Posts Tagged ‘Shelburne Hotel’

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

One of my Eryngium giganteum (Miss Willmott’s Ghost) is going to bloom.  I wish it would have waited till next year.

Miss Willmott jumping the gun

The very big spider had a meal.

I had organized the day around being home to meet some out of town blog readers who were passing through in the afternoon.

Long Beach

We worked some more on straggly Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and other tired plants in the planters.

police station planter

Police Station last week


I hope I will be able to get my mitts on the six planters that remain hanging about town, two of them here on the police station, for my compost.

cosmos by the stoplight

santolina ready to be clipped…not today

The planter with wire vine (below) needs to be completely dug out.  I might not have enough mulch left in my Soil Energy pile to fill it back up again.  This time, ALL the soil must go.  Two years ago, we thought we could sift the roots out.  Nope.

Muehlenbeckia axillaris up in everthing

When I planted it, I thought it was a cute little house plant that would last one summer.

This is what it wants to do:

before, three years ago: a great splodge of Muehlenbeckia axillaris (wire vine)

Cosmos ‘Cupcake’ in Lewis and Clark Square

Pacific Tree Frog in Lewis and Clark Square planter

Some planters in sheltered spots still have excellent looking Geranium ‘Rozanne’

my favourite planter by Dennis Company

windier planter by Dennis Co parking lot, before

On the way through town to our next job, The Red Barn, we saw one of the Red Barn horses and rider and good dog heading for the beach.

Allan’s photo

Soon Amy and a friend from The Red Barn rode by.

Allan’s photo

We pretty much skipped the Red Barn garden today; rain had taken care of everything.

At the Red Barn

Still no Cosmo the barn cat to be seen on our short garden check up….

Diane’s garden

In Diane’s garden, we managed to get the deadheading done in 45 minutes.

roadside garden, a nerve-wracking deadheading job

a peaceful moment

Allan deadheaded the raised box garden.

The nasturtium is pale yellow ‘Moonlight’, because Diane likes soft colours.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

at home

We got home in time to offload the compost debris and then to spend some time with Debbie and Alan, who stopped by on their way to Cannon Beach.  Debbie and her sister Dawn read this blog daily, and are good commenters, which all bloggers much appreciate.

me and Debbie and a bouquet for their room in Cannon Beach

garden touring

We learned that before his career as a scientist, Alan had been a guitarist in a series of Northwest rock bands.

I found online an old photo of a band that predated one called Shiloh.

Debbie and Alan brought us a little birdbath for which Debbie had sought a good home.

(right) at home for now in the cat garden, destined for the fire circle area

Allan’s photo

Dawn sent this beautiful plate, based on the book The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, a book that I have and love.

The stanza around the edge is part of a long poem by Jean Ingelow.

An empty sky, a world of heather,
Purple of foxglove, yellow of broom;
We two among them wading together,
Shaking out honey, treading perfume.

Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.

Thank you!

I learned that Dawn was probably the mystery woman who had met our friend, gardener Prissy at The Waves in Cannon Beach after reading about her on this blog!

Alan and Debbie went on their way to a three day vacation.  Allan and I got back to work.

We had considered returning to the boatyard.  A chilly little wind had suddenly come up, and the shelter of the Shelburne Hotel seemed much more appealing.

The Depot Restaurant

I remembered that we needed to deadhead at the Depot (and water the window boxes).

north side of the dining deck

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

in one of the window boxes

The Shelburne Hotel

Allan checked the pots on the second story decks.

the middle deck

We continued with some fall clean up cutting back and cosmos removal.  I made the big decision to remove all but one of the sweet pea tangles.

sweet pea on its way out

Three clumps of peonies in the garden had been planted too deeply sometime in the past.  Allan lifted them all and grouped them together.

Allan’s photo

just one left now

looking north

Have I ever mentioned that the front garden is on the east side? So it does not get all day sunshine.

looking south

I dote on this garden.

one more sweet pea clump that can stay for now (lower right)

A huge job awaits Allan this winter: pruning the wisteria.  It is so overgrown you could hardly see the flowers.  He will have to do the pruning because I get dizzy looking up; I will do the hauling to the trailer.  Probably this will happen at the very beginning of next February, except for some clipping back this fall before we go on staycation.

The pub called to us, and so we had an early (for us) dinner at 7:15.

fish and chips

the view from our table

How about that, we had another very good day.



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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Being the social director of yesterday’s tour, arranging to visit each private garden (all but one at a time when the gardeners would be home), trying to set a date when all who wanted to could attend, fretting over social anxiety and feeling out of my league with two Big Name Gardeners, turned out to be well worth it as everyone agreed it had been a wonderful tour day.  However, both Allan and I slept extra late this morning! I had planned an easy work day, mostly watering, with two small projects (or so I thought).

I met two darling dogs over the fence next door to the post office.

I don’t normally put my hand into a dog’s yard.  This one was clearly friendly with a happy circling tail.  I wish they were there every day; I have only seen them the once. The dog’s affection for its ball reminded me of Monty Don’s dog, Nigel, star of Gardeners’ World.

