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Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Tuesday, 17 February 2014

When I woke, the first word and image that popped into my mind was “Chess”.  As you know from the end of yesterday’s blog, I am mourning the loss of Chess the purebred border collie of the Miserable Gardener blog.  Throughout the day, my thoughts were with the guy Chess lived with.

Allan and I had the day off because of my midday lunch date which would take too much of a chunk out of our workday, since it gets dark around five and we are Not Morning People.  Before Jenna arrived to pick me up, I took some photos of the garden.

view from front door

view from front door

Euphorbia wulfenii in back garden; not the most beautiful as its rather an old plant.

Euphorbia wulfenii in back garden; not the most beautiful as its rather an old plant.

We got the design for our high tech sprinkler system from Pink Poppy Farm.

drifts of purple crocuses in the center of the back garden beds

drifts of purple crocuses in the center of the back garden beds

the stunning tree one lot over to the east

the stunning tree one lot over to the east

crocus tomassianus n the front garden

crocus tomassianus in the front garden

I know I planted crocus tomassianus, and some photos of Crocus tomassianus in The Miserable Gardener blog look just like these, so I think I have the ID right.  I am terrible about remembering which bulb is which.

more of the big purple ones

more of the big purple ones

I sure wish my snowdrops had clumped up like that.

the ornamental cherry by the front gate

the ornamental cherry by the front gate

Jenna (Queen La De Da) arrived as I took that photo and we were off for a long lunch at the Cove Restaurant.  I told her all about Chess and story of the Miserable Gardener blog, and shed a few tears even though I had planned not to.  This is not to imply I was entirely morose lunch company as I do believe we had a good time and covered a number of topics.

When I returned from lunch at 2:30, I frittered away some time.  Allan had mowed the lawn, and I took the last unscreened photos from the south window before he inserted the screen.  We have been having summer-in-winter weather and may be deluding ourselves into thinking winter is over.

south view

south view

slightly SW (with the camera unfondly known as "Spot")

slightly SW (with the camera unfondly known as “Spot”)

SE view

SE view

A couple of cute dogs were visiting next door so I hung over the fence and talked to them.  They were not interested.

dogs

Rudder made himself comfy in the middle of our quiet street.

Rudder made himself comfy in the middle of our quiet street.

I frittered away more time looking at flowers. Actually, that’s a great use of time.  However, I did have mulch to move and was putting it off.

tulips

tulips

hellebore, double white

hellebore, double white

That hellebore that fell open....

That hellebore that fell open….

has good leaves in the center.  I wonder if it would bloom again if I cut it back?

has good leaves in the center. I wonder if it would bloom again if I cut it back?

more crocus admiration, coming up in that hellebore

more crocus admiration, coming up in that hellebore

Hellebore, double pink

Hellebore, double pink

Hellebore, a dramatic single "black"

Hellebore, a dramatic single “black”

in Allan's garden

in Allan’s garden

such a refreshing white hellebore in the front garden

such a refreshing white hellebore in the front garden, with evergreen candytuft to the side

I further put off the mulch moving by asking Allan to help me with a little project: making room to put a table and two chairs against the east house wall.

before

before

after

after

Something about having the wall on one side looks cozy to me.  The fence boards we salvaged from a debris pile at the city works dump and I was going to use them along part of the wire fence, but…I really did have to get that mulch moved.

The "cow fiber" from The Planter Box had to be moved so we'd get our trailer back for the next work day.

The “cow fiber” from The Planter Box had to be moved so we’d get our trailer back for the next work day.

I figure that is about a yard, as we got a yard and a third and probably applied one third of a yard to the post office garden yesterday evening.  I’d left it till one and a half hours before dark-thirty.

I set Map My Walk because I was curious about the mileage and time to wheelbarrow this much from outside the back gate to points in the back garden.  Map My Walk said it took an hour and twenty minutes and a mile of walking.  The circuitous route includes going into the house to get a cooler shirt, and then back for a warmer shirt when a wind came up.

mmw

The time also included stopping to take some photos of the dramatic sky, and raking the barrow loads of mulch out once they were dumped.

sky to the east

sky to the east

a panorama

a panorama

Allan returned from an errand just as I finished the mulch project, and he suggested we have a campfire.

sky to the west

sky to the west

IMG_8390

fire time

fire time

He had brought buns and dogs for an early campfire dinner.  (We usually dine at home at about nine o clock!)

He had brought buns and spicy sausages for an early campfire dinner. (We usually dine at home at about nine o clock!)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

As we sat around the campfire, geese flew over head and then…the space station.  Allan googled and found out it really had been the space station we unexpectedly saw pass over.  Next:  back to work at the Boreas Inn…or a stay at home reading day if it rains.  You can guess which one I would prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

With our friend J9 (Jeannine) in town, she and I attended the annual ritual of Tuba Christmas at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.

a standing room only crowd

a standing room only crowd

Tubas playing Christmas carols

Tubas playing Christmas carols

tubastubas

tree

and of course, treats for intermission!  They had JUST enough.

and of course, treats for intermission! They had JUST enough.

Here is a link to a youtube video of a performance by the Astoria Tuba Quartet.

Afterward, J9 came to our house for a little while.  She may be the only person who stops by to see our tree, so here it is.

tree

J9 moved away over a year ago and now wants so very much to find a place to move back here.  She may have found a trailer to rent while she seeks work and a better living space, and if she does, expect to hear more of her in the blog! 😉

We took her to dinner at the Depot Restaurant.

depot

The Depot Christmas tree, decorated with food themed ornaments

The Depot Christmas tree, decorated with food themed ornaments

Monday, 16 December 2013

My planned day of perhaps doing some housecleaning changed when I saw that the weather had turned out mild and conducive to a bit of gardening.  First I walked five doors down to Larry and Robert’s garden on the next block and cut back some  frost damaged foliage.  It did not count as WORK because I did not charge them for it.

the garden boat, devoid of annuals now

the garden boat, devoid of annuals now

some pineapple sage got chopped.

some pineapple sage got chopped.

The white house in the background, formerly the home of Nora Saunder’s mother, has been sold, had two dormers added, and is now a cheerful blue.

I remain envious of the beauty berry that I planted in this garden...

I remain envious of the beauty berry that I planted in this garden…

tidied up

tidied up

On my short walk home the bright glow of one of Judy and Tom’s Japanese maples caught my eye.

maple aglow

maple aglow

At home, our front garden had been hit hard by last week’s frost.  I plowed in to cut anything back that did not look archetectural.

front garden before

front garden before

and after

and after

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I get so much more done on staycation on the days when my favourite coffee shop is closed!   Of course, I spent awhile at Olde Towne on Tuesday and decided to acquire one of their vintage Santas as a companion for the one I got last year.

a Santa selection at Olde Towne

a Santa selection at Olde Towne

Christmas tins at Olde Towne

Christmas tins at Olde Towne

and fishing floats

and fishing floats

We took two of the lighted houses that Allan inherited from his mom’s collection down to add to the holiday decor.

little houses next to the Olde Towne tree

little houses next to the Olde Towne table  tree

On the way home, a photo of a pretty house, one of my favourites in town, a block south on Lake, with holiday greenery.

the twin dormer house

the twin dormer house

At home, my cute Santa couple represents to me how glad I am that gay marriage became legal in this state a year ago.

Mr. and Mr. Santa

Mr. and Mr. Santa

Wednesday, 18 December, 2013

The big event of the day was trying out the delicious new steak and blue cheese salad at Olde Towne….along with some good company.

scrumptious

scrumptious

Allan joined me as we had coffee with Jamie B. and New Judy, our new neighbour three doors down.  Jamie requested no photo of herself for a change, so feast your eyes on the salad instead.

At dusk, I took a puddle and sunset walk.   The puddles were the best part of the sunset, as the clouds that promised drama mostly just turned dark grey.

puddle

puddle2

puddle

sunset

pots

Next:  a visit to the Holiday Christmas Village at the Hungry Harbor Grille

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Wednesday, 11 December, 2013

I could tell from the sky that Wednesday’s sunset would be excellent.  The weather had warmed just slightly to hover around freezing. I walked around the corner and down Advent Avenue toward the Port.

A forklift operator was stacking crab pots on the side of Advent.

stacking Dungeness crab pots

stacking Dungeness crab pots

the promising sky to the southwest

the promising sky to the southwest

As I walked past, a big truck drove up and the forklift began to stack the pots onto the flatbed trailer.

onto the truck

onto the truck

The pots were appearing from down the short gravel road leading to the gear shed that is just southeast of our back garden.

much bustling at the gear shed

much bustling at the gear shed

Meanwhile, in the big parking lot between town and port, workers spread out and untangled lines.

getting ready

getting ready

I walked the half block from there to Waterfront Way.

the condor statue

the condor statue

Some of the crabbing boats were already loaded, ready to go early on the first day of commercial crabbing.

Pacific Dream

Pacific Dream

condor and moonrise

condor and moonrise

I wondered if the sunset would live up to my expectations.

looking south

looking south

In the dusk, the lights began to show from the decorated boats.

Nauti-lady always goes all out for the holidays.

Nauti-lady always goes all out for the holidays.

The sunset colour I had hoped for came on…

colour

sunset

Jessie's Fish Company star and processing steam

Jessie’s Fish Company star and processing steam

sunset

brighter

A heron flew in, squawking, and posed.

A heron flew in, squawking, and posed.

no colour enhancement!

no colour enhancement!

sunset colour fades and seasonal lights glow

sunset colour fades and seasonal lights glow

and the moon....

and the moon….

I made a slight detour on the way home to see the lively decorations at the east end of the port by CoHo Charters and Motel.

Imagine Christmas music playing, as well.

Imagine Christmas music playing, as well.

another kind of boat at the Coho Charters

another kind of boat at the Coho Charters

My sunset walk segued into a neighbourhood Christmas lights walk, but that’s another story.

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Thursday, 21 November, 2013

Because the temperature got to at least as low as 30 F last night, I expected all my annuals to be down.  To my surprise, in the bright sunlight on the front porch, a hanging basket passed on to me by Mary N. (two doors down) still had some Calibrachoas in bloom.

in bright cold sunlight

in bright cold sunlight

In the shade of Allan’s garden, frost was still evident.

ajuga

ajuga

ice on the water feature (and Smokey following me as usual)

ice on the water feature (and Smokey following me as usual)

Geranium renardii in the front garden

Geranium renardii in the front garden

The frost in the shady areas at 11 AM reminded me that at our old house behind the boatyard, tucked right up against a hill to the west and south, frost lingered all day in winter when even our next door neighbour’s yard would thaw.  Allan and I would misjudge the weather and think it was too cold to work on days when the rest of the town was much warmer!  We would be pleasantly surprised when we got out into the sunnier world.

We did linger for ten minutes at Olde Towne this mid-morning waiting for the temperature to rise.  The annual Sanvitalia in the planter outside had gone to limp mush, so the Ilwaco planters need a check up.  Not today.

owner, chef, barista Luanne at Olde Towne

owner, chef, barista Luanne at Olde Towne

After our brief chat break with Luanne and Chester, we headed to Peninsula Landscape Supply for a load of Soil Energy.

Soil Energy coming up

Soil Energy coming up

“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)”

Bob, the neighbour dog, came to visit.

looking extra cute

looking extra cute

Bob, the neighbour dog, came to visit!

my buddy Bob

Back south in Long Beach, Allan and I planted bulbs in a strip of ground that has been rewired with new lighting:  Narcissi ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Baby Moon’, Narcissus ‘Itzim’, and a mix of purple and white tulips.

The tulips will match purple signs on the side of the building.

before

The tulips came out of a bag of 100, the rest of which were slated for the Long Beach welcome sign.  They are a mix of purple and white and will match the purple signs on the edge of the building.

Then, while Allan added Soil Energy here and at the Summer House vacation rental next door, I walked around four blocks of planters, inserting the rest of the Baby Moons (six more per most planter) and pulling spent annuals.  OUT they came.  Almost all.

some Sanvitalia and California poppies still looking fine...with Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

some Sanvitalia and California poppies still looking fine…with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

The sun did that glare thing again all day long and made it hard to see my work, cars, the curb, and pretty much everything.

The frost did not take down this Cerinthe volunteer!

The frost did not take down this Cerinthe volunteer!

