No Camera!

it took too damn long for the weather to turn

I reset my password..have sworn off chat boards for life and now can not find my camera ..and I have so much to show and tell.

I hope to be sharing something soon

This has been a very hard year for us …when that lovely rose my son gave me starts to sprout leaves breaks my heart that it is alive and flourishing and he is gone forever

Spring is a time for renewal and I need to renew a lot.

I am thankful for my garden ..that and a good dose of the right antidepressant and I am alive again and not just living. I do believe in eating right, excercise, fresh air and sunshine to beat grief and depression ..but sometimes pills work too and I get so damn sick and tired of folks who take the moral high ground by not depending on medications ..yes it is nobel you do it all with out a pill ..good for you and I wish I could to!!!

But I really digress and the garden and the therapy it brings me is why I keep a blog at all…

We have spent 5 years turning a place where formerly the dirt was so contaminated a kid could not play safely ..gardening was always done with Round Up and a blow torch….into a paradise with no dectable levels of toxins ..lots of fresh fruits vegetables flowers and a lovely “collection” in general of plants people have shared with me or I have snipped ..and it is pretty, feeds us and has absorbed a ton of pain and grief…I take great joy in gardening and hope the same for other folks..

VERY FUN …take one curious five-year old ..a bag of 2000 lady bugs..the absolute best $8 I have ever spent in my life. 6 full hours of questions answers, he was awstruck…..we sat at lunch in a Thai restaurant with friends and the bag of lady bugs had its own chair!

When we released them grandson was covered with them and the delight was mind-blowing

Nothing like a five-year old covered with lady bugs to bring you to the joy of now.

The world is going to shit but my grandson was covered in lady bugs

Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm  Comments (3)  

Helen and Margaret thank you!

I have no words for what is going on in this world ..and then I read Margaret and Helen

“Margaret, the problem with Populism is that the population includes asses like Sarah Palin and her Tea Party.  Someone needs to remind them that this is America.  The government is elected by the people.  Questioning your government is patriotic.  Hating your government, one the other hand,  is simply a form of self loathing…….”

Please read on

I also follow in Helen’s very wise footsteps and I pledge  to read The Constitution of The United States of America

Published in: on October 10, 2010 at 2:53 am  Leave a Comment  

It is cool and gray but I have a front porch now!

Please first of I am so sorry for all the typos! I am trying  to get used to (as my dear friend calls them biFUCKals ….and they are horrible whomever invented these wanted me to die on the stairs..vomit in public and feel otherwise humiliated at the fact I can no longer look right in someones eyes???

So pardon me please while my body betrays me and in spite of a very good education just ignroe all the typos and errors in grammer …


All finished with the figs…to quickly I am afraid ..however my husband bestowed upon me a most wonderful gift of a Panache Fig…my friend in the UK spoiled herself with one last year and I instantly became so jealous I could not stand not having one of my own! 

her is a link to a picture of what it will be ..they look like little hot air balloons

Cabin in the woods

If you look in the corner you can see my panache fig back there is tiny but it will grow I am sure of it!

I have always wanted a cabin in the woods ..I feel like I have one with this sun porch ..solarium ..whatever it is really cozy and feels perfect if the old man could just stop trying to make it BEYOND perfect!

my funky chair

you are not allowed to judge this chair was hand made in the Phillipines in the early 70s …I just adore every detail including the gold plate on the back with the name of the shop and who made it …my butt is not as big as the indentation that is from sitting cross legged sideways if I want to!  …This chair is just big enough to flop in, I have logged numerous naps in it … and it gives me a perfect view of all the domain in my front AKA nursery is where everything I beg, borrow and snip gets started and then I divide and move them to other parts of the garden..lots of berries currents a 5 way plum a fig …two concored grape arbors…what esle ..blueberries, strawberries, black currents ..every herb you can imagine that will grow here is growing in this garden …and lots …lots ..lots of flower….there is also an Alberta spruce that will be turned into a giant garden gnome this year ..

I have watched aphids hit the plum tree ..then ladybugs hit the aphids..then a family of junkos were raised on the ladybugs…just amazing ..

when I look up

other side

 This is the other side it is still has to be sorted out ..that is my very cool foot stool hand made in North Carolina a very long time ago fits your feet perfectly to nap in the preveiously mentioned chair …

I want to retire so badly I dream of drifting away into senile bliss  on a trail that leads from this porch to a path and through all four of the gardens

judging the paint job I am sure of it!

 I could not be happier he is here ..when he croaks it radiates through the house ..I feel so lucky!

rain barrel

seriously how funny is it that I have a “rain” barrel on the Salish Sea??? (I actually have four of them) so far I just drain them now and then reason to irrigate here this year!

seakale and a bed full of sesame leaves ..I have to make kimchi soon with them so I do not loose them if you have never grown parella or Korean sesame leaves (nothing to do with sesame seeds) try it ..not only is it very pretty ..the big green bushy leafy things in the bed ..but it also tastes wonderfully fresh like mint/basil together I have nasturtiums blooming EVERYWHERE ..I need to pick the seeds to make some capers soon! shelling beans

rattlesnake and runnerbeans Sam’s runner beans ..what a wonderful dinner this made and there is nothing like watching a four year old burst with joy everytime he opens a scarlet runner or wiggles the the rattlesnake beans and hissing at me 🙂

smoked lamb bacon, runner and rattlesnake beans fresh ripe tomatoes

not to mention a very proud little boy

there is also a full head of garlic in that dish…good for your heart!!

giant orange dahlia is back still big as his head! his head grew!

enitre cucumber cropentire cucumber crop

sturdy cabin food

I cook ..he builds works really well

red rice, semolina bread, roasted purple yams and banans ..and green chile stew

out of state grandson's pumpkin

I am so bummed he will not get to pick it!

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 1:09 am  Comments (1)  

Figs figs figs


fresh fig chutney

hot sauce, merlot and chive flower vinegar

cook slowly for hours until thick

walk around the yard for a little bit between stirring

give thanks to a beautiful fig tree for all the bounty!

French sorrel

This is my new favorite green it tastes just like the oxallis you find in the rain forrest by the ocean it is tart and green and just wonderful in a whole grain sandwich with butter! I am hoping it takes over at least half the bed this year makes a wonderful chicken soup ..I hope it winters over.

my only quince

Sam's scarliet runners..thank you Same I will miss you forever

He was my first friend in Washington and taught me everything I know about everything!

chutney is done I made whole wheat pitas


Kibbeh with fresh fig chutney


ate the last two figs today ..I have never had so many I was sick of them they are such a wonderful fruit!

thanks for reading

Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  

It is so cold here!

I am bundled under blankets ..with the heat on!

and to be honest  have been out of sorts for  quite a while

I missed  life  while down..very humbling …lots of happenings in the garden and so much to do ..there are literally not enough hours and I do not have enough energy to get all the things I want to do done!

Birdman is building me an enclosed porch! I am so excited I will be able to sit out with my coffee on the worst of winter days ..enjoy my plants ..shelves house my  the starts and  tender perennials…

He says this is “practice for the greenhouse” !  A real live greenhouse/potting shed…it is going to be beautiful ..made with Starplates ..his project for next months check! (we have half of what we need)

More on that when it happens!

For now after what seemed like forever waiting for time to go by and my body to heal I wandered the garden and went for a ride in the canoe …two days of feeling good we shoved a summers worth of work and play into two days!

I have had the best year for sunflowers ..all colors, all sizes …and now the seeds are ripening the bird migrations have started …I just love sunflowers

some would see this as needed to be cut..I see this as a bird feeder

Asian Pears

Ground cherries ..they taste like pineapple flavored tomatillos

I will plant several pots of these next year for sure!

The number of figs this year is a record for me ..however the flavor due to the lousy summer weather has been less than wonderful! ..Yesterdays flush of ripe ones tasted so much better ..but they need cooking or some lemon to bring out the flavor..I made a huge bath of fig bars that were to die for also a jar of figs in syrup .. tree was stripped of ripe figs by my dogs!

