Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Darling Buds of May

April showers do bring May flowers. Even with the wetter and cooler than usual weather this year (or so I am told), the flowers and trees are definitely in bloom here in Portland. It's not that spring isn't and wasn't lovely in Los Angeles but it's different than it is here. And, part of my fascination with it is that I don't, as of yet, have a clue what most of the plants are. I do know that there is a photo of a Wisteria, a Rhododendron, a Lilac, a Dogwood and may be Blue Bells (but I'm not sure of that one). The others, I have not a clue about. And, not knowing is kinda nice since it gives me yet another thing to learn about my new home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Project Grow and Our New Raised Bed

It's springtime and I've been thinking about vegetable gardening for many, many months now. I stopped working in our L.A. vegetable garden over this past winter once Dan and I had decided to move to Portland. It just seemed silly to keep putting in all that effort on something that we were going to have to leave behind. But, know that we are in Portland and the sun is finally starting to make an appearance, I can't help but want to get back out there in the dirt. Our new home will have some areas that are veggie garden friendly but we are not ready yet to start on that project...and it is a project. We needed something that was easier to manage and get started with so we wouldn't miss the whole spring and summer growing season.

What to do? Finding a community garden spot was the answer. And, thanks to my friend, Jana, we did just that. Jana introduced Dan and I to her nephew, James, who just happens to work for Project Grow. Project Grow is a progressive program for adults with developmental disabilities that teaches them skills so that they can develop careers in urban farming as well as the arts. Most of Project Grow's urban farming space is dedicated to growing produce for area restaurants and for a small CSA. But, they have a few raised beds available for members of the community. And, Dan and I were able to score one of those beds. It's not huge but it is definitely large enough to give us some veggies this summer and fall.

We finally got our butts over there yesterday and started pulling out the cover crop of vetch and a few stray leeks and green onions that were in the bed. And, we managed to loosen up the soil a bit as well. Now, I need to go find some northwest hardy vegetable starts and get planting.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Battle Dandelion

Sure, they look all innocent and cute...if you only have a couple in your yard. However, we have dozens and dozens of them. They're in the front yard, the side yard and especially the backyard. We are pretty sure that we're being invaded by the dreaded dandelion -- the weed nemesis of many a gardener. And, since yesterday was a gloriously sunny day here in Portland, I decided that I needed to tackle the dandelion onslaught. Actually, my lovely goddaughter, Jebrahn, took charge of the dandelions while I tried to cleanup some of the other yard issues plaguing our neglected garden.

Jebrahn was able to get a large patch of the backyard cleared but there are still a lot of them out there. It will certainly take more than a few hours on a single Sunday afternoon to rid us of this foe. It's definitely not a one day job. I wish you could just pull them out of the ground but they have deep roots so each one has to be dug up. 

Wednesday is supposed to be pretty nice so I might try to dig up some more then. The only solace in this battle against the dreaded dandelion is that most of our neighbors seem to have a ton of them in their yards as well.