Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July Bloom Day

I'm a day late for Gardener's Bloom Day. The garden is a wild mess right now and I've got to get out there and start working. The mosquitoes are terrible this year and for the first time in my life, they seem to like me. We've been getting a lot of rain and everything is lush and green. And as a result, more blooms than you'd normally see this time of year.

Lily "Scheherazade"

Aloe Vera - I didn't realize that the aloe vera bloomed but it does!

Orange Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)
Lily "Caravan"

Tiger Lily
Naked Ladies (Lycoris squamigera)
Naked Ladies (Lycoris squamigera)
Italian Arum (Arum italicum)
Fleece Flower (Persicaria 'Red Dragon')
Crinum Lily
Rose of Sharon "Bluebird" (Hibiscus syriacus)
To see what is blooming in other gardens all over the U.S., check out Garden Blogger's Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trillium Hollow

I think I've covered everything on my recent Portland trip and wanted to conclude with a post about Trillium Hollow, the place we stayed at while we were there. Trillium Hollow is a co-housing community. This was a new experience for me and it was absolutely wonderful. It was one of the most beautiful places in Portland and a treat to retire to every evening.

This is the driveway leading down to the main house (not ours). Like the name says, it is located in a hollow. Behind the house is a deep ravine with a running creek below. It was deeply forested.
This is the community house, located right behind the house in the earlier photo. This is a 3-story house on stilts that sits directly above the creek. Our rooms were in the lower section of the house. It was absolutely incredible, like being in a tree house. The house is also used for community dinners and meetings for the people who live on the property.
The back part of our house was surrounded by decks.
I had a balcony off my room that overlooked the creek.
Looking back toward the house from the far end of the deck walkway.
A bird was nesting over one of the doorways.
The owners were aware of this and had marked off the area to protect her.
This wonderful room was right off the community kitchen. This portion of the house juts out from the rest of the house, an octagon surrounded by glass. It was like being in a glassed-in tree house. We were told that laws current laws forbid building houses over places like this now. This house was built back in the 1970s before that law took effect.

If you look closely, you can see that room to the right.

On the upper region of the property were units that are owned by individuals. Notice the community gardens. Plants were also growing all along the balconies and walkways inside this complex.
Most of the gardens at Trillium Hollow were vegetable gardens but there were some ornamentals as well.

The entrance to Trillium Hollow from the street.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Friday, July 12, 2013

Portland - a foodie's paradise

Portland, Oregon - Food Trucks
A block of food trucks in downtown Portland

If there is one thing I like better than gardens, it is food! I love to eat and unlike Michael, who prefers to eat at the same places and have the same dishes over and over again, I enjoy trying new places. 

The restaurant choices in Portland are mind boggling. You can find any cuisine you desire.

Rebecca and McKenzie kept telling me about the food trucks in downtown Portland. I expected a food truck here and there but not an entire block of them! One after another and every type food imaginable. It was quite an experience.

Portland, Oregon - Food Trucks  

Portland, Oregon - Food Trucks  

Portland, Oregon - Food Trucks
I loved the name of this one - EuroTrash - and I had a huge hamburger here.
The Loving Hut (Portland, Oregon)
One of my favorite places was a little vegan restaurant called The Loving Hut. I love Chinese food and this stuff was amazing. It was better than real chicken and beef!

This was an appetizer at the Multnomah Falls Lodge restaurant. It is Ceviche. I've seen chefs making this many times on TV shows but had never tried it before.

Voodoo Donuts - a very popular Portland stop. The line was very long so we didn't eat there. Maybe next time.

Another great restaurant was Proper Eats, located in the St. Johns area where our friends are moving. We had an amazing breakfast here. I had the Tempeh Scramble (above), made of seasoned tempeh, roasted potatoes, black beans, salsa and guacamole wrapped in a tortilla.
Proper Eats is located in the back of a small grocery store. They had an amazing selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Market at Proper Eats (Portland, Oegon)  
And here we are - myself, Rebecca, McKenzie (second from right) and the Lopez family.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shakespeare Garden (at the Portland Rose Test Garden)

Shakespeare Garden (Portland Rose Test Garden)

Near the bottom of the hill and off to the side of the Portland International Rose Test Garden is the Shakespeare Garden. There is a bust of Shakespeare under the archway in the above photo and I forgot to get a close-up of it. This charming little garden is filled with plants that appear in Shakepeare's works (ferns, hosta, hydrangea, boxwood, banana trees, fuchsias, calla lilies, etc.). Small weddings are often held here and it is easy to see why.
Shakespeare Garden (Portland Rose Test Garden)
Notice the crow. There are crows all over Portland. I was bullied by one in the neighborhood where we stayed but that is another story.

Shakespeare Garden (Portland Rose Test Garden)
Shakespeare Garden (Portland Rose Test Garden)
Those shrub-sized fuchsias again!
Shakespeare Garden (Portland Rose Test Garden) 

Shakespeare Garden (Portland Rose Test Garden)  
Shakespeare Garden (at the Portland International Rose Test Garden)  

Shakespeare Garden (at the Portland International Rose Test Garden)  
Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy