Today was the first day in months that I have gone out without a coat, hat, scarf, and gloves. It was in the 50s, sunny, with just a little breeze. Spring is on the way!
The cherry trees are getting ready to bloom!
The teeny tiny Heather is blooming!
The roses are getting leaves and the crocuses are blooming!
And this afternoon, when I picked up Cousin Kestrel, we ate ice cream from Cheese and Crack in their delightful, warm, sunny, OUTSIDE seating area! Just like honest to goodness not frozen people! It was wonderful!
Once we got home, Kes worked on embroidering her jacket and I water colored a new map of Paris, to help me remember the city. Later, I used the map to show Auntie Katie where things are in Paris.
This winter has felt extra cold and wet. We have, in fact, had four inches more rain than last year, and a few more nights that went below freezing. But spring can’t wait forever!
We are seeing tiny signs of it everyday. Snowdrops have sprouted in yards in our Sunnyside neighborhood, cheering up some very muddy gardens.
This amazingly tall azalea bush in Laurelhurst Park bloomed last week in a burst of energy. This week, leaves too tiny to photograph are showing up.
The local daffodils are thinking about blooming, but aren’t sure. With the cold and snow we’ve had lately, I don’t blame them for being a bit reluctant.
But on our walk yesterday evening, we had a clear sunset, and today we have sun! It is predicted to get above 50F, which means I can spray the protective coating on your book cover and wrap it up for delivery.
We have had a record-setting wet spring, and it’s not done yet!
After a few days of sun last week, when we went for walks and saw lots of flowers, we had a weekend of rain, wind, and even thunderstorms.
The Rose Festival -opening-Starlight Parade went on as scheduled after three years of being canceled for Covid, but it went on without us. We just couldn’t muster the energy to bundle up and take a bus downtown to stand in the rain for a few hours. The Parade was televised so we didn’t miss it, but it would have been more fun to be THERE. Darn old rain, anyway.
My garden seems to be enjoying the rain. The Dahlias are up and blooming, and the radishes are getting tall and peppery. No squash or carrots yet, but they aren’t as quick as radishes.
We are promised sun this week, and even really warm temperatures. Keep your fingers crossed, but keep your boots handy.
It has been a weird spring of snow, sun, wind, hail, and rain. I have tried to reflect this in my garden journal.
This is my favorite two-page spread, with April 10 showing the garden as it was that day, and the dramatic change wrought by the overnight snowfall. As my accuracy improves, I am capturing the details better.
Illustrating transparent containers is hard, but they have been an important part of this spring’s garden, sheltering my sprouts from two inches of historic April snow. The bits of sunshine during the day allowed the soil to capture some heat.
And now that the freezing temperatures seem to be gone, we have rain and more rain. I am hoping for resilient sprouts and just a few peeks of sun for the next week.
While you were visiting, you found an old wall covered with wonderfully thick moss. Before I could say anything, you had pulled a chunk off the wall.
“What are you going to do with that?” I asked. You thought fast.
“We could plant it and keep it and you could write a blog about it,” you answered. So here it is.
As soon as we got home, we put the moss into a plastic box with damp soil. While I went online to find out what else we could do for it, you added some bits of the forest to keep it company…. pebbles, sticks, a fir cone. Somehow, the tiny pagoda from my bonsai forest found its way in.
Since the moss had been growing in the north side of a tall house, I knew it would need complete shade to be healthy. We have a spot in the master bathroom that is perfect, but small. The moss would also need slightly acidic soil (all moss does, according to a website) and constant, gentle moisture.
My first instinct was to use a container we already have rather than buying something. I have a big terrarium jar that would be fine, but is too big to fit.
Auntie Bridgett found this wonderful glass container in her studio, about five inches high and round like a ball. The project was on!
We laid some pebbles in the bottom, then firmly packed some soil from my veggie plot. We put in the pagoda, then the moss, then the pebbles and a tiny stick to be a fallen log.
I am very happy with our new tiny forest. It sits right by my sink and I can have that wondrous feeling of walking in the woods every time I brush my teeth!
Thanks, Liza, for adding this tiny, peaceful place to my life.
Spring in Portland is so extravagant, it takes my breath away. Every year we say “It’s never been this pretty before!” The trees just go nuts, it seems, after a few months of cold and wet. They want to show off.
I grew up in Southern California, where the common opinion was that evergreen trees and shrubs were more practical, and easier to take care of. Trees that bloomed or shed were ”messy”.
I suppose evergreens are easier to care for, in the same way that a statue of a dog is easier to care for than an actual dog. But if a garden never changes, where’s the beauty?
I am going by the vegetable garden just about every day now. I have even started keeping my gloves there, so when I stop by on a walk, I can dig and not get all muddy.
Here is a picture of the basil plant we just put in. I am hoping to make pesto this summer, so it needs to get growing!
One of my latest jobs has been weeding the south parkway of a pretty (but destructive) weed called Lesser Celadine. It comes up in spring, with shiny round leaves and pretty yellow daisy-like flowers. It fills in areas where “nothing else will grow.”
The problem is, the reason nothing else will grow there is that Lesser Celadine had small tuber-like roots that actually poison the soil, so nothing else CAN grow there. That way, the ground is clear, the next spring, for more Lesser Celadine to grow. To pull them out, you need to get all the roots. It is tiresome but satisfying work.
Once I had enough weeds to fill my trash bag, I headed home. It was even warm enough to enjoy lunch out in the balcony!
Spring weather is here! The flowers are popping, birds are singing, and the days alternate between sun and showers.
On a walk through the neighborhood to Collage Art Supplies, we saw our first tulips, hanging out with their friends hyacinths and daffodils
Down in SE Division Street, the employees of our favorite vintage shop, Artifact, are protesting unfair promotion practices and pay. We waved in support of the protesters and will shop elsewhere until the management figures out how to treat its staff better.
Grandpa Nelson was very patient while I picked out my birthday presents, two jars of Mod Podge, two pencil sharpeners and some Liquitex acrylics, which will fill in some gaps in my art cupboard. Then we walked to The Daily Dose coffee shop for a pick-me-up. Nicole Little’s art on their walls was intricate and colorful, showing real skill with a bandsaw and showing the peace sign from my childhood.
Heading back home, we ran into a free roaming duck and chicken, wandering up 32nd Street.
And just to put the SPRING stamp on the day, we saw our first tulip tree blooming! This variety of Magnolia, which popular here in Portland, is not as bulky as those I knew in Salinas. I like them so much better!