Fig Cocktail ( I think I invented it but if not I am sorry)

shot of fresh fig syrup  (recipe below)

shot of vodka or gin

spritz to taste with sparkling water or club soda

serve ice-cold with a piece of the fig in the glass

fig syrup

2 split vanilla beans

2 cups water 2 cups sugar  (or honey) bring to a hard boil

4 cups  (heaping) of quartered figs

put the figs in the boiling syrup and let cook over medium for one hour

pit bulls love big sticks

cool and store with the figs in the syrup for use over ice cream in drinks …in yogurt

I could not tell you how many of these adorable bug eating little guys live here ..they are tucked into all kinds of places ..the favorite being our eves

It has been AGES since the canoe hit water is the time to recommence with  favorite activities

what a great canoe guide!


Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 1:29 am  Leave a Comment  

it is the summer that was or wasn’t?

it was rainy and cold until yesterday

boredom and a pretty good depression seemed to be

setting in

cold weather crops did well this year

I had a ton of help from a four year old in clogs

the potatoes are great little things so are the onions lots of them but all the size of golf balls ..I don’t mind

I had over 140 perfect heads of garlic and learned to braid them …well sort of

tasty peel carrots

lots of spinach and strawberries in the four year olds bed!

sesame, parilla or shiso leaves ..they are minty fresh great for sashimi or ceviche

wonderful  herb or vegetable and very easy to grow

male posturing

red dog in foxglove = joyful moment

Published in: on August 14, 2010 at 1:28 am  Comments (2)  

Right job Right tool

we can grow some serious thatch here

Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

I am four years old today

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trilliums are in bloom here ..welcome spring

   Years ago (24 next month) I moved to Western Washington for the second time.
This is where I discovered my favorite wildflower.
   They grow all over this country as I have since learned, but it was here on the edge of the Salish Sea I found it first ..for me
   Just about every day when my children were little, we spent some time in the woods with guide books discovering and identifying wild plants….  Honestly I was looking mostly for free harvest of edibles due to a shortage of funds,..and lots of time on my hands…. The biggest bonus to using poverty to my advantage..was we learned the names of most of the wild plants that resided in the  untouched woods that surrounded our little home.
   Well over the years, sadly as it goes (and as you notice I may rant about on a regular basis). The area was “improved” . Mostly by removing these beautiful natural habitats and replacing them with all the those (yet to be filled)… badly needed strip malls…housing developments that make s up what we lovingly refer to as “urban sprawl” ..You know the places where they tell you what color to paint your house and that you are not allowed to hang your clothing to dry ..the ones you have to pass UA’s and be of a “certain type” to go live in?
Do I harbor resentment ..yup …am I glad I had time with the woods and all that came with it? Yes I sure do …Mind you my kids still  bitch and complain that  “you dragged us around made us cold so we could pick things that stung us to eat..blah blah blah…” yup …Having grown up a city girl with a patch of green right behind my house ..I have always found peace and love in the woods ..surrounded by trees plants ..wildlife ..feel at “home” …. embraced the green and have images in my brain of the beauty the smells and the taste  ..I know in my heart what used to live under those buildings and homes
and honestly   …while we were fit and healthy walking in the woods eating nettles, wild mushrooms and other things we found  …no one looks fit or healthy walking into that massive  “Chinese” all you can eat ..obesity festival of a buffet that now covers a place where a coyote I knew well used to live and where the killdeer  used to have their babies and play wounded when we walked a bit too close to them…
   But I digress into my own disgust and misery of the reality of what folks really want in this world.  I know in my heart that really people  want Wal-Mart and those big assed “Chinese” buffets where you pay to get a big ass…more than they want woods ..woods are just a place to displace I guess house displaces woods I know that ….
I could go live out on a limb  
in a tree house
 ..sounds nice right now actually
For now  ..instead of drifting off… I must get  back to the trillium
 What first attracted me to this flower was how wild it looks even in the wild is an abstract flower that looks almost sci fi!
Second I love the number 3! I do not know why ..I adopted it into my version of what is good luck or bad luck when I was really young …
   The previous post showed my woodland garden. Talked about my trillium ..ranted about things as usual … I am working hard to keep every last detail to include the mulch to keep it “natural” . I want to capture a bit of the woods here in this tiny spot so it stays that way and I can remember what it was like “back then” “in the day” “the old days”
   Who knows if I will stay here ..right now that is “up in the air”.  Our lives ..our finances and our need to repot ourselves and find a new adventure are all nagging … But I love this place and nurture it in the “now” like I will stay forever ..while the rest of my world seems in such pain and turmoil this gives me a sense of purpose I can not get from anything else…
   If you do not have a woodland spot it is so worth the effort to try for one ..
   This tiny garden of all my gardens makes me feel like we do matter on this planet. However the
 stress involved in adding a trillium to my garden was impressive to say the least!  I had previously killed a three year old trillium by letting it get to dry and keeping it in a tiny pot… not knowing what to do.  I consider these plants an awesome responsiblity …a rare but wonderful chance to grow something I so love in nature …So when I acquired these trilliums
(I collect/obtain all my plants legally… please do not collect wild plants with out a permit or permission)
 ..I held my breath …asked tons of questions ..did lots of research and finally after keeping them in their pot,  in the location I wanted them to reside in ..finally planted them last fall …held my breath
protected them from Red

