Posts Tagged ‘rugosa roses’

Saturday, 18 November 2017

At the post office, we got an extra special sympathy card about my extra good cat, Smoky.  This one came from all the way from Montana.  Look at the cute envelope, addressed to us and to the remaining cats by name, and at how the PO Box is left blank yet it still got to us.  I looked at the return address (a town an hour an a quarter from where my pal Montana Mary lives) and was mystified.

Inside, I was touched and amazed to find the sender is a blog reader.

Thank you, Penny, so much.  And Mrs. Purrsnickitty (I love your name, Mrs. P.) It means the world to me that my dear kitty touched your hearts.  (I am reminded of how I wept when I learned that Chess, then the dog-voice of The Miserable Gardener blog, had passed. He was as real to me as any friend of mine.)  I also appreciate having all the other kitties’ names on the card.  They all got extra pets from you, Penny and Mrs. P.

This is the kind of card that you put under your pillow for comfort.

I managed to refocus my mind on work.  Work is the time I cope best with losing my best little friend, because he did not come to work with me so I have no work memories of him.

Port of Ilwaco

We started by applying a bale of Gardner and Bloome mulch to the port office garden.  Water seems to pool on the deck above the garden and drip through in a way that batters down the soil.

Cars were parked in the port office parking spots.  We dared to park in a Nisbett Gallery spot.

Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner (Allan’s photo)

mulching (Allan’s photo)

nicely mulched

Allan agreed that next spring, we will remove the old lavenders, which have gone woody in the centers, and replace with new ones.

high tide and summery weather

There was some excitement as the port manager and another man set off in a hurry from the office because “a boat is sinking on D dock.”

the bridge to D Dock

We then clipped and tidied two blocks worth of Ilwaco planters and street trees, starting at the north end of the boatyard.

an abandoned jack o lantern across from the boatyard

same in Waterlogue

First and Eagle planters before (with garbage)

and after

in the boatyard (Allan’s photo)

shiny (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

before and after, annoying patch of badaster that has taken over this tree garden (Allan’s photo)

schlepping a bucket full of clippings

My big plan was to finish the Ilwaco trees and planters—which we did—and then do another intersection of Long Beach planters and one little park, and then get on to the fall clean up at Diane’s garden and the Red Barn.  I very much wanted to get those last two done by Thanksgiving, and this could be the last good weather day for a week.

Long Beach

We parked at the police station and were pleased to see our friends Judy and Larry, out for some lunch and Christmas shopping in town.  We chatted while I started clipping in the big Lewis and Clark Square planter and Allan started cleaning up the little park behind the square.

After our friends went on their way, I suddenly decided to not break the day into three parts and to just plain finish the Long Beach parks and planters.  It always feels intrusive to me to show up at a private garden on a weekend, although I am sure Diane would not mind.  I hope now for just one more decent weather day, even just three hours of dry not too windy weather before Thanksgiving.

clipping curly teucrium

It was the right decision, because of course it took way longer to do that intersection of five planters than I had thought it would.  I walked one block north and back and found that the two planters by the stoplight created a lot of debris once I was done with them.

There are now two empty storefronts for rent (or sale?) by the stoplight. 

Plants like the bright yellow chrysanthemum, above, that are left standing for now, will require a post-frost clean up later on.  At the police station planter, below, I could not bring myself to cut the Geranium ‘Rozanne’.  It was vandalized twice earlier this summer, and thus got cut all the way back then, so it now still looks fresh and new.

I like the “British Bobby” Christmas decoration. “Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

Meanwhile, Allan found some fungi behind the Lewis and Clark Square wall.

Despite having taken a mushroom lecture, I have no idea what these are.

Allan’s project in L&C Square park, before


Lewis and Clark Square, lower right

He also clipped back the rugosa roses along the south side of the police station.  They look too pretty with their fall colour to chop down all the way yet.  Next weekend, folks will be walking by here for a Christmas tree lighting event in Veterans Field.


just a light chop


We went down to Fifth Street Park to clean up two messy planters there, and to plant the very last two little batches of tulips.  I’ve been holding on to those tulips in case the city crew got four escallonias dug out of two planters.  I woke up today deciding to put them in the ground instead, as the crew’s focus right now is on Christmas decorations and frequent storm clean up.

I asked Allan to trim back mildewy, weak old Dorothy Perkins rose from in front of Captain Bob’s Chowder.


after (Allan’s photos)

Two hours before, I thought for sure we would be done with the planters in time to pull Crocosmia at Coulter Park.  Nope.  We were stressfully racing daylight by the time we got to the two northernmost blocks.

Allan tidied under a messy street tree (catmint and a stand of the BadAster, which likes to appear everywhere).  I also asked him to clip a double stand of purple chrysanthemum that was on its last gasp.

chrysanthemum, before

Allan’s photo (They look deceptively good, but most of the flowers are browning off when you look close.)

Chrysanths are very tough to clip. (Allan’s photo)

I had gone down to the planter by NIVA green to chop more mums and tatty old lambs ears.  Heather was putting up her holiday garland and icicle lights.  I took just about three minutes to pop into the shop and snap some photos for the NIVA green Facebook page.

new lamps by Heather Ramsay

a flock of fairies

pencils for my black cat, Calvin

As the sun set, Allan got a telephoto from next to the Dennis Company building.

And another telephoto of me hauling back the last bucket of debris, with Heather in the background working on her lights:

We had time to dump our heaping load of debris at City Works before it was too dark to see. And Heather finished her project:

our favourite shop, photo courtesy NIVA green

At home, I was able to erase three things from the work board and rewrite the remaining list in a more legible fashion.

I later remembered to add Mike’s garden to the post-frost clean up.

I sat myself down and had a good long phone conversation with a local friend who just broke her arm in a fall.

Tomorrow does not look like it will be a work day.

45 mph? That’s nothin’ around here.  It will be a good day to catch up on blog posts and finish Cannery Row.  I have also been saving a vintage garden gift book for the perfect rainy day.

Read Full Post »

On Monday, our friend J9 dropped by some delicious mulligatawny soup as a belated birthday present.  She also showed me this postcard I had sent her 25 years ago. I met her in 1993 when I was working at the Sou’wester Lodge and she was a guest.  She came with her old dog, Cassie, and her lovebird, B-bird.



J9 , Cassie, B.Bird in 1993.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

at home before work


Akebia on the arbor




Allan’s photo, wild cucumber vine

Port of Ilwaco

We did a brief deadheading all along Howerton Avenue because of the Saturday Market’s early opening this year (on April 29 to coincide with the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival).


east end



sneaky dandelion


Allan’s photo


heading west for more deadheads


Note to self: Must trim up these shrubs before the May 6 children’s parade!

I am thinking of cutting the wax myrtle all the way down, because usually they come back quite nicely.  However, the one a couple of gardens west has not revived from being chopped last fall.


hmmm.  I don’t really want it here, anyway.


The maybe dead wax myrtle is part of this garden by the Ilwaco Pavilion.

I tire of BIG shrubs that were planted at the port (not by me) and need frequent pruning to preserve traffic sightlines.

