Posts Tagged ‘Veterans Field’

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Red Barn

I was pleased to be greeted by my good friend, Dog.

We watered as well as weeded because the container plants were dry.

Very dry.

pineapple sage just giving up

Two different people apologized (without me even kvetching) and said they would do better.  The rodeo last weekend had consumed their attention.

Allan saw Cosmo, but I had gone to the planter on the other side of the barn by then.

Diane’s garden

Along the roadside garden fence, we have great sweet pea success.

Allan’s photo

cosmos (Allan’s photo)
lily (Allan’s photo)

The septic vault garden has much to offer.

violas reseeded in front
nasturtiums and drumstick alliums
Allium sphaerocephalon

aka Mexican shell flower
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We tidied up Veterans Field and Fifth Street Park in advance of the summer weekend events (in this case, the Jake the Alligatorman birthday party).

Vet Field flag pavilion garden with lots of Gauria lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’
I got to pet this corgi (Allan’s photo)
the rather sad corner garden

Brainstorm: If I could get some more handsome gallon sized Jackman’s Blue rue I could fill in the saddest side of the garden, where the sprinkler doesn’t hit.

two more blue rue would be perfect

But…I checked around and no big handsome gallon ones are available here.  I took some cuttings, looking ahead to next year.

a good rhododendron in the Lewis and Clark Square garden (Allan’s photo)

Fifth Street Park needed a big clipping of the horribly mildewed Dorothy Perkins rose.  I always feel compelled to say that this rose was not chosen by me, but instead by a landscape architect.

pitifully diseased Dorothy P

Cathy of Captain Bob’s Chowder gave us some welcomingly cooling bottled sodas on this rather hot day.


Now the park is ready for Jake’s event.  Jake lives inside Marsh’s Free Museum.  A parade will go from Marsh’s to Veterans Field on Saturday.

On the other side of the park, Super Dorothy rose is in the pink of health.  That one was chosen by me and the parks manager, on the recommendation of Heirloom Roses.

sanguisorba and Super Dorothy

Today, we had the time to finally weed two tiny sidewalk gardens (if you can call them that) a block north of city hall.  I was not thrilled when gravel was dumped on one of them.  It does not make the weeding easier.

before; I did not plant this maple.

We had a visit from a local dog, Georgia.

Allan’s photo
after (Allan’s photo)

After dumping quantities of debris at city works, we returned with a couple of buckets of mulch.

still pretty sad (Allan’s photo)

Boreas Inn

 we made a quick and efficient tidying tour of the Boreas Inn garden.

Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo (What kind of butterfly?)
Allan’s photo, some sort of moth
Artmisia ‘Powis Castle’ and Eryngium (Allan’s photo)
Liatris (Allan’s photo)

garden suite garden
Allan’s photo
front porch (all Susie’s container design)

Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ (my only front porch contribution)

The west garden leads to a path to the beach.

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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Long Beach

We had to leave the beach approach weeding for next week, because now our time must be spent getting downtown Long Beach ready for the clam festival.

The first Saturday in May used to be our target for the final spring clean up, until the clam fest was revived a few years ago, always in mid April.  You can read about the first year here.  Now the pressure is on.

We started in Veterans Field because the tent will be set up in the adjacent parking lot (at least, we assume that tradition will be followed).  All the photos are Allan’s through most of the day.

Veterans Field is large (here shown in summer with market tents) with two small gardens: a narrow arc shows at lower left and a corner garden at upper right.

Not surprisingly, the arc garden was weedy.  The flags overhead made an intense flapping racket because of the strong wind.


The corner garden was not as weedy as I had feared.

red anemones, white narcissi, Jackman’s Blue rue (which got a haircut after this photo was taken).

Even though we did not have time to weed more of the beach approach garden, we did pick up some Soil Energy mulch….

Some of it went in the center of the Vet Field arc garden, where I had previously removed a large quantity of Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ which was not getting enough water to be happy.

My plan is to put some starts of eryngium and echinops (blue globe thistle) in there.

I also planted bachelor buttons seeds (cornflowers in the UK) and stepped on them to press them into the soil, like Monty does.

Then out to the beach approach where we had enough mulch left for one half section.

The wind was a big bully.  I thought about how I would be watching Deadliest Catch in the evening and that at least we weren’t crab fishing on the Bering Sea.

Deadliest Catch

Shelburne Hotel

The Shelburne was a good place to work out of the wind.

Easter weekend will be a big one at the Shelburne, we think, so we spent the rest of our day weeding and tidying there.

Allan checked on the upstairs deck planters.


One of two planters that we did not redo last year is coming up with mint and fennel.

In the garden, a leaf speared by Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’:

front garden

another spear

I finally got out my camera and took some photos of the garden.

We ended the workday with dinner in the pub.

chopped salad with chicken, and smoked salmon reuben (just a peek)

delicious blackberry cream cheese tart

Allan’s dessert

at home

I have started a four part series on BritBox TV that I love: Tales From the Coast with Robson Green.

Tonight I saw sand art with artist Mark Treanor, who said, as the sand washed his art away, “We all disappear.”

It always amuses me to watch Robson Green whether in a drama series or these travelogs because he looks so much like my ex spouse, the Leedsman (but a little over ten years younger):

Their voices are similar, with a northern accent, so it is inescapable that I think about the disappeared past of 29 years ago.


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Thursday, 29 March 2018

I found on my front porch some cool plants from Todd, from Far Reaches Farm, some I had ordered and two that were a birthday present.  (More on the plants in a future post.)

Before we left home, our neighbour, Rudder, said hello.

Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We started our workday weeding the Veterans Field garden beds because we are pretty sure there will be an Easter egg hunt on the lawn this weekend.

corner garden, before

anemone in the garden (Allan’s photo)

tiny little grasses


You probably cannot tell much difference.  Lots of little weed grasses were removed and the ‘Jackman’s Blue’ rue got a trim.

Then we returned to the Bolstad beach approach.

This photo shows what the garden looked like back in 2004 when we could grow more delicate things.  Theft and too much walking upon made us switch to almost all rugosa roses.  It really is a darn shame, despite the roses being beautiful in their own way.  The deer had, oddly, not discovered this garden yet in 2004 and were leaving tulips alone.


This spring, wee are working east to west, and the red buoy is our goal.

This far to go at the beginning of today’s work…

We began the day with four more sections to do, with the hope of polishing off two of them today.

We also began with the usual annoyance of finding holes where plants (either Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ or narcissi clumps or clumps of red poppies that I’d brought from home) had been stolen.

I think narcissi from this hole, because the sedums are still there.

Thievin’ varmints.

First section of today, before (Allan’s photos):

That’s Juniperus conferta, which grows well in sand.


I met some cute dogs today (Allan’s photos):

The darling corgi sat on my feet to get petted.

A person stopped to talk.  I am going to use “they/their” pronouns to tell this singular story and make the person less identifiable.  Person said they had been a horticulturist and wanted to know if we were hiring.  I said no, we don’t want the paperwork of hiring, but that some other gardening businesses might be, and named a few, and suggested going to the nurseries and asking. They asked what kind of mulch could be added to sand and I suggested Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply.  They picked up a rooted piece of rugosa rose, and I said they could have it.  “I will start it in water,” they said, even when I pointed out it was already rooted.  After asking three times about mulch and twice more about being hired, they walked off, and Allan said “[They] would have failed the interview” (with us) because we find it hard to cope with a steady stream of talking whilst working.

Below, narcissi and muscari at the edge of the lawn, from assorted weed dumpings (Allan’s photos):

Narcissus ‘Golden Bells’ (yellow hoop petticoats, one of my favourites)

Horses clop-clopping by.

some species tulips not found by the deer

We began the second section of the day.  Before (Allan’s photos):

Just as I was thinking that it looked like we would get through the rest of the section with no interruptions, pleasant or otherwise, the person for whom I am using they/their pronouns returned, offering us two cans of pop.  I declined with thanks, especially after they had mentioned being poor, but they looked so disappointed that Allan took the sodas to the van with many thank yous.  The person was speaking in an altered way and said “I’m talking different because I am exhausted,”  And then the questions began: Where to get mulch? How much to use? How often did we work out on the approach? Where to get mulch? Were we hiring?  Why weren’t we hiring? How much mulch should one add to sand? Were we hiring?  Where did we live? Were we going to plant anything? Could the person plant wildflower seeds out here? I said no, because a lot of wildflower mixes might contain nixious weeds.  (Years ago, a cheap wildflower mix introduced orange hawkweed, on the forbidden list here, and it took me a couple of years to get rid of it.)  Were we hiring? Did we need help? Where did we live? Did we live here? Allan answered very vaguely. Then, If we didn’t live HERE, did we live in Oregon?  (I was tempted to say yes.)  Just how much mulch should be added to sand?

We had already answered each question thrice.  I was flummoxed.  There was no sense of vagueness or dementia to the questions, just an increasing feeling of aggression.  Allan commented a few times that it was a nice day to go for a WALK.

Before long, I just stopped answering.  I was tired and sore and my hands hurt in that way that gives extra pain when you bang into something like rose thorns.  Allan answered sometimes but in few words.  Then one word.  The person kept saying “I am not watching you.”  I had my back to them.  Allan would look up and every time, he was being closely watched.

I was getting desperate after fifteen minutes of this, so I finally straightened up and turned around and said that I was sorry, but I had to focus on work, as we had to get this done, and I was feeling too tired to make words and simply could not carry on a conversation.

Then: How much mulch? Could the person plant wildflower seeds? Where did we live? Were we hiring? How often were we out here?  (Allan lied, “Just once a year,” hoping to discourage a repeat performance.  That led to many repeated questions about why we only weeded it once a year!)

I straightened up again and turned around and said “I really need to focus on this job and you are distracting me and slowing me down.  I have got to get this done today!” (meaning the second section).

But…were we hiring? How much mulch? Wildflower seeds? Where do we live?

By now we were not answering or engaging at all.  I turned again and asked the person to please stop standing so close and watching us and please stop asking questions because we had to work.

But…Mulch? Wildflowers? Hiring? An an additional “I am going to city hall and tell them I am going to plant wildflowers.”

I turned again and said (with my head exploding inside), “This is like you walking into my office when I’m working at my desk and you talking and talking while I am trying to get stuff done.”

“No,” said the person, “You are in MY office because I live here.”  I thought they had an inarguable position, what with freedom of speech and all, although I later thought that the OFFICE belongs to the person who is working or trying to work.

I thought about leaving but I wanted so much to reach my daily goal.  Finally I said to Allan, “Could you please use the blower behind me because there is too much debris on the sidewalk.”  I whispered to him, “On the loudest setting!”  With the blower on, the person backed up thirty feet…and then returned with more questions and FINALLY with the pronouncement that they were going to give an “invocation”, something about blessings and family.  And then finally the person walked away (not to city hall, I watched).

Then I felt the rest of the day feeling like an old meanie.  What would you have done?

It had most definitely slowed us down.  We would have had time to get started on a third section.  I am just glad we did finish the second one.


This is how far we have come from the arch in the first spring weeding.

And now we have only two sections to go:

At home, I erased two more sections from the work board.

Two to go!

Salt Pub

In the evening, we met Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) at Salt for our garden club (the North Beach Garden Gang) dinner.

We brought some flowers from home.

Of course, I told them my story of being pestered for an hour or more, and Melissa said she was glad she doesn’t do public gardens!

the view from our table

scrumptious brussel sprouts appetizer

my delicious tuna melt (with salad subbed for fries)

Allan’s polenta cake was so tasty.  (I had a bite.)

Dave’s Cubano sandwich; he said it was excellent.

Melissa’s clam chowder

At the end of the day, Allan put the mason bee tube into the new bee house.  It might be too soon…or not…I am just afraid they will hatch out in the bag and expire.


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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

In the wee dark hours of the morning, blustery wind battering the south wall of the bedroom woke me repeatedly, and I did not look forward to the work day.

Allan saw a gorgeous sunrise outside the kitchen window.

Because we knew the next few days would bring substantial rain and stronger wind, we went out to work despite the cold weather.  I started out sore because of a bit of physical stress the previous evening.  Cats had knocked over a jade plant on a cute but wobbly table by my bathroom window.  I knew it was a potential problem when I set it up, and had done so anyway, so I blame no cat for the mess.  After repotting the unhappy plant, and in returning from our front porch with a better table, I had tripped sideways at the front door, yowling and windmilling into the living room.  I had saved myself from a fall but felt all twisted up.  I know all too well from the experiences of friends that one bad fall can change your life for months…or permanently.

Long Beach

I had had in mind today to trim a big lavender in the planter by First Place mall.  Allan did so while I tidied the planter across the street and then took refuge in the van while he finished up.  This particular task was set in a tunnel of east wind whipping down the cross street.  The east wind from the Columbia Gorge is the coldest wind that we get here.

before (Allan’s photo)

I wimped out.

after (Allan’s photo)


We went on to Veterans Field, where I planted an arc of elephant garlic corms.  As with the city hall garden, someone this past summer had clipped off all of the flowers on the few that were in the vet field corner garden.  Next year there will be many more.

I met a darling dog named Snack.  His guy had also had a dog named Lunch.

Again, the US flag at the flag pavilion flew at half staff, again for a mass shooting.

We chose a somewhat sheltered Long Beach spot to continue, in the two eastern quadrants of Fifth Street Park.  I’d had the idea of using our strongest string trimmer on an annoyingly rooty and muddy bed of lady’s mantle and hesperantha.  Allan did it.  It worked a treat.

Allan’s photos: before




I tackled a messy long narrow bed on the north side.  It had been planted in haste before the re-dedication of the razor clam statue a few years back.  A couple of blue scabiosa had turned into way too many.  I started digging them out because I want a new look here, something not so prolific.



I got into a big mess of debris as I got every scabiosa  and a lot of the badaster out.  I had not intended to spend so long at it, because KBC was still on the schedule.

huge mess

Allan got done with his strimming project and helped me clean up.  I did not have time to dig through the soil to get out more of the telltale pinky purple BadAster roots, and there is still no pile of mulch for us to bring to this now battered looking bed.  (We are assured that a pile of mulch will soon appear for us at City Works.)

after (the juniper, foreground, goes way back to before we did this garden)

after (with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ in white)

A tourist passerby from Woodinville, north of Seattle, had no idea what the razor clam statue represents.  Its signage is covered for winter while its plumbing (that lets it squirt on the hour) is turned off.  I will suggest to the powers that be that the clam needs a year round interpretive sign, perhaps just “Pacific Razor Clam” on its base.

In summer, you can also put in a quarter to make the clam squirt at any time during the day.

Of course, now is my opportunity to post again the droll letter my dear friend Montana Mary wrote to the local paper during the years when the clam did not squirt at all.  The statue was re-plumbed when the clam festival revived in 2014.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We had stopped at The Planter Box to acquire a belated birthday present for manager/part owner Mary of KBC.  In a big rush to have at least an hour to work at KBC, we took no photos at the garden store.

We did come up with a pretty flower pot, three plants, and three cute gourds to make a birthday present.

Allan’s photo

We had time for one hour of work, after texting garden friends that we were running fifteen minutes late for a late afternoon social engagement.

Allan cut down the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ behind the fenced garden sit spot.

Allan’s photos, before


I clipped and pulled in the other beds, without enough time to accomplish enough to finish off the fall clean up.  Still, three wheelbarrows of debris left the garden.  Even without our late afternoon plans, we would not have enough time.  I need to schedule a day of nothing but this garden in order to finish it up for the year.  It’s so sheltered that it’s a good place to choose for a windy day.

Before we left, I took some photos for the KBC Facebook page.

the sit spot

flower bud on Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’

birdbath view

Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

We left KBC at 3:15 for a Bayside Garden tour, which will be tomorrow’s post.

Later, at home…

The work board got two things erased, Fifth Street Park and planting of garlic in Vet Field.







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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

We checked on the J’s hydrangeas across the street.  I admired my sweet peas on the fence, one of only three sweet pea successes for me this year.  (The others are the Ilwaco boatyard garden and the Anchorage Cottages.)


J’s sweet peas


inside the fence

We watered at the Depot Restaurant and I completely forgot to take a photo. I think that’s a first.  I blame thinking too much about my sore heel.  The lilies still looked fine and the Persicaria ‘Firetail’ was in full bloom.

On the way to the Red Barn, I got a photo that I’d wanted last week of an attractive Seaview garden corner.



As you can see, we had lovely, cool, grey weather.  If some of the greyness was from smoke, it did not smell of smoke our make our eyes burn.

The Red Barn

Allan watered and deadheaded and photographed.


Red Barn garden






Diane’s garden

I deadheaded and fertilized the containers and tidied the corner garden.

I finally decided the fireweed (known in the UK as rosebay willowherb) had to be pulled from alongside the road, before it goes to seed throughout the garden.





The cloud of blue is the best Perovskia (Russian Sage) I’ve ever grown and it comes back every year with increased vigor.


Holly was on the porch.


Stargazer lilies blooming in the container garden

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We did the usual tidying.


looking in the east gate


in the fenced garden (under the Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’)


looking up from the bench


Here you can see the bench under the Tetrapanax





lilies and veronicastrum


Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’


This lily has been blooming for three weeks.


Cosmos ‘Seashells’

DSC06253 - Version 2.jpg

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (Allan’s photo)


Allan saw a mother and kit raccoon outside the fence at the woodsy end of the garden.  They hissed.


Allan’s photo

Long Beach

We headed south to Long Beach and got a head start on tomorrow (Long Beach day again) by weeding Veterans Field gardens.


flag pavilion garden with Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’



blue provided by eryngiums (Allan’s photo)

I was pleased when the woman from across the street walked by and said how much she likes the little corner garden.  I had been thinking it still looked pretty tatty after the front of it was run through by someone (human or dog) much earlier this season.



‘Jackmans Blue’ rue, eryngiums, drumstick alliums in the corner garden (Allan’s photo)

We watered the Sid Snyder planters.  The folks at one of the two horse ride establishments said to me, “You’re the only one we’ve ever seen watering these planters.”   Yep, I said, it is only me (or Allan.)


Horses and dogs were done for the day and being loaded into their truck and trailer.


the westernmost planter (Allan’s photo)


We checked on the kite museum garden.


Patty said they had been getting lots of compliments on the new look.

Here is a before photo, showing it looking pretty tidy because we had just string trimmed it.  The hedge to the left was made of tatty old hebes.  Ed Strange (Strange Landscaping) did the river rock work.




Ilwaco Boatyard Garden

We finished with what I thought would be a short session but turned out to be about an hour and a half of weeding at the boatyard.  As the annual poppies get removed, the garden is looking more architectural.


looking south


looking north


stems of Stipa gigantea (Allan’s photo)


flowers of Stipa gigantea (Allan’s photo)


must have more lilies next year

If there is a next year for gardens….I have been trying to appreciate every flower and garden moment more than ever with the possibility lurking of a nuclear winter, thanks to the blustering uncontrolled president…of this country.


boat work (Allan’s photo)


cute boatyard dog (Allan’s photo)


a sleek metal boat with headlights


local fisherman and his very good friend Ernie

When I got home, I was pleased to find Smokey and Calvin snoozing together again.


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Friday, 9 June 2017


getting ready for work and admiring my golden Fremontodendron. I just read it has little hairs that are a skin irritant.


We’d had lots of rain.

It had been raining hard for the first part of the morning.  We got a late start.

Our first little project was to replace some missing diascia in three of the Ilwaco planters.

Mike’s garden

A few blocks east, we did some string trimming, weeding, clipping, and planting (cosmos) in Mike’s garden.


An urgent need for strimming along the outer edge


These two sprawling conifers are slowly dying. Allan pulled lilac suckers out of one of them. Lilacs are bad that way.


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo. The one without the lilac problem is also dying out in the middle.


Oriential poppies (Allan’s photo)

Rain suddenly absolutely poured on us but we kept going.


Mike’s garden with a rain spot.

Port of Ilwaco

We weeded several of the curbside gardens and I added a very few Cosmos ‘Double Click’ to the port office garden.


Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ by Ilwaco Pavilion (Allan’s photo)


my favourite bed (Allan’s photo)


curbside painting (Allan’s photo)


view to the south of Port Office garden

While Allan kept weeding, I got our check at Time Enough Books.


Scout, staff greeter

Bookstore owner Karla says she can tell if a friend is coming by Scout’s wiggling and wagging tail.


at the cash register


tomorrow’s author reading


When I emerged, I saw someone weeding with Allan.

It was Todd.  We had a chat about yesterday’s plant shopping trip.


plant talk

Long Beach

We did not have to water the planters or the street trees!

Feeling more confident by finding all the plants still living in the Sid Snyder Drive planter, we added a couple more.



squeezed some Cosmos ‘Double Click’ into Fifth Street Park; Captain Bob’s Cathy told me she saw me but could tell I was “on a mission”.


Allan planted a couple of Asclepias syriaca in the damp SW corner of the park, an area where it can behave aggressively if that is what it likes to do.  It can fight it out with the hesperantha.

I had meant to get to the police station garden before the farmers market opened to make sure none of the roses had flopped.


Oops, two hours after the market opened.  (Allan’s photo)


Vet Field (Allan’s photo)

Later, it was a little overwhelming to plant cosmos and to weed at Vet Field because the Columbia Pacific Farmers Market first market of the year (Fridays, 3-6 PM) was in session.  The corner bed still looks sad because of last week’s trampling.  The rain had delayed us so that we had not managed to make it there before market time.



trying to make a sad garden better


Later in the summer, the market will have enough vendors to encircle the field.

We bought a little sign from a little boy who was quite the salesman.


Allan’s photo, with the boy’s dad

The boy immediately turned his earnings of the day back into the local economy by buying a bag of kettle corn.


Allan’s photo


more rain while I added a plant to one more planter on the main street (Allan’s photo)

The rain is making me so happy.

We finally got out to weed the planters on the Bolstad beach approach.


I like the dark leaved sea thrift in a pool of golden marjoram.


The very blue grass is Elymus, which has been mostly pushed out by the plain green European beach grass which was planted to stabilize the dunes. (Allan’s photo)


We skipped this planter in a deep rain puddle.


lots of rugosa roses in bloom, pink ones and white ones.


one of the planters; out here, they have to be drought tolerant.


I hope soon to find time to weed out here again.


especially will enjoy weeding the emptier areas


And here will be a satisfying spot, especially because we can add some mulch.

Maybe next year the poppies will be more successful with some mulch added.

On the way to dump debris, we checked on the nice repair that the city crew had done on the Minnie Culbertson Park garden bed:


emergency watering LAST week with rotten rail road ties showing




We pruned so the plaque shows.

at home



rain gauge


evening light


Acer campestre



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Thursday, 4 May 2017

By the time we went to work, the anti-health care vote had happened, and I felt furious and disgusted on behalf of the old and the poor, reading on the way to work about the projected cuts to health care for disabled school children, the proposed sharp rise in premiums for folks in their fifties and early sixties,  and more.  I pondered again just exactly how we are supposed to work harder in order to pay higher premiums.

Some might think I could give up my workdays in my own garden and use that time to take on more clients.  Many a year at my old garden I just had to think sadly, “It’s another lost year for my garden,” as I spent seven days a week working for other people. I just don’t have it in me physically any more to pushpushpush at for 20 work days in a row as I used to do.


“Push Push Push, all the way, all the time, right on down the line.”  (Twilight Zone, A Stop at Willoughby)

My former partner and I used to quote that Twilight Zone boss’s slogan to each other as we worked and worked and worked.

Today was a workday, as Allan and I were still pushing to get the Long Beach and Ilwaco gardens looking good for McCarthy Day-I-mean-Loyalty-Day weekend.  You can read some history about L Day here.  “In 1955 Congress passed a resolution designating May 1 of that year as Loyalty Day. It was the height of McCarthyism and an anti-Communist red scare in America.”  That was my birth year, in fact.  I have read that there are very few town that still have Loyalty Day celebrations.  Long Beach’s parade is a mostly cute and surprisingly long one, with lots of baton twirlers, marching bands, some llamas and horses and basset hounds.

Ilwaco boatyard garden

The dredge was getting pressure washed right next to where we needed to weed.  That did not stop us.



Allan’s photo; I started where I had quit from exhaustion yesterday evening.


I hope this one Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ reseeds like mad (dark foliage behind the tulip).  (Allan’s photo)

Yesterday, the weather was almost 70 F and some cool misty overspray would have been welcome.  We got the boatyard weeding done at last.


looking back; we had come a long way, from the north end far in the distance.

Home again for a moment, Allan took a photo from the kitchen window of the rampant wild cucumber vine.  He says he has been training it.




We weeded and deadheaded at city hall in Long Beach, intending to follow that task with a good weeding of Coulter Park.  Almost as soon as we began city hall, we heard loud thunder and decided it would be a good time to deliver the plant cheque to…

The Basket Case Greenhouse.

By the time we got there, serious rain had begun.


heading for refuge from the rain; Darrell told me how his grandma had been struck by lightning more than once!


Allan’s photo.  I like this, because my liberal heart was bleeding today.




There are still a few callistemon left.  I’m getting them all if they are still there next time I go!


Check out time.  (Pink petunias were not mine.)  Had stayed out of the rain as long and productively as possible.

Long Beach

At Coulter Park, we worked in a storm of wind, thunder, rain, and pink petals.


The back end of this park continues to be a challenge where the roses are, because of salmonberry and bindweed coming under the fence.


Salmonberry running UNDER the roses and then popping up.  Everything is thorny and difficult.


the horror of a grass infested rose

That particular grass WAS the variegated bulbous oat grass that I used to like so much, till I found out how quickly it reverts to green, and how its bulbous roots like to migrate.


Allan won that battle.


There’s a dead columnar conifer along the fence, too, and two other conifers toward the front seem to be dying.


The south back side, away from the fence of invasives, is doing just fine.


Allan’s photo


just about to leave the park to dump debris

I checked Dark Sky.  It was discouraging.  “Heavy rain stopping in 30 minutes, starting again 11 minutes later.”


I thought we could stand to do one more thing in the rain, so I scooped up six buckets of mulch at city works…


…and we returned to the front corner of Coulter Park, where lots of people will line up for the parade on Sunday.


Last week:



a quick fix

I looked at Dark Sky again.  Stopping in 30 minutes and then overcast?


We decided to go to Abbracci Coffee Bar.  On the quest for parking, we passed the little popout and stopped there for another quick fix.  I said it would take two minutes.




12 cold, wet, and windy minutes later

And then: Abbracci


Allan’s photo.  Abbracci is just south of the Fun Rides.


shelter from the storm




more treats available than on our first visit!


and they have Pink Poppy Bakery treats now!


the wonderful owners Bernardo and Anthony  (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo




We like the floral art.


The other customers were a knitter, two chess players, and a woman reading a book in the other window seat.


waiting out the rain

Even better, we acquired a bucket of coffee grounds for my compost pile!

With the rain stopped, I headed out to deadhead a block worth of planters while Allan went to weed and deadhead at Veterans Field (main stage for the festivities following Sunday’s parade).


tree garden outside of Abbracci: still lots of narcissi for parade day


and bright tulips

Guess what, there should be TEN tulips in each of those planters.  Broken off stems showed that five had been stolen.


only five left, dang blang it.

Does someone think I won’t notice or care?  I DO notice.  Plus, these were special tulips from Brent and Becky’s bulbs.

Allan came over to help me finish the little park behind Lewis and Park Square, where the city crew had dug a trench at the lawn’s edge, surprising me with an unexpected clean up job.  He pulled bindweed from the rugosa roses on the south side of the police station, where many will walk by to go to Vet Field on Sunday, and then we went over the two Vet Field beds again for more tiny weeds.



Note to self: Monarda is swallowing this Jade Frost Eryngium; maybe next time, I can move it.


Someone had carefully filled a tulip with some grape hyacinth foliage, making a fanciful flower.  (Allan’s photo)

We finished the Vet Field gardens as this returned:


But in driving from Abbracci to Vet Field, Allan had found an emergency by one of the parking lot berms.



A tourist information trailer had been parked next to the weedy south berm.  All we usually know is the date of each festival, but the intricacies of what the city crew does is left for us to discover on our own.  I decided we simply had to do some weeding.


Allan’s photo


the biggest weed of all (Allan’s photo)


6:20 PM


7:11 PM

One more debris dump trip ended the work day.


At home, I could have erased one berm from the work board.  We have the north one about fifteen minutes from being done, and the south one is over halfway done.  That surely counts as one done…but I did not feel like finagling on the board.  I did finally get to erase the boatyard!


Everywhere Skooter sits for awhile lately ends up looking like an explosion of cat fur.


front porch from today


And yet here he is, still whole and fluffy!


and Frosty

I could hardly believe my last check on the weather for tomorrow, showing heavy rain all day with 30 mph winds.  No!  This means we would have to do the planter deadheading in Long Beach on late Saturday afternoon among throngs of visitors.  Oh please.  Just give us a few hours of workable weather tomorrow so we can finish the two berms and the deadheading, and please spare the tulips from 30 mph winds that would blow them all apart.

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

I might have tried to work if the weather had been good.  I did not want to go out, feeling poorly, in rain and wind.

When the sun appeared in the mid afternoon, Allan departed for Long Beach to do some weeding and deadheading.


returning a book to the Ilwaco library (Deep Survival, I read it, did not love it)


Long Beach welcome sign


He laid out the deadheads to show me how many there were.


welcome sign


Long Beach city crew putting up banners.


deer-pulled tulips in a planter on one of the main deer intersections (where we no longer plant new tulips)


Narcissi and primrose.  It is hard to get ALL the tatty hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) foliage pulled.


crocuses chomped by deer.  Pretty sure they had flowered first.  Also on one of the main deer intersections (7th South)




deadheads. so glad Allan went to pick them


after, with grape hyacinth


Muscari (grape hyacinth) and lavender


Tulipa sylvestris, one of my favourites


snail damage


Sluggo got applied.


lilies emerging in Fifth Street Park


Muscari, one narcissi, scilla (which I did not plant…it goes back to volunteer days).


by Fifth Street Park



the rain returned


narcissi and rhododendron


more white and blue scilla (which would take over if I let it)


more banners, with Fitz and Parks Manager Mike


in a street tree garden


tulips and crocuses 



By Stormin’ Norman’s. Calocephalus brownii came through the winter.


under a street tree


Allan checked on the Veterans Field gardens:





Meanwhile, at home:


I’ve never seen Skooter and Smokey snuggle up before.  It was Smokey’s idea; he tucked himself in under Skooter’s head.

I had read about Jaywick, a semi-derelict English seaside town recently in A Kingdom By The Sea by Paul Theroux and decided to look at a video about it, which turned into watching several.  I could actually afford a bungalow there.

The longest and most official Jaywick video is here.

From that, instead of reading, I segued into the Bill Bryon Notes from a Small Island series on youtube.  I meant to watch only the first one and ended up watching all of them in my comfy chair. Partway through my watching, Allan returned with a tasty crab roll for me from Captain Bob’s Chowder.

In closing, here is a public service announcement from Steve of the Bayside garden:

There are two upcoming special events which Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden hosts — the “Early Show” and “Mother’s Day” events.    Details on one-sheet, attached.    Both have judged flower shows and plant sales.  Info on rules, etc., on both at:  http://rhodies.org/chapter/pdx_activities_detailed.htm#early a page available at www.rhodies.org, the Portland Chapter’s website.

 It could be a worthwhile day trip for Peninsula people.


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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Port of Ilwaco

Although our main task was the weekly tidying of the Long Beach planters, we added some grooming of a couple of the Howerton Avenue gardens at the port.  I’d noticed a need for clipping santolina when driving past them yesterday evening.

looking west by the Ilwaco Pavilion, before (with weed buckets)

looking west by the Ilwaco Pavilion, before (with weed buckets)

and after

and after

I got carried away and pruned one of the santolinas harder than I had meant to.  Once you cut it, you can’t put it back.

Nearby, two shrubby gardens needed to have their California wax myrtles sheared back and lowered.

before and after

loiking west, before and after

looking east, before and after: just a little off the side

looking east, before and after: just a little off the side

clouds behind the condor

clouds behind the condor

We trimmed some santolinas at Time Enough Books curbside garden as well, and we went into the bookshop so I could ask Karla if she would spring for a yard of mulch for the garden.  Yes, she will.

In the bookstore: A useful looking tech book.

In the bookstore: A useful looking tech book.

the children's book corner

the children’s book corner

nautical books

nautical books

Karla and I look over the garden.

Karla and I look over the garden.

She agrees that mulch would be a big improvement.

She agrees that mulch would be a big improvement.

Here is an infortmative aside:  If you see me wearing a headband, it is not a fashion statement (which would obviously be unlikely); it means I have a headache.  A cold wet bandanna is a great help on headachey days.

nearby in the parking lot, Allan liked these two boats.

nearby in the parking lot, Allan liked these two boats.

The Depot Restaurant

All we had to do was deadhead at the Depot.  No watering necessary, as rain showers have continued off and on since Saturday’s storm.

East side of building, north of the deck, sheltered from the storm

East side of building, north of the deck, sheltered from the storm

Cut that cosmos back by half; it refuses to bloom and was blocking the sign!

Cut that cosmos back by half; it refuses to bloom and was blocking the sign!

I wish I could solve the mystery of why some, but not all, of cosmos from the same batch will shoot up high and not bloom.

Long Beach

welcome sign, front

welcome sign, front

Some had picked themselves a nice bouquet from the most prominent echibeckia.

Someone had picked themselves a nice bouquet from the most prominent echibeckia.

Veterans Field: windblown garden

Veterans Field: windblown garden with only a few broken plants.

Across the street, building owner Doug paints the trim on the Kabob House restaurant.

Across the street, building owner Doug paints the trim on the Kabob House restaurant.  (Allan’s photo)

We dumped the debris from Veterans Field, including some big broken cosmos, at city works, and got a look at the hanging baskets which had been taken down on Monday after the storm.

They were indeed battered by the 60 or so mph wind.