Red King of The Woodland Garden

So I planted them covered them with leaf mulch from my wild filbert tree
waited ….waited and waited..through a very strange winter …
They are not quite in full bloom but I just could not wait to share this with
 ..well I have no idea if anyone even reads this blog but me
This is such a beautiful thing to see … I am feeling more confident  they will flourish as they just seem so darn healthy!


Published in: on April 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

It is a woodland and a garden it a woodland garden?

There is a small spot on the left hand side of my husband’s shop that we set aside to just “be”. I guess it is a “woodland” garden it truly is a little piece of the deep Pacific NW woods. There is vinca and concrete blocks ..chunks of some type of foundation and a Model T carcass ..there is a fence and lots of what we call “pecker polls” ….but it seems to be finding its way to being what I remember the woods to be like here …before all the construction ..

We have collected snipping’s of native plants ..not from preserved wild spaces ..I would not do that ever …but when areas were being bulldozed for’s whatever .. no guilt for saving wild plants ..
I am starting a nursery of wild columbine  to spread out in the garden area….have ferns growing all around the yard and trying to concentrate them under the trees where they belong….I will let the woods consume what I can not pull out adds character I think to have that old car back there …

Also I  am on a quest to establish nettles in the wet corner ..I love eating nettles …trying to find a  wild current, a red huckleberry and some fiddle heads …and anything else I can find … I just patiently wait and keep watching… since urban sprawl seems limitless in its pursuit to pave over ever single bit of paradise …turning it to one strip mall after another .

I will have some more chances to find what I want to collect for my tiny piece of nature ..this is my very own private snap shot …of what things used to look like about 25 years ago here …when the kids were little we wandered aimlessly through the woods here ..finding old rusty things that defined life many years ago..this space I share with you looked exactly as it was…

it is meant to be here and will continue to be as long as I live and have anything to say about it …

 and each year looks a little bit better..more depth ..more reality ..

the trilliums are my shining moment they are so beautiful ..they are significant in my life …the first wild flower of the spring …one of my very favorite flowers ….they come with the robins …and are also known as wake robins

I have maybe 10 or more of them planted under leaf mulch and was so worried they would not make it

but they did ..

life is defined by the moments you really live in it ….the moment a trillium comes up …it is really spring

thank goodness this winter was beginning to get to me

mushrooms taking hold on an old piece of wood

baby trilliums coming up through the leaf mulch

bird houses

looks like a drainage pipe but is actually a fountain

filling in with ferns and moss ..some flat stones

filling in nicely I think

the model T is back there

I can not haul all this concrete out but think nature will take over if given a chance I am embracing it and adding natives as I find them

note the horrid English ivy in there ..that and the vinca have to go

you can see I have a few native trees

my next post will show some wildlife

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment