Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Labor Day Weekend -- Part II -- The Beach and Environs

Continuing on with my coverage of our recent trip to the Long Beach Peninsula (you can read Part I here).

Our very first stop in the town of Long Beach was for the purpose of satisfying Nigel's curiosity. He wanted to see the World's Largest Frying Pan -- er -- one of them anyway. After all, what attracts a man more than a tacky roadside attraction? OK, the local Hot Chick-a-Latte doesn't count.

Nigel in front of the world's largest frying pan, pretending to be a sausage
From there it was just a walk across the street to Marsh's Free Museum, an emporium full of unique and amazing things, both for sale and on display.

Jake the Alligator-man (he must have drunk one too many bottles of Gatorade)

Right next to Jake was this coin-operated player piano, although in truth it was more like a player orchestra. There was actually a set of drums inside it.

I was intrigued by these blocks of grass criss-crossed by concrete borders outside the museum near the parking lot.

The borders are heavily planted with Autumn Joy Sedum, so very pretty and floriferous and -- ahem -- a joy to see!

The Sedum is just starting to flower, and although sometimes is floppy, here they were nice and straight, and really did a good job of tying the long curving beds together.

Straight and tall and rather majestic clump of Helianthus (Lemon Queen?) and a big healthy Melianthus major.

Only in Washington...

Every so often set into the sidewalks were these interesting mosaics.

The artist responsible is Renee O'Connor, owner of Willapa Bay Tile and Design, a shop in nearby Ocean Park, WA. I wanted to visit, but never did get there. Check out her work online here. I'm a great admirer of mosaic art. I've tried it and it is harder than it looks.

She made these matching pelican pillars as well.

A small park in the center of town had several of these interesting carved wooden statues.

Enormous Phormium outside the police station

Gotta love a town that puts Schizostylis in its roadside planters!

Entrance to the self-proclaimed "World's Longest Beach"

Planters along the road leading to the beach were chock-full of Rosa rugosa.
The gardens along the beach approach are maintained by local business Tangly Cottage Gardening. I got to meet proprietor Skyler Walker and tour her garden later during our visit, which I'll cover in Part III. You can check out her blog Tangly Cottage here.

Such a pretty, simple rose! And beautiful, green, healthy foliage

I swear no other rose has such pretty hips! Nigel said it looked like a tomato. Another common name for Rugosa is the tomato rose.

As we approached the beach we saw kites flying.

A statue of William Clark commemorates his arrival at the beach

Pretty beach pea

After our short walk along the beach and inspired by the Lewis & Clark Expedition, we mounted our own expedition in search of dinner at the Depot Restaurant in nearby Seaview, WA.

There are some lovely plantings outside the restaurant, like the beach approach planters, maintained by Tangly Cottage Gardening.

Persicaria, Cosmos, and Goldenrod all backed by an enormous hedge of Hops vine

Another stunning Himalayan Honeysuckle in the restaurant's garden

Fortified by salad and deep-fried Willapa Bay oysters (me) and BBQ pork and creamed corn (Nigel), not to mention delicious and decadent desserts, we ventured back to the B&B for a night's sleep. In the morning after breakfast we ventured back to the beach so I could take more pictures and Nigel could take off his shoes and socks and have a paddle in the Pacific Ocean.

No sign of the vehicle that made these tracks -- maybe the undertow carried it away...

Then we were off to Oysterville, a community that is on the National Historic Register, to check out some of the old houses on the walking tour.

The Oysterville Church -- 1892

The Red Cottage -- 1863 The pink rose on the fence is an old variety 'Dorothy Perkins' dating from 1870

Note the oyster shell walkway

Charles Nelson house -- 1873

This wooden sculpture reminds me of local gardening personality Ciscoe Morris, except he doesn't have a beard

Ned Osborne House -- 1874

I forget which house had this lichen-strewn fence out in front of it, but isn't it wonderful?

After our walk around Oysterville, we headed back to Long Beach, where I sat and had an iced latte while Nigel played pinball. At 3 p.m. we had an appointment to see Tangly Cottage gardener and blogger Skyler Walker, which you can read about in Part III.