Posts Tagged ‘NIVA Green’

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

With some colder weather in store, Allan had tried adding some plastic to the sides of the greenhouse lean to:

Allan’s photo

We found out this morning that it was so flappy and noisy in the wind that I worried it would keep our neighbours to the east awake.  Adding weights to the bottom did not help, so down it came.  The lean-to is useful enough without doors as it should keep frost off of tender plants.  Allan may add something stronger, but removable, for the coldest nights, once it gets figured out…

I began a project of cutting back honeysuckle and hops, all tangled with a lot of dead in it, on the arbors to the east of the compost bins.


I was quite enjoying the task when I happened to look at my pineapple sage and realized that the cold had surely damaged plants in the less sheltered Long Beach gardens.

pineapple sage

and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

So halfway into the afternoon, we had to switch gears and go to work.

We pulled the last of the Ilwaco cosmos…

….at the boatyard garden…

….and the Ilwaco pavilion garden.

We checked on the window boxes and barrels at the Depot Restaurant in Seaview and found that the annuals were still not ready to pull, even though I wish they were.

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ still has some yellow daisies….

and the window boxes still have some flowers.

In Long Beach, we cut down chrysanthemums and Salvia leucantha in several planters.  The city crew has had to dig in one of them, probably for electrical Christmas lights reasons.

Oh, dear.

I visited NIVA green for a bit of Christmas shopping.

beautiful new velvet bags, too soft for my lifestyle

There is one photo I cannot show because a Christmas present is front and center.

I was able to tell Heather in person that I was going to remove myself as co-administrator of the NIVA green Facebook page, because her assistant, Wes, is now doing such a great job with it.  It is much better for someone who is on the spot to do it, and my grandmother told me many times that too many cooks spoil the broth.  I have another place to share my photos: the “favourite shops” album on my own Our Long Beach Peninsula page.  For all its flaws, Facebook is a strong connector in our beach communities.

We finished Long Beach by clipping back some frost-limp perennials in Fifth Street Park, where the very last cosmos got pulled.  Allan had covered the gunnera with leaves during an errand run the day before.

Our last work stop was brief.  I finally cut the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen that was STILL blooming in front of the Shelburne.  I no longer wanted to wonder every day if it looked good or was frost blackened.

This one lonely stem had emerged unplanned.

the fig tree

pineapple sage looking better than mine

We rewarded ourselves for our staycation work day with dinner at the pub.

Our drinks:

I had never heard of a Salty Dog drink.  Delicious because I love salt and I love grapefruit juice.  Amazingly, Allan had never before had a hot buttered rum.

view from our favourite table

chopped salad with chicken and a pub burger

and our favourite desserts

My BOOK had arrived at the post office today, per an email notice, but it was closed so I would have to wait till tomorrow.  I read a short book instead, which turned out to be a moderately well written and quite interesting experience of the Hillary Clinton campaign, 2016.

As with Hillary’s memoir, What Happened, I felt by the end that Hillary would be a good and kind person to know (and a much finer president than what we have now).





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Friday, 15 December 2017

When we’d learned there was to be a rally against ICE deportations in the afternoon, interfering with my at-home goals, I had decided that we should try to polish off some of the leftover work beforehand.

We began at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, planting about six good sized starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in empty spaces along the two block long garden.

boatyard garden looking south


The last of the old cosmos got pulled, and I am calling this garden done for 2017.

crab pot tree at the end of the garden (Allan’s photo)

In Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, I planted two clumps of the solidago (a short and well behaved clumping goldenrod) while Allan snipped a few stray brown stems from nearby planters.

Fifth Street Park

Narcissi already blooming in Fifth Street Park

We cruised up to the Anchorage Cottages, thinking we could finally clip back the chrysanthemums and agyranthemums.  Our summery weather had them still blooming, so we did not even get out of the van, just turned around and left.

At The Red Barn Arena, we planted a couple of pieces of the goldenrod and pulled out one dead erysimum.

a wee bit of weeding

Midge in her fine coat.

