Just a girl with a hammer

Tags for Just a girl with a hammer: ranch portland fixer gardening 1930s

My 1938 pre-war ranch was a foreclosure I bought in 2009. It had been vacant for four years and neglected for at least ten. There was half a garage door, a non-functional sink in the bathroom, a mildewing basement, the original furnace (which no longer functioned), a new roof but no gutters, and a cracked kitchen floor.

I'm fixing almost everything myself but my real passion is gardening.

A visit to Little Prince of Oregon Nursery

Authors: Heather

A few weeks back I had the good luck to be included in a group blogger visit to Little Prince of Oregon Nursery. You might recognize their name because you've seen Stepables (walkable groundcovers) or their huge line of sedums and sempervivums. Or maybe you've noticed the hundreds of other plants they grow, because you're...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day March 2015

Authors: Heather

I may be late but many of my blooms are early this year. We have tulips already, for Pete's sake! The daphnes, hellebores, and Pieris are all still going, making this month feel especially floriferous.

Tulipa 'Flair'

Tulipa 'Come Back'
Bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum)
Ribes sanguineum 'Variegata'
Ribes sanguineum

Rhubarb (Rheum x...

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Etta James lied

Authors: Heather

There's no fun to be had in the basement. A few weekends back the weather was terrible and I suggested to Greg that we watch House of Cards all weekend on the couch and he was like, "Yeah! Let's do that."
Greg almost always spends his weekends working. I tend to spend it puttering in the garden. Our only daytime interaction tends to...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day February 2015.

Authors: Heather

I missed bloom day in January, even though I had but three things to post. It doesn't get much easier than January. Also, so many people are buried in terrible weather, why wouldn't you celebrate having blooms in your garden?
Friends is on Netflix streaming. That's why. Also, Greg pulled a quilt that his Grandmother made him out of...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day, December 2014

Authors: Heather

I had blooms to show you in November, like this beautiful Crocus speciosus.

Or my Salvia 'Amistad' that was improbably pushing out blooms, despite a freeze.

Or my Helenium 'Mardis Gras'.


But I couldn't pull my shit together last month (a recurring problem) and now those things have finally succumbed to weather. I'm left with Mahonia x...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day October 2014

Authors: Heather

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." --F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Ignoring the fact that the quote above is uttered by one awful person to another awful person in a book I didn't really care for, I agree with the sentiment. Fall weather is finally here! I have been cooking and wearing socks and...

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Better bring a pickax

Authors: Heather

Oh man, you guys. This summer. It feels like it will never end and I want it very badly to just go away. Between The Fling, many house guests, multiple parties, and a lot of work and non-work trips, I spent the least amount of time working in my garden since I bought this house. It shows, too. There are weeds everywhere and for the...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day September 2014

Authors: Heather

I'm late, I know. My garden is fried and so am I. Between the Fling and having out of town guests and trips all summer, I've let my garden coast much more than usual. I gave up on weeding a while back and I'm very close to giving up on watering because I'm so sick of doing it.
I recently noticed that my bumble bee numbers are down...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day, August 2014

Authors: Heather

I have friends, friends who don't garden, who ask me, "What's new? What have you been up to?" and the honest truth is that I haven't been doing much. I wander out into my front garden and I stare at bees. It's too hot and dry to do any real gardening but I find I like deadheading perennials almost as much as I like having my hair...

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And now my greatest source of shame

Authors: Heather

There's one area of the house I never photograph because it's so awful. I don't ever want guests to see it, which means it's always the first place they peek.

Our bathtub looks like someone was murdered in it, after which time they cooked up a batch of meth. Or maybe the meth came first, but then something definitely died in here. I...

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