Friday, February 19, 2010

The calendar says winter, the heart says spring!

Portland has been enjoying a week of sunny warm days; yesterday’s high was 60 heavenly degrees. Even though I know spring doesn’t technically start for another 29 days I can’t help but begin to enjoy some of the rites of spring.

For instance unwrapping the bananas (Musa basjoo). Last year this task was done on March 22nd, this year with our warm temperatures I feared they were starting to grow (if they were still solid and alive) inside their wrappings. So off they came! Some of the smaller ones around the garden had frozen and turned to mush, so I cut them back to the ground and no doubt by summer they will have quickly regained their previous height.

Luckily my tallest specimen retained its pseudo stem and I’ll get to start the season with some banana height in the garden, in fact it is already pushing out a leaf!
Not so lucky with the half a dozen ‘pups’ around the mama plant. They all turned to mush…
But with a little time, warmth, and water they all should grow back and make a nice little banana jungle clump.

Another rite of spring? Planting peas! This year I remembered to soak them overnight like my Grandpa always did.And then I planted them in the warming soil of my driveway stock tanks. The crazy bamboo poles will have twine tied across to act as support once the peas start growing. There is nothing better than a fresh pea pod plucked from the vine! Well, except maybe a fresh warm tomato, or a basil leaf …but those will have to wait a while longer.I also snipped a few Euphorbia myrsinites stems to enjoy inside. These plants sometimes end up a little leggy in the garden but a few quick snips and they make a lovely cut “flower” to enjoy inside for weeks!I do feel a little guilty getting all spring giddy when I know there are parts of the county where spring is still a long way off. Right now is one of those times when I feel really lucky to live, and garden, in Portland.


  1. Pea planting today. What a neat idea to make a bouquet of's beautiful!
    We are blessed with this warm, sunny stretch. Aren't you glad you don't have to go to an office?

  2. I love the Euphorbia myrsinites indoor arrangement and your containers for the vine edibles (the metal ones with the wooden trellis.


  3. Our warm weather is delightfully wonderful, when normally this time of year is so dismal for us gardeners here. I feel like I need to keep knocking on wood everytime I squint into the sunshine.

    I'm soaking peas tonight. I'm there with you about a fresh pea: yum.

    P.S. Cute pup!

  4. I am with you, we are lucky here. I just hope for no late frosts or other heavy impact from all this earliness. Oh, I need to plant my peas! Glad you are a sugar pod gal. They are the best, aren't they?! Your cutie-pie doggie looks to be enjoying the warm sun too.

  5. ricki, yes...I am very happy to be enjoying the weather, I (almost) feel guilty!

    faroutflora, stock tanks totally rule for growing veggies! The soil gets extra warm and it keeps them out of range of the doggie pee!

    LeLo, hey thanks for stopping by! And yes, it's fabulous! Hope you are getting lots of time to enjoy it!

    Karen, no late frosts! Although I think I might have had a very brief one this morning. I am totally addicted to sugar pods! Lila stands at the door and begs to go lay in the sun, but she will only stay out there if you do too, silly girl.

  6. Hi Loree~~ Does somebody like to pose for the camera? What a sweetie pie.

    You've got a beautiful row of pea seed. I wonder if slugs slither up the sides of your troughs. I imagine they are a great method for saving your back and knees.

    I'm pretty sure my banana is still on hiatus but yes this weather is such a nice break from the last two winters. I know what you mean about feeling a little guilty.

    My E. myrsinites are getting ready to bloom. I let a few go to see so I can increase my stock. Pretty soon I'm thinking I'll need to open a store. They are prolific but I love them. I like the idea of picking a few for the house. Good idea.

  7. What a nice bunch of chores you had for yourself this week. The euphorbia trimmings make a lovely bouquet! It does my heart good to know gardeners like you are outdoors enjoying the sun when I have to be indoors, especially with such a cutie as Lila for a helper!

  8. OH, look at your little dog at the bottom! What a cutie!

    Great idea on bringing the myrsinite inside. I'm usually trying to rid my garden of it, though.

    Hope our musa basjoo comes back. If it does this will be the first time.

  9. thank you for posting when you're planting veggis/ I know I need to get on it! I never am on top of that sort of timing :) Lila looks way cute in the sunshine!

  10. I just have to tell you I really love your blog. I'm also in NE Portland and your gardening adventures are most inspiring. Great info and wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Grace, I am so proud of Lila for finally turning into a ham! For the longest time as soon as I pointed the camera at her she would turn her head. I have yet to catch a slug in one of these stock tanks, I think the fact that they are all on the cement drive helps. There is one in the back garden with a Gunnera in it that I have seen slugs in.

    Jane, I do feel so lucky to have been out in the sun as much as possible last week!

    K&V, I am praying for your banana's return!

    A+M, glad I could help! Where will you plant your peas?

    Kamala, thank you very much!


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