Posts Tagged ‘Melianthus major’

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

We took the morning off to receive guests Jay and Diane, all the way from Florida!  I’ve been Facebook friends with Jay since he first visited our garden in 2014.  On that occasion, I was smitten with his insightful questions.  For example, he wanted to know who had been my greatest gardening influence.  When I said my grandmother, he asked to know her name “because it is important to say people’s names.”  He was here visiting his Long Beach sister, along with his good friend, Diane.

Jay and Diane arrive

Jay gave Allan and I each a t shirt of this delightful design from a place called Barberville Pioneer Settlement.

We walked out into the garden.

It’s looking rather autumnal.

I took note of what they noticed.


honeysuckle berries

honeysuckle flowers


wild impatiens (touch me not, my small and controlled patch of noxious weeds)

Everyone jumps when the seed pods pop.

an odd dandelion seedhead with a topknot

Diane said the Leycesteria (Himalayan honeysuckle) reminded her of shrimp plant.  She ate a creme brulee tasting berry.

fence decor

We sat around the fire circle for awhile (where we are not having fires lately because of dry conditions).

Diane wanted to visit the willow woods outside the south gate.

the swale between us and the port parking lots

the willow woods (Not many people ask to come this far into the depths of the property)

followed by Skooter and Smokey

We all smelled the fizzy leaves of the Stachys ‘Hidalgo’ (7 Up Plant).

Diane noticed my carniverous sarracenia.

Jay went with Allan to the workshop to look at two autoharps that he is borrowing for the week of his visit.  Diane and I walked around some more, and I noticed what she noticed:

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Helenium ‘Carnival’

Pink phlox (left) and escallonia (right)

this hardy fuchsia

my mom’s red velvet rose

By now, Jay and Allan had repaired to the house to look at more of Allan’s old musical instruments.

a dual player dulcimer that Allan built back in the 1970s.

Jay and Diane left, with Jay carrying two autoharps.  Two more plants were especially noticed:

a white passion flower

and of course, they had to smell the peanut butter leaves of Melianthus major. (Tetrapanax in the foreground.)

Melianthus major

Allan and I waited for a couple of hours before going to water at the port; he was typing away at a boating blog post while I read the ever-disturbing news (hurricanes, Dreamers in jeopardy, fires, flooding).

Had a greenhouse tomato for lunch: Black Krim, very mild.

Then we were off to do a couple of hours of watering and weeding at the port.

hooking our hose up to the hose at Time Enough Books

watering the Time Enough Books curbside garden

the westernmost bed

I am not cutting plants back right now.  More plant life will help keep people from standing in the garden during Slow Drag on Friday (I hope).

west end of Waterfront Way

Foghorns out on the river have been a constant for the last couple of days.

The river is out past the marina, which is entered through a rather narrow channel.

I had intended to do the boatyard garden as well today.  Our working drive was weak.  Allan wanted to get back to typing, and I was not averse to going home and postponing the rest of the work till tomorrow or Friday.

I took another walk around the garden, noticing things.

Everywhere I stepped, Frosty was underfoot, as he had been with our visitors today.

Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’

a table of ladies in waiting

I managed to get just one plant planted:

Melianthus ‘Purple Haze’ from Xera Plants

back garden…not quite sure, a varieated lonicera maybe?

very autumnal with Darmera peltata and astilbe

I long for a campfire. The fire danger is excessive right now.

Even well watered astilbe is crisping up.

I am giving up on hostas as soon as I find the strength to dig these out!

I couldn’t get a GOOD photo of my favourite bird, the common flicker.

Have been completely lax at deadheading my own cosmos.

fragrant Sinningia tubiflora from Xera Plants.

Salvia patens backed with Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’

Am pleased with this basket I made with ‘Lemon Slice’ calibrachoa, black eyed Susan vine, and Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’.

That was an excellent day.








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Saturday, 7 May 2016

I woke too early and, when my first thoughts were about the garden debacle of yesterday, I could not return to sleep.  So of course I posted about my problem on Facebook, without naming the place which had caused my grief.  Over the course of the day, several gardeners both professional and volunteer responded with stories of similar heartbreaks and gardens lost.

Before my weekly walk to the Saturday market, I browsed the garden for a bouquet for Salt Hotel.

Even though I once told Todd I have a memory like a steel trap (of which he frequently reminds me), I can’t remember the name of this red flowered shrub.  Todd knows.  (Update:  Reader Lori Baker identified it as Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’.  Thank you.)



Ilwaco Saturday Market


Asparagus is the earliest crop on offer from De Asis Produce.


Salt Pub


Flowers delivered to Laila at Salt


Port Office garden; I pulled some spent bulb foliage


transplanted Eryngium doing fine because of watering from Port Office staff; thank you to Nancy and April.

Pink Poppy Bakery and my self-imposed obligation to take photos for Discover Ilwaco are the two things that get me to the market even if I am not in the mood.


I bought Pink Poppy chocolate cupcakes with whipped cream topping.


I had been tipped off to a new piece of art at the Don Nisbett Art Gallery.


Outside the gallery, Peter played The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, a favourite song of mine.


Jenna and Don with a new art piece called “The Crabby Gardener”


view out of Don’s gallery door

They gave me a tile with the gardener design.  I told them I AM a crabby gardener, which I am sure came as no surprise.


my tile of garden crabbiness

at home


Frosty at the window 

Jenna (Queen La De Da) had given me another present; she thought I needed cheering up after the gardening struggles lately.


a literary candle; thank you, Jenna, Queen of Hearts!

My determination to get a lot done in the garden did not result in much at first.  I blamed the daunting cold north wind.  I managed to get potting soil dumped into the two large terracotta pots that I got from the Anchorage (with broken tops) and got all of four plants put into each (including  two birthday present Asphodelines from Dave and Melissa) along with Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’ and Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’).  My energy was low.

As often happens, my energy kicked in at about 4 PM and I accomplished two front garden goals.


The energy may have come from this lunch that Allan made (tomato soup with blue cheese).  And from the Pink Poppy cupcake.


just inside the gate, before, infested with a stinky weedy pink flowered mint relative


and after


east side garden before


and after; in the background is my new Seven Sons tree that Debbie Teashon brought me last fall; also recommended by Seaside gardener Pam Fleming


clematis on front arbor

The deer are getting in to the front garden somehow.  In case they are squeezing in over the gate, I tied a couple more bamboo poles next to it and added more along the front fence.


Could they be squeezing between these poles?

They may have come in sometime when we were in the back yard with the front gate open, browsed a couple of roses, and never gotten through the bamboo stockade at all.

Sadly, I decided to cut down the taller than me Melianthus major.  It was hanging over the fence halfway across the sidewalk, and shading out good plants in the garden.  The new growth should grow faster now.


Allan’s photo.  It was windy.  Again.


a sad and battered area at the moment


front path looking east

Allan worked on his new arbor for most of the afternoon.


It will go over the top of the garage door.

All this time I had thought that having to put two posts on the concrete driveway would be a problem.  You cannot “puncture the seal” by nailing into the wall of a manufactured home without creating terrible problems, we have been warned.

Turns out there is a space just the width of a post between the concrete and the house wall.  His photos:


problem solved!


two posts in place


1998 (age 74):

May 7: I planted the 100 “special offer” glad bulbs—all red and white.  I planted some in patio bed in background and the rest in tam and pink rhody background.  My back hurt by 3:00 so I left the rest of the glads for tomorrow.  I got my stool and pulled weeds in the upper driveway along the road till 5:00.

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Sunday, 3 April 2016


Before work, I took a quick set of photos in the front garden.


Acanthus ‘Hollard Gold’..wonderful every day.


front garden, east bed, with white mix narcissi


Tulip ‘Fringed Elegance’



White Dutch Iris and Ribes speciosum


front path looking northeast



Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’ backed with cardoon



Sometimes I imagine walking by and what I would see over the fence.


I would be intrigued.

Dutch iris.JPG

Dutch Iris


looking west


looking in

Smokey wished it could be a day off, but that was not to be.


It took me till midnight to realize he had slipped his BirdsBeSafe collar.  Fortunately, we have extras.

We had only one small thing to do on the way on the way to work, plant a few more plants in one of the Ilwaco planters.


This particular planter had everything in it mysteriously die last year.  It has good drainage, and we added new soil, so fingers crossed.  It might have been vandalism of some sort.

Long Beach

I had such an intense desire and hope that we could get to the parking lot driveway today on the beach approach garden.

Yesterday, with Todd’s help, we got one and a half of the 12.5 sections done and got to here:


where we ended yesterday

Each section is the area between a planter and one of the sidewalk cut throughs, and there are two little “end cap” sections that we have already done.  We have been working west from the arch to the red buoy.  Today I wanted so much to get to here:


This was workday seven in a row for me and ten in a row for Allan (who put in one rainy partial work day that I skipped.)  We weren’t just going to bed sore; we were waking up sore.

The weather cooperated as we began work, although rain was predicted after 5 PM, with a rainy windy day forecast for Monday.  I had another round of doctor visits at the beginning of the week in further attempts to improve my health.  I’m hoping for another set of good results.  However, because I am a hypochondriac of sorts, I always expect the worst which is another reason I very much wanted to get as far as that driveway today, leaving Allan with only two more sections to do!

The beach approach was busy with pedestrians today.  All the photos are Allan’s except for a couple of the befores and afters.


The buoy is at the end of the westernmost section of the garden.


our first area for today


My goal: that planter with the banner

We worked like crazy although I did take one short break when our dear friend Lorna, former owner of Andersen’s RV Park (a longtime job of ours till she sold it and began to live full time in Seattle), came to visit and have a chat.  We have not seen her for months.  Then…back to the grind.


I think here Allan wishes to capture the difference between vacationers and workers. I am sure he would prefer to be riding his own MotoGuzzi motorcycle or boating on these sunny days. He commented that his kayak is getting dusty.


With one section ended, we began the next.  




before…section number ten of 12.5 (with the .5 already done)


The gardens end at the red buoy…two more sections past the parking lot driveway.

Yesterday, while Todd was helping us, we had talked about the big patches of clover in the next section, and how clover is good for bees and the soil.  I find it hard, in a garden with nothing much but the roses (and poppy seeds that I hoped to plant today), to justify pulling out everything just to avoid someone pointing at clover and saying “That’s a weed.”  Todd agreed that it might be good to leave a couple of patches of clover, well defined, so I decided to do so in order to get to the end of the section.  Maybe if I had time, I would go back and make the clover patches smaller and even more deliberate looking.


Allan found this.  What the heck?


It turns out to be a June Bug larvae.

Our last section  of the day turned out to have a lot of rush (which I have nicknamed Tube Grass).


the battle continues


Juinperus conferta does well in sandy conditions.


another prostrate juniper



The rush has long roots that are deep and run vigorously.


It grows all over in the rough lawn by the dunes.  I think it jumped under the sidewalk to get into the garden, or else its roots were there, down deep, just waiting.  Like the horsetail in my own garden.

Earlier than predicted, an annoying wind came up.


I felt the sky darkening in an ominous way and clipped the rest of the roses poking out at the street side. I suggested to Allan he clean up while I try to get more areas done that were just little weedy grasses.


Drat and blast! The rain arrived at about 3:45 PM.  



A LOT of cold, driving, windy rain 

Allan had the debris only half cleaned up when the drenching rain came.  I kept desperately weeding.  A fellow who had walked his darling pug dog toward the beach not long before came walking back, so I got to pet the dog twice.


Looking back.  I do like the clover patches just fine; we shaped them to look ornamental.  (Allan’s photo)


I found it maddening not to finish.


So close…if only the rain had held off till five.


not done!


We have come a long way from the arch (between the two tall buildings).


We need at least two more days to reach the buoy.


So frustrating!!


We only got this far.

I must admit that despite my angst about not getting done, it was nice to get home to a warm house and dry clothes.  We won’t be able to get back to this project till Wednesday at the earliest, and I find that maddening when we are soooo close.  The strong wind and rain kept me from planting poppy seeds.


2.3 sections left…and the three long sections of parking lot berms.  

The next day, Allan posted this to my Facebook to soothe the sting of not getting done…


Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

April 3:

Received the Dutch Gardens spring bulbs.  Unpacked and sorted them.  Made some labels.  I was very surprised to find I had ordered 2# each of red and yellow onion seeds.  Where to put them?

1998 (age 74):

April 3: ??


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Sunday, 28 February 2016

After a long and delicious sleep during a blustery windstorm, we realized during brunch that the sun had come out and that it might be a good day to put in an afternoon of work.  While Allan hooked up the trailer, I took a turn around the front garden.


Ribes speciosum


Ribes speciosum, closer.  It has mean barberry-like thorns.


lily foliage emerging along with weeds that I don’t have time to pull.


Melianthus major and Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’


Melianthus major is budding, overhead…


and at eye level

A strong gusty wind blew up again just as I got in the van.  I was ready to abort the beach approach mission and gardening in general.  Allan said he would do the community building garden, so I agreed to help because it’s easy to bail out of a place so close to home.

Just as we parked and started to unload our tools, a passerby arrived (not someone we know) who wanted to chat and ask questions and chat some more, very close within my personal space (like looking over my shoulder while I was getting my gear out of the van).  I’m kind of Aspergian about that.  Thinking of my own comfort rather than contributing to the other person’s enjoyment, it seemed like a time to tactfully and pleasantly depart to go plant some lilies up at Golden Sands.

As we drove north, we had barely left Ilwaco when an earnest rain began.  Now it seemed like a good time to get a little grocery shopping done.


parked by Sid’s Market


Weather being decidedly miserable

Allan returned to the vehicle with a grocery bag, saying that he was committed to returning home, having bought ice cream to go with some pie.  I thought contentedly of my comfy chair and the several library books awaiting me on the living room table.

When we got into our driveway, the sun came out, and it seemed like a good time to go back to the community building, so we did.

Finally getting down to work, we accomplished a great deal in just three and a half hours.  I especially wanted to get rid of a lot of the kinnikinnick, as it looks battered and dead after winter, and it is so hard to weed amongst its stems.  The soil in all these beds is infested with quack grass and sorrel and, in some of the beds, bindweed and horsetail.




after some VERY hard work, with some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ added.

The Sedum should be excellent here, drought tolerant, with interesting flowers, and every now and then it will be easy to remove and clean up, in order to get more of the accursed long white grass roots out of this area.  Added some coppery coloured California poppy seeds, too.


before: an area heavy with kinnikinnick, with salal planted below at sidewalk level


another view of the same area….AND I got some of the salal out below!


North of the wheelchair ramp to the parking lot: I have a Fuchsia magellanica start at home that can fill in there where a big tatty clump of salal came OUT.  And a lovely ornamental grass, low and goldy-red, that go into the bed above.

The garden beds have so much heather.  Indeed, heather dominates every bed but the tiered bed in the lower parking lot and the shade bed by the front door.

As I weeded, something began to bother me along the sidewalk garden.

From the ramp south to the bus stop:


salal salal salal rhododendrons heathers mugo pines….


past the salal: rhodos heather mugo pines


other side of sign…mugo pines, heather rhodos and…what the heck is that huge salal doing in there?? and then heather and rhodos.

“Allan!!!!!” I called, “I have a big idea!!!”

While sitting on the wall, weeding, I had seen a rhododendron languishing hidden in the pines.


in the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines, a little lost rhodie.

A half an hour later, Allan had that huge clump of salal OUT, and I had dug up the little lost rhodie.  (I think what happened is back when the garden was planted, a volunteer did not know how big the pines would get compared to that little rhododendron.  As for the oddly places salal, who knows.)


Allan’s photo, before…


Goodbye, huge clump of salal!


Allan’s photo, after, with the rhodie relocated


A little lost heather had been consumed by the salal.

Allan said the salal runners had gone all the way to the bus stop under the  heather and rhododendrons planted next to it.  He teased the runners back out; they were several feet long.


What an improvement!


rhodo where the salal was

We will not let that salal come back, even though it will want to.  (Allan mentioned that the area also has bindweed which was so hard to pull out of that big salal patch.)  The humans will win.  That’s something our Melissa says after a great battle with weeds or invasives:  “Humans win!”  I like to see nature win sometimes, but not when it comes to bindweed or salal or sorrel in a garden bed.


No more little lost rhododendron.

Meanwhile, I had removed two medium clumps of salal, below, that were all up in a rhodo’s business.