The driveover garden got driven over (or something).


some smashing happened…


This is why it’s “the driveover garden”.


Port office garden with some orange tulips…


and spaces for at least two new plants

Next, we finished a rough weeding of the boatyard, to be repeated next week in a more perfect way before the children’s parade.




a boat coming in (Allan’s photo)


an hour later (boat was being power washed, too)


at the south end, a tangle of bindweed left unpulled for now

Sunday, before we go to an afternoon Indivisible event at Black Lake, I hope we can find time to make a trench or gap by pulling grasses along the back of the chain link fence.  I’ve done it in previous years and it is easier than it sounds.

While he was taking a couple of boat photos (below), Allan talked to the port manager, Guy, and his dad, also Guy, who happens to be our lawyer.  The elder Guy commented that our garden at Diane’s was gone.  It is nice to know the roadside garden was noticed.  Allan reassured him it is not gone for good and that we will be recreating it.

Allan’s boat photos:





Long Beach

We went to the beach approach with the hope of getting one more section done.  I decided to shake things up by weeding four sections of thick rugosa roses.  There is no way to weed the centers of those sections without thorns and eye pokings, so they actually go faster than the more open sections.  I also wanted to get the roadside edge dealt with before all the traffic arrives for the weekend’s clam festival.


a painted rock by where we parked  (Allan’s photo)


before, looking west


Allan’s photo


another painted rock (Allan’s photo)


more edge pulling of roses (Allan’s photo)


4.25 hours later


before, looking east, 1:45 PM


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


6:10 PM


Allan’s photo


 A dog named June out by the restrooms.   Part boxer part Great Pyrenees! (Allan’s photo)

During the job:


I might have left some clover “for the bees”.


Allan pruned some but not all the stubs on mugo pines that keep getting cut back (not always by us) for traffic sightlines.  



I’d like to find time to tidy up all the pines.  Some of them look so beaten by all the wind that I’m not sure they will provide any soothing greenness this year.


in the wheelbarrow: an accidental narcissus casualty

Fortunately, Martha walked by with her dog Ray, so I was able to give her the flowers.  She said it was the most beautiful casualty she had ever seen.


The lawn ponds across the sidewalk are finally drying up.


thick grass in the thickest rose thicket

I am hoping that next fall, we can cut back the three thickest rose sections to the ground, giving us a chance to weed in fall and early spring.  Meanwhile, I hope the roses distract passersby from the weeds.

At the city works yard, a killdeer was finding food amongst the green debris.


at home

I can’t erase “boatyard” from the work board till it is done well next week.  I decided to count today’s beach approach sections as three done, two to go.  We have one, the worst  section (rugosa roses and swamp rushes, almost impossible), untouched, and I’d like to do some further weeding of the ones I worked on today, probably less work than a whole section would take.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


‘Tomorrow: a check of all planters and of Veterans Field before the clam festival, and maybe time to finish weeding one berm.

I had been planning to go to a climate vigil in Seaside on Saturday.  It would have been fun to see Pam Fleming’s downtown gardens.  A combination of exhaustion and of not looking forward to the actual ride down there and of my own garden being a mess has me seriously considering Saturday being a day off at home.

Read Full Post »

Thursday, 7 April 2016

I was so determined to finish the beach approach today that I scheduled nothing else beforehand. We went straight out to the Bolstad beach approach garden except for one brief stop to get photos of the welcome sign garden (in case something bad happened to the tulips before the next day, like a browsing deer or a human standing in there to get a photo taken.)


Tulip ‘Torch Song’ mix from Colorblends, with some Tulip ‘Formosa’ added


Tulip “Torch Song’ mix


front and back


Tulip ‘Much Niceness’ mix from Colorblends


“Much Niceness” mix

.  I knew from the start that the unusual heat…82.9!…would make it challenging out on the beach approach.  Just this once, I hoped for some wind (not too much).


where we left off yesterday


11:17 AM: From where we left off yesterday, my goal was to make it to the buoy.  That would be most of this section, to the planter…


…and this section from the planter to the end.


before (Allan’s photo)


before (Allan’s photo)


a couple of cute dogs that I got to pet.  They whined like crazy when their “mom” walked to the restroom.

It was SOO hot that I thought I was gonna plotz.  I put a cold bandanna around my neck, a cold bandanna peasant style over my head, and a cold bandanna on each wrist (soaked in cold water).


Then I poured cold water over my head from a jug every now and then.


me and my neighbour’s dog Yarrow


Our neighbour Jessika of Starvation Alley organic cranberry farm walked by with her dogs. (Allan’s photo)


Yarrow (Allan’s photo)

Jessika grew up in Tennessee and thinks we are very dramatic about “hot” weather here.  When she walked back, there I was dramatically pouring cold water over my head again.


debris clean up in progress on the first section (Allan’s photo)

The passersby were frequent today because of spring break, with the oft repeated comment “You can come to my garden next”.  One fellow offered us $20 an hour to drive all the way to Chehalis to weed his garden, not realizing that the going rate for private garden work here is $25 per person and up.

The “my garden next” comment is so common that I ran across it in a book about the Lost Garden of Heligan in Cornwall:  “[Garden visitors] stand and stare and comment on our dedication to the job, how our backs must be aching and how we can help in their garden when we’re finished with our own.” from Heligan: A Portrait of the Lost Garden.

Today, I got a good compliment; a fellow said that the gardens make his visits to Long Beach “intriguing and enjoyable”.  That is exactly what I wish to achieve.


starting the second section at two thirty (Allan’s photo)

At four thirty, I could not bear weeding in the section of plain roses anymore.  I was in despair over the quick passage of time so asked Allan to finish that area while I went on to the end, where some Juniper conferta, some wild lupins and some armeria (sea thrift) gave some variety to the weeding.

By then, I was in a panic about getting done; I just wanted so much to finish today.


weeding and chatting with a Long Beach resident who used to be a landscaper (Allan’s photo)

It was also pleasant to visit with blog reader MaryBeth although I barely looked up.

I deliberately left some shaped sections of clover for the bees.  When it is done blooming, we may remove it.


Allan got the boring area done all on his own, by 6:30.

From 6:30 to 7:00, I was wielding the pick in a frenzy and yelling at the last section of weeds, “You will not defeat me! I WILL FINISH YOU!”  I was willing to be late to dinner to get done.  I had been thinking for two hours about calling the Cove and texting Melissa to delay dinner from 7 PM till 7:30, yet the idea of stopping to deal with calling and texting was just too exhausting.  Allan was raking and sweeping the sidewalk and roadside while I did the very last weeding.


cleaned up (Allan’s photo)


after…7:10, late for dinner!



Allan doing the last of the sweeping.


Days ago, we started way way back at the arch.


the final section, done




a huge accomplishment


all the way to the end!

As Melissa says, HUMANS WIN!  At least temporarily.  Next week, we’ll plant some poppy seeds in the occasional area where no roses grow.

