Friday, September 21, 2018

Fall? No Thanks.

Retirement is a big job! It has been tough to find time to just sit and do nothing or to sit and read or even blog. I really enjoy the summer and am truly not ready for fall, but the garden is telling me that fall is coming regardless of this old gardener love of sunshine. I was out pulling a few weeds and noticed the Japanese anemones are starting to bloom, a sure sign of change. 

The kitchen garden is in its final glory, with a nice crop of beans to be picked and packed into the freezer. Three more heads of red cabbage and four butternut squash will close down the garden for the year.  

This window box is in denial and like this old gardener screams, “Give me more summer!” But most chores now are around the house instead of in the garden.


 The front porch was a week long project that required sanding the majority of it down to raw wood.

MeMa loved the new look and that’s all that matters.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Down Memory Lane

On one of our recent trips to north Portland MeMa noticed the marquee sign in front of Lombard Animal Hospital announcing an open house. In 1972, I had applied for the position of kennel cleaner. As I was being introduced to the staff the surgery door was quickly opened and out popped this little pixie of a girl with long hair and straining under the dead weight of an unconscious dog. When she got to the door leading to the recovery kennels the Doctor doing the introductions said “and this is Marjie,” she turned and smiled just as the dog lost it’s bladder soaking her light blue surgical smock. I jumped toward her asking if I could help, but she kicked the door open and said “nope, you’ll get plenty of your own.” It was love at first sight and still is after 43 years. Our late employer’s plaque hangs next to Marjie’s head in the photo and the second photo is note she received with her first paycheck, $1.80 per hour. The new doctors and staff were thrilled that we took time to come today and gave us a tour of the recently remodeled facility, they also took a couple of photos of the letter.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Madame Caroline Testout or The Rose That Made Portland Famous

Prior to the 1905 exposition Portland city leaders asked all residents to plant roses in their front gardens in hopes of being branded the “Rose City.”

The exposition committee decided on a hardy hybrid tea, “Madame Caroline Testout.” 
Famed French hybridizer Joseph Pernet-Ducher sold his beautiful rose to a dressmaker who named it after herself. The Madame Caroline Testout (pronounced “testoo”) a hardy hybrid tea rose has large pink petals with clear silvery pink edges. 

The Madame Caroline Testout rose was introduced to the U.S. in 1892 and the city of Portland imported thousands that were delivered door to door by the Portland Rose Society members in 1902.
The plan worked and Portland became the Rose City. Historians claim that almost a quarter of the city streets were outfitted with rose hedges. A few still exist in the older neighborhoods. Recently the garden section of our newspaper listed locations to see the roses, one of those was in a nearby historical graveyard.

It is amazingly quiet in the graveyard during a late morning on a weekday, only retired folks are out and about.

Madame Caroline Testout looking very well under glass

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Swearing Off Trees

Kitchen window box

We have been doing a bit of traveling, mostly one or two days at a time. But I have also been spending all my free time in the gardens.
Pruning season is in full swing here.  I start up with the trees and work down. At this time I am still up. Two done, twelve to go. I have sworn off planting any more trees!