Saturday, August 14, 2021

Yard and garden #2

Hi all,
I decided it's time for another update on our yard and flowers. What is YOUR weather like in your neck of the woods???? It's HOT here.

This post is more like a book, so get your tea or coffee, your cookie or muffin, and settle in. Since I don't post that often, I try to squeeze 2 months of life, into one post! Just the way it is.

Can you BELIEVE this Coleus? It is in the HOT sun all day long, and it loves it! I thought Coleus was only a shade plant. I'm learning they love the sun and heat.

Considering the super HOT weather we've had here in central Oregon, most of my flowers and shrubs are surviving the heat... thanks to hubby for watering every day!  I sometimes water again in the evening, if it was over 100.

From two tiny Nasturtium plants, I have quite a large bush now growing up our mailbox! This was my plan and it is working!

We have lots of fires around us, but not too close (praise the Lord).... and I so feel for those more affected by the fires than we are. Other than some very smoky days, we are safe so far.
This was taken yesterday.. it was really bad. Today the smoke has blown away somewhat.

It is especially smoky here the last couple of days. It's a yellow gray look outside, and I don't even want to go out. I did go outside just a little bit ago to take some updated pictures of what is going on in our yard. (the smoke wasn't too bad when I took the pictures).  We live on a small plot in town, but I do love it.. and it's become more and more like a little green oasis for us.

Our back yard lawn is FINALLY, after 6 years, looking pretty good. There are still some bare spots but we will reseed again this Fall.

Here is before and after. The "before" is on the top and taken about 6 weeks ago! The bottom picture I just took today. It is greening up nicely and filling in. I thought the new grass seed would NEVER grow, as it had to survive that heat wave we had. 

A lawn guy I was talking to also recommended a different type of weed spray called Speed Zone. I HATE using pesticides, but this one you can spray all over your lawn and everything (not flowers) and it only kills the weeds and not the grass. It works great and this way I can keep those pesky weeds from taking over.

Here are some "before" and "afters" of my strawberries, peach tree and roses. The strawberries are growing like crazy and there are MANY white flowers on them for some berries in a few weeks. These are everbearing strawberries mostly.

Peach tree now (on right) that we thought would never grow! I swear it looks more like a bush!

Roses... the one on top is from today... the bush on lower left is today, and the roses on the bottom right are a few weeks ago.... they came in the first time really pale. I love the brighter peach color.

Strawberries... top was right after I planted them.... see our scraggly grass??? Today.. on the bottom, they are lush and I think they grow a couple of more inches every day. They are sending out runners everywhere!  I am very happy as I love strawberries.

I used to get up early in the morning when I was young, around 11 and 12, to go to the strawberry fields and pick for pay. You could do it then (back in the 50's- aging myself!), but today, they say it's too young to have "child labor" at that age. I thought it was fun and a great way to earn money for school clothes. I was lucky to maybe make $1.50 for the day.

I was really late planting my Nasturtium seeds, but finally got them in some pots. They are coming up nicely. My mom always had climbing Nasturtiums.... they are hard to find now.

Hubby dug up some dry climate sage (middle) and some sort of succulant when he housesat for my sister. They are doing well in our back raised bed where nothing seems to want to grow.

I love our purple sage. It is finally thriving after struggling for a couple of years. My sister gave me a darling garden "bee girl" for my birthday. She ordered it on Amazon and it came from China and took 3 months to get here!

My blueberry plants have almost doubled in size! They love being watered every day with the sprinkler... I've even been given the joy of eating a few! 

Would you look at those blackberry plants? Look! Green berries!!! I'm so happy. I used to live on the west (wet) side of the Cascade Mountain Range, and blackberries grew wild there, EVERYWHERE!  You could walk down your road and pick them for making jam and pies. Here in Madras, there is only one patch in the entire town, and that is along a large river that is about 15 miles away, and I haven't gotten there yet. Of course, it's "snake city" so hubby doesn't want me to go (rattlers). I may not. Nuff said. So I'm trying to grow my own.

The blackberry I planted in our gravel, is spreading, spreading and spreading. I know I'll have to keep it pruned or it would eventually take over our yard! It has some red berries on it. I want to get a little fence to put around it and keep it tamed.

Since we had to cancel our beach trip for my birthday, due to the "heat dome", I had rescheduled for Aug. 16th, but I had to cancel again due to this heat. I know... I know.. the best place to be during the heat here is on the Oregon coast! But..... when you have 4 cats depending on you, and it's too hot to leave them outside, then you just can't go, unless you have a pet sitter, which we don't (or unless you want to take them with you!).

Maybe we'll get to the coast this Fall. I hope so. I sure miss it.. miss the smells of the wet sand and seaweed, sounds of the seagulls and the waves as they crash and then sizzle with foam to the sand. I miss the mist and fog even!

Even on one hot day a few weeks ago, I talked hubby into driving to Lake Billy Chinook about 10 miles from us. I just wanted to sit by the lake and have lunch. I've wanted to do this all summer, but has just been too hot. I compromised and said we could sit inside with the air conditioning!!!  We did.. and it was so nice.

See those DRY hills??? This lake is surrounded by dry dry dry, but it is beautiful in its own way.

Please try to ignore the 12 lb. "covid weight gain"!!!  Darn it. Hard to stay away from sugar now.

I've been doing a little bit of cleaning out, organizing and destashing.... even of my craft room. I have way too much "stuff"!!!

Ready for donation!  (more is already in the car).


1.  I plan a trip up to Washington to see my chiropractor in a week - it's a 5 hour drive one way, but I have to go.... he is the ONLY one who can "fix" my neck, and I have been in alot of pain.

2.   We plan a 2 night camping trip in our Van (finally!!!!) at a lake not too far from here. My sister and husband are going and taking their boat... so we decided to book a site close to them. I know it will be hot probably, but I'm hoping for some cooler weather, maybe in the 80's???  Keeping fingers crossed.

3.   I'm hoping for a beach trip sometime in October! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  Until next time.....




  1. Happy Saturday Marilyn. I think it has been a challenging summer for all of us. Even with living in the midwest it has been over the record with heat. I have had to water twice daily for many days. Your yard is looking fabulous. All your hard work is paying off. Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo

    1. Thank you Kris. Yes.. this has been one hot summer everywhere I think! I really had to push myself to get outside and work in the yard. I'm not a morning person, so by the time I get up, it was already 95 degrees sometimes. We do enjoy it now, but really haven't gotten to be outside much to sit and gaze at its beauty. xoxo Marilyn

  2. Your backyard is really looking great, Marilyn. It's come a long way with your and your hubby's diligence. That grass is amazing. Homegrown strawberries are the best. You will enjoy those blackberries, too. Your roses and other flowers are so pretty. I'm sorry you're having neck pain. I'm glad you have a good chiropractor. A trip to the coast would be heavenly. Hope you do get there as planned. Have a great new week! Hugs.

    1. Hi Nancy.. thank you for the kind words. I do enjoy the flowers but sure was alot of work this summer. I did go to my chiropractor already, as of Aug. 26th, and my neck feels much better. I just have to be diligent about NOT sitting and crafting all day, or looking at my computer for hours on end! That really is what causes the neck pain. Next, I'm hoping for a trip to the coast!!! Have a good week.. Marilyn

  3. So lovely to "visit" with you tonight Marilyn, and see the exciting things happening in your yard! I'm so happy to see that you have grass growing now, and some beautiful strawberries and blackberries! That is so wonderful, you both have worked SO hard and truly, you really have created a green oasis in your backyard! The smoke has been terrible here as well. Those yellow-gray skies are eerie for sure, and being outside is not pleasant at all. I feel so much for the poor firefighters who have to breathe that all day long! Your plants are doing amazing, and I know that is such a joy to your heart. I hope you get to take a little trip soon, and that the chiropractor trip will benefit your back. Blessings and hugs to you dear friend!

    1. Hi Marilyn! Thanks for coming to visit! and thank you too... the yardwork was extra hard this year as getting in that hot sun just drains me. We are enjoying the "fruits" of our labors now finally! I've actually gotten to eat a few of our own strawberries (amazing having them in late August!)... a few raspberries, though bugs and bees got to them and ate most of them.. and maybe blackberries next summer. I also made the trip to my chiropractor and neck feels much better. Thank you for your friendship and care!! Marilyn

  4. Hi Marilyn. I like your new look and I did get it in my inbox. I am just sorry that it has taken me so long to answer back. No good excuses. It looks like your garden is filling in nicely and your flowers are so pretty. We have been socked in with the smoke from all the fires. It is very smoky early in the morning and afternoon, then in late afternoon it clears up pretty well, enough for us to get out if we want. Then, it is back with a vengeance in the evening. Our time to sit on the front porch is at night when we let the dogs out the last time, but for the last few days it is not possible it stinks so bad.. I had to cancel my lunch with my friends again this month. We can't sit outside because of the smoke and I won't be caught "dead", literally, going inside a restaurant, our counts are so high here..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

    1. Oh Judy.. so sorry for all the smoke there and the awful fires. Is so smokey here too, even though the fires are way up north of us. It has been a very weird summer and the heat just drains me, so haven't been outside much really. I can only enjoy my flowers from looking out the windows! We have a nice place to sit our front of our house, but don't very much, due to too much smoke or too much heat! I'm looking forward to cooler weather, though no rain in the forecast here for another month! I pray for rain for many reasons! xoxo Marilyn

  5. It had been pretty hot here in PA, more so than usual. The IDA rain cooled things of.f Our summer garden is just about spent except for tomatoes which are yummy! Nice you have such a good variety of plants.

  6. Your Coleus certainly seems happy.


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