Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring At Last

I have spent most of the time out in the front cleaning up the beds and cutting up the firewood and tidying up in the drive. Spring has been a bit slow here but its finally starting to bloom. The greenhouse has quite a few of its regulars in bloom so I will just post some pictures for you all to enjoy, in case spring is slow for you as well.

Rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer', started from a slip back in 1975

I don't know the name of this pink Camelia but it was on the property when I purchased it from the original owner Lucy Warner

Marsh Marigold a very invasive plant

Daphnae odora, planted in mass at the back door

Star Magnolia is just starting to open up

Moss, we have an abundance of it everywhere, thanks to Oregon rain.

Cymbidium ‘Kenny Takaki’

Odontoglossum ‘Tahoma Glacier Wilma’

Paphiopedilum ‘Macabre’

Phaleanopsis ‘Meller Gold’

And more........Moss

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eight Days of "Baching" It

It will be me and the zoo for the next eight days as MeMa is taking advantage of Spring Break and headed on a "Road Trip" to Vegas with two fellow School District employees. One being the owner of the Condo that we stayed in last time the two of us went to Vegas. I received this photo of the road through the Siskiyou Mountains. MeMa says they are "white knuckling it at 28 mph and eating lots of cheese puffs."
Three crazy ladies start their road trip

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Really?..... Again?

Really?....again???  Those are the two questioning words that came out of a very frustrated MeMa's mouth along with a lot of arm flailing and....."the look".   I had been out knee deep in the koi pond, in my wellies, net in hand mucking out the debris from the winter.  I made a sweep and came up with a heavy net full when I spotted something.  "Hey...... that's my cell phone!"  I grabbed it from out of the muck to find it giving off this very annoyed little buzz which I'm sure was akin to a swan song.  I looked at my belt and all that remained was the clip that WAS secured to it's faux leather pouch.  I took the irate buzzing phone into the house just so I could see MeMa's animated version of frustration at its finest.  She tossed it into a bowl of rice while asking me if I frequently get calls while mucking out the pond????  There obviously is no come-back to a question like that if one intends to live out a full life.  Hey,  I only look stupid!  Although at that point MeMa would probably argue that analogy, as this is actually the second time in a year that my fish borrowed my phone with disastrous effects.  We checked the phone after a good time and found the screen to be sort of opaque in color.  MeMa handed it over and said, "Let's go get you another phone."  On arrival at the phone outlet, the salesmen took one look at it and said "Really?.......again?"  And then for the second time I got "the look".  Wow, two people that just didn't see the humor in this story and both with the same look on their faces.  I very quietly asked if he had one that was water resistant.  So.....I am the proud owner of a water resistant flip phone.   Yesterday while I was out bent over the waterfall on the pond MeMa,  tapped on the window and asked if I had removed my phone before going outside.  I quickly stood,  pulling my shirt up, revealing nothing clipped to my belt.  MeMa gave a satisfied smile and went off with what she was doing and I quickly bent down grabbing my new phone from were it had fallen into the edge of the waterfall, and took it safely into the garage.   As I sat it on the work bench I said, "Wow, it really is water resistant."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rain Rain and More Rain

Not much in the way of garden posting although I have done a bit of seed starting in the greenhouse. It has been unrelenting rain and even with my fancy rain gear I have not been much of a gardener of late. Even our Sophie aka "The Little Nazi" is a bit fed up with it all as the other day on one of our trips out through the garage to the back garden she took one look at the deluge and took a few steps back and emptied her bladder on the garage floor, looked up at me as if to say "I don't see you going out in that to have a pee".
Last Thursday we had been out for a bit of shopping and found rubber boots for the "Little Terrorists" so they can help Poppi in the garden without ruining their expensive play shoes. I came home with a Ladybug design for Taeya and very appropriate monkey design boots for Brooklyn. This was all in preparation of the weekend as we had the both for a sleep over. Not being grandparents to miss an opportunity, yesterday while looking out the window at some very inviting mud puddles we took advantage of a break in the storm and all went out to have a good splash and break in those boots.

Without hesitation Brooklyn testing the durability of his new boots.

Taeya say's "This one is ours, you and MeMa can play in that one".

The result of asking Brooklyn to say cheese

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring is a bit slow on the go

This was the Star Magnolia February 28th in 2010

Here it is March 9th and the sleepy buds are just beginning to crack open

Even the Daphne odora is closed when it is normally a riot of both colour and fragrance

At least the Hellebore is blooming although heavy headed in the constant rain

The forecast is more rain but at least the temperature has gone up into the 50's

Our old Koi are just beginning to come out of their winter slumber

I drained off about two thousand gallons in order to allow me to clean out the winter debris. This lowers the risk of bacteria infection and helps bring the Koi out of their winter slumber, the wire basket protects one of the water lilies which have all been removed for re-potting and the slow process of refilling the pond.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"That Noise? Oh That Was Just me Being Happy"

We gardeners are a happy lot most all the time, but ya want to see me really happy just give me a day like yesterday.  First I have to go back just a bit in history.  While attending the memorial for long time family friend Dr. Robert McDonald, his widow Carol requested that we come to their home after the Memorial as he had left me his favorite orchid.  Whilst we were walking through the greenhouse I noticed a small Vanda orchid in a hanging basket, being one of my favorite species I asked which one it was.  Carol said that it was one she bought at an orchid show but it has never grown and never flowered and then told me to take it if I thought it might do something.  So on that warm day in August of 2007 I brought home these two orchids. The "Beallara" that Robert left me has done beautifully, blooming every year and I have divided it into two plants.  The sickly little Vanda that Carol gave me has never bloomed and has put on a very minimum of new growth.  A couple of months ago I attended an orchid discussion at a local nursery and I asked about this Vanda, the speaker said this particular specimen needs lots of sun to bloom so I took it to my office and sat it in the west window so it would get good winter light.  Yesterday it ............B L O O M E D!  Just one solitary inflorescence but it bloomed.  My excitement even sent Snowball and Goldie the “office staff” swimming to the bottom of their tank ignoring the food I had just dropped into the tank.
Vanda Viboon 'Velvet Perfection'
It's a start, hopefully one will lead to more
This is a picture I got off the Internet.  Looks the same flower, just more of them.