In the Neighborhood

Dove Trees in Bloom (Davidia involucrata)

Dove Trees in Bloom (Davidia involucrata)

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Dove trees are blooming here in the Willamette Valley on this fine late April day (we’re having a heat wave, so they’re a little early), and they’re making a spectacular show. The dove tree, a.k.a. handkerchief tree, ghost tree, laundry tree, or Davidia involucrata, is a rare and exquisite tree with a great story to boot. Once classified in the black gum… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
The Spiral Goes Viral: Topiary in the Suburbs

The Spiral Goes Viral: Topiary in the Suburbs

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Before I realized that horticulture was my true calling, I was a sociology student with plans to become a professor of sociology. Then I discovered my love for plants. I left grad school after getting my master’s degree and took an entry level job at a nursery. There haven’t been many times when my old world and new world have met,… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys): A Living Fossil

Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys): A Living Fossil

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 2
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  • 1

Until this winter, I only knew Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) as a handsome but dinky conifer I’d seen at garden centers selling for what could feed a family of four for a month. Then I learned in Phyllis Reynolds’ Trees of Greater Portland (Macrophyllum Press, 2013) that Portland is home to several mature specimens and that I could see this… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 2
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  • 1
A Wishing Tree Blooms in Portland

A Wishing Tree Blooms in Portland

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  

A Wishing Tree!  That’s so Portland. This humble horsechestnut on the corner of NE 7th and Morris in Portland is the bearer of hundreds of wishes tacked to its trunk by passersby.  I visited the Wishing Tree last week after reading about it online. Our local KGW did a story on it earlier this year, as did The Huffington Post.  They… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
Feeling Brave, I Taste Ginkgo for the First Time

Feeling Brave, I Taste Ginkgo for the First Time

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

  Nobody who’s smelled ginkgo fruits for the first time has ever said, “Yeah, I think I’m gonna have to eat some of that.” If you haven’t experienced them first hand, well, they have the aroma of something that maybe was once food, but has since passed through one or two digestive organs before finding its way to the nostrils.  Dog vomit,… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Looking Down Instead of Up:  Autumn Leaves

Looking Down Instead of Up: Autumn Leaves

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Wait!  Before you rake those leaves up, let me get some pictures! Have you ever taken the time to truly appreciate the beauty of fallen leaves?  I took a walk today looking down instead of up, and this is what I saw: Red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves strewn across the sidewalk.  Not always red, their autumn leaves can also be orange… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Eight Great Shrubs for Fall Foliage and Fruit

Eight Great Shrubs for Fall Foliage and Fruit

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The rainy season has begun in Portland.  It hasn’t been terribly cold, but we’ve had several fires in the fireplace.  After a day of sloshing around in the garden, it’s nice to sit by the fire and dream of sunnier times.  Like last week… We had one bright, sunny day last week, and I went looking for fall color.  Here… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Exploring the New Neighborhood

Exploring the New Neighborhood

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

I’ve been off-line for some time, in a deep and sorrowful funk. We moved into our new house two and a half weeks ago, which was a joyous occasion, but it was also the day our youngest cat, George, ran off in all the commotion, and we haven’t been able to find him since. He is microchipped, but no one… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
What Happens When You Tickle a Pine Tree in Spring?

What Happens When You Tickle a Pine Tree in Spring?

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

On this trip around the neighborhood, I check in on conifers. Upstaged by the flamboyant flowers of high spring—azaleas and rhododendrons, peonies, irises, and poppies—conifers are often overlooked this time of year, which is a shame.  Although they don’t make a big spectacle, conifers are undergoing changes now, too. I love the contrast between the dark green old needles and… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
How Neighborly Is Your Front Yard?

How Neighborly Is Your Front Yard?

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

On my many walks around the neighborhood, I see a lot of personalities expressed through front yards.  Many front yard landscapes leave me with a distinct impression of the sort of people who may live inside.  Do you interpret them the same way I do? Front yard fruit and vegetable gardens sometimes make the news when city officials want to see them moved… Read more →


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •