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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Monday, 20 March 2017

In honor of the turning of the season, here is my favourite quotation about springtime:

“Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”  Dorothy Parker

Skooter was not enthusiastic about the drizzly, cold weather.

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head under the covers (Allan’s photo)

I picked some flowers for an event, and then Allan and I went for our tax appointment with our accountant, Jennifer, whose office is just four blocks west.

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Jennifer’s flowers

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office assistant Helen

We then delivered two bouquets of flowers to Salt Pub for our dear friend Jenna’s evening event.

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There was a new tiny little baby to see!


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flowers for Jenna (and, later, for Salt to have)

We went back home because the cold drizzle was supposed to end in half an hour.  Allan became absorbed in “do not pick” signage for the boatyard and I delved into the excellent book I’m reading.

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I am loving Mr. Theroux’s trip around the English and Welsh coast.

This reminded me of Mr. Tootlepedal:

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Along a branch railway line:

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Two most interesting sounding places:

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Chesil Bank


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Undercliff Walk at Lyme Regis

I googled up some photos of both these areas and even found videos of the Undercliff walk.

This description of tourism in seaside towns certainly reminded me of where I live (even though we love tourists here, and I well remember being one):

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Meanwhile, Allan worked on strengthening the pallets that will make the new compost bins.

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Allan’s photo

I had to leave my book and Allan his projects when the weather seemed to clear.  We drove to

The Anchorage Cottages.

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Our good friend Mitzu

The weather was actually quite miserable, damp, drizzly, with a bitter wind.  We did not last more than an hour.

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Center courtyard: not much happening except too many bluebells coming up


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narcissi


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narcissi and primroses


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hellebores, pulmonaria, and ranunculus


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trilliums


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trillium (Allan’s photo)

I cut back some hardy fuchsias, planted three lily bulbs, we did some weeding and could bear no more of the cold and headed back home.

I did not get to take photos of the Long Beach narcissi display….

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too cold and miserable to stop

After an interlude at home, we went back out to that event for which I had picked bouquets.

Ilwaco Merchants Association Spring Mixer

Oh, how I had tried to weasel out of going.  Because our dear friends Don and Jenna (Queen La De Da) are heading the group this year, Jenna did not let me escape.

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By the time everyone arrived, we had a full house at Salt Pub.


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Our Jenna (Allan’s photo)


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the view (Allan’s photo)

We discovered that Jenna had a special purpose in wanting us to attend: The merchants presented us with a community recognition of our work, both in the gardens and in taking photos for the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.

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Thank you plaque by Artist Don Nisbett

Raffle prizes were drawn, hors d’oeuvres were served, drinks were downed, and the crowd was happy.

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Ponytail: Andi from the Visitors Bureau (ponytail), with Jenna and our Mayor Mike, Don Nisbett in black, and Jane from The English Nursery.

We were so touched by that nice award.  And impressed with the fun and liveliness of the event.  If only the usual Ilwaco Merchants Association meetings weren’t at 8 AM!

Tomorrow: more rain, thunderstorms….I do hope the Long Beach narcissi hold strong till I get some of them photographed and closely appreciated.

P.S. After 9 PM, I suddenly had the sniffles and wheezes. This bodes extra ill for work tomorrow. Almost everyone I know has had The Three Week Cold this winter. I thought I had escaped. Am embarking upon all my home remedies. 

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

We had a huge amount of rain, resulting in no gardening.  Allan took some photos in the back garden:

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path by the bogsy wood

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path to the bridge

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bogsy wood swale

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next summer’s campfire wood

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the swale bridge

After a great deal of news reading, I started a new book, recommended by Our Kathleen.

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At first, the author annoyed me.

This doesn’t sound farcical to me:

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I didn’t like this classism:

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I almost put the book aside.  Fortunately, I persevered because it got much better.

The author is seeking how poor people live:

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I wonder if this is true.

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At over 400 pages, Deep South should keep me occupied for two more excessively rainy days, which is about what is predicted.

I had wrought a miracle over the past two days, actually getting the bathroom closet completely emptied.  Today, Allan removed the door and walls, which will give us a corner to store the glass bricks for the tub project.  I expected the sounds of a sledgehammer and splintering faux wood; instead, he did it neatly with a screwdriver. Glass blocks will make the end wall when the tub (still to be acquired) is placed in the already plumbed spot; a tub used to be there till the previous owner had it removed in order to place a rolltop desk in the bathroom.  Bathroom/slash office was an unusual combination.

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This probably doesn’t seem like interesting blog fodder. However, I know of one reader who will be interested to know that the glass blocks got moved into the bathroom (but not the 95 Pound bag of mortar). 

Allan saw a good sunset while discarding old particle board shelving.

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Skooter enjoying the water boxes

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Guest photo from last midweek, from THE Oysterville Garden:

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photo by Melissa Van Domelen

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Now it feels like we have returned from spring to winter:

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early morning hail and thunder

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Having missed our garden club dinner last week, the North Beach Garden Gang met for brunch at Salt Pub.  (All but two photos today are by Allan.)

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This is the next garden awaiting our attention, west of Salt Hotel.

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It did not get awfully weedy over the winter.

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Melissa and Dave arrive

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our view

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two egg breakfast

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eggs benedict

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heuvos rancheros

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coming soon-ish.  Allan and I have tickets already.

The five of us lingered over our table for two hours, catching up on all the gardening news. It was especially pleasing to me to be greeted by another diner there, Lorna, who used to own Andersen’s RV Park and was one of our top favourite clients for the many years we gardened there.

I had just been thinking how now that we have six fewer big spring clean ups than we used to have, bad weather is not a crisis in the early spring.

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clearing but still cold and windy

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Todd, me, Melissa, Dave

In the afternoon, I simply finished a book I started last night.

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Yesterday evening, I read a short post apocalyptic novel (Thirst, by Benjamin Warner) that I only mildly enjoyed. Today’s choice was excellent; I especially appreciated that the protagonist was autistic and I could well identify with her ways of coping in the world after a comet hits our planet.  Turning from political non fiction to post apocalypse fiction hasn’t been that much of a change.  Coming up soon is Swallows and Amazons which should be much cheerier.  I haven’t even started it and I’ve already dreamt about reading it.

 

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Long Beach

I had big plans to get four things crossed off the work list.  We started with the tree that has pesky rugosa roses and with the planter nearest to it.

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planter yesterday

After cutting out the poky thing by the bench, I felt inspired to remove as much hesperantha and tired old ornamental grass as possible.

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Allan helping with the biggest grass

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during

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after

Meanwhile, Allan went after the annoying patch of volunteer rugosa roses, roots and all.  (Because they are pesky and the roots run like fury, we will have to watch for returning sprouts.)

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before

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a thuggish rose

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after

Next, we wanted to polish off the first spring clean up of Fifth Street Park.

Allan started with the hydrangea in the southeast corner.

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before

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Allan’s photos: before

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after

I wanted the right hand one a little more upright.  Easy to fix later.

It was a busy day because of a three day weekend.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

My first project was the patch of hesperantha (formerly schizostylis) by the restroom.

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before

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after

By pulling a lot of the hesperantha, and getting its annoying self out of the other plants (like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, which Allan clipped after the above photo), we will still have plenty for next fall while having a tidier garden bed now.

I did the same to the nearby street tree garden:

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before

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after

In a nearby planter, I found…

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a tiny painted rock

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and emerging tulip foliage.

The northwest quadrant of the park also got a hesperantha going-over.

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before

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after

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Here’s what it looks like on a good summer day. (This was in 2014.)

Allan had joined me before I finished.  We’d got caught in a torrent of rain but had an escape at hand.

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inside Captain Bob’s  Chowder

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looking out: clean up abandoned for half an hour

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delicious fish tacos (before applying a yummy creamy tequila sauce)

As the rain intensity decreased, my Dark Sky app was accurate about it stopping in 15 minutes.  The prediction of drizzle for the following hour was, happily, inaccurate.

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By the end of the rain squall, I knew we would only get two out of four planned projects done today.  The temperature had dropped and a chilly wind kicked up.  We went to the two northernmost blocks and finished the planters and street trees.

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crocuses and iris reticulata (Allan’s photo)

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Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’

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Iris reticulata

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crocuses

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more crocuses

In the last planter of the day, we cut back the escallonia. Why a volunteer, back in the day, planted Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’ in two of the planters is beyond me.  It would like to be at least 15 feet tall.  By chopping it hard now, I won’t have to be clipping it all summer long.

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halfway done

and I did NOT see that piece of trash till I looked at this photo!  (Later: Allan says he saw it and disposed of it.)

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done… The green santolina on each end also got clipped.

Before we dumped our full load of debris, I popped into NIVA green (my favourite shop).  Almost a month ago I had taken some photos for its Facebook page.  Every time I chose photos to post, I could not bear to post one of a copper clad “stump” because I wanted it for myself.  It was a bit pricey and yet it had haunted me. Would it still be there a month later?

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in mid January

Yes! Twice,  people had put holds on it and then not come back to pick it up.

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It is mine now!  (It’s hollow copper clad aluminium, I’m told, so probably not for outdoors.)

Just after we dumped our debris, as Allan was locking the gate of the city works yard, the rain returned.  Perfect timing.

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At home, I got to erase two items but not the pond and popouts.  Maybe tomorrow, or maybe not with wind and rain predicted.

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guest photos from the Bayside Garden

This little gingko makes a nice bright spot. (photo by Steve McCormick)

This little gingko makes a nice bright spot. (photo by Steve McCormick)

 The bigger one near the house has barely started turning! (Photo by Steve McCormick)

The bigger one near the house has barely started turning! (Photo by Steve McCormick)

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Rain prevented any more Halloween preparations.

Calvin and Smokey

Calvin and Smokey

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too wet to put out the cobwebs

too wet to put out the cobwebs

perfect reading day

perfect reading day

perfect reading day book

perfect reading day book

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My Nella

My Nella

I hope some rainy day to write about why her books are so special to me and to share a few passages.  Here is just a taste:

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I actually read two books today, because in the evening I had time for the quick amusing reading of George Takei’s Oh Myyyy.

Monday, 31 October 2016

I had a small garden project to do before stringing cobwebs: the planting of 10 ‘Blauer Heinz’ boxwoods.

before

before

after

after (new little boxwoods on the left)

Thrilled to see my sarracenia had put out a flower!

Thrilled to see my sarraccnia had put out a flower!

Next, the stringing of the cobwebs…

Skooter supervises.

Skooter supervises. (Allan’s photo)

Corridor of Spooky Plants

Corridor of Spooky Plants

It takes more patience than I am capable of to get the perfect cobweb effect by pulling and pulling to make it ephemeral.

It takes more patience than I am capable of to get the perfect cobweb effect by pulling and pulling to make it ephemeral.

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Allan had a crisis with the skull lights.

Allan's photo

After pulling the offending staples, new tiny fuses did the trick

success! (Allan's photo)

success! (Allan’s photo)

He’d been going to add some new purple lights to a vertical post.  I had the brilliant idea to strong them along the Corridor of Spooky Plants, on both sides.  (This turned out well, as you will see tomorrow.)

Halloween window films installed

Halloween window films installed

Torrential rain followed, creating much worry over whether or not the trick or treaters would turn out, and if they did, would their costumes be hidden under rain gear?

I remained calm at the sight of pounding rain, hoping for a break in the evening.

I remained calm at the sight of pounding rain, hoping for a break in the evening.

Next door at the Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm household....lots of puddles. They would be decorating more in late afternoon.

Next door at the Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm household….lots of puddles. They would be decorating more in late afternoon.

a table to block access to the back garden

a table to block access to the back garden

spooky

spooky

All is rather damp.

All is rather damp.

torrential rain at 3:08

torrential rain at 3:08

four chairs set up for us and guests

four chairs set up for us and guests

Tweetie bird is ready.

Tweetie bird is ready.

The rain dwindled by 5 PM.  It had slowed down the beginning of Halloween eve excitement, though, because we usually get a few trick or treaters soon after four.

and now, we wait for the first tricker or treater.

and now, we wait for the first tricker or treater.

Tomorrow: Halloween evening


ginger

1995 (age 71):

Oct 30:  1st HARD FROST!  Most of the dahlias are black.  It’s more good luck than good management that I brought all the begonias and fuchsias inside in the shop yesterday.  Now I get to dig all the dahlias.  Lucky me.

I dug all the raspberry plants and heeled them in the “tomato area”.  When I rake area it will be ready for Robert and me to put up the new metal posts.  Had a long visit with MaryAnne Wilson.

Oct 31:  Spent afternoon in shop.  It was cold in there.  I turned heat on low.  I picked up all the loose train stuff and boxed it.  [My dad collected toy trains; my uncle was a well known toy train collector and seller and my dad dabbled in it.]  Then I cut back and cleaned begonia bulbs and canna etc.  I washed out the pots etc.  Tomorrow I hope to dig frozen dahlias plants.

1997 (age 73):

Oct 30:  12:00-4:30  Planted the rest of the mail order plants (altho I called Park Seed and another order is on the way).  Also got some of my seedlings planted.  While planting I cut back perennials etc and cleaned up the beds.  Today I planted in UDW [Upper Driveway], Tam and PRFB.

Oct 31:  It was a beautiful sunny day when I woke up at 10:00 (after not going to sleep until after 4:00 AM).  I got a late start and only worked a couple of hours planting my seedlings because it started raining so hard I quit and came in.  NBA season starts tonight.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 30: 10:30-3:30  I can’t believe I woke up at 7:30 and stayed wide awake!  I turned off the garden faucets and wrapped the shop faucet.  I finished planting the tulips and narcissus.  There’s only 100 alliums to plant (plus the ones set aside for containers).  I did some cutting back of perennials but not many have frozen yet.

 

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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:

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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

Skooter

Skooter

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

before

before

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.


ginger

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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guest photo:

Here are the coral bark maples at Steve and John’s bayside garden this week.  The path has been remade by local landscaper Steve Clarke.  It was a simple cedar chip path now transformed into something elegant.

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photo by Steve McCormick

Monday 24 October 2016

Gusty wind and heavy rain promised me a day at home.  What I really want is a rainy day to read right through the third Nella Last book (Nella Last in the 1950s) that arrived a few days ago. I cannot have a full reading day till this fall’s bulb lists are transformed from my messy handwriting to a tidy typed grid. Yet today, I did procrastinate on bulb spreadsheets after getting an email from the library announcing that the book I have been trying to finish is overdue.  So I finished it.

an excellent book

an excellent book

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In the descriptions of food traditions brought from the old world, I was saddened to learn that the Irish, because they were fleeing from the potato famine after decades of deprivation under English rule, had few special recipes or food traditions.

Meanwhile, Allan reclaimed the paper bags which had been used for bulb sorting.  I reuse them year after year after year, letting one go only if it gets wet from a rainy day of planting.

sorted and unsorted bags

sorted and unsorted bags

years worth of my labeling with sharpie and scrawled bulb name abbreviations

years worth of my labeling with sharpie and scrawled bulb name abbreviations

Just last fall, Allan started a new plan of crossing out the old names so the bags are ready to go for autumn 2017.

Just last fall, Allan started a new plan of crossing out the old names so the bags are ready to go for autumn 2017.

all nicey nice

all nicey nice

Any small paper bag that enters the house gets saved for bulb sorting.

While I continued to read, Allan walked to the post office and the library.

autumn leaves in the library garden

autumn leaves in the library garden

library nasturtiums still blooming

library nasturtiums still blooming

On the way home, he noticed a bird nest under the awning of the old (now empty) bingo hall.

a hidden nest

a hidden nest

swallows home

swallows’ home

I finished my book and just as I got my first blank spreadsheet open, out came the sunshine.  We simply had to go plant another batch of bulbs.

work board this morning

work board this morning

Geranium 'Rozanne' and rudbeckia and penstemons still blooming by our driveway.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and rudbeckia and penstemons still blooming by our driveway.

Geranium 'Rozanne' and calendula

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and calendula

heading north out of Ilwaco in clear but breezy weather

heading north out of Ilwaco in clear but breezy weather

stormy sky in Long Beach

stormy sky in Long Beach

We began by planting a few bulbs at Long Beach city hall.

Allan added one clump of narcissi to the little pop out a block north of City Hall.

Allan added one clump of Narcissi ‘Thalia Sun’ to the little pop out a block north of City Hall.

We then went on to

The Anchorage Cottages

My good friend Mitzu's greeting

My good friend Mitzu’s greeting

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Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

The wind was rather annoying.

The wind was rather annoying.

Anchorage office

Anchorage office

looking east over pampas grass and cryptomerias

looking east over pampas grass and cryptomerias

windy!

windy!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Gusty enough to be bothersome.

Gusty enough to be bothersome.

We planted some narcissi at ground level and some tulips in assorted planters.

I drop the bags where I want the bulbs to be planted. That way if a rbig ain comes, they can be gathered back up quickly.

I drop the bags where I want the bulbs to be planted. That way if a big rain comes, they can be gathered back up quickly.

Fuchsia magellanica 'Hawkshead'

Fuchsia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’

'Hawkshead' fuchsia, white with green tips

‘Hawkshead’ fuchsia, white with green tips

hardy fuchsia and dried astilbe flowers, which I like to leave up for winter

hardy fuchsia and dried astilbe flowers, which I like to leave up for winter

At my request, Beth had built two sets of window boxes so that we can change them out for winter and summer.  That way, I can have boxes of early spring bulbs that don’t need to be disturbed by the planting of summer annuals.  This year, we switched from plastic liners to larger wooden boxes so last year’s bulbs do need to be replanted and some new ones added.

two of the four summer windowboxes

two of the four summer windowboxes

Because of the wind and the threat of rain, we took the plastic liners and the four new, empty wooden window boxes home to plant up in the comfort of our garage.

on the way home

On the way, a quick stop at The Depot accomplished the planting of an azalea that had been a gift at Marilyn’s memorial service.

memorial azalea (Allan's photo)

memorial azalea (Allan’s photo)

I tucked the wee azalea in at the end of the garden and I hope it is not a tender sort.

I tucked the wee azalea in at the end of the garden and I hope it is not a tender sort.

You may have made the connection that Marilyn, our beloved elderly client who died this summer, was the mother of Nancy, co owner of the Depot Restaurant.  Like Jo’s garden, Marilyn’s garden up in Surfside is about to pass to the care of new owners.

The Oceanside Animal Clinic is located just east of the Depot; we picked up flea drops for the kitties.

veterinarian office staff (Allan's photo)

veterinarian office staff (Allan’s photo)

at home

In the garage, ready to transfer bulbs from plastic liners to the new boxes

In the garage, ready to transfer bulbs from plastic liners to the new boxes

I had four out of eight liners emptied and bulbs replanted in two wooden boxes when I realized the new boxes did not have drainage holes.

Allan to the rescue!

Allan to the rescue!  I shifted the planting to the empty boxes after they got drilled.

He went back to the project I had fetched him from: mowing the pocket sized lawn at the J’s house across the street.

J's lawn, done

J’s lawn, done

boxes, done and ready to go back to The Anchorage

boxes, chock full o’ little spring bulbs and ready to go back to The Anchorage

Now the window boxes of bulbs will not have to be changed out till two or three years from now when the bulbs multiply to the point of overcrowding.

Down the street, Allan noticed a nautical sight: nets over the sidewalk.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Tomorrow, I might get those spreadsheets done; if not, we will get three more smaller batches of bulbs planted.

the work board waning, and waxing as I remember more to do (like plant my own bulbs)

the work board waning, and waxing as I remember more to do (like plant my own bulbs)


ginger

1997 (age 73):

Oct 24:  12:30-4:00 FIRST HARD FREEZE!  It didn’t look like much froze but when I was planting bulbs in the tam area I saw the leaves and stalks were frozen while some of the blooms were ok.  I cut back those dahlias that had no blossoms.  I planted about 100 bulbs in PRFB, Tam and PBB.  [Patio Right Flower Bed and Patio Back Bed, I bet!  The patio was surrounded on three sided by a railroad tie wall about three ties high, with the other side being the house.]  I have about 100 more to go in the ground and lots of various bulbs for my pots, etc.

1998 (age 74):

Oct 24:  Rainy and cool.  I spent all day in the kitchen taking care of ripe tomatoes (one pkg frozen), peeling apples (2 trays drying) and dehydrating potatoes.  I received the instructions and I peeled and filled 4 trays of the spuds I bought a couple of weeks ago at QFC.  It will be interesting to see how they turn out.  I was surprised to learn the spuds had to be blanched before drying them.

 

 

 

 

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