Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Sunday, 1 April 2018

We had a day of cold rain till late afternoon.

I finished A Man Called Ove, enjoying it completely.  (And have ordered the film.)


I decided to read this book again, as I had liked it a lot years ago:

I realized about one chapter in that it was not for me anymore and turned instead to a book of essays, edited by Molly Peacock (who wrote The Paper Garden) and all on a topic that is meaningful to me, “privacy in a public world”.

My favourite bits…

From an essay by Cathleen Medwick:

From an essay by F. Gonzales Crusi:

(Oh yes, I get anxious if someone comes closer than those thirty inches.  I will back up.)

From an essay by Jonathan Franzen:

I still feel that scrutiny when walking to the post office in my town.  (We do not get mail delivery, so most of us visit the post office daily.)

My favourite essay is this one on small town living:

Here, houses are often referred to by the name of a family who lived there a generation go.

All of these essays were written before Facebook gave even more opportunity to gather information and scandal.

“hot, wild, and mean…”

I could tell you stories that have gotten round the Ilwaco circuit and back to me about things I supposedly have said or done that never happened and were not even remotely true.  And I am sure the same is true of all who live in this small town.

We had a strange encounter while I was reading the privacy book.  A ring of the doorbell and opening of the front door revealed a strange creature on this Easter Sunday.  The creature wanted to visit the back garden.

The sun came out as I read the book of privacy essays.  Allan commented that it might look nice out, yet the temperature was only 43.  That made me feel better about finishing the book today.  He went grocery shopping….

a pot of gold in the deli?

…and on the way home did a brief deadheading at the Ilwaco Community Building.

Tulipa sylvestris

a greiggii tulip

in the tiered garden

In the evenings this weekend, we watched two excellent documentaries: I Am Not Your Negro on Saturday night, and on Sunday Hope and Fury: MLK, The Movement, and the Media.

Tonight, Calvin seemed ever so much better and played like mad with his pinball-type cat toy.

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain and 30 mph wind.  I hope so, because I started to reread What Are Old People For? at bedtime, and if I can finish it tomorrow I will, for once, have no almost-overdue books pressuring me.  I also am anxious to find the answer to that question; I cannot remember it from reading the book a decade ago.  I grew up with vigorous and interesting old people, and I very much want to become one, but I am concerned about what I will be for if the time comes that I must retire from public gardening.



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Some further thoughts (after last post) on garden privacy…and just an update about work.

I shouldn’t feel too guilty about work because we have been accomplishing a lot…

We got the Buddliea and a bunch of other shrubs pruned at Cheri’s garden:

Allan pruning Buddleia

Oops, where’s the after photo?  It ended up a little taller than knee high.  Oh well, here’s a nice photo of Porsche, Cheri and Charlie’s dog, always a delight.

Porsche by Buddleia

This area is a secret garden and full of flowers in summer.

Cheri’s in summer

It’s a treat to work in a secluded garden because a lot of our work is right out in public, like in this park in Long Beach by Marsh’s Free Museum:

early March, Long Beach park

One always has to be cheerful, answer questions, and try not to look too horribly disheveled.

We’ve been getting lots of yards of soil energy (one by one, which is all our trailer will carry), and mulching assorted gardens, including that Long Beach park.

mulched Long Beach crocuses

Continuing on the spring clean up mission of mulching and cutting back, we headed for Marilyn’s garden yesterday.  After dumping a full load of debris at Peninsula Landscape Supply, we picked up another yard of soil energy.  This wonderful neighbour dog named Bob came over for pets and then played King of the Mountain.  His coat was so soft and clean you would never think one of his joys is running through the mud and lying on the sand pile.  We were told he also loves the soil energy pile because it’s warm.


Back to the question of privacy.  One of our goals with Marilyn’s garden on a smallish lot near Surfside was to provide some privacy from the neighbour’s garage, and also to stop the eye at the edge of the garden.  Here it is yesterday with last year’s grasses and perennials still up:

Marilyn’s, noon

Here it is in the afternoon after a day of chopping: all the seclusion rather shockingly gone.  We had tried planting escallonia along the back for a year-round stopping of the eye, but the pesky deer kept eating them.  We’ve been experimenting and find these particular deer leave California wax myrtle alone, for now, and so we’ll try those instead.

Marilyn’s, 4 PM

The  deer (three of them) were just waiting next door to see if we would plant something new and delectable.

one of the hungry neighbours

(They don’t bother Marilyn’s hellebores, as you can see by the healthy state of this one:)

hellebore along Marilyn’s driveway

Last summer, the garage was almost hidden by perennials, as it will be this summer. The trick is to balance privacy with leaving lots of room for flowers and grasses.  (If it were my place, I would probably have put up a solid fence, the privacy solution that leaves the most room for a colourful floriferous garden.)

Marilyn’s in summer

But last summer we ran into a sudden privacy/stopping the eye crisis when neighbours to the south cut back all the lower limbs on trees between the two lots, including limbs which were definitely on our side!  Suddenly, the eye was no longer stopped by a wall of evergreen but flew through to the stuff next door.

the disturbing new view

A telephoto shot like the one above exaggerates what we see, but that is actually how I felt, that the stuff against the neighbour’s garage was all I saw when looking to the south!  So we’ve added some shrubs on Marilyn’s side, and we hope this year they will take on enough height to make a green wall once again.  Years of experience helped us choose successfully some shrubs that the deer have left alone all winter:  Pieris, wax myrtle, Ceanothus, a couple of deciduous barberry ‘Helmond Pillar for a bronze contrasting effect, Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’.  All came through the winter looking healthy.  We’ll let you know if we manage to get our evergreen screen effect back this summer.  (Again,I often feel in a situation like this that the most instant solution is a sudden tall solid plank or panel fence!)

[January 2013:  Over the course of 2013 the lower parts of the border evergreen trees filled in some on the south side of the garden so it feels somewhat more enclosed there.]

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