Thursday, January 19, 2017

Plant Shopping Season

I would like to do something with this part of the yard, under the black walnut tree.
Most plants can't live under black walnuts because the tree produces juglone. I've been hunting around plant lists to find some shrubs to start getting them established this spring.

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) has an annual native plant sale. This year's sale just opened up for orders yesterday and most of the plants are only $3.  I ordered shrubs that are supposed to survive under black walnuts: Vine Maple, Mock Orange and Red Stem Ceanothus.

I also ordered an extra Vine Maple to replace the overgrown mystery bush we took out to make way for the French drain in summer.

We bought many of our original rain garden plants from EMSWCD, but sadly they don't sell ferns and flowers anymore. We'll have to visit some of the other local nurseries to pick up smaller plants.

I've also started shopping for some vines to plant on the pergola. While I'd like to buy grape vines, I suspect we're going to end up with kiwi because grapes are poisonous for dogs to eat.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

So Much Snow

In the 20 years we've lived in the Portland area, we have never seen this much snow. Ever. In past years we could usually count on about a week of snow, and that was it.

This year, however, we have had snow and ice almost everyday since my last post on Dec 8. Though we haven't had snowfall since a week ago, our streets are still covered with ice pack. The City of Portland has shown itself to NOT be the City that Works as they seemed to adopt a policy of "let it melt," so most arterial streets are still covered with icepack and dangerous to travel.
During the day, our temperatures just aren't getting warm enough to make much headway in melting the snow.
January 16 at noon.
January 17 at noon.
And, sadly, we didn't get the wood cut for the bathroom during the tiny one-day window we had in December. The dogs were way too stir crazy and Jeff spent the day outside wearing them down and restocking our provisions.
Last Tuesday, we had an eerie night when it was so bright outside, Jeff took this photo at 11PM.
For the most part, our fur children are going stir crazy inside as they are no longer getting daily visits to the dog park. But sometimes it is nice enough to play outside.
View out in front of our house this morning.
Today's forecast calls for freezing rain, on top of this snow already there. At this rate, we can expect to dig ourselves out of winter sometime in April. :)

I wish I knew what pile of boxes the bird feeders were in, I'd go and try and dig them out. I feel sorry for the birds who are quite unaccustomed to winters like this.

For now, we're just hoping the power stays on.