Monday, June 23, 2014 has a hold on me!

I just cut a bunch of Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium) a free seeding flower that can take over the early summer garden with 3' tall bushes of white flowers. It's a typical, slightly stinky herb used for lots of medicinal purposes including migranes and of course fever. All I know is that it's sort of like athlete's foot for the garden...once you have it, you always have it! I must have 50 bushes spread all around, coming from just one plant I moved from our last place! Once it finishes blooming I will log out some of it and cut back the rest to bloom during the summer and fall. If you want more plants, just let a plant go to seed this fall. But be careful what you wish for!  

Saturday, June 21, 2014


 For a birthday treat, we drove about 10 miles west across the Rogue Valley to a winery located in the west foothills near Jacksonville, OR. The setting reminded me of Los Gatos & Almaden 50+ years ago when we went to Paul Mason Winery. This hillside has the same native oaks and a view reminiscent of looking across the Santa Clara Valley all those years ago. We dined on wood-fired pizza and enjoyed a glass of fine Pinot for Jack and some sparkling Muscat for me that also brought back memories of San Martin's Malvasia Bianca.
 Well turned out patios and shady picnic areas surround the cellars. They keep their vines well clipped and use drip irrigation. Dancin is named for the owners...Dan and Cindy.

Over my shoulder is Roxy Ann Peak and to the right of that ridge is where we live in the east foothills. The peak you see in the distance in the center is Mt. McLaughlin where the snow melt trickles through the volcanic basalt down to Big Butte Springs, supplying the entire region with water. 
All in all, a very nice day with temps in the 70's and a nice breeze. Perfect!

Friday, June 20, 2014


Chris and Susan said "Happy 70th Birthday to Mum!" with a lovely bouquet of roses, carnations and daisies. Even flower gardeners like to get flowers from the florist!  Thanks, kids! 
Special events planned for the day tomorrow include my usual congratulatory overseas phone call from HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge (he has the same birthday as me) and a nice luncheon out at the Dancin winery in Jacksonville. Wine and wood fired pizza in a lovely, almost Tuscan setting will make my day special. Yeah, I'll try to remember to take the camera and get some good snaps.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


 There's something about an ugly old cedar fence that makes me want to run screaming to the Miller Paint I did (maybe not exactly screaming)...I bought yet another gallon of Storm, the great fence and deck paint they sell. The color is "wet sand." I could have thought of a better name but yeah, it's the color of....Anyway, it covers these hideous cedar boards quite well.
This is a close up of part of the 20' bed I put in along the newly painted fence. I don't have to worry about deer or wabbits in the backyard so I can "treat myself" to whatever plants I fancy...this time hydrangeas and ferns. Some of the "dirt" is compost that we hauled from the dumps...they make it from the yard waste that folks bring them, (including us several times). It is aged and blends in well.  
Only 39 more boards and another gallon to go and I'll have the entire fence painted! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I was surprised the other day in the garden by this guy...the Northwestern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea)! He was at least 10" long and very fat...maybe it was a female about to deliver (the young are delivered alive about this time of year) now that I think about it. I knew we had a lizard...last year I saw it sunning on a rock in the perennial bed but it was half the size of this one. 
I actually like lizards and used to have a pet one when I was a kid until I left it out in the yard and it disappeared. Well, it was hard to take a lizard for a walk and I did have to catch bugs for it...euwww!
As a gardener, I love lizard 'cause they eat lots and lots of bugs, slugs, etc. Of course I bet this one has been getting lots of worms that fall out of my mulch bin as well. So here's hoping for more lizards in the future to snap up all the increasing supply of crunchy bugs that will surely appear this summer. Izzie hopes for more lizards too and camps out near the perennial bed watching and waiting...I doubt that she'll tackle this big one though she might get a twitching tail in her mouth...yuck!  

Friday, June 6, 2014


The folks at Potato Garden in Austin, Colorado (where I get my certified potato seed) recommend treating the potatoes to a special tonic a couple of times during the growing season. They say in their informational flyer on growing potatoes, "The sugar in molasses is a good way to enhance the health of potatoes and the soil by feeding and multiplying the beneficial soil microbes." 
WHO KNEW? So today after topping up the plants with more soil (remember that the new potatoes grow in the soil on top of where you planted the seed potato, so frequent "hilling up" is required. Since I'm growing them in a raised bed, I'm actually topping them up with potting soil. I have been stirring my Haws watering can filled with water and about 1/2 cup molasses for a couple of days to get it mixed up. Today I poured it into the bed around the base of all the plants. Afterwards, I watered them thoroughly as it turns out I had a very rich potion (they recommend 1/2 cup in 5 gallons and my can is only 2.5 gal.) Oops! So we'll see if they have a tremendous growth spurt!  

Thursday, June 5, 2014


 We added this spruce tree to the front door area in April of 2011. The little 1 cu ft. planter was very adequate at the time. Oh, look at those tulips...before I discovered that the place was overrun with jackrabbits. Those lovely yellow jobs were all gone the next morning...snapped off and devoured! 
Fast forward to June 2014...The tree has doubled in size and needed a much bigger pot. So off we went to the highly touted Legends Pottery, right off the freeway exit in beautiful Central Point, OR. Millions of pots...well, hundreds at least. I needed about a 2 cubic ft of the smaller pots in their collection! They're all from Vietnam...Yeah, I try not to think about it...we killed 55,000 Americans (the large majority from my generation) so we could get cheap pots and other stuff...can't go there! Anyway it wasn't THAT cheap...$79.99 but it seems that the clay from that part of the world is fairly good stuff. Who knew? Glad that I had trusty "Jack the Under Gardener" with me! It was heavy!  

Monday, June 2, 2014


 I had to have her...even though I told myself, "No more roses!" Meet Love's Promise, a fine addition to any rose garden. A very light fragrance which means it probably will be resistant to black spot. That would be a change! This is a new one from Weeks Roses grown in Bakersfield, I think.