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.

Fire!

Authors: Heather

Back in 2010 I had the fireplaces professionally cleaned specifically so I could light a fire for Thanksgiving. We have two fireplaces: one upstairs in the living room and one in the finished portion of the basement. They have separate smoke chambers that run side by side in the same chimney.
Our basement room started filling with...

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day January 2016

Authors: Heather

Happy new year! I've been pretty content that it's winter. I know a lot of people hate winter and I know the weather sucks, but do you know about butter and parmesan? Cooking rich, satisfying food and watching a lot of TV? Hot toddies and snowshoeing? Going for long walks when it's very cold and feeling very virtuous? I don't think...

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day December 2015

Authors: Heather

The Meiji shinto shrine in Tokyo

At the end of October Greg and I flew to Japan for our honeymoon. We had one full perfect day in Tokyo under our belts when I got a call that my brother had passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. He was 42 and an exceptionally good human being. We are completely devastated by the loss of him. I think...

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Sneak peek: HPSO and Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour

Authors: Heather

This weekend I was able to preview three of the gardens to be featured in this year's Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) and Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour. The organizers did a great job of choosing a variety of styles of gardens. There's something for everyone.

If you'd like more information, check out the tour page on the...

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Random personal updates

Authors: Heather

Do you know what happens when you have a busy spring and summer and then your laptop dies? I don't know either, but you sure as hell don't blog. Many of you know this already from Facebook, but Greg and I got married in June on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Getting to have all of our closest friends and families with us for a week was...

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Garden bloggers' bloom day May 2015

Authors: Heather

Good lord, this is a bloomy month. Everything is blooming right on schedule, so I'll just show new plants or ones that I missed last year (or we'd be here all day).
Akebia longerracemosa 'Victor's Secret'
Papaver orientale 'Royal Wedding'
Camassia leichtlinii semiplena, Allium christophii, and Verbascum bombyciferum 'Arctic Summer'
Iris...

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More gravel. More grasses. More sleeping.

Authors: Heather

I've been an insomniac my whole life. Last fall everything got way worse and I basically stopped sleeping. Things are a lot better now, thanks to a light box, melatonin, and what they refer to as "sleep hygiene." At night I cut out blue light which means for the last two hours of my day I live in a world without the internet or TV....

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Garden bloggers' bloom day April 2015

Authors: Heather

Happy bloom day! 


It's April, which means it's camassia month! Huzzah!

Camassia leichtlinii 'Blue Danube'


Iris x pacifica 'Civic Pride'
Iris x pacifica 'The Eyes Have It'


Hooker's fairy bells (Disporum hookeri/Prosartes hookeri)
Geranium phaeum 'Darkest of All'
Epimedium grandiflora 'Red Queen'
Tulipa 'Flair' with a bird-planted Cotinu...

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Hardscaping is hard.

Authors: Heather

We haven't been very good lately at taking it easy on the weekends. Last weekend they were calling for rain but then on the Thursday before the forecast changed to sun and I was like, "I guess there's no reason not to tear out the lawn in the backyard."

This was back breaking and it sucked so hard that I'm glad we may never have to...

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Toiling in the basement. Again.

Authors: Heather

Back when we had our earthquake retrofit, they had to cut into the drywall in our basement. That happened almost two years ago and yet I haven't wanted to patch this area because I hate drywall repair.

At some point in 2014 Greg screwed the old pieces back into place and I threw one compulsory layer of joint compound on top. It sat...

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