It will be a long time before I top the weekend I just had. My weekend was full of my favorite things: being with my best friend in the whole world, gardening in the sunshine, eating bratwurst at Otto’s, sharing Sunday brunch with friends, taking country drives, playing with ceramics in my studio, tango dancing until my feet are sore…

My best friend Erika, who lives a couple states away, was in town and I was lucky enough to spend a great chunk of time with her. She is one of those lifelong friends that you never have to play catch-up with. We just pick up wherever we left off, diving right into the meat of our lives, by passing any small talk, laughing with each other until our sides hurt. There was a big Argentinian tango festival in town this weekend and it was great to go out with her to the dances, just like the old days. (Something I don’t talk about much on this blog, but I’ve been a tango dancer for 8+ years…)

All weekend in Portland the weather was absolutely gorgeous – nothing but sunshine. Erika and I took a long country drive out to One Green World together as I explained the plans for the garden. We both share a love for gardening, so it was fun to bring her up to speed on the latest food forest plans for our home. The car was packed to the brim with new goodies for the yard.

It was quite a shopping spree at the nursery, but I luckily didn’t make any impulse buys. There were a few plant substitutions I had decided on earlier this week. I had chosen to duplicate some plants in my earlier design, but I went back in and diversified some things. For example, I already have four blueberry bushes, so rather than add more I added gooseberries instead. Instead of buying two beautyberry bushes, I bought one and added in a strawberry tree.

The strawberry tree (pictured left) is a lovely evergreen that should grow to 8′ in height. The bark is red and the leaves are a glossy green. It produces fruit that apparently resembles strawberries in flavor. Pretty cool!

We planted everything together, which went quick and felt very fitting to have Erika there making a permanent impact on our small plot together. The two flowering quinces (pictured right) are just about ready to explode with scarlet blossoms. Their branches are quite contorted, which it gives it almost a Japanese appearance. I also picked up a couple cornelian cherry bushes that put on a show of yellow blossoms in early March – one of the first things to bloom. The garden should start looking alive very soon!

I am honestly so content with my weekend that I think I will just end on this note and roll off to bed. I am pretty tired from the late night tango dances and the yard work planting our new loot. I am so thankful to have such a full life and such wonderful people to share it with.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson