gotten rather rowdy at times.  Excerpts from an article in the Chinook Observer:

The event resulted in one police chase and one rollover wreck, and some police officers said the atmosphere seemed a bit rowdier this year. But aside from those incidents, the Rod Run was safe and successful, authorities said.

And: “As they pulled through the intersection of Pacific and Bolstad at sunset, one Jeep-driver peeled out, and jerked backwards, slamming on his brakes just as he was about to hit his buddy’s Jeep. On each pass through downtown, they revved their engines, surging forward and screeching to a stop again and again. Some observers cheered, others looked seriously annoyed.

And “Early in the evening, a visiting officer from Castle Rock noticed a man in a black truck talking on his cell phone as he drove through downtown. When he signaled the man to pull over, “The guy dropped the cell phone, turned and took off. He went to Ocean Beach Boulevard,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brad Moon said. “The driver was headed north, accelerating to the point where he lost control of the vehicle.” Near Bolstad Avenue, the man crashed into a white SUV and jumped the curb, nearly hitting a woman in a wheelchair.

Officers from several agencies arrested him at gunpoint. Tests later revealed the man had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, well over the legal limit of 0.08, Moon said.”

Memories of when the event used to be on Labor Day Weekend: “Fifteen years ago…. State Patrol would send as many as 40 troopers to help out, and they’d arrest 40 to 60 drunks over the weekend. For the last few years, they’ve arrested four to six people drunk drivers each year. This year, there were three DUIs….”

chairs left over from Rod Run (Allan’s photo)

Our new method of discouraging sitting by leaving as much foliage as possible, tatty or not, hanging over the edge, seems to have worked.  Today, it was satisfying to tidy the planters up.

lots of candy wrappers from candy tossed from cars (Allan’s photo)

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop, before

and after

I took the wheelbarrow all through town and filled it to the brim twice.  With tourist season officially over, I had room on the sidewalk to maneuver my wheelbarrow through town. Allan watered the trees and  three blocks worth of planters, more than usual for him on Tree Watering Day, because all my clipping slowed me down.

The classic Long Beach frying pan photo

Fifth Street Park and Captain Bob’s Chowder

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was abuzz with insects. Some looked sort of unfriendly.

Our friends Captain Bob and Cathy had left their café to go on a celebratory vacation.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was the plant that created the most wheelbarrow debris.

Third Street Park planter, before

and after (not exactly gorgeous. I know.)

I thought Allan had gotten way ahead of me and was pleased to see him still behind me, under the Elks sign, working on the two north blocks.

looking north at Bolstad and Pacific; Allan in yellow vest under the Elks sign.

He caught up and passed me, going south, within a block, which is when I asked him to also water the planters on the southernmost block.

by Cottage Bakery, somewhat sat upon but not bad at all

My lovely Othonna cheirifolia was unscathed.

While watering a street tree, Allan found part of a cigar, which he put into his debris bucket, of course.

A man emerged from a restaurant and mournfully said, “You got my cigar wet!”  Allan fished it out of the bucket and said, “It isn’t clean,” and the man took it and and walked off with it in his mouth.

a tree garden that did get very much stood upon (Allan’s photo).  This is also the one that needs to be bucket watered because the faucet does not work.

Allan’s photo

more candy wrappers (Allan’s photo)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and bidens (Allan’s photo)

in the Heron Pond (Allan’s photo)

While I was watering and clipping the carousel planter, a man stopped close to me and asked, “If I give you my address, will you come do my garden?”  We hear this a lot; I gave my usual jolly reply of, “After I do MY garden!”  Then he said he would pay $35 an hour, and I said, “That is tempting; we don’t make that here. Where do you live?”  “Longview,” he replied, “and my gardener makes $35 an hour, and sometimes $42 depending on what sort of gardening she is doing.”  I said that the big city does pay better.  He then asked, “What are you having for dinner?”  “I don’t know,” said I, “I don’t do the cooking.”  At that point, he tried to hand me $20, saying, “This is to get yourself something good for dinner.”  I demurred and told him he should to give it to someone who truly needed it.  He insisted, I refused, he graciously accepted my refusal and walked on.  As he walked away, I called out “You are a very nice guy!”

I later thought that I could have said I would take it to add to my contribution for the October rent for one of the families whose wage earner has been taken away by ICE (immigration enforcement, which is targeting hardworking undocumented long time community members here).  That probably would have involved more words than I could have managed to muster while watering.  See the end of this blog post for some facts about undocumented immigrants.

I continued walking south till Allan and I met up on the last block.

one of the better street tree pocket gardens, watered once a week

I had forgotten to put a bandaid on my little toe, which began to scream two blocks before I was done, leading to my removing my special shoe insert, followed by a sigh of relief from my little toe and a screech of protest from my sore heel.


When we got home, Allan went back out to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters, while I sat and read the news.  He had made me a fine cup of Builder’s Tea.


That gave me the strength to rise again and empty the work trailer of the two wheelbarrow loads of good non weedy clippings, a good addition to my compost bins.  I did not muster the energy to hobble back to the bogsy woods and haul out yesterday’s pile of cut salmonberry trunks and branches.

Thus ends today’s blog post.  Read on, if you like, for some information about immigrants, a subject that is much on my mind because of the way that beloved local people are being taken by ICE.

Here, from the Stories from this week’s installment of the Stories from the Heart series by Sydney Stevens, are some facts about immigration.  How does it connect with us? A bit of our gardening income right now is going to help these local families deal with the sudden crackdown instigated by the new national administration.

A Fact-Checker Speaks (by Sydney Stevens)

Falsehood # 1: They don’t pay taxes

Undocumented immigrants do, indeed, pay taxes. Like everyone else in the United States, they pay sales taxes. They also pay property taxes — even if they rent. As a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) points out, “the best evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households currently file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), and many who do not file income tax returns still have taxes deducted from their paychecks.”

Currently, in Washington State, undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $316,624,000 in state and local taxes.

Falsehood #2: They don’t pay into Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), unauthorized immigrants — who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits — have paid an eye-popping $100 billion into the fund over the past decade.

“They are paying an estimated $15 billion a year into Social Security with no intention of ever collecting benefits,” according to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the SSA. “Without the estimated 3.1 million undocumented immigrants paying into the system, Social Security would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover payouts starting in 2009,” he said. “As the baby boom generation ages and retires, immigrant workers are key to shoring up Social Security and counteracting the effects of the decline in U.S.-born workers paying into the system.” (An article in the Atlantic explains more about this, including “We estimate that earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security financial status generally, and that this effect contributed roughly $12 billion to the cash flow of the program for 2010″.)

Falsehood #3: They drain the system.

Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.

A Congressional Budget Office report on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 concluded that a path to legalization for immigrants would increase federal revenues by $48 billion. Such a plan would see $23 billion in increased costs from the use of public services, but ultimately, it would produce a surplus of $25 billion for government coffers, CBO said

Falsehood #4: They take American jobs.

Removing the approximately 8 million unauthorized workers in the United States would not automatically create 8 million job openings for unemployed Americans, said Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies, in his 2011 testimony before the House Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

The reason, is two-fold. For one, removing millions of undocumented workers from the economy would also remove millions of entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers. The economy would actually lose jobs. Second, native-born workers and immigrant workers tend to possess different skills that often complement one another.

According to Griswold, immigrants, regardless of status, fill the growing gap between expanding low-skilled jobs and the shrinking pool of native-born Americans who are willing to take such jobs. By facilitating the growth of such sectors as retail, agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels, low-skilled immigrants have enabled those sectors to expand, attract investment, and create middle-class jobs in management, design and engineering, bookkeeping, marketing and other areas that employ U.S. citizens.

Falsehood #5: It’s just a matter of following the law.

