Sunday, September 20

Historic Gardens Part 1

 My family recently spent a day at Strawbery Banke Museum. I enjoyed visiting all the various gardens from different time periods in New England history. In upcoming posts, I will share them all with you. Today, I've included photos from the formal gardens at the Goodwin Mansion. Below you'll see a lovely fountain, a gazebo and a beautiful greenhouse as part of this garden. For  virtual tour of the mansion, click here.

Sunday, September 13

Last Harvest Recap-Portland,OR

A big bounty of tomatoes this year

I can't believe I am saying this, but I am ready for the end of summer and the start of cooler weather. It seems like it has been the longest and hottest summer ever, or at least that I have experienced since moving here. I am in the middle of closing down the garden for fall even though with our mild climate I could continue to winter right through the winter. I need a rest. If we have a warm spring, I could be back planting cold weather crops such as lettuce as soon as February or March.

Even with the hot weather the watermelon growth was disappointing
 Small is the word that I could use to describe my crops, over and over this year. Here is a photo of what I mean.  The melon looks ok from the photo, until I tell you that it is only about 3 inches wide. It is really a mini melon. From what I have read we have had 28 days during this summer with highs over 90, but that did not produce massive vegetables in my garden at least. Was it too hot? Can it ever be too hot for watermelon? I guess so. If anyone knows for sure, let me know in the comments.

Chili peppers picked before they turn red

Herbs in olive oil frozen into cubes

This is the first year that I have made herbal ice cubes. I chopped the herbs and then added olive oil before freezing. Once frozen, I emptied the cubes into freezer bags.  Most of my herb harvests were air dried this year. I was able to give my dehydrator a rest, but I made a habit of picking and drying herbs every week.

Tasty, but small sweet peppers
  An advantage of small crops is for the most part, they are very tasty. Such was the case with my green bell peppers. Each plant produced a bumper crop of mini green peppers. So many that I able to freeze them for the winter.

The squash were another early harvest item this year

Another first, all my squash were picked at the start of August. I usually have a few to use in the winter, but this crop got used up before the summer end. Here is a squash that I baked with maple syrup and stuffed with kale, pecans and sausage.

So how was your summer garden this year compared to last? We would love to hear about your year in the comments.

Wednesday, September 2

Bonneville Lock and Dam-Near Portland, OR

Enjoy the view

I love going to the Bonneville because it is always very peaceful. Maybe, I have been blessed with good luck, but there are never a mass of people around when I visit. The grounds are always well kept and you can find lovely plantings of annuals and perennial's during the summer.

The dam is 145 river miles from the mouth of the Columbia River and is 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon. It was built and managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was designated a national historical landmark district in 1987.

One of the areas where you can watch the power of the water
Here is a link to the Bonneville Dam website. It includes lovely virtual tours that really give you an accurate view of the entire grounds and dam.

A viewing deck inside the visitor's center 

What to do when it is just too Darn hot to Garden?

It has been a very hot summer everywhere. From what I have been told it is normal to get 100 plus days from the months here from  May to Oct...