The Cove Restaurant


tulips outside the Cove (Allan’s photo)

We arrived at our weekly dinner and meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang 20 minutes late.  Melissa and Dave (Sea Star Gardening) totally understood.


the joy of having the beach approach done (Allan’s photo)


strawberry salad


Dave’s fish and chips


fish tacos


Chef Jason sent us some prawns in butter sauce…out of this world.


the work board…beach approach erased…at long long long last.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago 

1997 (age 72):

April 7: Took Tabby to vets for booster shots.  I got the Advantage flea killer stuff—supposed to kill fleas in 24 hours and last for a month.  $8.00+.

I cleaned out a lot of branches and cones from patio bed so now I have another pile.  There’s still a lot to clean up in driveway and front flower beds.

1998 (age 73):

April 7:  1:00-3:00  It was cold enough to wear a jacket but warm enough to sweat.    I only worked two hours when I felt sick probably still tired from yesterday and only 4 hours sleep.  I managed to weed some in patio and moved most of the pots of perennials up to the picnic table  I gave up and came in and went to bed from 3:00 to 6:00.

Read Full Post »

Before we get back to the beach approach garden, here, at the special request of Our Kathleen, are some cropped and blurred (to disguise the business) photos of the planter that was dissed in the story at the end of yesterday’s post. This planter was, I was told, “a little bit better in 2015″  but before that was “terrible”, and was still “not very good”…


July 2014 (accidentally photographed with “Vibrant Color” setting)


August 2014


August 2014


October (!!) 2014


November 2014

Thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post, both on the blog and on Facebook.  I especially felt moved by the comment from Pam, Seaside’s city gardener, about how “public and vulnerable” it is to do our job.  In fact, that brought a tear to me eye.  (“Are you CRYING now?”)  I was simply shocked to hear that Ann Lovejoy, to me a garden goddess above all, hears criticism of her volunteer maintained public gardens.  Reminds me of when a passerby last year lit into me about the beach approach being weedy, when we had quite simply had NO time to get out there to weed.  Speaking of the beach approach, now that we have passed on several of our private gardens to Sea Star Gardening and also no longer do Andersen’s RV Park (because it sold last year), we have had the time to get the beach approach weeded early-ish this year…or rather, we are TRYING to get it done.

Friday, 1 April 2016

at home

The UPS truck arrived with my Mary Rose rose, from Heirloom Roses, for kitty Mary’s grave.  I was so happy to see it but did not have time to plant it yet.


shipped much earlier than expected!

Before work, I simply had to take some photos of our own garden.  I wish I had time to explore all of it.  I only get quick looks nowadays and am sure I’m missing something wonderful off in a corner.


Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’


center bed back garden


center bed, looking southwest




tulips and muscari


Tulips and Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’


I have to time to deal with the horsetail!


garden boat ‘Ann Lovejoy’




east side front garden


front garden, Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ and Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’


front path looking east

I said to Allan that I felt like picking a bouquet of tulips and taking them to yesterday’s insulting Shopkeeper for shopkeeper’s sick relative.  Allan said “Don’t!”, just like City Hall folks had said when I commented that I felt like doing that.  What happened to kill ’em with kindess?  I picked tulips anyway but instead took them to a local business where we are always treated well.


a bouquet for Salt’s weekend

While I delivered the flowers, Allan popped one perennial into the Time Enough Books garden.


Geum ‘Mai Tai’ (Allan’s photo)

We planted a few plants in the Ilwaco planters and then back to…

Long Beach

The Bolstad beach approach garden


before, with a head start from yesterday (Allan’s photo)


Bolstad beach approach today, before, 12:15 AM


before: our goal is that planter with the light pole and banner

All of the “during” photos are Allan’s today.


before (Allan’s photo)


It has not been weeded since July, but most of the weeds came in the fall and winter.


Allan’s photo

Our neighbour Jared walked by with a friend from Ohio and with the two dogs, Rudder and Yarrow.  As he often does, Rudder ignored me…


…but he did let me pet him on the way back and even gently wagged his tail.


in the thick of it


Allan’s photo

I apologize for no photos of Allan swinging the pick to get the roses out from the streetside edge.  My ever so comfy clothes (free, passed on from a friend, my favourite clothing price) have no good camera pocket so I only take photos of before and after out here.  Why, why, why are pants made without pocketses?  So just picture him swinging the heavy yellow handled pick all day long, kind of like this guy, with pick instead of hammer:


John Henry


Allan’s photo


planter goal achieved! (Allan’s photo)


4 PM: beginning the next section!!




A distraction: a sirening police car went tearing out to the beach, a gazillion miles per hour it seemed, and later this procession came back.


a bad day for someone being escorted off the beach


an Anemone blanda saved from the weeds by Allan



Allan’s tools (minus the giant pick)

Because we had gotten one fourth of the section done yesterday,  and because the next section did not have as many roses, we got to the end of the next section also, all in seven hours today!  A section that takes 3.5 instead of 5-6 hours is a joy.


end of today’s second section.

How I cursed the kinnikinnick around thatrock as I whacked at it with the pick and clipped with the loppers.  It is ugly after this winter, or maybe from last summer’s drought, when, by the way, this whole stretch got NO water.  It does not cover the ground well enough to blanket our weeds and therefore does not deserve to be called a ground cover.  Many bad words were said to it.


Bad words cease when people walk by (unless I know them well).


Three deer went by; this poor critter looks mangy.


‘Twas a sad day for us when the deer discovered our species tulips in this garden.


Dogs to pet are a big treat for me at this job.




Me, the pick, and an enraged attack on kinnikinnick.


As Melissa says: “Humans win!” (briefly)


I have poppy seeds; my energy was gone so they did not get planted today.



after, 7:30 PM


today’s progress


finishing at sunset


telephoto of the buoy which is our goal

We were too exhausted to dump the debris, which is lightweight (roses pulled from along the edges), so we just took it home with us.


We are this far.

at home


dusk: Tulips close their petals





The work board: only five of 12.5 sections left!

To those with an eye for detail:  I’ve started calling the approach 12.5 sections instead of 13 because one area is shorter.

Tomorrow: more of the same, but guess who comes to help us?

guest photo: J9’s cat has found the catnip!


photo by Jeannine Grey

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 73)

April 1:  Cool and gray but dry.  I planned to work on strawberries but the front beds are choked with two persistent weeds so I worked all afternoon in the tam area.  [former juniper tam bed turned to flower bed]  I weeded about a five foot wide area along the front and into the ditch in about four hours bending over and using my stool. MaryAnn came over to visit about half an hour and Darryl stopped by to talk.

Read Full Post »

Monday, 28 March 2016

I awoke early (for me) and could not go back to sleep till I had called the neurologist’s office in Aberdeen.  His office person put him on the phone within thirty seconds; my timing had been perfect, and he had wonderful news: The MRI and ultrasound showed no tumor, no strokes, nothing at all bad in the old brain, and my carotid arteries are in perfect tune.  My happiness was not even slightly tempered by my chronic “dizziness” (lightheadedness, not the spinning of vertigo)  being still a mystery.  I still have the occasional very weird feeling of my right side head and right side foot BOTH feeling whirly inside at the same time.  I thought I’d mention that in case a reader says “Oh, I have that, too, and it’s _____”.

