Friday, November 19, 2010

Will wonders never cease.

I planted pansies back in the beginning of march, when the tulips emerged.  Pansies like the cold and I thought they wouldn't last very long but, hey, they were only $1.49 at Freddy's.

You guys, this one is still alive.  It's nibbled at and kind of mangy looking, but it survived the spring monsoon, incredible heat, and a ton of neglect.

I will probably reward its tenacity by accidentally running it over with a wheelbarrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I won't be quitting my day job.

Did your mom ever give you a haircut when you were little, and maybe it wasn't perfect?  Did you maybe give her grief about this for years on end, as if it didn't just grow out in two weeks anyway?

Mama, I am so sorry.

I tried to trim my rhododendron myself.  My bangs may have been a little crooked but my mother never left me with bald spots.  They look so much worse in person.

I'm going to blame this on the fact that: 1. I have no idea what I'm doing and 2. there were SPIDERS THE SIZE OF KITTENS IN THESE.

It was terrifying.  I'm betting right about now that my neighbor across the street wishes I had just left the arbor vitae in, so she wouldn't have to look at my house.  I did mildly better on the mystery willow in the backyard. 




It's harder than it looks!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gardening on a dime

So remember all that dirt that sat in my front yard and how I just dumped it in the backyard, for lack of a better option?  I decided to see if I could transform it without spending much money.

Back in August I went to Portland Nursery and visited their Island of Misfit Plants sale section. They had a heavenly bamboo and a flowering currant.  I already have FOUR flowering currants in my yard but, hey, they're fricking gorgeous and hummingbirds love them.  And they're pink. I love pink in the garden!  I got the plants for less than $20 total.  Not bad, right?

I borrowed some ferns from other parts of the yard, just to have something there. Fast forward to now, when that soil has had a chance to attract every bad element in the neighborhood. Cats have visited, weeds have established themselves, and that clump of bamboo, which sat untended for four years and didnt budge, sent out a runner.

Son of a . . . !?!

I cut out as much as I could and called it a day.  Bamboo, you may be tenacious but I am STUBBORN.  I will move that whole dirt pile (again. later.) if I have to.

Nature!  It just does what it wants, am I right?

I have planted 21 ferns in my yard but this one popped up all by itself. Note to self: replace this deck next spring.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

La la la la, I can't hear you!

It may be getting into the thirties at night, but this little corner of my yard thinks it's still summer.

I so love an optimist.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Readying for winter

Somewhere in the last two months I forgot how to blog.  There was an incident with the big window in the front of my house (turns out it's rotting!) and my sad, sorry attempt to reglaze it.  It's better not to talk about it and instead save my money for a new window. 

I went to Hawai'i with my boy and hit the tropical gardens and I almost rethought all the NW natives I have in my yard. 

Maybe high maintenance tropicals are the way to go?  How gorgeous is that?

I've been clearing out the yard for winter, chopping down my unruly dahlias and planting tulips en masse.  I also planted this freakshow:

It's an allium, which is the genus of onions, and boy did the bulbs smell like it.  Apparently they are good to plant around your tulips and other bulbs because they deter would-be bulb eaters, like voles.  While I was in Hawaii a huge storm came through Portland, which knocked over the patio umbrella (I meant to take it down before I left, I swear) . . . which took the table with it . . . which took out my birdbath . . . which smothered my chives.  There's nothing like returning from paradise to a little bit of reality.  Surprise! You're still a homeowner!  There are no drinks in coconuts here.

It's sort of sad to see everything cleared away, like my poor tomato plants that never got past the green stage.  

I think I'm going to turn my focus this winter to planning the front yard.  And maybe applying for jobs in Hawaii.