Next door at Diane’s garden, the remaining annuals still looked too lush to pull.  I left a note suggesting she just cut back anything in those pots that looks tatty later.  I can’t keep going back to check on them every week; that is not cost effective for either of us.

the annuals that will not die

I look forward to many bulbs in this raised septic garden.

We now had an hour and a half left before the rally, with no more work to do.  This called for a stop at NIVA green.

In NIVA green, with Heather’s assistant, Wes, and Heather Ramsay herself

a peek through the doorway into the magic workshop (Allan’s photo)

Heather had put out some new lamps:

I fell hard for this double decker nightlight and got it for myself, even though buying presents for myself was not on the agenda.

This red truck is going to go beautifully with a “Card Lady’ card of a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back.

After NIVA, we spent 40 minutes relaxing at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  I am quite annoyed that the bright summer-like sun blurred out my focus on the Christmas tree in their window.  Trust me, it was such a pretty sight.  Let’s say it is like a water colour.

an elegant pattern on my latte

Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery is retiring her business to become a personal chef for an artists’ retreat.   Abbracci will be the only local place to get her baked goods, like this delicately flavoured Swedish Traveling Cake.  Elixir Coffee up in South Bend will also have her treats.

Abbracci art (Allan’s photo)

In Abbracci, I had such a helpful conversation with owners Tony and Bernardo and one of their patrons. I was asked (not in these exact words) about the severe clean up of the narrow garden to the south of their building: Would the plants come back? I had dug up lots of volunteer blue scabiosa and other perennials in an attempt to start over. I told them that I try to rein in my “messy gardening style” and was thinking of a much tidier planting there. Turns out all three of them love the wild and tangly style. It made the happy to hear that I could so easily make that garden bed messy again.

Finally, it was time for the rally.  This time, the organizer had decided to split the event between Long Beach and Ocean Park.  I had kvetched about it making the groups too small, and indeed, the rally began with only three of us.  For new readers, here is the background again:

“[Long Beach Peninsula Resident] Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech.

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

Today, when we first arrived, we thought there was no one else, and we waited in our van for a bit.  Then we saw one lone figure arrive; it was Ann, who had also been waiting in her vehicle.

Allan’s photo

We settled into our rallying as the wind picked up and the rain arrived.  Allan took all the rally photos but one.  My hands were so cold that I didn’t even think of getting out the camera.

Only once were we heckled with a “WOOO Trump!” from a young fellow driving a foreign made car; the rest of the interaction from passing vehicles was all waves and honks and thumbs up.

Everyne at the Ocean Park rally point bailed out when the rain came.  I was not about to stop for rain; I know darn well that Rosas himself worked on the bay in all sorts of weather.

MaryBeth saw my one real-time photo on Facebook and came to join us.  Four felt much more effective to me than three.

The rain finally stopped and out came a rainbow behind us.

Our good friend Susie was just at that moment returning from an out of town trip, too late to join us..

our Susie

We endured till 4:15 PM.

Allan and I could see a glorious pink sky and so we drove to the west end of Sid Snyder drive for a better look.

looking west

Allan’s photo, to the south

We nabbed a few Christmas lights photos on the way home.

Ilwaco City Hall

Ocean Beach Hospital, Ilwaco (Allan’s photo)

Ocean Beach Hospital (Allan’s photo)

Crab pots on First Avenue

We had a mere 45 minutes turn around time at home.  I was able to erase Diane’s garden and the Red Barn from the work board.  The other jobs are simply going to have to wait until we have a hard frost for their final check up…if we have such a thing this winter.

We soon left again for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner at OleBob’s Café at the Port.

on the way: The Crab Pot Tree

The four us us (Tangly Cottage Gardening and Sea Star Gardening) were joined this week by our good friend Ed of Strange Landscaping.

In the entry hallway: Pins show where visitors have come from.

a local sea captain

This week’s specials:

a beef empanada

the view

south window reflection shows the inside, the outdoor dining deck, and the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co Christmas star

Dave, Ed, Allan, Melissa, with Lynn and Chef Laura in the background

Paella was another special of the night.

