Posts Tagged ‘skunk cabbage’

Friday, 6 April 2018

Allan did a bit of work today, deadheading (mostly narcissi) while I gardened at home.  I am so hoping that the Saturday through Sunday windstorm does not pop the flowers off the tall tulips.

Comments in italics are Allan’s explanations of his day.

Long Beach

This series is a continuation of our May 31 project to photograph all of the Long Beach main street planters and tree gardens during their spring bloom. The ones in the north were still incomplete as the camera battery plotzed.


Taken safely from across the street.


With a break in traffic, a closer and more vertical view from the street.

tulip damaged by too much rain. It was then clipped after giving us its message and will try again next year.

A victim of idle hands with destructive thoughts near a bus stop. Several tall stems were also in this planter, missing their flowers.

Building for sale on the prime corner of Pacific and Bolstad

You may recall my trauma a couple of years ago when a shopkeeper picked all the tulips, and then when I tried to explain why that was just not on, said snarkily, “So are you crying now?”  (I was misty with frustration.)  THAT is the building now for sale.

Please hold up to the storm, delicate long-stemmed tulips!

It is so uncommon to have a severe windstorm this late in tulip season that I recall only one year when many tulips got snapped off by the wind.

a beautiful sunny spring break Saturday

Lewis and Clark Square

Lewis and Clark Square with Police Station and Veterans Field

Tulip ‘Formosa’ blooming early (at least I think it is Formosa, which usually blooms latest of all)

Tulips ‘Tom Pouce’ and ‘West Point’

Tulip saxatalis at the police station

After the much appreciated work in Long Beach, Allan went to a wildlife refuge area at the end of the “dump road”.

The Reikkola Unit

Lysichiton americanum, skunk cabbage or swamp lantern lined the entrance road after passing Penninsula Sanitation & Recycling.

swamp lanterns

There were so many that the air smelled skunky.

A flourishing example on the Reikkola Unit trail. 

This bloom in its prime had curious ants.

Near the parking area, this guy was sunbathing and enjoying a dip in the warm water.

I had heard a rumor that a boat ramp was being considered out here which a kayak could launch from. One issue postponing it was that this is a gated area after a person walks from the parking area. But, since little boats are light, perhaps I could walk it in when the tide is right.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 12.58.03 PM.jpg


a distance glimpse of Willapa Bay. I took the path to the right thinking the water adjacent the tree might lead out to the bay. The path to the left leads to Parker Slough which turns out is the more likely site for boat access. 

The channel soon petered out.

I stopped a short 3/4 mile walk from the car. It would be a long walk carrying a boat. Still no waterway but there’s an old spare pedestrian bridge.

Looking west from the pedestrian bridge towards Parker Slough.


Even in the later afternoon, there rose no breath of wind to turn it into a sailing day.


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Saturday, 26 March 2016

We got up early (for us) in order to go to the high school and caucus for Bernie Sanders.  At this caucus for the democrats, Bernie was the most popular candidate by far, leading to a larger number of Bernie delegates being sent to the state convention.


Outside the high school. We live in a fishing town.

If you wish to know  how it works, you can read more about the event here:

“PACIFIC COUNTY — During Saturday’s Democratic caucuses, Pacific County voters showed an overwhelming preference for Bernie Sanders, the Vermont democratic socialist who has galvanized young voters with his populist platform.

Just over 81 percent of the county’s caucus participants supported Sanders, and just under 19 percent supported Clinton — a 62 percent margin, according to the Washington State Democrats website. That means Pacific County will send 77 Sanders delegates, and 18 Clinton delegates to the next step in the process, the 19th Legislative District convention.”

I am pleased to live in such a progressive area.


at the caucus


Tiffany Turner of Adrift Hotel opens the proceedings.

Above: To the right in red is Karen Brownlee, the potter who organized the recent Empty Bowls event.


Del Murry, Long Beach city councilman and, like me, a Ramones fan.


My friend Annie and I picked different candidates but were getting along fine. (Allan’s photo)

I did not like it one little bit when the reporter from the local paper stuck her camera right up in our faces without asking.  Allan managed to take the above photo without my even knowing he was doing so.


The counting of the paper ballots.  (Photo taken unobstrusively from the other end of the table!)

Our table adjourned into another building to hear some citizen speeches about why each of the two candidates was supported (Bernie, except for three speakers).



I find it hard to stand for a long stretch of time because of knee pain and lightheadedness, so we left before the speeches ended, having already done the important part of making our choice.  And our minds were not going to be changed; that was the purpose of the speechifying (some of it most eloquent, especially when I was in agreement); at the end, attendees would be given the opportunity to change their choice.  Oh, how sad it makes me to not choose the female candidate.  It would be a wonder to see a liberal woman president in my lifetime.  As a feminist since age 12, it is disappointing, but I just find Ms. Clinton too hawkish and too much of the moneyed class.  I’ll vote for her if she wins the national nomination, which I do think she will because…money wins.  However, we live in hope.

On the way out of the parking lot, we drove by the two excellent flowers displays that someone has planted along School Road.



Allan’s photo


Depot Restaurant

We had a brief mission at the Depot: deadheading.



Allan’s photo



Long Beach

More deadheading ensued in Long Beach along with the planting of two of my birthday Asphodeline lutea ‘Italian Gold’.


Allan was asked what these are: Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’, a naturalizing little tulip which has formed a good clump among the rugosa roses by the police station.


Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’


Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’


Tulip acuminata


I am smitten with these weird thin tulips.


Tulip acuminata



Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ and Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’


Allan’s photo: The most boring planter for the rest of the year is in its brief moment of glory.


Allan’s photo: our nemesis in a tulip

I see that Allan also noticed my new-this-year Tulip acuminata.

tulip acuminata.jpg

Tulip acuminata (Allan’s photo)


Tulip acuminata (Allan’s photo)

“The rare Fire Flame or Turkish Tulip dates back to at least the early 1800s. This rare heirloom has a wild form with uniquely narrow yellow flower petals edged and prominently tipped scarlet.”  (Van Engelen)  They are $2 apiece!

Basket Case Greenhouse

Last time we’d been to the Basket Case, I had been in too much leg pain to shop properly, so today we made up for it with another purchase and some more photos for the Basket Case Facebook page..


greenhouse kitty (Allan’s photo)

I asked Allan to go to the way back yard to get a photo of skunk cabbage.


Fred told him that a British man had asked if the nursery had them for sale, and said that in the UK, they are sold as “swamp lanterns”.  I was so pleased, as I was going to say again in the blog that I had read that they are called swamp lanterns in the UK.  I had been afraid to Google and find out it was not true, because I like the story so much.  Much joy that it is confirmed by Fred’s customer.


Swamp Lanterns is such a good name.


Allan’s photo: The hanging baskets, still young, will be completely covered with flowers later on.


Fred and I discussed more possible plants to order.


I got my birthday violas…forgot last time.

Golden Sands Assisted Living

I had some seeds to plant (bachelor buttons and sweet peas), along with some gladiolus bulbs donated by our client Jo.


at last some colour in the Golden Sands garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages

Deadheading narcissi, a bit of weeding, and planting of sweet peas took place at KBC, along with a discussion of knee replacement by friend and KBC manager Denny, who has had one knee done and may have the second about the same time that I have my first.  Denny is very happy with his new knee.  He said that the one thing I must NOT do is push the knee out sideways and “pop it out”.  I worried over this for quite some time while working, as this is how I work, and is how I have gardened for forty years.


I think I am going to be in trouble.

My “bad” leg (right) is always straight and my good leg (left) bent.  If I forget to bend my knee now and then on the bad one, it locks straight and is hell to bend.  How am I going to relearn how to work in a way that does not push my leg sideways? I  pivot on that leg pretty much all workday long.  I have 7-10 months to try to figure out a solution to this.  It is making me rethink the whole thing a bit.  I wonder if I could get a brace to wear instead of a new knee.  (I am not kidding, nor am I making light of polio, which my former partner had as a child.)