Next week brings another scary medical test (I fear not the test itself but the potential for bad results) but for now, I am free this week to get lots of work done without having to make another trip to the wise and highly rated doc two hours away in Aberdeen.

My plan today had been to weed the Ilwaco boatyard garden.  Perhaps my burst of happy energy changed my mind and sent us to the beach approach garden instead.  My conscious thought was that it is better to do beach approach day, boatyard day, then back to beach approach because the approach garden is SO tedious that it’s better to not do it two days in a row.

At the post office, we got a great big box from Heirloom Old Garden Roses, too big to haul around all day so we went back home to unpack it.



Allan’s photo: boxes inside boxes


Allan’s photo: Jude the Obscure, Westmoreland, Mme Alfred Carriere

Inside were three excellent roses, including Jude the Obscure which I’ve long admired at Klipsan Beach Cottages…but not Mary Rose, the one I had especially meant to order for Kitty Mary’s grave.  I think I got distracted by climbers and forgot to tick the correct box.  Good thing I know nothing is wrong in my brain or I would wonder.  I called them up and ordered Mary Rose to come all on her own.  Heirloom Roses used to sell the tiniest of roses, all of which grew and did well for me. Over the years, something has changed and now they offer gallon size, as you can see.  They sell ONLY own root roses, about which they say:

Heirloom Roses does no budding or grafting at our nursery.  Unlike the majority of rose growers in the US. we sell only own-root, virus-free roses. Our roses are first-year cuttings that are grown from a leaf cutting taken from a “mother” or “stock” plant. Own-root roses may be smaller when purchased, but quickly catch up to grafted roses (which are usually sold as two-year-old plants).

  • Own-root roses are hardier than grafted roses because their crown has not been weakened.  The bud union of a grafted rose is vulnerable to cold and can be easily damaged during a hard winter.
  • Own-root roses come back true to variety if frozen to the ground, because they have their own root system. Winter kill is less likely.
  • Own-root roses are shaplier because they send up shoots from their own roots. This creates a fuller plant over time, which adds to increased vigor, bloom, and life expectancy.
  • Own-root roses have no rootstock suckers, meaning more energy is sent to the main plant.

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

I look forward to having Jude the Obscure in my own garden and, by next week, Mary Rose. I was, in fact, with Mary Caldwell of Klipsan Beach the day she bought her Jude the Obscure in person at Heirloom Roses.


Onyx watching the unpacking of roses


Onyx’s eyes are similar in hue to Acanthus Hollard’s Gold.

Long Beach

We picked up one of my grandma’s scrapbooks which had been on loan to our friend Wendy at Beach Dog.


Beach Dog’s impressive pair of gunneras.

Then, to work, first with some deadheading at City Hall….


city hall north side


Just west of city hall: Starvation Alley organic cranberry juice tasting room

…and then  out to the Bolstad beach approach garden to weed one more of the thirteen sections..


the long narrow Bolstad garden


before: 12:15 PM


before (Allan’s photo)


before (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Someone had left these, perhaps in excitement at approaching the beach. (Allan’s photo)


almost done, with a big mess to clean up (Allan’s photo)


a difficult and thorny job (Allan’s photo)


cleaning up (Allan’s photo)


after, 5:45 PM, weeds out, roses beaten back from the edges


sweeping up

Today the job still took ages, 5.5 hours (11 total) and yet felt less daunting, perhaps because of the good news I had had in the morning.



After dumping the debris at city works, we planted three plants at Fifth Street Park, and a start of a white geranium macrorrhizum at the mortuary garden.


Fifth Street: One variegated symphytum, welcome to run all around this corner (Allan’s photo)


lavenders into planters


Lavender ‘Madrid Blue’ which I pray does not get stolen (with Viola ‘Etain’, Allan’s photo

The air had become chilly, changing my mind about planting some seeds at the Ilwaco Community Building.

The Depot Restaurant

was an appealing place to warm up with a good meal.


Tulip ‘Gavota’ looks good against brick and against red paint.


Depot garden (Allan’s photo)


Depot garden (Allan’s photo)


in the Depot, at the end of the bar


Depot Restaurant wilted spinach salads



halibut on sausage gumbo with basmati rice


sunsetting at the end of the Seaview approach road, past the Sou’wester (left)


Allan deadheaded a window box on his way out.


We paused in the big port parking lot to admire the southeastern sky over the port buildings.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

  A guest photo:  

Our friend Michelle drove across the four mile long Astoria-Megler Bridge today and posted this photo of how the clouds were so low that vehicles were above the clouds on the Columbia River.  Re the bridge, she writes: “I’ve grown used to it. 8 years ago, I held my breath all the way over.”


photo by Michelle Zinkevicz

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

March 28:  Planted all begonias in pots and in trays etc.  I have to figure out a new way to label bulbs in color etc.  The ones I marked last fall are all mixed up.  Next job will be to check over dahlia bulbs to see which ones made it through the winter.

1998 (age 73):

March 28:  2:00-5:00  It was cold today so I stayed in until 2:00.  Then the sun came out.  I went out planning to weed in front but worked in strawberries instead.  Last week I decided it will be easier just to dig the berry plants because most need to be divided so I dug plants out of one row.  I can’t decide if I should leave area empty until Ron comes to till or whether to replant berry rows as soon as I can.


Read Full Post »

Saturday, 27 February 2016


Fortunately, we were awake and having breakfast when Todd arrived in the late morning to bring some plants from his recent plant acquisition trip to T&L Nursery.  He said that the weather while I was sleeping  had been misty and not work-conducive.


barely awake, checking out the plants


Never too many Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’, in my opinion.


Allan’s birthday present from Todd, ‘hairy lip fern’ doing well.


a quick look at what’s in bloom in the back garden


Smokey flopping around seeking some attention


Smokey still seeking some pets




“If the maple gets tall enough, it won’t be swallowed up by the baptisia.”

DSC04220 (1).jpg

(Todd had remembered that this young Japanese maple has a large baptisia next to it.)


Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ and Nepeta ‘Six Hills Gold’


Sambucus ‘Black Tower’ and the Ilex ‘Sky Pencil’ trio


With the new plants in the ladies in waiting area, Allan and I headed for Long Beach with a stop on the way to pick up DVDs from the library.  I took the opportunity to review the Ilwaco community building garden.




more crocuses


still more crocuses



The heather flowers are already starting to brown off.  Oh, how I wish this garden were not so heavy with heather.


I suggested to Allan that, because the kinnikinnick looks so terrible, all of it should be sheared back hard.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick, bearberry) looks awful and is hard to weed.


Kinnikinnick infested with grass

I think large sections of the bearberry need to be rogued out and replaced with something more interesting and with less tendency toward shabbiness.  At the moment, areas of this garden need weeding but the time is not there to do it.


This area, well weeded within the last month, has held up well.

We got a wonderful haul of movie fare from the library: Party Girl (one of my all time favourite films that Allan has never seen), Jurassic World, Train Wreck and Interstellar…but we must finish watching the delightful latest season of Girls on DVD first.


a comedy about library science

Long Beach


the long narrow Bolstad garden

We returned to the first section of the beach approach garden to finish cutting back the rugosa roses and weeding.


today’s area, before, at 12:51 AM


after: 3:32 PM

Each section takes about five hours for the two of us to weed (above was a half section) and so the whole first weeding job of the year takes about 130 hours!  It is difficult to find that amount of time to carve out of the rest of our schedule.

I tell myself only three more years, including this one, till Allan has turned 66 and we may then insist they find someone else to do this part of the Long Beach job.  And yet, there is something terribly satisfying about it.  I hope that this year it will seem less deadly, since we have (by choice) several fewer other jobs than last year.


today, before (Allan’s photos)


during (picking roses out from along the edge)


almost done


3 days ago



Last year, we didn’t even get started on weeding these garden beds till June; this year, I hope to get the first weeding done in time to plant poppy seeds in the areas won back from weeds and roses.  Some seeds did go in at the end of the garden above.

Of course, it would be lovely to mulch the whole long sandy garden.  I just don’t want to add that many hours of labour.

With the first section done, we drove out to the “end cap” by the driveway to the big public parking lot.


3:49 PM


starting the end cap


I enjoy the parade of dogs walking by.


Doug stops to tell us about a “weeding” job he’s doing.  (More on this later.)


Diane came by with my very good friend, Misty!


after (Allan’s photo)


the last of the ornamental grasses got chopped by Allan (before)




5:11 PM

All too many rose roots are still in there—too many to put poppies in that area.  We did manage to peel some roses away from the edge.  I often yearn for the past when all this garden had a collection of pretty perennials and poppies.  Unfortunately, the kite festival crowds trampled it year after year and the roses have been allowed to take over because they can hold their own against humans.


still rather damp for beach approach picnics

I’m eager to get back out there to weed another section.  Tomorrow calls for 40 mph winds which will definitely be not conducive to work.  And I made a problem for us by buying lilies and violas, as we must now return to three gardens to plant them, gardens we could otherwise ignore for a couple of post-spring-cleanup weeks.  Ooops.

On the way to the city works debris pile, I snapped a photo of the Culbertson Field flower garden:


…only to realize that old flowers of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ were obscuring the view.


a few minutes later.  Ignore the weeds to the the right, no time to pull them today

Above is another plant on my loathed plants list: Lithodora.  It has been there for years.  I will clip in back hard after it blooms to avoid the dead-inside look that it gets.  Like heather, it has such a short bloom time followed by a long tatty looking time unless clipped.


Now off to dump a scratchy load of roses

As we drove to the city works yard four blocks south, a woman tried to flag us down with a “YooHoo!”  We simply had to keep driving in order to get the debris dumped while we still had daylight.  Perhaps she wished to hire gardeners, in which case we would suggest our friends at Sea Star Gardening.

I remembered to sit a couple of times during the day to force myself to bend my right knee.  I think some of my problem is from working with a straight leg all day until it locks open, causing much pain trying to get into the van at end of day.  Today was better.

At dusk, we gave in to the impulse to dine at the Kabob Cottage.  Restaurateur Behnoosh and landlord Doug were just completing the patio.  You may recall that earlier today, Doug had driven by us on our beach approach project and said he was “weeding” another area.  Below: His version of weeding is to fill in an ugly weedy patch of sorrel and horsetail with matching pavers.


It is a huge improvement.


So is the excellent spring clean up that Dave and Melissa did for us on this park a couple-three weeks ago.


Allan’s photo


delicious chicken kabobs


Kabob Cottage by night

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 27:  It seems like I start all my notes with “Finally”.  Well, today I finally got the leaves raked up in lower driveway and behind house.  I used the trash bag frame with 33 gallon bags and it worked fine.  I have five bags to be shredded “someday”.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 27:  Didn’t get to sleep till after 4 AM—then slept till almost noon.  My Dutch Gardens order came today, 5 boxes, $806 worth.  Now I really have my work cut out for me.  I must get the begonias potted and pot up the various perennials roots etc and get them under lights.


Read Full Post »

On the way out of town this morning, we stopped by the new ROOTS Juice, Salad, and Java Bar drive-through to get some photos for Discover Ilwaco.  People are raving about their smoothies and salads.



I wish the new owners great success so they can maybe expand to a sit down place!

I wish the new owners great success so they can maybe expand to a sit down place!  I would love that!

It's across the street from city hall, where we checked on our two planters.

It’s across the street from city hall, where we checked on our two planters.

The city hall planters are thriving so well because the staff gives them supplemental water.

The Depot Restaurant

The weekly deadheading session....

The weekly deadheading session….

north side of dining deck

north side of dining deck

east wall

east wall

As I deadheaded the two Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ in the barrel by the window, I reflected cheerfully on no longer having to deadhead the 20 Butterfly at Andersen’s RV Park!  I bet the new owners plant something lower maintenance there next year.

Long Beach

deadheading and supplemental water for the welcome sign

deadheading and supplemental water for the welcome sign

still wondering if echibeckia is too dark; it does pick up a bit of orange in the sun

still wondering if echibeckia is too dark; it does pick up a bit of orange in the sun

the back, mostly cosmos

the back, mostly cosmos

front and back

front and back

Veterans Field: deadheading while the lawn gets mowed

Veterans Field: deadheading while the lawn gets mowed

Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' is the star now.

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ is the star now.

The second weekly watering of the planters....

The second weekly watering of the planters….

The planters are a big hit with all sorts of bees, and even damsel flies.

The planters are a big hit with all sorts of bees.

The city crew was hard at work on the parks today.

The city crew was hard at work on the parks today.

Some of the sprinkler heads are not popping up due to a low water pressure problem, so the lawns are not the uniform perfection of green as usual; there is nothing to be done about it this summer.  The sheer amount of green is still impressive.

I found some finger blight by Funland.

I found some finger blight by Funland.

Anything along the edge of Funland gets sat upon. I will put some Cape Blanco sedum in here.

Anything along the edge of Funland gets sat upon. I will put some Cape Blanco sedum in here.


My favourite planter this year, the one by Dennis Co

My favourite planter this year, the one by Dennis Co

Agastache 'Acapulco Salmon and Pink': what a great do-er!

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’: what a great do-er!

Here it is from the other side of the street.

Here it is from the other side of the street.

Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning'

Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’

Some of the planters still have the plaques from volunteers, but with one exception, they are all cared for by us now.  The exception is the bright happy planter of annuals at the far west end of Sid Snyder beach approach which is still adopted by Back Country Horse Rides.

Geranium 'Rozanne' and golden marjoram, a bit of cosmos, and two agastaches which have been swallowed by Rozanne.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden marjoram, a bit of cosmos, and two agastaches which have been swallowed by Rozanne.

I like the angularity of Oregano 'Hopley's Purple'.

I like the angularity of Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’.

I went into the Long Beach Pharmacy for a candy bar to give me the energy to finish, and saw this, which reminded me of Joey Ramone:


For those who don’t know: When Joey recorded that, he was battling the cancer that eventually took his life at age 49.

It was a finger-blighty day.  Allan found one of the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ plants completely missing from the planter by the smoke shop.

all off balance now (Allan's photo, before deadheading the remaining one)

all off balance now (Allan’s photo, before deadheading the remaining one)

(Allan's photo) The symmetry is gone.

(Allan’s photo) The symmetry is gone.  He did a comb-over.

Allan's photo, bench in use by Malai Thai restaurant

Allan’s photo, bench in use by Malai Thai restaurant

Allan got done with his share of the planters before me (he had fewer) and so he deadheaded alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle) in Fifth Street Park.  His photos:

before and after, southeast quadrant of park

before and after, southeast quadrant of park

before and after, southwest quadrant, with Sambucus 'Black Lace'

before and after, southwest quadrant, with Sambucus ‘Black Lace’

Toward the end of the work day, we went out to Sid Snyder beach approach, where we had had the soaker hoses in the planters turned on for 24 hours.  It was to no avail, as they were still powder dry.  The hoses are too deep, have too little coverage, and are pretty much useless.

painfully dry (ivy left over from a volunteer)

painfully dry (ivy left over from a volunteer)

We checked up on the kite museum’s tiny entry garden, gave it some Fox Farms Tiger Bloom fertilizer, and headed out to check on the Bolstad beach approach garden and planters.  At the westernmost planter, I saw wilted santolinas and said “OH! They are not as drought tolerant as I thought!” and then saw they were pulled up and left to sit on the planter and die.



Allan thought it might be deer.  I think it is a human.  This stretch of three westernmost planters is repeatedly vandalized with plants pulled up that deer don’t like, and pulled up with force.  The way they are left sitting on the soil is too uniform for deer, in my opinion.  This is why those planters are so empty: plants keep on being destroyed.

Dang BLAST it.

Dang BLAST it.

further inland; it is extra frustrating because santolinas are one of the few plants that will survive out here with just about no water.

further inland; it is extra frustrating because santolinas are one of the few plants that will survive out here with just about no water.

The Lisa Bonney memorial planter has had many plants pulled out.

The Lisa Bonney memorial planter has had many plants pulled out.

So we had time to do some on the main stretch of the beach approach here with hoses hooked up to the in ground faucets…if we could find them all.  (They don’t reach the westernmost five planters.)  We did not look, though, because when we checked the first one, the water was still turned off.

dry under there

dry under there

Adjacent planter remains dry.

Adjacent planter remains dry.

looking southeast

looking southeast

On a happier note, our weeding had held up well.  We cut back two very drought-stressed ground level santolinas and then left because there is not much else we can do out here.  Bravo to the rugosa roses and escallonia! for holding up in this drought, which is serious and unusual.

from The Chinook Observer

from The Chinook Observer

Allan wanted to spend the remainder of our work time on the “big pop out” on Ocean Beach Boulevard, so we did.

big pop out, before

big pop out, before



Again, bravo to Rosa rugosa alba for blooming with no water, even though its running nature maddens me as I would like to plant more cool stuff in this planter.  Everything gets invaded by the rose.

A gentleman who was staying in the adjacent vacation rental came out to retrieve with his little dog, Sunny, who had squeezed under the fence.



making friends

making friends

The Cove Restaurant

Sondra's garden

Sondra’s garden

We met Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Landscape Maintenance) for our weekly dinner.

Some of the yummy items.

Some of the yummy items.

the stir fry

the stir fry  and a fish taco (they were out of ahi tuna tonight)

The Mayan Pork Conchinita

The Mayan Pork Conchinita

Melissa got duck with sauce made from Starvation Alley Farm organic cranberries.

Melissa got duck with sauce made from Starvation Alley Farm organic cranberries.

chocolate lava cake, cannoli, lemon mascarone cake

chocolate lava cake, cannoli, lemon mascarone cake

Or, as Ann Amato-Zorich told me, one cannolo!

It is very good to have jobbing gardener friends to share gardening stories with at the end of the week (although it is not the end of their week, as they work at least five days a week and we have cut down to four).  Melissa and I are in agreement that it is our favourite part of the week.


Read Full Post »

Because life is more than just touring gardens, we had to get back to work.  We are indulging ourselves by only working four days a week.  We may financially regret this later. For now, it’s wonderful.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Long Beach

The first of two weekly waterings of the planters…and the once-weekly watering of the street trees.  Oh how I am thinking about Pam’s lushly irrigated Seaside gardens!  I wish our street tree gardens, small though they are, could be as lush.  The planters I don’t mind watering because I use the time for deadheading and other grooming tasks.  The street tree water hook ups are much harder to access and frustrate me so much that Allan waters them, and they only get done once a week.

Seventh and Pacific

Seventh and Pacific

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Salvia viridis (painted sage)

Geranium 'Rozanne and a blue Agastache

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and  Agastache ‘Estella Indigo’

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

pink dahlia, pink painted sage

pink dahlia, pale pink California poppy

pink dahlia, pale pink California poppy

finger blight on the lavender!!!

finger blight on the lavender!!!  someone picked a nice big bouquet….grr.

Basket Case Greenhouse basket

Basket Case Greenhouse basket

hangs right over the planter

hangs right over the planter

If, as the sign says, no bicycles are allowed on sidewalks, why are we a couple of times a week almost collided into by a sidewalking bike!? I’m all for bicycling as an ecological form of transport, but not on the busy sidewalk. One cannot hear them coming till the whooooosh is almost next to one.  Skateboards are banned in LB town, and yet they are more audible and I think actually safer to work around.

Stormin' Norman's Kites and clothing

Stormin’ Norman’s Kites and clothing

Geranium 'Rozanne', Allan's photo. Our planters are hugely attractive to bees.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Allan’s photo. Our planters are hugely attractive to bees.

Geranium 'Rozanne' and golden oregano

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and golden oregano (Allan’s photo)

Allan was watering the trees and the two north blocks of planters so he got to admire my favourite one.

by Dennis Company

by Dennis Company (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

When I still had more planters to water, Allan got the horsetail off the pond garden by the stoplight.




after, de-fuzzed

After watering, we went out to weed on the beach approach.

the long narrow Bolstad garden

the long narrow Bolstad garden, that thin strip along the street

Out at the west end of the beach approach

Out at the west end of the beach approach

I have become so re-inspired by the beach approach since Andersen’s RV Park sold and I realized my dread of the beach approach garden was mostly because it had been years since we had enough time for it.  I felt so inspired that I thought we might even hook up a hose to the underground spigot and pour some water on the garden while we weeded it.  Allan found the hatch, swept the sand off, pried it off…


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

He dug the sand off of the buried faucet....

He dug the sand off of the buried faucet….

And then he turned on the faucet…and there was no water.  We called the parks manager and it will be turned on later this week.  We have not watered out here for two years, which certainly says something about the drought tolerance of rugosa roses.  I am, however, thinking of finding ALL the buried hatches so that we can put some water on the poor dry planters along this street.  We quite simply stopped hauling buckets out to them when we both got to be 60!  The city water trailer guy (who diligently waters the hanging baskets every day, thus earning much praise from me) has been spraying them sometimes…but it is not enough.

so sad and thirsty. Heathers and rosemary left over from a volunteer planting.

so sad and thirsty. Heathers and rosemary left over from a volunteer planting.

Something must be done about this watering situation.  It is time consuming to hook up long hoses to water these planters.  OH how I envy Pam’s irrigation.

The rugosa roses are so tough. And that gallardia gets a gold star for still being alive out here.

The rugosa roses are so tough. And that gallardia gets a gold star for still being alive out here.

today's weeding job, before

today’s weeding job, before

My friend Lady B came by.

My friend Lady B came by.

Allan at work

Allan at work

I did not manage to take an after photo; Allan took this little sequence:





We had high hopes that the next day, we would finally finish this year’s first complete weeding of the beach approach garden.

Tuesday: 28 July 2015

Ilwaco Post Office: one flower left on the ridiculously giant lily, and someone keeps stripping off the flowers. It's a mystery.

Ilwaco Post Office: Someone keeps stripping off the flowers of the ridiculously giant lily. It’s a mystery.

The Red Barn and Diane’s Garden

The Red Barn garden from across the parking lot (looking north)

The Red Barn garden from across the parking lot (looking north)

I always feel I must be looking west here.  The map shows otherwise because of a deceptive curve in Sandridge Road.

Red Barn

Red Barn Arena

Red Barn Arena

the most wind-protected of four barrels at the Red Barn

the most wind-protected of four barrels at the Red Barn

my camera shy friend Misty at Diane's garden

my camera shy friend Misty at Diane’s garden

Diane's garden along the highway, with Stipa gigantea

Diane’s garden along the highway, with Stipa gigantea and cosmos

Diane's alliums

Diane’s alliums



Diane and Larry do a good job of keeping this garden watered.

It's harder to water this end.

It’s harder to water this end.

Long Beach Bolstad Beach Approach

We have every intention of finishing the weeding of the beach approach garden today.

We have every intention of finishing the weeding of the beach approach garden today.

Allan's photo: This garden has not been watered all summer, and it has not rained appreciably for over two months.

Allan’s photo: This garden has not been watered all summer, and it has not rained appreciably for over two months.

Allan's photo: trimming the sidewalk side

Allan’s photo: trimming rugosa roses on the sidewalk side

Allan's photo: brave gaillardia

Allan’s photo: brave gaillardia and one last rose

The gardens seems dull to me, being almost all rugosa roses.  We used to have an assortment of gorgeous perennials until I realized this could never be because of the trampling it gets during kite festival.  Only rugosa roses and other small, tough shrubs can hold their own during that.

I do wonder though, if it had irrigation and could be as lush as Pam’s Seaside gardens, would it be so garden-y that people would not trample it?  I suppose I will never know.  We do get many compliments on the garden and many questions about the rose hips.  Are they tomatoes? Persimmons? Edible? And then we talk about rose hip tea and rose hip jelly.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

During the approach weeding, I had a revelation that we needed to quit one more job, and that we COULD because Dave and Melissa, Sea Star Landscape Maintenance, are so good that I can turn over any garden to them and they can dive right into it with no coaching; they know ALL the plants.  Over the following couple of days, we arranged to pass on the Boreas Inn garden to them, one that we never have enough time for.  They now have several pretty big former jobs of ours,  with happy and satisfied clients.  I am hoping this translates next year into getting the first complete beach approach weeding done by April or May instead of August.

I felt so inspired that we went back to the beach approach section that I had given up and just string-trimmed earlier this summer and actually weeded it properly.

weeding with the pick (Allan's photo)

weeding with the pick (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photo)

almost done (Allan's photo)

almost done (Allan’s photo)

We have prevailed! (Allan's photo)

We have prevailed! (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo, as we checked on the garden at city hall

Allan’s photo, as we checked on the garden at city hall

The Port of Ilwaco

The watering of the Port of Ilwaco went more smoothly than last week.  It is still frustrating having to wrestle with 300 feet of hose when there are spigots so much nearer the gardens.  However, this fall I will be moving all but the most drought tolerant plants out of the westernmost section that is hardest to water.  It won’t hurt if some sections of the gardens are better than others.  Salt Hotel, Time Enough Books, The Port Office, Don Nisbett Gallery, the Ilwaco Pavilion and Peterson Gallery will have the show-off garden beds.

Port Office curbside garden with Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Port Office curbside garden with Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (I don’t know what that white triangle is, some sort of oops!)

Lavender and Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies, port office curbside

Lavender and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies, port office curbside

looking east over the port office curbside garden

looking east over the port office curbside garden

The Port Office garden, south wall

The Port Office garden, south wall

looking south from the port office garden

looking southwest from the port office garden

looking southeast

looking southeast

The east end garden can now have hose watering because Allan has enough hose to drag across the parking lot from a dockside spigot.  This is not annoying like the other long drag, as there is no business owner’s spigot next to that garden.  I do, wish, though, that years ago, under a previous port administration, some thought had been given to exactly how the gardens were going to be watered. Why was irrigation not installed during the time that the street was torn up to make these beds?  I asked a local pro gardener ‘Why???” and she said wisely “Because people always think, ‘You don’t need to water around here because it rains!'”  She is so right, and people are so wrong, because even in a normal year we have dry weather for at least two months in summer.

Allan's photo: Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' at the east end

Allan’s photo: Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the east end

Allan's photo: Catananche (Cupid's Dart)

Allan’s photo: Catananche (Cupid’s Dart)

Allan's photo: a happy dog at the port

Allan’s photo: a happy dog at the port

Allan worked east to west, just for variety. West end: Salt Hotel is open for business, and we highly recommend them.

Allan worked east to west, just for variety. West end: Salt Hotel is open for business, and we highly recommend them.

I got done earlier than Allan and walked home.  At the Lost Garden on the corner, I had a look at the pond and found it completely dry.  I’ve never seen it this dry even at the end of August.

That is disturbing. (The pallets are from a children's fort that blew apart in a storm.)

That is disturbing. (The pallets are from a children’s fort that blew apart in a storm.)

at home

in my garden: Billardia longiflora in evening light.

in my front garden: Billardia longiflora in evening light.

Further sign of drought: Some of the salmonberry shrubs in the bogsy woods have dried up.  A friend who has lived here for 40 years says she has never seen this happen til autumn, if then.

It's a spooky sight.

It’s a spooky sight.

The work board finally had beach approach weeding, all 13 sections, erased!  I immediately replaced it with the Long Beach parking lot (not really) berms…three sections that have been sadly neglected due to lack of time.

Job Satisfaction!

Job Satisfaction!




Read Full Post »

Monday, 17 February 2014

A typical weather-affected workday ensued when the day ended up, at noon-ish, being more pleasant than we expected. So much for finishing my book and starting another. We headed up to the police station in Long Beach to cut down the white rugosa roses on the south side, hoping for four hours of working weather.

police station, before

police station, before

A light drizzle had begun by the time we got there, and within ten minutes of rose cutting, wind and rain made the job so miserable that we aborted and grocery shopped at the store in Seaview on the way home.

By the time we took the groceries into our house, the sky had cleared so back to Long Beach we went. The backing and forthing can seem like such a frustrating waste of time.

before, again

before, again

and finally, after

and finally, after

While Allan did the sweeping up, I tidied the little park behind Lewis and Clark Square just to the south. We popped over then to the “big pop out” on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

the BIG pop out

the BIG pop out

Allan starts to chop the so-called dwarf pampas grass

Allan starts to chop the so-called dwarf pampas grass

I clipped rugosa roses from all along the edge and brooded about how rampantly the rose runs. Never again would I plant it. The wind kicked up, and the woman who owns nearby Banana Books walked by with her dog and offered us tea. So sweet! But I told her we would be leaving in twenty minutes and declined the kind offer so we could focus on the job. She promised us tea sometime in the future, saying how much she appreciated our work and adding that she loves the roses. I felt better hearing that.

after or...as far as we got.

after or…as far as we got.

The garden is still weedy, and I want us to take a pick all around the edges to get some of the rose roots out. We got them pushed to the back to the garden last year and yet they had come out to hang over the edge again. I wish we could take a big scoop and get them all out and start over with a nice collection of rock garden plants. Dianthus, armeria, and darling little buns and tufts would be such a delight. The roses, however, are bound to win.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the Peninsula in Marilyn’s garden (where we have not been yet this year), Marilyn’s daughter Nancy has been taking photos of certain goings on.

"Who's that in my garden?"

“Who’s that in my garden?”

"Who's that on the porch??"

“Who’s that on the porch??”

eyeing the back door

eyeing the back door

Another storm is predicted, and I am now one day ahead on the blog, so I hope to be back to reading on Tuesday.

I may have achieved a blog entry with only one exclamation point. In the book I’m reading, Eating the Dinosaur, in a chapter about tv shows with canned laughter, Chuck Klosterman writes:

“If you’ve spent any time trolling the blogosphere, you’ve probably noticed a peculiar literary trend: the pervasive habit of writers inexplicably placing exclamation points at the end of otherwise unremarkable sentences. Sort of like this! It’s supposed to suggest ironic detachment from the writing of an expository sentence! It’s supposed to signify that the writer is self-aware! And this is idiotic. It’s the saddest kind of failure. F. Scott Fitzgerald believed inserting exclamation points was the literary equivalent of an author laughing at his own jokes, but that’s not the case in the modern age; now the exclamation point signifies crative confusion …. It’s an attempt to insert humour where none exists, on the off chance that a potential reader will only be pleased if they suspect they are being entertained. Of course, the reader isn’t really sure, either. They just want to know when they’re supposed to pretend that they’re amused. All those extraneous exclamation points are like little splatters of canned laughter.”

Oh dear. Exclamation points in texting, Facebook chit chat, and other people’s blogs are fine with me. Here, my exclamation points had already been worrying me almost as much as overuse of the word “but”. I am guilty. Guilty, I say! And there’s one more.

Read Full Post »

Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

I awoke to white frost on the back lawn, as predicted.  All the tender plants in pots were safely in the greenhouse.  The ones that I want to save, anyway:  scented geraniums, tender salvias…


frosty morning

Great, thought I, the annuals will perhaps be done in Long Beach.  I have wearied of their tired looking appearance; they have still been looking too colourful to pull as it might make shopkeepers and passersby said if I dispose of them them prematurely.

But NO!  They still look mostly wonderful.

painted sage, Agyr. 'Butterfly', nasturtium

painted sage, Agyr. ‘Butterfly’, nasturtium

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Allan cut back the Panicum ‘Heavy Metal‘ ornamental grass back in the one street tree under which it grows.  I like the name of the grass and its metallic sheen.  However, I think that to most people it probably looks weedy.

Heavy Metal grass

Heavy Metal grass

This particular tree has no working water and has to be bucket watered from a nearby planter.

The park by Marsh’s Free Museum and one of our favourite little cafés, Captain Bob’s Chowder, still looks fine.

obelisk tiles by Renee O'Connor

obelisk tiles by Renee O’Connor

The work in the frying pan park is coming along….By spring, that clam statue will spout every hour on the hour again.


Allan took a break from Long Beach city work and pulled Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ from the Summer House  garden while I checked the rest of the planters.  I swear I did not plant the darn hardy geranium at Summer House.  It probably had one little seedling inside another plant.

Below:  Allan stands where a rose trellis should go IF Erin (who owns this vacation rental) wants to keep the rampant climbing rose in there:

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

Then he dropped me off to tidy up the Veterans Field garden while he dumped debris.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

still very faintly red white and blue

still very faintly red white and blue

We had an appointment at NW Financial and Insurance regarding the Affordable Care Act (which I believe will be very beneficial to us).  The main website was down again, even though it had been working all day.

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

The best thing I have read about this is:  “War is a crisis.  Poverty is a crisis.”  And then something about the computer problem being an inconvenience.  We will go back next week.  If anyone local (Southwest Washington or Northwest Oregon) needs help figuring out the Affordable Care Act paperwork, Shelly Pollock is a wonderful helper and her services are free.

We concluded our work day by pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage clumps and a doing a bit of weeding on the Bolstadt beach approach.

Bolstadt approach buoy

Bolstadt approach buoy

two birds

two birds

another two birds

another two birds


Bolstadt beach approach garden, looking toward town

This walk is so popular with townfolk and tourists alike.  One can walk up Sid Snyder Boulevard ten blocks south, then along the boardwalk with its view of the beach and back down this street….or vice versa.

rugosa rose autumn colour

rugosa rose autumn colour

with dwarf mugo pine

with dwarf mugo pine

Something amazing happened when I pulled a weed from the easternmost Bolstadt planter….

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

The mint started to peel up just like taking up a carpet!   I was thrilled!!

before and after

before and after

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

While Allan tidied that up, I cut back a few lily stalks on the south side of city hall and observed with dismay that a purple ajuga had gone aggressively running through the whole bed.

Anyone want some purple ajuga??

Anyone want some purple ajuga??  will fix this later

Just west of city hall, reflections of sunlight fell on the sign for the upcoming new coffee shop.  I was excited to see that Pink Poppy Bakery’s logo had been added to the sign.  My ultimate loyalty still likes with Ilwaco’s Olde Towne coffee café but I will love being able to get Pink Poppy treats while working in Long Beach.

Akari Space

Akari Space

Although I could tell a great sunset was brewing, the dumping of debris had to take priority.

looking west from city hall

looking west from city hall

While at the city works yard, we could see the sunset developing.

over the water treatment plant

over the water treatment plant

With work done, we went back to Bolstadt.

Another sunset watching group had gathered on the big picnic shelter.



The sunset started as a moody grey and pink one, and I thought it would continue that way.

Allan’s photos:





west of the boardwalk


my photos:

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

from the end of the Bolstadt approach




band of colour

band of colour

Thinking it was fading, we turned to go back to town and saw the tail lights of the cars of other sunset watchers driving away….

Long Beach from the boardwalk

Long Beach from the boardwalk

One glance back and we turned to the west again as the colour suddenly intensified.



And then it did fade.


At home, I took a quick walk along Spruce and Lake Streets to check out progress in the Ilwaco flatlands Halloween preparations.

the J's house across the street

the J’s house across the street from ours

on Spruce

on Spruce

Soon would come the yearly Halloween extravaganza.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »