May I continue? (May, 2018)

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As is usual, I have not yet blogged about the annual Garden Bloggers Fling. Since I cannot afford to go to Denver in 2019, let’s hope that I follow through with my posts after I am finished with my monthly summaries. Maybe I could get around to posting about every other Fling I’ve been to as well. I guess some part of me has more fun attending these events then writing about them. I know, this doesn’t make sense. I just feel like everyone else who is actually a blogger does a better job of writing about the gardens. For me, they’re usual big health disasters that take a lot of work to prepare for, and recover from, so while I am there I am having as much fun as a human can possibly have while they’re in the moment.

All I can say is that Austin, TX did NOT disappoint and it was a great deal of fun to be there is such a large group of Portland friends. We showed up and we showed up strong!

(Funny family fact, the last known relative I knew about ever having been in Texas was my great-grandmother’s cousin and he was hung for cattle rustling. When I say I’m a spaghetti Westerner. I’m not kidding. Clearly this guy was not from my Sicilian side.)

After the Fling I was able to follow through on a little side trip to Peckerwood Garden. To say that it blew me away is not an exaggeration. I also plan to do a post about that in the future but let’s just say it was a business trip of sorts and I returned with a carryon bag overloaded with so many plants I can’t even remember what the final count was for cuttings, plants, and seeds, but it was a bit over the top. I also fell madly, and deeply in love with Clematis texensis while I was there.

I also realized that someone should name a begonia ‘Yosemite Ann’. Funny I’d never noticed the resemblance until I held one of those poor cane-like begonias up to my face. By this point in the trip I was delirious from health concerns, exhaustion, and excitement so if you see me doing this again, just be warned. I needed a nap pretty badly.

Upon my arrival home I was happy to see that my Beschorneria from Lance over at Garden Riots was kicking it and starting to bloom for me. I am sure in Texas this thing would have already gone to seed but hey!, this is Oregon, so I was thrilled to come home to this new surprise. Luckily I love hot pink and it sort of spared well with the classic giant pink Rhodie across the street.

The three cats continued to enjoy the quieter house and Felix continued to develop his odd quirks. He smooshed my seeds, sat in seed trays and on soil bags since he’s a house cat. LuLu wandered on her own and Oliver, well, he just loved life everyday with all of his heart. He’s just one big fluffy happy guy.

Life at Cistus Nursery had changed a bit while I was away. Sean had sold his house and had moved into the house at the nursery so basically all of the land was reunited under one roof so-to-speak. I also learned that the day Sean moved in Nigella retired officially from living in our retail area. I have to say it’s kind of amazing that she just knew she could do that. She continues to thrive in retirement.

Back at the house I think this was the point at which I was kind of amazed at how everything could explode at once. By the end of the month, I was pushing to get things in while it all just grew around me. That’s why I am doing more gardening this winter. I would have done this before but I just wasn’t well enough.

IMG_4185My neighbor’s meadow has continued to grow and develop. I help her with this a bit and I am trying to take more photos to keep track of what we add and remove. This is not a static place. For the entire warm season my neighbor puttered out in her meadow. She gets a lot of pleasure from spending time out here and it’s fun to watch as things grow and improve.

My other neighbor was someone I visited too. Little did I know then though that she’d be selling her place in just a few months. She’s already moved away so seeing these photos made me feel badly. I spent a lot of the summer and fall though working with what I was able to get from her place before the sale. Her houseplant collection was huge and that alone has taken me 3 months to sort and propagate. Once temps are warmer, I will begin to send her starts of her own plants. I’ve kept start of everything and have been selling the extras to pay off medical and/or personal debts. The process has only deepened my love of houseplants, improved my propagation, and I’ve learned to do some light retail work from my garage.

But back in May, I had no idea that’s how my year would end up. It’s still kind of amazing to think of how much I’ve done thanks to a balanced schedule, understanding folks, and anabolic steroids to help with my hereditary angioedema. I guess physical therapy isn’t the only miracle in my life.

Lastly, I had to leave these two goofy pets. On the left is my friend Paul Bonine’s pup Miles. He has a fondness for me and I for him so when he fell asleep between Paul and I like this I melted. He’s such a sweet dog too. Then there is Oliver. Sigh. Oliver is a terribly handsome cat but he’s a scared of everything. Most of the time he just wants to snuggle or sleep. Other times, he’s like this, and luckily when I laugh at him, he never even registers it. Can’t say that about there other members of the current kitty crew.

(I swear this is a garden blog.)

A Dozen Garden Moments from the Summer of 2014

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1) Two of my favorite pieces of concrete garden decor were stolen off of my front porch. Boo!

TakenFromPorch2) I watched Mona the Cat flourish after the fence went into the back garden.

MonaOnTheFence3) Yes, you heard me correctly, a fence went into the back garden.

IMG_69464) I learned on the 4th of July that the pink blossoms of the Feijoa sellowiana taste a lot like fruity marshmallows. Yum.

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5) Seeds I’d tossed out into the garden finally bloomed. I was elated to see this Meconopsis cambrica ‘Flore Pleno’. Well hello there gorgeous!IMG_73956) The Garden Bloggers Fling went down in Portland and it was great to spend time with old and new friends. Although I was still exhausted from back surgery, I had a wonderful time. (Seen here on the far left is Laura of Gravy Lessons and on the right is Jennifer of Rainy Day Gardener.

securedownload7) It was a blast to jump on my bike to attend the first annual Montavilla Gardens Tour in the next neighborhood over from mine.

IMG_76118) While attending a monthly meetup group for Italian language speakers my husband and I were pleased to discover this fantastic giardinetto.

IMG_75379) I also found a lot of peace and comfort is this slightly more formal edible garden designed by the garden designer and author Vanessa Gardner Nagel. (She blogs over at Garden Chirps.)

IMG_784310) Recently I’ve been acting as a caregiver to my eldest cat, Macavity. She’s had a rough time these past few weeks.

IMG_817011) Filming a brief segment on cooking cardoons for the local show Garden Time was a blast. I’d never dreamed of doing anything like that and there will be more on that experience here soon. (The piece is set to air on October 4th.)

IMG_814912) Best Espelette pepper harvest ever.

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Now bring on my Pacific Northwest rain! I’m ready for it to pour and my skin is dry, thirsty, and tired.

Hope you had a great summer too!

Happy Autumn!