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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