Rain Garden, 2015

Well, poo. I just wrote a long, elaborate post about the rain garden and it got deleted by accident. That stinks.

As I was saying… Our rain garden is now in its fourth summer, a season it doesn’t like much. Summer is hot, dry, and sunny, all things not much beloved of native Washington plants. Many of the ferns suffer quite a bit, barely surviving. They need more cool shade, being understory plants.

Ferns suffering from too much sunny, dry weather.

Huckleberry barely hanging on.

The below is the last little leafy twig on a much larger, mostly dead plant that got cooked last summer, and is also prey to predation by bunnies.
image Continue Reading >>

Lessons in Homeownership: Mulching Edition

I don’t know if you recall my much-beloved rain garden; I may have mentioned it now and againonce or twice (or maybe three, four, or five, or, OK, a lot of times) before. We did the hard work of building it back in 2011, but my rain garden care guide says it needs annual mulching to remain healthy. Needless to say, I haven’t mulched since we made it, and admittedly the amended soil has seemed to get harder and more clayey over time (clay being, alas, the composition of the rest of the yard). Continue Reading >>

Things That Are Growing


The avocado pit I “planted” shortly after Benji was born: Not only have two long roots emerged from the bottom, but a little shoot with a couple leaves delicately wrapped around it has begun pushing its way up through the top.

So exciting! Remember how it felt as a kid, when you planted the bean and miraculously a sprout appeared a while later? Same feeling, only on a very slow time scale.


Our rain garden: Yesterday Deborah and I put the ferns in the ground. The big one didn’t look so large out in the woods. Just sayin’. I hope everything survives, but I’ve heard huckleberry bushes do not transplant well, so I won’t be surprised if those don’t make it. This really fills the garden in nicely; all I want is a few more reeds/grasses for the standing water area. Continue Reading >>

Always a bright side


Although the last 24 hours have been depressing for people, our rain garden (and other plants, for that matter) is loving it. Look at how lush the ferns are! Having the rain garden helps me find the bright side even on rainy days.

Rain Garden Green

Day’s Verse:
The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.

Proverbs 10:19

I continue to find the growth of our rain garden plants fascinating and thrilling. They seem to thrive despite my usual lack of plant mojo. Today, while weeding the garden (grass keeps wanting to populate it; I can’t blame the grass, as that soil is super-nutritious and must be deeply appealing to plants) I thrilled to find that a couple of sword ferns I’d written off as goners had, unbeknownst to me, produced some fiddleheads. Continue Reading >>

More In The Yard

Day’s Verse:
Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
etch it on the chambers of your heart.

Proverbs 7:1-4ish

Today I had a physical therapy appointment and they did something new: Tape on my right shoulder. It didn’t really feel like it did anything while I was there, but then I rode home on my bike, and noticed — hey, wait a sec, this is more comfortable. I didn’t think my back was much of a problem on the bike lately, but wearing the tape made me realize it could actually feel better. Continue Reading >>

Gardening is Not My Forte

Day’s Verse:
You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.

Proverbs 6:6-ish

Yesterday, another dry but slightly more overcast day, I planted 15 new strawberry plants as a ground cover for the edge of the rain garden. That accounts for a little more than half of the area needed to be covered. I figured we might as well plant something delicious, since we have to put something in. Hopefully that doesn’t backfire and cover our yard in strawberries… but I figure, there are worse things to have take over your yard. I also have some strawberries in a raised bed, and now I’m kind of wishing I’d put something else there. Maybe I should do some other food, like lettuces or something, along the remaining length of the rain garden. Hmm. Continue Reading >>