Posts Tagged ‘Shelburne Hotel’

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

at home, an allium about to doff its cap

J’s garden

We weeded and watered.

Allan used his new blower to remove the rhododendron leaves from river rock, something otherwise difficult to do.

Allan’s photo

Ilwaco Fire Station

We checked up on our three month old volunteer garden.  I wish it would fill in faster.

Mike’s garden

More weeding.

Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’

Alan worked on the woodsy back garden area, which we have neglected due to lack of time.  His photos:


Long Beach

We collected another bucket brigade of Soil Energy mulch from our pile at City Works and mulched one of the 13 sections out on the beach approach.

rugosa roses


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

single rugosa rose…

and doubles (Allan’s photos)

After coveting (again) the stone troughs of the Oysterville garden, I had cast my eye covetously on these old concrete thingies at city works that were removed when the water meter system in town was changed to something more modern.

Allan’s photo

Shelburne Hotel

Today we had time to give the garden some thorough attention.  I have realized while working here that it is the only place where I get the same sense of peace, kind of a floaty feeling, that I get in my own garden.  Not quite as much peace, because I cannot check on it every day, but almost as much.

a Shelburne frog (Allan’s photo)

A blog reader named Tina came up to me and introduced herself.  I always find that surprising and pleasing.

looking south from the north end

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Jade Frost’, beloved of bees

Allan’s photo

callas with fallen rhododendron flowers (Allan’s photo)

the old rhododendron (Allan’s photo)

looking north from the entryway

In back, the totem pole garden

front garden, from the sidewalk as one approaches from the south

Port of Ilwaco

Because we did not have to water, we were able to work along a good long stretch of the curbside gardens just weeding.

east end of Howerton Ave

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

CoHo Charters

Allan weeded the Coho lava rocks.

passersby (Allan’s photos)


They were on their way to the store about ten blocks away.

Ilwaco Pavilion

The cry of outrage disturbing the evening peace of Ilwaco was me upon seeing that someone had stolen all the flowering stems off of one of the eryngiums in the newly planted area.

finger blight

Those plants were moved from the south side garden of the port office, which now looks like this:

Time Enough Books is doing a good job with their little planters this year.

More curbside Eryngium photos by Allan:

It was a ten hour day.

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 Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Looking out my window (over the storage/water trailer/garbage area), I saw that the driveway was wet, oh joy!  Such a relief to know the gardens got some water.

Ilwaco Fire Station

I planted some assorted sunflower seeds at the fire station.

Ilwaco Post Office

I wanted to quickly plant 12 cosmos in our volunteer garden at the post office.  Quickly was not the word because of how weedy it had gotten.

It took an hour to make space and get the plants in.

While we were gardening there, someone from the port office came to get mail and told us that yesterday evening, she had seen a man and a boy picking an armload of flowers from the boatyard garden.  When she asked him not to, he was argumentative and said “No one is going to take care of them and I’m keeping them from dying.”  (“No one is going to take care of them”!!!!!!) She and I had a good conversation that I fervently hope will result, and soon, with some official “Do not pick” signage from the port.  Our polite little “Please leave the flowers for everyone to enjoy” signs are not working.

I thought of a few more things to say so I went to the port office while Allan planted cosmos in the office garden (south side).  The baskets from Basket Case Greenhouse had been hung.

Couldn’t get a long shot because the port truck was there.

curbside gardens on the south side of the port office

I did not want to look at the boatyard so we went on to add more to the planters in

Long Beach.

I am tired of planting.

I asked Allan to make room for a blue felicia daisy by the blue painted Benson’s restaurant.



The golden variegated vinca in that planter is beautiful but much too aggressive for my taste.

Allan was entertained while planting by motorcycle tourists.

taking pictures of their bikes

They asked a Long Beach crew member to take their photo with the frying pan.

The south east quadrant of Fifth Street Park:

Gunnera and Darmera peltata

Later, Allan photographed a hole where a trailing plant had gotten stolen.

I am upset. And tired of this.

We added a few cosmos to the west side of city hall.

Shelburne Hotel and Pub

Today was Melissa’s birthday.  Allan and I worked on the Shelburne garden for 45 minutes until the birthday dinner at the pub began.

the back edible and shady totem pole garden

front garden looking north

and south

In the pub:

avocado toast

chopped salad

pub burger

cranberry curd tart

Melissa declared her chocolate pot du creme the best ever.

Allan took an amusing group photo.

We stayed till well past closing time (with permission from bartender Juan).

On the way to our van, after Dave and Mel had left, we went into the back garden to see if the tiny daisy flowers of the Zaluzianskya (night scented phlox) were scenting the courtyard.  They were, intoxicatingly.

the lawn by night (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo, pub deck

At home, I was able to make the work list shorter by erasing Long Beach parks and planters.

*Annuals Planting Time AKA Annuals Planting Hell

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at home (Allan’s photo)

We began the day by driving by and photographing, but not helping, a volunteer clean up effort in downtown Ilwaco.  You can read about it on our Ilwaco blog, here.

Before our Long Beach tasks, we watered the garden at

The Shelburne Hotel.

We have newly planted areas there that need monitoring.

I took a bouquet for the hotel lobby:

The back yard is turning into an open patio space.  I was excited to see the long narrow area in the middle, thinking maybe it could be a place to grow edible flowers….

…but no; it will be a bocce ball court.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

after watering

I turned to take a photo of the building…

…and realized that a rhododendron branch was blocking the sign.

So we fixed it.


And then, on to

Long Beach

to tidy up all the downtown planters and street tree gardens for Sunday’s annual parade.

Silverstream tulips

I immediately realized that I was cold, in the wind, and had neglected to bring warmer clothes.

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Tulip batalinii ‘Bright Gem’

I clearly must plant more Tulip batalinii: They are short, sturdy, and bloom late enough for the parade.


sparaxis and cerinthe

I was disappointed that not every planter had Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’.  I plant more every year, but did not replant in every planter this time.  I guess they peter out after awhile, probably from too much watering in summer.

As I walked along, I photographed every planter for a reference post, something I started to do last fall.  That will be the next blog post, and I will be able to refer back to it to see which planters are especially dull right now.  Sadly, the parade always falls on the first weekend in May at an awkward time between peak spring bulb season and mid-May flowers.

I am worried about Allium christophii surviving parade day.

So vulnerable. I must have been mad to plant them.

As soon as this veronica completes its brief bloom time, it is coming out. I mean it this time.

a difficult and wet, rooty, weedy bed in Fifth Street Park

We had encountered Parks Manager Mike and talked to him about somehow re-doing the above bed.  It is a problem.

Mike and me

He warned me that a crew member, having mulched a shrubby park, had then dumped bark on one of “my” flower beds.  It will not happen again.  Mike knew I would not like it, even though he probably does not know that our business slogan is “Just say no to barkscapes.”  Especially RED barkscapes.

red bark. Ouch!

This is where the bark ran out! (Allan’s photo)

We moved the bark from the half-done spot back to the shrubby side of the park.

Allan’s photo

bark around hydrangeas, etc, with gunnera and Darmera peltata

Allan found masses of bindweed to pull in the corner:

tree garden outside Abbracci Coffee Bar

a rain spotted Tulip ‘Cummins’

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ did not quite make it to parade day. (Allan’s photo)

I have agastaches for the empty centers of the planters.  I am holding off on planting them to prevent parade day damage and to avoid having to start watering before the end of next week.

Oh for more Baby Moon!

another good, late doer: Tulip linifolia. I think. (Allan’s photo)

The sparaxis flowers look good, but the foliage on them is not attractive this year; it browned off early.

Soon, while planting annuals, we will chop all the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ by half to make it tighter.

The sedums were all serving as snail homes.

Just half of the snails I got from one clump of sedum.

The snails went into the trailer with the debris to be rehomed in the debris pile at City Works.

What have we here? Someone did this. Why?

We also accomplished the tidying and weeding of the Veterans Field gardens:

And then got back to the last two blocks of planters.

by NIVA green, another late narcissi; I need to figure out which one it is.

another great late bloomer, tall

Tulip ‘China Town’

At the very end, by the bus stop in Coulter Park, I saw a problem that needs fixing.  Tomorrow!  I had been cold and miserable throughout the Long Beach portion of the day.

sidewalk blockage, must fix, but too cold now!

a snail escaping from the trailer. I let it go.

We had a load of debris to dump, along with all the rest of the snails.

I treat the big tulips as annuals and discard them.  They do not come back as well the second year, and Long Beach needs a good, fresh show every year.

Feeling chilled and exhausted, we then repaired to

The Shelburne Pub

for a good warming hot toddy and meal.


delicious chopped salad

the astonishingly delectable black garlic fried rice

I took some photos of the Shelburne as we left, trying to capture its evening magic.

Blue flowers show up strongly at dusk.

the pub deck


Here is the hotel website; you just might like to dine or to stay there sometime.

At home, I was intensely relieved to relax and watch a show of Gardeners’ World before our regular telly.



garden touring!

The garden tour segment of this episode was stunning and theatrical.  You can watch it here.

Later, at bedtime, I watched another episode with another glorious garden tour…here.

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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Shelburne Hotel

We planted an assortment of my favourite plants: Agastaches ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’ and ‘Sangria’ and ‘Golden Jubilee’, Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’, Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’, Zaluzianskya ovata (which should give great fragrance in the evening, so it went by the pub deck and the front entry), Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ (in pots with a couple of the Zaluzianskya).  This involved removing plants that had scattered into the wrong places during our long absence (the years when we did not work here between 2009 and now), including more monkshood that is popping up here and there (too poisonous for a public garden).

I am still desperate for a Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’ to grow under the arched window as in days of old.  Plain melianthus would be too tall, and not as blue.  Can’t get Antenow’s Blue here!   I don’t want to mail order it; hoping Melissa will find me one at Xera Plants.

looking north from the entry

Years ago:

summer garden at the Shelburne Inn

looking south from the entry

the pub deck with a couple of newly planted pots

a couple of newly planted semi shade pots in the back garden

While we worked, a staff member was digging out the six back yard beds.  In yesterday’s heat, he had removed the railroad ties.  This area will be graveled and will become a wedding and event area.

progress in the back garden

as it was a week ago

Allan hose watered for the first time this year.

Allan’s photo

I had brought a bouquet for the lobby:

And the new sign by the street had been installed. Wait till you see the gorgeous job that Brady was doing on the trim.

You can see photos of the interior, old and new, in this article from Wander with Wonder.

We appreciate the mention by the author.

Just north of the Shelburne, across the street, Allan photographed an art gallery’s sign:

Long Beach

A fog had blown in, welcome but chilly enough to require a jacket.  We deadheaded the planters, tree beds, Veterans Field and Fifth Street Park.

My photos:

Tulip ‘China Town’

Tulip ‘China Town’

Strong Gold tulip still going so strong.

tree garden

Tulip ‘Silverstream’ and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

Tulip greigii ‘Fire of Love’

Tulip greigii ‘Fire of Love’ and ‘Silverstream’

Muscari paradoxum

Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’ and ‘Black Hero’

Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’

Tulips ‘Formosa’ and ‘Green Wave’

Fifth Street Park, where the horsetail was back!  And camassia.

Fifth Street Park

color clash! (The city crew greatly reduced the street trees this spring.)

Allan’s photos:

green primrose at city hall

in a planter

deadheading before

and after



Tulip ‘Silverstream’

The last two blocks of deadheading were a challenge as suddenly the weather was hot again and I SO regretted having a jacket on (but had no way to carry it and my weed/deadhead bucket and tools).  On the way home, we deadheaded the welcome sign.

welcome sign

At home: clean debris for the compost bins.

Allan’s photo

Allan went to the port office to check on yesterday’s plants, and we are pleased to know the office staff watered.

Allan’s photo

Because I planted more bachelor button seeds and added a clump of monarda (bee balm) to the Shelburne back garden (both have edible flowers), the work list got shorter.

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Instead of me finishing my cutting garden book, we took advantage of a break in the rain to put in a couple of hours at the Shelburne on two things that had been bothering me.

But first, I picked a bouquet to take with us.

window box

and another window box

Muscari botyroides ‘Superstar’

some tulips hoping to open

The rain has been hard on the tulips; it is a challenge to find nice ones to pick that are not rain-spotted.  The peony flowering tulips are in the worst state, of course.  Even the single flowers are battered.  This is one of those years when I resolve to never again grow anything but single tulips.

sad mushy double tulips

the rain gauges (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

flowers on the way

The Shelburne Hotel

My project was to get some ferns removed from the roots of a rose in the front garden, and Allan’s was to prune a climbing rose in the back garden that may not have been pruned for years.  It had much dead whippy growth.

Allan’s photos:



Pruning canes with leaves does remove some of this year’s flowers.  However, the canes were so all over the place that it had to be done.  I would have had it done sooner but was unclear whether or not this arbor will be preserved.  It is more likely to be so if it does not look like a mess!


I am flummoxed by the formerly espaliered Asian pear trees on the west fence.  What to do?

(right) The pear has shot straight up in the past nine years.  The center tree is a limbed up hawthorn.

I got the center Asian pear tree looking a little better after I took this photo; it seems this one was not allowed to shoot straight up.

The third one has also been allowed to grow straight up. Its top growth does provide a screen from a window of a nearby house, so….might be valuable like this.

In the front garden:

looking south

base of the second rose today, where before it was all mucked up with a trashy fern.  It was almost buried in soft fern fronds.  And MINT.

Long Beach

We drove through town, stopping to deadhead under one tree, and then decided that the weather, which had just become miserably wet and windy, required the rest of the deadheading to wait.

Allan’s photos

Basket Case Greenhouse

A rainy day is a good time to check on the latest new plants at local nurseries.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We acquired some violas, at the request of Sous Chef Casey of the Shelburne, who wants them for edible flower garnishes.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

I cannot resist agastaches.

On the way home, we decided to not plant all the violas in the rain; four went into pots by the front door where they will be handy for garnishing.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

We stopped at Time Enough Books (also a gift shop of various book related things) before work, on a mission perhaps having to do with someone’s birthday, and had a good catch up chat with bookseller Karla.

greeted by staff member Scout (Allan’s photo)


On the way out of Ilwaco, I decided I had to prune the silly part off the trailing rosemary inthe planter by Peninsula Sanitation.


after: It is still silly, and the whole rosemary should go. I have a soft heart.  I will remove more next time, when it is done blooming.

Long Beach

Spring clean up continued on a spring-like day in Coulter Park, just north of Dennis Company and downtown Long Beach.

the south bed, before

and after

before (Siberian iris) Allan’s photos

He found an old bird nest.


looking at the west bed

the west bed, with lady’s mantle leaves, before

and after Allan cleaned it up.

I am going to wait awhile before cutting back the fuchsias in the west bed.  I’d like them to leaf out tall, and they still might.

the rose (north) bed, before

and after

All of the above beds are in the west, rather hidden area of the park that does not get used much at all.

The front (east side) of the park is more visible and often visited when there are events in the old train depot building.

a monument in the front of Coulter Park (Allan’s photo)

A patch of orange montbretia (NOT planted by us!) that Allan cleaned up (behind the bus stop).

The little round bed on the southwest corner of the park had been bugging me every time we drove by this late winter.

front bed before

half an hour later

Horses went clop clopping by. (Allan’s photo)

The Coulter monument (taken last year)

Allan photographed this succulent patch that is in a container built on top of a garbage can.  It got moved under the broad roof of the old train depot and now gets very little water.

Someone has noticed this little planter and left a sign.

We then clipped the Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ in Veterans Field.


after (may cut salvias lower once frost danger is past)

A child who was selling little signs at the farmers market last year put this in astage planter.

after  (Allan’s photos)

We then went to the south parking lot berm for awhile.  I had been planning the time allowed for each task carefully, as I had a few plants to add to the Shelburne Hotel garden at the end of the day.

At the berm (Allan’s photos):

old crocosmia mixed painfully with rugosa roses

The south berm is thick with rugosas because it used to get trampled mercilessly when parking for the alternative school (now moved) was in this parking lot.  Like the beach approach, only the rugosas held up to the foot traffic.  Now we battle them and wish they were not here.

after; we will come back to weed

a big mess of debris

It was not till we the Stipa gigantea clipped and old crocosmia pulled at the south berm that I happened to look at my phone and my watch and realized that, despite my rejoicing that daylight savings time and more evening light (and more work time!) were here, I had not reset my watch.  I aborted my suggestion that we work for an hour on the north berm.  I would have wondered why night fell so fast!

Ack, it was actually five! I could not get the knob out to change it, and when Allan tried, the little twisty knob broke off. 😦

We dumped our debris at city works and collected soil, returning to mulch the roundish bed at Coulter Park.

gentle application around hyacinths

Our last Long Beach task was the clipping of some small ornamental grasses in the tiny popouts a block north of city hall.  Note to self: Must remember to return and weed these.  There are many seedlings of California poppies, real poppies, and bachelor buttons in these two little beds.

the tiny popouts

Shelburne Hotel

The garden got a couple of Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’, some oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ (a beautifully flowered cultivar), an Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ and three silver santolinas.

new plants in ruched up areas

also three new heucheras

looking south, after we cut cold-damaged calla lilies to the ground

pub windows with magnolia in bloom

Allan’s photo

These days I am obsessed with getting my book posts done (four years to go, all being retroactively published to February 15, 2018).  My goal, which had been to get them done by daylight savings time, was not met despite obsessive blogging, to the detriment of actually READING books.  When that project is done, we will be able to linger after work and dine in the pub.  When we work there in the evening, we see friends and acquaintances going in.


We (by which I mean Allan while I sat in the van feeling knee and toe pain) popped a Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and a couple of starts of Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ into an empty planter.

Ilwaco planter

Coulter Park came off the work board.










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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Shelburne Hotel

Last night, I had remembered a line of bricks that I had left in the garden, an arc that was buried under old soil and serving no purpose.  We would use them to slightly expand the stand-on area for staff to hang up and take down the “pub open” sign; the plan was to then go on to Long Beach.

standing pad slightly bigger now

Allan’s photo

While working on it, Allan found this fennel root underground!

However much fennel we pulled, we know that it is lurking and will try to come back.  We removed it (or tried to) from the boatyard garden because of it being on the noxious weed list and every year it comes back.  The Shelburne garden was chock full of it two weeks ago.

Before leaving for Long Beach, I saw something else to do.

Allan pulls wisteria vine (clipped by someone else) and old string lights (also clipped by someone else) out of a rhododendron in the front garden

While Allan pulled down the old dead wisteria vines, I found something to keep myself busy: clipping epimedium at the other end of the garden.  Then a wind came up, and working on the Long Beach beach approach area did not seem appealing at all, so we just stayed in the sheltered Shelburne garden.

Allan dug up these runners along the fence…they have turned into shrubs, off of a tree that is on the inside of the fence.  (A common thing that I cannot name.)


In the epimedium patch, I found and moved a hellebore….but first, I made a good place for it by digging a whole patch of crapulous orange tatty monbretia just as one enters the garden at the north end.  I did not expect a big-huge-drops drenching rain to suddenly begin, as it did.

February 18


Here is that area on the 21st of February…

And today…


The flower got knocked off the transplanted hellebore, right, before the photo was taken, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Without saying whodunnit, the wailing would have been just as bad no matter which one of us did it.

rearranging plants

Here is the epidemedium bed on the day we started working for the Shelburne again (Feb 19th):

And here it was today, just as I got thoroughly rained out.

Clipping the leaves let the flowers show; otherwise, they are hidden underneath.

The hellebore had been buried in the corner of the above garden, swamped by montbretia that had snuck out over the past few years from a spot where the corms are hard to get at.  Now the hellebore has a prideful place all its own inside the garden.


I also rescued a pretty little fern buried in the epimedium patch.

fern in happy new home

The rain let up a bit and I did one last thing, pruned the Helmond Pillar barberry.

yesterday, not at its best


Allan, drenched, at the end of the work session

The above photo shows that I clipped down the rosemary so the wording on the signs shows much better (and took the clippings to the Shelburne chef).

As we drove home, we could see patches of blue sky.  We decided we were too wet and miserable to go back to work, and fortunately, we did not have to feel guilty; the rain continued on and off for the rest of the afternoon.

Allan thought he saw a sea lion in Black Lake (which would not be unheard of; they have rarely been known to hump themselves along the sidewalk all the way up from the port).  He stopped to look, and he took a photo which I like because it is impressionistic, even though it does not show a sea lion:


our garden

Before drying off, I took a brief walk through the garden to plant the monkhood which had been riding around in a bucket for over a week.  I had removed them from the Shelburne garden lest someone pick such a poisonous plant for a bouquet.


gunnera getting started

sit spot I made last fall (no good in the winter!)

My bogsy wood stepping stone path project got stopped in the winter because I had the shingles (which is still bothering me a bit two months later).

project still in waiting

Indoors, I was pleased to work on more reading posts (all published retroactively to February 15th 2018) while having a well deserved cuppa.




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