Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer in the garden

Most of the late summer action is going on in the front yard. Things are finally filling in. The castor bean is almost as tall as me (5'6"). I've given it ample water and fish emulsion, and of course the weather cooperated. I didn't think I believed in annuals but I have been converted. Totally worth the money.

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' and Zauschneria californica 'Wayne's Select'

Sedum 'Matrona'

Happy agaves

This blue alkanet (Anchusa azurea 'Alkanet') may have been planted too late in the season to get blooming out of it this year (come on, Indian summer!) but I really like the form of the foliage. It's so cheerful.

Agastache 'Ava' has not disappointed. The form is incredible and I never have to water it. My only wish is that the color was hotter.

In the backyard it looks like we *might* get mature figs this year. Everybody cross all your fingers!

I tucked some agave pups into the wheelbarrow planter. So far, so good.

This sedum combo was sort of an accident and I'm digging it.

Left to right: Sedum 'Bertram Anderson, Sedum oreganum, NOID sedum

In bummer news, the stalks of Sedum 'Frosty Morn' that I Chelsea chopped didn't bloom. The long floppy stems are blooming but they look really leggy. I might chop all of them next year, since I prefer their foliage. Has this happened to anyone else? All of the other sedums that I pinched back bloomed normally.

Sometimes, when your boyfriend is very mischievous, he'll leave these creepy bamboo roots that look like creatures from a Guillermo del Toro movie lying around and scare the shit out of you. Punk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's all part of my evil plan.

Last night Greg and I were eating in the backyard on the someday-deck. I had that same feeling I think everyone gets in places where summer is very short. I grew up in California where summer basically lasts forever. It starts in March and can last well into October or November. There's no rushing to go camping or spend time outside because you can always do it next month. But in Portland summer is over almost as soon as it begins. I felt antsy and disappointed--we haven't kayaked this year! I haven't eaten a single artichoke! We haven't had a dinner party in the yard (though we had a barbecue and a birthday party). September has been swallowed up by travel plans, not that I'm complaining, but it shortens the summer even more. The only upshot to shortening days is an excuse to eat dinner by candlelight.

Then Greg admitted to me that he's been cheating. He's been looking at other houses online. "For someday, don't freak out!" he explained. Oh, for SOMEDAY! That makes me feels so much better that you've been secretly researching real estate! That doesn't make me nervous at all.

As an aside, does anyone understand that familiar plot in TV shows and movies where a dude, as a surprise to his lady love, buys a house for them? I would be livid if Greg did that, and we're not even married. You made a quarter million dollar investment (or more) and didn't bother to let me weigh in on it? I don't know if we'd ever recover from that. And how do you go through house hunting and escrow without letting anyone else know? Come on.

Anyway, our house isn't in a very walkable neighborhood. We have two grocery stores within a mile but we don't have any great bars or coffee shops or restaurants. In a city of forty thousand thai restaurants, we have none in walking distance. If you are drunk at two in the morning, however, we have the *best* taco shop. Greg lived in the NW 23rd area before I made him move into North Portland and we miss the walking options we had for eating out in that neighborhood. If I were to move I'd probably go no further than Kenton, which is a great little neighborhood about two miles away. They have a coffee shop, a library, a salvage shop, and a homebrew exchange. But Greg is plotting to get us back to his former stomping grounds, with its fancy shops and lack of street parking.

But! He admitted that every house he looked at paled in comparison to mine, mostly because they all had tiny yards. That's right, baby, you might think you can do better but no other house will love you like this one. We have room to spare and we're only five minutes from downtown. The whole thing makes me laugh because Greg always tells me how condo living is better, how he hates yard work, how he comes from a family of farmers and he's rebelled against his heritage by refusing to garden. And now he can't live without our enormous yard.

We're planning on bumping the fence out a ways toward the front of the house on the west side. Sometimes we say it's going to be a place for the compost bin. Sometimes we say it's going to be the hammock spot. Last night Greg said we should plant corn there because corn is delicious and also we could create a corn maze as an entrance to a Halloween party.

You guys, my plan to turn him into a North Portland home ownership-loving gardener is working! He wants to grow more vegetables AND he wants to create a corn maze entrance to a party! That's some Martha Stewart level awesome shit right there. I'm so proud.

We both agreed that we want to get the deck built early next summer, hopefully by May so we can spend the rest of the summer just enjoying it. And having dinner parties on it. Maybe kayaking on it. Definitely eating artichokes on it.