Posts Tagged ‘Shelburne Hotel’

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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Public Service Announcement (because we’ve been saying Basket Case will reopen on March 2nd):

Monday, 27 February 2018

We had a beautiful sunny day to head north to Klipsan Beach Cottages and then south to the Shelburne.  Before work, I dug up some cool plants for the Shelburne garden.

acquiring a clump of Solidago ‘Fireworks’

I was so sad to find that my Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’ looks dead, and even sadder on the following day when I found that all sources for it appear to be sold out (Digging Dog, Far Reaches Farm, and Plant Delights).

I dug up some Persicaria ‘Firetail’ and some Persicaria bistorta superba (not sure about that one because it has a rather short period of bloom), two kinds of sanguisorba and a helenium, some elephant garlic and some little starts of a showy red mustard, and some Egyptian walking onions (cute and ornamental).

While loading the plant buckets into the trailer, we saw this neighbour.

Allan’s photos

strolling west, looking for another garden to snack on

Our volunteer Ilwaco post office garden needs some weeding.  No time for that today.  There is a chunk out of the golden oregano (front corner) where I swiped some for the Shelburne last week.

crocus close up

On the way, to work, we made a hellebore quest at

The Planter Box.

Jackpot. I just needed one.

an artistic display in the garden shop

Klipsan Beach Cottages

On our first visit this year to Klipsan Beach Cottages, we mostly did the clipping back of sword and deer ferns so that their new unfurling fronds will show (and because the old foliage will look tatty by midsummer).  Also pruned some roses and hydrangeas.

Allan makes the yearly bold leap over the pond to trim the ferns. So far, he has not fallen in, but I am always ready for an even more exciting photo.



after (Allan’s photos)

Pulmonaria in bloom on the pond island bed.

Looking in the east gate of the fenced garden

inside the fenced garden before going after that big sword fern


Bella examines my work

Bella thinks it is time to go to the beach. Mary chases after. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

sword ferns by cottage 8, before and after (Allan’s photos)

The garden is just waking up.


The bench holds lily bags; I planted some in big pots to be brought forward when in bloom.

I clipped old hellebore leaves from the lawn border.

NOW I spy a little snail.

After the work at KBC, I dug up starts of plants to take to the Shelburne: Sanguisorba obtusa (the kind with pink feathers although not as good as ‘Lilac Squirrel’), Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’, Arisarum proboscideum (mouse plant), Saxifraga dentata.  It’s been awhile since I had a garden (other than the port gardens) that needed lots of plants.  I rotate plants around all “my” gardens.  Skyler giveth and Skyler taketh away.

The Shelburne Hotel (and Pub)

We planted lots of free starts and a couple of hellebores and three different dicentra and some lily bulbs and 40 sprouted but healthy looking yellow tulip bulbs from an anonymous well-wisher.

The street in front and the parking lot were so full that we parked on the next block to the north.  We soon learned that the pub was having a “soft opening” by word of mouth to people connected with the hotel restaurants (plural, because the same owners, Tiffany and Brady, also own the Adrift Hotel and its [pickled fish] restaurant.

With almost all the plants in, I had a bit of a crisis.  I could not find my most special pink feathery sanguisorba!  I searched anxiously….

There they are, at last! in a pile.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We then repaired to the pub and sat at one of the new tables in the main lobby.  The pub has been cleverly expanded to include a larger area than it used to.

in the Shelburne pub

our table in the lobby, with glassless  interior windows into the pub.

Allan’s photo

On the way out, I looked at the garden with all its new plant babies.  I am eager to see them grow.

Looking north: Allan made a bamboo mini-teepee over each clump of lilies.

looking south

Ilwaco Community Building

We were just in time for the city council meeting.

shade garden at the entry to the Ilwaco community building.

Allan’s photo, crocuses closed up for the evening (with poppy foliage)

City Council meeting was brief but productive.

Allan’s photo

We were home by 6:45, giving me time to do a post for books read in 1996.

At home, KBC came off the work board for now.






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Saturday, 24 February 2018

The forecast called for terrible weather.  I woke to sunshine, followed by the sound of a battering wind and then some torrential window-lashing rain.  And then the sky cleared and I said that surely we could at the least get the yellow flag iris dug out from its shady non-blooming spot at the Shelburne.  It’s not so windy in that sheltered garden.

When we went outside, the temperature was much warmer than previous days (mid forties) so we dug up some cool plants to add to the Shelburne garden: Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’, Scrophularia (variegated figwort sounds much more attractive), two kinds of sanguisorba, two kinds of Geranium macrorrhizum, one Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’ (well rooted start, to be planted off to one side where it won’t block the view of the building, I hope.)

plant quest in our front garden

The Shelburne Hotel

By the time we got to the Shelburne, I decided the weather was nice enough for Allan to get the last yard of mulch. First, he tackled the yellow flags in the shady south corner and pruned the old, badly hacked trunks of the forsythia.


Allan’s photo

the double tool in action (Allan’s photo)

forsythea before and after (Allan’s photo)

Note to self: There is some salmonberry in that corner that must be dealt with later.

swamp grass on the other side of the fence, before (Allan’s photos)

and after. The pallets are a temporary walk way for hotel refurbishing workers.

weeding the south garden

As Allan finished the south garden corner, I called Peninsula Landscape Supply to make sure they still had Soil Energy.  Mike told me they were down to just a yard or two.  I implored him to hold a yard for us as Allan would be there in twenty minutes.

While Allan was gone, I weeded some more in the south corner, trying to get as much as possible of the truly horrible Aegopodium podagraria (bishops weed) which had infested this part of the garden since way back when we worked here before.  It is still in there, of course.  On a garden tour in Portland, we once saw a large area dug down 18 inches deep and asked if the gardeners were putting in a pond.  No, they were trying to get rid of bishops weed by digging it that deep, spraying it with round up, and waiting a year to spray it every time it tried to come back. At least it is edible, so the hotel restaurant could use leaves as garnish on a plate.  It tastes rather like cilantro.

I moved on to the north end corner of the garden, trying to get it weeded before Allan returned with mulch.  I then turned to the mess of orange montbretia on the inner side of the paver path, all the while fretting about whether or not Allan would find a yard of mulch left.

When he got there, there was this much:

Lucky us!

In the Peninsula Landscape Supply office, I spy Sea Star Gardening’s card!

lots of beautiful rocks available at PLS

From my montbretia digging task, I was thrilled to see Allan arrive with mulch.

back at the Shelburne (Allan’s photo)

mulched in the south corner (Allan’s photo)

before and after

north corner before mulching

and after (not really showing the corner at all, though; it is to the left)  Allan’s photo

I kept after the orange montbretia patch, till it segued into Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  I decided to keep a line of Lucifers along the building (with space behind for air circulation).  I do remind myself that people like them very much.

We were going to leave the weeding of the paving stone path for someone else to do.  Then my OCD had kicked in and I had started weeding it when we were here on Thursday and, with the montbretia edited, went after the path again today.  Allan helped finish till we had almost all of it done.

Allan’s photo, before

Any rock that dares to roll around gets put in a bucket and moved to the edge of the little garden outside the north end of the picket fence.  My goal is to move a lot of these river rocks out over time, just because they are hard for an old lady to step over to get into the garden to weed.  I didn’t put ’em there.  Some can stay, but not all.

after (Allan’s photo)

I went into the back garden to prune a deadhead that I had noticed on a hydrangea.   It had been bugging me to think of it.  I do not remember this stairway being there before.  Perhaps it was added sometime in the past decade (mind boggling to think it has been almost a decade since we worked in this garden).

new (to me) stairs to the pub deck

Yes, the stairs are new.  Because I have a photo of the garden along the pub deck the way it used to be.

Agapanthus and Allium seedheads

It was stuffed with Agapanthus.  I had stuck some allium seedheads in there.

Now it is all fennel and crocosmia.  Where were the agapanthus? I was thrilled to find some in a mound next to the stairs, still growing.  For their tenacity, they were rewarded with a better home in the front garden.  In the upper right of the photo above, you can see hops growing on the pub railing.  I am sure the hops roots are still in this area.  They are perfect for twining on a pub fence; the diners loved them way back when.

