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Posts Tagged ‘Olde Towne Trading Post Café’

Saturday, 30 November, 2013

To work or not?  I really wanted to finish the mulching at Andersen’s RV Park so that I could cross that job off the “last visits of 2013: work list.

I woke to heavy mist.  We had a coffee date at 11 AM with Kathleen S, on her last day of this month’s visit to the beach.  (I well remember the feeling of being a visitor to the Peninsula and having to go back to the city too soon.)   I decided I had better get up “early” and go to the opening day of the Saturday Christmas Market at the port in case the weather turned out to be conducive to working.

With no breakfast or coffee (thus saving my appetite for Olde Towne fare), I walked down Lake and turned on Myrtle Avenue to the Port.  By then, the mist had turned to a breezy light rain.  I stopped to call Allan (who was running about fifteen minutes behind me) and say “DAY OFF!”   As he has pointed out, Andersen’s RV Park was packed with RV folks down for the clam tides and we did not want to bring them down by lo0king depressingly muddy and downtrodden while mulching in the rain.

Pretty good excuse for a day off, yes?

I well remember one Thanksgiving Day at a former job of ours, The Shelburne Inn.  The wonderful Shoalwater Restaurant (now the Birdgewater Bistro in Astoria)  offered a Thanksgiving dinner there.  Not realizing how early the dinner began, I tossed out a few hundred bulbs all over the garden and we began to plant.  If bulb time is not done, it stops for no holiday.  Then, unexpectedly, the skies opened with a torrential rain, and the Thanksgiving dinner clientele began to arrive.  As they entered the fine restaurant with its stained glass windows and warm inviting atmosphere, they had to pass two drowned rats, me and Robert, planting bulbs in the mud.  What a sad spectacle with which to start off their elegant meal!  They probably all gave thanks that they were not us.

Back to today, and my walk down Myrtle to the Port….

On Myrtle, a tree glowed in the mist, er, rain.

On Myrtle, a tree glowed in the mist, er, rain.

I stopped first at Time Enough Books just to chat for awhile with owner Karla.

greeted by Scout, who's named for the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird

greeted by Scout, who’s named for the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird

seasonal decorations at Time Enough Books

seasonal decorations at Time Enough Books

wreath

Next door at the Saturday Christmas Market, I found Kathleen had the same idea as me:  Buying some tasty treats from Pink Poppy Bakery.

Pink Poppy Bakery, soon to have a shop by the Long Beach Arch!

Pink Poppy Bakery, soon to have a shop by the Long Beach Arch!

Harmony Soapworks from Oysterville had a booth

Harmony Soapworks from Oysterville had a booth

As did Angela's Tied Pool clothing.

As did Angela’s Tied Pool clothing.

a booth of stone candle holders

a booth of stone candle holders

I loved these little "best friends" pillows.

I loved these little “best friends” pillows.

The same fabric artist had made cute little stockings with Ilwaco scenes.

The same fabric artist had made cute little stockings with Ilwaco scenes.

Kathleen and I popped a couple of doors down to Don Nisbett’s Art Gallery where she bought a crab pot Christmas tree card.

Don's gallery

Don’s gallery

He usually has sweet treats  for customers; a cookie tided me over till we got to Olde Towne Café.   I had not been in for coffee for what seemed like a very long time (although it had probably only been a week).

Chester had been “saling”.  When his partner, Luanne, had first used that word I had assumed she meant “sailing”, since until recently he was a fisherman as well as a purveyor of good food and antiques.  Chester, however, says he likes a boat with a motor, and questing for antiques are now his business.  He had acquired quite a few new items.

frying pans

frying pans

a ship with its masts made of wood

a ship with its masts made of wood

a horn

a horn

part of a mast (I think) of a boat called Tortuga

part of a mast (I think) of a boat called Tortuga

and a thingie whose name i forget

and a thingie whose name I forget

Kathleen asked if he was going to polish the metal up, and he said, no, that when he first got into the antiques trade, he was advised to leave things as they were, and he “found that very easy to do.”

another thingie; Chester knew just what is was.  Some kind of gauge, I think.

another thingie; Chester knew just what is was. Some kind of gauge, I think.

Meanwhile, Luanne made someone a sandwich and then my breakfast and Kathleen’s lunch (biscuits and gravy and a BLT).

Luanne at work

Luanne at work

Allan arrived, soon followed by Donna and MR, so we had a proper coffee klatsch.  Judy and Tom still had a houseful of Thanksgiving company so were not part of today’s chat.  Luanne pointed out that the rain was descending quite fiercely outside, and I felt good about not have chosen work instead.

a thoughtful moment

a thoughtful moment

Donna's captured a livelier moment!

Donna’s photo captured a livelier moment!

How wonderful it felt, after day after day of bulb time and mulching, to sit and relax with good friends.

Kathleen bought a particularly lovely floral teapot (which I wish I had photographed) and then we parted.  I do wish she lived here full time.  We’d have a grand time going to various events.

Kathleen's new teapot, lower right!

Kathleen’s new teapot, lower right!

After her departure, I went home while Allan went down to the Saturday market.  I should have gone in to my home office and started the monthly billing.  Instead, as the rain had stopped (oh, dear! we could have been mulching!), I trimmed about fifteen hellebores.

Hellebore...one that does not need trimming.

Hellebore argutifolius..one that does not need trimming.

Hellebore, removing old leaves, before and after

Hellebore, removing old leaves, before and after

I was closely observed.

Image

hummer

Image copy

As dusk approached, I got into the debris pile whose demolition and re-designing will be a winter project— for a windless day as it is near the Bogsy Wood.

pile

pile

The crab pots under a tarp that were the backdrop to this area have now been moved and prepped and stacked, ready for the commercial crab season to begin sometime after December 15th.

My mission in the pile:  To find some more spuds before the hard freeze that is predicted for next week.

Yukon Gold and red potatoes

a quarter of a bucket of Yukon Gold and red potatoes

I also rescued and shelled some red runner beans.  The insides of the pods are smooth like a fine suede fabric.

pods outside and in

pods outside and in

I don’t find the beans themselves to be very tasty.  Or maybe we do not know how to cook them deliciously.  I save them to plant more red runner beans next year simply because the flowers are beautiful.

beans of pink, black, and beige

beans of pink, black, and beige

Allan put up our Christmas lights until darkness thwarted him from adding the last string over the tall arbour at the front of the house.

our decorated crab pot

our decorated crab pot

From the end of our late and much missed neighbour Nora’s yard, I took a photo of the Jessie’s Fish Company star….

Jessie's at dusk

Jessie’s at dusk

I will be able to see it from my window throughout the month of December.

After dark, I enjoyed my Pink Poppy treat, a gingerbread cupcake with molasses frosting.

The top is slightly rumpled by the wax paper it was wrapped in.

The top is slightly rumpled by the wax paper it was wrapped in.

I expect to have no excuse to delay the long task of billing tomorrow, as rain is predicted for sure, and Olde Towne Café is closed on Sundays and Mondays!

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Thursday, 21 November, 2013

Because the temperature got to at least as low as 30 F last night, I expected all my annuals to be down.  To my surprise, in the bright sunlight on the front porch, a hanging basket passed on to me by Mary N. (two doors down) still had some Calibrachoas in bloom.

in bright cold sunlight

in bright cold sunlight

In the shade of Allan’s garden, frost was still evident.

ajuga

ajuga

ice on the water feature (and Smokey following me as usual)

ice on the water feature (and Smokey following me as usual)

Geranium renardii in the front garden

Geranium renardii in the front garden

The frost in the shady areas at 11 AM reminded me that at our old house behind the boatyard, tucked right up against a hill to the west and south, frost lingered all day in winter when even our next door neighbour’s yard would thaw.  Allan and I would misjudge the weather and think it was too cold to work on days when the rest of the town was much warmer!  We would be pleasantly surprised when we got out into the sunnier world.

We did linger for ten minutes at Olde Towne this mid-morning waiting for the temperature to rise.  The annual Sanvitalia in the planter outside had gone to limp mush, so the Ilwaco planters need a check up.  Not today.

owner, chef, barista Luanne at Olde Towne

owner, chef, barista Luanne at Olde Towne

After our brief chat break with Luanne and Chester, we headed to Peninsula Landscape Supply for a load of Soil Energy.

Soil Energy coming up

Soil Energy coming up

“Soil energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter)”

Bob, the neighbour dog, came to visit.

looking extra cute

looking extra cute

Bob, the neighbour dog, came to visit!

my buddy Bob

Back south in Long Beach, Allan and I planted bulbs in a strip of ground that has been rewired with new lighting:  Narcissi ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Baby Moon’, Narcissus ‘Itzim’, and a mix of purple and white tulips.