Under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating. According to the State Department, that imaginary “immigration line” is already 4.4 million people long and depending on the type of visa sought and the country of origin, the wait can be years to decades long. In some countries, such as the Philippines and Mexico, people have been waiting over 20 years for approval of a family-sponsored visa.

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a reference post showing the Pacific Way Long Beach planters on 7 September 2017

As much plant life as possible has been left along the edge, even when tatty, to discourage sitters during the Rod Run event (Sept 9-11).  The planters get watered only twice a week except for some spill over water when the baskets above some of them get watered daily by city crew.  The plants are sourced from local nurseries Basket Case Greenhouse and The Planter Box.

I have found when I plant ornamental grasses and other more sophisticated plants in these planters, even people I know comment that they “look like weeds”.

west side south to north

block one west: 

First Place Mall

empty lot (very windy, full of a running hardy geranium from volunteer days)

credit union

block two west:

cottages and Streetside Taco

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop

Fifth Street Park SW (way too much veronica with too short a bloom time)

block three west:

Fifth Street Park NW (full of annoying crocosmia and a running teucrium)

Sweet Phees (shady, lost a couple of cool hardy geraniums last winter)

Hungry Harbor

Third Street Park SW

block four west:

Third Street Park NW  (boring and pushy Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ from volunteer days, re-doing soon)

Stormin’ Norman

Wind World Kites (shopkeeper loves Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’)

Bolstad and Pacific, SW corner

block five west:

Scoopers south (used to be the most vandalized, now seems like it could be made better. Vandal maybe moved away or grew up!)

Scoopers north (full sized escallonias (‘Pink Princess’) left over from volunteer days). The escallonias would be eight feet tall and wide if not clipped.

block six west:

Dennis Co south

Dennis Co north

east side south to north:

block one east:

Powell and Seillor accounting

Paws by the Sea Pet shop  (full size escallonias (Pink Princess) and barberry and euonymus planted in volunteer days, too big to remove)

empty lot (has Gladiolus papilio which I might spread around to others)

block two east:

Coastal Inn (only one with nasturtiums; they swallow other plants)

tattoo shop

Fifth Street Park SE (has way too much variegated vinca)

block three east:

Fifth Street Park NE (hebe, roses, lavenders left from volunteer days)


souvenir shop (azaleas and junipers and mint from volunteer days, pretty boring except in spring)

Lewis and Clark Square

block four east:

police station, recovering from vandalism earlier in summer


Cottage Bakery

Long Beach Pharmacy (very windy)

Block Five east:

NIVA green

Elks Lodge

Block Six east:

Dennis Co storage lot (full sized barbarries and euonymus from volunteer days)

lawyer’s office (left side was dug out for plumbing problems, thus smaller Geranium ‘Rozanne’ this year)





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Thursday, 31 August 2017

We’d had some more drizzle, enough to make small puddles in the street.

While pleasing, it was not enough to saturate the soil in any of the gardens or planters.  Just enough for a little light refreshment.

Post Office garden, still dry

in the post office planter, “two bugs”  (Allan’s photo)

Long Beach

strimmer touch up after deadheading (front)

In the back of the sign, you can see that Geranium ‘Orion’ is just a green mound, while Rozanne is still blooming determinedly.

Allan and I parted ways to water the 37 Pacific Way planters, with him going south and me going north.

still my favourite planter

another good one

Santolina, Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’, Geranium Rozanne’

I love the angularity of ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano.

It occurred to me that I can take starts of Hopley’s Purple in the fall and put it in some other planters, as well.  The only other place I have it is in the boatyard.

Allan has been keeping the monument circle just to the north in Coulter Park well weeded.  It does not get enough water to be lush toward the front.

Coulter Park

The Coulters. I should have pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, lower left!

As I walked and watering going south, I suddenly thought I should photograph all the planters, favourites and otherwise, from across the street, once a month, on one of the days when Allan waters trees and I water almost all the planters.  Next Monday is my last chance to do so before they get vigorously Sat Upon during Rod Run weekend.  But Monday will be Labor Day with lots of traffic between me and the other side of the street.  I will try.  Meanwhile, here are some from the north end of town today.

