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Posts Tagged ‘Long Beach (Washington)’

Friday, 24 November 2017

I was determined to polish off the work list no matter what the weather.

First, we walked out into our garden to collect some red twig dogwood stems for decorating.

Damp and faded hardy fuchsias are still hanging on.

autumn colour on cotinus (smokebush)

another big branch down

Next door, the tarp had blown off the gear shed crab pot stack.

lots of little branch pieces lying about

As we departed, rain fell heavily.  My Dark Sky app said it would last for 15 minutes, and then we’d have forty minutes before it returned.

The Depot Restaurant

We sat in the parking lot, waiting out the squall.

The building in view is Oceanside Animal Clinic.

Our mission was, in part, to remove the annuals from the north side window boxes and barrels (expertly planted by Roxanne of The Basket Case Greenhouse).  They are still blooming. It is fully autumn now, and I am tired of summer annuals.  The roof overhang keeps them dry even when it rains, so they have be checked on at least once a week.  I want something spare and seasonal and no maintenance for the winter.

before

before; note the wide roof overhang

after

Just a bit of red twig dogwood decor. It would be even better if I had some pine cones.

Allan pruned the Lonicera ‘Baggeson’s Gold’ and the escallonia.

before

after (escallonia not shown here)

autumnal garden, north side of dining deck

We did some general tidying and some pruning around the house next door that serves as the Depot office (a tree with branches that were hitting the side of the building, and some pulling of an old patch of crocosmia).  We recommended that Chef Michael hire Sea Star Gardening for a more extensive pruning of the tree.

Even though we’d had more non-rainy time than Dark Sky had predicted, the weather looked damp again as we headed to…

The Anchorage Cottages.

A windy rain squall greeted us there, and made the first fifteen minutes of work challenging.  I had thought it would be time to cut back the chrysanthemums by the office window.  No, they had barely begun to bloom, so this will not be our last visit of the year.

office window

Allan had begun by pulling some cosmos in the south courtyard.

before, valiant cosmos still trying to bloom

after. (Allan’s photos). Next year, a pool of some sort of bright and well behaved ground cover (hakonechloa maybe?) might look better around that Japanese maple.

I almost gave up on finishing the garden tidying because of the cold windy rain.  A brightening sky gave me hope, and the weather cleared.

Allan trimmed the lady’s mantle and geraniums along the front of the bed near the office.

before

after (Allan’s photos)

Even though I was trying to be merciless, some annuals still looked too good to pull.

center courtyard after today’s big tidy[/caption

Anchorage window reflection:

Captain Bob’s Chowder

At almost dusk, we rewarded ourselves and celebrated the start of staycation with a late lunch at Captain Bob’s, behind Fifth Street Park.

[caption id="attachment_132999" align="aligncenter" width="500"] a Renee O’Connor crab sidewalk tile in the park (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Cathy of Captain Bob’s was down to just one crab roll.  Allan kindly let me have the crab roll and ordered fish and chips instead.  Cathy thought that the last of the crab salad did not make for a big enough crab roll, so she gave me a piece of delicious fish on the side.

crab roll

Allan’s fish and chips

Fifth and Pacific intersection after our meal

Half a block south, we admired the lights of the Herb ‘n Legend Smoke Shop, complementing the city’s decorations.

At home, It was too dark to offload the trailer load of compostable debris that we’d acquired at today’s jobs. I was able to erase The Depot from the post frost clean up.  There’s nothing left there that frost would make look bad.  All that is left on the work list is the post-frost go-round…if frost arrives.  Or a pre-Christmas go-round if we don’t get frost.  That won’t take more than two days, probably only one and a half.  Unless some special request from a client arrives, and unless Long Beach gets a pile of mulch that needs applying, we are now off work till the end of January, giving me plenty of time for my list of home garden projects.

I stopped counting the weeks to staycation when my best cat, Smoky, got sick.  I’m not as ecstatic at having this time at home as I usually am.  The other three cats will enjoy the company … not as much as Smoky did, and I will miss him during my reading days.  I have a blog post memorial to him planned, with photos through the years…when I can manage it.  Meanwhile, our first week of staycation should be busy enough to provide some blog fodder, a week that culminates in Ilwaco’s Crab Pot Tree Festival.

event poster by Don Nisbett

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

 I woke up to find that Allan had made a workday breakfast (more nutritious than cold cereal).  The weather showed signs of unexpectedly clearing, belying a forecast of constant rain.  So off we went to work.  I was willing to work in drizzle to get a couple more tasks erased from the work board.

First, even though we had no mail to pick up on this holiday, we did some clipping at the Ilwaco post office garden.

in the post office window (Allan’s photo)

Before: The Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ had been blown about by wind.

after

rain on the post office wall

big raindrops falling

Long Beach

I am weak on just pulling the annuals out once and for all.  At the welcome sign, we stopped to pull the yellow bidens.  We ended up leaving most of them, after all.

On the edge, bidens still showing a bit of yellow. (And some bulb foliage has emerged.)

In Long Beach, I had noticed when driving through on an errand that wind had battered the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in the police station planter.  I steeled myself to cut it back so that I wouldn’t have to wonder every day at home whether or not it still looked good.

I find it hard to cut when the flowers are still so blue.

Allan’s photo

But we did it!

It looks like the wind took away the “orman” part of the Stormin’ Norman’s sign.

I also made a special stop to cut this knautia back hard:

another plant I am tired of thinking about

With very little wind and increasingly clear weather, we drove out to the Bolstad beach approach to tidy the planters and to pull the stands of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

Bolstad Avenue, also known as the beach approach, is named after a young Washington State patrolman who died trying to save two young swimmers in 1957.  I often think about his valor when I type the name of the avenue. You can read about him here.

The weather turned fine and almost summerlike as we began tidying the westernmost planters.

The crocosmia in the long garden bed has beauty still to offer.

We pull it now anyway because soon it will be all brown and tattered, and we’d rather not be out pulling it on a stormy winter day.

I tidy for the passersby who would not understand the beauty of a fall and winter garden with perennials left standing.  In my own garden, I leave plants up for the birds.  I wish I could assign a couple of books to anyone who doesn’t understand the splendor of a wilder garden.

And pretty much any book by Piet Oudolf shows fall and winter landscapes with plants left standing.

I’m sad to see how weedy the long garden has gotten with the autumn rains.  There will be much to do when work starts up again in February.  The city budget doesn’t run to a late fall/early winter seven day long weeding of this narrow but enormous garden.

looking west

It will be a carpet of grass by late winter.

looking east

crocosmia intertwined with thorny rugosa roses (Allan’s photo)

before

after (Allan’s photo)

The weather could not have been better for this job.

a glorious day

tourists taking the classic Long Beach arch photo

one last rose hip

I swear someone has been picking the rose hips to produce tea.  It is too suspicious that someone asked to pick them several weeks ago, and we said no, and yet a week afterwards there were very few rose hips left.  Perhaps I am being paranoid and suspicious.  Usually they would still be clinging to the roses all the way along the approach, although most would be brown by now.

shiny new buds

In the easternmost section, I decided that the roses had to be clipped from along the sidewalk.

before

after

In next year’s spring or late winter clean up, we must dig out the roses from along this inner edge.  Some members of the Peninsula Gardeners Facebook group want starts, so the diggings won’t go to waste.  I have warned them of the vigor of this rose.

As I tidied the easternmost planter, I suddenly felt like a hot wind was on my face.  I looked up, and it was the reflection of the sun in the hotel across the road.

reflecting on me like a heat lamp!

a coppery golden willow in the hotel landscape

At city hall, we’d had a request for the Lavatera outside the west office window to be trimmed back for a good view.  I had decided that we should remove the whole shrub.  When it came to doing so, I changed my mind…for now.  We just clipped it hard, and will think about it over the winter.  It probably should be replaced with something that will stay below the windowsill.

We did not plant it.  We used to have Lavatera ‘Barnsley’ in the city gardens, until one year they seemed to lose their vigor, and even newly planted ones seemed to get diseased and peter out all around town.  This one, in a place where it has to have its flowering stems trimmed, is vigorous and happy…of course.

before

after (Allan’s photos)

My nice variegated hellebore on the north side, that had gotten all lanky, had its stems broken off.

Phooey.

