Monday, April 30, 2007

The Arborvitae Are Gone


The backstory: here and here.

Morning Garden Photos

New, frail Japanese maple in my beautiful new planter.


My new Hebe in one of my new Ikea planters.




Salvia about to flower.


The smoke bush photos that I can't resist taking again and again.



"On or Before April 30, 2007"

It's April 30, 2007. The arborvitae are still there. I wonder if they'll be gone by the end of the day. I'm guessing not. I would bet that I'll need to call the city tomorrow.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale

This morning we went to the Washington Park Arboretum's FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale. I realize just now that I didn't get all the plants that I set aside; I still have a claim tag in my pocket. A couple of the plants that got left behind were genuinely crazy, with orange spikes protruding from the green foliage. So much for my little attempt at creating a weirder garden. Anyway.

Here's a photo of my husband trying to piss me off. He's talking to the bamboo dude, trying to collect ammunition for his argument about why we should get bamboo. Personally, I am not willing to gamble on our ability to contain it. He talks of clumping varieties and rhizome barriers and stuff, but, honestly, I just don't want to get a plant that we would need to imprison. It seems like even if we could contain it, it wouldn't be very happy. I want happy, good-natured, non-aggressive plants.



Arisaema nepenthoides.


Here's what we eventually chose (minus the forgotten flat). (After we bought them, I noticed some mold on the sedum. Will neem oil help with that? Should we quarantine?)


The drive home. Does anyone know if this Ceanothus is Point Reyes? I love the color, and that form would work well in our planting strip.


I Used to Stalk Authors

The latest Whoreticulture post includes a photo of a signed copy of An Inconvenient Truth. Since my blog is a wholesale ripoff of Chuck's blog, I thought I'd show off some books that I had autographed when I was young and had nothing better to do than stalk famous authors and get their autographs (which is actually a pretty easy thing to do when you're a teenage girl).

I was a teen and had crappy taste in some things, OK?


This one was much later.


She's from Portland.


Here's a cool one. I demanded that my boyfriend at the time get this one for me when I knew he wouuld have the chance.


Hmm. Dave Eggers didn't sign the title page. This is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which I still haven't read. The reading was sold out, but I saw some guy I recognized, and he was going to sneak in with the help of an employee friend, and he invited me to tag along. At the end of his reading, he asked for questions from the audience, and people were asking him these ridiculous questions, like "Where do you get your ideas from?" and "Do you write with a pen or a pencil?" so I decided I was going to ask him the most non-sequitur thing I could think of, which, at the time, was: "Have you ever eaten out of a dumpster?" (My second choice would have been "Have you ever had head lice?") He disappointed me by saying no, then asked the question back to me. I said yes, then he asked me to come to the podium and explain. It's really a boring story; I didn't realize at the time that the doughnut had been scavenged. But that's what the inscription's about.


This one's my husband's book (I don't even want to know what the inscription's about), which he got signed after a long night of eating a bunch of weird regional chocolates at the house of this author, who also wrote Candy Freak.


This was sweet. And this was years and years ago. She gave me a first-edition copy of this book, which was nominated for the National Book Award. We had a great talk that covered the Kennedy assassination, cults of magazine subscription solicitors, the similarities between Dublin and Portland, circus freaks, genetic manipulation, the creative genius of Stephen King, and her still-upcoming (?) book, Cut Man. As a nod to this novel's subject matter, some pranksters at Knopf put a fifth leg on the logo dog on the spine of this book jacket in the original edition. Apparently the marketing department freaked out when they found out, so subsequent editions don't have it.


This is a favorite of mine. I remember I stopped by this bookstore to try to get his autograph on my way to see the opera The Pearl Fishers with my English teacher. God, I was a weird teenager. I wasn't popular and by this time I had largely decided that I didn't care. This was the time that I cared about big things, few of which had anything to do with my high school. I went to lectures by authors like Kurt Vonnegut and John Updike, I hung out at Powells all the time, I went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night, I became good friends with a gay guy, I worked at an ancient movie theater that was plagued with petty crime and large rodents, I took college courses during summer vacations, I assumed that every American city was as weird and wonderful as Portland, I only wanted to go to UC Berkeley, I volunteered for the Michael Dukakis campaign, and I sometimes snuck wine coolers into my AP physics class after lunch. The world held so much goddamn promise, it's bittersweet to think back on it today.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Around the Yard Today

OK, first some morning shots.

This cute baby Euphorbia decided to start up in our planting strip. Welcome to the neighborhood, little guy!


The sage is coming back now.


Hurray, Allium! I've decided not to worry about the foliage since the flowers seem so happy. I love that little peel of onion skin under the blossom.


Now some afternoon shots.

While I was out taking pictures of Rosso Nursery, Georgetown, and the Comet Lodge Cemetery (the last two coming soon), my husband and a neighbor volunteer were sledgehammering our crappy patio.


Oh, now look -- he's outside mowing the lawn, since we're having our first sunny day in forever. What a good man!


Julius Rosso Nursery in Georgetown

As I've mentioned before, Julius Rosso Nursery is my favorite nursery in town. It's not the nicest or the fanciest, but it's right by my house, and I love it.

They used to be wholesale only.


A gorgeous hosta.


These greenhouse-wintered variegated flax plants look happier than the ones that spent the winter in my front yard.


I haven't decided how I feel about Japanese blood grass. I've heard it's invasive. Love the sedge.


This burning bush looks sweet.


A pretty jumble of colors and textures. Rosso is not divided into neat, well-labeled sections, not at all.


I wonder what year their sign is from. This family-run business has been around for almost 50 years.


I'm glad I didn't bother to bring my siphon!


I wonder if this is the greenhouse that I once saw a rat in.


This looks just like the baby Euphorbia that is taking up residence in my planting strip.


There's no denying it. Chocolate sedge looks likes hair.


I'm crazy for this shape of leaf, the name of which I learned in like sixth grade. You know, palmate, pinnate, something like that. I love eucalyptus leaves, which look like smoke tree leaves.


A gratuitous eucalyptus leaf shot.


Personally, I think palms look silly in the Northwest, unless you're dedicated to cultivating a surreal garden, like Little & Lewis. I don't like seeing a palm tree as an element of an otherwise normal-looking garden here.


However, I have no problem with Canna lilies. Maybe because they're only seen during warm months, so they don't seem so totally out of place.


Rosso borders Boeing Field. I wanted to get a shot of an airplane landing, but I didn't see any. During the week the little airport is very busy with UPS, FedEx, and Airborne Express planes.


Scummy yet appealing?


Blue + orange = pretty.


I love this chartreuse glow.


It's hot in here.


Oh, cool, it's the lawnmower man! I want to get closer and take a better photo of him!


Damn. Too late. (I just found out that my husband went there and had him sharpen our lawnmower blade today. The lawnmower guy told him: "You're smart to have me sharpen your lawnmower blade. Because they cost $18 new, but I'll sharpen yours for $5.")


I wonder if I would like this Blue Medusa. I need to do some research on this. Might make a cool container plant.


I am scandalized that this Ceanothus is identified only as "California Lilac."


Hmm. Looks like Diamond Height stays low. This could be useful to me. I wonder that color the flowers will be. "Bright blue" sounds promising. I'll have to look this guy up.


Let's end with a shot of some lowly groundcover.