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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garden Update May 27th, 2012

The state of things...working in my garden which has turned more into a French potager than I intended.
The former chicken pen now has lattice to hide the veggie garden and our compost from the chickens.
Adding compost and new plantings to the former strawberry patch.
Our hydrangeas and delphiniums are clearly doing great.
The first offerings from the Ebb Tide rosebush.
Why yes, yes I do have black and purple iris blooming.
A kind bird planted this because I sure did not...the amusing part is when planted from seed or start my foxgloves have not survived.
The last of the Spring bulbs are finishing up including this beautiful red anemone.
MY champagne iris.
So last year Beth Adams and I went to Farmington Gardens for some plants. She bought a gorgeous hanging succulent garden and one broke off a tiny fragment which Beth gave me suggesting I shove it into my garden. Less than a year later and this is huge and blooming!
This Lotus maculata is a new favorite ground cover and the flowers which look like flames really are stunning!
Clearly the ground cover is taking well in the front yard. I will probably break this one up a bit but to the right you can see Irish moss which grows wild in our yard so I did not plant any.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Project 365: May 21st through May 27th

May 21st: Dinner at Marrakesh with Jen Earp - and we were the only people there.
May 22nd: Sun garden and fence completion. I also added some new stone, plants and rearranged other stuff.
May 23rd: On our way home from Ikea my little Bernie broke a part which is on order. We got a tow from the nicest guy though - thanks for the lift Wil Kaplan! And, as always, thanks be to my car goddess for finding the problem fast and working to fix it. Ahhh the joys of owning a car two years older than me!
May 24th: Salty’s on the Columbia Willamette Valley Vineyards Winemaker’s Dinner Don Crank the winemaker for WVV, Chef Josh Gibler of Salty’s, Beverage Manager of Salty’s Megann Williams and Derek the sales manager for WVV in Oregon.
First course: variety of cheeses, fruits, breads and Prosciutto wrapped melon paired with WVV Dry Rose of Syrah/Tempranillo 2011. Second Course: Orange and Chili Rubbed Colossal Tigar Prawns with Pinot Gris poached pear, crispy Pancetta and Local Arugula paired with WVV Pinot Gris 2009. Entrée: Pan Seared Copper River King Salmon with Yukon Potato Gratin, Crispy Morels, Proscuitto wrapped baby artichoke and a Pinot Noir Reduction paired with South Block Pinot Noir 2008 (this wine is not available any longer and is VERY tough to find but amazing).
Desert: Ricotta Cheese, orange zest, pistachios and fruit compote paired with Quinta Reserva “Port Style” Pinot Noir 2008 (another wine you can not longer find).
May 25th: More work on the yard. Patrick covered the old chicken pen with lattice to hide the veggie garden and our compost. I moved the evergreen clematis and also rehung the purple clematis and honeysuckle from the new lattice work on the old fencing.
May 26th: New blooms - and here in the front gardens my black and purple iris have started blooming.
May 27th: The last of the Spring bulbs are almost done like this stunning red anemone. I still have a few purple ones left - definitely plant anemones since they provide a lot of bang for your buck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May Garden Happenings....

