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Posts Tagged ‘Queen La De Da’s’

Monday, 20 March 2017

In honor of the turning of the season, here is my favourite quotation about springtime:

“Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”  Dorothy Parker

Skooter was not enthusiastic about the drizzly, cold weather.

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head under the covers (Allan’s photo)

I picked some flowers for an event, and then Allan and I went for our tax appointment with our accountant, Jennifer, whose office is just four blocks west.

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Jennifer’s flowers

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office assistant Helen

We then delivered two bouquets of flowers to Salt Pub for our dear friend Jenna’s evening event.

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There was a new tiny little baby to see!


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flowers for Jenna (and, later, for Salt to have)

We went back home because the cold drizzle was supposed to end in half an hour.  Allan became absorbed in “do not pick” signage for the boatyard and I delved into the excellent book I’m reading.

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I am loving Mr. Theroux’s trip around the English and Welsh coast.

This reminded me of Mr. Tootlepedal:

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Along a branch railway line:

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Two most interesting sounding places:

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Chesil Bank


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Undercliff Walk at Lyme Regis

I googled up some photos of both these areas and even found videos of the Undercliff walk.

This description of tourism in seaside towns certainly reminded me of where I live (even though we love tourists here, and I well remember being one):

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Meanwhile, Allan worked on strengthening the pallets that will make the new compost bins.

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Allan’s photo

I had to leave my book and Allan his projects when the weather seemed to clear.  We drove to

The Anchorage Cottages.

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Our good friend Mitzu

The weather was actually quite miserable, damp, drizzly, with a bitter wind.  We did not last more than an hour.

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Center courtyard: not much happening except too many bluebells coming up


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narcissi


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narcissi and primroses


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hellebores, pulmonaria, and ranunculus


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trilliums


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trillium (Allan’s photo)

I cut back some hardy fuchsias, planted three lily bulbs, we did some weeding and could bear no more of the cold and headed back home.

I did not get to take photos of the Long Beach narcissi display….

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too cold and miserable to stop

After an interlude at home, we went back out to that event for which I had picked bouquets.

Ilwaco Merchants Association Spring Mixer

Oh, how I had tried to weasel out of going.  Because our dear friends Don and Jenna (Queen La De Da) are heading the group this year, Jenna did not let me escape.

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By the time everyone arrived, we had a full house at Salt Pub.


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Our Jenna (Allan’s photo)


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the view (Allan’s photo)

We discovered that Jenna had a special purpose in wanting us to attend: The merchants presented us with a community recognition of our work, both in the gardens and in taking photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

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Thank you plaque by Artist Don Nisbett

Raffle prizes were drawn, hors d’oeuvres were served, drinks were downed, and the crowd was happy.

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Ponytail: Andi from the Visitors Bureau (ponytail), with Jenna and our Mayor Mike, Don Nisbett in black, and Jane from The English Nursery.

We were so touched by that nice award.  And impressed with the fun and liveliness of the event.  If only the usual Ilwaco Merchants Association meetings weren’t at 8 AM!

Tomorrow: more rain, thunderstorms….I do hope the Long Beach narcissi hold strong till I get some of them photographed and closely appreciated.

P.S. After 9 PM, I suddenly had the sniffles and wheezes. This bodes extra ill for work tomorrow. Almost everyone I know has had The Three Week Cold this winter. I thought I had escaped. Am embarking upon all my home remedies. 

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I celebrated four days at home, mostly reading with some puttering thrown in.  Allan made it out to take some photos of the very high tides:

Sunday, 21 December 2014

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9.2 “King tide” has the marinas ramped laid out straight.

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double triangle flag calls for another gale

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We did not have any fierce rain or wind during the three “king tide” days so he did not get to see the water all the way over the Jessie’s dock.

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the bench at the south end of the boat yard

In the boatyard garden, Allan found some narcissi bulbs atop the soil, and planted them.  I hope they were just missed during planting time and not dug up by critters….  If missed, though, one would think I’d have seen them before now while walking by.

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Only a few stray bulbs were evident.

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The garden had been blown and broken by the wind.

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bulb mystery

Monday, 22 December 2014

Allan took another set of 9.2 king tide photos:

the edge of the marina (the lawn where Saturday Market booths are set up in summer)

the edge of the marina (the lawn where Saturday Market booths are set up in summer)

The storm was over for part of the day; then more rain arrived.

The storm was over for part of the day; then more rain arrived.

Allan totally fooled me when he sent me this one upside down.

Allan totally fooled me when he sent me this one upside down.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

I believe that Tuesday was the day when Allan emailed me an article about the top phone apps of the year, inspiring me to acquire Waterlogue.  While I had intended to read for four days straight, I instead spent a whole lot of time altering photos with its one click instant joy.

Painted in Waterlogue

crab boats in fog, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

bringing in the catch

Painted in Waterlogue

Don Nisbett Art Gallery in snow, Dec 2009, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

Waterlogued Jessie’s, Allan’s photo

Painted in Waterlogue

King tide with blue sky, Allan’s photo

water

Meanwhile, a Christmas package had arrived from Montana Mary.  She advised, via email, that I open the box as some items were perishable.

goodies

delectable little pie cookies from Mary

delectable little pie cookies from Mary

At dusk, Allan noticed an interesting, rain inspired fungus on our gate.  I’ll get a better photo in brighter daylight:

dusk

Many Christmas cards had begun to accrue on our kitchen shelves.  Here are some of our favourites of this year.

A star from Gwyneth in Texas, next to a Christmas horse from Montana Mary.  I love that beautiful horse.

A star from Gwyneth in Texas, next to a Christmas horse from Montana Mary. I love that beautiful horse.

The star card opened up into a burst of beauty:

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a fuzzy critter from Minnesota Marilyn, whom I met many years ago at Mediawestcon, a midwest science fiction convention.

a fuzzy critter from Minnesota Marilyn, whom I met many years ago at Mediawestcon, a midwest science fiction convention.

From Maggie and Susan, Seattleites whom I also met via the SF convention rounds.

From Maggie and Susan, Seattleites whom I also met via the SF convention rounds.

from Allan's friend Joyce, a manager from way back when he worked as an assembler of bikes and toys at Fred Meyers all around the NW.

from Allan’s friend Joyce, a manager from way back when he worked as an assembler of bikes and toys at Fred Meyers all around the NW.

and from our local friends Artist Don Nisbett and Queen La De Da

and from our local friends Artist Don Nisbett and Queen La De Da

I’m pleased to have about twenty friends who still send cards the old fashioned way.

this year's card display (with the year round clothes-pinned card display above)

this year’s card display (with the year round clothes-pinned card display above)

During the evenings, we were watching the final and not very holiday-ish season of True Blood.  No Christmas movies were part of our viewing fare this year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Around midday, Garden Tour Nancy’s husband, Phil, appeared with a bag of Christmas gifts.  He knocked so quietly that I did not hear but I caught him at his Santa rounds when I heard the front gate click as he was leaving.

Phil,  playing Santa

Phil, playing Santa

The next day, Nancy informed me that Phil liked our sun porch decorations (which are many).  At this time of year, the best is our wreath, made by Jenna (Queen La De Da).

wreath

Nancy texted me that I should open the perishable part of the present.  I was delighted to find eggs from her flock.

Waterlogue: eggs from the girls

Waterlogue: eggs from the girls

All day, torrential rain fell, which made me happy as it saved me from the urge to weed.

north window view

north window view

We would open presents in the evening.  As soon as staycation begins, our night owl tendencies completely take over so we pretty much do not have mornings at all.

the tree

the tree

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The cards and the sight of presents under the tree was a warm reminder of true friends old and new.

Allan and I began the gift extravaganza by opening our Christmas crackers. and putting on our paper crowns.  You can read all about Christmas crackers here, where I learned that the wearing of hats at parties “dates back to the Roman Saturnalia”.

Allan, having already opened his, demonstrates the pulling apart of the Christmas cracker.

Allan, having already opened his, demonstrates the pulling apart of the Christmas cracker.

I had done an ace job of camouflaging Allan’s present’s distinctive flat, hard shape by enclosing it in two pillows.  He was mystified and thought it must be something like a puffy down jacket.

It was large and soft.

It was large and soft.

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"The pillows aren't part of the present, are they?" he said.

“The pillows aren’t part of the present, are they?” he said.

I had commissioned a painting by our friend, local painter Don Nisbett, of Allan in his kayak.

I had commissioned a painting by our friend, local painter Don Nisbett, of Allan in his kayak.

I’d sent Don photos of the boat from the boat manufacturer website, and photos that Allan had taken on one of his river boating trips.  Here are the photos he had for reference:

boat

river

and the painting that he came up with:

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 We went on then to the rest of the prezzies.

some of the books that came from Allan to me, and from Garden Tour Nancy and from Kathleen.

some of the books that came from Allan to me, and from Garden Tour Nancy and from Kathleen.

I was happily carried back to childhood memories when the best Christmas presents were the books piled under the tree (usually horse stories back then!)  In the lower right, above, you can see a hint of a bag of comfy white socks, which is something I always ask Allan for.  He also surprised me with a new pair of SAS shoes as a year of constant wear had worn a small hole in mine.

My friend Montana Mary knows me well after almost fifty years of friendship.

My friend Montana Mary knows me well after almost fifty years of friendship.

a beautiful book from Kathleen, along with Robert Pyle's Wintergreen for Allan.

a beautiful book from Kathleen, along with Robert Pyle’s Wintergreen for Allan.

books and preserves from Garden Tour Nancy

books and preserves from Garden Tour Nancy

and you can guess whose card had a chicken theme!

and you can guess whose card had a chicken theme!

garden tool ornaments from Don and Jenna

garden tool ornaments from Don and Jenna

flowered kitchen bottles from Lisa and Buzz

flowered kitchen bottles from Lisa and Buzz

We got warm down vests from KBC Mary and Denny and a wealth of chocolates, cocoa, tea, and other treats mixed in with all the assorted presents.  (We’d already been snacking all week on a crackers and cheese gift from Allan’s Seattle-based brother and a selection of “Joy Cups”, organic peanut butter cup style candies from his aunt and uncle.)

