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Posts Tagged ‘Nelly’s garden’

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nelly’s garden

I was shocked to awake this morning to nice-ish weather.  The plan had been to do the Nelly bulbs project on a rainy day as it was a garden shed job.  I wanted to get the Port and the Boreas done instead!  I thought, however, that Nelly might have some outdoor projects in mind as well, and when we arrived at her house just two blocks down the street, I was right.  The dahlias had gone down from frost and they and some other perennials needed clipping.

Allan gets started on clipping.

Allan gets started on clipping and on a mission to get rid of the Bad Aster..

Nelly told me that someone had given her a start of the running blue aster years ago and she has been trying to get rid of it ever since.

after; the tall plant to the left is a hardy fuchsia

after

Allan would also be the one to dig the flowerpots of bulbs back into the ground.

center garden before adding pots

center garden before adding pots

Nelly came out to the shed to show me her bulbing method, and also told us there had been a misunderstanding last time, one that is of a type so familiar to me.  She asked her spouse, Don, to come out and tell us to cut down “the pink flowers”.  He did so, and pointed to Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, in the center of the square bed, above.  I said “Are you sure?  Some poeple like to look at the dried flower heads all winter.”  He was sure.  Turns out what Nelly meant was to cut to the ground the two escallonia shrubs along the back that Don had partly pruned.  Escallonias have pink flowers, too!

To the right, by the fence: two stubby escallonias

To the right, by the fence: two stubby escallonias

I’m tempted to find some flowerheads in my garden of the sedum and stick them in with the clipped plants in that center bed so that Nelly can see them from her kitchen window.  It would be easy to do and a fun surprise.  At first, I thought of adding whole plants, and then realized just the strong-stemmed flat flower heads would do.

warm tones of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' dead flowers...before the chop.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’: I grow it in most of my gardens, and the dried flowers are  sturdy enough to stick in the ground and hold up till next spring.  The ones in this photo are at Klipsan Beach Cottages.

I started the bulb project.  Nelly showed me that she dumped out each pot of tulips or narcissi or hyacinth in a round plastic dish, removed the bulbs, then placed them back in the pot on top of some of the old soil mixed with bone meal, and filled in with new potting soil from a bag.

garden shed work area with plastic sorting bowl and bucket of new potting soil

garden shed work area with plastic sorting bowl and bucket of new potting soil

It did not take me long before the work area looked like this:

The plastic bowl was not enough sorting space for me!

The plastic bowl was not enough sorting space for me!

Nelly has good luck getting tulips to rebloom this way.  The pots get pulled out of the ground after blooming, sit by the side of the garage on a plank all summer, and get put into the garden shed before fall rains come, ready to be resorted and placed back out in the garden again.  They had been labeled “kitchen” (under kitchen window), “garage” (a narrow bed beside the garage) and “garden’; over the summer, a helper had pulled the labels out so there’s no telling what the colour mix will be.

tulips bulbs

tulips bulbs

some sort of small narcissi

some sort of small narcissi

Fortunately, I can at least tell tulips, narcissi and hyacinth bulbs apart.

I had enough spare narcissi bulbs (due to the way they multiply) to put some little ones along the narrow wooden planter by the back steps.

planter

There’s also a pot sunk into the tiny garden bed to the left.

In the summer, perennials and dahlias blowse out and cover the spots where the bulb pots go in the fall through spring.

I had a client back in Seattle who did the same thing but replaced the pots of spring bulbs with pots of annuals in the summer.

I set out the pots each time I finished two, for Allan to plant.

I set out the pots each time I finished two, for Allan to plant.

ready to go in

Allan’s photos: ready to go in

IMG_1791

 

pots in the ground

pots in the ground

IMG_1794

Allan’s tidy nature made him perfect for getting the pots in all nicey nice.

Meanwhile, he had cut back the escallonia level with the ground.  I think Don will just mow over it and turn it into a lawn path; the shrubs were placed where it would be more natural to have a walk- through.

Allan's photos:  before

Allan’s photos: before

hand pruner and rechargable chain saw

hand pruner and rechargable chain saw

leveled out

leveled out

after

after

I know from having done the same thing to two big escallonias at the Wiegardt Gallery that if they are cut level and then any new sprouts taken off, the shrubs will disappear.  If left alone and not mowed over, they might resprout and grow again.

When I went in to say the job was done, Nelly was pleased at how quickly we had accomplished it.  She showed me her latest quilt in progress.

Mail Attachment

I especially like the way slanted yellow lines makes the pattern intriguingly asyemmtrical.

I especially like the way slanted yellow lines makes the pattern intriguingly asyemmtrical.

little houses

little houses

and flowers

and flowers

Nelly has been a member of the Peninsula Quilt Guild for over 20 years.

I admired their wood stove.  Although it is not an antique, it was built from an Amish design.  I thought it would keep the kitchen warm when the power goes out in storms; Nelly said unfortunately, strong winds make the chimney backdraft so it’s not helpful in a windstorm power outage.

It sure is pretty, though.

It sure is pretty, though.

Port of Ilwaco

We still had some hours of daylight left and the predicted rain had not arrived, so we went down to finish the port gardens.

before, Howerton Way garden north of the Port Office

before, Howerton Way garden north of the Port Office

After Allan trimmed the lavenders and cut back the Gaura 'Whirling Butterfly'

after Allan trimmed the lavenders and cut back the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’

Allan's before....

Allan’s before….

and after photos.  Most of the low feathery foliage is of California poppies.

and after photos. Most of the low feathery foliage is of California poppies.

Meanwhile, I clipped a few plants in the garden bed on the south side of the port office.

before

before

after creating two buckets of debris

after creating two buckets of debris

my view, looking south

my view, looking south

my audience

my audience

In the photo below, you can see a black crane (not the bird) in the far distance, behind the boats.

crane

That’s the US Army Corps of Engineers dredge, which is working on keeping the port channel deep enough for boats.  Nancy Beesley, who works at the Port Office and co-administrates the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page with me, took some photos of the dredge yesterday, which I think you will like to see.    You can read more about it in this recent article.

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

I think this is the port's own, smaller dredge.  photo by Nancy Beesley

I think this is the port’s own, smaller dredge. photo by Nancy Beesley

dredge repairs, photo by Nancy Beesley

dredge repairs, photo by Nancy Beesley

local Port of Ilwaco dredge crew, photo by Nancy Beesley

local Port of Ilwaco dredge crew, photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

photo by Nancy Beesley

our little harbour

our little harbour

Back to today:  Don Nisbett was at his art gallery next door to the Port Office, so I got a chance to deliver Jenna’s two bags of biochar soil right to his truck.

behind the gallery

behind the gallery

Ok, back to work.  We drove east down Howerton to the garden by the Ilwaco Pavilion where I knew a gaura waited to be cut down.

center: Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies', crisped by frost.

center: Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, crisped by frost.

I cut it back that hard,

I cut it back that hard,

This particular bed is one of my favourite port gardens this year.

This particular bed is one of my favourite port gardens this year.

While Allan went to the field east of the marina to dump debris, I did some weeding of maddening little grasses in the easternmost bed.  There is still a little scrim of tiny green grass here and here.  It can wait now till February; Allan commented that to him, it just looks like moss.

Looking west down Howerton and calling this job done for the year.

Looking west down Howerton and calling this job done for the year.

Looking southwest across the parking lot, I could see a nice photo to be had...

Looking southwest across the parking lot, I could see a nice photo to be had…

We were running out of daylight so I resisted scenic photo opportunities in order to try to get one more job done.

Boreas Inn

We had an hour and a half-ish till dark to drive up to Long Beach and do some clipping back and weeding at the Boreas Inn garden.

The nasturtiums by the front walk way were most definitely done.

The nasturtiums by the front walk way were most definitely done.

Boreas Inn, east side

Boreas Inn, east side

We worked like mad and managed to get the job done enough to say that the garden is put to bed for the winter.

Boreas, looking east from beach path

Boreas, looking east from beach path

We finished at dusk.

