Toad House

Toad house...

A fun Christmas gift from my daughter… We placed this toad house under the oak trees where we often hear a fine and healthy frog or toad (don’t know which yet!).

The toad has no superior as a destroyer of noxious insects, and as he possesses no bad habits and is entirely inoffensive himself, every owner of a garden should treat him with the utmost hospitality.

~Celia Thaxter


Growing Wild


This is our first winter spent full-time in our new home. It’s almost impossible to be long-distance gardeners but that’s what we have been for the last two years. Some things have been maintained pretty well, considering that we could only work in our yard once a month. A very hard-working neighbor boy took care of the lawns and leaves for us, but some of the necessary gardening was missed.

This climbing rose is a good example of what was missed. This is mid-December, and it looks awful.  Not having any experience with climbing roses, I need to learn how to properly prune climbing roses so they don’t grow over the rooftop or take over the neighboring bushes.  Another step in my gardening education!

Garden Reading: The Morville Year

The Morville Year

I love the feeling of accomplishment when a project is completed. This morning I finished reading The Morville Year, by Dr. Katharine Swift. It was a lovely read and a real gardening education for me as I look forward to my return to gardening at our new home in Oregon before too long.

littleflowerThe project?  As I read the book, I kept track of all the flowers, books, places, and people she talked about in this story of a year in her wonderful garden at Dower House, Morville Hall, Shropshire, England.  And then I created a Pinterest board where I collected photographs of each thing on my list. The result is a visual book review, which I really enjoyed creating! If you are already a member of Pinterest, please visit my board and enjoy the photographs that I chose to honor this book. [Please forgive any mistakes I made in my photo selecting.] I don’t know if you can visit the board without being a member, but here is the link, just in case. It was a labor of love for me … homage paid to a lovely book.

[This review was originally published on my book blog, A Fondness for Reading.]

Garden Dreams


We bought our beautiful 100+ year-old house in Forest Grove last November. We took ownership, but we can’t live there full-time until the summer of 2013, when we retire from our jobs in the Seattle area and move to our new place in Oregon. We are so thrilled to have a house and yard again after many years of living in a city condo, and I am so looking forward to returning to gardening. For the time being, though, we must be part-time gardeners. Our son is living at the house and taking care of things for us. We travel there every two or three weeks to spend the weekend, as often as time and energy allow. We love every moment we spend there!

This blog will be my gardening journal to record our new adventure in gardening. I will fill it with photos of the things we discover growing in our yard, and will document the changes we want to make. It will be a place to record dreams, new ideas, things we learn, plans we make, and projects we take on. And in the meantime, perhaps it will also help me wait patiently for this upcoming move and life change.

I am not a brand-new gardener, but I have so much to learn about gardening at our new home. And I am not a young gardener, but know that gardening itself will keep me young at heart and in good health as I move into my elder years. It will be an adventure as I learn how to garden with all my heart!