Posts Tagged ‘pruning sword ferns’

Thursday, 23 February 2017

I had complete faith, when I saw the fairly decent weather, that we could complete three more spring clean ups today.

The Red Barn

Red Barn


our good friend Rosie (Allan’s photo)



at The Red Barn Arena


the farrier and our client, Diane


Rosie loves eating hoof trimmings


Farrier’s truck (Allan’s photo)

We care for five containers and a narrow garden bed at the barn.


Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ had not made it well through winter.


removal project; now the narcissi will show up.


sad Erysimum

We unhooked the trailer in order to go next door to Diane’s garden; her driveway was too full to turn around with our full rig.


Ice on water nearby shows how cold the air still felt.

Diane’s garden

At the barn, we had learned from Diane that the new septic still has not been installed.  That means that re-doing her roadside garden won’t happen till perhaps the end of March.


Stipa gigantea, driveway entry (Allan’s photos)



The trees have been cut down along the roadside garden and the stumps will be removed.  The county mowing truck mowed down the heathers and rosemary, the only plants we left behind when we dismantled the garden last fall….probably because it no longer looked like a garden (and it is part of the roadside verge).


hydrangea, before pruning



Diane reminded me that I had spoken of pruning her old blueberries.  We removed 1/3 of the old growth, hoping to encourage better berrying.





Allan had a long walk, twice, back to the debris pile at the barn.



My dear friend Mistie, aged 10, who is doing much better than she was last fall, got a good belly rub and hugging.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We made our second spring clean up trip to KBC to cut back the ferns.


Denny, Mary, and Bella


darling Bella


view in fenced garden, east gate


crocuses and Iris reticulata




and more crocuses



clean up of the driveway garden, before




and after talking to Mary about how she wants room to plant some dwarf conifers here.


east end of pond island bed, before and after trimming ferns


the pond, before


Allan’s brave crossing


before (Allan’s photo)





after (Allan’s photo)


The pond island has many ferns, most of them awkward to reach.






by cottage eight, before and after (Allan’s photos)


near cottage one (Allan’s photos).  Those ferns probably got missed in last year’s pruning.


Allan rescued St. Francis.


the dog memorial garden for Misty, Debbie, and Raven


the first narcissi in the A Frame garden


Allan noticed them, too.








hamamelis (witch hazel) and the cottages on the ridge

I never did get to KBC over the winter to read more cottage journals.  I got too entrenched in my reading chair at home.  Maybe next winter.


by the clam cleaning shed


the last fern of the day

The temperature had dropped drastically.  We were glad to be done.


The crocuses had closed up.  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo

a dreamy garden

In the van, just before leaving, I checked my messages and saw that Our Kathleen had sent me a real estate link.  Although we are not house hunting, she knows we like to see interesting properties.

Here is the link.

“This is so much more than 4 vacant land parcels. Enter the gates and you enter a private garden like no other. 100s of plants in containers, a grove of bamboo, mature trees and beautiful one-off gazebos and garden features. All of this is anchored by a grand pavilion made from steel and found materials in the grand style of The Rural Studio and Samuel Mockbee. The site features a private well, 2 RV cleanouts, 100amp power, sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom, and 40′ steel storage container.”

I swiped these three photos, because I suppose at some time the real estate listing will go away.


amazing pavilion


a party from the past


a paradise!

I had to see, so we drove about fifty blocks north, only to find another aspect of the property’s perfection:


It has two big gated driveways and you cannot see in, at all—complete privacy.


The other gate

Allan stood on a bucket and said no one was there. He took some photos over the gate…because I was desperate to see inside and I was too sore from work to stand on a bucket.




It is glorious.




Even though there is no house in there, the description included a sleeping area, kitchen, and bathroom.  Oh, if I were even five years younger…I feel too old to uproot my Ilwaco garden.

While fantasizing about living in the 40 foot storage container, I had to firmly remind myself of the advantages of living near a bookstore, post office, library, hospital, and Salt Pub.  And yet…this one will haunt me for awhile.  It had 4000 more square feet than our property does.  I did some online snooping and found the owners are just a bit more than a decade older than us.  That increased my feeling of being too old to move.

Maybe you can buy it and invite us over.