The tulips will match purple signs on the side of the building.

before

The tulips came out of a bag of 100, the rest of which were slated for the Long Beach welcome sign.  They are a mix of purple and white and will match the purple signs on the edge of the building.

Then, while Allan added Soil Energy here and at the Summer House vacation rental next door, I walked around four blocks of planters, inserting the rest of the Baby Moons (six more per most planter) and pulling spent annuals.  OUT they came.  Almost all.

some Sanvitalia and California poppies still looking fine...with Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

some Sanvitalia and California poppies still looking fine…with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

The sun did that glare thing again all day long and made it hard to see my work, cars, the curb, and pretty much everything.

The frost did not take down this Cerinthe volunteer!

The frost did not take down this Cerinthe volunteer!

Geranium 'Rozanne' still blue

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ still blue

intense blue sky as city crew puts up decorations

intense blue sky as city crew puts up decorations

The city crew is careful not to stand in my planters.  Back when the planters were done by volunteers, I did four.  I used to bug the city crew to not stand in them.  Later, when Parks Manager Mike Kitzman and city administrator of the era, Nabiel Shawa, wanted to hire me I said to Mike, “Why?  I figured you just thought I was a pest, always bugging your guys to not stand in the planters!”  My then-partner and I would actually stop our car to complain if we saw any “planter standing”.  Mike said he wanted me to be hired because my concern for the planters showed that I would really care about the job.

When I returned to the Fifth Street quadrant of parks, Allan had finished mulching the strip by Scrappucino…

after

after

and had planted bulbs and mulched at Summerhouse.

the very small Summer House garden

the very small Summer House garden

We planted tulip ‘Akebono’ and assorted yellow Narcissi, including ‘Rjinveld’s Early Sensation’.  ‘Akebono’ was a last minute, additional purchase from Colorblends.

Tulip 'Akebono' from Colorblends.  Wish I had gotten 100 instead of just 25.

Tulip ‘Akebono’ from Colorblends. Wish I had gotten 100 instead of just 25.

A few plants in the park in front of Marsh’s Free Museum and Captain Bob’s Chowder had gotten frost-blasted.  After cutting down the pineapple sage and removing the last of the cosmos, it looked like this.

marsh

We still need to cut down the Nepeta (catmint) ‘Walker’s Low’ along the front. Today we ran out of time.  I’ll leave most of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ standing well into the winter.

Our last job, and one causing me some anxiety about whether or not we would have time to finish it, was the Long Beach welcome sign.  At last, we ripped out the annuals, revealing lots of the horrible, thready type of horsetail that infests this planting box.

before

before, back and front

How satisfying to rip out the annuals.  Even though I had stopped deadheading them, the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ on the south side had still looked moderately good up until yesterday.  The Brachychome and Bidens along the edges still bloomed in blue and gold.  But I had had it with them!  Out they came.

a refreshing change

a refreshing change

Some Muscari has already popped up along the edge.  (That is not unusual.)  Under the nice, fresh mulch, we planted two tulips mixes from Colorblends.  Along the front of the sign, with its yellow sun, I chose the mix called Triathlon.

Triathlon, photo from Colorblends

Triathlon, photo from Colorblends

In previous years, I have used Red and Yellow Cubed but wanted something slightly different.

Red and Yellow Cubed, photo from Colorblends

Red and Yellow Cubed, photo from Colorblends

For the cooler colours on the north side of the sign, I have been using Shortwave mix.

Shortwave, photo from Colorblends

Shortwave, photo from Colorblends

This year, just for a small difference, I chose the slightly taller Triple Play mix.

Triple Play from Colorblends

Triple Play, photo  from Colorblends

We treat the tulips as annuals here and rip out the old ones in May.  They rarely come back as good looking on the second year, and the sign must be showy.

After dumping the debris at the City Works yard just as the sun began to set, we were heading for NIVA green when we noticed the colour of the sky.  Allan drove straight out to the Bolstadt parking lot and even though the sky was fading already, I got a photo with the boardwalk as foregr0und:

sunset over the Long Beach boardwalk

sunset over the Long Beach boardwalk

The several strollers along the boardwalk must have felt that they were floating in that peachy sky colour.  Or so it looks to me.

Circling back around, we had a brief visit with Heather at NIVA green.  We’d found, in a trash can, a metal sign saying STONER WAY.  She cuts up license plates for art and we thought, correctly, that she could make use of the sign.

Heather told us she is discontinuing her manufacture of purses made from old record albums, so get them while you can!

old LP purses

old LP purses, very labour intensive to make

I thought that several friends of ours might be able to make use of the Dammit Dolls:

dolls

dolls

These would be very handy when you find that you need expensive repairs on your roof, or a new washing machine.

We stayed only briefly as I had one more outdoor project.  In the near dark, we dumped the last four buckets of Soil Energy into the planter near First Place Mall (a tiny “mall” of a few storefronts).  That planter had been annoyingly low.  Four more annuals came out, and the lavenders got a quick trim (with very cold hands clutching the clippers).

Having read somewhere that one’s tastebuds decline with age, I have been trying to go to the delicious Pelicano restaurant once a month to enjoy their ever changing monthly specials.  We missed last month, and most of the summer months.  Even though, as Allan pointed out, we would be out for dinner three nights in a row, I suggested we go tonight simply because we had the time.  It was not at all hard to talk him into it.

Pelicano Restaurant

Pelicano Restaurant

delicious squash soup

delicious squash soup

My drink was a strong potion featuring apple cider from Pink Poppy Farm.  Our server was the delightful Ms. Pink Poppy herself.  Our gardening client Eric Wiegardt’s art adorned the walls.  The lights of the boats glowed just outside the window.  The port crew have decorated the street lamps with white lights for the holidays.  There was only one other table occupied, as we were dining early, and the two other diners were having a most interesting conversation that we could almost overhear.  (They sounded like the sort of women I’d like to be friends with.)  We celebrated finishing the planting of the Long Beach bulbs, very much the biggest batch of Bulb Time.

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Friday, 15 November, 2013

Smokey and Mary definitely had the right idea about what to do for the day:

catsI would love to have followed their example and stayed home.  I would have been more productive than just napping and would have spent the day doing spreadsheets of bulb lists.  Instead, I decided we should go out in the rain and plant the eight remaining planters and two trees left to do north of the light on Pacific Avenue in Long Beach.  Allan was skeptical.

looking west from the driveway

looking west from the driveway

It hadn’t been raining this hard while I was putting my coat on!

into Long Beach....the rain had lessened

into Long Beach….the rain had lessened

The planters in question are in the two blocks north of the stoplight.

Just before I took this photo, we had seen three men in camo carrying rifle bags getting out of a truck.  Allan said “Maybe they are hunting donuts!” [at The Cottage Bakery].

We had a break in the weather and got the eight planters done, the first block with ‘Green Wave’ tulips as a shout out to my favourite shop, NIVA green, and then, with continued respite from strong wind and only a drizzle of rain, we did the three newly empty planters out on the beach approaches with minor bulbs (crocus, iris reticulata, muscari, etc) and species Narcissi.  These were the planters from which we removed sheets of Vinca and moneywort not long ago.

We have had a real problem with finger blight on the beach approaches in spring.  People cannot seem to resist picking ALL the narcissi out of the planters.  But we will try again.  Perhaps those who did so have moved on.

As we left the third planter, the rain and wind kicked up but sadly, I had realized we’d forgotten to plant the narcissi slated for the trees by Dennis Co. on the northernmost block.  We did so, in miserable weather indeed.  I was too wet during most of this to take any photos, but our client, Lisa, drove by and painted this word picture for me later:  “I drove past you and Allan today in Long Beach, in the pouring rain, very intently tending to a planter. You are heroes. …What the feck were you doing out in such shit weather??”   To which I replied, “We have bulbs to plant and we gotta plant ’ems.”

The rain had begun as we approached the final work project (the tree bulbs).

The rain had begun as we approached the final work project (the tree bulbs).

My dream when the weather did not seem as bad as expected had been to get the Veterans Field (red, white, and blue) bulbs planted as well.  It was not to be.  We had been offered coffee earlier by Heather of NIVA green (my favourite shop ever) so we went there; it is a block down from the last two trees.

There we found artist Joe Chasse also enjoying a cup of coffee.  You may remember his found object robots from last month’s  Cash Mob post.

