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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Abby's Table

Last night I went to Abby's Table with my friend Christina. We had the most amazing dinner there and now plan to get punch cards to start doing it as a regular me and her thing. Abby does family style four course dining Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - $24 per person weekdays and you bring your own bottle of wine and then on Saturdays $50 per person which also includes a cooking lesson! How fun is that!!?? We were so amazed with our meal and Christina ate fish, carrots and nuts and loved them when normally they are not something she enjoys!

The menu...of YUM!

Here is the Cucumber, Pea and Lemon Balm Chilled Soup with Chive and Corn Mini Muffins....YUM!

Second course which was Grilled Romaine and Garlic Scape Salad with Coleslaw Style Dressing. It had this amazing grilled flavor that was just heaven!

Here is the main course which was Crispy Fried Cod with Pluot-BBQ Mustard, Lavender Honeyed Carrots and Creamed Collards with Nude Ranch. Everything was even tastier than it looked which is saying something.

Here is desert which was Crustless Pecan Pie with Bing Cherries and Whip Cream - it was amazing!

Here we are having desert. This sweetheart across from us with a bee tattoed on her knee took the picture.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Front Yard Project

The first lily bloom of the season. My goal this year is to grow some Lotus!

My Orogold rose finally bloomed which is stunning.

The loot from Home Depot that I am anxious to plant! Most is going in the front though I did get a few treats for my shade beds as well.

Me manually trying to remove the sod which I was doing fairly well at, if I do say so myself but it was VERY time consuming.

Post sod cutter. The green left in the middle of the yard was a strip the cutter did not get and the strip against the driveway is my original planting bed where the grass would not stop growing into it. I hated that bed but we pulled out the horrible jasper that was originally there and I knew I was going to redo the whole yard eventually so I did not bother to condition the beds - as a result they were like concrete and I hated weeding them or doing ANYTHING to them - they made gardening torture seriously.

And here you can see our giant day lilly, sage and Irish moss patch. Towards the right is my pile of hand dug sod "chunks" and in the distance you can see the sod rolls.

Sod rolls and towards the sidewalk little bits of grass we had to manually pull. Far easier and faster that my manual method.

And here you can see the grass left which is staying.

The side yard which I did remove the sod from manually last year until they started the sewer project so I had to stop and Patrick was having a nightmare trying to remove with the sod cutter because the ground was all choppy. So most of this had to be redone by hand since the weeds over took it.

The pile of sod after removing it from the yard - and this is not all of it...this pile has since gone completely down and then rebuilt again with the manual chunks from the side yard and the flower beds.

The removal of the flower bed.

And the start of the tilling ala Patrick.

The pile of fill dirt and horse manure compost and this is after I was able to manually shape the remaining lawn.

Our nemesis x 2 are garden stakes and that pile of plastic meshing on the right...ugh..

Getting started on the planting...or replanting from the flower bed.


More completed on the side yard...

And here you can see our rhododendron farthest away and in front of it is this gorgeous shrub the sewer people replanted WAY too close to our rhododendron and crooked. So, the plan is to dig this up and replant it in front of the fence in the side yard section since it can and will get good sized if allowed to and will make a lovely backdrop.

Here is the side yard where the shrub would go...on the closest side of the downspout there is a tiny green spot which is this gorgeous plant that came with the house and gets sort of grassy looking with these long puffy purple flowers. I have not seen this poor dear bloom in years because my husband keeps mowing over it. I have been able to salvage nearly all the plants which came with the house with the exception of a few things that were very poorly planted leaving me no choice but to remove them.

The view from standing in the side yard looking out. You can see to the left the patch Patrick was not able to get since it was on a hill. I love our neighbors Micheal and Lorie's rose garden. The poor roses have piles of tall grasses growing around them I plan to "weed" out for my neighbors while I am pulling out the sod because I think my weeds might have caused theirs but either way I rock at weeding and you should NEVER allow long grasses around roses - it attracts VERY bad bugs for roses.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Project 365: June 20th through June 26th

June 20th: The state of things - here is my work done on the sod by hand. The three pavers went bye bye on Craigslist pretty fast thankfully.

June 21st: Patrick making us BBQ - yum!

June 22nd: Lantern project which is currently still sitting on the table waiting for me to hang them. I picked up the lanterns for cheap at Ikea and the chain for cheap at Home Depot - the idea is to hang them from our cedar trees above our exterior dining table.

June 23rd: Goodbye horses...we drove to Gresham right after work to collect horse manure compost for free we found on Craigslist. The compost was, of course, on a horse farm.

June 23rd: The drive home was gorgeous...

June 24th: The Rheinlander - waiting for our table, I formed a love affair with this light fixture.

June 25th: We dropped in on Arthur and Angelique and on our way home we stopped for Riyadh's - the antique shop next door had this lovely thing.

June 26th: The new state of things...all the sod has been removed and to the left is the large pile of fill dirt and horse manure compost. Behind that is my first plantings which were actually transplants from the small flower bed I was maintaining. Patrick finished a good 1/3 of the tilling today while I finished removing most of the sod sections we could not reach with the sod cutter. I still have the side of the house - a small patch of it anyway and also another section down front. I also have finished manually cutting the sod into a neat pattern though.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some closeups...

BEES! Our newfound daisie collection has been attracting many bees to our yard! Polinate my little friends! Polinate!

A red and black False Blister Beetle crawling on my Arizona Grandiflora rose.

I adore all of my roses but I just know my mother would have really loved this one which is a Fragrant Lavender Simplicity hedge rose. This thing blooms like crazy...seriously...

Buttercups - I "acquired" some wild buttercup starts last year at a vacation home we stayed at for my birthday which are now spreading beautifully in our cedar driven shade garden. I love the bright color amoungst the green and browns!

My purple clematis...this thing really impressed me this year with its blooms.

This rose bush came with the house which I think I have identified as a Papa Meilland which would make sense since the intro year for this rose was 1963.

A close up of the Arizona Grandiflora rose...

A closeup of my Chicago Peace Rose which also was one of the three rose bushes that came with the house.

My deliphiniums are finally blooming and are offering a nice pop of color near my pond.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Project 365: June 13th through June 19th

June 13th: My beloved skates...which I sold to the Vancouver roller derby so they can live on. I have not skated in like two years so seriously, the things needed a good proper home.

June 14th: Garden path as everything finally starts blooming.

June 15th: I had to work my hotline shift during our annual volunteer appreciation dinner this year but our super sweet boss Christine brought us all in dinner from Ernesto's and "party favors" which were perfect for this gardener!

June 16th: The lawn...before...since I am tearing a large portion of it out to make way for a walking path and growing things.

June 17th: Excitement as our Evil Dead the Musical tickets arrived today...super exciting though we have to wait till November...gah! And yes, we are aware there is a production in Portland - which falls the same weekend that we are out of town with other plans.

June 18th: Blooming of the buttercups... When we went to the coast for my birthday last year we stayed in a beach house which had some wild ornamental grasses, buttercups and ferns I snagged some of. The only thing which did not take (and I will - of yes I will get replacements for) were the horsetails but everything else lived very well and now the buttercups are blooming.

June 19th: Daisies...shasta daisies and I have no idea where they came from since, to be honest - I do not remember planting them! But they came up out of no where this year with foxglove - both of which did not come up last year. Strange things are always afoot in the garden.