Allan’s fresh caught rockfish with Laura’s chimichurri sauce and a “perfectly done” baked potato

flan for dessert

We stayed till after closing, when I was so happy to sit with Laura’s dog, Pancho.

I so much want a nice little dog.  Pancho is such a good boy.

I suddenly felt ever so exhausted.  Yet tomorrow is another busy, not at-home day.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

I’ll get my initial 25 mph wind complaint out of the way right here at the beginning, and get back to more fervent complaining at the end.

First, a watering of all the container plants at home.  I still don’t have the patio area tidied and arranged and it is almost July!


As we drove off to work, we saw that Dave and Melissa were working on a former garden we had created several years ago.  We quit because of…reasons.  I wouldn’t say it bothered me to see that garden fill with weeds; however, for the sake of the remaining good plants, I was glad to see them working on it.


Sea Star Gardening doing a great job releasing plants from weedy smothering.

Long Beach

We weeded and tidied at the welcome sign and made sure the water was on, because the temperature for this weekend is predicted to be 90 degrees.  (I’m going to complain about that for sure.)


Welcome sign…seems lacking without the high maintenance Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ that I decided to forgo this year. Also, no one had echibeckia available. Agastache ‘Summer Glow’ is not making a good background show at all.


I hope the cosmos get taller soon.  Must remind self many plants have been slowed this year by cold weather.

Despite the wind, our next project was to start a methodical end to end weeding of the beach approach.  We’ve been jumping around to the sections that need mulch the most.  Today, I did not think we had time to get mulch from the works yard, so weeding took priority. (All Allan’s photos:)


starting at the west end



sand and clover


These big flat yellow clovers are satisfying to pull because they come out easily on one main stems and clear a big area when gone.  (Allan’s photo)


After: We got two out of 12.5  sections done, with probably another whole section or more done earlier this week in mulched areas further on.  Only took 1 1/2 of hours for two sections, compared to about 3 hours (meaning 6 with two people) per section on the initial spring weeding. (Allan’s photo)

My goal is to get through the whole garden by July 4th and then to do the complete mulching of all low and/or open areas by mid July’s Sandsations event.  The garden will be a little wild but will, I hope, not have tall weed grasses or vetch all through the roses.






We usually eat lunch by holding a peanut butter sandwich with one hand and taking bites while weeding with another hand.  Often I forget to eat lunch at all. Today we rewarded ourselves for our good work with a Pink Poppy Bakery treat and coffee at Abbracci Coffee Bar by Fifth Street Park (east side).


In the words of Madeline of Pink Poppy Bakery: “It may look plain but don’t judge a bundt by it’s cover! Pecan brown sugar pound cake will remind you of Grandma’s kitchen.”


In Abbracci Coffee Bar

Next, we weeded in Fifth Street Park.


I had petted this friendly little doggie named Woo Woo.


Allan weeded an annoying scrim of horsetail.


Allan used the string trimmer to clear this area that goes behind the restroom.

Someone years ago planted “dwarf” pampas grass on the L shaped “behind the restroom” area.  It is infested with weeds. I made it clear a few years back that it was no longer our problem.  In my opinion, it needs to be totally removed…by someone younger and stronger.


Woo Woo and her guy having lunch from Captain Bob’s Chowder. (Allan’s photo)


Northwest corner before weeding horsetail and trimming stems that had gone cattywampus in the wind. Forgot to take an after.

With the park pretty thoroughly weeded, we set out on our watering walkabout.  I went north and Allan went south on Pacific Way (the main street).

Allan’s photos:



starting at the carousel

I’m amazed that allium has not been bothered.  If they would remain unbothered, I would plant a lot more of them in the planters.  In previous years, they did not last more than a few days before being plucked.





yellow bidens


the recently re-done southernmost planter



ending across the street from the carousel

my photos:


In Fifth Street park, east side: Eryngium and starry Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.  The latter is starting to make up for its rampant, floppy foliage.

A young woman tourist stood by this Basket Case Greenhouse basket….


and said “This is just what my baskets look like at home…” and then laughed and added, “Not so much!”  I could have said “You can get one just like that at the Basket Case on Sandridge for $29.99!”


Looking across the street, I thought the Stormin’ Norman planter looked great…..


…with lots of red to tone with the building.

When I got there at the end of my rounds, I found it full of chickweed and fireweed and the dangnable ornamental wire plant that we have tried to eliminate.


Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’


Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’


Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Because I was all out of photos for the NIVA green Facebook page, I stopped in there to take some.


NIVA green


I peeked into the plant section at Dennis Company and saw this list of deer resistant plants.


I have found they do eat Astilbe and Gaura, and I am sorry, but this needs a spell check.


I walked around all the planters and street tree gardens and groomed them (especially the deadheading of the older and larger Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, most of which are rocking back and forth a bit after the recent windstorm).  The wind was horrible…so cold, and so strong it was like a bully almost knocking me over at times.


a business’s planter on First Avenue


First Avenue window



Allan watered and fertilized all the planters with the water trailer.

Since the last thorough go-round, a lot of big weeds had appeared.


under one of the street trees! (Allan’s photo)


the orange lilies someone planted in one of our planters. (Allan’s photo)


one of my favourite tree beds blowing in the wind

A friend drove by on the way to birdwatch at the port and said “It’s late, you have to go home! I saw you can hardly walk across the street!”  I said, “I can’t; this has to be done!” And it did have to be done; we could not quit with only two thirds of the planters watered and cared for.


old Erysimum, before






boatyard garden (will get plenty of weeding next week)



picotee poppy at the end of the boatyard garden (Allan’s photo)

We finished by watering and some weeding at our post office garden, by which time we were both cold and wet and miserable and windblown and squabbling after a 9.5 hour day.

Tomorrow, I have some local weeding to do and Allan has some volunteering at the playground build project. That will make for a short work week.  We will be making up for that with many hours next week.



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Monday, 19 December 2016

Our friend Bill Clearman, who is going to make a beautiful bathtub enclosure for us, had stopped by twice recently with ideas.  We have been charged with making a trip “overseas” (Warrenton) to look at tile colors.  Today was going to be that day….until the weather was just so good that we had to finish the work list instead.

(I must admit I have recently shortened the work list by just erasing a couple of items.)

This morning, here is all that is left (along with the size of tiles we are supposed to look at).


Smokey would have preferred that I stay home. 

On the reading chair alone.

We parked at the Red Barn and did a brief tidy of the planters there, then walked over to Diane’s garden.

Red Barn: the frost did take down the last of the nasturtiums. (Allan's photo)

Red Barn: the frost did take down the last of the nasturtiums. (Allan’s photo)

Diane's roadside garden (Allan's photo)

Diane’s roadside garden (Allan’s photo)

We’re still waiting to see when the septic company comes and takes down Diane and Larry’s trees and drives through the long narrow garden strip.  We clipped all the dead annuals in the back yard container garden.  The next time we come here will be February and one of the first things we will do will be to prune the hydrangea:

Diane's hydrangea must have looked grand in the recent snow.

Diane’s hydrangea must have looked grand in the recent snow.

After a mere 15 minutes of work, we were off to The Anchorage Cottages, where Mitzu and Beth greeted us.



Mitzu (Allan's photo)

Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

center courtyard on a sunny and not so cold day

center courtyard on a sunny and not so cold day

Beth and Allan standing up a trellis

Beth and Allan standing up a trellis of climbing hydrangea



Mitzu and Beth

Mitzu and Beth

We bid the Anchorage goodbye until early next February.

In Long Beach, we did a bit of clipping on planters by NIVA green.

outside NIVA green, our favourite shop

outside NIVA green, our favourite shop

NIVA green front window

NIVA green front window

Christmas ornament display idea

in NIVA green: Christmas ornament display idea

another idea: a mobile of ornaments

another idea: a mobile of ornaments

I hope I remember those ideas for next year, when perhaps I will be in the mood for decorating.  Part of the problem this year is not just the loss of hope…I also feel like it was JUST last month when I took down last year’s decorations.  And I promise you that I did so on December 31, 2015.  The years go disturbingly fast now.  Maybe Christmas 2017 will feel like a long enough to interval to make decorating a treat again.

We checked on Veterans Field gardens and decided to postpone clipping the plants until late January, 2017.  We watered the window boxes at the Depot Restaurant for the pleasure of the bulbs.

At the Depot: two darling dogs, Rowdy and Rosie. (Allan's photo)

behind the Depot: two darling dogs, Rowdy and Rosie. (Allan’s photo)

a nice end to the afternoon

a nice end to the afternoon

We had NO wind which made for a good work day.  Tonight, a 65 mph gale is supposed to go through and that may delay the trip to look at tiles.

And that brings the work year to an end (and the tile notes transferred to something more portable than the work board):


With how fast time goes, it will seem like just days before I am filling the board with the first of 2017’s tasks.

Allan and I are both feeling a little bit poorly.  It is my desire to be well enough to attend three more planned holiday festivities (and not disappoint friends who are counting on our presence) and to make the tile-shopping excursion.  I managed to write three blog posts this evening (this being the last of the three) and will now return to my book, Modernity Britain…only 300 pages to go.




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Monday 20 June 2016

Before work, we went two doors down to Jeff and Mary’s house to lend some long handled loppers.

Mary's tiny little Yorkie, Missy.

Mary’s tiny little Yorkie, Missy, all of two pounds.

The sweet and friendly dogs in the next yard over: Dickens and Harley (Allan's photo)

The sweet and friendly dogs in the next yard over: Dickens and Harley (Allan’s photo)

Dickens and Harley, the sweetest guys

Dickens and Harley, the sweetest guys

Still delaying work, we stopped up on School Hill to visit Todd, Dave, and Melissa, who were all working together on a property that will soon be for sale.   The yard was huge and enviable with one of the more private back yards I’ve ever seen in the city. The house is said to be seven bedrooms and will be far out of our price range.

from the back deck of the house

from the back deck of the house looking toward the port

The yard from Google Earth...so private...will soon be for sale. The house is said to be seven bedrooms.

The yard from Google Earth

We began our work day by poking at the Ilwaco planters and then the Long Beach planters.  Both felt like they could wait till Wednesday for water.  Because of going to the Hardy Plant Study Weekend on Thursday June 23, and not returning till Sunday June 26, I was glad to not have to water Monday and then again on Wednesday.  Leaving for four days is always stressful for me because of watering worries.  Ideally, we would water Tuesday and Friday.  Not this week.

in Long Beach: Hallelujah! Wet enough!

in Long Beach: Hallelujah! Wet enough!

We then delivered a check from Long Beach to the Basket Case Greenhouse, and were kindly given a preview of the clearance sale prices that will start on Wednesday.

Fred and me at the Basket Case

Fred and me at the Basket Case

I got myself several hens and chickens at 25 percent off.

I got myself several hens and chickens at 25 percent off.

As usual, Shadow wanted to ride along.

As usual, Shadow wanted to ride along.

On the way to work (finally!), I had such sad news in a message: My very good friend and all around wonderful dog, Ralph, had passed away; he had been diagnosed with cancer not long ago at age 12.  Here he is last December at his home, which he shared with his best friends, Bayside Debbie and Dave.

My very good friend Ralph did not find our conversation scintillating.

At last December’s Christmas party, a napping Ralph.  My very good friend Ralph will be sorely missed by all his fans.

Long Beach

We had time for some projects, beginning with the weeding of the pond garden by Pacific Realty.

We parked outside NIVA green, where I got to pet this soft and handsome Great Pyrenees.


I refreshed my collection of photos for the NIVA green Facebook page.

Heather Ramsay models a new hat for sale.

Heather Ramsay models a new hat for sale.

some advice

some advice

Outside, I got to pet Jeff, one of the Pacific Realty dogs.

Outside, I got to pet Jeff, one of the Pacific Realty dogs.

an important realtor

an important realtor

pond, before

pond, before

and after (Allan's photos)

and after (Allan’s photos)

There was an antique car event in town. (Allan's photo)

There was an antique Franklin car event in town. (Allan’s photo)

With the pond garden weeded, we went to the parking lot berms and weeded the north and the south ones.

blackberry from north berm

blackberry from north berm

Stipa gigantea

Stipa gigantea

Rosa rubrifolia (Allan's photo)

Rosa rubrifolia (Allan’s photo)

birds foot trefoil...a shame it is considered a weed, as it is so pretty

birds foot trefoil…a shame it is considered a weed, as it is so pretty

Spiraea douglassii

Spiraea douglassii

The spiraea is swallowing a hydrangea.

The spiraea is swallowing a hydrangea.

I pretty much let the most vigorous shrub win on these berms, which have to get by with no supplemental water in summer.

This hood ornament adorned a parked car. (Allan's photo)

This flying pig hood ornament adorned a parked car. (Allan’s photo)

Some grass weeds have returned, and the soil is low, and the red hot pokers needed deadheading.

Some grass weeds have returned, and the soil is low, and the red hot pokers needed deadheading.

This chokecherry will have oodles of black shiny berries later on.

This chokecherry will have oodles of black shiny berries later on.

berm edge, before

berm edge, before

and after (Allan's photos)

and after (Allan’s photos)

We dumped our load of debris, including rugosa rose clippings that had been sticking out sideways, and filled all our buckets from our city works Soil Energy mulch pile for the berms and for Fifth Street Park.

some mulch for Fifth Street Park

some mulch for Fifth Street Park

Sanguisorba 'Pink Elephant' (Allan's photo)

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ (Allan’s photo)

Sanguisorba 'Pink Elephant' (Allan's photo)

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ (Allan’s photo)

Fifth Street Park, NW corner mulched along the edge

Fifth Street Park, NW corner mulched along the edge

Much nicer at the berms, although could use more.

Much nicer at the berms, although could use more.



after (Allan's photos)

after (Allan’s photos)

Some nice vignettes can be found on the berms.

Some nice vignettes can be found on the berms.

I had hoped to get done with work by six to have an evening at home (because I don’t like the thought of leaving home for four days!).  I keep trying to tell myself a different story, that I am going to have a great time and that I WANT to go on a garden touring adventure.  I will, and I do, but nothing for me beats a weekend at home in my own garden and I agonize over giving one up, and city traffic (Salem) is a horror to me, so I do feel anxious.

We checked on the little garden at the World Kite Museum.  It’ll be quiet after hours, I thought, only to find the board was just finishing a meeting so the parking lot was bustling.  That meant I got to meet another dog!  I’d been weepy over Ralph today, and I like to think that all the dogs I got to pet today were a gift from my good friend.



a cutie pie

a cutie pie. with a soft coat


Getting home was delayed by the sight of much chickweed in a planter, leading to the checking of several planters for weeds that had gone rampant in the rain; the planters had not had their twice weekly once over for about ten days.  I saw a sightline problem as well, on a small columnar pear that had been broken off by vandals several years ago and had come back from the snapped trunk.

a planter that had had a mass of chickweed....

a planter that had had a mass of chickweed….

and a sightline problem...

and a sightline problem…



That’s all I wanted to do as was so eager to get home.  It will do for now.

At home. Those sneaky snails...everywhere!

At home. Those sneaky snails…everywhere!

front garden lilies

front garden lilies

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 74):

June 20:  HOT  I went out to pluck my pink rhody and then I found myself with a shovel digging and pulling out that purple geranium that had taken over all the beds.  I removed a huge number of plants.  That bed looks a little bleak.  I think I’ll direct seed some of the annual seeds in that area.