Long Beach

We removed a very woody and tatty lavender from one of the planters.  Its inside was dark and gloomy and devoid of foliage.


after, with replacement soil and lavender

Helichrysum italicam

I have told people that although this plant smells strongly of curry, it is not edible.  It appears I am wrong about that, according to this article.  Although it smells of the strongest curry, the taste is said to be not like curry.  The flowers are inconsequential yellow things that I usually trim off.  I love the smell of the plant and its silver foliage. The linked article says that the flowers taste of bleu cheese, which I also love!

We added two curry plants to the planter we had redone last week.

The Shelburne Hotel

75 degrees F as we arrived at the Shelburne.

Speaking of curry plants, here is one we recently added to a planter on the room four deck.  The dahlia is out of scale but it requested that I not move it to the garden till later because it is quite happy in the pot.

Allan’s photo

center deck nandina, Allan’s photo

room 11 deck (Allan’s photo)

We watered and weeded. I trimmed tall non blooming cosmos to better reveal the signage.

front garden, looking north in shadow

the back garden

wedding candles still hanging in the laurel

the pub deck

the back garden

The candles were the battery powered ones.  I did not know that would work in jars of water.  I googled; they seem to be a special floating kind.  That would be great Halloween decor.


After the Shelburne, we tried clearing a small garden on Howerton Avenue at the port of the roots  where the port crew had pulled out a sightline-blocking escallonia with a backhoe.  Or maybe pulled it out by truck, with a chain.  I had a few plants ready to plant, but was thwarted by the job being harder than I expected.  The root mass was especially  thick around a CoHo Charters sign that had been skillfully undamaged.

roots and black plastic under the soil and lava rock

Although we got it almost done, my anxiety level was high because Allan had to water the Ilwaco planters, a two hour job from start to finish (including watering our two volunteer pocket gardens).  A friend stopped to give us a political campaign sign (the wonderful Carolyn Long for Congress!) and we ran out of time and had to stop the Howerton bed before we were done.

Allan took the water trailer and watered the planters.

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ at city hall before he deadheaded…

and after.

I walked the planters, checking on them for weeds (mostly chickweed) and deadheads. I finished at the planters by the boatyard…

Aster ‘Harrington’s Pink’

…and then walked home, looking for the feral cats along Main Street.  I felt bad that I scared them off a chicken dinner that someone had left on a plate.

one of three storage lots where the wild cats live

waiting for me to leave so that dinner could resume

In the book I’ve been reading, Wind-Harps by Marion Cran, she learns that her new Siamese cat is actually related by blood to her beloved Tatty-Bogle, a Siamese whose death she still mourned.  I realized then that perhaps the soft looking and so shy grey cat who lives in the feral colony would perhaps be related to my late much lamented Smoky, who was born wild in Ilwaco just a couple of blocks from there.  I have only seen grey cat twice; he may be the shyest of all.

I deadheaded in the almost dusk at the volunteer Post Office and Fire Station gardens.  Allan was not happy that he finished up in almost darkness, dangerous in traffic.  The day ended on a stressful note. More like a medley of stress.  I will be so glad when watering season is over.  It is the one task that creates the most pressure because when the plants are dry, it must be done.  Shorter days make it harder to fit in an evening watering job like Ilwaco planters.

Allan has decided that he will participate in a local book fair with his self published guide to paddle trips in SW Washington and NW Oregon.  You can find him on Saturday, Oct 6th, at this event:









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Thursday, 23 August 2018

Js garden

Allan mowed the little pocket lawn and I weeded at J’s across the street.

front garden with carpet of thyme (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We had to trim more off the top of the dang blangity non-blooming Cosmos ‘Sensation’ mix.

feeling irritated

Of course, that will delay bloom even more.  If I had more time or energy, I might tear it all out and put something else in….but the tourist season only has two weeks to go, and by mid September surely it will throw out some side flowers…?? I live in hope.


back—I should have cut more.

As the director of the Bellevue Botanical Border said at Hardy Plant Weekend, “When we make a mistake, it is in public for everyone to see.”  This was not exactly a mistake because this once was a reliably good plant.

Here is the frog who lives in the water box. (Allan’s photo)

Downtown, Allan went south and I went north watering planters. While watering planters on Third Street in Long Beach, I enjoyed the music of this busker and I gave him a few dollars.

The sky was blue, the sun was out, and not too hot, and we had a brisk but not too brisk wind.  Perfect for the kite festival.  The entryway to the Bolstad approach was as close as either of us got to kite festival this week.

A city crew member jokingly asked us, “Why aren’t you out flying your kite today?” When I said no energy, he knew just how I felt.  Work consumes all my energy and then I just want to be home, gathering up some new energy from my garden for the next work week.

I walked a block to the east to get a closer look at a little garden that someone has made behind the Elks lodge in a raised round bed that used to be all horsetail.

Someone is deadheading regularly here.

I wish my fiery celosia at the fire station had done this well.

Allan noticed someone was stripping flowers off the two of the lavenders in two of the planters.

I swear I just might hang signs in them like I did on the blue globe thistle in the boatyard garden (“Please don’t pick me”, on a card hung right on the plant, proved to be effective).

We finished Long Beach with a tidy of the Veterans Field gardens.

Helenium ‘Mariachi’ (pretty sure) in Vet field

Shelburne Hotel

 We had made good time in Long Beach and got to the Shelburne 45 minutes early than usual.  We managed to keep that lead, a good thing as it is now getting dark around eight.  No more ten hour days!

We watered, deadheaded, did some but not a lot of garden clean up.  Deadheading the sweet peas is the most time consuming thing now.

sweet peas and Japanese anemones

Sweet pea ‘Blue Shift’ (maybe)

looking north

looking south

Allan was able to get onto the Room Four deck to do some much needed deadheading.  We are going to move the rose down into the garden this fall and replace it with a non deadheading sort of plant.

It looked quite sad when he got there, with black spot and dead flowers.

And will replace the cosmos with some sort of non deadhead-y plants. And will put the dahlia in the garden. It’s a nice red one.

This sort of pot, on the room 11 deck, needed no care and looks just fine.

chatting with some appreciative guests

the back garden (where you can dine from the pub menu)

one of the succulent pots on the back lower decks


Allan watered the street trees and planters while I watered and did some weeding at the boatyard.

What a relief it was to breathe clean, non smoky air.

view from the south end of the boatyard today….

and on Monday, when it was so smoky I could barely see a boat coming in.

an interestingly fasciated euphorbia at the boatyard

taken from behind the fence because I water from behind the fence

as I walked along pulling horsetail; looking south

I walked home via some weeding and deadheading at the Ilwaco Fire Station garden.

Now for three much anticipated days off, two at home and one garden tour day on the north Oregon coast.  It will be the last touring trip off the peninsula this year.  We are skipping the Cannon Beach cottage tour so that Allan can enjoy the Rod Run auto show here with Scott and Tony.  And…I am tired and just want to stay on the peninsula for September. So…if you count on us to show you that tour by blogging about it, you had best get yourself tickets and go.

Allan’s photo: He finished watering at the post office garden at sunset.

I wrote a blog post while Allan worked on his boating blog and then made dinner.  (For those who wonder how I garden, read, and blog, it is because Allan cooks dinner that this blog can happen on a daily basis in work season.)  Just as we sat down to eat and watch telly at ten PM, I noticed that my night blooming cereus flower had opened.  It did not seem as scented as usual.  To think we might have missed it!

As we watched our telly, the delicate scent of the flower emerged and floated around the room.

I am so happy that our three day weekend starts tomorrow.  This time, I will not stay on the property the whole time, because on Saturday we are going garden touring.

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Monday, 13 August 2018

guest photos!

Mary of Klipsan Beach Cottages sent me two photos last night:

Bella in the KBC garden

and a snake in the shrubbery (good for eating slugs and snails)

before work today:

We duck under these apple-laden branches to leave the front porch.

carrying one of three clumps of daylilies to plant at the Shelburne later

In the front garden, a late poppy must be Mother of Pearl or Angel’s Choir.

Our volunteer garden at the post office, where we stop every day but Sunday because there is no home delivery of mail where we live:

A few days ago, the Ilwaco Timberland Library posted this nice thing on Facebook:

Long Beach

We weeded four more sections of the beach approach, just leaving three and an end cap to go.  I hope to finish it tomorrow, as well as trimming back the rugosa roses by the police station.  Kite Festival starts next Monday so we want the approach to look as good as possible, considering that it survives with no supplemental water (an impressive feat by the rugosa roses).

Allan’s photo; coreopsis does surprisingly well with no watering

I got to pet this darling dog, a schnauzer-dachshund:

Monty by name

Monty’s person and two other people asked about the rugosa rose hips.

We have this far to go…

and we have come this far

We then watered the downtown trees and planters.

A couple admiring blue eryngiums (Allan’s photo)

I took photos for the August planter reference post.  Here is a sneak preview of some, uncropped, that show the Long Beach scenery.

Lewis and Clark Square

We STILL have not tried the new Mexican restaurant behind L&C Square.  Our style is to work straight through, eating a sandwich while working or in the van between jobs.

L&C Square from across the street, police station and Vet Field to the left

Fifth Street Park, NE quadrant,  with frying pan and Allan watering

Above, to the left, a child is putting a quarter in a slot to make the Razor Clam sculpture squirt water.

Fifth Street Park, SE quadrant

I found a painted rock!

When I posted the rock on a local rock-painters group, I was told that a friend hid that one especially for me to find.  Well done!

one cottage in a courtyard of cute little cottages

looking across at west side of Fifth Street Park

In a Fifth Street Park bed, NE side, I admired this heather, even though it does not show up well.

I like heathers that are spikier, like this one.  Maybe it is a heath.  I have to read up.

rudbeckia and Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Once upon a time, I did not like orange flowers so did not grow California poppies or rudbeckia.  I have evolved.

Oregano ‘Hopley’s Purple’ is so wonderful. It goes and goes and goes.

Third Street Park

Stormin’ Norman’s and Wind World Kites

Wind World Kites

The flag shows that the wind was pushing us around today. Fortunately, it did not kick up till we were done with the beach approach.  I read later in a book by Monty Don (The Prickotty Bush) that a “lazy wind” goes right through you instead of around you.

A woman came up to me, seeing me using the hose, and said, “Now I understand.  I kept seeing you carrying a bucket and I thought, She’s sure getting a lot of water out of that bucket!” I showed her how it works:

bayonet and hose

lift the cap…

match up the notch, plug it in, twist, and Robert’s your father’s brother.

The Shelburne Hotel

Chef Casey Venus was picking some nasturtiums to garnish a cucumber soup.  I said sounded yummy and he brought us a bowl of it to share!

cold cucumber soup with crab…incredibly delicious

I was glad we had brought three clumps of daylilies from my garden to plant for his edible flower collection.

We watered and deadheaded.

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

the shady side of the front garden

It is a good thing cosmos has beautiful foliage, because most of the Sensation cosmos are just green feathery things with not a flower bud showing.


While Allan watered the street trees and planters, I watered the boatyard.  At the south end, this view made me remember taking my black lab, Bertie Woofter, to swim on the west side of the boatyard.  Robert and I had a key to the back gate.

low tide

Straight across used to be all wild but is now part of the boatyard.

memories of Bertie Woofter swimming in that very spot

My note tied onto the blue globe thistle seems to be keeping people from picking it…

…even though eight out of ten elephant garlics have been picked under one of the official “please leave the flowers” signs.

The really big boat with a lot of clutter around it is gone (with its clutter) and all the hoses were in place, so watering went smoothly and easily.

I walked home, looking for the feral main street cats.

one orange one

and a black one

Further on the way home, a block east of our house, beautiful hydrangeas in an old garden:


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Thursday, 26 July 2018

The Depot Restaurant

weeding, deadheading, watering….

a vignette at the Depot

Amazingly, the dierama wands have not been broken by parking cars.

Long Beach

We started by tidying the garden at city hall.

elephant garlic before…

and after (Allan’s photo)

One of the clothing shops has been painted a deep red, the color of my grandma’s little red house (and with white trim, too).

We watered the planters, and these two are the only other photos I took on the main drag.

I love all the healthy agastaches, here with Calif. poppies and the great ‘Hopley’s Purple’ oregano.

a meadow effect with golden oregano

Allan’s photos:

Fifth Street Park

We ran out of downtown time before trimming the Alchemilla mollis.

After downtown, we watered the eight planters on Sid Snyder Drive.

It was dinner time at one of the horse ride corrals.

I’d been hoping to see a pony in the little corral.

We next checked on the welcome sign, where the cosmos are refusing to bloom, and gave them some bloom fertilizer.

lush and feathery with no flowers


a couple of flowers on the back side

I have had all sorts of cosmos problems this year.  At the Shelburne, some are fine (especially the new one called Cupcake) but others are tall with no flowers.  At Diane’s garden and the Depot and Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, some that should be tall Sensation mix are short (but not short enough to be a mislabeled Sonata mix).  I did not fertilize each little plant while planting this year, having read that fertilizer can make them shoot up tall with no flowers.

I have always had cosmos in the welcome sign, and have had this problem before but not this badly.  I think perhaps I need to give up there and try a different plant—something with enough height to stand up to the Geranium ‘Rozanne’, something that will take our cool climate (no zinnias, for example), and an annual so that it can come out for the spring bulbs (and for horsetail clean up).

Shelburne Hotel

This is where I had been longing to be. We watered, weeded, deadheaded.

a good healthy agastache

in the back courtyard

‘Sunset’ runner beans grown by Roxanne of Basket Case Greenhouse

Front garden, looking south, with white phlox and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Nasturtium ‘Phoenix’

Front garden, looking north (I noticed the pub sign had not been hung up for the day.)

lily, with billows of unblooming cosmos

looking south from the north end

I resolved that we must mulch the frustratingly sparse looking north end.

The most northern, outside the fence bed was apparently a repository for all sorts of extra perennials, and all we have done to it is weed it.  I’d like to make it more interesting next year.

rather dull with lots of asters and orange montbretia, which have got to go.

I don’t know why I didn’t already make it better; we started this job in late February, as I recall.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Euphorbia characias wulfenii can stay.

We also learned that one more upstairs room had a balcony with a miserable little pot of half dead plants.

Allan’s photo of the private deck of room 11

He schlepped it out of the room and down the stairs.

We will replant it with something next week.

I looked at the garden from various sidewalk aspects.

This patch of Crocosmia is slowly succumbing to rust, due to too much shade and not enough air circulation.  I later came up with an idea for next year.

I longed to finish the day with a meal in the pub, but we had to leave so that we could water…


I gave the boatyard an hour of weeding and a half hour of watering while Allan watered the street trees and planters.

boatyard garden

the west side of the boatyard

Across the street from the smaller boats to the left is my old garden. The fellow who bought it from me, an accomplished and creative carpenter, has it almost paid off.  I would love to see the remodeling he has done.  I dream sometimes about going there and finidng it all changed.

My “please don’t pick me” sign on the Echinops appears to be working.

watering from behind the fence

I’m going to divide this vigorous helianthus into several more clumps.

same audience every time I water here

One of the two chickadees posed as a figurehead.

I am pleased the deer don’t eat the lilies.

Meanwhile, Allan had pulled the flower-jacked gladiolus corms.


I still do not know who sticks glads in the planters.  It is not working out well as the flowers get so frequently stolen.

I went with Allan to weed while he watered the fire station garden when he’d finished the planters (at 8 PM).

our volunteer garden at Ilwaco Fire Dept.

my two terribly slow ornamental corn plants from seed

When we got home at twilight, I was pleased to see that the Norwood house had been painted a pretty pale blue by Precision Coast Painting, which had accomplished this excellent job quickly and quietly without a noisy paint sprayer.

A pretty addition of colour to our street



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Monday, 23 July 2018

Long Beach

We watered, deadheaded, and otherwise tidied the street trees gardens and planters. The wind was annoying but not terribly cold…yet.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo


Variegated bulbous oat grass, which to some looks like a weed.

But look! It’s variegated! (At least unless it reverts to green blades and then out it goes.)

Allan’s photo: Funny hats are a common sight in Long Beach.

new lilies in Fifth Street Park

For those familiar with Long Beach, you will know where I mean when I say the two garden beds just south of Funland are not ours to care for.  Funland just mulched them with these pine needles; both Allan and I found that interesting when we walked by it at different times.

my photo

Allan’s photo

Allan got done before me and pulled horsetail from the corner bed at Veterans Field, where he found a sign of the Friday Farmers Market:

among the Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’ (Allan’s photo)

I recently read that Brodiaea likes dry conditions and so am going to try it out at the port curbside gardens.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ at the Vet Field flag pavilion

I wonder if after we finally retire from LB someday, will someone put in a more traditional red, white and blue garden?

I took photos of 17 of the 18 street tree gardens and am going to publish a reference post (just once, not every month) tomorrow morning. (There is a long, non-bloggable story of why just 17.)

Shelburne Hotel

We watered, including Allan checking on the upstairs balcony and deck pots.

room 4 deck

The rose that got moved to the room 4 deck is going to flower. I hope it is a good one and not some old root stock.  It is happy here.

I love working at the Shelburne.  The garden makes me happy.  Today was an intense session of thinning and editing, including pulling a sheaf of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ had appeared to have gladiolus rust and needed to depart the garden post haste, bagged.  There is way too much Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ spread all around anyway, although I did not feel as much that way when it was in full bloom.

Along the railing (right) is where I pulled suspect crocosmia.

I debated in early spring about whether to prune or remove that ‘Helmond Pillar’ Barberry. Glad I pruned the pitiful branches and let it revive itself.

The garden got some breathing room by the pulling of running aster, mostly.

I keep cutting back the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ so it won’t block the pub sign from the street view.


When we left the sheltered Shelburne garden, we realized that a strong cold wind of at least 20 mph had kicked up.  It was blasting fiercely along the boatyard garden, where I had to water.  I felt tremendously sorry for myself, wearing a winter scarf in late July and so very cold.

not enjoyable at all

my audience

I wondered if the birds were cold, too.

The larger boats gave me some temporary shelter from the cold north wind.

I had no will to weed in the icy gale.

horrible horsetail

After watering and deadheading a few sweet peas, I just walked by the garden and on home.

Someone had picked more blue globe thistle right under one of the signs…

“Please leave flowers for everyone to enjoy.”

…and had pulled some out by the roots and just left it there.

Perhaps a passerby interrupted the thievery or perhaps the thief decided the stem was too stickery.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ is looking brown instead of silver.

too much wind? not enough water?

?? why?

santolina with pesky self sown orange montbretia

I’d like to pull swathes of floppy California poppies, but not today.

My walk home:

mystery paths in the field across the street

First Avenue

Behind the museum is the Discovery Garden, which is now maintained by the Pacific County Master Gardeners.

Interpretive sign from the original park installation.

This was formerly a recirculating stream.

formerly upper pool of little stream

Our friend Bill Clearman helped to construct this memorial wall.  I feel that these big planters distract from viewing its beauty.

This was the unobstructed wall years ago.

The tiles are by Renee O’Connor.

As for the plans that the MGs have for this garden, you can read about their project here.  I am not a Master Gardener so am not involved in this volunteer project.  I admit to a prejudice against “native plant gardens”. It is a rare artificially created native landscape that doesn’t look just scruffy, in my opinion.  It can be done, by the brilliant Leslie Buck, for one.

I hoped to see some of the feral cat colony (featuring many orange cats with quizzical faces) further down the block.  They were all sheltered somewhere out of the wind.

On Main Street (which is not very “main”, being only two and a half blocks long).

Meanwhile, Allan had watered the Ilwaco street trees and planters with the water trailer, also not enjoyable I am sure (but at least it is a little bit in and out of the van and thus with breaks from the wind).

for those interested in the mechanics of watering the Ilwaco planters

We did not plant gladiolas in any of the planters.  Someone persists in planting them in the planters, and someone (else, I am sure) persists in picking them pretty much every year when they are at their best.

finger blight

I told Allan later to just pull out the foliage and corm when that happens.

I texted him when I got home; he had just started hose watering our volunteer gardens at the fire station and the post office.  A nine hour day for me and longer for him.


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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Someone didn’t want us to go to work.

Long Beach

We watered the downtown planters.  I chatted, while watering, with Max of Carnival Gifts about his electric bike and told him my favourite blogger might be interested to see some photos.

From an article in Coast River Business Journal, written by Luke Whittaker.  I wish I could find it online to share:

the Dapper Mobile, photographed by Allan earlier this month

Allan’s photo

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Allan’s photo)

(I realized when proofreading that the rest of this Long Beach segment is just a lot of kvetching.  Sorry!)

I did four blocks worth of planters and Allan did two, so that he would have time to apply the string trimmer to a difficult. rooty, wet area of Fifth Street Park that is time consuming and unsuccessful to weed.


after, maybe a little better?  At least the weed sedges are topped off.

What a mess that bed is, with everything wrapped in the roots of the trees.

Meanwhile, while I was watering, a shopkeeper told me that the tree beds on her block get walked in by kids whose parents are sitting on the bench.  We mulched one of the small beds on Monday, and I am thinking about something tougher (but not thorny) to plant in fall.  A poppy which had reseeded in there from somewhere (one I had not planted) was being closely watched for seeds by the shopkeeper.  However, today I saw that someone had picked the green poppy seed heads. How disappointing.

You can see the bare stems against the tree.

Two of the trees on other blocks have no working water, so their little gardens will have a sparser look as the summer goes by.  They were planted back when they did have working water, back when I would stick in plants I could get for free.

That’s why this one looks kind of dead along the curb.

My favourite planter is off balance because a golden fuchsia dwindled on one side and an agastache plotzed on the other side.

still my favourite nevertheless

Below: Here is some painted sage that is looking not bad.  No one has asked what it is for the past two years. In olden times it was my most asked about plant.

Salvia viridis and Cosmos ‘Sonata’

My plan had been to tidy the Veterans Field gardens after Fifth Street Park and then head for the Shelburne, where I longed to be. I had neglected to pay attention to the events schedule.  When I saw the signs for Sandsations sand sculpture contest out at the beach, I realized with a sense of doom (to my planned time schedule) that the beach approaches would be in extra heavy use this weekend and therefore their planters needed to be checked.

Sandsations just starting up (Allan’s photo)

Fortunately, the Bolstad approach garden did not look too bad.

The planters, which have no plumbing for watering, are another story.  When we got into our sixties, we stopped watering them by schlepping buckets of water.  That would be about four hundred pounds of water a week, and we are too old for that.  They get a light spray now and then from the city crew and their pump truck.  No one has time to soak them the way they need. (They started out years ago being done by volunteers.)

popped off seed heads of sea thrift (Allan’s photo)

unhappy rosemary

even the beach strawberry is drying up…

Some of them could be watered by a hose, a time consuming task that involves dragging a long hose for blocks and hooking it up in holes in the ground (under metal hatches, where jumping spiders live).  Not only am I too busy for that now, but that water line has been turned off for the last few years.

The Bolstad planter which I had originally done as a volunteer has a kite stealing light pole.

Allan’s photo

So, what does okay in those planters? Santolina, so far, and some lavenders, although I don’t know if they will look like much after two more months of drought. Armeria does okay but gets stolen a lot.

clipping thirsty catmint, with a santolina in view

Santolina viridis

My plan: dig out that beach strawberry, add new soil, and stick in more cuttings of santolina.  I cannot put in new plants because they will be stolen.  Cuttings might survive.  I can’t use charming succulents because of thieving varmints.

At ground level, the drought tolerant common plants have their roots firmly down and are able to survive and still provide some beauty.

It was a pleasure to get over to the Sid Snyder Drive approach where each planter is plumbed with cold delicious water to which we hook up our short hoses.

My views while watering near the trail rides:

Inn at Discovery Coast (with ocean view) is owned by the same good folks who now own the Shelburne.

On the way back to town, we checked on the World Kite Museum which is being well cared for and watered by the staff.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

penstemon in one of the planters

Finally, we were able to go to

The Shelburne Hotel

whose garden I had been longing to be in all day.

I had made up a pot of corkscrew sedge to put in our new little shady bog garden. It is a plastic basin sunk in by where people walk into the restaurant dining room (open now on Friday and Saturday nights).  I don’t know when it was installed.  Perhaps it was intended to be a pond, but it is filled now with mud.

Monday it looked like this:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it.


The corkscrew sedge is not as exciting as I thought it would be.  Next week, we will put in some golden hued grass that likes wet feet.  I had to drag David, a staff member, over to see this project because I am really quite chuffed about it. He liked it, too.

We watered and did as much garden tidying and editing as two hours allowed.  Saturday, there will be a “garden chat” with a local political candidate, so we wanted the garden to look its best.  We soaked it extra well because we want Friday off and will be garden touring in Oregon on Saturday the 21st.

My garden appreciation tour when we were done:

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Shelburne painted sage looking great!

looking north from main entry

looking south

south side of the front garden

At the end of that south path is my nemesis, which was here already when I first worked in this garden twenty years ago.

the dreaded variegated aegepodium (ground elder)

To my right, in great quantity, aegepodium

In the back garden, I am still working on filling in a shade border that is partly choked with houttynia, an aggressive ground cover.

This part still is frustrating to me.  The houttynia part is behind me while I took this.

The totem garden is coming along nicely.

I then had to tear myself away from the Shelburne to weed in


at the boatyard garden while Allan watered the planters.  I knew I’d be stuck at the boatyard for over an hour and a half, with the wheelbarrow and trailer, while Allan watered the planters with the water trailer.  It seemed like an awfully long time when I started at seven, but I found plenty to do.

an evening of weeding

I found pulled and cut elephant garlic right by one of Don Nisbett’s new please don’t pick the flowers signs.

insert frowning emoji here

The Pennisetum macrourum we pulled huge clumps of this spring is determined to come back.  Humans will win this one.

looking south

a passerby

Allan’s watering photos:

Someone, not us, planted gladiolus in the Peninsula Sanitation planter.

deer are still eating the nasturtiums

bachelor buttons in our volunteer garden at the fire station

Tomorrow: a day off to recuperate and garden putter before the Tillamook garden tour. You might have noticed we have not had our Garden Gang weekly dinner or indeed any dinners out lately.  The watering needs are all consuming and have swallowed up our dining out time.

Friday, 20 July 2018

I puttered rather aimlessly in the garden, accomplishing little other than weeding one small difficult area and running six sprinklers in succession.  I find unless I have at least two days off in a row, with the first to recuperate from work, I don’t get much done.  I had no camera with me so no record of my meager gardening.

I certainly did enjoy being out there, though.  The garden, albeit somewhat weedy, was looking quite fine and I was surrounded by lily fragrance.

We had four visitors, a mother and daughter:

with Sara and Connie

a fun visit

Connie has moved close by so I look forward to visiting her soon and meeting her poodles, one young and large and one elderly and small.  Really avid blog readers might recall a walk home from the boatyard when I hesitated to walk up a local street because of a big black unfamiliar dog.  Turns out that was Sara’s dog, visiting Connie, and he is a nice friendly dog who I also want to meet soon.

Later, our neighbour Jessika of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm came to tour the garden with her six month old, Willa.  Allan was out and missed the fun of seeing Willa’s attentiveness and interest in assorted flowers.

Tomorrow: We will begin three days of double posting of the Tillamook/Cape Meares garden tour, with the final tour garden being quite phenomenal.











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Wednesday, 17 July 2018

I call the day we go to Klipsan Beach Cottages our “north end” day out of habit, because it used to include Marilyn’s garden up in Surfside.  KBC is north, but the peninsula goes on considerably further north.

You can see above Grayland, on the other side of the mouth of Willapa Bay, where we had such lovely garden touring on the weekend.

We started at

The Depot Restaurant

with the usual weeding and no watering.  Although the sprinkler system does not hit the whole garden, last night’s rain had it wet enough.

Direama (Angel’s Fishing Rod)

I deadheaded and checked on the watering of the plantings on the north side; the window boxes and barrels were planted up by Roxanne of the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Just west across the street is the Sou’wester Lodge and RV park, where cabins and vintage trailers are for rent.  All sorts of interesting artistic and musical events happen there.  For the last almost two years, I have been too tired to go to them; it’s not that I have lost interest. The energy to get out and about in the evening is not there, especially if it involves socializing with new people.  I get too tired to make words (although Allan might disagree about how many words I make).

I advise you to check The Sou’wester out, maybe stay there when you visit our area.

At the Depot, I keep picking away at the escallonia that wants to block the sign.  Yes, if it were mine, I would cut it all the way down.  But I can’t here, so I keep thinning it to try to get new growth all the way through, and then I can cut it way back.  It was not such a problem before that sign about the Clamshell Railway went in.

We stopped at Sid’s Market, across the street from the Shelburne, for some milk for a friend.  With no cars parked in front, I had a great view of the Shelburne Hotel.

The Red Barn

We did our usual weeding, watering and deadheading.  The deadheading of shasta daisies has begun.

our good friend Rosie and the garden

by the main barn door

It’s a small garden.

I like seeing the horses.

by the side barn door


Diane’s garden

When we arrived at Diane’s garden, I saw a big hanging basket with a card sitting on the back steps and immediately knew that Larry, who had been very ill, had passed away.  The garden today was cared for with sadness.  Every galvanized container, large and small, in my garden is from Larry, who used to collect them for us.  He had a saw sharpening business in the past and made a special little rig (my word) to sharpen the blades of Allan’s little rechargeable chain saw.

I had decided to plant one of my three Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’ from Markham Farm along the roadside garden, because it is a tough plant. A bee discovered it while it was waiting in the parking area.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

in its new home (Allan’s photo)

roadside garden

the raised box garden

Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’

Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Cocktail’

The Basket Case Greenhouse

Roxanne had grown me some Eryngium giganteum from a seed packet I bought.  I am terrible at growing from seed.  They look good.

I bought them all.  She also gave me some agastaches and other plants that she grew from seed as a gift to comfort me for the earlier Agastache Catastrophe of 2018. Please note that her nursery had nothing to do with said catastrophe; she was just sympathetic because I kvetched a lot to her about it.

Roxanne and a bouquet

Fortunately, Allan realized before we drove off that I had put the flat of eryngiums on the trailer hitch and forgotten to load them into the van. Otherwise we would perhaps have had an eryngium catastrophe today.

Joe’s Place

We had two things to deliver to our friend Joe, whose truck was broken down: a maritime history magazine from the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and a half gallon of milk.  I have written about Joe’s place before, here.

Joe, a veteran, is flying his flag as a distress signal because of his concern over the Trump-Putin connection.

Joe creates and sells “Dangerous Toys”.

driveway partly made of crushed china

fence; I share Joe’s liking for old Spartan trailers.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Just our usual summertime hour of tidying the fenced garden and surrounding areas.

outside the fenced garden

elephant garlic with little paper hat on



and lily

and lily

and lily



And what do I see in the photo above but a bunch of bindweed that I missed while I was there.

agapanthus, much deeper blue than the bright sunlight shows

Allan’s photo

our good friend Bella (Allan’s photo)

Shelburne Hotel

We would be watering and tidying tomorrow.  Today, we just had a little project, putting a canna in the bog garden that Allan cleared of blackberries last time.  Even though it won’t get enough sun, I hope it will look ok for the rest of the summer.  My plan is to put some darmera peltata starts in there in the fall.

Last time:

This odd little nook had the native blackberry in it.


Allan’s photo

A big plastic tub is in the basis for this; maybe it was once supposed to be a pool.  It is by the ramp where one enters the north side of the restaurant dining room:

Or one can walk this way to the front door.

In the back yard, I found that the Sunset runner beans (grown from seed by Roxanne) have beans now.

front garden: sorry to see the goatsbeard flowers fading to brown

Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

Port of Ilwaco

We did the watering of the curbside gardens.

telephoto at midway

Allan had bought a new hose (because of the one that got its end driven on yesterday).  I am pleased that it is long enough to reach the drive-over garden…if I shoot the water at it from five feet away.

Allan dragged the heavy hose for me past the garden he was watering to the next one.

by ArtPort Gallery

I delegate most of the weeding of that one to Allan because I find it painful to walk on river rock.

my view while dumping some garbage in a port wheelie bin

A bit of our old garden is trying to survive the construction (new wall and windows) at the port office.

Hang in there, garden will be back soon.

pots at OleBob’s Café and fish market

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Eryngium (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I think that when Sapphire Blue reseeds itself, it turns itself into this basic, beautiful, smaller flowered eryngium.  Is that possible?

If we can polish off the rest of the week’s tasks tomorrow, we will have Friday off. I want to enjoy my own garden in the peak of my lily season.



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In real time, this is tomorrow:

Monday, 2 July 2018

Long Beach

We tidied up the much neglected popouts on Ocean Beach Boulevard, because they will get lots of walk-bys on the Fourth of July.  These three popouts never get supplemental water.

little pop out before


sidewalk tile by Renee O’Connor

next little pop out before

after (Allan’s photos)

big pop out; so far, the roses are not too tall to block traffic sightlines.


after (Allan’s photos)

There is a fourth tiny popout that I completely forgot about.  Ooooops.

We dumped a load of debris.

in the pond at the city works yard (Allan’s photo)

We watered the street trees (Allan) and planters (both of us–18 trees and 36 plus planters).

Allan’s photo: oenothera on the run

busy town (Allan’s photo)

It is hard to make one’s way through with hose and buckets sometimes.

Salvia viridis, Cosmos ‘Pop Socks’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, diascia (Allan’s photo)

Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ and Alchemilla mollis (Allan’s photo)

Allium christophii and California poppies

No one asked about Alliums today.  The Fourth of July draws a different sort of crowd. I have noticed this before.

A snail tried a great escape from my bucket. I have a place where I release them.

Third Street intersection

The most sat upon planter with Calif poppy pushed over.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at Wind World Kites

Baskets by Basket Case Greenhouse

The smell of sugar for a block around Scoopers ice cream shop…

We need to find time to weed the pond garden….

Fifth Street Park

lots of Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’

sidalcea and Melianthus major


This veronica has to go…when we have time. Cutting back did not inspire new growth fast enough.

Shelburne Hotel

Allan did the watering while I focused on weeding.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in time for July 4th…and hummingbird!  (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Hymenocallis narcissiflora (Allan’s photo) AKA Peruvian daffodil

north end front garden (with the dreaded variegated ground elder, right)

looking north

looking south from the entry

looking south from the north end

I had gotten the garden looking as good as possible in the time that I had, because we were expecting extra special company tomorrow and Wednesday to tour some peninsula gardens.

Allan went on to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters while I went home to do some more weeding in our garden to prepare for company.




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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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