Allan made a Christmas eve dinner with savoury chicken, mashed garden potatoes, salad and veg and jellied cranberry sauce from a can (the best kind, in my opinion!)

dinner

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Before I was even awake, Allan set off on an excursion to satisfy his curiosity about what the big pile of dredge spoils on the south side of marina actually looks like close up.

Here's what the pile looked like from the south end of Elizabeth Avenue in Sept. 2012

Here’s what the pile looked like from the south end of Elizabeth Avenue in Sept. 2012

the dredge working to keep the channel open

the dredge working to keep the channel open, taken in November

from our local paper, showing how the dredge places the mud

from our local paper, showing how the dredge places the mud

looking back toward the marina from atop the dredge pile

looking back toward the marina from atop the dredge pile

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Nothing beautiful can be done with this as dredgings keep getting added to it over the years.

Nothing beautiful can be done with this as dredging spoils keep getting added to it over the years.

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panorama made in camera

He noticed that the house on Yellow Bluff on the east end of town is getting disconcertingly close to the edge; I have heard that it has lost part of its lawn slowly over years of winter storms.  At low tide, you can walk a rocky beach along the base of the bluff.

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This telephoto may show the house looking closer to the edge than it actually is. What a view!

It was a muddy rather than a white Christmas morning for Allan.

When he got home, I was in the middle of my coffee and a light breakfast.  We would be having an early Christmas dinner at the Depot.

I had a look at the windblown and weedy front garden…

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and was saved from a couple of hours of gardening by several squalls of drenching rain.

I wanted to get a better photo of the fungus on the front arbour:

There's a reason why I call my Canon camera "Spot".

There’s a reason why I call my Canon camera “Spot”.

mushrooms

Allan's photo, taken with "Spot"

Allan’s photo, taken with “Spot”

and given the Waterlogue treatment

and given the Waterlogue treatment

I was surprised when the photos revealed the fungus to be a trio of upside down mushrooms.  It has been wet around here.

During the day, a local friend took a photo of the beach version of a white Christmas:

photo by Wendy Murry of Avery cavorting in sea foam

guest photo by Wendy Murry of Avery cavorting in sea foam on Christmas day

We met J9 at the Depot for the traditional Christmas Dickens dinner (which is usually held on Christmas eve).  I was glad it had been changed to Christmas day this year, because last night J9 was doing a show on KMUN radio in Astoria.  She is a woman of many hats:  occupational therapy, restaurant service, party helper, and community radio programmer.

The Depot Restaurant

The Depot Restaurant

the Depot culinary-themed tree

the Depot culinary-themed tree

view from our table with Server of the Year Don gliding swiftly

view from our table with Server of the Year Don gliding swiftly

wreath hung on the original door to the train depot

wreath hung on the original door to the train depot

diners at the bar

diners at the bar

We pulled three Christmas crackers and put on our gold paper crowns.

We pulled three Christmas crackers and put on our gold paper crowns.

Each Christmas cracker has a little gift inside along with the crown and a riddle.  Because the crackers were part of J9’s Christmas present, it was particularly cosmic that one gift was a wine stopper with a star on top, as she collects moon and star motifs.  Even more cosmically, another tiny gift was a small heart necklace which fit perfectly with her Christmas gift.

J9 opening her present

J9 opening her present

On a bedside table during last fall’s Cannon Beach Cottage Tour, I’d seen a little picture book called Heart Stones and knew that it would be perfect for J9.  Her daddy collected stones with heart shapes, and when she gardened with me for a few months, she would often find them and say “There’s a daddy rock.”  Now whenever I find a daddy rock, I snag it for her.

the book, and a daddy rock we recently found, and a heart pendant.

We had ordered her the book, and added a daddy rock we recently found; the heart pendant was the perfect addition.

She and I ordered the Dickens dinner: beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts with bacon. J9 asked for an end piece and got enough to make tonight’s dinner, and tomorrow’s and the next day’s.

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J9’s dinner(s)

Allan chose the filet mignon.

Allan chose the filet mignon.

Allan and I had delicate eggnog flan for dessert.

Allan and I had delicate eggnog flan for dessert.

and J9 had blackberry bread pudding, which cried out to be "painted in Waterlogue"

and J9 had blackberry bread pudding, which cried out to be “painted in Waterlogue”

As we departed, I examined the window box annuals which will not die and which are now joined by emerging bulb foliage.

Depot windowbox from inside

Depot window box from inside

We drove home through light rain past one especially well lit house in mostly dark Seaview.

only one half of the house, the other half being washed out by a bright security light

only one half of the house, the other half being washed out by a bright security light

We’ve bowed out (at least semi-gracefully, we hope) of a big party tomorrow evening in order to recuperate from our holiday extravaganza.

Today on Facebook, I read a Christmas greeting that says it all to me, from Beth in the upriver town of Skamakowa:

Wishing everyone a looong weekend of peace or noise; family, friends, or solitude; religious and/or cultural celebrations, or none at all; abundant, good food and whatever else brings you joy.

Be patient with the Stupid.
Be careful on the roads.
Be gentle with people who have to work while the rest of us relax.