(Edited the next day to add:  My friend Sheila told me about knee braces that tennis players can wear after knee surgery.  I especially like the look of one like this:


And another friend who has had both knees replaced tells me it is only until the knee gets strong again that you must worry about it going sideways.  So my concerns have been laid to rest.)


People think my back must hurt but it is generally powerful and cooperative.


clam cleaning shed patio (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo, clam shed patio


clothes drying on the deck of one of the cottages (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo


Euphorbia (Allan’s photo)


Callistemon (Allan’s photo)

The reminds me, why why why do I still not have an Embothrium in my collection?


sword fern unfurling (Allan’s photo)


in the fenced garden


Erythronium (from my mom’s garden)


gorgeous new foliage of Thalictrum ‘Elin’ (will get eight feet tall)


buds on Peony ‘Molly the Witch’

Real name is mlokosewitschii.


Tulip ‘Orange Princess’


one of the little narcissi

I had wanted to deadhead and the Anchorage Cottages and then plant three plants in Long Beach on the way home.  A long rain storm passed over us all the way south so we just went straight to the…

Port of Ilwaco.


looking west from the east end port garden (Allan’s photo)

Editorializing: Nearby, grass by the parking lot was Round-up-ed.  Does it look better this way or green?


Now it does not have to be mowed or strimmed.  But…


narcissi to deadhead (Allan’s photo)


prowling for deadheads (Allan’s photo)


Tulip turkestanica closed up for the evening (Allan’s photo)


garden boat at Time Enough Books.  (Owner Karla named it, not me.)

I had picked some rosemary for Salt Hotel’s kitchen and, after delivering it and having a pleasant chat with Julez and Laila, we returned home, after making a spontaneous stop to pop three plants into one of the Ilwaco planters (Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, a variegated oregano and a golden thyme).

More knee thoughts:  From my seat in the van, upon leaving and arriving home, I see this cluster of grassy weeds on the edge of the garden.


little weeds

I find it extremely difficult to believe that I am supposed to not pull these for THREE months after the operation.  I know the first month will hurt, but come on!  There is no way I am going to be able to resist pulling weeds like this, especially if I am not going to work.  Some long handled tools are in order; I am used to bending right down and grabbing out any weed I see.


a grand bit of front garden


Tulip ‘Green Star’


front garden


Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’


Erythronium (dogtooth violet)


Fritillaria meleagris


Tulip ‘Gavota’, three years old and getting smaller in flower

Guest photo:


bouquet and photo by Todd Wiegardt for a memorial service

Ginger’s Garden Diaries


from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago

1997 (age 72):

March 26:  Don came to help chipping of pile behind garage but the chipper cord was stuck too tight to start machine.  I left message for Bill [her “handyman”] to see if he can get it going.

1998 (age 73):

March 26: 1:00-4:30  Cool—rainy and sunshine.  I started a big job today.  How come I like to work in my strawberries best?  I started cleaning the rows.  The first one was easy—mostly new plants from Gordons.  But by the time I started the second row, I realized most plants needed to be divided and it’s easier to dig all the plants and divide them at the work table so I tried that but got rained on.  I divided them in the greenhouse.  I hope to continue this work tomorrow but it will take several days.


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Today we went to one of the thrice yearly volunteer beach clean up events organized by the Grassroots Garbage Gang. We decided that instead of going to our usual spot on the Seaview approach or our second usual choice, Benson Beach, we would start at Beard’s Hollow. It’s the very south end of the beach that runs for (I think) 18 miles north and is a bit of a walk from the parking lot so is not as frequently cleaned. It used to be my beach walking destination when I lived in Seaview in 1993.

near the parking lot

near the parking lot

The trail used to be underwater until well into spring, causing me a lot of frustration after I moved to Ilwaco. I then found a trail up and over the big hill between me and the beach, crossing over where Discovery Heights is now, only to find that after about half an hour, when I got as far as Beard’s Hollow I could get no further without hip waders.

Since then, the Discovery Trail has been built and provides access to walkers and bicyclists year round.

