"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm still here!

It's been a long time since I posted, at least for me.  This has been a busy summer so far, lots of fun, but blogging has taken a  back seat.  I debated many times recently just stopping blogging altogether, I'm in my third year and feel as though I've taken the same pictures over and over.  I know others probably feel the same way at times.  But I found myself wondering what others have been up to; what they have growing in their garden, what they are picking to eat from their garden right now, how big their baby turkeys have gotten, what their weather is like and how it's affecting them and or their garden, what new plants they bought (I might be missing out on something really good!) and just in general how things are.  So I thought I'd share a little of what is happening around here:

We recently returned from a trip to Oregon.  The first part was spent in Cannon Beach where we had fun taking walks along the beach, flying kites, building sand castles, shopping in the cute little beach towns and eating!

Then we spent some time in one of my favorite cities, Portland.  Here is just glimpse into the International Rose Test Garden.  It was so beautiful, if I lived nearby I'd be there all the time.  We all had fun showing each other our favorites, finding unusually colored roses and seeing what roses that we also had growing in our garden.  The Littlest Gardener has already asked when we could go back.

We also visited the Pittock Mansion while in Portland.  I'd never heard of it before, but we saw a picture of it in our hotel and decided we had to visit.  It was just amazing there, and I recommend going to visit both the mansion and the gardens.

Just one tiny part of the garden with a view of downtown Portland in the background.  It was very overcast the day we were there so the mountain views weren't visible.

After we got home (and after many loads of laundry) I went out to work in the garden.  It had grown like crazy in the week we were gone.  I found a new butterfly that I haven't seen in our garden before.  I'm not sure what type it is though.

The Bee Balm 'Jacob Cline' had come into bloom and the hummingbirds were already at it.

Of course while on our trip I had to find a few things for the garden.  I walk right past the clothing stores, it's the garden stuff I look for even at the beach!

I found this birdhouse at a cool store in Portland called NobaL Home.  These birdhouses are made in Haiti.  Apparently after the earthquake artists went there and showed the local people how to use metal scraps from cars and other things destroyed and how to create art from it.  This created jobs for people such as metal workers and welders and a way to earn money.

I spent 3 hours cleaning up the front yard, deadheading, weeding and cutting plants back.  Lots of flowers are getting close to blooming soon.

An update on our new raised beds.  They aren't doing quite as well as we had hoped.  I mentioned awhile ago that we found out after the soil was in, that they had delivered the wrong type of soil and even with amending it, the plants are struggling.  Next spring we will have a lot of work to do to fix the problems the "dirt" caused.  It was pretty much fill dirt that we were given.

The other raised bed is doing a little better, but still not as good as it should be.

A baby artichoke!

Success!!!!  Here it is the middle of July and we already have an eggplant.  I've only gotten flowers before.  (I'm growing these in big black, plastic containers)

Last year I redid this bed and divided up an Astillbe that had been struggling in the backyard.  I can't believe how big and healthy they look, in fact I think they are the happiest Astillbes I've ever grown, probably because they are growing in perfect conditions for them:  moist soil and part sun.

I hope everyone is having a good summer so far, I am trying to get around to visit and see how things are in your gardens now.  I'd love to know if you are eating anything yet from your garden?
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It


  1. The littlest gardener looks like a fairy among the roses! The rose garden and the mansion garden are beautiful. It is a lot of work in the garden when you come back from a holiday:-( Good luck with your raised bed.

  2. That eggplant is beautiful!
    We've had such a lot of rain and cool weather that everything is slow or rotting - it's so discouraging. We're supposed to see some warming next week and it can't come soon enough for me! We picked cherries in the rain today, and the only reason we got them before the birds is the rain!

  3. Nice veggies! Glad you are having a great summer. I know what you mean about blogging...I've been going since 2006 and feel like I've shown people the same flowers a gazillion times. But, then I end up missing the people...most of whom I've never met. Funny world, isn't it?

  4. It's ok to have a life outside blogging! :-)
    Glad to see you are doing well and wow is your front garden looking good!!! Thank you for sharing the updates. I always wonder about my garden blogging friends when they haven't posted for a while but I try not to hound them as I know I get too busy to post at times too.

  5. Catherine, It's hard to beat a vacation that includes visits to gardens. The Littlest Gardener is growing so fast, you're going to have to find another name for her soon. Isn't it nice when you move an unhappy plant to a new location and it perks up? The Astilbe looks wonderful. -Jean

  6. Catherine, It was so nice to catch up with you and your family. I'm so sad about the dirt in your new raised beds... You are such a good gardener, that it must be Terribly poor soil for this to happen! It will be fixed, though!

    Your produce is wonderful. We have fresh green beans. The seeds were given me by my daughter... "Provider" is an heirloom variety. Yum!

  7. Catherine, it's good to hear from you! Despite what you think, your posts are some of the best out there! We all love your pictures!
    Great choices for visiting P-town. I can't believe I have yet to visit the Pittock mansion..you've reminded me how much I need to go! Cannon Beach is absolutely, hands down, my favorite Oregon beach town. Luv the new items you purchased for the your gardens :) Nice going on your eggplant..it's a beauty! Cheers, Jenni

  8. Catherine,
    GLAD YOUR BACK! The butterfly is a Lorquin's Admiral, Limenitis lorquini pretty good find. Enjoyed the photos!

  9. Hi Catherine. I'm glad you had a nice break. I love the birdhouse from Haiti. What a clever idea. I'm like you, always on the prowl for garden art. Dress shops are boring. :) Congrats on the artichoke and eggplant. We're eating strawberries, blueberries [a few] and raspberries. Your garden looks fabulous!

  10. Hi Catherine,
    I haven't been getting on FB much this summer, but did this evening, and your post caught my eye.

    I loved seeing your vacation photos. I've only seen an ocean once, in North Carolina. Larry and I were in awe of it.

    I can relate to your thoughts of quitting blogging. I spend way too much time doing it, and am not able to keep up with all the blogs I try to follow. I also am feeling like I am taking the same photos and posting reruns sometimes.

    I just took a break to water some plants because it was almost dark out. Right now, at 9:50 p.m. CDT, it is 90 degrees.

    Anyway, it seems like there are different people visiting my blog more often, and the "old" friends just visit on occasion. Since I go visit people's blogs who leave comments on mine, rather than replying to the comments, that means I am visiting those more, too, and my old favorites less. It always feels good to touch base and see what's going on on their blogs.

    One thing I thought of while watering, was that we see our gardens every day, and remember what we've posted better than others probably do.

    Well, I didn't know I was going to be so wordy.

    I'm sorry about that dirt. I hope your new efforts at amending it work. I love your purchases for your garden. I hadn't heard about that business from Haiti. How cool!

  11. Hi Catherine! It was very nice of you to buy that special birdhouse!I love Portland and used to live there. Canon Beach is a great place! Your garden looks great!

  12. This has been such a lovely post to read and your photographs are a treat! You obviously had a marvellous holiday! I would be so sad if you stopped blogging!

  13. I , for one, hope you don't stop blogging. I think we all feel we've shown the same stuff , over and over. But its really not. And you have new people all the time. AND, it's also a great PERSONAL record of what is going on in the garden. That's the way I look at it--I have a place I can record the good, the bad and what I did when.
    Sorry to hear about the bad soil, but don't get discouraged. Most soils CAN be fixed. First up-a soil test!

  14. It's great that you had a good vacation. The kids look like they are having fun in the water, I hope it wasn't too cold. I have never waded in the Pacific. I've seen it from far off. I really should see if I can drag the husband out to Ocean Shores.

    I would miss your blog very much if you quit. I like checking out what's blooming there, cause that usually means it's just a week or so till I will see some of the same flowers in mine.

    I didn't realize that Woodinville was so close to you! I was there for quite a few hours today, from about 11 till 3. I've been to Molbak's a couple of times, but I decided not to go today.

  15. Dear Catherine ~ Thank you for taking the time out of your busy summer to let us all know how you are doing. It looks like you had a great vacation and oh how I would love to visit that rose garden. A real glimpse of what heaven will be like, that's for sure. The scents must have been wonderful.

