Posts Tagged ‘our garden’

Friday, 15 July 2017

I had done something unpleasant to my right heel toward the end of yesterday’s work day; it even kept me awake for awhile during the night.  Why??? Just before a weekend of touring gardens!  However, on Friday I wanted to do some more weeding because some informal touring of our garden was sure to take place.

Before I began, we hosted the first garden tour of our three day weekend; Dan from the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum came by.


Like most people, he had assumed the front garden was all there was, and had no idea the lot goes over 200 feet back to the meander line.

After walking all round the garden and talking about the history of how it used to be waterfront before the port expanded by filling and building two blocks south, I embarked upon my plan of thorough weeding.


weeded the new-ish bogsy wood hillock garden, in the area that was once riverfront beach.


then managed to snake enough hose to get a sprinkler set up out there

I forgot after awhile to try to take it easy and instead succumbed to the sudden impulse of a rather intense project: Digging huge flopsy clumps of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ out of what used to be a debris pile, to make room for more variety.


after: lots fewer sedums, lots more room for what is there to grow and breathe.

All afternoon I worked on this, forgetting to wear my knee brace because all I had intended to do was the easy task of pulling dwarf fireweed.  This was not the wisest lead up to a garden tour weekend.

I planted four ladies in waiting, including Chelone obliqua ‘Tiny Tortuga’ and Tricyrtis formosana ‘Samurai’, all acquired at the Basket Case Greenhouse.


Tricyrtis formosana ‘Samurai’

In the late afternoon, Devery came from next door to pick some strawberries.  I had finished my projects and was able to sit with her on the patio for a spell.


Devery on the good ship Ann Lovejoy, sailing into Strawberry Land.


a good harvest


on the patio: succulents in an old hibachi (Allan’s photo)

At 7, Allan and I joined seven friends for a gardener’s dinner at the Cove Restaurant: Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening), Todd Wiegardt (Willapa Gardening), Debbie Teashon (rainyside.com and author of Gardening for the Homebrewer), Jeanne (Portland gardener), Ann Amato-Zorich (Spiffy Seeds and the Amateur Bot-ann-ist), and Evan Bean (former co worker with Todd at Plant Delights, now with plantlust.com).  Much plant talk ensued.


in the foyer (Allan’s photo)


Ann appreciating (Allan’s photo)


Ann, looking droll, and Evan (Allan’s photo)


Ann’s fish and no chips


Todd, me, Debbie (photographing Allan), Melissa (hidden), Dave, Jeanne, Ann, Evan


plant thoughts with Evan and Todd


The kitchen produced a special dessert of 9 small portions of strawberry rhubarb cake.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

We were up oh so early for us, although not as early as we would have if Patti J had come with us as we had all sort of planned.  (She was having company and could not take such a long day away after all.)  By 9:15, Allan and I were on the road to Menlo, Washington, to attend the Master Gardeners of Grays Harbor and Pacific County garden tour.  It moves around each year.  Last year’s tour in Aberdeen was one of the best I’d seen, and I had been counting the weeks and days till this one.  Knee brace, cane, and the fluffiest of fluffy socks for my sore heel would get me through the day of walking.  A bandaid on my right trigger finger would (mostly) keep me from going ouch each time I took a photo (because a thin rugosa rose thorn was sitting in my finger just in the spot where I click on the camera).

Because we left 15 minutes later than I had hoped, we took the dreaded (just by me) Willapa Curves rather than the less harrowing (to me) longer route through Naselle.




Low tide, scenic view, and ultra squiggly narrow road


Possibly to most people, it does not seem extra narrow.


At least going north, we are on the inside!


So many curves

After ten minutes of that, I was relieved to be on the straight, long road through woods to South Bend and Raymond and on to the much anticipated garden tour.

Join us for the next batch of posts for the Menlo tour, followed by a bonus tour of a South Bend secret garden, and then a Sunday of touring six gardens with friends on the Long Beach Peninsula.

