Contained – a summer recount

Contained – a summer recount

Last February I was inspired to do the unthinkable; count my containers – and thus admit that things might just have gotten a bit out of hand. I wasn’t going to take that dangerous step alone however, I wanted company and thankfully a couple of gardening friends were willing to play along. This post was the result. To refresh you on the results: Eric came in at 158, I had 228 and Grace was tops with 248.

Fast forward to July 17th when I read this post from my friends Mark and Gaz who blog at Alternative Eden. They’d caught the bug, bad. Time for a recount? Game On! Read More…

Yellow Jacket Lessons Learned

Yellow Jacket Lessons Learned

The best laid plans. After too many months of my rain dances going ignored by the weather gods, the time had come to give my trees a long overdue hose soak before things got too crispy. Which meant creeping through paths I haven’t been down for a while. Which is how I discovered a huge nest of angry yellow jackets. And by discovered, I mean, getting stung on the bum. And then a few more stings on my leg and back for good measure. Jerks.

I dropped the hose on the spot, and scooted right out of there. Thankfully, they didn’t get Pokey Doggie, who thought we were doing a fun new dance, and chased me back inside.

I really hate what I did next.
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I could use some inspiration

I could use some inspiration

I’m sure everyone is tired of my bellyaching about the weather, but come on weather gods, this is ridiculous. The biggest problem I see, besides the-whole-earth-is-in-trouble thing, is that it feels like late August, and we haven’t even made it through July. The poor earth is so parched–except for those places where it’s flooding or there’s 4 inches of hail or the coast is slipping into the sea. For you, I am so sorry.

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Tiny leaves make me happy…

Tiny leaves make me happy…

Big leaves, spiky leaves…my love for both is well documented. However, I’m also drawn to the tiniest of leaves and especially love them when seen in combination with the big ones. It’s all about the contrast. Read More…

A Visit to the Butterfly Farm

A Visit to the Butterfly Farm

I’ve always been fascinated with caterpillars. I spent many hours searching for them when I was a kid, picking them up and watching them march across my hand. I’ve become more squeamish about holding them, but they’re still a beautiful miracle.

Somehow I made it to 40 years old without ever knowing that many chrysalises were bright gold. How miraculous is that?
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mid July garden in the Pacific Northwest

mid July garden in the Pacific Northwest

Oh sure, there’s a lot going wrong with this dog-forsaken weather. But there’s also quite a bit going right. So today, I’m looking at the garden as half full. (Even if all the rage is warning us we’re due for a 9.2 earthquake that will swallow up 700 miles of the Pacific Ocean coastline. Thanks y’all, like earthquakes are not on my checklist O’worries already.) Read More…

Grocery shopping in a Zanzibar Market

Grocery shopping in a Zanzibar Market

It can be challenging as a tourist and get a sense for local life and culture. It’s always a bit awkward when you’re stopping to photograph something that seems novel to you, while the people around you are just in a hurry to get on with their day and some tourist is in the way making a big deal of something that seems mundane and trivial to a local.

Sometimes there’s just no getting around it. You are a tourist. You don’t know where you’re going or how anything works. It certainly gives you an appreciation for the people you see at home struggling with the parking meters, or whatever the tourist tell is in your city.

I’m shy and anxious and don’t like people to see me fumbling with something I don’t know how to do, but I like to see where people buy their food. In some ways it’s a universal experience. You get to see locals working and shopping. You get to see what grows where, and what’s in season. Plus you find alien looking produce that perhaps expands your palette when you get back home.
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the great thing about visitors

the great thing about visitors

 

You go places you’ve been meaning to go, sometimes conveniently located right in town. On my sister-in-law’s last day in town, we did a quick romp through the Chinese Gardens. I have a membership wherein I can take a friend, but how often do I use it. That’s right. Hardly ever.

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Who messed with my color?

Who messed with my color?

Someone has been adjusting the color in my garden. Several of my cherished dark burgundy and purple foliage plants have gone green. I am not happy with this development. Is it the heat? The relentless sun?

Stop laughing! Yes I garden in Portland, Oregon but it’s been hot, darn hot (mid to upper 90’s hot for days and days) and dry – very dry. My favorite weather guy is calling it  a historic weather event. Is that what’s turning my brown eyes blue dark foliage green? Read More…