Joe Chasse

Joe Chasse and his finds

an unusual eggbeater

an unusual eggbeater (and a plug for Chico’s Pizza)

Heather has a hint:  If you want a meat pizza, order the vegetarian pizza at Chico’s and then ask for the meat to be added.  That way you get more delicious veg, too.

I failed to get a good photo of my little friend, Tiny.

I failed to get a good photo of my little friend, Tiny.

Before leaving, we took a tour of Heather’s wonderful shop.

Heather Ramsay's latest lamps

Heather Ramsay’s latest lamps

Heather makes signs with words made from license plates.  (You can commission what you want; we have one for “Tangly Cottage”.)  Recently a couple came in from a town north of the Peninsula and the woman said that her partner made things from license plates, as well, and would Heather be interested in seeing them?  She most certainly was, and pointed out to me the careful detailing and joints of the man’s bird feeders.

an elegant license plate birdfeeder

an elegant license plate birdfeeder

details

and another

and another

and a license plate planter by the same man

and a license plate planter by the same man

Some socks with flowers and interesting slogans benefit Doctors Without Borders.  Although adorable, they are not for me because I only wear fluffy, not thin, socks.

"THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO DO IT BUT I SAY DO IT"

“THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO DO IT BUT I SAY DO IT”

"YOU'RE NOT OBSESSIVE, YOU'RE COMPULSIVELY AWESOME."

“YOU’RE NOT OBSESSIVE, YOU’RE COMPULSIVELY AWESOME.”

And then we had yet another break, at Olde Towne café.  It had been a rough day!

view from our table at Olde Towne

view from our table at Olde Towne

We each had delicious sandwiches and best of all, Luanne had time to sit with us and we had a good natter.

I bought the peacock...only $6.95.  Will look great on the wire fence next summer.

I bought the peacock…only $6.95. Will look great on the wire fence next summer.

So much for doing spreadsheets all day.  I did make some belated bulb sorting progress in the early evening at home by cleaning up the sorting area after micro-sorting the box of Port of Ilwaco bulbs into three categories:  Port office garden, Howerton Street gardens (short narcissi) and the boatyard garden (tall narcissi).  The Port gets very few tulips because of deer, and, because I was disheartened by bird depredations last year, only the port office will get Iris reticulata and crocuses.

Now we are in for several days of rain and wind and we may take a bulb planting break.  Here’s to some time indoors catching up on paperwork!  And on Saturday we have tickets for a play.

Note:  Debbie Teashon of Rainyside.com just published an excellent article about Salvia viridis (painted sage), featuring some photos taken in the Long Beach planters and other local gardens.

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

How tedious it can be when someone tells all about their dreams. But let it be said that I slept very late on this rainy day off and dreamt that I was enjoying an extended stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel and that every day I added one more night to my dream vacation there so that I could read more of the room journals.

Upon awakening, I created most of the day’s blog post because I knew I would have little time at the end of the evening. All I would have to add after Halloween activities would be the sunset photos. I am still running two days behind on the blog because of last week’s revelries with visitor Debbie Teashon! That’s nothing, though, because there are times I have been blogging actual years behind.

Friends awaited at coffee klatsch at Olde Towne Café. Our dear friend Patt had been unable to make it back to Ilwaco, her former and much missed home. We had a photo taken to let her know we were thinking of her and were so sorry she would miss Ilwaco Halloween.

Jamie, Donna, Tom, Judy, me

Jamie, Donna, Tom, Judy, me

Judy must be thinking how tired she is of being photographed by us, or how sad it is that Patt was not here. Sorry, Judy…. Tom’s quizzical “look” is the one Judy says she sees every day and something about him that we find quite endearing.

On the left, above, a regular blog reader (one of the not huge number of about 40!) joins our group! Jamie had introduced herself to me and Allan in one of the Long Beach parks and I knew from our conversation that she would be deeply sympatico with Donna, Tom and Judy as well. They bonded immediately on dogs, liberalism, and New York!

We had one more photo letting Patt know how very much we missed her.

We miss Patt!

We miss Patt!

Coffee klatching carried on into the afternoon until we departed with a sense of panic as we still had much decorating to do before trick or treat time:

thing

This bit of garden decor can look quite scary

the webbing of the Corridor of Spooky Plants

the webbing of the Corridor of Spooky Plants

Tom and Judy hustled to get their scary clown set up. (complete with scary music). Here he is in a photo showing the wonderful fall foliage:

judy

and the photo I used for the Halloween Ilwaco Facebook album:

more Halloween-y

more Halloween-y

Allan working on last minute touches.

Allan working on last minute touches.

Just as the trick or treating began (as early as 4:30!) I went for a walk to catch the completed decorations at the other houses on the two east-west flatland Ilwaco streets that are a Halloween mecca. Chris was still trying to figure out the best way to structure his giant squid.

Chris's Halloween house

Chris’s Halloween house

We believe that Chris is the one who MADE Ilwaco the Halloween center of the SW Washington coast. The town was not much of a Halloween spot when I used to live over behind the boatyard. Over recent years, Chris’s creations have drawn people in and inspired others to decorate extravagantly as well.

Chris's moveable shark in 2010

Chris’s moveable shark in 2010

the dragon of 2011

the moveable dragon of 2011

the moveable hippo of 2012

the moveable hippo of 2012

As he worried over his giant squid I warned him the trick or treaters were already appearing! “They’re too early!” he said; “They have to come back after dark!” But they were here…

Spruce Street

on Spruce Street

Below is the creature that inspired me to at least put a sheet over our garden tuteur. Next year, I hope we (read: Allan) can construct something big and spooky with plant materials.

Spruce Street monster

Spruce Street monster

at the same house

at the same house

one house down....Next year, I want to have window things like this.  They add a lot.

one house down….Next year, I want to have window things like this. They add a lot.

a gardening aside:  azalea blooming just east of Spruce Street

a gardening aside: azalea blooming just east of Spruce Street

walking east on Spruce past one of my favourite houses in town....

walking east on Spruce past one of my favourite houses in town….

Shell Cottage

Shell Cottage

a bit further east

a bit further east, another house with a pretty garden

arch

girl

I love the curtain in the entrance.

Some decorations were very simple, but a pumpkin, a porch light, and an open gate are all that is needed to say “Welcome”.

decor

The rain had turned to a light and moody mist, perfect for the evening.

rain

On the corner just down from us, the house of the Lost Garden is, sadly, lacking an occupant. It would have made an excellent Halloween house.

house

a very old house

Although it was my turn to relieve Allan so he could go see the sights, I had to POP down to see Judy and Tom’s house once again.

Hornbuckle garden with good Halloween colours

Hornbuckle garden with good Halloween colours

Tom at the door

Tom at the door

I walked back home (four doors away) as, at 5:30, the crowd on Lake Street became thicker.

walking past Mary's house

walking past Mary’s house

The misty air echoed with the sound of excited yelling and running feet. Sometimes the echoing voices in the distance sounded riotous and quite startling in the usually quiet streets.

Lake Street looking east

Lake Street looking east

our front garden

our front garden

our spooky walk

our spooky walk

It was time to put out the battery operated candles along the spooky corridor…and I realized we could use real candles plunged into the soil further back in the garden, safely away from the children’s costumes.

spooky corridor detail:  I lose patience at spreading out the cobweb stuff.

spooky corridor detail: I lose patience at spreading out the cobweb stuff.

When I volunteered to take over the rather overwhelming and frenzied task of handing out treats to the ravening hordes, Allan said that in his experience, parents tended to be suspicious of a man out photographing trick or treaters, and that it would be better if I went back out till dark. It would save him having to explain that the photos are for the Ilwaco Facebook pages (and are not close ups of unmasked children without the parents’ permission, that is to say, children of people we know).

5:40 PM

5:40 PM….I am off into the streets again.

across the street, the J's house.  (The whole family has names that start with J.  Very helpful for people with a bad memory for names.)

across the street, the J’s house. (The whole family has names that start with J. Very helpful for people with a bad memory for names.)

a big lineup at Tom and Judy's

a big lineup at Tom and Judy’s

Judy told me their scary clown was photographed hundreds of times. One child ran madly up the walk and back to get his candy while the clown was down inside the Jack in the Box. (It hides, then remerges in a ghastly fashion with creepy music.) One mother stayed at the gate, saying she herself was terrified of clowns.

clown rising

clown rising

Judy was undaunted.

Judy was undaunted.

at Lake and Myrtle, the prettiest Halloween porch

at Lake and Myrtle, the prettiest Halloween porch

I love the way the "orange house" owners decorated with boxes.  Very clever indeed.

Further west: I love the way the “orange house” owners decorated with boxes. Very clever indeed.

Next door to the orange house, Chris and his friends had gotten their squid plan all sorted out.

pair

The tentacles would wait till trick or treaters came up the walk…

squid

and then would swoop in.

manned tentacles

manned tentacles

Nearby stood one of the many elegantly costumed adults. I noticed a definite steampunk theme this year.

a steampunk gentleman

a steampunk gentleman

excellent detail

excellent detail

I like the look of the groups of costumed folks walking our usually quiet streets.

fog

at Lake and Pearl

at Spruce and Williams

at Spruce and Williams

The Inn at Harbour Village, just up the hill

The Inn at Harbour Village, just up the hill

Kelly

At her home and business location on Spruce Street, Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics sported a most interesting costume.

kelly

She explained, “I’m not a witch; I’ve been labeled as a witch.”

I popped just around the corner at First Avenue to peek into Olde Towne where the 6-9 PM potluck party was just getting started. We would not be able to go till it was almost over because of the trick or treaters. Luanne’s son Michael had been perfecting the art of zombie makeup.

Café owner and barista Luanne

Café owner and barista Luanne

Michael

Michael

a ghostly photo of café regular Linda crossing the street to the Café

a ghostly photo of café regular Linda crossing the street to the Café

(She’s wearing Kelly’s Blue Crab Graphics Ilwaco semaphore sweatshirt. I had to take the photo on the move because a car was waiting for us local zombie grrrls.)

The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Dept. always opens for trick or treaters.

The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Dept. always opens for trick or treaters.

on the right, fire chief Tom Williams (who also built Judy's kitchen cupboards!)

on the right, fire chief Tom Williams (who also built Judy’s kitchen cupboards!)

firefighting suits at the ready

firefighting suits at the ready

across the street at the home of one of the firefighters

across the street at the home of one of the firefighters

further east, an old porch with one string of lights

further east, an old porch with one string of lights

the M and J Plumbing house

the M and J Plumbing house

Allan and I were trying to think of a last minute fake figure to put in a chair. We came up with nothing. This mummy is a great idea:

The Mummy of M and J Plumbing

The Mummy of M and J Plumbing

I very much like the spooky hand skeleton lights at Advent and Spruce Street.

6:15 PM: I very much like the spooky hand skeleton lights at Advent and Spruce Street.

at Lake and Advent

at Lake and Advent

and home again at 6: 20 PM.

and home again at 6: 20 PM.

our ghost

our ghost

Allan had tried lighting the inside of our ghost. That made the yellow roses show too much, which was not very scary.

I had one more look at Tom and Judy's house...

I had one more look at Tom and Judy’s house…

Halloween participation is not mandatory. Those who do not want to hand out candy just keep their gates closed and turn out their lights, especially the porch light.

looking west on Lake Street

looking west on Lake Street, another spooky old house with no candy

Now it was definitely time for me to go home and take over the treat detail from Allan. It was his turn to go out and take photos, and here they are:

earlier:  the spooky corridor

earlier: the spooky corridor

across the street

across the street

looking west on Lake

looking west on Lake

looking west from our house down Lake Street

looking west from our house down Lake Street

our Corridor of Spooky Plants with candles

our Corridor of Spooky Plants with candles

me ensconced on the porch handing out candy

me ensconced on the porch handing out candy

a simple costume

a simple costume

You shall not pass....

You shall not pass….below our porch

along our sidewalk

along our sidewalk

the J's house

the J’s house

that scary clown

that scary clown

Tom waiting behind the door.

Tom waiting behind the door.

After the first year of answering the door for 300 plus trick or treaters, I found it easier to just sit on the porch. However, our porch provides a bit of a hidey spot off to the side which is most effective.

Tom, AKA "Mr Judy"

Tom, AKA “Mr Judy”

There is a longstanding tradition among my internet friends (sometimes “imaginary friends”) that if one of a couple is more active online, the other one, usually male, gets called by their partner’s name, as…Mr. Judy.

another window treatment I would like to have for next year...

another window treatment I would like to have for next year…

I had not taken time to walk up the hill to the Inn at Harbour Village, but Allan did.

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

While Allan was out photographing nightlife, I and the Hornbuckles got to see Luanne and the Olde Towne crew as they zombie walked through town.

Luanne zombie walked into our garden.  Photo courtesy Jenna Lanette Austin.

Luanne zombie walked into our garden. Photo courtesy Jenna Lanette Austin.

Allan returns home...

Allan returns home…

and captures the perfect Halloween accessory.

and captures the perfect Halloween accessory.

We still had trick or treaters, including some very small and young ones, up till 8:30 when we turned out the lights. One young chap, about twelve years old and very articulate (dressed as Julius Caesar) expressed sadness that “so few houses were giving out candy.” I told him he needed to start earlier next year, as many houses had run out, and gave him five extra pieces. Tom and Judy had gone through their 400 pieces of candy by 7:40 and then closed down the scary clown. By then, Allan had goneon an emergency run to the local store, after an anxious call from me, and picked up four more bags of rather pricey candy (compared to the economy candy we had stocked up on in advance). Next year, the Hornbuckles and we will prepare for 600. We heard that on Spruce Street some households had that many.

Our attempt to keep a tally failed to be exact.

the tally sheet

the tally sheet

You can tell the difference between Allan’s neat start, divided into fives, and my chaotic scribblings. (“Ate one two three–hungry!”) By the count of the number of candies, we also had closer to 400. When the children arrive in drove after drove it is terribly hard to count them.

We made it to the party at Olde Towne only twenty minutes before it ended. My tabouli had arrived at the potluck earlier, thanks to Allan delivering it.

tabouli with hot mustard leaves and cilantro and flowers from the garden

tabouli with hot mustard leaves and cilantro and flowers from the garden

I will rely on another photo from Jenna to show the party we missed:

wild times at Oldie Townie

wild times at Oldie Townie

And then home…to finish the blog about gardening work of two days ago and to upload over 100 photos to a Facebook photo album

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19 October, 2013

We slept a little late.  We are both feeling tired after quite a few days in a row of work.  Then our first stop was to visit Kelly Frech of Blue Crab Graphics, just behind the post office, to get a t shirt for Chester’s surprise birthday party.  We picked this design, but on a t shirt of dark grey, for a fisherman turned shop/café owner.

Kelly's salmon design, shown at Saturday Market

Kelly’s salmon design, shown at Saturday Market

Having not checked the Ilwaco planters for quite some time, we did so, starting at the south end of First Avenue by the boatyard.  I am impressed with how wonderfully the cosmos are still doing there.

pretty amazing cosmos

pretty amazing cosmos

These have not been fussed with or deadheaded for weeks (or whenever it was that I last wrote about weeding the boatyard!).

port

The door of Don’s Portside Café is looking like Halloween.

Portside Café, not actually on the port

Portside Café, not actually on the port

You can see a couple of our street trees and a planter through the open door.

The planter on the corner by Don’s was the first one I did a serious clipping on today.  I didn’t like the blobby look of one section of the golden marjoram.

blobby.....and somewhat less blobby

blobby…..and somewhat less blobby

I just did not feel ready to chop all the marjoram (oregano) back.

i DID feel eager to cut all the Nepeta (catmint) back and we did.

i DID feel eager to cut all the Nepeta (catmint) back and we did. (above, before)

Just one planter has a huge amount of messy painted sage hanging on determinedly.  I am tired of it by now, but since the center plant, a handsome Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, walked away with a finger blighter, I’ll leave the salvia till the first frost.  I am too tired of it to even bother trimming the underneath brown bits since surely it will die back one of these days soon…

a big ol' mess

a big ol’ mess

I was dreading the thought of having to gather buckets and (have Allan) water the planters; fortunately, most of them were damp from nightly cool dew.  The few that did need watering got a bucket full from the Col Pacific Motel spigot, a spigot by Jennifer Hopkins CPA office, and a watering can from the sink at Olde Towne Café.  When we left Olde Towne, we switched compost buckets because we could not spoil Chester’s surprise birthday party by revealing that we would be back at 4:30!

Just to stay ahead of the work schedule for next week, we went to the port and did some weeding along Howerton.  My energy leapt when I started the enjoyable and fragrant job of trimming some silver santolina.

trimming santolina

trimming santolina, backdrop of Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies”

I could have/should have taken a photo of how well the garden on the south side of the port office is still doing but got distracted by the contrast of high tide this afternoon with the very low tide of last night.

high tide

high tide, looking west

The weather was so lovely that folk were dining on the outside deck at OleBib’s Café.

a high, mirror like surface, looking east

a high, mirror like surface, looking east

We are so fortunate to be able to live just one block from the beautiful, ever changing marina.

In the port parking lot, stacks of crab pots are appearing, the first sign that crabbing time is approaching…even though the boats may not go out till well into December.

crab pots by the storage boatyard

crab pots by the storage boatyard

A crabber could tell whose pots those are by the colour of the trim…I think.

After an hour and a half of collapse at home, in which I accomplished absolutely nothing other than wrapping Chester’s present, and during which time Allan mowed our entire lawn, we departed for Chester’s party.  I had looked up “Duck Dynasty”, one of Chester’s favourite telly shows and the party theme,  and figured that wearing my old black rubber boats and my usual flannel shirt and a red headband would be just about a good enough costume.  Camo gear isn’t part of my wardrobe.  (Another favourite show of Chester’s is The Big Bang Theory, so he is a man of diverse tastes.)

Olde Towne Trading Post Café

Olde Towne Trading Post Café

Duck Dynasty decor

Duck Dynasty decor

As often happens at parties, the table was all set up and decorated in the front room, and yet everyone gathered back closer to the kitchen!

at Olde Towne, Chester flanked by the party organizers Coral and Bob

Chester flanked by the party organizers Coral and Bob

Coral and Bob had organized the party and done all the duck themed decorating.  Years ago, we made a garden for them at their home up in Surfside (north end of the Peninsula).

Chester takes a call on the "duck phone".

Chester takes a call on the “duck phone”.

Luanne, Chester and some camo cupcakes (very tasty).

Luanne, Chester and some camo cupcakes (very tasty).

The usual cast of characters:

Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics, our garden client Cheri, Jenna and Don, Judy and Tom

Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics, our garden client Cheri, Jenna (Queen La De Da) & Don, Judy & Tom

I always find it most interesting in the Tootlepedal blog (one of my daily reads) when he posts a photo of one of his cast of  friends and neighbours.

me and my bestie Judy and her droll and witty husband Tom

me and my bestie Judy and her droll and witty husband Tom

Taking a pic of the Nisbett-Austens.

Taking a pic of the Nisbett-Austins.

Don, Joe and Jenna

Don, Joe and Jenna

The orange is a Duck Dynasty thing and so is my red headband.  I have succumbed and just ordered season one from the library.

Dusk was falling on the boatyard as we drove home (the long way round):

More boats are coming into the yard daily, it seems.

More boats are coming into the yard daily, it seems.

one more shot of cosmos looking mighty fine

one more shot of cosmos looking mighty fine

Tomorrow: a day off!  The continuing glorious weather will not be conducive to rest.

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Tuesday, 15 October, 2013

We had breakfast before work with Patt, who leaves the Peninsula soon because her dog sitting job has ended.  Signs of Halloween are appearing at Olde Towne Café.

pre Halloween at Olde Towne

pre Halloween at Olde Towne

pattWe have loved having  Patt back in town while she’s been petsitting for our friend and garden client (and real estate agent) Cheri.  She lived her for almost a year till her husband’s job took her to an inland town.  We hope she will be doing more local dogsitting  soon.  To read why Patt is  impassioned about 522, check out this article by my garden guru and namesake of my garden boat, Ann Lovejoy.

Then, on to the job:

Noon:  the hydrangeas await

Noon: the hydrangeas await

Allan's photo as he began pruning (looking south)

Allan’s photo as he began pruning (looking south)

Below:  Bill Clearman was back on the roof.

1:07 PM We think the tall fireweed marks just about the middle of the field.

1:07 PM We think the tall fireweed marks just about the middle of the field.

2:40 PM; I started to glimpse the top of Allan's hat across this group of hydrangeas.

2:40 PM; I started to glimpse the top of Allan’s hat across this group of hydrangeas.

Today, just for a change, I was mostly working at the south (middle-ish) end…To see Allan’s hat bobbing around meant we were working closer than on the previous days, as we both moved in toward the middle.

2:49: pulling a big weed clump revealed a critter!

2:49: pulling a big weed clump revealed a critter!

view

There it goes!  Just look at those cute feet!

There it goes! Just look at those cute feet!

2:56 PM: Maddy comes to visit through the hydrangea tunnels

2:56 PM: Maddy comes to visit through the hydrangea tunnels

3:29, blue on blue

3:29, blue on blue

I was so glad some clouds had rolled in because I had been way too hot earlier in the day.  It had been 68.8 degrees…and I had had to work on the north end of the field for a bit in the shade of the tall hydrangea, till the blessed clouds appeared.

3:41 PM:  You might not be able to, but I can catch a glimpse of Allan working at the end of this hydrangea tunnel....

3:41 PM: You might not be able to, but I can catch a glimpse of Allan working at the end of this hydrangea tunnel….

I did not work toward him, though, but started to prune my way up toward the house as Lisa had called out that she had donut holes and brownies.

4:40 PM: view from the deck

4:40 PM: view from the deck

All I had meant to do was get a brownie to take back outside, but somehow we ended up sitting here and sharing a lager and some chips with Lisa!

5:08 PM:  walking back around the house to return to the job

5:08 PM: walking back around the house to return to the job…contemplating future ivy pulling

I love the new view with tables and chairs (another set is round the corner.)

5:22 PM:  Maddy

5:22 PM: Maddy

Maddy spent more time with me today, I think because the field is easier to negotiate now.

5:22 PM, looking east

5:22 PM, looking east, low tide

5:34 PM....remembering to appreciate the view

5:34 PM….remembering to appreciate the view (low tide mudflats)

5:44 PM

5:44 PM

6:07 PM: still pruning hydrangeas taller than me.

6:07 PM: still pruning hydrangeas taller than me.

6:30 PM:  This mountain of debris is new today.

6:30 PM: This mountain of debris is new today.

morning and evening, another debris pile growing

morning and evening, another debris pile growing

6:31 PM:  Guest house just has hydrangeas up at the top of the field now.

6:31 PM: Guest house just has hydrangeas up at the top of the field now.

6:32:  Allan by the area he pruned in the late afternoon

6:32: Allan by the area he pruned in the late afternoon

6:32 PM:  Maddy on the green road

6:32 PM: Maddy on the green road

We hear that Ed has found an old mower that may enable him to tackle the mowing of this road, and then it will someday actually be green again.

6:33 PM:  Still to do in front of the house.

6:33 PM: Still to do in front of the house.

I have clipped some along the deck so it is not as full of tall hydrangeas as it looks!  Right now the hardest part is hauling out the huge piles of debris and staging them along the road for someone to remove.

field at end of day yesterday and at 6:23 today

field at end of day yesterday and at 6:23 today

It is very hard to tell but that line of pruned hydrangeas is moving every northward, and southward from the other side.

6:45 PM, hauling till after dark....and then home.

6:45 PM, hauling debris till after sunset….and then departure.

I am not as sore today as I was yesterday.  Maybe it is because of the beer break with Lisa!  Or perhaps because breakfast with Patt resulted in our starting half an hour later.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

The first photo that does not show what I want it to show:

many many gulls in the sky over Nora's house

many many gulls in the sky over Nora’s house

We had to work, but for a workday it was a pretty easy one.  We went to Ann’s garden just up on school hill.  Another photo that does not show what I hoped it would:

spider webs...take my word for it...

spider webs…take my word for it…

There were three or more big, perfect spider webs in the area of Ann’s garden along the fence.  I did not want to ruin the spiders’ day so I saved the weeding along there for another time.

After a couple of hours of work, we went to Olde Towne Café for a couple of hours of coffee klatsching with Judy and Tom and Patt (former Ilwaco resident who is dog, cat, and housesitting for our client Cheri).  Tom and Judy were on time while the rest of us lagged a bit, and they are the ones who got to enjoy the full band of Double J and the Boys perform.  Only two musicians were left when we got there.

music at Olde Towne

music at Olde Towne

Our coffee get together was to make up for the one we missed when the power went off on Thursday.

Olde Towne mirror

Olde Towne mirror

After two hours, we exerted enough discipline to get back to work at Ann’s and made it almost all the way around the house weeding.

Ann's hydrangea...

Ann’s hydrangea…

and the upper terrace of the back yard

and the upper terrace of the back yard

When I get a chance to divide some plants at home, I am going to bring Ann some starts:  ‘Fireworks’ golden rod and a couple of different kinds of shasta daisies.  Along the east fence in the lower garden, below the enclosed kitchen garden, is a big pruning and pulling job for Allan to do when bulb hell begins and I am sorting bulbs for three or four days.

I like Ann’s idea of hanging her sunflowers in a tree and on the fence for the birds.

sunflower

sunflower heads

sunflower heads

She and Butch would have had a good living room window view of birds feasting on these.

At home, I noticed many more orb spider webs and finally got one photo that actually shows a spider.

against the house

against the house

Our moderately expensive new this summer Honda lawn mower still will not GO properly, so Allan mowed with the old electric Husqvarna that belonged to my mum.  It takes almost an hour longer.   Despite that, I would do the mowing and would be all for the rechargeable electric mower except that it just does not cut as low as I like a lawn to be.  The problem with not having bought the gas mower locally means that, under warranty, we have to take it to Astoria for repair….a big hassle to find time for two such trips.  Allan’s research still shows that the Honda he bought SHOULD have been the best mower for the price.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A day off!  I could have slept till one, I was that tired…but the sun was out and I had garden plans.

The first thing I noticed upon going outside was the warm temperature, the second was wind.  Here’s another photo that does not show what I hoped it would:

leaves were blowing hard off the Bogsy Wood alders.

leaves were blowing hard off the Bogsy Wood alders.

The leaves were whirling the whole length of the garden.

on the lawn Allan mowed just last night

on the lawn Allan mowed just last night..

I had been inspired by the bayside garden I recently toured, whose owners had managed to clear, on their own, large wooded areas of salal.   I think I want to tackle  the salmonberry in the bogsy wood.

tatty looking salmonberry grove

tatty looking salmonberry grove

And yet, they are the first flowers for the hummingbirds in the early spring…and I can cut interesting paths through them.

a path through a grove...with a salmonberry springing back up

a path through a grove…with a salmonberry springing back up

It would be more interesting to have an assortment of shrubs.  But would be so much work.

I started cutting some canes down on the east side, then got distracted by the realization that horrible bindweed is coming through the fence from the gear shed neighbours.

bindweed crisis

bindweed crisis

After I had pulled some of the horrible vine, I realized the wind had gotten much stronger and that it would be foolish to stay under the trees.  Not only is the Danger Tree a big hazard but even the living alders have dead limbs that drop in the wind.

alder, a brittle tree

alder, a brittle tree

Danger Tree

Danger Tree

I am going to see about getting Danger Tree cut down soon.  If I have it cut, it will make far less of a mess than if it falls and its big root ball pulls up a section of garden.  Although that could create some interesting changes of elevation….Hmm…

an big limb that blew down last week

a big limb that blew down last week, one third of the way up the garden

I began to cut back the three big mixed garden beds in the back yard.  I lost my clippers, then found them, then thoroughly lost them again.

before they disappeared altogether

before they disappeared altogether

Clipperless, I started gathering in the milk crates that have been used for greenhouse shelving this summer but will soon be needed for bulb sorting.

into the garage they will go

into the garage they will go so they are good and dry for bulbs

I simply had to get back to clipping, so I got Allan’s hand clippers out of the van.  I hoped to get them put back away before he realized I had borrowed them.  (In the last two weeks, I have misplaced my blue handled clippers, my red ones, and the black handled ones and am now down to none.)

Meanwhile, Allan had tackled the forsythia between our house and Nora’s driveway.  We have to think ahead to someone maybe buying that house now that Nora is gone. We may need a path for dragging the big wheelie bin out for garbage day in case we will no longer be able to share her driveway.

forsythia before and after

forsythia before and after

That’s radical pruning, but was all my choice.  There is growth underneath that will rise up and can become a sort of hedge.  Meanwhile, the top growth still gives us some privacy.  When the lower growth gets taller, we will then cut the three remaining old trunks down.  I don’t even especially like forsythia and would probably be happiest if we could muster the strength to dig it out and plant something better.

I went back to clipping in the back garden (with Allan’s clippers!).  Smokey accompanied me throughout the day.

Smokey

Smokey

The wind had Frosty all excited and I saw him dashing back and forth in the bogsy wood.  I kept one eye on the trees and listened for cracking sounds and stayed out of the south end of the garden…most of the time.

smoke

When I noticed Smokey drinking from a frog bowl, I remembered another one way back in the woods. I did not want it to get broken by a falling branch and made a quick dash of my own to get it, feeling rather stupid.  Obviously, I survived.

I pondered, while cutting down some Shasta daisies, that garden writer Christopher Lloyd was said to be a stickler for cutting stems low enough so that one does not get stabbed by sharp old stubs when weeding the following year.

left: not good enough; right: probably good enough for Christopher Lloyd

left: not good enough; right: probably good enough for Christopher Lloyd

I think of that whenever I get into a garden bed and cut down the perennials.

Ann Lovejoy is a big believer in waiting till spring when the stems often break off easily.  I used to leave my gardens a wild tangle all winter long, following her example.  Somehow, in tidying up gardens for the cities and resorts, I’ve come to enjoy a sparser winter look.

I like to leave plants up that have a good architectural shape, and anything potentially spooky looking has to be cut down shortly before Halloween for our Corridor of Dead Plants (more on this as the month progresses).  If I cut the spooky things too soon, they might soften up.

One of my lobelia tupas is finally blooming!  I have to move it away from Geranium ‘Rozanne’ soon.

But it is sideways and rather pitiful.

It is sideways and rather pitiful.

Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ is blooming, looks wonderful, and I remembered its name.  Also wonderful.

'Chocolate' Joe Pye Weed

‘Chocolate’ Joe Pye Weed with Euphorbia in front

Throughout the garden my large and sadly unlabeled collection of hardy Fuchsias still flowers profusely.

Fuchsias

some fuchsia or other

cheerful Helenium 'Sabin's Early'

cheerful Helenium ‘Sabin’s Early’

a late dahlia

a late dahlia

A white begonia reminds me of my friend Mary F. who had to move away for health reasons (to be closer to family).  Moving to a colder clime, she gave many of her plants to Peninsula friends.  A year after being told she was near death, she is still creating beauty all around her and has cancer beaten back.

Mary's white begonia

Mary’s white begonia

The cosmos in the boat are bravely blooming even though they have been sideways since recent winds.

the good ship 'Ann Lovejoy'

the good ship ‘Ann Lovejoy’

Over the roofs, I saw a blaze of red from Larry and Robert’s tree and telephotoed it so you can see it, too.

half a block to the west!

half a block to the west!

On the kitchen garden front, I got some more beautiful spuds out of the debris pile.

such pretty potatoes

such pretty potatoes

It just takes ruching around by hand to find these healthy tubers.

There’s plenty going on in the assorted squash patch by Nora’s driveway.  I have no idea when to harvest these or what to do with them!

big and green

big and green

I fooled Judy and even myself a couple of times with a glass gourd.  Now it has a real squash next to it.

real and fake

real and fake

I grew some zucchini, which I do not like, just because of the edible tour.  This round one might be ready for Judy to harvest (and she could get some little gold tomatoes out of the greenhouse, as well).

Oh, Judy...I can't tell if this little guy is ready or not.

Oh, Judy…I can’t tell if this little guy is ready or not.

Maybe a “zucchini squash” is not really a zucchini.

Another mystery squash...Is it supposed to turn orange, or what?!?

Another mystery squash…Is it supposed to turn orange, or what?!?

a pitiful harvest of sweet and delicious corn

a pitiful harvest of sweet and delicious corn

The day’s results:  After clipping out the unattractive old stems of shasta daisies and such, and the too tall, sideways falling stems of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, there is a little more definition in the big east side bed.

results

results

I did lots of cutting of daisies, Lemon Queen, and blue globe thistle stems, and pulling of volunteer nasturtiums in the west bed.  The rather warm wind was still whipping so I had to avoid the area closer to the trees.

west bed, before

west bed, before

The red drawer was planted for the edible garden tour with some old kale seeds.  I might as well have just stuck the label in and not planted the seeds.  They turned out to be no longer viable!  I got a fall crop of kale in two out of four drawers but don’t know what to do to make it tasty other than fry it up with bacon.  That would seem to defeat the purported health benefits of the kale.

after

after

I couldn’t haul the debris to the west side debris pile because it is way back past Danger Tree.

piles of debris on west path...for when the wind stops.

looking south at piles of debris on west path…for when the wind stops.

The new debris pile is almost all the way to the south end of the fence.

through a west gate: the autumn garden

through a west gate: the autumn garden

My latest plan is to put the Gearhart Garden tour inspired scree garden to the right, next to the garden boat.  Or maybe a pond!  But then where will the scree garden go?  Such a dilemma.