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Saturday, 1 July 2017


Frosty, with Calvin far below.


Calvin enters at stage right.

Just for Skooter fans:  He loves to get in the bathtub and lick drips from the faucet.

I was happy that it’s now only two weeks until the garden tour that I’m so looking forward to.


After an early afternoon walk through the Saturday Market, and a revitalizing slice of chocolate marble cake from Pink Poppy Bakery, I tackled the stink-mint corner.  By which I mean the north east corner of the front garden, in which an annoyingly scented mint-like weed, with square stems and small pink flowers, whose name I learned and then forgot, is rampant.





I also planted the dahlias that Todd had dropped off, mostly in the garden boat.


The smallest one is shaggy pink Park Princess, which I had years ago in Seattle and loved.


in the back garden, after watering.  Louisiana iris…


in the bogsy woods: Has that alder always leaned so much?


found some old photos.  Yes…maybe. (January 2012)

A stick of a very expensive (for me anyway) tree, which has sat bare since a hot day last summer when every leaf fell of its brand newness in my garden, has new foliage emerging!  Good for me about procrastinating for a year on pulling it out.


Albizia ‘Summer Chocolate’ might revive.


In the evening, I had to leave the fragrance of Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’ to attend the fireworks display at the port.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

my day

Midmorning was grey with a strong, cold wind whipping through the garden.  I took the opportunity to finish my book.


a favourite author of mine

This passage, about Nick, a British actor, being asked to win over a stage actor, amused me because I was once married to a Leedsman.  He could put on a posh BBC accent that worked wonders when dealing with any problem over the phone.


Actor Nick is going to play the film role of a beloved children’s book author and illustrator who recently died.  I liked this description of the author/artist’s home:


This is the second time in recent weeks that I have read a reference to the “stranger comes to town” classic plotline.


I finished the book.  I am in trouble because many books arrived from the library and reading time is scarce in summer.  (It would be less scarce if I stopped blogging.  But I love blogging.)


to read

The weather had warmed up and the garden called.


Leaves brought down by wind made it look like autumn instead of July.


Cats were waiting.


into the back garden


My Smokey loves a gardening day.  Or a reading day.


His fur is exceptionally plush and soft.

Without any warning to myself, I suddenly decided it was time to start edging the garden.





Allan’s day

Allan watered at the Ilwaco Community Building for the first time this year.






poppies that had dried up….


after a tad bit of editing

Black Lake

Allan’s reward for working on Sunday was a sail around Black Lake with his “yacht club” boat..


at the Black Lake yacht club




lots of other boaters

A very rude man yelled at Allan to “delete that photo” when his family’s boat was included in a scenic shot.  Allan had been pleased to see that the boat was a Hobie, like his own that he takes on fancier boating trips.  The man was so aggressive that Allan went along with it.  I wouldn’t have; I’d have paddled or sailed away top speed because I am tremendously opposed to being told what to do.  (Thus: a lifetime of self employment.)  The rather entertaining part of the exchange was that Allan told the rude and awful man that he takes photos of the lake scenes for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  “Where’s Ilwaco?” said Mr. Threats and Bluster.  “You’re in it,” said Allan, but Mr. Rudeness seemed unable to understand even that much.

By the way, Mr. Horrible Man from Kennewick, it is perfectly legal to take photos of you in your boat when you have plopped yourself into the middle of a public park.



dock picnic


fog rolling in



The wind had been tremendously noisy and irksome back home in the garden, so it was good that a sailor got some use from it.  When he returned home, he kindly dumped my three wheelbarrows of sod.


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Friday, 16 June 2017

Finally, the four days I had so been looking forward to had arrived.  Unfortunately, Friday was not entirely a day off, although the work tasks were small ones.  (Most of Allan’s rather different weekend will follow in tomorrow’s post.)

Longtime readers may notice we are not going to Hardy Plant Study Weekend this year.  That’s because it is in Canada.  Too far to go in gardening season. I do miss the touring of many gardens. 


I was hoping to get at least two done of the home goals on the work board.


This is the rather amazing amount of rain we’d had.


J’s house reflected.

At the J’s, I placed two Pistachio hydrangeas, dug up the two pitiful ones, and left the planting for Allan.


The less sad of the two pitifuls can try out life behind the birdbath.


Allan’s photo


more stupid landscape fabric removed (Allan’s photo)


hydrangeas spaced out for more room


a snail hoping for a ride

Allan also kindly did some weeding next door at Devery’s; some grasses were daunting her.





He took a tired old hebe out of his own garden:



and replaced it with a new one.

I had gotten inspired by a photo on the Tootlepedal blog to want a lattice piece to make a vine go over the front porch entry.  Allan found some wire that did just the trick. The vine in question dies back in fall so this wire may come in handy for Halloween decor.


Allan’s photo.  Vine is Lamprocapnos scandens (yellow bleeding heart vine)

While running errands, he also added two Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ to our barrel planter at The Depot Restaurant (easier in afternoon than in the evening when the parking lot is full). There he found a monster bindweed that we had missed.



At home, I applied some blood meal to certain plants, just to give them a boost.  This attracted attention from next door.



our handsome neighbour, Rudder

The storm had rearranged the old rose by the back garden entrance. Much clipping ensued.


Later, Devery next door got the roses.

You may recall that the Ladies in Waiting area was pretty full again this week. I seriously applied myself to planting in the afternoon and early evening, with a big anxious push to get done at the very end.


all planted! every last one!


I put my tradescantia, called Sweet Kate, not Blue and Gold, in a hanging basket to see how long it takes snails to find it.  


Alliums and Geum (Allan’s photo)

At the very last bit of time at home, I got the Great Wall of China reinstalled, with Allan’s help on the highest plate.


The last minute planting rush was because we needed to leave early for our North Beach Garden Gang dinner in order to plant a few things at the port on the way.


Allan plants an asclepias in the drive-over garden by the port.


We felt super special to drive down Waterfront Way (not a driving road except for port workers).


We filled in some of the storm gaps with cosmos at the port office garden, and added stakes to protect them, I hope, when the baskets get re-hung.


south of the port office (Allan’s photo)

On the way to dinner, I was pleased to see that the baskets in Long Beach, after their storm pummeling, are already looking better.  So I no longer have to worry about 35 mph storms and hanging baskets.


taken on the move


a lovely sight which I messaged to Basket Case Roxanne

The Cove Restaurant

Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) had actually worked through the storm in The Oysterville Garden.  Their fortitude amazes me.


plant talk


our weekly reward (Allan’s photo)


Caesar salad




fish and chips




the view

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Allan and the van were gone when I got up; I had no idea where.  Boating?  Tomorrow’s post will tell.

With low energy, my curse of the beginning of every weekend, I got some but not all weeding done in the front garden.  It had been the first to get weeded last time so was the weediest now.


Smokey taking refreshment

Three of the cats spent most of the afternoon indoors.






Calvin caught just about to yawn


front garden before




Skooter and Rosa ‘Jude the Obscure’


Jude the Obscure


part of the driveway garden, before


Skooter supervising

Our Kathleen dropped by so I could give her money to maybe get Allan and I tickets at Elixir Coffee in South Bend for the upcoming garden tour.  On Saturday, it was exactly four weeks away; I am counting the days.  When there is something I want very much to see, I always fear something going wrong.  Having tickets in advance would help my anxiety. Kathleen and I had a good long natter because I planned to weed till 8 PM.  It felt good to sit and talk.


the tour that I am eagerly anticipating

I had begun to weed again when rain came…just as predicted.  I had not taken the forecast seriously.


driveway garden, after


more driveway garden, weeded


Drenched, I got this far and stopped.




Skooter amusing himself with a water drip.

