KnorQ's Kitchen

Serial Hobbyist

Hortlandia Haul > HSPO Plant Sale

The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s Hortlandia plant sale was this past weekend at the Portland Expo Center. The annual plant pilgrimage always busts my budget on plants that I will likely kill.  My eyes are definitively bigger than my garden beds. Despite making a short list of carefully curated plants to purchase — I got way off course and purchased a bunch of plants I either don’t need or don’t know anything about. So many plants, so little plant knowledge. Here is what came home with me:Above: Impatiens Omeiana. This is one that I had no idea about but after Googling it I am pleased. If it lives and spreads I will love it under the left fir tree. Unlike the sweet woodruff I planted there in my impatience to have that area filled in. What was I thinking?Metapanax delavayi – False Ginsing from the Cistus Nursery booth. As I was headed out two people told me how much they love having this plant in their yard. Maybe it will one day be a great green screen along the property line. Below is a osmunda claytoniana –  interrupted fern. We now have very many ferns. Below is a Fargesia Robusta to replace the dud I bought off of some random Craigslist dude.Below, A new color of columbine to mix it up with the purple columbine I collected and scattered seed from

Above, hosta “orange marmalade”. These two seemed a bit risky. Above is Mukdenia Rossii – never heard of it before but was happy to read that the leaves turn a nice crimson color during certain times of the year. It looks delicate…I’ll kill it in no time. I did manage to do that with the plant below…sheeeez! It only took three days and this Gunnera Manicata Reddish was both limp and crispy. Annoying.

Above – this was a very random grab as I headed to the check out line. It is Aucuba Japonica “Clear Picture” -again from the Cistus booth. It was a good pick for our yard as it likes deep shade. Does it like deep neglect from a lazy novice gardener? Only time will tell. Below is a yellow flowered trillium with a great leaf pattern. It will make a nice partner to the existing solid-leafed, pink & white flowered trillium growing around the yard. Also picked up a lovey Japanese painted fern and two dahlia tubers – Mrs. Kennedy and RazMaTaz from Old House Dahlias. So that is the haul for 2015. May these plants live long and prosper. Even the Gunnera.


This week in the yard






This week around the yard 4.12.2015

 Hello Hosta! Between hailstorms over the weekend I snapped a couple of pictures of the glowing right fir understory. This area is really coming alive. It is still a very experimental spot – I’ve killed many a plant in this area and am still learning what plants will thrive. One day it will be chock full of plants so thick you won’t see the ground. It is so bright and alive compared to how it looked in 2013.    

Above – the lilac has blossomed and below the very first of the dahlias have started to emerge.

Above is a little fern I picked up from the Soil and Water Conservation District’s Native Plant Sale. And below is one of the creepy face pots I made in beginner community college ceramics class — it gets a nice patina and creepier with age. 

Wowzers – I spied the first rose “Pumpkin Patch” – along with other pretty blooms from around the yard.

Next weekend is the HSPO sale! I must practice some self control and stay focused on my plant wish list: Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’; Astilboides tabularis; Begonia ‘Benichoma’; Syneilesis aconitifolia – shredded umbrella plant; Schefflera taiwaniana, Hydrangea ‘little honey’; more Fargesia Robusta bamboo…that’s a start. Also…very inspired by the sod removal from Just a Girl with a Hammer — it looks exhausting but what a difference! Maybe a project for next year?

This week in the edible garden 4.10.15

Small updates this week: transplanted the rest of the spinach and lettuces. Planted many seeds including shelling peas, sweet peas, carrots, radish, beets, summer squash and black eyed susan vine. This last one is new to the garden – I planted the vine seeds along the chain link fence near the grape vines — looking forward to seeing how these do. Herbs were relocated around the garden along with some volunteer nasturtiums, columbine and poppies. The first of the grape leaves appeared:

The oregano is going strong. This year it has a new home near the raised beds (above)

 This year’s pea selection from territorial seed above…and now the edible garden is on its way!

This week in the edible garden

Over Easter weekend we got the first starts in the raised beds. Chard, broccoli, spinach and lettuces.

I worked some compost into the beds and transplanted the potatoes to a new spot in the garden.

 The garlic is doing well below. I plan to plant lettuces and radishes in between the garlic until it is time for tomato starts.

It is difficult to see below but those two posts and the wire in between are the grape trellis going up at last. Yay! One item off the 2015 garden bucket list. In the foreground is the new potato bed.

I picked up a new blueberry plant

Below is  the state of my other 2015 garden to-do item – my garden ‘nook’ for reading and relaxing. Man have I let this area go. Here is what it looked like one year ago. And in 2013. Hmm…seems to be on an aesthetic decline. This project will keep me busy this summer: I see a trellis, paver patio, tons of herbs, an artichoke, vine maple, a couple of roses and poppies.

A couple of shots of final days of these sweet tulips

Around the yard

Spent some time in the yard over Easter weekend. Happy to see fiddleheads on some of the ferns.

Bacon bowl broke over the winter from the freeze but its plant holdings look healthy and alive! The pretty hellebore below was added to the yard last year.  The collection of plants below is from the dark shady depths of the right fir understory. Spriderwort “Sweet Kate” has grown like gang busters here – such a nice bright surprise in an area that is difficult to find plants that work. The brunnera and epimedium were not cutting it here so that have new homes in other parts of the yard. Hey…there used to be a second heuchera around here somewhere…one nice thing about the blog is I can go back and check

  Another bright surprise in the deep shade of the right fir tree is the Kerria Japonica – planted two years ago in 2013 — it is just now starting to pick up and bloom.

        And just one picture, below, of the Left Fir Tree understory…I put some fast spreading plants in this area…I might regret that.

Veggie Garden Kickoff – Spring 2015

Hello Garden. Although you have been neglected I see that you are starting to show signs of life. And it must be time to turn the beds, plant some seeds, order  tomato plants.  Is it too late for peas? Here’s to kicking off the new veggie garden year.

           The garlic and kale overwintered. The apple tree I thought was dead is putting out a new leaf, the arugula is back, the tulips beckon. It will be fun to look back on these pictures in late August when the garden is at its peak.

Garden 2014/Garden 2015

According to a Google search President’s Weekend is the time to prune roses in the Pacific Northwest. It’s time to dust off the garden tools. Here are my garden goals for 2015:

Garden 2015 Goal #1: Build the grape trellis. I purchased all the supplies last summer but didn’t get around to the install. Here are the 3rd year grape vines from early summer 2014:
Garden 2015 Goal #2:
Plant the garden nook. I cleared out the forsythia that used to be in this space back in 2013. In 2014 this spaced hosted a hodgepodge of herbs, dahlias and poppies. This year I would like to install a trellis, small stone patio and plants of course! I imagine reading out here with lemonade in the summer.

Garden Goal 2015 #3: Less grass, more plants. In general

Here is a look back at some changes to the garden in 2014:
The mail box got a make over:


The bamboo bed was completed:20140413-184118.jpg


We transplanted the Sangukaku maple that we originally picked up back in October 2012:



In Spring 2014 we added new cedar beds to the veggie garden:

The right under story grew in:
The left fir understory was expanded:

After doing nothing in the yard over the winter months I’m ready to get back out there.

This week in the garden


Above are the very last of the tomatoes. The tomato plants were pulled out, the soil was turned and garlic bulbs were planted (Spanish Rojo & Inchelium Red). The gourds were harvested  and the last of the herbs were picked to dry and store. There are a few flowers still surviving in the yard. I collected enough dahlias, roses and hydrangeas to put together a nice fall bouquet. There is still some clean up to do in the yard to prepare it for winter. Over the winter I will be planning for next season’s yard projects, reading seed catalogs in the bathtub and putting a “garden year in review” post together. I will miss my yard for the cold months but look forward to a winter of  good books, good movies and soup. Lots of soup.










Road Trip > Sacramento, Ca

We headed to Sacramento to visit family and celebrate Avery’s 4th birthday:










So great to catch up with the family! xoxo