Salt Pub

Tonight, Our Kathleen was in town for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang meeting.  Sadly, Dave and Melissa were unable to attend.


the view


Our Kathleen (Allan’s photo)


pub burger




smoked tuna melt


vanilla creme brulee

We stayed till after closing time, as I figured we would, and that is why I skipped a blogging day.  I was so tired that I forgot to erase three more jobs from the workboard until the following morning.


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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Jay and Jodie’s

We had unexpectedly workable weather and began across the street at the J’s cottage.  I’d been itching to cut back the sword ferns.  We’d begun this job last year in mid summer and so had not been able to clip them thoroughly.


before, looking west


lots of little shotweeds coming up (lower right)


gathering clipped fern fronds




before, looking east




really need to get some mulch for shrubs that were planted too high



In the back garden, Allan found pots needing drainage.



After popping home for a drill, he fixed the problem.

Partway through the job, I took a 20 minute break to walk down to the nearby fire station with a local firefighter who is planning to beautify the landscape there.


me and John

I said that with proper notice, I’d volunteer to help weed and also to help select plants. It was a volunteer project I’d been planning to do myself…someday…so am glad someone else has taken it in hand.

Long Beach

In the early afternoon, we tackled the Heron Pond, at the corner of Bolstad and Pacific.  You can look at it any time on the Heroncam.



Oh, how I loathe the salal in this garden, obviously not planted by us.  Last year I pulled and pulled and clipped it along the front here.  Of course, the dastardly stuff is back.



salal all up in the armeria (sea thrift) along the edge of the pond.

This is a case where the human does not win.  I didn’t even try to fight the damn stuff this year, just clipped some of it back.  That and aegepodium (variegated bishops weed) are my two most loathed plants.  Just don’t fall for them!






after (silver santolina trimmed)


fish hiding place (Allan’s photo)


Another pale fish that has eluded the heron.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photos, before


after.  Allan climbed out to the waterfall to trim the ferns.

We then weeded and sheared grasses in three little pop outs on Ocean Beach Boulevard.  We found to our surprise that the cold wind that we’d felt at the pond garden was much less annoying here at the first two pop outs. We had almost quit for the day after the pond; I was glad we had persisted.

Allan’s photos:


before.  Second pop out is on the other side of the crosswalk.








from the back




Barbara from the Planter Box drove by and stopped to catch up.

The second little pop out was not especially photogenic before OR after.  For the last two years, someone has adopted it and planted annuals toward the front, so we simply weeded it and will wait to see what happens.

Half a block north, a citizen has been experimenting in his front yard with escallonia topiary.


a chair


a critter in progress

Someone has already cut back the dwarf pampas grass in the BIG pop out so we drove right by it to the third and fourth little ones, a block north of city hall.


third little pop out, before




fourth, before (such a sad mugo pine, that had to be trimmed last year for traffic sightlines)



The wind had gotten deathly cold and so every little weed did not get pulled today.

I think that mugo pine has to totally go away…sometime.  These tiny garden beds get no supplemental water and are probably browsed by deer so I’ll have to ponder on it.


A citizen stopped for veg gardening advice.  I referred her to The Planter Box.


After dumping our debris, we were so glad to get home.  Before enjoying the warmth of the house, we had a little chat with our new neighbour, Devery, who was looking spiffing as always in, today in a checked jacket with a matching hat.  I’m so looking forward to sitting in the garden with her this summer when warm weather returns.  At present, it’s hard to picture summer because I have done almost no spring clean up on my own garden.


I was able to erase three spring clean up jobs from the work board.


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Wednesday, 17 February 2016


before work


the ornamental plum blooming


purple crocuses being subtle in the front garden


crocuses and double primrose


tulips and an Erysimum (probably ‘Winter Orchid’

I had hoped to work today and my hopes were realized, even though we started out in a brisk wind.  I figured it would be far less windy in the Klipsan Beach Cottages garden.

The Planter Box

On the way north, we took shelter from an intense rain at the Planter Box, seeking some early colour for the containers at The Anchorage Cottages.


Gorgeous hellebores were not what we were seeking.


front sales area display


Ah, three fragrant wallflowers would be just what I needed.

When we departed, the rain had increased and the Dark Sky app said it would continue for forty more minutes.  A drive north to look at the Oysterville garden and our friends hard at work would fill the time nicely.


Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) and Todd (Willapa Gardening) were hard at work in the garden, and I didn’t take many photos because I felt that I shouldn’t be a distraction to their work.


Allan’s photo: Todd with wheelbarrow


Dave and Melissa address a lovely pile of Soil Energy.



the water feature, with hellebores


the back border, with many shrubs recently added


Hamamelis and unfurling tree fern in the drizzly mist


new beech hedge in the making along the front


a guest named Mr Fox

We left without walking all around as I felt guilty about interrupting, although we were reassured by the garden owner that we could tour the garden any time, a privilege which we treasure.

Back we went to…

Klipsan Beach Cottages

…and by the time we got there, the rain was tapering off.

First, I had to go in the basement and greet Bella, whom I had not seen since around Christmas time.


my very good friend Bella


KBC fenced garden, east gate

I asked Allan to do the planting, starting with a fig tree from Dave and Melissa.


(Allan’s photos) From the circle a non fruiting fig had been removed.


The new fig had fruited well even in the pot.


He also planted for me a winter blooming honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, which you can barely see by the clump of narcissi, and which I hope the deer will not eat.


Allan’s closeup of the intensely fragrant Lonicera.

I asked him to dig out a grass that was the wrong size for a bed, meant to get a before photo, turned around…and he had it done already!


after (Allan’s photo)

The grass had been outsized for the spot, as a photo from 2015 shows:


Nov 9, 2015; the grass is smothering two hebes and crowding a rose


Allan’s photo: It more than filled the wheelbarrow…


and is in a pot till someone decides on a better plan.


In the lawn edge border, the hellebores are not sizeable enough to be showy yet.


A closer look is rewarding.



a handsome upright form


a long established clump of primroses


apricot scented Hamamelis mollis just about done blooming


Pieris japonica; my grandma called it Andromeda.


narcissi and shiny rain washed calla lily leaves


Euphorbia characias wulfenii, old and kind of rangy.

We both tackled a lot of sword fern clipping, in the continuing light drizzle.


in the fenced garden, before


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


After.  Now the new growth will unfurl all bright green and fresh.


The pond garden, before


Mary taking Bella for a walk to the beach


and after


in the “swale” (Allan’s photos, before…)


and after





Now, in Steve and John’s bayside garden, the trimming would be so perfect that you would not see any stubs.  We don’t have time for that perfection at work; at home, it is well worth seeking.

The rain was pelting by the time we were done.


The ferns on the clam shed patio got a trim also.


In the rain: a pale pink flowering currant in bloom

We left a few ferns untrimmed, especially the ones where Allan has to climb over the pond edge; it was slippery.  Manager/owners Mary and Denny will probably get around to pruning the roses, a task she enjoys doing.  If not, we’ll do it next time.


By the greenhouse, after trimming back old floppy Melianthus major stems.  Tree peony leafing out.

It felt like we had been there for six hours and the fact that it was just a bit after three o clock surprised me greatly.


bidding farewell to Bella (Allan’s photo, just pre-belly rub)

Long Beach 

Although the rain and wind increased, we next went south to Long Beach and bought six violas from Dennis Co.  I like the smaller flowered violas rather than pansies as they hold up to rain better.


in a planter near Dennis Co (Allan’s photo)


same planter (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo, same planter, a well established clump

The Anchorage Cottages

Back north about 20 blocks to the Anchorage, we were greeted by Mitzu and Beth.


soggy, waggly Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

I planted the violas in the center courtyard, while Allan planted the three wallflowers near the office.


He planted them in a soldierly row.


I changed it.

Allan said to Beth, “I went to engineering school and she keeps trying to undo what I learned there.”


window box with buds of one of my favourite tulips, Tulipa sylvestris


Last week, I pruned all the green leaved stems out the Fuchsia magellanica ‘Aurea’ above, so it would not revert to all green.

We were pretty well drenched, and the wind had gotten strong and cold.  As I had expected, KBC had been out of the wind.  In fact, the rain there had felt so mild that we had not put on our bulky and harder to work in rain coats at all.  Now it was time to go home to some nice hot cups of tea.  From our south window, I could see the gale warning flags at the port.  We may have a day or two off.


Mary and Smokey.  Had they even left the chair?

Smokey’s foot looks so well healed that I think that tomorrow, he can go outside again.


the work board tonight

Ginger’s Garden Diaries

My mother’s diaries from two decades ago had entries corresponding to today:


1997 (age 72):

Feb 17:  A warm day with some misty rain.  Finally I got the begonia bulbs in trays in damp plant mix and under lights in shop.  Also put pineapple lily and amaryllis bulbs in pots in soil under the lights.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 17:  11:45-4:15!!  YES I DID!  I finished planting the bulbs from greenhouse.  Then I planted the polemoniums that I dug last fall thinking they were hostas.  I planted some daffodils that were “lost” into the old “window box”.  Planted 4 plants that I set on picnic table and forgot.  Also had 2 cords wood from Corey’s Firewood delivered.  Now I must saw up the tree branches so I can pile the new wood.

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I wish I could say that all the gardening took place in my own very weedy garden, but no.

Saturday, 19 April 2014, evening

After getting home from the beach clean up and the clam festival, I was so worn out I just sat down to work on the blog; entries about garden tours or local events are always the most time consuming to write.  Out of the corner of my right eye, I caught a glimpse of the late evening sun on the rhododendron in Nora’s garden next door and was drawn outside to take some photos.

Nora got to see her rhododendron bloom last spring, before she died.

Nora got to see her rhododendron bloom last spring, before she died.  I miss her.

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

our garden boat, the Ann Lovejoy

the rhubarb that was in a whiskey barrel here when we moved in.

the rhubarb that was in a whiskey barrel here when we moved in.

lots of verdant growth

lots of verdant growth…

and lots of horsetail that I have lacked time or energy to pull...

and lots of horsetail that I have lacked time or energy to pull…

Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold' (golden cutleaf elderberry)

Sambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’ (golden cutleaf elderberry)

Persicaria bistorta superba...I should put some in the damp garden in Fifth Street Park.

Persicaria bistorta superba…I should put some in the damp garden in Fifth Street Park.

ornamental rhubarb

ornamental rhubarb

just north of the bogsy wood

just north of the bogsy wood

tulips, two or three years old

tulips, two or three years old

from both sides now

from both sides now

strong lily foliage

strong lily foliage

apple 'Cox's Orange Pippin'

apple ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Oh, and look, Allan weeded the raspberry patch!

Oh, and look, Allan weeded the raspberry patch!

Sunday 20 April 2014

We had to work and did so close to home.  I had thought of finally getting the 42nd Street Café weeded and then realized that working there during Easter Sunday brunch might not be a good idea.  Instead, we did some weeding and deadheading at Larry and Robert’s garden half a block down the street.

All those bluebells were dormant under the lawn two years ago before we made this garden bed.

All those bluebells were dormant under the lawn two years ago before we made this garden bed.

poeticus narcissi

poeticus narcissi

narcissi and pulmonaria

narcissi and pulmonaria

Heucheras have done well in this garden.

Heucheras have done well in this garden.

heuchera and hellebore

heuchera and hellebore

Tulip 'Green Star'

Tulip ‘Green Star’

the front garden

the front garden

the garden boat, looking east toward Tom and Judy's garden

the garden boat (with Tulip ‘Princess Irene’), looking east toward Tom and Judy’s garden

bright white tulips in Tom and Judy's garden

bright white tulips in Tom and Judy’s garden

Allan reminded me that we were only halfway through weeding a bed on the west side of Larry and Robert’s house.  I decided we had better get to the real mission of the day, and I’m glad I did as it took the rest of the afternoon.  Perhaps later this week, we’ll get back to Larry and Robert’s between rain showers.

My main mission was the garden at One Pacific Bank on Howerton Way at the port.  This used to be Shorebank and was one of our regular jobs.  We were paid a monthly amount which was actually not enough to do all the weeding up to my standards, and eventually we passed the job on to a friend when I realized that we were working extra hours (for free) over budget to keep the garden as well weeded as I wanted it to be.  My other consideration at the time was that it was planted as a native landscape, and I do get bored when I have to garden totally by someone else’s plan without much creativity allowed.

The port has now asked us to make all the curbside gardens along Howerton Way look good, and I was happy to get this one weeded again today.  Our replacement gardener is sterner than we are at not working overtime so there were plenty of grasses and shotweed and dandelions to pull.

12:39 PM, before

12:39 PM, before

before: The garden is carpeted with srawberries and kinnikinnick, which would stay.

before: The garden is carpeted with srawberries and kinnikinnick, which would stay.

It had been originally planted with arbutus and red twig dogwood.  The arbutus is beautiful and yet gets much too tall for the traffic sight lines so had been pruned drastically and repeatedly.  The dogwoods had been cut to about waist high but not coppiced since we left the job several years ago.

The gardens inside the sidewalk are not our problem.

I used to keep that corner perfectly weeded, pretty much for free...

I used to keep that corner and edge perfectly weeded, pretty much for free…

and this corner as well...

and this corner as well…

When we did our perfect weeding job, we did NOT do an excellent job, as our replacement does, of keeping the parking lot (pavers with spaces in between) perfectly groomed and strimmed.  I was too preoccupied with garden bed weeding.

Here are the dogwood with lots of old growth left inside.  If one coppices in spring, cutting old stems to the ground, one gets bright new red or gold twigs.  Coppicing means cutting all the stems to the ground but I prefer to do it in sections in a public garden like this and leave the new growth.

before coppicing

before coppicing

crowded with old growth

crowded with old growth

All the thick grey stems could be removed.

All the thick grey stems could be removed.

after, 3 PM...still a green carpet but not weedy

after, 3 PM…still a green carpet but not weedy  (the tufts are crocus foliage)



Allan did a beautiful job on the dogwoods.

Allan did a beautiful job on the dogwoods, leaving just the thin new stems.

so much better!

so much better!

We weeded two other sections of the Howerton Way curbside gardens that have now officially fallen under our care, dumped at the debris area and then went home.  I was inspired to do a little bit of guerilla gardening at the J’s house across the street.  I’d noticed the sword ferns had not been trimmed for a couple of years and I snuck in to the garden and did it.

ferns before

ferns before

I hope they like it.

and after; I hope the J’s  like it.

I took a walk around our garden after accomplishing just two tiny things…planting a pitiful rescued Euphorbia that may revive and a start of Super Dorothy rose that I got out of Fifth Street Park.  (Well, it had popped up a runner by the sidewalk, and I know it’s an own root rose because it came from Heirloom Roses.)

Without the prospect of the three days off in a row that I need to get my own weeding done, I took a stroll all the way back to the bogsy woods trying to just enjoy the good things as my energy to weed on into the evening was nonexistent.

bogsy wood bridge to south gate

bogsy wood bridge to south gate

bluebell woods outside the fence...created with bulbs everyone wants to get rid of.

bluebell woods outside the fence…created with bulbs everyone wants to get rid of.

Our lot ends at the mysterious meander line between residential lots and the port parking lot.  The line is about halfway into a little seasonal pond where tadpoles frolic.  My dream is always to have an area next to the pond clear so I can see it, and yet nature has completely taken the edge back with willows and salmonberry and sedge.

south edge of our property

south edge of our property

looking back in the gate

looking back in the gate (with Smokey looking out)

and back toward the house

and back toward the house

I pulled a very few weeds.  Perhaps if I promise myself one five gallon bucket a day on pleasant evenings when we get home before dusk…

Tomorrow, between predicted rain showers, I hope we can weed at the 42nd Street Café and then we have an excited soirée to attend: a rhododendron bloom celebration at a gorgeous private garden on the bay.  It seems whenever we go to Back Alley Gardens in Gearhart, we find that avid plant collectors Stephen and John have just been there.  I’m eager to see what plants they’ve added since I saw the garden last September.










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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

At last we got to the Casa Pacific garden, our only job that is off the Peninsula.  (Technically, Ilwaco is not part of the Long Beach Peninsula, but never mind, we all pretend it is.)  Now I think there is only one garden we have not been to at all yet this year.

The first thing I attended to was cleaning up the whiskey barrel planters so that the narcissi showed without last year’s dead annual foliage.


before, by the shop building, old foilage of Helichrysum



I think I have gone off the Helichrysum petiolare as a container trailer.  I used to love it so much.  Lately I’ve been feeling clients would appreciate something more colourful.  I’ll still use ‘Limelight’, the chartreuse one.