    Your garden and blooms look fantastic. I'm sorry about your getting the wrong soil delivered. I hope they make it up to you. Your astilbe looks amazing and happy.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer.


  16. Sounds like you are having a great summer! I really enjoy seeing pictures from the west side of this country...Thanks for posting!

  17. Catherine,

    That beach looks good to me right now and that beautiful garden in Portland, wow! Your garden looks lush and those astilbes are lovely.

    We are in for the heat again next week, it will take its toll on the garden I am sure.


  18. I can see why Portland is one of your favorite vacation spots. I would like it, lovely photos.

    I can understand how disappointing it was for you to discover your mistake about using the wrong soil, bummer!

    Every now and than I too struggle with my blog because life gets in the way at times and it can be hard to get back into the swing of things.

    Thank you for sharing your lovely vacation photo's with us.

  19. Love knowing you all had a wonderful time and that the garden is doing well. Family always first, and with our priorities, blogging happens to not be at the top of the list. ;) Love your attitude, Catherine... next year for the vegetable garden.

  20. The astillbes ARE beautiful! I want to get a white one or two...

    I really like the bird house your found. What a great idea! Kind of reminds me of what we saw when we visited Buffalo recently--Tree trunks carved into famous people--these from trees that had been felled during a horrible storm in October of '06 (or '03).

  21. Catherine, Looks like you had a nice trip! Your gardens look beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Catherine, please don't even think about to stop blogging. Your blog is one of my favorites, because you keep it so real and down to earth, inspire me each time when I come to visit and besides that your garden is one with the most diversity in blogland so there is always something new and exciting to see! And then you do these huge make-overs like putting in the raised beds (sorry to read that they don't do as well as they are supposed to) and the charming picket fence...
    I love Portland, too, and hope to visit again at a certain point. The picture of the public rose garden is gorgeous!
    Your own garden is beautiful as always. The front yard looks so lush and full, just love it!
    You continue blogging right? Do we have a deal :-)?

  23. Beautiful artichoke and eggplant!!! Two of my daughters and my granddaughter live in the Portland area. Your photo of the littlest gardner in the Rose Garden is a great one! I'd print and frame it!

  24. Sometimes I think about discontinuing my blog....some would say that I already have:)

    I would miss you terribly is stopped blogging.


  25. Seeing waves in the first photo stimulates my "aquatic" mind.... i can understand your feeling about showing similar pictures again and again... but blogging is always about sharing and putting the whole adventure in some form of record. BLOG ON!

  26. Hi Catherine, Glad you had a great vacation, no worries about lack of posts. Everyone needs a blogging break. Your garden looks great. After a spring of constant rain and June and July with no rain my garden is suffering. Everything is wilting even the drought tolerate plant. We have eaten all the lettuce and had only a small crop of peas. Take care:)

  27. I keep saying I am going to stop blogging too but then I remember how nice it is to look back at my garden in a handy spot and so I continue to post pictures-more for me than anything else. Blogging is most time consuming and after so many years of doing it I think we go through spells and ups and downs. Your trip looks like fun. Wowser on the rose garden. Amazing. I always admire rose gardens like this one.

  28. Hi Catherine, looks like you had a wonderful time in Oregon, love Canon Beach! Your gardens are looking fabulous and the pic of the hummer is amazing. Enjoy all that yummy veg too...Cheers Julia

  29. Looks like you had a great vacation! Sorry about the dirt- that is frustrating I can imagine. How exciting to have the artichoke! I have yet to plant those but have always intended to. What have I been eating from my garden- tomatoes, basil and jalapenos. I had big plans of planting other things but did not but will for the fall. Great pic of the hummingbird by the way.

  30. Hi Catherine. The picture of the girls on the beach is so pretty. With the heat on now the though of wading with the sand squishing between the toes sounds good.LOL!
    The rose test garden is so beautiful. That would be a hit with me too. Your Agatasche is pretty. Is it the Limelight? The white astilbe is so nice and it does look happy there.
    I always look for garden stuff everywhere too and I really think the birdhouse is a clever idea.

  31. Catherine, I think at times we all find less and less time for the Blogging, but don't give up the ship! I for one do enjoy hearing from you and seeing your Blog. Like the pictures of Cannon Beach today. I have been there and walked that beach for hours. Love the ocean. Find life in that sand and water to keep me going. If you have to cut back, OK but keep us informed at least once a month. Think of it as your "outreach" program to fellow gardens with and addiction to gardening who need your help! Jack.

  32. You are all so nice and encouraging with your comments! :) I'll probably just be slower and longer in between with my posts for now. I do like being able to go back and see what was going on in my garden in previous months.

    Randy - Thanks for the butterfly id! I knew someone would know what it was.

    Lona - That is Golden Jubilee and I love it. It grows mostly as an annual for me, and every spring I go looking for a new one. Today I saw it was just about to bloom.

  33. love the rosegarden!!! have some fun again in your garden!

  34. You have some lovely Portland Pics. and it looks like your own garden is doing well. I know what you mean about taking the same pictures over and over as seasons return for new years. It is our interpretation of those pictures that turn them from photographs into art. Keep at it if it satisfies you. If not. do something else for awhile.

  35. The mansion is just awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  36. Looks like a fun holiday! Your baby artichoke is precious.

    I could have written the same opening paragraph, I haven't been blogging or visiting much, and also feel like I'm taking the same pics over & over, and repeating myself in text. Not sure what the answer is, but I definitely have the blogging blahs. :/

  37. I have been in the same place as you about blogging Catherine, it does take a lot of time, etc., but I've decided I don't want to stop ~ just cut back. I hope you don't quit. Your garden has gone thru so many changes this year and it's been fun to follow. I think blogging has elevated my gardening, another reason to keep going!

    Portland IS a beautiful city. I have visited about four times (when my brother was in optometry school nearby) I wish he would have taken us to the Pittock Mansion one of those trips (or that I would have known about it.) I looked it up after reading your post. What an incredible estate. The view is unbeatable and I thought the rose garden view was the best.

    The photo looking at the front of your house is beautiful. You have to be so happy with how it looks everytime you come home. I sure would be! Glad you had a good vacation. I need one!

  38. It sure is hard to keep up on blogging in the summer when we are so busy working in the garden. But you are right, it's nice to see what everyone has growing and blooming. All my best ideas come from other garden blogs!

  39. There are a lot of us that are waning on the posting front. A little break is a good thing I think. Love that rose garden. I would be there a lot too!
    What a shame about the soil in your raised beds...all that work and then that!

  40. How cool to have an artichoke! We're eating cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, green beans, potatoes, okra, lima beans & berries from the garden. I love your new birdhouse, and it's history.

  41. I'm so glad you had fun in our fair city!

  42. I was going to suggest that the butterfly was a Red Admiral. Now, I'll have to check the distinction between that type and the Lorquin's Admiral.

  43. Catherine - your readers would be devastated if you stopped posting; this summer has been a slow "posting" period for many. Please continue share - even if it's periodically. :)

  44. Looks like you had a lovely trip. I too find myself looking at gardening things when shopping on vacation :-)

  45. I have just read through several of your posts, Catherine, and it's been nice to 'catch up' a little. Sue mentioned she doesn't get to her 'old blogging friends' blogs as much these days, and neither do I. In fact, I haven't been posting lately either and I've had the blogging blahs, as well...my last post was in mid to late June--so I'm really behind. I was glad to read so many others who started at about the same time I did have been having the feeling!! It's nice to know I haven't been alone in that area. I am just taking a little break but I've been taking lots of photos so when I feel ready I will have some material to work with;-) I am so sorry about your soil...that was so much work putting it in, then planting everything. Hopefully the plants will survive and when you amend it next yr. they will thrive!! If you have compost you could always add that around the base of the plants...Take care and have a wonderful 'rest of the summer'!

  46. Hi Catherine, Just read your latest post and this one. I find blogging harder in the summer with the kids home than during the school year, perhaps you are feeling some of the same? And one post a week has turned out to be a good number for me, maybe just cutting back will help you feel less overwhelmed. I think you are doing a good thing by sharing your cheerful nature and love of gardening by blog, hope you can find a way to continue to make it work for you!


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