Posts Tagged ‘salal’

Sunday, 28 February 2016

After a long and delicious sleep during a blustery windstorm, we realized during brunch that the sun had come out and that it might be a good day to put in an afternoon of work.  While Allan hooked up the trailer, I took a turn around the front garden.


Ribes speciosum


Ribes speciosum, closer.  It has mean barberry-like thorns.


lily foliage emerging along with weeds that I don’t have time to pull.


Melianthus major and Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’


Melianthus major is budding, overhead…


and at eye level

A strong gusty wind blew up again just as I got in the van.  I was ready to abort the beach approach mission and gardening in general.  Allan said he would do the community building garden, so I agreed to help because it’s easy to bail out of a place so close to home.

Just as we parked and started to unload our tools, a passerby arrived (not someone we know) who wanted to chat and ask questions and chat some more, very close within my personal space (like looking over my shoulder while I was getting my gear out of the van).  I’m kind of Aspergian about that.  Thinking of my own comfort rather than contributing to the other person’s enjoyment, it seemed like a time to tactfully and pleasantly depart to go plant some lilies up at Golden Sands.

As we drove north, we had barely left Ilwaco when an earnest rain began.  Now it seemed like a good time to get a little grocery shopping done.


parked by Sid’s Market


Weather being decidedly miserable

Allan returned to the vehicle with a grocery bag, saying that he was committed to returning home, having bought ice cream to go with some pie.  I thought contentedly of my comfy chair and the several library books awaiting me on the living room table.

When we got into our driveway, the sun came out, and it seemed like a good time to go back to the community building, so we did.

Finally getting down to work, we accomplished a great deal in just three and a half hours.  I especially wanted to get rid of a lot of the kinnikinnick, as it looks battered and dead after winter, and it is so hard to weed amongst its stems.  The soil in all these beds is infested with quack grass and sorrel and, in some of the beds, bindweed and horsetail.




after some VERY hard work, with some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ added.

The Sedum should be excellent here, drought tolerant, with interesting flowers, and every now and then it will be easy to remove and clean up, in order to get more of the accursed long white grass roots out of this area.  Added some coppery coloured California poppy seeds, too.


before: an area heavy with kinnikinnick, with salal planted below at sidewalk level


another view of the same area….AND I got some of the salal out below!


North of the wheelchair ramp to the parking lot: I have a Fuchsia magellanica start at home that can fill in there where a big tatty clump of salal came OUT.  And a lovely ornamental grass, low and goldy-red, that go into the bed above.

The garden beds have so much heather.  Indeed, heather dominates every bed but the tiered bed in the lower parking lot and the shade bed by the front door.

As I weeded, something began to bother me along the sidewalk garden.

From the ramp south to the bus stop:


salal salal salal rhododendrons heathers mugo pines….


past the salal: rhodos heather mugo pines


other side of sign…mugo pines, heather rhodos and…what the heck is that huge salal doing in there?? and then heather and rhodos.

“Allan!!!!!” I called, “I have a big idea!!!”

While sitting on the wall, weeding, I had seen a rhododendron languishing hidden in the pines.


in the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines, a little lost rhodie.

A half an hour later, Allan had that huge clump of salal OUT, and I had dug up the little lost rhodie.  (I think what happened is back when the garden was planted, a volunteer did not know how big the pines would get compared to that little rhododendron.  As for the oddly places salal, who knows.)


Allan’s photo, before…


Goodbye, huge clump of salal!


Allan’s photo, after, with the rhodie relocated


A little lost heather had been consumed by the salal.

Allan said the salal runners had gone all the way to the bus stop under the  heather and rhododendrons planted next to it.  He teased the runners back out; they were several feet long.


What an improvement!


rhodo where the salal was

We will not let that salal come back, even though it will want to.  (Allan mentioned that the area also has bindweed which was so hard to pull out of that big salal patch.)  The humans will win.  That’s something our Melissa says after a great battle with weeds or invasives:  “Humans win!”  I like to see nature win sometimes, but not when it comes to bindweed or salal or sorrel in a garden bed.


No more little lost rhododendron.

Meanwhile, I had removed two medium clumps of salal, below, that were all up in a rhodo’s business.


The rhodo was free, with good breathing room, when I was finished.


Hamamelis, planted by locals Ann and Butch Saari, matching the library door and arch


The last 20 minutes of the job took place in a strong cold wind and heavy rain.

I had coppiced some of the red twig dogwood and it seemed that a good home for the long and decorative red stems would be with Laila at Salt Hotel; she excels at incorporating branches and stems into floral displays.  On the way there, a rainbow displayed itself over the port.


Rainbow over Jessie’s


fading rainbow over Salt


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo, south side of Salt with pub on second floor

Of course, after delivering the dogwood stems, we could not resist warming up our cold selves in the Salt Pub.


hot toddy with a fresh ginger infusion made at the pub


the view





a new larger format menu, and at the next table, our friend Heather Ramsay, artist and owner of the NIVA green shop


the ever changing clouds


Heather and me


Allan and I split the burger, which was exceptional.


I think Allan’s photo is the most exceptional.


clouds going pink, 5:50 PM


6 PM


A Pink Poppy Bakery cupcake




6:25 PM


I love that there are books to borrow in a corner of the pub (from owner Julez’ mother’s collection). And that the telly is not turned on all the time.  I much prefer a restaurant to not have a television on.


at the hotel desk


6:30 PM, on the way home for an evening of blogging and movie

Tonight, Interstellar or Jurassic World, DVDs borrowed from Ilwaco Timberland Library.


later, during Jurassic World (loved it!): Smokey displays how well healed his paw is.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 28:  “Store” day.  Watered houseplants.  I planted a lot of the tiny trailing begonias that I started from seed into one of the terracotta planters and set it above the Floralight [indoor 3 tiered lighted plant tray].  I’m curious if they will grow and trail.

Our next blog post will be the expanded and illustrated version of Ginger’s Garden Diaries for February 1995, 97, and 98.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016



The first thing I heard upon awakening an hour and a half too early was the damnable wind battering the south wall of the house.  Curses!  I had wanted to finish the curbside gardens at the port.  The wind inspired me to change to at least one non-windy job.

The Red Barn Arena

First we did our wake up call to the Red Barn garden, and I knew it would be annoyingly windy there.

Red Barn

The wind came from the sea today.

The narrow garden was quite weedy with chickweed, shotweed, sorrel, and pesky little grasses.  Lots of California poppy seedlings, too.


Allan’s photos, before


and after


nearby, a horse in training (Allan’s photo)

One horse, Jess, was particularly kicking up her heels today.  Round and round her pasture she went, first trotting, then galloping, then up with the heels, then stopping at the gate to make sure we noticed, then around again.


Jess (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo



ditch dug deeper because pasture has been flooded




Diane’s garden

Next, we went next door to Diane and Larry’s pleasantly sheltered garden, mostly out of the wind.  What a relief.  Jess was pastured in the area where we usually park, so we had to walk down the highway a block….


looking back: a difficult walk for me with my bad knee.


Allan getting started on the Stipa gigantea

I clipped the hydrangea which is the one that was haunting me when I was afraid doctor visits this week might prevent spring clean up.  (Happily, the doctor visit yesterday did not morph into any kind of emergency as I had feared.)




after, so glad to get it done!

Seeing my good friend Misty for the first time this year was such a pleasure.



I got kisses.



I poked down into the pot that looks empty, looking for Stargazer lilies bulbs, and felt nothing.


I do hope the lilies, which Diane especially requested, did not rot in all our rain.


Diane’s crocuses


front garden, weeded and clipped

I used the broom as a walking stick to get back along the road to the Red Barn parking lot.


tulips at the Red Barn entry

Long Beach

We finished the work day back in the wind, weeding and clipping sword ferns around the pond at the corner of Bolstad and Pacific.


Allan’s photos: before



I walked over to City Hall to pick up our check and missed this:


Allan’s photo


At City Hall: Leucojum, grape hyacinth, pulmonaria




the ramp to City Hall




Geranium macrorrhizum


Ibiris (evergreen candytuft) and Hyacinth

I walked a half block worth of planters just to admire the narcissi (and pull some weeds).


tree garden





I love the reflexed petals.


The Cottage Bakery called to me, and I acquired a couple of tiger paws to celebrate having that good glucose test result.


Cottage Bakery


tiger paws




Cottage Bakery cakes

Back outside…Across the street is the tree garden where I took some of the above narcissi photos.



Back at the pond:  Allan had gone out on the center waterfall section and clipped ferns without falling in.  Our work at the pond garden is in view of the Heron Cam.

At my request, he took the big pick and attacked a section of salal.  How I loathe the way the salal has run through everything in this garden that we only have time to thoroughly weed about three times a year.


salal all up in the santolina’s business


After some exhausting picking and root clipping and trimming santolina

The maddening thing is that the salal will return soon and mock me.  A pox on salal anywhere but in the woods.

I weeded all along the edges.





Park Manager Mike stopped by to let us know that there’s now a pile of mulch for us at the city works yard, and that the planters from Bolstad all the way down to the police station (four in all) are still due to be dug up for electrical repair.  I can only be philosophical about it.

Because tomorrow is supposed to be nice weather, I hope to finish Howerton Way curbside gardens and Mayor Mike’s garden in Ilwaco, and weed the little popouts on Ocean Beach Boulevard in Long Beach, and fill some buckets of mulch and apply them to Fifth Street Park.  I live in hope.


one more batch of narcissi in front of NIVA green

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries, two decades ago

1995 (age 70)

Feb 23: Weeded asparagus bed.  Cut centers off the broccoli to make plants branch out.  Saved best pieces although a lot were mushy—probably from hard freeze last week.  Started sieving compost.  All containers were full so when 1/4 of new box was empty I started sieving compost into that end of box.

1998 (age 73)

Feb 23:  1:00-4:30  It seems I only do one or two days of good work each week.  Today I started sawing up the pile of branches that was along the shop.  I was so tired I felt sick but I got that pile cut up and about half of it into the shed.  Next is the branches that Skyler dragged over to the “raspberry” path.  Then the branches next to garage and in the driveway (from the mountain ash tree).  Then I need to start bringing in the two cords of firewood from the upper driveway.


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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

I was beginning the day under a cloud.  On a trivial note, I’d had a stubborn headache since yesterday.  On a serious note, the newspaper had contained an obituary of my friend Mary Fluaitt.  I had just been getting to know her as a sister gardener rather than an acquaintance when she was diagnosed, three years ago, with brain cancer and she moved away to be closer to her family.  She was a darling.

In the evening, I organized some photos of her garden into an album on the Music in the Gardens page and if you wish, you may peruse them here.  Her Surfside garden, just half a block from Marilyn’s garden, was on the garden tour in 2007 and 2011.

Work called, though, so we had to go…

The Red Barn

Allan's photo: autumn decorations at our little Red Barn garden

Allan’s photo: autumn decorations at our little Red Barn garden

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Diane’s garden

Next door to one of the Red Barn pastures, our friend Misty came to say hello.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

While tidying the containers by Diane’s back porch, I bent over and my back went into a sudden excruciating spasm.  I yelled OW and dropped my clippers and then could not even bend over to pick them up.  At that moment, Diane drove up for her lunch break and fortunately, I know her well enough to be honest about my plight and ask her to hand me my clippers.  Then I found some deadheading that I could do without bending over for awhile.

Diane's roadside garden

Diane’s roadside garden

Marilyn’s garden

Next, we went way up to Surfside to Marilyn’s garden.  Marilyn’s mother, Nancy (co owner of the Depot Restaurant), had asked me to prune the fig tree back hard.  I had no idea when I planted it (a gift from another of Marilyn’s daughters) that it would get way too big in that spot.  This was a good job for me with my back problem as I could do it standing up, interpersed with hopeful stretching.

before: the monster fig tree

before: the monster fig tree, looking north


a radical pruning job, with some clean up help from Allan

The view for watching deer in the garden will certainly be improved!

Scooter showed up to inspect my work.

Scooter showed up to inspect my work.


I was feeling more limber by the time Scooter arrived and was able to pet him and then do some weeding, cautiously because it had hurt so much when my back went OUT at Diane’s.

slow, cautious bending

slow, cautious bending

When I cut back the catmint, I left one for Scooter to enjoy.

When I cut back the catmint, I left one for Scooter to enjoy.

Today was not the day to dig out the big patch of montbretia.

Today was not the day to dig out the big patch of montbretia.

looking south

looking south

Meanwhile, Allan worked on the driveway garden.

Allan's photo, before

Allan’s photo, before

Oh how I loath pushy greedy salal! (Allan's photo)

Oh how I loath pushy greedy salal! (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan's photo)

after (Allan’s photo)

after (Allan's photo)

after (Allan’s photo); that’s an Azara microphylla in foreground, and apparently the deer continue to leave it alone.

just down the street as we were leaving (Allan's photo), two of a family of three that spend much time in Marilyn's garden.

just down the street as we were leaving (Allan’s photo), a family of three that spend much time in Marilyn’s garden. The third is left of the shrub.

The young ones were born in Marilyn's garden (Allan's photo)

The young ones were born in Marilyn’s garden (Allan’s photo)

Two cats kept watch on the deer. (Allan's photo)

Two cats kept watch on the deer. (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Things were going better physically, as both my headache and backache were gone.

through the east gate of the fenced garden

through the east gate of the fenced garden

the weekly garden view

the weekly garden view

did lots of cutting back in one corner

did lots of cutting back in one corner

I saved the eight foot or more tall stems of the Thalictrum ‘Elin’ that was there to use in our Corridor of Spooky Plants for Halloween.

no time today to make this sit spot bigger, as planned for sometime this fall

no time today to make this sit spot bigger, as planned for sometime this fall

Mary and Bella came out to say hi. (Allan's photo)

Mary and Bella came out to say hi. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

our dear Mary, owner/manager at KBC

our dear Mary, owner/manager at KBC (Allan’s photo)

by the greenhouse

by the greenhouse

seeds collected from the yellow tree peony

seeds collected from the yellow tree peonies (Maybe Todd or Teresa can grow them!)


by where we parked (Allan's photo)

by where we parked (Allan’s photo)


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Golden Sands Assisted Living

The sun was getting mighty low when we got to Golden Sands, so we just strimmed the courtyard lawn (Allan) and did some light weeding, and planted a fuchsia and some watsonia.  I decided I did not want bearded iris in the courtyard garden so I snuck it into the landscape to the north of the building!

seasonal cranberry decorations outside one of the resident's rooms

seasonal cranberry decorations outside one of the resident’s rooms

One of the autumnal quadrants

One of the autumnal quadrants in the courtyard

one of my mom's rosebushes

one of my mom’s rosebushes

I took a cutting each from my mom’s coppery rose and her deep red rose, and when I got home I laid them in the soil with just a tip sticking out and we’ll see if they make rosebushes.  I have successfully started rambling roses that way before.

You may recall that I recently read Jan Bono’s first two books of her mystery series set on the Peninsula.  I liked this scene in Starfish, in which a character visits his wife in a facility that resembles Golden Sands:


Tomorrow will have to begin with a run to the dump to offload all that fig tree debris, and we plan for it to end with a delicious dinner at the Cove with Melissa and Dave.




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