Posts Tagged ‘Shelburne Pub’

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Again, the night had been just below freezing. The front garden still had a vestige of Friday’s snow.


Allan reset the sundial an hour ahead

We began next door but one (two doors down) at The Norwood Garden.

Before (Allan’s photo)

The north bed felt cold on working hands. At least the ground was not frozen and so we could accomplish our weeding.

I’m thinking that small hardy fuchsias would be good in here between the hydrangeas. Must wait till warmer weather before planting them.

On the east side:

Next, we went several blocks east to Mike’s garden.

Allen trimmed the pampas grass… I have only planted one pampas grass in all my years of gardening, in my first year on the peninsula. We have, however, had to care for many. They have now made it to the noxious weed list.

After (Allan’s photo)

The front garden’s variegated buddleia needed a trim (another noxious weed plant I do not plant, except for the new sterile cultivars on rare occasion, but I take care of some that are already established and make sure that they do not reseed).

The front garden then got a good tidy up and path raking.

Allan’s photo

The gorgeous red flowering pieris might win someone over to pieris who has so far resisted them.

The ground on the shady north side was frozen.

That was the last of the garden wake up calls for this spring.

We went on to Seaview, to weed and tidy at The Shelburne Hotel.

Allan went up to the second floor decks to check on the planters.

Old planting of fennel, not by us, before and after.

He tidied the little bog garden on the north side of the building. I wonder if the canna will come back; I doubt it.

I learned this winter on Gardeners’ World that one should remove old figs from a fig tree to get better new fruits. I had forgotten to do so.

It is done now.

I thought the hardy jasmine had plotzed…

…but a closer look gave me some hope of new buds. I just clipped off some of the dead leaves.

The front garden has lots of small bulbs blooming already, and more exciting bulb foliage coming on.

The rapidly dropping temperature in the late afternoon inspired Allan to ask if we were going into the pub after work. Yes. We enjoyed hot toddies….

…a special of fried calamari…

…comfort food of mac and cheese…

…and a smoked salmon Reuben.

At home, the wake up calls are now all erased from the work board.

I enjoyed the look of that for a moment before creating the new work list with the sometimes dreaded beach approach weeding.

I don’t feel the dread of it as much this year, perhaps because I feel well caught up with work so far.

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

This is out of order with Allan’s post from yesterday.  That makes me feel all squiggly but it cannot be helped now.

Before I could start on gardening projects, we almost came through on our offer to help Jenna move three loads of furniture and boxes to her new Mermaid Sandcastle in Long Beach.  I say almost because after two loads we all pooped out.

Before leaving home, I saw that the tommy crocuses are beginning to bloom.  This means I have left it too late to achieve my big plan of the winter mulching with eight yards of soil energy.

This first narcissus has been blooming for a week.

As has this hamamelis.

Pieris full of buds.

Iris unguicularis

However, my new project will generate some soil and will cost more than the eight yards of soil energy would have, I fear.

At noon, we joined Jenna at her Ilwaco shop and started packing the van and trailer.

Jenna in her Ilwaco venue, before dismantling it to move.

While we were loading, two darling dogs on the loose came by, on a run away from Biocharm Farm east of Ilwaco.

He had run through a marsh.

Their human came to fetch them.

Between loads, we delivered a B&O tax form to Long Beach City Hall, where we found a hellebore blooming.

For our second load, a strong friend of Jenna’s showed up in Ilwaco and helped Allan load some heavy furniture sorts of things into the trailer…and then he did not come to Long Beach to help unload them!  That was the end of the idea of doing the third load. After we hit the wall of exhaustion, the three of us repaired to the Shelburne Pub for dinner.

It was light enough to look at the Shelburne garden.

I concluded (or hoped) it can wait till the second week of February before we start work.

I was pleased to see this in the front door window.

While Jenna and I settled into a cozy corner of the pub….

….Allan went upstairs to check on the second floor plants.  I was so pleased to see in his photos that they look good.

room 4 deck

on another tiny deck

on the big deck with Narcissus ‘Julia Jane’

old nandinas on the big deck

We toasted Jenna’s new Mermaid Sandcastle.

And then we feasted.

new hummus appetizer

my favourite: chopped salad with chicken

Allan’s mushroom burger

Dessert followed.

I hoped for good weather so that my project could proceed at home.



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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

With some colder weather in store, Allan had tried adding some plastic to the sides of the greenhouse lean to:

Allan’s photo

We found out this morning that it was so flappy and noisy in the wind that I worried it would keep our neighbours to the east awake.  Adding weights to the bottom did not help, so down it came.  The lean-to is useful enough without doors as it should keep frost off of tender plants.  Allan may add something stronger, but removable, for the coldest nights, once it gets figured out…

I began a project of cutting back honeysuckle and hops, all tangled with a lot of dead in it, on the arbors to the east of the compost bins.


I was quite enjoying the task when I happened to look at my pineapple sage and realized that the cold had surely damaged plants in the less sheltered Long Beach gardens.

pineapple sage

and Nicotiana ‘Fragrant Cloud’

So halfway into the afternoon, we had to switch gears and go to work.

We pulled the last of the Ilwaco cosmos…

….at the boatyard garden…

….and the Ilwaco pavilion garden.

We checked on the window boxes and barrels at the Depot Restaurant in Seaview and found that the annuals were still not ready to pull, even though I wish they were.

Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ still has some yellow daisies….

and the window boxes still have some flowers.

In Long Beach, we cut down chrysanthemums and Salvia leucantha in several planters.  The city crew has had to dig in one of them, probably for electrical Christmas lights reasons.

Oh, dear.

I visited NIVA green for a bit of Christmas shopping.

beautiful new velvet bags, too soft for my lifestyle

There is one photo I cannot show because a Christmas present is front and center.

I was able to tell Heather in person that I was going to remove myself as co-administrator of the NIVA green Facebook page, because her assistant, Wes, is now doing such a great job with it.  It is much better for someone who is on the spot to do it, and my grandmother told me many times that too many cooks spoil the broth.  I have another place to share my photos: the “favourite shops” album on my own Our Long Beach Peninsula page.  For all its flaws, Facebook is a strong connector in our beach communities.

We finished Long Beach by clipping back some frost-limp perennials in Fifth Street Park, where the very last cosmos got pulled.  Allan had covered the gunnera with leaves during an errand run the day before.

Our last work stop was brief.  I finally cut the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen that was STILL blooming in front of the Shelburne.  I no longer wanted to wonder every day if it looked good or was frost blackened.

This one lonely stem had emerged unplanned.

the fig tree

pineapple sage looking better than mine

We rewarded ourselves for our staycation work day with dinner at the pub.

Our drinks:

I had never heard of a Salty Dog drink.  Delicious because I love salt and I love grapefruit juice.  Amazingly, Allan had never before had a hot buttered rum.

view from our favourite table

chopped salad with chicken and a pub burger

and our favourite desserts

My BOOK had arrived at the post office today, per an email notice, but it was closed so I would have to wait till tomorrow.  I read a short book instead, which turned out to be a moderately well written and quite interesting experience of the Hillary Clinton campaign, 2016.

As with Hillary’s memoir, What Happened, I felt by the end that Hillary would be a good and kind person to know (and a much finer president than what we have now).





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Friday, 16 November 2018

Klipsan Beach Cottages

the gardens and Mary and Denny’s soon to be former house, where the new manager will live

I have been the gardener at Klipsan Beach Cottages for over 22 years, first with Robert, and since 2005 with Allan, and have often written of it being my favourite job.  I posted a series about the garden through the year in 2012, starting here.

When we first began, the garden looked like this:

KBC garden 1998. simple railroad tie beds with herbs, and no deer fence

Robert and I helped with the big project that turned the above area into a fenced garden and enabled Mary to grow her favourite roses safe from the deer.

We have known all this year (and for the couple of years before) that longtime owners/managers Denny and Mary would be retiring at the end of 2018, and we had decided to retire with them from this one beloved job.  It had become our only north end job, which makes little sense because of the longish drive there and back.  And I just cannot imagine working there without Mary’s involvement in the garden and Denny coming outside to josh with us at “beer-thirty” at the end of the afternoon.

Mary and Denny will be living in Naselle, only ten minutes further of a drive for a social visit than the drive to go to work at KBC.

I will miss seeing them and my good friend Bella every week.

My sentimentality began with the view from where we park on the north side of the fenced garden.

the next door property with wild evergreen huckleberry

Sometimes on warm summer days, a rich piney smell would greet us when we arrived, reminiscent of childhood camping trips.

We worked hard for almost five hours.  I had poignant feelings mixed with some relief that certain issues, like a BadAster invasion, too much Japanese anemone, and a running rugosa rose were no longer my problem.

Too much pink Japanese anemone (done flowering now)

We had gotten this bed partly done last time.




Poignancy was soon overshadowed by some anxiety on my part about whether or not we would get done with the fall clean up today.  We did.  Mary worked with us for most of the time.

I dug some of the lilies, originally from my mother’s garden, and potted them for Mary to take to her new garden.

some huge lily bulbs (Allan’s photo)

assorted sizes (Allan’s photo)

Allan potted them up. (Allan’s photo)

Todd stopped by partway through the day with some snowdrop bulbs for me.  I had forgotten to order any.

Todd, Bella, Mary (Allan’s photo); I had given him a piece of a special phlomis that is shorter than the usual one.

In the garage, Allan photographed the usual squeeze between the truck and the golf cart that is used to ferry cleaning supplies and laundry to the cottages.

I feel quite verklempt about about the rebar gates that Robert built being left behind, but it is not as if Mary and Denny could take them to Naselle and leave the garden gateless.

the east gate of the fenced garden

Robert called this design the “fish gate”.

the south gate

Each gate has Robert’s hinge design.

In 2003, Robert built these steps for access to the pond pump.

I suggested to Mary that they take Robert’s free standing garden tuteur to their new garden.  She had not thought of it and liked the idea.  Allan helped pull it out of the ground.

the rebar tuteur

When we were done, at almost dusk, I walked the garden taking photos and thinking of the many years of gardening here.

The birdbath view

The center yews when we planted them, probably 2002 or 2003

Fuchsia ‘Debron’s Black Cherry’

cottages on the ridge

north side of garden

straight path for easy wheelbarrowing

sit spot

the greenhouse Denny built beside the garage

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ trying to flower

west end of the flower garden (further west is a fenced lawn with fruit trees and roses)

upper left, one of the eight cottages on the ridge

looking back to Mary and Denny’s house

Mary had put out the winter sign.

It will wake up to new owners and new gardeners.

Closing the gate for the last time today gave me a heart pang.

outside the fenced garden

the pond (Allan’s photo)

Upstairs on the house deck, I took some overviews of the grounds.

We lingered after work for awhile in Mary and Denny’s dining room, reminiscing about our many years of working together on the garden.

This table was the setting for many lunches together back when our schedules were more leisurely and we would all take a break to dine and chat partway though the day.

I will miss Sarah and Timmie. (Allan’s photo)

After dark, as we returned to our van parked outside the north fence, I took a last look.

It is not as if I will never be at KBC again.  When Seattle Carol visits, we like to stay there.  This winter, I hope to do a few posts about the room diaries that I read the last time I stayed with Carol at KBC, on November 1st, 2017.  Because our visit was the day after my best cat Smoky died, I never did find time last winter to share the best of those journals.

I know I will be glad to not have the long weekly drive to that one job and to have more time for other gardens.  Still, it is hard to let go.  I will recommend that if the new owners and managers need gardening help, they call Willapa Gardening (Todd) or BeeKissed Gardening (Terran), both of whom live closer than we do.

The Shelburne Hotel

On the way home, we stopped at the Shelburne to plant the ten snowdrops.

This time we succumbed to the golden glow of the pub windows and had a meal to celebrate the beginning of staycation.  It has come early this year because of all the good weather.  We just worked twelve days in a row.

celebratory pear cider

a nice piece of fish with capers

Allan’s salad topped with chicken

the work board

Over staycation time, we do intend to keep checking on the Shelburne garden (now my favourite job) and occasionally on the port and Long Beach gardens.

postscript: Christmas past at KBC

I spent a few hours on the following Tuesday evening tidying up the photo albums on the KBC Facebook page, which I have been administrating and taking all the photos for since 2009. I will be turning the page over to the new owners and managers in 2019.  Because Facebook used to allow only 200 photos per photo album, some of the older garden years were split into two albums and, for the sake of decluttering, I consolidated those albums.  I ran across these sentimental photos from Christmas gatherings in Mary and Denny’s home which are no longer quite right for the page.  Here they are:

the beautiful cabinet which a local artisan made

in the living room

Sarah and Denny and MaryMom (Mary’s darling mother who lived with them till her passing a couple of years ago)


Spring, summer, autumn, winter at KBC are all good memories to treasure.

















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Sunday, 11 November 2018

Good weather and fall clean up continued.  The days have been like the best of summer, sunny but not too warm.

Long Beach

My goal was to complete a few fall clean up areas and erase them from the work board.

We began with clipping catmint and pulling crocosmia and planting the Basket Case donation of sea thrift in the Sid Snyder Drive planters.



The ocean was bright blue and calm today.

the westernmost planter

gazania still blooming

The World Kite Museum garden, on the south side of Sid Snyder, got its fall clean up.

The museum dwarfs our pots and pocket garden.



The garden needs a lavender to match the one on the right side.

I like to leave a lot of seed heads standing, for birds, so did not cut back the oregano or lavender here.

We checked up on the Bolstad beach approach planters.  I did not mention last week that we planted some sea thrift out there.  I did not want to tempt the fate that has for the last several years made plants disappear by the day after I planted them.  It was worth testing it out with free plants from the Basket Case—and the plants are still there.  I am hoping that the thief has moved away.  Or reformed.  I am not hoping the person died, although I suppose that is a possibility.  I am also hoping said person does not read this blog.

Something strange happened.  I stood at the west end of the beach approach after pulling just a few weeds there and suddenly, I fervently wished it was February or March and that we were about to embark upon the ten to thirteen day annual first weeding of the beach approach garden.  I shocked myself with a feeling of joy at the prospect.  Peculiar.

looking east down many blocks of weeding

Apparently I still like this job.  That made me wonder how I am going to make the decision to retire from Long Beach!

We turned our attention to the fall clean up at City Hall (and the big popout nearby, where I clipped back some straying rugosa roses).

City Hall garden, north side

some late Welsh poppies

We next went to Coulter Park, where Allan pulled a vast number of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in a bed that became inaccessible after a ramp was built, unless you crawl through or climb over the railing.


after (Allan’s photo)

The ramp goes to the old train depot building which will house Shoeboxes of Joy between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Shoeboxes of Joy in the old train depot, 2013

We don’t have time to make a shoebox (for local seniors) so we just give a monetary donation by popping in with some cash on a day when the volunteers are working, after Thanksgiving day.

Cotoneaster berries in Coulter Park

While Allan yanked Crocosmia, I did the fall clean up on two blocks of planters.  The planters will need a go-round again after the first hard frost.

I found a rock.

The cosmos are coming out of all the planters now.

They have little left to offer.

a planter that still has much to offer

As I took photos, my Lumix—a refurbished one less than a year old—insisted several times that it be turned off and on again, and then came the dreaded message:

Looks like another Lumix bites the dust.  (The several new Lumixes I have bought have all done the same thing after a year or less.)  I am disappointed because I like its capabilities.

I switched to my phone camera.

Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’, before…

and after, again thwarted from being eight feet tall and wide.

Chrysanthemum and Geranium ‘Rozanne’

another chrysanth just now starting to bloom—how I love them!

I have read several blog articles on Garden Rant frothing over with chrysanthemum loathing.  Fie on that!  They are quite wonderful here, bloom for ages, and return reliably in the planters.  And I adore the scent of the foliage.

When I bought my grandmother’s house in 1980, I spent some time trying to find chrysanths that were like the ones she grew when I was a child, the tall ones, almost as tall as me.  Then I realized my memory was measuring them based on my height as a little girl.

The dusky pink one just north of NIVA green is slowly fading.

Across from Dennis Company, has been blooming for weeks.

I am not going to do any fiddly deadheading at this stage.  When the frost comes, or when we go to shop at Dennis hardware for some reason, I will take that whole plant down to the base at once.  Later.

My last individual task was to pull and clip the BadAster which has been moderately welcome to grow under a street tree.

The seeds blew down the block….

Allan and I reunited by pulling some cosmos at the front of Coulter Park.  A hebe had suddenly decided to hide the memorial.


After we dumped debris, we bought four bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Building Compost at Dennis Company.  The first three went to…

The Depot Restaurant

…where I had felt that mulch was needed after yesterday’s fall clean up.



The fourth bag went to…

The Shelburne Hotel

….to fluff up the area where we had dug out loads of Crocosmia corms to make a new fuchsia bed.  I am sure the soil had been thoroughly worn out by the vigor of crocosmia.

No wonder Allan is tired by end of the day.

That bale would be un-liftable had it been outside for awhile.  Dennis sells it from inside of a building, so it is dry.

very nice for the Hawkshead fuchsia I planted there yesterday…

While I did more tidying of the path and put river rock at the back of the fuchsia bed, Allan cleaned up a neglected area on the north side of the building.


after (Allan’s photos)

I noticed the canna is blooming in the full shade mini bog garden by the fine dining entrance:

The big dining room is open with its own menu on Friday and Saturday nights.

We did some more garden trimming until dusk….

Shelburne at sunset

the garden by lamplight )Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

…and then we were lured into the pub by the warm lights through the stained glass windows.

guests by the living room fireplace

I tried a Cranberry Shrub, delicious!

I told Brooke, the young bartender, that we were celebrating the end of Mulch Week.  She replied in her delightful manner, “I don’t know what that is, but yay!”…a reminder that not everyone knows our gardening terminology.

Caesar salad, delectable black garlic fried rice, fish and chips

my favourite dessert, the cream cheese blackberry tart

But oh, the dessert Allan had is new and so delicious, a rocky road semifreddo, like a frozen mousse.  It could almost divert me from the tart…This will be a difficult choice next time.

Allan’s photo

I reflected during dinner on how I feel that the Shelburne itself wants me to be its gardener, and how it missed me during the ten years when I left the garden (because of reasons).  I feel a connection with the place that I cannot explain.

At home, I was able to erase Coulter crocosmias, beach approaches, city hall, and kite museum from the work board.

I won’t say where, but today I saw the hidden stash of a homeless person hidden in a barberry patch…

I can only imagine the misery of making a camp in a grove of barberries because of the terrible thorns:

Tiny mean thorns all over the barberry grove.





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Thursday, 8 November 2018

First, a postscript to Halloween and the 6×6 art auction.  Wendy Murry is the artist on whose 6×6 piece I always bid.  Some of her work from the past, that I am so glad to own:

and my favourite:

my favourite Wendy art of all

She told me that she would not be in the art auction this year because of being so busy but that she had made me a piece of art anyway.  On Halloween, she brought it to me, and this morning I remembered to photograph it for you.  It is a depiction of Dead Man’s Cove at Cape Disappointment.

Here is a real life view.

I am pleased and touched and grateful.

Ilwaco mulching

Today we began by loading all the buckets of mulch and applying more buckets-full to our volunteer garden at the Ilwaco Fire Department.

before, with mulching to the right hand side that was done last night.

The velvety verbascum that had placed itself right on the edge had to go.


and the long, narrow west side, too.

I think there might be a narrow bed on the east side that is just nothing; I should have a look and maybe put more Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, of which I have an endless supply, into it.

Next, we mulched our volunteer garden at the Post Office, where we used up the rest of the load of 25 five gallon buckets and 17 four gallon buckets.  That’s 193 gallons; 201 and a bit equals one cubic yard, according to my calculations.

I removed some under-performing Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ to make room for a bulb of my Lily Conca D’Or.  Look how big it is after several years in the ground!

It went in the back corner.

I have mixed feelings about all that grass in the front.  I asked the opinion of a passerby, who said she liked it.

clearing out plants while mulching

post office garden after mulching

back home, this much left (Allan’s photo)

Mike’s garden

Back at home, we reloaded all the buckets and applied them at Mike’s garden, a few blocks to the east.

ready for Mike’s garden (Allan’s photo)

autumn leaves

Mike’s front garden

mulching thickly at Mike’s, where the soil is clay and fill.

Someone else is going to remove this tatty old lilac:

And we will return soon to prune the Escallonia iveyi behind it.

Back home…

Now this much is left. (Allan’s photo)

I was in suspense whether filling all the buckets for the Shelburne would use the mulch up, or whether we would have enough left for Diane’s garden.  I was so happy that some was left over.

The Shelburne Hotel

We delivered another full complement of buckets to the Shelburne.

ready to mulch (Allan’s photo)

We usually leave the right-in-front parking spots for guests.  Not today, when we had such heavy work to do.

We not only mulched but also moved some hardy fuchsias and a hydrangea to more eye-catching locations.  I planted two of my Lily Conca D’Or, some violas, and some starts of a white veronicastrum.  Three big clumps of white astilbe that had appeared in full sun got moved to happier shady spots.

I removed a lot of badasters. and must remember to put some divisions of good asters in for autumnal beauty in 2019.

nice thick layer of Soil Energy

In case you are wondering what Soil Energy consists of: “Soil Energy combines composted wood products, aged screened sawdust, screened sand, composted chicken manure, lime, fertilizer and iron. (pH 6.2, brown tan in color, 38.9% organic matter).”

We finished after sunset.

brushing footprints out of the mulch

sweeping the path

The windows of the pub (left, below) glowed so enticingly that we went in for a work reward.

Jambalaya (ordered with no oysters, please!) with a side salad, fried chicken sandwich and small chopped salad

At home, the work board reflects that Diane’s is the only mulching job left.



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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Long Beach

At last we had time to do a project that had been weighing on my mind: dig out the wire vine, Muehlenbeckia axillaris, from the planter in front of Stormin’ Norman’s.

I planted it years ago, thinking it was a cute little trailing house plant that would not make it through the winter.  After a very few years, it had done this:

before: a great splodge of Muehlenbeckia axillaris (wire vine)

It had been cute and then had gone suddenly berserk.

We dug it out, but did not take all the soil out because we thought we could control any wire vine that popped out from pieces of root. (And oh, how we had tried to sift through and get all those pieces.)



The wire vine has returned throughout the planter despite semi-diligent attempts at control.

We were incredibly lucky during the digging out stage to get a parking spot right next to the planter.

Allan moves the trailer closer in.

such a lucky spot!


Allan’s photo

cleaning the perennials

After all the plants were out, as Allan removed the soil in the wire vine planter, I pulled the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from the next planter.



Most merchants don’t like tall plants in front of their shops. The Wind World Kites guy loves the crocosmia and jokes that he now has nowhere to hide.

After much digging and removing all the soil and the tattered years-old landscape fabric that separates soil from gravel, we found roots down IN the gravel.  This is ominous.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We hauled the heavy debris to city works and dumped it in an inhospitable spot and returned with buckets of the last of the mulch pile and some landscape fabric from the works shop.  It was utterly exhausting, heavy work, especially because this time we had to park half a block away and haul everything

My back was panging, so I answered some garden questions while standing straight against a wall.  Part of the job is to be friendly to tourists.

The woman in blue was from England and had lived there till 1958.  I asked her if she had heard of garden writer Marion Cran.  She had not.

with new fabric to keep the soil from migrating into the rock

I had had rather a stroke of genius; we also brought the last two hanging basket innards and used that soil to extend what we had.

Allan’s photos

putting plants back in

Allan deadheaded a block worth of planters while I re planted.

Allan’s photo

Upon his return, the planter was done.  Many bulbs were also replanted.

Last week:

Stormin’ Norman’s

Today, after:

I was able to salvage all the perennials by carefully inspecting their roots.  I will be watching closely for any sign of wire vine emerging from them; if it does, out they will come.

Across the street is a planter I quite like (even though the matching santolina was stolen).

I have enjoyed Cosmos ‘Xanthos’.

pink gaura

I used the pink gaura to replace the bad agastaches in the Agastache Catastrophe (a batch with diseased leaves).  The gaura has been good and has bloomed longer, with no deadheading, than the agastache does.  I will use it again next year, along with perhaps the shorter white one, ‘So White’.

colourful Long Beach

After our project, we deadheaded and tidied a few more planters.


a rogue white flower stem

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and yellow chrysanths

pink chrysanthemums starting to fade

I love the chrysanthemums that have perennialized in some of the planters.  They take up too much room to have them in every one.

The Shelburne Hotel

We had time to tidy up the back garden at the Shelburne.  Chef Casey had found akebia fruits on the south fence.  I sought them out under cover of the vine.

the akebia vine that I planted years ago

akebia fruits…I saved one to try out but I have forgotten to do so.

(I did try it a couple of days later.  The insides have a sweet pulp that is so full of seeds that there is little food to offer.)

Asian pears on the west fence

Someone had filled the bird bath with bean seeds. (Allan’s photo)

The beans in pots are well past their prime.

I picked off some moldy old beans….

…and then realized I remembered the hotel’s Halloween event and realized I should leave them till after Halloween.   I then decided to leave the old Joe Pye Weed and some other plants to add a spookier ambiance to the front garden.

spooky Joe Pye weed

“Get ready to sit, sip, and talk to the spirits at the Shelburne Hotel. Will be having Chariot reading Tarot cards by appointment (starting at 6pm on 10/26), Adrift Distillers Amaro release (10/27 from 5pm-7pm), seasonal cuisine, and cocktails that represents the spirits at the hotel.

Will be playing the Shining in the Inglenook both nights as well.


So join us for our haunted gathering at the Shelburne. Dine and drink with the ghost…maybe even say hello?”

The Shelburne’s sister hotel, Adrift, suggests something about a ghost in the garden!

Hmmm.  I’m not saying whether or not I have ever seen Annie May in the garden.

front garden, looking north

and south

Halloween is a good reason to leave the long, draping wisteria till November before a preliminary pruning.

We rewarded ourselves for an exhausting day with a tasty meal and drink in the Shelburne pub.

As diners arrived at the pub, Brian O’ Connor began to sing, as he does every Thursday.  You can sit in the living room to listen and dine, or sit in the pub with the music as ambiance.

His deep and distinctive voice has an emotional quality that draws a regular audience on Thursday nights.

We heard part of the performance during our relaxing meal.

chop salad with fried chicken, fish and chips, cranberry cosmo

The bartender and I agreed that even though we are not usually fans of fried chicken, the version offered at the pub is delectable.  (I get it as a side on the salad.)

so good

fish and chips (Allan’s photo)

My favourite dessert on the peninsula these days is the pub’s cheesecake tart with blackberry topping.

On the way home, we checked out some Halloween decorations in Ilwaco.

Lake Street

Spruce Street

Lake Street (Pirate Lucy Dagger’s house)

We have accomplished all our little work board projects other than mulching.

accomplishments still don’t include the indoor at home projects left over from last winter

I enjoyed the partial emptiness for a moment before adding Bulb Time.

That list is even missing two small job.

Tomorrow, the bulbs come and the sorting begins, a rather dreaded task that hurts my brain.






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Friday, 28 September 2018


the temperature when we left for work

Last year I swore I would not work if the temperature was over 75.  But needs must…

Shelburne Hotel

We watered the Shelburne garden just in case the predicted rain did not come.  The hotel was hosting a big weekend of food and music with a band called The Super Saturated Sugar Strings.  One of the band members, a chef, was going to prepare the Friday dinner in the Shelburne Restaurant.  I like the name of the band and it all sounded very interesting but I had no energy to attend, just to get the garden ready for guests.

The Sugar Strings event sounds fascinating as I read about it now.  I have regret at not making the effort to dig deep for a bit of extra evening energy.

“5-course dinner and Parlor in the Round music featuring members of SSSS

Sugar Strings frontman Carlyle Watt will be crafting a multi-course dinner at the historic Shelburne Hotel in Seaview, WA. Carlyle studied at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California’s Napa Valley, and he is currently the head baker and executive chef at Alaska’s award winning bakery, Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop. In 2017, he was nominated as an outstanding baker by the James Beard Foundation. Carlyle’s ability to merge baking, pastry, and culinary techniques creates a unique and memorable dining experience. When the Sugar Strings go on tour, Carlyle brings his passion for food along, hosting pop-up dinners, guest-chef appearances, and generally keeping the band well-fed to sustain their high energy shows. 

Collaborating with Carlyle in the front of the house will be The Sugar String’s bassist, Kevin Worrell, presenting his hit Alaskan singer-songwriter showcase, Parlor In The Round. This dinner theater will feature local favorites Pretty Gritty and the Strings’ own Kat Moore, taking turns with songs and stories inspired by the evening’s bill of fare. As host, Kevin will select written submissions from the audience as prompts for musical improv games, and as fodder for his quick-witted banter.”

I don’t think I could have dug deep enough for improv energy, though.  As long as no audience participation was required, I would have been ok.

A different event was taking place in the pub tonight (the hotel has a pub and a dining room).  We think that is the event for which Todd was bringing flowers.

Allan’s photos

As Todd hurried off to another obligation, Allan and I had time, for once, to do a thorough job of weeding, deadheading, and tidying the paths without rushing off to another obligation of our own.

in the Shelburne back garden

front garden, 82 degrees F.

Japanese anemones

one of two matching planters at the front entry

Not only did we have time for a nice garden tidy (except for big projects like battling the aegepodium or houttuynia), we took time for a tasty pub lunch of two new menu items.  Because we rarely take a break for lunch during a work day, our lunch is usually some sort of home made sandwich scarfed down while we work.  This was a special reward for working in hot weather.

Allan’s photo

crab cakes with apple and fennel cabbage slaw and roasted red pepper aioli

beer battered fish and chips

and that oh so good blackberry cream cheese tart

looking north into the front garden as we depart

We thought because of the heat that it would be a good night for a campfire dinner.  Allan bought some hot dog buns at the grocery store across the street while I did a tiny bit more gardening.


As soon as we approached Ilwaco, we decided the campfire idea was not a go.  Between Seaview and Ilwaco, we drove into a cool and breezy fog, so welcome after two days of heat.

I worked for awhile on the boatyard garden while Allan watered the Ilwaco planters, we fervently hope for the last time in 2018.  The Long Beach parks manager spoke this week of winterizing the LB planters because of rain being predicted, and yet the forecast only calls for slight chance of minimal rain.  I would love a good rain at last once a week now.  We are so tired of watering.

fog at the end of the boatyard

Allan’s photo

Cosmos in the boatyard that looks like ‘Happy Ring’ (which I did not plant this year).

I like Cosmos ‘Happy Ring’ very much, just have not seen it for sale anywhere lately.

solidago, sweet peas, lavender, Allium christophii seedhead

tall pink aster, possibly ‘Harrington’s Pink’

looking north

I walked home via the post office and the fire station to weed and deadhead those two small volunteer gardens.

Ilwaco Fire Department

This time, the day had been well planned enough that Allan was not out watering in the dusk.





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Wednesday, 12 Sept 2018

Fall clean up actually started at KBC yesterday.

For a brief and tempting breakfast time this mid-morning, I thought we might have the day off.  Dark Sky app suggested rain through the afternoon—reading time! joy!—and then it changed to no rain after noon.  So by noon, we were off to work.

Passersby kept telling me it was going to rain any minute.  It did not.  We have a pretty good feeling for weather, especially if the sky is light around the edges.

The Depot Restaurant

Deadheading only! No watering! I hope this trend continues.

We drove over to the east side of the highway in Seaview to drop off a good Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ at Sarah’s cottage.  (We have two Sarah friends now; I will start saying Seaview Sarah for this one.)  On the way, I photographed a Seaview garden that I like very much.

tantalizing entryway

from my passenger window

Long Beach

Now that darkness comes at 7:30, I removed the cosmos that were blocking the lights at the welcome sign.  As I am sure you know by now, the darn plants were not blooming anyway.  When we planted them, the lights had been stolen and were capped off and I did not think they were going to be replaced.

We then parked downtown and, while Allan focused intensively in the area by Fifth Street Park, I walked four and a half blocks of planters, clipping back many plants that I had left past their prime to help protect the planters from Rod Run planter sitters.

Allan getting started at my request that he pull all the beach strawberries out of a tree garden; they were smothering other plants.

Allan’s tree and park project photos:



cutting back lady’s mantle before


I think the alchemilla should have been cut back that hard during the shearing after the flowers went brown.

Allan also dug several big clumps of columbine out of a planter for me.

horrible aquilegia foliage (Allan’s photo)

I did not plant the columbines.  They have been in three of the planters since volunteer days. After making the mistake of getting soft on removing them, I cut the foliage back hard after the flowers bloom. It comes back fresh and clean and then gets columbine leaf miner again.  (“Insecticides are of little help in controlling columbine leafminers and may do more harm than good by eliminating existing natural enemies. The practical control is to ignore them…”) I cut the ugly foliage again, it comes back nice…and back comes the leaf miner.  No more columbines in the planters!  (I’ve said this before.  I mean it this time!)

One of the most tatty looking batches of California poppies was at the Fifth Street intersection.



Although there was a fair amount of this sort of smashing in the corners of the planters…

….I think my thick foliage strategy had paid off, just as it did last year.

Where California poppies still look fresh and happy, like in this planter….

…I will leave them for awhile longer.

I am also leaving the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ trailing, even if it looks sort of tired, as long as there is some blue.

In the NE quadrant of Fifth Street Park, the BadAster reigns right now.  Nature wins.

Aster douglasii and lots of it

The BadAster in my garden, too, in one area.  And at the Shelburne.  (I had pulled a lot of it there and was hoping for a better aster.  It is the same old BadAster, unfortunately.)

Fifth Street Park, NW, where Allan did a lot of good weeding:

more BadAster

The high up light post baskets have been taken down. The lower ones by the restroom, gazebo, and police station are still up and blooming.

While I trimmed up planters in the two south blocks (where only three needed attention), Allan took Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ out from under a tree, as I had done with two trees at the north end.  Usually I leave it a month longer just for some interest.  This year, the leaves looked rusty.



We had a large load of debris to dump at City Works, where I scored all the rest of the hanging baskets! (Not the baskets themselves; those go back to the Basket Case.)  Last year, I only got half of them before the rest got buried.

Got ’em ALL for my compost this year.

This is clean compost makings, no weeds or disease.  It is not organic compost makings because these were fertilized all summer with Miracle Gro.  So if I had a certified organic farm, I could not use this stuff to make mulch.

The pond behind city works is almost completely dry because of drought.

When I read the local paper, I was glad that we had not been in Long Beach for the Rod Run event.  (Slow Drag is a different and happy story.)

The Shelburne Hotel and Pub

I had generously brought a half bucket of my own soil to fill up a hole where Allan had dug a clump of rampant Spirea douglassi out yesterday.  Gardeners will know it is the utmost generosity to give up precious soil.

looking north

Violas are putting on a second show.

We decided to have a work reward dinner at the pub, and we each had the chopped salad topped with their delicious fried chicken.

The pub was almost full, I was glad to see.  It seemed many locals had reemerged now that tourist season is over.  (The wisest tourists come in late September and into October, a beautiful and quiet time here.) We had a corner table behind the bar.

view of the enclosed bar space

The food was so satisfying that we decided to put off dessert till a late lunchtime tomorrow, after we do some more Shelburne garden tidying.  Allan must try that cream cheese tart with blackberries.

Must decide tomorrow whether or not to give up on more cosmos.

By dark, we managed to get all the hanging basket stuff unloaded and dumped back by the compost pile to be processed on my next day off.

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Sorry for another long post; we’re trying to catch up.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

at home

I slept long and thoroughly, exhausted from a stressful week and from Slow Drag.  Last night, we had gotten only about half of our Slow Drag photos processed and posted to Discover Ilwaco before getting too punchy to continue.

I was not going to give up a gardening at home day to processing more photos, though. They got done (and yesterday’s blog post written) after gardening.

Skooter also slept in:

I woke quite late to hear happy voices in the garden.  Julez from Salt Hotel, and his son Flynn, and Jessika from next door, along with Scott, also from next door, were picking apples for cider pressing.  I love that they take our apples, which would otherwise mostly go to waste.

In the back of their truck were the apples they had picked earlier in the day in Chinook.

So they would not have room for all of ours!

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Flynn and Julez

Jessika and Matt

a clever apple picking device

a good harvest

Flynn and his friend Skooter

I made them all walk back to the bogsy wood to see my new path.

It is thrilling, really. (Allan’s photo)

a truck bed full (Allan’s photo)

I was pleased to see that we had had a good rain overnight….

rain barrels full

The harvesters did not even get to the Cripp’s Pink:

(also known as Pink Lady because it is more salable)

They know they are all welcome to come to get eating apples any time.

After they departed, Jenna arrived, at my invitation, so we could debrief about Slow Drag. I was pleased to delay a garden project that I had almost begun.  Some coffee and cookies and a good long conversation gave me energy.

After Jenna left, I did my project, one of those that had suddenly occurred to me even though it was not at all on my mental list.

The elagrostis (weeping love grass) along our little driveway had gotten tatty looking.  And they were too big and tended to tangle our feet as we unload the work trailer.

looking out from the garage



after regaining six inches of the driveway on each side

Allan does most of the trailer unloading.  This will make his life easier.  He helped me to remove the most difficult grass (the last one, when I was out of steam).

I kept weeding in the front garden till dusk and accomplished much. As I watered toward sunset, the fragrance of brugmansia by the greenhouse was intense.

This would normally have been the day that we went to the Cannon Beach Cottage Tour.  I was glad to stay home and felt no regret.  I had thought that Allan would go to the Rod Run up in Ocean Park.  He also was content to stay home and work on his book about local kayaking or canoeing sites.

Allan’s photo, self publishing

Sunday, 9 September 2018

at home

Skooter had another lazy morning.

I had hoped for a rainy reading day (and for a good rain so that we would not have to water much this week). The predicted quarter inch of rain did not materialize, so I went out to putter aimlessly in the garden.

Devery stopped by and we had a long visit, sitting on the patio.  I was offered three more cats, age ten, all Siamese. Their person is not well. However, Siamese cats and I are not especially compatible.  Blue-eyed Frosty is part Siamese and has their talkative nature and inability to just settle down on my lap.

Of course, I made Devery walk back and look at my new path.  “I’d walk on that!” she said gratifyingly.

I then weeded and did some pruning and clipping and layered green and brown clippings (never weeds) in my compost bin. Not a single photo was taken.

In the late evening, we watched an episode of the new season of My Cat From Hell. Despite my longing for a lovey dovey lap cat, it made me anxious about adding anyone new to our current cat quota of two.  I fear that Skooter might act out by spraying in the house.  And yet, while I don’t get lonely for people, I am lonely for a special cat who dotes on me.

I finally found out who left me the great bouquet of Liatris.  It was Steve and John from The Bayside Garden.

still looking fresh today

Monday, 10 September 2018

Again, we did not get the predicted quarter inch of rain.  A light rain in the night had left a few small puddles in the street.

Our Kathleen is here at her beach cottage for a week’s vacation.  We went out to the Shelburne Pub for lunch, while poor Allan was on the phone still trying to sort out his Medicare fiasco.

Kathleen noticed a tiny Pacific Tree Frog on the post that holds the pub sign.

A rock for Ilwaco High School had been placed by the entryway.

I had the chopped salad with fried chicken added:

And Kathleen tried the black garlic fried rice, which she declared as wonderful as I had been saying it was.

chopped salad with fried chicken

A new dessert, cream cheese tart with blackberries, proved to be perfection.

We sat down in the pub at about 12:20 and we talked through lunch, dessert, and long after.  I do believe we spent a good three and a half hours there catching up, as we had not seen each other for several weeks.

At home again, I passed on to her a red leaved weeping Japanese maple that I had in a large pot.  I did not find it exciting enough to keep (although I have four other Japanese maples that do please me).  It will be happier in the ground at Kathleen’s cottage.

She admired my white passiflora along the front fence and gave it an encouraging talking to while she trained its tiny tendrils to grasp the deer-proofing wire.

After she left, I spent some time working on the messaging aspect of arranging a peninsula garden touring day with Ketzel Levine and Beth Holland.  Wrangling three garden hosts and maybe up to four touring gardeners taxed my social director abilities, which are low.  I think I managed to set a date that works for all about two weeks hence, and I very much hope Ann Amato will be able to join us from Portland.

With the hour and a half left of the day, I watered all the containers and a few new plantings with rainwater that we had saved in the green jugs.  This is virtuous, good exercise and much more time consuming than using the hose.

Allan, meanwhile, had watered the Ilwaco Community Building Garden (after getting not very far with the Medicare dilemma) and the Ilwaco planters.

His photos:

maple leaves in the ICB garden

autumn blooming crocus

a new boat in the Ilwaco boatyard

Max buzzing by on his motorized bike. Allan did not have his camera out to catch when Max doffed his top hat in greeting.

In closing, here are a few photos of our garden at the end of the day.

Sanguisorba ‘Pink Elephant’ soaring overhead in the front garden

While touring in Manzanita, Ketzel had said a gardener was brave to have planted passionflower.  I wondered why.

my passiflora

This is why; it is starting to pop up all around:

Uh oh


white sanguisorba

Cripps Pink apples

Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ (which starts early and goes on and on) and Solidago ‘Fireworks’

I could start trimming santolinas if I wanted to.

I do want to trim santolinas, even though I once lost some in a cold winter after trimming them in the fall.

My window boxes have gone all tatty.  I won’t bother replacing the plants this late; I will be switching them out with the bulb inserts next month.

Susie’s window boxes at the Boreas Inn put mine to shame.  She posted this photo today:

photo by Boreas guest Sascha Jennifer Gordon

Next year will be better.




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