Do you have lots of mole hills in your lawn? Don’t despair! They could be the perfect way to introduce bee-friendly flowers.
Lawns that are a mixture of grass and flowering plants that are short enough to be mow-able are a great way to contribute to pollinator forage. There are commercial mixes available, such as this (untreated, bee-safe) version from American Meadows.
I just purchased one pound of organic white clover and walked my entire property, seeding every mole hill I encountered. Over time I’ll probably add other flowers too. I’ll post an update once they get growing!
If you are looking for a way to cool off this weekend, try out the East Portland Community Pool. I went last night with my partner and kids — it was such a good time! I had imagined just a regular pool when we headed over, but it is so much more.
There is a silly shark slide that the kids love, plus a giant red slide for bigger kids and adults. (Way faster than I expected.) The little ones can go down on your lap, but make sure to hold them up at the end!
My favorite part was a section with giant jets that created a current and a whirlpool.
We did the two hour Open Play Swim and it was just $18 for all of us.
We loved the non-gender-specific family changing rooms.
(Photos are from the official web site.)
I’ve been part of the OSU Master Gardener program for well over a year. I really enjoy the wide variety of volunteer opportunities it connects me with.
Just today I received my official badge in the mail! This means that I’m no longer an intern, but have become a veteran. This represents 64 hours of class time, quite a bit of studying, and 57+ hours of community service.
I will volunteer 20+ hours a year and participate in 10 hours of classes a year to maintain my veteran status.
Don’t be shy to ask me about the program if you are interested! I recommend it!
A fellow gardener named Yuliya planted the borage seeds that I give out and shared this beautiful photo of her mature plants! I love the bumble bee headed toward them! Thank you so much Yuliya!
We put a small pollinator garden in at Blossomwood Farmstead this weekend!
Here’s the hill before, with our chosen perennials placed where we wanted to plant them. We wanted things that would be relatively self-sufficient and not need a lot of watering once established. We planted penstemon, pincushion flower, red hot poker, yarrow, breadseed poppy, cosmos, valerian, and lavender. There was already ceanothus, a yellow red hot poker, and rose cambion.
Getting all the grass and weeds out was the most labor intensive part. It looked like a bit of a mess during the process.
Here it is with all the sod gone, ready to be planted, before the mulch.
Here it is all finished!
It looks a bit sparse now, but there is room for everything to grow and fill in. Can’t wait to see it in a couple years. We have already seen quite a number of bumble bees, humming birds, two butterfly species, and some small native bees as well. It’s amazing how fast they all find new flowers.
Are you looking to do some landscaping? Check out this amazing resource!
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to helping people conserve trees. Their mission statement: Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners.
I have a running list of trees that are great for pollinators, all of which I would like to eventually add to Blossomwood Farmstead. The Arbor Day Foundation had quite a few of them available for purchase — for such reasonable prices! Plus, with a $5 membership I was able to get their membership prices (a few dollars off each tree.) They also added a free Red Maple and two free forsynthias.
This is the list of trees I ordered: Northern Catalpa (2), Sourwood, Washington Hawthorne, Tulip Poplar, Little Leaf Linden, Witchhazel, Black Tupelo, Sugar Maple, and Western Redbud. My total? $76.61. I’m a fan!
I also wanted to point out this program they have to get 10 free trees! (With membership purchase of $10.)
The Home Orchard Society has an annual Propagation Fair at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds. For just $5 (members) or $7 (general) attendees are treated to an amazing collection of cuttings and scions!
I got there right after 10am and there was a line down the block. Entry went pretty quickly once the doors opened. The event was packed! Everywhere you looked people were crowding in to grab the cuttings they wanted. I saw some people with huge bundle-loads that had to have been a foot wide!
Next time I have to remember to bring labels and a permanent marker. Luckily someone nearby was kind enough to share his.
I gathered a small collection, then set them up to start this afternoon. Here’s to hoping they root!
Some of the things I chose:
three varieties hardy kiwi, including red princess
three male hardy kiwis
grapes: concord, venus, reliance seedless, canadice seedless, Himrod seedless, bronx
cherries: lapin, ostheimer weischel, montmorency, sweetheart
persimmon: jiro, fuyu
plum: italian, mirabelle
fig: desert king, negrone
I’m so very excited to see what happens with these!
I’ve been quite busy with property management lately, the reason being…? My family bought a farm!
It’s a beautiful 42 acre property in Yachats, Or. (That is between Florence and Newport on the coast.) It includes a small 1916 farmhouse, which was one of the original homesteads in the area. In addition, it has a 2004 guest house, barn, cabin, and wood shed. There are 1,400 feet of river frontage, a pond, a bog, 12 acres of pasture, and 30 acres of forest. The land backs onto the Siuslaw National Forest.
It’s about 7 miles in from the ocean and south-facing, so is perfect for gardening. It’s been keeping me busy with quite a number of projects! (More details to come.)
- Refinishing the upstairs floors.
- Fixing quite a bit of deferred maintenance.
- Figuring out all the systems.
- Getting to know the land.
- Furnishing both houses.
- Planting things!
My short-term goal is to set up both houses as Airbnb rentals. (Keep an eye out for when it is ready if you would like to visit!) Long term goals include creating a bee sanctuary and a permaculture garden.
I’ve learned so much already just in the first three months of being a steward to this land. I absolutely love it and feel very grateful! I can’t wait to get to know it better as the seasons progress.
I’m so excited to tell you about exciting changes in my business!
Although my clients have always been gracious, there is no longer any need to squish into the back of a Mini. I bought a Chevy Volt, which has quite a roomy back seat. Even more fabulous, we will now be cruising on electricity! Yay for Earth-friendly comfort! The Volt can run for around 50 miles per charge on electricity. After the first 50 miles it switches to a gas hybrid engine, but I rarely hit that limit in my daily driving.
Another exciting feature is that the Volt has it’s own wi-fi hotspot! I bought a iPad Air 2 for clients to use when we are on the road. With this, we can stay connected with up to date information as we are house hunting. (This also means less need to print so many sheets of information about all the houses we look at. Everything will be available right at your fingertips electronically!)
But more than basic info, if you want to know what information PortlandMaps.com has about a property, we can look it up right away. Have a question about the neighborhood? Let’s find out. Did you want to listen to your favorite music as we drive around? We can easily load up your favorite Pandora station.
House-hunting just hit a new level!