We finished at dusk.

path to the beach, looking west

path to the beach, looking west

I was so focused on finishing that I did not realize until we got into the van that it had been raining lightly.

rain

Cove Restaurant

Of course, we had to reward ourselves with our traditonal Thursday dinner at the Cove.  I texted fellow gardener Ed Strange (Strange Landscape Services) who joined us.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Coziness at the Cove

Coziness at the Cove

Chef Jason was back from a brief surfing vacation with his Thursday Chef's Mercy menu.

Chef Jason was back from a brief surfing vacation with his Thursday Chef’s Mercy menu.

2

roasted beet salad

roasted beet salad

Ed got Prawns Solo...

Ed got Prawns Solo…

and a yakisoba bowl.

and a yakisoba bowl.

Allan and I both got the Thai Beef Curry.  It smelled so good that we both tucked in before I took a photo.

Allan's, with rice added

Allan’s, with rice added

Because of living in a small town area, we saw Lisa of the Hydrangea House, Seaview Patti, and Basket Case Fred also out for dinner.

home

At home, I had the sheer delight of erasing almost all jobs from the work board:

photo

We now can declare staycation can commence.  We are due for some rainy days which may delay the final check up of Marilyn’s garden for a few days.  The Depot window box clean up is contingent on the annuals finally dying.  The planting of the memorial garden and the mulching of Golden Sands are projects for 2015, and the post office is volunteer, and here is home, so theose mulching projects don’t count as work.

Time to put our feet up and watch telly.  We’d like to finish the Bill Nighy show (Page Eight) that we’ve been too tired to finish for the last two nights, and then there’s Hell’s Kitchen, a truly silly show and yet I will watch pretty much anything by Gordon Ramsay.

I see a problem, though.  I’m not sure there is room in my chair.

cats

 

 

 

 

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Monday, 22 September 2014

It was so hard to shake the spell of the Sylvia Beach Hotel and get back to work. I just wanted to turn around and go back. If I drove, perhaps I would have. (Destiny told me that she once stayed there for fifteen nights, trying and failing to leave twice during that time. Once she almost got away but then turned back.) However, we buckled down to work instead.

We spent all day at Nelly and Don’s garden in Ilwaco, cutting plants back and weeding.

Nelly's back yard garden before

Nelly’s back yard garden before

and after

and after

Allan's project on the east side, before...

Allan’s project on the east side, before…

Someone had been hired to prune the hedge; Nelly is so kind that she had sent him home out of concern on the 91 degree day two days before.

Allan raking out the hedge clippings

Allan raking out the hedge clippings

before

before

after

after

after

after

one of the areas Allan tackled, before and after

one of the areas Allan tackled, before and after

I do think Nelly's house is one of the two prettiest houses in town.

I do think Nelly’s house is one of the two prettiest houses in town.

That probably leads to the question: Which is the other prettiest house? This one, up on School Hill:

LB Williams House (1899)

LB Williams House (1899)

Nelly’s garden took all day (there is a side garden, too, and the front beds, none of which I photographed). Afterwards, we took Carol to dinner at the Depot Restaurant on her last night of her beach vacation.

Depot Restaurant garden

our Depot Restaurant garden

depotfront

 

We shared artichoke fritos.

We shared artichoke fritos.

I had delicious smoky borscht.

I had delicious smoky borscht.

and parmesan artichoke risotta with a micro Greek salad on top.

and parmesan artichoke risotta with a micro Greek salad on top.

Carol and Allan each had the renowned Southern Comfort Pork.

Carol and Allan each had the renowned Southern Comfort Pork.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

I truly just wanted to stay home with these two:

Mary and Smokey

Mary and Smokey

It had rained considerably overnight, as this puddle in front of our house showed.

It had rained considerably overnight, as this puddle in front of our house showed.

I was glad to see the garden invigorated by rain (and not needing to be watered).

front garden, looking east from driveway

front garden, looking east from driveway

Allan would like the city to put gravel here, but I like the big puddle for photos.

Allan would like the city to put gravel here, but I like the big puddle for photos.

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower'

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

We decided to do the northern jobs earlier than usual this week as rain was predicted for later.

Andersen’s RV Park

Andersen’s also had a garden reflected in a puddle.

the garden shed garden

the garden shed garden

fig tree and cosmos

fig tree and cosmos

The park looks off-season-ish. It will fill back up on clamming weekends this autumn.

looking west

looking west

We deadheaded the many Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ plants.

Payson Hall clubhouse planters

Payson Hall clubhouse planters

west side garden

west side garden

picket fence garden (east side of house) looking autumnal

picket fence garden (east side of house) looking autumnal

spent white phlox and hydrangea

spent white phlox and hydrangea

back to the garden shed garden, for some weeding...

back to the garden shed garden, for some weeding…

and some mulching

and some mulching

really quite stunning

really quite stunning

I suddenly realized that without my even planning it, fall clean up had begun!

As we were leaving Andersen’s, just outside the grounds a neighbour was walking the most beautiful Bengal mix cat on a leash. I got to meet it (have forgotten its name). Allan’s photos:

cat

cat2

Klipsan Beach Cottages

At KBC, Allan began by clipping more uppies off of the rose and honeysuckle arbour. He said he had wanted to do so for the last three times, but our long handled clippers had disappeared. He had found them in the back garden of Marilyn’s last week, where he had left them behind while clipping some blackberries, so he was back in business pruning without a ladder.

pruning

I was getting mentally back in business; this was the first day since my recent trip that I did not feel heavily burdened with longing to get back to the Sylvia Beach Hotel. I love fall clean up and it had me all revitalized.

inside the south gate of the deer fence

inside the south gate of the deer fence

a fall clean up project before

a fall clean up project before

My goal was to get rid of all the Lysimachia punctata so that there could be a more formal feel to this little walkway to Denny’s mini-pond. Mary of KBC does like a formal look to her garden, and I had realized that this would be a good spot to do something pleasing for both Mary and Denny, as Denny also likes his little pond to show up better. We’ll get some sort of small formal plant to border the pathway.

after

after; the Coreopsis verticillata, lower left, will come out next time. A little piece can go somewhere else.

also cleaned out a lot of asters and old foliage from this area....

also cleaned out a lot of asters and old foliage from this area….

The garden still has much to offer on the first day of autumn:

Coreopsis 'Flower Tower'

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

cosmos as tall as the arbour

cosmos as tall as the arbours

the very last of the sweet peas ('Streamers')

the very last of the sweet peas (‘Streamers’)

Allan noted later that the outdoor fireplace at KBC”s A Frame rental reminded him of something.

AFrame with fire circle

AFrame with fire circle

Allan made this mental connection.

Allan made this mental connection.

Rain began as we finished at Klipsan Beach Cottages. We decided to do one more job so we would not have to drive north later in the week.

Wiegardt Gallery

We didn’t do much, just deadheaded cosmos and clipped some lavender back so that patrons would not brush against wet plants to go up the entry walk.

wiegardt

I was glad to see the good rain on the gardens after a hot dry weekend.

I was glad to see the good rain on the gardens after a hot dry weekend.

home again

On the way home we stopped at Long Beach city hall to pick up our check. A sure sign of autumn is that the hanging baskets had been taken down all over town.

cityhall

At home, there had been slight movement by the cats.

Mary and Smokey

Mary and Smokey

Calvin

Calvin (He looks a little weird because he is a neurotic nervous licker)

The new rainwater feature was sort of working but needs some adjustment.

Most of the water is going onto the ground and missing the top of the gutter piece.

Most of the water is going onto the ground and missing the top of the gutter piece.

autumnal look to the back garden

autumnal look to the back garden

a delightful amount of rain water

a delightful amount of rain water

Rain had refilled the water boxes.

Rain had refilled the water boxes.

The rainwater barrels were all overflowing except for the gutter one.

The rainwater barrels were all overflowing except for the gutter one.

With considerable wind predicted, we took down the great wall of china.

50 mph winds were due overnight (but did not quite materialize).

50 mph winds were due overnight (but did not quite materialize).

I harvested the second to last plateful of tomatoes from the greenhouse.

I harvested the second to last plateful of tomatoes from the greenhouse.

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

annuals planting time day seven

I’m still shaken because we almost hit a dog just three blocks east of our house on the way home at 9 o clock. It was so close, a fraction of an inch from disaster as local golden labrador Diva suddenly chased a cat (her own household’s cat) from the sidewalk right in front of our van. I am not sure if our old car would have been able to stop. I was sure we had hit her as she seemed to go right under our wheels. Everything in the trailer behind us shifted: the wheelbarrow, water flying out of the burble buckets…and a driver behind us had to hit the brakes as well. This would be a very different blog entry had not Diva appeared unharmed and was swiftly collared (all wiggle waggle tail) by her human. I still cried all the way home just from relief and from the memory of the terrible afternoon when Robert and I did kill a dog that suddenly ran in front of our truck on a back road near Shelton, Washington.

So it could have been a bad ending but it wasn’t; Diva is all safe in her yard, and our van was so packed full of plants that the plants had nowhere to fly to when the sudden stop happened; they all held each other upright.

We started at Nelly’s garden this mid-morning, just three blocks away and very level. It’s not a regular job, just an occasional helping out.

Our weeding and mulching from mid spring has held up well.

Our weeding and mulching from mid spring has held up well.

South side border still looks good.

South side border still looks good.

Nelly's Dutch iris in the back yard...

Nelly’s Dutch iris in the back yard…

and the west side yard

and the west side yard

honeysuckle over the garden shed door

honeysuckle over the garden shed door

Our task was simple, just some weeding in order clear space to plant up some geraniums in pots and to plant two bags each of dahlias and gladiolus.

Mission accomplished.

Mission accomplished.

I thought I was limping around pretty slowly and was pleasantly surprised when Nelly thought we got the job done surprisingly fast.

Allan pruned the Cistus in the corner….

Even more has died back and the future does not look promising for the Cistus.

Even more has died back and the future does not look promising for the Cistus.

We picked up some flea medicine at Oceanside Animal Clinic, where a before and after photo of a shaved cat made me smile.

cat

Just west of Oceanside vet is the Depot Restaurant. Because we were there, we checked on the garden, and it is a good thing we did as we found two crises: The sprinklers had not been turned on yet (although it is promised to happen soon) so some spot watering possibly saved some plants….And the caterpillars had arrived on the Leycesteria; we just cut it to the ground again.

Allan's photos of Alliums at the Depot

Allan’s photos of Alliums at the Depot

We had been planning to plant tall cosmos today at the Boreas Inn and possibly the Depot until, leaving home, we felt the cold wind and checked the weather report. Wind of over 20 mph meant we really should water the Long Beach planters….even though we did not especially want to. At least we did a spin around the nurseries and picked up the cosmos first. Now we are in the cycle of still having many the plant to plant, and already having to go back and check up on the condition of the ones we have already planted.

The Planter Box, where we got cosmos Sensation, Psyche, and Candy Stripe

The Planter Box, where we got cosmos Sensation, Psyche, and Candy Stripe

and then we picked up some more short cosmos ('Sonata') from The Basket Case Greenhouse...

and then we picked up some more short cosmos (‘Sonata’) from The Basket Case Greenhouse…

And then back to Long Beach, where we watered four blocks worth of planters in a wind so cold that I wished I had had my winter scarf on.

Here are a few failures of so far this year:

I meant to get the rapidly spreading white yarrow dug out of this planter to make it more interesting (planted years ago by volunteers); it defeated me last night with its roots of iron when i was tired and sore.  So white yarrow it is for another year.

I meant to get the rapidly spreading white yarrow dug out of this planter to make it more interesting (planted years ago by volunteers); it defeated me last night with its roots of iron when i was tired and sore. So white yarrow it is for another year.

This planter is so dull; it does have some plants in it that will get taller (2 Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve).  The golden vinca is going to be an annoying thug.

This planter is so dull; it does have some plants in it that will get taller (2 Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve). The golden vinca is going to be an annoying thug.

The Geranium 'Rozanne in the corners might perk it up...once it gets bigger.

The Geranium ‘Rozanne in the corners might perk it up…once they get bigger.

I'm still bothered by this planter and its running rose.  (Also by volunteers).  And the boring daylily I tried to dig out last fall came back.