The one by the Elks

by Cottage Bakery

by Funland

Police Station, with city crew member on the endless garbage pick up detail

Lewis and Clark Square

It was my job today to water the four containers in Fish Alley.  Because I was tired, I decided to get water from a secret place at the back of the alley. (I’m allowed to).  But no!  A hose was going from it up into an apartment, above.


It is a long water bucket schlep from the front of the alley to the back.

Recently while I was thinking about the impermanence of life, the lyrics of a sixties song ran through my mind repeatedly: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.”  One reason impermanence was on my mind was because of reading Julie Goyder’s excellent blog, which I have followed for a few years, and in which she wrote about how her darling husband had just passed on from Parkinson’s disease.  (If you are experiencing the dementia of a loved one, go back and read the last two years of her blog.) A less serious reason for thinking about time was my usual pondering about the enticement of retirement dreams vs. my reluctance to ever give up doing the Long Beach planters.  Today, the spookiest thing happened.  A car drove by and from its windows came just one snatch of song: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.”

Cue Twilight Zone theme.  Later, I looked up all of the lyrics and found them good:

Feed the babies
Who don’t have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin’ in the street
Oh, oh, there’s a solution

I could forgive the Steve Miller Band for having created The Joker, perhaps my least favourite pop song of all time.

As soon as Slow Drag is over, I want to find time to redo this planter:

So tired of the boring Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, once planted by a volunteer.

I’ve tried weeding the geranium out, but it came back.  All the soil must be removed to make the re-do a success.  It is near the Long Beach gazebo and thus in a prime spot.  No point in doing it before the Sitting Upon of Rod Run.

Allan’s walkabout photos:

hesperantha starting to flower

I walked to meet up with Allan for weeding Veterans Field gardens.

corner garden, time to prune down the monarda

after; I hope it blooms some more.  Allan is finishing up.

Cosmos ‘Double Click’

another Cosmos ‘Double Click’

and a pinky white one

white cleome (Allan’s photo)  in Fifth Street Park

We finished downtown by deadheading and weeding in Fifth Street park where I pondered whether or not a large miscanthus just looks silly.

There used to be more than one till that walkway was put in.  It does echo the lovely line of Miscanthus on the other side of the park, shown below from a few weeks back:

How important is it to have that echo?

As I was deadheading, a friend hailed me and there was MaryBeth just finishing a cup of chowder from Captain Bob’s.  She said she was on her way to my garden to deliver some urns (and take herself on a tour).  I was bemoaning the shortness of the cosmos and wondering why: Are the sprinklers not working well? Did the garden need more fertilizer? Every sort of plant from pineapple sage to catmint to helianthus is shorter this year. MaryBeth made me feel better by saying that there was lots of interest in the garden bed.

short but “lots of interest”

I had been craving some of the tiny tacos from Streetside Taco and for once, our passing by there coincided with them being open.  (Why don’t I just stop for a taco while watering? I just don’t.  It has to be during a clear break between tasks.)

at Seventh and Pacific

view from the picnic table

Bahn Mi taco, spicy Korean taco, Hawaiian style taco

planter across the street

Revitalized, we went on to water the planters on Sid Snyder Drive.

Horses at West Coast Rides were having an afternoon snack.

Allan’s photo

westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

gazania in the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

We finished up Long Beach at the World Kite Museum.


I watered the boatyard and did a bit more weeding there.  Now it is pretty much spiffing for the Friday evening Art Walk.  Perhaps some folks will stroll by.  I did not get a sign done to say that “Gardening is the Slowest of the Performing Arts.”  Awhile back I told Jenna I thought my garden should be on a midsummer art walk and she said she could have some sort of art event in the garden.  I know what that means: Mermaids!  Maybe next year!

filling the water tank to water planters. Two hoses saved five minutes on the fill even though it’s off the same line. (Allan’s photo)

I did not have the delightful hose experience of the last two times, when hoses were readily accessible.  This time, the middle one went up into a boat…


And the end one went up into a boat.