Discovery Trail

Discovery Trail

beside the trail

beside the trail

licorice fern in tree

licorice fern in tree



still pool reflections

still pool reflections

skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage

I have read that in the UK, our native skunk cabbage is sold at a pretty price as an ornamental plant and is called “swamp lantern”. I don’t want to Google and find out it is not true. It is a gorgeous bog plant, but difficult to tranplant.

swamp lantern

swamp lantern

sword fern

sword fern (unpruned!)

When one gets to the really big rock, one is almost at the beach. The trees have grown considerably since I used to walk here.

the big rock

the big rock

Here is what the trail used to be like in winter; this is one of the roads through the dunes.

road around the rock

road around the rock

the rock

the rock

native stonecrop and blackberries

native stonecrop and blackberries

the rock

a small part of the rock

nature's moss garden

nature’s moss garden

At last, the beach…

to the beach

to the beach

The Coast Guard helicopter flew by.

Beard's Hollow fishing rocks

Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks

Someone had lost a bouquet, or tossed it overboard in a memorial service perhaps.

mystery flowers

mystery flowers



flowers and fishing rocks

flowers and fishing rocks

The Beard’s Hollow fishing rocks have witnessed many dramatic scenes. When the tide comes in, human explorers are taken by surprise on the outer rocks and many have been rescued over the years.

rock full of birds

rock full of birds



clues that the tide does come in

clues that the tide does come in


We found enough garbage in the next hour and a quarter to fill three large bags. People who drive down the beach to have a campfire…(and the beach is a legal highway, and in my opinion that is very regrettable) don’t even have to pack their garbage out on foot, so why do they leave it behind like this? Just throw it in the truck bed, folks!

campfire debris

campfire debris

They did at least put it all back in the packaging.

the south end of the long beach

the south end of the long beach

While it is satisfying to fill a bag with larger items, the tiny little bits of coloured plastic are especially bad for birds. They think it is food and fill themselves up and then starve.

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

It would take days to fill a back with these tiny pieces

I become obsessed with picking up each one but I know that many more are tumbled under the sand.

Far in the distance with the telephoto I could see folks in groups cleaning to the north.

cleaning crew

cleaning crew

People enter at each of the major beach approaches or walk out from their own streets. Most start at 9:30 AM but we usually manage to roll in at about 10:15. Today about 325 signed in.

We walked down as far as this shallow seasonal stream.



The one time I do like to see vehicles on the beach “highway” is when the volunteers come along to take our bags.

loaded with debris

loaded with debris

And then, back through the green along the beautiful trail.

a side trail around the big rock

a side trail around the big rock


passing the big rock

passing the big rock

more licorice ferns

licorice fern, a tree dweller

licorice fern, a tree dweller

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry) has a tropical look.

elderberry grove

elderberry grove

moss and mushrooms

moss and mushrooms

The trail is a draw for bicyclists as it goes all the way from Ilwaco to north of Long Beach.

discovering the trail

discovering the trail

Discovery trail map

Discovery Trail map

We were just down at the Beard’s Hollow section. Click here for a larger view.

Next on our agenda: the volunteer soup feed reward halfway up the Peninsula at the Senior Center. Because we start late, and go late, we have been known to arrive for the very last bowls of soup, but today we arrived in time to have two choices, and we both chose clam chowder made by Steve of The Great Day Café.

soup reward for volunteers

soup reward for volunteers

The Senior Center is right next door to Golden Sands Assisted Living so we found it handy to check on all the new plants starts we planted yesterday, and I am happy to report they are all standing up tall…no wilting. Allan found this very nice monthly newsletter that shows how much they appreciate the courtyard garden.

from Golden Sands newsletter

from Golden Sands newsletter

Thus we segued into the work day and after going north past Nahcotta on the bay to pick up a free plastic pond (more on this later), we checked on Marilyn’s garden. My intention was to do nothing but deadhead the narcissi and move on, but oh dear…horsetail was on the march and had to be dealt with…and then my eye fell on a problem that had been bothering me for some time.

This giant Miscanthus had ended up in the foreground of the garden where it blocks the view of the Helianthus behind it. It bothers me every year.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

This ornamental grass will get taller than me, and is in the wrong place.

I worried at it with the pick for a short while. Its roots are like iron. Allan decided to have a go so I went back to the horsetail, and returned to this satisfying result.

what an accomplishment

what an accomplishment!

It’s a challenge to find anything evergreen and tall to block the view of the neighbours’ driveway and garage because deer practically live in this garden…so I rely on tall deciduous plants.

Marilyn's today, looking north from back porch

Marilyn’s today, looking north from back porch

There is much to do here, especially since the plan is for this garden to be on the Peninsula garden tour in July of this year…but we had to move on to have time to check three more gardens.

At the Wiegardt Gallery, the lilac is close to bloom:

Wiegardt lilac

Wiegardt lilac

Tulip 'Lilac Wonder' opens wide in the faint sunshine.

Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ opens wide in the faint sunshine.

The narcissi are still looking fine, but how did scilla get into the garden? I most certainly did not plant it.

narcissi...and scilla

narcissi…and scilla

This thug will be bad news. I wonder if someone else planted some bulbs to be nice? Because they are so pretty.

the dreaded scilla invasion

the dreaded scilla invasion

I have three other thugs in this garden: sweet woodruff and the bad aster that came from who knows where, and geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ that I once thought a very fine plant indeed.

Eric’s brother sometimes plants a very choice treasure, and I am hoping that these Eremurus that he put in two years ago might flower this year.

Here's hoping for some foxtail lilies

Here’s hoping for some foxtail lilies…

We still have lots more to do at Wiegardt’s (sounds so familiar) but we had to get on to Klipsan Beach Cottages. On the way, we did a quick check up at Oman Builders Supply in Ocean Park.

There is the exciting new ‘Green Star’ tulip. Have I been calling it ‘Green Ice’?

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

You have to get Green Star against a dark background or it does not show up well.

It's a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

It’s a lily flowering tulip and a green tulip all at once.

There were three but someone swiped one, and the finger blight evidence of twisted stem shows the person did not even have clippers but just worried the stem till the stolen tulip was theirs.

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence...

The shattered star shape of the stem is evidence…

At Klipsan Beach Cottages, we had delegated a rhododendron removal job to another landscape business, and had not expected the end result to be a bed all askew and us with no time to fix it. My fantasy was that we would find the job all done. Silly. Realistically I probably should not have hoped that a backhoe would be brought in, huge rhododendrons pulled, and then the edging put back all nicey nice (by whom?) All we could do today was deadhead the narcissi and check for weeds. Next weekend we can deal with the other problem, maybe.

narcissi in cottage windowbox

narcissi in cottage windowbox

Tulip clusiana 'Lady Jane'

Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’

in the garden

in the garden

In a pot I had six Tulip ‘Green Star’ and in this safe haven, no one had picked any.

Green Stars

Green Stars

Green Star

Green Star

The first year I saw this in the Van Engelen catalog, I waited too long to order and they had sold out. So it was a year and a half before I had it in bloom, and I am a little obsessed with it this month.

Green Star

Green Star

in the garden...

in the garden…

two matching pots

two matching pots

and some Blushing Ladies

and some Blushing Ladies

I wonder if this year at long last the Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal [not very] Giant’ will get the size I have seen it elsewhere. It has been sulking for three years.

still only as tall as a daylily

still only as tall as a daylily

sword fern...I like our pruned ones better than mother nature's messy ones!

sword fern…I like our pruned ones better than mother nature’s messy ones!

Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

at KBC: Lathyrus vernus from Joy Creek Nursery

A rain squall decided our stop time at KBC but by the time we got home, the sky had cleared again. I thought I was too cold, and extra tired from getting up “early” for beach clean up, and that all I had the oomph to do was look out the window.

back garden window view

back garden window view

Then I remembered the pond form and had to go think about where it might go.

It probably won't look very real...

It probably won’t look very real…



We decided to install it next to the boat. Because of my upcoming mini-vacation (why???) we won’t have time for awhile.

While I uploaded photos to the Grassroots Garbage Gang Facebook page, Allan mowed the lawn. He reports that it takes an hour and a quarter. Less than it did last year because of my winter expansion of the garden beds.


























































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