Spring is when life’s alive in everything. ~ Christina Rossetti

Oh what a long, dreary winter we’ve had this year! It was a winter that set records for snow and cold, and flooding! But Spring has finally arrived, and it’s time to get back to the garden and this blog after a long hiatus. There’s so much to do in the yard, and yet the weather still plays Spring games on us. The sun is shining this afternoon…for about 5 minutes at a time in between downpours. We are hoping for some sunshine and relief from the rain and wet soon so that we can mow the lawns and plant some seeds in the vegetable garden boxes.


After the Storm


Saturday’s big wind storm is over but the clean-up will take time. In our town, there were four or five trees that blew down, and the biggest and most devastating one was right across the street. So after witnessing the tree falling and calling 911 on Saturday afternoon, we have watched in fascination as the help arrived and started to deal with the aftermath of that 100 year-old-oak falling onto our neighbor’s house.

Three days after the tree fell, the crews are still working to clean up the tree debris. The crews that worked on both Sunday and Monday to cut the tree off the house and remove the huge pieces of trunk were truly amazing to watch at work! My photos will speak for themselves.

Today the tree is gone except for the broken stump. The wires are back up and the neighbor’s house secured. A small clean-up crew from the tree company is back today clearing the last of the debris from the yard and picking up the cut up pieces of trunk that weren’t moved yesterday. Pretty soon it will all be back to “normal,” except for a huge bare and open space that wasn’t there before. And then the house repair/restoration project will start, and that will be another fascinating process to watch. Who needs cable tv when there’s a lot more entertainment and interest right outside our window?


Fall’s Fury


The last 24 hours in our town and especially in our neighborhood have been momentous. A huge storm front driven by a typhoon way out in the Pacific Ocean took aim at the Pacific Northwest and brought devastating winds that hit our town yesterday.  A tornado came onshore in Manzanita, Oregon, and did considerable damage there. In our town, 60 miles inland from the coast, numerous trees were blown down, including a 100+ year old Oak across the street. I happened to be standing at the window when it went down and watched in horror as it fell on our neighbor’s house. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the damage is considerable.

We are humbled by Fall’s fury, and nervous about the 100-year-old oaks that tower above our house and our neighbor’s houses in this area. They are all old trees, nearing the end of their life cycle, and can be very dangerous as I witnessed yesterday. Although this area was originally a white oak savannah, these trees that make us nervous were planted by the next door neighbor a hundred years ago. Five of the ten big oaks surrounding that house are hanging over our property line and our house. We already had one very dangerous oak taken down when we first moved here a few years ago. (You can read about that tree here.) Needless to say, we will be having the other 5 carefully evaluated for safety within the next few days/weeks.


Another Hot Spell


It’s another scorching hot record-breaking day for our area. It takes all morning to water, and then I stay inside and read or knit during the worst of the afternoon heat. The porch plants were recovering from the last blast of heat, and looked good this morning. I’ll see how they do with this afternoon’s hot breeze. I’m looking forward to the cooler temperatures of late summer and early fall!


Photo from early June when everything was still green...

Photo from early June when everything was still green…

Actually, we are now having our 3rd big heatwave of the summer! This is an unusual year for this part of Oregon. We had a dry winter, and now a very hot summer! Not much rain in sight! Mornings are for watering. Afternoons are spent indoors, trying to stay as cool as possible (nice for reading and knitting, though). The grass is completely yellow, and won’t return to the lovely green we enjoy until the rains return. The rhododendrons are stressed. The weeds are flourishing. Yesterday it reached 100 degrees. Today is supposed to reach 104 degrees! I miss the gray and the rain!


Celebrating Gardens: Schreiner’s Iris Garden


The second stop on our garden vacation was to visit Schreiner’s Iris Garden, just north of Salem, Oregon. It was an overcast morning with a bit of rain, but as we drove into the parking lot, the sun came out! We spent hours wandering slowly through the display garden, overwhelmed by the color and the variety of irises and other flowers! It was absolutely gorgeous!

Celebrating Gardens: Return to the Oregon Garden


The Oregon Garden Resort

Last Spring we enjoyed our first visit to the beautiful Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. We liked it so much we decided we must return and spend more time there. In the middle of our gray and rainy winter, my husband made reservations at the Oregon Garden Resort for two lovely May days. It was such a nice thing to look forward to all winter! When May finally arrived, we loved our mini-vacation exploring the many different areas of the Garden. What a beautiful garden and lovely resort! This is a mini-vacation we will repeat quite often!



Celebrating Gardens: Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden


For our  “Wandering Wednesday” this week, we chose to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland, Oregon. What a beautiful morning spent exploring and experiencing the different gardens within that walled city block. Beautiful, peaceful, inspiring…a lovely place to visit and enjoy.

Celebrating Gardens: The Oregon Garden


Our second Wandering Wednesday was a late-May trip to the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. What a beautiful and inspiring day! We spent hours walking and enjoying the creativity of the different gardens, and came home with some fun ideas for our own yard and garden. We decided we must wander that way again before too long because it was so much fun. Be sure to check out the link to their homepage because there are many activities and events to enjoy there along with their beautiful gardens.