I stopped before dark.  The wind was getting pretty annoying.  I got Allan’s clippers back into the van and I don’t think he realized I used them.  The truth will come out tomorrow when I have to use his back-up clippers for work.

south window view

south window view

Allan does his own thing on days off, which today had something to do with the lawnmower being drained, and the hood of the van being open while he did something about the engine, and some sawing noises, and the putting up of the Halloween lights!

spider lights

spider lights

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Friday, September 27, 2013

With much rain predicted, I was sure we could get the entire day off.  I had various computer projects in mind, mainly sorting out and deleting some of the 16,000 plus photos I’ve taken since my old computer crashed last February.

I walked down to Olde Towne in the wind while Allan continued to snooze.

strawberry waffle

strawberry waffle

He joined me after awhile because I had gotten thoroughly soaked by sideways rain and buffeted by wind on the way to breakfast.  While he took the opportunity to go to a shop in Seaview to have new shocks installed in our van, I got a ride home from Queen La De Da and told myself I would put ten things away before I booted up the computer.  After maybe thirty things had been properly dealt with, I proceeded to sort cerinthe seeds that I had collected over the summer.

Cerinthe chaff

Cerinthe chaff

Out of that pile of chaff (in a bowl made by my friend Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery), I got over 150 seeds.

Cerinthe seeds

Cerinthe seeds

They are large and each plant produces so many that I am amazed at how expensive a packet of Cerinthe major purpurascens seeds is.

Allan returned from his errands and told me that, as the rain and wind had slowed, he had seen the Port of Ilwaco crew out removing (with a backhoe) some of the tall ornamental grasses we had tagged earlier in the week.  We waited long enough to give the crew a head start and then went out…leaving the cats snoozing.

Smokey and Mary

Smokey and Mary

The crew had done a wonderful job of tidying up after themselves after removing grasses to the north of the old Port Bistro building.

where once were grasses

where once were grasses

We had just a bit of cleaning up to do so we also clipped the big, woody old lavenders.  We may replace them next spring.

Two more tagged by the much missed old Port Bistro café

before (Sept 25)

after

after

I am a big fan of ornamental grasses; the problem with those is that they blocked the oncoming traffic sightline of people leaving the nearby parking lots.

Just to the west in the next curbside bed, the removal of another large Miscanthus had pulled the root mass of a Ceanothus in a way that reminded me of the ruching up of a rug.

root mass out of place

root mass out of place

Allan managed to get it back where it should be with the pick, and I did some pruning on the Ceanothus and pulled as much soil as possible into the hole where the grass used to be.   We’ll get more soil but we want to wait till the removal of the rest of the tagged plants because we will have more holes to level off.

by the tuna club

by the tuna club…I’ll plant something smaller in this spot.

At home, the cats were still snoozing but Mary welcomed some attention.

waking up

waking up

At five PM we walked three blocks down to the museum for opening night of “Charles Fitzpatrick: Pen & Photo”.  On the way, I admired a stunning gazania in Judy’s garden.

Gazania

Gazania

The rain held off for our walk to the museum, and the snacks were excellent.

refreshments

refreshments

Peninsulites examine the photos.

Peninsulites examine the photos.

One panel of photos was especially interesting to me as it showed a lot of old hotels, including the Grandview Lodge…AKA The Sou’wester.

photos

enlarged

enlarged

Back in those days, the beach came right up to J Place in Seaview and was at the Sou’wester’s front door.  Now it is half a mile to the west because of dune accretion.

Every November, the museum has a lively auction of small pieces created by local artists and craftspeople.  The display was up for preview and I now know which ones I am going to bid on.

preview of 6x6 art auction

preview of 6×6 art auction

Unfortunately, so do a number of other people.

art collectors plotting

art collectors plotting

We were able to walk home without being rained on.

heading home past Larry and Robert's garden boat, with Judy and Tom's house in the background

heading home past Larry and Robert’s garden boat, with Judy and Tom’s house in the background

Soon after we were cozily indoors, the rain returned with force and remained for most of the next two days.  As it was only 6 PM, I had a good head start on writing the blog post about the wonderful bayside garden I had seen the day before.  What with getting the photos in the right order and side distractions such as messages from friends, it took four hours to complete the entry after all.

.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

A beautiful day was the last sort of day I expected.  The forecast had called for rain, some wind, thunderstorms, and small hail.  I expected to sleep and then get caught up on the computer.  Instead, I found myself walking down to the Saturday Market at ten fifteen!

evidence of yesterday's rain

evidence of yesterday’s rain

Just as I took the above photo two houses east of ours, I saw Devery and Tuffy coming toward me on their way to the market, so we walked down together.

It was a social occasion for Tuffy.

It was a social occasion for Tuffy.

Mr. TuffMan

Mr. TuffMan

Devery bought some delicious produce from De Asis.  The sight of okra took her back to her childhood on Saint Kitt’s Island.

at De Asis Produce

at De Asis Produce

Then we parted ways as I went on through the length of the market to take more photos for the Discover Ilwaco page.

More produce from De Asis Farm:

peppers

peppers hot

and sweet

and sweet

The market had about half as many booths as usual.  I bought a hoodie from Blue Crab Graphics…a purple zippered one with Kelly’s design one of our lighthouses on it.  Kelly told me that she had set up in the rain and many vendors had not come.  They would be missing a beautiful day.

new hoodie!

new hoodie!

Further on, the English Nursery booth

Further on, the English Nursery booth

reflective pool by the Shoalwater Cove booth

“reflective pool” by the Shoalwater Cove booth

The pedestrian road called Waterfront Way, which is the market promenade on Saturdays, has a slope toward the middle which provides good reflections after rain.

another booth reflected

another booth reflected

The basket from The Basket Case Greenhouse still looks wonderful in front of the Don Nisbett Art Gallery.  Don waters it frequently and lavishly.

Don's basket

Don’s basket

The ones by the Port Office are good, too, although not as lavishly trailing without Don’s extra watering.

Port Office

Port Office

It’s just as well they don’t trail more or they would hide our garden underneath.  (Some of the garden plants also came from The Basket Case:  Eryngiums, Agastaches, Santolinas, Lavenders, Nepeta, and Cosmos and Salvia Viridis from The Planter Box.)

At the Pink Poppy Bakery booth, Madeline was selling some treats to Jim and Jet Neva.  Jim, great friend of port landscaping, may have retired but is still doing a lot for the port.  He was there to put up the second warning flag for tomorrow’s weather (two red triangle flags equal a gale with winds of 39-54 mph).

Jim and Jet at Pink Poppy Bakery

Jim and Jet at Pink Poppy Bakery

flowers from Pink Poppy Farm

flowers from Pink Poppy Farm

I got two Guinness chocolate cupcakes and some shortbread to share with Allan later, then  checked out the westernmost curbside garden on Howerton.

The business for sale is the Imperial Schooner Restaurant.

The business for sale is the Imperial Schooner Restaurant.

And walked past the boatyard…

boatyard

And on up First Avenue, checking the city planters along the way.

the colourful Portside Café

the colourful Portside Café

My destination was a late breakfast at Olde Towne.  Their window display foretells the imminent arrival of autumn.

at Olde Towne

at Olde Towne

In the way of small towns, I ended up having my meal with our client Ann and local masseuse and baker Diane.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Allan had woken up an hour later than me (lucky to get good sleep!) and gone to the market himself, where he met our friend Donna, her new puppy, Blue, and…some pirates.

Little Blue!

Little Blue!

Donna and the pirates.

Donna and the pirates.

This one looks familiar.

This one looks familiar.

I am sure Queen La De Da had something to do with all this because it was some sort of significant pirate day.  (Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’ll bet.)

While sitting at Olde Towne,  I got a text from Donna that she had Blue over at Judy and Tom’s house.  I had finished my breakfast panini, gulped my coffee, and excused myself in haste so I could hustle home and meet the little pup.

Donna, Blue, and Tom

Donna, Blue, and Tom

Tiny little Blue looked lost in the lawn, which Tom had been unable to mow as often as usual due to weather.

Baby Blue

Baby Blue

After a long visit, during which Allan ambled down to join us (having just returned from the market), I harvested a few things from the garden.  I knew the pole of purple beans in the garden boat would most likely tip over in the wind.

long purple beans

long purple beans

Inspired by the meal yesterday at Himani Indian Cuisine, Allan wanted to make raita.  Maybe because I had found and emailed him a recipe.  So cilantro and mint and a cucumber were harvested for that.  And tomatoes for me and Judy.