Narcissi on the steep clay slope on the way up to the house

Narcissi on the steep clay slope on the way up to the house

Allan worked on pruning sword ferns next to the long uphill driveway.





Above:  As I started to walk up toward the house (after finishing the seven whiskey barrels by the workshop), my good friend Dusty came to greet me.



He had a ball in his mouth and was so happy his tail was going in circles.  I knew better than to start to play, though, as then he would get so excited he would pester me all day.  If I don’t throw anything, he settles down and walks right next to me while I work so that I can put one hand down and pet his head.  What a very good dog he is.

a lousy picture to show that the pink flowering currant we planted was in bloom

a lousy picture to show that the pink flowering currant we planted was in bloom

I started to weed alongside the living room windows and had an audience the whole time.






Shredder would likely have been especially interested in this frog.


As usual, Spook the shy Great Dane tried to ignore me and slunk under the deck when I got too close.

Spook, telephoto

Spook, telephoto

Dusty eventually tired of following me.

Dusty eventually tired of following me.

As I weeded the house beds, Allan cut back a big pampas grass and a hydrangea and the sword ferns on the lawn island bed.

during, since I forgot to take a picture before the pampas grass was cut

during, since I forgot to take a picture before the pampas grass was cut



I weeded the edges of the island bed while Allan went to the big raised bed on the other side of the house.

behind the garden...Last year we thought this was a nest but now I think it might be a mutation on the tree.

behind the garden…Last year we thought this was a nest but now I think it might be a mutation on the tree.

Tall grasses needed cutting, as did hydrangeas and some perennials.

Tall grasses needed cutting, as did hydrangeas and some perennials.



at the shadier end of the rock wall garden

at the shadier end of the rock wall garden

Narcissi and gold twig dogwood

Narcissi and gold twig dogwood

I especially like the narcissi with reflexed petals

I especially like the narcissi with reflexed petals.

I went along the front of the wall cutting ferns and perennials.  Unfortunately, when I tried to work where I had to walk up and down on the sloping ground, my leg cramped up so much that I had to find another project.  An unpleasant one beckoned.

truly hideous Phormium (New Zealand Flax( near the house

truly hideous Phormium (New Zealand Flax) near the house

I suggested to the owner, Dan, if that if there is ever a backhoe on the property for any reason, have them remove this monster.  He agreed.  Meanwhile, I cut it as far back as I could.



The blades, every one of which looked bad, are thick, fleshy and  hard to cut low.  I probably could have taken a couple more inches off, but is it worth it?  We have gotten rid of so many of these that I’ll be watching this one to see how it looks when it leafs out again, as there are not many left in any of our gardens.

We had worked so many hours that we were there later than usual in the afternoon.  I think this is first time I have ever gotten a photo of the entire rock garden border without part of it being in shade; the house windows face this as if it were a stage:

the long curved garden

the long curved garden from north end

With the job done for now, I played a little ball with Dusty.  He was ecstatic.  Then, to fill in the last hour of our workday, we went to check on the Fifth Street Park in Long Beach as I feared it might have lots of narcissi to deadhead.  It didn’t.  It is full of the foliage of an annoying small allium that spreads like a weed.  It IS a weed and I pull and pull to no avail.

it's back!

it’s back!

I wouldn’t mind except that I think non gardeners will assume it is a weed grass.

I despair of the Phlomis fruticosa that we cut to the ground because it looked so bad after hard frosts.

I hope it returns...

I hope it returns…

However, I was well chuffed to see lots of sprouts at the base of the Melianthus major.

encouraging signs of life on the Melianthus

encouraging signs of life on the Melianthus

From across the street, we saw the clam sculpture, recently re-plumbed, squirt on the hour to the amazement of some tourists who told us they thought they were being “punked”.

It now squirts again on the hour, or when you put a quarter into a nearby device.

clam sculpture and quarter device

clam sculpture and quarter device

Of course, this means I have to post Mary’s wonderful letter again.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

The day has come.  I was so delighted.


A visitor deposits a quarter.

A visitor deposits a quarter.

getting the classic "World's Largest Frying Pan" shot

getting the classic “World’s Largest Frying Pan” shot

Note the nice new garbage can.  The park got new benches, too.


