Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday with Nature

Happy Friday!  Wow -- we've had two days of sun in a row!  I'm so thankful my office is adjacent to Portland's Waterfront Park because the afternoon dose of Vitamin D does me right.  Even after supplementing through the winter, my levels were a little low when I had them tested last month, so I've been motivated to get some rays at least 20 minutes a day.

Not a lot of news to share today.  I thought I'd post a few more garden photos before we get too far into spring and these become old news. 

Last fall we planted two Razzleberry shrubs in front of our porch; however, the early frost in November did them in, so we had to pick out some replacement plants this spring.  We chose two PJM Regal Rhododendrons, which were a mass of purple blooms when we bought them.   I've also been happy that all the hellebores we planted along the rock wall turned out to be a good choice.  I was uneasy because they hadn't grown a lick since we planted them last summer, but then over night in April they produced a ton of new green growth and a spray of flowers.  A month later, they are now double the size they were in the picture on the left above.

Here is Erik covering over the pipe we just installed, which connects our downspout to one of the front-yard rain gardens.  What a project fitting and cementing all those pipe pieces together!

Both of the rain gardens that Erik created last year are doing beautifully and add so much interest to the front yard.  He's become quite knowledgeable about native plants, which I'm thankful for because I don't really have the motivation to read about plants as much as he does (and learn their crazy botanical names!).  It's become very apparent to this novice gardener that you get a lot better results from your plants when you really know the conditions they need ... so I'm glad he's curious about that stuff.

In keeping with the plant theme, I thought I'd throw a few more pictures in from two recent nature walks we did -- one at Champoeg State Park and Tryon Creek State Park.  We've been trying to get out and be in nature every weekend, even if we just hit up a local park.  It definitely does something good for us to be around tall trees and expansive views.

At both parks the graceful trillium flowers were in bloom.  I recall how rejuvenating it was to stand in the dappled light, trying to catch some warming rays on my face, listening to the spotted towhees rustling about in the bushes.

Champoeg State Park is almost directly across the street from Full of Life Farm.  So following up on the goats, I have another post to do about the chickens and their amazing Eggmobile.

I'll be back soon!

photos by E & me (the good ones are his :-)