Friday, April 15

Response to Caroline's Note: 2016 Spring Gardening Prep in Portland OR

Sorry to hear that winter is back. Here in Portland, Oregon it is another story. We have had periods of hot weather as in 80's. But, then days that it will go back to the typical damp spring weather that Portland is known for. Strange to say the least. Last week they were selling tomatoes and other warm weather crops. However, the early spring vegetables like lettuce and peas have not yet emerged in most gardens here. Everything else here is in full spring bloom, and the tulips along with a few more spring flowering bulbs are on their last legs and it is only the second week in April. Portland is known as the 'Rose City' and the roses are fully budded this week and ready to bloom.

I have been busy preparing the two raised beds at my community garden and that back area that I took over. My neighbor with the goats has talked about digging up his tree lawn, as is the fashion here, and letting me and another neighbor garden. It is a sunny spot so that will be great. I am not quite sure what to plant there yet, but tomatoes and peppers come to mind.

Spring at the Community Garden

The Clematis put on quite a show this year

Baby goat a few days old

Over the winter I have been reading up on Bio Dynamic Gardening and will be learning more about this way of organic gardening. It was developed after World War I by Rudolf Steiner who many people may be familiar with from Waldorf education. He was way ahead of his time and predicted that the bees would face population collapse around the year 2000, thanks to modern pesticides. I am still learning the key concepts, but one difference is that they plant and harvest plants according to the moon's cycle. I will be blogging more about this way of gardening as I begin to experiment with it this season. It really is fascinating!

View from Pittock Mansion

This week I will start thinking about what trips I will be making to local gardens here for the blog. I did get started with a visit last week to Pittock Mansions. The photo above is the view from the house. You can see most of Portland and Mount Hood from that one site. It was the home of Henry Pittock and his family. He was the owner of the Oregonian newspaper and built a diverse empire. The house was completed in 1914. What is amazing is that it has a central vacuum system, intercoms, an elevator and other very modern conveniences.  Expect my post on this visit shortly.

Pittock Mansion

A shower inside the Pittock Mansion

I made another early spring visit to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Home to hundreds of Rhododendron and Azalea shrubs, spring bulbs and trees. I will be finished with this post soon. I have been so busy playing catch up with planting since I did not expect 80 plus weather in April. Do you know yet what trips you will be making and blogging about? Click here for a brochure on this garden.

Crystal Rhododendron Gardens 

Crystal Rhododendron Gardens

I posted our new seed list here 2016 Seed List. I have more to update you on, but this post is getting very long so I will end it here and write more later. The beginning of Spring is always an exciting time for most gardeners. I would love to hear what our readers are working on. Be sure to leave us a comment.

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