Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Little Mountain

The girls and I went for a "hike" that ended up looking a lot like this.

Getting these two into shoes they can actually walk in is deserving of some sort of trophy or medal.  Then getting them on the trail?  On their own two feet?  Only gold bullion will do.

Somehow, I struck gold.


Sometimes, I look at her and think, "Is she really only six?  It feels like I've been doing this for a lot longer than six years" and other times I look at her and think "I can't believe she's already six, time is speeding by." 

Her party was a bouncy castle, pinata, ice-cream cake, mermaid tail, screaming/running kid posse extravaganza!

Ever try to cut an ice cream cake?  Me neither.  That's what I have friends like Iris for, thank goodness.  She had to involve YouTube to get through it.

We got her a Todd Horton original.  Her cat.  The one and only Gibson.  A portrait.  Copious amounts of shedding, drooling and couch scratching not included.

Flower of the Week

I know, I know.  Berries are not flowers.  For the second week in a row.  But they were flowers at one point that turned into edible jewels.

This week, may I present you with.........raspberries!  My first successful crop! 

I'm picking about a bowl full a day.  Not enough to make jam or pie or anything grand like that, but just enough for me to stain my pointer finger and thumb dark red as I nibble on them throughout the day.  

I'm the only one in my family who likes them.  More for me suckas.

This is the second season for this BrazelBerries Raspberry Shortcake shrub, which is thornless and requires almost no maintenance.  

You can buy your own here.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

In the morning, she'll be six, she'll glow in the early morning light

Genevieve willed herself to sleep earlier than usual tonight, knowing that when her eyes opened in the morning she would be six.  She and I are night owls, usually just the two of us staying up later than we should.  It's our time.  When as mother and daughter we are at our best. 

I reread her birth story tonight, grateful that I took the time to write it down and that I have this archive of life to find it. 

I rummaged through my not-so-tidy paper files to find a photo copy of this gardening column my mom wrote for her local newspaper, the Homer News, about Genevieve's birth from her perspective, thousands of miles away.

Here's the first half.  Grab a tissue.

There is comfort to be had in a garden, even at 4:30 in the morning.
Our daughter Andrea, called us early in the afternoon to let us know she had achieved full blown labor with her first child.  She and her husband, Andrew, were on their way to the hospital.
And the hours crawled by.
John and I had very little to say to each other all evening.  We were feeling very far away - she lives in a tiny town south of Bellingham.
Andrea is our only daughter, the one I talk to every day.  To say we are close would be an understatement.
And the hours crawled by.
At 4:30 a.m. I made a cup of tea and settled into a little wooden rocking chair, my favorite place in the house.  You can tell: my knitting is handy, and a book or two; and there's a good lamp.
Having lived in the Far North for the last 36 years, I have forgotten what early morning light is like anywhere else.  Here, it is soft and sets the garden to glowing.  The most lovely. comforting glow one could ever see.
I gathered that glow close to my heart and sent it to my daughter.
Lily-of-the-valley, doronicum, phlox subulata, trollius, clematis alpina, daffodils, muscari, little yellow poppies, even the strawberries - all glowing.
And the hours crawled by.
By 7 a.m. John had joined my vigil.  Silent, our hearts pulling toward Andrea.
Ringing phone at 7:15 a.m.: Andrew, "It's a girl!"
Welcome to the world, Genevieve Rosemary Vallee, may there always be a glowing garden in your life.
What would I do without my garden?  I have other interests, a social life.  But it's my garden that pulls me together, gets me through some interesting experiences.  Even in January, my favorite month (really) I look at photos of the garden, read about other people's gardens, read my journal, make plans.  A garden is never done, thankfully.
With Andrea in Bellingham, I get to garden at her house.  The lilacs were in full bloom in May, the peonies are at their peak at this very moment.  What fun!  I get to come home and have them all over again, extending my gardening pleasure.
Soon I will board an airplane and change Genevieve's diapers, kiss her toes, let her know she has an Alaskan Grandmama who loves her so very much.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father Hazing

Looking for a really good present for Father's Day?  How about blindfold him, subject him to a taste test, feed him raspberries covered in hot sauce, then laugh hysterically when his mouth is on fire!

Thanks for being so awesome, Drew.  It's been pretty fun hazing you in to fatherhood.  

Contain It, New Life

I have a new plan for my containers.  I'm mostly planting them with perennials that I can arrange and rearrange on the decks throughout the summer, then I'll put them in the ground in the fall.  I think I'll get more bang for my buck that way.  Or, maybe it's just a really good excuse to justify buying more perennials that I currently don't have any prepared ground for.  You decide.

Please join my in congratulating this new hydgrangea mama:

Last fall, for the first time in recorded history, I actually looked up how to do something the right way.  "How to propagate hydrangeas" I googled.  Easy peasy.  Just bend a branch above a leaf node, breaking it only half way through.  Stick the break in the ground, hold it down with a rock, and let it form it's own root system.  Once roots are formed and signs of new life appear in the spring, cut it completely from the mother plant and you have a new hydrangea! I just saved you $30 at the plant nursery.  You're welcome.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Holding Hands

Be still me heart.

Flower of the Week

Okay, this isn't completely accurate.  Strawberries are not technically flowers, but they are the brightest light in the garden this week!