We clipped and weeded in the big pop out a block south of city hall.

after weeding a sheet of little grasses

dwarf pampas grass and rugosa rose

We pulled some tatty evening primrose (the tall scraggly yellow one) from the little popouts a block north of city hall.  When I walked up, a flock of little birds burst into the air.

before

Zooming in on my before photo, I can see the little birds were there, by the pole.

Allan said we took their dinner, and we sort of did.

We left a big stand of evening primrose on the other side of the sidewalk for them.

As soon as we were done, they returned to feasting.

We should have/could have weeded the grass better out of those two little beds. But we did not.

We took our substantial load of debris to City Works.

eating what I thought might be our last workday sandwich of 2017 at City Works

We then finished Long Beach by trimming a few planters out on the Sid Snyder beach approach.

still amazing weather at the west end of Sid Snyder Drive

the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)

I was thrilled that we were going to reach my goal and have time to do the last thing on the pre-frost clean up work list:

Norwood garden

I’ve had on the list for weeks the moving some shade plants to the north side of Mary N’s garden, where earlier this year we replaced mean and thorny barberries with hydrangeas. Allan started weeding the north garden bed while I dug up some plants at home.

I think Allan had reset my red rain gauge and that this is last night’s rain:

Out of this bed, I got some Geranium macrorrhizum and some epimidium.

I looked for some of my best silvery foliaged pulmonarias in Allan’s garden area and could not find them.  I hope they are there, and just dormant.  I managed to find a not so silvery one in another part of the garden, and some hellebore seedlings.

at Mary N’s, a wheelbarrow of some plant starts.

Oh dear, the north bed had gotten so weedy.  I did not mean to neglect it so!

Allan’s before photos, mostly creeping sorrel weed

Yikes.

I took over the weeding while Allan trimmed lavenders in the side garden.

Allan gets credit for weeding the bricks.

lavender, before…

after

before

after

My after picture of the north bed was at dusk.

I am going to have to keep a closer eye on this to keep the sorrel from coming back.

At home, the work list is down to the post-frost clean up and my winter projects at home.

I had planned to declare the beginning pre-frost staycation.  Instead, I consulted with Depot Restaurant co owner Nancy Gorshe and decided that tomorrow, we will pull the old annuals out of the window boxes there, combined with a check up on the Anchorage Cottages garden, which has been on my mind and probably should not be left unattended till frost.  I hope we can accomplish this rain or shine, perhaps with the reward of a late lunch out.

The following morning, Allan got a daytime “after” shot at the Norwood garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 18 November 2017

At the post office, we got an extra special sympathy card about my extra good cat, Smoky.  This one came from all the way from Montana.  Look at the cute envelope, addressed to us and to the remaining cats by name, and at how the PO Box is left blank yet it still got to us.  I looked at the return address (a town an hour an a quarter from where my pal Montana Mary lives) and was mystified.

Inside, I was touched and amazed to find the sender is a blog reader.

Thank you, Penny, so much.  And Mrs. Purrsnickitty (I love your name, Mrs. P.) It means the world to me that my dear kitty touched your hearts.  (I am reminded of how I wept when I learned that Chess, then the dog-voice of The Miserable Gardener blog, had passed. He was as real to me as any friend of mine.)  I also appreciate having all the other kitties’ names on the card.  They all got extra pets from you, Penny and Mrs. P.

This is the kind of card that you put under your pillow for comfort.

I managed to refocus my mind on work.  Work is the time I cope best with losing my best little friend, because he did not come to work with me so I have no work memories of him.

Port of Ilwaco

We started by applying a bale of Gardner and Bloome mulch to the port office garden.  Water seems to pool on the deck above the garden and drip through in a way that batters down the soil.

Cars were parked in the port office parking spots.  We dared to park in a Nisbett Gallery spot.

Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner (Allan’s photo)

mulching (Allan’s photo)

nicely mulched

Allan agreed that next spring, we will remove the old lavenders, which have gone woody in the centers, and replace with new ones.

high tide and summery weather

There was some excitement as the port manager and another man set off in a hurry from the office because “a boat is sinking on D dock.”

the bridge to D Dock

We then clipped and tidied two blocks worth of Ilwaco planters and street trees, starting at the north end of the boatyard.

an abandoned jack o lantern across from the boatyard

same in Waterlogue

First and Eagle planters before (with garbage)

and after

in the boatyard (Allan’s photo)

shiny (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

before and after, annoying patch of badaster that has taken over this tree garden (Allan’s photo)

schlepping a bucket full of clippings

My big plan was to finish the Ilwaco trees and planters—which we did—and then do another intersection of Long Beach planters and one little park, and then get on to the fall clean up at Diane’s garden and the Red Barn.  I very much wanted to get those last two done by Thanksgiving, and this could be the last good weather day for a week.

Long Beach

We parked at the police station and were pleased to see our friends Judy and Larry, out for some lunch and Christmas shopping in town.  We chatted while I started clipping in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter and Allan started cleaning up the little park behind the square.

After our friends went on their way, I suddenly decided to not break the day into three parts and to just plain finish the Long Beach parks and planters.  It always feels intrusive to me to show up at a private garden on a weekend, although I am sure Diane would not mind.  I hope now for just one more decent weather day, even just three hours of dry not too windy weather before Thanksgiving.

clipping curly teucrium

It was the right decision, because of course it took way longer to do that intersection of five planters than I had thought it would.  I walked one block north and back and found that the two planters by the stoplight created a lot of debris once I was done with them.

There are now two empty storefronts for rent (or sale?) by the stoplight. 

Plants like the bright yellow chrysanthemum, above, that are left standing for now, will require a post-frost clean up later on.  At the police station planter, below, I could not bring myself to cut the Geranium ‘Rozanne’.  It was vandalized twice earlier this summer, and thus got cut all the way back then, so it now still looks fresh and new.

I like the “British Bobby” Christmas decoration. “Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

Meanwhile, Allan found some fungi behind the Lewis and Clark Square wall.

Despite having taken a mushroom lecture, I have no idea what these are.

Allan’s project in L&C Square park, before

after

Lewis and Clark Square, lower right

He also clipped back the rugosa roses along the south side of the police station.  They look too pretty with their fall colour to chop down all the way yet.  Next weekend, folks will be walking by here for a Christmas tree lighting event in Veterans Field.

before

just a light chop

after

We went down to Fifth Street Park to clean up two messy planters there, and to plant the very last two little batches of tulips.  I’ve been holding on to those tulips in case the city crew got four escallonias dug out of two planters.  I woke up today deciding to put them in the ground instead, as the crew’s focus right now is on Christmas decorations and frequent storm clean up.

I asked Allan to trim back mildewy, weak old Dorothy Perkins rose from in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder.

before

after (Allan’s photos)

Two hours before, I thought for sure we would be done with the planters in time to pull Crocosmia at Coulter Park.  Nope.  We were stressfully racing daylight by the time we got to the two northernmost blocks.

Allan tidied under a messy street tree (catmint and a stand of the BadAster, which likes to appear everywhere).  I also asked him to clip a double stand of purple chrysanthemum that was on its last gasp.

chrysanthemum, before

Allan’s photo (They look deceptively good, but most of the flowers are browning off when you look close.)

Chrysanths are very tough to clip. (Allan’s photo)

I had gone down to the planter by NIVA green to chop more mums and tatty old lambs ears.  Heather was putting up her holiday garland and icicle lights.  I took just about three minutes to pop into the shop and snap some photos for the NIVA green Facebook page.

new lamps by Heather Ramsay

a flock of fairies

pencils for my black cat, Calvin

As the sun set, Allan got a telephoto from next to the Dennis Company building.

And another telephoto of me hauling back the last bucket of debris, with Heather in the background working on her lights:

We had time to dump our heaping load of debris at City Works before it was too dark to see. And Heather finished her project:

our favourite shop, photo courtesy NIVA green

At home, I was able to erase three things from the work board and rewrite the remaining list in a more legible fashion.

I later remembered to add Mike’s garden to the post-frost clean up.

I sat myself down and had a good long phone conversation with a local friend who just broke her arm in a fall.

Tomorrow does not look like it will be a work day.

45 mph? That’s nothin’ around here.  It will be a good day to catch up on blog posts and finish Cannery Row.  I have also been saving a vintage garden gift book for the perfect rainy day.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

 

sun on dogwood leaves outside our kitchen window

Ilwaco

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

The boatyard garden is all greens and silvers now.

