Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mystery Plants: Help!

What are these plants? Anyone??

I bought this plant last summer. Although there were many on the table with name tags, I somehow grabbed one without a tag. All last summer and through the winter it remained small, feathery and green. This spring it began growing outward and upward...and then it began blooming with these sweet little 1" blossoms. I can't quite describe the color - it's not red and it's not orange. It's kind of a fluorescent coral color. I really like it. Do you know what it is?

I did not plant this, and I don't remember seeing it any of the last eight summers we've lived here. When I first saw the sword-like leaves I just assumed some of my crocosmia bulbs were moved by a squirrel. But these are very short, maybe about 12" off the ground; and the buds do not look like the crocosmia that I have. What could it be?

Friday, May 23, 2014

May: New Plants

So many new plants to share! I feel like I spent too much money and now have a self-imposed "no more plants this summer" rule. Unless I conveniently get a nursery gift card for my birthday. Hint, hint. By the way, that "no more plants" rule doesn't apply to food plants.

Boxleaf honeysuckle - planted in the back shade garden.
Aster - planted in the front part-shade garden.
Lingonberry - planted in the front part-shade garden.
Pineapple sage - planted in the front full-sun garden. I had one of these
plants last year, but it didn't make it through our harsh-for-Portland
winter. I love this plant!
Asiatic lily - planted in the side part-sun garden. Although I don't like the smell
of lilies, I have a soft spot for this one. It's orange and as a kid I always called
them tiger lilies. This one was 1/2 price because it was nearly past bloom.
Another type of boxleaf honeysuckle - planted in the front full-sun garden.
I bought two of these, and they are a bit of an experiment. They may prove to
be too big. We shall see.
Sweet woodruff - planted in the back shade garden. I planted two of these and
have high hopes that they will spread. 
Canna - planted in the front part-sun garden. This is another test plant for me. It's
been on my plant-want list since last summer and was more affordable than I thought. 
Dogwood - planted in the back shade garden. My own personal splurge this season - $25!
However, I've been wanting a red-twigged dogwood for a while, and I've got lots
of nearly full shade space to fill. It seemed like a good idea.
Hooker's Fairy Bells - planted in the back shade garden.
Dead nettle - planted in the back shade garden. For some reason lamium has been
on my plant-want list. I do like the variegated foliage. We'll see how this does.
Hydrangea (Annabelle) - planted in the side part-shade garden. I bought two of these,
and I'm beyond excited to watch them grow over the next couple of seasons. I love
hydrangeas, but never had an appropriate place to plant them until I gave myself
 permission to remove several inherited (and hated) rose plants.
Lithodora - planted in the side part-shade garden. I see this everywhere and it's rather
ordinary looking. However, the promise of spreading to around 3' wide, being
evergreen and tolerating part-shade sold me this year. I bought three.
Another type of Hooker's Fairy Bells - planted in the back shade garden. Another experiment.
Redwood sorrel - planted in the back shade garden. This will spread and might
become a nuisance. However, I really love it and the kid likes to pick it.
Foam flower - planted in the back shade garden. The kid picked this out,
and I'm eager to see what it's cycle is.
Red creeping thyme - planted in the front full-sun garden. Apparently I
can't have too much thyme - I've got eight plants now. 
Alysum - planted in the front full-sun garden. Although I usually don't buy
annuals, I picked up three of these this spring.
Do you see what I see? Lots of green on green with varying textures. It may seem a little subdued, but that's how I like things. Let me know if you'd like any specific botanical names.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Garden Bed

Four yards of soil.
Sod removal.
Planted - looking sparse now. Just wait a year.
Yup. Another front garden. But, I was just balancing out my work from last year. If you need some sod removed, don't ask me to help. 

Neighbor: What are you doing with all that dirt?
Me: Oh, you know, topping off the garden beds.
Neighbor: Just you? With a wagon?
Me: Uhh...yeah.
Neighbor: Well. Good luck with your gardening. 

That pretty much sums it up. Good luck. Four yards of dirt is a lot. But it's the right amount, because I measured and calculated how much I needed. It's just taking me a month to move it all.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What's with the New Name?

The kid's most recent adventure atop Mt. Tabor.
What's with the new name?
I've wanted to change the name of 1914house for a long while. I picked it haphazardly without any vision of longevity and what that might mean for a "house blogger."  The longer I wrote, I became less interested in content relating to the house. I like including the updates we accomplish, but I like writing about other stuff as well. Besides all that, the name 1914house suggests that the blog would be about a house whose projects were period appropriate. They are not.

Did you consider any other names?
Yes. In fact, I'd been keeping a list of ideas for nearly a year. Here they are (with the reasons why I chose otherwise):

and then what (not available)
that's an idea (don't want an apostrophe in the name)
north of tabor
little did we know (not available)
three peas in a pod (not quite right)
three fish in a tree (not available)
not in print - (not available)
small house - (not available)

Is the name significant?
North of Tabor does mean something after all. It's usually a secondary, clarifying description of where we live. The street intersection we live closest to always gets a puzzled "Hmmm? Where is that?" sort of look. I'll go on to say, "Oh, it's near the grocery store just a couple blocks north of Mt. Tabor." Then all is right with the world and the unicorns can continue gorging themselves on gelato whilst getting a lower-back tattoo of a mustache.

Why a new blog?
Because I'm impatient. I didn't realize I could just change the name of 1914house until I'd already secured the new name as it's own site. I could have deleted it, but then it wouldn't be available again for 90 days. So, really. I'm just impatient. I blame it on the internet.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


to North of Tabor, a new space where I'll share stories about...

my house
my garden
my food
my travels
my parenting
my hobbies
and who knows what else.

I hope you can find a reason to follow along.