My Salal is flowering!

We have plans for a “native plants garden” in the front corner of our yard. It’s a big project, so we won’t be getting to it until the fall, even though we’ve already cleared the space for it. I’m so excited to put it together…bring in a big load of dirt, add some good-sized rocks, and plant some lovely native trees, shrubs, and flowers. I’m going to put in Red Flowering Current, a Vine Maple, some Salal and Oxalis, then plant a variety of native ferns and flowers.

Last year, in anticipation of this garden, I bought some Salal, planted it in a pot and put it in the space on the north side of the front porch which I call my “plant hospital.” Whenever I put a plant there because it’s been struggling somewhere else in the yard, it recovers and flourishes! That’s what the Salal is doing! I checked on it the other morning after a rain, and it was flowering! I’m really looking forward to building that native plants garden and planting my dear sweet Salal in it’s new, permanent home!


Hardy Pansies in a Half-Barrel


September 30, 2014

Last September, I planted some pansies and some ornamental kale and cabbage in a wooden tub next to a post with a birdhouse/feeder on it. We can see the tub from our kitchen window, and I hoped that the plantings would give us some winter color. The kale and cabbage didn’t last through the winter, but the pansies have been amazing! Yes, they gave us a bit of winter color, and then they really took off in the spring, were glorious in the early summer, and have lasted (although looking very tired and haggard now) through the heat of summer to reach Fall again.

I’m going to replace those hardy pansies in the next few days. We’ve got some other plans for that tub this winter. But it’s been a delightful year watching those pansies, and the birds, cats, and squirrels that also enjoy that tub outside the kitchen window!

A Mini Project


The only gardening I could do at our condo in the Seattle area was container gardening on a very small back deck. I had planter boxes hanging from the deck railing for many years and shade plants grew well there since we had a beautiful wooded greenbelt (with those very tall Seattle evergreens) behind and to the side of our unit. When we moved to our new Oregon home last year, we brought those moss and lichen covered boxes with us, but there was no place to hang them here. We will eventually build a deck behind our new home, and they can once again hang from the deck railing, but in the meantime, they’ve been sitting unused and looking rather forlorn.

We have a small covered area behind the house, next to the garage. It’s in pretty bad shape and will be taken down when we remodel the laundry room and back entry to our house later this year. But this morning was just right for a mini-project in the garden, and so my husband attached a 2 x 4 between two posts of that covered area and hung those planter boxes. I went to a new local nursery nearby, bought some flowers and came home and planted them. It was a delightful morning mini gardening project.


Porch Tulips

My gardening for the last 15 years has been confined to containers on a porch deck. I’m very comfortable with those limited-size gardens, and am enjoying the beauty of those pots this spring knowing that next year I will be enjoying plantings that are not restricted to containers!

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!