I’m still bothered by this planter and its running rose. (Also by volunteers). And the boring daylily I tried to dig out last fall came back. Or did i just think about digging it?

I think the hebe in it is way too big, but when I started pruning it, I realized it was going to look horrible, so I stopped.  I still think it hangs out too much.

I think the hebe in it is way too big, but when I started pruning it, I realized it was going to look horrible, so I stopped. I still think it hangs out too much. And there is only one. I like symmetry in planters.

I thought the Verbascum 'Eleanor's Blush' in the park nearby looked lovely at first glance...

I thought the Verbascum ‘Eleanor’s Blush’ in the park nearby looked lovely at first glance…

and then I saw someone had stolen two big flower spikes.

and then I saw someone had stolen two big flower spikes.

The park would look better with a cloud of Verbascum spikes, not just one.

The park would look better with a cloud of Verbascum spikes, not just one.

Someone had also pulled out a cosmos and left it lying on the sidewalk and the nice man at the title company behind this garden had replanted it for us. It had not been re-burbled though so I could tell right away which one it was. I pulled off a few limp leaves and it will be fine.

On the plus side of watering the planters:

We got all the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ trimmed so they won’t flop open.

before, looks very nice

before, looks very nice

after, looks terrible now but will look better later and won't splay open

after, looks terrible now but will look better later and won’t splay open

The columbine that just appeared in a planter will be pesky; right now it looks fabulous with a Veronica and the Asphodel.

The columbine that just appeared in a planter will be pesky; right now it looks fabulous with a Veronica and the Asphodel.

Rose 'Fourth of July' by Funland.

Rose ‘Fourth of July’ by Funland.

Or maybe it's Berries and Cream...anyway, very fragrant.

Or maybe it’s Berries and Cream…anyway, very fragrant.

We encountered parks manager Mike, who assured us that the water north of the stoplight (the planters we bucket watered last night) would be turned on for us right away.

By the Police Station and and the Gazebo Park, we addressed the hideous grass by each lamp post (planted by past volunteers when it was little and cute).

messy and brown tipped

messy and brown tipped

tried cutting it back again and it was going to look crapulous.

tried cutting it back again and it was going to look crapulous.

Allan dug them out.  One was very difficult and one easy.  I had tested the easy one first.  Oops.

Allan dug them out. One was very difficult and one easy. I had tested the easy one first. Oops.

The one by the police station now has room for three trailies.

The one by the police station now has room for three trailies.

The one across from it has room for just one trailie unless I defeat some more of the once blooming blue geranium...planted by a volunteer.

The one across from it has room for just one trailie unless I defeat some more of the once blooming blue geranium…planted by a volunteer.

We worked till after seven, even though we’d been planning to take a local friend to dinner at Pelicano to celebrate her move to Ilwaco. She was feeling poorly, and so we worked an hour later than we had planned and then took ourselves to dinner at the Cove Restaurant on the Peninsula Golf Course. On the way in, I saw Alliums (albopilosum) in the entry garden; the source was explained when we sat at the bar and I saw the same gift book that I’d gotten with my Colorblends.com order!

from Colorblends, a booklet with beautiful tulip photos

from Colorblends, a booklet with beautiful tulip photos

the Golf Channel was on the telly, reminded me of my old friend Roberta who now enjoys watching televised golf.

the Golf Channel was on the telly, reminded me of my old friend Roberta who now enjoys watching televised golf.

the menu

the menu

We were there for a Taco Thursday special ($2 fish tacos, such a popular new event that we ended up seated at the bar). Allan did get the tacos; I could not resist the Ahi tuna.

It was delicious, and I was thrilled to find sea beans in the vegetables!

It was delicious, and I was thrilled to find sea beans in the vegetables!

The talented and personable chef, Jason Lancaster, was happy to talk sea beans with us. (They are a wild green that grows along the bay; you can see them above, very narrow and green among the beans. Their flavour is exquisitely salty.)

And then we came home…and we did not hit the dog…and so life is still, well, normal. Nelly’s garden has been crossed off the annuals list, and the Kite Museum pocket garden, which I had forgotten till today, got added, so the list still stands at the same length as yesterday.

 

 

 

 

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