Geranium 'Rozanne' still blue

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ still blue

intense blue sky as city crew puts up decorations

intense blue sky as city crew puts up decorations

The city crew is careful not to stand in my planters.  Back when the planters were done by volunteers, I did four.  I used to bug the city crew to not stand in them.  Later, when Parks Manager Mike Kitzman and city administrator of the era, Nabiel Shawa, wanted to hire me I said to Mike, “Why?  I figured you just thought I was a pest, always bugging your guys to not stand in the planters!”  My then-partner and I would actually stop our car to complain if we saw any “planter standing”.  Mike said he wanted me to be hired because my concern for the planters showed that I would really care about the job.

When I returned to the Fifth Street quadrant of parks, Allan had finished mulching the strip by Scrappucino…

after

after

and had planted bulbs and mulched at Summerhouse.

the very small Summer House garden

the very small Summer House garden

We planted tulip ‘Akebono’ and assorted yellow Narcissi, including ‘Rjinveld’s Early Sensation’.  ‘Akebono’ was a last minute, additional purchase from Colorblends.

Tulip 'Akebono' from Colorblends.  Wish I had gotten 100 instead of just 25.

Tulip ‘Akebono’ from Colorblends. Wish I had gotten 100 instead of just 25.

A few plants in the park in front of Marsh’s Free Museum and Captain Bob’s Chowder had gotten frost-blasted.  After cutting down the pineapple sage and removing the last of the cosmos, it looked like this.

marsh

We still need to cut down the Nepeta (catmint) ‘Walker’s Low’ along the front. Today we ran out of time.  I’ll leave most of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ standing well into the winter.

Our last job, and one causing me some anxiety about whether or not we would have time to finish it, was the Long Beach welcome sign.  At last, we ripped out the annuals, revealing lots of the horrible, thready type of horsetail that infests this planting box.

before

before, back and front

How satisfying to rip out the annuals.  Even though I had stopped deadheading them, the Agyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ on the south side had still looked moderately good up until yesterday.  The Brachychome and Bidens along the edges still bloomed in blue and gold.  But I had had it with them!  Out they came.

a refreshing change

a refreshing change

Some Muscari has already popped up along the edge.  (That is not unusual.)  Under the nice, fresh mulch, we planted two tulips mixes from Colorblends.  Along the front of the sign, with its yellow sun, I chose the mix called Triathlon.

Triathlon, photo from Colorblends

Triathlon, photo from Colorblends

In previous years, I have used Red and Yellow Cubed but wanted something slightly different.

Red and Yellow Cubed, photo from Colorblends

Red and Yellow Cubed, photo from Colorblends

For the cooler colours on the north side of the sign, I have been using Shortwave mix.

Shortwave, photo from Colorblends

Shortwave, photo from Colorblends

This year, just for a small difference, I chose the slightly taller Triple Play mix.

Triple Play from Colorblends

Triple Play, photo  from Colorblends

We treat the tulips as annuals here and rip out the old ones in May.  They rarely come back as good looking on the second year, and the sign must be showy.

After dumping the debris at the City Works yard just as the sun began to set, we were heading for NIVA green when we noticed the colour of the sky.  Allan drove straight out to the Bolstadt parking lot and even though the sky was fading already, I got a photo with the boardwalk as foregr0und:

sunset over the Long Beach boardwalk

sunset over the Long Beach boardwalk

The several strollers along the boardwalk must have felt that they were floating in that peachy sky colour.  Or so it looks to me.

Circling back around, we had a brief visit with Heather at NIVA green.  We’d found, in a trash can, a metal sign saying STONER WAY.  She cuts up license plates for art and we thought, correctly, that she could make use of the sign.

Heather told us she is discontinuing her manufacture of purses made from old record albums, so get them while you can!

old LP purses

old LP purses, very labour intensive to make

I thought that several friends of ours might be able to make use of the Dammit Dolls:

dolls

dolls

These would be very handy when you find that you need expensive repairs on your roof, or a new washing machine.

We stayed only briefly as I had one more outdoor project.  In the near dark, we dumped the last four buckets of Soil Energy into the planter near First Place Mall (a tiny “mall” of a few storefronts).  That planter had been annoyingly low.  Four more annuals came out, and the lavenders got a quick trim (with very cold hands clutching the clippers).

Having read somewhere that one’s tastebuds decline with age, I have been trying to go to the delicious Pelicano restaurant once a month to enjoy their ever changing monthly specials.  We missed last month, and most of the summer months.  Even though, as Allan pointed out, we would be out for dinner three nights in a row, I suggested we go tonight simply because we had the time.  It was not at all hard to talk him into it.

Pelicano Restaurant

Pelicano Restaurant

delicious squash soup

delicious squash soup

My drink was a strong potion featuring apple cider from Pink Poppy Farm.  Our server was the delightful Ms. Pink Poppy herself.  Our gardening client Eric Wiegardt’s art adorned the walls.  The lights of the boats glowed just outside the window.  The port crew have decorated the street lamps with white lights for the holidays.  There was only one other table occupied, as we were dining early, and the two other diners were having a most interesting conversation that we could almost overhear.  (They sounded like the sort of women I’d like to be friends with.)  We celebrated finishing the planting of the Long Beach bulbs, very much the biggest batch of Bulb Time.

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Wednesday, 13 November, 2013

Now, having sorted many the bulb last night, I have time to share the photos of the lovely workday that preceded the bulb sorting frenzy.

We began with blue skies and warmish weather at The Wiegardt Gallery in Ocean Park.

Wiegardt Gallery

Wiegardt Gallery

What a contrast to last week’s weather when we got stormed out.  Our mission this week and next week is to get bulbs in the ground without too much distraction.

Quite a few went into this newly cleared area.

Quite a few went into this newly cleared area.

a late Cistus flower

a late Cistus flower

rhodo blooming early

rhodo blooming early (or late)

glorious autumnal grass

glorious autumnal grass

Then we planted some Narcissi at the Oman Builders Supply garden.  I was pleased at how well it continues to look; on our last two trips north we have only had time to look at it while driving by.

looking south

looking south

looking north

looking north

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve, Hebe, Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve, Hebe, Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

The only bothersomely empty spots are two areas where three gorgeous Eryngiums were stolen early in the summer.

lacking Eryngiums

lacking Eryngiums

By then, I could not acquire any to replace them with.  Or so I thought.  I remember now that The Planter Box may still have some Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’.  Perhaps if I acquired and planted some now, they would root in and be harder to steal next year.

Not brooding overmuch about the theft, we went on to the garden at Klipsan Beach Cottages where we had some plans for more than just bulb planting.   Allan got to the task of removing the big rambling rose canes that were tangled in the bay tree.

before

before

after

after

He cleared more wild violets and Schizostylis from the lawn border and planted Narcissi.

bulbs placed to go in

bulbs placed to go in, before weeding

It was backwards to put the bulbs down before he got the weeding done;  I should have laid them out on the lawn instead.

My task was to sort out the bulbs from 16 seasonal window box liners, all small species narcissi, tulips, crocus, snowdrops, Fritillaria meleagris and Iris reticulata, all blooming before May.  The window boxes have been removed from the cottages for the sake of trying to streamline the care of the gardens somewhat as we are all getting older.

old window box

delving into an old window box

a treasure trove of minor bulbs

a treasure trove of minor bulbs

I lavished them all around the gardens outside the deer fence since most will be deer resistant, and even the occasional species tulip might be too short to be tempting.

I had been especially looking forward to meeting the new dog that Mary and Denny are fostering and may adopt.  Like the dear departed Misty and Debbie, she is a Great Pyrenees.  If she and Riley (Mary and Denny’s Doberman) get along ok, she will join the family permanently.  Riley is feeling jealous so I was careful to give him more pets and attention than the new dog…

Here she is!

Here she is!

The poor girl was used as a puppy mill and is over 20 pounds underweight.

In the garden, there is still much beauty to see.

Fuchsia 'Debron's Black Cherry'

Fuchsia ‘Debron’s Black Cherry’

bird bath of stillness

bird bath of stillness

Rose 'New Dawn'

Rose ‘New Dawn’

the pond island bed

the pond island bed

two of eight cottages

two of eight cottages

dusk in the autumn garden

dusk in the autumn garden

orbs

orbs

The fall clean up sessions we have been doing have inspired Mary to put one of her winter signs in the garden:

garden

And then, straight on home where I plunged into five straight hours of bulb sorting (as described in yesterday evening’s hasty blog post).  Before I entered Bulb Central (the garage), the reflection our neighbour’s upstairs window alerted me to take a look at the sunset.

moonrise over our neighbours' roof

moonrise over our neighbours’ roof

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street

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Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

I awoke to white frost on the back lawn, as predicted.  All the tender plants in pots were safely in the greenhouse.  The ones that I want to save, anyway:  scented geraniums, tender salvias…

frost

frosty morning

Great, thought I, the annuals will perhaps be done in Long Beach.  I have wearied of their tired looking appearance; they have still been looking too colourful to pull as it might make shopkeepers and passersby said if I dispose of them them prematurely.

But NO!  They still look mostly wonderful.

painted sage, Agyr. 'Butterfly', nasturtium

painted sage, Agyr. ‘Butterfly’, nasturtium

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

still a tangle of colour by Home at the Beach

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Even a few of the cosmos still look good.

Allan cut back the Panicum ‘Heavy Metal‘ ornamental grass back in the one street tree under which it grows.  I like the name of the grass and its metallic sheen.  However, I think that to most people it probably looks weedy.

Heavy Metal grass

Heavy Metal grass

This particular tree has no working water and has to be bucket watered from a nearby planter.

The park by Marsh’s Free Museum and one of our favourite little cafés, Captain Bob’s Chowder, still looks fine.

obelisk tiles by Renee O'Connor

obelisk tiles by Renee O’Connor

The work in the frying pan park is coming along….By spring, that clam statue will spout every hour on the hour again.

park

Allan took a break from Long Beach city work and pulled Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’ from the Summer House  garden while I checked the rest of the planters.  I swear I did not plant the darn hardy geranium at Summer House.  It probably had one little seedling inside another plant.

Below:  Allan stands where a rose trellis should go IF Erin (who owns this vacation rental) wants to keep the rampant climbing rose in there:

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

I asked him to look like a trellis, but he is sideways.

Then he dropped me off to tidy up the Veterans Field garden while he dumped debris.

Veterans Field garden

Veterans Field garden

still very faintly red white and blue

still very faintly red white and blue

We had an appointment at NW Financial and Insurance regarding the Affordable Care Act (which I believe will be very beneficial to us).  The main website was down again, even though it had been working all day.

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

My friend Bella greeted me at the insurance office!

The best thing I have read about this is:  “War is a crisis.  Poverty is a crisis.”  And then something about the computer problem being an inconvenience.  We will go back next week.  If anyone local (Southwest Washington or Northwest Oregon) needs help figuring out the Affordable Care Act paperwork, Shelly Pollock is a wonderful helper and her services are free.

We concluded our work day by pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ foliage clumps and a doing a bit of weeding on the Bolstadt beach approach.

Bolstadt approach buoy

Bolstadt approach buoy

two birds

two birds

another two birds

another two birds

bird

Bolstadt beach approach garden, looking toward town

This walk is so popular with townfolk and tourists alike.  One can walk up Sid Snyder Boulevard ten blocks south, then along the boardwalk with its view of the beach and back down this street….or vice versa.

rugosa rose autumn colour

rugosa rose autumn colour

with dwarf mugo pine

with dwarf mugo pine

Something amazing happened when I pulled a weed from the easternmost Bolstadt planter….

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

full of chocolate mint planted back in volunteer days

The mint started to peel up just like taking up a carpet!   I was thrilled!!

before and after

before and after

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

Next year we can make this planter right by the arch look so much better.

While Allan tidied that up, I cut back a few lily stalks on the south side of city hall and observed with dismay that a purple ajuga had gone aggressively running through the whole bed.

Anyone want some purple ajuga??

Anyone want some purple ajuga??  will fix this later

Just west of city hall, reflections of sunlight fell on the sign for the upcoming new coffee shop.  I was excited to see that Pink Poppy Bakery’s logo had been added to the sign.  My ultimate loyalty still likes with Ilwaco’s Olde Towne coffee café but I will love being able to get Pink Poppy treats while working in Long Beach.

Akari Space

Akari Space

Although I could tell a great sunset was brewing, the dumping of debris had to take priority.

looking west from city hall

looking west from city hall

While at the city works yard, we could see the sunset developing.

over the water treatment plant

over the water treatment plant

With work done, we went back to Bolstadt.

Another sunset watching group had gathered on the big picnic shelter.

crows

closeup

The sunset started as a moody grey and pink one, and I thought it would continue that way.

Allan’s photos:

bird

grey

grey

grass

west of the boardwalk

buoy

my photos:

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

from the end of the Bolstadt approach

pink

boardwalk

boardwalk

band of colour

band of colour

Thinking it was fading, we turned to go back to town and saw the tail lights of the cars of other sunset watchers driving away….

Long Beach from the boardwalk

Long Beach from the boardwalk

One glance back and we turned to the west again as the colour suddenly intensified.

colour

bright

And then it did fade.

last

At home, I took a quick walk along Spruce and Lake Streets to check out progress in the Ilwaco flatlands Halloween preparations.

the J's house across the street

the J’s house across the street from ours

on Spruce

on Spruce

Soon would come the yearly Halloween extravaganza.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

We did it!  Got a difficult job out of the way.  But not without difficulty.  At least on my part.

But first: a cute kitty next door to the Ilwaco Post Office (where we pick up our mail six days a week as this little town has no mail delivery).

an Ilwaco cat

an Ilwaco cat

Followed by a cute cat at The Planter Box

Planter Box cat

Planter Box cat

…where we went to get a load of “cow fiber” for the Golden Sands Assisted Living courtyard garden.

Raymond loads us up.

Raymond loads us up.

There is still a “guess the weight” contest going on for the giant pumpkin.

Allan and I both guessed wrong.

Allan and I both guessed wrong.

And lots of small pumpkins and other gourds for sale…

in colourful array

a colourful array

And some ornamental grasses, which will be handy because we need some for Andersen’s RV Park:

just what I need, soon

just what I need, soon

The Planter Box has two kinds of chocolate cosmos in excellent condition.  Oddly, the new one has a tag that says “annual”, and the classic old Cosmos atrosanguineus has a tag that says “perennial”.

two kinds...and they do smell like chocolate.

two kinds…and they do smell like chocolate.

At Golden Sands, we parked by the back fire door and I shuffled through a long line of fallen leaves to the front entry, to get someone official to open the locked fire door for us.  It reminded me so much of olden days in Seattle.  I miss long crunchy drifts of fallen leaves.   Around here we mostly have conifers.

so autumnal

so autumnal

typical treeline of the peninsula

typical tree line of the peninsula, to the north of Golden Sands

And so we begin the job…

with the fire door open

with the fire door open

and the long, rather surreal trek down the carpeted hallway to the courtyard door...

and the long, rather surreal trek down the carpeted hallway to the courtyard door…

A dry day like today is perfect for the job because any dampness in the soil leads to a track of mud.  Something about having to wheelbarrow down that hallway makes any mulching at this job daunting to me and something to worry about and dread.  Maybe because of having read this excellent young adult suspense novel a couple of times?

hall

In the courtyard, I’m pleased to report that after our pruning talk, the maintenance man did a much nicer job on the rhododendrons.

an improvement in pruning technique

an improvement in pruning technique

He spoke last time of removing the two big conifers outside the dining room doors.  If he would not be allowed to remove them, he will limb them up.  I agree they are too heavy and ponderous and severely block a view that might inspire residents to actually go out into the courtyard.

These trees are too ponderous.

These trees are too ponderous.

I was thrilled to get the NW quadrant mulched at last and applied a thick and luscious layer of manure.  It was fresher than usual and smelled rather strong in the building till I propped the courtyard door open to get a cross breeze in the hallway!  If any of the residents grew up on a farm, the smell would bring back memories.

NW quadrant, happy at last

NW quadrant, happy at last

What a difference from the sunken, rubbly look of two weeks ago.

today!

two weeks ago

That quadrant consumed quite a lot of our three big scoops of cow poo, and soon I was pondering what to do about the frustration of, as usual, not having enough to finish.  The budget probably did not include two loads of mulch, and yet I just could not bear to think , “Oh well, we will finish it next spring.”

I wanted enough to mulch the back edges of the southern two quadrants and to fluff up the northeast one (although it started with the best soil because my mother spent some money on soil amendments when she lived in a room overlooking that area).

two areas hungry for mulch

two areas hungry for mulch

Forget waiting.  I decided I could divide the bill between October and November and sent Allan back to The Planter Box for another load.  Meanwhile, I weeded out more beach strawberry.  By now, the weather had me feeling truly miserable.

too hot!!

too hot!! inside the courtyard

It really was too hot…74 degrees outside, and who knows how hot in the heat-holding courtyard.  I reflected I might be the only person on the Long Beach Peninsula who was hating the “lovely” weather.

When Allan returned, I tried switching with him for awhile and getting the manure from the trailer.  It was in partial shade….

just a bit shady

just a bit shady

An aside: just south of where we park is something interesting:  a long grass runway which is kept mowed, and must be kept that way (we have been told) for airplanes.  Why, I do not know!  Perhaps it is there for emergency landing needs of small aircraft.

the runway of mystery

the runway of mystery

I did not do well on wheelbarrowing…still seem to be recovering from the hydrangea job, so we switched tasks again.   Finally, we had all the quadrants deeply mulched.

Southeast and Southwest

Southeast and Southwest

Just because I am so darned pleased, let me reprise that before and after, but bigger:

southeast before

southeast before

southeast after

southeast after

It is luscious.   We could have used even more on mom’s old quadrant, but a third load would have truly done us (and the budget) in.

me mum's former garden

me mum’s former garden

This project all started in 2009 when my mother moved in to the room behind the righthand window, above.  Each quadrant was just scrubby grass (formerly lawn) and weeds and a few California poppies of the plain orange variety.  She wanted a garden and the director at the time, Linda, said we could dig up the quadrant outside her window and make one for her.  Over time, this segued into remaking all four quadrants of lawn.

As we left, so glad to get out of the heat, Allan saw some mushrooms at the west side of the building and stopped to photograph them.

I have no idea what kind...

I have no idea what kind…

shrooms

I can tell he was pleased with the mulching job.  He went back into the courtyard to get something, and when I downloaded my photos tonight, I found these:

mulch

mulch

mulch...so beautiful...gardeners will know what I mean...

mulch…so fragrantly beautiful…gardeners will know what I mean…

Driving south, I saw a lovely fog ahead as we approached Long Beach…but it stayed just ahead of us.

beautifully grey in the distance

beautifully grey in the distance

I had an ominous feeling that the Long Beach planters might have their water turned off “for the winter” and indeed they do.  We tested them.  Fortunately, the soil feels slightly damp, I suppose from evening dew…as there is no respite in sight from this weather.

makes everyone ecstatic but me!

makes everyone ecstatic but me!

We did some fall clean up around Long Beach city hall (the only place I could think of to work for an hour in the shade!) and bought some H blocks for a project.  By the time we got to Ilwaco, the mist had eluded us.

home in time to do a little project

home in time to do a little project

I needed to retrieve milk crates that were holding up plant shelves by the greenhouse.  I’ll need the crates soon for sorting bulbs.

little project before

little project before

and after

and after

I will be so glad to get the plants into the ground at Golden Sands.  Some were donated by Sheila and some by Kathleen Shaw and have been waiting since July for the sprinkler system to be fixed, and for the mulch to be applied, and now for the rain to return.  (I must remember to try not to complain too much when eventually we may have to work in rain and wind again.)

I did a little bit of at home gardening till dark and enjoyed my own personal sunset (from the garden, and the street, not with a fancy port/boats/water backdrop).

hops in evening light

hops in evening light

from the garden

from the garden, looking west

looking south to the port from our back garden

looking southwest to the port from Nora’s back yard

How I love seeing the western sky; our old house backed onto a hill and we never saw a sunset from there.

sunset sky over the Tom/Judy and Larry/Robert houses just down the block

sunset sky over the Tom/Judy and Larry/Robert houses just down the block

birds and clouds

birds and clouds over Nora’s roof

sunset over Lake Street

sunset over Lake Street

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