Monday, June 12, 2006

Garden Update: Why I Moved to Oregon

In 1971 I made my first trip to Oregon in October. It poured rain for a solid week and was cold and gray the entire time. It was a sharp contrast to my home in Arizona. I returned to my life there (working full time at Motorola assembling widgets for the space program) and didn't think much about Oregon until June when I returned for another vacation. This time the weather was sunny and the garden of my friend was like Eden. We sat under her apple tree doing crafts on a picnic table and in the evenings we gathered herbs and greens from her garden for our evening meal. My friend was a maker of wine and a canner of fruit and a baker of bread - we were hippies! And oh my God if I didn't fly back to Arizona and put my house on the market and quit my job that I had held for nearly 8 years and move directly to Oregon. This is why. Raspberries.

And strawberries. (They are a weed that comes up everywhere that I am growing roses and under the peach tree and the fig tree. Hard to believe, I know but the birds eat them and scatter the seeds and they are very prolific.) We don't spray so we get volunteers. It is nature's reward to those who live in harmony with the earth. I picked these on Sunday afternoon, sliced and sugared them and by Sunday evening we had shortcake.

Our friend gave us a pot with a cutting of pinot noir grape. The magic gardener man put the pot in the shade of a rhododendron bush where it took root and grew up through the branches. This is our second year to have pinot grapes. I've made wine out of our other grapes but not these yet. Oregon is famous for her pinot wine.

Next come the onion blossoms. Aren't they beautiful? And so good in a spring salad.

The raspberries started ripening this week. These are growing through a soil sifter that John left leaning against the trellis.

Graham Thomas rose from the famous David Austin. Given to me by friends as a thank you gift for paintings I donated to the Doernbecker auction a few years ago. It is enormous and lusty.

Walking onions. They fall over when the heads are mature and the little babies tumble out on the ground where they take root. These two seem to be kissing.

Foxglove always seems like an ancient and dangerous flower. It came to us courtesy of the same birds that plant the strawberries. Must not be poisonous to them.

Another David Austin from the same source. This one is "Heritage" - extremely fragrant and has that twirling-quadrant form that I first saw in Paris in the garden of the Chartes Cathedral. I just love this one. The color and texture reminds me of a baby's skin.

My trusty man Hermanito taking a break out on the deck. He is old and sometimes grumpy with arthritis but most of the time a darling who asks for nothing more than constant attention. What a sweetheart.

That's the end of the Garden tour. I'll try not to do this too often but how can I resist when it is all so awesome and changes so fast? As I sit here I wish I had included my moss rose and the beans Kay and I planted the last time she was here. She soaked too many for herself so she brought a bunch of them to me and I poked them in and now I have bush beans coming up in my flower bed. My little green babies.


Anonymous said...

Lovely garden tour. I'd be happy to go on another at any time. Your cat is beautiful.

Jonna said...

How odd....I also lived in Arizona before moving to Oregon (with my parents when I was 6). This time of year I really miss Oregon...I remember sitting in my uncles berry patches picking berries as our summer job....but I never made any money at it as I ate more than I put in my crate. Great pictures and trip down memory lane.

Heather Simpson-Bluhm said...

What a wonderful and juicy tour. Thank you!

Lindas trÀdgÄrdsblogg said...

Lovely roses! Nice cat. Lot of beautyful pictures here. Thank you for visiting my garden. I experience my first year in the garden and it is very exciting.

vicci said...

I just discovered your blog from vintage's wonderful! I love the flowers and your precious kitty..and the ART...I'll be visiting...