June 13th, 2016

The Beauty of the End of May Flowers

grand dame rose bud
These photos are from a couple of weeks ago, and the plants have already drastically changed since. I want to post these before they have gone to seed, wilted and died. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but summer is basically here and the plants are growing leaps and bounds.
What is most striking now is the contrast between the flowers and the shades of grey skies we’ve been having. The plants don’t care if it’s cool and rainy. And I don’t care either. Everyone else is inside, but 62 degrees with a sprinkling of rain and a cool breeze doesn’t keep Wolfie and I inside. We go right along with our plans of digging dirt, poking at bugs and playing with the plants. There’s so much to look at!
peach agastache


top: Grand Dame rose bud

above: Apache sunset agastache

(numbered starting below)

  1. south facing view of NE 16th Ave between Wygant St. and Going St.
  2. native columbine
  3. massive purple alliums
  4. these yellow flowered Fraggle-like mint family plants (PLEASE help me with the name)—-> FOUND the name, it’s Jerusalem sage, Phlomis spp.
  5. my wooden planter with succulents, violas, and lotus vine
  6. succulent with offspring; hen and chicks?
  7. Lamb’s ears
  8. red-purple heuchera
  9. emerging echinacea
  10. delicate rose


16th ave

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July 31st, 2013

Portland Grown Mauve and Peach Bridal Bouquet


It was a hot and humid day, with rain in the morning and mid-90’s by afternoon. I went out on the hunt for local and accessible flowers to make an all floral girly bridal bouquet for Chelsea’s Floral Arranging 101 class. After returning home sweaty and hot, I conditioned my flowers the thought in the back of my mind: are these flowers going to make it in this heat? Read the rest of this entry »

July 6th, 2013

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet


I am on the search for the identity of this rose. Do you know what it could be? If so, would you tell me, please? Its gracious beauty is too much remain a mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

June 5th, 2013

Around Portland: Nature Gone a Bit Away in Belmont


I say this everyday, but now is the perfect time to check out the plants and flowers in Portland. The conditions are just right; sunny and warm days following weeks of rain. It is so much fun for me to walk through the quite neighborhood streets and alleys to check out the plants on display.

Of course I love the landscaped yards and well-thought gardens, but what I really like is the laid-back yards with a little wildness to them. The variegated dianthus with it’s slightly disconnected petals against a broken fence, for example. Read the rest of this entry »

May 31st, 2013

The Meadow and the Forest; with Lupins, Hawks and Chestnuts

All it takes is an afternoon in a little bit of nature to rebalance and ground. Walking on a mossy fallen tree in the high grass. Crouching in a patch of lupines to be surrounded by the hum of busy bees. Watching a dance of light on a broad blur dock leaf, spotting a hawk way up in the trees.
May 20th, 2013

Floral Design Workshop


Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a floral design workshop at the Floral Design Institute here in Portland. Because apparently I don’t have enough hobbies already. Oh, and I love flowers and make bouquets and arrangements almost everyday anyways. I have never received any instruction in this field, so I thought it was high time I learn some basic tools to work with.

The morning was part lecture and part instruction on the basics. We made an arrangement in a ginger vase. The next exercise was working with foam in square glass jar with a compact and styled design inspired by Ikebana and Japanese style, and finished it off with a hand-tied bouquet. I learned so many little things that were completely new to me. In general I am a reliable autodidact, but something hands-on like floral design really requires a tactile approach.





Creating the armature with curly willow for a hand-tied bouquet was a new concept for me. I felt like a eleven wisk-maker.

Luckily I went shopping on the break and got a bag to carry all my arrangements home with me. I didn’t bring one; what was I thinking?! It started pouring and quickly my bag was soaked through while I walked to the bus stop. I staggered through Nob Hill hugging two glass vases and a bouquet in the crooks of my elbows, barely being able to see above the tufts of plumosa and asters.






April 25th, 2013

April Apple Blossoms

apple-blossoms4The apples, plums and cherry trees are blooming in full force here in Portland. Their delicate milky-white petals and gold-dipped anthers are almost angelic. Apples are in the Rosaceae family; the rose family. Rose family plants all have five sepals and five petals. Can you see the rose-like appearance of these flowers? The roses that have been bread to be showy have more than five petals, obviously; but if you were to count them you would find they occur in multiples of fives.

These blooms came from a tree on 30th and Alder SE, but there are trees all over the place. Some are tinged pink, especially the unopened buds.





And just when you thought things couldn’t be more fairy-like…

I added a few springs of the tiny Forget-me-nots. How could you forget this beautiful little flower? If you have seen a shaded stream bank lined with these blue flowered plants, you will not forget it.

There are a handful of these plants growing in the gardens outside my door. If they were more plentiful I’d line cup after cup of them to adorn my home. Instead I just bend over and look into their yellow center as I walk to and from.



April 23rd, 2013

Neighbourhood Bouquet – Daffodil, Poppy and Burgundy Tulips


It was a lovely April afternoon. Sunny, mid-60’s, and a few lone daffodils, paper whites and narcissus were still in bloom, so why not add them to my bouquet before they’re gone for good? The tulips have hit their prime, too, so two deep burgundy ones made it in, too.

Although they require careful trimming of their razor-sharp thorns, I had to use the maroon and yellow barberry sprigs. I picked four orange poppies, but by the time I got them home most of their petals had fallen off. I still had to add one in, even without all their petals.