It has been two years since we uprooted ourselves from our first homestead and planted roots into our new digs – still in Portland, but closer in to the center and closer to family. I wanted to give you a peek around the place to show you how things are growing in.
The front yard is a drought-tolerant design that includes lots of ornamental grasses, which will reach their majestic peak in late summer. I wanted this garden to focus on textures and movement when the wind blows against our mid-century modern bungalow.
The orange spring Oriental Poppies have faded. Purple is beginning to blossom on our flowering alliums, Blue Hill Meadow Sage and Berggarten Sage. The yellows of our Black-Eyed Susans will burst open in about a month. The Quaking Aspens are growing by leaps and bounds!
We have nine fruit trees in the backyard and almost all were developing fruit for the first time this spring. I picked them off right away to keep the young trees focused on sending their energy into developing a strong root system. That will serve the trees better long-term – making them more resilient to drought, heat and stress. Next year, year three, will be the time I allow them to finally set fruit.
Juniper is busy as can be picking berries throughout the homestead. Our ever-bearing strawberries and raspberries have been her main focus for foraging, but blueberries and currants are just now beginning to ripen as well. We have enough berries planted to use fresh, but I’ll probably always be supporting our local farmers to get big enough quantities for our massive canning and freezing efforts.
The raised beds are now all officially planted out for the warm season. I harvested all of the cool crops – fava beans, spinach, leeks, etc – and transplanted out the summer starts – tomatoes, squash, melons, beans and many more. It’s the first time in several years that I feel like I’m finally on time with everything!
The folks are John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds sent me some really cool direct-sow plants that I scattered throughout the planting bed areas. I am particularly excited about the Black Velvet Nasturtiums, Double Click Cosmos, and a bunch of unusual vegetable varieties. I’ll update you later this season to report how these little treasures perform for us.
I repeated many ornamental flowers from the front yard in the backyard. It creates a more cohesive garden when you can repeat several of the same species. Soon there will be the same flowers here as in the front yard, but the backyard also includes lavender, echinacea and other beneficial-insect attracting plants. There will always be more room for additional smaller plants, but the foundation plants are now growing in.
Hope you enjoyed the quick tour! Look for more projects to be added over time on my Portfolio page. And I will post more pictures from our homestead late summer, when everything looks positively wild and beautiful!