Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

April 27th, 2016 by Celia

A Mid-April Plant Update at Our NEW House

lily of the valley
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.
heuchera and forgetmenot
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
big leaf hydrangea
garden sage in a cup
purple heuchera


February 16th, 2015 by Celia

This Week’s Pics: Early February Springtime

Spring is most definitely in the air. And it’s only the beginning of February. The sweet early spring bloomers are poking their pretty heads through the cool moist ground to take advantage of the unopposed view of the sun.
This set of photos are from my apartment grounds, featuring (in order):
  • andromeda buds (don’t you love that name?!)
  • snowdrops from my back porch container garden
  • evergreen magnolia, gracing us with their clear green spring growth
  • fuchsia violets and the ever-present blanket of moss
  • skeleton of last years’ ferns
  • sweet little Ella kitty
  • daffodils growing around an over-turned watering can (they don’t care)
  • the curly willow planted by our neighbors years ago
  • apartment #8, looking homey

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January 27th, 2015 by Celia

Handmade with Love: Botanical Baby Mobile

mobile lace 1
Although newborn Wolfie has yet to appreciate it, I am ever inspired by the botanical mobile crafted at my baby shower. I find it inspiring and stunningly beautiful; and I can’t stop looking at it. The colors, textures and simple design is perfect for the nursery corner, and the fact that it was created by my good friends make it all the more special.

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December 4th, 2014 by Celia

A Book & Botanical Baby Shower

I am still blissing out on my lovely baby shower. It was lovely beyond belief in so many ways.
My incredibly creative friend Holly hosted a group of good friends and decorated in a sweet baby book theme, with plants and flowers mixed in for good measure. Holly had received a bunch of old children’s books from her family, but they were a little too rough and worn for her son to read, so she used the pages and covers to decorate and make the invitations (I’ll post a photo of the invitations someday).

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December 1st, 2013 by Celia

Late Autumn Beauty, Wisconsin Style


It was absolutely balmy in Portland today; overcast, moisture in the air and fairy warm. The trees and grass were still so alive, so green and festive. Contrast this with Wisconsin 3 weeks ago: the earth was festooned with oranges, yellows, maroons and browns with a bit of green here and there. Snow lingered. The air was dry. And it was cold, down to 15 Fahrenheit. Autumn is so very different between here and there. The thoughts of my taste of winter in the fall will have to tide me over for who knows how long; years? I am one of the opposition, you see. A Minnesotan/Wisconsinite who adored winter and enjoyed it more than any other season. Yes, I even liked diving in it, even in Duluth, a city know for its hills and cold winters. When I hear people back home complain about winter it breaks my heart. So forgive me while I savor it here.

Here are a set of photos from that wintery-type of autumn back home. They are from my friends’ house out in the country in St. Croix Falls, save for the one directly below. That’s Summer and her dog Tippy. We went for a walk in the woods and couldn’t resist the whimsy of the downy white seeded asters as a photo background. It was such a beautiful day, and a great time with a friend. Read the rest of this entry »
November 13th, 2013 by Celia

Comforts in the Window Sill

I just returned from a trip to my hometown. When asked what I was going to do on my first day back in Portland, I said “look out my bedroom window”. And that is what I have done!

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