Posts Tagged ‘our garden’

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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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

After a morning of rain and wind, as predicted, we had a brief break in the weather.  Allan decided to mow the thin, tall lawn over at Mary N’s house.  Even though we aren’t really a mowing business, we have taken on a couple of such jobs on our own block.

Meanwhile, the light on our garden suddenly became gorgeous.


Allan’s garden, from the front porch


My hardy begonia (from Windcliff) has spread thoroughly in this box.


the back garden


I love the splash of white Miscanthus.


We’d had this much rain since yesterday.

Suddenly, the sky darkened and hail pelted down.


Skooter was taken aback.




I felt bad for Allan, mowing two doors down.

Allan’s photos at his mowing job nearby:


We had just taken this on.  It won’t be allowed to get this long again.




It took two passes, at a high and then medium setting.


the storm! from undercover



Those barberries are for the chop sooner than you might think.

Meanwhile, I had decided to be practical and propose that we pick up some plants today instead of immersing myself in a good book from the library…


Allan agreed with my productive plan, so off we went to

The Planter Box.


a hardy begonia which I think I must acquire



You may recall that a couple of days ago, I was touting the great gardening tool called the Zen Digger, Ho Mi, Korean Hand Plow, and E-Z Digger.  Planter Box has it.


Allan’s photo


Teresa totals up (Allan’s photo)

On the way home, after buying a pin for his boat rudder at Dennis Company, Allan took a photo of a beautiful scene in Coulter Park.  The loss of that pin on our recent Black Lake rally day had turned his sailing afternoon into a rowing afternoon.


the old Clamshell Railroad depot at Coulter Park


We drove by the Ilwaco boatyard garden.  I was thrilled to see that the horsetail had not made a big comeback, so weeding was not urgent.


boatyard visual check up (without getting out of the van)



At home, I sorted plants in the garage.


Allan was inspired to go back to Mary’s garden to begin the removal of three mean barberries.


Barberries make weeding the quackgrass in this bed just miserable.


welding gloves



Now just the stumps remain to be dealt with.  Hydrangeas are the goal.

One of the main inspirations for this big chop is that this week, we had room in our wheelie bin for the debris.


wheelbie bin full of mean stuff

[pickled fish] restaurant

In the evening, we joined Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) for a special weekly garden meeting to celebrate Melissa’s birthday.

I was impressed and kind of jealous of the planters as we entered the Adrift Hotel.  They are stuffed full of cool plants, some of which are hard to find for purchase around here.


Adrift Hotel (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


This one made me especially jealous; I think that is Ribes brocklebankii.


good use of a Phormium.  Phormiums don’t make me jealous, though.


more common, still interesting

They have the budget to switch out their planters frequently.  Our local nurseries are good, and yet there is not the audience for cool collectors’ plants to support that sort of plant availability here.  I’ve noticed when ultra cool plants appear at our local shops, they often just sit until I buy them.


drinks menu at the [pickled fish]; I had the starvation alley ginger cosmo.


Melissa and Dave arrive (Allan’s photo)


birthday girl (Allan’s photo)


cranberry lemonade (Allan’s photo)


ginger cosmo (Allan’s photo)


The memory of this scrumptuous Moroccan chick pea stew makes my mouth water.


Allan’s clam chowder


Melissa’s starter salad


a place for tasty pizzas: margherita


fennel sausage pizza


the view


skillet cookie dessert

For Melissa’s birthday:


a birthday card by Don Nisbett

And a t shirt made from Don’s Crabby Gardener design:


The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett (T shirt was personalized with an M on the seed packet)

And this excellent gardening book:


I think we may be the only gardeners on the peninsula who actually do genuine hellstrip, curbside gardens (at the Port, and the beach approach).  However, the book is excellent in suggesting ideas and plants for droughty areas, and the photos are a treat.

We are now due for several days of dry weather.  Let the planting begin, while the soil is still damp!

