Posts Tagged ‘Salt Hotel’

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Allan’s day


tulips at the Ilwaco Library


foreground, Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’


a tulip at Time Enough Books

Salt Hotel

When I first visited to the Peninsula, the state park by Ilwaco was known as Fort Canby.  It is now called Cape Disappointment State Park; locals just call it Cape D.  Sand Island is the big island offshore.  Even when Allan moved here in 2005, I still slipped up sometimes and called it Fort Canby, as do many “oldtimers”.

cape d.png


I have seen on a historic map that Ruby Island may be the site of the first garden (of potatoes) in the Pacific Northwest.


map by Maureen Mulvey

Salty Talk



A good crowd.  I see Rose who brought me some books a few days ago!

Allan took some photos and some notes.



Center Battery cannon didn’t aim left to right.


Look at the darling cottages in the photo below; they were World War II housing for the military.


Ilwaco is over the hill from here.



on Sand Island: False railroad concealed cannon spotting (not water) tower & barracks


Stairs (to nowhere) still exist up to radar mounts



Building on hill up to lighthouse. (old photo shows only half) housed a powerful spotlight



Coast lights, navigation lights were shut off suddenly after Pearl Harbor. A ship was allowed to ground ashore at night rather than signal it and reveal our capabilities to track vessels.


Small house-upper right was a Canby house that was moved to Seaview, then later torn down. A similar one is behind Hill’s Towing in Ocean Park.

I was completely fascinated when Allan came home with the news that some of the little WWII houses were salvaged and moved around the Peninsula including….forming the complex now known as The Anchorage Cottages, one of our gardening jobs!  I asked Our Kathleen, who used to stay at the Anchorage before she bought her own beach cottage, if she knew about that.  Of course she did, as she does seem to know everything about the Peninsula, and she directed me to the Anchorage website where the story is told.  The “Max” Wilson, according to Allan, is, or is related to Skip Wilson who owns the Bay Trader and who built the bookshelves in our house.  An excerpt from The Anchorage Cottage’s site:

The nearby military outpost of Fort Canby (now Cape Disappointment) had been recently decommissioned with the end of World War II, and Max’s vision found fodder with the sale of the outpost’s officers’ barracks offered at $15 per building. As the current proprietor of a moving and hauling business, Max had the necessary equipment to individually load the barracks onto trucks and cart them up the beach to their present location, where he ingeniously coaxed these rustic 1930’s accommodations into “modern” 1950’s gems.

One by one, each of ten units came together to create the Anchorage Motor Court, which was fully completed by the early 1950’s, proudly boasting “Frigidaire equipment, Simmons beds, and a view of Long Beach’s most recent shipwreck.”


Our garden areas are the courtyards within the array of cottages.

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

I am ever so pleased to know the history of these darling cottages at The Anchorage.


Museum director Betsy Millar concludes the lecture.

at home

For dinner, after another day of jello and broth while recovering, I was thrilled to have a delicious and perfectly cooked piece of spring salmon caught by our kind neighbour Jeff Norwood (I assume from his red boat called the Salmonator).



The fish went down a treat.

Tomorrow: back to work, ready or not!


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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I had the strongest urge to get another beach approach section done.  However, the boatyard garden was the plan for the day and I decided to stick to that.  Both are jobs that are hellish in rain or wind.  We planted some seeds at the Community Building garden first, after Allan cut back an ailing shrub hard.


Allan’s photo, before, with salal in front.  


after.  I can’t get in there, too much climbing, or I would have said “Ah, just cut it to the ground.”

boatyard garden


looking south along the two block long garden, 11:49 AM


boat coming in

We overheard some boat guys talking, while two sat and watched one work.  “How old is Steve?”  “Oh, he’s 60 or 61.”  “Still young then!”


weeding like mad

As we were finishing the long section north of the gate, I saw a woman bent over at the far end.  I had been just about to sit in the van, eat my sandwich and rest my knee.  Allan went to see what she was doing and I followed as fast as I could hobble.  This middle aged woman, also hobbling, was digging up poppy plants and bulbs out of the boat yard garden and she also had flowering bulbs she had dug up out of the Howerton Avenue gardens around the corner! By the time I limped up, Allan had told her to replant the poppies.  I pointed to the flowers in her bag and she said “Those are mine.”  That was a complete crock because I knew they were the flowers of Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’, which is growing around the corner, mail ordered and planted by us. When she lied to my face I was simply speechless and let her walk away.

