Photographing Snow

Mahonia x media 'Charity' bloom 

Mahonia x media 'Charity' bloom 

Yesterday morning, I found myself standing outside photographing snow. It was falling all around me in huge lazy flakes. The Crony Brothers watched me through their front window while sipping out of coffee cups. I was squatting in the slushy snow with my lens aimed at a flower, holding my breath, squeezing the camera button and then exhaling as I stood. Over and over again.

Being a garden blogger is a crazy thing, if you’d ask my neighbors.  But for me, it is pure joy. 

Savoy cabbage in snow 

Savoy cabbage in snow 

I started this blog as a place to practice writing and putting my neck out.  And four years later, my life is so much bigger. I’m teaching gardening courses through the community education department at Clark College. I recently wrapped up my busiest garden season of teaching, volunteering, and garden projects. 

The alpine strawberries have been blooming like crazy. 

The alpine strawberries have been blooming like crazy. 

I find myself surrounded by the most remarkable people; breathtakingly beautiful wise people that teach me so much everyday. Today, I researched cucumber mosaic virus with a fellow mg volunteer that filled my ears with her stories of world travels and a rough year filled with loss and a stroke.  We’re all in this together.

 

And I’m so thankful for you. Thank you for being here. 

Meadow rue seedheads

Meadow rue seedheads

A lone echinacea 

A lone echinacea 

Wednesday Vignette: Toadstool

This damp October broke monthly rainfall records when we reached 8.11 inches of rain with only 2 days without rainfall. The summer drought is long forgotten and the garden is abloom with fungus. Toadstools and mushrooms adorn the garden soil, fence line, and the fir tree bark.

Please visit my blogger buddy, Anna at Flutter and Hum, to see the rest of the Wednesday Vignettes. 

Garden Project Wrap Up 2016

It's time for the big reveal on this season's garden projects. Let's take a look back at early Spring 2007. We moved into our house on Halloween of 2006 and waited until the spring to get started.

The front was a patchwork quilt of spongy moss and lawn. The garbage can adds a nice flourish.

The front was a patchwork quilt of spongy moss and lawn. The garbage can adds a nice flourish.

Let's take another look at that mossy lawn and tortured foundation plantings.

Let's take another look at that mossy lawn and tortured foundation plantings.

I chose our simple ranch house for the backyard surrounded by a stand of Douglas Fir trees. Lovely.

I chose our simple ranch house for the backyard surrounded by a stand of Douglas Fir trees. Lovely.

 A look down at the small afterthought of a concrete pad patio. 

 A look down at the small afterthought of a concrete pad patio. 

Just a backyard filled with lawn and edged with bark dust.

Just a backyard filled with lawn and edged with bark dust.

Barnaby 'helped' with the projects.

Barnaby 'helped' with the projects.

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We added a roof to the pergola and painted the columns a nice shade of eggplant.

I stepped away from spreading the bark mulch to capture this morning shot in the backyard. Spring 2015

I stepped away from spreading the bark mulch to capture this morning shot in the backyard. Spring 2015

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This spring, I debated about growing a different kind of lawn mix aimed for dogs. After visiting Matthew's garden, I realized that I needed to add a water feature with water plants and fish.

So, we rented a sod cutter and tore out all of the remaining lawn in our yard.

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A weedy lawn hell-strip was transformed into our first gravel garden. My Pirate has fallen head-over-heels for succulents. He's discussing what to put in our neighbor's yard. I love this man!

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This is the gravel garden this morning and our new side yard plantings. It is much more interesting than lawn and requires less care and water.

My Victory Garden received an upgrade this June. We resided it with Juniper boards that My Pirate picked up for a deal at 60% off. These boards can last up to 30 years due to the high pitch content. Fingers crossed.

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Here's our new edible meadow, complete with a new gravel patio. We can sit and watch the Crony Brothers sitting in their garage watching us. We toast each other and laugh.

What's an edible meadow? It was our compromise on edibles for me and grasses and orange flowers for My Pirate. The lower level in front of the veggie beds hold a new row of blueberry bushes! Plus I snuck in a couple of pineapple guavas. 

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The gravel path leads to our backyard gate. The neighbors installed a focal point gate and I'm not certain yet how I'm going to update our gate and fence. I'm leaning towards imitating their fence design and keeping ours a secret entrance. 

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An old unwanted propagation table makes a strong trellis for an evergreen jasmine. 

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My theme for our backyard is Picnic in Paradise. And I love to spend time in our oasis. I added a tall table this year that my Grandpa made me out of his old front door. It's tall enough that Mr. Barnaby's tail doesn't clear the table. And we surrounded the area with misters for hot days. 

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One of the pathways to the water feature area. 

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My Pirate's favorite view of the garden is sitting in the shade shack overlooking the water feature. No more lawn for us. I'm really happy that we've established the footprint for our garden. Now, I can start fine-tuning the plantings and art. Thanks for following along!