Posts Tagged ‘The Depot Restaurant’

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

It is nice to have a cat who likes to have a bit of cereal milk at breakfast, like Smoky used to do.

The weather report I rely on most for advance planning is a local one called 642weather.com, 642 being the Long Beach area code. For hour to hour weather, I pay close attention to the Dark Sky app. Today, 642 had changed since yesterday’s forecast to show some light rain instead of heavier rain all day. Dark Sky warned of some light rain in the afternoon. We decided to go to work anyway (even though I would have loved a real rainy reading day).

The Depot Restaurant

As I have said many times, I do not believe in the kind of garden clean up that I do for most clients, especially public gardens. I suppose the Depot is one place where the owners, Nancy and Michael, wouldn’t mind if I put up an interpretive sign explaining that gardens left standing are good for bugs and critters. But…it’s easier to just get the job done in one swoop.


We both worked on clipping the hops that climb the dining deck lattice, Allan doing the hardest part because he was inside on the deck to remove vines from the top of the lattice walkway, while I was just clipping to halfway up on the outside of the lattice. Halfway through that job, torrential rain began. I wondered if we would have to just get the hops done and return tomorrow for the rest. I’d already cut some tall perennials down so it would look sort of half-arsed if we left it.

The dining deck entry from the restaurant, before
Allan’s view from inside of me clipping hops in the downpour
My view from the garden while getting thoroughly drenched
Lattice cleared of hops
It is not easy cleaning a sopping wet area…
….but Allan prevailed.
A sodden creature

As the rain slowed slightly, I decided to keep cutting the perennials down, using The Toy (our Stihl battery shearing tool) and hand clippers (secateurs). I still thought we would have to return to weed.

Wet and cold

The rain had come on so suddenly that there had been no time to get to the van and my raincoat without getting even wetter while trying to get into it.

With the hops done, Allan joined me by trimming a fern and some dierama (angel’s fishing rod).

View from where he was working

The sun came out so I kept on with the weeding, mostly prunella and some creeping buttercups and a smattering of bindweed. Allan weeded along the parking lot side of the logs and loaded up debris.

We had had this much rain in the squall that was less than half an hour long.

Sous chef Jamie came out to chat with us after putting on some meat to roast.

The smell of the food had been amazing and maddening while we worked. I so very much miss dining at the Depot, our favourite restaurant, and if it comes true that we can get a Covid vaccine in the springtime, our very first treat will be a Depot dinner. We might treat ourselves to a take out dinner this autumn to celebrate the start of staycation. We have not had takeout food because my Covid protocols are fierce, but I know that the utmost food prep precautions are taken here (and also at our favourite lunch spot, Captain Bob’s Chowder).


At home

We had a large amount of debris to process. Some bamboo needed trimming, and the trimmed bamboo bits and all the hops needed to be stuffed into bags in our wheelie bin. Covid protocols require that all garbage, even yard waste, must be bagged. (There is no recycling or yard waste pick up where we live.) Hops vines won’t break down well in the compost.

Allan dealt with the hops and bamboo whilst I chopped and loaded both the Depot debris and yesterday’s debris from Mike’s garden into bin two, which had been halfway full. Chopping it up makes it compost faster.

We got done in a brisk wind an hour before dark. Even with dry clothes, it took a long time to get warm afterwards.

I have some anxiety about a storm that might or might not arrive Friday night. The potential is being compared to The Monster of 2007 …an experience I do not want to repeat, especially in a double wide manufactured home; at least I know our metal box of a house came through the 2007 storm ok.

Our local paper has this to say:

“It’s been almost 13 years since the Great Gale of 2007 ravaged the coastal Pacific Northwest with strong winds, punishing rainfall, and left some residents in the dark for days. Uncertainty remains, but the region is currently in the bullseye for a similarly strong wind storm later this week.

The approaching weather system is associated with severe tropical storm Atsani that hammered part of the northern Philippines on Nov. 6.

Current forecast models have the storm arriving late in the evening on Nov. 13, bringing strong winds, large coastal waves and heavy rainfall. It is expected to have a low pressure between 968 and 973 millibars, nearing the 952 millibars reading from 2007.”

The article goes on to say that we could have 70 mph wind and, with Wednesday being a holiday, it would be a good day to prepare. It will not be a holiday for us, but we are more prepared than ever before. We now have not only a good little camp stove but a generator so that we won’t lose our frozen pandemic food stores! Apparently we are not sure if it will run both a space heater and the freezer and refrigerator. I hope we do not have to find out. The path of the storm could change or it may fizzle, as most storms here since 2007 have. The joys of anticipating some exciting storm watching ended for me after the 2007 experience.

