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Posts Tagged ‘Pelicano Restaurant’

Not to worry, the last meals are because our favourite waterfront restaurant (and one of our favourites of all time), Pelicano, is closing, leaving no dinner restaurants at all in our tiny town.  Charter fishing is thriving here, and the wonderful Time Enough Bookstore is doing well, and Don Nisbett Art Gallery continues to please customers.  We hope someone opens a good dinner restaurant here soon; it was a treat having one less than two blocks from our house.

But first…some gardening.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Allan's photo:  Jeweled Chain fern (Woodwardia Ungemmata) from garden blogger's fling (never allow to dry out) planted in August is putting out a new burgundy frond backed by a Japanese waterfall grass and a Molton Lava Oxalis

Allan’s photo: Jeweled Chain fern (Woodwardia Ungemmata) from garden blogger’s fling (never allow to dry out) planted in August is putting out a new burgundy frond backed by a Japanese waterfall grass and a Molton Lava Oxalis

Allan's garden, where the red fern grows

Allan’s garden, where the red fern grows

I was not filled with enthusiasm for gardening, so I forced myself to start a couple of small fall clean up projects.  Of course, once I began I was soon in the gardening “zone” with no desire to stop.

west side of front garden

west side of front garden (during)

west side of front garden, after

west side of front garden, after

I must post this to a plant ID site.  Got at Steamboat Island Nursery (I think)...lost the tag.

I must post this to a plant ID site. Got at Steamboat Island Nursery (I think)…lost the tag.

Allan added some green paint to the porch posts.

Allan added some green paint to the porch posts.

Allan’s photos of a little Pacific tree frog on a half moon edger that he found languishing in the garden (oops) and put away.

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And then….another meal at Pelicano Restaurant, this time with Michelle who used to do cash mob with me (I’ve gone on hiatus from that) and Sondra, owner of the Cove Restaurant (our Thursday tradition) and Cove staff member Carmen.  We had had this reservation made before we knew the restaurant was closing.

Pelicano Restaurant

This was to be the last night.  However, Pelicano owner Shelly told us that they had added Monday night, as well, with a light menu prepared from whatever was left.

one of Shelly's beautiful flower arrangements

one of Shelly’s beautiful flower arrangements

and our table bouquet

and our table bouquet

Michelle and I got the last two Escarlata cocktails (and then the grapefruit simple syrup was gone), and Allan had an Aviation.

Michelle and I got the last two Escarlata cocktails (and then the grapefruit simple syrup was gone), and Allan had an Aviation.

The menu was changing daily at this point.

The menu was changing daily at this point.

menu2

spicy calamari salad

spicy calamari, black bean and avocado salad with cilantro-roasted garlic dressing

shrimp and green bean salad with mustard-thyme dressing

shrimp and green bean salad with mustard-thyme dressing

We all do like our freshly ground black pepper.

We all do like our freshly ground black pepper.

Michelle ordered a bottle of champagne.

Michelle ordered a bottle of champagne.

restaurant owner Shelly, spouse of chef Jeff McMahon

restaurant owner Shelly, spouse of chef Jeff McMahon

shelly3

 

I think the champagne is why the food photos did not include all the tasty items on the table.

cod and mushroom shu mai with soy ginger sauce

cod and mushroom shu mai with soy ginger sauce

Michelle and Sondra

Michelle and Sondra

Baked Pacific cod with kalamata olives, tomatoes, onions, and salsa verde

Baked Pacific cod with kalamata olives, tomatoes, onions, and salsa verde

chocolate pot de creme with Maldon sea salt

chocolate pot de creme with Maldon sea salt

Sondra of the Cove, who looks like she should BE in Downton Abbey, is simply longing for the next season to begin.

Sondra of the Cove, who looks like she should BE in Downton Abbey, is simply longing for the next season to begin.

We began our repast at 6 and were still there at 8:30.  By then, Susie of the Boreas had hoped to arrive but will STILL feeling poorly, and Allan and I decided that we would take the opportunity to join her and Bill for the real last Pelicano supper on Monday night.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Continuing our new slacker habit of three day weekends, we took the day off.  We would have anyway, as the predicted rain had come.  I thought I would completely catch up with my blog.  Imagine my dismay when the weather turned nice in the late afternoon.  I had longed for an entire day of guilt-free indoor time, and could not shift gears to go outdoors and garden.  Allan was much more ambitious, and I saw him going back and forth outside being productive.

While weeding his garden, he heard croaking from above and found a Pacific tree frog in a cup on the old apple tree.

He searched several cups before finding the frog.

He searched several cups before finding the frog.

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in a cup on the old apple tree

froggie croaking

froggie still croaking

I finally felt so terribly guilty indoors that I went out and did some weeding on the east side of the front garden, and felt much better for doing so.

Allan's photo of me in the thick of the garden

Allan’s photo of me in the thick of the garden

I picked a tiny spot behind the house, really a silly little garden bed, for one more tiny project.

before

before

after: this rather useless little bed, overhung with a large Solanum vine, gets ignored most of the time.

after: this rather useless little bed, overhung with a large Solanum vine, gets ignored most of the time.

And then, again, another farewell meal at Pelicano.

We'll miss the Ginger Snap, and Escarlata, and Allan's favourite, the Aviation.

We’ll miss the Ginger Snap, and Escarlata, and Allan’s favourite, the Aviation.

view

Susie, while still feeling poorly from her flu shot, could not miss Pelicano's last evening and her last Ginger Snap.

Susie, while still feeling poorly from her flu shot, could not miss Pelicano’s last evening and her last Ginger Snap.

food

Ginger Snap, Greek Salad, Buccatini Pasta, Lemon Cheesecake with blackberry sauce

sunset

sunset

There’s a sad feeling at the port with this restaurant now gone; I hope someone takes the business opportunity to open a new one in one of the five former restaurants along Waterfront Way.

next: four days of work

 

 

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

I slept deliciously late. I don’t sleep well while traveling, not even in the quietude of the Sylvia Beach Hotel, so I had some snoozing to catch up on. Then, off to the last day of 2014’s Ilwaco Saturday Market for some peaches and a treat. I walked half a block, realized my knee was so painful even with my cane, and turned back to get a ride down from Allan before he went boating; fortuitously, my pal J9 showed up at that very moment, so we went to the market in her little car. (All of a block and a half’s walk, it would have been; I was in pitiful condition.)

Ilwaco Saturday Market

A few plants for sale were still on offer.

A few plants for sale were still on offer.

This gentleman played a steel drum and sang "No Woman No Cry".

This gentleman (Bob Goldstick) played a steel drum and sang “No Woman No Cry”.

He was quite good, and I dropped some money in his tip box; didn't buy a CD although now I kind of wish I had.

 

He was good, and I dropped some money in his tip box; didn’t buy a CD although now I kind of wish I had. I hope he’s back next year.

market goers

market goers

De Asis Produce: Tomatoes are the one food item I grew well this year.

De Asis Produce: Tomatoes are the one food item I grew well this year. Oh, and spuds. Also the only food I tried to grow.

clever marketing: Salsa in a bag

clever marketing: Salsa in a bag. I don’t see cilantro, which I require in the tastiest of salsas.

Great to have good weather for the last day.

Great to have good weather for the last day. In 2013, the last day was canceled because of a storm.

our port office garden, highly visible without the hanging baskets

our port office garden, highly visible without the hanging baskets

still a few petunias at Don Nisbett Art Gallery

still a few petunias at Don Nisbett Art Gallery

When I got to the Pink Poppy Bakery booth, Madeline had found a moment to read.

The tat is of her favourite mixer.

The tat is of her favourite mixer.

J9 bought a chai cupcake; I bought a small lemon bundt cake.

J9 bought a chai cupcake; I bought a small lemon bundt cake.

We'd had a good rainfall overnight.

We’d had a good rainfall overnight.

At home, I thought about gardening, and did just a tiny bit of clipping and tidying in the front garden.

People who don't like their plants to touch would not like my garden.

People who don’t like their plants to touch would not like my garden.

Meanwhile, Allan went boating on Loomis Lake.

Loomis Lake

lakes

Allan:

Last time I was here was June 9 when the wind blew from the north & I rowed up to the northern tip & sailed back. Today I sailed and paddled upwind north to 198th where J9’s sister used to live.

The lake was very shallow with plant growth so I drifted south a mile to watch the birds and look at the houses. Several noisy herons, mallards and gulls and jumping fish.

heron

heron

using the cheap camera as don't want to get a better one wet

using the cheap camera as don’t want to get a better one wet; a better camera would have better captured the heron flying over the gulls.

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Rolled up the sail and started paddling up wind but found sailing easier & quick enough. Dinner reservations were three hours away.

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Discovered the pontoon makes a serviceable daggerboard but had to keep cleaning weeds off the rudder as the boat would drag to a stop.

 

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Found an abandoned dock at the south end. Google earth shows no remains of a house there and there was no path.

Found an abandoned dock at the south end. Google earth shows no remains of a house there and there was no path.

the dock of mystery

the dock of mystery

The water level should soon be replenished by rain.

The water level should soon be replenished by rain. Allan wondered if some had been pumped out to nearby cranberry bogs.

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boat with rolled up sail ready to paddle back

 

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Pelicano Restaurant

We had found out the day before that Pelicano was closing its doors. I so loved that restaurant and we usually dined there once a month to enjoy their changing seasonal menu. Our friend and client Susie of the Boreas Inn invited us to join her and Bill for a poignant last meal; then she fell ill from a flu shot, so Allan and I went alone.

Now this might seem like a shallow problem: A fine dining restaurant closes and we are sad. But it is more than that. It’s a working class problem, as Ilwaco is a working class town with lots of closed storefronts and the merchants who do have shops here were greatly benefited by the vibrancy that Pelicano brought to the port. There is now no restaurant in town open for dinner, and five former restaurants sitting vacant along Waterfront Way. (A new Italian place is in the works to open next spring, and it would make sense to have a simple dinner café with plainer and less expensive fair, as well.) There are many reasons we are sad to see Pelicano close, not the least of which is that we like the owners and staff so much.

We will miss the adorable staff.

We will miss the adorable staff.

fresh flowers at each table

fresh flowers at each table

candles reflected in the marina view

candles reflected in the marina view

This month's menu had one of my favourite of their appetizers, shu mai.

This month’s menu had one of my favourite of their appetizers, shu mai.

Caesar salad and cocktail of the month (The Flamenco)

Caesar salad

and cocktail of the month (The Flamenco)

and cocktail of the month (The Flamenco)

ribs for me....

ribs for me….

cod in delicious sauce with kalamata olives for Allan

cod in delicious sauce with kalamata olives for Allan

One pleasant thing about the Pelicano menu is one could order a regular or smaller portion; both of the above dishes were the smaller portion. That saves room for dessert.

home made ice cream and meringue cookies with caramel sauce

home made ice cream and meringue cookies with caramel sauce for me

 

 

 

 

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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Although the weather was shockingly hot (almost 90), I did walk down to the Saturday Market at ten, mainly because I wanted to deliver a book I had just finished to the owners of Purly Shell yarn shop. My friend Montana Mary must have given me this book about a seaside knitters group in Maine. It turned out to be well written, more than a lot of cozy mystery series are, and I figured the knitting women might enjoy it.

cashmere

The characters in the book would have felt right at home at Purly Shell.

The characters in the book would have felt right at home at Purly Shell at the Port of Ilwaco.

I strolled only two blocks worth of market due to the heat. I was pleased to be walking with no cane and very little pain.

the condor statue

the condor statue

plants for sale

plants for sale

I got a lemon lime bundt cake from Pink Poppy Bakery...

I got a lemon lime bundt cake from Pink Poppy Bakery…

bought some peaches from De Asis produce...

and bought some peaches from De Asis produce.

Smokey had been waiting for me to come home.

Smokey had been waiting for me to come home.

Just over the recent blast of heat. the lawn had gone brown in part of the back garden.

Just over the recent blast of heat. the lawn had gone brown in part of the back garden.

east garden bed; I must remember to keep watering the geranium I recently tranplanted along the edge.

east garden bed; I must remember to keep watering the geranium I recently tranplanted along the edge.

The heat remained while a grey sky promised some coolness to come.

The heat remained while a grey sky promised some coolness to come.

some of my ladies in waiting

some of my ladies in waiting

I thought about gardening, but it was just too dang hot so after doing enough watering of containers to keep plants alive (especially the ladies in waiting), and picking some tomatoes from the very hot greenhouse, I went indoors and worked on the blog about the previous night’s Slow Drag at the Port.

tomatoes from the greenhouse.  (Only cherry tomatoes do well for me.)

tomatoes from the greenhouse. (Only cherry tomatoes do well for me.)

After the blog entry was done, I set to reading the recent memoir by my favourite New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast. (George Booth is my second favourite.) Even though the heat did indeed disappear, I did not find myself outside gardening at all.

IMG_6582

 

My favourite pages:

I'm always pleased to find out that someone else avoids driving.

I’m always pleased to find out that someone else avoids driving.

my favourite page

my favourite page

a childhood memory much like mine

a childhood memory much like mine

At age 15, I actually counted the days till I was 18 and could move out.

At age 15, I actually counted the days till I was 18 and could move out.

The book is mesmerizing, funny and painful. (Allan read it cover to cover a day later.)

Just about the time I finished the book, Garden Tour Nancy came over with cookies and we sat in the garden, first in the shade, and then in the sun for over an hour.

Nancy's zucchini cookies

Nancy’s zucchini cookies

Because the Rod Run classic car event is well known for not drawing patrons to fine dining restaurants, we decided to have our monthly dinner at Pelicano Restaurant at the Port and show them some support. Little did we know that the big sports bar in Long Beach had closed for the evening because allegedly the owner got sick of rowdy patrons, so Pelicano became very crowded indeed. That did not stop the skilled chef, hostess, and servers from making our experience a good one.

the view from Pelicano

the view from Pelicano

Flamenco!  Tequila, campari, lime simple syrup and lime juice

Flamenco cocktail: Tequila, campari, lime simple syrup and lime juice

Pequillo pepper stuffed with avocado, shrimp, black beans, and Aioli

Pequillo pepper stuffed with avocado, shrimp, black beans, and Aioli

Caesar salad

Caesar salad

baked Pacific cod with Kalamata olives, tomatoes, onions and salsa verde

baked Pacific cod with Kalamata olives, tomatoes, onions and salsa verde

a busy restaurant

a busy restaurant

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Again, I could not motivate myself to garden. I began a book that completely absorbed me for the whole day. It is usually only in winter that I have the pleasure of reading an entire book in a day (although before I became an obsessed gardener, I often did so).

Allan made me a nice cup of Cream Earl Grey (a gift from Kathleen) and I had my share of Pink Poppy lemon lime bundt cake and settled into my chair.

tea

twee

I have been completely unaware that the word “twee” has come to refer to a certain kind of indie pop, gentle, artisanal bread eating, Portlandia style of culture. I could not quite understand how the author managed to drag so many musicians and writers and film makers under the twee umbrella. However, the book was full of just the sort of Nick Hornby type music and book and film analysis that I love and reading it made for a perfect day.

How have I not known about some bands that sound so wonderful to me? My phone enabled me to listen to a song each by The Neutral Milk Hotel and Belle and Sebastian and I want to hear more this winter when I have more time.

screen shot from a video of a song by Neutral Milk Hotel; I was smitten.

screen shot from a video of a song by Neutral Milk Hotel; I was smitten.

Teasers of few of my favourite bits from the book:

I loved this movie when I saw it back in the late 70s.

I loved this movie when I saw it back in the late 70s.

Waterloo Sunset is one of my favourite songs in all the world.

Waterloo Sunset is one of my favourite songs in all the world.

Nick Drake earned many pages, including a fascinating story about how his song Pink Moon was used in an ad that posthumously revived interest in his music.

Nick Drake earned many pages, including a fascinating story about how his song Pink Moon was used in an ad that posthumously revived interest in his music.

several pages listed songs; I intend to listen to the ones I don't know.

several pages listed songs; I intend to listen to the ones I don’t know.

I must be twee because I adore The Smiths.

I must be twee because I adore The Smiths.

“You don’t outgrow the Smiths any more than you outgrow your vital organs,” Spitz writes. “They are unrenouncable.”

I must read this book.

I must read Perks of Being a Wallflower!

The day drifted lazily by, the book was read (and I hope those of you who like that sort of thing will be inspired to read it), we watched some Doctor Who (season seven) and no gardening was done by me at all. I think I might have seen Allan out planting some of his new ferns. He also watered the Ilwaco planters, finding some evidence of the busy weekend. (We could hear the distant roar of traffic all weekend even though we were out of the range of the main event which is centered in Ocean Park and cruises around and around in Long Beach.)

Ilwaco planter, Allan's photo

Ilwaco planter, Allan’s photo with little liquor bottles (not that unusual, really)

Monday, 8 September 2014

We had declared Monday off as we knew the town would still be full of Rod Runners. The event used to take place on Labor Day weekend, until it got so rowdy that it got moved to the following weekend, and many of its attendees still treat it like a three day weekend.

My desire to read was still strong, so I finished Landscaping for Privacy. I had an excuse to stay in today as a drizzle fell all morning (and I actually hoped it would stop as we were planning a campfire in the evening).

privacy

good book, good photos, good ideas

good book, good photos, good ideas

There is a subtle wit in author Marty Wingate’s garden writing. I learned that she has written a series of garden mysteries and tried to get one through inter-library loan only to find that it is only available as an e-book. Oh how I dislike reading ebooks! I may read it eventually anyway but I do wish it were available on paper.

Allan puttered with his motorcycle. It turned out to still have problems so a ride did not ensue.

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He says: It puddled gas out a carb that I had taken apart. Then it started OK, but wouldn’t idle without quitting.

He discovered a mouse test in the toolbox, made of a pink blanket (very twee).

He discovered a mouse test in the toolbox, made of a pink blanket (very twee).

Then I simply had to garden or I would have felt too guilty. The damp weather made it a good time at last to get more of the ladies in waiting into the ground. These were all plants sent me by Todd Wiegardt. I took my iPhone outside and looked up the description of each one as I planted it.

eupatorium

a winter blooming Eupatorium!  went into the front garden where I have winter blooming witchhazel and other midwinter delights to view from the front window.

a winter blooming Eupatorium! went into the front garden where I have winter blooming witchhazel and other midwinter delights to view from the east window.

My favourite in appearance of all the plants had a bulbous root.

My favourite in appearance of all the plants had a bulbous root.

It went into the scree garden.

It went into the scree garden.

plant

plant2

They all got put into the ground in what I hope is the perfect spot for each.

They all got put into the ground in what I hope is the perfect spot for each.

At four-ish, I began to worry that I should call our friend Kathleen and tell her we had to cancel our planned fire and perhaps order a pizza for an indoor dinner. Then the weather seemed to clear; I could see the faint orb of pale sun under the clouds and the drizzle seemed to stop. I went ahead and started to burn.

fire

By the time Kathleen arrived at five, all bundled up in a coat and laughing at how Northwestern the evening had become, the tables and chairs were wet and all we could do was roast our sausages and take them inside to dine at the table.

Just too, too wet.

Just too, too wet.

Although I regretted that we missed the experience of getting to watch the logs turn to coals, we talked around the dining room table until we realized that the clock said eleven PM. I had thought that surely it was only about nine.

Perhaps my most unproductive weekend in the summer had turned out to be one of the most pleasant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Ilwaco Blues and Seafood festival will take place at the Port of Ilwaco this coming weekend (the 15th and 16th) so we spent Tuesday tidying up all the port gardens.  Blues and Seafood is moving to a new venue in a big tent at the east end of the marina, instead of its former cozy location by the civilized Ilwaco Pavilion with its nice restrooms.  So people will not be strolling right by the gardens as they used to….Still, there will be more traffic, so we cleaned the gardens from one end of Howerton to the other.

leaving Calvin behind as we go to work

leaving Calvin behind as we go to work

looking south over the front fence

looking south over the front fence

We began at the east end of Howerton.  Allan hooked up a hose to the Beacon RV Park (owned by the mayor, who happened to be there).  We did not have enough hose to stretch all the way; at least it made bucket watering easier.

easternmost Howerton Way garden

easternmost Howerton Way garden

bucket watering

bucket watering

I pruned down the shrubs at the bank by the port.  The bank is moving all its business to Portland this fall and putting the very large building up for sale.

pruning before

pruning before

after a gentle, naturalistic pruning

after a gentle, naturalistic pruning

It is a darned shame that someone planted tall shrubs there (wax myrtle and arbutus) as the constant pruning pretty much keeps the arbutus from flowering or having its attractive strawberry-like fruits.  If I keep them gently shaped, it may keep someone from pruning them with a chainsaw as happened just before Blues and Seafood last year.

before

before

after

after

call Plant Amnesty!

this time last year:  call Plant Amnesty!  This is what we are trying to prevent from happening.

In one of our newly planted areas we cut two huge wax myrtles right to the ground in the spring; better to go all the way than half-arsed butchery.  The myrtles are just sprouting back and can be kept small enough to not be a traffic sightline hazard.

new this year garden area

new this year garden area

Something so sweet happened while we were weeding.  A fellow who lives on a boat at the port walked by, someone of slender means, and shared with me some radishes and mushrooms he had gotten at the daily lunch program for the poor and elderly.  He had some radishes, which he does not like, and some mushrooms.  He just wanted six of the mushrooms to make himself a pasta sauce on the boat.  I was touched and thought if we were more hoity toity than working class, we would not have sharing moments like those.  (The radishes were yummy too, the next evening.)

We slogged through (weeding and watering) all the garden beds.  Not all of them have easy access to water.  We did no more bucket watering, though, as we had read that it might rain.   At the east end, we paused to deadhead the container at the Peninsula Sanitation building.

very attractive for folks paying their garbage bill

very attractive for folks paying their garbage bill

Then on to finish weeding the boatyard garden.

boatyard looking north

boatyard looking north

offloading our pile of debris

offloading our pile of debris

I’m careful to not dump anything invasive out here by the marsh.  There is already a bad weed in there:

pretty sure that's Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife) out there...bad.

pretty sure that’s Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife) out there…bad.

When we had worked alongside Pelicano Restaurant earlier in the day, I developed a strong desire to have our monthly meal there.  It is a luxury that we indulge in when we can, especially since I have read that one’s taste buds become less sensitive as one ages, so if we are going to enjoy fine food we had better do so now.  Later, when we can’t work and don’t have the income, we’ll be happy with home made pasta sauce.

The good fortune of the day continued as we spontaneously ended up sitting, at their invitation, with Heather of NIVA green and two delightful friends of hers.  We had excellent conversation about topics such as the nature of friendship (the three women) and motorcycles (the two men).

Along with the topic of friendship, Heather and  I also talked briefly about my idea of working four day weeks.  When I said that we could not count on three day weekends regularly because of plants needing to be watered, she said we could take a bonus day during the week instead.  Not quite as good as three days off in a row, but still more time in my own garden (or, for Allan, messing about in boats).

Pelicano bouquet

Pelicano bouquet

cocktails

Flamenco for me and a cosmospolitan for Allan

Flamenco for me and a cosmospolitan for Allan

salmon

the salmon

the salmon

meringue cookies and ice cream dessert

meringue cookies and ice cream dessert

After dinner, Allan, David and Heather watch a heron come in its evening roost at the marina.

After dinner, Allan, David and Heather watch a heron come in its evening roost at the marina.

I hope in later years when we almost always dine at home, we can have such fine company sometimes.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Rain had begun the evening before and continued all day long.

joyous view from the front window

joyous view from the front (north) window

and the front (east) window

and the front (east) window

rain in the wheelbarrow behind the house

rain in the wheelbarrow behind the house

We had such a relaxing day off.  We have much to do in Long Beach to get parks and planters ready for next week’s Kite Festival.  We’ve been saved a whole day of watering the Ilwaco planters, Long Beach planters and Ilwaco boatyard garden so the day off was not a problem (I hope).  Usually rain is not enough for the planters, but this particular event was an excellent soaking lasting almost 24 hours.

I worked on this blog, getting almost caught up, and Allan did office work as well.  Partway through the day, he picked up the mail and we got an excellent package of plants from the generous blog reader Todd Wiegardt.  The plant list was addressed to the “Baker Bay CPN Rehab Department” which made me chortle then and still does now.  (Baker Bay is the Ilwaco marina bay; CPN=Certified Plant Nut.)

Read it and weep with envy, fellow CPNs:

list

I am going to have to do some Googling on some of these.  I love the name Kniphofia ‘Nose Job’.

The box contained a selection of ferns for Allan to try:

ferns

Allan starts to sort out which plants are ferns.

Allan starts to sort out which plants are ferns.

We set up a potting area in the garage and got all the plants potted up; when I planted the Colchicum and Crocus sativus bulbs out in the garden, the soil was still shockingly dry underneath and I think that makes it essential to wait awhile before putting the plants in.

Allan's new ferns all potted up

Allan’s new ferns all potted up

ferns

my new plants all potted up

my new plants all potted up

Of course, while putting the plants on a bench by the greenhouse, I admired the damp garden.

Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns' from Joy Creek Nursery, with Lily 'Anastasia' (I think)

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ from Joy Creek Nursery, with Lily ‘Anastasia’ (I think)

looking southwest, white lilies and a foggy Cape Disappointment

looking southwest, white lilies and a foggy Cape Disappointment

an elephant garlic wearing a yarrow hat

an elephant garlic wearing a yarrow hat

Hyericum berries by the front stairs

Hypericum berries by the front stairs

This spot might absorb a small new plant or two.

This area might absorb a small new plant or two.

I have an awful lot of Geranium macrorrhizum in the garden.  Even though I love its piny foliage smell,  I think some of it might have to go to make room for other plants.

lilies in the front garden

fragrant lilies in the front garden (with Jared and Jessika’s house as backdrop)

Ack! A big area of dwarf fireweed in the front garden...Too wet to wade in there to weed it, said I to myself.

Ack! A big area of dwarf fireweed in the front garden…Too wet to wade in there to weed it, said I to myself.

Now we have two days to get the north end jobs done and get Long Beach ready for kite festival, after having had a deliciously restful rain-inspired bonus day off.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

We spent the weekend of the 19th and 20th going on the Music in the Garden tour of the Long Beach Peninsula, visiting with friends who were here for the tour, and (me) continuing to write garden tour blog entries.

We did mark a significant milestone on July 20th, my 20 year anniversay of moving to Ilwaco.  I was so tired from all the touring and so obsessed with blogging that I almost stayed home to write up another tour garden.   Fortunately, I realized that the occasion did deserve some celebrating so we went to Pelicano at the port for dinner.

beautiful dahlias

beautiful dahlias at Pelicano

on our table:  sweet peas and bachelor buttons

on our table: sweet peas and bachelor buttons

another table bouquet

another table bouquet

a cocktail with Starvation Alley organic cranberry juice

a cocktail with Starvation Alley organic cranberry juice

salad

salad

Allan's corn soup...so delicious I kept stealing bites

Allan’s corn soup…so delicious I kept stealing bites

chocolate pot de creme with sea salt

pasta for the main course, then…chocolate pot de creme with sea salt

cheesecake (mango? something fruity and delicious)

cheesecake ( something lemony and delicious)

another beautiful bouquet

another beautiful bouquet

I’m glad we went; it was the perfect end to garden tour weekend.

sunset over the boat storage yard on our way home

sunset over the boat storage yard on our way home




 

On Monday the 21st, I asked Allan if he would mind doing the gardening work on his own.  He readily agreed, and did so for three days.  Was I taking time off because my knee hurt or because I was obsessed with garden tour blogging?  I think it was mostly the former (as I could barely hobble around the house) and maybe just a little of the latter.  Allan seemed ever so pleased as he went off to work on his own, almost too cheerful.  It must have been nice not to have me kibitzing about the work (although we often do different areas of a large garden just to avoid getting in each other’s way).

Allan took photos during his three work days, and here they are.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Port of Ilwaco

We had hoped for enough rain (but not during the tour!) to really soak the Ilwaco boatyard.  That did not happen, so the gardens needed watering there and along Howerton Way.  Allan got an update on the work progress of the Mystique sailboat.  During his last session at the boatyard garden, he had witnessed the mast being removed and laid across sawhorses.

Mystique

Mystique

P7210004_3

Owner Steve working on the past.  He's planning to sail south before winter.

Owner Steve working on the past. He’s planning to sail south before winter.  He had already got the mast all sanded down.

Watering the boatyard was a challenge; it has to be done from inside the fence, and there were more obstacles than usual.

Watering the boatyard was a challenge; it has to be done from inside the fence, and there were more obstacles than usual.

!!!

!!!

Stipa tenuissima in a curbside garden by Howerton Way

Stipa tenuissima, santolina, and lavender in a curbside garden at east end of Howerton Way

P7210008_3

The long bed at the east end of Howerton Way is our driest and most windswept.

The long bed at the east end of Howerton Way is our driest and most windswept.

P7210012_3

It gets bucket water poured on about every third week.  There is no hose spigot close by.

One of the other garden beds:  Some of them have businesses nearby where we can hook up a hose.

One of the other garden beds: Some of them have businesses nearby where we can hook up a hose.

an audience of one, perhaps waiting for a bit of water.

an audience of one; Allan said this little bird kept hopping in and out of the sprinkler water.

Allan knew I would want to see this cute dog.

Allan knew I would want to see this cute dog.

watering the west end

watering the west end

grasses

grasses

I hope to add more cool grasses as soon as I can source some of the wonderful ones that were in the Rhone Street Gardens in Portland…am especially looking for Schizachyriam ‘Blue Heaven’ and Panicum ‘North Wind’.

After the port gardens were watered, Allan got the water trailer and watered and trimmed the Ilwaco street planters.

in front of Larry's Antique Gallery Too!

in front of Azure salon

some statice in the Antique Gallery Too planter

some statice in the Antique Gallery Too planter

Planters in front of city hall; one of the nasturtiums got broken off when they got moved from the library entrance to here, so they are lopsided.

Planters in front of city hall; one of the nasturtiums got broken off when they got moved from the library entrance to here, so they are lopsided.




 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Allan walked to and from the post office and saw the Ilwaco tortoise:

a couple of houses east of the post office

a couple of houses east of the post office

“Daycare kids on a walk were pointing into this yard. I walked back from the post office, iPhone photo as it ambled and munched their garden. (In a hurry to work, couldn’t get a better pic) “

After watering Larry and Robert’s garden (five doors west of our house), Allan went to work in Long Beach (still seeming very cheerful about it).

finger blight!  Gene's poppies with all their seedpods stolen by city hall.  Typical.

finger blight! Gene’s poppies with almost all their seedpods stolen by city hall. Typical.

deadheading on the Sid Snyder beach approach

deadheading on the Sid Snyder beach approach

planter by the carousel, across the street from The Hungry Harbour

planter by the carousel, across the street from The Hungry Harbour

California poppies

California poppies

Allan did not quite know what he should do with the sideways Cupid's Dart in the police station planter.

Allan did not quite know what he should do with the sideways Cupid’s Dart in the police station planter.

I would, and later in the week did, cut back the flopped seedhead stems.

finger blight!  He found that part of the plant had been pulled out.

finger blight! He then found that part of the plant had been pulled out by the roots and was lying on the bench.

police station planter

police station planter

the happier Cupid's Dart on the other side of the planter

the happier Cupid’s Dart on the other side of the planter

Catananche caerulea (Cupid's Dart) and Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Catananche caerulea (Cupid’s Dart) and Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Port of Ilwaco

At the end of the day, Allan watered one more area at the port with some bucket water, a garden bed on Howerton Way that has no hose nearby.

Even an Eryngium was thirsty!

Even an Eryngium was thirsty!




 

Wednesday, 23 July, 2014

I was still staying home, writing about garden tours.  Monday and Tuesday were hot days, so that was part of my excuse, along with a very sore knee, and Wednesday was just too coldly windy.  I was waiting for a day that was just right.

As you can see, the miserable wind was over 25 mph on Wednesday!

As you can see, the miserable wind was over 25 mph on Wednesday!

 I managed to hobble around the garden on Tuesday and take some photos (next post); otherwise, I sat with my leg up and ice on my knee, blogging away all day long.  With 57 tour gardens and nurseries to write about, I was enjoying reliving each one.

Allan went back out to work on Wednesday with the usual cheerful demeanor.

The Red Barn Arena

planter by the entrance gate; Allan thought it looks a little "mushy"

planter by the entrance gate; Allan thought it looks a little “mushy”

This planter by the barn door is definitely mushy from getting barn bucket water poured on, maybe hot with horse poop.

This planter by the barn door is definitely mushy from getting barn bucket water poured on, maybe hot with horse poop.  The Erysimum in the middle is a goner.

Ah, this one on the south wall looks just fine.

Ah, this one on the sheltered south wall looks just fine.

the fence garden bed and planters, in full north wind

the fence garden bed and planters, in full north wind

No photos of Diane’s garden next door!

The Anchorage Cottages

deadheading Buddliea 'Lochinch'

deadheading Buddliea ‘Lochinch’

That’s as far as he got at Anchorage before going to get a haircut; he was going to return, but manager Beth kindly said that she would do the deadheading of the assorted planters.

Andersen’s RV Park

Allan spent a good long while here working on every area.

By the garden shed, alliums were all tipped over.

By the garden shed, alliums were all tipped over.

He inserted the stems in a cistus, making an "allium bush".

He inserted the stems in a cistus, making an “allium bush”.

Some gaudy roosters had been found hidden in the garden.  Lorna gave them to Allan to take home.  Later, she found out they had been hidden as part of a ritual by some members of Sisters on the Fly, who had visited the park in the early summer after the big extravaganza last year when the whole group visited.

roosters

roosters

Fortunately, I have not passed the roosters on to a chicken-loving friend and will be able to take them back and hide them again (all part of the ritual).

in the poppy field at Andersen's

in the west garden at Andersen’s

That was the end of my days off (for now); I couldn’t skive off anymore so the next day would find us both at work.

 

 

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Friday, 30 May 2014

Larry and Robert’s garden

Even though we had the whole of Long Beach town to check, we simply had to do some weeding at Larry and Robert’s garden just five doors down.  I found the casualty of a gold leaved hardy fuchsia and sacrificed the one that I had in a pot at home to replace it in order to keep the front garden in balance.

Allan weeding

Allan planting a hardy fuchsia

the east side, weeded

the east side, weeded

the corner garden looks good...

The corner garden looks good…

with Allium schubertii

with Allium schubertii

but I feel it needs more plants, as will the west side garden bed when we get it dug out (next week, I hope!)

but I feel it needs more plants, as will the west side garden bed when we get it dug out (next week, I hope!)

Ilwaco planters

We replaced five more Erysimums in the Ilwaco planters before going plant shopping for the Larry and Robert project.

We parked by the boatyard to redo one of the planters by Eagle Street.

We parked by the boatyard to redo one of the planters by Eagle Street.

I have a finger blight story to share about the boatyard garden.  A few weeks ago, I wondered why it was not blooming yet.  Today I read this story in a thread on Facebook about stolen planters, and it all became clear.  This is despite signs that say “Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy.”

A passerby’s story from the last week in April: ” The week before Loyalty Days and the Blessing of the fleet I was driving to Ilwaco. Walking along the road next to the boat yard were 2 adult women and 4 children. The children we picking every one of the flowers in the flowerbeds. Not just one or two, but each child had a handful of the beautiful flowers that The City of Ilwaco pays to plant and maintain. The flowers were so pretty and would have been delightful for everyone to enjoy, especially for the Kids parade and Blessing of the fleet visitors…… but they were ALL PICKED. A friend of mine also saw them picking and stopped to say something about leaving them for all to see and was told by the two moms that “Kids Pick Flowers” and that there was nothing wrong with them doing it.. They had their permission to have a field day and strip all the flowers. Two of the kids actually came up to her car and hissed like a cat and said go away, we can do whatever we want.”

I wonder what would have happened if Allan or I had been there and said we were the gardeners????

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Allan switched the Olde Towne Café compost bucket while I added a few more trailies to the planter on that block.

Allan switched the Olde Towne Café compost bucket while I added a few more trailies to the planter on that block.

The café was bustling.

Basket Case Greenhouse

Next we simply had to go to the Basket Case to check out the new shipment of perennials!

I needed one of these pink Gauras to balance out a planter in Long Beach.

I needed one of these pink Gauras to balance out a planter in Long Beach.

I acquired a selection of cool perennials to add to Larry and Robert’s garden next week.  Among them:

Phygelius 'Yellow Trumpet'

Phygelius ‘Yellow Trumpet’

and some Dianthus

and some Dianthus

and some Eupatorium ‘Gateway’, Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’ and more.

and for me, a chocolate flower

and for me, a chocolate flower

and some sweet basil for my little greenhouse

and some sweet basil for my little greenhouse

There are still loads of annuals available.

There are still loads of annuals available.

I’ve been trying to explain to our client Erin just how big the tiny tulip tree that she had us plant in her back yard is going to get.  So I took this photo of Allan photographing flowers of the specimen just north of the Basket Case.

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera

and its flowers

and its flowers

Long Beach

By the time we got to Long Beach, we had only three and a half hours to do the whole town before a dinner engagement.

We began with a boost: A quick stop at Pink Poppy Bakery’s shop by the Long Beach arch for four little lemon curd hand pies.  Allan got a photo of Madeline’s mixer tattoo.

a baker's friend

a baker’s friend

After we snarfed the hand pies, Allan weeded Fifth Street Park while I walked four blocks worth of planters, then we did the two north blocks of planters together and checked the ones on the beach approach streets.  A miserable cold 20 mph north wind blew throughout the whole Long Beach job.

In the southernmost planter, I tried an experiment and cut back just the front half of the Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

In the southernmost planter, I tried an experiment and cut back just the front half of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

the rose in the planter by frying pan part of Fifth Street park is doing its one time set of blooms.

the rose in the planter by frying pan part of Fifth Street park is doing its one time set of blooms.

pretty while it lasts; then I will cut it all the way back.

pretty while it lasts; then I will cut it all the way back.  The sign goes back to when volunteers did the planters.

flowers, and folks getting the classic frying pan tourist photo.

flowers, and folks getting the classic frying pan tourist photo.

I was pleased to see that where someone picked the verbascum stalk a little while back, new buds have formed.

I was pleased to see that where someone picked the verbascum stalk a little while back, new buds have formed.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' and 'Jade Frost' in that park garden bed

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’ in that park garden bed

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

and a bee

and a bee

Three allium albopilsoum twined together

Three Allium albopilsoum twined together

Basket Case baskets at the police station

Basket Case baskets at the police station

That rose on the Funland south wall, planted by me years ago.

That rose on the Funland south wall, planted by me years ago.

berries and cream

berries and cream?

Fifth Street Park garden

Fifth Street Park garden

Captain Bob's Chowder, behind the park

Captain Bob’s Chowder, behind the park (with Allium bulgaricum)

Allan suggested we check the kite museum garden; I was tired and could not make words so we had to turn around the block and go back to it.

Kite museum garden looking pretty fine.

Kite museum garden looking pretty fine.

We almost forgot to check the Depot garden, but remembered in time.

Depot in early evening light.

Depot in early evening light.

Ilwaco

We had just enough time to plant two more Erysimum, acquired today at The Basket Case for that purpose, into two more Ilwaco planters, before meeting Olde Towne Luanne for dinner at Pelicano Restaurant at the Port.

Erysimum 'Jade Frost' outside the building that houses Marie Powell Gallery and Pelicano.

Erysimum ‘Jade Frost’ outside the building that houses Marie Powell Gallery and Pelicano.

We were treated Luanne to celebrate her just having completed a personal move to live in Ilwaco.  We are so pleased to have her nearby during non-working hours.  Our conversation was so lively (as just seeing her and especially getting out of the horrid cold wind revived my ability to make words) that I forgot to take any photos of the scrumptious food until dessert.

the view from our table of someone enjoying the window view (tables for two)

the view from our table of someone enjoying the window view (tables for two)

We shared all three of the Pelicano desserts.  Chocolate pot de creme, lemon tart, homemade meringue cookies with homemade ice cream sandwich

We shared all three of the Pelicano desserts. Chocolate pot de creme, lemon tart, homemade meringue cookies with homemade ice cream sandwich

Best of all, we had got enough done so that we could ALMOST take the whole weekend off.  (Allan will have to try out the water trailer for watering the Ilwaco planters, and I have to spend a few hours doing billing for May.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Just as predicted, the weather was sunny with no wind. Although I would like to have stayed home, I knew that a windless day would be a good one to weed the very exposed boatyard garden.

Narcissus at home, with Nora's house in background

Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ at home, with Nora’s house in background

Narcissus 'Misty Glen' at home

Narcissus ‘Misty Glen’ at home

Akebia in bloom by our garage

Akebia in bloom by our garage

and then...weeding at the boatyard

and then…weeding at the boatyard

We chatted through the fence with Amanda, a young woman who was working on the Pura Vida.  She had a sweet dog named Toes.  We learned that it is a salmon and halibut fishing boat that was rebuilt (not their word) from a sailboat.

Lots and lots of horsetail needed pulling.  That, a bit of shotweed, and some areas of creeping sorrel were the only problem weeds. The horsetail is uneradicable.

looking north

looking north

looking south

looking south

The temperature got to 70.5 F.  I was downright dizzy and am apparently very hard to please about the weather.  I took a break on the viewing bench to eat half a sandwich.

the bench beckons

the bench beckons

south view from the bench

south view from the bench

and west view.  This is where the boats are hoisted up.

and west view. This is where the boats are hoisted up.

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

pretty well weeded

pretty well weeded

Will have to be weeded again, probably, before the annual children’s parade goes by here on May 3rd.

The boatyard santolinas are all looking good.

The boatyard santolinas are all looking good.

Planted five Gaura ‘Whirling Butterfly’. one Jackman’s Blue rue, and an Agastache ‘Sangria’.

Because the weather had cooled slightly, we decided to weed the garden at the east end of Howerton Way.

before: 4:20 PM

before: 4:20 PM

6:03 PM

6:03 PM

I think I was too tired to untilt the photos.

We rewarded ourselves for a long hot day with dinner at Pelicano Restaurant.

from our cozy corner table

from our cozy corner table

window view

window view

Calamari salad

Calamari salad

cod, potatoes, lemon garlic cream

cod, potatoes, lemon garlic cream

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

At last we got back to Erin’s garden project, the one we began at the end of last year’s work season, just before bulb planting time kicked in.  I’d had big plans of doing more on this garden over the winter.  That didn’t happen!

Today we started by loading the newspaper into the van; we’d been collecting it all winter.  And then, to weigh it down as we laid it out, we needed a load of cow fiber from The Planter Box.

Raymond and the bobcat go after the cow fiber

Raymond and the bobcat go after the cow fiber

It's heavy due to rain so we can only take three scoops (a bit less than a cubic yard).

It’s heavy due to rain so we can only take three scoops (a bit less than a cubic yard).

at the Planter Box

at the Planter Box

Back down to Erin’s Long Beach house.  We drove in through the neighbouring yard to get into the back yard.  The three deer that Erin says visit every day greeted us.

not with telephoto

not with telephoto

We enter through a gap in the fence.

We enter through a gap in the fence.

the project, before

the project, before

Erin had told us she wanted a garden just like ours.  Now, that would mean three huge garden beds on the lawn.  We’re starting a bit smaller than that.

At this time in my life, I would normally turn down a big new project.  However, I have a history re Erin’s house that made me say yes.  I took a photo of it on a beach visit at age 19 or so; the photo was on my wall in Seattle for many years and was one of the remembrances that brought me back to Long Beach at age 36.

before, looking west

before, looking west

The boat has a rough edge of fabric and newspaper underlayment showing.  Last fall, we acquired and installed it so fast and suddenly that we did not have time to dig out a trench to tuck the fabric in.

We started laying thick, overlapping layers of newspaper down.

during

A winter’s worth of newspaper collecting went terribly fast.  We left to hit the recycling bin and then went to the Depot Restaurant in Seaview to scavenge their cardboard recycling pile.  The Depot is not open for lunch.  We found another place to have a tasty meal.

Curbside Grill in Seaview

Curbside Grill in Seaview, a favourite of our friend Ed Strange

Due to our odd schedule of not being morning people, by the time we are ready for lunch this lunch wagon is usually closed.

We returned with more supplies.  Look who was back!

deer

deerandme

They hopped the fence in one easy bound.  This will have to be a deer friendly garden like Marilyn’s.

With more newspaper and cardboard to lay, we started making the trench around the garden bed.

trench made with half moon edger

trench made with half moon edger

While I tucked the newspaper into the trench, Felix the cat appeared and found a use for the new garden.

Felix!!

Felix!!

Clearly, we will have to protect areas sown with flower seeds by laying down some pieces of chicken wire or bird (cat) netting.

It’s hard to watch all sorts of interesting newspaper articles disappear under the mulch.  We did not have enough supplies to keep pulling intriguing sections out of the layering.

I did not stop to read.

I did not stop to read.

Deciding that we wanted to make the bed longer, just because it would look right, we went on another run for more paper, and then to The Planter Box again for one more load of cow fiber to hold it down.

cute chicks for sale at Planter Box

cute chicks for sale at Planter Box

Back to work!  Here’s the bed’s final shape, for now.  It can be expanded in the future.  If it were mine, it would be wider and twice as long, with a matching bed on the other side of the lawn.

We'll see how it looks with a bed this size, for now.

We’ll see how it looks with a bed this size, for now.

looking west

looking west

I had cut a trench around the boat and Allan had further cut into the old sod under the edge of the fabric so that it looks finished now.  The garden bed also has a finished look but is far from done.  We are getting six yards of soil energy delivered to build it up to a depth sufficient for immediately planting some perennials.

Later, we'll get a few more buckets of river rock for around the boat so the landscape fabric does not show anywhere.

Later, we’ll get a few more buckets of river rock for around the boat so the landscape fabric does not show anywhere.

If all goes well, the soil mix will be delivered tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

At home before we went to work: a new angle on one of the Hellebore areas in our front garden.

rich in Hellebores

rich in Hellebores

On the way back to our project, we stopped by Long Beach city hall to pick up our check.

north side of City Hall

north side of City Hall

City Hall trillium, with the usual problem of taking white flower photos.

City Hall trillium, with the usual problem of taking white flower photos.

City Hall; I love the new foliage of the Aruncus (goat's beard)

City Hall; I love the new foliage of the Aruncus (goat’s beard)

This particular Aruncus came from along the road near my old Ilwaco house, as did the trillium, perhaps.  I rescued some plants when the road was widened.

We stopped also at Dennis Company to get a little something to add to a friend’s birthday package.

lots of Narcissi in the tree planter

lots of Narcissi in the tree planter outside of Dennis Co

I especially like Narcissi with very small cups.

I especially like Narcissi with very small cups.

And then back to the project at Erin’s house.  We parked on the street in order to make it easy for soil delivery to find us.  Felix took immediate advantage of the opportunity to hop into our van.

My friend Felix

My friend Felix

Allan and I worked on cleaning up a small street side garden while watching to the north for the soil truck.

looking north

looking north

passing time in tidying

passing time in tidying

This little garden is on the east side of a cottage that sits behind the big house.

This little garden is on the east side of a cottage that sits behind the big house.

The truck came right on time with six yards of Soil Energy mulch; Allan guided it in over the neighbour’s lawn and through the gate to Erin’s west lawn.

Here it comes!

Here it comes!

Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply

Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply

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

6 cubic yards

6 cubic yards

Several hours of work waiting.

Several hours of work waiting.

The idea was to cover the roughly 350 square feet of the new garden bed to a depth that would permit immediate planting.  Usually the Soil Energy mix is too hot to plant the same day.  Today, after sitting all winter, it was nice and cool and I wished we had brought the three buckets of free plants (divisions from here and there) that are waiting at home to go in this garden.

I moved several wheelbarrow loads to the boat end of the bed while Allan scooped with buckets and shovel onto the closer end.  Then the sun came out and I realized I had forgotten my lightweight warm weather shirt.  How miserable!  A revelation struck:  The Reach Out Thrift shop was just three blocks away.  I had been meaning to stock up on summer shirts…so I left Allan shoveling while I took a half an hour break to walk there and back.

looking south on Ocean Beach Boulevard: just three blocks to a summer of comfortable shirts.

looking south on Ocean Beach Boulevard: just three blocks to a summer of comfortable shirts.

reachout

Inside the thrift store at 10th North is an unbeatable deal.  You can fill a grocery bag with as many clothing items, including shoes, that you can stuff in and buy the whole lot for only $5.00

racks organized by size

racks organized by size

I got at least ten good items of work clothing; a couple of the lightweight shirts may be for Allan.  Then, back to the job to shovel without overheating.  The whole excursion took exactly half an hour, as I had hoped.

When I returned, Felix was ever so happy to see me.

such a nice kitty he is.

such a nice kitty he is.

While I was gone, Allan got a photo of Felix in the van again.

While I was gone, Allan got a photo of Felix in the van again.

I buckled down to the rest of the soil moving; Allan had been working all along.  I could feel my age, as I resorted to ibuprofen and bengay when my right calf locked up again.  By midafternoon, the soil shifting was done, and Allan had also filled ten five gallon buckets with some soil to take down to the other part of the project.

done

done

ready for planting

ready for planting

looking south from the fire circle

looking south from the fire circle

Erin wants to be able to see the whole horizon to the south while sitting around the fire with friends and family on summer evenings.  Because of the next door trees, I will be able to plant some taller plants in the upper stretch of the new bed.

So far, the plan is to add some free Nepeta (catmint) that we got from Jo’s garden, and a Helianthemum that came out of the Picture Attic garden when Allan cleaned it up recently.  I can scavenge some starts of Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass, which is low in stature) and I have a good selection of different coloured poppies and California poppy seeds to add.  I’ll also want to get some Eryngiums and some Armeria (sea thrift) and some Dianthus and some Agastache and, later, cosmos.  The planting will have to take into consideration the three deer who frequent the garden.

boatThe sun had gone in and I layered a warm sweatshirt and walked to the entry garden while Allan drove the van back out the neighbour’s lawn to join me below.  I looked back to admire the view from the top of the stairs that lead to the the house’s front door.

from where the lawn begins

from where the lawn begins, looking west

From the base of the stairs, the boat shows enticingly.

From the base of the stairs, the boat shows enticingly.

To my delight, we had time left for the rest of the project:  tidying up the courtyard behind the big house.  While the house had sat empty for a couple of years, chickweed had taken over.

courtyard before

courtyard before

before, the mermaid bed

before, the mermaid bed

and the raised bed by the back porch

and the raised bed by the back porch

When we had stopped by earlier in the week to talk to Erin, she had expressed a dream of having a simple year round planting in the courtyard so that it would be cheering in the winter.  I suggested hellebores and Allan had gone to retrieve from  our van a hellebore that we had just purchased at The Planter Box.  Just as he walked up to us with the plant, Erin showed me a phone photo of a plant she had fallen in love with.  It was exactly the same Hellebore cultivar.

this one!

this one!

raised bed after

raised bed after

mermaid bed after

mermaid bed after

courtafter

I’m not as satisfied with the “after” as one might think.  I know the chickweed has re-seeded already and, far worse, the roots of bindweed have infested both these beds during the time they sat untended.  Bindweed is one of the worst weeds to eradicate organically and I am sure it will be popping up throughout these areas.  We hear that WWoofers* will be staying in the little cottage behind the big house and will be looking for useful tasks to do.  I’m thinking they could take on one of the best bindweed controls:  “Never let it see a Sunday.”  In other words, they could make it one of their projects to pull it every single week.