And again, NOOOOOO.

This resulted in much dragging of hose along the chunky gravel that hurts my heel.  I was not done watering when Allan arrived so he helped me finish up.

Allan’s photo

sweet peas almost to the top of the fence (by where a hose faucet leaks when turned on)

Other than the during the hose dragging, I am pleased to report that my heel did not hurt much today. I credit the sleeping brace that a kind local person gave me.

I arrived home to find three urns from MaryBeth.

I tucked the glass one into a safe spot for now.

I will have to give some serious thought to a good spot for the two matching black ones.  They need to frame something.  I hope to figure it out sometime this weekend when I do plan to get some gardening done at home….followed (if the wildfire smoke is not too thick) by a day trip to tour an inland garden.

I was delighted that the drizzle had filled two water barrels.

even the hard to fill one

I was not delighted to spend the evening doing the monthly billing.  Always a sense of accomplishment when it is done.







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Thursday, 10 August 201

Before we left for work, Devery brought us some of a big organic cabbage grown by a friend and told us that she had adopted a little Chihuahua pug dog, which I could meet at the end of the day.


our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco post office…needs more santolina in the front.  Next year!

Long Beach

We had had a trace of rain overnight, not enough to save us from the watering of the Long Beach planters.  Today, the job went faster because it wasn’t street tree watering day.

First we deadheaded at the welcome sign.  Allan ran the string trimmer around it.


Allan’s photo



I wish I had taken a photo before trimming the corner plant of Geranium ‘Orion’.  I want to show how much better Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is.


after trimming deadheads off of Orion


Rozanne does not need deadheading and does not have a plain green center to the plant.


Rozanne is bigger and bluer.

Rozanne, I let myself be tempted by someone else.  I wish I had nothing but you for the blue in the Long Beach welcome sign garden.  I regret that I strayed.


back of sign with Rozanne at the ends and Orion in the middle.

In the fall, Orion is coming out of that planter and will be replaced with all Rozanne.

We split up to water the downtown planters.  Allan went north and I went south.

One of my first planters was by the carousel.


The last two times I have watered the four planters within sound of the carousel, the music has been 80s—Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive), leading to almost painful nostalgia.  Today, the song was Karma Chameleon by Culture Club, reminding me intensely of the ten years that horror writer Wilum Pugmire lived in my attic.  We drifted apart after I moved (for a long time he did not even have email).  By leaving Seattle, I terribly disrupted his living situation (although it did turn out well in the end).

He adored Boy George and his attire evoked both Boy George and his other beloved icon, Barbra Streisand.


me and Wilum almost exactly thirty years ago (1987) and Wilum in his full regalia

Sometimes the memories evoked by the carousel music are almost too much for me.

Moving on to the next set of planters, I was immensely cheered by these four fierce chihuahas.


first three.


Then a fourth one appeared.

As I watered the nearby planter, I saw many passersby amused by this quartet.  (The day was cool, almost cold, and the window was cracked open.)

I started thinking happily about my new neighbour, Devery’s chi-pug dog, whom I would soon meet.  I suddenly realized that he was the very same dog, Roy, that I’d noticed in the local humane society’s availability update.  He had appealed to me because I so like the Basket Case Greenhouse chi-pug, Buddy.  And now Roy would be my dog-neighbour! (Devery is calling him “Royal”.)


I looked Roy’s picture up on the humane society Facebook page.

A little further on, I admired the latest tigridia blooms and noticed their crown-like center.


Today’s tigridia



At the south end of downtown, a sign amused me.  I’ve looked at it every week and never noticed the missing letter till now.


I admired the excellent window boxes at Dooger’s Restaurant:


from across the street


and closer

And also the window box at Lighthouse Realty.


Moving along…


Gladiolus papilio


the wildflower meadow look


Lily ‘Black Beauty’ in Fifth Street Park


Lilium ‘Black Beauty’; note the green furrows


Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ and catmint

Photos from Allan’s watering walkabout:


traffic jam


Agastaches in Lewis and Clark Square planter


Cosmos ‘Sonata’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Coulter Park: two fallen cosmos on the lawn


Cosmos and Berberis ‘Helmond Pillar’


snapdragons and agastache


Geranium ‘Rozanne’




Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and santolina


Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

With the planters all watered in good time, we took a break at Abbracci Coffee Bar.



Allan’s photo; we leave our gear on the tree bench


Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery had just delivered a brown sugar cake.


flowers in Abbracci


all gone (Allan’s photo)

We finished up Long Beach with some clipping in Fifth Street Park.


I don’t think this garden is as good as usual this year.


The problem is the cosmos, which should be tall, are short.  It seemed to me earlier this summer that the beds were not getting as much water as usual.


In fall, I am going to divide and spread around the heleniums…


…even though they clash with the backdrop of insipid, mildewy pink Dorothy Perkins rose.

Allan sent this man to me for a plant ID.  It was, of course, for the tigridia (Mexican shell flowers).


Allan trimmed back this lady’s mantle…


Alchemilla mollis

…and noticed the interesting seedheads (or spent flowers):



I thinned this batch a bit.  It still has enough yellow to stay till next week.

We were done with plenty of time for our Ilwaco work tasks.


We drove past our house to have a gander at the progress of the playground at the end of town.  Or so we planned, till I looked down Devery’s driveway and saw her with her new dog.  “Back up!” I cried, eager to meet a new friend.  Never mind the playground for today.


my new friend, Royal


He’s so soft and sleek.

Royal was rescued from a kill shelter in California and brought to our local no-kill shelter, where he was lucky enough to be found by Devery.

Allan went to water the Ilwaco planters, while I weeded at the Norwood and the J’s gardens.


our own front garden


the second of four beds that are outside the deer fence on the west side of the house


elephant garlic next to Devery’s driveway

I got back to work:


The J’s roses

I am pleased that the new hydrangeas in the Norwood garden are putting out new flowers (after I had to cut off the too-floppy flowers they came with).


Endless Summer hydrangea coming back into bud


Norwood garden Agapanthus and lavender

Just as I was leaving Norwoods, I saw Jay himself arrive…with a puppy, making the sixth darling small dog of the day.


eight week old Julius

At home, buddies Smokey and Calvin were snoozing together.



My last garden event of the day: harvesting cukes out of the greenhouse.


Meanwhile, Allan watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters and got the photos I wanted that show how the planters enhance the town, even though they are small and mostly located in a difficult wind tunnel straight up from the river.







The city hall planters are fancier because the staff gives them supplemental watering beyond our two times a week.


This one half died for some reason.  Has been recently replanted.  Allan thinks the trailing rosemary looks like a waterfall under the fish mural.


Our Jenna gives this one by her studio supplemental water.  Something is chomping the nasturtium leaves.


Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Now we have three days off and a garden tour to anticipate.

Friday, 11 August 2017

I mostly just finished a mystery I was reading, except for a pleasant interlude when good  friend Judy S. and her spouse Larry came to see our lilies and to examine our deer fence.  I did only a minimum of gardening (fertilized containers) and took no photos.


Judy appreciating the Stipa gigantea


and the Melianthus major’s peanut butter scent.

The J’s sent over some freshly cleaned and cooked crab that Jay himself had caught that day on his boat.  I so appreciate not being given a live crab!


before they were cleaned and cooked and turned into crab legs and shared

Allan, a much better householder than me, decided it was high time to defrost the refrigerator.  (It is old and frosts up quickly.)


The mystery was Double Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Series #1) by Ali Brandon.  I liked it well enough to order the sequel, even though I much prefer when cats do not help solve mysteries.  At least this one was not a talking cat.

We had our weekly garden club dinner at the Cove with Dave and Melissa.


in the entry foyer at the Cove


rhubarb cake

Tomorrow: The Astoria garden tour, at last!





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