Worrying about a storm can occupy the part of my mind that is not worrying about a trumpian coup. By the time this post goes to press, the national news will have changed. Today, I’ve been reading some dire thoughts by Heather Cox Richardson and Dan Rather.

In cat news, I think adding the kittens has had the effect on Skooter that I’d hoped for. He no longer sits and yowls pitifully for hours. I interpreted his yowls as complaints about being the only cat. Even though he growls and hisses at the kittens, he also occasionally has a brief moment of play with them.

He lounges in the living room, seeming content, and spends more time indoors. The paper is for cat amusement.
The cattens are endlessly entertaining.

The work board tonight; some jobs now get shifted into a final clean up column for one more check up in December….or after a big storm. [Edited to add a spoiler: the storm split into two and so was weaker than in 2007.]

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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Onyx observes from next door

We got back to work later in the week than usual after two hot days. I suddenly remembered that we hadn’t watered the new plants at the J. Crew Cottage, nor had I watered the exciting new plants that I’d planted at home awhile back. Fortunately, all were well.

New panicums at the Js

The Depot Restaurant

North side of dining deck
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’
I was pleased to see that Phygelius ‘Cherry Red’ reblooms when cut back.

Patti’s garden

Some new concrete had been poured that had splashed the fence and railing. It will get cleaned up.
Hoping for a second biscuit.
The garden is emptier now, as spent annuals get removed, letting the hydrangeas breathe.
“I think it was a little over planted,” says Patti. I hadn’t expected all the seeds to germinate as well as they did.
Still hoping for a second biscuit (but I was saving some other dogs).

Long Beach Welcome Sign

The welcome sign sits at the border of Seaview and Long Beach.

Rudbeckia is carrying the show now.
The deer are mowing down the geraniums on the back side.

Katie’s garden

We made a detour up to Cranberry Road to pick up some bunny poop and had a look at Katie’s garden, which we had planted up for her months before.

Her dahlias and lilies had been a success.

Patti and I both agree that the painted sage was a dud this year, not nearly as good as it used to be several years ago. I see some at Katie’s, along the edge, that is just not very exciting. I am officially giving up on it for jobs, although I may grow some at home, because I live in hope.

We will return to Katie’s next month to do fall clean up and plant some bulbs.

I’m in a new habit of dividing a long work day into two posts so that readers don’t have to load 40 or more photos. Thinking ahead to next year, do you like it better like this or did you prefer posts that went on and on interminably? If nothing else, those long posts did get across how interminable the work day can feel.

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Thursday, 21 November 2019

At home

The old apple tree and a tall mahonia

The yellow rain gauge


Allan kindly took on my leaf mowing mission of more that had fallen next door at the Nora House and two doors down on the Norwood driveway.

He fired up the Mighty Mac and vanquished the most recent pile of woody debris. The machine works fine again with its new belt.

All got chopped except the bamboo.

While all that went on, I planted the last of my newly arrived bulbs, 100 narcissi and 50 Iris reticula, most of the narcissi on either side of the new path shown below. .

I also decided that the cosmos across the street at the J’s Cottage simply had to be pulled.

After that great burst of accomplishment, all between one and three forty five PM, I quickly picked a simple bouquet…

…and we left home to make a long overdue visit to our friend Patti’s new house.

In Seaview

Patti has downsized to a darling one story cottage around the corner from her old house and its beautiful garden. She will have room for a simpler new garden at her new place. We had much to catch up on as we had not seen each other for a year. How in the world does that happen with such a valued friend? We have had some connection every day by playing Words with Friends!

View from Patti’s living room

With Patti’s dog, Stella

After our excellent visit, Allan I could not resist dinner at The Depot Restaurant on our way home.


I had dragged all the unclipped bamboo into the garage before we left so that I was able to clip it inside after dark. All missions accomplished!

While I wish it were actual official staycation, almost staycation is almost as good.

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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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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Skooter made Allan relax and read a book (a Cadfael mystery):

I had a quick read of a chef’s autobiography (ghostwritten, said one of the reviews).

I do not cook and yet I like to read almost any book about being a chef.

My friend J9 taught me about the Southern “bless your heart.”

The chef-ing parts of the book were the most interesting.

Keeping clean…This would not work for gardening, at least, not for me, because of the way I carry armloads of debris.

On the difficulties of being a woman chef:

Bless the hearts of these chefs, and I do not mean that in the Southern way:

The double standard for appearance:

When Chef Cora marries her girlfriend:

Chef Cora’s cause:

I spent the afternoon reading another book that I almost did not open, because I thought it would be dry and dull and because I had a whole new stack of alluring library books.  I am so glad I decided to read it.

A minor question answered:

On the glorious rabble rousing of John Steinbeck:

One of the most burning questions in The Grapes of Wrath, from an essay of Steinbeck’s called Starvation Under the Orange Trees:

I almost wept again in remembering this:

Is a little white house too much to ask?  It is not asking for much.

Steinbeck’s “three cries of history:”

I am going on to read Susan Shillinglaw’s other books about Steinbeck, and, of course, will continue on in reading all of Steinbeck himself.

I finished the book just in time to take a breath and get ready to go to the Christmas Eve Dickens dinner at the Depot Restaurant, where we were joined by Our Kathleen.

Allan’s photo

Allan got some photos of the Depot-oriented tree decorations.

I had every intention of making a big deal of toasts and memories about this being the exact 25th anniversary of my moving to the Long Beach Peninsula.  (That story starts here.)  I’ve been anticipating it for a few years, and I did think about it at the beginning, about how 25 years ago we (Robert and I) had just arrived to live at the Sou’wester, one block west of the Depot.  Between seeing other folks we knew, and the arrival of the wonderful food, I forgot all that till after dinner and dessert, when there was nothing left to toast with and the restaurant was almost empty.  (I had made a big deal about it on Facebook during the day, and that will have to suffice.)

roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and brussels sprouts. (We took half of our meat home for leftovers.)

Allan had the Steak Killian with Potato Gratin

my dessert


sorbet duo

Our brains were not in high gear, as all three of us forgot to open our Christmas crackers.  They got left behind and remembered later.  It worked out, because Depot co owner and host Nancy told me she will present them to a table of three as a fun gift during the Christmas Day dinner service.  That made me feel better about my forgetting two important (to me) things about this evening.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Allan wrapped some of my presents in elegant style:

These contained a nice big set of towels to replace our old, worn and thin ones.

I gave him three nautical books, including one of Sea Stories that had been on the bookshelf of one of the Tall Ships.  And a book about boat names, and “In Search of Swallows and Amazons”.

It was fun to open all our gifts from Our Kathleen, Montana Mary, and Dave and Mel, and to think of them opening ours today.

Part of our gift bag from Our Kathleen (in which Allan was well chuffed to find a gift certificate from Englund Marine):


These little boxes, from Dave and Mel, are made by a Michael in Oysterville.

Gifts from Montana Mary included fudge with a clever lid design and jam with a chuckle-worthy name:

Some extra pretty chocolate liqueurs were in our gift bag from Jenna and Don:

A book from Allan to me about life in Ilwaco kept me reading in the afternoon.

Victoria used to live half a block from our house.

It captures the Ilwaco of about twenty years ago evocatively, and since I have been here for 25 years (have I mentioned that?), I remember these women, mostly gone now:

I have often mentioned how we do not get home delivery of mail here…not in prose like Victoria’s.

She writes of the old boats.  I learned that the Virgo, one of the first boats I photographed here, is gone now.

“a few deep greens like the Virgo (rest in peace)”

She writes of buying fish from “OleBob’s, run by fishermen’s daughters”.

To real oldtimers, this is not the fishing town it used to be (still seems like one to me, but I was not here in the old boom days):

A great description of the port at night:

In writing about selling some of her dad’s fishing gear, Victoria perfectly expressed the way I feel about my grandmother’s things…tea cups and plates, but the same poignancy:

If you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of living in Ilwaco, you could not do better than Victoria’s book.  (It is available at Time Enough Books at the port.)

In the late afternoon, after the putting away of wrapping paper and Christmas bags and presents:

We heard from Nancy of the Depot Restaurant that our forgotten Christmas crackers were passed on to Christmas day diners, one of whom had recently had surgery, and who had brought in a tiny Christmas tree for their table.  They were happy and I am happy.

For the next week, I think that the chilly weather will cooperate in providing a good stretch of reading days.  I am fast closing in on 100 books read this year.

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Without any plan for the gardening day, I ended up spending hours on the first area that I saw when going out the back door: the garden next to Devery’s driveway.  It was an unsuccessful kitchen garden this year, except for potatoes and borage.

This photo shows how potatoes are made.

I pulled and raked a lot of debris from when this area was the debris pile and took the twiggy brown bits over to the new compost bins.

I disrupted this frog’s day considerably.

Across the driveway, Royal and Frosty enjoyed each other’s company.

Just as I was finishing the big weeding and hauling project, I had to take shelter in the greenhouse from a pelting rain.

greenhouse view, noisy rain

The rain barrels quickly filled again.

Allan had gone to the library.  He returned with a gift for me from our Ilwaco friend Ann S, who had tucked it in next to the book I had ordered.

That was most kind.

The Depot Restaurant

In the evening, we treated Our Kathleen to a three days belated birthday dinner, joined by our friend and artist Michele.  (She is the one who hosted the political postcard parties last winter.)

Michele and Allan

Kathleen’s favourite appetizer, Thai Calamari

Asian salad

salmon for Michele

Steak Killian

Allan’s Vegetable Primavera

an original art card from Michele

flourless chocolate cake for Kathleen

peach cobbler

The conversation was so interesting to all of us that we sat, ate, talked from 7 PM till 10 PM, realizing it was time to go when the last table but ours departed.  Such a scene always reminds me of the end of My Dinner with Andre, when the two friends look up and realize that the restaurant staff is sweeping the floor and putting up the chairs and every other diner is gone.

Outside, the moonlight and the streetlight dramatically lit the garden.

On Sunday, we visited Pam and Prissy in Seaside (tomorrow’s post).

Monday, 2 October 2017

I had another day of garden puttering.  Allan, in trying to mow Devery’s front lawn, had found that the mower no longer will stay on.  I was the last one to use it, on Thursday while he painted the shed.  This led to some dark mutterings of having “loaned it out”.  My mother’s old electric mower holds a charge only briefly, so he picked away at Devery’s lawn with that, in short spurts.

Meanwhile, I heard some loud crashings and bashings out beyond the bogsy woods and went to investigate.  The port’s big mower and trimmer machine was at work all along the edge of the meander line.  I took some befores, durings, and afters of the willow grove to the outside of our fence.

before, looking southwest; the willows beyond the ditch were already gone.

I moved my bench inboard, just in case.

before, looking southeast

the port being revealed as branches are removed

after, looking southwest

southeast, after

The swale will be a pond in winter.

Just last week I had been thinking of pruning out a view point through the branches, so I have no complaints about this port project.  Now I have a view at the south end of the main corridor:

A photo from last week shows the difference in the southwest corner:

last week


I was glad that last weekend’s salmonberry chopping frenzy had not included the ones that give privacy on the inside of the fence.

quite glad I kept these salmonberries

I spent the day planting and transplanting.

Allan’s photo, while fixing a string of lights at the edge of the roof.

Allan’s photo

potting up a new fuchsia

My mom’s “copper” rose was too overgrown with other tall plants to thrive in the front garden, and I believe the deer are still managing to get in to that area despite my bamboo pole and wire fencing at the sidewalk edge (where zoning does not allow a tall solid fence).

I hope it revives in a better back garden spot next to my mom’s “red velvet” rose.

mom’s two roses together again

Kniphofia ‘Earliest of All” is changing its shape.

I planted my three new plants from Xera, the ones I had picked up yesterday from Pam.

Hydrangea ‘Edgy Orbits’ (which has been a disappointment) got moved to the bogsy woods, to make room for…

Clerodendrum trichotomum

Two new callistemons went into the west side of the front garden.  As I planted Callistemon viridflorus ‘Shamrock’ near another one, I was feeling quite pleased to be added to my collection of these cool bottlebrush shrubs…till I looked at the tag of the one planted last year.  It was also ‘Shamrock’; I had forgotten that I already had one.  Oh well, two side by side will make a good show.

The other callistemon is new to me, though, and I had to have it because of the name. I cleared a bed in its honor:

Callistemon ‘Wetlands Challenged Mutant’ will have creamy flowers someday.

I still think about taking all the lawn out in this one area and making the paths and edges be gravel.

Green is nice, and so soft and comforting when my foot hurts, but….

In the pleasant evening, we had a campfire.

roasting a campfire dinner, moon rising over the gear shed next door

Tomorrow: A three day work week begins.  But first, we will back track a day for our visit to Pam’s garden.






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Thursday, 24 August 2017

We skipped deadheading the welcome sign (south of town), firmly reminding ourselves to remember it on the way home.  I was eager to get out to the kite festival again.  Today’s events featured an exhibition of handmade kites.

Washington State International Kite Festival

this year’s festival poster

The judging was still ongoing when we got to the beach, and because we had much watering still to do, we didn’t actually see many of the handmade kites.  However, here are a couple of old photos of kites from the 1993 festival that still are strong in my memory.

flying colours kites by George Peters

Aztec Calendar by Michael Alverez


booths along the Bolstad beach approach road

a big sand shovel being carried to the beach (Allan’s photo)

A “rescue” Great Dane (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

“Beach Books” booth

one of several booths featuring fair food (Allan’s photo)

wind chimes

banners for sale, made by Above it All Kites

at the South Pacific County Humane Society booth

In the World Kite Museum tent, an eclipse flag was being raffled.

volunteer fire fighter at the ready (Allan’s photo)

koi banner out on the beach

giant kites

Not enough wind to get the giant rings and large animals flying.

rings and creatures on a previous year and windier day

Kite fliers and teams set up their “territories” on the beach.

Allan’s photo

stunt kites waiting to fly

a man….

…and his kite

kite flyer (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

On this same day, a talented local photographer shared this stunning kite:

photo by Janelle Hux

Walking back to town along the approach garden, I was so pleased to see roses still blooming.  This garden gets no supplemental water.

Rosa rugosa alba

Back in town….

Long Beach City Hall

fuchsias overhanging the fence in Coulter Park, where we park for kite festival.

Allan and I shook off the holiday Kite Festival feeling and parted ways to water, with Allan doing the planters on the south end of downtown and me doing the north ones.

still my favourite planter

Agastache ‘Acapulco Salmon and Pink’

trolley passing by shuttling folks to Kite Festival (art by Don Nisbett)

the first chrysanthemum blooms by NIVA green

As I watered, a woman approached and asked “Do you do the gardens at KBC?”  She stays at Klipsan Beach Cottages once a year, where Mary had given us credit for our gardening work there.  She works at Swansons, my favourite Seattle nursery of yore, and specializes in trees and shrubs and loves conifers.  We had a good long talk.  I recommended that she look up the posts here about the Bayside Garden, the home of a “conifer man” (John).  “I’m a conifer woman!” she said.

Here’s a link to a tour of Steve and John’s garden that showcases conifers, rhododendrons, and more.

I wish my planters had more cutting edge collectors plants.  I mostly make do with what I can get around here.

Both Allan and I found the evidence of someone flower-picking their way through town without a responsible adult saying no.

These flowers came from more than one planter and from under one of the trees.

Allan’s photo

Despite that bit of flower scattering, the workday was a pleasant one.  Kite Festival always seems to draw the happiest crowd of any Long Beach event.

a kite painted rock

Allan’s photo

Gladiolus papilio (Allan’s photo)

Gladiolus papilio (Allan’s photo)

We met up in Fifth Street Park and did some garden tidying (Allan more than me because he got there first).

NW quadrant

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Chelone (pink turtlehead)

Rose ‘Super Dorothy’ before deadheading (Allan’s photo)

We felt that we were making good time and so rewarded ourselves with crab rolls at Captain Bob’s Chowder, which is temptingly located behind the park.

at Captain Bob’s

Sid Snyder planters needed watering next.

The trail ride horses were being gathered up to go home.

Westernmost Sid Snyder Drive planter (Allan’s photos)

The water is still turned off in this one.


Feel quite accomplished to be done with Long Beach before five o clock, we headed south to water in…


Allan left me at the boatyard to water while he got the water trailer and did the street trees and planters.

Allan’s photo

At the boatyard, this pretty salmon colored four o clock reminds me of Lorna and Andersen’s RV Park.  When we gardened for her there, we acquired salmon, apricot and peach coloured flowers for her.  This was from  a seed packet, most of which got planted at Andersens.  Lorna lives in Seattle now.  She might bring her grandchildren to see our garden this weekend.

Mirabilis jalapa ‘Salmon Sunset’

Pennisetum macrourum from behind the fence

Miscanthus and Stipa gigantea

Joy! Hoses were again available to water the north end of the garden from the inside.

I had time to weed and deadhead almost the entire north stretch of the garden.

looking north, about 1/3 of the garden

blue skies, not too warm, almost windless

Unfortunately, half way through my weeding, I suddenly remembered: WELCOME SIGN.