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Monday, 9 May 2016

Today began the planting of annuals, perhaps my least favourite part of our gardening job.  This year, without the many annuals I used to plant at Andersen’s RV Park (which sold last July), it should go faster than ever before.  I try to think positive and refer to it as Planting Time rather than Annuals Planting Hell.


the gathering of plants in the morning


Smokey under a temporary plant bench


in Allan’s garden (Allan’s photo)


Ilwaco post office garden


post office Allium albopilosum

Long Beach

We began by planting a row of bidens and some echibeckias on the front of the Long Beach welcome sign, and white bacopa along the edge of the back.


adding soil


This fellow from Box K Auto Repair was volunteering to clear weeds from the sidewalk.  Much better than spraying with Round Up.


bidens going in



welcome sign after planting

When we were almost done planting, Mayor Jerry Phillips stopped by and told us how much he appreciates our work.  That helped, as aspects of work have been pretty fraught lately.

We moved on to downtown Long Beach, planting “uppies” and “trailies” in the planters till we ran out of time. We ran out of trailies before uppies and will have to get more.


I’m using Agastaches for a lot of the “uppies” (center, tall plants) this year, because I just love them, and they do not need much deadheading.

Note in the above photo, what is missing?  A lavender has been stolen out of the far corner of the planter, so now it is off balance.



Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Our friend Rebecca stops to chat and say encourage words about how well her knee replacements work.


Someone drove into this (boring BadAster) tree garden and scraped the tree.  That’s the same garden we tried to make better but gave up when it had bikes and dogs parked in it.  (Allan’s photo)


I’d been planning for us to remove the “wire plant” from this planter.  Now all of a sudden, it looks just delightful to me.


Rose “Berries and Cream’ by Funland.  I want it. (Allan’s photo)

We simply HAD to get all the planters watered because they were so dry.  For the last two, we did manage to get the watering done but did not get the plants in because we had a social engagement at seven.

Salt Pub


Salt Hotel curbside garden


Salt courtyard herbs

It was Heather’s birthday, the artist owner of NIVA green, our favourite shop.  I had been experiencing social anxiety over the event, imagining it brimming over with people.  How delightful, and touching, to find it was a small party, and that even though it had started at 6, and they knew we were not arriving till 7, they had waited for us before ordering their dinners.


That’s our Jenna (Queen La De Da) and birthday girl Heather


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


a toast


Jenna’s spouse, Don Nisbett, had made a painting for Heather.

We loved that instead of saying age 63, the painting says Level 63 (with Jenna in the picture, too, and a mer-unicorn and local celebrity Jake the Alligator Man).



Allan’s photo

Jenna and Heather told me what a wonderful time they had had at a party to end all parties, or something like that, over in Astoria on Saturday.  Jenna had invited me and I had felt too tired and social-phobic to go.  Now I felt kind of sorry, as Heather said she had danced. (I used to go out dancing a lot, in my city days.)

Art historian Patricia Moss brings the birthday cake (by Pink Poppy Bakery, of course).


with sparklers


Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


coconut cake



the view


I’m grateful that we were invited and also grateful that Laila and Julez have created such a perfect gathering spot at the port.


1995 (age 71):

May 9: My new Troy Built Junior was delivered.  It looks so big. Rainy day so I worked in greenhouse.  I’m still repotting tomato seedlings.


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Monday, 8 February 2016

We accomplished a great deal today in the town of Long Beach with the help of Melissa and Dave of Sea Star Gardening.

Fifth Street Park


The four quadrants of Fifth Street Park


I helped Melissa weed while we figured out how to organize the job. (Allan’s photo)

We all plunged into different areas and finished the spring clean up of Fifth Street Park in weather that felt like summer.  (Pretty soon we were all complaining about being too hot as the temperature soared to 72 degrees.)  It’s rare for a day to be not too cold and wet, not too hot and dry, but just right.  This one did get to be just right in the hour before sunset.


Our Melissa (Allan’s photo)


Allan pruned these roses (old mildewy Dorothy Perkins)…before




Allan’s photos

Melissa continued the battle with wild alliums in the same quadrant.





In the southwest quadrant, I pruned the roses by the restroom entrance…


my project before (the far superior Super Dorothy Rose) but no after.