Long Beach

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

windblown geraniums

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

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

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

before

planter in front of the Coastal Inn and Suites

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

before (with Pacicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and some badasters

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

after

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

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

I had found a couple of rocks in the planter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

before, with the planter by the carousel in foreground

I left this one for Allan.

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

before

creating a big mess

I needed the wheelbarrow!

after

after

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

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

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

before cutting back the golden marjoram

after

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

Another tree garden cleaned up by Allan:

before, near Castaways Bar and Grille.

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

after (Allan’s photos)

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

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

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

How times have not changed:

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

Is a different time coming?

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

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

Allan saw a gorgeous sunrise outside the kitchen window.

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

Long Beach

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

before (Allan’s photo)

I wimped out.

after (Allan’s photo)

cold

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

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

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

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

Allan’s photos: before

before

after

after

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

before

before

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

huge mess

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

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

after (with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in white)

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

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

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

Klipsan Beach Cottages

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

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

Allan’s photo

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

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

Allan’s photos, before

after

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

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

the sit spot

flower bud on Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

birdbath view

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

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

Later, at home…

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 6 November 2017

Frosty looking cute in the morning

Even though my neurotic cat Frosty (the late Smoky’s brother) still wants to sleep in the garage rather than have to spend the night indoors, I won’t let him.  It is cold out there.  He wakes me up at 6 AM yowling to go out, so I then open the south cat door for him.  So far the other two cats have not figured out this happens.  Frosty seems to go out and then come back in soon after, because I find him asleep in my room when I wake up again.

Long Beach

We happened to nab a parking spot right next to a street tree that needed its batch of Lysimachia punctata cut back for winter.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

We found a reversible rock.

not sure what it means

The Anchorage Cottages

We left Long Beach to work at the Anchorage first, mainly because I did not know how long we would be there, and the rest of the time could then be devoted to Long Beach.

Arbutus and Melianthus major in the center courtyard

arbutus flowers (to be followed by strawberry like fruit, thus the common name strawberry tree)

I love arbutus so much, why do I not have one in my yard?

I’ve been meaning for ages for us to dead-wood the arbutus. No time for that today.

I did a nice under-pruning and lowering from the top of the big Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ in the corner; wish I had a before picture.

just an after

Allan pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from the narrow bed under the blue sign, and on either side of it he planted some starts of shasta daisies.  I know folks who would turn up their noses at that.  I think the daisies will look spiffing with the white window trim.

before and after (Allan’s photos)

I put some redtwig dogwood twigs in the window boxes, just because it is something I like to do.

Long Beach

I planted a whole pot of cloves of elephant garlic on the west side of city hall.  The very few that were there this past summer were a hit with the city hall staff, who called it  “The Horton Hears a Who plant.”  It was so disappointing when someone picked off all the round flowers that I said I was going to plant so many that surely some flowers would be left next year.

planted them on the upper tier

after planting and clean up of the long narrow tiered beds that were planted originally by Gene and Peggy Miles, when Gene was city administrator (Allan’s photo)

lots of clean up accomplished on the north side, too

I do not clean up my gardens this way.  I leave a lot more plants standing into late winter.  In public gardens, most passersby would not understand that and would just see it as messy.

We turned next to pulling Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at the front of Coulter Park (Allan) and tidying up a planter across the street (me).

Coulter Park, before and after (Allan’s photo)

Allan also photographed the planter project.

before

After work, we returned a couple of forgotten Halloween party items to Scott and Tony’s townhouse in north Long Beach, along with a tall houseplant that needed a place with tall windows.

painted rocks that Scott and Tony’s friends leave in their little entry courtyard

Port of Ilwaco

We did a security check on the business of a friend who will be out of town for two more days post surgery and then had a look at the garden at the port office.  It needs some trimming.  We were almost out of daylight, so it will not get done today.

Allan’s photo

Almost sunset at the marina:

home

I feel sad when I come home to Calvin sleeping alone, in the chair where for the past couple of months he spent the day sleeping with his new best friend, Smoky.  I wish he would bond with Frosty.  He must miss Smoky as much as I do.

Calvin wakes up.

