A Hellacious Garden Stroll

Since Finn McSpool is busy with a DIY project that isn’t quite ready to show off to the world yet, this week seemed like the perfect time for another garden stroll post. Unfortunately, my garden tour took a side trip into the bowels of hell. Or at least it seemed like a fiery inferno when Portland was smacked with a heat wave.

Things started out well, not a bit of damnation in sight.  While at the home supply store to get the goodies we needed for our DIY project, I couldn’t resist bringing home this new friend for the garden (and for the house when winter arrives). Meet the Flamboyant Miss Caladium.

If you don’t think plants don’t try to one up each other, let me tell you, the minute I brought Miss C. home, I think someone wanted to show off her own stuff because Lily, that’s Water Lily to you, popped into bloom the very next day. Continue reading

daylily, hemerocallis

Another Stroll Through the Garden

Instead of my usual work time, this Saturday is going to be filled up with cabers, kilts, and clans (NOT of the KKK variety) at the Portland Highland Games. But before I take Finn McSpool to celebrate his Celtic heritage, I thought I’d deliver this most recent tour of my garden to the Blogosphere.

First off, my favorites….daisies! Okay, I know that orange one is technically a coneflower, but it’s daisy-like. And just to add a bit of creepy irony to this picture, these daisies are growing in the bed where I buried my dog Daisy.

How about a closer look at those Shasta Daisies…. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Me…Now What?!

That’s right, I’ve made it all the way around the sun yet again (and yes, Bono and I do share the same birthday, which for some reason is a bit of trivia I love to brag about)!

As if being another year older isn’t depressing enough, my vacation is over and I’ve returned with no motivation for getting back to work. But I’ll get to work things in a bit because one good thing about birthdays is a pile of presents. And in sticking with the garden theme of my past few birthdays (Portland’s Japanese Garden, London’s Kew Gardens), a good portion of my gifts turned out to be garden-oriented.

Did You Say Shopping?

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bees, honeybee, topbar hive

Bees Don’t Sweat

And to all those who remember a certain deodorant campaign, no, bees don’t perspire either.

Although those of us in Portlandia are now suffering from a resurgence of icky, cold, rainy weather, we did get a brief taste of summer recently with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s a sweltering 38 degrees to the metric folks out there). While I was able to cool off with a few gallons of iced tea and plenty of sweat (perspiration?), my bees are sadly lacking in both refrigeration technology and sweat glands.

So what’s a bee to do when the hot days hit?

Life Inside the Hive

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bees, beekeeping, top bar hive

Well, Hello Ladies! AKA “Saying Hi to My Bees”

When people ask me how many pets I have, my response is a quick “Four cats and two guinea pigs.” After getting the Are-You-A-Crazy-Cat-Lady look, the conversation continues on to either cute things the cats do (if talking to a fellow cat lover) or on to other topics (if talking to a normal person). But in the back of my mind I’m always cursing myself for forgetting to mention my thousands of other pets: my bees.

bees, beekeeping, top bar hive

What about me?

It’s Bee Time!!

Except for a couple days when the rain gods reminded us that we do indeed live in the Northwest, the weather over the past week has been amazingly warm and sunny here in Portland. This meant, in addition to the usual garden chores, it was time to take a peek into my beehive and see what the ladies were up to. Continue reading