Allan’s photo: the fire station planter

When we reunited, we drove home to leave the trailer behind.

our neighbour Jeff from two doors down was taking his boat for an outing.

Long Beach (again)

We did find many a deadhead when we returned to Long Beach’s welcome sign.

As a consolation for driving north again, we treated ourselves to dinner at

The Depot Restaurant.

I had three of my favourites from the summer menu:

Asian salad



We shared Carne asada.

clam chowder for Allan

We sat at the end of the bar.

It wasn’t till later that I realized we had treated ourselves twice today, once to reward ourselves for allegedly getting done with Long Beach early, and once to comfort ourselves because we had forgotten an important work task.

I took this photo in the dark as we left, to show the colour echo of green on Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso” and the chartreuse sweet potato vine in a container planted by Basket Case Roxanne.  For some reason, I like its blurriness.  YMMV.

Now…three days off.  I thought it would be four, but with 70 degree weather all weekend, we can’t leave the next watering day till Tuesday.





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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Before we got started, the mum of our friend Thandi came to visit the garden.  (As we have with many of our friends, we had told her to tour it anytime as long as she closes the deer gates.)




alliums and santolina in the back garden

The Depot Restaurant…

…got the usual watering and grooming.


Dierama (angel’s fishing rod) in bloom


Allan’s photo




assorted eryngiums


Allan’s photo


north side of dining deck

Red Barn Arena



Allan’s photo


Misty was at the barn today…


…with Holly and Diane (Allan’s photo)

In the barrels, even the red diascia have almost dried up.


sad diascias, a plant I usually think of as pretty tough


I cut them way back.

Even though the red diascia were by request, I swear that next year I am going to go all ultra-drought tolerant in those barrels.  Small red sedums and sempervivums around the edges would be a good solution.

Diane’s garden


between Diane’s and the Red Barn (Allan’s photo)


Diane’s garden


a belly rub was insisted upon

The Basket Case Greenhouse

We made a quick stop on the way north to pick up some blue “Korean agastache” that Roxanne had grown from seed (and a few other impulse buys, of course, including a gold leafed four o clock called ‘Limelight’).


still lots of choices in the annuals house


Look who stopped to say hi.  (Allan’s photo)

On the way further north to Klipsan Beach, we delivered a life jacket to J9, who is planning to go boating with a friend this weekend.


J9’s place


J9 made a planter out of this old crab pot.

Of course, we then had to drive by Ed Strange’s place on the way back to the highway and were fortunate to find him home.

touring Ed’s Garden


Ed’s place


He is slowly landscaping the neighbours’ front garden, as well.


gold and more gold by the dog run

Awhile ago, Ed ran a culvert pipe along the road, thus being able to expand the front edge of the garden into what used to be a bank of salal and a ditch.  You can see the salal in this old photo:




same area today





My good friend Jackson Strange (He’s a Springer Spaniel.)


Allan’s photo



front porch


fancy pelargoniums


Ed’s east facing porch and deck


I had delphinium envy.  Maybe I could grow them in a pot.



On the deck; he’s had this cactus for 46 years.


view east from the deck.  The old single wide next door is going to be demolished soon.

Ed waters his handsome clump of gunnera for an hour a day, he says, and mulches it heavily.


Allan’s photo


The round grey “pavers” are Sedum ‘Cape Blanco’


by the garage


Note the gunnera on this painting.


hebe in the back garden


Ed’s enviable hostas

Ed agreed to be the one who will dig up and take away my sad tattered hostas and give them a better life.

We had a tour of Ed’s home.  My home would never be tidy like this if someone dropped by.


vintage light fixture and stained glass inset


his grandma’s pug

Then we all had to get back to work.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We weeded and tidied.  The garden had held up well since last week.  In gardens like this one, where we can count on not having to water, we get a lot more actual gardening done.


It suddenly felt quite hot out.  (About 70 F)



Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’


One of Mary’s glorious rose bushes


sit spot with Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’


Allan’s photo


Echinops (blue globe thistle)


Allan noticed them, too.


another healthy rose


I wish I knew the names of all the roses Mary has.

Deadheading Rose ‘Bow Bells’ (Allan’s photos):





We headed all the way back to Ilwaco for our last job of a pleasantly easy day.


Allan shopped at Sid’s Supermarket on the way (his photo)

Port of Ilwaco

We watered 9 of the curbside gardens, some long, and some just little pockets.


Looking west on Howerton from the port office

I had an unnerving experience while watering the Time Enough Books garden.  A baby bird hopped out onto the street, followed by its anxious mother.



The mother cheeped frantically.

The baby went further out into the street.  The mother played “I have a broken wing!”  I tried to stop traffic but had to back up…in the street!…because a woman just would not stop.  Finally she did…on top of the baby bird, which I could no longer see.  When she finally asked what was wrong, and I said there was a baby bird under her car, she asked what to do, and I told her I really had no idea.  (I could not get down and crawl under the car plus I did not trust her not to move.)  Thank all creation that when she drove on, the bird was fine.  I gently boosted it back up into the garden while the mother made another dramatic broken wing pantomime.


The parents continued to keep a close eye on me.


There’s a baby bird somewhere in the garden.

Allan’s photos:


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’


parsley, poppy, toadflax

Tomorrow: Back to the watering rounds in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

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Thursday, 3 November 2016

The weather turned out as good as predicted.  I hoped to cross two mulching projects off of the work board by the end of the day.

The Depot Restaurant

Before we could acquire mulch, we had to do the rest of the fall clean up at the Depot garden, including taking the hops down from the dining deck lattice.

Chef Michael asked for an extra project, clearing a narrow area between deck and wall of bamboo so that a repairman could get in to fix the heater.

Fortunately, Allan could fit in the narrow passageway.  I am not sure I could have.  Well, I could have fit, but not worked easily.

Allan's photos: passage of chopped bamboo

Allan’s photos: passage of chopped bamboo, before



Allan did the inside passage to the dining deck.



me working on the outside

me working on the outside

inside, after

inside, after

outside, before

outside, before

All the bare, strangely textured stiff stems of hops have to be clipped and teased out through the lattice.



I had been hoping to be able to get, say, five bales of Gardner and Bloome compost from the Planter Box for this mulching project.  As soon as I was reviewed it, I realized I would need a full yard of Soil Energy from all the way up at Peninsula Landscape Supply.

Long Beach

We just had time to do some clean up of a lavatera and some perennials at Long Beach city hall on the way.

LB City Hall (west side) with more clean up done.

LB City Hall (west side) with more clean up done.

pulling some Crocosmia 'Lucifer' at Coulter Park

pulling some Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ at Coulter Park



We divested ourselves of today’s debris and headed north to

Peninsula Landscape Supply

plenty of Soil Energy on hand.  (Allan's photo)

plenty of Soil Energy on hand. (Allan’s photo)

“This light, absorbent and nutrient rich manufactured soil provides an excellent medium to grow grass, bedding plants, shrubs, roses, and fruit trees. It is our lightest and most free draining soil with great fertility and growth characteristics. This works as well in your deck’s planter boxes as it does in your landscape beds. You can plant straight into it or use it as a soil amendment added to your existing soil to give it a boost and improve its drain-ability. 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)”

One of two scoops being loaded into our little trailer.

One of two scoops being loaded into our little trailer.

Lots of other hardscaping material for sale, including oyster shells.  (Allan's photo)

Lots of other hardscaping material for sale, including oyster shells. (Allan’s photo)

one yard, tarped and ready to hit the road (Allan's photo)

one yard, tarped and ready to hit the road (Allan’s photo)

back to The Depot Restaurant

a thick layer of mulch applied, bucket by bucket over the log

a thick layer of mulch, applied bucket by bucket over the log



Fuchsia 'Hawkshead' can now be seen.

Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead’ can now be seen.

ornamental grasses on the east side of the dining deck

ornamental grasses on the east side of the dining deck

We had time to go the Dennis Company in Long Beach and buy two bales of Gardner and Bloome for the pocket garden at the kite musuem.

across the street from Dennis Company

across the street from Dennis Company

World Kite Museum

one of two tightly compressed bales

one of two tightly compressed bales

with mulch applied

with mulch applied


World Kite Museum

World Kite Museum

Rather to my surprise, we had time to tidy up the planters along Sid Snyder drive (just north of the kite museum).

Allan's photos:  The one with crocosmia, before...

Allan’s photos: The one with crocosmia, before…

and after.  Crocosmia was planted years before by a volunteer.

and after. Crocosmia was planted years before by a volunteer.

Our friends Steve and John of the Bayside Garden drove by while we were working but we didn’t see. Steve snapped this photo downtown showing a color match by one of the planters:

Photo by Steve McCormick, cropped close by me

On our way to a near dusk debris offload, we pulled a few more clumps of crocosmia from the parking lot berms.  
a large mushroom on the parking lot berm (Allan's photo)

a large mushroom on the parking lot berm (Allan’s photo)

I had time at home to write up one blog post before going to dinner at

The Cove Restaurant

where we were joined at our usual North Beach Garden Gang dinner meeting by Our Kathleen, down for a long weekend.  All we local gardeners are just getting over property tax and quarterly sales tax payments so salad followed by fish tacos ($3 each!) was the order of the night.

2 fish tacos, filling and economical

2 fish tacos, filling and economical

As usual, we closed the place down and lingered for a bit more chatting in the parking lot.


The work board lost four things today: two mulching projects and the fall clean up of city hall and the Depot.  Now the latter two get shifted into a new column: post frost clean up, whenever that might be.


Not all jobs get a special post frost clean up.  The Depot has window boxes that need to be cleaned out after a freeze.

Tomorrow, I hope Ilwaco and the port and the boatyard will drop off the fall clean up list.


1995 (age 71):

Nov 3:  Finished digging dahlias.  Cut down lily stalks in UDFB [Upper Driveway Flower Bed] and PBB [Patio Back Bed??]  Drove around Yelm paying bills, bank, Payless, Stock Market, and Gordon’s.  Bought 16 more pansies and more perennials.








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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I woke to such intense wind and rain that I was sure Melissa and Dave would not be working two doors down on the hedge trimming project.  But when I looked out my window, there they were.  I went over to record their perseverance and fortitude.

Neither wind nor rain keeps Sea Star Gardening from its rounds.

Neither wind nor rain keeps Sea Star Gardening from its rounds.

over the gate, gale warning flags at the port

over the gate, gale warning flags at the port

warning flags flown at the port office

warning flags flown at the port office

Mel tarping debris while Dave uses hedge shears for the final cut.

Mel tarping debris while Dave uses hedge shears for the final cut.

I warned Mel about the spear effect of falling branches from the alder grove.

I warned Mel about the spear effect of falling branches from the alder grove.

The trees made a huge wind noise.

The trees made a huge wind noise.

leaning in

leaning in

a second tarp

a second tarp

I posted a video here with the sound of the wind and the sight of the hedge whipping about.  At least it did not rain on our friends.

This wind record is from a weather station over on Sandridge Road; it was probably 10 mph stronger here:


Melissa said that she was experiencing Ilwaco weather.  I often complain that it is so windy here when in their sheltered garden way up in Oysterville, the wind is minimal.

I left them to their task and went home to spend my day indoors doing all the bulb spreadsheets.

Calvin and Skooter

Calvin and Skooter face off over the cat door. (A squabble did not ensue.)

Smokey supervising.

Smokey supervising.

my Smokey

my Smokey



Meanwhile, Allan painted.  He said that any stray drop of paint blew away, sometimes onto the green paint of the gates, which then had to be wiped off with paint thinner because he was using an oil based paint.

painting the back arbor

painting the back arbor

Allan's photos: before

Allan’s photos: before

and after

and after



and after

and after

It was all his idea to paint the posts black, and it turned out beautifully.

My view at 6:11 PM

My view at 6:11 PM

I finished the spreadsheets just in time for us to depart to have dinner with Dave and Mel at

The Depot Restaurant.

This was a bonus dinner rather than our weekly meeting.  We like to go sometimes to Wednesday “Burger Night”, an offseason treat offered by the Depot.

You choose from many ingredients.

You choose from many ingredients.

If you get a fried egg and pineapple, you can deconstruct the burger and have the egg as an appetizer and the pineapple as dessert.

view from our table

view from our table

a well filled burger

a well filled burger

vanilla bean flan

vanilla bean flan

chocolate espresso pot de creme

chocolate espresso pot de creme

sorbet duo: Cranberry and Pineapple

sorbet duo: Cranberry and Pineapple

Tomorrow, I am determined to get back to bulbing, rain or shine.


1995 (age 71):

Oct 26: 1:30-5:30  I fell again from the little extra step of back porch.  Messed up my knee.  I started to weed asparagus/strawberry bed.  Ended up pulling up the berry plants and trimming them.  They need replanting now—maybe tomorrow.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 26:  10:30-3:30  SUNNY & WARM  I planted more bulbs in UDFB, PRFB-S and Tam.  Then the perennial order from Parks arrived so I potted them.  I picked up apples then got the recycle and garbage.  Then I came in and peeled two pails of apples.  I may can the applesauce tomorrow.  I quit working at 9:30.


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