The rhodo was free, with good breathing room, when I was finished.


Hamamelis, planted by locals Ann and Butch Saari, matching the library door and arch


The last 20 minutes of the job took place in a strong cold wind and heavy rain.

I had coppiced some of the red twig dogwood and it seemed that a good home for the long and decorative red stems would be with Laila at Salt Hotel; she excels at incorporating branches and stems into floral displays.  On the way there, a rainbow displayed itself over the port.


Rainbow over Jessie’s


fading rainbow over Salt


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo, south side of Salt with pub on second floor

Of course, after delivering the dogwood stems, we could not resist warming up our cold selves in the Salt Pub.


hot toddy with a fresh ginger infusion made at the pub


the view





a new larger format menu, and at the next table, our friend Heather Ramsay, artist and owner of the NIVA green shop


the ever changing clouds


Heather and me


Allan and I split the burger, which was exceptional.


I think Allan’s photo is the most exceptional.


clouds going pink, 5:50 PM


6 PM


A Pink Poppy Bakery cupcake




6:25 PM


I love that there are books to borrow in a corner of the pub (from owner Julez’ mother’s collection). And that the telly is not turned on all the time.  I much prefer a restaurant to not have a television on.


at the hotel desk


6:30 PM, on the way home for an evening of blogging and movie

Tonight, Interstellar or Jurassic World, DVDs borrowed from Ilwaco Timberland Library.


later, during Jurassic World (loved it!): Smokey displays how well healed his paw is.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 28:  “Store” day.  Watered houseplants.  I planted a lot of the tiny trailing begonias that I started from seed into one of the terracotta planters and set it above the Floralight [indoor 3 tiered lighted plant tray].  I’m curious if they will grow and trail.

Our next blog post will be the expanded and illustrated version of Ginger’s Garden Diaries for February 1995, 97, and 98.

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Friday, 26 February 2016

As I had breakfast, Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) were already at work.  Melissa texted me a few photos from the Oysterville garden.


Melianthus blooming, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Narcissi and tree fern, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


anemone, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


trillium, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Viburnum carlesii, photo by Melissa Van Domelen


Cornus mas by Oysterville church, photo by Melissa Van Domelen

With rain predicted, Allan and I thought we might take the day off and go shopping overseas.  But would it rain?  The mid morning felt cold, misty, grey, but not wet.

Before our journey, I took a walk around the garden.


Japanese maple all of a sudden has leafed out


Tulip kaufmanniana ‘The First’


many more bulbs emerging, including lilies


Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ about the bloom


crocuses and last year’s allium in upper right


Iris reticulata


last year’s cardoon


Pulmonaria (lungwort, spotted dog)


The first big tulip (‘Rococo’)


Euphorbia characias wulfenii and crocus


Corylopsis pauciflora and more crocus


Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’


My one heather, from Pam Fleming


Hellebore, primrose, crocus


Lamprocapnos scandens already coming up!  Was floppy so got tied onto the support.

We drove up the The Basket Case Greenhouse to have a gander at two availability lists from inland nurseries.


checking the availability list (Allan’s photo)


Greenhouse kitty being unhelpful


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

I noted that the availability lists still refer to Lamprocapnos by its more mellifluous old name, Dicentra.


Kitty and Walter where plants will be displayed in springtime.


Fred going back to the house, followed by Walter and Shadow (and the kitty, behind the fern)


Camellia across the street from the Basket Case (Cranguyma Farm)


Allan’s photo

We took the narrow and somewhat obscure Jim Street through cranberry bogs to get back to the 101 highway.


Jim Street is in the center; 101 is where the word Google is.


cranberry bogs


This is Jim Street, pretty much one way (Allan’s photo); fortunately, they were behind us.

As we came to the 101 intersection, rain began, removing any question of whether or not we were skipping a good work day out on the beach approach garden.


across 101:  The “Thank you Farmers” sign in a Starvation Alley organic cranberry bog.

For some reason, I felt no anxiety at all in either direction of the Chinook Tunnel or the 4 mile long Astoria Bridge over the Columbia.



I wish I knew who made the graphic below; it shows so well how our area fits together.


In Warrenton, by a marina, we had lunch at a small Thai Restaurant.


Allan’s photo


on the porch




art  by our table


chicken satay


pad prik king and Thai fried rice

The food was milder than I was used to for this dish.  Adding Thai hot sauce from a little pot on the table fixed that.


across the road: What a chilly day to be pressure washing marina docks


nearby: pigeons hunkered down in the cold rain

The pickings are still slim for plant buying around these parts.  I managed to get some lilies and dahlias at Costco, and some violas at Fred Meyer.


a breath of spring in my shopping cart


We were home by dusk and able to deliver some groceries to a dear friend whose spouse is in hospital.

While I typed up this entry, Smokey got into my cup of tea, as he often does.


Smokey enjoys a nice cuppa at tea time.

There are no gardening entries from my mother’s old garden diaries to correspond with today.













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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

There will be some garden photos further down as a reward for making it through the rest of this post.  Or just scroll till you see a crocus.

A Tuesday doctor visit, long avoided, turned out to be just over an hour of talking with a kind doc who makes me laugh. I had remembered that about her, so to see her especially, we went to the Naselle Clinic, half an hour away. Wednesday featured a different sort of clinic.  Poor Smokey had a nasty abscess on one of his paws (I will spare you the photo of THAT) and had to go to the vet.  We did have the pleasure there of seeing Devery with a darling dog friend of hers.  The vet said Smokey was a very good boy even when she was lancing the wound.   

Devery (Allan’s photo)


Devery’s friend


one of the office cats

 I then had my own appointment for several knee x rays at the local hospital (associated with the Naselle Clinic).  One knee does look awfully off kilter. I realized that, having cut jobs down to just the ones I love, I rarely have to do things I do not want to do.  How fortunate, or how spoiled.  The round of doctor appointments will change that, as my primary care wants me to see several, including a neurologist to track down the source of dizziness (for which some terrifying possibilities were suggested, along with some not so scary ones, all of which I am doing my best not to dwell on).


waiting room: I will have to become accustomed to more noise during this time with loud tvs and classic rock radios.

I was simply smitten with the delightful personality of the X Ray technician.  Anyone in the medical field who can make me laugh is so helpful.

The Ocean Beach Hospital is not as big and fancy as the one across the river, yet it has a huge advantage for me: not having to cross the bridge.


I appreciate their well cared for greenery…


and I find their lighthouse mural oddly comforting.

I resolve that this round of doctor visits will be educational and interesting.

At home, Allan helped me drag a comfy chair into the large bathroom so I could sit with Smokey most of the afternoon, reading the latest in the excellent Dog Lover’s Mystery Series by Susan Conant.


Sire and Damn…top rating!

I enjoyed this description of why protagonist Holly Winter has so many dog people as Facebook friends.  I feel the same way about my network of gardening friends.


Below: I might feel this way about guests sometimes, but of course never about you.


After an unpleasant incident damages a kitchen cupboard, Holly’s spouse, Steve, behaves much the way Allan would:


I agree with Holly’s assessment.

In the evening, we were invited to join our good friends Fred and Nancy from The Basket Case Greenhouse for burger night at the Depot Restaurant.


Depot entrance in the rain (Allan’s photo)


on the Depot Restaurant grille (Allan’s photo)

We’ve missed Fred and Nancy over the non gardening winter and had a good catch up.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

After my third clinic visit, this time to have a copious amount of blood drawn (which I am happy to say is NOT one of my many phobias, and also that I got another clinician who made me laugh and who understood my reference to Doc Martin’s blood phobia), our reward for skipping breakfast was brunch at the 42nd Street Café.  I now get to wait until late February for my next doctor visit; I have a feeling all the many tests are going to slowly continue on through early spring.


42nd Street Café in Seaview


42nd Street: We hit the quiet time between breakfast and lunch


My favourite Peninsula breakfast: the 42nd Street Russian scramble


Allan’s French toast


We departed as the luncheon folks began to trickle in.


An errand in Ilwaco gave me the chance to look at one of our planters.


The rosemary looks less silly from this angle.

A quick tour of our front garden revealed many signs of spring.


Crocus tommasianus at the base of tetrapanax 


hellebore, crocus, and Scrophularia variegata


Iris unguicularis almost done


Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine)


more crocus tommies and some tiny spears of narcissi


Crocus tommies in a brief ray of sunshine


I love the crocus, the texture of the soil, and the promising spears of bulbs


In Allan’s garden, hellebores and Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’


crocus tommies and Melianthus


I have only once before had Melianthus major come this far through winter so unscathed.

In the evening, we had our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang.  With the Cove Restaurant no longer serving dinner, we chose Salt Hotel Pub as our new place.


Allan’s photo, Salt Hotel


up the stairs to the pub

With a marina view table at the window and tasty sandwiches on offer, Salt Pub met with all of our approval.  We mentioned to its co-owner, Julez, that another regular party at the Cove was also on the loose.  Julez texted that fellow (a mutual friend) immediately saying “Hear you are looking for a Thursday night hangout” and within twenty minutes the former Cove regular and his spouse were seated at the next table.


Julez behind the bar


Allan’s ham melt


Melissa, Dave, and I had the smoked tuna melt.

At home, I was pleased to find Mary and Smokey cuddled up in his convalescent room. (I had bunged her in there to keep her son company.)


Mary and Smokey


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Friday, 20 November 2015

Soon I'll be able to spend the days at home with my feline friends!

Soon I’ll be able to spend the days at home with my feline friends!

Long Beach

My big plan today was to finish all the fall clean up in the Long Beach Parks, beginning with the south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park.

Allan clipping siberian iris

Allan clipping siberian iris

I’m not tidying the bed under the three trees because I am hoping the city crew will dig it out so we can start over (or maybe they will river rock it).  I’m afraid to dig in there because it would take a heavy pick and I don’t want to damage the sprinkler system.

a possible do-over is in the works for this bed

a possible do-over is in the works for this bed

I clipped back the gunnera by the pond to make it easier for the city crew to do the end of season pond cleaning.  After the first hard frost, the rest of the leaves will turn black and I will lay a couple over the crown to protect it for the winter.



after. two baby gunneras at lower right.

after. two baby gunneras at lower right.

We noticed a banner of poinsettias made of Christmas lights suspended over the intersection.  I said to Allan, wouldn’t that be great for our front arbour?  So I googled it when I got home and found out that it is called a “Skyline” (across the street banner) and that this particular one listed for $3953.00

Never mind!

Never mind!

The Anchorage

I decided it would be great to throw the Anchorage fall clean up into the day’s work since I’d rather work there during the week than on the possibly busy weekend.

Allan cleaned the front of this garden bed. Before...

Allan cleaned the front of this garden bed. Before…

and after

and after

We'll have to return after a hard frost to remove the mushy calla lily leaves.

We’ll have to return after a hard frost to remove the mushy calla lily leaves.

I planted a cyclamen from Our Kathleen, who used to stay at the Anchorage before she bought her cottage.

I planted a cyclamen from Our Kathleen, who used to stay at the Anchorage before she bought her cottage.

This volunteer yucca near the office will simply have to go. Today, it charmed me for some reason.

This volunteer yucca (?) near the office will simply have to go. Today, it charmed me for some reason.  I think it will get too big and pointy.

Rose 'New Dawn' got all its black spotty leaves picked off. Before...

Rose ‘New Dawn’ got all its black spotty leaves picked off. Before…

and after, with poky-outie bits trimmed off.

and after, with poky-outie bits trimmed off.

Melianthus major in the courtyard

Melianthus major in the courtyard might go down in a hard frost.

Other than a post frost check up, we are now done with the Anchorage Cottages garden for 2015.

back to Long Beach

The Long Beach “Holidays at the Beach” extravaganza will be centered around Veterans Field, so that was our next project.


I have a suspicion that the Grandmer Mermaid’s under-the-sea photo booth just might turn out to be created by our friend Queen La De Da!

corner garden in Vet field, after pulling more painted sage and some perennial clipping

corner garden in Vet field, after pulling more painted sage and some perennial clipping


flag pavilion garden, before

flag pavilion garden, before

I decided the Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' did have to be clipped as they were simply too whirled around by wind.

I decided the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ did have to be clipped as they were simply too whirled around by wind.  And the blue oat grass came out as it is old and tatty.

Allan's photo: I'm poised to tidy up the lawn, not run a marathon.

Allan’s photo: I’m poised to tidy bits of debris off of the lawn, not to run a marathon.

after. Almost no wind. Flag at half mast for France.

After. Almost no wind. American flag at half mast for France.

I checked up on a block’s worth of planters, forgot to photograph some glowing yellow chrysanthemums still blooming in one of them, and Allan weeded and clipped in the park next to the Kabob House.  No time to eat lunch there today.

We took a load of debris to city works.  An argy-bargy ensued when I thought we could go first to Coulter Park and pull all the crocosmia and put it in the trailer also.  Allan felt that there was so very much crocosmia that the trailer would be overloaded so we dumped the first load.

Next, Coulter Park got a good crocosmia pulling and some weeding.  I also pulled the crocosmia by the Peninsula Arts Association building next to the park because it was such a mess.

PAA building, before

PAA building, before

Long ago, it was the Kite Museum and we had a sweet little garden there.

Historic photo from 2007: Long ago, it was the Kite Museum and we had a sweet little garden there.

As you can see in the present day photo, the garden has now disappeared except for the crocosmia.

today, after pulling crocosmia

today, after pulling crocosmia

Meanwhile, Allan pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ next to the entry ramp for the old train depot building, a job that got much harder to access when the new railings and ramp were installed.


going in

going in

Allan's photo, before

Allan’s photos, before

another before view with Dennis Company in the background

another before view with Dennis Company in the background

I cleaned up the little circle garden at the front of the park and checked two blocks worth of planters while Allan cleaned the strip by the ramp.





after, admiring his accomplishment

after, admiring his accomplishment


The second load of debris did turn out to be quite substantial.

The second load of debris did turn out to be quite substantial.

After our second debris run (accomplished before the gate closes at four, to avoid fussing with the keys), we returned to Coulter to prune one more siberian iris and do a bit more weeding.

the iris in question (Allan's photo)

the iris in question (Allan’s photos)



This is all done in time for Shoeboxes of Joy to set up their annual volunteer HQ and donation station in the old train depot building.

coming soon

coming soon

Shoeboxes of Joy: “Our goal is to be able to provide a “Shoebox of Joy” to the low income elderly and/or disabled, who may not have family or friends close by. This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to work together and provide a “special gift to those in need”. A “Shoebox of Joy” may be the only gift they receive during the Holiday Season.”

Before dark, we did more clipping in a couple of blocks worth of planters.  Passing Fifth Street Park, we saw that since our work session across the street at noon, the city crew had erected the seasonal lighted sea serpent!

And they did not cut down my ornamental grass to do it. ;-)

And they did not cut down my ornamental grass to do it. 😉

the southernmost planter, and the last cosmos in town about to be pulled

the southernmost planter, and the last cosmos in town about to be pulled

In her office just north of this last planter, we had neatly arranged a 4:30 appointment with Shelly Pollock of NW Insurance and Financial so she could help us transfer to a new medical insurance plan for 2016.  She is brilliant (and is also the founder of the Grass Roots Garbage Gang beach clean up group), so if you are local and need help with such things, do look her up.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are still able to afford medical insurance (even though our cost will double from last year).  Thanks, Shelly.

Steve and Shelly

Steve and Shelly at our place on Halloween

at home

three more items erased from the work board: LB Parks, LB planters, Anchorage

three more items erased from the work board: LB Parks, LB planters, Anchorage

A bit of a cheat: I erased Ilwaco from fall clean up list, too, as I decided it will save the city money if we just do one more walk-around AFTER the first hard frost.  As for the mulching library (Ilwaco Community Building) project, that is Allan’s to organize because it is his job.  (I might help spread the mulch even if it means emerging from staycation.)

We are now three, perhaps even two, days way from the start of staycation, other than the pesky frost cleanup.  Tomorrow, weather permitting: Klipsan Beach Cottages and Marilyn’s.  Sunday, we just might be able to finish the port and the boatyard and the last tidying in Long Beach.  (No matter how weedy the beach approach garden and berms are, all they are getting from us till 2016 is the pulling of some crocosmia and clipping of a few more perennials).







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