A big highlight from this weekend was spending the day with my sweet nephew, Evan, on Saturday. Evan, Jay and I all went to check out Renn Fayre, which is an annual student celebration/party that happens every spring on the Reed College campus. The students build crazy tents, sculptures, etc and spend the weekend hanging out with friends, dressing in costumes, and most likely consuming a large amount of alcohol and questionable substances.

Perfect place to being a seven year old, right? Well, the daytime events are lot more PG, and the evenings tend to stray more PG-13 or R rated. Evan only saw one female student walking around half-naked. Not too bad for Reed! We spent most of the time looking at everyone’s costumes and playing on all the giant, inflatable playgrounds and slides. It was a blast and the weather stayed nice for our visit.

After that, we headed over to Portland Nursery to buy my Christmas present from my very sweet mother-in-law, Nancy. She thoughtfully bought me a Japanese maple for our front yard, which was a lot of fun to pick out. I knew we needed something shade-tolerant to be next to the porch and I have always had a fondness for these majestic trees – it’s a perfect fit. We bought one of the green varieties, which are apparently more shade tolerant. It has these lovely, lime-green leaves with a light peach color along the outer edges. It’s a great contrast to the chocolate branches.

I went ahead and splurged on some other perennials for the front garden bed while we were there. Our yard is so brown and I just wanted to say that ONE spot in the garden was completely finished with landscaping. Currently tulips occupy that flower bed, but in another week or two they will have passed their prime. So I planted “Tiny Tower” Italian Cyprus, which is suppose to only get about 2-3′ wide and 10′ tall. I also planted an orange daylily, some foxglove, an ornamental red grass, and a couple other purple flowering tall plants that I can’t remember. It feels really good to know that one area of our front yard will have some nice curb appeal year-round.

Today I think I got a little sunburned! I have been digging out pathways through the backyard. After laboring in the sun for a few hours, I switched modes to something more fun: planting seeds. If everything comes up that I planted, we will be completely overrun. I planted about five varieties of melon, six varieties of gourds, some zucchini, some nasturtiums, herbs into the front herb mound (which I finished this weekend), and random flower seeds. This is the first time I have thought that maybe our yard is too small… I get this urge to use all my seeds up in one season, since I know I will collect more this summer from the fruit to save for next year. I direct-sowed about half, and plan to start the other half next weekend inside – to ensure they get a good start.

It’s so funny to me that I go into Monday’s thinking, “I need a good five days of work to recover from my weekend…” Not that I would shake a stick at my life being one huge weekend of gardening. Until that day, it amazes me what I can done in two short days.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson