Posts Tagged ‘Salt Hotel’

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Today I was grateful to leave my property for a day out with Our Kathleen. Far away on a remote Canadian Island, today was the memorial for my old friend Bryan. I needed to get out and about and not mope around at home.

Kathleen picked me up at one in the afternoon. Our first stop was the weekend Christmas market at the Salt Hotel.

Samples of local day boat tuna

Joe Nisbett manning the Don Nisbett art display

On the way north to Long Beach, we stopped at another Christmas bazaar, this time featuring all handmade gifts at the Sou’wester Lodge.

Part of the bazaar was in the pavilion…

….where I bought a lovely wooden vase, for dried flowers and twigs, for a friend.

The teahouse trailer nearby

The rest of the the handmade bazaar was set up in the lodge, and there we checked in on Allan’s kayak book table.

He did very well over the one day of the bazaar. And he got to listen to some good music from the table next to him.

As Kathleen and I returned to her car, we saw two good friends of mine.

Cotah and Bentley

In north Long Beach, Kathleen and I visited the one of the establishments that was open today for a Bed and Breakfast (and small lodgings) holiday open house. I was curious about the Mermaid Inn because, even though it is not on the ocean side of the highway, it gets consistently rave reviews on travel sites.

The mermaid statue, which used to be in a downtown Long Beach park, has a history of controversy and inspired irate letters to the editor to the local paper even after some extra locks of hair were carved to cover her bosom. She has also been described as ugly, to which I strongly object. Women come in all sorts of appearances and it is cruel to ridicule people for how they look.

Even without the many flowers and hanging baskets which adorn the inn in summertime, it’s a charming place.

Inn owner Karla Martin

Finally, we reached our main destination of our day, the holiday open house at the Boreas Inn, the most beautiful lodging on the Long Beach Peninsula, owned by our friends Susie and Bill.

Susie and Bill are famous for the inn’s lavish breakfasts and always put on a nice spread for the annual open house.

Their annual tradition, a weekend of decorating by regular guests of the inn in early December, had excellent results.

Their “Hanukkah Bush” got its name because they used to find a beach pine from their western property. It is quite tree-like this year.

Nearby is a cozy fireplace nook.

And on the north side of that comfy spot is my favourite guest room, the Garden Suite.

We joined Susie and Bill and some of their favourite inn guests in the west facing sun room.

To our delight, Lezlie Greco soon joined us.

Mist rolled in over the garden at dusk.

Allan joined us after his Sou’wester event and we stayed past the event’s closing time till well after dark. The overnight guests and those of us visiting for the open house all turned out to be politically aligned, making for absorbing and comforting conversation.

The open house was a benefit for the local food bank, with attendees asked to contribute a can of food. The Boreas had taken in a generous amount.

For anyone who dreams of owning a bed and breakfast and who has the dosh, the inn and the three bedroom owners’ quarters are for sale.

Upon returning home, I felt that the next day was the true beginning of my stay at home staycation. I had high hopes of not leaving my property for nine days, not till the Depot Restaurant’s Dickens dinner on Christmas Eve.


Here, for a bit more holiday cheer, are the window displays in downtown Ilwaco, created by Wendi Peterson. (Photos taken by Allan a week later.)


Tuesday, 24 December

Skipping ahead to Christmas Eve day…Allan and I went to see the new Star Wars film at the Neptune Theatre in Long Beach. They’d gone all out with lobby decorations….

Allan’s photos

…and a pun in the loo. (That is the plural of Han.)

I found the film completely satisfactory.

As soon as we got home, we turned around again for an early Christmas Eve dinner at the Depot Restaurant, picking up Marlene on the way.

Allan’s photos

Allan and Marlene had the salmon while I had the full traditional Dickens Dinner with Yorkshire pud. It is enormous; I saved some of the meat and the great big bone for my large canine friends, Cotah and Bentley.

Home again, after dropping Marlene off, I said to Allan, “Let’s do our presents now and then Christmas can be over and tomorrow can be a normal day at home.” He agreed with an excellent plan.

I had been intrigued to open a mystery gift that had appeared on the porch with a card saying “From your Secret Santa, glad you enjoyed the wind chime.” That message slightly narrows the field of mystery benefactors to someone who is either a Facebook friend or blog reader or both–someone who has read that I loved the Hello Kitty wind chimes that appeared in a gift bag on my porch earlier this year. The delightful theme repeated at Christmas.

I do like a big mug with a solid base, perfect for cats to not knock over. Plus a cutie orange for each of us. The mystery goes on. Will someone ever confess?

Not to be all “Look what I got for Christmas!” but I will mention a few things. Montana Mary, along with some culinary delights, sent a bead made by her landlady, designed in memory of my heart cat, Smoky. Don’t think I did not notice the thematic cleverness of including two mysteries about a bead maker who lives in my home town, Seattle.

I like the artist’s business card.

You can see more of her beads here.

A tea ball from Our Kathleen (accompanied by some Earl Grey and some Christmas tea and my favorite crispy rice chocolate), depicts the TARDIS.

I hope you can see, with my rather inferior phone camera, that it even says “Police Box.”

Along with the practical gift of a small food processor for making low salt hummus, something I did want (even though it may surprise some to hear that I’d want anything to do with cooking), Allan found a perfect book and a selection of real British chocolates.

And he found me quite the perfect t shirt design.

He did well in receiving, with a movie book from Kathleen and some boating books from me (and one fern for his garden, by the name of “Green Ribbons”).

Happy holidays to you of whatever sort you prefer and thank you for reading…and special blessings to our commenters, who warm the cockles of our hearts.

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Friday, 7 September 2018

Every year we photograph the Slow Drag for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  We posted 360 photos in this year’s Slow Drag album, because everyone who had a vehicle entered would surely be pleased to see a photo of it in the race.  Here I am just sharing our favourites, some with glimpses of the curbside gardens along Howerton Avenue.

Rule one is driver must be 18 or older. Rule 2 is brake lights must be in working order.  This is checked at each heat.

We walked down separately from home.  Allan got to pet a beautiful dog.

Allan’s photos

Allan’s photo

My favourite, Travis driving the Who Bus. He has won twice before, but not this time.

This driver is a friend of Travis and each year he is such a cheerful presence.

santolinas and, oh yes, vehicles

roped off agastaches (Allan’s photo)

We roped off our best garden.

The debut of the Joy Train from Astoria. Love it!

The Glam Tram, also from Astoria, a former mini bus from the Los Angeles Zoo

ready to race (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

bubble machine (Allan’s photo)

petunia basket from Basket Case Greenhouse

Our Jenna, right, the event organizer, and her friend Susan.

The Church Ladies

pink bug, won the prize for most fun entry

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

vehicle with 2 dogs (black one is lying down)

Char, our favourite realtor, was one of the sponsors.

Allan’s photo

One of my annual favourites, little bug with luggage rack and a bubble machine

Glam Tram (Allan’s photo)

Sad to see the Glam Tram go; its battery died. (Allan’s photo)

Church Ladies lining up to race

finish line

Crocosmia, parsley, and santolina in our droughtiest curbside garden (and a vehicle)

lining up behind Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and santolina

Travis and son

winner of the “So Ugly It’s Cute” award

that bug again


and Allan’s artsy photo

cute doggies (Allan’s photo)

This lavender sacrificed its shapeliness to the sound equipment. (Allan’s photo)  It did revive.

Salt Hotel ready to drag

our neighbour Jessika rides along

Between heats, the vehicles drive down Waterfront Way (usually pedestrian only).

half a bug

By Time Enough Books

Allan’s photo

The direction of the race was reversed this year, with the result that the vehicles were not traveling slowly down Waterfront Way, because they could now line up two by two on Howerton and they drove much faster down the waterfront to get there.  So it was harder to get my customary photo of a red vehicle and the red Jessie’s building.

as close as I got to my usual photo

Allan managed to get this photo of rust with rust.

Waterfront Way (Allan’s photo)

Awww, the pink bug is out. (Allan’s photo)

Howerton Ave, the race source (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

respectful feet (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Well, mostly respectful (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

This little red MG was in the race to honor the driver’s father, Chuck, who had died unexpectedly in the November after the 2015 race.  He would have been proud of his family; the MG came in third.

winning an early heat

one of my favourites, and last year’s winner, at the finish line

The finish line is a fire hose filled with sand.


the classic door flapping method of trying to slow down

Salt Pub driver gets a meal at the finish line.

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ seedheads and a silver car

winning another heat

“rat rod” hood decor (Allan’s photo)

A light rain began.

Church Ladies (Allan’s photo)

hoping to get over the hump

checking out the competition

after the rain, here comes the little red MG

rainbow and amazing evening sunshine

Rusty bug is finally out.

Can’t get the rear tires over.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo; the Who Bus, my favourite, got eliminated.

Allan’s photo

Meanwhile, on the race course:

Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and lavender (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

And back to the race, which is coming to its final rounds.

one of the final heats (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Chevy van wins a heat, so big it reflects the entire Salt Hotel. “I LOVE this van,” says the driver.

The agony of defeat…but they got third place.

bravely onward, don’t look back

the final heat

and the van is declared the winner

Second place with their basket of prizes.

Artist Don Nisbett at his t shirt booth, with helpers (Allan’s photo)

Rusty bug got “so ugly its cute” award. (Allan’s photo)

Pink bug got “Most fun”. (Allan’s photo)

Third place

third, second and first (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Third place winner, in honor of his dad, Chuck Schussman..

Here is his dad’s last Slow Drag in 2015. Chuck is on the left, I believe.

Our Jenna, in sunglasses, and some of her helpers (Allan’s photo)

After the vehicles and crowd left, we took down our plant protecting poles and tape and then admired the sunset at the marina.

sunset over the bogsy woods



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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

How I love an all Ilwaco day.

We started at the volunteer garden that Allan did not have time to water yesterday evening:

Ilwaco Fire Station

Out of all the ammi majus seeds I planted, I got these.

the ornamental corn, all two of them

Mike’s garden

after we watered

We finally pruned all the dead branches off the conifer in the front…

It is part of a matched set; the other one is also very slowly dying back.

I would like to see them both gone, but neither Allan’s wonky ankle or my wonky knee inspire us to try to dig them out.  I’m hoping Mike will find a strong person to do this.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

We weeded thoroughly all along from the north end to the gate.  South of the gate does not get as much horsetail.

(I did not download photos for a week, so it took me that long to realize I had a spot on my lens.)

my usual audience

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Chickadee, Doreen, Stipa gigantea

a boat on its way to the water

Allan’s audience

Port of Ilwaco

We accomplished our long weekly watering of almost all the curbside gardens.  (We skip just one that is just escallonias, landscape fabric that shows, and a thin coat of bark mulch.)

In my favourite bed by the Ilwaco pavilion, the three plants vandalized earlier this year are trying to heal themselves but are still bringing down the tone.

Santolina had the best chance of healing itself.

One lavender is trying….

…and the other one is not succeeding much at all in getting better.

Eryngium and achillea (Allan’s photo)

by the port office

lavender abuzz with bees

weeding while watering

On one of my recent days off for Lily Time, a young woman and man came walking by the front garden and the woman called out, “I love your lilies!”  Quite out of character for a recluse, I brought the two of them into the back garden to see the really tall lilies.  Today, the woman (who works at the port) brought me her new puppy to hold.  (At least, I hope it was her, because of my face blindness.)

Annabelle, 8 weeks old, best moment of my day

I admired the Salt Hotel courtyard.

Then I went home because it was the night of the dreaded monthly billing.  I had two big clients and some small ones that I had not even billed for June yet.  It was difficult and took four hours.  Allan went on to water the east end garden bed (the hardest one) and, as always, to make our dinner.




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Guest photo from last midweek, from THE Oysterville Garden:


photo by Melissa Van Domelen

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Now it feels like we have returned from spring to winter:


early morning hail and thunder


Having missed our garden club dinner last week, the North Beach Garden Gang met for brunch at Salt Pub.  (All but two photos today are by Allan.)


This is the next garden awaiting our attention, west of Salt Hotel.


It did not get awfully weedy over the winter.


Melissa and Dave arrive


our view



two egg breakfast


eggs benedict


heuvos rancheros


coming soon-ish.  Allan and I have tickets already.

The five of us lingered over our table for two hours, catching up on all the gardening news. It was especially pleasing to me to be greeted by another diner there, Lorna, who used to own Andersen’s RV Park and was one of our top favourite clients for the many years we gardened there.

I had just been thinking how now that we have six fewer big spring clean ups than we used to have, bad weather is not a crisis in the early spring.


clearing but still cold and windy


Todd, me, Melissa, Dave

In the afternoon, I simply finished a book I started last night.


Yesterday evening, I read a short post apocalyptic novel (Thirst, by Benjamin Warner) that I only mildly enjoyed. Today’s choice was excellent; I especially appreciated that the protagonist was autistic and I could well identify with her ways of coping in the world after a comet hits our planet.  Turning from political non fiction to post apocalypse fiction hasn’t been that much of a change.  Coming up soon is Swallows and Amazons which should be much cheerier.  I haven’t even started it and I’ve already dreamt about reading it.


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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

After two days of reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities (with poor concentration and lots of clicking onto news sites), Allan and I left home in the evening to have a birthday dinner for Dave’s birthday.

It was faintly adventurous because of 70 mph winds at Cape Disappointment, 63 mph in Ilwaco, and a bit less in Long Beach by the Adrift Hotel.


Adrift Hotel; [pickled fish] restaurant is upstairs.


Allan’s photo


While the evening started quietly, the room soon filled up.



Allan’s photo.  [pickled fish] has exceptionally good pizza.

Our garden gang was not in full attendance.  Todd is in on a working vacation in a warmer clime.

Our gifts to Dave were the practical sort: chemical toe warmers for comfort at work and some cans of Fort George Vortex IPA for unwinding after work.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Allan walked his winter day route to the post office and library, and considered the Black Lake trail system.


Due to continuing blustery wind, he reconsidered going on the tree-lined trails.  He says, “Mr. Tootlepedal would at least have brought back some photos of fungus,” but Allan didn’t.

In the evening, we attended a full house lecture at Salt Pub, given by our friend Debbie Teashon of Rainy Side Gardeners fame.  Based on her book, Gardening for the Homebrewer, her talk addressed how to grow the herbs and flowers that can be used to flavour beer, wine, and liqueurs.

Debbie does a “hero pose” before each of her talks.  She says it works to give confidence and strength.


Our Debbie, shoulders back, hands on hips.


full house at Salt Pub


Allan’s photo



Debbie at work


Debbie has been a professional photographer for decades.

Debbie’s next speaking engagement, Toasting Your Health, From the Garden to Your Glass,  will be on one of the big stages at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle at 5:45 PM on Thursday, February 23.


You can glean recipes and how-tos from her book, which is available locally at Time Enough Books:


A tasty smoked tuna melt sandwich went down a treat while I listened to the lecture and admired Debbie’s gardening slide show.


at Salt Pub


a well-received talk (Allan’s photo)

Thursday, 10 January 2016

We joined Debbie for a three hour catch up session over lunch at Salt Pub.  Debbie had already been for a walk with her dog after a restful sleep at Salt Hotel.


Salt Hotel


the Port reflected in Salt Pub mirrors



my view


Bloody Mary (Allan’s photo)


Pho at Salt Pub


and broccoli cheese soup


Allan’s photo

 I spent the afternoon spiffying up my signs as best I could.






Allan had acquired some clear shelf paper to cover them with.  We have had torrents of rain all week (over four inches in just one day) and more is predicted for the weekend.


working on the one sign I had left to do…turned out to be a rough draft.

For the back of this one:


I finally came up with this one (below).  I wish I were a better letterer, as I lack patience.  I should have added that Asian women make about the same as white women; that was in the original and was changed because I wanted fewer words.  I couldn’t find up to date statistics for Native American workers.  I chose the word Latinx rather than Latina and Latino  or Hispanic, because my reading tells me it is a word of choice for Millennials, and they will inherit this country.  And so I continue muddling along toward racial justice, assuredly getting some things wrong along the way.


Here is an image that strongly spoke to me today.


I prepared for Friday’s social media theme of changing one’s profile photo to one of the Obamas by choosing a photo of them on a train and altering it in Prisma.  The original is in this photo essay.  A comfort on this day was Barack Obama’s promise to emerge after a restful break and continue to be “with us”.


I chose for a Facebook cover photo an inspirational image  of Barack and Michelle in Michelle’s White House garden.  This is the garden that the execrable Ann Coulter tweeted should be turned into a “putting green” and that Rush Limbaugh contemptuously said made him “gag”.


Is this beautiful garden going to be bulldozed? Or will Melania or Ivanka get their hands dirty in the soil?  I’m curious to see.

Friday, 20 January 2017

I was unable to sleep till after 4:30 AM because of a sense of doom….and then I had a dream of finding beer cans and cigarette butts in the far corners of my own garden.  In my nightmare, Allan found a leather collar, human sized with iron crosses and the word FURY on it, outside our door.  We called the police. The police chief told us the collar was part of the attire of a dangerous local white neo-Nazi gang and that we should keep our doors locked and guard our garden gates because the leader of the group was clearly prowling up to our front porch.  I woke to the news that a former KKK leader had expressed pleasure about our country’s new president.

Although I barely had time in the morning to glance at the news, I found two moments of amusement: Photos showed an enormous difference in the crowds at DT’s inauguration compared to the first inauguration of President Obama, and there was a spike in Google searches for the meaning of the word “carnage” after DT used it in his dark and dystopian speech.

Allan and I met for lunch (breakfast for us) with a group of liberals at El Compadre Restaurant.




El Compadre in north Long Beach


inside El Compadre


hummingbird chair

The group included local artists, Democrat leaders, and our own Mayor Mike.



second from left, a regular blog reader, Judy, whom we met in person at last.


Our very good friend, artist  Joe Chasse.


a margarita for the drowning of sorrow

Everyone at the table had energy and ideas, and much comfort and inspiration was found there. (We forgot to sing protest songs.) We are FIRED UP and READY TO GO.  Although I must admit that I am still hoping to get ten, just ten, non-peopling days IN A ROW at the end of our staycation, starting Monday.  Wish me luck!  I have not gotten to the bottom of my stack of winter reading yet.

On the way home, while Allan popped into Dennis Company for more sign protecting clear shelf paper, I pulled old foliage out of one planter…


…and then we clipped back the Melianthus major and a few other perennials in Fifth Street Park.


Fifth Street Park before a bit of clipping.



We picked up the trash but will wait till February to cut the sedums and pull the wild garlic.

Coming up:



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I wondered if I would regret by now that I did not decorate for Christmas.  No, I am just relieved that I have more reading time instead of a day spent un-decorating.  Putting this card, from 1977, out was my entire extent of decorating this year:


Two pleasant intervals with friends provided some holiday feeling to the season.

I had indeed gotten sick by Tuesday morning with a bad cold, just as Allan was getting over his.  Even though the evening weather had been dry and not windy, we hadn’t had a solstice campfire on Wednesday the 21st as I had hoped.  The knee brace fitter had showed up unannounced at the door with the brace, and I had sent her away politely because I felt so terrible.  (She should have called first.  I just wasn’t up to it by surprise and didn’t want to pass on the illness.  If she’d called, I could have thought ahead and done the fitting out in the garage where the germs were not thick…but I couldn’t think fast enough when put on the spot. Next week, I hope we will connect.)

Thursday, 22 December 2016

While getting the mail on Thursday, Allan had a look at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Christmas village.

in the museum window

looking in the museum window

frontier Christmas village

frontier Christmas village

the Christmas train goes round and round.

the Christmas train goes round and round.


Skooter helped Allan wrap some presents.

Skooter helped Allan wrap some presents.

Even though I did not think I should take my contagious self to Dave and Melissa’s holiday dinner party, Melissa was strangely insistent that I should attend.  She, Dave, and Todd all expressed conviction that they would not get sick.

Sea Star holiday dinner

at Sea Star

at Sea Star

entry way

entry way

Unlike me, Melissa did not refrain from decorating this year.  (Dave says, “It’s all Melissa.”)

a table top tree with all fruit and veg ornaments

a table top tree with all fruit and veg ornaments


I love the indoor window between dining room and great room.

I love the indoor window between dining room and great room.


the big tree

the big tree

Dave, Melissa, Todd

Dave, Melissa, Todd

As always, a delicious feast by the Sea Star chefs

As always, a delicious feast by the Sea Star chefs





North Beach Garden Gang

North Beach Garden Gang

When gift exchange time came, we learned why Melissa had been so determined for us all to come.  She presented the entire gang with matching garden club hoodies.

How about that?

How about that?



home made cookie assortment including chocolate truffles

home made cookie assortment including chocolate truffles, and Allan brought pumpkin pies.

It was impossible to get a good photo of the ever active Coulee.  Here he is, though, as we were also celebrating his tenth birthday.

Coulee gets a scritching.

Coulee gets a scritching.

And a hug.

And a hug.

When we arrived back home at ten, look who we found in the unfenced part of the front garden:


and a third one behind our neighbour's house

and a third one behind our neighbour’s house

Friday, 23 December 2016

The glass blocks arrived for the upcoming bathroom beautification project.

all the way from Seattle

all the way from Seattle

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This is all being organized by master builder Bill Clearman.

I kept reading, alternating between Modernity Britain and online discussions of intersectional feminism. By the end of the day, I had finally finished the 758 page tome of Modernity Britain, and I am anxious because I can find nothing online regarding when historian David Kynaston will publish the next volume, Opportunity Britain.  I long for it.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

I spent the afternoon reading more discussions about intersectional feminism and trying to finish a book called Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. I was too distracted to completely finish the rather short book.  My concentration is nil these days.

Allan took a DVD back to the library, a ten block walk.

Allan's photo: library garden

Allan’s photos: library garden

view from library entrance

view from library entrance

A walk back by the marina netted another gift certificate from Salt Pub.

at Salt Hotel

at Salt Hotel

The tide was low.

The tide was low.



from the docks

from the docks

the steamer at OleBob's Café

at OleBob’s Café

a Christmas eve day walk

a Christmas eve day walk

Crabbing season will finally begin at the New Year.

Crabbing season will finally begin at the New Year.

It is hard on the crabbing families when the lucrative season does not begin till after Christmas.

The Depot Dickens Dinner

At 8 PM, we met J9 and Our Kathleen for the traditional Christmas Eve Dickens dinner at the Depot Restaurant.  I felt ever so much better than earlier in the week.

