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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Allred’

Friday, 31 January 2014

I did not want staycation to end, and yet the garden by Marsh’s Free Museum and Captain Bob’s Chowder in Long Beach had been bugging me lately every time we went to town.  With deep cold predicted for next week and then possible rain, I knew I would feel better about life if we got the park ready for President’s Day weekend (February 15-17) while we had good working weather.  And in the present moment I was not happy about the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’s handsome dried flowers from last year hiding the brand new crocuses and narcissi.

Fifth Street Park before

Fifth Street Park before

Now, that’s better!

after

after2

after3

On the south side of the park by the restroom building, the Miscanthus had begun its usual shedding all over the lawn and another set of Sedums needed clipping.

before

before

after

By the drinking fountain, two of the few remaining Phormiums in Long Beach town looked ghastly (so cleverly chosen by the landscape architect who designed the park to inset poky sharp leaves in the drinking fountain area).  We have gotten rid of most of the Phormiums in town.  One of these was too big for us to eradicate, so Allan cut it back and dug out the small one (the one closest to the drinking fountain) while I walked two blocks worth of street trees and planters doing more clipping and weeding.

phormium

before...hideous Phormium (New Zealand flax)

before…hideous Phormium (New Zealand flax)

after...

after…splendid!

While I walked around the planters, a woman with a strong accent came up to me determinedly proffering a piece of paper from a sheaf in her hands. When she saw I was busy she said “Put in your pocket.”  I had a feeling it was something religious.  Indeed it was, as I discovered upon reading it later.  It seems to be her own personal religion with no attempt to lure me to a certain church!   While the “one male and female” thing makes me wonder suspiciously if there is some anti-gay-marriage subtlety going on here, it otherwise has a certain crazy poetry to it.  You might see her around town and ask her what it all means.

a woman on a mission

a woman on a mission

Cleaning up the park took half a day and gave me a sense of great relief.   On the way home, I found two details to admire in the planters in front of the Ilwaco Timberland Library.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

and some stunning tulip foliage

and some stunning tulip foliage

We were drawn to the marina by some amazing clouds and the workday reward of a good sunset.

sunset reflecting on clouds over the east end of town

sunset reflecting on clouds over the east end of town

sunset

Allan’s photo

a big puff of pink over Cook's Hill (Allan's photo)

a big puff of pink over Cook’s Hill (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo...looking east

Allan’s photo…looking east toward Stringtown Road

Smokey was glad to see me and possibly as sad as I am to see staycation end.

"Where were you all day?"

“Where were you all day?”

Saturday, 1 February 2014

I had no real intention of working on Saturday.  Allan and I had a leisurely breakfast at Olde Towne Café, where Luanne pointed out that the forsythia cuttings I had brought her to force had burst into bloom.

forsythia at Olde Towne

forsythia at Olde Towne

At home, I decided to do just one thing…other than admiring a few plants:

Hamamelis (winter witch hazel)

Hamamelis (winter witch hazel)

crocuses

crocuses

Hellebore

Hellebore

hellebore

hellebore

and hellebore!

and hellebore!

My poor Euphorbia characias wulfenii is blooming even though its tips got blighted by cold.

My poor Euphorbia characias wulfenii is blooming even though its tips got blighted by cold.

A few spires look the way they should look.

A few spires look the way they should look.

some cute little lettuces had reseeded...

some cute little lettuces had reseeded…

a rosemary half killed by cold

a rosemary half killed by cold

It was a relief to walk out into the garden with no danger tree looming.

It was a relief to walk out into the garden with no danger tree looming.

If I accomplished my one task, dumping out some dead hanging baskets and putting the soil back in a newly expanded garden bed, I could then go read…but wait…dang it…the sun came out and the weather warmed up a few degrees.  Drat and blast.  We decided we had to go weed and clip at the Ilwaco Boatyard garden, again with the mission of getting ahead of the public garden clean ups before President’s Day weekend.

Warning: three photos down I am going to post something truly unpleasant.  (Don’t be too afraid to go on.)

looking south from the north end of the boatyard garden

looking south from the north end of the boatyard garden, before…

not just weeds: reseeded California poppies and Iceland and other poppies, too!

not just weeds: reseeded California poppies and Iceland and other poppies, too! (and strawflowers)

Here is the unpleasantness, on a piece of trash.  For those who hoped the cold would kill all the slugs:  It was wishful thinking.

horrid

horrid

Allan weeded while I went all along the boatyard clipping some plants back.

a weeded stretch of garden

a weeded stretch of garden

With the cold weather (20 degrees!) predicted, I did not cut everything back…hoping the old growth will protect the base of the plants.

I left the Artemisia 'Powis Castle' unclipped for now.

I left the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ unclipped for now.

looking south with the garden weeded all the way to the gate

looking south with the garden weeded all the way to the gate

The crocuses look better in a weeded garden!

The crocuses look better in a weeded garden!

in the boatyard...evidence of recent rainy staycation days

in the boatyard…evidence of recent rainy staycation days

boats

I’m looking forward to weeding the south end of the boatyard on the next non-rainy not too cold day.

south end

south end

It really does work to weed in the fall.  At the end of 2013’s work days, we left off at the south end and went on staycation, and even though weeds at the north end came back, they are much thicker down here.

In the evening, we met Jamie and J9 (and introduced these two friends to each other) for a talk at Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco.

timeenough

book discussion

book discussion

Shop dog Scout thought the gathering was all about her.

Shop dog Scout thought the gathering was all about her.

One of the first stories the author spoke of was one in which someone has cut a tree to a twelve foot stump.  Steve Allred expressed much bafflement about why anyone would do that, and I felt much internal amusement because we had so recently done JUST that when having Danger Tree cut down!  We had our reasons, Steve: to provide a snag for birds, and branch to hang our blue bottle decorative thingie from, and I already have a climbing hydrangea attached to the trunk.

An audience member (I think Karla, bookstore owner) said that while reading the book of interconnected stories all set in the same small Oregon town, she imagined which characters would align with certain people on the Long Beach Peninsula.

Even though I was going to purchase it anyway, when Allred’s talk revealed that he is pro choice, pro gay marriage, and liberal in general, I thought to myself:  SOLD!  I look forward to reading it when I have polished off my stack of library books (with their threat of overdue fines).

Several of the audience expressed that they are not much for short stories (me neither), yet the interconnectedness of the stories made it a satisfying read for them.  “Web of life” is my favourite movie genre, and I have fond memories of the interconnected novels and short stories by Canadian author Elizabeth Laurence.  I’ll let you know how I like A Simplified Map of the Real World.

To end the evening on an excellent note, Karla gave us some of her spouse, Peter’s, cookies to take home.  They had been an excellent treat during the reading.  He had made dozens, apparently, so quite a few were left over.

Lucky us, we got a bagful to take home! enough to fill a big that a hardback book would have fit in.

Lucky us, we got a bagful to take home! enough to fill a big that a hardback book would have fit in.

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