I did not mind at all changing into dry clothes and reading some chapters of this excellent (and long) novel for awhile.


It is about a young woman whose friend is shot by the police, unfortunately a current subject in the news here in the USA….always.

Sunday, 18 June 2017


rain gauge


another rain gauge


Calvin.  The board across the cat door is to make it smaller in order to keep raccoons out.


While weeding the front garden, I woke someone from a nap.

With the front garden mostly done, I got started on the back.  Except for the ever rampant dwarf fireweed, it was not as weedy.  The day had turned into fine weather (perhaps a bit too warm!) and I was glad for evening cloud cover. We were finally able to have the first campfire of 2017.


Rose ‘Radway Sunrise’


Mom’s “red velvet” rose and a tail


Allium albopilosum under threat of being swallowed by Geranium ‘Rozanne’


Three cats lead the way to get the picnic basket from the kitchen.


Allan at the woodpile


fog over the port, beyond the garden


Allan’s photo


bellows to get wet wood started (Allan’s photo)







roasting corn (Allan’s photo)


It came out perfect!


A defunct garden bench cooks the first campfire dinner of the year.

In the dark, we could hear foghorns on the river.  It was idyllic, but for one thing: The city has made the street light on the other side of our house a bright white one.


It used to be a subtle reddish amber.  Drat.  I will have to sit with my back to it for campfires because it GLARES.  If only I could plant an instant tall tree!

Monday, 19 June 2017

We continued the rare luxury of a four day weekend.  This might not occur again till late July, if then.  Allan went boating while I continued weeding the back garden.


a box of hardy begonias


I wanted to switch tasks to weeding the swale, but it was too windy to work under the trees.


Pulling swale buttercups would make a big difference quickly.


Stipa gigantea


Skooter using my hat as a pillow


He slept here all day.


a pretty rose


There are still areas of small dwarf fireweed.


Let’s look at this instead.


This formerly fireweed swathe is much better now.


Pleased to see my Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ coming back from the dead.


rambling roses on the arbor (Maxine’s rose, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Mermaid)


from Friday: Maxine’s rose is a hit with bees.  (Allan’s photo)

I certainly did not weed as well as I would have for a client.  However, I declare the second weeding done.  The next go round will be a GOOD weeding.  I kind of cheated by making the front garden’s difficult northeast corner a separate project.  I call it the Stink Mint corner because of a smelly-foliaged weed. And the work list got longer because of a phone call today.



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Saturday, 3 June 2017

With Allan gone on his trail clean up (a longstanding committment), I did not go to the Rally for Truth in Astoria.  I don’t like asking for a ride and I don’t like inflicting my bridge phobia on anyone but Allan.  I saw later that the rally had attracted a good crowd (I heard there were about fifty people).  A couple of photos from the local Indivisible group:

What interests me especially about the above sign is that I had sort of gleaned that we were just supposed to have signs on the topic of truth.  I did not think my “Love our Planet” sign would be acceptable for the theme of the rally and did not have time to think about making a new one.  Turns out it would have been fine; had I known that, I might have tried for a ride.  In a big vehicle, though; it’s a big sign.

I’d like to say I was there in spirit.  Actually, I was so exhausted I slept till a shockingly late hour, and then I read the news for awhile.

The cats were no more energetic than me.

I looked at the path over Devery’s meadow and thought about going to the Saturday Market.

The market is just on the other side of those buildings two blocks away.

But I did not go.  I mustered up enthusiasm for putting my Pink Marshmallow fuchsias into prettier hanging baskets.

I don’t much like the faux terracotta look (right).

I looked around the garden a bit, seeking some energy.

pretty daylily

before: The west side garden was my goal for the day.

before, further along

and further along

south end, west side

Danger Tree garden, also a mess

north end of the west side garden, where I left off unfinished last week.

a beautiful Siberian iris

Sibirian iris take up a huge space for a short period of bloom.

Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’ with half nice new foliage and half old tatty foliage.

a grass which I will ask Allan to dig for me.

Good and bad: Distressed and dying little conifer, and a big bud on one of the peonies given me by Mary Beth

My legs hurt just walking around.  Three ibuprofen later, I was back out with my garden tools, at the disgracefully late start time of 4 PM.

realized willow needed pruning back


Through the fence, the buttercups glowed like sunshine in the meadow.

On my side, the buttercups were huge.

Three and a half hours later (I’ll repeat some befores):





Getting the buttercups out of this corner was a real pleasure.

I even got into Danger Tree bed but at 7 PM I walked away from a great big mess of weeds, having hit the wall.

Fortunately, we have a three day weekend.

I had a revelation that the center of Danger Tree bed is open.  Something small with gold leaves died, I think.  I need to move the paperbark maple into that spot so its bark shows.  I remembered Todd telling me that at Plant Delights, they moved large plants in the middle of summer heat and the plants survived with plenty of water for days after.  I decided to risk it tomorrow.

Skooter wanted a campfire. There was too much wind.

Salvia africana-lutea with brown flowers that smell like root beer.

evening light on the front garden

I hoped that on Sunday and Monday, I would manage to get outside before late afternoon.


I finished the autobiography of Lee Smith, a writer of Southern novels that I especially like.  Years ago, I did not think I wanted to read novels about the South.  One evening in 1988 when I was in Cincinnati with my then spouse, visiting his friend who was having a play (something about moonshine and coal black nights) produced by the city theatre, I picked up a Lee Smith novel on Tom Atkinson’s recommendation, to be polite, because we were his guests.  It was probably Cakewalk.  I then read all of her books in short order and have continued to read each new one.

I always pay attention to what writers say about death.  I looked up the lyrics to this song:

I love the line below, “These ladies were a way I’d never be.”

This passage about writing started me thinking about what it was like to move to Ilwaco (“a stranger comes to town”):

Lee Smith recommends the writer Lou Crabtree.  I especially liked what Lou had to say about being a night owl:

Lou Crabtree

Ms. Crabtree had some comforting thoughts about death:

After Lou’s death:

What Lee Smith thinks about age and wisdom:

Dimestore is short, delightful, moving.  I am following it with The Deepest Roots, a book which I expected to be a breezy memoir about country life on Bainbridge Island.  It turned out be densely packed with information about community, history, Native American and Filipino food, the history of local tribes and the food they ate, farming on Bainbridge and the internment of Japanese farmers in WWII, how pollution has affected being able to live off of local seafood…and that is just chapter one.  It is beautifully written and will be a slow read for summertime. On the day that this post publishes (June 10), the author will be speaking at Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco between 5:30 and 7:00.



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Monday, 29 May 2017

Just as I was having my, um, breakfast (more like a very late brunch), I found a text from J9 asking if she could bring a friend to see the garden, someone who would not need “a tour”.  Because I had two friends coming at four, I said we would have to be mowing (Allan) and planting (me) during said visit because I still did not have my three days of modest garden goals completed.  Thus, there is not photo to record J9 and her friend walking through the garden.  Neither Allan nor I had organized having a camera in a pocket till after the lawn was mowed and the last of the at home annuals…the painted sage…were in the ground.

Allan tore off to water the Ilwaco planters in order to be home before Yudy and John arrived.


watering the Ilwaco post office garden


What is that weed? (lower right)..plus my Eryngium x Zabelli ‘Neptune’s Gold’

4 PM:  Yudy and John arrived as planned.  We had met when their small, artistic garden was on the Edible Garden tour and then recently reconnected through Indivisible and the political postcard parties.

I showed them some plants I had dug up to share with a local new gardener.



John was taken with the soft, tall, native fern and we gave him this one that had volunteered under the water boxes bench.


I think Allan took this photo to show the nicely mown lawn and the weeded boat garden.

I love the way the elephant garlic looks like tall grasses next to the boat.


Yudy noticed the bright thorns on Rosa ptercantha (which also has its small white roses now).


Smokey keeping just in front of Yudy.


John heads into the bogsy woods.


Skooter on the bridge.


buttercups looking rather charming


Maybe there is nothing wrong with a haze of yellow buttercups in the right place.


This viburnum got everyone’s attention.


Smokey keeping tabs on us.


John and Yudy’s dog, Lily, had to wait; she would have chased the cats.  (Allan’s photo)

After an excellent walkabout and plans for a campfire later in the summer (with a promise of Yudy’s ukelele!), I got back to my garden tasks.


I was disappointed in myself that I had not finished weeding this smallish area….


even though it did look better than on Saturday.

I went on with the planting of sunflower and some assorted mustard seeds.

While planting sunflower seeds in the middle of the west bed, I found a tragedy.  My Ghislane de Feligonde rose is dying.


one big stem all wilty and the other all dried up: WHYYYY?


the big old trunk…It was an own-root rose. Maybe there is still a piece in my old garden that I could take cuttings from.

I love this rose, and have had it for years, after the man who ran an antique rose nursery near Snohomish said to me “Buy this one.”  I moved it from Seattle to the Sou’wester to Shakti Cove to my house behind the boatyard to hear and it was doing well.  It had gotten pushed around by a vigorous Fuchsia magellanica and I had removed the fuchsia to give it more space.  It looked fine last time I saw it.  (And later, googling proved that this rose seems to be not for sale anywhere in this country that I could find.)

As the mustard seeds went into the  garden between us and Devery’s driveway, a car pulled up in front of her house and someone called out, “Your garden is amazing!”  Because the woman looked so friendly and had opened her car door partway, I replied, “You’re welcome to come on a tour!”  Four people tumbled out of the car and what ensued was one of the most delightful walkabouts I have ever experienced.


meeting Frosty


All they saw was the good and they noticed pretty much everything special to me, all on their own.  Except for one hidden fairy door; I pulled aside fern fronds to reveal it.



The view looking north to the house was commented on with enthusiasm, as was the fire circle.


Frosty, and later Smokey and Skooter, all got pets. (Allan’s photo)

One of the women stopped and read aloud the writing on the house walls.  It is so rare for someone to do that, I can only remember one other time.


As I gaze upon the garden, my heart grows peaceful, still. From its colour comes my being, from its spirit comes my will. -Ryan Gainey


The garden flew round with the angel,
The angel flew round with the clouds,
And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round
And the clouds flew round with the clouds.

…That things go round and again go round has rather a magical sound.  -Wallace Stevens


The old lamp with shells in it got noticed.

They even admired my bamboo poles that have lost so much of their colorful paint over the winter.

As they departed, and because I had found out that one couple at least comes to the peninsula often, I asked them to re-introduce themselves if they see us working in Long Beach, because both Allan and I have face blindness.  One of the women said she totally understood that and will talk to someone thinking, “I know I like you, but who are you?” and I said, “Yes, I have such a warm feeling about you even though I cannot remember who you are!”

It was just grand.


my cool heather from Pam Fleming (Allan’s photo)


Chickadee-dee-dee (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow: Back to work.

PSA: The darling house three doors down from us is for sale.  It has a small yard, which might be good for someone who wants a small garden, and a partial view of the port.


For those who like book reports, I read a book (and this short one took me over a week because it is planting time):








Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, 1994:




Ursula Le Guin:



Rebecca Solnit.  I love her, and she must be a gardener.






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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Allan went off on a boating trip and nature hike (tomorrow and the next day’s posts) while I stayed home in the garden.  I pondered going to the Saturday Market.  Not only might there be some tomato plants there, but it would be good blog fodder.  However, when I pictured myself walking through the holiday throng, it just seemed like too much peopling.


yellow buttercup road not taken to the Saturday market

I had to plant the seeds that had gotten wet in the van, had been soaking under a wet paper towel for two days, and had possibly had dried out again (not good).  This involved weeding along the fence to make room for scarlet runner beans.



Wish I had a photo of how very weedy the back of the boat garden was when I started.


The weeds on the lawn tell the tale…


The lattice is to keep the cats from scratching where I planted dahlias.




Other weeding goal: the north end of the long west border

Along with those weeding projects (boat and north end of the west border), my other goal for three days off was to plant all my cosmos, painted sage, and assorted other plants at home.

I felt insecure about planting seeds so late, including some sunflowers and cosmos, so I asked on the Rainyside Facebook group if I was wasting my time, and immediately got answers from two seed experts whom I had not wanted to pester.

Planting the vegetable seeds (the ones whose packets had gotten damp) was a comedy of errors.


I set them on the garbage can lid, where the packets disintegrated and the peas rolled off onto the ground.

The sugar snap peas should have been planted much earlier.  And were not.


I learned appreciation for the seed packets whose seeds were in tiny sealed bags. Black Ball bachelor buttons did not get damp.

Then I dumped a bucket of what I thought was potting soil into a planter box.


The fragrance told me it was a bucket of coffee grounds from Abbraccio Coffee Bar!


I did get the veg seeds planted, and then kept on weeding instead of planting anything else.


annuals waiting to be planted, and waiting, and waiting

Devery’s indoor cat would like to meet Skooter.





boat garden, after


If you can call it after when I had not disposed of the pulled weeds yet.

My scree garden experiment is being taken over by strawberries, with berries on them, so I am not going to edit them out now.



I did not get very far on the north end of west border.


I did get this area done pretty well. Except for picking up my mess.

I saw much pruning that I would love to have time to address and that led to thoughts of the great garden memoir I recently read….


…and this passage that I very much liked (even though I never feel lonely in a garden).


A brief walkabout at the end of the day:


Dutch iris and Bowles Golden Grass.


a darker Siberian iris


Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’



I do think these violas wintered over. I especially love the one in the middle.


Like my grandma, I especially like pansies and violas with little faces.

I wanted another long weekend and started to tweak the work calendar, even writing “Off?” on the square for next Thursday.  Then I remembered….argh, Ilwaco art walk.  Good and Bad:  Bad, we have to make Ilwaco look good for the art walk on Friday.  Good and bad: Lots of people will be walking by the boatyard garden and the west Howerton gardens.  Good: This give us another chance to seek garden perfection.

The art walk is just way too peopley for the way I feel these days; you will enjoy it if you go.  It runs from 5-7 PM, although with this many places to see, I think it should run till 8, or better yet, 6-9 PM would make me more inclined to go.

artwalk.jpg Surely with two more days off this weekend, I’d get my rather modest garden goals met.

But first, you will get to read a two part post about an Allan excursion.



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Saturday, 20 May 2017

I planted in my garden: agastaches, echinaceas, dahlias in the garden boat, a few of those “black and white” gladiolus mix that I mostly gave away, three delphiniums which should make a nice snail snack, and cosmos, cosmos, cosmos and cosmos.

I do not enjoy planting (odd but true) so not one photo was taken by me.

A heavy application of sluggo went everywhere I planted.

Meanwhile, Allan got ambitious over at Mary N’s place.


before: the barberry stumps


the heavy pick


weeding in progress




We need to find three ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas for here.

At home, Allan weeded his own garden bed and planted the one plant that he had in waiting: a Mahonia gracilipes from Todd.




after. The centerpiece is Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’.

I looked forward to tomorrow when I have nothing to plant and much to weed.

Nancy Gorshe (co owner of The Depot Restaurant, who is running for another term as hospital commissioner, posted this photo of her campaign sign in my garden in 2011. Must have been late summer because it was the 2011 Hardy Plant Study Weekend that inspired the building of the arbour.


Here’s the same garden area today (with poles that need repainting).  It was awfully pretty back when it was just annuals!



Sunday, 21 May 2017

Despite some plaguing sciatica or some such pain, I decided to take on a hard project rather than small areas here and there.  I needed the satisfaction.

I had been disheartened while planting yesterday about what an all-fired mess my garden is this year.  Then I had the comforting memory of the year 2008.  Friends from Minneapolis visited on Memorial Day weekend, and even though I needed to be gardening, I took the day off to go to Cannon Beach with them.  Before we left for the day, I showed them my garden.  It was a worse mess of weeds than what I have today; back then, we worked seven days a week in May.  I told my friends that we were going to be on the garden tour in just one month.  Even as non gardeners, they looked skeptical.


friends from afar at Cannon Beach, memorial day weekend 2008

Not only did Robert and I get the garden tour-worthy (by neglecting paid work),  we also fit in the Hardy Plant Study weekend before tour day!  You can see the garden on tour day here. (And if you backtrack from that post, you will see some glorious gardens in Eugene, Oregon.)

So there is hope that I will get the awfully weedy garden done before summer.  After all, I’m getting started on the worst part before Memorial Day.


Here’s an area that is always the last to be weeded. South end of east fence border.  


in that bed: a cool Dan Hinkley plant whose name I forget. Has little berries right on the leaves.

Here is the area I went for today, the new-last-year bogsy wood mounds.  It was a matter of urgency to get the velvet grass out before it flowered (because then it gives me sneezing fits).


I could make life easier by making a debris dump in that one undeveloped corner between two old salmonberries (below):


…And yet I persist in wanting the debris taken outside the fence.  If Allan did not show up now and then to dump wheelbarrows for me, I think that corner would be a debris dump for sure.  It’s my last frontier, though, and I don’t want to fill it up with a weed pile.


2:30 PM


I like my golden boxleaf honeysuckle and variegated elderberry along the bogsy wood east fence.

I moved to the other side of the bogsy wood mounds.


Here’s how it looked on May 13th.

In the center, the velvet grass had gotten as tall as a human toddler and defeated my hand tools.


Just then, rescue arrived.


Allan with the big yellow pick.


followed closely by a supervisor



me contemplating the giant velvet grass


Allan went after the child sized clumps of velvet grass.


huge clumps that would have been much easier to pull a month ago


velvet grass OUT

With that accomplishment, Allan departed to go for a short hike to some tall trees (which will be tomorrow’s post).


5:10 PM, looking east


looking west

That is certainly not the quality of unraked work that I’d leave behind at a job.  Nevertheless, I was satisfied for today.  The progress had been made despite a 20 mph wind so annoying that it usually would have kept me out from under the trees.

I wanted next to tackle this area where grass and buttercups were hiding a fairy door.  Maybe the fairies like the privacy.


While I did not get an after photo, this one from Allan, after his return, shows that area, along with the results of his raking.


fairy door is on tree to the left

On the lawn side of that area, I have this mess:


I did wade into it from the other side.  I did not deliberately plant the Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant).  Every year, it begins to irritate me as it hides other plants and provides a damp home for slugs.  The meianthemum (false lily of the valley) is also rampant in here.


But of course the meianthemum worked its way up into this stump planter of pulmonaria.


This fuchsia’s old stems looked kind of tatty.


So I pruned it to the base. Now everything shows.


I’d like to move it, but it is too risky now; it’s an extra pretty one.


I had an audience the whole time.


The salmonberry tunnel needs shaping.

Last minute inspiration: I pruned salmon and elderberry to reveal my bogsy wood plant table.






something about to happen


something happening



Smokey might have felt mildly annoyed.

Allan dumped at least six, maybe nine heaping wheelbarrows for me today.


looking back….6:30 PM and I was out of steam.

I wish I had a week of weeding days at home.  Tomorrow Annuals Planting Hell I mean Time starts up again in Long Beach.

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