The garden looked unkempt but I took most of the afternoon trying to muster the energy to weed three small sections.

sunflowers by the east fence

sunflowers by the east fence

Allan pointed out that when I had sent him out to retrieve Sheila’s hanging vase from  the shed wall after dark the previous evening,  I had neglected to tell him that the photo that reminded me of the vase also showed a big spider.  He noticed the spider when reading the blog later that night!

and the beautiful hanger made by Sheila (New Leaf Plants and Pottery)

vase from New Leaf Pottery…with spider

In the dark, he had gotten tangled up in the web.  Today, the spider was rebuilding.

determination

determination

I miss the vase but it cannot be up there during autumn winds.

A walk around the garden was in order just in case the predicted wind was terribly bad.

Aconitum in back garden

Aconitum in back garden

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

a very nice daylily

a very nice daylily

heavily flowering Fuchsias everywhere

profusely flowering Fuchsias everywhere

From the south end of the garden, I could see the two flags now flying over the port..

gale warning

gale warning

But we had only the slightest breeze and the evening was warm.

late afternoon light

late afternoon light, looking north from the bogsy wood

My usual garden companions had followed me all around.

Smokey

Smokey

(You can see how the back lawn is mostly creeping buttercup.)

Mary

Mary

She's Smokey's mom.

She’s Smokey’s mom.

Suddenly it seemed essential to have the first and possibly last campfire of the season!  I had checked last month with two VIFs (very important local firefighters) and learned that despite a county burn ban it was ok to have a small campfire in one’s own town garden.  Work, and blogging in the evening, had seemed to get in the way of having a fire until now.

At first the wood was steamy from yesterday’s rain.

steamy

steamy

But then it caught very nicely and we had hot dogs and smores for dinner.

a real campfire

a real campfire

Gunnera by the bogsy wood

Gunnera by the bogsy wood

Smokey thought the fire was a great idea.

my shoulder cat

my shoulder cat

During our fire time, not a breath of wind stirred the danger tree almost right overhead.  By next year’s campfire season, we will have dealt with this tree, if the storms don’t do it for us.  Then we won’t have to wait for completely windless nights, as they are rare here.

a quiet danger tree

a quiet danger tree

I collected some kindling from the bogsy wood.

I collected some kindling from the bogsy wood.

And we shared one tall beer featuring Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen on the bottle.

And we shared one tall beer featuring Deadliest Catch’s Sig Hansen on the bottle.

I had sent last minute messages to Kelly and to Jenna before our spontaneous campfire.  Jenna did not get the message til the next day, and Kelly had to do something else.  We knew Judy and Tom were in for the evening, so it was just me and Allan and the cats…for most of the evening.

no company!

no company!

Light fades behind the alder grove.

Light fades behind the alder grove.

I had left two of the gates open in case Jenna and Don or Kelly showed up.  When it was good and dark and we were letting the fire die down, I looked over Allan’s shoulder and within three feet behind him stood a deer.  I just said “Oh my god!” while I considered whether or not a photo would capture the event and decided that the flash would make everything look too harsh.  “What, WHAT?” Allan exclaimed; “Don’t just say “Oh my GOD! What is it!?”  He later asked me if I had seen any horror movies lately.  I finally told him what was RIGHT behind him and stood up, and the deer scurried away down one of the paths.  A keystone cops in the dark chase ensued with two humans, two flashlights, two open gates and a deer that kept going round and round the dark paths.  We finally got it herded out the side gate to Nora’s driveway, and Allan made a circuit of the yard to make sure the deer had not brought a buddy.

The whole experience, including the deer’s visit, was so enjoyable I wish that we had done it more often.  Now we can only hope for a nice October evening with no wind (because of Danger Tree) to have one more campfire with company.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

I was so sure that we were going to get a rain day off that I was completely flummoxed when Monday was nice enough for working.  (We do work in rain, but if we don’t have to, we don’t!)   At first I could not even figure out where to go, but then I remembered a pruning project at The Anchorage Cottages.

I forgot to take a before...so here is a during.

I forgot to take a before…so here is a during.

I pruned the Viburnum in the center courtyard with a bit of pruning of the Ceanothus as well.  I actually picked up a handful of old leaves from under the Viburnum to see if the annoying odor that comes from the Viburnum when wet emanates from the old leaves.  NOPE.  Just from the plant in general, apparently!

after

after

Allan’s project was to tackle the sweet woodruff in a shady north wall border.

before and after

before and after

All summer long a broken paver in this area has bugged me.  A sudden tiny brainstorm occurred today:

install the paver as a half circle!  leaving off the broken piece.

install the paver as a half circle! leaving off the broken piece.

Allan put the river rock in there and it helps make it look nicer.

I am not against all groundcovers, just certain ones (sweet woodruff and the horrible aegepodium, to name two.)  On the other side the north wall garden, I quite like the big patches of Geranium macrorrhizum.

a good groundcover, in my opinion

a good groundcover, in my opinion

By the office, Allan removed several clumps of Stella D’Oro daylilies.  I’ve gone off them, too!  Poor plants…

will put in something much better

will put in something much better

Next project here will be to mulch with cow fiber, which must be done on a Monday just to be sure any stink is gone by the weekend.   I don’t think cow fiber has any bad odor but someone might be able to smell faint eau de poo.

We dropped the debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply.  Their U-Pick Dahlia garden has some lovely blooms.

dahlias and oyster shells

dahlias and oyster shells

To fill out the day, I remembered the beach strawberry removal project at the courtyard garden beds at Golden Sands Assisted Living.

Now that the sprinklers are working, we can really begin to address the weeding.  The strawberries can stay outside the landscape timbers.  Inside, they get up in the business of the other plants and have to go away.

progress in SW quadrant

progress in SW quadrant

horrible NW quadrant weeding must wait till next week as we ran out of daylight.

horrible NW quadrant weeding must wait till next week as we ran out of daylight.

Throughout the beds we have to rogue out all the tiny little scabiosa seedlings or they will take over.

haze of self sown seedlings

haze of self sown seedlings

One more session of weeding and maybe we will be ready for more mulch at Golden Sands!

I am pleased to report that outside the quadrants, the roses that were so dry and unhappy are leafing out and blooming thanks to the repaired sprinkler system (fixed by Raymond Millner from The Planter Box).

a much happier rose

a much happier rose

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We had another slow start due to weather but at least I knew where we were going.   The first job was Mayor Mike’s  weeding.

Schizostylis at Mike's garden

Schizostylis at Mike’s garden

Next, a compost bucket switch at Olde Towne Trading Post Café where an old birdhouse awaits the right buyer.

very nice

very nice

Some gardens down at the Port got weeded next.  I am very pleased with how well these are holding up and how relatively low maintenance they have proved to be.

Port office, south side

Port office, south side

Such a beautiful view we see when we turn from the garden and look at the water.

beautiful clouds over the marina

beautiful clouds over the marina

We deadheaded at The Depot Restaurant and then nipped round the corner and did a little work at Crank’s Roost.   I know, I said we had made our last visit there, and made a big dramatic goodbye post, and then another goodbye post, but it still needs the occasional deadheading!   When the new owners totally take over, we will be done.  (Nothing against them, but we are sentimental about liking the previous/current owner and we can’t imagine the job without her!)  It is very possible the new owners will do their own gardening.

Crank's Roost daisies, before..

Crank’s Roost daisies, before..

and after deadheading

and after deadheading

For some reason, this cute Crank’s Roost chair looks like a little fairy chair, but I am sure it is full sized!  Or is it?

a sit spot

a sit spot

After Crank’s we went to the Ilwaco boatyard to work till sunset.  The one long section, south of the gate, that we had not finished the other day looked good until one got close up and saw all the pesky creeping sorrel.

creeping sorrel

creeping sorrel at ground level…  the leaves taste like lemon!

While we were working, I saw a man walking up the block toward us stopping to photograph many plants.  He introduced himself as a visitor from a town near Purdy, here to go fishing, a gardener and former chef.  We had an enjoyable conversation about plants and I hope he will find this blog and send us a Facebook friend request.

boatyard garden, end of day

boatyard garden, end of day

Working late has its benefits as we got to see a moonrise and some glowing pre-sunset clouds.

moonrise over Jessie's Fish Co

moonrise over Jessie’s Fish Co

clouds over Baker Bay

clouds over Baker Bay

and more glowing clouds over the boatyard

and more glowing clouds over the boatyard

It promised to be quite a sunset, but we were tired so went home, went indoors, and I have to admit I forgot to even look out the window later to see the pinkest time of the sky!

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