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planning for spring

January 25th, 2012

Under the lily pad

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

January: Write and dream about plants.

February: Plant peas, garlic? onions? Prune roses, plant two daphnes out front, move the Japanese maple so it has more space. We’ll do “lasagna layering” — spread out a thin layer or two of newspapers over the grass we want gone, spread compost/mulch on top of that, then plant. Then remember to water, once the rain stops. We’ll be good until July ;) We live in western Oregon, after all.

March: Hanging baskets? Naw, too early. Primroses in pots.

April: Get good and fed up with the rain.

May: Hanging baskets, plant garden, watch it get soggy and drown.

June: Re-plant garden.

July: water, weed, pick, water, weed, pick

August: repeat

September: repeat

wish list: foxglove, coral bells, clematis, wisteria, snapdragons, crocus, daffodils, lilacs, Roses of Sharon, Sweet William, bleeding hearts, more columbine, hellebores, more tulips, more dahlias…


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

sunny day

December 5th, 2011

Christmas raspberry

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

we have raspberries in the yard that are trying to ripen. i love December in Oregon.

– wm

gratitude day 25

November 25th, 2011

grateful for the sunshine. off to work in the yard! won’t be long now until we’re planting spring peas. i’m really enjoying our herb garden, which looks like it may survive winter. parsley, sage, rosemary and two kinds of thyme! (pineapple and standard. get it? standard thyme? ha! ha! yeah i love a bad pun.) we also have lemon balm and oregano in pots. we have some ornamental oregano, too — v. pretty.

some of the herbs are in the ground, some are in pots. wasn’t sure if I was going to want to move them around or not, so we tried to stay flexible last year. I have a long rock wall with a few spots to fill in, up above. (here’s the picture from last summer. the area I need to deal w/ is to the left, above the strawberries.) the raspberries are taking over, the apple trees are a mess and may need to come down. (diseased fruit, diseased leaves — we keep treating with copper sulfate, but this could take awhile, or not be a success story at all.)

my mom is giving us a couple more hydrangeas and another snowball bush, too. now where to plant everything?

happy friday, y’all.

– wm

Recipe Club: Composed Ratatouille & Roasted Beets

August 22nd, 2011

Great dinner on a hot summer night.

Garden progress

July 9th, 2011



A month ago:


The garden, she is planted

June 7th, 2011


 North Portland transplant Chicks and hens

See the whole set on flickr.

sunday, sunday

May 8th, 2011

A little help from our friendI went out in the yard with Steve. So far he has built two garden beds out of stone; the wooden beds are next. One has strawberries planted in it, that we brought over from the old house; the other has green onions that were here when we moved in last year and that have re-seeded. I’ll take green onions and strawberry starts over a bouquet of roses for Mother’s Day any time. Thanks, baby.

(the gnome and mushrooms were presents from my family — my dream come true :)

I will tell you something else — there are a lot of slugs out there, and they are attacking my iris and the dahlias and everything else they can find. The dahlias are just barely shooting up and already they’re little nubs. I heard frogs while we were out there and frogs equal snakes and I do not care for snakes although the hawks seem to like them.

So I came back inside.

Today there was sunshine/rain/gray clouds/more sunshine/more rain/and… calm. My daughter gave me a beautiful piece of art that she made last week, and I also got a coffee cup that says Believe in People. I do.

Best Mother’s Day ever.

The end.

berry patch

Keeping a watchful eye

Onion bed

Work in progress

qotd: Wilde & a garden update

February 7th, 2011

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” — Oscar Wilde

Maybe I should post some before and after pix of our yard? The lot is terraced in the back, had some raised beds that were reinforced with pressure-treated wood (ie, nasty if you want to grow vegetables and berries) and needs a big ol’ makeover. Bones? Three birch trees, one of which was dead and already got yanked out by Steve. The other two were planted too close together. And there’s a pine tree in a pot, back in the other corner. I call it Pine Barrens.

I did plant some primroses, and Steve tore apart one of the raised boxes, only to find that half of the good wood (cedar) was rotted. We spent a big chunk of the weekend (along with Wacky Girl, who sketched for us) trying to make a blueprint of how we want the garden and yard to look. Wacky Boy doesn’t want to lose any of the grass; we want to lose all of the grass. We are a work-in-progress.

Will post pix when it stops raining long enough to go out and snap some.

Happy Monday, yins. Sorry, Steelers. (Dan, how could I forget Pittsburgh was playing? It’s Steve’s hometown. Bad football fan, bad, bad ;)

– wm


April 25th, 2010

I finally took a break from unpacking boxes (of books, clothes, candles, candleholders, files for the office, files for work, art supplies, more books…) and took a peek out in the yard. Even though it’s been raining (some) it was parched out there. That’s the way it goes in Oregon, in the spring. You think everything’s getting a good drink, then you realize that some of the plants are below the eves, under the trees, or just need more of a drink than they were getting.

I found the shovel, some gardening gloves and…….. planted. We divided plants at the old place before we moved (half of the stuff was so overcrowded it wasn’t blooming anymore). My mom gave me some plants, and I had a bunch of stuff potted already that i just brought with me. My girlfriend J gave me a strawberry planter box, as a housewarming gift, so nice! So we ended up with quite a few plants that need to go… somewhere. I already planted columbine, peonies and Hockey God bought me a hanging basket. The yard is (tentatively, creeping along) starting to feel like mine. We have several blueberry bushes, and two Granny Smith apple trees (yay!) and… bees! My mom bought my son a Mason bee house for his birthday.

He and his dad hung it up on the shed, and within 24 hours the bees had found it. We noticed today that they started making their little dirt mounds in there, for extra protection? It’s cool. We need to help save the bees, y’all, they’re having a rough go of it. That is no good.

Mason bees, by the by, do not sting, says Wacky Boy and his grandma.

Today I planted…

1) a snowball bush
2) Japanese iris
3) more iris
4) my daughter’s birthday asters (they are fantastic — purple and glorious and quadruple their territory every year)
5) and…. what else? black fancy grass
6) a small rosebush
7) some sedum (the former owners left us those) and………

wow. a little tiny tree frog went flying out of the grass and down by the shed, in between my planting the asters and the black fancy grass.

i don’t know what to do with frogs, being a City Girl. so i yelled for Wacky Boy and Hockey God, and they played with him (let him crawl all over my son’s hand and arm — sticky little feet, really adorable), took some pictures and waited for Wacky Girl to get home from walking her friend home, so she could see him. “Ahhhhhh!”

Last week my son spotted two garter snakes. Today it was:

“Snakes eat frogs!”

“Yeah, that’s the way the world goes ’round, son.”

We didn’t have ribbity frogs, tree frogs, deer, snakes, any kinds of critters like that at our old place, although i once saw 2 raccoons and once i saw a rat.

okay, and a little mouse one time, running under the fence. I have those frogs that one lone frog in the tank, but that’s different.

i like it out here.

what kinds of critters do you have in your part of the world?

– wm

Lelo’s Cabbage Salad

September 5th, 2009

Oh, yum. Just harvested cherry tomatoes, big, juicy slicers, zucchini, and about four pounds of GREEN BEANS from the garden. It rained all over me, I’m drenched now. Dripping on the keyboard. (Kidding, I grabbed a towel as soon as I came in.)

The flowers are so happy — they’re all dusted off now and shiny. Steve pruned the honeysuckle way, way back about six weeks ago, I think it was. It has rebounded like a mofo and just finished eating the fence. Nom, nom.

I love my garden.

Just got my first tuition reimbursement, too, from my work, for that Human Development/Psych class I took. This is the first time ever I’ve gotten PAID for going to school. (There was that Pell Grant, too, that one time. That was a lovely day when that check arrived, all $1,100 of it. Still remember, 20 years later, haha.) So thank you, union and school district. I feel so extra-intelligent now. That master’s degree is just going to earn itself. And my students arrive back on Tuesday, can’t wait. So many great books to share with them. When they talk-talk during library time, you know what I say?

“Shhh! Hang on! I have a lot of information to tell you and a very short time to do it!” Works like a charm.


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