There will be an L shaped border in the back garden on the west and south side inside the tall fence, where now montbretia grows.  Happily for us, someone else will be delegated to dig it all out and then we will plant edible flowers and herbs for the kitchen.

Although I had been eager to clip the epimedium on the north wall, today I decided to leave it for awhile longer so it will look attractive when the pub opens.  I was not sure when that will be. I want to pick the right moment just before the flower stalks (hidden under the leaves) come out.

epimedium, soon to be clipped so the flowers show

At a little after five, with rain just starting, we were able to call this project done.

Here are some befores and afters of the progress of four work days.



before, Monday, looking north from the hotel entrance


The south end, Monday

and today (still too many calla lilies in my opinion)

looking south from the north end, Monday (Allan’s photo)

and today

before, little north end bed with tatty rosettes of evening primrose (Monday)


When we got home, I saw on Facebook this exciting news:

Whew, with mulch not available again till Tuesday, we got the garden done JUST IN TIME!

We look forward to dining there, especially on the dining deck in summer.

When my wasband, Robert, and I first visited the Long Beach Peninsula in 1991 and were trying to decided whether we dared take the chance and leave Seattle to move here, the bartender at the time told us that he had moved here with only $100 and had lived in a shacky home with a leaky roof and cold water only for the first year.  And had never regretted it.  (We later learned his mom had lived in a converted garage apartment right across the street and that he could go there for a hot shower.  It’s still a good story.)  So the pub figured large in our moving here.  When we were on vacation, we had Laphroaig to drink.  After we moved, our tipple was something much, much less expensive.

At home, I was able to take the Shelburne off the spring clean up list.  I look forward to planting many cool plants there.  In the meantime, we have neglected all other jobs for a week and must get back to them.








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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Allan mowed the lawn, even though the weather was so very cold (hovering around 39F).

Allan’s photo

After a weekend of cold, rainy and windy weather, with my head stuck into my old book lists, we emerged to have dinner  with Lorna, good friend and former client when she used to own Andersen’s RV Park.  What a great client she was, the biggest spender on wonderful plants that we ever had the pleasure to work for.  She treated us to dinner at The Depot Restaurant.

delicious salads and artichoke fritos appetizer.

Southern comfort pork for Lorna (also Our Kathleen’s favourite!)

Steak Killian for me

Parmesan chicken for Allan

blackberry cheesecake all ’round

We had excellent conversation, reminiscing about gardening days and catching up on all the latest news from here and from her new home in Seattle.  Because she is going to visit Norway this summer (and we hope to get guest photos), she recommended this blog post by Martha Stewart, all about the seed vault there.  We are honored that Lorna reads Martha’s blog, the Tootlepedal blog, and our blog.

Monday, 19 February 2018

I thought for sure we were going to have another day off.  I caught up on some lost sleep (chronic insomnia) and when I woke, the day was sunny and not quite in the thirties.  I’d been obsessing mentally about the Shelburne garden and so I suggested to Allan that we go to work.  I remembered, from the ten years or so that we cared for the garden in the past, that it is a sheltered place to work, out of any wind, and warmed by the sun.

The Shelburne Hotel

The hotel is bustling with workers as it is closed till early spring for refurbishing.

Our responsibility for now is to bring back the front garden to be an enchanting cottage style garden.  One feature of a true old fashioned cottage garden of days of old in England was passalong plants. My goal is something a bit more sophisticated, because passalong (free) plants are usually the most invasive ones.  Indeed, the garden today was particularly full of fennel, which is now on the noxious weed list, and is quite a bear to dig up because of its long taproot.  It is a class B noxious weed because “Common fennel escapes cultivation and quickly establishes dense infestations that crowd out native plants that are critical to wildlife habitats. Infestations are becoming more common in Western Washington and may pose a threat to native grasslands.”  While it should be fine to grow some in the herb and edible flower border that will eventually be part of the Shelburne’s courtyard garden, I don’t want it all over the front garden setting a bad example by inspiring folks to want to grow it because it is a beautiful plant.  It will also reseed so much that it pushes out variety, and of course, we need room for cosmos and lilies.

Allan’s photo

lemon balm, fennel, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and what I am 99% sure is the invasive yellow flag iris.

In case that is yellow flag iris, and because we don’t want to set a bad example by making people want to grow it, and because it is all along the front sidewalk garden and we want more variety, we got rid of two big clumps of it that were going to throw the entryway off balance anyway.  I’ll see what the remaining clumps turn out to be.

in close up


Ed and Jackson Strange (Strange Landscaping) stopped by briefly to see what we were up to.

Jackson Strange (Allan’s photo)

before, looking north from the hotel entrance

Four and a half hours later. (Eventually, the grassy sides of the paver walkway will be weeded.)

Before: looking south

Allan’s photo

four hours later (Allan’s photo)

To the right, above, you can see a wealth of crocosmia…rather too much.

Before: Looking southwest from the sidewalk

4.5 hours later!

We removed mint and lemon balm from the garden, and put a goodly amount in a couple of pots for the restaurant to use as garnish if they so desire, and planted the rest in an obscure corner of the back garden where it can be useful without running into good plants.  We started to eliminate the pesky orange montbretia, and edited way too many plain fuchsia magellanica that were crowding through the front garden (too much is too much even though it is a plant I love). They got relegated to a shady spot in the back garden.  An aggressively running aster is all through the beds and will be an ongoing challenge.

I want balance, and was pleased to move a little rose to balance another rose, so that now each side of the entry has a rose, as it once was and should again be.

Allan took out this euphorbia and this euonymus which were making the front sidewalk entry unbalanced, as they were only on one side.



There are lots of the euphorbias in the garden now, so one won’t be missed, and the euonymus got moved down to the north end of the garden.  The euphorbia went into our trailer, not worth saving as it was not a handsome specimen.  Some time later, a passerby did some “diving” into the trailer and asked if she could have it.  She was so happy when we said yes, and the euphorbia will have a new home.  (We warned her that some people have a bad reaction to the milky sap of a clipped stem.)

I found some surprising changes.  Where there used to be two hydrangeas, one at each end of the pub dining deck, now there is one hydrangea to the west, and this tropical accent to the east.  I have to ask Danger Garden what it is. (The answer: Cordyline australis.)  I remember now that the hydrangea that used to be there was slowly rotting out at the center.

a little bit silly in this spot?

I was thrilled to find some of “my” cool old plants had survived, like some epimedium and some pulmonaria.

Our goal is to bring the garden back to looking more like this, in photos from 2007:

summer garden at the Shelburne with lilies and Melianthus major ‘Antenow’s Blue’

Cerinthe major purpurascens, one of my favourite annuals

in 2007

You can perhaps see why this job has me so excited that I added it on, despite our vows to cut back on work.

Here was the dining deck by the pub in 2008, with some containers we planted.  We look forward to lunches there this summer:

This past weekend, we watched a delightful British gardening movie, This Beautiful Fantastic.

I like the second poster best.

Because we both have face blindness, we did not recognize Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey.

I thought about the film at the Shelburne because one scene featured an older gardener giving a tour of his own garden and saying how poisonous monkshood is.

I was thinking of that as I removed a dozen monkshoods from the front edge of the Shelburne garden. It’s too likely someone would pick them for a bouquet. I don’t allow them in resort or public gardens even though I do love them in mine.

I am eager to get back to the job; one more day of weeding and clipping, and we will be ready for mulch for the front garden.  However, when we stopped work today it was a finger numbing 39F, and tomorrow we might even get snow, and then a whole bunch of rain.  I will be impatient to return to this project.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

I woke very late, thinking I hoped it was early so I could sleep some more. Pouring rain mixed with wet snow will keep me from the Shelburne today and maybe for most of the week. My first thoughts were about plants for the Shelburne. It’s sentimental to me. Robert and I went to the pub there several times on vacations here and it’s one of the places that helped lure me to move to the peninsula.

Here’s a guest photo of the dunes in Surfside this morning.  If Ilwaco got snow like this, we missed it while asleep.  The light on the horizon is from a crabbing boat.

photo by Nancy Gorshe, co owner of the Depot Restaurant

I’ve been working on my old reading posts, which are publishing retroactively to Feb. 15th.

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