As most of you know I moved to Portland nearly two years ago and I inherited a beautiful garden full of the most amazing plants that someone else planted! I’m not the world’s greatest expert on Clematis (cover your ears Dad!). I have five amazing Clematis that are now in full flower and I don’t know what varieties they are. Any ideas plant lovers?
Try saying that after a few glasses of wine!
The Crimson Clover that I sowed back in October is finally flowering. And it looks beautiful. I know that some have warned against letting it flower but I really couldn’t resist. The flowers are so – red wine!
I think it looks so amazing as a lush green, almost hedge in the kitchen garden.
I chopped back half of it last month to make room for some plantings.
And it even looked good way back in October when it just got going. Up to now I’m impressed with Crimson Clover as a cover. Ask me again in a couple of months if I still like it :)
At the weekend we drove out to see the Pear blossom in an area called the Fruit Loop near here. It’s where all the fruit farms are. There is mile after mile of fields that look like this. I was in heaven! It’s so interesting to see how gnarled the trees are and also how closely they are planted. The rows are far apart because they need to get a tractor down there but the actual trees couldn’t have been more than six feet away from each other. Incredible.
I’m so excited about this coming season. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that are starting to grow and the plans I have for the kitchen garden. I’m most excited about planting some patterned beds and seeing if I can make it work the way I imagine it in my head!
It’s been gently snowing here all day. Nothing is sticking but it’s freezing cold and the fountain is rock solid again. The heater in the greenhouse is clicking on and off in an attempt to keep the chill off some perennial flowers that I sowed. And the Calvolo Nero seeds that I sowed last week are popping through regardless. They don’t care about the snow.
And this? This is my sign of Springtime that will keep me going throughout the next month.
In the bleak mid winter. It’s certainly bleak in my garden. I’m still clearing and I’m still cleaning. I read a good tip the other day for gardening in general. Take a picture of your garden in winter so you can see where you need to put some ‘winter interest’ plants. That’s something I need to do. I’d like something pretty with berries just underneath my window so I can watch the birds. Stay warm!
“I don’t take photos of people’ – that’s what I told them when they asked me to do this photoshoot for the 2014 Master Gardener recruitment campaign here in Portland. And it’s true! I’m happy taking photos of Cabbages, Tomatoes, whole Chard plants and even rows of Peas, but people? Well, I try to keep them out of it, if I can. You see I’m not so confident with portraits and being a bit of a coward I avoid things I’m not good at.
But they worked their magic on me and I said yes. So I turned up with my little bag of lenses (take them all I thought, you never know when you might need a Macro lens for this kind of work!). Of course I don’t own a flash or any lighting gear (Cabbages don’t need fill-in). And I tried to look like I knew what I was doing.
The models were very nice. The light was the biggest problem we had. The sun kept appearing and giving people a nice angelic halo every now and again. The box was heavy! And surprisingly difficult to hold straight.
But we managed to have a laugh. And…I’m pretty happy with the photos I took. Shocked would be a better word. So if you do see these photos as part of a Master Gardener campaign around the city you’ll know they were taken by me. The one who doesn’t do people :)
The moss, it is a-growing.
This is Montgomery, or Monty to you and I. Believe it or not he is actually a puppy. He’s a mere 6 months old. No really, he is. He’s a Great Dane and nowhere near fully grown.
If you could have the pleasure of watching him ‘help’ me in the garden then you would know he was a puppy straight away. He chews everything. And by everything I do mean everything. Marigold flowers, Peas (he loves Peas), my handmade wooden plant tags, my rubber kneeling pad, empty plant pots, full plant pots, absolutely anything bound for the compost bin, the handle of my wheelbarrow (it’s the wooden bit), my gardening gloves, a bag of Perlite, or Dolomite Lime. Heck! he’s not fussy.
Pathways? He laughs at them. Hose heads? He wrestles them. Hedges? He sleeps on them. The garden is his playground and boy does he have fun. He bounds (it’s not really a run) from one end to the other with little regard for vegetation, small children or other animals. He’s all muscle and very little sense. That’s Monty.
But I love his little sad eyes and jaunty ears. He’s my big ole garden buddy and is always interested in what I’m doing. He follows me around looking for something to be naughty with. And after about 20 minutes flops down and has a nap because gardening really does take it out of you. Especially, when you’re only six months old.
A few nights ago my Master Gardeners group had a movie night at their vegetable demo garden. We slung an old canvas over a frame, rigged up a projector and plonked our camping chairs in the grass. There were treats to share including freshly popped corn and we all settled down to listen to the crickets and watch Truck Farm.
It was a tounge-in-cheek documentary about a guy from Brooklyn who, in the absence of any actual garden, planted a kitchen garden in the back of his truck. He then proceeded to sell the produce to New Yorkers by driving to their house and letting them pick their own.
It was a very amusing film. I highly recommend seeing it. It was entertaining, inspirational, happy and a bit sad but ultimately happy. And the whole thing was narrated in song by two musicians who kept popping in and out of the scene.
After the film was over we all helped pack up and carry things to people’s cars. All-in-all a very enjoyable evening spent with new gardening friends.
You can watch the Truck Farm trailer on You Tube but you have to pay to see the actual film.