They were indeed battered by the 60 or so mph wind.

sad to see them down so early

sad to see them down so early

Allan's poignant photo

Allan’s poignant photo shows how fully the roots fill up the pots by this time of year.

a wind tattered canna in Fifth Street Park

a wind tattered canna in Fifth Street Park

The cannas are not vigorous; perhaps I should have fertilized them heavily.

The three cannas are not vigorous; perhaps I should have fertilized them heavily.

The Miscanthus is leaning over the lawn, which usually does not start till autumn storm season.

The Miscanthus is leaning over the lawn, which usually does not start till autumn storm season.

Fifth Street Park, northwest quadrant

Fifth Street Park, northwest quadrant

We went over all the planters, trimming up the storm damage and fluffing the plants.  I was disturbed to find that some of the planters seemed a little dry.  How can this be?  It is proof indeed that the rain does not penetrate into a thickly planted container no matter how much it pours.  Since it had rained just yesterday, I had not planned to water, and we did not, in hope that the dampness, despite lack of saturation, will enable the planters to hold up till early next week.

Along with storm damage, we found the usual finger blight: pulled up plants.

Along with storm damage, we found the usual finger blight: pulled up plants.  Laid out on the benches for a final paying of respect.

Lewis and Clark Square, Allan's photo

Lewis and Clark Square (Allan’s photo)

Heather Ramsay, artist and shopkeeper extraordinaire, at NIVA green.

Heather Ramsay, artist and shopkeeper extraordinaire, at NIVA green.  (Allan’s photo)  Our favourite shop is just north of the Bolstad stoplight.

by Dennis Company (Allan's photo); There is a trail from The Red Barn to Long Beach town that lines up with this street (we think)

by Dennis Company (Allan’s photo); There is a trail from The Red Barn to Long Beach town that lines up with this street (we think).

Allan found a Gaura 'So White' blown over in Fish Alley.

Allan found a Gaura ‘So White’ blown over in Fish Alley.

He propped it back up.

He propped it back up.

We had some time to pull some crocosmia out of a planter on Sid Snyder Drive and check up on the kite museum garden.

World Kite Museum mini-garden had held up well.

World Kite Museum mini-garden had held up well.

With an hour left before our Thursday dinner engagement, we tackled the most frustrating job in all of the Long Beach gardens: the back end of Coulter Park, where salmonberry, blackberry, and bindweed coming under the fence from a neighbouring yard.

Salmonberry runners coming under the fence.

Salmonberry runners coming under the fence.

It is a mess, with the salmonberries coming up inside painfully thorny roses.

It is a mess, with the salmonberry canes inside painfully thorny roses.

This bed is impossible.  All we can do is clip the salmonberries out; we can’t get at the roots.  I have pretty much given up on it.  The only solution I can think of is to ask the city crew to rip out the five roses bushes and just plant annuals here, so that the salmonberries (AND blackberries AND bindweed) that are coming over from the other side can be pulled more easily.

Allan pulled the crocosmia from the so much more manageable front corner of the park.

Allan pulled the crocosmia from the so much more manageable front corner of the park.

We made another dump run to city works and then swung a bit south to pluck one dead daisy that I’d seen early by Culbertson Field.  As we passed the pond by the stoplight, we paused so Allan could pluck out one pesky dandelion.

Only Allan can hop out to the waterfall without falling into the pond. I'd be a goner.

Only Allan can hop out to the waterfall without falling into the pond. I’d be a goner.

The Cove Restaurant

When we arrived, our friend Parking Lot Cat was looking especially regal by the garage.

When we arrived, our friend Parking Lot Cat was looking especially regal by the garage to the south of the parking lot.

Sondra's garden at the entrance to the clubhouse.

Sondra’s garden at the entrance to the clubhouse.

As we began our weekly meeting of the core members of the North Beach Garden Gang (Melissa, Dave, me, Allan), Chef Jason sent out a treat:  samples of a Mexican style soup that he has just added to the menu.

It was delicious.

It was delicious.

Melissa got the halibut special.

Melissa got the halibut special.


Allan had fish tacos and the new pear and goat cheese salad. I had a bite and will definitely get it next time.

Allan had fish tacos and the new pear and goat cheese salad. I had a bite and will definitely get it next time.

Dave and I chose the pasta alfredo, spicy and delicious and enough to take some home for lunch the next day.

Dave and I chose the pasta alfredo, spicy and delicious and enough to take some home for lunch the next day.

Now: four days off because of the holiday weekend.  Other than a walk to to the Ilwaco Saturday Market, I hope to not leave my property at all.  Allan has big plans for two boating events, one in Ocean Shores and one in South Bend.  His back is much better so the prospects look good for both of us to get the sort of weekend that we most prefer.

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A reminder:

just a reminder that it is almost time for the Music in the Gardens Tour

just a reminder that it is almost time for the Music in the Gardens Tour

Monday, 29 June 2015

The day started well with this note enclosed with a client's cheque.

The day started well with this note enclosed with a client’s cheque.

Garden Tour Nancy had been texting me during our trip to the Hardy Plant weekend to reassure me that the local weather had turned misty and cool.  All the planters had held up well after not having been watered since Wednesday (Long Beach) and Thursday (Ilwaco).  Our mission of the day was simply to water our city planters and street trees in Long Beach and Ilwaco, and to add some Hellstrip Gardening inspired colour at the port.

Long Beach

my little friend, Tam, the smoke shop dog

my little friend, Tam, the smoke shop dog




santolina: clipped in early spring, good from every angle

santolina: clipped in early spring, good from every angle


California poppies and Cosmos 'Sonata'

California poppies and Cosmos ‘Sonata’

with dahlias

with dahlias

pink California poppies

pink California poppies





California poppies and lavender

California poppies and lavender

California poppies



Thinning some parsley that I use as an ornamental, I remembered Evelyn Hadden suggesting that taprooted plants might help break up compacted soil and encourage deep water penetration in curbside gardens (hellstrips).

Agastache and Cosmos 'Sonata'

Agastache and Cosmos ‘Sonata’

Geranium 'Rozanne' (Allan's photo)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan found this tableau in one of the street tree gardens:

"Hey kids, don’t take up smoking. I found myself tossed to the side of the road. If only I hadn’t…"

“Hey kids, don’t take up smoking. I found myself tossed to the side of the road. If only I hadn’t…”

He was unhappy to find that the hardy fuchsias he had recently planted in the street tree garden in front of Castaways Grille had been destroyed.

dag blag it

dag blag it; even the roots seem to be destroyed

"Doing over" this tree garden seems impossible because any new plants get  trompled.  We need to plant more, and sizeable plants, but now the dry season is not a good time. We may just have to wait for the vigorous golden lemon balm to fill it up again.

“Doing over” this tree garden seems impossible because any new plants get trompled. We need to plant more, and sizeable plants, but now the dry season is not a good time.
We may just have to wait for the vigorous golden lemon balm to fill it up again.

Allan's photo:  The line at the Cottage Bakery is so long in the summer that we don't even try to get tiger paws.

Allan’s photo: The line at the Cottage Bakery is so long in the summer that we don’t even try to get tiger paws.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' in the Veterans Field garden

Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in the Veterans Field garden

I've gone off blue oat grass...these are coming out in the fall (or sooner!)

I’ve gone off blue oat grass…these are coming out of the flag pavilion garden in the fall (or sooner!)

flag pavilion garden

flag pavilion garden

my version of red white and blue

my version of red white and blue

the new vet field corner garden filling in

the new vet field corner garden filling in

hardy gladiolas at city hall

hardy gladiolus at city hall

city hall west side (planted by Gene and Peggy Miles)

city hall west side (planted by Gene and Peggy Miles)

sanguisorba in Fifth Street Parks

sanguisorba in Fifth Street Park

Allan's photo: he tackled the weeds in this damp corner.

Allan’s photo: he tackled the weeds in this damp corner.  (The grassy looking plant is schizostylis, which always needs thinning.)


In a Long Beach realtor’s window, Allan had noticed how inexpensively one can still move here.

This house only has room for a pocket garden.

This house only has room for a pocket garden.

home to get the battery for the water trailer...with a bit of rain

home to get the battery for the water trailer…with a bit of rain

A sprinkle of rain did not mean that the thirsty Ilwaco planters did not need Allan to water them.

He barely had room to squeeze the water trailer out of the Ilwaco works yard.

He barely had room to squeeze the water trailer out of the Ilwaco works yard.

foggy mist...does not mean not having to water (Allan's photo)

foggy mist…does not mean not having to water (Allan’s photo)

It was one of those frustrating watering sessions at the port where the water at the boatyard was turned off, so he had to fill the tank at the community building (where lesser water pressure makes it take 15 minutes longer).  He used the opportunity to weed a bit and then to give some plants there a drink.


Our new addition of Sedumn 'Autumn Joy' is doing well.

Our new addition of Sedumn ‘Autumn Joy’ is doing well.

typical: roofers left a mess of sawdust on the sidewalk.

typical: roofers left a mess of sawdust on the sidewalk.

Allan photographed the cute container garden at the Portside Café.

Allan photographed the cute container garden at the Portside Café.


The city planter by Portside Café

The city planter by Portside Café

Nasturtiums are being browsed by deer.

Nasturtiums are being browsed by deer.

I collected some new plants and went to the port to do a bit of hellstrip improvement, inspired by Evelyn Hadden to make ALL the curbside gardens look as good as the ones by the port office.  I have only recently taken over most of the gardens along the port.  While I’ve been doing the Time Enough curbside bed for years, for some reason I have never packed it full of plants.  I was daunted by all the river rock, until I realized it has the makings of a rock (scree) garden display.  It has perhaps the worst soil of any of the port beds, and I am thinking that I could add some mulch and work it into the rocks.  I can care for these new plants properly because there is hose water available at this garden.

It took swinging a pick to make holes for new plants: perovskia and a penstemon

It took swinging a pick to make holes for new plants: Perovskia and a penstemon



ornamental oregano (Kent Beauty, I think)

ornamental oregano (Kent Beauty, I think)

more agastaches and penstemons

more agastaches and penstemons

curbside by the port office

curbside by the port office

port office curbside

port office curbside

I pushed my wheelbarrow with some more plants down to the old Wade Gallery garden.  (Last year, I did not have water there so did not plant anything new, and the old plants there died of thirst.  Now we are reviving it because there is hose water available.)   On the way I saw that someone had further pruned the bank garden.  Why???  Whoever did it had left clippings all over.  GAH!  (I found out later it was an intern from the port who had not been told to pick up the clippings…I guess.  In my opinion, we had already pruned the shrubs short enough, even though I agree the shrubs—not planted by us!— are a problem for sightlines and should be removed.)



dead clipping dropped down into the shrubs

dead clipping dropped down into the shrubs

more plants for the next section

more plants for the next section

a foggy view while getting the hose...so nice after Portland heat

a foggy view while getting the hose…so nice after Portland heat

Allan joined me and started to clean up the mess at the bank garden, so I did some pruning of a ceanothus to keep busy; now that it is done blooming, it should not be over the sidewalk.

Allan's photo of the mess left all along the bank curbside garden

Allan’s photo of the mess left all along the bank curbside garden

clippings from the bank garden

clippings from the bank garden


Pruning the ceanothus, before

after (if it were up to me, I'd let it encroach on the sidewalk more, but I like to keep the powers that be happy)

A bit off the top and sides. (If it were up to me, I’d let it encroach on the sidewalk more, but I like to keep the powers that be happy)

delicious fog

delicious fog




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