*What is a Wwoofer?

“The acronym stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, but some still refer to it as Willing Workers On Organic Farms. People of varying experience levels and all ages (although, usually a minimum age of 16) have been taking advantage of this excellent program since it started in the UK in 1971.

Here is the idea: You, the WWOOFer, agree to volunteer on an organic farm working for at least four to six hours a day for a few days or more in exchange for the host providing free home-cooked meals, a free room, and free advice on organic farming.”

Best of all, for me, is hearing that the WWOOFERs will take on the clean up and maintenance of the garden by the little cottage in which they will reside.

the cottage garden

the cottage garden today

Just as we finished weeding and planting the hellebores, a light rain began.  I was so pleased we had gotten the new garden bed done, and I am relieved that Erin does not want the second one on the other side of the garden yet.  Except for some fun planting and pleasant maintenance here, we can now focus on our “regular” jobs.  This deserved a reward.

Reward:  Dinner at Pelicano!

a quick stop at home to change clothes

a quick stop at home to change clothes

Pelicano Restaurant is just a block south of the bogsy wood, overlooking the marina.  It is presently featuring art by Astoria painter Noel Thomas.

inside Pelicano

inside Pelicano

the view from our table

the view from our table

our drinks:  Ilwaco Sunrise and a Grapefruit Margarita

our drinks: Ilwaco Sunrise and a Grapefruit Margarita

I like to have the chef’s menu when it does not include oysters.  This month, it was perfect for me.

menu

Although I did sort of want the scallops more…so Allan ordered those and we switched our main courses because he is very fond of the way Chef Jeff McMahon prepares fish.

scallops and more

scallops and more

Asparagus and Roasted Beet Salad...as delicious as it is beautiful.

Asparagus and Roasted Beet Salad…as delicious as it is beautiful.

Allan got a caramelized onion soup and I had to steal several delectable spoonfuls.

I almost forgot to take a photo of the shrimp. avocado and pinto bean salad.

Here it is after I gave a portion to Allan in trade for more soup.

Here it is after I gave a portion to Allan in trade for more soup.

the scallops...after giving a portion to Allan.

the scallops…after giving a portion to Allan.

Walnut Meringue and Malted Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich with caramel sauce.  The chef makes ice cream in house.

Walnut Meringue and Malted Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich with caramel sauce. The chef makes ice cream in house.

Chocolate pot de creme with Maldon Sea Salt

Chocolate pot de creme with Maldon Sea Salt

Karla of Time Enough Books at the port has said that if she had to choose a last meal, this dark chocolate pot de creme would be its dessert.

As we left (me, hobbling), the rain continued and I admit that I would very much like a rainy day tomorrow.  The book I am reading is overdue and I could finish it given a stormy day:

imgres

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

I woke to the sound of foghorns and the sight of fog hanging low over the port.  The temperature outside was in the low forties, giving me enough excuse to stay indoors reading a Simon Serrailler mystery for most of the day.  I ventured out in the late afternoon just to work on picking up some storm-fallen wood for New Judy’s woodstove.

south window view

south window view

looking southeast across the garden

looking southeast across the garden

The cats all seem to enjoy using the fallen branches as balance beams and claw sharpeners.

Smokey

Smokey

At four thirty, I decided the incoming fog warranted a photo from the south end of Nora’s lawn.  Here, between our two houses, is one of two big debris piles that I’ve got going.  If Nora were still alive, I wouldn’t have something so unsightly in  this spot.  The original purpose of this garden bed was to grow bright flowers for her to see from her back porch…

debris pile

debris pile

I am going to feel discombobulated when Nora’s house is sold someday, as I am so used to walking on her property; she was a kind and generous and friendly neighbour.

Smokey follows me onto Nora's lawn

Smokey follows me onto Nora’s lawn.

The fogbank looked so spectacular that I went out to the port parking lot to take my photos.

looking west from Pearl Street over the storage boatyard

looking west from Pearl Street over the storage boatyard

The fog lured me down to the marina.

fog

colour coordination

colour coordination

still water, and steam from Jessie's Fish Co

still water, and steam from Jessie’s Fish Co

The Iris reticulata at the port office garden is out more than last week; I do hope someone has noticed other than me!

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

A little way further east on Waterfront Way, I walked past Pelicano Restaurant and started thinking about their food.

Sea Quest

Sea Quest

ducks and boats

ducks and boats

CoHo Charters at the east end of the marina

CoHo Charters at the east end of the marina

colour echo in the window of CoHo Charters

colour echo in the window of CoHo Charters

By the time I got to CoHo Charters, I’d given Allan a call on my mobile to suggest that tonight be our monthly dinner at Pelicano and he had readily agreed.  Meanwhile, I walked up Elizabeth Avenue along the east side of the marina.

birds in the fog

birds in the fog

A birder would know what these black headed birds are called.

A birder would know what these black headed birds are called.

I tried not to disturb them but they all flew down into the water!

I tried not to disturb them but they all flew down into the water!

birds

birds

birds

a soft sunset

a soft sunset

looking west

looking northwest

waiting for low tide

waiting for low tide

Yellow Bluff, to the east, almost lost in fog

Yellow Bluff, to the east, almost lost in fog

Fog swallowed the sunset.

Fog swallowed the sunset.

I walked home along Advent Avenue to collect Allan for our dinner date.  Looking west I could just make out local fisherman John G. taking his daily bike ride, followed by his faithful dog Ernie.

John and Ernie

John and Ernie

Home looked so inviting with the warm lights on in house and shed.

at dusk

at dusk

fog over the bogsy wood

fog over the bogsy wood

We drove down to Pelicano Restaurant because the evening would be cold, and Ilwaco has some dark stretches of pavement with no street lights to help one avoid potholes when walking home!  We had the place to ourselves because of some big football game that meant nothing to us but apparently quite a lot to other people.  Fortunately, there is no big screen telly at Pelicano.   (A television in a restaurant is a sure way to make me NOT want to eat there.)

a restaurant all our own

a restaurant all our own

our table by the window

our table by the window

We had “Planter’s Punch” cocktails…delicious.  (“Myers’ dark rum, fresh squeezed pineapple and lime juice and grapefruit simple syrup”)

a tropical twist on a winter evening

a tropical twist on a winter evening

The salad was particularly outstanding.  (“Green papaya salad with shrimp, mint, cilantro, peanuts and crispy shallots”)

Just looking at this photo makes me want to have this again.  Now.

Just looking at this photo makes me want to have this again. Now.

After a delectable dinner of rockfish (Allan) and scallops (mine)…

(“Rockfish with Quinoa, Tuscan Kale, Shiitake Mushrooms and Salmoriglio Sauce”  and “Sea Scallops and Pacific Cod Baked with Tomatoes, Black Olives and Salsa Verde”)

…we both closed with the freshly made apple tart.  Look at how finely those apples are sliced and how beautifully it is put together.  Each one take 12 minutes to make from scratch.

fresh apple tart with home made ice cream

fresh warm apple tart with house made vanilla bean ice cream

I love staycation.

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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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