Posts Tagged ‘Salt Hotel’

Saturday, 14 May 2016

As had happened every morning lately, I woke early and immediately thought of the garden at the Job in Jeopardy.  This time, I was able to go back to sleep (after an hour of worry and fuming) without resorting to any sleep aid.  This meant a late start to the day, which was ok because it was a Saturday of garden jobs near home.

We had had rain!  I was ecstatic.

after rain

after rain


Every one of our rain barrels was brimming full again.

Every one of our rain barrels was brimming full again.

water in the tiniest bird and bee bath (Allan's photo)

Eleagnus 'Quicksilver' laid sideways by the rain

Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’ laid sideways by the rain

clematis to the top of the front arbour (Allan's photo)

clematis to the top of the front arbour (Allan’s photo)

We had to work today, but first, the Saturday Market.

flower bouquet of the week on its way to Salt Hotel...just something I do because I love their pub and restaurant so much.

flower bouquet of the week on its way to Salt Hotel…just something I do because I love their pub and restaurant so much.  (Allan’s photo)

Ilwaco Saturday Market

by our parking spot

by our parking spot

flower delivery (Allan's photo)

flower delivery (Allan’s photo)

view from the ground floor at Salt

view from the ground floor at Salt

market view from Salt Hotel (Allan's photo)

market view from Salt Hotel (Allan’s photo)

Betsy Millard (left), director of Ilwaco's Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum (Allan's photo)

Betsy Millard (left), director of Ilwaco’s Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum (Allan’s photo)

Wood Turnings

Wood Turnings

Wood Turnings

Wood Turnings

in the Wood Turnings shop (open Saturdays next to Time Enough Books) (Allan's photo)

in the Wood Turnings shop (open Saturdays next to Time Enough Books) (Allan’s photo)

Hudson Gardens

Hudson Gardens

This new plant vendor will be there every other week (Rozanne and Darrel) (Allan's photo)

This new plant vendor will be there every other week. (Allan’s photo)

Darrel and Rozanne, Hudson Gardens (Allan's photo)

Darrel and Rozanne, Hudson Gardens (Allan’s photo)

Hudson Gardens fairy gardens

Hudson Gardens fairy gardens

Hudson Gardens

Hudson Gardens

Hudson Gardens

Hudson Gardens

Along with buying the usual Saturday treat, I arranged with Maddie of Pink Poppy to make Melissa's birthday cake for Monday.

Along with buying the usual Saturday treat, I arranged with Maddie of Pink Poppy to make Melissa’s birthday cake for Monday.

Pink Poppy's Madeline Moore (Allan's photo)

Pink Poppy’s Madeline Moore (Allan’s photo)

Maddie's spouse, Jacob, makes these.

Maddie’s spouse, Jacob, makes these. The nigella were grown in a hoop house.

more plants (Allan's photo)

more plants (Allan’s photo)

This year's Peninsula Quilt Guild raffle quilt.

This year’s Peninsula Quilt Guild raffle quilt.

evidence of delightful rain

evidence of delightful rain

A Sea Breeze Charters had just unloaded its fish and its happy customers.

A Sea Breeze Charters had just unloaded its fish and its happy customers. (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo


more plants for sale (Allan's photo)

more plants for sale (Allan’s photo)

The canneries are bustling.  (Allan's photo)

The canneries are bustling. (Allan’s photo)

asparagus and greens at De Asis Produce (Allan's photo)

asparagus and greens at De Asis Produce (Allan’s photo)

We like the little Port of Ilwaco truck.  (Allan's photo)

We like the little Port of Ilwaco truck. (Allan’s photo)

a passerby at the Craft 3 Bank garden (We care for the curbside garden only there.)

a passerby at the Craft 3 Bank garden (We care for the curbside garden only there.)

Ilwaco Gardening

pulled a few little weeds from this Howerton Ave curbside garden that we call the driveover garden (between two driveways)

pulled a few little weeds from this Howerton Ave curbside garden that we call the driveover garden (between two driveways)

Today was not the day to weed the curbside gardens; I was focused on getting cosmos into the boatyard garden and trailing plants into the Ilwaco planters.  Despite the rain, each planting hole in the boatyard garden was dry underneath the surface and had to have a dipper of water poured into it.

sweeping up after an hour and a half of planting and weeding at the boatyard

sweeping up after an hour and a half of planting and weeding at the boatyard

achillea and Geranium 'Rozanne'

achillea and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

a local and his wee dog, Minnie

a local and his wee dog, Minnie

I got to say hi to Minnie several times as she and her guy walked back and forth fetching things for their boat.

I got to say hi to Minnie several times as she and her guy walked back and forth fetching things for their home.

poppies seeded into the lawn at the south end of the garden

poppies seeded into the lawn at the south end of the garden

I found this giant dandelion in the gravel inside the boatyard gate.

I found this giant dandelion in the gravel inside the boatyard gate.


Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo



Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allium albopilosum (Allan's photo)

Allium albopilosum (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Next, we planted cosmos in our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Post Office, which took almost as long as planting at the boatyard.



Ilwaco post office garden

Ilwaco post office garden

post office garden

post office garden

The grey, faintly misty day kept the California poppies closed (Allan's photo)

The grey, faintly misty day kept the California poppies closed (Allan’s photo)

new plants in the post office planter

new plants in the post office planter

We watered the Ilwaco planters and added plants to many.

Someone, not me, stuck lilies in this planter.  Sweet, but the dying foliage will not be good so they will get moved to under a street tree once they have flowered.

Someone, not me, stuck lilies in this planter. Sweet, but the dying foliage will not be good so they will get moved to under a street tree once they have flowered.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

At the last minute, I had pulled some red diascias for the Red Barn Arena garden from the tray of available trailies, so I ran out by the last two planters.

This one still has a hole where someone stole a lemon thyme last week...and I'm out of plants for today.

This one still has a hole where someone stole a lemon thyme last week…and I’m out of plants for today.

With all the Ilwaco planting accomplished, we had time to celebrate the end of our six day week.

Salt Hotel Pub

We had removed a few tatty, woody old Erysimums from the planters and Allan suggested we give the flowers to Laila.

another bouquet for Salt

another bouquet for Salt

on the second floor: Laila got some new plants.

on the second floor: Laila got some new plants.

taking pictures of the view

taking pictures of the view

margarita time

margarita time

crab hush puppies (Allan's photo)

crab hush puppies (Allan’s photo)

crab mac and cheese and tuna melt (Allan's photo)

crab mac and cheese and tuna melt (Allan’s photo)

best tuna melts ever

best tuna melts ever

On this grey evening, I hope for more rain.

On this grey evening, I hope for more rain.

Our nice clean van was marked with dirt from everywhere I touched it on this planting day.

Our nice clean van was marked with dirt from everywhere I touched it on this planting day.

Feeling extraordinarily tired, I resolved to take Sunday and Monday off even if it resulted in a frantic rush later in the week.  My own garden sorely needs attention.

at home: Planting Time on the work board is getting whittled down.

at home: Planting Time on the work board is getting whittled down.  I remembered I still need plants for the Veterans Field planters in LB.


1997 (age 73):

May 14:  Brought the spring bulbs, dahlias etc from shop to porch, made labels, etc.  Should be planted ASAP.  Weeded more in lower driveway.

1998 (age 74):

May 14:  Errand day—Tims for a birthday card for Robert [her son in law, my spouse at the time], post office, and QFC.






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Friday, 15 April 2016, part two

We took an intermission from Long Beach to do the weekly check up on the Anchorage Cottages gardens.


The sweet peas are just barely up, and we need to build a trellis soon.


Tulip ‘White Parrot’


my favourite tulip, ‘Green Wave’


Tulips ‘Virichic’ and ‘Fantasy’


Tulip ‘Spring Green’


center courtyard

back to Long Beach

Allan and I planted some Nicotiana langsdorfii and weeded in Fifth Street Park.


At one point I tried to open the sliding door of that OTHER silver van.  Fortunately, it did not have an alarm.


Fifth Street Park, mostly green so far.  The little violets that I fight with look pretty along the edge right now.


Fifth Street Park with camassia

Allan went to the center parking lot berm to weed while I did the walkaround deadheading and weeding of the main street planters and street trees.  Join me as I walked down one side, up the other, and back again.


the foliage of Tulip greigii ‘Fire of Love’


T greigii ‘Fire of Love’ and T ‘Orange Princess’


Asphodeline lutea is coming on.




a new shop: auto oriented vintage


diascia that not only came through the winter but is blooming already


a busy planter, with lithodora and hardy geranium going back to volunteer planter days


Tulip ‘Strong Gold’ and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’


The clipping of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ begins, which will result in smaller flowers and sturdier plants.

I was thrilled when Melissa (not our gardening Melissa), who owns Roots Juice, Salad, and Java Bar in Ilwaco, parked so that I could finally meet her pet pig, Prince Piggy.


Prince Piggy in person

He is as friendly as the friendliest dog, uses a litter box, snuggles, and will only get to 17 pounds.  I spent the rest of the day very much infatuated and wanting a piggy of my very own.


an unfortunate amount of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage


Tulip ‘Rococo’


Renee O’Connor obelisk


Dutch iris ‘Eye of the Tiger’ in Fifth Street Park


Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’


Tulip ‘Madonna’ and ‘Virichic’


Tulip ‘Antoinette’


Tulip ‘Antionette’ and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’


I’m still mad that this planter by Cottage Bakery has one side totally smashed.


Tulip ‘Green Wave’ in bud by NIVA green


‘Greenland’ and ‘Green Wave’



Tulip ‘Greenland’

There is a big missing piece in the planter pictured above.  Sometime in the last week, someone stole one of the two Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ and smoothed over the hole.


The planter had two daphnes, going back to volunteer days…


and now one is gone, gone gone.

Now what to do?  Either we acquire a new daphne, which is available at The Planter Box but won’t be big like the other, OR we take out the solitary one left and replant the whole planter with something new.  I will wait till after the May 1st parade to decide, I think.  A change would allow this planter to have more summer flowers.  I am pretty sure whoever stole the daphne will find that they do not transplant well and in fact I hope it up and dies on them.


darling Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’


Tulip ‘White Parrot’


Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’ (I think) and some unfortunate red weedy clover

As I passed NIVA green on the other side of the street, heading south again, owner/artist Heather Ramsay caught up to me and gave me a literary gift.


Thanks, Heather and Wes!

I was also pleased when Boreas Inn Susie drove by and informed me, “You rock!”


street tree garden (might be N. ‘Sun Disc’)

With all the planters done, I joined Allan at the center berm.


the three parking lot berms, bottom edge of photo, with Veterans Field to the right


Allan’s photo: It was pretty solid weeds in the berm.


He was tired.

We had decided to not pull all the clover, etc. out, as this so called berm has so little in it that it is easier to just string trim it when the annual quaking grass is done.


Allan had pulled out all the dandelions.


Allan’s photo: holes where once were dandelions


Allan’s photo: quaking oat grass and rugosa rose


Allan’s photo: still wild, but dandelion free


He had this far left to go, on another day.

If we had time, we would strip this out and plant something more interesting, something that could hold up to NO water all summer long.  However, the string trimmer will probably suffice for this berm.

When we dumped our debris, we got five buckets of Soil Energy from our City Works pile to add to a low planter on the Bolstad beach approach.




after, with a stolen santolina replaced

With the rest of our time, we added some plants to two of the planters on Sid Snyder Drive, the ones we had dug out and redone last fall.


species tulips

Some passersby were entranced with the little species tulip.


Allan’s photo

(T batalinii ‘Bright Gem’ is what I was thinking, although the other one I thought was Bright Gem has less wavy foliage so now I am feeling confused.)


I love the way they bloom at ground level.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo; we hope finger blighters leave this alone!

At the beginning of this long day, I had learned that Salt Hotel Pub is now open till 9PM on weekends.  That meant we would have time to go there for dinner.

Salt Pub


Allan’s photo


downstairs with some tulips from our garden


upstairs view


pleased they now have a hard cider



Allan’s photo


soup of the day: potato, green garlic, and bacon: delectable


Allan’s burger


mac and cheese and salad

We were celebrating the glorious fact that we had gotten enough work done to take a three day weekend, most of which I intended to spend weeding my own garden.

(For those of you following along on my mom’s old garden diaries, I accidentally posted her entries for April 15th on the blog for April 14th.  Oops!)

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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.

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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.

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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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