Happy (awkwardMashUpOfHolidayNames) everyone!

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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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September 6, 2013

The Slow Drag takes place every September at the Port of Ilwaco as part of a big annual event called Rod Run to the End of the World.  It’s an event I avoid…except for the Slow Drag which (if you don’t think too much about the consumption of petrol) is just a block from my house and is quite cute and often very funny.

The rules:

  1. Must have driver’s license & proof of insurance.
  2. No tire spinning or excess engine revving.
  3. Brake lights must be in working order.
  4. Both cars leave the start at the same time.
  5. Not to exceed 20 mph.
  6. Put vehicle in neutral immediately upon crossing the “coast line” and keep it in neutral until vehicle comes to a stop.
  7. Use of any brake prohibited.
  8. Driver’s hands must stay at 10 & 2 position. Passenger’s hands remain visible.
  9. Driver and passenger must remain in vehicle with nothing dragging.
  10. Must stay in own lane.
  11. Winner is vehicle closest to and with all wheels across finish line.

While this has very little do with gardening, it does have some bearing on our work, as you will see.  We spent the week preparing the Ilwaco gardens to look perfect for the event and of course the gardens were not what most people looked at.  We like to think that even in the back of the most avid car buff’s mind, the gardens added a certain ambience.  Allan and I both took lots of photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

Without further explanation or excuses about WHY they are here, I hope some of you will enjoy some photos of the Slow Drag.

The cars line up at the west end of Howerton…

starting line

starting line

driver's view

driver’s view (Allan’s clever photo; most starting line photos are his)

starting line with our good friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) in the Caddy

starting line with our good friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) in the Caddy
Jenna is clearly having a great time!

Jenna is clearly having a great time!

One team of four always dresses as “The Church Ladies”.

church ladies

ladies

For reasons I don’t quite understand, this year they called themselves “The Church Ladies Go ZZ Top” and added long beards for the run to the finish line.

ladies

ladies

The Church Ladies and their new idea

zz

a 56 Chevy at the starting line

a 56 Chevy at the starting line about to race the Church Ladies

the starting flag

the starting flag

at the starting line

at the starting line

They start fast, then slow down and try to coast to a perfect finish.

A wide assortment of vehicles compete.

A wide assortment of vehicles compete.

Queen La De Da again racing against our friend Kelly's son, Bill.

Queen La De Da again racing against our friend Kelly’s son, Bill.

Drivers and passengers try all sorts of ways to slow down to the perfect stop over and closest to the finish line.  Three wheels over does not count.

coasting to the finish line

coasting to the finish line.  Our client Randy Powell is in judge’s stripes to the left

using the convertible top to slow down

using the convertible top to slow down

one method of slowing down

the brolly method of slowing down

slow it down

flapping the roof to slow down

A drizzle came and went throughout the evening.

Jenna's "hot rod hotties", riding on the back,  try to slow the car down with brollies.

Jenna’s “hot rod hotties”, riding on the back, try to slow the car down with brollies.

At the finish line, announcer Don Parsons provided witty repartee as he announced who was running each heat and then who had won.

You can also see Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' in the garden.

You can also see Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in the garden.

don

Usually Randy Powell ropes off the garden by the art studio belonging to him and his wife, artist Marie Powell.  This time he tried using just a keep out sign.  This is how well it worked.

Randy's garden...that we care for.

Randy’s garden…that we care for.

keep out

Fortunately he goes for a sparse look with river rock and a few plants.  Although if it were planted more densely, it probably would not have been stood upon.

Here, in the fairly densely planted Time Enough Books garden, some people managed to insert themselves and their chairs.   I know from maintaining it that where they are sitting is a small area of river rock with no plants in it!

time enough

By Time Enough Books

The gardens by the port office did not get stood in at all, I think because they are so lush.

by the Port Office

by the Port Office

garden

I do love to take photos with a garden foreground:

gardengarden

garden

garden

garden

But back to the race:

Randy puts a white dot on the windshield of the vehicle that lost a heat.  Two white dots and you're out.

Randy puts a white dot on the windshield of the vehicle that lost a heat.

We think when you get two white dots you are out…but maybe you get to go around one more time.  We often hear the audience trying to figure this out as well, so we’re not the only ones who get confused!

The start line and the finish line communicate with walkie talkies.

The start line and the finish line communicate with walkie talkies.

April and Nancy of the port office do most of the organizing for the event.  Above, Nancy’s husband Allen helps out at the finish line.

truck passengers rejoice at surviving another heat

truck passengers rejoice at surviving another heat

triumph at the finish line

triumph at the finish line as another heat is survived

The big truck fascinated me but was out pretty early in the race.

The big truck fascinated me but was out pretty early in the race.

Maybe it was so big and heavy that it coasted too far.

Some audience members were not very interested.

Some audience members were not very interested.

As the cars come to the end of the race course (Howerton Street), they turn and drive back to the starting line along Waterfront Way.   With the boats in the background and shops and charter fishing offices on the other, it’s a good place to get photos.

Our gardening client Cheri "Panhandling for Polio"

Our gardening client Cheri Diehl “Panhandling for Polio”

Cheri is the realtor who sold our old house and found us our new one.

waterfront

The Who-Bus, driven by Travis Matney, was last year's winner.

The Who-Bus, driven by Travis Matney, was last year’s winner.

the interesting truck

the interesting truck

Sometimes people push their cars down Waterfront Way to save petrol....and avoid overheating.

Sometimes people push their cars down Waterfront Way to save petrol….and avoid overheating.

pushing

This guy was one of my favourites because he was enjoying himself so much.

This guy was one of my favourites because he was enjoying himself so much.

Queen La De Da and her hot rod hotties

Queen La De Da and her hot rod hotties

jenna

Hotties Susan and Tenille

Hotties Susan and Tenille

hotties

They were safely tied on for the higher speed portion of the race.  Last year Jenna had a friend dressed as a mermaid riding in the open trunk.

This little old Coca Cola truck was one of my favourites.

This little old Coca Cola truck was one of my favourites.

engine

old fashioned opening windscreen...from before high speed freeways

old fashioned opening windscreen…from before high speed freeways

It's a small truck.

It’s a small truck.

hanging baskets by The Basket Case greenhouse

hanging baskets by The Basket Case greenhouse

pink and red

pink and red

petunia

basket

This old truck won the People's Choice award.

This old truck won the People’s Choice award

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' and a brown car

Agastache ‘Acapulco Orange’ and a brown car

Kelly's son's car reflected in the window of Time Enough Books

Kelly’s son’s car reflected in the window of Time Enough Books

reflection in the window of the old Harbour Lights motel

reflection in the window of the old Harbour Lights motel

Said motel is for sale and we wish someone would buy and refurbish it and its marina-view restaurant and lounge.

another reflection with the old motel's outdoor dining deck

another reflection with the old motel’s outdoor dining deck

looking east on Waterfront Way

looking east on Waterfront Way

anticipation

anticipation

OleBob's Restaurant stayed open late.

OleBob’s Restaurant stayed open late.

a crowd favourite: the happy dune buggy driver

a crowd favourite: the happy dune buggy driver

a nautical background

a nautical background

boats

Early in the race, the line of cars slowly parading (and stopping) along Waterfront Way stretches for blocks; later, as more and more get eliminated, it’s a long solitary drive to the next heat.

early in the race

early in the race

autumn leaves reflected in shiny auto paint

autumn leaves reflected in shiny auto paint

Much effort goes into polishing some of the cars.

The drivers like it when I compliment how their gleaming cars reflect the boats.

The drivers like it when I compliment how their gleaming cars reflect the boats.

trying to keep the car cool

trying to keep the car cool

crab pots by Queen La De Da's Art Castle

crab pots by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle
The vehicles go VERY slowly and are often stopped on Waterfront Way, waiting for their next heat.

The vehicles go VERY slowly and are often stopped on Waterfront Way, waiting for their next heat.  Here: in front of Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

Jenna and her caddy in front of her Queen La De Da's gallery

Jenna and her caddy in front of her Queen La De Da’s gallery

the hot rod hotties by Queen La De Da's

the hot rod hotties by Queen La De Da’s

more of that so cute truck

more of that so cute truck

the happy driver

the happy driver

driver

truck bed with old Coca Cola bottles

truck bed with old Coca Cola bottles

The owner was proud of the original sign on the passenger door.

The owner was proud of the original sign on the passenger door.

I may not be "into" vehicles but I know what I like!

I may not be “into” vehicles but I know what I like!

and I liked this a lot as you can tell....

and I liked this a lot as you can tell….

by the port office

by the port office…

with our garden and the Basket Case baskets as backdrop

with our garden and the Basket Case baskets as backdrop

I tried a "Vivid Colour" setting on my camera (which is a lowly Canon Power Shot, nothing fancy)

I tried a “Vivid Colour” setting on my camera (which is a lowly Canon Power Shot, nothing fancy)

shiny reflection of Don Nisbett Art Gallery sign

shiny reflection of Don Nisbett Art Gallery sign

(Don is the spouse of Queen La De Da herself.)

vivid colours

vivid colours

another reflection

another reflection

through the condor statue with the Hawaiian shaved ice booth

through the condor statue with the Hawaiian shaved ice booth

Travis Matney of the Who-Bus told me he had just had these cool opening windscreens installed since last year's race.

Travis Matney of the Who-Bus told me he had just had these cool opening windscreens installed since last year’s race.

cool

still trying to stay cool!

still trying to stay cool!

still pushing

still pushing

dune buggy driver during a spot of drizzle

dune buggy driver during a spot of drizzle

dune

Jenna and her son Joe

Jenna and her son Joe

church ladies

The Church Ladies on Waterfront Way

Allan went up on the Port Office deck and the deck of the old Harbour Lights Motel to get some aerial photos.

allans

STILL trying to keep that red car cool.

high

I love the fifties feel of this photo that Allan took of one of the hot rod hotties and her friend.

I love the fifties feel of this photo that Allan took of one of the hot rod hotties and her friend.

By Jessie’s Fish Co, the cars turn to get back to Howerton Street.

I always like to get a red car in front of Jessie's Fish Company

I always like to get a red car in front of Jessie’s Fish Company, as they turn to get back to the race course.
This little MG had broken down with a thermostat problem...

This little MG had broken down with a thermostat problem…

All these fellows were trying to help.

All these fellows were trying to help.

Allan thinks he may have unhooked the thermostat, because the next day he was on the phone up at the Rod Run field trying to order a new one.

Now, back to the excitement of the race course!

Allan takes photos at the starting line

Allan takes photos at the starting line…

of that cute coca cola truck...

of that cute coca cola truck…

intent at the start

intent at the start

waiting for the flag

waiting for the flag

sitters in the Time Enough Books garden!

sitters in the Time Enough Books garden!

Jenna (Queen La De Da) approaches the finish line again.

Jenna (Queen La De Da) approaches the finish line again.

Another heat goes to Queen La De Da!

Another heat goes to Queen La De Da!

Oh dear.

Oh dear…The Church Ladies get eliminated and wave goodbye to the crowd.

The Who-Bus about the win a heat

The Who-Bus about to win a heat; the little MG coasted too far.

trying to slow down!

trying to slow down!

drivers steer back and forth to slow down

drivers steer back and forth to slow down

The dune buggy wins another one.

The dune buggy wins another one.

happy

happy

happy

Jenna wins another heat...

Jenna wins another heat…with the help of the hot rod hotties and their brollies

another happy winner

another happy winner

another rain squall and another heat

another rain squall and another heat
Travis wins another heat!

Travis wins another heat!

Jenna versus the dune buggy.

Jenna versus the dune buggy.

lots of brollies: audience and hot rod hotties

lots of brollies: audience and hot rod hotties

finish

hotties

finish

The Queen La De Da caddy was out…in fifth place.

the Who-Bus vs the dune buggy

the Who-Bus vs the dune buggy

Travis intent on the win

Travis intent on the win

and the bus wins the heat.

And the bus wins the heat.
a gracious loss

a gracious loss

buggy

I was sorry to see the dune buggy go even though the Who-Bus was my favourite (except for our friend Jenna, of course!)

a church lady, now in the audience

church ladies, now in the audience

the hot dog vendor busting a move to 50s and 60s music by the finish line...

the hot dog vendor busting a move to 50s and 60s music by the finish line…

I loved this man's t shirt and told him so.

I loved this man’s t shirt and told him so.

And the Who-Bus comes around again.

the last heat!

the last heat!

and the Who-Bus wins, to my delight.

and the Who-Bus wins, to my delight.

travis

the happy winners (for the second year in a row)

the happy winners (for the second year in a row)

a fourth place for the dune buggy!

a fourth place for the dune buggy!

Jenna and Joe win the prize for Best Theme Vehicle!

Jenna and Joe win the prize for Best Theme Vehicle!

Travis Matley was esctatic to win for the second year in a row.

announcer Don Parsons, with Travis and his winning swag

announcer Don Parsons, with Travis and his winning trophy

he also won a painting, a plaque, and a basket of local goodies

he also won a painting, a plaque, and a basket of local goodies

bus

And this photo was the cover photo for Discover Ilwaco all weekend!

I never thought I’d be so enraptured with a car event, but there you have it:  the fun, fascinating Slow Drag 2013.

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So much for buckling down to work as I had promised myself to do after the edible garden tour.   After being rained out early the day before, we now had a day that was interrupted with much socializing.

At home, on my usual route to and from the greenhouse to see if tomatoes needed watering, I saw an unexpected flower:

a hardy ginger in flower

a hardy ginger in flower

with Coleus 'Wasabi'

Roscoea ‘Spice Island’ with Coleus ‘Wasabi’

Going out the front gate, I noticed a Chelone blooming…one I could have sworn I had remembered to move to a damper area in the back garden.

Chelone (Pink Turtlehead)

Chelone (Pink Turtlehead)

the view in...

the view in…

First we did our every other week weeding and grooming of Mayor Mike’s garden….

blue and white theme

blue and white theme

path weeded and raked

path weeded and raked

Next, kitty corner to Cheri’s garden where we found that Charlie had finished creating the outdoor cat room.

room

kitty retreat

kitty retreat

After working in the front and side gardens there, we were only half an hour late for a coffee klatsch at Olde Towne Café, celebrating our friend and former Ilwacoan Patt finding another reason to pass through town.  While she only lived here for a year before having to move away for work reasons (her spouse’s job), she fell hard for this town.

clockwise from left:  Judy, Tom, Patt, Allan, Donna...all talking at once?

clockwise from left: Judy, Tom, Patt, Allan, Donna…all talking at once?

Our friend, art historian Pat Moss, showed up a bit later.  While I failed to get a photo of her, I did get one of her dog outside…my good friend Bella.

Bella

Bella

We stayed longer than we had planned, then hightailed to the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle to get it weeded and fluffed before Art Night began at 6 PM.  We checked on a couple of other gardens along the port buildings and then made a tour from one end of art night to the other…

Randy Powell at Marie Powell Gallery

Randy Powell at Marie Powell Gallery

Nisbett

At the Don Nisbett gallery:  Susan and Sherri from Painted Lady Lavender Farm

At the Don Nisbett gallery: Susan and Sherri from Painted Lady Lavender Farm

Don and some tasty cupcakes from Sweet Celebrations in Long Beach

Don and some tasty cupcakes from Sweet Celebrations in Long Beach

his gallery was hopping

Don’s gallery was hopping

outside the Nisbett Gallery

outside the Nisbett Gallery

Peter on ukelele, baskets by The Basket Case greenhouse

Peter on ukelele, baskets by The Basket Case greenhouse

Allan and Jenna at Queen La De Da's

Allan and Jenna at Queen La De Da’s

Much as we would have liked to linger, work was not done (due to lingering earlier at Olde Towne) so we left to finish weeding the boatyard.  It still was not quite up to my standards for Blues and Seafood weekend.

The marina looked extra beautiful as we departed.

marina

boatyard garden....kind of care and tidy with old annual poppies pulled out

boatyard garden….kind of care and tidy with old annual poppies pulled out

boatyard

As we were weeding, a fisherman came to the other side of the fence and complimented the garden.  He told us that he sometimes tells people not to pick flowers from it.  Recently he saw a young man who had already picked a few flowers (despite the signs asking him not to).  The young man said he hoped it was ok because he was picking them for his girlfriend.  The fisherman told him exactly what I do:  That if everyone picked there would be none left!  He added, “You should give your girlfriend the ones you’ve already picked and tell her they are really special.”   If everyone took such care to watch out for our gardens, I would be most happy.

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Our day started promisingly with a quick walk through our back garden to pick a bouquet for Queen La De Da’s Art Night event. I took a little time to admire some of the flowers.

I'm pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

I’m pleased to report that my California poppies reseeded in a nice mix of colours instead of reverting to plain orange.

California poppies

This tiny jewel of a Pacific tree frog on a rose made my morning happy.

tiny perfection

tiny perfection

(As I write this, I can hear the evening chorus of frogs that tells me many more are out there.)

"Maxine's rose" rambling

“Maxine’s rose” rambling

I even have a very few Eremurus (foxtail lilies) that, while not a patch on my friend Sheila’s, are the best I’ve ever managed to grow. (A thought: They would look excellent in the front garden where I like tall plants, so I must plant some there this fall.)

Eremurus

Eremurus

And Mary was looking cute and silly. (She came to us with that name.)

my Mary

my Mary

Next we checked the Ilwaco boatyard garden and saw some beautiful flowers and interesting boats.

a pleasant name

a pleasant name

Condor II

Condor II

Janice Ann

Janice Ann from Newport

boatyard garden

boatyard garden, looking north

toadflax

toadflax

looking south

looking south

reseeded California poppies

reseeded California poppies

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

a cheerful mix for a cheerful morning

We then weeded and removed dead bulb foliage from the garden by Queen La De Da’s Art Castle and Don Nisbett Art Gallery and the Port office to make sure they looked good for the art night scheduled for that evening.

looking west on Howerton

looking west on Howerton

Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' at the Port office

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ at the Port office

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue', of course.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, of course.

I pondered why two out of three of the Eryngiums from last year bloomed beautifully while one just sat there.

a non flowering year

a non flowering year

That was the only annoying bit of a pleasant morning, but the day would soon turn difficult.

At 12:30, we went up to Discovery Heights with the intention of spending seven hours on the gardens there, and so we did. But what a horrible mess they were. We simply have too many clients and this job, being one we do not drive by on our regular route, tends to get neglected during planting season. It consists of two very large and three medium sized planting areas, all of which require getting up onto a rock wall either high or low.

middle garden

middle garden

west end of middle garden

west end of middle garden

We both weeded along the front of the middle garden for awhile and then Allan went down to the lower garden while I tried to at least finish the front of the middle one. I took a before photo but did not have the heart to take an after.

before

before

The gardens are basically gorgeous, if I do say so, having planted them in late 2004 and then with Allan when he first moved here in 2005. The selections are deer resistant and have grown well together. The weeds in middle garden have always been a problem because bad soil was brought in (not my choice) containing much horsetail and rush. We were laid off for eight months or so in 2009 and during that year the weeds moved in fiercely. By the time we took the job back, the large time slot it had had was lost to other jobs, and we have never really managed to find time get the garden the way we like it to be. But that is not the main issue. I just am finding the job terribly hard as I get older, and I finally had a revelation that was right up there with the Great Revelation of 2007: to only do jobs that bring joy. I may only have another twenty years of active gardening IF I am as lucky in health as my mother. (She was able to retire at age 55, and that may have contributed to her being able to work in her garden till age 82.)

But it is hard to give up a garden that one has planted. I walked down to join Allan at the lower garden and sat for a moment in the car to eat a snack, gazing up into the garden where the sight of still more thick weeds met my eyes.

grass obscuring the garden

grass obscuring the garden

Did I weep? If I did, it would be unusual. Did we go up into this garden and weed for an hour? We most certainly did. Did I make a final decision? Yes. Before we even got back into the zone of cell phone coverage, I was composing a email of gradual resignation on my phone. I’ve tried to back off from this job before but have always been talked out of it by the owners. They deserve better, someone who has the time to weed thoroughly. I explained that the cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco and the Port of Ilwaco gardens have gotten more expansive every year and that those public gardens are my priority, but I think that one particular point that I made finally got the owners to agree to ask another local gardening business to begin to take over the weeding. I wrote that “the city jobs, to be quite frank, are MUCH more comfortable to do being on level ground and with, well, bathrooms! Climbing down off the rock wall and trekking off into the woods is no fun for a middle aged lady, let me tell you!” Ha! I should have used that VERY accurate reason for resigning before. Later when I told my friend Judy that I need jobs with three amenities: some shade, a chair or bench to sit on at lunchtime, and a bathroom, she said “No chair, no shade, no bathrooms, no Skyler!”

When we got home, I had to recover from all the emotion before going out again, so we did not get to Art Night till the last hour and missed the crowd of over sixty people who had attended. I was thrilled that the event had done so well and regret that I only got photos after the biggest crowd had gone.

Marie Powell's gallery

Marie Powell’s gallery

floral monotype in Marie's gallery

floral monotype in Marie’s gallery

Don Nisbett's gallery

Don Nisbett’s gallery

 

a Basket Case basket from inside Don's gallery

a Basket Case basket from inside Don’s gallery

outside Queen La De Da's

outside Queen La De Da’s Art Castle

evening music

art night guests outside the Port office

art night guests outside the Port office

From inside Queen La De Da’s, this piece of art spoke to me about the big decision of the day:

follow your heart

My heart says to only do jobs that bring us joy and to NOT do so many jobs that we have no time to spend in our own garden during spring through autumn. My perfectionism says that fewer jobs done well are better for our own satisfaction and that of the clients. My social conscience tells me that the most important jobs to me are the ones that benefit the most people: resorts, city gardens, art gallery gardens. The very most important jobs are the ones whose gardens benefit passersby of all classes and economic status, i.e. the city gardens. The very good sleep that I got that night told me that I had made the right decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We got much done today in lovely weather at Andersen’s RV Park.

This is as far as we got when rain and falling temperature inspired us to go home yesterday:

still do do

still to do

and here are the happy results that Allan achieved today with more weeding and mulching with washed dairy manure (cow fiber) from The Planter Box:

today

today

I weeded a lot of little Bad-aster and grass out of the center, swoopy shaped bed and planted lots of poppies:

Gartford Giants, Flanders Field, Iceland and Shirley, and California poppies White Linen, Apricot Chiffon, Thai Silk, Wrinkled Rose, Rosa Romantica, Jelly Beans, Mission Bells, and more.

Allan sturdily set up the sweet pea trellis:

sweet peas planted here

sweet peas planted here

…and I also planted sweet peas all along the picket fence and in a couple of other places, as well.  They were amazing at Andersen’s in 2012 and I hope 2013 lives up to that.

Seed planting is one of my least favourite tasks, which is not to say that I dislike it intensely.  It has its own little excitement, but I find it much easier if I plant seeds at the beginning of the day, and that is when I did the sweet peas.

The poppies were a little more difficult at the end of the Andersen’s session…

And then I had to look at the Andersen’s garden area that still needs doing.  If we get some of the grass out of the area, below, the Rugosa roses will fill in.  Although I sort of wish I had never planted them.

still to do....

still to do….

And this end needs a very serious weeding…again!…and more soil to soften up future weeding.

more to do

more to do

But I think we can leave Andersen’s for a few days in order to get the Boreas Inn garden done next, perhaps after the storm that is supposed to arrive tomorrow into Thursday.

On the way home, we planted four barberries (‘Crimson Pygmy’) in the new garden bed at Veteran’s Field in Long Beach.  I need two more, but I know The Planter Box has two more.  We are doing a subtle red, white and blue foliage theme with the barberries, some ‘Sapphire’ blue oat grass, and some white and green variegated Eonymous (‘Emerald Gaiety’ if I can find it).  Then we will fill in with red, white and blue annuals of some sort.  I was saved from the horror of blue lithodora, I think, with my foliage idea.  Oh how I do not want to plant flat blue lithodora.

This will be the first time I have ever done a red white and blue theme as I am not a patriot.  (I love the planet, and don’t like nationalism.)  I don’t think it will be difficult!  And my ex-Marine mom would be pleased.

the flags of Veteran's Field

the flags of Veteran’s Field (with new stage being built in background)

Finally, we planted poppy seeds at the Ilwaco boatyard.  That is when I felt the pain of standing still with legs cramping up, wrestling with a tiny seed packet in the chill air.  Perhaps I should always plan to plant seeds first thing.

boatyard

boatyard

And as we often do, we swung around the port road to admire our gardens there, especially the one at Queen La De Da’s Art Castle.  The Queen got extra narcissi for her birthday last fall, and it shows.

Queen La De Da's garden

Queen La De Da’s garden

After all that, Allan mowed the lawn into the dusk while I visited with our neighbour, whom I love, who is a grandma, who reminds me of what it was like to have a grandma.

 

 

 

 

 

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