Depot Restaurant entry way

Depot Restaurant entry way

Depot tree with train and culinary ornaments

Depot tree with train and culinary ornaments

on the tree

on the tree

Dickens dinner: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts

Dickens dinner: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts

Allan had the crab stuffed petrale sole.

Allan had the crab stuffed petrale sole.

eggnog flan

eggnog flan

vanilla bean caramel cheese cake

vanilla bean caramel cheese cake

J9 and Allan tuck in to dessert after we opened our Christmas crackers and donned our crowns.

J9 and Allan tuck in to dessert after we four opened our Christmas crackers and donned our crowns.

in the pass

in the pass

a nice card from the Depot

a nice card from the Depot

Sunday, 25 December 2016

We had a quiet Christmas afternoon, with the opening of presents (not-morning-people don’t open presents in the morning) and the writing of this blog post.

Skooter enjoyed the unwrapping

Skooter enjoyed the unwrapping

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

presents from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, Klipsan Beach Cottages, and to the right a Slow Drag mug by Don Nisbett (from Allan to me)

presents from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, Klipsan Beach Cottages, and to the right a Slow Drag mug by Don Nisbett (from Allan to me)

a beautiful sculpture from Jenna

a beautiful sculpture from Jenna, made by Astoria artist Judith Niland

three from the pile of Christmas cards

three from the pile of Christmas cards

Allan found me a darling house.  It lights up and is not just for Christmas.





Here, to you, our Christmas greetings; the photo is from a long ago trip.









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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Depot Restaurant

We began by watering and planting one plant (a Chelone ‘Hot Lips’, excellent fall bloomer) at the Depot.

Allan watering

Allan watering

plantings by Nancy of Basket Case Greenhouse

plantings by Nancy of Basket Case Greenhouse

This cat entertained me:




Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

This well fed cat liked to be petted, so am fairly sure it is a neighbourhood resident and not a stray.

Long Beach

When we arrived in Fifth Street Park, we found Debbie Teashon there adding to her collection of Peninsula garden photos.

Rainyside Debbie

Our Debbie of Rainyside.com

Debbie and I deadheading a lavender prior to a photo

Debbie and I deadheading a lavender prior to a photo

After a brief visit and a farewell as she left to take more photos at city hall and then drive a few hours north to her home, Allan and I buckled down to watering and grooming the Long Beach planters.

Watering was preceded by some grooming in Fifth Street Park. Here, the northeast side with Brodiaea 'Queen Fabiola'.

Watering was preceded by some grooming in Fifth Street Park. Here, the northeast side with Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.

Allan watering and deadheading

Allan watering and deadheading

by Herb 'N' Legend Smoke Shop

by Herb ‘N’ Legend Smoke Shop

The planters are all of a sudden well filled in and looking fine.

Allan's photo: pink California poppy and Geranium 'Rozanne'

Allan’s photo: pink California poppy and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

California poppies, Allan's photo

California poppies, Allan’s photo

a small hardy gladiolus (Allan's photo)

a small hardy gladiolus (Allan’s photo)

planting a few new plants

planting a few new plants

To water, we use a bayonet fitting to hook up the hose.  We often find snails, baby slugs, or loads of earwigs under the plastic cap.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I kill the slugs, relocate the snails, but tend to give the earwigs a pass just because there are so MANY and I don’t want to use poisons.

Allan bucket watered the Fish Alley barrels, where I am replacing stolen edging plants with free Sedum 'Autumn Joy' divisions.

Allan bucket watered the Fish Alley barrels, where I am replacing stolen edging plants with free Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ divisions.


The Crabby Gardener

an occasion feature when public gardening goes bad

The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett

The Crabby Gardener by Don Nisbett

Allan noticed a big hole when watering the northernmost planter by Dennis Company.  I went to have a look.

furious photography

furious photography

Someone had pulled out a full sized Agastache ‘Fragrant Delight’, left the hole, and had broken off at the base a Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ (probably while trying to steal it, too).  The knautia was left behind, dead.  Neither of these plants are available on the Peninsula at this time and so I cannot fix this properly.

broken dead knautia and missing agastache

broken dead knautia and missing agastache

Here is the side that did not get vandalized and stolen.

Here is the side that did not get vandalized and stolen.

Here is the side that is empty now, by one of the busiest parking lots in town.

Here is the side that is empty now, by one of the busiest parking lots in town.

It is so important to me to have symmetry in the planters that I almost wish people would just damn well steal BOTH sides so I could start over with new matching plants.  Why does symmetry matter to me when our business name is “Tangly”?  Because a little symmetry tames the wildness, just like the boxwoods in the Oysterville garden add a frame to an exuberant garden.  I spent the time while watering six more planters and weeding a park fretting over how I was going to fix that space when there are no Agastaches of that colour, and certainly not an exact match, available here.  I texted Melissa in my despair and she replied that she had a pink Agastache, so I planned to acquire it from her.  I have to keep trying even though the Finger Blighter strikes so frequently.  Debbie had even wondered earlier if it could be someone who reads this blog, and knows where the good plants are.  I assured her that because I like to have the blog running at least five days behind (takes the pressure off writing it), and the thefts often happen the day after a new plant goes in (although not in the case of this incident), I am pretty sure there is no connection.


Cheeringly, when Allan and I reunited after watering, he gave me a present from the Kite Guy at Wind World Kites.

Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

This purple whirly flower!

This purple whirly flower!  Thanks, Wind World Kite Guy!

We moved on after our watering to weed the Veterans Field garden beds because the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market is due to open on Friday afternoons there starting this week.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

corner bed, Veterans Field

corner bed, Veterans Field


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I asked Allan to take some photos of the narrow, arced garden that goes halfway around the flag pavilion, my version of a red white and blue theme:



Salvias ‘May Night’ and ‘Hot Lips’ and Phygelius ‘Cherry Ripe’


Salvia ‘May Night’ and ‘Crimson Pygmy’ barberry with Eryngiums

Salvia patens (sometimes tender) has come back strong (center, next to red flowers)

Salvia patens (sometimes tender) has come back strong (center, below red Phygelius flowers)

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Nearby, a silver, white, and pink streetside garden is one I often admire and is now at its peak.

rose campion, sea thrift, pink roses

rose campion, sea thrift, pink roses


streetside garden, Long Beach

On the way south, we watered the edge plants at the Long Beach welcome sign.  The soaker hoses don’t help them enough till their roots are well established.  Allan feels the sign is getting battered by people standing in it, especially the back side.

welcome sign front

welcome sign front



Allan pulling the persistent horsetail.

Allan pulling the four horsetail of the apocalypse.

I had read somewhere that Geranium ‘Orion’ is even better than Geranium ‘Rozanne’, that its flower size is bigger and a deeper blue.  Based on growing both of them in the welcome sign bed, ‘Rozanne’ remains the strong winner.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Geranium 'Orion'

Geranium ‘Orion’

Rozanne (right) is still the champ.

Rozanne (right) is still the champ.


We planted a few new curbside plants in this bed that is now back in the fold of watering.  If you water it, the gardeners will come.  This garden might even get more watering than it needs, since we are not the ones watering, and we are the ones who know which plants are utterly drought tolerant and which are not.  (Most drought tolerant plants do need good watering until they get established.)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Then Allan went off to water the Ilwaco planters and street trees.

Ilwaco planter (Allan's photo)

Ilwaco planter (Allan’s photo)

traffic jam in town (Allan's photo)

traffic jam in town (Allan’s photo)

Meanwhile, I planted a few more plants and then started watering near the west end.  As I began, a couple of staff members at Salt said how much they appreciate the flowers and to use their hose anytime.  It was the first time this year that I had gotten out the Salt Hotel hose for their curbside garden.  It’s a long thin hose with a big leak patched with electric tape that spews water from the middle.


I struggled to get it undone enough to get to the further west garden bed and I was eventually  in despair, thinking it would be embarrassing to go home and watch Deadliest Catch tonight after giving up in a hose.  I kept trying.  But I was stumped.  I have no sense of how to untangle knots, chains, and hoses.

I needed to get all the way down to that tree, by a building that is for sale and has no water, whose garden was parched and miserably dry.

I needed to get all the way down to that tree and black light post, by a building that is for sale and has no water, whose garden was parched and miserably dry.

A kind middle aged man, a guest at Salt Hotel, quickly assessed the situation and in a trice had the hose untangled.  Otherwise, I might still be there.

The whole time I was struggling with hoses, I was aware on a level beyond exhaustion and frustration of how much I love these gardens.  Curbside gardens, parking strips, also known as “hellstrips“, are one of my favourite challenges and I think that these at the port are the only ones on the entire Peninsula, which is not known for parking strips along the streets.  My life is given meaning by these beds along the port and that is why I will work so hard at getting them watered.

After watering as far west as I could with the Salt hose, I switched to the one at the new Ilwaco Freedom Market.  The Port had permission to use it from the owner of the building.  The business whose manager would not permit us to water last year has gone!  The hose, though high quality, was still a struggle for me.



Between the two hoses, Salt’s and Freedom Market, there is still a section in the middle of that stretch of gardens that cannot be reached, whose plants remained dry and will be that way until the adjacent building that has sat vacant for two years (former home of Queen La De Da’s gallery) is in use again.  My plan is to just pull the most stressed plants out on Thursday.

Of course, I had to coil both hoses up again all nicey nice, not my favourite task.  The Salt one got stuck under a planter and I almost fell over tugging it out.  Some ladies of a clique of which I was formerly a member had gone up to the pub (without a word, of course…it’s a dangerous social choice to leave a clique).  I thought great, I’ll be all fallen over tangled in this hose and stuck when they come out.  Fortunately, I made my escape unscathed.

I then walked up to the port office gardens and hooked up our long hose, also an untangling nightmare.

It is to weep.

It is to weep.

I did it!

I did it!

I doubled up the hose and dragged it past four or five buildings to get to the next water hook up at the Ilwaco pavilion.

hose drag number one

hose drag number one, Ilwaco Pavilion has the blue roof

From there, I can even reach the tiny "drive over" garden between two big driveways.

From there, I can even reach the tiny “drive over” garden between two big driveways.

looking east

looking east

my favourite bed by the Pavilion

my favourite bed by the Pavilion

The wax myrtle we cut to the ground is coming back, as planned.

The wax myrtle we cut to the ground is coming back, as planned.

The Tall Ships were still in port.

The Tall Ships were still in port.

reaching as far west as I could in the Craft 3 bank garden bed (red and brown building)

reaching as far east as possible in the Craft 3 bank garden bed (red and brown building)

I watered as far east as I could reach in the Craft 3 bank beds.  They don’t thrill me because they are mostly kinnickinnick ground cover, pretty boring to me.  If there is no rain soon, I’ll try harder to get some water onto them.

old plantings in Craft 3 beds, from way back when it was Shorebank

old plantings in Craft 3 beds, from way back when it was Shorebank

I could see Allan way way down at the easternmost garden, watering with three hoses stretched from the docks.

Allan's photo at the east end. Butch of CoHo Charters says we could use his faucet, but I guess Allan thinks this is easier or quicker.

Allan’s photo at the east end. Butch of CoHo Charters (red building to the left) says we could use his faucet, but I guess Allan thinks this is easier or quicker.

Allan's photo: laying down a lot of water; this bed has not been hose watered for a couple of weeks or more.

Allan’s photo: laying down a lot of water; this bed has not been hose watered for a couple of weeks or more.

Allan's photo: a successfully pretty much drought tolerant bed still needs water to look tip top

Allan’s photo: This successfully pretty much drought tolerant bed still needs water to look tip top.

Meanwhile, I doubled up the hose again and did another drag with high hopes that the water at the old Wade Gallery, now owned by Fort George Brewery, would be turned on by now.  (Fort George has given us permission to water.)

hose drag number 2

hose drag number 2

nice view while testing the faucet at the Fort George building

nice view while testing the faucet at the Fort George building

I was tired and the water was not on at Fort George building and the garden was dry and Allan did not hear my four phone calls asking him to bring buckets and he didn’t have the work trailer anyway, as it turned out, and I sat on a utility box and felt exhausted and decided that TOMORROW we would bucket water that little garden.  By now it was 8:30 PM, we had been working for 9.5 hours, and I couldn’t face waiting for the trailer, driving to the boatyard, filling buckets, and coming back to dump them.

"Help! We are so thirsty!" "I just can't!!!"

“Help! We are so thirsty!”
“I just can’t!!!”

At home, I watered my own containers.


back garden, 8:40 PM

Smokey glad I am home

Smokey glad I am home

Later, watching the hard and dangerous work on Deadliest Catch, I was glad I hadn’t given up on the tangled hoses.

Deadliest Catch: keeping ropes untangled is critical

Deadliest Catch: keeping ropes untangled is critical

Tomorrow: the north end rounds of gardeners where the garden owners do the watering…thank heavens.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s gardening diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 73):

June 7:  Two years have gone by since Bruce died.

I picked the weeds I pulled using the garden cart from Don.  Then I weeded in front of compost box, next to raspberry row (both sides) and picked strawberries.  The Ft Laramie plants have huge berries like the ones from California but they are hollow in the inside.  I went to bed at 10:00.

1998 (age 74):

June 7: Al’s birthday [her older brother who lived in Seattle] and 3 years since Bruce died.  I still miss him so much.

The Jazz were getting blown out when Mary Anne came over.  She put on Tabby’s halter and we went out on the porch by the shop.  However, Erik and a friend came over and Tabby bolted.  I figured she was under the shop.  Mary Anne and I kept calling and she came out from under the shed.  I think she was glad to see us.  Mary Anne said I should get another halter with a wider strap.  I called Al to wish him happy birthday.

On the 21st anniversary of my dad’s death, mom and dad camping in the early 1950s:



and at home in the 1950s:











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