ticking off the task list

ticking off the task list

Uh oh. It’s getting to that time of year when good intentions are headed toward next-year’s to do list. How did it go so fast? I mean, it always does, but still. And to clarify, by ticking-off, I mean making the task list mad!

Does it happen this way for everyone? I freely admit I’m a terrific idea generator, and not nearly as prolific when it comes to follow-through. Once I figure out how something will work, I’m happy to wipe my hand clean, and move on to the next problem.

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August’s Last Hurrah

August’s Last Hurrah

I’ve been holding out for rain, garden on pause. Avoiding the temptation of nursery visits. Averting my eyes to avoid confronting the sight of plants unquenched from my unreliable hose offerings. The weeds, they’ll have to stay until the soil more willingly releases them.

Could it be, the wait is finally over? Do I fall for the meteorologists’s sweet lies this time? The promise of precipitation? The return of workable soil, hospitable to new nursery spoils? Even though there remains another week of our typically hot, dry August to endure enjoy? Might our hottest, driest summer ever be prepared to yield, even briefly, to warm rains?
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plants that go bang, for you buck

plants that go bang, for you buck

I can’t tell you how many times people have gone gaga over the lowest priced plant in the garden. Isn’t it funny, how you can moon over some rare and expensive plant. And then you finally add it–just to have peeps push past to rave about some inexpensive annual floozie.

I’m not seriously complaining, because I love when people get interested. Maybe they’ll take up gardening. And before you know it, the whole world will be a better place. It could happen. Read More…

Is the saying true, does familiarity breed contempt?

Is the saying true, does familiarity breed contempt?

As those of you who read my personal blog (danger garden) know – and are probably sick of hearing about – I opened my garden as part of a fund-raising tour last weekend. One of the frequently asked about plants was the Callistemon viridiflorus. Some of those asking expressed shock it was hardy here in Oregon, followed by a sort of disapproving grunt and something about “growing them in California, why would I want to grow it here!” I’ve heard a similar reaction from others who’ve grown up surrounded by “bottlebrushes” they don’t feel the attraction that I do…

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This Summer’s Most Wanted Plants: Big Ol’ Flowers

This Summer’s Most Wanted Plants: Big Ol’ Flowers

I love finding inspiration from other people’s searches on plant lust. I’ll admit, I’m a little set in my ways in my garden, and sometimes doubt I’m going to be swayed by popular opinion. But I’m always pleasantly surprised at what jumps out at me and right onto my wish list. It shakes me out of my comfort zone and gets me checking out plants I otherwise would have overlooked.

This summer, our most popular search term was big flowers. Normally when I daydream about plants, big leaves come to mind, but I can get behind a big flower craze. Come to think of it, one of the most memorable plants I saw in a friend’s garden this spring was an unnamed peony with a plentiful crop of monstrous of a peach-ish-brownish flowers. Even a foliage lover like me couldn’t help but see the charm.
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color by nature

color by nature

I’m on a color toot. After patrolling the garden to check, “dear-dog, do-I-have-to-water-again-today?”, it occurred to me that my inside color inclinations are mimicking what’s going on in the yard. Even though there’s still plenty of hot headed our way, a couple of mornings I’ve felt that subtle hint of fall air. I guess it doesn’t mean anything–other than the weather gods must be crazy and are having a good time messing with us. But it got me thinking about fall and winter, albeit in the unconscious way initially. (Now that I recognize the connection, I admit it: I love heading into fall and winter. Heck, I even have a bright new pair of blue boots I haven’t worn yet.)

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August

August

I snapped these photos at Cistus Nursery last week. The vignette was so beautiful it stopped me, and then gave me a sort of melancholic shiver. Turning the calendar page and seeing the word August is a wake-up call. Summer is packing its bags, do not take it for granted.

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Zucchini Blitz: Vanilla Salted Caramel Breakfast Milkshake

Zucchini Blitz: Vanilla Salted Caramel Breakfast Milkshake

Here we are again, the time of year when there’s a bottomless pile of zucchini on the counter. Last year I said there’s no such thing as too much zucchini, and I stand by it, but I’ll admit there are moments where doubt creeps in. You have to keep remembering what a miracle it is, how many ways you can use it.

This week’s biggest hit was the vanilla salted caramel breakfast milkshake. A surplus of zucchini isn’t so scary when you remember how versatile it can be. Its flavor is so neutral, it’s easy to turn it into desert. Healthy desert. No refined sugar, no dairy. Ready to go in 5 minutes.
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all is not terrible

all is not terrible

I’m hearing a lot of grumbling over how awful our gardens are looking. I share your grumblings. So I thought I’d go on patrol for things that aren’t entirely terrible.

Have you noticed how a tight shot shows what you might otherwise have missed? I wholeheartedly advise against looking at the big picture. Especially this time of year.

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