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Saturday, 6 May, part two

Ilwaco Saturday Market

After we photographed the annual children’s parade, we strolled through the Saturday market.

Turning the corner from Howerton to Waterfront Way, we found a bustling scene.

Double J and the Boys

flowering baskets

Allan’s photo

our favourite local place; in this case, “family friendly” means kids are welcome in the pub.

Some market day, I will take time for a meal on the Salt deck.

Allan’s photo

at Olive and Garlic way

I stood in a short line to get two slices of Lime Bundt cake from Pink Poppy.


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Tipping musician Peter at the Don Nisbett Gallery (Allan’s photo)

You can see in the background lots of people loading onto boats.

from the port office deck (Allan’s photos)

Pink Poppy

fishing derby (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Today was the Blessing of the Fleet.  If I were not so tired from work, with much gardening awaiting me at home, I might have gone out for a free boat ride.  Allan took some photos from the docks:

Flowers will be cast into the water in memory of loved ones, and the Coast Guard helicopter will fly over the boats and drop a wreath.

heading out to the Columbia Bar

home in the garden

Before the children’s parade (yesterday’s post), I had admired the dogwood from the kitchen window…

dogwood from the kitchen window

and had planned an afternoon accomplishment: getting all my Nicotiana langsdorfii planted.

They are the soft leaved plants on the left side of the table.

By 6:45, I had 33 Nicotiana and some perennials planted and the table reorganized…

and a little raised garden extension made…and had pulled a gluteal muscle wrangling two heavy buckets of wet soil…

…because I did not learn from the first bucket that I should scoop half the second bucket into another container before trying to lift it. This pulled muscle plagued me for the next few days but I won’t keep mentioning it.

The Nicotiana were planted by just hacking out spaces in weedy areas.  Rather a sad but necessary method when this far behind.

In evening light, first flowers…but not a good photo…of my rhododendron from Steve and John!

The Cove Restaurant

We had our North Beach Garden Gang dinner tonight because Our Kathleen is in town.

I had bought some gladiolus weeks ago at Costco because the colour combo appealed to me.  But I don’t like glads and could not figure out where to plant them!  I managed to pass them off to Todd for his cutting garden.  I’ll put a few in my garden boat, perhaps.

We all have compatible ideas about the world’s problems.  We were unable to solve them.

Chef Sondra’s mom’s recipe. lasagne, made Sunday’s lunch as well.

cinnamon chocolate cake to share (Allan’s photo)

art on the wall

and Allan’s photo of an amazing moon as we departed.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Just weeding, and tiniest bit of planting.  I managed to actually focus on just the west bed…

I did not get it done, though.  If I could have gone for one more hour, I could have erased it from the work board.  Instead, I had to stop because….my big toe hurt.  This is an odd thing that happens sometimes (gout??), and it is amazing how one big toe can make you want to first, take off your sock and second, bring gardening to a close for the evening.  (An annoying wind did not help my fortitude.)

In better news, I wore my knee brace (the “Unloader”) all day.  Summer weight clothing made it easier to wear.  It worked a treat.

At my request, Allan pruned a couple of dead branches out of the tatty old ornamental plum…



Allan saw our kind neighbour Jared dump some extra gravel in one of “our” potholes.

Some photos in the evening before going inside at the early time of 6 PM:

West bed needs another hour or so of attention.


Persicaria bistorta superba

Only a few snail holes so far on Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’

bogsy wood….unweeded but with camassia

Last year’s new bogsy wood bed has disappeared under velvet grass.

too windy for a campfire

bogsy wood edge with still unclipped hydrangea

blue corydalis and pulmonaria

At least I got some other pruning done included almost all the many winter-killed branches on the hardy fuchsias.

my mum’s favourite rhododendron that I brought home from the Golden Sands garden last year.

I do not know its name.

more camassia

Allan in the far distance after dumping the last of my three heaping wheelbarrow of weeds.

Oh, how I wish I had several days to finish the weeding—at least four would do it—but tomorrow, work calls again.




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