I so understand plant lust.  I also remember years of poverty in my 20s, and again one year of paying off medical bills in my late 40s, when my plant budget for the entire year was $20.00.  Yes, $20.00.  And did I go swiping plants out of public gardens?  I did NOT.  The worse things I ever did was take a cutting off of a rosemary plant growing in someone’s parking strip, when I was 25!  Sometimes I get the argument “But it’s a public garden!”  And how does that translate into stealing plants for one’s own PRIVATE garden?  I have a feeling this person is local and may be a continuing problem this year, as other individuals who have moved on have been plant thief problems in past years.

I volunteered a lot of time to create the boatyard garden years ago, before it became a paid job, and nowadays we volunteer our time and expenses at the post office garden.  Public gardens are not there as a supply source for people’s owns gardens, as most of us know.


That is OUR Muscari and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in her bag, and a firework,  of all things!


Allan googled the firework because he thought it was a shovel handle for more efficient plant thievery.

Ironically, she had been filching plants in the area right by this sign.


I found more muscari bulbs dug up and ready to snitch in the area where her depredations had been interrupted, and that entire stretch of garden was pretty much denuded of small seedlings, so this may not have been her first foray into improving her garden.  I fear she will dig up not just poppies but something precious of which I may only have one.  I also wonder every year why, when I plant dozens of narcissi bulbs along here, I get so few flowers.  Hmmm.  Sometimes I feel sorry for people when they get busted by us, but not when they lie.

We continued weeding till we reached the south end.



Nora J coming in


looking south, after, 3:06 PM, as I began to plant sweet peas.

Our weeding job was pretty good but not perfect.  The big horsetail are sprouting up so it will need another go-over soon.  Last year, I planted a few sweet peas just as a lark when I had leftover seeds.  To my surprise, some did well, so I planted more this year, mostly Streamers mix.


boatyard sweet peas last year

While Allan dumped debris, I sat at home for ten minutes.  My mission was to make some fertilizer mix for planting.  My knee had plagued me so much at the end of the boatyard stint that I had to use my scarf to drag it into the van, like an old dead thing, so Allan had to make the fertilizer mix when he returned.

Next, we replaced some of the old tatty Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ in five of the planters, and counted how many more Erysimums we needed.


“yellow hoop petticoat” narcissi in a planter.

We had time to drive north to plant sweet peas at the Anchorage, passing the Long Beach welcome sign on the way.


welcome sign, front, with tulips just coming on


both sides


welcome sign, back

Flowers made me forget the Finger Blight incident until Allan brought it up later.

The Anchorage Cottages


Mitzu greets us (Allan’s photo)


near the office


Allan’s photo: He pruned the viburnum so it won’t hide the window box






Fritillaria meleagris (Guinea Hen flower)



Tulup sylvestris still going strong, and miniature narcissus


Tulip ‘Green Star’


Tulip ‘Green Star’


Tulip ‘Virichic’


Tulip viridiflora, not sure which one!


maybe older Virichic come back from last year?


a fringed tulip from a few years back


fringed tulip


Tulip ‘Gavota’


Tulip ‘Strong Gold’


flowering currant

On the way back to Ilwaco, we paused at a planter so Allan could take a couple of photos for me.


Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ spread into a large patch


Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’


The sign goes back to volunteer days.

The four planters I did as a volunteer almost 20 years ago caught the attention of then-city manager Nabiel Shawa (“Magnificent!” he said), who suggested we be hired as city gardeners.

Allan and I decided to have dinner out, again…and along Howerton Ave, I photographed my special Muscari that had been getting filched from earlier today.


Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’


If several passersby each decided to dig up a bulb, there’d be none left.  Fortunately, most don’t.

We soothed our nerves at

Salt Hotel Pub.




our view


more view


evening light, Saddle Mountain way across the Columbia River


Allan’s photo



Allan’s photo


delicious tuna melt

One fun thing about the Salt sandwiches is that you get three “halves”.

The work board is getting back to focusing on the beach approach.


One of these days we have to get to the back corner of Coulter Park.

There are no entries from my mom’s old garden diaries to correspond with today.

The thought that tonight is the premiere of the new Deadliest Catch season kept me going through some painful moments today, and now it is time to watch!


from a Deadliest Catch ad by Peter Jaworowski: makes our job look easy

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

We knew the storm was coming.  I just hoped the power would stay on so I could work on my Grandma blog, with which I am obsessed.  I so wanted to get to the end of the series of posts today from her old photo albums.


837 AM PDT SUN MAR 13 2016


The wind did indeed roar, with 66 mph gusts in Ocean Park (on our little Peninsula north of Astoria), 87 mph in Naselle,  and with the power out from Ocean Park to Oysterville.  Our power stayed on and I kept blogging, along with a long tech call to Dotster to find out why my ancient website had disappeared.  (Verification email had been sent to ancient address even though all the sales pitch and billing emails find me at my current address.)  I had to spend some time on customer support with a pleasant fellow with an Indian accent, and it was most enjoyable and beautiful to listen to, even in the very few moments when I had to ask him to repeat something.  I gave him top rating in the customer survey that followed the successful call.  (And the website is back up.)

At four, the wind began to die, the sun came out, and I took a few garden photos.


afternoon front porch view


tiny branches and lichen blown almost to the front porch


through the arbour


‘Twas still to windy to go into the bogsy woods…plus I had on my slippers!



tulips unbowed and unbroken


more water in the bogsy woods and garden edges


our inelegant chairs, comfy and easy to move around


looking north toward the house


scree garden and the good ship ‘Ann Lovejoy’


the heather I got from Pam Fleming, in full flower

Even though I “don’t do heathers”, I like that one in a pot because it looks like a little conifer.


I’ve lost four of my marbles.

Then back to blogging. I was so busy I missed a rainbow.

At 6, I had actually reached a point where I could have been satisfied to stop for the day.  As prearranged, we met our friend J9 for dinner at Salt.


Allan’s photo


Allan caught another rainbow.



“Captain’s Cocoa” for Allan, with Capt Morgan Rum


view from our table


looking south to Cape Disappointment (which had 72 mph wind earlier in the day)


delicious tuna melt for me


delicious burger for J9: “As good as the Cove or the Bridgewater” she announced, which is high praise around these parts.


J9 got a lesson in using certain functions on her iPad.

Home again, I thought of a more complete ending for the last entry of the  Grandma photo album posts, and added it, and now I have all the scrapbook and photo album posts set to publish once a week through next fall.  Because I am eager to get them out into the world, I will probably post them much more often than once a week. At least the tribute is now ready to go (somewhat unproofread and untidied) with or without me, for all two of my Grandma blog followers.  It is a sense of accomplishment indeed.  I’ve been focused on the project to the detriment of reading books and my favourite blogs, and of having civil household conversation  (“Please don’t talk to me right now!!“), so I am sure we are all relieved to have it more or less done, even the cats (as I have not been providing much lap time).

Tomorrow: Two tests, including the answer to the interesting question of Am I claustrophobic, which should be answered by having an MRI.  I’ve seen it on Dr. House, so I’m only a little bit anxious.  I kind of want to tell them that if I am losing my marbles for real, I don’t want to know about it.  Then I hope to have a nice meal in Astoria to make the trip more fun.

Here’s a preview photo from the Grandma blog:


my mother, Ginger, in her mother’s garden in the 1940s

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s diaries of two decades ago

1998 (age 73):

March 13:  12:00-4:30  The best day’s work so far.  I finished potting the DG perennials then I started taking the dahlias out of the bags.  I spread them out into low boxes with peat moss.  I only got about half done so will continue to work in it tomorrow to finish.

Then it’s time to start some of my seeds—next week.

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Long Beach

We began, as planned, with the little popouts on Ocean Beach Boulevard.


looking north toward the little popouts


sidewalk tile by Renee O’Connor

For the past two summers, a mystery citizen has taken over the south little popout, planting annuals among the santolinas, so we don’t mess around with it much.


today, before


and after

The mystery person had planted tulips.  7th Street is a deer highway; the tulips are getting munched and some were even pulled out.


I hope the volunteer gardener will know that the deer did this, not us while clipping!


the north little popout, before




shifting rocks and weeding along the edge





That was satisfying.  Also painful.  For some reason, my feet hurt the worst on this part of the job.


2 ibuprofen and an aspirin.  (I thought the aspirin was a tylenol!)

As we worked, a couple of people walked by with dogs, and I suddenly remembered a big Akita named Tomo who used to be a special friend of mine and who would pull her person down the street to greet me.  I remembered her name by “She’s a big dog, she can tow mo’.”  An elderly dog when I first met her, she has been gone for years.  Tomo, I remember you.


Four or five bicyclists asked us for a lunch recommendation.  I suggested Captain Bob’s Chowder a block away for chowder (obviously) or fish n chips or crab rolls (my favourite), or Kabob Cottage three blocks away for Middle Eastern food.  As they cycled off, we heard them deciding on fish n chips, and a half hour later as they happily cycled past again, they called out a thanks for the lunch recommendation.

Many years ago, Robert and I used to take care of the private garden next to the little popout.  Back then, we had it looking like this:



What remains of the garden is this bed of heather and juniper tams by the house, and for some reason, even though I like neither of those plants in garden settings, I like them here:


I recall this was a bugger to weed.

Next, we began the huge job of the Bolstad beach approach garden.  First, at a comfort stop out at the beach approach loo, we met a fellow on an electric bike.  In the course of conversation, we told him about the Tootlepedal blog, and as we prepared to drive off, he was looking at Mr T’s blog on his phone and reading aloud, “a look at life in the borders”, so perhaps we will see him in the comments.


Allan’s photo




I wish I had gotten the “L”.

We wish him many long and enjoyable rides.

Speaking of Mr Tootlepedal (famed for moss and fungus photos), Allan photographed a fungus the other day, and I forgot to post it with the other photos from Diane’s garden.


I thought this was part of the stump in Diane’s roadside garden.


Now..to begin the beach approach garden.




looking east toward the arch



We chopped all the tall rugosa roses to the ground.  We do that about every third year; they still bloom just fine.  This first section-and-a-bit, being sheltered by the building, has much taller roses.  As we go along all the beds, we will pry the roses back from the edge; that has not been thoroughly done for about three years.


looking west at the remaining 12.5 sections; the roses get shorter as the wind gets stronger and we won’t cut them down; we will thin them.

While working out on the street side, I took a step and my foot landed on this little rock:


So small it was and yet the next thing I knew, I was down face first flat on the ground, banging my “bad” knee but fortunately not doing an actual face plant.  I could not stand for awhile and just asked Allan to make sure no one ran over me.  All passersby and a nearby resident were kindly sympathetic.  I began to feel more urgent about my upcoming visit to the neurologist, until I recalled assorted ridiculous tumbles going back into my early 20s or even further back.


still this much to do

Allan went to dump debris and get 12 buckets of mulch from the city works yard while I finished weeding the last bit.


off to city works yard with a load

Despite the tumble, I felt well chuffed to get the beach approach started this early in the year.


our precious mulch pile (Soil Energy, Allan’s photo)

Allan’s befores and afters of our beach approach progress:




roses chopped



We then added the mulch to the Fifth Street Park garden.


a start on mulching


yummy Captain Bob’s chowder behind the park

Just as we finished dumping the mulch, Allan caught a finger blighter with a flower in her hand.  “Hey, that’s our flower!” he called out in a gently humorous tone.

DSC02181 - Version 2.jpg

hiding the evidence

We actually had a fun conversation with the culprit and her companion, including the usual lecture of “If everyone picked just one flower, there would be none left”, and I told her I was sorry she got busted.  Her charming boyfriend (with a delightful Scottish accent) said he kept telling her not to pick the flowers.  It was the most pleasant finger blight encounter I’ve ever had.

There are plenty of crocus.  I still don’t like them to be picked.  Perhaps I’m a bit selfish and nuerotic about it.


Allan’s photo…lots of crocus in a planter.  Hmmm.


Allan’s photo


Allan added Soil Energy to the planter where he’d dug out Shasta daisies not long ago.


We had to knock off early in order to get our own lawn mowed before rain returns.  I tried to mow Nora’s front yard next door with the old battery mower of my mom’s.


Allan’s photo, raring to go


Mom’s little mower

The little mower died fairly soon despite charging all day.  I think it is old and worn out.  It is ever so quiet, has a narrow cutting path and cuts a little higher than I like.


I think this was its last outing.

DSC02184 - Version 2.jpg

still wet out in the bogsy woods (Allan’s photo)


Allan finished mowing at Nora’s with the gas mower.


our front path looking east


front garden crocuses


the first mowing of the year


pale yellow Corylopsis pauciflora, center, with the charcoal and white Salt Hotel in the distance


Crocuses have clumped up the way my snowdrops don’t.

Because I count the two “end caps” of the beach approach garden as half sections, and we had weeded one end cap and half a section, I sort of cheated and erased one section (number 13) from the work board…AND erased “mulching Fifth Street Park” and “little popouts”.


work board today.  Still need to wake up Coulter Park’s back borders and the big pop out.

Tonight we had our weekly meeting of the North Beach Garden Gang, this time joined by Our Kathleen who is at the beach for the week.  She had been pulling shotweed—five gallons of it, tightly packed down. Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) were wondering if it was time to start up their mowing jobs.  By our example, probably yes.


Salt Hotel and Pub (Allan’s photo)


Salt lobby


Salt Hotel


Kathleen tried the special pub dog, with crab, and curly fries, and pronounced it messy to eat but tasty.


Pink Poppy cupcake

Tomorrow, I hope for rain because after six days in a row I crave a day off.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mom’s garden diaries of 2 decades ago

1995 (age 70):

Feb 25:  It took 2 hours to finish sieving the compost.  Half of the box is for use until the compost soil is used up (for baskets, tubs, etc), then the whole box will be used for compost.  I put into the box all the weeds etc that were pulled so far this year.  This leaves the old box available to store mushroom compost for next spring.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 25:  Too tired to do much today.  Penney’s called and will install the new curtains and valences tomorrow so I had to move all my plants away from the windows.

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Friday, 19 February 2016

Northwest Flower and Garden Show report

Our Thursday evening garden gang meeting had been postponed because Todd, Dave and Melissa went to Seattle for the garden show yesterday.  (We declined the invitation because I can’t think of anything worth 8 hours of traffic in one day, for me.)  Here are some more photos from Todd:



a cat themed garden


cacti and agave display garden



The three adventurers had returned very late Thursday evening.  I would have been nervous driving back in the dark, which might have provided considerable amusement for Todd, or might have gotten  tiresome for all.

Stormy weather today made for a good day to have lunch with gardeners Darlene, Debbie, and Nancy…at Salt Pub.  I was glad of the pelting sideways rain and strong wind because I could keep Smokey inside without too much cat guilt and could have lunch without too much work guilt.

Salt Hotel Pub


clam dip and chips and a storm


We got a small tasting portion of the leek and garlic soup of the day.


I do not tire of the delicious smoked tuna melt.


In a very ladylike way, we split a Pink Poppy cupcake four ways.


Nancy, Debbie, Darlene, gardeners three

We had a couple of hours good discussion about the upcoming 2016 Peninsula garden tour (July 16th!) and related topics.  My three companions were impressed with the six different dishes that we tried and will return to Salt Pub.

Allan’s work day

When I got home, I found that Allan had gone to work at his garden at the Ilwaco Community Building.  His photos:


12:05: The birdbath in his own garden is clear, so he prepares to go to work.


12:15 considerable rain (but he went to work anyway)


1:30: home again because of rain.

Then the sun came out so back he went.  I am impressed that he persevered as it was an intensely cold and windy rain.


the rain returns at the Ilwaco Community Building



and so it went all afternoon

He did get over two hours of weeding done and brought me back some flower photos as well as the weather report:





Iris reticulata (left) and Leucojum (center)


one of the beds, before


and after, with lots of tatty kinnickkinnick cut back


the tiered garden


along the wall before


and after


by the sidewalk: some of the bulbs we planted last fall

As you can see, the garden is heavy with heather, which has some redeeming quality right now, and salal and kinnickkinnick.  The salal in my opinion has no redeeming quality in a garden setting and is why I turned the job down; Allan, being more civic minded, agreed to take it on as his own project.  We are slowly (especially when I help out) editing out the thuggish salal, which was up in everybody’s business.

my reading afternoon

I had three hours to finish the Dan Pearson book that I started yesterday evening.


Spirit: Garden Inspiration


The jacket design is attractively two layered.

From the forward by Beth Chatto:


I worship Beth Chatto as a gardener, but please, oh please, can’t we say “the relationship between humans, the natural world, and our [or their] own environment”??  I remember as a girl in grade school being saddened and made to feel less than human by the word “man” referring to all people.  This book was published in 2009.  I think it is time to be inclusive.

I agree with Beth Chatto that the best part of the book was the section on community gardens:


But MY hunger for spiritual comfort and peace would be realized if the intro spoke of “the human desire for spiritual comfort.”  Please.

I think that any gardener would love the story about how Dan Pearson’s family reclaimed an old garden:


a very Secret Garden story!

I don’t know if Pearson came up with the phrase Line of Desire to describe a path.  I do love it.


Let’s say “the human presence in the landscape is light”, shall we?  Criminy.

Despite my manly, or womanly, complaint, Pearson is a brilliant writer.  Here, he explains the purpose of narrow paths:


I had never considered the reason for a tiny, uneven path (below, in a Japanese garden):


And oh my gosh, I wish I had a rill like this one:


A thought about the always fascinating concept of Wabi Sabi and age:


Pearson is one of the best garden writers of my experience as he takes us all around the world looking at gardens, architecture, sculpture, cities and countryside.


The photos in Spirit are a bit dark, and that and a tad too much manliness are my only caveats.  I still do think that Pearson’s Home Ground: Sanctuary in the City (printed on glossier paper, thus with clearer photos) ranks with the top ten most gorgeous garden books of my lifetime.

A visit to an Oudolfian garden in Chicago pleased me (Piet Oudolf being my favourite garden designer):


The chapter on community gardens and the one on gardens in Japan…not the stylized gardens but personal gardens tucked into alleys and overflowing from rooftops and balconies…were the ones that moved me the most, even to the point of being a little bit weepy over the sheer human beauty of it all.  And the barge gardens in London:


The photo of these made me long to see them in person.

I learned something new: that there are Southern lights, viewed from New Zealand, as well as Northern Lights.  I had no idea.

Do get the book, especially to look at the barge gardens, the community gardens, and the Japanese buildings clothed in plants.  Oh, and the story of the Dan Pearson designed Torrechia garden near Rome…so romantic and inspirational.

I do hope Pearson writes another book, about his new garden (the one after Home Ground).

I finished the book just in time to go out for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner.

Salt Pub again


the view from our window table



Salt Pub view


an icy Gibson


ice and cocktail onions


a full portion of leek and garlic soup this time


caesar salad with impossibly tender and tasty kale


North Beach Garden Gang: Dave and Melissa of Sea Star Gardening (Allan’s photo)

We each had a Pink Poppy Bakery cupcake of our very own, except for Allan, who chose a root beer float.

Mmm, knowing that Salt is just three blocks away makes me want to go back there right now for more of the same.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


From my mom’s garden diaries of two decades ago:

1998 (age 73)

Feb 19:  1:00-3:00  Another good day’s work.  It was cool and grey so I worked in the shop putting the begonias from last year (and some from 1996) into pots with peat moss and vermiculite.  I used the sawhorses that Robert fixed for me and 9 of 10 trays are 7″ from shop lights.  3 or 4 bulbs showed signs of growth and only 5 or 6 were rotted.  AND I still have more to come from Dutch Gardens!

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Friday, 12 February 2016

We had expected a rainy day and instead woke to sunshine.  My plans to keep transcribing mom’s diaries changed to a work day.  On the way north, we paused to admire the Long Beach welcome sign’s narcissi display:



We parked by the Bolstadt stoplight to pull a clump of annoying asters and schizolstylus out of the planter  that is all dug up for electrical repair.

We hope they find the electrical problem before having to dig many more planters.

We hope they find the electrical problem before having to dig many more planters.

While I finally attended to the northernmost two planters and two street trees, Allan tidied up the circle garden in Coulter Park.  His photos:





Then we went for a long work session at:

Anchorage Cottages

Mitzu! We've missed seeing her.

Our good friend Mitzu! We’ve missed seeing her.

center courtyard, Allan's photo

center courtyard, Allan’s photo

dead twigs in the arbutus (Allan's photo)

dead twigs in the arbutus (Allan’s photo)

before some deadtwigging

before some deadtwigging


after, with more to do next time

We took out a barberry that was in the shade and in the way of pruning the arbutus (Allan's photo)

We took out a barberry that was in the shade and in the way of pruning the arbutus (Allan’s photo)

By “we” took out a barberry, I mean I decided it should go, Beth agreed,  and Allan removed it and the tatty old Erysimum.

before (Allan's photo)

before (Allan’s photo)

after (that Yucca is a volunteer from olden days)

after (that Yucca is a volunteer from olden days)

I think I will claim that I planned for these tulips to perfectly match the sign.

I think I will claim that I planned for these tulips to perfectly match the sign.

Crocuses and Iris reticulata have been blooming.

Crocuses and Iris reticulata have been blooming.

Violas came through the winter with vigor.

Violas came through the winter with vigor.

In another happy accident, this box is next to the dark blue Anchorage sign.

In another happy accident, this box is next to the dark blue Anchorage sign.

window box detail

window box detail, love that two toned crocus

Mitzu (Allan's photo)

Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

Some more of the work that got done:

before: big stumps on pruned viburnum

before: big stumps on pruned viburnum

much nicer after Allan pruned it; now we will let it grow up to under the window

much nicer after Allan pruned it; now we will let it grow up to under the window

before: ferns to clip

before: ferns to clip



Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

after (with Beth's primroses)

after (with Beth’s primroses)

Mitzu and Manager Beth and a trailer of debris

Mitzu and Manager Beth and a trailer of debris

Long Beach

We had time to drive out to the Bolstadt beach approach and check the planters there for weeds and clipping.

from the beach approach road looking south

from the beach approach road looking south

a dramatic sky

a dramatic sky

a duck couple

a duck couple


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The soil in the windswept westernmost planters has sunk about 6 inches over the winter.

The soil in the windswept westernmost planters has sunk several inches over the winter.  (The Adopt a Planter program is long gone but some plaques remain.)

A nightmare of weeding awaits us in the 13 sections of the approach garden:


Rugosa roses need to be dug away from the edge all the way along on both sides.

Rugosa roses need to be dug away from the edge all the way along on both sides.

It's turned back into a lawn with bulbs coming through.

It’s turned back into a lawn with bulbs coming through.

Good Gawd.

Good Gawd.

I hope to get the roses in this section clipped to the ground by early March.

I hope to get the roses in this section clipped to the ground by early March.

As I was taking the above photo in an overwhelmed mood, a woman called out from the condominium building to my right about what a wonderful job we do.  That cheered me.  The assorted doctors’ appointments looming in March make me anxious about getting all the jobs done. As long as nothing is found seriously wrong, we’ll do fine as we have fewer jobs this year (by choice).

I’m hoping to bring Sea Star Gardening in to help with the beach approach.  It’s not the best job and perhaps not something we should inflict on friends.

We checked all the planters on the other beach approach road, Sid Snyder Drive.

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before



Allan's photo

Allan’s photo





On the westernmost planter, the only one still done by volunteers (Back Country Horse Rides), some of the annual geranium AKA pelargoniums had come through the winter.

I clipped them and pulled the plant tags.

I clipped them and pulled the plant tags.

west end of Sid Snyder Drive

west end of Sid Snyder Drive from our parking spot

to the beach!

to the beach!

Salt Hotel

Salt Hotel Pub in Ilwaco would be our destination for later in the evening.  It stood out grandly against the clouds as we drove home along Howerton (to check out what gardening work awaited us in those gardens.)

Salt Hotel

Salt Hotel

After an hour and a half turnaround time at home (not long enough to get back to transcribing mom’s garden diaries), we returned to the Hotel pub for a birthday party. This event stood in for our usual weekly garden gang dinner meeting.

We love the greenery in the courtyard.

We love the greenery in the courtyard.

The outside stairs; I chose the inside stairs through the white double doors.

The outside stairs; I chose the inside stairs through the white double doors.

Bill from Boreas Inn (left, with Susie) was the birthday boy; Maddie from Pink Poppy Bakery (in red) was serving.

Bill from Boreas Inn (left, with Susie) was the birthday boy; Maddie from Pink Poppy Bakery (in red) was serving.


photo by Shelly Pollock



expanded menu! (photo courtesy Salt Hotel)

I had to go out onto the balcony and commune with these two darling local pugs (Stella and Toby, I think.

I had to go out onto the balcony and commune with these two darling local pugs (Stella and Toby, I think.

the view from the pub (Allan's photo)

the view from the pub (Allan’s photo)

a large party

a large party

You may recognize Dave and Melissa, in the crowd.

You may recognize Dave and Melissa, in the crowd.

Bill, some buddies, and some birthday gifts.

Bill, some buddies, and some birthday gifts.

Pink Poppy Maddy and (left) Kite Museum Patty

Pink Poppy Maddy and (left) Kite Museum Patty

I got to have a good talk with Patty who was sitting right across from me and I was always surprised when she’d say “I already know that because I read your blog!”  I forget that people actually read this thing regularly than the ones who comment and remind me that they are there (like Rebecca, MaryBeth, Mr Tootlepedal, and Cathy from Oz).

Allan, Dave, and a guest from Tacoma were talking about cars and electricity (the later being her field of work).

Allan, Dave, and a guest from Tacoma were talking about cars and electricity (the later being her field of work).

delicious nachos

delicious nachos

crab cakes

crab cakes

Shelly of the Grass Roots Garbage Gang and Chef Steve of Great Day Café

Shelly of the Grass Roots Garbage Gang and Chef Steve of Great Day Café

squash soup of the day

squash soup of the day

Melissa declared it the best squash soup she had ever had.

Melissa declared it the best squash soup she had ever had.

Here comes the Pink Poppy Bakery birthday cake!

Here comes the Pink Poppy Bakery birthday cake!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


 After the party, we and the Sea Stars agreed that we were so impressed at how well an almost brand new restaurant handled a large party of this size.

Tomorrow, I pray for rain as I am longing to get back to transcibing my mother’s garden diaries.  There were no entries by her to correspond with this date.








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Saturday, 6 February 2016

While I had begun a good book the night before, today’s mild weather called for an afternoon in the garden instead of reading.

Allan has been making some signs for the Ilwaco boatyard garden:


I planted a Hamamelis ‘Diane’ and 3 ‘Graham Blandy Boxwoods.  Allan helped me to plant a fig tree in a whiskey barrel and to dismantle the collapsing plant table.


Allan’s photo: Wooden plant tables are ephemeral.


Allan’s photo: Once salvaged from the Long Beach City Works yard, this table is firewood now.


the ever increasing show of Crocus tommasianus


with Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’



crocus with Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgekin’


two Tommies


I was amazed to see my Eccremocarpus scaber from Annie’s Annuals (a gift last year from Garden Tour Nancy) has come through the winter so well.


Eccremoscarpus scaber


a four year old Hamamelis mollis

In the late afternoon, Pam, the gardener for the town of Seaside, Oregon, came by for a visit; she’s been visiting Steve and John’s garden on the bay earlier in the day.


our Pam arrives (Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo


Pam walks by some spearlike windfall from yesterday’s storm

After a walk all round the garden, we were off to Salt Hotel Pub, just three blocks away at the Port of Ilwaco.


the view from our window table at Salt Pub


oyster deviled eggs with Pink Poppy Farm microgreens


meatball sandwich


tuna melt and North Jetty Brewery IPA


kale and lettuce caesar salad


Pam at Salt



a bustling Saturday evening at Salt


This gathering place is so very much what Ilwaco has needed.

Ginger’s Garden Diaries, 1995, 1997, 1998

I am so pleased that when Allan was sorting out some papers, he found three of the garden journals that my mom kept when she lived near Olympia, Washington in the late 90s.  I had thought they were lost forever, that she had thrown them out in the last years of her life.


found!  Two are missing, but these are saved

Here are some of her entries for this week, 20 some years ago.

Ginger’s Garden Diary:

1995 (age 70):

Feb 1:  Rain. Spent most of the afternoon on plants in Floralight.  [African] violets have multiplied like rabbits.  They’ll have to be cut down some way.  And I know I can’t throw a plant away. AND I ordered more seeds.  Tsk tsk.

Feb 2: cool/dry.  Split wood for kindling and brought in quite a bit of wood—piled on porch.

Feb 3-4: Started organizing veggie and flower seeds, putting them in alphabetical order

1997 (age 72): 

Feb 1: Bill [hired odd job man who helped out after my dad died] fixed water leak in shop.  Repaired step on back porch plus other odd jobs.  It’s too nasty a day for him to crawl under the deck to see what repairs are needed.

Feb 3: Don brought more $ [from the sale of my dad’s toy train collection].  It’s dry but cold.  Too cold to work outside.

Feb 5:  Rec’d Park (catalog) flower seeds and the berry plants from Raintree.  Still too cold to work outside.

Feb 6:  Marked new Park seeds (with year, size, height, and when to plant) and filed them with other seeds.  I noticed that even with my 20 page inventory, I still ordered a few that I already have.  I’ll plant older seed and if they grow, I’ll save the ’97 seed for next year.

1998 (age 73):

Feb 2: I worked in back about two hours.  This seems to be my limit on hard jobs.  Finished spreading the mulch pile over the garden beds.

My Park seed order arrived so I started organizing them.  I got the year and the page # on them and arranged them in order by page #.  I think the Pinetree order should be here soon.

Feb 3:  Today is a beautiful sunny day and I accomplished nothing except making up my grocery list for tomorrow.

Feb 4:  I decided to wait to go to the store tomorrow.  I worked on the mulch pile again.  I tossed in a lot of leaves over on the garden area and dumped the 6 or 8 bags that I filled when Skyler and Robert were here, putting it on the garden area.  Then I filled 6 or 8 bags of clipped leaves for fall mulch.  THE PILE IS GONE.  Never again will I order a big pile of mulch.  I had to come in at 1:30, I was so shaky.  I ate 4 slices of toast and then went out again at 3:30.

Feb 6:  Store today—over $95.00!





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