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The Yellow Cottage

The Yellow Cottage

We worked in two places on July 29th. First, we finished the weeding at the yellow cottage on School Hill. I had written about the yellow cottage after working there earlier in the month and got an email which, to my joy, told me of a connection between my house and the adorable little cottage. The email was from Karen, whose mother, Shirley Maki, owned the house where Allan and I now live, the place we bought in October of 2010. Karen told me:

I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed seeing your photos of the little yellow cottage on the school hill. That house used to belong to my Finnish grandma (Mummu) when it was located in the cove. She lived in it from the late 1940’s until she passed away in 1961. The house was moved years later with a new owner. Your photos brought back many wonderful warm memories. I still think of it as ‘Mummu’s house.’ I also enjoy reading about your old house. When I was growing up it was owned by Marty Wiitala, several houses down from Mummu’s house in the cove. As a child I spent numerous visits to that house with my dad. Your pictures and words evoke wonderful feelings and memories of my Finnish heritage.

hydrangeas by "Mummu's house"

hydrangeas by the former “Mummu’s house”

How I loved hearing stories of the yellow cottage and its sister cottage from the Cove (where the boatyard is now), the one I lived in from 1994 through October 2010. Even more special is knowing that Allan’s and my present home has this connection with the yellow cottage. In fact, all three…my old cottage, our new home, and the adorable yellow cottage are all linked. Fabulous and heartwarming.

I wonder what the sort of garden  the yellow cottage had when it was located on the flat land that is now the Ilwaco boatyard.
lace cap hydrangea

lace cap hydrangea

I once had another strong connection to the house we now live in before we ever looked at it:  In summer of 2010, I spent a lot of time scanning a box of vintage photos of Ilwaco people.  I was lent them by Chester of Olde Towne Trading Post Antiques.  Only after we had made an offer on the late Shirley Maki’s house did we learn that the photos had come from a estate sale at her home after she died, the home we were soon to own.
Back to the yellow cottage weeding day!  We had only two and three quarter hours before we would use up the budget for the job.
before and after

before and after

before and after

before and after

All around the trees, we found oyster shells, frugally laid out on top of assorted grocery bags (a substitute for expensive landscape fabric) and grown over with grass.

buried under the grass

buried under the grass

We used them to try to get back the look that the previous tenant had created.

after

after

before and after

before and after

Some beds had held up well from when we had weeded them the autumn before.

Euphorbia on west wall

Euphorbia on west wall

Hypericum

Hypericum

I can tell she was a good gardener because she had interesting plants.

a circle of Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

a circle of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

The east side had gotten pretty wild again.

east side before and after

east side corner before and after

east side foundation strip; owner Robin might put some river rock in here.

east side foundation strip; owner Robin might put some river rock in here.

Meanwhile, of course, I dreamed of an alternative life where I live in the yellow cottage.

looking north along the west side of the house

looking north along the west side of the house

two little pups we found by the tiny pond

two little pups we found by the tiny pond

my imaginary room with a view

my imaginary room with a view

and my imaginary view

and my imaginary view to the west

Of course, in my dream, we own that whole huge field and the old Spartan trailer and it is all garden.  Perhaps partly deer park and partly fenced.

Meanwhile, hawks soared overhead…(There were five but I managed just this:)

hawk

And then the Life Flight helicopter took off from the pad at the hospital which is just behind the trees.  (That will help orient locals to my dream cottage.)

Life Flight, an all too common sight in Ilwaco

Life Flight, an all too common sight in Ilwaco

Reality intervened as we had to go water the planters in moderately bustling Long Beach town.

The wind was whipping; I had to hold these still for a photo

The wind was whipping; I had to hold these still for a photo

Tigridia profile

Tigridia profile

At the Police station, a beautiful hanging basket going strong…by Nancy Aust of Basket Case Greenhouse.

Nancy's artistry and the Long Beach crew's good watering

Nancy’s artistry and the Long Beach crew’s good daily watering

The planter north of Dennis Co continues to swamp its sitting bench.

The planter north of Dennis Co continues to swamp its sitting bench.

detail:  Coreopsis 'Jive'

detail: Coreopsis ‘Jive’

painted sage going strong

painted sage going strong

By the time we got done watering, the streets were quiet.

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