Thursday, July 29, 2010

A picture worth taking

A couple of evenings ago while Mema and I were walking the dogs we happened across this cat, I only had my cell phone so the picture is poor quality but still worth taking. In a neighborhood that is primarily dogs, it doesn't take imagination to think this owner saw the danger so gave his furry friend the upper hand or seat?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Escape from the City

When we need to escape the city and Hawaii is out of the question,
we head to the family cabin near the still active Mount St. Helen's.

Tranquility is only an hours drive from the city to the south side of Mt. St.Helen's

Sophie doing the perimeter check

Even 'Ray' Mema's canary enjoys a respite from everyday life in the big city.

Visitors arrive.

Light refreshment are in order

So nice of you all to come

This is why I don't like large parties...someone always spoils things.

"Hey sorry I'm late, did I miss anything?"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tomato Update

We are now picking fruit about every other day, and the plants have outgrown their frames. This next weekend I will run some long bamboo canes down the sides of the frames for added support.

They don't look like much, but since harvesting the garlic from this small bed I planted some of the Basil I grew in the greenhouse and one clump of English Cucumber and an Armenian foot long Cucumber as well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Meanwhile, back in the Greenhouse

This little gem of an Orchid was given to me six years ago by a friend who received it as a gift. It had two leaves left and most of the roots had rot when it came my way, so after a lot of tender care it showed its gratitude and bloomed for me. Unfortunately when I receive a plant like this it has no growers tag for identification which frustrates me to no end. But regardless of documentation it is the most beautiful honey color beehive of blooms.

Wisteria "Cook's Special", just doin it's thing....again.

Back in my April 22nd 2010 post I wrote that my Wisteria blooms three times a year, that April date being the first bloom date. I thought I would give ongoing proof to the pudding and post the second bloom. Here it its, and it is surprisingly heavy for the second.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

From The Garden History Book

For years I had driven by the Old Zimmerman Farm House and thought about the family that built it and the one remaining daughter that at the time still lived there. Isobel Faith Zimmerman graduated from the University of Oregon and went on to teach math and science at Franklin High School just a couple of blocks away from our home Menagerie Manor. She remained in her family home until her death in 1992 at the age of 93. The stately 1874 turn-of-the-century Farm house was built by Isobel's Grandfather Jacob Zimmerman who ran the family Dairy business on the land. Then in 1881 Isobel's father George took over the business. Isobel the youngest of four daughters was born in 1899, she never married. Isobel was very concerned in preserving all family history and was a charter member of the local Historical Society. The house and contents were willed to the Society for the purpose of preserving the house, its comprehensive collection of artifacts, its gardens and grounds.
One rainy afternoon in 2003 Mema and I decided to drop in and tour the house now open to the public. The house was filled with period furniture and artifacts, some rooms could only be viewed from the doorway as they were literally crammed floor to ceiling with items yet to be catalogued. After a nice tour of the interior we went outdoors to the back garden which was still under work, up next to the back terrace was a large Lace cap Hydrangea. And of course since we were the only visitors out on the grounds I took a couple of very small cuttings of which only one rooted. I took this picture of it just now in bloom this morning.

And here are a few of the other Hydrangeas in the gardens.

This is a beautiful white Mop Head which I have not a clue of its name as the tag was removed when it was given to me as a gift for my passed years of being the Cub Scout Master for the local Chapter back in the early 1980's.

"Sensation" ( planted 8/03/2008) Mop head, Cayeux, 1938

"Pia" (planted 7/26/2006) This Mop Head is a dwarf variety that stays pink under most conditions.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rose cutting update

Back on March 3rd 2010 I received some cuttings of of the 1894 rose "Francis Dubreuil" from Jim of the Gaudy Gardner. I was able to root two of the cuttings successfully and although I usually remove any buds from first year cuttings I just thought it would be fun to let one of them bloom so I could post it. It is the most fragrant rose in my collection and one that I will be entering in the 2011 Portland Spring Rose Show. So here ya go Jim, she is growing up well in Portland Oregon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Garlic crop for 2010

Tied in bundles of twenty bulbs to dry for two to three weeks before cleaning.
After the second week I will take a bulb down and cut the stem as low to the bulb as possible, if it is dry then they are ready for cleaning and use. If the stems show any green then they are not ready and remain hanging. These are "Purple Glazier" from "Hood River Garlic Farm". I originally ordered five different variety of soft neck and hard neck but this seemed to do better then the rest and kept longer as well.

I usually pick out the plumpest five or so to store for planting in November. Such an easy crop to grow. Not only adds flavor to meals but the health benefits go without saying.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mema's Ladies

Mema's Ladies as the pampered hens of Menagerie Manor are referred to generally live long prosperous lives. Over the thirty some years that we have kept egg layers we have had some surprises in the egg industry. In the first picture we have a normal days gathering of eggs, very nice indeed girls! Then.....

.........on the left a normal size egg and on the right.....oops....short changed by a four year old Barred Rock

Once again the egg on the left ...... normal. And then the egg on the right laid by a six year old Rhode Island Red who was after this incident aptly renamed Peanut.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tomato Update July 2nd

In my May 11th post I was experimenting with growing my tomatoes in the new metal stock tank, and in the picture the tomatoes were newly planted. Well at this time they are doing fantastic and the plants are loaded with green fruit. Regardless of the lousy weather we have had here, the plants are flourishing. Its a race to see which I get first, a ripe tomato or harvest the garlic at the base of the tub. The garlic is slow this year because of all the rain I'm sure.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Room Available?

Next to my love of gardening is my love and devotion to animals, and it is because of that love that our home became known to the local populous as Menagerie Manor. And because of the constantly fluctuating population of said creatures the local primary schools came to our home annually as a field trip to see and hear about the latest residence at the Manor. A hectic day for Mema and I but a day the children looked forward too every year. That was quite a few years ago. The house is still called Menagerie Manor, and those children have grown but every once in while one of them will stop by for a visit. There is still a large permanent population of creatures and any that come for care now find a new forever home after they are well. Last night at about 10:30 I received a call from the Light rail control office asking if we would accept a Tortoise that one of their Rail personnel found hiking up one of the local highways, we of course did not say no. He seems quite healthy and is eating well, but because we already have two very old and permanent resident tortoises I had to house this one in the greenhouse. I have contacted the local Tortoise rescue and they are going to help locate its previous owner, so hopefully this story will have an even happier ending.