Update:  I learned the next day that the clam was not supposed to be on till the official dedication in April, so the plumbing may be turned off now.

I’m concerned about the rhodos that are the back drop for the clam.  We did not prune these.  I’m thinking that if they don’t leaf out better by the time of the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival in mid April, I may ask if we can fix them up a bit.

too stubby

too stubby

After all the clam excitement, we went home with a stop at the Ilwaco Timberland Library.  Heather and Narcissi are blooming by the front door.

library garden

library garden

There were no books for us but Allan did succeed in getting some old newspapers for tomorrow’s garden bed creation job.  I couldn’t stand the way the thyme in our two volunteer planters looked so had to prune them.





I’m still doing catch up on the blog.  That consumed my evening while Allan did a wonderful job of mowing the still damp lawn.

evening mowing

evening mowing

Tomorrow:  a project begins!

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Monday, 10 March 2014

The morning of drizzle did not inspire us to get started at the usual (midmorning) time.  Yet the weight of work undone had started to worry me, so as soon as the sky lightened up and the rain paused, we took a chance and went off to The Planter Box on a cow manure mission.

when we got there: rain!

when we got there: rain!

We had come too far to give up and I felt some hope because of lightness in the sky.

light more than just around the edges

light more than just around the edges

So we got loaded up with three scoops of cow fiber (washed dairy manure).


absolutely wonderful stuff

absolutely wonderful stuff

I also acquired some very nice Hellebores.

I also acquired some very nice Hellebores.


Dicentra spectabilis for sale

Dicentra spectabilis for sale

and a handsome rooster

and a handsome rooster

and Iris reticulata

and Iris reticulata (it will come back next year)

Then we continued on our mission to mulch at Jo’s.  Look who was happy to see us!



a little camera shy

a little camera shy

wiggle waggle tail

wiggle waggle tail

It sure was great to see Coco…and Bob and Jo, and the garden.  Our fall clean up had held up fairly well so the weeding was not onerous.

before, entry garden

before, entry garden



before, north west garden bed

before, north west garden bed



before, center courtyard

before, center courtyard



This looks like not much, and yet you may remember it from last year’s garden tour.

Next we popped north across the street to the Boreas Inn.  I knew from a photo sent me by innkeeper Susie that our friend Ed Strange and his assistant had dug out the Phormium that had been burdening my mind there.

Susie sent me this photo on March 9th.

Susie sent me this photo on March 9th.

It looks so much better.  Meanwhile Ed had messaged me about it in our Words with Friends game.

photo 1


Every single blade looks awful!

Here was the horror on 2-14-14

eyewitness: it is gone!

eyewitness: it is gone!  Thanks, Ed and John!

Ed and John are the ones I recommend for any job that I don’t have time (or desire) to do.

Susie briefly came home later and told me she decided the Phormium had to go because I blogged about it.

Since that worked, perhaps if I blog again about how much I want to re-do this back garden corner by getting rid of the un-weedable rocks and replacing them with level pavers, it will magically happen.

an obscure corner

an obscure corner to fix up

Our mission at Boreas was to prune the ferns and do some other spring cleanup.

by the garden suite and living room, before

by the garden suite and living room, before

and after

and after

east side entry garden before

east side entry garden before (my job)

and after

and after

Narcissi at the inn's door

Narcissi at the inn’s door

I told Susie that we wanted to clean up the Yett House garden (right next door, managed by the Boreas) now instead of waiting till a last minute summer emergency when I’ll be crabby.  “Crabby?” she asked.  “Ok, crabBIER.”  She agreed and Allan got it done.

Yett Cottage before

Yett House before

and after

and after

Yett House, by the way, is a cute house to rent next to the Boreas; it allows dogs and has a big fenced yard where they can romp.

At the very end of the day, we met with Erin at her house a little ways north to talk about an upcoming project there.  I am trying to clear the work decks in order to get her project, a new garden bed, done in time to plant poppies.  While we waited to meet her, Allan fixed a problem in the garden.

a tree down on the outer garden

a tree down on the outer garden

The little boat we installed last fall on the big west lawn looks great; scare tape may have worked to keep birds from pulling any bulbs.


A garden bed behind this boat is what we hope to accomplish later this week, after one more spring clean up visit to another garden.

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