A deep breath infuses my body with the rich perfumes of pine, fir, lush soil, cut grass, and blossoming plants. Every time, it nearly knocks me over with its power. The abundance of nature in all its glory is here in Oregon. I love being here with my mom at her beautiful house just off the hustle and bustle of the University of Oregon campus.
Over the last few months we have been chatting over the phone (me – from the desert terrain of Gallup, NM) about re-creating her small patch of garden on the south side of her house that gets full sun, and therefore has the great potential to be a vegetable garden. When I arrived a couple of weeks ago we started plotting in earnest. After a rather painless trip to Jerry’s (a local version of a Home Depot) we returned home with a plan and lots of supplies.
First, we weeded the over-grown area and laid out what I like to call “weed destroyer” – black landscape material that blocks light. Then we mulched and started hauling in the concrete blocks. A few six foot, 12″x 2″ cedar boards, soil and voila; raised beds and a tidy little garden. Super fun and quite easy. Here are the before and after shots:
The next day I took a trip up to Portland to visit some friends and one was my dear friend Patty Cassidy. She is an amazing gardener and such an inspiration. She is a grand master gardener and has turned her expertise to helping seniors continue to garden and explore the wonders of plants in all shapes, colors, smells and forms. She has written a wonderful gardening book, aptly titled “Gardening for Seniors” that I was happy to learn has been translated into four different languages. She is also the president of the Portland Memory Garden which has been “especially designed for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory problems: the site is relatively flat and is away from other park activity and significant traffic noise. The garden was dedicated in May 2002 and is one of eight memory gardens in the U.S., and one of only two built on public land. The garden is a national demonstration garden project, created as part of the 100 Parks, 100 Years centennial celebration of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).” If you are looking for wonderful advice about your garden – Patty should be your go-to gal.
It was a gorgeous Oregon afternoon of filtered sun. I had such fun chatting in Patty’s beautiful back yard with her husband Gary, who, like me, is diving into the world of children’s literature. No worries – I’ll be shamelessly promoting his book when it comes out too.
In three short weeks I’ll be moving to Sacramento, California. I am really looking forward to a little space of my own to dig into some earth and help cultivate a bit of life. Moving to Sacramento not only means I can garden again, but as the winter season is so mild – I’ll get to garden all year round! I can’t wait. And I have so many wonderful gardening experts in my life to help me. Such fun.
I’ll write again from California. Have a great end of your June!