22 January 2011

Miss Camellia--Thank you!

Every autumn through part of winter
she is there for me.
Tall and graceful,
beauty in the season of darkness.
And as she opens each of the rosy pink blooms given her by the Creator,
I smile,
despite the gray clouds and rain,
because it is so like our God to create beauty even when we see only gray.
And I just need to say--
-Thank you Miss Camellia
THANK YOU Lord for this blessing!

21 January 2011

PNW Flooding

As I have mentioned, the PNW has been hit by a lot of rain this year; that combined with with a large snowpack in the mountains followed by a warm streak with lots of additional rain means flooding and other problems.

We are now looking at forecasts for drier weather (YEA) but needless to say some damage has been done. The area (mountains, valley, coast) has had a number of landslides, a sinkhole, downed trees, flooding, road closures and other problems related to the weather. This is true in both Washington and Oregon.

Here is a video of the flooding along the Sandy River near Zig Zag (Lolo Pass Road, Mt Hood, Oregon). It makes me sad to see the destruction and in awe at the same time. It also makes me wonder what my family and I would do if faced with something that knocked out our water, power, telephone and our road to the nearest supplies. I know I've made some preparation in this area, but what if it was for a prolonged time?

What would you do for water and food?
Do you have another way to prepare hot food?
Could you keep warm without electricity or gas?
Are you prepared for a natural disaster?
Do you have a neighborhood plan in place?

Link to video:
Video: By Tyler Malay & Alexandra Erickson.

Be safe & be at peace,

19 January 2011

The WORD on Wednesday

Praise ye the LORD.

Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise Him in the heights.
Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts.
Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars of light.
Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created.
He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass.
--Psalm 148:1-6 KJV
~This week the PNW saw some beautiful weather--short lived, yes, but with 'hopes' (AKA hopeful weather forecasts) that it would soon be back! I was SO grateful to have a day that I could go out in the garden again with a blue sky overhead and wander about! It wasn't the gift of snow that I desire each and every year, but it was an equally treasured gift--the gift of sunshine in what has been an endlessly dark, dreary winter!
When I experience a BIG blessing like this, it is easy for me to be thankful and feel joy;
but when the weather around me is stormy, it isn't so easy.
Quite honestly, I don't like the rough times in life,
they are painful to go through;
but they are the times when I tend to draw closer to God--
and for that I am thankful.
May you be blessed this week,
Photo: part of the lower pond

17 January 2011

A Look Back at 2010: Autumn in the Garden-Pt 3

In arranging flowers
in planting flowers
there is a rule
and that is to use odd numbers of flowers only.
Now there is probably the same rule for posting photos on ones blog--
if so it is about to be broken:)

a less then clear photo of ripe (and unripe) evergreen huckleberries.
These are highly prized in the PNW;
if you ever eat some you will know why!
You can grow them in the garden
or pick them in certain mountainous areas.

One of our lingonberries.
I like the shadows on the rocks but not so happy with the lighting on the plant--hope you can see the berries.
This was not a good year for my huckleberries or lingonberries...
with the very strange weather our plants were totally confused as to when to bloom and when to ripen. These are Balsgaard (I think that's the spelling)--they produce twice in the PNW--once in summer, once later in the fall.
This photo was taken in early October.

Our fuzzy ones-
BIG crop this year.
Yes, you can grow kiwi in the PNW and you can also grow olives (at least certain types) but that will have to wait for another trip post:)

Our lovely evergreen huckleberries and a few lingonberries...
these were put in our freezer.
Other fruit we grow are: gold raspberries, strawberries, various fruit trees -- most are dwarf or semi dwarf
(plums, apples, pears, asian pear, 4 way cherry), grapes,
caneberries and blueberries.
I really love edible gardening and heartily recommend it to people who may not live in the country. Some fruit, like grapes, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries can be grown in a relatively small place--for example our raspberry is growing in a wine barrel half as are our strawberries.
Blueberries are now available in smaller sizes too and are pretty all year long. We grow ours with some of what would be considered ornamental plants and they do fine.
Lingonberries and evergreen huckleberries do not take up much space--both of these have evergreen leaves which are nice to see in the winter;
they both seem to do well in the PNW.
I have seen urban gardens with raspberries in raised beds (they don't like wet feet so I thought that was a good idea) and grapes growing on arbors (nice shady place to put a bench for those warm summer days) and they looked great!
Do you grow fruit where you live?

A Look Back at 2010: Autumn in the Garden-Pt 2

Ahhh! Pastels.
I love them no matter the season.
Here are some from autumn.

Cosmos--sorry but since this flower rates really HIGH on my list of favorites,
you'll be seeing a lot of them on this post.
Not a great photo--this is here to remind me what to plant in my baskets this year.
Begonias--love these little ones.
And that one single bluish one at the top?
I love lobelia too
AND New Guinea Impatiens
(lower right corner, not blooming in this photo)

Oh surprise!
More cosmos.
They were big in our wildflower garden this autumn.

Autumn crocus.
Every year when I see it I am surprised.
One minute it is a grassy looking area
and the next--these!

I know you are getting tired of these C flowers,
but I am not--yet!

Bleeding heart.
We have an alba that blooms first then dies down later in the summer,
but this one keeps blooming into the autumn.
This photo was taken in early October and despite the quality (not) of this photo,
these are a really pretty light pink.

And to end this post--
what else?
Next: fruit in the garden

A Look Back at 2010: Autumn in the Garden

A few photos from our autumn 2010 garden--

The koi pond in early November-
I love the reflection of the 'pagoda' in the pond with the fish swimming by.

Japanese maples near the lower pond.
I love these trees no matter the season but especially in the autumn!
Do you see that bit of blue sky poking through the trees?
We saw some of that today and it SO made my day.
even without the gorgeous red, gold and orange colors of autumn:)

And Japanese maple leaves in the pond.

I feel the need for more Japanese maples--
but I am not sure where I would put them since we have a septic tank that doesn't like trees on its lines or drainfield.

Not a photo taken in our garden but the light through this red tree was amazing
and I couldn't help but include it--it is so much better then this photo shows! This was taken during a stop at Camp 18, an amazing log restaurant in the coast range! I will make a post later but their breakfast is amazing, the location scenic (there is a river in the back and lots of birds) and they have a yard filled with old logging equipment that is fascinating!
Next post: the pastels of autumn and some fruit!
Blessings always,
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