May 13: The fence completion! Patrick finished the gate, removing the old chain link etc. When digging for the post hole he dug out the old downspout diverter which was a molded cement and rock monstrosity. He left it there for meand the sun garden, obviously, had not really had anything done to it since I was waiting for the fence to be completed. Slightly to the left of the apple t...rees (those are columnar sentinal apple trees and there are two parrallel so it looks like one but they are branchless mostly) is a lavender which was split and growing horribly which I have been meaning to remove since last year. Patrick did dig a large plant which was growing where the cement diverted is sitting which we planted in the front yard to give it the room it now requires.
The new fence with lattice Patrick hung for the hops and marrionberries we are planting to grow on. The is where the arbor vitae used to be. I have bags of soil, compost and conditioner to add here and you can see the dwarf trees I am adding here so far: (from left to right) an all in one almond tree, (not shown since it will be relocated from another part of the yard) a dwarf turkish fig (figs self polinate), two dwarf honeycrisp apple trees and two dwarf peach trees. Alreay in the ground are very aggressively growing shasta daisies which always remind me of my mom since they were a favorite of hers.
And Patrick also finished the chicken village, remodeling the old coop which Ben and Nick build and gave to us many moons ago. It now has a super nice new roof, a fresh coat of stain, lots of alterations inside giving them way more space. They seem to love it and do not even complain to be let out immediately in the AM anymore which is pretty awesome.
Before...well, more like right now. You can see the upper corner garden starting to get blocked off - the side yard is a veggie garden away from the chickens which Patrick is covering with lattice so the chickens will not pay attention to it. The rest is my country garden which a few years ago used to be all lawn. This is what the garden looks like at the beginning of the season before I have done a thing to it. The green ground is a varigated ivy, irish moss, spagnum moss and corsican mint - the later three grown wild in my back yard and I encourage due to it's beauty and fragrance. And yes, that is our pond.
The new gate through which you can see Ginger and Delilah. The toppers were found by our next door neighbor Ralph and are solar lights. They were such a great find too - regularly $16 each at $4 on sale!
And here is the gate closed. Patrick had to get a bit creative with the design since our shared driveway is blackop which is poured up to the sun garden. The original chain link fencing was a part of the blacktop.
I only buying annuals for a few of my containers in the yard like these hanging baskets since annuals are drought tolerant usually. I love the Queen of Night petunia variety which came out a few years ago.
Here is the front yard as it currently stands - I swear everything gets bigger every day.
I rescued this sad twig from a friend's blackberry bramble. Now that it is finally growing it actually looks like a rosebush and even shaped itself rather nicely.
From the same friend I rescued a pile of iris which were trying their best to grow under a pine tree. Now they are a centerpiece in my front yard.
The strawberry patch is covered in berries now and the walkway's plants are doing great! I still cannot believe this time last year this was all lawn!
May 22nd: I spent two nights after work revamping the sun garden now that the fence is complete. I cleared the weeds (I am always battling this noxious succulent which tries to strangle out my plants in here) and I moved the downspout diverter to our outbuilding. Instead, Patrick dug out the area adding pebble river rock style gravel. The ground cover is lipstick strawberries which both the chickens and squirrels love. Right in front of the apple trees I removed the broken lavender and replaced it with a new walking... stone. To the left of the apple trees is a column with a new varigated honeysuckle I dare to take over that corner.The delphinium is a new addition and directly next to it is my new lantern stand thanks to the awesome gift card lady J gave me for my birthday to the Backyard Bird Shop. Hanging from it are these great flameless candle holders I was gifted for my birthday from Mike and Derek! I love that my good friends gift me garden stuff - I look around my yard and think of all of you often!See More
I decided to add three new rose bushes against the house - the one on the fence crook is a tall climber. I also put in a large peony which is about to bloom, a curry plant, some new ground cover and a few icelandic poppies.
NEXT! So I am digging out more lawn (that does not grown well anyway) to add an area for our firepit and some more seating. And look...the daisies are blooming! And I decided to add raspberries as well.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Project 365: May 14th through May 20th

May 14th: Patrick finished our gorgeous new gate!
May 15th: This is the long hall at work which separates our two offices - one which holds the underwriting staff plus our doc department. The other side our a huge pile of loan officers and IT folks.
May 16th: What a gorgeous ass! Thanks to my amazing mechanic my car has a new top and looks even prettier!
May 17th: dark purple.
May 18th: Marrakesh for Jennifer's birthday before heading off to Voicebox Karaoke.
May 19th: Sushi dinner with Wendy, Danelle, Erynn and Amber Rose.
May 20th: The start the next projects...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Project 365 - May 7th through May 13th

May 7th - Ahhh another day and another trip to Home Depot though who could predict their tree and rose prices would be too good to resist??!! Seriously - $25 dwarf honeycrisp trees and Don Juan rose buses for $8. Though I also needed concrete, wood stain, rocks, ground cover....
May 8th - Going through the helpful information given to us at our neighborhood association meeting by the Beaverton police department to keeps our neighborhoods and homes safer.
May 9th - Running errands in Tigard at lunch I see this amusing sign. Is it hitting on me?
May 10th - Pedis and dinner with my almost birthday sister.— with Jessica Blasch.
May 11th - In an attempt to rekey my car I discover yet another thing my former mechanic did wrong - now to identify what ignition he replaced mine with....
May 12th - The front yard is blooming!
May 12th - These stunning iris were found hiding under a pine tree in Belladonna Atropa's backyard.
May 13th - Me and Wendy attended Dangerous Liaisons at the Venetian Theater in Hillsboro, Oregon.