…and Melissa finished pruning and weeding along the south fence.


before, with Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ on the lattice

She pulled out a lot of schizostylis.  It will come back…which is a good thing and a bad thing.



I was so happy to have help from someone who knows her plants, because she recognized and did not destroy the camassia that was hidden amongst the schizostylis (and that I had forgotten about).

Dave delved into the rectangular rooty awful bed in the southeast quadrant.  I’ve discussed with parks manager Mike a complete re-do of this bed, but it won’t happen this year because the city crew is involved with a big new soccer field project.


before: rooty and with a sprinkler system in it


Dave raking out, after


Allan’s photo


editing Schizostylis (Allan’s photo)

I finished some planter tidying one block north where I got rained out last week, and then Allan and I pruned the hydrangea in the southeast corner of the park..


hydrangea before


and after

I uncovered the Gunnera by the pond and cut off its huge seedheads.


Threw these behind; they may reseed.

Allan had clipped and weeded under a tree I’d missed during last week’s rainstorm:


before and after (Allan’s photos): I think that tatty old lavender has to go next time.

Allan hauled a full trailer load to city works, and we all rendezvoused at the parks on Third Street.


dumping at city works (Allan’s photo)

 Third Street 


Third Street parks

Veterans Field, top right corner, has one more garden bed now than shows in this satellite view.  The Columbia Pacific Farmers Market takes place on that lawn on summer Fridays.

The Aloha Charlie’s Fish building now houses the delicious Kabob Cottage Restaurant.

Dave and Melissa did the pocket park by the Kabob Cottage, behind the curved wall of Lewis and Clark Square, weeding and then raking out old rhododendron leaves.  Allan pruned back the rugosa roses on the south wall of the police station so they’ll be easier to keep back from the sidewalk in summer.


Allan over halfway done with roses.


roses before and after (Allan’s photos)

After a quick clipping and weeding in the Veterans Field beds, I pruned the hydrangeas in the park north of Long Beach Tavern.


hydrangeas before



The hydrangea pruning was a rather hasty job as I was in a big rush to get the city hall garden done before dark, and I had a personal mission to accomplish as well.

I left Allan, Dave, and Melissa to their final sweeping up and went on by myself with my wheelie cart to do (I hoped) the last two blocks of planter clean up.


walking north


in a planter

And I fulfilled my mission of taking some photos for the Facebook page of…

NIVA green


outside NIVA green

Owner/artist Heather Ramsay has constructed a new collection of her repurposed lamps made of tins.



Ginger Snap tin lamp


After a quick spin around the shop with my camera, and I do mean quick, I had collected thirty or so more photos to keep the NIVA page updated.  I got all but the two northernmost planters clipped and weeded and was so sore by then that I skipped the last two for now and went to rejoin everyone at

City Hall


a hyacinth coming up at city hall (Allan’s photo)

I wasn’t there to take before photos of three large ornamental grasses that got clipped.


city hall west wall, after large Miscanthus were clipped


hellebore, north side



pulmonaria and leucojum, north side


and another north side Hellebore


The sun was setting to the west of City Hall.  To the left, the tasting room of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm.


after work (Allan’s photo)

With city hall garden done, our friends departed for their home near Oysterville and Allan and I went to dump one more full load at city works.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


Ginger’s Garden Diaries

This year, I am sharing day by day entries that my mom wrote in three garden diaries about 20 years ago.  I will gather each month into one entry with more detail at the end of each month of this 2016 blog.

February 8, 1998 (age 73)

Skyler and Robert got here about 6:30.  They had quite a hassle at the gate.  Even though I called the gate ahead of time, I guess they didn’t keep the message, and because I didn’t hear the phone, the three armed security people wouldn’t let them in. They finally relented.  I guess Skyler lit into them. [Ha!  I certainly do recall firmly suggesting to the guards that if they would not let us through, they had better escort me to my mom’s house because her not answering the phone could mean she had a medical problem.  I think that is what convinced them.]



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