April has been a truly spring-like experience here in Portland. Cool and rainy one day, blazing hot the next (mid 80’s!). Luckily for me, I thrive off of inclement weather. I love the excitement in the changes in pressure, humidity, temperature and precipitation, especially when they are all seemingly changing in one day.
Many other people I know aren’t so lucky. For others, the constant wishy-washy-ness of spring is annoying at best, and downright migraine or depression-inducing at worst. As an East Asian medicine practitioner (fancy name for acupuncturist), I wonder why some people find the winds of spring so disturbing, and what we can do to lessen the blow.
One way to arm yourself against the changes of spring weather is to dress in layers, and always have a scarf around your neck. From a Chinese perspective, Wind can enter the body through the back of the head, where the base of the skull and neck meet, on either side of the spine. These little divots are even named “Wind Pool”, because it’s where wind gathers. Keep a scarf covering those Wind Pools!
Another antidote to the discomforts is purely aesthetic: GO LOOK AT PLANTS. Their leaves are filling up with juicy chlorophyl, their flowers are showing off and attracting early pollinators with blues, purples and whites. Everyday they seem to gain a little more resilience, their roots go a little deeper, and their leaves are opening up to catch their food in the way of sunlight.
Yeah, plants eat sun. It must be pretty yummy stuff, that sun.
So make like a plant and play with opening up to the increasing rays, even if it is intermixed with withstanding a bit of rain and windy cold.
On March 25th, we moved to a new house. A house of our own! Woohoo! After 5.5 years of renting, we bought a house and are slowing sinking in our roots.
The first thing I did was not unpack (I did some, but not all). I planted the two dozen or so plants I transplanted from our apartment. They HAD to get into the ground, in my opinion. Later I can move them, or build the beds that they are a part of.
Now they are starting to flourish, although it will be a couple of years before they are really established. I feel that we will do the same. Our house is a MAJOR fixer. We have a lot to do to be able to fully inhabit it. But it has good bones (that’s what all owners of fixers say to make themselves feel better;) and we love it.
The neighbors and location is our favorite part. There are 21 kids just going up and down the street, half of them are 3 and under. Wolfgang already has so much fun playing with the neighbors.
Our yard is so so so small. I can’t believe that I ever fell in love with a house with such a small yard, considering how important gardening and being outdoors is to me. There is a major bonus: the house is on a corner, which means that there’s a lot of space in the parking strip to plant. Even with such a small lot, I know that we can fit in at least half a dozen trees, lots of shrubs and tons of plants.
Another plant positive point is that my house plants are doing really well here. There is much better air flow, and the it’s a lot dryer here. Our apartment was like a sponge, it was so damp and moldy. At our new house, we all can breath, including the plants.
Back to the plants:
Above: purple heuchera and forget-me-nots.
- big leaf hydrangea, hopefully it will be able to flower this year (it never flowered at the apartment)
- some funny new lily of the valley plants; their leaves and flowers came in a different rates
- close up of that pretty purple huechera