Rose Lovers Unite

When we visited the Rose Garden in Portland yesterday it was obvious many people share our love for roses.  Here is brother Bill posing with The Rose Guy.
What a perfect place to paint. Below a tour bus arrived with many rose lovers excited for a tour.
Umbrellas were also a big part of the rose garden tour.

People of all ages enjoyed the roses.

Everything Coming Up Roses

Today when my brother and I toured the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, OR I knew I would see lots and lots of roses. I was not prepared for the overload beauty of the roses, hydrangeas, fuchsias,and other complimentary flowers and plants. I think you will see what I mean. 

 Fuchsias like shrubs
The smoke bush and hydrangea.

It Is All About the Process

 Today I met an old friend face to face for the first time. Jane and I got connected on Facebook through my brother Bill. We share similar interests and today I met her face to face. It was like visiting with an old friend from the past.  As we toured her home, gardens, and studios today I learned that we have very similar beliefs about how we create things in our lives. She has created beautiful gardens. She has done a complete remodel of her house. She is creating a lovely gallery to display her husband James E. Hansen's sculptures. 

The two of us share a common thread. We embrace the process of what we are creating. In conversations today we both discovered it is not about creating perfect gardens that show up in magazines. It is not about reading all the books available on gardening or architecture, but it is about doing. She has put her energy into the doing and the results are all around her.

The end product is what we always strive for.... but I truly believe the learning and growing takes place in the  process. I will continue to have an awareness of that process whether it is in writing, gardening, cooking, teaching, or art.

We also both have the belief that you create a place that feels right. A place to call home. I loved the place she has created and calls home. Thanks Jane.

The Beauty of Birds

I have never been able to get too close to birds while taking pictures. With the zoom on my new camera I can get pictures and not scare them off. We get an amazing variety of birds at our place so it will be fun to catch images of them.

Of course, then there are the chickens and rooster also.

Camera Images: Old Camera Drying Out, New Camera Perfect

I got my camera wet on a recent camping trip. I couldn't stand not taking pictures of the beauty surrounding me every day.  I could take pictures with my phone and did, but it was not the same. Today I picked up my new camera at the post office. It has been fun to try it out all day.

Roses: Rooted in Love

Before I moved to my current house, I never grew roses. I always heard they were difficult to grow, required lots of upkeep and care, and wouldn't make it through the winters in northeastern Washington.

I am pleased I researched the growing of roses the first year I began gardening at Martin Creek. The most important thing I learned early is on is not that roses are so difficult, but it is crucial to choose roses for your area. There are so many varieties of hardy roses that have successfully found a home around our gardens. They demand the same care all plants do and give us stunning beauty, especially right now.

Between JEJ and myself we have put lots of love in our roses. Many are still growing after fifteen years. Some have gone along the wayside. Others have turned a bit wild and returned to their original red variety. I always encourage people to try roses, then rattle off some hardy shrub or floribunda roses that are always successful such as the William Baffin aboe.

As with any plant rooted in love they need rich soil, fertilizer, sun, and water. It also helps to keep the deer out of your yard!

Rooted in Responsibility

Now we have said good-bye to Sheriff  McDuff I think Deputy Grayson feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. He must now begin guarding Martin Creek Gardens diligently, taking over for his mentor McDuff. He strolled the sidewalk in early evening looking for trouble that might be lurking in the flowers.

I Miss Sunsets

I miss sunsets where I live. I get the pleasure of sunrises every day, but no sunsets. While driving home this evening we got to enjoy quite a show in the sky. Perhaps I should get out and drive more at sunset. ( We also need to clean our windshield!)

Iris: Rooted in Beauty

Everything about an iris is unique.... the scent, the texture, vivid color, and sustainability.

You Reading This, Be Ready

As  we move into graduation week at our school I have been reflecting on the group of students graduating and the time I had with them in middle school. Each of them has plans as they move into a bigger world this summer. This poem by William Stafford always gives me a lump in my throat as I think of graduation. 
You Reading This, Be Ready
William Stafford
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

Roots: Playing In the Dirt

I am once again going to try to post each day this month. The NaBloPoMo theme this month is roots.

When I moved into my current house I really didn't have soil, but sand. I have learned in the last sixteen years that sand is fairly easy to amend. It just takes lots of amendments and time. We have added manure, green sand, blood meal, bone meal, leaves,compost, compost tea, and various other amendments to get our plants to grow bigger and better.
This spring we can really see the results of all our playing in the dirt. Plants are growing healthier, bigger, and the stems are stronger. Amending the soil continues like teaching and learning. You are never done.