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.

Garden bloggers' bloom day April 2014

Authors: Heather

Note to self: everything that was blooming last year at this time is blooming now.
With our crazy winter, my garden's timing is a little off from last year. My camassia and lewisia were a tiny bit later than last year to bloom.
Camassia leichtlinii 'Blue Danube'

While my Salvia 'Caradonna' is blooming earlier than it did last year.


I...

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I love spring

Authors: Heather

I love spring. It's all tulips and plant sales and the anticipation that I've finally figured out that area of dry shade and it's going to look amazing (I haven't and it won't but it's nice to think otherwise). 

Mukdenia 'Crimson Fans'
It's lengthening days and stubbornly sitting outside drinking beer at night, even though...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day March 2014

Authors: Heather

Better late than never edition.

When we hit single digit temperatures in December my Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' was badly burned and lost almost every single leaf. It produced buds where the leaves dropped off. I am a HUGE fan of this. More blooms? Go ahead and lose your leaves every winter, girl.


My Daphne odora 'Mae Jima' bl...

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I did a bad, bad thing

Authors: Heather

Last fall I bought a Mahonia x media 'Underway' from Cistus at their "tough love" sale. It was gorgeous. I tucked it, still in its nursery pot, into one of the beds so we could mow the lawn. Unfortunately I tucked it too far under the eaves of the house and it got totally dried out. And then the poor thing lost most of its branches.
...

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Yard Garden Patio Show - The birds and the bees - and the bugs!

Authors: Heather

Portland's Yard Garden and Patio show was this weekend, which always signals to me the beginning of the gardening season. The display gardens are fun but I look forward to the seminars most of all. I woke up on Saturday with a terrible sinus headache, then I took medicine on an insufficiently full stomach, then I started throwing...

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Oyez! Oyez!

Authors: Heather

Please don't hate me because we went to Maui last week, even though we'd just been to Kauai in November. My brother planned the trip for his family and asked us to come along. My nieces are 7 and 9 and the sweetest kids and I didn't want to miss seeing Hawaii through their eyes, especially when they're at such delightful ages.
I...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day February 2014

Authors: Heather

I've always felt that February is the cruelest month. The only bright side is that it's also the shortest. Thank goodness for bright spots like crocuses.
Crocus chrysanthus 'Romance'
Mahonia 'Underway'
Helleborus x ballardiae 'HGC Pink Frost'
Sarcococca ruscifolia

The last of the blooms are clinging to Mahonia x media 'Arthur Menzies',...

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Love yourself, check your supplies

Authors: Heather

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day around these parts. I think it's a silly holiday, though I do enjoy the extra chocolate that seems to pop up at work. I was thinking about what this silly stupid holiday could be good for and I thought about emergency preparedness.
A year ago we had a dinner party to celebrate the anniversary of...

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I only like the cold when it does stuff like this

Authors: Heather

Because this winter has been so much colder than the last, some of my evergreen perennials are doing wonderful things. I don't even mean that sarcastically.
The cold turned my Mahonia nervosa wine-colored. The stems are pink! I recently read up on this plant and discovered that it doesn't want full sun, where I have mine sited. It's...

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Dasylirion texanum is my favorite plant in the garden (this week)

Authors: Heather

When Greg and I were in Amsterdam we went to the Botanical Garden. I flew halfway around the world to see gunnera for the first time, a plant that grows incredibly well in Portland. I had no idea it existed! I also witnessed the biggest agave I'd ever seen in the flesh and a Dasylirion acrotrichum. I was totally fascinated by how...

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