Two nights ago, when I was petting Calvin, I realized I had already lost the hand memory of how much softer Smoky was than any other cat.  Calvin feels soft to me now.  I clipped a tiny bit of Smoky’s fur, before his final visit to the vet.  It felt intrusive to clip very much. It is just enough soft fur, in a little wooden box, to touch with one fingertip.  I can’t bear to go there. But I don’t want to forget that softness.  My hand aches to pet him again.

Smoky and Calvin on October 7th

Calvin and Smoky on October 19th

October 26th

Frosty and Smoky, mid October.  Note the subtle patterns on Smoky’s oh so soft fur.

Smoky was nice to all cats, humans, and nice dogs.

Frosty and Calvin will share my lap, but without affection and with the occasional squabble.

Frosty and Calvin a couple of nights ago

detente but no affection

I occupied my mind with a re-write the work board, dividing the fall clean up list into before and after the first heavy frost, for the purpose of giving me more tasks to erase.  Erasure gives me satisfaction at day’s end.

I then got to erase City Hall and Anchorage.

Below, at 2:45 AM (technically the next day):

Frosty, the odd kitty, has a new favourite place now that he is not sleeping in the garage: right in the middle of the open space in the bedroom.

Why not a comfy chair?

As I write this two days later, he is sleeping in that exact same peculiar spot.

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Saturday, 4 November 2017

On the way to work, I took a bouquet (reassembled from our Halloween bouquets) to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum for tonight’s event.

Long Beach

We went to Long Beach in a light, cold drizzle.  After a search for a parking spot on a busy Saturday, we repaired to Abbracci Coffee Bar to wait out the rain.  The Dark Sky app promised that it would stop in half an hour.

Tony and Bernardo of Abbracci

new autumnal art by Brad Carlson

Bernardo showed us photos of the successful cast leaves that he had made from gunnera I had provided from nearby Fifth Street Park.

success!

The rain did stop, as predicted, so we were able to start work after our coffee.

We had received in the mail a sympathy card from Dr. Raela at Oceanside Animal Clinic.  At first, I thought I had better wait to read it.  I couldn’t wait.

Dr. Raela’s message helped me a great deal with my feelings about having made the decision to have Smoky euthanized, which was so hard even though it was clear he was not going to get better and that he was so miserable and uncomfortable.  A veterinarian with this much insight and compassion is a treasure indeed.

It took me a while to join Allan at cleaning up the nearby park.

Fifth Street Park, west fence with Super Dorothy Rose.

Allan first did some fall clean up of the SW quadrant of the park.  We leave the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ standing through the winter here because it helps hide a not very attractive line of old pampas grass behind the restroom building.

(Allan’s photos) before

after

before

after

I began by cutting back the Darmera peltata in the SE quadrant by Benson’s Restaurant.  Even though I still like the way it looks before, I know the city crew will appreciate having the pond edge clear so they can do their fall clean up of fallen tree leaves in the water.

before

gunnera and darmera leaves obscuring the edge

a little darmera start in the waterfall

Allan came from his first project across the street and tidied up the little monument garden some more.

before

after shearing the lady’s mantle

Allan pried off a big piece of darmera that had attached itself to the side of a rock.

I showed him how the leaves having fallen off the maples had revealed a bindweed that had climbed from the hydrangeas in the back corner way up into the tree.

how embarrassing! (Allan’s photos)

He removed the bindweed with the pole pruners.

I had not intended to prune the big hydrangea, until I realized that it was so tall it was obscuring the lamp post in the corner of the park.  Much pruning ensued, including the ivy (from the lot next door, from whence the bindweed also comes) that was also interfering with the light.

This is just the hydrangea debris.

 Three tarp loads of darmera and gunnera debris got dragged by Allan half a block to our trailer to go home into our compost bins.

North, across the side street, the classic frying pan photo being taken (Allan’s photo)

Here is the before again:

before

And the after:

I think the city crew will be happy to see this on Monday.

I have an idea that a string trimmer might be the answer to cleaning up this difficult very muddy bed in the same park:

Next time!

We still had a lot of clean up to do.  Allan hauled the third tarp full of compostable debris to the trailer, which was parked up the street past Abbracci.

tarp load number three (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan noticed the three bikes parked in a tree garden. When he joined me back in the park, with the van and trailer moved to the side street in order to load up the hydrangea debris, he asked me to see if the bikes belonged to coffee shop customers and if so to request that they move them out of our garden.

All too typical.  Signs on the lamp posts, by the way, say no bicycle riding on the sidewalks, which is often ignored.

The coffee shop which was empty save for the owners and for a dad with two young daughters, who indeed owned the bikes.  I asked if they would please move the bikes out of “my garden”.  The dad said, “YOUR garden? I thought it was a public garden!”

“Yes, it is a public garden, and I’m the public gardener,” I replied, with every effort to be jolly and pleasant.  “I just tend to call it mine because I work on it, but the city would prefer if people not put their bikes on the plants.”

“Do you have a card to prove you’re the public gardener?” the dad asked.

I could not help but laugh, and said, “No, I’m not a card carrying public gardener.  I could send my husband here with an orange vest on, but we are too busy cleaning up the park.”  I just gave up and left.

I realized later that Allan had been dragging his tarp of debris past the big windows of the coffee shop and loading it into the trailer.  The dad must have seen!

Not long after that, the dad and two daughters went bicycling past us, heading down the main sidewalk (despite signs on almost every lamp post saying no bicycling on the sidewalks).  We were parked in full view, with a traffic cone behind us, a few feet up the side street, loading debris. I called out in my jolliest voice, with a smile, “Here’s my public gardener ‘card’, this trailer full of debris!  See how full it is? We just cleaned up this park!”  I added, “Girls, look!  Public gardeners!”  The girls looked but the dad gazed straight ahead and kept pedaling.  I was laughing because it was so ludicrous to have been asked for a card.  Why would I even care where people park their bikes if I were not responsible for the plants?

I went back into Abbracci for a moment to confirm that I had not sounded mean when I asked the guy to move the bikes.  Nope.  I observed that the soil under the tree was a bit compacted by the bikes, that more damage would have been done in the summer when the plants were fuller, and that there is plenty of room for bikes on the sidewalk next to the bench.  (To my eternal amazement, summer does not stop people from parking bikes, strollers, and dogs on top of the plants under the trees.)

We dumped the hydrangea debris at City Works and got home with less than an hour to spare before our evening event.  The offload of the compost debris would have to wait till Sunday.

6×6 Art Auction

Tomorrow’s post, shared from Our Ilwaco blog, will be all about the always entertaining annual 6×6 at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.  I just want to share the personal aspects of it here.

I was touched that the museum reserved a table for us.  They know we will share photos on Discover Ilwaco and in our blog, so we got a great view of Karla, the communications expert, and of Bruce, the auctioneer, as you will see in tomorrow’s post.

Allan’s photo

Our Steve and John of the Bayside Garden attended.

John and Steve (Allan’s photo)

They have mounted another attack on salal in their garden, and we hope to go see the results next week.

A friend said that she had a gift for me.  It was a rainbow bracelet in honor of Smoky (and the Rainbow Bridge).  My face blindness kicked in and I had to go up later and ask her who she was: Leslie, who paints the sock monkey painting each year, and who I know quite well online but not so much to recognize in person…yet.  If her little dog, the Bean, had been with her I would have known her identity right away.

Allan’s photo

Two artist friends, Heather of NIVA green (our favourite shop) and Joe Chasse, attended.

Heather and Joe (Allan’s photo)

We were pleased that Joe sat at our table, and I was particularly pleased that I won his art piece in the silent auction.

Joe’s 6×6 creation, at home with me

I also bid on and won Wendy Murry’s piece.  I’ve gotten hers all but one of the years that she has submitted art.  This year, because the theme was the sixties, the piece is very 60s in feel.  I had a bit of a battle to win it.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace.” -Jimi Hendrix

Our Kathleen got the other piece I bid on.  I had forgotten to increase my bid!  I will be able to visit it in her cottage.

1964 Long Beach by Leslie Price, won by Our Kathleen

The mosaic piece was right next to Wendy’s!

Allan’s photo

Usually the art in the live auction goes for a pretty penny, and my favourite live auction piece this year, by local artist Wendi Peterson (spouse of the auctioneer, Bruce) sold for $350.00  (I once bid almost that much for, and won, a piece by Wendy Murry in the live auction.  Not this year, with my recent vet bill.)  I am happy to admire the painting here:

Three Dog Night by Wendi Peterson

Later, at home, with Frosty:

 

 

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