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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Frosty greeted me when I awoke (after not enough sleep, again).

I am appreciating my time with him after coming home one evening last week and finding him all wobbly and confused again.  I had googled how much honey to give him and learned from reputable vet sites that it should be a tablespoon, not just the touch of honey I had given him the first time.  Getting a tablespoon of honey into a cat’s mouth was not easy.  He ended up with honey dripping from his whiskers and sticky honey on his ears and plenty of honey on my shirt sleeves.

Dr Google for cats informed me that he could die from one of these spells and that if he were to be found in a coma, we must try to administer honey or corn syrup.  I was glad that soon we will be home more.  I hope to have at least one more reading winter with him.  He is 15, maybe even 15 going on 16.

On the way to work, we pulled the last cosmos from the post office garden.  The light is so low now that even at midmorning, the River City Playhouse across the street casts a big shadow on the garden.

Port of Ilwaco

We began with a continuation of yesterday’s fall clean up along Howerton Avenue, from RiversZen Yoga to Salt Hotel.

the Time Enough Books garden boat

Long Beach

I tidied up Fifth Street Park’s west side some more while Allan worked on the east side and a street tree garden.  I’d got a last small shipment of bulbs and added some more narcissi (a cyclamineous mix and a miniature mix), hoping for a better spring show in 2020.

A handsome horse and carriage passed by going south….

Allan’s photo

…then west…

…and then to the north.

I had thought someone was calling out “Jeeves! Jeeves!” but it had been “Gee! Gee!”

The pineapple sage in the west garden continues to bloom.

Although it is the only one for blocks around, a hummingbird had found it and worked at every flower.

This particular pineapple sage has come back for several years in a row.  I must plant more in 2020.

The final street tree bed (of eighteen in all), before and after:

Allan’s photos

It will be chock-a-block with narcissi come springtime.

We then pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage out of all three parking lot berms on the east side of downtown.

before
after
before
after (Allan’s photos)
south berm
middle berm

I have always wanted to do something better on the middle berm than the few clumps of crocosmia and rugosa roses.  We have never found the time.  (And they do get walked upon by owners of parked cars.)  In the spring, the quaking grass takes over and is attractive.

blackberries on the north berm (Allan’s photo)

After we dumped a trailer load of debris at City Works, a beautiful cat appeared and inspected our work.

Allan’s photos

I did not have time to make friends.  We were racing sunset.

We cleaned up the welcome sign, pulling the agyranthemum, bottoming out the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and trimming the Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ so that the lights will shine on the sign without deep shadows (I hope).

I had to stand back a quarter of a block to not have my long shadow in the photo…and still had my head in the frame.

before
It was a warm day with no jackets needed!
after
before
after (I left some still blooming bidens along the edge.)
north side, before
and after (Allan’s photos)

The grape hyacinth foliage is already up, which is perfectly normal.

Port of Ilwaco

With less than an hour till sunset, we returned to the Howerton Avenue gardens, planted some narcissi in the east and the At the Helm Hotel curbside beds.

east bed (Allan’s photo)

Allan sheared down the pearly everlasting by the hotel.

before
after, with red twig dogwood looking grand

I did not have time to gather the precious leaves!  We had just time to get home, offload debris, catch our breath, and go back out to a meeting.  Additionally, there was the anxiety of Frosty having one of his bad spells.  We managed to get him to take a half tablespoon of corn syrup (a tablespoon being the goal), which proved to be sticky, but not half as sticky as tablespoon of honey.

Ilwaco Community Building

I was surprised how few people showed up other than the mayor, Jenna (president of the merchants association) and the members of the commission.  The seven? citizens who attended, including us and Marlene, enjoyed an excellent presentation.  That is Mayor Gary Forner speaking, in blue, below.

We now have a five day break before next Tuesday’s volunteer crab pot tree decorating session, after which I hope the weather allows us to do one last brief weeding of the Howerton Avenue gardens before Thanksgiving weekend’s tourists arrive.  If it doesn’t get done, that will be sort of ok, as they are not terribly weedy.

What is left on the work board looks much more daunting than it actually is.  (I was so mad that I had not written down “LB berms”, because I robbed myself of the joy of erasing it.)

Most of those locations on the “final check” list will take no more than an hour of work, and in some cases less than an hour.  I estimate that less than eight hours of work, some of it dependent on having a hard frost, stands between us and full staycation and a hiatus (not quite yet) from daily blog posts.

 

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Sunday, 17 November, 2013

The weather surprised us by being quite workable after some morning rain. While hooking up the trailer, Allan found a large Melianthus major flower thrown on the sidewalk, clearly by a finger blight suspect who just wanted to damage and not take. I had wanted to take a photo of ALL the flowers that have come out on the plant.

now missing one

now missing one

I saw an elephant garlic blossom also thrown upon the sidewalk.

When we arrived at our first job, Larry and Robert’s just five doors down (across Pearl Avenue), we saw that across the street from them, lots of hydrangea flowers were on the ground. We assume the same finger blighter hit that yard, as well, and yanked flowers off the hydrangeas by the fence. Whoever it was would have had to be tall enough to reach my Melianthus flower. I ask you, why?

evidence

evidence

color echo

color echo with the fire station in the garden scross from Larry and Robert’s

We are having an influx of new neighbours on the street, including (soon) at the house across from Larry and Robert’s, and we are happy to welcome them. We’ve already met one on our block, named Judy, three doors down!. I’m calling her “New Judy” for now (in my mind) and when speaking of Judy four doors down, I don’t call my dear friend “Old Judy”, but instead “Our Judy”, a phrasing I learned from Coronation Street and from my previous marriage to a Leedsman. Or I could call them Judy Four Doors Down and Judy Three Doors Down. I used to know so many Kathleens that we just called them all by their last names (till two of them moved away and now I just have two Kathleens in my life, one of whom we still call “Sayce” from olden days). I’ve never before known multiple Judys!

Whoever moves in across from Larry and Robert’s, if they are gardeners, will find some nice boxwood and hydrangeas. Most of the yard is incomplete and will be an interesting blank palate for someone to play with. The blueberry and other shrubs that tones so well with the police station dates back to when architect Anthony and writer Victoria Stoppiello had a wonderful, mysterious, half wild garden there. The very first thing I would do is cut down that badly pruned rhododendron that is so gangly….but it is no secret that I am not a fan of plain old rhodos, ill pruned and in the wrong place. Now, some nice species rhodos with fabulous indumentum like at a certain bay side garden are another thing altogether.

New Judy loves to garden and has a completely blank slate of lawn. I wonder if she knows about the newspaper method of garden bed creation. Perhaps she would like some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

There is even a possibility that some people who bought a nearby house to “flip” it have fallen in love with Ilwaco and might keep it as a second home. Ilwaco can have that effect!

Meanwhile, at Larry and Robert’s, I had laid out the bulbs and we planted and weeded small weeds along the front of the garden beds.

looking from Larry and Robert's east, with Judy and Tom's in the background

looking from Larry and Robert’s east, with Judy and Tom’s in the background

a lovely photo but I left my bulb bucket by the boat!

a lovely photo but I left my bulb bucket by the boat!

Here we mostly plant Narcissi with some Alliums and minor bulbs. I dared some Tulip ‘Princess Irene’ in the boat as it is short and strong for the wind and perhaps the deer will ignore it.

Larry and Robert's old hydrangea

Larry and Robert’s old hydrangea

pineapple sage

pineapple sage

and an even bigger pineapple sage.  (blooms late, leaves smell like pineapple)

and an even bigger pineapple sage. (blooms late, leaves smell like pineapple)

Both the pineapple sages came back from last year and are thriving on the east wall with protection from southwest wind.

Then…down to the Port to finish the project we left yesterday to go to the Wizard of Oz play.

Allan weeded a green lawn of short grass out from this bed...what a job!

Allan weeded a green lawn of short grass out from this bed…what a job!

Two boys were skateboarding on the picnic table by the restrooms and then they started to sing an offkey version of Over the Rainbow, so they must have seen the play, as well.

finished what I started yesterday

finished what I started yesterday

I put two plant starts from my friend Sheila into the bed above: a hebe and Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’. We planted short narcissi in both beds, especially ‘Baby Moon’. We went on to add Baby Moon, Itzim, Peeping Tom, Baby Boomer, and Sun Disc narcissi at the Shoalwater Cove and Pelicano curbside garden, and Time Enough Books, and Queen La De Da’s. The Baby Moons should still be blooming prolifically for the annual children’s parade at the beginning of May.

Last year, we planted scads of crocuses and Iris reticulata as well. Crows and seagulls were watching and dug up and pecked at almost all of them.

colour echo with grasses and crab pots by Queen La De Da's Art Castle

faint colour echo with grasses and crab pots by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

Signs of crabbing are everywhere now, as crabbers get poised for when the season begins.

a truckload of floats

a truckload of floats

The frames are a shout out to my favourite blogger, Mr. Tootlepedal.

I had a big idea of getting my own bulbs planted in the last hour of daylight. A drizzle arriving just as we parked at home put an end to that. Our Judy walked down with some Dave’s Killer Bread loaves (essential to the digestion) that she and Tom had picked up for us across the river, and we had a visit in the misty rain. At least I got my bulbs out on a shelf to stay nice and airy, and if it rains on Monday, I will organize them by garden area so they go in quickly when the time comes. A storm is due; I would love time in the morning to plant the Veterans Field bulbs in Long Beach before it arrives, as we certainly did not get there today.

Meanwhile, as with Saturday evening, I spend hours making bulb spreadsheets for each friend who went in on my big order. I do enjoy a nice alphabetical spreadsheet and it is a huge relief when the money comes out right, as I juggle a lot when sorting to make sure this person gets $30 of bulbs and that one exactly $100, and that one $50, and a more impoverished friend maybe just $10 worth. People with a deer problem get no tulips; those with fenced areas or protected containers can grow tulips. I charge no mark up; the profit (other than in the labor of the ones I plant) is in seeing the beauty in the spring.

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